A Gift of a Telescope: The Japan 400 Project
At the dawn of the seventeenth century, Britain had already established itself as a great maritime power. Exuding a new self-confidence after the defeat of the Spanish fleet during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, her successor, King James I, had united the crowns of England and Scotland in 1603 and in 1611, published the celebrated King James Bible for the congregations of the Church of England. In the same year, the first fleet of British ships from the East India Company under the command of John Saris set sail for the Island of Japan. This was a most daring journey, and there was no guarantee that they would ever return from or even reach what was then considered to be the edge of the known world (Fig. 41.1).