Portsmouth is an island city brimming with maritime history. In Tom’s day, Portsmouth was much smaller than it is today, and was a walled town. Sections of the wall, including massive stone towers, exist to this day and can be visited. The following pictures are engravings of Portsmouth from a slightly earlier period, but nevertheless give a feel for what the place would have been like in the early 1600s. The first engraving shows Portsmouth, in the centre, with the Isle of Wight on the horizon.
Tom and his companion Edward arrive on a ship which anchors in The Camber, the inner harbour shown on the right of the second picture, protected by a spit of land known as Portsmouth Point, or colloquially as the Spice Island.
When Tom visits, Portsmouth is on a war-footing, preparing a fleet to come to the aid of the besieged Protestants holed up in La Rochelle. Tom is in Portsmouth with his companion, Edward, to find the Duke of Buckingham, who is leading the war effort. They find him in Captain Mason’s house, known as The Greyhound, which still exists today in the High Street.
Tom and Edward stay in an inn at Portsmouth Point. The spirit of the place is captured in a famous engraving (from a century later) and inns still exist on the site, as shown in the following photo.