THE PRINCIPAL
Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques
and
Discoveries
of the
ENGLISH NATION

Collected by
RICHARD HAKLUYT, Preacher

and

Edited by
EDMUND GOLDSMID, f.r.h.s.

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Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 19:47.

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Table of Contents

Goldsmid's Preface

  1. Northern Europe
  2. North-Eastern Europe and Adjacent Countries: Tartary
  3. North-Eastern Europe and Adjacent Countries: The Muscovy Company and the North-Eastern Passage, Section I
  4. North-Eastern Europe and Adjacent Countries: The Muscovy Company and the North-Eastern Passage, Section II
  5. Central and Southern Europe
  6. Madeira and the Canaries: Ancient Asia, Africa, &c.
  7. England's Naval Exploits Against Spain
  8. Asia, Part I
  9. Asia, Part II
  10. Asia, Part III
  11. Africa
  12. America, Part I
  13. America, Part II
  14. America, Part III [not available]
  15. America, Part IV; West Indies;
    Voyages of Circumnavigation, Part I
    [not available]
  16. Voyages of Circumnavigation, Part II;
    Miscellaneous;
    Index
    [not available]

Transcriber’s Notes

The printed edition from which this e-text has been produced retains the spelling and abreviations of Hakluyt’s 16th-century original. In this version, the spelling has been retained, but the following manuscript abbreviations have been silently expanded:

— vowels with macrons = vowel + ‘n’ or ‘m’
— q; = — que (in the Latin)
— y[e] = the;
— y[t] = that;
— w[t] = with

This edition contains footnotes and two types of sidenotes. Most footnotes were added by the editor [Goldsmid]. They follow modern (19th-century) spelling conventions. Those that don’t are Hakluyt’s (and are not always systematically marked as such by the editor). The sidenotes are Hakluyt’s own. Summarizing sidenotes are labelled [ ] and placed before the sentence to which they apply. Sidenotes that are keyed with a symbol are labeled [Marginal note: ] and placed at the point of the symbol, except in poetry, where they are moved to the nearest convenient break in the text.

EDITORS PREFACE

“This elaborate and excellent Collection, which redounds as much to the glory of the English Nation as any book that ever was published, has already had sufficient complaints made in its behalf against our suffering it to become so scarce and obscure, by neglecting to _republish_ it in a fair impression, with proper illustrations and especially an _Index_. But there may still be room left for a favourable construction of such neglect, and the hope that nothing but the casual scarcity of a work so long since out of print may have prevented its falling into those able hands that might, by such an edition, have rewarded the eminent _Examples_ preserved therein, the _Collector_ thereof and _themselves_ according to their deserts.”

Thus wrote Oldys (The British Librarian, No III, March, 1737, page 137), nearly 150. years ago, and what has been done to remove this, reproach? The work has become so rare that even a reckless expenditure of money cannot procure a copy1

It has indeed long been felt that a handy edition of the celebrated “Collection of the Early Voyages, Travels and Discoveries of the English Nation,” published by Richard Hakluyt 1598, 1599, 1600, was one of the greatest desiderata of all interested in History, Travel, or Adventure. The labour and cost involved have however hitherto deterred publishers from attempting to meet the want except in the case of the very limited reprint of 1809–12.2 As regards the labour involved, the following brief summary of the contents of the Second Edition will give the reader some idea of its extent. I refer those who desire a complete analysis to Oldys.

Volume I. (1598) deals with Voyages to the North and North East, and contains _One hundred and nine_ separate narratives, from Arthur’s Expedition to Norway in 517 to the celebrated Expedition to Cadiz, in the reign of good Queen Bess. Amongst the chief voyages may be mentioned: Edgar’s voyage round Britain in 973; an account of the Knights of Jerusalem; Cabot’s voyages; Chancellor’s voyages to Russia; Elizabeth’s Embassies, to Russia, Persia, &c.; the Destruction of the Armada; &c., &c.

Volume II. (1599) treats of Voyages to the South and South East, beginning with that of the Empress Helena to Jerusalem in 337. The chief narratives are those of Edward the Confessor’s Embassy to Constantinople; The History of the English Guard in that City; Richard Coeur de Lion’s travels; Anthony Beck’s voyage to Tartary in 1330; The English in Algiers and Tunis (1400); Solyman’s Conquest of Rhodes; Foxe’s narrative of his captivity; Voyages to India, China, Guinea, the Canaries; the account of the Levant Company; and the travels of Raleigh, Frobisher, Grenville, &c. It contains _One hundred and sixty-five_ separate pieces.

Volume III. (1600) has _Two hundred and forty-three different narratives_, commencing with the fabulous Discovery of the West Indies in 1170, by Madoc, Prince of Wales. It contains the voyages of Columbus; of Cabot and his Sons; of Davis, Smith, Frobisher, Drake, Hawkins; the Discoveries of Newfoundland, Virginia, Florida, the Antilles, &c.; Raleigh’s voyages to Guiana; Drake’s great Voyage; travels in South America, China, Japan, and all countries in the West; an account of the Empire of El Dorado, &c.

The three volumes of the Second Edition therefore together contain _Five hundred and seventeen_ separate narratives. When to this we add those narratives included in the First Edition, but omitted in the Second, all the voyages printed by Hakluyt or at his suggestion, such as “Divers Voyages touching the Discoverie of America,” “The Conquest of Terra Florida,” “The Historie of the West Indies,” &c., &c., and many of the publications of the Hakluyt Society, some idea may be formed of the magnitude of the undertaking. I trust the notes and illustrations I have appended may prove useful to students and ordinary readers; I can assure any who may be disposed to cavil at their brevity that many a _line_ has cost me hours of research. In conclusion, a short account of the previous editions of Hakluyt’s Voyages may be found useful.

The _First_ Edition (London: G. Bishop and R. Newberie) 1589, was in one volume folio. It contains, besides the Dedication to Sir Francis Walsingham (see page 3), a preface (see page 9), tables and index, 825 pages of matter. The map referred to in the preface was one which Hakluyt substituted for the one engraved by Molyneux, which was not ready in time and which was used for the Second Edition.

The _Second_ Edition (London, G. Bishop, R. Newberie, and R, Barker), 1598, 1599, 1600, folio, 3 vols. in 2, is the basis of our present edition. The celebrated voyage to Cadiz (pages 607–19 of first volume) is wanting in many copies. It was suppressed by order of Elizabeth, on the disgrace of the Earl of Essex. The first volume sometimes bears the date of 1598. Prefixed is an Epistle Dedicatorie, a preface, complimentary verses, &c. (twelve leaves). It contains 619 pages. Volume II. has eight leaves of prefatory matter, 312 pages for _Part I_., and 204 pages for _Part II_. For Volume III. there are also eight leaves for title, dedication, &c., and 868 pages.

The Third Edition (London, printed by G. Woodfall), 1809–12, royal 410, 5 vols., is an excellent reprint of the two early editions. It is very scarce, a poor copy fetching £17 to £18. Since this edition, there has been no reprint of the Collection.

I have taken upon myself to alter the order of the different voyages. I have grouped together those voyages which relate to the same parts of the globe, instead of adopting the somewhat haphazard arrangement of the original edition. This, and the indices I have added to each volume, will, I hope, greatly assist the student. The maps, with the exception of the facsimile ones, are modern; on them I have traced the presumed course of the journey or journeys they refer to. The illustrations I have taken from a variety of sources, which are always indicated.

EDMUND GOLDSMID.

EDINBURGH, August 23rd, 1884.

1Mr. Quantch, the eminent Bibliopole, is now asking £42 for a copy of the 1598–1600 edition.

2Of this edition 250 copies were printed on royal paper, and 75 copies on imperial paper.

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