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3 1924 096 234 392

Cornell University

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Instructions to Editors.

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Uu 67073. a

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For Her Majesty's Stationery Office.


The GbvERNOE, Sie Moeeis Abbott -

Voyages to India and Persia - - - .

Confusion in the Accounts - , . -

The Voyages turned over to the Joint Stock

Valuation and Profits ....

The Company's shipping, their lading, two burnt -

Thanksgivings for their safe return home

Presidents and Factors in India

Gambling — Private Trade - - -

The Company robbed at home . . -

Expenses reduced . . . , -

Election of Preachers, their Sermons

Death op Mr. Friday, Minister at Surat

Mr. Fuller succeeds him - . . .

Mr. Collins, Minister in Persia - . -

Gibson's opinion op Ministers -

Fire and repair op St. Helen's Church

The Company's Almshouses, Hospital, and Charities

The Great Mogul — Presents and Bribes

English Fort at Armagon - - . .

Dawn op British Kule in India ...

The richest Merchant in India

Famine, Pestilence, and Mortality

Surat, Masulipataji, Lagundy

Bengal, Sumatra, Bantam, Gombroon

The Dutch in India - -

The Portuguese in India — Fight with the English

Captain Morris rewarded ....

Smethwikb and the Treaty with Spain

The Shah of Persia, his Cruelties - - -

King Charles I.'s desire for Varieties

The Earl of Denbigh's Visit to India

North-west Passage— Button, Fox, James, Baffin -

Edmond Howes, Chroniclbk ... -

Pkoveebs and Quaint Sayings ...


XI ■








- xxxvi

- xxxvii

- xxxviii

- xxxix

- xli


This, the fifth volume of the Calendar of State Papers
relating to the East Indies, includes the documents in the
Public Record and India Offices from the commencement
of the year 1630, and carries the history of the East India
Company down to the close of the year 1634,

Duriag this period of five years the government of the The Gov-

Gmor Sir

Company devolved on Sir Morris Abbott, who was annually Morris
elected the Governor in spite of his reiterated wish to •^'''^°**-
resign the great responsibihty into other hands. He had
served as Deputy Governor since 1615, and been elected
Governor every year since the death of Sir WUHam Halli-
daie, in March 1624, and by his prudent and excellent
administration fully justified the confidence almost unani-
mously reposed in him. There do not appeai* to have been
more than half a dozen opponents to the Governor's policy
among the whole Company, if as many, but in spite of
their opposition, which was at times carried to the utmost
possible hmits. Sir Morris Abbott, supported by an over-
whelming majority, iuvariably steered the East India
Company safely into the haven of prosperity.

Sir Morris Abbott was the brother of George, Arch-
bishop of Canterbury, and Robert, Bishop of Salisbuiy,
' and perhaps the most successfiil merchant of his time, an
influential member of several trading companies, and one
of the first to be knighted by Charles I. He was also
Member of Parliament for London, an Alderman and
Sheriff, a Commissioner for the repair of St. Paul's, and one


of the Council for establishing the Colony of Virginia.
His remarks at a General Court of Election, in July 1632,
are very significant, and give some idea of the internal
dissensions in the Company. Sir Morris thanked the
Generality for their choice of him as Governor last year,
though he never had so little comfort in all his time. He
had served the Company many years at home and abroad,
he goes on to say, and if he were ambitious to continue
the place of Governor had never more reason to desire it,
because of the practice of some in proscribing him afore-
hand and casting unjust aspersions on Mm, yet could never
go out with more honour than now, having endured the
touch and withstood the malice of his enemies, but wished,
as a learned father did in another case, rather than any
broils should happen by his means to distract the affairs
of the Company, that he might be turned out, and therefore
desired them to nominate some other more worthy person
in whom they may find more virtues and less errors, and so
left his chair. Whereupon six were nominated, but Sir
Morris Abbott was again re-elected Governor, and " the
" joy being given him by the Generality," he declared his
thankfulness, and sajid he was not worthy the name of a
Christian if he should wrong the Company himself or
suffer them to be wronged by others, and he promised to
do them all faithful service to the utmost of his power

A variety of causes operated to tax the ability and the
judgment of the Company's trusted Governor to the utmost.
Factious opposition at home, dissensions abroad among
the Company's own servants, the grasping and avaricious
governors and cliiefs in places where the Company's
factories were established in India as well as Persia ; the
enormous private trade carried on by the commanders of
their fleets and the factors themselves at their numerous


stations, who arc described as caterpillar-like, devouring tlie
Company's fruits (p. 218). All these great drawbacks to
success and profit in trade had to be grappled with and, as it
were, to be wiped out. But the climax to these difficulties
was the scourge of pestUence, famine, and mortality which
devastated the East Indies and decimated the Company's
servants there. But let us endeavour to show in a short
epitome, the facts as they are described in this volume.

The hopes of the Company about this time were directed Voyages to
to Persia, where a very profitable trade, especially in silks, persia.
had been promised, and the Company devoted their best
energies to encoTirage this great industry, and spent large
sums in fitting out " voyages " to develop this trade.
]?or years past the capital subscribed by the " adventurers "
of the East India Company was divided into Joint Stocks,
as the Eirst Joint Stock, the Second, or, as it is called in
this volume, the Old Joint Stock, and the Third, or New
Joint Stock ; but as soon as trade with Persia had been
resolved upon, the East India Company once again adopted
the title of " voyages," as they had done after the granting
of their first charter in 1599, when the respective fleets
sent out to trade in the East Indies were called " voyages,"
and distinguished by numbers, from the Eirst to the
Twelfth Voyage ; so the several fleets sent to Persia and
the East Indies are described in this volume as the Eirst,
the Second, and the Third Persian Voyages. But the
great difficulty, not only of keeping the accounts of these Confusion in
voyages disthict from each other, but also of preventing ^'^'^''"'^'^''•
them from being mixed up with the Joint Stock, and
seeing the number of ships employed at the same ports
and stations, this may readily be imagined, led to endless
confusion, which was the cause of long and excited debates
in the Courts of Committees and the General Com^t of
Adventurers of the East India Company. President


Methwold says, in a letter to the Company (p. 615), The
confusion may be imagined in the accounts of the several
voyages and Joint Stock, all in agitation at once, whUst
men were taken away that sliould have directed them, and
those that had to keep them had scarcely " foul papers "
that did bear witness of the passages of business. This
confusion seems to have culminated on the return of the
Mary, in September 1634, when the accounts were " beyond
" understanding," and it was at a full General Court agreed,
after much previous dispute, to immediately turn over

Tiio voyages ^'^^^^ ^^^'^^ " voyages " to the Third Joint Stock (610).

turned over rpiien arose the question of the several valuations of the

to the Joint ^

Stock. three voyages, but it was in the end agreed and ordered

Valuation that the valuation of the Pirst Persian Voyage be 1601.,
and inofits. y^g Sccoud ISOl., and the Third 140Z. per cent. And
whereas the adventurers ia the first A^oyage had already
received then" principal and 40^. per cent, profit, and in
the second voyage their principal and 50Z. per cent, profit,
the third voyage is now ordered to receive their principal.
The remains and profits of these voyages were, for the
first, 301. ; for the second, 20^. ; and, for the third, 40Z, ; and
these amounts were ordered to be paid to the adventurers
of said three voyages by the Third Joint Stock " at year,
" year and year from Christmas, 1634" (610). A month
later, at a meeting of a " Quarter Court," this " turning
" over " of the three voyages agreed to at a General Court,
" where was as great an assembly as had been known
" these many years," was taken exception to by Smeth-
wike, but the Governor answered all his objections, and
declared that what had been done was so weU approved as
it gave not only present contentment, but the adventurers
were so well pleased as divers on the Exchange gave it out
that doubtless it was the finger of God that directed the
Court to fall on this way, for otherwise it was impossible


so to order tlie equal distribvition of the goods brought
home in the Exchange and Mary to the right proprietors,
and therefore to question now that which hath been so
fairly acted by unanimous consent is, the Governor indig-
nantly added, preposterous and without any sense or
reason. Still two or three dissatisfied members of the
Company persisted in importuning for a committee to look
into the whole matter, but the Governor remained firm in
refusing to permit any such propositions to be put to the
question, which he said were made more out of ill affection
to some particular persons to raise dissensions among, than
to further the welfare of, the Company, neither would he
allow the Secretary to register any of them (622).

I have endeavoured to perfect a list of the East India "^'^^ p^""'

^ pany s

Company's ships that arrived in the East Indies and shipi)ing,
returned to England during the five years comprised in
this volume ; but inasmuch as between July 1629 and
July 1635 two Court Minute Books are missing, each of
which embraces a whole year, viz., from July 1629 to
June 1630, and from July 1631 to June 1632, a year and
a half of the proceedings of the East India Company at
home are missing in this volume. During these five years
the East India Company employed 36 ships to carry on
their trade — the crew of the William numbered 160
mariners (p. 608) — eight of which vessels were newly
built or purchased, the names of which will be seen in
the Index, p. 661. To biiild a new ship of 600 or 700
tons was estimated to cost from 5,000^. to 6,000^. (560),
and a ship of 260 tons, built about two years, was bought
for 1,420Z. and named the Expedition (586, 588-9).
Thirty-one ships arrived in the East Indies between 1630
and 1634, seven of them having made the voyage t^vace ;
eight ships were employed there in traditig from port to
port as directed by the President, two returned to England

two burnt


were broken up as no longer serviceable, one was laid up
in the East Indies for a similar reason, and the remaining
vessel, the Crispin, bought by the East India Company in
November 1634, of Capt. Crispe, with the condition of
retaining her name, had not yet been put into commission.
Seventeen ships safely arrived in England during these
their lading, five ycars. It will be seen, by reference to the Index
(p. 662), that nine of the Company's vessels returned to
England were valued at 543,000/. ; that the principal
lading of six of them was pepper, cloves, and indigo,
valued at 303,000Z, ; that silk to the value of 58,088Z. 16s.
was sent home in the James Eoyal (486) ; and that
150,000Z. worth of pepper was sold to one man (490).

But the East India Company met with a very serious
loss through the accidental burning, in January 1633, of
two of their ships at Swally Hole, near Surat, the Charles
and the Swallow. The account of this catastrophe sent
home by the factors on board the Exchange is that the
Swallow, in shooting off ordnance in her gum-oom, fired
the Charles also, "by which accident both ships perished
" in a few hours, to the great danger of the whole fleet "
(399). Giles Waterman, the master, and the officers of
the SwaUow were sent home in irons (p, 358). When
they were " qtiestioned " by the Court of Committees,
Waterman blamed the gunner for having his fireworks
and loose powder in the gunroom, which occasioned the
firing of the ship when the guns were shot oif to salute
the ships in the road, and he utterly denied that he had
given the two first cuts to the cable by means whereof the
Swallow fell foul of the Charles and fired her. The gunner
said the shooting of the piece was done by the master's
command, notwithstanding he had represented the danger
of firing the ship if two guns were shot off, and that he
brought up the fireworks by Capt. Weddell's order, to be


ready in case slie should meet the enemy. The Conrt
having also heard the mates, conceived the master blame-
worthy, and that the rest had offended little or nothing
(p. 472). It was therefore resolved, the Company having
taken advice, to cause a civil action to be commenced
against them in the sum of 10,000^. for reparation of the
Company's damages sustained (p. 457), and "Waterman was
committed prisoner to the Marshalsea (p. 478), and by a
letter of his read in Court in December 1634 it appears
the Company's action had not then been decided, for
Waterman wrote desiring commiseration of his sickness
and payment of his wages " or something for his rehcf "
(p. 632). Part of the wages, of a carpenter of the ship
London were detained for a copper kettle, which was
brought ashore with the bottom burnt out, afterwards cut
in pieces, and used about Mr. Muschamp's wooden leg
(p. 74).

For the safe return home of their shipping the Company Thanks-
never omitted to " return thanks to Almighty God," and f^fg^return
it Avas also the practice to have a suitable sermon preached ^°'^^ °^


before the Governor and Company by one of their own
" preachers."

" The chief occasion " of a meeting of the General Court
on 11th May 1631 was to give thanks to Almighty God for
the safe return of their two ships Charles and Jonas, laden
with rich goods valued at about 170,000Z. (184). At a
General Court of election on 4th July 1632 Mr. Governor,
" in respect of the exhortation by that worthy man, Mr.
" Shute, in his sermon this day," thought good to alter
former proceedings of the General Court, and to begin
with a thanksgiving to God for the safe arrival of the
Palsgrave, her lading in pepper and cloves being valued at
60,000Z. or 70,000Z. (281) ; and in May 1633, at a meeting
of the General Court, Mr. Governor in the first place gave


tlianks to God for tho safe return of the Blessing witli a
cargo of goods to the value of 150,000^. (p. 406). In the
following September it was resolved that a General Court
be held, and that Mr. Shute be entreated to prepare a
sermon of thanksgiving to Almighty God, to be preached
in their parish church in St. Helen's, who hath sent them
this year ^ix sliips in safety "with so fair and large a
" return " (pp. 457, 460). In August 1634 Mr. Governor,
at another meeting of the adventurers, desired all present
with one heart and voice to express their thankfulness to
God for His great mercy and goodness to them for the
return of their ship Exchange, which, by reason of many
leaks and other disasters, was, in the opinion of the captain
and aU others of the ship, given over for lost, yet she had
brought her goods as well conditioned as any ship did
before (598) ; and in October following Mr. Governor .
made known they were now met to return thanks to God
for the safe arrival of the Mary, a ship double the value
of the Exchange (610).
Presidents Richard Wylde was President at Surat, but resigned

and faetors '■ . , , t ■,

in India. m April 1630 to return home, and John Skibbowe was
elected President in his stead (p. 26). In September 1630
the Company appointed Thos. Past ell President, and on
his arrival at Surat Skibbowe was made one of liis Council
(70), but Rastell died 7th November 1631, and William
Methwold was appointed liis successor on 22nd Februarv
1633 (pp. 368, 370). After the death of Rastell, Joseph
Hopkinson was, at a general consultation at Surat, chosen
President (259), which post he held until Methwold 's
arrival in September 1633, when, in a letter to Hopkinson,
he said the accidental knowledge which arrived to the
Company of the great mortality in India brought me on
a second employment, but when nominated to succeed
RasteU there was no knowledge of " Hopkinson's incum-



hency," it could not, therefore, said Metliwold, bo my
intention to supplant any man (481). Hopkinson had been
much weakened by long sickness, and unable to do any
great matter by reason of the soreness of his eyes and
indisposition (p. 333, 386). He died towards the end of
11)33 (p. 518). So that there were five Presidents at Surat
in five years, three appointed by the Company and two
elected by the Council at Surat, and two of these five,
Rastell and Hopkinson, died there. There is a large and
picturesque burial ground outside Surat, which contains
numerous tombs of " former servants " of the East India
Company. Are any of these as early as the first half of
the 17th century ?

At Bantam during this time there were but two Presi-
dents, WiUiam Hoare, who was sent for home, and George
AVilloughby, who succeeded him. A question arose at a
Court of Committees in September 1633 as to the govern-
ment they would establish there, whether absolute and
immediate from hence or subordinate to Surat. The Court,
after serious consideration and having observed the incon-
■\'enience and prejudice of making that factory subordinate
to Surat, ordered that the government of Bantam be
re-established as it was in the time of Geo. Muschamp
and other Presidents before him, and not to be under the
President at Surat, as granted to Eastell (pp. 454, 475).
The Coiu't gave directions to President Willoughby before
going out for building a house at Bantam, which was
estimated to cost 6,000 ryals, but that " nothing be done
" for ostentation or vainglory" (pp. 501-2).

Several of the Presidents in the Company's service were

Online LibraryGreat Britain. Public Record OfficeCalendar of State Papers, Colonial Series ... preserved in the Public Record Office → online text (page 1 of 104)