To promote recognition of Henry Sinclair, 14th Century explorer of North America, and to celebrate the 600th anniversary in 1998
March 30, 1997 Issue
Published by Prince Henry Project Committee|
65 Hartwell Street, West Boylston, MA, 01583, USA
Phone: 508-835-2900 Fax: 508-835-2944 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
HTML by John S. Quarterman
Henceforth, the Committee will be known as the "Prince Henry Project". Its new mission calls for it to be "a non-profit organization in the USA, committed to exploration, research, education, and sharing of information of the 14th century transatlantic journeys of Henry Sinclair."
Efforts will be undertaken to raise funds. Contributors are encouraged at several levels, ranging upwards from Bronze Membership at $40. Volunteers are welcome!
Officers were elected, including, Chair, H. S. Cummings, Jr.; 1st Vice Chair; Matthew Mallard; 2nd Vice Chair, D'Elayne Coleman; 3rd Vice Chair, Michael S. Kaulback; and Treasurer, Nicholas Andreson. In addition, 20 Coordinators were elected for various constituencies and site locations.
They are Clan Sinclair (USA), Ian Sinclair; Clan Sinclair (Nova Scotia), Neil St. Clair; Clan Sinclair (Canada), William E. Sinclair; Clan Gunn, Derek Gunn; Clan Douglas, Arthur Douglas; Clan Leslie, John Aulerich; Clan Scott, Clark Scott; Clans & Societies, Pamela Manganelli; Masons, Robert Knight & Matthew Mallard; Native Americans, Angela Peters; Westford, William Collins; Prince Henry Sinclair Society, D'Elayne Coleman; Advocate, Rev. David Chisling; Newburyport, Donald McPherson; Scientists, David Aubrey; Research Writer, Susan Grady; Voyage, Robert S. Green; and Volunteers, Kenneth Swift.
The Prince Henry Project Committee will meet monthly to hear of progress and to plan future activities. With a mailing list of about 500 persons, the Newsletter will continue to bring news and information relating to Prince Henry Sinclair's expedition to America in 1398. Contributions of $40 will be greatly appreciated for Bronze Membership.
Lodging at both places will be each individual's responsibility. In Lincoln, NH, there are several possibilities, including Beacon Resort (phone 800- 258-8934); Indian Head Motel (phone 800-343- 8000); and The Mill at Loon Mountain (phone 800-654-6180). Around the Westford area you will find Westford Regency Hotel (800-543-7801); Boxborough Woods (phone 508-263-8701); and Sheraton Inn (phone 508-452-1200).
You can tour Rosslyn Chapel and read about Prince Henry at the address of <URL:http://www.rosslyn.com>.
Henry Sinclair employed the services of Nicolo and Antonio Zeno, brothers of the most famous admiral of the time, Carlo Zeno. Nicolo had been an elector of the Doge and was one of the twelve Orators sent by the Venetian Senate with five galleys to Marseilles to carry the Pope and his court to Rome. Nicolo had also been captain of a galley in the war to protect the Genoese, and he was the Venetian ambassador to Ferrara in 1382. The Zenos brought to Sinclair the design of the first cannon used on ships.
Nicolo died in 1395, and Antonio became captain and navigator of Henry's fleet. They maintained the ship's log, the "Zeno Narrative". It told about a survey to make a map of Greenland in about 1393 by Nicolo Zeno. This Zeno Map of the North proved to be the most accurate map in existence for the next 150 years! And this "Narrative" has helped to prove that Sinclair sailed to America.
Henry Sinclair, his trusted friend, Sir James Gunn, Antonio Zeno, and his Templar friends planned a voyage to find this rich new land. After fitting out their thirteen barks, they took to the sea around April 1, 1398. with 200 - 300 men. Day after day they sailed. The Zeno document suggests they saw land at Newfoundland, but natives drove them away. Sailing farther, they came to Chedabucto Bay in Nova Scotia. They dropped anchor on the first of June in Guysborough harbor.
The Zeno Narrative provides only a limited description of the party's exploration. A hundred soldiers were dispatched to explore the source of smoke they saw swirling above a distant hill. It came from a great fire in the bottom of a hill, where a spring from which issued a certain substance like pitch ran into the sea. They also saw many people, half-wild, and living in caves. This was their first contact with the Micmac Indians. Geographical detective work, archaeology, modern science and various documents have pinpointed the burning hill as the asphalt area at Stellarton, about 50 miles direct from the head of Guysborough harbor.
The Zeno brothers called Prince Henry by the name of "Zichmni". This is an ancient translation of "Orkney", a shortened form for Prince of Orkney. From the Zeno Narrative we read the following translation by Richard H. Major:
``So we brought our barks and our boats in to land, and we entered an excellent harbor, and we saw in the distance a great mountain that poured out smoke. .... there were great multitudes of people, half-wild and living in caves. These were very small of stature and very timid; for when they saw our people, they fled into their holes. .... When Zichmni heard this and noticed that the place had a wholesome and pure atmosphere, a fertile soil and good rivers and so many other attractions, he conceived the idea of staying there and founding a city.''
Some men, led by Antonio Zeno, returned home to Europe. The rest chose to remain with Prince Henry with two oar-powered boats. It is thought they wanted to establish a settlement. At last the Templars might have a home, free of suppression!
[More history of Prince Henry in the next issue.]