William Monson Naval Tracts  [17th Century?]
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of manuscript copies of Sir William Monson's six books on naval history and theory, which the English naval officer wrote in the first half of the 17th century. The cover of each book is stamped with a decoration and the letters "W M." The volumes contain accounts of English voyages around Europe, contemporary assessments of rival navies and of international trade, and stories of famous voyages, including those of Magellan and Columbus.

A selection of topics includes:

  • Volume 1

    • History of English conflict with Spain, ca. 1585-1602
    • Voyages of Sir Francis Drake
    • Voyages of other English sailors, including lists of ships and their commanders
  • Volume 2

    • History of English conflict with Spain, ca. 1588-1636
    • Timeline of important encounters with Spain
  • Volume 3

    • Structure of and hierarchy within the English admiralty
    • Contemporary naval life, including notes on punishment at sea and officers' duties
    • Notes on current Spanish naval strength
    • How to fight naval battles
    • Trade with the East Indies
  • Volume 4

    • Important historical voyages, including those of Magellan and Columbus
    • Voyages of Sir Francis Drake
    • Exploits of Cortés
    • Geography of Africa, inland seas, and the Northwest Passage
  • Volume 5

    • A plan to prevent the French from landing in England
    • Proposals for how to fight a war against Holland
    • The security of English shores
    • Trade with the East Indies and West Indies, particularly for tobacco
    • "A Project how to Ruyne Spaine"
  • Volume 6

    • Trade with Holland and the West Indies
    • "what is necessarie for a plantacon in, Lewis"
    • Notes on salt, casks, and fishing
    • "A Story of 2 Piratts" [Pirates]
    • "The favours England have done Holland" and assessments of Holland
    • The books of Sir Roger Williams
Show all series level scope and content notes