- Museum number
Plan of a fortified camp at Mosquetal (Tallaboa bay), Puerto Rico; river, entrenchments, lake, woodland, huts forming Governor's and General's quarters, animals, soldiers hauling tree trunk and other activities, an English ship at shore
Pen and brown ink over graphite, and watercolour, on two conjoined sheets
- Production date
Height: 363 millimetres
Width: 445 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- For an introduction to this group of drawings by John White and a list of abbreviations used in the Lit. at the end, see curatorial comment for 1906,0509.1.1, the title page inscription to the album.
The following text is taken from K. Sloan, 'A New World: England's First View of America' (London, BM Publications, 2006), no. 4, pp. 100-101:
[NB. If you use any of the text or information below, please acknowledge the source]:
This bird’s-eye view depicts the fortified camp set up on the Spanish-held Puerto Rico (then called St John’s by the English) where they would rendezvous with the rest of the fleet, scattered during the crossing. The Spanish were keeping an eye on them from nearby San German and the English needed protection while taking in water and building a new pinnace for the Tyger. The drawing shows clearly the extensive entrenchments they had quickly thrown up after their arrival on 11 May and the area cleared around the camp’s inside edge. It also shows horses they had captured from the Spanish and the buildings they erected for the General (Grenville) in the south end and for Mr Lane to the north. Water was provided from the river (a boat is bringing barrels on the left) and from the small lake to the north-east, here filled with crabs, ducks and a heron. They began building the pinnace, as depicted here, on the 13th and it was finished on the 23rd, the day after Grenville returned from an expedition to arrange a truce with the Spanish who had been harrying them. He foresaw a threat from them and he fired the buildings and tore down the embankments the next day before leaving with the Elizabeth, which had arrived on the 19th.
The complicated earthworks and fortifications and all their elements are described clearly and accurately using appropriate shading and colouring. The activity of each man is carefully delineated, from those standing guard at various points inside the fort to those working the forge to make nails, building the pinnace, bringing wood from the forest, providing an armed escort, or the party emerging from the woods to north. The Tyger is shown at anchor and to the right of it are offsets of the men shown on the left, welcoming Grenville (on horseback) and his party back from their expedition by firing their muskets.
The scene is not engraved in de Bry’s account of Virginia but is very similar to those engraved by Boazio to relate Drake’s victories in Santiago, St Augustine, etc. (see figs 56, 57). With the image of the fort erected while they gathered salt (no. 5), it demonstrates beyond doubt that White was already accomplished at the type of measured, scaled, cartographic drawing required by the military as well as the navy – as described in the various requirements for the draughtsmen-cum-surveyors-cum-cartographers who were to accompany these expeditions (see p. 41).
Lit.: LB 1(3); Quinn, pp. 160–62, 181–3, 403–4; ECM 3; PH&DBQ 3; PH 3
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1965 Jan 30-Feb 22, NGC, Washington, John White, no.3
1965 26 Feb-14 Mar, NC Mus of Art, Raleigh, John White, no. 3
1965 17 Mar-5 Apr, NY, Pierpont Morgan Libr, John White, no. 3
1984 May 1-Dec 31, BL, Raleigh & Roanoke, no.34
1985 Mar-Jun, Raleigh, NC Mus of History, Raleigh & Roanoke, no. 44
1985 Jun-Aug, New York, Public Library, Raleigh & Roanoke, no. 44
2007 Mar-Jun, BM, 'A New World:...', no.4
2007/8 Oct-Jan, Raleigh, North Carolina Mus of History, 'A New World:...'
2008 Mar-Jun, New Haven, Yale Center for British Art, 'A New World:...'
2008 Jul-Oct, Williamsburg, Jamestown Settlement, 'A New World:...
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- The provenance given above refers to the moment when the album of drawings connected with John White was purchased by the Department of Manuscripts in what is now the British Library. The album was transferred to the Department of Prints and Drawings in 1906, where it was assigned new register numbers.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number