East Indies: March 1631

Pages 125-141

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, East Indies and Persia, Volume 8, 1630-1634. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1892.

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March 1631

Mar. 1.
147. Wm. Hoare to East India Company "by conveyance of Anthony Vandiemen, Commander of the Dutch fleet." The cause of these lines is to give notice of the omission in his last of 23rd Feb. of the amount of the cargazoon from Coast Coromandel per the Falcon, which was in sundry goods Rs. 24,234. 12½, which is all except a few bales daily expected by the Star, which is to be looked for from the remains of the Second Joint Stock. The Star is not yet arrived, and her enordered voyage for Macassar grows hopeless for this year the easterly monsoon being already fixed; but that and other businesses are now their agents' and his Council's to manage, who shall not want the best of his disabled abilities. Has sent per this fleet three several packets. 1 p. [O. C., Vol. XII., No. 1337.]
Mar. 2. 148. Court Minutes, E. I. Co. Motion made by Mr. Poynett at the last Court considered; no men to be permitted to go into the Downs overland or to join their ships there. Goodwife Johnson's bill to be paid, on Mr. Swanley's attestation that John Lynsey's wound was at first very dangerous, and he could get no other entertainment for him. Mr. Swanley to review the ships Hart and Dolphin at Blackwall before being broken up or sold. Consideration of the proposal of Mr. Governor that some indifferent valuation be set on Blackwall Yard, and allowance given by the voyages to the Second Stock for the use thereof; but it was remembered that it had not been valued because the difference with the Earl of Cleveland was not yet settled; and that the fines for Freedoms in the First and Second Stocks had purchased and built all the housing, docks, &c. at Blackwall. It was concluded that the books should be searched what orders had been made concerning the purchasing and building of Blackwall, how the fines were ordered to be disposed, and what orders were made about transporting the remains of the First Stock to the Second. Concerning the time when the second voyage should be charged for the Great James. Request of Burlamachi concerning Barlow's estate remaining in the Company's hands. The brass shivers and other remains at Blackwall to be sold for the account of the Second Joint Stock. Mr. Ellam to set a Bill on the Exchange to give knowledge to the Turkey merchants and linendrapers to treat for the calicoes remaining in the warehouse. Leave to John Powell to send a butt of beer in the London freight free for a token to his brother. Request of Christopher Fleming for delivery of 60 pieces Selempores and remission of the freight, deferred. Ordered, that the Committees for City Lands be moved to give way that the Company may convert the old house at Stonewharf into a storehouse, and their time enlarged to 60 years; and that Mr. Bell's damasks be delivered freight free, being the proceed of the armour and coats of mail bought for but refused by the Persian Ambassador, and left on Mr. Bell's hands, to whom leave was given to adventure them to the Indies. 3½ pp. [Ct. Min. Bk., XII., 182–185.]
Mar. 2–23. 149. Extracts from Sir Henry Vane's letters.
Mar. 2. Amboyna businesses silence. The East India Company believe to find a way out.
Mar. 6. Cannot conceive to what end the witnesses stay here. That he may have order to send them home. After this the Fiscal came to have the witnesses; but he could not assent till they mended their answer.
Mar. 23. Concerning Amboyna the Prince said he was assured if his Majesty would leave all to the States determination, there would follow good satisfaction. Receiving no other answer he will send back the witnesses. [Holland Corresp.]
Mar. 3.
150. [President Thos. Rastell and Council] to Crispin Blagden. Enclose copy of their letter (see 23 Feb.) by Mr. Willoughby, who departed from Brampore 24th Feb. Since which have received his from Sanguegueseray of 31st Jan. by these two returning messengers, and perceive the time of his dispeed from Agra, what goods were under his conduction, and what moneys received of the Factors there for customs, &c. Admonish him to frugality and restraint from over liberal gifts and charges on the way, for which other men have been lately questioned to their disreputes. The first Dutch caphila forerunning his, designing their voyage by way of Avawse (?) were through dangers in that passage constrained to return by the ordinary way of Brampore, especially now that the King intends that place for his wintering; so as there is no fear of being deprived of his camels which was what the Dutch misdoubted in Brampore. Wish he would endeavour to make some light provision to defend his goods from the rains, which have fallen with them in some abundance, whether by means of the "reed Cirgui" (?) or otherwise as he finds most apt. Endorsed, 'Answered, recd 5th April." 1 p. [O. C., Vol. XII., No. 1343.]
Mar. 9. 151. Court Minutes, E. I. Co. Information that there had been secretly sent aboard the Palsgrave 20 tuns of white wine for the account of Mr. Bell, which he ingenuously confessed, alleging that as Capt. Hall had leave to send 40 tuns on freight, he treated with him for 20 tuns of wine; resolved, that a letter be sent express to Capt. Hall that if there be time without losing a fair wind, he is to send it ashore; but if the ship be gone, the wine to go for Mr. Bell's account at 10l. per tun for freight, allowing two tuns for leakage, and to be seconded by the London. Concerning one Capt. Quaile, who with a ship of 120 tons, 10 guns, and 80 men, was lately met near Cape de Verde, where he had taken and sent to Bristol certain small vessels with Canary wine, and reported that he was bound for the Red Sea, for which he had his Majesty's commission; dangerous consequence to this and the Turkey Company should he commit any act of piracy on the Turks or Indians. Lord Dorchester and Mr. Sec. Coke to be acquainted therewith. Forty shillings out of the poor's box bestowed on John Martyn, who was Interpreter to the Persian Ambassador, to help free him from the King's Bench. 2½ pp. [Ct. Min. Bk., XII., 185–187.]
Mar. 10. 152. Warrant from the King to the Secretaries of State, Dorchester and Coke. Edward Norgate, one of the clerks of the Signet Extraordinary, has for many years been employed in preparing for the Royal signature letters to the Emperor and Patriarch of Russia, the Grand Signor, the Great Mogul, the Emperor of Persia, and Kings of Bantam, Macassar, Barbary, Siam, Acheen, Fez, Sus, and other remote kings and princes, which he has always performed to his Majesty's content; but of late many letters of that kind have been written and burned by scriveners and painters about London, and so become exposed to the common view. His Majesty therefore requires that hereafter all such letters be prepared by said Edward Norgate only and his deputies, whom his Majesty has appointed to attend that service. [Domestic Corresp., Chas. I., Vol. CLXXXVI., No. 67.]
153. Petition of Henry Goche to the King. His Majesty was pleased on his former petition to refer petitioner to the Lord Treasurer for the receipt of 320l. granted by Privy Seal to Sir Dodmore Cotton, late Ambassador to the King of Persia, in regard of petitioner's expense abroad in his Majesty's service after decease of Sir Dodmore; but "for want of assignation from him" his Majesty's favour is not so effectual as petitioner had hoped, and his poor estate is only more weakened by a chargeable attendance. Prays a warrant under Privy Seal to the Lord Treasurer and officers of the Exchequer for present payment of said sum of 320l. "This is a true copy of my Petn, which was subscribed by Lord Dorchester to this effect, that it hath pleased His Maj. to refer Petr to Sir John Coke to take & examine his account." Endorsed by Sir John Coke, petitioner is to procure copy of the Privy Seal for Sir Dodmore Cotton's entertainment; a note from Sir Robt. Pye what moneys were advanced thereon and certificate that he was the executor of Sir Dodmore, and if he received any acquittances or memorials whereby the payments may be justified, to produce them. Annexed,
153. I. Certificate by Robt. Pye, that there had been advanced to Sir Dodmore Cotton upon his entertainment of 40s. per diem 1,000l., and further to Lady Cotton, his administratrix, in part of 380l., parcel of 680l. due to the day of his death, 100l. 1631, March 10. Together, 2 pp. [East Indies, Vol. IV., Nos. 91, 91 I.]
Mar. 11. 154. Court Minutes, E. I. Co. Divers petitions of wives for one month's pay extraordinary of their husband's or son's wages denied. On petition of the Company's almsmen at Poplar, ordered in regard of the smallness of their maintenance and want of work in the yard, that each of the six almsmen be allowed a new gown every two years at Michaelmas, and a chaldron of sea coal, to be equally divided. Letter read from Mr. Clarke, complaining of his hard bargain of cotton wool, for which he paid 6d. per lb. ready money, but it was remembered he had complained to the Lords of the Council and that he eagerly desired the bargain, and had sold four bags at the price he gave; the Company could not undo the bargain, but if he could spy out any commodity in the warehouse they would favour him therein. Ordered, that the poor assessment of 4l. for their yard at Blackwall be paid. 2 pp. [Ct. Min. Bk., XII., 188, 189.]
Mar. 11.
155. Jo. Willoughby to "Mr. Blackden." Encloses letter from the President and Council. Met Closse the Dutch(man) at Ronde (?), who told him the King had taken three rupees per camel custom at Badarpoore, besides presents to the King to the value of 700 or 800 rupees; he has made a bad beginning. Fears his goods will pay the like. Much desires to see him before his departure, his employment being to recover the debt of rowe Rutton (?), therefore must repair to where he is, but shall stay here two or three days in regard of some extraordinary business. Prays him to write when he is near that he may meet him to drink a cup of wyne (?) of Agra. 1 p. [O. C., Vol. XII., No. 1344.]
Mar. 14.
156. Edward Heynes to Edward Sherburne, Secretary to the East India Company, per Capt. Bickley. Acknowledges with much thankfulness his letter and token, and begs him accept a small carpet he has sent by Capt. Bickley as a token of his love and service. Mr. Rastell safely arrived at Surat in a happy season for the Company, but in a troublesome time for himself. The want of able merchants in that factory had been the ruin of the Company's business if he had not happily arrived in time, and such is the case in Persia, all our business lying on himself and one more, Agent Burt being dead with some others has left a poor remain to assist them. Are supplied with four or five not capable of business, and fitter for shopkeepers than merchants; but of this will be large to the Company. Refers to their general advices to the Company, as time will not permit him to enlarge. Prays him remember his service to his bedfellow, and commends to Capt. Antho. Hill, and intreats him to favour his sisters for the obtaining of their annuity of 30l. out of his salary as the Company promised. 1 p. [East Indies, Vol. IV., No. 92.]
Mar. 16.
157. Jno. Willoughby to "Crispin Blackden, Merchant, on the way from Agra." His of the 14th came to hand this present, with a letter to the President, which he will sent by the next conveyance. The Dutch caphila pass to Badarpoor without any trouble, there paying custom; he may pass quietly too. No wine to be had; Persian wine at 4 or 5 rupees per bottle. Will willingly meet him if he may know of his approach. Endorsed, "Recd the 17th March. Answered." ½ p. [O. C., Vol. XII., No. 1345.]
Mar. 16.
158. Ed. Heynes and Wm. Gibson to (the Fleet at the Isles of Comoro). They may perceive by the Company's directions and the President of Surat's commission how they are ordered to make Persia their first port. By letters from the President and Council to them in Persia their opinions are required "in our possibilities" to give the fleet entertainment at Gombroon in the time of the heats, and how they might be prepared to procure silks ready to lade upon them, and other occurrences, to which they answered the inconveniences following in the enclosed clause. Entreat and request them, notwithstanding their commissions out of England and from the President of Surat, to resolve upon their usual course and make Surat their first port as accustomed, and on meeting this pinnace to attend the arrival of the James, William, and Blessing, by whom they shall receive further directions from the President as to fitting themselves for the entertainment of a strong enemy, and for their proceedings before they gain the coast of India. Annexed,
158. I. The clause inserted in the general letter to the President and Council of Surat. Whereas it has been the Company's resolution to assign their next year's fleet directly for Persia to arrive at Gombroon by August or September next, and their own directions to the James's fleet to meet them at the Islands of Comoro, and so with joint strength to sail for Persia in that season, are much to be wondered at, considering the many inconveniences and impossibilities attending that course. For first, the season is so extremely hot that the inhabitants, unless a few fishermen, wholly abandon that port; then the danger of the Portugals when the fleet is departed, ready to seize their goods in port, where of force they must remain for want of camels to transport, whose owners do not at those times put their beasts to travel, nor could so many as our cavidal would require, not less than 1,500 or 2,000 camels, be procured; their silks cannot possibly be brought down till January, when the camels which bring them down for the most part transport up their goods from Bandar; and lastly, which is not the least, to expose their persons to attend at port is no less than death to all or most, as by yearly experience is too manifest both to themselves and the Dutch, even to such as have been detained in the first and least part of the heats, who have all died, or escaping, subject yearly to such sickness as doubtfully may be ever recovered. Hope therefore they will divert that project, and not expose the fleet to such fruitless proceedings. Endorsed, "Copie of the Agents letter from Persia to the fleet that should arrive at Gombroon. This rec. in London 20 Junii 1634 from Plymouth out of Capt Quaile's ship." 2 pp. [O. C., Vol. XII., No. 1346.]
Mar. 17.
Gombroon, aboard the Discovery.
159. Ed. Heynes and Wm. Gibson to E. I. Co. Send transcripts of their last from Spahan of 26th Oct., answering all the Company's letters received by way of Constantinople, Aleppo, and Russia, and Mr. Burt's of the 17th Oct. from the Court dispeeded by an express the same way, gave more ample answer and large advice of his success with the King as to the Company's contract with him, as well for the present as the future. Now reply to theirs of 22nd Jan. 1630, by way of Aleppo, which arrived 4th Nov. last. Doubt not the Factors of Surat have long since given reason for the detention of the writers accounts sent them by the Hart; for the future double copies shall be sent, and the Company's orders observed if they can timely pass accounts with the King's Treasurer, which last year and this could not possibly be procured; desire their Worships' patience therein, it has not been through any neglect of theirs, for their Accountant, Wm. Gibson, could with much facility perform a greater charge, if he might receive orderly proceedings with the King's Ministers, with whom all their business is yearly depending. John Strethay died 13th May 1628 at Gombroon, John Antill only being with him; send copy of his will, which was not firmed, death seizing him suddenly; find him no more indebted to the Company than appears by his account long since sent home. The accounts and estates of such as it hath pleased God to take from their small number this last year to have been so many, their accounts so imperfect, and their deaths so remote that it requires time to collect and rectify; hope to send their inventories of apparel and goods herewith (in margin, "Quere where are they? I find none"), and their accounts on the returning fleet next year. Take notice of their desire to have silks bought on credit at Spahan, wherein they have this year done their best endeavours, for men are doubtful their performance if our ships should be put by their port by the force of the Portugal, and themselves exposed to the expense of a great journey and loss of their intended investments at Port; which is both threatened and yearly to be feared, unless their Worships take some course timely to avoid it by a fleet of defence of both nations maintained a few years, which would soon bring them to poverty or destruction, the benefit of reprisals maintaining the charge; without which the Company's fleets may be barred from Swally or Gombroon, or be met singly on the coasts to their too much disadvantage. The Portugal begins to be in favour again with the Chan of Shiraz, has raised a fort at Jullfaor, on the coast of Arabia, afront of Kishme, the entrance of the strait passing to Balzara, and by capitulations (send translated copy) has license to trade at Port Coung, three days' journey from Gombroon, with half the customs for procurement of trade to that port by passing all junks and India vessels under convoy of his frigates; he (the Portugal) has crept so far into favour that the Chan by his vikeiles (vakeels) has solicited the English and the Dutch to a peace with the Portugal and to suffer them to pass quietly in the Gulf; to whom we answered so as to give good satisfaction to the Chan and little hope to the Portugal. The Augustine and Carmelite Friars at Spahan solicit the King and Chan for Ormuz again, and the French Capuchin Friars are petitioners to contract with the King for all his silks for ready money for the French Company, to be passed by way of Aleppo; in both of which they have little hope being strongly opposed by ourselves, the Dutch and Armenian Jullfaleyns who are in joint faction with us, and there shall want no means by us to prevent their designs. The King is now at Bagdad, and like there to reside this year in expectation of the Turk's army returning, who hath been shamefully repulsed and their siege raised by the Persian, with the loss of 15,000 or 20,000 men. The Chan of Shiraz is upon an expedition to take Balzara from the Turk, besieging it both by sea and land with 20,000 men, encouraged thereto by the Arab inhabitants or neighbours. The taking of Muscat hath not to our knowledge ever been spoken of, nor think was ever intended by the King or Chan; some dream possessed the reporter thereof. The Persian merchants, though last year they found small profit by sale of their silks at Port, have by our persuasions been moved to make further trial this year by bringing down some quantities in hope of a better market; the sale whereof is expected from the English and the Dutch, by whose ready money (unless the Company advance their usual proportion of species yearly to a greater sum than the import of a fourth part of their goods to comply with the King's contract) we shall be overborne by the Dutch, they being free of contract and at liberty to buy silks with their ready moneys in all places, and will strain themselves to their utmost to overbuy the English making this Port their principal mart, to their greater advantage than if they transported their money and goods at a great charge to Spahan or up into the country. Entreat their Worships to take this point into consideration, and principally the rate of their ryals of 8, rated at 5s. the ryal, whereas they are here worth one-seventh part less, which disenables them to buy silks for ready money at Port; but with what they have and shall receive in moneys and India commodities will endeavour as the Company desire, not doubting to produce better silks and to greater profit than what they receive of the King. Most of the silks brought down to Port at this time are by merchants intending to take passage upon the Company's ships for India, who will sell for ready money only to invest in India, few or none of this country's commodities affording any profit there. This may be their custom yearly if this year they find encouragement. Others that reside here will sell as they may in truck or otherwise, rather than return their silks to Spahan, wherein we must somewhat encourage them for the future, but doubt not to find their prices reasonable. Shall not fail to make yearly provisions of such drugs as the country affords, but most of them are brought from India, Mocha, and Aleppo, which in this place are as dear as in England. Desire instructions as to the musters of those required, and for their packing for so long a voyage. Have sent a parcel of lapis tuttey. Rhubarb proves bad and scarce this year; if that sent last year content the Company, may furnish them with good quantities some years if required; it seems a cwt. belonging to Mr. Burt was packed up by mistake at Surat with the Company's rhubarb; if found pray advise and give his account credit for same. (In margin, "No, we found none.") Sent the Company's letter by express to Mr. Burt, supposed then at Court, who met it a few days short of Spahan returning, and expressed as much thankfulness at the Company's favourable respect and remuneration as his weak spirits and decayed body could be capable of, but he enjoyed it not long, for arriving with them at Spahan 14th Nov. a weak and sick man, he languished until the 24th, "and then changed this poor miserable and short life, we hope for life eternal, unto which God in his mercy prepare us all and make us worthy of that happiness." To his last hour he continued an understanding man, his disease being a consumption of the kidneys with dropsy, the fruits of this country, but was capable of reasonable discourse, and they daily solicited him as to the state of the Company's business at the Court, to which he answered with procrastination until death seized him, and left them ignorant of all; so he departed without will made, note, writing, or account of his estate. Since when, by the firmans he obtained, by what they gathered from his attendants, and by copy of his last letter to the Company, they are come to the true knowledge on what terms the Company's business now stands with the King and Khan. Send on the Discovery an inventory of what they have found, or could be collected of his abroad, with a trunk of his English and Persian apparel; by which the Company may perceive he spent not his time unprofitably or travelled in their affairs meanly, but answerable to his place, to the reputation of his employment, and to the honour of the Company and nation, without which their business must have suffered by the disrespect and neglect of the King and nobles, as hath been seen both by the English and Dutch Ambassadors, who wanted ornaments answerable to their rank; which they doubt not the Company will take into consideration in the charge of him that is to succeed. In fine the Company has lost an able and (they presume) honest servant, and themselves a friendly companion, and if his detractors find any of his actions bad, wish them not to rake them out of the ashes of the dead but bury them in the grave of oblivion: his good deeds shall follow him and live in spite of envy. What further goods or moneys of his come to their knowledge shall be advised; find him not yet further indebted than 260 tomans to the Company upon the balance of last year's account kept by Robt. Woder, now sent to Surat. Have published to the Ministers to whom they belong the contract with the King, and all such firmans he obtained from the Emperor and Chan which are approved of, with assurance of performance, all which, with the Emperor's letter to his Majesty and the Chan's to the Company, they have translated and send with the originals; whereby they may perceive there was no want of industry by the deceased to settle an assured trade. The 500 loads of silk (in margin 1,000 bales) by five firmans from the Emperor to his Ministers in Ghilan and Ardeveile to be delivered to them in satisfaction of this year's account, could not be obtained, in regard the King was misinformed of the quantity resting in their hands, and the Ministers had answered many former firmans to other merchants and sold most of his silks for ready money to supply his occasions in the army; so that they could receive no more than 266 Ghilan silk (in margin 532 bales, also nota you name it Guiland, but it is of all sorts, Masandran, Shirwan, and Ghilan, and much of it very bad), which they procured from the Treasurer Mullaymbeage at Spahan with much importunity, trouble, and vexation and daily solicitation; and then only when they pretended a resolution to land no more goods or moneys this year, and to seek redress from the Emperor at Bagdad. This startled them and at last drew from them what they have received this year, without bribes expected; by which may be seen the necessity of following the King yearly to procure performance of his contracts, which will not be obtained without much travail, bribes, and expenses; as by the enclosed note of the agents this year's presents at Court will appear. Former Presidents have brought it to a custom which cannot easily be avoided, yet will do their best to shun all unnecessary disbursements. It may be necessary to give the true character of Mullaymbeage, of whom the Company have formerly received many commends, and on whom their business depends and is likely to depend, for he is not removed from his place, as their agent pretended, but only joined with the Vizier of Spahan, a man as perfidious as himself. All their solicitation produced nought but delays till at the point of their departure, notwithstanding that, to prevent the Dutch to whom the King is much indebted, and who by all means endeavour satisfaction, they offered him a bribe of one toman per load of silk above the King's price, so as he would fully comply with us for our goods and moneys received, this was refused as too small a remuneration. It was not safe to complain of him, when this year's business and effects of all was to be expected from his hands; but are notwithstanding confident they shall find fair correspondence with him and other the King's Ministers for the time ensuing, both to satisfy what the King is already indebted, and for what shall be delivered him this next year. The King begins to show himself a King to be feared, and now looks into the actions of his Ministers who know the danger of his bloody and cruel displeasure, practising his predecessor's tyranny, the prevention whereof will cause a more ready execution of his firmans, and God sending them to the King will importune him for such strict firmans as his Ministers shall not dare to infringe. By the agent's letter, and the translation of the contract with the Emperor for two years ensuing, the Company may perceive what cavidall of goods and moneys they are yearly to send. The silks are to be delivered at 40 tomands Ghilan silk the load, and all their commodities to be received at former rates, tin excepted, which is at "56 Sha. the md Shawe;" of all which, unless tin and perpetuaneys, the Company may advance the proportion to supply other occasions, especially in money and India commodities, for by both can they do best service in truck of silk at Port. The Dutch by means of 4,000 tomands employed by their own servants to Ghilan have bought silks at 39 tomands the load first penny, which by the time it arrived at Spahan cost them 41 tomands, greatly to the prejudice of our commerce with the King; and with extraordinary bribes they have procured 300 loads towards 700 bales the King owed them for last year's account and 1,000 bales for this year's, so that he is still indebted to them 1,100 bales. Their quondam Director, Visneck, is again lately fled towards Aleppo, leaving their business and his successor in disgrace, trouble, and much distraction, and it is supposed before they end will be at least 3,000 or 4,000 tomands loss to their Company. If the Dutch could be confided upon, might so jointly contract their business as to buy silks at reasonable prices greatly to the Company's advantage at Port; but they are both base and perfidious, and will not be drawn to consortship, building upon their ready moneys, of which they are yearly supplied with at least 50,000l. or 60,000l.; they will buy at liberty, so we must catch as catch may, greatly to the advancement of the price of silk. Arrived at Port 3rd January, and after a full month's expectation of the fleet from Surat, the people, in despair of their coming this year, began to withdraw, with intention to go overland for India by Candahar, much to the displeasure of the Chan's Ministers who receive their bread by the trade of this Port; but stayed them, much to their reputation, for 7th Feb. five good ships, the Discovery, Reformation, James, William, and Blessing, with a pinnace and four Surat junks, arrived in safety, greatly to the rejoicing of these merchants and people, and the more that the Dutch fleet failed their Port this year, much to their disrepute with the King and Chan, which we hope is utterly ruinated and not to be revived unless by extreme bribes. Received by this fleet the Company's letters, copies of letters, invoices and bills of lading, with India commodities to the import of 7,800l. In answer to their letter of 9th March 1629–30, take notice of their want in weight of the silks received by the William and the Hart, and will endeavour to prevent the like in future, but how it cometh to be want or whether a deceipt practised by the King's Ministers at the scale are yet ignorant of. Have done their best to procure satisfaction for the past, and with much care have examined their actions in the weight of the silks this year received, and hope the Company will find that abuse reformed. Have advised of their contract with the King for these two years to come, and as yet have no cause to doubt of his performance. The Company's computation of ready money to accompany this fleet's cargazoon is not much amiss, but 2,000l. for other occasions is too little, if they consider that the transport of goods from Port to Spahan costs yearly at least 3,000l., and bribes 1,000l.; house expenses, which are very much and not to be lessened in regard of their continual travels, will not be answered by the Customs, which are daily drawn down by the deceit of the Chan's Ministers, who connive with the merchants; the trouble and danger to maintain the Company's rights is not the least vexation they have, and they must be content with what they find entered in Custom House, when in their sight most of the fine goods are carried to private merchant's houses without paying their dues; for which endeavour shall not be wanting by complaints to the King and Chan to procure remedy. Of the 25,000l. appointed from England, have taken by order of the President but 19,000l., but in India commodities about 7,800l., which they have advanced by sales 63 per cent., which may encourage the Company to order such supplies yearly. Have bought 154 bales of silk at Port with ready money and India goods upon this Second Joint Stock, (sic) and this course we intend yearly to put in practice for the encouragement of merchants in bringing down their silks. The Dutch notwithstanding their fleet arrived not, have bought on credit 200 bales of silk out of our hands at 44 tomands a load to pay at Spahan in two months ready money, for which they must run at interest 20 per cent., whilst themselves bought at 45, half money and half goods, and 46 all tin, which goods were passed at 63 per cent. profit. This the Dutch have done to induce merchants to bring down their silks yearly to Port, and make that their Mart, leaving any further dependence on the King, who has left them as a nation base and brutish, and is not like to have any more commerce with them, unless by extreme bribes to his favourites they procure it. Presume the Company will find small reason to proceed in their fruitless and desperate intentions to make Persia the fleet's first Port, for at their arrival at Gombroon they shall find not people but poor fishermen, the town open to the Portugal to burn their house and goods without resistance, camels not to be procured to transport them into the country, nor silks possibly to be expected at Port until January, besides their servants exposed to death by contagion and extremity of the heats in that season; a practice utterly omitted by the Dutch in regard of such mortality. Have been large in this point to the President at Surat in their general letter, copy whereof is sent. The King's letter to this Emperor, and the Company's to Mullaymbeage, shall be delivered with such presents as the Company have appointed with addition of what they can procure here, which cannot be so acceptable as toys out of Christendom, wherein the Company have been very sparing, enforcing them to supply at thrice the cost. Have only a remnant of scarlet, and a piece of violet cloth, three dogs, knives, and three maps; strong waters not accepted amongst these people, and cloth and such like not esteemed. Pray them yearly to send some toys out of England; 200l. or 300l. invested in jewels and such like out of Europe would be necessary and acceptable. On delivery of his Majesty's letter they will solicit the Emperor for continuance and confirmation of his contract, and to enlarge its limits, and to procure delivery of the silks seasonably at Spahan, so as to be ready for the camels to be advanced towards Port in November, and there arrive in January. This is all that can be procured, for their former agent could not obtain firmaunds for its transport to Shiraz, and the silk being collected in August and September is two months before it is delivered them in Spahan, and is 50 days' on the journey to Gombroon. Doubt not the King's yearly performance, but in case he should fail, will advise overland. Take notice of their entertaining Thos. Rastell, their President, again for Surat, whose commissions shall be duly observed. Have desired him and intreat the Company also to supply them with some able merchants, there being but two left able to perform the Company's better business, and at present one Gibson the Accountant, weak and infirm, whereby their accounts this year sent to Surat may happily appear somewhat imperfect, other occasions not permitting their agent time to rectify all errors. Again intreat them not to be wanting in supply of fit Factors for the future. The accounts of Thos. Barker, deceased, balanced by Malachi Martin, were sent by the William on her last voyage, and there appear to be no other papers in this factory concerning his estate. Their promised inventories and accounts of servants deceased last year must be excused, their businesses in dispatch of the fleet being so many, and the estates so difficult to be justly collected that it requires more time than can be afforded. Find Mr. Loftus indebted on the Company's accounts two years past 300 odd tomands, but hope his goods remaining in partnership with Mr. Burt may satisfy, and Thomas Baker and Edward Saddock in debt some small matter, for which the Company may right themselves out of their wages, for here is nothing left. Have given passage on the Discovery and Reformation, towards gaining their country, to five Russian Christians and one Almon (or Almayn); the Russians were soldiers taken by the Persians from the Turk, and being brought prisoners to Spahan were by the mediation of the Carmelite Friars set at liberty, and in charity received into the Company's service by Mr. Burt in the stable for meat and drink for six months; they approved themselves honest men; desire the Company to procure them passage for their country; the Almon is a very honest man, a jeweller with a good estate, and able to pay for his diet and passage. Have received by this fleet 546 bales of broadcloth, and 7 rotten from Surat, 45 bales of kersies, and 5 of perpetuaneys, 2,787 chests of tin, and 19 of Rs. of 8; all in good condition, except 50 bales out of the William rotten, much to the Company's loss, for what they received last year in that kind cannot be put off on any terms. The tin is in better condition than last year, but are so laden with that commodity know not well how to dispose of it; dare not transport it to Spahan, lest it offend the Treasurer's market of what they delivered last year, but must leave it at Lar until next year, when they hope to receive little or none by the fleet; pray forbear in tin and perpetuaneys. Have laden on the Discovery and Reformation for the "First Joint Stock" 636 bales of silk, and 154 for this Second, bought in truck at Port part money part goods, four bales wormseeds and seven parcels lapis tuttie, as by the invoice and bills of lading will appear. Refer for further particulars to copies of their letters to the President at Surat. Endorsed, "Recd by ship Discovery 1631." 13¼ pp. [O. C., Vol. XII., No. 1347.]
Mar. 17.
160. Thos. Fuller to Crispin Blagden, Merchant, or in his absence Clement Dunscombe, Merchant, at Surat. Has sent according to promise, the sum the chest in question came to, by Mr. Stockton, Purser of the Blessing. It was not in the account, but because he received it under the mark of C. B. repays it to him. Would have invested it in dates, but all were bought up by the Company and others. Has sent the Baftaes, &c. by Mr. Montgomery to England. Will be glad if in ought he can pleasure him, but thinks he shall not come down from Spahan any more till he goes for England. Prays Mr. Dunscombe in Mr. Blagden's absence to receive this money for his use, and desires to be commended to Thos. Wilbraham, good Mr. Quarles, the Steward and his Mate. 1 p. [O. C., Vol. XII., No. 1348.]
Mar. 18. 161. Court Minutes, E. I. Co. One hundred marks given by the last General Court towards the glazing of the east window of Cree Church. Ordered that warrant be prepared to pay that amount to Wm. Webb and John Ofield the Churchwardens. Report by Mr. Governor that himself, Mr. Deputy, and others had attended Sir Francis Cottington, lately returned out of Spain, and understood that he found the King of Spain and the Council and President of Portugal very inclinable to peace between the English and Portugals beyond the Cape and in all parts of the Indies, but Commissioners being sent for out of Portugal, they utterly rejected the proposition, glorying in their victories in the Indies; so that the Company stand on the same terms of hostility with them in the Indies as formerly. Report on the fines for freedoms which are employed in building storehouses, wharves, docks, &c.; that the Second Stock had made more advantage by them than the First, the Company of opinion that former orders dedicating fines to general works for the good of posterity ought to stand in force, and it was moved that so long as the Second Stock continued, the fines should go to satisfy the 4,000l. expended on those works, and that the remainder be turned over from one voyage to another, till at last Blackwall, with the storehouses, docks, wharves, &c. might remain free to posterity; the Court unanimously of opinion that the Second Stock ought to be satisfied what they are out of purse, if not by fines then at the winding up of the Stock. Direction given to examine what advice has been sent to Persia touching the disposure of the customs of Ormuz. 3 pp. [Ct. Min. Bk., XII., 190–192.]
Mar. 18.
162. Jno. Willoughby to Crispin Blackden "near Maido(?)." Received his note this present, and is heartily sorry he is so indisposed. Has sent according to his request a "doulle and 3 cakars (?)," and agreed with them for two rupees and paid in part one. Sends him a small bottle of strong waters out of his small store. All his saltpetre must go in the name of sugar. Will meet him. Jadow remembers his "dora(?)." If his sickness be dangerous he must dispeed one to Willoughby forthwith. Endorsed, "Dated the 18th March, recd the same day 1630, answered." ½ p. [O. C., Vol. XII., No. 1349.]
Mar. 21.
Aboard the Royal James.
163. (Capt.) Math. Morton, Math. Wills, John Roberts, and Tho. Beamont (to the Commanders of the fleet coming from England). Having received the President and agents' letter in Persia by the pinnace Intelligence, intreat them to consider how the President's designs may be altered by information from the agents' letter. Can only advise them to stay about the Comoro Islands, Johanna they hold best, till the last of August, before which time if their own fleet arrive not, hold it their best course to proceed for the coast of India, anchor in 19° 50 lat. till the 10th Oct.; and if their own fleet does not arrive before that time, hope to join forces with them, then to proceed to Surat if they hear nothing to the contrary. Doubt not their care in keeping their ships "preddy" in coming on the coast of India, for there they are like to meet with a malignant enemy, if themselves endure not the brunt before. That they may the better know them to be friends they will perceive the following signs; to brail up foresail, strike two topsails, and shoot off one piece of ordnance; and they are desired to answer by shooting off two pieces of ordnance, and hauling aboard the mizen three times and brail it up again. Endorsed, "Copy of Capt. Morton's letter... to the fleet out of England. Rec. in Londn 20 Junii 1634 from Plimouth out of Capt. Quailes' ship." 1 p. [O.C. Vol. XII., No. 1350.]
Mar. 22. 164. Richard Barry to the East India Company. Advertises (to God be the glory) their happy and prosperous voyage hitherto. Anchored in Swally Hole the 14th Oct. 1630, landed the cargazoone consigned for that port and took into the Royal James 453 bales and jars of green ginger, sugar, cohoe seed, China roots, and cinnamon, and 48 bales cotton yarn for the Europe fleet; 689 bales of goods and lumber of Persians, with 100 passengers. Sailed for Persia 17th Jan. and arrived there 7th Feb., landed their cargazoone, and took in of Persians goods and lumber, 800 parcels, with 70 odd passengers; 459 bags of grain, and 488 frayles of dates to supply the ships and factories in India. Sends herewith by Adrian Montgomery, Purser of the Reformation, one small sealed book containing the wills, inventories, dead men's accounts, and transports of all those deceased or transported to other ships since their coming out of England to 22nd inst. Endorsed, "Letter from the James Royal." ½ p. [O. C., Vol. XII., No. 1351.]
Mar. 23. 165. Court Minutes, E. I. Co. Mr. Acton's bill for law charges to be paid. Consideration of the offer of Messrs. Isaac and Peter Van Payne concerning their debt to the Company, the major part of whose creditors had subscribed a letter of license for four years; put to the question whether the Company would subscribe said letter, it was observed that in businesses of this nature the first offer commonly proves the best, therefore agreed to underwrite said letter of license on certain conditions. Directions to Mr. Fotherby to clear the yard at Blackwall of all workmen save those needful to watch the housing, stores, and provisions. Letter to be written to Mr. Barlow to dispose of the gumlac, long pepper, and other goods in his hands, either by sale or in barter for quicksilver, pepper, hemp, or other commodities that may make money here. Ordered that Messrs. Swanley and Stevens, with two or three able shipwrights and some of the Trinity House, make an indifferent valuation of the Dolphin and Hart, and that Swanley estimate the charge of repairing the Hart, some being of opinion she might with small charge be made able for one voyage more. Gratuity of 40s. to Mr. Walker for services in his place as clerk to one of the Examiners in the Chancery. Motion whether to propound to the adventurers the setting forth of a book for raising a stock for a fourth voyage, deferred to the week before the General Court, the Court being of opinion to stay until it should please God to send them some return of ships from the Indies. Offer of Cecil Edwards to buy all the Company's brass shevers, deferred in regard he would not give above 6d. per lb. 3 pp. [Ct. Min. Bk., XII., 193–195.]
Mar. 25.
166. President Thos. Rastell and Council to Crispin Blagden? Not many hours after dispeed of their last of 23rd current received his of the 9th, which requires little further answer. Are sorry to hear of his indisposition. His complaint of unusual exactions on the way intimating a want of moneys already, notwithstanding the large sums delivered him by their friends in Agra, begets their wonderment at the expense, and the more that he holds them ignorant where and how the same has been expended. Impute this rather to sickness than wilful neglect, and expect in his next to be better satisfied, with assured hope that no provident endeavour of his will appear to have been wanting in husbanding the charge committed to him or preventing avoidable impositions. For his camel men he has their minds already how to proceed. P.S.—Signed by Rastell. Conceived it fit in their last that he should pass the saltpetre in the name of sugar in case of custom exacted in Brampore. It will behove his circumspection whether not more safe to enter it all in the name of indigo, as did the Dutch, lest going under sugar, which is provision for the belly, it should be detained, and by that means discovered to the King, whose occasions may convert it to his own use. He must be wary and take the advice of the brokers and other friends safest to rely on. Signed by Thos. Rastell, Joseph Hopkinson, James Bickford, and Arthur Suffeylde. Endorsed, "Rec. the 5th April 1631.... answered." 1 p. [O. C., Vol. XIII., No. 1353.]
(Mar.) 28.
167. Jno. Willoughby to Crispin Blackden, in Badarpoor. Since leaving him went to visit Coll Choun, but he was asleep, so that he could not come to speech of him. Prays him to use means without delay to have the camels all at his caphila tomorrow night. "Doubt you not but by the grace of God to procure release in the morning." Write on receipt hereof what he has done, and how he has "Tattar with those two dogs the brokers," that he may the better shape his course in the Company's business in the morning. Endorsed, "28th March, recd the 29th ditto 1631, answered." ½ p. [O. C., Vol. XIII., No. 1354.]
Mar. 30. 168. Court Minutes, E. I. Co. The stone warehouse at Crosby House, which is much decayed, to be forthwith repaired. Motion of Sir John Wolstenholme, that whereas his Majesty intends to send out a pinnace for discovery of the north-west passage, if that design be effected, of which there is good hope, and the ship come to Bantam, that the Company would write to their Factors to lade her home with pepper, or if she should be not fit to return, to give her men passage to England in the Company's ships. But it was answered that they could not admit of her lading with pepper but for their own account, but would give reasonable freight for such pepper as she should bring, or Sir John might have the pepper on giving 6s. per dollar here; referred to the Court to determine, there being not a full Court. Letter presented by Mr. Methwold, Swordbearer to the City, from Mr. Muschamp, with his answer in paper to the Company's bill in Chancery, desiring they would peruse it and let him know if anything be omitted before it be engrossed; answered that being now in a course of law they must proceed accordingly, and therefore advised him to take the ordinary course, for till his answer was put in they are advised it is neither safe nor fit for them to peruse the same. Mr. Treasurer to sign the letter of license to Messrs. Isaac and Peter Van Payne, and four bonds accepted as security. The demands of Messrs. Poynett and Sneesdall for piloting the Company's ships into the Downs referred to Mr. Ellam. 2½ pp. [Ct. Min. Bk., XII., 196–198.]
Mar. 31. 169. Consultation by Capt. Math. Morton, Mat. Wills, John Roberts, Thos. Beaumont, Rich. Barry, and Robt. Reason aboard the Royal James. Understanding of a likelihood of the Portugal's forces being ready to meet them off Due (?Diu) head, whether with ships or frigates uncertain, it was propounded for the safety of their three ships, strictly to be observed by each Commander, on penalty of forfeiture of his whole estate to the Company, and forthwith to be displaced, as follows:–In case they are to deal with ships and in the narrow of the Channel, then to use their best endeavour, keeping all three together, to attain sufficient sea room, and there to try it out. And in case they be opposed with frigates, to keep near together and apply their best means for Swally Hole. The Blessing to be the headmost ship to go over the bar, the James on one quarter, and the William on the other a convenient berth astern, and if she should be molested to anchor to the northwards of the English tents, the James next, and the William southernmost, and there to keep watch with boats ahead as formerly. 1 p. [O. C., Vol. XIII., 1355.]
March. 170. Petition of John Cartwright to the King. That he served the East India Company nine years in India, and was thrice imprisoned by the Dutch for standing for the honour of his Majesty and the Company's right, escaping miraculously with his life; that he discovered all the plots of the Hollanders in their surprising the Islands in Banda, which for the most part are his Majesty's, and whence all the world is furnished with nutmegs and mace; as also the cruel massacre at Amboyna with all their plotts for the effecting thereof; that he served two of the nine years longer than he contracted for, and when he came home the Company gave him less by 10l. than formerly, which he has never received, though ordered 200l. for those two years by the Court in 1628, [see Court Minutes, 13 Feb., 1628–9], besides 13l. unpaid of his wages; that he suffered shipwreck in the Morris on Flyland, losing great part of his estate, and amongst the rest a box of musk stolen, worth 800l., which might easily have been recovered, but he stayed on those islands two months and recovered the Company's goods and books of account of all the southern parts of India, of which he was Accountant four years and better; that he disbursed of his own estate in that service on Flyland 56l., and from 8th Nov. 1628 to 7th April 1630 he attended the Company's service on Flyland and in England, for all which to this day he can get no satisfaction; that he bought jewells of the Company the 3rd of this present March, giving good security, for 270l., but the Company will accept no security but such as he cannot secure. Being now ready to depart for Russia to recover his great losses there, and unable to wage law with so potent a Company, petitioner craves his Majesty's commandment to said Company to do him justice. 1 p. [East Indies, Vol. IV., No. 93.]