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

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is that the junk has been forced by a storm (of which a lively
description is given) to put into one of the Liu-Kiu Islands.
As regards outside events, mention is made (p. 20) of the
proscription of tobacco, and (pp. 201, 221) of rumours of wars
between the Emperor (as Cocks calls the Shogun) and the son
of his predecessor ; we also hear of the persecution of Christians
and the banishment of ' papist Jesuits, friars, and priests '
(p. 19), ' so as now there is no more Christians of Japan-
ners in these parts ' (p. 20). An amusing incident of this
outbreak of hatred against the new religion was the objection
raised (pp. 21, 52) to the display (on Sundays, ' as our custom
is') of the English flag on the factory at Firando. The
St. George's cross on the national emblem was an offence, and
1 down it must,' in spite of the protests of the agent.

Cocks himself, the head of the factory during the ten years
in which the English vainly strove to establish themselves in
Japan, is already a familiar figure, and these letters add
little to the portrait drawn in his Diary, edited by Sir E.
Maunde Thompson for the Hakluyt Society in 1883. Easy-
going and unpractical, he was a singularly inefficient head
for a factory where the strenuous competition of the Dutch
and many other difficulties had to be encountered. The will-o'-
the-wisp idea of opening up trade with China from Japan was
ever in his mind ; and he somewhat prematurely bespeaks
(p. 199) the credit of pursuing it to a successful issue. Still
his letters contain many interesting passages, such as, for
example, his account of Corea (p. 201) and his description of
the sailing waggons used there, which recalls a well-known
passage in Paradise Lost.

A special characteristic of this group of letters is that most
of them are familiar epistles from one factor to another,
and so afford many glimpses of domestic life not to be
found in documents of a more formal order. Such are the
notes from Cocks to Wickham, requesting the return of the


buckets in which some live fresh-water fish have been sent for
his consumption and expressing a wish that Wickham could
be with him to see the soldiers mustered, ' and eat your part
of a neat's tongue to dinner ' : the notice (p. 23) of the purchase
by Cocks of a slave wench, at a cost of three taels (15s.), ' for
which she must serve five years and then repay back the three
taels, or some friend for her, or else remain a perpetual captive ' :
and especially the extraordinary document numbered 155A.

Bantam, the oldest and for a long time the most important
station of the English in the East, is represented in the present
volume by comparatively few documents ; and half of these are
of about the same date, being, in fact, a bundle of letters sent
home by one ship, the Globe. It is not difficult, however, to
trace the main course of events. In January, 1614, Jourdain,
the recently appointed agent, writes that the goods have been
collected into one warehouse and that similarly the factors,
who up to that time had been keeping separate establish-
ments for the different ' Voyages,' are now ' all in one house
at bed and board.' From a later letter we learn that they
have commenced to build their new factory on the site
granted to them, ' a place very convenient and near the river,'
but have been stopped by the Pengran's unreasonable behaviour
(p. 276). On the 8th September, 1614, arrived the Concord
from England, bringing, no doubt, the important news of the
formation of what afterwards came to be known as the ' First Joint
Stock.' The system of opening a separate subscription for each
voyage, and of sending out factors whose sole concern was to
provide cargoes for those particular ships, led not only to a great
waste of energy and complication of accounts, but to a competition,
and sometimes an antagonism, which was very prejudicial to the
general interests of the trade. Moreover, as the rivalry of the
Dutch in every Eastern market made itself felt more and more
each year, it became evident that the only means of enabling the
English to hold their own was to make a sustained effort backed
by increased resources. A sum of 429,000^ was accordingly


subscribed, which was to be employed in setting forth four
fleets, one in each of the next four years. The Court Minutes
for 1610-13 and the letters to Bantam are no longer extant ;
and therefore the details of this transaction and the resulting
instructions sent out to Jourdain and his fellow factors
cannot be known with certainty. We may, however, infer
that they included orders for opening up commerce with the
Moluccas ; and Jourdain, who had already declared (p. 16)
that this trade afforded the only chance of making Bantam a
place of profit, entered heartily into the project. The Concord
was prepared and despatched in January, 1615, to Macassar,
with orders to proceed thence to Amboyna and Banda ; and,
upon the arrival at Bantam, a fortnight later, of Captain
David Middleton's fleet, the Thomasine was ordered to follow
the Concord. This was an important step forward in the
rivalry between the English and the Dutch, as the latter claimed
an exclusive right to trade in those regions, based upon treaties
concluded with the native chiefs. Jourdain attached little
importance to their hostility ; ' as for the Hollanders ' (he said)
1 I know they will do you no harm, only threaten you and the
country people' (p. 309). But he was mistaken; to pass a
little beyond our present limits, both vessels ' were beaten from
the Moluccas by the Flemings ' (O. C. 289), and the attempt
thus inaugurated to assert the English right to trade in the
Moluccas led in time to the fight off Patani in July, 1619, in
which Jourdain himself was killed, and so on to the Massacre
of Amboyna (1623) with its momentous consequences.

Besides these three fixed points of Bantam, Surat and Firando,
we hear of other factories of a more or less temporary character
at Masulipatam, Siam, Patani, Priaman, Tiku, Sukadana, Sambas,
Macassar, and other places. Many of these were in connection
with the ships of the Separate Voyages still left in Indian waters.
Thus the Darling of the Sixth Voyage was still plying from port
to port, though her crazy timbers were ' complaining sore ' (p. 38).
The James (Ninth Voyage), with her drunken and domineering


captain, is found first at Masulipatam, next at Bantam, then at
Patani, and finally at Bantam again, whence in January, 1615,
she spreads her sails for home. The Osiander of the Tenth Voyage
is chiefly engaged in opening up trade at Tiku, in Sumatra, but as
the volume closes she is ordered to proceed to Japan. Finally, the
Globe (Seventh Voyage) spends the greater part of the period on
the Coromandel Coast, returning to Bantam at the close of 1614,
and sailing for home in the following February. One curious
incident of her stay at Masulipatam may be noted. The
Governor was one of those local tyrants whose unscrupulous
exactions made 'poor men bring their paintings [patterned
calicoes] in hugger-mugger and in the night, as thieves do their
stolen cloaks to brokers ' (p. 85) ; and he had contracted a heavy
debt to the English which he had no intention of paying. He
was, however, soon brought to reason, for Floris seized his son,
carried him on board, and kept him there till payment was made
• in spite of 1,000 of his people, to the Company's benefit, the
honour of our king and country, and to the great content of
all the Moors ' (p. 294).

Of references to other matters of interest the book is full.
Valuable information is afforded with regard to the course of
trade, not only that of the English and Dutch but also that
carried on by native vessels, such as the export of tin from
Tenasserim to the Coromandel coast (p. 86), of Chinese silks to
Patani (p. 271) and Bantam (pp. 118, 315), of calicoes, rice and
gold to the Moluccas (pp. 33, 273). Many useful particulars are
given to as to the coins, weights, and measures in use in various
localities. The dangers and difficulties of a factor's life are abun-
dantly illustrated, especially in the accounts given of the attacks
on the English factory at Tiku (p. 288), the march of Edwards'
party to Ahmedabad (p. 260), and the adventurous voyages of
Sophony Cozucke up the Landak river (pp. 92, 93). The
destruction by fire of the Trades Increase, ' the goodliest ship
of England and never made voyage before,' 1 is described on

4 Chamberlain's letter to Dudley Carleton, Dom. S, P., Jac. I., Vol. LXXVII, No. 36.
Y 1268. b


p. 279 ; and on p. 325 David Middleton utters his lamentation
over her commander, his brother Sir Henry. Opium is twice
mentioned : the Surat factors in October, 1614, determine to
buy two tons at fifty pounds per ton (which seems both a
large quantity and a low price) ; and in the same month a
factor writing from Patani tells how the Masulipatam bleacher
' to get affanan [opium] ' hires out for a month's wear the calicoes
entrusted to him and then ' beats them to pieces to make them
clean ' (p. 127). Finally, one may notice an early specimen of
' Hobson-Jobson ' in the word 'erzed,' which occurs on pp. 178 and
179, and should probably be read for ' urged ' on p. 157 (line 32).
It is, of course, the Hindustani arzi (a petition) turned into an
English preterite.

As in the case of the preceding volume, the necessary
transcripts have been made by Miss Ethel Sainsbury, daughter
of the late Mr. W. Noel Sainsbury, in whose Calendar of State
Papers (E. Indies) this important series of records was first
made known to historical students ; and the index has been
compiled by Miss M. H. James. An independent comparison
of each transcript with its original has been made, and the
whole work has been executed under the direction of the Record
Department of the India Office.







Tempest Peacocke to the East India Company.
2nd December, 1613.

'IGHT Worshipful, my duty remembered unto you, etc.
My last was from Bantam per the Thomas, men-
tioning a former from Cape Bon Esperanza. In my last
I certified you of 312,154!- catties pepper laden in the
Thomas at Priaman, which cost with charges 6685 rials f ^ as per
the account thereof now sent you per the General at large
particularly appeareth, which then time permitted me not to send.
Since which departing from Bantam the 15th of January and
arrived at the town of Bachan the 24th of February, in the
Molluccoes, where the Flemings have a fort furnished with eleven
pieces of ordnance, where we had no trade, by reason that the
Flemings bear such sway there ; the people, as we judge, willing
thereunto and divers of the Flemings would willingly have
forsook their fort and proceeded with us. Having stayed there
15 days and finding no trade but encouraged by a chief man
of the Island of Machan of some part of our lading in cloves at
Y 126S. I. 815. B

■«'•' ''-'.'• : '•. KA'7 IX D.I A COMPANY'S RECORDS

the aforesaid Island of Machian, which Island at Sir Henry
Middleton his being here, was offered, and the inhabitants
expected his return for three years, which expired they perforce
were constrained to yield to the Flemings. Presently upon our
coming to anchor, which was the 17th of March, the people
brought cloves aboard, selling them at 60 rials the bahar, taking
our Cambaja cloth at good profit. At first we had good hopes of
getting some good quantity of cloves and vent good store of cloth,
but in the chief of our trade the Flemings sent a great ship from
Marieco to hinder our proceedings, who so threatened the people
of that Island with the fear of punishment, and punishing some,
that none durst bring us a clove, yet in the night time some
would adventure aboard us. In the end there came another ship
which cut off all our hopes either by night or day ; insomuch that
they would not suffer any provision of victuals to be brought
aboard us. The shore they fortified with men in arms night and
day so that except we had gone together by the ears there was
no hope for us of any good. I am verily persuaded that had we
not been hindered by them we had both procured some quantity
of cloves and vented much of our Cambaya cloth, which in-
supportable injuries I hope your Worships will neither endure nor
put up, whereby such evident damage doth proceed. The people of
this place have promised not to suffer them to build any more forts
upon the Island for [there] is but this one place called Tahanna,
free from under their forts whereat [ ] ride. Seeing

ourselves thus crossed our General determined to go for Tidore,
to try what might be done with the Spaniards. So the first of
April we set [sail] from this Island, and being under sail some few
boats came off to us with some small parcels of cloves, promising
more ; but going ashore were by the Flemings snatched up, that
they could not return. The 8th we were thwart of Tidore, and
being near the Spanish fort, after some shot past at us, answering
them without any shot, they sent a boat and flag of truce aboard
us, to know what we were, and having understood our intent of
trade, offering them both munition and victuals, they seemed glad
thereof. Staying there the space of five days expecting their
answer, in the end the Governor of Ternate desired our General to
come thither, and there he would, having taken the advice of his


council, at our coining before the town, send such of his principal
men aboard as should accord for such things as he wanted.
Hereupon the 13th ditto we set sail thither expecting the coming
of some of his chief followers aboard, according as he sent word
he would. One he sent who seemed to be but a common man ;
supposed that they meant nothing less than [trading ?] with us ;
so that we came not to an anchor, but proceeded on our voyage
for Japan. But seeing the wind contrary we were forced to seek
out a place to ride in, and the 23th ditto came to an anchor at the
unfortunate Island of Doy, where we tarried till the nth of May.
Unfortunate it may be called for there we lost unfortunately three
men, Mr. Crawly, the carpenter's mate, drowned, and Meridith
by the fall of a tree. From thence we set sail the nth of May
towards Japan, where we arrived the 12th of June ; where we found
the people of that place very glad of our coming. As soon as we
were arrived our General despatched letters to the court to
Mr. Adams, advising him of our arrival and that we expected
him with the first. We stayed his coming the space of 48 days,
he arriving the 29th July : after whose coming we made no long
stay at Ferando, but with all expedition fitted ourselves for the
voyage up to the Emperor's court ; unto whom your present was
delivered and we obtained all such privileges as we desired.
Three months we were upon our journey, being both costly and
tedious. As touching the hope of any benefit here which may
answer your expectations, I have small hopes of this place. What
benefit may be made from Siam and Pottany (Patani) as yet I
know not, but there is good hope that from these two places afore-
said good benefit may be had. As for our English commodities
here, it will not yield cent, per cent, all things considered, and
small vent thereof for what I can perceive, yet our hopes is good.
Since our coming hither the Flemings have sold broad cloth at
130 mass, which formerly they sold at 240 and 230 mass the
matt, which is about two yards ; our cloth much inferior to
what I have seen of theirs, being very much wormeaten (which
proceeded from the ill drying and dressing thereof) which will be
a great hindrance in the sale, neither can I see how you should
prevent it, except in taking that course the Flemings take in
enbaling their cloth in lead as our General can inform you. I

b 2


wish your Worships may find such profit in this place as you
have and do expect, and for my own part I will endeavour what
in me lieth to procure the same. I would it might stand
with your Worships' good liking to give order that we might
receive our wages in this place, for what is allowed us by our
General towards our maintenance is so small that it will hardly
maintain me in apparel ; besides to live in this place is very
chargeable and to receive no more but what will here defray
charges will make us return home with empty purses. I hope
your Worships will consider hereon, and take such course therein
that at the end of our seven years' service we may have cause to
think our time well spent. Thus, craving pardon for my bold-
ness and what herein is amiss you will censure the best thereof,
I humbly take my leave, resting

Yours in all service,
Ferando in Japan, Tempest Pcacocke.

December the second, 1613.

P.S. — At my return hither from the court, being the 6th of
November, it pleased God to visit me with sickness, insomuch
that as yet not being recovered thereof I was constrained to
desire help of another in the writing hereof; therefore what
wanteth herein [which ?] your Worships may expect to hear from
me, I desire may be imputed to the weakness of body and not to
the want of a willing mind.


Captain Saris' remembrance left with Rich. Cocks at Japan,
December 1613.

OVING friend Mr. Richard Cocks, the long-wished-for
time of my departure being come, and desirous of
your good success in this business, committed wholly
to your charge and good government, the Company
worthily appointing you captain and cape merchant of their
factory here in Japan, I thought it not amiss to leave you these


few lines as remembrance of such principles as they decreed of in
England, as also what, by experience, I find fitting and likely to
be beneficial for them, having no doubt but you will not only
kindly accept hereof, but also willingly observe what hereafter
follows. The first is the present buying and fitting of a junk for
Siam and Pottannye with such quantity of broad cloth, cloth of
Cambaia, elephants' teeth and rials as hath been conferred upon,
and that all diligence possible may be used to get thither by the
fine of February, for about that time the China junks will be
there and trading with them is the greatest hope of benefit : for
their commodities are to be bought reasonable which here will
yield great profit. Give order if the junk come thither before them
that she be dispatched for Pottannye, if the time will permit, I
mean the monsoon to carry her thither, to procure such China
wares as may there be had and to return to Syam time enough to
take in such lading as in their absence hath been provided ; and,
finding not sufficient to lade her, to take freight and passengers,
which will produce much profit. But I hope there will be pro-
cured silk, skins, and Brazil wood sufficient to lade her. I leave
with you six English besides yourself and Mr. Adams, viz.
Mr. Peacocke, Mr. Wickham, William Eaton, Walter Carwarden,
Edward Saris, and William Nealson, so that the whole number
is eight persons. It is necessary that you disperse them for the
better understanding what benefit is to be made in these parts
by sale of our commodities, or transport of such of theirs as
may be found fitting [for] England. I think Mr. Peacocke and
Walter Carwarden are the fittest to be employed in the junk for
Siam and Pottany, for the one is well experienced in merchandis-
ing, the other in the knowledge of gold and silver, whereof may
be great use. Mr. Wickham and Wm. Eaton to Soronga
(Surunga) and Ozacka (Osaka), with each of them a cargazon and
juribasso which will be sufficient, and by advice of sales so to
shift places, or continue as you shall see fitting. Edward Saris
with [ ] cargazon of pepper and such com-

modities as you shall understand fitting for Tushma, with order
to inquire what commerce may be had with the people of Core
(Korea). Wm. Nealson to keep the buttery, post your books ;
and what other necessaries you see fitting, may be employed.


Frugality is to be used, the place requiring great charge and our
knowledge as yet producing little profit. The course the Flemings
hold here touching their expenses both at home and abroad you
have heard of, yet will I not prescribe you any course herein,
knowing that your care hath been and will be what in you lies for
the Company's benefit. It hath not been a little discontent unto
me to hear Mr. Peacocke, but especially Mr. Wickham, complain
of their poverty and small entertainment the Company had given
them, desiring some allowance of me, which I have refused in
respect the Company hath been heretofore much displeased with
others in my place for amending the wages of such as they had
formerly made agreement with. Yet finding by experience the
chargeableness of the place and the occasion each man employed
here shall have to use his wages, contrary to their expectations,
their order being to pay them but one third of their wages at 5s.
per rial of eight, which will not pass here for 4s. or 8 mass, I will
that you pay them the one half of their wages in the coin of
the country, the same course to continue till further order from
the Company, unto whom, if it please God to lend me life, I will
do my best that a larger allowance may be appointed. And for
Mr. Adams he is only fitting to be master of the junk, and to be
used as linguist at court, when you have no employment for him
at sea. It is necessary you stir him, his condition being well
known unto you as to myself, otherwise you shall have little ser-
vice of him, the country affording great liberty, whereunto he is
much affected. The forced agreement I have made with him, as
you know, could not be eschewed, the Flemings and Spaniards
making false proffers of great entertainment, and himself more
affected to them than his own nation, we wholly [destitute ?] of
language. In any hand let him not have the disbursing of any
money of the Company's, either for [the] junk or otherwise, for his
usual speeches is so large and his resolution so set upon getting
as I entreat you he may have always one with him to pay
out and to write the particulars of what is disbursed in all such
matters as you shall employ him in. You shall not need to send
for any further order to the Emperor for the setting out of the
junk, it being an article granted in the charter, as by the copy
thereof in English left with you will appear. Yet will Mr. Adams


tell you that she cannot depart without a licence, which will not
be granted except he go up. Believe him not, neither neglect
that business ; for his wish is but to have the Company bear his
charges to his wife. Yet rather than he shall leave you and be-
take him to the Spaniards or Flemings, you must make a virtue
of a necessity and let him go, leaving his brother-in-law to follow
the business. Give him order to receive the king's debt and
finish accounts with him at return. I leave with you 4 chests
of rials, each chest containing eight bags, each bag 500 rials,
which is 16,000 rials. It is more than I could well have spared
being doubtful how matters stand at Bantam, if the Flemings
have prevailed against the Javans, the ship unladen and but two
chests [ofj rials in her. Hold good correspondency with the
king and nobles of this place. Be not too bountiful but observe
this decorum, rather pleasure them often with small matters than
seldom with things of worth. For [you are ?] not ignorant that
they crave much but give little. Use the Flemings kindly, and
if you can pleasure them, do ; but in matters of merchandise let
them pay what the country people will give you for anything they
shall desire. I leave with you the Emperor's privileges for trade,
a blank of his Majesty's, and the Emperor's command for a junk
to carry up such goods to Edo (Jeddo) or those parts as you
shall think fitting. The blank, if you see any good to be done in
Corea, you may send thither with such presents as you shall
think fitting to procure trade. I pray make as few debts as you
can and trust not Simma Dono further, for he is held a bad pay-
master. You are to remember the great charge this Eighth
Voyage hath disbursed for the obtaining of these privileges, so that
the hereafter voyages that shall make use thereof are to con-
tribute to the charge. If the commander of the next ship shall
not be willing to leave the ordering of his business in your discre-

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