[Page] THE HAVEN-FINDING ART, Or THE WAY TO FIND any Hauen or place at sea, by the Latitude and variation. Lately published in the Dutch, French, and Latine tongues, by commandement of the right honourable Count Mauritz of Nassau, Lord high Admiral of the vnited Prouinces of the Low countries, enioyning all Seamen that take charge of ships vnder his iurisdi­ction, to make diligent obseruati­on, in all their voyages, ac­cording to the directions prescribed herein: And now translated into English, for the common benefite of the Seamen of England.

❧Imprinted at London by G. B. R. N. and R. B. 1599.

TO THE RIGHT Honorable Charles Earle of No­tingham, Baron Howard of Effingham, knight of the noble Order of the Garter, Lord high Admiral of England, Ireland, Wales, &c. And her Maiesties Lieutenant, and Captaine general ouer all her subiects, leuied in the South parts of this Realme, &c.

RIght Honourable, being in­formed by my learned friend and most earnest and effe­ctuall furtherer of Nauiga­tion for the common good of his countrey M. Richard Hackluit, vpon the dedica­tion of his first volume of discoueries vnto your Lor. about a yeere since, of the singular affection your Lor. beareth towardes the aduancement of knowledge and skill among our seamen in marine causes; so farre foorth that to the end they might be the more stirred vp and holpen this way, your Lor. would not onely be a meane vnto her Maiestie for the establishing of an ordinary Lecture to be read for their instruction, but also rather then so good a purpose should fall to the ground would be at some charges your selfe for the bringing of it to effect: I conceiued no smal comfort vpon this report, [Page] considering that now of late, the right honorable Count Maurice of Nassaw, L. high Admirall of the vnited Prouinces of the low countries hath shewed himselfe wholly to be of your Lor. minde, thinking it a most principal point for the welfare of their estate to haue their mariners now entring in­to long voyages to be better informed in matters cō ­cerning their faculty, thē heretofore they haue bene. To which end he hath lately caused a certaine ex­hortatory iniunction to be published, and hath also giuen commandement that the same should be dili­gētly obserued by all masters of ships and their com­panies within the same Prouinces. By obseruation wherof they may haue a more certaine and compen­dious way, whereby they may guide themselues to come to any place they shall desire at sea, with a streighter course, and in shorter time then hath bin commonly accustomed: VVhich way is to be found by knowledge of the latitude and variation of the place wherto they purpose to go. For seeing one and the same place hath alwaies the same latitude and variation, whereof the one sheweth what situation the place hath between North and South, the other between East and VVest, it cannot be but that the master of the ship bringing himselfe to the latitude [Page] and variation of the place to which he purposeth to go, must needs bring himselfe to the same place also.

Considering therefore howe great profit might hereby redound to seamen if the variations of all places were truely known, the said Count Mau­rice hath giuen commandement to all that shall take charge of ships, that before they set forth, they should prouide themselues meete instruments for that purpose, that into what place soeuer they shall come, they may diligently search out the declination of the magneticall needle from the true North (which they cōmonly cal the variation of the Com­passe) and that after their returne into their owne countrey they should giue a true certificate of those obseruations to the rest of their collegues and com­panies of the Admiralty, that by them they may be brought into some good order and method, and so be published for their common good. Desiring also as it may appeare to stirre vp other nations to the same care and diligence in obseruing the variation, he hath caused the said iniunction to be published, not only in his own natiue tongue, but in the French and Latine also: intending (as it may seeme hereby) to make not only it, but also his honorable desire in furthering this obseruation commonly known to [Page] all Christendome. Desiring therefore, according to the measure of my small abilitie, to be a fur­therer of so good a purpose of so famous a per­sonage, I haue done mine indeuour to make the same knowen to all English mariners, by publishing the foresaid Iniunction in their mother tongue: nothing doubting, but as they haue not bene inferiour to a­ny nation, either for excellency of skill, or felicitie in performance of their most wonderfull Nauiga­tions, and that principally in this most happy time of your Lor. enioying your most honorable office of high Admiralty: So, if it might please your Lor. to giue them to vnderstand that your Lor. would be very loth that English mariners (whom I haue knowen to haue had the skill, to finde out places at sea by the latitude & variation, after the same ma­ner that is prescribed in this booke, more then ten yeres since) should now (either for too much spa­ringnes in not preparing, or for want of diligence in heedful vsing meete instrumēts for that purpose) cast themselues behinde the Netherlanders; there may assured hope be conceiued, that they wil not on­ly not come behind, but farre exceed, and go beyond them, or any other nation. And so much the rather there is reason to induce vs to be of this opinion, be­cause [Page] there hath bene a secret of the magneticall needle first reuealed by our countriman M. Rob. Norman, wherof other nations as yet seeme to be ignorant, I meane the falling of the North end of the needle touched with the loadstone vnder the ho­rizon. Of which new-found propertie if there shal be diligent and continuall obseruation made, espe­cially in long voyages, there may in all likelihood no lesse profit arise thereby then by the variation.

Considering therefore how greatly your Lor. au­thority, yea inclination or beck onely mought pre­uaile to moue the minds of all English mariners to the diligent, heedfull, and continual obseruation of these so rare and wonderful properties of the mag­neticall needle, at all places wheresoeuer they shall come, wherby so great profit may assuredly redound not onely to seamen, but euen to the whole body of the Christian commonwealth: I was imboldened, recounting with my selfe your Lor. exceeding cle­mencie conioyned with so high authority to bring before your most honorable presence this Dutch Pi­lot (as it were, for so I may not vnfitly call this booke) whom since his arriuall here I haue onely taught to speake English that so he might be the more seruiceable vnto your Lor. and to all English [Page] seamē in that he professeth, which is to bring them to any place in the main Ocean, by a shorter course, then hath bene accustomed. VVherein because the renowmed Count Maurice his master hath giuē him so great credit, as to cōmand him to be imploied by al that take charge of ships vnder his office of admiralty, may it therfore please your L. to affoord him the fauour as to commend him to all English maisters to be thorowly examined by due triall of exact obseruatiō in al places at sea; to the end that if he shall be found indeed to performe so much as he promiseth (whereof there is giuen exceeding great hope by proofe already made by some of our skilful­lest English nauigators) he may for euer after be re­ceiued with enterteinmēt worthy so notable seruice.

Thus nothing doubting that this Dutch Pilot so highly commended by so worthy a personage, shall find such fauourable acceptation at your L. hands, as in your Lor. high wisedom to him duely appertai­neth: I most humbly beseech the Lord of all Lords to increase your Lor. with all true honour in this life, and with endlesse blisse in that life which shal last for euer. 23. Aug. 1599.

Your Lordships most humble to be commanded. E. Wright.

TO THE WORSHIP­full M. Richard Poulter the Maister, and brotherhood of Trinitie house, and to all English Mariners and sea-men in ge­nerall that loue the perfection of their owne profession, health and happines.

HAuing dedicated this litle Booke to the Right Hon. the Lord high Admirall of England, to whom the gouernement of sea causes next vnder her Maiestie chiefly appertaineth (with whom also it hath found such fauourable ac­ceptation as of so honorable a per­sonage might be iustly expected) I thought it meete in the next place to commend the same to your Wor. societie also, as to them who haue best occasion in your so manifold nauigations to make most plentifull and sufficient triall thereof, and to whom it may assuredly doe most necessary and profitable seruice. But least you should stand in doubt of this my commendation, the Right Honourable Count Maurice, Lord high Admirall of the vnited Prouinces of the Low Countries, hath not only commended the same to all Masters of ships and their companies (or brother­hoods as we may call them) that are vnder his iurisdicti­on; but hath also commanded them to make diligent and continuall obseruation in all their voyages, according to the directions prescribed herein. He also, as not content that the fruit which may spring here of should be conteined within the narrow boundes and compasse of the Lowe Countries, hath caused this booke to be translated into the [Page] French and Latine tongues: endeuouring as it may seeme hereby to make the same knowen to all nations in Chri­stendome. Amongst whom as the Latine translatour M. Hugo de Groot hath chosen the Venctians for their excellencie in Nauigation (as he conceiueth) to whom he might especially dedicate this small Volume togither with his owne labour in translating the same: So I thought it meete to make choise of your worshipfull socie­ty, whom I take to be nothing at all inferiour to the Vene­tians either for excellencie of skill, or for vse and experi­ence in that facultie: and to whom I may more iustly com­mend this little Booke, euen almost with the same words which Hugo de Groot vseth to the Venetians as fol­loweth.

Therefore that we may enter a little more deepely in­to the matter, Aristotle the wittiest of all philosophers and the most famous Lawyers doe witnesse that all arts were founde, out of the necessitie of mans nature, that what is wanting in one, might be supplied by that which is abounding in another: and that because euery countrey yeeldeth not all things, there might be a mutual exchange of one thing for another by way of merchandise. But now because diuerse countries are very far distant each from other, that there can be no carriage of any wares or mar­chandise from the one to the other, either on beasts backs or in cartes: the art of Nauigation was therefore inuen­ted, that the sea might supply the want of dry land. Yet surely skilfull nature hath done all this in vaine, if a cer­taine way how to sayle cannot in some sort be found, but that mariners must be constrained to make their voyages doubtfully not knowing what course to keepe. Therefore [Page] the ancient nauigators (thinking not without cause that there was great affinitie betweene Astronomie and Na­uigation) directed all their course by the starres, the Si­donians by the lesser beare which is the certainer, the Gre­cians by the greater which is the clearer. But because nei­ther star truely shewed the North part of the world, they were oftentimes deceiued in their coniectures: and be­cause the night is not alwayes so cleare that those starres may be seene, if the skie were at any time ouercast they had no meanes wherby they might know which way they ought to guide themselues. Hereof it commeth that in ancient authors oftentimes, & in many places we see the mariners complaining of the darknesse of the nights, and that the greatest and most famous nauies haue beene dis­persed and discomfited, by reason of the vncertaintie of these things.

But assuredly it seemeth to be so ordeined by nature, that all things should not be brought to light at one time: but that after a long continuance of times the certaintie of things should be knowen. There is a stone which for the exceeding great strength thereof is called Herculeus, that is the stone of Hercules, & because it draweth iron vnto it, is by the Grecians called [...], cōmonly it is cal­led by the name of him that first found it, Magnes, that is the Magnete or Load-stone. For it appeareth out of Ni­cander and Plinie, that one Magnes found it sticking to a sharpe pointed piece of yron. After a great number of yeeres a new propertie of that stone was reueiled, that be­ing rubbed vpon yron, or rather vpon steele, it would make the same point to the North. Therefore when by this marueilous pointing the mariners knew the North, [Page] and ouer against it the South, and making account by the eleuation of the pole they learned also the latitude: then they had (as it was thought) means sufficient of infallible direction how to guide thēselues at all times. But neither did this ioy (as many times it commeth to passe) continue long. For when they sayled from the East westwards, the Loadstone was found by litle and litle to decline from the North; which thing strooke no small doubtfulnesse and vncertaintie into the mariners mindes. Yet nowe at the length, by long obseruation of the declinations of the load­stone that haue bene diligently sought out in diuerse pla­ces and times, the matter is brought to that issue, that they which are most skilfull in the Mathematicks, and amongst them the said Count Maurice of Nassau, haue supposed that this declination of the Loadstone happeneth not by chance, but is caused by some certaine reason in na­ture, that according to the varietie of places the pointing of the needle should also varie.

Wherefore the said Count Maurice sent this exhor­tatorie iniunction (for so I may call this litle booke writ­ten by his Mathematician Steuinius) to them that take charge of ships, that if these things were not found in all points to be so as his obseruation importeth, they should do so much as in them lay, that out of diuerse experiments some certaine reason and rule of the variation might be gathered: which if it may by diligent obseruation be obtei­ned, then there shall not onely be a more certaine way to knowe the course from place to place by the instrument made to finde the variation (of which way more shall be spoken in the booke it selfe) but the longitude also, or ra­ther the effect of the longitude shall be giuen by the varia­tion; [Page] which thing also shalbe shewed more at large in the Treatise it selfe following. Because therefore it is cer­taine that this knowledge cannot otherwise be found but by the experiments of diuers men compared togither, and that by diuers obseruations a more easie way may be pre­pared for science (which from the particulars ariseth vp vnto the vniuersall) I thought good to present vnto you this iniunction of the worthy Count Maurice, that if you (which are most expert in Nauigation) be of opinion that there may be so great profite of this matter as we (which thinke it to appertaine to the principall state of the com­mon-wealth) you might doe your best endeuour vnto what place soeuer you shall come (taking with you needfull in­struments for that purpose) to obserue diligently the va­riation of the magneticall needle, that at length we may come to that certaintie, that they which take charge of ships may know in their nauigations to what latitude and to what variation (which shall serue in stead of the longi­tude not yet found) they ought to bring themselues, that by this meanes they may assuredly finde what place soeuer they will in the midst of the maine Ocean sea. And al­though this bee the end for which principally this Booke was made, notwithstanding we make no doubt that there may many more be found no lesse profitable then this; of which sort is that which wee of late haue found, which may also be of very great profit vnto vs: To wit, that when any nauie (for which cause our common-wealth hath obteyned exceeding great renowne) is prepared a­gainst the enemie, a certaine place may be appointed in the midst of the sea, into which (if perchance too great a force should come vpon them vnlooked for) all the ships [Page] after a certaine time might assemble themselues. Where­to I may also adioyne a third vse of the variation, that is, the reforming of many errors which must needes be in the ordinarie sea-charts, because the coasts of all countries and the courses from place to place, haue beene set downe in them by direction of the varying compasse, without a­batemēt or allowance answerable to the variation; wher­of there must needes follow much deformitie and confu­sion in many parts of the chart, especially where the va­riation is great, as it is vpon the coast of Newfound­land; where the variation being two whole points of the compasse (as it is reported) there must needes be so much error also in laying out all the sea coast of that countrey, and in the courses of all places neere adioyning in the or­dinarie sea charts. All which errors may be amended, if the variations be first truely obserued, and then abated from, or allowed to the courses of all places, as neede shall require.

But the variation cannot serue to so great vse as other­wise it might, except other errors also aswell in the chart, as in other instruments and meanes of nauigation be also auoyded. For the chart as it hath beene hitherto gene­rally made with right-lined rumbes and degrees of lati­tude euery where equall, must needes be very erroneous, especially in the Northerne parts thereof, that although all the foresaid errors arising by the variation were cor­rected, yet for this cause onely you may bee deceiued one, two, yea three whole points of the compasse, in the courses of many places: and in measuring the distance you may erre one halfe, yea three quarters and more sometimes, accounting the same to be twise, yea thrise greater then [Page] indeede it is, especially in farre Northerly nauigations. If therefore these so notorious errors be not also amended, the correction of the errors arising by the variation, can­not be to so great purpose as otherwise it might.

Neither can that be so fully performed which in the Treatise following is chiefly intended (that is, to find any place at sea by the variation and latitude) ex­cept the meanes that haue beene vsed for finding the la­titude be also amended. For in obseruing the heigth of the sunne and starres, with the small crosse-staues which are most vsuall for that purpose, there may be error of halfe a degree, and more sometimes by neglect of the pa­rallax or eccentricity of the obseruers eye. The Regiments or Tables of declination of the sunne that haue bene most commonly vsed by English mariners doe erre oft times ten, eleuen, or twelue minutes. The rule of allowances and abatements to be added to, or subtracted from the heigth of the pole-starre for finding the heigth of the pole (being grounded vpon a false position, to wit, that the pole-starre is three degrees and an halfe distant from the pole, when indeede it is almost 40 minutes lesse) must needes be false many times more then halfe a degree.

The declinations of the principall fixed starres as they are set downe in the bookes of Nauigation, that haue bene heretofore published, are for the most part erroneous; ma­ny of them differing from trueth aboue halfe a degree, & some of them an whole degree, yea two whole degrees and more. All which imperfections of so excellent an art, I haue since the time of my first employment at sea (now more then tenne yeeres since) by diligent search with no small labour discouered and amended, not onely by tenne [Page] whole moneths experience at sea, but also by often and di­ligent obseruation on land, as it may more at large appeare in my booke of errors in Nauigation (which at mine own charges is also published for the common good of you all) wherein the way is shewed how your charts and crosse­staues may be freed from the errors aforesaid; and the de­clinations of the sunne and fixed starres are set foorth vn­to you, agreeably to the trueth of the heauens found out by often and exact obseruations, whereby the latitudes of places may be found much more truely then hath beene accustomed. This Booke therefore, because it may affoord needfull ayd for accomplishing the sayd renowmed Count Maurice his desire in finding the latitude more exactly, and may also deliuer you from much inconuenience and daunger, which may necessarily be expected to follow out of so many and notable errors as hitherto haue beene in the vsuall meanes of Nauigation alreadie mentioned: I commend the same togither with this small Treatise now following vnto you all, to be dayly tried and examined by the touchstone of your long and skilfull experience at sea: nothing doubting but as they haue endured the more ex­quisite triall of exact obseruation, and Geometricall de­monstration both by seamen and landmen on shore, so they shall be found agreeable to the heedefull experiments of all skilfull Nauigators at sea. And so with my whole heart commending you all to him whose worde both seas and windes obey, I end.

Edw. Wright.

❧ The hauen-finding Art, Or The way to finde any Hauen or place appoynted at sea.

THere is no man, I suppose, that knoweth not with howe great dili­gence now of a long time (especial­ly since men leauing no part of the world vnattempted, haue sayled in­to America, and to the vtmost In­dies) the searchers out of excellent things haue sought some certaine way, whereby they which take charge of ships might know assuredly the situation and longitude of what place soeuer they would goe vnto, and so come to any Hauen or place appointed at sea. But I know not how it hath comne to passe, that there could not hitherto any certaine knowledge of that matter be attayned vnto. For some when they indeuoured to find this thing by the mag­neticall needle gaue the Load-stone it selfe a Pole, which of the Load-stone (called also the Magnete) they named the magnetical Pole, or Pole of the Load­stone. But that this is otherwise, the thing it selfe hath [Page 2] taught vs, because the variation of the needle is found not to follow the rule of that Pole. Yet in the meane time this continuall searching gaue occasion of ano­ther meane whereby a ship might certainly direct her course vnto any hauen or place at sea whereto you would desire to go, although the true Longitude both of the place wherein the ship is, as also of the place where the hauen is, were both vnknowen. Which that it may in some sort be rudely shewed, and that the circumstances hereof may more clearely be set foorth before your eyes, whereby there may ensue a more certaine and general vse of the same, first of all it must be knowen that wee are taught by dayly experience, that the magnetical needle touched with the Load­stone or Magnete (which therefore we call the mag­neticall needle) doth not alwayes point out the same part of the world, but without any respect of that mag­netical Pole, (whereof we made mētion before) some­times indeed it sheweth the true place of the North: but for the most part it declineth either towards the East or West: which variation, yea euen in a small di­stance of places, hath most manifestly appeared to them which haue directed their course from the ea­sterne parts towards the West: For examples sake at Amsterdam the variation is 9 degrees and 30 min. to­wards the East. In the foreland of England 11 deg. At London 11 deg. 30 min. Neare Tinmouth in the sea 12 deg 40 min and so forth.

How any Hauen or place at sea may be found, the latitude and variation of the same place only being knowen.

THe variation of the magnetical needle, and the la­titude of the place being knowen, the same place may be found, although the longitude be vnknown & that dayly experience plentifully teacheth. For (that we may make this matter plain by examples especial­ly) if the mariner know that the latitude of the citie of Amsterdam is 52 deg. and 20 min. and that the variation of the cōpasse in the same place is 9 deg. & 30 min. he must needs not be ignorant, that when he hath brought himselfe to that latitude and variation he is not farre from Amsterdam, what lōgitude soeuer that citie haue. But some man may obiect, that there are many places which haue the same latitude and variation that the citie of Amsterdam hath: whereto we may readily an­swere that indeed there be such places: but yet very farre distant from thence, and such as may easily bee knowen by other circumstances, whereof we shall speake hereafter. And although the mariners may find Amsterdam otherwise, as by the places neere adioining, by coniectures, by the soundings, by the sands, & ma­ny other signes without any regard of the variation: yet I thought good to propound a knowen place for example, that the vniuersality of the same rule might be knowen in long nauigations, wherein no land ap­peareth. As for example if the master of a ship desire to sayle from hence to Cape S. Augustine in Brasile, and know that the variatiō there (as it is reported) is 3 deg. [Page 4] and 10 min. & the latitude 8 deg. 30 min. towards the South, when in going thitherwards he shall come to that latitude, and variation, he shall then know that he is come to the Cape of S. Augustine: and although he thinke otherwise by his coniecture, and reckoning, yet not regarding that coniecture he shall confesse him­selfe either to haue gessed ill, or els to haue beene de­ceiued with some easterne, or westerne currents: For reason will not suffer vs to thinke that that variation which before was found at the Cape of S. Augustine is changed, that he should need to yeeld himselfe to that opinion. So also who will not esteeme it to bee ab­surd, and altogether against reason, that hee which knoweth very well that he findeth at sea another va­riation then that which is at Cape S. Augustine, of 3. degr. 10 min. should notwithstanding, neglecting the experience of the variation, and resting vpon conie­cture only, affirme that he is neere the Cape S. Augu­stine? Because he speaketh contrary things, when he sayth that the variation there is 3 degrees 10 minutes, and againe auoucheth that it is not.

Neither is this vnworthy the marking, which hath often happened, that he which should haue sayled to the Isle of S Helena, when he was come to the latitude of the same Iland, & saw not there the Iland, & was al­so ignorant whether he were to the eastwards or west­ward frō the same, by coniectures sought that place towards the East, which indeed lay frō him towardes the west, & so the further he sayled the further alwaies he went from that Iland. Now I leaue it to thy consi­deratiō, if he (whosoeuer he were that was master of that ship, which diligently sought that Iland for the [Page 5] space of certaine weekes, tacking about also diuers times before he could find any place to abide in) if he I say had not bene ignorant what the variation of the compasse was at S. Helens Iland, and what the vse of the variation is at sea, and how to find it out: I leaue it, I say, to thy cōsideration, whether he would willing­ly haue floated doubtfully to and fro following a grea­ter variation, knowing assuredly that the variation there was lesser.

Hereby it may easily be conceiued how great vse there is of the variation, when they especially which in sayling folow the lines shewing the courses (which lines because now they haue found this name among the Portugales we cal Rumbs, the ignorance of which (lines) can hardly be permitted in them which attēpt long voiages vpō the huge ocean) ought euery where to know certainly the place of the true North, which is cōmonly found by the knowledge of the variation.

If any man likewise consider the vncertaine situati­on of those places which are set into Globes or sea Charts by the mariners relation, which vncertaintie taketh his beginning from hence, because euery man thinketh that to be the true place of the North which is shewed by the Flower de luce (as they call it) of the compasse which they brought with them from home, (which thing also bringeth no lesse doutfulnes to the mariners themselues) hee will thinke (and that not without cause) that the obseruation of the variation is a very needfull thing euen for this cause also: Be­cause it is an easie matter to place the Flower de luce in such sort that it shal not misse any thing in shewing the true North part of the world, to wit, if one moue [Page 6] the magneticall needle, or points of the wires in the Compasse from the Flower de luce so much as neede shall require.

These things therefore hauing bene obserued and granted, and this especially that the variation altereth according to the variety of countries, (as by the com­mon testimony of al men it is proued) it is in some sort manifest that they which denie this varying property to be of very great vse for nauigation, are either wiser then the common sort, and haue some hidden secrets which are not reueiled to euery man, or els are notable fooles and mad men.

Therefore when the most excellent Prince Mau­rice, hauing throughly considered hereof, thought that it might assuredly be brought to that passe that mariners might receiue great profit by this meanes; he (the high Admirall) gaue commaundement to all the cōpanies of the Admiralty (adioining also there­to a certaine introduction) that they should doe their best indeuour, that all masters of ships should prouide themselues for this purpose: that is to say, that to what place soeuer they should come, they should seeke out the declination of the magneticall needle from the North, or the variation of the Compasse, not lightly, running ouer the matter as it were by the way, and for fashions sake onely; but with great carefulnes and diligence, taking with them meete and needfull instruments for that purpose: and that after their re­turne into their countrie they should truely and faith­fully certifie their companies or bortherhoods of the Admiralty, of that matter: that the selfe same experi­ments being by them brought into good order, [Page 7] might be published for the common good.

But that euery man may more perfectly learne the circumstances of this matter, I thought it meete here to set downe certaine principles of this thing, which is yet notwithstanding to be further searched into by more experiments, in which shall be shewed a gene­rall view or table of those places, whose variations haue already bene obserued by the learned Geogra­pher Petrus Plancius, with continuall labour, and not without great charges, from diuers corners of the earth neere and farre off: whom for honours sake I therefore name, that as well they that shall hereafter finde out places or hauens after this manner, as also they that haue already found, may know that they are bound to giue thankes to Plancius alone, as to him that is the chiefe cause of this obseruation. But that table or generall viewe of variations, whereof there shall hereafter followe a plainer declaration is this.

[Page 8]

¶ A Table or View of Variation.
The North­easting, or the East variation of the firstpart or space to­wards the NorthIncreasing.In the Flemish Iland Cor­uo00N 37000
In the Flemish Iland Saint Mary320N 370820
Neere the Iland Maio455N 1501120
At Palma one of the Cana­rie Ilands610N 28301620
At the Rocke neere Lis­bon100N 38552430
In the Westermost part of Ireland110N 5282412
In the West part of Eng­land1240N 5021280
Decreasing.About one mile Eastward from Plimmouth1324N 5018300
By Tinmouth in the Sea1240N 550330
At London in England1130N 5124346
In the foreland of Eng­land110N 5183540
In Amsterdam930N 52203930
The North­westing, or the West variati­on of the se­cond part or space towards the NorthIncreasing.At Helmshade to the West­ward from the North Cape of Finmarke00  600
At the North Cape of Fin­marke055N 71256130
At Norquinda20N 71106330
At S. Michael or Archangel in Russia1230N 64548330
In the South streight of Vaigatz2430N 69301030
At Langenes in Noua Zem­bla250N 732010030
Decreasing.In Williams Iland In Noua Zembla330N 75351100
At Yshouck In Noua Zembla270N 771212030
At Winter­house In Noua Zembla260N 76012030
[Page 9]  North­easting.Latitude.Longi­tude.
The Northea­sting of the first part or space towards the South.Increasing.105 Spanish leagues Westwards from Cape S. Augustine in Brasile00S 00
At Cape S. Augustine in Brasile310S 83050
North and South with Cape das Almas in Guinea1215S 00290
Towards the Northwest Northerly frō the Ilands of Tristan da Cuncha190S 3130300
Decreasing.Towards the Northwest, Westerly frō the same Ilands150S 3130360
North & South with the Cape of Good Hope230S 3530570
The Northwe­sting of the second part or space to­wards the South, ex­cept Goa, Cochin, and Cantan.Increasing.17 Germane miles from Cape das A­guillas Eastwards00S 600
5 miles in the Sea frō Terra de Natal430S 330660
At the shoulds of Indie110S 2207930
In Mosambique110S 14508140
In the Baie of S. Augustine in Mada­gascar130S 2330830
Southwards from Cape S. Romane160S 2808620
In Anthonie Gills Baie in Madagascar150S 1620910
Decreasing.34 Germane miles Southeast from Brandaon220S 19201100
In Goa a famous Mart towne in Indie1510N 15301200
In Cochin150N 9451200
25 Germane miles West. a little Nor­therly from the Southwest corner of Sumatra60S 5281470
In Bantam a Mart towne of Iaua445S 601500
In the Iland Lubocqua225S 6101550
In the Southwest corner from the Ile of Balij130S 8401570
In the mouth of the riuer Cantan in China00N 2301600
In Bunam 46 Dutch miles Eastwards from the East part of Iaua00S 1600

A declaration of the former Table or view of variations.

BEfore we come to the declaration of this Table, this first of al we would not haue vnknowen, name­ly, that if perchance hereafter by more diligent and more exact experience, any other variation, longitude, or latitude of places can be found, then that which is set downe in this Table, so as it should be needfull to change the definitions and expositions of some things and wordes here set downe: yet we ought not there­fore to be scarred from this purpose; but much rather ought we to striue with al our strength to attain there­to, that by litle and litle we may come to a more cer­taine knowledge of things, building vpon these as vp­on foundations: we therefore following this opinion will prosecute that as true, which at this time is most like to be true; that if others also doe the same when occasion is giuen, we may alwaies come neerer to that which is most true in the nature of things.

Which things being omitted, that we may come to the declaration of the former Table, first of all we say, that the first of the three columnes which thou seest in the table, sheweth the variation of the place, the se­cond, the latitude, to which the third is adioyned con­teyning the longitudes, as we could by coniecture at­taine vnto them, that the places might so much the more easily be found in the globe, and the manner of the variations might more plainely be shewed in that which followeth hereafter. The marke of the letter N in the second colume, signifieth North latitude, and S South.

Then, because in them mention is made of the varia­tion, [Page 11] of the Northeasting, of the Northwesting increa­sing or decreasing, all which (as proper words of Art) haue neede of their seuerall definitions: first of all we must know that the Magnetical needle in one and the same place, doth alwayes shewe the same part of hea­uen, but not the same part in all places: for in some places it pointeth due North, in other places it decli­neth more or lesse to the East or West. Therefore in manner of a definition, we will say thus:

The first definition.

THE declination of the Magneticall needle from the North towardes the East, is called the Northeasting, towards the West, Northwesting; and with a generall name it is called the variation: but the variation and the North­pointing of the needle (that is the pointing of the needle due North) may by a generall name bee called the needle­pointing, or pointing of the needle.

As concerning those words of increasing and de­creasing, as also of the first and second part or space, before we come to the definitions of them, they haue neede of some precedent declaration. It may be seene in the Table of variations, that in Coruo the Magneticall needle pointeth due North: but after that, the more a man shal goe towards the East, so much the more also shall he see the needle varie towards the East, till he come one mile to the Eastward from Plimouth, where the variation comming to the greatest is 13 degr. 24 min. From hence the Northeasting beginneth to de­crease, til you come to Helmshude (which place is West­wards from the North Cape of Finmark) where againe [Page 12] the needle pointeth due North. Now the longitude from Coruo to Helmshude is 60 degr. Which things be­ing well weighed, it appeareth that the greatest varia­tion 13 degr. 24. minutes at Plimmouth (the longitude whereof is 30 degr.) is in the midst betweene the pla­ces where the needle pointeth due North. For 30 de­grees is the midst betweene the beginning and 60 de­grees. And what is here said of the North part, expe­rience teacheth that the same taketh place in the south part also, for 105 Spanish miles from Cape S. Augu­stine at the beginning of longitude, againe it pointeth due North, as it doth 17 Germaine miles from Cape das Aguillas (as it appeareth by the table of variations) which place is in the longitude of 60 degrees, and in the middest betwixt both at 30 degr. (as in the North part) again there is the greatest Northeasting; of which place there was this mention made in the Table or view of variations: towards the Northwest northerly from the Ilands of Tristan da Cuncha, where the varia­tion is 19 degrees.

Out of these we may conclude, that the Magnetical needle doth point due North in euery place situate in two meridian halfe-circles drawen from the one pole to the other by Coruo and Helmshude. And that the grea­test Northeasting is in all places situate in the meridi­an semicircle drawen by that place, which we said was distant one mile from Plimmouth towards the East. So as that part of the earth which is conteyned betweene two Meridian semicircles, distant each from other 60. degrees in longitude, is the space wherein the Magne­ticall needle, alwayes declineth from the North to­wards the East. And the halfe of that part, that is, that [Page 13] portion of the earth which is included betweene two Meridian semicircles, the first of which is drawen by the beginning, the other by the 30 degr. of longitude, is euery where the place of the Northeasting increa­sing: but the other halfe is the place of the Northeast­ing decreasing, to wit, when one goeth from the West Eastwards, following the order of the degrees of lon­gitude.

By this that hath beene spoken of the first Segment, with the Northeasting and his parts (in one of which parts the Northeasting is increasing, in the other de­creasing) it may easily be vnderstood what the manner of the second Segment is with the Northwesting, and what is the manner of the partes thereof, whereof one is the part of the Northwesting increasing, the other is the part of the Northwesting decreasing, for in the mouth of the riuer Cantan in China, at the longitude of 160 degrees distant from Coruo, the needle pointeth due North the third time: there therfore drawing the third Meridian semicircle, the portion of the earth be­tweene the foresaid second Meridian semicircle, and this third (distant each from other 100 degrees in lon­gitude) shalbe the space wherein the Magneticall nee­dle declineth from the North towards the West: and in the middle of both in the Meridian semicircle 50 degrees distant from the second, and as much from the third, (or otherwise 110 degrees remooued from the first Meridian drawen by Coruo) shall be the greatest variation of the Magneticall needle, as it appeareth out of the Table of variations in two places, whereof one is in Williams Iland at Noua Zembla, where the greatest Northwesting is found to be 33 degrees. The [Page 14] other is distant 34 dutch miles to the Southeast from Brandaon, where the greatest variation is found to be 22 degrees, and the longitude of each of those places is 110 degrees. So as in the halfe of the second space (which portion of the earth is conteyned betweene the Meridian semicircles of 60 degrees longitude, and of 110 degr.) the Northwesting is euery where increa­sing; in the other halfe decreasing.

Of these 160 degrees of Longitude (which arch wanteth but 20 degrees of halfe the compasse of the earth) Plancius hath attained to the knowledge of the variation, in such sort as now we haue shewed. As con­cerning the other parts of the world, distant either to­wards the West from Coruo, or towards the East from Cantan, the experiments which hitherto hee hath got­ten from the Spaniards, the Englishmen, & our coun­triemen (the Netherlanders) doe not well agree. Nei­ther is it any maruell, seeing they had neither perfect knowledge, nor needfull instruments for that purpose: yet he expecteth other experiments from the ships which haue now beene abroad 14 moneths and more. In the meane time we will bring forth that to publique view, which a man may without absurditie imagine.

If so be that the propertie of pointing due North, take place not onely in the three foresaid Semicircles (which we cōiecture to be Meridian semicircles drawn from the one pole to the other) but in the whole cir­cles also; there should then be six such semicircles vp­on the earth, conteyning also betweene them six partes or spaces of the vpper face of the earth.

  • The first with the Northeasting 60 degrees long.
  • The second with the Northwesting 100 degr. long.
  • [Page 15] The third with the Northeasting 20 degr. long.
  • The fourth with the Northwesting 60 degr. long.
  • The fifth with the Northeasting 100 degr. long.
  • The sixth with the Northwesting 20 degr. long.

That those things which haue beene spoken may by certaine geometricall figures be more clearely concei­ued, let A B C D E F G H I K L M, be the aequinocti­all of the earth: let N be the pole: then let N A bee the halfe of the first Meridian semicircle drawen by Coruo: N C, halfe of the second semicircle: N E, of the third: N G, of the fourth: N I, of the fifth: N L, of the sixth. So as the arch A C, may make 60 degrees: C E, 100 degr. and so A E, 160 degr. E G, 20 degr. and so A G, 180 degr. G I, 60 degr. and so A I, 240. I L, 100 degrees, and so A L, 340 degr. L A, 20 degr. and so the whole circle 360 degrees. Then let the sixe pointes B D F H K M be the middles between A C, C E, E G, G I, I L, L A. Which being supposed,

A N C shall signifie the first space with the Northea­sting.
A N B the Northeasting of the first space increasing.
B N C the Northeasting of the first space decreasing.
C N E the second space with the Northwesting.
C N D the Northwesting of the second space increa­sing.
D N E the Northwesting of the second space decrea­sing.
E N G the third space with the Northeasting.
E N F the Northeasting of the third space increasing.
F N G the Northeasting of the third space decreasing.
G N I the fourth space with the Northwesting.
G N H the Northwesting of the 4 space increasing.
H N I the Northwesting of the 4 space decreasing.
[Page 16] INL the fift space with the Northeasting.
INK the Northeasting of the fift space increasing.
KNL the Northeasting of the fift space decreasing.
LNA the sixt space with the Northwesting.
LNM the Northwesting of the 6 space increasing.
MNA the Northwesting of the 6 space decreasing.

Note. Though a man may not without cause stand in doubt that the three last semicircles shall not bee found in the same sort, which the former coniecture hath imagined, but peraduenture in a quantitie eyther greater or lesser, and in another forme: neuerthelesse, here the maner is rudely shewed how the whole world


[Page 17] may be deuided into certaine portions by such semi­circles as shall hereafter bee found by obseruation. Moreouer, by that which hath beene spoken, it may easily be vnderstood what be the Northeastings or northwestings increasing or decreasing, what is the first and second Meridian semicircle, together with the parts or spaces. Which, that we may comprehend in forme of definitions, I thought good in few words thus to pronounce.

The second definition.

The Northeasting or Northwesting increasing is that whereby the variation increaseth, the Magneticall needle being caried from the West Eastwards: and the Northea­sting or the Northwesting decreasing is that whereby it decreaseth.

The third definition.

The Semicircles of the Meridian, in which the needle pointeth due North, wee call the first and second Meridian Semicircles, and so forwards according to the order of the de­grees of longitude, how many soeuer such Semicircles there shalbe, beginning at the Semicircle drawen by Coruo.

The fourth definition.

The portion of the Sphaericall superficies, or round vpper­face of the earth conteyned by the first and second Meridian Semicircles, is called the first part or space, and the rest in or­der, the second, the third, and so foorth vnto the end.

Hauing thus set downe the maner of the variation, it remayneth that we shew by examples (that which before we promised) that although in diuers places hauing the same latitude there be the same variation also, yet neuertheles the master of the ship may know in what part of the world, and in what place he is. Let [Page 18] vs therefore againe suppose that a ship had appointed to goe from Amsterdam to Cape S. Augustine, in Brasile, the latitude whereof in the table of variations is set downe to bee 8 degrees 30 minutes, and the varia­tion northeasting increasing of the first space 3 degr. 10 minutes. The same shippe sayling along by the coast of England, the variation shall be found to north­east or varie towards the East dayly more and more vntill you come to Plimmouth, where it commeth to the greatest, and is 13 deg. 24 min. Therefore the ma­ster of the ship shall know assuredly that hitherto hee hath sayled in the Northeasting of the first space de­creasing, and that after this he shall haue the northea­sting increasing, which when he shall find to be 10 de­grees in the latitude of 38 deg. 55 min. then hee may assure himselfe that hee is come to the Rocke neere Lisbone. Going forwards again from thence as it were towards the Southwest, he shal dayly find the latitude to be diminished, and the magneticall needle decli­ning towards the North. Or otherwise if the magne­ticall needle recline not towards the North, but either stand stil, or els decline more towards the East, then he may assure himselfe that hee is caried Eastwards by some secret current not perceiued: which notwith­standing he may remedy, if he goe so much the more towards the West, vntill the magneticall needle reco­uer his due variation. But if hee should come to the northeasting of 3 degrees 10 minutes, before he haue his Southerly latitude to be 8 deg. 30 min. he shall then indeuour as much as in him lieth to keepe that variation, and so sayle on towards the South part of the world guiding the ship so much the more towards [Page 19] the West or East as occasion shall require. And al­though he may deeme otherwise by coniecture, yet he shal not follow that coniecture, for the reasons before shewed: for so comming to the southerly latitude of 8 deg. 30 min. with the northeasting in creasing 3 deg. 10 min. he may assuredly perswade himselfe that he is neere Cape S. Augustine, whereas otherwise trusting to coniectures he may very easily misse an hundreth leagues of the place to which he had appointed to goe, not knowing in the meane time, whether he be to the eastwards, or to the westwards from thence; which ex­perience it selfe hath also taught too much in such na­uigations. And therefore the latitude and variation in all places of the earth being obserued, and the know­ledge thereof published, there shall be a much more easie way of sayling about the worlde, then euer hath bene heretofore.

Hitherto we haue described the kindes of the varia­tiō, which are afterwards declared out of those things which were set downe in the table of variations. If the mistris of things (experience) shal hereafter teach that any thing is otherwise, that thing may also out of the same experiēce be otherwise defined, that the ma­sters of ships in their nauigations may follow that on­ly which shall bee best and most profitable.

How the North point, and the variation may be found.

ALthough the finding of the variation, (whereof hitherto often mentiō hath bene made) is known to very many: yet we will in fewe wordes shew this thing to them which as yet peraduenture know not [Page 20] the manner thereof For here is a question or demand how to find the declination of the magnetical needle. First therfore the north point must be sought out, that the pointing of the needle may bee compared there­with. The finding thereof in a moueable ship hath no small affinitie with the finding of the north point or meridian line on land, and may thus be shortly dispat­ched. In the Instrument which some call the sea-dire­ctorie, some the nauticall box, and we for auoyding ambiguity name the sea-compasse, in that instrument I say, the Floure de luce ought to agree with the north point of the needle, or wires lying vnderneath: or (that which is farre more commodious) in stead of the Floure de luce the magneticall needle may be fa­stened aboue vpon the paper or pastboord, and the limbe or circumference of the pastboord must be deui­ded into 360 degrees, beginning at the north poynt of the needle as you may see hereafter in the circle A. B. C. D, wherein the magneticall needle is signified by A. C. which is fastned aboue vpon the paper or paste­boord. E is the center. The vse thereof is this. As the master of the shippe in seeking the latitude is wont to tary for the noone-tide, that is to say, vntill the shadow of the perpendicular stile, or of the plumb­line agree with the meridian line in his instrument: so all things also do here proceed, but that he beginneth three or foure houres before noone, marking diligent­ly into which degree of the compasse, or into what di­uision, the shadow of the perpēdicular stile, or plumb­line falleth. Let vs suppose therefore that he find it in the 40 deg. which we haue noted with the letter F. so as G. E. F. may signifie the whole shadow: then hee [Page 21]


shal seeke the height of the sunne, which for examples sake admit hee find to bee 25 degrees: which together with the 40 degrees aboue named, he shal note down for helping his memory: After this he shall attend till [Page 22] the sunne descending after no one come to the same height of 25 degrees, and he shall then also diligently marke what place the shadow of the perpendicular stile poynteth in the paper, which againe let vs take to be 40 deg. to wit, the other way as at the letter H, so as nowe I E H may represent the whole shadowe. Which being done, the midst of the arch F H (that is A) is the north point: and because the magneticall needle directly pointeth the same, it hath no variation in that place, because it sheweth due north. But if in the same experiment after no one the shadow had not shewed the 40 degr. on the other side beyond A, but (for examples sake) the 20 degr. onely vnto K, in that case the arke F K making 60 degr. ought by imaginati­on to be deuided into two parts at L, so as L F and L K may make either of them 30 degrees and the varia­tion sought for may be from L to A eastwardes 10 de­grees.

But if in the same after no one experiment, the sha­dow of the perpendicular stile L had shewed 30 degr. from F, the arke F L (conteining 30 deg.) must by ima­gination be deuided at M, so as M F, M L may either of them conteine 15 degrees; which being thus perfor­med, M shalbe the North point and A the point of va­riation sought for, northeasting from M to A 25 degr. and so in the rest.

But if the needle onely were turned about and not fastned to the paper or pastborde (as before) and the degrees were marked in the margine or limbe of the box, or case of the instrument as is sometimes vsed, there is the same manner of vsing it, that was before re­hearsed: sauing that in the beginning of the obserua­tion, [Page 23] the box must bee turned about so farre till the Magneticall needle shewe the beginning of the de­grees.

Others take an Azimuthal or verticall quadrant, whose Horizontall plaine (whereupon it standeth vp­right) without any impediment receiued from the motion of the ship alwayes remayneth parallell to the Horizon in such manner as we shall shew. Thus the heigth of the sunne is found, togither with the azi­muth.

The fashion of this instrument may be described af­ter this manner, A B C signifieth a quadrant of a cir­cle standing at right angles. Vpon the circle B D C E deuided into 360 degrees, whereby the plaine of the Horizon is signified. The center thereof is F vpon which the quadrant may be turned about: and that it may alwayes remaine at right angles vpon the circle B D C E it is vnder-propped on both sides from G to D and E, and those props are fastned to the same qua­drant, that they may be turned about togither with it. Moreouer in the circle B D C E there is a glasse, and vnder the glasse a magneticall needle, which must be so long as the box may suffer it. And the box or case hath within it 360. degrees, which the magneticall needle may precisely poynt vnto, which likewise doe agree with as many other degrees inscribed into the horizontall plaine.

This instrument was made according to the inuen­tion of Reginaldus Petraeus, hanging vpon two axtrees like the sea-compasse that so the circle B D C E not­withstanding the motion of the ship may alwayes bee equally distant from the Horizon. And that this may [Page 24]


[Page 25] be done with the greater securitie, the weight marked with the letter H is adioyned vnderneath, conteyning 25. or 30. pounds, or so many as the greatnesse of the instrument shall require. But this also is worthy to be noted, to wit, that the quadrant perpendicularly e­rect in his place is of the same weight on both sides of the center: that is to say, the side from F to C coun­terpoyseth the side from F to B which may be knowen if a man taking vp the quadrant, hang it with G downe­wards, the threed being fastned in the middest of B C at F and then cut off so much of the heauier part, as may suffice, that the line B C may hang leuell. But because some man may obiect that the ruler or index which the Barbarians call the Alhidada, may bring a great varietie in the weight as it shall be turned higher or lower: wee must know that any such thing need not to bee greatly feared, because of the great weight H and the lightnesse of the ruler.

The vse of this instrument in finding the North point and variation is this: you must begin to obserue (as in the former kind) certaine houres before noone, and the instrument must be turned vntill the magneti­call needle point to the beginning of the circle: then the quadrant must be turned this way or that way, and the sight-ruler of the quadrant must be lifted vp, or put downe till the sunne shine through the sight. All which being done, suppose it bee found (for examples sake) that the vtmost margine or index of the quadrant shew in the Horizontal plaine 40. degr. and admit the heigth of the sunne be also found to be 25. degrees, which to­gither with the 40. degrees he shall for memorie sake haue need to note. And when he hath expected after [Page 26] no one till the sunne descending by the same instru­ment be found placed in the same 25. degr. of altitude, then the box it selfe must againe be turned this way or that way, vntill (the sunne againe shining through the sights) the magneticall needle doe point to the begin­ning of the circle. Which things being thus dispat­ched, the middle point of the arch in the horizontall plaine betweene the first and second experiment is the North point, and how much the needle declineth from that point, so much is the variation sought for, as before wee haue shewed in the first example more at large.

Whatsoeuer we haue affirmed to be auaileable in the day time, in these experiments of the sunne, the same may bee vnderstood and done in like manner in the night, by any of the fixed starres, whereof there is the same vse in this matter that there is of the sunne. But there is not the same reason of the moone, aswell because of the swiftnesse of her proper motion; as al­so because of the greatnesse of her parallax (as they call it) which the ouermuch neerenesse of the moone to the globe of the earth bringeth forth. But this also is to be noted that two, three, or foure, yea and more ob­seruations may be made in the fore-noone. As for ex­ample let the first bee when the sunne is 10. degrees a­boue the horizon, the second when it is 15. degr. the third when it is 20. degr. and if any man will make triall as often after noone, hee shall see how euery experi­ment agreeth with other: and when at euery moment the same North point is found, that thing shall giue the master of the ship no small courage, and more cer­taine confidence of his worke.

[Page 27] But notwithstanding, when the mariner sayleth from the East Westwards, or contrariwise from the West Eastwards, it may be that in the space of 10 or 12 houres between the first and second experiment, there may be difference of one degree or more in the variati­on, whereof may follow that the North poynt found by the first forenoone obseruation, and the last in the afternoone, shall not agree with that which was found by the first in the afternoone and the last in the fore­noone: when notwithstanding the mariner hath not erred in obseruing.

Which if it shall happen often, the skilfull mariner may iudge thereby what difference of variation is an­swerable to any determinate time of sayling, and so finde a way whereby the North poynt may bee found with more certaintie and securitie: which thing may thus also be done, if a man diligently compare the variation found in the for­mer dayes with the variation which he presently seeth.


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