The Hawkins' Voyages

The Hawkins' Voyages, during the reigns of Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth, and James I

edited, with an introduction, by Clements R. Markham

It was a time when much of the world was still shrouded in myth and mystery. A time when merchants invested their wealth, and explorers their lives, in the hunt for new markets, new trade routes, new alliances.

This collection of journals and reports follows the voyages of four different members of the Hawkins family between 1530 and 1613, giving eye-witness accounts of the dangers from sea and tempest, from hostile natives and brutal monarchs; and of the wonders of strange beasts and plants, and even stranger customs.

"The Observations of Sir Richard Hawkins, in his Voyage into the South Sea" are of particular interest, giving, as they do, a great wealth of information about English naval practices, with advice on matters ranging from naval tactics, to dealing with outbreaks of scurvy, to his method for stopping seamen swearing.

The final section of the book is devoted to Captain William Hawkins' account of his time in India at the court of the Great Mogol which vividly illustrates the difficulties faced by ambassadors of that period in dealing with cultures so different from their own.

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