East Indies: August 1625

Pages 86-89

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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August 1625

Aug. 3.
168. Henrie Hawley, Joseph Cockram, Ric. Bix, and Geo. Muschamp, to the East India Company. Their last of the 8th February [set ante, No. 44] gave advice of their affairs since the Ann's dispeed the 25th February 1624. After coming to Lagundy, the 8th October last, the islands taken into our possession for the King of Great Britain were named Charles Islands; and the road, soil, water, "eyre," situation, and every outward appearance promising such conveniences as better could not be wished, for a long time they remained "affiant of a happy plantation." But when the healthy easterly monsoon settled, wherein their hopes consisted, it "so played its prize" that their people of all sorts, blacks and whites, "fell like sheep infected." In this desperate estate the ship Abigail was dispeeded, May 3rd, with John Gonninge for Batavia to solicit Dutch assistance to transport their provisions, and 200 men to man their ships, and so remove them out of that unhappy island. Their motion speedily prevailed with the Dutch, by whose friendly assistance they repaired their wreck-like ships, and set sail May 29, and anchored in Batavia May 31, and were kindly welcomed by the General and the rest. Gonninge, the same morning, in an extremity of sickness, being neglected by his keepers, was found dead in the river. Conceived their reputation best preserved in offering a friendly parlance with the Dutch, and so "to settle for the time to come a Christianlike commendable course" for the general utility of trade; which motion found such friendly admittance, that reason persuaded them to resolve a resettling in this place. The Dutch not only assisted them with all manner of handy helps, but added a spacious new brick building for offices and warehouses at 20,000 ryals, which is hardly the price it cost them. The dwelling house is of three stories, 216 feet in length, and 30 broad, with 24 leaning rooms of brick for store rooms and offices. It is their meaning to proceed on these grounds for a firm and constant agreement for the mutual good of the Companies and "bridling of these heathens", who are grown both potent and insolent by our differing dissensions, and they need not doubt the prosperous event of these designs, for they find the General "noble, and with all sincerity addicted to all things" that are for the good and honour of both nations. For their courtesy in removing them from Lagundy they would accept no consideration, so gratified his people with 1,265 R., and himself with a chain of gold of 420 R., which he bestowed upon the President and his two Council the full value of in three chains. The ships have met with such mortality, and are so weakened by runaways and unexpected disasters, that when the Moon, Ruby, and Discovery were to be manned for the long voyage, the Hart for Macassar and the Coaster for Jambi, the Charles, Bull, Reformation, Roebuck, Diamond, Abigail, and Rose were hardly able to man a boat to fetch their own water. For these things they can blame none so much as their employers, who "from penurious respects have of late so slenderly manned your ships as if men in India might multiply," as indeed they might, from the ashes of wrecks and forlorn vessels, but other augmentation they can expect none. For instance, of 46 men shipped in the Abigail out of England, her coasting voyages upon Sumatra have consumed all to five persons. "If you will keep the plough going, you must ever more send a surplus of men." The Hart at Macassar, by her late coming, is prevented of 50 babarr of cloves, and her cloth sales much hindered "by a pedling Danyman from Tranquebar (Trinkambar)." The Danes have settled a factory at Macassar in a very "mean state." The Portugals having strengthened themselves with the Spanish cavaliers from the Moluccas in a well manned galley, so that both house and ships were only preserved from fire by watches night and day. The Coaster lies at Jambi, fully laden, for the factory's security against the King of Acheen's forces, daily expected. In the master's absence his mate, Abdy, with the boatswain and 11 sailors, surprised a China junk, but a Dutch freeman assaulted the villains, killed two of them, and pretended to bring his prize to Batavia, but not since heard of. This act caused the King of Jambi to imprison our agents and seize our estates, which were redeemed with 5,000 R. of 8. The Chinamen question for restitution of 29,000 R. All other factories in India lie dead for want of men to man the ships. Acheen only has help by the Eagle (they trust) arrived from Surat. If the Eagle or Hart arrive they purpose to man one of their sufficientest ships for Masulipatam, and the Charles and happily the Hart for "the long voyage." Attend help out of England with great longing, in which predicament the Dutch are also, but 11 ships are daily expected out of Holland, and 12 by the South Sea already arrived at Amboyna. Need of advice on many things, as, the Royal James and Spy's arrival, trimming and departure, the Royal Ann's disasters. Capital men's deaths in this factory, viz., Richd. Hasellwood, Robert Hayes, Master Carpenter Langton, all their smiths, almost all their carpenters, all their inferior officers, and most of their youngest merchants, in fine, at their coming from Lagundy towards the shore five men remained not, and two ships' companies could hardly man a boat. "These are fair warnings, wherein the Lord hath been merciful unto us. God grant that good use may be made thereof, first in your providement, and then in our diligence, whereby our enemies and these heathen may miss their wished advantages." Endorsed, "Received by the Great James and Jonas, by the way of Surat, 24 Octob. 1626." 7¼ pp. [O.C., Vol. XI., No. 1203.]
169. Sir Robart Sherley to Sec. Lord Conway. That his Majesty of Persia has long since employed him hither to his late Majesty about business of trade and State, is well known to his Lordship, besides his Majesty's inclination thereto, who had appointed four pinnaces to attend this design, as also the adventure of a jewel of great worth. His earnest suit is to move his now Majesty that a present resolution may be taken for his dispatch, that his endeavours may do his country that service which will remain memorable to posterity, if a business of so incomparable consequence be not too much neglected. Hopes that 19 months' patience may speak for his integrity herein, considering that foreign princes have made love to him for this business, and that he may receive some speedy resolution so as he may return with his honour. 1 p. [East Indies, Vol. III., No. 76.]
August. 170. Sir Robart Sherley to Sec. Lord Conway. Thought it would not be unreasonable to desire his Lordship's remembrance of a poor neglected gentleman. Knows it would grieve his Lordship's noble heart to hear the relation of his present necessities. "I coulde not remove from London for wantt of wherewthal, whear I still continewe tell his Majesty shaule please by the mediation of my arcke ayngel, wch is your Lordshipe in this islande, to graynte me sutche a dispatche as my integgrety and pattience may be thaught worthy of." 1 p. Endorsed:—August 1625, &c. [East Indies, Vol. III., No. 77.]
Aug. 26.
171. Sir John Coke to Sec. Lord Conway. Sent to Mr. Evelyn to know whether he had given over supplying the King's store with powder, and whether he had been any means to hinder the East India Company, which had set up powder mills and lately received order in his Majesty's name to forbear to work them; who answered that the King was already in his debt 2,550l. and his estate will not afford to deliver any more, but for the East India Company, whose works might have helped to furnish both themselves and the kingdom, he knew nothing of any interruption. The Company conceive the command has been obtained at the suit of Sir Arthur Mainwaring or some keepers, as if his Majesty's deer might receive prejudice because the mills are set up in the skirts of Windsor Forest. Begs him to inquire whether the stay has proceeded upon Council of State or private information, and whether on so good ground as may countervail so great a prejudice to the subject as the want of so necessary a provision may import, and then to inform the Lord Duke and his Majesty. [Dom. Corresp., Chas. I., Vol. V., No. 85, Cal., p. 90.]
Aug. 26–31.
172. Examinations of Jan Van den Castell als Pape, William Parker, gunner of the Reformation; Henry Blackman; Christopher Pierson, cook of the Diamond; Henry Parker; Peter Swanton, boatswain of the Diamond; Jeremy Titus, cooper's mate of the Charles; and Sibthorp Rotheram, gunner's mate of the Charles, before Joseph Cockram, Richard Bix, and Geo. Muschamp, aboard the Charles in Jacatra Road. The jury, viz.:—Bruite Greade, foreman, Jno. Hutchins, Jno. Sloper, Andrew Dawson, Hugh Cowly, Richd. Edmondes, Henry Brough, Willm. W. Yeamons, John Hellmar, Robert Stanton, Thomas Wallis, and Willm. Buckley, impannelled aboard the Charles in Jacatra Road, August 31st, 1625, found Henry Parker guilty, as sole ringleader of this act of running away; Peter Swanton, Willm. Parker, and Christopher Pierson guilty of furnishing him, embezzling the Company's provisions, and keeping his secret; and Sibthorp Rotheram, Jeremy Titus, and Jno. Blackman not guilty.
Sept. 16–17.—Examinations of John Cranfeild and David Rankin, before Henry Hawley, president, Joseph Cockram, Richard Bix, Geo. Muschamp, Geo. Bruen, John Bickell, Gerrard Fowke, and Tho. Robinson. The jury, Bruite Gread, foreman, Andrew Sims, Tho. Wallace, John Elliott, John Maynard, Lawrence Baide, Richd. Anderson, Willm. Painter, Alexander Ball, Robert Stanton, Philip Thomas, and Edward Twelves, find them not guilty of going to the enemy, but guilty of disobedience and carrying away the boat. Certified copy by Tho. Robinson, secretary. Endorsed:—"Examinations of Henry Parker [and his accomplices runaway], who was condemned and hanged in Jacatra, 1625." 11 pp. [O.C., Vol. XI., No. 1204.]
Aug. 31. 173. Sec. Lord Conway to Sir John Coke. There is no cause why the East India Company may not proceed in their powder works. [Dom. Corresp., Chas. I., Minute, Conway's Letter Book, p. 226, Cal. p. 93.]