East Indies, China and Japan: April 1617

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, East Indies, China and Japan, Volume 3, 1617-1621. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1870.

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'East Indies, China and Japan: April 1617', in Calendar of State Papers Colonial, East Indies, China and Japan, Volume 3, 1617-1621, (London, 1870) pp. 23-26. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/colonial/east-indies-china-japan/vol3/pp23-26 [accessed 17 April 2024]

April 1617

April 2. Ispahan. 56. Edward Connok to the East India Company. Departure of Sir Robt. Sherley in Oct. 1615, who is a second time employed to the Christian princes but especially into Spain, to contract for all the Persian silks ; danger of the Spaniards monopolizing this silken trade, "the only richest yet known in the world," and of their thus curbing, if not ruining the Company's trade in India. Proposes to prevent this by representations to the King of Persia of the dangers he will lay himself open to, if once the Spaniard have footing on his shore. The English the ablest nation for shipping, but the least able, through want of the yearly required sums of money, considering the annual import of Persian silk will amount to full 1,000,000l. sterling at 6s. the pound of 16 ounces, the usual price. Suggestions for getting over the difficulty ; should be commissioned to treat with the King of Persia. Believes this trade will yield far better satisfaction than many, if not all their India trades put together. Recommends it to their mature deliberation. Could "with reasons unanswerable possess this Prince what society, honor, benefit he may attain in freeing his gulfs of its present slavery, by taking Ormuz into his possession, an act worthy himself, easily performed, and whereby he may be Lord of his own." The Company's ships from the southward might then furnish the country with spices from Surat and all Indian commodities. Advantages of effecting the work which he should glory in. Will endeavour to get this King to suspend if not restrain Sir Robt. Sherley's conditions and order for treaty with the Spaniard ; Sherley's great desire to live in his own country if he had but the small means of a poor gentleman. [Three and a half pages. "Received 13 May 1618." O. C., Vol. V., No. 464.]
April 4. Shiraz. 57. George Pley to Edw. Connok, Agent in Ispahan. Long and tedious journey, "wherein we endured not only the fervent heat of the day but the pinching cold of the night." Kindness of the 'Darraga.' Goods sold and the prices. Arrived at an unseasonable time of the year, but is in good hopes that some great quantity of cloth and tin will sell. Remarks on the report that Connok assumes the name and title of an Ambassador ; whether the Company will approve of it ; also "that in your expenses you cast money abroad as stones." As to a difference in which Connok caused the country people to lay violent hands on one of his servants, "it cannot but be distasteful and displeasing to the Company," and breed confusion among them. Beseeches him so to proceed that they may be at peace among themselves. [Two pages. O. C., Vol. V., No. 465.]
April 5. 58. Relation by Wm. Carmychel of his transactions in Portugal, the East Indies, and Holland, &c., in reference to his petitions to the King complaining of the wrongs done him by the Hollanders in seizing his goods in the East Indies. [Seven pages. Indorsed by Carleton, Ambassador at the Hague, "Carmichel, 5 April 1617." Holland Correspondence, see ante, No. 28.]
April 10. Ispahan. 59. Edw. Connok to G. Pley. Takes his letter in the kindest manner. It is most false that he ever assumed the name of Ambassador ; "think me not so ignorant and beastly." The occasion of prodigality comes from that foolish youth William Bell, caused through his endangering Connok's life. Believes his expenses do not equal Pley's. Is as sparing a servant of the Company as ever they employed. If his counsel be followed the Company's business and trade in Persia will prove more glorious and beneficial to them than all their trade in the Indies, and this he will attempt and hope to perform without their adventure of one penny. Urges him to come speedily, for till then Connok cannot depart to the King, neither will he peremptorily engage his life by delivering an old letter and treat a counterfeit business, except Pley enacts it there and confirms secresy by his oath. This King is a tyrant and cuts off heads every hour, "let us not engage our lives and master's estates to Barker's envious proceedings." Connok's advices to England and India must be deferred until Pley's coming and the writer's speech with the King. Wishes him to bring Ned Pettus, to whom he promises a true reconciliation. "That fool William Bell is a very idle youth, proud and dangerous." Cautions him to beware of Barker. Is proffered by the King's lieutenant 100,000l. sterling of silk, to be paid for in goods in one year or two. Commendations of William Nelson, whom he wishes to accompany Pley. Danger of the Ambassador of Spain arriving at Ormuz before Pley ; if the Spaniard have audience of the King of Persia before Connok their business will be ruinated. Refers him to their commission from Surat. Beseeches him to come quickly with all the ready money he can. Has spent 100l. of his own, and was never so sparing of his own as he has been of the Company's purse. [Two pages and a half. O.C., Vol. V., No. 466.]
April 25. Mandoa. [Mandow.] 60. Sir Thos. Roe to Thos. Keridge, at Surat. Has received another packet of letters from Persia. If he rest satisfied in the hopes of good trade, Roe is well content not to disturb him in that quietness of mind, and to keep his own thoughts to himself. Edw. Connok and his differences concern not Roe. The detention of a letter for Roe and other matters touching Connok, also as to his assuming the title of Ambassador. Comments upon the conduct of Barker, Geo. Pley and Connaught [Connok] ; "charity makes the best constructions." The King's letter if sent by the Company and dated 1613 will betray it ; supposes if they had intended it to Persia they would have procured a fresher and directed it to Roe, but his Majesty's liberal trust to them is fallen thereby into the hands of indiscreet men that cannot govern it. Finds he is resolved not to recall his authority but to hazard it ; Roe will bear no part in it. Remarks on Keridge's preference of Connok over Barker, and the advantages of a trade to Persia. Roe did not counsel sending Connok, and "he needs not yours in that I determine to do in defence of the honor of our Sovereign." Could not avoid what has befallen the presents. Doubts not that it is either in the service of the Prince or favourite to disgrace him. The velvets are returned, refused at the price ; the amber has sold well. Thinks Dabul no fit residence for a factory, but that English ships may trade yearly at the port while they linger at Surat. Wishes he would inquire into the heart of this new business ; confesses his jealousy that fear began this friendship, and that they are too great and ancient allies of the Portuguese to entertain the English cordially. Utterly mislikes the selling of ordnance to any Indian ; it is but preparing a whip for themselves. "How this King takes it I care not, I would have him know we are not so fond of our good usage as to be in wardship to him." Browne urges in no way any reason for the continuance of his factory (? at Ahmedabad ; see ante, No. 33.) [Three and a half pages. O. C., Vol. V., No. 467.]
April 25. Surat. 61. Thos. Kerridge, Thos. Rastell, and Ro. Younge, to the East India Company. Embarrassments caused by the capture, by the James and Charles, of two junks belonging to natives of Surat. The value of their promises has been called in question, and they have been neglected as well as disgraced by the imprisonment of their broker, who has ever since been detained in irons. Richard Hounsell, master of the Charles, a chief instrument in persuading the commander to these courses. Sir Thos. Roe's presents, through the Prince's covetous desire, detained on the way from Court to Burrampoor until the King commanded their release. The dogs only well liked, the crystal cabinets said to be glass, the rich sword lead and the handle copper, all disgraced and made ridiculous on purpose, yet nothing of value returned. Goods sell but slowly. The quicksilver has been distributed among the several factories. Will use their best endeavours to dispeed away the next ship for England more timely than hitherto. Capt. Pepwell advises them of the sale of lead and seven pieces of ordnance at Dabul ; from thence he purposeth to touch at Calicut and Masulipatam ; "the first we doubt will be dissolved ;" the Osiander, with goods from Bantam, has arrived at Masulipatam. [Three pages. Indorsed, "By the way of Masulipatam, received from Bantam by the Hope the first of September." O. C., Vol. V., No. 468.]
April 26. Madrid. 62. Fras. Cottington to Sec. Lake. A general embargo has lately been laid upon all East Indian commodities, as pepper, cloves, &c., in the power of these [the Dutch] merchants within this King's dominions, which falls heavily on them. [Extract from Corresp., Spain.]
April 27. "In the way towards Ispahan." 63. George Pley to the Factors in Shiraz. Has received the two stray packs of cloth. Prays for a better end than this beginning. Impossible to have peace with those who having such an overweening conceit of themselves cannot but despise others. Begs them to content the Darraga's two men for watching this night. [Half a page. O.C., Vol. V., No. 469.]
April 28. "Upon the way." 64. Geo. Pley to [Edw.] Pettus. Sends back a horse by bearer which has fallen lame. Cannot hire camel, horse, mule, or ass ; some are obliged to proceed on foot. Much abused in the matter of camels ; those they have will hardly carry the goods half-way up. Grieves to see that some care not how things go, they let their goods go forward and stay behind at their pleasure. [Three-quarters of a page. O.C., Vol. V., No. 470.]