Mundy, Peter (DNB00)

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MUNDY, PETER (fl. 1600-1667), traveller, came from Penryn in Cornwall. In 1609 he accompanied his father to Rouen, and was then sent into Gascony to learn French. In May 1611 he went as a cabin-boy in a merchant ship, and graduaIly rose in life until he became of independent circumstances. He visited Constantinople, returning thence to London overland, and afterwards made a journey to Spain. On 6 March 1627-8 he left Blackwall for Surat, where he arrived on 30 Sept. 1628. In November 1630 he was sent to Agra, and remained there until 17 Dec. 1631, when he proceeded to Puttana on the borders of Bengal. He returned again to Agra and Surat, and left the latter town in February 1633-4, arriving off Dover on 9 Sept. 1634. This portion of his travels is contained in the Harleian MS. 2286, and in the Addit. MSS. 19278-80. In the Addit. MS. 19281 is a copy of a journal which he kept on some further voyages to India, China, and Japan, when he started from the Downs on 14 April 1636. The fleet of four ships and two pinnaces were sent forth by Sir William Courten, and Mundy seems to have been employed as a factor. This copy of his journals ends somewhat abruptly, but another manuscript in the Rawlinson collection at the Bodleian Library (Rawl A. 315) continues the narrative of his life, including journeys to Denmark, Prussia, and Russia, which lasted from 1639 to 1648. It is largely in the handwriting of a clerk, but with corrections by Mundy, who has obviously himself made all the drawings and embellishments of the volume and traced his routes in red on the maps of Hondius. It ends in 1667 after a copy of a proclamation by the king in that year, and it contains during many years notes, made after his ‘last arrivall at home,’ of the public events that he thought worthy of record, whether in London or Cornwall; comets, sea-fights, accidents, and political events, being equally attractive to him. The pen-and-ink drawings of various curiosities and instruments as well as scenes, which are contained in this journal, render it of great attraction. An extract from another manuscript of Mundy, then in the possession of Mr. Edwin Ley of Penzance, is printed in J.S.Courtney's ‘Guide to Penzance’ (pp. 15-16), and his account of the journal seems to show that it may include the narrative of some incidents not contained in the Rawlinson MS. These manuscripts of Mundy are worthy of the attention of the Hakluyt Society.

[Manuscripts referred to above; Boase and Courtney's Bibl. Cornub. i. 379; information from Mr. Falconer Madan, of Bodl. Library, and Mr. John D. Enys of Enys, near Penryn. An examination of the parish registers of Gluvias in Cornwall, within which the town of Penryn is situate, has not revealed any entry of either his baptism or burial.]

W. P. C.