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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume IX. by Robert Kerr

Part 11 out of 12

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rescue, and were now so tame, that as the Hart passed along their
broadsides, she received only a few shots great and small from any of
them, and from some none at all. The night now coming on, and our people
being all wearied by the long continuance of the fight, we all desisted
from any farther chase, and came to anchor in our usual road.

In this fight, the London and Hart had very little harm in their hulls
and tackling, and less, or rather none, in their men. The main-mast of
the Eagle was hurt in five places, four of which were quite through, and
one of her men lost his right arm. In the Roebuck, I had one man slain
by a cannon ball striking his head. A piece of his skull and some
splinters of the ball wounded one of my mates in the forehead, and
destroyed his left eye; and two others of my men lost the use of their
right hands. God be praised for our good fortune; for I never heard of
so small loss in so long a fight as we now sustained. I cannot truly
state the loss of the enemy: but, by the report of our merchants, their
vice-admiral and another captain were slain, and thirty or forty men in
the admiral's ship alone, the rest as yet unknown. As to their Moors,
they do not count them among the num her of their men.

In the morning of the 18th, the day after the action, we could see the
Portuguese at anchor ten miles to the east of us, having the wind fair
to have come down, but they did not. We then held a consultation,
whether it were better for us to take the first of the sea breeze, which
usually begins about noon, to stand towards them and try it out for the
mastery, before they could receive supplies from Ormus, Muskat, or Goa,
or else to make sail for Jasques roads, on purpose to land our goods and
money, in case of the worst, these being the prize they sought to obtain
and we to defend. Accordingly, the London got that night into Jasques
road, but the rest could not get in before the 20th, by reason of
contrary winds. On the 21st and 22d most of our goods were landed.

Sec.4. _Second Sea Fight with the Portuguese_.

On the 22d, seeing the Portuguese galleons open the road of Jasques, and
supposing they might intend to come in with the sea breeze, we set sail
and stood off for them. At first, they made a shew of giving us battle,
but soon afterwards made off upon a tack; and till the 28th, they were
either to windward, or so favourably placed at anchor, that we could not
attempt to attack them without manifest disadvantage. During this time,
they were joined by two or three frigates, or barks, from Ormus,
bringing them a supply of men and ammunition. We made one attempt on
Christmas day, but were forced back by a sudden flaw of wind; on which
occasion, some blacks aboard of us, said the Portuguese had brought a
witch from Ormus, to supply them with favourable winds.

On Innocents day, 28th December, perceiving the drift of our Portuguese
_Fabius cunclator_, to protract and avoid fighting, that by delays and
the advantage of his frigates, he might hinder us from prosecuting your
business in Persia, we determined to attempt closing with him. About one
o'clock there sprung up a favourable east wind for our purpose, on which
we immediately weighed and put every thing in order for battle. The
London and Hart came to anchor within a cable's length and half of their
broadsides, and so endured the main brunt of this second fight; for, no
sooner were they at anchor, but it fell calm and so continued all day,
insomuch that the Roebuck and Eagle, which had steered nearer to the
shore, with the intention of coming to anchor, one on the bow of their
admiral, and the other on the bow of their vice-admiral, got astern, and
could not with all our diligence be of any service for a full half hour
after the action began. At length we got within point-blank shot of
them, and then were forced either to anchor or drive farther off with
the current, as there was not a breath of wind.

We now brought our broadsides to bear, and our whole squadron plied
their ordnance upon them so fast, that had the knowledge of our men
equalled their resolution, not one of them had escaped from us. Not
willing to endure such hot entertainment, they cut their cables about
three o'clock, and drove from us with the tide to the westwards, till
out of our reach. Then came their frigates, which the day before had
made a bravado along shore with drums, trumpets, flags, and streamers,
and, now employed in a fitter task, towed them away all mangled and
torn. Their admiral, in the very hottest of the fight, was under the
necesity of giving his ship a heel to stop his leaks, his main-top-mast
and the head of his main-mast having fallen overboard. The great Dutch
ship had both his top-masts and part of his boltsprit shot away, and the
smaller lost all his shrouds and top-masts. Their vice-admiral escaped
best this day, having commonly one or other of their own ships between
him and us.

We kept them company all night, in hope of being able next morning to
give them their passports; but having taken a survey of our shot, which
we found scanty, and considering the importance of the voyage we still
had to perform, we thought it best to give over the chase and return to
Jasques; leaving them glad of our absence, their two great ships towing
the two smaller. We have had no account of their loss in this action.
All your worships ships remain serviceable, God be praised, and only
five men slain outright in these two long and severe engagements. Our
worthy admiral and kind commander, Captain Andrew Shilling, received a
great and grievous wound by a cannon ball through his left shoulder,
which he bore with such wonderful courage and patience, that we were in
great hopes of his much-wished-for recovery: But he had likewise two of
his uppermost ribs broken on the left side, and died on the 6th January,
1621, shewing himself a resolute commander in the action, and an assured
Christian in his death. We intended to have carried his body to Surat,
to have there performed his funeral rites according to his great merit,
and oar surgeons undertook to preserve his body by means of embalming
and cere-cloth, but it became so noisome that we were forced to bury him
at Jasques, which was done on the 7th, with all the solemnity and
respect in our power.

In this engagement, the London expended 1382 great shot of several
sorts, the Hart 1024, the Roebuck 815, and the Eagle 800, in all 4021.
In consequence of the death of our worthy admiral, the white box, No. I.
was opened; and according to your worships appointment, Captain Richard
Blithe succeeded to the supreme command of the London, I was removed
into the Hart, Christopher Brown into the Roebuck, and Thomas Taylor was
made master of the Eagle.[299]

[Footnote 299: This account does not agree with an accompanying official
letter, dated 13th January, 1621, giving a similar account of the two
engagements, often in the very identical words used by Swan, in which
the name of Thomas Taylor is omitted, instead of whom William Baffin is
the last in the list of signatures; and the Christian name of Swan is
made Robert instead of Richard.--E.]

Sec.5. _Sequel of the Voyage_.

The 14th January, 1621, having had forty-eight hours continual and
excessive rain, which, or much wind, is usual at Jasques for three or
four days at the full and change of the moon, and having finished our
business at Jasques, we set sail on our return to Surat, where we
arrived on the 1st February. Nothing material occurred on the passage,
except that, on the 27th January, between Diu and the _sand-heads_, we
surprised a small ship of war, called Nostra Senaora de Remedio, of 100
tons, commanded by Francisco de Sylva, manned by thirty-five Portuguese
and twenty-five Moors, sent out by the governor of Diu to protect their
small merchant ships against the Malabar rovers. We dismissed the men
and kept the ship for our use, calling her the Andrew, after our late
excellent general. She had in her neither meat, money, nor commodities,
and scarcely as many poor suits of clothes as there were backs.

The 27th of February we began to take in our loading. The 5th of March,
the, Eagle was sent down to keep guard over the junk belonging to the
prince, and to hinder her from any farther loading, till they granted
free passage for our carts with goods and provisions, which had been
restrained for six or seven days by the vexatious procedure of the
governor of Olpar, a town near Surat. By this means, no cotton wool was
allowed to come down till our ships were fully laden. On the 16th of
March, having notice that the Camla, from Agra, had been robbed by the
Deccan army, we resolved to seek restitution upon the ships of the
Deccan prince and his confederates in this transaction, as we intended
wintering in the Red Sea. The 19th, the governor of Surat having given
us satisfaction in regard to the carts, and a supply of powder and shot
for our money, and promise under his hand for redress of other injuries,
we dismissed the junk belonging to the prince from duress.

From the 25th of March to the 6th of April, 1621, the winds have been
S. and S.S.W. or W. and blowing so hard from noon till midnight, raising
so great a surf on the shore, that no business could be done except on
the last quarter of the ebb and first of the flood tide. We sailed on
the 7th April. The 9th, the Eagle and a Dutch pinnace, called the
Fortune, parted company, being consigned to Acheen and Bantam. The
London, Hart, Roebuck, and Andrew, were intended for the Red Sea, if not
too late.

The 1st May, the Andrew and our boats surprised a Portuguese ship of 200
tons called the St Antonio, which we named the May-flower. Her principal
lading consisted of rice taken in at Barcelor, whence she had gone to
Goa, and sailed from thence for Ormus and Muskat on the 8th of April. We
learnt from this prize, that Ruy Frere de Andrada was busy in repairing
his ships at Ormus, and that Don Emanuel de Azeredo had departed from
Gor fifty days before for Ormus, to reinforce Andrada with two galleons,
one of these being the same in which the viceroy was personally, when he
engaged our fleet under Captain Downton. During a calm on the 7th, we
captured a small frigate-built ship called the Jacinth, which we named
the Primrose, which had come from Mozambique and was bound for Goa.
Thence to the 13th, we had variable winds, with calms and much rain.
Finding the May-flower delayed us much, and that our pilots were either
ignorant or malicious, we resolved to trust to our own endeavours for
finding an anchoring place, for our safe riding till the strength of the
adverse monsoon was over, for which purpose we determined upon going to

[Footnote 300: From the latitude of this place, mentioned afterwards in
the text, this seems to refer to Mazica, an island about sixty miles
long and fifteen or twenty in breadth, a few miles from the oceanic
coast of Arabia, in lat. 20 deg. 48' N. and long. 57 deg. 3O' E. from

We descried land on the 2d June, and anchored in seventeen fathoms three
miles offshore, in lat. 20 deg. 20' N. variation 17 deg. W. We found plenty of
water in four or five pits, three quarters of a mile from the shore. I
had forty tons from one well, which we rolled in hogsheads to the beach.
The people were tractable, but we got little else besides water. A tuft
of date trees by the watering place bore N.W. by W. from our anchorage,
and the other end of the island N.E. 1/2 E. five leagues off. The 12th
we sailed for the N.E. end of the island, and in the afternoon came to
anchor in a fair bay, having seven fathoms on clean ground, a black oozy
sand, the N.E. point bearing S. 1/2 a league off, the landing place
W.S.W. two miles off, and the north part of the bay N. by W. four miles
off. The latitude of this bay is 20 deg. 30' N. and the variation 17 deg.
W.[301] In this bay you may ride safely in any depth between five and
twelve fathoms. It is an excellently healthy place, cold and hungry,
affording no refreshments except water, enough of which is to be had by
digging pits; but it is ill to boat except at the usual landing place.
This place afforded us no better supplies than the former, except that
we got a few goats and lambs in exchange for canikens. Though good
anchorage, this bay was much troubled by a tumbling rolling sea, yet we
resolved to remain here with the Hart and Roebuck till the fury of the
monsoon were past.

[Footnote 301: The north end of Mazica is in lat. 21 deg. 12", and its south
end in 20 deg. 15', both N.--E.]

Having separated some time before from the London, our admiral, we sent
on the 19th of June, one Abdelavie, an inhabitant of this island, as far
as Zoar with letters in quest of the London. He returned on the 6th July
with letters in answer, informing us that the London was at Zoar, seven
leagues within Cape Rasalgat, having watered with difficulty at Teve,
where their surgeon, Mr Simons, and the chaplain's servant, were
surprised on shore by the Portuguese and Arabs. The Hart and Roebuck
sailed from Macera, [Mazica,] on the 6th of August, and anchored in the
evening of the 8th beside the admiral in the port of Zoar. This road
differs from that in which we were in, being cairn, but the air was so
hot as to take away our appetites.

We sailed from Zoar on the 15th of August and returned to Swally roads.
The 21st September, our whole fleet sailed from Swally, and on the 27th
we took leave of the fleet bound for Jasques, consisting of the London,
Jonas, Whale, Dolphin, Lion, Rose, Shilling, Richard, and Robert. The
1st January, 1622, we were between Johanna and Mayotta, two of the
Comoro islands. The 29th we anchored in Saldanha roads, [Table Bay,]
having come thither from Surat in nine weeks and three days, blessed be
God for our safe and speedy passage. We here watered, bathed in the
river, caught fish, and buried our letters; purchasing three cows, one
calf, and four sheep, all unsavoury meat.

We sailed again on the 3d February, and anchored on the 19th at St
Helena, where we found the Wappen and the Hollandia, two Dutch ships,
the latter of which caught fire on the 22d, owing to her cloves, which
had been taken in too green at Amboina. There was likewise a third small
Dutch ship. They arrived eleven days before us, and it will take them at
least ten days more to discharge and reload their damaged cloves. We
sailed from St Helena on the 28th February, and anchored in the Downs on
the 7th June, 1622.



"In the Pilgrims of Purchas, vol. II. pp. 1785-1805, there is a long
confused account of this business, contained in four several sections;
to which many letters and certificates on the subject are subjoined.
The _first_ is a brief historical memoir of the foundation of Ormus, from
a chronicle in the Arabic, said to have been composed by _Pacha
Turunxa_, perhaps Pacha Turun Shah, one of the kings of that petty
sovereignty. The _second_ is a relation of the Ormus war, by Mr W.
Pinder, who appears to have served under Andrew Shilling, during the
preceding voyage, and sailed as master of the Andrew on this occasion.
The _third_ is an account of the earlier part of this war of Ormus,
written by T. Wilson, a surgeon serving in the expedition. The fourth is
a more particular relation of the whole events of this expedition,
extracted by Purchas from the journal of Mr Edward Monoxe, agent for the
East Indian merchants trading in Persia. This last has been chosen, as
best adapted to give a distinct view of the expedition, but some
freedoms have been assumed with it, by assisting the narrative from the
other documents in Purchas, already specified."--E.

[Footnote 302: Purch. Pilgr. II. 179s.]

* * * * *

At a consultation held in Swally roads on the 14th November, 1621, a
commission was given by Mr Thomas Rastell, president, and the rest of
the council, of our factory at Surat, to Captains Richard Blithe and
John Weddell, who were bound for Jasques, with five good ships and four
pinnaces. The ships were the London, Jonas, Whale, Dolphin, and Lion,
and the pinnaces the Shilling, Rose, Robert, and Richard. They were
directed to sail with the earliest opportunity for Jasques, keeping
together for their mutual defence against the enemy; and, as the
Portuguese had disturbed the trade, and made sundry assaults on our
ships, killing, maiming, and imprisoning our men, they were authorized
to chase and capture any vessels belonging to the ports or subjects
under the viceroy of Goa; as likewise, if they met any ships belonging
to Dabul, Chaul, or other ports of the Deccan, or to the subjects of the
Zamorin of Calicut, to arrest them, in replacement of goods robbed and
spoiled by these powers, without embezzling any part of their cargoes,
that restitution might be made, after due satisfaction rendered on their
parts. A sixth part of the goods taken from the Portuguese were to be
distributed as prize, the ship and the rest of the goods to remain to
the company; and all the prisoners to be retained, that they might be
exchanged for our countrymen, held by them in miserable bondage. They
were directed to hasten their business and dispatch at Jasques, if
possible within thirty days. And as our enemy under Ruy Frere de
Andrada, was reinforced to six galleons, with other small vessels,
waiting on the coast of Persia in all likelihood to attack our fleet,
they were authorized, both defensively and offensively also, to use all
opportunities or advantages against the Portuguese fleet, even in their
own ports, if approved by a general council of war.

We arrived in Costack roads on the 23d December, about twenty-seven
leagues from Jasques, Ormus being in sight about ten leagues W.N.W. by a
meridional compass. Our factors here informed us, that after our
sea-fight in the former year, the Portuguese governor of Ormus had
erected a fort on Kismis, an island within sight of Ormus, to which the
Persians had laid siege for seven or eight months ineffectually, and had
lost eight or nine thousand men in the siege; wherefore the Khan or
prince of Shiras had, by his ministers, demanded the aid of our ships
against the common enemy, the Portuguese, otherwise threatening to
detain all the goods and money belonging to the company in Persia. In a
consultation held on the 26th December on board the Jonas, in which were
present, Captain Richard Blithe, John Weddell, Edward Monoxe, William
Baffin, and many others, articles of agreement for giving our aid to the
Persians against the Portuguese were drawn up, and being translated into
the Persian language, were forwarded by the governor of the province of
Mogustan to the Khan of Shiras, then on his way towards Mina, near the
mouth of the Persian gulf.

In this consultation, it was considered, as it was required of us by the
Persians, that we should give them aid with our ships and people in this
war, not only for the purpose of vanquishing the Portuguese navy, but
for conquering the island and castle of Ormus; and as we were confident
they would endeavour to force us into this service, by embargoing our
goods, the governors having already refused to give us camels for their
carriage from Mina to the ports: Wherefore, the foresaid proposition
being maturely considered, together with the commission from the factors
at Surat, warranting us to right ourselves for the great losses and
hindrances suffered from the Portuguese, by interrupting our trade both
in India and Persia, and their attack last year against the fleet under
Captain Shilling; we therefore agreed to proffer the following articles
to the Khan, for the public benefit and the securing a peaceable and
profitable trade.

_First_.--In case of conquering the island and castle of Ormus by the
Persians with our aid, one half of the spoil and purchase of both to
belong to the English, and the other half to the Persians.
_Secondly_--The castle of Ormus shall be delivered up to the English,
with all the ordnance, arms, and ammunition thereunto belonging; and the
Persians to build another fortress there for themselves, at their own
charges. _Thirdly_.--The customs of Ormus shall be equally divided
between the English and the Persians, and the English shall be for ever
free from customs. _Fourthly_.--All Christians made prisoners in this
war shall be given up to the disposal of the English, and all Mahomedan
prisoners to the Persians. _Fifthly_.--The Persians shall be at half the
charges of the ships employed in this enterprize, in victuals, wages,
wear-and-tear, and shall furnish all necessary powder and shot at their
sole expence.

These were the chief articles, besides which several others were agreed
upon, to be proposed to the Khan. After his arrival at Mina, Mr Bell and
Mr Monaxe were sent to wait upon him, on the 8th January, 1622, and were
entertained at a sumptuous banquet. A great feast and triumph was also
made, in consequence of intelligence that the Shah had conquered a
great country in Arabia, with its capital Aweiza.[303] Next day, the
Khan sent his vizier and two other principal officers to give an answer
to our proposed articles. The _first_ was granted. For the _second_, it
was substituted that the castle of Ormuz was to be occupied by both
nations till the King's pleasure was known. The _third_ was granted,
provided also, that the goods from India belonging to the king and the
Khan were to pass free of duty. In regard to the _fourth_, reservation
was made as to the two principal Portuguese captains, Ruy Frere, captain
of Kismis Castle, and Simon de Mela, governor of Ormus, till the king's
pleasure were known. Other articles were agreed upon; such as that no
change was to be made in regard to religion, and the expence of military
stores was to be divided. The Khan and Mr Bell signed these articles;
and presently our goods were laden upon the Khan's own camels at free
cost, which could not be procured before for any money.

[Footnote 303: This assuredly alludes to Ahwas in Khosistan, to the N.W.
of the lower Euphrates, opposite to Bussrah, which, though not in
Arabia, is in its immediate neighbourhood, and principally inhabited by
people of Arabian origin.--E.]

The 10th of January we returned to Costack, and going on board,
acquainted our commanders with the success of our mission. When the news
of this agreement became known among the several ships companies, they
consulted among themselves, and with one voice refused to take any share
in the business. This broke out first in the London, in which ship fifty
or sixty of her crew took part in refusing to have any thing to do with
this warlike measure; but, after taking much pains to reconcile them to
the propriety and necessity of joining with the Persians, Captain Blithe
at last prevailed with them, and they promised to go with him wherever
he chose to lead them. In a day or two, the flame of discontent and
opposition spread among the other ships, alleging that it was no
mercantile business, and that it might lead to a breach of the peace
between our nation and Spain; but formal protests being taken against
the crews, what with the fear of forfeiting their wages, and a promised
gratification of a month's pay, they all at last yielded.

We set sail for Ormus on the 19th of January, and anchored on the night
of the 22d before the town, about two leagues from the castle, expecting
that the enemy's armada would come out to fight us, consisting of five
galleons, and some fifteen or twenty frigates, or armed barks; but they
hauled in so near the castle, that we could not get nigh them. For which
reason, and because our avowed enemy, Ruy Frere de Andrada, was in his
newly-erected castle of Kismis, we sailed to that place, where we
arrived the next day, and were just in time to save the lives of the
Portuguese, who were no longer able to hold out against the Persians,
and were willing rather to yield to us than them. After many meetings
and treaties, they yielded up both themselves and their castle into our
hands on the 1st February, it being concluded that the whole garrison
was to depart with their private property to any place except Ormus,
their commander only remaining in our hands as a pledge for the
fulfilment of the capitulation. In this service two of our people were
slain, one of whom was Mr Baffin.[304]

[Footnote 304: Mr Baffin was a mathematician and mariner, to whom our
northern and north-western voyages are much indebted.--_Purch_.

Hence almost certainly the person to whom Baffin's bay, in the
north-east of America, owes its name.--E.]

There were about a thousand persons of all sorts in this castle, of whom
the Portuguese and some Mahometans were sent away: But the Khan required
certain Mahometans to be given up, who he pretended had revolted from
him. They were accordingly delivered up, and, though he had formerly
promised them mercy, he put them all to death. This castle had seventeen
pieces of ordnance, one of which was a brass pedro, two iron
demiculverins, four brass sackers, two iron minions, and six iron

[Footnote 305: On a former occasion, we have given an account of the
various kinds of ordnance used about the 17th century. The _pedro_ was
probably a gun of large calibre for throwing _stone_ bullets. In modern
times, cannon are designated by the weights of their respective balls,
in combination with their being long or short, land or sea, field or
garrison, single or double fortified, iron or brass.--E.]

Leaving some Englishmen to assist in keeping possession of this fortress
along with the Persians, according to agreement, we set sail on the 4th
February for Gambroon, on the mainland of Persia, within three leagues
of Ormus, and directly opposite. Ruy Frere de Andrada, the late
commander of Kismis, was sent off for Surat, in the Lion, accompanied by
the Rose and Richard. The London, Jonas, Whale, and Dolphin, with the
two prizes of 250 tons each, remained to transport the Persians in
safety to Ormus. We were royally feasted at Gambroon by the Khan, who
was much dissatisfied that Andrada and some of the Moors had not been
delivered up to him, yet dissembled his discontent, in regard of his
farther need for our ships in the enterprise against Ormus. After the
feast, all the English gentlemen present were presented with vests, each
according to his rank.

On the 9th of February we set sail for Ormus, having about two hundred
Persian boats of all sizes, besides two frigates or barks, and our
ships, having in them about 2500 or 3000 Persian soldiers, of various
sorts. We anchored that night about two leagues from the castle; and
next forenoon all the Persians were landed on the island of Ormus, a
little way from the town, to which they marched in a confused manner,
penetrating as far as the Meidan, or market-place, without resistance.
The market-place was barricadoed and defended for some time by the
Portuguese with shot and pikes; but the Persians soon made way, with
small loss, and drove the Portuguese before them into the castle, like
so many sheep. One Persian only, who first entered, was slain by a pike,
and he who slew him soon lost his head, his heels being too heavy to
carry it away.

On first entering the city, the Persian general, named Einam Culi Beg,
placed captains with detachments of soldiers in various quarters,
proclaiming that each officer was to be answerable for the safety of the
quarter assigned to him, and threatening death to all who were found
pillaging. Some infringing these orders were severely punished, some
being hanged, others having their ears or noses cut off, and others
bastinadoed even for trifles. Yet, in two or three days after, the shops
and houses were forced open, and every man so wearied with carrying away
plunder all day long, and sleeping so securely at night without any
proper military precautions, that the Portuguese might easily have slain
many, if they had ventured upon making a sally.

On the night of our landing, I took possession of a very commodious
house for a factory, which, for convenience and goodness of its rooms,
exceeded, as I think, any factory belonging to the Honourable Company.
But it proved too hot for me on the 13th, in the night, as one of the
master's mates of the Whale, with others of his companions, after I was
in bed, by carelessness of candles, while searching for plunder, set a
room on fire in which were some goods given me in charge by the general.
Fortunately the wind favoured us, so that the house was not consumed.
Considering the strength of this city, and that every house was as it
were a little castle, I was astonished the Portuguese should have
abandoned it so soon. But it seems they were afraid of being intercepted
by the Persians in their retreat to the castle, and dreaded that the
Mahometan inhabitants might have betrayed them.

The Persians began presently to throw up trenches, and daily approached
nearer the castle, and, with our help, erected batteries for ordnance,
and sconces or redoubts for securing their men, and protecting the
trenches. With the cannon from our ships, we sore galled the Portuguese
ships, forcing them to haul in as close as possible to the castle. On
the 24th of February, four of our boats set fire to the San Pedro,
formerly admiral of Andrada's fleet, which put all the rest in great
danger, but the tide carried her out to sea, and her relics were towed
on shore at Gambroon by the Arab and other country boats, some iron
ordnance and shot being got out of her burnt carkass. The Khan was much
rejoiced at this exploit.

The Persians having succeeded in constructing a mine under one of the
bastions, which was charged with upwards of forty barrels of powder, it
was exploded on the 17th of March, by which a practicable breach was
made in the salient angle of the bastion. The Persians made immediately
a fierce assault, and Shah Culi Beg got possession of the bastion with
200 of his bravest men, and maintained himself there for at least three
hours; but the Portuguese made a brave defence, and with powder-pots,
scalding lead, and other devices of fire, did much hurt to the
assailants, burning, scalding, and slaying many of them, so that the
Persians were at last driven out with considerable loss, most of them
being wounded, scalded, or scorched. On the same day, the city was set
on fire in several places, by the command of the Persian general, as was
reported, because his Arab soldiers lurked among the houses, and could
not be got forth to do any service in the siege.

To the number of four or five thousand men, we were now cooped up in a
barren island without shelter, producing nothing in itself except salt;
and I know not by what mistaken policy the general had been induced to
send away all the rice and other victuals, by which means we were
reduced to depend upon the continent for a daily supply of provisions,
and even water; so that, if a fleet of Portuguese frigates had come, as
was expected, we must have been famished, as the country boats durst not
have ventured to us from the main. The rain water in the open cisterns
was daily wasted, and became brackish, no care being taken to fill the
jars and private cisterns in almost every house, while it remained good.
The Persians are quite ignorant in the art of war, for they entered the
breach without fear, precaution, or means of establishing themselves;
and they lost with shame what they might have defended with honour. I
observed other defects in their management, even of the very sinews of
war; and I am astonished that Shah Abbas, the wonder of our age, should
have sent his army on this expedition so weakly provided with money,
arms, ammunition, ships, and all other necessaries. I am even satisfied
that all the money belonging to the khan was consumed in one month's pay
to our ships, and I fear we shall have to wait for the rest till the
plunder is converted into money. In regard to arms and ammunition, they
have only small pieces, with bows and arrows, and swords, some of their
chiefs having coats of mail. They were so scarce of powder, that after
blowing their mine, they had hardly enough to supply the small arms for
entering the breach, though furnished with twenty or twenty-five barrels
from our ships. They had not a single scaling-ladder to assist their
entry. Were we to forsake them, they would soon be completely at a
stand, yet they have already broken conditions with us in several
things, and I much fear, when all is done, we shall be paid with
reversions, and what else they themselves please.

Our ordnance so galled the Portuguese ships from the shore, that a
galleon was sunk on the 19th of March, and two more on the 20th and 23d.
The last come ship from Goa, which was their admiral, and one of the
others, were, I think, sacrificed by the policy of the governor, that
the garrison might have no means of escape, and might therefore defend
themselves manfully to the last, in hopes of relief from Goa, though
some thought they went down in consequence of injuries from sunken
rocks, in hauling them so near the castle to get them out of the range
of our battery.

On the 27th, news was brought me that some of the Portuguese were come
from the castle to treat of peace, upon which I repaired to the
general's tent, where I could well perceive, by the countenances of our
two English commanders, that I was by no means welcome: But, to requite
them in their own coin, both they and I soon saw that none of us were
acceptable to the Persians, for they long delayed bringing in the
Portuguese messenger, in hopes we would have gone away, but at length,
seeing we remained, he was brought in. The drift of his speech was to
the following effect:--"His captain had sent him to kiss the hands of
the general, and to ask the reason of making war upon the Portuguese,
who were friends to the Persians, and thought it strange, considering
their ancient league and friendship, that so great a war should be made
only for one or two wells of water. Besides, that the governor and
people of Ormus were not to blame for what had been done at Kismis by
Ruy Frere de Andrada; yet were they willing, so far as might consist
with the honour of their sovereign, to purchase peace, which they needed
not to do either from fear or weakness, having above a thousand
able-bodied men in the castle, with provisions and water for many
months; besides which, they were in daily expectation of succours from
Goa. He concluded by saying, that the Persians would find it a hard
matter to win the castle, as they were resolved to defend themselves to
the last man."

The latter part of this speech, consisting of bravado, was by no means
pleasing to the Persian general, who desired the messenger to declare
the purpose of his coming. On which he said, the governor wished to know
what the Persian general would have? To this the general answered, that
he would have the castle; and with that answer the messenger was
dismissed, without even the offer of a cup of wine, if I had not caused
one to be given him. I suspect he brought a more substantial message,
which was omitted on account of our presence, having been so instructed
by Shah Culi Beg, in whose house he was at least for an hour before he
was brought before the general. I fear therefore some sinister designs
of the Persians, which a few days will discover.

Our captains, by means of their interpreters, now moved their own
affairs with the general, to which he gave no great heed, but desired
that business might be deferred for some time; yet had he that very day
earnestly entreated them to send him a quantity of powder from the
ships, meaning that night to attempt blowing up the castle, for which
the mines were all ready, and he wanted nothing but powder. They had
accordingly sent him thirty-four barrels, for which forwardness I fear
the Company at home will give them little thanks.

The 28th March, understanding that two chief men of the Portuguese
garrison were in Shah Culi Beg's house, where they had been four or five
hours in conference with the Persian general, without sending to us,
which increased our suspicions that the Persians meant to deal
fraudulently with us; the two English commanders and I went together to
the tent of the Persian general, and expressed our dislike of this
underhand manner of proceeding. We stated, that we were partakers with
them in this war, in which we had hazarded ourselves, our ships, and our
goods, besides the hindrance we sustained by losing the monsoon, and
that we ought to be equal participators in all treaties and proceedings,
as well as in the war, and desired therefore to know what they had
concluded, or meant to conclude, with the Portuguese. To this he
answered, that nothing had been done, neither should any thing be
concluded without acquainting us. This was a mere empty compliment,
which all his actions belied. We must, however, be content to suffer all
with patience: Yet, were it not for our merchants and woods in Persia,
we could easily have remedied this affair, and have brought the
Portuguese to such terms as we pleased. As matters stand, however, we
are so tied down, we must be patient, and I fear things will turn out
very ill, though they pretend all things shall be done to our

About noon this day, seeing many Arabs in the Meidan armed with pikes
and guns, whom I did not usually see so armed, I at length observed them
ranged upon both sides of the market-place, and presently afterwards two
Portuguese gentlemen passed, attended by six or eight pages and
servants, one of whom carried an umbrella over their heads. They were
accompanied by Shah Culi Beg, and other chief Persians, who conducted
them to the house of Agariza of Dabul. Though uninvited, I went there
also, and intruded into their company, where I found the Persian general
and other chiefs, his assistants and counsellors. The general gave me a
kind welcome, and made me sit down next himself, which I did not refuse,
that the Portuguese might see we were in grace and favour. Having made
my obeisance to the Persians, I then saluted the Portuguese officers,
who returned the compliment, after which I had some general conversation
with them, not pertaining to the great purpose in hand, of which I did
not presume to speak, till the general gave me occasion, which was not
until after a collation of _pilaw_, and other dishes, after the fashion
of Persia.

The collation being ended, the general asked them what was now their
desire. They answered, that the captain of the castle had given them
written instructions, but had desired them to make their proposals to
the Khan himself, who now resided at Gombroon, if they might be
permitted to wait upon him. To this the general answered, that he durst
not allow them, unless the Khan were first made acquainted with their
desire. I could plainly perceive that this proceeded only from affected
delays on both sides, to give time for attaining their several purposes.
The Portuguese then proceeded to complain, as formerly, against Ruy
Frere, as if he durst have presumed to seize and fortify Kismis without
orders from the king his master. They alleged also that the affair was
in itself of no moment, being only a barren island with a well or two.
To this the Persian general replied, it was of no matter what might be
its value, but they had gone to war against the king of Persia and his
subjects, for which their castle of Ormus must make satisfaction;
wherefore, if they would surrender the castle without any more
bloodshed, they should have good quarter and kind usage. The Portuguese
said they had no commission to treat of any such matter, and so the
conference ended, and they were dismissed.

Notwithstanding of the Portuguese being refused leave to go to the Khan,
they had licence that same night, and were sent over to treat with him
at Gambroon. I could never know the certainty of the proposed treaty,
but shall here insert what I heard reported on the subject. They
proposed, in the first place, to the Khan, to raise the siege, and
permit them to enjoy their city and castle of Ormus as formerly, in
consideration of which, they offered to pay 200,000 tomans in hand, and
the yearly rent they had formerly paid to the king of Ormus, from the
revenue of the custom-house, which, as I have heard, was 140,000 rials
of eight or Spanish dollars yearly. But some said, besides the 200,000
tomans in hand, they offered as much yearly. [306] It was reported that
the Khan demanded 500,000 tomans in hand, equal to L172,418:10:7
sterling,[307] and an yearly rent of 200,000 tomans.

[Footnote 306: A toman, by the data in the text immediately following,
is about seven shillings; hence 200,000 tomans are equal to L70,000

[Footnote 307: At the former computation, this sum is equal to L175,000;
and the conversion in the text gives 6s. 11-3/4d, and a small fraction
more for each toman, being very near 7s. which is more convenient.--E.]

The 2d April, with the aid of the English, the Persians blew up two
other mines, by which a fair and practicable breach was opened, through
which the besiegers might have entered without much difficulty, yet was
there no assault made. Having noticed this carefully, Captain Weddell
went to the Persian general to learn his purposes; when, to excuse the
backwardness of his people, he pretended that the breach was too
difficult to be assaulted with any hope of success. Yet we knew the
contrary, as an English youth, who was servant to the master of the
Jonas, bolder than any of the Persians, had gone up the breach to the
very top of the castle wall, and told us it was as easily ascendible as
a pair of stairs, and broad enough for many men to go abreast. In
representing this to the general, and asking what were his future plans
of proceeding, he told us he would be ready with another mine in three
days. This I believed to be true, for his mining is to procure gold, not
to make breaches, unless breach of promise to us, which he can easily
do; for of late they have not performed any of their engagements, yet
will not this teach us to look to ourselves.

The greatest hurt done by the Portuguese to the Persians in the assault
on the castle, was by means of powder-pots, by which many of the
assailants were scorched and severely burned. To guard against this, the
Khan has now sent over many coats and jackets of leather, as not so
liable to catch fire as their calico coats, quilted or stuffed with
cotton wool. Yet, according to the English proverb, _The burnt child
dreads the fire;_ notwithstanding their leathern coats, none of them are
hardy enough to attempt this new breach, though much easier to enter
than the former, any farther than to pillage certain bales of _bastas_
and other stuffs which have fallen down from a barricade or breast-work,
thrown up by the Portuguese for defending the top of the breach from the
fire of the Persians.

On the 5th of April the Persian general had news that 100,000 maunds of
powder were arrived from Bahrein. On the 12th, a Portuguese came to the
Persian general, having escaped from the castle, and gave accounts of
the great wants and weaknesses of the garrison, insomuch, that six or
eight died daily of the flux, chiefly owing to their having nothing to
drink, but corrupted brackish water, of which even they have so little
as to be put on short allowance, so that several have died of thirst.
Their only food consists of rice and salt fish, both of which would
require a good allowance of drink. Notwithstanding all this, the Persian
general wastes his time in constructing new mines, of which he has no
less than three in hand at this time, as if he proposed to blow up the
wall all round about, before making any fresh assault. On the night of
the 12th, one of our frigates or barks, which belonged to the London,
being on guard alone, to prevent the escape of the Portuguese frigates,
was clapped on board by two of these at once, but beat them both off. I
know not what might be the loss of the Portuguese on this occasion, but
two of our men were slain, and seven wounded; yet, had not our black
rowers forsaken them, our people might easily have taken the assailants.

The 14th, the Persians sprung another mine, by which a very assailable
breach was made, yet no assault was attempted. On this occasion, the
mine had to be sprung before it was quite ready, because the Portuguese
had already come so near it with a counter mine, that the Persians were
afraid of their mine being rendered useless before they could place
their powder. Another deserter came from the castle on the 15th, who
confirmed the report given by the former, and told us that the two
frigates which had assailed ours had come from Muskat, with the son of
the deceased Don Francisco de Sousa, late governor of the castle of
Ormus, who had come on purpose to carry away his mother and other women
from the castle.

At this time, the Moors who had surrendered to us from the castle of
Kismis, were delivered up to the Persian general, at his earnest
request, and partly with their own consent, on promise of being pardoned
for having served under the Portuguese against their own king and
country, and of being provided for and employed in the siege of Ormus.
He seemed to ratify this promise, both to them and us, by entertaining
some of their chiefs in our presence, with much apparent courtesy, even
giving fine new vests to five or six of the principal officers. Yet next
morning he caused eighty of their heads to be cut off, and sent the five
or six newly-vested chiefs to the Khan at Gambroon, to receive their
final doom, which was soon settled, as they were sentenced to the same
fate with their fellows. Mir Senadine, their chief captain, was executed
by the hands of Shere Alli, governor of Mogustan, who had married his
daughter, and yet put his father-in-law to death with as much
willingness as if he had been his mortal enemy.

The 17th of April, the Persians sprung another mine, closely adjoining
their first. This did not produce the effect expected, as it burst out
at the side, carrying part of the wall along with it, yet did little or
no harm upwards, which was the point aimed at, on purpose to widen the
former breach. Yet it encouraged the Persian general to try another
assault, with at least 2000 soldiers. They ran up the breach with great
resolution, into part of a bulwark or bastion, which they might easily
have gained, had not their haste run their resolution out of breath;
insomuch, that eight or ten Portuguese, assisted by a few blacks, armed
only with rapiers, made them give ground and retire to the outer skirt
of the bulwark, where there was not room for forty men to face the
enemy. They here endeavoured, however, to entrench themselves; but,
before they could establish a lodgement, the Portuguese plied two or
three pieces of ordnance upon them from a flanking battery, which sent
some scores of the Persians with news to their prophet _Mortus Alli_
that more of his disciples would shortly be with them. This accordingly
was the case, chiefly owing to their own ignorance and cowardice; for,
had they not made a stand in that place, but rushed pell-mell along with
the Portuguese into the castle, they might have carried it with less
than half the loss they sustained that day to little purpose. Had I not
been an eye-witness, I could hardly have believed the stupid ignorance
of the Persian general on this occasion. He had two breaches, almost
equally good, yet applied all his men to the assault of one only,
instead of attempting both at one time. Besides, he had at least eighty
or an hundred scaling-ladders, yet not one of them was brought near the
castle walls. His soldiers hung clustering on the breach, like a swarm
of bees, or a flock of sheep at a gap, none having the heart to enter,
while the Portuguese gleaned away five or six at a shot, sometimes more,
driving forwards their black soldiers to throw powder-pots among the

The assault was renewed on the 18th, but with more harm to the Persians
than the Portuguese. During the intervening night, two blacks made signs
to the Persians on the top of the breach, that they wished to come over
to them, and were drawn up with ropes. By these it was learned that the
captain of the castle had been wounded in the head by a stone; that
there were not above an hundred men in the garrison able to handle their
arms: and that their water grew daily more scanty and worse in quality,
by which the mortality continually increased. They reported also that
great difference in opinion prevailed among the Portuguese, some wishing
to endeavour to escape by sea, while others held it more honourable to
sell their lives at a dear rate, by defending the castle to the last
extremity, and proposed, when they could no longer hold out, to put all
their women and treasure into a house and blow them up, that the
Persians might neither enjoy their wealth nor abuse their wives; and,
when this was done, to rush upon the Persians, and so end their days.

In the evening of the 19th, the Persians made another effort to press
forwards, and got possession of the entire bulwark, forcing the
Portuguese to retire farther within the castle. In this conflict many of
the Portuguese were wounded, and sore scalded with fire-pots, in the
management of which the Persians had now become expert, though many of
them had paid dearly for their instruction. In this conflict four
Portuguese were slain, and their heads brought to the Persian general.
In this art of cutting off heads, the Persians are particularly cunning,
insomuch, that I do not think there is an executioner in all Germany
that can excel them. No sooner does a Persian lay hold of an enemy, than
off goes his head at one blow of his scymitar.[308] He then makes a hole
in the ear or cheek with his dagger, by which he will sometimes bring
three or four heads at once to his general. When it is proposed to send
these heads taken in war to be seen by the king or the khan, they very
adroitly flea off the skin of the head and face, which they stuff up
with straw like a foot-ball, and so send them by whole sackfulls.[309]

[Footnote 308: This, however, is to the praise of the Persians, as good
swordsmen, on which account the Turks fear coming to hand blows with

[Footnote 309: In Turkey they manage this barbarous trophy of success
more conveniently, as the Grand Signior is satisfied with a display of
the ears of his enemies preserved in salt.--E.]

This night, one of the frigates that came from Muskat for Douna de
Sousa, made her escape, no doubt very richly freighted. Her consort,
which likewise attempted to get away, was chased in again. That which
escaped, being hailed by the Arab boats that lay in wait to intercept
the passage, got off by using the watch-word usual between the English
and Arabs, _Ingres ingresses,_ which had not been once changed since the
commencement of this enterprize, in which oversight both the Persians
and English were highly blameable, as, by the continual use of this
watch-word, it had come to the knowledge of the Portuguese, who thus
used it to their great benefit.

During the night of the 20th April, the other frigate made an effort to
escape, but was intercepted and taken by the frigate and pinnace
belonging to the London. This frigate was employed to carry away the
Portuguese _almirante,_ named Luis de Brito, a kinsman to the viceroy of
Goa, but the captain of the castle would not permit him to go away; and
the men belonging to this frigate, being seven persons, fearing the
capture of the castle and desirous to secure their own lives, stole away
without leave.

The 21st, the Persians made a display of making themselves masters of
the castle by storm; but, while we expected to see them put this bold
measure in execution, I discovered that they and the Portuguese were
engaged in a parley. While I was preparing to wait on the Persian
general, to enquire the cause of this sudden change of measures, I met a
messenger from our English commanders, informing me that a boat had come
off to our ships from the castle, bearing a flag of truce, and desiring
my presence on board to see what was the purpose of this communication.
On my getting on board the London, I found two Portuguese there, with
the following letters from the captain of the castle, and the almirante:

"There hath been such ancient friendship between the
Portuguese and English nations, that, considering the present
war at this place, we ought to come to a mutual good
understanding. From what I see of the mines made by the
Persians, by which one of my bulwarks is already won, I am
of opinion these could not have been constructed without
your aid. Wherefore, I request you would be the means of
procuring peace for me with the Persians, if the same may
be done with your and their good pleasure, yet so that I may
not lose my credit, nor you fail to gain honour. Thus, not
else, our Lord keep you," &c.

_Simon de Mela Pereira_.

"This castle is so hard pressed, that the Persians demand
us to surrender by capitulation, but which we will not consent
to: For, when reduced to that necessity, we will call
upon your worships for that purpose, as it were not reasonable
for us to capitulate with the infidels when you are present.
We hold it more humane to deliver our innocent women,
and other unnecessary people, to the rigour of our own
weapons, than to the clemency of the Persians; and that you
might know this our purpose, I have written these lines to
accompany the letter from our captain. What else you may
wish to know, you may learn from the bearer of these letters,
to whom you may give the same credit as to myself. And so
God keep your worships," &c.

_Luis de Brito Dar_.

Dated 1st May, 1622.[310]

Taking these letters into consideration, and commiserating their
situation as Christians, it was resolved to give them a favourable
answer, which was done accordingly in a letter to the Captain Simon de
Mela, offering to become an intermedium for procuring them such
conditions from the Persians as might save the lives of the Christians
who still remained in the castle, which we had in our power to warrant,
and were willing to shew them such farther courtesy as might tend to
their relief, as far as we could see. We desired him therefore to put
his demands in writing, and send them to us as soon as possible. A
similar answer was written to the almirante, and with these the two
messengers were sent back to the castle in one of our own boats. They
soon returned with other letters from the captain and almirante, saying,
"That they left themselves entirely in our hands, the necessity of their
situation not allowing time for farther writing, lest the Persians might
in the mean while break in and put them all to the sword."

[Footnote 310: The 1st of May, _new style_, was the 21st April, _old
style_; the difference being then ten days.--E.]

Upon this we addressed ourselves to the Persian general, requesting him
to grant a truce of two days to the distressed Portuguese, in which time
we might treat with them for such conditions as might be at the same
time beneficial for the Persians and ourselves. At length, a Persian
officer and I were deputed to go into the castle to treat with the
Portuguese, and they also desired our vice-admiral, Mr Woodcock, might
accompany us. We all three went to the castle gate, but could not be
allowed to enter; yet were met by Luis de Brito, the Portuguese
almirante, and five or six other _cavalieros_, but did not see the
captain, as the inferior officers and soldiers had mutinied against him,
and detained him as a prisoner. Our whole conference, therefore, was
with the almirante, who chiefly addressed himself to Captain Woodcock,
our almirante, or vice-admiral.

Mir Adul Hassan, and Pulot Beg, had been sent for to the ship, where
some persons had embezzled a portion of treasure, as we now wished them
to be present at the conference on the part of the Khan. They came
accordingly to the English house, when one of them made a long speech,
saying how kindly the Khan esteemed the services and assistance given by
the English in this war, which he should never forget, nor allow to pass
unrewarded. They next declared that the Khan intended to proceed, after
the surrender of Ormus, to besiege both Muskat and Sware, and therefore
that the Portuguese ought on no account to be allowed to go to either of
these places. Lastly, they insinuated basely and dishonourably, that we
should betray the Portuguese captain, and five or six more of his
principal officers, into their hands, as this would tend greatly to the
honour and satisfaction of the Khan, by enabling him to present them to
Shah Abas. On hearing this vile and dishonourable proposal, I left the
room, that my ears might not be contaminated by such abominable
conditions; saying, at my departure, to these Persians, that I would not
be guilty of consenting to so infamous a business for a whole houseful
of gold.

The Portuguese being reduced to such extremity as to be under the
necessity of surrendering on any terms that might save their lives from
the cruelty of the Persians, sent on the morning of the 23d, offering to
put themselves into our hands, on condition that we furnished them with
the means of being conveyed either to Muskat or India. We agreed to this
proposal, on which Captain Blithe and I went as hostages into the
castle, to see them safely set out; the Persian general promising that
not one of his soldiers or men should enter the castle till all the
Portuguese were gone out, and that only three of his people and three of
ours should sit at the gate, to see that they did not carry away any
thing of value. This the Persians watched so narrowly, that they most
basely searched and abused the women. But the king of Ormus with his
rich vizier, together with their women, treasure, and servants, were all
conveyed over the breach in the wall, and not a single Englishman called
or allowed to see what they carried out with them. Not only they, but
all other Mahometans and Banyans, with their treasure and best things,
were conveyed out of the castle in the same manner; whole bales of
goods, with boxes and caskets full of treasure, to an unknown amount,
were carried at the same time over the breaches. No sooner were the
gates opened for letting out the Portuguese, but at least forty Persians
got in and spread themselves about the castle, besides whom, some of the
ruder sort among the English got in likewise, whose coming in I fear was
the cause of the Persians doing the same, judging themselves as worthy
of this liberty as our people.

Before mid-day of the 24th, both the Persians and English began to
pillage in a most shameful manner, so that I was both grieved and
ashamed, yet could see no means of remedy. The Persians drove out the
poor sick, wounded, and scorched Christians, who were not able to help
themselves, so that my heart yearned with compassion to see their woeful
plight. In the evening, the Khan of Shiras came over, as if in triumph,
to view the castle and its great ordnance, of which there were near
three hundred pieces,[311] part of which belonged to the galleons, and
the rest to the castle. This evening, the commanders and I, wishing to
retain possession of the church in which we had placed a quantity of
plate and treasure, for its better security against being embezzled, our
design was utterly denied by Pulot Beg, who told our commanders, in
plain terms, that they might lie out of doors. Being justly incensed at
this, we all three left the castle, the two captains going on board
their ships, while I went to the city; but, as the tide was up, and I
could not get a boat, I had to remain at the castle wall till near
midnight. At this time there came about sixty Persians, by their own
report, sent by the Khan to prevent the Arabs from conveying away any of
the ordnance which lay by the shore, but I suspect their real object was
to cut the throats of the poor Christians who lay at the shore, for want
of boats to carry them on board; but fortunately they were protected by
an English guard. Our chief business the whole of this day was to see
the poor Portuguese sent safely out of the castle, most of them so
weakened by divers maladies, but chiefly by famine, and many of them so
noisome by their putrified wounds, and scorchings with gunpowder, that
their pitiful cries and complaints might have moved pity in a heart of
stone; yet such was the cruel disposition of the Persians, that they
drove them out of the castle like so many dogs, stripping many of them
even of their shirts.

[Footnote 311: In a shorter relation of this siege, by Mr W. Pinder, the
ordnance in the castle of Ormus are thus enumerated:--Fifty-three pieces
mounted, of the following descriptions,--four brass cannons, six brass
demi-cannons, sixteen brass cannons-pedro, nine brass culverins, two
brass demi-culverins, three iron demi-culverins, ten brass basses, one
iron minion, one iron culverin, one iron cannon-pedro. Besides
ninety-two brass pieces not mounted, and seven brass bastels which they
had landed from the ships that were sunk. In all, 152 pieces.--E.]

On the evening of the 27th, we allowed the Portuguese to depart for Goa,
to the number of 2500 persons, including men, women, and children, to
whom we gave our two prizes, the Robert and Shilling, for their
transport, with victuals and water necessary for the voyage, and a pass
to free them from any molestation, in case they met with any of our
ships at sea. Besides these, there were upwards of an hundred persons,
so maimed or sick as to be incapable of being sent off at this time, for
want of room in these two ships.

The king of Ormus was very poor, and lived chiefly on a pension or
allowance of 140,000 rees, allowed him by the king of Spain, with some
small reserved petty customs. In rummaging among his papers, we found
the copy of a letter from him to the king of Spain, complaining loudly
of the injustice of the Portuguese, and charging them with the entire
overthrow of the kingdom of Ormus.[312]

[Footnote 312: Besides this letter, too long and uninteresting for
insertion, there are several other letters and documents in the Pilgrims
at this place, so much in the same predicament as to be here

When we expected to have received 1200 tomans[313] from Pulot Beg, who
was chief commissioner under the Khan of Shiras, as our pay for the time
occupied in this enterprize, he contrived to make us a larger sum in
their debt, under pretence of embezzling the plunder in the castle;
while we, on the other hand, made counter demands of a much larger sum
due to us from the Persians, in the same manner. At length, three months
pay were allowed, and our other demands were shifted off, as he
pretended to have no power to liquidate them without an order from the
Khan. After business was ended, our misery began, occasioned by the
insufferable heat of Ormus, and the disorders of our own people in
drinking arrack, and other excesses no less injurious; through which
such diseases arose among our people, that three-fourths of them were
dangerously sick, and many died so suddenly, that the plague was feared
to have got among them, although no symptoms of that dreadful malady as
yet appeared. This extremity lasted for fourteen days, during which
time, six or seven of our men died every day; but after this, it pleased
God to stay the mortality, and the rest recovered. Ten pieces of
ordnance belonging to the Portuguese, were taken into our ships, to
replace that number of our own which had been broken or otherwise
spoiled during the siege. Our fleet was detained till the 1st September,
owing to the shifting of the monsoon, and waiting its return. Leaving
Ormus on that day, we arrived in Swally roads on the 24th of that month,
where the London, Jonas, and Lion, loaded for England, and sailed
homewards bound on the 30th December. Before setting sail, news was
brought of sinking three Portuguese carracks off the port of
Masulipatam, by the English and Dutch in conjunction.

[Footnote 313: This must be a gross error, as by the value of the toman
formerly given, the sum in the text very little exceeds L400. Purchas
mentions, in a side-note, that he had heard the English received L20,000
for this service from the Persians.--E.]

* * * * *

In the Annals of the East India Company,[314] the English are said on
this occasion to have received a proportion of the plunder acquired at
Ormus, and a grant of the moiety of the customs at Gambroon, which
place, in the sequel, became the principal station of their trade with
Persia and other places in the Persian gulf. The treaty made in 1615 by
Mr Connock was also renewed, and an additional phirmaund granted by the
Sophi, allowing them to purchase whatever quantity of Persian silks they
might think proper, in any part of his dominions, with the privilege of
bringing their goods from Gambroon to Ispahan free of duties.

[Footnote 314: Vol. I. p. 236. The historiographer makes, however, a
small mistake, naming Ruy Frere de Andrada as chief commander of the
Portuguese at Ormus, who only commanded in a subordinate fortress at

In consequence of the war of Ormus, a claim was set up in 1624 by the
crown and the Duke of Buckingham, as lord high admiral of England, by
which the Company was demanded to pay a proportion of the prize-money,
which their ships were supposed to have obtained in the seas bordering
on the countries within the limits of their exclusive charter. In order
to substantiate these claims, Captains Weddell, Blithe, Clevenger,
Beversham, and other officers of the Company's ships were examined, and
particularly those who had been employed against Ormus. According to
their statements, it appeared that the amount of this prize-money was
calculated at L100,000 and 240,000 rials of eight, but without taking
into view the charges and losses incurred by the Company on this
occasion, and by their ships being called off from commercial
engagements, to act as ships of war for the protection of their trade
against the Portuguese, and in the assistance of the government of
Persia, by which they had been compelled, either to engage in this war,
or to relinquish a trade in which they had expended large sums, together
with the loss of all their goods then in Persia. At last the Company was
obliged to compound, by payment of L10,000 to the Duke of Buckingham in
discharge of his claim, and received an order from the secretary of
state, Sir Edward Conway, to pay a similar sum also to the crown.--E.



In the preceding sections of this chapter, the early commercial voyages
of the English East India Company have been detailed; and it is now
proposed to conclude this part of our arrangement, by a brief narrative
of the unjustifiable conduct of the Dutch at Amboina, in cruelly
torturing and executing several Englishmen and others on false pretences
of a conspiracy, but the real purpose of which was to appropriate to
themselves the entire trade of the spice islands, Amboina, Banda, and
the Moluccas. They effectually succeeded in this nefarious attempt, and
preserved that rich, but ill-got source of wealth, for almost two
hundred years; till recently expelled from thence, and from every other
commercial or colonial possession in Asia, Africa, and America. A just
retribution for submitting to, or seconding rather, the revolutionary
phrenzy of French democracy; for which they now deservedly suffer, under
the iron sceptre of the modern Atilla.

[Footnote 315: Purch. Pilgr. II. 1853. Harris, I. 877.]

In giving a short narrative of this infamous transaction, besides the
original account of Purchas, abridged from a more extended relation
published at the time by the East India Company, advantage has been
taken of the account given by Harris of the same event, which is fuller
and better connected than that of Purchas, who most negligently garbled
this story, under pretence of abbreviation. Harris appears evidently to
have used the authorised narrative published by the Company, in drawing
up his account of the event. There are other documents, relative to this
tragical event, both in the Pilgrims of Purchas and the Collection by
Harris, particularly the Dutch justificatory memorial, in which they
endeavour to vindicate their conduct, and to shew that the English
merited the lingering tortures and capital punishments to which they
were condemned; to which is added a reply or refutation, published by
order of the English Company. But the abridged narrative contained in
this section seems quite sufficient on so disgusting a subject,
especially so long after the events which it records.--E.

* * * * *

After the fruitless issue of two several treaties, for arranging the
differences that had taken place in eastern India, between the English
and Hollanders respecting the trade of the spice islands, the first at
London in 1613, and the second at the Hague in 1616, a third negociation
was entered into at London in 1619, by which a solemn compact was
concluded upon for settling these disputes, and full and fair
arrangement made for the future proceedings of the servants of both
Companies in the Indies, as well in regard to their trade and commerce,
as to other matters. Among other points, it was agreed, in consideration
of the great losses the Dutch pretended to have sustained, both in men
and expence, in conquering the trade of the isles, namely, the Moluccas,
Banda, and Amboina, from the Spaniards and Portuguese, and in the
erection of forts for securing the same, that the Hollanders were to
enjoy two-third parts of that trade, and the English one-third; the
expences of the forts and garrisons to be maintained by taxes and
impositions, to be levied ratably on the merchandize. In consequence of
this agreement, the English East India Company established certain
factories, for managing their share of this trade, some at the Moluccas,
some at Banda, and others at Amboina.

The island of Amboina, near Ceram, is about forty leagues in circuit,
and gives its name also to some other small adjacent isles. This island
produces cloves, for the purpose of procuring which valuable spice, the
English had five several factories, the head and rendezvous of all being
at the town of Amboina, in which at the first, Mr George Muschamp was
chief factor, who was succeeded by Mr Gabriel Towerson; having authority
over the subordinate factories of Hitto and Larica on the same island,
and at Loho and Cambello on a point of the neighbouring island of Ceram.
On the island of Amboina and the point of Ceram, the Hollanders have
four forts, the chief of all being at the town of Amboina, which is very
strong, having four bastions or bulwarks, on each of which there are six
great cannons, most of them brass. One side of this castle is washed by
the sea, and the other is protected on the land side by a very deep
ditch, four or five fathoms broad, always filled by the sea. The
garrison of this castle consists of about 200 Dutch soldiers, and one
company of free burghers; besides which there are three or four hundred
_mardykers_, by which name the free natives are known, who reside in the
town, and are always ready to serve in the castle at an hour's warning.
There are likewise, for the most part, several good Dutch ships in the
roads, both for the protection of this place by sea, and for the
purposes of trade, as this is the central rendezvous of trade for the
Banda islands, as well as for Amboina. At this place, the English
factory was established in the town, under the protection of the castle,
in a house of their own, where they lived as they thought in security,
both in consideration of the ancient league of amity between the two
nations, and in virtue of the firm compact of union, made by the late
treaty of 1619, already mentioned.

The English factory continued here for about two years, trading
conjunctly with the Hollanders under the treaty. During this period
there occurred several differences and debates between the servants of
the two companies. The English complained that the Hollanders not only
lavished much unnecessary charges, in buildings and other needless
expences upon the forts and otherwise, but also paid the garrisons in
victuals and Coromandel cloths, which they issued to the soldiers at
three or four times the value which they cost, yet would not allow the
English proportion of the charges to be advanced in like manner, but
insisted always on their paying in ready money: Thus drawing from the
English, who only were bound to contribute one-third part, more than
two-thirds of the just and true charges. Upon this head there arose
frequent disputes, and the complaints of the English were conveyed to
Jacatra, now called Batavia, in Java, to the _council of defence_ of
both nations, there residing. The members of that council not being able
to agree upon these points of difference, the complaints were
transmitted to Europe, to be settled between the two companies; or, in
default of their agreement, by the king and the states general, pursuant
to one of the articles of the before-mentioned treaty, providing against
such contingencies. In the meantime, these, and other differences and
discontents between the English and Dutch, daily continued and
increased, till at length this knot, which all the tedious controversies
at Amboina and Jacatra were unable to untie, was cut asunder by the
sword, in the following manner.

About the 11th February, 1622, _old style_, or 21st of that month, 1623,
_new style_, a Japanese soldier belonging to the Dutch garrison of
Amboina castle, walking one night upon the wall, fell into conversation
with a centinel, in the course of which he asked several questions
respecting the strength of the fortifications and the number of its
garrison. It is to be observed, that most of the Japanese in Amboina
were actually soldiers in the Dutch service, yet not in these trusty
bands which always lodged within the castle, but only occasionally
called in from the town to assist in its defence. This Japanese, in
consequence of his conference with the centinel, was soon after
apprehended on suspicion of treason, and put to the torture by the
Dutch, to extort confession. While suffering under the torture, he was
induced to confess, that he and some others of his countrymen had
plotted to take possession of the castle. Several other Japanese were
consequently apprehended, and examined by torture; as also a Portuguese,
who was guardian or superintendent of the slaves belonging to the Dutch.
While these examinations were going on, which continued during three or
four days, some of the English, then resident at Amboina, were several
times in the castle on business, saw the prisoners, and heard of the
tortures they had undergone, and of the crime laid to their charge; yet
during all this time, never once suspected that this affair had any
connection with themselves, being unconscious of any evil intentions,
and having held no conversation with the prisoners.

At this time, one Abel Price, surgeon to the English factory at Amboina,
was a prisoner in the castle, for having offered or attempted, in a fit
of drunkenness, to set a Dutchman's house on fire. The Dutch shewed this
man some of the Japanese whom they had tortured, telling him they had
confessed that the English were in confederacy with them, in the plot
for seizing the castle, and threatened him with similar or worse
tortures, if he did not confess the same; and accordingly, on the 15th
February, O.S. they gave him the torture, and soon made him confess
whatever they were pleased to direct. That same morning, about nine
o'clock, they sent for Captain Gabriel Towerson, and the other
Englishmen belonging to the factory at Amboina, to come to speak with
the governor of the castle; on which they all went, except one, who was
left to take care of the house. On their arrival, the governor told
Captain Towerson, that he and others of his nation were accused of a
conspiracy to surprise the castle, and must therefore remain prisoners,
until tried for the same. The Dutch, immediately after this, took into
custody the person who had been left in charge of the English factory,
sequestrated all the merchandize belonging to the English Company, under
an inventory, and seized all the chests, boxes, books, writings, and
other things in the English house.

Captain Towerson was committed prisoner to his own chamber in the
English house, under a guard of Dutch soldiers. Emanuel Thomson was
imprisoned in the castle. All the rest, namely, John Beaumont, Edward
Collins, William Webber, Ephraim Ramsay, Timothy Johnson, John Fardo,
and Robert Brown, were distributed among the Dutch ships then in the
harbour, and secured in irons. The same day, the governor sent to the
two other factories in the same island, Hitto and Larica, to apprehend
the rest of the English residents, who were all brought prisoners to
Amboina on the 16th; Samuel Colson, John Clark, and George Sharrock,
from the former, and Edward Collins,[2] William Webber,[2] and John
Sadler, from the latter. On the same day, John Pocol, John Wetheral,
Thomas Ladbrook, were apprehended at Cambello, and John Beaumont,[2]
William Griggs, and Ephraim Ramsay,[316] at Loho; and were all brought
in irons to Amboina on the 20th of February.

[Footnote 316: These four persons are already named, as apprehended at

On the 15th of February, the governor and fiscal began to examine the
prisoners. John Beaumont and Timothy Johnson were first brought to the
castle, John Beaumont being left in a hall under a guard, while Johnson
was conducted into another room. Beaumont soon after heard him cry out
very pitifully, then become quiet for a while, and afterwards cried out
aloud. Abel Price, the surgeon, who was first questioned and put to the
torture, was brought in to confront and accuse him; but as Johnson
refused to confess any thing laid to his charge, Price was soon taken
away, and Johnson again put to the question, when Beaumont heard him
repeatedly roar under the torture. At the end of an hour, Johnson was
brought out into the hall, weeping and lamenting, all cut and cruelly
burnt in many parts of his body, and so laid aside in a corner of the
hall, having a soldier to watch him, with strict injunctions not to
allow him to speak to any one.

Emanuel Thomson was next brought in for examination, not in the same
room where Johnson had been, but in one farther from the hall; yet
Beaumont, who still remained in the hall, heard him often roar out most
lamentably. After half an hour spent in torturing him, he was led to
another place, but not through the hall where Beaumont was. Beaumont was
then called in for examination, and asked many questions concerning the
alleged conspiracy, all knowledge of which he denied with the most
solemn oaths. He was then made fast on purpose to be tortured, having a
cloth fastened about his neck, while two men stood ready with jars of
water to pour on his head: But the governor ordered him to be set loose
again, saying he would spare him for a day or two, being an old man.

Next day, being the 16th, William Webber, Edward Collins, Ephraim
Ramsay, and Robert Brown, were brought on shore for examination; and at
the same time Samuel Colson, William Griggs, John Clark, George
Sharrock, and John Sadler, from Hitto and Larica, were brought into the
hall. Robert Brown, a tailor, was first called in, and being subjected
to torture by water, confessed all in order, as interrogated by the
fiscal. Edward Collins was next called in, and told that those who were
formerly examined had accused him as accessory to the conspiracy for
taking the castle. Denying all knowledge of or participation in any such
plot, with great oaths, his hands and feet were made fast to the rack,
and a cloth bound about his throat, ready to administer the water
torture, upon which he entreated to be let down, saying that he would
confess all. On being loosed, he again protested his entire innocence
and ignorance of every thing laid to his charge; yet, as he knew they
would make him confess any thing they pleased by means of torture,
however false, he said they would do him a great favour by informing him
what they wished he should say, which he would speak as they desired, to
avoid the torture. The fiscal said he mocked them, ordered him to be
fastened up again, and to receive the water torture. After suffering
this for some time, he desired to be let down again to make his
confession, devising as well as he could what he should say.
Accordingly, he said that he, with Thomson, Johnson, Brown, and Fardo,
had plotted about ten weeks before, to surprise the castle with the aid
of the Japanese.

While making this contrived confession, he was interrupted by the
fiscal, who asked whether Captain Towerson were privy to this
conspiracy. He protested that Towerson knew nothing of the matter. "You
lie," said the fiscal, "did not he call you all before him, telling you
that the daily abuses of the Dutch had instigated him to devise a plot,
and that he wanted nothing but your consent and secrecy?" Then a Dutch
merchant who was present, named Jan Igost, asked him, if they had not
all been sworn to secrecy on the Bible? Collins declared with great
oaths, that he knew nothing of any such matter. He was again ordered to
be seized up again to the torture, on which he said that all was true
they had said. Then the fiscal asked, if the English in the other
factories were consenting to this plot? To which he answered, no. The
fiscal then next asked, if the English president at Jacatra, or Mr
Weldon the agent at Banda, were engaged in this plot, or privy to its
contrivance? He again answered, no. The fiscal next enquired by what
means the Japanese were to have executed their purpose? And, when
Collins stood amazed, and devising some probable fictions to satisfy
them, the fiscal helped him out, saying, "Were not two Japanese to have
gone to each bulwark, and two to the door of the governor's chamber, to
have killed him on coming out to enquire into the disturbance you were
to have raised without?" Upon this, a person who stood by, desired the
fiscal not to put words into the mouth of the witness, but to allow him
to speak for himself. After this reproof, without waiting any answer to
his former question, the fiscal asked what reward was to have been given
the Japanese for their services? Collins answered 1000 dollars each. He
was then asked, when this plot was to have been carried into execution?
But, although he made no answer to this question, not knowing on the
sudden what to say, he was dismissed, glad to get away from the torture,
yet certainly believing they would put him to death for his confession.

Samuel Colson was next brought in; and, for fear of the tortures that
Collins had endured, whom he saw brought out in a pitiable condition,
with his eyes almost starting out of their sockets, he chose rather to
confess all they asked, and so was quickly dismissed, yet came out
weeping and lamenting, and protesting his innocence. John Clark was then
taken in, and tortured with fire and water for two hours, in the same
manner as had been done with Johnson and Thomson.[317]

[Footnote 317: The minute description of these tortures, in Purchas, and
copied in Harris, are disgusting; insomuch, that Purchas exclaims at one
place, _I have no heart to proceed_. They are here therefore

Finding that all their cruelties could not force him to any consistent
confession of himself, they helped him along to particular circumstances
of their own contrivance, by leading questions. Thus wearied out and
overpowered, by terror of the tortures being renewed, he answered,
_yes_, to whatever they asked, by which means they trumped up a body of
evidence to this effect:--"That Captain Towerson, on new-year's-day
last, had sworn all the English at Amboina to be secret and aiding in a
plot he had devised for surprising the castle, by the aid of the
Japanese, putting the governor and all the Dutch to death."

On the 17th, William Griggs and John Fardo, with some Japanese, were
brought to examination. The Japanese were first cruelly tortured to
accuse Griggs, which at last they did; and Griggs, to avoid torture,
confessed whatever the fiscal was pleased to demand. The same was next
done with Fardo and other Japanese. Fardo endured the torture for some
time, but at length confessed all they pleased to ask. That same day,
John Beaumont was brought a second time to the fiscal's chamber, when
one Captain Newport, the son of a Dutchman, but born and educated in
England, acted as interpreter. Griggs was also brought in to accuse
Beaumont of being present at the consultation for surprising the castle.
Beaumont denied all, with great earnestness, and many oaths; but, on
enduring the torture, was constrained to confess every thing laid to his

George Sharrock was then brought in and examined. He fell on his knees,
protesting his innocence, telling them he was at Hitto on
new-year's-day, when the pretended consultation was held, and had not
been at Amboina since the preceding November, as was well known to
several Dutchmen who resided at Hitto along with him. Being ordered to
the rack, he told them he had often heard John Clark say that the Dutch
had done insufferable wrongs to the English, and was resolved to be
revenged on them; for which purpose he had proposed to Captain Towerson
to allow him to go to Macassar, to consult with the Spaniards about
sending some gallies to plunder the small factories of Amboina and Ceram
in the absence of the ships. Being asked what Captain Towerson had said
to all this? he answered, that Towerson was very much offended with
Clark for the proposal, and could never abide him since. The fiscal then
called him a rogue and liar, saying, that he wandered idly from the
matter, and must go to the torture. He craved favour again, and began
another tale, saying, that John Clark had told him at Hitto of a plot to
surprise the castle of Amboina, with the participation of Towerson. He
was then asked, when this consultation was held? which he said was in
November preceding. The fiscal said that could not be, for it was on
new-year's-day. The prisoner urged, as before, that he had not been in
Amboina since last November, till now that he was brought thither in
custody. "Why, then," said the fiscal, "have you belied yourself?" To
this he resolutely answered, that all he had confessed respecting a
conspiracy was false, and merely feigned to avoid torment.

Sharrock was then remanded to prison, but was brought up again next day,
when a formal confession, in writing, of his last-mentioned conference
with Clark, respecting the plot for surprising the castle of Amboina,
was read over to him, after which, the fiscal asked, if it were all
true. To this he answered, that every word of it was false, and that he
had confessed it solely to avoid torture. The fiscal and the rest then
said, in rage, that he was a false liar, for it was all true, and had
been spoken from his own mouth, and therefore he must sign it, which he
did accordingly. Having done this, he broke out into a great passion,
charging them as guilty of the innocent blood of himself and the rest,
which they should have to answer for at the judgment-seat of God. He
even grappled with the fiscal, and would have hindered him from carrying
in the confession to the governor, but was instantly laid hold of, and
carried away to prison.

William Webber was next examined; being told by the fiscal that Clarke
accused him of having sworn to Towerson's plot on new-year's-day, with
all the other circumstances already mentioned; Webber strenuously denied
all this, declaring, that he was then at Larika, and could not possibly
be present in Amboina on that day. But, being put to the torture, he was
forced to confess having been present at the consultation, with all the
other circumstances in regular order, as asked. He also told of having a
letter from Clark, in which was a postscript excusing his brief writing
at this time, as there was then a great business in hand. But a Dutch
merchant, named Kinder, who was present, told the governor that Webber
and he were together making merry at Larika, on new-year's-day, the time
of this pretended consultation. The governor then went away, but the
fiscal held on with him respecting the letter and postscript, promising
to save his life if he would produce these.

Captain Towerson was next brought in for examination, and was shewn what
the others had confessed concerning him. He deeply professed his
innocence, on which Colson was brought in to confront him, being assured
he should be again tortured unless he made good his former confession
against Towerson. On this he repeated what he had said before, and was
then sent away. Griggs and Fardo were next brought in, and desired to
justify to his face what they had before confessed. Captain Towerson
seriously admonished them, as they should answer at the day of judgment,
to speak nothing but the truth. They then fell upon their knees,
beseeching him to forgive them for God's sake, and declared openly that
all they had formerly said was utterly false, and spoken only to avoid
the torture. The fiscal then commanded them to be led to the torture,
which they were unable to endure, and again affirmed their former
extorted confessions to be true. When Colson was required to subscribe
this confession, he asked the fiscal, upon whose head he thought the sin
would rest, whether on his who was constrained to confess falsely, or
upon the constrainer? After a pause on this home-question, the fiscal
went out to speak with the governor, and returned again shortly,
commanding him to subscribe. Colson did so, yet with this remark,--"You
force me to accuse myself and others of that which is as false as God is
true; for I call God to witness that I and they are as innocent as the
child unborn."

Having thus examined all the servants of the English company in the
several factories of the island of Amboina, they began on the 21st of
February to examine John Wetheral, factor at Cambello, in Ceram. He
acknowledged being at Amboina on new-year's-day, but declared he knew of
no other consultation but about certain cloth belonging to the company,
which lay spoiling in the factory, which they considered how best to get
sold. The governor said he was not questioned about cloth, but treason;
and protesting his innocence, he was dismissed for that day. Next day he
was again brought in, and Captain Towerson was produced to confront and
accuse him, as he had formerly emitted something in his confessions
against him. But Towerson only desired him to speak the truth, and
nothing but the truth, as God should put into his heart. Mr Towerson was
then removed, and Mr Wetheral tortured by water, with threats of fire
being applied if he did not confess. At length, they read over to him
the confessions of the others, asking him leading questions from point
to point, to all of which he answered affirmatively, to free himself
from torture.

John Powel, assistant to Mr Wetheral, was next called; but he proved
that he had not been at Amboina since November; and being likewise
spoken for by Jan Joost, his old acquaintance, was dismissed without
torture. Thomas Ladbrook, servant to Wetheral and Powel at Cambello, was
then brought in; but he, too, was speedily dismissed. Ephraim Ramsay,
proving that he was not in Amboina on new-year's-day, and being likewise
spoken for by Joost, was also dismissed, after hanging up some time
ready for being tortured. Lastly, John Sadler, servant to William Griggs
at Larika, was brought in for examination; and as he was not in Amboina
on new-year's-day, he too was dismissed.

On the 25th of February, all the prisoners, English, Portuguese, and
Japanese, were brought into the great hall of the castle, and there
solemnly condemned to die, except John Powel, Ephraim Ramsay, John
Sadler, and Thomas Ladbrook. Next day, they were again brought into the
hall, except Captain Towerson and Emanuel Thomson, to be prepared for
death by the Dutch ministers. That same night, Colson and Collins were
taken into the room where Emanuel Thomson lay, when they were told the
governor was pleased to grant mercy to one of the three, and desired
they might draw lots, when the free lot fell to Edward Collins, who was
then carried to the chamber of the acquitted persons before-named. John
Beaumont was soon after brought to the same place, and told that he owed
his life to Peter Johnson, the Dutch merchant of Loho, and the
secretary, who had begged his life. The condemned, who still remained in
the hall, were afterwards joined by the Dutch ministers, and received
the sacrament, protesting their innocence. Samuel Colson, on this
occasion, said, in a loud voice, "O Lord, as I am innocent of this
treason, do thou pardon all my other sins; and, if in the smallest
degree guilty thereof may I never be a partaker in the joys of thy
heavenly kingdom." To these words all the rest exclaimed, _Amen! for me,
Amen! for me, good Lord!_

After this, each, knowing whom he had accused, went one to another,
craving forgiveness for their false accusations, as wrung from them by
the pains or dread of torture. They all freely forgave their comrades;
for none had been so falsely accused, but that he also had accused
others with equal falseness. In particular, George Sharrock, who
survived to relate the scene exhibited at this time, knelt down to John
Clark, whom he had accused, as before related, earnestly begging
forgiveness. Clark freely forgave him, saying, "How shall I look to be
forgiven of God, if I do not forgive you? as I have myself falsely
accused Captain Towerson and others!" After this, they spent the rest of
this doleful night in prayer and psalm-singing, comforting each other
the best they could. The Dutch who guarded them offered them wine, of
which they desired them to drink heartily, to drive away sorrow, as is
the custom of their country in like situations, but this the English

Next morning, the 27th February, William Webber was again called before
the fiscal, and offered his life if he would produce the letter and
postscript he confessed to have received from John Clark, which he could
not do, as it never had existed: Yet, at last, they pardoned him, and
sent him to the rest of those who were freed, and Sharrock with him,
whom they also pardoned. That morning, Emanuel Thomson, learning that
John Beaumont was pardoned, contrived to have him allowed to visit him,
which was allowed with much difficulty. Beaumont found him in a most
miserable condition, the wounds or sores occasioned by the torture bound
up, but the blood and matter issuing through the bandages. Taking Mr
Beaumont by the hand, he conjured him, when he came to England, to offer
his duty to the Honourable Company, and others of his friends whom he
named, and to assure them he died innocent, as was well known to

It is needless to dwell upon the minute circumstances of the catastrophe
of this bloody tragedy: Suffice it to say, that ten Englishmen, one
Portuguese, and eleven Japanese, were publicly executed; of whom the
following is a list:


Capt. Gabriel Towerson, agent for the English at Amboina.
Samuel Colson, factor at Hitto.
Emanuel Thomson, assistant at Amboina.
Timothy Johnson, assistant at the same place.
John Wetheral, assistant at Cambello.
John Clark, assistant at Hitto.

William Griggs, factor at Larika.
John Fardo, steward of the factory at Amboina.
Abel Price, surgeon to that factory.
Robert Brown, tailor.

The only Portuguese was Augustine Perez, born in Bengal, who was
superintendant of the slaves in the employment of the English at

Hititso, Tsiosa, and Sinsa, natives of Firando.
Sidney Migial, Pedro Congie, Thomas Corea, from Nangasaki.
Quinandaya, a native of Coaets.
Tsabinda, a native of Tsoncketgo.
Zanchae, a native of Fisien.

Besides these, there were two other Japanese tortured, who both
confessed a participation in the pretended plot, but were not executed,
or even condemned, for reasons which the surviving English did not
learn. The executions were all by cutting off the heads of the condemned
with a scymitar; and the Dutch prepared a black velvet pall for Captain
Towerson's body to fall upon, which they afterwards had the effrontery
to charge in account against the English East India Company.



Among the early voyages of the English to the East Indies, none have
been preserved that were made to China, nor have we been able to
discover any satisfactory account of the commencement of the trade of
our East India Company with that distant country, now said to be by far
the most profitable branch of the exclusive commerce. In the _Annals of
the Company_,[319] several references are made to the China trade, but
more in the nature of notices or memoranda for the purpose of after
investigation, than as conveying any actual information on the subject.
In this singular paucity of materials, we are reduced to the following
short "Observations and Remarks, by Doctor James Cunningham, made during
his Residence as Physician to the English Factory at the Island of
Chusan, on the Coast of China." Doctor Cunningham is stated by Harris to
have been a fellow of the Royal Society, distinguished by his natural
talents and acquired accomplishments, well versed in ancient and modern
learning, and to have diligently used these advantages in making
judicious remarks on the places where he resided in the service of the
Company. Yet all that has been recorded by Harris of these remarks, give
only a very imperfect account of Chusan and of China. This short article
consists of extracts from two letters written by Cunningham from Chusan,
and a brief supplement by Harris respecting two unfortunate factories at
Pulo Condore and Pulo Laut.--E.

[Footnote 318: Harris. I. 852.]

[Footnote 319: Annals of the E.I. Co. vol. II. and III. _passim_.]

Sec.1. _Voyage to Chusan, and short Notices of that Island_.[320]

In my last letter, from the island of Borneo, I gave you an account of
our arrival at that island on the 17th July. We only remained there two
days, as the season of the year was already far advanced, and made the
best of our way from thence through the Straits of Banda,[321] with
favourable winds and weather. We got upon the coast of China on the 13th
August, when we had variable winds, which carried us abreast of
_Emoy_[322] by the 19th following. The wind then set in fresh at N.E. so
that we were in great fear of losing our passage, and were now obliged
to beat up all the way against both wind and current; yet the weather
remained so favourable that we were never obliged to hand our top-sails,
otherwise we must have lost more way in a single day than we could have
recovered in eight. On the 31st August we came to anchor under the
_Crocodile islands_,[323] both for shelter from the bad weather, usual
on this coast at new and full-moon, which has been fatal to many ships,
and also to procure fresh water, now scarce with us, as we had not
recruited our store since leaving the Cape of Good Hope. These are three
small islands in lat. 26 deg. N. about six leagues from the river of
_Hokien_, [Fo-kien] on two of which we found very good water, with a
convenient landing-place on the S.W. side of the innermost island. By
the assistance of some Chinese fishers, we procured also some fresh
provisions from the main land, not thinking it safe to venture there
ourselves, lest we may have been brought into trouble by the governor of
that part of the country. While here, on the 5th September, we had a
sudden short shift of the monsoon from the S.W. blowing with great fury;
which was also experienced by other vessels then coming on the coast of
China. We again put to sea on the 18th September, turning to windward
night and day on the outside of all the islands, which are very numerous
all along this coast, but with which we were unacquainted after passing
beyond _Emoy_. Besides, the hydrography of this coast is hitherto so
very imperfect, that we could not trust in any degree to our draughts,
owing to which our navigation was both difficult and dangerous.

[Footnote 320: From a letter to a member of the Royal Society, dated in
September, 1701.--Harris.]

[Footnote 321: This must have been the straits of Macasser, as Banda is
far out of the way between Borneo and China.--E.]

[Footnote 322: Emoy or Amoy, was on the coast of China, opposite to the
island of Formosa, and appears, from the Annals, to have been the first
port frequented by the ships of the India Company for the Chinese

[Footnote 323: The islands of Pe-la-yang are, in the indicated latitude,
off the estuary of the principal river of the province of Fo-kien.--E.]

On the 1st October, we got into the latitude of 30 deg. N. where we came to
anchor near the land, and found our way by boat to _Chusan_,[324] about
twelve leagues within the islands, whence we got a pilot, who brought
our ship safely to that place on the 11th of the month. The Chinese
government have granted us a settlement on that island, with the liberty
of trade; but do not allow us to go up to Ning-po,[325] which is six or
eight hours sail to the westwards, all the way among islands, of which
this of Chusan is the largest, being eight or nine leagues from E. to W.
and four or five from N. to S.

[Footnote 324: Tcheou-chan, an island about twenty English miles in
length from E. to W. in lat. 30 deg. 23' N. long. 121 deg. 43' E. off the
estuary of Ning-po river, in the province of Che-kiang, is obviously the
Chusan of the text--E.]

[Footnote 325: The city of Ning-po stands at the head of a bay,
stretching from the S. side of the estuary of the river of the same
name, in lat. 30 deg. 10' N. long. 121 deg. E. It appears, from the Annals,
that the English had been excluded from trading at Canton, by the
influence of the Portuguese in Macao.--E.]

About three leagues from the point of land named _Liampo_ by the
Portuguese, and _Khi-tu_ by the Chinese, there is a very safe and
convenient harbour at the west end of this island, where the ships ride
within call of the factory, which stands close to the shore in a low
flat valley, having near two hundred houses built around for the benefit
of trade. The town of Chusan, of which the houses are very mean, is
about three quarters of a mile farther from the shore, and is surrounded
by a fine stone wall, flanked at irregular distances by twenty-two
square bastions or towers; and has four great gates, on which a few old
iron guns are planted, seldom or never used. The _chumpeen_, or governor
of the island, resides here, and the town contains about three or four
thousand beggarly inhabitants, mostly soldiers and fishers; for, as the
trade of this island has only been granted of late, it has not hitherto
attracted any considerable merchants.

This island abounds in all sorts of provisions, as cows, buffaloes,
deer, hogs, both wild and tame, geese, ducks, poultry, rice, wheat,
calavanccs, cole-worts, turnips, carrots, potatoes, beets, spinach, and
so forth. It has, however, no merchandise, except what comes from
Ning-po, Stan-chew,[326] Nankin, and other inland towns and cities. Some
of these I hope to see, when I have acquired a little of the Chinese
language. Tea grows here in great plenty on the tops of the hills, but
is not so much esteemed as that which grows on more mountainous islands.
Although tolerably populous, this island is far from being what it was
in the time of Father Martini, who describes it under the name of
_Cheu-xan_. The superstitious pilgrimages mentioned by him, must refer
to the island of Pou-to,[327] which is nine leagues from this place, and
to another island three miles to the eastwards, to which the emperor
proposes coming to worship at a pagoda greatly renowned for its
sanctity, in the ensuing month of May, being his birth-day, and the
fortieth year of his age. One of his bonzes is already come there, to
get all things in order.

[Footnote 326: Probably Hang-tcheon, a city about forty miles W. from

[Footnote 327: Pou-teou, is directly E. from the eastern end of

Sec.2. _Ancient and modern State of the Country, and of the coming of the
English to reside there.[328]_

In my former letter, I informed you that the emperor designed to have
come to worship at Pou-to in May last, being the fortieth year of his
age, but I ought to have said of his reign. After every thing was
prepared for his reception, he was dissuaded from his purpose by some of
his mandarins, who made him believe that the thunder at that place was
very dangerous. This Pou-to is a small island, only about five leagues
round, and at the east end of Chusan. It has been famous for the space
of eleven hundred years, for the superstitious pilgrimages made to it,
and is only inhabited by bonzes to the number of three thousand, all of
the sect of _Heshang,_ or unmarried bonzes, who live a Pythagorean life.
They have built four hundred pagodas, two of which are considerable for
their size and splendour, and were lately covered with green and yellow
tiles, brought from the emperor's palace at Nankin. They are adorned
within by stately idols, finely carved and gilded, the chief of these
being an idol named _Quonem._ To-these two pagodas there are two chief
priests, who govern all the rest. They have many walks and avenues cut
in different directions through the island, some of which are paved with
flag-stones, and overshaded by trees planted on both sides. The
dwellings of the bonzes are the best I have seen in these parts, all of
which are maintained by charitable donations. All the Chinese junks
which sail from Ning-po and Chusan touch at Pou-to, both outwards and
homewards-bound, making offerings for the safety of their voyages. There
is another island named _Kim-Tong,_[329] five leagues from hence, on the
way towards Ning-po, where a great many mandarins are said to live in
retirement, after having given up their employments. On that island
there are said to be silver mines, but prohibited from being opened. The
rest of the circumjacent islands are either desert, or very meanly
inhabited, but all of them abound in deer.

[Footnote 328: The sequel of these observations is said by Harris to
have been taken from another letter to the same correspondent with the
former, and dated in November, 1701; but, from circumstances in the
text, it would appear to have been written in 1702.--E.]

[Footnote 329: Probably that named Silver-island in modern maps.--E.]

It is not long since this island of Chusan began to be inhabited. Yet in
the days of Father Martini, about fifty years ago, it was very populous
for three or four years; at which time, in the fury of the Tartar
conquest, it was laid entirely desolate, not even sparing the mulberry
trees, which were then numerous, as they made a great deal of raw silk
here. It continued in this desolate condition till about eighteen years
ago, when the walls of the present town were built by the governor of
_Ting-hai_, as a strong-hold for a garrison, in order to expel some
pirates who had taken shelter on the island. As the island began to grow
populous, a _chumpeen_ was sent to govern it for three years, to whom
the late chumpeen succeeded, who continued till last April, and procured
licence to open this port to strangers. On the last chumpeen being
promoted to the government of _Tien-ching-wei_[330] near Pekin, he was
succeeded by the present governor, who is son to the old chumpeen of
Emoy. They have no arts or manufactures in this island, except lacquered
ware; the particulars of which I cannot as yet send you. They have begun
to plant mulberry-trees, in order to breed up silk-worms for the
production of raw silk; and they gather and cure some tea, but chiefly
for their own use.

[Footnote 330: Probably that called Tien-sing in modern maps, on the
river Pay, between Pekin and the sea.--E.]

Sec.3. _Of the Manner of cultivating Tea in Chusan_.

The three sorts of tea usually carried to England are all from the same
plant, their difference being occasioned by the soils in which they
grow, and the season of the year at which they are gathered. The
_bohea_, or _vo-u-i_, so called from certain mountains in the province
of _Token_,[331] where it is chiefly made, is the very bud, gathered in
the beginning of March, and dried in the shade. The tea named _bing_ is
the second growth, gathered in April, and _siriglo_ is the last growth,
gathered in May and June; both of these being gently dried over the fire
in _taches_ or pans. The tea shrub is an evergreen, being in flower from
October to January, and the seed ripens in the September or October
following, so that both flower and seed may be gathered at the same
time; but for one fully ripened seed, an hundred are abortive. There are
the two sorts of seeds mentioned by Father Le Compte, in his description
of tea; and what be describes as a third sort, under the name of
_slymie_ pease, consists merely of the young flower-buds, not yet open.
The seed vessels of the tea tree are three-capsular, each capsule
containing one nut or seed; and though often two or one of these only
come to perfection, yet the vestiges of the rest may easily be
discerned. It grows naturally in a dry gravelly soil on the sides of
hills, without any cultivation, in several places of this island.

[Footnote 331: Fo-kien is almost certainly here meant--E.]

Le Compte is mistaken in saying that the Chinese are ignorant of the art
of grafting; for I nave seen many of his paradoxical tallow-trees
ingrafted here, besides trees of other sorts. When they ingraft, they do
not slit the stock as we do, but slice off the outside of the stock, to
which they apply the graft, which is cut sloping on one side, to
correspond with the slice on the stock, bringing the bark of the slice
up on the outside of the graft, after which the whole is covered up with
mud and straw, exactly as we do. The commentator on Magalhen seems
doubtful as to the length of the Chinese _che_ or cubit. At this island
they have two sorts, one measuring thirteen inches and seven-tenths
English, which, is commonly used by merchants; the other is only eleven
inches, being used by carpenters, and also in geographical measures.
Though Father Martini is censured by Magalhen for spelling a great many
Chinese words with _ng_, which the Portuguese and others express with
_in_, yet his way is more agreeable to our English pronunciation and
orthography; only the g may be left out in Pekin, Nankin, and some

Having made enquiry about what is mentioned by Father Martini of sowing
their _fields_ at _Van-cheu_ with oyster-shells, to make new ones grow,
I was told, that after they have taken out the oysters, they sprinkle
the empty shells with urine, and throw them into the water, by which
means there grow new oysters on the old shells.[332] Martini says he
could never find a Latin name for the _Tula Mogorin_ of the Portuguese;
but I am sure it is the same with the _Syringa arabica, flore pleno
albo_, of Parkinson. Martini also says that the _kieu-yeu_, or
tallow-tree, bears a white flower, like that of the cherry-tree: But all
that I have seen here bear spikes of small yellow flowers, like the
_julus_ of the _Salix_. The bean-broth, or mandarin-broth, so frequently
mentioned in the Dutch embassy, and by other authors, is only an
emulsion made of the seeds of _sesamum_ with hot water.

[Footnote 332: This strange story may possibly be thus explained. At
certain seasons, numerous minute oysters may be seen sticking to the
shells of the old ones; and the Chinese may have thrown the emptied
shells into the sea, in the highly probable expectation of these minute
oysters continuing to live and grow. The circumstances in the text are
absurd additions, either from ignorance or imposition.--E.]

The chief employments of the people here are fishing and agriculture. In
fishing, they use several sorts of nets and lines as we do; but, as
there are great banks of mud in some places, the fishermen have
contrived a small frame, three or four feet long, not much larger than a
hen-trough, and a little elevated at each end, to enable them to go more
easily on these mud banks. Resting with one knee on the middle of one of
these frames, and leaning his arms on a cross stick raised breast high,
he uses the other foot on the mud to push the frame and himself

In their agricultural operations, all their fields on which any thing is
to be cultivated, whether high or low, are formed into such plots or
beds as may admit of retaining water over them when the cultivator
thinks proper. The lands are tilled by ploughs drawn by one cow or
buffalo; and when it is intended to sow rice, the soil is remarkably
well prepared and cleared from all weeds, after which it is moistened
into the state of a pulp, and smoothed by a frame drawn across, when the
rice is sown very thick, and covered over with water, only to the height
of two or three inches. When the seedling plants are six or eight inches
long, they are all pulled up, and transplanted in straight lines into
other fields, which are overflowed with water; and, when weeds grow up,
they destroy them by covering them up in the interstices between the
rows of rice, turning the mud over them with their hands. When they are
to sow wheat, barley, pulse, or other grain, they grub up the surface of
the ground superficially, earth, grass, and rook, and mixing this with
some straw, burn all together. This earth, being sifted fine, they mix
with the seed, which they sow in holes made in straight lines, so that
it grows in tufts or rows like the rice. The field is divided into
regular beds, well harrowed both before and after the seed is sown,
which makes them resemble gardens. The rice grounds are meliorated
merely by letting water into them; but for the other grains, where the
soil requires it, they use dung, night-soil, ashes, and the like. For
watering their fields, they use the machine mentioned by Martini in the
preface to his Atlas, being entirely constructed of wood, and the same
in principle with the chain-pump.

In order to procure salt, as all the shores are of mud instead of sand,
they pare off in summer the superficial part of this mud, which has been
overflowed by the sea-water, and lay it up in heaps, to be used in the
following manner: Having first dried it in the sun, and rubbed it into a
fine powder, they dig a pit, the bottom of which is covered with straw,
and from the bottom a hollow cane leads through the side of the pit to a
jar standing below the level of the bottom. They then fill the pit
almost full of the dried salt mud, and pour on sea-water till it stands
two or three inches above the top of the mud. This sea-water drains
through the mud, carrying the salt along with it from the mud as well as
its own, and runs out into the jar much-saturated with salt; which is
afterwards procured by boiling.

Sec.4. _Of the famous Medicinal Root, called Hu-tchu-u_.

Having last year seen, in a newspaper, some account of a singular root,
brought from China by Father Fontaney, I shall inform you that I have
seen this root since my arrival at Chuaan. It is called _Hu-tchu-n_[333]
by the Chinese, and they ascribe to it most wonderful virtues, such as
prolonging life, and changing grey hair to black, by using its infusion
by way of tea. It is held in such high estimation as to be sold at a
great price, as I have been told, from ten tael up to a thousand, or
even two thousand tael-for a single root; for the larger it is, so much
the greater is its fancied value and efficacy: But the price is too high
to allow me to try the experiment. You will find it mentioned in the
_Medecina Sinica_ of Cleyer, No. 84; under the name of _He-xeu-ti_,
according to the Portuguese orthography. It is also figured in the 27th
table of the plants which Mr _Pettier_ had from me. The following is the
story of its discovery, which I will not warrant for gospel.

[Footnote 333: This is probably the ginseng, so famed for its fancied

Once upon a time, a certain person went to gather simples among the
mountains, and fell by some accident into a vale of which the sides were
so steep that he was unable to get out again. In this situation, he had
to look about for some means to support life, and discovered this root,
of which he made trial, and found that it served him both as food and
cloathing; for it preserved his body in such a temperature, that the
injuries of the weather had no evil influence upon him during a
residence of several hundred years. At length, by means of an
earthquake, the mountains were rent, and he found a passage from the
vale to his house, whence he had been so long absent. But so many
alterations had taken place during his long absence, that nobody would
believe his story; till, on consulting the annals of his family, they
found that one of them had been lost at the time he mentioned, which
confirmed the truth of his relation.--This is a fable, not even credited
among the Chinese, invented merely to blazon forth the virtues of this
wonderful root.

Sec.5. _Removal of Dr Cunningham to Pulo Condore, with an Account of the
Rise, Progress, and Ruin of that Factory_.[334]

The English factory at Chusan was broken up in the year 1702, so that Dr
Cunningham had very little time allowed him for making his proposed
observations respecting China. From this place he removed to another new
settlement at _Pulo Condore,_ in a small cluster of four or five
islands, about fifteen leagues south of the west channel of the river of
Camboja, usually called the Japanese river.[335] I am unable to say what
were the advantages proposed from this factory; but, from the memoirs I
have seen on the subject, this place seems to have been very ill chosen,
and much worse managed. The person who had at this time the management
and direction of the affairs belonging to the East India Company in this
distant part of the world, was one Mr Katchpole, who, according to the
usual custom of the Europeans in eastern India at this period, took into
the service a certain number of Macassers or native soldiers, by whose
assistance he soon constructed a small fort for the protection of the
factory. So far as I can learn, the most indispensable necessaries of
life, water, wood, and fish, were all that these islands ever afforded.

[Footnote 334: This and the subsequent subdivision of the section are
related historically by Harris.--E.]

[Footnote 335: Pulo Condore is in lat. 8 deg. 45' N. long. 106 deg. 5' E. and
the object of a factory at this place was evidently to endeavour to
secure a portion of the trade of China, from which the English at this
time were excluded by the arts of the Portuguese at Macao, as we learn
from the Annals; as also to combine some trade with Siam, Camboja,
Tsiompa, Cochin-China, and Tonquin.--E.]

The Macassers are a brave, industrious, and faithful people, to such as
deal fairly with them; and on this account are highly esteemed in the
Eastern Indies, more especially by the Dutch. They are, however,
daring, cruel, and revengeful, if once provoked. Mr Katchpole had
contracted with these men to serve for three years, at the end of which
period, if they pleased, they were to receive their wages and to depart:
But he, though they strictly performed their part of the agreement,
broke faith with them, keeping them beyond their time against their
will. In addition to this great breach in morality, he added as
notorious an error in politics; for, after provoking these men so
egregiously by refusing to fulfil his engagement, he still confided to
them the guard of his own person and the custody of the factory. This
gave them ample opportunity of revenging the ill usage they had met
with, and with that ferocity which is so natural to untutored
barbarians. They rose in mutiny one night, and murdered Mr Katchpole,
and all who were at the time along with him in the factory. A few, who
happened to lodge on the outside of the fort, hearing the cries of their
friends within during the massacre, fled from their beds to the
sea-shore; where, by a singular interposition of Providence, they found
a bark completely ready for sea, in which they embarked half naked, and
put immediately to sea, just in time to escape the rage of the
Macassers, who came in search of them to the shore, precisely when they
had weighed anchor and pushed off to sea.

Dr Cunningham was one of the number who escaped on this occasion. Their
navigation was attended with excessive difficulty, being exposed at the
same time to incredible fatigue, and to the utmost extremity of hunger
and thirst: But at length, after a tedious and difficult course of an
hundred leagues, in the most wretched condition, they reached a small
creek in the dominions of the king of Johor, where they were received

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