In 1609 Robert Thornton's schooner returned from the Indies , bringing with him some rare and wonderful
samples. They weren't exactly the findings that were originally requested by Grand Duke Ferdinando I. By
the shipment of this former British privateer, he hoped to take part in the looting of the new World's wealth.
Thornton was meant to approach the Orinoco Indians and "pull out from them where the emeralds are, as well as
goods such as drug and else". Robert Dudley, salesman and geographer at the Medici's service, was certain that
sailing up the Orinoco River it would have been possible to end up finding "countless gold mines, countless
stones... and feathers of valuable birds". The expedition, however, was not successful. In order to avoid
empty-handed, Robert Thornton embarked "six indians... several parrots and some monkeys".