(1861-1928) Miller Christy's 19th century original primary source published in 1894 is available to purchase in two volumes of paperback, each one at a cost of over £30 or try this free universal archive

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Rival Captains' Encounter

From Luke’s account: “29th August 1631: I rode still all night for I could get nothing by plying against the wind now southerly. After 7 o’clock we saw a sail standing right with us - it was Captain James of Bristol! He came close in at our stern and we saluted each other, he standing in towards the shore, which was in sight, but standing off again. He could not fetch us for it was ebb, the stream and wind setting him to leeward, whereupon he stood into sea and out of sight, which grieved me much, fearing I should not see him again, nor know what discovery he had made - but he tacked about inward again. The wind easterly that night, he sent his shallop on board, inviting me to dinner the next day with my master and his mate “30th August. Last night I made loose and stood along in small sails, muzzling my ship with the foresail. I then stood for Captain James, who was a great way on stern.” The Henrietta Maria’s shallop is sent to collect Luke, but he is reluctant to go and has to be persuaded by his master that reports from Tom’s crew need verification. Luke comments, “I was well entertained and feasted by Captain James, with variety of such cheer as his sea provisions could afford. With some partridges we dined between decks, for the great cabin was not big enough to receive ourselves and followers, during which time the ship (in two courses and main bonnet) threw in so much water as we could not have wanted sauce if we had ate roast mutton! Then I began to ponder whether it were better for his company to be impounded amongst ice, where they might be kept from putrification by the piercing air, or in open sea, to be kept sweet by being thus daily pickled! However, they were to be pitied, the ship taking her liquor as kindly as ourselves, for her nose was no sooner out of the pitcher, but her nib, like the ducks, was in it again! “There came on board of me his lieutenant, his coxen and three more. I gave orders to my officers to take down the four rowers between the decks and to entertain them at several messes and to enquire of them what land they found first after coming from our own coast, what lands they had been at, or in what harbours when they entered Fretum Hudson, how long they had been amongst the ice and, at several times, what islands they had seen, or capes formerly discovered, what was the most northerly latitude they had been in, what day they first saw this side or bottom and in what latitude they came over this bay in.


HOLLYWOOD TREATMENT LOGLINE A boat crew member who has gone on several voyages with his former Captain thinks he has all the required experience to lead his ship on a voyage. He got the opportunity to captain His Majesty’s ship, The Charles on a voyage North West. Luke Fox, a young man who had once accompanied John Knight on trips on the sea and has sailed the Mediterranean, Spain, France, Holland, Norway, Denmark and the Baltic Sea good experience in the use of globes and other mathematical instruments, becomes ambitious and desirous to man a ship to his name and lead a voyage. He consulted Mr. John Tappe, he was introduced to Mr. Tho Sterne, a globe maker who made and acquainted him with maps and manuscripts. Following the advice of a friend and famous mathematician, Mr. Henry Brigges. Through his connection with Hon. Knight Sir John Brooke to be of service to the King and the public good. This, however, resulted in requesting His Majesty the loan of a ship for the voyage and endorsement of the action, both being graciously accepted and granted by the Majesty. But due to the time of the year it was, they could not set out that year and be asked to wait until the following year. During the wait, Mr. Brigges died and as it is that no agreement between the living and the dead can hold, the partnership between Luke Fox and Mr. Brigges ends. One Captain Thomas James having similar intentions to go on a voyage North West Sea passage had earlier written a letter to Mr. Brigges with the knowledge of Luke Fox before the death of Mr. Brigges. He however petitioned with the desire that seeing we (He and Luke Fox) were both to go forth in one year, he might be considered superior and go first but alas, he was denied. His Majesty sent for his voyage expert friend, Sir John Wolstenholme, and appointed these two to expedite the enterprise. He commanded also Trinity House to assist them and the younger Sir John Wolstenholme be appointed Treasurer. Luke Fox has used the Majesty ship and the ship was fully stocked with food for 18 months. The Majesty’s ship The Charles sets out with eight (8) paragraphs of Orders and Articles for Civil Government. The Charles took off North West and to deliver a letter to the king of Japan three (3) days after Captain Thomas James’ Henrietta Maria set out which is Thursday 28 April 1631. More from the author .


Van Fox Lloyd is retired and graduated with an English Honours Degree in 2002. She lives in a quiet village near Bristol and began this, her first published work, a decade ago. Van has translated the original and rather challenging 17th century text into modern vocabulary and comprehension and she is the first to uncover genuine links to Samuel Coleridge, a renowned romantic poet.

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Tall ship Captains Luke Fox from Hull and Tom James, a former Lord Mayor of Bristol, departed England on pioneering voyages of discovery in 1632. These brave men were first to explore the Arctic in search of the North West Passage trade route through the mythical Anian Straits, named so by Marco Polo. Their fascinating journals were published together in 1894 by the Hakluyt Society in two volumes, with comprehensive research by Miller Christy. These original ship logs translated to modern vocabulary by Van Fox Lloyd, provide a rare insight into the perils and adventure and injury of early maritime exploration and navigation around the magnetic pole in a dangerous and unfamiliar ocean. These are thought to be inspiration for Samuel Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner. If you have any questions you can contact Vanessa at or mobile 07505442144

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