East Indies: March 1627

Pages 327-337

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 1627

March 2–5. 414. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Concerning John Holloway's pepper. Messrs. Phips and Denton, suitors for indigo and calicoes bought of private traders and stayed by the Company, answered if they would pay freight they should have them, which they utterly refused. Instructions sent to the factors at Surat concerning the abuses and errors in their accounts. Gratuity of 10l. to Mr. Trumbull for his pains in expediting and drawing an order and writing six letters from the Lords to the Commanders and Factors concerning Sir Dodmore Cotton and Sir Robert Sherley. Request of Mahomet, the Persian merchants son, that the gravestone he had bought for his father's tomb be paid for, the accounts to be perused, and whatever was not already satisfied to be paid. The (Persian) Ambassador to be desired to prepare for departure on Thursday or Monday next, and in regard he expects to be attended in some good fashion seven Committees are nominated and entreated to accompany him to the Downs, which they promised accordingly. By reason of transporting the three Ambassadors with their followers and provisions the ships are so pestered, that many stores must fain be left behind, so it was resolved to hire or buy a barque of about 60 tons to attend the fleet to Land's End, by which time so much provision would be spent as would give room to take in what is laden in the barque. Information that the Ambassador intended to carry along with him to Persia that lewd strumpet whom he had so long kept in his house, and being persuaded that it would not only be dishonourable for the Company to give way thereto, but that God would not bless the voyage if they should consent to such wickedness, it was concluded absolutely to oppose and protest against it, and lest she should be conveyed into the ship in disguise, special order to be given to the officers of the ship to look carefully to the Ambassador's followers, and if she comes disguised to deny her admittance. Petition of Benedict Hixon for recompense for a cable and anchor from his barque the Abigail, lost in the river by fouling the Jonas; conceiving it impossible that a cable and anchor could be lost in the river if searched for in time, he was referred to the Trinity House to judge whether the Company was bound to be answerable for his negligence. Request of the Lord Mayor for two bags of garbled pepper more out of his complement for provision of his house, granted. Ordered that Alderman Cotton and others who had not taken out their capital in pepper last year may take it out next year if any division be then made.
March 5. Mr. Leatt to have liberty to adventure to the Indies a buckle of gold set with rubies, and to be allowed 58. 6d. per ryal for the sale of it, but not to return any commodities for his own account. The Earl of Bristol to have leave to adventure a pearl valued at 500l., with the like allowance. Information of a good store of money in the French ships, which would supply the Company's want of money to be sent in these ships; Clement Harby, a commissioner for sale of goods in the French ships, was requested to try whether any ryals or dollars might be had in specie. Mr. Edesforth of Canterbury, imprisoned in the Marshalsea for refusing to pay 18l. for pepper he had bought when the Moon was cast away at Dover, having sent 10l. and pretending inability to pay more, the Court unwilling to pursue the uttermost against any man were content to receive it and discharge him. Concerning the cloths provided for the Persian merchant's account. Gratuity of 20l. to Mr. Massenbergh for his care and hazard in receiving and paying 11,000l. for the King of Persia with the consent of the Ambassador. A barque to be bought at as easy rate as might be. Letter read from the Company's factors in Persia, that the Dutch deny payment to the English of custom at Gombroon, though the sum owed was not mentioned; ordered that Mr. Ellam write overland to Persia requiring particular advice touching that point, and requiring the factors to treat with the Persian that if he would have his forces in readiness at the water side against the arrival of the English fleet the English were ordered to join with them in attempting the surprisal of Muscat, if it may be achieved in 14 days and not be prejudicial to the return of the fleet thence to Surat in due time to come for England. Bill of store of the Ambassador's remnants of cloth which he had provided to carry with him to be procured. Monday next thought a fit time for the Ambassador to go down. Declaration of Mr. Deputy that if the Persian trade be lost it would prove a dishonour to the nation and a disparagement to the present Government, was answered that the reasons for withdrawing this year had been often handled, that the season was now too far spent for any supply, nor was it their intention to quit the trade, but to pursue it afresh as soon as Persia was cleared of these Ambassadors or the Company's goods protected by the King of Persia from them. Upon consideration of the advice to be given to the factors in Persia concerning his Majesty's Ambassador, it was held safest, to prevent all pretence of consulage, to write to them that the King and the Lords had red resolved that Sir Dodmore Cotton should in no sort intermeddle with the Company's servants or goods or have any power over them, and that they do not employ him in anything for the Company, yet not wilfully to reject any good office for the advancement of trade if he should voluntarily undertake the same and his instructions lead thereto, and to use him respectfully as his Majesty's Ambassador by attending and gracing him to Court without any charge or prejudice to the Company, but by no means to make use of his service, he being sent by the King for some private affairs of his own, and not by the Company. Ordered that Mr. Sherburne ride post to Newmarket to procure his Majesty's hand to the letter to be sent to the King of Persia. Petition of Edmond Phips to the Lord Treasurer for his goods detained in the Custom House referred to the Company to show cause why they should not be delivered; Committee to attend his Lordship and remonstrate the reasons. Four propositions presented by Capt. Weddell concerning his entertainment, the remitting freight on his goods, and a debt of 80l. charged on his account. Petition of John Willoughby for gratification for his services since 1616 at the Mogul's Court at small wages; 20l. bestowed on him, he having cleared himself of all objections and not offended in private trade. Capt. Bickley having paid for freight of his goods, ordered that they be delivered to him. 10pp. [Ct. Min. Bk. IX. 448–457.]
March 5.
415. Sec. Coke to Sec. Conway. The bearer, Mr. Sherburne, brings a letter to the King of Persia from his Majesty, which the Persian Ambassador is to carry in answer to that which he brought from his master. It is the same verbatim as was prepared last year. Requests his Lordship on the Company's behalf to get it signed by his Majesty, that they may speedily dispatch their ships and ease themselves of the charge of this Ambassador. The Lord Sherley and his lady have been three or four days aboard ship and will be glad of this dispatch. 1 p. [Dom., Chas. I., Vol. LVI., No. 37, Cal. p. 80.]
March 7–12. 416. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Letter read from Capt. Hall in the Downs, relating the passage about the losing of the Star's maintop and foretopmasts in a gust, &c., and desiring allowance from the time of his entertainment till the ships entered into full pay; ordered half pay for the time mentioned. By advice of a jeweller of the true value of Lord Digby's pearl, to offer him 200l. for it or give him liberty to venture same on the conditions mentioned at last Court. The new pinnace bought since last Court to be named the Refuge. Overture of Mr. Leatt to adventure certain silver plate into the Indies; answered that if the party could get license for its transportation the Company would accept the offer. Request of Mr. Pierce, minister of St. Martin's, for payment for the church duties, both ordinary and for the winter lecture, for the Persian Ambassador's house; ordered accordingly, it being a small matter. Request of Wm. Eaton, a factor from Japan, for an end of his business, referred to the Auditors to report. Committee to inquire of Mr. Burlamachi whether the foreign coin in the French prizes on the West Country might be had. Ordered, it being too great an adventure to hazard the money and other rich goods in the barque, especially in these dangerous times, that 12 chests of fine coral and cloth of gold and tapestry be sent by cart to Sandwich, with six of their servants well armed to guard it. Report of Mr. Deputy that the Lord Treasurer had ordered that the Company's reasons be set down on Phips' petition. Report of Mr. Governor that at a conference with Lord Carleton, now going Ambassador to the Low Countries, concerning the proceedings of the Dutch, which manifestly tended to the extirpation of the English out of the Indies, his Lordship declared it would in no sort be fit for them to send Commissioners into Holland, but rather to pursue the Commission formerly promised for examination of those injuries, which though it sleep for a time yet now that M. Cattz was come it behoved them to apply to the King and Duke; ordered that a petition be drawn to the Lord Duke desiring that Cattz might not obtain longer time for the Amboyna (never to be forgotten) cruelty, and that by his Grace's mediation the Commission desired might be granted. Information of Woodall and Ralph Harris, surgeon of the Mary, that red wine was very useful and "physical" for men sick of the flux; ordered that 3 hhds. be bought and sent to the Downs. As to the wasteful expense of provisions laid in for sick men, ordered that the surgeon of each ship have a note of such provisions and keep account of their expense, and advise the Company of any disorder. Gratuity of 20s. out of the poor box to John Hebbs, hurt in the Mary by a butt of wine falling upon him.
March 9.—Ordered that 10 cases of money go in the Mary, six in the Hart, four in the Star, and if more come to be put aboard the Hopewell. The Persian Ambassador having desired a remembrance in writing of any business in which the Company desire his assistance, ordered that such remembrance be drawn for three particulars:-1. That the silk may be brought down to the water's edge. 2. That the King of Persia or the Khan of Shiraz would aid the English to recover the customs due and compel those that trade thither for the future to pay to the English their moiety. 3. That he would mediate to the King to give up to the English possession of the castle of Ormuz as a rendezvous for their ships to repair upon all occasions. The money expected from the Low Countries not having come, without which the ships bound forth will want their stock, and it being reported that the pinks wherein it is laden are cast away, Mr. Governor made known that the Lord Duke, Mr. Secretary, and the chancellor of the Exchequer had given way that the Company should export 20,000l. in English money or bullion conditionally that they brought in 25,000l. to the Mint to be coined; ordered that a petition be drawn to the King accordingly. Dispute about the prices set for the calicoes. Concerning Acton's bill for the charges of eight suits and his salary, and a bargain made two years ago by churchman for timber and plank. Examination of Capt. Swann, charged with wasteful expense of wine in his cabin; he alleged that whilst Cockram lived he had command of the ship, and since his death Capt. Fowkes, his man, kept the keys of the case of bottles, and standing on his justification desired no favour if he had offended, denied that he knew of any wine, beer, or any bulky commodity carried out in his ship and sold at Jacatra; the further consideration referred. Mr. Colthurst to assist Mr. Cowley to make up the Exchange warehouse books. Capt. Swann's goods to be delivered on his paying freight and custom. Edward Bickerton entertained under factor for five years at 20l. per annum. Edward Scudamore's bond concerning Mr. Long's demands ordered to be kept by Mr. Treasurer.
March 12.—Ordered that Mr. Markham speak with the Master and Wardens of the Pewterers about Bryan Fell, who arrested the Ambassador's pewter, and procure delivery thereof. Information that some gentlemen of Lincoln's Inn have a purpose to honour the Persian Ambassador by attending him to the Downs, the Company content to bear their charges because they had entertained the Ambassador at their house. Ordered that the beer delivered to the Persian Ambassador before he lived at his own charge be paid for. The wages of Justinian Offley, a factor at Agra, whose contracted time had expired, increased on Mr. Deputy's motion to 100l. per annum. Ordered, at request of Skibboe, that two thirds of his wages be paid yearly to Job Harby. 10 pp. [Ct. Min. Bk. IX. 458–467.]
March 13.
417. Extracts from letters from William Barlow to the East India Company from 13 March to 27 March, 1627. The Netherlands Company have dealt wonderful strangely and done that which caused a general tumult of the adventurers, for they have sent off John Peterson Coen with his wife and family so secretly in these ships that till yesterday there was no knowledge taken thereof, and a merchant who brought him word did not a little storm at their vile proceedings. Some of the Bewinthebbers protest they had no knowledge thereof, and divers of the adventurers would have a protest made that whatever damage should befall the Company by sending him should be laid on the goods of the authors of this mischief, which they make account is done with out the consent of the States. Judges that there is something Coen cannot answer, and therefore his friends Burgomaster Bas, Trip, Brouwer, and others have got him out of the way, and the opinion is that that horrible act of Amboyna was plotted by him. Wrote to Carleton to learn whether the States had given their consent and to advise Lord Carleton, whom some of the Bewinthebbers have most shamefully abused, saying that what was done concerning Coen's stay was not by order from his Majesty, but only by the Ambassador. In this fleet they have sent a great capital of money and merchandise besides ammunition and provisions for their wars, and now they have got their General Coen they will make account to make a general conquest which he aims at. He goes with greater authority than ever formerly he had, which was given at his election in Zealand three years past. One this day told him the Bewinthebbers maintain that the King cannot take exception against Coen's going, for he has stayed out the full time of 18 months, and no cause has been shown why they might not employ him.
Mar. 14. If the East India Company lay hold of any of the Dutch ships none of the adventurers will blame them, for they are more bitter against the Bewinthebbers than their worships can be for sending that tyrant to the Indies, who they cry out will be the ruin of the Company.
Mar 16. The discontent amongst the adventurers against the Bewinthebbers increases concerning the sending away of Coen, and divers of the Bewinthebbers plead ignorance thereof, two of those sent to dispatch the ships having so carried the business that the others knew nothing of it. Martin Hoostman and the rest of the chief adventurers that sit amongst the 17 have pressed for their reasons for doing it without their knowledge, knowing the prohibition from the State and what was resolved in October last. Now some say that those deputed about him have gotten consent of the States and the Prince of Orange at the being of "the great man of our nation" at the Hague, and that it was notorious that the hindering of Coen was only done by the Ambassador. Hasselaer, Brouwer, Skeldar, and other actors in the business boldly say that the King never had knowledge of what the Ambassador did concerning Coen's stay.
Mar 20. Misselden writes that he gave the States General to understand that Coen was secretly sent away, at which they stood amazed, and protested they were ignorant; which so sets the adventurers on fire that it is like to fall a very bad business for the Bewinthebber who have been the actors, even Burgomaster Basse protested he knew nothing. Carleton related what had passed, and said he would give notice to the States and to Lord Carleton, wishing their Worships would follow the business to his Majesty, for these will never be brought to reason till there be some violent course taken by laying hold on some of their ships. Coen so soon as he was out of the Texel showed his authority, commanding the Admiral to take down his flag, and putting up one in his own ship. Block Marteson wishes now that he had not agreed to go in the next ships fearing Coen will remember the remonstrance he delivered to the Company. Francis Lemens who gave in the other remonstrance against him and Carpenter, has refused the Company's service and is taken into that of the States.
Mar 23 The discontent amongst the adventurers increases about Coen; Bass overrules the Bewinthebbers, saying he knew as little as they, but being done it hath his contentment. Tripp, with Meerman of Delft, Hasselaer, Brouwer, Bicker, and two or three more have plotted the business. Does not see but that the Bewinthebbers are glad of the report of the death of Speult and wish the secretary and fiscal were gone the same way, hoping the matter would die with them.
Mar 27. The Bewinthebbers provide for their ships that go out the end of the year a very great capital in money and commodity, and mean to carry the whole trade of India before them, and rest all their hopes on General Coen. He has long solicited that if they did not so furnish they should never be masters of that sole trade or make it profitable till they had wrought out all others, so if some course be not taken they will grow so insolent that there will be no rule with them, for already they do not at all respect the States. "Extracts of letters received in London 5 April, 1627." 6½ pp. [Holland Corresp.]
March 14. 418. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Ordered that Sir Allen Cotton be served out of the Moon's wet pepper. Motion to the Staplers for more warehouse room at Leadenhall, which they are willing to spare on the east side wholly at 40l. per annum, to be reported upon. Ordered that Mr. Hurt, out of the money in his charge, lend 20l. to the poor box to pay divers sums given in Court, the Court conceiving that the moneys given by their mariners were as for the building of the hospital intended. Money due to Captain Clevenger to be shared out of the wages of Robert Bragge, steward of the Star. 1¼ pp. [Ct. Min. Bk. IX. 468–469.]
Mar. 18.
The Downs, aboard the Star.
419. Sir Dodmore Cotton to Sec. Conway. The merchants hasted their departure till his coming, and now have leaden heels; they have richly accommodated the Persian and to them given kennels; they have no wine allowed, though last year it was promised, but the other has two butts of canary for his own mouth Already feel many real and ceremonious differences; their voyage will be three months longer for the ship's intent to make for Surat stay one month, and then to Persia Lady Sherley petitioned the Council for warrant to the Commanders not to permit the Persian to land at the same time that her Lord did, but of this hear nothing. Moreover, Sir Robert Sherley bought cloth to the value of 100l. which by warrant of the Lord Treasurer was embarked in a hoy of the merchants, but by the searchers stayed for non-payment of custom. so that Sir Robert thinks he shall be cozened; prays his Lordship to send to the merchants about it; he will pay the custom rather than Sir Robert should lose it. 1 p. [Dom., Chas. I., Vol. LVII., No. 53,Cal., p. 98.]
March 19. 420. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Gratuity to the keepers of the Exchange for the year ending Christmas last. Request of Nich. Hawes for abatement of his brokes. Capt. Clevenger's letter and Capt. Swann's business referred to a fuller Court. Request of Richard Pryor, authorised by letter of attorney from Rowland Colston, administrator to his brother, deceased in the Indies, to receive said Colston's estate. Gratuity of 4l. to Thomas Tiggins, the under beadle, to buy him a new suit of apparel. Ordered that the Earl of Warwick be lent four demi-culverins. Petition of John Jourdain for his wages, but as he stood charged in the Jacatra books with 4,000 ryals of eight, which he pretended he had delivered in his account to Brockeden and Spalding; it was referred to the Auditors to examine and report. 1½ p. [Ct. Min. Bk. IX. 468–470.]
March 19.
421. Sec. Conway to the Captain of the ship that carries Sir Dodmore Cotton and Sir Rob. Sherley. That the Persian Ambassador and Sir Ro. Sherley do land at no time together, but refresh themselves by turns. Minute. [Dom., Chas. I., Conway's Letter Book., p. 265, Cal., p. 99.]
March 20.
422. Sec. Conway to the East India Company. Representing divers grievances wherein Sir Dodmore Cotton complains they have failed in his accommodation. Minute. [Dom., Chas. I., Conway's Letter Book, p. 265, Cal., p. 102.]
March 20. 423. License to the East India Company to transport in their next voyage foreign gold in lieu of silver to the value of 30,000l.; and because pinks in which their moneys were stowed have been by foul weather cast away or driven back, so they cannot expect them in time to furnish their ships which are waiting in the Downs, his Majesty grants license to said Company for this voyage to transport gold or silver in English specie to the value of 20,000l.without custom or duty, said Company covenanting within three months to bring in foreign coin to the value of 25,000l. to be coined in the Mint. [Sign Manual, Dom., Car. I., Vol. III., No. 13,Cal., p. 101.]
March 21–30. 424. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Information that that lewd housewife whom the late Persian Ambassador kept in his house had secretly conveyed away divers goods and household stuff provided by the Company for the Ambassador; ordered that Porreadge, the City Marshal, be desired to search after her and require her by fair means to restore the goods, or otherwise cause them to be attached in the Company's name. Mr. Best, now master of the Scout, to have 5l. per month wages, and Mr. Bull to be acquitted of a broke of 16l. Ordered that the 20,000l. in gold lately arrived from Holland be sent to the Company's ships in the Downs, and that Corne, Ramsey, Webber, and Askew fit themselves with good horses and pistols for its safe conveyance. Report of Mr. Governor of his answer to a complaint of Sir Dodmore Cotton for detaining Sir Robert Sherley's cloth, with which Sec. Conway rested well satisfied; that it was desired by Sir Dodmore and Sec. Conway that special directions be given by the Company to their Commanders to be very careful that Sir Robert Sherley and the Persian Ambassador be not suffered at the Cape or elsewhere to go ashore together, lest some disaster happen between them; ordered that letters be written to Capt. Hall and the others to be careful to keep them asunder until their arrival in Persia. And being informed of the desire of Sir Dodmore and Sir Robert for their recreation, to have leave sometimes to leave their own ship, the Star, and remain some days aboard the Admiral, which will be a means of feasting and superfluous spending of wine and other provisions, it was thought fit to admonish Capt. Hall that though he be not absolutely denied to admit them, yet by no means to suffer them to lie aboard at night, and at these meetings to use no wasteful expense of wine or other provisions. Request of Capt. Clevenger for rebatement of the freight on his goods, and for a gratification of 100l. for bringing his ship into the Downs without touching in the West Country; the Court, though they held it not fit for precedent sake to remit his freight, and the 100l. was not promised to any but the Commander, yet taking knowledge of his good services, conferred on him 100l., which he thankfully acknowledged as "a singular token of their loves, which should ever oblige him to do them all faithful service," and promised to send in his journal. Capt. Weddell's journal also commanded to be called for, there being matter therein worthy the knowledge of the Court. Concerning a letter written by the Committees at Deal to the Factors to prevent private trade. A bill in Chancery to be preferred against those observed to be faulty. Report of Mr. Governor that since the departure of some of the Committees to Dover with the Ambassador he with Mr. Deputy and others had been before the Lords of the Council with their grievances against the Dutch, and howbeit some of the Lords argued very strongly for the Dutch and insisted on the Company sending into Holland for satisfaction, yet he made the abuses of the Dutch so apparent and so fully answered every objection that their Lordships absolutely resolved that the Dutch should send over here to determine the business, and these their Lordships' opinions they would make known to his Majesty; whereupon it was thought fit that the Company's Secretary should let the Lord President and Lord Carleton know that if they would appoint any time Mr. Governor and the Committees would wait on them. The grievances were now read and confirmed and ordered to be engrossed and several copies made to present to their Lordships. Capt. Swann ordered to pay 40l. to the poor box for his wasteful expense of powder and wine, to which he assented, after endeavouring to lay the fault on Mr. Cockram, in whose cabin the greatest part of the wine (as was alleged) was drunk. Two bills subscribed by Capt. Bickley and others for hire of two barques for sounding to be paid. Request of Capt. Swann for an allowance of 6d. per nut for the present of preserved nutmegs to Lord Denbigh, but conceiving the price too high, ordered that the Court books be searched for the rate formerly set on same. Contract with Ald. Hodges and partners for rich indigo. Sadler's son-in-law, Mr. Woader, to receive 20l. out of her adventure.
March 24. Ordered that all the pursers who discharged the ships returned home this year, be warned to bring in their accounts. On consideration of the weak performance of Mr. Hockett ordered that his salary cease at Midsummer, and that William Swanley held to be a very sufficient man for the place, attend on Friday next. The 40l. fine imposed on Capt. Swann to be put into the poor box belonging to the Court, also a legacy of 13l. 6s. 8d. from Richard Haselwood, a factor, deceased. Gratuity of 10l. to John Martin, interpreter to the Persian Ambassador, in full of all demands.
March 30. Ordered, Porreadge, the city marshal being dead, that the new marshal be desired to use his best means to find out and attach the goods embezzled by the Persian Ambassador's wench. An assessment made by the inhabitants of Poplar amounting to 2l. 10s. referred to Mr. Fotherby, and if duly rated to be paid. William Swanley entertained in the place of Hockett (in regard of his indisposition of body) at 110l. per annum including boat hire and all other charges, and notice to be given to Thomas Smith, Hockett's assistant, of his discharge. Swanley to be careful that the Great James be brought into dock the next tide, so the Company be freed of the charge of keeping men aboard. Report by Acton of the state of the Company's business in Chancery, viz., Wheatley's confession and payment of 20s. cost, which was put into the poor box; that Bourne was content to withdraw his scandalous bill if the Company would remit cost; about Messrs. Phips and Denton, who had bought their goods in open market, paid custom, and made know the names of whom they bought, viz: Andrew Gosfrith, James Cusnam, and Francis Bowden, of Sandwich, of whom Phips confessed to have bought goods, to be served with process out of Chancery, and also that a bill be exhibited in Chancery against Edward Heynes, Robert Hutchinson, Benjamin Stone, Richard Slaine, and Adam Denton, suspected of private trade. Ordered that the rent due for Lady Warwick's house, wherein the Persian Ambassador lay, be paid to Lady Day last, and the glass and other things broken be forthwith repaired. One half of the freight imposed on Edward Brocke (late surgeon in the Charles) for his white pepper forgiven him. Gratuity of a hhd. of French wine for his provision at his now going to sea, to Sir John Watts for his many good offices. Ordered that the unkind dealing of the Dutch with the English when they were in great distress at Surat be added to the Company's declaration of aggrievances. At the suit of Edmond Chambers, keeper of their barge, the Court bestowed on him their old tilt, and ordered payment of 10s., the quarter's rent for the barge house. Letter read from Captain Hall that in the taking of Court Mahomet's junk [sic] before the bar of Surat, wherein 280 pieces of gold came into the hands of Mr. Charley "which he had taken from aboard the Blessing boat's company," it was agreed by consultation that allowance should be made to Mr. Charley of 70 ryals of 8, which he was forced to give his men for that service, ordered that said consultation be looked out. 9 pp. [Ct. Min. Bk. IX. 470–478.]