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11 Annotations

First Reading

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Lucky Prince Charles, as he left England for exile in Jersey and France, followed by wandering all over the place, this is where he stayed. I hope he remembered fondly his stay in the Isles of Scilly. Scroll down for a picture of the two castles there ... one was built by Cromwell after Charles had left.…

Otherwise, the isles were most often used by the fleet which stayed here for six weeks of quarantine if they had been to an infected place.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The following people served as Governor of the Isles of Scilly, off the coast of Cornwall.
An early governor of Scilly was Thomas Godolphin, whose son Francis received a lease on the Isles in 1568.
They were styled Governors of Scilly and the Godolphins and their Osborne relatives held this position until 1834.
In 1920 the ownership reverted to the Duchy of Cornwall.
Today, the Dorrien-Smith estate still holds the lease for the island of Tresco.

Governors during the Stuart Century were:

1568–1608 Sir Francis Godolphin (1540–1608)
1608–1613 Sir William Godolphin of Godolphin (1567–1613)
1613–1636 William Godolphin (1611–1636)
1636–1643 Sidney Godolphin (1610–1643)
1643–1646 Sir Francis Godolphin of Godolphin (1605–1647)
1647–1648 Anthony Buller (Parliamentarian) (1)
1649–1651 Sir John Grenville (Royalist)
1651–1660 Joseph Hunkin (Parliamentary control)
1660–1667 Sir Francis Godolphin of Godolphin (1605–1667) (restored to office)
1667–1700 Sidney Godolphin, 1st Earl of Godolphin (1645–1712)
1700–1732 Sidney Goldolphin (1652–1732)

(1) Per slate tablet on external wall of Old Town Church, St Mary's, Isles of Scilly, inscribed as follows: "To the memory of Francys, the wife of Joseph Hunkyn of Gatherly in the parish of Lifton in Devon, Governour of the Iland of Silly. She was the daughter of Robert Lovyes of Beardon in the parish of Boydon in Cornwall Esqu. She dyed the 30 day of March 1657 about the 46 (?) yeer of her age." See image and transcript [1]; For pedigree of "Hunkin of Gatherleigh" see: Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, p. 493…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

After a stormy trip from Ireland, Cosmo, the future Grand Duke of Turin, and his retinue landed at the Isles of Scilly.
I've standardized names, scanning errors I could figure out, and increased the number of paragraphs. I had a battle figuring out the O.S./N.S. dates, and apologize if I got them wrong:

The remainder of the day and the following night, they pursued their voyage, with the wind still at north; but changing to the east on 18/28 March, 1669 they were obliged then to tack about, not only during the night, but till almost mid-day of the 19/29th; whence seeing at once the impossibility and danger of continuing their course to the eastward of the islands of Sorling [commonly known as Scilly], in order to gain the cape of the Land's End, for the wind, coming directly from the N.E., was driving the ship upon the great covered rock which lies four leagues from the islands and from the aforementioned cape.


The pilot, after consulting with the captain, resolved to sail to the island St. Mary, and to wait there, rather than at sea, for a change of weather, because less inconvenient to his highness.

Turning the ship's head towards the west, they anchored in the harbor 2 hours after mid-day. The ship having hoisted the admiral's standard, was saluted by the fortress with 7 guns, and was replied to with the same number, which it acknowledged again with 3.

The couriers immediately landed to prepare apartments; soon afterwards his highness disembarked, and was received by the lieutenant governor, who considered it his duty to accommodate him in the castle, and had ordered all the garrison under arms; whilst the guns in the meantime fired a numerous volley from the walls, to which the ship answered with 10 discharges.

His highness requested to lodge, according to his custom, in a private house; where having received the commandant, he retired immediately, without going out anymore that evening.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

On 20/30 March, 1669 his highness walked up to the castle, accompanied by the commandant, and afterwards descended to make the tour of the fortifications. Both at his going in and coming out, the soldiery were paraded, and a salute was fired from all the guns; to which the ship answered with 21 rounds.


On his returning home he entertained the Commandant jrfid the captain at dinner.

The day was spent in walking with these persons until late in the evening; and, returning home, he retired *f^»-"rfis^

Nine leagues from the farthest westerly point of England, there is a space of sea, which, in a circuit of 70 miles, embraces a great number of small islands and rocks, a great part of which are constantly covered with water, and are the cause of more shipwrecks than happen perhaps in all the other seas of Europe together.

These islands, which, by modern geographers, are called the Sorlings, are, by the English, more commonly known by the name of Scilly; and under this denomination are generally comprehended the sunken ones, as well as the others; and amongst these last, which are about 100 in number, as well the rocky and deserted ones as those which naturally produce grass, and those which the population has rendered in some degree fruitful.

The last mentioned are 7 in all: St. Mary's, which is the principal, St. Martin's, St. Agnes, Tresco, Bryer, Samson, and St. Hellena.

On each of the 2 last, there is only a single family, which, besides an adequate number of cattle, cultivate as much land as is capable of affording them an abundant sustenance.


Of the others, that of St. Mary is the principal, both on account of the capaciousness and security of its harbor, and the superior ^minb|f-^,pC i^. inhabitants.

Of these, all the islands together are estimated to contain about 1,000, who live separate in small towns, or rather assemblages of houses; in St. Mary's, there are 12 or 14 of them. Their habitations are low; but, in other respects, resemble the buildings of England, being made of excellent materials. The more common ones have a peculiar sort of covering by way of roof, having nothing but a simple mat spread over the rafters, drawn tight all round, and fixed firmly to the top of the walls.

This, they say, is the sort of covering used very commonly in Bermuda, and it is necessary to renew it every year.

The best houses are covered with slate; but these are few. The inhabitants are comfortable, and follow fishing; fish being here in great abundance, and much better, [tl^ai^ ilR f^'S Channel: and they likewise attend to the cultivation of the land, which produces wheat and oats in exactly sufficient quantities for their support.

Corn of late began to be scarce, in consequence of the increase of population produced by the marriages of the soldiers of the garrison with the islanders; but this has been remedied for some years past, by forbidding them to marry.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


In all the islands, no other trees are to be found but apple and cherry trees, which were planted a few years since by the present governor on his farm, and have thriven wonderfully.

In digging the ground, there are found in many places a great number of very thick stumps of oak, which evidently belonged to trees of extraordinary magnitude.

There is likewise »reasonable quantity of cattle; whence neither cheese nor butter are wanting; consequently of the necessaries, and even the comforts of life, few things are imported, as even beer is made here.

The whole government is in the hands of the commandant of the fortress, who, at present, is Sir Godolphin, and as he has never been to take possession of it, it may be said that he is unknown here; hence the whole authority is vested in Col. Janowick, a gentleman of Cornwall, his lieutenant-governor.

[1667–1700 Sidney Godolphin, 1st Earl of Godolphin (1645–1712)]

The fortress stands on a hill, which shuts in the harbor to the east, and commands the whole water. On the highest part is a castle, founded by Queen Elizabeth in the year 1570, which consists of two small enclosures; that without having 8 turrets, and that within 4.

At the foot of the hill, on the seashore, is a circular entrenchment, with embrasures in the most suitable situations, in which, and on the bastions of the fortress, are mounted 130 beautiful iron culverins.


The harbor is capable of containing 500 ships with convenience, and is perfectly secure, in the first place, owing to the goodness of its bottom, and in the next place, from its being sheltered all round by the island and the neighboring rocks. It appears open on the south only, but yet is not less defended on this side than on the others; as a natural rock, which is 'Alti^jrs covered with water, extends for three leagues in that direction.

This harbor may be entered and left with every possible wind, having four large openings, to the north, south, west, and east; the largest ships enter with safety, in any direction, except that on the east it is necessary to wait for high water, owing to the shallowness of the bottom: nevertheless it must not be attempted when the sea is agitated, or the atmosphere foggy, the channels which lead to it being very narrow and winding.

The temperature of the air is wholesome, clear and serene, whence the mists do not continue more than 4 hours.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


In the time of the late m^slt, the garrison consisted of 600 men; at present, there are 200; the king expending annually for the support of the fortress, officers, and garrisons, about 4,000/.s sterling, including the stipend of the governor; which is 2,000 crowns, and that of the chaplain, which is 400.

Twenty of the soldiers are employed to guard the castle of Bryer, which is situated at the mouth of the harbor of Grimsby. This is likewise very secure and spacious, but more difficult to enter, and consequently to sail out of than that of St. Mary's; for which reason, in order to get in with safety, many ships fire a gun as a signal, on which a boat or shallop is sent off by the governor with experienced persons, who conduct them into port.

For this service a crown is paid, besides the anchorage, which is 3 shillings, the perquisite of the governor of the fortress, to whom belong even the wrecks which remain on these rocks, in case none of the crew escape; but from this custom ships of war belonging to the king are exempt.

The inhabitants of this island are reckoned very zealous observers of the genuine Anglican religion, and the most loyal subjects which the king has in all the kingdom.

This was clearly shewn in the late revolution; they having been the last to surrender to the new government, after a long and obstinate defense, and after having afforded a faithful and secure retreat in the island of St. Mary's to the late king, who, after he had been defeated in the battle of Worcester, took refuge here, to wait for a conjuncture more favorable to his interests, although, at last, after the delay of a month, he resolved to go over to France.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


On 21/31 March, 1669, the wind having changed to the N.W., the captain sent very early in the morning, to notify his departure to his highness, who came on board before 9 o'clock, after having received the homage of the governor, and been accompanied by him to the boat.

When he left the shore, the fortress fired a royal salute, which was answered, as soon as his highness got on board, with 25 guns; the castle saluted again as he quitted the harbor, and the frigate replied with the same number as before.

As soon as they had cleared the rocks, they made sail, and, in about 2 hours, towards mid-day, they were abreast of the cape of Land's End; and having soon after entered the Channel, and passed Falmouth, we found ourselves, at sunset, only one league from the point of Dedman, which signifies "the dead man."

It was then night, and the wind still continuing favorable, and finding ourselves close to land, in order that we might not overshoot the point of Plymouth in the night, we began to tack backwards and forwards; and continued in this manner, till 4 o'clock of the morning of 23 March/1 April, when the wind got round to the north, being thus directly in the teeth of those who attempted to enter the harbor; yet, thanks to the goodness of the ship, and the great exertions and industry of the pilot, they so gained upon the wind in 5 or 6 tacks, that they succeeded in coming to an anchor before 2 o'clock in the afternoon.


About 9 o’clock the next morning, we rejoined our comrade, which had parted company the very first evening that we sailed from Corunna.

Having steered more directly for the cape of Brittany, in 2 days and si half she made the Sorlings, and 4 days afterwards anchored at Plymouth, where, receiving no intelligence of us for 4 days, she sailed back to the Sorlings in quest of us; but discovering us the preceding evening, as we passed Falmouth, where she was lying at anchor, she happily came up with us in the morning.
When within gun shot, she saluted with a discharge of 7 guns, to which we answered with 5.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The captain then coming on board, presented to his highness letters from Colonel Gascoyne, written 2 days before at Plymouth; but a few hours afterwards, when the frigate began to enter the harbor, he came himself to make his obeisance to his highness, bringing with him Major Andrews, deputy to Sir Charles Cotterel, the master of the ceremonies, and introducer of ambassadors at court.


To pick up the story, see the PLYMOUTH encyclopedia entry


His highness, Cosmo, must be considered only as a traveler. Under his direction, the narrator of the records was Count Lorenzo Magalotti, afterwards Secretary to the Academy del Cimento, and one of the most learned and eminent characters of the court of Ferdinand II.

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The Three Hundred and Thirty-Five Years' War

In 1651, the Netherlands decided to get involved in the English Civil Wars between the Royalists and Parliamentarians. During the whole messy affair, the Dutch sent a fleet of 12 warships to the Isles of Scilly, an archipelago off the southwestern tip of Cornwall, to demand reparations from the Royalists, who had been raiding Dutch shipping lanes.

Their demands were ignored, at which point the Dutch declared war on the Isles of Scilly.
The Dutch hung around for three months and then abandoned the fruitless conflict and sailed home.

But they forgot one thing: to declare peace with the Isles of Scilly. The bloodless war technically lasted for 335 years until anyone saw fit to formally sign a peace treaty, which finally happened in 1986. It remains, arguably at least, one of the longest wars in history.…

[I'm guessing when they say "the Netherlands" they mean the United Providences/Dutch Republic and not the Spanish Netherlands.]

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.



  • May