East Indies: February 1633

Pages 362-371

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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February 1633

Feb. 1. 396. Court Minutes, E. I. Co. On the free submission of Capt. Covell concerning the price of 50 barrels of powder, which he alleged he bought at 4l. per barrel, allowed four barrels, equivalent to the sum in question, and so clear the account at 4l. 5s. per barrel. Complaint of Mr. Hide concerning a broak of 65l. on 13 bags of pepper, which he sold in town to Spencer Potts six years since, but should have transported. None having underwritten for any part of their pepper or indigo, resolved to fall a little of the price and allot it in smaller proportions, viz., 5 or 10 barrels at 6s. 6d. per lb. Report that one of their servants by a fall into the hold of the Discovery is dangerously hurt; Woodall directed to see that a surgeon's mate attend each ship until fully laden, and to take special care to endeavour his best for the party's recovery. Request of Capt. Morris that the Court would take on them to answer the suit of the executor of Robert Tottell against him and the Purser, Mr. Montgomery, concerning Tottell's goods, which he had delivered to the Company as overseer of the will; the Court promised to take Mr. Acton's advice therein. 2½ pp. [Ct. Min. Bk., XIII., 186–188.]
Feb. 5.
397. John Norris, Raphe Cartwright, and Thomas Clarke to Thomas Colley and other merchants at Pettapoli. Find the musters in theirs of 1st "unreasonable, vild, and base dear"; if better cannot be procured will dissolve the factory and be furnished elsewhere. Wonder the Governor should thus proceed with our merchants; they must be earnest with them to bring in their cloth, the washers wanting employment, they may accept of no excuses, but if they perform not as expected, will be forced to an unpleasing course with them that will more distaste them than that of the Governor, for they mean not to be baffled as formerly. In receiving Ananto's cloth they must use the musters contracted last year. Have herewith written about the cotton yarn detained by Sultan Governor of Candacor. Pettapoli not affording cloth to their liking, it must be sought elsewhere, when they see money lying by which cost us 2 per cent. per month. Instructions to send them the remains of cash that they may deliver it again to the owners and ease the Company of such a charge, or employ it to better purpose elsewhere. Know very well all the cloth cannot be made answerable to one muster, yet thereby is the price cut, and abatement might be made for worse; whereas otherwise must conform to the times, which now is 30 or 40 per cent. different, and no remedy left but Ananto's courtesy. 1½ pp. [O. C., Vol. XIV., No. 1494.]
Feb. 6–8. 398. Court Minutes, E. I. Co. Letter read from Viscount Falkland recommending Mr. Woolhouse to go preacher in the Company's intended fleet, the rather for that he had formerly been employed in that service, and lived in India many years, which was seconded by the earnest solicitation of one Mr. Williamson servant to her Majesty; the Court made known that two men are suitors for this place to whom they have given several texts, upon which one preached yesterday, and the other is to preach this day so as it is Mr. Woolhouse's own fault he made, known his request no sooner, but they promised to put him in election with the other two on Friday next. Request of Mr. Trumbull for remission of his broak of 20l. for not paying his subscription in the Second Joint Stock, he being then in his Majesty's service at Brussels, which favour he would endeavour to deserve; but the Court, considering the dangerous consequences, if it should come to the knowledge of other adventurers in like case, thought not good to remit it, but to let it stand charged upon his account; nevertheless in regard of the many good offices he had lately done the Company at the Council Board and might hereafter do before the Lords were pleased to gratify him, and so leave the broak to be discharged by him. Ordered that the names of those who are behind their payments to the Third Joint Stock against the next Court, be publicly read in Court, and further order taken to enforce said payments. Resolved that the Lord Keeper's order for the commitment of Mr. Fowkes be forthwith put in execution, in regard the time limited is now expired. Promise to Bishop and Watkins who lately underwrit for 25 barrels indigo, not to alter the price or time for the like quantity before Lady Day. Poynett, the Company's Pilot, being lately dead, the choice of an experienced man in that art is left to Swanley and Young. Desire of Mr. Billingsley to free himself from his engagements for his brother-in-law Collins. Committees to examine the accounts. Security of Bishop and Watkins for 25 barrels of indigo allowed one for the other by the balloting box. Mr. Chewe allowed a youth, Robert Mors, to attend on him in India. Ordered that 7l. 11s. 3d. belonging to Thomas Barnes deceased be paid to John Pitts, Minister, who has authority from the aged father, on security given to save the Company, harmless.
Feb. 8. Ordered to defer making provision of beef for the Coromandel ship till towards Michaelmas next. The election of the Minister for this present voyage taken into consideration, and Messrs. Crossethwaite, Holditch, and Woolhouse being severally put to the question, and by erection of hands reduced to two, Messrs. Crossethwaite and Holditch, they were put to election, and the former having 12 balls and the latter but 7, Crossethwaite was chosen and allowed 50l. per annum and 10l. to provide books and other provisions for the voyage. 3l. bestowed on Holditch for his pains. Petition of Daniel Boneale desiring the Company to accept such composition as the rest of his creditors had condescended to, but alleging reasons contradictory to his oath in Chancery, said petition was ordered to be carefully kept, but not to give any answer. Resolved, on Sir Wm. Russell's motion, that if any of the Court can hear of able men and good adventurers fit to be sent for Surat, they speak privately with them, and know their inclinations. Advice of Capt. Alnutt rather to lade the ships at Erith than send them down to Gravesend, but the Court considering the inconvenience of such dilatory proceedings, ordered them to go down the next spring, and the Pilot to attend accordingly. Demand of Mr. Billingsly, brother-in-law to Collins, powder maker, for his bond to be delivered up to be cancelled, pretending the Company were more indebted to his brother than he to them, deferred to next Court. Ordered that Thomas Ivy, a Factor for this fleet, appear at the next Court to answer George Clarke's petition.
Minutes of a General Quarter Court. Statement of Mr. Governor that this is a Quarter Court observed according to their order, but there is nothing important to impart more than that the Court of Committees had settled the price of their indigo, and some had since underwritten and the book still lies open; they had also set the price of pepper at 17d. to transport and 17½ d. for town, but no man had underwritten, yet by letters out of Holland it is conceived that pepper would rise ere long. The news of the great dearth and mortality in India was confirmed from Holland and other parts, but there was no certain ground for the report about the Great James, for she came in company with the Palsgrave from Bantam above 200 leagues, and as then, so by God's grace is still in safety. 6 pp. [Ct. Min. Bk., XIII., 189–194.]
Feb. 9.
On board the Exchange in 9° N. lat.
399. Christopher Reade, William Matthewe, Thomas Barlee, and Robert Jenney to the East India Company. Thought it their duty to acquaint them with the safety of the Exchange and pinnace Intelligence, both bound for the west coast of Sumatra, having since they parted from Swally kept company with the Great James. Weighed anchor at Swally bar 27th Jan., and next day took leave of their friends bound for Persia, viz., Capt, Weddell in the Jonas, Capt. Slade in the Mary, Capt. Swanley in the Hart, and Capt. Hatch in the Dolphin; the Swallow having fired the Charles a few days past by shooting off ordnance in her gunroom, by which accident both ships perished in a few hours, to the great danger of the whole fleet. Capt. Pynne having complained that the President and Council had omitted in his commission to advise him to what port to bend his course, advised him as by the enclosed they may perceive. Enclose their instructions, with copy of invoice of the cargazoone of the Exchange, the rather that they are informed the President and Council through multiplicity of business have omitted to send them; desiring the Company to take notice the cargazoone is not according to their demands or experience, but according to the times in Surat, little goods being to be had, and what is at almost double the rates formerly; yet hope by the fine of June to have the ship laden and to be at Bantam seasonably to meet the ships from Surat and accompany them for England. On the report of Thomas Barlee that John Barnes, late Master of the Star, advised him of 100 bales of private trade to be laden aboard the Exchange, and that he should advise the Company thereof, desired Capt. Pynne to have search made, who in like manner affirmed to have heard it reported by some in the James, that 190 bales private trade were laden on this ship; wherefore Capt. Pynne caused search to be made, and convented the Purser, Master with all his Mates, the Steward, and the Boatswain, who said they knew not of any private trade aboard. Yet will be careful in looking after and seizing what private trade shall be found in the ship at their ports. Endorsed, "Rec. 25 Aug. 1633." 1½ pp. [O. C., Vol. XIV., No. 1495.]
Feb. 13–18. 400. Court Minutes, E. I. Co. Committee intreated speedily to provide, before the ships leave Gravesend, three scarlet and three fine purple cloths and cases of strong waters for presents, according to advice from the Factors at Surat. Letter read from Thomas Jones, desiring to be again employed as a Factor, and to be reimbursed his expense in defending Lady Dale's suit against him in the Company's cause, which he pretended was not less than 500l.; the Court remembering he came home without any complaint; and that it was true he suffered much by the vexation of Lady Dale, though not to the value alleged, resolved to propound to him whether, if entertained, he would put in a reasonable Stock, without which the Company are resolved not to give any of his rank entertainment in their service, but being absent his answer was deferred. Suit of Gilbert Morewood for remission of a broak of 160l., which he confessed was justly charged, for not shipping out 32 bags pepper, answered that he must repair to the General Court who made this order. Ducy ordered to view some timber trees belonging to Mr. Warcope, in Berkshire, and if it be for the Company's turn and to be had at a reasonable price, to buy them, Mr. Warcope promising to bring down 200 or 300 loads to the water side. The Court again took into consideration the account of Collins their powdermaker; divers reasons offered by Billingsley, his brother-in-law, in mitigation thereof; that Collins had served the Company 16 years, and was one of those that suffered that cruel torture of Amboyna by the Dutch where he lost his whole estate; answered that these reasons had been the cause of extending to him so much favour and respect and therefore wished him to take thankfully the Company's offer, otherwise they must proceed against him on his Bond.
Feb. 15. Request of Sir William Russell, seconded by Mr. Milward, that Mr. Wylde be sent President for Surat, whom, with much ado, he and other friends have prevailed on to go, so as the Company shall condescend to his conditions, and he will also put into their Stock 4,000l. or 5,000l. or more as a tie upon him for his honest and faithful service; but the Court thereupon fell into discourse, and having seriously considered, whether there was a necessity to send one who will expect as great allowances and power as Mr. Rastell, and whether the remembrance of his having been questioned by the Company may not rather prejudice than further their affairs abroad, resolved, at Sir William Russell's desire, to put to the balloting box whether to appoint a Committee or not to treat with him when there were seven balls for yea and nine balls for nay. Being demanded, Capt. Allnutt explained that the ships fell not down yesterday to Gravesend, according to order, in respect to the scantness of wind: ordered that Mountney send down all provisions that the ships stand in need of, so they take their passage into the Downs with all expedition. The Company's letters to be read on Monday. Resolved to send 60,000l. in their fleet for Surat, Persia, and Bantam, and Mr. Treasurer intreated to have the same packed in chests and sent aboard before the departure of the ships from Gravesend. Thomas Wheatley's goods to be delivered without freight, howbeit he gave not satisfaction in the business of Short, yet he hath deserved well, having served 12 years in Macassar, Bantam, and Jacatra. Request of Thomas Jones to be again entertained as a Factor, answered they have no need of his service, and the Court books to be perused against next Wednesday in respect he alleged the Court were, by former years, engaged to satisfy his disbursements in the cause of Lady Dale.
Feb. 18. Ordered that Mr. Verneworthy be questioned about 8,000 rupees, in what commodity he returned them to Gregory Clement. One month allowed to those that underwrite for 25 barrels of indigo on discount. 5½ pp. [Ct. Min. Bk., XIII., 195–200.]
Feb. 20–22. 401. Court Minutes, E. I. Co. Understanding by Mr. Treasurer Bateman that the 60,000l. ordered at the last Court to be sent in this fleet is more than he can readily provide, he is desired to supply what he can, and so left to his care. Complaint of the backwardness of the Commanders in not falling down with their ships to Gravesend, Swanley said it was through the unseasonable falling out of the tides and scantness of the wind, and he will not omit the first opportunity for their dispatch from Erith. Note of the charge of making three pair of courses and bonnets for the Great James. William, and Blessing, but considered a needless charge, in regard of the uncertainty of their meeting. Request of the Masters and Mates of the Palsgrave for leave to carry a tun of wine for their comfort refused. Motion of Mr. Hawley for the Court to choose two out of four names presented by him to be accountants for auditing the differences between the Company and his brother Gabriel Hawley utterly rejected; the nomination of an accountant left wholly to the referees, according to the Lord Keeper's order. On request of Mr. Crossethwaite, the preacher, to have one of the boys already entertained appointed to attend him, but increase of his gratuity refused. On discourse of the resolution concerning Mr. Wylde, the Court fell into consideration and dispute how necessary it is to bethink themselves of some able and experienced man to supply the place of President at Surat, and in regard of their great stock abroad, and not knowing how their affairs stand nor what Factors are living, a Committee offered Wm. Methwold to the consideration of the Court as the most fit to do the Company service if he may be won to leave his present employment, and the Court, thinking there was a necessity to send an able man, and remembering that Methwold had formerly offered his services, entreated Alderman Garwaie to confer with him before Friday next and report to the Court. The Court observing that Billingsley endeavoured to shuffle himself out of his bond, if he can, and deceive the Company, ordered Acton to proceed against him according to law for the debt owing the Company by his brother-in-law, Collins.
Feb. 22. Mr. Billingsley understanding the Company's resolution to proceed against him on his bond for the debt of Edward Collins, his brother-in-law, came into Court with Collins, and being confident of the Company's charitable disposition and affection, submitted himself to the censure and determination of the Court, and they, being desirous to settle this business, Billingsley and Collins withdrew, and it was maturely weighed and considered, and finally agreed, upon the terms herein set forth, which Billingsley acknowledged as a high and extraordinary favour, and said he was preferring a petition to the Lords for leave to work out the grounds into saltpetre. Ordered, on information of Richard Langley, land purser of the Reformation, of his discovery of private trade belonging to one Robert Freeman, that Langley and Freeman be warned to appear and the goods sent up to Crosby House. The breadrooms in the several ships not sufficient to receive the provisions now made for their present occasions and to supply the ships abroad; ordered, that what the rooms cannot contain be put up into small casks. Letter read from George Clarke concerning Mr. Ivy; answered that the Company will be ready to do him any good office when they hear both parties and understand the complaint. Report of Alderman Garwaie that he hath had conference with Mr. Methwold as successor to Mr. Rastell as President at Surat; that he is content to go, and to put into their stock 1,000l. as an adventurer; whereupon the Court, after serious debate, declared their willingness to accept and approve of him, and held him every way fit and able for the place of their President, and worthy of 500l. per annum, and the Court expects his answer on Wednesday next. Copies of orders of 17th April 1610, and 27th March, concerning the business between Burrell, deceased, and Mrs. Symonson, now Mrs. Bolt, read and ordered to be delivered to Burrell's son, against whom the suit is now revived. Petition of Nicholas Norbury, Commander of the Reformation, to be restored 12l. taken from him for freight of China roots sent home in the Mary, towards furnishing his cabin, refused, but 20 nobles conferred upon him as a gratuity to set him to sea, Resolved, after having at large argued and disputed this business, as no part of the pepper is underwritten, to fall the price from 17d. to 16d., and to call the Generality together to acquaint them, on motion of the Governor. Resolved, to settle some course for gathering in the moneys of those behind in their payments to the Third Joint Stock; and for settling the account of the first Persian voyage; Sambrooke reported that the auditors and himself will perfect them with as much speed as they can. Report of the Governor that by something he hath lately heard, he now fears there is little hope of any accommodation of the business between the Company and the Dutch upon a proposition which lately came from the Deputies of Holland here; nevertheless he considered it worthy consideration whether it were not fit for the Company to return to their island of Pooloroon, for that he is informed the trees cut down by the Dutch are since grown up and bear plenty of nuts and mace, the Dutch having altogether abandoned the place, according to the last treaty. The Court of opinion the Company should do well to repossess themselves of said island, and that directions be given by this fleet to send a ship thither for said fruit, and to inform the Company of the state of the island and if the trees be grown, as reported, and if so, to resettle a factory there; but it was advised first to acquaint the Lord Treasurer with their intentions, and obtain from his Majesty some declaration to manifest to the Dutch that he commands his subjects to return to said island, and therefore that they forbear from henceforth to molest or trouble the English there, but to suffer them quietly to enjoy and possess the same according to the Treaty. Letter from Richard Wylde read, to be considered hereafter. 9 pp. [Ct. Min. Bk., XIII., 201–209.]
Feb. ?
402. Peter Walmesley, Purser of the Pearl, to the East India Company. Opportunity presenting itself, thought it his duty to send a brief narration of such occurrences as have happened to the Pearl in her outward bound voyage to this place. Sailed 7 Jan. 1632 from the Cowes in the Isle of Wight; next day God sent them a most vehement tempest for 24 hours, the seamen affirming they were never in the like for its continuance, believing if God had not assuaged the same that next day their masts had been hazarded to have gone by the board; their fore course was blown from the yard, and they were forced to heave overboard topsail yards, fore topmast, great fish, boarding, the ship's ladder, and the shallop. Feb. 2nd, sprung their "boultspritt" and found the main mast cracked; "fished our boultspritt and woulded our foremast, and fished and woulded the mainmast, since which they have been found very serviceable." May 15th, after a tedious passage arrived in Saldanha Bay; dares presume few ships to the Cape have found the like strange opposition of winds, yet no one of their men sick, but since have lost nine, whose inventories and accounts are sent herewith. Refers to the merchants for a relation of their voyage. Their provisions and stores, cordage only excepted, proved exceeding good," but above all our beer is to be preceded, and the brewers thereof cherished for goodness of the beer and tightness of each cask, the like hath not been paralleled." Endorsed," Peter Walmesly, Purser of the Pearl, no date, no place, but conceived to be dated in Bantam about the of Febru. 1632(–3)." 2 pp. [O. C., Vol. XIV., No. 1496.]
Feb. 27. 403. Court Minutes, E. I. Co. Report of Mr. Highlord that he had been offered 20 oxen at 20s. the hundred, whereas those already killed had cost 21s. and 22s.; ordered to treat for 20 or 30 oxen at that rate or cheaper, there being no time more fit to make provision of this kind if their occasions shall require to send forth a ship in August or September. Petition of Robert Freeman, Gunner's Mate in the Reformation, for pardon of his late offence in shipping cloth and quicksilver for private trade contrary to his Majesty's proclamation and the Company's orders, which was discovered by Richard Langley, the Land Purser; resolved as an example to displace him from his employment, but because he is a poor man and sorrowful for his offence, ordered that his goods be delivered to him. Mr. Methwold came in Court and with an humble and hearty expression acknowledged his obligations for so high favour in having so lovingly and freely elected him President of Surat, and having formerly been in their employment seven or eight years, hopes he shall not go thither either as a blind or dumb man in their affairs, especially in that which is so great a grievance and so prejudicial to the Company, the matter of private trade. And with many expressions of his intended integrity thankfully accepted their large and bounteous allowance. On being demanded whether he had any other request to make, he propounded the following particulars: first, that the Court would assist him with the Lord Treasurer for settling a just debt of 700l. owing him by Mr. Herriott, the King's jeweller, to the end it may be paid to the Company in part of his adventure of 1,000l., which he intended to put into their Stock, in which the Court promised their best furtherance. To his second request, 100 marks was conferred upon him to set him to sea. Thirdly he was allowed to carry with him an ordinary servant to attend upon him, also a youth, the son of Capt. Ditchfield, but without wages. Fourthly, that he should receive 100l. yearly in India for his charges of apparel and other necessaries, the other 400l. as it grew due to remain in the Company's hands and be added to his adventure of 1,000l., he having provided for the maintenance of his wife and family; and lastly, in regard he came from India in the Palsgrave that he should go again in her, and besides his lodging in the great cabin, to have the sole use of the study there, in regard he shall many times have occasion to retire himself privately on his own and the Company's business, and order was given to Capt. Alnutt accordingly. Being demanded his opinion of Thomas Jones, a suitor to be entertained in the Company's service, Methwold answered that when together in India he never observed him other than an honest and careful man, and never addicted to that humour of play which is now excepted against him; that he is persuaded he will be ready and able to do the Company good service; and to secure the Company from that fear of gaming, his brothers, who are men of worth, will be bound in 2,000l. bonds for him; and Methwold will have an eye upon him, and if he find him so addicted will forthwith return him home; notwithstanding this report the Court resolved not to employ him at present, but deferred him till next year. On reading the preamble for the Third Joint Stock, and upon sight of the names of those behind in their payments, 20 in number, it was thought fit that such as had adventures in the particular voyages or Second Joint Stock shall have their accounts charged therewith, and such as have no other adventures whereby to tie them to bring in their moneys, be put out from being adventurers in this Stock, but first that the General Court be acquainted therewith.
Minutes of a General Court. Relation of Mr. Governor that there was little other business than to acquaint them that their pepper still lies upon their hands, and to know their resolutions whether to hold up the price of 17d. per lb. in expectation of buyers, or to abate it, the Court of Committees being of opinion to set it at 16d.; some of opinion not to be over hasty in sale until the return of their ships, another conceived that if their differences with the Dutch were accommodated, pepper will then sell as well at 20d. as now for 16d., but the Governor answered that if this pepper be not now sold, it will not serve to set out their ships next year, for the last underwriting came but to 90,000l., whereas there was expectation of not less than 120,000l., and that the mortality in the Indies was not to the southward but to the northward, and will not affect this commodity. After further dispute ordered to put it presently to sale, and the price fixed at 16½ d. Offer of a Committee to take the whole parcel at 16d., but though it was observed that the sale in gross hath ever been most advantageous, yet it was conceived more just to let every man have a share, and therefore ordered that it be sold in parcels; and a candle being set up for 200 bags at 16d., Alderman Garwaie offered to accept, which price no man exceeding before the extinguishing of the candle was confirmed to him. Nine other parcels of 200 bags each bought by the adventurers named, at same price, to be transported. Mr. Governor intimated that some have underwrit for a parcel of Lahore indigo, and any may follow for 10, 15, or 30 barrels at the Company's price and time. Ordered that for such as have not paid in any part of their subscriptions to the Third Joint Stock, and have no other adventures, if before the 16th March on notice given, they bring not in their moneys, they shall be held no more adventurers, but according to the power given to the Company by their charter, shall be absolutely disfranchised from their freedoms; and for such as have brought in but part of their subscriptions, and have other adventures, that the same shall be charged with their subscriptions to this Third Joint Stock, together with broaks and interest according to the preamble. 7 pp. [Ct. Min. Bk., XIII., 210–216.]