East Indies
July 1624, 11-20

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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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320-328

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'East Indies: July 1624, 11-20', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, East Indies, China and Japan, Volume 4: 1622-1624 (1878), pp. 320-328. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=69779 Date accessed: 02 September 2014.


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Contents

July 1624, 11-20

July 11.501. Locke to Carleton. The East India merchants are greatly discontented about the torturing and massacring of their ministers and servants in the East Indies by the Dutch. They have had several consultations about it, insomuch that they have been about to give over their trade into those parts, which many of them protest they will do unless they may have satisfaction for that wrong, or be suffered to use their own discretion. [Extract from Domestic Corresp., Jac. I., Vol. CLXIX., No. 41, Cal., p. 298.]
July 12.
Wanstead.
502. Sec. Conway to Buckingham. The East India merchants have renewed a grievous complaint against the Hollanders. The King has communicated their petitions to his Council and taken resolution, in case satisfaction for the past and surety for the future is not given by 12 Aug. to take his own satisfaction. [Extract from Domestic Corresp., Jac. I., Vol. CLXIX., No. 50, Cal., p. 299.]
July 12.503. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Complaint of Thomas Moore, late the Company's smith at Deptford, of being put out of their house; referred. Ordered, that a meeting of the mixed committee about delinquents be held on Wednesday week, and that the beadle get as many together as possible. Sec. Conway to be spoken with concerning the discharge for the 10,000l. to his Majesty. Information that Mr. Mynn had sold calicoes in town which he took to ship out. Mr. Governor acquainted the Court that himself and others attended the King the day before, being Sunday, at Wanstead, and were brought into his bedchamber, where the petition was delivered to his Majesty, with a book, wherein was summarily set down the manner of the torments inflicted upon the English by the Dutch, together with a disheartening of the Company thereby to follow any longer that trade. To which his Majesty gave a most gracious answer, encouraging the adventurers to proceed, and promising a speedy reparation from the Dutch by the strength of his own arm if they did it not suddenly themselves. Mr. Governor told his Majesty they had cause to think that this is a train laid to put all their men to death in the Indies, and that the like practice had been at Jacatra; that this Company is in worse case than either the French or the Dane, who trade quietly without interruption; and that all the treaties with the Dutch are but so many treacheries, for they hold nothing. His Majesty resolved to repair the Company, and after many gracious encouragements assembled the Lords in Council, spending the whole time in the agitation of this business, and in the end Mr. Governor received command to attend the Lords at Whitehall. For that reason this Court was specially called to consider what will be fit to be propounded. Much argument upon this point; in the end resolved, in the first place, to propound justice against the murderers; secondly, reparation for other injuries done the Company, as well in the Bandas as elsewhere; and, thirdly, a separation; and that the first two may be really performed, to require good caution, viz., Bass, Boorell, and Brower, not only to secure for a real reparation, but likewise for the warrant of the rest of the Company's men and goods in the Indies. After seeing his Majesty they likewise attended the Prince, "who received them with a cheerful countenance." It was resolved in no wise to yield to a new treaty, but a separation, and that the Company may have free trade, and that if they shall enjoy Pooloroon, Lantar, or both, the neighbouring natives may have free access. Petition of George Sherrock, one of the men that had tasted of the Dutch cruelties in the Indies having lost all he had by the general seizure of the Dutch, for the Company's favourable help. Was told that after a time they will take consideration of his suit, in the meantime he must consider that the Company's loss was very great. [Two pages and a half. Court Minute Book, VII., pp. 17–19.]
July 12.504. Carleton to the Governor and Deputies of the East India Company in England. Upon the very first news of the bloody execution of the English at Amboyna spread abroad here, with all the advantage that could be in setting out their pretended conspiracy against the Dutch, and praising their pious and penitent ends, without any word of torture, he has spared not to speak of the improbability that so small a handful of men, being factors for others, should undertake such an interprise without hope of being avowed by their principals, and that it might well prove that cruelty of torture might extort confession without any grounded truth, upon which he desired the Prince of Orange and the States to suspend their opinions. Since then has had knowledge from Sec. Conway of his Majesty's entertaining the complaint, who has sent him Mr. Towerson's petition, and the protests from Batavia of the 12th and 20th December 1623; which, with their letter of June 26 [No. 486], further confirm him in his opinion of the wrongful execution of our men. Sec. Conway had written an effectual letter to the Prince of Orange by way of complaint of that bloody proceeding and demand of satisfaction, which the Ambassadors lately returned out of England have let their masters know his Majesty is resolved to have, either given or taken. To this effect has said so much likewise that the States General, not content with calling the Bewinthebbers to account, have demanded to have all the examinations and the whole process presented in writing, which they have had before them these eight days. The States promise not to lay the business aside and sincerity in their judgment, yet Carleton perceives that the deputies of the Bewinthebbers, with their advocate Boreel, have pleaded their cause so well that there is bred an opinion that Towerson, Thomson, and the rest of the factors really did conspire to take the fort of Amboyna, though none of them as yet approve the torture and execution. Infers that there is more probability of treason in the Dutch than in the English, who are best acquainted with the trade in those parts, and being not above 20 in all, without any seconds, and the Dutch a strong garrison in a fortified place and shipping hard by at command, it is to common sense a matter not only of difficulty but impossibility. Has seen in letters to English merchants at Delft particulars of barbarous and inhuman tortures used to our men, of which he would gladly hear the true ground, "because they here inform that all was very moderate." Has received from Misselden, Towerson Griggs and Coulson protestations of their innocency, signed June 24, 1623, by the Company's servants at Amboyna, of which he will make use when time serves, and will be glad to have any further writings concerning this business, "which I hope you are persuaded I take to heart, or else you must believe I have no drop of good English blood in me." Endorsed, "To the Governor, &c., the 12th July 1624, and to Mr. Barlow, mutatis mutandis, the 27/17th. [Two pages. Holland Corresp.]
July 13.505. Abstract of a letter from Carleton to Sec. Conway. The Deputies of the [Dutch] East India Company coming to inform the States of the proceedings in the East Indies, and doing it only in general terms were turned back to Amsterdam for a more exact process, which they have now brought in writing, with their advocate. They have wrought a belief in the States that Towerson practised a treason against Amboyna, but none approve the cruel tortures and bloody executions. Their resolutions will now shortly be known. [Holland Corresp.]
July 15.
Westminster.
506. Grant to Sir Robert Sherley, Ambassador from the King of Persia, of 40l. per week for diet and entertainment until further order, to commence from 28 January last. [Domestic, Jac. I., Sign Manual, Vol. XVI., No. 34, Cal., p. 301.]
July 15.
Theobalds.
507. [Sec. Conway] to the East India Company. The King seems to marvel a little that the remainder of the money is not yet received and has signified his pleasure that they deliver to Rich. Oliver the 10,000l. to be employed in some secret service for his Majesty without account or imprest. [One page. Certified copy by Edward Sherburne, secretary to the East India Company. East Indies, Vol. III., No. 23.]
July 15.508. Another copy is in—Domestic Corresp., Jac. I., Vol. CLXX., No. 5, Cal., p. 302.]
July ?509. The East India Company to the Privy Council. Copy of the inclosure in Lord President Mandeville's letter of 16 July [calendared No. 511. I.] with the following addition, but without the King's answers:—"His Majesty in Council did constantly promise that the above written shall be performed and when the Company within a day or two shall have received the said answer underwritten by his Majesty then will they give their resolution concerning the continuance of the trade." [One page. East Indies, Vol. III., No. 24.]
July 16.510. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Complaint against Lee for receiving money for bezoar (stones) charged to Langton's account, to be heard. Report by Mr. Governor that himself and some few of the committees had by the advice of the Lord President been at Theobalds, "where his Majesty having espied them, demanded what they made there," and the Lord President saying they came by his direction, his Majesty willed they should be called in, and "there, in a great presence of privy councillors, his Majesty declared that he will in no sort give way that the Company shall leave the trade; is content they shall have hostages from the Dutch for the performance of justice upon those that have been the authors and executioners of that bloody sentence upon the English; that the Company shall have forts, and in effect all that the Company propounded in the writing last delivered to the Lord President; and for a beginning hath written a round letter to require justice from the States." His Majesty demanded what shipping the Company intend to send; the answer was only one pinnace for advice, for if they shall be driven to call home their servants and stock there, it cannot be suddenly done, but will ask some years, but if they may be well seconded, they can make ready three or four ships and more if need be. This latter part of their speech his Majesty applauded, and demanded further if they wanted stock, whereto they answered that the Company held out hitherto, and shall be able to do so still if the business be at once set right. At last his Majesty demanded what they would say to it if himself came in as an adventurer. Mr. Governor prayed time to consider with the generality on that motion, because himself and those few with him had not power to resolve his Majesty in a matter of that importance. His Majesty demanded how soon this could be done. Mr. Governor made answer it would ask some time to assemble them. His Majesty willed it should be done as soon as it might conveniently. Mr. Governor desired that something might be set down in writing, expressing his Majesty's offer, that the same might be shown to the Company. Proposal that some persons of honourable quality might deliver his Majesty's pleasure at the General Court, laid aside, and resolved that Mr. Governor make known his Majesty's pleasure in one kind or other after he shall receive the writings whereby he shall be directed, and return the answer. It was said that Sec. Conway informed his Majesty that one Steele had discovered a rich trade into Persia, seconded by Sir Robert Sherley, affirming that there will be vent found for 30,000 cloths yearly, whereby the trade of silk may be wholly gained without exportation of money. To this was answered that the vent of cloths in Persia is better known to the Company than it can be either to Sir Robert or Steele; those who desire to be informed of Steele's ability in the Mogul's country need go no further than the journal of Sir Thos. Roe; that an answer to his Majesty's letters to the King of Persia on behalf of the Company is on the way hitherwards; and that the Company is already possessed with a fort at Ormuz, where they have made the staple of all their commodities, and a safe station for all their shipping. In the end, not his Majesty alone, but also divers of the Lords showed great desire that the East India trade should be continued, insomuch as it is become a business of State: in particular the Lord President, having shown to his Majesty in writing what is desired by the Company to encourage their countenance of the trade, hath undertaken to return them his Majesty's answer in writing to all those propositions, and authentically testified to the Company's content and satisfaction which when Mr. Governor hath received, he will acquaint the committee therewith. Proposal of Capt. Greene to refer his business to arbitrators, accepted. Request of Mr. Hale, executor to [Rich.] Fursland, deceased, that he may have a box of diamonds, bezoars, rings, ambergris, &c., belonging to the testator, consented to on certain conditions. Unlading of the Elizabeth and the Exchange. Mr. Farlowe, a druggist, to be warned to attend the next Court, he having bought a drug of Spaldinge, and carried it home because he doubted that when Spaldinge shall be better informed of the value he would not have delivered it. Examination of what the auditors have done, and a determination what to do. Valentine Markham to have 50l. per annum. The committees for powder to see to the 85 barrels come home in these ships. Petition of George Sherrock, one of those that had been "questioned" in the Indies by the Dutch, who had taken his apparel and other things, and had served the Company nine years, to bestow something upon him. The Court gave him a gratification of 10l., and being questioned, he said that over and above torments by fire and water the Dutch "would gash the breasts of men, and having filled those gashes with powder, would put fire thereto." [Five pages. Court Minute Book, VII., pp. 19–24.]
July 16.
London.
511. Lord President Mandeville to Sec. Conway. Sends a draught containing the East India Company's desires and the King's answers. Has shown it to the Council who allow of it, conceiving it to agree with that the King declared. If the King like it, will send it to the Company, as they desire to have it whereupon to ground their propositions at the next Court and gain an answer to the King's offer. Requests him to return it when the King has seen it: Incloses,
511. i. The East India Company to the Privy Council. The King by his own words of late did so comfort their distresses and now their Lordships give them that heart by so tendring their cause that they offer these desires to their Lordships. First. That his Majesty will vindicate the death of his subjects so cruelly and unjustly executed in the Indies. Secondly. That real restitution be made for goods wrong fully confiscated from the English by the Dutch in India, and that the Company's servants and goods may at their pleasure be brought home in safety, and hostages given for the due performance of the same. Thirdly. That if it be the King's pleasure that this trade to the East Indies be continued, then that the contract made with the Dutch in 1619 be wholly severed and the Company trade freely in all places in the Indies where the Dutch have no possession, and that the Company may secure themselves also by fortifying upon the islands of Pooloroon and Lantar, and in some other convenient places by direction of the King. Fourthly. The French and Danes trade freely in the Indies because wrongs done to them are revenged at home, if his Majesty will do the like the Dutch will soon give over molesting the King's subjects. Also,
"The King answer and offer." First. The King will have satisfaction for the unjust execution of his subjects, restitution of their losses, and pledges for them to remove their goods. Secondly. He will give liberty to his subjects to erect forts in the places they desire. Thirdly. If his propositions to the States are replied to without satisfaction he will hereafter make stay of their ships in the Narrow Seas. Fourthly. The King offers to be an adventurer in the Company to countenance the trade and have the ships go under his royal standard, but leaves this to their free choice. [Two pages. Domestic Corresp., Jac. I., Vol. CLXX., No. 10, 10. I.]
July 19.
Royston.
512. [Sec. Conway] to the East India Company. Incloses copy of letter sent by the King's command to the English Ambassador at the Hague [see the following No. 513]. Doubts not but they will use the copy with the moderation fitting a matter of State of so great consequence, and that they will not suffer it to be causelessly divulged, but only use it to give comfort and encouragement to their fellowship, and show the King's favour and care to those who would practise evil offices. [Domestic Corresp., Jac. I., Vol. CLXX., No. 20, Cal., p. 305.]
July 19.
Royston.
513. Sec. Conway to (Carleton). By the pieces herewith sent, he will see the outrageous causes his Majesty's subjects have to renew their complaints, which now are at such a height as he must either abandon the trade to the East Indies, induce the States to equity and reason of traffic with them, or use his force to maintain his merchants. It is observed that the Bewinthebbers "pretend to weary out our merchants, and embrace the whole trade themselves;" and likewise that they presume that, as things stand, the King will not come to a direct quarrel with the States, but rather suffer all; but he is to give them another understanding, the East India trade being so important to this kingdom, besides the point of honour, that his Majesty neither must nor will by art or force be put from it. For the point of his Majesty's care not to break with the States, it is rather to be conceived that the States cannot find it counsellable to break with his Majesty; but wheresoever the reason lies, it is resolved by his Majesty and his whole Council to support the merchants, and induce the States to do justice for the past and offer surety for the time to come; or else he will take the ways which shall next offer themselves to do the one and the other. Those of the provinces must not deceive themselves with the thought that he will tie his justice to the place where the injury was done, but seek it of that body that did it; for "if the question be the troubling of trade, justice will be sought by troubling of fishing or trade here and there; and if they murder and hang our people, the like shall be done to them, wheresoever their people shall be taken; and if things go on two steps in this way, the third must be an irreconcilable war. And when it is foreseen that this will bring them into the hands of Spain, there is nothing can be foreseen that is worse than to put such a nation (as the Dutch) into a condition of power, that will use it to the prejudice of our honour and State." His Majesty, when the States Ambassadors were here, informed them with his own mouth of the insolencies of their men, and that he would expect justice and require satisfaction, and in default apply his own actions for remedy; and not yet hearing of anything done towards his satisfaction, and being pressed by the complaint and authentical proofs of it, has taken a resolution that "if he shall not have a firm, a clear, and a full declaration made to him from that State of their sense of this business, of the ways and means how and when they will do severe and exemplary justice upon the persons of those that by such a bloody insolency have cast such a hazardous offence between the two Companies, and between this Crown and that State (and this before the 12th of August next), his Majesty will apply himself to do himself justice, free his honour, and assure his merchants of his powerful protection of them for the time to come." His Majesty sends not this as a threatening to them, nor weighs much if they understand it so, but that they may not be surprised that his Majesty may be free and they guilty of the ensuing evils (which God forbid). With these fresh complaints, proofs, and resolution taken, he is to acquaint them, and advise them by some public act "to assure his Majesty of the certainty of their justice to follow upon the offenders, and such an establishment of their government in the Indies as his Majesty's honour, the persons, and goods of his subjects may be in surety;" and that they would demonstrate this future part by their quick and smart resolution taken, for revenge, justice, and satisfaction, by giving present satisfaction in the Greenland business, and "by changing their way of proceeding from artifice to roundness, and so fall from their former forms of answers, in which they have rather seemed to delude his Majesty than intend his satisfaction." He may further "conceive it" himself, and give "a sure impression of it to the States," that "through the extreme, daily, and lamentable complaints of his merchants," he and his whole Council have been so moved, that it is "almost out of the power of the King to defer the satisfaction longer than the 12th August next." Sends his Majesty's answer to the merchants' last petition, from which he may see what a strait he is in, and apply his endeavours to conform the States, to avoid extremities, and continue good correspondency. [Four pages. Corresp. Holland.] Incloses,
513. i. A list of "pieces sent over to Sir Dudley Carleton." Grievances of the English against the Dutch in the East Indies. East India Company's petition to his Majesty.
Brief Extracts of wrongs sustained by the English East India Company from the Dutch in the East Indies.
A true relation of the late cruel and barbarous tortures and execution done upon the English at Amboyna.
Copy of Billingsley's petition for justice touching the death of his brother in Amboyna, [Eman. Thompson, see p. 314], and of Thomas Johnson's petition concerning his son's death and an estate of 1,000l. Copy of the merchants' last petition to the King and his Majesty's answer. [Holland Corresp.]
513. ii. Humble desires of the East India Company and the King's answers (calendared ante, No. 511. i.). Endorsed by Carleton, "East India merchants' address to the Lords of the Council, and his Majesty's resolution thereupon." [Two pages. Holland Corresp.]
July ?514. French translation of the preceding enclosure, endorsed by Carleton, "Translat. des points contenue en la requête de la Compagnie Angloise des Indes Orientales à Sa Majesté avec les Apostiles. [Two pages. Holland Corresp.]
July 19.
Amsterdam.
515. Barlow to Carleton. Acknowledges receipt of his letter of the 17/27th (see ante, No. 504), concerning the inhuman cruelties and unjust execution of 10 of the Company's servants at Amboyna, with two protests against Harman van Speult, Governor of Amboyna, and Peter Carpentier, Governor of Batavia, as also the confessions of Capt. Towerson, Coulson, and others of their innocency after they were condemned, and has written to the Company, that it were fit there were here a true and ample relation to stop the scandalous reports given out by the Bewinthebbers; to whom he has sought to have copy of the confessions and sentences, having showed several of them that they had no witnesses that came face to face to accuse, but only such as they drew by extremity of torture, neither had they anything from our own men but what they drew by extreme torture, all which they stoutly denied, saying they had delivered them to the States, who they doubted not would defend all they had done, so they were not to give account to any others. Perceives they have laboured with the States to persuade them that ours had conspired to take the fort, but holds our people not so simple as to endanger themselves for an impossible thing; so that if the Prince of Orange and States stay their judgment until they have further information, "it will be found no other than wholly to acquit our people;" for, he may observe, that in all parts wherein ours have any business with them, rather than ours should have any advantage they, to their own loss, cross the business, seeking to consume our Company's stock, and so to make them aweary of the trade, and so leave all to the Dutch; which thing is so apparent, that he does not see how these can avoid it. The Company intend to deal with them by some higher authority than by an ordinary course of treaty, by which no good will be done with them, whereof he has had of late good proof. [One page and a half. Corresp. Holland.]
July 19.
Amsterdam.
516. Barlow to Carleton. After sending away his letter of this date he received one from the East India Company, from London, wherein they advise, that by the next post they will send him "a true relation of that most cruel and bloody butchery of their men in Amboyna, and will approve their innocency, and the most devilish proceedings of the Dutch against them, how deep soever the Bewinthebbers dig to hide the same." These are their own words, and having received the relation, will send him a copy thereof. Another friend writes him from London, that he doth make account the same will come out in print, to make manifest to unto the world their cruelty and inhuman dealing, the which course he wishes were stayed for some time. [Half a page. Holland Corresp.]