A paradox. Prooving, that the inhabitants of the isle called Madagascar, or St. Laurence, ... are the happiest people in the world. Whereunto is prefixed, a briefe and true description of that island: the nature of the climate, and condition of the inhabitants, and their speciall affection to the English above other nations. With most probable arguments of a hopefull and fit plantation of a colony there, in respect of the fruitfulnesse of the soyle, the benignity of the ayre, and the relieving of our English ships, both to and from the East-Indies. London: Nathaniell Butter, 1640.
“Hamond, author and explorer, published a translation of Ambroise Paré’s ‘Methode de traicter les Playes faictes par Harquebuses et aultres batons a feu,’ 1617, 4to. He was in the service of the East India Company, and was employed by them to explore Madagascar and report on the advisability of annexing the island, of which he gave a glowing description” (DNB).
"Hamond spent four months on the island, as a surgeon. However his treatise portrays an exaggerated prospect of it, stating that “for wealth and riches, no Island in the world can be preferred before it. As for gold, silver, pearle and precious jems, questionlesse the Island is plentifully stored with them... great quantities of Aloes... the first fruits of a most plentifull harvest, which is better than the gleanings of America”. “Early descriptions of Madagascar and it’s vegetation illustrate the kind of attractions that tempted colonisers and traders to undertake arduous voyages to the island in pursuit of advancement. Walter Hammond, .. spent some time on Madagascar in 1630, (and) published a pamphlet in 1640 entitled ‘A paradox....’... He drew attention to its strategic use as a useful port of call to and from the East Indies, and to the fertility of its soil. By this time, Hammond had resigned his post in the company and was clearly writing tracks to encourage rivals to challenge his monopoly. His next attempt, ‘Madagascar the richest and most fruitful island in the world’ (1643), also makes a strong case for colonisation” (Lincoln. British Pirates and Society, 1680-1730).
Digital text from Early English Books Online at this link.
Subjects: COUNTRIES, CONTINENTS AND REGIONS › Madagascar, VOYAGES & Travels by Physicians, Surgeons & Scientists