Papers of: Bruin, Cornelis de (1652-1719)

Scope and Content

The main part of these manuscripts is a translation into English of part of the published account of de Bruin's travels. There is also a transcription of a small portion of Sir John Chardin's travels. The first volume is signed by Joseph Smith, probably Joseph Smith whose biographical details are noted under the appropriate heading, and some of the manuscripts are in his hand.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Chardin was born in London in 1643, the son of a jeweller. As a jewel merchant himself he travelled extensively in Persia and India, publishing an account of his travels, before settling first in Paris and then in London. He died in 1719. Cornelis de Bruin was born in 1652. He travelled through Russia to the East Indies, publishing an account of his travels. He died in 1719. Joseph Smith was born c.1710 and matriculated at Queens' College, Oxford, in 1728. He obtained the degree of D.C.L. in 1740. He died at Kidlington, Oxford, in 1776 (this is noted in the Gentleman's Magazine , 1776, p.483).


Volume 1 (MS.1378) comprises part of Chardin's travels and chapters 15-16 and 50-68 (part) of de Bruin's. Volume 2 (MS.1379) comprises chapters 17-49 of de Bruin's travels.

Access Information

The papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking.

Acquisition Information

Purchased from Hodgson's, London, July 1931 (accession number 75156).

Other Finding Aids

Described in: S.A.J. Moorat, Catalogue of Western Manuscripts on Medicine and Science in the Wellcome Historical Medical Library (London: Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, 1962-1973). Detailed catalogue available at

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

manuscript, bound.

Archivist's Note

description compiled by Christopher Hilton based upon those in the Library's published finding aid by S.A.J. Moorat.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies/photographs/microfilm are supplied for private research only at the Archivist's discretion. Please note that material may be unsuitable for copying on conservation grounds, and that photographs cannot be photocopied in any circumstances. Readers are restricted to 100 photocopies in twelve months. Researchers who wish to publish material must seek copyright permission from the copyright owner.


Chardin's travels are related in The travels of Sir John Chardin into Persia and the East Indies, through the Black Sea, and the country of Colchis: The first volume, containing the author's voyage from Paris to Ispahan. To which is added, The coronation of this present king of Persia, Solyman the Third (London: M. Pitt, 1686). Despite being billed as the first volume, this work was not followed by any further volumes. De Bruin's travels to the East Indies were published as Reizen over Moskovie, door Persie en Indie (Amsterdam: no publisher, 1714). A translation into English appeared in 1737 as Travels into Muscovy, Persia and part of the East-Indies containing an accurate description of whatever is most remarkable in those countries (London: A. Bettesworth, 1737). A further English translation appeared in 1759, by "A Gentleman of Oxford", who may be the Joseph Smith whose signature is in these manuscripts.