Letter 4547

Edward Herbert to Hans Sloane – Apr. 17, 1688

Item info

Date: Apr. 17, 1688
Author: Edward Herbert
Recipient: Hans Sloane

Library: British Library, London
Manuscript: Sloane MS 4068
Folio: ff. 7-8

Original Page


f. 7
Jamaica Apr 17 1688

My Lord,
I am heartily glad to hear by severale of
my friends in England of your Lops wellfare, I hope
it will continue & that your Lop belives I wish it as
much as any man either in the old or new world.
For my self bating sea sicknesse wch continu’d with
me for a whole moneth, & a little seasoning (as they
call it) or a great feaver, I thank God I have
enjoyd a perfect health & find these places to be
quite different from the Reports are of them in
England’ Evenings & mornings are indeed somewhat
hott but att other times of the day it is pretty
temperate * U’me sure I have felt greater heat in
some parts of France then ever I did here yet.
Ever since the beginning of Febry I dread Earthquakes
more then heat for then wee had a very great one
I finding the house to dance & cabbinetts to reel
look’d out at window to see whither people remov’d the
house or no & casting my eye towards ane aviary
saw the birds in as great concern as my self &

f. 7v
then another terrible shake coming, I apprehended
what it was & betook mee to my heels to gett
clear of the house but before I gott down staires,
it was over, if it had come the day after it had
frighted us ten times more for the day it happen’d here
arriv’d a Spanish sloop from Porto Belo giving ane
account of the destruction of a great part of the
Kingdom of Peru by the like accident which yor Lop
I hope will not be weary in reading a brief account
of; which I have from the Spanish Letters sent from
Luna hiterh, & be persons come from thence this being
their nearest way to stop their Galeons or for going on
other measures about their West India trade which may
be alterd by it, In short they say that on the 20th of
October last at 4 of the clock in the morning there
happened a most terrible earthquake which threw down
many houses at Lima & therabout & kill’d a great
many people of all sorts who flying were buryed under
their houses, at 5 in the same morning came another
shake wt the same consequences & at 6 when they thought
themselves safe came the worse of all, it raz’d & laid
even with the Ground Lima, Callao the port town to it
Canette, Pisio & all the towns within about 300 leagues
along that coast, the cattle in the fields ran together
with strange astonishment, & the sea [deletion] overflowed
itts bounds & carried shops 3 Leagues within what

f. 8
befor was land, itt down’d all cattle & inhabitants
soe that in one place they had found 5000 dead bodies
which the sea had left drouned, by the answers of
some Spaniards lately come from thence [deletion] Itts
believed their losses may be much greater then they
report, all the inhabitants remaining are doing
nothing but pennance for their sinns & wearing
sackcloath their fineries being all buried in the ruines
of their townes. Our fruits here are not so good as ye
European even our pineapple far inferious to a pippin
Watermelons of these parts are very good, but water
it selfe the best thing in the Island, it has preserv[torn]
my Life I’me sure whereas people here on a false
principle concerning the climate kill themselves by
adding fewell to the fire & drinking strong intoxicat
=ing Liquor. But I must not be too troublesome
to yor Lop with idle tales but conclude wth assuring
yor Lop that I never remember you but with a very
great honour for you & to a wish that it may be
in my power to show you either here or any where
how much I am without complement

My Lord
Yor Lops most humble most obedt&
most oblidged servt
Hans Sloane

I have wrote
to Brother Sloane
abt Mis Lynches affaires.

Has remains of a red stamp and a postal mark

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