East Indies: May 1628

Pages 494-508

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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May 1628

May 2.
641. The King to Josias de Vosberghen, Resident and Councillor to the King of Denmark. Since according to contract with the Duke of Buckingham made by virtue of a Commission from the King of Denmark, the money for the collar and other jewels which are in Holland belonging to the two Kings ought to come to his Majesty's hands, Vosberghen will take care that no one changes any thing under pretext of a new Commission, his Majesty promising on his part to release the East India ships in case Vosberghen can come to an agreement with the [Dutch] East India Company to raise money on said collar and jewels equivalent to the arrested goods, and that they give caution that the process pending at the Hague be ended in three months. French. 1 p. [Corresp., Den mark.]
May 2. 642. Court Minutes of the East India Company. A room to be hired in the Artillery Garden for a store house for powder. Consideration of the late motion of Messrs. Bonham and Polstead on behalf of divers of the Company that a General Court might be called; Mr. Polstead sent for and told the Court had resolved that a General Court should be called as desired on Tuesday the 20th instant, but albeit the same was signified to Mr. Smethwike, who was without with a petition from divers of the generality, he would not rest satisfied until he came before the Court in person and presented said petition. The great charge of the Company's servants taken into serious consideration:—Mr. Governor read out a list of every man's name in the Company's service; in the counting house, the auditors, secretary's office, mariner's office, husband's office, clerks of the spice and indigo warehouses, officers at Blackwall, the surgeon, solicitor, porter, beadle, powder maker, clerk of the powder, and lastly the Amboyna pensioners. Names of those discharged; two in the husband's office, one in the warehouse, and at Blackwall the clerk of iron stores to be discontinued. Deductions of salary, Mr. Ellam from 233l. 6l. 8d. to 200l., Sambrooke from 200l. to 150l., Tynes from 80l. to 66l. 13l. 4d., Hurt from 80l. to 66l. 13l. 4d., Mountney from 200l. to 120l., his son John from 50l. to 30l., Blunt from 80l. to 60l., Fotherby from 120l. to 80l., Swanly from 110l. to 100l., Ducy from 50l. to 40l., Woodall from 30l. to 20l., total deductions 583l. 6l. 8l., to begin at Midsummer. Messenger from the Lords to require Mr. Governor and Committees to attend at Whitehall, their Lordships having appointed a meeting with the Dutch Ambassadors; four Committees entreated to accompany Mr. Governor, and agreed that in case their Lordships press for their resolution whether to proceed or desert the trade, they answer that if they receive comfort from the State for the injuries done them by the Dutch they doubt not but there will be good hope to go forward, but if otherwise they see no likelihood but the business is at an end. 3 pp. [Ct. Min. Bk. X. 348–350.]
[May 2.] 643. "The States Answer of the 4/14th of February 1628 corrected and brought unto me the 2nd May by three of their Deputies [See ante No. 596 I.] in company of their answer of the 28th of April to my memorial upon their former answer of the 5th of March." [See ante No. 617.] French. Endorsed by Dudley Lord Carleton. 5½ pp. [Holland Corresp.]
May 2/12.
The Hague.
644. Summary of Points proposed by his Majesty's Ambassadors the Earl of Carlisle and Lord Carleton to the Deputies of the States General. 3. Their Lordships are urged to give prompt and more ample satisfaction upon the revocation of Coen, justice for the business of Amboyna, and the sending of Deputies to England to treat of a reconciliation of past differences and reglement of trade and good correspondence for the future. French. [Extract, Holland Corresp.]
May 3/13.
The Hague.
645. Answer of the States General to the Propositions of the Earl of Carlisle and Lord Carleton. Touching the third point refer to their declaration of the 6–16th December last; but justice may be expedited by sending over the witnesses against the Amboyna judges to be confronted with them, without which the rule cannot be observed quod testibus et non testimoniis sit credendum. Are well inclined to send over Deputies for the reconciliation of past differences and the reglement of traffic and good correspondence for the future between the Companies, but since there are by the arrest of the three ships a great many interested parties here; pray his Majesty to release them, that said Envoy may satisfy those who desire it. French. [Extract, Holland Corresp.]
[May 4.] 646. Memorial for my Lord Duke [of Buckingham] of Points requiring present order in the Low Countries. 4. To make known to the Prince of Orange his Majesty's mind touching the release of the three Surat ships. This requires to be presently done that a day may be set down for Commissioners to be sent hither touching the settling the East Indian trade; and that being resolved of publicly, whereas the knowledge of the release of these ships need only be given to the Prince from his Majesty in private, it will be the more for his Majesty's reputation. [Extract, Holland Corresp.]
May 4.
647. Barlow to Carleton. Here goes still a private muttering that if the English cloth ships come into Holland they will be molested, and holds it is so resolved by those that have Commission to seek the release of their three ships, who now they see they cannot effect, matters as they propose will run some desperate course, being most maliciously bent against our Company, and for the most part better friends to the Spanish than to our nation. The Amboyna men are very confident, and make account they shall be cleared with honour as not having done other than good justice. [Extract, Holland Corresp.]
May 5–7. 648. Court Minutes of the East India Company. John Ferne, a poor decrepit man who had his senses taken away by going down into the pump of the Charles, to have his dwelling in the hospital at Black wall, with 3l. per week for his maintenance, but not to admit his wife to cohabit with him there. Letter presented from Mr. Mountney by himself about abating 80l. of his salary of 200l., and praying the Court to take into consideration his long and faithful service and great charge of children, having eight yet to provide for, and that they had formerly abated him 100l. out of 300l., but was told they could not swerve from what was done because of the smallness of their trade, and advised to rest content till their business should increase. Complaint of some adventurers, but especially of Smethwike the broker, in reference to the fees received for transports, being 2s. 6d. for every 100l. Report on petition of Judith, executrix of her husband, Robert Pickering, late surgeon of the Eagle, ordered what is due be forthwith paid to her. Two books of the cargazoon of the Jonas and Expedition presented by Mr. Cobb with his bill of charges, and he desired recompense for his six months' attendance, to be allowed 13s. 4d. the week; he also complained of injuries done to him by Mr. Swanly, and of the prejudice to the Company in sending so great a quantity of billets as 117,000 in the Jonas and Expedition, which hinders stowage of goods; to be inquired into, and Cobb's care and diligence commended. Suit of John Ellesmore about freight of pepper brought home by him in the London, and the difference between him and Henry Sill. An inventory of all materials in the Company's storehouses and yard at Black wall to be taken. Mr. Munn's reasons and proofs to make good the queries in the Company's petition to be exhibited in Parliament read and approved, but thought fit to have them read a second time next Court before printed. N.B.On May 7, Petition of the East India Company was read and referred to the Committee for Trade to proceed with as much expedition as possible.—Common's Journal, I. 893.
May 7.—Provisions wanting in the Downs against the return of their ships, ordered to be sent to Sandwich. Petition of Joan, wife of Richard Stamper, boatswain of the Mary, for part of her husband's servant's wages denied, but in regard he lost all his estate in the Moon, and was imprisoned seven weeks at Dover, ordered that 3l. yearly of her husband's wages be paid to her. Whereas a patent had been procured for transportation of 40,000l. in English gold in the Jonas and Expedition, but as only 15,000l. had been sent, ordered that Mr. Sherburne acquaint the Lord President so they be permitted only to coin so much gold in the Tower as was carried out, 7,000l. being coined already. Ordered that the Earl of Bridgewater, and Lord President the Earl of Dorset, with divers others Lords Commissioners for the Dutch business, be informed of the wrongs and injuries of the Dutch Company, and complaints against Coen. Note presented by Steevens of repairs for the Charles amounting to 1,200l. above the 1,200l. already disbursed, he said that after three voyages a ship was little worth, and that after she was repaired she might with ordinary reparations make two voyages more; ordered that estimates be had from other workmen. Consideration on the building of ships "by the great "in other men's docks, as the Turkey Company do; motion that ships hereafter exceed not 500 or 600 tons, but nothing resolved. 7 pp. [Ct. Min. Bk. X., 351–358.]
May 10/20.
The Hague.
649. Protest of Baron Carleton of Imbercourt, to the States General, touching the judicature of the fact of Amboyna. Endorsed, by Carleton,"This protest I made and delivered to the States Deputies upon occasion of their insisting in conference wth my Ld of Carlile and myself held at my Ld Carlile's lodging the 3–13 of May, that the cause of Amboyna was submitted by his Maj. to their judicature." French. 2 pp. [Holland Corresp.]
May 10/20.
The Hague.
650. Answer of the States General to the above protest of Lord Carleton brought the 11–21 May to his Lordship by Feit and Nortwick "but not accepted by me" in Carleton's handwriting. French. 1½ pp. [Holland Corresp.]
May 13/29.
651. Dudley Lord Carleton to [the Earl of Carlisle]. Finds by his nephew that the Protest he left at the Hague has stirred coals which were covered with purpose to kindle a fire hereafter, when it might have broken out with much more danger to the public service and his own particular than now, and though it has struck more heat than he could have wished at parting he no ways repents it, as he sees there was a plot in this people to advantage themselves. Knows not any action in his life wherein he has walked with more caution. Doubts not his Lordship will meet with fairer dealing, but when he has once passed the mountains he will meet with as crafty merchants in matter of treaty as any that dwell on this side, and such as will sell smoke at as dear a rate. [Extract, Holland Corresp.]
May 14. 652. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Boatswain Ingram's bill of charges for boat hire to be paid. Petition of Elizabeth, wife of Richard Bix, factor, for 50l. yearly out of his wages; payment ordered for the year ending Lady Day. Discourse with Mr. Mountney as to whether he intended to accept his abated salary, as the Company must not be upon uncertainties on the arrival of their ships shortly expected; he was told the deduction was not from any ill opinion of his service, but to lessen their charge until their business shall again increase; he made known his willing acceptance of what they had done, and promised his daily and sole attendance as heretofore. Arbitrators chosen to accommodate differences between Sir Fras. Crane and the Company concerning his tapestry hangings. Ordered that the accounts of Mr. Mountney, Edward Seager, John Yonge, and all other the Company's servants be forthwith audited. Letters read from the Company's agent Mr. Burt, out of Persia, of the good success of their affairs there, the honourable usage of Mr. Burt by that King, and the return of 800 great bales of silk expected in their next ships; after much dispute resolved that said letter be read at the General Court on Tuesday next so far as concerns the affairs of the Company, but that passages which mention Sir Robert Sherley and the late Persian Ambassador, being matters of State, were much better concealed; but if any of the chief adventurers afterwards desire to read said letter not to be denied. And in regard there was expected a return of a fair stock this year, a motion was made that two or three ships of war be set forth for the safe conduct of the fleet homeward bound into the river, which no doubt would gain their charge by some prize, and also that the proposition for assuring 50,000l. or 60,000l., (being so much as they were indebted for above the stock in the land) be concluded; but in regard it would discover the Company's fears and raise causeless jealousies, and that the assurance could not be made but at high rates, the Court thought fit to prosecute these propositions no further. 3½ pp. [Ct. Mm. Bk. X. 358–361.]
May 14/24.
The Hague.
653. The States General to Dudley Lord Carleton, After his departure they sent his protest to his lodgings, that both his protest and their answer [see ante, Nos. 649–650] might be withdrawn, but Carleton's nephew excused himself as not able to undo his Excellency's actions. Have therefore sent their answer with said protest to Carleton and beg him to retain their answer and return the protest, or to retain the protest and return the answer; in case he return both they cannot put said protest on their registers, but will regard it as not received. French. 1½ pp. [Holland Corresp.]
May 15/25.
654. Dudley Lord Carleton to the States General. Has received their letter with his protest and their answer. As he can return neither without prejudice, since the reception of their answer is a kind of admission of its contents, and the retention of his protest might seem a retractation, has therefore resolved to send back their answer and consign his protest to his nephew, his Majesty's agent, to make use of according to circumstances. Begs them to keep in their memory what they excuse putting on their registers, his protest being the simple truth. French. 1 p. [Holland Corresp.]
May 16–19. 655. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Ten shillings out of the poor box bestowed on John Elias, sometime servant to the late Persian Ambassador. On petition of the widow of Capt. Jourdain 5l. more out of her late husband's estate was paid to her upon her subscription not to importune the Company any more for money until her cause with Jonas Viney be determined. As between 7,000l. and 8,000l. had been coined in the Tower out of the 15,000l., the Company were bound to take in for so much transported by them in the Expedition and Jonas out of 40,000l. which the Company have license to transport, that such Committees as have any foreign gold would be pleased to send it with Mr. Mountney to be coined in the Company's name to make good the said 15,000l. Concerning Warner's motion in the King's Bench for a habeas corpus to be discharged of his imprisonment and the Company's suit in the Court of Exchequer against him. The difference between Capt. Langford and Mr. Short having been brought to an end, he freely submitted himself to the just censure of the Court in reference to his private trade, and having demeaned himself very well all the time of his employment abroad, ordered that he pay 100 marks only for freight of his 9 cwt. of cloves, the remain of his wages to be paid and his bond redelivered. Payment ordered of 10l. on account at the earnest suit of Randall Jesson to prosecute his business against Warner. Request of Richard Dyke who made known his great misfortunes and inability to pay his debts, that the Company would accept a noble in the pound for his debt to them, as others had done, for which they had his adventure of 1,100l., and allow him the remainder on account; but after much dispute it was concluded that it was not in their power, but the work of a General Court, to accommodate his desire. Relation by Mr. Governor of the late blowing up of their powder mills, but with no hurt to any man or more loss in powder than six barrels.
May 19.—Cables, anchors, a long boat, and other necessaries to be sent to Sandwich against the arrival of the next ships. Agreement with Steevens to repair the Charles, but Southam to be allowed 2l. 6d. a day to overlook the work. Proposition of Mr. Governor how necessary it was to consider- the trade of Persia, and to give directions for buying 1,000 or 2,000 [pieces] of cloth, but whether to buy them white, and dye and dress them as had been accustomed, or to buy them ready dyed and dressed from the Coventry clothiers; resolved to try both ways, and that Committees be very observant that the cloths exceed the goodness of the Hollanders. 3½ pp. [Ct. Min. Bk. X. 362–365.]
May 20. 656. Minutes of a General Court. Mr. Governor made known that the occasion of this meeting proceeded from the request of some of the generality, who had presented a paper desiring the calling of a General Court. Certain propositions in writing were then presented by George Mynne and read, but Nicholas Crispe, the younger, protested that though he had subscribed the request for calling a General Court, yet he was unacquainted with said propositions which Mr. Governor observed were scandalous, and contained unjust imputations against the Governor, Deputy, and Committees for ill managing of the stock and affairs of the Company. After much contestation, Mr. Deputy pointed out that this great assembly, a greater than which he had at no time seen in this place, had met for the good of the Company, and he prayed them to lay aside all aspersions personal, and to proceed to the business in hand, and Mr. Governor added that when one shall come to plead in a losing trade it will be observed that even one brother will be against another, intimating that though it were alleged there were a loss of 20l. in the 100l. fallen on this stock, it could not be imputed to any default of the Committees, who were equal sharers in the loss. To the second and third Articles Mr. Governor commanded an extract out of the Company's books of accounts to be read, showing, firstly, the number and burden of ships sent out under the Second Joint Stock, and, secondly, the quick stock sent in them for their relading home, together with the profit of merchandise sent into the Indies, the benefit made of trading from port to port and reprisals taken, all which amounted to 1,435,085l., which was more than enough to have laden home all the ships, one half in pepper at 30l. per ton, and the other half in wares of Surat at 60l. per ton; and whereas they formerly laded their ships at cheaper rates by one quarter, there had been sent near 400,000l. more than enough to relade all the ships if the practices of the Dutch had not so extraordinarily enhanced the prices of commodities in the Indies. Mr. Governor further alleged that the Court of Committees had sent all the stock the Company had, and for these three or four years had engaged themselves for great sums for the Company's use, and therefore the Committees should be cleared of this imputation of not sending sufficient stock to the Indies. Notwithstanding Mr. Smethwike, in contradiction, read part of the Company's Remonstrance to the Parliament House, which was by a general voice cried down as impertinent, and nothing concerning the business in hand. He further objected if there were sufficient stock sent out to lade their ships home, how was it so undervalued by the Committees themselves ? who refused to buy it out at 20 per 100 loss; to which Mr. Governor answered that he believed not any of them would so undervalue it, but they had already great adventures in this stock, some 10,000l., others 20,000l., and himself 15,000l. or 16,000l., and he offered to prove that not want of stock but loss by the Hollanders had brought this stock to so low an ebb, and caused part of a letter of the 20th September 1623 to the President and Council at Jacatra to be read, declaring the stock then sent and remaining in the Indies to amount to 1,027,300 ryals of 8, which it was observed could not be employed, because the Dutch by their pretended siege did keep, and still keeps, the Company from trade at Bantam, whilst in the meantime many ships have rotted in the Indies, and the stock was consumed in victuals, wages, and other charges which should have re-laden said ships. Besides, their factors never sent home but 150,000 ryals in any one year, and had sent from Jacatra this year three ships with cloves and pepper, which cost but 146,000 ryals of 8; therefore, how could any man think there was want of stock in the Indies when their servants had bestowed 40,000 ryals of 8 about the purchase and building of a house, for which and other occasions the Committees had much blamed their President and sent for him home. Since Christmas also the Committees had sent out 60,000l. stock, for which they were forced to engage themselves by their particular bonds; therefore it is apparent the Committees had supplied stock abundantly, besides having divided 11 divisions; so that they had cause to give God thanks that the stock is no worse, seeing the Great James, the first ship that returned on the second joint stock, brought a charge of 3,000l. for wages, &c., and all her lading would not buy out the remains of the old stock, but put the Company in debt 60,000l. more; besides that, for seven years past they had paid 20,000l. interest yearly, and had brought their debt down to 100,000l., though it had risen again, yet in three years past they had sent to the southward but four ships and a pinnace, viz., the Exchange, Christopher, and Expedition, in 1625, Speedwell in 1626, and Dove in February last. Further, Mr. Governor showed that their planting upon the Isle of Lagundy, where they erected a fort for residency, had been a great charge, but because of the unwholesomeness of the place were forced to return to Jacatra, where 40,000 ryals of 8 was unduly expended upon a house, when they might have gone to Bantam, but were still debarred by the Dutch, notwithstanding his Majesty's letters sent by Mr. Steele to the King in the Exchange, with express commission to the English to trade there, whilst the Dutch, under pretence of besieging that place, trade with the Javas for great quantities of pepper, not permitting the English to have any. The Abigail also and Rose employed for the coast of Coromandel with cargazoons to the value of 89,512 ryals of 8 miscarried, but the goods were saved, and with 10,167 ryals remaining there might produce at Jacatra 300,000 ryals; so that our ships not returning was not for want of stock but of lading, the English being compelled to get it little by little where they could find it. Nor did the Dutch hinder them from trade at Bantam only, but in all other places, for proof whereof Mr. Governor read extract of a Dutch remonstrance, which plainly demonstrated their absolute resolution by all means and on all occasions to interrupt and impose charge on our trade, the truth whereof was confirmed by an authentic copy before the Lords, which was also read. Their losses through being debarred by the Dutch from trade at Bantam six or seven years past amounting to 2,000,000l., they were ready to prove to the Lords, before whom the Committees would clear their reputation and prove their care and faithful endeavours for well "ordering the affairs of the Company, and to do all that could be done to obtain due reparation against the Dutch; and therefore these complaints might well have been spared till next election day, when the generality might have dismissed them all, and made choice of fitter men to govern their affairs if they had thought good. To the reply of one of the generality that if they had lost two millions by the Dutch they were in a very miserable state, and that the improvidence of the Governor, his predecessor and the Committees was the cause thereof, Mr. Deputy propounded that if the generality could charge any of the Court with dishonesty or improvidence it ought to be examined, and if any could challenge him for a groat he desired to be kicked out of the Court. Mr. Governor then blamed Mr. Chamberlain for laying an imputation on the deceased Governor, and declared that these complaints proceeded not from any desire of good to the Company, but from the malice of Mr. Smethwike, who could not attain his own ends; the first that ho had been entertained to go factor to the Indies, but for his overweening pride to have been President at once, he was dismissed; the second cause of his discontent was because the Committee would not give way to the transportation of the 12th, 13th, and 14th divisions in the books; in the third place, on the arrival of the last ships from the Indies he made offer on the Exchange, without any authority, to sell all the Company's pepper, which course of sales by brokers would cost the Company 1,000l. yearly, besides worse inconveniences. These, and the like proceedings of those not well affected to the Company, had produced 'dangerous practices, for even now when the States Ambassadors were here his Majesty and the Lords were informed by some false brothers of the Company that though the King and State should right us, yet the Company had neither ability nor will to follow the trade. In fine, Mr. Governor blamed Smethwike exceedingly for making the propositions so common as to lie open in a scrivener's shop, whence copies were sold and sent to Holland and other places, for if there had been any occasion of complaint it should have been made in a single paper to the Court, and not by such scandalous libels. Opinions of Mr. Mynne, who hoped this day's work would have produced some reformation, and desired the Court to consider. how to regulate the business for the time to come, and first that the general order for brokes about November twelvemonth might be read. Which being done, Lord Camden observed that the Governor, Deputy, and Committees should first be cleared of those unjust imputations laid to their charge, and Mr. Deputy represented that being a Burgess of Parliament by favour of the City, and their Remonstrance to be heard on Thursday next, it would be a great disreputation to the Court, and himself in particular, and call in question the truth of the Remonstrance, if these aspersions be not publicly cleared; but Mr. Mynne insisted on his proposition, and not receiving present satisfaction, rose in a great discontent and departed the Court. Sir John Wolstenholme then explained why he was sorry to see such divisions, which were not only unseasonable, but very dangerous in respect the States Ambassadors were in England and the Remonstrance in Parliament; and that their losses could not be imputed to any neglect of the present government. Mr. Styles also explained that by reason of the strength of the Portugals they had been forced to send more shipping to Surat than was necessary for that trade. Sir Edwyn Sandys protested that he had sat as a Committee one year, and never saw greater sincerity in the carriage of any business, but as there was so great a difference between the 200,000l. or 300,000l. pretended by the propositions to be lost, and of 1,600,000l. alleged by the Committee to be lost by the interruption of the Hollanders, who had been supported by the blood of the English, he desired that that point might be cleared. Whereupon Mr. Governor put it to the question, whether this second joint stock had lost more than 1, 2 or 300,000l., and by general erection of hands it was agreed that this stock had sustained much more loss than in the propositions was suggested. It was next put to the question and affirmatively concluded that the Indies had not been understocked, but that the Governor, Deputy, and Committees had carried themselves honestly and faithfully in the affairs of the Company. The Order for Delinquents was then read and passed by, and Mr. Governor remonstrated that the Trinity House had made overture to freight ships for the Indies at 6d. per lb. for pepper, which though a dear rate he desired might be taken into consideration; he also represented that there was a general cry abroad against what was yearly given to the Governor, Deputy, and Committees, and again declared his resolution not to serve for nothing, though last year neither he nor Mr. Deputy had taken so much as the General Court had allowed, and the Committees hearing that nothing should be allowed them had refused to take their oaths until the mixed Committee promised to move the General Court that other order might be taken for their usual gratifications. Mr. Governor reported that letters of good encouragement had been received out of Persia, and from Ispahan, 8 November last, which were read and gave good satisfaction. Nicholas Crispe, the younger, declared he was drawn with much importunity to the subscription to the request for a General Court, conceiving it was for proposing a new stock or a continuation of trade on the old, but he utterly disavowed the objections and propositions exhibited. 14 pp. [Ct. Min. Bk. X., 365–378.]
May 21.
The Hague.
657. Dudley Carleton to Lord Carleton. Re-delivered the States counter protest to M. Fight [Feit] this morning; who refused to take it but left it upon his table and took leave in civil terms. Fight is President this week, and would have had Carleton present it to the Assembly. It seems they will send both protests to their Ambassadors in England, but if Lord Carleton take back his before theirs is presented to the Lords all may be hushed again. His Lordship has the advantage of time to acquaint the King and the Lords beforehand. Has well considered the States protest and finds it cunningly framed and nothing peremptory in it. Their soliciting by M. Catz a prolongation of the time prescribed by the King is a main argument that they accepted the protest of Southampton; and took it for certain the process was submitted, why did they change their answer of the 14th March at his Lordship's instance. [Extract, Holland Corresp.]
May 21–28. 658. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Calling to mind the unjust slanders and great abuse offered to the Court by Smethwike, the broker, and that divers gentlemen whose hands were to the petition had publicly confessed upon the Exchange that they had been betrayed by Smethwike, utterly disavowing that they ever saw or heard of the complaints until they were exhibited at the General Court, which they thought had been called about a subscription for a third stock or about the 10th and 11th divisions, some were of opinion to "battulate him" the house, others to sue him in the Star Chamber or complain against him to the Lords of the Council, but after much debate it was resolved that he should be forbidden the sight of any books in the counting-house, except for his own account. Mr. Bostock being sent for was told that Smethwike's business had been strangely carried, that some men's hands to the petition were dead, one was no adventurer, and another no freeman, and that divers copies of the complaints had been written in his ship and sold for 12d. per piece; to which he answered that he disliked the complaints and was ignorant of selling them, but would inquire of his men. Report of Mr. Treasurer that there was a warrant for 736l. 4s. 2d. to be paid to Fletcher for cordage, that a great proportion was already in their storehouses, and he desired the Committees to forbear buying unless occasion served, in regard they might be taxed of improvidence. Divers sorts of Muscovia cordage presented by Job Harby; ordered that Fotherby certify what was wanting for the James, Charles, London, and Reformation. Bargain to be made with Towes and some of the grocers for remainder of the Company's pepper. Mr. Rickhoult to have 10 hhds. of cloves to transport at 11s. per lb. garbled, the price of cloves ungarbled set at 10s. per lb. Ordered that 20 hbds. of cloves be laden for the Company's account in the four ships now bound for Leghorn, and the proceeds returned in ryals of S. Request of Capt. Burleigh, commander of four ships belonging to Sir John Hippisley for a gratification for his attendance about the stay of the Dutch ships at Portsmouth; was answered that the service was done by his Majesty's express command, nevertheless some Committees should wait on Sir John about the same. Agreement with Steevens to repair the Charles for 465l., and the Company to find all materials; John Southam, with Wm. Swanley, to have the oversight. Application of Capt. Davis and Mr. Bromfield on behalf of the widow of Capt. Arnold Browne, the Court considering he had wasted 13 barrels of powder and exceeded very much in private trade, and finding there was due to him 870l. for wages and debts, besides 200l. allowed for a parcel of cloves taken from him at Jacatra, and a bale of calicoes sold here for 100l. offered 800l. in full of all demands; but it was alleged that Capt. Browne carried out 500l. in ready money, which the Court held to be too great an abuse; the settlement referred till next Court.
May 26.—Discussion whether the assurance of 50,000l. or 60,000l. should not proceed as formerly debated; Mr. Governor doubted it would be a charge rather than a security, as formerly propounded, and that it would spoil the design for the Persian trade and disable the Company's credit, so nothing was resolved. Mr. Governor related the proposals of Bownest for ending the difference of account between himself and the Company. Motion of James Cocks that Mr. Abdi be joined with Sheriff Garwaie to end the difference about the estate of Giles Hobbes. Report of Mr. Governor that a petition was to be exhibited to the Lords of the Council against himself and the Court of Committees, with 12 hands to it, viz., Sir Randall Cranfield, Messrs. Gibbs, Mynne, Chamberlaine, Smethwike and others and he moved whether it were not fit to have the consent of the next General Court to prosecute Smethwike for the unjust imputations laid upon themselves, to which was answered that if they should complain at the Council table he will but be committed, which punishment was held no satifaction, then it was moved whether leave should be desired of the Lords to take their course against him in Star Chamber, upon which further dispute arose, and it was alledged that Smethwike's chief spleen was in regard he could not have Mynne's pepper changed for new, and for that he was denied the transport of divisions in several fractions, which would have occasioned much intricacy in their accounts; in conclusion Mr. Deputy and Mr. Perry were entreated to speak with the Earl of Dorset about the certificate procured by Smethwike from his Lordship for his justification at the last General Court, and to acquaint his Lordship with his insolencies and misdemeanors, and Sir John Wolstenholme promised to relate to the Duke of Buckingham and the Chancellor of the Exchequer what a turbulent disposition Mynne and his fellows are. A General Court appointed for Friday next to acquaint them that if they intend to prosecute the the Persian trade now is the only time for buying, dyeing, and dressing cloth.
May 28.—Mr. Ducy to provide all materials for repair of the Charles. Concerning Katherine, wife of Arnold Davis, who had wrongfully received money by virtue of an administration pretending herself to be Alice, the sister of John Blackman, deceased; and Thomas Church for the remainder of his brother Henry's wages claimed by Katherine Davis as administratrix to Blackman. 55 bullions of quicksilver at Sandwich to be detained there in regard of the danger of these troublesome times by sea. Consideration about sending spice yearly to Venice to buy quicksilver, and to Leghorn to buy coral and ryalls deferred. Opinion of Mr. Governor that some course should be taken against Smethwike and others, but the general opinion was to leave them to their intended course, which at the General Court would break out, and then both their plots and confederates would more apparently be discovered. Consideration how to support the trade this year; it was proposed first to continue the old stock by the supply of a half capital by every adventurer, and to buy out such as would not at 90 per cent.; secondly, to desert the old stock, and raise a private stock for a particular voyage; thirdly, to put out a new subscription for a third joint stock, but it was resolved after hearing many other propositions to propound to the generality to continue the old stock by bringing in a supply of 12l. 10s. per cent. which would raise a competent sum of 100,000l. to 120,000l. The commodities for Persia and Surat next considered, 300 cloths, 1000 kerseys and 100 tons of tin, but the proposition for assuring 50,000l. or 60,000l. was deserted as being rather chargeable than advantageous; and it was advised that at the General Court the business of the prosecution of their trade be carried with temper and moderation, for a rupture in the Company at this time might occasion the overthrow of the whole trade by giving advantage to the Hollanders who lye in wait to observe the proceedings of the Company. The bonds of John Dodd and Richard Andrewes, late pursers of the Sampson and William, to be cancelled. The wages of John Head, late mate of the Expedition, stayed on the complaint of Geo. Willoughby to be paid having answered Willoughby's bills in Chancery, and being awarded his costs. 8 pp. [Court Min. Bk. X. 379–386.]
May 29.
659. (Edward Misselden) to Lord Carleton. Reports by the Dutch East India Ships that our people should have left Jacatra on the arrival of Coen, and that some of them should by another disaster be miserably put to death, some say by a Bantam junk that took them for Dutch, others by a Portugal ship. The Dutch speak of a flyboat of advice sent from England last year on the arrest of the Dutch ships. Sends a printed petition presented to Parliament by our East India Company. [Extract, Holland Corresp.]
May 30. 660. Court Minutes of the East India Company. That the meeting of the generality in the afternoon being to consider the best course for raising means for the supportation of the trade this year, especially that of Persia, it was conceived necessary to set forth the worth and riches of the Persia trade according to the contents of the Company's letters lately received from thence, and to recommend the bringing in of 10 or more per cent. on the old stock by every adventurer, leaving the determination thereof wholly to the generality. Relation of Mr. Crispe that Abraham Chamberlaine was much discontented, conceiving he had been wrongfully charged by Mr. Governor, firstly in that he had held confederacy with the Dutch, which he would not put up with, and secondly that there was a bar put in his way for disabling him ever to be a Committee, and therefore he now came to clear himself, denying he had delivered any petition against the Company, but confessing he had put his hand to certain articles, viz., that the election of the Governor and Committees should hereafter be by the balloting box, that none be admitted Committees without they have at least 2,000l. adventure, and that a General Court be called once a quarter; but being informed that Mr. Governor was not expected this morning, he departed. Hereupon notice was taken that Mr. Bownest had given satisfaction to Mr. Governor, that he had not deserved the jealousies conceived of him, offering to take his oath before a judge that he had never wronged the Company, and for the matter of account in question he was content to refer himself to any two of the Committees, which free dealing was much commended, and Mr. Sambrooke ordered to examine the account. Messrs. Stone and Yeomans to have copies of the accounts of Robert Chilcott, and John Parker, who married Chilcott's widow; and 25s., which the Commissioners of Sewers had taxed their land with at Deptford, to be paid. 2 pp. [Ct. Min. Bk. X. 386–388.]
May 30. 661. Minutes of a General Court. Abraham Chamberlaine protested that what he had spoken against the late Governor was not meant of Alderman Halliday, but Sir Thomas Smythe, his predecessor, and that he could make good what he said; to which Mr. Governor answered that their meeting was not upon justification of government but to consider Persian trade, of which there was now great hope, thanks to the care and labour of the Committees, notwithstanding the exclamations against the Turkey merchants, whereof many were Committees, as if they had opposed its success, for instead of two parts money and the rest commodities, the King of Persia was content to accept one-quarter money and three parts merchandise. Mr. Governor then related that the cargazoon lately sent to Persia was but 36,000l., and that the silk bought therewith would yield in England 120,000l. at 20s. the great pound, and he showed that 6s. 8d. in goods would buy 1 lb. of silk worth 20s.; he also pointed out by direction of the Committee the friendly usage of the Persian who permitted the English to enjoy half the custom at Ormuz, with other privileges, so that in case they resolve to proceed with the trade a timely provision might be made of cloth for the reasons given, and because cloth which is not dyed and dressed in winter is in danger to spot and discolour, and that the sheet lead in which the cloth is packed will in Surat yield 40l. per cent profit. Mr. Deputy said this was intended only as a preparative Court, the conclusion being referred to another General Court on Tuesday sennight. In reply to one of the generality, Mr. Governor said that they find better countenance from the State than was looked for, and though the Dutch had done all they could, their three ships which had lain at Portsmouth eight months were yet unreleased, concluding that though the business of Amboyna be not yet settled, there was some hope of good success; and for the petition in Parliament, in answer to Mr. Robinson, Mr. Deputy said that because a full Committee could not be got together, Sir Dudley Digges (who sat in the chair for trade) had put off till next week the consideration of their Remonstrance, and that being informed of the worth of the trade they would so countenance the same as the Company will be encouraged to prosecute the same. Sir Francis Wortley moved that a Committee be appointed to examine each man's account, so as to understand how the stock had been carried, to which Mr. Governor replied, saying it was needless, and he put the Court in mind that four years ago a like Committee was appointed and effected nothing, and that they would have a fitter opportunity to question the Committees after the election day. But Sir Francis insisted on his motion, and moved for the election of a Select Committee by the balloting box and not by erection of hands, werein there might be some awe over men. This "unjust taxation," as though the Committees were grown rich by their places, was accounted very scandalous by the Committees and not fit to be let pass; to which Mr. Milward, Mr. Treasurer Bateman, Job Harby, and Alderman Venn replied, but Sir Francis said he had said nothing that deserved contrition, and that it was unfit to embark in a new stock before they were satisfied concerning the old. Mr. Pitt followed and instanced a report that the Company had sustained much loss by the sale of a parcel of indigo. Mr. Governor, after thanking Mr. Pitt for descending to particulars, and asking if any other could particularise anything of the like nature, and the Court remaining silent, proceeded to declare what had truly passed concerning that bargain. Upon which Mr. Mynn affirmed it would be averred that Mr. Governor and some of the Committees were partners in the bargain, and he moved for a select Committee to examine whether the indigo were well sold or not. The course taken if a Committee resolve to be a sharer in a bargain was then explained by one of the Committee, and that the buying by Committees had produced great benefit to the Company, and that it was for the Accountants and Auditors to give account how the stock stood, for that the Governor and Committees had not the handling of the money nor making up of the accounts. Mr. Mynn still pressing for a Committee, Mr. Milward witnessed that Alderman Garwaie at his coming to Court had no intention to buy, and Mr. Smethwike objected against a Committee being a buyer in a Court of Committees as very prejudicial, and also against the brokes which had been cast up at 8 instead of 9 per cent., and remarked upon the subject of brokes, to which Mr. Governor replied, and that the Court of Committees had ordered that brokes on goods, amounting to 4,000l., be deducted from the next division. But when Mr. Smethwike charged Mr. Governor with having proceeded maliciously against him, Sir John Worsnam represented that these disputes hindered the work of the day, and moved that a balance be made ready against next Court on Tuesday senninght, and meantime to prepare an estimate of the money required to pursue the Persian trade this year. Mr. Governor answered that the balance could not be made ready against next Court, and that the Committees were of opinion to send to Persia and Surat, which could not be separated, 100,000l. or 120,000l. quick stock, and to raise it either on the old stock or by a new subscription. The Court agreed to the sum proposed, and after discussion as to bringing it in, the Court proceeded to the nomination of a Select Committee of thirty members herein named to join with the Standing Committee to examine the estate of the account of this stock, and to consider the buying of cloth and proceeding with the trade; any twelve to take the business into consideration and to have power to look into the Company's books of accounts and have the assistance of the accountants. 7 pp. [Ct. Min. Bk. X. 388–395.]