A True Relation of What Has Passed
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A True Relation of What Has Passed Between the English Company Trading to the East Indies, published in the year 1698. The identity of the writer is not known. It gives an account of various official meetings involving the East India Company with regard to its East Indies dealings. One gets to know about the procedures involving the meetings as well as the various personnel who decided on trade matters. Primary Source Anon, A True Relation of What Has Passed Between the English Company Trading to the East Indies, Bodlean Library Suggested Reading Cope,Captain, A New History of the East- Indies,archive.org
A True Relation of what has passed between the English
Company Trading to the East-Indies, and the Go-
vernor and Company of Merchants of London Trading
into the East-Indies, touching an Agreement between
both Companies: Together with some Remarks thereon.
UPON a Proposal then made by Thomas Papillon Esq That an Accommodation might be set on Foot between this Company and the Old East-India Company. The Court thank'd him for his Trouble, and told him, that they had a Disposition to agree with the Old Company upon reasonable Terms, and desired to know what Proposals the Old Company would make, which being made by Persons duly empower'd there-unto, this Court would then endeavour to get a full Authority to Treat with them in order to attain a happy Conclusion.
And on the 17th of the same Month, the said Answer was Read and Approved at a General Court holden for the said English Company.
Sir William Hedges, and Sir John Lethievllier, from the Old Company, acquainted the Court that Mr. Charles Blunt a Member of this Company, had brought to them a Copy of the Answer given by this Court to Mr. Papillon, which they said they had Communicated to their Court, and that by their Order they delivered a Copy of the Resolution of their General Court in two Papers, both of the same Tenor and Contents, viz.
Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Court, that they are willing to Join in a Coalition, with the Subscribers to the Two Millions: Provided it can be done on Safe, Just, and Reasonable Terms.
To which Message the Chairman, by Order of the Court, made Answer; Gentlemen, This Court was upon rising when you were pleased to bring in these two Papers, but they will call a Court on purpose to Weigh and Debate their Contents.
And accordingly on the 23d of January a Court of Directors was Summoned for that purpose, where it was Resolved, that the Answer to Mr. Papillon of the 8th of November last, which was Read and Approved at a General Court of this Company the 17th of the same Month, be sent and delivered to the Governor and Company of Merchants of London Trading into the East-Indies, whereby it does appear, that this Company is willing to receive such Proposals as are Safe and Reasonable.
And they Ordered that the said Resolution should be carried and delivered in Writing, to the Old East-India Company, on Wednesday then following, by Sir Streynsham Master and Sir James Bateman, two of their Members.
Sir Streynsham Master Reported, That he and Sir James Bateman had carried the Resolution of this Court of the 23d Instant, to the Court of Committees of the Old East-India Company, and that the same was Read in their Presence, and then they withdrew, and having staid without some time, Sir William Gore and Sir Samuel Dashwood, two of the Members of the Court, came out and acquainted them, that they had nothing further to say at present.
What had pass'd between both Companies being Communicated to them, they came to the following Resolution, viz. Resolved, That this Court does incline to an Agreement with the Governor and Company of Merchants of London Trading into the East-Indies, upon Safe, Just, and Reasonable Terms.
And they ordered, That the said Resolution be carried and delivered to the Ordinary Committee, or Grand Committee of the Governor and Company of Merchants of London Trading into the East-Indies, by Sir Streynsham Master and Sir James Bateman.
Sir Streynsham Master reported, That Sir James Bateman and he had (according to the Order of the General Court) been this day at the Court of Committees of the Governor and Company of Merchants of London Trading to the East-Indies, and had delivered the Resolution of the said General Court of this Company held yesterday, to the said Court of Committees, which was there Read, and the Governor acquainted them, that if this Court would meet to morrow, they would then send an Answer in Writing by Members of their own Court.
Ordered, That a Court be Summoned to morrow Morning, to receive the said Answer. And accordingly a Court of Directors was held the 4th of February, when the Answer reported to the General Court as hereunder, was brought to them; whereupon they Resolved to call a General Court on Tuesday then next following.
And the Chairman acquainted them, that Sir Streynsham Master, and Sir James Bateman had on Friday the 3d. of February Instant, delivered the Resolution of this Court of the 2d of Feb. and in Answer thereunto the Court of Directors did on Saturday last receive a Paper by the hands of Sir William Pritchard and Sir Samuel Dashwood, in the following words.
Whereas a Resolution from the General Court of the Members of the English Company Trading to the East-Indies, holden the 2d. Instant, was brought by Sir Streynsham Master, and Sir James Bateman to this Committee in Haec verba, viz. Resolved, That this Court does incline to an Agreement with the Governor and Company of Merchants of London Trading to the East-Indies, upon Safe, just and Reasonable Terms. The same being debated and considered; Resolved, That a General Court be called on Tuesday Morning next, and that this Committee will then propose to them the Authorizing and Impowering Seven Persons to Treat, pursuant to the Resolutions of both Companies; Provided The Court of Directors of the said English Company do call a General Court to meet at the same time, and propose to them the naming the like number of Persons for the same purpose. And the Chairman acquainted the Court, that upon receipt of the said paper, the Court of Directors had called this General Court to communicate the same unto them.
And then the Court took the same into consideration; and whilst they were upon the debate, Sir Richard Levitt and Sir John Lethieullier brought and delivered to the Court a Paper, which was Read, and is as follows.
This Court now thought fit to Nominate the Persons following, viz. Sir William Pritchard Kt. and Alderman, Sir Samuel Dashwood Kt. and Alderman, Sir William Langhorn Bar. Sir William Gore Kt. Alderman and Sheriff, Francis Eyles Esq Mr. William Fawkener, and William Hewer Esq whom they do Authorize and Empower to Treat with the like number of Persons to be Appointed by the General Court of the English Company Trading to the East-Indies, pursuant to the Resolutions of both Companies, and to Report their Proceedings to this Court in Ten days, or sooner. Then the Court continued the Debate, and came to the following Resolutions, Viz. Resolved, That on Tuesday the 14th of this Instant February, this Court will Choose by the Ballot Twenty four Persons out of the General Court, to be added to the Court of Directors to be a Grand Committee, in order to a Treaty to be set on foot with the Governor and Company of Merchants of London Trading to the East-Indies.
Resolved, That on Friday the 17th of this Instant February, this Court will Choose by the Ballot Seven Persons out of the said Grand Committee of Forty eight, to Treat with the Seven Persons nominated by the aforesaid Governor and Company. And the Court ordered, that a Copy of the said Resolutions should be carried by Sir William Scawen and Sir Edmond Harrison, and deliver'd to the Court or Committee of the Governor and Company of Merchants of London Trading to the East-Indies.
And the same were carried accordingly; and at a Court of Directors held the 9th of February Sir William Scawen and Sir Edmond Harrison Reported, that they had delivered the said Resolutions to the Grand Committee of the Old East-India Company, and being withdrawn, and having stay'd about an hour and half, they were again call'd in, and a paper was delivered to them in the Words following, viz.
This Committee taking into Consideration the Resolution of the General Court of the Members of the English Company Trading to the East-Indies, held the 7th Instant, this Day brought them by Sir William Scawen and Sir Edmond Harrison, do return for Answer, That they are of Opinion the said Resolution is not a Satisfactory Answer to the Paper sent by this Company on Tuesday last; but they will lay the same before the next General Court of the Governour and Company of Merchants of London Trading into the East-Indies.
Resolved, To send a Message to the Old East-India Company, to acquaint them, That this Court have Chosen Sir William Scawen, Sir Streynsham Master, Sir Edumund Harrison, Samuel Shepheard Esq Gilbert Heathcote Esq Brook Bridges Esq and Mr. Nathanael Gould, to Treat with the Seven Persons nominated by the Governour and Company of Merchants of London Trading into the East-Indies, in order to an Agreement. And Sir Theodore Janssen and Alderman Withers were ordered to carry the said Message the first Court-Day.
Whereupon the Secretary sent to the Old East-India House, to know when there would be a Court; and was answered, That there would be one on Wednesday, the 22d of February.
Sir Theodore Janssen reported, That Alderman Withers and he had this Day been at the East India House, to deliver the Message ordered by the General Court; and that Mr. Dubois came out, and told them, that there was no Court there that day, nor would there be any that he knew of till Friday next, their usual Court-days being Wednesdays and Fridays.
Sir Theodore Janssen informed the Court, that he with Alderman Withers were this Day again at the Old East-India House, and were informed, that there was no Court there: Whereupon they desired to speak with the Secretary, who sent word, That he was not well, and therefore desired to be excused; but Mr. Woolley, the under-secretary, acquainted them, that the Gentlemen went away as they came, and that there was not a Court; whereupon they said they had been there twice, and being disappointed, they desired he would send word when a Court would be held there. To which he answered, he would speak to the Governor, and if he gave him Leave, he would do it.
THE Answer given to Mr. Papillon the 8th of November, and afterwards read and Approved in a general Court, shewed a forward Disposition in the English Company to an Agreement with the Old Company.
Notwithstanding there appeared in the Old Company no Disposition on their Part towards an Agreement till above Two Months after, to gain time (as may be reasonably supposed) for the Dispatch of their Ships.
Then they sent their Resolution to join in a Coalition, &c. In Answer to which the Court of Directors of the English Company the 23d of January, sent a Repetition of the Answer given so long before to Mr. Papillon; adding, That it did thereby appear, that the English Company was willing to receive such Proposals as were Safe and Reasonable.
What had passed between both Company's being Communicated the 2d of February to the General Court of the English Company, they declared they inclined to an Agreement with the old Company; which Resolution was sent to the Old Company the day following.
And the next day a Court of Directors was called on purpose to receive an Answer thereunto, which they were told would then be sent to them, and was accordingly sent, being a Copy of the Resolution of their Court. Whereupon the English Company did Summon a General Court accordingly, which Court appointed that 24 Persons should be chosen by way of Ballot, and added to the 24 Directors, to be a Grand Committee for setting a Treaty on foot, and did then also appoint, that 7 Persons should be chosen by way of Ballot to Meet and Treat with the 7 Persons nominated by the Old Company; and the English Company the next day sent to acquaint the Old Company with the said Resolutions, and did accordingly forthwith prepare and Print a List of all their Adventurers, and gave publick Notice, That on the 14th every Adventurer should bring in his Vote of the 24 Persons to be chosen; and the next day being the 15th the Scrutineers met, and on the 16th Declared on whom the Choice fell; and on the 17th they Balloted for the 7, who were Declared the 18th; all which was performed in as short a time as was possible; The said English Company being by their Constitution and Charter to make all such Elections by the Ballot.
By the whole proceedings of the English Company, and their sending two several times on the usual Court Days of the Old Company, the Names of the Seven Persons chosen to Treat with them; it plainly appears, how ready the English Company has been to Treat with the Old Company: not-withstanding the doubtful Expressions in the Resolution of their General court to join in a Coalition with the Subscribers to the Two Millions: and also such a Message sent by them, that the answer of the English Company was not Satisfactory. And therefore the Reflections of the English Company's having Trifled or Delayed, are unjustly cast upon them by the Old Company.
Thus Matters stood when the Old Company were pleased by Petitioning the Honourable House of Commons to break off the Treaty.