Hakluyt's Voyages

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HAKLUYT'S VOYAGES, the short title of a collection of original records of English voyages overseas before 1600. The full title is The Principall Navigations, Voiages, and Discoveries of the English Nation (published, folio, 1589; expanded to three volumes, 1598–1600). The editor was Richard Hakluyt, clergyman, geographer, and promoter and historiographer of the English expansion. The materials he collected after 1600 were in part included in the more ambitious, but much less careful or complete, work of Samuel Purchas, Purchas his Pilgrimes (1625, four volumes, folio).

Hakluyt's American section, volume 3 of the Voyages and part 2 of Purchas, is an admirable body of source materials for the early history of the English in the New World, the first such collection published for any European nation. For virtually every voyage of importance, Hakluyt procured a full narrative by a participant and added many official documents and private letters. He thus preserved the original and often unique records of the voyages of Jacques Cartier, Sir John Hawkins, Sir Francis Drake, Sir Martin Frobisher, John Davys, Thomas Cavendish, Sir Walter Raleigh (to Guiana), and (in Purchas) Henry Hudson and William Baffin. He also preserved the records of the colonial projects of French Florida, Adrian Gilbert's Newfoundland, and Raleigh's Virginia.


Parks, G. B. Richard Hakluyt and the English Voyages. New York: Ungar, 1961.

George B.Parks/a. r.

See alsoExplorations and Expeditions: British .