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TLbc Ibaklu^t Society.



No. VI.







(IFlitteti, tDtt^ jlotrs anft a Coiirisr










Sir Clements Makkham, K.C.B., K.R.S., Pres. R.G.S., Presiuknt.
The Right Hon. The Lord Stanley ok Alderley, Vice-President.
Rear-Aumiral Sir William Wharton, K.C.B. , Vice-President.
Commr. B. M. Chambers, R.N.
C. Raymond Beazley, M.A.
Colonel G. Earl Church.
Sir W. Martin Conway.

F. H. H. GUILLEMARU, M.A., M.l).

Edward Heawood, M.A.
Dudley K. A. Hekvey, C.M.Ci.

E. V. iM Tin KN, C.B., C.M.C.
J. Scott Kehik, LL.D.

F. W. Lucas.

A. P. Maudslav.
E. J. I'avm:, M.A.
Howard Saunders.
H. W. Trinder.
Charles Welch, F.S.A.

William Foster, B..\. , /hnorarv Semtttry.

1 977^34



Introduction. . . . . i

Bibliography ...... xviii

The Strange Adventures of Andrew Battell of Leigh.

I. Andrew Battell, his voyage to the River of Plate, who being

taken on to the coast of Brazill was sent to Angola . i

II. His trading on the coast ; offer to escape ; imprisonment ;
exile ; escape and new imprisonment ; his sending to
Elamba and Bahia das Vaccas; many strange occurrences 9

III. Discovery of the Gagas : their wars, man-eating ; over-

running countries. His trade with them, betraying,
escape to them, and living with them ; with many
strange adventures. And also the rites and manner of
life observed by the Iagges,or Gagas, which no Christian
would ever know well but this author . • '9

IV. His return to the Portugals : invasions of diverse countries ;

abuses ; flight from them, and living in the woods divers
months ; his strange boat and coming to Loango . 36

V. Of the province of Engoy, and other regions of Loango;

with the customs there observed by the King and people 42

VI. Of the provinces of Bongo, Calongo, Mayombe, Manike-
socke, Motimbas ; of the ape-monster Pongo ; their
Hunting, Idolatries, and divers other observations . 52

VII. Of the Zebra and Hippopotamus ; the Portuguese Wars
in those parts ; the Fishing, Grain, and other things
remarkable . . . . '63

On the Relkmon and the Customs of riiE Peoples of
Angola, Congo, and Loango, from Purchas His
Pilgriiiiiige, 1613(1617) . . . . 71

VI 11



I. Anthony Knivet in Kongo and Angola

II. A Sketch of the History of Kongo to
OF THE Seventeenth Century .

III. A List of the Kings of Kongo

IV. A Sketch of the History of Angola to

OF THE Seventeenth Century .

V. A List of the Governors of Angola

the end







Index and Glossary .


A General Map of Kongo and Angola.
An Enlarged Map of Angola.


OUR Englishmen arc known to have
visited Angola towards the close of the
sixteenth century, namely, Thomas
Turner, Andrew Tovvres, Anthony
Knivet and Andrew Battell. All
four were taken by the Portuguese
out of English privateers in South-American waters, and
spent years of captivity as prisoners of war ; happy, no
doubt, in having escaped the fate of many of their less
fortunate companions, who atoned with their lives for the
hazardous proceedings in which they had engaged.

Thomas Turner,' although he furnished Samuel Purchas
with a few notes on Brazil, never placed on record what
happened to him whilst in Portuguese Africa. Towres was

' Battell tells us (p. 7) that he and Thomas Turner were transported
to Angola in the same vessel ( 1 590). Purchas conferred with Turner
after he had returned to England, and obtained from him an account
of his travels, he having "lived the best part of two years in Brazil"
{lib. vi, c. 8). Elsewhere we learn that he " had also been in Angola'
(seep. 71).

This apparently straightforward information is quite irreconcilable
with what we are told by Knivet ; for Knivet says he met Turner at
Bernambuco (about 1598) ; that he advised him to go to Angola; that
Turner acted on this advice, and " made great profit of his merchan-
dise, for which he thanked me when we met in England." Concerning
Knivet, see />os(, p. 89.



sent to prison at Rio de Janeiro for the heinous offence of
eating meat on a Friday ; he attempted an escape, was
retaken, and condemned to spend the rest of his captivity
in Angola. He died at Masanganu, as we learn from
Knivet. Knivet himself has left us an account of his
adventures in Angola and Kongo ; but this account con-
tains so many incredible statements that it was with some
hesitation we admitted it into this volume, as by doing so
we might be supposed to vouch for the writer's veracity.

Andrew Battell, fortunately, has left behind him a fairly
circumstantial record of what he experienced in Kongo
and Angola. His narrative bears the stamp of truth, and
has stood the test of time. It is unique, moreover, as being
the earliest record of travels in the interior of this part of
Africa ; for, apart from a few letters of Jesuit missionaries,
the references to Kongo or Angola printed up to Battell's
time, were either confined to the coast, or they were purely
historical or descriptive. Neither F. Pigafetta's famous
Relatione del Reame di Congo, " drawn out of the writings
and discourses of Duarte Lopez," and first published at
Rome in 1591, nor the almost equally famous Itinerariuni
of Jan Huyghen van Linschoten, of which an English
translation appeared as early as 1598, can be classed
among books of travel.^ Samuel Braun, of Basel, who
served as barber-surgeon on board Dutch vessels which
traded at Luangu and on the Kongo, 161 1- 13, never left the
coast.^ Nor did Pieter van der Broeck, who made three
voyages to the Kongo between 1607 and 161 2 as super-
cargo of Dutch vessels, penetrate inland.^ Nay, we are

^ This description does not, of course, apply to his " Voyage to the
East Indies," but it does to his " Description of the whole Coast of
Guinea, Manicongo, Angola, etc."

■■^ His Schifffartcn was first published at Basel in 1624. On this
traveller, see an Abhandlung by D. G. Henning (Basel, 1900), who
rather absurdly calls him the '' first German scientific traveller in
Africa." •' Vijf verscheyde Journalcn . . . Aiiistcrdain [1620].


even able to claim on behalf of Battell that he travelled
by routes not since trodden by European explorers.

Of Andrew Battell's history we k-now nothing, except
what may be gathered from his " Adventures," and an
occasional reference to him by his friend, neighbour, and
editor, the Rev. Samuel Purchas. He seems to have been a
native of Leigh, in Essex, at the present day a mere fishing
village by the side of its populous upstart neighbour
Southend, but formerly a place of considerable importance.
As early as the fifteenth century it could boast of its guild
of pilots, working in harmony with a similar guild at Dept-
ford Strond, the men of Leigh taking charge of inward
bound ships, whilst Deptford provided pilots to the out-
ward bound. Henry VHI incorporated both guilds as the
" Fraternity of the Most Glorious and Indivisible Trinity
and of St. Clement ;" and in the venerable church of
St. Clement, at Leigh, and the surrounding churchyard
may still be seen monuments erected in honour of con-
temporaries of Battell who were Brethren of the Trinity
House ; among whom are Robert Salmon (born 1567, died
1661) and Robert Chester (died 1632). But there is no
tombstone in memory of Andrew Battell ; and if a memorial
tablet was ever dedicated to him, it must have been removed
when the church was renovated in 1837. Nor do the
registers of the church afford a clue to Battell's death, for
the earliest of these documents only dates back to the year
1684. At the present time no person of the name of
Battell lives at Leigh.

Samuel Purchas was Vicar of Eastwood, a small village
two miles to the north of Leigh, from 1604 to 1613.
Battell returned to Leigh about 1610, bringing with
him a little negro boy, who claimed to have been kept a
captive b}' a gorilla (sec p. 55). Purchas had man}- con-



fcrenccs with Battell, and the information obtained in this
manner was incorporated by him in Pnrchas His Pilgrimage,
the first edition of which was published in 1613/ and will
be found in this volume, pp. 71-87. Battell's papers,
however, only reached Purchas after the author's death,
and were first published by him in Hakluytus Posthunius,
07' Purchas His Pilgrimes, in 1625.'' There is reason to
fear that Purchas did not perform his duties as editor, as
such duties are understood at the present day. As an
instance, we notice that Battell distinctly told his editor in
private conference (see p. 83) that in his day nothing was
known about the origin of the Jagas, expressly denying
that Duarte Lopez could have any information about it ;
yet, elsewhere (p. 19), Battell is made responsible for the
statement that they came from Sierra Leone. Nor is it
likely that Battell ever mentioned a lake Aquelunda
(p. 74), for no such lake exists ; and Purchas's authority
for its supposed existence is once more Duarte Lopez or

Moreover, there is some ground for supposing that
Purchas abridged portions of the MS.; as, for instance,
the account of the overland trading trip to Kongo and
Mbata. Perhaps he likewise rearranged parts of his MS.,
thus confusing the sequence of events, as will be seen when
we come to inquire into the chronology of Battell's travels.

There exists no doubt as to the object with which Abra-
ham Cocke sailed for the Plate River in 1589. Philip of

^ Subsequeul cdiiions appeared in 1014, 1617, and 1626.

2 Battell's narrative was reprinted in Astley's Ne%v General Collec-
tion of Voyages, vol. iii (1746), and Pinkerton's Collection, vol. xvi
(1813). Translations or abstracts were published in the Collections of
Pieter van der Aa (Leiden, 1706-07) ; of Gottfried (Leiden, 1706-26) ;
of Prevot (Paris, 1726-74) ; in the Allgemeinc Historic der Reisen
(Leipzig, 17^7-77), in the Historische Beschrijving der Reisen (The
Hague, 1747-67), and by Walckenaer (Paris, 1826-31).


Spain had acceded to the throne of Portugal in 1580, and
that prosperous Httle kini::^dorn thus became involved in
the disaster which overtook the Armada, which sailed out
of Lisbon in May, 1588. English skippers therefore felt
justified in preying upon Portuguese trade in Brazil, and
intercepting Spanish vessels on their way home from the
Rio de la Plata. We do not think, however, that we do
Abraham Cocke an injustice when we assume him to have
been influenced in his hazardous enterprise quite as much
b}- the lust of gain as by patriotism.

The determination of the chronology of Battell's adven-
tures presents some difficulty, as his narrative contains but a
single date, namely, that of his departure from England on
May 7th, 1589. There are, however, incidental references
to events the dates of which are known ; and these enable
us to trace his movements with a fair amount of confi-
dence, thus : —

1. Having left Plymouth in May, 1589, we suppose
Battell to have reached Luandu in June, 1590.

2. His journey up to Masanganu, his detention there for
two months, and return to Luandu, where he " lay eight
months in a poor estate " (p. 7), would carry us to the end
of June, 1 591.

3. Battell tells us that the Governor, D. Joao Furtado
de Mendonca, then employed him during two years and
a half trading along the coast. This, however, is quite
impossible : for Mendonca only assumed office in August,
1594 ; but, as he is the only Governor of Battell's day who
held office for a longer period than two and a half years —
his term of office extending to 1602 — and as Battell is
not likely to have forgotten the name of an employer who
gave him his confidence, we assume that he really did
make these trading trips, but at a subsequent period.
Purchas may be responsible for this transposition.

4. lie made a first attempt to escape (in a Dutch vessel),


but was recaptured, and sent to Masanganu, where he
spent "six miserable years," 1591-96.

5. Second attempt to escape, and detention for three
months in irons at Luandu, up to June, 1596.

6. Campaign in Lamba and Ngazi (see p. 13, note).
After a field service of over three years, Battell was sent
back to Luandu, wounded. This would account for his time
up to 1598 or 1599.

7. I am inclined to believe that, owing to the confidence
inspired by his conduct in the field, the Governor now
employed him on the trading ships referred to above.

9. Trading trips to Benguella in 1600 or 1601.

10. Battell joins the Jagas, and spends twenty-one
months with them. Incidentally he mentions that the
chief, Kafuche, had been defeated by the Portuguese seven
years before that time (he was actually defeated in April,

1 594).

11. Battell was at Masanganu when Joao Rodrigues
Coutinho was Governor (Coutinho assumed office in

12. Battell was present at the building of the presidio
of Kambambe by Manuel Cerveira Pereira in 1604 ;
and stayed there till 1606, when news was received
of the death of Queen Elizabeth, and he was promised
his liberty. The Queen died March 24th, 1603.

13. A journey to Mbamba, Kongo, etc., may have taken
up six months.

14. The Governor having " denied his word," and a
new Governor being daily expected, Battell secretly left
the city, spent six months on the Dande, and was ulti-
mately landed at Luangu. (The new Governor expected
was only appointed in August, 1607 ; and his arrival was
actually delayed.)

15. In Luangu, Battell spent two years and a half — say
up to 1610.


Great pains have been taken by mc with the maps illus-
tratincT this volume ; and, if the outcome of m\' endeavour
does not differ in its broad features from the maps furnished
by M. d'Anville, in 1732, to Labat's Relation Historique de
rEtliiopie Occidentale, this should redound to the credit of
the great French geographer, but should not be accounted
a proof of lack of industry on my own part. Still, my
maps exhibit an advance in matters of detail, for our
knowledge of the country has increased considerably since
the days of d'Anville. They would have proved still more
satisfactory had the Portuguese thought it worth while to
produce a trustworthy map of a colony of which they had
claimed possession during four centuries. It seems
incredible that even now many of the routes followed by
the Conquistadores and missionaries of old cannot be laid
down upon a modern map for lack of information. Sonyo,
for instance, through which led the high road followed by
soldiers, traders, and missionaries going up to San Salvador
(the present route leaves the Kongo River at Matadi), is
almost a terra incognita. I am almost ashamed to confess
that I have even failed to locate the once-famous factory of
Mpinda ; all I can say is, that it cannot have occupied the
site assigned to it on some Portuguese maps.

I need hardly say that modern research lends no support
to the extravagant claims of certain geographers as to the
knowledge of Inner Africa possessed by the Portuguese in
the sixteenth century. Pigafetta's fantastic map, with its
elaborate system of lakes and rivers, merely proves the
utter incapacity of its author to deal with questions of
critical geography. This has long since been recognised.
The map which accompanies Isaac Vossius's De Nili et
alioruni Fluviinum Origine (Hagae Com., 1659) only
shows one lake in Inner Africa, which borders on
" Nimeamaie vel Monemugi," and ma}' without hesitation
be identified with our Nyasa : for the Monemugi (Muene


Muji) is the chief of the Maravi or Ziinbas. The " lages, gens
barbara et inculta," are placed right in the centre of Africa.
The " Fungeni," which are shown as neighbours of the
" Macoco," ought to have been placed to the west of Abys-
sinia, as they are the Funj, or Fung, of the Egyptian
Sudan. If Ludolfus had carried out his intention of com-
piling a map of the whole of Africa (in 1681), these
extravagancies of early map-makers would have been
exposed more fully long since.^

In collecting materials for the maps and for the notes
illustrating Battell's narrative, I felt bound to consult all
accessible literary sources dealing with the history and
geography of Kongo and Angola. Whilst ploughing my
way through this mass of material, it struck me that a con-
cise history of these African countries, from the time of
their discovery to the end of the seventeenth century, might
form an acceptable appendix to Battell's Adventures^ and
at the same time increase the bulk of the volume dedicated
to him to more respectable proportions. Much material of
use for such a purpose has seen the light since the publica-
tion of J. J. Lopes de Lima's historical sketches. Yet I am
bound to confess that the result of all this tedious labour is
disappointing. I may have been able to rectify a few dates
and facts ; but much remains to be done before we can
claim to be in possession of a trustworthy history of that
part of Africa. Possibly my little sketch may rouse a
Portuguese into taking up the work of the late Luciano
Cordeiro. Many documents not yet published should be
discoverable in the archives of Portugal, Spain, and Luandu.-

1 See " The Lake Region of Central Africa : a Contribution to the
History of African Cartography," by E. G. Ravenstein {Scottish Geogr.
Mag., 1S91).

- Among documents, the publication of which seems desirable, are
Don G. Abreu de Brito's Summario e Descripi^do do Reino de Angola,
1 592 ; and Cadornega's Historia (at least, in abstract).


The spelling of the proj^er names mentioned by Battell
is retained, as a matter of course ; but it is obvious that in
the historical appendices the various ways in which native
names are spelt had to be reduced to a common S)'stem.
Much might be said in favour of accepting the Portuguese
manner of spelling, but after due consideration I decided
to adopt the system now generally followed (even by a few
Portuguese writers), viz., that all vowels should be sounded
as in Italian, and the consonants as in English, with the
only exception that the letter g should always be hard.
I therefore write Sonyo, instead of Sonho, Sogno, or Sonjo,
as the name of that district is spelt according to the
nationality of the writer. In transcribing the native names
I have had the unstinted assistance, among others, of the
Rev. Thomas Lewis, of the Baptist Missionary Society ; )et
I am fully aware that the spelling adopted for many names
is at least doubtful, if not absoluteh' incorrect. This arises
quite as much from a defective hearing on the part of my
authorities, as from the illegibility of man}- early manu-
scripts or the carelessness of copyists. All such doubtful
cases are dealt with in the Glos.sarv and IXDEX.

In conclusion, I feel bound to acknowledge with gratitude
the kindly assistance rendered me by Mr. R. E. Dennett,
who is spending a life-time in Luangu ; Mr. R. C. Phillips,
who is thoroughly acquainted with the Lower Kongo ; the
Rev. Thomas Lewis, of the Baptist Missionary Society ;
Captain Binger, of the French Foreign Office; and last, not
least, our ever-obliging Secretary, Mr. William Foster.


Only the titles of a few books cited merely by the author's name, or by abbreviated
references, are included in this list.

Hoiv cited :
Alguns Doc. — Alguns documentos do archivo nacional da Torre
do Tombo acerca das navegagoes e conquistas Portuguezas.
Lisboa (Impr. nac), 1892.

A collection of documents, 1416-1554, edited by Jos^ Ramos-Coelho.
See Index sub Angola, Kongo, Manicongo.

Paiva Manso. — Historia do Congo, obra posthuma do (Dr. Levy)
Visconde de Paiva Manso. Lisboa (Typ. da Acad.), 1877.

A collection of documents, 1492-1722.

BOLETIM. — Boletim da Sociedade de Geographia de Lisboa.

The volume for 1883 contains documents now in the Biblioth^que
Nationale (instructions given to B. Dias, 1559 ; Letters of F. Garcia
Simoes, F. Bahhasar Barretta, and other Jesuits).

Memorias do Ultramar, Viagens exploragoes e conquistas
do Portuguezes. Collecgao de Documentos por Luciano
Cordeira. Lisboa (Impr. nac.) 18S1.

The following Parts have been published : —
Garcia Mendes.

(<?) 1574-1620. Da Mina ao Cabo Negro segundo Garcia Mendes
Castello Branco (the writer of these reports was one of the
companions of Paulo Dias de Novaes).

Rebello de Aragao.

[h) 1593-1631. Terras e Minas Africanas segundo Balthazar
Rebello de Aragao. (He went out to Africa in 1593).

Benguella e seu Sertao.

[c) 1617-1622. Benguella e seu sertao per um Anonymo. (The
author of this account of the conquest of Benguella may possibly
have been Manuel Cerveira Pereira).


{d) 1607. Estabelecimentos e Resgates Portuguezes na costa
occidental de Africa por um Anonymo.

EscRAVos e Minas.

[e] 1516-1619. Escravos e Minas de Africa segundo Diversos.


I). Lopez. — Relatione del Reame di Congo e della circonvicine con-
trade tratta dalli Scritti e ragionamentc di Odoardo Lopez,
per Filippo Figafetta. Roma, 1591.

This work has been translated into Latin, German, Dutch, I'rench
and EngHsh, but has not hitherto found a competent editor. I
quote the EngHsh translation by Mrs. M. Hutchinson, published
at London in 1881.
Uuarte Lopez went out to Kongo in 1578 ; and the bulk of this
volume is based upon information imparted to his editor when he
was in Rome in 1591. Pigafetta has most unwisely e.xpanded the
information thus obtained into a description of the greater part
/ of Africa.

C.\v.\zzi. — Istorica descrizione de' tre regni Congo, Matainba, e
Angola, accuratamente compilata, dal P. Gio. Antonio
Cavazzi da Montecuccolo. Bologna, 1687.

Cavazzi, a Capuchin, visited Kongo and Angola twice (1654-67, 1670-
), and died at Genoa in 1692. This bulky folio only deals
with his first visit, and was edited by P. Fortunato Alamandini, of
Bologna. Labat (" Relation historique de I'Ethiopie," Paris, 1732)
has given a useful version of it in French, which must, however, be ^
used with some caution. It is by far the most important work
we have at the hand of one of the early Catholic missionaries.
W. D. Cooley's observation (" Inner Africa Laid Open," London,
1852, p. 3), that the works published up to the time of Cavazzi
" would hardly furnish twenty pages of sound geographical intelli-
gence," can apply only to what they say of Inner Africa ; whilst
Lopez de Lima (" Ensaios," p. xi) is hardly justified in calling
Cavazzi a " fabulista," unless that opprobrious term be confined to
what the friar relates of the miracles wrought by himself and

D.-XPPER. — Nauwkeurige beschrijving der Afrikaansche gewesten van
Olf. Dapper. Amst., 1668.

I quote the German translation (" Beschreibung von Afrika," Amst..

This is a very careful compilation ; more especially interesting, as
it contains information on the country collected during the Dutch
occupation (1642-48), not to be found elsewhere.

C.\L)ORNr:GA. — Historia das guerras de Angola (Historia General
.•\ngolana),- por D. A. de Oliveira Cadornega, in 1680-82.
Cadornega, a native of Villa Vi90sa, accompanied D. Pedro
Cezar de Menezes to Angola in 1639, and died at Luanda in
1690. His work (in three volumes) only exists in MS. in the
library of the Academy of Sciences, Lisbon, and in the Bibliothi^que
Nationale, Paris. I have not been able to consult it with the
minuteness which it deserves. A rough copy of a considerable
portion of it is to be found in the British Museum (Add. MS.
15,183, fol. 22). Copious extracts from it are given by Paiva
Manso and D. Jose de Lacerda (" Exame das V'iagens do Dr.
Livingstone," Lisbon, 1867).


Cataloc.O. — Catalogo dos Governadores do Reine de Angola
(Collecgao de Noticias para a historia das nagoes ultra-
marinas publicada pela Acadeuiia real das Sciencias, tome ill,
pt. 2). Lisboa, 1826.

This is an anonymous compilation, continued to the year 1784.
J. C. Feo Cardozo, in his " Memorias contendo a biographia
do Vico-Almirante Luiz da Motta Feo e Torres," Paris, 1825,

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Online LibraryAndrew BattelThe strange adventures of Andrew Battell of Leigh, in Angola and the adjoining regions → online text (page 1 of 21)