Captain John Narbrough’s Naval Journal, 1669 – 71

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Narbrough

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A remarkable seafaring story from a century before Cook

In 1669 Captain John Narbrough received a royal commission to command the Sweepstakes on a voyage through the Strait of Magellan to Valdivia in Chile. His journal record of the voyage is one of the most important in the history of English seafaring; the charts that accompany his narrative are among the earliest accurate and detailed English maps of the southernmost parts of South America and the Strait of Magellan, enlivened by illustrations of people and animals, particularly penguins.

This evening of talks, hosted by the Hakluyt Society, explores aspects of his story. The overt objectives of the voyage were to investigate mineral resources and establish trading links with indigenous groups, but a mysterious passenger, Don Carlos, claimed he could raise native forces in rebellion against the Spanish colonists. Nothing came of these objectives and Narbrough returned to England in 1671, leaving Don Carlos and some of his own men held prisoner by the Spaniards. 

Narbrough’s journal was acquired by the British Library in 2009, after its export was stopped and a grant of £200,000 awarded by the National Heritage Memorial Fund. It is now being published by the Hakluyt Society in an edition prepared by Captain Richard Campbell RN. To mark this important event,the evening introduces Narbrough’s achievement and its significance for British naval history, establishing Narbrough as a historical figure in the ranks of Francis Drake and James Cook.

Talks 

Richard Campbell John Narbrough’s voyage of 1669-71 and the survey of the Strait of Magellan

Captain Richard Campbell OBE has carried out hydrographic surveys in a large number of areas around the world. He served for two seasons in the Antarctic and Falkland Islands, visiting Valdivia, passing through the Strait of Magellan and visiting that area on a number of occasions. He is the editor of the Hakluyt Society’s edition of Narbrough’s Journal.

Peter Barber Maps and the Man: Narbrough and his maps

Peter Barber OBE was Head of Maps and Topographical Materials at the British Library from 2001 to 2015.

Joyce Lorimer The mysterious passenger. The Don Carlos imbroglio

Professor Joyce Lorimer is a specialist in early Spanish America and the Series Editor for the Narbrough volume. She has published two volumes with the Hakluyt Society, on English and Irish interest in the Amazon and Guiana in the Tudor and early Stuart period.

Image: A New Mapp of Magellans Straights. Discovered by Capt: John Narbrough (Com̄ander then of his Majesties ship the Sweepstakes) as he sayled through the sade Straights Made and sold by John Thornton, Hydrographer at ye signe of England Scotland & Ireland in ye Minories, & by James Atkinson Mathematical Instrument maker on ye East side of S. Saveris Dock over against the Griffin, and at his shop at Cherry Garden Stairs. London 1673

A New Mapp of Magellans Straights. Discovered by Capt: John Narbrough (Com̄ander then of his Majesties ship the Sweepstakes) as he sayled through the sade Straights. Made and sold by John Thornton, Hydrographer at ye signe of England Scotland & Ireland in ye Minories, & by James Atkinson Mathematical Instrument maker on ye East side of S. Saveris Dock over against the Griffin, and at his shop at Cherry Garden Stairs.

Details

Name: Captain John Narbrough’s Naval Journal, 1669 – 71
Where: Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
London
NW1 2DB
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When: -
Price: Full Price: £10.00
Member: £10.00
Senior 60+: £8.00
Student: £7.00
Registered Unemployed: £7.00
Under 18: £7.00
Friend of the British Library: £10.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546
boxoffice@bl.uk