The end of Halley’s first voyage

D40081-11_2_2

Extract from Halley’s first logbook, in another hand but with his signature (© British Library (£), Add MSS 30368, f.8v)

“The Gunns and Gunners Stores were delivered to the Tower Officers and that Same Evening we moord our Shipp at Deptford”

This was the final entry dictated by Captain Edmond Halley to his clerk on 11 July 1699, with Halley’s own signature bringing the log of his first voyage to a close.

Halley was paid wages of £168 0s 0d, less deductions for the Royal Hospital for Seamen at Greenwich and for “bearing Supernumery’s”, leaving net pay of £140 2s 8d. Lieutenant Harrison received £71 5s 2d (£71 0s 0d net), and the clerk Caleb Harmon was paid £15 19s 3d (£15 3s 1d net), which his father apparently collected.

The pay book was signed by both Halley and Harrison:

IMG_6592_2_2

Extract from the Pay Book (© National Archives (£), ADM 33/196)

There was one final page to Halley’s logbook: “A Table of the true Latitudes & Longitudes of the Severall Islands and Ports mentioned to have been seen in this Voyage”, and for those people (like me) who rather like data, I’ve included the table at the end of this post.

Otherwise Halley will now set about persuading “their Lopps” to allow him a second voyage in Paramore, and he will set sail again in mid-September when this blog and his twitter feed (@HalleysLog) will recommence.

I hope you’ll join us again in September, when we’ll start by looking at what Halley got up to over the summer – in the meantime, I wish all our readers a great summer!

Halley’s table of latitudes and longitudes

I’ve separated Halley’s table into two – one for latitude and one for longitude – so that I could include modern values and show the differences between the figures. The modern values are taken from Wikipedia and of course may not represent the exact same place where Halley made his observations, and so the figures and differences are indicative only (I haven’t noted whether the differences are plus/minus to keep things simple).

1 degree of latitude is roughly equal to 69 miles (approx 111 km), and 1 degree of longitude at the equator is also about 69 miles (less as you approach the poles). In both tables, the 1st and 2nd columns are taken from the table that concluded Halley’s logbook but the values are not necessarily the same as those he recorded in the body of his log. He seems to have gone quite badly wrong in his original longitude values when crossing the Atlantic – perhaps confused by currents and being becalmed? – but then realised this on reaching Brazil and so recalculated his figures for the final table (Harrison seems to have recorded more accurate values during this period).

As you’d expect, his latitude values are more accurate than his (amended) longitude values, although his longitude values around the Caribbean seem pretty good. Longitude is measured West from London.

Table 1 – LATITUDE

 

HALLEY

MODERN

DIFF

The Lizard

49°54′

50°02′

0°08′

North part of Scilley

49:57

49:56

0:01

Madera

32:30

32:39

0:09

Isle of Sall

16:10

16:36

0:26

St Iago ye North Cape

15:18

15:17

0:01

Isle of May

15:05

15:14

0:09

Porto praya South side of St Iago

14:50

14:55

0:05

Fernando Loranho

3:57 S

3:51 S

0:06

Cape Dello at the Mouth of ye River of paraiba in Brasill

7:00 S

6:58 S

0:02

Barbadoes

13:10

13:10

0

Martinica

14:35

14:40

0:05

Desseada

16:23

16:19

0:04

Antegoa

17:10

17:05

0:05

Monte serrat North end

16:50

16:45

0:05

Redando

17:[0]2

16:56

0:06

Nevis Road

17:15

17:09

0:06

Old Road of St Christophers

17:30

17:18

0:12

Eustachia

17:36

17:29

0:07

Saba

17:42

17:38

0:04

St Bartholomew

17:55

17:54

0:01

St Martins

18:05

18:04

0:01

Anguilla

18:15

18:23

0:08

Table 2 – LONGITUDE

 

HALLEY

MODERN

DIFF

The Lizard

5°30′

5°11′

0°19′

North part of Scilley

7:10

6:19

0:51

Madera

16:45

16:55

0:10

Isle of Sall

22:00

22:54

0:54

St Iago ye North Cape

22:40

23:45

1:05

Isle of May

22:00

23:10

1:10

Porto praya South side of St Iago

22:30

23:31

1:01

Fernando Loranho

34:00

32:25

1:35

Cape Dello at the Mouth of ye River of paraiba in Brasill

36:00

34:50

1:10

Barbadoes

59:05

59:33

0:28

Martinica

60:20

61:00

0:40

Desseada

60:30

61:03

0:33

Antegoa

61:27

61:48

0:21

Monte serrat North end

61:47

62:12

0:25

Redando

61:55

62:20

0:25

Nevis Road

62:10

62:35

0:25

Old Road of St Christophers

62:25

62:44

0:19

Eustachia

62:40

62:58

0:18

Saba

62:55

63:14

0:19

St Bartholomew

62:35

62:50

0:15

St Martins

62:50

63:03

0:13

Anguilla

62:50

63:05

0:15

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2 thoughts on “The end of Halley’s first voyage

  1. Great series of posts Kate which I have enjoyed and more to the point been ‘educated’! Looking forward to renewing my acquaintance with Edmond later, Meanwhile from a devotee have a great summer. Bob :)x

    • Thanks very much, Bob! It’s nice to get some feedback and I’m glad you’ve been enjoying the blog. I’m looking forward to Edmond’s next voyage myself – but for now I like to think about the joy and excitement when he returns home to his wife, Mary, their two daughters and his new-born son.

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