Captain John Welbe's Proposals for establishing a company by the name of the London Adventurers for carrying on a Trade to (and settling Colonies in) Terra Australis, and working and Improving the Gold and Silver mines which there abound. Captain John WELBE.

Captain John Welbe's Proposals for establishing a company by the name of the London Adventurers for carrying on a Trade to (and settling Colonies in) Terra Australis, and working and Improving the Gold and Silver mines which there abound.

London: [E.A. Petherick], 1888.

Printed sheet measuring 251 x 154 mm, a little toning but very good.

London adventurers in Terra Australis.

Late nineteenth-century printing of a rare broadside promoting colonisation of "Terra Australis" by a private English company.

Late nineteenth-century printing of a rare broadside promoting colonisation of "Terra Australis" by a private English company.

Historically situated between Dampier and Cook, the broadside was originally published by Captain John Welbe circa 1720. It promotes his scheme to float a private company with the express purpose of taking and mining the land along 'the coast of West Peru to the East Indies…upwards of 2,500 leagues'.

The broadside makes note of Welbe's association with Dampier on his voyage of 1703-1706; experience that gave him unprecedented geographical knowledge and confidence to assert that these lands 'abound with Mines of Gold and Silver, and belong to no European state'. So confident is Welbe that he boldly asserts the Crown stands to reap some 50 million pounds from the venture (a mere half of that which he claims the Spanish have taken from Peru). Nonetheless, Welbe's ambitions bore no fruit, and a footnote to this printing states 'Among the Sloan MSS (British Museum) is an earlier proposal by Capt. Welbe to the British Government for a full discovery of Terra Australis. But none of his proposals or his petitions appear to have had any result. His long waiting, however, brought him distress and a debtors' prison.'

This re-printing of the original is now scarce in itself; it was published in 1888 by Edward Petherick, bibliophile and agent for George Robertson in London. Petherick laid the foundations for a bibliography of Australia, and 'by 1894 he had immensely influenced the content of reading on Australia'. His decision to reprint and distribute material related to the early discovery of Australia raised awareness of the era prior to the discovery of the east coast by James Cook.

Price (AUD): $785.00  other currencies Ref: #4308565