The 5 of December 1586 we departed from Grauesend in the Tiger of London, wherein was Master vnder God for the voyage Robert Rickman, and the 21. day at night we came to the Isle of Wight: departing from thence in the morning following we had a faire winde, so that on the 27 day wee came in sight of the rocke of Lisbone, and so sayling along we came in sight of the South Cape, the 29 of the same, and on the morrowe with a Westerly winde we entered the straights: and the second of Ianuary being as high as Cape de Gate, we departed from our fleete towards Argier. And the 4 day we arriued at the port of Argier aforesaid, where we staied till the first of March. Tunis. At which time we set saile towardes a place called Tunis, to the Eastward of Argier 100 leagues, where we arriued the 8 of the same. This Tunis is a small citie vp 12 miles from the sea, and at the port or rode where shipping doe ride, is a castle or fort called Goletta, sometimes in the handes of the Christians, but now of the Turkes; at which place we remained till the third of Aprill: at which time wee set saile towardes Alexandria, and hauing sometime faire windes, sometime contrary, we passed on the 12 day betweene Sicilia and Malta (where neere adioyning hath beene the fort and holde of the knights of the Rhodes) and so the 19 day we fell with the Isle of Candy, and from thence to Alexandria, where we arriued the 27 of April, and there continued till the 5 of October.
The description of Alexandria. The said citie of Alexandria is an old thing decayed or ruinated, hauing bene a faire and great citie neere two miles in length, being all vauted vnderneath for prouision of fresh water, which water commeth thither but once euery yeere, out of one of the foure riuers of paradise (as it is termed) called Nilus, which in September floweth neere eighteene foote vpright higher then his accustomed manner, and so the banke being cut, as it were a sluce, about thirty miles from Alexandria, at a towne called Rossetto, it doth so come to the saide Citie, with such aboundance, that barkes of twelue tunne doe come vpon the said water, which water doth fill all the vaults, cesternes, and wels in the said Citie, with very good water, and doth so continue good, till the next yeere following: for they haue there very litle raine or none at all, yet have they exceeding great dewes. Also they haue very good corne, and very plentifull; all the Countrey is very hot, especially in the moneths of August, September, and October. Also within the saide Citie there is a pillar of Marble, called by the Turkes, King Pharaoes needle, and it is foure square, euery square is twelue foote, and it is in height 90 foote. Also there is without the wals of the said Citie, about twentie score paces, another marble pillar, being round, called Pompey his pillar: this pillar standeth vpon a great square stone, euery square is fifteene foote, and the same stone is fifteene foote high, and the compasse of the pillar is 37 foote, and the height of it is 101 feete, which is a wonder to thinke how euer it was possible to set the said pillar vpon the said square stone. The port of the said Citie is strongly fortified with two strong Castles, and one other Castle within the citie, being all very well planted with munition: Cayro. and there is to the Eastward of this Citie, about three dayes iourney the citie of Grand Cayro, otherwise called Memphis: it hath in it by report of the registers bookes which we did see, to the number of 2400 Churches, and is wonderfully populous, and is one dayes iourney about the wals, which was iourneyed by one of our Mariners for triall thereof. Also neere to the saide citie there is a place called the Pyramides, being as I may well terme it, one of the nine wonders of the world: that is, seuen seuerall places of flint and marble stone, foure square, the wals thereof are seuen yards thicke in those places that we did see: the squarenes is in length about twentie score euery square, being built as it were a pointed diamond, broad at the foote, and small or narrow at the toppe: the heigth of them, to our judgement, doth surmount twise the heighth of Paules steeple: within the said Pyramides, no man doth know what there is, for that they haue no entrance but in the one of them, there is a hole where the wall is broken, and so we went in there, hauing torch light with vs, for that it hath no light to it, and within the same, is as it were a great hall, in the which there is a costly tombe, which tombe they say, was made for kinq Pharao in his life time, but he was not buried there, being drowned in the red sea: also there are certaine vauts or dungeons, which goe downe verie deepe vnder those Pyramides with faire staires, but no man dare venter to goe downe into them, by reason that they can cary no light with them, for the dampe of the earth doth put out the light: the red sea is but three dayes iourney from this place, and Ierusalem about seuen dayes iourney from thence: but to returne to Cayro. There is a Castle wherein is the house that Pharaoes wiues were kept in, and in the Pallace or Court thereof stande 55 marble pillars, in such order, as our Exchange standeth in London: the said pillars are in beigth 60 foote: and in compasse 14 foote: also in the said Citie is the castle were Joseph was in prison, where to this day they put in rich men, when the king would haue any summe of money of them: there are seuen gates to the sayd prison, and it goeth neere fiftie yardes downe right: also, the water that serueth this castle, commeth out of the foresaide riuer of Nilus, vpon a wall made with arches, fiue miles long, and it is twelue foote thicke. Also there are in old Cayro two Monasteries, the one called S. Georges, the other S. Maries: and in the Courts where the Churches be, was the house of king Pharao. In this Citie is great store of marchandize, especially pepper, and nutmegs, which come thither by land, out of the East India: and it is very plentifull of all maner of victuals, especially of bread, rootes, and hearbes: to the Eastwards of Cayro, there is a Well, fiue miles off called Matria, and as they say, when the Virgin Marie fled from Bethleem, and came into Ægypt, and being there, had neither water, nor any other thing to sustaine them, by the prouidence of God, an Angell came from heauen, and strake the ground with his wings, where presently issued out a fountaine of water: and the wall did open where the Israelites did hide themselues, which fountains or well is walled foure square till this day. Carthage. Also we were at an old Citie, all ruinated and destroyed, called in olde time, the great Citie of Carthage where Hannibal and Queene Dido dwelt: this Citie was but narrow, but was very long: for there was, and is yet to bee seene, one streete three mile long, to which Citie fresh water was brought vpon arches (as afore) aboue 25 miles, of which arches some are standing to this day. Argier. Also we were at diuers other places on the coast, as we came from Cayro, but of other antiquities we saw but few. The towne of Argier which was our first and last part, within the streights standeth vpon the side of an hill, close vpon the sea shore: it is very strong both by sea and land, and it is very well victualed with all manner of fruites bread and fish good store, and very cheape. It is inhabited with Turkes, Moores, and Iewes, and so are Alexandria and Cayro. In this towne are a great number of Christian captiues, whereof there are of Englishmen onely fifteene, from which port we set sayle towardes England, the seuenth of Ianuarie, Anno 1587, and the 30 day of the sayd moneth, we arriued at Dartmouth on the coast of England.
Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:55