1721 Thomas Gage Caribbean Voyages MEXICO Spanish Colonization MAP Panama

Thomas Gage Adrien Baillet

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Thomas Gage (c. 1597 – 1656) was an English clergyman known for his voyages to the New World. His travels began at Mexico, where he started a missionary journey that would last for 12 years, getting to know the land and local costumes. In 1640, once back in England, he converted to Anglicanism and was sent to the Antilles by Cromwell in an expedition to assess the state of the Spanish settlements, where he stayed until death found him in Jamaica.

This book describes the Caribbean voyage taken by Thomas Gage where he accompanied a military expedition. There are 11 original copper engravings as well as a map of North America and contains important documentation of the Caribbean Antilles. This work harshly criticizes the religious institutions and the Spanish colonization method.

18th-century printings of this work are extremely rare! We find a 1720 printing for sale for $1,650

$750.00

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1721 Thomas Gage Caribbean Voyages MEXICO Spanish Colonization MAP Panama

VERY RARE edition w/ 11 engravings / [email protected]$1,650

 

Thomas Gage (c. 1597 – 1656) was an English clergyman known for his voyages to the New World. His travels began at Mexico, where he started a missionary journey that would last for 12 years, getting to know the land and local costumes. In 1640, once back in England, he converted to Anglicanism and was sent to the Antilles by Cromwell in an expedition to assess the state of the Spanish settlements, where he stayed until death found him in Jamaica.

 

This book describes the Caribbean voyage taken by Thomas Gage where he accompanied a military expedition. There are 11 original copper engravings as well as a map of North America and contains important documentation of the Caribbean Antilles. This work harshly criticizes the religious institutions and the Spanish colonization method.

 

18th-century printings of this work are extremely rare! We find a 1720 printing for sale for $1,650

 

Main author: Thomas Gage; Adrien Baillet

 

Title: Nouvelle relation, contenant les voyages de Thomas Gage : dans la Nouvelle Espagne, ses diverses avantures, & son retour par la province de Nicaragua, jusqu’à la Havane : avec la description de la ville de Mexique … : ensemble une description exacte des terres & provinces que possedent les Espagnols en toute l’Amérique, de la forme de leur gouvernement ecclesiastique & politique, de leur commerce, de leurs moeurs, & de celles des Creoles, des Metifs, des Mulâtres, des Indiens, & des Négres.

 

Published: A Amsterdam : Chez Paul Marret …, 1721. (complete 2v in 1)

 

Language: French

 

Notes:

  • Incredible map of North America
  • 11 copper engravings

 

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Wear: wear as seen in photos

Binding: tight and secure leather binding

Illustrated: 11 engravings

Pages: complete with all 200 + 178 pages; plus indexes, prefaces, and such

Publisher: A Amsterdam : Chez Paul Marret …, 1721.

Size: ~6in X 4in (15cm x 10cm)

 

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Thomas Gage (c. 1597 – 1656) was an English clergyman.

He was the son of the English Catholic gentleman John Gage, from 1622 a baronet, and his wife Margaret. The family were strong Catholics and were intermarried with other Catholic families, including that of Sir Thomas More, the former Lord Chancellor.

Contents  [hide]

1              Catholic beginnings

2              In the Spanish Americas

3              The new religion

4              Informer

5              The travel writer

6              The military adventurer

7              References

7.1          Editions

7.2          Studies

8              External links

Catholic beginnings[edit]

The family’s Catholicism was practiced behind closed doors. His three older brothers followed in the Catholic tradition. One was the Royalist soldier Colonel Sir Henry Gage (1597–1645), who fought on the Continent for Catholic Spain and eventually in England for Charles I; George was a diplomat and priest; and William was a Jesuit. In fact, there were no fewer than five priests in the family since their half-brothers John and Francis, born of their father’s second marriage, were also priests.

John Gage wanted his son Thomas to become a Jesuit, and to this end sent him for a schooling with the Jesuits of the College of St. Omer in the Low Countries and seems to have been an unremarkable pupil. From St Omer he was sent for further education with a view to becoming a Jesuit priest to the English College at Valladolid in Spain. Valladolid was the scene of a good deal of rivalry and bad feeling between the different religious orders, a situation worsened by the temperamental and political tensions between the Spanish and the English. Gage developed a contempt for the Jesuits and like numerous other students of the English College at that period took refuge with a rival establishment, choosing the Dominicans. Gage himself claims that it was this that led to his being disowned by his father.

Having been sent to the English College, Valladolid, in Spain, he showed his first sign of a difficult character when he developed a loathing for the Jesuits who ran the College, left and entered the Dominican, being ordained a priest in. As a Spanish Dominican he served as professor of rhetoric in the convent of Jerez, and then volunteered in 1625 for the mission to the Philippines. There was a hitch. Before his departure a royal decree forbade any foreigner, under severe penalties, to go to the Spanish colonies. Gage was hidden in a barrel and the party of thirty or so Dominican friars sailed from Cadiz, on 2 July 1625.

In the Spanish Americas[edit]

The route led through Mexico, where Gage decided to remain and for a time taught Latin in the convent school. By Gage’s own account, in Mexico City he heard from a friar who had run away from his duties in the Philippines that the Dominican superiors there were cruel and harsh and the friars corrupt and worldly. In order to escape onward posting to the Philippines, Gage and three other friars escaped from Mexico for Guatemala. Here he was accepted by the Dominicans as a useful addition to their manpower. He spent two or three years in the priory in Guatemala City, where he seems to have liked the opportunity for study but began to have religious doubts and was led to ask to return to England. The Dominican authorities refused, on the grounds that missionaries had to remain in the Americas for ten years.

Further embittered, he decided to accompany friar Francisco Moran into new territories of Guatemala to learn the language and ways of the Amerinds. This he did and preached to two communities of Mixco and Pinola for five years. It seems likely that this was already in his mind at least in part a largely mercenary operation, aimed at gathering funds to finance a return to England. Gage gathered a handsome 9,000 crowns, in what proportion honestly gained is left unclear. By 1635, with this sum accumulated, Gage, now increasingly disenchanted with Spanish America, was ready to return to Europe, requested permission from the Dominican Provincial, was refused and was posted instead to Petapa. After a year there he decided to run for it. All in all he had spent the years 1625-1637 in Mexico and Guatemala.

Turning his wealth into pearls and precious stones, on 7 January 1637, he made his way through Nicaragua and sailed from Costa Rica on 4 February. He was captured by Dutch corsairs led by Diego el Mulato en route. Gage was unharmed and was allowed to keep some books and paintings, but lost all his other valuables.[1] He finally reached Spain on 28 November 1637, and in 1638 arrived in England. There, after an absence of twenty-six years, he discovered that he had been disowned and disinherited by his father, long deceased, though he was welcomed and treated well by his family. He could not get along with his fellow Dominicans in England and soon traveled to Rome, though his doubts about his faith continued. On the way out he called on his brother Colonel Henry Gage at his winter quarters near Ghent. This journey, lengthened by ill-health and wartime conditions, brought him a number of adventures, but also the opportunity to visit Protestant communities in both Germany and France. In Rome, where he continued to conceal his leaning to Protestantism, he involved himself in a variety of intrigues.

The new religion[edit]

While popular psychology can be a dangerous trap when applied to historical figures, Gage seems to conform to a kind of type which is not unknown in the pages of history: the austere fanatic who ends up completely kicking over the traces. In the Americas he surely met with instances of how the Christianity preached by the missionaries often quickly became an ingredient in a curious syncretistical mix.[citation needed] Without doubt he encountered cases of the sort of laxity which the Dominican and other orders were trying to remedy in other parts of the world. Clerical scandals are not new, either. At the same time Gage dedicates his energies to telling the world tales such as that of the friars playing cards, with one friar who jokingly scoops the winnings into the sleeve of his habit, saying that Dominicans are forbidden to touch money. An incident like that may have been marked by bad taste, and it may have been symptomatic of a less than devout atmosphere, but it might also not merit a change of religion. Another story recounted with disdain by a Gage who against his vows amassed a fortune, is of the Spanish friar noted for his learning who was excommunicated when money was found in his quarters. Gage seems to be by temperament a bitter pill and later in life seems distinctly unhinged.

Despairing now perhaps more or less of everything, he returned from Rome to England in September 1640, and began to take an active part in the parliamentary troubles in England, and then in 1642 publicly abandoned the Catholic Church for a Puritanical form of Anglicanism. He became a “Preacher of the Word” and as a means to improve the lukewarm reception he had received among Protestants and by the Parliamentarian part, he married. Though for this he was rewarded with the rectorship of Acrise in Kent, he had won for himself general ridicule by a sermon he preached that summer in St Paul’s, London, and published in October under the title “The Tyranny of Satan, discovered by the teares of a converted sinner […] by Thomas Gage, formerly a Romish Priest, for the space of 38 yeares, and now truly reconciled to the Church of England”. In December 1642 he testified against the priest Thomas Holland, whom he had known at St. Omer and Valladolid, and obtained a sentence of hanging, drawing and quartering which was effectively carried out. The following year, 1643 it was the turn of the Franciscan Francis Bell, with the same result. On 7 September 1644 the Jesuit Ralph Corby was executed on his evidence.

Gage then set about exploiting his life’s experience, and published a book, The English-American his Travails by Sea and Land in 1648, which was as much a political pamphlet and an adventurer’s prospectus as a traveller’s tale.

That of Thomas Holland was not the only death for which Gage was responsible among the Catholics. In 1650 two priests were arrested, the Jesuit Peter Wright and the Dominican Thomas Middleton or Dade. Wright had been chaplain in Ghent and in England to Thomas Gage’s soldier brother Henry and had attended Henry at his death. Dade was the provincial of the English Dominicans. Gage was the chief prosecution witness. His brother George visited him and pleaded with him not to stain himself with judicial murder. Thomas Gage promised to desist and did get Dade, against whom he had a personal grudge, off the charge. Possibly Gage was afraid for his own safety if he let the trial collapse. The execution of Wright was not popular and Gage’s treachery, compounded by his attack on his late brother Henry’s good name, earned even the rebuke of the court.

In 1651 came an attempt to win back some public regard with his A duell betvveen a Iesuite and a Dominican : begun at Paris, gallantly fought at Madrid, and victoriously ended at London, upon fryday the 16 day of May, Anno Dom. 1651 / by Thomas Gage, alias the English American, now preacher of the word at Deal in Kent, in several printings, and then his A full survey of Sion and Babylon, and a clear vindication of the parish-churches and parochial-ministers of England […], or, A Scripture disproof, and syllogistical conviction of M. Charles Nichols, of Kent : delivered in three Sabbath-dayes sermons in the parish church of Deal in Kent, after a publick dispute in the same church with the said Mr. Charles Nichols, upon the 20. day of October 1653.

Informer[edit]

Not only was Gage not a silent convert, he was also prepared to go to great lengths to persecute his former faith. We have seen that he obtained the death sentence for Thomas Holland (1642), Francis Bell (1643), Ralph Corby (1644) and Peter Wright (1651). In 1649 he is said to have been summoned by the Council of State, presumably to provide information about Catholic priests. In fact there is a record of a Thomas Gage being arrested in 1617, and brought before the Privy Council. It cannot be excluded that this was our Thomas Gage and that the Council released him in return for his becoming a spy, though this is not proved.

The travel writer[edit]

When the Civil War brought success for the Revolution, he had aligned himself become closely with Oliver Cromwell. In 1648 he had published The English-American, or a New Survey of the West Indies, a mixture of some original with plagiarized material, taken in later editions especially from the compilation by the parson Samuel Purchas and from the Hispania Victrix (1552) Francisco Lopez de Gómara (1511-1562). Though full of exaggerations and some flagrant romancing, the book made a sensation and for the first time made public a description of the Spanish possessions in America. It was to be reprinted in expanded editions, in extracts and in translations thereafter. In this book, addressed to Sir Thomas Fairfax, Lord Fairfax of Cameron, the Parliamentary Captain-General, Gage promotes the view that the Spanish dominions with their long coastlines and weak defences would be an easy prey for English forces and urges such an attack as a sort of religious duty and mission upon the English. If God raised the Puritans to purify England, how much more needing of remedy were the Catholic dominated regions of the Americas, subjugated by what Gage considers their notoriously corrupt clergy. The thesis was that it would be possible to attack and loot Spanish possessions in the Americas, without embarking upon a costly war in Europe. The book made special mention whatever might assist an invading army — roads, fortifications, populations, layouts of towns. It is hard to set aside the suspicion that the details in the book were the fruit of the observations of a professional spy.

Category

Voyages & Exploration & Maps

Authors

Thomas Gage Adrien Baillet

Printing Date

18th Century

Language

French

Binding

Leather

Book Condition

Good

Collation

Complete