East Indies: November 1629

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.

Citation:

, 'East Indies: November 1629', in Calendar of State Papers Colonial, East Indies, China and Persia, Volume 6, 1625-1629, (London, 1884) pp. 686-692. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/colonial/east-indies-china-japan/vol6/pp686-692 [accessed 21 May 2024].

. "East Indies: November 1629", in Calendar of State Papers Colonial, East Indies, China and Persia, Volume 6, 1625-1629, (London, 1884) 686-692. British History Online, accessed May 21, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/colonial/east-indies-china-japan/vol6/pp686-692.

. "East Indies: November 1629", Calendar of State Papers Colonial, East Indies, China and Persia, Volume 6, 1625-1629, (London, 1884). 686-692. British History Online. Web. 21 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/colonial/east-indies-china-japan/vol6/pp686-692.

November 1629

Nov. 9.
"The Hole."
870. Jeremy Shukers to Henry Sill, agent at Jambi. Safely arrived in the Hole the 8th curt., and might have safely brought her whole lading down had they thought the ship would have proved no leakier. Mr. Nash, and most of her Company except the master, think her sufficient to carry 150 tons of pepper for Bantam. Attend the coming of the Balee, having filled all their bags being 256. Knows not how many the Dove has left aboard the Christopher. This day arrived the Simon and Jude; intend she shall make all haste towards Jambi. In the interim arrived the Ballee with 115 bags pepper, whereof they sent 90 aboard the Christopher and the rest in another boat. 1 p. [O.C., Vol. XII., No. 1298.]
[Nov. 13.] 871. "A true relation of the Netherlands Honourable East India Company's Agents proceedings against the English at Amboyna, by an honest, true, and impartial ear and eye witness, who did serve the foresaid Honourable Netherlands Company within the Castle at that instant" [see ante No. 554.]
In the year 1622, about the 11th of February (stilo veteri) there was a rumour in the castle of Amboyna betimes in the morning at the releasing of the watch, that one of the Japon soldiers having had the watch himself the selfsame night also, and being one of the ordinary soldiers of the castle; the rumour was, I say, that the soldier was accused by the Dutch soldiers of questioning and demanding how strong the castle was, and how many soldiers and others were within the castle, but the rumour was amongst many to my own hearing thought, of persons both within and without the castle resident, and of good judgment, to be a mere invention. After this the rumour was when the Governor was up and ready in the morning that he who had been captain of the watch that night did bring the Japon soldier before the Governor, where he was examined of that he was accused on. But the soldier's answer was, he thought no harm by those questionings and demands, and that it was an usual speech amongst soldiers to enquire one of another how strong the watch might be, that they might know how many hours they might stand sentinel. Thereafter, about nine of the clock, I did see him who was called captain of the Japons, with eight or nine other Japons with him, who were sent for by the Governor, but the captain himself was set by the heels in a great bolt of iron by one leg, and after was brought into my chamber to stay the pleasure of the Governor and Fiscall, whom I questioned what the matter meant; his answer was, with deep oaths, he knew nothing at all what the matter was, so within an hour or less he was let loose and nothing done to him. After that the rest were brought to the place where they were examined, accused, and tortured, first with water and then with burning wax candles under their armpits, hams, and soles of their feet extremely. It was rumoured both within and without the castle, amongst the burghers and natives, that the point whereon they were accused and examined of was, that the English had confessed that they and the Japons had conspired together to take the castle, kill the Governor, and put the rest of the chief to the sword. The English as yet not knowing or so much as hearing once what the business meant. Also it was reported, notwithstanding the extremity of their tortures, that they persevered stoutly to the end, without confessing or acknowledging of anything they were accused on. After which, wailing and weeping by reason of their extreme tortures with burning, they were carried by slaves to prison, for it was not possible of themselves to go on their feet. The manner of their torturing I myself did see three several times in the place where it was acted, by reason I had occasion to pass through that room where it was, but what they were accused or examined of, or what they answered I could not hear.
Some certain days after Captain Gabriel Towerson, agent over the five factories of Amboyna for the Honourable English East India Company, his own residence being at Amboyna, without the castle the space of a furlong more or less, was sent for by the Governor, with the rest of the Company's servants that were there present with him, except one was left to attend the English house till other order was taken; where being come before the Governor and the rest of their Council were accused that the Japons had confessed and revealed unto them that Capt. Towerson and the other English of the five factories had plotted and conspired with the Japons to be masters of the castle, kill the Governor and all the rest that would not yield unto them, and likewise that Capt. Gabriel Towerson, agent, with the rest of the English in the other factories, on New Year's Day last, had consulted together concerning this business, and that Capt. Towerson had made them swear upon the Holy Bible to be secret. At the hearing of which strange accusations Capt. Towerson and the rest of the English that were there present were wonderfully amazed, and did most earnestly and constantly clear themselves by protesting of their innocencies; but all could not prevail, for they were sent to divers prisons with a strong guard of soldiers watching over them night and day; for Capt. Gabriel Towerson was kept day and night by three Netherlands merchants, and a guard of soldiers before his prison door.
Presently, after this, there was preparation made to send to the other factories to bring the rest of the English that were resident there about their masters affairs.
Now when they were brought, both their legs being fast, in heavy irons, they were sent by turns one by one to the place of examination and torture, where some were tortured with water alone, and some with both water and burning wax candles extremely, of which two I am an eye-witness of, viz., Emanuel Tompson and John Clarke, in beholding of whose tortures I stood the space of an hour, out of whose mouths I did not hear or understand a syllable of a word of confession or acknowledgment of anything they were accused of, notwithstanding the extreme tortures they were put unto, both by water and burning wax candles under their armpits, hams, and soles of their feet.
Moreover the Governor Fiscal, and their Council seeing they could not prevail by this extreme manner of torturing, they did imagine they had some enchanted characters about them, and therefore they caused to search their bodies very narrowly, and caused to shave the hair of their heads, beards, and privy parts to the very skin, but all could not prevail to make them confess that which they did demand of them or prompt them withall. So they were almost tortured to death, so that although they had escaped beheading they could not have lived by any likelihood.
Then there were slaves commanded to carry them in sheets to their prisons, one of which, viz., Emanuel Tompson, was brought into my chamber because it was out in a backside of the Castle where few or no strangers resorted, and for that cause he was laid there, and there he remained a whole week without dressing of his burnt wounds or looking to, so that I nor nobody else was able to endure the stench or smell of his body; this I made known to the Governor, so he was taken from thence and carried up to a secret garret of the Castle all alone, so ashamed there they were of the actions of their justice and judgment. As concerning the rest, they were brought in by turns one by one and tortured or threatened with tortures if they would not confess that formal confession which the Governor Fiscal and Council had conceived concerning this business.
But those that were timorous and faint hearted by reason of the extreme tortures they saw others were put to, when they came in presence of the Governor Fiscal and Council they prayed them to tell them what they would have them to confess and they would confess willingly.
And so after this they were carried every one to their several prisons till the day of their sentence and execution.
Now as concerning the proceeding against Capt. Gabriel Towerson, agent, for he was the last they did examine and proceed against, was after this manner I shall relate. A day or two before he was put to death with the rest of the English at Amboyna, the Honourable Hollands East India Company's agents used all the stratagems, policies, and fearful threatenings they could invent to make him confess something to the plot and intent they hand (sic) in hand; for I did see him at that very time at their Council table with Fiscal Isaack de Browne and the rest of their Council (Governor Harman Van Speult being in another room hard at hand) protest, avouch, and affirm most constantly (his face being exceeding red and swollen with sorrow, and tears streaming down his cheeks) he knew nothing they accused him of or his countrymen, as he should answer before that great and Almighty God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, at that day when the books of all consciences shall be opened.
Nevertheless with many threatenings and compulsions they made him take paper, pen, and ink to write; the effect and meaning of which writing was nothing else but the protestations and affirmations of his own and countrymen's innocencies which he had so often before by mouth protested and affirmed. Which writing was presently carried to the Governor by the Fiscal, after which I was sent for to read and interpret the meaning of the writing unto him, which I did, after that I was sent away.
The Governor and Fiscal having consulted concerning this writing, the Fiscal cometh forth to the Council table, threatening Capt. Gabriel Towerson that such a confession should not serve his turn. Whom they compelled the second time to write, the effect of which was nothing but as the former, only this added, his request was unto the Governor, seeing he saw and marked they would put him to death, seeing he was a gentleman born, he might die accordingly, at which the Governor did scoff and mock. Which second writing I did read and interpret as the former, which when they had heard and understood they dismissed me as before.
Then the Governor and Fiscal both came forth of the room where they were to the Council table, where Captain Gabriel Towerson and the rest of the Council sat, from whence commandment was given to send him to prison with a guard of soldiers. After which I saw him no more till he and the rest were brought forth of prison to hear the sentence of death. When the day appointed of their sentence and execution was come, betimes in the morning the patients both English and Japons were brought into the Castle hall, where I did hear the Japons expostulating with the English why they did accuse them of conspiring with them in taking of the Castle, of which business (with deep oaths) they protested they never knew or heard of before the Governor and Fiscal did accuse them as from the mouths of the English. In like manner the English replied unto the Japons with the very like expostulations. After which they were conveyed, forth of the Castle with a guard of all the soldiers to the place of execution, the Governor following after with his Council, the patients still protesting and affirming most religiously and constantly their innocencies to their last breath.
In the mean time while the execution was in action there rose a great tempest of wind and rain, so that two of their biggest ships that lay in the Road did drive from their anchors and were in great danger to have been east away upon the rocks, which I being walking in the hall alone in the Castle, did give advertisement unto the Governor and the rest that were without, for they had brought the most part and chiefest of their men on land in their armour to guard the execution.
Moreover the day before the execution I was sent for to the Council table by the Governor in presence of them all to read and interpret Captain Gabriel Towerson's protestations of his innocency the third time, which 1 could not do without shedding of tears, for which I was threatened and accused by the Fiscal, saying that I was of the English faction, to whom I answered I was as free and innocent from any faction or conspiracy as he or any in the Indies. After which the Governor commanded silence and bid me proceed to read and interpret the writing.
Likewise the protestations and affirmations of Captain Gabriel Towerson's innocency and process of his apprehension and accusation was found in his Bible, written with his own hand in two several empty pageants pasted close to with clean paper; which Bible he desired Governor Speult should cause (sic) be delivered to his brother and friends in England, which he promised faithfully before divers witnesses to perform; which writing in the Bible two or three months after the English were put to death the Governor, having found the same writing in the Bible, caused me secretly alone in his chamber, the door being locked, to read and interpret the meaning of this same unto him, which Bible after that time I never saw or heard mentioned.
Likewise a Welsh Englishman, being a quarter gunner within the Castle, whose name was Roland Solours, who was used in writing of the English confessions before their deaths set down by the Governor, Fiscall, and Council there, did say unto me divers times that they made him put in some words in the confessions of the English long after their death, but what words they were I never did ask him.
As concerning Governor Speult's departure from Amboyna it was after this manner.
Now when the time approached that his Governorship was near expired, General Peter Carpentier sent another to supply his place. About this time their came ten sail of warlike Netherlands ships from the west of Peru to Amboyna, sent out (as it was said) from the States of the United Provinces. The force of which 10 ships and the forces which were upon Amboyna being joined together, Governor Speult did take with him to Loho and Cambello, did cut down and destroy all the clove trees he could come at, under colour and pretext that the people of those two places were owing many thousands of ryals to the Netherlands East India Company; but it was thought it was for another cause, to wit, that the English should have no gain or profit by them who dwelt at Macassar.
After this act he set forward for Jacatra with the 10 sail of ships, after whose arrival at Jacatra he was received with great triumph by General Carpentier and the Netherlands Council there with a volley of three shot of all the great ordnance and muskets about the Castle. After this all the haste was made that could be to send him to Surat with three sail of ships with as great authority and power over all persons, factories, and ships in the Netherlands Company's service as if it had been General Carpentier himself. For there was a speech that there was an English ship in the Straits Sunda who had commission from the King and States to bring him home as prisoner in all haste; for that cause great haste was made to send him away from Jacatra. After his arrival at Surat he stayed there a month or six weeks; he went up into the country some 30 or 40 leagues to a place called Amadabatt, a great Duke's place, with a great train and show; after his return he made all haste to go to the Red Sea with seven sail of ships, where upon the way he contracted a deadly and consuming sickness so that when we arrived in the Red Sea at Mocha he was so consumed that we could scarcely perceive the shape of a man upon him, so soon after he departed this life a-shipboard in my arms and was buried on land a little way without the town of Moho. After which the ships having despatched their business and affairs they made sail back again for Surat; after whose arrival at Surat there was two ships sent from Jacatra by the General Carpentier to Surat, and when the Commander of these two ships heard that the Governor Speult was dead he did say he had a commission from General Carpentier in the name of the King of Great Britain and the States General of the United Provinces to degrade Governor Speult from all his honours and authority, and send him home in all haste as a close prisoner.
While the examinations and proceedings did endure against the English, the Governor was exceedingly displeased with the Fiscal by reason of the interrogatories and responses, for (saith he) if these matters should come to be examined and sifted they were not able to abide the touchstone, for those that did confess or speak anything to the matter, it was so variable and foolish that it was nothing to that they would have had them speak; for as I myself have heard some of the English say they were so afraid of the tortures that they saw upon the bodies of others they wished and prayed unto God that He would put something in their minds to please them that they might be rid of the tortures, some saying one thing and some another, but very frivolous and nothing to the purpose that they would have had them speak.
Whilst this business was in action the Governor contracted such an extreme pain in his head that he was almost frantic, and was not able to lie upon any bed, but upon benches and tables, and whosoever came unto him he gave them no answer, but in a fury did send them away discontented, and this disease and franticness did continue after the English were put to death; so afterwards it appeared that the Fiscall went to work and writ a formal relation of the English confessions, according as they would have had them speak and confess, so this gave the Governor a great deal better contentment. So this extreme pain of his head and franticness after such a time did leave him, but in the place of this he became foolish and doted, so that I could never see him in that state he was in before, but always drooping and melancholy.
He had letters from the General at Jacatra to send the Governor of Banda, whose name was Governor Sonck, to Jacatra, for there were great complaints of him to the General, and to place some sufficient man in his room. So soon as the English were put out of the way and executed, he went to Banda with a great company of soldiers and mardicars in the curricurries, all along the coast of Ceram in whose company he took the Fiscall with him and placed him in Governor Sonck's room, whose title was President of Banda; but he continued not long there, being given to all lewdness and whoredom, so that he was sent for by the General to Jacatra and another placed in his room.
Then Governor Speult came back again from Banda to Amboyna with Governor Sonck. Now the Governor of Ternate, who remained in the castle of Molaia, was sent likewise for by the General to Jacatra, who by the way came to Amboyna, who met all three there. And when Governor Speult had made it known unto them how he had proceeded against the English, it appeared, as I did mark divers times, they liked not of it, so that there was frowning and discontent continually amongst them. The Governor of Ternate, whose name was Frederick Houtman, I have heard say that he would not for all the riches that he had got in the Indies to have put the English to death, but seeing Governor Speult had done it, he must answer it. Signed at the foot of each page, George Forbesse. Indorsed by Sec. Lord Dorchester:—"Mr. Furbes, his relation, presented to Mr. Secrety Cooke and myself ye 13 of 9ber, 1629. 5 pp. [East Indies, Vol. IV., No. 75.]
Nov. 20–30.
The Hague.
872. Sir Henry Vane to (Sec. Lord Dorchester). On Tuesday, the 18–28 present, the seven Deputies came to him again, and he proposed in the first place the business of Amboyna, and delivered them his Majesty's three cautions, with some additions in writing, and signed it according to their form, requiring an answer in writing, which they promised within two or three days; but finds that business will be full of difficulty. Encloses,
872. I. Extract from Sir H. Vane's speech to the States General at his first audience [10–20 Nov.]. There is another matter which he will only touch upon at present, namely the unhappy business of Amboyna, which has given great trouble alike to his Majesty and themselves. His Majesty having been strongly solicited by their Ambassadors to send the witnesses to be examined, has commanded Vane to let the States know that said witnesses have arrived to be examined, with the reservations hereafter to be communicated; by which the States General may judge how his Majesty desires to give them satisfaction in all things. French. [Extract Holland Corresp.]
Nov. 25.
The Hague.
873. Dudley Carleton to (Sec. Lord Dorchester). There is yet no answer to the three points concerning the Amboyna business, but we are in pursuit of them. Meanwhile the Judges are to give their advice to the States, and afterwards we shall have their answer; but finds they stand much upon the point of judicature, as if the decision of that cause could not belong to any tribunal but their own, according to the rule, Actio sequitur forum rei. [Extract Holland Corresp.]
Nov. 28.
The Hague.
874. Memorial of Sir Henry Vane to the States General, on the affair of Amboyna. The King having waited several years for satisfaction and reparation for the loss of his subjects lives and goods in the cruel and unjust proceeding at Amboyna, and contributed all he could to satisfy the Judges' consciences, his Majesty is astonished to see no effect corresponding to their promises, but since the States have pressed for the sending over of the English witnesses, his Majesty to take away all excuse for delay has sent them. Nevertheless before their examination his Majesty desires the States to declare themselves on the three following points as conditions of the sending over said witnesses. 1. That the States declare that his Majesty has never submitted this cause to the jurisdiction of their Judges, though wishing rather to receive reparation at their hands than by any other means. 2. That the States or the Judges appointed by them before examining said witnesses declare them to be good and competent witnesses, and that they be not examined upon other articles than those upon which they have already been examined in his Majesty's Court of Admiralty; and that they permit his Majesty's Ambassador or his deputy to be present at the examination to bear witness of the proceedings. 3. That when ready to deliver sentence the Judges inform his Majesty of the sentence they intend to deliver in order that his Majesty may weigh and consider of it before it is delivered. French. 2½ pp. [Holland Corresp.]