Thomas Coryat

Alternative Name(s) Thomas Coryate
Date 1577?–1617
Biographical NotesTraveller and writer. Son of a rector from Odcombe, Somerset. Educated at Gloucester Hall, Oxford, though he never took a degree. Joined the household of Henry, Prince of Wales. In 1608 set out on a continental journey through France, Italy, and the Low Countries visiting Paris, Fontainebleau, Lyons, Savoy, Turin, Milan, Mantua, Padua, Venice, Padua, Vicenza, Verona, Bergamo, Zürich, Basel, Strasbourg, Heidelberg, Mainz, Frankfurt, Cologne, Middelburg and finally Flushing, in 6 months. Coryat gave a witty and comic account of this travel and his misadventures along the way in his first and best known book 'Coryats Cudities' (1611). He followed this work with a slender miscellany titled 'Coryats Crambe' (1611).

Intending to write a second travel book Coryat set out again in 1612 visiting Constantinople (where he sojourned 10 months with ambasador Paul Pindar), Alexandria Troas, then thought to be the site of Troy, Aleppo, Damascus, and Jerusalem, also visiting many sites in the Holy Land. He then set out to walk to India, at length arriving in Agra in mid 1615. After a lengthy stay in India which he spent studying languages and travelling, Coryat died of dysentery, in Surat in Gujarat. Notes intended for a travel account of his voyages to Constantinople and Jerusalem were published in drastically abbreviated form by Samuel Purchas, while 'Thomas Coriate Traveller for the English Wits' (which appeared in two versions in 1616) is based on four of his letters from India. A fifth letter was published in 1618.

See ODNB.
Work(s)Author of To the High and Mighty Prince, Prince Henry (1611) in Coryats Crudities; Hastily Gobled up in five moneths Travells in France, Savoy, Italy, Rhetia co[m]monly called the Grisons Country, Helvetia alias Switzerland, some parts of High Germany, and the Netherlands; Newly Digested in the Hungry aire of Odcombe in the County of Somerset, & now Dispersed to the Nourishment of the Travelling Members of this Kingdome
Related Author of An Oration made by Hermannus Kirchnerus (1611) in Coryats Crudities; Hastily Gobled up in five moneths Travells in France, Savoy, Italy, Rhetia co[m]monly called the Grisons Country, Helvetia alias Switzerland, some parts of High Germany, and the Netherlands; Newly Digested in the Hungry aire of Odcombe in the County of Somerset, & now Dispersed to the Nourishment of the Travelling Members of this Kingdome
Author of Coryats Crudities; Hastily Gobled up in five moneths Travells in France, Savoy, Italy, Rhetia co[m]monly called the Grisons Country, Helvetia alias Switzerland, some parts of High Germany, and the Netherlands; Newly Digested in the Hungry aire of Odcombe in the County of Somerset, & now Dispersed to the Nourishment of the Travelling Members of this Kingdome (1611)
Related Author of Another Oration Made by the foresaid Hermannus Kichnerus (1611) in Coryats Crudities; Hastily Gobled up in five moneths Travells in France, Savoy, Italy, Rhetia co[m]monly called the Grisons Country, Helvetia alias Switzerland, some parts of High Germany, and the Netherlands; Newly Digested in the Hungry aire of Odcombe in the County of Somerset, & now Dispersed to the Nourishment of the Travelling Members of this Kingdome
Author of The Epistle to the Reader (1611) in Coryats Crudities; Hastily Gobled up in five moneths Travells in France, Savoy, Italy, Rhetia co[m]monly called the Grisons Country, Helvetia alias Switzerland, some parts of High Germany, and the Netherlands; Newly Digested in the Hungry aire of Odcombe in the County of Somerset, & now Dispersed to the Nourishment of the Travelling Members of this Kingdome