The Observations of Sir Richard Hawkins, Knt in his Voyage into the South Sea in the Year 1593 Reprinted from the Edition of 1622
WORKS ISSUED BY
The Hakluyt Society.
SIR RICHARD HAWKINS.
SIR RICHARD HAWKINS, KNT
THE SOUTH SEA
IN THE YEAR
REPRINTED FROM THE EDITION OF 1622.
C. R. DRINKWATER BETHUNE,
PRINTED FOR THE HAKLUYT SOCIETY.
RICHARDS, 100, ST. MARTIN’S LANE.
THE HAKLUYT SOCIETY.
Council.SIR RODERICK IMPEY MURCHISON, G.C.St.S., F.R.S., Corr. Mem. Inst. Fr.;Hon. Mem. Imp. Acad. Sc. St. Petersburg, &c. &c., President.
|Vice-Admiral SIR CHARLES MALCOLM,mKt||Vice-Presidents.|
|The Rev. H. H. MILMAN, M.A.|
|CHARLES T. BEKE, ESQ., PHIL. D., F.S.A.|
|CAPTAIN C. R. DRINKWATER BETHUNE, R.N., C.B.|
|MAJOR-GENERAL J. BRIGGS, F.R.S.|
|CAPTAIN F. BULLOCK, R.N.|
|BOLTON CORNEY, ESQ., M.R.S.L.|
|CHARLES DARWIN, ESQ., F.R.S.|
|SIR HENRY ELLIS, K.H., F.R.S.|
|JOHN FORSTER, ESQ.|
|J. E. GRAY, ESQ., F.R.S.|
|W. R. HAMILTON, ESQ., F.R.S.|
|T. HODGKIN, ESQ., M.D.|
|SIR JAMES M’GRIGOR, BARONET, M.D., F.R.S.|
|R. H. MAJOR, ESQ.|
|R. MONCKTON MILNES, ESQ., M.P.|
|SIR J. RICHARDSON, M.D., F.R.S.|
|ANDREW SMITH, ESQ., M.D.|
|SIR GEORGE T. STAUNTON, BARONET, M.P., F.R.S.|
Many of the early voyages to the Spanish possessionsin South America, are open to the charge ofhaving been conducted more upon buccaneeringprinciples, than on those that should guide nationsin their intercourse with each other.
Even Sir Francis Drake, on his return from oneof the most memorable, endured the mortificationof being considered little better than a pirate, andit required all the honors conferred on him byQueen Elizabeth, to set him right in publicopinion.
This is not the proper place to discuss thequestion, whether England was justified in allowingsuch expeditions to leave her shores; it issufficient to state, that our author is not liableto any animadversion, as his voyage was undertakenunder the authority of the Queen’s commission; andviiihis conduct was marked throughout by humanityand benevolence.
We can hardly appreciate too highly the adventurousdaring of these early navigators; butwhile we give due credit to them for attemptingsuch long voyages into almost unknown seas, invessels of small burthen, we must not imagine thatthey were utterly unprovided for the nature of theexpected service: on the contrary, great care seemshave been taken both in selecting proper crews, andin providing them with everything needful.
Sir Richard Hawkins, at page 12, alludes generallyto his own preparations; and we read in the accountsof Sir Francis Drake’s expedition, “that hisvessels were plentifully furnished with all manner ofprovisions and necessaries for so long and dangerousa voyage; and such as served only for ornamentand delight were likewise not forgotten. For thispurpose he took with him very expert musiciansfor several instruments. His furniture of all kindswas rich and sumptuous; all the vessels for histable, and many in the cook-room, being of puresilver, curiously wrought, and many other thingswhereby the magnificence of his native countrymight be displayed.”ix
We find even more detail in the North WestFox, or Fox from the North-west passage, London,1635: a work professing to give an account of allNorthern voyagers, commencing with King Arthur,and ending with Captain Luke Fox. We quotefrom the preface to the latter voyage:—
“The ship of his Majesties, was (of my ownchusing, and the best for condition and quality,especially for this voyage, that the world couldafford), of burthen eighty tonnes, the number ofmen twenty, and two boyes, and by all our careswas sheathed, cordaged, builded, and repaired; allthings being made exactly ready against an appointedtime. My greatest care was to have my men ofgodly conversation, and such as their years, of timenot exceeding thirty-five, had gained good experience,that I might thereby be the better assisted,especially by such as had been upon those frostbitingvoyages, by which they were hardened forindurance, and could not so soone be dismayed atthe sight of the ice. For beardless younkers, Iknew as many as could man the boate was enough;and for all our dependances was upon God alone,for I had neither private ambition or vaine glory.
“And all these things I had contractedly done byxthe master, wardens, and assistants of the TrinityHouse. For a lieutenant I had no use; but itgrieved me much that I could not get one man thathad been on the same voyage before, by whosecounsaile or discourse I might better have shunnedthe ice. I was victualled compleatly for eighteenemonths; but whether the baker, brewer, butcher,and other, were master of their arts, or professorsor no, I know not; but this I am sure of, I hadexcellent fat beefe, strong beere, good wheatenbread, good Iceland ling, butter and cheese of thebest, admirable sacke and aqua-vitæ, pease, oatmeale,wheat-meale, oyle, spice, sugar, fruit, andrice; with chyrugerie, as sirrups, julips, condits,trechisses, antidotes, balsoms, gummes, unguents,implaisters, oyles, potions, suppositors, and purgingpills; and if I wanted instruments, my chyrugionhad enough. My carpenter was fitted from thethickest bolt to the pumpe nayle, or tacket. Thegunner, from the sacor to the pistol. The boatswaine,from the cable to the sayle twine. Thesteward and cooke, from the caldron to the spoone.
“And for books, if I wanted any I was to blame,being bountifully furnisht from the treasurer withmoney to provide me, especially for those of studyxithere would be no leisure, nor was there, for Ifound work enough.”
Besides this abundant preparation of all thingsneedful for the body, rules for good discipline werenot wanting, which we also transcribe, consideringthey have some relation to the matter in hand.
“May 7, anno 1631.—The voyage of CaptaineLuke Fox, in his Majesties pinnace the Charles,burthen seventy tonnes, twenty men, and twoboyes, victuals for eighteen months, young SirJohn Wolstenholme being treasurer.
“Orders and articles for civill government, to beduly observed amongst us in this voyage.
“Forasmuch as the good successe and prosperityof every action doth consist in the due service andglorifying of God, knowing that not only our beingand preservation, but the prosperity of all ouractions and enterprizes doe immediately dependupon His Almighty goodness and mercy; of whichthis being none of the least, eyther of nature orquality. For the better governing and managingof this present voyage, in his Majesties ship theCharles, bound for the North-west Passage, towardsthe South Sea, May 7, 1631, as followeth:—
“1. That all the whole company, as well officersxiias others, shall duly repaire every day twice, at thecall of the bell, to heare publike prayers to be read(such as are authorized by the Church), and that ina godly and devout manner, as good Christiansought.
“2. That no man shall swear by the name ofGod, nor use any prophane oath, or blaspheme hisholy name, upon pain of severe punishment.
“3. That no man shall speak any vile or unbeseemingword, against the honour of his Majestie,our dread soveraigne, his lawes or ordinances, orthe religion established and authorized by him herein England, but as good subjects shall duly prayfor him.
“4. That no man shall speake any doubtfull ordespairing words against the good successe of thevoyage, or make any doubt thereof, eyther in publiqueor private, at his messe, or to his watch-mate,or shall make any question of the skill and knowledgeeyther of superiour or inferior officer, or ofthe undertakings; nor shall offer to combine againstthe authority thereof, upon the paine of severepunishment, as well to him that shall first heare andconceale the same, as to the first beginner.
“5. That no man do offer to filch or steale anyxiiiof the goods of the ship or company, or doe offerto breake into hould, there to take his pleasure ofsuch provisions as are layd in generall for the wholecompany of the ship; nor that any officer appointedfor the charge and oversight thereof, doe other wayesthan shall be appointed him, but shall every manbee carefull for the necessary preservation of thevictuall and fuell conteyned in the hould; and thatalso every officer be so carefull of his store, as heemust not be found (upon examination) to deservepunishment.
“6. That no man doe grumble at his allowanceof victuall, or steale any from others, nor shall givecross language, eyther to superior or equal, in revilingwords or daring speeches, which do tendto the inflaming of blood or inraging of choller;remembering this also, that a stroke or a blow isthe breach of his Majesties peace, and may not wanthis punishment therefore, as for other reasons.
“7. That at the boatswaine’s call, all the wholecompany shall appeare above decke, or else that hismate fetch up presently all such sloathfull persons,eyther with rope or cudgell, as in such cases deservesthe same. The quarter-masters shall look into thesteeridge, while the captains, masters, and mates areat dinner, or at supper.xiv
“8. That all men duely observe the watch, aswell at anchor as under sayle, and at the dischargethereof, the boatswaine or his mate shall call up theother; all praising God together, with psalme andprayer. And so committing our selves, both soulesand bodies, ship and goods, to God’s mercifull preservation,wee beseech him to steere, direct, andguide us, from the beginning to the end of ourvoyage: which hee make prosperous unto us.Amen.”
Sir Richard Hawkins followed the profession ofa seaman from an early age. Brought up in stirringtimes, under the eye of his father, one of themost experienced naval commanders of his time,he appears to have inherited a knowledge of soundprinciples of discipline, and to have become imbuedwith that indomitable courage, tempered with prudence,essential to the character of a good seaofficer. In 1588, Captain Hawkins commanded theSwallow, a Queen’s ship of three hundred and sixtytons, and assisted in her at the destruction of theSpanish armada. He appears at that period tohave attained a certain consideration, as he wasemployed as Queen’s Commissioner, to settle someprize claims. He next undertook the voyage thexvhistory of which is recounted in the following pages.After his return from his detention in the SouthSeas, we find him, in 1620, in the Vanguard, ofsix hundred and sixty tons, vice-admirall of SirRobert Mansel’s expedition against the Algerines.He died suddenly shortly afterwards.
Admiral Burney, in his History of Voyages andDiscoveries in the South Seas, alluding to this work,says, “it might with propriety have been entitled abook of good counsel; many of his observationsbeing unconnected with the voyage he is relating,but his digressions are ingenious and entertaining,and they frequently contain useful or curious information”:and Mr. Barrow, in his Memoirs of theNaval Worthies of Queen Elizabeth, thinks thatthe “Observations must take their station in thevery first rank of our old sea voyages.”
Similar considerations led the council of theHakluyt Society to select it, though not exactly arare work,