East Indies, China and Japan: June 1617

Pages 34-40

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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June 1617

June 1. Ispahan. 90. George Pley to the East India Company. Has already certified them what occurred on his passage from England to India, and also touching that accident of untimely meeting with a carack and its destruction. The general letter will, he hopes, give the Company good satisfaction in every point of the hopefulness of "this new plantation." The bad time of their arrival in the summer, and the King's absence with his nobles and soldiers, the causes why they cannot at present make sale of their cloth to their content, yet they nothing doubt but that towards the winter they will find good sales and to good profit, so that by this year's fleet they may make some return in silks. Connok ready to depart hence towards the King ; he has obtained capitulations from him. The King's absence the cause of extraordinary expense. Grateful thanks for the Company's favour and bounty to him. Begs an allowance of 10l. per annum for his poor wife and children. [One page and a half. O.C., Vol. V., No. 494.]
June 2. Ispahan. 91. Connok, Pley, Pettus, and Tracy to the East India Company. Have written at large "in alphabet, thereby to secure the knowledge from our adversary the Portugal," who lay wait at Bagdad to intercept all their letters ; request that answer be sent to them in easy character, cypher, or alphabet. Have written to their Aleppo consul to send a trusty messenger, or two of the Arabian nation who are accustomed to, and they only do know the passage through the the desert. Have previously written at large of their difficulties, write now of their trade only. Pley and Pettus arrived at Ispahan twenty days since, having left Barker and Bell in factory at Shiraz. Their cloths too high priced or too dearly bought for this country. Their despatches to Surat and Bantam earnestly requesting commodities fitting for Ispahan. Reasons for desiring the whole Surat fleet to go to the port of Jask. Arrival of the Spanish Ambassador with great and rich presents, purposely to supplant the English. Must have 500 tons at least of spices yearly, for therein consists the welfare of their Persian trade, especially now in its infancy. English commodities which will sell in Persia and which they hope to receive by the next year's fleet. Hope credit will be given to their advices for they write upon certainties. Why a small ship or two, drawing but ten or twelve feet water, should be sent with the fleet. Further recommend a coach to be sent to this King, such an one as the Company gave to the King of India, a plain armour but good and of proof, two good serviceable short horsemen's swords, sharp at the point such as they use in the Low Countries, with the hilts not rich but fairly damasked only, a piece of choice English scarlet to apparel his women, but at no time to send anything effeminate as to the King of India, but serviceable and for use, "this King being reported valiant and the discreetest prince in these Eastern parts." [Three pages and a quarter. O.C., Vol. V., No. 495.] Inclose,
91. I. Connok to Chapman, Consul at Aleppo. Congratulates him on preferment to the place which once Connok thought might have been his own. There are fourteen English in all, and Connok is appointed the chief and agent in settling a trade and amity with the Prince and people of Persia, in his Majesty's name. Through the many hindrances of their "professed adversary the Portugal," their negotiation has been more than once at a stand. Is going to Tauris, where he hopes to "compose his business" with the King notwithstanding the Spanish Ambassador, Don Garza de Silva, has lately arrived in Persia with large presents purposely to cross their designs. Is forced often to trouble him with packets ; desires he will send them by way of Constantinople. Fears his letters may be intercepted at Aleppo by the Portuguese agents: necessity of procuring two Arab footmen who know their way from Bagdad to Aleppo through the desert, without a guide. [Ispahan, 2nd June 1617. One page. O.C., Vol. V., No. 496.]
June 2. Ispahan. 92. Edward Pettus to Robert Middleton, merchant, London. His last was of 26th January, from Jask. His arrival at Moghistan, the Sultan's residence. Middleton's goods committed to the charge of Thomas Barker, George Pley, and the writer. Connok, Bell, and Tracy gone to Shiraz, the seat of the Khan, to procure a phirmaund for the speedier transport of their goods, being in want of money. Importuned the Sultan for camels according to his promise, who, after a long delay, agreed to their dispatch on their giving him "two clothes." Arrived at Ispahan with two thirds of their goods on 10th of May, without any toll or custom being demanded, though other merchants had to pay. The great value of Ormuz to the Portugals, by report worth more than any toll they have in India, though much impaired to what it was ; hopes to see their pride have a fall and that town come to nothing, which is the desire of this people, as they are hated here, being so "perfidious and base lying." Better expectation of the English, who are more courteous to the common people and more respectful to the great ones. Welcomed by the people with presents of fruits and victuals. Are told that everything they ask of the King, in reason, will be granted. Reasons why they have not yet made any sales. Have written to the factories at Bantam and Surat what goods will yield most profit ; sends list. His opinion of William Robbins, a jeweller, in great favour with the King and principal noblemen of Ispahan. Intelligence from Barker that the Spanish Ambassador, Don Garza de Silva, had come into the Persian dominions with great presents for the King, on purpose to supplant the English. Hopes Connok will frustrate the Ambassador's designs. Wishes to send by the first ships 50 or 60 bales of silk for England. It is needless to discourse on the plots of the Portuguese to supplant them at Jask. [Three and a quarter pages. O.C., Vol. V., No. 497.]
June 2. Ispahan. 93. Edward Pettus to Robert Middleton. Complaints against Barker, the second factor ; "if I denied to do the Company's service he would tie my legs under the horse's belly, and so send me away." Wishes Middleton to know that his coming to Ispahan was not owing to misdemeanour. Barker is a turbulent and proud fellow, and hath so overweening a conceit of himself, that at Surat they were right glad to be rid of him. Has heard that my Lord (Sir Thos. Roe) is much offended that this employment goeth forward, but that he is in great hope this year to have commission from the King and the Company to this great Sophy Ambassador, and to procure Barker his cape merchant. Thinks Connok will effect his business to the Company's credit and content, and during his time here, save the charges of an ambassador ; considers him a worthy and sufficient gentleman, but much wronged by Barker, who leaves nothing unattempted to frustrate his designs. At Lar, Barker loitered ten days to visit the Sultan of that place. Dispute between Pley and Barker. Writes these lines apart, wishing no one to see them but Middleton. [Two pages. O.C., Vol. V., No. 498.]
June 3. Masulipatam. 94. Lucas Antheuniss and Thomas Brockedon to William Nicolls, resident in Acheen. Understand by his letter the establishing of the factory at Acheen. Have sent copy of letter to Surat, to make provision from thence of cloths and steel. Inconvenience of the scarcity of the capital brought out by the fleet under General Joseph. The Globe has been sent this year from Surat, richly laden. Lost passage, in December, for Bantam. Have written to Surat that a ship of the new fleet, appointed for Acheen, might touch at Masulipatam, to take in goods provided for Bantam, the Moluccas, and other southern places. Arrival of the Solomon and the Osiander from Bantam ; the disorders caused by the master's insolence and piracy after Gourney's decease reformed. The Osiander they sent for Ceylon, to meet the fleet coming from Surat with letters for General Pepwell, successor to General Joseph, slain in fight. Owing to the winds, obliged to put in at Pettapoli, where is a factory. Laded the Charles for Bantam, about eighteen leagues from Masulipatam, so that the General, with the James and Charles, arrived at Masulipatam in safety 27th April, and as the Unicorn was appointed for Priaman and Tecoe, ordered the Osiander to go to Acheen, but without any capital of importance as means were wanted. The James hath no capital at all in her, and Bantam little provision. Have laden the ships with steel as it gives good profit. Advise him to lade the ships with as much pepper as he can procure, and to send them to Bantam in good time. Masulipatam and Pettapoli are settled with merchants. The Charles and James departed from hence the 13th of June. Three Dutch ships have been to Masulipatam this year. Fear the ship will not recover Sumatra, and so arrive late with her goods and money for Bantam. The Dutch have received a great capital with a new fleet, and will endeavour to engross all for themselves. They remain at Masulipatam, unprovided with goods and money. If the Company do not better provide their ships with ready money, their business will decline. A new factory is settled in Persia, where a great quantity of cloth and lead is sent. [Two pages and a quarter. O.C., Vol. V., No. 499.]
June 3. Jacatra. 95. Nicholas Ufflete to George Ball, agent at Bantam. The smiths in hand with the nails. Incloses particulars of the lead received out of the Swan and Rose, and put on board the Attendance and Osiander. Sends, according to his order, twenty bars of English iron. [One page. O.C. Vol. V. No. 500.]
June. 5. Jambi. 96. Robt. Johnson to Lucas Antheuniss at Siam, or John Browne at Patani. The bad treatment that Christopher Saker met with from the King of Endregery [Indraghiri,] when applied to for payment of his pepper, the dispatching to his assistance George Rix, and the loss of Saker's life and the Company's goods, the King being continually aggravated thereto by the Portugals. Death of Rix soon afterwards from sickness. On receipt of the news of their death, Johnson sent another Englishman and five blacks. The King would have had him killed. He was saved after being bound four hours to the same tree where Saker died, though the King seized the blacks and all the merchandise and provisions of the prow, not leaving the Englishman even a pair of linen breeches to cover his nakedness. Desires all English to use the like kindness to those at Indraghiri. Pepper is dear and cloth cheap ; has not heard from Bantam for 8 months, "only what the lying Flemings have brought." Daily expects a ship, for he is out of all sorts of cloth. [One page. O.C. Vol. V. No. 501.]
June 8. Ispahan. 97. Edw. Connok, George Pley, Edw. Pettus, Will. Tracy, to Thos. Kerridge, agent at Surat. Send copies of their letters of the 15th ult. by their trusty servant Mahomet, laying open their proceedings hitherto touching their hopeful and beneficial plantation. Beg him to send 20 chests of English and Indian commodities, including vermillion and quicksilver, which will yield good profit. Again urge the necessity of sending the whole fleet hither ; as it is certain that those ships that came to conduct the Spanish Ambassador to Ormuz, and formerly to seek the James, all remain to prevent the English ships coming to these parts. Their adversaries are as eager against the Company's plantation here, as last year they were against their trade at Surat. One ship coming will endanger all, but the whole fleet will daunt their enemies. Wished to barter their cloth and quicksilver with the King's treasurer for silk, but he came short in the price demanded. Will by the next fleet return the proceeds of their whole "cavidall" in silks. Have dispatched the presents for the King and his officers. Connok ready to take his journey. Weights, measures, and coins used in the Persian Kingdom. Request the bearer may be returned by the ships, for his services are most valuable. "Indorsed: Sent by an express messenger with copies of a latter despatch sent by way of Candahar under the 15th of May." [One page. O.C. Vol. V., No. 502.]
June 9. Ispahan. 98. George Pley to his cousin Thos. Kerridge, agent at Surat. His last of the 15 ult. touched upon the cause of his detention at Moghistan, and their good hopes of a beneficial trade. Reiterates his complaints of Barker's conduct towards him. Connok ready to take his journey towards the King. They hope by this year's fleet to return the proceeds of their sales in silk. Steele's assurances of kindness to William Robbins, who accompanies Connok for his better help in his journey to the King, the King having previously taken notice of Robbins. [One page. O.C. Vol. V., No. 503.]
June 10. Sambopa. [Macassar.] 99. George Jackson to Capt. George Barkeley, President at Bantam. His last letter was of the 9th ult., by the Attendance by [Thos.] Spurway, who departed hence the 19th ult., with goods. Arrival of a Spanish frigate from the Moluccas with news that 12 Holland ships lay before the Manillas, and that Sig. Giocomino, the Spanish governor, had left Ternate for the Manillas with 10 galleons, 8 galleys, and 6 frigates to encounter the Hollanders, and that the people of the Moluccas, who expected the English ships this year, were almost famished for want of food. The Portuguese and Spanish merchants protest that if the English bring them rice to Ternate, they shall have cloves to their hearts' content, and they desire their friendship, saying that the Vice-King of Goa hath orders from King Philip to make peace with the English. Arrival of a Java junk from Amboyna, with report that the Hollanders had brought to Amboyna 40 or 50 Englishmen from Neira Castle and kept them in irons, and allowed them but one cake of bread a day per man, and that they were reduced to skin and bones. The Hollanders say they would with one ship alone fight 10 English ships, "giving the English the worst language they could." The factor now making up his accounts with John West's help. Will procure rice by the coming of the next ships, and that because here is neither goods nor money, for the Macassars will trust no man. Ball and Coppindall are with Spurway. [One page. O.C., Vol. V., No. 504.]
June 12. Macassar. 100. Kellum Throgmorton to Capt. Barkeley. Arrival of a Java junk from Banda with report of the unkind usage of the Flemings to the English, some of whom are dead for want of food, and so clogged with irons, both hands, feet, and neck, that they cannot stir. These Flemings brag to the "Javas," that if they have but one ship they can take 10 English ships, and other base speeches impossible to write. The King hath promised 100 "quoynes" of rice, more he cannot rely upon. With ready money he could no doubt procure rice. If the ships do not bring rice from Java, will have to pay a high price here for it ; there is a place within two days sail which yields good store. [One and a half pages. O.C. Vol. V., No. 505.]
June 15. Succadana. 101. George Cokayne to President Ball. Since he parted from Ball in Maccassar, the writer has heard nothing concerning this factory. Has already written what is most fitting for supplies from Bantam, and sent an abstract of the account, with all the diamonds that are bought. Trade is now "hugger mugger among the Chinese caterpillars," for they handle all, make price with the Landaks as they please, and bring the stones to us at the price they please. The Landak people prevented from trading with the Company's people, for it is to the advantage of the Chinese that the English be kept from trading with the Landaks themselves. If the English will pay annually a certain custom to the Queen, then they may trade without the interference of the Chinese and Malays. Advises this plan to be adopted, if the Company wish to have any profitable trade in this country. Approves of Courthope taking this charge. Earnestly intreated Cassarian David to take Cokayne's place, who refused. Has begged Hugh Greete to accompany David, for he hath such humours, neither dog nor cat can live by him, much less the poor country people ; in plain terms it had been better for the Company if they had doubled his wages to stay at home. Delivered the diamonds to David, to be opened in the presence of all the merchants at Bantam, and then to know if they agreed in weight and number as Greete sealed them. The cloth is so bad that it will not sell at the rates demanded. For the factory to make profits it must be well stocked with money and cloth and the stones that are bought taken away every six months. If Courthope does not come before August he expects David with a good stock, and begs then to be released from this place. Necessity of coming to some good conclusion with the Queen and Governor regarding the trade being free. If he gives the Chinaman money or goods they are never wholly returned as they should be. [Four pages. O.C., Vol. V., No. 506.]
June 21. Bantam. 102. Capt. Ralph Coppindall to George Ball, President in Jacatra. The builders dare not continue their work without the Pengran's express command. His interview with the Pengran on the subject. The French have offered for sale three minions of about 13 cwt., which the Pengran wishes to buy, but objects to the price, 600 ryals. The Pengran as much displeased with Ball's going to Jacatra as with the erection of "this building." The China junk not yet gone nor anything seen whereby Keevees' departure may be suspected. The French Cape merchant arrived from Japara the 15th inst., with news that the Dutch are almost off their hinges at Japara, and that a ship coming from Banda refused any information as it was against their oaths to publish their masters' affairs to strangers ; two other ships from the Moluccas he also encountered. Should be sorry if the King of Jacatra's hard conditions should force Ball to break off with him, for then "this unsatiable dogge of hell" would never cease feeding on Ball and his successors. [One page. O.C., Vol. V., No. 507.]
June 27. Ispahan. 103. George Pley to [Humphrey] Browne [one of the Committee in London]. Sent their packet on the 2d inst., to the Company by way of Aleppo, informing him of the prosperous state of the new plantation in these parts, the trade of which will soon surpass all others. Connok ready to take his departure towards the King of Persia, to negotiate about commerce, which notwithstanding their adversaries practised preventions, they hope will come to good effect. [Three-quarters of a page. O.C., Vol. V., No. 508.]