A letter from Thomas Leighton, 1594

20th January 2017

The Governor of Guernsey to Mr Carey, concerning Newfoundland. From Chefs Plaids &c p. 88.

Mr Carie,

I receiv'd your Letter by Mr Pawlet &c. These are to let you understande, that at the Request of Denise Rousse, I have granted him Lycence to take certaine Mariners out of the Island of Guernsey, to go on voyage with him to Newfounde Land for fishe. And also, at the earnest intreatice of my good friend Mr John Hopton of Southampton, have given leave for Ten Men and two Boys more to go the same Voyage, with Isaiah Berney, Merchant. Therefore, I pray you lett them pass, if they be willinge.

And so with my hartie commendacions, I bid you farewell.

At Court the X Marty 1594.

Your very loving friende,
Thomas Leighton.


See Fay, C R, Channel Islands and Newfoundland: Cambridge, Heffer, 1961,  esp. pp. 28-9, where he gives the text of Elie Brévint's description of Newfoundland, or Terre Neuve, which begins thus:

In some years, as in 1620, they have a good fishery in the North of Newfoundland and few fish in the South. For a voyage to the Banks the pay is 14-15 French écus per man for seamen: and 25-30 for the pilot, besides his share of fish. ... Now to Newfoundland they carry from here planks and nails to make boats for the fishery. The wood which they find there provides masts and oars. They must also have stages, which lead to and abut on the water, in order to work on the fish and dispose of the offal. These stages are in the form of huts and little wooden houses, covered to keep out the rain, and about 20 feet long. There they unload and store their salt and liquor and the fish which they have on hand. ... At Newfoundland they kill with the musket bears, sea-wolves (walrus) and other beasts.