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with his worthy brother Sr. Robert and his lady. God
Your loving father,
THO. BROWNE. Norwich, January 1, [1664-5.]
Forget not French and Latin. No such defence agaynst extreme cold, as a woollen or flannell wascoat next the skinne.
I am in much care and fair for you. I besich God of his marcy bles you; trust in him, for it his marcys only can suport you. Bee as good a husband as you can posable, for you know what great charges wee are now att. Your sisters present their trew loves to you, and Franke prayes for her prity brothar dayly, so dooes your affectionate Mothar
Mis Corbet and the Hothams, and the rest of your frinds present their loves to you.
For Mr. Thomas Browne.1
Mr. Thomas Browne to his Father.
(ms. SLOAN. 1910.] SIR,
I send you the journall which I made of our voyage with Sir Jeremie Smith, the last winter; which proued not so successefull as we hoped, hauing not taken many prizes, met with much foul and tempestuous wether, and at last not without much sicknesse, there dying thirtie in our shippe, and no less than fiftie in the admirall.
THOMAS BROWNE. [No date, but in 1666.]
1 It does not appear how this letter could have been forwarded to him; for if the date is correctly decyphered he must already have been on his voyage.
Thursday, December the 21st, I arriued at Portsmouth, in order to embarck myselfe in Sr. Jeremy Smith's fleet, consisting of 16 sail of frigats, 2 fire shipps, and 4 ketches; the Mary, admirall. Saturday 23rd I spake with Sr. Christopher Minns, who then rid admirall in Portsmouth harbour, in the Fairfax. Sunday 24th, not hauing opportunity to fit my self for the voyage in so short a time, I was forst to expect a convenience in the reere of the fleet. Sr. Jeremy saild this day with 12 frigats, 1 fire ship, and the ketches. Thursday 28th I went on board the Mountague, a third rate ship, and was receiued by the commander of her, Captain Fenn. This day arriued the Jarsy, who brought us news of our admirall, that he had only touchd at Plimouth one night, and had proceeded on his voyage. The remainder of this week and the next being partly spent in expecting provisions for the shipp, but mostly of a fair wind, on Saturday the 6th of January, wee set sail from the Spithed, having that morning taken aboard Sr. Robert Southwell? and his retinew, agent to the King of Portugall: being in company, the Mountague 3d, Newcastle, Portland, and Reeserve, fourth rate ships, with the Brier, a fier ship. We turned out at St. Ellens Point, the Newcastle struck on the Horse, but receiued no damage; about 2 o'clock wee wethered the island, and leauing the bay and castle of Sandford, the 7th, we were off Portland and Torbay; the 8th, Plimouth and the Lizard; the 9th, Huissant,s and entred the Bay of Biscay. The 10th wee spied a sail, and made chase after her; hauing made our shipps, she lay by for us, not knowing of the warr.* The Portland took her; shee was a Frenchman of about a hundred and fifty tonne, loden with sugar and tobacco, from St. Christophers to Haure de Grace, upon the companies account. Tenn gunns she had, where of two they had cast over board in foul weather, which they had much of. All this way from the channell wee had a great foame of a sea from the westward, the signs of a precedent storm that sore shatterd Sr. Jeremyes fleet, as wee afterwards understood.
2 Of Wood Rising, in Norfolk ; Principal Secretary of State for Ireland, and President of the Royal Society. He was employed by Charles II. on several nego
3 L'Ile d'Ouessant, off the north-west coast of France.
4 Louis XIV. joined the Dutch, and declared war against England in the early part of January, 1665-6.
January 10th, the French captain came the same day on board us, the best humor'd and least giuen to the French fantastickness, that I have obserued. His name was La Chapelle, of St. Maloes. The 11th, 12th, and 13th, wee stood on our cours. The 14th wee chast a small Englishman that came from Bideford, laden with fish, and was bound for Lisbone. Hee told us he had met with verry bad wether, and been forst unto the coast of Ireland, there chast by 12 sail of Hollanders. The 15th wee made the Burlings, somthing towards euening, they appeared like two sails under the shore. The 16th wee hald close into the shore, about a league to the northward of the rock of Lisbone. All the shore full of castels and small redowts to the seawards, and up the riuer to Lisbone. About tenn o'clock wee were in Cascales Rode; hence wee had a prospect up to the citty of Lisbone, the castle in the midst of the riuer, and famous monastery of Boelyn, St. Gillens Castle, reported to have 300 pieces of ordinance in it, the woodden castle, and verry many others of meaner force and beuty, on each side of the riuer. Here wee put Sr. Robert abord the small Englishman, as the best conuenience to convay his retinue and baggage to the citty. After the salutes past from each ship to him at his departure, about two o'clock wee stood on our course; that night had sight of Cape Spitchel and Mount Chigo. The 17th Cape St. Vincent, and Cape St. Maryes, Granada hill, and Mount Chigo. The 18th wee spied six saile and chased; they stood with us and made us, then went from us, wee not being able to fetch them. They were Turks men of war, and had spoke with Sr. Jeremy Smith. Four of them, 2 dayes after, set upon a great ship, in sight of Cales, and after a long dispute took her; shee was then supposed to bee a French ship of 36 gunns, coming from Newhauen, worth 100,000 pounds, bound for Cales; they reckoning by her departure and not hearing of her long after. A Barca Longa told us this morning of the Dutch fleets departure from Cales, and the English fleet passing by soon after. Wee saild along the coast with a
small brize of wind. Medina wee had a prospect of, liing on the brow of a hill within the land, St. Peters Island, and Conib, a pritty large town, close to the shore, Cape Trafalagar known by the great quantity of white sand which lies bare on the side of the hill.
Saturday, the 20th, wee were of Cape Sprat, about six in the morning, from whence to the Jews riuer the land is all couered with woods and green shrubs. From the Jews riuer, (which is for the most part drie, unless after rains, which, falling from the mountaines, giues it a streme), is little above two miles to Tanger. Wee came to an anchor in the bay about ten of the clock; here wee had inteligence of Sir Jeremies being at Malaga, haueing staied here a day or two in his way. Tanger, situated to the westward of the bay on the bending of a hill, from whence to the sea side is a verry deep descent. I take it to bee a verry ancient citty, as the old castle and staires to the sea ward, thoug now ruind, do no les testifie. Yet not that Tengis written of in ancient historyes, as namely of Plutarch in the life of Sertorius, who affirmes hee past ouer from Spain into Barbary, tooke Tengis, and finding a tomb reported to bee that of Antæus, broake it open, and found bones of an exceding length: this, if true, must bee understood of that old Tanger now call'd, to the eastward of the bay; a ruinous building, with a broken bridge ouer the riuer, whose ruines do show it to haue been a place far more antique then this. Tanger, now inhabited, is allmost fower square, the best street in it is that which runneth from Port Catherine downe to the Key gate, and is called the market; the rest inconsiderable, narrow, and crooked streets. A towne of little force and lesse proffit, till put into the English hands, now verry much mended as to the former, and in great hopes of raising the latter, if the mould goes forward for a security of marchant shippes lying there, the bay beeinge somthing too open a roade. On the east point of the bay stands two towers, one aboue the other, Hauing left our French prise here, about fiue o'clock wee wayed and stood ouer for Malaga; in the night, spiing a strange ship, wee fired at her: coming under our lee, shee struck against our counter, beat in her side, and did her self some other damage, carried away our ensigne staf, and one of our lanterns. Shee was a Turks man of war. The captaines came aboard of us; in the hurly burly two slaues got aboard of us, but, after long search, one of them was found again and carried aboard.
The 21st, in the morning, wee arriued in Malaga roade, where wee found Sir Jeremy, in great expectation of us, with but eight of his twelve sail, and one of his ketches; the rest hauing lost their masts, were put back again with the foul weather. He had not only been denied product here, but with none of the ciuilist expressions from the governour; a spight they bore him, I thinck, since his namesake, Cap: Eustace Smith, with a squadron of frigats, beat the towne and castle about theyr ears, fired theyr ships in the mould, and threw their guns into the sea, in the last Spanish wars.
The rest of this day, and the 22d, wee stayd in Malaga road. Wee rid farr from the towne, therefore could take but little notice of the strength or bewty of the towne. There is a castle standing on a hill, with two walls running downe to another that stands in the bottom by the sea side. It appears to be a large towne, and well built; the land very high about it. Cape de Mole to the westward of it, the Granada hills, farr up in the land, seen here, couered with snow. The 23d, by one in the morning, wee wayed, and stood ouer for the Barbary coast. The 24th wee had sight of Ceuta point, and stood in for Tetuan bay. It was verry hazy and calme, wee stood of to sea again. That night, 25th, wee hald in for the shore again, and in the afternoon, about one o'clock, made it about four leagues to the westward of Busema, verry high rocky land. Wee stood along the shore till we open'd the bay, being about a bluf point verry remarkable, and an island with in it. Wee sent the ketch in, who, finding it an open road, beginning to blow fresh, stood of to us again. This night wee had a verry great storm at north west, which lasted till five in the morning. Wee past betwen the maine and a small uninhabited island, calld Alboran ; some of our seamen had been formerly upon it; being a mere sandy island, rushes and drye shrubs growing on it, some few rabits breed there; about halfe a mile long, not halfe so broad.