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Logbook of a Ship of Sir Francis Drake’s Last Voyage

The manuscript Cod.angl. 2 is one of the most important English language manuscripts of the Bavarian State Library. It contains writings and letters on English seafaring from the 16th and 17th centuries. It was acquired as part of the library founded by Petrus Victorius (Pietro Vettori, 1499-1585) by Elector Karl Theodor probably in 1779. During the Napoleonic Wars it was brought to Paris by French troops and became part of the Bibliothèque nationale, from where it was restituted following the Congress of Vienna. At the beginning of the manuscript there is a logbook of Sir Francis Drake's last journey. The English navigator Sir Francis Drake (c. 1540-1596) undertook voyages to Guinea and the West Indies as a privateer and was the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe. After his appointment as vice admiral in 1588 he fought against the Spanish Armada. The logbook of a ship which took part in his last expedition to the West Indies (West Indies) covers the period from August 28, 1595 to May 10, 1596 and records the ship's course, special events and the distance travelled day by day. The stresses and strains of the voyage are clearly visible on the sheets. Drake, who had led the expedition together with John Hawkins on behalf of Queen Elizabeth I, died on the Ruhr four weeks after the failed attempt to conquer Panama – Hawkins had already died on November, 11th. On sheet 13v above the death of Sir Francis Drake is noted (January 28, 1596). Thus the enterprise with originally 27 ships had failed. The fleet remained in the Caribbean Sea for several weeks. After a battle with a small Spanish convoy of ships it disbanded and the ships returned to England one by one. In the digital presentation, the logbook entries, which are difficult to decipher, are accompanied by a transcription (only accessible via the IIIF viewer link), which builds on the transcription of Georg Martin Thomas (German), but diplomatically follows the manuscript. If you move the mouse into one of the frames, the text of the respective framed section becomes visible line by line. The IIIF standard (International Image Interoperability Framework) enables an unprecedented free exchange of digitised cultural heritage between different institutions. Users can, for example, display manuscripts digitally provided by different institutions in one user interface.

View startpage of the annotated logbook