A short excerpt (pp. 119-125) in which Moll recounts Cowley's visit to Galápagos.—JW.
Before we proceed, something needs to be said of the Gallapagos Islands, or the enchanted Isles, so call'd by the Spaniards who discovered them.
There are a great number of 'em, and all uninhabited …
Cowley tells us, they could find no good Water, but in one of the Islands lying under the Æquinoctial; whereas Dampier says, there are several pretty long Rivers and Brooks of good water, as above mention'd. Now the reader has by these Contradictions had a taste of the Difficulties we encounter within writing after travellers; the least we can expect is, That we shall not be accountable for the Errors of Originals, when with great pains we have endeavor'd to distinguish the best by Comparison with others.
These Islands are not distinguish'd by Names, except in Cowley's Voyage, and the Chart done for him; his account of 'em is as follows:
… and I being the first that came to an Anchor there, did give them all distinct Names.
“the first we saw of these Islands lay near the Latitude of 1 deg. 30m. It makes high land, and I call'd it King Charles's Island:
The first that we saw, lay near the lat. of 1 deg. 30 min. South; we having the Wind at South, and being on the Northside thereof, that we could not sail to get to it, to discover what was upon it. This Island maketh high Land, the which I called King Charles's Island:
We had sight of three more, which lay to the Northward of this: that next to it I called Crossman's Island: the next to that Brattles; and the third, Sir Anthony Dean's Island.
and we had sight of three more which lay to the Northward of this, that next it I called Crossman's Island; The next to that Brattles; and the third, Sir Anthony Dean's Island.
We saw many more to the Westward, one of which I called Eures's Island, another d'Assigny's, and another Bindlos's.
We moreover saw many more to the Westward; one whereof I called Eure's Island; another, Dassigny's; and another, Bindlos's.
We anchored in a very good Harbour, lying toward the Northwest end of a fine island under the Equinoctial, which I call'd the Duke of York's Island,
Then we came to an Anchor in a very good Harbour, lying toward the Northernmost end of a fine Island, under the Equinoctial Line: Here being great plenty of Provisions, as Fish, Sea and Land Tortoises, some of which weighed at least 200 Pound weight, which are excellent good Food. Here are also abundance of Fowls, viz. Flemingoes and Turtle Doves; the latter whereof were so tame, that they would often alight upon our Hats and Arms, so as that we could take them alive, they not fearing Man, until such time as some of our Company did fire at them, whereby they were rendred more shy. This Island I called the Duke of York's Island;
to the Eastward of which is another fine round Island, and to that I gave the name of the Duke of Norfolk's Island: to the westward of the Duke of York's Island lies another, which I named the Duke of Albemarle's. In the latter is a commodious Bay where you may ride Land-lock'd;
there lying to the Eastward of that (a fine round Island) which I called, The Duke of Norfolk's Island. And to the Westward of the Duke of York's Island, lieth another curious Island, which I call'd The Duke of Albemarle's; in which is a commodious Bay or Harbour, where you may ride Land-lock'd:
and before that Bay lies another Island, which I call'd John Narboroughs. Between York and Albemarle Island lies a small one, which I called by my own name, or Cowley's Enchanted Island; for having sight of it, upon several points of the Compass it appear'd always in as many different forms, sometimes like a ruin'd Fortification, sometimes like a great City, &c.
And before the said Bay lieth another Island, the which I call'd Sir John Narborough's: And between York and Albemarle's Island lieth a small one, which my Fancy led me to call Cowley's enchanted Island; for we having had a sight of it upon several Points of the Compass, it appear'd always in as many different Forms, sometimes like a ruined Fortification; upon another Point, like a great City, &c.
To the Bay of York Island I gave the name of Albany Bay, and to another place, that of York Road. Here are excellent good Water, Wood, &c and a rich Mineral Ore.
This Bay or Harbour in the Duke of York's Island I called Albany Bay; and another Place York Road. Here is excellent, good, sweet Water, Wood, &c. and a rich Mineral Ore.
To the Northward we saw three more fine Islands; the Eastermost I call'd the Earl of Abingdon's: then sailing along between the other two, I call'd the Westermost by the name of the Lord Culpeper, and the Eastermost by that of Lord Wenman.”
From hence we sailed to the Northward, where we saw three more fine Islands; the Eastermost of the three I called the Earl of Abington's Island: Then Sailing along. between the other two, I call'd the Westermost by the Name of the Lord Cullpepper's, and the Eastermost by that of the Lord Wenman's.
'Twas the Voyager who gave name to Pepys Island, he having it seems a particular fancy to christen the Places he came to, as Seamen generally affect to do, by which means they are oft confounded, Charts render'd different one from another, to the puzling those that use 'em; tho every Nation wou'd chuse that Appellation which was given by one of themselves, yet when a Name has prevail'd, 'twill always stand. The vanity of Sharp, to call John Fernando Queen Catherine's Island, has not lost the old name; and 'tis likely all the fine Denominations given the Gallapagos by Cowley will not be found any where but in his own Chart and Voyage, whatever the Fame of those Persons may deserve.
We have been the longer about these Islands, because our English Voyagers give the fullest account of 'em of any; and 'tis probable, that as we become more acquainted with that Passage Eastward, and the South-Sea trade, they will be found very commodious to both. We must now continue our Survey of the Coast; and the next place to be mentioned is
Cape Passao, about 3 leag. from the Bay of Caracas. …
NOTE: Moll's claim that Cowley named Pepys Island is a bit of a strain on the reader's credulity, for Cowley's original manuscripts show that he knew the island(s) were in fact the Sibbel de Waards (today's Falkland Islands). The assignment of Pepys' name to these islands was probably the work of William Hacke, and presumably Moll would have known that, since he worked with Hacke in the preparation of Hacke's 1699 Collection of Original Voyages
Moll guessed wrong in predicting that “ … 'tis likely all the fine Denominations given the Gallapagos by Cowley will not be found any where but in his own Chart and Voyage. …” Many of Cowley's names are a permanent part of the scientific literature, and some remain in popular usage to this day.—JW.