APRIL: NOTABLE DATES & BOOKS
The month of April is famous in world history for the sinking of the Titanic, and even more famous in the Antipodes for Anzac Day, April 25. However, so much has been written about these two events that I shan't add my mite.
April also has other notable dates In history, and the Royal Geographical Society of South Australia holds some remarkable books which relate to them, so let's look at a couple of them instead.
APRIL 4: KNIGHTING OF SIR FRANCIS DRAKE
On April 4, 1581 Francis Drake was knighted by Queen Elizabeth I for completing his circumnavigation of the world. (He had got back to England in September of the previous year. I always imagine him using part of his rather ill-gotten gains to buy something splendid to wear at Court!)
The picture is from Wikipedia: Portrait miniature by Nicholas Hilliard, 1581, reverse of "Drake Jewel", inscribed Aetatis suae 42, An(n)o D(omi)ni 1581 ("42 years of his age, 1581 AD")
There are many references to Drake in the RGSSA's accounts of early voyages. These are some of our rarer books:
Drake, Francis, Sir, -1637, and Fletcher, Francis, active 16th century
The world encompassed by Sir Francis Drake. Offered now at last to publique view, both for the honour of the actor, but especially for the stirring up of heroicke spirits, to benefit their countrey, and eternized their names by like noble attempts / Collected out of the notes of Master Francis Fletcher preacher in this imployment, and compared with divers other notes that went in the same voyage. Printed at London for Nicholas Bourne, 1652
This compilation recounting Sir Francis Drake's circumnavigation of the world is the work of his nephew, also a Sir Francis Drake. The first edition was published in 1628.
The RGSSA is lucky enough to hold 2 editions of Richard Hakluyt's Principal navigations. This important work of 16th-century scholarship chronicles the great English journeys of discovery and in particular is a prime source of contemporary information about the 16th-century English voyages.
|First Contents Page for Part 3|
Hakluyt, Richard, 1552?-1616.
The principall navigations, voiages and discoveries of the English nation, made by sea or over land, : to the most remote and farthest distant quarters of the earth at any time within the compasse of these 1500 yeeres: divided into three severall parts, according to the positions of the regions whevunto they were directed ... Whereunto is added the last most renowmed English navigation, round about the whole globe of the earth / By Richard Hakluyt. Imprinted at London by George Bishop and Ralph Newberie, Deputies to Christopher Barker, 1589.
The picture below shows the end paper and flyleaf of this 1589 edition. This copy is not included in the catalogue of the York Gate Library, so it is one of the many volumes William Silver acquired after the catalogue was published in 1886. It bears 2 bookplates. One is the small rectangular bookplate of William Silver's York Gate Library. The other is the bookplate of Reginald Cholmondeley, Condover Hall. It is presumably his signature, opposite. This owner would have preceded Silver, though we do not know when.
Our other early edition of the Principal navigations was published a few years later:
Hakluyt, Richard, 1552?-1616.
The principal nauigations, voyages, traffiques and discoueries of the English nation : made by sea or ouerland, to the remote and farthest distant quarters of the earth, at any time within the compasse of these 1600 yeres, diuided into three seuerall volumes, according to the positions of the regions, whereunto they were directed / by Richard Hakluyt .... Imprinted at London by George Bishop, Ralph Newberie, and Robert Barker, anno 1599-1600.
Richard Hakluyt, whose name is commemorated in that of the Hakluyt Society, was an Elizabethan scholar and historian. His histories of worldwide navigation and exploration together with supporting documents were the most significant and influential compilations of the period.
|Second contents page for Part 3|
Hakluyt's great work covers Sir Francis Drake as well as a host of other explorers. They include, in Part 1: Laurence Aldersey, Robert Baker, John Eldred, John Evesham, George Fenner, Robert Gaynsh, Zacheus Hellier, William Huddie, Anthonie Ingram, John Newberie & Ralph Fitche, Thomas Steevens (Stephens), William Towerson, Edward Wilkinson, Thomas Windam; in Part 2: Thomas Alcocke, George Wrenne & Richard Cheiny, Thomas Banister & Geoffrey Ducket, Christopher Burrough, Steven Burrough, William Burrough, Richard Chanceler, Arthur Edwards, John Sparke, Laurence Chapman, Christopher Fawcet & Richard Pingle, Jerom Horsey, Anthony Jenkinson, Richard Johnson, Alexander Kytchin & Arthur Edwardes, Arthur Pet & Charles Jackman, Thomas Southam & John Sparke, Sir Hugh Willoughbie; in Part 3: Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlow (Barlowe), Roger Bodenham, Thomas Candish (Cavendish), John Chilton, John Davis (Northwest Passage), ship "Dominus Vobiscum" & another, Sir Francis Drake, John Drake, Edward Fenton & Luke Ward, Sir Martin Frobisher, Sir Humfrie Gilbert, Sir Richard Greenvile (Grenville), Christopher Hare, Sir John Hawkins, William Hawkins, Master Hore (et. al.), David Ingram, William Michelson & William Mace, John Oxnam, Sir Thomas Pert & Sebastian Cabot (plus an earlier voyage by Cabot), RIchard Pope; Edward Stafford & John White; Robert Tomson; Virginia voyage (Roanoke Colony), leader unnamed, sent by Sir Walter Raleigh; Robert Withrington & Christopher Lister. (Original spelling of names retained, but i, u & v normalised to modern usage.)
Drake's fame continued unabated throughout the following centuries. The edition below is an 18th-century republication of an earlier title:
R. B., 1632?-1725?
The English hero, or, Sir Francis Drake reviv'd : being a full account of the dangerous voyages, admirable adventures, notable discoveries, and magnanimous atchievements of that valiant and renowned commander. I. His voyage in 1572, to Nombre de Dios in the West-Indies, where they saw a pile of bars of silver near 70 foot long, 10 foot broad, and 12 foot high, II. His incompassing the whole world in 1577, which he perform'd in two years and ten months, gaining a vast quantity of gold and silver, III. His voyage into America in 1585, and taking the towns of St. Jago, St. Domingo, Carthagena and St. Augustine, IV. His last voyage into those countries in 1595, with the manner of his death and burial. Recommended to the imitation of all heroick spirits. / Inlarged and reduced into chapters with contents by R.B. Thirteenth ed. [London] : Printed for C. Hitch and J. Hodges, 1739
This 13th edition of The English hero is also held by the U.S. Library of Congress, which holds earlier editions as well. Its records attribute the work to the "R.B." who lived around 1632 to 1725, and according to the Library of Congress was actually the London publisher, printer, and bookseller Nathaniel Crouch. He used his own name in the printing and bookselling trade and wrote books under the pseudonym R.B., or Richard Burton; these were sometimes attributed after his death to Robert Burton, also. The work was first published under this title in 1687 and "is based upon the Sir Francis Drake revived of 1653, with additional material." (H.P. Kraus. Sir Francis Drake; a pictorial biography, 1970, p. 210, no. 45, cited in Library of Congress LCCN 03013281)
Looking for more early works on Sir Francis Drake? See The Kraus Collection of Sir Francis Drake at http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.rbc/collrbc.rb000009 This collection of scanned early texts from the Library of Congress includes important primary and secondary materials accumulated about Drake’s voyages throughout the then Spanish territory of the Americas. Texts are variously in English, Latin, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish or French.
And on the same day, April 4:
Tragedy: on that day in 1968 Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated;
And triumph: 1983 saw the Space Shuttle Challenger make its maiden voyage into space on 4th April.
April 16: The Battle of Culloden
On April 16, 1746, the Battle of Culloden took place. It was "the final confrontation of the 1745 Jacobite Rising." The Jacobites under Bonnie Prince Charlie (Prince Charles Edward Stuart) fought loyalist troops commanded by the Duke of Cumberland in the Scottish Highlands. "The Hanoverian victory at Culloden decisively halted the Jacobite intent to overthrow the House of Hanover and restore the House of Stuart to the British throne; Charles Stuart never mounted any further attempts to challenge Hanoverian power in Great Britain." ("Battle of Culloden". Wikipedia)
The RGSSA holds the following unusual volume by an officer who was with he Bonnie Prince at Culloden:
O’Sullivan, John, 1700-
1745 and after / [compiled] by Alistair Tayler and Henrietta Tayler : London Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd., 
The work consists of a narrative and letters by O'Sullivan. The foreword by H. Tayler tells us: "This most interesting MS., entirely in the handwriting of O'Sullivan (found among the Stuart Papers at Windsor), is bound in a slim volume and lies among the Warrant books, etc., which form part of the Collection brought to England after various vicissitudes following on the death of Cardinal York, the last of the actual Stuart line, in 1807. These Papers were purchased on behalf of the British Government, and the full story of the negotiations and subsequent adventures of this precious deposit will be given elsewhere... It throws a good deal of light on the daily incidents of the Prince's campaign of 1745 and his wanderings, as well as on the last despairing effort of the Jacobite cause, which was finally extinguished by Hawke's victory at Quiberon Bay, 20th November 1759. The MS. is here printed by the gracious permission of His Majesty."
Sir John O'Sullivan was a Colonel in the French military, born in County Kerry, Ireland, in 1700. Intended for the priesthood, he was educated at Paris and Rome. On his father's sudden death he returned to Ireland. The Irish Penal Laws presented him with no choice but to forfeit his parental estate, as he would not renounce his adherence to the Catholic faith. He returned to France and joined the army. In 1739 he assisted Marshal Maillebois in a military action in Corsica that resulted in great suppression of liberty. O'Sullivan's service in Corsica, Italy and the Rhine campaign earned him the reputation as an able captain in guerrilla warfare. This led to his appointment as Adjutant and Quartermaster-General to the exiled Prince Charles Edward Stuart in France, "The Young Pretender" or "Bonnie Prince Charlie."
In 1745 O'Sullivan accompanied the Prince to Scotland. Considered loyal, and trusted implicitly, he was by Charles' side from the outset of the disastrous voyage from France that left the Prince without ships, men and ammunition. It is said that after the defeat at Culloden, John O'Sullivan was largely responsible for the Prince's escape from Scotland in October 1746. The Bonnie Prince's flight of course became legendary and is commemorated in popular folk songs, including The Skye Boat Song (lyrics 1884). O'Sullivan was knighted by the Prince's father, The Old Pretender, James, in 1747. The date of his death is not known.
(Source: Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878. Thanks to Sandra Thompson for sourcing this biographical information)
Strange but true: The Culloden connection is the only thing that can explain the continuing Scottish references for April 16 in the cookery calendars over 40-odd years of the early 20th century! 365 foreign dishes: a foreign dish for every day in the year is an American cookbook, published in Philadelphia in 1908 (not held by RGSSA but find it on Project Gutenberg, http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/10011). It offers the following for April 16:
Scotch Loaf Cake
Mix 1/2 pound of butter with 1/4 pound of sugar, 1/2 cup of chopped nuts and 1/2 cup of shredded citron; then work in 1 pound of sifted flour with 2 teaspoonfuls of baking-powder. Make a loaf a half inch thick and bake in a moderate oven until done.
Then, circa 1951, in the Calendar of Cakes, published by the South Australian Country Women's Association, we find an Australian recipe for April 16, "Scotch Crispies." (They look like a fancier version of Anzac biscuits to me--nevertheless!) And about the same year, or perhaps 1952, in the South Australian CWA's Calendar of Puddings, we find "Free Kirk Pudding" for April 16. It’s very economical. No eggs. Scots wha hae.
No, the culinary touch isn't an April Fool, but you'll find the much less serious blog on Poissons d'avril posted 1st April, 2012 Australian Central Time, i.e. 31 March 2012 blog-time (don't ask):
This post was researched and created by Kathy Boyes