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Letters received by the East India company from its servants in the East (Volume 2) online

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iiM-i where we found our nun in good health, but altogi ther un-
furnished with moneys, which proved to be a it hindrance
to the Company, f<>r, if we might believe their report, they had

refused 1,000 carats of diamond-, because they had do ■

buy them, and further their 1 1< th which they ha v.- is rat :
that they cannot si 11 verj little < r none of it, which, if they would
have sold them for indifferent rates, they might have had but little
1< -it ; but that they could nol d<> and be out of danger 1 f blame.
And they informed us of a fact try that they had setted at Sambas
which was likewise without moneys; wherefi re we manned a]
with our own men and sent them » me moneys, unto such time
that we should take better advice for their supply, for there v
junk which was sent from Bantam the 6th of Deceml^er [613,
which was not arrived, and sh<- had asufficit I l PPty

both places, and the cause might be, as I supi> rtly want

ol experience and partly that they are uot good ships upon a wind
and so might go for Ma< iser, and then could not come till the
easterly monsoon was come, which would not be till May and till
then we could not go for Potania ; and if the junk should not have
then come we should have been forced to have given over our
voyage for Potania and Siam, or else have left them unfurnished.
Likewise they informed us of Landock (Landak), and that the
people were very desirous that we should settle a factory there,
for therehence cometh all the diamonds and most part of the
gold and great store of bezoars, by which encouragement we
attempted in like case with our own men also, which by the
savageness of the people of the Dyockes (Dyaks), which lie in the
river of purpose to take off all the heads of those that they can
overcome, our men were put in great danger, for they were
assailed with 1,500 men, and they being but 3 in number to resist
them, whereof Sophony Cozucke was one ; but not being used to
powder and shot they had not long continued, but for all their
malice they were fain to run ashore and take the woods for their
refuge, the Lord so fought for us ; but doubting whether they
might make any more forces upon them, they returned unto the
ship in safety. And the same time came the other prow from
Sambas, which was the 30th day of April 1614 ; and having all


our company together again, we manned the great prow with
9 Englishmen, which was well provided with furniture, and in her
we placed 3 murderers, so that by this means they might go up
perforce. So they departed the 6th day of May, and having better
knowledge of the river they might perform this with more expedi-
tion, for when they were come into the river they met with their
old customers, which used them very kindly and helped them to
tow up the river (more for fear than for love), and when they
came almost to the town, which is above 120 leagues up, the
Governor of Landock met with them and gave them kind enter-
tainment ; but they knew some of the men that were in the prow,
for the king of Sambas had promised our men that he would
meet them with a 1,000 men, which they of Landock had intelli-
gence of, and much feared our men, whereupon they sought by
treachery what they could not do by force, for the force of the
whole country was not able to withstand those 9 men, for they
would have had us to land our goods and our victuals, or our men
to light [en] our prow [ ] they should haul her up through

the fall, which they refused to do, but seeing they could not
dispossess them of their prow by that means, they sought to have
split her, for in the hauling of her up they had laid a rope on her
quarter and let go her head first and she went against the rocks,
but God preserved them in this as in the rest, for one of our
blacks being stepped ashore was slain and with a hideous noise
they let fly their spatas and another black which was a slave
leapt overboard for fear and they think that he was also slain ; so
in this sort we gave them over, having used nothing but kindness.
But, Sir, I thought good to certify your Worship that it is great
pity to let so good an opportunity slip, for with the charge of
20 men it may be obtained in one year, and that you will cause
them to come and entreat you to buy their stones, and to give
them salt and rice for them ; for there is an island some 18 leagues
up the river, which you may fortify upon, and the small murderers
is as good ordnance as any man will wish for such a place, and
with two trees you may boom the river on both sides and then
no prow can pass without their leave ; for they can as possibly
live without salt and rice as we can live without victuals, and they
have none but what is brought to them, and they must pass by


that island ; for it is reported that it affordeth 3 or 4,000 carats
of diamonds in the year, besides gold, bezoars and wax. Like-
wise there is great trade to Burnea (Borneo?) for bezoars and
pearls, for it is reported that there is sold for 60 or 80,000 rials in
the year, besides the hopes of cloth which you may put away.
Thus having spent so much time at Socadania, which was partly
to see if we could hear any news of the junk, which I thought
might be put for Macasar, which fell out true, and, rather than
we would lie all this time idle, we undertook the aforesaid busi-
ness and in the meantime came in the junk, which was the
22nd of May 1614 who told us that John Williams their mer-
chant was dead. So after her arrival we settled all things in
good sort and left for chief Nathaniel Courthope, who was purser
of the Trade, of whom there is great hopes that he shall do your
Worships good service, and thus we departed the 13th of June
from Socadania and the 24th of the same we fell in with certain
islands in the latitude of 6 degrees. The 25th day we saw a sail
and when we came up with her it was the James bound for
Potania as we were, where we arrived the 30th of June, 1614, in
safety, the Lord be praised, and after that Captain Marlowe
heard how that we were bound for Siam, he thought it fit that
we should take in their goods which was for Siam, for his ship
had been long out and very much eaten between wind and water
and had great need to be careened, wherefore he sent Mr. Davis
to a place some 14 leagues to the westward of Potania which is
called Sangora to see if there were any place at which they might
trim their ship, who at his return told the Captain that it was a
very fit place. Now in all this time Captain Marlowe lent us his
carpenters and any other help we had need of. We had fitted our
ship and taken in all their goods the 13th day of July, 1614, and were
fain to stay for the merchants were behindhand with somewhat.
He fitted us also with a new main topmast, for we had spent ours,
also with ropes such as he could spare, and for those that he could
not spare he fitted us with stuff to make them, also we furnished
us with powder or anything else that they could spare ; and
farther by Captain Marlowe's means and advice we make no doubt
but that we shall make you a good voyage to the Coast of Cor-
mandell, and there to make the Darling a new ship again, which


if Captain Marlowe shall hear of before his going from Potania,
he hath promised me to leave me two of his carpenters for our
better building of our ship, for he telleth me that there [is] in both
places staff and workmen, but only one or two to plan the work,
which with us is wanting unless he help. He stayeth upon
nothing but for our going, and we stay upon nothing but for the
merchants, which hath now been this 12 days. And further, I
thought good to certify you that Captain Marlowe hath a draft of
the coast of Borneo so far as I have seen, which is from the lati-
tude 2 30' south to 2° north latitute, with the description of the
river of Landock and the river Tient, all which I have seen but
the rivers, and those I took from my mate, for the which I crave
pardon for my neglect in not sending the draft, for it was forgot
when I came to write. Thus leaving myself to your worshipful
censure according to my deserving, and not making any doubt
but that my wife shall receive my wages and my servant's when
the books shall come home, and thus I end praying that the Lord
will bless you and your proceedings. From aboard the Darling
in the road of Potania the 28th of July 1614, which day we set sail
to go for Siam.

Your servant to command,

Thomas Herode.

Right Worshipful, By an accident that befell amongst the
James his men in the night the 14th day of July, 1614, one of the
master's mates being ashore murdered another of their men,
which caused us to stay two days longer and in the meantime I
had leisure and made a draft and sent it to your Worship by
Captain Marlowe.



Thomas Aldworthe and William Biddulph to the East
India Company.

Laws Deo in, the 19th of August, I014.

[GHT Worshipful, Our duties remembered, etc.
it please you to 1"- advertised that the 7th of October
and the <itli of November [61 ; we wrote you at large
of all what passed here with us until then per the
Janus fr.>m M tan, with the F our former letters, which

we hope before tin or hands; since winch tune

your Worships shall now perceive the state of this country, 1
have now per experience found it. which is thus. As in our last
we v acerning the Portingals taking a ship of this town, to

the value of one hundred thousand pounds sterling, and that we
doubted of a breach of peace between this Icing and the- Portin-
gals, so we now find it to fall out accordingly, for that the king
caused a city of the Portingals called Damaen (Damaun) to be
besieged, and hath likewise taken order for the seizing of all
Portingals and their goods within his kingdoms. He hath like-
wise sealed up their church doors and hath given order that they
shall no more use the exercise of their religion in these parts, and
beyond all this he hath caused Xavier the great Jesuit, whom
before he loved, to be sent down hither unto Mocrob Chan, who
now layeth siege unto Damaen, to do with him as he shall see
good. Insomuch that had we now English shipping here, we
might do great good in matter of trade, which now is debarred to
the people of this country, having none to deal with them. They
all here much wish for the coming of our English ships, not only
for trade but to help them, for as they say the coming of our
ships will much daunt the Portingals, which indeed we think
without them they will never be able to take that citv, vet have
they spoiled and burnt all the Aldeas and villages round about
them, which is more loss unto the Portingals than the gain of the
100,000/. they took in the ship of Suratt. So now they remain
killing one another, and making all provisions they can on both


sides for annoyance, so what the event hereof will be we yet
know not. The Portingals threaten much to take Surat, which
we find not so well fortified as we could wish. They are now
making a great Armado to come from Goa forthwith, both ships
and frigates, and so have they many enemies to encounter withal,
namely the Decanyes, the Flemings and the Moors and Guzerats,
besides our English, and they themselves but weak, when they
are at best.

Now as for our entertainment here in this country your
Worships shall perceive that it is not otherwise than formerly we
have written, having here as much liberty as ourselves can with
reason desire, and all these people here generally much more
affecting us than the Portingals, and showing us kindness in
what they may. Likewise for our commodities, we find them all
passable here except only our English cloth, wherein we were
much all deceived. For at our first coming hither they all strived
who should have most, and paid 20 and 22 mamoodies per
covado, which served only for great men, in regard of the
novelty, to cover some of their elephants and to make some
saddles for their horses ; but for garments they use none in these
parts, neither in rainy nor cold weather. All which we could
not know until the next winter after our ship's departure and
until after our being in Amadavaz (Ahmadabad) and other places,
where we learned the whole state of this country. Yet we
received a letter of Paul Canning from Agra, wherein he wrote
us of 2,000 cloths to be vented in a month in that place, but we
afterwards sending up musters thither of some 20 cloths we have
yet here by us, received answer that they would in no sort vent
there, which hath much dismayed us, insomuch that we verily
think here will not be vented above 300 cloths per annum in the
whole country at most, which if it be not vented within compass '
of one year it will run hazard of being spoiled with worms and
moths. This matter hath much discouraged us to have so great
a fall from our first hopes, for our General himself thought here
would have been vented 2 or 3,000 cloths per annum at least, and
ourselves hoped for little less, notwithstanding we wrote you
more sparingly ; and now, lest your Worships should enter into
bargain for more than may well be vented here, we thought fit to
Y 1268. h


advertise you of the truth herein, for certainly this place is not f<>r
cloth, as we first expected. Notwithstanding the premises, that
you may imt be utterly discount a sh.ill |

that we have now made full enquiry concerning the
l i a, where we are certainly informed of the vent of much cloth
in regard their country is cold and that men, women and chil-
dren are clothed therewith some five months in the year, and is
v< iv well sold and at a better rate than here, and what they I
is brought overland from Aleppo with great charge. We write
not this upon any slight information, but have had confer
with people of all sorts that have come therehence, and 1
by a countryman of ours named Kit hard Steele, who came from
Aleppo overland, in company with one Newman that went after
John Midnall into Persia, to recover goods from him belongil
Mr. Stapers, Mr. Abbott and others, where he took some ,
amounting to 9,000 dollars or thereabouts, and Midnall
with the rest, taking an acquittance from Newman for tin
sum. This Midnall afoi ime to the king's court

mere (Ajmere) in the beginning of April last and died there in
June following, making a Frenchman, that came with him from
Persia, his executor, on condition he should marry with a
daughter of his now in Persia. But we hearing of it have ca
the said goods in the said Frenchman's hands to be atl
and are in some hope to recover it, there being mm h -pent in his
sickness, and embezzled per the Frenchman since his death, in
whose house he lay. What may be done for the recovery tin
God willing, shall be done with our best endeavours, and so must
the owners thereof at home send us a sufficient discharge, for
that we are here bound to answer all comers. What the
remainder thereof will he we know not as yet. This Kit hard
Steele aforesaid is now in house with us, and hath certified us of
the whole trade of Persia, per whom we find that raw silk is
there to be had per more than 50 per cent, better cheap than
from Aleppo ; for which purpose Mr. Aldworthe hath enquired
concerning a port town where our ships may resort, and i-
tainly informed of a place called Jasques, a little within the
entrance of the Gulf of Persia at a headland, as will appear in
the maps, being some 40 leagues on this side Ormus, and not so


in danger of the Portingals as Barreen (Bahrein), whereof we
wrote you last. It is some 12 days sailing herehence, and here
have we pilots to bring our ships thither. So that hereafter, if
we find ourselves to be overlaid with cloth, then have we no
remedy but to go thither, the king of Persia being one that
much favoureth our nation, by the report of all that come there-
hence, and is of late fallen out with the Portingals, insomuch we
shall never have a better occasion than now. Furthermore your
Worships shall perceive that about September last Sir Robert
Sherley arrived at Sinda, within this king's dominions, thinking
therehence to have gone direct for Persia, but there being many
Portingals in the town, instigated the people thereof against him,
insomuch that they attempted to have burnt him and all his by
night in his house with gunpowder, in which action one or two
of his chiefest men were slain, himself and the rest hardly used,
which afterwards came to the king's ear, who presently sent for
him up, and on the way all the rest of his men died save only
[an] apothecary which we think will come to Suratt. Sir Robert
came to the king's court in June last, where he hath been very
honourably entertained, with great gifts given him per the king,
who means forthwith to despatch him on his journey for Persia,
the king having promised to do justice on all that wronged him,
having sent for them on purpose already. His ship departed
presently on his landing towards Bantam, not knowing of any
English here. Sir Robert hath told Tho. Keridge, who remaineth
above in Agemere, that if the English come not shortly into
Persia, as he hath advised, that then he will bring the Dutch
into that trade, who (as he saith) have been very importunate
on him for it. Mr. Aldworthe hath written him a letter, whose
answer we expect shortly. Furthermore these are giving you to
understand that, having formerly written to Meslepotan, we
received letters therehence at present with musters of indigo and
cotton yarn and their prices, whereby we guess that cotton yarn
with other coloured calicoes are there to be had better cheap than
here, yet we hold the indigo of this place to be better and better
cheap than at Meslepotann, which to the proof we refer us ; inso-
much that the chiefest commodity of this place for our country
will be indigo, flat and round, white calicoes, and powder sugar,

h 2


besides preen ginger of the best, and other small things. The
chiefest commodities of our country ait V ad, quicksilver, ■ few
elephants' teeth of the best (for that they will ool yield i
monly above ill. pei English hundred), likewise coral, which is
now in { t, and desire thai some ma]

first, besid< i sword blad< : . with other small things as in our
former letters. As concerning tin- death of Mr. Paul Canning,

Iso about the sending a sufficient man to be resident
with the king, with all other things needful, we have formerly
written yon at large per the James, whereunto

And now lastly for that your Worships may understand how
yum th us, it is briefly in this manner. Our

genera] at his 1" ing here delivered us tir>t and last in g
moneys to the value of j.w^l- sterling. Whereof we delivered
him in good i as pei .^57

More paid for ( nstoms <>f and de- ^

livered Mi. Canning, the General for

himself, and purser for the .-hip's use,} 2,300
with charges of merchandise and house-
hold expense s, sum of .....

More for indigo flat and round in our powers 1,000
More for baftas and other small things in
our powers o.


More there resteth in our powers sum of - 1,583

:• ; ;

And for that the disbursements abovesaid may seem
without particulars, we have herewith sent a small note how it
was paid out.

At present here remaineth in the house with us Edward Hunt
and the Almaigne before written of, Mr. Aldworth's servant being
now at Borocha (Broach), looking to the well bleaching of white
calicoes which we bought raw at best hand ; as for Tho. Keri
and Nicholas Withington they are both at Agra for the emplo\ ing
500/. sterling in the best round indigo, whereby it may be known
hereafter, whether it or flat indigo will be best in their prices.


Now your Worships shall perceive that William More at his
going herehence left with William Biddulph 400 rials of eight
in the presence of two or three more, wishing him [to] keep it
until it were asked for ; the money is here with us, but his
meaning therein is yet unknown unto us. He left also a pack
of blue calicoes to the value of 60 or 80 rials more, which yet
remaineth here. Thus not having farther at present to enlarge,
do humbly take our leaves, commending your Worships all to
God's merciful protection,

Your Worships' to be commanded,

Tho. Aldworth,
Wm. Biddulph.
The note referred to : —


Charges of merchandise .... 0,765

Presents given away 0,117

Household expenses two years - - - 0,500

Delivered Mr. Canning for Agra - - - 0,54c

Disbursed for the General - °>°57

Purser and others for the ship's use - - 0,221

Starkey at his going home - 0,100


Thomas Aldworthe to Peter Floris at Masulipatam.
Surat, this 19th of August 1614. Stilo Ang.
Received from Mr. Floris, 6th of September, 1615.
OOD Mr. Peter Floris, My kind commendations remem-
bered etc. Yours of the [torn] of June last I received
but two days past, the pattamar playing the villain
therein, for he stayed in the way at his pleasure and
leisure, whereby I fear our letters are like to come too short.
Howsoever I have adventured to. send this bearer with them, who
hath promised to be there within 25 days, except some extraor-


dinary accident befall him in the way. Your musters of cotton
yarn and indigo I received therewith, perceiving your cotton yarn
to be better and better cheap than any is here to be had, WH
upon we mean to desist from buying anymore of that commodity,
having not yet bought above the value of I20& sterling; yd you
shall know that at first I sent you also musters of our cotton
yarn, with right musters of indigo, of both which your pattamai
was robbed in the way, and myself being in Barocha when I last
wrote you, was sick and could have neither good musters of
cotton yarn nor indigo u I desired, yd wrote you what I then
could. But as for your musters of indigo, we find and generally
know that most part of what is made in those parts to be very
deceitful and so full of dross that all things considered we hold
the indigo of these parts to be better in their prices, and an
example of fiat indigo, whereof we have already bought, I do
now send you herewith, being three small pieces in a paper and
cost some 13^/. per pound, which we think to be better than your
[last ?J , yet your bargain will not be amiss, though your two
coarser sorts arc very bad and full of dirt. As for our white
calicoes, we doubt not but they will make three for one at least,
yet will we buy no more except better cheap. I am sorry to hear
of the death of Mr. Essington and of the destruction of that
famous ship at Bantam. I now perceive by yours of your deter-
mination for Bantam forthwith, which I before thought would
not have been until Christmas next, and therefore have sent this
bearer on purpose with our letters to the Worshipful Company,
desiring you to take care for the safe delivery of them, as we
shall be ready here to do the like for you when occasion shall
serve. As for any English ship, here came none since our Gene-
ral's departure, neither do I know any such Englishman as you
write of, for none such came hither. As for Midnall, unto whom
you wrote your letter to Bramport, he died in June last in a place
called Agimer. Your money per the pattamar with much ado I
received, and so thanking you for your kind respect and advice
in haste I leave you, and commend you to God's most merciful
protection, who send you safe home.

Your very loving friend,

Tho. Aldworth.



Thomas Keridge to the East India Company.
By the Hope.
Laus Deo in Agemere, the 20th September, 1614.

ONOURABLE and Right Worshipful,

My humble duty being remembered, these may
be to signify unto your Worships that per Anthony
Starkey, steward of the Dragon, in our general letter
from Suratt, we certified your Worships of all till then passed, who
departed from thence in January 1612 per way of Perseia to travel
home by land, the copy of which letters, with others more large,
we sent per a foot post on purpose, by way of the Red Sea, unto
Aleppo, whom Mr. Aldworthe adviseth me miscarried, the copies
whereof he hath sent to Muselepatan, whereunto I refer me.

Mr. Paul Canning within six weeks after his coming to Agra
died of a flux, whereof we having intelligence, the Agent etc.
appointed me to go thither to understand of the estate of our
business, and to take account of things left. Where when I

Online LibraryEast India CompanyLetters received by the East India company from its servants in the East (Volume 2) → online text (page 10 of 35)