East Indies
June 1581

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Institute of Historical Research

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W. Noel Sainsbury (editor)

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1864

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63-67

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'East Indies: June 1581', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, East Indies, China and Japan, Volume 2: 1513-1616 (1864), pp. 63-67. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=68595 Date accessed: 28 July 2014.


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Contents

June 1581

June 16154. Petition of Michael Lok, prisoner in the Fleet, to the Privy Council. Beseeches consideration of his present poor state. Is condemned, at the suit of Wm. Borowgh, to pay 200l. for a ship bought of him for Capt. Frobisher’s last voyage, which is not the petitioner’s debt. His accounts have been audited four times within the last three years, and have lately been certified. There is still owing by the Company of Adventurers 2,796l., for which the petitioner is bound. Has in consequence sustained great troubles, many imprisonments, and extreme losses to his utter undoing, and is not able to earn one penny towards maintaining his fifteen children. Prays for his release, a quietus est for his discharge from his account, and that his bond for 4,000l. for the adventure of the Queen may be cancelled; also for a warrant of protection from further trouble for debts owing by the Company. Incloses,
154. I. Answer to such Articles concerniny Michael Lok’s account, and the voyages of Martin Frobisher to the North–west parts, “as your honors did appoint us to examine and certify.” The whole adventure of the voyages is 20,345l., of which 16,404l. 6s. 8d. has been paid to Lok, 991l. to Thos. Allen, and 235l. to Wm. Borowgh, in all 17,630l. 6s. 8d., leaving unpaid 2,714l. [13s. 4d.] Due by Lok upon his account 1,208l., which he has petitioned to be allowed for charges disbursed. Due by Thos. Allen 196l. 17s., which he stays for freight Lok is further charged with goods sold 467l. 12s., which he has disbursed for wages and other things. Remains due by the Company of Adventurers for freight of six ships and to other persons 2,796l. Signed by Thos. Neale and Wm. Beynham, auditors. 26 May 1581.
154. II. Account taken at Muscovy House, 8 March 1578. Copy, see ante, No. 91., but with the additional signature of John Dee.
154. III. Causes and foundation of the three voyages of Capt, Frobisher. The first, in 1576, was to discover a passage by sea north–westward to Cathay; it cost 1,600l., of which Lok was forced to supply 900l. The second, in 1577, upon the trial of John Baptista Agnello, Italian, Jonas Schutz, Almain, and Robert Denhan, Englishman, of the ore brought home in the first voyage, certified by them to be of a mine of gold worth more than 60l. a ton, and, when rejected by their Honors, justified by Sir Wm. Wynter, upon whose certificate only this voyage was made at a cost of more than 4,000l., whereof Lok was forced to venture 1,800l. The third voyage, in 1578, upon the above certificate of the Commissioners of the value of the ore brought in the second voyage, and upon Dr. Burcott’s bonds of its value, procured by means of Capt. Frobisher only, at a cost of 15,000l., of which the Earl of Oxford and Lok ventured 5,000l. The blame of any faults that are now found should not be laid upon a wrong man, but each party should answer for his own doings, as set down in a book by Lok, entitled “Quo warranto,” committed to the report of the auditors Neale and Beynham, good friends to Frobisher, who can report the truth.
154. IV. The slanderous and untrue information of Capt. Frobisher, Thos. Allen, Wm. Borowgh and Fras. Lee, against Michael Lok, treasurer of the North–west voyages. That he has made false accounts, and thereby “deceived” the Company of 3,000l.; is in debt to the Company upon his accounts 2,000l.; has not ventured one groat; has practised with Jonas and the workmen to his own gain and the Company’s loss; has cozened the Earl of Oxford out of 1,000l.; knew the ore from the second voyage to be nought when he sold part of his venture to Lord Oxford
154. V. Answer of Michael Lok to the preceding information, made by the four several audits of his accounts in July 1577, Sept. 1578, Feb. 1579, and May 1581. He has dealt justly and truly with the Company; is not indebted to them one penny; his charges disbursed being allowed, he has paid them all. Is a venturer for 2,380l., besides charges disbursed and Lord Oxford’s adventure. He believed, as well as the Commissioners, that the workmen’s trials were good and true, which turned to his own greatest loss. Has dealt justly with Lord Oxford, who is a venturer on his own account for 2,520l, of which he has paid 2,000l. Did not know the ore was naught when he sold part of his venture. The third voyage was made upon Dr. Burcott’s bonds, procured by means of Capt. Frobisher. Lord Oxford, by letter of 21 May, 1578, to the Commissioners, requested he might be a great venturer, “hoping to be a great gainer thereby, as the rest of the venturers did hope.”
154. VI. Brief note of the charges and expenses paid by Michael Lok in three years for the affairs of the Company of Adventurers of the North–west voyages; total, 1,711l. 3s. 11d, for which he asks to be allowed but 1,200l. for his services, which are detailed. Besides being put to more than 1,000l. charges in 1579 and 1580, and damages sustained “by the too too much trouble and vexation for this business, having been imprisoned seven times, in all the prisons in London except Newgate, for the debts owing by the Company to divers men, not yet paid, which I stand still bound for,” and not being able to follow any business whereby to get one penny towards maintaining his great family of 15 children.
154. VII.Reasons to prove that the Company are charged but one per cent, per annum of their stock for Lok’s great charges of household, travel, and service, for three years. The Company’s stock of 20,345l. is thus divided:—the Queen 4,000l., the Privy Council 3,740l., Earl of Oxford 2,520l., rest of the adventurers 7,705l., and Michael Lok alone 2.380l. It is common and usual among all merchants to allow their factors five per cent, and more, as in several cases cited. A demand at this rate would entitle him to 3,000l., for which Lok has set down but 600l
154. VIII. Petition of Michael Lok to the Privy Council. To consider his service in the three voyages to the North–west parts, according to equity and his dutiful meaning; to have a quietus for his accounts, his bonds for 4,000l. of the Queen’s money cancelled, and a warrant to keep him from further trouble; to determine upon his articles for the ore and houses at Dartford; to have liberty to work again to maintain his fifteen children, now utterly undonethrough my losses and troubles by these unhappy voyages of Capt. Frobisher.”
154. IX. The account of Capt. Frobisher not yet audited. Total amount owing to the Company 563l. 17s. 8d. besides his wages and entertainment; for the first voyage 80l, for the second 250l., and for the third 428l; and 400l. more for the wages and entertainment of his 15 serving men for two years.
154. X.Memorandum of the charges Capt. Frobisher has damaged the Company by his evil service and prodigality. Total amount, 10,200l.; for the charges of 25 men taken in his second voyage above his number, and 30 more entertained for a time; for 100 men taken in his third voyage above the number appointed by commission; for the freight of two ships returned home out of the four taken the third voyage above those commissioned; for the spoil and pilfering of tackle, implements, and goods, and evil government in the three voyages; for the furniture and provisions of 100 men to remain there “for the conquest of his new kingdom,” which was utterly overthrown by his malice and envy against Capt. Fenton; and for making wars with the people under promise of peace, not suffering the passage through the straits to be discovered, not helping Fenton to plant his men, carrying eight ships of the fleet to an unknown place, where they were in great danger of wreck for 18 days “through his obstinate ignorance” and other evil government.
154. XI. The Privy Council to Sir Wm. Wynter, Thos. Randolphe, Edward Dyar, John Dee, Rich. Yonge, Edmond Hogan, and the rest of the Commissioners for the North–west voyage. To freight the ships in the name of Michael Lok, appointed treasurer on behalf of the Company, and assure the owners that all payments and covenants of the charter parties shall be performed to their satisfaction. The utmost expedition to be used.
Greenwich, May 6, 1578.
154. XII.Copy of the charter parties of all the ships, subscribed by the Commissioners, Thomas Randolphe, John Dee, Edmond Hogan, and Andrew Palmer.
May 16, 1578
154. XIII. Testimony of the auditors that the balance of 95l., owing to Wm. Borowgh for the Judith, is due by the Company of Adventurers and not by Michael Lok. Jan. 22, 1580. [See ante, No. 143, dated 20th Jan. 1580.]
154. XIV.The Privy Council to Sir Wm. Wynter, Edward Dyar, Martin Frobisher, Rich. Yonge, Mathew Fyeld, Edmond Hogan, Michael Lok, and Andrew Palmer. Require them to proceed with as convenient speed as may be in what they have 80 wisely conceived for the voyage to the North–west, both for having good shipping to bring hither 800 tons of ore, and for having in readiness 100 men to be left to inhabit those parts. Greenwich, March 12, 1578.
154. XV.The Earl of Oxford to the Commissioners for the voyage to META INCOGNITA. Understanding of the wise proceeding and orderly dealing for continuance of the voyage for the discovery of Cathay by the North–west, which his friend the bearer, Martin Frobisher, has already attempted, and induced by the great liking of Her Majesty to have the passage discovered, and the especial good favour he bears to Frobisher, he offers to be an adventurer for 1,000l., which, upon receiving a certificate of admittance, he will give bond to pay at Michaelmas next. From the Court, 21st May, 1578. [MS. pamphlet, with table of contents, together eighteen pages. Domestic, Eliz., Vol. CXLIX., No. 42. Copies of Inclosures i. to x. are in the Brit. Mus., Lansdowne, XXXI., No. 76.]