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James II in pursuit of a pirate at Malta

D. F. Allen


AMONGST the British Library's many manuscripts which describe Britain's long involvement with Malta and the Mediterranean, Add. MS. 19306 is interesting for several reasons. 'Wood's Journal' is evidence of how the Royal Navy's Mediterranean squadron supported and protected from piracy that English trade to the Levant which had been growing in volume under Charles II and James II. It also contains a description of the Maltese islands and their distinctive institutions under the Knights Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem, at the very moment when James II was negotiating secretly in Rome to restore the Order of Malta in the British Isles. In particular, Wood's depiction at Malta ' of some of the Wonderfull Miracles which at this day is said to bee upon that Island' and his prominent mention of the Inquisition in Malta set apart his own survey of Malta in 1687 from other seventeenth-century reports of the island.

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