A true discourse of the late voyages of discovery


This copy of the first account of Frobisher's three voyages is by George Best, who sailed with him, is extremely rare in that it contains the two maps.

These maps were published in Best’s A True Discourse of the Late Voyages of Discoverie (1578). It is an account of Martin Frobisher’s expeditions in search of the Northwest Passage. The explorer made three voyages to the region between 1576 and 1578, with the aim of establishing it on a trade route to India and China and to mine valuable ore deposits. Best produced two maps to accompany his account: this depicting the globe and Polar Regions and another showing the newly discovered islands of Meta Incognita (Baffin Island).

On his first Northwest Passage expedition in 1576 Frobisher discovered Frobisher Bay and thought he had found gold, thus prompting further expeditions in 1577 and 1578 that were partly sponsored by Elizabeth I. On the third voyage Frobisher entered Hudson Strait, which he named Mistaken Straightes (as on the map). He would have liked to search for the Northwest Passage but his orders were for mining only. Having built a small house on an island in Frobisher Bay, his ships returned to England with over 1000 tons of useless ore.

This edition of A True Discourse is housed in the Grenville Library.

Full title:
'A Map of the Globe', from 'A True Discourse of the Late Voyages of Discovery'
1578, London
Henry Bynneman
Woodcut / Map
George Best
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
British Library

Full catalogue details

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