The British traders had already pushed far into the Atlantic before Columbus discovered America; fired by the success of the great navigator they continued their adventures, hoping like him to discover a short north-west passage to Cathay and Japan.
He published Cathay and the Way Thither (1866), the Book of Ser Marco Polo a871-75), for which he received the gold medal of the Royal 'Geographical Society, and brought out with Dr Arthur C. Burnell Hobson-Jobson (1886), a dictionary of Anglo-Indian colloquial phrases.
P. Martin, The Lore of Cathay (Edinburgh and London, 1901); J.
One important object of English maritime adventurers of those days was to discover a route to Cathay by the north-west, a second was to settle Virginia, and a third was to raid the Spanish settlements in the West Indies.
After the discovery of southern China by European navigators Cathay was erroneously believed to be a country to the north of China, and it was the desire to reach it that sent the English adventurers of the 16th century in search of the north-east passage.
Yule's Cathay and the Way Thither, p. 173 seq., and in Marco Polo (2nd ed.), i.
Nicolaus Germanus, a monk of Reichenbach, in 1466 prepared a set of Ptolemy's maps on a new projection with converging meridians; and Paolo del Pozzo Toscanelli in 1474 compiled a new chart on a rectangular projection, which was to guide the explorer across the western ocean to Cathay and India.
The conception of the north-western route to Cathay now leads the story of exploration, for the first time as far as important and sustained efforts are concerned, towards the Arctic seas.
Macmahon, Far Cathay and.
P. Martin, The Lore of Cathay (1901), p. 311 et seq.; T.