East Indies
July 1624, 2-10

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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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299-320

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'East Indies: July 1624, 2-10', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, East Indies, China and Japan, Volume 4: 1622-1624 (1878), pp. 299-320. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=69778 Date accessed: 30 July 2014.


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July 1624, 2-10

July 2.492. Minutes of a General Court of the East India Company. Those absent to be fined 12d. apiece. Mr. Governor said that before entering the election, the work of the day, he would first acquaint the Court that it had pleased God to send home two of their ships in safety; but they must also hear the bad news, viz., that they have lost a ship on the coast of Surat, esteemed worth 100 and odd thousand pounds, laden, they believe, with 430 bales of silk, indigo, &c.; but there are other matters of a worse condition; that 10 of their servants have been, without all colour of justice, and by evidences extorted out of them by the violence of insufferable torments, put to death by the Dutch; and yet they stick not to maintain here at home that the proceeding was just; but he maketh no doubt but that God, the Avenger of all such bloody acts, will in His due time bring the truth to light. The Company had not failed to set down in writing to be published "the unspeakable tyrannies done upon those unfortunate men, which is able to amaze the Christian world." There is hope the State will take care of the Company; but the best comfort is that when man is at the weakest, God is then strongest. The general state of the adventure is fair, and in these two ships there will be sufficient for eight half capitals, and there is hope of further returns this year. "The unkind questions which their confederates the Dutch, and their perfidious dealing in the Indies, doth beget worse matter than any other loss whatsoever." The election of Governor and other officers was then proceeded with. Speech of Morris Abbott, who desires to be spared, but the Court would not leave him out in the nomination for Governor, with Sir Wm. Cokayne and Alderman Ducy, and the major part, without all controversy, chose Mr. Abbott, who protested he took more comfort in the Company's love than in the place, and took his oath accordingly. Mr. Munnes, having very earnestly intreated to be spared, Mr. Clitherow was elected Deputy; Messrs. Stone and Bateman were re-elected treasurers, and Messrs. Crispe, Cartwright, Warner, Wm. Garroway, Leate, and Keightly were chosen for committees in the places of Messrs. Clitherow, Parkhurst (chosen sheriff of London), Cokayne, Coxe, Bownest, and Lawrence. List of the names of the 24 committees for the ensuing year.
Mr. Alderman Cambell.Mr. Alderman Allen.
Mr. Alderman Ducy.Mr. Offley.
Mr. Westrowe.Mr. Styles.
Mr. Bell.Mr. Abdy.
Mr. Venn.Mr. Henry Garroway.
Mr. Browne.Mr. Kerby.
Mr. Munnes.Mr. Smith.
Mr. Eyers.Mr. Martynn.
Mr. Harby.Mr. Leate.
Mr. Strowd.Mr. Warner.
Mr. Crispe.Mr. William Garroway.
Mr. Cartwright.Mr. Keightley.
[Three pages and three quarters. Court Minute Bk., VII., pp. 1–4.]
July 7.493. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Both the ships (lately arrived) to unlade at the CustomHouse key. Request of Mrs. Jackson, sister of George Cokayne, deceased, for the arbitrators to meet at the Guildhall, to be postponed. Request of [Geo.] Ball's solicitor for an answer in writing concerning the writ "De executione ordinis" refused, but the Company are ready to perform my Lord's answer, as they understand it. Complaint that the Lord of Valentia, in Ireland, has sold his calicoes in town, notwithstand ing he had passed "his honorable promise" that they should be shipped out. Four rings of gold, sent home by the last ships, delivered to Treasurer Stone. Nut (nutmegs) to be sold at 2s. 6d. and 2s. 4d., and mace at 4s. 8d. and 7s. 8d. Whether to divide, to make up 7½ capitals in pepper or part in cloves. Mr. Cappur reported it would be three days before the six men returned from Amboyna could be examined concerning the execution done upon the English by the Dutch. Sureties offered by Capt. Greene for his enlargement; the Court uttterly unsatisfied with one. Committees appointed to take care of the business concerning "the discharge for matters done beyond the Line," and the order lately made in Chancery, wherein Ball is to have his wages until the time he was discharged. After debate, Dr. Page is allowed arrears of tithes due for lands in Deptford, in the Company's yard. [Three pages and a quarter. Court Minute Book, VII., pp. 4–7.]
July 8.
Sumatra at Andrapora.
494. James Troughton to [President at Batavia]. Account of his voyage from Jacatra in the Abigail. Agreed by Mr. Christmas to get aboard the Diamond and return to Priaman. Arrived on board the Diamond the 7th, upon which was laden about 700 bahars of pepper. Sanderson has delivered to him 2,500 ryals, the greater part whereof is mill money and cracked. Having found one room empty in the Diamond, he has determined to stand along the coast to Catotanga and Andrapora, to fill it, and put off some bad goods. [Three pages, mutilated. O.C., Vol. X., No. 1158.]
July 9.495. Court Minutes of the East India Company. About the examination of the estate of Capt. Fitzherbert; 500l. and somewhat more ordered to be paid. Concerning eleven bags of galingale taken by Messrs. Farley and Hill, druggists. To deal with the officers of customs concerning the unlading of one of the ships at Buttall Wharf. Agreed to acquaint the General Court in the afternoon, that they who had not divided in calicoes might take out the 6th and 7th capitals in pepper and cloves, "it being proper to the Court of Committees to appoint the dividends, and to the General Court to settle the prices." Refusal of Capt. Geere to bail Capt. Greene, when he heard the Company had to charge him to some value. The dividends to be made to 7½ capitals, three-fourths in pepper and one fourth in cloves; pepper to be sold at 19d. and 20d. to ship out, and cloves at 5s. 8d. The business of delinquents referred to the General Court. Resolved that a short narration of the barbarous proceeding of the Dutch against the English in the Indies be read at the General Court, the discourse written thereupon being over long; and that the several protests be also read, that it may appear the proceedings of the Dutch were altogether grounded upon tyranny and injustice; and that there be a meeting of the committees the next morning to consider of a petition to his Majesty thereon. The Court is informed that 2,000l. of the 10,000l. to be paid to the Lord Admiral, for his Majesty's use is yet unpaid, by reason there is not come the promised warrant from Sec. Conway for paying it to Mr. Oliver. The 10,000l. after the last treaty with the Dutch was paid to the Lord of Annand for his Majesty's use, and his receipt (was given) for the same. [Three pages and a half. Court Minute Book, VII., pp. 8–11.]
July 9.
(Afternoon.)
496. Minutes of a General Court of the East India Company. Those absent to be fined 12d. per piece. Mr. Governor acquainted the Court, God had sent them home two ships in safety, and that the stock with these ships now come home will afford to the adventurers seven half capitals. Proposal by a gentleman, no committee [man], that consideration be taken of the pains and travail of the Governor, Deputy, Treasurers, and Committees, but it was put off at the request of the Governor, who protested that the motion was sudden and unexpected, to the next General Court. Those that will may take out their seven half capitals either in goods or money. Proposal to take out an eighth capital, deferred. Exceptions taken to the price fixed for the pepper, viz., 19d. and 20d. Opinion of the Governor that the markets will bear the price which will rule all Christendom; the Hollander sells none, the Dane a little, and the Portugal a little. The price settled as above, as also the times of payment; the price of cloves set at 5s. 8d. "Dispute" concerning delinquents, or those that are behind with their payments, and whether they shall reap anything before they have fully paid; exception taken to the word delinquent; the not paying in of stocks may be expressed in a more civil word. The adventure might have borne more (dividend) if the ship Whale had come home safely. Finally, resolved that the joint committees shall consider of the whole case of men in arrears, and end it. Mr. Governor then reported on the state of their trade, that there was no fear of it, if those that are by nation linked in alliance with the State and by treaty bound to a mutual amity and friendship with the Company had not carried themselves in so barbarous fashion towards our people in the Indies, as no history, either ancient or modern, doth report the like, the particulars whereof are fully expressed in a discourse taken from the several protests, and the testimony of divers who had part in that bloody execution, wherein ten of the Company's servants suffered death with all cruelty of preceding torments to draw that from them that might render them guilty of death, which they were glad to embrace that they might be delivered from tortures of fire and water, worse than death; which relation [see No. 499 I.] being too long to be read, he prayed them to be content with the two protests, which were read. Motion what should be done with the men spared from execution by the Dutch, who have been presented to the Judge of the Admiralty; it was conceived that the cause stands fair under the justice of the Court of Admiralty. Consideration of what is fit for the Company to do, as the case stands between the Company and the Dutch; it was held impossible to proceed in the trade except a real restitution be first made for damages, justice done on those Dutch that have in so great fury and tyranny tortured and slain the English, and security given for prevention of the like hereafter; all which if they may not be obtained there is no help but the trade must be let fall, and the Company must fetch home what they have in the Indies; and further that if offer be made to treat of these things, it can give no content, for they have experience by a late treaty upon particulars as clear as the sun that the Dutch intend nothing less than to do the Company right. This being the vote of the whole Company it was, notwithstanding, held fit that they first resort to his Majesty by petition imploring his help and favour, for as it becomes the Company in honesty to seek reparation for the lives of their servants thus butchered so it stands with his honour to call for an account of his subjects. It was the general desire that his Majesty may be made acquainted that without a real reparation for the past and assurance for the future they will bring in no more money but give over the trade, and according to his answer and proceeding, the trade to stop or proceed. Mr. Governor added that this complaint is not to be made against the Dutch nation in general but particularly against the East India Company who have thus injured this Company and dishonoured the English nation. [Five pages and a half, Court Minute Bk., VII., 11–16.]
July 10.497. Petition of the East India Company to the King. Represent the true and lamentable discourse of the hellish torments and bloody execution of Capt. Gabriel Towerson with nine other of the King's subjects at Amboyna, together with many other complaints against the Dutch East India Company, which are of so much consequence to the trade, estates, and lives of the King's subjects in the East Indies, that at a late General Court the petitioners fully resolved to bring in no more money, being wholly discouraged to continue that trade wherein they are so much oppressed by the Dutch. Having cause to suspect that the Dutch Company have a design to seize upon the persons, ships, and goods of the petitioners in the East Indies and to drive the English nation out of those parts, they pray that some course may be resolved upon for the safety of the King's subjects, and for bringing hence their estates which consist of 24 ships and merchandize to the value of 800,000l., or 900,000l. at the least. [Presented to the King at Wanstead on Sunday, 11 July, see No. 503. Two pages. East Indies, Vol. III., No. 20.]
July 10.498. Another copy is in.—Domestic Corresp., Jac. I., Vol. CLXV., No. 72., Cal., p. 262.
July 10.499. Morris Abbott, Governor, Christopher Clitherow, Deputy Governor, Wm. Stone, Robt. Bell, and Thos. Mun, committees of the East India Company, to Carleton. Send herewith a narration of the bloody proceedings at Amboyna, grounded wholly upon the several protests of their people (whereof they also send copies), and upon the collections out of their letters, together with the relation of divers of their people returned, taken upon oath, among whom are some that have felt their part in that barbarous tragedy, from which it will appear that there is not yet a name given to such exquisite tyranny. "The relation we have received of the close of the treaty whereunto Mr. Misselden and Mr. Barlow were authorised, did give us a taste of their resolution not to right us in any thing (notwithstanding our fair proceedings without any complaint here to the State) and the doings of the Company's ministers in the Indies do manifest that they are all alike minded." Are determined to deliver to the King to-morrow copies of the writings inclosed. [One page. Corresp. Holland.]
[The following is a copy of the "Narration" which was presented at a General Court of the East India Company 9th July "being too long to be read (see No. 496). It was read before the Privy Council 12th July "whereat sundry of the greatest shed tears" (see Nos. 503, 534). And on 27th August following before a General Court of the East India Company (see No. 574). This MS. has been collated with a printed copy in the British Museum, dated 1624 (802 K. 1), and the additions and variations are here printed in brackets, and the words not in the printed copy in italics.]
499. I. "A true Relation of the late [unjust,] cruel, and barbarous tortures and execution done upon [proceedings against] the English at Amboyna, in the East Indies, by the Netherlanders there" [upon a forged pretence of a conspiracy of the said English]. After the fruitless issue of the two treaties of 1613 and 1615, there was a full and solemn composition made of all differences in the treaty of 1619, whereby the Hollanders were to enjoy two third parts and the English one third part of the trade of the Moluccas, Banda, and Amboyna. Description of Amboyna. Five factories belonging to the English at Hitto, Larica, Looho, Cambello, and Amboyna, "the head and rendezvous of all"; George Muschamp, and afterwards Gabriel Towerson, being agents. The Hollanders have four forts, the chief at said town of Amboyna, very strong, having four points or bulwarks, upon each six great pieces of ordnance mounted. One side of the castle is washed by the sea, the other is divided from the land by a ditch of four or five fathoms broad, very deep and ever filled with the sea; 200 Dutch soldiers in garrison, and a company of Free Burghers, besides a matter of 300 or 400 Mardikers (for so they usually call the free natives) in the town ready to serve the castle at an hour's warning. There lye also in the road (for the most part) divers good ships of the Hollanders, this being the chief rendezvous for the islands of Banda and Amboyna. Here the English lived, not in the castle, but under its protection in a house of their own in the town, holding themselves safe, as well in respect of the ancient bond of amity as the before-mentioned treaty. Their differences during two years. It then proceeds as follows:—
[Timothy Johnson examined and tortured.]
[Emanuel Thompson examined and tortured.]
[John Beaumont examined.]
About the 11th of Febry. 1622 stilo veteri, a Japonese, a soldier of the Dutch in their castle at Amboyna, walking in the night upon the wall, came to the sentinel, being a Hollander, and among other talk asked him some questions [touch-]concerning the strength of the castle and the people that were within. It is here to be noted that these "Japonesses," of whom there were not 30 in the island, did for the most part serve the Dutch as soldiers, yet were not of their trusty bands always lodged within the castle, but upon occasion called out of the town to assist [in] the watch. This Japonese aforesaid was for his said conference with the sentinel apprehended upon suspicion of treason, and put to the torture. Thereby, as some of the Dutch affirmed, he was brought to confess himself and sundry others of his countrymen there to have contrived the taking of the castle. Hereupon other Japoneses were examined [and tortured], as also a Portugal, the guardian of the slaves under the Dutch. During this examination, which continued three or four days, some of the English went to and from the castle upon their business, saw the prisoners, heard of their tortures, and of the crime laid to their charge; but all the while suspected not that the matter did any whit concern themselves, having never had any conversation with the Japoneses [n]or with the Portugal aforesaid. At the same time there was one Abel Price, a "chirurgion" of the English, prisoner in the castle, for offering in his drunkenness to set a Dutchman's house on fire. This fellow the Dutch took and shewed him some of the Japoneses whom they had first most grievously tortured, and told him that they [had] confessed the English to have been of their confederacy for the taking of the castle, and that if he would not confess the same, they would use him even as they had done these Japoneses, and worse also. Having given him the torture, they soon made him confess whatever they asked him.
This was the 15th of February 1622 stilo veteri. Straightway [Forthwith] about 9 of the clock the same morning they sent for Capt. Towerson and some of the English that were in the town to come to speak with the Governor in the castle; they all went save one, whom they [that was] left to keep the house. Being come to the Governor, he told Capt. Towerson that himself and others of his nation were accused of a conspiracy to surprise the castle, and therefore until further trial were to remain prisoners. Instantly they also attached him that was left at home in the house, took the merchandises of the English Company there into their own custody by inventory, and seized all the chests, boxes, books, writings, and other things in the English houses. Capt. Towerson was committed to his chamber, with a guard of Dutch soldiers; Emanuel Thompson was kept prisoner in the castle; the rest [viz., John Beamont, Edward Collins, William Webber, Ephraim Ramsey, Timothy Johnson, John Fardo, and Robert Brown, were] sent aboard the Holland ships theu riding in the harbour, some to one ship, some to another, and all made fast in irons. The same day also the Governor sent to the two other factories in the same island, to apprehend the rest of the English there, so that Samuel Collson, John Clarke, and George Sherrocke, that were found in the factory at Hitto, and Willm. Griggs and John Sadler at Larica, were all brought prisoners to Amboyna the 16th of February, upon which day John Powle, John Wetherall, and Thomas Ladbrooke were apprehended at Cambello and Lahow, and brought in irons to Amboyna the 20th day of the same month. In the meantime the Governor and the Fiscal went to work with the prisoners that were already there. And first they sent for John Beaumont and Timothy Johnson from aboard the Unicorn, who being come unto the castle, Beaumont was left with a guard in the hall, and Johnson was taken into another room, where by and by Beaumont heard him cry [out] very pitifully, then to be quiet for a little while, and then loud again. After taste of the torture, Abel Price, the "chirurgion," that first was examined and tortured, as is above remembered, was brought in to confront and accuse him. But Johnson not yet confessing anything, Price was quickly carried out, and Johnson brought again to the torture, where Beaumont heard him sometimes cry aloud, and then quiet again, then roar afresh. At last, after he had been about an hour in this second examination, he was brought forth wailing and lamenting, all wet and cruelly burnt in divers parts of his body, and so laid aside in a by-place of the hall, with a soldier to watch him that he should speak with nobody. Then was Emanuel Thompson brought to examination, not in the room that Johnson had been in, but in another somewhat [thing] further from the hall; yet Beaumont being in the hall heard him roar most lamentably and many times. At last, after an hour and a half spent in tormenting [torturing] him; he was carried away into another room another way, for that he came not by Beaumont through the hall. Next was Beaumont called in, and being demanded many things, which he denied all with deep oaths and protestations, was made fast to be tortured; a cloth was tied about his neck, and two men ready with their jars of water to be poured on his head; but yet for this time the Governor bade loose him, he would spare him a day or two, because he was an old man. This was all Saturday's work, the 15th of February aforesaid.
Upon Sunday the 16th of February, Willm. Webber, Edward Collins, Ephraim Ramsey, and Robert Browne are fetcht from aboard the Rotterdam to be examined. And at the same time came Samuel Colson, Willm. Griggs, John Clarke, George Sherrocke, and John Sadler, from Hitto and Larica, and were immediately on their arrival brought into the castle hall.
[Robert Browne and Edward Collins examined and torturedRobert Browne, the tailor, was first called in, who being tormented with water confessed all in order as the Fiscal asked him.
Then was Edward Collins called in and told that those that were formerly examined had confessed him as accessary to the plot of taking the castle, which when he denied with great oaths and execrations, they made his hands and feet fast to the rack, bound a cloth about his throat, and ready to be put to the torture of water, [Thus prepared] he prayed to be respited and he would confess all. Being let down, he again vowed and protested his innocency, yet said, That because he knew they would by torture make him confess anything, though never so false, they should do him a great favour to tell him what they would have him say, and he would speak it, to avoid the torment [torture]. The Fiscal hereupon said, What, do you mock us? and bade up with him again, and so gave him the torment of water, which he not able long to endure, prayed to be let down again to his confession. Then he devised a little within himself, and told them that about two months and a half before, himself, Thompson, Johnson, Browne, and Fardo had plotted with the help of the Japoneses to surprise the castle. Here he was interrupted by the Fiscal, and asked whether Capt. Towerson was not one of that conspiracy. He answered, "No." "You lie," said the Fiscal; "did not he call you all to him, and tell you that those daily abuses of the Dutch had caused him to think of a plot, and that he wanted nothing but your consents and secrecy?" Then said a Dutch merchant, one John Jooste, that stood by, "Did you not all swear upon a bible to be secret to him?" Collins answered with great oaths that he knew nothing of any such matter. Then they bade make him fast again, whereupon he then said that all was true that they had spoken. Then the Fiscal asked him whether the English in the rest of the factories were not consenting to this plot? He answered, No. The Fiscal then asked him whether the President of the English at Jacatra, or Mr. Welden, agent at Banda, were not plotters or privy to this business. Again he answered, No. Then the Fiscal asked him by what means the Japoneses should have executed their purpose, whereat when Collins stood staggering and devising [of] some probable fiction, the Fiscal "holpe" him and said, "Should not two Japoneses have gone to each point of the castle and two to the Governor's chamber door, and when the hurly-burly had been without, and the Governor coming to see what was the matter, then the Japoneses to have killed him?" Here one that stood by said to the Fiscal, "Do not tell him what he should say, but let him speak himself." Whereupon the Fiscal, without attending the answer to his former question, asked what the Japoneses should have had for their reward. Collins answered, 1,000 reals apiece. Lastly he asked him when this plot should have been effected, whereunto although he answered [him] nothing (not knowing what to devise upon the sudden), yet he was dismissed, and was very glad thus to come clear of the torture, though with certain belief he should die for this his confession.
[Samuel Colson examined and tortured.]Next was Samuel Colson brought in, being newly arrived from Hitto, as is before touched, and was the same day brought to the torture, who for fear of the pain wherewith he saw Collins come out, in such [a] case that his eyes were almost blown out of his head with the torment of water, chose rather to confess all that they asked him, and so was quickly dismissed, coming and weeping and lamenting and protesting his innocency.
[John Clarke examined and tortured.]
The manner of torture.
Then was John Clarke, that same with Colson from Hitto, fetcht in, and a little after was heard by the rest that were without in the hall to cry out amain. They tortured him with water and with fire by the space of two hours. The manner of his torture (as also of Johnson's and Thompson's) was as followeth. First they hoisted him up by the hands with a cord upon a large door, where they made him fast upon two staples of iron fixed on both sides at the top of the door posts, hauling his hands the one from the other as wide as they could stretch. Being thus made fast, his feet hung some two feet from the ground, which also they stretcht asunder so far as they would reach, and so made them fast beneath unto the door-trees on each side. Then they bound about his neck and face a cloth so close that little or no water could go by. That done, they poured the water softly upon his head until the cloth was full up to his [the] mouth and nostrils and somewhat more [higher], so that he could not draw breath but he must withal suck in the water; when he had drunk his body full then began his pain, for then the water, [which] being still continued to be poured on [in] softly, forced all his inward parts, came out at [of] his nose, [ears,] and eyes, and often as it were stifling and choking him at length took away his breath and brought him to a "swounde" and [or] fainting. Then they took him down quickly and made him vomit up the water. Being a little recovered, they triced him up again and poured in [the] water as before; eftsoons taking him down as he seemed to be stifled. In this manner they handled him three or four several times with water till his body was swollen twice or thrice as big as before, his cheeks like great bladders, and his eyes staring and strutting out beyond his forehead, yet all this he bare without confessing anything, insomuch that [as] the Fiscal and the tormentors reviled him, saying he was a devil and no man; or surely was a witch, at least had some charm about him, or was enchanted that he could bear so much. Wherefore they cut off his hair very short, as supposing he had some witchcraft hidden therein. Afterwards they hoisted him up again as before, and then burnt him with lighted candles in the bottom of his feet until the fat dropt out the candles, yet then applied they fresh lights unto him. They burnt him also under the elbows, and in the palms of his hands, likewise under the armpits until his inwards might evidently be seen. At last when they saw he could of himself make no handsome confession, then they led him along with questions of particular circumstances by themselves framed. Being thus wearied and overcome by the torment, he answered yea to whatsoever they asked, whereby they drew from him a body of a confession to this effect, to wit, that Capt. Towerson had upon New Year's Day last before sworn all the English at Amboyna to be secret and assistant to a plot that he had projected, with the help of the Japoneses, to surprise the castle, and to put the Governor and the rest of the Dutch to death.
Having thus martyred this poor man, they sent him out by four blacks, who carried him between them to a dungeon, where he lay five or six days without any "chirurgion" or other to dress him, until his flesh being putrified, great maggots dropt and crept from him in most noisome and loathsome fashion. Thus they finished their Sabbath Day's work, and it now growing dark sent the rest of the English that came that day from Hitto (and till now [then] attended in the hall) first to the smith's shop (where they were laden with irons), and then to the same loathsome dungeon where Clarke and the rest were, accompanied with the poor Japoneses lying in the putrifaction of their tortures.
[Wm. Griggs examined.]
[The Japonese examined and tortured.]
[John Fardo examined and tortured.]
[John Beaumont examined.]
The next morning, being Monday, the 17th of February, old style, Willm. Griggs and John Fardo, with certain Japoneses, were brought into the place of examination. The Japoneses were first cruelly tortured to accuse Griggs, which at last they did, and Griggs, to avoid the like tortures, confessed all that the Fiscal demanded. Bye-and-by the like also was done by John Fardo and other Japoneses, but Fardo himself endured the torture of water, and at last confessed whatsoever the Fiscal asked him, and so was sent back to prison. The same day John Beaumont was brought the second time to the Fiscal's chamber, where one Capt. Newport, a Dutchman's son born in England, was used as an interpreter. Willm. Griggs was also brought in to accuse him, who said that when the consultation for taking of the castle was held, then he, the said Beaumont, was present. Beaumont denied it with great earnestness and deep oaths; at last being triced up and drencht with water till his inwards were ready to crack, he answered affirmatively to all the Fiscal's interrogatories; yet as soon as he was let down he clearly demonstrated to Capt. Newport and one Johnson, a Dutch merchant, and then also present, that these things could not be so. Nevertheless he was forced to put his hand to his confession or else he must to the torture again, which to avoid he subscribed, and so had a great iron bolt and two shackles riveted to his legs, and then was carried back to prison.
[George Sherrocke examined.]After this George Sherrocke, assistant at Hitto, was called to the [in] question, who seeing how grievously others were martyred, made his earnest prayer to God (as since upon his oath he hath acknowledged) that he would suffer him to make some such probable lies against himself as the Dutch might believe, and so he might escape the torment. Being brought to the rack, the water provided, and the candles lighted, he was by the Governor and Fiscal examined and charged with the conspiracy. He fell down upon his knees and protested his innocency; then they commanded him to the rack, and told him unless he would confess he should be tormented with fire and water to death, and then should be drawn by the heels to the gallows and there hanged up. He still persisting in his innocency, the Fiscal bade him be hoisted up. Then he craved respite a while, and told them that he was at Hitto, and not at Amboyna, upon New Year's Day, when the consultation was pretended, neither had been there since November before, as was well known to sundry of the Hollanders themselves that resided there also with him. Hereupon they commanded him again to the rack, but he craving respite as before, now told them that he had many times heard John Clarke (that was with him at Hitto) say that the Dutch had done them many unsufferable wrongs, and that he would be revenged of them, to which end he had once broken to [with] Capt. Towerson of a brave plot; at which words the Fiscal and the rest were very attentive, encouraging him to proceed, so he went on saying that John Clarke had entreated Capt. Towerson that he might go to Maccassar, there to consult and advise with the Spaniards to come with gallies and rob the small factories of Amboyna and Serán when no ships were there. Here they asked him what Capt. Towerson said to this; he answered that Capt. Towerson was very much offended with Clarke for the motion, and from thenceforth could never abide him. Hereupon the Fiscal called him rogue, and said he prated all from the matter, and should go to the torture. He yet craved favour again, and began another tale, to wit, that upon Twelfth Day then last past John Clarke told him at Hitto that there was a practice to take the castle of Amboyna, and asked him whether he would consent thereunto, whereupon he demanded of Clarke whether Capt. Towerson knew of any such matter, which Clarke affirming, then he, the said Sherrocke, said that he would do as the rest did. Then the Fiscal asked him what time the consultation was held; he answered in November last. The Fiscal said that that could not be, for the consultation was upon New Year's day. The prisoner said as before in the beginning, that he had not been in Amboyna from [since] the first of December until now that he was brought thither; why, then, quoth the Fiscal, have you belied yourself? whereto the prisoner resolutely answered that all he hath spoken touching any treason was false and feigned only to avoid torment. Then went the Fiscal out into another room unto the Governor, and anon returned and sent Sherrocke to the prison again. The next day he was called again, and a writing presented him, wherein was framed a formal confession of his last conference with Clarke at Hitto touching the plot to take the castle of Amboyna, which being read over to him, the Fiscal asked him whether it were true or no. He answered, No. Why, then, said the Fiscal, did you confess it? He answered, for fear of torment. The Fiscal and the rest in a great rage told him he lied; his mouth had spoken it, and it was true, and therefore he should subscribe it, which he yet refusing to do, they laid hands on him to bring him to the torture, so then he subscribed it, which as soon as he had done he fell presently into a great passion, charging them bitterly to be guilty of the innocent blood of himself and the rest, which they should look to answer for at the day of Judgment; withal he grappled with the Fiscal and would have stopt him [from] carrying in the confession to the Governor, with whom he also craved to speak, but he was instantly laid hold on and carried away to prison
[Wm. Webber examined and tortured.]William Webber being next examined, was told by the Fiscal that John Clarke had confessed him to have been at Amboyna on New Year's Day, and sworn to Capt. Towerson's plot, &c. All which he denied, alleging that he was that day at Larica, yet being brought to the torture he then confessed he had been at the consultation at Amboyna upon New Year's Day, with all the rest of the circumstances in order as he was asked. He also further told him [them] he had received a letter from John Clarke, after which was a postcript excusing his brief writing at that time, for that there was great business then in hand. But one Renier[a], a Dutch merchant, then standing by, told the Governor, that upon New Year's Day, the time of this pretended consultation, Webber and he were merry together at Larica; so the Governor' finding that he had falsely accused himself, left him and went out. But the Fiscal held on upon the other point, touching the postcript of Clarke's letter, urging him to show the same, which when he could not do, though often terrified with the torture, he gave him respite, promising to save his life if he would produce that letter.
[Gabriel Towerson examined.]Then was Capt. Towerson brought to his [the] examination, and showed what others had confessed of him; he deeply protesting his innocency, Samuel Colson was brought to confront him, who being told that unless he would [now] make good his former confession against Capt. Towerson, he should to the torture, coldly re-affirmed the same, and so was put [sent] away. They also brought William Griggs and John Fardo, to justify their former confessions to his face; Capt. Towerson seriously charged them, that as they would answer it at the dreadful day of Judgment they should speak nothing but the truth. Both of them instantly fell down upon their knees before him, praying him for God's sake to forgive them, and saying further openly before them all, that whatsoever they had formerly confessed was most false, and spoken only to avoid the torment. With that the Fiscal and the rest offered them again to the torture, which they would not endure, but they [then] affirmed their former confessions to be true.
When Colson, who had accused Capt. Towerson as before, was required to set his hand to his confession, he asked the Fiscal, upon whose head he thought the sin would lie, whether upon his that was constrained to confess that was false, or upon the constrainers? The Fiscal, after a little pause upon this question, went into the Governor, then in another room, but anon returning told Colson he must subscribe it, which he did, yet withal made this protestation: Well (quoth he), you make me [to] accuse myself and others with [of] that which is as false as God is true; for God is my witness, I am as innocent as the child new born. Thus have they examined all that belonged to the English Company in the several factories of the island of Amboyna.
[John Wetherall examined and tortured.]The 21st of February they examined John Wetherall, factor, of Cambello, in the island of Seran. He confessed he was at Amboyna upon New Year's Day; but for the consultation whereof he was demanded, he said he knew of none other but touching certain cloth of the English Company's that lay in the factories rotten and wormeaten, which they advised together how to put off, for [to] the best avail of their employers. The Governor said they questioned him not about cloth, but of treason; whereof when he had protested his innocency, he was for that time dismissed, but the next day he was sent for again, and Capt. Towerson brought to confront and accuse him (having before, it seems, confessed somewhat against him); but Mr. Towerson spake now these words only: Oh, Mr. Wetherall, Mr. Wetherall, speak the truth and nothing but the truth, as God shall put it in [into] your heart. So Capt. Towerson was put out again, and Wetherall brought to the torture of water, with great threats, that if water would not make him confess, fire should. He prayed God [them] to tell him what he should say, or to write down what they would, he would subscribe it. They said he needed no tutor; they said they would make him confess of himself; but when they had triced him up four several times, and saw he knew not what to say, then they read him other men's confessions, and asked him from point to point, as they had done others; and he answered yea to all.
[John Powle examined.]Next was called in John Powle, Wetherall's assistant at Cambello, but he proving that he was not at Amboyna since November, save now when he was brought thither prisoner, and being spoken for by one John Joost, that had been long time acquainted with him, was dismissed without torture.
[Thomas Ladbrooke examined.]Then was Thomas Ladbrooke, servant to Wetherall and Powle at Cambello, brought to be examined, but proving that he was at Cambello at the time of the pretended consultation, and serving in such quality as that he was never acquainted with any of the letters of [from] the agent of Amboyna, [he] was easily and quickly dismissed.
[Ephraim Ramsey examined.]Ephraim Ramsey was also examined upon the whole pretended conspiracy, and particularly questioned concerning Captain Welden, the English agent in Banda, but denying all, and proving that he was not at Amboyna at New Year's tide, being also spoken for by John Joost, he was dismissed after he had hanged on [in] the rack a good while, with his [the] irons upon his legs with the cloth about his mouth.
[John Sadler examined.]Lastly, John Sadler, servant to Wm. Griggs at Larica, was examined, but [and] being found to have been absent from Am boyna at New Year's tide, when Griggs and others were there, was dismissed.
Thus have we all their examinations, tortures, and confessions, being the work of eight days, from the 15th till the 23rd of February, after which was two days' respite before the sentence. John Powle, being himself acquitted as aforesaid, went to the prison to visit John Fardo, one of those that had accused Capt. Towerson. To him Fardo religiously protested his innocency, but especially his sorrow for accusing Mr. Towerson; for, said he, the fear of death doth nothing dismay me, for God, I trust, will be merciful to my soul according to the innocency of my cause. The only matter that troubleth me is that through fear of torment I have accused that honest [and] goodly man, Capt. Towerson, who I think in my conscience was so upright and honest towards all men, that he harboured none ill-will to any, much less would he attempt any such business as he is accused of. He further said he would before his death receive the sacrament, in acknowledgement that he had accused Capt. Towerson falsely and wrongly only through fear of torment.
The 25th of February 1622, old style, all the prisoners, as well the English as the Portugal and the Japoneses, were brought into the great hall of the castle, and there were solemnly condemned, except John Powle, Ephraim Ramsey, John Sadler, and Thomas Ladbrooke, formerly acquitted as aforesaid.
Capt. Towerson, having been during all his imprisonment kept apart from the rest, so that none of them could come to speak with him, writ much in his chamber (as some of the Dutch reported), but all was suppressed, save only a bill of debt which one Thumis Johnson, a free burgher, gat of him by favour of his keepers, for acknowledgement that the English Company ought [owed] him a certain sum of money. In the end of this bill he writ these words: "Firmed by the firme of me, Gabriel Towerson, now appointed to die, guiltless of anything that can justly be laid to my charge. God forgive them their guilt, and receive me to his mercy. Amen." This bill being brought to Mr. Welden, the English agent in Banda, he paid the money and received in the acknowledgement.
Willm. Griggs, that had before accused Capt. Towerson, writ these words following in his table book: "We whose names are here specified, John Beaumond, merchant of Looho, Wm. Griggs, merchant of Larica, Abel Price, surgeon of Amboyna, Robert Browne, tailor, which do lie here prisoners in the ship Rotterdam, being apprehended for conspiracy for blowing up the Castle of Amboyna, we being judged to death this 5th of March, A° 1622, which we, through torment, was constrained to speak that which we never meant nor once imagined, the which we take upon our deaths and salvation. They tortured us with that extreme torment of fire and water, which flesh and water could not endure; and this we take upon our deaths, that they have put us to death guiltless of our accusation. So, therefore, we desire they that understand this, that our employers may understand this our [these] wrongs, and that yourselves would have a care to look to yourselves, for their intent was to have brought in you also. They asked concerning you, which, if they had tortured us, we must have confessed you also. And so farewell; written in the dark."
This table book was afterwards delivered to Mr. Weldon, before named, by one that served the Dutch.
Samuel Colson, also another that accused Capt. Towerson, writ as followeth in the waste leaves of a book wherein were bound together the Common Prayers, the Psalms, and the Catechism:—
In one page thus:—
March the 5th, stilo novo, being Sunday, aboard the Rotterdam, lying in irons.
Understand, that I, Samuel Colson, late factor of Hitto, was apprehended for suspicion of conspiracy, and for any thing I know, must die for it. Wherefore, having no better means to make my innocency known, have writ this in this book, hoping some good Englishman will see it. I do here, upon my salvation, as I hope by His death and passion to have redemption for my sins, that I am clear of all such conspiracy, neither do I know any Englishman guilty thereof, nor other creature in the world. As this is true, God bless me,
Samuell Coulson.
On the other side, upon the first page of the Catechism, is thus written—
In another leaf you shall understand more, which I have writ in this book.
Sa. Coulson.
Being in the beginning of the Psalms.
And it that [the] leaf so referred to is thus written [viz.]:—
The Japoneses were taken with some villany and brought to examination, being most tyrannously tortured, were asked if the English had any hand in their plot, which torture made them say yea. Then was Mr. Thompson, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Collins, John Clarke brought to examination, and were burned under the arms, the armpits, the hands, and soles of the feet, with another most miserable torture, to drink water. Some of them almost tortured to death and were forced to confess that which they never knew, by reason of the torment, which flesh and blood is not able to endure. Then were the rest of the Englishmen called one by one, amongst which I was one, being wished to confess, or else I must go to torment. Withall called Mr. Johnson, who was before tormented, to witness against me, or else he should be tormented again, which, rather than he would endure, he said what they would have he would speak. Then must I confess that I never knew, or else go to torment, which rather than I would suffer, I did confess that which (as I shall be saved before God Almighty) is not true, being forced for fear of torment. Then did they make us witness against Capt. Towerson, and at last made Capt. Towerson confess, all being for fear of most cruel torment, for which we must [all] die. As I mean and hope to have pardon for my sins, I know no more than the child unborn of the business. Written with mine own hand the 5th of March, stilo novo.
Samuell Coulson.
Yet in another page are [were] these words—
I was born in New Castle upon Tyne, where I desire this book may come, that my friends may know my innocency.
Sa. Coulson.
This book he delivered to one that served the Hollanders, who sewed it up in his bed, and afterwards at his opportunity, delivered it up to Mr. Welden before named. All the[se] said writings are yet extant under the hands of the several parties, well known to their friends here in England.
The 26th of February, stilo veteri, the prisoners were all brought into the great hall of the castle (except Capt. Towerson and Emanuel Thompson) to be prepared for death by the minister. The Japoneses now all in general, as some of them had done before in particular, cried out unto the English, saying, Oh, ye Englishmen, where did we ever in our lives eat with you, talk with you, yea, or to our remembrance, see you? The English answered, Why, then, have you accused us? The poor men perceiving they were made believe each had accused other before they had so done indeed, shewed them their tortured bodies, and said, If a stone were thus burnt, would it not change its nature? How much more we that are flesh and blood?
Whilst they were all in the hall, Capt. Towerson was brought up into the place of examination, and two great jars of water carried after him. What he there did or suffered, was unknown to the rest of the English without. But it seems they made him there to underwrite his confession.
John Powle, Ephr. Ramsey,
Thos. Ladbrooke, John
Sadler, Edw. Collins,
John Beaumont saved.
After supper John Powle, Ephraim Ramsey, Thomas Ladbrooke, and John Sadler, who were found not guilty as aforesaid, were taken from the rest, and put into another room. Bye-and-by also where Samuel Colson and Edward Collins brought from the rest into the room where Emanuel Thompson lay. The Fiscal told them, it was the Governor's mercy to save one of them three, and it being indifferent to him which of them were the man, it was his pleasure they should draw lot for it; which they did, and the free lot fell to Edward Collins, who was carried away to the chamber where John Powle and the rest that were quit lodged; and Samuel Colson back into the hall. Anon, also, John Beaumont was brought out of the hall into the chamber, where Powle and the rest of the acquitted persons were, and was told that he was beholding to Peter Johnson the Dutch merchant of Lahoo, and to the secretary for they two had begged his life. So then there remained in the hall only ten of the English (for Capt. Towerson and Emanuel Thompson, as is said before, were kept in in several rooms apart from the rest) to those that remained in the hall came the Dutch ministers; who telling them how short a time they had to live, admonished and exhorted them to make their true confessions, for it was a dangerous and desperate thing to dissemble at such a time. The English still professed their innocency, and prayed the ministers that they might all receive the sacrament, as a zeal of the forgiveness of their sins, and withal thereby to confirm their last profession of their innocency. But this would by no means be granted, whereupon Samuel Colson said thus unto the ministers: You manifest unto us the danger of dissimulation in this case; but tell us if we suffer guiltless being also otherwise true believers in Christ Jesus, what shall be our reward? The preacher answered, by how much the clearer you are, so much the more glorious shall be your resurrection. With that word Colson started up embraced the preacher, and gave him his purse with such money as he had in it, saying, Domine, God bless you. Tell the Governor I freely forgive him; and I entreat you to exhort him to repent him of this bloody tragedy wrought upon us poor innocent souls. Here all the rest of the English signified their consent of this speech.
Then spake John Fardo to the rest in presence of the ministers as followeth: My countrymen and brethren that are here with me condemned to die, I charge you all as you will answer it at God's judgment seat, if any of you be guilty of this matter whereof we are condemned, discharge your consciences and confess the truth for satisfaction of the word. Hereupon Samuel Colson spake with a loud voice saying: According to my innocency in this treason, so Lord pardon all the rest of my sins, and if I be guilty more or less, let me never be partaker of thy heavenly joys; at which words every one of the rest cried out, Amen for me, Amen for me, Amen for me, good Lord. This done, each of them knowing whom he had accused, went one to another, begging forgiveness for their false accusation being wrung from them by the pains or fear of torture. And they all freely forgave one another. For none had been so falsely accused but he himself had accused another as falsely. In particular George Sherrocke (who survived to relate that [this] night's passage) kneeled down to John Clarke (whom he had accused of the tale at Hitto before mentioned) and craved forgiveness at his hands. Clarke freely forgave him saying, How should I look to be forgiven of God if I should not forgive you, having myself so falsely accused Capt. Towerson and others. After this they spent the rest of that [the] doleful night in prayer, singing of psalms, and comforting one another, though the Dutch that guarded them offered them wine, bidding them drink lusticke [? lustilie] and drive away their sorrow (according to the custom of their own nation in like case) but contrary to the nature of the English.
Wm. Webber, Geo.
Sherrocke saved.
Upon the morrow morning being the execution day, the 27th of February old style, John Powle, being freed as in above recited, came into the room where the condemned persons were, and found them at prayer. They all requested him to relate unto their friends in England the innocency of their cause; taking it upon their deaths, that what they had confessed against themselves and others, touching this crime, was all forced by fear and [of] torture. The same morning Willm. Webber was called again into the Fiscal's room, and there pressed to produce the letter which before he had confessed to have received from John Clarke, in the postscript whereof some great business was intimated: they promised him his life if he would deliver or procure them that letter, which although he did not, nor indeed [c]would, yet at last they pardoned him, and sent him to the rest that were saved and Sherrocke with him.
That morning also Emmanuel Thompson understanding that John Beaumond was pardoned, made means to have him come and speak with him, which with much ado he obtained; Beaumond found him sitting in a chamber alone in a most miserable fashion: the wounds of his torture bound up, but the matter and gore blood issued through the rollers. He took Mr. Beaumond by the hand, and prayed him when he came into England, to do his duty to the honourable Company his masters, to Mr. Robinson and his brother Billingsley, and to certify them of his innocency which (said he) yourself know well enough.
All things being prepared for the execution, the condemned were brought forth of the hall along by the chamber, where the quit and pardoned were: who stood in the door to give and take their [the] farewell of their countrymen now going to execution. Staying a little for this purpose, they prayed and charged those that were saved to bear witness to their friends in England of their innocency, and that they died not traitors, but so many innocents, merely murdered by the Hollanders; whom they prayed God to forgive their bloodthirstiness, and to have mercy upon their own souls.
Being brought forth into yard, their sentence was there read unto them from a gallery. And then they were [thence] carried [un]to the place of execution together with nine Japoneses and a Portugal, not the ordinary and short way, but round about with a long procession through the town; the way guarded with five companies of soldiers Dutch and Amboynezes, and thronged with the natives of the island that, upon instruction [the summons given the day before by the sound of a drum, flocked together to behold this triumph of the Dutch over the English. Samuel Colson had conceived a prayer in writing, in the end whereof he protested his innocency. Which prayer he read to his fellows the night before, and now also at the place of execution devoutly pronounced the same: then threw away the paper, which the Governor caused te be brought to him and kept it.
Emanuel Thompson told the rest, he did not doubt but God would shew some sign of their innocency. And every one of the rest took it severally upon their death that they were utterly guiltless, and so one by one with great cheerfulness they suffered the fatal stroke.
The Portugal prayed over his beads very devoutly, and often kissed the cross, swearing thereupon he was utterly innocent of this treason, yet confessed God has justly brought this punishment upon him, for that having a wife in his own country he had by the persuasion of the [Dutch] Governor taken another in that country; this first being yet living.
The Japonezes likewise according to their religion shut up their last act with profession of their innocency.
Capt. Gab. Towerson,
Sam. Closon,
Eman. Thompson,
Tim. Johnson,
John Wetherall,
John Clarke,
Wm. Griggs
John Fardo,
Abel Price,
Robt. Browne executed.
So there suffered ten English[men], Capt. Gabriel Towerson, the agent of the English at Amboyna, Samuel Colson, factor at Hitto, Emanuel Thompson, assistant at Amboyna, Tymothy Johnson, assistant there also, John Wetherall, factor at Cambello, John Clarke, assistant at Hitto, William Griggs, factor at Larica, John Fardo, steward of the house at Amboyna, Abel Price, chirurgion, and Robert Browne, tailor.
[The Portugal also suffered with them. His name was Augustine Perez. He was born at Bengala.
The names of the Japonese that suffered (if any be curious to know them) were as followeth:—
Hiheso, Tsiosa, Suisa; all born at Firando.
Stanley Migiel born at Nangasacque.
Pedro Congie born at Nangasacque.
Thome Corea born at Nangasacque.
Quiondayo, native of Coraets.
Isabinda of Tsoucketgo.
Zanchoe of Fisien.
Besides these there were two other Japoneses, the one named Soysimo, born at Firando, and the other Sacoute, of the same place; the former of which being tortured, confessed both to have been privy to this pretended treason and to have offered his service unto the English to aid them in taking of the castle, and the latter confessed to have had knowledge of the consultation of the other Japons to this purpose. But neither of them was executed nor so much as condemned. The reason whereof was not known to the English that were saved.]
They had prepared a cloth of black velvet for Capt. Towerson's body to fall upon, which being stained and defaced with his blood, they afterwards put to the account of the English Company.
At the instant of the execution there arose a great darkness, with a sudden and violent gust of wind and tempest, whereby two of the Dútch ships riding in the harbour were driven from their anchors, and with great labour and difficulty saved from the rocks. Within a few days after one Willm. Dunkin, that had told the Governor that Robert Browne, the English tailor, had a few months before told him, he hoped within six months the English should have as much to do within the castle of Amboyna as the Dutch. This man [fellow] coming upon an evening to the grave where the English were buried (being all, save Capt. Towerson, in one pit) fell down upon the grave, and having lain there awhile rose up [again] stark mad, and so continued two or three days together, and then died. Forthwith also fell a new sickness at Amboyna, which swept away [about] a thousand people, Dutch and Amboynezes, in the space where usually there died not above thirty at other seasons. These signs were by the surviving English referred to the confident prediction of Emanuel Thompson above mentioned, and were by the Aboynezes interpreted as a token of the wrath of God for this barbarous tyranny of the Hollanders.
The next day after the execution, being the 24th (? 28th) of February, stilo veteri, was spent in triumph for the new General of the Dutch (Peter de Carpentier), then proclaimed, and in public rejoycing for their deliverance from this pretended treason.
The day following, being the 1st of March, Jno. Beaumound, George Sherrocke, Edward Collynes, and Wm. Webber, were brought to the Governor, who told Beaumound, Sherrocke, and Webber that they were pardoned in honour of the new General, and Collines that he was to go to Jacatra, there to stand to the favour of the new General. So the Governor made them drink wine with him, and courteously dismissed them, bidding [willing] them go and consult with the rest that were saved, who were fit to be placed in the several factories, which done, and their opinions reported to the Governor, he accordingly commanded each to his place, adding that he would thenceforth take upon him the patronage and government of the English Company's business, to which purpose he had then within a few days past opened a letter that came from the English President at Jaccatra, directed to Capt. Towerson, being (as he said) the first English letter that ever he intercepted. Further saying, he was glad that he found by that letter that the English at Jaccatra were innocent touching this business. The Governor and Fiscal having thus made an end at Amboyna, despatched themselves for Banda, where they made very diligent inquiry against Capt. Welden, the English agent there, but found no colour nor shadow of guilt to lay hold of But at last entertained him with courteous speeches, professing to be very glad that they found him, as well as the English at Jaccatra, to be without suspicion of this treason, as they termed it.
Capt. Welden, perceiving the disorder and confusion of the English Company's affairs at Amboyna, by means of this dealing of the Dutch, forthwith hired a Dutch pinnace at Banda, and passed to Amboyna. Whither instantly upon his arrival he recalled the Company's servants sent (as before) by the Dutch Governor to the under factories.
Having enquired of them and the rest that were left at Amboyna, of the whole proceedings lately passed, he found, by the constant and agreeing relation of them all, that there was no such treason of the English as was pretended, as also understanding what strict command the Governor had given to the surviving English, not once to talk or confer with the country people concerning this bloody business (although the same country people every day reproached them with treason, and a bloody intention to have massacred the natives, and to have ript up the bellies of the women with child, and such-like stuff, wherewith the Dutch had possessed the [poor] vulgar people to make the English odious unto them), the said Mr. Weldon, therefore, finding it to sort neither with the honour nor profit of the English Company, his masters, to hold any longer residence there [in Amboyna], he took the[is] poor remnant of the English along with him in the said hired pinnace for Jaccatra, whither the Governor had sent John Beaumound and Edward Collins before, as men condemned and left to the mercy of the General.
When this heavy news of Amboyna came to Jaccatra, and to the English there, the President forthwith sent to the General of the Dutch to know by what authority their Governor of Amboyna had thus proceeded against the English. And how he and the rest of the Dutch there at Jaccatra did approve there proceedings, The General returned for an answer that the Governor of Amboyna his authority was derived from the Lords States General of the United Netherlands, under whom he had lawful jurisdiction, both in civil and criminal causes, within the district of Amboyna. Further, that such proceeding was necessary against traitors, such as the English executed at Amboyna might appear to be by their own confessions, copy whereof he therewith sent unto the English President, who sent the same back to be authentically certified, but received it not again.
Hitherto hath been recited the bare and naked narration of the progress and passages of this action, as it is taken out of the depositions of the [six] several English factors, whereof four were condemned [and] the other two acquitted in this process of Amboyna, all since they returned into England examined upon their oaths in the Admiralty Court. The particular of Capt. Towerson's, as also of Emanuel Thompson's, examinations and answers, are not yet come to light, by reason that these two were kept apart from all the rest, and each alone by himself; none [nor any] other of the English suffered to come to speak with them, except only that short farewell [which] John Beaumound took of Thompson the morning before the execution before mentioned. The like obscurity is as yet touching the examinations and answers of divers of the rest that were executed, being during their imprisonment so strictly looked unto and watched by the Dutch, that they might not talk together, nor mutually relate their miseries. But because the Hollanders defend their own proceedings by the confessions of the parties executed, acknowledging severally under their own hands that they were guilty of the crime pretended, it will not be amiss to recollect [and recall unto this place], as it were, into one sum or total, certain circumstances dispersed in the several parts of this narration, whereby as well the innocency of the English, as the unlawful proceedings against them may be manifested.
First, therefore, it is to be remembered that the Japonezes were apprehended, examined, and tortured three or four days before the English were attached. And the same as well of their apprehension as torture was rife and notorious in the town of Amboyna and the parts adjoining. Thompson in this interim, and the very first day of the examination of the Japonezes, went to the castle to ask leave of the Governor to land some rice, and brought the news back with him to the English house of the cruel handling of these poor Japonezes. This had been item enough to the English (if they had been guilty) to shift for themselves; whereto also they had ready means of the curricurries or small boats of the Amboynezes (which lie along the strand in great number), wherewith they might easily have transported themselves to Seran Bottoon or Maccassar, out of the reach or [and] jurisdiction of the Dutch. But in that they fled not in this case, it is a very strong presumption that they were so [as] little privy to any treason of their own as suspicious of any treacherous train laid for their blood.
In the next place, let it be considered how impossible it was for the English to achieve this pretended enterprise. The castle of Amboyna is of very great strength, as is before declared; the garrison therein 200 or 300 men, besides as many more of their free burghers in the town. What their care and circumspection in all their forts is, may appear not only by the quick alarum they now took at the foolish questions of the poor Japoneze, made to the sentinel above recited, but also by that which a little before happened at Jaccatra, where one of their soldiers for sleeping in his watch was shot to death. Durst ten English, whereof not one a soldier, attempt anything upon such strength and vigilancy ? As for the assistance of the Japonezes, they were but ten neither, and all unarmed as well as the English. For as at the seizure of the English house all the provision therein found was but three swords and two muskets, with half a pound of powder; so the Japonezes (except they are in service of the castle and there armed by the Dutch) are allowed to have no arms, but only a cattan, a kind of short sword; and it is forbidden to all the Dutch upon great penalty to sell any hand gun, powder, or bullets either to the Japonezes or Amboynezes. But let it be imagined that these 20 persons, English and Japonezes, were so desperate as to venture the exploit. How should they be able either to master the Dutch in the castle or to keep possession when they had gotten it ? What seconds had they at hand ? There was neither ship nor pinnace of the English in the harbour; all the rest of the Japonezes in the island were not 20 persons, and not one Englishman more. The nearest of the rest of the English were at Banda, 40 leagues from Amboyna, and those but nine persons, all afterwards cleared by the Governor and Fiscal themselves of all suspicion of this pretended crime, as were also the rest of the English at Jaccatra. On the other side, besides the strength of the castle and town of Amboyna, the Hollanders have three other strong castles well furnished with soldiers in the same island, and at Cambello, near adjoining. [They had then also in the rode of Amboyna] eight ships and vessels, namely, the Rotterdam of 1,200 tons, the Unicorn 300, the Freeman's vessel of 100, the Calke of 60, Capt. Gamall's junk of 40, the Flute of 300, the Amsterdam of 1,400, and a pinnace about 60 tons. All these were well furnished with men and munition. It is true that the stories do record sundry valiant and hardy enterprises of the English nation, and Holland is witness of some of them, yea hath reaped the fruit of the English resolution; yet no story nor legend scarcely reporteth any such hardiness either of the English or others, that so few persons, so naked of all provisions and supplies, should undertake such an adventure upon such a counter party so well and abundantly fitted at all points.
But let it be further granted that they might (possibly) have overcome all these difficulties, yet to what end and purpose should they put themsèlves into such a jeopardy ? They knew well enough it was agreed between both Companies at home that the forts in the Indies should remain respectively in the hands of such as had possession of them at the date of the treaty, a° 1619, and that the same was ratified by the King's Majesty and the Lord States General. They knew likewise, and all the world takes knowledge, of his Majesty's religious observation of peace and treaty with all his neighbours, yea with all the world. What reward, then, could these English hope for of this their valour and danger ? Certainly none other than that which is expressly provided by the treaty itself; that is, to be punished as disturbers of the common peace and amity of both nations. But let all these Englishmen have been as foolish in this plot as the Hollanders will have them, is it also to be imagined that they were so graceless as when they were condemned and seriously admonished by the ministers to discharge their consciences, yet then to persist in their dissimulation ? being otherwise of such godly behaviour as to spend the time in prayer, singing of psalms, and spiritually comforting one another, which the Dutch would have had them bestow in drinking to drive away [their] sorrow ? Let Coulson's question to the minister be considered, his and the rest's, and offer and desire to receive the sacrament in token [witness] of their innocency, their mutual asking forgiveness for their like false accusations of one another forced by the torture, Thompson's last farewell to Beaumound, Colson's prayer, and his writing in his prayer-book; Fardo's farewell to Powle, also his conjuring exhortation to his fellows to discharge their consciences, and all their answers thereunto, craving God's mercy or judgment according to their innocency in this cause; their general and religious profession of their innocency to their countrymen at their last parting with them; and finally, their sealing of this profession with their last breath and blood, even in the very article of death and in the stroke of the executioner: what horrible and unexampled dissimulation were this? If some one or more of them had been so fearfully desperate, yet [w]could there not one in [amongst] them be found that would [to] think of the judgment to come, whereunto he was then instantly summoned without essoyne, bail, or mainprize ? What ? had they hope of reprieve or [and] life if they kept their countenance to the last ? yet what hope had Thompson and the rest when Capt. Towerson's head was off ? Nay, what desire had Thompson and Clarke to live, being so mangled and martyred by the torture ? They were executed one by one, and every man [one] severally took it upon his death that he was guiltless.
Now to blanch and smoothe over all this rough and barbarous proceeding, it is here given out that the Governor and Fiscal found such evidence of the plot, and dealt so evenly in the process, that they spared not their own people, having used some of their native Hollanders, partakers of this treason, in the same manner as they did the English. But this, as well by the relation here truly and faithfully set down, grounded upon the sworn testimony of six credible witnesses, as also by other sufficient reports of divers lately come out of those parts, appeareth to be a meer tale, not once alleged by any in the Indies in many months after the execution, but only invented and dispersed hére for a fucus or [and] fair colour upon the whole cause, and to make the world believe that the ground of this barbarous and tyrannous proceeding was a true crime, and not the insatiable covetousness of the Hollanders, by this cruel treachery to gain the sole trade of the Molluccoes, Banda, and Amboyna, which is already become the effect [event] of this bloody process.
To add hereunto by way of aggravation will be needless, the fact is so full of odious and barbarous inhumanity executed by Hollanders upon the English nation in a place where both lived under terms of partnership and great amity confirmed by a most solemn treaty.
Endorsed, "The Discourse of the Execution of the English at Amboyna. Handson." [Thirty-four pages. East Indies, Vol. III., No. 21.]
500. Copy of the above in Dutch. [Thirty-eight pages. East Indies, Vol. III., No. 22.] (The "third impression" of this "True Relation" was printed in 1632 (Brit. Mus. 8022 a.). It was reprinted in 1651 (E. 1311) and in 1688 (9055 a.a.a. 2). To the editions of 1624, 1632, and 1651 are frontispieces showing the manner of torture, as described at pp. 306–7.)