Mr. Blundevil his exercises contayning eight treatises, the titles wherof are set down in the next printed page. Which treatises are very necessary to be read and learned of all young gentlemen, that have not been exercised in such disciplines, and yet are desirous to have knowledge as well in cosmographie, astronomie, and geographie, as also in the arte of navigation … To the furtherance of which art of navigation, the said Mr. Blundevil specially wrote the said treatises, and of meere good will doth dedicate the same to all young gentlemen of this realme.
“A briefe description of the tables of three speciall right lines belonging to a circle, called sines, tangents, and secants”, “A plaine description of Mercator his two globes”, “A plaine and full description of Petrus Plancius his universall map”, “A very briefe and most plaine description of Mr Blagrave his astrolabe”, and “A briefe description of universall maps and cards” .Each have separate dated title page; “A plaine treatise of the first principles of cosmography” and “A nevv and necessary treatise of navigation” each have separate title page; foliation and register are continuous. – “A briefe description of universal mappes and cards” was first published separately in 1589. With moveable volvelles on leaves 315, 720, 744.
London, 1636: Printed by Richard Bishop, and are to be sold by Benjamin Allen at the signe of the Flowerdeluce in Popes-head Alley. The seventh edition, corrected and somewhat enlarged by Ro. Hartwell philomathematicus, Contemporary calf, rebacked.
A very important book in the history of navigation ‘The Exercises’ described the world map of Petrus Plancius, Molyneaux’s large terrestrial globe, being the first globe to be made in England, the works of John Balgrave, Gemma Frisius, and the cross-staff of Thomas Hood.
He first published his Exercises in six parts, containing a brief account of arithmetic, cosmography, the use of the globes, a universal map, the astrolabe, and navigation. The arithmetic is taken from Recorde, but to it are added trigonometrical tables (copied from Clavius) of the natural sines, tangents, and secants of all angles in the first quadrant; the difference between consecutive angles being one minute. These are worked out to seven places of decimals. This is the earliest English work in which plane trigonometry is introduced. Later editions including this 1636 edition (from 1613 onwards) showed the circumnavigations of Francis Drake and Thomas Cavendish.
His circle of friends included Sir Nicholas Bacon and mathematicians and astronomers including John Dee, Edward Wright, Henry Briggs and William Gilbert.
In his ‘Briefe Description of Universal Mappes and Cardes’. Blundeville had worked with William Barlow (magenetism and particularly compasses at sea) and others on the required scientific instruments and has been credited with the invention of the protractor – he described a semicircular instrument for measuring angles.