between England and America was England's fisheries on the banks of Newfoundland; though used by other European states, over fifty English ships spent two months in every year in those distant waters, and gained, in the pursuit, valuable maritime experience. Probably, however, the development of trade in a different quarter had a more direct connection with American colonization, for about 1530 William Hawkins visited the coast of Guinea and engaged in the slave-trade with Brazil.
Suddenly, about the middle of the century, English commerce struck out boldly; conscious rivalry with Spain had begun. The new era opens fitly with the return of Sebastian Cabot to England from Spain, where since the death of Henry VII. he had served Charles V. In 1549, during the third year of Edward VI., he was made grand pilot of England with an annual stipend of £166 13s. 4d. He formed a company for the discovery of the northeast and the northwest passages, and in 1553 an expedition under Sir Hugh Willoughby and Rich