East Indies: December 1583

Pages 90-94

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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December 1583

1583. 231. William Hawkyns the Lieut.–General's journal of Fenton's voyage intended for the East Indies:—1582, June 2: The bark Francis, with Capt. Drake, himself, and others, left behind by the General; dissatisfaction of the company, who said they would not go to sea without them. “I had not from that time till my coming home any good countenance.” 16 June, in sight of the Canaries. 26th, fell in with Bonavista, one of the Cape Verd Islands, “where we might have watered, but they would not stay.” July 20, off the coast of Guinea; foul weather. August 10, anchored in Sierra Leone; left the harbour 2 Sept. Came again, to the same harbour on the 4th, “the pretence whereof as yet not known to me;” all the business they did there might have been done in less than 20 days; Mr. Walker, Mr. Evans, Mr. Fairweather, and himself “more envied at than any of the rest with daily reproach of spiteful words.” Sept 26, Mr. Walker reported to him that the General was determined not to proceed in the intended voyage, “which was broken clean,” but to possess himself of St Helena, and be king there, promising great rewards to all the well wishers; to Copt Warde 10,000l.; … 5,000l.; Mr. Walker, 2,000l; Mr. Madox, 2,000l. Discourse thereon with Mr. Walker, who fell down on his knees and besought Capt. Warde not to give his consent, but to proceed on the voyage they were sent in, let the General do what he would. Warde's interview with the General, who said he would go back to Cape Verd Islands, “which was only a device to pick and steal.” Nov. 1, passed the equinectial line. Dec. 1, anchored in a bay to the southward of the line; a [Spanish] bark taken. Dec. 12, outward show of the General to go for the straits, but in very deed a further dissembling to blind the company. Sayings of some thought to be true, “that, this honourable voyage was bought and sold by the Spaniards' friends before our coming out of England.” Dec. 19, in 331/2 degrees; consultation as to what was best to be done in their proceedings, “the matter being long before determined by three or four of them;” alleged as a sufficient cause to break off the voyage that many things wanted could be supplied at St. Vincent; the desire to traffic for sugar the cause. His opinion that they were then compelled to go through the straits into the South Sea, rather than by Cape Bona Speranza or back again for Brazil. Names of those who seemed willing [12th?] of Dec. to go through the straits “in two days were clean turned [the cause as] yet to us unknown,” including the General, Luke Warde, Nicholas Parker, Rich. Madox, and Christ Hall; also of those who gave not their consent to go back, because it would not be then possible that the voyage should be made for the Moluccas, including Wm. Hawkyns, John Walker, John Drake, Mathew Talbois, Richard Fairweather, master of the Francis, and the pilots. 1583, Jan. 20, anchored at St. Vincent; how they were treated by the Portugals, who said they were now the King of Spain's subjects, and durst not, neither would they traffic with the English. Jan. 24, three Spanish ships arrive, with upwards of 670 men; the Admiral 500 tons, Vice-Admiral 400 tons, and the third 600 tons; the fight lasted from 10 at night till noon the next day; the Spanish Vice-Admiral sunk, and above 100 of their men slain, besides many wounded; the English lost in both ships six or eight, and more than 20 hurt; 25 days at sea ere they got to the northward 200 leagues, the General laughed at by every man, because all knew that he understood not what he did. Feb. 22, fell in with the land at Spirito Sancto, and anchored in the river the same night; treachery of the Portuguese like to that they used at St. Vincent. What the General did in this harbour he kept to himself; many letters were sent, received, and answered. Hawkyns denied leave to go ashore, March 5, left Spirito Sancto. June 14, arrived in Ireland; stayed 10 days at Kinsale. June 29, anchored in the Downs; the General's treatment of Hawkyns, ordering him to the bilboes without any cause, with vile speeches, saying, “if I spake one word more he would dash me in the teeth, and called me villain, knave, and errant knave,” which the whole company witnessed. Further disagreement between Hawkyns and Fenton during the voyage. The General would go neither by the Cape of Good Hope nor by the Straits of Magellan, “and said in further choler that he had three strings to his bow which I knew not of,” that Sir Fras. Drake played the pirate and thief, adding, “do you think I will, nay, I know how to make my voyage without any of … advices;” as to lading their ships with spices at the Moluccas, Fenton said, “except you and the rest will insure it me, I will not go thither.” Declaration of the General that the voyage was overthrown, because he would not play the thief as Drake did; Hawkyns replied that Fenton and Drake must end that matter on his return, “but when we come home, if you call [Sir Francis] thief, I will see how you can justify it, for when we came both forth we were gentlemen alike. GENERAL: ‘Thou shalt not be so good as I so long as thou livest.’ HAWKYNS: ‘What make you of me then?’ GENERAL: ‘A knave, villain, and a boy.’ HAWKYNS: ‘If I were at home, I would not be afeard to follow you in any ground in England, but here, in this place, for quietness sake I let it pass, and will bear every wrong, be it never so great.’ GENERAL: ‘Wilt thou so?’ HAWKYNS: ‘Yea, truly.’ Then the General would have drawn his long knife and have stabbed Hawkyns, and intercepted of that, he took up his long staff and therewith was coming at Hawkyns, but the master [Christ. Hall], Mr. Banester [the surgeon], Mr. Cotton, and Symon Fernandez [pilot], stayed his fury.” Hawkyns refers himself to the whole company of the Leicester and the two other ships for the truth of his statements. [Nine pages and a half. Mutilated by fire. Brit. Mus., Otho, VIII., fols. 201–205.]
232.. Examination of Thos. Perrye, master of the Edward Bonaventure, touching Fenton's voyage intended for the East Indies. Arrival of the fleet off the coast of Guinea, about Cape Palmas, where they were beating off and on about 14 days. The captain being asked why he made for that coast, “being not the course for their voyage,” replied that Sir Fras. Drake had taken that course, and so would they. Being demanded why he agreed to a course so contrary to the instructions, Perrye said that neither the General nor Captain ever called him to any council. Cause of their coming back to Sierra Leone to water; the pilot knew that port, and none else knew any other on that coast. Determination of the General and his council to return to Cape Verd, and there taking in wines to go to St. Helena, surprise the Portugal fleet coming from the East Indies, and send home the Edward Bonaventure with the spoil, was broken the next day. Resolution of the General to sail for St. Vincent; he flatly resolved not to pass the straits; his reasons; and by the Cape of Good Hope they could not go. The ships return to St. Vincent; fight with the Spaniards; the English went away first, having the advantage; thinks the reason was (as is reported) that the men of the galleon were drunk with a hogshead of wine which they had drunk in the heat of the fight. [Two pages and a quarter, in the handwriting of Atye, secretary to Leicester. Mutilated by fire. Brit. Mus., Otho, VIII., fols. 177, 178.]
1583? 233. Discourse of the commodity of taking the Straits of Magellan, and the peril that may ensue to the Princes of Europe if the King of Spain be suffered to enjoy Portugal with the East Indies. Divided into three heads, viz.:—that the Straits of Magellan be taken, fortified, inhabited, and kept; that St. Vincent in Brazil, and the soil adjoining, be taken and kept; and that the North-east straits be discovered with all speed. [Six pages and a half. DOMESTIC, Eliz., Vol. CCXXIX.]
1583? 234. “A consideration of such things as shall be necessary for the advancement of the discovery of the North-west passage,” to be granted to Adrian Gylberte, as were not long since granted unto Sir Humphrey Gylberte. That the Muscovy Company, having a grant for discovery of the North-west passage, may be dealt with for Adrian .Gylberte to make the discovery, with sole privilege of traffic for 20 years. To choose adventurers “as shall venture their money and not their names,” also one ship of 80 and another of 50 [tons], furnished with 60 mariners, and victualled for one year. To set down a proportion of merchandise to be carried in the ships, and to erect two “staples,” one in London, the other at Dartmouth for merchandise brought out of the discovered countries. “To send for A.B. out of hand.” [Two pages. DOMESTIC, Eliz., Addenda. In the handwriting of Sec. Walsyngham. Letters patent were granted to Adrian Gylberte and others “for the search and discovery of the North-west passage to China” on 6th February, 1854. See Hakluyt, III., pp. 129–132.]
1583? 235. “A brief collection of the substance of the grant desired by the discoverers of the North-west parts.” Adrian Gylberte having heretofore greatly travelled, and continuing to his great charges to travel to discover the northerly parts of Atlantis, called Novus Orbis, not inhabited or discovered by any Christians hitherto but by him, requests the Queen's licence for himself and his associates, to be named in a schedule, with shipping, men, and all necessaries to depart to any of the northerly parts between the Equinoctial Line and the North Pole; with liberty to inhabit and enjoy all such places so discovered. A fifth part of all gold, silver, pearls, &c, to belong to Her Majesty. Commodities from thence to be brought to London and Dartmouth. To hold all those northerly parts to him, his heirs and assigns for ever. Power to confiscate the ships and goods of others trafficking in those parts. To sue, if need be, and to be incorporated under the name of “The Collegiate of the Fellowship of new Navigations Atlantical and Septentrional.” Power to make laws in those countries, not being contrary to those in this realm. Adrian Gylberte, John Dee, and John Davies “having been the chiefest travellers to find out this northerly voyage, and being of that company,” to be specially exempted for ever from payment of custom outwards or inwards. Power to punish mutiny “as the cause shall be found in justice to require by the verdict of 12 men of the company sworn thereunto.” [Two pages and three quarters. DOMESTIC, Eliz., Addenda. Indorsed as above.
1583? 236. “A grant from Her Majesty to Adrian Gylberte and his associates, and their heirs, to be incorporated by the name of the Colleges of the Discovery of the North-west passage.” [One page. Indorsed, “A brief of the corporation for Adrian Gylberte and his associates.” DOMESTIC, Eliz., Vol. CXXX., No. 20. Cal., p. 621. This contains an abstract of the provisions in the Letters Patent granted, by the Queen 6th Feb. 1584, already alluded to as printed in Hakluyt, with the addition of one article not included in the Patent. “The said Adrian Gilbert, Walter Raley [the name of John Dee appears in the preceding abstract], and John Davys to be custom free for their proper goods during the space of 60 years, which they shall bring from those lands to be discovered.” They were incorporated by the name ofThe Colleges of the fellowship for the discovery of the North–west passage”; but the names of Gylberte's associates mentioned in the Patent, as in a “schedule hereunto annexed,” are not printed.]