East Indies: March 1626

Pages 166-180

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, East Indies, China and Persia, Volume 6, 1625-1629. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1884.

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March 1626

March 1–3. 265. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Complaint of Captain Browne of the bread furnished to the William; ordered that Andrews, purser, attend, and also the baker. Report of the Auditors of the receipt and deliveries of pepper, (1) 4,500 lb. of pepper delivered without money or security; ordered that the books be balanced, and accounts presented by those who receive pepper at the water side. (2) Washburne and Cowley, though honest, inadequate to their work, their accounts kept in very confused manner. (3) Owing to Treasurer Stone's death necessary to appoint some one to oversee the cash chest, Bateman being much occupied; Warner to assist Bateman in this business, and report on the amount in the chest. 35s. paid to Waters for translations from the Dutch. Desire of Armenians, who had brought over silk, to transport themselves and 50,000 ryals in the Company's ships to Surat; ordered that they appoint some one to treat with the Company Nicholas Grent to be discharged the Company's service as incompetent. John Lamprey presented a pretended submission in writing, very offensively phrased, which the Court did not accept, but required a more free submission.
March 3.—Petition of the Company to the King that he would give an audience to the Persian Ambassador, presented by the Governor; the King demanded what satisfaction should be given to Sir Robt. Sherley for the affront offered him; to which was answered "that the Persian did not acknowledge him to be an Ambassador, and would not yield to bean Ambassador, and affirmed that if he should have done less he should have been cut in pieces joint by joint at his return into Persia." His Majesty promised that the Ambassador should have audience shortly, and declared his intention of sending Sir Robert as a private gentleman into Persia to justify himself, and one with him of his Majesty's own servants. The Persian Ambassador, hearing this, was very joyful that his Majesty had promised him audience. Buying of cloth again respited till after the Ambassador's audience. A Minister to be sent to Lagundy. Fotherby and Bostock to pay 18s. per acre to the Commissioners of Sewers for tax on land. Concerning the affairs of Dorrell, suitor for the estate of Henry Dorrell, factor in Persia, deceased; Henry Dorrell had engaged in private trade contrary to agreement, and certain of the Company's ryalls, sent out during his residence in Persia, were missing, deferred for further consideration. Complaint of bread; light loaves produced in Court; a baker at Gravesend to supply the ships at Erith. 6 pp. [Ct. Min. Bk. VIII. 294–300.]
March 4.
266. Commission from the President and Council of Surat to Captains John Weddell and Charles Clevenger, at their setting sail for England in the Royal James and Jonas. 1. Have laden the Royal James and the Jonas for the account of the East India Company, and fitted the Royal Anne, Falcon and Spy with provisions necessary for prosecution of their particular designs, for the better defence of ships and goods against our awaiting enemy the Portugals, and have determined that all of them shall jointly proceed in company from this port. 2. Therefore to Capt. John Weddell is assigned the chief command over the James and Jonas during their voyage to England, also over the Anne, Falcon, and Spy until dispeeded towards their several ports, secluding only from his government Robert Younge and Wm. Hoare, Cape merchants in the James and Jonas. 3. The captains to dispeed hence with the first opportunity. 4. The Portuguese hover upon this coast with seven able galleons of war, and will await the passing of such ships as usually at this season depart this port; so must use circumspection, that they be not assaulted unprovided. 5. The Anne and Falcon are ordered by Commission, the Anne for Jaccatra, the Falcon for Musulipatam. 6. The Spy is also employed upon this design and the success of her voyage may mainly import the safety of our next fleet; the Commanders will therefore bend their endeavours to set her in such a course that she may obtain the port of Augustine Bay upon the island of St. Lawrence, as also the several isles of Comoro, to meet with or leave letters for the expected fleet from England. 7. To remember the dangerous increase of pirates and other men-of-war, and keep the James and Jonas ready at all Limes to withstand any assaults, especially in places they shall put in at for refreshing or watering. 8. The ships to keep company and agree aforehand, in case of reparation, upon some convenient and secure place to recruit themselves. 9. If Capt. Weddell, chief commander, decease, then Capt. Chas. Clevenger is to succeed, and Bartholomew Goodall to be master in the Jonas. But if Capt. Chas. Clevenger also decease, the Council to have power to elect some sufficient and approved man for command. 10. In all difficult and important causes Capt. John Weddell, Capt. Charles Clevenger, Robt. Younge, Wm. Hoare, Bartholomew Goodall, Rd. Swanley, Wm. Eaten, and Hy. Wheatley are ordained to be of council, and have ruling voices; the last nominated to be also registrar of councils; and Eustace Man, Gregory Clement, Jos. Wills. Robt. Hawley, and John Phelps are to be conjoined while in company; in case of equality Capt. Weddell to have a casting voice. Signed by Thos. Kerridge, Richard Wylde, Wm. Heare, and Wm. Martin. 3 pp. [O.C., Vol. XI., No. 1218.]
March 4.
267. Directions and instructions from the President and Council of Surat to John Phelps, master in the Spy. His present employment is to meet with this year's expected fleet from England. To sail with Capt. Weddell and his fleet and to keep them company until licensed by him and his Council to depart, then to bend his course about the north end of St. Lawrence Island and thence to the Bay of Augustine, where, if he find any English ships, he shall deliver to the Commander our advices; but as their touching at that place is uncertain, not to stay longer than to refresh his people and fit his vessel, and leave letters with two men of that place. Next to address himself to the four Comoro Islands, and visit each successively, and leave letters to advertise his purpose of residence at Mohilla. Being joined with "our other friends from England," to surrender himself to the Commander of that fleet, and with that fleet apply himself for Surat and attend our further order. To entertain aboard his vessel two Dutchmen who have advices for their ships likewise expected out of Europe. 1 p. [O.C., Vol. XI., No. 1219.]
March 4. 268. "Copy of advice sent by the pinnace Spy to all the Dutch and English ships to consort together and where to find each other." [Endorsed] Signed by Thos. Kerridge, Rich. Wylde, Wm. Martin and Governor Speult, Pieter Vanderbrooke and Fistienss. 1 p. [O.C., Vol. XI., No. 1220.]
March 4.
269. Commission from the President and Council of Surat to Joseph Wills. The factors at Masulipatam having provided goods, which by the Rose's disaster remain untransported, the Falcon is appointed to supply their occasions. To sail from Swally in company with Capt. Weddell and his fleet, directly to the port of Masulipatam. Nevertheless power is given to him to chase and surprise any vessels belonging to any ports under the Portuguese Government, or pertaining to the ports of Choul or Dabul that have not our pass. All seized goods to be left at Masulipatam if required by the factors, but prisoners, both Portuguese and Moors, to be carried to Batavia, to the President and Council. To follow the factors' directions for the lading of goods for Batavia, and arrived there, to resign himself, his ship and his men to the English President and Council, and attend their orders. Power to command and punish, as is usual by immediate commision from England, excepting only the person of Hawley, merchant, who is wholly exempted from his command, and who, with the chief mate and purser, are to be of his council. Signed by Thos. Kerridge, Richd. Wylde, Wm. Martin, and William Hoare. 2 pp. [O.C., Vol. XI., No. 1221.]
March 4.
270. Commission from the President and Council of Surat to Eustace Mann, Master of the Anne, 800 tons. Appoint him Commander of said ship from the time Capt. Weddell shall license his separation from his fleet, with power of punishment, excepting only the person of Clement, merchant, who is wholly exempted from his command. To direct the speediest course to Jacatra, now called Batavia, and there to resign himself, his ship, and men to the English President and Council. Similar powers to seize vessels as given to Joseph Wills [in preceding abstract]. Directions for refitting his ship, after his arrival at Batavia, so as thereby to prevent one main cause of the Lion's late unhappy disaster. In case of his decease Darby to succeed to his command thereto belonging. All matters of importance to be determined by Eustace Mann, Clement, Darby, and Thos. Joyce, appointed his council. Signed as above.pp. [O.C. Vol. XI., No. 1222.]
March 4.
271. Robert Young to John Banggam at Lahore. Entreats Banggam to keep for him all things left in his hands by John Willoughby. Banggam's brother is at Batavia. The fleet is within four days of setting sail. Willoughby and Hoare go home with himself and Crispine. Wishes Goodwin to invest the money owing to Young in some good commodity and send it next year. 1 p. [O.C., Vol. XI., No. 1223.]
[Batavia.] 272. "A brief relation of divers wrongs and injuries done unto me [John Bowlter] by Mr. George Muschamp." That Muschamp by a false transport charged him to be indebted to the honourable Company, and hath borne out Vernworthy in dishonest proceedings against him, falsely pretending to have done it all in the honourable Company's behalf. That Vernworthy struck him in prison, broke up his chamber door 14 days before Batavia was besieged, and before that confessed to John Darrell that he had in his custody 1,800 or 2,000 ryals of eight belonging to Bowlter to clear an account in which Bowlter was indebted to Muschamp. That he was sent aboard the London afore the mast, not to be admitted to go on shore, but about a month after went on shore; whereupon Vernworthy sent a warrant by Capt. Latch to seize and put him in the stocks in a public place where many of the heathens came to take view of him. 1¼ pp. [O.C., Vol. XI., No. 1224.]
March 6. 273. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Inquiry to be made of Alderman Gore, formerly master of Henry Dorrell, as to his estate, he having 700l. due to him although he lived but a small time in the Indies in the Company's service. Nicholas Grent re-admitted to his place of steward's mate in the Discovery. Bequest of Capt. Browne about provisions; as there are now 200 men aboard instead of 160, ordered that he have a sixth part more than is already provided. Robert Ellerton, who had petitioned the King that the Court allow him wages, which was referred to Sir Henry Marten, who is of opinion he ought to have wages; to be paid the same. Steele's manner of employment to be considered next Court. 1½ pp. [Ct. Min. Bk. VIII. 300–302.]
[March.] 274. Shah Abbas, King of Persia, to King James. Prays God so to continue the Kingdom of England to his Majesty and his seed that no secret be hidden to the prejudice of either, and that he may reign over all kings, princes, and people of Christendom. Thanks God for the love and friendship betwixt them, which has appeared by his Majesty's letters, "since it was never known in any succession that there was so much love and friendship found by any Christian Prince with our Court." Has sent the Lord Nagdi Bey [Nukud Aly Beg] to desire nothing but his Majesty's love, and that he would command his merchants and all his people to come freely into his country to buy or sell or do what they please, and none should dare to force any bargain upon them. Prays God that their amity may daily increase, their friends be joyful and glad, and their enemies blind. Desires his Majesty to write what occasions he may have to command his service in any part of his kingdom, and prays God to keep his Majesty in his shadow. Mem. "The King's name is Shaw Abbass, and is in the character or seal which is stamped on the back side, somewhat low, under part of the writing which they say is for more respect. The King useth to wear a small ring upon his finger with a seal wherein his name is also imprinted. With this ring he sealeth all letters that pass his own hand." Endorsed, "The Persian's letter interpreted. Received March 1625 and 1626. Copy of a letter from the King of Persia to his Majesty." 2½ pp. [East Indies, Vol. IV., No. 3.]
March 7.
275. John Chamberlain to Sir Dudley Carleton, Ambassador at the French Court. A Persian Ambassador [Nukud Aly Beg] had audience yesterday, and should have had it a fortnight since but for an accident twixt him and Sir Robert Sherley, who coming to visit him with the Earl of Cleveland and others, after some few words the Persians fell upon him in barbarous fashion, and so beat him that he had almost worried him. The reason of this outrage he says to be that he is an impostor and abuses his Prince's name. How it will fall out they will see, but most of the courtiers favour Sir Robert. Extract [Dom., Chas. I., Vol. XXII., No. 40, Cal., p. 273].
March ? 276. "Instructions for a letter to the King of Persia." To take knowledge to the King that Sir Robert Sherley, having been formerly his Ambassador, and coming lately with a Commission from him, his Majesty has received him as an Ambassador. To take knowledge of his person to be of a noble and ancient family. That he made propositions for the mutual good of both Kings and people, which are to be particularly expressed. That whilst these were treating, arrived another Ambassador who disavows Sir Robert. That Sir Robert going with principal noblemen of this kingdom to show him his commission, he tore it and struck Sir Robert; which demeanour could not have been passed over but for respect to the King of Persia. That his Majesty finding so strange a contradiction has sent Mr. Cotton, a gentleman of his chamber, to that King, to give his Majesty information of the truth thereof. That that King would give Mr. Cotton credence in what he shall propound, and rest assured that his Majesty will ratify what shall be concluded by him. 1 p. Printed in The Sherley Brothers, p. 96. [East Indies, Vol. IV., No. 4.]
March 8–22. 277. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Request of Raphe Gore concerning his account for cloves. The Committee of the warehouses to examine this business. The bulk of the Star to be broken tomorrow; to be brought up to Blackwall to be unladen and the Committees to take their turns in order as at the unlading of the last ships. Information by Garway that a hoy laden with goods from the Star belonging to Wilson, a surgeon, was come into the Custom House; motion made that a warehouse with a lock and two keys might be appointed to Jay in private men's goods, the Company to keep one key and the Farmers the other, to which Garway gave consent. Concerning the entertainment of Lewis Williams as a Minister at Lagundy; that he was inclined to drink appeared to be a mere supposition grounded upon suspicion only, resolved to entertain him for three years at 50l. per annum, but if the climate agreed with him to remain five years, also that he preach before the Court next Sunday afternoon at St. Helen's, his text to be 107 Psalm, verses 22 and 23. The Committees for the dispatch of the several ships entreated to use their best diligence to dispeed them away. Blunt's complaint of room to dry wet pepper; the staplers and others willing to accommodate the Company with warehouses in Leadenhall. Concerning a Master for the Expedition; Jesson had been treated with but refused the Company's offer; Andrew Warden, Master's mate in the William, also nominated; resolution suspended till Bell again speak with Jesson. The complement of 200 cloths to be made up; the Committees for this business complained of jealousies and aspersions against them, and that a clothworker had been joined with them; answered that there was no jealousy or distrust of them, but Howes was nominated to assist only as a servant for the more speedy making up the complement. The ships for Surat to receive imprest as fast as may be. Ordered that the Secretary's bill of charges be allowed.
March 10.—Concerning Henry Dorrell's estate; at the time of his coming into the Company's service it was not worth above 40l.; more pregnant proof must be furnished; his brother was entreated to have patience for a fortnight Motion made to have the Persian Ambassador sounded afar of how he intended to dispose of his silks, and that he and the merchant might be spoken withal concerning the freight and custom for the same; but it was advised to let this business rest for awhile. Report by the Governor that the King is resolved to send Sir Robert Sherley back into Persia, from which great danger is to be apprehended to the Company's servants and estates there, he being so exceedingly exasperated against them by reason of their refusal of his propositions and the late affront given by the Persian Ambassador, which Sherley unjustly conceives to have been through their means; the King also expects the Company to bear the charges of sending over Sir Robert and with him Mr. Cotton of his Majesty's Privy Chamber; some of opinion that this business desired the direction of a General Court, others advised to give over the Persian trade; but it was resolved to present a petition to his Majesty showing the reasons and inconveniences to the Company, and imploring him not to send Sir Robert to Persia, or at least not to qualify him in any sort, and a Committee was appointed to digest said reasons into the form of a petition. Ordered that Edward Heynes be paid 200l. or thereabouts, due to him. An agreement to be made with the Duke concerning his fee for the cable and anchor of the Moon, 100 marks to be offered for them, and a gratification of 50l. to be given to Sir John Hippisley for his many favours. Sherburne, the secretary to have 30l. imprest unto him for fees and other charges in passing under the great seal his Majesty's licence for the transportation of 30,000l. in gold, and 10l. to be given to the Attorney-General for his fee in drawing said bill for his Majesty's signature. Complaint against Richard Andrews, purser of the William, for negligence in not giving attendance about said ship, who being demanded the reason of his remissness gave such peremptory and saucy language as the Court held him altogether unfit for their service, and thereupon absolutely dismissed him of said employment.
March 13.—Wm. Garway to provide 8 or 10 tons of greenish refined brimstone for the powder mill. Satins and velvets to be inspected by the Persian Ambassador at his own request to see if he would buy them. John Hunter admitted purser to the William in the place of Richard Andrews. Ordered that Malabar pepper be supplied to those who have warrants at 20d. per lb. Upon his Majesty's answer to the Company's petition, the Court entered into consideration whether it was fit to proceed with the trade of Persia or not, and being divided in opinions, the business was left until Wednesday. John Antill entertained a factor for 7 years and to be bound either to Mr. Governor or Deputy Governor to the end he may be made a freeman of London. Offer of Sorocold of certain rubies belonging to Hills of Deptford; to bring them on Wednesday next. 200 or 300 lb. of brimstone and two ton of lemon water to be provided. About a bargain of saltpetre. Committee appointed to confer with the Persian Ambassador to know what particular instructions he hath from the King of Persia about the trade of Persia. Answer of his Majesty to the Company's petition as to Sir Robt. Sherley; that his resolution was constant to send him into Persia, "for he coming into England as an Ambassador, and being received by his Majesty in that condition, he conceives lesser favour cannot be afforded him than to return him thither to clear his honour;" but to qualify him or to give him the least power over the Company's servants or goods, or to negotiate anything of their affairs, his Majesty promised he would never do it, and he expected the Company to be at no charge for Sir Robert save for his passage only.
March 15.—Ordered that 40s. be paid to Rich. Williams, who attends the Persian Ambassador as interpreter. 50 or 60 barrels of gunpowder from beyond seas, with fit proportion of saltpetre, to be provided. The surgeon's chest to be viewed and sent aboard; the fleet to be laden with all speed. Offer of Geo. Long to sell certain rubies for 500l., but the Court would not enlarge further than 300l., which he utterly refused. Desire of the Governor that divers of the Committees would be more wary of what they speak concerning the Persian trade, seeing it is the resolution of the Company to proceed therein; for translating the Persian letters Styles and Bell were entreated to attend Secretary Coke, and take with them the son of the Persian merchant who can read the letters, and Mr. Hutchinson and Richard Williams as interpreters; and for the obtaining of a day for the meeting of the Lords Commissioners, whom his Majesty hath nominated to hear the Ambassador's propositions, the Company's secretary was required to attend the Lord President. The Governor, wishing to have the opinion of the Court as to the calling of a General Court to acquaint them with what the King requires, resolved that it be forborne until after conference first had with the Louis. Gratuity to Sir John Hippisley resolved upon at the last Court to be enlarged to 100 marks; also gratuity of 100 marks to the Duke of Buckingham for his fee for the cable and anchor of the Moon. The officers of the Custom House demand a bond for 10,000l. of the Persian Ambassador for the employing of moneys arising from his silks, which is conceived not fit to be demanded of an Ambassador, but only of strangers; the Court commanded their secretary to attend the Lord Treasurer and obtain letters in favour of the Ambassador. Consideration of the case of John Lamprier, who made his humble submission; for example's sake a fine of 40l. was imposed upon him, though the Court intended not to demand the same. Ordered that Thomas Rastell be allowed 10 per cent, interest on his wages, according to the orders of December 15th and 22nd. Gold and silver for this fleet to be shipped before the 25th of this month; the six chests of ryals for the Morris to be sent down tomorrow. Concerning warrants for pepper taken out by George Franklin and others.
March 17.—There being great want of men aboard the ships, resolved to ship as many seamen as could be had first and to supply the complement with landsmen. Clistow, the baker, dismissed the Company's service; to take as much bread of Greenaway as may be had and divide it proportionably among the ships, the remainder to be supplied by Clistow's bad bread, time being too short to provide other bread. Sir John Wolstenholme to be moved for the discharge of Davies, master's mate of the Discovery, imprested to serve the King. Resolved that those men who run away after entertainment be prosecuted, and a general warrant be procured to search any ship for such men. Barker propounded for a factor; he demanded 250l. per annum, but was offered 50l. per annum.
March 20.—Ordered that Hutchinson receive 100l. on account of his wages. Request of Capt. Andrews for indigo and pepper to transport. Committee appointed to attend the Lords Committees with Sherburne to confer with the Persian Ambassador. Concerning Ralph Gore's account for cloves. Concerning a renewed complaint of certain mariners taken by the Dutch for restitution of losses sustained. Committee appointed to attend the Lords Committee of the Upper House. About the purchase of Irish beef and hogshead staves. Letter read by the Lord Chamberlain recommending Mr. Cotton as Ambassador for Persia; debate whether it were necessary to send an Ambassador thither left for further consideration. Ordered that the Lords be moved for an Act of Council concerning the sending of Sir R. Sherley and Mr. Cotton, Sec. Coke's signification of the King's pleasure being read and not being conceived sufficient warrant.
March 22.—Complaint by the wife of Giles Shepherd, a porter, against two of the Company's servants who refused to help to apprehend a man who under colour of carrying out a basket of chips from the yard at Blackwall secretly conveyed 11 pieces of pork; Shepherd was commended for his care and diligence, and being persuaded that this is not the first time the Company has been abused by such subtle and crafty tricks and devices, ordered that all the parties concerned attend the Court on Friday next. Important business before the Sub-Committees of the Lower House of Parliament as to 22,000l. paid by the Company to the late King and the Duke of Buckingham partly in satisfaction of their claim for a tenth of the reprisals taken by the Company from the Portuguese in the Indies, and partly for release of the Company's ships stayed in the river by the Duke of Buckingham's order in March 1623–4. The Committee, not fully satisfied with their inquiry, required the Company to produce the minutes of certain Courts which had not been registered, and also the King's and Duke's acquittances for the receipt of the 22,000l., on Thursday next. Hence two questions, (1.) Should the Company consent to produce these documents? which was decided affirmatively, "the Parliament being of such a commanding power as is not fit to be resisted or dallied with"; (2.) What answer should be given if the Parliamentary Committee should ask the reason why these minutes were not registered? Decided to make answer that they" did relate many private passages between his late Majesty, the Duke of Buckingham, and the Company," and, since the Court books are liable to be perused by divers and sundry persons who are no sworn officers or servants of the Company, and therefore unfit to have knowledge of particulars of so high a nature, it was thought best to separate these minutes from the rest and to bundle them up apart and keep them safely in a box by themselves. [See Nicholas' notes, No. 324]. Letter read from Bartholomew Churchman, late master of the Moon, prisoner in Dover Castle, praying for his release and complaining against John Hunter, Oliver Straught, and others, referred for consideration. 24½ pp. [Ct. Min. Bk. VIII. 302–327.]
March 22.
The Hague.
278. Dudley Carleton to Sec. Lord Conway. The Persian Ambassador had audience last week, but only performed compliments and giving thanks for the assistance his master had from the subjects of the States at the taking of Ormuz. He has brought a present of cloth of gold, Turkey carpets, and other Persian rarities, not valued above 700l., which he has presented to this Prince in his brother's stead for whom it was designed. [Extract, Corresp. Holland.]
March ? 279. Sir Robert Sherley to (Sec. Lord Conway). Hearty thanks for his Lordship's favours, who knows that at his first coming his Majesty promised he should have nothing to do with the merchants, but be dispatched in all things immediately from himself as being sent Ambassador from a King to a King. Yet since it has now pleased his Majesty to command the merchants to pay him some part of that allowance his Majesty vouchsafed him, to the end his Lordship may know how it is to be bestowed in redeeming his wife's jewels, sends list of those empawned for his own necessities, and entreats a continuance of his Lordship's favour for his speedy despatch. Incloses,
279. I. Note of his debts, viz.:—1,330l. for jewels pawned with, interest. Rent and household necessaries. 569l., gold lace, tailor, &c. total 1,899l. Besides which he brought in ready money 1,400l. Has received of his Majesty 1,040l., and there is yet due 3,360l. His Lordship knows his long stay has not been his own work, for he and his friends have laboured without cease for his dispatch. Together, 2½ pp. Printed in The Sherley Brothers, pp. 92–3. [East Indies, Vol. IV., Nos. 5, 51.]
March 24. 280. Court Minutes of the East India Company. I. The Governor propounded to the Court two things of great importance; 1. To know how far they will accommodate the motion made by his Majesty for 2,000l. demanded of them for payment of Sir Robert Sherley's debts; in which, after small debate, being relished so ill, it was concluded to pay none of his debts, and to be at no other charge with him than only for the transportion of him, his wife, and servants into Persia, all which are not to exceed the number of six persons. 2. Whether, in regard his Majesty hath resolved to send Mr. Cotton with Sir Robert, they shall accept of Mr. Cotton's offer of his service in negotiating their affairs with the King of Persia; which question was disputed of at large, some being of opinion that the King of Persia looks to have an Ambassador, and that for that purpose it may be profitable to entertain Mr. Cotton, otherwise, if the King of Persia should be neglected in this kind, it might endanger the whole overthrow of the trade and cast it upon the Dutch; to which was answered, that as much may be done by letter from his Majesty as can be expected from Mr. Cotton, who is inexperienced in merchants' affairs, and may be well excepted against in regard to the familiarity that is between him and Sir Robert Sherley; and that, if the charge of another Ambassador from home should be imposed upon them, the stock which they now send out would be drunk up. It was for these and many other reasons agreed in no sort to qualify or entertain Mr. Cotton, but only according to their promise made to his Majesty to carry him as a private gentleman. Mr. Cotton, understanding this answer, but expecting another, made reply that he conceived by the discourse he had had with the Governor and other the Committees the last night that they had embraced and entertained his free offer, for he had related to his Majesty what had passed, which he liked well, and that they shall find him an honest man, and doubt not but his service shall be useful unto them. The Court made answer that he did not well in acquainting his Majesty what had passed only by way of conference between a few of the committees and him, for, had they promised what he desired, yet they could not bind without a full Court; that for his honesty and sufficiency they have no cause of exception against either, but they hold it wisdom to avoid all needless expenses, especially in this case of an Ambassador, it being well remembered that the charges occasioned by an Ambassador had quite eaten out a brave and hopeful trade in Muscovy. Mr. Cotton then withdrew, protesting if the Company should be pleased to make trial of him they should find him faithful and honest. Ten tons of alum remaining in the warehouse to be sold. The Secretary commanded to inform the Lord President that the Governor was ready to attend him with the answer of the Court concerning the 2,000l. demanded for Sir Robert Sherley. Resolved, that a General Court be warned against Tuesday next. Complaint of John Grant, master's mate of the Star, and of John Sallus, the boatswain, against Rowe, the master; a surgeon named Wilson had also complained against him and against Daniel White, the purser. William Price entertained for seven years, the first two years to serve in the counting house, and then as under factor in the Indies. 5 pp. [Ct. Min. Bk. VIII., 327–332.]
March 25.
281. Edward Misselden to (Sec. Sir John Coke). Has received his honour's with his Majesty's letters to the States General inclosed [see ante, No. 263], and in the want of an Ambassador presented them himself. Concerning Coen and the other affairs of the East India Company his Majesty's letters came, in articulo temporis, even when the Bewinthebbers were consulting with the Provincial States of Holland how to evade the prohibition of the States General concerning Coen. In the multifarious government of this State it is hard to judge whether the summum imperium is in the States General or in the Assemblies Provincial, for the States General will never resolve anything concerning the Provinces without their consent, and as the Provincial assemblies consist of merchants and others deputed from the towns, it cannot be strange that things are so hard to be had when you are to seek what you want from your adversary. His Majesty's letters were referred by the States General to the Provisional Assembly of Holland, which it most concerned, so that after many audiences with the States General, who are well versed in the precept to be swift to hear but slow to speak, they answered that for Coen there is hitherto no alteration of what they have done, and therefore no cause of complaint, and for the other things, concerning the Amboyna business, they hope to do what will be satisfactory to his Majesty. Quotes Grotius to show how impossible it is to draw anything from the States General without the consent of those it concerns, by which means this people perpetually get ground of all kingdoms round in matters of commerce, for merchants being at the helm merchandise is here accounted a matter of State, yet they have taught us so ill to distinguish between matters of State and trade, as if matters of trade were not matters of State, for no kingdom can subsist without trade. Of all our trades those of the Merchant Adventurers and East India Company are the chiefest, and both are like to be swallowed up by this people; and he knows no better remedy than to press on this State the violation of the Treaty without satisfaction be given in these things; for without his Majesty's aid this people cannot subsist, and will they have his Majesty hold up those by the chin that would rob him of the chief trades of his kingdom? If, therefore, his Majesty will think him worthy to have a copy of the last Treaties, and in his name to press the States, there may be some hope of redress in these great abuses, for the reformation of which both his Majesty's honour and his people's welfare implore his constant pursuit. The Persian Ambassador had audience 10 days ago, being fetched by the Prince of Orange with 50 or 60 coaches. He presented his letters to the Prince, who directed him to the then President of the States, which he could not be made to understand. It fell out that the letter being written in the court style none but the Ambassador could read it, and they have been forced to use the help of some Jews of Amsterdam to translate it; it is only about trade, yet in very high and lofty language, and the general opinion is that that King takes this course to pry into the trades, customs, and means of Christendom and the state of its kings and princes. At Amsterdam the Ambassador was entertained at the East India merchants' charge, and at the Hague at that of the States. Is sorry to hear that this Ambassador got knowledge of the offering of his Majesty's jewels to the town of Amsterdam, and having just cause to suspect this also to be another East India scorn put on his Majesty, he challenged some of the chief of that college, who protested that the Ambassador was told by some Jews of Amsterdam. It were a great honour to his Majesty to command the return of those jewels, which give occasion to ill willers to speak dishonourably of our King and kingdom. [Extract, Holland Corresp.]
March 28. 282. Court Minutes of the East India Company. John Barker entertained an under factor for five years at 50l. per annum. Ordered that the coral and cloth left out of the William be put aboard the Morris, and that the purser of the William make an exact note of all commodities shipped by the mariners. Report of Mr. Governor that Mr. Cotton had been pressing his suit for 2,000l. for Sir Robt. Sherley, but the Governor had dealt plainly with him, and told him he need not trouble himself about that business for that the Governor had given satisfaction to the Lords therein; also let Mr. Cotton understand that he had long laboured to be the Company's Ambassador in Persia, having offered their late Secretary Bacon a year since 100l. to effect the same; upon this discovery the Governor said it was not likely the Company would be further troubled with Mr. Cotton's suit, for he let fall that so long as he had hope to be the Company's Ambassador, he had a stomach to the journey, but being rejected is not now so forward to undertake so long and tedious a voyage. The Governor had also informed Lord Conway of the resolution of the Court to pay no part of the said 2,000l.; but, seeing his Majesty doth expect payment thereof, his Lordship advised to refer the matter to the General Court this afternoon. Leatt and Harby entreated to attend the Lords Committees of the Upper House to answer the complaints of mariners taken by the Dutch and of Capt. Blagden. Report of the Governor upon the business for the General Court. Ordered that the Morris go with the Surat fleet, and make certain changes in the lading of the ships if they overtake the Exchange and Christopher. About purchase of indigo. The youths and landsmen in this fleet to be at Surat transported into the ships designed for Lagundy. Resolved to melt the Dutch ridars, and to send the other gold consisting of "sultanees, hungars, ducats, double pistolets and Barbary gold in their proper species into the Indies.
March 28.—Minutes of a General Court. The Governor acquainted the generality that the Anne, so long given for lost, is safely arrived at Mocha, in the Red Sea, but with the loss of all her men save 40 English and some few blacks; she hath there sold a good part of her lading of pepper at 30 per cent. profit. That the Star is arrived from Surat with a cargo worth 40,000l., but that a division in money must not be expected upon this return because of the great charges of setting forth their intended fleet, yet they will have a division in stock at home which is all one in effect. He further declared that an unavoidable charge fell on the Company by reason of the Persian Ambassador brought hither in the Star; but it is hoped that charge will not continue long, by reason that their Surat fleet is almost ready to depart, in which he may have his passage home. The ships have been delayed 10 or 12 days by contrary winds. The Governor then remembered the rumour spread abroad that there is great want of stock in the Indies, which he knows is without ground, and about which he gave explanations, and desired the generality not to give credit to such buzzing and flying reports. Then as to the business of Sir Robert Sherley, which hath occasioned the Governor and Committees much trouble and pains, the King is resolved to send him to Persia to clear his honour, and with him Mr. Cotton, to return his Majesty the certainty whether Sir Robert be an imposter or a true ambassador; and his Majesty hath required the Company to carry them in their ships, which command was three several times so constantly denied as his Majesty began to be offended, protesting they should go, and if he could spare a ship of his own he would not be beholden to the Company for so small a favour; they therefore promised to accommodate his Majesty's request, so as he would be pleased to assure the Company that neither of them should be qualified as his Ambassador which his Majesty vouchsafed to grant. Further his Majesty demands that the Company shall supply Sir Robert Sherley with money towards the payment of his debts, requiring at first 800l. or 400l., but now 2,000l. for which the Company was offered his Majesty's privy seal for their repayment if Sir Robert proved not a true Ambassador, concerning which the Governor required the resolution of the generality. Against which one of the generality alleged the Company's inability and that Sir Robert had been rather their enemy than their friend; another added that it is not long since 22,000l. was forced from the Company, and it the State shall continue to put such burthens upon them, it were better to divide while there is something left, and surcease the trade, others alleged that the stock is at an end, that they are now upon a losing trade for 100l. after eight years payment is not now worth above 80l.; that the money belongs to orphans and other poor people who lie in prison for debt, moreover that the Company are themselves indebted 200,000l., and that it were more conscience to pay their own than Sir Robert Sherley's debts. Mr. Governor being then pressed to put it to the question framed it in this manner, "As many of you as shall think fit upon his Majesty's command to allow, give, or lend upon privy seal or otherwise anything towards the payment of Sir Robert Sherley's debts hold upon your hands" the which by a general consent and erection of hands was utterly denied. 8½ pp. [Ct. Min. Bk. VIII., 333–341.]
March. 28. 283. "Reasons delivered by the generality of the East India Company at a General Court held the 28th March 1626 why they do not condescend to lend to Sir Robert Sherley 2,000l. as they are commanded." He had done the Company no service, but was their enemy; rather to move the King to bear the Persian Ambassador's house keeping than the Company to pay Sir Robert Sherley's debts; better to divide the stock to the adventurers while there is something left; rather to lay the patent at his Majesty's feet, and be suitors to surcease the trade; more reason to give the money to those not able to make good their payments to the Company, the money belonging to widows, orphans, and poor men in prison for debt who have more cause to be relieved; the Company 200,000l. in debt at interest and not in case to lend on privy seals, but rather to pay their own debts, lest they should be in the state of the Muscovy Company; after eight years forbearance of so great a stock through so many dangers, every 100l. is not now worth 80l., which has undone many adventurers. Endorsed, "Reasons given by the East India Company of their refusal to lend Sir Robert Sherley 2,000l." 28th March 1626. 1 p. Mutilated [East Indies, Vol. IV., No. 6.]
March 28, 29. 284. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Committee appointed to acquaint Lord Conway and Secretary Coke with the resolution of the generality absolutely to deny the demand of 2,000l. for Sir Robert Sherley's debts. Ordered that Venn accept of the parcel of foreign gold offered to him. Warner desired to assist Treasurer Bateman in regard of his indisposition and weakness of body.
March 29.—Stroud appointed to provide knives. Examination of complaints against Rowe and White, master and purser of the Star, for drunkenness, being exceeding lavish of powder and shot in drunken humours, and transactions with the Dutch, all which were absolutely denied; said complaints to be put in writing. Examination of William Plant, accused of stealing beef and pork; those who refused to assist Shepherd in apprehending the thief blamed exceedingly. Ordered to take all gold Venn can procure to be sent in this fleet, so as he do not proceed above a penny an ounce over the ordinary price. Kirby and Spurstowe entreated to go down to Gravesend to dispeed away the ships. Complaint against William Heath, purser's mate of the Discovery. 4½ pp. [Ct. Min. Bk. VIII., 341–346.]
March 31. 285. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Six chests of coral come home in the Globe to be put abroad the ships now bound for Surat; the Deputy and Styles find the price for indigo too dear for them to buy. Purple cloths to be bought for Persia, and trumpets to be provided for the Discovery to train up young men. Complaint against Capt. Browne for negligence; resolved that the masters be conditioned with to give better attendance aboard; Capt. Browne allowed three months imprest. Committee to go down this afternoon to Gravesend to begin the work of dispeeding away the ships. Burt to succeed Barker as prime factor in Persia who wishes to come home; two thirds of his wages to rest in the Company's hands at 7 per cent. interest on the principal only; he was ordered to go in the William. Part of wages imprest to John Barker, John Antill and William Price factors at their request. George Baker entertained a factor at 40l. the first year and 10l. rising yearly for 7 years. The Morris to be dispeeded into the Downs there to await the coining of the other ships. Tobacco to be provided for the fleet; the mariners to pay 12d. for that which cost the Company 6d., and the purser to bring no other men's tobacco to account until the Company's be first sold. Ordered that Roger Gifford receive his wages. Sambrooke paid in 71l. deducted from the purser's accounts in the last fleet for poundage; 11l. to be put into the poor box, the remainder to be delivered to Treasurer Bateman, to keep apart towards the building of an hospital formerly propounded. 4 pp. [Ct. Min. Bk. VIII. 346–350.]