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HISTORY AND COLLECTION
VOYAGES AND TRAVELS,
ARRANGED IN SYSTEMATIC ORDER:
FORMING A COMPLETE HISTORY OF THE ORIGIN AND PROGRESS
OF NAVIGATION, DISCOVERY, AND COMMERCE,
BY SEA AND LAND,
FROM THE EARLIEST AGES TO THE PRESENT TIME.
BY ROBERT KERR, F.R.S. & F.A.S. EDIN.
ILLUSTRATED BY MAPS AND CHARTS.
* * * * *
PART II. BOOK III. CONTINUED.
CHAP. IX. Continued.--Early Voyages of the English to the East Indies
before the Establishment of an Exclusive Company.
SECT. IV. Voyage of Mr John Eldred, by Sea, to Tripoli in Syria, and
thence by Land and River to Bagdat and Basora, in 1583.
V. Of the Monsoons, or periodical Winds, with which Ships depart from
Place to Place in India. By William Barret.
VI. First Voyage of the English to India in 1591; begun by Captain
George Raymond, and completed by Captain James Lancaster.
VII. Supplementary Account of the former Voyage, by John May.
VIII. The unfortunate Voyage of Captain Benjamin Wood, towards the East
Indies, in 1596.
IX. Voyage of Captain John Davis to the East Indies, in 1598, as Pilot
to a Dutch Ship.
X. Voyage of William Adams to Japan, in 1598, and long residence in that
Sec. 1. Brief Relation of the Voyage of Sebalt de Wert to the Straits of
Sec. 2. First Letter of William Adams.
Sec. 3. Letter of William Adams to his Wife.
SECT. XI. Voyage of Sir Edward Michelburne to India, in 1604.
CHAP. X. Early Voyages of the English to India, after the Establishment,
of the East India Company.
SECT. I. First Voyage of the English East India Company, in 1601, under
the Command of Captain James Lancaster.
Sec. 1. Preparation for the Voyage, and its Incidents till the Departure of
the Fleet from Saldanha Bay.
Sec. 2. Continuation of the Voyage, to the Nicobar and Sombrero Islands.
Sec. 3. Their Reception and Trade at Acheen.
Sec. 4. Portuguese Wiles discovered, and a Prize taken near Malacca.
Sec. 5. Presents to and from the King of Acheen, and his Letters to Queen
Elizabeth. Their Departure to Priaman and Bantam, and Settlement of
Trade at these Places.
Sec. 6. Departure for England, and Occurrences in the Voyage.
SECT. II. Account of Java, and of the first Factory of the English at
Bantam; with Occurrences there from the 11th February, 1603, to the 6th
Sec. 1. Description of Java, with the Manners and Customs of its
Inhabitants, both Javanese and Chinese.
Sec. 2. Brief Discourse of many Dangers by Fire, and other Treacheries of
Sec. 3. Differences between the Hollanders, styling themselves English, and
the Javans, and of other memorable Things.
Sec. 4. Treacherous Underminings, and other Occurrences.
Sec. 5. Arrival of General Middleton, and other Events.
Sec. 6. Account of Quarrels between the English and Dutch at Bantam, and
Sec. 7. Observations by Mr John Saris of Occurrences during his Abode at
Bantam, from October, 1605, to October, 1609
Sec. 8. Rules for the Choice of sundry Drugs, with an Account of the Places
where they are procured.
Sec. 9. Of the principal Places of Trade in India, and the Commodities they
SECT. III. Second Voyage of the English East India Company, in 1604,
under the Command of Captain Henry Middleton.
Sec. 1. Voyage of General Henry Middleton, afterwards Sir Henry, to Bantam
and the Moluccas, in 1604.
Sec. 2. Voyage of Captain Colthurst, in the Ascension, to Banda.
SECT. IV. Third Voyage of the English East India Company, in 1607, by
Captain William Keeling.
Sec. 1. Disasters in the Outset of the Voyage, with Occurrences till
leaving Saldanha Bay.
Sec. 2. Departure from Saldanha Bay, and Occurrences till the Ships parted
Sec. 3. Instruction learnt at Delisa respecting the Monsoon; with the
Arrival of the Dragon at Bantam.
Sec. 4. Voyage of the Hector to Banda, with Occurrences there.
SECT. V. Narrative by William Hawkins of Occurrences during his
Residence in the Dominions of the Great Mogul.
Sec. 1. Barbarous Usage at Surat by Mucrob Khan; and the treacherous
Procedure of the Portuguese and Jesuits.
Sec. 2. Journey of the Author to Agra, and his Entertainment at the Court
of the Great Mogul.
Sec. 3. The Inconstancy of the King, and the Departure of Captain Hawkins
to the Red Sea, Bantam, and England.
SECT. VI. Observations of William Finch, Merchant, who accompanied
Captain Hawkins to Surat, and returned over Land to England.
Sec. 1. Remembrances respecting Sierra Leona, in 1607.
Sec. 2. Observations made at St Augustine in Madagascar, and at the Island
Sec. 3. Occurrences in India, respecting the English, Dutch, Portuguese,
Sec. 4. Journey to Agra, and Observations by the Way; with some Notices of
the Deccan Wars.
Sec. 5. Description of Futtipoor, Biana, &c. of Nill, or Indigo; and of
Sec. 6. Description of Lahore, with other Observations.
SECT. VII. Voyage of Captain David Middleton, in 1607, to Bantam and the
SECT. VIII. Fourth Voyage of the English East India Company, in 1608, by
Captain Alexander Sharpey.
Sec. 1. Relation of this Voyage, as written by Robert Coverte.
Sec. 2. Supplement to the foregoing Narrative, from the Account of the same
unfortunate Voyage, by Thomas Jones.
Sec. 3. Additional Supplement, from the Report of William Nichols.
SECT. IX. Voyage of Captain Richard Rowles in the Union, the Consort of
Sec. 1. Of the Voyage of the Union, after her Separation from the
Ascension, to Acheen and Priaman.
Sec. 2. Return of the Union from Priaman towards England.
SECT. X. Fifth Voyage of the English East India Company, in 1609, under
the Command of Captain David Middleton.
Sec. 1. Occurrences at Bantam, Booton, and Banda.
Sec. 2. Occurrences at Banda; Contests with the Hollanders; Trade at
Pulo-way, and many Perils.
Sec. 3. Departure for Bantam, Escape from the Hollanders, and Voyage Home.
SECT. XI. Sixth Voyage of the English East India Company, in 1610, under
the Command of Sir Henry Middleton.
Sec. 1. Incidents of the Voyage till the Arrival of the Squadron at Mokha.
Sec. 2. Transactions at Mokha, and Treachery of the Turks there, and at
Sec. 3. Journey of Sir Henry Middleton to Zenan, in the Interior of Yemen,
or Arabia Felix, with some Description of the Country, and Occurrences
till his Return to Mokha.
Sec. 4. Sir Henry Middleton makes his Escape from the Turks, and forces
them to make Satisfaction.
Sec. 5. Voyage from the Red Sea to Surat, and Transactions there.
Sec. 6. Voyage from Surat to Dabul, and thence to the Red Sea, and
SECT. XII. Journal of the preceding Voyage by Nicholas Downton, Captain
of the Pepper-corn.
Sec. 1. Notices of the Voyage between Saldanha Bay and Socotora, both
Sec. 2. Of Abdal Kuria, Arabia Felix, Aden, and Mokha, and the treacherous
Proceedings of both Places.
Sec. 3. Account of Proceedings in the Red Sea on the second Visit.
Sec. 4. Voyage from Mokha to Sumatra, and Proceedings there.
Sec. 5. Voyage of the Pepper-corn Home to England.
SECT. XIII. The Seventh Voyage of the English East India Company, in
1611, commanded by Captain Anthony Hippon.
SECT. XIV. Notices of the preceding Voyage, by Peter Williamson Floris.
Sec. 1. The Voyage to Pullicatt, Patapilly, Bantam, Patane, and Siam.
Sec. 2. Narrative of strange Occurrences in Pegu, Siam, Johor, Patane, and
the adjacent Kingdoms.
Sec. 3. Voyage to Masulipatam, and Incidents during a long Stay at that
Sec. 4. Voyage to Bantam, and thence to England.
SECT. XV. Eighth Voyage of the English East India Company, in 1611, by
Captain John Saris.
Sec. 1. Incidents of the Voyage from England to Socotora.
Sec. 2. Occurrences at Socotora and in the Red Sea.
Sec. 3. Adventures along with Sir Henry Middleton in the Red Sea, and other
Observations in those Parts, with our Arrival at Bantam.
Sec. 4. The Voyage of Captain Saris, in the Clove, towards Japan, with
Observations respecting the Dutch and Spaniards at the Molucca Islands.
[Illustration: Map of the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope]
COLLECTION OF VOYAGES AND TRAVELS.
* * * * *
PART II. BOOK III.
* * * * *
EARLY VOYAGES OF THE ENGLISH. TO THE EAST INDIES, BEFORE THE
ESTABLISHMENT OF AN EXCLUSIVE COMPANY.
Voyage of Mr John Eldred, by Sea, to Tripoli, in Syria, and thence, by
Land and River, to Bagdat and Basora, in 1583.
I departed from London in the Tiger on Shrove-Tuesday, 1583, in company
with Mr John Newberry, Mr Ralph Fitch, and six or seven other honest
merchants, and arrived at Tripoli in Syria on the next ensuing 1st of
May. On our arrival, we went a _Maying_ on the Island of St George,
where the Christians who die here on ship board are wont to be buried.
In this city of Tripoli our English merchants have a consul, and all of
the English nation who come here reside along with him, in a house or
factory, called _Fondeghi Ingles_, which is a square stone building,
resembling a cloister, where every person has his separate chamber, as
is likewise the custom of all the other Christian nations at this place.
[Footnote 1: Hakluyt, II. 402. As Eldred accompanied Newberry and Fitch
from England to Basora, this article is, in a great degree, connected
with our present purpose: It may likewise be mentioned, that Eldred is
one of the persons with whom Newberry corresponded.--E.]
Tripolis stands under a part of Mount Lebanon, at the distance of two
English miles from the port. On one side of this port, in the form of a
half-moon, there are five block-houses, or small forts, in which there
are some good pieces of artillery, and they are occupied by about an
hundred janisaries. Right before the town there is a hill of shifting
sand, which gathers and increases with a west wind, insomuch, that they
have an old prophecy among them, that this sand hill will one day
swallow up and overwhelm the town, as it every year increases and
destroys many gardens, though they employ every possible device to
diminish this sand-bank, and to render it firm ground. The city is
walled round, though of no great strength, and is about the size of
Bristol: Its chief defence is the citadel or castle, which stands on the
south side of the town, and within the walls, overlooking the whole
town, being armed with some good artillery, and garrisoned by two
hundred janisaries. A river passes through the middle of the city, by
means of which they water their gardens and plantations of mulberry
trees, on which they rear great numbers of silk-worms, which produce
great quantities of white silk, being the principal commodity of this
place, which is much frequented by many Christian merchants, as
Venetians, Florentines, Genoese, Marsilians, Sicilians, and Ragusans,
and, of late, by the English, who trade more here than in any other port
of the Turkish dominions.
I departed from Tripolis with a caravan, on the 14th May, passing, in
three days, over the ridge of Mount Libanus; and at the end of that time
came to the city of _Hammah_, which stands in a goodly plain, abounding
in corn and cotton-wool. On these mountains grow great quantities of
_gall-trees_, which are somewhat like our oaks, but less, and more
crooked; and, on the best trees, a man shall not find above a pound of
galls on each. This town of Hammah is fallen into decay, and continues
to decay more and more, so that at this day scarcely is the half of the
wall standing, which has once been strong and handsome; but, because it
cost many lives to win it, the Turks will not have it repaired, and have
caused to be inscribed in Arabic, over one of the gates, "Cursed be the
father and the son of him who shall lay hands to the repairing of this
Refreshing ourselves one day here, we went forwards three days more,
with our camels, and came to Aleppo, where we arrived on the 21st of
May. This has the greatest trade, for an inland town, of any in all
those parts, being resorted to by Jews, Tartars, Persians, Armenians,
Egyptians, Indians, and many different kinds of Christians, all of whom
enjoy liberty of conscience, and bring here many different kinds of
merchandise. In the middle of the city there is a goodly castle, raised
on high, having a garrison of four or five hundred janisaries. Within
four miles round about there are many goodly gardens and vineyards, with
many trees, which bear excellent fruit, near the side of the river,
which is very small. The walls of the city are about three miles in
circuit, but the suburbs are nearly as large as the city, the whole
being very populous.
We departed from Aleppo on the 31st of May, with a caravan of camels,
along with Mr John Newberry, and his company, and came to _Birrah_,
[Bir] in three days, being a small town on the Euphrates, where that
river first assumes the name, being here collected into one channel,
whereas before it comes down in numerous branches, and is therefore
called by the people of the country by a name which signifies a
_thousand heads_. We here found abundance of provisions, and furnished
ourselves for a long journey down the river; and, according to the
custom of those who travel on this river, we provided a small bark for
the conveyance of ourselves and our goods. These boats are
flat-bottomed, because the river is shallow in many places; and when
people travel in the months of July, August, and September, the water
being then at the lowest, they have to carry a spare boat or two along
with them, to lighten their own boats in case of grounding on the
shoals. We were twenty-eight days upon the river in going between Bir
and Feluchia, at which last place we disembarked ourselves and our
During our passage down the Euphrates, we tied our boat to a stake every
night at sun-set, when we went on land and gathered some sticks to make
a fire, on which we set our pot, with rice or bruised wheat; and when
we had supped, the merchants went on board to sleep, while the mariners
lay down for the night on the shore, as near the boats as they could. At
many places on the river side we met with troops of Arabs, of whom we
bought milk, butter, eggs, and lambs, giving them in barter, for they
care not for money, glasses, combs, coral, amber, to hang about their
necks; and for churned milk we gave them bread and pomegranate peels,
with which they tan their goat skins which they use for churns. The
complexion, hair, and apparel of these Arabs, are entirely like to those
vagabond Egyptians who heretofore used to go about in England. All their
women, without one exception, wear a great round ring of gold, silver,
or iron, according to their abilities, in one of their nostrils, and
about their legs they have hoops of gold, silver, or iron. All of them,
men, women, and children, are excellent swimmers, and they often brought
off in this manner vessels with milk on their heads to our barks. They
are very thievish, as I proved to my cost, for they stole a casket
belonging to me, containing things of good value, from under my man's
head as he lay asleep.
At Bir the Euphrates is about as broad as the Thames at Lambeth, in some
places broader, and in others narrower, and it runs very swiftly, almost
as fast as the Trent. It has various kinds of fish, all having scales,
some like our barbels, as large as salmon. We landed at Feluchia on the
28th of June, and had to remain there seven days for want of camels to
carry our goods to Babylon, [Bagdat,] the heat at that season being so
violent that the people were averse from hiring their camels to travel.
Feluchia is a village of some hundred houses, and is the place appointed
for discharging such goods as come down the river, the inhabitants being
all Arabs. Not being able to procure camels, we had to unlade our goods,
and hired an hundred asses to carry our English merchandize to New
Babylon, or Bagdat, across a short desert, which took us eighteen hours
of travelling, mostly in the night and morning, to avoid the great heat
of the day.
In this short desert, between the Euphrates and Tigris, formerly stood
the great and mighty city of ancient Babylon, many of the old ruins of
which are easily to be seen by day-light, as I, John Eldred, have often
beheld at my good leisure, having made three several journeys between
Aleppo and New Babylon. Here also are still to be seen the ruins of the
ancient Tower of Babel, which, being upon plain ground, seems very large
from afar; but the nearer you come towards it, it seems to grow less and
less. I have gone sundry times to see it, and found the remnants still
standing above a quarter of a mile in circuit, and almost as high as the
stone-work of St Paul's steeple in London, but much bigger. The
bricks remaining in this most ancient monument are half a yard thick,
and three quarters long, having been dried in the sun only; and between
every course of bricks there is a course of matts made of canes, which
still remain as sound as if they had only lain one year.
[Footnote 2: It is hardly necessary to observe, that this refers to the
old St Paul's before the great fire, and has no reference to the present
magnificent structure, built long after the date of this journey.--E.]
The new city of Babylon, or Bagdat, joins to the before-mentioned small
desert, in which was the old city, the river Tigris running close under
the walls, so that they might easily open a ditch, and make the waters
of the river, encompass the city. Bagdat is above two English miles
in circumference. The inhabitants, who generally speak three languages,
Persian, Arabic, and Turkish, are much of the same complexion with the
Spaniards. The women mostly wear, in the gristle of the nose, a ring
like a wedding-ring, but rather larger, having a pearl and a turquoise
stone set in it; and this however poor they may be. This is a place of
great trade, being the thoroughfare from the East Indies to Aleppo. The
town is well supplied with provisions, which are brought down the river
Tigris from Mosul, in Diarbekir, or Mesopotamia, where stood the ancient
city of Nineveh. These provisions, and various other kinds of goods, are
brought down the river Tigris on rafts of wood, borne up by a great
number of goat-skin bags, blown up with wind like bladders. When the
goods are discharged, the rafts are sold for fuel, and letting the wind
out of the goat skins, they carry them home again upon asses, to serve
for other voyages down the river.
[Footnote 3: It may be proper to remark, as not very distinctly marked
here, though expressed afterwards in the text, that Bagdat is on the
east side of the Tigris, whereas the plain, or desert of ancient
Babylon, is on the west, between that river and the Euphrates.--E.]
The buildings here are mostly of brick, dried in the sun, as little or
no stone is to be found, and their houses are all low and flat-roofed.
They have no rain for eight months together, and hardly any clouds in
the sky by day or night. Their winter is in November, December, January,
and February, which is almost as warm as our summer in England. I know
this well by experience, having resided, at different times, in this
city for at least the space of two years. On coming into the city from
Feluchia, we have to pass across the river Tigris on a great bridge of
boats, which are held together by two mighty chains of iron.
From this place we departed in flat-bottomed boats, which were larger
and more strongly built than those on the Euphrates. We were
twenty-eight days also in going down this river to Basora, though we
might have gone in eighteen days, or less, if the water had been higher.
By the side of the river there stand several towns, the names of which
resemble those of the prophets of the Old Testament. The first of these
towns is called _Ozeah_, and another _Zecchiah_. One day's journey
before we came to Basora, the two rivers unite, and there stands, at the
junction, a castle belonging to the Turks, called _Curna_, where all
merchants have to pay a small custom. Where the two rivers join, their
united waters are eight or nine miles broad; and here also the river
begins to ebb and flow, the overflowing of the water rendering all the
country round about very fertile in corn, rice, pulse, and dates.
The town of Basora is a mile and a half in circuit; all the houses, with
the castle and the walls, being of brick dried in the sun. The Grand
Turk has here five hundred janisaries always in garrison, besides other
soldiers; but his chief force consists in twenty-five or thirty fine
gallies, well furnished with good ordnance. To this port of Basora there
come every month divers ships from Ormus, laden with all sorts of Indian
goods, as spices, drugs, indigo, and calico cloth. These ships are from
forty to sixty tons burden, having their planks sewed together with
twine made of the bark of the date-palm; and, instead of oakum, their
seams are filled with slips of the same bark, of which also their tackle
is made. In these vessels they have no kind of iron-work whatever,
except their anchors. In six days sail down the Gulf of Persia, they go
to an island called. Bahrein, midway to Ormus, where they fish for
pearls during the four months of June, July, August, and September.
I remained six months at Basora, in which time I received several
letters from Mr John Newberry, then at Ormus, who, as he passed that
way, proceeded with letters, from her majesty to Zelabdim Echebar, king
of Cambaia, and to the mighty Emperor of China, was treacherously
there arrested, with all his company, by the Portuguese, and afterwards
sent prisoner to Goa, where, after a long and cruel imprisonment, he and
his companions were released, upon giving surety not to depart from
thence without leave, at the instance of one Father Thomas Stevens, an
English priest, whom they found there. Shortly afterwards three of them
made their escape, of whom Mr Ralph Fitch is since come to England. The
fourth, who was Mr John Story, painter, became a religious in the
college of St Paul, at Goa, as we were informed by letters from that
[Footnote 4: Akbar Shah, padishah or emperor of the Moguls in
Having completed all our business at Basora, I and my companion, William
Shales, embarked in company with seventy barks, all laden with
merchandize; every bark having fourteen men to drag it up the river,
like our west country barges on the river Thames; and we were forty-four
days in going up against the stream to Bagdat. We there, after paying
our custom, joined with other merchants, to form a caravan, bought
camels, and hired men to load and drive them, furnished ourselves with
rice, butter, dates, honey made of dates, and onions; besides which,
every merchant bought a certain number of live sheep, and hired certain
shepherds to drive them along with us. We also bought tents to lie in,
and to put our goods under; and in this caravan of ours there were four
thousand camels laden with spices and other rich goods. These camels can
subsist very well for two or three days without water, feeding on
thistles, wormwood, _magdalene_, and other coarse weeds they find by the
way. The government of the caravans, the deciding of all quarrels that
occur, and the apportionment of all duties to be paid, are committed to
the care of some one rich and experienced merchant in the company, whose
honour and honesty can best be confided in. We spent forty days in our
journey from Bagdat to Aleppo, travelling at the rate of from twenty to
twenty-four miles a-day, resting ourselves commonly from two in the
afternoon till three next morning, at which time we usually began our
Eight days journey from Bagdat, near to a town called Heit, where we
cross the Euphrates in boats, and about three miles from that place,
there is a valley in which are many mouths, or holes, continually
throwing out, in great abundance, a black kind of substance like tar,
which serves all this country for paying their boats and barks. Every
one of these springs makes a noise like a smith's forge, continually
puffing and blowing; and the noise is so loud, that it may be heard a
mile off. This vale swalloweth up all heavy things that are thrown into
it. The people of the country call it _Bab-el-gehenam_, or the gate of
hell. In passing through these deserts we saw certain wild beasts, such
as asses, all white, roebucks, leopards, foxes, and many hares, a
considerable number of which last we chaced and killed. _Aborise_, the
king of the wandering Arabs in these deserts, receives a duty of 40
shillings value for every loaded camel, which he sends his officers to
receive from the caravans; and, in consideration of this, he engages to
convoy the caravans in safety, if need be, and to defend them against
the prowling thieves.
I and my companion, William Shales, came to Aleppo on the 11th June,
1584, being joyfully welcomed at twenty miles distance by Mr William
Barret, our consul, accompanied by his people and janisaries. He fell
sick immediately after, and departed this life in eight days illness,
having nominated, before he died, Mr Anthony Bate to succeed him as
consul for the English nation, who laudably executed the office for
three years. In the mean time, I made two other journeys to Bagdat and
Basora, returning in the same manner through the desert. Being
afterwards desirous to see other parts of the country, I went from
Aleppo to Antioch, which is 60 miles, and from thence to Tripoli, where,
going on board a small vessel, I arrived at Joppa, and travelled by land
to Rama, Lycia, Gaza, Jerusalem, Bethlem, the river Jordan, and the sea
of Sodom, and returned to Joppa, from whence I went back to Tripoli; but
as many others have published large discourses of these places, I think
it unnecessary to write of them here. Within a few days after my return
to Tripoli, I embarked in the Hercules of London, on the 22d December,
1587, and arrived safe, by the blessing of God, in the Thames, with
divers other English merchants, on the 26th March, 1588; our ship being
the richest in merchant goods that ever was known to arrive in this
_Of the Monsoons, or Periodical Winds, with which Ships depart from
Place to Place in India. By William Barret._
It is to be noted, that the city of Goa is the principal place of all
the oriental India, and that the winter begins there on the 15th of May,
with very great rain, and so continues till the 1st of August; during
which time no ship can pass the bar of Goa, as, by these continual
rains, all the sands join together hear a mountain called _Oghane_, and
run into the shoals of the bar and port of Goa, having no other issue,
and remain there, so that the port is shut up till the 1st of August;
but it opens again on the 10th of August, as the rains are then ceased,
and the sea thus scours away the sand.
[Footnote 5: Hakluyt, II. 413.
It appears, from the journal of John Eldred, in the preceding section,
that William Barret was English consul at Aleppo, and died in 1584.
In the immediately preceding article in Hakluyt, vol. II. p. 406, et
seq., is a curious account of the money weights and measures of Bagdat,
Basora, Ormus, Goa, Cochin, and Malacca, which we wished to have
inserted, but found no sufficient data by which to institute a
comparison with the money weights and measures of England, without which
they would have been entirely useless.
In the present article, the dates are certainly of the old stile, and,
to accommodate these to the present new stile, it may be perhaps right
to add _nine_ days to each for the sixteenth century, or _twelve_ days to
reduce them to corresponding dates of the present nineteenth
To the northward, as Chaul, Diu, Cambay, Damaun, Basseen, and other
places, the ships depart from Goa between the 10th and 24th of August;
and ships may sail to these places at all times of the year, except in
winter, as already described.
Ships depart for Goa from Chaul, Diu, Cambay, and other parts to the
northward, betwixt the 8th and 15th of January, and come to Goa about
the end of February.
From Diu ships depart for the straits of Mecca, or the Red-Sea, about
the 15th of January, and return from thence to Diu in the month of
August. They likewise depart from Din for the Red-Sea in the second
monsoon, betwixt the 25th of August and 25th of September, and return
to Diu between the 1st and 15th of May following.
From Socotora, which hath only few ships, they depart for Ormus about
the 10th of August.
About the 15th of September the Moors of the firm land begin to come to
Goa from all parts, as from Balagnete, Bezenegar, Sudalcan, and other
places; and they depart from Goa betwixt the 10th and 15th of November.
It is to be understood, that, by going to the north, is meant departing
from Goa for Chaul, Diu, Cambay, Damaun, Basseen, and other places as
far as Sinde; and, by the south, is meant departing from Goa for Cochin,
and all that coast, as far as Cape Comorin.
In the _first_ monsoon for Ormus, ships depart from Goa in the month of
October, passing with easterly winds along the coast of Persia. In the
_second_ monsoon, the ships depart from Goa about the 20th of January,
passing by a like course, and with a similar wind; this second monsoon
being called by the Portuguese the _entremonson_. There is likewise a
_third_ monsoon for going from Goa to Ormus, when ships set out from Goa
betwixt the 25th March and 6th April, having easterly winds, when they
set their course for the coast of Arabia, which they fell in with at
Cape Rasalgate and the Straits of Ormus. This monsoon is the most
troublesome of all, for they make two navigations in the latitude of
Ceylon, somewhat lower than six degrees.
[Footnote 6: This is by no means obvious; but means, perhaps, that they
are obliged to bear away so far south, owing to the wind not allowing a
The _first_ monsoon from Ormus for Chaul and Goa is in the month of
September, with the wind at north or north-east. The _second_ is between
the 25th and 30th of December, with like winds. In the _third_, ships
leave Ormus between the 1st and 15th of April, with the wind at
south-east, east, or north-east, when they coast along Arabia from Cape
Mosandon to Cape Rasalgate; and after losing sight of Rasalgate, they
have westerly winds which carry them to Chaul and Goa. But if they do
not leave Ormus on or before the 25th of April, they must winter at
Ormus, and wait the first monsoon in September.
The _first_ monsoon from Ormus to Sinde is between the 15th and 20th of
April; the second between the 10th and 20th of October. From Ormus
ships depart for the Red Sea in all January.
From Goa for Calicut, Cochin, Ceylon, and other places to the southward,
the ships depart from the 1st to the 15th of August, and find these seas
navigable all the year, except in winter, that is, from the 15th May to
the 10th August. In like manner, ships can go from these places to Goa
every time of the year except in winter; but the best time is in the
months of December, January, and February.
In the first monsoon from Goa for Pegu, the ships depart from Goa
between the 15th and 20th of April, and winter at San Thome, whence they
sail for Pegu after the 5th of August. In the second, they leave Goa
between the 8th and 24th of August, going direct for Pegu; but, if they
pass the 24th of August, they cannot make out their voyage that monsoon,
and must wait till next April. It may be noticed, that the best trade
for Pegu is to take ryals and patechoni to San Thome, and there purchase
Tellami, which is fine cotton cloth, of which great quantities are made
in Coromandel. Other merchandize is not good in Pegu, except a few
dozens of very fair oriental emeralds. Gold, silver, and rubies are in
Pegu sufficiently abundant. In coming from Pegu for Western India, ships
sail between the 15th and 25th of January, and come to Goa about the
25th of March, or beginning of April. If it pass the 10th of May before
reaching Goa, ships cannot reach Goa that monsoon; and if they have not
then made the coast of India, they will with much peril fetch San Thome.
In the first monsoon for Malacca, the ships leave Goa between the 15th
and 30th of September, and reach Malacca about the end of October. In
the second, they leave Goa about the 5th of May, and arrive at Malacca
about the 15th of June. In the first monsoon from Malacca for Goa, they
leave Malacca about the 10th September, and come to Goa about the end of
October. In the second, they leave Malacca about the 10th February, and
reach Goa about the end of March. If any ship is detained on this voyage
till the 10th May, they cannot enter the harbour of Goa; and, if they
have not then got to Cochin, they must return to Malacca, as the winter
and the contrary winds then come on.
Ships sail from Goa for China in the month of April; and they must sail
in such time from China as to reach Goa before the 10th of May. If not
then arrived, they must put back to Cochin; and if not able to get in
there, must go to Malacca to winter.
Ships going from Goa for the Moluccas must sail on or before the 10th or
15th May; after which period they cannot pass the bar of Goa: and the
ships returning from the Moluccas usually reach Goa about the 15th of
The ships from Portugal for India usually depart between the 10th and
15th of March, going direct for the coast of Melinda and Mozambique,
which they reach in July, whence they proceed to Goa. If they do not
reach the coast of Melinda in July, they cannot fetch Melinda that year,
but must return to the island of St Helena. If they are unable to make
that island, then they run as lost on the coast of Guinea. If they reach
the coast of Melinda in time, and set forwards for Goa, but are unable
to make that port by the 15th September, they then go to Cochin; but, if
unable to get into Cochin, they must return and winter on the coast of
Mozambique. Yet, in the year 1580, the ship San Lorenzo arrived there on
the 8th of October, sore tempest-beaten, to the great admiration of
every one, as the like had not been seen before.
The ships bound for Portugal leave Cochin between the 15th and 31st
January, steering for _Cabo de buona Speranza_, and the isle of St
Helena, which island is about midway, being in lat. 16 deg. S. It is a small
island, but fruitful of all things, with great store of fruit, and gives
great succour to the ships homeward-bound from India to Portugal. It is
not long since that island was discovered, by a ship that came from the
Indies in a great storm. They found in it such abundance of wild beasts
and boars, and all sorts of fruit, that, by these means, this ship,
which had been four months at sea, was wonderfully refreshed both with
food and water. It received its name because discovered on the day of St
Helen. This island is so great a succour to the Portuguese ships, that
many of them would surely perish if it were not for the aid they get
here. For this reason, the King of Portugal caused a church to be built
here to the honour of St Helena, where only two hermits reside, all
others being forbidden to inhabit there, that the ships may be the
better supplied with victuals, as on coming from India they are usually
but slenderly provided, because no corn grows there, nor do they make
any wine. The ships which go from Portugal for India do not touch there,
because, on leaving Portugal, they are fully provided with bread and
water for eight months. No other person can inhabit St Helena except the
two hermits, or perchance some sick person who may be left there on
shore under the care of the hermits, for his help and recovery.
Ships depart from Goa for Mozambique between the 10th and 15th of
January; and from Mozambique for Goa between the 8th and 31st August,
arriving at Chaul or Goa any time in October, or till the 15th of
From Ormus ships bound for Bengal depart between the 15th and 20th of
June, going to winter at _Teve_? whence they resume their voyage for
Bengal about the 15th of August.
_First Voyage of the English to India in 1591; begun by Captain George
Raymond, and completed by Captain James Lancaster_.
We have at length arrived at the period when the English began to visit
the East Indies in their own ships; this voyage of Captain Raymond, or,
if you will, Lancaster, being the first of the kind ever performed by
them. From this year, therefore, 1591, the oriental navigations of the
English are to be dated; they did not push them with any vigour till the
beginning of the next century, when they began to pursue the commerce of
India with unwearied diligence and success, as will appear from the
narratives in the next succeeding chapter.
[Footnote 7: Hakluyt, II. 286. Astley, I. 235.]
"As for Captain Raymond, his ship was separated near Cape Corientes, on
the eastern coast of Africa, from the other two, and was never heard
of more during the voyage, so that, whether he performed the voyage, or
was lost by the way, does not appear from Hakluyt; from whose silence,
however, nothing can be certainly concluded either way, for reasons
that will appear in the sequel."--_Astley_.
[Footnote 8: This is a singular oversight in the editor of Astley's
Collection, as by that time there were only two ships, the Royal
Merchant having been sent home from Saldanha bay.--E.]
[Footnote 9: These promised reasons no where appear.--E.]
The full title of this voyage in Hakluyt's Collection is thus: "A Voyage
with three tall ships, the Penelope, Admiral; the Merchant-Royal,
Vice-Admiral; and the Edward Bonadventure, Rear-Admiral, to the East
Indies, by way of the Cape of Buona Speranza, to Quitangone, near
Mozambique, to the isles of Comoro and Zanzibar, on the backside of
Africa, and beyond Cape Comorin, in India, to the isles of Nicobar, and
of Gomes Palo, within two leagues of Sumatra, to the Islands of Pulo
Pinaom, and thence to the Mainland of Malacca; begun by Mr George
Raymond in the year 1591, and performed by Mr James Lancaster, and
written from the mouth of Edmund Barker of Ipswich, his Lieutenant in
the said Voyage, by Mr Richard Hakluyt."
This voyage is chiefly remarkable as being the first ever attempted by
the English to India, though not with any view of trade, as its only
object seems to have been to commit privateering depredations upon the
Portuguese trading ships in India, or, as we would now call them, the
country ships, which were employed in trading between Goa and the
settlements to the eastwards. It is unnecessary here to point out the
entire disappointment of the adventurers, or the disastrous conclusion
of the expedition, as these are clearly related by Mr Edmund Barker.
This article is followed by a supplementary account of the same voyage,
by John May, one of the people belonging to the Edward Bonadventure, who
relates some of the occurrences rather differently from Edmund Barker,
or rather gives some information that Mr Barker seems to have wished to
conceal. For these reasons, and because of some farther adventures in a
French ship in which May embarked, it has been thought proper to insert
that narrative in our collection--E.
* * * * *
Our fleet, consisting of three tall ships, the Penelope, Merchant-Royal,
and Edward Bonadventure, sailed from Plymouth the 10th April, 1591, and
arrived at the Canary Islands on 25th of that month, whence we again
took our departure on the 29th. The 2d May we were in the latitude of
Cape Blanco, and passed the tropic of Cancer on the 5th. All this time
we had a fair wind at north-east, sailing always before the wind, till
the 13th May, when we came within eight degrees of the line, where we
met a contrary wind. We lay off and on from that time till the 6th June,
when we crossed the equinoctial line. While thus laying off and on, we
captured a Portuguese caravel, laden by some merchants of Lisbon for
Brasil, in which vessel we got about 60 tons of wine, 1200 jars of oil,
100 jars of olives, some barrels of capers, three vats of pease, and
various other necessaries fit for our voyage; the wine, oil, olives, and
capers, being more valuable to us than gold.
We had two men died before passing the line, and several sick, who first
became unwell in these hot climates, as it is wonderfully unwholsome
from 8 deg. N. lat. to the equator at that season of the year; for we had
nothing but tornadoes, with such thunder, lightning, and rain, that
we could not keep our men dry three hours together; which, with scanty
cloathing to shift them, and living entirely on salt provisions,
occasioned an infection among them. After passing the line, we had the
wind continually at east-south-east, which carried us along the coast of
Brasil, at 100 leagues from the land, till we were in lat. 26 deg. S. when
we had the wind from the north; at which time we estimated the Cape of
Good Hope to bear E. by S. 900 or 1000 leagues distant.
[Footnote 10: Tornado signifies a storm, during which the wind shifts
about, or _turns_ to all points of the compass.--E.]
In passing this great gulf from the coast of Brasil to the Cape of Good
Hope, we had the wind often variable, as it is on our own coast, but,
for the most part, so as that we could hold our course. The 28th of July
we had sight of the Cape; and till the 31st we plied off and on, with a
contrary wind, always in hopes to double the Cape, meaning to have gone
70 leagues farther, to a place called _Aguada de San Bras_, before
seeking to put in at any harbour. But as our men were sick in all our
ships, we thought it good to seek some place of refreshment for them;
wherefore we bore up with the land to the northward of the Cape, on the
west coast of Africa; and going along shore, we espied a goodly bay,
having an island to leeward of its mouth, into which we entered, and
found it very commodious to ride in at anchor. This bay is called
_Aguada de Saldanha_, being in lat. 33 deg. S. 15 leagues northward on this
side from the Cape; and in it we anchored on Sunday the 1st August,
and immediately sent our sick men on shore.
[Footnote 11: It will appear distinctly in the sequel of these early
voyages, that this Aguada de Saldanha, called likewise Saldanha or
Saldania bay, was that now named Table bay, on which stands Cape Town,
and not that which is now called Saldanha bay, which is ten or twelve
leagues farther north, and on the same western coast of Africa.--E.]
Certain very brutish black savages came to them, but would not stay, and
immediately retired. For the space of 15 or 20 days, we could procure no
fresh provisions, except some cranes and geese which we shot; and we
could get no fish but mussels and other shell-fish, which we gathered on
the rocks. At the end of this time, our admiral went one day with his
pinnace to the island off the mouth of the bay, where he found great
numbers of penguins and seals, of which he brought plenty with him to
the ships, and twice afterwards some of our people brought their boats
loaded with these animals. Alter we had been here some time, we got hold
of a negro, whom we compelled to go along with us into the country,
making signs to him to procure us some cattle; but not being able at
this time to come in sight of any, we let the negro go, giving him some
trifling presents. Within eight days after, he and 30 or 40 other
negroes brought us down about 40 oxen and as many sheep, at which time
we only bought a few of them; but, about eight days afterwards, they
brought down as many more, when we bought 24 oxen and as many sheep. The
oxen were large and well-fleshed, but not fat; and we bought an ox for
two knives, and a stirk, or young beast, for one knife. The sheep are
very large, and excellent mutton, having hair instead of wool, and great
tails like those of Syria. We gave a knife for a sheep, and even got
some for less value. We saw various wild beasts, as antilopes, red and
fallow deer, and other large beasts, which we knew not, with a great
number of overgrown monkies or baboons. Mr Lancaster killed an antilope
as large as a young colt.
[Footnote 12: This negro must, of course, have been a Hotentot.--E.]
Holding a consultation in respect to the prosecution of our, voyage, it
was thought best to proceed rather with two ships well manned, than with
two weakly manned, having only 198 men in sound health, of whom 100 went
in the Penelope with our admiral, and 98 in the Edward, with the
worshipful Captain Lancaster. We left behind 50 men in the Royal
Merchant, Captain Abraham Kendal, of whom a good many were well
recovered, thinking proper, for many reasons, to send home that ship.
The disease that consumed our men was the scurvy. Our soldiers, who had
not been used to the sea, held out best, while our mariners dropt away,
which, in my judgment, proceeded from their evil diet at home.
Six days after sending home the Royal Merchant from Saldanha bay, our
admiral, Captain Raymond, in the Penelope, and Captain James Lancaster
in the Edward Bonadventure, set forward to double the Cape of Good Hope,
which they now did very readily. When we had passed as far as Cape
Corientes, on the east coast of Africa, at the entry into the channel of
Mozambique, we encountered a dreadful storm, with excessive gusts of
wind, during which we lost sight of our admiral, and could never hear of
him nor his ship more, though we used our best endeavours to seek him,
by plying up and down a long while, and afterwards staid for him several
days at the island of Comoro, which we had appointed our rendezvous in
case of separation. Four days after this unfortunate separation, we had
a tremendous clap of thunder at ten o'clock one morning, which slew four
of our men outright, without speaking one word, their necks being wrung
asunder. Of 94 other men, not one remained untouched, some being struck
blind, some bruised in their arms and legs, others in their breasts, so
that they voided blood for two days: some were as it were drawn out in
length, as if racked. But, God be praised, they all recovered, except
the four men who were struck dead. With the same flash of lightning our
mainmast was terribly split from the head to the deck, some of the
spikes that went ten inches into the wood being melted by the fervent
From thence we shaped our course north-east, and not long afterwards
fell in with the north-west point of the island of St Lawrence, or
Madagascar, which, by God's blessing, one of our men espied late in the
evening by moonlight.
[Footnote 13: The place of shaping this course is by no means obvious.
It could not be from Comoro, which is farther north than the north end
of Madagascar, and was therefore probably from near Cape Corientes.--E.]
[Footnote 14: From the sequel, the text is certainly not accurate in
this place, as they were not so far as this cape by 100 leagues. It
probably was Cape St Andrews.--E.]
Seeing from afar the breaking of the sea, he called to some of his
comrades, asking what it meant, when they told him it was the sea
breaking upon shoals or rocks, upon which we put about ship in good
time, to avoid the danger we were like to have incurred. Continuing our
voyage, it was our lot to overshoot Mozambique, and to fall in with
_Quitangone_, two leagues farther north, where we took three or four
barks belonging to the Moors, laden with millet, hens, and ducks, going
as provisions for Mozambique, and having one Portuguese boy on board.
These barks are called _pangaias_ in their language.
Within a few days after, we came to an island called Comoro, which we
found exceedingly populous, the inhabitants being tawny Moors, of good
stature, but very treacherous, and requiring to be sharply looked after.
Being desirous of procuring fresh water, of which we stood in great
need, we sent sixteen of our men, well armed, on shore, whom the natives
allowed very quietly to land and take the water. A good many of them
came on board, along with their king, who was dressed in a gown of
crimson satin, reaching to the knee, pinked after the Moorish fashion.
We entertained him in the best manner we could, and had some conference
with him as to the state of the place and merchandise, using the
Portuguese boy we had taken as our interpreter. We then dismissed the
king and his company courteously, and sent our boat on shore again for
water, when also they dispatched their business quietly, and returned. A
third time the boat went for the same purpose, and returned unmolested.
We now thought ourselves sufficiently provided; but our master, William
Mace, of Ratcliff, pretending that it might be long before we should
find any good watering-place, would needs go again on shore, much
against the will of our captain. He went accordingly with sixteen men in
a boat, which were all we had, other sixteen of our men being on shore
with our other boat, washing their clothes, directly over against our
ship. The perfidious Moors attacked all these men, who were mostly slain
in our sight, while we could not yield them the smallest aid, as we had
now no boat.
Going from thence with heavy hearts on the 7th November, we shaped our
course for the island of Zanzibar, where we arrived shortly after, and
there made ourselves a new boat, of such boards as we had in our ship.
We continued here till the 15th of February, 1591, during which time we
saw several _pangaias_, or boats, of the Moors, which are pinned with
wooden pins, and sewed together with cords made of the palmito, and
caulked with the husks of the cocoa-nut, beaten into a substance like
oakum. At length a Portuguese pangaia came out of the harbour of
Zanzibar, where they have a small factory, and sent a Moor to us who had
been christened, bringing with him a letter in a canoe, in which they
desired to know what we were, and what was our business. We sent them
back word that we were Englishmen, who had come from Don Antonio, upon
business to his friends in the East Indies. They returned with this
answer to their factory, and would never more look near us. Not long
after this we manned our boat, and took a pangaia belonging to the
Moors, in which was one of their priests, called in their language a
_sherife_, whom we used very courteously. The king took this in very
good part, having his priests in high estimation, and furnished us with
two months' provisions for his ransom, during all which time we detained
him on board. From these Moors we were informed of the false and
spiteful dealing of the Portuguese towards us, as they had given out we
were barbarous people, and canibals, desiring the Moors, as they loved
their safety, not to come near us; using these contrivances to cut us
off from all knowledge of the state and commerce of the country.
[Footnote 15: _Sherif, sharif,_ in Arabic, more properly denotes one of
the descendants of Mahomet.--Astl. 1. 287. b.]
While we rode from the end of November till the middle of February in
this harbour, which has sufficient water for a ship of 500 tons, we one
day attempted to take a Portuguese pangaia; but as our boat was so small
that our men had not room to move, and as they were armed with ten good
guns, like fowling-pieces, we were not able to take them. For the
excellence of its harbour and watering-place; its plenty of fish, of
which we took great store with our nets; for sundry sorts of fruits, as
cocoa-nuts and others, which were brought to us in abundance by the
Moors; and for oxen and poultry, this place is well worth being
carefully sought after by such of our ships as shall hereafter pass this
way; but our people had good need to beware of the Portuguese. While we
lay here their admiral of the coast, from Melinda to Mozambique, came
to view us, and would have taken our boat, if he had found an
opportunity. He was in a galley frigate, or armed pinnace, with eight or
nine oars of a side. We were advertised of the strength of this galley,
and their treacherous intentions, by an Arabian Moor, who came
frequently to us from the King of Zanzibar, about the delivery of the
priest, and afterwards by another Moor, whom we carried from thence
along with us: for, wheresoever we came, we took care to get one or two
of the natives into our hands, to learn the languages and conditions of
the parts at which we touched.
We had at this place another thunder clap, which shivered our foremast
very much, which we fished and repaired with timber from the shore, of
which there is abundance, the trees being about forty feet high, the
wood red and tough, and, as I suppose, a kind of cedar. At this place
our surgeon, Mr Arnold, negligently caught a great heat, or stroke of
the sun, in his head, while on land with the master in search of oxen,
owing to which he fell sick, and shortly died, though he might have been
cured by letting blood before the disease had settled. Before leaving
this place we procured some thousand weight of pitch, or rather a grey
and white gum, like frankincense, as clammy as turpentine, which grows
black when melted, and very brittle; but we mixed it with oil, of which
we had 300 jars from the prize taken to the north of the equator, not
far from Guinea. Six days before leaving Zanzibar, the head merchant of
the factory sent a letter to our captain, in friendship, as he
pretended, requesting a jar of wine, a jar of oil, and two or three
pounds of gunpowder. This letter he sent by a negro servant and a Moor,
in a canoe. Our captain sent him all he asked by the Moor, but took the
negro along with us, as we understood he had been formerly in the
Indies, and knew something of the country. By this negro we were
advertised of a small bark of some thirty tons, called _junco_ by the
Moors, which was come hither from Goa, laden with pepper for the
factory, and for sale in that kingdom.
Having put our ship into as good order as we could, while we lay in the
road of Zanzibar, we set sail for India on the 15th of February, 1592,
as said before, intending, if we could, to have reached Cape Comorin,
the head-land, or promontory, of the main-land of Malabar, and there to
have lain off and on for such ships as should pass from Ceylon, San
Thome. Bengal, Pegu, Malacca, the Moluccas, China, or Japan, which ships
are full of wealth and riches. But in our course we were much deceived
by the currents, which set into the gulf of Arabia, all along the coast
of Melinda; and the winds so scanted upon us from the east and
north-east, that we could not get off, and set us to the northward,
within fourscore leagues of Socotoro, far from our destined course.
During all this time we never wanted dolphins, bonitos, and flying
fishes. Finding ourselves thus far to the northward, and the season
being far spent, we determined upon going to the Red Sea, or the island
of Socotoro, both for refreshment and to look out for some purchase,
(prize). But, while in this mind, the wind fortunately sprung up at
north-west, and carried us direct for Cape Comorin.
Before doubling that cape, it was our intention to touch at the islands
of _Mamale_ in 12 deg. of N. lat. at one of which we were informed we
might procure provisions. But it was not our luck to find it, partly by
the obstinacy of our master; for the day before we should have fallen in
with part of these islands, the wind shifted to the south-west, and we
missed finding it. As the wind now became more southerly, we feared not
being able to double the cape, which would have greatly hazarded our
being cast away upon the coast of Malabar, the winter season and western
monsoon being already come in, which monsoon continues on that coast
till August. But it pleased God that the wind came about more westerly,
so that in May, 1592, we happily doubled Cape Comorin, without being in
sight of the coast of India. Having thus doubled the cape, we directed
our course for the islands of Nicobar, which lie north and south with
the western part of Sumatra, and in lat. 7 deg. N. We ran from Cape
Comorin to the meridian of these islands in six days, having a very
large wind, though with foul weather, excessive rain, and gusts of wind.
[Footnote 16: Perhaps the Maldives are here meant; but the northern
extremity of that group is in lat. 7 deg. N., and the latitude of 10 deg., which
reaches to the southernmost of the Lakedives, is very far out of the way
for doubling Cape Comorin.--E.]
[Footnote 17: The Nicobar Islands are in 8 deg. N.; but Great Sambelong is
in the latitude mentioned in the text, and may have been considered as
belonging to the Nicobar group.--E.]
Through the negligence of our master, by not taking due observation of
the south star, we missed these islands, falling to the southward of
them, within sight of the islands of _Gomes Polo_, immediately off
the great island of Sumatra, it being then the 1st of June; and we lay
two or three days becalmed at the north-east side of these islands,
hoping to have procured a pilot from the island of Sumatra, which was in
sight, within two leagues of us. Winter now coming on, with much
tempestuous weather, we directed our course for the islands of _Pulo
Pinao_: it is to be noted that Pulo, in the Malayan language,
signifies island. We arrived there early in June, and came to anchor in
a very good harbour between three islands. At this time our men were
very sick, and many of them fallen; and we determined to remain here
till the winter were well over. This place is in lat. 5 deg. 15' N. and
about five leagues from the main land, between Malacca and Tanaserim,
belonging to Pegu.
[Footnote 18: Probably the islands now called Pulo Brasse, and Pulo
[Footnote 19: Most probably the same with Pulo Pinang, now called Prince
of Wales's Island: the Portuguese orthography being used in the text, in
which language _ao_, or rather _aom_, as in the next section, has oar
sound of _ang_.--E.]
We remained at this place till the end of August, our refreshments being
very small, consisting only of oysters, growing on the rocks, great
wilks, or conchs, and a few fish, which we took with hooks and lines. We
landed our sick upon one of these uninhabited islands, for the sake of
their health, yet twenty-six of them died here, among whom was John
Hall, our master, and Rainald Golding, a merchant of much honesty and
discretion. There are abundance of trees in these islands of white wood,
so tall and straight as to be well fitted for masts, being often an
hundred feet long. When winter was past, and our ship fitted for going
to sea, we had only now remaining thirty-three men and one boy,
twenty-two only of whom were sound and fit for labour, and not above a
third even of these were mariners. Being under the necessity of seeking
some place for refreshments, we went over to the main-land of Malacca,
and came next day to anchor in a bay two leagues from the shore. Then
our captain, Mr James Lancaster, with his lieutenant, Mr Edmund Barker,
the author of this narrative, having manned the boat, went on shore, to
see if we could fall in with any inhabitants. On landing, we could see
the tracks of some barefooted people, who had been there not long
before, for their foe was still burning; yet we could see no people,
nor any living creature, except a fowl called oxbird, being a grey
sea-bird, in colour like a _snipe_, but different in the beak. Being by
no means shy, we killed about eight dozen of them with small shot, and
having spent the day fruitlessly, we went on board in the evening.
About two o'clock next day we saw a canoe, in which were about sixteen
naked Indians, who came near us, but would not come on board; yet, going
afterwards on shore, we had some friendly converse with them, and they
promised to bring us victuals. Next morning we espied three ships, all
of them about sixty or seventy tons burden, one of which surrendered
even to our boat; and understanding that they were of the city of
Martaban, a chief sea-port of the great city of Pegu, and that the goods
belonged to some Portuguese jesuits, and a biscuit-baker of that nation,
we took that ship; but as the other two were laden on account of
merchants of Pegu, we let them go. Having this other along with us, we
came to anchor together at night; and in the night time all her men,
being mostly natives of Pegu, fled away in their boat, except twelve,
whom we had taken on board our ship. Next day we weighed anchor, and
went to leeward of an island hard by, where we took out her lading of
pepper, which they had taken on board at Pera, a place on the main-land,
thirty leagues to the south. We likewise stopt another ship of Pegu,
laden with pepper; but finding her cargo to belong to native merchants
of Pegu, we dismissed her untouched.
Having employed about ten days in removing the goods from the prize into
our own ship, and our sick men being greatly refreshed, and strengthened
by the relief we had found in the prize, we weighed anchor about the
beginning of September, determining to run into the straits of Malacca,
to the islands called Pulo Sambilam, about forty-five leagues north from
the city of Molucca, past which islands the Portuguese ships must
necessarily pass on their voyages from Goa, or San Thome, for the
Moluccas, China, or Japan. After cruizing off and on here for about
five-days, we one Sunday espied a Portuguese ship of 250 tons, from
Negapatnam, a town on the main-land of India, opposite the northern end
of Ceylon, laden with rice for Malacca, and took her that night. Captain
Lancaster ordered her captain and master on board our ship, and sent me,
Edmund Barker, his lieutenant, with seven men, to take charge of the
prize. We came to anchor in thirty fathoms, as in all that channel there
is good anchorage three or four leagues from shore.
While thus at anchor, and keeping out a light for the Edward, another
Portuguese ship of 400 tons, belonging to San Thome, came to anchor hard
by us. The Edward had fallen to leeward, for want of a sufficient number
of men to handle her sails, and was not able next morning to fetch up to
this other ship, until we who were in the prize went in our boat to help
her. We then made sail towards the ship of San Thome: but our ship was
so foul that she escaped us. We then took out of our prize what we
thought might be useful to us, after which we liberated her with all her
men, except a pilot and four Moors, whom we detained to assist in
navigating the Edward. We continued to cruize here till the 6th of
October, at which time we met the galeon of the captain of Malacca, a
ship of 700 tons, coming from Goa. After shooting at her many times, we
at length shot through her main-yard, on which she came to anchor and
surrendered. We then commanded the captain, master, pilot, and purser to
come on board our ship; but only the captain came, accompanied by one
soldier, saying that the others would not come, unless sent for; but
having got to some distance from us in the evening, all the people of
the ship, to the number of about 300, men, women, and children, got on
shore in two great boats, and we saw no more of them.
When we came on board, we found she was armed with sixteen brass cannon.
She had 300 butts of wine, Canary, Nipar wine, which is made of the
palm-trees, and raisin-wine, which is very strong. She had likewise an
assortment of all kind of haberdashery wares; as hats, red caps, knit of
Spanish wool, knit worsted stockings, shoes, velvets, camblets, and
silks; abundance of _surkets_, (sweet-meats,) rice, Venice glasses,
papers full of false and counterfeit stones, brought from Venice by an
Italian, wherewith to deceive the rude Indians, abundance of playing
cards, two or three bales of French paper, and sundry other things. What
became of the treasure usually brought in this vessel, in ryals of
plate, we could not learn. After the mariners had pillaged this rich
ship in a disorderly manner, as they refused to unlade the excellent
wines into the Edward, Captain Lancaster abandoned the prize, letting
her drive at sea, after taking out of her the choicest of her goods.
Being afraid that we might be attacked by a greatly superior force from
Malacca, we now departed from the neighbourhood of the Sambilam islands,
and went to a bay in the kingdom of Junkseylon, between Malacca and
Pegu, in the lat. of 8 deg. N. We here sent on shore the soldier who had
been left on board our ship by the captain of the galeon, because he
could speak the Malay language, to deal with the people for pitch, of
which we were in much need, which he did very faithfully, procuring two
or three quintals, with promise of more, and several of the natives came
off along with him to our ship. We sent commodities to their king, to
barter for ambergris and the horns of the _abath_, the trade in both of
which articles is monopolized by the king of this country. This _abath_
is a beast having only one horn in her forehead, thought to be the
female _unicorn_, and the horn is highly prized by all the Moors in
those parts, as a most sovereign remedy against poison. We got two
or three of these horns, and a reasonable quantity of ambergris. At
length the king was disposed to detain the Portuguese soldier and our
merchandise treacherously; but he told the king that we had gilt armour,
shirts of mail, and halberts, which things they prize greatly, and in
hope of procuring some of these he was allowed to return on board.
[Footnote 20: This _Abath_, or _Abadia_, is the Rhinoceros Monoceros, or
One-horned Rhinoceros. The virtue of the horn, mentioned in the text, is
[Footnote 21: At this place Hakluyt makes the following remark on the
margin:--"Some small quantity of these things might be carried out to
pleasure those kings."]
Leaving this coast, we returned in sight of Sumatra, and went thence to
the islands of Nicobar, which we found inhabited by Moors. After we came
to anchor, the people came daily on board in their canoes, bringing
fowls, cocoas, plantains, and other fruits; and within two days they
brought ryals of plate, which they gave us in exchange for calicut
cloth. They find these ryals by diving for them in the sea, having been
there lost in two Portuguese ships not long before, that were cast away
when bound for China. In their language the cocoa-nut is called
_calambo_; the plantain, _pison_; a hen, _jam_; a fish, _iccan_; and a
hog, _babee_. Departing from the Nicobar Islands on the 21st November,
we made sail for the island of Ceylon, where we arrived about the 3d
December, 1592, and anchored on its south side, in six fathoms water,
but lost our anchor, as the ground was foul and rocky. We then ran along
the south-west side of the island, and anchored at a place called _Punta
del Galle_, meaning to remain there in waiting for the Bengal fleet of
seven or eight ships, the Pegu fleet of two or three, and the ships from
Tanaserim, a great bay to the south of Martaban, in the kingdom of Siam,
which ships, according to different informations we had got, were
expected to come this way within fourteen days, with commodities for the
caraks, which usually depart from Cochin, on the homeward voyage, about
the middle of January.
The commodities of the ships which come from Bengal are, fine pavilions
for beds, wrought quilts, fine cotton cloth, _pintados_, (painted
chintz,) and other fine goods, together with rice; and they usually make
this voyage twice a year. The ships from Pegu bring the most precious
jewels, as rubies and diamonds; but their principal lading is rice and
certain cloths. Those from Tanaserim are chiefly freighted with rice and
Nipar wine, which is very strong, and as colourless as rock water, with
a somewhat whitish tinge, and very hot in taste, like _aqua vitae_.
We came to anchor at Punta Galle, in foul ground, so that we lay all
that night a-drift, having only two anchors left, which were in the
hold, and had no stocks. Upon this our men took occasion to insist upon
going home, our captain at that time being very sick, and more likely to
die than recover. In the morning we set our foresail, meaning to bear up
to the northward, standing off and on to keep away from the current,
which otherwise would have set us to the south, away from, all known
land. When the foresail was set, and we were about to hand our other
sails, to accomplish our before-mentioned purpose, our men unanimously
declared that they would stay no longer in this country, and insisted
upon directing our course for England; and as they would listen to no
persuasions, the captain was under the necessity of giving way to their
demand, leaving all hope of the great possibility we had of making some
[Footnote 22: Most probably what we now call arrack is here meant.--E.]
Accordingly, on the 8th of December, 1592, we made sail for the Cape of
Good Hope, passing the Maldive Islands, and leaving the great island of
St Lawrence to starboard, or on our right hand; we passed its southern
end in lat. 26 deg. S. In our passage from the island of St Lawrence, or
Madagascar, to the main-land of Africa, we found immense quantities of
bonitos and albicores, which, are large fishes, and of which our
captain, who was now recovered from his sickness, took as many with a
hook in two or three hours as would have served forty persons a whole
day. This _skole_ of fish continued with us for five or six weeks, in
all which time we took every day as many as sufficed our whole company,
which was no small refreshment to us.
In February, 1593, we fell in with the eastern coast of Africa, at a
place called _Baia de Agoa_, something more than 100 leagues to the
north-east of the Cape of Good Hope; and having contrary winds, we spent
a month before we could double the cape. After doubling that cape in
March, we steered for the island of St Helena, where we arrived on the
3d of April, and remained there to our great comfort nineteen days, in
which time several individuals amongst us caught thirty sizeable congers
in a day, with other rock fish, and some bonitos. I, Edmund Barker, went
one day on shore, with four or five _Peguers_ and our surgeon, where I
found an Englishman in a house near the chapel, one John Segar, of Bury,
in Suffolk, who was left there eighteen months before by Abraham Kendal;
who put in there with the Royal Merchant, and who left him there to
refresh on the island, being like to perish on shipboard. At our coming
he was fresh in colour, and seemed in perfect health of body; but he was
crazed in mind, and half out of his wits, as appeared afterwards.
Whether it was that he was terrified at our arrival, not knowing at
first whether we were friends or foes, or if sudden joy so affected him
on finding again his countrymen and old comrades, I know not, but he
became quite light headed, and during eight days and nights he could not
get any natural rest, so that he died for lack of sleep. At this place
two of our men recovered their health in a short time, one of whom was
diseased with the scurvy, and the other had been nine months sick of the
flux. We found abundance of green figs, fine oranges and lemons, plenty
of goats and hogs, and numbers of partridges, pintados, and other wild
fowls. Having now supplied the ship with fresh water, and having some
store of fish, our discontented mariners insisted upon resuming the
voyage home; and our captain, being inclined to go for Fernambuco, in
Brasil, agreed to their request. We departed therefore from St Helena
about the 12th April, 1593, directing our course for the Brasils; and
next day, on calling the sailors to finish a foresail they had then in
hand, some of them declared they would not put their hands to any thing,
unless the ship's course was directed for England; so that he was
obliged to follow their humour, henceforwards directing our course
towards our own country, which we continued to do till we came to lat.
8 deg. N. between the equator and which latitude we spent about six weeks,
with perpetual calms or contrary winds from the north, sometimes
north-east and north-west; owing to which loss of time, and our small
store of provisions, we were very doubtful of being able to keep our
course. At this time some of our men became very mutinous, threatening
to break up other people's chests, to the entire consumption of our
provisions and ourselves; for every man had now his share of provisions
in his own custody, that they might know what they had to trust to, and
husband that the more thriftily.
Anxious to prevent the occurrence of absolute famine, and being informed
by one of the ship's company who had been at the island of Trinidada, in
a voyage with Mr Chudlei, and that we might be sure of having provisions
there, our captain directed the course for that island; but not knowing
the currents, we overshot it in the night, getting into the gulf of
Paria, in which we were for eight days, unable to get out again, as the
current constantly set in, and our ship was often in three fathoms
water. At length the current put us over to the western side of the
gully under the main-land, so that by keeping close in shore, and having
the wind off the land in the night, we got out to the northward. Being
now clear, we came in four or five days to the isle of _Mona_, where we
anchored and remained about eighteen days, during which time the Indians
of Mona gave us some victuals. In the mean time there arrived a French
ship of Caen, in Normandy, of which one Monsieur de Barbaterre was
captain, from whom we bought two butts of wine, with some bread, and
other provisions. We then watered and repaired our ship, stopping a
great leak that sprung upon us while beating out of the gulf of Paria;
and being thus in readiness for sea, we determined upon going to the
island of Newfoundland: but, before we could put this in execution,
there arose a great storm from the north, which drove us from our
anchor, and forced us to the southwards of San Domingo. We were that
night in great danger of shipwreck upon an island called _Savona_, which
is environed with flats for four or five miles all round; yet it pleased
God to enable us to clear them, when we directed our course westwards,
along the southern shore of St Domingo, and having doubled Cape
Tiberoon, we passed through the old channel between St Domingo and Cuba,
shaping our course for Cape Florida.
In this part of our course we again met with the Caen ship, which could
now spare us no more victuals; but having some hides, which he had taken
in traffic among the islands, we were glad to procure them, and gave him
for them to his contentment. After this we passed Cape Florida, and
clearing the Bahama channel, we directed our course for Newfoundland.
Running to the lat. of 36 deg. N. and as far east as the isle of Bermuda, we
found the winds, on the 17th September, very variable, contrary to
expectation and all men's writings, so that we lay there a day or two
with a north wind, which continually increased, till it blew a storm,
which continued twenty-four hours with such violence that it carried
away our sails, though furled, and occasioned the ship to take in much
water, so that we had six feet water in our hold. Having freed our ship
by baling, the wind shifted to the north-west, and somewhat dulled; but
presently after the storm renewed with such violence, and our ship
laboured so hard, that we lost our foremast, and our ship became as full
of water as before.
When the storm ceased, the wind remained as much contrary as ever, on
which we consulted together how we might best save our lives. Our
victuals were now utterly spent; and as we had subsisted for the last
six or seven days entirely on hides, we thought it best to bear away
back again for Dominica and the adjoining islands, as we might there
have some relief. Upon this we turned back for these islands; but before
we could get there the wind scanted upon us, so that we were in the
utmost extremity for want of water and provisions; wherefore we were
forced to bear away to the westwards, to the islands called _Las
Nueblas_, or the Cloudy Islands, towards the isle of _San Juan de Porto
Rico_. At these islands we found land-crabs and fresh water, and
sea-tortoises, or turtle, which come mostly on land about full noon.
Having refreshed ourselves there for seventeen or eighteen days, and
having supplied our ship with fresh water and some provision of turtle,
we resolved to return again for Mona, upon which determination five of
our men left us, remaining on the isles of Nueblas, in spite of every
thing we could say to the contrary. These men came afterwards home in an
Departing from the Nueblas, we arrived again at Mona about the 20th
December, 1593, and came to anchor there towards two or three in the
morning. The captain and I, with a few others, went on shore to the
dwelling of an old Indian and his three sons, thinking to procure some
food, our victuals being all expended, so that we could not possibly
proceed without a supply. We spent two or three days on shore, seeking
provisions to carry on board for the relief of our people; and on going
to the shore, for the purpose of returning with these to the ship, the
wind being somewhat northerly and the sea rough, our people could not
come near the shore with the boat, which was small and feeble, and
unable to row in a rough sea. We remained therefore till the next
morning, in hopes there might then be less wind and smoother sea. But
about twelve o'clock that night our ship drove away to sea, having only
five men and a boy, our carpenter having secretly cut the cable, leaving
nineteen of us on shore, to our great distress, having no boat or any
In this miserable situation we reposed our trust in God, who had many
times before succoured us in our greatest extremity, and contenting
ourselves with our poor estate, sought for the means of preserving our
lives. As one place was unable to sustain us, we divided ourselves into
several companies, six of us remaining with our captain. The greatest
relief that we could find during twenty-nine days was the stalks of
purselin, boiled in water, with now and then a pompion, or gourd, which
we found in the garden of the old Indian, who, on this our second
arrival, fled with his three sons, and kept himself continually aloft on
the mountains. At the end of these twenty-nine days we espied a French
ship, which we afterwards learnt was the Louisa, of Dieppe, commanded by
a Monsieur Felix. As a signal to this ship we made a fire, at sight of
which he took in his top-sails, and bore up for the land, shewing his
French colours. Then coming to anchor at the Western end of the island,
we came down with all speed towards him; and the old Indian, with his
three sons, now joined us, and accompanied us towards the ship. This
night Captain Lancaster went on board the ship, where he received good
entertainment; and next morning they fetched other eleven of us on
board, and used us all very courteously.
This day came another French ship belonging to Dieppe, which remained
till night, expecting our other seven men to come down; but though
several shots were fired to call them, none of them came. Next morning,
therefore, we departed thence for the north side of St Domingo, where we
remained till April, 1594, spending two months in traffic, upon
permission, with the inhabitants, for hides and other articles, six of
us being in one of the ships and six in the other. In this time we were
joined by a third French ship of Newhaven, by which we had intelligence
of the seven men who were left by us at the island of Mona. Two of them
had broken their necks by clambering on the cliffs to catch fowls; other
three were slain by the Spaniards, who came over from St Domingo, having
received information of our being on Mona, from our people who went away
in the Edward; the other two were in this ship of Newhaven, which had
relieved them from the bloody hands of the Spaniards.
From this place Captain Lancaster and I shipped ourselves in another
ship belonging to Dieppe, of which one Monsieur Jean la Noe was captain,
being the first that was ready to come away, leaving the rest of our men
in the other ships, where they were all well treated. We sailed for
Europe on Sunday the 7th April, 1594; and passing through the _Caycos_,
we arrived safe in Dieppe in forty-two days after, on the 19th of May.
After staying two days to refresh ourselves, giving thanks to God and to
our friendly preservers, we took our passage for Rye, where we landed on
Friday the 24th May, 1594, having spent in this voyage three years, six
weeks, and two days, which the Portuguese perform in half the time,
chiefly because we lost the fit time and season to begin our voyage.
We understood, in the East Indies, from certain Portuguese, that they
have lately discovered the coast of China as high as the latitude of
59 deg. N. finding the sea still open to the northwards, by which great
hopes are entertained of finding the north-east or north-west passage.
Witness, JAMES LANCASTER.
_Supplementary Account of the former Voyage, by John May_.
We departed from Plymouth on the 10th April, 1591, with three tall
ships; the Penelope, Captain Raimond admiral; the Merchant Royal,
Captain Samuel Foxcroft vice-admiral; and the Edward Bonadventure,
Captain James Lancaster rear-admiral; on board of which I sailed,
together with a small pinnace. In May following we arrived at Gran
Canaria, one of the Fortunate Islands; and towards the end of that
month, being within three degrees of the equator on the north side, we
took a Portuguese ship, bound for Brasil, which tended much to our
refreshment. The 29th July we came to Saldanha Bay. (_Aguada Saldania_,)
a good harbour, near the Cape of Good Hope, where we staid about a
month, and whence we sent home the Merchant Royal for England, because
of great sickness among our people, with a considerable number of our
weak men. We here bought an ox for a knife worth three-pence, a sheep
for a broken knife, or any other odd trifle, from the natives, who are
negroes, clad in cloaks of raw-hides, both men and women.
[Footnote 23: Hakluyt, III. 52.]
[Footnote 24: In the account of this voyage, penned from the relation of
Edmund Barker, forming the immediately preceding section, the captain of
the Merchant Royal is named Abraham Kendal.--E.]
The 8th of September the Penelope and Edward Bonadventure weighed
anchor, and that day we doubled the cape. The 12th following we were
assailed by a fierce tempest, or hurricane; and in the evening we saw a
great sea break over our admiral, the Penelope, which struck out their
light, and we never saw them any more. In October we in the Edward fell
in with the westernmost part of the island of St Lawrence about
midnight, not knowing where we were. Next day we came to anchor at
Quitangone, a place on the main-land of Africa, two or three leagues
north of Mozambique, which is supplied from hence with fresh water. We
here took a _pangaia_, in which was a Portuguese boy, being a vessel
like a barge, with one mat-sail of cocoa-nut leaves. The hull of this
barge is pinned with wooden pins, and sewed with cord made of the bark
of trees. In this pangaia we found a kind of corn called _millio_, or
millet, a considerable number of hens, and some bales of blue calicut
cloth. We took the Portuguese boy with us, and dismissed the rest. From
this place we went to an island called Comoro, off the coast of Melinda,
in about 11 deg. S., where we staid all November, finding the people black
and comely, but very treacherous; for the day before we left that island
they killed thirty of our men on shore, among whom was William Mace our
master, and two of his mates, one of them being in the boat along with
him to fetch water, and the other on shore, over against the ship. They
first took possession of our boat, and then slaughtered our men. From
thence we went to the island of Zanzibar, on the coast of Melinda, where
we staid to winter, till the beginning of February, 1592.
The 2d February, 1592, we weighed anchor, and set sail for the East
Indies; but, having calms and contrary winds, we were not able to fetch
the coast of India, near Calicut, till the month of June, by which long
delay many of our men died for want of refreshments. In this month of
June we came to anchor at the islands of _Pulo Pinaom_, where we staid
till the 1st September, our men being very sick, and dying fast. We set
sail that day, directing our course for Malacca, and had not gone far at
sea when we took a ship of the kingdom of Pegu, of about eighty tons,
having wooden anchors, a crew of about fifty men, and a pinnace of some
eighteen tons at her stern, laden with pepper; but the pinnace stole
from us in the morning in a gust of wind. We might likewise have taken
two other Pegu vessels, laden with pepper and rice. In this month also
we took a great Portuguese ship of six or seven hundred tons, chiefly
laden with victuals, but having chests of hats, pintados, and calicut
cloths. We took likewise another Portuguese ship, of some hundred
tons, laden with victuals, rice, white and painted cotton cloth, (or
calicoes and chintzes,) and other commodities. These ships were bound
for Malacca, mostly laden with victuals, as that place is victualled
from Goa, San Thome, and other places in India, provisions being very
scarce in its own neighbourhood.
[Footnote 25: Painted and white calicoes or cotton cloths.--E.]
In November, 1592, we steered for the Nicobar Islands, some degrees to
the north-west of the famous island of Sumatra, at which islands we
found good refreshment, as the inhabitants, who are Mahometans, came on
board of us in their canoes, with hens, cocoas, plantains, and other
fruits; and within two days brought ryals of plate, which they gave us
for cotton cloth, which ryals they procured by diving in the sea, having
been lost not long before in two Portuguese ships bound for China, that
had been there cast away. Our ship's company was now so much wasted by
sickness, that we resolved to turn back to Ceylon, for which purpose we
weighed anchor in November, and arrived off Ceylon about the end of that
month. In this island grows excellent cinnamon; and the best diamonds in
the world are found there. Our captain proposed to have staid at this
island to make up our voyage, of which he had great hope, in consequence
of certain intelligence we had received; but our company, now reduced to
thirty-three men and boys, mutinied, and would not stay, insisting upon
going home, and our captain was very sick, and like to die.
We accordingly set sail, homeward bound, on the 8th December, 1592; but
some days before our arrival within sight of the Cape of Good Hope, we
were forced to divide our bread, to each man his portion, in his own
keeping, as certain flies had devoured most of it before we were aware.
We had now only thirty-one pounds of bread a man to carry us to England,
with a small quantity of rice daily. We doubled the Cape of Good Hope on
the 31st March, 1593, and came next month to anchor at the island of St
Helena, where we found an Englishman, a tailor, who had been there
fourteen months. Having sent ten men on shore in the boat, they found
this man in the chapel, into which he had gone to avoid the heat; and
hearing some one sing in the chapel, whom our people supposed to have
been a Portuguese, they thrust open the door, and went in upon him: but
the poor man, on seeing so many men of a sudden, and believing them to
be Portuguese, was at first in great fear, not having seen a human being
for fourteen months, and afterwards knowing them to be English, and
some of them his acquaintance, he became exceeding joyful, insomuch
that between sudden and excessive fear and joy, he became distracted in
his wits, to our great sorrow. We here found the carcasses of forty
goats, which he had dried. The party which left him had made for him two
suits of goats'-skins, with the hairy side outmost, like the dresses
worn by the savages of Canada. This man lived till we came to the West
Indies, and then died.
We remained at St Helena all the month of April, and arrived at the
island of Trinidada, in the West Indies, in June, 1593, hoping to
procure some refreshments there, but could not, as the Spaniards had
taken possession. We got here embayed between the island and the main;
and, for want of victuals, our company would have forsaken the ship, on
which our captain had to swear every man not to forsake her till the
most urgent necessity. It pleased God to deliver us from this bay,
called _Boca del Dragone_, from whence we directed our course for the
island of _San Juan de Puerto Rico_, but fell in with the small island
of Mona, between Porto Rico and Hispaniola, where we remained about
fifteen days, procuring some small refreshment. There arrived here a
ship of Caen, in Normandy, of which Monsieur Charles de la Barbotiere
was captain, who greatly comforted us by a supply of bread and other
provisions, of which we were greatly in need, after which we parted.
Having foul weather at Mona, we weighed anchor and set sail, directing
our course for Cape Tiberoon, at the west end of Hispaniola; and, in
doubling that cape, we had so violent a gust of wind from the shore,
that it carried away all our sails from the yards, leaving us only one
new fore-course, the canvass of which we had procured from the
Frenchman. Having doubled the cape in that distress, the
before-mentioned Captain de la Barbotiere gave us chase with his
pinnace; and when come near, I went on board to inform him of our
distress; and he now said, there was nothing in his ship but what he
would spare for our assistance; so we agreed with him for some canvass.
He said likewise, if we would accompany him to a harbour called
_Gonnavy_, to the northward of Tiberoon, that he would procure us
plenty of fresh provisions. I went back to our ship, and reported this
to our captain, who made it known to the company, and it was unanimously
agreed to go there, which was done accordingly. We remained there
fifteen days along with the Frenchman, but could get very small
refreshment, as the Spaniards were in great fear of the Frenchman,
supposing him a man of war, and that our ship was Portuguese, which he
had captured, and could not be persuaded to the contrary by any thing he
could say. Thus staying long, and procuring very little refreshment, our
people begun to grow mutinous, pretending that the captain and I went on
board the Frenchman to make good chear ourselves, taking no care of
them; but I protest before God that our sole care was to procure
victuals that we might leave him.
[Footnote 26: Hakluyt, on the margin, gives _Guanaba_ as a synonime: it
was probably Gonaives' Bay, in the northern part of the west end of
In the mean time a great part of our people entered into a conspiracy to
seize the Frenchman's pinnace, and with her to board the French ship;
but while this was concerting among them, one of themselves went on
board the Frenchman, and revealed the plot. Upon this Monsieur de la
Barbotiere sent for the captain and me to dine with him. We went
accordingly, and remained all the afternoon, being invited likewise to
supper. While we were at supper the French captain did not come to us
for a long time, and when he at length came into the cabin, he told us
we must either leave him, or he must go seek another port. Informing
Captain Lancaster of this, he desired me to say, that rather as be any
hindrance to him we would depart. While we were thus talking together,
the Frenchman weighed and set sail, which we perceived, and asked what
he meant. He said he proposed to keep us as his sureties, because our
men had plotted to seize his ship, as before mentioned.
When the French ship came athwart ours, it blowing then a stiff breeze,
their boat, which was astern, and had in her two Moors and two Peguers,
whom we had given to them, broke away. The French captain was now worse
than before, and threatened sore to make us pay for his voyage. Seeing
us pass, the Edward weighed and set sail, meaning to go for England; and
the people shared among them all the captain's victuals and mine, when
they saw us kept as prisoners.
Next morning the French ship went in search of her pinnace, which was at
_Laguna_, and on firing a gun she came off, having three of our people
on board, Edmund Barker our lieutenant, one John West, and Richard
Lackland, one of our mutineers. Of this I told the French captain, which
Lackland could not deny but that such a scheme was intended. I was then
put into the French pinnace to seek their boat, while they went to see
if they could overtake our ship.
Next day we all met at Cape St Nicholas, but could hear no tidings of
the French boat. As there were Spaniards and negroes on board our ship,
Captain de la Barbotiere requested to have them; on which our captain
desired him to send his boat for them, and he might have them with all
his heart. After much ado this was done, and they were brought on board.
He then demanded of these people if his boat were in our ship, and being
assured she was not, we became good friends again, to our great joy. The
12th August, 1593, our captain was again sent on board his own ship;
but, before his departure, he requested the French captain to take me
home with him, that I might certify to the owners all that had passed in
our unfortunate voyage, as also the mutinous behaviour of our crew.
Accordingly we took our leaves of each other, the Edward setting sail
for England, while we in the French ship bore up again for _Gonnavy_, or
Gonaives, where we afterwards found the French boat.
[Footnote 27: In this part of the narrative, May is somewhat different
from that formerly given from Edmund Barker, in the preceding section,
or rather he is more minutely particular. The remainder of the narrative
has no farther connection with the unfortunate Edward Bonadventure.--E.]
The last of November, 1593, Monsieur de la Barbotiere departed from a
port called Laguna, in Hispaniola. The 17th of December we had the
misfortune to be cast away on the north-west part of the island of
Bermuda, about midnight. At noon of that day the pilots reckoned
themselves twelve leagues to the south of that island, and certifying
the captain that the ship was out of all danger, they demanded and
received their _wine of height_. After having their wine, it would
seem that they became careless of their charge, so that through their
drunkenness and negligence a number of good men were cast away. It
pleased God that I, a stranger among above fifty Frenchmen and others,
was among those who were saved: I trust to his service and glory. At
first we comforted ourselves in the hope that we were wrecked hard by
the shore of the island, being high cliffs; but we found ourselves seven
leagues off. By means of our boat, and a raft which we made, about
twenty-six of us were saved, among whom I was the only Englishman. Being
among so many strangers, and seeing there was not room for half the
people, I durst neither press to get into the boat or upon the raft,
lest they should have thrown me overboard or killed me; so I remained in
the ship, which, was almost full of water, till the captain called me
into the boat, in which he was; so I presently entered, leaving the
better half of our company to the mercy of the sea.
[Footnote 28: Probably alluding to some customary perquisite on getting
safely through the dangerous navigation of the Bahama Islands.--E.]
We rowed all day, and an hour or two of the night, towing the raft after
us, before we got to land: and, being all that day without drink, every
man dispersed in search of water, but it was long before any was found.
At length one of the pilots, by digging among a tuft of weeds, found
water, to our great comfort. As there are many fine bays in this island,
I think abundance of fresh water might be got by digging for it. Bermuda
is all divided into broken islets; the largest, upon which I was, might
be about four or five miles long, by two and a half miles over, all
covered with wood, as cedar and other kinds, but cedar is the most
It pleased God, before our ship broke to pieces, that we saved our
carpenter's tools, otherwise we must have remained on the island. With
these tools we went immediately to work, cutting down trees, of which we
built a small bark of about eighteen tons, almost entirely fastened with
trunnels, having very few nails. As for tackle, we made a trip to our
ship in the boat, before she split, cutting down her shrouds, and some
of her sails and other tackle, by which means we rigged our bark.
Instead of pitch, we made some lime, which we mixed with oil of
tortoises; and as soon as the carpenters had caulked a seam, I and
another, with small sticks, plastered the mortar into the seams, and
being fine dry warm weather, in the month of April, it became dry, and
as hard as stone, as soon as laid on. Being very hot and dry weather, we
were afraid our water might fail us, and made therefore the more haste
to get away. Before our departure, we built two great wooden chests,
well caulked, which we stowed on each side of our mast, into which we
put our provision of water, together with thirteen live sea-tortoises
for our food during the voyage, which we proposed for Newfoundland.
There are hogs in the south part of Bermuda; but they were so lean,
owing to the barrenness of the island, that we could not eat them. It
yielded us, however, abundance of fowl, fish, and tortoises. To the
eastwards this island has very good harbours, so that a ship of 200 tons
might ride in them, perfectly land-locked, and with enough of water.
This island also has as good pearl-fishing as any in the West Indies;
but is subject to foul weather, as thunder, lightning, and rain. In
April and part of May, however, when we were there, the weather was hot,
and quite fair.
On the 11th of May it pleased God that we got clear of this island, to
the no small joy of us all, after we had lived in it for five months.
The 20th of that month we fell in with the land near Cape Breton, where
we ran into a fresh water river, of which there are many on this coast,
and took in wood, water, and ballast. Here the people of the country
came to us, being cloathed in furs, with the hair side inwards, and
brought with them sundry sorts of furs to sell, together with great
quantities of wild ducks; and as some of our company had saved a few
small beads, we bought a few of their ducks. We staid only about four
hours at this place, which seemed a very good country, as we saw very
fine champaign ground and woods. We ran from this place to the Banks of
Newfoundland, where we met several vessels, none of which would take us
in. At length, by the blessing of God, we fell in with a bark belonging
to Falmouth, which received us all for a short time; and in her we
overtook a French ship, in which I left my dear friend, Captain de la
Barbotiere, and all his company, remaining myself in the English bark,
in which I arrived at Falmouth in August, 1594.
_The unfortunate Voyage of Captain Benjamin Wood, towards the East
Indies, in_ 1596.
In the year 1596, a squadron of three ships, the Bear, Bear's Welp, and
Benjamin, was fitted out, chiefly at the charges of Sir Robert Dudley,
and the command given to Mr Benjamin Wood. The merchants employed in
this voyage were, Mr Richard Allot and Mr Thomas Bromfield, both of the
city of London. As they intended to have proceeded as far as China, they
obtained the gracious letters of Queen Elizabeth, of famous memory, to
the king or emperor of that country, recommending these two merchants,
or factors, to his protection.
[Footnote 29: Purchas his Pilgrims, I. 110, Astl. I. 252.]
This their honourable expedition, and gracious recommendations from her
majesty for the furtherance of their mercantile affairs, had no
answerable effects, but suffered a double disaster: first, in the
miserable perishing of the squadron; and next, in losing the history, or
relation, of that tragedy. Some broken plank, however, as after a
shipwreck have yet been encountered from the West Indies, which gives us
some notice of this East-Indian misadventure. Having the following
intelligence by the intercepted letters of the licentiate _Alcasar de
Villa Senor_, auditor in the royal audience of St Domingo, judge of the
commission in Porto Rico, and captain-general of the province of New
Andalusia, written to the King of Spain and his royal council of the
Indies; an extract of which, so far as concerns this business, here
follows; wherein let not the imputation of robbery and piracy trouble
the minds of the reader, being the words of a Spaniard concerning the
deeds of Englishmen, done in the time of war between us and them.
So far we have exactly followed the introductory remarks of Purchas. In
the sequel, however, we have thought it better to give only an
abridgement of the letter from Alcasar de Villa Senor, which Purchas
informs us, in a side note, he had found among the papers of Mr Richard
Hakluyt. In this we have followed the example of the editor of Astley's
Collection, because the extract given by Purchas is very tedious, and
often hardly intelligible. This letter, dated from Porto Rico, 2d
October, 1601, gives no light whatever into the voyage itself, nor by
what accident the ships, which had set out for the East Indies, had come
into the West Indies; neither what became of the ships, nor the nature
of the sickness which had reduced their men to four, but wholly refers
to what passed after these sailors had quitted their ship, and landed on
the island of _Utias_, near Porto Rico. All these circumstances were
probably communicated in a former letter, alluded to in the commencement
of that which was intercepted, as it proceeds upon having received a
commission from the royal audience, to punish certain offenders who had
usurped a great quantity of property belonging to the King of Spain in
the island of Utias; the plunder taken by the English, and with which
these four men had landed in that island--E.
* * * * *
It appears by this letter, that three English ships bound for the East
Indies, belonging to Portugal, had captured three Portuguese ships, one
of them from Goa, from the captain of which they took a large rich
precious stone, which the captain had charge of for the King of Spain;
the particulars of which had been communicated the year before in a
letter from Alcasar to the king, together with a copy of the declaration
of one Thomas, of the goods he and his three companions had in the said
island of Utias. They had also many bags of ryals of eight and four,
intended for the pay of the garrison in a frontier castle of India, and
much more goods belonging to the Portuguese.
After this all the men died of some unexplained sickness, except four
men, whose names were Richard, Daniel, Thomas, and George. These men,
with all the jewels, money, and rich goods they could remove, put into a
river or bay of the island of _Utias_, three leagues from Porto
Rico; where, after landing their goods, their boat sunk, and they
remained on that island with only a small boat made of boards, which
they had taken from some fishermen at Cape San Juan, the north-east
headland of Porto Rico. With that small boat they crossed over to Porto
Rico in search of water, and, on their return to Utias, left George
behind them on Porto Rico. He, being found by Don Rodrigo de Fuentes and
five others, gave information of all that had happened to them, and of
the large stone, jewels, gold, plate, testoons, and other rich goods
that were in the said island, and of the places where the other three
Englishmen and their goods might be found.
[Footnote 30: From the context, it would appear, that the island of
Utias is to the east of Porto Rico, among or towards the group called
the Virgin isles. The ships of Wood were probably suffering from scurvy
and famine, like the Edward Bonadventure; and, endeavouring, like
Lancaster, to seek relief in the West Indies, may have perished among
the Virgin isles.--E.]
Consulting together on this information, they agreed to pass over into
the island, to take possession for their own benefit of these rich
goods, and did so, carrying with them a letter from George the
Englishman to his: comrades, advising them to submit to the Spaniards,
and to deliver up to them their arms and riches. Coming near to where
the three Englishmen dwelt, these Spaniards displayed a white flag in
token of peace, and the Englishmen set up another; after which they held
a friendly conference together, the Spaniards pledging their good faith
and friendship. Upon which the Englishmen yielded themselves to Don
Rodrigo and his companions, with their arms and all their goods, which
they took possession of, and parted all the money among themselves. They
hid and kept secret the great stone and other jewels, with a great
quantity of gold, silver, and other rich goods; keeping out only a small
quantity of silver in bars, and some silks, as a cover for the rest.
And, that it might not be known what quantity of jewels, gold, silver,
and other rich goods they had usurped, they agreed to murder the three
Englishmen with whom they had eaten, drank, and slept in peace. They
accordingly killed Richard and Daniel, and would have slain George, but
he escaped from them to a mountain. They then returned to Porto Rico,
where they put George to death by poison, and sent to Utias to seek out
Thomas and put him to death; but he got over to this island in a
wonderful manner by means of a piece of timber; which they hearing of,
sought by all the means they could to kill him, but to no purpose.
Meanwhile Don Rodrigo, and two others of his accomplices, came to the
city of San Juan, and informed the governor that they had found a small
quantity of goods in the island of Utias, having slain three Englishmen
in fight to get them; and their other accomplices presented themselves
as witnesses, falsely declaring that they had found no more goods. But
not agreeing in their story on farther investigation, and Thomas the
Englishman being at length procured as evidence against them, they were
all sent to prison; whence Don Rodrigo, though bolted and guarded by two
soldiers, contrived to get out by filing off his irons in the night.
After Don Rodrigo's escape, the rest confessed the whole affair; but
either through favour or fear, no one would assist Alcasar to bring this
rascally ringleader to justice. He pronounced sentence on all the rest,
with a denunciation that they were to be put to death in five days,
unless the goods were delivered up.
How this affair ended does not appear, as the letter was written before
the expiry of the five days. Neither indeed is this letter of much
importance, except to shew the miserable end of that unfortunate voyage,
the villainy of Don Rodrigo and his comrades in murdering the poor
Englishmen to conceal their plunder, and that Alcasar, in the
prosecution, was solely intent upon recovering the treasure for the King
of Spain, without any consideration of the murder of the three
Englishmen; who, in his letter, are treated as robbers and thieves,
though England was then at war with Spain, and they were consequently
justifiable in taking the Portuguese ships as lawful prizes.
_Voyage of Captain John Davis to the East Indies, in 1598, as Pilot to a
This voyage was written by Davis himself, and appears to have been sent
by him in a letter to Robert Earl of Essex, dated Middleburgh, 1st
August, 1600. From this letter we learnt that Mr Davis had been employed
by his lordship, for discovering these eastern parts of the world, for
the service of Queen Elizabeth, and the good of England. He informs his
noble patron, that his journal only contains such things as had fallen
under his own observation; but, when favoured with an opportunity, he
would give him an account of all that he had learnt abroad relating to
the places of trade and strength belonging to the crown of Portugal, and
respecting the commerce of those eastern nations with each other. The
Portuguese possessions, he says, beginning at Sofala, being the first
beyond the Cape of Good Hope, are Mozambique, Ornuus, Diu, Gor, Coulan,
Onore, Mangalore, Cochin, Columbo, Negapatam, Portogrande or Chittigong
in Bengal, Malacca, and Macao in China, with the islands of Molucca and
Amboyna. That the Portuguese likewise trade to Monomotapa, Melinda,
Aden, Arabia, Cambaya or Guzerat, the coast of Coromandel, Balagate, and
[Footnote 31: Purch. Pilg. I. 116. Astley, I. 254.]
Of all these nations, as he says, there are some traders residing at
Acheen, in the island of Sumatra; where likewise he met with Arabians,
and a nation called _Ramos_, from the Red-Sea, who have traded there
many hundred years. There are there also many Chinese engaged in trade,
who have been used to trade there for many hundred years, and used Davis
kindly, so that he says he was able to give his lordship much
information concerning the great empire of China. He concludes by
saying, that the Portuguese had long industriously concealed all these
things, which were now providentially laid open. He concludes by saying,
that he had inclosed the alphabet of the Acheen language, with some
words of their language, written from right to left, after the manner of
the Hebrews; but this has not been printed in the Collection of Purchas.
He says that he had also sent by one Mr Tomkins, probably the bearer of
the letter and journal, some of the coin used there in common payments;
The gold piece called _mas_, being worth about ninepence half-penny; and
those of lead called _caxas_, of which it takes 1600 to make one _mas_.
[Footnote 32: Constantinople is called New Rome, and thence In the east
the Turks are called Rumos.--_Purchas_.
By the _Rumos_, or _Rums_, are to be understood the people of Egypt;
which, having been a part of the Roman empire, is, like Anatolia and
other provinces of the Turkish empire, called _Rum_ by the orientals.