Early Travels In India 1583-1619

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Introductory notes

Early Travels In India 1583-1619, published in the year 1921. Edited by William Foster, C.I.E. It is a compilation of writings of various travellers to India at different time periods. William Jones was born in 1863.He did important work as a part of the archiving of the East India Company. He edited the thirteen volume The English Factories in India. He died in 1951. One of the most notable works that he had worked on is Early Travels In India 1583-1619. One gets to know of Anglo centric perspectives of various parts of India. Life beyond that of the Mughal courts is observed so one gets to know of both the abundance and scarcity in the sub-continent. Primary Source Foster, William, Early Travels In India 1583-1619,archive.org Suggested Reading Cope,Captain,A New History of the East- Indies,archive.org

Early Travels In India 1583-1619 Edited By William Foster, C.I.E.

. PUBLISHED BY Oxford University Press 1921
[The Mughal]

1. 1583-91 RALPH FITCH

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[...]Fitch's story of his experiences was first given to the world by Richard Hakluyt in the second (1598-1600) edition of his Principall Navigations (vol. ii, part i, p. 250). Considering the time covered by his wanderings and the many countries he visited, it is disappointingly brief ; but probably he kept no journal, and had therefore to rely mainly on his recollections. This, and possibly a distrust of his own literary abilities, may explain why he copied so closely the narrative of Cesar Federici, the Venetian merchant who, starting in 1563, travelled by way of Basra and Ormus to Goa, paid visits to Gujarat, Vijayanagar, and most of the Portuguese settlements on the coast of India, and then proceeded to Pegu, Malacca, &e., returning to Venice in 1581. His Viaggio was published there in 1587, and an English version by Thomas Hickock appeared in London the following year. Hakluyt has printed this translation in juxtaposition to Fitch's own account ; and a comparison shows that our English traveller, whenever his route coincided with that of Federici, followed almost slavishly the latter's wording. The narrative of another contemporary traveller, Gasparo Balbi, who was in Pegu about the same time as Fitch, may also have been accessible to our author, since it was published at Venice in 1590 ; but I can find no convincing evidence that he made use of it.

In 1625 the Rev. Samuel Purchas reprinted the story (with one short omission) in his famous Purchas His Pilgrimes (part ii, book x, chap. 6), and a similar compliment has been paid to it in several other collections of travels, both English and foreign. A special volume was devoted to the subject in 1899 by Mr. J. Horton Ryley, entitled Ralph Fitch : England's Pioneer to India, containing the traveller's narrative and letters, together with a number of related documents. Though Mr. Ryley's work affords some useful information regarding the historical setting of Fitch's journey, it is weak on the geographical side ; but, apart from this, no excuse is necessary for repeating in the present work a narrative of such absorbing interest. The text followed is that given by Hakluyt [...]


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[...]Birra [Bir, or Birijik] is a little towne, but very plentifull of victuals ; and neere to the wall of the towne runneth the river of Euphrates. Here we bought a boate and agreed with a master and bargemen, for to go to Babylon. These boats be but for one voiage ; for the streame doth runne so fast downewardes that they cannot returne. They carie you to a towne which they call Felugia [Feluja], and there you sell the boate for a litle money, for that which cost you fiftie at Birra you sell there for seven or eight. From Birra to Felugia is sixteene dayes journey. It is not good that one boate goe alone, for if it should chance to breake, you should have much a doe to save your goods from the Arabians, which be alwayes there abouts robbing ; and in the night, when your boates be made fast, it is necessarie that you keepe good watch, for the Arabians that bee theeves will come swimming and steale your goods and flee away, against which a gunne is very good, for they doe feare it very much. In the river of Euphrates from Birra to Felugia there be certaine places where you pay custome, so many medines for a some or camels lading, and certaine raysons and sope, which is for the sonnes of Aborise, which is lord of the Arabians and all that great desert, and hath some villages upon the river. Felugia, where you unlade your goods which come from Birra, is a little village ; from whence you goe to Babylon in a day. Babylon [Bagdad] is a towne not very great but very populous, and of great traffike of strangers, for that it is the [Page 10] way to Persia, Turkia and Arabia ; and from thence doe goe carovans for these and other places. Here are great store of victuals, which come from Armenia downe the river of Tygris. They arc brought upon raftes made of goates skinnes blowne full of winde and hordes layde upon them ; and thereupon they lade their goods, which are brought downe to Babylon ; which being discharged, they open their skinnes, and carry them backe by camels, to serve another time. Babylon in times past did belong to the kingdome of Persia, but nowe is subject to the Turke. Over against Babylon there is a very faire village, from whence you passe to Babylon upon a long bridge made of boats, and tyed to a great chaine of yron, which is made fast on either side of the river. When any boates are to passe up or downe the river, they take away certaine of the boates untill they be past.

The Tower of Babel is built on this side the river Tygris, towardes Arabia from the towne about seven or eight miles ; which tower is ruinated on all sides, and with the fall thereof hath made as it were a litle mountaine, so that it hath no shape at all. It was made of brickes dried in the sonne, and certaine canes and leaves of the palme tree layed betwixt the brickes. There is no entrance to be scene to goe into it. It doth stand upon a great plaine betwixt the rivers of Euphrates and Tygris.

By the river Euphrates, two dayes journey from Babylon, at a place called Ait [Hit], in a fielde neere unto it, is a strange thing to see—a mouth that doth continually throwe foorth against the ayre boyling pitch with a filthy smoke ; which pitch doth runne abroad into a great fielde which is alwayes full thereof. The Moores say that it is the mouth of hell. By reason of the great quantitie of it, the men of that countrey doe pitch their boates two or three inches thicke on the out side, so that no water doth enter into them. Their boates be called Dance [danak]. When there is great store of water in Tygris, you may goe from Babylon to Basora in 8 or 9 dayes ; if there be small store, it will cost you the more dayes.

Basora in times past was under the Arabians, but now is subject to the Turke. But some of them the Turke cannot [Page 11] subdue, for that they holde certaine ilandes in the river Euphrates which the Turke cannot winne of them. They be theeves all, and have no setled dwelling, but remove from place to place with their camels, goates, and horses, wives and children, and all. They have large blew gownes ; their wives eares and noses are ringed very full of rings of copper and silver, and they weare rings of copper about their legs. Basora standeth neere the Gulfe of Persia, and is a towne of great trade of spices and drugges, which come from Ormus. Also there is great store of wheate, ryee, and dates growing thereabout, wherewith they serve Babylon and all the countrey, Ormus, and all the partes of India. I went from Basora to Ormus downe the Gulfe of Persia in a certaine shippe made of boordes and sowed together with cayro [coir], which is threede made of the huske of cocoes, and certaine canes or strawe leaves sowed upon the seames of the hordes ; which is the cause that they leake very much. And so, having Persia alwayes on the left hande, and the coast of Arabia on the right hande, we passed many ilandes, and among others the famous ilande Baharim [Bahrein], from whence come the best pearles, which be round and orient.

Ormus is an island in circuit about five and twentie or thirtie miles, and is the driest island in the world, for there is nothing growing in it but onely salt ; for their water, wood, or victuals, and all things necessary come out of Persia, which is about twelve miles from thence. All the Hands thereabout be very fruitfull, from whence all kinde of victuals are sent unto Ormus. The Portugales have a castle here, which standeth neere unto the sea, wherein there is a Captaine for the king of Portugale, having under him a convenient number of souldiers, wherof some part remaine in the castle and some in the towne [...][Page 12] The first citie of India that we arrived at upon the fist of November, after we had passed the coast of Zindi [Sind], is called Diu, which standeth in an iland in the kingdome of Cambaia, and is the strongest towne that the Portugales have in those partes. It is but litle, but well stored with marchan- dise; for here they lade many great shippes with diverse commodities for the streits of Mecca, for Ormus, and other places, and these be shippes of the Moores and of Christians. But the Moores cannot passe, except they have a passeport from the Portugales. Cambaietta [Khanibayat or Cambay] is the chiefe citie of that province, which is great and very populous, and fairely builded for a towne of the Gentiles ; but if there happen any famine, the people will sell their children for very little. The last king of Cambaia was Sultan Badu, which was killed at the siege of Diu, and shortly after [Page 13] his citie was taken by the Great Mogor, which is the king of Agra and of Delli, which are fortie dayes journey from the country of Cambaia. Here the women weare upon their amies infinite numbers of rings made of elephants teeth, wherein they take so much delight that they had rather be without their meate then witliout their bracelets. Going from Diu, we come to Daman, the second towne of the Portugales in the coimtrey of Cambaia, which is distant from Diu fortie leagues. Here is no trade but of corne and rice. They have many villages under them which they quietly possesse in time of peace, but in time of warre the enemie is maister of them. From thence we passed by Basaim [Bassein], and from Basaini to Tana [Thana], at both which places is small trade but only of corne and rice. The tenth of November we arrived at Chaul, which standeth in the flrme land. There be two townes, the one belonging to the Portugales and the other to the Moores. That of the Portugales is neerest to the sea, and commaundeth the bay, and is walled round about. A little above that is the towne of the Moores, which is governed by a Moore king called Xa-Maluco. Here is great traffike for all sortes of spices and drugges, silke, and cloth of silke, sandales [sandalwood], elephants teeth, and much China worke, and much sugar which is made of the nutte called Gagara. The tree is called the palmer [Port. palmeiro], which is the profitablest tree in the worlde. It doth alwayes beare fruit, and doth yeeld wine, oyle, sugar, vineger, cordes, coles ; of the leaves are made thatch for the houses, sayles for shippes, mats to sit or lie on ; of the branches they make their houses, and broomes to sweepe ; of the tree wood for shippes. The wine doeth issue out of the toppe of the tree. They cut a branch of a bowe and binde it hard, and hange an earthen pot upon it, which they emptie every morning and every evening, and still it and put in certaine [Page 14] dried raysins, and it becommeth very strong wine in short time. Hither many shippes come from all partes of India, Ormus, and many from Mecca ; heere be manic Moores and Gentiles. They have a very strange order among them. They worshippe a cowe, and esteeme much of the cowes doung to paint the walles of their houses. They will kill nolhing, not so much as a louse ; for they holde it a sinne to kill any thing. They eate no flesh, but live by rootes and ryec and milke. And when the husbande dieth, his wife is burned with him, if shee be alive ; if shee will not, her head is shaven, and then is never any account made of her after. They say if they should be buried, it were a great sinne, for of their bodies there would come many wormes and other vermine, and when their bodies were consumed, those wormes would lacke sustenance, which were a sinne ; therefore they will be burned. In Cambaia they will kill nothing, nor have any thing killed ; in the towne they have hospitals to keepe lame dogs and cats, and for birds. They will give meat to the ants.

Goa is the most principal citie which the Portugals have in India, wherin the Viceroy remaineth with his court. It standeth in an iland, which may be 25 or 30 miles about. It is a fine citie, and for an Indian towne very faire. The iland is very faire, full of orchards and gardens, and many palmer trees, and hath some villages. Here bee many marchants of all nations. And the fleete which commeth every yeere from Portugal, which be foure, five, or sixe great shippes, commeth first hither. And they come for the most part in September, and remaine there fortie or fiftie dayes ; and then goe to Cochin, where they lade their pepper for Portugall. Oftentimes they lade one in Goa ; the rest goe to Cochin, which is from goa an hundred leagues southward. Goa standeth in the countrey of Hidalcan, who lieth in the countrey sixe or seven dayes journey. His chiefe citie is called Bisapor. At our comming we were cast into the prison, and examined before the Justice and demanded for letters, and were charged to be spies, but they could proove nothing by us. We continued in prison untill the two and twentie of December, and then we were set at libertie, putting in sureties for two thousand [Page 15] duckats not to depart the towne ; which sureties Father Stevens, an English Jesuite which we found there, and another religious man, a friend of his, procured for us. Our sureties name was Andreas Taborer, to whom we paid 2,150 duckats, and still he demaunded more : whereupon we made sute to the Viceroy and Justice to have our money againe, considering that they had had it in their hands neere five moneths and could proove nothing against us. The Viceroy made us a very sharpe answere, and sayd wee should be better sifted before it were long, and that they had further matter against us. Whereupon we presently determined rather to seeke our liberties, then to bee in danger for ever to be slaves in the country, for it was told us we should have the strapado. Wherupon presently, the fist day of April 1585 in the morning, we ranne from thence. And being set over the river, we went two dayes on foote, not without feare, not knowing the way nor having any guide, for we durst trust none. One of the first townes which we came unto is called Bellergan [Belgaum], where there is a great market kept of diamants, rubies, saphires, and many other soft stones. From Bellergan we went to Bisapor, which is a very great towne where the king doeth keepe his court. Hee hath many Gentiles in his court, and they bee great idolaters. And they have their idols standing in the woods, which they call Pagodes. Some bee like a cowe, some like a monkie, some like buffles, some like peacockes, and some like the devill. Here be very many elephants which they goe to warre withall. Here they have good store of gold and silver. Their houses are of stone, very faire and high. From hence wee went for Gulconda, the king whereof is called Cutup de lashach. Here and in the kingdome of Hidalcan, and in the countrey of the king of Decan [Ahmadnagar], bee the diamants found of the olde water. It is a very faire [Page 16] towne, pleasant, with faire houses of brieke and timber. It aboundeth with great store of fruitcs and fresh water. Here the men and the women do go with a cloth bound about their middles, without any more apparell. We found it here very hote. The winter beginneth here about the last of May. In these partes is a porte or haven called Masulipatan, which standeth eight dayes journey from hence toward the Gulfe of Bengala, whether come many shippes out of India, Pegu, and Sumatra, very richly laden with pepper, spices, and other commodities. The countrie is very good and fruitfull.

From thence [i. e. from Golconda] I went to Servidore, which is a fine countrey, and the king is called the King of Bread. The houses here bee all thatched and made of lome. Here be many Moores and Gentiles, but there is small religion among them. From thence I went to Bellapore, and so to Barrampore, which is in the country of Zelabdim Echebar [Jalaluddin Akbar]. In this place their moncy is made of a kind of silver, round and thicke, to the value of twentie pence, which is very good silver. It is marvellous great and a populous countrey. In their winter, which is in June, July, and August, there is no passing in the streetes but with horses, the waters be so high. The houses are made of lome and thatched. Here is great store of cotton cloth made, and painted clothes of cotton wooll. Here groweth great store of corne and rice [...] [Page 17] [...]Agra is a very great citie and populous, built with stone, having faire and large streetes, with a faire river running by it, which falleth into the Gulfe of Bengala. It hath a faire castle and a strong, with a very faire ditch. Here bee many Moores and Gentiles. The king is called Zelabdim Echebar ; the people for the most part call him the Great Mogor. From thence we went for Fatepore [Fatehpur Sikri], which is the place where the king kept his court. The towne is greater then Agra, but the houses and streetes be not so faire. Here dwell many people, both Moores and Gentiles. The king hath in Agra and Fatepore (as they doe credibly report) 1,000 elephants, thirtie thousand horses, 1,400 tame deere, 800 concubines : such store of ounces, tigers, bussles, cocks, and haukes, that is very strange to see. He keepeth a great court, which they call Dericcan. Agra and Fatepore are two very great cities, [Page 18] either of them much greater then London and very populous. Betweene Agra and Fatepore are 12 miles, and all the way is a market of victuals and other things, as full as though a man were still in a towne, and so many people as if a man were in a market. They have many fine cartes, and many of them carved and gilded with gold, with two wheeles, which be drawen with two litle buls about the bignesse of our great dogs in England, and they will runne with any horse, and carie two or three men in one of these cartes ; they are covered with silke or very fine cloth, and be used here as our coches be in England. Hither is great resort of marchants from Persia and out of India, and very much marchandise of silke and cloth, and of precious stones, both rubies, diamants, and pearles. The king is apparelled in a white cabie [i.e. a muslin tunic] made like a shirt tied with strings on the one side, and a litle cloth on his head coloured oftentimes with red or yealow. None come into his house but his eunuches which keepe his women. Here in Fatepore wc staied all three untill the 28 of September 1585, and then Master John Newberie tooke his journey toward the citie of Lahor, determining from thence to goe for Persia and then for Aleppo or Constantinople (whether hee could get soonest passage unto) ; and directed me to goe for Bengala and for Pegu, and did promise me, if it pleased God, to meete me in Bengala within two yeeres with a shippe out of England. I left William Leades the jeweller in service with the king Zelabdim Echebar in Fatepore, who did entertaine him very well, and gave him an house and five slaves, an horse, and every day sixe S. S. [shillings] in money.

I went from Agra to Satagam in Bengala, in the companie of one hundred and fourescore boates laden with salt, opium, hinge [asafetida : Hindustani hing], lead, carpets, and divers other commodities, downe the river Jemena [...] [Page 19] [...] From Agra I came to Prage [Prayaga, now Allahabad], where the river Jemena entreth into the mightie river Ganges, and Jemena looseth his name. Ganges commeth out of the northwest, and runneth east into the Gulfe of Bengala, In those parts there are many tigers and many partriges and turtle-doves, and much other foule [...] [Page 23] [...] From Bannaras I went to Patenaw [Patna] downe the river of Ganges ; where in the way we passed many faire townes, and a countrey very fruitfull; and many very great rivers doe enter into Ganges, and some of them as great as Ganges, which cause Ganges to bee of a great breadth, and so broad that in the time of raine you cannot see from one side to the other. These Indians when they bee scorched and throwen into the water, the men swimme with their faces downewards, the women with their faces upwards [...] [Page 24] [...]From Patanaw I went to Tanda, which is in the land of Gouren [Gaur]. It hath in times past bene a kingdom, but now is subdued by Zelabdim Echebar. Great trade and traffique is here of cotton and of cloth of cotton. The people goe naked, with a litle cloth bound about their waste. It standeth in the countrey of Bengala. Here be many tigers, wild bufs, and great store of wilde foule : they are very great idolaters. Tanda standeth from the river Ganges a league, because in times past the river, flowing over the bankes, in time of raine did drowne the countrey and many villages, and so they do remaine. And the old way which the river Ganges was woont to run remaineth drie, which is the occasion that the citie doeth stand so farre from the water. From Agra downe the river Jemena, and downe the river Ganges, I was five moneths comming to Bengala ; but it may be sailed in much shorter time.

I went from Bengala into the country of Couche, which [Page 25] lieth 25 dayes journy northwards from Tanda, The king is a Gentile ; his name is Suckel Counse. His countrey is great, and lieth not far from Cauchin China ; for they say they have pepper from thence. The port is called Cacchegate. All the countrie is set with bambos or canes made sharpe at both the endes and driven into the earth, and they can let in the water and drowne the ground above knee deepe, so that men nor horses can passe. They poison all the waters if any wars be. Here they have much silkeand muske, and cloth made of cotton. The people have eares which be marvellous great of a span long, which they draw out in length by devises when they be yong. Here they be all Gentiles, and they will kil nothing. They have hospitals for sheepe, goates, dogs, cats, birds, and for all other living creatures. When they be old and lame, they keepe them until they die. If a man catch or buy any quicke thing in other places and bring it thither, they wil give him mony for it or other victuals, and keepe it in their hospitals or let it go. They wil give meat to the ants. Their smal mony is almonds, which oftentimes they use to eat.

From thence I returned to Hugeli, which is the place where the Portugals keep in the country of Bengala ; which standeth in 23 degrees of northerly latitude, and standeth a league from Satagan ; they cal it Porto Piqueno. We went through the wildernes, because the right way was full of thieves ; where we passed the countrey of Gouren, where we found but few villages, but almost all wildernes, and saw many bulles, swine and deere, grasse longer then a man, and very many tigers. Not far from Porto Piqueno south-westward, standeth an haven which is called Angeli, in the countrey of Orixa. It [Page 26] was a kingdom of it selfe, and the king was a great friend to strangers. Afterwards it was taken by the king of Patan, which was their neighbour, but he did not enjoy it long, but was taken by Zelabdim Echebar, which is king of Agra, Delli, and Cambaia. Orixa standeth 6 daies Journey from Satagan, southwestward. In this place is very much rice, and cloth made of cotton, and great store of cloth which is made of grasse, which they call Yerva; it is like a silke. They make good cloth of it, which they send for India and divers other places [...] [Page 28] [...]From Bacola I went to Serrepore which standeth upon the river of Ganges. The king is called Chondery. They be all hereabout rebels against their king Zelabdim Eehebar ; for here are so many rivers and ilands, that they flee from one to another, whereby his horsemen cannot prevaile against them. Great store of cotton cloth is made here.

Sinnergan is a towne sixe leagues from Serrepore, where there is the best and finest cloth made of cotton that is in all India. The chiefe king of all these countries is called Isaean, and he is chiefe of all the other kings, and is a great friend to all Christians. The houses here, as they be in the most part of India, are very litle, and covered with strawe, and have a fewe mats round about the wals, and the doore to keepe out the tygers and the foxes. Many of the people are very rich. Here they will eate no flesh, nor kill no beast ; they live of rice, milke, and fruits. They goe with a litle cloth before them, and all the rest of their bodies is naked. Great store of cotton cloth goeth from hence, and much rice, wherewith they serve all India, Ceilon, Pegu, Malacca, Sumatra, and many other places [...] [Page 46] [...] The pepper groweth in many parts of India, especially about Cochin ; and much of it doeth grow in the fields among the bushes without any labour, and when it is ripe they go and gather it. The shrubbe is like unto our ivy tree ; and if it did not run about some tree or pole, it would fall downe and rot. When they first gather it, it is grcene ; and then they lay it in the sun, and it becommeth blaeke. The ginger groweth like unto our garlike, and the root is the ginger. It is to be found in many parts of India. The cloves doe come from the iles of the Moluccoes, which be divers ilands. Their tree is like to our bay tree. The nutmegs and maces grow together, and come from the ile of Banda. The tree is like to our walnut tree, but somewhat lesser. The white sandol is wood very sweet and in great request among the Indians ; for they grinde it with a litle water, and anoynt their bodies therewith. It commeth from the isle of Timor. Camphora is a precious thing among the Indians, and is solde dearer then golde. I thinke none of it commeth for Christendome. That which is compounded commeth from China ; but that which groweth in canes, and is the best, commeth from the great isle of Borneo. Lignum aloes commeth from Cauchinchina. The benjamin commeth out of the countreys of Siam and Jangomes. The long pepper groweth in Bengala, in Pegu, and in the ilands of the Javas. The muske commeth out of Tartaric, and is made after this order, by report of the marchants which bring it to Pegu to sell. In Tartarie there is a little beast like unto a yong roe, which they take in snares, and beat him to death with the blood ; after that they cut out the bones, and beat [Page 47] the flesh with the blood very small, and fill the skin with it ; and hereof commeth the muske. Of the amber [[ambergris ?]] they holde divers opinions ; but most men say it commeth out of the sea, and that they finde it upon the shores side. The rubies, saphires, and spinelles are found in Pegu. The diamants are found in divers places, as in Bisnagar, in Agra, in Belli, and in the ilands of the Javas. The best pearles come from the iland of Baharim in the Persian sea, the woorser from the Piscaria neere the isle of Ceylon, and from Aynam [Hai-nan] a great iland on the southermost coast of China. Spodium and many other kindes of drugs come from Cambaia [...]

3. 1599-1606 JOHN MILDENHALL

NEARLY twenty years after the visit of Ralph Fitch and his companions to the court of tlie Great Mogul, another Englishman presented himself there, craving privileges of trade on behalf of himself and his fellow-coumtrymen. This was John Mildenhall or Midnall, whose experiences are narrated in the two documents printed below, the first of which is a summary of his journey from London to Kandahar, while the second is a letter [...] giving an account of his transactions in India and of his return journey as far as Kazvin in Persia [...] [Page 52] [...] The two documents here printed are taken from Purchas His Pilgrimes, part i, book iii, chap. 1, § 3. They were found by Purchas among the papers of Richard Hakluyt, who may have obtained them from Staper. In the foregoing account of Mildenhall's career I have drawn freely on an article of my own published in The Gentleman's Magazine of August 1906, supplementing this from later information.


The twelfth of February, in the yeere of our Lord God 1599, I, John Mildenhall of London, merchant, tooke upon me a voyage from London towards the East-Indies, in the good ship called the Hector of London, Richard Parsons being [Page 53] master, which carried a present to the Grand Seigneur in the same voyage. The seven and twentieth of April, 1599, we arrived at Zante, where I frighted a satea [Ital. sacttia, a swift sailing vessel] and went into the island of Cio [Scio], from thence to Smyrna, and from thence to Constantinople, where I arrived the nine and twentieth of October, 1599 ; and there I staied about my merchandize till the first of May, 1600, Sir Henry Lillo beeing then Embassador ; upon which day I passed from Constantinople to Seanderone [Iskanderun, now Alexandretta] in Asia, where, in company of a chaus and some sixe other Turkes, I tooke my voyage for Aleppo overland and arrived in Aleppo the foure and twentieth day of the said May in safetie, without any trouble or molestation by the way, and there abode two and fortie dayes, finding there Master Richard Coulthrust for Consull. And the seventh of July, 1600, I departed from Aleppo, in companie with many other nations, as Armenians, Persians, Turkes, and divers others, to the number of sixe hundred people in our carravan, and onely of English Master John Cartwright, Preacher ; from whence we went to Bir, which is within three dayes journey and stands upon the edge of the river Euphrates. From thence we went to Urfa, which is five dayes journey, which we found very hot. From thence we went to Caraemit [Diarbekr], which is foure dayes journey. From thence to Bitelis, a city under the government of a nation called the Courdes [Kurds] yet under the subjection of Constantinople, which is seven dayes journy ; and from thence to Van, which is three dayes journy from Bitelis ; a city of great strength, and by the side of the castle is a great lake of salt water, navigable, and is in compasse nine dayes journey about, which I my selfe have rowed round about. And once a yeere, at the comming down of the snow waters from the mountaines, [Page 54] there is abundance of fish, which come of themselves to one end of the hike ; which I may compare to our herring-time at Yermouth, where the countrey-people doe resort from divers places and catch the said fish in great abundance, which they salt and dry and keepe them all the yeare for their food ; the fish are as big as pilcherds. From thence we went to Naeshian, which is sixe dayes journey ; and from Naeshian to Chiulfal, which is halfe a dayes journey ; and there we stayed eighteene dayes. From thence we went to Sultania [Sultanich], and from thence to Casbin [Kazvin] in Persia, which is fifteene dayes journey, and there we abode thirty dayes. From thence to Com [Kum], which is three dayes journey ; from thence we went to Cashan [Kashan], which was seven dayes journey. From thence Master Cartwright departed from us and went to Spauhoan [Ispahan], the chiefe citie in Persia. From Cashan to Yesd, which is tenne dayes journey. From thence I went to Curman [Kerman], which is tenne dayes journey ; and from thence to Sigistam, which is foureteene daies journey ; and from thence to Candahar, which is also foureteene dayes journey [...]


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[...]Surat, situated on the left bank of that river, about 14 miles from its mouth, was now one of the chief ports of India, and the centre of trade with the Red Sea. The harbour of its more northerly rival, Cambay, was fast silting up, and sea-going ships of any size could no longer lade there, but had to embark their goods from lighters at Gogha, on the opposite side of the Gulf [Page 63] of Cambay. Surat possessed the further advantage that vessels frequenting it were spared the voyage up that dangerous gulf, which was full of sandbanks ; but, on the other hand, the only roadstead available for ships of any size was the exposed anchorage outside the bar at the mouth of the river, and this was safe merely during the period of fair weather. For customs purposes it was under the control of a certain Mukarrab Khan, who was also in charge of the port of Cambay—the customs of Gujarat going thus directly into the royal treasury. This individual was a great favourite with the reigning Emperor Jahangir (the son of Akbar, whom he had succeeded in 1605), having won his regard by his skill in surgery and by his usefulness in the field sports to which that monarch was so much addicted. This esteem Mukarrab Khan took care to maintain by seeking out and presenting curiosities of all sorts, and it was doubtless for such purposes that he had obtained charge of the Gujarat ports, where the trade carried on with the Portuguese gave him many opportunities of acquiring rarities of every description. In these circumstances the arrival of a ship belonging to an unfamiliar European nation was naturally of great interest to him, and he quickly dispatcned his brother to Surat to examine the cargo, himself following a little later. In the meantime Hawkins prepared for the further voyage of the Hector by buying goods suitable for Bantam, much to the annoyance of the Surat merchants trading to those parts, who feared the competition of the new-comers. Hawkins himself had decided to remain behind and proceed to Agra with King James's letters ; so he handed over the command of the ship to Anthony Marlow (one of the merchants who had come with him) and sent him down the river with the goods in two boats, manned by about thirty men. On their way they were attacked by some Portuguese frigates and many of their number, with all the goods, were captured. Hawkins at once demanded their restitution, but was answered only with insults and a declaration that the Indian seas belonged exclusively to Portugal. The captives were sent to Goa and thence to Lisbon ; while the merchandise was confiscated. On October 5 the Hector departed for Bantam, leaving Hawkins with only William Finch and two English servants. [Page 70] [...]Hawkins's story should be read in conjunction with the narrative of William Finch, which supplements it in many ways. It is a characteristic production and gives a vivid idea of the writer—enterprising and resourceful, but somewhat arrogant and blustering. Upon his contemporaries he made an impression not altogether favourable. Finch quarrelled with him ; Jourdain, as we have seen, gives rather a hostile account of his behaviour, and declares that his promises weare of little force, for he was very fickle in his resolucion, as alsoe in his religion ' {Journal, p. 162) ; and Roe, though he did not know him personally, wrote of him : ' For Hawkings, I fynd him a vayne foole ' (British Museum, Addl. MSS., no. 6115, f. 148). But, at all events, we owe to him a most valuable account of the Court of the Emperor Jahanglr, second only to that given by Roe himself ; while his picturesque account of his adventures has an interest which is all its own.


At my arrivall unto the bar of Surat, being the foure and twentieth of August, 1608, I presently sent unto Surat Francis Buck, merchant, with two others, to make knownc unto the Governour that the King of England had sent me as his embassadour unto his king, with his letter and present. I received the Governours answere, both by them and three [Page 71] of his servants sent me from Surat, that he and what the countrey affoorded was at my command, and that I should be very welcome if I would vouchsafe to come on shore. I went, accompanied with my merchants and others, in the best manner I could, befitting for the honour of my king and country. At my comming on shore, after their barbarous manner I was kindly received, and multitudes of people following me, all desirous to see a new come people, much nominated but never came in their parts. As I was neere the Governors house, word was brought me that he was not well ; but I thinke rather drunke with affion [Hind, afiyun, opium] or opion, being an aged man. So I went unto the Chiefe Customer, which was the onely man that seafaring causes belonged unto (for the government of Surat belonged unto two great noblemen, the one being Viceroy of Decan, named Chanchana, the other Viceroy of Cambaya and Surat, named Mocreb-chan, but in Surat hee had no command, save onely over the Kings customes), who was the onely man I was to deale withall. After many complements done with this Chiefe Customer, I told him that my comming was to establish and settle a factory in Surat, and that I had a letter for his king from His Majesty of England tending to the same purpose, who is desirous to have league and amitie with his king, in that kind that his subjects might freely goe and come, sell and buy, as the custome of all nations is ; and that my ship was laden with the commodities of our land which, by intelligence of former travellers, were vendible for these parts. His answere was that he would dispatch a foot-man for Cambaya unto the nobleman his master, for of himselfe he could doe nothing without his order. So taking my leave, I departed to my lodging appointed for mee, which was at the custome-house. [Page 72] [...]It was twentie daies ere the answer came, by reason of the great waters and raines that men could not passe. In this time the merchants, many of them very friendly, feasted me, when it was faire weather that I could get out of doores ; for there fell a great raine, continuing almost the time the messengers were absent, who at the end of twenty daies brought answer from Mocrebehan with licence to land my goods and buy and sell for this present voyage, but for a future trade and setling of a factorie he could not doe it without the Kings commaundement, which he thought would be effected, if I would take the paines of two moneths travell to deliver my kings letter. And further, he wrote unto his Chiefe Customer that all whatsoever I brought should be kept in the custome-house till his brother, Sheck Abder Rachim [Shaikh Abdurrahim], came, who should make all the hast that possibly could bee, for to chuse such goods as were fitting for the King (these excuses of taking goods of all men for the King are for their owne private gaine). Upon this answere I made all the hast I could in easing our shippe of her heavy burthen of lead and iron, which of necessitie must be landed. [Page 73] The goods being landed and kept in the Customers power till the comming of this great man, perceiving the time precious and my ship not able long to stay, I thought it convenient to send for three chests of money, and with that to buy commodities of the same sorts that were vendible at Priaman and Bantam, which the Guzerats carry yearely thither, making great benefit thereof. I began to buy against the will of all the merchants in the towne, whose grumbling was very much, and complaining unto the Governour and Customer of the leave that was granted me in buying those commodities, which would cut their owne throates at Priaman and Bantam, they not suspecting that I would buy commodities for those parts, but onely for England [...] [Page 78] Now finding William Finch in good health, newly recovered, I left all things touching the trade of merchandizing in his power, giving him my remembrance and order what he should doe in my absence. So I began to take up souldiers to conduct mee, being denyed of Mocrebchan, besides shot and bow-men that I hired. For my better safety I went to one of Chanchanna his captaines to let me have fortie or fiftie horsemen to conduct me to Chanchanna, being then Vice-roy of Decan, resident in Bramport [Burhanpur], who did to his power all that I demanded, giving me valiant horsemen, Pattans [Pathans], a people very much feared in these parts ; for if I had not done it, I had beene over-throwne. For the Portugalls of Daman had wrought with an ancient friend of theirs, a Raga [Raja], who was absolute lord of a province (betweene Daman, Guzerat and Decan) called Cruly, to be readie with two hundred horsemen to stay my passage ; but I went so strong and well provided, that they durst not incounter with us ; so likewise that time I escaped [...] [Page 79] This was five dayes after my departure from Suratt, and my departure from Suratt was the first of February, 1608 [1609]. So following on my travels for Bramport, some two dayes beyond Dayta the Pattans left me, but to be conducted by another Pattan captaine, governour of that lordship, by whom I was most kindly entertained. [Page 93] [...]In this time of my dispatching, newes came of Mocreb-chans returne from Goa with many gallant and rare things, which he brought for the King. But that ballace ruby was not for his turne, saying it was false, or at the least made his excuse, for feare that if lie should give the Portugall his price and when it came into the Kings power it should bee valued much lesse (which overplus he should be forced to pay, as hee had done in former times for other things), hee left it behind him. And besides I understood that Mocrebchan had not his full content as he expected of the Portugalls. And likewise at this instant the Vizir, my enemy, was thrust out of his place for many complaints made of him by noblemen that were at great charges and in debt, and could not receive their livings in places that were good, but in barren and rebellious places, and that he made a benefit of the good places himselfe and robbed them all [...] [Page 95] [...]I arrived at Cambaya the last of December, 1611, where I had certaine newes of the English ships that were at Surat. Immediately I sent a footman unto the ships with my letter, with certaine advice, affirmed for a truth by the Fathers of Cambaya unto me, that the Vice-Roy had in a readinesse prepared to depart from Goa foure great ships, with certaine gallies and frigats, for to come upon them, and treasons plotted against Sir Henry Middletons person ; of which newes I was [Page 96] wished by the Fathers to advise Sir Henry ; which I found afterward to bee but their policie to put him in feare, and so to depart ; and withall I wished them to be well advised [...] From this place we departed the eleventh of February, 1611 [1612] and arrived at Dabul [Dabhol]the sixteenth of the same ; in which place we tooke a Portugall ship and frigat, out of which we tooke some quantitie of goods. And from thence we departed the fist of March, 1611 [1612] for the Red Sea, with an intent to revenge us of the wrongs offered us, both by Turkes and Mogols ; at which place wee arrived the third of Aprill, 1612. Here we found three English ships ; their Generall was Captaine John Saris [...] [Page 97] From thence we set sayle on the thirtieth of January, 1612 [1613], and arrived in Saldania Roade [Table Bay] the one and twentieth of Aprill, 1613 ; and comming neere some two hundred leagues from the Cape, we had much foule weather and contrary windes. Here we found foure sayle of Hollanders, that departed Bantam a moneth before us. There was great kindnesse betwixt us, especially to me, in regard that they had heard much of my great estate in India by an agent of theirs that was lieger [resident] at Masulipatan. Some eight dayes after, the Expedition came in, and brought mee a letter from Your Worships and delivered it unto me two dayes after their arrivall. The wind comming faire we departed from Saldania the one and twentieth of May, 1613.

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7. A briefe discourse of the strength, wealth and government with some customes of the Great Mogol, which I have both seene and gathered by his chiefe officers and over-seers of all his estate.

First, I begin with his princes, dukes, marquesses, earles, viscounts, barons, knights, esquires, gentlemen, and yeomen. As Christian princes use their degrees by titles, so they have their degrees and titles by their number of horses ; unlesse it bee those that the King most favoureth, whom he honoureth with the title of Chan and Immirza [Mirza]. None have the title of Sultan but his sonnes. Chan in the Persian language is as much as a duke. Immirza is the title for the Kings brothers children. They that be of the fame of twelve thousand horsemen belong to the King, and his mother, and eldest sonne, and one more, who is of the bloud royall of Uzbeck, named Chan Azam. Dukes be nine thousand fame, marquesses five thousand fame, earles three thousand, viscounts two thousand, barons a thousand, knights foure hundred, esquires an himdred, gentlemen fifty, yeomen from twentie downwards. All they that have these numbers of horsemen are called mansibdars, or men of livings or lordships. Of these there be three thousand, that is to say ; foure be of twelve thousand horse a-piece, and they be the King, his mother, Sultan Pervis, Prince, and Chan Azam. Of nine thousand horsemen there bee three, that is to say, Sultan Chorem, the Kings third sonne, Chanchanna, and Kelich Chan [Killj Khan]. Of five thousand there bee eightecne, named Hasuff Chan, Chan Ichan, Abdula Chan, Raga Manging, Ray Durga, Raga Sursing, Ramadas Rechuva, Raga Rassu, Emirel Umera, Mahabet Chan, Chan Dowran, Sedris Chan, [Page 99] Hogio Bey Mirza, Mirza Cazi, Ettebar Chan, Abulfet Dekenny, Jelam Cully Chan, Sheik Ferid. Of three thousand there bee two and twentie, to wit, Chan Alem, Imirza Ereg, Imirza Darab, Hogio Jahan, Hogio Abdal Hassan, Mirza Gaysbey, Mirza Shenichadin, Mirza Cbadulla, Seffer Chan, Kazniy Chan, Mirza Chin Kelieh, Saif Clian, Lalla Bersingdia, Mirza Zeady, Mirza Ally Ecberhuly, Terbiat Chan, Mirza Lasehary, Mirza Charucogly, Mirza Rustem, Ally Merdon Badur, Tasbey Chan, Abulbey. The rest bee from two thousand downwards till you come to twentie horses, two thousand nine hundred and fiftie. Of horsemen that receive pay monethly, from sixe horse to one, there be five thousand ; these bee called haddies [ahadi]. Of such officers and men as belong to the court and campe there bee thirtie sixe thousand, to say, porters, gunners, watermen, lackeyes, horse-keepers, elephant-keepers, smallshot, frasses [farrash] or tent men, cookes, light bearers, gardiners, keepers of all kind of beasts. All these be payd monethly out of the Kings treasurie ; whose wages be from ten to three rupias. All his captaines are to maintaine at a seven-nights warning from twelve thousand to twentie horse, all horsemen three leckes [lakhs], which is three hundred thousand horsemen, which of the incomes of their lordships allowed them they must maintayne.

The Kings yeerely income of his crowne land is fiftie crou [kror] of rupias. Every crou is an hundred leckes, and every leek is an hundred thousand rupiae. [Page 100] The compasse of his countrey is two yeares travell with carravan, to say, from Candahar to Agra, from Soughlare in Bengala to Agra, from Cabul to Agra, from Decan to Agra, from Surat to Agra, from Tatta in Sinde to Agra. Agra is in a manner in the heart of all his kingdomes.

His empire is divided into five great kingdomes. The first named Pengab [Panjab], whereof Lahor is the chiefe seate ; the second is Bengala, the chiefe seate Sonargham [Sonargaon] ; the third is Malva [Malwa], the chiefe seate is Ugam [Ujjain] ; the fourth is Decan, the chiefe seate Bramport [Burhanpur] ; the fifth is Guzerat, the chiefe seat is Amadavar [Ahmadabad]. The chiefe citie or seate royall of the Kings of India is called Delly, where hee is established king, and there all the rites touching his coronation are performed.

There are sixe especiall castles, to say, Agra, Guallier [Gwalior], Nerver, Ratamboore, Hassier, Roughtaz. In every one of these castles he hath his treasure kept.

In all his empire there are three arch-enemies or rebels, which with all his forces cannot be called in, to say, Amberry Chapu in Decan ; in Guzerat the sonne of Muzafer that was king (his name is Bahador) ; of Malva, Raga Rahana. His sonnes be five, to say, Sultan Coussero, Sultan Pervis, Sultan Chorem, Sultan Shariar, and Sultan Bath. Hee hath [Page 101] two yong daughters, and three hundred wives, whereof foure be chiefe as queenes, to say, the first, named Padasha Banu, daughter to Kaime Chan ; the second is called Noore Mahal, the daughter of Gais Beyge ; the third is the daughter of Seinehan; the fourth is the daughter of Hakim Hamaun, who was brother to his father, Eeber Padasha.

8. His treasure is as followeth : the first is his severall coine of gold.

Inprimis, of seraffins Eeberi, which be ten rupias a piece, there are sixtie leekes. Of another sort of eoyne of a thousand rupias a piece, there are twentie thousand pieces. Of another sorte of halfe the value there are ten thousand pieces. Of another sort of gold of twenty toles a piece there are thirtie thousand pieces. Of another sort of tenne toles a piece there bee five and twenty thousand pieces. Of another sort of five toles, which is this kings stampe, of these there be fiftie thousand pieces.

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9. Of silver, as followeth.

Imprimis, of rupias Ecbery, thirteene crou (every crou is an hundred leekes and every leek an hundred thousand rupias), is one thousand three hundred leekes. Of another sort of coine of Selim Sha, this king, of an hundred toles a piece, there are fiftie thousand pieces. Of fiftie toles a piece there is one lecke. Of thirtie toles a piece there are fortie thousand pieces. Of twentie toles a piece there are thirtie thousand pieces. Of ten toles a piece there are twentie thousand pieces. Of five toles a piece there are five and twentie thousand pieces. Of a certaine money that is called savoy, which is a tole 1/4, of these there are two leekes. Of jagaries, whereof five make sixe toles, there is one lecke. More should have been coyned of this stampe, but the contrary was commanded.

10. Here followeih of his Jewells of all sorts.

Inprimis, of diamantes 1 1/2 battman ; these be rough, of all sorts and sizes, great and small, but no lesse then 21/2 caratts. The battman is fifty five pound waight, which maketh eightie two pounds 1/2 weight English. Of ballace rubies little and great, good and bad, there are single two thousand pieces. Of pearle of all sorts there are twelve battmans. Of rubies of all sorts there are two battmans. Of emeraudes of all sorts, five battmans. Of eshime, which stone commeth from Cathaia [China], one battman. Of stones of Emen, which is a red stone, there are five thousand pieces. Of all other sorts, as corall, topasses, etc., there is an infinite number.

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11. Here followeth of the jewels wrought in gold.

Of swords of Almaine [German] blades, with the hilts and scabberds set with divers sorts of rich stones of the richest sort, there are two thousand and two hundred. Of two sorts of poniards there bee two thousand. Of saddle drummes, which they use in their hawking, of these there are very rich ones of gold set with stones, five hundred. Of brooches for their heads [i.e. the sarpesh], whereinto their feathers be put, these be very rich, and of them there are two thousand. Of saddles of gold and silver set with stones there are one thousand. Of teukes there be five and twentie ; this is a great launce covered with gold and the fluke set with stones, and these, instead of their colours, are carryed when the King goeth to the warres ; of these there are five and twentie. Of kittasoles [Port, quitasol, a sunshade] of state, for to shaddowhim, there bee twentie. None in his empire dareth in any sort have any of these carryed for his shadow but himselfe ; of these, I say, there are twentie. Of chaires of estate there bee five, to say, three of silver and two of gold ; and of other sorts of chaires there bee an hundred of silver and gold ; in all an hundred and five. Of rich glasses there bee two hundred. Of vases for wine very faire and rich, set with jewels, there are an hundred. Of drinking cuppes five hundred, but fiftie very rich, that is to say, made of one piece of ballace ruby, and also of emerods [emeralds], of eshim, of Turkish stone [turquoises], and of other sorts of stones. Of chaines of pearle, and chaines of all sorts of precious stones, and ringes with jewels of rich diamants, ballace rubies, rubies, and old emerods, there is an infinite number, which only the keeper thereof knoweth. Of all sorts of plate, as dishes, cups, basons, pots, beakers of silver wrought, there are two thousand battmans. Of gold wrought, there are one thousand battmans.

12. Here followeth of all sorts of beasts

Of horses there are twelve thousand ; whereof there bee of Persian horses foure thousand, of Turkie horses six thousand, [Page 104] and of Kismire [Kashmir] two thousand ; all are twelve thousand. Of elephants there be twelve thousand, whereof five thousand bee teeth elephants and seven thousand of shee ones and yong ones ; which are twelve thousand. Of camels there be two thousand. Of oxen for the cart and all other services there bee tenne thousand. Of moyles [mules] there be one thousand. Of deere like buckes, for game and sport, there be three thousand. Of ounces [see p. 17] for game there be foure hundred. Of dogges for hunting, as grey-hounds and other, there be foure hundred. Of lions tame there are an hundred. Of buffalaes there be five hundred. Of all sorts of hawkes there bee foure thousand. Of pidgeons for sport of flying there bee ten thousand. Of all sorts of singing birds there be foure thousand. Of armour of all sorts, at an houres warning, in a readinesse to arme five and twentie thousand men.

His daily expences for his owne person, that is to say, for feeding of his cattell of all sorts, and amongst them some few elephants royall, and all other expences particularly, as apparell, victuals, and other petty expences for his house, amounts to fiftie thousand rupias a day. The expences daily for his women by the day is thirtie thousand rupias.

All this written concerning his treasure, expences, and monethly pay is in his court or castle of Agra ; and every one of the castles above nominated have their severall treasure, especially Lahor, which was not mentioned.

The custome of this Mogoll Emperour is to take possession of his noblemens treasure when they dye, and to bestow on his [their] children what he pleaseth ; but commonly he dealeth well with them, possessing them with their fathers land, dividing it amongst them ; and unto the eldest sonne he hath a very great respect, who in time receiveth the full [Page 105] title of his father. There was in my time a great Indian lord or prince, a Gentile named Raga Gaginat, upon whose goods the Kings seizing after his death, he was found (besides jewels and other treasure) to have sixtie maunes [maunds] in gold, and every maune is five and fiftie pound waight. Also his custome is that of all sorts of treasure excepting coine, to say, of all sorts of beasts, and all other things of value, a small quantitie is daily brought before him. All things are severally divided into three hundred and sixtie parts ; so that hee daily seeth a certaine number, to say, of elephants, horses, camels, dromedaries, moyles, oxen, and all other ; as also a certaine quantitie of jewels, and so it continueth all the yeere long ; for what is brought him to day is not seene againe till that day twelve moneth.

He hath three hundred elephants royall, which are elephants whereon himselfe rideth ; and when they are brought before him they come with great jollitie, having some twentie or thirty men before them with small stremers. The elephants cloth or covering is very rich, eyther of cloth of gold or rich velvet ; hee hath following him his shee elephant, his whelpe or whelpes, and foure or five yong ones as pages, which will bee in number some sixe, some seven, and some eight or nine. These elephants and other cattell are dispersed among his nobles and men of sort to oversee them, the King allowing them for their expences a certaine quantitie ; but some of them will eate a great deale more then their allowance commeth unto. These elephants royall eate tenne rupias every day in sugar, butter, graine, and sugar canes. These elephants are the goodliest and fairest of all the rest, and tame withall, so managed that I saw with mine eyes when the King commanded one of his young sonnes named Shariar (a childe of seven yeeres of age) to goe to the elephant to bee taken up by him with his snout ; who did so, delivering him to his keeper that commanded him with his hooke ; and having done this unto the Kings sonne, he afterwards did the like to many other children. When these elephants are shewed, if they who have the charge of them bring them leane, then are they checked and in disgrace, [Page 106] unlesse their excuse bee the better. And so it is with all things else in that kind, that every man striveth to bring his quantitie in good liking, although hee spend of his owne.

When hee rideth on progresse or hunting, the compasse of his tents may bee as much as the compasse of London and more ; and I may say that of all sorts of people that follow the campe there are two hundred thousand, for hee is provided as for a citie. This king is thought to be the greatest emperour of the East for wealth, land, and force of men, as also for horses, elephants, camels, and dromedaries. As for elephants of his owne and of his nobles, there are fortie thousand, of which the one halfe are trayned elephants for the warre ; and these elephants of all beasts are the most understanding. I thought good here to set downe this one thing, which was reported to me for a certainty, although it seemed very strange. An elephant having journyed very hard, being on his travell, was misused by his commander ; and one day finding the fellow asleepe by him, but out of his reach, having greene canes brought him to eate, split the end of one of them with his teeth, and taking the other end of the cane with his snowt, reached it toward the head of the fellow, who being fast asleepe and his turbant fallen from his head (the use of India being to wear their haire long like women) he tooke hold with the cane on his haire, wreathing it therein and withall haling him unto him untill he brought him within the compasse of his snowt ; he then presently killed him. Many other strange things are done by elephants.

He hath also infinite numbers of dromedaries, which are very swift, to come with great speed to give assault to any citie ; as this kings father did, so that the enemies thought he had beene in Agra when he was at Amadavar, and he came from Agra thither in nine dales upon these dromedaries with twelve thousand choyce men, Chan-channa being then his generall. The day being appointed for the battell, on a suddaine newes came of the Kings arrivall, which strucke such a present feare into the Guzerats that at that time they were overthrowne and conquered . This king hath diminished his chiefe captaines, which were Rasbootes [Rajputs] or Gentiles, [Page 107] and naturall Indians, and hath preferred the Mahumetans (weak spirited men, void of resolution) in such sort that what this mans father, called Ecber Padasha, got of the Decans, this king, Selim Sha, beginneth to loose. He hath a few good captaines yet remaining, whom his father highly esteemed, although they be out of favour with him, because that upon his rebellion against his father they would not assist him, considering his intent was naught, for he meant to have shortned his fathers daies and before his time to have come to the crowne. And to that purpose being in Attabase, the regall seate of a kingdome called Porub, hee arose with eighty thousand horse, intending to take Agra and to have possession of the treasury, his father being then at the warres of Decan ; who, understanding of his sonnes pretence, left his conquering there and made hast to come home to save his owne. Before the Kings departure to the warres, hee gave order to his sonne to goe with his forces upon Aranna [see p. 100], that great rebell in Malva ; who comming to parle with this rebell, he told the Prince that there was nothing to bee gotten by him but blowes, and it were better for him, now his father was at Decan, to goe upon Agra and possesse himselfe of his fathers treasure ahd make himselfe king, for there was no man able to resist him. The Prince followed his counsell and would have prosecuted it but his fathers hast before (upon notice given) prevented his purpose ; at whose arrivall at Agra hee presently sent unto his sonne, that he make choyce either to come and fall at his feete and be at his mercy to doe with him as he pleased, or to fit himselfe for the battell and fight it out. He, well considering the valour of his father, thought it meetest to submit himselfe and stand to his fathers mercy ; who, after affronts shewed him and imprisonment, was soone released and pardoned by reason of many friends, his mother, sisters, and others.

This Selim Padasha being in his rebellion, his father dispossessed him and proclaimed heire apparant his eldest sonne [Page 108] Cossero being eldest sonne to Selimslia ; for his owne sonnes [Murad and Uaniyal], younger brothers to Selim, were all dead in Decan and Guzerat. Yet shortly after his father dyed, who in his death-bed had mercy on Selini, possessing him againe. But Cossero, who was proclaimed heire apparant, stomached his father, and rose with great troopes, yet was not able to indure after the losse of many thousand men on both sides, but was taken and remaineth still in prison in the Kings pallace, yet blinde, as all men report, and was so commaunded to be blinded by his father. So since that time, being now eight yeares after, he had commanded to put all his sonnes confederates to death, with sundry kinds of death, some to bee hanged, some spitted, some to have their heads chopped off, and some to bee torne by elephants. Since which time hee hath raigned in quiet, but ill beloved of the greater part of his subjects, who stand greatly in feare of him. His custome is every yeare to be out two moneths on hunting, as is before specified. Wlien he meaneth to begin his journey, if comming forth of his pallace hee get up on a horse, it is a signe that he goeth for the warres ; but if he get up upon an elephant or palankine, it will bee but an hunting voyage.

My selfe, in the time that I was one of his courtiers, have seene many cruell deeds done by him. Five times a weeke he commaundeth his brave elephants to fight before him ; and in the time of their fighting, either comming or going out, many times men are killed or dangerously hurt by these elephants. But if any be grievously hurt which might very well escape, yet neverthelesse that man is cast into the river, himselfe commaunding it, saying : dispatch him, for as long as he liveth he will doe nothing else but curse me, and therefore it is better that he dye presently. I have scene many in this kind. Againe, hee delighteth to see men executed himselfe and torne in peeces with elephants. He put to death in my time his secretary, onely upon suspicion that Chan-channa should write unto the Decan king ; who, being sent for and examined about this matter, denied it ; whereupon the King, [Page 109] not having patience, arose from his seate and with his sword gave him his deadly wound, and afterwards delivered him to bee torne by elephants.

Likewise it happened to one who was a great friend of mine (a chiefe man, having under his charge the Kings ward-robe and all woollen cloath, and all sorts of mercery, and his China dishes), that a faire China dish (which cost ninetie rupias or fortie five rials of eight) was broken in this my friends time by a mischance (when the King was in his progresse), being packed amongst other things on a cammell, which fell and broke all the whole parcell. This nobleman, knowing how deerely the King loved this dish above the rest, presently sent one of his trusty servants to China-machina [China] over land to seeke for another, hoping that, before he should remember that dish, he would returne with another like unto it ; but his evill lucke was contrarie, for the King two yeares after remembred this dish, and his man was not yet come. Now when the King heard that the dish was broken, he was in a great rage, commanding him to be brought before him and to be beaten by two men with two great whips made of cords ; and after that he had received one hundred and twenty of these lashes, he commanded his porters, who be appointed for that purpose, to beate him with their small cudgels, till a great many of them were broken ; at the least twenty men were beating of him, till the poore man was thought to bee dead, and then he was haled out by the heeles and commaunded to prison. The next day the King demaunded whether he was living ; answer was made that he was ; whereupon he commanded him to be carried unto perpetuall prison. But the Kings sonne, being his friend, freed him of that and obtained of his father that he might bee sent home to his owne house and there be cured. So after two moneths he was reasonably well recovered and came before the King, who presently commanded him to depart the court and never come againe before him untill he had found such a like dish, and that hee travell for China-machina to seeke it. The King allowed him five thousand rupias towards his charges, and besides [Page 110] returning one fourth part of his living that he had before, to maintaine him in his travell. He being departed and fourteene moneths on his travell, was not yet come home; but newes came of him that the King of Persia had the like dish and for pitties hath sent it him ; who at my departure was on his way homeward.

Likewise in my time it happened that a Paltan, a man of good stature, came to one of the Kings sonnes, named Sultan Pervis, to intreat him to bestow somewhat on him, by petition delivered to one of the Princes chiefe men ; at the delivery whereof the Prince caused him to come neere ; and demanding of him whether hee would serve him, he answered no, for he thought that the Prince would not grant him so much as he would aske. The Prince, seeing him to be a pretty fellow and meanely apparelled, smiled, demanding what would content him. Hee told him plainly that hee would neither serve his father nor him under a thousand rupias a day, which is 100 pound sterling. The Prince asked what was in him that he demanded so much. He replyed : make tryall of me with all sorts of weapons, either on horsebacke or on foote ; and for my sufficient command in the warres, if I do not performe as much as I speake, let mee dye for it. The houre being come for the Prince to go to his father, he gave over his talk, commanding the man to be forth comming. At night the Kings custome being to drinke, the Prince, perceiving his father to be merry, told him of this man. So the King commaunded him to be brought before him. Now while he was sent for, a wilde lyon was brought in, a very great one, strongly chained, and led by a dozen men and keepers ; and while the King was viewing this lyon, the Pattan came in, at whose sight the Prince presently remembred his father. The King demanding of this Pattan whence he was, and of what parentage, and what valour was in him that he should demand so much wages, his answer was that the King should make tryal of him. That I will, saith the King ; goe wrastle and buffet with this lyon. The Pattans answere was that this was a wild beast, and to goe barely upon him without weapon would be no triall of his manhood. The King, not regarding his speech, commanded him [Page 111] to buckle with the lion ; who did so, wrastling and buffeting with the lyon a pretty while ; and then the lyon, being loose from his keepers, but not from his chaines, got the poore man within his clawes and tore his body in many parts, and with his pawes tore the one halfe of his faee so that this valiant man was killed by this wilde beast. The King, not yet contented, but desirous to see more sport, sent for ten men that were of his horse-men in pay, being that night on the watch ; for it is the custome of all those that receive pay or living from the King to watch once a weeke, none excepted, if they be well and in the citie. These men, one after another, were to buffet with the lyon ; who were all grievously wounded, and it cost three of them their lives. The King continued three moneths in this vaine when he was in his humors, for whose pleasure sake many men lost their lives and many were grievously wounded. So that ever after, untill my comming away, some fifteene young lyons were made tame and played one with another before the King, frisking betweene mens legs and no man hurt in a long time.

Likewise he cannot abide that any man should have any precious stone of value, for it is death if he know it not at that present time, and that he hath the refusall thereof. His jeweller, a Bannian, named Herranand [Hira Nand], had bought a diamond of three mettegals, which cost one hundred thousand rupias ; which was not so closely done but newes came to the King. Herranand likewise was befriended, beeing presently acquainted therewith ; who, before the King sent for him, came unto him and challenged the King that he had often promised him that he would come to his house. The King answered that it was true. Herranand therefore replyed that now was the time, for that he had a faire present to bestow upon His Majestie, for that he had bought a stone of such a weight. The King smiled and said : thy lucke was good to prevent me. So preparation was made, and to the Bannians house he went. By this means the King hath ingrossed all faire stones, that no man can buy from five carats upwards with- [Page 112] out his leave ; for he hath the refusall of all, and giveth not by a third part so much as their value. There was a diamant cutter of my acquaintance that was sent for to cut a diamant of three mettegals and a halfe, who demanded a small foule diamant to make powder, wherewith to cut the other diamant. They brought him a chest, as he said, of three spannes long and a spanne and half broad, and a spanne and halfe deepe, full of diamants of all sizes and sorts ; yet could he find never any one for his purpose, but one of five rotties, which was not very foule neither [...]

13. 1608-11 WILLIAM FINCH

[Page 125]

[...]Finch's narrative is here printed as given by Purchas, except that the voluminous account of the outward voyage is omitted, as having no bearing, upon India. It may be added that the portion relating to the Punjab has been reproduced by Sir Edward Maelagan in the Journal of the Panjab Historical Society (vol. i, no. 2), accompanied by some useful notes ; while (as mentioned in the text) still more recently Sir Aurel Stein has examined in the same periodical Finch's references to Kashmir and Central Asia [...]


THE eight and twentieth of August, 1608, Captaine Hawkins with the merchants and certaine others landed at Surat, where the Captaine was received in a coach and carryed before the Dawne [Diwan]. Wee had poore lodging alloted us, the porters lodge of the custome house ; whither the next morning came the Customers, who searched and tumbled our trunkes to our great dislike, which had yet brought ashore only necessaries. We were invited to dinner to a merchant, where wee had great cheere, but in the midst of our banquet sowre sawce, for hee was the man that had sustayned almost all the losse in a ship that Sir Edward Michelborne tooke. The captaine also of that ship dined with us. Wlaich when it was there told us, the Captaine [Hawkins] answered that hee never heard of such a matter, and rather judged it done by Flem [Page 126] mings ; but they said that they knew certainely that they were English, deploring their hard fortunes and affirming that there were theeves in all countries, nor would they impute that fault to honest merchants. This speech somewhat revived us. The day after, Mede Colee [Mahdi Kuli], the captaine of that ship aforesaid, invited us to supper [...][Page 127] The seven and twentieth, Mo. Bowean desired great abatements upon our cloth, or else hee would returne it, and (will wee nill wee) abated two thousand seven hundred and fiftie mamudies before hee would give us licence to fetch up the rest of our goods to make sales. My selfe was very ill of the bloudy fluxe (whereof Master Dorchester dyed), of which that Englishman Carelesse (next under God) recovered me [...] [Page 130] The twelfth of May came newes that Melik Amber, King of Decan, had besieged the citie of Aurdanagar (which had been the metropolitan of that kingdome, conquered by the Acabar) with two and twentie thousand horse, and that after divers assaults the Mogolls made shew to deliver up the citie, upon condition that hee would withdraw his armie some foure or five cose [kos : see p. 18] from thence, that they might passe with more assurance with bagge and baggage ; which being done, they suddenly issued forth with all their forces upon the unprovided enemie and made a great slaughter ; but feared [Page 131] hee would bee revenged on those parts which were lesse able to resist. The Canchanna gathered great forces, and demanded of Surat three hundred thousand m[ahmudis] towards the charge, sending also for the Governour, an expert Decan souldier.

The twentieth of June came newes of the arrivall of five shippes at Goa, and of the Vice-Royes death ; whereupon Andrew Hurtado was chosen Vice-Roy, being the only stay left of all those parts, and reported a brave souldier. He presently gave order for shipping to be built, intending after the breaking up of winter to make a bolt or shaft with the Hollanders, which were now reported to lye before Malacca with eighteene ships. The Portugall ships in the way had met with one of this towne and, finding her without cartas, brought her with them as prize for Goa, where on the barre shee was cast away ; whereupon the Governour for Can- Channa, and the Customer for Mo. Bowean, seised on Tappidas the owner, a Banian, for money owing to them ; whereby also we lost his debt to us, for which we may thanke the Portugall [...] [Page 133] The eighteenth of January [1610], I departed out of Surat towards Agra, willing yet to leave some notice thereof before I leave it. The citie is of good quantitie, with many faire merchants houses therein, standing twentie miles within the land up a faire river. Some three miles from the mouth of the river (where on the soutlh side lyeth a small low island over-flowed in time of raine) is the barre, where ships trade and unlade, whereon at a spring tide is three fathome water. Over this the channell is faire to the citie side, able to beare vessels of fiftie tunnes laden. This river runneth to Bramport, and from thence, as some say, to Musselpatan. As you come up the river, on the right hand stands the castle, well walled, ditched, reasonable great and faire, with a number of faire peeces [pieces of ordnance], whereof some of exceeding great- [Page 134] nesse. It hath one gate to the green-ward, with a draw-bridge and a small port [i. e. gate] on the river side. The Captaine hath in command two hundred horse. Before this lyeth the medon [Hind. maidan, an open space], which is a pleasant greene, in the middest whereof is a may-pole to hang a light on, and for other pastimes on great festivalls. On this side the citie lyeth open to the greene, but on all other parts is ditched and fenced with thicke hedges, having three gates, of which one leadeth to Variaw, a small village, where is the ford to passe over for Cambaya way. Neare this village on the left hand lieth a small aldea on the rivers banke very pleasant, where stands a great pagod, much resorted to by the Indians. Another gate leadeth to Bramport ; the third to Nonsary, a towne ten cose off, where is made great store of calico, having a faire river comming to it. Some ten cose further lyeth Gondoree [Gandevi : see p. 131], and a little further Belsaca, the frontire towne upon Daman. Hard without Nonsary gate is a fair tanke sixteene square, inclosed on all sides with stone steppes, three quarters of an English mile in compasse, with a small house in the middest. On the further side are divers faire tombes, with a goodly paved court pleasant to behold, behind which groweth a small grove of manga [mango] trees, whither the citizens goe forth to banquet. Some halfe cose behind this place is a great tree much worshipped by the Banians, where they affirme a dew [Hind. deo, a spirit] to keepe [i. e. dwell], and that it hath beene oftentimes cut downe and stocked up by the rootes at the Moores command, and yet hath sprung up againe. Neare to the castle is the alphandica [see p. 128], where is a paire of staires for lading and unlading of goods ; within are roomes for keeping goods till they be cleared, the custome being two and an halfe for goods, three for victualls, and two for money. [Page 135] Without this gate is the great gondoree or bazar. Right before this gate stands a tree with an arbour, whereon the fokeers [fakirs] (which are Indian holy men) sit in state. Betwixt this and the castle, on the entrance of the greene, is the market for horse and cattell. A little lower on the right hand over the river is a little pleasant towne, Ranele, inhabited by a people called Naites, speaking another language, and for the most part sea-men. The houses are faire therein, with high steps to each mans doore, the streets narrow. They are very friendly to the English. Heere are many pleasant gardens, which attract many to passe there their time ; and on the trees are infinite number of those great bats which wee saw at Saint Augustines [in Madagascar], hanging by the clawes on the boughes, making a shrill noise. This fowle, the people say, ingendreth in the care ; on each wing it hath a hooke and giveth the yong sucke.

The winter heere bcginneth about the first of June and dureth till the twentieth of September ; but not with continuall raines, as at Goa, but for some sixe or seven dayes every change and full, with much wind, thunder, and raine. But at the breaking up commeth alway a cruell storme, which they call the tuffon, fearefull even to men on land ; which is not alike extreame every yeare, but in two or three at the most. Monsons [i.e. monsoon winds] heere for the south serve in Aprill and September, and for Mocha in February and March. From the south ships come hither in December, January, and February, and from Mocha about the fifth of September, after the raines ; from Ormus for the coast of India in November. But none may passe without the Portugalls passe, for what, how much, and whither they please to give licence, erecting a custome on the sea, with confiscation of shippe and [Page 136] goods not shewing it in the full quantitie to the taker and examiner.

The second of January [1610] I departed from Comvariaw [Khuimbaria] (a small village three cose from Surat) to Mutta [Mota], a great aldea, seven c[os]. [January] 21, eight c. to Carode [Karod], a great countrey towne, by which on the north runnneth Surat river ; it hath a castle with two hundred horse, Patans, good souldiers. [January] twentie two, to Curka 12 c. ; it is a great village, with a river on the south side. In the way (7 c.) is Beca [Viara], a castle with a great tanke and a pleasant grove. [January] 23, ten c. to Nacampore [Narayanpur], a great towne under the Pectopshaw. In this way on the right hand beginneth a great ridge of mountaines which come from Amadavar-wards, neare which Badur keepeth, holding divers strong holds thereon, that the King with all his force cannot hurt him. These mountaines runne to Bramport ; on them are bred many wilde elephants. [January] 24, to Dayta [Dhaita], 8 c, a great towne ; in the mid-way you passe a stony troublesome river. This towne hath a castle, and is almost encompassed with a river, seated in a fertile soyle. [January] 25, to Badur [Bhadwar], 10 c, a filthy towne and full of theeves ; heere is made much wine of a sweete fruit called mewa, but I found it not wholesome except it be burnt. This towne is the last of note in Peetop- shaws land, who is a small king or rajaw, a Gentile, keeping on the top of inaccessible mountaines, which beginne at Curka and extend many courses. He holdeth two faire cities, Salere, and the other Muliere, where the mamudees are coyned ; each having two mightie castles, which have way to them but for [Page 137] two men abrest, or for an elephant at most to get up ; having also in the way eightie small fortresses dispersed on the mountaines to guard the way. Upon the top of these mountaines is good pasture and abundance of graine, fountaines running thence into the plaines. The Aeabar besieged him seven yeeres, and in the end was forced to compound with him, giving him Narampore, Dayta, and Badur, with divers other aldeas, for the safe conducting of his merchants alongst this plaine ; so that he now remaineth this kings friend, sends presents yeerely, leaves one of his sonnes at Bramport, for pledge of his fealtie. He is said to have alway in readinesse foure thousand mares of a strange breed and excellent, and one hundred elephants. [January] 26, seven c. to Nonderbar [Nandurbai], a citie, short of which are many tombes and houses of pleasure, with a castle and a faire tanke. [January] seven and twentie, to Lingull [Nimgul], 10 c, a beastly towne, with theevish inhabitants and a dirtie castle ; a deepe sandie way neare the towne. [January] 28, ten c. to Sindkerry [Sindkhera], a great dirtie towne. In the way the Governour of Lingull (with others as honest as himselfe) would have borrowed some money of me ; but, seeing it prove powder and shot, gave over, and wee drew on our carts without trouble. On the further side of Sindkerry runneth a river of brackish water [the Buray], with drinking whereof I got the bloody fluxe, which accompanied me to Bramport. [January] 29, ten c. to Taulneere ([Thalner], a theevish way, the towne faire, with a castle and a river, in time of raine not passable without boat. [January] 80, fifteen c. to Chupra [Chopra], a great towne. I rested two dayes by reason of raine ; in which time came the Governour of Nonderbar with foure hundred horse, without whose company I could not have proceeded without danger, Can-Canna having been beaten and retired to Bramport, after the losse of the strong and rich towne of Joulnapoure ; whereupon the Decanes grew so insolent that they made roades [i. e. raids] into this way and spoyled many passengers. The second of February, 6 c. to Rawd [Aravad], a countrey village. [Page 138] The unseasonable thunder, wind, and raine, with my disease, almost made an end of me ; which made us make mukom [makam, a halt] the third and fourth. The fifth, to Beawle [Byaval], 10 c., a great towne with a faire castle. [February] 6 : stayed by foule weather. [February] 7, sixteen c. to Ravere [Raver], a great towne. [February] 8, ten c. to Bramport [Burhanpur], where I pitched my tent in the Armenians yard, not being able for money to get an house, the towne was so full of souldiers. Some 2 c. short of this citie lyeth Badurpore [Bahadurpur], a faire citie, and betwixt these two cities the campe of Can-Canna under tents, 2 c. in length (having some fifteene thousand horse, two hundred faire elephants, an hundred pecces of ordnance of all sizes) on the north side [...][Page 142] [...] The tenth, to Dupal- pore[Dipalpur], 14 c. good way ; a small towne. The eleventh, to Ouglue [Ujjain], a faire city, twelve long coses. This countrey is called Malva [Malwa], a fertile soile, abounding with opium. Here the cose or course is two miles English. Tlie twelfth, wee made mukom [see p. 138]. The thirteenth, to Conoscia [Kanasia],11c. good way ; a little village. I enquired the price of opium. They give the head three scratches, from whence issue small teares, at the first white, which with the cold of the night turneth reddish ; which they daily scrape, not without infinite trouble, the head beeing very small and yeelding little. The fourteenth, to Sunenarra [Suncra], 8 c. way much stony and theevish, a people called [Page 143] Graciae inhabiting the hils on the left hand, which often ungraciously entertayn caravans. A hundred of them had done the like to a caffila [kafila, a caravan] now, had not our comming prevented. It is a small towne, short of which is a great tanke full of wilde fowle. The fifteenth, 10 c. to Pimpelgom [Pipliagiion], a ragged aldca. At 4 c. end of this way lyeth Sarampore [Sarangpur], a great towne with a castle on the south-west side, with a faire towne-house. Here are made faire turbants and good linnen. Short of this towne we met Caun John, a great minion [i. e. favourite] of the Kings, with ten thousand horse, many elephants, and boats carryed on carts, going for Bramport. On the way also we passed divers of Manisengos men, hee having in all some twenty thousand ; so that it was deemed there were one hundred thousand horse assembled.

The sixteenth, 7 c. to Cuckra, a great countrey towne abounding with all sorts of graine, victuall, and Mewa wine ; at 4 c. lyeth Berroul [Bora], a great aldea. The seventeenth, 12 c. to Delout, a great aldca ; the way for the five last coses theevish, hilly, stony ; the other pleasant plaines. The eighteenth, 7 c. to Burrow [Barrai], a small towne, but plentifull of victuall, except flesh, which is scarse all this way; the way dangerous. The nineteenth, 7 c. to Sukesera, a small ragged towne. The twentieth, to Syrange [Sironj] 9 c., a very great towne, where are many betele gardens. The one and twentieth and two and twentieth, wee make mukom. The three and twentieth, to Cuchenary Saray [Kachner Sarfu] 8 c. The foure and twentieth, to Sadura [Shahdaura] 5 c. The five and twentieth, to Collebage [Kalabag] 7 c. The sixe and twentieth, 12 c. to Qualeres [Kulharas], a pretty small towne [Page 144] encompassed with tamarind and manga trees. The seven and twentieth, to Cipry [Sipri], seven of Surat couses (a mile and an halfe) ; way theevish, stony, full of trees, a desart passage ; a walled towne, faire houses covered with slate. Two nights before, some sixtie or seventie theeves (mistaking for a late passed caravan) assayled in a darke night one hundred and fiftie Potan souldiers, and fell into the pit they digged for others, ten being slaine and as many taken, the rest fled. The eight and twentieth, to Norwar [Narwar] 12 c., a desart rascally way full of theeves [...] [Page 145] The first of Aprill 1610, to Mendaker [perhaps Mundiakhera], 9 c. The second, 10 c. to Doulpore [Dholpur]. Within 2 c. of the towne, you passe a faire river called Cambere [the Chambal], as broad as the Thames, short of which is a narrow passage with hills on both sides, very dangerous. The castle is strong, ditched round, and hath foure walls and gates one within an other, all very strong, with steep ascents to each, paved with stone ; the citie is inhabited most-what with Gentiles [...] [Page 146] [...] In May and part of June, the towne was much vexed with fires night and day, flaming in one part or other, whereby many thousands of houses were consumed, besides men, women, children and cattell, that we feared the judgement of Sodome and Gomorrha upon the place. I was long dangerously sicke of a fever ; and in June the heat so exceeded that we were halfe rosted alive. June the twenty eighth arrived Padre Peniero, an arch-knave (a Jesuite, I should say), who brought letters from the Viceroy, with many rich presents, tending only to thwart our affaires. In this time Mo. Bowcan was complained of by the Captaine to the King, who commaunded Abdel Hassan, the Chiefe Vizier, to doe justice ; but birds of a feather will flie together, and Mo. Bowcan partly mis-reckoned, partly turned us over to a bankrupt Bannian, so that of thirty two thousand five hundred one m[ahmudis] and an halfe due, he would pay but eleven thousand ; neither would he pay that present [i. e. at once] [...][Page 151] Cannowa is a small countrey towne, round about which is made very good nill, by reason of the fastnesse [denseness] of the soile and brackishnesse of the water ; it maketh yeerely some five hundred m[aunds]. Ouchen [Uchen], 3 c. distant, makes very good ; besides which no towne but Byana itselfe compares with this. I remained heere to the two and twentieth ; and three and twentieth, 6 c. to Candere, a roguish, dirtie aldea. At 2 c. on this way is one of those moholls before mentioned. It is a square stone building ; within the first gate is a small court with a place for the King to keepe his darsany, and two or three other retiring roomes, but none of note. Within the second court is the moholl, being a foure-square thing, about twice as bigge or better then the Exchange, having at each corner a faire open devoncan [dwankhana, hall], and in the middest of each side another, which are to bee spread with rich carpets and to sit in to passe the time ; and betwixt each corner and this middle-most are two faire large chambers for his women (so that each moholl receiveth sixteene) in severall lodgings, without doores to any of them, all keeping open house to the kings pleasure. Round by the side goeth a faire paved walke, some eight foote broad ; and in the middest of all the court stands the Kings chamber, where he, like a cocke of the game, may crow over all. At Candere I remained till the eight and twentieth, and returned to Bachuna [Pichuna], 4.c. backe in the way.

The twentieth of December I went to Byana, 8 c, a backe way thorow the fields. This citie hath beene great and faire, but is now ruinate, save two sarayes and a long bazar, with a [Page 152] few stragling houses ; many faire ones being fallen and many others not inhabited (exeept by rogues or theeves), so that many streets are quite desolate. On the north-west, some three or four cose off, are the ruines of a kings house, with many other faire buildings. The like ruines are to bee seene on the south-west side, over against a towne called Seanderbade, in like distance upon the height of the rocky mountaines. The way leading up is a narrow steepe stony cawsey, not to be passed oil horse-baeke, some quarter of a mile the ascent; the entrance is thorow a small wicket, passing the lips of the mountaines in a narrow gutte. On the right hand, upon the very edge, stands a pleasant building where are divers tombes ; from each side the way may be made good with stones against millions of men. Passing a mile hence on a faire cawsey, you come to the kings house, sometimes faire, now ruinate, where a few poore Googers remaine in the ruines. Many tombes and monuments yet remaine. At the foote of the hill toward Scanderbade is a pleasant valley inclosed with a wall, and therein many gardens of pleasure. This city hath been in ancient times the seate of a great Potane king, and hath had the walles extending on the cliffes 8 c. in length, in those places where is any possibilitie of getting up, the rockes otherwhere over-hanging ; the fortifications on the other side I saw not. It hath beene a goodly city, inhabited now only with Googers, which are keepers of cattell and makers of butter and cheese. From hence, notwithstanding all this strength, did the Acabar force Sha Selim [see p. 142 n.] the Tyrant, and then laid it waste, as he hath done Mandow and most of the strongholds which he tooke. The countrey which affordeth that rich nill which takes name of Byana is not above twenty or thirtie cose long [...] [Page 154] About the sixt of January [1611] the King, being on hunting, was assailed by a lyon, which hee had wounded with his peece, with such fiercenesse that, had not a captaine of his, a Resboot, tutor of the late baptized princes, interposed himselfe, thrusting his arme into the lions mouth as hee ramped against His Majestic, he had in all likelihood been destroyed. In this strugling Sultan Corom, Rajaw Ranidas, and others came in and amongst them slew the lyon, that captaine having first received thirty two wounds ; whome therfore the King tooke up into his owne palanke, with his owne hands also wiped and bound up his wounds, and made him a captaine of five thousand horse, in recompence of that his valourous loyaltie.

The Kings manner of hunting is this : about the beginning of November, accompanied with many thousands, he goeth forth of his castle of Agra and hunteth some thirty or forty course round about the citie ; so continuing till the ende of March, when the heat drives him home againe. He causeth, with choise men, a certain wood or desart place to bee incircled, so contracting themselves to a neerer compasse till they meet againe ; and whatsoever is taken in this inclosure is called the Kings sikar [Hind, shikar] or game, whether men or beasts ; and whosoever lets ought escape without the Kings mercy must loose his life. The beasts taken, if mans meat, are sold and the money given to the poore ; if men, they remaine the Kings slaves, which he yearely sends to Cabull to barter for horse and dogs ; these beeing poore, miserable, theevish people that live in woods and desarts, little differing from beasts [...] [Page 161] [...]Lahor is one of the greatest cities of the East, containing , some 24 c. in circuit by the ditch which is now casting up . about it, and by the Kings command now to be inclosed with a strong wall. In the time of the Potans it was but a village, Multan then flourishing, till Hamawn [Humayun] enlarged this. The towne and suburb is some 6 c. thorow. The castle or towne is inclosed with a strong bricke wall, having thereto twelve faire gates, nine by land and three openings to the river ; the streets faire and well paved ; the inhabitants most Baneans and handicrafts men, all white men of note lying in the suburbs. The buildings are faire and high, with bricke and much curiositie of carved windowes and doores ; most of the Gentiles doores of sixe or seven steps ascent and very troublesome to get up, so built for more securitie and that passengers should not see into their houses. The castle is seated on Ravee, a goodly river which falleth into Indus, downe which go many boats, of sixtie tunne or upwards, for Tatta in Sind, after the fall of the raine, being a journey of some fortie dayes alongst by Multan, Seetpore, Buchur [Bukkur], Raurce [Rohri] etc. [Page 162] This river commeth from the east and runneth westerly by the north side of the citie ; upon which, witliin the castle, is the Kings house passing in at the middle gate to the riverward.

[Page 167]

15. Of divers wayes in the Mogols Kingdome, to and from Lahor and Agra, and places of note in them.

From Lahor to Cabull, passing the Ravee, at 10 c. stands Googes saray [Kacha sarai] ; beyond which 8 c. Emenbade [Aminabad], a faire city ; thence to Chumaguckur [Chlma Gakkhar] 12 c., a great towne. To Guzurat [Gujrat] 14 c., a faire citie of great trade ; at 7 c. of this way you passe the river Chantrow [Chenab], neare a corse over. To Howaspore [Page 168] [Khawasspur] 12c. To Loure Rotas [Rohtas] 15 c., a citie with a strong castle on a mountaine, the frontier of the Potan kingdome. To Hattea [Hatya] 15 c. To Puekow [Pakka] 4 c. To Raulepende [Rawalpindi] 14 c. To Collapanne [Kalapani] 15 c. To Hassanabdall 4c.,a pleasant towne with a small river and many faire tanks in which are many fishes with gold rings in their noses, hung by Acabar ; the water so cleare that you may see a penny in the bottome. To Attock 15 c, a citie with a strong castle, by which Indus passeth in great beautie. To Pishore [Peshawar] 36 c. To Alleek Meskite [Ali Masjid] 10 c., the way dangerous for rebels, which are able to make ten or twelve thousand men. To Ducka [Daka] 12 c. To Beshoule [Basawal] 6 c. To Abareek [Bariku] 6 c. To Aleboga [Ali Boghan] 9 c.; by which runneth Cow [the Kabul River], a great river which comes from Cabul (way still theevish). To Gelalabade [Jalalabad] 4 c. To Lourc-Charebage 4 c. To Budde-Charbag 6 c. To Nimla [Nimla] 8 c. To Gondoma [Gandamak] 4 c. To Surcrood [Surkhab] 4 c. ; a saray with a small river which lookes red and makes to have a good stomack. To Zagdelee [Jagdalak] 8 c. To Abereek [Ab-i-barik] 8 c. To Dowaba [Doaba] 8 c.; a great mountain in the way, 4 c. ascent. To Butta Cauke [Butkhak] 8 c. To Camree [Bikrami] 3 c. To Cabul 3 c. It is a great and faire citie, the first seate of this kings great grand-father, with two castles and many sarayes. 20 c. beyond is Chare-cullow [Charikar], a pleasant faire citie ; and 20 c. beyond, Gorebond [Ghorband], a great citie bordering upon Usbeke. 150 c. beyond Cabul is Taul Caun [Talikhan], a citie in Buddoesha [Badakhshan].

From Cabull to Cascar [Kashgar] with the caravan is some two or three monethes journey. It is a great kingdome and [Page 169] under the Tartar. A chiefe citie of trade in his territorie is Yar Chaun [Yarkand], whence comes much silke, purslane [porcelain], muske, and rheubarb, with other merchandize ; all which come from China, the gate or entrance whereof is some two or three monethes journey from hence. When they come to this entrance, they arc forced to remaine under their tents, and by license send some ten or fifteene merchants at once to doe their businesse, which being returned they may send as many more ; but by no means can the whole caravan enter at once.

From Labor to Cassimere [Kashmir, i.e. Srinagar] the way is as in Cabull way to Guzerat [Gujrat] ; from thence north or somewhat easterly withall, 16 c. to Bimbar [Bhimbar] ; to Joagek Hately 14 c. ; to Chingesque Hately 10 c. ; to Peckly 10 c. ; to Conowa 12 c. ; thence 8 c. you ascend a mountaine called Hast Caunk Gate, on the top of which is a goodly plaine, from whence to Cassimer is 12 c. thorew a goodly countrey. The city is strong, seated on the river Bahat [Bihat or Jhelum] ; the countrie is a goodly plaine, lying on the mountaines, some 150 c. in length and 50 c. in breadth, abounding with fruits, graine, saffron, faire and white women. Heere are made the rich pomberies [shawls : pamri] which serve all the Indians. This countrey is cold, subject to frosts and great snowes ; neare to Cascar, but seperated with such mountaines that there is no passage for caravans ; yet there commeth oft-times musk, with silke and other merchandize, [Page 170] this way by men, and goods are faine to be triced up, and let downe often by engines and devices. Upon these mountaines keepes a small king called Tibbot, who of late sent one of his daughters to Sha Selim to make affinitie.

[Page 196]


[...]The present reprint follows the text of the 1734 version, which is about three times as long as that given by Purchas. It is evident, however, that the eighteenth-century editor imitated his predecessor in omitting details which he judged to be unimportant, although Purchas had included some of them. The passages given by the latter have now for tlie most part been restored, either in notes or as interpolations (between square brackets) in the text. On the other hand, part of Withington's account of the outward voyage has been omitted here, as unnecessary for our present purpose.


THE 28th of June, 1612, wee departed from the Baye of Saldania [i. e. Table Bay] with prosperous wyndes, saylinge on in our voyage untill the 13th day of Auguste, when wee crossed the Equinoctiall Lyne. And the 30th daye wee sawe snakes swyminge in the sea, beeinge in the lieight of eighteene and a halfe degrees to the norward of the Equinoctiall. And soe wee sayled on untill the fourth of September, when wee [Page 197] came within foure leagues of the barr of Suratt, where wee mett with the Ozeander, beeinge one of our fleete, whoe was rydinge at an anchoure there ; havinge gotten a pilott out of a boate of the countrye and lefte one of our carpenter's mates in hostage for him, whoe unwiselye carryinge some moneye aboute him, when the Moores were from the shippe, they cutt his throate and tooke what hee had, as afterwards wee were certaynlye informed. Uppon the 7th of the same moneth wee arrived at the barre of Suratt in the East-Indeases, and the thirteenth day wee came to Suratt and were kyndlye entertayned of the Governor and the chiefes of the cittye. There is an order in this cuntrye that strangers cominge to visite an inhabitante (bee hee a man of anye fashion) doe presente him with somethinge or other, and not to come to him emptyehanded ; insomuch that our people which wee sente firste on shore, having nothing but money aboute them to give for presents, were fayne to presente the Governor of the cittye and other chiefe men with each a royall of eight, which they kyndlye accepted, takinge yt for a greate honour to bee presented, though the presente bee but small [...][Page 206] The twenty-second daye wee came to Amadavar, which is the cheifest cittye of Guysscratt, and is verye neare as bigge as London, walled rounde with a verye stronge wall, seituate in the playne by the river-syde. Here are marchaunts of all places resydinge, as well Chrystians as Moores and Gentills. The commodities of this place are cloth of gould, silver tissue, vellvets (but not comparable to ours), taffetase and other stuffes, and divers druggs, with other commodities. Here wee tooke a howse to hier in a place where divers Armenian marchaunts lye and other Chrystians. The nexte daye wee vizited Abdolla Chan, Governor of this place (a nobleman of 5000 horse paye), and presented him with a veste of cloth and other trifles of small vallue ; but hee expected greater matters, which wantinge, hee presentlye dismissed us without any grace.

Shortelye after, our Agente sente mee to Cambaya, givinge mee 200 rupeias, everye rupie containinge 2s. 6d., to buye of all sorts of commodities which I should fynde there fitt for our tradinge, and to informe myselfe of the place ; which I thanke God I did, though with greate daunger of robbinge. [Seven course to Barengeo [Barcja], where every Tuesday the cafily [see p. 143] of Cambaya meete and so keepe company for feare of theeves. Hence sixteene course to Soquatera [Sojitra], a fine towne well manned with souldiers. Departed at midnight, and about eight of the clocke next morning came 10 c. to Cambaya.] And the 30th daye, havinge bestowed my 200 rupeias in such commodities as I founde for our turne, in the afternoone beeinge reddye to departe, the Governor sente for mee and shewed mee our King's letter of England, which General Beste brought ; tellinge mee it was sente him downe from the Kinge to have it translated, and intreated mee to doe yt ; but I excused myselfe, urginge the neccssitie of my [Page 207] presente departure, and withall tould him that yt was a matter of more importance then for mee to doe yt alone, without the knowledge of our Agente, and desired him to sende yt to Amadavar to our Agente, and hee without doubte would translate yt ; which the Governor did. Soe accordinglye it was translated.

Havinge well overcome our businesse and but little to doe, wee rode to Serkesse [Sarkhej ; see p. 174] (some three courses from Amadavar), which is the cheife place where they make theire flatte indico ; and there wee spente twoe or three dayes in seeinge the makinge therof. In this towne are the sepulehers of the Kings of Guyseratt, a verye dellicate churche and fayer toumbes, which are kepte verye comelye ; whither there is much resorteinge from all parts of the kingdome to vizitt theis toumbes. Allsoe aboute a myle and a halfe off there is a verye fayer and pleasante garden of a myle aboute, which compasseth a verye fayer and statelye howse, seated dellicately by the river-side ; which howse Chou Chou, now the cheifeste nobleman of the Mogull's, builte in memoriall of the greate victorye which hee gott of the laste Kinge of Guyseratt, takinge him prisoner, and likewise brought all his whole kingdome in subjection of the Greate Mogull, as yt still continueth ; in memoriall wherof, the battell beeinge fought in this place, hee builte this howse and planted the orchard, raysinge the heigh wall rounde aboute yt. Noe man dwelleth in this howse ; onlye a fewe poore men that are hyred to keepe the orchard cleane. Wee lodged in yt one night, and sente for sixe fishermen, that in lesse then halfe an hower tooke more fishe then all our companye could eate ; and soone after retorned to Amadavar agayne. [...][Page 218] [...]Nowe, as concerninge the inhabitants of Synda, they are for the moste parte Rasebooches, Banians, and Boloches [Baluchis]. In the citties and greate townes theire Governors are Mogores, appoynted to rule there for the Greate Mogull. The people of the cuntrye (I nieane those which inhabitt out of the citties) are for the moste parte verye rude, and goe naked from the waste uppwards, with turbants on their hedds, made up of a contrarye fashon to the Mogull's. For armes, fewe of them use gunes, bowes, or arrowes, but sword, bucklar, and launce. Theire bucklar is made verye greate and in the fashion of a bee-hive ; wherin, when occasion serves, they will give theire camells drinke or theire horses provander. They have exceedinge good horses, verye swifte and stronge, which they will ride moste desperatelye, never shooinge them. They begin to backe them at twelve monethes ould. The souldiers that have noe horses, if occasion serve, will ride on theire cammclls (and enter into a battell), which they bringe upp for that purpose. Those are the Rasbooches, which, as the Mogull sayes, knowe as well howe to dye as anye men in the world, in regard of theire desperatenesse. They [the Banians] are partelye of Pigmalion's opinion : they will eate noe beefe nor buffellow, but honor them and pray unto them. They will kill noe livinge thinge, nor eate anye fleshe, for all the goods in the world. There are 30 and odd severall casts [Page 219] of theis, that differ in some things in theire religeon and, by theire lawe, cannot eate one with another. Yet they all in generall burne theire dead, not buryinge them as the Moores doe [...] [Page 222] Beeinge nowe at Suratt, our Agente havinge occasion to buye some rounde indicoe which was to bee had in Agra, which is about 40 dayes journey from Suratt : which journey in fyne our Agente propounded to mee, N.W. ; which I undertooke and (I thanke God) performed, although I passed through manye perills, but especiallye of drowninge, it beeinge in winter, wherin for the space of 4 monethes or there abouts yt continuallye rayneth. The 7th of June, 1614, I came to the cittye of Agra, havinge ben 37 dayes on my journey from Suratt thether, which is, as neare as I could guesse, 1010 English miles, which I was fayne to travell daye and night [...][Page 226] This Agra is noe cittye, but a towne ; yet the biggest that ever I saw. The faireste thing in yt is the castle, wherin the Kinge (when hee is in Agra) keepeth his court. The wall of this castle is some two courses in compase and the fayrest and heigheste that ever I sawe, and within well replenished with ordinants, one of the which, beeinge of brasse, is far bigger then ever I sawe anye in England. The rest of this towne (excepte some noblemens howses which are verye fayer and for the moste parte seated by the river-syde) is very ruinous. The auncient seate of the kings of this countrye, where they keepe [[kept ?]] theire courts, was in Fettepoore, 12 courses from Agra, and is a verye stronge cittye, situate uppon a mayne quarrye of rocke ; but since the castle of [Page 227] Agra was builte, this cittye hath gone much to decaye and is nowe verye ruynous. Between Fettipoore and Agra is the sepulcher of this king's father, whieh is a wonderful rich and curious buildinge, and to my judgment the faireste that ever I sawe in Christendome or elsewhere ; and yet the churche of Fettipoore cometh verye neare yt, and is likewise builte by geometrie.

18. 1612-17 THOMAS CORYAT

[Page 241]

[...]In 1625 Purchas, in his Pilgrimes (part i, book iv, chap. 17), reprinted large portions of the first, third, and fifth ; and the fifth was again reproduced, five years later, in a volume containing the works of John Taylor, the Water Poet. The 1776 edition of Coryat's works gives the first four letters in full, while as regards the fifth it is content to follow the abbreviated version supplied by Purchas. Since then there has been no fresh edition of the letters from India, though Purchas's extracts from them were of course included in the recent reissue of the Pilgrimes. The text now given is from the British Museum copies of the 1616 and 1618 pamphlets, omitting the commendatory and other verses [...]


[Page 244]

[...]From the famous citie of Lahore I had twentie daies journey to another goodly citie, called Agra, through such a delicate and eeven tract of ground as I never saw before, and doubt whether the like bee to be found within the whole circumference of the habitable world. Another thing also in this way beeing no lesse memorable then the plainenesse of the ground ; a row of trees on each side of this way where people doe travell, extending it selfe from the townes end of Lahore to the townes end of Agra ; the most incomparable shew of that kinde that ever my eies survaied. Likewise wheras ther is a mountaine some ten daies journey betwixt Lahore and Agra, but verie neere ten miles out of the way on the left hand, the people that inhabite that mountaine observe a custome very strange, that all the brothers of any familie have but one and the selfesame wife, so that one woman sometimes doth serve 6 or 7 men : the like whereof I remember I have read in Strabo, concerning the Arabians that inhabited Arabia Felix. Agra is a verie great citie, and the place where the Mogul did alwaies (saving within these two eares) keepe his court ; but in everie respect much inferior to Lahore. From thence to the Moguls court I had ten daies journey, at a towne called Asmere, where I found a cape merchant of our English men, with nine more of my countrimen, resident there upon termes of negotiations for the Right Worshipfull Company of Merchants in London that Trade for East India. I spent in my journey betwixt Jerusalem and this Moguls court 15 moneths and odde daies ; all which way I traversed afoot, but with divers paire of shooes, having beene such a propateticke (I will not call my selfe peripatetick, because you know it signifieth one that maketh a perambulation about a place, [...] signifying to walk about), that is, a walker forward on foote, as I doubt whether [Page 245] you ever heard of the like in your life ; for the totall way betwixt Jerusalem and the Moguls court containeth two thousand and seaven hundred English miles. My whole perambulation of this Asia the Greater is like to bee a passage of almost sixe thousande miles, by that time that in my returne backe thorough Persia, afterward also by Babylon and Ninivie, I shall come to Cairo in Egypt, and from that downe the Nylus to Alexandria, there to be one daie (by Gods helpe) imbarqued for Christendome ; a verie immense dimension of ground.

This is a selection from the original text


abundance, fish, grain, journey, nation, plenty, settlement, town, trade, travel, war

Source text

Title: Early Travels In India 1583-1619

Editor(s): William Foster

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Publication date: 1921

Original date(s) covered: 1583-1619

Edition: 1st Edition

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from images available at Internet Archive: http://archive.org. Original date(s) covered: 1583-1619

Digital edition

Original editor(s): William Foster

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) Tp
  • 2 ) map
  • 3 ) 8-19
  • 4 ) 23-26
  • 5 ) 28
  • 6 ) 46-47
  • 7 ) 52-54
  • 8 ) 62-63
  • 9 ) 70-73
  • 10 ) 78-79
  • 11 ) 93
  • 12 ) 95-112
  • 13 ) 125-127
  • 14 ) 130-131
  • 15 ) 133-138
  • 16 ) 142-146
  • 17 ) 151-152
  • 18 ) 154
  • 19 ) 161
  • 20 ) 162
  • 21 ) 167-170
  • 22 ) 196-197
  • 23 ) 206
  • 24 ) 207
  • 25 ) 218
  • 26 ) 219
  • 27 ) 222
  • 28 ) 226-227
  • 29 ) 241
  • 30 ) 244-245


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.