SHELVOCKE, George (1690-1728)
A Voyage round the World By the Way of the Great South Sea. Perform'd in the Years 1719, 20, 21, 22, in the Speedwell of London, of 24 Guns and 100 Men, (under His Majesty's Commission to cruize on the Spaniards in the late War with the Spanish Crown) till she was cast away on the Island of Juan Fernandes, in May 1720; and afterward continu'd in the Recovery, the Jesus Maria and Sacra Familia, &c
London: printed for J. Senex ... W. & J. Innys ... J. Osborn and T. Longman, 1726. Octavo. (7 1/2 x 4 3/4 inches). ,xxxii,,468pp. Engraved title vignette by Pine, 1 folding engraved double-hemisphere world map and 4 engraved plates (2 folding) by Pine. Folding map linen-backed and with extraneous creases.
Contemporary panelled calf, rebacked
First edition of "the fullest account of California, the natives and other features, of any of the old voyages" (Cowan).
"Captains Shelvocke and Clipperton led a privately financed privateering expedition to attack Spanish shipping. Shelvocke gave his superior officer the slip in a storm and proceeded to Brazil and thence to the west coast of South America, where in two months he sacked Payta, Peru, and captured several small prizes. His vessel, the Speedwell, was wrecked at Juan Fernandez Island, but a ship was built out of the wreckage, and he sailed up the coast to Baja California. After crossing the Pacific via Guam and Macao, Shelvocke returned to England, where he was accused of piracy and embezzlement, and then acquitted. He soon left for the Continent a wealthy man. Shelvocke wrote this account, in part, as a vindication of his conduct. In it he mentions the gold of California and the guano of Peru, more than a hundred years before their rediscovery in the 19th century. An incident in the narrative describing the passage around Cape Horn, in which a sailor kills an albatross, is said to have inspired Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner "(Hill).
Cowan II, pp. 581-582; Hill 272-273; Howes S383; Sabin 80158.