Alexander Malaspina to William Parsons1

Mr William Parsons
No. 5A New Bond Street, London.

Dear Sir,

    As the beginning of the intended Voyage round the World was veri near approaching, when I was favoured with your letter of the 5th April, I thought it best to differ my Answer some Weeks more, and in the veri moment of my sailing out, both to acquaint you with some circumstances of the known expedition, and to thank you of the Addresses to Sir Joseph Banks, whose correspondences I consider upon, as one of the most encouraging principles of an expedition of this kind.

    The inclosed Letter, I hope, you'll be so good as to present to him, and to engage his Love to the Sciences, and especially Natural History, that I may be furnished with whatever Directions he may think proper for the improvement of public knowlege.

    Our Sloops are quite ready, and both quite equals: With tree hundred and forty tons Spanish Measure, they have but half, and thirteen feet under water. They sail ecceedingly fast; and all the crew is lodged pretty well. So we believe, we'll find no dangerous Coast, and we'll enjoy of a constant health. Their Names La Descubierta, y la Atrevida: Our Charts of the European Spanish Coasts, and the publication of our last Expeditions to the Straights of Magellan may be a warrant, that Spain is so much interested at this time in the improvement of public knowledge, as any other European Country, and the Plan of this Voyage will shew to the Public, that all Misterious Systems are over; that nothing is wanted to be known of our extensive Monarchy, and that the Sciences are the constant object of the King's Protection.

    After your departure from hence we have been yet visited by some English Gentlemen going to Gibraltrar and Tanger. I'm veri glad of your happy return to England, but I fear, yo'll not remain long time at rest with your travelling inclination, nor Mr. Pettyward, to whom you'll be so good as to remaimber me veri kindly.

    Mr. Pineda is one of our Party for the Natural History. Mr. Martiniz alwais enjoing of the same taste both in the Originals, and in the Pictures, but alwais engaged with the In--- veri warmly: Receive compliments from both those gentlemen: Muñoz and the amiable Greppi are yet at Madrid: Mr. Duff, who was so good as to take upon himself the comission of the Spanish Books, will favour me likewise with the comission of this letter.

    May you be happy as much as I desire, and don't forget, how much I was, and I shall be for ever,

    Dear Sir,

    Your most faithful humble Servant

    Alexander Malaspina

    Cadiz July 13th. 1789

1 Letter in private possession.  Text courtesy of Robert King.  

Updated: June 5, 2018