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The Henry Voyage: Did He or Didn't He?

From: "twallace-murphy"
Date: Mon, 6 May 2002 13:20:08 +0100

Re: Brian Smith's article.

Brian is an old and worthy antagonist for anyone trying to establish proofs of Henry's voyage to North America. We all need our ideas to be subjected to constructive criticism in any area of speculative history and, if our theories and hypotheses cannot withstand such academic examination, they are worthless.

However, despite Brian's reasoned approach, when you read his essay it is all 'knocking copy' and he does not, and furthermore cannot, produce one shred of evidence to prove Henry's whereabouts during the time of his voyages - which is rather strange when one considers Henry's importance and the fact that his movements and actions at other times are all a matter of public record in Orkney, Roslin and Norway etc.

As to Brian's concept that the Zeno Narrative is some form of joke in conception that is easily dismissed. When he and others put this idea forward the last time I was in Orkney I responded with the question 'how could some Venetian who had never been to Nova Scotia describe the relationship between Guysborough and the smoking mountain at Stellerton in such detail without direct experience of the site?' Especially pertinent as, according to Professor Hobbes, no other sites with that precise geogrphical relationship exist in North America. Brian and his colleagues had no answer to this.

Yes, the identification of Zichmini with Henry is speculative, but, according to Professor Barbara Crawford, it is reasonable. Taken in context with the evidence of the Westford Knight, Jim Whitall's study of the Newport Tower, Mi'qmaq oral tradition and the carvings in Rosslyn Chapel, the evidence although circumstantial, is overwhelming.

The lesson to be learnt from Brian's criticism is that the dangers that arise from mythologizing the story far outweigh any putative advantage that the mythologizes may hope to gain. It simply gives the critics ammunition to discredit a very real piece of history.

Sadly, from the political, social, economic and historical perspectives, Henry's voyages had no discernible effect whatsoever. The voyages of all those who preceded him, the Egyptians, Romans and Vikings for whose efforts archaeological evidence abounds, equally made little real impact on history. Columbus, for all his faults - and they were many - did initiate European settlement in the Americas, albeit with absolutely horrendous results for the Native American people.

Best wishes


Last changed: $Date: 2002/05/10 23:55:47 $ [Clan Sinclair]