East Indies: May 1634

Pages 539-546

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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May 1634

May 7. 561. Court Minutes, E. I. Co. Alderman Andrewes and four others allowed by the balloting box as security for the gumlac he lately bought. Certificate presented by Swanley of the number, weight, quality, and condition of the Company's ordnance at the stone wharf; and how many serviceable, defective, and fit to be bored, and how many altogether unserviceable; with the charge of boring, and the valuation of the unserviceable pieces. 1 p. [Ct. Min. Bk., XIV., 337, 338.]
May 13. 562. Court Minutes, E. I. Co. Request of the son of Humphry Browne, deceased, to be remitted certain broaks for calicoes bought by his father in partnership with Abraham Cartwright, deceased, to be transported, which appeared to have been sold in town contrary to the Company's orders; the Court advised Mr. Vassell, executor to Cartwright, and Browne to confer and end it between themselves, for they cannot remit the broak. Observing that they are encouraged by their Factors letters to continue sending cloth to Persia; ordered that 400 ordinary cloths of 8l. or 9l., and 100 fine cloths of about 11l. be forthwith bought by Messrs. Spurstowe, Mustard, and Eyans, who are well experienced in buying that commodity, praying them to take the benefit of the first markets, that the cloths be put out to dyeing and dressing the fore part of the summer. Motion of Mr. Mun whether he should write to the Guadagni's for coral for next year as formerly; but on information that divers merchants had brought over this commodity in some good proportion, resolved that Mountney search in the Custom House who were the parties, and understand from them whether they intend to sell and their prices, and acquaint the Committees and report to the Company. 50l. bestowed on Robert Strancke for his pains in overseeing the measuring, dyeing, dressing, and packing of their broad cloth sent out last year. Note presented of such persons as are behind in their payments in the Third Joint Stock amounting to 18,000l. and upwards, and the order of the General Court and the preamble being read, the Accountants and Auditors are charged to set the broak of 30s. per month on the adventures of all adventurers in default, and that Mr. Governor acquaint the General Court therewith. Mountney to estimate what is fit to be provided, and then by direction of the Committees to buy such a quantity of Spanish iron, of which there is a good quantity in town, as shall be thought fit. On petition of John Spiller, their beadle, his salary raised from 20l. to 30l. as his predecessor had, also a gratuity of 10l. bestowed on him for his late journey into Wales and for his past seven years services. Acton's bill of 6l. 6s. 2d. for moneys laid out, to be paid. Contract made by Corbett for 60 barrels of their gunpowder at 4l. per barrel, to be transported, to be sifted before delivered. Walter Blackborne's salary of 80l. to be paid for the year past, for keeping prick and check of their cordage work at Woolwich. Gratuity of 10s. out of the poor box to Joan, widow of Robert Catcher, Minister, deceased. Complaint by Daniel Harvy concerning the delivery to him of his bargain of 6,500 bags of good and merchantable pepper; resolved he should receive 20 bags, and have allowance for the trash, but not for the dust or mouldy pepper, especially the latter, for it was in his choice to have returned it on the Company; but Harvy seemed not satisfied and desired the Court to re-consider thereof. 4 pp. [Ct. Min. Bk., XIV., 338–342.]
May 16. 563. Minutes of a General Quarter Court of the East India Company. But 37 persons present. Relation by Mr. Governor that seeing since their last meeting, none of the adventurers had underwritten for the unrefined saltpetre they had accepted an offer by Messrs. Peter Richaut and Kipp for the whole 200 tons for transportation; that the Lords had made stay thereof, which had been taken off on condition the Company should not dispose of their refined saltpetre, about 40 tons, in case the State have occasion thereof. That they had done the like for the gumlac which had lain long on their hands; and a third business they had endeavoured which nearly concerned the Company, of which they had good hope; there yet remained a parcel of shashes or calico lawns, which they could not yet dispose of to their content. Notice taken by Mr. Governor of a paper of the names of persons behind in their payments for the Third Stock amounting to upwards of 18,000, due in March last; upon all of whom except two they have a tie by laying a broak upon their adventures, and therefore he prayed their opinion whether those two should be struck out, their subscription being but 160l.; but it was feared the precedent might be dangerous, ordered that the broak be charged equally upon all, so they may be forced to make good their subscription, and not be left to their own choice to adventure what they please, as they shall understand the good or bad success of the action. A good part of the letters from Persia read, but further reading forbidden, divers passages of moment not fit to be publicly divulged, the Court resting satisfied with Mr. Governor's report and of the King's extraordinary favours to our nation. 2 pp. [Ct. Min. Bk., XIV., 342–344.]
May 21. 564. Court Minutes, E. I. Co. Requests of Mr. Cox, the Counsellor, for remission of a broak set on his brother, James Cox's adventure for selling calicoes in town and for the estate of Giles Hobbs, who died on his journey overland to Persia; answered it is not in their power to take off broakes and the examination of Hobbs' business deferred; as for sinking his brother's subscriptions in the second and third voyages, ordered that as he hath not paid in any part thereof, he be excluded. Cappur's bill of 5l. 11s. 7d. for Mr. Governor and the Committees' dinner at Blackwall to be paid; 100 marks conferred on their Secretary, Sherburne, as last year, for his extraordinary services in following their business in Court and elsewhere. Ordered upon a note under the hands of the Commissioners of the Navy, that there be paid to James Matthews, bricklayer, for making a brick wall about the yard at Woolwich 66l. 10s. 7d. on account of the rent for said yard, whereof 50l. will be due at midsummer. Complaint of Messrs. Kipp and Smethwyke that contrary to their expectation, the Farmers demanded custom for 100 tons of saltpetre lately bought of the Company; the Court promised to speak with the Farmers to deal favourably herein, but if they cannot prevail, this charge must lie on the purchasers. Renewed suit of Francis Stockton, late Purser of the blessing, for delivery of his two bales of silk bought of Walter Mountford, or the moneys they are worth; but the Court answered they intended to sell them, and to write to Persia to be more fully satisfied whether they be his or the Company's, and if it shall appear they are not the Company's, they will pay him what they shall be sold for, with interest, but until they hear from Persia will neither deliver silk nor money. Walter Mountford to be paid his wages, with allowance for coarse calicoes his private trade; 60l. to be bestowed on Mr. Barlow as a gratification for his pains for three years past. Ordered that 10l. be imprested to Stephen Goad, Boatswain of the Great James, out of wages; and that Giles Waterman be paid his wages until the burning of the Swallow, without prejudice to their cause, of which Mr. Acton to be first advised. That Elizabeth, wife of Wm. Stockman, Armourer in the Discovery, receive two months extraordinary of her husband's wages to furnish her son with necessaries, being lately ransomed out of the slavery of the Turks at Algiers. Gratuity of 20 marks to Hugh Lockett, servant to Mr. Sherburne for two years' service for writing petitions and other things concerning the differences between the Company and the Dutch. 2 pp. [Ct. Min. Bk., XIV., 344–346.]
May 23.
565. Agent Wm. Gibson, Wm. Fall, and Philip Dickinson to the East India Company. Since their last of 14th January sent overland, have received in Gombroon the Company's letter of 22nd May 1633, answer omitted by the fleet, by reason they have been so much deceived of their expectation which should have been a help to the sending home a second ship after the Mary, and they conceived it would arrive a great deal sooner this way. Are not a little discontented and indeed ashamed to hear of the gross abuse in the silks sent on the Blessing, but presume the mistrust of their servants who embaled them is undeserved, the packing being committed not to one or two, but to as many as are free from other employment. What was neglected was the not opening of all the bales bought at port; who would have thought such deceipt would have been used. Confess it is a poor excuse, but the good usage formerly found from merchants at port made them too confident, from whom they are persuaded this fraud proceeded, but that Merchant is still extant, and doubt not they shall light on him again, when it shall go hard, but they will make him pay most if not all his villany has wronged them in. Engage in the future that not a bale shall escape unopened, though they hazard the losing of its sudden return, and are content that any such matter found hereafter be defaulted out of their wages. But for the weight are at a stand what to say, never receive any but two or three of them are present at the scales. The silk received since this young King's coming to the Crown has always been very late in the year, which, meeting with rains and snows, and afterwards carried into hotter climates, questionless cannot choose, but breed an alteration in the weight; but cannot judge how some should exceed their weight, except the weigher sometimes in recompense of their bounty do them the courtesy. Confess there were 120 loads of silk promised in Mr. Heynes' letter for account of the first voyage, but have since written that in regard of the scarceness of it the King brake his promise, and that what remained on old account they turn it over to the new, and for the rest omitted in advice Gibson intreats pardon, it being his first entrance into a new business. Cannot say more concerning lack of weight in silk; yet that they tried it in their own scales, and, finding themselves abused, complained, and gained no redress, which they advised 12th Dec. 1632; but no endeavour shall be neglected for reformation in future. Gibson is sorry his pen has so much strayed beyond bounds as to give them discontent, resting humbly thankful for what they have already bestowed, and referring himself wholly to them for the future. Robert Loftus' debt is not so strange as true; cannot find aught to disprove it; although he had not the managing of your estate he was unbursed of much money received on account of the Customs, as appeared by his receipts to the Shabander, in which business he died, and none being with him but an idle fellow Edward Saddock, dead also, they could never learn what became thereof. The fleet arriving at port in the unseasonable time of heats as last year, has brought such mortality upon them again, that of seven left ashore by President Methwold for supply of this factory there are but two alive, Grifiith and Honywood both sickly, and had it not been their fortune to come up with the money suddenly from port to satisfy the King, are persuaded they had died there likewise. How Mr. Heynes increased his estate must leave to God and himself, cannot tax him of aught but 19 fardels at baftees received from Wyche, who avers they belong to Rastell deceased; have sold what they found of his except a box of jewels sent the Company per Capt. Slade, and brought the proceeds into the Company's cash long since, parting only with a few legacies given in the factory to the value of some 30 tomans. Have sent to Surat the journal of his estate written a little before his death, he will remain creditor on their books near upon 635 tomans, but will be cautious in shutting up his account for fear of afterclaps. Long since advised of the decease of Kirkham, and of his strange and unadvised act in private trade, the goods were brought up to Spahan and sold at a loss of near 500 tomans. Have in their former touched on the rest of the clauses in their Worships' letter. The Jonas, Palsgrave, Hart, and Discovery from Surat, under Capt. Weddell returned not till the fine of Feb. so late as hath not been formerly known, through the expectation of a caphilo from Brampore. The President of Surat adviseth that the Mary, though not fully laden departed homeward 1st of that month. Such is the barrenness of the times that ships go home with dead freight; had well hoped to have added some good quantity of silks for the lading home of another ship after her, but in these decaying times such is the miserableness everywhere, have failed also; concerning which more shall be added in another clause. The President of Surat advises that the Reformation was dispeeded for Sumatra with goods to procure her own lading home, or for some other ship more unfit to stay longer; and the Hart they intended after her arrival hence with southern commodities for Bantam to procure pepper for her own lading for England; the rest must remain another year. Are heartily sorry the Company are forced to such an inevitable charge without the least profit, "but it is the Eternal's Decree, and you and we must await his good will and pleasure." Having made sale of all Burt's goods and made up his accounts find him indebted near 200 tomans, wherefore if any wages be due to him the Company had best detain them for satisfaction, for here is not anything remaining of his that will answer one penny out. By accounts in Gombroon it appears that by order of Kirkham 1,228 Rs. of 8 were lent to Rosse, in lieu of which but three pieces of broadcloth were received, which nothing near surmount the money; wherefore the Company will do well to satisfy themselves out of his estate sold to good amount at Surat. A little before their going to port arrived this King's letter to his Majesty, translation whereof is enclosed, but the original sent to Surat. The Company will find his requiry to be for many impossibilities, for men qualified as he desires will be a little wiser than to come hither to receive his base usage and payment, and thus much in effect they have told most of the chief ones to their faces; for these people as they are ignorant of arts so are they of the rewards that should be given to those that deserve it. Would not wish any such as he desires to be so unadvised as to come here to their ruin, and he deserves it not, himself and all about him are so treacherous and faithless in all their dealings. Have at last accomplished the pearl the Company have so long required, having this year bought a parcel to the value of 590 tomans and they may please advise if more of the same are desired. The silk put aboard the ships this year is not worth inserting, in all but 115 bales, 42 from the King and the rest accomplished with ready money at port; pray God they make amends this year, but as yet there is but small quantities arrived yet they want not fair promises, but cannot absolutely advise till they see a little further. Amongst this parcel of silk received from the King are 14 bales of a fine sort, almost as good as Shirwan, but bound about with a kind of coarse snarled silk, which the Company have so much complained of and they have formerly refused, but now thought it better to take it at the price of Ghilan, which they think will be no great prejudice, than leave it. Maintain the customs with such vexation and trouble that they are quite wearied out with the wranglings and clamours of this people, and were it not that they want their Worships' warrant, had rather accept these people's offer than maintain it any longer, for have rather a name than any due given them, so covetous are the Persians to cheat them, and of late more than ever to force them to a composition, which this year they have often proffered. Have threatened to take some order for reformation of their bad dealing, but the Persians in answer tell us we dare not, and that the fault is in the merchants, by whom they are as badly dealt with; but it is so palpable we know the contrary, yet cannot for their bloods remedy it, unless they should fall together by the ears, which they think their bad usage, so long continued in so many things, will at length go near to enforce them to. Were as good hold their tongues for any redress they shall have from Court, being absolutely persuaded they are commanded to cheat us. Pray afford us some counsel what course to take, for to maintain it as it is is a shame, besides many inconveniences, two of their servants must attend it, and if they stay all the year it is 1,000 to 1 but both perish, at least one; secondly, the bad name they gain of this people for missing divers goods in Custom House every year, for which many times they are forced to abate of custom as detained on the ships, besides anything amiss the officers of the Customs inform the people it is our doing. If we should come to a composition for a yearly stipend, as the Persians would have us, the honour is lost which his Majesty hath by having that privilege in another's country, yet in our opinion that honour were better lost than maintained in so ridiculous a manner. It sorely troubles us to think what will become of the Company's business in these parts, the only redress being to the King, who is so far off that it would weary a man to think of going to him, for he still remains in Tauris, and what he will do there is no certainty; so that Gibson is afraid he must be fain to go to him for regaining of our credits lost this last year, for no help is to be expected from his ministers. God willing, so soon as he shall be recovered of his travel from port, he will set out to see if he can make good his promise to gain some good quantity of silk to be down at Port Gombroon by the middle of October at furthest, to be taken in by some ship almost laden from Surat, and so depart directly for England; which, if he can compass, will do as well as if it had been put aboard now, for in regard they could not compass the lading of a second ship at Surat, it must have run the hazard of the seas in the ships till the year had come about. Have advised thus to the President and Council at Surat, and doubt not they will accommodate us; pray God we do not deceive both their and our own expectation. Fear when we shall come clear with this people for what is delivered, we shall be so badly dealt withal that we are quite out of heart to have any further to do with them, so that at present can give no encouragement in the world for the continuance of the Company's trade here, so unconscionable and contrary to all reason do they deal with us; wherefore would wish the Company, as we wrote formerly, not to be too forward in sending their estates amongst a company of such villainous people; yet the Persians themselves who have business at Court are at as bad a pass, for the King looks very little after anything, and "is so besotted with his women & other his damnable preasures (sic) within doors that he comes not out to sit in justice once in a month, so that his nobility & officers do what they will." This is the true state of this place and the Company's business, which we have thought good to advise of in time, that the Company be not led in a mist as formerly, and they bring too late a repentance both on their Worships and themselves. Three of their servants returned home on the ships, Rich. Cooper, Robt. Carpenter, and George Collyns, minister; the first of whom has these three years much importuned his departure, and now in regard of his ill health and small encouragement from your Worships, he would not be won to any longer stay; present him as one who has done faithful and honest service, and who would stead them better on a second employment in these parts than any they could entertain in England. The second their Worships required home last year, but their business forbade him, wherein he has showed himself an honest and laborious man; would have been very well content could they have persuaded him to a longer stay, but it should seem he has some fortunes befallen him in England. The third, Mr. Collins, this country travels have quite disheartened him from any longer residence, therefore is departed, we suppose, to seek a place of more ease; not that they do not desire the conversation of an upright man that might guide them in the true way, but "do not much sorrow for his miss"; have more ado to accommodate these ministers to their desires than most of the factory besides, they are so troublesome. The two that have been here in Gibson's time were the tenderest chickens he ever met, and unless hereafter they are hardier, to be plain, we had rather have their room than their company. Have stayed out of the ships in regard of the great mortality that befell them, Wm. Hall, Wm. Ward, and Godfrey Bulloyne, the two first whereof their Worships recommended, in their letters to Surat, for entertainment if required, and two more they have stayed who were fully resolved on departure, Robt. Manley and Peter Lentill, though we had small reason, for one has but 12s. per month and the other nothing at all; their abilities and experience deserve better consideration, and the expenses they are forced to, urgently require it; beseech their Worships will not forget them. Our first express of June 1633, sent overland by way of Aleppo, is, we understand by the Consul, miscarried; copies were sent by the second conveyance; but there were letters from Surat and Capt. Weddell enclosed, which quite escaped the Company's sight, for we had not wherewithal to send by a second express, in which was related the miserable disaster of the Charles and Swallow; but since doubt not the Company have too largely heard thereof by the James. Endorsed, "Recd overland by Aleppo & Mersellis 12 May 1635." 11 pp. [O. C., Vol. XV., No. 1525.]