CELT document T100078

The Travels of Cosmo the Third, Grand Duke of Tuscany (1669)

Conte Lorenzo Magalotti

The Travels of Cosmo the Third, Grand Duke of Tuscany (1669)

Travels

 p.95

&c. &c.

His Highness having been received on board the ship Portland, with the most marked demonstrations of respect, set sail for England on the 19th of March, with the wind at S.S.W. On the 20th, they made thirteen leagues to the N.W., and thirty-five to the north; so that sometimes, in each watch, which consists of four hours, their progress was fourteen or fifteen leagues. On the 21st, they ran twenty-four leagues to the N.E., and eighteen to the N.N.E.; the winds varying to S.S.W., S.W., W.N.W. and N.W. On the morning of the 22nd, they sailed thirty-two leagues to the N.E., and after mid-day, let down the plummet, and found the depth to be eighty cubits (braccia), with a bottom of whitish sand and small cockle shells; and, when they sounded again in the evening, the depth was seventy  p.96 braccia, with a bottom of reddish sand streaked with white, which was taken by the sailors for the soil of France. Before mid-day of the 23rd, they made fifteen leagues to the N.E., and on sounding, drew up white sand, which made the greater part of the sailors suspect that they were to the west of the Sorlings (Scilly Islands); but the pilot was of a different opinion, thinking they could not be so far advanced. It is true that they had inclined so much to the west, that Owzy bank was not in sight, which is northward of the Sorlings, and which must have been so near that they could not have failed to discover it. As they were not in sight of it, therefore, they sounded, and finding fifty-five, fifty, and forty braccia of water, which depth corresponded exactly with that of the British Channel, they believed that they had got thus far on their voyage; which was confirmed, by observing that the mud drawn out was very thick, and inclining to a greyish colour, which is precisely the case with that of the British Channel.

In the night they made no way, there being no wind, though the water was greatly agitated. They resumed their course the next morning at day-break, following the direction of the clouds, sometimes northward, sometimes eastward, till, at last, they discovered a merchant  p.97 ship. As she passed by without saluting the frigate, which bore the admiral's flag on the mainmast, they suspected her to be a Corsair. The captain, therefore, ordered a gun to be fired, without shot, in order to bring her on board; but observing that she attempted to take advantage of the wind and get away, he brought them to by a second discharge of cannon loaded with shot, and she immediately hoisted the English colours, and, shortening sail, came on board, and they learned from the captain that they were betwixt England and Ireland, and that they had mistaken the British Channel for that of St. George.

This mistake was a matter of great mortification to the captain, especially as they had had no bad weather nor contrary winds to complain of; but the fault was attributable to the uncertainty of the soundings, to the ill-regulated time-piece, to the inexperience of the steersman in the night, and to the superabundant zeal of the captain, who was frequently induced to interfere in what was, in fact, the business of the pilot. His highness, therefore, without shewing any displeasure at the accident, desired the captain, who had already turned the ship's head towards Plymouth, to be sent for, and gave him encouragement; and, as the wind was S.S.E., he resolved to take  p.98 advantage of it, in order to touch at Ireland. Accordingly, on the 24th, at twenty-two o'clock, according to the Italian calculation, they came to an anchor. The fortress, an ancient castle, built on the highest point of a hill, at the mouth of the harbour, having discovered the frigate at a distance, had hoisted the war-flag, and was saluted with eleven guns, which it answered with seven. Monsieur Platt went on shore, to give the necessary orders for the disembarkation; and, on his return, there came on board along with him a servant of Mr. Southwell, father of Sir — Southwell, envoy of the King of England at Lisbon, who resided here, being the proprietor of all the adjacent country, making, in his master's name, an offer of his house, and whatever was necessary to his highness's convenience; for which he was graciously thanked. Early in the morning of the 25th, the courier was dispatched on shore to make preparations, and soon after, with the help of the tide, his highness also landed, and, in passing the fortress, was saluted with seven rounds. As soon as he reached the shore, he set out for the place destined for him, and, after hearing mass, went on foot to see the town, and after a short walk, returned home, where he entertained the captain at dinner, and Antonio de Sousa, whom his highness had  p.99 accommodated with a passage to England in the frigate. After dinner, the grandchildren of the said Sir — Southwell, came to make their obeisance to his highness, who, shortly afterwards, went on foot to visit his mother, and my Lady Percival, his sister, a widow; and taking another walk, he returned home. In the evening, there arrived from Cork, the capital of the county of the same name, (which, for the fertility of its soil, the beauty of its cities, the number of its fortresses, and the convenience of its sea-ports, is considered the largest and most agreeable of all the Irish counties) Mr. Southwell, who then happened to be there, both on account of his situation as one of the members of the provincial council of Upper Munster, which holds its sittings there, and, likewise, to enjoy his dignity of sovereign, which is the same with that of alcalde of justice, and authorizes him to carry a badge of office, like those of Castile and Portugal. He was accompanied by Colonel St. Leger; both of them having been informed, by express, of the arrival of his highness, to whom they presented themselves, and offered their services in the politest manner, and with the most lively expressions of respect, to which his highness answered in suitable terms, through the medium of the interpreter, for they spoke nothing but English; and the colonel immediately  p.100 placed a company of infantry on guard at his highness' lodgings, which were, however, soon after dismissed by him.

Kinsale, one of the most considerable walled towns in the county of Cork, in the afore-mentioned province of Upper Munster (called by the Hollanders, Wown) which takes its name from a small peninsula hard by, has a commodious and secure harbour for ships which cast anchor there (that of Rois, which was formerly the most frequented on that coast, having been rendered useless by the accumulation of sand) for the sea, entering at the point of the Peninsula, and penetrating a long way inland, forms a spacious bay, which contracts and enlarges itself according to the position of the hills, which line both sides. This bay is protected by three fortresses; the one, an ancient castle, situated on the summit of a hill, commands the mouth of the harbour; the second, is opposite to it, on the other bank, and surrounded with an ancient wall; somewhat more inland is the third, of a simple circular figure, which also commands the sea, is garrisoned like the other two, and fortified, so as to secure the entrance of the port, which is closed every night by beams fastened with strong chains. At the mouth of the river Bandon, in a plain, which the river forms by receding a little from the hills  p.101 that surround the valley through which it flows, is situated the town of Kinsale. In the lowest part, is the principal street, which, gently ascending the side of a hill, spreads over it with its buildings; of these, the greatest is the church, which, though built by Catholics, is now profaned by the rites of the Anglican sect. The houses are of a mean construction and appearance, with very little decoration, and, for the most part, low; some are built of stone, and covered with slate, with cottage roofs; others of mud and lime, forming a kind of cement, which is, therefore, soon destroyed by the humidity of the climate: they use glass windows, without any other protection from the air, as is the custom also of High and Low Germany. The greater part of the inhabitants are English, who were restored by the royal clemency to the possessions of which they had been deprived by the preceding kings, and particularly by Cromwell; and came to inhabit this island, and having established several colonies, gave their minds to commerce. The Catholics of Kinsale, who are also scattered over the surrounding territory, are estimated at about two hundred; many of them live miserably in the country, in mud cabins, badly thatched with straw, sleeping on the ground on short mats, and subsisting chiefly on fish and cockles, which are much smaller than the  p.102 oyster, and are found in these seas, adhering to the rocks; they have seldom an opportunity of eating bread. Since the insurrection of this kingdom, they have been considered almost as the people of a conquered country, and are treated as slaves, being obliged to cultivate the ground, and to account to the owner even for their scanty profits. They pay to Southwell, the proprietor of this desert, a guinea and a half a year for the rent of a cabin and a few square yards of land; and for the farms which they rent, they give three-fourths of the produce, reserving to themselves only one-fourth. A Catholic priest attends them, who is subordinate to the apostolical internuncio of Flanders, and who lives there clandestinely, celebrating mass in a house where they assemble secretly, to avoid those molestations to which they would unquestionably be subject, if they were discovered; and each person contributes six shillings towards his maintenance.

The province of Momonia, or Munster, holds the first place among the five into which the kingdom of Ireland is divided, namely Leinster, Connaught, Ulster and Meath, (so the English call them) from the fertility of its soil, the temperature of its climate, and the number of its cities, fortresses, and well-frequented sea-ports. It abounds more than any of the other provinces, in wheat (which cannot  p.103 be exported without a licence), and barley, of which there are three sorts; one of them is used for making beer, which will keep from year to year; and this is not the case with the other two, which are of a less durable nature. The land which produces it is sown one year, and then left two years fallow. It contains also great plenty of sheep and oxen, which are superior in size to the animals of their respective kinds found elsewhere, nor are they subject to the contagious disorders peculiar to their species; the same holds good of their horses, which are carried to England, where they are esteemed for their strength and swiftness; neither are wild animals wanting, such as stags, deer, rabbits, hares, foxes, and particularly wolves, for the hunting of which, the dogs called mastiffs are in great request. The quantity of birds is considerable; particularly pheasants, partridges, quails, eagles (and hawks with which they hunt wild geese) swans, cranes, cocks of the wood, and most other sorts of birds, except the magpie and the nightingale; which two species are not to be found in this island. The sea abounds with fish, which they dry for sale, on the tops of their cottages or cabins, and send them to other parts; every thing is low priced, except wine, which is imported from France. Such is the scarcity of money, that Spanish coin forms the chief part of the currency.

 p.104

The district of Cork, one of the counties of Munster, boasts many noble families; but the principal are those of Clarty, formerly lords of the said county, from whom came the Earls of Muskerry; the Lords of Carribray de Barry, of whom are the Earls of Barrymore; de Rock, (or della Rupe,) of which family is Viscount Formoy; and de Cardoni and Geraldini, of which is Marshal Imokilly, the Lords of Prendergast, and others.

For the government of these provinces, and of the whole kingdom, ever since Henry II., King of England, made himself master of it, by depriving the princes who governed these counties respectively of their dominions, a viceroy is appointed, who succeeded the ancient judges, that the kings of England used to send when they first conquered the country. He has full authority to convoke the Parliament, and to depute governors to administer justice in the provinces; these are called in the province of Munster, presidents, and in that of Connaught, commissaries. They are assisted by counsellors and lawyers, acting under the directions of the viceroy, who, in the administration of Ireland, follows the same laws by which England is governed. This kingdom has likewise the same distinction of orders as England, viz. earls, barons, knights, advocates and military men, who, together, compose  p.105 the privy council. The viceroy resides in Dublin, the capital of Ireland, called Bal-aha-elic, and the metropolitan city, not only of the province of Leinster, but of the whole island. It formerly enjoyed the dignity of an archbishopric, disputing with that of Armagh the primacy of Ireland. My Lord John Roberts, a Presbyterian by religion, had recently been appointed to the vice-royalty by the king, in the place of James Duke of Ormond, who, having completed the third year of his administration, had returned to court. From the new viceroy, who is very hostile to their religion, the Catholics have experienced additional severity and rigour.

The profits which the viceroy draws from this government, are estimated at upwards of forty thousand pounds sterling annually; so that it is considered the most valuable appointment in the gift of the kings of Europe. The revenue which Ireland contributes to the royal treasury is estimated at three hundred thousand pounds sterling a year, arising from what are called the tributes of the crown, which every county in the kingdom pays to the exchequer from the revenues of the property of the rebels; from the annual loans, the right of which the same exchequer reserves to itself; from enfeoffments made of property confiscated in consequence of the pretended rebellion;  p.106 and, lastly, from duties connected with commerce: which are exacted from the inhabitants, and with more especial rigour from the natives of the kingdom, towards whom the antipathy of the English is so great, that they not only do not allow them to speak in their native tongue, but oblige them to use the English idiom, forbidding them, under the severest penalties, the use of the liturgy in any other language than English, even in the prayers of their own communion. Hence there is little cordiality among them, both on account of the discrepancy of manners (although at present the primitive Irish conform in a great measure, as far as traffic is concerned, to the English modes) and the division which exists in consequence of the English on no account permitting intermarriages; by means of which, if they were once united by the ties of blood, minds so adverse might perhaps be reconciled to each other.

Early on the morning of the 26th, his highness was requested by the captain to return on board, the wind being then north. Before his departure, Mr. Southwell and Colonel St. Leger arrived, attended by the principal personages of the town, to wish his highness a good voyage. Southwell invited him to dinner on the following day in case the weather should prevent his departure;  p.107 and upon these conditions his highness accepted the invitation. On his embarkation he was accompanied to the boat by the same gentlemen, whither he was also attended by the company of soldiers before-mentioned. When he came in sight of the old fortress, he was saluted by a discharge of seven guns. Having gone on board, Southwell and St. Leger again came to pay their respects to him, and to partake of an abundant refreshment which had been sent by the former. At their departure, they were again saluted with a discharge of guns. Soon after, the wind failing, they abandoned all ideas of sailing, and towards evening his highness landed, with the gentlemen of his retinue, accompanied by the captain and Platt; and taking the road over the hills which lie to the right as you enter the harbour, he made as wide a circuit as he could round the territory, which, like the rest of Ireland, is uneven and hilly, watery and marshy; so that even on the tops of the hills is found land soaked in water, producing, in greater abundance than any other, grass, and wild sorrel: thus the truth of what is said of this island must be admitted, viz. that the waters stagnate on the very highest mountains, and that lakes are found there. In descending the hills on his return to the ship, his highness passed near some cabins which served to shelter poor  p.108 people, the native rustics of Ireland, who have no place to rest upon but the bare earth; and having caused them to be reconnoitred, for curiosity, he discovered that within they lived like wild beasts. His highness returned late on board, and retired at his accustomed hour to rest.

On the 27th, the wind having got to the north, his highness sent to take leave of Southwell, who shortly after came on board to wish his highness a second time a good voyage. At mid-day they set sail; and had scarcely got out of the harbour, before another boat came on board, sent by Southwell, with a new and abundant supply of refreshment. Standing out to sea, many towers were seen on the coast of Ireland, which shewed lights every night for the convenience of mariners. The remainder of the day and the following night, they pursued their voyage, with the wind still at north; but changing to the east on the 28th, they were obliged then to tack about, not only during the night, but till almost mid-day of the 29th; whence seeing at once the impossibility and danger of continuing their course to the eastward of the islands of Sorling, in order to gain the cape of the Land's End, for the wind, coming directly from the N.E., was driving the ship upon the great covered rock which  p.109 lies four leagues from the islands and from the afore-mentioned cape. The pilot, after consulting with the captain, resolved to sail to the island St. Mary, and to wait there, rather than at sea, for a change of weather, because less inconvenient to his highness. Turning the ship's head towards the west, they anchored in the harbour two hours after mid-day. The ship having hoisted the admiral's standard, was saluted by the fortress with seven guns, and was replied to with the same number, which it acknowledged again with three. The couriers immediately landed to prepare apartments; soon afterwards his highness disembarked, and was received by the lieutenant governor, who considered it his duty to accommodate him in the castle, and had ordered all the garrison under arms; whilst the guns in the mean time fired a numerous volley from the walls, to which the ship answered with ten discharges. His highness requested to lodge, according to his custom, in a private house; where having received the commandant, he retired immediately, without going out any more that evening.

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Title (uniform): The Travels of Cosmo the Third, Grand Duke of Tuscany (1669)

Author: Conte Lorenzo Magalotti

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translated by: J. Mawman

Electronic edition compiled by: Beatrix Färber

Proof corrections by: Beatrix Färber and Janet Crawford

Funded by: University College, Cork and The School of History

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1. First draft, revised and corrected.

Extent: 4699 words

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Publisher: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College, Cork

Address: College Road, Cork, Ireland—http://www.ucc.ie/celt

Date: 2012

Distributor: CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.

CELT document ID: T100078

Availability: Available with prior consent of the CELT programme for purposes of academic research and teaching only.

Notes statement

This work is an extract of the Travels of Cosmo the Third, Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1669, published at London in 1821, with a memoir of Cosmo the Third's Life. While the name of the translator is not given, he or she is referred to as a 'distinguished pen'. [Crinò, p. xiii, reproduces a note saying the manuscript was 'translated into English and published by J. Mawman'.] We are very grateful to Dr C. J. Woods, author of 'Travellers' accounts as source material for Irish historians' (Dublin 2009) for calling our attention to this travel account.

Source description

Manuscript sources

  1. Florence, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (1); used in the English translation.
  2. Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, Fondo Nazionale II III 429. (The better text according to Crinò).
  3. London, British Library, Additional MS 33767A, a transcript of (1).

Edition of Italian text

  1. Anna Maria Crinò, Un principe di Toscana in Inghilterra e in Irlanda nel 1669 (Roma: Edizioni di storia e letteratura 1968). [Some letters written on the tour are printed in an appendix, , 253-271.]
  2. George Daniel Ramsay, short notice of above, The English Historical Review 85:334 (January 1970) 172–173.

Selected further reading

  1. Fynes Moryson, An itinerary, containing his ten yeeres travell through the twelve dominions of Germany, Bohmerland, Sweitzerland, Netherland, Denmarke, Poland, Italy, Turky, France, England, Scotland & Ireland. 4 vols. Printed at the University Press by Robert Maclehose & Company Ltd. for James Maclehose and Sons, Publishers to the University of Glasgow, 1907–1908. [Reprint of 1617 edition.] (Extract relating to Ireland available online at CELT.)
  2. William Lithgow, Rare adventures and painful peregrinations of long nineteen years travayles (1632). Reprint, edited with an introduction by Gilbert Phelps (London: The Folio Society 1974). (Extract relating to Ireland available online at CELT.)
  3. Caesar Litton Falkiner (ed.), Travels of Sir William Brereton in Ireland, 1635, in: Illustrations of Irish History and Topography, mainly of the seventeenth century, 363–407. (Available online at CELT.)
  4. The Memoirs of Anne Fanshawe, edited by Herbert C. Fanshawe (London: Bodley Head 1907).
  5. Caesar Litton Falkiner (ed.), Description of England and Ireland under the Restoration, by Albert Jouvin, de Rochefort,in: Illustrations of Irish History and Topography, mainly of the seventeenth century, 408–426. (Available online at CELT.)
  6. Thomas Dinely, Observations on a Tour through the Kingdom of Ireland in 1681 (Dublin 1858, reprinted in Kilkenny Archaeological Society's Journal, Second Series, 4 (1856–57) 143–46, 170–88; 5 (1858–59) 22–32, 55–56; 7 (1862–63) 38–52, 103–109, 320–38; 8 (1864–66) 40–48, 268–90; 425–46; 9 (1867) 73–91, 176–204).
  7. John Dymmok, 'A treatice of Ireland. Edited by Richard Butler', Tracts relating to Ireland 2, 1–90, Irish Archaeological Society (Dublin 1843). Available on CELT.
  8. Charles Smith, The ancient and present state of the county and city of Cork: Containing a natural, civil, ecclesiastical, historical, and topographical description thereof. Dublin: printed for W. Wilson, 1774. Reprinted by the Cork Historical and Archæological Society, with the addition of numerous original notes, etc., from the mss. of the late Thomas Crofton Croker, F.S.A., and Richard Caulfield, LL.D. Edited by Robert Day and W.A. Copinger. Cork: Guy & Co., 1893–1894.
  9. Roderic O'Flaherty, A chorographical description of West or h-Iar Connaught, written A.D. 1684; ed. J. Hardiman (Dublin 1846).
  10. P. W. Joyce, A social history of ancient Ireland: treating of the government, military system, and law; religion, learning, and art; trades, industries, and commerce; manners, customs and domestic life, of the ancient Irish people. 2 vols. (London: Longmans, Green 1903).
  11. R. E. W. Maddison, Studies in the Life of Robert Boyle F.R.S.; Part 1: Robert Boyle and some of his foreign visitors, Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London, vol. 9 no. 1, Ocober 1951, 1–35, esp. 22–29.
  12. Constantia Maxwell, The stranger in Ireland: from the reign of Elizabeth to the Great Famine (London 1954).
  13. P. W. Joyce, The origin and history of Irish names of places. [Facs. of the original edition in 3 volumes published 1869–1913.] With a new introductory essay on P.W. Joyce by Mainchín Seoighe. Dublin: Éamonn de Búrca for Edmund Burke 1995.
  14. Antoni Maczak, Travel in Early Modern Europe (London 1995).
  15. John McVeagh (ed.), Irish Travel Writing. A Bibliography (Dublin 1996).
  16. Stefano Villani, 'La religione degli inglesi e il viaggio del principe: Note sulla relazione ufficiale del viaggio di Cosimo de Medici in Inghilterra (1669)', Studi Secenteschi Rivista Annuale (45) 2004, 175–194.
  17. Anne O'Connor, 'An unexpected visitor: Cosimo de' Medici's visit to Cork in 1669', Journal of the Cork Historical & Archaeological Society 111 (2006) 1–6.
  18. C. J. Woods, Travellers' accounts as source material for Irish historians (Dublin 2009).
  19. G. J. Hoogewerff, De twee Reizen van Cósimo de' Medici Prins van Toscane door de Nederland (1667–1669) (Amsterdam 1919).
  20. H. Graillot, Un Prince de Toscane à la Cour de Louis XIV en 1669, in: Mélanges Vianey (Paris: Les Presses Français 1934) 213–223.
  21. Carmen M. Radulet, Cósimo III Medici and the Portuguese Restoration: A Voyage to Portugal in 1668–1669, e-journal of Portuguese History, Vol.1, number 2, Winter 2003 (http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Portuguese_Brazilian_Studies/ejph/html/issue2/html/radulet_main.html).

The edition used in the digital edition

Magalotti, Conte Lorenzo (1821). Travels of Cosmo the Third, Grand Duke of Tuscany, through England during the reign of King Charles the second (1669). Translated from the Italian manuscript in the Laurentian library at Florence. To which is prefixed, a memoir of his life (1821)‍. 1st ed. 506 pages. London: J. Mawman, Ludgate Street.

You can add this reference to your bibliographic database by copying or downloading the following:

@book{T100078,
  title 	 = {Travels of Cosmo the Third, Grand Duke of Tuscany, through England during the reign of King Charles the second (1669). Translated from the Italian manuscript in the Laurentian library at Florence. To which is prefixed, a memoir of his life (1821)},
  author 	 = {Conte Lorenzo Magalotti},
  edition 	 = {1},
  note 	 = {506 pages},
  publisher 	 = {J. Mawman, Ludgate Street},
  address 	 = {London},
  date 	 = {1821}
}

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Creation: Italian original by Conte Lorenzo Magalotti (1637–1712)

Date: 1821 (translation)

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  • The translation is in English. (en)
  • One term is in Italian. (it)
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Keywords: travel; description; prose; 17c; Count Lorenzo Magalotti; Cosimo III, de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, 1642–1723; Sir Robert Southwell; Ireland; Kinsale; County Cork; translation

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  1. 2012-06-03: SGML and HTML files created. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  2. 2012-05-23: Corrections integrated; place-names, personal names and dates encoded; bibliographic details added; SGML and HTML files created. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  3. 2012-05-22: File proofed online (2). (ed. Janet Crawford)
  4. 2012-05-21: File proofed (1), basic structural and some content encoding added; header created. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  5. 2012-05-21: Text scanned. (data capture Beatrix Färber)

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I100078: Un principe di Toscana in Inghilterra e in Irlanda nel 1669: Irlanda (in English Translation)

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