Autograph letter signed, from the Earl of Sandwich to "Dr Hawkesworth at Mrs Banwells Great Ormond Street" COOK: FIRST VOYAGE, John Montagu SANDWICH, fourth Earl.
Autograph letter signed, from the Earl of Sandwich to "Dr Hawkesworth at Mrs Banwells Great Ormond Street"

Autograph letter signed to John Hawkesworth…
Autograph letter signed, from the Earl of Sandwich to "Dr Hawkesworth at Mrs Banwells Great Ormond Street"

London: c. 1771.

Quarto, autograph manuscript in ink; single page on a bifolium with address panel; on paper watermarked "LVG"

First Lord of the Admiralty to Cook's first editor

An amusing letter from Lord Sandwich to John Hawkesworth, editor and ghostwriter of the official account of Cook's first voyage (An Account of the Voyages Undertaken by the Order of His Majesty for Making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere, 1773). Sandwich writes: "That I may be certain whether you are alive or dead, I shall be obliged to you if you will either come yourself or send your ghost to dine with me tomorrow. I am most sincerely yours Sandwich." This witty communication between the two men dates from the period when Hawkesworth was preparing the Cook account, during Sandwich's third term as First Lord of Admiralty (1771-82; of course, it was during this appointment that James Cook discovered Hawaii on his third voyage and named them the Sandwich Islands in his honour).

An amusing letter from Lord Sandwich to John Hawkesworth, editor and ghostwriter of the official account of Cook's first voyage (An Account of the Voyages Undertaken by the Order of His Majesty for Making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere, 1773). Sandwich writes: "That I may be certain whether you are alive or dead, I shall be obliged to you if you will either come yourself or send your ghost to dine with me tomorrow. I am most sincerely yours Sandwich." This witty communication between the two men dates from the period when Hawkesworth was preparing the Cook account, during Sandwich's third term as First Lord of Admiralty (1771-82; of course, it was during this appointment that James Cook discovered Hawaii on his third voyage and named them the Sandwich Islands in his honour).
Hawkesworth was introduced to Sandwich by Charles Burney in September 1771 when "the First Lord was casting around for someone to 'write the voyage' - that is, to take Cook's journal and put it into a form suitable for the reading of the polite world; and not only Cook's journal but those of the three other circumnavigators, Byron, Wallis and Carteret. Cook and Banks, we remember, were patriotically anxious that this should be done as soon as possible, and it was all the more important to get something authentic on the market... Burney recommended his friend Dr John Hawkesworth, who had time and could do with the money..." (Beaglehole). The money was decent: Hawkesworth earned a substantial £6000 from the publishers Strahan and Cadell and completed the first two volumes in just four months. A landmark publication, this would help to cement Cook's reputation in the eyes of the public, serving Sandwich's official purpose.
The letter probably dates from late 1771, while Hawkesworth was at work on the journal. He died in November 1773, not long after the book's publication.

Beaglehole, The Life of Captain Cook, p.289.

Price (AUD): $5,850.00  other currencies     Ref: #4504815

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