Calendar of State Papers, Colonial Series, East Indies and Persia, 1630-1634
1. 1630, Sept. 29, Surat 70. President Thomas Rastell and Council to (George Willoughby and others, sent on the Star to Masulipalam and Armagon).
Desire information of the condition of all vessels of the Old Stock in any way serviceable, with inventories of their stores, &c., and to send in company of the James any vessel that can best be spared, with 100 or 150 tons of sugar and spices, which shall be discharged at Persia this year, and then arriving with the rest at Surat she may take in provisions, and India clothing and, with advices, English letters, &c., be immediately returned for Bantam. Desire his judgment how many and what sort of vessels will be necessary to be retained at the southwards for the prosecution of the trade the Company are now inclined to follow, namely, that only of Bantam, Jambi, and Macassar, correspondence with the coast of Coromandel and West Sumatra has been [Page 50] utterly frustrate. Cannot conceive how Jambi and Macassar should require more than two small pinnaces, and one of these to be spared every June with sugar and spice for Persia. Request particular advice of the Dutch's progress; resettling in Bantam will be doubtless troublesome; if their enhancing of the price of pepper could be prevented it were worthily worth endeavouring. The Dutch fleet this year had as late dispatch out of the Downs as theirs, being 10 weeks wind bound and not much less in their own ports, and being full of men were fallen into great mortality. Request advice of the quantity of pepper and sugar Bantam yearly produces. Had proceeded thus far without conference with the Factors at Surat and it was the 24th inst. at night before they could safely come aboard, the news newly arrived from England, by reason of 30 frigates which had awaited their coming 20 days, and in that interim had seized a very rich ship of Surat, and are in further expectation of the junk Shahee of far greater value
2. 1630, Nov.2 Masulipatnam 88. G. Willoughby, John Hunter, and William Matthewe to the East India Company.
On arrival dispeeded the Company's letters to Surat, could not procure conveyance from Armagon and conceived it dangerous to send them overland to this place. By the Dove sent the bale of silk for sale to Bantam against [Page 71] the Great James's arrival from Surat. Concerning the condition of the Old Stock, out of which great sums have been paid for customs, as duties of rivers, towns, and this city's gates, and for trade by courtesy of petty governors, all of which might have been excluded if the King's patent for secure trade had been procured. Agreement made with the Governor of Pettapoli by Mr. Henley on first settling trade there, but he did not have it ratified either by the Governor of this place or the King; and now the Deputy Governor here will not aJlow of it, but orders the goods to be brought here to be shipped, which will be both chargeable and dangerous, the great dearth having filled the country with thieves. Willoughby has conferred with this Governor and sent letters to Court six days' since for redress. In all these errors accuse no man, for continual extreme sickness may seem to excuse Henry Sill, and want of authority Lawrence Henley. The great dearth, which began three years' since and still increases, with the unusually great cargazoone invested, and many free traders, Dutch and Danes, have raised the price of cloth to an extraordinary rate, and beaten down the price of gold, alum, and broadcloth, to the great loss of the second general voyage. Hope the rest of the markets, as of cloves, be not likewise forestalled. Complain of the cloth of these parts wanting both in length and breadth, this place has of late years been so supplied that as soon as a Factor has learned to known one cloth from another, his time is expired. Mr. Henley who has come to some perfection, will now be gone, and Messrs. Sill and Reade say they will stay but till next year. All their alum brought from Armagon lies on their hands and part of the lead; the quantities of broadcloth sold and the prices; the rest and the alum will not vend for near what they wish. Reasons why their lead was sold under the price of that which came from Bantam. Hope to lade from these parts 230 bales of goods for Armagon by the middle of Dec. to be despatched by 1st Jan. for Bantam. Send list of the sorts likeliest to be procured. Find that the pagoda current here (which cannot be stamped in this kingdom, neither is at present in any other) is worth upwards of 9s.; have therefore rated it at 9s. 4Jd to produce some profit on their English species and commodities. Profit produced at Armagon on the commodities brought in the Star, lead 175 per cent. ; alum 20 per cent.; quicksilver 50 per cent. Also in Masulipatam, lead 150; and broadcloth 100; but the alum is a drug, the place having been clogged these three years' from Bantam with China alum, which though worse than English finds vent by its cheapness. Intend to put off their remains of lead, alum, and broadcloth at any reasonable prices, broadcloth valuable at Macassar, for if any remains are left at Armagon they would only vend for cloth paintings, and money must be supplied to defray the factories charge
3. 1630, Dec. 27, Armagon. 117. Henry Sill, Christopher Reade, and Nicholas Bix to (the Armagon. Factors at Bantam).
Since the Dove's dispeed from Masulipatam in September last no convenient opportunity of conveyance has been proffered, and this has been delayed by foul weather and the bad dealings of the Governors of Masulipatam and Pettapoli. Send copies of their last, with bill of lading and abstract of the invoice. Were very confident when that was sent of this ship the Falcon's more timely dispeed and with a far better conditioned investment; but so adverse are the times that they shall not equal it from Masulipatam and Pettapoli, and for the paintings and woven cloth of this place, the last was very bad, but never worse than those now sent, yet cannot justly blame their merchants if they consider the dearness of cotton, four times the price of former years, and the extraordinary famine in each town and village. Had the goodness of the cloth been correspondent to former times, the price must have followed. They will understand by letters of the President and Council at Surat that this famine has so possessed those parts as to make them doubt the losing of a monsoon for England. They will understand, by letters from their worships and Geo. Willoughby, the Company's resolution for diverting the Presidency of Bantam to an agency, with order hereafter to give account to the President and Council in Surat. Refer to the copy of the general letter to Surat subscribed by the ministers of the Old and New Stocks, and to the bearer, Lawrence Henley, who can give them reasons how necessary the keeping of one or two small vessels upon this coast may be to this trade, and how to be employed to defray that charge. Have laden upon this ship Falcon cloth for the Old Stock's account, as by bill of lading and invoice will appear, and have returned the rest of the camphor, not finding vent for it. Have entered the Falcon's charges of Masulipatam for the better distinguishing that factory's charges, which are to be divided between the Stocks in proportion to their investments. Pray speedy advice how the several goods sent by the Dove and this ship find vent, especially the paintings and woven cloth, with what heads, bodies, flowers, and making are most in request. Desire them to give the Dutch satisfaction for a cable 100 fathom long and 13 inches thick received for the Falcon's use. Have given passage to two Danish merchants and four bales of cloth, with the consent of Mr. Willoughby, one of whom, by reason of his experience in the Persian tongue, stood them in great stead in their Persian troubles. In the time of the Portugal forces upon this coast they entertained three Danish soldiers, the ships being at Masulipatam, but understanding their master's order that none should be admitted into their service but by themselves at home,have dismissed them, but in regard of the famine granted them passage to Bantam. Endorsed, "Received in Bantam 11th Feb. 1630 per ship Falcon." 2 pp. [0. C., Vol. XIL, No. 1332.]
4. 1630, Dec. 31, Surat 121. President Thos. Rastell, Joseph Hopkinson, James Bickford, Surat. and Arthur Suffeylde to the East India Company.
Refer to their last letters of 12 April by the Charles and Jonas, and of 26 July from the Bay Augustine by the President, who with the James, William, and Mary departed thence the next day, and meeting the Discovery and Reformation, after consultation all five ships proceeded for Surat where they arrived 22 Sept. The Portugal fleet attend our ships' arrival; their stratagems against us. At the importunity of this people our fleet release their junk. The enemy assault our tents on shore, who are encountered by our choicest musketeers and Commanders, and pursued into the water chin deep, and having massacred the greater part return with a glorious victory and 27 Portugals prisoners. All this was in sight of divers Moguls and these country people, who in admiration of so strange a manner of fighting dispersed their letters to the Court and divers parts of this kingdom, and aver the like battle to have never been seen, heard of, or ever read of in story which has added more to our nation's fame than all our sea fights in India. The enemy's stratagems against our ships and how prevented. Universal dearth, the country wholly dismantled by drought, and no grain to be bought for either man or beast tho' at seven fold the former price. The labouring men, weavers, washers, dyers abandon their habitations in multitudes who have perished in the fields for want of food. Greatly hindered in their business at first by the want of carts and beasts of burden. Having settled the several factories gave directions for the provision of the necessary goods against next year's return for the second general voyage.
The several factories will but be furnished with the number appointed by the Company the Court (in Persia) only excepted which will require one at least, if not a couple, to be always with the King for opposing complaints and soliciting other occasions. Remarks upon the lack of Factors in Persia, as also to the southwards in Bantam, Jambi, and Macassar; and the procuring supplies for Persia in India commodities, and from Ahmedabad and Cambaya in sugar, sugar-candy, cinnamon, and other goods. Famine and war hinder the trade and frustrate all hopes of vending English commodities. Cannot advise to whom belong the 25 bales of silk belonging to private men. The sword blades detained by the Governor in the Custom House, so cannot speak of their worth. Account of goods laden aboard the Discovery and Reformation with 1,400 bales of silk yet to be shipped for the first Persian voyage. Reasons why they have thought it most equitable that certain goods specified in these two ships, and to follow on the James's fleet next year should go upon the joint adventures of the first and second voyages according to their several proportions of monies disbursed by each voyage. Why the indigo was not sent home in the last ships. Account of how they stand engaged in Surat for the Old Stock's debts, little less than 41,0002. sterling upon interest, and how much it prejudices the Company's business. Have advised Willoughby, not yet returned with the Star from the coast of Coromandel, to draw from those southern parts 500 tons of pepper and as many cloves, nuts, mace, turtle shells, and sandal wood ready for the arrival of the James, and so furnish the markets both here and in Persia, and to help their next year's lading for England.
The Emperor highly enraged at the Portugals insolency; their overthrow at Seilon with the loss of 700 men, which has prevented them from encountering us this year. Commendations of the mariners and valiant Commanders; have limited their stay in Persia to 1st March at furthest, and in case of the silks not coming down this year to dispeed away the Discovery alone with all the finer goods of India for England, the Reformation to accompany the other ships for Surat. The nobleman who bought Sir Francis Crane's tapestry still a debtor for it; the great bribes, presents, and charges still depending upon it; the whole story of Vulcan sold. Are in treaty for the sale of Capt. Andrewes and Hugh Perry's tapestries. Send list of Factors in the Mogul's country; the wages of Thos. Smith and others whose time is expired increased, those of note being Arthur Suffeylde, one of their Council; John Norris, chief in Baroach; and Ralph Rand. Concerning their accounts and those which are balanced, our friends in Persia two years' behindhand with theirs. Rich. Barbar's services very necessary in Cambaya. Quantity of indigo provided in Agra, and the price which is much [Page 106] risen in consequence of the drought, and many greedy buyers; its scarcity and increasing value. Have been necessitated to buy the pepper upon these two ships at higher rates.
5. 1631, Jan.8 Swally Road 133. James Bickford to Edward Sherburne, Secretary to the East India Company, at his house in Gt. St. Helens.
Have had a most prosperous passage out of England, and about 20th Sept. arrived on the coast of Surat, where they were waited upon by about 40 frigates of war, wherein the Viceroy's son of Goa went as a voluntary, with many other Cavalieros, Portugals who thought to get honour upon the English. Their stratagem was fire which had been seven years in making, and was wondrous artificial and fearful to behold, for it burnt under water, being in four vessells fired on their ships, which by the diligence of the English Commanders were so well prevented that with little trouble and less hurt to our people they were towed ashore where they consumed themselves to ashes. A few days after the Portugals made a bravado ashore with 180 men, whom our Commanders with 150 men encountered, and beat back to their frigates, followed them into the sea, knocked them down with the steaks of muskets, and killed by estimation near upon 100 and took 20 and odd prisoners, who remain in irons aboard the ships. The 27th Sept. the President and Messrs. Hopkinson, Hall, Banggam, Smyth, Secretary, and himself went ashore on Swaliy Sands, and thence to Surat with Messrs. Skibbowe and Barbar who came to meet them. Found business very well carried, and all our people in good health, only a most miserable mortality amongst the natives, who with Jacob's sons with their whole families daily travel into foreign parts to seek bread; and for want of last year's rains is so much augmented that the poor people lie along the streets and highways, a woeful spectacle, dying and dead in great numbers. Has invested Sherburne's money with some addition in Baftaes, which he has sent per Capt. John Bickley, as per inclosed invoice. 1 1/2 pp. [East Indies, Vol. IV., No. 89.]
6. 1631, Feb. 23, Surat 143. President Thos. Rastell and Council to Crispin Blagden.
Have understood from their friends in Agra of his designed employment in conducting down that caphila, and from the Dutch of his departure, and have thought meet to signify to him not to divert his course from Brampore, the King being likely to continue his residence in that place, for it seems he prosecutes the wars with Deccan so he may boldly proceed which otherwise they might have forbid. If at his arrival there the camel men, hearing of the miseries which men suffer on the way through scarcity of grain and other needful sustenance, should be stirred up to perverseness and obstinancy not to proceed further without some allowance extraordinary, they hereby warrant his disbursing rup. 100, 2, or 3 over and above his contract rather than be exposed to hiring other carriage, or wintering his goods in Brampore. He will do well to make use of Mr. Willoughby's assistance there, whom he may advise of his daily proceedings, demanding his procurance of any necessary [Page 122] firman or perwanna. He may likewise increase his number of peons at Brampore (if not sufficiently guarded already) for the ways are become more desperately dangerous than usual, and will require his careful vigilance. Signed by Tho. Rastell, Joseph Hopkinson, Ja. Bickford, and Arthur Suffeylde, 1 p. [0. C., Vol. XIL, No. 1342.]
7. 1631, Feb. 27 Gombroon, Persia 146. John Jones to his uncle Capt. Chas. Price.
Sailed from Gombroon, the Downs 19th March last and arrived at St. Lawrence 19th July, Persia. wnere they found the Charles and Jonas. Came to Johanna 8th August, and found the Discovery and Reformation. Arrived at Surat 21st Sept. Next day saw 40 sail of Portugal frigates waiting for the English and the Dutch, commanded by Don Francisco De Cuttine [Continho], who fought last year with a small vessel of ours and the Dutch, and by mischance ours was burnt, and he was [Page 125] puffed up so with pride and vain glory that he came now with four tire-boats resolved to fire the best ship we or the Dutch had. Made many a shot at the frigates, but did little harm, only killing two or three men. The frigates, half in Swally Hole, and the rest a mile to the southward, sent a boat with advice to the rest of the fleet to come upon us with their fire-boats and frigates that tide, but Capt. Morton sent out his barge which took the boat, with two Portugals and 11 blacks. Landed the President and Council the next day, and fell down to St. John's to look for a Surat junk, the Great Shahee, which was to come that year from the Red Sea, the Portugals had taken one of their junks, but suddenly released her. On 6th Oct. fell lower down to look for the Dutch at an appointed time and place, because the Portugals the year before sent to Surat that the English and the Dutch should provide themselves for this year they would meet them with 12 galleons, besides galleys and frigates; as chanced it proved a bravado, but had it proved true, " the base Dutch had left us in the lurch, for they are not come." Anchored in Swally Hole and saw 15 frigates within two miles of them, and landed 300 men and came towards our tents, but Capt. Morton landed near 200 men and marched towards the enemy " with colours displayed;" after discharging three or four volleys the enemy retired, but our men fell on with all expedition, and routed them in the mouth of their frigate's ordnance, which commonly have a piece or two in the prow besides being well fitted with harquebusses; our men followed the enemy, wading up to their arm-pits and necks, nay, further, they did swim to the sides of the frigates and brought away 28 prisoners. Understood some 43 were killed, whilst they lost only their corporal, Thomas Baker, of Harden, in Herefordshire, who died from over heating himself, but 10 men were hurt, who are all living. After that the Portugals attempted the firing of our ships with their four fire-boats, two and two chained together, and a very violent and terrible fire it was, but our boats lying ahead towed them from us. A great dearth here in India, the like hath not been known in many years. They have six months' rain and the other six months' none, and it pleased God to withhold rain insomuch that many thousands of cattle and many thousands of people are starved to death, and it is thought if God send not rain this year all the country will be starved. Came over Swally Bar on 27th Jan. for Persia. Anchored 7th Feb. at Gombroon Road, and was commanded ashore to stay in Persia. Is preparing to go 700 miles up the country, a journey of seven weeks. 3 pp. [East Indies, Vol. IV., No. 90.]
8. 1631, April 18, Surat 177. President Rastell and Council to[Commanders of the Fleet out of England].
Enclose copy of their letter of 31st Dec. by the Intelligence, Jn. Burley, Master, all which they confirm except what they find here retracted, namely, their first address from those Islands to Gombroon in Persia, which advices from the agent there cause them to annihilate, their business there not concurring with that design. Not knowing how long the James and Blessing may be detained at Bantam, they have purposely ordained the William, after first touching at the Coast of Coromandel, to go thence immediately in quest of their fleet with this second advice, which as it forbids their proceeding for Persia first so doth it require them with the William and pinnace to attend at those Islands for the James and Blessing till the last of August when not arriving, they shall instantly dispeed in good consortship for the coast of India, and again await them in lat. 18, and depth 35 fathoms water till the 10th Oct., and then being happily conjoined together to ply in for Surat, not permitting any vessel to straggle whereby to give occasion of advantage to the watchful enemy; neither neglecting the "priddying" of their ships and clearing of their ordnance, and be otherwise provided for encounter, for doubtless they will find opposition. The raging famine over all these parts may invite them to glean up what rice, paddy, gravaux, or other grain those Islands will afford towards victualling both fleets, or any overplus to serve this market; which they may purchase partly with the bartering commodities delivered to Capt. Wills, and partly out of the Company's ryals, for which purpose they have liberty to open one chest, but desire them to hold a sparing hand in the expense of either, or of any other provisions, which as these miserable times rule, are hardly purchased with money. Endorsed, " To the fleet out of England." 1 1/2 pp. [0. C., Vol. XIII., 1356.]
9. 1631, July 14, Aboard the Royal James, Sumatra 198. John Skibbowe, John Banggam, Mat. Morton, John Roberts, Thos. Beaumount, John White, and Andrew Warden, to the Agent .and Council at Bantam.
Departed from Swally 27th April, the James and Blessing bound for Bantam and the William for the coast of Coromandel. Their so late departure occasioned by the fleets' late departure from Persia, and the backwardness of the bringing down of their goods from Ahmedabad and Cambaya by reason of the famine and mortality in those parts. Have met with contrary winds and been hovering off the Straits' mouth these eight days, and finding provisions run short, not having above ten days victuals, have sent their barge with Barry, Purser of the James, and James the Mate. Pray them to make no delay in dispeeding them provisions, otherwise will be forced to go for Selebar. Hope they have made provision of their lading, according to former orders from the President and Council to the coast of Coromandel, that their stay may be short. Have a cargazoon of about 40,000 Rs. of 8 for their factory. 1 1/4 pp. [0.C, Vol. XIII., No. 1362.]
10. 1631, Sept 8. Surat 210. President Thomas Rastell and Council to the Agent and Factors at Bantam.
The premises considered resolve to dispense with that clause, till their opinions hereon receive answer out of England, and meantime expect conformity with the first letters received by the President. Thos. Robinson is by the Company appointed second at Macassar, and to be settled there with the first opportunity. Pray that the Company's recommendation of Mr. Reeve, likewise consigned to their disposure on the Hopewell, be duly regarded. Mr. Bix, at his earnest request, has licence to return for his country. The war with Deccan is at a pause, and a peace in treaty; the King still in Brampore, which, with the rains and bad government, is the cause of the highest extreme of scarcity, wheat and rice being risen to 2 1/2 sere for a Mamoodee, butter a sere and , a hen 4 or 5 Ma., and rare it is to see one [ in margin, the prices of victuals, rice I2d. for 30 oz., butter 12d. for 1 lb., hen at 4s. and 5s.], and not a family here or at Baroach that has not been visited with agues, fevers, and pestilential diseases. Endorsed, " Recd 27th Jan.1631(-2). Rd in London 4 September 1632 by the ship London." 11 pp. [0. C., Vol. XIII., No. 1374.]
11. 1631, Oct. 5, Bantam 218. John Skibbowe and John Banggam to the East India Company
..There passed by her also 15 days past two Dutch ships bound for Batavia, who reported that the Palsgrave and London were at the Cape in their company and ready to come away; much admire that they have no news of them. Doubt not the Company have been advised from the President and Council of the great famine and mortality in all India, insomuch that all trade is decayed, most of the weavers and washers being dead; and if it hath not pleased God to send them rain this last westerly monsoon the whole country will be desolated. Since writing the above the Palsgrave and London are arrived in safety and the Company's letters by them received, to which Mr. Hoare and Council will give satisfaction by the Palsgrave, which will be dispeeded hence in Dec.; the London, which must go to Jambi for her lading of pepper, will, it is hoped, be dispeeded by the fine of Jan. next. Mr. Hoare will send by the Palsgrave copies of all consultations since their coming hither, and of all letters written and received, and will advise the state of business in these parts. By the Palsgrave and London Mr. Hoare has received advice from friends how he has been wronged by malicious and backbiting enemies," in divulging he should be intemperate and incontinent," which to our knowledge is unjust, all men that know him report the contrary; according to the Company's order he would have come home by the Palsgrave or London to have justified himself had not the Company's servants here entreated him to consider the necessity of his stay till the President might send some one to supply his place, there being none else but himself here able to manage the Company's business, and he is content to stay a year longer. Jno. Skibbowe intends to take passage home from Surat per the first. Endorsed," Rec. 1 July 1632 by ship Palsgrave." 7 pp. [0.C., Vol. XIII., No. 1385.]
12. 1631, Oct. 7 Royal James under sail from Bantam 221. [[A Mariner ?]] to the East India Company.
Has little Royal James, news since he wrote from Persia, only that their enemies, since their last assault at Swally, have never sought to trouble them.' Their late departure from Surat was very late by reason of the famine in India, which caused great scarcity of carts and camels to bring their goods aboard. A tedious voyage to Sumatra, sending to Bantam for provisions, and dispeeding the Blessing for Surat. In unlading goods at Bantam found great store of private trade, by report of the Purser above 200 bales. Knows not to whom they belong, and dares take it upon his salvation President Rastell never knew of lading any, who takes a stricter course than any he ever knew in depressing private trade. On arrival at Surat will cause the Purser to deliver these bales by true inventory to the President, whereby will appear the quantity, quality, and owners thereof. The ship proves well conditioned, little mortality amongst the men. The distraction amongst their Factors, both at the coast and at Bantam is out of his element; and because he hopes to be with them soon after the arrival hereof will forbear to enlarge. Endorsed, " A letter written aboard the Great James, in Bantam Road. No name subscribed, but I take it to be a mariner. Rd. by the ship Palsgrave, 1 July 1632." 1 p. [0. C., Vol. XIII., No.1388.]
13. 1631, Nov. 12, Bantam Road. On board the Great James 230. "George Willoughby, prisoner," to the East India Company
But the President and Council have stopped all his intendments ; yet Sill, Reade, Ralph Cartwright, JsicholasNorber, John Carter, and the Purser and Steward must know the particulars, which would be worth the Company's examination, for so long as the caterpillars in their trade pass without exemplary and severe punishment the Company will gain but little by their India trade, which it is great pity should fall into the hands of the Dutch, for these parts would yield good profit if managed as it ought. Has heard it reported that this ship brought from Surat not less than 300 bales for private trade, and carried back upwards of 100 bales, and was deeper laden than when sent to India. Some of the Company's servants here say they will by all means enrich themselves, and when they come home it maybe the Company will take from them 1,000., which they will (in seeming unwilling) willingly spare, that they may enjoy the rest, and seem in the general opinion as honest as the best. The great famine was reported to be such in India that the James, William, and Blessing, from Persia, were constrained for want of carriage to stay for the south cargazoone, which caused their so late departure; but why should not the Company's goods be served with 100,000^. before private trade ? or, if so, why should the ships stay for private trade ? which questions may cause serious consideration how much the Company are abused, yea by those they have had cause most to trust. As they had time to buy and lade their private trade, so they will have time to sell it, to the utter loss (it is to be doubted) of this year's passage for Surat, for half the 40 days spent here would have served the Company's occasions, their tonnage being ready. Many bales of private trade sent on the Star to Macassar. Lawrence Henley has bought of Capt. Morton and Skibbowe and Banggam many bales of goods, and paid diamonds and spices for them : his fault is not greater than his fellows, for (especially since the arrival of this ship) he that is not a private trader and worse may not live amongst them. Those of the Company's servants that desire to be rich and " honours "at India by the respect of the Company's now grandees, must be as bad as the rest, and their true servants tremble at the thought of giving the Company or Willoughby advice of any part of the great abuse the Company suffer, for truth and honesty are enemies unto those that caterpillar-like devour the Company's fruits, and may not endure in any place of credit or content amongst them
14. 1631, Nov. 12 & 14, Aboard the Great James, Bantam Road. 231. Jno. Skibbowe and Jno. Banggam to (Win. Hoare and Council at Bantam).
Sent them a few lines this morning by Barry enclosing copies of the protests of Willoughby, Matthewe, and Barnes, with their answers; and told them the Purser must have recourse to them for money to buy provisions; also put them in mind that there is expected a great famine on the coasts of Coromandel and India, wishing they would provide what quantities of rice may be achieved for supply for shipping. After sealing which, their letter (see ante, No. 229) was delivered to them, in answer to which the 300 tons pepper lent from the Old Stock to the second voyage, for there is order from our masters that one Stock afford another all favour, and there is little doubt of satisfaction, for it may seem strange if the Star's cargazoone which has been at Jambi since May, with other goods since sent by the Simon, and Jude and Dove will not in so long time produce more than 300 tons of pepper
15. 1631, Nov. 30, Aboard the James, Bantam John Barnes to the East India Company
The Chr(istopher) is laid up, and the Falcon had been not being (thought fit to go) to Jambi, but a freight of beer (made) her able to go to Batavia; so their ships can serve o(thers') uses, but not the Company's. But now it is danger to speak in their Worships behalf, yet trusts his honest meaning shall in time appear to the shame of those who have neither honesty nor fear of God. Now the James has lost her monsoon, they say that by reason of the famine they could not get their goods brought down to the water side, whereby their dispeed from Surat was so long delayed, but 300 bales of private trade must have likewise time to be brought down, and at Bantam they must have time to be sold, and they so beat down the price that they could hardly get their money it cost them at Surat, so that they carried 100 or more bales back with them, but now they shall have time enough to make them all away at their own pleasure. It is all one in the James as in the Abigail; went in her to Masulipatam, where the Governor said to [Page 226] him in court that he saw the Factors prospered well, and if one carried to the coast in the Abigail was not worth 500 Us., and now being second in Bantam could vaunt he was worth 3,000., their masters must do well if they get their due. Beseeches the Company to excuse his rudeness, not having been brought up to write, and protests he has served them with a faithful heart and will so continue. Has by this ship Palsgrave written more largely of the matters passed at the coast for which he and others now suffer. 2 1/2 pp. [0. C., Vol. XIII., No. 1405.]
16. 1631, Dec. 9, Aboard the Mary(Surat) 241. James Slade, Matthew Wills, John Roberts, Humphrey Pym, and Wm. Minors, Commanders of the Mary, Exchange, and Speedwell, to the East India Company.
Received news of the William's arrival at Molala, and letter from the President and Council of Surat, enordering [Page 227] their stay till the last of August in expectation of the James and Blessing from Bantam, diverting them from their former design for Persia, and enordering their immediate coming for Surat; and likewise news of the raging famine in India, and orders for gleaning up all the grain they could, but could not do what they might have done in regard the advice came so late, yet the small quantity they bought for the market costing not above 400 Rs., if sold as the market goes here, will defray the charge of all they bought at these islands and St. Lawrence. Sailed 1st Sept. for India, and 6th Oct. met the Blessing at the place appointed : having lost her monsoon for Bantam she left the James 15th Aug. on the coast of Sumatra, all her goods being put aboard the James, Capt. Morton and Mr. Skibbowe intending their course for Bantam to gain pepper for the home-bound ships this year, but in their opinions it is impossible for them to return here this year, owing to their late dispatch hence. By which means the William and Blessing (if sufficient lading be gotten for both) will want pepper to stow among their goods, to the Company's great loss. Oct. 7th, met nine sail of Dutch ships from Batavia bound for Surat, with whom they kept company till their arrival there 14th. Found the President in health, but all the merchants dead, or sick and hardly able to help one another, and the town and country in a manner unpeopled, for never in the memory of man has the like famine and mortality happened. This that was in a manner the garden of the world is turned into a wilderness having few or no men left to labour, so that places that have yielded 15 bales cloth in a day, hardly yield now three in a month : Ahmedabad that yielded 3,000 bales indigo yearly, now hardly yields 300, yet a plentiful year for its growth, which lies rotting on the ground for want of men to gather it. Agra not touched with this famine or mortality, but continues in its former estate, but affords little to satisfy so many buyers, and what they shall do for a lading against next year God only knows; and yours and our unhappiness is the more for the loss of President Jlastell who deceased 7th Nov. last and left not a man behind him in this factory able to manage the Company's affairs, Mr, Hopkinson is only left, but is too sick and weak ; Mountney at Ahmedabad, Rand at Cambaya, Joyce at Baroach, and Wick at Brodera have likewise been sick, but are well recovered. The late dispatch of their caphilo of goods, all last year's quicksilver and some of their chests of ryals for Ahmedabad through the sickness and death of the President, but more through the perfidious dealing of this Governor, will be a cause that the homeward, southern, and Persian goods expected by that caphilo, will not be returned hither till the middle of Jan., so that believe they will be forced to go for Persia first, except they hazard next year's employment, by loss of their monsoons. The Dutch are now under sail for Persia, and two of them thence bound for Holland, by whom have sent these lines, believing their dispatch from Persia will be before their arrival or that they can dispeed the William or Blessing. Of the home-bound goods here in readiness, viz., 800 bales Ahmedabad indigo, 400 or 500 Agra indigo, 200 cotton yarn, and 300 saltpetre, the indigo all cleared in the Custom House, yet the greatest part stopped by this [Page 228] perfidious Governor, and when the saltpetre and cotton yarn will be cleared is uncertain, the reason being they believe only to detain their ships for carrying some Persian friends of his and their goods, and for convoy of some of his junks which stay for Ahmedabad and Burrampoor caphilos, which they must not stay for. The William and Blessing are both intended for England, and one immediately from Persia if they can get those goods aboard that are ready at Surat; near half the indigo and saltpetre is already aboard, and hopes the rest will be suddenly brought down, with which will immediately sail. Their business in their opinions would have gone better forward had they not been diverted from their first injunctions for Persia. The goods for this port are all landed, but come to a most miserable market, especially quicksilver and vermilion, in regard of the great quantity the Dutch fleet has brought : that sent on last year's fleet not delivered before their arrival, nor the money due for it till four months after. Last year's coral remains in the house, but are uncertain whether sold or no. The James, William, and Blessing dispeeded hence 27th April last, got off the coast with much difficulty, and 14th May the William parted from them and arrived at Armagon 23rd, where Capt. Wills was ordered to bring away John Hunter, that was left Chief by Willonghby, also Osmond Smith, Lieutenant of the Fort, the reasons only known to the President and Council, in whose room were left John Norris and Thomas Robinson, with Robt. Adams for Lieutenant. Sailed thence 4th June, and with great difficulty crossing the equinoctial passed the southern end of iSt. Lawrence 5th Aug. and arrived at Molala 13th, and Johanna 20th, where they happily met. Understood by letters from Armagon that the Hopewell arrived there 25th June, and her stay would be till the middle of this month, and at Swally of Capt. Quaile's arrival 20 days before themselves and that he had taken two Malabar junks on the coast of Arabia, with some small quantity of " offim"(? opium) and other pillage of small value. Has lost 27 out of 50 men brought out of England, and the remainder mostly very weak and sick. God send all no better success that come out on such designs. Endorsed," The Commanders of the ships of the third voyage. . . . The substance of Capt Quaile's Commission." 5 pp. [0. C., Vol. XIIL, No. 1407.]
17. Dec. 24 Armagon 246. John Norris, Raphe. Cartwright, and Emanuel Altham, to (the Agent and Council in Bantam).
With much trouble and many hindrances, the like not formerly at any time known, have at last provided and sent herewith on the Hopewell 269 bales goods, which are the best the time could afford. Were the Company sensible of their sufferings by these posting voyages, they would doubtless apply the remedy inculcated in all their advices to Surat, viz., means aforehand for timely investment, which would furnish wellconditioned commodities far cheaper. All sorts are reduced to a far more narrow proportion than they expected, for these miserable times full fraught with war, pestilence, and famine have occasioned the reservation " of about 40 ffs." till next year, being provided but not possibly in these dangers to be brought out of the upland country. Made no question in their last of 8th Sept. by a Danes vessel, that the Hopewell should longer remain here than the fine [Page 232] of Oct., but the aforesaid occasions disabled all from complying with them, yet have great hope that readiness in Bantam will aftord her a quick dispatch to Macassar so earnestly expected both in Surat and Europe.
18. 1632, Jan.23 Surat 257. President Joseph Hopkinson, Nathaniel Mountney, Natha- niel Wicke, and Tho. Joyce, to Edward Heynes and Factors in Persia.
The great mortality fallen among them this year, and the little time it is since some of them were able to crawl about must [Page 242] serve as a plea for their present brevity, referring to copies of their last overland, of another to Capt. Wills last year, their invoices, abstracts, &c. Have been forced to detain three chests of ryals of those consigned to Persia, to stop the mouths and clamours of the Old Stock's creditors, whom, Mr. Wylde being not arrived, the Company have not sent means to satisfy ; fear the debt will far exceed in interest the profit of the goods bought with the money, besides the hindrances done to all voyages since, which when the Company well weigh Mr. Wylde will have littlet hanks for his double diligence and unmerchantlike proceeding. They may detain the value of these three chests out of the Indian goods now sent, and return the rest in money or silk; entreat them to do their utmost in procuring all the silk they can against next year, because besides that and Agra indigo they have nothing towards lading one of the two great ships, this country through mortality being deprived of weavers, washers, dyers, spinsters, packers, husbandmen and all manner of handicraftsmen, so that linen is 50 per cent, dearer than usual, and scarce any to be had. Have sent the pinnace Intelligence for Bantam, that the Great James may receive her lading there, for after the William and Blessing be laden, they have no lading for her at Surat, and there is above 20,000. worth of goods carried hither from the coast by the Star, and herself from hence, and the Mary must also seek her lading thence. Said pinnace from Bantam is designed for the island of St. Lawrence, &c. with letters for the outward-bound fleet to continue in making Persia their first port according to the Company's well-grounded resolution, which all their weak reasons will not be able to alter, neither will they escape censure if they wrestle not with some difficulties to its effecting. Their allegation of extremity of heat is not worth answering, all merchants affirm there is no want of camels in and about Lar, and there is no question but Gombroon Castle can secure itself and town against frigates, nor do they believe that the Portugal living higher up the gulf under the Shah's protection, dare pillage or rob any of his towns and ports: the commodiousness to the Company is, that they may leave some English at Port or Lar for getting camels, and receiving the ships and goods, as they did this past year ; and though the first year may fail, yet against the next they will gain six months time for providing silk and having it brought down to or near Port, and enable them at Surat to dispeed the ships for England more seasonably; and, lastly, should the ships the first year take in no silk, they will be more capable of freight goods; and what may be difficult at first will yearly be more easy and feasible, so that they are to appoint some of their great number to attend the reception and sudden dispatch of the ships next year, with or without silk, so that the time lost by the not coming down of the goods to Surat from their factories may, if possible, be regained ; which, if private trade hinder not, both in themselves buying and the seamen in selling, they conceive may be finished in a few days. The buying of extraordinary quantities of grain may be a little restrained in regard the number of bunyaries and boats by sea have abated the [Page 243] prices of most wheat and rice; but desire them to buy all the good butter they can, as before the rains there is no ho hope it will be cheaper. All the Factors being retired to Surat for want of business and saving of charges, have spared them two able men, Messrs. Sherland and Fall, whose help got through the Company's business when they were all bedridden; have appointed Sherland third and Fall fourth of Council if Gibson be living, though know no difference in their abilities, only imitating the Company, who have made the one's salary 50. and the others 40Z. In Oct. next a new stock arrives and begins its account, to which they are desired to conform their accounts. Have sent them the Company's letter unopened, being never delivered them till their coming aboard; desire a copy, though they suppose the Company have intimated all necessary matters in their own letters. Desire them to endeavour, though it cost dear, Mr. Kastell's projection of getting silk of the King to be paid in money and goods at Port, which he opined would be a service transcendent to any other before, wherein expect their greatest diligence and answer what hopes there are of its effecting by return of these ships. Pray them dispeed their letters with all expedition overland; have sent same by Capt. Quaile in the Seahorse, and hope one will come to hand before the coming out of the next fleet but one. Have had no time to rectify their accounts last year, and could much less enter them into their own till perfect; expect all that are perfect concerning the first and second voyages by return of these ships. Almighty God hath called to His mercy from amongst them this year, Thos. Rastell, late President, Ric. Barbour, James Bickford, Arthur Suffeylde, Thomas Smith, Robert Davison, Wm. Clarke, and Nico. Woolley, with Edwd. Sherburne, and Jno. Downe of this year's fleet, and divers inferiors taken ashore for convoys, &c. now taken into Abraham's bosom, unto which place God prepare us who remain, for the best among them can neither recover strength nor colour. Pray them to be more sensible of keeping so many men ashore, when the Company judge nine sufficient, and send back such as are unable or unfaithful, which it was thought strange they omitted last year. Pray them omit not their custom of sending wine, rosewater, and fruit of all sorts to. the proportion they did last year, for their house's use and entertainment of friends. Let them also have some discourse of the wars betwixt the Turk and Shah, which the [pinnace] Intelligence never inquired after at Jasques, making them unable with shame to answer many that asked. This base King continues ungratefully his wars on Deccan, though the famine and their success has made him much the loser; and lately he has sent Aseph Khan upon them, against his will, with 40,000 or 50,000 horse, which will be to little purpose. The Shah's Ambassador is dispeeded from Brampore where the King is, and, as is reported, the Governor of Agra bears him company as Ambassador back again, Lastly, desire them to notice that the Mary going for Bantam, the Speedwell for Sumatra, and the Exchange for Masulipatam, to take in freight goods, will come to Persia may be one after another; have made the rendezvous to be at Jasques, where they are to [Page 244] leave letters of advice whether the fleet be come into port or no, that they may either keep off or steer into port. Endorsed, "Copy of our letter per the Mary, rec. in London 9 Apr. 1633 by ship Blessing." 5 pp. [O.C., Vol. XIII., No. 1416.]
19. 1631, Jan.25, Aboard the Mary, at Sea 259. Capts. James Slade and Matthew Wills to the East India the Company.
Have not any certain report where the Portugal forces are this year, only there is flying news that their greatest force is gone for Ceylon, where the inhabitants have taken from them all the chief places, Colombo excepted; hear also, that they are distressed on the coast of Melinda and Munsonbeeke (Mozambique), especially in Mornbaz, for whose relief the Viceroy of Goa has sent 20 frigates; that Rufrero, with 30 frigates, is in the Gulf of Persia; and that 30 more lie between Damaun and Diu; but that they have not had any shipping out of Portugal this year, and have had great mortality in all these parts. The Mary and Exchange, on return from Gombroon, are intended, the one for the coast of Coromadel, to take in freight goods for Persia, and the other for Bantam, to carry the goods provided for that place, and thence to return for Cape Jasques, the place appointed for rendezvous of their outward bound ships, and thence for Gombroon, together.
20. 1632, Jan.24 Swally Road. 258. Joseph Hopkinson, President and Council, to the Com- manders and Factors of the fleet from England.
By the sending of this pinnace Intelligence to meet them at the islands, and copy of their Jast year's letter to that fleet, which came too late after Capt. Wills was departed from Armagon, they will perceive their reasons and resolutions to accomplish the Company's well-grounded orders in making Persia their first port, which they are still to follow, yea though Mr. Heynes' discouraging letters overland should have altered the Company's determination, as they will answer the contrary at their peril. Suppose the Company have given them the like orders as they did to the last year's fleet, to arrive at the islands by the beginning or middle of June, and have ordered the Speedwell, employed on the west coast of Sumatra, to meet them at the islands, but to stay no longer than 20th Aug., nor they for her, but rather to be gone sooner, leaving letters where they touch signifying the time of their departure. And because the Mary, Exchange, and Speedwell may come singly on the Persian coast, have concluded Jasques as the place of rendezvous, where the agent is appointed to leave letters of advice, whether the fleet be come into Gombroon or no, and with what safety they may follow; also entreat them after a few days spent at Jasques to leave letters for such as shall come after. Send them bartering ware, viz., 1/2 Mn. opium, 400 beads, four corge alleiaes, and six cor. lunghees; the Speedwell also has 100 beads more, pray them see to both pinnace and Speedwell accommodated with what they want. Also entreat them in regard of the great famine here to open one of their chests of ryals and buy what mellio, cuscus, paddy, gravances, etc. grain is to be had. A great fleet of frigates is this year sent by the Portugals for recovery of Mumbasse [Mombaz] which the Cofeirs (? Caffres) have taken from them with a general massacre of all their people ; so it behoves them to be watchful, supposing they may be about those islands watching treacherously to do them a mischief. Doubt not they will have the like care on coming to the coasts of Persia and India. Endorsed, "Rec. 20 Junii 1634 from Plimouth by Capt. Quailes's ship." 1 1/2 pp. [0. C., Vol. XIII., No. 1417.]
21. 1632, Jan.26, Aboart the Mary(Surat) 260. Capt. James Slade, the Commander, and others of the third Persian voyage, to the fleet of the Joint Stock towards Persia.
Understand the President and Council have given them express order to redress themselves immediately for Gombroon, and has assigned these ships that are to be separated on the Company's employments to make Jasques the place of rendezvous; entreat them therefore, if so ordered, in case they arrive first, to leave letters with the Capt. of Jasques Castle whether they are gone in for Gombroon, or where they shall find them, and if any of us shall be there first will do the like, that they may the better prevent the practices of their common enemy, the Portugal, whom this year they hear little of, by reason, as they understand, of his wars at Ceylon, the Coast of Melinda, &c., but he sleeps not, therefore entreat them to keep ships and ordnance as "predie" as they may. The raging famine in India caused them, on the relation of Mr. Burley, to buy rice and gravances for their own use at Johanna, otherwise they had been destitute of all sorts of grain, being there was none to be got at Surat under 9 or 10 mamoths a maunde, and yet worth six or seven; therefore wish them to provide for both fleets and for the market as much as they have stowage for, if they can buy it at the same rate they did, viz., rice at 4 frossells or measures containing 100 Ibs. per ryal; gravances, 7 measures per ryal; and, melia and paddy at the same rate. The melia and paddy will sell for good profit, as they may more at large understand by Mr. Burley. Signed by Jas. Slade, Mat. Wills, John Roberts, Wm. Minors, Rich. Barnabie, John Sherland, Wm. Falle, John Pashley, Peter Andrewes, and John Burley. Endorsed, " Rec.in London from Plimouth the 20 Junii 1634 out of Captain Quaile's ship." 2 pp. [0. C., Vol. XIIL, No. 1419.]
22. 1632, Jan.30, Bantam 261. Will. Hoare and Council to the East India Company "per their ship London whom God preserve."
..Will endeavour to perfect all accounts both for stock and voyages against fine of the year, but since Willoughby's removal are very backward and somewhat confused; meantime refer them to the several accounts of Bantam, Macassar, and Japara sent home on the Palsgrave, and to lists herewith enclosed of names and employments of the Company's servants, and of the remaining stores in this factory, which are for the most part useless lumber, all the ordnance and shot being transported on the James, Palsgrave, London, and Star, and the powder, about 128 pecull defective, sold to this King at Ryals 25 per pecull. That the Company consider the supply of these parts with shipping stores and men immediately from England; supplies from Surat being both uncertain and too sparing. Jambi cannot well be without two ships of 200 tons a piece, that being their only place to procure pepper, the west coast of Sumatra being prohibited them by the President and Council, and Bantam not affording more than 300 tons per annum which cannot be procured without ready money. Have only the pinnaces Dove and Simon Jude remaining, and fear both are on their last service, for they have no jot of any store to repair them, nor one piece of salt flesh to victual them to sea. It will be a very well performed service if the President and Council at Surat sent some Ryals of 8 with their goods to arrive by fine of May next and therewith the Mary or other great ship to sail hence directly for England, for then three, if not four, ships might be returned next October or November; for at Jambi lading will be ready for the biggest ship; the two pinnaces are shortly expected with 170 tons, which, with their remains and the cloves expected from Macassar, will be a full lading for the Star. The Speedwell will doubtless bring her own lading from the west coast of Sumatra about September next ; and Hoare at the point of [Page 248] going through with one Sancho, an able Chinaman, for 2,000 pec. clean pepper at 5 ryals for cloth to be delivered in three months, which with cloves from Macassar will make an ample lading for the Hopewell; the performance of all which will not doubt unless the President and Council at Surat alter their designs. Daily expect the Hopewell; if in 20 days she arrive not and is dispeeded for Macassar her voyage thither will be hazardous. Could wish the ship for the coast Coromandel might be dispeeded from England by middle of Sept., so as to arrive at the coast in April at furthest and have till October to provide goods, and a certain season for the Macassar voyage, whereas not arriving until July hazards the gaining of Macassar, as befell the Star and may befall the Hopewell. Have laden on this ship London for the second general voyage 129 pec. cloves, amounting to Us. 9,582, and 42 pec. cloves and 6,377 pec. pepper, amounting to Rs. 47,562, as by enclosed invoice and bill of lading will appear. Of the 17 hhds. of Mr. Bell's white wine reserved for the London, the Captain would accept only 11, nor were those of the best ; the other six not fit for other use than ordinary vinegar. The Hopewell arrived 27th inst. from coast Coromandel, with goods to the amount of Rs. 24,366 for the third general voyage, besides Rs. 6,350 for the second general voyage. Have received no accounts, the President having appointed them to account to Surat; upon her came- Messrs. Reeve, Bix, Robinson, and Bloys; Richard Hudson was left at the coast, and Edward Prescott, deceased, at Masulipatam in August last. Send copies of advices received from Surat and the coast, wherein may be read the sad story of the miserable afflictions of those parts by war, pestilence, and famine; nor have their servants escaped, Messrs. Barbar, Bickford, and Suffeylde are all deceased, with two or three Factors more in Surat, and the rest of the Council dangerously sick and scarce yet recovered...
23. 1632, Jan.31, Bantam 262. John Reeve (Cape Merchant of the pinnace Hopewell) to the East India Company.
Before leaving Masulipatam the agent received answer to their letter to the President, confirming his authority to dispose of all ships and merchandise which should arrive there, and willing him to account to Surat. Could not take an exact transcript of their accounts, which were not finished, but the agent promised to send them to Surat by the next ship. Edward Prescott deceased in Masulipatam 29th Aug., his estate delivered to the agent and Council there. Great mortality of poor in Masulipatam and towns adjacent, occasioned by the great dearth of rice and grain, the cause of their longer stay by 60 days on the coast, for the major part of weavers and washers are dead, and the country almost ruinated, but great hopes of a plentiful harvest this year. In the kingdom of Jentu those parts adjoining Armagon are so afflicted with wars between the King and his Naiques as to endanger the ruinating of the whole country. The Fort of Armagon of so mean strength that the residents daily fear to be oppressed by the King's soldiers that range over those parts. The agent " stand as Mewtes " and has provided a present for the conqueror, intending to procure license for building a brick wall about the house, which may be effected with small charge, and once accomplished they need not fear the power of the whole kingdom. Great hopes that Armagon will shortly be able to furnish the southern factories with paintings and white cloth of all sorts required, the merchants there having provided 20 bales, but durst not send for them from the makers, fearing it should be taken by the soldiers aforesaid. At Armagon sold 80 pigs of lead at 25 pags. Armagon per candy, and the rest was shipped to Masulipatam, where part was sold at 15 pags. Masulipatam per candy. The whole quantity of quicksilver and vermilion yet to sell, the former worth 14 and the latter 13 pags. per maund. Most of the cloth yet unsold, being too coarse and the [Page 252] colours not proper, for they desire very fine stamills and the finer the more profit
24. 1632. May 6, Mauritius 270. George Willoughby and Thomas Grove to the East India Company" at Crowesbirk (Crosby) House in London."
Their last was by the Palsgrave per three severals in custody of Capt. Hall, Mr. Fenn, the Purser, and Benjamin Freelord, after whose decease underwritten by George Willoughby only, with as large advice of his displacing, with their unjust and miserable sufferings, and the suffering of the Company's affairs, as his restrained time permitted. Arrived here 1 8th April from Persia the Dutch ships Gravenhage and Trevere, Commander Willebrant, which resided long at Surat and Baroach; on them came Mr. Fuller, English preacher, who brought news of this year's scarcity of silk in Persia, great famine and mortality in India, the death of President Rastell, James Bickford, and Arthur Suffeylde, two of his Council, and divers others, and the successes of their present trade," which God in mercy amend." These ships met the Mary, Exchange, William, and Blessing at Jasques going thither. Suppose it would be more satisfactory to the Company that they should be suffered to go home by the first conveniency, rather than be carried to Surat, where the major part of those that ordered their unjust sufferings are departed this life, and therefore desired Skibbowe to send them to England, whose answer was that he would consider of it. Suppose Skibbowe and Banggam were of the Council that ordered their unjust displacing, and are therefore acquainted with the cause, with which we have not yet been acquainted, and also capable to order their coming home or proceeding to Surat, as may be most agreeable to equity and the prosperity of the southern trade, which if well managed will not yield short of the declaration sent by the Palsgrave, whose copy they shall receive by the ships daily hoped for from Persia. Are heartily sorry to hear of the low ebb in trade which the dearth and plague of Surat and Persia, &c. has caused, as well as the disrespect of the southern trade. God in mercy grant that the evil is at the worst and will amend. William Mathewe is sick on shore, and cannot at present subscribe. Endorsed,"George Willoughby & Thos. Grove, prisoners in the Great James in Mauris island upon her coasting voyage from Bantam to Surat. For conveyance of the Dutch under covert of Mr Jn Skibbowe, rec. 9 Apr. by Dutch Gravenhag." 2 pp. [0. C., Vol. XIV., No. 1429.]
25. 1632, May.8, Mauritius aboard the Great James 272. John Skibbowe and John Banggam to the East India Company.
The 19th last descried two sail, which they hoped had been the William and Blessing, but proved two Dutch ships s'Graven Hage and Trevier from Gombroon bound for Holland; by them had sorrowful advice of the state of India and Persia by Thomas Fuller, Minister. The famine in India was followed by pestilence, both which destroyed infinite numbers of people; at last God sent rain, but in so great abundance that it carried away all corn and other grain which that afflicted people had made hard shift to sow, and made such inundations as have not been heard of in those parts, so that the countries of Guzerat are almost depopulated; amidst these heavy afflictions it pleased God to take away divers of their servants, and amongst them President Rastell, with James Bickford and Arthur Suffeylde, two of his Council; send a list of all they can hear of
26. 1632 Aug 1, Augustine Bay 292. Edward Kirkham to the East India Company.
For the state of Surat and adjacent countries, Sir Willibrand gives a very pitiful relation, by two years famine and a following great plague, which have so swept away the inhabitants that there were not in divers places [any] left to bury them. It has also pleased God to take away divers of the Company's chief merchants, also President Rastell, whose death will cause distraction in the Company's business. This miserable time at Surat, where they ground their chiefest designs, has much startled them but will leave nothing unattempted. Presumes the Company never employed any that had better intendments than those on this fleet. Capt. Weddell deserves very well, and he hopes his execution may not fall short of his desires. Believes their business this year will depend much on Persia. Now on departure for Johanna, having found such refreshing here as India affords not such a place considering the cheapness and goodness of things ; the air good, meat wholesome, wood and water plentiful, and the people reasonable humane, so that it will be an excellent place of rendezvous. Mr. Fuller having left Persia they will be destitute of a minister there ; beseeches that by the next ships they may be furnished with one whose life may be as free from scandal as his doctrine from error. Cargo of the " Scrave van Haug," 400 bales silk, 886 churl* indigo, 200 bales calicoes, 80 bales cotton yarn, 00 tons pepper, 120 tons saltpetre, lac, rhubarb. Cargo of the " Derver ": - 350 bales silk, 800 churls indigo, 150 bales calicoes, 40 tons pepper, [Page 278] 80 tons saltpetre, lac, rhubarb. Endorsed," Mr. Edward Kirkham in the Charles.rec. 10 Apr. by the Dutch Gravenhagh." 3 pp. [O.C., Vol. XIV., No. 1442.]
27. 1632 Aug. 22, Aboard the Jonas, Isle Johanna 300. Tho. Rosse to the East India Company.
Departed from Weymouth 5th April. Their whole fleet arrived at St. Lawrence in Augustine Bay in safety 17th July. After a lingering passage arrived at Mohilla 17th, and at Johanna 19th, where they met the Royal James, Jno. Whyte, Master, and pinnace Intelligence, Jno. Burley, Master, who confirmed the ill news of the famine and mortality in all parts of India, in circa Surat especially; also the death of President Rastell, with most of the rest there resident, and the election of Mr. Hopkinson in his place, and Mr. Mountney second, by whose letters we are strictly enjoined, contrary to their Worships' orders, to go first for Persia via Jas'ques, the reasons whereof shall be expressed by the next. This being sent by Capt. Richd. Quayle, whom they found at Johanna in the Seahorse, about 100 tons, producing his Majesty's commission " for his ranging the seas all the world over," not offending his Majesty's friends, allies, and subjects, &c., but to be assisting to him in all he shall require. Whereupon spared him some small supply of provisions, he returning in lieu thereof rice, gravances, cuscus, &c., and for the remainder his bills on the Lord Treasurer (in conformity with his Majesty's commission) for the Company's satisfaction in England. They report to have chased six junks, whereof two were made prize; they are partly laden with rice, opium, silk stuffs, bullion and gold, and pretend to depart hence for Isle Mayottees to careen, and thence for England. The fleet intends to sail to-morrow morning, with the Royal James and Intelligence, for Jasques to meet the former fleet, and so for " Comoroone "(Gombroon). Since leaving St. Lawrence only one man lost in the Jonas by the flux, and two, besides the old black carried out of England, who stayed ashore there. Conceives they will send a general letter likewise the morning before departure. Endorsed," Rec. 20 Junii 1634 from Plimoth out of Capt Quaile's ship." 1 pp. [0. C., Vol. XIV.,No. 1444.]
28. 1632 Aug.29 303. Court Minutes, E. I. Co.
Proposal of Alderman Garway to sell their rich indigo deferred till next Court, also an offer to buy the 10 hhds. of cloves for transportation, but not to send them into the Straits. Tender again made by Capt. Crispe of his new ship Crispian of 500 tons burden, but the Court of opinion not to send too much shipping to Surat in regard of the famine there, and that for their occasions they had shipping of their own for this year, he also offered a parcel of elephant's teeth "at 7l. 15s. per cent., being about six in the cent," upon which Mr. Ellam was ordered to report. Ordered that Jeremy Harrison, Mate of the Palsgrave, receive his wages, notwithstanding the former restraint by reason of his going to Calais. Petition of Zachary Gilby, the Company's tennant at Blackwall, that they would repair their wharf there; Fotherby and Swanley ordered to view and report. 2pp. [Ct. Min. Bk.,XIII., 44-46.]
29. 1632 Aug. 29, Masulipatnam 304. John Norris and Ra. Cartwright to President Hopkinson and Council in Surat.
P.S. By the Factors instructions on the Pearl they will perceive an inclination of the Company towards provision of a cargazoon here for England, whereto they will be the more induced, when they understand Baftas of Surat to fail them; should be glad of such an occasion to have employment for the whole year, without which and means aforehand little hence in that kind can be expected, the sorts the Company require being not so suddenly as they imagine to be procured. Of late there has fallen such an abundance of rain as has not been known for years, through which they are in great expectation of a plentiful harvest, to the exceeding joy of all poor people by famine and mortality reduced now to a small number. 2 pp. [0.C. Vol. XIV., No. 1446.]
30. 1632 Oct. 19 328. Court Minutes, E. I. Co.
Minutes of a General Court. Report of Mr. Governor of the safe arrival of the London, not only with a good cargazoone of pepper and cloves, but so tight and able as she is-vfit for another voyage. Opinion of the Court of Committees as to the sale of their pepper in lots concurred in, but the price suspended till they meet again; for cloves, any man to have liberty to underwrite for 5 or 10 hhds. on the terms proposed. Relation of Mr. Governor of the late news which is come to the knowledge of the Court concerning the great famine and mortality in the Indies, where, besides the death of President Rastell and 10 other of the Company's Factors, there hath died and fled of the natives about Surat 30,000 at least, which though it may peradventure somewhat distract their affairs for a time, yet seeing it is the hand of God that hath done it, they must with patience submit thereunto. Nevertheless they have news of the safe arrival of Capt. Slade's fleet, which arrived at Surat in October last, so it is hoped that fleet hath supplied Factors again, whereby the Company shall receive little or no prejudice by that accident; not doubting by the grace of God to have a return of those or other ships before Xmas next, and therefore desired the Company not to be discouraged at anything they shall hear abroad. 6 pp. [Ct Min. Bk.t XIII., 90-95.]
31. 1632, Oct. 21, Gombroon 331. Edw. Kirkham, Thos. Rosse, John Sherland, and Wm. Fall to the East India Company.
Take notice of the addition made to the remains of the Joint Stock, as well for the present as future voyages, and wish the particular voyages were brought all into one Stock, for it does not a little puzzle them to know what to do, the cloth of the Mary's fleet being yet in magazine untouched, and though that of the second voyage is delivered on account to the King, yet there wants 4,600 tomands ready money for the accomplishment of Mr. Heynes's contract for this year. Take notice what is designed for this factory, with things for presents, and what was to have been furnished from Surat, which place is so changed in regard of the mortality there that there are now no such hopes of benefit as formerly, " neither is like to come unto his pristine state of long time." Have seriously considered how vehemently the Company urge them to prevent all inducements to private trade by their own example or loan of moneys, and to enforce the penalty of loss of wages to those that dare become delinquents, and promise to keep themselves untainted therein. The men left here by the Charles' fleet shall be sent home according to order, there remaining here but three of the seven, viz., Jno. Monnox, Gove, and Carpenter, Greene and Saddock being dead, and James Watts gone home; which cannot be effected till the return of the ships, one being very sick below, and the others aloft at Shiraz and Spahan. As for those now come to supply this factory, no partiality shall be used, but such as deserve well shall be preferred, and the unserviceable or irregular sent back
32. 1632 Nov. 21 342. Court Minutes, E. I. Co.
Renewed request of Sir John Watts for payment of 100. to Capt. Hall out of Capt. Moreton's estate, answered as before; that in regard there was an executor $ie Company could not pay it, but would assist what they could. Motion of Sir Wm. Acton for further allowance for tangle and defective silk, referred to Committees to give such further tare as they in conscience should deem fitting. Mr. Fowkes desired a copy of the Company's answer to his petition, pretending the Lord Keeper was misinformed, and wondering the Company should send any to inform a judge privately; he alleged that the decree in Chancery was grounded upon the sandy foundation of one interested man's corrupt testimony; the Court still observing his unlimited demand and his turnings and windings upon every question answered, if he would set down in writing the particulars of his demand they would give further answer. Account of Tho. Aldworth deceased, presented by Sambrooke, referred to the Committees of the Counting House to examine. Dispute again renewed concerning the sending of another ship with victuals and provisions to supply the ships abroad; it was moved in regard of the great famine in Surat, the long being out of the Great James, and that the Factors from the southwards write for victuals and stores, that one victualler go to the northwards and another directly for Jambi; but because of a great difference between Mr. Mun and Mr. Bownest, and that the former had already set down in writing the grounds of his opinion, it was moved and consented to by Mr. Bownest to present his collections on Wednesday next, and Committees were intreated to join with him to examine the Company's estate abroad. 3 pp. [Ct. Min. Bk.t XIIL, 119-122.]
33. 1632. Nov, 30 350. Court Minutes, E. I. Co.
The Court observed a great difference in divers particulars, as, viz., a remainder of 8,000^., computed by the one to belong to the Second Stock, not yet returned, and by the other, who conceived there was none wholly left out ; a second, that 39,000 Rs. were reckoned by the one to be part of the stock abroad, and by the other not mentioned, because not yet sent out; a third particular, that the quantity of pepper to be had at Bantam and Jambi was estimated by the one to be 3,000 tons at 1 5 cwt. to a ton, whereas the other makes 5,000 tons at 12 cwt. to a ton; and a fourth, that there were 500 tons of shipping to be worn out in the country saith one, to be returned saith the other. Out of all which the Court took notice that there was, in the opinion of the one, 400 tons shipping wanting stock to lade home, and, by the judgment of the other, 800 tons of shipping will be wanting to bring home the stock now abroad. After well weighing the great mortality and famine in the Indies, the long being out of some of the greatest ships, which might be in want, and the supply of victuals and stores required by advices from Bantam, the Court was of opinion rather to have a ship or two more than needful in the Indies than that the ships abroad should want supplies, and concluded, after some dispute, to send the Palsgrave, Discovery, and the pinnace now to be bought, to the northwards, and the Reformation to the southwards, to be there in July to meet ships for Europe or from Snrat. 6 1/2 pp. [Ct. Min. Bk., XIII., 134-140.]
34. 1633, Jan. 7, Swally Road 74. Capts. Jo. Weddell, Jas. Slade, Ric. Swanley, Hum. Pym, Jno. Hatch, Ric. Monck, Jo. Jay, Jo. White, and Tho. Turner " all our Sea Commanders "to E. I. Co. [abstract of letter jointly].
Letters sent by Capt. Quaile. The James will be ready for England by 20 Jan. We came from Gombroon 22 Oct., and arrived at Surat 28 Nov., most of our men falling sick. Messrs. Sill and Rosse, Merchants, Mr. Foxe, Mate of the Mary, the Gunner and Surgeon of the Dolphin, all dead. Carpenter, Bamham [[? Banggam]], and Gombledon (?) Merchants, dead; and Mr. Sherland and the rest of the Persian Factors sick. Messrs. Kirkham and Fall with a small train gone up to Spahan. Most of your people dead at Surat. Joseph Hopkinson, now President, discommended; wholly disabled. Nath. Mountney joined with him in authority. Dearth and scarcity of all things. Indian commodities at double their wonted rates. English and other European commodities much fallen in their prices. Are forced to carry the cloths back for Persia
35. 1633, Jan. 23 Surat Christopher Reade to the East India Company.
The reasons for Willoughby's proceedings against Sill are declared at large in his examination before the President and Council, all grounded upon his own word without any witness; but for further satisfaction that Willoughby's accusations were false and proceeded from pride and malice, refers to the examinations taken before John Skibbowe and the rest at Bantam. And in regard it pleased God to take away Sill before his arrival at Surat, begs leave to lay open the truth in some more intricate particulars as proved in articles of the examination before Skibbowe as regards investments and goods and moneys delivered to Law. Henley at Pettapoli. Answer to the charges of private trade against Sill all the gold and silk was by Vesterman's order delivered to Sigr. Barnes, the Dutch chief merchant at Masulipatam, and not one ryal returned for Vesterman's account on the Falcon or Dove. Sill ordered the return of his voyage to Gingilee should be in rice and other grain, Masulipatam and Armagon being so sorely oppressed with famine that the living were eating up the dead, and men durst scarcely travel in the country for fear they should be killed and eaten; he intended only to relieve Armagon, whence the poor weavers, painters, and dyers would have all fled, to the Company's great prejudice, but for expectation thereof. Should be but weak [Page 353] to persuade the Company that Sill sent this adventure without expectation of profit, but he never intended to forestall the Company's market at Armagon by buying up cloth for Pegu, Raccan, and Tenasserirn, which voyage could not be effected in less than 20 months, while Sill intended on the next ship from England to depart the coast, his body being worn out in his 13 years' service in India, and 250 land per annum having fallen to him in England by his father's death ; and indeed he had not undertaken that fatal coast employment, but by the urgent persuasion of the late Presidents Muschamp and Hoare, hoping to bring that once famous place to its former station; which intentions failed, partly by the great famine of the country, and partly by Willoughby's stratagems, for the keeping of two houses at Masulipatam was no little hindrance to the Company's affairs, for Willoughby's greatness could not be persuaded to live in the house with Sill, men going from house to house with their cloth to see who would give most, besides the double charge of housekeeping; and from the like absurdities Reade could hardly dissuade them at Armagon, only there they had such power that the country people durst do no such thing without their consent.
36. 1633 Feb.8 398. Court Minutes, E. I. Co
Minutes of a General Quarter Court. Statement of Mr. Governor that this is a Quarter Court observed according to their order, but there is nothing important to impart more than that the Court of Committees had settled the price of their indigo, and some had since underwritten and the book still lies open; they had also set the price of pepper at I7d to transport and 17 1/2d. for town, but no [Page 365] man had underwritten, yet by letters out of Holland it is conceived that pepper would rise ere long. The news of the great dearth and mortality in India was confirmed from Holland and other parts, but there was no certain ground for the report about the Great James, for she came in company with the Palsgrave from Bantam above 200 leagues, and as then, so by God's grace is still in safety. 6 pp. [Ct. Min. Bk.t XIII., 189-194.]
37. 1633, May. 15, Aboard the Mary(Gombroon) 409. Win. Gibson, John Sherland, and Rich. Cooper to (the President and Council at Surat).
The gross and apparent wrong done the Company by private trade is grown so incorrigible, that do what they can to suppress it, yet is still continued, especially by seamen and Pursers, for though they got 16 men to watch the Custom House and landing-places, such quantities of goods, especially of Europe, have been landed and sold and at such strange rates that they wonder it is possible they [Page 380] could possibly afford them, which if not suddenly prevented will much prejudice the Company in sale of their commodities, for when the King's officers understand that such commodities are to be had at such cheap rates, they will hardly be drawn to continue the contract, much less advance their prices as the Company would have it. Cannot yet learn who owned these goods, neither is it possible to catch them, the houses being so near the waterside that a man coming ashore may presently"slope" into one and find chapmen for all he has in an hour, if he will sell a little under hand; this must be remedied by the Company in England. Pearls cannot now be provided, there being none to be had in town except at extraordinary rates; or if there were, they want means, for all their moneys being carried up for Spahan, much ado have they had to maintain ships and house expenses ; but last year, had they known it, might very well have performed the Company's desire, for then the place abounded in that commodity. Have been able also to send them but a small quantity of wheat, for this last year the want of food amongst these poor people has come very little short of the dearth at Surat. The unheard of mortality befalling their new comers has caused them by consultation to take ashore Mr. Wylde, Tho. Waldoe, and Constantine Younge, the latter" a Chirurgeon," God having taken their own from them since their coming down, with proviso if they be found unserviceable to be turned back on next ship. Have sent for provision of the factory 6 chests good Shiraz wine 4 chests of rose water, 100 hens, and pistachoes, and in requital desire next year 16 or 20 good handsome chairs for their house at port, of which at present they are much destitute. Their order for over-viewing the Pursers' accounts shall be observed; as also the sums paid them at their last, and now being here shall be sent, with an account of all bales of cloth received here on shore. Divers foreigners go on these ships, who were mostly licensed by the Company out of England for passage hither, and now desire their return; refer their further disposal to the President and Council. Most of the Company's servants by reason their times are expired, and the small encouragement for future service, desirous to return for their country, but by reason of the Company's want of men are forced to stay; pray them seriously to consider their case, for the means they receive from the Company here does not comply with half their unavoidable expenses..
38. 1633, Mar. 23, Gombroon 416. Wm. Gibson, John Sherland, Rich. Cooper, and Wm. Fall to the East India Company.
The Company's order for pearls should have been effected, but for two main obstacles, there is but little in town and at extraordinary dear rates, and if there had been, want means to accomplish it, all their moneys being long since dispeeded towards Spahan by Mr. Kirkham, insomuch that a great ado have they had to get wherewithal to maintain their present occasions. Last year could very well have done it, the place abounding in that commodity and being well furnished with means; but now must desire the Company's patience till next year. A small box delivered to Capt. Slade containing jewels belonging to the estate of Edward Heynes deceased, whose will and inventory are herewith sent; his accounts shall follow as soon as finished. Will, by reason of the unheard of mortality this year, enforcedly omit sending home the persons the Company required; of these but three are living, and have had much ado to procure their stay, being at a non plus to answer their many reasons to the contrary. All the Company's strict courses for the prevention of private trade it seems startle not their seamen and pursers, for though on arrival of the ships they procured 16 men to watch the Custom House, yet has there been store of commodities, especially of Europe, landed and sold at such strange prices, that we wonder they can afford them so ; which, if not prevented at home, will breed the Company much prejudice, for when the King's officers understand that such commodities are to be had at such easy rates, will have much ado to continue their contract, much less to raise their prices according to the Company's order.
39. 1633, Aug.2 Court Minutes, E. I. Co.
Ordered further that the Jewel, after unlading, be prepared and fitted to be sent for [Page 439] Bantam to go with the fleet; and in regard of the great mortality and lack of victuals, especially at Surat, as also the late disaster by the firing of the Swallow and Charles, and the advices received of the want of all manner of stores in all their factories, that the ships be furnished with victuals for 20 months at least, and also with stores sufficient for the relief of all their ships abroad. And that the Company may go on certain grounds, the Committees to assist the Auditors in perfecting the three particular voyages, were desired to look over the accounts ofthe Third Joint Stock, and report whether it agrees with Markham's relation.
40. 1633 Aug.20 Joana 481. Wm. Methwold to President Joseph Hopkinson in Surat.
Writes to enclose letters recommended to-him, and improve their little former acquaintance. The accidental knowledge which arrived to the Company of the great mortality in India, brought him on a second employment, not without hopes that there might have been so much mistake as to have left his affectionate friend Rastell living, until the day of their departure from the Downs he encountered the Blessing. When nominated to succeed Rastell there was no knowledge of Hopkinson's incumbency, it could not therefore be his intention to supplant any man and being contentedly gratified he cheerfully entered the Company's employment. It affords him true grief that the distracted affairs of India will produce them much more trouble than accustomed, and yet their masters receive less content. Left their friends in England in perfect health, become honest men in being well married; such were Messrs. Wylde, Muschamp, and Page all so lately coupled. Sends hearty love and affectionate well wishes to Mountney and Giffard, and as many more as he is known to. Endorsed, "Recd 12th 7ber 1633 in Surat." 1 p. [0. C., Vol. XIV., No. 1513.]
41. 1633, Sept. 28-30, Spahan 493. Wm. Gibson, Richard Cooper, and Wm. Fall to the E. I. Co.
Sept. 30. News has just come from Bandar of the arrival of the Jonas, Mary, and Hart from Masulipatam, freighted only with Moors goods to the value of 3,000. Have also received letter from the President and Council of Surat, such a one as 'tis, wherein may be perceived how without cause they are condemned, especially Gibson. The messenger's departure hindering his answer to their several taxations, which indeed deserve little or none, will defer it for a second express to dispeed in a few days. But " whether we have so taxed them that should deserve these their absurd reproofs, let your Worships judge. It seems also my style of writing pleaseth them not; if it do not, I cannot help it, nor indeed care not; "having the Company's approbation; Gibson slights their disparagements, yet not but that he will have regard to the authority given them. Capt. Slade writes that the Swan arrived at Masulipatam 20th June with a good cargazpon, but finding that famine and pestilence had so ranged all those parts that there were*-not any goods to be had, tney were fain to proceed for Bengala, where they had better hopes. Understand that' Jno. Norris, late Agent at Masulipatam, is coming [Page 468] home in the Mary, and The. Joyce to be left in his stead. Also by a second lector from Willoughby at Port, that the Hollanders have landed for next year's business 12 chests silver, 1,000 chests China sugar, 1,500 great pigs of Japan copper, with great store of logwood, and some small quantity of cloves, mace, nutmegs, and cinnamon. Endorsed " Rd. overland Apr. 1634." 11 1/2 pp. [0.C., Vol. XIV., No. 1514.]
42. 1633, Nov.13 511. Court Minutes, E. I. Co.
Ordered on the earnest request of Wm. Moreton, executor to Capt. Moreton, that he receive 3(H. more on account of the Captain's wages, on condition that he trouble the Court no more at this time. Resolved to send in their new ship the Coaster for Bantam 50 tons of lead, 10 broad cloths, and 10 chests of silver, and that Mountney make provision for 60 men. Motion to send a chest of gold to enlarge the stock for the coast, the only place for supplying the commodities made scarce by the famine at Surat; deferred till the going of the Surat fleet in the Spring. Relation made that Malachi Martin hath now ingenuously confessed that the goods landed out of their ships and now in possession of Mr. White are his, expressing much sorrow for his obstinate denying know [Page 486] ledge of them, being drawn thereto by ill-affected persons who persuaded him the Company will deal severely with him; but, having lately had experience to the contrary, he promised to go down in person to Mr. White and bring up the goods, which are two casks of cloves and 100 pieces of salampoores, and deliver them to the Company. Resolved to procure a letter from the farmers to Mr. Merrick to deliver the goods to Martin to be sent from Milford to Bristol, and tbence to London overland, and that a letter be written to Mr. White, who cannot be ignorant of the consequence of wilful contempt, advising him to detain the goods no longer, lest the Company be forced to make use of the Lord Treasurer's warrant for his bringing up, which they were unwilling to do.
43. 1634, Jan.(31). Palsgrave(Surat) 534. Capt. Rich. Allnutt to the East India Company.
Sailed 23rd Aug.,and reached Jasques 10th Sept., where they received a letter from Capt. Weddell, riding at Gombroon; arrived there 21st Sept., and found Capts. Weddell, Slade, and Swanley in said three ships almost ready to depart, by their own relation; but it was thought fitting they should stay and go in company to Surat. Stayed there to land goods and other business till 9th Oct., longer than requisite in Allnutt's judgment, for so small an employment, in regard of the great charge for provisions and water and the unwholesomeness of the climate at that time of year. Never felt more heat in all parts of India, by reason whereof no merchants come down, neither is there anything to be bought or sold more than provisions, and those not very cheap, for in their stay the expense of their three ships amounted to 400 ryals, whereof 100 for water, which was so brackish that many of their people fell sick and some died before arrival at Surat; so judges it will be needless to consign any more ships to Gombroon at that time of year. The cloth landed so well conditioned that he thinks some of the Factors were offended at the sight thereof, for is sure they Jay it on the ground without anything under all the time he was there, and how long after God knows Sailed for Surat 9th Oct., and arrived in Swally Hole 5th Nov., where they found seven Dutch ships, some from Persia and the rest from Jacatra, with one Philip Lukens, Commander, who had brought a very great present for the Governor of Surat, viz., two elephants [Page 518] and several sorts of spice, which did so content said Governor that he called the Dutch Commander his brother and by report gave him a far more respective entertainment than Methwold; indeed he did not much regard the English since the death of Rastell Cannot relate the reason, unless it were the weakness of Hopkins( on) and the rest of his Council, the Company's business at their arrival lying in a distracted fashion for want of good men to manage it; for the Governor had detained a quantity of lead in the Custom House almost two years, because he could not have it at his own price of 5 1/2 mamothes per maune, when it was worth 9 and 10, and certain goods lay at Brampore on the way from Agra almost a year and a half without reason, and other things were out of form; whereof the Dutch did not fail to take notice for their own ends. Heard from brokers they complied with the Governor to buy all the indigo in the country at a certain price, with proviso that the English might have none; whereupon the King, at the Governor's solicitation, took that trade into his own hand, so that all merchants must take it at a certain price, and pay for it a year beforehand, and then take all such trash as he should put upon them. To which President Hopkins(on) had yielded before his death, but Methwold has opposed it. It would have ruinated the country where it grows, for the manurers could not subsist, and many of them were forced to leave the country, on which the King let the same to farm to one of his noblemen, on the terms that in case the Dutch and English should forbear to buy at his price for two or three years together, the King should bear the loss himself; what the event will be God knows, but what with the King's miserableness, the Governor's baseness, and the Dutch cunning circumventing projects, there is nothing to be expected here at present but a great charge to little purpose, unless the trade grow better when the country is more populated. At present the Portugals' forces are not much to be feared, by reason of their poverty and a great mortality which has befallen them in Goa and other places of India since the famine, by reason whereof they have a great desire to have a fair quarter and peace with the English in India as in Europe. If their heart means what their tongue expresses, 'twere better for them and for the Company's affairs, for they cannot long submit from the force of the Dutch, who come yearly to these parts with 10 to 14 ships, so that the poor Portugals cannot go out of any of their ports but the Dutch take them; and when this comes to pass it may be supposed the Company's trade cannot long subsist in these parts, for already the Dutch have as fair quarter in Surat and Persia as the English, and supply those places with more goods of the same sort than the English, besides spices and china ware of all sorts, to the value of 100,000l. in Persia, for all which they pay no custom, nor can any Englishman tell what goods they have landed there since their first coming, and it is supposed they land Moors' goods also in their own names, which cannot but be a great prejudice to the Company's trade...
44. 1634, June 20 Minutes of a General Quarter Court.
The third, or Old [[? New]] Joint Stock is indebted more than is in the kingdom to satisfy, about 62,0007., but there is 396,0007. quick stock sent out to Surat and Bantam, whereof returned about 6,000?., although the whole capital is but 385,0007., of which 14,0007. is to this day unpaid by several men, whom he desired to send in their moneys, that so their names might not be made known. Mr. Governor told the Court he was glad to find the accounts in so good an estate considering the great mortality and other accidents which had unexpectedly happened in India; but they must not expect for a year or two any division upon the Old Stock, for it was the policy and wisdom of the Hollanders by this way to advance the small stock which they raised at first to that greatness which now it is, by forbearing divisions, which course, if this Company observe, he doubted not to improve it for the good of the Company, there being no intention to press the adventurers this year for further supplies, but to make the present stock with its proceeds sufficient to support the same; [Page 551] but for the particular voyages they may do therein as they think good. Ordered, on motion of an honourable person, that if the parties owing the 14,000. in the Third Joint Stock did not bring in their moneys betwixt this and the next General Court their names be publicly read, and further order taken to enforce their payment.
45. 1634, July 9 582. Court Minutes, E. I. Co.
Serious consideration of their affairs abroad and the many discouragements by their particular advices lately received from their President and Factors from Surat and Persia, as in particular the insupportable debt of 100,0002. and upwards which they owed at interest at Surat, the continuance of the mortality and scarcity of commodities there, and the breach of the King of Persia in not performing his contract with the Company, whereby they are like to receive little or no return of silk this year. Divers of opinion to desert the Trade of Persia absolutely, considering the case was not now as it was in the time of the old King, who although he were as all other princes are covetous, and whose favours are to be maintained with bribes and large presents, yet he much affected the English, and was constant and faithful in performance of his promises and contracts, which they now find otherwise in this young King; nevertheless, considering they had a great estate in Persia, the Court was of opinion not to desert the trade altogether on the sudden but by degrees, until they may get their estate out of the country, and so ordered that there be a cessation of buying any more broad cloths, the 700 already bought being conceived sufficient for this year. And for the debt of 100,0002. at Surat the Court much admired, considering the great estate they had sent [Page 554] thither both by Capt. Weddell's fleet and Methwold himself, whereby to have extinguished the same, of which no part is yet returned, and therefore they believed there was a mere mistaking in Methwold's letter, or that they are extremely abused by their Factors, the certainty whereof they cannot know till the return of their accounts by the Mary, which may daily be expected, till when they cannot well resolve how to compose their business for those parts, hut the Court was generally of opinion to send but one ship and a pinnace this year for Surat, The providing of a ship for Coromandel and dispeeding her by Michaelmas considered, in which case she may serve for Bantam as well, but both this and the dissolving of their fort at Armagon left to further consideration. 4 pp. [Ct. Min. Bk., XV., 4-7.]
46. 1634, Oct. 3 610. Minutes of a General Court.
God for the safe arrival of the Mary, a ship double the value of the Exchange, lately returned which hath brought along with her some debate, forasmuch as the accounts are come home so imperfect, that after three or four days dispute the Committees still differ in opinion to whom the goods belong. He then reported the resolution of the Court of Committees abstracted in the preceding Court Minutes, and desired to know if the Generality can think of any other or better course. Capt. Milward then delivered his opinion as did Alderman Garwaie, Mr. Deputy, and Alderman Abdi. Their great debt in India of 100,OOOZ., but " which of these voyages owes it no man can tell"; the cause of these intricacies chiefly through the hand of God and the mortality of so many of their Factors and servants by means whereof their affairs have fallen into the hands of an undeserving man, who hath brought this confusion. After this had all been long argued and disputed, Mr. Governor put to the question whether the goods should be sold or not, which by erection of hands was generally consented to, reserving the pepper and rich indigo for division. In the next place Mr. Governor put to the question the several valuations of the three voyages, and it was ordered and agreed that the valuation of the first Persia voyage be 160?., the second ISO/., and the third 140/. per cent., and that the three Persia voyages be immediately turned over to said Third Joint Stock. And whereas the adventurers in the first voyage have already received their principal and 40/. per cent, profit, and in the second their principal and 501. per cent, profit, the third is now ordered to receive their principal, the remains and profits of said voyages are only for the second 20/. per cent., for the first 30/,, and 40/. percent, for the third. Ordered that this be paid to the adventurers of said [Page 573] three voyages, by the Third Joint Stock at year, year and .year from Christmas next, with liberty to put said pro fits into the Third Joint Stock as a further increase of their adventures; provided they declare their resolutions therein before the end of this month of October.
47. 1634, Nov.27 625. (The President, and Council at Surat) to Mr. Fremlen, &c. (up in the country).
Omitted through multiplicity of other thoughts and business to acquaint them more seasonably, that Crispin Blagden in respect of his language and knowledge in travel was inordered to accompany the caphila to Surat, but hope their own foresight has so appointed notwithstanding and that they have not deferred the caphila's dispeed in expectation of their resolutions, considering that 450 camels were already hired for the journey. Intend on notice of their dispeed, to send some English to meet them as far as Brampore, twixt which place and Surat the ways are most dangerous by reason of this direful famine