The voyages and manifesto of William Fergusson, a surgeon of the East India Company 1731-1739 Posted By: Jack Benson Hakluyt Society Publications, Society Volumes The voyages and manifesto of William Fergusson, a surgeon of the East India Company 1731-1739 Edited by Derek L. Elliot Hakluyt Society, Series III Volume 37, 2021 ISBN 978-0-367-71391-1 Volume 37 in the Hakluyt Society Third Series, The voyages and manifesto of William Fergusson, a surgeon of the East India Company 1731-1739, is the first publication of the diaries William Fergusson, a Scottish shipʼs surgeon who sailed for the East India Company in the 1730s. The manuscript was written during 1767, and records of his youth spent travelling the world during his apprenticeship. Four voyages are described. The first was a passage from Scotland to England with a stop in Ireland, and the three others were voyages to the East, during which Fergussen called at ports in the Atlantic, southern Africa, Arabia, India and Southeast Asia, and as far as China. Fergussonʼs manuscript offers fascinating information on what were by then the relatively routine voyages of the East India Companyʼs early trading network, providing a treasure trove of comments on the politics, economics, societies, and religious beliefs and practices he witnessed along the way. In addition to his descriptions of what he saw during his travels, in his “manifesto” Fergusson included impassioned polemics on natural religion, devotional ʻenthusiasmʼ, just governance, all while heespouses the principles of rationality and reason – a manifesto of Enlightenment thought. Fergusson wrote his private memories in twenty-two small bound booklets, all of which have been transcribed and annotated to guide the reader. These are presented here along with a critical introduction that contextualises the complex eighteenth-century world into which Fergusson voyaged, including elements of his role as a shipʼs surgeon, the Indian Ocean trading and political environment, and the ideas of the Enlightenment he so passionately expressed. The voyages and manifesto of William Fergusson, a surgeon of the East India Company 1731-1739 is highly recommended to readers interested in the histories of ideas, medicine, early-modern colonialism, maritime merchant empires, as well as historians of Africa and Asia. Armchair travellers will hugely enjoy the narrative published for the first time in this volume. Published price £120. Distributed free to Hakluyt Society members as part of their two volume allowance for the year 2021. Society members can buy in print and print on demand volumes at a significant discount. Join the Hakluyt Society.