East Indies: April 1628

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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'East Indies: April 1628', in Calendar of State Papers Colonial, East Indies, China and Persia, Volume 6, 1625-1629, (London, 1884) pp. 486-494. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/colonial/east-indies-china-japan/vol6/pp486-494 [accessed 29 February 2024]

April 1628

[April 4.] 629. The Complaints of the East India Company of London against the East India Company of the Netherlands. That the Dutch have broken the first article of the Treaty in not delivering the pepper, silk and cither goods taken by them in the same specie brought into the Netherlands to the value of 55,000l.; secondly, that they have taken 10 good ships, viz., the Swan, Defence, Soloman, Attendance, Bear, Star, Dragon, Expedition, Sampson, and Hound, to the value, with victuals and furniture, of 56,000l.; and thirdly, in not restoring the goods and money taken in the Indies, viz., 223,000 ryals of 8, which returned for England would produce at least 250,000l. That they have broken the second article by many outrageous usages, as imprisonment, fines, whipping in the market place, keeping in irons, as well as the third article, which provides that the traffic in the Indies shall be free for both Companies; and the sixth article, for preventing differences about the price of pepper at Bantam and other places of Java Major, and leaving other merchandise free. That the Dutch have also broken the fourth article by imposing at Jacatra new and great taxes, tolls, and excises, and levying great fines for non-payment; and the eighth article, by denying the English one third of the trade of the Moluccas, Banda, and Amboyna. Likewise the ninth article, by sending ships, unknown to us, to engross all the spices in those parts before the English ships arrive, and by pretending a preceding stock of 20,000l. to be first employed before the English have any trade, by which the Dutch wholly engross it to themselves for two years, yet put on to the English a present charge for fortifications and garrisons, whereby we shall be damnified 120,000l. That the Dutch, contrary to the 12th article, compel us to pay our proportion in money to the forts and garrisons in the Moluccas, Banda, and Amboyna, though we have no trade there: that they have likewise infringed the 10th, 14th, and 16th articles, by sending forth 16 ships without consent of the English Council, or a knowledge of their designs. That the Dutch have also broken the 27th article, by excluding the English from free trade at Jacatra, and by adding a new fort, which from a mean house of defence yielded to them by the Bang, is like to equal any fortification in Europe, and by expelling the King and challenging the sovereignty of his country, they have overthrown trade at Bantam and Java Major, the King of Bantam refusing trade till said fort be demolished, whereby the return of six or eight great English ships has been hindered, our stock has been consumed in victuals and wages, our men have died, and our ships have rotted, and we are damnified at least 600,000l. We are also importuned by our factors, mariners, and their widows, to present to your Lordships their suit for restitution of their loss and damage. Endorsed by Carleton,"Writings concerning the East Indies delivered me by Mr. Misselden, 4th of April, 1628." 4½ pp. [Holland Corresp.]
April 6.
630. Barlow to Carleton. Concerning the East India business the Mayors are very silent, so it should seem their hopes are not such as they have been to have their ships released on so easy terms as they made account of. Has sent Misselden the attestations of four men who were in the Dutch Company's service at Amboyna, whereby plainly appears that our men were put to death unjustly, and so was generally the opinion at Amboyna at the time, and they show that Speult was never well, but went as a man troubled with an evil conscience till his death, and by his speeches that he repented he sent them not to Jacatra, and if it were to do it should not be done. [Extract, Holland Corresp.]
April 7. 631. Court. Minutes of the East India Company. Committee to repair to Woolwich and Blackwall and displace or suspend superfluous officers, servants, and workmen. Ordered that Mr. Treasurer should pay 5l. for the barrel of gunpowder he lately bought. Ordered that 12 loads of 4-inch plank be forthwith bought to repair the London, divers planks near her keel being both rotten and eaten with worms. Letter read from Sir Henry Vane, Clerk Cofferer of the King's House, complaining against Webb for not paying 14l. 7s. 1d. for four porks served at Blackwall. Ordered that from Lady Day last the Auditors have half wages, the Court expecting only three days' attendance in the week. Ordered that 5l. more be paid to Mrs. Jourdain, the better to enable her to prosecute her suit in the Delegates against Jonas Viney for her late husband's estate in the Company's hands. Ordered that 40l. due from Wm. Steevens for rent of the Company's dock and yard at Deptford be deducted from his account for treenails. On the information of George Willoughby of a notorious confederacy concluded by articles between the Company's factors in the Indios, viz., Messrs. Muschamp and Bix for the southward and Gregory Clement for the northward for private trade, also well known to Henry Woolman, Woolman was examined and confessed it to be true, and promised to peruse his papers and relate his full knowledge in writing at next Court. All complaints against George Willoughby, together with his answers, having been heard, and he having freely offered his services again and submitted to any fine to be laid upon him, ordered, in respect he is an able man, that he pay only half the 54l. freight imposed upon him, and to receive the remainder of his wages and his 82 lb. of cloves, and that general releases be sealed each to other. Suit of John for the estate of his brother Henry Short, who died in the Indies; but remembering there was a suit in Chancery between them and Capt. Langford, he was desired to have patience till that cause be determined. Ordered that John Arnold after paying for the lead which he sold out of the Expedition have his wages and whatever else is due .to him. Discourse on the proposition of Mr. Governor as to the resolution to be taken to continue the trade in case the business succeed with the Dutch, whether by the old stock or a new subscription, or whether 150 or 200 persons might not be found to underwrite for 1,000l. or 500l. at least each, and by that means be able to raise a stock to continue the trade for four, years, which some thought Avould cause the State to leave the Company to stand or fall by themselves; while others thought the State would be more ready to assist when they saw the Company's forwardness to proceed; but nothing concluded. 5 pp. [Ct. Min. Bk. X. 326–330.]
April 14.
632. Extract of letter from Surat. We know not what to do, seeing the great disconformity of shipping to the stock sent in them- the charge consumes both principal and profit; 200,000l. more than we have is little enough to despatch the ships here already and leave a competent stock here aforehand. [East Indies Vol IV. No. 27]
April 18. 633. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Information that Wilson a custom house waiter, had discovered 300 bushels of the Moon's pepper, and would tell the Company where it was if he may have recompense; ordered that he como to the next Court. Draught of petition to the Parliament House read, conceived by Mr. Mun, together with articles annexed showing the honour and benefit accruing to his Majesty and his kingdoms by the East Indian trade, and the aspersions that lie on the Company, and praying the House to examine the consequences of the trade, and if found advantageous that it might receive encouragement from that House, if otherwise then the Company to be dissolved; after debate whether fit to exhibit it, ordered that the Company's Secretary attend the Lord President and Sec Coke with said draft, on whose answers the Court would resolve what to do. Resolved that those debtors to the Company who had been solicited and refused or deferred payment be forthwith put in suit. Offer of Mr. Leatt to discount his debt by selling to the Company hogshead staves and barrel boards from Ireland; ordered to be viewed and to know the quantity and price. Henry Woolman having presented a relation concerning Willoughby and others, and particularly about the articles between the factors of Jacatra and Surat for private trade, ordered that Willoughby be warned to the next Court and his bond not to be delivered for a time. Minutes read of a meeting of the Committees at Woolwich and Blackwall on the 10th April. Resolutions after viewing the London and Reformation in reference to unnecessary men to be discharged. At Blackwall it was thought more profitable to have the Charles repaired "by the great" than by day labour. Six old masts sold to John Southam, ship carpenter, at 3l. each, reserving the great iron hoops about them. Directions concerning a great quantity of old cordage, to reserve such as is fit for twice laid rope or oakum and try who would give the most for the residue; Southam offered 20d. per cwt, which was held too little. All powder brought from the mills to be hereafter stored in the turret chamber; and as there were 500 barrels in store it was proposed to sell 100, yet held necessary at last to reserve 500, which complement would be made good out of the saltpetre yet to be wrought up. 4 pp. [Ct. Min. Bk. X. 331–334.]
April 19.
634. Barlow to Carleton. Perceives there is slow proceeding at the Hague in the Amboyna-business, the Amboyna men grow more confident of their cause every day, and fears the Bewinthebbers according to their old custom to maintain bad causes do not spare their purses and will not stand upon a ton of gold to effect their wills in clearing 'their murderers and putting the disgrace upon our nation. Not many days since one of the Bewinthebbers in great passion said to him that we should shortly see what wrong was done them m calling the traitorous plot of Amboyna in' question but told him he held it a traitorous and treacherous plot on their people's part. Has had no letters from London these three weeks, and does not know what passes concerning the three ships in arrest, but perceives that the Bewinthebbers will rather abandon those ships than depute any from amongst themselves to go over to treat concerning the differences betwixt both Companies, so it is apparent they intend not ever to come to a friendly agreement with our Company. [Extract, Holland Corresp.]
April 21. 635. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Report of Mr. Sherburne that he had attended Sir John Coke with the Company's petition to the Lower House of Parliament, who gave his opinion that, in regard the great businesses of Parliament are not yet settled, about Michaelmas was the fittest time to exhibit it; that afterwards he attended the Lord President whose advice was that on altering three or four words the exhibiting thereof may be of good avail. Mr. Governor then related that he had since met Sir John Coke who wished that the Company would entreat Sir John Wolstenholme, who had moved something concerning the East India Company in the Upper House, to desire the Lords to send down the paper to the Lower House, which only would be the way to have the Company called thither. Mr. Deputy acquainted the Court that 8 or 10 days since he had conference with Sir Dudley Digges who relished the motion very well and alleged that though two years since there was a little imputation on the Company by the gentry of the kingdom, they were now better affected towards them; whereupon Mr. Deputy was entreated to take a copy of the petition to Sir Dudley Digges. According to an order of the Lower House of Parliament dated 18th present. Mr. Warner with his counsel Mr. White presented himself for accommodation of his differences with the Company. [On 12th April, on petition of Samuel Warner, counsel were assigned to him and the East India Company desired by Alderman Clitheroe to give way for Warner upon his petition to the Lords to have him bailed that he may follow his petition the better.—Common's Journal, I. 882.] His proposals, first, to have his liberty, and enter into bond in 1,500l. to answer the value of the goods to be recovered in the Company's suit against him and others in the Exchequer; and secondly, to leave him out of the suit and proceed against Jesson. Mr. White declared that Warner was sued by Willoughby for part of the goods, and that the wife of John Cart-wright, factor, pretended interest to 14 cwt. of long pepper, and that John Head, late mate of the Expedition, also demanded part of the goods. Mr. Governor answered that Warner's commitment being from the Lords he must proceed by petition for his enlargement, and that seeing three or four pretend interest in those goods the Company have the more cause of suspicion that Jesson had indirectly gotten them, or that the Factors made use of the Company's money for private trade; reasons why the Company did not proceed against Warner on his first commitment. Resolved to send their Secretary to the Lords to certify that the Company would no way hinder Warner's liberty, that the goods should be weighed in the presence of the Comply s servants and he become bound to answer the Company's bill and declare the true weight and bargain with Jesson and pay over the money to the Company defalking 40l.; to which Warner replied that besides the 40l. he had paid 210l. Agreed first to weigh the goods in town in the presence of Blunt, and that Warner forthwith bring up the rest from the country; and to agree on the condition of the bond. 4 pp. [Ct. Mm. Bk. X. 335–338.]
April 22./May 2. 636. Summary of the Propositions made by the Ambassadors of the States General to his Majesty's Commissioners. The Ambassadors represent that since his Majesty's Declaration they have accomplished the revocation of the officers and judges that assisted in the affair of Amboyna, who have been delivered to justice to answer for what they have done there. That the process is being carried on at the instance of the Fiscal of the States General, assisted by an advocate and the persons instructed by the English Company, with inspection of his Majesty's Ambassador, so that their Lordships show in effect and declare that they will execute said process as soon as by the ordinary course of justice is possible. Touching Coen, it is notorious that when the business of Amboyna was discovered he was halfway on his return from the Indies, and that for several months before he had sent no advices to Amboyna, so that it is beyond all likelihood that he had any part in or knowledge of that execution; but the States declared to Lord Carleton the 16th December last, that in case the judges should find that Coen was mixed up in any way in that affair they would recall him to render an accouut of his actions. And to show the sincerity of all this procedure they annex an extract from the States Book of Resolutions on this subject. Since then the (Dutch) Company have delivered their accused officers to justice, and are no way responsible for what they may have done, and are still less bound to support great expenses during the detention of their ships. The Ambassadors pray his Majesty and their Excellencies to take off the arrest of the three ships at Portsmouth, to make it appear that the States not by constraint but by affection, seek to give satisfaction to his Majesty and to his subjects. French. [Extract, Holland Corresp.]
April 25. 637. Court Minutes of the East India Company. After debate it was resolved to defer the delivery of the Petition with the queries thereupon annexed to the Lower House of Parliament till Thursday next, and meantime Mr. Mun is desired to continue his pains m causing the proofs to be made ready for a conference before they be exhibited to the House. Mr. Leatt's hogshead and barrel staves in no sort fit for the Company's use. Petition of the widow of the Company's late servant Thomas Harris to have remitted half of the 41l. freight imposed on the goods sent home by her husband agreed to. About the further repair of the Charles. The Propositions made on Warner's behalf by his counsel, Mr. White, being read, Warner dissented to them and utterly ordered by the Court of Exchequer, and refused to pay the moneys unless the Court would procure him general releases from all claiming any right in the goods, which the Court conceiving unreasonable left him to take what course he pleased, but desired Mr. Deputy to assure the House it was through Warner's perverse disposition that a peaceable end was not made, his indirect dealing giving just cause of jealousy that he would detain both goods and money. 3 pp. [Ct. Min. Bk. X. 339–341.]
April 26.
638. Barlow to Carleton. Names of the Bewinthebbers of Amsterdam employed for getting the ships in arrest in England released and sworn to secrecy. Not above four or five but are Armenians, whereof Basse is the Captain, and this faction carries the business according to their humours. Has received several letters from the Company acknowledging his Honour's care and pains in all that concerns them, being sorry he is to depart for England before there be some issue of the Amboyna business. Fears the judges do not intend to deal justly, not having taken the right course to come to the truth, and holds they will make good the sentence of Amboyna, which appears by the confidence of the Amboyna men, having said that their business stood well, and they should clear themselves with credit. Great matter is here made that those in England are not sent over to come face to face, that if they were they would be made to confess that all they have attested is false; that their accusers dare not come to make good their accusations, being so near which may so easily be done, whereas they are come so great a journey out of the Indies to maintain what they have done. With this men's heads are filled, and it gives a blemish to the goodness of our cause, and fortifies men in opinion that there is great wrong done to them, and consequently to the Company in holding their ships on an unjust pretence. [Extract, Holland Corresp.]
April 28. 639. Court Minutes of the East India Company. 5l. out of the poor box bestowed on Elizabeth, widow of John Kendrick, mate of the Lion, and 2l. 6d. on Margaret Pope. Concerning the bill in Chancery of Richard Harris about the estate of his brother who died in the Indies; ordered that the Company's books be shown to him. Information that the Charles, notwithstanding the 1,200l. lately disbursed for her repair will yet cost 500l.. or 600l.. more; ordered that her repair be presently set in hand. Information that it was the earnest desire of near 100 of the generality that a General Court be summoned on Tuesday next for that they had something to deliver very much concerning the good of the Company; this sudden and unexpected motion being without precedent they were entreated (as by their oaths they were bound) to make known the reason, but seemed unwilling to relate any particulars, only that it concerned the general good of the trade; whereupon the Court remembering that this very particular had been sundry times, and that lately, debated, resolved to hold their former resolution not to call a General Court until the business of the Dutch was in some sort concluded, wherein they had not been negligent to hasten it to the utmost, not only by their own attendance on the Lords, but also by commanding their Secretary daily to attend the Lord President and Mr. Secretary Coke. Nevertheless they made known to Messrs. Bonham and Polstead the substance of what they had privately debated, and the petition and queries to be exhibited to the Lower House of Parliament for supporting the trade, advising them to acquaint some six or more of the chief of those that intend to subscribe the petition, and withal to cause the petition to be subscribed, and if they should then persist in desiring a General Court a day should be appointed, willing them to take a sennight's time to consider this business and return answer to the Court, which was of opinion that it was some device of the Hollanders to leave no stone unturned to understand the Company's intention, having access into all places, some of them presuming to come into the Company's own yard to observe their stores and provisions. On relation of Mr. Governor, who lately had speech with some of the Parliament about the Company's petition, it was resolved to prefer it to the whole House on Wednesday, instead of Thursday next, and Mr. Mun is earnestly intreated to make ready the reasons to make good the queries and articles, and Committees are entreated to attend the House on Wednesday next to countenance the cause, and Mr. Deputy to use his best means that the petition be read at a full assembly. Touching the certificate to the Lord Keeper in Lady Dale's cause, Consideration about discharging many of the Company's officers and servants and making an abatement in the salaries of those kept in service. Request of Jesson who purposed to prefer a petition to the Lower House of Parliament against Warner, from whom he could receive no satisfaction for his goods, for advice and direction, but the Court resolved to have no hand therein. Petition of Jasper Dartnell, wharfinger of Custom House Quay, for 18l. for hire of three lighters for fetching the ordnance and lumber of the London and Reformation. Ordered that the letter of Tho. Turner to Randall Jesson advising him to make present sale of his goods, and falsely calumniating the Company, be entered in the Black Book, and that a copy be sent to the President and Council in Persia, with direction to displace and send him home. Suit of John Head, mate of the Expedition, for the remain of his wages detained on complaint of George Willoughby. Complaint of Henry Woolman read to Willoughby, who answered it was none other than what he had formerly been charged with, but if the Company would give him a copy he would return his particular answer in writing, which the Court ordered, as also the delivery of his bond. 6 pp [Ct. Min. Bk. X. 342–347.]
640. Memorial of [Josias de Vosberghen] for Sec. Coke. On complaint to the King of what has been written without his Majesty's knowledge, to the States and to the (Dutch) East India Company, immediately after Vosberghen's departure from London, that the ships should be released there, whence he has word that more than 200,000 francs are given to the Duke of Buckingham besides' the 3,000,000 borrowed for the King of Great Britain, which private men were ready to furnish. That the collar worth 10 tons of gold be not lost this month to his Majesty's dishonour and great damage, it is necessary for the King to confirm the contracts Vosberghen has made by his Majesty's order for raising eight or 10 tons of gold, or the equivalent in value and he knows the means. French. [Extract, Corresp. Denmark]