East Indies
March 1624

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Institute of Historical Research

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W. Noel Sainsbury (editor)

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1878

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254-263

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'East Indies: March 1624', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, East Indies, China and Japan, Volume 4: 1622-1624 (1878), pp. 254-263. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=69774 Date accessed: 22 September 2014.


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Contents

March 1624

March 5.—Pruson's writing to be delivered to the auditors; he desired to be heard concerning his petition, exhibited in the General Court. The Company's ships now bound to the Indies having been stayed in consequence of a motion made in Parliament, the Deputy, with others of the committee, sought the Lord Admiral as humble suitors for the release of their ships; his Lordship said that he had not been the occasion of their stay, but having heard the motion with much earnestness in the Upper House, could do no less than give the the order; but, he said, "he had something in his pocket would do them good," and willed them to set down what reasons they could, and he would acquaint the House therewith, and was pleased to give way that their ships might fall down as low as Tilbury to attend further directions. On petition of the Company, the Lord President ordered that the Judge of the Admiralty shall be added to the other two referees in the business between themselves and Henry Bate. Concerning the coral sent away by Mr. Lear. Payment ordered to the secretary for fetching out depositions, examinations, and duplicates of patents out of the offices of Star Chamber and Chancery. Care to be taken to haste away the ships "so soon as their ships shall get loose of the commandment laid upon them by the State." Gratification to the examiner and clerk in the Star Chamber and Chancery of two pieces of calicoes of 10s. the piece, for their diligence in dispatch of the Company's business in those courts. Two or three bushells of English barley to be provided for the surgeon's use on board the ships for the health of the men "to spare French barley," and an extra proportion of lemon water.
March 6.—Recapitulation by Alderman Hammersley of his several propositions to the committees appointed to confer with him concerning his adventure, which at one time was 30,000l. but at present is for 16,000l., signifying that the present "value of the action is but 80 per cent.," and desiring they would settle his adventure at 8,000l. and sink the rest, for his case was singular, his family great, and his present fortune would not permit so great a sum to lie dead; the power of ordering this business not in this Court alone, therefore it was resolved to call the joint committee together, when Mr. Alderman might propound his own request. Agreement having been made with Mr. Burlamachi and partners for the whole parcel of silk; the contract was read and confirmed. Ordered that Messrs. Bacon and Cappur draw interrogatories with all convenient speed, and examine Beversham's ten witnesses concerning the escape of Ruy Frere, and any other that can speak materially in the matter. The Court utterly refused to suffer Alderman Hearne's son to pass into the Indies in the Jonas; being informed that it was to wean him from evil company, and conceiving it very dangerous that his example would do much hurt among their servants. Motion in favour of Mrs. Barkeley to receive the money, due to her, agreed to as Sir Thos. Smythe's attachment is dissolved. Letter read from [Thos.] Kerridge, wherein he lays down the grounds of his demand of interest for his wages during the time it remained in the Company's hands, which had been denied him at the last Court, and in conclusion he desired to be excused from the voyage; after discussion with him, the Court "setting apart his dispute of right," by erection of hands, gratified him with 100 marks in full of all demands, which he thankfully accepted, "but professed it was less than he expected." Nathaniel Halliday entertained at 20l. per annum to wait upon him. Report of Mr. Bell that Sir Henry Marten knew nothing of the stay of the ships, but advised that they should know from Pexall what warrant he had; it was moved to draw a petition "to signify that the stay of the ships had not hastened the Company's coming to my Lord Duke." Two great oriental emeralds offered by Mr. Deputy in barter for indigo, which divers lapidaries and goldsmiths concurred were "of the new rock and right oriental." Letter shown by Mr. Traves from the King, wherein was desired that his adventure might go to the satisfaction of his creditors; referred to the meeting of the joint committee. The dismissal of Francis Cooper, steward's mate in the Star, on complaints of Mr. Roe, confirmed. Copy of contract between Philip Burlamachi and partners and the Company, for the whole remainder of the Persia raw silk, at 22s. the pound. [Eleven pages and a half. Court Minute Book, VI., pp. 437–449.]
March ?422. Names of persons to be examined, which include Robt. Addams, captain of the Moone, John Hall, captain of the Blessing, concerning the ships taken by the East India Company from the Portuguese and Chinese since 1616, some being laden with silks, others with gold and silver. In Edw. Nicholas' hand. [One page. East Indies, Vol. III., No. 8.]
1624 ?423. Copy of the preceding; on the back is another copy of part of the same paper, with the addition that one Cottle is employed as attorney to follow the business in Parliament House for seamen against the East India Company. [One page and a half. East Indies, Vol. III., No. 9.]
March ?424. Memorandum, signed by Jas. Martin, that certain ships were fitted out in May 1620 by the East India Company from Jacatra for capturing Chinese and Portuguese vessels, and that they continued in that course three years, "the true number whereof will appear to the Honble House of Commons assembled in Parliament upon oath." Endorsed by Edward Nicholas, "That there were divers goods taken by the E. I. Co. servants a° 1620." [One page. East Indies, Vol. III., No. 10.]
March 8.425. Court Minutes of the East India Company. The Court was acquainted by Mr. Deputy that upon occasion of speech of the East India Company in Parliament there was a sudden motion that the East India fleet might be stayed, others cried out, "stay the money that they send out of the land," which some reported to be 80,000l. this year; that the heat was such that Mr. Bond, one of the burgesses of the city, did but whisper a few words to the gentleman next him and was cried to speak out else to the bar; Mr. Treasurer Bateman, another of the burgesses of London, was called up to deliver his knowledge clearly what money is to go in this fleet; he said he could not precisely satisfy them of the just sum, but that there is to be sent in these ships 30,000l. in ryals of eight. The house was not satisfied with that answer, and cried out, "search the books." Mr. Deputy, hearing the motion, grew hot, stood up, and made known that Alderman Hallidaie the late Governor being deceased, he was ready to give answer to the house what they require and said that the Company carry out not so much as they bring in, and not half what they are allowed to carry; it is true there is now to go some 40,000l., but that their returns when not interrupted are 400,000l. per annum in good real commodities, as calicoes, indigo, silk, and such like, whereof calicoes alone save the kingdom the expense of at least 200,000l. yearly; in cambric, lawns, and other linen cloth, neither is it barren in return of money; that he himself last year brought to the Mint 60 lb. weight of gold for Indian commodities exported; and that of the value of 400,000l. imported, about 100,000l. serves this kingdom, and the rest being exported, works itself home again, either in money, or commodities that would cost money, and that the Company will be ready to make this appear to the House whensoever it shall be their pleasure to call them. Mr. Munnes, having heard this relation, and that the House had with such earnestness cried down the patent, said "he doubted not to satisfy the Parliament that the strength, the stock, the trade, and the treasure of the kingdom are all greatly augmented by the East India trade." Then follows this mem: "In this Court was a great dispute concerning the Lord Admiral, omitted but remaines to be seen in the original." [One page and a half. Court Minute Bk., VI., 449, 450.]
[N.B.—The dispute in question has been referred to in previous Court Minutes. It had reference to the "Lord Admiral's rights" to his share of what was captured by the East India Company at the taking of Ormuz; and eventually led to the Duke of Buckingham moving in the House of Lords "for stay of the Company's ships." The whole circumstances were reported to the House of Commons by Mr. Wandesford in the Parliament of 1626, 20 April, as "exactions by the Duke of Buckingham." See Commons Journal, pp. 846; 847. The debate above abstracted does not appear in the Commons Journal, the only reference to the subject being as follows: "Sir Thos. Estcourt moveth to search the E. I. ships for money." Ibid., p. 678.]
March 10–13.426. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Information that all their ships are fallen down to Tilbury Hope; expecting further order. Committee for despatch of the ships to go down with next evening's tide; but the money, which is to be made up to 48 chests of ryals, not to go down till the ships be fully released. [Geo.] Muschamp, one of the Company's factors, acquainted the Court that his intention was always to serve the Company at Surat and not elsewhere, for some respects best known to himself and principally for his health's sake; but the Court made answer that they always intended his employment to Jacatra. Motion for payment of 20l. pretended to be given by the company of the Coaster towards building a school in Virginia; but the Court considering they had no warrant but only a letter from Randall Jesson, the master, with the names and proportions of each man's gift, conceived they could not safely pay it. Ordered that Mr. Deputy may send into the Indies "two fair oriental emeralds" on his own adventure, and receive the proceeds here at 5s. per ryal. Report that Sec. Calvert had recommended the desire of Mr. Minn to sell in town the calicoes he took to ship out; Mr. Deputy entreated to acquaint Mr. Secretary "of the impossibility to satisfy his desire with the reputation of the Court." William Beane, brother and administrator of John Beane, to receive what is due on the account of his brother, John Beane, late purser's mate in the Jonas.
March 13.—The auditor's report to be examined concerning Mr. Pruson. Henry Bate to be warned that Sir Henry Marten, judge of the Admiralty, has been added to the former referees about his business. The following memorandum is added:—"Here was omitted a dispute concerning the Lord Admiral, but is to be seen in the original." [Four pages. Court Minute Bk., VI., 450–454.]
March 14.
Whitehall.
427. Warrant from Sec. Sir Ed. Conway to the Clerk of the Signet to prepare a bill to pass the Privy Seal to make allowance of 30l. a week to Sir Robert Sherley, Ambassador with his Majesty from the King of Persia, to commence from 28 Jan. last, the day of his audience, and to be continued during his abode as Ambassador here. [Quarter of a page. East Indies, Vol. III., No. 11.]
March 14.
Whitehall.
428. Minute of the above. [Ibid., No. 12.]
March 14.
From the William at the Bar of Surat.
429. Protest of John Hall, Chr. Browne, Ed. Heynes, Rich. Lancaster, and Thos. Waller, addressed to their "loving friends" [the Dutch]. Know not why the Dutch resolutely protect these India junks, their enemies, who to their own knowledge have so manifestly dishonoured the King's Majesty of England and wronged their masters, the honourable Company, by seizing their whole estate and imprisoning their servants. Utterly disclaim any intent to infringe the articles and capitulations (if themselves give not the cause of first breach), which require that if one nation be wronged by foreign nations, the injury done should be taken as common to both; but assure them that these junks, colourably protected by them, shall not part "from under our command until we understand better of the estate and condition of our President and Council in Surat, which by all circumstances we may justly suppose are both betrayed and enthralled by your instigations and underhand dealing with our enemies, these people." Endorsed," Copy of our protest against the Dutch. Made [sic] by the Willm. and Blessing." [One page. O.C., Vol. X., No. 1152.]
March 16.430. [Sec. Conway] to the East India Company. His nephew Tracey informs him that a brother of his was heretofore employed in the East Indies as one of their factors, where he died, and that some part of his wages are due. Thinks it needless, yet because of his alliance recommends him to their favour. [Domestic Corresp., Jac. I., Vol. CLX., No. 87, Cal., p. 190.]
March 17.431. Minutes of a General Court of the East India Company. Those absent to be fined 12d. per piece. Question whether a General Court can be called without a Governor, the Governor being dead, but it was declared to be lawfully called, and the proceedings as binding as if there had been a Governor present; "neither were it civil to elect a new before the deceased Governor had received his last rights." Long discussion concerning the business of Hilde brand Pruson, in reference to the quantities of timber, cordage, and other materials alleged to have been supplied by him to the Company. One said he had been told by Pruson that where he served the Company with oars at 4s. the dozen he was a fool, for he should serve them at 7s. the dozen, provided Pruson might have a share in the gain, and he should serve all their oars and put off all his rotten stuff. Mr. Deputy said they had more need to join in affection than nourish faction; that Pruson had joined with Sir Jas. Cunningham and Sir Thos. Dorrington for the overthrow of the Company; still he had done the Company some service, though his abuses were as foul as any man's. Pruson's petition, and a relation of his proceedings, were then read, and it was said that the Company hath not alone suffered by trusting Pruson, but that being question for some falsehood in his Majesty's service, he burnt his books. It was in the end agreed, by erection of hands, "that the accusations against Pruson appear to be just, and that he shall in no sort be employed in the Company's service or be admitted to the sight of any of their books." Mr. Deputy declared he was to move the Court in a private business nearly concerning the Company, which will light heavy on them; but the greater part, "understanding well what was meant," advised to call some of the greatest adventurers and treat privately of that business, the publishing whereof might much wrong the Company. Resolved that none be admitted to the Courts, or permitted the sight of the Company's books, that hold any correspondence with the mayors of the Dutch Company. A General Court to be held on Tuesday next, for the election of a new Governor. "Here endes Mr. Aldran. Halliday's Govermt." [Six pages and a half. Court Minute Bk., VI., pp. 454– 460.]
March 21.
Batavia.
432. Thomas Brockedon, Henrie Hawley, John Goninge, and Joseph Cockram to Thomas Staverton, at Jambi. Are sorry to hear of the King's ill dealing, because the necessity of lading ships for England consists chiefly upon the pepper of Jambi. Cannot sufficiently blame Johnson's indiscretion for making such large promises to the King, and for his abrupt departure. For assisting the King they find the Dutch no way inclined, but resolved to temporize; but if the Achinder come they will secure their people and goods aboard their own ships, and neither assist the one nor the other. The General has promised to order his people in Jambi to observe sincerely the contracts for joint buying of pepper, which Staverton should also observe. Desire him to keep good correspondence with the Dutch, and rather endure a small injury than break friendship with them; yet if they practice by sinister means to circumvent him, in such case to give measure for measure. Johnson, fearing to be kept prisoner, made such promise of assistance as the King required, but that formerly made was upon condition that the King should be a means to get in their debts, and suffer none to transport pepper but the English and Dutch; but he has observed neither. Staverton may answer the King that the English will be as ready to give him assistance as the Dutch, but to receive his people aboard the ships would be a dishonour to the nation. If he has intelligence of the Achinder coming, or finds the King unreasonable, he must trust as little ashore as possible, as the Dutch intend to do. He did well to lend the King 500 ryals, to take away all jealousy, for heretofore he has paid his debts very well. If the King thrust them out, and suffer the Dutch to remain, he may demand of the Dutch half the trade, by virtue of a former contract, sent herewith; and if they refuse, protest against them. Concerning the cargo of the Rose and the price of the pepper; Bogan to send his accounts to compare with Johnson's. The excessive sum of desperate and doubtful debts in Jambi, if Bantam trade open, will dissolve that factory. Instructions for carrying on the trade. Reasons why they have not thought fitting to move in the matter of fortifying in Jambi River. Will consider of the employment of the Rose for Malacca, "but being a slug will never make a good man-of-war." Commend themselves to Mr. Hackwell. Have ordained Helmore the mate, master of the Coaster in room of Randall Jesson. In reference to a "base trick" which the Dutch General told them of in a taunting manner, request he will let his actions be such as may be justifiable at all times. Advice from [Thomas] Rastell from Surat that their ships have had good success upon the junks of those parts. Are resolved to send three ships for England this year, which will partly recompense the loss of the Whale last year, which with her full lading sunk in the sea and drowned most part of her men. The Moon so rotten there is no hope to save her, so have resolved to send the Bull to Japara to relieve her. Dispeeded the Royal Anne for England 25th Feb. last. Intend to dispose of the serviceable ships at present here as follows, viz.:—The Hart for a new plantation on the coast, where the Danes reside; the Unity for Masulipatam; the Discovery for Acheen; and the Diamond and Abigail for the west coast of Sumatra, so that they shall not have one serviceable ship remaining. Have granted Bogan increase of wages to 70l. yearly, and will not be forgetful of Croft if he continues diligent and careful. If Randall be not fit for that place, send him to us. Have been mindful in their letters to the Company of his particular business, and doubt not they will grant what he desires. Approve of his lending pepper to the Dutch, and wish him to continue such kind offices, for the continual jarrings of Johnson's time have much prejudiced both Companies. On further conference with the Dutch have thought good that if the Achinder come thither, he with the Dutch should entreat him to forbear to sack Jambi, alledging their great debts, which would be lost, but not to resist him by force, for they are persuaded the Achinder will offer no violence unless he first begins. Hold it necessary that he trust no more goods ashore; but if the King shall thrust them both from the trade, to take counsell with the Dutch and seize the Jambi junks, to force the King to some good composition. To use his best endeavours to bring down the price of pepper from 7 to 6 ryals per picul by consultation with the Dutch; concerning this matter the General has promised to give express order. Provisions sent for the factory. [Five pages. Endorsed, "Rec. in Jambi p the ship Coaster, 5th April 1624." O.C., Vol. X., No. 1154.]
March 23.433. Minutes of a General Court of the East India Company for the election of a Governor. Mr. Deputy said "it might be expected he should say something in commendation of their late Governor, who is with God, but he should but sully his virtues through want of a due expression, and therefore he would be silent." The following were named, viz., Morris Abbott, Sir Wm. Cokayne, Messrs. Alderman and Sheriff Freeman, Alderman Hamersley, Alderman Cambell, and Alderman Ducy, and Sir Humphrey Handford. Discussion thereon; and as to whether any one of the Custom House or any Turkey merchant is capable of being elected Governor. Mr. Alderman and Sheriff Freeman excused himself from election, but said he should think his stock the better if the present Deputy were chosen Governor. Mr. Alderman Hamersley moved concerning his adventure of 16,000l., to cut off the one half; but the Court referred all cases of this nature till God shall please to send home their next ships. Question how to proceed to the election of a Governor. Resolved not to choose by the ballotting box, but by the erection of hands, as had been usual. The election found to rest between Sir Wm. Cokayne and Morris Abbott. In the end the Company were "numbered by the poll," in the Stone Court, when the election fell upon Morris Abbott, who took his oath as Governor till the next day of election in July next, according to former custom. Of those named for Deputy-Governor, viz., Christopher Eyres, Tho. Munnes, Anth. Abdy, Tho. Styles, Christopher Clitherowe, and Robt. Bell; the major part of hands were for Mr. Munnes, who though absent, was elected accordingly. [Four pages and a half. Court Minute Book, VI., 462–466.]
1623. March 24.
Malaya, in the Isle of Ternate.
434. Protest of the Dutch against the English. John De Vogel, Joachim Hendricks, and Gregory Cornelis, Cape merchants, commanded by Frederick Houtman and Jaques Le Feber, Governors of the Moluccas, to require of John Gonninge, agent for the English Company, the sum of "84,983 guldens 13 stivers 15 pens," the third part of the general charges in the Moluccas from the ultimo March 1623 (sic) to the ultimo February of this present year; the said Gonninge gave this answer, in English, in writing: "I am willing and ready to pay the whole remainder of the charges which the English Company oweth unto the Netherlands Company, for their third part of the said charge due for this year, from the ultimo March 1622 (sic) to the ultimo February 1623; and for that at present I am not able to pay the same in ready money, I proffer unto the said Governors to make them full satisfaction of the said remainder in goods and cloths at reasonable and indifferent prices;" concerning which, for that according to contract the English Company is obliged to pay their third part in ready money, and said Gonninge cannot accomplish the same, therefore, by order of the above-mentioned Governors, and in their name, the Dutch protest against the English Company for all damages which said Netherlands Company may any way sustain thereby. Endorsed, "Translated by L. Wayt. Protest made by the Dutch against us for nonpayment, 24 March 1623." This belongs to the year 1623. [One page and a half. O.C., Vol. IX., No. 1107.]
1624. March 26.435. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Mr. Governor reported that himself and the rest that had been named and desired to attend the King, could not come to a full speech with him concerning the sum of money required, but his Majesty is pleased to give way that the ships may depart; whereupon an express had been sent to the Downs, but Mr. Kerridge, "the man extraordinarily trusted," stayed a whole day in London, notwithstanding his promise to make speed. "By occasion of this error, the Company called to mind his condition, which was noted to be haughty and given to avarice," &c., so that some were of opinion he should not go; it was also observed that the embroidered pieces, also the ruby and pearl refused by the Company, are gone on some private man's account. The quicksilver, "oelophantes" teeth, and all other things now aboard, and the ships very deep laden, insomuch that the James draws 23 foot water, and has 80 tons of ballast, most of which might have been supplied with "lead and other heavy and sad commodities." Mr. Fotherby to buy a parcel of tiles at 11s. or 12s. per 1,000. Advice from Mr. Barlow that the money he has to send be no otherwise adventured than by bills of exchange, "because the Dunkerkers are very busy;" and what he cannot exchange he will send by the English cloth ships. Information that the cause grows rife for a hearing between the Company and George Ball, and the hearing in the Star Chamber shall be first. Divers of the Company having been sued by Ball with process out of Chancery. Sir John Walter is intreated to direct the drawing of the breviates by Mr. Tichburne, for otherwise the cause may suffer much prejudice, and to be attended concerning the adventure of Mr. Osborne, a free brother of the Company, and the purchase of some "excellent good cordage" at 24s. the 100. A survey to be prepared of all the Company's stores against "Thursday in East week; " also estimate for repairing the rest of their ships, whereof the Lion and London are already in dock at Blackwall. The Court, put in mind by Mr. Governor, to have in readiness what has been required from the Parliament on Tuesday come sennight. Copy of the order of the Court of Parliament delivered by a servant of Lady Dale, upon her petition, whereto the Company is required to appear on Tuesday come sennight. Refusal of Mr. Munnes to take upon him the office of Deputy; discussion thereon; the Governor doubted whether the Company will dispense with Mr. Munnes, neither is it in the power of this Court to do so, and he expressed the great comfort he should receive by Munnes' assistance; but Mr. Munnes replied that he had given his answer before, and persisted constantly in his resolution not to accept the place of Deputy. [Three pages and a half. Court Minute Book, VI., pp. 466–469.]
March 27.
Batavia.
436. The President and Council to the Naick of Taniner (Tanore ?) or Tanjore. His Highness' letter, which has they suppose been lost by the negligence of their agent at Masulipatam, they humbly entreat might excuse this abrupt coming to "his Majesty" before they could commend his gracious favours to their own Sovereign; but since their knowledge, by Mr. Johnson's relations, of his good inclination towards their nation, they have dispeeded the bearer, Joseph Cockram, with said Johnson to offer their service in the accommodation of commerce, with such sincere respects as may ever remain "a band of amity between the Houses of Taniurr and Great Britain." Their intents are only to transport such commodities of the kingdom of Taniner as may conveniently be spared, and furnish such necessary provisions as they shall understand are wanting. Endorsed, "Copy of a letter, &c. to the Nayge of Taniner, &c." [One page. O.C., Vol. X., No. 1155.]