chapter  5
6 Pages

Of our landing at Vera Cruz, otherwise St John de Ulhua, and of our entertainment there

U p o n the 12 day of September, we happily arrived in America in that famous town called St John de Ulhua, otherwise Vera Cruz; famous for that it was the firft beginning of the famous conqueft of that valiant and ever renowned conqueror, Hernando Cortez. Here firft was that noble and generous resolution, that never heard of policy, to sink the ships which had brought the firft Spaniards to that continent, greater than any of the other three parts of the world, to the intent that they might think of nothing but such a conqueft as after followed, being deftitutc of the help of their ships, and without hopes evermore to return to Cuba, Yucatan, or any of those parts from whence they had come. Here it was that the firft five hundred Spaniards ftrengthened themselves againft millions of enemies, and againft the biggeft fourth part of all the world. Here were the firft magiftrates, judges, aldermen, officers of justice named. The proper name of the town is St John de Ulhua, otherwise called Vera Cruz, from the old harbour and haven of Vera Cruz, six leagues from this, and so called for that upon Good Friday it was first discovered. But the old Vera Cruz proving too dangerous an harbour for ships, by reason of the violence of the northern winds, it was utterly forsaken by the Spaniards, who removed to St John de Ulhua, where their ships found the firft safe road by reason of a rock, which is a ftrong defence againft the winds. And because the memory of the work of that Good Friday should never be forgotten, to St John de Ulhua they have added the name also of Vera Cruz, taken from that firft haven which was discovered upon Good Friday, anno 1519.