Richard Hakluyt.

The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation — Volume 10 Asia, Part III online

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Babylon I came by land to Mosul, which standeth nere to Niniue, which is
all ruinated and destroyed: it standeth fast by the riuer of Tigris. From
Mosul I went to Merdin, which is in the countrey of the Armenians; but now
there dwell in that place a people which they call Cordies or Curdi. From
Merdin I went to Orfa, which is a very faire towne, and it hath a goodly
fountaine full of fish, where the Moores hold many great ceremonies and
opinions concerning Abraham: for they say he did once dwell there. From
thence I went to Bir, and so passed the riuer of Euphrates. From Bir I went
to Aleppo, where I stayed certaine moneths for company; and then I went to
Tripolis; where finding English shipping, I came with a prosperous voyage
to London, where by Gods assistance I safely arriued the 29 of April 1591,
hauing bene eight yeeres out of my natiue countrey.

* * * * *

The report of Iohn Huighen van Linchoten concerning M. Newberies and M.
Fitches imprisonment, and of their escape, which happened while he was in

In the moneth of December, Anno 1583, there arriued in the towne and Iland
of Ormus, foure English men, which came from Aleppo in the countrey of
Syria, hauing sailed out of England, and passed thorow the straights of
Gibralter to Tripoli a towne and hauen lying on the coast of Syria, where
all the ships discharge their wares and marchandises, and from thence are
caried by land vnto Aleppo, which is nine dayes iourney. In Aleppo there
are resident diuers marchants and factours of all nations, as Italians,
French men, English men, Armenians, Turks and Moores, euery man hauing his
religion apart, paying tribute vnto the great Turke. In that towne there is
great traffique, for that from thence euery yeere twise, there trauell two
Caffyls, that is, companies of people and camels, which trauell vnto India,
Persia, Arabia, and all the countreys bordering on the same, and deale in
all sorts of marchandise, both to and from those countreys, as I in another
place haue already declared. Three of the sayd English men aforesayd, were
sent by a company of English men that are resident in Aleppo, to see if in
Ormus they might keepe any factours, and so traffique in that place, like
as also the Italians do, that is to say, the Venetians which in Ormus, Goa,
and Malacca haue their factours, and traffique there, aswell for stones and
pearles, as for other wares and spices of those countreyes, which from
thence are caried ouer land into Venice. [Sidenote: Iohn Newbery had beene
in Ormus before. Anno. 1581.] One of these English men had bene once before
in the sayd towne of Ormus, and there had taken good information of the
trade, and vpon his aduise and aduertisement, the other were as then come
thither with him, bringing great store of marchandises with them, as
Clothes, Saffron, all kindes of drinking glasses, and Haberdashers wares,
as looking glasses, kniues, and such like stuffe: and to conclude, brought
with them all kinde of small wares that may be deuised. And although those
wares amounted vnto great summes of money, notwithstanding it was but onely
a shadow or colour, thereby to giue no occassion to be mistrusted, or seen
into: for that their principall intent was to buy great quantities of
precious stones, as Diamants, Pearles, Rubies, &c. to the which end they
brought with them a great summe of money and golde, and that very secretly,
not to be deceiued or robbed thereof, or to runne into any danger for the
same. They being thus arriued in Ormus, hired a shoppe, and beganne to sell
their wares: which the Italians perceiuing, whose factours continue there
(as I sayd before) and fearing that those English men finding good vent for
their commodities in that place, would be resident therin, and so dayly
increase, which would be no small losse and hinderance vnto them, did
presently inuent all the subtile meanes they could to hinder them: and to
that end they went vnto the Captaine of Ormus, as then called Don Gonsalo
de Meneses, telling him that there were certaine English men come into
Ormus, that were sent onely to spie the countrey; and sayd further, that
they were heretikes: and therefore they sayd it was conuenient they should
not be suffered so to depart without being examined, and punished as
enemies, to the example of others. The Captaine being a friend vnto the
English men, by reason that one of them which had bene there before, had
giuen him certaine presents, would not be perswaded to trouble them, but
shipped them with all their wares in a shippe that was to saile for Goa,
and sent them to the Viceroy, that he might examine and trie them, as he
thought good: where when they were arriued, they were cast into prison, and
first examined whether they were good Christians or no: and because they
could speake but badde Portugall, onely two of them spake good Dutch, as
hauing bene certaine yeres in the Low countreyes, and there traffiked,
there was a Dutch Iesuite born in the towne of Bruges in Flanders, that had
bene resident in the Indies for the space of thirty yers, sent vnto them,
to vndermine and examine them: wherein they behaued themselues so well,
that they were holden and esteemed for good Catholicke Christians: yet
still suspected, because they were strangers, and specially English men.
The Iesuites still tolde them that they should be sent prisoners into
Portugall, wishing them to leaue off their trade of marchandise, and to
become Iesuites, promising them thereby to defend them from all trouble.
The cause why they sayd so, and perswaded them in that earnest maner, was,
for that the Dutch Iesuite had secretly bene aduertised of great summes of
money which they had about them, and sought to get the same into their
fingers, for that the first vowe and promise they make at their entrance
into their Order, is to procure the welfare of their sayd Order, by what
meanes soeuer it be. But although the English men denied them, and refused
the Order, saying, that they were vnfit for such places, neuerthelesse they
proceeded so farre, that one of them, being a Painter that came with the
other three for company, to see the countreys, and to seeke his fortune,
and was not sent thither by the English marchants, partly for feare, and
partly for want of meanes to relieue himselfe, promised them to become a
Iesuite: and although they knew and well perceiued he was not any of those
that had the treasure, yet because he was a Painter, whereof there are but
few in India, and that they had great need of him to paint their Church,
which otherwise would cost them great charges, to bring one from Portugall,
they were very glad thereof, hoping in time to get the rest of them with
all their money into their fellowship: so that to conclude, they made this
Painter a Iesuite, where he remained certaine dayes, giuing him good store
of worke to doe, and entertaining him with all the fauour and friendship
they could deuise, and all to winne the rest, to be a pray for them: but
the other three continued still in prison, being in great feare, because
they vnderstood no man that came to them, nor any man almost knew what they
sayd: till in the end it was tolde them that certaine Dutch men dwelt in
the Archbishops house, and counsell giuen them to send vnto them, whereat
they much reioyced, and sent to me and an other Dutch man, desiring vs at
once to come and speake with them, which we presently did, and they with
teares in their eyes made complaint vnto vs of their hard vsage, shewing vs
from point to point (as it is sayd before) why they were come into the
countrey, withall desiring vs for Gods cause, if we might by any meanes, to
helpe them, that they might be set at liberty vpon sureties, being ready to
endure what iustice should ordaine for them, saying, that if it were found
contrary, and that they were other then trauelling marchants, and sought to
finde out further benefit by their wares, they would be content to be
punished. With that we departed from them, promising them to do our best:
and in the end we obtained so much of the archbishop, that he went vnto the
Viceroy to deliuer our petition, and perswaded him so well, that he was
content to set them at libertie, and that their goods should be deliuered
vnto them againe, vpon condition they should put in sureties for two
thousand pardawes, not to depart the countrey before other order should be
taken with them. Thereupon they presently found a Citizen of the towne that
was their surety for two thousand pardawes, to whom they payed in hand one
thousand and three hundred pardawes, and because they sayd they had no more
ready money, he gaue them credit, seeing what store of marchandise they
had, whereby at all times if need were, he might be satisfied: and by that
meanes they were deliuered out of prison, and hired themselues an house,
and beganne to set open shoppe: so that they vttered much ware, and were
presently well knowen among all the marchants, because they alwayes
respected gentlemen, specially such as bought their wares, shewing great
courtesie and honour vnto them, whereby they woon much credit, and were
beloued of all men, so that euery man favoured them, and was willing to doe
them pleasure. To vs they shewed great friendship, for whose sake the
Archbishop fauoured them much, and shewed them very good countenance, which
they knew well how to increase, by offering him many presents, although he
would not receiue them, neither would euer take gift or present at any mans
hands. Likewise they behaued themselues so discreetly that no man caried an
euill eye, no, nor an euill thought towards them. Which liked not the
Iesuites, because it hindred them from that they hoped for, so that they
ceased not still by this Dutch Iesuite to put them in feare, that they
should be sent into Portugall to the King, counselling them to yeeld
themselues Iesuits into their Cloister, which if they did, he sayd they
would defend them from all troubles, saying further, that he counselled
them therein as a friend, and one that knew for certaine that it was so
determined by the Viceroyes Priuy councell: which to effect he sayd they
stayed but for shipping that should saile for Portugall, with diuers other
perswasions, to put them in some feare, and so to effect their purpose. The
English men to the contrary, durst not say any thing to them, but answered,
that as yet they would stay a while, and consider thereof, thereby putting
the Iesuites in comfort, as one among them, being the principall of them
(called Iohn Newbery) complained vnto me often times, saying that he knew
not what to say or thinke therein, or which way he might be ridde of those
troubles: but in the end they determined with themselues to depart from
thence, and secretly by meanes of other friendes they imployed their money
in precious stones; which the better to effect, one of them was a Ieweller,
and for the same purpose came with them. Which being concluded among them,
they durst not make knowen to any man, neither did they credite vs so much,
as to shew vs their mindes therein, although they tolde vs all whatsoeuer
they knew. But on a Whitsunday they went abroad to sport themselues about
three miles from Goa, in the mouth of the riuer in a countrey called
Bardes, hauing with them good store of meate and drinke. And because they
should not be suspected, they left their house and shoppe, with some wares
therein vnsolde, in custody of a Dutch boy, by vs prouided for them, that
looked vnto it. This boy was in the house not knowing their intent, and
being in Bardes, they had with them a Patamar, which is one of the Indian
postes, which in the Winter times carieth letters from one place to the
other, whom they had hired to guide them: and because that betweene Bardes
and the firme land there is but a little riuer, in a maner halfe drie, they
passed ouer it on foot, and so trauelled by land, being neuer heard of
againe: but it is thought they arriued in Aleppo, as some say, but they
know not certainely. [Sidenote: The Arabian tongue generall in the East.]
Their greatest hope was that Iohn Newbery could speake the Arabian tongue,
which is vsed in all those countreys, or at the least vnderstood: for it is
very common in all places there abouts, as French with vs. Newes being come
to Goa, there was a great stirre and murmuring among the people, and we
much woondered at it: for many were of opinion that we had giuen them
counsell so to do: and presently their surety seised vpon the goods
remaining, which might amount vnto aboue two hundred pardawes; and with
that and the money he had received of the English men, he went vnto the
Viceroy, and deliuered it vnto him: which the Viceroy hauing receiued
forgaue him the rest. This flight of the English men grieued the Iesuites
most, because they had lost such a praye, which they made sure account of:
whereupon the Dutch Iesuite came to vs to aske vs if we knew thereof,
saying, that if he had suspected so much, he would haue dealt otherwise,
for that he sayd, he once had in his hands of theirs a bagge wherein was
forty thousand veneseanders (ech veneseander being two pardawes) which was
when they were in prison. And that they had alwayes put him in comfort to
accomplish his desire: vpon the which promise he gaue them their money
againe, which otherwise they should not so lightly haue come by, or
peraduenture neuer, as he openly sayd: and in the ende he called them
hereticks, and spies, with a thousand other railing speeches, which he
vttered against them. The English man that was become a Iesuite, hearing
that his companions were gone, and perceiuing that the Iesuites shewed him
not so great fauour, neither vsed him so well as they did at the first,
repented himselfe; and seeing he had not as then made any solemne promise,
and being counselled to leaue the house, and tolde that he could not want a
liuing in the towne, as also that the Iesuites could not keepe him there
without he were willing to stay, so they could not accuse him of any thing,
he tolde them flatly that he had no desire to stay within the Cloister. And
although they vsed all the meanes they could to keepe him there, yet he
would not stay, but hired an house without the Cloister, and opened shoppe,
where he had good store of worke: and in the end married a Mestizos
daughter of the towne, so that he made his account to stay there while he
liued. By this English man I was instructed of all the wayes, trades, and
voyages of the countrey, betweene Aleppo and Ormus, and of all the
ordinances and common customes which they vsually holde during their voyage
ouer the land, as also of the places and townes where they passed. And
since those English mens departures from Goa, there neuer arriued any
strangers, either English or others, by land, in the sayd countreys, but
onely Italians which dayly traffique ouer land, and vse continuall trade
going and comming that way.

* * * * *

The voyage of M. Iohn Eldred to Trypolis in Syria by sea, and from thence
by land and riuer to Babylon and Balsara. 1583.

I departed out of London in the ship called the Tiger, in the company of M.
Iohn Newbery, M. Ralph Fitch, and sixe or seuen other honest marchants vpon
Shroue munday 1583, and arriued in Tripolis of Syria the first day of May
next insuing: at our landing we went on Maying vpon S. Georges Iland, a
place where Christians dying aboord the ships, are woont to be buried. In
this city our English marchants haue a Consull, and our nation abide
together in one house with him, called Fondeghi Ingles, builded of stone,
square, in maner like a Cloister, and euery man hath his seuerall chamber,
as it is the vse of all other Christians of seuerall nations. [Sidenote:
the description of Tripolis in Syria.] This towne standeth vnder a part of
the mountaine of Libanus two English miles distant from the port: on the
side of which port, trending in forme of an halfe Moone, stand fiue blocke
houses or small forts, wherein is some very good artillery, and the forts
are kept with about an hundred Ianisaries. Right before this towne from the
seaward is a banke of mouing sand, which gathereth and increaseth with the
Western winds, in such sort, that, according to an olde prophesie among
them, this banke is like to swallow vp and ouerwhelme the towne: for euery
yere it increaseth and eateth vp many gardens, although they vse all policy
to diminish the same, and to make it firme ground. The city is about the
bignesse of Bristow, and walled about, though the walles be of no great
force. The chiefe strength of the place is in a Citadell, which standeth on
the South side within the walles, and ouerlooketh the whole towne, and is
strongly kept with two hundred Ianisaries and good artillery. [Sidenote:
Store of white silke.] A riuer passeth thorow the midst of the city,
wherewith they water their gardens and mulbery trees, on which there grow
abundance of silke wormes, wherewith they make great quantity of very white
silke, which is the chiefest naturall commodity to be found in and about
this place. This rode is more frequented with Christian marchants, to wit,
Venetians, Genouois, Florentines, Marsilians, Sicilians, Raguses, and
lately with English men, then any other port of the Turks dominions.
[Sidenote: The city of Hammah.] From Tripolis I departed the 14 of May with
a carauan, passing three dayes ouer the ridge of mount Libanus, at the end
whereof we arriued in a city called Hammah, which standeth on a goodly
plaine replenished with corne and cotton wooll. On these mountaines which
we passed grow great quantity of gall trees, which are somewhat like our
okes, but lesser and more crooked: on the best tree a man shall not finde
aboue a pound of galles. This towne of Hammah is fallen and falleth more
and more to decay, and at this day there is scarse one halfe of the wall
standing, which hath bene very strong and faire: but because it cost many
mens liues to win it, the Turke will not haue it repaired; and hath written
in the Arabian tongue ouer the castle gate, which standeth in the midst of
the towne, these words: Cursed be the father and the sonne that shall lay
their hands to the repairing hereof. Refreshing our selues one day here, we
passed forward with camels three dayes more vntill we came to Aleppo, where
we arriued the 21 of May. This is the greatest place of traffique for a dry
towne that is in all those parts: for hither resort Iewes, Tartarians,
Persians, Armenians, Egyptians, Indians, and many sorts of Christians, and
enioy freedome of their consciences, and bring thither many kinds of rich
marchandises. In the middest of this towne also standeth a goodly castle
raised on high, with a garrison of foure or fiue hundred Ianisaries. Within
four miles round about are goodly gardens and vineyards and trees, which
beare goodly fruit neere vnto the riuers side, which is but small; the
walles are about three English miles in compasse, but the suburbs are
almost as much more. The towne is greatly peopled. We departed from thence
with our camels the last day of May with M. Iohn Newbery and his company,
and came to Birrah in three dayes, being a small towne situated vpon the
riuer Euphrates, where it beginneth first to take his name, being here
gathered into one chanell, whereas before it commeth downe in manifolde
branches, and therefore is called by the people of the countrey by a name
which signifieth a thousand heads. Here is plenty of victuals, whereof we
all furnished our selues for a long iourney downe the aforesayd riuer. And
according to the maner of those that trauell downe by water, we prepared a
small barke for the conueyance of our selues and of our goods. [Sidenote:
Euphrates shallow.] These boates are flat bottomed, because the riuer is
shallow in many places: and when men trauell in the moneth of Iuly, August,
and September, the water being then at the lowest, they are constrained to
cary with them a spare boat or two to lighten their owne boates, if they
chance to fall on the sholds. [Eight and twenty days iourney by riuer.] We
were eight and twenty dayes vpon the water betweene Birrah and Felugia,
where we disimbarked our selues and our goods. Euery night after the Sun
setteth, we tie our barke to a stake, go on land to gather sticks, and set
on our pot with rice or brused wheat, and hauing supped, the marchants lie
aboord the barke, and the mariners vpon the shores side as nere as they can
vnto the same. [Sidenote: Arabians vpon the riuer of Euphrates.] In many
places vpon the riuers side we met with troops of Arabians, of whom we
bought milke, butter, egges, and lambs, and gaue them in barter, (for they
care not for money) glasses, combes, corall, amber, to hang about their
armes and necks, and for churned milke we gaue them bread and pomgranat
peeles, wherewith they vse to tanne their goats skinnes which they churne
withall. [Sidenote: The Arabian women weare golde rings in their nostrels.]
Their haire, apparell, and colour are altogether like to those vagabond
Egyptians, which heretofore haue gone about in England. Their women all
without exception weare a great round ring in one of their nostrels, of
golde, siluer, or yron, according to their ability, and about their armes
and smalles of their legs they haue hoops of golde, siiuer or yron. All of
them as wel women and children as men, are very great swimmers, and often
times swimming they brought vs milke to our barke in vessels vpon their
heads. These people are very theeuish, which I prooued to my cost: for they
stole a casket of mine, with things of good value in the same, from vnder
my mans head as he was asleepe: and therefore trauellers keepe good watch
as they passe downe the riuer. [Sidenote: Euphrates described.] Euphrates
at Birrah is about the breadth of the Thames at Lambeth, and in some places
narrower, in some broader: it runneth very swiftly, almost as fast as the
riuer of Trent: it hath diuers sorts of fish in it, but all are scaled,
some as bigge as salmons, like barbils. We landed at Felugia the eight and
twentieth of Iune, where we made our abode seuen dayes, for lacke of camels
to cary our goods to Babylon: the heat at that time of the yere is such in
those parts, that men are loth to let out their camels to trauell. This
Felugia is a village of some hundred houses, and a place appointed for
discharging of such goods as come downe the riuer: the inhabitants are
Arabians. Not finding camels here, we were constrained to vnlade our goods,
and hired an hundred asses to cary our marchandises onely to New Babylon
ouera short desert, in crossing whereof we spent eighteene houres
trauelling by night, and part of the morning, to auoid the great heat.

[Sidenote: The ruines of olde Babylon.] In this place which we crossed
ouer, stood the olde mighty city of Babylon, many olde ruines whereof are
easily to be seene by day-light, which I Iohn Eldred haue often beheld at
my good leasure, hauing made three voyages betweene the new city of Babylon
and Aleppo ouer this desert. Here also are yet standing the ruines of the
olde tower of Babel, which being vpon a plaine ground seemeth a farre off
very great, but the nerer you come to it, the lesser and lesser it
appeareth; sundry times I haue gone thither to see it, and found the
remnants yet standing aboue a quarter of a mile in compasse, and almost as
high as the stone worke of Pauls steeple in London, but it sheweth much
bigger. The bricks remaining in this most ancient monument be halfe a yard
thicke, and three quarters of a yard long, being dried in the Sunne onely,
and betweene euery course of bricks there lieth a course of mattes made of
canes, which remaine sound and not perished, as though they had bene layed
within one yeere. The city of New Babylon ioineth vpon the aforesayd small
desert where the Olde city was, and the riuer of Tigris runneth close vnder
the wall, and they may if they will open a sluce, and let the water of the
same runne round about the towne. It is aboue two English miles in
compasse, and the inhabitants generally speake three languages, to wit, the
Persian, Arabian and Turkish Tongues: the people are of the Spaniards
complexion: and the women generally weare in one of the gristles of their
noses a ring like a wedding ring, but somewhat greater, with a pearle and a
Turkish stone set therein: and this they do be they neuer so poore.

[Sidenote: Rafts borne vpon bladders of goat skins.] This is a place of
very great traffique, and a very great thorowfare from the East Indies to
Aleppo. The towne is very well furnished with victuals which come downe the

Online LibraryRichard HakluytThe Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation — Volume 10 Asia, Part III → online text (page 6 of 28)