Reiseliteratur weltweit

Geschichten rund um den Globus

1611 - Abacuck Pricket
The End of Henry Hudson
James Bay, Canada

The wind serving, we weighed and stood to the north-west, and on Monday at night (the eighteenth day of June) we fell into the ice, and the next day the wind being at west, we lay there till Sunday, in sight of land. Now being here, the master told Nicholas Sims that there would be a breaking up of chests and a search for bread; and willed him, if he had any, to bring it to him, which he did, and delivered to the master thirty cakes in a bag. This deed of the master (if it be true) hath made me marvel what should be the reason that he did not stop the breach in the beginning, but let it grow to that height as that it overthrew himself and many other honest men. But there are many devices in the heart of man, yet the counsel of the Lord shall stand.
    Being thus in the ice, on Saturday the one and twentieth of June, at night Wilson the boatswain and Henry Greene came to me, lying in my cabin lame, and told me that they and the rest of their associates would shift the company, and turn the master and all the sick men into the shallop and let them shift for themselves. For there was not fourteen days victual left for all the company, at that poor allowance they were at, and that there they lay, the master not caring to go one way or other, and that they had not eaten anything these three days, and therefore were resolute either to mend or end, and what they had begun, they would go through with it or die. When I heard this, I told them I marvelled to hear so much from them, considering that they were married men, and had wives and children, and that for their sakes they should not commit so foul a thing in the sight of God and man as that would be. For why should they banish themselves from their native country? Henry Greene bade me hold my peace, for he knew the worst, which was to be hanged when he came home, and therefore of the two he would rather be hanged at home than starved abroad. And for the good will they bare me, they would have me stay in the ship. I gave them thanks, and told them that I came into her, not to forsake her, yet not to hurt myself and others by any such deed. Henry Greene told me then that I must take my fortune in the shallop. If there be no remedy, said I, the will of God be done.
    Away went Henry Greene in a rage, swearing to cut his throat that went about to disturb them, and left Wilson by me, with whom I had some talk, but to no good; for he was so persuaded that there was no remedy now but to go on while it was hot, lest their party should fail them, and the mischief they had intended to others should light on themselves. Henry Greene came again, and demanded of him what I said. Wilson answered, “He is in his old song, still patient.” Then I spoke to Henry Greene to stay three days, in which time I would so deal with the master that all should be well. So I dealt with him to forbear but two days, nay, twelve hours. “There is no way,” then say they, “but out of hand.” Then I told them that if they would stay till Monday, I would join with them to share all the victuals in the ship, and would justify it when I came home; but this would not serve their turns. Wherefore I told them it was some worse matter they had in hand than they made show of, and that it was blood and revenge he sought, or else he would not at such a time of night undertake such a deed. Henry Greene with that taketh my Bible which lay before me and swore that he would do no man harm, and what he did was for the good of the voyage, and for nothing else; and that all the rest should do the like. The like did Wilson swear.
    Henry Greene went his way, and presently came Juet, who, because he was an ancient man, I hoped to have found some reason in him. But he was worse than Henry Greene, for he swore plainly that he would justify this deed when he came home. After him came John Thomas and Michael Perce, as birds of one feather; but because they are not living I will let them go, as then I did. Then came Moter and Bennet, of whom I demanded if they were well advised what they had taken in hand. They answered they were, and therefore came to take their oath.
    Now, because I am much condemned for this oath, as one of them that plotted with them, and that by an oath I should bind them together to perform what they had begun, I thought good here to set down to the view of all how well their oath and deeds agreed. And thus it was. You shall swear truth to God, your prince and country. You shall do nothing but to the glory of God, and the good of the action in hand, and harn to no man. This was the oath, without adding or diminishing.
    I looked for more of these companions (although these were too many) but there came no more. It was dark, and they in readiness to put this deed of darkness in execution. I called to Henry Greene and Wilson and prayed them not to go in hand with it in the dark, but to stay till the morning. Now every man, I hope, would go to his rest, but wickedness sleepeth not; for Henry Greene keepeth the master company all night (and gave me bread, which his cabin-mate gave him)' and others are as watchful as he. Then I asked Henry Greene whom he would put out with the master. He said the carpenter, John King, and the sick men. I said they should not do well to part with the carpenter, what need soever they should have. Why the carpenter was in no more regard amongst them was, first, for that he and John King were condemned for wrong done in the victual. But the chiefest cause was for that the master loved him, and made him his mate upon his return out of our wintering place, thereby displacing Robert Billet; whereat they did grudge, because he could neither write nor read. And therefore, said they, the master and his ignorant mate would carry the ship whither the master pleased, the master forbidding any man to keep account or reckoning, having taken from all men whatsoever served for that purpose. Well, I obtained of Henry Greene and Wilson that the carpenter should stay, by whose means I hoped, after they had satisfied themselves, that the master and the poor men might be taken into the ship again. Or I hoped that some one or other would give some notice either to the carpenter, John King, or the master; for so it might have come to pass by some of them that were the most forward.
    Now, it shall not be amiss to show how we were lodged. And to begin in the cook-room, there lay Bennet and the cooper, lame. Without the cook-room, on the starboard side, lay Thomas Wydhouse, sick. Next to him lay Sydrack Faner, lame; then the surgeon, and John Hudson with him. Next to them lay Wilson the boatswain, and then Arnold Lodlo next to him. In the gunroom lay Robert Juet and John Thomas. On the larboard side lay Michael Bute and Adam Moore, who had never been well since we lost our anchor. Next to them lay Michael Perce and Andrew Moter. Next to them, without the gunroom, lay John King, and with him Roben Billet. Next to them myself, and next to me Francis Clements. In the midship, between the capstan and the pumps, lay Henry Greene and Nicholas Sims.
    This night John King was late up, and they thought he had been with the master, but he was with the carpenter, who lay on the poop; and coming down from him was met by his cabin-mate, as it were by chance, and so they came to their cabin together. It was not long ere it was day; then came Bennet for water for the kettle. He rose and went into the hold; when he was in they shut the hatch on him (but who kept it down I know not). Up upon the deck went Bennet.
    In the meantime, Henry Greene and another went to the carpenter and held him with a talk till the master came out of his cabin, which he soon did. Then came John Thomas and Bennet before him, while Wilson bound his arms behind him. He asked them what they meant. They told him he should know when he was in the shallop. Now Juet, while this was a-doing, came to John King into the hold, who was provided for him, for he had got a sword of his own and kept him at a bay, and might have killed him, but others came to help him; and so he came up to the rnaster. The master called to the carpenter and told him that he was bound, but I heard no answer he made. Now Arnold Lodlo and Michael Bute railed at them and told them their knavery would show itself.
    Then was the shallop haled up to the ship side; and the poor, sick, and lame men were called upon to get them out of their cabins into the shallop. The master called to me, who came out of my cabin, as well as I could, to the hatchway to speak with him. Where, on my knees, I besought them for the love of God to remember themselves, and to do as they would be done unto. They bade me keep myself well and get me into my cabin, not suffering the master to speak with me. But when I came into my cabin again, he called to me at the horn which gave light into my cabin, and told me that Juet would overthrow us all. “Nay,” said I, “it is that villain Henry Greene.” And I spoke it not softly.
    Now was the carpenter at liberty, who asked them if they would be hanged when they came home. And as for himself, he said, he would not stay in the ship unless they would force him. They bade him go then, for they would not stay him. “I will,” said he, “so I may have my chest with me, and all that is in it.” They said he should, and presently they put it into the shallop. Then he came down to me to take his leave of me, who persuaded him to stay, which if he did, he might so work that all should be well. He said he did not think but they would be glad to take them in again. For he was so persuaded by the master, that there was not one in all the ship that could tell how to carry her home. But (saith he) if we must part, which we will not willingly do (for they would follow the ship), he prayed me, if we came to the capes before them, that I would leave some token that we had been there, near to the place where the fowls bred, and he would do the like for us. And so, with tears, we parted.
    Now were the sick men driven out of their cabins into the shallop. But John Thomas was Francis Clements’ friend, and Bennet was the cooper's; so as there were words between them and Henry Greene, one saying that they should go, and the other swearing that they should not go, but such as were in the shallop should return. When Henry Greene heard that, he was compelled to give place, and to put out Arnold Lodlo and Michael Bute, which with much ado they did.
    In the meantime, there were some of them that plied their work as if the ship had been entered by force, and they had free leave to pillage, breaking up chests and rifling all places. One of them came by me, who asked me what they should do. I answered, he should make an end of what he had begun, for I saw him do nothing but shark up and down. Now were all the poor men in the shallop, whose names are as followeth: Henry Hudson, John Hudson, Arnold Lodlo, Sidrack Faner, Philip Staffe, Thomas Woodhouse, or Wydhouse, Adam Moore, John King, Michael Bute. The carpenter got of them a piece, and powder and shot, and some pikes, an iron pot, with some meal, and other things.
    They stood out of the ice, the shallop being fast to the stern of the ship; and so, when they were nigh out (for I cannot say they were clean out) they cut her head-fast from the stern of our ship. Then out with their topsails, and towards the East they stood in a clear sea. In the end they took in their topsails, righted their helm, and lay under their foresail till they had ransacked and searched all places in the ship. In the hold they found one of the vessels of meal whole, and the other half spent, for we had but two. We found also two firkins of butter, some twenty-seven piece of pork, half a bushel of pease. But in the master's cabin we found two hundred of biscuit cakes, a peck of meal, of beer to the quantity of a butt, one with another. Now it was said that the shallop was come within sight; they let fall the mainsail and out with their topsails, and fly as from an enemy.
    Then I prayed them yet to remember themselves; but William Wilson, more than the rest, would hear of no such matter. Coming nigh the east shore, they cast about and stood to the West, and came to an island, and anchored in sixteen or seventeen fathom water. So they sent the boat and the net ashore to see if they could have a draught, but could not for rocks and great stones. Michael Perce killed two fowl, and here they found good store of that weed which we called cockle-grass in our wintering place, whereof they gathered store and came aboard again. Here we lay that night, and the best part of the next day, in all which time we saw not the shallop, or ever after.

Procket, Abacuck
In: Purchas His Pilgrims
Vol 3, London 1625
Reprint in:
Philipps, Eward (ed.)
Last Voyages: Cavendish, Hudson, Ralegh
Oxford 1988

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