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

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the house, for the opinions of the rest of the merchants of the said
house, whether Richard Cobb, now resident in Bantam, be fit to
negotiate the place of a merchant, and to know the secrets of the
Company's affairs and the course of their business as one of the
Council, my opinion is that he is not nor no way worthy the
place of a merchant. My reasons are these : First, he is much
given to drink, and in his drink to reveal what hath been declared
and spoken of in private council concerning the Company's affairs,
not only to men of our own house but also unto strangers.
Secondly, he is not a man fit for any business, being very lazy and
not desirous to put himself forward in that which belongeth to a
merchant. Thirdly, in his drink much given to scandalize and
slander any man that he taketh disgust against, and in his best
wits so contentious that he is not fit to live in a place of civil
government nor come into the company of any man that desires
to live quietly ; therefore, as his desire is, more fitter to be sent
home to his native country with the first than to remain here,
where there is no need of so ill a member in so small a common-
weal as is our house at Bantam, or any other the Company's
factories in the East Indies.

Upon a Council held concerning the misbehaviours of Richard
Cobb, I was, with the rest of the factors here in Bantam, required
to give my opinion unto Captain John Jourdain, chief of the
factory, concerning him, which is as followeth, viz. : First, I
know it to be true that he is a man given to drunkenness and in
that humour much given to brawls and making of bait betwixt
parties, and scandalizing any man upon any small occasion,
although no otherwise grounded than upon his own invention and
rash folly, and also in such humours easy per circumstances to be
drawn to reveal secrets. He is so much a lover of his own ease
that since his coming to Bantam he hath not been found forward
nor fit in or for any business whatsoever, but rather a hinderer of
Y 1268. m


other men's proceedings concerning the worshipful Company's
affairs, for which causes, for the better and more quiet proceeding
of the rest of the factors in the Ninth Voyage he was left here at
Bantam, where he hath not omitted to verify that in himself by
his evil carriage which formerly he was accused of, for part of
which causes he hath lately suffered a small punishment for a
malefact committed per him, which he justly deserved, being
drunk. Wherefore my opinion is, in regard of his infirmities,
that he is a man not worthy to know the secrets of the worshipful
Company's affairs determined in council, but rather that he be
sent home for England, discharging the worshipful Company of
that charge, rather than he stay longer here in the country and
do them no service.

A proposition related by Captain Jourdain, wherein is required
all our opinions of the carriage and behaviour of Mr. Richard
Cobb, whether that he doth deserve to be in the rank of
merchants or worthy to know the affairs of the worshipful
Company, being a man inclined to ill carriage as he hath been

I have hitherto found Mr. Cobb in his actions to be so
perverse in making of brabbles and slanders of the factors here
resident that it is impossible for a patient man to endure his most
vile and outrageous railing ; besides that I do truly speak, that he
is very unwilling to give his aid, help and assistance in furthering
of any business for the Company ; and being desirous to go for
his native country at this present, I rather give my opinion in
letting his mind be fulfilled therein than to stay him here, because
he is not a man to live under a command or government, and
therein I hope he shall be well contented, and the rest here might
hereafter enjoy peace and quietness, which, if it be otherwise, I do
expect more contentions than have any reformation. Moreover
in conclusion, because, through difficulty in overseeing himself in
drink, he is apt to speak and reveal the secrets of the Company,
and therefore a man not fit for such a place, that the Company
might receive any further harm. Thus referring the same to the
rest of your opinions that it may be for the best, I commit you to
God Almighty's protection.


The opinion of Samuel Boyle is, that Richard Cobb doth
justly deserve to be displaced from being a merchant, in regard of
his manifold abuses and misdemeanours ; first, in regard the said
Richard Cobb is much addicted unto drinking ; secondly, that he
doth disclose the secrets of the Company, and also is held and
reputed to be a turbulent and contentious person, and one that
hath caused much strife and dissension between many of the
Company's chief servants, which is an evil precedent and very
prejudicial unto the worshipful Company. Yet under correction
and your favourable censure it may please you, upon his sub-
mission with hearty promise of reformation of his former abuses,
to remit his punishment, I doubt not but that he will hereafter
endeavour to give good satisfaction and content unto all men.

Having taken the opinions of all the merchants in Bantam
concerning the abuses of Richard Cobb, and finding all of them to
concur in one : to be a seditious person and such a one as can
conceal no secrets nor fit to be employed in the Company's
affairs ; and myself having seen some part of his proceedings to be
corresponding to their opinions, finding him to be a man which
will obey no command : these things being considered, I hold it
necessary that in the first convenient passage he repair for his
country, there to make satisfaction to the worshipful Company of
his wilful proceedings ; and, in the meantime of his being here, I
do exclude him from the council of merchants until such time
as his merits may deserve better, etc.

Bantam, the 16th of November, 1614.

N 2



Piete Willems Floris and George Chauncey to Thomas Aldworthe

at Surat.
16th November, 1614.

OOD Mr. Thomas Aldworthe, my kind commendations
remembered etc. Yours of the 19th of August last I
received the nth September, whereby I perceive the
long time that the pattamar hath been in the coming
thither, which might have been a great hindrance to the right
worshipful Company's service, if it so had fallen out as we did
make account at first, but it is fallen out contrary to our expec-
tations, because that the ship, being trimmed this four months
past, could not come over the bar till the third of October last,
at which time she had a happy hour, because if she then had not
come over, at this day she should still have been within the river;
but God be praised for His assistance and blessings bestowed
upon us, so that the 23rd she came here into the road, and now
we are shipping our goods ; so that I hope by the grace of God
to be ready to set sail from hence about primo December next,
and to touch first at Bantam and so for England. The Lord of
Heaven give us His blessing, and send us well into our country ;
and then the letters which you send to the right worshipful Com-
pany shall be well and safely delivered. In the meantime I shall
take a special care of the keeping of them. I perceive what you
write about the cotton yarn, calicoes and indigo. If the calicoes
would yield no more than three for one then they are not worth
the charge which the Company must bear. Concerning indigo,
that you esteem your flat indigo better as our best muster which
we did send you, we are here wholly contrary of opinion, because
this indigo is higher of colour and much more coppered than the
flat indigo is. It is true that there is more dross in this indigo ;
yet nevertheless this indigo is sold in the Low Countries at
15 and 16s. Flemish, and the flat indigo is worth no more than
11 and 12s. Flemish the pound. The time will learn as it please
God to send us well home. Gion Maria di Moreth is arrived


here in a very poor estate. I have delivered him the letter which
was enclosed in yours. He is willing to go with the ships for
Bantam. I shall advise me about this matter, considering he is
in a poor estate and destitute of all help and friends. But as for
that roguish John, whereof I did write you in my last, he is run
away ; he hath sought to cozen me, but if I could catch him I
would cozen him. I have kept this bearer till now because that
I might write you certainly of our estate, which is as I have noted
before, five or six days more or less, because I have here yet some
debts to receive ; and so soon as I have them I hope to set sail,
having nothing more to sell or to buy.

The first of this month arrived here a Dutch ship coming in
three months from Bantam, and in her there comes the Visitador
General for the Dutch to visit these coasts, and they look for
two ships more within a month. News they bring that Prince
Henry is dead, the Duke Charles established into his place, the
Princess is married with the Prince Elector of Heidelberch, com-
monly called Palsgrave of the Rhine, of whom he hath a young
son, whereof there is great joy throughout all countries. The
king of Spain did make great suit for her, but he was denied, who
is now to marry with the daughter of the duke of Savoy. Den-
mark and Sweden are united together. The war of Muscovy and
Poland continues. The truce betwixt Spain and the Low
Countries continued, but at home and not abroad. Prince
Maurice is established Knight of the Garter of England.
These are the general news of Europe. At Bantam there are
no English ships. The James is gone for Siam and Patania,
and the Osiander for Priaman, where the English are in great
danger, for the king of Acheene, who is [blank] very angry
that the English have set a factory in Priaman without his
leave and he hath sent some prows and other fustes to fetch
them from thence and to bring them for Acheene, although
I hope the Osiander shall prevent them, which the time will
learn. In February last came a small ship from Holland with
advice, who did arrive in August at Bantam. He hath encoun-
tered and spoken with an English ship who was full of men, who
came expressly to succour the Trades Increase ; which ship was
not yet arrived at Bantam. As for any other ships I cannot learn


what quantity the Company is to send ; only they say that the
next spring was to come a fleet of ships from England.

In the Moluccoes continues the war betwixt the Spaniards
and the Dutch ; albeit that the Dutch have the strongest part,
yet they cannot beat out the Spaniards.

The Darling is departed from Bantam now almost a year ago,
and was bound, as the Dutch tell, for this place ; but we have
here no news of her, neither have they at Bantam, so that it is to
be afraid she is not well, wheresoever she may be. I pray God
prevent the worst.

The trade in the Moluccoes as at Bantam is very bad, espe-
cially cloths of all sorts almost in no request ; therefore if you are
providing some cloths for Bantam I could wish that you only did
buy some red Carricanns and black Candekins with some chintz
and patales of silk for girdles, and a small quantity of black
baftas ; the rest, I believe, will be but small profit. The opium
they say is worth almost nothing. This is the news which I have
learned by this ship. As for letters, I have received none, ac-
cording to the fashion of Bantam, who are very loath to spoil a
sheet of paper. And so, not having other news at present to
advise you of, only to take a kindly and honest leave of you,
beseeching God to bless and prosper you in all your business,
and to send you well home, as I hope He will do us, that we may
have more acquaintance one with the other. In the meantime I
pray that you will have a good honest opinion of me as I have of
you, and because of the uncertainty of men's lives, if so should
fall out that it pleased God to call me out of this world before I
come into England, that you then will give no other report of me
than you well and surely are informed of, because a man after he
is dead can have no better or greater treasure than a good name.
And so I commend you to the holy protection of the Almighty
Lord. Mr. Geo. Chauncey, merchant, commends him very
kindly unto you. The like I pray have me commended unto the
rest of the friends which are with you.

From Mussilpatam, this 16th of November, 1614, stilo Ang.
Your very loving friends,

Pieter Willems Floris.
George Chauncey.



Captain Nicholas Downton to the East India Company.
Swally Road, the 20th of November, 1614.

IGHT Worshipful, These are to give you to understand
in briefest sort of our proceedings since the seventh of
March, when we departed Dover Road. Without any
touch or stay, more than contrary winds enforced, by
our best endeavours we attained to Saldania the 15th of June,
where, to the great hindrance of our business, by loss of our
boats, we wore out the tail of a long storm, many of our people
now appearing somewhat touched with the disease. Refreshing
of flesh we had in manner none ; we had some little fish, by our
continual endeavours in the river. For Cory, soon after our
coming thither, we in hope of his better performance, and nothing
doubting of his love, I let him go away with his rich armour and
all his wealth in the company of his friends, but what became of
him after we know not, neither could ever understand. Having
dispatched our watering and some time tended on the wind, we
set sail and put to sea, the 2nd of July, 1614 ; and after much
contrary winds and a long passage, we arrived at the bay of
St. Augustin the 6th of August, where we took in water and wood
and somewhat refreshed our people with very good beef, so far as
we had any silver chain or links of whistles to buy them, for
otherwise we could procure very little. For a cow we paid
twelve new English sixpences, which they hang about their
necks ; if we had not had sixpences they would have had so many
shillings. Spanish money they will take none. They seem to
be people well inclined and just, though I wish none to be bold
thereof, for one good or bad man in authority may sway much
among the multitude. From thence we departed the 12th day,
directing our course so near the shoals of St. Lawrence as fitly
we might. We passed along leaving the islands of Moyella and
Commora on our larboard side and the great island of Moyetta
on our starboard side, but touched at neither, in regard of our
haste to save the monsoon. The gth of September at night we
anchored in the road of Delisha at Zoccatra (Socotra) where by


the king and some Indians, which in a small ship were then I
endeavoured to inform myself of the state of our business at
Surat, of Captain Best Ins last proceedings with the Portuj

whose report suited my content. We lingered sometime about
the aloes, which at a dear rate we bought at 30 rials per,

which is o,61bs ; and the 14th day we set sail towards Surrat.
The 23rd day the wind ti><>k us short, being [68 leagues short of
the coast of India. The 2nd of October we had sight of land so
far to leeward as Dabull, and against the wind we turned up and
arrived in Swally Road the 15th day, and to my great comfort
not having above four sick men in the whole Beet. We find by
report Chaull and Bassaim slightly besieged by the Decans, and
Damon and Diu by the Mogore's forces, and Mocrob Chan our
arch-enemy general of the forces against Damon. Great report
was of his gladness of our being come; but we find for no other
cause but to serve his own turn, thinking to have had us at com-
mand to have battered the castle of Damon with our ships
(which would have been his honour) wherein the Portugals are
contained ; which business and attempt my commission barred
me. Then he would have had me under my hand to keep the
Portugals' forces out of the river of Surat, which I could neither
grant ; for that there was room for frigates and galleys divers
ways to pass in, where wanted water for my ships to ride to stop
them ; neither had I warrant to begin wars with the Portugals,
unless they first gave me cause. Many days have we spent in
frivolous debating of our business, long doubting whether we
might resolve to stay, land our goods and do our business here,
or seek some other place where we might have more hopes in the
governors, who are all greedy of presents. At length it seemed to
us that there was no doubt of danger in landing of our goods, but
only that he had crossed us for not having his will, both in the
use of our ships and appointment of men for the buying of all
our goods to his own use and benefit, unfit for us to grant ; in
which time the people were often restrained their boats and
carriages to transport us ; so that when our merchants were sent
to the town, we could not in long time get them again, nor well
hear from them ; not that they were much ill entreated, but all
boats restrained to carry them back over the river. He so much


presumeth on the king's favour that he doth what he list. We
have hope when Mr. Edwards shall come to the court by his
good endeavours with the king to help much. He is now setting
forwards for Agra, and others with money towards Amadavar to
buy commodities for return home. I pray God bless their
journey and endeavours.

At my first speaking with Mr. Aldworthe, who through his
desire of the good of the Company, which in my conceit (upon
new acquaintance) he is very zealous of, he informed me that in
Persia may yearly be vented a good quantity of cloths and kerseys,
so the colours be good, and dyed in the wool, and that there may
be silk returned at reasonable rates, so as place may be found for
to contain ships within the king of Persia his dominions, which
is near unto Ormus ; where may arise some opposition by the
Portugals when they grow to strength, though now they seem
but weak, and if the Indian princes do exercise their own
strength they will be every day weaker, yet it is like by reason of
their many occasions the next year there will go some good
forces out of Portugal, from whence the report is there hath
come no ships to India these two years, by which they are much
at present disabled ; yet there is still a report that the Viceroy will
come for Surat with all the forces he can make, which I think
cannot stand with good discretion in regard they are so many
ways beset. Though I purpose to seem no more secure than if
they were to come to-morrow, for I more think of their wily
stratagems by fire and otherwise than of their force, which I
think cannot be much ; true intelligence what it is I have none.

It seemeth to me the ill sales of cloth in India put
Mr. Aldworthe into an extraordinary desire by inquisition to seek
out a better place in regard of their cloths yet remaining on their
hands, as for such as he feared were to come by the next ship-
ping, and the next after that, before advice can be sent home to
forbear. By his industry he learned of a port some 40 leagues
without Ormus called Jasques. Moreover there came one Richard
Steel, born in Bristoll, who had lived some time in Turkey and
afterwards spent some time in Persia, who by an occasion of
business with John Midnall in the behalf of Mr. Morris Abbott,
Mr. Robert Offley and Mr. Leat and others of the Committees


was also drawn unto bene he caused tti' i^oods of the said

Midnall to be ; ring aid of Mr. Thomas Aldworthe

from, who Bent Th '. Keridge I i A t i about the
himself forced to fly to avoid the i of Midnall and his

conft ■■:■ for his destruction, whereof it seemeth Richard Si 1

had b t i ite by wounds i Surrati

when.- being arrived he confirmed Mr. Aldworthe's former intelli-
gence « .hi, erning the ns lish cloths in Persia by reason of
the cold there in the winter time, as also making a hopeful n
of silk at turned from thence; th il of
which grew to such strength in Mr. Aldworth , I ther with the
and disa riour of th< I Sted that he
invited him 1)\- p i an.l kind usage to stay with him until
the coming of th I without giving him some hope
of tit employment.

Amongst oui coherences concerning business, and though tl. th great in perform-

ance of the same, yet I wish not to let slip the l< a t h< ipe tending
to the future good <>f my employers and country. We once
thought of sending Richard Steel and Mr. Munday with him, by
land, to search and sound the place of Jasques, how fit it may be
in safety to contain ships; but upon better advisemen t
altered that determination, in regard it is not pas land by

i on of great numbers of outlaws and discontented
which permit none in safety to pass, and a! that this

business could not be effected without license from the P
Emperor, which would ask long time and great charge to per-
form. Since when, by great means made, I have attained to the
conference with a Guzerat pilot who informs me that Jasques is
neither bay nor indraft, but a town standing upon the Persian
shore some 30 leagues without Ormus and is a straight coast
whore a ship may ride in 8 fathom within saker-shot of the shore,
or nearer if they will to 6 fathom, where he saith is good riding
for the most part from September to the end of February with
reasonable weather and wind at north, which bloweth trade along
the coast. Upon which information I esteemed it needless to
spend long time and waste of charge by sending a seaman to
sound the place, where I perceive is no danger or difficulty, and


a discreet mariner will not miss much of the length of the place.
If he cannot formerly get a pilot he must help himself by a
linguist by the Arab or Persian tongue. So that now we purpose
to send Mr. Steel and another merchant by land into Persia, with
a letter to Sir Robert Sherley, entreating his help to move the
king for his allowance and license for our peaceable and quiet
trading within his dominions, which Mr. Richard Steel thinketh
it will please him well to grant ; which being obtained, by all fit
endeavours to inform themselves like merchants in every respect
of the state of the business. Then from thence Mr. Steel to
hasten for England, there to acquaint the governor and assistants
of the Indian Company what is herein done ; and if God give
him health, I make no doubt that he will give you good account of
his proceedings ; and the merchant to return to Surat, there to
make known the like. For Sinde, to travel by land, by reason of
discontented people as aforesaid, we are wholly discouraged ; but
I make no doubt but that you are well informed of that place by
Captain Newport. For the country near Sinde, we cannot under-
stand of any hope for us there, but only by that fair river, whereby
we may transport our goods to and from that goodly city and
country near Lahor. I wish by any means we may find it fit for
our use, for while Mocrob Chan hath authority at Surat we
shall be ever crossed ; besides the carriage to and from thence
into the country is chargeable, and customs at divers places,
which I doubt by his means will not be abated, which, if we can
with our ships come to Sinde, the river will be our good friend
for transportation.

Besides Mocrob Chan hath sent to Messalapatan for the
Hollanders to come hither, promising them Damon when it is
taken from the Portugals, but is like they will be here ere long,
for they had a factory here before we knew the place, and they
have still a stock remaining here in the Shabunder's hands, ever
since all their factors here died. You sent now divers cloths
which you have been warned of and it is in vain to show them
here, nor anywhere else in these parts for ought I know, which
are all your musk colours and sand colours and all other
inclining to sadness. The most in request are in disgrace by
reason of the deceitful colours. We are so long delayed here,


and for fear of the 1" lis, I dan- not leave the ship that

should be sent home alone, which I doubt will brin

iiul she will be bo long blading I doubt her filling
on oar coast in an unseasonable rime. In this fleet we brought
neither weights n<>r scales to weigh half .1 ban : ight. 1

know not what shirt to make here nor in any other place ti'
come to Bantam. All oat will not one of them

1 i m f« >r that I can main bat a weak accoant <>f

our ha iness thai w

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