East Indies: May 1633

Pages 400-415

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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May 1633

May 3. 436. Court Minutes, E. I. Co. Forasmuch as there is a great want found in the weight of the indigo which of late years has been sent home, according to the contents of their Factor's letters and invoices and the better to discover where the fault is, ordered that the indigo now returned in the Blessing be weighed in the Custom House before being brought to the Company's warehouse. Report of Ellam that John Holloway and his brother security for a lot of silk, refused to sign bills for same. Report of Mr. Governor that himself, Mr. Deputy and Mr. Mun attended Lord Cottington, and finds that Smethwicke came one day to his house and met his Lordship as he was going out of his door, having in his hand the treaty between his Majesty and the King of Spain, desired his Lordship to explain the Second Article of said treaty, whether the English may use hostilities against the Portugals in the Indies or not, to which his Lordship answered that the Article explained itself, and needed no other interpretation, but if this matter be questioned at the Council table he would then deliver his opinion, whereupon seeing Smethwicke came to his Lordship in this manner, and to take him transient as his Lordship said, he demanded the reason why Smethwicke desired so much this explanation, who replied, because he observed from the general letters lately come out of India that the Court of Committees have given express order for the taking of the Portugals, which he conceived to be contrary to the meaning of said Article, his Lordship gave him no answer, but so left him. Mr. Governor made known to his Lordship Smethwicke's complaint against the Company to his Majesty, which was referred to Mr. Attorney-General, who they had attended, and in their opinions so satisfied as he promised forthwith to report to his Majesty, but hath not yet done so, which Mr. Governor reported to his Lordship, desiring that forasmuch as it highly concerned the reputation of the Company to have said report returned before his Majesty's departure into Scotland, that so they may be vindicated from those calumniations and unjust complaints of Smethwicke, his Lordship would therefore speak with Mr. Attorney to hasten his report, whereupon his Lordship said Mr. Attorney marvels that nobody attends him for the same, which he is ready to make when required, and promised to speak with Sec. Windebank to write to Mr. Attorney to send in his certificate; which his Lordship performed accordingly, and their Secretary receiving his Honour's letter, copy of which was now read, delivered it to Mr. Attorney at his house at Branford, who answered that when he came to town he would speak with Sec. Windebank, but would not deliver his report to any but Smethwicke; hereupon Mr. Deputy and others were desired to attend Mr. Attorney this afternoon and intreat him to deliver in the same before his Majesty's departure. Discourse about the business of Blackwall now in question with the Earl of Cleveland, and though it was resolved not to swerve from the direction of Mr. Attorney-General, yet it was thought not amiss to wait on his Lordship to hear what he will say. Information that divers linendrapers and others went to Portsmouth and bought great quantities of private trade aboard the Blessing, contrary to his Majesty's proclamation; and their names being presented, James Martyn was sent for, who confessed he was at Portsmouth, but had not bought any goods, only he contracted with one Pryme, a carpenter, for 80 pieces calicoes, but not to have them delivered until he had cleared them from the Company, which he conceived he might do without offence; but he was answered that he hath not only infringed his oath as a brother of the Company but also his Majesty's proclamation, therefore the Court intended to proceed against him and the rest for this contempt. Two suits of apparel and 40s. a piece to defray their charges into their own country, to be bestowed on "two Pole-ackers" who came as passengers in the Blessing. Report of Mr. Governor of a proposition made at Blackwall yesterday for the Company to make their own cordage, whereby they will not only save 500l. a year but have their cordage much better; the Court seriously debated this business and understanding they may have the use of his Majesty's cordage house at Woolwich which now stands empty, and on advice with Swanly and Blackborne who hath had the oversight of their cordage made by Fletcher, resolved to make a trial of making their own cordage; and thereupon contracted with Highlord for 10 bundles of Rusband hemp at 29s. per cwt., and 9 bundles of Rindband hemp at 32s. per cwt., and for the better perfecting this work thought good to have the opinion of Styles who has formerly been employed by the King in making this provision. Petition of John Fowkes which he had exhibited to the Lord Keeper, complaining of the Governor and Committees for refusing him a sight of the Company's orders according to his Lordship's former direction, with his Lordship's order to the Court to show cause why they refuse the same; to which they gave Fowkes this answer, that they would by their Counsel show cause to his Lordship and so dismissed him. Report of Mr. Governor that Steevens had presented an estimate for repairing the London amounting, besides iron and lead, to 1,400l., which on being put to the question, it was ordered he should proceed in repairing said ship accordingly. Offer of Cockayne of a strong and able ship named the London, belonging to the Turkey merchants, wherein he hath a part, at a very good and cheap rate; Committees desired to view said ship, and report their opinions. Proposition of Mr. Governor for the building of a room of brick in the middle of the yard at Blackwall for the stowage of their powder, the place wherein it now lies being very dangerous, and the neighbours complaining much of the great hurt it would do in case of any accident of fire; ordered that Tanner, their bricklayer, make a module of the room, with an estimate of the charge; and also with their carpenter should make an estimate of the charge of converting their housing at Deptford, which they hold from the city by lease, into warehouses. Report of Mr. Governor of the great desire of the inhabitants of Blackwall to have the Company build a chapel to their hospital at Poplar, but it was conceived more proper first to raise a stock for the buying of lands to maintain the poor, in regard there is already a chapel in the hospital for their almsmen; and it was propounded that any remain at the ending of every stock or voyage which cannot well be divided to the adventurers, be given to this charitable use until such a sum be raised as may purchase 60l. or 100 marks per annum, and then to think of building a chapel, but not before. Complaint of Mr. Mun of neglect by the officers of the yard at Blackwall in not examining and measuring the timber and other provisions contracted for; his proposals that Ducy set the Company's mark on all timber bought, with the length and breadth of every piece and the price, and that Fotherby enter same into his books, and all commodities brought into the yard, approved. Particular presented by Steevens of the wants of provisions in the yard, ordered to be forthwith provided by Ducy, viz., compass timber 150 loads, knee timber 80, long beam timber 60, elm timber 100, 4-inch plank 150, 3-inch plank 50, 150 spruce deals, 2,000 ordinary deals, 350 clap boards for boats, 50 wainscot for barges and boats. Mountney ordered to buy 400 barrels of tar and eight tuns of resin. 6½ pp. [Ct. Min. Bk., XIII., 258–264.]
May 8. 437. Court Minutes, E. J. Co. Acton's bill of 11l. 19s. 11d. for law charges to be paid. He reported that at the Earl of Cleveland's Court on Monday last, the six feoffees in trust were admitted tenants, at whose admission 4l. 15s. 8d. tendered as a customary fine for the said alienation was refused by the Steward, who declared the Earl had assessed a fine of 3,000l., which the feoffees would not submit to; and that having attended the Company's Counsel, whose opinions are forthwith to exhibit a bill in Chancery, he hath instructed Mr. Clarke to draw a bill, and bespoken a letter to serve his Lordship with. The Court well approved, and ordered him to proceed therewith, yet it was held meet that Mr. Governor and some of the tenants should attend his Lordship, which may be supposed will produce some good effect. Note produced by Young from the Captain of Cowes Castle requiring him to carry the 13 Dutchmen left ashore when the two Dutch ships fled away, in the Blessing to London, which was held meet to be shown to John de Lucy to stop the mouth of those Dutchmen's pretences; but understanding that said Dutchmen had now received the 30s. per man, which at first they refused, the Court did conceive fit to proceed no further. Report of Mr. Governor that the Lords Commissioners were content to lend the Company the house at Woolwich to make their cordage in, and that both Sir William Russell and Mr. Styles well approve of this course, and for the oversight of the work had proposed one Mr. Blackborne, a very honest and able man, who, being called in, demanded 100l. per annum, but thankfully accepted 80l. for the first year. Renewed request of Mr. Stone that a broak of 50l. for not transporting 10 bags of pepper, be remitted; left to the favour of the General Court. Mr. Cole, a purveyor of timber, tendered a bargain of oak and elm timber of the Earl of Thanet's to the import of 1,500l., ordered that Ducy view it. Demand of a brother of Richard Cooper, in Persia, of 265 pieces of calicoes sent home from his brother, besides divers other tokens; answered that he must attend till the Court set down a general order for all private trade brought home in this ship. Report of Mr. Governor that the Blessing is almost discharged; proposition to consider the disposure of her goods; divers letters and consultations, and the bill of lading read. The Court having at large argued hereupon, it was the opinion to sell or divide the goods by lots, and for the settling of their disposure, ordered to call a General Court of all adventurers in the first and second voyages on Wednesday next, in the meantime the Auditors to calculate how much per cent. may be divided, which was by some conceived would be about 40 per cent. for each voyage. 2½ pp. [Ct. Min. Bk., XIII., 264–267.]
May 9.
Ship Jonas, near Cape Comorin.
438. Capt. John Weddell to the East India Company. Sent the original of the foregoing letter of 24th March (see ante, No. 417) overland, and on same day sailed from Gombroon with the Jonas and Hart, accompanied by a Masulipatam ship, by which sent letters to Norris, the agent there, of all passages in their voyage which concerned his knowledge. Arrived at Surat 5th April, after 13 days, a quick passage, and found the Mary, Dolphin, and four Flemmings, but not any goods come down for the Mary's lading; which caused the President and Council to order her to accompany the Jonas and Hart for Masulipatam and thence to Persia, and to return with them to Surat, where there is hopes her lading will be ready to dispeed her in December. The Dutch ship, which was sent down the coast as low as Calicut, has returned with two Portugal prizes; her master reported that with a quantity of lead and cloth he might have laden two ships with pepper, that he put off the small parcel of lead he carried at 2 lbs. pepper for 1 lb. lead, and in 10 days had procured 100 tons, which the country people brought aboard in prowes and weighed by the Dutch weights. Informed the President and Council thereof, who intend next year to make trial if the coast be clear. The Governor, to advance his customs, sets such high rates on the coral landed at Surat that it will not vend to any profit. The lead he takes into his own hands at what rates he pleases; for which cause that which came on their fleet is not yet landed, hoping part of it will off at the coast at better rates next year. If they intend a trade at the River Ganges, conceives it needful to provide two small ships of 160 and 120 tons, not to draw above 8 or 10 feet at most, and to be well fortified with 18 and 16 pieces of ordnance, saker and minion, for defence against frigates or other vessels. Order may likewise be given to the President and Council at Surat to dispeed away their ships more seasonably, and not keep them longer than 10th April at furthest; their stay was till 21st, and 20th, at night, the wind blew so hard as to sink, at anchor, their long (boat) and barges, which were ashore. Re-embaled their (silk) during their stay at Swally with cotton and searecloth, and gunny upon that. Since leaving there, have been much troubled with winds, thunder, lightning, and rain. Four (sail) of Dutch, bound for Batavia, have kept them company as low as Goa. Thos. Joyce now going on the Mary to Masulipatam to succeed John Norris, who much importuned the Council to return home. Thos. Turner is established in the room of Joyce. The Dutch have removed all their ancient Factors at Surat, Gombroon, and Masulipatam, and placed new ones. There are 10 left in Persia, and all are enjoined by the Governor of Jacatra, on forfeiture of their wages, to wear no other than their own country apparel. Endorsed, "Rec. by ship Exchange, 28 July 1634." 2 pp. [O. C., Vol. XIV., No. 1504.]
May 10/20. 439. Court Minutes, E. I. Co. Report of Mr. Lawrence on the wet and rotten state of some of the indigo in the Blessing. Report of Mr. Governor respecting the Earl of Cleveland, who insists on his former demands; resolved to exhibit their bill in Chancery for relief, and to take further advice of Mr. Attorney-General and Mr. Recorder, their Counsel. Richard Swinglehurst directed to wait on the Earl of Cleveland with the Lord Keeper's letter giving him notice of their bill, so he may prepare his answer. Report of Alderman Abdi that he hath been informed of a purpose in the Earl of Northampton to resume Crosby House into his hands at the expiration of the Company's lease, which will be within four or five years; whereupon he is intreated, or any other of the Committees known to his Lordship, to acquaint him with this report and know his answer, that so the Company may prepare and settle themselves accordingly. Notice given by Mr. Mun that one Meazy, one of the Farmers' Deputies, had delivered out of the Blessing by warrant, as was given out by Sir Abraham Dawes, several bales of goods, but would not discover whither they were carried nor to whom they belonged; which is so great an affront to his Majesty's proclamation and the Company, it is not fit to let pass without strict examination, and to that end two Committees are intreated to repair to the Custom House and acquaint his Majesty's officers and farmers with this abuse; Sir Abraham denied giving Meazy any such warrant, but promised to do his best to find out the truth, it being a business of that consequence fit to be severely punished; and because notwithstanding Mr. Mun's strict examination of the Company's servants and officers aboard, he can receive no light who, if they were careful of their duties, could not be ignorant, ordered that until this business be discovered the wages of the Commander and all officers and servants returned in said ship shall be stayed. Committees to take the benefit of the market in buying 500 cloths for Persia, to avoid the former complaints. Bill of Edmund Chambers, Master of the Company's barge, of 4l. 10s. for carrying the Committees to Erith and back on the unlading of the Blessing, to be paid. Petition of Christopher Farewell, who 14 years past came from the Indies, having served the Company as Factor, for the return of 19l. 14s. then taken from him for freight of private trade, in regard the Court remitted same to the rest of their Factors save to himself only, and that his apparent necessities are so urgent that he knows not how to defend himself against sudden extremities, but will be cast into prison to his utter undoing. The Court, in regard of his great want and poverty, in charity bestowed upon him 10l. out of the poor box, "but not in the nature desired;" but for his admittance again into their service the Court thought not fit to give him entertainment. Upon the estimate delivered by the Auditors of the first and second voyages, showing that there might be a division of 30l. per cent. or thereabouts of the goods returned home, with which it was thought fit to acquaint the adventurers therewith on Wednesday next, and to propound that there be no division paid to those behind in their subscriptions until they have cleared with the Company. Concerning the payment of five years' wages of John Skibbowe deceased, demanded by Mr. Potter, the administrator, but opposed by Job Harby, and the half of Mr. Giffard's wages, who was alive 1st August last, likewise demanded by Potter.
May 15. Roberts, Master of the Blessing, and Boatswain Went, examined concerning 15 parcels of goods secretly by warrant conveyed from aboard said ship; Roberts protested he knew nothing, but Went acknowledged they were the Purser's and put out of the ports, but he knew of no other private trade. Edmond Prideaux, by virtue of a letter of attorney from John Prideaux, administrator to Nicholas Watts, deceased in the London returning from the Indies, where he had lived eight years, demanded Watts' estate, amounting to 400l., but part yet come home; ordered that 120l. be paid on account. The business of the afternoon for disposure of the goods now come home considered, and divers propositions made, it being observed by the Auditors' computation that 40 per cent. profit on the first and 30 per cent. principal on the second Persian voyage may be divided; after long debate the opinion was to sell the round and flat indigo at 6s. per lb. one with another, and if no buyers then to divide it to the adventurers, and if any refuse to take out their divisions, that such stay for their divisions in money till debts and charges be satisfied. As for the silk, which it is conceived will go off at 22s. or 23s., resolution referred to the Court in the afternoon, as also the question to which voyage the indigo belonged. Motion of Sir Wm. Russell in regard of Mr. Heynes' death and Mr. Kirkham's sickness, that an able man be sent overland by way of Russia, those ships being ready shortly to depart; but the Court at present resolved nothing. Ordered that 30l. be paid to Alderman Garwaie for the use of John Waynsford, Consul at Aleppo, who had done the Company many good offices and receiving and conveying their Persian letters. Committees intreated to order the business concerning the freight of private trade, as they did in the last ships. Potter's request for part of Giffard's wages referred. Ordered that the mariners' wages of the Blessing, stayed by former order, be now paid, the Court being satisfied concerning the goods privately conveyed out of the ship, as well by the attestation of the boatswain as by the acknowledgment of the Purser himself; the Purser being required to deliver a note of private trade come home in the Blessing, as he had already done of that carried in her from Surat to Bantam, being 97 bales, and by the way put into the Great James; which was ordered to be inserted in the Black Book, and the wages of the officers of that ship to be stayed till further order. Demand by one Furnifall on behalf of William Howell, administrator to the estate of Sandy Gowne deceased, referred to the Committees of the Counting House.
Minutes of a General Court of the adventurers in the first and second Persia voyages. Mr. Governor in the first place gave thanks to God for the safe return of the Blessing with a cargo of goods to the value of 150,000l.; and in the next represented the differences depending between the first and second voyages about a parcel of indigo amounting to 30,000l., advised by letter of 31st Dec. 1631 to have been bought for the account of the first voyage, but by bill of lading and advice now sent home appropriated to the second voyage. This question long debated, with the arguments used on both sides and divers propositions made, and finally by a general erection of hands concluded that said indigo properly belongs to the second voyage by the advice, bill of lading, and invoice, yet it was moved that if hereafter it shall appear to be an error, then the second voyage might make some allowance to the first for same. Mr. Governor then declared there was a price set upon the calicoes, which though not yet sold will no doubt go well away; that by a computation made upon the first and second voyages it is found that 40l. per cent. profit may be divided upon the first and 30l. per cent. principal upon the second voyage; that the rich indigo will amount to 66,000l. and the fiat to 40,000l., and it is now to discuss whether to sell or divide the same. The opinion of the Court of Committees had been to put the indigo one with the other at 6s. per lb., which was now approved. Thereupon ensued offers of 5s. 6d. for all the fiat indigo, which the Court conceived too mean a rate, and not appearing to bid 6s. for all, it was, by erection of hands, ordered to divide the rich and fiat indigo to the adventurers as follows, viz., 40l. per cent. profit on the first voyage, and 30l. per cent. principal on the second at 6s. per lb. one with another, and so much more as may make up 50l. per cent. on each voyage, and to cast it into 40 lots of 30 barrels to each lot, for which overplus the underwriters are to give bills, which were to be payable if goods came not in to make up the division 50l. per cent. for each voyage, but if goods come in to that value, then the bills taken for the overplus to be cancelled; the book of subscription to lie open till this day sennight, with this proviso, that all the indigo be underwrit for or else the subscription to be void.
May 17. The names presented of those persons that went down to Portsmouth and were supposed to have bought goods out of the Blessing; propounded to prefer a bill against them in the Star Chamber, but resolution deferred till inquiry be made, and then if any are found faulty to direct Mr. Acton to proceed against them. Resolved to divide their calicoes into 20 lots for sale in town, preserving only two or three for transportation; the preamble for the sale of the indigo read, and ordered to be ingrossed with addition giving liberty to adventurers to underwrite for a lot for transportation. Capt. Crispe and Mr. Carleton intreated to assist Blunt in making an equal distribution of both sorts of indigo, as formerly. Suit of Mr. Gibson to be discharged from bringing in his addition of subscription in the Third Joint Stock by reason of his many losses; answered that it rested not in their power, but advised him to hearken out a chapman to buy his adventure. Divers petitions preferred for remission of freight on goods brought home as tokens in the Blessing; it was propounded to show no favour till brought up to Crosby House, for that under the name of tokens many things pass of good value; Mountney ordered to pay the Custom on the goods, the Court intending to speak with Sir John Wolstenholme to intreat directions to the "weighters" to deliver the goods.
May 20. Sir John Hewett made known to the Court that by a will of Sir Miles Hubbard, he and Mr. Bacon are nominated executors, yet one Archdale pretends to an administration, that the question hath been heard before the Lords, who, because there is a suit depending in the Prerogative Court, directed all specialties concerning the estate into Sir John's hands, who, by virtue of said order, having received two bills due long since from the East India Company for 310l. 10s. and 207l., he now demanded payment, or interest from the time it was due till paid. The Court answered that until the executors or administrators come lawfully authorised to give a discharge, they can pay it to none, besides there are two sisters of Sir Miles in town who pretend right to that estate, and for the interest demanded, they conceive they are not liable, because the money hath lain ready ever since it was due, and must still be ready at a day's warning; but if the suit should depend long, when adjudged to any, will then be time enough to question the interest. Petition of Thomas Hall, returned in the Blessing, for remission of freight on lapis tutia and rhubarb, referred to the Committees for freight. Committees intreated to move the farmers that one-third or one-fourth of the private trade brought home in this ship be given to the mariners for store, and the rest Customed and brought up to the Company's House. Remission of freight on a jar of ginger and cwt. of gumlac granted to Sara, wife of Richard Lucas, Mate in the Discovery. Information of Ellam that Mr. Holloway and his brother owe 5,000l. for silk; but sealed no bill, pretending there ought to be tare for defective silk, and yet had taken the silk home to his own house. Alderman Garwaie intreated to view the silk as he had done others, and order what he should think meet; and Holloway to be called on to seal the bills before any more divisions or lots be delivered to him. Ordered that 40l. be paid to John Roberts, late Master of the Blessing, on account of wages, debts, &c. 14½ pp. [Ct. Min. Bk., XIII., 267–281.]
May 21.
Ship, Royal James.
440. Attestations and consultations concerning Philip Bearden, late Purser of the Star. That they heard Philip Bearden cursing and railing, especially against John White, Commander of the Royal James. Whereupon resolved that said Philip Bearden, being accustomed to rail at most men in the time of his drunken fits, and many times to vilify John White the Commander, be given his choice, either to ask the Commander public forgiveness, or to sit 24 hours in the bilboes, and his allowance of rack, by reason that rack was the occasion, to be taken away for one month; but instead of acknowledging his fault he accepted the last. Signed by John White, G. Willoughby, Edward Hall, John Hunter, Francis Preston, and John Barnes. 2 pp. [O. C., Vol. XIV., No. 1506.]
May 22. 441. Court Minutes, E. I. Co. Acton's bill of 15l. 10s. for law charges to be paid. His report of what had passed in Mr. Fowkes' business since his petition to the Lord Keeper, and that his Lordship is well satisfied with the Company's answer. Motion of Alderman Abdi that some of this Court be sent to speak with the Farmers concerning the conveying of the Pursers goods out of the ship, conceiving it a great encouragement to private traders if their goods may by such secret warrants be conveyed away; whereupon two Committees went, and returned sedente Curia bringing the warrant by which the goods were fetched, which was referred to further consideration. Report of Mr. Mun that Francis Stockton, late Purser of the Blessing, confessed he bought the two bales of silk of Walter Mountford, who in Persia had no estate, and was removed out of the warehouse at Spahan for misdemeanour; that the boatswain brought these two bales aboard, and Mountford employed the money received at Surat in calicoes for Europe, which are now in the Custom House; and that some goods of Mountford's were conveyed out of the ship by his wife and others, silk being carried out of the Round House in the night as Boatswain Ingram reported; and he affirmed he had no more goods conveyed on shore than specified in his note, and that he bought the silk out of Mountford's own warehouse at Gombroon. Mountford called in and examined concerning the silk brought from Spahan, some was under the conduct of Richard Cooper; 70 bales all good silk for the Company, and four for Mr. Gibson, the Factors he acknowledged buying silk at Spahan at 34 and 35 and selling it to the Company at 48 tomans, the load; he further acknowledged he sold the said two bales to Stockton, and protested he had no more, nor was any brought on shore by his wife or any other. He also made known that two bales of the Company's silk were missing at Spahan, conveyed by Nicholas Gove, Steward of the House, to an interpreter's house, where one bale was found, but the other utterly lost; that the 77 bales put aboard the ship be delivered to Nicholas Gove at Gombroon; and that there were 120 bales of ruhinas bought at Ghilan for the Company by John Antill, and order given to Mountford to mark them to be sent for India, but they were sold unmarked for Mr. Heynes's account at cent. per cent. profit, as Antill told him. The pilot that carried the Reformation into the Downs to have 5l., and 20s. more as a gratuity in regard of his long stay there. Report of Swanly that the Commissioners of the Navy are content the Company shall have the King's cordage house at Woolwich for three years at a rent of 100l. per annum to be bestowed on the reparations of said house, with which the Court was well satisfied, and ordered Swanly, Young, and Blackborne to wait on Sir Wm. Russell and Mr. Edgebrough at Woolwich on Saturday next. Petition of Robert Young, showing that Wm. Gibson in Persia sent home by Bartholomew Ayle deceased a parcel of [seed] pearl, and he dying the Purser pretends he never saw it, for proof whereof he desired that Ayle's boy may be examined; the Court wished him first to produce his letter from Gibson. A broak of 10l. having been imposed on Mr. Kipp for not transporting a bale of calicoes and bag of pepper, he produced the merchant at Rochelle to whom they were consigned, and promised to show his letters of advice from his Factor; he also desired to know the price of the Company's saltpetre, but held 4l. per cwt. too dear. John Went, boatswain of the Blessing, to receive 50l. on account of his wages. A General Court of the adventurers of the first and second Persia voyages to be summoned against Friday next for the disposure of the indigo and calicoes. 3½ pp. [Ct. Min. Bk., XIII., 281–284.]
May 23. 442. Sir Wm. Russell to Edward Nicholas. Is so afflicted with sore eyes that he cannot go abroad, and therefore intreats him to move the Commissioners for the Admiralty for a warrant for letting Woolwich spinning house to the East India Company for three years from Midsummer next at 100l. per annum, and his Majesty out of the rent to put it into good repair, and they to keep and leave it so at the end of their time. Thinks this will be the best course for his Majesty's service, who will always have a magazine of cordage upon all sudden services in case his own store should be unsupplied; besides the charge of repairing the house will be saved and the rent of this will serve to build longer the house at Chatham where all his Majesty's cordage will be made with conveniency. Not being able to come, intreats his pains herein, and, if resolved, a warrant to deliver the Company possession on Monday next, where he intends himself to be and see all things settled. Endorsed, "R. 23 May 1633." 1 p. [East Indies, Vol. IV., No. 106.]
May 23. 443. Same to Same. Concerning the joint opinion of all the officers and Commissioners for the rope house at Woolwich, they are dispersed and it will be chargeable to call them together; prays him show his letter to the Lords, and if they be not satisfied, to command all the officers to meet, and if they differ to attend the Lords with their reasons in writing. Finds in company that it is an easy matter to hinder things when peradventure they have not judgment to better them. Holds if there be a doubt, that they all attend and debate it before the Lords, for if the Company take another yard it will be too late to recall them, and having now bought materials they must take a present resolution. Endorsed by Nicholas, "Rp. 24 May 1633. Sr Wm Russell's 2nd letter touching the letting of the Ropehouse at Woolwich to the East India Company." 1 p. [East Indies, Vol. IV., No. 107.]
May 24. 444. Officers of the Navy to Lords of the Admiralty. Have treated with the East India Company about his Majesty's rope house at Woolwich to be let to them for three years for a yearly rent of 100l., to be laid out by them in building a brick wall about that yard. Suppose this course to be best for his Majesty's advantage, and desire speedily to know their Lordships' pleasure. [Dom., Chas. I., Vol. CCXXXIX., No. 43.]
May 24. 445. Court Minutes, E. I. Co. Resolved to confer with Mr. Acton about questioning such as had been aboard the Blessing at Portsmouth, and bought or contracted for goods contrary to his Majesty's proclamation. John Holloway and his brother promised to sign the bills for his lot of silk or whatever else should be required. Motion of Mr. Treasurer that adventurers behind in their payments be required to bring them in, otherwise he should not be able to discharge necessary disbursements; resolved that if within a month they refuse to discharge their debts, then to proceed against them according to law. Request of Robert Young to examine a boy who came home in the Blessing concerning a parcel of [seed] pearl consigned by Mr. Gibson to Young, which came to the hands of Stockton the Purser, but is now denied by him; the Court required a sight of Gibson's letter, but after some expostulations he seemed content to produce the letter to one or two Committees and show them as much as concerned said [seed] pearl, but desired to be excused for demonstrating the whole contents, in regard it might peradventure prejudice the writer and in his opinion not fit to be revealed; but the Court answered that unless he would produce said letter to be read and every particular known they thought not fit to examine the boy, which Mr. Young refused. Ordered that Mr. Potter receive 50l. on account of Giffard's wages, giving his bill to repay the same, in case Giffard be not living and there shall not be found so much due to him. Request of the Earl of Pembroke Lord Chamberlain, and recommended by Sir Thomas Roe, Sir John Wolstenholme the younger, and Capt. Styles, concerning the maintaining of busses for fishing, that the Company would join his Lordship and others therein; Mr. Governor recommended same to the consideration of the Court and produced the book of subscription and caused to be read the extract of the privileges and immunities granted by his Majesty to the adventurers in this trade, and he desired the Court to underwrite such a proportion as they should think fit, which will be both acceptable to his Majesty, and no doubt thankfully acknowledged by his Lordship, the like request being made to other companies of the City to join in the prosecution of so hopeful a business. Capt. Mason excused himself for not having given satisfaction for six minions of iron ordnance formerly sold to him at 13s. 4d. per cwt., pretending the price was too high and that he could have bought the like ordnance, with carriages, ladles, sponges, and tackles at that price, and desiring the Company either to accept 11s. or to receive back their own or others as good; the Court in respect the business was of small value, ordered that the difference between 11s. and 13s. 4d. per cwt. should be equally divided. Freight remitted to Gregory Clement of two Persia carpets and two quilts from Persia, with condition that he may not hereafter expect the like favour. Request of Mr. Cotton on behalf of the sister of John Lawrence, who died Surgeon in the Blessing, for payment of his estate in the Company's hands amounting to 378l. 10s. 1d.; but the Court, understanding that Lawrence had carried out as private trade 3,000 lbs. at least of quicksilver, answered they must await the return of the next ships to be informed of this abuse and of his accounts. Examination of Walter Mountford and Francis Stockton Purser of the Blessing concerning the two bales of silk conveyed out of the ship by Francis Stockton; Mountford confessed he sold Stockton two bales weighing 240 lbs. which were bought by one Almaine, a Dutchman, for Mountford in Persia, but denied they were the Company's; Stockton confessed he bought them of Mountford and sold them to one Curwyn in England, who was to give him 17s. 6d. per lb., which the Court observed was less than he gave Mountford which was not likely. He was questioned about Curwyn but the Court observing Stockton to be so various in his reports, resolved to question him in the Star Chamber to discover the truth, whereupon after much threatening he confessed the party who used the name of Curwyn was Thomas Fenn, who had paid him 40l. in hand, and that the two bales of silk were in Fenn's lodging at Black friars; whereupon the Court having at last gotten thus much from him, dismissed him and Mountford and thereupon required Richard Swinglehurst to procure a warrant to search the house and bring away the silk, intending further to question Mountford and Stockton about this and other goods, for it is apparent these two bales have been embezzled from the Company and are those that are missing. Resolved to propound to the General Court in the afternoon, that as but 12 lots of indigo are underwrit for, the best course is to sell it in gross, and fall somewhat of the price.
Minutes of General Court of the adventurers of the first and second Persia voyages. Mr. Governor made known that only 12 lots of indigo have been underwrit for, and therefore by order of the last Court the subscription is void; consideration whether to divide or sell the indigo altogether; the Court rather inclined to sell the whole parcel together, if the contractors would roundly declare themselves; and if the price offered by them should not be accepted then to divide, or if neither could be agreed upon then to keep it in bank and see what the Hollanders will do with theirs. Arguments and reasons on both propositions, Capt. Crispe offered 5s. 6d. per lb. for all the indigo with allowance for wet and dust of indigo, it was also proposed to make half lots at 5s. 9d. for all, or to sell the flat at 6s. 2d. as offered by Mr. Governor so as the rich might not be sold under 5s. 10d., or to divide the rich at 5s. 10d. or 6s.; but Capt. Crispe offering 5s. 8d. it was agreed that he and partners shall have all the rich and flat indigo at that price at 5–6 months time from Midsummer, and 4 lbs. of dust of flat indigo and 2 lbs. of dust of rich indigo to be reckoned for 1 lb. as formerly. The division of 50l. per cent. on the first and second voyages agreed on at the last Court to be waived, because the intended subscription for indigo came not to perfection, and no more to be expected than there is estate at home to divide, viz., 40l. per cent. profit on the first and 30l. per cent. principal on the second; ordered to divide the silk into 37 lots of 10 bales each at 22s. per lb. and 5–6 months time from Midsummer next, or to bring in stock according to the proportion of 40l. per cent. profit on the first, and 30l. per cent. principal on the second voyage, or to rebate at one month; the takers out to divide and sort the silk equally amongst themselves, provided that if all the lots be not underwrit for, then the subscription to be void. 7 pp. [Ct. Min. Bk., XIII., 285–291.]
May 29–31. 446. Court Minutes, E. I. Co. Names of those tendered for security for 11 lots of calicoes, approved by the balloting box. Renewed request of Mrs. Lawrence to receive the debts and wages due to her late brother-in-law, John Lawrence, deceased, Surgeon in the Blessing, who, by will, gave his estate to her and her children, which will she hath proved. The Court, remembering the great objections against him for private trade in the James and Blessing, gave answer she must have patience till the arrival of that ship, when, upon better information, the Company will give further answer. Consideration how to enforce the letter from Wm. Gibson, in Persia, touching the parcel of seed pearl missing, to be produced, which Younge and Jones refused to show; Jones, being sent for, protested that Younge, who is now out of town, had the letter, but is willing to show it to Mr. Governor or Mr. Deputy. Harman, the jeweller, ordered to be sent for next Court, having given no satisfaction touching the emerald lost by him. Motion to confer with Lord Northampton about renewing the lease of Crosby House. Petition of Dan. Walton, who went Surgeon in the William, and was taken ashore by Rastell to be Surgeon of the House at Surat, after whose decease Hopkinson sent him home in the Blessing to receive his wages, but, as his accounts are not yet come home, to have six months' wages to supply his present necessities. On petition of Peter Viverees, a black, that came home in the London, and had been prisoner for debt in Whitechapel five months, Mountney was directed to provide for him two suits of apparel, shirts, shoes, and stockings, and to send him to work in the yard, and his earnings to pay for his meat, drink, and lodging. Payment ordered to John Williams, principal legatee to Matthew Tewxbury, of 3l. 11s. 3d. due on the foot of his account, without proving the will, on his giving security to save the Company harmless. Henry Clibery, cooper, presenting a subscription to his former petition from Mr. Verneworthy and John White, averring that petitioner lost the use of his right arm by a fall aboard the Star, in her last voyage, admitted to the hospital at Blackwall, with condition that his wife should not live there or be troublesome to the said house. Gratuity of 20s. out of the poor box to John Williams, apprentice, who lost the use of his thumb aboard the Blessing. Complaint of Mr. Mun of disorders in the buying and receiving of timber, that bad timber was bought, and dearer than formerly; another to be joined with Mr. Ducy for the buying, and two to receive it into the yard, and two oaths to be contrived for the buyers and receivers. Bullock, a clerk of the Custom House, supposed to have assisted the Purser of the Blessing in the secret conveying of his goods on shore, sent for; he confessed that one Kempton, sometime a broker, pretended that certain goods were to be landed which would defraud the King of his Customs, whereupon he procured a warrant from Sir Abraham Dawes, went to Gravesend, and received the goods from the Blessing and brought them up to the Custom House in discharge of his duty, because they threatened to steal Custom. He further acknowledged that the silk was entered at 150 great pounds, but he had no hand in contriving the entry or weighing the silk. The Court told him that as the silk was entered for 150 lb. whereas it was 240 lb., they conceived the calicoes also were short entered; Kempton being sent for returned answer he knows not the Company, nor hath any business with them, and will come at his leisure. For further discovery of the whole business the Company's Proctor, Mr. Acton, and Mr. Cappur to advise together and contrive interrogatories for the examination of such as the Court shall think meet.
May 31. Request of Capt. Ditchfield, executor of Richard Barbor, late Factor at Surat, for payment of his estate in the Company's hands. His accounts not yet returned, but expected by the next ships, nevertheless, in regard the Company heard nothing but well of Barbor, ordered 200l. in part payment. The interrogatories ordered to be drawn against such as went down to their ship at Portsmouth and bought or contracted for goods read, and Francis Stockton further examined concerning the calicoes sold by him to Thomas Fenn, which he answered did not exceed 150 pieces, sold at 8s. per piece; that he bought them at Surat of a broker with his own money, of which he carried out 200l. Fenn was then demanded how he durst presume to go aboard their ship and buy goods knowing how strictly his Majesty's proclamation prohibited the same, he confessed going aboard and contracting for two bales of silk at 17s. per lb., and 150 pieces calicoes at 8s. per piece to be delivered at Gravesend, which silk is since brought to the Company, but the calicoes he sold to one Baldock, at Gravesend, at 12s. per piece; that he employed one Kempton, a broker, to receive the goods and pay Custom, and gave him for his pains 40s. Examination of Mr. Roberts, the Master, respecting a small fardel marked R. Y., said to have been in the Master's cabin, which he said was a carpet, sent to Robert Young as a token, and the Purser promised to set down all these particulars in writing. Harman sent for to give account of their emerald which he pretended he had lost; answered he had not yet heard of it, but on some information had written to Scotland, and desired a month's respite, when he will either give satisfaction for said emerald or submit to the Court's censure. Report of Mr. Governor that divers who at the last General Court underwrote for silk had now struck out their names; after some dispute it was resolved to refer the matter to the adventurers in the afternoon. Report of Sir Wm. Russell that he and other the Officers of the Navy, had written to the Lord Treasurer and Sec. Coke for their allowance of the borrowing of the Company's (sic? King's) cordage house at Woolwich, not doubting the Company shall have their desire. On motion of Capt. Crispe, that a former order that the first contractor should stand principal in bills to the Company for goods afterwards disposed of to others be revoked, and that for such indigo as he and partners have sold to others they, putting in security allowed by the Court, may be accepted as sole security; after being at large argued, the motion was thought reasonable and no way prejudicial to the Company, who have their eye upon their first and principal debtor, and so ordered by the balloting box that said former order be revoked. Mr. Treasurer desired "to hearken out for Rs. of 8," and Alderman Fenn and others intreated to take upon them the buying of cloth, being now cheap and the best time of year to dress and dye, with direction to buy none under 9l. per cloth.
Minute of a General Quarter Court. Mr. Governor made known that some of the subscribers for lots of silk have crossed out their names, so as there stands written only 28 lots, the proposition is void. He delivered his opinion that the underwriters will enlarge their proportions or get others to join to take the whole parcel, otherwise to relinquish their subscriptions and leave it free for others to bid. After debate, those underwriters present were desired to withdraw into the parlour to confer together, which they accordingly did, but could not agree on the business, and therefore were content to waive their subscriptions. During this conference the petition of Robert Stone was considered to be relieved from a broak of 50l. imposed for not transporting pepper and calicoes; but the Court understanding he had often petitioned the Court of Committees about same, returned it back to them to do as they shall find fit. Offers for the whole parcel of silk by Daniel Harvy at 22s. per lb. at 5–6 months from Michaelmas next, and by Mr. Smethwick from 25th July next; after much debate concluded to accept Smethwick's offer, so as the time begin from Midsummer, whereupon Mr. Langham declared he was the man on whose behalf Smethwick's offer was made, and he would make it good according to that time, and the silk was thereupon sold to him. Ordered, after large debate, that those that have not taken out any goods receive their payments at 5–6 months from Midsummer next and two months after. Ordered also, that Langham, for his silk, and Capt. Crispe, for his indigo, be permitted, for themselves and partners, to bring in stock after the proportion of 40l. per cent. profit for the first and 30l. per cent. principal for the second voyage, so much being resolved to be divided upon said voyages. 10½ pp. [Ct. Min. Bk., XIII., 292–302.]