East Indies: February 1579

Pages 49-53

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, East Indies, China and Japan, Volume 2, 1513-1616. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1864.

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February 1579

Feb.? 125. Statement by Michael Lok, of his riding expenses, table diet, interest of money, and other charges incurred by him for the Company's affairs in the three years of the three voyages of Martin Frobisher to the North–west. For the total amount, 1,200l., nothing is yet allowed in his accounts. The stock and venture of himself and children, including 97l. 10s. in the name of John Dee, is 2,250l., besides 2,430l., the stock and venture of the Earl of Oxford. [One page. Indorsed, “Michael Lok's demands.” Domestic, Eliz., Vol. CXXX., No. 19. Cal., p. 621.]
Feb. 126. “An answer to Mr. Lok's request for 1,200l. which he demandeth of the Company of the North–west voyage for his service for three years.” The first year, 1576, should not be reckoned, Lok being then in the service of the Muscovy Company. The Company of the North–west voyage had no need of warehouses or meetings, but two pinnaces went forth and the adventure, 875l., was all lost; if he be allowed three in the hundred it is very much, which is 20l. (sic). The second year went out the Ayde with two pinnaces, the adventure being 1,075l., to be allowed for 3,200l, three in the hundred and 20l. towards his charges and servants; in all, 116l. The third voyage 1578; the adventure was 7,000l., whereof Lok's was 2,030l.; allowed for 5,000l. at three in the hundred, or 150l., for three servants 40l., and for meeting the Commissioners four months at 10l. per month, “for the Co[sym]rs. did not eat often with him;” in all, 230l. Touching interest of money taken up by him, no reason that other adventurers who have paid should pay Lok interest. For boat–hire for two years to and from the Court, 10l. For his riding charges and keep of three horses during the building at Dartford, 40l. For his charges to Court, and following the Queen in progress, it could be but part of two progresses in the two last years, 20l. The total amount Burghley has allowed is 430l. [One page and three quarters. Indorsed, “An answer to Mr. Lok's demands.” DOMESTIC, Eliz., Vol. CXXVI., No. 35. Cal., p. 603.]
Feb. 10. 127. Inventory of the furniture, ordnance, and munition of the ship Ayde, as she was bought of the Queen in April 1577; and estimate of the value made by Sir Wm. Wynter and Wm. Holstok, 23 Feb. 1579. [Eight pages. DOMESTIC, Eliz., Vol. CXXIX., No. 36. Cal., p. 618.]
Feb. 10. 128. Inventory of the furniture, ordnance, and munition of the Gabriel, and the estimated value. [Two pages and three quarters. Ibid.]
Feb. 10. 129. Inventory of the furniture, ordnance, and munition of the Judith, and the estimated value. [Four pages. Ibid.]
Feb. 10. 130. Inventory of the furniture, ordnance, and munition of the Michael, and the estimated value. [Two pages and a half. Ibid.]
Feb. 17. 131. “A proof of one [half] ton of ore that came from the Northwest,” melted at Dartford. The clear value “which is come out of our half ton of ore” is set down at 5l. 2s. [One page and a quarter. Indorsed, “17 Feb. 1578,” and as above. DOMESTIC, Eliz., Vol. CXXIX., No. 43. Cal., p. 618.]
Feb. 18.
132. Michael Lok to Sec. Walsyngham. Sends report of the London. Commissioners and Auditors upon their last audit of his accounts, wherein they have dealt very hardly with him. Trusts he shall find the Council both reasonable and good to him, according to his true dealings and painful service in this business. Incloses a large declaration in writing, directed to the Commissioners; the business of the accounts became so tedious to them that they waxed weary before their time, and would not read his answer, but referred it to the Council. Walsyngham was his first and chief friend on entering into this troublesome and tedious business; trusts he has given no cause for him to repent. Beseeches his continued favour and good countenance, and that he will think of him as a true man. His answer may seem tedious to read; suggests that one of Walsyngham's men should report the effect of it, to be used for the information of the Council as his cause shall require. [One page. Indorsed, “18 Feb. 1578. From Michael Lok. Certifieth the Auditors and Commissioners' proceedings with him about his last account.”] Incloses,
i. Answer of Michael Lok to the Commissioners and Auditors of his accounts upon the second audit. His three books of accounts of Frobisher's three voyages were audited in August 1578, and 999l. 4s. 6d. certified as due to him, besides his stock in venture of about 4,000l. Second audit procured by Frobisher on his return, “he of his own evil disposed mind, disliked of mine account, and made great complaint of the audit.” They were found just and true, with three exceptions. Answers to those objections. The great sums of money he disbursed for the Company: 600l. for the first voyage, 1,300l. for the second, and 300l. for the third voyage, besides 800l. for the works at Dartford, all of which was only repaid about a month past. “This answer may suffice unto you that be wise and reasonable, and as for Mr. Frobisher's ‘faustye’ in this matter, it deserveth none answer at all.” 20 Jan. 1579.
ii. Further answer of Michael Lok. Sis accounts found true as at the first audit. His great venture in the three voyages, and charges disbursed in three years, which he sets down at 1,200l.; particularized under six heads. The Commissioners doubting he has spent some of the money, Lok declares the proofs. Long and detailed statement from the beginning of these voyages. The first, for discovery of Cathay, procured by Frobisher by the good liking of Lord Treasurer Burghley and others of the Council, whose letters, dated in December 1574, were brought by Frobisher to the Muscovy Company for their licence, which was at first refused. Joins with Frobisher, who through Lok's friendship with the Company obtained a privilege, dated 3d February 1575, “and so gave out myself openly for a chief friend and follower of the matter.” Used Frobisher as his fellow and friend; opened all his own private studies and twenty years' labour to him, and showed him all his books, charts, maps, and instruments. Daily instructed him, making “my house his home and my purse his purse at his need; and my credit his credit to my power when he was utterly destitute both of money and credit and of friends.” Frobisher first lodged at the house of one Brown in Fleet Street, then, to be nearer to Lok, at Widow Hancock's house in Mark Lane. Endeavours of Frobisher to procure adventurers. Lok first set himself down for 100l., others followed in the City and at Court to the sum of 800l., Lord Burghley making “a condition that a convenient person should take charge of this service.” More venturers could not be gotten, so the attempt was given up that year, 1575. Frobisher a sad man. Lok's good will towards him. The enterprise revived the next year, 1576, when the adventurers agreed to continue their venture. Frobisher alive again, solicits the help of Mr. Burde, then customer of London, and Alderman Bond, now deceased, at whose house divers conferences on the matter were had. Mr. Hogan and Mr. Borowgh named to take charge of the money to be collected; the latter utterly refused, and Mr. Hogan soon gave it over to Lok, who took charge of the accounts of all things. The greatest matter still in doubt, who should be chief governor of the ships at sea. Frobisher had very little credit at home, and much less to be credited with the ships abroad; this matter the cause of the overthrow of the voyage the year before. Lok stepped in to satisfy the adventurers; and Christ. Hall and Owen Gryffyn, masters of the ships, and Nicholas Chancellor, purser of the voyage, known for trusty men, joined with Frobisher in commission. For want of money could scarce furnish two small barks and one little boat, instead of three. The cost, 1,600l., of which 900l. came out of Lok's purse. Frobisher returned in Oct. 1576, with his strange man of Cathay; and great rumour of the passage to Cathay; was called to Court, "and greatly embraced and liked of the best." Upon "his great informations of many great matters of this new world" the Queen commissioned Sir Wm. Wynter, Thos. Randolphe, Lok, and others, to take account of the doings of Frobisher and Hall in the voyage, and what was requisite to follow up this discovery for another voyage next year. The first mineral stone brought home by Frobisher. Skilful men certified to Lok that it came of a mine of gold. Gave notice to the Queen. Frobisher said there was enough to lade all Her Majesty's ships, whereupon greater preparations were made for the second voyage in 1577, for that the Queen would be a great venturer. The chief charge committed to Lok, his trouble and charges. The third voyage undertaken in 1578. The great business fresh in remembrance. His demand for 1,200l., laid out, very reason able. Circumstantial account of his riding charges, boat hire, table diet, interest paid for money for the adventurers, and his own charges for three years' travail. Capt. Frobisher has been allowed more than 800l. “for his service not so well bestowed as mine.” Answer to the objection, that when Lok received the Queen's money towards the freight of the ships and the wages of the men come home, he might have paid it to them. Capt. Frobisher, now lacking the money he was wont to have at Lok's hands, "entered into great storms and rages with me 'lyke a made best' [mad beast], and raised on me such shameful reports and false slanders as the whole Court and City was full thereof." Great hurt to Lok and to the Company's business in consequence, not yet recovered, but will be shortly, "at which time his false tales will be returned upon his own head" These reports will be credited at Court until the truth of Lok's doings are certified upon the audit of his accounts. Has ventured all the goods that he has in the world without exception, and spent all his time for the good success of the business; if evil success should attend the ore at Dartford, “which I trust shall not,” it is not in any way to be imputed to him but rather to Frobisher's great abuses against the Company, as in a paper of articles shall appear in due time, and to Jonas and Denham, the chief workmen, the causers of the cost of fetching and working the ore, “but I trust no such cause shall be given” Requests that the effect of his doings in this service, as found by his accounts, may be plainly certified to the Council, “that I may satisfy the world by the trial of my doings which I will justify. Jan. 26, 1579.
iii. Protest against the hard dealings of the Commissioners; they would not hear his answer, and Mr. Auditor Neale controlleth not Lok's accounts. It plainly appears that he has disbursed some 2,000l. of his own for the Company's business, only repaid within these two or three months. The Commissioners 'make it appear they have a thorn in their foot which somewhat pricks them and would put it into Lok's foot, who is not able to cure it as well as they are. Intreats them to put themselves in his place, and to do to him as they would be done by, “and so shall prosper all.” Feb. 18, 1579. [Together, sixteen pages. Indorsed, “1578. The answers of Michael Lok upon the second audit of his accounts.” DOMESTIC, Eliz., Vol. CXXIX., Nos. 44, 44. i.]