East Indies
November 1581


Institute of Historical Research



W. Noel Sainsbury (editor)

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'East Indies: November 1581', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, East Indies, China and Japan, Volume 2: 1513-1616 (1864), pp. 69-71. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=68598 Date accessed: 17 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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November 1581

Nov. 3.
164. Earl of Shrewsbury to Earl of Leicester. Is contented to [risk half of the] ship [Talbot, valued at 300l.], and give 500l. towards furnishing her, because Leicester doth see … that voyage, otherwise would not have given anything, being minded rather to sell her than make any adventure. Is very sorry that his lordship, by the negligence [of those] Shrewsbury has trusted, should be …. either with Sir Fras. Drake or any other. Would willingly she should go in this voyage though his adventure … greater; howbeit means not to furnish her himself nor lay in her …. sum of 2,000l. If the part of his ship and offer of 500l. be liked, will cause all …. to be furnished with speed; if disliked, he shall wish his lordship good …. in this adventure, for he means not to make any adventure in any …. If he could get a good chapman, would gladly sell his ship. Understands nothing of the disability of Garter's sons; requests him to deal with the Queen about it. In a postscript, requests his help to “utter my ship,” and for the money he will gladly venture with him, is so unprovided that at present he cannot do as he would. [One page. Mutilated by fire. Brit. Mus., Otho., VIII., fol. 100.]
Nov. 7.165. Warrant signed by Martin Frobisher, Edward Fenton, and Luke Warde, to Arthur Atye, to pay 300l. to Fenton for provisions already bought [for the voyage to the East Indies]. [Quarter of a page. Brit. Mus., Harleian, 6993, fol. 13.]
Nov. 7.
166. Sir Fras. Drake to Leicester. Has moved divers in this country …. some adventure therein, but can …. no certainty of any; for his own …. has entered so far into the matter …. his good lordship's sake as his ability …. well endure. If he might otherwise …. in any stead to forward it his …. to show his endeavour to the uttermost. A stay come down for …. shipping, set forth in warlike manner, which makes the merchants more doubtful [of] adventuring than otherwise they would be. The bark which Drake lately sent to the Island Tresera [Terceira?] is returned, with letters for his lordship, whereby he will understand the state of that place more effectually than Drake can signify by writing. Perceives the Willoughby of Bristol is there, but not greatly stored with wealth. Is ready to the uttermost to accomplish his lordship's commands. [One page. Mutilated by fire. Brit. Mus., Otho, VIII., fol. 101.]
1581?167. Simon Fernandez to Frobisher. About furnishing and victualling [one of the ships] which he has undertaken to do at Mr. Ughtrede's command. Wishes Frobisher to send a purser to do his business, and thinks it will be the better if he be there very soon. [One page. Mutilated by fire. Brit. Mus., Otho, VIII., fol. 102.]
Nov. 15.
168. Shrewsbury to Leicester. Chester and the others, partners of Shrewsbury's ship, have promised to furnish their part for this voyage, as royally as shall be thought meet. Offer of Chester and the servants whom Shrewsbury has appointed to serve in the ship as a consort of …. promising to acknowledge Frobisher as their admiral to …. on him as their leader, and assist him in all affairs; so as Frobisher suffer them to deal for their share of any prize lawfully to be gotten; they utterly refuse to deal in any other sort. Knowing Chester's experience Shrewsbury is willing to adventure his half with him in the form before declared, otherwise not to adventure anything, unless it be the half of his ship, or 200l. in money. [One page. Mutilated by fire. Brit. Mus., Otho, VIII., fol 103.]
Nov. 16.
Fleet Prison, London.
169. Michael Lok to [Sec. Walsyngham?]. Although 20,000l. have been spent in Capt. Frobisher's three voyages, of which Lok is a loser of 5,000l., “yet was not I the cause, nor …. those voyages;” but of the first only in 1576, which cost l,600l., in which Frobisher was sent to discover Cathay, which he did not perform. Baptista, Jonas, and Denham, the three workmen of the ore brought home in the first voyage, the cause of the second voyage in 1577, being credited chiefly by Sir Wm. Wynter and the Commissioners of London. The procurers of the third voyage in 1578, which cost 15,000l., were Jonas and Denham, and chiefly Dr. Burcot, who gave bond of the value of the ore from the second voyage. Frobisher's double dealing and foresworn promise in not lading a ship with 500 tons of “a rich red ore,” certified to be worth 120l. a ton. Although following all the business as treasurer, Lok has done nothing without warrant, and has given true accounts to the auditors. Beseeches his honour to remit his displeasure and pity the writer's poor estate, having been six months in prison for the debts of the adventurers, and to grant him quiet from further trouble, that he may travail for his 15 children and do some service in the ore at Dartford. [One page and a half. Imperfect and mutilated by fire. Brit. Mus., Otho, VIII., fol. 44.]
Nov. 17.170. List of provisions [for the voyage to the East Indies] including 30,000 biscuits, and 120 quarters of meal. Signed “Your very loving friends, Martin Frobisher, Edward Fenton, and Luke W[arde]. [Half a page. Mutilated by fire. Brit. Mus., Otho, VIII., fol. 99.]
Nov. 23.171. Robert Jolly to Thos. Atye, secretary to Earl of Leicester. Mr. Frobisher neither …. nor as consort. Thinks “our ship” is not like … voyage, unless you take my Lord [Shrewsbury] …. adventuring the bare half of …. For Mr. Baldwin his fellow …. further order, but reserved over to …. who do now refuse, or delivering …. of the ship or paying 200l …. which Atye pleases. Lets him understand thus much before his ….. of the “Russy Company.” [One page. Indorsed, “Robt. Jolly to me touching the bark Talbot.” Mutilated by fire. Brit. Mus., Otho, VIII., fol. 113.]
Nov. 23.
172. John Barker to the Earl of Leicester. As to fit men belonging to the city of Bristol to go the voyage. Shipping of staves. [Three quarters of a page. Mutilated by fire. Otho, VIII., fol. 82.]
Nov.?173. List of furniture belonging to a ship going to the East Indies. Signed by Henry Ughtrede and Martin Frobisher. [One page. Mutilated by fire. Brit. Mus., Otho, VIII., fol. 98.]