Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Timberlake, Henry

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741466Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 56 — Timberlake, Henry1898Charlotte Fell Smith

TIMBERLAKE, HENRY (d. 1626), traveller, wrote a ‘True and Strange Discourse of the Trauailes of two English Pilgrimes,’ &c., London, 1603, 4to. It was reprinted 1608, 1609, 1611, 1616, 1620, and 1631; by Robert Burton in ‘Two Journeys to Jerusalem,’ London, 1635, 1683, 1759, 1786, 1796, and again from the edition of 1616 in ‘Harleian Miscellany,’ vol. i. 1808. The work is said to have suggested Purchas's ‘Pilgrimes.’ The author tells how, leaving his ship, the Troyan (named only in the first edition of his book), at Alexandria, he proceeded to Cairo, which he left on 9 March 1601–2 for Jerusalem, accompanied by John Burrell of Middlesborough. He gives minute topographical details of the surroundings of Jerusalem, comparing it to London, and placing Bethel, Gilead, Nazareth, and other towns at the distance of Wandsworth, Bow, Chelmsford, &c., for the comprehension of the reader. The journey in the Holy Land occupied fifty days.

Timberlake was a member of the Company of Merchant Adventurers of London, formed in 1612 to discover a north-west passage, and he held first joint stock in the East India Company until 1617. He died about August 1626, as his adventures, worth 1,000l., in the same company, were transferred on 27 Sept. of that year from his executors to one Abraham Jacob.

Another Henry Timberlake (fl. 1765), born in Virginia, and holding commissions in the old regiment of that province from 1756, was engaged in 1761 in subduing the Cherokee Indians (cf. Bancroft, Hist. of the U. S. iii. 279 seq.). At the request of their king, he accompanied the Indians to their country as an evidence of the good feeling of England, and in May 1762 he escorted three of the chiefs to London, where they were received by the king at St. James's. Timberlake remained in England, hoping to be reimbursed for his outlay in their equipment, and at length received an order to wait on Sir Jeffrey (afterwards Baron) Amherst [q. v.], governor-general of Canada, in New York, to receive a commission as lieutenant in the 42nd highland regiment. This apparently he never obtained.

Timberlake made a second journey to England as escort to Cherokees desirous of complaining about encroachments on their hunting-ground, and was in London in March 1765, in which year he published ‘The Memoirs of Lieut. Henry Timberlake,’ &c., London, 1765, 8vo, containing an account of his adventures, with information on the habits, dress, arms, and songs of the Cherokees. It was used by Southey in his poem of ‘Madoc.’ A German translation appeared in Köhler's ‘Collection of Travels,’ 1767.

[For the earlier Timberlake see his True and Strange Discourse, first edition, at Brit. Mus.;
Cal. State Papers, Col. 1617–21 p. 100, and 1625–1629 p. 299; Christy's Foxe and James, published by the Hakluyt Soc. 1894, ii. 646; Brown's Genesis of the United States, p. 1032; Hazlitt's Bibl. Coll. 2nd ser. p. 598; Justin Winsor's Hist. of America, v. 393.

C. F. S.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.265
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

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401 ii 12 Timberlake, Henry: for 1601 read 1601-2