Letter 4547

Hans Sloane to Edward Herbert – Apr. 17, 1688

Item info

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

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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