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Purchas, Samuel

Samuel Purchas (pûr´kəs, –chəs), 1577?–1626, English clergyman and compiler of travel literature, b. Essex. Chaplain to the archbishop of Canterbury, he later was rector of St. Martin's Church, London. His first book, Purchas His Pilgrimage (1613), was designed as a survey of peoples and religions of the world. Its success led to his most famous compilation of travel literature, Hakluytus Posthumus, or Purchas His Pilgrims (4 vol., 1625) for which he used the papers of Richard Hakluyt, East India Company records, and many manuscripts he had collected, which have since been lost.

See selections by H. G. Rawlinson (1931) and C. Wild (1939).

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