East Indies: November 1624, 1-10

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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'East Indies: November 1624, 1-10', in Calendar of State Papers Colonial, East Indies, China and Japan, Volume 4, 1622-1624, (London, 1878) pp. 432-439. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/colonial/east-indies-china-japan/vol4/pp432-439 [accessed 25 April 2024]

Nov 1624, 1-10

Nov. 1.
The Hague.
661. Carleton to Sec. Conway. Soon after his despatch of 23rd Oct. (? No. 644) the States sent to him by their Greffier Goch the remonstrance of the Directors of the Dutch East India Company with Mareschalk's deposition, which he incloses herewith. Account of what took place at his audience with their Assembly, and the arguments he used touching the English merchants petition to the Privy Council, for settling and fortifying where the Hollanders have no footing, and remitting differences which cannot be determined in the Indies into Europe; and that he found so little subject of contentment himself in the remonstrance that he could not recommend it to his Majesty. His notes and observations upon the whole matter he presented not in writing, because he would not make himself a party against those Bewinthebbers, whose work this "discourse" is, and not the States. In reply, the States said they were sorry the remonstrance gave no better contentment, but offered to bring Houtman and Mareschalk before Carleton to answer more particularly to anything upon which he would examine them; but were answered that what is now designed for the future could not suffer long delay in regard of the approaching season for sending to the East Indies; that he had no commission to examine those persons, but left it to their wisdom how to deal with them till a resolution were taken upon the whole matter. The States said they would send for Mareschalk (who pretends sickness at Delft), and then Carleton proposed certain interrogatories, of which one should be whether fire was not used as well as water, and if Mareschalk cannot give a good account thereof, then it might be conceived that all the eleven points set down in his confession, and inserted in the Bewinthebbers remonstrance are fiction and falsehood. Found the States willing, whereupon Carleton makes good judgment of their intentions, but they have some amongst them (whom he has discovered) corrupted by the Bewinthebbers, who subtilely, by some artifice or other, draw this business into length. But to this issue it is grown; that the 17 Bewinthebbers lately assembled at Middelburg have express order to be here the 14th present. Meanwhile, knowing this to be the time to bring this business to some good issue or never, he purposes to-morrow to make a journey to the Prince of Orange, to move him to employ one of the States deputies about him hither expressly. Incloses the answer he received from his Excellency to his letter which accompanied the Duke of Buckingham's. Incloses,
661. I. Remonstrance of the Dutch East India Company to the States General. This document of 42 pages consists of arguments under 15 heads in justification of the process against the English at Amboyna. That from the different writings that have been produced, beginning with a summary of the news contained in the letters from the English factors at Batavia, dated 19 June 1623, all the proceedings were lawful and according to right, as appears by the judicial acts signed by the accomplices themselves who were examined and by the Council of Amboyna, which is an admitted and sworn college, besides a thousand proofs, and that against this cannot be admitted vain and frivolous suspicion; and that these Directors firmly believe, having seen nothing to the contrary, that the English who were sworn and the other accomplices who were in the Dutch service have been rightly apprehended, and that the plot (faict) having been so clearly proved according to right and the usage or custom observed there, the proceedings were in due form, and that punishment was inflicted with true moderation and clemency and the rigour of justice. That torture by water only causes great oppression and difficulty of breathing, but does not fill the body (with water), as the English have so abusively asserted (pp. 17–18). That reasonable time ought to be given to obtain fuller and clearer proofs from the persons on the spot who were more immediately concerned, as it is only reasonable that no reparation can be required until the necessary defence and informations of the fact be first made and taken. That the fact of this conspiracy is so notorious in the Indies that the clearest and strongest proofs of it may be fully obtained, to the complete acquittal of the innocent and the confusion of those who strive to maintain this bad cause (pp. 32–33). Then follows the substance of the deposition of Mareschalk (pp. 33–40), calendared below. That certain proof can be given that several persons who it is said in the English account were tortured with water and fire were not even once touched. In conclusion, it is hoped that his Majesty will not refuse the proper time to find out more exactly all the particulars of this business, for which the States are supplicated to mediate on behalf of the Directors of the Dutch East India Company. [French. Forty-two pages.]
661. II. Deposition of Laurens Mareschalk, aged about 30, having served as chief merchant or as the chief in Amboyna, and as one of the judges there, taken before the magistrates, &c. of Delft. Consists of 11 points, the first three of which certify that all the Japanese as well as the English accomplices several times before their execution confirmed and persisted in their respective confessions. That Wm. Webber confessed at his last examination to having received a letter from John Clarke advising him that something of great importance was about to take place among the English without his being able to learn what it was, which letter Clarke in the absence of Webber confessed to having written. That Edward Collins without any torment voluntarily made confession before Gabriel Towerson and all the other English, not believing they would dare deny it; as did also Towerson, being brought to Collins, who kneeling before Towerson asked pardon of him, saying, "I must confess the truth, for I do not wish to endure any torment for the love of you." That Emanuel Thompson being asked why he persisted to the last and endured torture, said it was because Towerson had always reproached him with drunkenness, and that he was determined the plot (faict) should not be discovered by him, whatever torture he endured. That some days after his examination Thompson said he was very glad God had revealed the plot, for much innocent blood would have been shed, and that he himself doubly merited death, but he begged for mercy, as he was an old man of about fifty years, also that he drew lots with Colson and Collins whose life out of the three should be spared. That two or three days before the execution Towerson, being in a room with the Governor and Council, spoke reproachfully of the English in general, saying that their fault was their wicked and disorderly life, their fornication and drunkenness, and that God willed not that they should keep their design secret, and this was why they had come to this misery. That Towerson being the author of this conspiracy, towards the end of his life entreated his accomplices to forgive him, in that they had been instigated and seduced by him to this conspiracy, and that they did forgive him. That a little before his death Towerson wrote a letter to Samuel Colson, which is still in the hands of the Governor of Amboyna, Herman Speult, that Colson was the sole cause of Towerson having first consented to the plot to make himself master of the castle, notwithstanding which he now forgave Colson. That the Unicorn sailed from Amboyna to Batavia with the two pardoned English merchants, Edward Collins and John Beaumont, who being invited by the officers of the ship to eat at table with them, said, they were unworthy, having had so wicked a design against the Batavian Netherlanders. 25 Oct./4 Nov. 1624. [French. Eight pages and a quarter.]
661. III. Maurice de Nassau, Prince of Orange, to Carleton. His letter of 21/31 Oct. accompanying the Duke of Buckingham's (see ante, No. 649) was received this evening, by which the Prince was very grieved to learn that the misunderstandings caused by the fact of Amboyna increase more and more. Has divers times endeavoured that some remedy should be found, and will continue in this duty, that means may be found to give his Majesty satisfaction. Will first communicate the Duke's letter to the States, with the discretion that is required in a business of such importance, so that having heard their good intention, the Prince may make an answer worthy of the sincere affection the Duke has always borne to the good of this State. Camp at Rosenthal, 23 Oct./2 Nov. 1624. Endorsed, "Sent to Mr. Sec. Conway, 1st (Nov.) 1624, st. vet." [French. One page. Holland Corresp.]
Nov. 2/12. 662. [Carleton] to the Prince of Orange. Had a particular desire to visit his Excellency at the camp and again to recommend to his prudence and authority the embroiled affairs of the East Indies; but being informed by his Excellency's letter of 23 Oct./2 Nov. (see the above inclosure III.), that he had written seriously to hasten the coming of the Bewinthebbers, and that the principal towns are summoned to send extraordinary deputies; has judged it more to the purpose to await their coming; and since other public affairs are in such a good way, one cannot do better than keep them so, by removing as quickly as possible this cursed stumbling block, for which he beseeches his Excellency to continue his good offices with the States. French. Draft by Carleton. [One page. Holland Corresp.]
Nov. 2.
The Hague.
663. (Carleton) to Sec. Conway. Was on the point of taking a journey to Rosenthal when informed that his Excellency (the Prince of Orange) had written effectually hither and sent copy of the Duke's letter; whereupon the coming of the Bewinthebbers is hastened and some of the chief towns summoned to send extraordinary deputies, to the end there should be no necessity of attending the Assembly of the States of this province, to take resolution. [One page. Holland Corresp.]
Nov. 2.
664. Barlow to Carleton. Boreel is returned out of the Hague, but could not learn anything from him. "Here doth go a speech, and divers strangers do write it from London that divers of his Majesty's ships shall lie in the Narrow Seas to lay hold upon the East India Company's ships till such time as they have given his Majesty satisfaction;" but it should seem the Bewinthebbers do not take any notice thereof. Holds he will hear of further delays for the bringing in of their relation for justification. Wishes Mareschalk were examined, but fears he will be holden out of the way. The Company here have begun to pay; they say they will send Barlow letters for the English Company, wherein they make no doubt but to give full content. Hears that the States have commanded the 17 to meet "with the first;" so makes no doubt but at their meeting there will be a determination what satisfaction will be given to his Majesty to stay further proceedings. Endorsed, "Rec. 5th St. vet." [One page. Holland Corresp.]
Nov. 3. 665. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Letter to be drawn to solicit Sec. Conway to send over an express to procure letters from the Prince of Orange and the States for the settling of all matters in the Indies between the two Companies, as well to prevent any further effusion of blood as to settle a place of safety for the residence of our people, and signifying that the trade will stop if these things be not provided for. Request of Mr. Vivian, who stands indebted to the Company, that no violent course may be taken against him; Mr. Abdy entreated to deal privately with him; also that Mr. Jarrett, who is surety for the debt of Halsey, and intends nothing but delay, be dealt roundly with. Letter to be written to Mr. Barlow, to acquaint the Bewinthebbers with Croppenbergh's manner of dealing, who gives nothing but delaying answers, and to require payment accordingly. Messrs. Eyres and Martin to inform themselves of the particulars of Mr. Fursland's estate, and report to the Court. Concerning Capt. Greene's business. Whether it were fit to call a General Court to acquaint them that his Majesty hath given warrant for stay of the Dutch East India ships, or wait until the ships be stayed; the resolution put off till Wednesday next. Mr. Misselden presented an account of his business as a commissioner with the Dutch, wherein he had not found the success he desired, though he had done his faithful endeavour, but finds the Dutch "utterly averse to reason;" the Court acknowledged that he had failed in no point of sufficiency or integrity, and so in respect he was sickly, wished him to take his ease. When he was departed, consideration was given to his service, and after debate 100l. was ordered to be paid to him as a gratification and a token of the well acceptance of his services. Letter read from Anthony Vernworthy from aboard the Swallow, that the beer falls out to be very faulty. Request of Sir Robert Napper to take out 200l. worth of calicoes, in lieu of pepper, readily granted. Ordered that the Lord Mayor may have out on stock such spices as shall suffice for his necessary expense during the time of his mayoralty. Touching the suit of Symonson against the Company. Request of George Ball to receive "his full charge;" to come again on Wednesday, and in the meantime have the opinion of Sir John Walter. Messrs. Friday, Hatch, and Hoore named for preachers; the vote of the Court went with Friday, who had formerly served, but neither entertained at that time. [Four pages and three quarters. Court Minute ook, VII., 180–184.]
Nov. 4. 666. Sec. Conway to Carleton. Desires him with some earnestness to press a speedy resolution touching Amboyna, and if Buckingham's letter have moved nothing, has great cause to doubt there may arise from thence a great disorder, perhaps irreparable, for all the delays possible and industries have been used, and "now what shall come must be between the bridge and the water." Order is gone out to the King's ships to make seizure of all the Dutch East India Company's ships they can find. Their sending of Coen, so malicious and so hated a person, gives subject to conceive small affection in those that chose him. There is no more to be said; but if they give not satisfaction in this barbarous insolency past in a good reglement to come, and in the Greenland business, "I protest, I speak it with fear grounded upon knowledge, ships will sink for it, and a good part of the cause may sink too. God give better." [Extract from Holland Corresp.]
Nov. 6. 667. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Report of Mr. Munnes that he doubted the ships for Surat would be made ready in due time; whereupon Mr. Stephens said that his carpenters had been pressed away to the King's service, and that the sickness that reigneth everywhere hath also seized on his workmen. Ordered that if about London there cannot be found workmen, they must be hired elsewhere, and that at next Court there be an appointment of committees to go down weekly and overlook the work, for it was conceived that the alehouse in the yard is no small impediment. To objections against the Swallow, and that she proves "tender sided," Mr. Stephens replied that he knew no reason unless she is overladen, "but as her victual spends she will stiffen again." Letters to be prepared against this day se'nnight for Persia to be sent overland, which may arrive about May, to mention the Company's purpose to send thither three ships, willing them to send down their goods in due time to meet them. A motion for sending a small pinnace to accompany the London, left to further consideration. Ordered that John Purefey's wages be paid according to order of 24th April 1620, and his dividends upon stock to remain upon interest at 8 per cent.; also that 100l. of John Benthall's wages be paid to Alderman Hammersley. The Company's secretary to confer with Sir Thos. Button, who doth conceive the commission not so full as might have been for the stay of the Dutch ships; also to repair to the Clerk of the Upper House of Parliament, and desire a copy of the order in the case of Mrs. Salmon, late wife of Capt. Bonner, slain in the Indies. [Two pages and a quarter. Court Minute Book, VII., pp. 185–187.]
Nov. 6.
The Hague.
668. Carleton to Sec. Conway. Received late this night his packet of the 25th Oct., since which has written under date of the 1st and 2nd pres. The States have Mareschalk in examination these two days past upon more than 100 interrogatories collected out of our men's relation, to which in general he doth answer readily, but how truly Carleton cannot judge. The Bewinthebbers of Amsterdam, and other chambers of Holland, came at the appointed day, but some have been carried away with this general mortality; amongst the rest, Poppen of Amsterdam, one of the hottest heads amongst them. We shall soon see what will be the resolution on the whole business. No endeavour to the uttermost of his poor capacity has been wanting for the prevention of a rupture not only between the States, but between the two Companies, and when all is well scanned and sifted, it will be hard the truth should be so disguised as "quod voluere duo" should want effect; and either there must be more dissimulation than Carleton can comprehend, or else the whole college of the States General are as studious to have the truth of this business appear as we ourselves can be. [One page and a half. Holland Corresp.]
Nov. 6.
669. Barlow to Carleton. The Bewinthebbers gone from hence. Burgomaster Bas is alone in the Government, and cannot be spared, but hopes there will be a good resolution taken, and we remain friends. Perceives the remonstrance delivered to the States is weak; but it cannot be otherwise. Thinks Lawrence Mareschalk will not appear, for the three points our Company require will much trouble the States and Bewinthebbers to answer. Would willingly attend Carleton "at the being of the 17" [Bewinthebbers], but not having commission to treat of anything it would not stand well for Barlow to be present. [One page. Holland Corresp.]
Nov. 8–10. 670. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Mr. Frend, one of his Majesty's sergeants-at-arms, having again petitioned his Majesty concerning Mrs. Salmon; resolved to consult the Earl of Bridgewater, one of the committee of the Upper House in that business, thereon. Petition of Gilbert Lodge for relief for himself and wife, he being aged above 100 years and ready to be turned out of doors, the same being testified by the headborough and divers inhabitants of Wapping, where he dwells.
Nov. 10.—The business of Bradstreete put to arbitration. Motion for a physician to go into the Indies. One Mr. Malin offers his services as master of one of their ships. Committee appointed to consider the heads of a letter for Persia. Ordered that 20l. be given to Mr. Aylesbury, the Duke's Secretary for the Admiralty, "as a thankfulness from the Company" for the many letters that had been directed to his Majesty's ships, forts, &c. for stay of the Dutch ships. Concerning the sentence against George Ball, in the Star Chamber, and also the order in Chancery. About the estate of Henry Covert, deceased in the Indies, who was an apprentice to Mr. Sheeres. An assessment made upon the Company's lands at Blackwall to be paid. A master carpenter to attend aboard the Lion, now outward bound. Petition of Nicholas Woodcock, late master of the Whale, for (among other things) the wages of his servant Robt. Osborne; the Court conceived they had been ill-dealt with, in placing a servant to be a mate in a ship of that importance, and that this and other like neglects might be a great occasion of the casting away of that ship, there appearing no other known cause for it. Advice to be asked how far the Company might proceed against him in this case. [Six pages and a half. Court Minute Book, VII., 187–194.]
Nov. 10/20. 671. Extract from the secret register of the resolutions of the States General of the United Netherlands. Their Highnesses' Committee having conferred with the 17 of the East India Company in order to give further satisfaction to the King concerning the execution in Amboyna and also on Carleton's three points, have unanimously resolved that the Governor of Amboyna and the others concerned therein be summoned to answer for their actions, and the 17 are hereby ordered to write to the Governor General and Council of the Indies to send said persons hither at once under secure guard, and to bring them before their Highnesses, with all the documents, to give an account of their proceedings; these orders to be obeyed notwithstanding any contrary orders which may previously have been given. Their Highnesses will also write to said Governor General and Council to this effect, and to get the surest information secretly and to send it over immediately, sealed, to them. Their Highnesses do not think it of any use to consider Carleton's three points, because they (springing out of the difficulty of Amboyna) tend to the dissolution of the treaty. But the 17 are ordered to send directions to the East Indies that the treaty be observed in every article, and the King shall also be requested to keep his subjects to it. Letter to be framed to the King earnestly requesting him to be satisfied therewith, and to supersede further proceedings to the injury of this Company; also one to Carleton to recommend the same. Dutch. [Five pages. Holland Corresp.]
Nov. 10.
672. Sec. Conway to the East India Company. Sends copy of a letter from Sir Dudley Carleton [see ante, No. 661], acquainting them with what hath been done in their business, and leaving it to their choice to send over an express messenger. [Domestic, Jac. I., Conway's Letter Bk., p. 165, Cal., p. 375.]