East Indies: October 1625

Pages 94-103

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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October 1625

Oct. 4–13. 185. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Report of Mr. Governor that on Saturday was a fortnight he had news which was seconded by Capt. Style of the arrival of four ships from the Indies, the William, Blessing, Discovery, and Ruby, and of a fifth, the Moon, cast away upon our coast, that he summoned some few of the Committees who would venture themselves in London this contagious time, and read to them letters from the President and Commanders abroad, and from the President and Council at Surat and Lagundy brought from the William and the Ruby, that he then dispatched letters to the Downs to the President and Commanders to stay aboard until the ships should arrive at Erith; that he also dispatched letters to Sir John Hippesley, Lieutenant of Dover Castle, and to Sir George Newman, Judge of the Cinque Ports, for seizing the goods belonging to the Company wrecked in the Moon; "but, above all, there was a Dutchman who came cunningly aboard the Moon in the Indies for his passage for Holland who, as himself confessed, was one of the jury in that execrable murder at Amboyna," whom John Yonge caused to be apprehended, but is since escaped. Whereupon the Court thought fit to dispatch Mr. Sherburne with letters to the Lords of the Council to entreat their assistance in this particular, and to desire a commission to examine on oath all persons suspected to have any of the goods of the Moon; together with another to the Lord Treasurer and Sir Richard Weston in answer to theirs for the borrowing of 20,000l. Messrs. Leatt and Mountney to make an estimate of the wants in the Indies, and of the tonnage of the two ships to be sent for the southwards. Motion that there may be "an abstract drawn of this new plantation" (Lagundy) to be presented to the Lords, also of the state of our people there in regard that the same is like to be suppressed by the Dutch. Ordered that Giles James, a factor, now come home in the Blessing, have 100l. on account of wages. Report of Mr. Governor that being at Oxford and hearing there was some distaste at the Company's answer to the Lords of the Council's letter for deserting the trade, he without any order repaired to divers of the Lords there and the Lord Keeper told him that in the letter from the Council Board there was some mistake in the penning, whereupon Mr. Governor replied they should never have any right from the Dutch except some of their ships might be stayed, but the Lord Chamberlain told him plainly that either that way or some other they should have satisfaction. 10l. to be forthwith distributed to the relief or the poor in the three hamlets of Blackwall, Stepney, and Ratcliffe. In consideration of the necessity of this time, Mr. Leatt is entreated to grant part of their wages to such mariners from the Indies as are in poverty. Ordered that Wm. Webber's bill of charges be paid, as also Mr. Poynett's of 66l. for piloting one of the Company's ships now come from the Indies, and attending with his ketch about the stay of the Holland ships. 200l. on account to be paid to Mathew Graves for finishing the Company's new ship the Red Lion, and in regard they have a Lion already, she was named the Christopher. Weekly wages to be paid by Mr. Mountney, but yearly salaries by the Treasurers. John Arden admitted a labourer in the Company's warehouses in the place of Francis Garland, deceased. Report of Hanson, auditor, that he "finds the former want of pepper to be made good, in regard there was a leaf which was omitted to be calendared."
Oct. 13. Report of Mr. Kirby that there is a great want of timber in the Company's yard at Blackwall, and that though five or six bargains of timber had been made none was yet brought in; that Thos. Browning proffers 1,000 load for sale; ordered that he be asked to come to London to agree for the price. 200 fother of lead to be provided. Capt. Browne to receive 100l. on account of his wages, and Capt. Hall 50l. The Court took into consideration the "void room" found aboard the Blessing, and Capt. Hall and Giles James confessed they had landed some goods of theirs at Scilly and promised to have them brought to the Company's warehouse, confessing their error and desiring the Court to be favourable unto them. After their departure, the purser of the Blessing was required at next Court to bring a note of what goods every man had brought home for their private account. Leave given to Giles James to travel for a month to see his friends. Robert Davis, mate in the Discovery, to have 50l. on account of wages. Provision to be made of elephants' teeth. Report of Giles James that Mr. Deputy's (Christopher Clitherowe) son was a very hopeful young man and very well qualified and able to do the Company very good service in the Indies. Richard Swinglehurst gratified with 20 nobles (6l. 13s. 4d.) for his pains "in riding up and down about the Company's business in this contagious time." 5¾ pp. [Ct. Min. Bk. VIII. 116–121].
Oct. 13.
186. Henrie Hawley, President, Joseph Cockram, Richard Bix, and George Muschamp, to the East Indian Company. Refer to their last of 3rd August, by the Royal James [See ante No. 168, which was received by the East India Company nearly three months after this letter]. The London arrived 23 August, with the loss of 36 men and 80 sick, though none of note. Before her arrival at the Cape 2nd May, the Moon, Ruby, and Discovery had left for St. Helena, whither the Blessing and William hastened to our Lagundy fleet. The Discovery lost 21 men, the other two ships' company in reasonable health. Arrival of the Swallow, 14 September, with the loss of only three men, her tedious lagging occasioned by a grievous storm, in which she lost her masts and sails. Received by her and the London the letters, invoices, bills of lading, documents, and transcripts inventoried. After receipt of the informations about the " Cause of Amboyna," spared not to communicate them to the General and his Council, in the way of friendship. On 25th August Governor Speult arrived from Amboyna; hearing he was made General of the fleet for Persia, they went to the Dutch, made known what had passed between their soverign and the States and therein required execution; after long deliberation Speult was confirmed in his place, and embarked 4th Sept., against which they made protest 9th Sept. "No kindness was thereby diminished, but rather still increased, as reconciled friends, unable to recall the time past but willing to rectify for the time to come, we do verily believe a loving correspondence will be held." In these hopes and considerations it was conceived fit to prosecute their general motion of June 9; refer to their better judgment, as some of them think it impertinent to revive anything already referred to Europe. Dispeeded the Rose for Masulipatam, 23rd August, with Mr. Harby's coral out of the London, cloves, sandal-wood, alum, and money to the amount of 34,333 R.; and wrote to Thos. Mills, who importuned for his return to England, to stay one year longer there. Arrival of the Hart from Macassar, 1st Sept., with rice, sandal-wood, wax, cloves, turtle shells, and slaves, and Chinamen for their plantation upon Lagundy, which now is a mere loss of 2,000 R. The Dutch ships at Amboyna hindered the Malayan trade with cloves to Macassar, but since their coming thence above 100 baharr are expected. The Reformation careening for that voyage, but what possibility to man her they know not. Arrival of the Dutch ships Elephant and Mauritius out of Holland, 9th Sept., but fears for the Scheidam because of a report of a plague amongst her men. Have gleaned out "100 English, with 20 slaves, to sail the ship Charles for Jambi, with 29,129 ryals in cloth and money, where 800 tons of pepper have long lain. The Coaster guards the factory there. Hear that the King of Acheen has given over his expedition (against Jambi), therefore hope the Charles may soon be laden and the Coaster also be returned fully laden to help the Hart. Expect the Eagle from Acheen, where is good store of pepper ready bought, but could not be fetched for want of men. Their friends in Surat laded the Eagle for Acheen with cloth to the amount of 21,438 R.; by the Royal James received 31,016 R, and returned by the James in cloves and moneys 109,796 R. Our people in Jambi in a labyrinth of troubles for taking two junks, and the loss will not be less than 10,000 R. Have sent Thos. Harris thither and written to the King, for Wm. Withers is lately dead. The Dutch having dissolved their factory at Acheen, have sent four men-of-war to assist the King of Jambi, and may obtain preeminence in that King's favour, "which we prevent as much as in us lieth." Apologies to the King of Jambi for not aiding him against the Dutch; his tyrannical dealing towards us. Find the Company suppose the stock of India to be a very large sum, but having examined the accounts sent by the Moon, Ruby, and Discovery, they will be otherwise persuaded. They may easily calculate their stock in these parts, viz., ready money 56,000 R., Japan plate. 53,350 R. in cash in this factory; 1,000 tons of pepper at Jambi, paid for the remains at Jambi, Acheen, Masulipatam, and Batavia, and the cargoes of the Hart, Charles, Eagle, and Rose. There, was no need to withdraw supplies, for had they had men they would rather have wanted provisions than possessed superfluity. Beseech them not to withdraw their daily supplies, for "it is the continual motion that makes the labour light." Complain of the workmen sent, some "know nothing of that they professed," the chief free-mason Law for one. It is a thing considerable whether such deluders ought not to be put from their wages." The few smiths, nailors, and armourers, which above all others are needed, are all dead, and in all India there are but four, and some of them crazy and good for nothing. Have dispersed the boys sent into factories to learn language; wish if any more be sent they be such as have had good breeding. Must again lament their miserable, supply of tools; intend to return some, "it is worse than robbery considering out case." Infinite wants of provisions, also of a large clock, and workmen of all kinds, for "here is nothing to be made by the Dutch freemen but must be paid for five times double; but without smiths and ships' carpenters we must perish." Fear those costly provisions and munitions sent for the fort will perish if workmen are not sent; there is but one armourer. Complain that the artizans sent over are for the most part debauched fellows and infected with drunkenness, and not to be reclaimed, and they cause riots, mutinies, and the like. At this instant Law the chief mason, Sayers, the chief carpenter, Speed, the armourer, and Chapman, the joiner, with a rabble more assembled, and in their drunken mood stood in defiance, and having consumed themselves and their estates, if they chance to live home, the miseries of the East Indies must be alleged, when few of them but spend ten honest mens' means in their disorders. The ships' Commanders have to watch their men as a cat watcheth a mouse, for daily they conspire to run to the enemy. Abdy is now at Malacca in a dungeon. This insufferable abuse has moved them to hang up Henry Parker, a master's mate. The Mahommedans generally abhor all manner of pictures, so the Company could not have sent anything of so great value and so little esteem; the pistols are of little use, and the counterfeit gold sword not to be presented. Long birding pieces, cellars of strong waters, maps, and globes, scarlet and stamell cloth fittest for presents. Rings and jewels well set and mounted will sell for far more than in Europe, to give to their women, for whom nothing is too costly; things counterfeit are the greatest indignity. Related in their last their calamity and the cause of remove from Lagundy; but inasmuch as no small charge was expended, and the place so hopefully approved of at first, now give more exact satisfaction. Account of their general muster at three several times through infection. There fell sick in 13 days 39 Dutch and upwards of 70 blacks, whereof the most since dead. Extremity of the contagion. Since coming to Batavia many have died, and those that live have the signs of irrecoverable infection, which none can remove save God himself. Hope to obtain the Company's approbation in coming to Batavia, for it had been mere madness in their extremity to have put themselves upon the mercy of infidels. The great sum disbursed for the new house at Batavia will soon be recouped. All is intended in the course of good husbandry and neither in ostentation nor for a resolved permanency; for we know that the Dutch exactions, pride, and unnecessary plantations are utterly to confound us; agreements can be framed in Europe alone. Have fitted the frigate Simon and Jude with 14 men to deliver a cargo of 4,000 R. at Japara. The repairs of the Reformation go slowly forward, but 25 carpenters, "and the meanest for the most part that ever bare the name of carpenters." The master, Robert Hackwell, is wonderous careful to see her well done. Mistress Frobisher set free in lieu of two Portugal gentlemen, has arrived from Macassar in the Hart; her husband slain at Malacca, her children detained, and her maid turned Catholic. The accusation against their secretary, Tho. Robinson, by John Brook, master of the Moon, of no worth. Have, as near as they can, set down each man's name dead since dispeeding their ships for England. Supplies wanted in every ship, such as hats, hose, shoes, slippers, points, lace, ribbands, garters, &c., which they are forced to buy of the Dutch at five times their worth. [Postscript.] A large lighter or two would do them a good turn; and "half-a-dozen of feet stone bows " [sic] will serve for acceptable presents to these princes. Doubt the vent for perpetuanos will follow as was expected; but stamell cloths, from 18l. to 20l. are like to sell. The workmen that were in dissension all reconciled, and honestly follow their works. Endorsed, "Received by the Dutch ships, the Eindraght and Wapon-van-Horne, from Amsterdam the 1 of August 1626." 11 pp. [O.C., Vol. XI., No. 1210.]
Oct. 18–20. 187. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Mr. Clifton to receive 200l. on account of biscuit for the Exchange. Bargain concluded between the Company and Richard Wright, grocer, for 40 bags of pepper. Provision to be made of 150 tuns of cider. Ephraim Ramsey to go purser's mate in the Exchange. Katharine, mother of George Jacob, to receive one month of her son's wages. Motion of Mr. Treasurer that a quarterly payment of the adventurers might be brought in; but this was long since agreed to.
Oct. 20.—Richard Rymell admitted to the place of cooper left by Widow Rymell. Richard Wright, for example sake, to put in some able householder as security for his pepper. 4¼ pp. [Ct. Min. Bk., VIII. 122–126.]
Oct. 22. 188. Duke of Buckingham to Sec. Sir John Coke. Understands the Dunkirkers are gone northward, and have 4,000 landmen with them. Would be glad of his company tomorrow, and that he would send to London to learn what shipping might be made ready of the East Indian merchants or others. Fears their intentions are for Ireland, and knows no other course than to make all haste after them [Extract, Domestic Corresp. Chas. I., Vol. VIII., No. 22, Cal. p. 130.]
Oct. 25. 189. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Resolution to buy a parcel of elephants' teeth to the value of 1,300l. Concerning the embezzlements of the Company's goods by reason of the liberty given at the custom house to mariners to enter and receive their goods without warrant from the Company; promise of Sir John Wolstenholme to renew his former order against this abuse. Bargain concluded between the Company and Abraham Chamberlain for 18 or 19 barrels of gumlac at 7l. 10s. per cwt. Mr. Swanley to entertain about 10 mariners for the Exchange. On request of Capt. Moreton, master of the Ruby, to let him take up his goods brought home for his own account, the Court willed, for example sake, that they be first brought to the Company's warehouses. A long barge to be built for the Exchange. Long deliberation on the remonstrance drawn by Mr. Skinner of the new grievances against the Dutch; ordered that although it be intended to present it to the Lords, the title shall be to the King in the name of the Governor, the Deputy, and Committees, and not of the whole Company. Names to be resolved on of those who shall present said remonstrance to his Majesty and the Lords. Mathew Graves' bill for work done upon the Christopher referred to Mr. Kirby. 40s. out of the poor box given to George Russell, who was unlading the Ruby, when a great hammer failing from the top of the mainmast upon his foot, wounded him very sore by cutting off his great toe whereby he is in great danger of death. 35s. to be paid to Bourne, a stationer, for a Bible. 2 pp. [Ct. Min. Bk. VIII. 126–128.]
Oct 26.
190. Robert Barlow to Sir D. Carleton. The States have sent the enclosed memorandum to the Bewinthebbers very seasonably, for Coen is daily at the East India Chamber in discourse with them. Cannot yet learn how they "disgest" this countermand, but has caused one of Coen's friends to sound him what hopes he had for his employment, but could get no other answer than that it was no desperate business, he being a man of that close disposition that his nearest friends cannot get anything from him. "The Dolyanten" last week delivered a remonstrance to the States General about their differences with the Company, and therein noted that it was not fit Coen should be employed, they being much against it, with many other of the adventurers; yet he hath the favour of most of the chambers, and Barlow holds if this latter countermand had not come their intent was to send him. Certain advice of an East Indian ship of this town having lost her masts in a storm beyond the Cape, and another it is feared is sunk at sea; three rich ships laden with pepper, maces, nutmegs, silk, and diamonds; these have great hopes of the China trade, and to keep the whole Molucca trade to themselves, reporting that ours have left the same and all other places where these have jurisdiction, and have planted themselves upon an island in the Straits of Sondaya. Has not any Particulars from the Company, for in six weeks we here have not had any letters from London. Sends a discourse of Coen's, and answer by one that was sometime Governor of Amboyna, the other a discourse to this Company by one that was long in the Indies, wherein Coen's follies are discovered. Cannot as yet get another discourse showing the wrong to the Company through Coen's government. Understands that the fiscal of Amboyna, "that bloody butcher," is in a Dutch East India ship at Kinsale, and that there are other of the judges in the other two ships. Has given notice to our Company, so doubts not but the States will take a course for due examination. 1½ pp. Endorsed by Carleton, Rec. the 28th. [Corresp. Holland.]
Oct. 27. 191. Court Minutes of the East India Company. A Court to be held on Wednesday to take into consideration the raising of moneys to be paid to mariners and others come home in the fleet, and the setting forth of the two [outward bound] ships. A ship load of knee timber offered at 2l. 10s. a load. Concerning one Grove, brother and apprentice to a grocer in Southwark, who had bought pepper from the Moon, wrecked at Dover, which was found out by the Company's servants; he was advised that if his brother would not bring in the pepper the Court would take some course against them. Brockenden, executor of his brother Thos. Brockenden, to have a sight of his brother's books of account, hut as for his bezoar stones, ambergris, &c, he must do what he thinks good for obtaining them from Sir John Hippisley, whereupon letters were ordered to be sent to Messrs, Chauncey and Yonge, and 300l. sent to them by Thomas Corne. Bargain concluded for elephants' teeth, amounting to 1,300l. Request of Scudamore, a factor, to have his wages and debts, amounting to 232l.; he also desired that whereas the King of Siam had given him a "cuttan" worth 50l., which upon the casting away of the Moon divers mariners had broken up and distributed it among themselves, he might be recompensed out of their wages; but was answered that all presents are the Company's, and therefore, though willing to pleasure him, yet for example sake they could do him no favour in this particular. The mariners charged with pillaging certain junks in the Indies, and Messrs. Rastell, Browne, Hall, and James, ordered to attend on Wednesday. Mr. Governor and a committee appointed to attend his Majesty upon delivery of the remonstrance of their grievances against the Dutch on Saturday next. Liberty given to Capt. Moreton after debate to take some of his pepper out of the Custom House, and he is entertained to go commander of the two ships for the southwards in the Exchange at 10l. per month. Request of Abraham Chamberlain to buy 20 or 25 bags of pepper on stock refused, their occasions being very great to make ready money. Mr. Browne advised that the ships might carry lead instead of ballast, affirming that the information that no stones for ballast are to be had at Surat is untrue, for at the Cape they may gather as they please. Ordered that search be made for the Court books for a former order on this subject. 3 pp. [Ct. Min. Bk. VIII. 128–131.]
Oct. 28
Crosby House.
192. Sir Morris Abbott to Sec. Sir John Coke. Has this day conferred with such committees as best understand that service, with an earnest desire for the advancement of that important business of his Majesty; but they cannot give an answer till their return from Court to-morrow, for if they proceed with the trade their own houses will be but sufficient for their own occasions; but they conceive it will be the only and best course that the master of every ship take care for his own provisions, as is usual, and will give the seamen most content. Understands that Mr. Leatt expects very shortly 100 hhds. or 200 hhds. of Irish beef, which will serve well for a short voyage. 1 p. [Domestic Corresp., Chas. I., Vol. VIII., No., 54, Cal., p. 135.]
Oct. 29.
193. Robert Barlow to Sir D. Carleton. Has received letters from the Company with "cargasoen" of their ships, herewith inclosed, a quarter of the goods out of the ship [Moon], wilfully cast away, are saved. Our people that come out of the Indies make very great complaint of the intolerable wrongs of the Dutch towards them, "endeavouring their uttermost best to turn us out of all trade in all places in the Indies"; and whereas they make a show of beleaguering Bantam, holding us and others from trade, they underhand deal with them, and, as our people write, have in these ships at least 300 last of Bantam pepper. So do they in all other places, and in all things follow Coen's projects. Perceives that all that is done is by the consent of their masters, for if not, they would not be so bold. The Bewinthebbers make grievous complaint of violence offered to one of their men that came passenger in our ships out of the Indies, that he was imprisoned, and his letters opened, read, and kept; makes no question, but Boreel hath complained to the States though what has been done is without our Company's knowledge. Understands that there are certain deputed of the Bewinthebbers to give satisfaction to the States concerning the complaining adventurers. Makes no question that the memorandum given in by Carleton will then be answered. Has been told by a good friend that if they could not give content to the States, they made account by the help of the Prince of Orange to effect their desires, so would use his help for the sending of Coen, saying the States were declining from them, in regard of the manifold complaints.
193. I. The cargazon of the ships Moon, Discovery, and Ruby from Jacatra, and the Blessing, and the William from Surat, consisting of pepper, cinnamon, silk stuffs, bezoar stones, gumlac, indigo, cotton wool, calicoes, and aloes. With mem. that there came out from Jacatra about the 20th January 1624–5, three ships for the Netherlands Company, viz., Hollandia, Gouda, and Middelburg, which was 20 days before these came away, but in all their passage these ships never heard of what became of them." Togetherpp. [Corresp. Holland.]
Oct. 30.
The Hague.
194. Sir D. Carleton to Sec. Lord Conway. Went to the Assembly of the States on 27th inst., and presented copy of protest touching our differences in the East Indies; and desired them to enter it into their register, and otherwise make use of it by notification to their East India Company. Also remembered unto them again "an office" he passed in their Assembly on the 19th touching Coen, according to an inclosed memorial that he understood that some of their Bewinthebbers had devised to let Coen go by way of permission but without commission, thinking thereby to elude the States resolution for his stay. Hereupon the States gave Coen express command, by letters directed to himself, not to stir till their further pleasure known; so thinks Coen's journey is now at an end.
194. I. Remonstrance of Sir D. Carleton to the States General. Upon the complaints of his subjects, his late Majesty, because of the delay of justice and want of reparation from the Flemish East India Company ordered reprisals upon their ships, which his Majesty has made stay of, their Lordships having decreed provisionally three points:—1. That the Governor and his assistants at the criminal judgment at Amboyna, should be brought to Europe to answer this bloody action; 2. That Mareschalk, one of the judges, being in this country, should be kept prisoner until the rest were arrived; 3. That Peterson Coen (accused for instigator and actor of the wrongs and cruelties used in the Indies) should not be any more suffered to return thither. But because Carleton is informed that said Peterson Coen is making preparations, by the avow of some of the directors of the Flemish Company, to return to the Indies with the first ships, would not omit to advertise their Lordships, who may well judge that the failing of any of these three points promised remits the business to the same state of reprisals as before. Endorsed 19/29 Oct. 1625. French. Together 2 pp. [Corresp. Holland.]
195. Phineas Pett to Captain Styles in London. Begs he will stop the wages of Sebastian Palmer, a carpenter, from the ship Assurance, who ran away, was shipped in the William, and is now returned in her. 1 p. [O.C., Vol. XI., No. 1209.]
196. "Brief extracts of divers wrongs which the English East India Company have lately sustained by the Dutch in the East Indies, against which the English there have made protests, and sent home the copies thereof, wherein the particulars are at large expressed." 1¼ pp. [Dom., Chas. I., Vol. LXXXIX. No. 75, Cal., p. 500.]
[1625 Oct.] 197. "Complaint and Declaration" of the Governor, Deputy and Committees of the East India Company to the King. Set forth "the intollerable abuses, treacherous and bloody, yea barbarous excesses committed by the Hollanders in the East Indies upon our factors and servants there, besides their seizure and spoil made upon our goods, and their fraudulent and unjust courses practised for the overthrow of our trade and estates in those parts." And that by the premises it may clearly appear how impossible it will be for the English Company to maintain the trade, and not give way to the Hollanders, from whose private consultations it can be proved they purpose appropriating to themselves the whole and sole trade between Europe and the East Indies 8 pp. [Dom., Chas. I., Vol. 89, No. 74, Cal., p. 500.]