East Indies: February 1630

Pages 1-10

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, East Indies and Persia, Volume 8, 1630-1634. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1892.

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February 1630

Jan. 27.–Feb. 6.
The Hague.
2. Sir Henry Vane to (Sec. Lord Dorchester). When ready to take leave of the Prince of Orange the Prince began to lament the differences between his Majesty's subjects and those of his country in the Indies, and principally at Amboyna, and feared it would be of ill consequence if not accommodated, to which Vane replied the States' answer was so unsatisfactory that without his Majesty's express command he had resolved to speak no more of it unless they gave him better satisfaction, but some unhappy issue was certainly to be looked for, for neither the King in his honour nor the merchants in their profit could or would ever sit down with so great injustice. The Prince then asked whether Vane could not think of any way of accommodation; but told him that was for them to do, for unless their answer were mended he could not promise any endeavours of his; also that he had viewed all the depositions, both Dutch and English, and had taken all the points of difference, and if out of the depositions of the Dutch themselves there could be found any colour or appearance of truth to make any indifferent man believe that there was ever any pretension in the English to practise or conspire with the Japanese against the Dutch, the Prince should never trust anything Vane should say to him more; and therefore what could any expect but an ill issue, since his Majesty had endeavoured all that was possible to procure this State to do justice upon the delinquents and against the petitions of his own subjects, and yet could receive no satisfaction. To which the Prince said, admit all that, and that peradventure there was no conspiracy, and he himself believed so, why would his Majesty, since he had permitted the States to proceed so far in the decision of the cause, doubt their justice; which if he would [? not] do, the Prince would undertake his Majesty should receive full satisfaction. Told him that could not be granted unless with those restrictions proposed, and that the aim was now tacitly to assume the judicature to themselves, which for Vane's part he would never consent to, and he did not conceive his Majesty would command him to the contrary; that it concerned him to be awake in this negotiation, since use was made and reasons framed of all former proceedings of his Majesty's ministers, as if by that his Majesty had yielded to a concession of the cause, when they ever protested the contrary. Further said that all the world conceived it was in the Prince's power absolutely to make a good end of this difference, for the Dutch East India Company absolutely depended upon him. The Prince then said he infinitely desired it, and thought the best way was to proceed no further by way of judicature, but to give his Majesty satisfaction and to settle the trade for the future, to which Vane answered they had an ambassador and deputies in England, and that unless the States would mend their answer he neither could nor would meddle any more in this business till further order from his Majesty. Is more and more confirmed that what is further to be done in this cause for the present is to be proposed to the Ambassador and Dutch deputies in England, in which more than for the liquidation of the accounts, much is not to to be said until his Majesty see an issue of his other more important affairs. 3 pp. [Extract, Holland Corresp.]
Feb. 2.
3. Sec. (Lord Dorchester) to Sir Henry Vane. M. Joachimi being silent in the affair of Amboyna, public notice must not be taken of Vane's advertisement, though he has done very well in refusing to accept the States' answer in the style it was written, and he cannot do better than to leave it to their discretion either to suppress it or send it to their own Ambassador. It is not the less here in care and consultation, for yesterday they sat on it, and on Monday next will fall on some resolutions, which he will not fail to communicate. [Extract, Holland Corresp.]
Feb. 5/15.
4. Robert Barloe to (Sir Henry Vane). Has understood from Misselden and the Amboyna witnesses what pains his Honour has taken in the Amboyna cause, which as yet has had little progress on the States' part. But now it seems the Amboyna judges, as they term themselves, have delivered a petition to the judges, craving that their cause might be brought to an end, they having performed what they have been enjoined. So the advocate hath asked the Procurator to give notice to Misselden, but finding he is in England, has written to Barlow. It seems there is a purpose now to hear the English witnesses, hopes they are so well provided to answer and clear that cause; sees no means till the Amboyna cause be ended, how there will be any end made, knowing that this Company will use all the means they can to delay, hoping that no justice shall be done, and to weary out our company. 1½ pp. [Holland Corresp.]
Feb. 14/24.
5. Robert Barloe to the Dutch Procurator. To the request of the judges of Amboyna, presented to the Lords Delegate Judges, and to his desire that the witnesses which are come out of England may be examined, or that otherwise the matter would endure danger on our side, replies that those witnesses have been in the land 16 weeks waiting to be heard, which could not hitherto be brought to pass, by whose hindrance he knows not, but for the most part they are yet in the Hague, to do as his Majesty's Ambassador shall command. The Procurator can therefore do no better than address himself to his Lordship, who has special charge from his Majesty for the direction of this cause; and so begs him to acquaint the Fiscal, to the end he do not abusively neglect or endanger the cause. Translated out of Dutch. 1 p. [Holland Corresp.]
Feb. 16.
6. Sir Thos. Button to Sec. Lord Dorchester. His letter of 14 January, with Luke Fox's petition, came to hand 14th instant. Has looked into his journal and papers, which he thought would never have been made use of, and proceeds to answer his Majesty's two questions respecting the north-west passage. His opinion is now as it ever hath been since his return thence, that being undertaken in a fitting way and in a due season, he makes as full account of the feasibleness of it as of any channel best known to us in these northern parts. When he waits on his Highness will do his best to further it and prevent the evils that pretending men of little experience may suddenly bring upon it. Thrice since he was there it has been attempted, and little or no advancement given to the business. To the question whether the discovery may prove of such benefit as is pretended he answers that the received opinion of former ages as well as of modern times makes good that point. Were his years suitable or his purse, he should be loth any man living should adventure it sooner or more towards it than himself. What he suffered by his wintering satisfies all reasonable men that either the passage will be found or be not to be hoped for the first year. From the west part of Nottingham's Island the adventurer should direct his course according to the set of the tide which he will find there. That is the way and the only way to find the passage, in which he as confidently believes as that there is a passage between Calais and Dover or Holyhead and Ireland. [Dom. Car. I., Vol. CLXI., No. 10.]
On 2 July 1630 the Privy Council took into consideration a petition of Luke Fox, who stated that the King had lent the Charles pinnace to the adventurers for the north-west passage to be set forth this spring, but that her provisions could not be made ready in time. That he had been at the charge of 35 l. for said pinnace, and he prayed that in the meantime she might be used as man of war or for merchandising with letters of marque. The Council ordered accordingly. [Dom. Car. I., Vol. CLXX., No. 10.]
Feb. 16.
7. Sir Thos. Button to Sec. Lord Dorchester. In his other letter has given a full account of what he required touching the northwest passage. Reminds him of a former patent granted by King James, and thinks it would not be amiss to talk with Sir John Wolstenholme or Sir Dudley Digges, who were chief under Prince Henry for managing the business. Begs leave to deplore to the Secretary the present condition of the writer's miserable estate after his service in the north-west, the West Indies, and all other journeys and voyages for 37 years past. For five years he has received neither pension nor pay, and yet has continued in perpetual attendance and employment so much to his charges that he has been driven to borrow and has mortgaged and forfeited near 500l. lands per annum. All his endeavours to procure anything on account have failed, even to the grant of the moiety of the Dunkirk ship he took, which lies yet undecided. Urgently appeals to him to procure the King to cast some glimpse of favour upon him, that his long service may not be rewarded with ruin. [Dom. Car. I., Vol. CLXI., No. 11.]
Feb. 20. 8. Warrant from Sec. Coke to the Attorney-General. To prepare with speed a Bill for the King's signature granting license to the East India Company to export 8,000l. in foreign gold for Persia or India in the ships now prepared for those parts. ½ p. [East Ind., Vol. IV., No. 78.]
Feb. 20./Mar. 2.
The Hague.
9. Sir Henry Vane to (Sec. Lord Dorchester). Four days past Barlow sent him three papers and a letter, but is resolved to take no notice of them unless he receives it from the States. Neither will he permit the witnesses to be examined but according to the King's instructions, for in his judgment the cause has been much prejudiced by showing so much desire to accommodation, and this Company are confident, notwithstanding his stiffness, that they will find a way out, and that at last we will fall from this resolution as we have formerly done. Should be heartily glad that this difficult cause might receive a good end, but it shall never have his consent to have it slubbered over. [Extract, Holland Corresp.]
Feb. 20.
10. Edward Heynes to the East India Company. Since his departure with the fleet 19th April from Torbay, passed the Cape 18th July with an unexpected speedy passage, and gained the Island of Molalia 14th Aug. without accident, except that the small ship Samuel, Wm. Taylor, surprized a small Portugal junk trading from St. Lawrence to Mozambique with 3,280 sticks sandal wood of mean value, paddy or rice, and 126 slaves, of which they divided to each ship its proportion, whereof the pursers are to be accountable: Departed thence 25th Aug., and arrived in Swally Road 10th Oct., with the loss of some men, and many by the badness of the air of Molalia languishing without hope of recovery, where they found only the Jonas, Capt. Swanley, and six Dutch ships. During their abode in this road by the importunity or rather force of the Governor and merchants of Surat, the President was compelled to command the Samuel laden with Moors goods intended for Persia to ride at Surat Bar in company with a small Dutch ship to secure certain junks of the Moors lading for Mocha and Persia from the Portugals; whose caphila of frigates passing by for Cambaya, emboldened by the small force of these two ships, desperately laid the Dutch aboard with eight frigates and the Samuel with four, who as valiantly defended themselves to the destruction of three or four frigates and many of the enemy, until a train laid in the Samuel doubting to be entered by the enemy took fire to her utter ruin, loss of 14 men, and extreme hurt to the master and as many more, who were taken up by the Dutch. Refer to the advices of the President and Council for other occurrents in those parts. Was required by that factory in many consultations to disburse out of the cavidall ordered for Persia on the New Joint Stock 35,000l. in specie, and 2,000 covetts of cloth; at which he made some dispute, but finding in two of the Company's letters sufficient warrant, together with the factory's urgent necessity, insomuch that the President and Council were desired to visit the ships, and all business was at a stand until their creditors were assured of satisfaction, he performed their demands. Is ignorant of what their commissions have been to the President and Council to engage themselves to make returns on credit as far as 100,000l. per annum, but supposes commodities bought with money at interest or goods at time, nay such goods as their creditors will give and their false brokers make choice of, can doubtfully produce profit, and will doubtless enthrall their business into many inconveniences in the future. The Charles, Jonas, Discovery, and Reformation, the two first fully and the two latter partly laden with goods and passengers of Moors and Persians, received at Surat, in company of six Dutch ships, consorted for defence against the expected Portugal, sailed for Gombroon 20th Dec., where on 20th Jan. following they arrived in safety. Refers to their general letter and one enclosed from the agent for what passed on shore in the absence of Mr. Burt, who is following the new King at Court, with the state of their affairs here. Endorsed, "Recd 8 April 1631 by the Jonas." The receipt of this letter was announced by Governor Abbott to a meeting of the General Court of the East India Company on 26th November 1630, but "it was thought fit to forbear the public reading at this Meeting." 2½ pp. [O.C., Vol. XII., No. 1299.]
Feb. 24./Mar. 6.
The Hague.
11. Sir Henry Vane to (Sec. Lord Dorchester.) The judges of the Amboyna cause have sent for the witnesses, never so much as giving Vane notice; but the witnesses repaired to him for advice, and he commanded them not to appear, and if summoned to say they had received such order from him. Knows not what other end they can have in this, if not to throw scandal upon the proceeding, in that the witnesses have been sent over, and the Ambassador will not permit them to be examined according to justice. Is resolved to take no notice whatever of this, unless he receives his Majesty's further pleasure; and advises that with the first he may have order to send the witnesses home. While closing this packet the Fiscal came from the States General to desire Vane to give leave for the examination of the witnesses, for having been summoned to appear they refused without his order. Told him that if they had done other he would not have taken it well, and that he conceived the States would not command them to appear without his consent. The Fiscal said "No, by no means," but gave many reasons to have induced the same. To which Vane answered he wondered much at this message, for he could not accept the States' answer, and knew nothing they had done since to persuade him to change that resolution, and that he could not consent to the examination of the witnesses till they assented to what he then proposed. [Extract, Holland Corresp.]
Feb. 27.
12. William Burt to the East India Company. Has written more at large by several conveyances sent by way of Aleppo, Smyrna, or Constantinople, the wars between the Turk and Persian much impeding traffic. Arrival of the Charles, Discovery, Reformation, and Jonas, Gombroon 20th Jan. They made prize of a Portugal junk with about 100 slaves and sandal wood, which was divided between the New and Old Stock. The President and Factors of Surat finding the means consigned to them far short of their expectation and being deeply engaged, were enforced to require a supply from the New Joint Stock, and Mr. Heynes unwillingly delivered 35,000l., and has brought the rest of the specie to Persia. The Company has been advised of his residence this winter in Ispahan, in readiness to repair to the King for silk, where he received from Heynes their general letter of 31st March 1629. Gives the Almighty hearty praise for the William's safe delivery of her cargazoon. Concerning the loss in weight of the silk which they have used all diligence to redress. The 158 bales in the Palsgrave were received mostly at the port where the extreme heat had exhaled the humidity to the loss of one maund in 18 whether a mand be 12¼ lb. avoirdupois the Hollanders have sent back 200 lbs. of stones, besides extraordinary complaints of loss in weight. Mr. Benthall carried some silk. The base and malicious practises of the Dutch have so wounded their reputations that they need no other enemies, as they find by the King's extraordinary favour to the English and neglect of them. Has advised concerning his Majesty's Ambassador, Sir Robert Sherley, and Swasser Beag's accounts concerning their investments in silk and the price. The King has "faulted" with the Dutch in his contract, through their own carriage; but has received from the King's own hand and mouth act and promise that his ministers shall faithfully comply with the English according to covenant; and since his departure from Ispahan divers Khans and others having been suitors for Burt's house the King answered he had granted it to him with whom he would not break his word; he has also lately sent Burt his vest of honour. "God give blessing to our endeavours, for next unto the aim of my soul's fruction shall be to give you content in the discharge of my duties." Concerning the customs which they have now by authority both from the King and Khan. They will understand by the enclosed what has been taken out and received by the Surat Factors, perpetuanas unvendible. Is advised of the distinctions between the Old and New Stocks, and acknowledges the Company extraordinary favours and encouragements. Fears they are discontented with him for his rash conduct with the Dutch agents, but intreats the Company to blot out of memory the past, for he will in time to come pass by all injuries and forbear such indiscreet passionate courses which wound life, soul, and reputation. If a freight for Mocha may be had the ships will spend their time well, bartering goods for cowa seeds which find vent in Surat and Persia to large advantage. No silk yet brought to Ispahan but has petitioned the King for speedy and competent supply; will also provide some rhubarb and anniseeds (in margin "wormseeds.") Edward Heynes shall be welcomed with all familiarity; Robert Tottell deceased on the way; Richard Cooper arrived; and by reason of the great mortality here they have been forced to take from the ships four or five young men on small salaries. Has received copy of his Majesty's letter to this King and will translate it against the original arrives, which he will deliver with the accustomed rites; their present must be enlarged, which shall be considerately done. Admires that Mr. Benthall should give no better reason than that silk lying six or eight months in warehouses where it attracts moisture, should in two, three or 20 days evaporate it in a dry place; has already advised the true reason of its want of weight. Has treated with his friend Mullaimbeage, the Treasurer, to have the silk brought to some place nearer the port, so they can make full returns the same year; finds no great dissent only he alleges that Ispahan is the mart and that if he sent the silk down lower and the goods came not, that being somewhat daunted by former neglects he should be forced to bring it up again; but the Treasurer protests that for the increase of Burt's reputation he would strain much. Shall receive their avoirdupois weights from the ships, and by their next send a "Steeleery" of this place. Gold here is very low, some which Lord Cotton brought did not overcloy the market and yet the most they could procure was 17s. for the 20s. piece; the current value of Turkish and Hungarian coins for which there is but one buyer the King's mint to whose partial value all are forced to stand. The price of ryals of 8. Describes the faults found in the silk, which cannot be in above two or three bales in 100. Concerning their aid in surprising Muscat will apply himself to utmost excuses giving delays without offence; for whoever undertakes that siege must do it with a strong force. Will charge the New Stock with all expenses and give the old credit for the customs, and sends this year 80 bales silk for the Old Stock, and as much more for the new. Questions not they are fully informed of the Portugal's designs. Sees not how this trade can be driven by particular voyages but by strong force, the enemy being at present so strong in India besides their yearly expected supplies from Europe; for their own parts will avoid putting their goods aboard till ascertained of the freeness of the gulf. The Treasurer has received letters from the port from the Hollanders advising the quantities and qualities of their merchandize and their large sums of monies, which if true will exceed ours many thousand pounds, though they have omitted to bring pepper, there resting due to them for last years cavidal 700 bales of silk, to obtain which and satisfaction for this year's cavidal will hold them two years at least. Assures the Company they shall be none of the last served, the Treasurer being his worthy friend and having this day vowed to do his utmost on their behalf; so that for two years or more we may rest assured of a good supply of shipping by the Hollanders. Could much enlarge how the Hollanders gape after their "desists," for then they would quickly secure themselves in the gulf from any annoyance of the Portugal or being beholden to the Persian. Benthall's long residence and frugality might well advance his estate; understands his gains were made by buying and carrying commodities from Ispahan to the port and back, whereby he might well get means without pestering the ships or any neglect of the Company's service. The Treasurer and himself have sent three several men to Court and elsewhere for silk, the Treasurer's advice being to stay till he carries the King's letter and presents. Much admire to what purpose the Surat Factors detain the ships which arrive about the 20th Sept., three months, they themselves receive both English and Persian goods, relade and take freights all in 25 or 30 days, and in less time could despatch them, did not their own occasions as they pretend for water, &c. stay them. Have often written about it but get no answer; did the ships arrive the fine of Nov. or in Dec. as heretofore, could despatch them so they might take their monsoon in due time, and not so late to the hazard of ships, goods, and men. The general letter from Surat this year, penned by Mr. Wylde, is so stuffed with rude and malicious language that his council refused to sign it but with proviso that they firmed only to the Company's business. P.S.—(The Treasurer) tells him the loss in the weight of the silk is no strange thing to him; how the King receives, and that it is examined with all care, and what it weighs when brought to Ispahan, the silk being of divers natures and sundry ways of managing; the King's commands have been several times sent almost on pain of life, for avoiding indirect proceedings herein, yet finds no amends; though it seems strange to him that theirs passing so many hot climates should not lose more; but this shall not dull their diligence herein. Endorsed, "Received by the waie of Cons... and from thence overland, 15 November 1630. It was recd in Aleppo 30 Junii by an express: it was recd in Constant. 23 August from Aleppo." The receipt of this letter was announced by Gov. Abbott to a meeting of the General Court of the E. I. Co. on 26th Nov. 1630, but "it was thought fit to forbear the public reading at this meeting." 7 pp. [O.C., Vol. XII., No. 1300.]
Feb. ?
Ispahan ?
13. [William Burt] to the Factors at Gombroon. It hath pleased the Almighty since our last repair from Bandar to divide the small number we were taking, the one half to His mercy, adding unto the remainder the portion of their cares. The Lord of Mercy give courage to our faithful endeavours in the discharge of our duties towards our temporal masters and to our soul's alacrity that both in life and death we may enjoy the comforts of Christian assurance. His forced division from them is no small grief to him, knowing how urgently his presence is required. Has written to the Commanders that shall arrive this year to furnish them with a competent number of the sufficientest men they can possibly spare; and what agreements they shall make with such persons he will ratify. Instructions for taking ashore some 20 of the honestest sort of common mariners from the ships to be placed in all places where merchandizes are discharged about the Custom House to prevent the abuse of stealing goods away uncustomed. They must not permit any of what quality soever to carry goods to their own houses. The King's and Khan's firmans more strictly enjoin more punctual proceedings than formerly, and his complaints which have shaken the proudest of them by displacing and large fines, will induce them to give them good reports; has also sent them the Khan's letters to the Sultan and Shabander for righting them and furnishing the ships. Their Masters' letters of 26th Dec. 1628 will manifest that they have consigned thither a full fourth of monies to three parts of merchandize according to their contract with the King; but if they find that the Surat Factors have taken part they must return them some of the merchandize for without a fourth monies there is no hope of putting them off, and the Persians would be glad of the default to make denial of the whole. They had best return cloth of which the Factors advise hopeful sales in India, for here no man will give within 20 per cent the prime cost of perpetuanas. There is quantity of silk this year carried down to the port, the buyers being only themselves and the Hollanders; have been promised the refusal of it, and advises them as to the price to give for it, and to maintain the prices for English commodities; they may guide themselves by the Hollander's offers, and when in any reason let them not outbid you. They may give a fourth moneys with their commodities, and if any India commodities be consigned to the factory, for peradventure the Surat Factors will take some of the moneys consigned hither, and send some such trumpery stuff as they did last year, they must put them off in truck of silk, for there is small likelyhood of sales this year by reason of the great quantities brought by land. Sends this day a caffila of 29 bales of silk: by all means accept what silk they can, and let not the Hollanders carry it away. The prices he has paid for silk. Encloses letters to the Sultan and Shabander in their behalf to whom they may make present as they shall find their occasions require assistance. Prays them immediately upon the arrival of the ships to send away a horseman to him, who must enquire at Shiraz and thence at Ispahan, for the King is likely to "set it" two months at Amadan. Will leave advices if he goes from Ispahan before. What they shall find sent for account of presents or they can procure they must send advice of by said horseman, and send the presents immediately by some conveyance. Hadgie Mahmett Hassine and Hadgie Sallie have always showed themselves effectual friends, to both of whom no reasonable courtesy should be wanting; the latter desires his horse may be shipped with those of the Company, all which he prays may be performed for both merit greater favours than they can do them. Has paid Mullaimbeag's brother part for the 20 bales of silk, the rest they are to pay to Hadgie Mahmett Hassine, and to let him have 200 or 300 crowns taking his receipt for Mullaimbeag's use. Certain women of account repair to Bandar recommended for passage to India, especially by letters from Mullaimbeage and Carrack Chan, to see them fairly accommodated, and take but reasonable consideration for their passage. Hadgie Sallie will acquaint them who the parties are. The Hollanders have no silk yet arrived, but are reported to have 50 bales on the way bought for ready money, which is all they are like to carry to Bandar this year. To cause the two books of firmans to be copied out, both English and Persian; also the two consultations sent herewith, keeping the originals; has sent copies per terra. To dispeed some of the new comers by the first, and to fail not to procure two or three writers, and to remember his service to the Dutch Ambassador. Has intreated Hadgie Mahmett Hassine to spare demanding more monies than will remain due to him on the silk. To make punctual satisfaction to Hadgie Buniate for nine bales of silk. To Hadgie Mahmett Hassine, who was the means of their procuring 29 bales of silk, they must present some small matter. Imperfect. 4 pp. [O.C., Vol. XII., No. 1302.]