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a coppy of the third and fourth editions, which are all one, as soone as pleaseth God to open an opportunitie. Whatever your gazette sayth, that the Indian fleet,6 is come in without seeing any of our ships, wee are sure wee have two of their best in England, beside other shipps, making up in all the number of thirtie; and what shipps ether of warre or merchands came home unto them were such as wee could not meet or not watch, having got the start of us : it holds still that the prisoners amount to about three thousand. Wee here also that a caper7 of twentie gunnes was taken not far from Cromer, last Saturday, by a frigat, after two howers fight. God blesse you ; I rest your loving father,
THOMAS BROWNE. September 22, styl. v. [1665.]
The sicknesse which God so long withheld from us, is now in Norwich. I intend to send your sisters to Claxton, and if it encreaseth, to remove three or four miles of; where I may bee serviceable upon occasion to my friends in other diseases. Paris is a place which hath been least infested with that disease of such populous places in Europe. Write mee word what seale is that you use.
Here we take our leave of the elder son till towards the autumn of 1668, when we shall again find him indulging his roaming propensities in fresh adventures. The following are the only letters which have been preserved from Sir Thomas to the younger son Thomas during his short and brilliant career in the service of his country. He entered the English navy in the close of 1664, just when the nation was rushing,
5 The third, fol. 1658, but published with Religio Medici, Hydriotaphia, and Garden of Cyrus, in 1659 : the fourth, 4to. 1658, with the two latter pieces only.
6 The Dutch East India fleet, of which the greater part reached their own ports in safety, in consequence of the failure of an attack on them in August, 1665, by an English squadron, under Sir Thomas Tyddiman, at Bergen in Norway, where they had taken refuge. Lord Sandwich soon afterwards captured some of the larger Indiamen, and a number of others. Sir Thomas Browne's younger son, Thomas, distinguished himself on board the Foresight, at Bergen.
? A privateer, or private ship.
with the utmost enthusiasm, into the Dutch war, and when Charles II., to gratify the public eagerness, as well as to further his own views, was making every possible exertion to equip and man a fleet capable of meeting the powerful navy of Holland, assisted, as it was expected to be, by that of France. The moment was auspicious for our young adventurer; who appears to have obtained his commission without delay, and made his first voyage up the Mediterranean on board the Foresight, commanded by Captain Brookes, the brother of Sir Robert Brookes, an intimate friend of his father's. He returned in time to join the grand English fleet under the command of James, Duke of York, assisted by Prince Rupert and the Earl of Sandwich; and was present, on the third of June, 1665, at the first great action, off Lowestoft, with the Dutch, under Opdam, which terminated in the total defeat of the enemy, who lost four admirals, seven thousand men, and eighteen ships. Browne had the good fortune soon afterwards to distinguish himself in the unsuccessful attempt made, by Lord Sandwich and Sir Thomas Tyddiman, to seize the two rich Dutch East India fleets which had taken shelter in the neutral Danish harbour of Bergen, on the coast of Norway;' and was engaged in the subsequent capture of a portion of those fleets, in September. In the winter of the same year he made his second voyage up the Mediterranean, with Sir Jeremy Smith, during which period Louis XIV. declared war against the English, and fitted out a fleet to assist the States General. Browne, on his return from the Streights, took a share in all the actions of 1666. In the unexpected and unequal conflict between the entire Dutch fleet, under De Ruyter and Van Tromp, and one division of the English fleet, under the Duke of Albermarle, during the unfortunate absence of Prince Rupert with the other divison in quest of the French fleet under the Duke of Beaufort, his ships was in the duke’s division. In that furious engagement, and during the subsequent four days' fight in July, after the junction of Prince Rupert, he acquired, as will be seen, a character for the most able conduct, and the most undaunted bravery. He was present, in the following month, at the destruction of the town of Brandaris, with a hundred and fifty Dutch merchantmen and some line of battleships; and, in the close of the year, 'was again sent as convoy to the Mediterranean, on board the Marie Rose, in the fleet under Admiral Kempthorne. From thence he returned to Portsmouth in about May, 1667. And here, unfortunately, all traces of him are lost.—The most diligent inquiries have not hitherto enabled me to discover the sequel of his history: a solitary allusion, in a letter written many years after, adverts to him in terms which prove that he had been long dead. But how and when he died, I have, to my great mortification, not as yet been able to ascertain. His career was brief and splendid; but of its close we know nothing. Enough appears, however, to prove, beyond all doubt, that he possessed a character and talents of no ordinary calibre; which, had he not been early cut off, would have secured to him, in the profession he had chosen, a distinction not inferior to that which his amiable father attained through the more quiet paths of philosophy and science.
8 Lord of the Manor of Wanstead, and M.P. for Aldboro'. Suffolk.
9 See “Sir Gilbert Talbot's Narrative of the Earl of Sandwich's Attempt upon Bergen in 1665;" from MS. Harl. 6859. Archæologia, xxii. 33.
Dr. Browne to his son Thomas. Tom, I presume you are in London, where you may satisfie yourself in the buisinesse ; do nothing rashly, but as you find just grounds for your advantage, wch will hardly bee at the best deservings, without good and faythfull friends; no sudden advantage for rawe though dangerous services. There is another and more safe way, whereby Capt. Brookes and others come in credit, by going about 2 yeares before they were capable of places ; [with] which I am not well acquainted. God and good friends advise you. Bee sober and complacent. If you cood quit periwigs it would bee better, and more for your credit. If Mr. Rand live in London informe him of Ned. Hee would teach you Latin quickly, by rule and speech. God blesse you.—Your loving father,
TH. BROWNE. If you are not in hast for the present, it would bee of advantage to learne of Mr. Goulding or others, the practicall mathematicks and use of instruments.
Ned sent you a print of Domenic Ottoman, one of Hibraim the Grand Signor's sonnes, the brother of Mahomet, now raigning. Hee was taken at sea by a shippe of Malta, 1652, at 18 yeares of age ; now a Christian and a dominican friar; your brother saw him at Turin. It is a very good and serious face; on the back side he sent more French verses concerning the pope and king of France, and that one Chairol of Milan is now the famous paynter. You may see hee went through many of those townes I mentioned, and the passinge of Mont Čenis.
Dr. Browne to his son Thomas. HONEST TOM,—God blesse thee, and protect thee, and mercifully lead you through the wayes of his providence. I am much greived you have such a cold, sharpe, and hard, introduction, wch addes newe feares unto mee for your health, whereof pray bee carefull, and as good an husband as possible, wch will gayne you credit, and make you better trusted in all affayres. I am sorry you went unprovided with bookes, without which you cannot well spend time in those great shipps. If you have a globe you may easily learne the starres as also by bookes. Waggoner? you will not be without, wch will teach the particular coasts, depths of roades, and how the land riseth upon several poynts of the compasse. Blundevill 3 or Moxon 4 will teach you severall things. I see the litle comet5 or blazing starre every cleare evening, the last time I observed it about 42 degrees of hight, about 7 o'clock, in the constellation of Cetus, or the whale, in the head thereof; it moveth west and northerly, so that it moveth towards Pisces or Linum Sep
1 The name is not to be decyphered in the original hieroglyphics, and is not explained by our copy of the letter referred to.
2 Wagenar, L. Jans. E. Speculum Nauticum ; translated into English by Ant. Ashley, 1588.
3 Thomas Blundeville, of Newton Flotman, in Norfolk. Referring probably to his “Theorique of the Planets,” or “Exercises in Arithmetic, Cosmography, Astronomy,” &c.
* Joseph Moxon, F.R.S. Concerning the Use of Globes, fol. 1659.
5 Mentioned by Mr. Edward Browne, in his letter, Rome, Jan. 2, 1664-5.
tentrionale pisces. Ten degrees is the utmost extent of the tayle. Anno 1580, there was a comet seen in the same place, and a dimme one like this discribed by Mæstlinus.6 That wch I saw in 1618 began in Libra, and moved northward, ending about the tayle of Ursa Major; it was farre brighter than this, and the tayle extended 40 degrees, lasted litle above a moneth. This now seen hath lasted above a moneth already, so that I beleeve from the motion that it began in Eridanus or Fluvius. If they have quadrants, crosse-staffes, and other instruments, learn the practicall use thereof; the names of all parts and roupes about the shippe, what proportion the masts must hold to the length and depth of a shippe, and also the sayles. I hope you receaved my letters from Nancy, after you were gone, wherein was a playne electuary agaynst the scurvie.
Mr. Curteen stayed butt one night, pray salute him sometimes, my humble service to Captaine Brooke, whom I take the boldnesse to salute, upon the title of my long acquaintance with his worthy brother Sr. Robert and his lady. God blese you.—Your loving father,
Tho. BROWNE. Norwich, January 1, [1664-5.]
Forget not French and Latin. No such defence agaynst extreme cold, as a woollen or flannell wascoat next the skinne.
Dr. Browne to his son Thomas.—1667. I receaved yours, and would not deferre to send vnto you before you sayled, which I hope will come vnto you; for in this wind, neither can Rear-admirall Kempthorne come to you, nor you beginne your voyage. I am glad you like Lucan so well. I wish more military men could read him ; in this passage you mention, there are noble straynes; and such as may well affect generous minds. Butt I hope you are more taken with the verses then the subject, and rather embrace the expression then the example. And this I the rather hint unto you, because the like, though in another waye, is sometimes practised in the king's shipps, when, in desperate cases they blowe up the same. For though I
6 Michael Mæstlinus, a celebrated German astronomer, published several treatises on Comets. ? In the action of the 3rd of June, 1666, Albemarle, the Commander VOL. III,