A New History of the East-Indies

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A New History of the East-Indies, published in the year 1754. It is written by Captain Cope. It gives an account of the East India Company’s various dealings with the Mughal court as well as the Indian way of life that the English officials come across. Not much is known about the author of this book. Captain Cope’s most notable work is A New History of the East-Indies. One gets to read about the trade between the East India Company and the Mughal courts. The officials also look at the daily life and customs of various Indians. So the idea of plenteousness and lack is looked at the same time. Primary Source Cope,Captain, A New History of the East- Indies,archive.org Suggested Reading Foster, William, Early Travels In India 1583-1619,archive.org

A NEW HISTORY OF THE EAST- INDIES. WITH BRIEF OBSERVATIONS ON THE Religion, Cuftoms, Manners and Trade of the Inhabitants. with a Description of all the Fort and Settlements of the Europeans, and the Trade carried on by the East India Company; with an Account of the Wars they have been engaged in from their first Settlement by Queen Elizabeth in the Year 1601, to the Present Time. With a MAP of the Country, and several other Copper- Plates, curiously engraved by the best Mailers. By CAPTAIN COPE

London. PUBLISHED FOR M. Cooper W. Reeve C. Sympson 1754

The Preface

[Page i]

DR. POTTER, the late learned Arch bishop of Canterbury, in his Antiquities of Greece, tells us, the ancient Atticans, were of Opinion, that in the Beginning of the World, Men and women, like Plants, were in the several Parts thereof, produced out of the fertile Womb of one common Mother, the Earth, by some strange prolific Virtue. This, though quite contrary to the Mosaic system, is nevertheless much more rational and creditable than the making all Men, every where, Spring from one Man only ; hence the Northern, &c. as well as the Eastern Nations might be, as they certainly were, peopled at one and the same Time. And in this there doth not appear the least Absurdity or Inconsistency, since that Almighty Power, which in Edenproduced the first Man and Woman, was equally capable of causing the Earth in every Part of it, Island as well as Continent, he thought proper, to produce therein also a first Man and Woman.

ANDtho' the ancient Fathers were not of this Opinion, yet they often in their Dissuasives to the People from the too eager Pursuit of Riches and in their Reflexions on [Page ii] the Hazards and Dangers of the Seas and long Journies assert, that Almighty God has in every Country and Nation, provided at Hand all Things necessary for the Support and Convenience of Life, and that whatever we want more is not absolutely necessary, but are the Inventions of Luxury and Vice.

THEStudy of Trade and Commerce therefore in the early Ages of Christianity gave Place to Religion and Devotion; and from hence it happened, that a vast Number of Monasteries and religious Houses were erected and endowed with large Estates in this and all other Parts of Christendom; but at length it pleased GOD, to expel the Darkness of Popish Superstition, the Worship of Images, blind Devotion, and implicit Faith, with all the Traditions and lying Wonders of defigning Men by the Introduction or Restoration of primitive Christianity under the Dispensation of Protestantism, which has not unfitly by some of our most learned Divines been stiled, the Beginning of Christ's Reign here-on Earth, prediced in the Revelation of St. John.

HENRYthe Eighth observing, that almost all Property was centered in the Hands of the Ecclesiasticks of his Time, and being justly weary of the Tyranny and Op pression of the See of Romediscovered the most effectual Manner to put an End to the Dominion and Hierarchy of the Church by felling and disposing of the Abby and sacred Lands, to the Laity, which produced this great Blessing that the new Nobility and Gentry created there by, would fight for their Property, and support his Su premacy.

TILLthe glorious Reign of Queen Elizabeth we made but an inconsiderable figure in commercial Affairs and it must be allowed, that the Discovery of the Indieshave greatly improved the Trade, Shipping, Naviga [Page iii] tion and Commerce of all theEuropeans. The Queen and her faithful Council sensible of the great Utility of a Trade to East India incorporated a Society of Merchants to carry it on by a Common Fund, who extended their Commerce to Arabia, India, Chinaarid Japan; to all which Parts they have from Time to Time exported considerable Quantities of our Manufactures, Besides which this Trade is one of the greatest Nurseries of Seamen, above Five Thousand whereof are continually employed in the Service of this Company.

WEyearly export to these Parts great Quantities of Bullion, Lead, Tin, all Sorts of our Cloths, especially Broad Cloths, Stuff's, Callimancoes, Long-Ells, &c. and in Return import, China-ware, Tea of all Sorts, Cabinets, Raw and Wrought Silk, Muslin, Callicoes, Cotton-Cloths, Coffee, Canes, Diamonds, Drugs of many Kinds, and Grocery Wares of various Sorts.

THISTrade has hitherto proved the most beneficial of all others to this Nation, and the government truly sensible thereof has with the utmost Expedition fitted out a Fleet to protect it from the daring Insults of the French, or of any other Power who should have the Effrontery to obstruct it [...]

[Page iv]

These considerations and the Importance of the East - India Trade induced me to draw up the following History thereof, with brief Observations on the Religion, Custom, Manners and Commerce of the Inhabitants, I shall therfore now leave the Reader to the Perusal of the ensuing Work, which, with how little Art soever it may be executed, will yet from the Importance of the Subject merit some Share of the public Attention.

1. A new History of the east indies.

[Page 57]

2. CHAP. III. The first Voyage of the Portuguese to India, in the Year One thousand four hundred and ninety-eight.

IN the Reign of Don Emanuel, King of Portugal, Vasco de Gama, his Admiral passed the Cape of Good Hope and arrived at Calicut in India, on the 19th of May, 1498, where he was opposed by the Moors or Arabians and Egyptians, who at that Time monopolized the Trade of that Coast, however, upon his Return to Europe, the Portuguese equipped a more considerable Fleet, and made themselves Masters of several Places on the Continent of India. And in one thousand five hundred and eleven, Albuquerque, the Portuguese General, took the Cities of Goa and Malacca, after which he sent Antonius Ambreus in Search of the Spice Islands, who coming to the Molucca's found the two Kings of Ternate and Tydore engaged in a War; most of the adjacent Islands being in an Alliance with the one or the other of them, and both of them courting the Friendship of the Portuguese, suffered them to build [Page 58] Forts in their Territories, and establish themselves there, as they did soon after at the Banda Islands, monopolizing the Trade both of Cloves and Nutmegs, the Produce of those Countries. They enjoyed the sole Trafick to the Molucca's and Banda, until the Year 1520, when Magellan, being employed by the Spaniards to discover a Way to India, by the West, passed the Straits in South America, which go by his Name, and arrived at the Philippines, where happening to be killed, John Sebastian del Cano took the Command upon him, and settled a Factory at the Clove Island of Tydore, and left one of his Ships there, while he returned in another to Spain, by the Way of the Cape of Good Hope, being the first Commander that ever surrounded the Globe; and as by Agreement between the two Nations, confirmed by the Pope, all the Discoveries Westward were allotted to Spain; as all the Eastward Discoveries were to Portugal, the Spaniards looked upon themselves now to be entitled to a Share in the Spice Trade [...]

THE Court of England neglected the Indian Trade, however, until the Year 1591, when the CaptainsLancaster, Kendal and Raymond were, in the latter End of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, sent on a trading Voyage [Page 59] thither. Captain Lancaster after, in one of the Ships, arrived in the Straits of Malacca, but lost his Ship in his Return home, and the other two never reached India.

THREE other ships were sent to China, commanded by Captain Wood, in the Year 1596, who carried a Letter from Queen Elizabeth to the Emperor of China ; but they all died in the Voyage thither except four, who were cast away on a little Island near Hispaniola, and were murthered by the People of the Island.

THESE Misfortunes did not discourage the Merchants of London from making another effort to begin a Trafick with the Indies ; they formed themselves therefore into a Company, and were incorporated by Queen Elizabeth, by a Charter dated the 30th of December, 43 Eliz. 1600 Mr. Thomas Smith, Alderman of London, being their first Governor.

Four Ships were thereupon equipped, having four hundred and eighty Men on board, and the Command of them given to Captain Lancaster, was constituted their Admiral, or General, as he was called ; the three other Ships were commanded by Captain John Middleton, Captain Brand and Captain Hayward [...]

[Page 70]

[...]In the midst of this Distress, viz. on the 27th of January, 1618, the Captain received an Express from Sir Thomas Dale, Commander of a strong Fleet of English Ships, informing him, that he was arrived at Bantam, and had defeated the Dutch Fleet, and compelled them to quit the Coast of Java; that he would speedily be with him at Banda, and oblige the Dutch to do the English Justice.

Ths Commodore, however, waited another full Year in Expectation of Succours, but received neither Intelligence or Supplies from Bantam or England. In this melancholy Situation, however, the Orancayas of Lantor, or Banda Proper repeated their Cession of that Island to the Crown of England; for the Dutch pretended they had made an entire Conquest of it. The Natives, however, often attacked them with Success [...]

3. CHAP. XII. Observations on the Empire of Persia, giving an Account of its Magnitude, the Reduction of Ormuse to the Obedience of Persiaby the Assistance of the En glish: Also of the late Revolution by Meriweys.

[Page 218]

[...]When the old King had a Mind to 'honour theEnglish Factory with a Visit, as I saw in a Letter from Mr. Bruce the Company's Agent, that he sometimes did, and one particularly in his Agency, he magnifies the Honour done to his Mailers, above what the Dutch could ever obtain. He relates how he and all the Factory, great and small, were ordered to leave their House, and Chamber Doors and Ware-houses all open, for his Majesty and his Seraglio Companions to ramble thro', and take such Things as best pleased him and his Minions ; and there was a Table left in the Dining-room, spread and furnished with the richest Sweet-meats and Fruits.

I believe the Company was not very ambitious of hav ing many such Honours conferred on them, since they were obliged to pay for them. And when the King has a Mind for some new Concubines, he issues out Orders for all Men and Youths to depart out from their Houses in the Street, that he is pleased to visit, and to leave all the Ladies in Possession till his Majesty surveys them ; and the Penalty of Disobedience is Death. He generally makes his Progress thro' the Armenian Quarters, because the fairest and most beautiful are amongst their Children.

THE Religion, by Law established for near eleven Ages, is Mahometan of the Sect of Alii, but the ancient Religion was Parsi, or Worshippers of the Sun and Fire. The Founder of it was Zoroaster, whom they still venerate. About the ninth Century of the Christian Aera, the Mahometan Zealots, according to the laudable Way of some Christians, raised a Perfection against the Parsis, whose wholesom Severities made many Profetytes ; but some ob stinate Rogues, who would not change for a worse, were: lawfully murdered, or obliged to run their Country, so that at present there are but few left in Persia, and those that are left, are protested by their Poverty and Habitations, which are in Deserts or Hills little frequented.

THERE are vast Numbers of Armenian Christians in Persia, whose Religion is tolerated. Their former Country of Armenia is now the Province of Erivan. There are many substantial Merchants of Armenians, who inhabit Julfar, a Town near Ispahan and they send Factors all over India [Page 219] to carry on Trade; and some come to Europe on that same Account.

The Mahometans in Persia, to encourage Profelytes to their Religion, have a Law, that if a Son of an Armenian turns Mahometan, all the Fathers's Estate becomes his, and all who continue Christians are excluded, which some times makes great Divisions and Alterations in a Family.

In Baptism they immerse, but do not sprinkle. The Priest must officiate in his facerdotal Garb, with a Crown on his Head, and must have two Assistants in holy Vestments also, but without Crowns. Their titulary Saint is St. Gregory of whom they tell many strange Stories but whether true or false I know not : But I am sure he has plagued them with Fast-days, for they fast one Half of the Year at least.

HAVING made what Observations I could of the Empire of Persia, I'll travel along the Sea-coast towards Industan, or the Great Mogul's Empire. All that Shore, from Jasques to Sindy is inhabited by uncivilized People, who admit of no Commerce with Strangers, tho Guaddel and Diul, two Sea-ports, did, about a Century ago, afford a good Trade.

[Page 227]

4. CHAP. XIV.Gives an Account of the ancient Kingdom of Guzerat, now a Province annext to the Mogul's Dominions its Situations, Product, Manners and Religion; with some Account of the Pirates that inhabit Part of it, and some Observations on Diu, a PortugueseCity on an Island appertaining to Guzerat.

THE next maritime Country to Sindy, is Guzerat. The Indus makes it an Island, by a Branch that runs into the Sea at the City of Cambaya. This Province, tho' Vassals to the Mogul, yet continue in their old Religion of Paganism, and, for the most Part , drive the old Trade of thieving and pirating, for they plunder all whom they can overcome, on both Elements : Nor can the Mogul restrain them, for their Country is secure from the Marches of Armies into it, by reason of the many Inlets of the Sea that overflow the low Grounds, and make it so soft and muddy, that there is no travelling but by little Boats, in many Places.

The first Town on the South Side of Indus is Cutch naggen. It admits of some Trade, and produces Cotton, Corn, coarse Cloth and Chonk, a Shell-fish in Shape of a Perriwinkle, but as large about as a Man's Arm above the Elbow. In Bengal they are faw'd into Rings for Or naments to Womens Arms, as those of Sindy wear Ivory. Rings. They are in Fashion in many Countries in India. The Province and Town of Cutchnaggen are governed by a Queen, who is very formidable to her neighbouring States,.The Reasons they give for choosing Governesses, are, that they'll be better advised by their Council than Men who, by too large a Share of Power and Honour placed on them, become obstinate in their Opinions, and insolent in their Behaviour ; But Ladies are esteemed complaisant and gentle.

The next Province in Cutchnaggen, is Sangania, which is also governed by a Princess, for the above Reasons. Their Sea-port is called Baet, very commodious and secure. They admit of no Trade, but practice Piracy.

[Page 228]

They give Protection to all Criminals, who deserve Punishment from the Hand of Justice. All Villains in the Countries about flock thither, and become honest Robbers, so that they are a Medley of Criminals, who flee their Country for Fear of condign Punishment due to their Crimes. This Province produces Cotton and Corn, as all the Kingdom of Guzerat does ; but they admit of no Trade in their Country, as I observed before, for Fear of being civilized by Example. I had several Skirmishes with them.

In the Year 1686, a small Ship of theirs, that mounted eight Guns, and well mann'd, was cruizing on the Coast of India, between Surat and Bombay, and the Phenix, an English Man of War of forty-two Guns, was bound for Surat. The Sanganian made towards her, and engaged her, but would fain have been gone again when they found their Mistake , but that was impossible. The Phenix sent her Boats, well mann'd, to try if they could make them yield, in order to save their Lives ; but they scorned Quarter, and killed and wounded many of the English, so that Captain Tyrrel, who commanded the Phoenix, was forced to run his lower Teer out, and sink them: And, after their Ship was sunk, and the Miscreants set a swimming, yet most of them refused Quarter; and only about seventy were taken alive.

In the Year 1717, they attackt a Ship called the Morning Star in her Passage between Gombroon and Surat. She was richly laden, which they were apprised of, and two Squadrons were fitted out from two different Ports, to way-lay her, and accordingly she fell in with eight Sail of those Pirates. One was a large Ship of near five hundred Tuns, and three others were Ships between two and three hundred Tuns, and the other four were Grabs, or Gallies, and Sheybars or half Gallies. They reckoned in all there were above two thousand Men in their Fleet, and the Morning Star but seventeen fighting Men, who were resolved to trust Providence, and fight for their Lives, Liberty and Estate. The first Attack was by the greatest Ship alone, but was soon obliged to sheer off again, with the Loss of some Men, and the Captain of the Morning Star was wounded in the Thigh, by a Lance darted at him [Page 229] that pierced his Thigh through and through. The Pirates were not discouraged by this first Repulse, but joined their Forces and Counsels together, and, after a Day's Respite and Consultation, they attack'd the Morning Star a second Time, the two largest Ships boarding, one on her Bow, and another on her Quarter, and three more boarded them two, and entred their Men over them. The Combat was warm for above four Hours, and the Morning Star had seven killed, and as many wounded ; but kind Providence assisted her. Whilst she was on Fire in three Places, and had burnt through her Poop and half Deck, she was disengaged of them, and left five of the largest so entangled with one another, that they could not pursue her. So she pursued her Voyage to Surat, but having no Surgeon on board, she called at Bombay, to get her wounded Men drest and cured. In the Time of the Combat, while the Pirates were on board of the Morning Star, twenty one Indian Seamen went on board of them, and twenty six Merchants had gone to them, to try if they could persuade them to take a Sum, and not put it on the Hazard of a Battle. All those they detained, and carried along with them, and made them pay above six thousand Pounds for their Ransom, who gave an Account after wards of great Slaughter done on the Pirates. And the Commodore loft his Head as soon as he landed, for letting so rich a Prize go out of his Hands.

In the Year 1698, one Captain Lavender, in the Ship Thomas, bound from Surat to Mocha, encountered four sail of those Freebooters, and fought them bravely; but they burnt the Ship and all her Crew, because he would not yield. They are very cruel to those they can master, if they make Resistance; but to those that yield without fighting, they are pretty civil.

The next Sea-port Town to Baet, is Jigat. It stands on a Point of low Land, called Cape Jigat. The City makes a good Figure from the Sea, shewing four or five high Steeples. It is the Seat of a Fouzdaar or Governor, for the Mogul. It is a Place of no Trade, and consequently little known to Strangers.

The next maritime Town is Mangaroul. It admits of Trade, and affords coarse Calicoes white and died, Wheat, [Page 230] Pulse and Butter for Export, and has a Market for Pepper, Sugar and Betlenut. It is inhabited by Banyans ; and wild Deer, Antelopes, and Peacocks are so familiar, that they come into the very Houses without Fear.

The next Place is Poremain a pretty large Town on the Sea-shore, and admits of Trade, producing the same Commodities as Mangaroul, and its Inhabitants are of the same Religion; but both Towns are obliged to keep Rasspouts to protect them from the Insults of the Sanganians.

Those Rasspouts are Natives of Guzerat, and are all Gentlemen of the Sword, and are well trained in the Art of killing. They, like the Switz, employ their Swords in the Service of those who give them best Pay. They seldom give or take Quarter, and when they go on an Expedition, they carry their Wives and Children in Carts and Wagons along with them, and if they meet with a Repulse, their Wives will never suffer Cohabitation till they can regain their lost Honour by some noble Exploit.

Diu is the next Port, and is the southermost Land on Guzerat. It is a small Island of three Miles long, and two broad, belonging to the Crown of Portugal. The City is pretty large, and fortified by an high Stone Wall, with Bastions at convenient Distances, well furnished with Cannon to flank it, and a deep Mote hewn out of an hard Rock, to defend it on the Land Side, which is about one third Part of the City. The other Parts are fortified by Nature, having the Ocean thick set with dangerous Rocks and high Cliffs, who forbid any Approaches on that Side, and a rapid deep River, that affords a good Harbour, on the North-east Side. The Harbour, is secured by two Castles, one large, that can bring above one hundred large Cannon to bear on the Mouth of the Harbour, to forbid Shipping Entrance without Leave. The other is but small, and is built irregularly on a Rock in the Middle of the River, and Chanels for Shipping to pass by it, within ten Yards of its Wall. It is made use of for a Magazine for Powder and other warlike Stores.

IT is one of the best built Cities, and best fortified by Nature and Art, that ever I saw in India, and its stately Buildings of free Stone and Marble, are sufficient Wit [Page 231] nesses of its ancient Grandeur and Opulency; but at present not above one fourth of the City is inhabited. It contains five or fix fine Churches, which are great Ornaments to the City, which stands on a rising Ground of an easy Ascent from the great Castle; and the Churches, being built wide from one another and standing gradually higher than one another, make the Visto from the Sea admirably pleasant, by shewing all their beautiful Fronts that Way. And within they are well decorated with Images and Paintings.

There is a Tradition, that the Portuguse circumvented the King of Guzerat, as Dido did the Africans, when they gave her Leave to build Carthage, by desiring no more Ground to build their Cities than could be circumscribed in an Ox's Hide, which having obtained, they cut it into a fine Thong of a great Length, and over-reach'd their Donors in the Measure of the Ground.

AFTER the City was built and fortified, it drew all the Trade from the King's Towns of Commerce thither, which made him heartily repent his Generosity ; and he made Proposals to the Portuguese to reimburse all the Charge and Expence they had been at, if they would restore that Island again, but he could never persuade them to that Bargain, and since fair Means would not do, he designed to try what might be obtained by Force, wherefore he railed a great Army, and besieged it, but was soon forced to draw off again with Lois, for the Portuguese large Cannon from their Walls disturbed and distres'd his Camp so that he found but little Safety for himself, and much less for his Host.

This City came to such an Height of Trade and Riches in the sixteenth Century, that it drew a very potent Enemy from the Red Sea; for, about the Year 1540, the Turks, designing to have a Footing in India,cast their Eyes on Diu, as being conveniently situated, and well fortified for their Purpose, so they came in a Fleet of Gallies and Transports twenty five thousand strong, from Aden; and landed on the West End of the Island, and laid Siege to the City ; but the Portuguese sent a Reinforcement from Goa, of twenty Sail, some of which were large Ships or Galleons, who carried heavy Metal, with which they [Page 232] battered the Turkish Fleet, being small Vesells, that many Turks were sunk, and the Bashaw was forced to make off with great Loss and Shame and leave their battering Artillery to the Portuguese for which Misfortune and Disgrace, he lost his Head when he returned to Aden.

But about the Year 1670, the Muskat Arabs had better Fortune, for they came with a Fleet of Trankies, and took an Opportunity to land in the Night, on the West End of the Island, without being discovered, and march'd silently close up to the Town, and, at Break of Day, when the Gates were opened, they entered without Resistance. The Alarm was soon spread over the Town, and happy was he who got first to the Castle Gates, but those who had heavy Heels were sacrificed to the Enemies Fury, who spared none, so in a Moment that fair rich City and Churches were left to the Mercy of the Arabs, who, for three Days, loaded their Vessels with rich Plunder.

BUT ,the Arabs, like a Parcel of unsanctified Rogues, made sad Havock on the Churches Trumpery, for, besides robbing them of all the sanctified Plate and Cash, they did not leave one Gold or Silver Image behind them, but carried all into Captivity, from whence they never returned.

HOWEVER, before the Arabs had done plundering, they, became secure and negligent, which the Governor having Notice of, proclaimed Freedom to all Slaves who would venture to sally out on the Enemy. Accordingly about four thousand Soldiers and Slaves made a Sally with Success, killing above one thousand Arabs, and made the rest flee from the Town, the Assailants losing but very few; and by that one Sally the Town was regained. The City still feels the dismal Effects of the Loss it then received. At present there are not above two hundred: Portuguese both in the Castle and City. The rest of its Inhabitants are Banyans of all Sorts [...]

[Page 233]

But if that Island were in the Hands of some industrious European Nation, it would be the best Mart Town on the Coast of India, for the River Indus being near Neighbours, both by Sindy and Cambay, those Commodities might be imported and exported to Advantage. And that Commerce has raised Surat.

ALL the Country between Diu and Dand Point, which is about thirty Leagues along Shore, admits of no Traffick, being inhabited by Freebooters, called Warrels, and often associate with theSanganians, in exercising Piracies and Depredations. They have no Cities, and their Villages are small. The best of them stands about sixty Miles to the Eastward of Diu, and is called Chance. It is built about a League within the Mouth of a River, which has a small Island lying athwart it, about two Miles into the Sea. The Island has good Springs of fresh Water, but no Inhabitants. In the Year 1716, the English went to burn that Village, and their pirating Vessels, but were unsuccessful in their Undertaking. The Warrels occupy all the Sea-coast as high as Goga, which lies about twelve Leagues within the Gulf of Cambay. And the Coast, from Dand Point to Goga, is very dangerous, being thick set with Rocks and Sand Banks ; and a rapid Tide runs amongst them of six or eight Miles in an Hour, in a Chanel that is twenty Fathoms Deep in some Places, which causes Anchoring to be dangerous also.

Goga is a pretty large Town, and has had some Mud Wall Fortifications, which still defend them from the Insults of their Neighbours the Coulies, who inhabit the North-east Side of Guzerat, and are as great Thieves by Land as their Brethren the Warrels and Sanganians arc by Sea : Nor is there any Land Army that can come into their Country to chastise them, for there are so many Rivulets made by Indus and the Sea, that are so soft and muddy at the Bottom, that there is neither Paslage for Men nor Horse to penetrate their Country, and their Towns are invironed with such thick Hedges of green Bamboos, which are not to be burned in a short Time, and the People so numerous and valiant, that it would be an hard Task to civilize them.

[Page 234]

Goga has some Trade, admitting Strangers to a free Commeroe in such Merchandize as are fit to be imported or exported to or from Guzerat. It has the Conveniency of an Harbour for the largest Ships, tho' they lie dry on soft Mud, at low Water, but the Tides rising four or five Fathoms perpendicular, afford Water enough at high Water. The Town is governed by an Officer from the Mogul, who commands about two hundred Men, who are kept there for a Guard to it.

5. CHAP. XV. Gives an Account of the Cities of Cambay, Baroach and Surat ; with several Occurrences that happened to them ; and of the Sea-coast from Damaan to Bombay.

[Page 235]

[...]THE next Town of Note for Commerce, is Baroach, a walled Town, standing on a rising Ground, on the Banks of the River Nerdaba. Formerly it was a Place of great Trade, but in Aurengzeb's Wars with his Brothers, about the Year 1660, this Town held out a great while against his Army. That Season proving a dry one, Aurengzeb's Folks suffered much for Want of fresh Water and Provisions, but at last he took it, and put all to the Sword that had borne Arms against him, and raised Part of the Walls, and pronounced a Curse on them that should repair them again. But the Sevajees Incursions made him order the Rebuilding them himself, and he christened it Suckabant, Or the dry City; but that new Name could not ef [Page 236] efface the old one, which it yet retains. It is now inhabited by Weavers, and such Mechanicks as manufacture Cotton Cloth. And theBaroach Bastas are famous through out all India, the Country producing the best Cotton in the World. This Town is also subordinate to Surat, and formerly the English and Dutch had Factories fettled there, but of late have withdrawn them.

Surat is the next Sea- port. It was built about the Year 1660, on the Banks of the River Tapta or Tappee, which being discommoded with Banks of Sand at Rannier, the then Mart Town on this River, the English removed about two Miles farther down the River, on the opposite Side near a Castle which had been built many Years before, to secure the Trade from the Insults of the Malabar Pirates, who used to lord it over all the Sea-coast between Cape Comerin and Cambay. In a little Time after the English had settled there, others followed their Example, so that in a few Years it became a large Town, but without Walls, and so it continued till about the aforesaid Year, that Rajah Sevajee, who had never submitted to the Mogul's Domination, came with an Army, and plundered it, except the European Factories, who stood on their Guard. Them he complimented with the Proffer of his Friendship, because perhaps he apprehended, that he could not plunder them without Bloodshed and Loss of Time. However he carried away a very great Booty, which made the Inhabitants petition Aurengzeb to secure them for the future, by a Wall round their Town, which Favour he granted, enclosing about four Miles to build their City in ; but Trade increasing, the Town was too small within the Walls to contain the People that came about Commerce, wherefore several large Suburbs were added to the City for the Conveniency of Mechanicks. The Wall was built of Brick, about eight Yards high, with round Bastions, two hundred Paces distant from one another, and each had five or six Cannon mounted on them. And the rich Men of the Town built many Summer-houses in the Fields, and planted Gardens about them, to solace themselves and Families in the Heats, which are pretty violent in April, May and June.

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THE City flourished in Trade till the Year 1689, that the English Company disturbed its Tranquillity by an unjust War they made on Surat, but pretended it was not with the Mogul, who had given them many Indulgences, which War I'll remark when I treat of Bombay but that War was ended in the Year 1689, neither to the Profit nor Honour of that East-India Company. In the Year 1695, Captain Evory a Pirate disturbed the Trade and Tranquillity of the Town with four small Ships, taking one of the Mogul's Ships, with a great Booty in Silver and Gold, and a Mahometan Lady, as I observed before on the Commerce of the Red-Sea and the Island of Madagascar. And since that Time this City has felt many Convulsions in its Trade [...]

[Page 241]

The Austerities of the Jougies are beyond Belief to those who have not been Eye-witnesses of them. Some stand on one Foot some Years, with their Arms tied to some Beam of an House, or Branch of a Tree over their Heads, and continue in that Posture, except when Nature calls for Exoneration, for others feed them whilst they stand. Their Arms in Time settle in that Posture, that ever after they become useless, and are not to be brought again into their natural Position. Some sit in the Sun-shine, with their Faces looking upwards, till they are incapable of altering the Posture of their Necks, their Gullet swelling almost as thick as their Heads ; and they also take no Sustenance with their own Hands. Others clinch their Fists, and tie them in that Posture, till their Finger Nails come through the Back of their Hands [...]

[Page 252]

6. CHAP. XVI Gives a Description of Bombay, with some historical Remarks on Wars, Government and Trade, till the Year 1687, when the Foundation of a War was laid, which proved the Ruin of the then English East IndiaCompany.

BOMBAY comes next in Course, an Island belonging to the Crown of England. It was a Part of Katharine of Portugal's Portion,, when she was married to Charles II. of Great Britain, in the year 1662. Its Ground is Steril, and not to improved; It has but little good Water on it, and the Air is somewhat unhealthful, which is chiefly imputed to their dunging their Cocoa-nut Trees with Buckshoe, a Sort of small Fishes which their Sea abounds in. They being laid to the Roots of the Trees, putrify, and cause a most unsavoury smell ; and in the Mornings there is generally seen a thick Fog among those Trees, that affects both the Brains and Lungs of Europeans, and breed Consumptions, Fevers, and Fluxes [...]

[Page 308]

The English Company were formerly so much respected at Calecut, that if any Debtor went into their Factory for Protestion, none durst presume to go there to disturb them ; but that Indulgence has been sometimes made an ill Use of, to the Detriment of English private Traders.

THEY have a good Way of arresting People for Debt, viz. There is a proper Person sent with a small Stick from the Judge, who is generally a Brahman and when that Person finds the Debtor, he draws a Circle round him with that Stick and charges him, in the King and Judge's Name, not to stir out of it till the Creditor is satisfied either by Payment or Surety; and it is no less than Death, for the Debtor to break Prison by going out of the Circle [...]

[Page 310]

THE first Europeans that settled in Couchin were the Portuguese, and there they built a fine City on the River's Side, about three Leagues from the Sea; but the Sea gaining on the Land yearly, it is not now above an hundred Paces from it. It Stands So pleasantly, that the Portuguese had a common Saying, that China was a Country to get Money in, and Couchin was a Place to spend it in ; for the great Numbers of Canals made by the Rivers and Islands, make Fishing and Fowling very diverting. And the Moun tains are well stored with wild Game [...]

[Page 313]

The Country produces great Quantities of Pepper, but lighter than that which grows more northerly. Their Woods afford good Teak for Building, and Angelique and Pawbeet for making large Chefts and Cabinets, which are [Page 314] carried all over the West Coasts of India. They have also Iron and Steel in Plenty, and Bees Wax for exporting. Their Seas afford them Abundance of good Fish of fereral Kinds, which, with those that are caught in their Rivers, make them very cheap [...]

[Page 318]

7. C H A P. XIX. Gives a short Description of Fort St. George, its first Settlement and Rise, its Situation and Sterility, and some Remarks on its Government, and the Actions of some of its Governors, with some Occurrences that happened to the EnglishFactory at Vizagapatam.

FORT St. George or Maderass; or, as the Natives call it, China Patam, is a Colony and City belonging to the English East-India Company, situated in one of the most incommodious Places I ever saw. It fronts the Sea, which continually rolls impetuously on its Shore more here than in any other Place on the Coast of Chormondel. The Foundation is in Sand, with a Salt-water River on its back Side, which obstructs all Springs of Fresh-Water from coming near the Town, so that they have no drinkable Water within a Mile of them, the Sea often threatening Destruction on one Side, and the River in the rainy Season Inundations on the other, the Sun from April to [Page 319] September scorching hot; and if the Sea- breezes did not moisten and cool the Air when they blow, the Place could not possibly be inhabited. The Reason why a Fort was built in that Place is not well accounted for, but Tradition says, that the Gentleman, who received his Orders to build a Fort on that Coast, about the Beginning of King Charles II's Reign after his Restoration, for protecting the Company's Trade, chose that Place to ruin the Portuguese Trade at St. Thomas. Others again alledge, and with more Probability, that the Gentleman aforefaid, which I take to be Sir William Langhorn, had a Mistress at St. Thomas he was so enamoured of, that made him build there, that their Interviews might be the more frequent and uninterrupted but whatever his Reasons were, it is very ill situated. The Soil about the City is so dry and sandy, that it bears no Corn and what Fruits, Roots and Herbage they have, are brought to Maturity by great Pains and much Trouble.

[Page 322]

V I Z A G A P AT AM, is regularly fortified with four little Bastions,and has about eighteen Guns mounted in it. It has the Advantage of a River, but a dangerous Bar to pass over before we get into it.The Country about affords Cotton Cloths, both coarse and fine, and the best Dureas or strip'd Muslins, in India; but the Factory is generally heart-sick for want of Money to refresh it [...]

This is a selection from the original text


export, law, religion, settlement, trade, war

Source text

Title: A New History of the East-Indies

Author: Captain Cope

Publication date: 1754

Edition: 1st Edition

Place of publication: London

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from images available at Internet Archive: http://archive.org.

Digital edition

Original author(s): Captain Cope

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) Tp
  • 2 ) Preface
  • 3 ) 57
  • 4 ) 58
  • 5 ) 59
  • 6 ) 70
  • 7 ) 218
  • 8 ) 219
  • 9 ) 227
  • 10 ) 228
  • 11 ) 229
  • 12 ) 230
  • 13 ) 231
  • 14 ) 232
  • 15 ) 233
  • 16 ) 234
  • 17 ) 235
  • 18 ) 236
  • 19 ) 237
  • 20 ) 241
  • 21 ) 252
  • 22 ) 308
  • 23 ) 310
  • 24 ) 313
  • 25 ) 314
  • 26 ) 318
  • 27 ) 319
  • 28 ) 322


Texts collected by: Ayesha Mukherjee, Amlan Das Gupta, Azarmi Dukht Safavi

Texts transcribed by: Muhammad Irshad Alam, Bonisha Bhattacharya, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Kahkashan Khalil, Sarbajit Mitra

Texts encoded by: Bonisha Bhattacharya, Shreya Bose, Lucy Corley, Kinshuk Das, Bedbyas Datta, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Sarbajit Mitra, Josh Monk, Reesoom Pal

Encoding checking by: Hannah Petrie, Gary Stringer, Charlotte Tupman

Genre: India > non-fiction prose > travel narratives and reports

For more information about the project, contact Dr Ayesha Mukherjee at the University of Exeter.