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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|776. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Discourse concerning the design for Persia: a proposition made to endeavour by all possible means to persuade the King to bring down his silk to the water side, which would be an exceeding ease and advance much time in returns; but it was answered that this had not been unthought of, but the King had utterly refused to bring it so far as Shiraz, and is so jealous of his profit that it was a work of much labour to persuade him to bring it to Ispahan, so that such a favour is not to looked for at present, but hereafter when he shall see the constancy of the Company to continue their trade with him he may be persuaded to do more. After being largely argued and debated it was resolved to send their two intended ships directly to Surat, and then not to unlade a pennyworth of commodities, but only ryals to the value of 15,000l., or upwards, with directions to their factors there to invest the same in linen cloth and other commodities for the southward, and so keep their course for Persia, where having unladen all the cloth, tin, &c., to return to Surat and take in the goods bought with the said 15,000l., then go for Bantam and the coast of Sumatra, and there by sale of those goods and some money to lade home their ships with pepper, and come immediately for England. This course it was conceived may be accomplished within 18 months, and will be an occasion not only of good profit, but of preserving the health of their servants, who by their short stay at Bantam will not be subject to those diseases which often cost many their lives. After an objection to this proposition was answered, it was by erection of hands ordered that the ships now intended to be sent out for Persia shall not stay to bring home their silk, but proceed upon their voyage according to the aforesaid proposition, but that the silk shall be brought home by the ships which shall be sent out the next year. Messrs. Kerridge and Benthall who lately arrived in the William, presented themselves in Court, and after Mr. Governor and the rest had saluted and welcomed them home, they were made acquainted with the course resolved on, and they concurred with it as the best and profitable way. Exceptions were then strongly urged against the Reformation as not only a bad sailor but too small a burden, but the imputation of bad sailing being cleared, it was resolved by the major part of the eight new adventurers to rest upon the Discovery and Reformation; Committees desired to use all possible diligence in trimming and finishing them, and also that a Committee be appointed by the General Court to put an indifferent value on said ships, and the old and new adventurers to make ready all kinds of provisions and merchandises, particularly the Committees for wine. The appointment of Capt. Bickley to the Discovery confirmed. Mr. Fuller, recommended by Capt. Weddell for a preacher, having yesterday made his approbation sermon, wherein his sufficiency was very much approved, the same giving a general content and liking to the hearers, whereof Mr. Governor and the chief of the adventurers were present, came to be entertained in the Company's service, but not being prepared to make his demand, and the Court unwilling to make any offer, he was advised to consider thereof before Monday.
|Jan. 3.—Mr. Colthurst appointed to oversee the dyeing, dressing and ordering of the cloth to be bought for Persia. Request of divers to underwrite in this Persian voyage nothwithstanding the time limited by the General Court be expired, referred to the next General Court of the Persian adventurers. Advice of Benthall, late factor in Persia, returned in the William, that the blocks of tin formerly sent there, were over great and cumbersome in carriage and that hereafter the chests may be cast at 1 cwt. apiece; ordered to bespeak chests for the tin accordingly; Mr. Benthall advising that above the contract with the King of Persia, they might bring some quantity of tin to Shiraz to be sold to the Khan and his people. Understanding from Mr. Benthall that gold is more requested in Persia and would yield more benefit either in "chickens" or ingots than silver, the Court entreated Mr. Treasurer to inquire after the ship lately returned from Barbary and if he could meet with any gold buy it, yet on condition (because there is so much deceit used in the said gold) that the seller shall melt it down to the standard, as the Company have formerly bargained for Barbary gold with Mr. Dyke. Computation presented by Mr. Mountney that there will be room for all the stores provisions, and merchandise intended to be laden aboard the two ships appointed for Persia. Gratuity of 5l. more to Mr. Tatam, a master of the cloth ships in addition to 10l. already received for great pains taken about the wreck at the Fly. Ordered that the Committee buy 200 white cloths to be dyed and dressed for this Persian voyage. Committee to view Alderman Freeman and Job Harby's cordage. Letters read from Mr. Misselden for commission to be given to Mr. Barlow for sale at Amsterdam of the wrecked pepper and 27 bales of cloth recovered at the Fly. John Spiller, the beadle appointed porter of Crosby House, void by the death of Robins. Joseph Walker, who had been employed as factor in the Indies appointed to take an inventory of all particulars appertaining to the powder mills, and deliver all over to the custody of Mr. Collins, the old powder to be delivered to Collins to be mended when he calls for the same.
|Jan. 5.—Mr. Fuller, who is suitor to go preacher, presented himself and desired to receive the resolution of the Court for his acceptance or refusal, but forasmuch as the Court since hearing him preach had received some private information whereof they desired to be satisfied before they could resolve to give him answer, demanded why he being a married man and having received 700l. or 800l. with his wife, he would undertake such a voyage and absent himself so long from her. He confessed that was the chief cause of desiring this employment for that she is a woman whose life and conversation is incompatible and not to be endured and with whom he never intends to have any conversation or fellowship as well in respect of her uncivil and dishonest behaviour as for the many wrongs and injuries done him by her, assuring the Court that he had never yet possessed himself of her estate to the value of 160l.; and for the truth as well of her estate as behaviour and of his own carriage and demeanour towards her and all others he in treated the Court to be satisfied from Mr. Hammond in Southwark, his wife's first husband's executor and overseer; the Court knowing Mr. Hamond to be an honest man desired Mr. Fuller to have patience till Friday, and in the meantime they would speak with Mr. Hamond. The funeral expenses, 2l. 4s. 6d., of Robins, the Company's late porter, to be paid out of the poor box, and the allowance of 2s. 6d. per week to Mr. Blunt's man. Petition of John Atkinson to be entertained again into his former place at Black wall, and that the wrongs and injuries done him by Mr. Fotherby might be examined, referred to a Committee. On consideration that the William is not likely, by reason of contrary winds and neap tides, to come from Gore-end these eight or 10 days, and of danger from the Dunkerkers, ordered that 40 or 50 men be sent in a hoy to the William for her better strength, and that Capt. Browne be required to use his best diligence in keeping his men from running ashore, and to keep careful watch day and night against any assault. Letter from Walter Ambler read, advertising the arrival of their French prize in the Cowes; ordered to write blaming his negligence in omitting to come with the William from Falmouth. Ordered that 40 pieces of napkins and 32 of calicoes belonging to the widow of John Darby, late mate of the Discovery be delivered to her on payment of freight. Request of the Lord Treasurer to contract for saltpetre for his Majesty's use, the Secretary to acquaint his Lordship with the Company's willingness to pleasure him with 700l. or 800l. worth, their ships having lately brought home a great quantity, and after trial of its goodness the Company will set the price. Motion of Sir William Russell that as Mr. Kerridge informs gold is of good value in Persia, and may be got better cheap here than ryals of eight, the Company order the providing of that species in a larger proportion than was intended, left to further consideration.
|Jan. 6.—The hoy man of Rochester, freighted with cordage for the William, having stayed at Rochester till after the ship was come about, to be punished and never employed again. Vyan [Vyne], who came home master of the Discovery, again entertained to go master on her at 6l. per month. Tozier, late master of the Palsgrave, and Byam, late mate of the Reformation, nominated for master of the Reformation, but deferred until information be received from Capt. Blythe touching Tozier. That Willoughby is willing to proceed in this voyage, if he may have good conditions and be permitted to return in the ship he goes out it. Philip Bearden chosen purser, and George Pettus, purser's mate of the Discovery, and Adrian Montgomery, Richard Caly, late purser's mate of the Dolphin, and James Johnson, who had lived at Jambi, entertained stewards, and Thomas Harvy and Henry Collison, mates, but not settled until it be known whether either of the purser's mates will fall off. Three tallies struck by Burlamachi for 20,000l. presented, but before the Court accepted them, to see whether the Farmers of the Customs would seal bonds or bills for the same, and meantime to deliver him 500 bags of Bantam pepper.
|Jan. 7.—Gratuity of 3l. to James Gibson, gunner in the Reformation, who was wounded by the French and lost the use of his left hand, with promise of employment at Blackwall if any fitting for him. Also of 40s. to Thomas Hastings who lost his finger in unlading the Dolphin. Request of Mr. White, son-in-law to the Lord Treasurer to be admitted a free brother gratis, with intent to be an adventurer in this Persian voyage; answer deferred. Offer of Methwold, to go factor for Persia, deferred Fotherby recommended by Kerridge as the fittest man to go prime factor to Surat, in regard he is a good accountant and there is great want of such a man. Ordered that Richard Carter, who came home in the Discovery and was left behind in Ireland, receive his wages due, and that stay be made out of the wages of Thomas Horton of a debt of 3l. due to him.
|Jan. 9.—Report upon cordage, Alderman Freeman's demands too high, others contracted with at 28s. per cwt. Suit of Mr. Viccars, who had underwritten in this new subscription, to be admitted a free brother by service; but not being capable of freedom by service, to be admitted by fine of 20l., which he desired to consider. Fines for freedoms to be put to the account of the old stock. William Tozier entertained master of the Reformation, and John Elsemore master under Capt. Weddell in the Charles, at 6l. per month each. Discourse with Methwold concerning his entertainment as factor for Persia, his opinion of the benefit of renewing the trade at Masulipatam, and advice that the power and excess of the Commanders, especially of wine spent in their cabins, might be restrained; he desired not to be esteemed in the highest but in the middle rank, for he protested covetousness doth not invite him to seek for this employment but the respect and love which he bears to the Company to do them his best service, and therefore he hoped he should deserve 350l. per annum; the Court referred him to their next meeting. Motion again made that to avoid the clamour of refractory persons who have protested that the new adventurers do them prejudice by using the shipping of the old stock, they should hire ships at freight, and not meddle with anything appertaining to the old stock; but this was found impossible, yet again ordered that exact account be kept of all things taken by the new adventurers from the stores of the old, to be afterwards valued by indifferent persons. Touching the exceptions taken by the old adventurers that the new had liberty to trade in any parts of the Indies, which was not at first intended, also that the time for subscription might be enlarged, divers being desirous to underwrite; it was thought fit that consideration of this particular be propounded at the next General Court. 17½ pp. [Ct. Min. Bk. XI. 229–246.]
|777. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Letter read from Mr. Burt, agent in Persia, desiring payment according to agreement, to Mr. Howe, with the consent of Mr. Spurstowe, of 200l., the third of his wages for three years; ordered accordingly. Consideration of a petition of Elias Sherbrooke, late carpenter in the Discovery, to remit the offence charged against him of raising a mutiny in said ship, and occasioning her, with the palsgrave and Dolphin, to put in for Ireland, but forasmuch as the proofs were very pregnant against him, escape would be a very ill example, it was thought fit to leave him to justice; as for his associates, who it is alleged were drawn in by Sherbrook's persuasions, their offences to be remitted on payment of a small fine to the poor box. Notice that 20 bales of silk are landed out of the William at Sandwich, belonging to Benthall, who assured the Court they were landed without his order; the land weighters to be required to bring said bales to Crosby House as soon as they be brought to town. Muscovia cordage having been sold by Clement Harby and Thos. Symonds at 30s. per cwt., the Committees are forthwith to make choice of the proportions required, and to view again Alderman Freemen's cordage. letter read from Sir John Hippisley demanding allowance for the stay of his ships on the arrest of the three Dutch Surat ships at Portsmouth; resolved to write him a fair letter to the effect that, though acknowledging to have received kindness from him in the business of the Moon's pepper, which they have in some measure expressed by their thankfulness, yet in this particular they conceive he hath no reason to expect from the Company the least satisfaction whatsoever, for that his ships were not stayed upon this service by any suit of theirs, but by command of the State, who, for reasons best known to themselves, ordered the arrest of the three Surat ships, and for like reasons have thought fit to release them, whereby neither by their arrest or release are the Company benefitted in the least degree. The moneys already returned by Mr. Barlow to be put by Treasurer Bateman to the account of the old stock, but what is hereafter returned to be equally charged upon both. Report of Sir Wm. Russell of the intended complaint against the Company by those refractory persons who protested against the proceedings of the Company at the last General Court and their relation read, but nothing found therein but what had been propounded and answered at divers General Courts; yet the Court fell into consultation how necessary it was for them to prevent this complaint by attending his Majesty or the Lords to make known their abuses, and so far possess them with the wealth and riches of this trade as to be assured of their protection and encouragement by enlarging their privileges, and in particular that liberty should be given for transportation without limitation of such foreign or English coin as they shall find necessary for the increase of their trade, otherwise it were better to desist at first then to make a beginning and be forced to give it over; therefore a proposition was made to appoint a select Committee to consult on the business, and, after serious debate, to attend the Kind and Lords with their requests and overtures, and if his Majesty give way to propound the same to Parliament in pursuit of what they have already delivered at their last meeting; whereby the trade, receiving countenance from them, all the adventurers may be encouraged to proceed cheerfully therein, which will not only bring great honour and profit to the King and kingdom by venting cloth and other native commodities in Persia and the Indies, but also bring from thence silk in that plentiful manner as to make this kingdom the staple for all Christendom. Ordered to have a meeting of all the new adventurers of Friday to consult hereon, and likewise in the afternoon of the old Committees to consider whether to open the book for a longer time, and admit such as desire freedom by purchase, that they may acquaint the General Court on Monday next with their resolutions. Dispute concerning sending English gold into Persia, Mr. Treasurer alleging it will yield more profit by 3l. per cent. than any foreign gold, but Mr. Kerridge said that no gold is accounted there but according to its fineness, nor is gold in all parts of the Indies current at all times, but in some parts, as in Surat, silver is more merchantable, and his opinion was to sent both, which the Court resolved; and to encourage the bringing in of foreign gold it was not held safe to raise the price, but rather that such as have or expect any foreign gold should address themselves to Mr. Treasurer privately, from whom they shall receive reasonable profit. And because the Company have made over bills of exchange to a good value to Mr. Barlow to be returned in foreign silver and gold, a motion was made in regard of his age that one Mr. Webster be joined with him, but the Court conceived it would be a disparagement to Mr. Barlow, who hath hitherto approved himself an honest and just man. Mr. Fuller elected to go preacher into the Indies with Capt. Weddell, the Court being satisfied upon inquiry that same aspersions cast upon him were altogether untrue; nevertheless, before they would agree with him, he was advised to procure from his wife a not signifying her consent to his going, and not to trouble the Company in his absence for more than the third of his wages, which he is content to allow her; this, although he would not promise, he would endeavour to his utmost.
|Jan. 16.— Minutes of a Court of all or the most part of the new Adventurers. Report of Mr. Governor of the safe arrival of the William at Erith, and that their meeting was for two causes. The one to propound a longer time for subscription for this Persia voyage, in regard many give out they were surprised or were not it town when this business was resolved, and did not so well understand it as now they do, which Mr. Governor conceived might be done without prejudice to the adventurers, besides it would avoid the false report that they purpose to steal away this trade and exclude the old adventurers. After consideration of this motion and that several had delivered their opinions, it was ordered that the book for subscription should lie open for all men that would underwrite till the last of this month, by which time also they are to bring in their first payment or to be excluded. The next business propounded by Mr. Governor was to resolve whether the fines for freemen should be paid to the old or the new stock, which, after receiving some dispute, it was agreed and ordered that such moneys as shall be raised by the fines of those made free shall be put to the account of the old stock and not to the account of the new. Motion that the preamble for the new subscription be explained, for therein mention is made that this underwriting shall be but for one voyage, whereas it is given out that those that have subscribed shall next year be commanded to bring in a further supply; to which was answered that there is no question but there must be a new subscription next year, for otherwise the trade cannot be continued, yet it neither was nor is it the meaning of the Court to tie any man, but that all shall be left free to do what they please; and the reason the preamble mentions but one voyage is in regard of the Dutch who are shortly expected over, for if in some short time the Company have not satisfaction from them by means of the King and State no man will be willing to adventure further, but if justice be done the Company no doubt the same adventurers and others also will be encouraged to venture again. Motion by Alderman Fenn on behalf of Divines, Adventurers in the Old stock, that the Company's late order that no man be admitted to underwrite less than 200l. be altered, and that any be free to come in for 50l.; but this the Court utterly denied, and by erection of hands confirmed their former order, yet so as if any will come in under another that is a free brother he may for 50l., but not to have any voice in Court.
|Jan. 16.— Minutes of a Court of Committees. Petition of Fotherby to be employed as a factor for Surat, together with his discouragements and complaints against the porter and others in the yard at Blackwall; the Court so well approved of him as they held him worthy to be entertained, and the rather that by Mr. Keridge's relation Surat needs not only such an excellent accountant, but also one to be of the Council for direction of the Company's affairs in those parts; but being informed by a Committee of the necessity of his continuance at Blackwall to deliver an account of the stores and provisions of the old stock, and that no man could rectify them in his absence, and that his discontents arose from abatement of his salary, 40l., it was resolved to forbear to entertain him for Surat, but to continue him at Blackwall with his former salary, or a gratuity in lieu thereof, and if he continue his desire to be employed for Surat in their next fleet they could no doubt accommodate him, and that his complaints against the porter and others should be examined. George Browne entertained master in the London under Capt. Pynn at 5l. per month. Tho. Bodman, Robert Toby, and Gersham Hayward, mutineers on the Discovery, upon their submission and sorrow to be paid their wages, Bodman and Toby paying 20s. each to the poor box, and Hayward 10s. Consideration of the new privileges necessary to be desired of his Majesty and State for advancement of the Persian trade; first as to the money to be sent this year for the old and new account. It was not held safe, especially now in time of Parliament, to export more than the 100,000l. they had license for, though it should be received aboard from the Low Countries in the Downs. Therefore resolved to petition the King for a further license to export as much as shall be necessary. Consideration how much shall be desired and what species, whether foreign or domestic, the resolution of the old Company being to export 70,000l. or 80,000l., and this committee being of opinion to send out for the new 50,000l. or 60,000l. at the least, partly to accomplish their contract with the King of Persia, which requires one-fourth of the cargazoon imported to be in money, to defray charges of transport between Ispahan and Gombroon, to send a stock for Bantam, to provide pepper against the ships come from Persia to the southward, and lastly to leave 15,000l. at Surat to be invested against next year. After argument the Court by erection of hands concluded to petition his Majesty for license to export 50,000l. or 60,000l. more than the Company had formerly license for, without condition for importation, or limitation for gold or silver, domestic or foreign; Mr. Governor and a committee was appointed to deliver the petition, and to make way by the Lord Treasurer as a business most proper for him to take notice of in regard of his place, and for that he hath declared himself from time to time as a friend to the Company. 12 pp. [Ct. Min. Bk. XI 247–258.]
|778. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Examination of Fotherby's complaints against Giles Shepheard, the Company's porter at Blackwall, of carelessness in looking to the chips, admitting rogues and vagrants into the yard, keeping in his house and leaving the gate open for everyone to go in and out; on his promise to be more careful he was given only a sharp reprehension, and charged to observe Fotherby's directions on pain of his being immediately discharged. Ordered, that the inferior officers in the yard perfect their accounts every month and deliver them to Mr. Fotherby, upon forfeiture of wages and employment. Motion of Mr. Governor whether to give notice at the General Court in the afternoon of the resolution of the new adventurers for Persia to enlarge the time of subscription, and whether the expected division should be in calicoes, or money, and in what proportion. Resolved, after large debate, that a division be made of the 12th half capital in money and not in calicoes at Midsummer come 12 months, and that those who have not taken out their 10th and 11th divisions in money, be paid, the 10th at Midsummer next and the 11th at Christmas following. Resolved that inventory be made of all the materials of the Discovery and Reformation, and that it then be referred to four of the Trinity House, four master carpenters, and an equal number of the old and new adventurers to value them. Request of Thos. Kerridge to know the pleasure of the Court how they would dispose of the 17 Dutch mariners who secretly crept into the William in the Indies and attended without, expecting some thankfulness from the Company; it was thought a fault in Capt. Browne to admit them into the ship, and the more so for the Dutch will be ready to complain as if the English had enticed them away, but Capt. Browne excusing himself pretended he never knew of their being aboard until they were under sail; nevertheless to clear the Company of this accusation, ordered that said mariners petition the Court setting down the cause and manner of their coming into the ship, and then the Company will give them 40s. a piece to carry them into their country. Order upon the request of the cousins and executors of the late President Hawley for delivery of his private letters and papers and the jewels bequeathed by his will; the papers and letters to be viewed, and as to the jewels first to see how accounts stand between the Company and Hawley. 3½ pp. [Ct. Min. Bk. XI. 259–262.]
|779. Minutes of a General Court. Report of Mr. Governor that the William is come into the river and safely anchored at Erith; that on Friday last at a meeting of the new Adventurers the time was enlarged for underwriting for the Persia voyage until the last of this month, with liberty to all free of the Company, or that will purchase their freedoms at the ordinary rates to come in; and that it was ordered that the fines paid for freedoms be put to the account of the old stock. In the next place seeing they had so fair a return this year, the Committees had thought fit to make division of the 12th half capital, and because of the late sale of calicoes to the linen drapers to the value of 40,000l., and that a division in calicoes would prejudice the Company in the sale of calicoes expected next year, and that money would be much more to the contentment of the generality and especially of the gentry, which they should receive in 18 months, whereas for goods they would be forced to wait 30 and 40 months; also that those who had not taken out their 10th and 11th divisions in goods shall have them in money at Midsummer and Christmas next. After three hours dispute, and being put several times to the question, it was resolved that 2½ capitals, the 12th and 13th be divided in money and not in goods, to be paid at Midsummer come 12 months, and at Lady Day come two years. The proposal of the Committees to appoint four of the Trinity House, four master carpenters, four boatswains, four of the old Adventurers, and the like number of the new, to set an indifferent value upon the Discovery and Reformation was assented to. A proposal to authorise a Committee to consider the proportion of gratuities, salaries, and whatever else shall fall in dispute between the old and new Adventurers; which was approved. Report by Mr. Governor of divers petitions preferred against the Court of Committees, whereof one by Mr. Smethwike to the Lords of the Council, which was read, and another to the Lord Keeper whereunto 20 had subscribed, but he doubted not they would be able to answer both in such sort as shall tend much to their credits and reputations. Relation by Mr. Governor of the miscarriage of some of those nominated by the General Court to look into the Company's accounts, who not content to come themselves brought Mr. Cuffe who was never nominated, and took extracts of divers of the Company's letters, thrusting their sworn Auditor out of the office; this complaint was excused by Mr. Mynn as nothing but what they might do, yet the same was disliked, and being put to the question, by erection of hands it was ordered that the former Committees nominated by the General Court of the 15th December should at their pleasure peruse the Company's books of accounts, but for their letters they absolutely prohibited the same. 5½ pp. [Ct. Min. Blc. XI. 262–267.]
|780. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Report of Mr. Governor that he and others had been with the been with the Lord Treasurer, who promised to further their petition to the King for leave to transport 60,000l. in gold and silver for Persia; they likewise attended the Lord Keeper about the petition of Justice Yelverton and 19 knights, gentlemen and others for leave to prefer a joint bill in Chancery against the Company, which the Committee prayed his Lordships to grant, being so confident of their just and upright dealings and discharge of the trust reposed in them, as they desired nothing more than to come to a public trial for their justification; which by general consent the Court approved and confirmed. Further that they attended the Lord President concerning Mr. Smethwike's petition, and declared their readiness to give answer thereto, and gave thanks for sending them a copy. To answer a letter from the Governors of Horne that the French prize is a lawful prize, but will leave the determination thereof to the law. The freight of Richard Kempe's goods brought home in the Dolphin to be remitted; he went out carpenter in the Lion, which was burnt by the Portugals, and was afterwards carpenter in the Anne. Incivility of Mr. Smethwike, who in a braving manner came into Court and demanded why they troubled him more than there was need in making orders for his disfranchisement; to which was answered that it was the order not of the Court of Committees but of a General Court of all the new Adventurers, and therefore if he conceive there is any injustice done him upon his complaint they will be ready to submit themselves to the Lord's censure; hereupon he most audaciously and in a scorn of the whole Court claps his hat on his head and sits himself down in the room of a Committee, whereat he being admonished as forgetting himself he returns this answer that he knows no reason but he might do as much as he hath done, for he being an adventurer and partner with them conceived they are all companions and fellows together in this place; and although it was made known unto him that his assembly is convented by his Majesty's Letters Patent under the Great Seal of England, and that his betters, both knights and others of higher rank, have given that respect unto the Governor, Deputy, and Assembly, as they have forborne to be covered when they speak to the Court, yet such was his arrogant and proud carriage as it little or nothing moved him to show any better reverence unto them, but insisting still upon their said order told them in plain terms he would not part with his place of broker, but that he might as well hold the same as the Governor and Committees to be contractors in buying and selling to themselves the Company's goods, with other most scandalous and opprobrious words. Discussion with George Willoughby as to being employed as prime factor for Acheen and to return with the ships; he demanded 200l. per annum and 100l. gratuity, the Court content to grant him 200l. salary, but for the gratuity utterly denied it as never done to any factor before, upon which he desired two or three days to consider their offer. Petition of Nicholas Vincent, one of the mutineers in the Discovery, and now in prison for debt, his offence remitted, and payment of his wages ordered on paying 10s. to the poor box.
|Jan. 23.—The question about the materials and charge expended upon the Edward, referred. One bale of 119 pieces of calicoes sent by Richard Barbor, factor, to his wife to be delivered upon payment of freight for one half and a promise to ship them all for Ireland, except 20 pieces for Mrs. Barbor's own use. Petition of John Jeffs executor of John Thompson, deceased in the Dolphin, concerning his goods. Eighty tons of tin to be put aboard the Discovery for kintledge and 50 tons aboard the Reformation to stiffen them. Petition of Judith, widow of John Johnson, late master of the Discovery, for her husband's goods; ordered that she produce her husband's accounts, that the Company will buy the calicoes, defalking for freight 245 l. and the value of 11 bags of pepper of 2 cwt each which it was confessed had been filled with the Company's pepper by Johnson's directions. Petition of Thomas Clarke, who went out in the Blessing, yet was returned as a runaway, for the repayment of his month's imprest. Proposition to consider what stock to send this year for the new account some of opinion it will be necessary to send 120,000l., viz., 50,000l. in goods for Persia, and 40,000l. in money, 10,000l. in money to be last at Surat to invest in cloth for the southwards against the ships return from Persia and 10,000l. to be sent in the London to Bantam to provide pepper against the ships come from the northwards, and if the subscription do not produce so much then the new Adventures to resolve as cause shall require. Consultation with George Willoughby concerning his demands for going a factor in this voyage, he was offered 200l. per annum salary, or 600l. for the voyage if he return, otherwise nothing; but he refused, making known he was content to stay at home. Edward Heynes entertained as a factor at 200l. per annum, and 40l. to set him to sea, the Court inclining to the like gratification to Willoughby if he will accept it. Ordered that the 14 Dutchmen receive 40s. each without the defalcation formerly ordered for calicoes.
|Jan. 25.—Allowance of 24 lbs. per bale to George Clarke, who at the last Court of Sales bought all the Company's cotton yarn, all being more or less damaged, and Clarke having sold to the value of 6,000l. to Messrs. Issac and Peter Van Paine, and John le Thelieur, their security was accepted. 9½ pp. [Ct. Min. Bk. XI. 268–277.]
|781. Petition of Thomas Smethwike, merchant, to the Privy Council. That the East Iadia Company in General Court, 15th December last, conceiving their great and greatly decayed stock to be by their officers much undervalued, and so held unable to continue the trade any longer, entreated the petitioner and other deep Adventurers to take a view of the Company's estate. Accordingly Petitioner and others authorised entered on the work, and finding the Accountants unready to show the estate at home, they fell in the interim, to reading letters from their Presidents and Council in India, wherein they clearly find the trade to be incomparably good, and the Company's great loss in later years to have proceeded by neglect from hence in sending too little stock and too much shipping contrary to advice. Otherwise they conceive the 500,000l. employed in the last four years, which of late was esteemed not worth 200,000l., and yet by the course now taken is not like to make its own money without great loss, might, if well managed, have produced 1,500,000l., and that without so great loss of mariners and shipping as there hath been. Howbeit the Governor and some of the ancient Committees, perceiving their faults of management are like to be discovered, have taken upon them, not only to forbid Petitioner and other Adventurers, authorised by the whole Company, to look into the estate, but in great assemblies offer to put disgrace upon them, and seem to take upon themselves to punish Petitioner as a malefactor for his good intents, and (as is conceived) are wilfully bent to go on still but poorly in the trade, to the further exceeding damage of the old decayed stock, unless by his Majesty or their Lordships they shall be stirred up to a further care and in some sort regulated for a fair and just proceeding. Petitioner therefore prays their Lordships to hear some principal Adventurers, that some good course may be taken for the ample following of so hopeful a trade, and that Petitioner may be righted in the wrongs he has suffered and is yet like to suffer by some courses now in agitation against him. A good specimen of very minute caligraphy. Signed by Thomas Smethwike. 1 p. [East Indies, Vol. IV., No. 61.]
|782. Order of the Privy Council, present the Lord Keeper and 21 others, on the preceding petition. The Governor and Committees, as also Petitioner and others, were this day convented before their Lordships, and after a long hearing and debating of the whole matter it was ordered that the complainants shall in the ordinary way exhibit a bill in Chancery for so much as may concern their private interest, according to a petition already presented to the Lord Keeper and further that the complainants shall set down their accusations against the Company; and, as touching certain extracts of letters, that the Company either show those letters to complainants that said extracts may be compared with the originals, or else produce the originals before their Lordships on Friday next. Also that complainants deliver all papers material for the proof of their allegations on Wednesday next, copies whereof are to be given by the Clerk of the Council to the Governor and Committees, who are to make answers to same on Friday next, meantime power is given to both parties to require witnesses to appear before the Board at the time aforesaid. 1½pp. [East Indies, Vol. IV., No. 62.]
|783. Court Minutes of the East India Company. The London to be dispeeded away to the Downs in 10 days, which would save a month's time, as the other ships will not be ready within that time, and draught of a letter to be prepared to Bantam, and all provisions to be sent down that no time be lost. Motion of Nicholas Crispe, junior, about his bargain of cloves. Information that divers of the Company, notwithstanding the order of the General Court, are desirous to take out their 12th and 13th divisions in goods; motion made to call a General Court to confirm or alter that resolution, and although some were of opinion it is not time to call a General Court, because two petitions are already exhibited against the Company, the one in Parliament and the other to the Lords, yet the Court directed the Auditors and Accountants to make a computation of the Company's estate, that the General Court may be informed whether there be sufficient after setting out these ships to pay their debts and divide two half capitals; opinion of one of the Auditors that there is not estate sufficient in the kingdom, others of opinion that said division be made good by assurance, though with the continuance of 20.000l. at interest, but in the end ordered to call a General Court. Order presented by Messrs. Mynn, Smethwike, and Withers from the Council table requiring the Company on Friday next to produce the original letters before the Lords out of which extracts had been taken by them, and the Court condescended and appointed that these extracts be compared with the originals by Messrs. Hanson and Cappur. Request of Messrs. Mynn and Wither, under the hands of divers of the generality, for the calling of a General Court, to which Mr. Governor made answer they might have spared their pains, for one is already appointed for Wednesday next. Ordered that 30s. be paid to John Tapp, stationer, for printing bonds and tickets. 3(½) pp. [Ct. Min. Bk. XI. 277–280.]
|784. Proposition of Thomas Smethwike to the Privy Council, made in conformity with their order of 26 January. Waives all private grievances, because they are to be handled in other courts, and shows how the East India trade may best be secured to this nation, first by setting down the state of the Company's old joint stock, and, secondly, the state of the trade to the Indies by those not permitted to peruse the books and letters; the state of the old stock can no way be made more manifest than by the writings of the Committees publicly read in General Court in December last. The estate at Surat and Persia is valued at 120,000l., being the lading of three ships (fn. 1) of 1,750 tons, less 10,000l. bad debts and spent; at Bantam 39,000l., the lading of four ships (fn. 2) of 1,960 tons; four ships (fn. 3) of 860 tons laid up in the Indies, besides frigates and junks, and seven good ships (fn. 4) of 2,500 tons more than there is means to relade; to which add four ships now going, and six more of 3,000 tons to be sent next year if the trade continue; so that means should now be sent for relading 8,000 tons, or the trade will still run to perdition. If 3,710 tons, as above, cost 149,000l. 8,000 tons will cost 345,000l., but he gathers that not above 180,000l. is to be sent this year. Shows how and where the 345,000l. required is to be had, and argues that there are money and wares to the value of 350,000l., and as much more expected next year; besides 40,000l. brought on long credit, and that in this course the Adventurers re like to have divisions sooner and larger than the Governor and Committees now offer. The necessity of sending so great a capital this year is confirmed by the Presidents and Councils' letters from India, which are full of complaints that want of stock has maimed the trade, that 200,000l. is little enough to dispatch the ships at Surat, and that the trade in India is the best under heaven if men and money were not wanting; that no ships return under three years, which is too long by half, and has damnified the Company these four last years to the value of 800,000l. or 900,000l. The sum of all is that the Indies should be so plentifully stocked that ships sent to trade from port to port may have wherewith to employ them, and goods ready presently to relade them home. Thus much of the Governor's and Committees' omissions. For the state of the trade in general, refers to the beneficial effects of the King's assistance in bringing the Hollanders to reason by the arrest of their ships, to the trade at Bantam being this year set open with privileges peculiar to our nation, to the exceeding good conditions with the King of Persia, sufficient to maintain a good trade into those parts, and to the trade of Surat, lately in dispute whether to forsake or not, but of very late years become so enlarged by the vent of calicoes in England and the like vent in France and other countries. Presents to their Lordships which they think most meet:—that the trade be continued by the joint stock that has already suffered in the cause, and has 700,000l. or 800,000l. good stuff here and in the Indies, or to trust it on a new underwriting of 100,000l. for one year only; it is very uncertain whether next year they will be able to get any considerable sum underwritten; wherefore, unless his opposers give security to the State that the trade shall not be left, hopes their Lordships may think it more secure to adventure it upon the old joint stock, whose Adventurers are ready to continue their estates therein. Believes that if the new underwriters proceed with the trade the old Adventurers will lend to the new underwriters the 100,000l. now providing, to be sent for the old stock at 8 per cent. to avoid intricacies in the accounts, which in great part is the cause of these great divisions in the Company, or will accept the stock of the new underwriters on the like terms, whichever shall seem best to their Lordships. It is thought hard that the Governor and Committees will neither suffer them to leave the trade nor totally to have it, but will mingle their new stock with the old, nor be content to accept of the trade of Persia alone, which was all they at first desired to have. Endorsed, "Wednesday at 3 of the clock in the afternoon". 3 pp [East Indies, Vol. IV., No. 63.]
|785. Order of the Privy Council. On several motions this day made on behalf of the East India Company and Thomas Smethwike, ordered that both parties attend on Friday next, with their learned counsel and such witnesses as they intend to produce; and that said witnesses be warned to attend at the charges of the parties respectively; and lastly that the Governor and Committees deliver copy of their intended reply to Smethwike's answer either to himself or to the Clerk of the Council, that so, the allegations and proofs on both sides being fully furnished, their Lordships may with more speed settle these matters which much concern the continuance and prosecution of the East India trade. 1 p. [East Indies, Vol. IV., No. 64.]
|Jan. 30 ?
|786. Answer of the East India Company to the petition of Thomas Smethwike to the Privy Council. That he was formerly made this complaint before the Committees and at several General Courts, where after full debate the Company were absolutely cleared of all his imputations and improvidences. First, it appears by their books that since this joint stock the Company have sent out 57 ships containing 26,690 tons, besides 18 pinnaces to be worn out by trading from port to port in the Indies. For relading these 57 ships they have sent in money and goods 1,145,442l., and there has been raised in the Indies 289,643l., in all 1,435,085l. To relade half said tonnage with pepper at 30l. per ton, and the other half from Surat with indigo, calicoes, cotton yarn, and the like at 60l. will require only 1,201,050l., leaving 234,035l. to bear the charges of the factories there, which reasons fully cleared them of improvidence for not having sent stock sufficient. Next from their book of letters, dated 20th September 1623, the Company proved that a few months before they had in Jacatra 1,100,000 ryals of 8, which, besides the stock sent afterwards, would have laded home 15 of their greatest ships, and yielded here at least 1,100,000l.; which might have been returned in two or three years, but their factors never employed more in any one year than 150,000 ryals, alleging for reason the besieging of Bantam by the Hollanders, and their enhancing the prices of pepper in other places, which forced the Company from their trade at Bantam and left their ships to decay for want of lading, and their stock was consumed in careening and trimming their ships, and in revictualling and paying mariners wages in the Indies, besides waste of means in building a house and fort at Lagundy, which was found so unhealthy that they forsook it after the loss of 120 men, and their people returning to Jacatra spent in buying and building a new house and warehouses there, 40,000 ryals, with which prodigal expense the Company were so much offended that the President and others were sent for home. These are some principal occasions whereby so much of their stock has been consumed. Are ready to prove that these last four years they have sent means sufficient to relade all the ships sent; but if it were not so the Company are not to blame, because the generality have not paid in above 40,000l. per annum, whereas in former years they paid in 200,000l.; besides divisions of money and goods delivered out as often as there hath been any means to do so. So that they have not only been forced to continue great sums at interest, but their credit failing upon the Company's seal, they have been forced to supply on their particular credit and bonds 80,000l., whereby they were lately in debt 70,000l. more than the Company had in England to pay, which often disheartened and dismayed their Treasurer, and the Company have been warned not to bring this trade into the state of the Muscovy Company, which has not been able to pay their debts. Yet notwithstanding these discouragements, Mr. Mynne in a public Court said the Company had done it for their own particular ends to prolong the trade. This relation being made to the generality the Committee were cleared of those imputations, which Smethwike has often objected to, and now complains of to their Lordships, with the purpose it is conceived to put off the Company's intended voyage for Persia, for through these broils many adventurers are discouraged to bring in their subscriptions. On 19th December last at the instance of Smethwike above 20 persons were chosen to audit the Company's accounts, yet only Messrs. Mynne, Wither, and Smethwike, and two or three more appeared and continued to peruse the books to the 29th; but putting the sworn Auditor out of the counting house, and bringing in some not chosen by the Company, and extracting parts of letters contrary to the Company's commission, they were at a general meeting of the Adventurers for Persia forbidden any further auditing of the accounts till the next General Court, when it was determined on the 19th inst., but with limitation not to meddle with letters as formerly. The company are informed that Mynne and others have put up a petition to the Lord Keeper for leave to exhibit a bill in Chancery against them, which they earnestly desire may be granted; likewise that another petition is to be delivered to the Parliament House. Are ready to clear themselves either in Chancery or in any other Court of Justice. "This is a true copy and agreeth with the which was read before their Lordships. Edw. Sherburne." 2(½) pp. [East Indies, Vol. IV., No. 65.]
|787. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Request of Mr. Kirby to confer the freedom of the Company on his son-in-law, Mr. Derham, denied for reasons stated. Mr. Governor, Mr. Deputy, and Committees to attend the Lords in the afternoon about Mr. Smethwike's complaint. The resolution being read how to dispose and order their two ships intended for Persia, Alderman Garway proposed as worthy of consideration whether it were not better not to go at all for Bantam, but only to Surat and Persia, and so from thence bring the silk rather than expect it by other ships; but some thought it might exceedingly prejudice the Company with the King of Persia, who if he observed the Company only to come and go without leaving any estate in his kingdom, he being a jealous Prince, and having made a contract with the English, will be the more unwilling to increase their privileges, but it was resolved before the Lords; nevertheless it was desired that Committees examine the difference of charge in returning the silk by these ships or going to Bantam as at first propounded; but Mr. Treasurer desired they would first lay a good foundation, for although the subscription be 120,000l., but 25,000l. is brought in, and he feared the two payments at Lady Day will come short for setting forth the ships; but it was answered that if there be cause the Adventurers shall be moved to bring in three payments before Lady, Day, which will be sufficient to serve the turn. Resolved to give no other answer to that part of Smethwike's replication exhibited to the Lords, which presses the continuance of the trade upon the old stock, than what is contained in the end of their rejoinder, which is as much as they may do safely, and will no doubt give good satisfaction to their Lordships. 2(½) pp. [Ct. Min. Bk. XI., 281–283.]
|788. Safe conduct from the King to the Deputies of Netherlands East India Company, Pierre de Carpentier, late Governor General in the Indies, Jehan de Hase, late Councillor in the Indies and Director on the coasts of Coromandel, Jehan Maisten Merens, Burgomaster of Horne, and Dr. de Heemskerck, advocate of the Company, or any others named in their place, to come to England to treat about the differences between the two Companies. Endorsed by Sec. Lord Dorchester, "Safe-conduct for such as come out of the Low Countries to treat about the East India differences delivered to the States Ambassador after this example in Latin, the of January 1628, with limitation of the extent thereof to the occasion only of this Treaty." French. Signed by Charles I. I skin. [Holland Corresp.]
|Jan. 29 ?
|789. [Peter Paul Kubens] to [Lord Carlisle]. Has diligently inquired of the perfumers whether there is anything that would suit him in Madrid, but all agree there is nothing worth, and that he must necessarily await, to satisfy his exquisite curiosity, the arrival of the carac from Goa, which is already in Angola, when perfumes perfectly good may be bought according to his order and instructions. Will let him know in time to give what orders he pleases. French. Holograph by Rubens, but neither signed nor addressed. (½) p. [Corresp. Spain.]