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if the same be considered and followed, ere the Spaniards enforce
the same, and if her Majesty will undertake it, I will be con-
tented to lose her Highness' favour and good opinion for ever,
and my life withal, if the same be not found rather to exceed
than to equal whatsoever is in this discourse promised and de-
clared. I will now refer the reader to the following discourse,
with the hope that the perilous and chargeable labours and en-
deavours of such as thereby seek the profit and honour of her
Majesty, and the English nation, shall by men of quality and
virtue receive such construction and good acceptance as them-
selves would like to be rewarded withal in the like.


ON Thursday, the sixth of February, in the year 1595,
we departed England, and the Sunday following had
sight of the north cape of Spain, the wind for the most
part continuing prosperous; we passed in sight of the Bur-
lings, and the Rock, and so onwards for the Canaries, and fell
with Fuerteventura the 17. of the same month, where we
spent two or three days, and relieved our companies with
some fresh meat. From thence we coasted by the Grand Ca-
naria, and so to Teneriffe, and stayed there for the Lion's
Whelp, your Lordship's ship, and for Captain Amyas Preston
and the rest. But when after seven or eight days we found them
not, we departed and directed our course for Trinidad, with
mine own ship, and a small barque of Captain Cross's only;
for we had before lost sight of a small galego on the coast
of Spain, which came with us from Plymouth. We ar-
rived at Trinidad the 22. of March, casting anchor at Point
Curiapan, which the Spaniards call Punt a de Gallo, which is
situate in eight degrees or thereabouts. We abode there
four or five days, and in all that time we came not to the
speech of any Indian or Spaniard. On the coast we saw a
fire, as we sailed from the Point Carao towards Curiapan,
but for fear of the Spaniards none durst come to speak with
us. I myself coasted it in my barge close aboard the shore
and landed in every cove, the better to know the island,
while the ships kept the channel. From Curiapan after a
few days we turned up north-east to recover that place
which the Spaniards call Puerto de los Espanoles* and the
inhabitants Conquerabia; and as before, revictualling my
barge, I left the ships and kept by the shore, the better to
come to speech with some of the inhabitants, and also to

* Exploration.

* The name is derived from the Guayano Indians, on the Orinoco.

* Now Port of Spain.

HC XXXIII 321 (11)


understand the rivers, watering-places, and ports of the
island, which, as it is rudely done, my purpose is to send
your Lordship after a few days. From Curiapan I came to
a port and seat of Indians called Parico, where we found a
fresh water river, but saw no people. From thence I rowed
to another port, called by the naturals Piche, and by the
Spaniards Tierra de Brea. In the way between both were
divers little brooks of fresh water, and one salt river that
had store of oysters upon the branches of the trees, and
were very salt and well tasted. All their oysters grow upon
those boughs and sprays, and not on the ground; the like is
commonly seen in other places of the West Indies, and else-
where. This tree is described by Andrew Thevet, in his
France Antarctique, and the form figured in the book as a
plant very strange; and by Pliny in his twelfth book of his
Natural History. But in this island, as also in Guiana, there
are very many of them.

At this point, called Tierra de Brea or Piche, there is that
abundance of stone pitch that all the ships of the world may
be therewith laden from thence; and we made trial of it in
trimming our ships to be most excellent good, and melteth
not with the sun as the pitch of Norway, and therefore for
ships trading the south parts very profitable. From thence
we went to the mountain foot called Annaperima, and so
passing the river Carone, on which the Spanish city was
seated, we met with our ships at Puerto de los Espanoles or

This island of Trinidad hath the form of a sheephook,
and is but narrow; the north part is very mountainous; the
soil is very excellent, and will bear sugar, ginger, or any
other commodity that the Indies yield. It hath store of
deer, wild porks, fruit, fish, and fowl ; it hath also for bread
sufficient maize, cassavi, and of those roots and fruits which
are common everywhere in the West Indies. It hath divers
beasts which the Indies have not; the Spaniards confessed
that they found grains of gold in some of the rivers; but
they having a purpose to enter Guiana, the magazine of all
rich metals, cared not to spend time in the search thereof
any further. This island is called by the people thereof
Cain, and in it are divers nations. Those about Parico are


called Jajo, those at Punta de Carao are of the Arwacas*
and between Carao and Curiapan they are called Salvajos.
Between Carao and Punta de Galera are the Nepojos, and
those about the Spanish city term themselves Carinepagotes?
Of the rest of the nations, and of other ports and rivers, I
leave to speak here, being impertinent to my purpose, and
mean to describe them as they are situate in the particular
plot and description of the island, three parts whereof I
coasted with my barge, that I might the better describe it.

Meeting with the ships at Puerto de los Espanoles, we
found at the landing-place a company of Spaniards who
kept a guard at the descent; and they offering a sign of
peace, I sent Captain Whiddon to speak with them, whom
afterwards to my great grief I left buried in the said island
after my return from Guiana, being a man most honest and
valiant. The Spaniards seemed to be desirous to trade with
us, and to enter into terms of peace, more for doubt of their
own strength than for aught else; and in the end, upon
pledge, some of them came aboard. The same evening
there stale also aboard us in a small canoa two Indians, the
one of them being a cacique or lord of the people, called
Cantyman, who had the year before been with Captain Whid-
don, and was of his acquaintance. By this Cantyman we
understood what strength the Spaniards had, how far it was
to their city, and of Don Antonio de Berreo, the governor,
who was said to be slain in his second attempt of Guiana,
but was not.

While we remained at Puerto de los Espanoles some
Spaniards came aboard us to buy linen of the company, and
such other things as they wanted, and also to view our ships
and company, all which I entertained kindly and feasted
after our manner. Bv means whereof I learned of one and
another as much of the estate of Guiana as I could, or as
they knew; for those poor soldiers having been many years
without wine, a few draughts made them merry, in which
mood they vaunted of Guiana and the riches thereof, and all
what they knew of the ways and passages; myself seeming
to purpose nothing less than the entrance or discovery there-
of, but bred in them an opinion that I was bound only for

6 Arawaks. 7 Carib-people.


the relief of those English which I had planted in Vir-
ginia, whereof the bruit was come among them; which I had
performed in my return, if extremity of weather had not
forced me from the said coast.

I found occasions of staying in this place for two causes.
The one was to be revenged of Berreo, who the year before,
1594, had betrayed eight of Captain Whiddon's men, and
took them while he departed from them to seek the Edzvard
Bonaventure, which arrived at Trinidad the day before from
the East Indies : in whose absence Berreo sent a canoa aboard
the pinnace only with Indians and dogs inviting the com-
pany to go with them into the woods to kill a deer. Who,
like wise men, in the absence of their captain followed the
Indians, but were no sooner one arquebus shot from the
shore, but Berreo's soldiers lying in ambush had them all,
notwithstanding that he had given his word to Captain
Whiddon that they should take water and wood safely.
The other cause of my stay was, for that by discourse with
the Spaniards I daily learned more and more of Guiana, of
the rivers and passages, and of the enterprise of Berreo, by
what means or fault he failed, and how he meant to prose-
cute the same.

While we thus spent the time I was assured by another
cacique of the north side of the island, that Berreo had sent
to Margarita and Cumana for soldiers, meaning to have
given me a cassado 8 at parting, if it had been possible.
For although he had given order through all the island that
no Indian should come aboard to trade with me upon pain
of hanging and quartering (having executed two of them
for the same, which I afterwards found), yet every night
there came some with most lamentable complaints of his
cruelty : how he had divided the island and given to every
soldier a part; that he made the ancient caciques, which were
lords of the country, to be their slaves; that he kept them
in chains, and dropped their naked bodies with burning
bacon, and such other torments, which I found afterwards
to be true. For in the city, after I entered the same, there
were five of the lords or little kings, which they call caciques
in the West Indies, in one chain, almost dead of famine, and

8 Cachado (cachada) = a blow.


wasted with torments. These are called in their own lan-
guage acarewana, and now of late since English, French,
and Spanish, are come among them, they call themselves
captains, because they perceive that the chiefest of every
ship is called by that name. Those five captains in the chain
were called Wannawanare, Carroaori, Maquarima, Tarroo-
panama, and Aterima. So as both to be revenged of the
former wrong, as also considering that to enter Guiana by
small boats, to depart 400 or 500 miles from my ships, and
to leave a garrison in my back interested in the same
enterprise, who also daily expected supplies out of Spain, I
should have savoured very much of the ass; and therefore
taking a time of most advantage, I set upon the Corps du
garde in the evening, and having put them to the sword,
sent Captain Caulfield onwards with sixty soldiers, and my-
self followed with forty more, and so took their new city,
which they called St. Joseph, by break of day. They abode
not any fight after a few shot, and all being dismissed, but
only Berreo and his companion," I brought them with me
aboard, and at the instance of the Indians I set their new
city of St. Joseph on fire. The same day arrived Captain
George Gifford with your lordship's ship, and Captain
Keymis, whom I lost on the coast of Spain, with the galego,
and in them divers gentlemen and others, which to our little
army was a great comfort and supply.

We then hasted away towards our purposed discovery,
and first I called all the captains of the island together that
were enemies to the Spaniards; for there were some which
Berreo had brought out of other countries, and planted there
to eat out and waste those that were natural of the place.
And by my Indian interpreter, which I carried out of Eng-
land, I made them understand that I was the servant of a
queen who was the great cacique of the north, and a virgin,
and had more caciqui under her than there were trees in
that island; that she was an enemy to the Castellani in re-
spect of their tyranny and oppression, and that she delivered
all such nations about her, as were by them oppressed; and
having freed all the coast of the northern world from their
servitude, had sent me to free them also, and withal to de-

8 The Portuguese captain Alvaro Jorge (see p. 369).


fend the country of Guiana from their invasion and conquest
I shewed them her Majesty's picture, which they so admired
and honoured, as it had been easy to have brought them
idolatrous thereof. The like and a more large discourse I
made to the rest of the nations, both in my passing to
Guiana and to those of the borders, so as in that part of the
world her Majesty is very famous and admirable; whom
they now call Ezrabeta cassipuna aquerewana, which is
as much as ' Elizabeth, the Great Princess, or Greatest
Commander.' This done, we left Puerto de los Espanoles,
and returned to Curiapan, and having Berreo my prisoner,
I gathered from him as much of Guiana as he knew. This
Berreo is a gentleman well descended, and had long served
the Spanish king in Milan, Naples, the Low Countries, and
elsewhere, very valiant and liberal, and a gentleman of
great assuredness, and of a great heart. I used him ac-
cording to his estate and worth in all things I could, accord-
ing to the small means I had.

I sent Captain Whiddon the year before to get what
knowledge he could of Guiana: and the end of my journey
at this time was to discover and enter the same. But my
intelligence was far from truth, for the country is situate
about 600 English miles further from' the sea than I was
made believe it had been. Which afterwards understanding
to be true by Berreo, I kept it from the knowledge of my
company, who else would never have been brought to at-
tempt the same. Of which 600 miles I passed 400, leaving
my ships so far from me at anchor in the sea, which was
more of desire to perform that discovery than of reason,
especially having such poor and weak vessels to trans-
port ourselves in. For in the bottom of an old galego which
I caused to be fashioned like a galley, and in one barge, two
wherries, and a ship-boat of the Lion's Whelp, we carried
100 persons and their victuals for a month in the same, be-
ing all driven to lie in the rain and weather in the open air,
in the burning sun, and upon the hard boards, and to dress
our meat, and to carry all manner of furniture in them.
Wherewith they were so pestered and unsavoury, that what
with victuals being most fish, with the wet clothes of so
many men thrust together, and the heat of the sun, I will


undertake there was never any prison in England that could
be found more unsavoury and loathsome, especially to my-
self, who had for many years before been dieted and cared
for in a sort far more differing.

If Captain Preston had not been persuaded that he should
have come too late to Trinidad to have found us there (for
the month was expired which I promised to tarry for him
there ere he could recover the coast of Spain) but that it
had pleased God he might have joined with us, and that we
had entered the country but some ten days sooner ere the
rivers were overflown, we had adventured either to have
gone to the great city of Manoa, or at least taken so many
of the other cities and towns nearer at hand, as would have
made a royal return. But it pleased not God so much to
favour me at this time. If it shall be my lot to prosecute
the same, I shall willingly spend my life therein. And if
any else shall be enabled thereunto, and conquer the same,
I assure him thus much; he shall perform more than ever
was done in Mexico by Cortes, or in Peru by Pizarro, where-
of the one conquered the empire of Mutezuma, the other of
Guascar and Atabalipa. And whatsoever prince shall possess
it, that prince shall be lord of more gold, and of a more beau-
tiful empire, and of more cities and people, than either the
king of Spain or the Great Turk.

But because there may arise many doubts, and how this
empire of Guiana is become so populous, and adorned with
so many great cities, towns, temples, and treasures, I thought
good to make it known, that the emperor now reigning is
descended from those magnificent princes of Peru, of whose
large territories, of whose policies, conquests, edifices, and
riches, Pedro de Cieza, Francisco Lopez, and others have
written large discourses. For when Francisco Pizarro,
Diego Almagro and others conquered the said empire of
Peru, and had put to death Atabalipa, son to Guayna Capac,
which Atabalipa had formerly caused his eldest brother
Guascar to be slain, one of the younger sons of Guayna
Capac fled out of Peru, and took with him many thousands
of those soldiers of the empire called orejones, 10 and with

10 Orejones = ' having large ears,' the name given by the Spaniards to the

Peruvian warriors, who wore ear-pendants.


those and many others which followed him, he vanquished
all that tract and valley of America which is situate between
the great river of Amazons and Baraquan, otherwise called
Orenoque and Maranon. u

The empire of Guiana is directly east from Peru towards
the sea, and lieth under the equinoctial line; and it hath
more abundance of gold than any part of Peru, and as many
or moe 12 great cities than ever Peru had when it flourished
most. It is governed by the same laws, and the emperor
and people observe the same religion, and the same form
and policies in government as were used in Peru, not differ-
ing in any part. And I have been assured by such of the
Spaniards as have seen Manoa, the imperial city of Guiana,
which the Spaniards call El Dorado, that for the greatness,
for the riches, and for the excellent seat, it far exceedeth
any of the world, at least of so much of the world as is
known to the Spanish nation. It is founded upon a lake of
salt water of 200 leagues long, like unto Mare Caspium.
And if we compare it to that of Peru, and, but read the re-
port of Francisco Lopes and others, it will seem more
than credible; and because we may judge of the one by the
other, I thought good to insert part of the 120. chapter of
Lopes in his General History of the Indies, wherein he de-
scribeth the court and magnificence of Guayna Capac, an-
cestor to the emperor of Guiana, whose very words are
these :

' Todo el servicio de su casa, mesa, y cocina era de oro
y de plata, y cuando menos de plata y cobre, por mas recio.
Tenia en su recamara estatuas huecas de oro, que parescian
gigantes, y las figuras al propio y tamaiio de cuantos ani-
males, aves, arboles, y yerbas produce la tierra, y de cuantos
peces cria la mar y agua de sus reynos. Tenia asimesmo
sogas, costales, cestas, y troxes de oro y plata; rimeros de
palos de oro, que pareciesen leiia rajada para quemar. En
fin no habia cosa en su tierra, que no la tuviese de oro con-
trahecha; y aun dizen, que tenian los Ingas un verjel en una
isla cerca de la Puna, donde se iban a holgar, cuando querian

11 Baraquan is the alternative name to Orenoque, Marafion to Amazons.

12 More.


mar, que tenia la hortaliza, las flores, y arboles de oro y
plata; invencion y grandeza hasta entonces nunca vista.
Allende de todo esto, tenia infinitisima cantidad de plata
y oro por labrar en el Cuzco, que se perdio por la muerte
de Guascar; ca los Indios lo escondieron, viendo que
los Espanoles se lo tomaban, y enviaban a Espana.' That is,
' All the vessels of his house, table, and kitchen, were of
gold and silver, and the meanest of silver and copper for
strength and hardness of metal. He had in his wardrobe
hollow statues of gold which seemed giants, and the figures
in proportion and bigness of all the beasts, birds, trees, and
herbs, that the earth bringeth forth; and of all the fishes
that the sea or waters of his kingdom breedeth. He had
also ropes, budgets, chests, and troughs of gold and silver,
heaps of billets of gold, that seemed wood marked out 13 to
burn. Finally, there was nothing in his country whereof
he had not the counterfeit in gold. Yea, and they say, the
Ingas had a garden of pleasure in an island near Puna,
where they went to recreate themselves, when they would
take the air of the sea, which had all kinds of garden-herbs,
flowers, and trees of gold and silver ; an invention and
magnificence till then never seen. Besides all this, he had
an infinite quantity of silver and gold un wrought in Cuzco,
which was lost by the death of Guascar, for the Indians hid
it, seeing that the Spaniards took it, and sent it into Spain.

And in the 117. chapter; Francisco Pizarro caused the
gold and silver of Atabalipa to be weighed after he had taken
it, which Lopez setteth down in these words following:
' Hallaron cincuenta y dos mil marcos de buena plata, y un
millon y trecientos y veinte y seis mil y quinientos pesos de
oro.' Which is, ' They found 52,000 marks of good silver,
and 1,326,500 pesos of gold.' Now, although these reports
may seem strange, yet if we consider the many millions
which are daily brought out of Peru into Spain, we may
easily believe the same. For we find that by the abundant
treasure of that country the Spanish king vexes all the
princes of Europe, and is become, in a few years, from a
poor king of Castile, the greatest monarch of this part of

13 Rather, ' split into logs.'


the world, and likely every day to increase if other princes
forslow the good occasions offered, and suffer him to add
this empire to the rest, which by far exceedeth all the rest.
If his gold now endanger us, he will then be unresistible.
Such of the Spaniards as afterwards endeavoured the con-
quest thereof, whereof there have been many, as shall be
declared hereafter, thought that this Inga, of whom this
emperor now living is descended, took his way by the river
of Amazons, by that branch which is called Papamene. 1 *
For by that way followed Orellana, by the commandment of
Gonzalo Pizarro, in the year 1542, whose name the river
also beareth this day. Which is also by others ailed Mara-
non, although Andrew Thcvet doth affirm that between
Maranon and Amazons there are 120 leagues; but sure it
is that those rivers have one head and beginning, and the
Maranon, which Thevet describeth, is but a branch of
Amazons or Orellana, of which I will speak more in another
place. It was attempted by Ordas; but it is now little less
than 70 years since that Diego Ordas, a Knight of the Order
of Santiago, attempted the same; and it was in the year
1542 that Orellana discovered the river of Amazons; but
the first that ever saw Manoa was Juan Martinez, master of
the munition to Ordas. At a port called Morcquitof in
Guiana, there lieth at this day a great anchor of Ordas his
ship. And this port is some 300 miles within the land, upon
the great river of Orenoque. I rested at this port four days,
twenty days after I left the ships at Curiapan.

The relation of this Martinez, who was the first that dis-
covered Manoa, his success, and end, is to be seen in the
Chancery of St. Juan de Puerto Rico, whereof Berreo had a
copy, which appeared to be the greatest encouragement as well
to Berreo as to others that formerly attempted the discovery
and conquest. Orellana, after he failed of the discovery of
Guiana by the said river of Amazons, passed into Spain,
and there obtained a patent of the king for the invasion and
conquest, but died by sea about the islands; and his fleet
being severed by tempest, the action for that time proceeded
not. Diego Ordas followed the enterprise, and departed

t4 The Papamene is a tributary not of the Amazon river but of the Meta,

one of the principal tributaries of the Orinoco.
15 Probably San Miguel.


Spain with 600 soldiers and thirty horse. Who, arriving on
the coast of Guiana, was slain in a mutiny, with the most
part of such as favoured him, as also of the rebellious part,
insomuch as his ships perished and few or none returned;
neither was it certainly known what became of the said
Ordas until Berreo found the anchor of his ship in the river
of Orenoque; but it was supposed, and so it is written by
Lopez, that he perished on the seas, and of other writers
diversely conceived and reported. And hereof it came that
Martinez entered so far within the land, and arrived at that
city of Inga the emperor; for it chanced that while Ordas
with his army rested at the port of Morequito (who was
either the first or second that attempted Guiana), by some
negligence the whole store of powder provided for the ser-
vice was set on fire, and Martinez, having the chief charge,
was condemned by the General Ordas to be executed forth-
with. Martinez, being much favoured by the soldiers, had
all the means possible procured for his life ; but it could not
be obtained in other sort than this, that he should be set
into a canoa alone, without any victual, only with his arms,
and so turned loose into the great river. But it pleased God
that the canoa was carried down the stream, and certain of
the Guianians met it the same evening; and, having not at
any time seen any Christian nor any man of that colour,

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