EDMUND HICKERINGILL (1631-1708)
Jamaica viewed: with All the Ports, Harbours, and their several Soundings, Towns, and Settlements thereunto belonging together, With the nature of its Climate, fruitfulnesse of the Soile, and its suitablenesse to Engliah Complexions. London: for John Williams, 1661. 8° (14 x 9cm). Folding engraved map. (The map torn at folds without apparent loss.) Contemporary sheep (extremities slightly scuffed, spine with two small worm-holes and small tear to head). Provenance: Thomas Rawlinson (1681-1725, bibliophile, 'C.& P.' mark and note 'Legi Aprili 1723/4').
'TO DESCRIBE JAMAICA, IS TO PRAISE IT': A FINE UNSOPHISTICATED COPY OF THE SECOND EDITION WITH A DISTINGUISHED PROVENANCE. Thomas Rawlinson qualified as a lawyer but on the death of his father in 1707 turned to book-collecting with a will. At his death it is estimated hat he owned over 200,000 books and at one point their sheer volume forced him to sleep in the passage of his rooms in Gray's Inn. His collection was sold in a series of sixteen sales held between 1721 and 1734.
Hickeringill was an eccentric who spent much of his later life in litigation. His experience of Jamaica appears to have been as part of the force commanded by General Robert Venables who unsuccessfully invaded Cuba, and occupied Jamaica (but only briefly: he landed on 10th May 1655 and sailed for England on 25th June). Hickeringill blamed the General's wife for the failure of the Cuba expedition, the General's wife blamed his men and history blamed a lack of co-operation between General Venables and Admiral Penn. Wing H-1817; Sabin 31693.