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

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moneys. We came hither on the 13th of this instant having been
long detained in Suratt by Mocrob Chan his foolish weakness,
who is now Viceroy of those parts, yet no fear of danger. And
here we find indigo of Sarques at a more reasonable rate than we
expected, by reason of the wars between the Portingals and the
Moors, which yet continues, through the taking of a ship of
Suratt as I have formerly written you ; by which means we
shall be able to lade a greater quantity of indigo than was deter-
mined aboard the ships, insomuch that we are yet in good hope


to lade two ships herehence ; when not, to lade the Hector at
least. God willing, our best endeavours shall not be wanting.
We are at present in some good forwardness and have (as it \\
under hand and packed near 500 churls, which will stand us in
about 12 and 13 rupees per maund, one with the other; our time
limited to be ready by the last of January next, or within 15 da) 3
after. I hope we shall not much exceed it, yet for the lading of
two ships a little more will break no square. Mr. Edwards is at
present on his departure for Agra. Mr. Emsworth, and one Mr.
Wood a young merchant, both died at Surat before our coming
therehence; all the rest of our merchants in health.

And whereas I have heretofore written your Worships con-
cerning the state of Persia for venting of our cloth, so did I make
known unto General Downton with the rest of your merchants as
much as I had learned touching the same, who upon hearing ol it
they all embraced it, and liked well of the course. And to this
purpose have they chosen one Mr. Richard Steel, who came from
Aleppo through Persia, of whom I have formerly written you,
and another of your merchants named John Crouther to accom-
pany him overland to Persia with letters to Sir Robert Sherley,
who hath formerly written me for that business. Richard Steel is
to pass through Turkey homewards and John Crouther to return
back hither with informations from Persia. We all are in good
hope of this b.usiness, being a matter of good consequence and
are much encouraged by the bearer hereof, Mr. Richard Steel, to
whom for particular passages here with us I refer me, for that he
hath been remaining with us these 5 or 6 months at Surat, being
I partly stayed him for the Persian business, for that I stand still
in doubt that our cloth will not vent here as we first hoped. Mr.
Edwards carrieth up with him about 80 broad cloths to try what
they will do at Agra. Your elephants' teeth are sold in Suratt at
70 mamoodies per maund ; but your lead and quicksilver remain
there yet unsold. Howsoever, I hope to do them away to serve
our turn. Thus being in the midst of our business and this
bearer on his departure, I crave pardon for writing short, and so
will commend your Worships all to God's merciful protection.
Your Worships' to be commanded,

Tho. Aldworthe.


I have formerly written and sent to Mr. Nich. Crispe the copy
of Mr. Best's letters and mine, whereby may plainly be seen how
dishonestly he hath dealt with me in his writing.

Tho. Aid.

Since the above written I received letters from Meselapatan
that the Globe was to depart well laden for Bantam, and so for
England, in the beginning of this December.


William Edwards, Thos. Aldworthe and Edward Dodsworth to
John Oxwicke, Chris. Farewell and Bayly Ball at Barocha.

Amadavas, this 29th of December, 1614.

,R. OXWICKE, Mr. Farewell and Mr. Ball, my kind
commendations unto you all remembered etc. Yester-
day we received Mr. Farewell's and Mr. Ball's letters,
perceiving the quantity of indigo there to be had and
at reasonable rates, insomuch that Mr. Ball writes us that he may
now buy for 18 mamoodies as good as that which cost 20 ma-
moodies before, but that Mr. Oxwicke tells him that he is not to
meddle with the prices thereof, save only in the choice of it,
which makes us much to marvel, being you are all there for the
general business, and so should all join together for the general good
thereof. Wherefore we pray you all to consider better hereof and
not to have the business done as it were in corners, secretly, but
with a mutual consent and with clear hearts openly. For the
packing up cf your indigo it must be done after the manner of
Sarques in round fardles containing 5 maunds per fardle with
leather and straw accordingly, even as it must go aboard, for we
intend not that it shall go to Suratt but directly from Vriaw to
Sually, Mocrob Chan having promised us so for that and all the
rest of indigo. Our request is that you will get of the best as near
as you can ; and whereas you write about the rupees, they are of


84 pice the piece, and we here buy of good Sarques indigo for
11 rupees the maund, they allowing us 42 seers of the new and
41 seers of the old to the maund, the seer being of 18 pisas ; and
out of the net of the money they deduct i| per cent for vataw, in
all which you must be careful and to take the advice of Narangee.
Thus in haste, as you see, we leave you until next conveyance,
and commend you all to God's protection.

Your loving friends,

Will. Edwards.

Tho. Aldworthe.

Edward Dodsworth.


Edward Dodsworth to the East India Company.

Amadavas, the 30th December, 1614.

IGHT Worshipful, and Worshipful, my service re-
membered etc. My last from Saldania I doubt not
but you have received, which although importing but
only of our safe arrival there, with the state of our
people, yet doubt I not of your friendly acceptance thereof, which
is as much as I desire ; and now, right Worshipful, having such an
opportunity as by this bearer Mr. Richard Steel, who is deter-
mined of by our General and the rest of that council appointed
by your Worships, to return for England by the way of Persia for
the discovery of that trade, I thought it the least part of my
duty to acquaint your Worships with the rest of our proceedings.
May it therefore please you that after our departure from the
Cape we arrived at St. Lawrence in the Bay Augustine by the
sixth of August, where, after 7 days staying, for some small chains
of silver to the value of 13s. sterling we bought to the number of
twenty beasts to the great refreshing of our people. From hence
we departed the 12th ditto, and having a prosperous passage and
no hindrance with currents, for that we held our course on the


eastern side of John de Nova and not on the western as with
Captain Saris which was a great help unto us, rather finding helps
than hindrances of the tides with fair shoalings, we arrived at
Socotora by the 9th of September in the road of Delishaw, where
we were kindly entertained by the king and acquainted by him of
the state of our English at Surat, likewise that the Moors and
Portingals were at wars each with other, and had so continued
ever since their entertaining of Mr. Aldworthe, the Portingals
having taken one of their ships which came from the Red Sea,
worth in ready money 130,000 pounds.

After the buying of some small quantity of aloes we departed
Socotora the 13th of September and arrived at the bar of Surratt
by the 20th of October in health and safety, God be praised ;
where we only found Mr. Thomas Aldworthe, William Biddulph
and John Young, Mr. Aldworthe's servant, Mr. Canning being
departed this life in January 1612, in whose stead Mr. Thomas
Keridge was sent to remain at Agra, but neither of them respected
by the Mogore, for that by their report his greatness cannot
descend to affect the title of merchant. Consultations being had
for the settling of our business according to your Worships' order
in your commission, it was thought fitting that Mr. William
Edwards should proceed to remain at Agra, for that of necessity
there must be one, and Mr. Thomas Aldworthe to remain at
Surat in regard of his acquaintance and experience there. And
not having any cause to distrust of these people, we proceeded for
the landing of our goods, desiring of Mocrob Chan (who is Viceroy
appointed for those parts) leave for free passage thereof. But he,
except we would with our ships assist them against the Por-
tingals, made us absolute denial, wishing us to depart the country,
whereupon Mr. Aldworthe, much discontented in regard that
through his encouragement we were most of us come ashore,
began to make sale of the goods remaining, which the Governor
perceiving and that he could not draw us to his desire but that we
were resolved to depart, permitted us to land our goods, yet with
the rifling of all our commodities to furnish himself with what he
pleased, as also with other delays, insomuch that it was the first
of December before we departed Suratt towards Amadavar to
accomplish lading for the Solomon according to our determination


aboard, and the 13th before our coming [to] Amadavar. So that
our time is short to accomplish such a business, yet doubt not
but to effect it, for that here is reasonable store of Cirques indigo,
sufficient for the lading of all our four ships if our stock were
more. For the prices and hopes of this trade, in regard this
bearer is to pass through so many dangerous countries, and being
uncertain to whose hands this letter may come, I cease to write,
purposing to certify your Worships more at large by the ship that
returns from hence. This bearer Mr. Steel, through the good
encouragement received from Mr. Aldworthe for obtaining a trade
in Persia, who hath ever since his understanding of the commo-
diousness of that trade (both for the vending of our English as
also of the good return to be made from thence to England) been
diligent in searching how the same might be accomplished, and
understanding by sufficient pilots of a commodious place for ships
of 1,000 tons to ride and anchor, but which is within 30 leagues
of Armous (Ormus), called Jasques, and again confirmed by
this bearer through his experience in his travels through those
countries, emboldened us to entertain him for the discovery
thoroughly of that trade, to obtain if possibly he can the king's
letters for our free trade and commerce within his dominions,
and he to advertise your Worships thereof in England. We
have likewise as assistant joined Mr. John Crouther (one of our
merchants) with him in this business, to proceed with him to
Hisphaon (Ispahan) and from thence to return to Suratt for to
advise us of what vent there will be for our cloth, in regard we
doubt of some quantity to be sent in the next ships for these
parts, which to be kept here will be much prejudicial to it, for
that this place will not vent (by Mr. Aldworthe's experience)
100 cloths in a year. They are furnished with 160/. for their
journey with letters of recommendation to Sir Robert Sherley for
his assistance in this business, which God grant by His will a
blessing unto.

Mr. Emsworth and Mr. Wood departed this life shortly after
their coming ashore, who had been visited with the flux, which is
incident to our English in this place. Of Mr. Emsworth, who
was to remain here with us at Suratt, we shall have a want both
in respect of his discretion and staid carnage as also of his


sufficiency. Further at present, for the dangers this bearer is to
pass, I have not to enlarge but purpose by the ships to acquaint
you with our proceedings in particular. And thus with the
remembrance of my duty I commit you with your whole pro-
ceedings to God's merciful protection and rest ever at your
Worships' service,

Edward Dodsworth.


Thomas Elkington to John Oxwicke and Chris. Farewell at


Laus Deo. In Surat, the 31st December, 1614.

OVING Friends, I heartily commend me unto you with
desire of your health etc. Yesterday I wrote you a
few lines for the enclosure chiefly of one to Amadar to
our friends there, which I pray so send as you find
conveyance to send away.

You shall understand that of late here is much of that sort of
indigo you have there about you come hither, which is called
Jambusy (Jambusar), with some of Jengulie, which I conceive will
be had here at most for 20 mamoodies the maund and the seer of
18 pisas, but it is such stuff that I dare not meddle with it at any
rate, being, I doubt me, of a sort that Mr. Dodsworth told me by
chance amongst the rest of the indigo they had in the Red Sea a
fardle or 3 or 4 thereof was mingled, which they could not sell to
any reasonable returning in England. Therefore thought good to
advise you thereof to the end you might advise yourself well of it
for entrance into any great parcel thereof till such time as your
pattamar were returned from Amadavar whereby you may have
Mr. Aldworthe and Mr. Dodsworth's opinion at large thereof. I
also thought good to give you some sight of the prices here and
quantity whereby you may the better rule yourself, persuading
myself that after a small time of forbearance it will be had here


for 18 mamoodies ; besides there is a sixth part difference in weight,
and somewhat will be saved in charges; and for that you ma\ the
better see what it is, I send you here the muster of a p
offered me which I seemed (?) not to hearken after, which you
may compare with yours there and write me your mind. What I
write is not to d you from what you have order for, or

what you think shall be m :icial for the Company; but

only do advise you how matters pass here, whereby you may the
better govern yourself there.

The frigates still remain in the river, by means whereof wc can
discharge no goods by water. Our ships I hear to be gone to
Swallv again, but have n<> certainty thereof. If so, I will procure
to have the rest of our goods ashore by land, to effi ct whi< h the
Nabob hath promised his furtherance. So for the present not
having others I commit you to God, and rest

Your loving friend,

Tho. Elkington.


Ralph Preston to the East India Company.

Laus Deo. In Amadaver, the 1st of January, 1614.

(IGHT Worshipful and Worshipful, my duty premised
etc. Being at this place and but newly entered into
our business, betwixt hope and fear rested doubtful,
being at war within myself whether I might not be
taxed of arrogancy as not fitting, being for Bantam, or not so
convenient, being hitherto kept ignorant of the occurrences other
than they were general, unless I would seek it out of my own
brain, in regard whereof at an ecstasy with myself whether I
might write or no, lest the subjects thereof should be unsound
and the matter impertinent : again the conveyance somewhat
uncertain whether that this by the bearer or that by the ships
might first come to your hands : in fine to write of any cer-
tainty other than to this present hath passed till Mr. Edwards


have been aloft with the Great Mogul we cannot, being the place
where all injuries done our nation must be reformed and our
trade better settled. In the end resolved to write to someone in
particular ; but then considering how far I might incur imputa-
tion in general reconciled my doubtings and aimed at all chiefly
to tender my duty to all, entreating your favourable censures both
in the manner and matter, wherein to avoid prolixity will be brief
and leave the rest to be enlarged by others.

Now pleaseth, right Worshipful and Worshipful, to under-
stand that the 7th of March, 1613, we set sail from the Downs
and passed the island of Canaries the 25th ditto. In the interim
we in the Hope lost a man by the board and the Gift had another,
as it was reported, killed himself with drinking hot waters ; and,
as I take it, the Hector lost another of a natural death. The
15th of June we arrived in Saldania Road, where we understood
General Best was gone home for England in the Dragon and like-
wise Captain Newport, and upon Pengwyne Island found the
cooper's name of the Clove, one Silver, who writ such a day
homeward bound. After the first day our General put our sick
men ashore, which was not many, from all the four ships not
above nine or ten at the most, and they of the Gift and Hector ;
and having watered and refreshed ourselves as well as we could,
never the better for Cory's entertainment in England, and after
we had spent some 14 days there. In that time the Gift lost a
man by an accident ; and before we came into the road the
Hector sprang her foremast. Arriving the 6th of August in the
bay of St. Lawrence, where we found better refreshing, both for
beeves and wood and reasonable good water, the people showing
themselves both civil and loving, being the properest men that I
have seen, much like the niggers in Gynney (Guinea). Their
beeves were excellent good and fat and good cheap, not above 4s.
and 55. English money the piece, which money goeth there cur-
rently, especially sixpences ; but that which they most regard are
silver chains, such as are upon mariners' whistles, bloodstones,
nutmegs, red counters (?) and Jews' harps ; and there we found
that Captain Newport touched outward bound. And after we
had stayed there about some seven or eight days, we set sail and
the gth of September arrived at Socatra, where we were exceeding


kindly used by the king of that place, who also received g
content from us and loath that we should depart from him so
soon as we did. The island is very barren, yet yieldeth
store of goats and dates, of which he made a present f'>r our
General; and after his people sold them for a rial of eight the
piece as many as we would, and dates. The second day we dealt
with him for his aloes Socatrina, he having not above 27 kintals,
which we bought for 30 rials of eight the kintal or thereabouts, as
I remember without my journal, the kintal being about <)b lb->. to
as near as we could make it without weights for our purpose and
a stillero, the want whereof made us to allow of theirs, wherein
some deserveth to be blamed in that we brought not with us both
stillero avoirdupois and troy weight, which had been as n
as any one thing that we brought, whatsoever occasion we should
have; and, a I 1 member, I spoke to some at home whom it
might concern, having them in petty voyages. And not amiss
thai they which come there hereafter look to his hand which
holdeth the end of the stillero, otherwise, with a loose with his
hand, he will get by the weight. And in conclusion of this point,
were I worthy to give advice, could wish that the king might be
respected, in regard of his love to our nation, before others ; it
not being lost that is any way bestowed on him, he being so royal
a fellow in judgment, discourse, affability and quickness in appre-
hension, both in natural causes and points touching Christianity,
as any that I have heard of; entreating excuse if I have been too
forward, howsoever the benefit will be yours, when your Worships
shall consider the benefit that may redound to those ships which
may be taken short of their monsoons and so be driven to spend
some time in the Red Sea; I say then, having this place to friend,
as I take you have had formerly. Again I heard him make pro-
testation that none but the English should have his commodities
if they pleased, but that I take but complimental, he being free
to sell to whom he will if they will come to his price, be of what
nation soever, so that they wrong not those that shall shelter
themselves under his protection. And so, after three or four days
spent, set sail, making all the haste we could to save our mon-
soons. Made the land about Dabull the second of October and,
stopping tides along the coast, came to sight of the bar of Suratt


the 15th ditto, and into Swalley Road the 20th. In the interim cer-
tain Portingals' frigates dogged us all along the coast after that we
were descried but durst not come near us; only two frigates came
off to us when we were thwart of Choul, which was then and still
is besieged by the king of Deckaney (Deccan), who came from the
general of his forces with a present and to offer us that kindness
which the place would afford, by whom we understood that the
Portingals had lost the base town, but could not win the walled
town and castle, though there lay a hundred thousand soldiers
before it, as themselves reported ; and being dismissed with a
present and compliments, we heard afterwards that if they could
have drawn our General with the ships before the town they were
of opinion that the Portingals would have yielded the town. The
next day a Portingal frigate came to offer their service, but was
not suffered to come aboard, so departed malcontent. The 22nd
ditto Bayly Ball was sent to Suratt to give notice of our coming,
whom Mocrob Chan used courteously and gave him a vest, seem-
ing to rejoice much at the news. The next day Mr. Aldworthe,
one Richard Steel and Ric. (sic) Biddulph came aboard the admiral,
where, after salutations passed, related the state of the country,
which I refer to those which heard it ; only in general we heard
of the death of Signor Paul Canning and one or two more, and
that Signor Tho. Keridge was gone for Agra to take Paul Canning
his business into his hands, which how it standeth must likewise
refer your Worships to Mr. Aldworthe's advice ; also that
Damaun was besieged, but to little purpose, and that the Por-
tingals was much distressed in all places of this country and in
the Dickanes, and upon our coming they have vowed and given
out that they will not now leave them till they have expelled them
their countries, whereupon your Worships may imagine the state
of the Portingal at present ; yet for that some of them are here
in credit still, as one Ferdinando Salvador etc. whom I'll touch in
a word when I come to speak of him more properly. Now con-
cerning the entertainment of Mocrob Chan, pleaseth it, right
Worshipful and Worshipful, to understand briefly, for if I should
but touch every particular should be over tedious, besides run
myself into a labyrinth ; therefore will cursorily pass it over and
so leave it to your better consideration, as I said before. At our
Y 1268. s


first coming Bayly Ball was sent and afterwards the great man
was expected below, according to custom, who not coming bred
some doubt, whereupon it was held lit to send Mr. AJdworthe, in
company with others, to know 1 rare, whom he began to

expostulate with and to speak of many businesses. Amoi
others he would have our ships go against Damon, which being
opposed, desired two of them, which would not be yielded unto ;
whereupon he told them plainly that if they did refuse, here was
no place for us, alleging that for our sakes they had made the
Portingals their enemies, with many other speeches to the like
effect, which I will omit, me wordswhich he dista I I

from another. In the end he sent down Hogenozan, who
received both for himself and Mocrob (Mian, and kind

respects passed between him and our General, and so took I
one of the other, Mr. Aldworthe and others going up in company
with him to Suratt to understand how the presents \
accepted. The next day we heard below that Hogenozan was
gone against Damon, and Mocrob Chan would not hear of the
landing of any of our goods, and farther that we might be gone and
commanded his people from the seaside which sold bread etc.
Whereupon our people offered to be gone, who was after*
stayed upon his command and some of them abused. In fine the
next day all was well again and we should land our goods. Till
the 6th of November time was spent and little done ; the 7th we
landed some of our goods ; and the 8th Mr. Edwards etc. came
to Surat, where they could not be admitted till license was given
and every one searched. Now what disgusts, detractions and
questions, besides abuses offered not alone to one but to all in our
customs etc. till the last ditto, I must likewise omit, only in a
word deliver my opinion of Mocrob Chan, and so leave and pro-
ceed to that which followeth. I conceive him to be a secret
enemy to us and a secret friend to the Portingals ; or else he
detracted the time, as I always told my companions, till he heard
from the king, which made him use much fantasy and delays, and
being still put to it, his last refuge was that he must see the
presents brought for the king, which he did, though he promised
the contrary, only would have his will, and when it came to the
push would refuse, because he would have the day. I said secret


Online LibraryEast India CompanyLetters received by the East India company from its servants in the East (Volume 2) → online text (page 23 of 35)