Part 3 out of 8
[Sidenote: Cloth made of the barke of trees.] There are neere to the sea
vpon this Riuer diuers inhabitants, which are mighty bigge men and go al
naked except some thing before their priuie parts, which is like a clout
about a quarter of a yard long made of the barke of trees, and yet it is
like a cloth: for the barke is of that nature, that it will spin small
after the maner of linnen. [Sidenote: The Negroes race their skinnes.] Some
of them also weare the like vpon their heades being painted with diuers
colours, but the most part of them go bare headed, and their heads are
clipped and shorne of diuers sorts, and the most part of them haue their
skin of their bodies raced with diuers workes, in maner of a leather
Ierkin. The men and women goe so alike, that one cannot know a man from a
woman but by their breastes, which in the most part be very foule and long,
hanging downe like the vdder of a goate.
The same morning we went into the Riuer with our Skiffe, and caried
certaine basons, manels, &c. [Sidenote: Graines of Guinea.] And there we
tooke that day one hogs-head and 100 li. waight of Graines, and two
Elephants teeth at a reasonable good reckoning. We solde them both basons,
and Manellios, and Margarits, but they desired most to haue basons: For the
most part of our basons wee had by estimation about 30. li. for a piece,
and for an Elephants tooth of 30. li. waight, we gaue them 6.
The 16. day in the morning we went into the riuer with our Skiffe, and
tooke some of euery sort of our marchandize with vs, and shewed it to the
Negroes, but they esteemed it not, but made light of it, and also of the
basons, Manellios and Margarits, which yesterday they did buy: howbeit for
the basons they would haue giuen vs some graines, but to no purpose, so
that this day wee tooke not by estimation aboue one hundreth pound waight
of Graines, by meanes of their Captaine, who would suffer no man to sell
any thing but through his hands, and at his price: he was so subtile, that
for a bason hee would not giue 15. pound waight of Graines, and sometimes
would offer vs smal dishfuls whereas before wee had baskets full, and when
he saw that wee would not take them in contentment, the Captaine departed,
and caused all the rest of the boates to depart, thinking belike that wee
would haue followed them, and haue giuen them their owne askings.
[Sidenote: The description of their townes and houses.] But after that we
perceiued their fetch, wee wayed our Grapnel and went away, and then wee
went on land into a small Towne to see the fashions of the Countrey, and
there came a threescore of them about vs, and at the first they were afraid
of vs, but in the end perceiuing that wee did no hurt, they would come to
vs and take vs by the hand and be familiar with vs, and then we went into
their Townes, which were like to twentie small houels, all couered ouer
with great leaues and baggage, and all the sides open, and a scaffolde
vnder the house about a yarde high, where they worke many pretie things of
the barkes of trees, and there they lye also. In some of their houses they
worke yron and make faire dartes, and diuers other things to worke their
boates, and other things withall, and the women worke as well as the men.
But when wee were there diuers of the women to shew vs pleasure danced and
sung after their maner, full ill to our eares. Their song was thus:
Sakere, sakere, ho, ho. Sakere, sakore, ho, ho.
And with these words they leape and dance, and clap their hands. Beastes we
could see none that they had, but two goates, small dogges, and small
hennes: other beastes we saw none. After that we had well marked all things
we departed and went aboord our ships: which thing the Captaine of the
other towne perceiuing, sent two of his seruants in a boat with a basket of
Graines, and made vs signes that if when wee had slept wee would come
againe into their riuer, wee should haue store of Graines, and so shewed vs
his Graines and departed.
The 17. day in the morning because we thought that the Negroes would haue
done something because the Captaine sent for vs, I required the Master to
goe on shoare, and sent the rest of our Marchants with him, and taried
aboord my selfe by reason that the last day he esteemed our things so
litle: so when the Master and the rest came into the riuer, the captaine
with diuers others came to them, and brought Graines with them, and after
that he saw that I was not there, he made signes to know where I was, and
they made signes to him againe that I was in the ships: [Sidenote: Diago
the name of a Captaine.] and then hee made signes to know who was Captaine
by name of Diago, for so they call their Captaine, and they pointed to the
master of the ship: then he began to shew his Graines, but he held them so
vnreasonably, that there was no profit to be made of them: which things the
Master perceiuing, and seeing that they had no store of Graines, came away,
and tooke not aboue 50. pound waight of Graines. Then he went a shoare to
the litle Towne where we were the day before, and one of them plucked a
Gourd, wherewith the Negroes were offended, and came many of them to our
men with their darts and great targets, and made signes to them to depart:
which our men did, hauing but one bow and two or three swords, and went
aboord the boate and came away from them: and assoone as they were come
aboord we wayed and set saile, but the winde was off the Sea, so that we
could not get out cleare of certaine rocks, and therefore we came to an
[Sidenote: The latitude of S. Vincent riuer is 4. degrees and a halfe.]
This riuer is called Riuer S. Vincent, standing in 4. degrees and a halfe,
and ebbeth and floweth there every 12. houres, but not much water when it
ebbeth the most: while wee were there, it ebbeth one fadome and a halfe
[Sidenote: Leaues of exceeding length.] This countrey as farre as we could
perceiue is altogether woody, and al strange trees, whereof wee knewe none,
and they were of many sorts, with great leaues like great dockes, which bee
higher then any man is able to reach the top of them.
[Sidenote: Long pease stalkes.] There are certaine peason by the Sea side,
which grow vpon great and very long stalkes, one of the stalkes I measured
and found it 27. paces long, and they grow vpon the sand like to trees, and
that so neere the Sea, that sometimes the Sea floweth into the woods as we
might perceiue by the water markes.
[Sidenote: Long womens breasts.] The trees and all things in this place
grow continually greene. Diuers of the women haue such exceeding long
breasts, that some of them wil lay the same vpon the ground and lie downe
by them, but all the women haue not such breasts.
At this place all the day the winde bloweth off the Sea, and all the night
off the land, but wee found it to differ sometimes, which our Master
This night at 9. of the clocke the winde came vp at the East, which
ordinarily about that time was wont to come out of the North Northwest off
the shoare: yet we wayed and halled off South with that winde all night
into the Sea, but the next morning we halled in againe to the lande, and
tooke in 6. Tunnes of water for our ship, and I thinke the Hinde tooke in
I could not perceiue that here was any gold, or any other good thing: for
the people be so wilde and idle, that they giue themselues to seeke out
nothing: if they would take paines they might gather great store of
graines, but in this place I could not perceiue two Tunne.
There are many foules in the Countrey, but the people will not take the
paines to take them.
I obsetued some of their words of speach, which I thought good here to set
Bezow, bezow, Is their salutation.
Manegete afoye, Graines ynough.
Crocow, afoye, Hennes ynough.
Zeramme, afoye, Haue ynough.
Begge sacke Giue me a knife.
Begge come, Giue me bread
Borke, Holde your peace.
Coutrecke. Ye lye.
Veede, Put foorth, or emptie.
Diago, Their Captaine, and some
call him Dabo.
These and other wordes they speake very thicke, and oftentimes recite one
word three times together, and at the last time longer then at the two
The 18. day towards night, as we were sailing along the coast, we met with
certaine boats in the sea, and the men shewed vs that there was a riuer
thwart of vs, where there were Graines to be sold, but we thought it not
good to tary there, least the other ships should get before vs. This riuer
hath lying before it three great rockes, and 5. small rocks, one great
tree, and a little tree right by the riuer, which in height exceeded all
the rest: we halled this night along the coast 16. leagues.
The 19. day as we coasted the shoare, about twelue of the clocke there came
out to vs 3. boates to tell vs that they had graines, and brought some with
them for a shew, but we could not tary there. We proceeded along the coast,
and ancred by the shore all the night, and ran this day 10. leagues.
The 20. day the Hinde hauing ankered by vs amongst rockes, and foule
gronnd, lost a small anker. At noone, as we passed along the coast, there
came forth a Negro to vs, making signes, that if we would goe a shoare, wee
should haue Graines, and where wee ankered at night, there came another to
vs, and brought Graines, and shewed vs them, and made signes that wee
should tary, and made a fire vpon the land in the night, meaning thereby to
tell vs where we should land, and so they did in diuers other places vpon
the coast, where they saw vs to anker. [Sidenote: The tides and nature of
the shore.] In al the places where we haue ancred, since we came from our
watring place, we haue found the tide alwayes running to the Westwards, and
all along the coast many rockes hard aboord the shoare, and many of them a
league off the shoare or more, we ran this day 12. leagues.
The 21 day, although we ranne all day with a good gale of winde, yet the
tides came so sore out of the coast, that we were not able to runne aboue
sixe leagues: and this day there came some Negroes to vs, as there had done
The 22. wee ranne all day and night to double a point, called Das Palmas,
and ranne sixteene leagues.
The 23. day about 3. of the clocke we were thwart of the point, and before
we came to the Westermost part of it, we saw a great ledge of rocks, which
lie West from the Cape about 3. leagues and a league or more from the land.
Shortly after we had sight of the Eastermost part of the Cape, which lieth
4. leagues from the Westermost part, and vpon the very corner thereof lie
two greene places, as it were closes, and to the Westwards of the Cape the
land parted from the Cape, as it were a Bay, whereby it may well be knowen.
Foure leagues more beyonde that there lieth a head-land in the sea, and
about two leagues beyond the head-land there goeth in a great Bay, as it
were a riuer, before which place we ankered all that night, which wee did,
least in the night wee should ouerrunne a riuer where the last yeere they
had all their Elephants teeth. [Sidenote: That was the yeere 1554.]
This Cape Das palmas lieth vnder foure degrees and a halfe, and betwixt the
said Cape, and the riuer de Sestos is the greatest store of Graines to be
had, and being past the said Cape there is no great store else where.
Where we ankered this night, we found that the tide, which before ran
alwayes to the Westward, from this Cape runneth all to the Eastward: this
day we ranne some 16. leagues.
The 24. day running our course, about eight of the clock there came forth
to vs certaine boats, which brought with them small egges, which were soft
without shels, and they made vs signes, that there was within the land
fresh water, and Goates: and the Master thinking that it was the riuer
which we sought, cast ancker and sent the boate on shoare, with one that
knew the riuer, and comming neere the shoare, hee perceiued that it was not
the riuer, and so came backe againe, and went along the shoare, with their
oares and saile, and wee weyed and ranne along the shoare also: and being
thirteene leagues beyond the Cape, the Master perceiued a place which he
iudged to be the riuer, when wee were in deede two miles shot past it: yet
the boate came from the shoare, and they that were in her saide, that there
was no riuer: notwithstanding wee came to an ancker, and the Master and I
tooke fiue men with vs in the boat, and when hee came neere the shoare, hee
perceiued that it was the same riuer which hee did seeke: so we rowed in,
and found the entrance very ill, by reason that the sea goeth so high: and
being entred, diuers boats came to vs, and shewed vs that they had
Elephants teeth, and they brought vs one of about eight pound, and a little
one of a pound, which we bought: then they brought certaine teeth to the
riuer side, making signes, that if the next day we would come againe, they
would sell vs them: so we gaue vnto two Captaines, to either of them a
manillio, and so we departed, and came aboord, and sent out the other boate
to another place, where certaine boats that came into the sea, made vs
signes that there was fresh water: and being come thither, they found a
towne, but no riuer, yet the people brought them fresh water, and shewed
them an Elephants tooth, making signes that the next day they would sel
them teeth, and so they came aboord.
This riuer lieth by the Carde thirteene leagues from the Cape Das palmas,
and there lieth to the Westwards of the same a rocke about a league in the
sea, and the riuer it selfe hath a point of lande comming out into the Sea,
whereupon grow fiue trees, which may well bee discerned two or three
leagues off, comming from the Westward, but the riuer cannot bee perceiued
vntill such time as a man be hard by it, and then a man may perceiue a
litle Towne on ech side the riuer, and to ech Towne there belongeth a
Captaine. The riuer is but small, but the water is good and fresh.
Two miles beyond the riuer, where the other towne is, there lieth another
point into the Sea, which is greene like a close, and not aboue sixe trees
vpon it, which growe one of them from the other, whereby the coast may well
be knowen: for along all the coast that we haue hitherto sailed by, I haue
not seene so much bare land.
In this place, and three or foure leagues to the Westward of it, al along
the shoare, there grow many Palme trees, whereof they make their wine de
Palma. These trees may easily be knowen almost two leagues off, for they be
very high and white bodied, and streight, and be biggest in the midst: they
haue no boughes, but onely a round bush in the top of them: and at the top
of the same trees they boare a hoale, and there they hang a bottell, and
the iuyce of the tree runneth out of the said hole into the bottle, and
that is their wine.
From the Cape das Palmas, to the Cape Tres puntas, there are 100. leagues:
and to the port where we purpose to make sales of our cloth beyond the Cape
Tres puntas, 40. leagues.
Note, that betwixt the riuer De Sestos, and the Cape Das palmas, is the
place where all the graines be gathered.
The language of the people of this place, as far as I could perceiue,
differeth not much from the language of those which dwel where we watred
before: but the people of this place be more gentle in nature then the
other, and goodlier men: their building and apparel is all one with the
Their desire in this place was most of all to haue Manillios and
Margarites: as for the rest of our things, they did litle esteeme them.
[Sidenote: Their maner of swearing by the water of the Sea.] About nine of
the clocke there came boates to vs foorth, from both of the places
aforsaid, and brought with them certaine teeth, and after they had caused
me to sweare by the water of the Sea that I would not hurt them, they came
aboord our ship three or foure of them, and we gaue them to eate of all
such things as we had, and they did eate and drinke of all things, as well
as we our selues. Afterwards we bought all their teeth, which were in
number 14. and of those 14. there were 10. small: afterwards they departed,
making vs signes that the next day we should come to their Townes.
[Sidenote: Two townes.] The 26. day because we would not trifle long at
this place I required the Master to goe vnto one of the townes, and to take
two of our marchants with him, and I my selfe went to the other, and tooke
one with me, because these two townes stand three miles asunder. To these
places we caried somewhat of euery kind of marchandize that we had: and hee
had at the one Towne, nine teeth, which were but small, and at the other
towne where I was, I had eleuen, which were also not bigge, and we left
aboord with the Master certaine Manillios, wherewith he bought 12. teeth
aboord the ship, in our absence: and hauing bought these of them, wee
perceiued that they had no more teeth: so in that place where I was one
brought to me a small goat, which I bought, and to the Master at the other
place they brought fiue small hennes, which he bought also, and after that
we saw there was nothing else to be had, we departed, and by one of the
clocke we met aboord, and then wayed, and went East our course 18. leagues
still within sight of land.
The 28. the wind varied, and we ranne into the sea, and the winde comming
againe off the sea, wee fell with the land againe, and the first of the
land which we raised shewed as a great red cliffe round, but not very high,
and to the Eastward of that another smaller red cliffe, and right aboue
that into the land a round hammoke and greene, which we tooke to be trees.
We ranne in these 24. houres, not aboue foure leagues.
The 29. day comming neere to the shoare, we perceiued the red cliffe
aforesaide to haue right vpon the top of it a great heape of trees, and all
to the Westwards of it ful of red cliffes as farre as we could see, and all
along the shoare, as well vpon the cliffes, as otherwise, full of wood:
within a mile of the said great cliffe there is a riuer to the Eastwards,
and no cliffes that we could see, except one small cliffe, which is hard by
it. We ran this day and night 12. leagues.
The windes that wee had in this place by the reports of the people and of
those that haue bene there, haue not bene vsuall, but in the night, at
North off the lande, and in the day South off the Sea, and most commonly
Northwest, and Southwest.
The 31. day we went our course by the shoare Northwards: this land is al
along a low shoare, and full of wood, as all the coast is for the most
part, and no rockes. This morning came out many boates which went a
fishing, which bee greater boates then those which we sawe before, so that
in some of them there sate 5. men, but the fashion of the boats is all one.
In the afternoone about three of the clocke wee had sight of a Towne by the
sea side, which our Pilots iudged to be 25. leagues to the Westwards of the
Cape Tres puntas.
The third of Ianuary in the morning we fell with the Cape Tres puntas, and
in the night passed, as our Pilots saide, by one of the Portugals castles,
which is 8. leagues to the Westwards of the Cape: vpon the first sight of
the Cape wee discerned it a very high land, and all growen ouer with trees,
and comming neere to it, we perceiued two head lands, as it were two Bayes
betwixt them, which opened right to the Westward, and the vttermost of them
is the Easterne Cape, there we perceiued the middle Cape, and the
Eastermost Cape: the middle Cape standeth not aboue a league from the West
Cape, although the Card sheweth them to be 3. leagues one from the other:
and that middle Cape hath right before the point of it a small rocke so
neere to it, that it cannot be discerned from the Cape, except a man be
neere to the shoare, and upon the same Cape standeth a great heape of
trees, and when a man is thwart the same Cape to the Eastward, there riseth
hard by it a round greene hommoke, which commeth out of the maine.
The thirde Cape is about a league beyond the middle Cape, and is a high
land like to the other Capes, and betwixt the middle, and the thirde
commeth out a little head or point of a land out of the maine, and diuers
rocks hard aboord the shoare.
Before we came to the Capes, being about 8. leagues off them, wee had the
land Southeast, and by East, and being past the Capes, the land runneth in
againe East Northeast.
About two leagues beyond the farthest Cape there is a lowe glade about two
miles long, and then the land riseth high againe, and diuers head lands
rise one beyond another, and diuers rockes lie at the point of the first
head-land. The middest of these Capes is the neerest to the Southwards, I
meane, further into the sea than any of the other, so that being to the
Eastward of it, it may be discerned farre off, and being so to the Eastward
it riseth with two small rockes.
This day we ankered for feare of ouershooting a towne called S. Iohns. Wee
ran this day not aboue 8. leagues. In the afternoone this day there came a
boate of the countrey from the shoare, with fiue men in her, and went along
by vs, as we thought, to discerne our flagges, but they would not come
neere vs, and when they had well looked vpon vs, they departed.
The fourth day in the morning, sailing by the coast, we espied a ledge of
rockes by the shoare, and to the Westwards of them two great grene hils
ioyning together, so that betweene them it was hollow like a saddle: and
within the said rockes the Master thought the aforenamed Towne had stoode,
and therefore we manned our boates, and tooke with vs cloth, and other
marchandize, and rowed ashoare, but going along by the coast, we sawe that
there was no towne, therefore wee went aboord againe.
From these two hils aforesaid, about two leagues to the Eastward, lie out
into the Sea almost two miles a ledge of rockes, and beyond that a great
Bay, which runneth into the North Northwestward, and the land in this place
lieth North Northeast along the shoare: but the vttermost point of land in
that place that we could see, lay Northeast, and by East from vs.
After that we were with a small gale of winde runne past that vttermost
head-land, we sawe a great red cliffe, which the Master againe iudged to be
the towne of S. Iohns, and then wee tooke our boate with marchandize, and
went thither, and when we came thither, we perceiued that there was a towne
vpon the toppe of the hill, and so wee went toward it, and when we were
hard by it, the people of the towne came together a great sort of them, and
waued vs to come in, with a peece of cloth, and so we went into a very
faire Bay, which lieth to the Eastward of the cliffe, whereupon the towne
standeth, and being within the cliffe, wee let fall our grapnell, and after
that we had taried there a good space, they sent a boate aboord of vs, to
shewe vs that they had golde, and they shewed us a peece about halfe a
crowne weight, and required to know our measure, and our weight, that they
might shewe their Captaine thereof: and wee gaue them a measure of two
elles, and a waight of two Angels to shew vnto him, which they tooke, and
went on shoare, and shewed it vnto their Captaine, and then they brought vs
a measure of two elles, one quarter and a halfe, and one Crusado-weight of
gold, making vs signes that so much they would giue for the like measure,
and lesse they would not haue. After this, we taried there about an houre,
and when we sawe that they would doe no otherwise, and withall vnderstood,
that all the best places were before vs, wee departed to our shippes and
wayed, and ranne along the shoare, and went before with our boate, and
hauing sailed about a league, we came to a point where there lay foorth a
ledge of rockes, like to the others before spoken of, and being past that
people, the Master spied a place which hee saide plainely was the towne of
Don Iohn: and the night was come vpon vs, so that we could not well
discerne it, but we ankered as neere vnto the place as we could.
[Sidenote: The towne of Don Iohn.] The fift day in the morning we perceiued
it to be the same towne in deede, and we manned our boates and went
thither, and because that the last yeere the Portugals at that place tooke
away a man from them, and after shot at them with great bases, and did
beate them from the place, we let fall our grapnel almost a base shot off
the shoare, and there we lay about two houres, and no boats came to vs.
Then certaine of our men with the Hindes boate went into the Bay which
lieth to the Eastward of the towne, and within that Bay they found a goodly
fresh riuer, and afterwards they came and waued to vs also to come in,
because they perceiued the Negroes to come downe to that place, which we
did: and immediately the Negroes came to vs, and made vs signes that they
had golde, but none of them would come aboord our boates, neither could we
perceiue any boates that they had to come withall, so that we iudged that
the Portugals had spoiled their boates, because we saw halfe of their towne
Wee hauing stayed there a good space, and seeing that they would not come
to vs, thrust our boates heads a shoare, being both well appointed, and
then the Captaine of the Towne came downe being a graue man: and he came
with his dart in his hand, and sixe tall men after him, euery one with his
dart and his target, and their darts were all of yron, faire and sharpe,
and there came another after them which caried the Captaines stoole: wee
saluted him, and put off our caps, and bowed our selues, and hee like one
that thought well of himselfe, did not mooue his cap, nor scant bowed his
body, and sate him downe very solemnly, vpon his stoole: but all his men
put off their caps to vs, and bowed downe themselues.
He was clothed from the loines down with a cloth of that Countrey making,
wrapped about him, and made fast about his loynes with a girdle, and his
cap of a certaine cloth of the Countrey also, and bare legged, and bare
footed, and all bare aboue the loynes, except his head.
His seruants, some of them had cloth about their loines, and some nothing
but a cloth betwixt their legges, and made fast before, and behinde to
their girdles, and cappes of their owne making, some like a basket, and
some like a great wide purse of beasts skinnes.
[Sidenote: Their weapons.] All their cloth, cordes, girdles, fishing lines,
and all such like things which they haue, they make of the bark of certaine
trees, and thereof they can worke things very pretily, and yron worke they
can make very fine, of all such things as they doe occupy, as darts,
fishhookes, hooking yrons, yron heads, and great daggers, some of them as
long as a woodknife, which be on both sides exceeding sharpe, and bended
after the maner of Turkie blades, and the most part of them haue hanging at
their left side one of those great daggers.
Their targets bee made of such pils as their cloth is made of, and very
closely wrought, and they bee in forme foure square, and very great, and
somewhat longer then they bee broad, so that kneeling downe, they make
their targets to couer their whole body. Their bowes be short, and of a
pretie strength, as much as a man is able to draw with one of his fingers,
and the string is of the barke of a tree, made flat, and about a quarter of
an inch broad: as for their arrowes, I haue not as yet seene any of them,
for they had wrapped them vp close, and because I was busie I could not
stand about it, to haue them open them. Their golde also they worke very
When the Captaine was set, I sent him two elles of cloth, and two basons,
and gaue them vnto him, and hee sent againe for a waight of the same
measure, and I sent him a weight of two Angels, which he would not take,
nether would hee suffer the towne to buy any thing, but the basons of
brasse: so that wee solde that day 74. basons vnto the men of the towne,
for about half an Angel weight, one with another, and nine white basons,
which we solde for a quarter of an Angell a peece, or thereabouts.
We shewed them all our other things which we had, but they did not esteeme
About two of the clocke, the Captaine who did depart in the morning from
vs, came againe, and brought with him to present mee withall, a henne, and
two great rootes, which I receiued, and after made me signes that the
countrey would come to his towne that night, and bring great store of gold,
which in deed about 4. of the clocke they did: for there came about 100.
men vnder 3. Captaines, well appointed with their darts and bowes, and when
they came to vs, euery man sticked downe his dart vpon the shoare, and the
Captaines had stooles brought them, and they sate downe, and sent a young
man aboord of vs, which brought a measure with him of an ell, and one
fourth part, and one sixteenth part, and he would haue that foure times for
a waight of one Angell and twelue graines: I offered him two elles, as I
had done before for two Angels weight, which he esteemed nothing, but still
stucke at his foure measures aforesaide: yet in the ende, when it grew very
late, and I made him signes, that I would depart, he came to foure elles
for the weight abouesaid, and otherwise he would not deale, and so we
departed. This day we tooke for basons sixe ounces and a halfe and one
The sixt day in the morning we manned our boates and the skiffe well, for
feare of the Portugals which the last yeere had taken away a man from the
other ships, and went on shoare, and landed, because they had no boates to
come to vs, and so the young man which was with vs the night before was
sent aboord, who seemed to haue dealt and bargained before with the
Portugals for he could speake a litle Portuguise, and was perfect in
weights and measures: at his comming be offered vs, as he had done before,
one Angell, and twelue graines for four elles, and more he would not giue,
and made signes, that if we would not take that, we should depart, which we
did: but before we did indeede depart, I offered him of some rotten cloth
three elles for his waight of an Angell and twelue graines, which he would
not take, and then we departed making signes to him that we would go away,
as indeede we would haue done, rather then haue giuen that measure,
although the cloth was ill, seeing we were so neere to the places, which we
iudged to be better for sale. Then we went aboord our ships which lay about
a league off, and came backe againe to the shoare for sand and balaste: and
then the Captaine perceiuing that the boats had brought no marchandize but
came onely for water and sand, and seeing that we would depart, came vnto
them, making signes againe to know whether would we not giue the foure
elles, and they made signes againe, that we would giue them but three, and
when they sawe that the boates were ready to depart, they came vnto them
and gaue them the weight of our Angell and twelue graines, which we
required before and made signes, that if we would come againe, they would
take three elles. So when the boates came aboord, we layde wares in them
both, and for the speedier dispatch I and Iohn Sauill went in one boat, and
the Maister Iohn Makeworth, and Richard Curligin, in the other, and went on
shoare, and that night I tooke for my part fiftie and two ounces, and in
the other boate they tooke eight ounces and a quarter, all by one weight
and measure, and so being very late, we departed and went aboord, and took
in all this day three pound.
The seuenth day we went a shoare againe, and that day I tooke in our boate
three pound 19 ounces, so that we dispatched almost all the cloth that we
caried with us before noone, and then many of the people were departed and
those that remained had litle golde, yet they made vs signes to fetch them
some latten basons which I would not because I purposed not to trifle out
the time, but goe thence with speede to Don Iohns towne. But Iohn Sauill
and Iohn Makeworth were desirous to goe againe: and I, loth to hinder them
of any profite, consented, but went not my selfe: so they tooke eighteene
ounces of gold and came away, seeing that the people at a certaine crie
made, were departed.
While they were at the shoare, there came a young fellow which could speake
a little Portuguise, with three more with him, and to him I solde 39 basons
and two small white sawcers, for three ounces, &c., which was the best
reckoning that we did make of any basons: and in the forenoone when I was
at the shoare, the Master solde fiue basons vnto the same fellow, for halfe
an ounce of golde.
[Sidenote: 60. Portugales in the castle of Mina.] This fellow, as farre as
we could perceiue, had bene taken into the Castle by the Portugales, and
was gotten away from them, for he tolde vs that the Portugales were bad
men, and that they made them slaues if they could take them, and would put
yrons vpon their legges, and besides he tolde vs, that as many Frenchmen or
Englishmen, as they could take (for he could name these two very well) they
would hang them: he tolde vs further, that there were 60 men in the castle,
and that euery yeere there came thither two shippes, one great, and one
small caruell, and further, that Don Iohn had warres with the Portugals,
which gaue mee the better courage to goe to his towne, which lieth not
foure leagues from the Castle, wherehence our men were beaten the last
[Sidenote: The English in anno 1544 tooke away 5 Negroes.] This fellowe
came aboord our shippe without much feare, and assoone as he came, he
demaunded, why we had not brought againe their men, which the last yeere we
tooke away, and could tell vs that there were fiue taken away by
Englishmen: we made him answere, that they were in England well vsed, and
were there kept till they could speake the language, and then they should
be brought againe to be a helpe to Englishmen in this Countrey: and then he
spake no more of that matter:
Our boates being come aboord, we wayed and set saile and a litle after
spied, a great fire vpon the shoare, and by the light of the fire we might
discerne a white thing, which they tooke to be the Castle, and for feare of
ouersbooting the towne of Don Iohn we there ankered two leagues off the
shoare, for it is hard to fetch vp a towne here, if a ship ouershoot it.
This day we tooke seuen pound, and fiue ounces of gold.
This towne lieth in a great Bay, which is very deepe.
The people in this place desired most to haue basons and cloth. They would
buy some of them also many trifles, as kniues, horsetailes, hornes: and
some of our men going a shoare, sold a cap, a dagger, a hat, &c.
They shewed vs a certain course cloth, which I thinke to be made in France,
for it was course wooll, and a small threed, and as thicke as wosted, and
striped with stripes of greene, white, yellow &c. Diuers of the people did
weare about their neckes great beades of glasse of diuerse colours. Here
also I learned some of their language, [Marginal note: This language
seemeth partly to be corrupt.] as followeth:
Mattea, mattea, Is their salutation.
Dassee, dassee, I thanke you.
Foco, foco, Cloth.
Molta, Much, or great store.
[Sidenote: Sight of the casle of Mina.] The eight day in the morning we had
sight of the Castle, but by reason of a miste that then fell we could not
haue the perfect sight of it, till we were almost at the towne of Don Iohn,
and then it cleared vp, and we saw it and a white house, as it were a
Chappell, vpon the hill about it, and then we halled into the shoare,
within two English miles of Don Iohns towne, and there ankered in seuen
fadome water. Here, as in many other places before, we perceiued that the
currant went with the winde.
The land here is in some places low and in some high, and full of wood
[Sidenote: Don Iohns towne described.] The towne of Don Iohn is but litle,
of about twentie houses, and the most part of the towne is walled in with a
wall of a mans height, made with reede or sedge, or some such thing. Here
we staied two or three houres after we had ankered, to see if any man would
come vnto vs: and seeing that none did come, we manned our boates and put
in marchandize, and went and ankered with our boates neere to the shoare:
then they sent out a man to vs who made vs signes that that was the towne
of Don Iohn, and that he himselfe was in the Countrey, and would be at home
at the going downe of the Sunne, and when he had done, he required a
reward, as the most part of them will doe which come first aboord, and I
gaue him one ell of cloth and he departed, and that night we heard no more
The ninth day in the morning we went againe with our boates to the shoare,
and there came foorth a boate to vs, who made signes that Don Iohn was not
come home, but would be at home this day: and to that place also came
another boate from the other towne a mile from this, which is called Don
Deuis, and brought with him gold to shew vs, making signes that we should
come thither. I then left in this place Iohn Sauill, and Iohn Makeworth,
and tooke the Hinde, and went to the other towne and there ankered, and
tooke cloth and went to shore with the boate, and by and by the boates came
to vs and brought a measure of foure yards long and a halfe, and shewed vs
a weight of an angell and twelue graines, which they would giue for so
much, and not otherwise: so I staied and made no bargaine. And all this day
the barke lay at Don Iohns towne, and did nothing, hauing answere that he
was not come home.
The tenth day we went againe to the shoare, and there came out a boat with
good store of gold, and hauing driuen the matter off a long time, and
hauing brought the measure to a nayle lesse then three elles, and their
weight to an angell and twentie graines, and could not bring them to more,
I did conclude with them and solde, and within one quarter of an houre I
tooke one pound and a quarter of an ounce of golde: and then they made me
signes to tary, till they had parted their cloth vpon the shoare as their
manner is, and they would come againe, and so they went away, and layde the
cloth all abroad vpon the sande peece by peece, and by and by one came
running downe from the towne to them, and spake vnto them, and foorthwith
euery man made as much haste as he could away, and went into the woods to
hide his golde and his cloth: we mistrusted some knauery, and being waued
by them to come a shoare, yet we would not, but went aboorde the Hinde, and
perceiued vpon the hill 30 men whom we iudged to be Portugals: and they
went vp to the toppe of the hill and there mustered and shewed themselues,
hauing a flagge with them. Then I being desirous to knowe what the Hart
did, tooke the Hindes boate and went towards her, and when I came neere to
them they shot off two pieces of ordinance which I marueiled at: I made as
much haste as I could to her, and met her boate and skiffe comming from the
shoare in all haste, and we met aboord together. [Sidenote: The Portugales
of the castle of Mina inuaded our men.] They shewed me that they had beene
a shoare all that day, and had giuen to the two sonnes of Don Iohn, to
either of them three yardes and a halfe of doth, and three basons betwixt
them, and had deliuered him 3 yards of cloth more and the weight of an
angell and 12 graines, and being on land did tarie for his answere, and in
the meane time the Portugals came running from the hill vpon them, whereof
the Negroes a litle before had giuen them warning, and bad them to go away,
but they perceiued it not. The sonne of Don Iohn conspired with the
Portugales against them, so that they were almost vpon them, but yet they
recouered their boate and set off from the shoare, and the Portugales shot
their calieuers at them, but hurt no man, and then the shippe perceiuing
it, shot off the two peeces aforesayde among them. Hereupon we layde bases
in both the boates, and in the Skiffe and manned them well, and went a
shoare againe, but because of the winde we could not land, but lay off in
the sea about ten score and shot at them, but the hill succoured them, and
they from the rockes and from the hilles shot at vs with their halfe
hakes, and the Negroes more for feare then for loue stoode by them to helpe
them, and when we saw that the Negroes were in such subiction vnto them
that they durst not sell vs any thing for feare of them we went aboord, and
that night the winde kept at the East, so that we could not with our ship
fetch the Hinde, but I tooke the boate in the night and went aboord the
barke to see what was there to be done, and in the morning we perceiued the
towne to be in like case layde with Portugales, so we wayed and went along
the coast. [Sidenote: The towne of Don Iohn de Viso.] This towne of Iohn de
Viso standeth vpon an hill like the towne of Don Iohn, but it hath beene
burned, so that there are not passing sixe houses in it: the most part of
the golde that comes thither comes out of the countrey, and no doubt if the
people durst for feare of the Portugals bring forth their gold, there would
be had good store: but they dare not sell any thing, their subiection is so
great to the Portugales. The 11 day running by the shoare we had sight of a
litle towne foure leagues from the last towne that we came from, and about
halfe a league from that, of another towne vpon a hill, and halfe a league
from that also of another great towne vpon the shoare: whither we went to
set what could there be done: if we could doe nothing, then to returne to
the other towne, because we thought that the Portugales would leaue the
towne vpon our departure. Along from the castle vnto this place are very
high hilles which may be seene aboue all other hilles, but they are full of
wood, and great red cliffes by the sea side. The boates of these places are
somewhat large and bigge, for one of them will carie twelue men, but their
forme is alike with the former boates of the coast. There are about these
townes few riuers: their language differeth not from the language vsed at
Don Iohns towne: but euery one can speake three or foure words of
Portuguise, which they vsed altogether to vs.
We sawe this night about 5 of the clocke 22 boates running along the shoare
to the Westward, whereupon we suspected some knauery intended against vs.
The 12 day therefore we set sayle and went further along the coast, and
descried more townes wherein were greater houses then in the other townes,
and the people came out of the townes to looke vpon vs, but we could see no
boates. Two mile beyond the Eastermost towne are blacke rocks, which blacke
rockes continue to the vttermost cape of the land, which is about a league
off, and then the land runnes in Eastnortheast, and a sandy shoare againe:
vpon these blacke rockes came downe certaine Negroes, which waued vs with a
white flagge, but we perceiuing the principall place to be neere, would not
stay, but bare still along the shoare: and as soone as we had opened the
point of the land, we raysed another headland about a league off the point,
which had a rocke lying off it into the sea, and that they thought to be
the place which we sought. When we came thwart the place they knew it, and
we put wares into our boate, and the ship being within halfe a mile of the
place ankered in fiue fadome water and faire ground. We went on shoare with
our boate, and ankered about ten of the clocke in the forenoone: we saw
many boates lying vpon the shoare, and diuers came by vs, but none of them
would come neere vs, being as we iudged afraid of vs: [Sidenote: Foure men
taken away by the English.] because that foure men were taken perforce the
last yeere from this place, so that no man came to vs, whereupon we went
aboord againe, and thought here to haue made no saile: yet towardes night a
great sort came downe to the water side, and waued vs on shoare with a
white flagge, and afterwarde their Captaine came downe and many men with
him, and sate him downe by the shoare vnder a tree: which when I perceiued,
I tooke things with me to giue him: at last he sent a boat to call to vs,
which would not come neere vs, but made vs signes to come againe the next
day: but in fine, I got them to come aboord in offering them things to giue
to their captaine, which were two elles of cloth, one latten bason, one
white bason, a bottle, a great piece of beefe, and sixe bisket cakes, which
they receiued making vs signes to come againe the next day, saying, that
their Captain was Grand Capitane as appeared by those that attended vpon
him with their darts and targets, and other weapons.
This towne is very great and stands vpon a hill among trees, so that it
cannot well be seene except a man be neere it: to the Eastward of it vpon
the hill hard by the towne stand 2. high trees, which is a good marke to
knowe the towne. And vnder the towne lieth another hill lower then it,
whereupon the sea beates: and that end next the sea is all great blacke
rockes, and beyonde the towne in a bay lieth another small towne.
The 13 day in the morning we tooke our boate and went to shoare, and stayed
till ten a clocke and no man came to vs: we went about therefore to returne
aboord, and when the Negroes saw that, they came running downe with a
flagge to waue vs againe, so we ankered againe, and then one shewed vs that
the Captaine would come downe by and by: we sawe a saile in the meane time
passe by vs but it was small, and we regarded it not. [Sidenote: The like
they doe in the countrey of Prette Ianni.] Being on shore we made a tilt
with our oares and sayle, and then there came a boate to vs with fiue men
in her, who brought vs againe our bottle, and brought me a hen, making
signes by the sunne, that within two houres the marchants of the countrey
would come downe and buy all that we had: so I gaue them sixe Manillios to
carry to their Captaine, and they made signes to haue a pledge of vs, and
they would leaue vs another man: and we willing to do so, put one of our
men in their boate, but they would not giue vs one of theirs, so we tooke
our man againe, and there tarried for the marchants: and shortly after one
came downe arrayed like their Captaine with a great traine after him, who
saluted us friendly, and one of the chiefest of them went and sate downe
vnder a tree, where the last yere the Captaine was wont to sit: and at last
we perceiued a great many of them to stand at the ende of a hollow way, and
behinde them the Portugales had planted a base, who suddenly shotte at vs
but ouershot vs, and yet we were in a manner hard by them, and they shot at
vs againe before we could ship our oares to get away but did no hurt. Then
the Negroes came to the rocks hard by vs, and disharged calieuers at vs,
and againe the Portugales shot off their base twise more, and then our ship
shot at them, but the rockes and hilles defended them.
[Sidenote: Master Robert Gainshes voyage to Guinea in anno 1554.] Then we
went aboord to goe from this place, seeing the Negroes bent against vs,
because that the last yeere M. Gainsh did take away the Captaines sonne and
three others from this place with their golde, and all that they had about
them: [Sidenote: The English were offered to build a towne in Guine.] which
was the cause that they became friends with the Portugales, whom before
they hated, as did appeare the last yeere by the courteous intertainement
which the Trinitie had there, when the Captaine came aboord the shippe, and
brought them to his towne, and offered them ground to build a Castle in,
and there they had good sales.
The 14 day we wayed and plyed backe againe to seeke the Hinde, which in the
morning we met, and so we turned both back to the Eastwardes to see what we
could doe at that place where the Trinitie did sell her eight frises the
last yeere. The Hinde had taken eighteene ounces and a halfe more of golde
of other Negroes, the day after that we left them. This day about one of
the clocke we espied certaine boates vpon the sand and men by them and went
to them with marchandizes, and tooke three ounces of gold for 18 fuffs of
cloth, euery fuffe three yards and a halfe after one angell and 12 graines
the fuffe, and then they made me signes that the next day I should haue
golde enough: so the Master took the Hinde with Iohn Sauill and Iohn
Makeworth, and went to seeke the place aforesaid, and I with Richard
Pakeman remained in this place to see what we could do the next day: and
when the Negroes perceiued our ship to go away, they feared that the other
would follow, and so sent forth 2 boats to vs with 4 men in them, requiring
vs to tary and to giue them one man for a pledge, and 2 of them should tary
with vs for him, so Edward M. Morleis seruant seeing these men so earnest
therein offered himselfe to be pledge, and we let him goe for two of them,
one whereof had his waights and scales, and a chaine of golde aboute his
necke, and another about his arme. They did eate of such things as we had
and were well contented. In the night the Negroes kept a light vpon the
shoare thwart of vs, and about one of the clocke we heard and saw the light
of a base which shot off twise at the said light, and by and by discharged
two calieuers, which in the end we perceiued to be the Portugals brigandine
which followed vs from place to place, to giue warning to the people of the
countrey, that they should not deale with vs.
The 15 day in the morning the Captaine came downe with 100 men with him,
and brought his wife, and many others brought their wiues also, because
their towne was 8 miles vp in the countrey, and they determined to lie by
the sea side till they had brought what they would. When he was come he
sent our man aboord, and required to haue two men pledges, and he himselfe
would come aboord, and I sent him two, of whom he tooke but one, and so
came aboord vs, he and his wife with diuers of his friends, and brought me
a goate and two great rootes, and I gaue him againe a latten bason, a white
bason, 6 manillios, and a bottell of Malmesie, and to his wife a small
casket. After this we began to make our measure and weight: and he had a
weight of his owne which held one angell and 14 graines, and required a
measure of 4 elles and a halfe. In fine we concluded the 8 part for one
angell and 20 graines, and before we had done, they tooke mine owne weight
The 16 day I tooke 8 li. 1 ounce of gold: and since the departure of the
Hinde I heard not of her, but when our pledge went into the countrey the
first night, he said he saw her cast anker aboue fiue leagues from this
place. The 17 day I sold about 17 pieces of cloth, and tooke 4 li. 4 ounces
and a halfe of gold. The 18 day the captaine desired to haue some of our
wine, and offered halfe a ducket of gold for a bottell: but I gaue it him
freely, and made him and his traine drinke besides. And this day also I
tooke 5 li. 5 ounces of gold. The 19 day we sold about 18 clothes, and
tooke 4 li. 4 ounces and one quarter of golde.
The 20 day tooke 3 li. sixe ounces and a quarter of golde. The 21 we tooke
8 li. 7. ounces and a quarter. The 22. 3. li. 8. ounces and a quarter. And
this night about 4 of the clocke the Captaine who had layen all this while
vpon the shoare, went away with all the rest of the people with him.
The 23 day we were waued a shoare by other Negroes, and sold them cloth,
caskets, kniues, and a dosen of bels, and tooke 1 li. 10 ounces of gold.
The 24 likewise we sold bels, sheetes, and thimbles, and tooke two li. one
ounce and a quarter of gold. The 25 day we sold 7 dosen of smal bels and
other things, and then perceiuing their gold to be done, we wayed and set
sayle and went to leeward to seeke the Hinde, and about 5 of the clocke at
night we had sight of her, and bare with her, and understood that shee had
made some sales. The 26 day wee receiued out of the Hinde 48 li. 3 ounces
and one eight part of golde, which they had taken in the time that we were
from them. And this day vpon the request of a Negro that came vnto vs from
a captaine, we went to shoare with our marchandize, and tooke 7 li. and one
ounce of gold. At this place they required no gages of vs, but at night
they sent a man aboord vs, which lay with vs all night, because we might
knowe that they would also come to vs the next day. The 27 day in both our
shippes we tooke 8. li. one ounce, three quarters and halfe a quarter of
golde. The 28 we made sales for the companie, and tooke one pound and half
an ounce of gold. The 29 day in the morning we heard two calieuers shot off
vpon the shore, which we iudged to be either by the Portugales or by the
Negroes of the Portugales: we manned our boates and armed our selues and
went to shoare, but coulde finde nothing: for they were gone. The 30 day we
made more sales for the companie and for the Masters.
The 31 we sent our boate to shoare to take in sand for balast, and there
our men met the Negroes, with whom they had made sale the day before a
fishing which did helpe them to fill sand, and hauing no gold, sold fish to
our men for their handkerchiefs and nightkerchiefes.
The 1 day of February we wayed and went to another place, and tooke 1 li.
9. ounces 3 quarters of gold. The 2 day we made more sales: but hauing
viewed our victuals we determined to tarie no long time vpon the coast,
because the most part of our drinke was spent, and that which remained grew
sowre. [Sidenote: They returne for England.] The 3 and 4 dayes we made some
sales, though not great, and finding the wind this 4. day to come off the
shoare, we set saile and ranne along the shoare to the Westwards: vpon this
coast we found by experience that ordinarily about 2 of the clocke in the
night the winde comes off the shoare at Northnortheast, and so continueth
vntil eight of the clocke in the morning: and all the rest of the day and
night it comes out of Southwest: and as for the tide or currant vpon this
shoare, it goeth continually with the winde. The 5 day we continued sayling
and thought to haue met with some English ships, but found none.
The sixt day we went our course Southwest to fetch vnder the line, and
ranne by estimation 24 leagues.
The 13 day wee thought our selues by our reckoning to be cleare off the
Cape das Palmas, and ranne 12 leagues.
The 22 day we were thwart of the Cape de Monte, which is to the Westward of
the Riuer de Sestos, about 30 leagues.
The first day of March in a Ternado we lost the Hinde, whereupon we set vp
a light and shot off a piece but could not heare of her, so that then we
strooke our saile and taried for her, and in the morning had sight of her
againe three leagues a sterne off vs.
Vpon the 22 day we found our selues to be in the height of Cape Verde,
which stands in 14 degrees and a halfe.
From this day till the 29 day we continued our course, and then we found
our selues to be in 22 degrees. This day one of our men called William
King, who had bene long sicke, died in his sleepe, his apparel was
distributed to those that lackt it, and his money was kept for his friends
to be deliuered them at his comming home.
The 30 day we found our selues to be vnder the Tropike.
The 31 day we went our course, and made way 18 leagues.
From the first day of Aprill to the 20 we went our course, and then found
our selues to bee in the height of the Asores.
The seuenth day of May we fell with the South part of Ireland, and going on
shoare with our boate had fresh drinke, and two sheepe of the countrey
people, which were wilde Kernes, and we gaue them golde for them, and
bought further such other victuals as we had neede of, and thought would
serue vs till we arriued in England.
The 14. day with the afternoone tide we went into the Port of Bristoll
called Hungrode, and there ankered in safetie and gaue thankes to God for
our safe arriuall.
* * * * *
The second voyage made by Maister William Towrson to the coast of Guinea,
and the Castle of Mina, in the yeere 1556. with the Tiger of London, a
ship of 120 tunnes, the Hart of London of 60 tunnes, and a Pinnesse of
The fourteenth day of September, the yeere abouesayd, we departed from
Harwich, and directed our course for the Isle of Sillie, to meete there
with the Hart and Pinnesse, which were rigged and victualed at Bristoll,
but arriuing there the eight and twientieth day we found them not, and
therefore after long lying at Hull to tarrie for them, but not espying
them, we turned backe to Plimmouth the 12 day of October, and being there,
the Hart and the Pinnesse came to vs, so that the 15 of Nouember we all
departed together from Plimmouth at one of the clocke in the after noone,
and the 28 day we had sight of the Isle of Porto Santo, and the next day in
the morning of Madera.
The third day of December we fell with the Ile of Palma, and the 9 we were
thwart of Cape Blanke, and found there certaine Carauels fishing for
The 19 we found our selues in the height of Sierra Leona, and all this day
we ranne thwart of certaine Currants, which did set to the West
Southwestward so fast as if it had bene the ouerfall of a sand, making a
great noyse like vnto a streame or tide-gate when the water is shoale: and
to prooue whither we could finde ground in this place, we sounded and had
150 fadome, and no ground, and so departed.
The 30 of December we fell with the coast of Guinea, and had first sight of
it about 4 leagues off. The best marke that we could take of the place to
knowe it was three hilles, which lay Northeast and by East from vs: betwixt
the Northermost two hilles there are two high and great trees standing in
sight as it were a sailes breadth one from another, and a litle more to the
Northwestwards are certaine hommocks. Hauing sayled somewhat into the
shoare wee tooke our selues to be shotte somewhat past the riuer de Sestos,
so that we kept about to fetch it. And a litle after we had sight of three
sayles of shippes and two pinnesses which were in the weather of vs, and
hauing sight of them we made our selues readie to meete them, and halled
off our ships to fetch the winde as neere as we could: and hauing sayled
about an houre or two, they also went about, and went as we went to make
themselues readie, and when we had them in chase, they went away from vs:
but when they had made themselues readie, they kept about againe, and came
with vs verie finely appointed with their streamers, and pendants and
ensignes, and noyse of trumpets very brauely: so when we met, they had the
weather of vs, and we being determined to fight, if they had bene
Portugals, waued them to come vnder our Lee, which they denied stoutly:
then we demaunded of them whence they were, and they sayd of France, we
told them againe that we were of London in England. They asked of vs what
Portugals wee had seene, we answered, none but Fishermen: then they told vs
that there were certaine Portugall ships gone to the Mina to defend it, and
that they met with another at the riuer de Sestos, which was a ship of two
hundred which they had burned, and had saued none but the master and two or
three Negroes, and certaine others which were sore burned which they left a
shoare there. Then they desired to come aboord of vs with their boates to
talke with vs, and wee gaue them leaue. Then the captaine of the Admirall
and diuers others came aboord very friendly, desiring vs to keepe them
company because of the Portugals, and to goe to the Mina with them: wee
told them that we had not watered, and that we were but now fallen with the
coast, and they shewed vs that we were fiftie leagues past the riuer de
Sestos: notwithstanding there was water enough to be had, and they would
helpe vs to water with their owne boates because they would haue our
companie. And told vs further, that they had bene sixe weekes vpon the
coast, and had gotten but three tunnes of graines amongst them all: and
when wee had heard them, we made our reckoning that although the Mina were
cleare, yet if they did goe before vs, they would marre our market; and if
it were not cleare, then if the Portugals were there and did take them,
they would vnderstand that we were behind, and so would waite for vs.
[Sidenote: They admit certaine Frenchmen into their companie.] And further
we made account that if we went with them we should doe as well as they, if
the coast were cleare: if it were not cleare, then by them we were assured
to be the stronger. Therefore hauing considered thus much of their gentle
offers, we tolde them that the next day wee would conferre more largely of
the matter. Whereupon they desired me to come the next day to dinner to
them, and to bring the masters of our ships with me, and such merchants as
I thought good, promising to giue vs water out of their owne ships if we
would take it, or els to tarie with vs and helpe vs to water with their own
boats and pinnasses.
The 31 day in the morning the Admirall sent his boat aboord for me, and I
tooke our masters and certaine of our marchants and went to him, who had
prouided a notable banquet for vs, and intreated vs very friendly, desiring
vs still to keepe his company, promising that what victuals were in his
ships, or other things that might doe vs pleasure vntill the end, we should
haue the one halfe of it, offering vs if we would to furle his Flags, and
to bee at our commaundement in all things.
In the ende we agreed to come to an anker, and to send our boat on shore
with the Admirals boat, and one of his pinnasses, and an Almaine which they
had brought out of France, to seeke water, as for our pinnasse she came to
an anker to seaward of vs all, and would not come at vs. All this night the
boats continued on shore.
The first day of Ianuary our boats came to vs againe and had found no
riuer. Whereupon we weighed and set saile, and ankred againe at another
The 2 day we went into the riuer and bargained, and tooke 5 small Elephants
The 3 day we tooke 5 more.
[Sidenote: An assault vpon elephants.] The fourth day the French Admirall
and wee tooke fifteene small teeth. This day wee tooke thirtie men with vs
and went to seeke Elephants, our men being all well armed with
harquebusses, pikes, long bowes, crossebowes, partizans, long swordes, and
swordes and bucklers: wee found two Elephants which wee stroke diuers times
with harquebusses and long bowes, but they went away from vs and hurt one
of our men. The fift day we set saile and ranne along the coast.
The 6 day we fell with the riuer de S. Andre, at which place the land is
somewhat high to the Westward of the riuer, and a faire Baie also to the
Westward of it: but to the Eastward of it it is lowe land.
The 7 day we went into the Riuer and found no village, but certaine wild
Negros not accustomed to trade. It is a very great riuer and 7 fadome water
in some places at the entring. Here we filled water, and after set saile.
The 8 day we sailed along the shore and came to the red cliffes, and went
forward in sailing the 9 day also.
The 10 day we came together to confer with captaine Blundel Admiral of the
French ships, Ierom Baudet his vice admiral, and Iohn de Orleans master of
a ship of 70 tunne, and with their marchants, and agreed that when God
should send vs to any place where wee might make sale, that we should be of
one accord and not one of vs hurt the market of the other, but certaine of
our boates to make the price for all the rest, and then one boate to make
sale for euery shippe. This night our boats going to the shore met with
certaine Negros, who said that they had gold, and therefore we here cast
The 11 day all the day we tooke but one halfe angel weight of 4 graines,
which we tooke by hand, for the people of this place had no weight: the
Negros called this place Allow.
The 12 day we ran along the coast and found but one towne, but no boates
would come out to vs, and therefore we went our course.
The 13 day I tooke my boat and went along the shore, and passed by diuers
small townes, and was waued to come on shore at 3 places, but the sea went
so high vpon the shore, that it was not possible for vs to land, neither
could they come to vs if they had had boats, as I could see none but at one
place, where there was one that would haue come vnto vs, but the Land-wash
went so sore that it ouerthrew his boat, and one of the men was drowned,
which the people lamented, and cried so sore, that we might easily heare
them, and they got his body out of the sea, and caried it amongst them to
[Sidenote: The castle of Mina.] The 14 day we came within Saker-shot of the
castle, and straightway they set forth an Almade to descry vs, and when
they perceiued that we were no Portugals, they ranne within the towne
againe: for there is a great towne by the Castle which is called by the
Negros Dondou. Without this there lie two great rockes like Ilands, and the
castle standeth vpon a point which sheweth almost like an Iland. Before we
came at this castle, we found the land for fiue or six leagues to be high
land, and about seuen leagues before we came to the castle, lowe land,
vntil we came at the castle, and then wee found the land high againe. This
castle standeth about fiue leagues to the East of Cape de Tres puntas. Here
I tooke the boate with our Negros and ranne alongst the shore till I came
to the Cape and found two small townes, but no boates at them, neither any
traffique to be had. At these places our Negros did vnderstand them well,
and one of them went ashore at all the places and was well receiued of
them. This night we ankred at the Cape de Tres puntas.
The 15 day I tooke our boat and went along the shore, and about 3 leagues
beyond the Eastermost part of the Cape we found a faire Bay where we ran
in, and found a smal towne and certaine boates which belonged to the same
towne, but the Negros in a long time would not come to vs, but at the last
by the perswasion of our owne Negros, one boat came to vs, and with him we
sent George our Negro a shore, and after he had talked with them, they came
aboard our boates without feare, and I gaue to their captaine a bason, and
two strings of Margarets, and they shewed vs about 5 duckats weight of
gold, but they required so much for it that wee would not take it, because
the Frenchman and we had agreed to make price of our goods all in one boat,
and the price being made then euery man to sell in his owne boat, and no
man to giue more then the price which should be set by vs al. This place is
called Bulle, and here the Negros were very glad of our Negros, and shewed
them all the friendship they could, when they had told them that they were
the men that were taken away being now againe brought by vs.
The Negros here shewed vs that a moneth since there were 3 ships that
fought together, and the two shippes put the other to flight: and before
that at the castle of Mina there were 4 ships of the Portugals which met
with one Frenchman, which Frenchman caused them all to flee, which shippe
we tooke to be the Roebarge: for the Frenchmen of our company iudged her to
be thereabout that time with her pinnasse also. And further, that after her
went a shippe of twelue score named the Shaudet all alone, and after her a
ship of fourescore, and both for the Mina. And there were two others also
which they left, one at Cape Verde called the Leuriere of Diepe, and
another at the riuer De Sestos, besides these 3 which all this time be in
our company, whose names be these:
The Espoier of Hableneff which is the Admirall, whose captaine is Denis
The Leuriere of Roan Viceadmirall, whose master is Ierome Baudet.
The other is of Hunfleur whose master is called Iohn de Orleans.
The sixteenth day I went along the shore with two pinasses of the
Frenchmen, and found a Baie and a fresh riuer, and after that went to a
towne called Hanta, twelue leagues beyond the Cape. At this towne our
Negros were well knowen, and the men of the towne wept for ioy when they
saw them, and demanded of them where Anthonie and Binne had bene: and they
told them that they had bene at London in England, and should bee brought
home the next voyage. So after this, our Negros came aboord with other
Negros which brought a weight with them, which was so small that wee could
not giue them the halfe of that which they demaunded for it.
The Negros here told vs that there were fiue Portugall shippes at the
Castle, and one pinnasse, and that the Portugals did much harme to their
Countrey, and that they liued in feare of them, and we told them againe,
that we would defend them from the Portugals whereof they were very glad.
The 17 day we went a shoare and the Frenchmen with vs, but did no great
good, the Negros were so vnreasonable, we sold 80. Manellios for one ounce
[Sidenote: The Negros brought home by our men.] Then wee departed and went
to Shamma, and went into the riuer with fiue boates well appointed with men
and ordinance, and with our noises of trumpets and drummes, for we thought
here to haue found some Portugals but there were none: so wee sent our
Negros on shoare, and after them went diuers of vs, and were very well
receiued, and the people were very glad of our Negros, specially one of
their brothers wiues, and one of their aunts, which receiued them with much
ioy, and so did all the rest of the people, as if they had bene their
naturall brethren: we comforted the captaine and told him that hee should
not feare the Portugals, for wee would defend him from them: whereupon we
caused our boats to shoote off their bases and harquebusses, and caused our
men to come on shore with their long bowes, and they shot before the
captaine, which he, with all the rest of the people, wondred much at,
specially to see them shoot so farre as they did, and assaied to draw their
bowes but could not. When it grew to be late, we departed to our ships, for
we looked euery houre for the Portugals. And here the Negros shewed vs that
there was an English ship at the Mina, which had brought one of the Negros
againe, which Robert Gaynsh tooke away.
The 18 day we went into the riuer with no lesse strength then before, and
concluded with the Negros to giue them for euery Fuffe two yardes and three
nailes of Cloth, and to take for it one angel-duckat: so that we tooke in
all 70 Duckats, whereof the Frenchmen had fortie, and wee thirtie.
The nineteenth day wee went a shore euery man for himselfe, and tooke a
good quantitie of gold, and I for my part tooke foure pound and two ounces
and a halfe of gold, and our Hartes boate tooke one and twentie ounces. At
night the Negros shewed vs that the next day the Portugals would be with vs
by land or by Sea: and when we were ready to depart, we heard diuers
harquebusses shoote off in the woods by vs which wee knew to bee Portugals,
which durst come no neerer to vs, but shot off in the woods to see if they
could feare vs and so make vs to leaue our traffique.
The 20 day we manned our fiue boats, and also a great boat of the
Frenchmens with our men and the Admirals, 12 of them in their murrians and
corsets, and the rest all well appoynted, with foure trumpets, a drumme and
a Fife, and the boate all hanged with streamers of Silke and pendants very
faire, and went into the riuer and traffiqued, our man of warre lying off
and on in the riuer to waft vs, but we heard no more of the Portugals. This
day the Negros told vs that there were certain ships come into Hanta, which
towne is about two leagues to the Westward of this place.
This 21 day we manned our boats againe and went to a place a league from
this to the Westwards, and there found many Negros with another Captaine,
and sold at the same rate that wee had done with the others.
The 22 day we went ashore againe and traffiqued in like sort quietly, and I
tooke 4 pound and six ounces of gold.
The 23 day about night the Negros with their captaine came to vs and told
vs that the king of Portugals ships were departed from the Castle, meaning
the next day to plie to the windward to come to vs, giuing vs warning to
take heed to our selues: we told them againe that wee were very glad of
their comming, and would be ready at all times to meet them, and to assure
them that wee were glad of it, wee sounded our trumpets, and shot off
certaine bases whereof the Negros were very glad, and requested vs that if
the Portugals sought to hinder our traffique, to shew them all the
extremitie that we could, promising vs that if they came by land, they
would aduertise vs thereof.
The 24 we went a shore with our trumpets and drummes, and traffiqued, and I
bade the captaine of the towne to dinner.
[Sidenote: Fiue sailes of Portingals descried.] The 25 day we being a
shore, our ships had descried fiue sailes of the king of Portugals, and our
ships shot off ordinance to call vs away, and we threw euery man his caske
ashore for water, and went to our ships, and by that time we had weighed
and giuen order one to another what to do, it was night, so that that night
nothing was done. We set saile and lay close all night to get the wind if
we could: we were neere some of them, and one shot off a piece which wee
iudged to be the Admirall of the Portugals, to cause the rest to come and
speake with him: so all this night we made our selues ready for fight.
The 26 we came in with the shore and had sight of the Portugals where they
rid at anker, and we bare with them, and we gaue all our men white
scarffes, to the ende that the Frenchmen might know one the other if we
came to boording: but the night came vpon vs that we could not fetch them,
but we ankered within demie-Culuering shot of them.
[Sidenote: The fight with the Portugals.] The 27 day we weighed and so did
the Portugals, and about eleuen of the clocke wee had the wind of them, and
then we went roome with them, which when they pereeiued, they kept about to
the shore againe, and wee after them, and when they were so neere the shore
that they could not well runne any further on that boord, they kept about
againe, and lay to the Seaward, and then we kept about with them, and were
a head of them, and tooke in our topsailes and taried for them: and the
first that came vp was a small barke which sailed so well that she cared
not for any of vs, and caried good ordinance: and as soone as she came vp,
she shot at vs, and ouershot vs, and then she shot at the Admirall of the
Frenchmen, and shot him through in two or three places, and went forth a
head of vs, because we were in our fighting sailes: then came vp another
carauell vnder our Lee in like case which shot at vs and at the Frenchman,
and hurt two of his men and shot him through the maine maste. And after
them came vp the Admirall vnder our Lee also, but he was not able to doe vs
so much harme as the small shippes, because he caried ordinance higher then
they, neither were we able to make a good shot at any of them, because our
shippe was so weake in the side, that she laid all her ordinance in the
Sea: [Sidenote: The French forsake our men.] wherefore we thought to lay
the great ship aboord, and as soone as the French Admirall went roome with
him, be fell a sterne and could not fetch him, and after he fell asterne of
two carauels more and could fetch none of them, but fell to Leeward of them
all: and when he was to Leeward, he kept about to the shoreward, and left
vs, and then we put out our topsailes and gaue them chase, and both the
other Frenchmen kept the wind, and would not come neere vs, and our owne
ship was a sterne so that she could not come to vs: and after we had
folowed them about two houres to the seaward, they kept about againe
towards the shore, thinking to pay vs as they went along by, and to haue
the wind of the French Admirall which before ran in towards the shore, and
we kept about with them, and kept still the wind of them thinking that our
Viceadmiral and the other would haue folowed vs as wee willed them to do:
but after that the Portugall was past by them, and euery one had shot at vs
and our Viceadmirall, both our Viceadmirall and the two Frenchmen, and our
owne pinnasse left vs in the laps, and ran to seaward, and we ran still
along, and kept the wind of them to succour the French Admirall, who was
vnder all of their Lees, and when they met with him, euery one went roome
with him, and gaue him the broad side, and after they cast about againe,
and durst not boord him, because they sawe vs in the weather of them, or
els without doubt they had taken or sunke them, for three of them which
were the smallest went so fast that it was not possible for a ship to boord
them, and caried such ordinance that if they had had the weather of vs,
they would haue troubled 3 of the best ships that we had, and as for their
Admirall and Viceadmirall they were both notablie appointed.
When the Frenchman was cleare of them, hee laie as neere the winde as hee
could, and wee followed them still towardes the shore, and there the
Admirall ranne to Sea after the rest, and left vs all alone: and when the
Portugals perceiued that we were alone, and gaue them chase, they kept
about with vs and we with them, to keepe the wind of them, and we ranne
still within base shot of them, but they shot not at vs, because we had the
weather of them, and sawe that they could do vs no hurt: and thus we
folowed one another vntil night, and in the night we lost them, but as for
all the rest of our ships, they packed on all the sailes that they could
and ranne to sea, and as they themselues confesse, they praied for vs, but
as for helpe at their hands we could haue none.
The 28 day we met with our Viceadmirall, our pinnasse, and two of the
Frenchmen, and the third was fled which was a ship of fourscore tunne, and
belonged to Roan: and when I had the sight of the rest of our ships, I
tooke our skiffe and went to them to know why they lost vs in such a case,
and Iohn Kire made me answere that his ship would neither reare nor steere,
and as for the pinnasse, Iohn Dauis made me answere that she would doe
nothing, and that he could cary her no further, for her rudder was broken,
so that the Hart was glad to towe her. Then I went to the French Admirall,
and found himselfe to be a man of good stomacke, but the one halfe of his
men were sicke and dead: and then I talked with the smaller Frenchman, and
hee made me answere that he could doe nothing, saying, that his ship would
beare no saile, and had 16 of his men dead and sicke, so he made vs plaine
answere that he was able to doe nothing. After this the Frenchman durst not
anker for feare of the Portugales.
The 29 day the master of the pinnasse came to vs and sayd that they were
not able to keepe her any longer, and then wee viewed her and seeing there
was no remedie, her rudder with all the iron worke being broken both aloft
and belowe, wee agreed to breake her vp and to put the men into the Hart.
So wee tooke out of her foure bases, one anker, and certaine fire wood, and
set her on fire, and afterwards ran along the coast.
The thirtie day we went in to the shore, and spake with certaine Negros,
who told vs that some French shippes had bene there, but wee could not
bargaine with them they were so vnreasonable.
The 31 day I went to shore but did not traffike.
The 1 day of Februarie we weighed, seeing we could not bring the Negros to
any reason, and came to another place which standeth vpon an hill.
The third day I went to a towne foure leagues from vs, and shot off two
pieces, and the Captaine came to vs, and I sent Thomas Rippen a land who
knew the Captaine, and assoone as he came on shore, the Captaine knew him
and diuers of the Negros who then began to aske for mee, and hauing told
the Captaine that I was in the boate, hee made no longer tarying but by and
by caused two boates to be put to the Sea, and came to me himselfe, and
when he sawe me, he cryed to me before hee came to the boat and seemed to
be the gladdest man aliue, and so did all the companie that knew mee, and I
gaue him a reward as the maner of the Countrey is, and caused the Frenchman
to giue another, promising the next day to giue him wine: and that night
because it was late, he would not talke of any price but left me a pledge,
and tooke another of me and so departed.
The 4 day going on shore, I found that the ships of France which had bin
there, had done much hurt to our markets but yet I tooke fiue ounces and a
halfe of gold.
The fift day I tooke eight ounces and one eight part of gold: but I saw
that the Negros perceiued the difference in Cloth betwixt ours and that
which the Frenchmen had, which was better, and broader then ours: and then
I told captaine Blundel that I would goe to the Leeward, because I
perceiued that being there where his Cloth was sold, I should do no good,
whereof hee was sorie.
The 6 day there came an almade and Negros aboord me, requesting me to come
to their towne for they had much gold and many marchants: and so I went and
found their old Captaine gone, and another in his place: but this night wee
did no good, because the marchants were not come downe: so he required a
pledge which I let him haue, and tooke another of him.
The 7 day George our Negro came to vs, who had followed vs at the least 30
leagues in a small boat, and when he came, the Negros and we soone
concluded of price. I tooke this day fiue pound and one ounce, and 3
quarters of gold. This Negro we had left at Shamma at the time of the
fight, who said that he saw the fight being on shore, and that when we were
gone from the Portugals, the Portugals came into their riuer, and told them
that the Englishmen had slaine two Portugals with a piece, which was in
deed out of our ship, and they required harbour there, but the captaine of
Shamma would not suffer them.
The 8 day we tooke nineteene pound three ounces and a halfe.
The 9 day we tooke two pound six ounces and a halfe.
The 10 day three pound.
[Sidenote: The Frenchmen bridled by the English.] The 11 day came to vs
Ierome Bawdet the Viceadmiral of the Frenchmen and his pinnasse, and he
shewed vs that where we left them there was no good to be done, and sayd he
would goe to the Eastward, but we told him hee should not: and thereupon
commaunded him to goe to his company which he was appointed to bee with,
which hee refused to doe vntill wee had shot three or foure pieces at their
pinnasse, and when the ship sawe that, she kept about, and ranne to
Seaward, and durst come no neerer to vs, so the pinnasse went after her. We
tooke this day one pound fiue ounces.
The 12 day there came one of the Frenchmens pinnasses to vs laden with
cloth, and would haue made sale, but I would not suffer him, and therefore
tooke him and sent him aboord of our ship, and caused him to ride there all
day. We tooke fiue pound six ounces and a halfe.
The 14 day we tooke of some Negros 4 ounces of gold.
The 16 we came to another towne.
The 17 day I went a shore and vnderstood that 3 of the Portugall ships were
at the Castle, and the other two at Shamma. The captaine of this towne was
gone to the principall towne, to speake with their king, and would returne
shortly as they told me, and so he did, and brought me a weight and
measure, and I sent a man to see that principall towne, and their king. The
Portugall ships rid so neere vs, that within 3 houres they might be with
vs, yet were all contented to tary for sales.
The 18 day certaine of the kings seruants came to vs, and we tooke one
pound two ounces, and one eight part of gold.
The 10 day we tooke fiue pound one ounce.
The 20 day one pound and foure ounces.
The 21 I tooke foure pound and one ounce, and the Negroes enquired for fine
cloth, and I opened two pieces which were not fine enough, as they sayd,
but seeing that we had no other, they bought of them. At night I prouided a
gift, or present, and sent one marchant and a mariner with it to the king,
to certifie him of our want of victuals, by reason whereof we could not
stay long: for in deed we searched our ship, and the most part of our beere
was leaked out of all our barrels.
The 22 day we tooke three ounces and a halfe.
[Sidenote: The offer of the king to the English to build a Fort.] The 23
our men came from the king Abaan, and told vs, that he had receiued them
very friendly, but he had litle gold, but promised, if we would tary, to
send into all his countrey for gold for vs, and he willed our men at their
comming home to speake to our king to send men and prouision into his
countrey, to build a castle, and to bring Tailors with them, to make them
apparell, and good wares, and they should be sure to sell them: but for
that present the Frenchmen had filled them full of cloth.
This towne standeth about foure leagues vp in the land, and is by the
estimation of our men, as big in circuit as London, but the building is
like to the rest of the countrey. They haue about this Towne great store of
the wheate of the Countrey, and they iudge, that on one side of the towne
there were one thousand rikes of Wheate, and another sorte of Corne which
is called Mill, which is much vsed in Spaine.
[Sidenote: A pretie deuise to descrie the enemie.] About this towne they
keepe good watch euery night, and haue to warne the watchmen certaine
cordes made fast ouer their wayes which lead into the town, and certaine
bels vpon them, so that if any man touch the cordes, the bels ring, and
then the watchmen runne foorth of their watch houses to see what they be:
and if they be enemies, if they passe the cord, they haue prouision with
certaine nets hanged ouer the wayes, where they must passe, to let fall
vpon them, and so take them, and otherwise then by the wayes it is not
possible to enter the towne, by reason of the thickets and bushes which are
about the same, and the towne is also walled round about with long cords,
and bound together with sedge and certaine barkes of tree.
[Sidenote: The kings friendly entertainment of our men.] When our men came
to the towne, it was about fiue of the clock in the morning, for there they
trauell alwayes in the night by reason of the heate of the day: and about
nine of the clocke, the king sent for them, for there may no man come to
him before he be sent for, and then they would haue carried their present
with them: but the Negros told them, that they must bee three times brought
before him, before they might offer their gift: and when they came to him,
he talked with them, and receiued them very friendly and kept them about
half an hour, and then they departed, and after that sent for them againe
three times, and last of all, they brought him their present, which he
receiued thankfully, and then caused a pot of wine of Palme to be brought
foorth, and made them drinke: and before they drinke, both here and in all
the Countrey, they vse certaine ceremonies.
[Sidenote: Their ceremonies in drinking.] First, they bring foorth their
pot of drinke, and then they make a hole in the ground, and put some of the
drinke into it, and they cast the earth vpon it, which they digged forth
before, and then they set the pot vpon the same, then they take a little
thing made of a goord, and with that they take out of the same drinke, and
put it vpon the ground in three places, and in diuers places they haue
certaine bunches of the pils of Palme trees set in the ground before them,
and there they put in some drinke, doing great reuerence in all places to
the same Palme trees.
All these ceremonies first done, the king tooke a cup of gold, and they put
him in wine, and hee dranke of it, and when he dranke, the people cried all
with one voice, Abaan, Abaan, with certaine other words, like as they cry
commonly in Flanders, vpon the Twelfe night, The kinning [sic--KTH] drinks:
and when he had drunke, then they gaue drinke to euery one, and that done,
the king licensed them to depart, and euery one that departeth from him
boweth 3 times towards him, and waueth with both hands together, as they
bow, and then do depart. The king hath commonly sitting by him 8 or 10
ancient men with gray beards.
This day we tooke one pound and 10 ounces of gold.
The 24 day we tooke 3 pound and 7 ounces.
The 25 we tooke 3 ounces and 3 quarters.
The 26 day we tooke 2 pound and 10 ounces.
The 27 two pound and fiue ounces.
The 28 foure pound, and then seeing that there was no more gold to be had,
we weighed and went foorth.
The first day of March we came to a towne called Mowre, but we found no
boats nor people there: but being ready to depart, there came two Almades
to vs from another towne, of whom we tooke two ounces and a halfe of gold:
and they tolde vs that the Negros that dwelled at Mowre were gone to dwell
The second day we came thwart of the castle, and about two leagues off, and
there saw all the fiue Portugall ships at anker, and this day by night we
[Sidenote: Ships of Portugall.] The third day we had sight of one tall
ship, of about two hundred tunnes in the weather of vs, and within lesse
then two leagues of our ships, and then we saw two more a sterne of her,
the one a ship of fiue hundred or more, and the other a pinnesse: and these
were a new fleet at that present arriued out of Portugall. Whereupon we
wayed, and made shift to double out of the land, and then the winde comming
to the South-southwest, the Hart going roome with them fell three leagues
to the leewards of vs. These Portugals gaue vs the chase from nine of the
clocke in the morning, till fiue at night, but did no good against vs. At
last, we perceiuing the Admirall to be farre a sterne of his company,
because his maine topmast was spent, determined to cast about againe with
them, because we were sure to weather them, and the winde being as it was,
it was our best course: but the Hart was so farre to the leeward, that we
could not doe it, except we would lose her company, so that we tooke in
some of our sailes, and went roome with him: which when he perceiued, he
looffed to, and was able to lie as neere as he did before. At night, when
we came to him, he would not speake to vs: then we asked of his company why
he went so roome; and they made excuse that they were able to beare no
saile by, for feare of bearing their foretopmast ouer boord: but this was a
The fourth day, being put from our watring place we began to seethe our
meat in salt water, and to rebate our allowance of drinke, to make it
indure the longer: and so concluded to set our course thence, for our owne
The 12 of March I found my selfe thwart of Cape das Palmas.
The 16 day we fell with the land, which we iudged to be the Cape Mensurado,
about which place is very much high land.
The 18 day we lost sight of the Hart, and I thinke the willfull Master ran
in with the shore of purpose to lose vs, being offended that I tolde him of
his owne folly.
[Sidenote: Two small Ilands by Sierra Leona. Note.] The 27 day we fell in
sight of two small Islands, which lie by our reckoning sixe leagues off the
headland of Sierra Leona: and before we came in sight of the same Ilands,
we made our reckoning to be forty or thirty leagues at the least off them.
Therefore all they that saile this way are to regard the currents which set
Northnorthwest, or els they may be much deceiued.
The 14 of April we met with two great ships of Portugall, which although
they were in the weather of vs, yet came not roome with vs, whereby we
iudged that they were bound for Calicut.
The 18 day we were in the heigth of Cape verde.
The 24 we were directly vnder the tropike of Cancer.
The first day of May Henry Wilson our Steward died: and the next day died
[Sidenote: A French brauado.] The 23 we had sight of a shippe in the
weather of vs, which was a Frenchman of 90 tunne, who came with vs as
stoutly and as desperately as might be, and comming neere vs perceiued that
we had bene vpon a long voyage, and iudging vs to be weake, as in deed we
were, came neerer vs, and thought to haue layed vs aboord, and there stept
vp some of his men in armour, and commanded vs to strike saile: whereupon
we sent them some of our stuffe, crossebarres, and chaineshot, and arrowes,
so thicke, that it made the vpper worke of their shippe flit about their
eares, and then we spoiled him with all his men, and toare his shippe
miserably with our great ordinance, and then he began to fall a sterne of
vs, and to packe on his sailes, and get away: and we seeing that, gaue him
foure or fiue good pieces more for his farewell; and thus we were rid of
this French man, who did vs no harme at all. We had aboord vs a French man
a Trumpeter, who being sicke, and lying in his bed, tooke his trumpet
notwithstanding, and sounded till he could sound no more, and so died.
The 28 we conferred together, and agreed to go into Seuerne, and so to
Bristoll, but the same night we had sight of the Lizard, and by reason of
the winde, we were not able to double the lands end to go into Seuerne, but
were forced to beare in with the Lizard.
The 29 day, about nine of the clocke in the morning, we arriued safely in
Plimmouth, and praised God for our good arriuall.
* * * * *
The third and last voyage of M. William Towrson to the coast of Guinie, and
the Castle de Mina, in the yeere 1577.
The thirtieth day of Ianuary, the yeere abouesayd, we departed out of the
sound of Plimmouth, with three ships, and a pinnesse, whereof the names are
1 The Minion Admirall of the fleet.
2 The Christopher Viceadmirall.
3 The Tyger.
4 A pinnesse called the Vnicorne: being all bound for the Canaries, and
from thence, by the grace of God, to the coast of Guinie.
The next day, being the last of this moneth, [Marginal note: It is to be
vnderstood, that at this time there was warre betwixt England and France.]
we met with two hulks of Dantzick, the one called the Rose, a ship of foure
hundred tunnes, and the other called the Vnicorne, of an hundred and fifty
tunnes, the Master of the Rose was called Nicholas Masse, and the Master of
the Vnicorne Melchior White, both laden at Bourdeaux, and for the most part
with wines. When we came to them, we caused them to hoise foorth their
boats, and to come and speake with vs, and we examined euery one of them
apart, what French mens goods they had in their shippes, and they said they
had none: but by the contrarieties of their tales, and by the suspicion
which we gathered of their false chartar-parties, we perceiued that they
had French mens goods in them: we therefore caused one of them to fetch vp
his bils of lading, and because he denied that he had any, we sent certaine
with him, who caused him to goe to the place where he had hid them, and by
the differences of his billes of lading, and his talke, we gathered, as
before, that they had Frenchmens goods. Whereupon we examined them
straightly, and first the Purser of the Vnicorne, which was the smaller
shippe, confessed that they had two and thirty tunnes and a hogs-head of a
French mans. Then we examined the Master in like case, and he acknowledged
the same to be true. Then we examined also the Master of the great ship,
and he confessed that he had an hundred and eight and twenty tunnes of the
same French mans, and more they would not confesse, but sayd that all the
rest was laden by Peter Lewgues of Hamburg, to be deliuered to one Henry
Summer of Camphire, notwithstanding all their letters were directed to
Hamburg, and written in Dutch without, and within in French.
When they had confessed that they had thus much French mens goods within
their shippes, we conferred together what was best to be done with them.
William Cretton and Edward Selman were of the opinion, that it should be
good either to carry them into Spaine, and there to make sale of the goods,
or els into Ireland, or to returne backe againe into England with them, if
the winde would permit it. But I, waying what charge we had of our Masters,
first by mouth, and afterwards by writing, that for no such matter we
should in any case prolong the time, for feare of losing the voyage, and
considering that the time of the yeere was very farre spent, and the money
that we should make of the wines not very much, in respect of the commodity
which we hoped for by the voyage, perswaded them that to goe into Ireland,
the winde being Easterly as it was, might be an occasion that we should be
locked in there with that winde, and so lose our voyage: and to cary them
into Spaine, seeing they sailed so ill, that hauing all their sailes
abroad, we kept them company onely with our foresailes, and without any
toppe sailes abroad, so that in euery two dayes sailing they would haue
hindered vs more then one; and besides that (the winde being Easterly) we
should not be able to seaze the coast with them: besides all this the losse
of time when we came thither was to be considered, whereupon I thought it
not good to carry them any further.
And as for carying them into England, although the winde had bene good, as
it was not, considering what charge we had of our Masters, to shift vs out
of the way for feare of a stay by reason of the warres, I held it not in
any wise conuenient.
But notwithstanding all this, certeine of our company not being herewith
satisfied went to our Master to know his opinion therein, who made them a
plaine answere, that to cary them into any place, it was not the best way
nor the profit of their Masters. And he tolde them further, that if the
time were prolonged, one moneth longer before they passed the Cape, but a
few men would go the voyage. [Sidenote: The French mens goods seazed in the
time of the warre vpon the losse of Cales.] All these things considered, we
all paused, and determined at the last, that euery man should take out of
the hulks so much as he could well bestow for necessaries, and the next
morning to conclude what should be further done with them. So we tooke out
of them for vs foureteene tunnes and a halfe of wine, and one tunne we put
into the pinnesse.
More we tooke out one hogshead of Aquauitae.
Sixe cakes of rozzen.
A small halser for ties: and certeine chestnuts.
The Christopher tooke out,
Ten tunnes of wine, and one hogshead.
A quantity of Aquauitae.
Sixe double bases with their chambers.
And then men broke vp the hulks chests, and tooke out their compasses, and
running glasses, the sounding leade and line, and candles: and cast some of
their beefe ouer board, and spoiled them so much, that of very pity we gaue
them a compasse, a running glasse, a leade and a line, certaine bread and
candles, but what apparel of theirs we could finde in their ship, we gaue
them againe, and some money also of that which William Crompton tooke for
the ransome of a poore Frenchman, who being then Pilot downe the Riuer of
Bordeux, they were not able to set him a shore againe, by reason of the
The Tyger also tooke out of the smaller hulke sixe or seuen tunnes of wine,
one hogshead of Aquauitae, and certeine rozzen, and two bases he tooke out
of the great hulke.
The first day of February in the morning we all came together againe sauing
W. Crompton who sent vs word mat he was contented to agree to that order
which we should take.
Now Edward Selman was of this opinion, that it was not best to let the
ships depart, but put men into them to cary them into England, which thing
neither we nor our Master would agree vnto, because we thought it not good
to vnman our ships going outward, considering how dangerous the time was:
so that in fine we agreed to let them depart, and giue them the rest of the
wine which they had in their ships of the Frenchmens for the fraight of
that which we had taken, and for their ordinance, rozzen, aquauitae,
chesnuts, and other things which the company had taken from them. So we
receiued a bill of their handes, that they confessed how much Frenchmens
goods they had, and then we let them depart.
The 10 day we reckoned our selues to be 25 leagues from the Grand Canarie,
and this day about nine of the clocke our pinnesse brake her rudder, so
that we were forced to towe her at the sterne of the Minion, which we were
able to doe, and yet kept company with the rest of our ships. About eleuen
of the clocke this day we had sight of the Grand Canarie.
The 11 day when we came to the Iland we perceiued that it was the Ile of
Tenerif, and then indeed wee had sight of the Grand Canarie, which lieth 12
leagues to the Eastwards of Tenerif: and because the road of Tenerif is
foule ground, and nothing was there to be gotten for the helping of our
pinnesse, hauing the winde long, we agreed to go with the Grand Canarie.
The 12 day we came into the roade of the towne of Canarie, which lieth one
league from the same towne. And after we had shot off diuers pieces of
ordinance to salute the towne and the castle, the gouernour and captiues of
the Iland sent to vs which were the captaines of the ships, requiring vs to
come a shoare.
[Sidenote: Two English Marchants Legiers in the Grand Canary.] And when we
came to them they receiued vs very friendly, offering vs their owne Iennets
to ride to the towne, and what other friendship they could shew vs: and we
went to the towne with two English Marchants which lay there, and remained
in their house that day. The second day following we came aboord to deliuer
our marchandise, and to get our pinnesse mended.
The 14 day came into the road the Spanish fleet which was bound to the
Emperours Indies, which were in number nineteene saile, whereof sixe were
ships of foure hundred and fiue hundred a piece, the rest were of two
hundred, an hundred and fifty, and of an hundred. When they were come to an
ancre they saluted vs with ordinance, and so we did them in like case. And
afterwards the Admirall (who was a knight) sent his pinnesse to desire me
to come to him; and when I came to him he receiued me friendly, and was
desirous to heare somewhat of the state of England and Flanders. And after
he had me a banquet, I departed; and I being gone vnto the boat, hee caused
one of his gentlemen to desire Francisco the Portugall, which was my
interpreter, to require me to furle my flagge, declaring that hee was
Generall of the Emperours fleet. Which thing (being come aboord) Francisco
shewed me: and because I refused to furle it, and kept it foorth still,
certaine of the souldiers in the ships shot diuers harquebush shot about
the ship, and ouer the flagge: and at the same time there came certeine
gentlemen aboord our ship to see her: to whom I sayd, that if they would
not cause those their men to leaue shooting, I would shoot the best
ordinance I had thorow their sides. And when they perceuied that I was
offended, they departed, and caused their men of warre and souldiers to
shoot no more, and afterwards they came to me againe, and tolde me that
they punished their men. That done, I shewed them the ship, and made them
such cheere as I could, which they receiued very thankfully: and the day
following they sent for mee to dine with them, and sent me word that their
General was very sory that any man should require me to furle my flagge,
and that it was without his consent: and therefore he requested me not to
thinke any vngentlenesse to be in him, promising that no man of his should
The 17 day we set saile in the road of Grand Canarie, and proceeded on our
The 20 in the morning we had sight of the coast of Barbarie, and running
along the shore we had sight of Rio del Oro, which lieth almost vnder the
tropike of Cancer.
The 21 day we found our selues to be in 20 degrees and a halfe, which is
the heigth of Cape Blank.
The 25 we had sight of the land in the bay to the Northward of Cape Verde.
[Sidenote: Cape verde. Foure Ilands.] The 26 I tooke Francisco and Francis
Castelin with me, and went into the pinnesse, and so went to the Tyger
which was neerer the shore then the other ships, and went aboord her, and
with her and the other ships we ranne West and by South, and West
southwest, vntill about foure of the clocke, at which time we were hard
aboord the Cape, and then we ran in Southwest, and beyond the Cape about
foure leagues we found a faire Iland, and besides that two or three Ilands,
which were of very high rocks being full of diuers sorts of sea foule, and
of pigeons, with other sorts of land-foules, and so many, that the whole
Iland was couered with the dung thereof, and seemed so white as if the
whole Iland had bene of chalke; and within those Ilands was a very faire
bay, and hard aboord the rocks eighteene fadom water, and faire ground.
[Sidenote: A great trade of the Frenchmen at Cape verde.] And when we
perceiued the bay, and vnderstanding that the Frenchmen had a great trade
there, which we were desirous to know, we came to an ancre with the Tyger.
And after that the Minion and the Christopher ancred in like case: then we
caused the pinnesse to runne beyond another Cape of land, to see if there
were any place to trade in there.
It being neere night I took our cocke and the Tygers skiffe, and went to
the Iland, where we got certaine foules like vnto Gannards: and then I came
aboord againe and tooke two of the Gannards which we had taken, and caried
them to the captaine of the Christopher, and when I had talked with him I
found him not willing to tary there, neither was I desirous to spend any
long time there, but onely to attempt what was to be done. The Master of
the Christopher told me he would not tary, being not bound for that place.
[Sidenote: A faire Iland where the French trade.] The 27 the Captaine of
the Tyger and Edward Selman came to me, and Iohn Makeworth from the
Christopher, and then we agreed to take the pinnessse, and to come along
the shore, because that where we rid no Negros came to vs, and the night
before our pinnesse brought vs word that there was a very faire Iland. And
when I came beyond the point I found it so, and withall a goodly bay, and
we saw vpon the maine certaine Negros which waued vs on shore, and then we
came to an ancre with the pinnesse, and went a shore with our cocke, and
they shewed vs where their trade was, and that they had Elephants teeth,
muske, and hides, and offered vs to fetch downe their Captaine, if we would
send a man with them, and they would leaue a pledge for him: then we asked
him when any ship had bene there; and some of them sayd not in eight
moneths, others, in sixe moneths, and others in foure and that they were
Then we perceuing, the Christopher not willing to tary, departed from them,
and set saile with the pinnesse and went aboord the Tyger.
The 10 day of March we fell with the coast of Guinea, fiue leagues to the
Eastward of Cape de Monte, beside a riuer called Rio das Palmas.
The 11 we went to the shore, and found one man that could speake some
Portuguise, who tolde vs that there were three French ships passed by; one
of them two moneths past, and the other one moneth past. At this place I
receiued nineteene Elephants teeth, and two ounces and halfe a quarter of
The 12 we set saile to go to the riuer de Sestos.
The 13 at night we fell with the same riuer.
The 14 day we sent in our boats to take water, and rommaged our shippes,
and deliuered such wares to the Christopher and Tyger, as they had need of.
The 15 we came together, and agreed to send the Tyger to another riuer to
take in her water, and to see what she could do for graines.
After that we tooke marchandise with vs, and went into the riuer, and there
we found a Negro which was borne in Lisbone, left there by a ship of
Portugal which was burned the last yere at this riuer in fighting with
three Frenchmen: and he told vs further, that two moneths past there were
three Frenchmen at this place; and sixe weeks past there were two French
ships at the riuer: and fifteene dayes past there was one. All which ships
were gone towards the Mina. This day we tooke but few graines.
The 19 day considering that the Frenchman were gone before vs, and that by
reason of the vnholesome aires of this place foureteene of our men in the
Minion were fallen sicke, we determined to depart, and with all speed to go
to the Mina.
The 21. wee came to the riuer de Potos, where some of our boats went in for
water, and I went in with our cocke, and tooke 12 small Elephants teeth.
The 23. day, after we had taken as many teeth as we could get, about nine
of the clocke we set saile to go towards the Mina.
The 31 we came to Hanta, and made sale of certaine Manillios.
[Sidenote: They descrie fiue saile of the Portugals.] The first Aprill we
had sight of fiue saile of Portugals, wherevpon we set saile and went off
to sea to get the winde of them, which wee should haue had if the winde had
kept his ordinary course, which is all the day at the Southwest, and
West-southwest: but this day with a flaw it kept all the day at the East,
and East-southeast, so that the Portugals had the winde of vs, and came
roome with the Tyger and vs untill night, and brought themselues all saue
one, which sailed not so well as the rest, within shot of vs: then it fell
calme, and the winde came vp to the Southwest, howbeit it was neere night,
and the Christopher, by meanes of her boat, was about foure leagues to the
leewards of vs. We tacked and ranne into the weather of the Admirall, and
three more of his company, and when we were neere him we spake to him, but
he would not answere. [Sidenote: The fight.] Then we cast about and lay in
the weather of him; and casting about he shot at vs, and then wee shot at
him, and shot him foure or fiue times thorow. They shot diuers times thorow
our sailes, but hurt no man. The Tyger and the pinnesse, because it was
night, kept out their sailes, and would not meddle with them. After we had
thus fought together 2 houres or more, and would not lay him aboord because
it was night, we left shooting one at the other, and kept still the weather
of them. Then the Tyger and the pinnesse kept about and came to vs, and
afterwards being neere the shore, we three kept about and lay to the sea,
and shot off a piece to giue warning to the Christopher.
This night about 12 of the clocke, being very litle winde, and the Master
of the Tyger asleepe, by the ill worke of his men the ship fel aboord of
vs, and with her sheare-hooks cut our maine-saile, and her boat being
betwixt vs was broken and suncke, with certaine marchandise in her, and the
ships wales were broken with her outleger: yet in the ende we cleared her
without any more hurt, but she was in hazzard to be broken downe to the
The second day we had sight of the Christopher, and were neere vnto her, so
that I tooke our boat and went to her. And when I came thither, they shewed
me, that after the Portugals had left vs, they went all roome with him, and
about twelue a clocke at night met him, and shot at him, and hee at them,
and they shot him thorow the sailes in diuers places, and did no other
great hurt. And when we had vnderstood that they had bene with him as well
as with vs, we agreed altogether to seeke them (if wee might finde them)
and keepe a weather our places of traffique.
The third day we ran all day to the Southwestwards to seeke the Portugals,
but could haue no sight of them, and halled into the shore.
The fourth day, when we had sight of land, we found that the current had
set vs thirty leagues to the Eastwards of our reckoning, which we woondered
at: for the first land we made was Lagua. Then I caused our boat to be
manned, and the Christophers also, and went to the shore and tooke our
Negro with vs. And on shore we learned that there were foure French ships
vpon the coast: one at Perinnen, which is six leagues to the Westward of
Laguoa: another at Weamba, which is foure leagues to the Eastward of
Laguoa; a third at Perecow, which is foure leagues to the Eastward of
Weamba: and the fourth at Egrand, which is foure leagues to the Eastward of
When we had intelligence of these newes we agreed to go to the Eastwards
with the Frenchmen to put them from their traffique, and shot off two or
three pieces in our boats to cause the ships to way: and hauing bene about
one houre vnder saile, we had sight of one of the French men vnder saile,
halling off from Weamba to whome we gaue chase, and agreed in the night for
feare of ouershooting them, that the Minion should first come to ancre, and
after that about three houres, the Tyger and the Christopher to beare along
The 5. day we found three of the French ships at ancre: one called La foye
de Honfleur, a ship of 220 tunnes, another called the Ventereuse or small
Roebarge of Honfleur, of 100 tunnes, both appertaining to Shawdet of
Honfleur, the third was called the Mulet de Batuille a ship of 120 tunnes,
and this ship belonged to certaine Marchants of Roan.
[Sidenote: the English boord the Frenchmen.] When we came to them, we
determined to lay the Admiral aboord, the Christopher the Viceadmirall, and
the Tyger the smallest: but when we came nere them they wayed, and the
Christopher being the headmost and the weathermost man, went roome with the
Admirall: the Roebarge went so fast that wee could not fetch her. The first
that we came to was the Mullet, and her wee layed aboord, and our men
entred and tooke her, which ship was the richest except the Admirall: for
the Admirall had taken about 80 pound of golde, and Roeberge had taken but
22 pound: and all this we learned of the Frenchmen, who knew it very well:
for they were all in consort together, and had bene vpon the coast of Mina
two moneths and odde dayes: howbeit the Roebarge had bene there before them
with another ship of Diepe, and a carauel, which had beaten all the coast,
and were departed one moneth before our arriuing there, and they three had
taken about 700 pound of golde.
Assoone as we had layed the ship aboord, and left certaine men in her to
keepe her, we set saile and gaue chase to the other two ships, and chased
them all day and night, and the next day vntill three a clocke in the
afternoone, but we could not fetch them: and therefore seeing that we
brought our selues very farre to leeward of our place, we left the chase,
and kept about againe to go with the shore.
The 7 day I sent for the captaine, marchants and Masters of the other
ships, and when they came we weighed the golde which we had from the
Frenchmen, which weighed fifty pound and fiue ounces of golde: this done we
agreed to put men out of euery ship into the prise to keepe her.
The 12 day we came to the further place of the Mina called Egrand, and
being come to an ancre, discharged all the marchants goods out of the
prise, and would haue sold the ship with the victuals to the Frenchmen, but
because she was leake they would not take her, but desired vs to saue their
liues in taking them into our owne ships: then we agreed to take out the
victuals and sinke the ship, and diuide the men among our ships.
The 15 at night we made an end of discharging the prise, and diuided all
the Frenchmen except foure which were sicke and not able to helpe
themselues; which foure both the Christopher and the Tyger refused to take,
leauing them in their ship alone in the night, so that about midnight I was
forced to fetch them into our ship.
The 15 of April, moouing our company for the voyage to Benin, the most part
of them all refused it.
The 16, seeing the vnwillingnesse of the company to goe thither, we
determined to spend as much time vpon the coast as we could, to the end we
might make our voyage, and agreed to leaue the Minion here at Egrand, the
Tyger to go to Pericow which is foure leagues off, and the Christopher to
goe to Weamba, which is ten leagues to the weatherward of this place: and
if any of them both should haue sight of more sailes then they thought good
to meddle withall to come roome with their fellowes; to wit, first the
Christopher to come with the Tyger, and then both they to come with vs.
We remained in this place called Egrand, vntill the last day of April, in
which time many of our men fell sicke: and sixe of them died. And here we
could haue no traffique with the Negros but three or foure dayes in the
weeke, and all the rest of the weeke they would not come at vs.
The 3 of May not hauing the pinnesse sent vs with cloth from the other
ships, as they promised, we solde French cloth, and gaue but three yards
thereof to euery fuffe.
The 5 day the Negros departed, and told vs they would come to vs againe
within foure dayes, which we determined there to tary, although we had
diuers of our men sicke.
The 8 day, all our cloth in the Minion being sold, I called the company
together, to know whether they would tary the sale of the cloth taken in
the prise at this place or no: they answered, that in respect of the death
of some of their men, and the present sicknesse of twentie more, they would
not tary, but repaire to the other ships, of whom they had heard nothing
since the 27 of April: and yet they had our pinnesse with them, onely to
cary newes from one to another.
The 9 day we determined to depart hence to our fellowes, to see what they
had done, and to attempt what was to be done at the towne of Don Iohn.
The 10 day in the morning we sat saile to seeke the Christopher and the
The ll day the Captaine of the Christopher came to vs, and told vs that
they could finde small doings at the places where they had bene.
The 12 William Crompton and I in our small pinnesse went to the Tyger and
the Christopher at Perenine.
The 13 we sent away the Tyger to Egrand, because we found nothing to doe at
Perenine, worth the tarying for.
The 14 our great pinnesse came to vs, and presently we put cloth into her,
and sent her backe to Weamba, where she had bene before, and had taken
there ten pound of golde.
The 15 the Minion came to vs, and the next day we went a shore with our
boats, and tooke but one ounce of golde.
The 19 day hauing set saile we came to an ancre before Mowre, and there we
tarried two dayes, but tooke not an ounce of golde.
The 21 we came to an ancre before Don Iohns towne.
[Sidenote: the great towne of Don Iohn.] The 22 we manned our boats and
went to shore, but the Negros would not come at vs; then the Captaine of
the Christopher and I tooke a skiffe and eight men with vs, and went and
talked with the Negros, and they sayd that they would send a man to the
great towne, where Don Iohn himselfe lay, to aduertise him of our comming.