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

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with them, which the General left here to serve for such a pur-
pose, with a present for the king, if it was thought fit. And they
arrived in safety at Quinham, delivered his Majesty's letter with
the present and were kindly entertained, with large promises.
But the Hollanders, seeing that we made a voyage for that place,
would needs do the like and sent an adventure in another junk ;
yet I advised Mr. Peacock he should not make nor meddle with
them in any matters of business, but be alone. Yet notwith-
standing in the end he went in company with the Flemings to
receive in certain sums of money which the king owed them for
broadcloth and other commodities he had bought of them, but
they were set upon in the way and slain, both English and Dutch
with all their juribassos and followers. The general report is
that the king of Cochinchina did this to be revenged on the
Hollanders, who burnt a town and slew many of his people not
many years past. The original grew by means of a great quan-
tity of false dollars or rials of eight which the Hollanders carried
in times past and bartered them away for silks and other com-
modities, but their false money being found out they laid hands
on the Flemings and as it is said in their fury killed someone,
in revenge whereof the Hollanders used great cruelty against


[ ] and children which is the occasion of their and our

late loss, Mr. Peacock being slain because he was in company
with the Hollanders. But Walter Cut warden . . . aboard the]
junk escaped and came away in her, but from that hour to tin
can hear no news neither of the junk nor him. So it is thought
they are cast away with other junks like them , for of five that
went from hence there is but two returned, one of them coming
from thence 20 days after the junk that Walter Carwanlen was in
was departed and she arrived h ere four or five months past; so
that now I am out of hope to hear any good news of him. There
has never been such foul weather and so much shipwreck in these
parts as hath been this year etc. We have sold some part of our
broadcloth, most of them blacks at 12, 13, 14 and 15 taels the
tattamy or matt (which is something more than two yards: the
tael is 5 shillings) ; for the Hollanders have sold their broad-
cloth at such base rates to make despatch that they have marred
our markets ; but they have not much cloth now [toj sell. White
broadcloth and yellow are much enquired after, as also clove
colour and mouse or rat colour ; hare colour, cinnamon colour,
and violet colour arc also good, but stammels not in such request
as heretofore ; but they will not look on a flame colour nor
Venice red ; and I think kerseys, both whites, and blacks and of
such colours as I said before, would sell well, as I think both
cloth and kerseys of mingled colours will do the like. It were not
amiss to make trial of bayes, sayes, cottons, perpetuanoes and
other stuffs, which may be afforded at a low rate, as also of
fustians such as are made in England and if it please you to
send a chest or two of cony skins, lamb and budge or to make
some of them into gowns or kerimons, as they call them here,
such as Captain John Saris our General carried a sample of from
hence (I mean of such a fashion). The Emperor took the four cul-
verins and one saker for one thousand four hundred taels and
10 barrels of powder at one hundred eighty and four taels, and
600 bars of lead poise 115 pecul and 10 catties at 6 condrins per
catty (ten condrins making six pence) is six hundred and nine [ty
taels] . We have also sold about half our pepper for 65 mass the
pecul (the mass being sixpence), and most part of our allejas,
Amad [avaz ?] cassidienils, pintadoes, pisgars and such striped



and spotted stuff at divers prices ; but for red zelas, blue byrams
and dutties, they will not away ; the reason is the abundance of
linen cloth made in these parts and far better cheap than in any
part of Christendom. And for tin, it will not sell here for the
price it cost in England ; and iron is here both better and better
cheap than in England. Neither as yet can I sell any of the rest
of our elephants' teeth ; but if it please God we get trade into
China, as I hope we shall, then they will be [ ] where are

three or four Chinese my friends who are labouring to get us
trade in their country and do not doubt it will take effect. The
place which they think fittest is an island and near to the city of
Lanquin (Nanking), to which place we may go from hence, if the
wind be good, in three or four days. Our demand is for three
ships a year to come and go and to leave only factors sufficient to
do the business. If we can but procure this, I doubt not but in
short time we may get into the mainland itself, for, as the Chinese
themselves tell me, their Emperor is come to the knowledge
how the Emperor of Japan hath received us and what large privi-
leges he hath granted us. But the Hollanders are ill spoken of
on each part by means of their continual robbing and pilfering
the junks of China, which at first they put upon Englishmen, but
now it is known to the contrary. The Chinese do tell me that if
it please the King's Majesty of England to write unto their
Emperor and send a present, that it will be taken in good part,
and safely conveyed unto him. If it please God this take effect,
then I hope your Worships will let me have the credit in pur-
suing of it. I speak not this in respect I am assured it will take
effect, yet my hope is great and, as the saying is : nothing seek,
nothing find. If somebody did not seek after it, it could not be
effected ; for sure I am the Chinese will not seek after us to come
unto them. I did think to have sent these elephants' teeth which
are left to Syam, but I am persuaded to the contrary ; and there-
fore will keep them and send so much money in place. At present
we have bought a junk of some two hundred tons. She doth
stand your Worships with repairing and setting out above 1,000/.
sterling, besides the cargazon of goods which go in her. She is
called the Sea Adventure, and now attendeth the first fair wind
to set forwards towards Syam. Mr. Wm. Adams goeth captain


and master in her, and Mr. Richard Wickham and Mr. Edmund
Saycr for merchants. I send one thousand pounds sterling be-
sides the worth of the elephants' [teeth . . . ] , above two hand

and fifty pounds sterling in rials of eight, with 4 chests cl< tth Cam-
baia, which [are not vendible ?] here viz. : zelas, byrams, candc-
quisnill, chader lullawy and such like, with 5 bales dutties and ten
corge, and some hundred pounds sterling in Japan armour, pikes,
cattans, bows and arrows and other trifles to give away in presents
to the king of Syam and others, as the custom is, and that is
overplus will be sold for profit, and is better than to carry so much
money. We have bought the house which our General left us
seated in, for which as then we paid after forty pounds a year, in
the fee simple and repairing or rather new-building doth stand
your Worships already in above three hundred pounds sterling, it
being builded with [walls on every ?] side a yard thick, and
covered over with tiles to make it fire-free, we being daily in
[danger ?] before to lose all by fire. The Hollanders have laid
out above two thousand pounds sterling already about building
them an house and yet still a-building etc. Also may it please
your Worships to understand that I have with the consent of the
rest entertained into your Worships' service a Dutchman called
Gisbright Tuning for 80 taels or twenty pounds sterling per annum.
He came into Japan when Mr. Adams came and speaketh the
language of this country perfectly and hath entrance to speak
with the Emperor, if need so require. The man is poor and had
his house and all that ever he had burned but lately. The man
is sufficient to do good business if occasion serve to employ him,
and is willing and diligent. Mr. Wm. Adams hath paid me
twenty pounds sterling your Worships lent his wife in England.
He paid it presently after the Clove was gone. I find the man
tractable and willing to do your worships the best service he may,
and hath taken great pains about the repairing our junk called
the Sea Adventure ; otherwise she would not have been ready to
have made the Syam voyage this year. He hath great desire to
find out the Northern Passage for England from hence and
thinketh it an easy matter to be done, in respect the Emperor of
this place offereth his assistance; and your Worships shall find me
as walling as any man it shall please you to employ into these


parts to second him etc. The Emperor [ofj Japan hath banished
all Jesuits, priests, friars, and nuns out of all his dominions, some
being gone for the Phillippinas, the rest for Amacou (Macao) in
China. It is thought wars will ensue in Japan betwixt the
Emperor and Fidaia Same, son to Ticus Same the deceased
Emperor. Mr. John Jourdain, the captain and cape merchant
under your Worships at Bantam, hath advised me to my great
grief of the mortality happened to Sir Henry Middleton and his
company with the loss of the Trades [Increase . . . . 1 . He
also advised me that a month [before the ?] date of his letter,
which was the 30th of May last, [departed the Darling ?] bound
from Bantam for Patania and there to take [ ] and so to

come for Firando. But since I received another letter from Mr.
Win. Ebrett [from] Pattania the 23rd of June last, wherein he
adviseth me he can hear no news of her, [so] he doubteth she is
cast away. If it had pleased God she had come hither before the
[junk] had been bought (as she might well have done) it would
have saved your Worships the best part of 1,000/. sterling in cash.
And so, beseeching the Almighty [to] bless your Worships in all
your proceedings, I rest

Your Worships' in duty at command,

Ric. Cocks.

We cannot per any means get trade as yet from Tushma into
Corea, neither have they of Tushma any other privileges but to
enter into one little town or fortress, and in pain of death not to
go without the walls thereof to the landward, and yet the king of
Tushma is no subject to the Emperor of Japan. We could vent
nothing but pepper at Tushma, neither no great quantity of that
and the weight is much bigger than that of Japan, but sold at a
better rate. I am given to understand that up in the country of
Corea they have great cities and betwixt that and the sea mighty
bogs, so that no man can travel on horseback nor very hardly on
foot. But for remedy against that they have invented great
waggons or carts which go upon broad flat wheels under sail as
ships do ; so that, observing monsoons, they transport their
goods to and fro in these sailing waggons. They have damasks,
satins," taffetas and other silk stuffs made there as well as in


China. It is said that Ticus Same, otherwise called Quabicondono,
(the deceased Emperor) did pretend to have conveyed a great
army in these sailing waggons to have assaulted the Emperor of
China on a sudden in his great city of Paquin (Pekin), where he
is ordinarily resident ; but he was prevented by a Corean noble-
man, who poisoned himself to poison the Emperor and other great
men of Japan, which is the occasion that the Japans have lost all
that which some twenty-two years past they had gotten posses-
sion of in Corea etc. Ric. Cocks.


Richard Cocks to Adam Denton, English merchant in Patania.
Firando in Japan, the 25th of November, 1614.

fR. DENTON, Your joint letter written in that of Har-
nando Ximenes in Bantam the first of June, came to
my hand in Firando the 27th of July following, which is
the occasion I wrote you these few lines in answer to
Pattania, as you desired. I cannot as yet brag of any beneficial
trade we have found in these parts, yet time may find it out for
us as well as it hath done for others ; and it may be into China
itself; and the rather for that the Emperor of Japan hath ban-
ished all Jesuits, priests, friars and nuns out of Japan and pulled
down their churches and monasteries ; as it is said the Emperor of
China means to do the like at Macou (Macao). It is the misde-
meanour and covetousness of the Jesuits (as most report) that
causeth this alteration. Also here is some rumour of wars like to
ensue in Japan between Ogusho Same, the Emperor that now is,
and Fidaia Same, a young man of 22 years, son to Ticus
Same the deceased Emperor. And for sales of commodities,
our broadcloth goeth away per little and little at 15, 14, 13,
and 12 taies the tattamy or Japan measure (which is some-
thing more than two English yards), blacks in most request ; but
stammels not so much sought after as heretofore, and flame colour,
Venice red and sea-water greens nothing at all esteemed. The
Hollanders, to make money, have sold at such base prices that


they have spoiled our markets. And for cloth of Cambaya, that
in most request is allejas of Amad [avaz?] , pintadoes, pisgars, broad
pintadoes, chader pintadoes, cassidienils, cajany harer, bacar Bar-
oche, Tabshill macura, Tabshill grand and boralls, as also white
baftas. These sorts of cloth will sell for some profit, but red
zelas, blue byrams, candequisnill and chaders lullawys will not
sell at any price, neither make they any great reckoning of dut-
ties. I write you thus at large, because when you find fit oppor-
tunity you may advise Captain Jourdain and Mr. Ball thereof to
Bantam, to the intent that, when any shipping cometh from
thence to Firando, they may send some of those sorts that will
vent here, if they lie by the [ ] there. Raw silk at

present is not worth above 230 taels the pecul (the tael is 5s. ster-
ling) ; and yet the Macou ship brought but 300 peculs silk this
year, which is but a small matter in respect of that quantity they
were wont to bring heretofore, but by means of this bruit of wars
everyone looks on and keeps their money by them, it being a
thing light to carry. Brazil or red wood is worth 4 taels the
pecul, and deer skins, 30 taels 100 skins, and buffalo horns
20 taels the 100 horns ; and for all other stuffs, as velvets, satins,
grograms, damasks and taffetas, they are sold at divers prices
according to goodness. Bantam pepper we sell for six taels and a
half the pecul ; but the Patania pepper is better, and as I under-
stand the Dutch sell it at 10 taels or 100 mass the pecul, and
cloves at 3 mass the catty, and nutmegs the like. But we have
none of those commodities. Lead is now 'worth 6 taels the
pecul, because of the bruit of these wars ; otherwise it would be
better cheap. And tin not worth so much here as in England,
and iron the like. This letter cometh per our junk, called the
Sea Adventure, we have bought and now bound for Syam. She
is of burden some 200 tons and Mr. Wm. Adams goeth captain
and master in her, and Mr. Richard Wickham and Mr. Edmund
Sayer for merchants. I send you per Mr. Wickham a jar of rusk
or white biscuit, which I pray you may be parted betwixt

A you and Mr. Wm. Ebrett and received as a token of
my good will ; the jar is marked as in the margin,
with a ticket on it wherein your name is written. I
have written Mr. Ebrett answer of the receipt of his letter of the


23rd of June, dated in Patania. And so with my very hearty
commendations to you both, with the rest of our good friends
and acquaintances, I commit you all to the protection of the
Almighty, resting

Your very loving friend,

Kic. Cocks.
I marvel what is become of the Darling. If she had come
hither before the junk had been bought, it would have saved the
Company the best part of 1,000/. sterling in cash. I am little
beholden to Mr. Ball and the rest which came in the Eighth
Voyage, for none writes me who is alive or who is dead, nor so
much as of the mortality happened to Sir Henry Middleton and
his company nor what became of the Peppercorn. I pray you,
as conveniently you may, write me what you know hereof. I
have written Mr. Ebrctt at large of our loss in Cochinchina and
death of Mr. Tempest Peacock and willed him to make it known
unto you. R. C.


The Commission and Invoice of goods shipped in the

Sea Adventure for Siam.

Firando in Japan, the 25th of November, 1614.

R. WICKHAM, I know it is needless to give instruc-
tions to them which know how to do well of them-
selves, neither can I say more than formerly I have done
at your going up to Edo. Only, as then, so now, again
I wish (and heartily entreat you) not to give any occasion of dis-
content to Mr. Adams, but rather bear with him both for your
own good, and the good of the worshipful Company; for fair
words are as soon spoken as foul, and cause a man to pass
through the world as well amongst foes as friends.

Neither is it needful to speak unto you of the feminine gender,
although the liberty of these parts of the world is over much in
that kind and were I to give admonition to my own brother I
would say much more, and doubt not but you my friend will
accept hereof in good part etc.


I am not of opinion, neither will give you counsel, to land any
goods on the coast of Camboja, or Cochinchina, if in case you
should not get to your port of discharge in Syam (which I make
no doubt but you will). If not, stand upon your guard and
barter with such as come aboard if you find it beneficial for the
worshipful Company, otherwise return the goods back in the
junk, for our late loss in Cochinchina is not yet out of my
memory, although there was nothing done therein but by a
general consent as you yourself can witness. But, God sending
you to your port of discharge in Syam, then I pray you use all
expedition you may to procure the lading of our junk with brazil
(or red wood), deer skins, raw silk, pieces or China stuffs, or any
other matters you shall understand by good proof may be for
most profit for our worshipful employers, in doing whereof you
are best to take the counsel and assistance of Mr. Lucas
Antheunis and Mr. John Gourney, unto whom I have written to
that effect. I think brazil wood will yield the Company most
profit and with it we may compass the lading of the [junk] with
our own cargazon of moneys and commodities, with an overplus to
employ in deer skins or any other finer commodities. For I would
willingly the whole lading should come for the worshipful Com-
pany Adventurers in the Eighth Voyage if our stock be sufficient
to compass it ; if not then had I rather the worshipful Company's
goods of any other voyage should come in her than that of
strangers, in paying ordinary freight according to custom, for that
the junk with charges of setting her out hath cost our employers
much money etc.

And if you buy deer-skins, a care must be had in choosing of
them large and without holes ; they are worth at present (as I
am informed) 30 taels, one with another, the hundred skins I
mean, great and small together. And red wood 4 taels the pecul,
and raw silk the pecul 230 taels. For other China stuffs you
know we sold according to goodness. There is also a kind of
fish-skins to make scabbards and handles for cattans, which is a
very good commodity if they be well chosen, or else they are
worth little or nothing. Also buffaloes' horns are sold here for
20 taels the 100 horns ; but I know not whether any be to be had
at Syam, for these came from Phillipines.


And for a present to be given to the king of Syam or any
others, take the counsel of Mr. Lucas Antheunis or such others
as have lain longest in the country, both for the quality and
quantity. It is said that these armours, guns, pikes, cattans and
bows and arrows are most esteemed of, and to that intent were
bought ; but what resteth or is overplus will be sold for profit
and is better than to carry so much money. Take Mr. Adams'
counsel herein ; it will give him content and do you no hurt.

And if you find it fit (and for our employers' benefit) to leave
a man in those parts, then with the counsel of Mr. Lucas Anthe-
unis (or others which are experienced in those affairs) you may
leave Edmund Sayer ; but do it not except upon good occasion,
for you know we are but few and that our want is much here, etc.
And make Edmund Sayer acquainted with such business as
you do, which in some sort will be a discharge for yourself, how-
soever matters may fall out, and be a credit and encouragement
to the young man, and bring him to know how to do such busi-
ness, for every man must have a time to learn etc.

And if you find any of the worshipful Company's servants
willing to come hither, of what voyage soever they be, bring them
along with you and let their goods have passage upon reasonable
composition, and they shall find me here ready to assist them
how I may. And if you find Mr. John Gourney at Syam then
deliver him the letter I sent him, with the worshipful Company's
packet letters ; but if he be not there then open his letter and
use the best means you can to send both his letter and the Com-
pany's packet to Captain Jourdain for Bantam by the first sure
conveyance, with directions to see the packet sent
for England with all speed possible, for that it impor-
teth. And the other two letters to Mr. Adam Denton
and Mr. Wm. Ebrett I pray you send to them to
Patania per first sure conveyance etc. And for the
great leather bag marked as in the margin, wherein is
seven hundred forty and eight taels Japan plate, it is for so much
received of John Joosen per advice from Mr. Lucas Antheunis
for account of the right worshipful Company Adventurers in the
Seventh Voyage, which bag of money you are to deliver to Mr. Lucas
Antheunis for the use of the right worshipful aforesaid, etc.


And the time of the monsoon for the return of this junk the
Sea Adventure towards Firando in Japan being come, I desire
you to despatch her away and not to be an occasion of her stay
upon what surmise soever, as you will answer to the contrary ;
for it is better to have her to come back without part of her
lading than unadvisedly to adventure the rest. But I hope your
forwardness in the business will be such that I need not to stand
upon this point ; and the rather that you carry most part of
your cargazon in ready money etc.

And if I have forgotten anything that (upon good ground) you
may find fitting for our worshipful employers' benefit, then I refer
it to your own discretion, desiring you to enquire and look out,
wheresoever you shall come, what trade may be had into any
other places whereinto yet we have had no entry, and how we
may have entrance into them, with the benefit that may arise to
the right worshipful Company thereby ; in doing whereof it can-
not choose but redound to your great credit and reputation.
And if you find any fit conveyance to write me before your
return then I pray you let no such opportunity overpass, as you
shall find the like from me. And so I beseech the Lord God
to send you a prosperous voyage and safely to return. Amen.

Your very loving friend,

Ric. Cocks.

The cargazon of merchandise and moneys are as follows,
viz. : —

Taels. Mass. Cond.

Cloth cambaia, 36 corge 03 pieces,

[details omitted] cost - - - 0,313 o 3

Armour and weapons, quita soils (or
sombreros), fans, boxes, dried
tunnyfish, gunpowder, mate-
rials for casting shot &c. [details
omitted] -

Money in bags ...

Ready money -

Sum total of the whole carga-
zon, goods and money, is











Besides the leather bag of seven hundred forty and eight tacls
Japan plate in bars sent to Mr. Lucas Antheunis for account of the
right worshipful Company Adventurers in the Seventh Voyage.

I am given to understand that there is some tonnage in
hold due to the officers of the junk. What it is let them have it,
and rather more than less, for I hope we shall make more
voyages, and therefore good to please these sort of people, etc.
And when you come to sea if any lurkers go along, thinking to
make benefit of empty cabins, seek them out and make them to
pay or sleep on the hatches ; and if any cabins be empty at return
fill them with light merchandise for the worshipful Company our
employers ; let not sharkers go beyond you in this case. And so
the Lord prosper you in your proceedings and send you a safe
return. Amen.

Your very loving friend at command,

Online LibraryEast India CompanyLetters received by the East India company from its servants in the East (Volume 2) → online text (page 19 of 35)