Bibliography Texts

Manuscript Comparison:
Sloane, Pepys & Morgan Manuscripts

William Ambrosia Cowley

The Galápagos sections of four of seven Cowley manuscripts are reproduced here, with minor spelling and punctuation changes made for the sake of readability.

Cowley's choice of a reference location for calculating longitude appears to be inconsistent, as described in a footnote at the end of this comparison.—JW.

Sloane 1050 & 54, Pepys 2826

Morgan Ms. 3310



We lay at Lobos above 48 hours, and knowing that we had more than 100 prisoners on board [and] not knowing where to get water, nor where to find a place of making a magazine for flower, but that we should be hunted out and have our flower destroyed,

Now we sought for a place where to secure those provisions and to lie dormant 5 or 6 months, to make them think

that we were sailed out of the South Sea.

we sailed away to the westward to see if we could find those islands called the Galipoloes, which made the Spaniards laugh at us, telling us they were enchanted islands and that there was never any but one Capt. Perialto [Peralto?] that had ever seen them, but [he] could not come near them to anchor at them, and that they were but shadows and no real islands.

So we sailed to the westward under the Equinoctial line to try whether we could find those islands which the Spaniards call the Enchanted Islands.

We steered away N. W. till we came under the line. Then we directed our course W. & W. by south, we having the winds at S. S. E.

Which after three weeks sail to the westward, we saw land—many islands which I, being the first that anchored there, gave them those names the which in due time I shall insert more plainly.

About the beginning of this month, we saw an Island on our Starboard side, [sic, Larboard (port) side] making high land and low land, being a very likely island to have water upon, being well replenished with wood, but by reason of the strong Current that runneth there, we could not fetch it. That Island I named King Charles the Second's Island. By my judgement it lyeth in the latitude of 1°30' South latitude, longitude 277°50' [87°23'].

June   The first island that we saw lay near the latitude of 1°30' South. We, having the wind at South & we being on the North side thereof, that we could not get to it to discover what was upon it. This island maketh high land, lying in the longitude of 278°[87°] or there about. This [island] I named King Charles the Second's Island.

Standing still to the Westward, I saw Several Islands, but [at] that which I liked best I came to anchor under in a good bay, having seven fathoms water, there being upon this Island to the South [sic, North] end a good harbour for many Ships to ride.

We seeing many more to the westward, we made to them & we got in and came to an anchor under one which had a very good harbour, the which I called Albany Bay. It [sic, There] lyes within [it] a little island which I called Albany Island. The harbour is near the north end of the great island, under the line.



I believe his Majesty's Navy might ride there in safety.

We sent the boat ashore, but found no water there, but we found land turtle very great, and sea turtle very good and large and great plenty, and a sort of fowls called ffleemingoes with goanoes which our men brought aboard.

Here we found great plenty of good provisions (viz.) fish, sea tortoise & land tortoise, the latter of which many of them did weigh 200 pound weight each of them at least, & was excellent

good food. Here are likewise great store of fowls (viz.) flemingos & turtle doves.

[A chart on the adjacent un-numbered verso page is labeled “The Islands of Gallappagos: — discover'd by Capt Cowley A:1684”]

The small birds being not in the least possessed with fear, they lighted on our mens heads and arms, and they took them off which at first seemed strange to me, but I did the same myself after that.

The turtle doves were so tame at our first coming that they would often pitch upon us, not fearing man [so] that we could take them alive upon our heads and arms, until such time as our people did fire at them, which afterwards made them somewhat fearful of us.

This Island I named the Duke of York's Island, but now by the Grace of God King James the Second's Island. The Island lyeth from the Latitude of one degree South to the Lyne Equinoctial.

This great Island I named the Duke of York's Island.

The Island on the East Side of the Island stretches away W.N.W. & at the Westmost end is a goodly Sandy Bay about the Point, where there lyeth a fine high Island very Green which maketh a good Harbour where there is water & good Turtel Sea & land Turtell & good fowles in aboundance. From that point the Land Stretcheth away S. West and further of King James's Island [but] hath not been discovered by Reason that there Ran so strong a Currant between the Kings Island & the Duke of Albemarles Island, they stretching away all one Course, differing not much in Latitude or longitude, not more then 20 minutes, the Duke's Island Stretching more to the Northward & further to the Southward than that part of the Island that I fell withall. But I cannot say how far his Majesty's Island stretcheth away to the South East, by reason that most of these islands having had sulpherous matter that hath sett them on fire, they have been burned formerly, & Some parts of them Blowne up. The Land & Rocks on Some of them are lying in so much Confusion that there is no Travelling on them. The Land that has been burned seemed like to Cinders, but very heavy which made me think they were mixt with some metal, for the mother of metals is here in great plenty upon this Island, which they say is Brimstone.

The first sentence may be interpreted as: “When the Island is viewed from its east side, it stretches away W. N. W., and …”
The phrase in italics is omitted in Pepys Ms. 2826.


June 1684

Wee were sailing along the Duke of Albemarle's Island. The sun shining made us think one hill had been covered with gold. When we came to see it, it was fine brimstone, as fine as flower.

The Duke of Norfolk's Island lying to the eastward of the King's Island, lying from the latitude of 0°35' South to the latitude of 0°5' North, & longitude 277°42' [87°31']. I sent a ship to discover it, which sailed almost round it. On the north side there is a good road. The Island, being about 40 miles in length, lying to the eastward of King James's Island 10 Leagues.

There lying to the eastward of that, [is] a round island which I called the Duke of Norfolk's Island, it lying in or about the longitude of the westermost of that island which I called King Charles.

King James the 2ds Island lieth the northermost and under the Line, & the Southermost end [is at] about one degree. The Island maketh like the point of a Fort. The land stretcheth from the eastermost point W. N. W. 12 leagues. The other part of the land stretcheth away to the southward. The northermost part of it lyeth in the longitude of 277°12' [88°1'], & latitude 0°. There being upon this Island land turtle almost 200 pounds weight apiece. I sat upon the back of one of them when they came aboard, to try his strength. He would have carried me had I been much heavier. The flesh of them, to many of our judgements, exceeded the sea turtle, although the sea turtle there is as good as ever I eat in any part of the world where they have been accounted most rare.

From King James's Island, we sailed to another Island [Albemarle] lying to the westward of the King's Island, stretching away to the northward, N. W. & by W, to the latitude of 0°15' North. The land being very high up in the country. By the waterside making as you come in from the eastward, like to a long ridge or plain hill. The eastmost side of it being an iron shore where there is no coming to an anchor.



It looketh into the southward of King James's Island. I sailed to the north end thereof, where by chance I let go an anchor in good ground, we being then five ships in company, three of them almost loaden with provisions as flower, sweet meat and sugar, we looking [for] a place to put those provisions on shore, against a time of scarcity. This end being the worst part of the island, yet it affords provisions in abundance, as fish, turtle, alguanas and fowles in abundance.


This island I gave the name of the Duke of Albemarle's Island, there belonging to it a stately harbour lying on the west side thereof. We sailed along the west side of the island, towards the southward. This island lyeth from the latitude of one degree thirty minutes South to the latitude of fifteen minutes north by judgement, for we could not get to the South end thereof for the strong current, but having seen it at a distance.

There being in number fifteen islands that I have seen, I have named eight of them, as

King Charles the Second's Island, lying in the latitude of 1°30' (S.), and longitude 278°50' [86°23'].

To the westward of the Duke of York's Island—alias King James's Island—lyeth a fair island which I called the Duke of Albemarle's Island, in which is a very commodious bay or harbour, very great, and in it you may ride landlocked. And on the same [island] is also great plenty of provisions. But on the Duke of York's Island is a mineral ore of great value, called Sinabar, and there is such vast quantities of the same, that you may load a ship of 500 tons with the said mineral ore.

Then we sailed to the northward, after that we


had laid up our magazine of provisions at the Duke of York's Island, where we saw three islands more, …

The body of King James's Island lying in the latitude of 0°30' south, and longitude 277°12' [88°1'].
The Duke of Norfolk's Island lying in the latitude of 0°20' south, and longitude South, 277°42' [87°31'].
The Duke of Albemarle's Island lying in the latitude of 0°52' south, and longitude 277°16' [87°57'].

The Lord Norris's Island lying in the latitude of 0°40' north and longitude 277°52' [86°21'].

… one of which I called the Lord Norris's Island, being the eastermost.

Lord Wainman's Island, lying in the latitude of 1°15', longitude 277°33' [87°40'].
There being two islands more, as the Lord Culpepper's Island,

Then, sailing between two islands more, I called the westermost of these the Lord Culpeper's Island, and the eastermost the Lord Wainmans's.


There are four more isles. One I called Sir John Narbrough's, another Sir Anthony Dean's, another Crosman's and the other Brattle's Island. And there lyes a small island between York and Albemarle Islands which appeared in very different forms at several points of the compass,

and Cowley's Island.

Cowley's longitudes place James slightly west of Albemarle, which obviously contradicts his own description and chart. Perhaps James should be corrected from 277°12' to 277°21.'

the which I called Cowley's Enchanted Island. All which islands that we were at were very plentyfully stored with the foresaid provisions, viz. tortoise, fowles, fish, alguanaes large and good. But we could find no fresh water at any of those islands, save the Duke of York's Island.


June 1684

We sailed to the N. West end of the Duke of Albemarle's Island, where we put on shore fifteen hundred bags of flower. We carrying [carried] our Captain on shore, he having been 3 weeks sick. We sought for water, but could find none. We were forced to go to the main to water, thinking to touch at the Coconut [Coco] Island if we could find it, it lying in the latitude of 5°0' & longitude 279°1' [86°12']. It being layed down false in their [i.e., the Spaniards'] drafts, it bearing from the Galipoloes N. N. E., & being by the Spaniards layed down [at] 272°16' [92°57'] of longitude. It being layed down so false we could not find it, it being layed down 6°45' of longitude further to the westward that it lyeth.

I being in the latitude of 5° N., & judging that the island [is] to the westward of me about 60 leagues, it was [actually] as much to the eastward of me. The same day the wind came up westwardly, which bloweth from that latitude to the northward. This being the month of July, from that time to the month of January, and from July to January [sic, January to July(?)] eastwardly. But under the land or 10 leagues off the land, you shall have the wind every night off the land from July to January, with great tranadoes [tornados] with thunder, rain & lightening very hurtfull, we having had our foresail scorched upon this coast with lightening. We not finding this island, we stood away for the main.

July   After that, we had sailed amongst these islands to discover them, and we came to the Duke of York's Island where we laid up 1500 bags of flower and sweet meats more in our magazine. We sailed to the northward to see to get some beef

and other necessaries. Here sets a prodigious current to the eastward amongst these islands, but we steered away N. N. E., and

I sailed away north, coming in with the land called Cape Trespontes.

the first land that we made was Cape Tres Pontus, where we arrived in the bay and came to an anchor, sending our boat ashore for to fetch some water & upon the eastermost shore they found great plenty of very good water, with which we water'd our ship.


July 1684

We buried our Captain, called John Cooke, and went to water our ship, which we did in 2 days. Sending some of our men on shore to fetch some beef, who had like to have paid for it. For whilst we were watering our ship, there came 3 Indians down to the water side, which were taken prisoners & examined very strictly concerning the town of Realejo. They gave them an account of much riches there, which they did intend to sail for the next day.

The first day we buried our Commander, Capt. John Cook. The second day there came down 3 Spanish Indians, taking us for Spaniards, which our men brought on board, examining them; what were the people of Realejo, & of what number & force.

We had at that time about 20 men on shore, which our men would seek with those Indians. The Indian prisoners were carried on shore with ropes about their necks, for fear of getting away from them & make their intent known at Realejo. When they went on shore to seek the 20 men, their boat was burnt & the Indians had got those men under the side of a rock, which they held as their garrision, they having many Indians about them but not laying very close seige to them, which forced them to abide till they were relieved by our men. But, in relieving of them, one of the Indians ran away, he being delivered to a Spaniard born upon the Canary [Islands], who had served Capt. Eaton 7 years. He having him in a rope, he slipt the rope from about his neck, I judge with his master's consent, & got into the woods [so] that we could not take him.

But our long boat, being gone ashore for to get beef, while they were hunting a party of Spanish Indians came down & burnt the said long boat, driving the boat's crew upon a rock, the which they kept for their castle till we came with 20 men to rescue them. [We were] carrying those 3 Indians with ropes about their necks along with us, & after we had rescued our men, being nigh the water side, one of those Indians slipt his neck out of the noose of the rope & got clear from us & ran to the town of Realejo & gave the people notice of our coming, which made them remove all their riches out of the twon, & armed themselves at all the places.


July 1684

This month we set sail for Realejo, having calm weather in the daytime & towards evening we should have great tranadoes [tornados] & the land breeze between Port Trespontes and Realejo. We chosed a captain, one who had been a quarter-master for the company, his name was Edward Davis. Capt. Eaton & he agreed to go on shore with 100 men & that I should lie without with the 3 ships & not appear in sight of land till they had taken the town, which they thought to accomplish in 24 hours. After I had landed them, they took a lookout, which satisfied them that their design was discovered by the Indian which they had let go 2 days before. There being likewise another lookout on the other side of the river, which saw the surpise call of his friend, rode away with all speed to alarm the town, which had carried away all their money before, & being ready to defend their town, they thought it not wise to fight without profit. They were very glad when they saw me appear with the ship. They came mighty calm aboard, scarse having to give me any account of their enterprise.

We turned our prisoners all away & set sail for Realejo.

But coming thither & landing about 100 men, we took their lookouts who told us that the Indian had been there & had alarmed the country, which made our men return on board again, discontented for being descried.

We made sail that night for the Gulf of St. Michael. Coming near the place, they sent 2 boats on shore to take an island, for to get provisions. The island was inhabited by Indians. It was called Cone, where we having the chief of the place aboard, we lay there till the middle of August. And our ship having good beef & veal & fowls, which we paid the Indians for, taking nothing from them but what was taken the 1st day, which was not much; only some porvisions. Yet some rude fellows rifled their church, they being Christians, but the value was not 40 pieces of eight.


August 1684

At the taking of this island 7 the other 2 adjacent islands, the Indians not knowing the use of guns, began to lay hold on our guns, which made them shoot about 5 at [at about 5 of] them. They, seeing the effect, ran like deer away, only 20 of them were taken prisoners who,when brought aboard, told [asked?] them where they should find the Father [priest]. Which when they undersood, they went & fetched him. Then they agreed that the Indians should go all together, having only one to wait upon the father, and [they] should help us to water & wood & bring us provision for our pay, which they faithfully performed so long as we stayed there.

About the middle of the month, Capt. Davis did his endeavor to get Capt Eaton's men away, which made Capt. Eaton make as much haste away as he could, by reason that many of his men were gone aboard of Davis's ship. I being something glad to see them take in Eaton's men, thought it would be now my fortune to be rid of my slavery, I having brought that ship & the other, which they burned, from Virginia into these seas without the assistance of a mate. I went privately to Eaton, asking him if he would defend me if I came aboard of him. He answered me, we have been both commanders together before now, & very well acquainted. Therefore, I will defend you as long as I have powder & shot. But [he] desired me to do my endeavor to get the doctor of his ship with me, which had left him, which at present put a stop to many of Eaton's men coming on board of Davis.

We sailed into the Gulf of San Miguel, where we took two islands. One was inhabited by Indians & the other was well stocked with cattle, but we got no gold nor silver worth speaking of.

They, understanding that I was got aboard of Eaton's ship, were very angry, swearing they would have me dead or alive, & demanded me of Capt. Eaton, who answered them that they had taken away his men, & he would not deliver me so long as he had powder or shot, which made them plead that they would not have entertained their master if he would have left his ship.


August 1684

But after they saw there was no good to be done by threats, they began to flatter me, promising me equal share with the Capt. & all the money in the ship for my security, but all could not tempt me. They returned on board again & Capt. Eaton weighed from thence, so that I got neither my journals which I had kept from Virginia, nor more than my quadrant, which I had conveyed aboard of Capt. Eaton under pretence of giving it to one of their men, when we came without the Gulf into the Sea, we had the wind at West. We made our course south 22 degrees East, till we came in the latitude of 5 degrees North latitude, where contrary to our expectations we saw land under our lee bow, which proved to be the Island of Coconuts [Coco], the land making indifferent high.

We made to this island, where we brought our ship too, lying by till we had sent our boat on shore for coconuts, we being there for the space of 3 hours on the eastermost side thereof, where is anchor ground & a good large bay about 11 fathoms water. The island lieth in manner [of a] triangle, with a round rising mountain at the northermost end. There is some small rocks about half a mile from the land, where the sea hath a passage through. Our boat came on board, laden with good coconuts, which were every welcome to us. This island is not inhabited, but the Spaniards sometimes come for coconuts to carry to Panama, as I have heard; not that I saw any there. There is very good water running off from the mountains into the sea, that a man may water with much ease. The island maketh at a small distance like a triangle fort.

The following reference to the Peak of Tenerife is apparently an error, since all longitudes—including this one—appear to be reckoned eastward from the Lizard. Thus Cowley's 279°1' from Tenerife would place Isla del Coco at 96°34' W. from Greenwich. If reckoned from the Lizard it is 86°12' W. from Greenwich, which is acceptably close to its actual position of 87° W.

We having made an end at Coconut Island, it lying in the latitude of 5 degees North latitude, and longitude 279°1', reckoning from the Pick of Tennereefe, where most longitude is reckoned from. We stood to the southward, the further we came, the wind hauled us the more to the southward, so that we fetched but Cape Francisco,

Here we staid some time & careened our ships & here Capt. Cook's ship & Capt. Eaton's broke consortship, and when the two ships were fitted, I left Capt. Cook's ship & went on board of Capt. Eaton, by whom I was made Master & Pilot.


August 1684

lying in the latitude of 1° North, where we cruised about a week, where we espied a sail coming before the wind from the Southward, being bound for Panama as we judged, which made us to hand our topsails & hail our courses close up, that they should come near us before the descried us.

September 1684

The ship which we saw soon descried us & clapped upon a wind. We, making all the sail we could after him, but we sailed into 7 fathoms water so near the shore that we thought it not convenient to sail any further, it being dark & we not well acquainted, so that we lost that ship. The next day, we came up with Capt. Davis, which hailed us & told us that he had a letter from the General of Guatemala. He swearing that he wrote very friendly & excellent good language, but the worst of it was that he could not understand the Spanish tongue that it was wrote in. Capt. Eaton, fearing his men mutinying again there. Being of them desirous to go on board of the other ship, by reason she was more stately & had much better accomodations than Capt Eaton's had,

August; the 14th We set sail from the Gulf of San Miguel, steering for Cape San Francisco, where we chased a ship which got from us.

he was minded to go to the Southward to see what he could get, & turned up to Pyta [Paita], lying in the latitude of 4°30' South, and longitude 293° , where we came to anchor. They seeing or us coming in, fitted their beacons. There we took 2 ships at anchor with some slaves aboard, but nothing in the ships. We proferred to ransom for a small matter of sugar, but they would ransom nothing, nor would give us any encouragement. So we sunk one & burned the other. We sailed from thence to Lobos, lying in 7 degrees South latitude, where we took a parcel of bread in a bark. There our men were minded to leave Capt. Eaton. Then he resolved to go home by the East Indias, to see if he could make any voyage on the Tartary Coast.

Then we sailed up to 7 degrees S. latitude & finding that all the country was alarmed, we sailed into Paita Bay, which lies in about 5 degrees S. latitude, where we took two ships at an anchor, but the Spaniards would not ransom them – – – – nor give us anything for them, which [so] enraged our Capt. that he commanded our men to sink or burn them, which being done we took our farewell of that coast …

NOTE: Cowley's account of his second visit to Galápagos is omitted from this ms.—JW.


October 1684

We took our departure from the Island of Lobos lying in the latitude of 7° South & longitude 294°, being bound to the islands of the Galipolos, lying from the latitude of 1°30' south. The eastermost of these islands being named King Charles the Second's Island, which was an island that we could not fetch, lying about 1°30' south, & longitude 278°50', thinking at that, or at King James the Second's Island, to take in water for our voyage to the East Indies, by the way of the West. These islands, lying many of them under the Equinoctial line, being distant from Cape de Passao 760 miles. But they steered too much northerly, that they could not fetch them, by reason of the great current.

The 24th of October we saw one of the Northermost of them, called Lord Norris's Island, lying in the latitude of 0°40' (N.) [for] the body thereof, and longitude 277°52' [87°23']. We, with 7 of our men, went to discover this island, to see if we could get any water or turtle there. We came with the boat to the island, but found it so steep that we could not get upon it. We sailed along the east side of it, thinking to get a place there, but it growing towards night, and seeing our ship a great way from the land, we stood away to the northermost part of the island to meet her. But it growing dark and she being so far that we could not see her light, we lay still under the land tull morning. But it fell calm all night [so] that the strong current [which] had driven the ship out of sight, now when it came to be day that we could see about us, and could not see the ship, we thought she might have had a gale to come to an anchor under the southest end of the island. We strived to get up, having the wind at east. But when we shoved off with our boat, we should have as much as we could do to get in with the land by night, by reason of the strength of the current. This [we en]dured about 3 days without any victuals, and very little water. But when we got up, we found not the ship, but we sent one of our men upon shore to see if he could see the ship,



or get water or victuals. He took up a hawk, but could get no water, nor see the ship.

The land had been burnt formerly, and the rocks were split in pieces by some sulphurous matter that had taken fire, having been like unto Strumbelo [Stromboli]. We saw land to the westward of us, which we thought we coud tetch, for we had no compass in our boat. So we determined to get some fish and sail to that land, it being about 13 leagues off. The wind coming up to the southward, and the current setting strongle to the northward, we were fearful we should not get [to] this island. We provided for the victualling [of] our boat by getting old nailes out of the boat and making fish hooks of them, which [we] baited with the fowl we took, and catched fish in abundance. But now we wanted water to drink, there being so small a quantity of it as we were forced to suck it through a quill to quench our thirst. The weather being extreme hot, and the sun not abot 15 degrees from us, we would have given a pint of blood out of our bodies for a pint of water.

October 28. We arrived at the north end of the Duke of Albemarle's Island, where we found great store of turtle and great plenty of fowls but could find no water, so that we were in as bad a pass as before. We took in some turtle and some flower which we had formerly left there, and strived to get up to King James's Island, thinking the ship would come there, but we having had 2 oars in out boat, and the current running so strong, we could not get to windward, but striving to turn to windware, we overset our boat and spoiled all our provisions. But, right our boat again, we were forced to bare away from that place to the place from whence we came, by reason there was green leaves of a thick substance which we chewed in our mouths to quench our thirst. At leangth, we killed turtle and drank the blood, but it would not quench our thirst as water would do. There were abundance of fowls in this island which could not live without water, though we could not find it. Hawks would come and light upon our arms and heads, one of which I took off of one of our men's heads and fastened him with a string, and gave him meat. He eating very freely with us,



I let him loose. He would fly from place to place, and come to us again. He stayed with us as long as we stayed in that part of the island. We killed a large turtle which could not weigh less than between 3 and 4 hundred pound weight. The rest of our men being gone some way from us, to see for water or to see for a ship, but they could find neither. I, being along, dressing of the turtle and having made a great fire to roast him near the sea side, and having within my self some serious thoughts, thinking with my self that I had not long to live without water, and seeing that freat fire I had made, and thinking if I were burning within that fire, how terrible it would be. And, thinking of my loose life I had lived, how dreadful the fire of hell would be, should I at last go thither, which would be aggravated with the fearful sight of those deformed fiends that wer there. Whilst I had those melancholy thoughts in my mind, I espied a freat hollow place in the earth, within one yard of the fire over against where I stood. There came out of the mouth of this cave a large sea dog, or bear as they may be termed, much like a bear. Roaring like a bear against me, I was for the present surprised with the sudden sight and noise of him. I having a long pole in my hand, I began to lay on with violence upon the supposed devil, which made him run away as fast as he could, and I after him till I had chased him into the sea.

This island has very many of these fish, which are enemies to mankind. We being all of us together one day, trying to get our boat into a cover, one of these fishes seeing of us, he being upon a rock, sprung off from it into the water, coming toward us with all his force and fury. One of our men, having the boat's tiller in his hand, struck him such a blow on his head that he died, otherwise he had seized some of us. We having stayed long enough here, were resolved to try our fortunes to try some other island that would afford us some water. We left earthen jars there, upon which we wrote with a coal that we were gone to the Island of Plate, which was almost 500 miles from thence, setting a flag by the jars.



Setting a flag upon a pot, thinking that if our ship should happen to come by that side of the island, they should see the flag and come on shore and read on the earthen pot what was become of us. Having finished this, we went into our boat to another part of the island where were great plenty of a fruit, sour in taste, called prickle pears, which made us unwilling to leave the island, they refreshing us somewhat, and withall hoping our ship would come there. Here also was planty of turtle and fowls. The eleventh day after we had been left by the ship, being at supper, one of our men espied a sail. We all resolved to board her, were she friend or foe. But she coming nearer to the land, we saw it was our ship, which made us glad. We made a flash of fire with powder, and making a fire as hastily as we could, they seeing that, began to hallo, and fired their great ordnances in token of joy. They sending their boat on shore to know how we all did, but the sea ran so high by the shore that they durst not come on land. But we would not wait, but put off our boat and got on board about 11 of the clock at night, with joy.

We set sail to the other part of the island, striving to get up to the southward, to islands where we could find water. But the wind being at south and the current setting so strong that we could not get to the southward by reason of the wind and stream. But in the latitude of one degree south on the west side of the islands, we came to an anchor in a stately sound or harbor, where we lay land-locked. The harbor being so great that 500 sail of ships may ride there. We having brought our ship to anchor, went on shore to see if we could get any fresh water, but the turtle lay so thick upon the shore for a mile, that we could not put our boat's nose ashore without striking them, they being not fearful of us there. We turned about 30 of them and sent on board. We finding no water, went half a bow's shot from the sea, and fell a digging a well. But when we came to get water it was salt. The land being hollow, the sea water runneth through. This island we called the Duke of Albemarle's Island. The southermost end of this island lyeth in the latitude of one degree and 30 minutes according to the best of my judgement, so far as I could see of it. For we could not get up to the south end of it by reason of the wind and current.


November 1684

We finding that we could not get up to King James's Island to water, we were resolved to go to the island of Gorgona, which Capt. Sharpe called after his own name.

We took our departure from the north end of the Duke of Albemarle's Island, lying in the latitude of 0°15' north and longitude 277°16', to the Gorgonia, lying in the latitude of 3° north and longitude 295°15', where we arrived in the middle of December.

… & sailed to the Island of Gorgona in the latitude of 3°15' North, where we continued fitting our ship & taking in wood & water till the 19th day of December, at which time we took our departure from thence, designing to sail home by the way of the East Indies, as appears in page 167.


Footnote: Cowley's Choice of Reference Point for Longitudes
(This section is preliminary, incomplete, and needs some corrections)

At the beginning of the Abstract section of Morgan Ms. 3310, and likewise on the first page of Cowley's Voyage Round the Globe, Cape Charles, Virginia is stated to be at 305° longitude, although Moll's maps show it at 300°. In either case, the position appears to have been reckoned Eastward from the Pike of Tenerife, whose modern notation is 16°15' West longitude. Therefore, 300° is equivalent to the modern 76°15' W. (360° + 16°15' - 300°). Since Cape Charles is actually at 76°1' W., it would appear that Cowley did indeed use Tenerife as his zero reference, a point supported by an August 1684 entry (Sloane Ms. 1050, p. 21) referring to the longitude of Isla Coco:

“ … reckoning from the Pick of Tennereefe, where most longitude is reckoned from.” (emphasis added)

The various ms. texts give no other longitudes until the Galápagos Islands are reached, so it is not possible to check another location. However, Morgan Ms. 3310 shows a sketch facing p. 250 of St. Nicholas Island (Sao Nicolau in the Cape Verde group) and a longitude of 2°2' is written under the island. This information is unreliable though, since it rules out both Tenerife and the Lizard, and there is no other location near enough to be considered as a reference point.

In Sloane Ms. 1050, Cowley frequently entered the longitude during the voyage from Gorgona westward across the Pacific, as summarized here:

Ms.PageDateLocationLongitudeReference Point
1050281684: 22 DecemberGorgona295°15'  78°19' W. Tenerife: stated
Guam170°00'144°45' E.
33101731685: 29 January(Pacific)295°00'  81°15' W.Tenerife: stated
1050461685: 14 MarchGuam (arv.) 150°22'144°45'
1050531685: 2 AprilGuam (dep.)170°00'144°45'
1050701685: 7 DecemberNatura (Natuna) I.127°39'108°00'
1050751686: March 23Java124°00'106°00'
105075Cape of Good Hope  38°00'  18°30'

When Cowley arrived later at Guam (Sloane Ms. 1050, p. 46) he states that he was

“ … in the latitude of 13°3' … and … in the longitude of 150°22'.”

Since Guam's actual longitude of 144°45' E. is 149°58' E. from the Lizard, it appears that Cowley used that location as his reference for Guam.

Still later (Sloane Ms. 1050, p. 93), Cowley describes the final stage of the voyage,

“Taking our departure from [the Cape of Good Hope] lying in the latitude of 34°20' and longitude 38°11', being bound for [Texel] lying in [the latitude of] 53°20' and longitude 20°56'.”

Charts in Morgan Ms. 3310 indicate these longitudes were reckoned from Ascension Island (14°22').

From these observations it appears that Cowley measured his longitudes from whatever reference point was most convenient at the time.

The Reference Point for Galápagos Longitudes. Since Cowley begins by locating Cape Charles with respect to Tenerife, one might have expected him to use the same reference point for Galápagos, especially considering his remark that Tenerife is “… where most longitude is reckoned from.” Yet the Galápagos maps of Moll and Bowen both specify longitudes from the Lizard, and the longitudes cited in the text agree with those on the maps. One might therefore speculate that Cowley preferred the Lizard, but used Tenerife for his Cape Charles citation simply because this conformed with the world maps of his day, on which the Cape was a well-known landmark. Therefore, his remark may be taken as little more than an observation of the prevailing custom, and not as a statement of his own preference.—JW.