London: Hakluyt Society, 1976. Elizabeth Story Donno (Editor), An Elizabethan in 1582: The Diary of Richard Madox, Fellow of All Souls (London: Hakluyt Society, 1976), Second Series, Vol. 147, first edition, octavo 22.2 x 14.2 cm, hard cover, xvi, 365 pages, frontisp. from Madox’s Diary, 19 illustrations. List of Illustrations, Abbreviations, Preface, Introduction, Life and Background, The Voyage, The Diary, Text, Appendixes (2), Index. Gilt lettering on spine & gilt pictorial sailing ship on blue cloth front cover, dust jacket. List of Hakluyt publications in booklet inserted at rear of volume, with review clippings. Near fine, with minor scuffing at top and bottom of otherwise very good dust jacket. Near fine / Very good. Item #553
Richard Madox’s Diary is among the relatively few diaries from the 16th century which throw light on important public events and personalities. It began as a private diary on Edward Fenton’s flagship, the Leicester, on which Madox was chaplain. The original intention was to follow up trade in the East Indies and China via the Cape of Good Hope, but powerful voices argued that the expedition travel via the Magellan Strait. The Madox Diary opens with details of the author’s life in Oxford, lengthy delays in London and towards Southampton in putting the fleet of four ships to sea. The voyage was marked by tensions and rivalries and suffered a long sojourn at Sierra Leone, where he recorded flora and fauna and the earliest English record of an African language. Madox, who had begun writing his Diary in January 1582, was obliged to keep an official record of the voyage for the Privy Council, but his Diary substituted for this, as en route to South America he resorted to writing in a cipher and then in Latin and Greek to preserve the Diary’s secrecy. At São Vincent, Brazil, Fenton’s fleet encountered three Spanish ships and, in the words of Madox's fellow chaplain, had "one verye hott breakfaste fyghting". Madox died in 1583 and his Diary in now held in the British Museum.