East Indies: December 1624, 22-31

Pages 469-477

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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Dec 1624, 22-31

Dec. 22.—Washburne having complained that his work is too heavy, Chancy is appointed to assist him during Waytes absence. Markham, the auditor, to have 100 marks per annum. As the auditors are many times absent, a check is to be kept upon them, provided they are allowed Thursdays and Saturdays to be absent. Denton's cause to be heard before the Master of the Rolls, the last cause of next term; Mr. Governor to move the Lord Keeper to hear it. License read for the Company to be supplied with 20 last of powder out of his Majesty's stores. 20l. imprested to Mr. Friday out of his wages to set him to sea. [Five pages and a half. Court Minute Book, VII., 271–276.]
[Dec. 22.] 717. Carleton to the East India Company. Returns at length the States' final answer, as well for justice in the bloody fact of Amboyne as surety for their trade, according to the three points the Company proposed to the Lords of the Council [see ante, No. 635. i.]. On the first, the States have resolved to have the Governor and all who assisted him, in the judgment of the English, sent hither as prisoners; and to have examination in the Indies of all that passed in that action, taken by their General, assisted by such Englishmen as his Majesty will appoint, and the information to be sent in closed letters to confront the prisoners sent here. How this will satisfy the Company, Carleton knows not, but sure he is there hath been difficulty enough to get it resolved, and when it shall be put in execution (for the States are set upon it to see justice done), not only the actors, but the abettors if there be any here, will smart for it; and it is suspected there is guiltiness in some, because of the violence used in opposing this course. For the three points, the first is freely granted; for the second, all such causes are to be referred to the Council of Defence, as concern the generality of the Companies, but the States are careful to preserve the jurisdiction of their places in particular causes; touching the third, about fortifications, they use certain restrictions, but such as, they say, hinder not the places the Company have mentioned in the Straits of Sunda to the westward of Bantam, or to eastward of Cheribon, or anywhere else at a convenient distance from their forts, the Moluccas, Banda, and Amboyna only excepted, as they pretend was agreed by the 24th Article of the Treaty of 1619. To these purposes the States have written to General Carpentier an effectual letter, and have made the Bewinthebbers answerable in their persons and goods to have all faithfully accomplished. Has sent to Sec. Conway copies of such writings as concern this business, from which they will see all that can be had here by this manner of negociation. What they expect more (as more they have reason to expect) must be had by way either of hostility or treaty. The first concurs at no time with the interest of our State against these men, when reason may be had otherwise, and that may be now better than ever heretofore, because the States and Bewinthebbers are two, the scandal of Amboyna having made a divorce between them, which division Carleton has endeavoured to nourish. Has hitherto been their advocate, and now will be their councillor. "Let not your just indignation carry you beyond discretion, but embrace the opportunity of settling your trade by such reglement as this accident of Amboyna may produce, and if you can have justice for your men's lives, which in the way affairs now are must necessarily follow, being pursued with that constancy and fervour as is requisite, and by holding his Majesty's resolution for reprisals in suspense (which I no way wish should be revoked) mend the condition of your trade, partly by explication and partly by reformation of the Treaty, as the change of times and occasions doth require that which cannot be now otherwise remedied may so turn to your utility. And when I may understand his Majesty's pleasure in this point, I will do my endeavours so to put your affairs into a way of treaty as may be most to your advantage, which I must tell you is a thing the Bewinthebbers will mainly shun, but the States, I presume, will think it necessary and will bring them to it." For the present all the service Carleton can do is to get despatches made into the Indies, according to the resolutions the States have taken, whereof one will be sent by the Dutch ships, and a duplicate the Company shall have to send in their ship. If this course be approved of, and Carleton has not said or done anything obligatory but only ad referendum, they will do well to name to his Majesty persons fit to join with General Carpentier in taking information of the whole state of the Amboyna business, to the end it may be entered into before any plot be used for concealing the truth. In conclusion, they may boldly go on with their trade, for these Bewinthebbers' heat is much allayed and they wish their torturers' fingers in the fire, which have bred them this trouble and danger, out of which they would gladly creep by fair means; and these the Prince of Orange himself and the best here assure Carleton they will use, to piece up their broken affairs again, if it be possible. Thanks them for books and maps received. Endorsed, "By Mr. Yong." [Three pages and a half. Holland Corresp.] Incloses,
717. I. "A resumption of the first answer of the States General made at the instance of Sir Dudley Carleton." The States General, upon earnest instances made unto them, having put in new deliberation the three articles propounded in writing in their Assembly of 23 Oct./2 Nov. by the King of Great Britain's Ambassador answer, that in their despatch to the King of 2/12 Dec. the matter of Amboyna was handled in such sort as occasion might thence be taken to cause the alterations arisen between the two Companies to cease, and to unite them in better and nearer amity, it being needless to think upon new ways, which would rather dissolve than strengthen their society. Notwithstanding that they may give the better satisfaction by a more particular declaration, "they answer to the first point, that it is and shall be lawful for those of the English East India Company in the Indies to withdraw whensoever they will, both themselves and goods, without paying any rights of customs and tolls, or anything of that nature, out of such places and forts as acknowledge their. Lordships' authority, and are in the possession of their said Company in the Indies, to whom their Lordships do promise to give order and command not to go against this their declaration, but to favour it as much as they can, and to take no advantage against it of any doubt or obscurity which might be found in the Treaty concerning this point; secondly, their Lordships still reserving to those of their East India Company the administration of policy and particular jurisdiction, as well civil and criminal, entire and unchangeable in all places which acknowledge their sovereignty in the said Indies, like well that all controversies come or to come between the two Companies which concern immediately the whole body of either of them, shall hereafter be decided by the Common Council of Defence established in the Indies, if it may be done, and such things as cannot be composed by them shall be referred to the two Companies in Europe, and afterwards to his Majesty and their Lordships, if need shall require; finally, their Lordships' Governor General in the said Indies shall be forbidden any way to let or hinder the English Company in the Indies from building of forts, storehouses, or retreats, for the safety of their persons and goods in all places they shall think fit, so that it be not within the jurisdiction or comprised in the obligation of the exclusive contracts, nor also within ten German leagues or thirty English miles of the forts of this East India Company, neither at Banda, Amboyna, or the Moluccas, but according to the 24 Article of the Treaty, in which places they of these countries shall have the like freedom as the English have in those places that are under their Lordships' command. And this declaration their Lordships make upon condition that thereby nothing shall be altered, innovated, or done to the prejudice of the former Treaties made by his Majesty and their own authority between the two Companies, which their Lordships understand to remain in full force and virtue." Given in the Assembly of the States General, this 29 Dec. 1624 [N.S.]. Two copies, in French and English. A copy in French is also in East Indies, Vol. III., No. 54. This "Answer" differs materially from the answer dated 3/13 Dec. See ante, No. 713. I. [Two pages and a half. Holland Corresp.]
Dec. 23.
The Hague.
718. Carleton to Sec. Conway. The States, upon the memorial he sent his Honour on the 7th inst. (whereby he required that the three points should be answered categorically), sent their greffier Goch to him on the 13th with their letter to his Majesty concerning Amboyna, enlarged according to Carleton's demand to have information taken in the Indies, by joint commission, and sent hither with the prisoners, and with some small change in their answer to the first of the three points. Had audience of the States next day, and reduced his whole discourse to this point: that the oppression of the English by the Dutch being notorious, their fears for the future were not imaginary; especially as the same directors were still in magistracy, and the same man (Coen, whom Carleton spared not to name for one who pursued open war against the English) again employed thither with extraordinary strength. Hereupon he prayed them well to consider the last remonstrance of their own Company, wherein they profess always to have observed the treaty and to desire so to continue, and in the same remonstrance their administrators defend the fact of Amboyna, as done "selon droit," and "avec bonne moderation." From which Carleton inferred that they understand the torture and execution of the English to be agreeable to the treaty; and that they maintained the seizure of the goods of the English at Jacatra not to be repugnant to the treaty. Therefore Carleton concluded that the States must resolve, either not to tie the English to the treaty, or to explain in clear and direct terms how in those points they understand the treaty. There has been much debate hereupon; six of the seven provinces insisting to give all possible contentment. In conclusion, sends another answer brought to him on Tuesday last, the 21st, accompanied with the former, as likewise copy of the States' letter to his Majesty, the original whereof they sent on Monday last (20th) to Conway. Sends also answer from his Excellency to the Duke of Buckingham's letter (missing), with copy of the States' letter to their General in the Indies, "the attendance for which" has held back this despatch a day or two. Draft corrected by Carleton. Endorsed, "By Mr. Yong." [Two pages and a half.] Incloses,
718. I. II. The Two Answers of the States General to the articles proposed by Carleton, Calendared ante, Nos. 713. I., 717. I.]
718. III. The States General to the King. Calendared ante No. 713.
718. IV. The States General to their General [Carpentier] in the East Indies. The tidings of the execution at Amboyna on the persons of some Englishmen was so seriously taken by the King of Great Britain that he has himself caused to be prepared for the States General an account of what passed there, and his Majesty claims satisfaction for the same. Inclose papers that his Excellency may understand what has been done for his Majesty's satisfaction, who nevertheless has ordered reprisals on the goods of the Netherlands East India Company. So the States can find no other means to quiet the King than to have the Governor of Amboyna, and all who presided under him at the trial and execution, sent over here. Wherefore, his Excellency is charged and the Seventeen have also been directed expressly to charge him, to send over in safe custody the said Governor of Amboyna and the others at the first opportunity, to give an account of their proceedings according to the inclosed Resolution of the States General, and he is commanded not to neglect this order by the oath he has taken, and to discover, with secrecy and diligence, and with the advice of those commissioned by the King for that purpose, the surest information concerning all the circumstances of this business. His Excellency will see by the papers inclosed and the printed pamphlet how deeply these tortures and executions are felt, and how highly necessary it is to have all pertinent information on the subject. Further, at the request of the English Company, the King, at the solicitation of his Ambassador, has caused three points to be proposed to the States General concerning the departure of the English from Batavia, forts to be erected by them, and the trial of the differences between the two Companies, to which the States have promised to give answer, and to which his Excellency is required to give such answers as are expedient, the States desiring good correspondence, unity, and friendsdip to be held with the English, and that the Netherlands Company may not by neglect thereof unconsciously cause injuries and difficulties which his Excellency and his Council will be called up to answer for. The Hague, 1624, Dec. 21/31. Endorsed by John Bradshaw "In Dutch, Dec. 1624." [Two pages and a half. Holland Corresp.]
Dec. 23.
The Hague.
719. Carleton to the Duke of Buckingham. In the combat he has had against the Administrators of this East India Company these five or six months, nothing could come more seasonably and usefully than his Grace's "lettera armata" to the Prince of Orange, at a time when those men stood most upon their strength, having in October last composed a remonstrance, by which they required the States' wonted protection, seconded by the greatest town in this State (Amsterdam), of which the chief magistrates are the chief of those administrators with so loud a cry, as if yielding in this cause were the loss of the liberty of the State; but in conclusion they were forced to submit to bring the instruments of the bloody fact of Amboyna prisoners into these parts to answer to justice, to give strict order touching his Majesty's subjects in the Indies, and for such effectual letters both by the States and Prince of Orange to the General there, that there is no danger for our men to continue their trade, which, now the States are so well effected, may be better settled by treaty than ever, if his Majesty so require; but to this purpose it is good to keep the wound of Amboyna still open, rather by suspense than revocation of his Majesty's commandment for reprisals, because the horror thereof and fear of the consequences which hath separated them from the Administrators will make them yield to reason. His Excellency now answers his Grace's letter. Sends to Mr. Sec. Conway copies of all despatches answerable to the States' resolution for his Majesty's approbation, and humbly recommends his own endeavours in this long and troublesome business to his Grace's favourable protection. Endorsed, "By Mr. Yong." [Hol land Corresp.]
Dec. 24.
Philpot Lane.
720. Sir Thos. Symthe to Sec. Conway. Understands from the King's and his own letters that there is expected from him an ad vancement of the Persian trade. It is, as he wrote before, of too great moment for him to undertake. Has endeavoured to persuade ad venturers which must be the life of the business, but finds them so cold that he cannot trust upon any good success; knows not whether it be for want of money or will. Desires to do the King service in this or anything else. [Domestic, Jac. I., Vol. CLXXVII., No. 15, Cal., p. 418.]
Dec. 24. 721. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Mr. Governor and others to attend Lord Carew, as thought fit by Sir John Coke, concerning their powder. Commission to be drawn for Capt. Fowkes, grounded upon the original grant from the King, and instructions for the ordering and well governing of his soldiers; the President to be chief in all things, and at all consultations either of peace or war, but the captain to sit with the Council, and when once resolved what to do, the execution to be left wholly to him; in matters of trade he shall not intermeddle. Complaint against Thos. Taylor, clerk of the band of soldiers, he having stirred up some discontent among the soldiers. Application for relief on behalf of the children of one Langdye or Langdale, said to be in the Company's service. Con cerning one Dobson, who ran away from the Swallow at Plymouth and is in the King's ship. Letter read from the Mayors of the Dutch East India Company, concerning the burning and spoiling of the French ship and pepper therein; ordered that Ellam look up the letters from the Indies and from "the French Company, of France," which trade to the Indies on that subject. Mr. Governor reported that Sir John Coke is satisfied concerning the Persian trade. [Two pages and a half. Court Minute Bk., VII., 276–278.]
Dec. 28.
722. Barlow to Carleton. Has received his of Dec.24/Jan. 3. Makes full account that if there be strict examination of the Governor of Amboyna and his accomplices, there will be gultiness found in some of the Bewinthebbers, if not in all, for "before ever we heard of the of the boody business at Amboyna, it was here generally bruited that we should not have any more Molucca goods." These have plotted to keep that trade to themselves, as well doth appear by that they did to ours at Pooloroon and Lantar, the which he holds was done by express order from hence, whereof Coen, if well examined, would give testimony. Does not see but the Company must hold good what is done, being in effect what they have desired. All other differences stand open, but by treaties they will never come to a good end, so wishes that some one or two Dutch ships were fast in England. The Bewinthebbers are so close fisted that no opinion is to be gotten from them, so generally men conclude that things go not to their mind. Coen was put off with this answer, that for a time he must have patience; so no man knows how they will carry the business in the Indies, which Barlow doubts will be such as the Company shall have little content therein. Concerning their ships in the Texel; it is reported that on Saturday they put to sea, and makes account the ships are gone from Zealand. Coen hath put off his going on pretence that he would take a wife with him and go in the spring. From "one bloke Marteson," who was Governor in Amboyna 1615–18, he understands there is something under hand to cross Coen's projects and designs for free trade. A party in the States doth much dislike Speult's course at Amboyna, and cannot be persuaded that our people should be so desperate and void of sense as to attempt a thing of so great impossibility. Hopes to get other information concerning the "Jeuroots" (Jurates) of Amboyna. Hougens still puts him in hope that he shall get something, but he and others of late years have been very curious over their journals, so it is a hard matter to get anything. Endorsed, "Rec. the 29th st. vet." [Two pages. Holland Corresp.]
Dec. 29. 723. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Letter read from Mr. Misselden of the 24th inst., wherein it appeared very doubtful whether the Dutch ships were passed or not. Mr. Governor to speak with the party who offers to go with the King's ships, and is able to distinguish between the East India ships and those others that put to sea in their Company. Information that Boreel buys up all the Dutch printed books sent from hence concerning Amboyna, with a hope to suppress them that way; and that Coen makes ready to go again to the Indies in the spring, and carry his wife with him and settle there altogether. Ordered that the Japan silver and gold brought out of the Indies, to the value of 1,100l., be carried to the Tower to be coined. Mr. Governor acquainted the Court that the Duke hath been very careful that the Dutch East India ships may be stayed, and for that purpose has written several letters to the Narrow Seas; also that himself and others had failed to see the King by a mistake, but Mr. Secretary still promised to bring them to his Majesty, and wished them in anywise to give his Majesty thanks for his care and resolution to right them. Letter read from Sir Dudley Carleton; it was observed that the Dutch offer to examine in the Indies concerning the fact of Amboyna, which seemed very strange, and also plainly to show that they intend nothing less than to make satisfaction by way of justice upon the offenders, otherwise why do they not send over or execute Mareschalck, who is in their possession; as for any examination or prosecution in the Indies there is no possibility of doing it. That Sec. Conway says the letters from the States do not give him any satisfaction, nor doth he conceive that the King is tied by a treaty which the Dutch Company hath first broken, and yet it were not amiss that the Companies did piece together, lest a third come and take advantage by their dissension to prevail upon both. Mr. Bell to attend Sec. Conway for perfecting the Company's license for powder, and to try and procure copy of the articles agreed upon by the States. There being no answer in Carleton's letter to the offer that our men may confront Mareschalck, it was thought fit before the King to insist that Mareschalck be brought to his answer. The Court was informed, "that the Dutch are now content to part Companies, and that this Company shall also fortify in the Indies." Report from Lord Carew, Master of the Ordnance, that the King has set up nine mills, which are not sufficient to furnish powder for the public service, and that hereafter the Company must set up mills for their own use, and fetch saltpetre from foreign parts. Sir Peter Van Lore tendered as security by the Dutch Company for freight of their pepper out of the Indies. The Court observed by this, as by divers other things, how much this Company is slighted by the Dutch, but are resolved to stand on equal security, and will offer some one merchant and no more. Instruction to Ellam to write to the President and Council, that by all good means they endeavour to procure the trade of Bantam, and so work that there may be a diligent return of stock and ships, though with coarse commodities, as calicoes, saltpetre, cotton wools, &c.; also out of the Nayack's country [? Tanjore] and Surat; only to forbear shipping indigo from the coast of Coromandel. This motion grew out of an observation of ships staying long abroad and the excessive charge upon the Company. The President further to be advised of the new trimming of the Swallow and London against the worm and fire, that he may advertize the effects. Resolutions concerning sending two ships from Jacatra to Surat, there to lade for England, and the enlarging of the capital to be sent to Surat, left to a fuller Court. [Three pages and a half. Court Minute Bk., VII., 279–282.]
Dec. 30.
724. Sec. Conway to Lord Carew. Sends a warrant from the King for delivering gunpowder to the East India merchants. He is to see that the King is not prejudiced. [Domestic, Jac. I., Conway's Letter Bk., p. 179, Cal., p. 421.]
Dec. 31. 725. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Resolution of Capt. Browne, master of the London, declared to the Court that if the ships might go to Bantam under the Royal banner, "he would either open that trade or sink in the sea." In his opinion there will be no great trading at Pulo Bessee, in regard it is 30 leagues from any trade; a very dry place, and only one month in the year the rivers run there. Thomas Wolley, who came home in the Dolphin, presented a journal of his travels. Mr. Bell to read and report on it. [One page. Court Minute Bk., VII., pp. 282–283.]
Dec. 31. 726. Warrant to the Master of the Ordnance to deliver to the East India Company out of the King's stores 20 lasts of good and serviceable gunpowder fit for long voyages on their delivery of the like quantity of good powder fit for shorter voyages. [Docquet. Domestic, Jac. I., Cal., p. 423.]