Robert Knox was travelling with his father in 1659 on the latter's journey homeward from his post with the British East India Company at Fort St. George when a storm obliged their ship to put into Cottier Bay, Ceylon. The two were detained as prisoners along with 14 others, and carried into the interior of the island. Knox's father died in 1661, but Knox himself remained a prisoner at large for over 19 years, supporting himself by knitting caps, lending out corn and rice, and hawking goods about the country. Though the rajah pressed him to enter his service, Knox resisted, and finally escaped to the Dutch settlement at Arippu on the north-west of the island. Reaching England in 1680, he entrusted the manuscript of this account to Robert Hooke, and enlisted in the East India Company, for further adventures in an already adventuresome life. These engravings include depictions of agricultural techniques, two native primates, customs and costumes and an execution being carried out by an elephant.