1599 London Hakluyt Principal Navigations English Voyages Raleigh Drake Armada

1599 London Hakluyt Principal Navigations English Voyages Raleigh Drake Armada

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1599 London Hakluyt Principal Navigations English Voyages Raleigh Drake Armada:




“The great prose epic of the Elizabethan period.” - Boies Penrose

Hakluyt, Richard. The Principal Navigations, Voiages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation.

London: George Bishop, Ralph Newberie and Robert Barker, 1599.

Two volumes (of three) bound in one. Folio (250mm x 150mm); pp. [24], 606, [16], 312, 202. Gothic and Roman type; numerous woodcut initials of various sizes including four large twelve-line initials, several with contemporary hand-colouring in pale yellow and vermillion. Woodcut headpieces and tailpieces.Lacking Vol. I title page, and Vol. II, Part 2, p. 203 (ie. lacking two leaves in total, otherwise complete). With the Cadiz leaves cancelled. Without the world map (as usual). Very occasional slight stains; two marginal tears with loss of a couple of words each, with old repairs; two closed tears entering text without loss; a few other marginal tears not affecting text. Vol. II, Part 2, p. 155 with a substantial annotation in ink dated 1635.Contemporary English calf rebacked in brown morocco, the covers mounted on later boards. Covers with gilt centerpieces of interlaced strap work, and two concentric frames in triple fillets; rubbed and worn. Internally a clean and crisp copy overall.

THE GREATLY EXPANDED SECOND EDITION. The Principal Navigations is arguably the greatest English collection of travels and voyages. An anthology of narratives and documents taken from primary sources, it is divided into three volumes according to voyage destination: the North and Northeast, the South and Southeast, and the New World.The first edition was published in one volume in 1589, before being greatly expanded and reconstructed into an entirely new and superior work, published 1598-1600. There were two issues of volume one, one dated 1598, the other 1599. Following the Earl of Essex’s fall from favour in 1599 due to his disastrous military campaign in Ireland, references to his victory at Cadiz in 1596 were censored from contemporary publications, including The Principal Navigations. Volume one was reissued with a cancel title page dated 1599 (and without the reference to the Cadiz expedition) and with the Cadiz leaves (p. 607-620) removed: “copies with a 1599 title, therefore, properly should have those leaves cancelled” (Pfozheimer p. 436). Volume one of the present copy is in the second issue.

“This enormous work - it contains one million seven hundred thousand words - is the most complete collection of voyages and discoveries, by land as well as by sea, and of the nautical achievements of the Elizabethans. Richard Hakluyt, while still a student at Westminster School, was inspired with an interest in geography by his cousin, who was advisor to the Muscovy Company. After studying at Christ Church, Oxford, where among much else he learned four languages, Hakluyt became the first lecturer on modern geography. He was later appointed chaplain to the Paris embassy, and, after the publication of his book, chaplain of the Savoy and Canon of Westminster. Although Hakluyt himself never travelled farther than France he inspired some of the great overseas explorations of his time and was one of the leading spirits in the Elizabethan maritime expansion. He met many of the great navigators - Drake, Raleigh, Gilbert, Frobisher and others - corresponded with Ortelius and Mercator and collected all the material on voyages he could find. A first he mainly instigated the translation of such accounts into English, but by 1589 he had collected enough material himself to publish the first edition of his famous book, which ran to 825 pages. He continued to assemble material, so that by 1600 he was able to fill the three folio volumes of the definitive edition of the Principle Navigations: called by Froude “the prose epic of the modern English nation”. The arrangement is both chronological and regional, with personal reports by explorers and navigators, merchants and diplomats, the reproduction of documents, sailing directions, etc. Book I covers the voyages to North and North-east, Book II South and South-east, and Book III America. Hakluyt was a vigorous propagandist and empire-builder; his purpose was to further British maritime enterprise and to intensify British expansion overseas. He saw Britain’s greatest opportunity in the colonization of America and his first literary production had been the editing of a translation of Cartier’s voyage to Canada by Florio. In 1579 he recommended the capture of the Magellan Strait from Spain. He pleaded for a voyage to find the North-West Passage, in the existence of which he believed, and for the expansion of English interests in India. In 1599 he became a consultant to the East India Company, whose income is said to have been increased by £20,000 from information in Hakluyt’s book, and in 1606 he became a patentee of the Virginia Company” (Printing and the Mind of Man, p. 63).

“This was indeed Hakluyt’s monumental masterpiece, and the great prose epic of the Elizabethan period... The book must always remain a great work of history, and a great sourcebook of geography, while the accounts themselves constitute a body of narrative literature which is of the highest value in understanding the spirit and the tendencies of the Tudor age” (Boies Penrose, p. 318).

“It contained some account of the voyages of the Cabots, and narratives of Sir Hugh Willoughby’s voyage to the Near East in search of Cathay, Sir John Hawkin’s voyages of 1570-2 and his circumnavigation, Sir Humphrey Gilbert’s last voyage in which he perished, Martin Frobisher’s search for the North-West passage, John Davy’s Arctic voyages, and the voyages of Raleigh, James Lancaster, and others. He thus brought to light the hitherto obscure achievements of English navigators...” (Drabble, p. 443).

Volume 1, “Voyages made to the North and Northeast quarters”, consists of 39 separate voyage accounts, dating from AD 517 to 1596, and includes an account of the Spanish Armada (no. 38).Volume II part 1, “Voyages made by and within the Streight of Gibraltar, to the South and Southeast quarters of the world”, consists of 64 accounts, dating from AD 337 to 1593.Volume II part 2, “English Voyages made without the Straight of Gibraltar to the South and Southeast quarters of the world”, consists of 30 accounts, dating from 1344 to 1594, including Sir Walter Raleigh’s expedition to the Azores (no. 17), and Sir Francis Drake’s expedition to Cadiz (no. 18).

Vol. II, Part 2, p. 155 (misnumbered 143) contains annotations elaborating on the family of a “M. Meruin”, named in the text as a member of the Earl of Cumberland’s expedition to the Azores in 1589. The Earl of Cumberland commanded numerous voyages following the Anglo-Spanish War, and was renowned for his naval battles against the Spanish fleet and mercantile shipping in the Caribbean. The account of this voyage given in Vol. II, written by Edward Wright, details the day to day course of an expedition to the Azores. “M. Meruin” is described in the annotations as “the second husband of the honourable Lady Susan Reynolds.... daughter ... of Sir Walter Hungerford” and mother of “Lady Jane Hungerford wife of Sir Anthony Hungerford of Down Ampney”. This must be Susan Reynolds (1564 - ?), second daughter of Sir Walter Hungerford (1532 - 1596), of Farleigh, Somerset (see: Dictionary of National Biography, Walter Hungerford). Susan Reynolds married three times; her second marriage was to John Moring: this must be the “M. Meruin” named by Hakluyt as a member of the 1589 Azores expedition.

Also mentioned in the annotation is Susan Reynold’s aunt, Jane Dormer, former lady-in-waiting to Mary I and wife of the Duke of Feria of Spain. The annotations can be dated to 1635 as Lady Reynolds is described as “now living 1635”. This copy of Hakluyt must therefore have been in the possession of a relative or acquaintance of Lady Reynolds at this date.The Hungerford family history was a colourful one: Susan Reynold’s grandfather was beheaded at The Tower in 1540, and her mother was put on trial for murder:

“In 1540 he, together with his chaplain, a Wiltshire clergyman, named William Bird, who was suspected of sympathising with the pilgrims of grace of the north of England, was attainted by act of parliament (Parliament Roll, 31 & 32 Henry VIII, m. 42). Hungerford was charged with employing Bird in his house as chaplain, knowing him to be a traitor; with ordering another chaplain, Hugh Wood, and one Dr. Maudlin to practise conjuring to determine the king's length of life, and his chances of victory over the northern rebels; and finally with committing unnatural offences. He was beheaded on Tower Hill on 28 July 1540, along with his patron Cromwell. Hungerford is stated before his execution to have ‘seemed so unquiet that many judged him rather in a frenzy than otherwise’” (DNB).And Susan Reynold’s mother, Anne Dormer, was accused of attempting to poison Susan’s father, Walter Hungerford:“Serious domestic quarrels troubled his career. About 1554 he married his first wife, Ann Basset, maid of honour to Queen Mary, and about 1558 his second wife, Anne, daughter of Sir William Dormer, of Ascot, by whom he had four children, a son, Edmund (d. 1587), and three daughters. In 1570 he charged his second wife with attempts to poison him in 1564, and with committing adultery between 1560 and 1568 with William Darrell of Littlecote. Lady Hungerford was acquitted, and Hungerford, refusing to pay the heavy costs, was committed to the Fleet” (DNB).

ESTC S106753. Pforzheimer No. 443. Printing and the Mind of Man No. 105

John Carter and Percy H. Muir (eds.). Printing and the Mind of Man. Munich, 1983.

Drabble, Margaret (ed.). Oxford Companion to English Literature. Oxford, 2000

Boies Penrose. Travel and Discovery in the Renaissance, 1420-1620. Harvard, 1967.

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