East India Company.

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

. (page 30 of 35)
Online LibraryEast India CompanyLetters received by the East India company from its servants in the East (Volume 2) → online text (page 30 of 35)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

occurrences as happened between that and England,
the importance whereof is so small as not worth the
repetition, affording no other matter but that we arrived at the
Cape the 3rd of October, 1614, in safety, having passed the time
with much content and lost only three of our men in the whole
fleet. The 20th day we departed from the Cape and held our
course between 36 and 30 degrees of latitude for 1,200 leagues
purposely to fetch the S.E. winds which blow trade between
28 and 12 degrees. Upon the 28th of December we had sight of
Java, but little to our comfort for contrary to all expectation we
fell on the south side of the island having nothing to friend but a
N.W. monsoon and a violent current setting to the east, by
means whereof we lost sometime directly astern 20 leagues a day.
In this desolate and unfrequented sea we beat up and down
with extremity both of calms and storms with [other ?] inconve-
niencies. We anchored twice, the last at a bay now called by our
General's name, where we found a Dutchman bound for Bantan,
whom we formerly met at the river De Sestos on the coast of
Guinea and at the Cape, and now fallen into the like error as we
were. If danger may admonish let ours warn your Worships'
ships to fall into their latitude before their reckoning be out,
which being neglected in our fleet was the true cause of so gross
an error. But God, who is most strong when men's hopes are
weakest, by means of variable winds sent us with safety unto our
desired port of Bantan the 14th of February, having lost sithence
our coming from England only five men in the whole fleet,
whereof one fell overboard out of the Admiral. At Bantan we
found the Globe, who departed hence for England the 20th of
February, 1614, and the Osiander unfitted of men and victuals,
which ship our general by advice intendeth to furnish suddenly
for Japan, of whom Nicholas Hawkins goeth cape merchant,
and Ralph Coppindall and Arthur Predys his assistants. The


Thomas is appointed for the coast of Sumatra, myself cape
merchant and Mr. Nichols assistant. The Thomasine for the
Mulocos, whereof Mr. Bailie, their merchant ashore, is cape
merchant and Edward Blitheman his assistant ; which voyages
I pray God prosper. Touching the misfortune of the Trade and
Sir Henry Middleton, the mortality of the men and other calami-
ties I presume by this time are so famous in England as I shall
not need to trouble your Worships with the repetitions thereof.
Captain Downton's fleet is not yet come, neither hear we any-
thing of them. The Dutch ship which we parted with about a
month ago on the south side of Java is not yet come in, neither is
there any of the Dutch in the road. The Samaritan, whom the
cape merchant hath promised to lade, I hope will be despatched
within this month, at which I will give your Worships more par-
ticular notice of such things as have happened. In the meantime
I forbear to trouble you any further ; always praying for your
Worships' health and prosperity and for the happy and good
success of this and all other your Worships' ships.

Your Worships' servant to command,

John Millward.


Edward Blitheman to Sir Thomas Smith.

Sent per the Globe.

Bantam, the 20th February, 1614.

IGHT Worshipful, My humble duty remembered unto
your good Worship and the rest of the right worship-
ful Company etc. To begin now a circumstance,
right Worshipful, of all our proceedings were some-
thing tedious. Yet without beginnings there can be no head
drawn ; therefore, with reference to my last from Plymouth in
May, 1614, right Worshipful, I now begin that whereas I had
given then notice to your Worship at that time, now I purpose to


relate by God's assistance unto your Worships our since pro-
ceeding fortunes, which are as followeth, viz. : from the 30th
of May, which was our departure from Plymouth Sound, we were
with God's assistance and favourable winds the 26th of July
under the equinoctial line and from thence with the like fair and
prosperous weather we arrived, to God's glory and our own
comfort, in Soldanie road the 3rd of October last, where we
found a Dutch ship of Anckuizon (Enkhuizen), which ship parting
from us at the river Cestros and was arrived in the road 10 days
before us, which had formerly been in our company at the river
Sestros upon the coast of Ginnea, a place which lies in 5 degrees
to the northwards of the line and not much unfit for trade in
these your Worships' proceedings, in regard it lies but very little
out of the ordinary course. The commodity that it affords is
chiefly elephants' teeth and grain, both which commodities were
then to be had in great abundance and for small trifles, viz.,
knives, coarse felts of all colours, looking-glasses, scissors, iron
etc. ; and had not the time of the year been so precious, our
general had determined by trucking away of your Worships' petty
commodities to have made a trial, being partly moved thereunto
by the persuasion of an Indian which spoke very good English
and had formerly been two years in England with Mr. Davis at
the stocks and is known by the name of John Davis, being as we
perceived the king's son of that place. Our ship stopped here
one day^while our General went ashore, where he had sight of
store of teeth, and by report of that Indian he might have
procured a great quantity. He had very kind entertainment
of the king of that place with great proffers and promises of
trade if he would stay there with his ships. There is very good
refreshing for men that shall stop there, for they may water
there in a great river which is called the river Sestros, known to
all those that use this coast ; but the charge of a fleet being great,
with all other things considered, our General thought it not good
to stay, because the charge of the fleet would have eaten away all
the profit. So having a little flaw of foul weather we weighed the
next morning and plied away our course as near as we could lie
for the doubling of the shoals of Brasill ; and the 10th of August
we passed by those shoals. And at our being at the Cape, which


was as I formerly mentioned in October last, we found by the
inscription on the stones the arrival of the both outward [and]
homeward ships, viz. Captain Best in the Dragon the 20th of
February, Captain Newport in the Expedition the 31st of March,
homeward bound, and Richard Pettie in the Concord the gth of
May outward, and Captain Downton with his four ships the 20th
of June outward. And in the time of our being there the Dutch-
man made known unto us a packet of letters which their company
had found on the top of a hill. So our General sent myself and
Mr. Millward for the fetching of them, being a place at least
distant two miles from our tents. So finding them we perceived
them to be the letters of the factors of Captain Downton's fleet.
Our General, therefore, desirous to see what hope there might be
for getting of fresh victuals, in regard we had got none in three
days after our coming hither, he made bold to open the packet,
which was directed to your Worship, and so perused two of the
factors' letters which he thought might best enlighten him to his
desires, and afterwards sealed them up again in a letter of his
own directed to your Worship and buried them by the stone
where he placed his name ; but in them he found little comfort,
for Coree the Indian, who had received so many favours from
your Worship, having no sooner got his brass armour from them
which your Worship bestowed on him but presently got him
away amongst his barbarous crew and never came near them all
their time of being there, and did not only absent himself but also
restrained the rest, as it appeared, from coming down, for they
got not any cattle after [his] going up. We had like to have
fared a great deal the worse for him, had it not pleased God to
have sent us down another tribe of them, which, as it should
seem, were unacquainted with him, for at his being with us we
could have no cattle at any terms without brass kettles, which
must be very bright, esteeming nothing of the copper which your
Worship sent with us, and would not for divers pieces of it sell us
a sheep, whereas the last voyage to my own knowledge we might
for that quantity have had two or three oxen. He was no sooner
gone from us but the next day came down a strange company
which brought with them 500 head of cattle and sold of them to
us at very reasonable rates and would very fain have taken


commodities for them all, but that we knew not what to do with
them. So it had been good in my opinion either he had been
hanged in England or drowned homeward. The 20th of October
we set sail from thence towards Bantam, having stayed there
17 days with our men in very good health, having lost but three
men in all the fleet, besides one in the harbour of Plymouth. So
we stood away for Bantam with fair winds and prosperous
weather and were in election of as good a passage as ever men
hath had this way, had we not kept it too much to the south-
wards, fearing the S.E. winds, which we were never troubled
withal, but in lieu of them N.W. and W.N.W. in greater abund-
ance than we expected, insomuch that we were put to the south-
ward of our port and had more ado to beat it up to the northward
by reason of the current and monsoon, which were violently bent
against us. So we stood in for the shore and had sight of land
in 8 degrees and 50 minutes, and found it to be the south side of
Java, a place which is full of good harbours and bays all the
coast alongst. In the first bay where we anchored (which was
the 18th of January) we found no people at all but did perceive
a fire afar off as a sign of people there, which bay is 60 leagues
off from the straits of Sunda ; but our General, loath to detract
time, having got a little water with some wood, the next day at
night we set sail. The coast lieth nearest E. by S. and W. by N.
So we stood thinking to get to the southwards, but by reason of
the current we made such an easterly way as the General thought
it fit to stand in for the shore again ; and within two days we
came to an anchor in another bay some 16 leagues to the east-
wards of our former bay, where we anchored ; and here we found
the Dutchman at an anchor who departed from the Cape towards
Bantam 10 days before us, and he had been here 6 days, in which
time he had been ashore and traded with the people here for fresh
victuals, there being no other commodities else here to be had
and that exceeding scarce too. Whether it were for fear of such
a fleet of ships or what else I know not, but the people were all in
arms and had sent away their provisions up into the country ; so
that we got little or nothing, notwithstanding the General pre-
senting the king with a piece and other small trifles, for which
he had in return a small goat, a hen and a few lemons. The


General, perceiving such small comfort to be hoped from them,
took in some water and so came to sail, having stayed there two
days in company with the Dutchman. So it pleased God to
lend us a slent of a southerly wind. We laid it alongst as near
as we could, insomuch that we got very near 20 leagues in 24
hours to the westwards. The wind veering more westerly and
something gusty withal, we stood off in sea, and in standing off
we lost the company of the Dutchman and the Thomas. So
coming into 10 degrees the wind came southerly again. So we
plied it in as near as we could, and the nth day of February [we
had] sight of the Salt Isles, and still standing in we had sight of
the Thomas the same day again and the 13th day got to an anchor
in Bantam road to God's glory and our own comforts ; where we
found the Globe and the Osiander, the one ready to depart for
England, and the other laid up for want of men to employ her.
So our General going ashore with the factors of his fleet, was
presently a council assembled for the employment of the Osiander
and the rest of his fleet, having but only goods in Bantam for to
despatch away the Samaritan for England and the rest of the
fleet presently to be disposed of. So the Thomasine she was
presently appointed for the Molluccas, or if not able to [get]
thither to stop at Succadania and coast it alongst the coast of
Java, to beat out a trade for getting of her lading ; and there
were appointed to go in her for factors Mr. Bailey and myself,
her own master, Ralph Wilson, still to continue in her. For the
Osiander she to be fitted with 30 men and to go for Jap-
poun, wherein goes Captain Hawkins [with Ralph] Coppindall
and Arthur Predys for factors, and John Hunt master, with two
other sufficient mates. For the Thomas, she was appointed for
Sumatra to beat out a trade for getting of her lading there, and
to all which our pretences I pray God send a happy success.
Our speedy departure in the Thomasine hinders the enlargement
of these my letters at this time, and therefore I beseech your
Worship to excuse my brevity at this time. I hope by my next
to certify your Worship of our happy success at Amboina, the
which the Lord of His mercy grant. Here cannot be as yet any
news expected of the Concord, her departure for that place being
so late. I pray God send both her and us a joyful meeting both


to God's glory, your Worship's benefit, and our comforts one of
another. Thus with my hourly prayers for your Worship's happy
success in all your affairs, committing them and your Worship to
God's good protection, I humbly take my leave and do rest
Your Worship's most bounden in all duty,

Ed. Blitheman.


Richard Rowe, master of the Thomas, to the East India
Company. Bantam, February 21st, 1614.

pNOURABLE and Right Worshipful Sir and Sirs, my
duty remembered, desiring your healths, etc. May it
please you to understand I left letter at Soldania,
which I know not whether it come to your hands or
no. The contents were our departure from Plymouth, being the
30th of May, our falling with the Isles of Canada the 15th of
June, our coming into the calms, variable winds and rain the
25th day of the same month of June, which began in the parallel
of 12 north and in the meridian of 4 variation east. The
10th of July had sight of the coast of Gambia or Guinea in lati-
tude 5 30' and about half a degree longitude east from that of
the Lizard. Here we anchored off river Sesto, where our General
was ashore, but made not long stay. Here the Dutch ship left
us which we met with some three days before, being bound for
Bantam. The 26th at night we crossed the equinox in the meri-
dian of 5 variation east, and longitude from Sestos west about
io°. The 15th of August we were farthest westward in latitude
17 40' and longitude from Sesto about 18 30' west and in the
meridian of 12 30' variation east 83 leagues of Cape Debasas on
the main within the shoals of Brassell (Brazil). Here was taken
the first general opinion for our being off the shoals, particulars
whereof I omit, having formerly written. The 20th of September
I was in latitude 33 46' south and 4 20' variation east, where
was the second giving-in of general opinions, and having formerly


written thereof I cease further. The ist of Oct f 11 with

the land in latitude 33 10' and the 3rd of ditto anchored in
Saldania, where we found the Dutchman formerly met withal at
Sesto. Here we found al a the 1 turn of Captain Best and

Captain Newport, with the outward arrival of Captain DowntOU
and Mr. Petty, as also letters left by some of Captain Downton'a
Beet. Here we stayed till the 20th of October and then departed,
having had good store of refreshing. The Fleming departed ten
days before us.

To pass over particulars, avoiding tediousness, time permitting
not leisure, the 20th of December was the third council, where I
found 18 45' latitude and near 8° 00' variation west, [ngania
bearing N.E. by N. \ northerly 310 leagues off, as I concluded.
The 28th we had sight of the land 00 the south side of Java,
about 8° 00' latitude, which cost us much trouble and ex-
pense of time, whereas we might within two days have obtained
our desired port of Bantam had we fallen open of the straits.

Then we put off with the wind at X.W. and W.N.W. in the lati-
tude 1 3 10', then stood in again near? the shore; but having

felt the force of a strong E.S.E. current we could not obtain our
desire. The iSth of January we anchored in a bay on the south
side and filled amongst us 8 or 10 tons of water, and put off again
the 20th of ditto, and the 23rd, having consulted for the future
navigation, finding an apparent loss of 12 or 14 leaglK - in 24
hours, we stood in to the shore, where we found the Dutchman at
anchor that we erst met withal at Sesto and the Cape. Her-
onry stayed till the 26th and filled amongst our three ships some
30 tons of water. This road, as also the former, stands between
latitude 7 45' and 8° 00'. Putting off this road our fleet lost us,
and the wind coming as formerly at N.W. and W.N.W., we put
off into io° 40', where we found the wind at S.E., and coming into
latitude io°20' and variation 3 30' I discovered an island bearing
west some 3 or 4 leagues off. This island is in length 4 or 5 leagues
and lies from the straits of Sunda between the S.S.E. and S.E.
by S. The 12th day of February we came through the straits
of Sunda, and the 13th day we anchored in Bantam Road, where
we found the Globe laden for England and the Osiander laid up
for want of men, and Mr. John Jourdain captain of the house.


Here also we heard that most lamentable news of the Trades
Increase with the great mortality of so many men of several
[ranks] and fashions with divers strange and [ ] accidents.

The 16th we were ashore with our General, where by a general
council it was determined for the disposing of the ships to sail,
the Samaritan for England, the Thomas for Sumatra, the Tho-
masine for Banda and Amboyna, the Osiander for Jappan. We
have yet no news of Captain Downton's fleet. The Concord is
gone for the Molluccos and the Darling for the coast of Syam.
Our General pretends or at least bears us in hand that he will
return for England by the first ship, but I cannot yet be persuaded
thereof, neither do I think it fitting. Thus for this time ceasing
further to trouble you, humbly taking leave, with my duty remem-
bered I end, and rest now and ever at your Honour's command
in all service, I am,

Ric. Rowe.


Richard Westby to the East India Company.
Bantam, 21st February, 1614.

IGHT Worshipful, my humble duty remembered etc.
May it please you to understand that upon the 8th of
January, 1614, the Globe arrived in the road of Ban-
tam, come from the coast of Coramandell, having
some part of her lading in her, which is not much ; and hath taken
in here at Bantam 5,000 sacks of Java pepper milled, and 25 chests
of China silks, containing as per invoice and bills of lading will
appear, viz., 4,000 sacks for the account of the Seventh Voyage,
being bought of the Joint Stock at the same rate as pepper was
worth the same day it was agreed upon by a council of merchants.
The account of the Seventh Voyage not having ready money for
payment, it was also agreed upon by a council of merchants that
they should deliver the value of so much money in clothing of
Coramandell at the rate it was worth the aforesaid present time,
as by the letters general and the copy of the journal sent to your


Worships the prices, quantity ami quality will at large appear.
The other 1,000 sacks of Java pepper milled, and 25 dusts of
China silks is laden for the account of the Joint Stork, the Globe
having left ,82 bales of cinnamon as also 10 bales of cotton yarn
ashore, in regard they took in the aforesaid 25 chests for the
Joint Stock; having agreed the next ship that shall return for
England to send the cinnamon ami yarn for the account of the
Seventh Voyage, referring the agreement of 1 1 1 « - freight both of
the one and other to the wise disposing of the worshipful Com-
pany at home. There is also a parcel of diamonds, containing in
number 337 and in weight Iioj carats, delivered to the captain
and cape merchant of the Globe, as by the invoice will ap]
being bought at Sacadaney for the account of the Joint Stock,
but before the worshipful Company was united) for the account of
the Sixth Voyage. The uth ditto at night the Speedwell, a
small pinnace of the burthen of 30 tons, built lure in Bantam
of the hull of a Java junk, set sail from hence bring bound for
Macckaser, there to stay 1 \ days to take in rice for the Moloucoes,
and for the coming of the Concord ; and if the Concord come not
within 14 days after, then to set sail and proceed for the islands
of Amboyna, having for her master [ Alexander and for

merchant Sophony Cozucke. The 27th ditto the Concord set sail
for the Molucoes, being to touch at Macckaser there to take in
any such commodity as is not there vendible, and will vent at
[the] islands of Amboyna, as at Hitto, Cambella and Lugo, which
is the chiefest places for cloves upon all the island of Amboyna,
having for merchant of her George Ball, and for master of her
John Skinner ; not doubting per the help of God but they will
settle a factory at one of those places for which they are bound,
having such in commission from John Jourdain, cape merchant
for the Joint Stock, the people of the country having long
desired it by their outward show ; therefore I hope it will be
effected, which will be to your Worship's great benefit for future
trade, as well for the getting of cloves as also the vending of
a great deal of coarse cloth, both Suratt and Coramandell,
which the poor people buy which are not able to go to the
price of better. The aforesaid Concord hath also order that
at her return she touch at Temore and Gresse, Temore yielding


sandalwood, a good commodity when the China junks are
here, or to send to the coast of Coramandell, the trade being
worth the following in regard there is hope the place will vend
much coarse cloth, both of Suratt and Coramandell, as also the
cheapness of the sandalwood there and good price it beareth here
in Bantam, being sold to the China junks, as also it being carried
to the coast of Coramandell, it being worth here at Bantam
20 rials the pecul and at the Coast 80 pagodas the candy, which
is 500 pounds English. Gresee by report yieldeth some cloves
brought from other places by Java junks, as also will vend some
quantity of cloth of Coramandell, as Tape Chindes petoles, Tape
girdles and coarse Tapes and such like, being Cherra Java. The
14th of this month Captain David Middleton arrived in the road
of Bantam with three ships, viz. the Samaritan, the Thomas and
the Thomasine, hoping to have his lading ready for two of his
ships, viz. the Samaritan and the Thomas, but hath not found
sufficient to lade one as yet, the James and the Globe having
carried away all before but some 1,000 sacks of pepper, which is
ready, and more will be got ready by the latter end of March,
which will be the soonest she can be laden, which I fear will be
too late for a ship to return without great danger. We have more
than enough of our own to lade a ship if we could get in our
debts, but in regard we cannot, must be forced to buy, though at
a high rate, which will be 15 or 16 rials the ten sacks. Had there
been any store of money in the house or that the ships had
brought any quantity, there might have been bought a good
quantity of Lankin silk this year, for it is reported that the five
China junks have brought upwards of 300 peculs, besides great
store of other commodities, which will be very cheap in regard
neither the Hollanders nor the English have any store of money
to buy as they have formerly done. The 16th ditto Captain David
Middleton called a court to hear the opinion of the merchants
what were best to be done in regard there is no possibility to lade
the two ships and to send them away according to your Worships'
desire, as appeareth in your letters general. It is therefore con-
cluded in the court by all generally present at the said court
that the Thomas shall go for the coast of Sumattra, there to seek
her lading with a cargason of Surratt cloth, as baftas, white
Y 1268. 2


baftas, Nill Selas, Candeques, Orickanes, and such-like commo-

Online LibraryEast India CompanyLetters received by the East India company from its servants in the East (Volume 2) → online text (page 30 of 35)