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1



EAST INDIA COMPANY'S RECORDS



VOL. I.



LETTERS



RECEIVED BY THE



JEast India Company

jfrom it6 Servants in tbe Eaet



TRANSCRIBED FROM THE 'ORIGINAL CORRESPONDENCE'
SERIES OF THE INDIA OFFICE RECORDS

VOL. I.

1602 — i6i3

IVITff AN INTRODUCTION BY

FREDERICK CHARLES DANVERS

REGISTRAR AND SUPERINTENDENT OF RECORDS, INDIA OFFICE



PUBLISHED UNDER THE PATRONAGE OF HER MAJESTY'S
SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA IN COUNCIL



LONDON

SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON & COMPANY



{LIMITED)

St. ©unstan'6 f30U6c



FETTER LANE, FLEET STREET, E.G.
1896



PREFACE










r



^




[HE present work may be considered as in continuation
of the ' First Letter Book of the East India Company/
printed by Mr. Ouaritch in 1893; but some changes
have been made in the form of its production, the principal
being that it has been thought advisable, firstly, to modernise the
spelling of the manuscripts (except as regards place names, which
are given as in the original, but with the modern name within
brackets), and, secondly, to refrain from any attempt at annotation,
the introduction and glossary having rendered the latter unnecessary.
The order in which the several documents appear in the original
volumes has been followed, but it will be observed that those are
not always in strict sequence of date. As regards dates occurring
in the body of the work, the 'old style' figures have been retained.
Under this system, as is well known, the year was reckoned to
commence on March 25.



V




20503



CONTENTS



PAGE

1. Privileges granted by the King of Achin to the subjects of the

Queen of England ; obtained by Sir James Lancaster. Achin,
1602 ........... I

2. Gabriel Towerson to the East India Company. Bantam, December

16, 1607 .........

3. Anthony Marlowe to the Company. Ship ' Hector,' off Socotra

June 22, 1608 ........



4. A Merchant of the ship ' Hector ' to the Company. June 24

1608. (Missing)

5. Fragment of a letter to the Company. [Ship * Hector,' off Arabia,
June — , 1608] .........

6. Notes from Captain Keeling's Journal. At sea, March 21

1614-15

7. Duplicate of No. 6 ....... .

8. John Heame to the Company. Bantam, December 4, 1608

9. John Saris to the Company. Bantam, December 4, 1608 .

1 o. William Finch to Captain Hawkins [at the Mogul's Court]. Surat
July 12, 1609 .........



15

15

17
18
18
20

23



11. Prices of Indian goods and of English commodities vendible in

India. Surat, August 30, 1609 . . .28

12. [A merchant belonging to the ship 'Ascension' to the Company].

[Surat], September 15, [1609]. ...... 35

15. [An English merchant to another merchant at Agra, or some

other inland factory.] Surat, October 27, 1609 ... 40



viii EAST INDIA COMPANY'S RECORDS

PAGE

14. Lawrence Femell to Sir Henry Middleton. [Mocha], November

16, 1610 .......... 41

15. Hugh Frayne to the Company. April i to May 2, 1610.

(Missing) .......... 42

16. Consultation by Sir Henry Middleton, &c. Socotra, October

28, 1610 .......... 42

17. Lawrence Femell and Hugh Frayne to Sir Henry Middleton.

[Mocha], November 14, 16 10 . . . . . . 45

18. The same to the same. [Mocha], November 15, 16 10 . 46

19. Lawrence Femell to Sir Henry Middleton. Mocha, November

17, 1610 47

20. The same to the same. Mocha, November 18, 1610 . . 48

21. Sir Henry Middleton and Lawrence Femell to Giles Thornton.

Mocha, December 20, 16 10 . . . . . . -49

22. Sir Henry Middleton and Lawrence Femell to Nicholas Downton.

Sana, January 25, 1610-11 . 51

23. Nicholas Downton, Giles Thornton, and Hugh Frayne to Sir

Henry Middleton at [Sana]. Ship ' Trades Increase,' January

30, 1610-11 .......... 52

24. Nicholas Downton to Sir Henry Middleton [at Mocha]. Ship

'Trades Increase,' March 2, 1610-11 54

25. William Pemberton to Sir Henry Middleton, at Mocha. Ship

' Little Darling,' March 5, 1610-11 56

26. The same to the same. Ship 'Little Darling,' March 9, 1610 11 58

27. The same to the same. Ship 'Little Darling,' March 17,

1610-11. .......... 60

28. Nicholas Downton to Sir Henry Middleton, at Mocha. Ship

' Peppercorn,' March 18, 1610-11 61

29. Giles Thornton to Sir Henry Middleton, at Mocha. Ship

'Trades Increase,' March 18, 16 lo-i I 62

30. Nicholas Downton to Sir Henry Middleton, at Mocha. [Ship

' Peppercorn'], March 18, 16 lo-i I 63

31. William Pemberton to Sir Henry Middleton, at Mocha [March — ,

1610-11] ..........



CONTENTS ix

PAGU

32. Sir Henry Middleton to [Nicholas Downton]. Mocha, March

23, 1610-11 ........•• 65

33. Sir Henry Middleton to Giles Thornton. Mocha, March 23,

1610-11. (Missing) 67

34. Sir Henry Middleton to Giles Thornton. Mocha, March 23,

1610-11 ........-• 67

35. Miscellaneous notes, of varying date, regarding trade in the

Moluccas, &c. ... 68

36. India System of the Dutch Company. Fragment of a paper, ap-

parently translated from the Dutch, and addressed to the
Dutch Company 77

37. Nicholas Downton to Sir Henry Middleton, at Mocha. Ship

'Peppercorn,' March 26, 1611 81

38. Giles Thornton to Sir Henry Middleton [at Mocha]. Ship

'Trades Increase,' IMarch 26, 161 1 82

39. William Pemberton to Sir Henry Middleton, at Mocha. March

28, 161 1 84



40. Nicholas Downton to Sir Henry Middleton, at Mocha. Ship

' Peppercorn,' April 16, 1611.

41. William Pemberton to Sir Henry Middleton [at Mocha]. April

21, 1611 . . ......

42. The same to the same. Ship ' Little Darling,' April 23, 161 1

43. Lawrence Femell to Thomas Steward. Mocha, April 23, 161 1

44. Lawrence Femell and John Williams to Sir Henry Middleton

aboard ship 'Little Darling.' Mocha, May 11, 161 1

45. Duplicate or draft of No. 49 ..... .

Sir Henry Middleton to Lawrence Femell. Ship ' Little Darling,
off Mocha, May 13, 16 11

46. Lawrence Femell to Sir Henry Middleton. Mocha, May 13

1611 ..........

47. The same to the same. Mocha, May 14, 161 1 .

48. The same to the same. Mocha, May 14, 161 1 .



85

87
88

88

89
90

92

93
94
95



X EAST INDIA COMPANY'S RECORDS

PAGE

49. Lawrence Femell and John Williams to Sir Henry Middleton.

Mocha, May 15, 161 1 ........ 96

Sir Henry Middleton to Lawrence Femell. May 15, 161 r . 98

50. Regib Aga, Governor of Mocha, to Sir Henry Middleton, aboard

ship 'Trades Increase.' Mocha, May 15, 161 1 . . . 99

51. Sir Henry Middleton to Lawrence Femell [at Mocha]. Ship

'Trades Increase,' May 15, 1611 100

52. The same to the same. Ship 'Trades Increase,' May 16, 161 1 . 102

53. Lawrence Femell and John Williams to Sir Henry Middleton.

Mocha, May 16, 161 1 ........ 104

54. The same to the same. Mocha, May 16, 161 1 .... 105

55. The same to the same. Mocha, May 18, 1611 .... 107

Sir Henry Middleton to Lawrence Femell [at Mocha]. May 18,
1611 ........... 109

56. The same to the same. -Ship 'Trades Increase,' May 18, 161 1 . 110

57. Lawrence Femell to Sir Henry Middleton. Mocha, May 19,

1611 ........... no

Sir Henry Middleton to Lawrence Femell. Ship ' Trades
Increase,' May 18, 161 1 in

58. Regib Aga, the Governor, to Sir Henry Middleton. Mocha,

May 19, 161 1 . . . . . . . . .112

59. Meleck Ambar to Sir Henry Middleton. Mocha, May 19, i6n 113



60. Sir Henry Middleton to Regib Aga. Ship ' Trades Increase,'
May 18, i6n



61. Lawrence Femell and John Williams to Sir Henry Middleton

Mocha, May 20, 161 1 .......

62. Shermale, Shahbandar of Mocha, to Sir Henry Middleton

Mocha, May 20, 161 1

63. Sir Henry Middleton to Lawrence Femell [at Mocha]. Ship

'Trades Increase,' May 21, 16 n

64. Lawrence Femell and John Williams to Sir Henry Middleton

Mocha, May 22, 161 1

65. The same to the same. Mocha, May 22, 161 1 .



114

n6
n6

119



CONTENTS xi

PAGE

66. Sir Henry Middleton to Lawrence Femell [at Mocha]. Ship

• Trades Increase,' May 2 2, 1611 ...... 121

67. Lawrence Femell and John Williams to Sir Henry Middleton.

Mocha, May 23, 161 1 122

68. Sir Henry Middleton to Lawrence Femell [at Mocha]. ' Trades

Increase,' May 23, 1611 ........ 123

69. Lawrence Femell and John Williams to Sir Henry Middleton.

Mocha, May 24, 1611 . . . . . . .124

70. Sir Henry Middleton to Lawrence Femell. ' Trades Increase,'

May 25, 1611 125

71. Lawrence Femell and John Williams to Sir Henry Middleton.

Mocha, May 26, 1611 . . .127

72. Declaration left by Sir Henry Middleton with Regib Aga. Ship

' Trades Increase,' May 26, 161 1 . . . .128

73. Letter of Advice left by Sir Henry Middleton to commanders of

English ships. Mocha, May (?), 1611 . . . . .129

74. Duplicate, in great part, of the preceding. Assab, 161 1 . . 131

75 and 81. [Captain Anthony Hippon and the merchants of the
seventh voyage to the Company.] [Ship ' Globe,' at Masuli-
patam, between August 11 and September 7, 16 11] . . 132

76. Captain Anthony Hippon, Lucas Antheunis, Peter Floris, Thomas

Essington, and Simon Evans [merchants of ship ' Globe '], to
William Finch, &c.,at Surat. Masulipatam, September 7, 16 11 136

77. Alexander Sharpeigh and John Jourdain to Sir Henry Middleton.

Surat, October 12, i6ir . . . . 138

Alexander Sharpeigh to [Sir Henry Middleton]. Surat, October
16, i6n .......... 139

78. William Adams to ' his unknown friends and countrymen ' [at

Bantam?]. Firando, October 23, 161 1 ..... 142

79. [George Ball ?] to Edmund Camden [at Bantam]. Ship ' Thomas,'

December 14, 161 1 ........ 152

80. Lucas Antheunis to Pieter Willemsen {translated). Petapoli,

January 8, 161 2 . . . . . . . . 153

81. See N't). 75.



xii EAST INDIA COMPANY'S RECORDS

PAGE

82. Memorandum by Captain Nicholas Downton. Ship 'Peppercorn,'

Dabul Road, February 26, 161 1 -1 2 155

83. Narrative by Captain Nicholas Downton of events from April 2

to August 16, 1612 162

84. The Report of an Armenian concerning the Emperor of Ethiopia.

Agumo, May 20, 161 2 . . 192

85. Unsigned Representation against Captain Jourdain. [Bantam ?

January 1614 ?]......... 195

86. Hider Aga, with Mammy Capitan, to Sir Henry Middleton.

Mocha, June 28, 161 2 196

87. Edmund Marlowe, and other merchants of ship 'James,' to the

Company. Bantam, November 5, 161 2 . . . . .196

88. Consultations by Peter Floris (merchant) and Thomas Essington

(commander), of ship 'Globe.' Patani, November 20, 1612,

and January 18, 1612-13 198

89. Captain John Saris to Edmund Camden [at Bantam]. November

23, 1612 .......... 200

90. Ferdinando Cotton to [Sir Thomas Smith]. Bantam, Novem-

ber, 1612



201
204
205
205
206
207



91. Captain John Saris to Edmund Camden. December 11, 161 2

92. The same to the same. Bantam, December 21, 161 2

93. The same to the same. Bantam, December 21, 16 12

94. The same to the same. Bantam, December 31, 161 2

95. The same to the same. Bantam, January 2, 161 2-1 3

96. WiUiam Adams to Augustin Spalding [at Bantam]. Firando,

January 12, 1612-13 ........ 208

97. Richard Cocks to the Company. Bantam, January 12, 1612-13 213

98. Captain John Saris to Edmund Camden. January 15, 16 12-

13. (Missing) . 224

99. Edmund Camden to the Company. Bantam, January 15,

1612-13 . . . . . . . . . . 224

99a. George Ball to Edmund Camden. Bantam, January 16,

1612-13 ......... 230



CONTENTS xiii

PAGE



loo. Captain John Saris to Edmund Camden. Ship 'Clove,' at

Jakatra, January 19, 1 612-13 . . . 230

loi. The same to the same. Ship ' Clove,' at Jakatra, January 20,

1612-13 232

102. Thomas Aldworth, William Biddulph, and Nicholas Withington

to [the Company]. Surat, January 25, 1612-13 . . 233

103. Journal by [Captain Nicholas Downton] of the homeward

voyage of the 'Peppercorn.' February 4 to September 13,
1613 241

104. Samuel Bradshaw to the Chief at Bantam. Tiku, February 10,

1612-13 251

105. Thomas Keridge to [the Company]. Surat, March 12, [1612-

13] 256

106. Captain Nicholas Downton to the Company. Ship ' Pepper-

corn,' June 20, 1613 ........ 259

107. Captain Thomas Best, William More, and H. Gyttins to

Thomas Aldworth, at Surat. Achin, July 12, 161 3 . . 269

loS. Memorandum of Books and Writings which Benjamin Farie,
purser, delivered to Mr. John Jourdain, captain of the
'Darling.' August i, 1613 ....... 272

109. Bartholomew Haggatt to the Company. Aleppo, August 3,

1613 273

no. Thomas Keridge to Thomas Aldworth and Council, at Surat.

Agra, September 7, 1613 . . . . -277

111. Ralph Wilson to the Company. Ship 'Solomon,' September

II. 1613 287

112. Captain Nicholas Downton to the Company. Ship ' Pepper-

corn ' [at Watcrford], September 15, 1613 .... 290

113. Richard Cocks to Richard Wickham, at Yedo. Firando,

September 18, 1613 295

1 14. Copy of the Ninth Article of the Commission ; given by Thomas

Essington, captain of the ' Globe,' unto Adam Denton, in
Patani. September 27, 1613 296

115. Translation of the privileges granted to the Company by the

Emperor of Japan. [Octobers, 1613] . .... 297



EAST INDIA COMPANY'S RECORDS



PAGE



ii6. William Biddulph to the Company. Surat, October 28, 1613 . 2(

117. Thomas Aldworth to the Company. Ahmedabad, November

9) 1613 302

1 1 8. [Thomas Aldworth] to Captain Edmund Marlowe. Ahmedabad,

November 9, 1613 . 308

119. List of the Dutch factories and forts in the East Indies.

November 12, 1613 ........ 309

120. Agreement with William Adams for his employment in the

Company's service. Firando, November 24, 1613 . . 310

121. Richard Cocks to the Company. Firando, November 30, 161 3 312

122. William Adams to [the Company]. Japan [December, 1613] . 320

123. W^illiam Adams to [a member of the Company] Firando,

December i, 1613 327



Corrigenda

I, line 3, for 1603 7-ead 1602
3l> » 37. omii Misey
40, ,, 12, for fixQ (&\x\}) read s\x
244, ,, 7, T^r Tho. Wright rfflo' John Weight




INTRODUCTION




HE series of India Office Records known as the ' O. C
Collection, of which the earliest are published in the
following pages, appears to have been collected and
bound in volumes about the year 1835. This collection
comprises letters, with enclosures, from their agents and others
to the East India Company, and is styled ' Original Correspon-
dence from India, with collateral documents, originating at any place
between England and Japan.' These extend from 1603 to 1708,
and appear to have been previously kept without any regard to
method or order. It is stated in a note that ' they seem from
what materials were extant at the commencement of order in
keeping the early records to have been preserved by accident.
The series, though valuable and important as far as it extends, is
not continuous.'

The various sections from which this revised collection of
Original Correspondence from India was formed were the follow-
ing :

Original Correspondence, chiefly letters from India ; Miscel-
laneous Papers appended to the foregoing ; Damaged Papers ;
Domestic Papers, improperly mixed with some from India; Imperfect
VOL. I. a



xvi EAST INDIA COMPANY'S RECORDS

Papers ; Foreign Papers ; Indian Letters ; another series from
India ; Law ; Four subdivisions, among them many Political
Papers from India ; Papers from fourteen chests ; Papers without
proper date (the dates to most of these have been supplied) ;
Supplement to the last-named series ; and Accounts.

From the foregoing classification it is clear that a very defective
system of record keeping existed previously to the arrangement
of the * O. C Collection, and even that collection is not so perfect
as it might have been made.

The earlier correspondence addressed to the East India Com-
pany by its captains and agents abroad, now existing amongst the
records at the India Office, is exceedingly scanty, not more than
ten documents previously to 1610 having been handed down to
the present date in the ' O. C volumes, besides which there are
but very few of so early a date in other collections. It is, however,
evident from references in the Court Minute books that many were
received which are not now in existence. From 16 10 the docu-
ments in the 'O. C collection become more numerous each year.

Some of the missing documents were probably lost at a very
early period ; and it is stated that in 1614 certain journals were
wanted which could not then be found, whereupon orders were
issued for the more careful custody of the Company's records in
future ; but these orders were, it is to be feared, observed in but a
very irregular manner, since at various intervals the deficiencies in
them were brought prominently to notice, and attempts were made
to provide for their more efficient preservation.

The journals of most of the early voyages of the East India
Company's ships are not now in existence, but many of them have
been published — generally, however, in a somewhat condensed form
— in ' Purchas his Pilgrimes,' whereby the accounts of those voyages,
and of the early proceedings of the East India Company's agents
abroad, have been preserved.

At the dawn of history the Indo-European trade was carried
on by the Arabians and Phoenicians ; the former in the Red Sea,



INTRODUCTION xvii

Persian Gulf, and Indian Ocean, and the latter in the Mediter-
ranean. Between the Red Sea and Persian Gulf routes there
existed a continual rivalry, and on the Red Sea there was also a
sharp competition for the trade between the Gulf of Akaba and
the Gulf of Suez, Whilst the Arabs, in a great measure, main-
tained their portion of the trade until the discovery of the route
to India by the Cape of Good Hope, the Phoenicians and their
colonies were forced to succumb to the rivalry of Assyria, Greece,
and Rome, Tyre was the principal Phoenician mart on the
European side for her Eastern trade, but, at a later date, had to
share her commerce with the younger colony of Carthage, which
afterwards became the more important city of the two ; and when
the glory of Tyre began to decline Carthage was in the zenith of
her commercial prosperity and greatness. Byzantium, a Greek
settlement, happily situated at the terminus of the grand caravan
system, by which it was placed in communication with the Ganges
and with China, at an early date also became an entrepot for the
commerce of the known world.

Alexander the Great destroyed Tyre and made himself master
of Egypt (B.C. 332), where he founded the city of Alexandria, to
serve as a commercial port on the Mediterranean for the Eastern
trade which passed up the Red Sea. On the death of Alexander,
Egypt fell to the Ptolemies, under whom arts, commerce, manufac-
tures, agriculture, and navigation obtained a most extraordinary de-
velopment ; Alexandria became the first mart in the world, and its
importance in that respect was carefully nurtured when Egypt
became a Roman province. Carthage waged a long struggle with
Rome, but it was impossible that they should both continue to
prosper, and the Punic wars at length sealed the doom of the
former.

During the ascendency of the Roman power, Rome became
the centre of commerce from all parts of the world ; but when
southern and western Europe were overrun by hordes of barbarians
and Constantino had removed the seat of Empire to Byzantium,
which was from that time known as Constantinople, the downfall



xviii EAST INDIA COMPANY'S RECORDS

of Rome, with the western Roman Empire, marked a distinct epoch
in commercial as well as in political history.

Constantinople now became the principal centre of commerce
between the East and the West. Byzantine trade with India was
in part carried on through Egypt, but when the Moslems took
Alexandria that line of communication was cut off, and a route
was opened by way of the Greek settlements on the Black Sea
and Independent Tartary ; and for two hundred years the products
of India and China reached Constantinople almost exclusively by
that circuitous route. From Constantinople a considerable trade
arose along the Mediterranean coasts with Spain, Africa, and the
Republics of Italy ; whilst a direct land trade with northern and
western Europe was carried on by the Avars, a people inhabiting
the Danubian provinces.

The decay of the Byzantine trade, due to the struggles for
empire between the Mohammedans and the Greeks, resulted in its
transfer to the merchants of Venice and Genoa, who now in their
turn became the principal possessors of the trade with India and
the East. Owing, however, to the hostile rivalry of the Venetians
and Genoese for pre-eminence, many of the German towns, formerly
supplied through the Italian marts, found it more convenient to
open direct communication with Constantinople in order to obtain
Indian produce ; and thus, in the twelfth century, a chain of com-
mercial stations extended from Constantinople to the German
Ocean, of which the principal were Vienna, Ratisbon, Ulm, Augs-
burg, and Nuremberg.

Amongst the towns in north-western Europe with which the
Venetians traded, Troyes at an early date formed an important
entrepot for their spices and other Eastern produce, but this trade
was in time diverted to another channel owing to the imposition of
heavy dues ; and when, in 1 298, the overland route for Oriental
commerce, by way of Syria and Constantinople, was closed to the
Venetians, and they re-opened the old route through Egypt, goods
were conveyed by sea direct to England and the Netherlands.
Bruges was the first town thus favoured by the Eastern trade, and



INTRODUCTION xix

it became, in consequence, for a long time the chief commercial
port of northern Europe, and so long as a liberal policy prevailed
it continued to increase in wealth and importance. Up to 1487
there was scarcely a nation that had not its own store and a Com-
pany established there for trade, and it thus became a general
depot for the interchange of merchandise. The argosies of Venice
and Genoa came thither with the produce of the East, and the
warehouses were filled with bales of wool from England, and with
silk from Persia. The prosperity of Bruges was undiminished till
it passed under the dominion of the house of Hapsburg. For a
violation of some of their privileges, the inhabitants imprisoned
the Archduke Maximilian in 1488. The towns of Antwerp and
Amsterdam rendered assistance to the Duke, who, on regaining
his authority, destroyed the port of Bruges and transferred its trade
to Antwerp.

The commercial prosperity of Venice was now on the decline ;
driven back by the advance of the Turks in Europe, to whom the
Venetians were forced to yield their Oriental trading stations, their
various channels of intercourse with India were successively closed,
and, after the capture of Constantinople, the republic was left with
only an intermittent trade through Alexandria, which was subject
to the caprice of the Mameluke rulers of Egypt, and was also under
the ban of the Pope. In addition to this, Venice became involved
in ceaseless struggles with Lombardy, Genoa, the Romagna, and
Naples ; but the final blow to her Eastern trade was struck on the
discovery, by Portugal, of the Cape route to India, when Portuguese
ships were enabled to bring home the various products of the East
far more cheaply than was done by the former route through
Egypt.

The principal commercial entrepot for northern Europe being
established at Antwerp, thither the Italians imported large
quantities of silk, the Portuguese and Spaniards brought spices
and other Eastern produce, and the English, who soon became
numerous in the place, set up there a storehouse for their
merchandise, which they readily exchanged for the products of



XX EAST INDIA COMPANY'S RECORDS

other countries. The Hberal policy adopted by the Duke of
Brabant, and the privileges he conferred on foreigners, induced
many merchants to make it a rendezvous for their ships and a
depot for storing their goods, whence they were distributed
throughout the Continent and the whole of the north of Europe.
In 1550 an English Bourse was established at Antwerp, and in
1558 the Hop Van Lyere was ceded for the accommodation of our
merchants.

The religious persecutions which took place about this time in
Germany, France, and England tended to drive trade from those
countries, and still further to increase that of Antwerp. At the
same time, the commercial prosperity of Venice had been transferred
to Lisbon, which now became the emporium for spices and other
Eastern produce.

In 1576 Antwerp was taken by the Spaniards and given up to
a three days' pillage ; it was besieged, though in vain, by the Duke
of Alengon in 1583 ; and, after a very obstinate defence, it fell
before the assault of the Duke of Parma in 1585. These events
brought about the commercial ruin of Antwerp ; its trade departed,



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