Discourse of Western Planting
Discourse of Western Planting
sourceRichard Hakluyt, 1584.
introductionThis table of contents for Richard Hakluyt's Discourse of Western Planting (1584) outlines a text that established English legal claims to North America and discussed in depth the commercial and strategic advantages of settling the region. Hakluyt (1552–1616) was a geographer, historian, editor, and leading promoter of English colonial expansion in North America. He presented his Discourse of Western Planting to Queen Elizabeth I in manuscript, but it was not actually printed until almost three hundred years later. Although Elizabeth was in agreement with the sentiments of the Discourse, England was engaged in a rivalry with Spain and unable to finance the colonial project that Hakluyt proposed, though Hakluyt's Discourse probably had an influence on the formation of the unsuccessful colony established in 1585 on Roanoke Island, off the coast of present-day North Carolina.
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 raised.
- 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 grave authors.
- 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.