After assembling in Cawsand Bay just west of Plymouth the fleet has ‘a soft gale of winde’ to start them on their voyage across the Atlantic.
Gilbert, as ‘General’ is aboard the Delight which has William Winter as her Captain and Richard Clarke
as Master. Captain Winter (arms scene 2) from Lydney in Gloucester is later to fight in the Armada Battle in 1588 as will
his father Admiral Sir William Winter. Richard Clarke (arms scene 4) has lived much of his life in Weymouth in Dorset but
was born in Buckhurst in Essex.
The Golden Hinde has Edward Hayes as owner and Captain William
Cox as Master. Hayes (arms this scene) comes from West Derby near Liverpool. He will write an account of this voyage later
and be involved with other future voyages of exploration. Cox (arms scene 5) comes from Limehouse in London. He too will fight
in the Armada battle in 1588 and will be one of the few Englishmen killed.
The Squirrel has
as its Captain Maurice Browne. The Swallow’s is William Andrews and – forename unknown – Cade as
Master. The Cade arms shown (scene one) are not his personal one but that of the Cade family. It is suspected that he
came from North Devon but it cannot be proved.
The Barke Raleigh is, unsurprisingly, owned by
Sir Walter Raleigh. It has Mr Butler as Captain and Robert Davis of Bristol as Master. Davis will be named as
the Sergeant Major of the Sagadahoc Colony in 1607 (see 1607-8 panel). The vessel is shown in this scene sailing in the
opposite direction to the four others because, the following Thursday sickness breaks out among the captain and crew so it
returns to Plymouth, much to the astonishment of Mayor Thomas Edmondes (arms scene two) and the town’s merchant
The voyage across the Atlantic goes without serious incident though they are plagued with mists and fogs
when contact is lost with the Squirrel and Swallow. However the four ships meet up again
off the Newfoundland coast and eventually arrive at St John’s Haven on 3 August. Once ashore Sir Humphrey meets with
the Masters and Captains of the English fishing fleet already established there and after explaining the purpose of his mission
orders them and other Spanish and Portuguese fishermen captains to attend a meeting on 5 August. Once they are assembled he
claims Newfoundland for the Crown and to underline his point officially he erects a wooden pole with a
lead plaque embossed with the royal coat of arms nailed at its top.