East Indies: February 1624

Pages 242-254

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, East Indies, China and Japan, Volume 4, 1622-1624. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1878.

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Feb 1624

Feb. 3. 404. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Mr. Deputy and others to deliver to the Lords of the Council the petition against Beversham, and to inform their Lordships of his negligence in suffering Ruy Frere to escape. Letter from Mr. Misselden. containing three particulars, first, whether the treaty shall be pursued at Amsterdam or in Zealand; secondly, what should be demanded for damage at the Moluccas, in both of which the Court had declared themselves; and, thirdly, concerning a law case to be sent over, which Dr. Zouch had truly and ingeniously laid down copy to be sent to Mr. Misselden, and the secretary to draw a letter in answer to the said three particulars. Discussion as to the disposing of the factors in the several ships; Kerridge has made choice of the great cabin in the Jonas, Capt. Weddall of that of the James, and Messrs. Muschamp and Clement to be accommodated in that of the Star, and Mr. Wild and Mr. Johnson (on account of his extraordinary height and the lowness of the roundhouse) in that of the Eagle. Letter read from Sec. Conway, dated at Newmarket, Jan. 30,1623–4, signifying his Majesty's pleasure that the East Indian and Levant Companies should defray Sir Robert Sherley's charges (who a few days past had audience as Ambassador from the Emperor of Persia), because they were like to reap the benefit of his negotiation, which he had apportioned at 4l. per week for household expences, and 5l. per week for house rent, and "gave a touch that the Company were yet under the account of Ormuz" of a declaration of my Lord Duke of Buckingham's good affection to this Company, and his well wishing for the prosperity thereof. The Court fell into serious consideration of the business, and with it was remembered that Sir Robert came outof Persia seven years since, and his commission was for Spain; that in his former ambassage he came first for Spain, next offered the trade to the Hollanders, and when his propositions took no effect he last came to England, and wrested from the Company divers sums of money, notwithstanding which he had done ill service to the Company, and railed against them, and he would never have come to England if his negotiation in Spain had taken effect, or if he could have passed through Muscovia. The Court conceived that he was no Ambassador, but had usurped the title, yet because his Majesty took notice of him as an Ambassador it became not the Company to make show of the contrary, but rather to arm themselves with reasons to put off the charge, as he had been so long absent from Persia that he cannot be acquainted with the state of the Company's affairs there, and the opinion of the Court was that the Lord Admiral be attended to know in what state the Company now stands before the ships departure, "whether they be malefactors or not" concerning Ormuz, having a resolution if this business be well settled to embrace the trade of Ormuz. After further discussion it was moved that two committees be sent to Sec. Conway to make relation of all Sir Robert's proceedings, and that the Company understand that two Persians are coming as Ambassadors upon the ships shortly to be expected to treat about the Persian trade; but resolution was referred to another Court, to which Mr. Monnox is to be warned. The business of the surgeon's chests taken into consideration; those furnished by Wheatley and Woodall viewed; proposal that Sir William Pady and Dr. Raven be joined with Drs. Atkins and Winston as examiners. To the motion that the surgeons entertained be examined, it was answered that the surgeons of this fleet are all experienced men who have been in the Indies long, have performed extraordinary cures, and are men approved for their sufficiency in their profession, and such as will scorn to be examined; thereupon the opinion of the Court was that such surgeons as come home well approved from the Indies and proceed again shall not be subject to examination, but if a new unknown man be propounded, then to have him examined. [Four pages. Court Minute Book, VI., pp. 392–396.]
Feb. 3.
405. Sec. Conway to [Sec. Calvert]. The King has referred the petition of the East India merchants to the committees formerly appointed to treat with the Dutch upon those affairs, with the signification that concerning the forts they advise upon a course agreeable to the intent of the former treaty, the King's honour, and the security of his merchants and their trade. All respect is to be had to the resolution lately taken respecting the ordnance, which is to be only employed in fortifying the merchants' forts there and securing their trade. [Extract from Domestic Corresp., Jac. I., Vol. CLIX., No. 7, Cal., p. 158.]
Feb. 4.
406. Hugh Hamersley, Governor, and the Company of Turkey Merchants to Sec. Sir Edward Conway. Have, according to his direction, considered the overture of Sir Robert Sherley, propounded to his Majesty as Ambassador from the King of Persia. Are very confident that his proposition of trade into Persia can be no way advantageous nor appertaining to them as merchants trading into the dominions of the Grand Signor, and so the charge no way belonging to them. Signed by Hugh Hamersley, Governor, Nic. Leate, Deputy Governor, and twelve others. [One page. East Indies, Vol. III., No. 3.]
Feb. ? 407. Propositions made by Sir Robert Sherley to the King in the name of the King of Persia. The King of Persia, whom he actually serves through his Majesty's sufferance, has commanded him to make certain propositions to the King which may be for his Majesty's profit, by increasing his customs, and no whit prejudicial to his subjects. First, that in the English shipping, which have begun already to make a league of friendship with the King of Persia, may be carried gallies, so that he may be able by his own power and at his own charge to secure all English shipping that shall trade to him; and for requital the King will be ready to further any enterprise his Majesty may have in those parts with 20,000 or 25,000 men, armed . and paid, and will procure all the Indian Princes his allies to be ready at all times to second it. Secondly, because the King of Persia is desirous to remove the rich trade out of his kingdom from Turkey, and plant it where he is better pleased so great a benefit should pass, and because the present combustion in the Turkish empire is grown to such a height that it is not likely to be suddenly appeased, whereby the Persian merchants run great hazard by venting their goods that way; and because likewise the English are restrained from carrying any great quantity of bullion out of his Majesty's kingdoms for taking so great a quantity of silks, drugs, and other rich commodities as are to be had in the Persian kingdom, and so are unable to take the hundredth part of them; the King, being very desirous to establish a perpetual league of friendship with his Majesty, and to weaken all he can the common enemy, desires that his subjects may pass their goods on English shipping, paying freightage and such custom at his Majesty's ports as is usually paid by his Majesty's subjects. Sherley humbly desires his Majesty to consider that by these courses neither himself nor his subjects can run any hazard or be put to any charge, but the benefit will redound every way to them, and as upon trial he shall like it, his Majesty may proceed or leave it at his pleasure. Only two gallies for the shortness of the time are presently desired. [Two pages. Printed in Shirley Brothers, pp. 109–110. East Indies, Vol. III., No. 4.]
Feb. ? 408. Copy of the above. [Three pages. East Indies. Vol. III., No. 5.]
Feb. 7–9. 409. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Concerning the petition of Henry Bate to the Lords of the Council for 303 ryals which he pretended he had laid out for the Bear. Letters read from Mr. Barlow, that he had contracted for a parcel of striped- calicoes, and also for quicksilver to be bartered for indigo. Offer of Messrs. Burlamachi, Vandeputt, and others to buy all the Company's silk at 22s., but were unwilling to contract on so short a time as the Company offered; the Court doubted not of a sale to better benefit, for the price in Italy is risen 25 per cent. Offer of Alderman Cambell to take the whole parcel at 22s., but took till Monday morning to consider whether he would accept the Company's time. Motion to kill beef and pork for store, if the Company send a ship about Midsummer; but the opinion was that out of the former proportion of 500 oxen and 2,000 hogs there will be a sufficient supply.
Feb. 9.—Copy of the writings to be sent to Mr. Barlow, as were sent to Mr. Misselden, with a collection of reasons for the Company's demand for damages in the Moluccas. The order for the surgeons appointed for this fleet to attend Dr. Atkins suppressed by Woodall. Information of Mr. Deputy that he had spoken with a learned physician, who wondered that physicians should take upon them to set down surgeons' proportions, the same not being proper to their art, save only for matter of physic; it was therefore thought very fit that in matters of physic they consult with physicians, and for matter of surgery the surgeons give satisfaction to the committees. The orders set down in a late Court concerning masters and pursers to be copied out and delivered both to masters and pursers. Capt. Clevenger at his own request to be abated six pipes of his white wine and have instead six pipes of "Canara wine" and 10 pipes of cider; the proportion of wine for his own expence to be thought upon. Abuse in the packing of goods in the Indies; the loss to be equally borne by those on board as well as by those on shore. Respite granted to Sir Thomas Smythe to give answer concerning Bartlett in respect of his health. Mrs. Wickham having taken advantage of the Court's lenity in allowing mariners their chest of goods, to justify her son's private trade; ordered that private trade in mariners shall be wholly forborne, but with power to the Court to tolerate it where they see cause. In reference to the proposal of Sir Francis Crane to send a suit of hangings into the Indies. Carter entertained to go mate in the Star at 5l. per month. Offer of Lewis Powell to go to the Indies referred. Suit of John Holloway concerning monies due to him upon the old stock; but as he is far in arrear to the new stock, it must be made good by the old so far as it will go. Letter to be sent to Mr. Punnyett to carry down the Great James. The payment of 20 nobles per annum to be continued to Mr. Lampley [Lamplugh] for the maintenance of lights at "Dungen Nesse," so long as his patent shall stand in force. [Six pages. Court Minute Bk, VI., pp. 397–403.]
Feb. 9.
410. Thomas Rastell to the King of Socotra, "the effect of a letter written in Persian." His letter came to hand by his servants Sade Sheckaune and Essuf Turcke, whom he has always assisted with his best furtherance. The King's known favour to the English is most thankfully accepted, and his letter has been sent to his Majesty of England. As to his desire of assistance in ships and soldiers, the English are willing to do him service, as it shall redound to the honour of their King, but this year having but one ship arrived from England, they are disabled to assist him with a ship. Desires he will not receive any of the Dabulers and Choulmen or their goods into any of his vessels. [One page. O.C., Vol. X., No. 1148.]
Feb. 11–13. 411. Court Minutes of the East India Company. The committees to consider the letters for Surat on Saturday morning. Nicholas Woolley declining to go steward's mate in the Eagle, ThomasLeeson and Gab. Hawley, suitors for that employment, are to attend on Friday next. Divers letters read, from Capt. Bickell in the Hart, Mr. Brown in the William, and some from the Coaster, which were brought by the Dutch ship Schiedam from the Cape, which arrived at Delft four months since. The Court observed an injury that their letters should be detained so long, and therefore ordered Mr. Ellham to write to Mr. Barlow to certify the.receipt of some letters after four months' detention, together with the manner of their sending, without any address at all from the Mayors to the English; also that this Company takes notice of divers provisions lent to the Schiedam at the Cape, for which the Dutch in their last account have given no credit; and lastly, that divers letters are missing. Request of Mr. Trotter to be discharged of certain engagements to the Company for Mr. Wiseman. Suit of Widow Powell for charity; it was remembered that she had received what she could pretend to be due, either for her deceased son's wages or otherwise, and that the Company had sundry times bestowed charity upon her, notwithstanding which she petitioned the Lords against them, and was by them recommended to the Company's benevolence, whereupon the Court was inclinable to bestow upon her 40s. out of the poor box, but being called into court she demanded 6l., which exorbitant demand the Court so much misliked that they would give her nothing. Request of Peter Bell, purser of the Eagle, for a convenient cabin. Mr. Corsellis to be concluded with concerning his hangings; the committee either to make Mr. Corsellis an honest gainer if he will honestly declare the first cost of them or otherwise to mitigate the prices demanded. Suit of Anthony Varneworthy, formerly propounded for a factor, to be entertained now, but without expectation of salary till his employment began: "here was questioned the man's soundness in religion, because he had served a Spaniard and lived 6 or 7 years in Mexico; but that objection was answered, that now he is a diligent frequenter of the church, and often hears Dr. White in Cornwall, that he hath taken the oath of supremacy, and is ready to take it again." The Court being thus satisfied offered him 50l. per annum for the two first years, and 10l. rising yearly for the five last, which he accepted.
Feb. 13.—One Moore, a nailor, to be removed from the Company's house at Deptford; request of Thornborough, late purser in the James, to take it. The committees for the buying of hangings to conclude with Mr. Corsellis. Mr. Bourne to be exempted from engagement in Baffin's business. Suit of Trotter concerning a debt of Wiseman. Suit of Leeson, late steward in the Palsgrave, for employment; ordered that he supply the place of Woolley, as steward, who "falls off." Offer of Sir Edward Cecil of a bargain of elm timber to the Company. Concerning the sale of the Company's silk. Letter to be written to Mr. Barlow, about sending the quicksilver, elephants' teeth, and ryals he has provided for the Company. Information of Mr. Deputy, that he had taken an opportunity to move the Duke of Buckingham to understand "in what case the Company stands for their business at Ormuz," and it pleased his Lordship to give no discouragement to the trade of Persia; since when a gentleman had sent for Mr. Deputy, who desired his name might be spared until the Company had been made acquainted that it was conceived, that Ormuz and the Company's reprisals in other parts of the Indies had produced 100,000l. whereof one was called the Golden Prize, but was content to give a meeting; a committee appointed to give him a meeting accordingly, but to enter into no manner of dispute upon the business, only if he shall charge the Company either in point of piracy or otherwise to his advantage the answer to be "they hope it will not fall out to be so; "and it was resolved that if the Company shall think fit to come to any conclusion; not to make any offer but to stand upon their innocency. In the margin is written, "A proposition made darkly to the Company concerning the Lord Admiral's right for goods taken in the Indies." Ordered to buy 200 pair of Bulgar[ia] hides at 24s. per pair, and pay for them in calicoes. Suit of John Young to be again employed, the riot laid to his charge is four years old and he has since married, and for the mattter of striking the labourers in the yard, it was when he could not otherwise get them to do their duties; ordered that he shall serve in Walter Mountford's place, who was discharged the Company's service, but is thought upon to bear office in one of the Company's intended forts in the Indies. [Court Minute Book, VI., pp. 403–410.]
Feb. 17. 412. The King to the East India Company. Our poor subject Edmond Traves, late a merchant, is by divers losses fallen into extreme misery, and being desirous to get a maintenance for his wife and children without danger of arrest, prays the Company will accept so much of his estate remaining in their hands as will satisfy their debts and deliver the residue of his stock to his creditors. His Majesty is pleased to assist him with these letters of recommendation, not doubting that the Company will accommodate him in this his request, which his Majesty will esteem a charitable act in the Company and take it in very gracious part. Endorsed, "His Maj. letter to the Deputy and committee of the East India Company, and particularly to Sir Thos. Smith and Sir Edw. Barkham, in the behalf of Edmond Traves." [One page. East Indies, Vol. III., No. 6.]
Feb. 18–23. 413. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Discussion concerning the request of [Thos.] Kerridge to be allowed interest for so much of his wages as remained in the Company's hands; two orders of Court read of 22nd Dec. 1615, and 30th Jan. following, mentioning an allowance of 10 per cent, for factor's wages; this motion generally disliked, and howsoever Mr. Methwold had been paid interest on those two orders, the Court conceived the precedent dangerous and very prejudicial to the second stock, and therefore it was moved to abrogate them. Kerridge to receive answer at the next year. Three things of special consequence to be handled at this Court, viz.: the business between the Lord Admiral and the Company, the sale of silk, and Pruson's proceedings. For the first, Messrs. Bell and Abdy, having been entreated to take advice both of civil lawyers and common, reported that they had conferred with Dr. Steward representing the Company's case; that merchants by a commission immediately from the King do set forth voyages into remote countries to discover trade both for the honor and benefit of their country, in prosecution of which voyages the merchants being by hostile actions interrupted, endeavour to right themselves and take reprizals, in which case they desired to understand whether the Admiral of the country wherein these merchants dwelt could by law pretend any right to any part of such reprizals. The Doctor answered that the tenth part of custom belongs to the Lord Admiral if he give any commission, but said there was no written law for it, neither saw he any reason why the Admiral should pretend any right where he gives no letters of marque, but upon further conference Dr. Steward declared he would neither be of the Company's counsel in this cause, nor deliver his opinion against the Lord Admiral of England, and all arguments used to induce him to deliver his opinion "would not avail." As to the jurisdiction of the Ad miralty he said it extended everywhere upon the main, and in fine was entreated to keep this conference secret. In their conference with Dr. Zouch, the committee showed the Company's patent, giving warrant to perform what they had done, and Dr. Zouch declared there was no law for the Admiral's demand of tenths but said they had been given of custom where letters of marque had been by him granted, and that was grounded upon the custom of Normandy, where the Admiral is at great charge in such expeditions. Case recited by Mr. Deputy concerning the jurisdiction of the Admiralty. Further report of Dr. Zouch's opinion in the business, who desired to have a copy of the patent, when he would set down in writing the grounds upon which to exempt the Company from this demand. The opinion of Sir John Walter, after a conference, was to delay giving an answer, and that the fleet should proceed with commission as formerly. What was to be done was then taken into consideration, and it was moved that a committee armed with reasons from Dr. Zouch be authorized to answer the party employed by the Lord Admiral, the Court remembering that the former Lord Admiral by Sir John Trevor had made the like pretence, but the Company had given nothing to any purpose, and that when letters of marque are granted, the party paying a tenth is free from all further trouble. In conclusion, it was held meet to give answer to Mr. Cooke that the Company desire the continuance of my Lord's favor, that they had formerly in his Lordship's absence upon this occasion given 2,000l., "hoping the account of Ormuz would have borne it," that they are not willing to contend with my Lord, and hope to give reasons that of right no tenths are due to his Lordship. This business to be kept secret and not divulged abroad. Consider ation of the business of selling the Company's silk. Discussion on the differences of the committee of the generality concerning Pruson's business, "which is grown to such a head of faction, that it is high time to restrain their proceedings;" report that some of the committee would uphold Pruson, if it be to maintain a faction; ordered that an appeal be made to the General Court to be righted, since Pruson casts aspersions upon the Government as though he only were an honest man, and to conceive an answer to Pruson's scandalous petition exhibited to the General Court.
Feb. 20.—Motion of Dowles to take a lease of the house in Deptford, and the Court conceived it fit to grant it, and to evict Moore's brother-in-law. Warrant granted for 40l. to take out copies of examinations in the causes concerning Ball in the Star Chamber, and Wickham and others in Chancery. Committee appointed to hear at his request certain propositions of Alderman Hamersley, who had underwritten for 32,000l. in the first and second joint stock, but by reason of the misfortune of the Company's ships and other casualties was become indebted 23,000l., the burden of which misfortunes lay so heavy upon him that he could supply no longer. Request of Widow Jackson, who had lost her dividend warrant, for a new one; referred for further consideration. The committee for merly nominated to confer with the gentleman employed by the Lord Admiral concerning his demand of the Company, to give the answer mentioned in the last Court, and also to attend Sec. Conway and give a general answer to his letter concerning the Persian Ambassador. Mr. Bacon related some conference between Sec. Calvert and himself touching the said business, and that Sir John Crofts brought him to the Ambassador, and demanded what the Company would give to have a yearly vent of 30,000 cloths in Persia; "but this proportion was conceived frivolous." Certain articles propounded by the Ambassador read, [see ante, No. 407], which seemed neither fit nor feasible, "for neither is it fit to arm the Persian by sea, neither can the Company's ships carry gallies ready framed;" opinion of the Court, to give "a general dilatory answer," that the Company will be ready to meet and satisfy any deputies that shall be appointed to confer in any propositions of Sir Robert Sherley. The Commissioners of the Navy taking notice of the great quantity of powder bought by the Company and of the small quantity of saltpetre made in England, and that the Dutch bring great quantities from the coast of Coromandel, desired this Company would bring some home for the service of the State; the Court readily condescended that a ship may yearly be laden and sent home from thence, which will return to the profit of the Company. Copies of Randall Jesson's letter concerning the fight with the Portugal to be delivered to Sir Robert Mansell and Sir Oliver Cromwell, who enquired for relations wherein the Portugals have attempted any thing against the English.
Feb. 23. Concerning the business of silk and propositions from France and from Amsterdam for buying the whole parcel; both offers rejected. Long discussion on offers of Alderman Cambell Burlcimachi and others, but none would proceed on the terms the Court had concluded on. Report that the committee had conferred with Sec. Conway about the Persian Ambassador's business, who showed his commission in Persian, which they had desired might be translated, and that the Company might have a copy. Also that they had conferred with the gentleman employed by the Lord Admiral about his demands, who being told the reason of giving the 2,000l. seemed nothing satisfied therewith, neither would he signify so much to the Lord Admiral, nor let him know that the Company desired his noble favour to lay aside all pretence of right, the gentle man refusing to intercede on the Company's behalf. It was resolved to petition the Lord Admiral, but to be so cautiously couched that it may neither give him hope to obtain anything of right nor give any distaste. Suit of Hill, a druggist, for payment of Bartlett's dividend, which was stayed at Sir Thos. Smythe's request. Motion of Capt. Weddall to entertain another minister; he presented Mr. Morehouse, who was appointed to attend at the next Court. [Fifteen pages and a half. Court Minute Book, VI., pp. 411–426.]
Feb. 24.
415. Thos. Brockedon, Hen. Hawley, and John Goninge to the East India Company. Refer to their letter [of 17 Jan. last] and enclosures sent by the Dutch ship Leyden, copies of which are now also sent [see No. 390]. Arrival of the Bull from Japan on 27 Jan. last; all the factors and others being come thence and the factory dissolved. Two years since they gave express order that Mr. Cocks and the rest should come from thence, except great debts were standing, in which case Osterwick should remain to collect them, and Cocks, Eaton, and Sayer should return; but as Cocks neither came himself nor would suffer any of the rest to come, and perceiving his excuses to be vain, they sent Cockram upon the Bull to dissolve that factory. After so long expectation they thought to have received a good cavid-all, but find only desperate debts and wares, the greatest part worth little or nothing; and for the accounts, never saw a greater confusion, there being nothing perfected since 1617, and only two waste books, entered sometimes by one and sometimes by another. Have called Cocks to account, who alleges that Osterwick and Eaton had received and delivered all goods, and that he himself would answer to the Company for what he had done amiss. Great store of goods wanting; Cockram and the rest testify that both Dutch, English, and Japons were oftentimes found stealing the goods; must lay the blame on Cocks as principal, yet the rest are not without fault; have thought good to detain Osterwick to perfect the accounts, and that Cocks and the rest go for England upon the Anne. The principal faults committed by Cocks, viz.: not keeping the accounts himself or committing them to the especial charge of any one in particular; disobeying their order in not coming from Japan the year before; making a desperate debt of 5,000 taies by trusting Captain China and receiving 400 taies from him for his particular account, and bringing a store of trash and lumber from Japan; find no consultations kept, neither decorum nor order observed. Although there is just cause to seize Cocks' estate and send him home as a malefactor, yet having considered his age and the quality wherein he hath lived, and withall weighing the weakness of his body and his testy and wayward disposition, being verily persuaded that if they had dealt harshly with him, as he hath deserved, it would be the shortening of his life, it was resolved to deal mildly with him and refer him wholly to the more judicial censure of the Company, but have ordered his goods to be seized as soon as the Anne arrives in England, until the Company's order be known. "This we thought the modestest course to take with a man of his rank and years." Cannot learn that his estate exceeds 1,500 ryals "which is not much considering the long time he hath lived in the country." Relate how a cargo of pepper from Bantam was sold to the China Ambassador at a high price, and how unlikely such a course was to bring down the price or to reduce the Pengran to reason; also how certain Dutch ships were at first welcomed and some of their principal men entertained with great ceremonies and compliments by the Chinese at the Pescadores, and the treachery with which they were afterwards treated, the Chinese sending as a present poisoned victuals and after midnight burning vessels down upon them whereby one Dutch pinnace blew up and 40 Dutchmen with the China hostages perished; "so it may be easily perceived what mortal hatred the Chinas bear the Dutch." The Dutch have 10 good ships at present at the Piscadores and have almost finished a fort there, and have built another upon Isola For mosa. The China Ambassador here has offered to trade with the Dutch if they will leave Piscadores and reside at Taywan, and he has also offered the English the same. Account of a Dutch pinnace bringing 40 China passengers for Batavia, who set upon the Dutch, slew seven of them, and stowed the rest in the hold, but not knowing how to guide the ship came on ground near Macao, when the Dutch with a barrel of powder blew up the deck, which so terrified the Chinas that they all leapt overboard, and the Dutch quenched the fire and became masters of the pinnace again. The Bee not yet arrived from Siam; great doubt of her safety. Question between Capt. Goodall, master of the Anne, and Michael Greene and Thos. Turner, purser, about the receipt of 800 ryals referred to the Company. Arrival of the Royal Anne and Coaster from Jambi laden with pepper. Concerning the accounts of Robert Johnson, long chief in the factory of Jambi, who earnestly entreated leave to go for England upon this ship, alleging the indisposition of his body. Cannot certainly judge of his accounts until Christopher Bogan send his accounts from Jambi; at least 12,000 ryals desperate debts; yet may in clemency consider the great trouble, sickness, and vexation he has endured in that troublesome and unhealthy place for so many years. Have also sent Marmaduke Stevinton on this ship, for he is grown so incapable and simple of late that he is not fit for any business. The trade of Jambi stands upon a ticklish point, for the King will not suffer them to live ashore or to trade unless they defend him against the Achinder, who is daily expected, having already taken Indraghiri. Have hitherto fed the King of Jambi with fair promises, but if the Achinder shall assail Jambi, it will be the utter decay of trade there for a certain time. Have not sufficient power to protect them, neither may resist the Achinder, seeing the Company's estates in Acheen and trade on the coast of Sumatra would be wholly lost. The Hollanders likewise temporize with the King of Jambi, but will perform as little as we. Earnest suit of Eustace Man, who came out master with Capt. Fitzherbert, to return home, which they could not deny him; have given him bills of exchange on London for money he has left in their hands; he has done the Company good service and made a good voyage for himself, as his estate left in several pursers' books will testify. Send the Dutch reply delivered 9th Feb., which they thought not good to answer, "for avoiding of those endless brabblings, knowing that whatsoever we alledge, though never so just and reasonable, is by them wrested to serve their own ends." The proofs of their debts in Pooloroon, the Dutch will not allow; to refer them to the bailiff, who dare do nothing without order from the General, were ridiculous. Still continue their resolve to depart hence in about two months and fortify upon Bessee. Arrival of a Dutch pinnace from Surat, with a brief letter from Rastell, copy whereof is sent; also some accusations against Philpott, master of the Diamond, which they have not had time to examine, and a small box of diamonds and pearls belonging to Elias Wood, purser of the Discovery, of small value. Endorsed, "which should have come by the Anne, but came by the Jonas by the way of Surat. 1626." [Five pages. O.C., Vol. X., No. 1150.]
Feb. 25. 416. Court Minutes of the East India Company. On the motion of Capts. Weddell and Clevenger for entertainment of another minister, some were of opinion to give way thereto, but others remembered that "it is without precedent to send two preachers in one fleet to one place, and howsoever the thing in itself were good, yet the debauched carriage of divers aboard had almost discouraged from sending any;" referred for further consideration. Consideration of a petition exhibited by Mr. Beversham, wherein he seemed to have justified himself for Ruy Frere's escape, and to desire pardon for his error in private trade; but the Court took knowledge that he was in a poursuivant's custody, and must attend the Lords, and therefore ordered to desire that when the Lords hear the business the Company may be called. Francis Cooper, steward of the Star, dismissed for insufficiency and uncleanliness, and one Hawley to be warned to the next Court. Concerning the estate of Edward Pike, deceased. Letters of administration taken out by Thomazin Clarke, widow, sister of the deceased, and of George Pike, who presented them. [Two pages. Court Minute Book, VI., pp. 426–428.]
Feb. 26.
417. Sir Robt. Sherley to [Sec. Conway]. The Duke of Buckingham will not give him any warrant to the Commissioners of the Navy without a privy seal from the King. Labours without rest for the general welfare of this kingdom, therefore requests him to procure it and oblige a gentleman who will trumpet his fame and virtues. [Domestic Corresp., Jac. I., Vol. CLIX., No. 81, Cal., p. 170.]
Feb. 27–28. 418. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Debate concerning the sale of the parcel of silk upon the Company's hands, and the price. The Great James, which draws 20 foot of water, and the rest of the fleet now outward bound, to fall down to Tilbury. Request of Sir Thos. Smythe concerning the payment of a debt due to him from one Bartley [? Bartlett]; but it was considered that the man is very passionate, and if they stop his money, may fall upon some violent course, and it was therefore ordered that Sir Thos. should show cause why it should be paid. Draught of petition to the Lord Admiral read; it was considered that the case grows dangerous to the Company "for the Portugal arms in earnest and is filled with anger and revenge by the late defeats they received in the Indies, so as if the English shall be subject to question for what they do in their just defence it will dishearten all seafaring men from doing service to the Company." The custom in these cases is to grant letters of marque, and if it please the Duke to grant letters of marque the Company will willingly allow him his right. The general opinion was to give a fair answer to the Duke, and not to forget to let him know that the Portugal hath aimed a force against the English. It was also reported that civilians "are of opinion that for goods taken beyond the line the Lord Admiral has no jurisdiction, and therefore can require no tenth, but the Court thought it no fit course to dispute the Company's right [sic], but to deal with the Duke by way of mediation, and thereinto use some such person as hath interest in him, who may persuade him to waive his pretence of interest and to let him know that the Company shall have con tinual use of his favour. Fifty chests of ryals to be disposed of in the ships now outward bound, viz., 20 in the James, 15 in the Jonas, eight in the Star, and seven in the Eagle. As Beversham, late master of the Lion, is to be convented before the Lords this afternoon concerning the Company's complaint against him, Mr. Deputy and others are intreated to be there. Motion of Woodall for sur geons for the two pinnaces, two young men "bred up in the art of surgery," who can and will do other labour in the ship, entertained. Letter read from Mr. Crashawe, minister of God's Word, recommending Mr. Morehouse as a preacher; answered that they have one already provided for the fleet. Those who have underwritten for pepper to be transported, to be allowed to sell it in town upon paying a mulct of 20s. per bag. Motion of Capt. Clevenger for Mr. Addison to go mate with him in the Jonas, but he refused to go for less than 8l. Suit of Kerridge, entertained to go President for Surat, for interest for money (wages) forborne. The discharge of Cowper, steward's mate in the Star, confirmed; and Gabriel Hawley entertained steward's mate in the Eagle. Offer of Philip Hill to serve in their intended fort as "ancient." Two men of good service already entertained, yet the Court, casting their eye on Hill as a man specially recommended by his Majesty, who has a brother near attending about his Majesty, and has served both by sea and land with more than ordinary commendation, ordered he shall be employed as "ancient of a company;" his wages not settled. Concerning wages due to factors, whether the Company will allow interest or not; former orders on this subject to be observed, but henceforward the Company will give no "use" (interest) for their wages. Motion that the money due to John Gonninge for wages be paid to Mr. Crispe; but no payment can be expected until the Company have notice that he lives, which they have not lately had.
Feb. 28.—In reference to two persons not of the committee being warned to a meeting by direction of Mr. Woodward, grocer, one of the General Committee, which kind of dealing was noted "to savour of no good humour," divers members replied "with admonition to maintain love and unity in the Company, for that division is the forerunner of mischief in all societies." Petition of Beversham to the Lord President that divers persons now outward bound may be examined concerning the escape of Ruy Frere; referred to the Lord President; ordered that Dr. Zouch's advice be taken for drawing interrogatories for the Company. Draught of petition to the Lord Admiral concerning the pretence of right for goods taken from the Portugals in the Indies, being read, it was conceived a hard matter so to couch anything in writing, but that it would give advantage against the Company; committee appointed "to consult of some fit body that hath interest in the Lord Admiral," and may inform his Lordship of the true state of the business. Complaint of Johnson, master of the Eagle, of the want of cider, he having but 18 butts, whereas the proportion was wont to be 36. Motion on behalf of the wife of Capt. Hall, gone admiral in the Blessing as to an allowance out of her husband's wages. Answer to Mr. Barlow's letter that it is not needful to satisfy the motion of the Dutch concerning the price of their silk, for they are not without agents from whom they fail not of weekly intelligence; other offers made for the same at 22s. per lb.; committee appointed to treat thereon. Offer for some good quantity of indigo for Hamburgh, and of Mr. Deputy (Morris Abbott) to take indigo in payment of certain jewels which he hath, and thinks very fit to send to Surat. The ships to be hasted away to the Downs. [Nine pages and a half. Court Minute Bk., VI., 428–437.]
Feb. 28.
419. Thos. Rastell, Giles James, and Joseph Hopkinson to P. Van Broecke, Commander for the Netherlands Company at Surat. The arrival of our ships from Persia being very shortly expected, and the doubt that many of our people through ignorance of our troubles may boldly adventure on shore and so become liable to our sufferings, induce us to desire your friendly assistance to warn them of the danger of their sudden landing, and also to deliver the enclosed letter to them. Annexed,
419. 1. P. Van Broecke to the East India Company. Since the apprehension and great dishonors done to your servants, our good friends in this place, I have received of them this letter, which I will perform, and do any service to the honourable Company, so it be without prejudice to our masters, which letter I could not neglect but send, whereby your honours may partly see the state of their servants here. I hope that through their troubles we may not come to the like. Attested copies. Two pages. Sent by the Mayors from Amsterdam, who "kept back the original, which is to be questioned." An endorsement states that "said original was brought out of the Indies June 1625." O.C., Vol. X., No. 1151.]
Feb. 28.
420. Another copy of the preceding, endorsed, "Copy of a letter from the English factors imprisoned at Surat, to the Dutch Commander there; copy of another letter from said Commander to the English Company." [Two pages. East Indies, Vol. III., No. 7.]
March 2–6. 421. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Concerning the difference between the Company and Henry Bate, who had petitioned the Privy Council; ordered to draw a petition to the Lord President for a new reference to the Judge of the Admiralty. Directions to Capt. Weddall, for stowing away "the hair lying loose about the ships," which he considers dangerous in respect of fire. Committees to go down on Friday to dispeed away the ships. The cloth, coral, and tapestry to be sent down on Thursday, and the money in a hoy, well guarded with muskets and pikes, the beginning of next week.