East Indies
November 1631

Sponsor

Institute of Historical Research

Publication

Author

W. Noel Sainsbury (editor)

Year published

1892

Pages

214-226

Annotate

Comment on this article
Double click anywhere on the text to add an annotation in-line

Citation Show another format:

'East Indies: November 1631', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, East Indies and Persia, Volume 8: 1630-1634 (1892), pp. 214-226. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=71442 Date accessed: 23 October 2014.


Highlight

(Min 3 characters)

Contents

November 1631

Nov. 6.226. Protest of "George Willoughby, prisoner, and William Matthewe" to their "loving friends," John Skibbowe, John Banggam, Wm. Hoare, Ant. Verneworthy, and Lawrence Henley, Merchants in Bantam. For as much as you have removed us by order (as you allege) from the President and Council of Surat, from our employments, whereof Willoughby from the place of Agent in Bantam whereto he was appointed by the East India Company to succeed Geo. Muschamp, the causes whereof they know not, yet know they have no ways prejudiced the Company nor wronged any particular man, and therefore not guilty of any crime, whatever false informations may be alleged against them by the Company's unworthy servants. Yet suppose the President and Council intended not that they and the rest should be fruitlessly carried to and fro on this ship, and kept a year or more from coming to a place of hearing to answer all accusations, "and find just recompense for our proceedings." Wherefore being informed that copies of their supposed faults have been sent to Bantam, and in regard this ship Great James has lost her monsoon, and cannot arrive in Surat before September next, desire and require them in behalf of the Company and in their own behalfs to send for England on the ship Palsgrave or any other first dispeeded, their persons with those of Henry Sill, Christopher Reade, Jno. Barnes, Thomas Grove, Philip Bearden, Edward Hall, and Gilbert Gardner, with the estates and writings seized in the chamber of George Willoughby or taken from Richard Langham, as well as all accounts, consultations, letters, &c. of Henry Sill seized by order of George Willoughby and in the custody of Gerald Pinson and all their own consultations, advices, &c., that true justice may be administered to the parties [in England]. For loss of time in this case is no less prejudice to the Company than grievous to themselves, for their wages (if that all) for one year amount to 600l., which will be saved if the parties be sent to England on the first ship, and the Company better enabled to requite their faults, and supply the wants of their southern trade, which on news of these strange alterations may seem to the adventurers to be desperate. In case they deny or omit performance of any part of the premises, hereby protest against them for all losses and damages which the Company or themselves shall sustain by their said denial or omission, or by reason of any indirect proceedings since their detention, to be satisfied out of their estates; "for all which we appeal to our competent judges in England." Pray they take not these lines amiss or misconstrue any part of our meaning, as we intend nothing less than to seem unjustly troublesome, so nothing more than what we in duty are obliged in behalf of the Company and ourselves. Annexed,
226. I. John Skibbowe and John Banggam to George Willoughby and Wm. Matthewe in answer to their protest of 6th Nov. Whereas on 25th Aug. past they delivered to George Willoughby a warrant from President Rastell and Council of 22nd April (annexed) requiring Willoughby to submit to their arrest and disposure, which he obeyed and in conformity with said warrant and Commission of same date, they appointed him to take passage for Surat on the Great James, together with William Matthewe and others. Now being altogether "impossibilited" of their passage by reason of the monsoon, they have exhibited a protest requiring to go for England on the Palsgrave, pretending that copies of their supposed faults "(as you term them)" have been sent to Bantam; which they utterly deny, and must therefore refer them to the President and Council, having no power or authority to alter any point of the warrant or Commission given them. Therefore require them to conform thereto without making any distraction in the Company's affairs. Aboard the Great James, Bantam Road, 1631 Nov. 10.
226. II. Reply of George Willoughby and Wm. Matthewe to the preceding. It is the general report that the copy of their supposed faults was sent to Bantam (which they have been informed has been shown to sundry Dutch as well as English by Henry Sill, &c.), but if not they were of President Rastell's Council and must be well acquainted therewith; and whereas they allege they have no power to send them for England, are the more sorry to be subject to those that so much neglect the fitting consideration of their Masters affairs, for they cannot be ignorant that the Company give liberty in case of need to proceed according to the necessity of the occasion by consultation, &c.; but as we cannot restrain you so we rest unwillingly satisfied referring their cause to the Honourable East India Company. Know of no distractions but such as Skibbowe, Banggam, and the rest of their Council have been the cause of. On board the Great James, Bantam Road, 1631 Nov. 12. Together, 6½ pp. [O. C., Vol. XIII., No. 1393.]
Nov. 6.
(Bantam.)
227. A protest given in the behalf of the Honourable East India Company and me, John Barnes, late Master of the Star, against John Skibbowe and John Banggam, Merchants. In regard the ship James has lost her monsoon and cannot attain Surat till September next, requires them to send him for England on the first ship dispeeded hence, Gilbert Gardner and Edward Hall, his Mates, who were removed from their places for the same unknown cause that he is. 2 pp. [O. C., Vol. XIII., No. 1394.]
Nov. 10.
A board the Great James, Bantam Road.
228. Answer of Jno. Skibbowe and Jno. Banggam to above protest of Jno. Barnes, late Master of the Star. Deny his request to be sent to England, their Commission extending no further than displacing him and bringing him to Surat to answer what the President and Council shall object against him, which to them is unknown, and require him to perform what hath been appointed him, and not to innovate or make any distraction in the Company's affairs, as he will answer it to them, to their uttermost peril. 1 p. [O. C., Vol. XIII., No. 1395.]
Nov. 11.
Bantam.
229. William Hoare, Ant. Verneworthy. Lawr. Henley, and Gerald Pinson to our respected friends Skibbowe and Banggam. By the power conferred on them by the President and Council, a large quantity of pepper was borrowed from the Second Joint Stock and laden on the James for the second general voyage, to be repaid in kind when procured at Jambi; "God grant it be so seasonably provided" that the London may not hazard her monsoon for England. By the same power they required delivery of 269 cwt. 3. 9½ lbs. cloves, which they pretended should be in discount of so much of the Joint Stock's debts at Surat, which President Wylde and Skibbowe, then of Council, left them engaged for. That the Company never intended to pay their Surat debts by goods provided in this place appears by their sending two ships to fetch them off, and how distasteful it will be to them to have so much estate detained, having so fit a conveyance, refer to their better judgment, and the rather having certainly sent means to discharge that growing debt in Surat on news received per the Charles and Jonas. Pray them also to consider their monsoon lost for Surat, and that in two years the cloves will not arrive in England that way, and that in one-third of that time they may be from hence directly in England. 60,000l. cannot be paid from hence, and it were better interest be paid at Surat on 3,000l. or 4,000l. till means arrive, than be deprived of the present return of so certain a commodity as these cloves. Desire therefore, in the Company's name, that these cloves be returned and sent on the Palsgrave, for the account of the Joint Stock, their true proprietors; and pray them to resolve suddenly, for the ship attends to take them in. Eighty bales of private trade already landed, the rest have made room for, though to the number of 300, as hath been informed to be aboard that ship; of all which require them in the name of the Company to solicit the landing; a miserable prevention of private trade cometh from Surat, whereof for sundry years we have from hence so miserably complained. Likewise desire Capt. Morton and themselves to procure invoices of each bale, that both Company and owners may have satisfaction. Amongst other goods come ashore are some jars of seleras or storax, mostly broken or defective, which have much impaired the Company's bales by leakage: wish the Factor that has charge of them "to give a reason of them," and not leave them negligently without ever looking after them. 2 pp. [O. C., Vol. XIII., No. 1396.]
Nov. 12.
Bantam Road. On board the Great James.
230. "George Willoughby, prisoner," to the East India Company. The ship James departed this road for Surat 7th Oct. and returned 6th Nov. Has formerly written two letters by several convoys on the ship Palsgrave, but his restrained liberty would not permit the copying; since when the Great James returning to this port to put out, as is reported, many bales of Surat private trade, which at her last departure would not sell. Refers to his protest of 6th Nov. (see ante. No. 226) to send them home on the Palsgrave, with all accusations, and the attached persons, Jno. Barnes, Thomas Grove, Philip Bearden, Edward Hall, Gilbert Gardner, Henry Sill, and Christopher Reade, who were appointed on this ship for Surat. This was denied by Skibbowe and Banggam (see ante, No. 228). Is heartily sorry the Company's affairs are thus afflicted, but cannot redress them, the remedy must proceed from the Company, now that their Surat President is commander over these parts, who hath made this great alteration in his power. Had he enjoyed his place would have rooted out the evil that has so long encumbered their trade; which if not severely punished will never be remedied, yet it is easy to be effected if they have a faithful servant here chief that prefers honour before money. Cannot excuse Capt. Morton of private trade in this ship, nor the Commanders and Pursers, who do not endeavour to hinder it, since it is their duty to take notice of all merchandize that comes into the ship, and comparing that with the bill of lading, may know the private trade; which Capt. Morton ought to have done at Surat, and acquainted the President and Council therewith; but it seems that he rather favours this monster to his own benefit, shamelessly saying that this voyage he has made enough and will not serve the Company any longer. Omitted to mention that besides diamonds Henry Sill, Christopher Reade, &c. brought 80 or 90 bales on the Dove, Rich. Harrison, Purser, from the coast to Bantam, whereof some carried to Macassar; and the Falcon, which stayed on the coast far longer, might be suspected to have brought a greater quantity: intended to have examined her Purser and others, which was deferred by his sickness and expectation of the President's order to strengthen him, which he had from Armagon seriously desired. But the President and Council have stopped all his intendments; yet Sill, Reade, Ralph Cartwright, Nicholas Norber, John Carter, and the Purser and Steward must know the particulars, which would be worth the Company's examination, for so long as the caterpillars in their trade pass without exemplary and severe punishment the Company will gain but little by their India trade, which it is great pity should fall into the hands of the Dutch, for these parts would yield good profit if managed as it ought. Has heard it reported that this ship brought from Surat not less than 300 bales for private trade, and carried back upwards of 100 bales, and was deeper laden than when sent to India. Some of the Company's servants here say they will by all means enrich themselves, and when they come home it may be the Company will take from them 1,000l., which they will (in seeming unwilling) willingly spare, that they may enjoy the rest, and seem in the general opinion as honest as the best. The great famine was reported to be such in India that the James, William, and Blessing, from Persia, were constrained for want of carriage to stay for the south cargazoone, which caused their so late departure; but why should not the Company's goods be served with 100,000l. before private trade ? or, if so, why should the ships stay for private trade ? which questions may cause serious consideration how much the Company are abused, yea by those they have had cause most to trust. As they had time to buy and lade their private trade, so they will have time to sell it, to the utter loss (it is to be doubted) of this year's passage for Surat, for half the 40 days spent here would have served the Company's occasions, their tonnage being ready. Many bales of private trade sent on the Star to Macassar. Lawrence Henley has bought of Capt. Morton and Skibbowe and Banggam many bales of goods, and paid diamonds and spices for them: his fault is not greater than his fellows, for (especially since the arrival of this ship) he that is not a private trader and worse may not live amongst them. Those of the Company's servants that desire to be rich and "honours" at India by the respect of the Company's now grandees, must be as bad as the rest, and their true servants tremble at the thought of giving the Company or Willoughby advice of any part of the great abuse the Company suffer, for truth and honesty are enemies unto those that caterpillar-like devour the Company's fruits, and may not endure in any place of credit or content amongst them. It is no small hindrance to the Company that the Falcon did not go to Jambi to help transport pepper to the bar, as he ordered; doubts the want of it may, under the London's timely going this year for England. After his imprisonment she was thought unfit to sail longer, which was a dishonest allegation, for she is since sent to Batavia (in this stormy time), and on her Henry Sill, to procure "(as I concieve)," sale for some of the private trade remaining on board, and to show by his free presence to this Dutch world how much the private traders are respected and the Company's true servants rejected. Some say that because Norber and Carter, Master and Pilot of the Falcon, were unwilling to lose their passage on the Palsgrave, they alleged the Falcon to be insufficient for Jambi River. When agent in Bantam would have examined Christopher Reade by written interrogatories as to the private trade and remains of Henry Sill's estate, being, he alleged in a protest, a want of diamonds, and because the private traders should not know these interrogatories to persuade him from answering them, Willoughby, with the privity of his Council, all the Company's able Factors at Bantam requiring his like proceeding therein, but Reade, having better intelligence than the private traders, had lately by this ship received greater encouragements, showed it them, who counselled him not to answer them, and drew a few lines for him of excuse, alleging that as he was not acquainted with the law of England, he ignorantly might do himself and the Company wrong if he answered them, which will appear amongst Willoughby's seized writings. The President and Council, in their first letter received on the coast, wrote that the Company had much confidence in him for the redress of those evils, but his proceeding therein has hitherto borne but crabbed fruit: hopes for better in future, though at present not thought worthy to lodge in the great cabin or to have any admittance there, or to be a companion for these grandees, whilst Sill and Reade, their most unworthy servants, have all liberty and fitting respect from President, Council, and other partners, yea called to Council, though they subscribe not; and may be at last they will reveal the private trade to the Company when all other projects fail, to thereby gain future preferment. Sill was chief Factor at Jambi when the contract for private trade began, and so continued till 1630; and Reade was warehouse keeper at Bantam, and well acquainted therewith. Has endeavoured to make Capt. Morton and the now chiefs in Bantam sensible of their great fault in harbouring this private trade, and understands that some of the returned bales will be brought to the Company's account to put a gloss of truth on their dishonest proceedings. During Mr. Muschamp's presidency came from Surat a Banian called Ricondash, who (by means of Wm. Hoare) was entertained the Company's servant at 250 Rs. per annum (great salary for a private broker), besides rantsoone, who did no service, but was only a covert and feigned owner for most of the private trade from Surat to Bantam, Jambi, Japara, Macassar, Amboyna, and the coast of Coromandel. After his arrival, by consultation, questioned the need of him, and it being largely discussed, was resolved to dismiss and send him to Surat (his country), and lest he should run to the King or nobles, to send him aboard the Dove by a wile, and there detain him till he could be sent to Surat, so prejudiced was his stay in Bantam considered. The Dove being dispeeded with provisions to the James, Ricondash was put on board the Falcon, whence, since Willoughby's imprisonment, he has been suffered to reland and reside in Bantam. Private trade has destroyed the Company's hopeful trade in all India, especially in these parts: few of the Factors ashore gain one Rs. that does not prejudice the Company 10 ryals, and the sea Commanders much exceed therein, for they will rather loose a monsoone than the sale and investment of their private trade, saying they can clear it by a consultation, and that the longer they "are forth of England" the more the Company must pay them. Sill, Reade, and Hoare said they knew nothing of the cloves mentioned in the Company's letter to be left at Bantam, but on inquisition he understood that 100 peculs had been sold to one Vesterman, a Dutch freeman very intimate with Hoare, Sill, &c., which they would not acknowledge to have been sold him by any but Javas. The pride and covetousness of some of the Company's servants is insatiable, and few endeavour to do their duty, for if they do but advertise the merchants' and seamen's misdemeanours it must be made known to the parties, who (besides the name of informers) will endeavour to work their disgrace, which even some of said company are likely to further unknowingly, it being under some other covert; but chooses rather the unjust fury and hate of man than the just and fearful judgments of God for neglect of his duty. Has not accused any man in envy, but in discharge of his duty, that should God shorten his days he may depart in peace, for his body cannot long endure the miseries he suffers from those that love private trade, and the want of the shore's air, though his heart is strong and loath to break. Has had long experience in eminent places in these parts, having served eight years, his first employment chief of Larica factory at Amboyna, then chief of the factories in the Moluccas, and lastly agent with the King of Bantam, which hath sufficiently taught him how to please their eminent servants, but may not effect it, because it is to the ruin of this trade. For this he suffered in the last voyage, and now much more, hearing it often reiterated that he might have avoided this misery if he would have joined with the private traders. Has not had any difference with any person for his own cause, but for the Company's. When entertained was charged by the Governor and many Committee to yield his true service in reviving this decaying trade, which would yield no less profit than the adventurers expect were this canker destroyed and true servants employed. Beginning his actions on the coast, would have continued them, had he not been wronged by a greater Commission, to which they made him subordinate; nor have his actions caused any distractions in the Company's affairs, but those whose pride and covetousness should not pass without severe punishment. In the second letter to him on the coast, from President Rastell and Council, they (for formality's sake) wrote that he should keep secret, to avoid private trade, the sending of the James, William, and Blessing to Bantam, and that by them they would send power to awe the sea Commanders against private trade; but the ships' determination for Bantam was advised by one of the Council (not the meanest), to George Turner, chirurgeon (Factor, it seems, for private trade in Bantam), and the ship brought no power to awe or order its Commander, which shows (in seeming manner to him) that President Rastell and Council are the greatest private traders. By the iniquity and malignity of these mighty caterpillars of the trade the Company may expect all injurious reports concerning him, for he that withstands private trade in India has many enemies even in England that have been private traders themselves or are friends to such. May well doubt the justice of the President and Council, who have displaced him without acquainting him with any part of the cause that he might clear himself, whereby he may suspect the report to be true, that he and his fellow sufferers are thus dealt with, because they have begun to cut off private trade. Understands that the good orders he erected for the restraint of the private ingrossing of spices have been torn down by Wm. Hoare, which it seems emboldened Reade to buy cloves for Capt. Morton to no small value. Let not these advices disseminate the adventurers in prosecuting this hopeful trade, for the disease being known, true medicine may be applied, nor would he have any suppose they have not many able servants in these parts, if the Company's orders were by their chiefs observed; for it is certain one good chief may turn all the Factors from following the Company's prejudice to their profit, if he be only subordinate to the Company, have sufficient Commission, and a desire to gain repute more than wealth by the prosperity of this trade, for severity of justice and just reward is the only school of virtue, which if but a small time used, will soon become a custom. This misery has made the Netherlanders here famous; whilst amongst the English drunkenness, dicing, and swearing are still maintained, notwithstanding the orders he set up for the civil government of that factory, whereby the Company will plainly perceive his will to reform abuses as great as his Commission. This trade is yet good, and may be amended; if followed by a Joint Stock it will be more profitable, and then, for procuring the quantities desired, 1,200 or 1,300 tons of pepper and 100 tons of cloves, yearly, 100,000l. quick stock will be enough for four years, or 25,000l. per annum; which will require 1,900 tons of shipping, two ships of 400 tons, drawing 11 foot only when laden, to pass the bar at Jambi; one of 200 for the clove trade, a pinnace of 100 to send anywhere on occasion, and a ship of 800 tons to come directly for Bantam and lade yearly. The disposing of the capital to be as follows, 18,000l. sent in equal halves on two ships to Surat and the coast, to be invested in calicoes, and arrive in Bantam in Nov. or Dec., the Surat ship to be of 400 tons and the other 200; the other ship, of 400 tons, to be sent from England, with 16,000l. Ryals, to arrive in Bantam at the same time or sooner; which ship shall be dispeeded with goods to procure pepper on the West Coast of Sumatra, and one of the others to Jambi; the great ship and pinnace to be sent, with 12,000 Ryals from England, to arrive at Bantam in August following, by which time the pepper and cloves will be gathered to Bantam, and from thence sent for England on three ships of 800, 400, and 200 tons in November: the other year's supplies must be sent in the same way, whereby the ships will continue without need of India reparation, which will be very profitable; and the trade thus followed will produce good profit. "Great pity it is that the destroyers of this hopeful trade should prosper, and those that endeavour and desire more than natural life its prosperity, should perish." If too tedious prays to be excused, his grieved mind is full of matter, and languishes for want of fitting time and place to utter it, and by indisposition of body it is likely these lines are not so well composed as they ought to be, which he commits to their charitable censure. Endorsed, "Rec. by ship Palsgrave 1 July 1632." 15 pp. [O. C., Vol. XIII., No. 1397.]
Nov. 12 & 14.
Aboard the Great James, Bantam Road.
231. Jno. Skibbowe and Jno. Banggam to (Wm. Hoare and Council at Bantam). Sent them a few lines this morning by Barry enclosing copies of the protests of Willoughby, Matthewe, and Barnes, with their answers; and told them the Purser must have recourse to them for money to buy provisions; also put them in mind that there is expected a great famine on the coasts of Coromandel and India, wishing they would provide what quantities of rice may be achieved for supply for shipping. After sealing which, their letter (see ante, No. 229) was delivered to them, in answer to which the 300 tons pepper lent from the Old Stock to the second voyage, for there is order from our masters that one Stock afford another all favour, and there is little doubt of satisfaction, for it may seem strange if the Star's cargazoone which has been at Jambi since May, with other goods since sent by the Simon and Jude and Dove will not in so long time produce more than 300 tons of pepper. For the cloves which by consultation at Bantam of 5th Sept. past were passed over from the Old Joint Stock to the second general voyage in satisfaction for debts paid at Surat, according to the President's letters of 29th Sept. 1630 and 22nd April 1631, they also are confident the Company will send moneys to give satisfaction for those debts; but in regard the voyage has borne the adventure of these cloves at sea above a month, and has also paid at Bantam Rs. 8,377 30d. for the Joint Stock, which they cannot but conceive was invested in these cloves, they see no reason to return them. Pray them to take these things into consideration knowing that the Company desire not one Stock to wrong another, "but that every fatt to stand upon his own bottom;" and for that it may be prejudicial to detain the cloves here a year, therefore propound to have them laden on the Palsgrave for the account of the second general voyage, and that they should both write to the Company the substance of the business and let them decide the appropriation at home. Can understand of but few more bales remaining aboard, which the Master promises to send ashore tomorrow, and then will search the ship if any be omitted; the Purser to carry two or three bales for barter at the Islands, as the Captain tells them, who went ashore this morning for recovery of his health. Will use their best endeavours to get and send them invoices of all. The seleras, if defective, they will do well to put off so soon as they may, or cause the leakage to be remedied. Received theirs of the 12th giving little hope of any rice more than they have. "This letter was begun the 12th, but yesterday being Sunday was kept till this present the 14th Nov. 1631. 2½ pp. [O. C., Vol. XIII., No. 1398.]
Nov. 17.
Bantam.
232. Wm. Hoare, Ant. Verneworthy, and Lawrence Henley to their very loving friends John Skibbowe and Jno. Banggam aboard the Royal James. Would instantly have answered theirs of the 14th (see preceding No.), but ascertained by Banggam, the bearer, that Skibbowe this morning purposed to come ashore himself with whom they intended to have concluded the matter concerning the cloves to be sent to England, which still in equity as they conceive belong to the account of the Joint Stock. Join with them that it would be an unanswerable damage to their Masters to have them detained longer, and have had a room fitted for their stowage on the Palsgrave, whither on Saturday they intend to have them removed, desiring that tomorrow or Monday they would join with them for the more orderly passing of them to account. Endorsed, "The Agent and Council of Bantam." 1 p. [O. C., Vol. XIII., No. 1399.]
Nov. 19.233. License to the East India Company to take up 30,000l. in foreign gold, and to export the same in their next voyage. [Sign Manual, Car. I., Vol. XIII., No. 69.]
Nov. 19.
Bantam Road. Aboard the Great James.
234. Opinions of Jno. Skibbowe and Jno. Banggam set down in accordance with agreement, made at a conference with Wm. Hoare and Council at Bantam 18th Nov., concerning a parcel of cloves passed over from the Old Joint Stock to the second general voyage, that either party should set down their several opinions. To the same effect as their letter of 12th and 14th Nov. (see ante, No. 231), viz., that the cloves be laden on the Palsgrave on the adventure of the second general voyage, and that the Agent and Council with themselves send opinions to the Company, and let them decide the appropriation. If this will not be granted intend to carry the cloves in the James to Mauritius, hoping to meet shipping bound for England, whereon to send them. Endorsed, "rec. from Bantam 1 July 1632." 2 pp. [O. C., Vol. XIII., No. 1400.]
Nov. 21.
Bantam.
235. Wm. Hoare and Council, and (Capt.) Jno. Hall, and others to Jno. Skibbowe and Jno. Banggam (aboard the Great James). In answer to their letter received on Saturday night, that at the consultation of 18th Nov. Skibbowe and Banggam with them were jointly of opinion that the parcel of cloves (see preceding No.) should be shipped on the Palsgrave, which they require may be performed; will determine to what Stock they shall belong, and give account to the Company and to the President and Council at Surat, whose substitutes they are. As therefore by a former consultation of 5th Sept., where were present only five persons, of whom Ant. Verneworthy had no voice, the said cloves were severed from the Old Stock, so by warrant of an equally powerful consultation of 18th require them to be sent aboard the Palsgrave. If they find opposition all protest against Skibbowe, Banggam, and Capt. Matthew Morton, for all damages the Joint Stock or second general voyage may receive by detention of said cloves contrary to their order. 1½ pp. [O. C., Vol. XIII., No. 1401.]
Nov. 22.
Aboard the Great James, Bantam Road.
236. Jno. Skibbowe and Jno. Banggam to Wm. Hoare and Council at Bantam. Received theirs of yesterday, and perceive they have much wronged them in putting their names to the consultation, as they term it. They have also made an evasion in saying that at the consultation of 5th Sept. there were present only five of the Company's servants, of whom one had no voice, for they will find it formed by eight, and Verneworthy was confirmed into consultation 3rd Sept., in regard of Henley's indisposition. Have already set down their opinions in writing (see ante No. 234) touching these cloves, namely, that they should be sent on the Palsgrave for the account of the second general voyage, letting their employers decide the difference; and when this cannot be obtained will dispose of them as they have formerly declared, and give account to their employers and the President General and Council. 1 p. [O. C., Vol. XIII., No. 1402.]
Nov. 16/26.237. Contract for sale and delivery of the ship Falcon, witnessed (?) by Derick Jemming, Secretary to the State of Batavia. Endorsed, "Copie. A Covenant or Contract about the ship Falcon's sale & delivery at Jaquatra." Dutch. 2 pp. [O. C., Vol. XIII., No. 1403.]
Nov. 30.
Aboard the James, Bantam Road.
238. John Barnes (late Master of the Star) to the East India Company. Received theirs 24th, three days after the death of Capt. Morton, wherein they complain of the drunkenness and debaucheries of the Pursers and their mates. They have good cause to seek to reform this beastly vice of drinking, not only in the Pursers, but in those of better rank. In their orders they command an equal distribution to be made of all provisions, for performing which he got no small ill will from the Factors, for there has been a custom when in the cabin they have drunk more than they are willing to answer for, to make the Steward charge the ship's company with it; but would not use any such course, but those that drink it are charged with it. Besides, they may notice the excessive pride amongst their servants in India; the means the Company give them cannot maintain them in apparel, it is so gorgeous. In President Fursland's time the Company's young Factors durst not go bedaubed with gold lace, as now they do, whereby they are forced to be dishonest to maintain themselves. Besides, the Company may take notice of the great play at dice used in this factory, even by the principal himself. These things cannot be maintained but by private trade, which they openly maintain, and that man shall not long stand that is known to be an enemy thereto. For his own part suffers both in body and mind and is hated both of merchants and seamen for assisting Mr. Willoughby, but hopes what he has done will turn to the Company's benefit, otherwise he has undone himself. Was a prisoner to the Dutch three years and endured much misery, but that was by an enemy, but now suffers in whose affairs he would have spent his blood, for he desires God so to deal with his soul as his intent was faithful to the Company, Endorsed, "Rec. by the Palsgrave 1 July 1632." 1 p. [O. C., Vol. XIII., No. 1404.]
Nov. 30.
Aboard the James, Bantam.
239. John Barnes to the East India Company. The Great James sailed for Surat 7th Oct., but met with gusts and rain and a current against them, and a consultation being called, all were of the mind to bear up for the winter, but in his opinion by standing further off shore they might have attained Surat. But the James bore up and arrived at Bantam 6th Nov. Now considering it would be long before he could come to answer the accusations against him before the President and Council, he by protest required to be sent home on the Palsgrave to answer before their Worships, which it seems he may not have granted. Thought proceedings in India had been quite altered, seeing them so incensed against private trade, and that the chief men of India were taxed for it, viz., Messrs. Bix, Muschamp, and Willes (? Wylde), was doubtful to be known to deal in any, though his means were very little; but at Masulipatam saw the old trade to be still the same, for the Master of the Falcon resided ashore and his pilot was employed 20 miles up in the country, whether for the Company or for himself and friends knows not, but these were the only men favoured in their private trade, and they return home with large estates. Is sure whilst they follow their private trade the ships go to wreck and are laid up most shamefully, for pride, drunkenness, and idleness are the chief Indian virtues. Wishes they had seen the James when she sailed out of Bantam Road, more like a sty for swine than a ship for men. Has been to sea 24 years and served the Company 16, but protests he never saw a ship kept like her. It is reported she brought 300 bales of private trade from Surat, indeed heard Capt. Morton himself speak of 200, and they fill the ships' decks so full that there is no room to keep her clean, and the rain water that lies on the deck, being not washed with salt water, rots the decks and falls down between the timbers, to the utter ruin of the ship; and the men having no room to accommodate themselves, the noisome stinks are a great cause of mortality. The Chr(istopher) is laid up, and the Falcon had been not being (thought fit to go) to Jambi, but a freight of beer (made) her able to go to Batavia; so their ships can serve o(thers') uses, but not the Company's. But now it is danger to speak in their Worships behalf, yet trusts his honest meaning shall in time appear to the shame of those who have neither honesty nor fear of God. Now the James has lost her monsoon, they say that by reason of the famine they could not get their goods brought down to the water side, whereby their dispeed from Surat was so long delayed, but 300 bales of private trade must have likewise time to be brought down, and at Bantam they must have time to be sold, and they so beat down the price that they could hardly get their money it cost them at Surat, so that they carried 100 or more bales back with them, but now they shall have time enough to make them all away at their own pleasure. It is all one in the James as in the Abigail; went in her to Masulipatam, where the Governor said to him in court that he saw the Factors prospered well, and if one carried to the coast in the Abigail was not worth 500 Rs., and now being second in Bantam could vaunt he was worth 3,000l., their masters must do well if they get their due. Beseeches the Company to excuse his rudeness, not having been brought up to write, and protests he has served them with a faithful heart and will so continue. Has by this ship Palsgrave written more largely of the matters passed at the coast for which he and others now suffer. 2½ pp. [O. C., Vol. XIII., No. 1405.]