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Valuable sources on navigation in the East Indies and the Persian Gulf, edited by Dalrymple

[Dalrymple, Alexander (ed.)]. Pinnel, Richard. Journal of the Jane […] from Banjar to Timor and back again to Banjar, now first published from a ms. at the East-India House.

London, 1781.

Folio (277 x 424 mm). (4), 84 pp. (Bound with) II: Mr. Payne and Hugh Levelis. A voyage in the Flying-Eagle from Bantam to Baber and other islands to the eastward of Timor 1672. Now first published from the original mss. at the East-India House. London, 1781. (4), 91, (1) pp. (And) III: Porter, John. Remarks on the Bloachee, Brodia and Arabian coasts, by lieutenant John Porter in the Dolphin brigg. London, 1781. (4), 16 pp. Near-contemporary half tanned sheepskin.

First editions of three detailed logs of voyages in the East, published by the Scottish geographer Alexander Dalrymple (1737-1808), Captain James Cook's leading rival.

I: Journal of a ship bound from Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan (Borneo), through the Bali Strait, for Timor in 1706, "a long troublesome and unfortunate voyage". Gives details not only about the course and the weather, but also the sightings of land, meetings with other ships, and life on board, including remarks on their provisions, the death of crew members, the regular drunkenness of Captain Mayor, etc. Dalrymple notes that this is the only journal he has seen of an EIC ship that has been at Timor.

II: Two journals of a 1672 voyage intended to recover a share in the spice trade, from Bantam (Java) to several islands east of Timor, most importantly the island of Babar. The first journal includes accounts of encounters with natives during a search for nutmeg. The English were at this time at war with the Dutch, who are described in unflattering terms throughout; the writer concludes "that it is far better to commit ourselves to the mercy of a Turk in Europe, than a Dutchman in India". The writer of the second journal does not appear to share the same rancour, giving a more objective description of the same voyage.

III: Very rare first edition of a description of the coasts of Arabia and Persia, in particular the coast of Balochistan ("Bloachee") and including an account of Muscat: "The coasts here described are so little known, [...] and we have scarcely any account of them since the time of Alexander the Great". A second edition was published in 1787.

With library stamps of the Royal Danish Navy library ("Marinens Bibliotek") on title page and boards. Faint dampstain to the left lower margin of the title page, stains to the foot and head of the title page and the last leaf, a small hole in the gutter of the last leaf of II, and some occasional spots. A good copy with generous margins.


ESTC T77007, T77006 & T77010 (3 copies). JCB MH 432 (III only). Cf. Howgego I, D4. A. S. Cook, "Dalrymple, Alexander (1737-1808)", in: ODNB online (2008).