The island was first seen by the Dutch explorer Willem Barentsz in 1596. In 1610, the English explorer Jonas Poole named it Black Point Isle. By 1612 the English whalers were referring to the island as Prince Charles' Foreland, after King James's son, Charles. The Dutch called it Kijn Island, after a merchant, who, climbing a tall hill in 1612, fell and broke his neck. The English built a temporary whaling station on the island's northern tip, known to the English as Fair Foreland.