East Indies: May 1624

Pages 274-289

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


May 1624

May 5–14. 451. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Petitions. On motion of the Governor the Lord Keeper has appointed Mrs. Wickham's case peremptorily to be heard before himself, having wondered it had not yet been ended. An offer to take quicksilver in barter for indigo declined. Mr. Traverse renewed his request of favour from the Company to sink his adventure, but was told that albeit for his own particular they should hold it a trifle to do in the favour he desired, the precedent was so dangerous as they might in no sort adventure it, for every one in arrear might challenge the like favour. In obedience to a summons from the Lower House of Parliament, the Company had sent in six patents, and there is a demand made of 10s. fee for any patent so sent in; on delivery of them "it was wished by Sir Edward Coke that the House fall upon such things as they were likely to go through withall, implying thereby that the East India business was none of those." Consideration of what discharge will be fitting from the Lord Admiral for the 10,000l., it was conceived, and it seems had been so advised by counsel, that the Company take one discharge under the seal of office, and another under the hand of the Lord Admiral; Mr. Aylesbury to be entreated to receive the Lord Admiral's order and deliver the same to Sir Henry Marten, who thereupon will sign the release. The Court was informed "that the Company will be exceedingly pressed to the payment of 5,000l. to his Majesty, and the rather because at this time the Exchequer is shut up, notwithstanding there is a warrant for the press of 30 merchants' ships"; and "Mr. Governor advised the Company to take hold of the present occasion, for that as the state of the Exchequer and the King's occasions now stand, they shall more easily procure satisfaction concerning the future than they can hereafter, but advised them to part with no money until all were finished." Reasons why it was considered that the business can have no present dispatch. There is a draught of covenant ready, wherein was inserted that the Company should be defended from the Spaniard, but those words were held not fit to be offered to his Majesty's signature, and it was advised by Sir John Walter to be thus expressed, "that his Majesty will protect in case of question, and so leave it to general interpretation"; Mr. Noy to draw a covenant to that purpose. The Court was acquainted by Mr. Deputy that though the pains of Mr. Governor and others in this business were well known to this Court and their desire to be freed from this employment, yet they had not escaped uncensured, "for it is said that if there had not been some false brothers amongst us, the Company needed not to have paid the money to the King and the Lord Admiral"; wherefore it was moved that the party may be called to discover those false brethren if there be any such; the Court commanded an entry to be made of the motion. Report on the Dutch pinnace, that she must be strengthened, which will cost 250l., and her price is now 500l.; the Court utterly refused to meddle with her. Suit of Simon Bowry to have part of the yard at Deptford, including the further dock.
May 7.—Mr. Wheateley charged with bad dealing concerning the shipping out of his calicoes, having endeavored by a fraudulent practice to keep his calicoes to be sold in town: the Court took it in ill part that their orders should be so much neglected, and that he had so much deceived them, and was put in mind that he had as much disturbed the peace of the Company concerning their surgeons, as Pruson hath done in another kind, also that the Company has been ill served of lemon water by him; after discussion it was thought fit to impose the broak of 20 per cent. on him, but first that he should be warned to be at the Court on Monday next. Sundry Dutchmen desirous to come into the brotherhood of this Company, so as they may be admitted without personally appearing to take the oath. The Court thought it not reasonable that strangers should have more privilege than natives, and therefore would not agree that they should be admitted without oath, but if they will come in with an oath, as the English do, they shall be welcome, and the fine not to exceed 100 marks. Provision of powder only to be had either out of the Tower by special warrant, where the whole store is, or else to send to Hamburgh, where it is held to be nothing so good as in England: the Court thought fit to send into the Low Countries to Mr. Barlow for 50 barrels, and to Mr. Bladwell to Hamburgh for other 50, but first a petition to be delivered to the Lords of the Council for such a quantity as may serve four ships into the Indies, and a trial to be made of what may be done by means of Mr. Evelyn. Information by one of the committee that it is spoken of abroad with no grace to this Court that Mr. Hurt, though found faulty in his place, is continued in the Company's service; after discussion it was resolved to displace him; yet as might least tend to his disgrace, for their late Governor's sake, who recommended him, so before the court of election they will resolve concerning him. An order of the Lord Keeper, presented by Mrs. Wickham, for hearing her cause on Saturday, the 8th; counsel to be instructed in the business, and Mr. Deputy and others to be present at the hearing. Mr. Cappur acquainted the Court he had found much difficulty in bringing Sir John Walter and Mr. Noye together, but in the end there was a draught made of the discharge from the King, only it yet wants form; he is to follow it with diligence, because the Company's performance will be expected suddenly.
May 12.—By order of the House of Parliament, Lady Dale's business is appointed to be heard at a committee in the Cheque or Star Chamber this afternoon; Mr. Deputy and others are entreated to be present for the Company, and to have no counsel at all, but to inform the committee that the business is, by special commission and at the suit of the lady herself, referred by his Majesty to the Commissioners of the Navy. Sir John Wolstenholme being present on other occasions, the Governor told him that the Company thinks much that so great custom should be taken for coral not landed but shipped in the Downs or foul and unpolished coral, as for the best polished coral, and he promised that the Company shall be well dealt withall. Suit of Mrs. Barkeley, widow of George Barkeley, for payment of money due to her late husband, in the first joint stock, which had been stayed for 12 months on pretence of a debt to Sir Thomas Smythe; ordered to be paid. Account rendered by the Company's secretary of a petition by him delivered, by order of the Court, to the Privy Council, who seldom meet now by reason of the weighty affairs in Parliament, praying to be supplied with powder for their next fleet out of the Tower, where by order from his Majesty is laid up the whole store of the kingdom; whereto was answered that the kingdom is not yet sufficiently furnished with powder in case there should be any extraordinary cause to use it, and therefore the Company must seek supply elsewhere. Project of "an ancient man, one Mr. Beale," to trim their ships with "a stuff of his own devising," which should save them from firing, "either with wild fire or otherwise," the worm, the barnacle, or other foulness, for four years; his terms; ordered that trial be made on a ship of about 100 tons now on the stocks. Desire of Mr. Wheatley to be heard; he "makes no question but he shall purge himself of the imputation of fraud" in not shipping his calicoes; but not being well, desires now to be spared: reasons why the motion pleased not the Court; resolved to refer the further hearing to a General Court. Sir William Strowd to be informed that the Company is desirous to satisfy him in searching out the abuse he complains of against Mr. Hurte. Report of Mr. Deputy that the hearing of Mrs. Wickham's case in Chancery was put off to the first Monday in next term; also of some uncivil behaviour towards the Company by one of the counsel of Mrs. Wickham: the Court were sensible of the injury, and resolved "not to suffer the Company to receive disgrace in that kind," and it was thought if more of the principal committees would show themselves at such times it would bridle the liberty of speech.
May 14.—Information that a ship of Denmark was riding at the Cowes, homeward bound from the coast of Coromandel; the Court, desirous to hear news out of those parts, sent to Mr. Burlamachi, who is in communication with the agent for Denmark. Report of the Governor that he had received an order from the Lower House of Parliament for some of the Company to attend that afternoon concerning the business of the Lady Dale. It was conceived some motion would be made for a compromise, and the Company pressed to something by the friends of the lady being allied to sundry gentlemen of quality in that House; but the Company were resolute not to yield to anything by way of right, but to stand upon their former true allegations, and entreated Mr. Deputy and others to attend the committee without counsel, and to answer only thus, that his Majesty having granted a commission to hear the business, the Company thought it their duty not to waive that course. Motion of Mr. Deardes to forbear the ratification of their order to set brokes upon Wheatley for not shipping his calicoes. Resolved to write to Hamburgh for 100 barrels of powder and to Danske for 100 more, "and Mr. Bownest undertook for a trial to procure from Amsterdam 20 barrels, that port so looked unto for that inhibited commodity that a greater quantity at a time will not easily be procured." Complaint of John Webb against Francis Adams and William Pingle, for accusing him of purloining the Company's beef. Offer of Mr. Strowd to procure 100 good trees fit for the Company's use at 26s. 8d.; there was also some speech of Sir Edward Cecil's elm timber. [Sixteen pages and a half. Court Minute Bk., VI., pp. 507–523.]
May 18.
452. Sir Robert Sherley to the King. Time has passed away so long in silence since he received audience from his Majesty that he is forced to offer suit to his Majesty to take into his princely and present consideration himself and his business. His Majesty cannot but judge him an unworthy servant if he should too long neglect his master's affairs; and finding his long stay here too heavy a burden for him to bear (unless he may receive some relief), beseeches his Majesty to cast his thoughts on the propositions offered by the King of Persia, which he assures himself will prove very advantageous to his Majesty and his kingdom. [One page. East Indies, Vol. III., No. 18.]
May 18.
453. Sir Robert Sherley to Sec. Conway. Beseeches him to believe that he is not so negligent a servant, but that he has suffered much by the delay his "arrant" has received; which consideration, pressed on with his own necessities, has made him presume to write to his Majesty, to press his resolution in the one and to beseech his favour in the other, in both which he must very earnestly entreat Conway's assistance. [One page. East Indies, Vol. III., No. 19.]
May 19–26. 454. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Concerning timber and planks. The elm timber (at Wimbledon) offered by Sir Edward Cecil, being very large and an extraordinary parcel, to be bought at 23s. per 100. Mr. Deputy acquainted the Court that he and Messrs. Bell and Abdy had attended the Committee of the Lower House of Parliament concerning the business of Lady Dale, and that of five gentlemen named by the House there met but three, and those "of near alliance or inward correspondency with the Lady Dale and her friends;" that the Company received very coarse usage, and not without some words of reproach and scandal, whereto they made such answer as was fit for their defence, having always a reserved care not to give just offence to the members of the House, and offered to show books of accounts and what else might conduce to the clear understanding of that business; but further said that the business was, at the suit of the lady, depending before Commissioners from his Majesty, and therefore the Company durst not decline that course. In reference to a former act of Court, the first and second stocks stand so severed that the one is not liable to make good the other; but the Court ordered that withall the old stock of Lady Dale's must satisfy the Company their other just pretences. Order received, that some of the Company shall attend next day at the Upper House of Parliament. Committee appointed to do so. Offer of Simon Bowry to rent a part of Deptford Yard. Mr. Deputy acquainted the Court that he and Mr. Bell had been summoned to attend Mr. Sec. Conway at Greenwich, who declared the present necessity for monies, and required not only the 5,000l. which is to be paid to his Majesty upon the sealing of the writings, but likewise the other 5,000l., which was not to be paid till after the arrival of their next ships from Surat, alleging the urgency of the present service, and that the victualling of the ships intended to be set out stayed only for those monies. They made answer in accordance with their former promises of payment, and that the Court would consider of all on Wednesday next. Mr. Secretary further added, "that if anything were yet depending between the Dutch and them undecided, he would willingly interpose to the States Ambassadors here present for the composing thereof, wherein his labour should be to make up all breaches between both Companies;" for which they gave him humble thanks, affirming it should be a great favour to the Company if a settled and firm amity might by his means be brought between them. Request of Mr. Newport touching his stock.
May 22.—Letter read from Mr. Barlow concerning the sale of the indigo and provision of elephants' teeth. Report of the Governor in reference to the proceeding before a Committee of the Lower House about Lady Dale's business, that howsoever the Company had maintained and defended their cause well, yet the proceeding of the Committee was very partial, wholly prejudicating the actions of the Company and laying unjust aspersions upon them; and lastly, when they could prevail nothing by way of mediation, they threatened to report to the House. The Governor also reported that he and others had been sent for to attend the Lords' Committee for petitions of the Upper House upon the complaint of divers mariners who had been taken by the Dutch though that business has been divers times handled by the Judge of the Admiralty and the last Parliament, who adjudged no wages to be due, but prayed the Company to pay them in regard of the misery they endured, which the Company performed and the mariners had given acquittances in full; but because they came unprovided with some writings, the Lords had appointed a new meeting; also, Sergeant Frend had complained, who pretended a promise from the Company to do somewhat for Capt. Bonner's widow, made by Mr. Abdy to Sir Humphrey Handford. Mr. Abdy denied making any such promise, but the Lords insisted on a certificate being procured from Sir Humphrey whether any such promise were made or not. The Court Book to be searched for what hath passed in this business; also, it was further declared that Sir William Throckmorton had complained to the Lords' Committee about Lady Dale's business, but their Lordships seemed unwilling to embrace the complaint but rather leave it to be determined in a judicial course, where now it depends before the Commissioners of the Navy; and lastly was read petition of Capt. Blagden, who pretended he was undone by the Company; but answer was given that none of the Company remembered either the man or the matter. Letter read from Lord Annandale requiring the Governor, Deputy Governor, and Mr. Bell to attend the King that afternoon at Greenwich; therefore a committee was appointed to attend the Lords' Committees in the afternoon on these complaints, with such books, &c. as might best avail for the Company's defence. Report of Mr. Munnes that Mr. Sec. Conway earnestly insists upon payment of the 10,000l., using many persuading arguments, as that it would do my Lord Duke an especial favour, would be a good service to the State, and the King would thank them, and that the present payment would be good for the Company; but they excused themselves as having no warrant from the Company so to do. The business being taken into consideration, there was much debate concerning it, and it was observed that it is one of the worst pains belonging to a committee, to go between the King and the Company;" finally, it was resolved, upon passing the writing, to pay the first 5,000l., and for the other 5,000l. to make it a certain debt at a reasonable time, which was hoped would give content. Mr. Governor also reported Mr. Secretary's readiness to perform any good offices between them and the Dutch, to which purpose it was thought meet that the business be drawn up next week and presented in writing to Mr. Secretary. Fees to be paid to Dr. Zouch and Dr. Duck, and a gratification to Mr. Noy, concerning custom demanded for elephants' teeth, quicksilver, and coral.
May 26.—Information of Mr. Tichburn, the Company's solicitor, that the cause between them and Mrs. Wickham is appointed to be heard in Chancery on Saturday, but he makes question whether it will be heard or not in respect Parliament ends on that day, and he wished the Company (in respect George Ball is Mrs. Wickham's main witness) to use means to put off her cause until Ball's cause in the Star Chamber may first be heard, presuming it will fall out so foul against Ball as will much weaken his testimony. Mr. Attorney to be moved to make that motion; Mr. Governor and the aldermen and principal committees to attend the hearing; and a petition to be drawn to his Majesty to recommend to the Lords the cause with Ball so far forth as the complaints of the Company against him shall prove just. Some of the committees to be also present at the hearing of Decrow's cause next week. Report of the Governor, that he and Mr. Deputy and some of the commitee attended his Majesty on Saturday, who gave them gracious hearing in his coach, there being with him the Lord of Annand. His Majesty, with much earnestness, desired to have the latter 5,000l., which in the end they yielded to pay, as had been agreed at a court of committees, provided his Majesty would grant a discharge for all things passed between the Company and others in the Indies, and that some good rule be set for their further direction, whereto his Majesty gave ready consent; the draught with Mr. Sec. Conway; this he promised should be performed next day, and acquainted Mr. Attorney that the draught for all that is passed was well liked, but for the other concerning the future, Mr. Attorney desired to see the Company's patent, which was with the Lower House of Parliament, but should be applied for. It was also affirmed that the latter 5,000l. shall not be over-suddenly urged out of the Company's hands, but it may be by 1,000l. a month, being for the use of the Navy, and the Treasurer contented to receive it by monthly payments. Mr. Sec. Conway having made honorable offer of his favour by endeavouring to reconcile such differences as are yet depending between the English and Dutch, a collection of those two cases now in debate in Holland between the Commissioners of both countries, viz., the business of the Moluccas and the seizure of moneys and goods upon pretext of sovereignty at Jacatra, was delivered to him, who promised to deal effectually therein with the Lords the States. Report of the Governor that he, Mr. Deputy, and others had attended a committee of the Upper House, according to order, where the Company was questioned upon several pretences, one upon the complaint of mariners taken by the Dutch who pressed for restitution for their goods, pretending also to their wages while in captivity with the Dutch. The Governor's answer; whereupon the Lords appointed another day for the business, and would not hearken to the mariners' motion for a sixth part of prizes taken in the Indies. Capt. King, one of the six masters of his Majesty's Navy, to have wages and imprest of two of his servants amounting to 8l. Excuses of Mr. Wheately for not exporting his calicoes, and request that he may not answer it at a General Court; ordered that he should first bonâ fide ship out the calicoes, and afterwards [move for favour. Complaint of Henry Robinson's account being imperfect. Seager to draw the book kept by Walker "into a ledger." Request of Alderman Whitmore for payment of money, which Monox acknowledged to be due to Thos. Barker, deceased. Letter read from Capt. Hawkeridge complaining that he has been hardly dealt withall by the Company; notwithstanding, he said in the hearing of Wm. Walker, the porter, that "he would rip up the Company at the Parliament;" if he can show cause, they are ready to do him reason. Note delivered of men that had taken imprest and come away; ordered they should either pay the money back "or be continued in time." A General Court of Sales to be held on Thursday, June 3. [Thirteen pages. Court Minute Book, VI., pp. 523–536.]
May 26.
455. Thos. Sanderson, purser, to [President at Batavia]. Death of Mr. Facye, master, on 18 April, and of Tho. Bright, merchant, on 9 May at Catotanga. Quantity of pepper bought and the prices. Dare not go ashore at Priaman in regard of some abuses proffered last year, yet by stealth the people trade. Daily expect the Abigail to furnish them with cloth that is vendible.
Sumatra. July 8.—Met with the Abigail on the 7th, and has this day delivered to James Troughton the remainder of moneys and goods. Pepper bought at Tecoe, where he consulted with Sam. Bonner. [Three pages. Mutilated. O.C., Vol. X., No. 1158.]
May 26.
456. (Sec. Conway) to the States Ambassadors. His care being to preserve entire the amity between the two States, he desires to remove any misunderstandings which might throw the two bodies into disorder, and therefore sends them the enclosed remonstrance of the English East India Company, that they may consider on remedies, and how in this particular, and in many other cases, they can come to an explanation, and establish a very advantageous correspondence in the East Indies. Will they please appoint a discreet merchant or two, or will himself communicate with them on the matter. French. [One page. Corresp. Holland.]
May 26./June 5.
From our lodging.
457. The States Ambassadors, Francois D'Aerssens, and Albert Joachimi to Sec. Conway. Cannot thank him enough for his care in preserving entire the amity between the States, and solemnly promise that on their part nothing shall be neglected to second so laudable an intention. Find the memorial concerns the two East India Companies, which are now met together, by their deputies, at Middelburg, and think that that matter, which is all new to them, will be best treated there. Have, however, ordered the memorial to be translated for their consideration, and on their return will report what shall seem fit to their superiors. French. [One page. Corresp. Holland.]
May 27.
458. Ghodefroy Boot to the [Earl of Carlisle], English Ambassador at Paris. Incloses divers articles and good advices of very great importance and consequence [to be] presented to the King by my Lords Ambassador. The sixth article is as follows, viz., "Your Majesty will also see as clear as the noon-day sun how greatly you have been deceived by the treaty made with the Hollanders in 1619 touching the East Indies by which faithful overture of your loyal servant Boot, your Majesty and your secret council will be much astonished all the rest of your life, and thank God for what your faithful servant Boot had said thereon. French. In the Corresp. Spain is a paper of the "Heads of what Boot could inform" being a précis in English of the above. [Corresp. France.]
May 28. 459. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Motion of Mr. Sheeres for some moderation of the sum of 200l. imposed on Capt. Hawkeridge, who excused himself of having in any sort joined with the mariners against the Company; the Court, notwithstanding, took knowledge that he hath spoken big words against the Company and had been set on against them, and that he hath no cause to complain. A debtor and creditor account was produced out of the Company's books; but no notice therein taken of the objections made to Wm. Hawkeridge in that Court, which was thought no good service in the book keepers; but forasmuch as said account might have proved dangerous if the Lords Committee had seen it and not the order of Court, it was ordered that hereafter no copies of accounts shall be delivered out of the counting-house without order. Report of the successful labours of those that had been entreated to attend Parliament in the business of Lady Dale and others, in particular of Mr. Governor who has maintained the reputation of the Company against the scandalous informations exhibited against them by Lady Dale who had received more than by any right she could claim; as also concerning the mariners. The Lords pressed to do something for the mariners for the Prince's sake, who had recommended them, but Mr. Governor "prayed to be excused, for such a precedent were enough to overthrow all sea voyages," and in the end the Lords were satisfied. The business of the Lady Dale they referrred to the commissioners authorized by his Majesty, wherein if she were unjustly dealt withall she shall be at liberty to complain to the Parliament. An honourable Lord, finding the petition of Lady Dale to be scandalous, took a resolution to move at another Parliament, (this being near an end), "that if any scandalous petition shall be exhibited and not proved, the party so exhibiting shall be subject to exemplary punishment," which he conceived to be a ready way to deliver the House of much unnecessary trouble. Consideration of the case of Capt. Hawkeridge; resolved after debate, not for his own sake, whose mind they had discovered to be busy but wanted power, but for Mr. Sheeres' sake who moved with all modest earnestness in his behalf, that Capt. Hawkeridge shall allow no more than 170l., the Court holding it fit in this as in other cases of like nature rather to strain a little by way of composition than to run the charge and hazard of suits which, besides a continual trouble, draws an obligation upon the Company, as now the lawyers of both kinds must not be left unrequited. Report of Mr. Governor of what had passed before the Lords concerning the late widow of Capt. Bonner, slain in the Indies, said widow now married to Mr. Salmon; that the service pretended to be done by Capt. Bonner was a disservice to the Company, for he commanded a ship that had been able to defend herself against the force that took her, that he was warned of the Hollanders' intention, and yet was found unprepared, so as besides the blemish to our nation and loss of men the Company lost a ship able to have made her part good, through his supine negligence; at the request and importunity of the Lords that the Company would do something for her, they were contented over and above what had formerly been ordered and accepted by the said late widow and her friends, to give her 40 marks; "but withall they observed the manner of dealing by Mr. Salmon dealt very unkindly with the Company in this business." Committee appointed to consider what course shall be taken to question certain delinquents returned in the ships now expected from Jacatra. The bill of one of the proctors of the Arches to be viewed and paid. Offer of Simon Bowry to rent part of their yard at Deptford; refused. Thomas Grove, who came home underfactor in the Little James, to be entertained. Request of Mary Jackson, sister of George Cokayne, to be further considered for her said brother's estate, pretending the Company had promised to do something more for her; in the end it was agreed that the Court should name two, and she other two, and they four to end it. Letter from Mr. Greene, steward of Sir Edward Cecil, that he will not accept less for his elm timber than 23s. per load; the Court therefore desisted wholly from the bargain. [Five pages. Court Minute Book, VI., pp. 536–540.]
May 28.
The Hague.
460. Carleton to Sec. Conway. From the East Indies a bark of advice has come to the Dutch Company, whose captain has been some days' journey inland at China, to treat about a fort the Hollanders are building in an island near that country, which the Chinese would hinder. He relates that a rich English ship, the Whale, laden with silk and indigo, from Surat, is perished upon the homeward voyage, and that there has been a treason of the inhabitants with some English against the fort of Amboyna. How true this is depends upon proof, but it seems very true that some English are executed upon that supposition. The "relation of the pretended treason of Amboyna," which the States have just sent him at the sealing of these despatches, goes herewith. Encloses,
460. I. "Relation of the pretended treason at Amboyna." In Feb. 1622–3 was wonderfully disclosed a fearful conspiracy against the castle, Governor, and Council of Amboyna, and that first by one of the Japanese conspirators, who in undue times had divers times been seen upon the wall of the castle, where he did make too curious enquiries of the keepers of the castle as to the setting of the watch, how many men there might be, &c.; and by his own confession, and from others afterwards apprehended, it clearly appeared that about New Year's day, 1622–3, the author of this conspiracy, the English merchant in Amboyna, registered all the English in Amboyna, who, having met together, he ministered an oath of secrecy to them on the Holy Evangelist, and then jointly concluded to surprise the castle, kill the Governor and all who should make any resistance, and share the Company's goods amongst them, and make himself master of all; that this business should be put in execution when the Netherland Governor and his forces should be gone forth upon any service, as daily happened, and that there should be an English ship then present at Amboyna, the men whereof should be used in the enterprise, as also the slaves of the English. They also won the Japanese soldiers in the service of the Company, and the marinho or captain of the Netherlanders' slaves, who did openly swear this treason. The English merchant did particularly confess that this treason having taken effect, and he being become master of the castle and the country, would have required succour from the Council at Batavia, and if they consented not thereto, would have held the castle for himself and his complices, with the help of the Indians. For this crime the accomplices were executed with the sword, as well Englishmen to the number of ten, as also the Japan soldiers and the marinho (captain) of the slaves. But of the faulty English, two were reprieved from execution to look unto the English goods in the province of Amboyna. [Orig. in Dutch. Endorsed by Carleton as above; also two copies in English. Corresp. Holland.]
461. Brief recitation of the conspiracy lately discovered in Amboyna, with the confessions and condemnation of the accomplices On the 23 February 1622–3, the anniversary of the conquest of the castle of Amboyna by the Netherlanders from the Portuguese, a certain conspiracy was discovered against the said castle and government of the province of the said Amboyna in the following manner:—In the evening of the 22nd February of the said year a certain Japanese soldier came during prayers and asked a certain other Dutch soldier newly arrived, who was on duty as a sentinel, how many soldiers there were in the castle, and how many times they relieved guard, as he had likewise enquired the day before, promenading in the evening and at undue hours around the walls, and passing across the guard, which was not allowed in respect of the order and quality of the said Japanese; upon which he was seized, and having been examined by the Council, after [relating] certain circumstances, confessed, how that the Japanese soldiers in our service had conspired to make themselves masters of the said castle of Amboyna, and as he was asked who were their accomplices, since they alone were not powerful enough to bring so great an enterprise to a successful termination, he confessed that they had undertaken this affair with the assistance of the English, who had required and induced the said Japanese to do it; and that he, with the other accomplices Japanese, had several times during the last three months consulted in the English house with the merchants (whose name he gave most distinctly) touching the mode of putting their said enterprise into execution. Upon this all the other Japanese soldiers in our service were disarmed and put in prison, and both by their examination and confession, which agreed, it appeared that all the said Japanese soldiers, at the instigation of Gabriel Towerson and other English merchants, had agreed to assist the said English to surprise the said castle of Amboyna, in order to get it into the possession of the said English. And touching the manner, and the time, when, and how they would put the said affair into execution: that they had divers times conferred with the said Gabriel Towerson, the chief English merchant, Abel Preys, [Price] an English barber, and others who they specially named, of whom the said Abel Preys for some other crime was kept in prison; and what the design of the said Gabriel Towerson and the other English merchants and their accomplices was, appeared clear enough to the Governor and to the Council of Amboyna by all the aforesaid confessions of the 11 Japanese, and the Council had already sufficient information to seize the said accomplices; but the said Council nevertheless thought it not expedient to be hasty in this point, but, as a preliminary, examine the said Abel Preys, who had already been seized before, and after persons, place, and time were named to him, and that he had conferred upon this conspiracy with the said Japanese and other English accomplices, it was admitted and confessed by the said Abel Preys how he had been examined in the name and by order of the said Gabriel Towerson (with certain other Japanese who also were then in prison), that they had induced all the other Japanese to join in this conspiracy on condition of promising them a good share of the booty, and that he had divers times with the other English and Japanese conferred upon this affair, and that all the English merchants in all the English houses of the province of Amboyna were also well acquainted with the said conspiracy; and when they were first arrested and put under a strong guard, the said Gabriel Towerson and other English accomplices, who by order of justice were legally examined, confessed, some before torture, others after very little torture, as follows, signed with their own hands and signatures:—Gabriel Towerson, principal English merchant, having ordered all the other English merchants to come to his room on New Year's Day 1623 proposed to them that he had a business of great importance to communicate to them, but that he could not do so until they had taken an oath that they would keep it secret and be faithful to him, adding besides, that this was necessary, for if the business should be discovered it would cost them all their lives, upon which each one swore secrecy and fidelity upon the Holy Testament, as required. And then, after some preface, the said Towerson said to the said conspirators that he had the means in hand to make himself master of the castle of Amboyna; and as some of them saw difficulties in their being able to effect this design, because of their being too weak, the said Towerson answered that he had gained over to his service the Japanese soldiers who were in the castle, and that they would begin the deed alone when the Netherlanders should be the weakest or unawares, or otherwise when the Governor should be away with his forces on some exploit, also that they should await the arrival of some English ship or ships at Amboyna, the mariners of which should also be employed in the execution of the said design; and that when they would also command and make all the English merchants and their slaves come from all their factories in the province of Amboyna, saying, besides, that they were not in want of people, and that they might trust entirely in him and would do their duty, and that those of Looho (being then in rebellion against the Netherlanders) would send to their assistance some corro-corres or frigates. Upon these representations (inductions) all the English present swore (fidelity) to Towerson's design, and took oaths to assist him in this enterprise, who also gave them commission to gain over people and the islanders to advance said design. And touching the manner of putting it in execution: Towerson ordered the Japanese who were inside the castle to put two men upon each ravelin and the rest in the vale, so as to make certain of the Governor of Amboyna's person and to kill him, and upon a signal from the English the Japanese were to make themselves masters of all points of the said castle, killing all who should offer any resistance and taking all others prisoners. The goods of the Netherlanders Company were to be seized and equally distributed between the Japanese and the English accomplices, except 1,000 ryals of eight which each Japanese was to have had in advance. The country people who would not join or agree with them they would have killed and done all possible injury to them. And touching the time of the execution, it had not yet been settled, but very soon there would have been another meeting of the said conspirators, when Gabriel Towerson would have put everything in order, and given the signal to the Japanese, upon which, when it pleased him, they would have began the business inside the castle. Besides they confirmed by their confessions the particulars of the depositions of the Japanese and of Abel Preys, and particularly that all the English merchants residing in the province of Amboyna had entire knowledge of the said conspiracy. The said Towerson confessed more particularly that he himself had been the first inventor and author of the said design, and being asked the cause that had led him to so wicked a design, replied that it was honour and profit; being also asked from whom he expected honour and profit, and for whom he should have held the said castle, he replied that in case of success he should have advertised his nation or his superiors residing in the city of Batavia, and have asked their assistance, which having obtained he should have held the said castle for the English Company; and in case said assistance had not come he should have retained the castle for himself, and endeavoured to have agreed with the Indians or islanders by some means or other to attain his desired end. After said Towerson's examination was ended, the Governor of Amboyna having complained of his said bloody design, asked said Towerson if that was the reward for the friendship which had been shown to them on several occasions, upon which said Tomerson (after a deep sigh) answered and said if the business were to begin again he would have nothing to do with it.
Upon this conformable confession of several persons, of divers nations, who had kept in divers places, and were separately examined and at different times, the conclusion and examination (demande) having been made by the advocate fiscal, the Governor and Council of the province of Amboyna, after due and mature consideration of everything known to be connected with the business, condemned the said Japanese and others English to the number of ten to be put to death, respiting those who had not complete knowledge of the said conspiracy, and pardoning four other accomplices who had a thorough knowledge of all that had passed, chiefly to take care of the English Company's goods which were in the province of Amboyna, and to be a witness as well in India as in Europe of the enormity of the crime of their accomplices and of the favour shown to their persons; all according to the truth of the fact and the lawfulness of the proceedings agreeable to equity and justice, as may be seen more fully in the acts relating to this business. French. This is much fuller than the "relation" in Dutch inclosed by Carleton in his despatch to Sec. Conway of 28 May, and was probably given about the same time by the Dutch Ambassador in London to Sec. Conway. [Corresp. Holland.]
May 30.
462. Thos. Barker, John Purefey, John Benthall, and John Haywarde to the East India Company. Refer to letter of 15 Oct. 1623 [see ante, No. 330], for account of the superficial grant of privileges from this Emperor upon delivery of his Majesty's letter, and to letter of April 26 [? 18], for the late occurrences in this place. The important and so prosperously effected business between the factors of Surat and the Guzerats caused long detention of the ships in India, but the Blessing and William arrived on 19 Jan. with a capital of India commodities, consigned to the disposure of Ed. Haines and Richard Lancaster. 600l. was received by Thos. Barker and John Benthall, together with some scarlet cloth, a box of knives, a mastiff, and two spaniels, the presents appointed by the Company to this Prince; but the strictness of their commission and the beggarliness of this place were such that they could only put off a few bales of the goods sent, and the rest were shipped for India. Have received from the Sultan the half customs upon four frigates which came in last year, and also upon the passengers' commodities in their own ships. Have likewise urged the commander of the Hollanders for half customs of their goods, which the Sultan himself in their presence acknowledged to be due to the English Company; but words were of small force to persuade them, [to pay] wherefore must refer the business home. The Governor at Port [Ormuz] receiving commands from the King and Khan [of Shiraz] to receive customs and way duties from the Hollanders, on their denial to pay them broke open their chests of money and took for the half customs belonging to the Khan 5,250 ryals. The Blessing and William sailed for Gombroon towards Surat on 25 Feb., to be laden for England. Their lading 294 bales of Ruhanas and 54 pieces of watered camletts. The Khan of Shiraz, by order from the Shah, has built a castle near where the Portugals had their ancient fort at Gombroon, with the ruins of Ormuz, "so as it is a misery to think what Ormuz hath been and what it now is," in the town scarce a stone being left upon a stone, only the castle itself untouched, wherein are about 200 soldiers; and if the Portugals prevent them not, which is much to be feared, after they have fortified Gombroon and Kishme, they will ruinate it also, for now they consider how impossible it will be for them to hold it without shipping to defend those seas from their ancient enemy. This made them last year endeavour the destruction of Muscat, and of late "to gape after" Balsara, now the chief place of trade of the Portugals, where the "Baxa," if report be true, has promised them the erection of a castle and monasteries. Of the sending back of their goods for India general notice is taken, especially of the Khan of Shiraz, by information from the Sultan of Gombroon, and of his royal Majesty by relation of the Khan; the good effects it has wrought, and inquiries whether it proceeded from any disgust or injury offered our persons. Account of goods sold, including cloth, morse teeth, and sugar candy, for which they are to receive silk. Their steel, bulgar hides, and china will endeavour to barter for carpets. Lalabeg, the treasurer, is lately returned from the King at Bagdad, which province his invincible fortune has wholly subjected; at whose coming they will not fail to remonstrate their grievances and urge the demands propounded by their honours (the Company). Some of their grievances have been already reformed. Freedom is granted to sell to whom they will, but they conceive the King's merchant is the best merchant. The debt of William Robins is out of hope ever to be recovered. Will re-solicit a sure confirmation of all the above that they conceive fitting for the establishment of a peaceable and profitable trade, which his Majesty not condescending to, their last demand shall be for licence for a free and quiet departure out of his territories. The Hollanders have no returns of their last year's cavidal or any bargain for this, they standing upon the price of last year, and Mullaimbeg proffering less by one third. The King has commanded 1,000 loads of silk to be sent from Guylan, whereof the Dutch make account to carry away 600. Have not received any letters from Aleppo since the 17th Sept. past, or from their honours later than 3rd March 1622–3: must impute the cause to the wars this Emperor has with the Turks. [O.C., Vol. X., No. 1159.]
May 31. 463. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Committee appointed to be present at the hearing of George Ball's case in the Star Chamber on Wednesday next. Report of Mr. Governor that he, with Mr. Deputy and others, had presented a petition to the Prince concerning the mariners, which he took in good part, and by his countenance showed to be well satisfied with the report of the Lords, and promised if hereafter any complaint should be made to him of the Company, he would command them to attend him for his satisfaction; also some mention was made of the particular business of Ball, but to that he gave little answer. The Governor also reported that upon their petition his Majesty readily promised to recommend their suit against George Ball to the Court of Star Chamber, "so far forth as may stand with justice"; also that he made known to his Majesty—which (as things now stand) he was sorry had so happened—and that was, that by letters out of the Indies the Company had been advertized that in the Moluccas the Dutch have, without all humanity and contrary to the treaty, without a lawful trial before the Council of Defence of both nations, upon evidences and confessions extorted by the violence of torments, and no other witnesses than the heathens allied and linked with the Dutch, put to death 10 of the factors and servants of the English, on pretence of a practice intended by the English against the Dutch in those parts where their forces are so far above the English as there is no proportion between them; the King apprehended the fact to be so foul as in respect thereof he could not believe it, but when told the information was grounded upon protests made by the English President and Council in the Indies, his Majesty commanded that copies thereof should be delivered to Sec. Conway. Lastly, Mr. Governor advertized his Majesty that the Company had received advice that a ship laden with silk and other commodities to the value of 150,000l. is cast away. The King said he was sorry for the loss, but he could not help that; but concerning the other business of putting the men to death the Court was informed that in case it be proved there will be ways now for his Majesty to force them to reparation if he be so pleased. The Company is much blamed by some, for that now, when his Majesty had resolved to aid the Dutch, the Company had published the putting 10 Englishmen to death, which had made a stand in that resolution; it was answered that the Lords Commissioners had declared in the end of the last treaty that his Majesty would require from the East India Company an account of that trade, and it likewise pleased his Majesty to require the Company on all occasions to resort to him, affirming that if he heard nothing of them he should believe that all is well; Mr. Governor said he found Mr. Sec. Conway "very apprehensive of the injuries complained of, and wished the Company to go stronger, affirming that if the Dutch shall maintain the doing of these most injurious cruelties there will be means to curb them, be it but by falling upon their fishermen in the herring season," withall making offer of any pleasure he should be able to do the Company therein. The Court resolved that for the better manifestation of the truth it will be fit that these protests concerning this slaughter of the Company's servants be copied out and sent to Sec. Conway. Report of Mr. Eyers concerning the business of Pepble [Pendley in margin], that there falls this rub, he finds no certainty that Cooke is dead, notwithstanding ordered that Pepble be satisfied his debt out of Cooke's estate, for Sir Henry Marten's sake. Arrears of tythes to be paid to Dr. Page, incumbent of Deptford, and henceforth 13s. 9d. yearly, monies owing by Dr. Page being first deducted. [Two pages and a half. Court Minute Bk., VI., pp. 541–543.]