BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
Beinecke MS 566
England, c. 1610??
Sir Walter Raleigh, A discourse of the invention of shipps, etc.
f. 1r [title page:] A discourse of the invention of shipps, anchors, compasse etc., the first
navigall warr, the several use, defects and supplies of shippinge, the strength and defects of the
sea forces of England, France, Spaine and Venice, togeather with the 5 manifest causes of the
suddaine upgrowinge of the Hollanders, as alsoe of the originall and fundamentall cause of
naturall, customarie, arbitrarie, voluntarie and necessarie warr, the miserie of invasive warr; that
ecclesiastical prelats have allwayes bin subject to temporall princes, and that the Pope had never
any lawfull power in England either in civill or ecclesiasticall matters after such tyme as Brittaine
was wonne from the Roman Empire, written by Sir Walter Raleigh, Knight. ff. 1v-2v blank
2. ff. 3r-18v A discourse of the invention of shipps ... That the arke of Noah was the first
shipp, because the invention of God himselfe, although some men have soe beleeved, yet it is
certaine that, the world beinge planted before the flood, the same could not bee performed
without some transportinge vessel ... for it is noe wonder that wee are overtopped in all the
trades wee have abroade and farr off, seeinge wee have the grasse cutt from under our feete in
our fields and pastures.
Sir Walter Raleigh (1554-1618), A discourse of the invention of shipps, etc. W. Oldys, T. Birch,
edd., The Works of Sir Walter Raleigh (Oxford, 1829), v. 8, pp. 317-334. On the author, see
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, v. 45 (2004), pp. 842-859.
Paper, ff. I (paper) + 18 + I (paper), 270 x 185 mm.
I 2 (ff. 1-2), II-III 8 (ff. 3-18). Catchwords on all pages.
Ruled in lead?? with a frame in ink?? for one column of 25 lines below top line, with a
supplementary vertical line in the outer margin. Dimensions??
Written by one hand in Humanistic Cursive under Gothic influence.
Modern binding in white parchment over cardboard.
This treatise was written by Raleigh during his imprisonment in the Tower of London (1603-
1616). According to a letter from the bookseller Lionel K. Robinson (William H. Robinson Ltd.)
to commander Taylor (24 May 1944) manuscripts of the Discourse are or were in the libraries of
the Duke of Bedford in Woburn Abbey and of the Duke of Westminster in Eaton Hall, Cheshire.
Our manuscript may be a third copy. Purchased from William H. Robinson in 1944. The Henry
C. Taylor Collection. Bequest of Henry C. Taylor, 1971.
Bibliography: Taylor Collection, no. 11.