Saturday Scenes

Fri 9 August 2013

Letter from America

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 23:32

On the 3rd of August in 1527, the first known letter from North America was sent by John Rut. The Mary Guildford was usually kept busy transporting wine for the king from Bordeaux. However, Henry VIII was interested in finding a Northwest Passage and sent the Mary Guildford to find it. Rut commanded the expedition and departed the Thames on the 20th of May, but just two months later he was forced to turn back when the ship met heavy ice. They head south, exploring the Labrador coast. Rut entered St John’s harbour on the 3rd of August where he found Norman, Breton and Portugese fishing ships already there.

Rut wrote a letter to King Henry to report what he’d seen.

The First Letter from Newfoundland | Archival Moments

…the third day of August we entered into a good harbour called St. John and there we found Eleuen Saile of Normans and one Brittaine and two Portugal barks all a fishing and so we are ready to depart towards Cap de Bras that is 25 leagues as shortly as we have fished and so along the Coast until we may meete with our fellowe and so with all diligence that lyes in me toward parts to that Ilands that we are command at our departing and thus Jesu save and keepe you Honourable Grace and all your Honourable Reuer. In the Haven of St. John the third day of August written in hast 1527, by your servant John Rut to his uttermost of his power

This trip allowed the English to catch up with France and Spain on mapping the eastern coast of North America and by 1620, most of Newfoundland’s east coast was controlled by English fishermen.

On the 3rd of August 2013, Saturday Scene submitters reported what they’d seen with the modern digital equivalent:

And here are the brave explorers who reported:

You can find out what all of these great adventurers are up to simply by checking the current Saturday Scenes list which includes all participants from 2013.

Why don’t you join in this weekend? Just take a photograph on Saturday and send the link to @SatScenes with the location! It’s easy and fun and we love seeing new sights.

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