Richard Hakluyt Discourse of western planting 1584
Richard Hakluyt devoted his life to recording every piece of evidence that could contribute to English participation in the colonization of the New World. He listened to the tales of returning voyagers and repeated them for a broad reading audience. He supported the adventures of Sir Humphrey Gilbert and Sir Walter Raleigh; he urged England to confront Spain and claim the great rewards of "raysing trades" and other profits that England could have if it applied itself with zeal and purposefulness to colonization. Stern anti-Catholic arguments of Protestant England - the Spanish flinging overboard English prayer books and the like - complemented the political and economic arguments for planting English colonies in the New World.
A particuler discourse concerninge the greate necessitie and manifolde comodyties that are like to growe to this Realme of Englande by the Westerne discoveries lately attempted, Written In the yere 1584 by Richarde Hackluyt of Oxforde at the requeste and direction of the righte worshipfull Mr. Walter Raghly [Raieigh] nowe Knight, before the comynge home of his Twoo Barkes: and is devlded into xxi chapiters, the Titles whereof followe in the nexte leafe.
- That this westerne discoverie will be greately for
the inlargement of the gospell of Christe whereunto the
Princes of the refourmed relligion are chefely bounde
amongest whome her Majestie is principall.
- That all other englishe Trades are growen beggerly
or daungerous, especially in all the kinge of Spaine his
Domynions, where our men are dryven to flinge their
Bibles and prayer Bokes into the sea, and to forsweare and renownce their
relligion and conscience and consequently theyr obedience to her Majestie.
- That this westerne voyadge will yelde unto us all
the commodities of Europe, Affrica, and Asia, as far as
wee were wonte to travell, and supply the wantes of all
our decayed trades.
- That this enterprise will be for the manifolde imploymente of nombers
of idle men, and for bredinge of
many sufficient, and for utterance of the greate quantitie
of the commodities of our Realme.
- That this voyage will be a great bridle to the
Indies of the kinge of Spaine and a means that wee may
arreste at our pleasure for the space of teime weekes or
three monethes every yere, one or twoo hundred saile of
his subjectes shippes at the fysshinge in Newfounde Iande.
- That the rischesse that the Indian Threasure
wrought in time of Charles the late Emperor father to the
Spanishe kinge, is to be had in consideracion of the Q.
moste excellent Majestie, leaste the contynuall commynge
of the like threasure from thence to his sonne, worke the
unrecoverable annoye of this Realme, whereof already wee
have had very dangerous experience.
- What speciall meanes may bringe kinge Phillippe
from his high Throne, and make him equal to the Princes
his neighbours, wherewithall is shewed his weakenes in
the west Indies.
- That the limites of the kinge of Spaines domynions in the west Indies
be nothinge so large as is generally
imagined and surmised, neither those partes which he
holdeth be of any such forces as is falsely geven oute by
the popishe Clergye and others his suitors, to terrffie the
Princes of the Relligion and to abuse and blinde them.
- The Names of the riche Townes lienge alonge the
sea coaste on the northe side from the equinoctiall of the
mayne lande of America under the kinge of Spaine.
- A Brefe declaracion of the chefe Ilands in the Bay
of Mexico beinge under the kinge of Spaine, with their
havens and fortes, and what commodities they yeide.
- That the Spaniardes have executed most outragious and more then
Turkishe cruelties in all the west
Indies, whereby they are every where there, become moste
odious unto them, whoe woulde joyne with us or any
other moste willingly to shake of their moste intollerable
yoke, and have begonne to doo it already in dyvers places
where they were Lordes heretofore.
- That the passage in this voyadge is easie and
shorte, that it cutteth not nere the trade of any other
mightie Princes, nor nere their Contries, that it is to be
perfourmed at all tymes of the yere, and nedeth but one
kinde of winde, that Ireland beinge full of goodd havens
on the southe and west sides, is the nerest parte of Europe
to it, which by this trade shall be in more securitie, and
the sooner drawen to more Civilitie.
- That hereby the Revenewes and customes of her
Majestie bothe outwardes and inwardes shall mightely be
inlarged by the toll, excises, and other dueties which without oppression may be
- That this action will be greately for the increase,
mayneteynaunce and safetie of our Navye, and especially
of greate shippinge which is the strengthe of our Realme,
and for the supportation of all those occupacions that depende upon the same.
- That spedie plantinge in divers fitt places is moste
necessarie upon these luckye westerne discoveries for feare
of the daunger of being prevented by other nations which
have the like intentions, with the order thereof and other
reasons therewithall alleaged.
- Meanes to kepe this enterprise from overthrowe
and the enterprisers from shame and dishonor.
- That by these Colonies the Northwest passage to
Cathaio and China may easely quickly and perfectly be
searched oute aswell by river and overlande, as by sea, for
proofe whereof here are quoted and alleaged divers rare
Testymonies oute of the three volumes of voyadges gathered by Ramusius and other
- That the Queene of Englande title to all the west
Indies, or at the leaste to as moche as is from Florida to
the Circle articke, is more lawfull and righte then the
Spaniardes or any other Christian Princes.
- An aunswer to the Bull of the Donacion of all the west Indies graunted to the kinges of Spaine by Pope Alexander the VI whoe was himselfe a Spaniarde borne.
- A brefe collection of certaine reasons to induce
her Majestie and the state to take in hande the westerne
voyadge and the plantinge there.
- A note of some thinges to be prepared for the voyadge which is sett downe rather to drawe the takers of the voyadge in hande to the presente consideracion then for any other reason for that divers thinges require preparation longe before the voyadge, without which the voyadge is maymed.