THE TRINIDAD HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Publication No. 188.
A proposal by Sir Walter Ralegh for a journey to Guiana.
Source :-The Discovery of Guiana by Sir Walter Ralegh, 1848.
Published by the courtesy of the President and Council
of the Hakluyt Society.
Your Lordships as I remember, did offer to be at the
charges to transport Keemish into Guiana with such proportion
of men in two ships as should be able to defend him against
the Spaniards inhabiting upon Orenocke if they offered to
assail him, not that it is meant to offend the Spaniards there
or to begin any quarrel with them except themselves shall
begin the war.
To know what number of men shall be sufficient, may it
please Your Lordship to inform yourselves by Captain More,
a servant of Sir John Watts, who came from Orenocke this
last spring and was oft times ashore at St. Thome where the
Spaniards inhabit ; which numbers made known to Your
Lordships and to the Captains which you shall please to employ
with Keemish, these Captains should be able to judge with
what force they will undertake to secure Keemishes passage
to the mine which is not above five miles from the navigable
river taking the nearest way.
Now Your Lordships do require of me that if Keemish
live to arrive and shall be guarded to the place and shall
then fail to bring into England half a ton or as much more
as he shall be able to take away of that slate gold ore whereof
I gave samples to My Lord Knevett, that then all the charges
of the journey shall be laid upon me and by me to be satisfied,
whereto I willingly consent and though it be a difficult matter
for any man to find the same point of ground again in country
desolate and overgrown which he hath seen but once and
that sixteen,;years since, which were hard enough to do upon
Salisbury Plain, yet that Your Lordships may be satisfied
of the truth, I am consented to adventure all that I have
(but my reputation) upon Keemishes memory hoping that
it may be acceptable to the King's Majesty and to Your
Lordships so to do, considering that if Keemish missed of
his aim, my poor estate is utterly overthrown and my wife
and children are utterly beggared.
Now that there is no hope until after this trial as I have
already given Your Lordships my reasons in my former
letter and am ready upon a map of the country to make
demonstration there of it if shall please Your Lordships to
give me leave, but to His Majesty's wisdom and to Your
Lordship's I submit myself.
But that which Your Lordships promise is that half a
ton of the former rock being brought home that then I shall
have my liberty and in the meanwhile my free pardon under
the great seal to be left in His Majesty's hands till the end
of the journey.