The Narrative of the Honourable John Byron… containing An Account of the Great Distresses suffered by himself and his companions on the Coast of Patagonia, from the year 1740, till their arrival in England, 1746. With a description of St. Jago de Chile… also a relation of the loss of the Wager Man of War, one of Admiral Anson's Squadron. John BYRON.

The Narrative of the Honourable John Byron.
The Narrative of the Honourable John Byron… containing An Account of the Great Distresses suffered by himself and his companions on the Coast of Patagonia, from the year 1740, till their arrival in England, 1746. With a description of St. Jago de Chile… also a relation of the loss of the Wager Man of War, one of Admiral Anson's Squadron.

London: S. Baker and G. Leigh… and T. Davies, 1768.

Octavo, with an engraved frontispiece, original sprinkled calf, at some time rebacked, with triple labels.

Wrecked in forlorn Patagonia

'Admiral Byron's narrative of the loss of the Wager is one of the most thrilling accounts in the language, and supplied his illustrious descendant with many particulars for the shipwreck in Don Juan' (Sabin). Byron, later a noted Pacific explorer in his own right, and eventually governor of Newfoundland, was known as "foul weather Jack"; he was a midshipman aboard the Wager and his narrative provides a notable supplement to the main account of Anson's voyage.

'Admiral Byron's narrative of the loss of the Wager is one of the most thrilling accounts in the language, and supplied his illustrious descendant with many particulars for the shipwreck in Don Juan' (Sabin). Byron, later a noted Pacific explorer in his own right, and eventually governor of Newfoundland, was known as "foul weather Jack"; he was a midshipman aboard the Wager and his narrative provides a notable supplement to the main account of Anson's voyage.

This is the second of two editions published in 1768, of what proved to be a very popular account. Byron describes 'pillaging, treachery, and murder by the crew, most of whom claimed that since their pay ceased the moment the ship was lost they were no longer subject to military discipline and it was every man for himself. It told of Byron's own living off the sea, without shelter or clothing, on the 'most unprofitable spot on the globe of the earth'; of his going without a full meal for thirteen months; of his living three years in the lands of the Spaniards… and of his eventual return to England… almost five years after the shipwreck' (R.E. Gallagher, Byron's Journal, Hakluyt Society, 1964).

It was for this Byron (and not for the poet as was long assumed) that Cook named Byron Bay on the north coast of New South Wales.

Provenance: Thomas Smyth (armorial bookplate with motto: "Quod Sit Meritus Ferat": Chilton Books point out that Burke's peerage lists a similar crest for the Smyth family of Henlow, Bedfordshire).

Hill, 233; Sabin, 9730.

Condition Report: In excellent condition.

Price (AUD): $2,750.00

US$2,065.92   Other currencies

Ref: #5000389

Condition Report