Talk:Richard Amerike

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"King of Iceland"[edit]

Iceland has never had a king, at least of its own, although it has at times been ruled by other countries that had kings. If we're talking about something that supposedly happened in the late 1400s, that would been while Iceland was under the rule of the Kalmar Union. The Danish established a trade monopoly in Iceland but that wasn't until the early 1600s. (talk) 11:29, 8 February 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Seems to have been about the King of Denmark and the cod trade, but Hudd said nothing about that. I hope I've fixed the issue. Doug Weller talk 13:28, 12 February 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Very little of this article is about Richard Amerike, and is more about the discovery and early exploration of America. -- Zoe

Actually about a controversial, possible discovery of AMerica without ever mentioning that it is not the accepted view. Rmhermen 14:14 Dec 13, 2002 (UTC)
The statement "Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage calls all pre-Cabot tales unproven including the existance of any fishing villages of any name on Newfoundland." is rather an over-statment when the following canbe found on the said "Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage" website [1]

"While it has been difficult to pinpoint the exact time frame of these North Atlantic probes, evidence that they were indeed occurring by the 1490's is found in a report sent by Pedro de Ayala, a Spanish envoy located in London. The year after Cabot's successful transatlantic voyage he wrote Ferdinand and Isabella stating that for the previous seven years the Bristolians had been equipping caravels to look for the islands of Brasile and the Seven Cities. While it is not possible to ascertain whether or not these were large scale ventures and precisely what their motives might have been, Ayala's words seem to supply some proof of westward bound voyages."

Mintguy 20:55 Dec 13, 2002 (UTC)

I'm not saying that "Amerike giving name to America" is wrong, but isn't it a bit to conjectural? We know that when Weldseemüller made the map he named the continent America, including parts of it abtained from Vespucci (the map, not the name). We also know that he assumed this came from Vespucci's first name. It is possible that Vespucci might have gotten the name for the continent from Richard Amerike's last name, but there is little proof as to how Vespucci is supposed to have heard of Cabot/Amerike's voyages, and more to prove that Cabot/Amerike had been there before Columbus (something which seems very plausable, and which I don't dispute in anyway). If this article is about how Amerike might have given the name to the continent, shouldn't it spend more time trying to prove this? All I can see is the part where "Copies of these maps were sent to Spain probably by John Day, where Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci would have seen them. It is possible Cabot would have written the name America (or similar) on his maps but no extant maps are available to prove this assertion." Is the research conjectural or are there findings indicating that Amerike is America's namesake, and not just one of its pre-Columbian explorers? --Gabbe 13:33 Dec 29, 2002 (UTC)

Too Conjectural? Yes: he is a specialist in it, but (many edits later) this one seems to be gradually taking on a reasonable shape. See also: Pre-columbian transatlantic contacts The Logic of Scientific Discovery, Ideological assumptions, and a series of other, similar ones - unless I miss my guess, all originally written by the same pen. Tannin 14:09 Dec 29, 2002 (UTC)
The original article on this page was written by Rodney Broome at my request, after I emailed him. I then wikified it and researched for more info on the web which I added including information gleaned from interviews with Peter Macdonald. Since then I took the trouble to purchase the Rodney Broome book, and I'm now less convinced by the evidence. I'm reluctant however to e-mail him to tell him this. I've also been reluctant to backtrack on some of the assertions made in this article, though in all honesty I should. Mintguy
Sounds like I missed my guess then! Tannin 23:12 Jan 25, 2003 (UTC)
The bulk of this article should be posted under something like, Naming/Discovery of America; and an explanation should be given there as to why why WASPs/English nationalists wish to revise the accepted history. According to the logic of this article, America is actually a Welsh name - they'll be singing in the valleys tonight!--shtove 01:53, 15 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As to why there would be interest from Central Americans, Africans, Scandinavians, Brits etc. in revising 'accepted history' the article on the naming of America makes it pretty clear :) -- Hakluyt bean 18:39, 4 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The wording article is not strictly correct on at least one point — "Richard ap Meryk" is an English spelling of a Welsh name, not the original name/spelling, which would more likely be Rhysiart ap Meuric if he was a native speaker of Welsh (which does not use "k", for one thing). That is at least as close to "America", although I must say I have grave doubts about this whole theory.
BTW shtove, I know you were joking, but Welsh people are not "WASPs" — they are Celts (or Britons to be more precise). Some of my ancestors, many of whom had the surnames Owen and Bowen (ap Owain) would be mildly appalled at such a suggestion! Grant | Talk 09:47, 3 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would agree that is far too conjectural. The self-serving and obvious mistakes like claiming that "Americus" isn't the standard Latinization of Amerigo are a pretty good indicator of the general quality of the arguments. This article is not based on a reliable source. Tarchon (talk) 23:55, 14 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Also, that entire section doesn't appear to cite any sources (at least, not correctly). It should be tagged or edited to remove all of the conjectural claims. TangerineChainsaw (talk) 20:29, 15 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This article is complete crap. It offers no good citations, and most of it isn't even about the naming of America. It offers a lot of conjecture about possible Northern European involvement in and around North America, but that has little to do with naming. Many paragraphs are off topic and should just be cut, no? It's misleading and misinforming our youth! Dwharrington (talk)
All this article seems to be based on pseudoscience and historical revisionism, the article isn't related to a person, but a name.

Latin form of Amerigo[edit]

"Derivation of "America" from Amerike, the sponsor of the discovery of Newfoundland is etymologically easier than from "Amerigo Vespucci," the map-maker, since the Latinized version of the name is Amerigus Vespucius and Ameriga is the feminized version."

This is incorrect. Americus is the standard Latin form of Amerigo. It's originally from a Gothic/Lombard name Amaric, but, that aside, Latin documents routinely refer to him as Americus Vesputius or Vespucius.

See "Vita e lettere di Amerigo Vespucci" (1745),M1

There's also an extant letter of Anselm (1093), among others, which refers to an "Americus de Bucco" ( It was a moderately common Latin name, and other instances are easily found by anyone motivated to look.

I am deleting this claim from the article until a reliable reference can be cited that proves otherwise. Tarchon (talk) 23:41, 14 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Spanish form[edit]

Américo Vespucio. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:27, 2 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Alfred Hudd[edit]

If anyone wants to do an entry on Alfred Hudd, the amateur antiquarian from Bristol who found Amerike's name connected with Cabot's in a document and made the conjectural leap, these links I found have been deleted here but might prove useful:

Coat of arms etc[edit]

Added Coat of Arms as it turned up while I was googling this subject. I'll add a picture if I find a decent one. The one I have for now is hand-drawn and it's hard to authenticate. Added Status to hopefully avoid arguments :) Also amended the Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage quote as per Mintguy above as the paraphrase in the article didn't seem to reflect what their website actually says. Also split up the opening with headlines as it seemed a bit long. Maybe it still is? -- Hakluyt bean 19:53, 4 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Can you blazon (describe) the arms? —Tamfang 03:11, 24 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There's a photo here: Incorporated into another family's coat of arms it's the top right. Indeed there are 'stars and stripes', tho I'm sure in a fairly common heraldic arrangement. As in the article I take it to be more of a metaphorical connection.
Hakluyt bean 01:55, 5 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As near as I can make out, the quarters are
  1. barry of eight gules and or;
  2. paly of six or and sable azure, on a fess gules three mullets argent;
  3. quarterly per fess indented argent and azure;
  4. quarterly gules and or, a bend argent.
A fess on a paly field is somewhat uncommon. —Tamfang 04:14, 5 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I bow to your impressive knowledge :) Here's a hand drawing from the same site: It might be interesting to know more about the design in the context of the article and perhaps heraldry in general, but in as much as Amerike is connected to the naming of America the flag question is a bit of a side-show I think. Hakluyt bean 13:15, 6 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

agreed —Tamfang 17:51, 6 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Waldseemüller & Vespucci query[edit]

"Martin Waldseemüller ... published a world map in 1507 using Vespucci's previously published letters. The theory suggests that Waldseemüller assumed that the "America" that Vespucci used was derived from his first name. Waldseemüller provided an explanation of this assumption as an attachment to the map."

  1. I think the current majority view is that the letters were attributed to Vespucci but probably written by other(s) and including material from Vespucci's actual letters mixed with invented material - isn't it?
  2. Did the letters attributed to Vespucci use "America" for the land? I didn't think they did.
  3. "The theory suggests that Waldseemüller assumed ..." seems at odds with "Waldseemüller provided an explanation of this assumption". Did he make and explain an assumption or is it only theorised that he made the assumption?

Nurg 09:51, 5 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I removed a couple of the more speculative sections, specifically the bit about countries only being named after people's last names to support the Amerike theory. I also removed the Coat of Arms section as it seemed to have some pseudohistorical red flags. Even if it could be sourced, I don't see that would worthy of inclusion. What is left can possibly be sourced; however the lead needs to stress more that this theory is a fringe one, and the body needs a paragraph denoting the support of the Vespucci theory. Has there been any historical criticism by a RS on this theory? That would be most helpful. Auntie E. (talk) 17:44, 12 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have yet to find any sources that fit this criteria. Google scholar returns only 16 hits, none of which appear especially helpful. This appears to be about an extremely fringe view, and needs to be presented as such. However, Amerike is a notable historical figure, as a financial backer of Cabot's expeditions. Cheers, ClovisPt (talk) 19:43, 13 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I completely agree. Unfortunately this has crept into various other WP articles as well (Americas and Amerigo Vespucci.--Kmhkmh (talk) 10:42, 17 April 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

reputable sources[edit]

Independent of what one might think of the claim that America was named after Amerike, it's description here needs to use reputable/reliable sources and the 3 current references used here, don't really qualify as that:

  • John Davies is a reputable historian, but the cited paper is a bit a "welsh patriot piece" (so not taken too seriously in any aspect) and the naming issue is just mention in an enumeration without any reasoning or evidence whatsoever.
  • The Xenophobe Guide to Welsh just mentions it as (patriotic) welsh claim (not as a fact or a serious theory) and is not the best source anyhow.
  • MacDonald BBC article has a similar problem like John Davies, the claim is just mentioned in one line without any reasoning or evidence and the rest of the articles deals with other stuff.

--Kmhkmh (talk) 10:38, 17 April 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This section is way too large, there are definate Undue issues here.Slatersteven (talk) 17:26, 8 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Welsh names note[edit]

The correct Welsh spelling of Amerike would in fact be Ap Meurig. As Richard Amerike was an Englisman of Welsh descent - it is perfectly feasible for his name to be spelt Amerike or Apmerig or Apmerik or Amerik or... well just any about conceivable variation. You can look at anglicised names like Bowen (From Ap Owen) or Parry from (Ap Harry) as evidence of the fluidity of the 'rules' of transilliteration.

It is extremely unlikely that he used the Welsh Rhisiart or Rhysiart as the English spelling of Richard has long been dominant in Wales. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:34, 6 July 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Dubious section[edit]

Except for The Book of General Ignorance, which I doubt qualifies as a reliable source, the entire section named "Theory of the naming of America" does not cite any sources for the claim that America was named after Amerike. --Saddhiyama (talk) 22:50, 20 November 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree (see my comment further up), the article still lacks proper sources. All we have is essentially a "urban myth" or speculation, without any serious academic backing at all.--Kmhkmh (talk) 00:54, 5 July 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Since it was completely unsourced and irrelevant to the subject I deleted everything in the section except for the Hudd bit. However that is also still unsourced and at the very least should be reworded to show its fringeness, if not outright deleted as well (I wouldn't object to the last option). --Saddhiyama (talk) 09:01, 5 July 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Urban myth?[edit]

The following has been removed from the lede:

I was unable to find any source to support that this story is an "urban myth". – PIE ( CLIMAX )  15:37, 17 November 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Good idea. Not sure you introduced the urban myth part, though it might have been partially my fault is I use the term term in quotes on the discussion page. It is definitely not an urban myth in the strict sense, since theory is clearly attributed to Hudd. It only shares one typical feature of urban myths namely (most likely) not being true.--Kmhkmh (talk) 17:31, 17 November 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Fringe theory is probably a more apt description of it. --Saddhiyama (talk) 09:41, 22 November 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Even nearer the mark would be historical revisionism. I subbed that into the above sentence and returned it to the lede. – PIE ( CLIMAX )  07:37, 3 December 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Naming of America(s) Article?[edit]

Maybe there should be an article on the naming of America(s) which can weigh up the different theories, instead of this one. As noted above, this article is mostly about the theories, not about Amerike.--Jack Upland (talk) 07:05, 4 August 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In fact, Amerike is so insignificant he is not in the articles on John Cabot or the Matthew.--Jack Upland (talk) 01:07, 8 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There being no objections, I have now created a new article Naming of America. I propose that this article be merged to that one.--Jack Upland (talk) 01:03, 13 February 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Doug Weller, you are the only one in the past six months who has raised any objections to the merger in your comments below. Yes, Caracticus Saxon has added to the article. But still what we have is four shortish paragraphs of biographical material, much of which is sketchy or trivial. The bulk of the article is about Cabot and the naming of America. This article has been tagged with multiple issues since 2009. I first raised the issue of a merge back in 2014. I think the lack of discussion shows a lack of interest in the article. I still believe the merger should go ahead. I would propose keeping the biographical material as it is only brief and the Naming of the Americas article isn't long. What do you think?--Jack Upland (talk) 05:57, 12 September 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
ok, you feel strongly about it, go ahead. Doug Weller talk 17:45, 12 September 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have no objection against a separate article giving a summary/overview over the various naming theories. However having such an article is no reason to turn the biography of Amerike into a redirect, it just means that the biographic article can be significantly shortened.--Kmhkmh (talk) 00:46, 14 September 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Since there's no consensus for a merger, I think the two articles should go back to what they were before.--Jack Upland (talk) 00:12, 16 September 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Biographical material[edit]

This is partly by way of explanation for recent edits. Amerike was an interesting character. There is limited verifiable biographical material on Amerike in print/on-line but rather more in raw form in archives - which under 'original research' rules can't be cited either by way of detail or verification. Sounds lame but true - one example is that Amerike's wife really was called Lucy, although published works don't cite a source. It has proved possible to add a few more referenced 'notable facts and dates' to flesh out Amerike's biography. The unreferenced dates of official appointments which I've recently added by way of correction to previous versions (March 2016) come from (printed) primary sources - but a more accessible source should be available shortly: not, alas, a biography of Amerike. The difficulty of writing on Amerike, as several have noticed, is the the blurring of his biography with arguments for the naming of America; to which should be added as an issue some of the relatively recent theories concerning his role in the Cabot expeditions. Both have raised Amerike's public profile, and may well continue to do so - presumably why the article was written in the first place. But whereas some modern popular writers that explore Amerike have been scrupulous in identifying their reading, other have been less careful, giving no source references at all. In consequence, a number of 'new facts' appear to be unverifiable - and one in particular (the story of the logs for the building of the Matthew) I've deleted. Caracticus Saxon (talk) 22:31, 14 March 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Please take note that I am proposing a merging this article to Naming of the Americas. This will go ahead if there are no objections.--Jack Upland (talk) 05:59, 15 March 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think I'll have to object to this now that User:Caracticus Saxon has started work on biographical material. Doug Weller talk 14:11, 15 March 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We'll see. In any case, the explanation of the naming theory only needs to be brief here.--Jack Upland (talk) 06:12, 16 March 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And an apology to users and adminstrators - I didn't quite understand the 'minor edit' etiquette - obviously some of my interventions were not minor, but resulted in substantial changes. Where I merely reformatted (eg italics and typos) the 'summary' should reveal that. I'm learning, and apologise for any inconvenience so caused.Caracticus Saxon (talk) 14:39, 16 March 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No apologies necessary. I agree that we can have a short version of the naming theory. Doug Weller talk 17:19, 16 March 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Earls of Gwent" : Gwent was a kingdom not an earldom and I have therefore deleted this phrase.Caracticus Saxon (talk) 16:16, 19 March 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

West Camel[edit]

One unreferenced late twentieth century biographical note (cited several times in the article) states that Amerike lived for a while at West Camel, Somerset. Although this claim has spread, it seems dubious. The likely base source is a late sixteenth century genealogy of a genuine 'Merrick' family of West Camel. They claimed descent from one Robert Merick of Taunton, d. c. 1568, son of Robert Merick of Taunton, son of an unknown Merick of Merricks Court, Herefs. There's no mention of Richard, and the first West Camel 'Merrick' connection is at least thirty years after Richard's death. (Source: [1]. The Merrick genealogy is from 1591. I've taken the reference out of the main article, but left the trace here for anyone to find.Caracticus Saxon (talk) 22:12, 23 November 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ F. Weaver, The Visitations of the County of Somerset (1551, 1573, and 1591) (Exeter, 1885)

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