Thomas Heywood: A True Description of his Majesties Royall and most stately Ship called the Soveraign of the Seas, built at Wolwitch in Kent 1637

. . .

A Briefe Addition to the first Coppy, worthy your observation, &c.

Some things in the premisses have beene omitted, which upon better information and recollection are necessarily to be considered of in the setting out of this great Ship, neither can any justly blame the first Coppy of errour or indefective, in regard those places belonging unto Her, were not then disposed of, which were since, by his Majestie carefully conferr'd upon such prime Officers, as are the most expert and absolute to take the charge of this unparal'd and incomparable Vessell: Namely, first Captaine William Cooke Master. Secondly, Master Rabnet Boatswaine. Thirdly, Captaine Taylor Maister Gunner. Fourthly, Maister Phil. Ward Purser. Fiftly, Joseph Pet Maister Carpenter, with divers others not here mentioned, because they would seeme tedious to the Reader, And though there appeared some difficulty in the first attempt of her launching , by reason of the breaking of so many Cables, and of a contrary Wind, which hindred the comming in of the Tide to its full height: yet in the second attempt, shee so freely offered her selfe to the River, as if weary of being so long imprisoned in the Docke, she voluntarily exposed her selfe to the Channell, of which (next under God,) shee (according to her name) is the sole Soveraigne and Commander, of which there is the greater hope, in regard that no great ship or smaller Barke which ever floated upon the river of Thames that hath, or can with more dexterity or pleasure play with the Tide: She, though of that vast burden, yet dancing upon the River as nimbly as a small Catch or Hoy, which indeede hath proved somewhat above expectation, bearing the weight opf one thousand sixe hundered thirty seaven Tun, besides her other tackling.

A second thing of which some especiall notice may bee taken, is, that young Mr. Peter Pet the Maister Builder, hath to his great expence and charge, to show that this excellent Fabricke is not to be equall'd in the World agayne: and to give a president to all Forraigne Ship-architecters, how they shall dare to undertake the like, hath lately published her true Effigies or portracture in Sculpture, grav'd by the excellent Artist Mr. John Paine, dwelling by the posterne gate neere unto Tower-hill, of whose exquisite skill, as well in drawing and painting, as his Art in graving, I am not able to give a Character answerable unto his merit.

Anf though some too apish and new fangle of our own Nation thinke nothing rare, or indeede scarce worthy approbation, which is not wrought by strangers: yet let this Soveraigne of the Seas, in it's owne abillity, decorement, and all sufficiently, proclaime to the World (beeing both begunne and finisht by our owne Natives and Country-men) that for Timber, Tackles, Cables, Cordage, Anchors and Ordnance, &c. For the Surveyer, Builder, Carvers, Painters, Founders, Smiths, Carpenters, Graver, and other prime Officers belonging unto her, never was any Vessell so well accommodated.


Heywood, Thomas: A True Description of his Majesties Royall and most stately Ship called the Soveraign of the Seas, built at Wolwitch in Kent 1637 With the names of all the prime Officers in Her, who were appointed by his Majesty since the time of her launching at Wolwitch. Also a briefe Addition to the first printed Coppy, worthy your observation and Reading.
I. Okes, London, 1638 (2nd). 4to, 16.5x8.5 cm, (6), 50 pp.

This edition is apparently a reprint of the first edition of 1637 with a new titlepage and the A Brief Addition to the first Coppy … added.

Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius

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Copyright © 1998 Lars Bruzelius.