East Indies, China and Japan: May 1617

Pages 26-33

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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May 1617

May 3. Asapasbozurb. 65. George Pley to [W.] Bell at Shiraz. Assurances of friendship. How he has been vilified for looking after the interests of the Company, and branded with the name of knave, puritan knave, prying knave, and threadbare knave. It has been given out that he being drunk lost a camel ; "is it possible that they who daily swim in Bacchus bowls, can so speak of others ?" It is an old proverb "Pride doth overcome wit." [One page. O.C., Vol. V., No. 471.]
May 7. ? At sea. 66. Capt. Nath. Martyn to Capt. C. Harris. Complains of the slow sailing of his vessel, and wishes to know whether he desires the writer to keep him company all the way to England. [One page. O.C., Vol. V., No. 472.]
May ? 67. Request and reasons of Capt. Christopher Harris, commander of the Peppercorn, for Nathaniel Martyn, commander of the Globe, to keep him company to the uttermost of his endeavours until they reach the port of London. Signed by Chr. Harris, John Curtis, and Henry Rickman. [Half a page. O.C., Vol. V., No. 473.]
May 8. Ispahan. 68. Edward Connok to Thos. Barker, [second in Persia,] Geo. Pley, Edw. Pettus, and Wm. Bell, at Shiraz. Cannot write more earnestly than he has done for the despatch of the goods, people, and presents from Shiraz to Ispahan. Has detained their messenger, knowing him to be slow, and sent a speedy one, in expectation of their sudden answer. Marvels he has not heard from them for thirty- three days, as a letter from Shiraz would reach him in five or six days, "so that this must needs be your careless or willing faults." Nothing can be effected in any certain manner till he has been with the King, nor can he go to the King until the goods, people, and presents arrive. Recommends their hasty coming ; complains of their delay ; do they think Shiraz will vent all their goods and Ispahan nothing? He neither may nor will suffer the business to ruin through their stubborn wilfulness and idleness, "and to speak particularly to you, Mr. Barker, (now the chief director and manager thence of these neglects,) remember yourself, you know by our commission you ought to be by me directed, and since it so ought to be, it so shall be, be you assured." The coming of the Spanish ambassador is confirmed by letters from Goa, whose arrival in Ormuz or any other part of Persia he prays Barker to advise him of, that Connok may procure his stay until he has despatched his own business with that King. [One page and three-quarters. Indorsed, "This copy sent into India to the agent, Mr. Keridge, Mr. Browne, and Mr. Rastell, and to no other. Surat." O.C., Vol. V., No. 474.]
May 8. Ispahan. 69. Edward Connok to Geo. Pley and Edward Pettus, at Shiraz. Has this very hour received their letters, by which he perceives the "disorderous" and dangerous proceedings of Thos. Barker. Assures them that he will compass any danger whatsoever that shall for the future be practised by Barker. Time is spent which cannot be recovered. Will let Barker soon see he can reach him at Shiraz or in any the dominions of Persia. "I will let him know if God give me life, how to obey, and that so modestly, [yet justly,] that he shall be his own judge." Barker has quite broken his intentions of presents for the King, who will not be presented with such things as they give to the Khan and others. Has given orders for camels to be sent towards them. [One page. O.C., Vol. V., No. 475.]
May 8. Shiraz. 70. Thos. Barker and Wm. Bell to Edw. Connok, agent at Ispahan. Sends messenger on purpose to certify to him that the Portuguese Ambassador is arrived at Ormuz. Cannot learn whether he intends to make any long abode there, only suppose that the intolerable heat of that climate will force him speedily to leave that place, and seek a more temperate air inland. Desire him to procure from the King the grant of the house at Shiraz, wherein he lodged. Account of cloth given to the Company's servants, in part payment of wages, for their apparel. Inconvenience of keeping their accounts in divers species ; wish to know in what species Connok intends to keep his accounts. Necessity of writing to the factory at Surat before the arrival of the ensuing year's fleet, to prevent the danger of sending only one ship to these parts. Are credibly informed their enemies at Goa are uniting all their Indian strength to cross their Persian desires. [One page and three quarters, Indorsed, "Received the 15th ditto, in Spahan." O. C., Vol. V., No. 476.]
May 9. Surat. 71. Robt. Younge to Sir Thos. Roe. Requires a remittance of money. Intends going to Baroach with Martin in six weeks. Hears that the Prince has ordered them to be put out of their house ; hopes it will not prove true, believes their landlord to be in disgrace with the Prince. Concerning a debt due to Leske. Letters received from Calicut show the proceedings there to be little to the Company's profit. The King borrowing money of the factors which is still unpaid, and taking goods without paying for them. George Wolmer, the factor, dead. That place affords no commodity fit for England ; the people are poor, oppressed, and robbed by the Portuguese. [One page. O. C., Vol. V., No. 477.]
May 10. Camboja. 72. George Savidge to [Cocks at] Firando. Their arrival at Camboja from Siam. Their proceedings have been very troublesome by reason of the Portuguese. At first they received a kind welcome from the King and his mandarins, but afterwards, through the instigation of the Portuguese, were ordered on board their junk and to depart with all speed, it being feared they were sent to take the country, but since inquiring of their dealings and carriage in other parts the King has learned to understand them better. Arrival of two Hollanders in a Malay junk from Patani with a cargo of very good cloth, which is in great request. Three months after, the Portuguese in a small prow took this junk and carried it away to Malacca in spite of the King, who sent 500 men to bring them back. The King so displeased with the Portuguese for this and other treasons that he will not suffer one of them to stay. He has taken from them all their munitions and weapons, and desires some English and Dutch ships to arrive to take the Portuguese as they took the Hollanders. The Duke has given them a house hard by his Court. Their cargo in such bad condition that they have sold but little yet ; has made sale of all at reasonable good rates. Doubts not that this place will prove very profitable to the Company by the sale of many commodities specified. [One page. Indorsed, "Received 30th July in Firando." O. C., Vol. V., No. 478.]
May 12. Macassar. 73. Kellum Throgmorton to Capt Barkeley, President in Bantam. [Nat.] Courthope arrived with the Swan and Defence on 19th November. This factory not so well furnished with money as Barkeley expected. Has turned the money he had taken for cloth into mace according to Mr. Ball's orders when he placed the writer chief in Macassar. The Attendance, John A. Baringe, could not fetch Banda, but arrived at Macassar 8th April. The factory very poor and scarce able to maintain the house until a new supply. Sends the Attendance back to Bantam with [Thos.] Spurway, who will give an account of the proceedings at Pooloroon. Orders sent to Banjermassin and Succadana to keep the factories there until further orders from Bantam, and to expect a good supply by the next monsoon. Will provide by that time what rice the country can afford ; mace and tar ready. George Jackson, John West, and Wm. Withers to remain in Macassar Factory with Throgmorton until further orders. Would like to be advised beforehand of the ships' coming, so as to provide for them better. [Two pages. O.C., Vol. V., No. 479.]
May 15. Ispahan. 74. Edw. Connok, Geo. Pley, Edw. Pettus, and Wm. Tracy to Thos. Keridge, agent, and Thos. Rastell and the rest of the factors at Surat. Refer to previous letters which relate their detention at Shiraz, and though they had good usage from the Khan at last, yet for many good reasons they came to Ispahan, where also they are best able to withstand the further plots of their professed enemy. Recapitulate the contents of Connok's letters to Barker and the rest. Barker's unlawful and sensual entertainments, and wasting of time at Shiraz, although the Spanish Ambassador had come from Goa and was at hand with large presents to supplant them. Wm. Bell and John Amy remain in Shiraz with Barker. Complain of Barker's conduct, and of his wasting and retaining goods which should have been sent to Ispahan, so that Connok is wholly despoiled of his presents for the King. Hope soon to advise him of the sale of all the cloth at good rates, for silk. Can send yearly five hundred bales of silk or more, on condition that they have sugars, spices, and other required commodities sent to them. Great advantages of trade with Ormuz. They mean to injure, if not wholly to ruin, the Portugal trade there ; desire it may be recommended especially to [John] Browne at Ahmedabad, "a man stirring and discreet." Enclose their letter to the Commander of the next fleet from England, as to what is here given out by the Spanish agent, to supplant this trade by the bullet. Ormuz is weak, but still they could desire the coming of the whole fleet. Will be at Jask by 15th Oct., in expectation of the commodities they specify. Have been desired by the King's treasurer and minion Lalabegg, to write to India for the underwritten toys and necessaries for the King's use, which Keridge must not fail to send as he regards their credit and welfare. Steele and Crouther have given a good account of the weights, coins, and measures of Persia. Prices of silk. An Englishman, Wm. Robbins, a man of good estate and as good respect of this prince and people, has given them great help and furtherance in their business. Request him also to thank Steele for his good respects to them and their affairs, which will give him further encouragement. Directions for packing the goods sent to them ; most of their camels are weak and cannot stand under a burthen of above four or five hundred [weight] English. [Six pages. O. C., Vol. V., No. 480.] Inclose, Cannok and the rest to the Commander of the next English Fleet, touching Surat. Think it their duty to address him this paper, a part being wholly upon marine matters. Threat of the Spanish Agent to supplant the English trade by the bullet ; "the weak ability" of Ormuz. It would not be amiss that he should come with all his fleet, which would be a security and a daunting to the enemy. Suggestions in case he should resolve to send but one ship. Ispahan, 1617, May 15th. [One page and a half. O.C., Vol. V., No. 482.]
May 15. Ispahan. 75. Connok and others to "the land and sea consultation at the arrival of the next English Fleet at Surat." How behoof-ful it may be to send the whole fleet this way. The forces and preparations at Diu and Goa ; cannot apprehend their adversaries would seek their whole fleet at Jask, though the writers rest assured they hope to entrap one single ship. [Three quarters of a page. O. C., Vol. V., No. 483.]
May 15. Ispahan. 76. Connok and others to Wm. Keeling, Captain and Commander-General over all the English in the East Indies, and to the Factory at Bantam. Inclose copy of their letter of 19th January (see ante, No. 20). Hope to receive the supplies they wrote for by the James. Being come to Ispahan, the chief city and seat of this Empire, they desire to confirm their former advice so as to take away all doubt, as they were then in the remotest part of the country. Spices of all sorts will yield within 25 per cent. equal to their own country. The King desirous to pass all his silks into Christendom by sea, to the weakening of his enemy the Turk ; his treasurer, his chief favourite, has proffered them two or three thousand bales of silk to be shipped free, on condition of receiving satisfaction in one or two years in spices, sugar, cloth, and other English and Southern Indian commodities. Have written to England for instructions in so weighty a matter, but beg him in the meantime to supply them according to their requests. Their aim is to falsify the reports of the Portugals, who say that the English are not merchants but thieves and sea robbers, who under pretence of merchandise entrap and despoil the ships and subjects of the princes of India and southern parts. Their desire, under colour of proffered benefit by trade, to obtain the King's leave to fortify Jask, the entrance of the Persian Gulf. Will attend this October at Jask the arrival of some ships, as also from Surat, not doubting in the interim to obtain their capitulation signed by the King. Have settled two factories, one at Ispahan and the other at Shiraz ; intend a third at the sea side and near to Jask next year, which will be all the trade that can anyway be required. Have been entreated by the King's treasurer and favourite to procure the underwritten necessaries and toys for the King's use. All sorts of china, a good commodity being much in request. [Three pages. O.C., Vol. V., No. 484.]
May 15. Ispahan. 77. George Pley to Thos. Keridge at Surat. In his last from Mogustan he certified their arrival at Jask, and how the governor behaved to them. Departure of Connok for Shiraz to procure the Khan's phirmaund for their release. Their detention at Lar, caused by Thos. Barker, and their arrival at Shiraz. Barker the cause of their long stay at Shiraz to the Company's detriment, and of other inconveniences ; his behaviour to Pley. Refers to their general letter touching their negotiations in those parts ; assures him that in a short time they are like to have a trade of great benefit ; the Portuguese strive by might and main to supplant them, but he hopes to no purpose. The Spanish Ambassador, who has been two years at Goa, by reason of the taking of Gombroon from the Portuguese, is daily expected from Ormuz, and brings a present of great value to the King. He knows how meanly they are provided with presents ; hopes he will duly consider it by the next fleet, and send the commodities they are in need of, that their enemies may not have cause to laugh at them. Begs him to send six bedsteads, as they all lie on the ground. [Three pages and a half. O.C., Vol. V., No. 485.]
May 16. Ispahan. 78. Connok and others to Keridge, agent at Surat. Copy of their letter of the previous day [see ante, No. 74.] Information touching three commodities which this place yields, saffron, galls, and a root for dyeing, called ruenas. Are informed that there lately came from Goa after the James, seven galleons, 56 frigates, and two gallies, but not finding her went to Muscat, their garrison on the coast of Arabia, from whence they returned to Goa. This argues the enemy's intentions, therefore they recommend the sending of the whole fleet ; if they are repulsed at first they will be for ever daunted. [Seven pages. O.C., Vol. V., No. 481.]
May 16. Ispahan. 79. Connok and others to Keridge, agent at Surat. Copy of the preceding letter of this date. [One page. O. C., Vol. V. No. 486.]
May 18. Ispahan. 80. Connok and others to Barker and W. Bell, at Shiraz. Bitter complaints of Barker's slow and tedious proceedings ; the great prejudice to the Company's affairs and advantages gained by the Spanish Ambassador, who has despatched letters to the King and will bribe fairly ; had Barker dispeeded their caravan all these inconveniences had not been. Accuse him of needlessly giving presents of too great cost to the officials at Shiraz, and such things as they had intended presenting to the King, contrary to Connok's orders, "you know little of these Turkish countries and government ; when you have spent what you can, they still will be eating and grating anew on you." Touching Barker's accounts, and his appropriation of money to his own use, admonishes him for his abuse of George Pley, "let us live at peace among ourselves ; if anything be amiss have relation to me, you shall have no wrong, but all right." Can give him no orders what to present to the Khan's vizier until he assures Connok he will be conformable to the direction of their Commission. House for the Shiraz factory ; the King's house there too expensive and fitter for a prince than a private merchant ; will not omit to obtain a convenient house of the King, but none of his regal palaces will Connok demand. Wishes rather he had been sick in his bed than that he should have been the cause of the Spanish Ambassador having the start of them ; for this Barker can never make amends. The Moor in Barker's service is a Portugal spy, he should not employ him any more. Will write no more than what he has already written as to Connok's "counterfeit ambassage." The keeping of his accounts and sale of goods. Hope Barker will discreetly take example by the past and modestly perform for the future. Beg he will speedily advise them of the Spanish Ambassador's movements. [Seven pages and a half. O. C., Vol. V., No. 487.]
May 18. Paria ? in the Kingdom of Chiampa. 81. John Ferrers to Capt. Cocks at Japan. His last was of the 13th March by Wm. Eaton, since which time Ferrers and Peter Hall have been sent with a cargo of goods to discover Chiampa, and to meet with Capt. Shoby, hoping to send some goods by him to Japan. The King has given them free trade to all parts of his kingdom being well content with their coming. Money delivered to Capt. Shoby. Half a page. [Indorsed, "Received in Japan 4 July, by the junk of Shoby." O. C., Vol. V., No. 488.]
May 21. Jacatra. 82. Nicholas Ufflete to George Ball, agent in Bantam. Account of iron sent to Bantam. News that the Swan and Defence are at anchor at Pooloroon, and that the Dutch ships at Pooloway anchored between the English ships, upon which Mr. Davye threatened to sink them if they did not leave ; the Dutch perceiving the ordnance planted on the island with English colours, and that the English ships were fully manned with the Bandanese, weighed for Neira, but were forced by a storm out to sea and are now at Jacatra. [Three quarters of a page. O. C., Vol. V., No. 489.]
May 21/31. 83. "Translation of a resolution [in French] of the States General in favour of the Dutch East India Company against the English" in reference to certain complaints against the English for their extraordinary proceedings in the East Indies, in assisting the Spaniards and Portuguese with arms, munition of war, and other necessaries, and encouraging the natives to violate their contracts and treaties with the Dutch. Indorsed by Carleton as above. [Holland Correspondence.]
May 21/31. 84. Another copy, in French, with marginal note and in part underlined by Carleton. [Holland Correspondence.]
May 21/31. 85. Copy of the preceding in Dutch. [Holland Correspondence.]
May 23. Judea in Siam. 86. John Johnson and Richard Pitts to [Capt. Cocks ?] at Firando. His letters to [Benj.] Farie by Wm. Eaton giving account of the great troubles he had in going up to the Emperor to obtain the former privileges, have been received. Know for certain that Shoby Dono having met with foul weather and his junk leaky, was forced to Chiampa ; hope he has now gone for Nangasaki. Glad to hear of the safe arrival of the Chinese junk which Sayer went in, though with the loss of many men and among them the captain, as they hear. Are glad they can send a junk well laden with "sapon," because of its scarcity. Reasons for sending a small vessel with a cargo of goods and money to Chiampa, under the direction of Peter Hall and John Ferrers. Understand, from an Ambassador of the King of Chiampa sent to the King of Siam, the commodities the country afforded. She sailed on 20th March. Have made arrangements for her return before the departure of the Sea Adventure "but man may purpose but God disposeth at His will and pleasure." Lading of the Sea Adventure. Much trouble and vexation, besides the giving of many bribes to procure a small quantity of "sapon" Would like the money sent to them of the same coin as Eaton will show him, which will tend very much to their employers' profit, provided it be kept secret. Since the departure of the Sea Adventure in 1616, they have had very good sales in clothing. In answer to the complaints of some of the goods of the Company, think Capt. Addames can hardly prove his Christopher an honest man. If this factory is to be maintained and a profitable trade driven with Japan, the men as well as the commodities must be good. The seaworthiness and manning of the Sea Adventure. Benjamin Farie died 11 Sept. 1616. [Two pages. Indorsed, "Copy of a letter sent from Siam to Firando in Japan in the junk Sea Adventure," and beneath "In ship Advice for Bantam." O. C. Vol. V. No. 490.]
May 26. Saldanha Road 87. Consultation aboard the Hound in Saldanha Road appointing [Henry] Rickman, master's mate of the Globe, pilot to England in the Peppercorn, in lieu of John Curtis, master of the Peppercorn, who is insufficient. Signed by William Gardiner, Master of the Hound, and Nathaniel Martyn. [Half a page. O.C. Vol. V. No. 491.]
May 27. 88. Consultation held at Tecoe. The ship Rose to be sent with the Company's goods to Acheen. Mr. Dego to go merchant and Wm. Partridge as second. The goods on board the Unicorn to be consigned to John Millward, who has commission to receive into his charge all goods laden upon ships from Surat to Sumatra. The Unicorn to be dispatched by the 5th of September. Signed by John Millward, Henry Pattesonn, William Polhill, George Pybourne and Lewis Smyth. [Two pages. O. C. Vol. V. No. 492.]
May 28. Siam. 89. John Johnson and Richard Pitt to John Browne, principal of the English at Patani. The price of copper uncertain. This year three Chinese junks have arrived with silks. Have little goods left to sell or truck for, having had good sales and to good profit. Entreat supplies for this factory to enable them to supply Japan with goods, and from Japan, money for Bantam. The Sea Adventure arrived 24th January from Japan, with Wm. Eaton, merchant, and left 27th inst. ; her lading. Lament they had not the money to make use of which he had lying dead. Evil reports of the English spread by the Dutch, who endeavour by all possible means to wrong and hurt them by their "vigorous scorpion tongues." Farie died within one hour of eating a hearty breakfast, having hardly time to make a bequest in favour of his woman and child ; he was not a man of such indiscretion as to desire the Dutch, our mortal enemies, to be overseers of the Company's goods. The truth is the Dutch grieve at our good sales. Hope all the factories may make as good sales as they have. Reasons for their buying a small pinnace of 15 or 16 tons burthen. [Two pages. Indorsed, "Rec. 25th August 1617." O.C., Vol. V., No. 493.]