East Indies
January 1579


Institute of Historical Research



W. Noel Sainsbury (editor)

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'East Indies: January 1579', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, East Indies, China and Japan, Volume 2: 1513-1616 (1864), pp. 46-49. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=68586 Date accessed: 24 November 2014.


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January 1579

Jan. 2.
Mount Edgecombe.
113. Edward Fenton to the Privy Council. Acquainted my Lord of Bedford with Her Majesty's commission and he directed favourable letters to Mr. Edgecombe, to whom Fenton repaired accordingly, and desired his good help, chiefly to be furnished with the ore or mineral Mr. Burcott affirmed to have gotten in that ground. Account of his proceedings in getting various sorts of ore from the mines in Cornwall from Mr. Godolphin, Mr. Arundel, and others. Showed the ore, like Mr. Burcott had, to divers of skill in minerals, but they never saw any such in Cornwall or other places of their working. Awaits his pleasure which sort of ore will best agree with the action it is provided for. Beseeches their Lordships to write favourable letters to Mr. Coswarth for his great courtesy in this service. [One page and a half. Indorsed, “Jan. 2, 1578. From Mr. Edward Fenton. What success he has had in travelling to get ore in the West Country.”] Incloses,
i. “The Calendar of such sorts of ore as I have sent in sundry bags.” [One page. Indorsed, “The sorts of ore received from Capt. Fenton from Cornwall the 8 January, 1578.” DOMESTIC, Eliz., Vol. CXXIX., Nos. 2, 2 i. Cal., p. 615.]
[Jan. 13.]114. The Privy Council to [the Earl of Pembroke, Sir John Brocket, and others]. Refers to a previous letter [see 7 Dec., 1578], written by the Queen's precise commandment, for payment of the remainder [172l.] of his [Pembroke's] adventure. Her Majesty given to understand that the like sum, as well as the adventures of some others yet remain unpaid; they are required presently to pay them, “for besides Her Majesty's good contentation that hath always been well affected to the voyage,” it is not thought reasonable “howsoever the thing shall fall out,” but that they should pay what they promised, “for without those promises the voyage had never been taken in hand.” [One page. Draught, with corrections. Headed, “The second minute for this purpose," and indorsed, “M. to the Adventurers.” DOMESTIC, Eliz., Vol. CXXIX., No. 4. Cal., p. 615, with note that a minute of this letter is entered in the Council Register on 13 Jan. 1579.]
Jan. 13.115. Mathew Fyeld to Sec. Walsyngham. Before receiving his letter had paid Michael Lok, then treasurer, 67l. 10s., due upon the account of Frobisher's voyage. Signed also by Sir Thos. Gresham and Sir Lionell Duckett, with a minute by Lok that Mr. Fyeld's duty to be paid was 57l. 10s., which he has received. [Half a page. Indorsed, “13 Jan. 1578,” with an abstract. DOMESTIC, Eliz. Vol. CXXIX., No. 5. Cal., p. 615.]
Jan. 13.
116. Edward Fenton to the Privy Council. Mr. Edgecombe has discovered the place where the mineral was gotten, which Burcott had and Jonas now so much desires to put down with the ore brought from Meta Incognita. It was sent to Burcott about seven years since, who made small reckoning of its goodness. Conditions upon which Edgecombe will provide and deliver it at Dartford, at his own charges. Desires their pleasure as to accepting his offers. [Two pages. Indorsed, “13th Jan. 1578,” with abstract DOMESTIC, Eliz., Vol. CXXIX., No. 6. Cal., p. 615.]
Jan. 13.
117. Edward Fenton to Sec. Walsyngham. Since his last he has travelled the mines of Devonshire, to find out what ores and minerals there are. The different ores and where procured. Edgecombe's offer in his opinion, both honest and reasonable; if it be brought to pass, beseeches that he may be employed in the service. Has found no ore like Burcott's throughout Cornwall and Devonshire. Wishes him to thank Edgecombe for his pains and good entertainment of Fenton. [Two pages. Indorsed, “13 Jan. 1578,” with abstract. DOMESTIC, Eliz., Vol. CXXIX., No. 7. Cal., p. 615.]
Jan. 13.
118. Sir Lionell Duckett, Rich. Young, Matthew Fyeld, Edmond Hogan, and Michael Lok to Sec. Walsyngham. Sir Thos. Gresham has paid 80l., due for his adventure in Frobisher's voyage to Rich. Young, for the miners pressed by him. Christopher Hoddesdonn has certified this to be true, being requested to do so, “although no commissioner.” [One page. Indorsed, “13th Jan. 1578,” with abstract. DOMESTIC, Eliz., Vol. CXXIX., No. 8. Cal., p. 615.]
Jan. 13.
119. Thos. Allen to Sec. Walsyngham. Mr. Frobisher much misuses him in words, saying that Allen complained to the Council of him, that all was nothing worth at Dartford, and that Frobisher had received money and done what he pleased with it. Explains what he did say. “Sir, he will weary us all, and he have the bridle too much.” Thinks Frobisher's accounts should be presently audited, “for Mr. Lok's will be down this day.” Orders should be given to cut off all superfluous charges. “I would I were discharged rather than I will be thus railed at for my pains.” [One page. Indorsed, “13th Jan. 1578.” DOMESTIC, Eliz., Vol. CXXIX., No. 9. Cal., p. 615.]
Jan. 14.
120. W. Borowgh to Sec. Walsyngham. Has received his letter of 12th instant, requiring payment of 57l. 10s., for his adventure in Frobisher's last voyage. It is true that Michael Lok, then treasurer and “chief dealer for the same voyage,” bought of Borowgh, the Judith, of about 75 tons for 320l., to be paid in May last, of which 67l. 10s. was allowed for his adventure. In June last he received 90l. of Lok, but the rest, 162l. 10s. he could by no means recover; and the charges of 57l. 10s., allotted to him since the return of the fleet, he counts to be paid out of that sum. Ought not to have been brought in a debtor. Small credit or honesty, in Mr. Lok's dealings, who he will no longer credit. Beseeches that by Walsyngham's good means he may be paid the rest, 106l. [Two pages. Indorsed, “14th Jan. 1578,” with abstract. DOMESTIC, Eliz., [Vol. CXXIX., No. 11. Cal., p. 616.]
Jan. 14.
121. Michael Lok to Sec. Walsyngham. Has received his letter wherein Lok is charged to pay 910l. to Mr. Allen, for his part of the freight of the ships returned home with Frobisher. Has paid his part, 316l. 5s., as appears by his accounts now with the auditors. The other part, 450l., is to be paid by the Earl of Oxford, as may be seen by the bargain with him under his hand and seal. [Three quarters of a page. Indorsed, “14th Jan. 1578,” with abstract. DOMESTIC, Eliz., Vol. CXXIX., No. 12. Cal., p. 616.]
Jan.122. Relation of “the abuses of Capt. Frobisher against the Company” [by Michael Lok]. In the first voyage Frobisher by chance brought home a stone of rich ore. Cause of the second voyage being prepared, Jonas, Denham, and Gregory sent with him, but he performed nothing at all, and laded his ships with other mines found by chance. In the second voyage the ships were laden with stones of strange ore found by chance there, worth as Frobisher said 80l. a ton, “which is not yet so found.” He also brought stones of red and yellow ore from Jonas Mount, very rich of gold, as Dr. Burcott witnessed. The third voyage then prepared, but not one stone thereof did Frobisher bring home, though a number of ships were sent out for that purpose, and 100 men to inhabit there, “under colour of the Frenchmen's preparation to that country.” He took four ships and 100 men, for his own purpose, more than were appointed by the Commissioners, and without their knowledge, which rest upon the charge of the company. He would not plant Capt. Fenton and the 100 men there, because he disliked that enterprise, and feared that Fenton's deeds would dash his own glory, and took their victuals for his own four ships. He made no discovery of the passage for Cathay, which he might have done, but would do nothing at all, as Hall and Jackman witness, but lade his own ships with ore. His own men, evil officers in the ships. He maintained Dr. Burcott's false proofs of the ore, to be set out on the third voyage, as the Commissioners and Denham can witness. He victualled the Ayde so badly that many died. His double dealing with the 120 miners provided for the voyage, many of them changed by favour for shoemakers, tailors, and other artificers, “as it is reported openly.” He took the Solomon of Weymouth, Hugh Randall, owner, without the Commissioners' knowledge. Led all the ships to a wrong place, “through his obstinate ignorance,” as Hall, Davis, and the rest of the ships' masters will witness. Refused the council of others; said his instructions were only the device of Fenton and Lok, and were never read by the Privy Council. When the ships were safe in Warwick Sound, he, being at Bear's Sound, commanded all the ships to take him and his men in, and a storm happening caused the great disorder of their return home, Frobisher being left behind in the Gabriel. He drew his dagger on Capt. Fenton at Dartford, and would have mischiefed him if Pelham and others had not been present. He is full of lying talk, and so impudent of tongue, as his best friends are most slandered. His slanderous reports against Lok, whereby little of the 3.400l. due can be collected, to the great discredit of the company. He paid wages against command. The men placed by him in the Ayde have committed great spoil. Did not distribute the Queen's gift of 100l. to the mariners of the second voyage, as ordered. By his doings in the three voyages he will perchance be found “the most unprofitable servant of all that have served the Company therein.” Frobisher's slanderous clamours against Lok. [See ante, Cal., No. 106.] Lok's answer that they are proved to be false by the new audit of his accounts, and the open knowledge of his doings. If any evil success happen to the ore at Dartford, “which I trust shall not happen,” it cannot be imputed to Lok, who ventured 2,600l. upon the certificate of the Commissioners of the first proof of the ore of the second voyage, but to Frobisher's great abuses and to Jonas and Denham, the finders and bringers of the ore and causers of the cost of fetching and working it, “and on them the same were to be punished sharply; but I trust no such cause shall be given.” [See No. 132. ii. Four pages and three quarters. Indorsed “ 1578,” and as above. Domestic, Eliz., Vol. CXXX., No. 17. Cal., p. 621.]
Jan.?123. “Brief report of the account of Michael Lok concerning the charges of three voyages into the North–west parts, under the conduct of Martin Frobisher, together with the charges of the buildings at Dartford.” Total amount received 19,822l. 10s., including 1,080l. for buildings at Dartford, of which 15,187l. 10s. 4d. has been allowed for payment of shipping, wages, freight, buildings, and divers other things. Balance to be accounted for 4,634l. 19s. 8d., of which there is due for adventures not yet paid 2,535l. 13s. 4d., from Thos. Allen, treasurer of the voyage, for money received by him from adventurers 882l. 10s., and in Lok's hands 1,216l. 16s. 4d., whereof he demands allowance of 1,200l. for his attendance and charges. Signed, “Tho. Neale, audit.” [Two pages. Indorsed with several questions, or “Articles to be enquired of by Mr. Thos. Neale and Mr. Baynham, auditors appointed to take the account of the North–west voyage.” DOMESTIC, Eliz., Vol. CXXVI., No. 57. Cal., p. 606.]
Jan.?124. Petition of Michel Lok to the Privy Council. Has for three years past taken charge of all the business of Frobisher's voyages, to his great pains and very great expense. In his accounts, which have been audited and certified, the petitioner has set down 1,200l. expended from his own purse for particular charges, which the auditors would not allow upon his last account, but referred it to their lordships. Beseeches their consideration of the premises, in respect of his true dealings and of his having paid 4,000l. more, not in his account, besides 2,250l. for his own stock and venture, all the goods he hath in the world, whereby himself, his wife, and 15 children, are left to beg their bread henceforth, “except God turn the stones at Dartford into his bread again.” [One page. DOMESTIC, Eliz., Vol. CXXX., No. 18. Cal., p. 621.]