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canoes, pursued and overtook them. Then drawing near, poured in their darts with accurate aim. The English kept them off with their pikes and halberts, and many of the negroes being slain or wounded by the English arrows and hail-shot from the arquebuses, they retreated. But when the English had expended all their arrows, the negroes came on again, and made many attempts to board the boat. The negro chief, who was a large tall man, advanced in his canoe under cover of his target, with a poisoned dart in his hand, in order to board; and as he pressed forward, the masters-mate thrust a pike through his target and throat, which dispatched him. While the mate was striving to disengage his pike, which stuck fast in the shield, he was wounded by a dart; yet drew the dart from his flesh and killed with it the negro who had wounded him. The enemy continued the fight closer than ever, and did great mischief with their darts, which made wide and grievous wounds. The gunner received two desperate wounds, and lost a great deal of blood, and the brave masters-mate, while standing firmly in his post, was struck through the ribs by a dart, on pulling out which his bowels followed, and he fell down dead. On perceiving this, the negroes gave a great shout, and pressed to enter the boat where the mate had stood, imagining as so many of the English were wounded they would now soon yield. But four of those remaining in the pinnace kept them off with their pikes, while the other four at the oars made the best of their way to sea.

At length they got out of the river, and the negroes retired having expended all their darts. This was fortunate for the English, as six of the remaining eight were desperately wounded, one of whom was Robert Baker, the author of this narrative, and only two remained who were able to handle the oars, so that they made very slow progress to the ship, which appears to have been four leagues from the shore. When they got on board they were all so faint that none of them were able to stand. After having their wounds dressed they refreshed themselves; but as Robert Baker had more occasion for rest than food he went to bed, and when he awoke in the morning the ship was under sail for England.


_Voyage to Guinea in 1563 by Robert Baker_[286]

This relation, like the former, is written in verse, and only contains a description of two adventures that happened in the voyage, one of which proved extremely calamitous to those concerned in it, among whom was the author. From the title or preamble, we learn that the adventurers in this voyage were Sir William Gerard, Sir William Chester, Sir Thomas Lodge, Benjamin Gonson, William Winter, Lionel Ducket, Anthony Hickman, and Edward Castelin. There were two ships employed, one called the John Baptist, of which Lawrence Rondell was master, and the other the Merlin, Robert Revell master. The factors were Robert Baker, the author, Justinian Goodwine, James Gliedell, and George Gage. They set out on their voyage in November 1563, bound for Guinea and the river Sestos, but the port whence they fitted out is nowhere mentioned. After the unlucky disaster that befel him in Guinea in the year before, Baker had made a kind of poetical vow not to go near that country any more; but after his return to England, and recovery from his wounds, he soon forgot past sorrows; and being invited to undertake the voyage in quality of factor, he consented.–Astley.

[Footnote 286: Astley I. 180. Hakluyt, II. 523-531. The prose abstract here inserted is chiefly taken from Astleys collection, carefully compared with the original versified narrative in Hakluyt.–E.]

After we had been at sea two days and a night, the man from the main-top descried a sail or two, the tallest of which they immediately made up to, judging her to be the most valuable; and, as captains are in use to do[287], I hailed her to know whence she was. She answered from France, on which we _waved_ her, but she nothing dismayed, _waved_ us in return. I immediately ordered armed men aloft into the main and fore-tops, and caused powder to be laid on the poop to blow up the enemy if they should board us that way. At the sound of trumpets we began the fight, discharging both chain and bar-shot from our brazen artillery; while the Frenchmen, flourishing their swords from the main-yard, called out to us to board their ship. Willing to accept their invitation, we plied them warmly with our cannon, and poured in flights of arrows, while our arquebuses plied them from loop-holes, and we endeavoured to set their sails on fire by means of arrows and pikes carrying wildfire. I encouraged, the men to board, by handing spiced wine liberally among them, which they did with lime-pots, after breaking their nets with stones, while those of our men who were aloft entered the enemys tops, after killing those who defended them. Then cutting the ropes, they brought down the yard by the board, and those who entered the ship plied the enemy so well with their swords, that at length the remaining Frenchmen ran below deck and cried out for quarter. Having thus become masters of the ship, we carried her to the _Groin_ in Spain, or Corunna, where we sold the ship and cargo for ready money.

[Footnote 287: In these early trading voyages, the chief factor, who here appears to have been Baker, seems to have had the supreme command–Astl. I. 180. b.]

After this we proceeded on our voyage and arrived in Guinea. One day about noon, I went with eight more in a boat towards the shore to trade, meaning to dispatch my business and be back before night. But when we had got near the shore, a furious tempest sprung up, accompanied with rain and thunder, which drove the ships from their anchors out to sea; while we in the boat were forced to run along the coast in search of some place for shelter from the storm, but meeting none, had to remain all night near the shore, exposed to the thunder, rain, and wind in great jeopardy. We learnt afterwards that the ships returned next day in search of us, while we rowed forward along the coast, supposing the ships were before us, and always anxiously looked out for them; but the mist was so great that we could never see them nor they us. The ships continued, as we were told afterwards, looking out for us for two or three days; after which, concluding that we had inevitably perished in the storm, they made the best of their way for England.

Having been three days in great distress for want of food, we at length landed on the coast and exchanged some of our wares with the negroes for roots and such other provisions as they had, and then put to sea again in search of the ships, which we still supposed were before us or to leeward, wherefore we went down the coast to the eastwards. We continued in this manner ranging along shore for twelve days, seeing nothing but thick woods and deserts, full of wild beasts, which often appeared and came in crowds at sunset to the sea shore, where they lay down or played on the sand, sometimes plunging into the water to cool themselves. At any other time it would have been diverting to see how archly the elephants would fill their trucks with water, which they spouted out upon the rest. Besides deer, wild boars, and antelopes, we saw many other wild beasts, such as I had never seen before.

We often saw a man or two on the shore, who on seeing us used to come off in their almadias or canoes; when casting anchor we offered such wares as we had in the boat for fish and fresh water, or provisions of their cooking, and in this way we procured from them roots and the fruit of the palm tree, and some of their wine, which is the juice of a tree and is of the colour of whey. Sometimes we got wild honeycombs; and by means of these and other things we relieved our hunger; but nothing could relieve our grief, fatigue and want of sleep, and we were so sore depressed by the dreadful situation in which we were placed, that we were ready to die, and were reduced to extreme weakness. Having lost all hope of rejoining the ships, which we now concluded were either lost or gone homewards, we knew not how to conduct ourselves. We were in a strange and distant country, inhabited by a people whose manners and customs were entirely different from ours; and to attempt getting home in an open boat destitute of every necessary was utterly impossible. By this time we found we had passed to leeward of _Melegete_ or the grain coast, and had got to the Mina or gold coast of Guinea, as the negroes who now came on board spoke some Portuguese, and brought off their weights and scales for the purpose of trade, asking where were our ships. To this we answered, in hopes of being the better treated, that we had two ships at sea, which would be with them in a day or two.

We now consulted together how they should best proceed. If we continued at sea in our boat, exposed by day to the burning heat of the sun which sensibly consumed us by copious perspiration, and to the frequent tornadoes or hurricanes by night, accompanied with thunder, lightning and rain; which deprived us of all rest, we could not possibly long hold out. We were often three days without a morsel of food; and having sat for twenty days continually in our boat, we were in danger of losing the use of our limbs for want of exercise, and our joints were so swollen by the scurvy, that we could hardly stand upright. It was not possible for us to remain much longer in the boat in our present condition, so that it was necessary to come to some resolution, and we had only three things to choose. The first was to repair to the castle of St George del Mina, which was not far off, and give ourselves up to the Portuguese who were Christians, if we durst trust them or expect the more humanity on that account. Even the worst that could happen to us from them was to be hanged out of our misery; yet possibly they might have some mercy on us, as nine young men such as we were might be serviceable in their gallies, and if made galley slaves for life we should have victuals enough to enable us to tug at the oar, whereas now we had both to row and starve.

The next alternative was to throw ourselves upon the mercy of the negroes, which I stated was very hopeless and discouraging, as I did not see what favour could be expected from a beastly savage people, whose condition was worse than that of slaves, and who possibly might be cannibals. It was likewise difficult for us to conform ourselves to their customs, so opposite to ours; and, we could not be expected, having always lived on animal food, to confine ourselves to roots and herbs like the negroes, which are the food of wild beasts. Besides, having been always accustomed to the use of clothes, we could not for shame go naked. Even if we could get the better of that prejudice, our bodies would be grievously tormented and emaciated by the scorching heat of the sun, for want of that covering and defence to which we had been accustomed. The only other course was to stay at sea in the boat, and die miserably. Being determined to run any risk at land, rather than to continue pent up in a narrow boat, exposed to all the inclemencies of the weather day and night, and liable to be famished for want of victuals, I gave it as my opinion that we had better place confidence in the Christian Portuguese than in the negroes who lived like so many brutes. We how determined to throw ourselves on the mercy of the Portuguese, and hoisting sail shaped our course for the castle of St George del Mina; which was not above 20 leagues distant. We went on all day without stopping till late at night, when we perceived a light on shore. Concluding that this might be a place of trade, our boatswain proposed to cast anchor at this place, in hopes that we might be able to procure provisions next morning in exchange for some of our wares. This was agreed upon, and on going next morning near the shore we saw a watchhouse upon a rock, in the place whence the light had proceeded during the night, and near the watchhouse a large black cross was erected. This made us doubtful whereabout we were, and on looking farther we perceived a castle which perplexed us still more[288].

[Footnote 288: It appears in the sequel that this fort or castle had been recently erected by the Portuguese at the western point or head-land of Cape Three-points, and of which there are no notices in any of the preceding voyages on this part of the coast.–Astley, I. 132, a.]

Our doubts were quickly solved by the appearance of some Portuguese, one of whom held a white flag in his hand which he waved as inviting us to come on shore. Though we were actually bound in quest of the Portuguese, yet our hearts now failed us, and we tacked about to make from the shore. On being seen from the castle, a gun was fired at us by a negro, the ball from which fell within a yard of our boat. At length we turned towards the shore to which we rowed, meaning to yield ourselves up; but to our great surprise, the nearer we came to the shore the more did the Portuguese fire at us; and though the bullets fell thick about us we continued to advance till we got close under the castle wall, when we were out of danger from their cannon. We now determined to land in order to try the courtesy of the Portuguese, but were presently assailed by showers of stones from the castle: wall, and saw a number of negroes marching down to the beach with their darts and targets, some of them having bows and poisoned arrows. Their attack was very furious, partly from heavy stones falling into the boat which threatened to break holes in her bottom, as well as from flights of arrows which came whizzing about our ears, and even wounded some of us: Therefore being in desperation, we pushed off from the shore to return to sea, setting four of our men to row, while the other five determined to repay some part of the civility we had received, and immediately handled our fire-arms and bows. We employed these at first against the negroes on the beach, some of whom soon dropped; and then against the Portuguese who stood on the walls dressed in long white-shirts and linstocks in their hands, many of which were dyed red by means of the English arrows. We thus maintained our ground a long while, fighting at our leisure, regardless of the threats of the enemy, as we saw they had no gallies to send out to make us prisoners. When we had sufficiently revenged their want of hospitality, we rowed off, and though we knew that we must pass through another storm of bullets from the castle, we escaped without damage.

When we got out to sea, we saw three negroes rowing after us in an almadia, who came to inquire to what country we belonged, speaking good Portuguese. We told them we were Englishmen, and said we had brought wares to trade with them if they had not used us so ill. As the negroes inquired where our ship was, we said we had two at sea well equipped, which would soon come to the coast to trade for gold, and that we only waited their return. The negroes then pretended to be sorry for what had happened, and intreated us to remain where we were for that day, and promised to bring us whatever we were in want of. But placing no confidence in their words, we asked what place that was, and being answered that it was a Portuguese castle at the western head-land of Cape Three-points, we hoisted sail and put to sea, to look out for some more friendly place.

We now resolved to have no more reliance on the kindness of the Portuguese, of which we had thus sufficient experience, and to make trial of the hospitality of the negroes; for which purpose we sailed back about 30 leagues along the coast, and coming to anchor, some natives came off to the boat, to all of whom we gave presents. By this we won their hearts, and the news of such generous strangers being on the coast soon brought the kings son to our boat. On his arrival, I explained our sad case to him as well as I could by signs, endeavouring to make him understand that we were quite forlorn, having been abandoned by our ships, and being almost famished for want of food, offering him all the goods in our boat if he would take us under his protection and relieve our great distress. The negro chief was moved even to tears, and bid us be comforted. He went then on shore to know his fathers pleasure regarding us, and returning presently invited us to land. This was joyful news to us all, and we considered him as a bountiful benefactor raised up to us by the goodness of Providence. We accordingly fell to our oars in all haste to pull on shore, where at least 500 negroes were waiting our arrival; but on coming near shore the surf ran so high that the boat overset, on which the negroes plunged immediately into the water and brought us all safe on shore. They even preserved the boat and all that was in her, some swimming after the oars, and others diving for the goods that had sunk. After this they hauled the boat on shore and brought every thing that belonged to us, not daring to detain the most trifling article, so much were they in awe of the kings son, who was a stout and valiant man, and having many excellent endowments.

They now brought us such provisions as they used themselves, and being very hungry we fed heartily, the negroes all the while staring at us with much astonishment, as the common people are used to do in England at strange outlandish creatures. Notwithstanding all this apparent humanity and kindness, we were still under great apprehensions of the negroes, all of whom were armed with darts. That night we lay upon the ground among the negroes, but never once closed our eyes, tearing they might kill us while asleep. Yet we received no hurt from them, and for two days fared well; but finding the ships did not come for us, as they expected would soon have been the case, when likewise they looked to have had a large quantity of goods distributed among them in reward for their hospitality, they soon became weary of us; and after lessening our allowance from day to day, they at length left us to shift for ourselves. In this forlorn state, we had to range about the woods in search of fruits and roots, which last we had to dig from the ground with our fingers for want of any instruments. Hunger had quite abated the nicety of our palates, and we were glad to feed on every thing we could find that was eatable. Necessity soon reconciled us to going naked, for our clothes becoming rotten with our sweat fell from our backs by degrees, so that at length we had scarcely rags left to cover our nakedness. We were not only forced to provide ourselves in food, but had to find fuel and utensils to dress it. We made a pot of clay dried in the sun, in which we boiled our roots, and roasted the berries in the embers, feasting every evening on these varieties. At night we slept on the bare ground, making a great fire round us to scare away the wild beasts.

What with the entire change in our manner of living, and the heat and unhealthiness of the climate, our people sickened apace; and in a short time our original number of nine was reduced to three. To those who died it was a release from misery, but we who remained were rendered more forlorn and helpless than before. At length, when we had abandoned all hopes of relief, a French ship arrived on the coast, which took us on board and carried us to France, which was then at war with England, where we were detained prisoners.

A prisner therefore I remaine,
And hence I cannot slip
Till that my ransome be
Agreed upon and paid:
Which being levied yet so hie,
No agreement can be made.
And such is lo my chance,
The meane time to abide;
A prisner for ransome in France,
Till God send time and tide.
From whence this idle rime
To England I do send:
And thus, till I have further time, This tragedie I end.


_A Voyage to Guinea, in 1564:, by Captain David Carlet_[289].

At a meeting of merchant adventurers, held at the house of Sir William Gerard, on the 11th July 1564, for setting forth a voyage to Guinea, the following chief adventurers were present, Sir William Gerard, Sir William Chester, Sir Thomas Lodge, Anthony Hickman, and John Castelin. It was then agreed that Francis Ashbie should be sent to Deptford for his letters to Peter Pet, to go about rigging of the Minion at the charges of the queens majesty, after which Francis Ashbie was to repair with these letters to Gillingham, with money to supply our charges there.

[Footnote 289: Hakluyt, II. 531. Astley, I. 134.]

It was also agreed that every one of the five partners shall forthwith call upon their partners to supply, towards this new rigging and victualling L.29, 10s. 6d., for every L.100 value. Also that every one of the five partners shall forthwith bring in L.50, towards the furniture of the premises. Likewise, if Mr Gonson give his consent that the Merlin shall be brought round from Bristol to Hampton, that a letter shall be drawn under his hand, before order be given in the same.

The ships employed in this voyage were, the Minion belonging to the queen, David Carlet, captain, the John Baptist of London, and the Merlin belonging to Mr Gonson. The success of this voyage in part appears by certain brief relations extracted out of the second voyage of Sir John Hawkins to the West Indies, made in the year 1564, which I have thought good to set down for want of more direct information, which hitherto I have not been able to procure notwithstanding every possible endeavour[290].

[Footnote 290: This is the substance of Hakluyt’s introduction to the following brief relation of the present voyage.–E.]

* * * * *

Sir John, then only Mr Hawkins, departed from Plymouth with a prosperous wind for the West Indies, on the 18th of October 1564, having under his command the Jesus of Lubec of 700 tons, the Salomon of 140 tons, a bark named the Tiger of 50 tons, and a pinnace called the Swallow of 30 tons, having in all 170 men, well supplied with ordnance and provisions for such a voyage. While casting loose the foresail, one of the officers in the Jesus was killed by the fall of a block, giving a sorrowful beginning to the expedition. After getting ten leagues out to sea, they fell in with the Minion, a ship belonging to the queen, of which David Carlet was captain, and her consort the John Baptist of London; which two ships were bound for Guinea. The two squadrons, as they may be called, saluted each other with some pieces of ordnance, after the custom of the sea; after which the Minion parted company to seek her other consort the Merlin of London, which was out of sight astern, leaving the John Baptist in company with Hawkins.

Continuing their voyage with a prosperous wind until the 21st, a great storm arose at N.E. about 9 o’clock at night, which continued 23 hours, in which storm Hawkins lost sight of the John Baptist and of his pinnace called the Swallow, the other three ships being sore tossed by the tempest. To his great joy the Swallow joined company again in the night, 10 leagues to the north of Cape Finister, having been obliged to go _roomer_, as she was unable to weather that cape against a strong contrary wind at S.W. On the 25th, the wind still continuing contrary, he put into Ferol in Galicia, where he remained five days, and gave out proper instructions to the masters of the other ships for keeping company during the rest of the voyage.

On the 26th of the month the Minion came into Ferol, on which Mr Hawkins saluted her with some guns, according to the custom of the sea, as a welcome for her safe arrival: But the people of the Minion were not in the humour of rejoicing, on account of the misfortune which had happened to their consort the Merlin, whom they had gone to seek on the coast of England when they parted from Mr Hawkins. Having met with her, they kept company for two days; when, by the negligence of one of the gunners of the Merlin, the powder in her gun-room took fire, by which her stern was blown out and three of her men lost, besides many sore hurt, who saved their lives in consequence of their brigantine being at her stern; for the Merlin immediately sunk, to the heavy loss of the owners and great grief of the beholders.

On the 30th of the month, Mr Hawkins and his ships, together with the Minion and her remaining consort the John Baptist, set sail in the prosecution of their voyage with a prosperous gale, the Minion having both brigantines at her stern. The 4th of November they had sight of Madeira, and the 6th of Tenerife, which they thought to have been grand Canary, as they reckoned themselves to the east of Tenerife, but were not. The Minion and her consort, being 3 or 4 leagues a head of the ships of Mr Hawkins, kept the course for Tenerife, of which they had a better view than the other ships, and by that means they parted company.

Hawkins and his ships continued his voyage by Cape Verd and Sierra Leone, after which he crossed the Atlantic ocean and came to the town of Burboroata on the coast of the Terra Firma in the West Indies, or South America; where he afterwards received information of the unfortunate issue of the Guinea voyage, in the following manner. While at anchor in the outer road on the 29th of April 1565, a French ship came in called the Green Dragon of Newhaven, of which one Bon-temps was captain, which saluted the English squadron after the custom of the sea, and was saluted in return. This ship had been at the Mina, or Gold coast of Guinea, whence she had been driven off by the Portuguese gallies, and obliged to make for the Terra Firma to endeavour to sell her wares. She informed that the Minion had been treated in the same manner; and that the captain, David Carlet, with a merchant or factor and twelve mariners, had been treacherously made prisoners by the negroes on their arrival on that coast, and remained in the hands of the Portuguese; besides which they had lost others of their men through the want of _fresh water_, and were in great doubts of being able to get home the ships[291].

[Footnote 291: Hakluyt might have said whether they did come home or not, which he certainly might have known; but he often leaves us in the dark as to such matters.–Astl. I. 185. a.]

* * * * *

_Note_.–It may not be improper to state in this place, that no ship need be reduced to utter distress for want of _fresh water_ at sea; as distilled sea water is perfectly fresh and wholesome. For this purpose, all ships bound on voyages of any length, ought to have a still head worm and cooler adapted to the cooking kettle, to be used when needed, by which abundance of fresh water may always be secured while cooking the ships provisions, sufficient to preserve the lives of the crew. In default of that useful appendage, a still may be easily constructed for the occasion, by means of the pitch kettle, a reversed tea kettle for a head, and a gun barrel fixed to the spout of the tea kettle, the breach pin being screwed out, and the barrel either soldered to the spout, or fixed by a paste of flour, soap and water, tied round with rags and twine. The tea kettle and gun barrel are to be kept continually wet by means of swabs and sea water, to cool and condense the steam. This distilled water is at first vapid and nauseous, both to the taste and the stomach; but by standing open for some time, especially if agitated in contact with air, or by pumping air through it, as is commonly done to sweeten putrid water, this unpleasant and nauseous vapidness is soon removed.

The nautical world owes this excellent discovery, of distilled sea water being perfectly fresh, to the late excellent and ingenious Dr James Lino, first physician to the general hospital of the navy at Haslar near Portsmouth during the American war, the author of two admirable works, on the Scurvy, and the Means of Preserving the Health of Seamen during long voyages, to which the British navy, and seamen in general, owe inestimable advantages. The editor, while giving this useful hint to seamen engaged on long voyages, is happy in having an opportunity of bearing this feeble testimony of honourable respect to the friend of his youth, under whom he had the happiness and advantage of serving, in that magnificent asylum of the brave defenders of the glory and prosperity of our king and country, for the last three years of the American war. Besides being an eminent and experienced physician, Dr Lind was a man of exemplary humanity, and of uncommon urbanity and singleness of manners: He was truly the seaman’s friend. The rules and expedients which he devised and proposed, founded on the solid basis, of observation and experience, for Preserving the Health of Seamen on long voyages, were afterwards employed and perfected by the great navigator and discoverer COOK, and by his pupils and followers; and are now universally established in our glorious navy, to the incalculable advantage of the service.

In high northern or southern latitudes, solid clear ice melted affords good fresh water, the first runnings being thrown away as contaminated by adhering sea water. White cellular ice is quite unfit for the purpose, being strongly impregnated with salt. In future articles of our work, several opportunities will occur in which these two expedients for supplying ships with fresh water will be amply detailed. But on the present opportunity, it seemed proper to mention these easy and effectual expedients for preserving the health and lives of seamen, when in want of fresh water by the ordinary means.–Ed.


_A Voyage to Guinea and the Cape de Verd Islands in 1566, by George Fenner_[292]

Three ships were employed on this voyage, the admiral, called the Castle of Comfort, George Fenner general[293] of the expedition, and William Bats master; the May-Flower, vice-admiral, William Courtise master; the George, John Heiwood captain, and John Smith of Hampton master; besides a small pinnace. Walter Wren, the writer of the narrative, belonged to the George.

[Footnote 292: Hakluyt, II. 533. Astley, I. 185.]

[Footnote 293: This general was probably head factor–E.]

We departed from Plymouth on the 10th December 1566, and were abreast of Ushant on the 12th. On the 15th we got sight of Cape Finister, and lost company of our admiral that night, for which reason we sailed along the coast of Portugal, hoping our admiral might be before us. Meeting a French ship on the 18th and getting no intelligence of our admiral, we made sail for the Canaries, and fell in with the island of Tenerife on the 28th, where we came to anchor in a small bay, at which there were three or four small houses, about a league from the town of Santa Cruz. In this island there is a marvellous high hill called the Peak, and although it is in lat. 28 deg. N. where the air is as warm in January as it is in England at midsummer, the top of this hill, to which no man has ever been known to ascend, is seldom free from snow even in the middle of summer. On the 3d January 1567, we departed from this place, going round the western point of the island, about 12 or 14 leagues from Santa Cruz, and came into a bay right over against the house of one Pedro de Souza, where we came to anchor on the 5th, and heard that our admiral had been there at anchor seven days before us, and had gone thence to the island of Gomera, to which place we followed him, and coming to anchor on the 6th over against the town of Gomera, we found our admiral at anchor to our great mutual satisfaction. We found here Edward Cooke in a tall ship, and a ship of the coppersmiths of London, which had been treacherously seized by the Portuguese in the bay of Santa Cruz on the coast of Barbary, or Morocco, which ship we left there all spoiled. At this place we bought 14 buts of wine for sea stores, at 15 ducats a but, which had been offered to us at Santa Cruz for 8, 9, or 10 ducats. The 9th we went to another bay about three leagues off, where we took in fresh water; and on the 10th we sailed for Cape Blanco on the coast of Africa.

The 12th we came to a bay to eastwards of Cape Pargos, (_Barbas?_) which is 35 leagues from Cape Blanco, but being unacquainted with that part of the coast, we proceeded to Cape Blanco, off which we had 16 fathoms two leagues from shore, the land being very low and all white sand. At this place it is necessary to beware of going too near shore, as when in 12 or 10 fathoms you may be aground within two or three casts of the lead. Directing our course on the 17th S. and S. by E. we fell into a bay about 16 leagues east of Cape Verd, where the land seemed like a great number of ships under sail, owing to its being composed of a great number of hummocks, some high some low, with high trees upon them. When within three leagues of the land we sounded and had 28 fathoms over a ground of black ouze. This day we saw much fish in sundry _sculs_ or shoals, swimming with their noses at the surface. Passing along this coast we saw two small round hills about a league from the other, forming a cape, and between them great store of trees, and in all our sailing we never saw such high land as these two hills. The 19th we came to anchor at the cape in a road, fast by the western side of two hills[294], where we rode in 10 fathoms, though we might safely have gone into five or six fathoms, as the ground is good and the wind always blows from the shore.

[Footnote 294: The paps of Cape Verd are about a League S.S.E. from the extreme west point of the Cape.–E.]

At this place some of our officers and merchants went on shore with the boat unarmed, to the number of about 20 persons, among whom were Mr George Fenner the general, his brother Edward Fenner, Thomas Valentine, John Worme, and Francis Leigh, merchants, John Haward, William Bats, Nicholas Day, John Thomson, and several others. At their coming on shore they were met by above 100 negroes armed with bows and arrows. After some talk pledges were interchanged, five of the English being delivered into their hands, and three negroes taken on board the admirals skiff. Our people mentioned the merchandize they had brought, being linen and woolen cloth, iron, cheese, and other articles; on which the negroes said that they had civet, musk, gold, and grains to give in exchange, with which our people were well pleased. The negroes desired to see our merchandize, on which one of the boats was sent back to the ships, while our general and merchants remained in the other with the three negroe pledges, our five men walking about on shore among the negroes. On the return of the boat from the ship with goods, bread, wine, and cheese were distributed among the natives. At this time two of the negroe pledges, on pretence of sickness, were allowed to go on shore, promising to send two others in their stead. On perceiving this, Captain Haiward began to dread some perfidy, and retreated towards the boat, followed by two or three negroes, who stopped him from going on board, and made signs for him to bring them more bread and wine, and when he would have stepped into the boat, one of them caught him by the breeches, but he sprung from him and leapt into the boat. As soon as he was in, one of the negroes on shore began to blow a pipe, on which the negroe pledge who remained in the boat, suddenly drew Mr Wormes sword, cast himself into the sea and swam on shore. The negroes immediately laid hands on our men that were on shore, and seized three of them with great violence, tore their clothes from their backs, and left them nothing to cover them. Then many of them shot so thick at our men in the boats that they could scarcely handle their oars, yet by God’s help they got the boats away, though many of them were hurt by the poisoned arrows. This poison is incurable, if the arrow pierce the skin so as to draw blood, except the poison be immediately sucked out, or the part hurt be cut out forthwith; otherwise the wounded man inevitably dies in four days. Within three hours after any part of the body is hurt, or even slightly pricked, although it be the little toe, the poison reaches the heart, and affects the stomach with excessive vomiting, so that the person can take neither meat nor drink.

The persons seized in this treacherous manner by the negroes were Nicholas Day, William Bats, and John Thomson, who were led away to a town about a mile from the shore. The 20th we sent a boat on shore with eight persons, among whom was the before-mentioned John Thomson[295] and our interpreter, who was a Frenchman, as one of the negroes spoke good French. They carried with them two arquebuses, two targets, and a _mantell?_ and were directed to learn what ransom the negroes demanded for Bats and Day whom they detained. On coming to the shore and telling the negroes the nature of their errand, Bats and Day were brought from among some trees quite loose, but surrounded by some 40 or 50 negroes. When within a stone’s throw of the beach, Bats broke suddenly from them and ran as fast as he could into the sea towards the boat; but immediately on getting into the water he fell, so that the negroes retook him, violently tearing off his clothes. After this some of the negroes carried our two men back to the town, while the rest began to shoot at our people in the boat with their poisoned arrows, and wounded one of our men in the small of the leg, who had nearly died in spite of every thing our surgeons could do for him. Notwithstanding this unjustifiable conduct, our general sent another message to the negroes, offering any terms they pleased to demand as ransom for our men. But they gave for answer, that three weeks before we came an English ship had forcibly carried off three of their people, and unless we brought or sent them back we should not have our men, though we gave our three ships and all their lading. On the 21st a French ship, of 80 tons came to the place where we were, intending to trade with the negroes, and seeing that the Frenchmen were well received by the natives, our general told them of our two men being detained, and wished them to endeavour to procure their release, promising L.100 to the Frenchmen if they succeeded. We then committed this affair to the management of the Frenchmen, and departed. Of our men who were hurt by the poisoned arrows, four died, and one had to have his arm cut off to save his life. Andrews, who was last hurt, lay long lame and unable to help himself, and only two recovered.

[Footnote 295: It is not said how he had got away from the negroes.–E.]

While between Cape Verd and Bonavista on the 26th, we saw many flying fishes of the size of herrings, two of which fell into the boat which we towed at our stern. The 28th we fell in with Bonavista, one of the Cape de Verd islands, which is 86 leagues from that cape. The north side of that island is full of white sandy hills and dales, being somewhat high land. That day we came to anchor about a league within the western point, in ten fathoms upon fine sand, but it is quite safe to go nearer in five or six fathoms, as the ground is every where good. The 30th we went into a bay within a small island about a league from our first anchorage, where we took plenty of various kinds of fish. Whoever means to anchor in this bay may safely do so in four or five fathoms off the south point of the small island; but must beware of the middle of the bay, where there is a ledge of rocks on which the sea breaks at low water, although then they are covered by three fathoms water. The last day of January, our general went on shore in the bay to some houses, where he found twelve Portuguese, the whole island not having more than 30 inhabitants, who were all banished men, some condemned to more years of exile and some to less, and among them was a simple man who was their captain. They live on goat’s flesh, cocks and hens, with fresh water, having no other food except fish, which they do not care for, neither indeed have they any boats wherewith to catch them. They told us that this island had been granted by the king of Portugal to one of his gentlemen, who had let it at 100 ducats of yearly rent, which was paid by the profit on goats skins, of which 40,000 had been sent from that island to Portugal in one year. These men made us very welcome, entertaining us as well as they could, giving us the carcasses of as many he-goats as we pleased, and even aided us in taking them, bringing them down for us from the mountains on their asses. They have great store of oil procured from tortoises, which are _fishes_ that swim in the sea, having shells on their backs as large as targets. It only rains in this island for three months in every year, from the middle of July to the middle of October; and the climate is always very hot. Cows have been brought here, but owing to the heat and drought they always died.

We left Bonavista, or Buenavista, on the 3d February, and fell in the same day with another island called Mayo, 14 leagues distant; there being a danger midway between the two islands, but it is always seen and easily avoided. We anchored in a fine bay on the N.W. side of Mayo, in eight fathoms on a good sandy bottom; but weighed next day and went to another island called St Jago, about five leagues E. by S. from Mayo. At the westermost point of this island, we saw a good road-stead, having a small town by the waterside, close to which was a fort or battery. We here proposed to have anchored on purpose to trade; but before we were within shot, they let fly two pieces at us, on which we went to leeward along shore two or three leagues, where we found a small bay and two or three houses, off which we anchored in 14 fathoms upon good ground. Within an hour after we had anchored, several persons both on foot and horseback were seen passing and repassing opposite the ships. Next day a considerable force of horse and foot was seen, and our general sent a message to know whether they were disposed to trade with us. They answered that we were made welcome as merchants, and should have every thing we could reasonably demand. On this our general ordered all the boats to be made ready, but doubting the good faith of the Portuguese, caused the boats to be well armed, putting a _double base_ in the head of his pinnace and two _single bases_ in the skiff, directing the boats of the May-flower and George to be similarly armed. On rowing towards the shore with all the boats, the general was surprised to see above 60 horsemen and 200 foot all armed to receive us, for which reason he sent a flag of truce to learn their intentions. Their answer was fair and smooth, declaring that they meant to treat us like gentlemen and merchants, and desired that our general might come on shore to converse with their captain. When our general approached the shore in his skiff, they came towards him in great numbers, with much seeming politeness, bowing and taking off their bonnets, and earnestly requesting our general and the merchants to come on shore. He declined this however, unless they would give sufficient hostages for our security. At length they promised to send two satisfactory hostages, and to give us water, provisions, money, and negroes in exchange for our merchandize, and desired a list of our wares might be sent on shore; all of which our general promised to do forthwith, and withdraw from the shore, causing our _bases, curriers_[296], and arquebuses to be fired off in compliment to the Portuguese, while at the same time our ships saluted them with five or six cannon shot. Most of the Portuguese now left the shore, except a few who remained to receive the list of our commodities; but, while we meant honestly and fairly to trade with them as friends, their intentions were treacherously to betray us to our destruction, as will appear in the sequel.

[Footnote 296: Bases and curriers must have been some small species of ordnance, capable of being used in boats; arquebuses were matchlock muskets.–E.]

About two leagues to the west of where we lay, there was a town behind a point of land, where the Portuguese had several caravels, and two brigantines or row barges like gallies. With all haste the Portuguese fitted out four caravels and these two brigantines, furnishing them with as many men and cannon as they could carry; and as soon as it was night these vessels made towards us with sails and oars, and as the land was high, and the weather somewhat dark and misty, we did not see them till they were almost close on board the May-flower, which lay at anchor about a gun-shot nearer them than our other ships. When within gun-shot of the May-flower, one of the watch chanced to see a light, and then looking out espied the four ships and gave the alarm. The Portuguese, finding themselves discovered, began immediately to fire their cannon, _curriers_, and arquebuses; then lighted up certain tubes of wild fire, and all their people both on shore and in their ships set up great shouts, while they continued to bear down on the May-flower. With all the haste we could, one of our guns was got ready and fired at them, on which they seemed to hesitate a little; But they recharged their ordnance, and again fired at us very briskly. In the mean time we got three guns ready which we fired at them, when they were so near that we could have shot an arrow on board. Having a fine breeze of wind from the shore, we hoisted our foresail and cut our cable, making sail to join our admiral to leeward, while they followed firing sometimes at us and sometimes at our admiral. At length one shot from our admiral had the effect to make them retire, when they made away from us like cowardly traitors. During all this time, though they continually fired all their guns at us, not a man or boy among us was hurt; but we know not what were the effects of our shot among them.

Seeing the villany of these men, we set sail immediately for an island named _Fuego_, or the Fire island, twelve leagues from St Jago, where we came to anchor on the 11th February, opposite a white chapel at the west end of the island, half a league from a small town, and about a league from the western extremity of the island. In this island, there is a remarkably high hill which burns continually, and the inhabitants told us, that about three years before, the whole island had like to have been destroyed by the prodigious quantity of fire which it discharged. About a league west from the chapel we found a fine spring of fresh water, whence we supplied our ships. They have no wheat in this island, instead of which they grow millet, which makes good bread, and they likewise cultivate peas like those of Guinea. The inhabitants are Portuguese, and are forbidden by their king to trade either with the English or French, or even to supply them with provisions, or any other thing unless forced. Off this island is another named Brava, or St John, not exceeding two leagues over, which has abundance of goats and many trees, but not above three or four inhabitants.

On the 25th of February we set sail for the Azores, and on the 23d of March we got sight of one of these islands called Flores, to the north of which we could see another called Cuervo, about two leagues distant. The 27th we came to anchor at Cuervo, opposite a village of about a dozen mean houses; but dragging our anchors in the night during a gale of wind, we went to Flores, where we saw strange streams of water pouring from its high cliffs, occasioned by a prodigious rain. The 18th April we took in water at Flores, and sailed for Fayal, which we had sight of on the 28th, and of three other islands, Pico, St George, and Graciosa, which are round about Fayal. The 29th we anchored in 22 fathoms water in a fine bay on the S.W. side of Fayal, over against a small town, where we got fresh water and fresh provisions. In this island, according to the report of the inhabitants, there grows green woad, which they allege is far better than the woad of St Michael or of Tercera.

The 8th of May we came to Tercera, where we found a Portuguese ship, and next morning we saw bearing down, upon us, a great ship and two caravels, which we judged to belong to the royal navy of Portugal, as they really were, and therefore made ready for our defence. The large ship was a galliass, of about 400 tons and 300 men, well appointed with brass guns both large and small, some of their shot being as large as a mans head; and the two caravels were both well appointed in men and ammunition of war. As soon as they were within shot of us, they waved us amain with their swords as if in defiance, and as we kept our course they fired at us briskly, while we prepared as well as we could for our defence. The great ship gave us a whole broadside, besides firing four of her greatest guns which were in her stern, by which some of our men were hurt, while we did our best to answer their fire. At this time two other caravels came from shore to join them, and two pinnaces or boats full of men, whom they put on board the great ship, and then returned to the shore with only two men in each. The ship and caravels gave us three attacks the first day, and when night came they ceased firing, yet kept hard by us all night, during which we were busily employed knotting and spicing our ropes and strengthening our bulwarks.

Next day the Portuguese were joined by four great caravels or armadas, three of which were not less than 100 tons each, the fourth being smaller, but all well armed and full of men. All these came up against us, in the admiral or Castle of Comfort, and we judged that one of the caravels meant to lay us on board, as we could see them preparing their false nettings and all other things for that purpose, for which the galliasse came up on our larboard side, and the caravel on our starboard. Perceiving their intention, we got all our guns ready with bar-shot, chain-shot, and grape; and as soon as they came up, and had fired off their guns at us, thinking to lay us on board, we gave them such a hearty salutation on both sides of us, that they were both glad to fall astern, where they continued for two or three hours, there being very little wind. Then our small bark the George came up to confer with us, and as the Portuguese ships and caravels were coming up again to attack us, the George, while endeavouring to get astern of us, fell to leeward, and was so long of filling her sails for want of wind, that the enemy got up to us, and she got into the middle of them, being unable to fetch us. Then five of the caravels assailed her all round about, yet she defended herself bravely against them all. The great ship and one caravel came to us and fought us all day. The May-flower being well to windward, took the benefit of that circumstance, and kept close hauled all that day, but would not come near us. When night came, the enemy ceased firing, yet followed us all night. During these repeated attacks we had some men slain and several wounded, and our tackle much injured; yet we did our best endeavour to repair all things, resolving to defend ourselves manfully, putting our trust in God. In the night the May-flower came up to us, on which our captain requested they would spare us half a dozen fresh men, but they would not, and bore away again.

Next morning, the enemy seeing us at a distance from one another, came up against us with a great noise of hooping and hallooing, as if resolved to board or sink us; yet although our company was small, lest they might think us any way dismayed, we answered their shouts, and waved upon them to board us if they durst, but they did not venture. This day they gave us four several assaults; but at night they forsook us, desisting with shame from the fight which they had begun with pride. We had some leaks in our ship from shot holes, which we stopped with all speed, after which we took some rest after our long hard labour. In the morning the Mayflower joined, and sent six of her men on board us, which gave us much relief, and we sent them four of our wounded men.

We now directed our course for England, and by the 2d of June came into soundings off the Lizard. On the 3d we fell in with a Portuguese ship, the captain of which came on board our admiral, saying that he was laden with sugar and cotton. Our merchants shewed him five negroes we had, asking him to buy them, which he agreed to do for 40 chests of sugar, which were very small, not containing above 26 loaves each. While they were delivering the sugar, we saw a large ship and a small one bearing down upon us, which our captain supposed to be men of war or rovers, on which he desired the Portuguese to take back their sugars, meaning to prepare for defence. But the Portuguese earnestly entreated our captain not to forsake him, and promised to give him ten chests of sugar in addition to the bargain, if we would defend him. To this our captain consented, and the rovers seeing that we were not afraid of them, let us alone. Next morning two others came up, but on seeing that we did not attempt to avoid them, they left us also. The 5th of June we got sight of the Start, and about noon were abreast of Lyme bay, where we sounded in 35 fathoms water. Next day we came in at the Needles, and anchored at a place called Meadhole, under the isle of Wight; from whence we sailed to Southampton, where our voyage ended.


_Embassy of Mr Edmund Hogan to Morocco in 1577, written by himself_.[297]

Though not exactly belonging to the subject of the present chapter, yet as given by Hakluyt along with the early voyages to Guinea, it has been thought proper to be inserted in this place. According to Hakluyt, Mr Hogan was one of the sworn esquires of the person to Queen Elizabeth, by whom he was sent ambassador to Muley Abdulmeleck, emperor of Morocco and king of Fez.–_Hakl_.

[Footnote 297: Hakluyt, II. 541.]

* * * * *

I Edmund Hogan, being appointed ambassador from her majesty the queen to the emperor and king Muley Abdulmeleck, departed from London with my company and servants on the 22d of April 1577; and embarking in the good ship called the Gallion of London, I arrived at Azafi, a port in Barbary, on the 21st of May. I immediately sent Leonell Edgerton on shore, with my letters to the care of John Williams and John Bampton, who dispatched a _trottero_ or courier to Morocco, to learn the emperors pleasure respecting my repair to his court. They with all speed gave the king notice of it[298]; who, being much satisfied with the intelligence, sent next day some of his officers and soldiers to Azafi, with tents and other necessaries, so that these captains, together with John Bampton, Robert Washborne, and Robert Lion, came late on Whitsunday night to Azafi. Having written in my letter, that I would not land till I knew the kings pleasure, I remained on board till their arrival; but I caused some of the goods to be landed to lighten the ship.

[Footnote 298: It would appear that Williams and Bampton were resident at the city of Morocco.–E.]

The 22d of May the Make-speed arrived in the road: and on the 27th, being Whitsunday, John Bampton came on board the Gallion with others in his company, giving me to understand that the king was rejoiced at my safe arrival from the queen of England, and that for my safe conduct he had sent four captains and 100 soldiers, together with a horse and furniture on which the king was in use to ride. I accordingly landed with my suite consisting of ten persons, three of whom were trumpeters. The four English ships in the harbour were dressed up to the best advantage, and shot off all their ordnance, to the value of twenty marks in powder. On coming ashore, I found all the soldiers drawn up on horseback, the captains and the governor of the town standing close to the water side to receive me, with a jennet belonging to the king for my use. They expressed the great satisfaction of their sovereign, at my arrival from the queen my mistress, and that they were appointed by the king to attend upon me, it being his pleasure that I should remain five or six days on shore, to refresh myself before commencing my journey. Having mounted the jennet, they conducted me through the town to a fair field, where a tent was provided for me, having the ground spread with Turkey carpets. The castle discharged a peal of ordnance, and every thing necessary was brought to my tent, where I had convenient table and lodging, and had other tents for the accommodation of my servants. The soldiers environed the tents, and kept watch as long as I remained there.

Although I sought a speedier dispatch, I could not be permitted to begin my journey till Wednesday the 2d of June, when I mounted towards evening, and travelled about ten miles to the first place on the road where water was to be had, and there pitched our tents till next morning[299]. The 3d we began our journey early, and travelled till ten o’clock, when we halted till four, at which time we resumed our journey, travelling as long as we had light, making about 26 miles in all that day. The 4th being Friday, we travelled in the same manner about 28 miles, and pitched our tents beside a river, about six wiles from the city of Morocco. Immediately afterwards, all the English and French merchants came on horseback to visit me, and before night there came an _alcayde_ from the king, with 50 men and several mules laden with provisions, to make a banquet for my supper, bringing a message from the king, expressing how glad he was to hear from the queen of England, and that it was his intention to receive me more honourably than ever Christian had been before at the court of Morocco. He desired also to know at what time I proposed to come next day into his city, as he was resolved that all the Christians, and also his own nobles should meet me. He desired likewise that John Bampton should wait upon him early next morning, which he did accordingly.

[Footnote 299: Having no inns in Barbary, travellers have to encamp or lodge in the open fields where they can find water.–_Hakluyt_.]

About seven o’clock the next morning, I moved towards the city, accompanied by the English and French merchants, and a great number of soldiers; and by the time I had gone about two miles, I was met by all the Spanish and Portuguese Christians, which I knew was more owing to the kings commands than of their own good will,[300] for some of them, though they spoke me fair, hung down their heads like dogs, especially the Portuguese, and I behaved to them accordingly. When I had arrived within two miles of the city, John Bampton rejoined me, expressing that the king was so glad of my arrival, that he knew not how sufficiently to shew his good will towards the queen and her realm. His counsellors met me without the gates; and on entering the city some of the kings footmen and guards were placed on both sides of my horse, and in this manner I was conducted to the palace. The king sat in his chair of state, having his counsellors about him, both Moors and _Elchies_; and, according to his order previously given me, I declared my message to him in the Spanish language, and delivered her majestys letters. All that I spoke at this time in Spanish, he caused one of his _Elchies_ to interpret to the Moors who were present in the _Larbe_ tongue. When this was done, he answered me in Spanish, returning great thanks to the queen my mistress, for my mission, and offering himself and country to be at her majesty’s disposal; after which he commanded some of his counsellors to conduct me to my lodging, which was at no great distance from the court. The house appointed for me was very good according to the fashion of the country, and was every day furnished with all kinds of provisions at the kings charge.

[Footnote 300: The Spaniards and Portuguese were commanded by the king, on pain of death, to meet the English ambassador.–Hakluyt.]

I was sent for again to court that same night, and had a conference with the king for the space of about two hours, when I declared to him the particulars of what had been given me in charge by the queen, and found him perfectly willing to oblige her majesty, and not to urge her with any demands that might not conveniently be complied with, well knowing that his country might be better supplied from England with such things as it stood in need of, than England from his country. He likewise informed me, that the king of Spain had sent demanding a licence to send an ambassador to him, and had strongly urged him not to give credence or entertainment to any ambassador that might come from the queen of England: “Yet,” said he, “I know well what the king of Spain is, and what the queen of England and her realm; for I neither like him nor his religion, being so governed by the inquisition that he can do nothing of himself; wherefore, when his ambassador comes upon the licence I have given, he will see how little account I make of him and Spain, and how greatly I shall honour you for the sake of the queen of England. He shall not come into my presence, as you have done and shall daily; for I mean to accept of you as a companion and one of my household, whereas he shall wait twenty days after he has delivered his message.”

At the end of this speech I delivered him the letters of Sir Thomas Gresham; upon which he took me by the hand, and led me down a long court to a palace, past which there ran a fair fountain of water, and sitting down in a chair, he commanded me to sit upon another, and sent for such simple musicians as he had to entertain me. I then presented him with a great bass lute, which he thankfully accepted, and expressed a desire to hear when he might expect the musicians: I told him great care had been taken to provide them, and I did not doubt that they would come out in the first ship after my return. He is willing to give them good entertainment, with lodgings and provisions, and to let them live according to their own law and conscience, as indeed he urges, no one to the contrary. He conducts himself greatly by the fear of God, and I found him well read in the scriptures both of the old and new testament, bearing a greater affection for our nation than any other, because that our religion forbids the worship of images; and indeed the Moors call him the Christian king. That same night[301] I continued with him till twelve o’clock, and he seemed to have taken a great liking for me, as he took from his girdle a short dagger set with 200 stones, rubies and turquoises, which he presented to me, after which I was conducted back to my lodgings.

[Footnote 301: In the original this is said to have been the 1st of June; but from what has gone before, that date must necessarily be erroneous; it could not be before the 5th of June, on which day he appears to have entered Morocco in he morning.–E.]

Next day being Sunday, which he knew was our Sabbath, he allowed me to remain at home; but he sent for me on the afternoon of Monday, when I had a conference with him, and was entertained with music. He likewise sent for me on Tuesday by three o’clock, when I found him in his garden laid upon a silk bed, as he complained of a sore leg. Yet after a long conference, he walked with me into another orchard, having a fine banqueting-house and a large piece of water, in which was a new galley. He took me on board the galley, and for the space of two or three hours, shewed me what great experience he had in the management of gallies, in which he said he had exercised himself for eighteen years of his youth. After supper he shewed me his horses, and other matters about his house. From that time I did not see him, as he was confined with his sore leg, yet he sent messages to me every day. I was sent for to him again on the 13th of June, about six in the evening, and continued with him till midnight, conferring about her majestys commission, and with regard to the good usage of our merchants trading in his dominions. He said that he would even do more than was asked for the queen and her subjects, who might all come to his ports in perfect security, and trade in every part of his dominions, likewise that they should at all times freely have water and provisions, and in times of war might bring in the ships taken from our enemies, and either sell them there, or freely depart at their pleasure. Likewise that all English ships, either passing along his coast of Barbary, or going through the straits into the Mediterranean or Levant sea, should have safe conducts to pass freely to the dominions of the Turks or of Algiers, as well as to his own. And he engaged to write to the great Turk and the king of Algiers to use our ships and goods in a friendly manner. Also, that if any Englishmen should be hereafter made captives and brought into his dominions, that they should on no account be sold as slaves. Whereupon, declaring the acceptance by her majesty of these conditions, to confirm the intercourse of trade between our merchants and his dominions, I engaged to satisfy him with such commodities as he stood in need of, to furnish the wants of his country in all kinds of merchandize, so that he might not require any thing from her majesty contrary to her honour and law, or in breach of league and amity with the Christian princes her neighbours. That same night I presented him with a case of combs[302], and requested his majesty to give orders for the lading of the ships back again, as I found there was very little saltpetre in the hands of John Bampton. He answered that I should have all the aid in his power, as he expected there was some store in his house at _Sus,_ and that the mountaineers had much in readiness. On my request that he would send orders for that to be brought, he promised to do so.

[Footnote 302: This seems rather a singular present to the emperor of Morocco.–E.]

The 18th day I was with him again and continued till night, when he shewed me his house, with the amusement of duck-hunting with water spaniels, and bull-baiting with English dogs. At this time I reminded him of sending to _Sus_ about the saltpetre, which he engaged to do; and on the 21st the Alcayde Mammie departed on that errand, accompanied by Lionel Edgerton and Rowland Guy, carrying with them, on our account and the king’s, letters to his brother Muley Hamet, the Alcayde Shavan, and the viceroy. The 23d the king sent me out of Morocco with a guard, and accompanied by the Alcayde Mahomet, to see his garden called Shersbonare; and at night of the 24th I was sent for to court to see a Morris dance, and a play acted by his _Elchies._ He promised me an audience on the next day being Tuesday, but put it off till Thursday, when he sent for me after supper, when the Alcaydes Rodwan and Gowry were appointed to confer with me; but after a short conversation, I requested to be admitted to the king to receive my dispatch. On being admitted, I preferred two bills, or requests, of John Bampton respecting the provision of saltpetre, also two other petitions for the quiet trade of our English merchants, together with petitions or requests for the sugars which had been agreed to be made by the Jews, both for the debts they had already incurred to our merchants, and those they might incur hereafter, as likewise for the proper regulation of the ingenios. I also moved him to give orders for the saltpetre and other affairs that had been before agreed upon, which he referred me to be settled by the two alcaydes. But on Friday the alcaydes could not attend to my affairs, and on Saturday Rodwan fell sick. So on Sunday I again made application to the king, and that afternoon I was sent for to confer upon the bargain with the alcaydes and others, but we could not agree.

Upon Tuesday I wrote a letter to the king for my dispatch, and was called again to court that afternoon, when I referred all things to the king, accepting his offer of saltpetre. That night the king took me again into his galley, when the water spaniels hunted the duck. On Thursday I was appointed to weigh the 300 gross quintals of saltpetre; and that afternoon the _tabybe_ came to my lodging, to inform me that the king was offended with John Bampton for various reasons. Late on Sunday night, being the 7th of July, I got the king to forgive all to John Bampton, and he promised to give me another audience on Monday. Upon Tuesday I wrote to the king for my dispatch, when he sent _Fray Lewes_ to me, who said he had orders to write them out. Upon Wednesday I wrote again, and the king sent me word that I should come on Thursday to receive my dispatches, so that I might depart without fail on Friday the 12th of July.

According to the kings appointment I went to court on Friday, when all the demands I had made were granted, and all the privileges which had been requested on behalf of the English merchants were yielded to with great favour and readiness. As the Jews resident in Morocco were indebted in large sums to our men, the emperor issued orders that all these should be paid in full without delay or excuse. Thus at length I was dismissed with great honour and special favour, such as had not ordinarily been shewn to other Christian ambassadors. Respecting the private affairs treated on between her majesty and the emperor, I had letters to satisfy her highness in the same. To conclude, having the same honourable escort for my return from court that I had on my way there, I embarked with my suite, and arrived soon after in England, when I repaired to court, and ended my embassy to her majestys satisfaction, by giving a relation of my services.


_Embassy of Henry Roberts from Queen Elizabeth to Morocco in 1585, written by himself_[303].

Like the former ambassador, Edmund Hogan, Mr Henry Roberts was one of the sworn esquires of the person to Elizabeth queen of England, and the following brief relation of his embassy, according to Hakluyt, was written by himself. This, like the former, does not properly belong to the present portion of our arrangement, but seemed necessary to be inserted in this place, however anomalous, as an early record of the attentions of the English government to extend the commerce and navigation of England, the sinews of our strength, and the bulwark of our glorious constitution. Mr Roberts appears to have spent three years and five months on this embassy, leaving London on the 14th August 1585, and returning to the same place on the 12th January 1589, having, in the words of Hakluyt, remained at Morocco as _lieger_, or resident, during upwards of three years.

[Footnote 303: Hakluyt, II 602.]

In the commencement of this brief notice, Mr Roberts mentions the occasion of his embassy as proceeding from the incorporation of a company of merchants, for carrying on an exclusive trade from England to Barbary; upon which event he was appointed her majestys messenger and agent to the emperor of Morocco, for the furtherance of the affairs of that company. It is not our intention to load our work with copies of formal patents and diplomatic papers; yet in the present instance it may not be amiss to give an abridgment of the patent to the Barbary company, as an instance of the mistaken principles of policy on which the early foundations of English commerce were attempted.–E.

_Letters Patent and Privileges granted in 1585 by Queen Elizabeth, to certain Noblemen and Merchants of London, for a Trade to Barbary.[304]_

[Footnote 304: Hakluyt, II. 599.]

Elizabeth, &c.–Whereas our right trusty and well beloved counsellors, Ambrose earl of Warwick, and Robert earl of Leicester, and also our loving and natural subjects Thomas Starkie, &c.[305] all merchants of London, now trading into the country of Barbary, in the parts of Africa under the government of Mulley Hamet Sheriffe, emperor of Morocco, and king of Fez and Sus, have made it evident to us that they have sustained great and grievous losses, and are likely to sustain greater if it should not be prevented. In tender consideration whereof, and because diverse merchandize of the same countries are very necessary and convenient for the use and defence of this our realm, &c. Wherefore we give and grant to the said earls, &c. by themselves, their factors or servants, and none others, for and during the space of twelve years, the whole freedom and liberty of the said trade, any law, &c. to the contrary in any way notwithstanding. The said trade to be free of all customs, subsidies or other duties, during the said period to us, our heirs and successors, &c. Witness ourself at Westminster, the 5th July, in the 27th year of our reign.

[Footnote 305: Here are enumerated forty merchants of London, as members of the Barbary company in conjunction with the two earls.–E.]


Upon an incorporation granted to the company of Barbary merchants resident in London, I Henry Roberts, one of her majesties sworn esquires of her person, was appointed messenger and agent from her highness unto Mulley Hamet Sheriffe, emperor of Morocco and king of Fez and Sus. And, having received my commission, instructions, and her majesties letters, I departed from London, the 14th August 1585, in a tall ship called the Ascension, in company with the Minion and Hopewell. We arrived in safety at the port of Azaffi in Barbary on the 14th of September following. The alcaide of the town, who is the kings chief officer there, or as it were mayor of the place, received me with all civility and honour, according to the custom of the country, and lodged me in the best house in the town. From thence I dispatched a messenger, which in their language is called a _trottero_, to inform the emperor of my arrival; who immediately sent a party of soldiers for my guard and safe conduct, with horses for myself, and mules for my baggage and that of my company or suite.

Accompanied by Richard Evans, Edward Salcot, and other English merchants resident in the country, and with my escort and baggage, I came to the river _Tenisist_, within four miles of the city of Morocco, and pitched my tents among a grove of olive trees on the banks of that river, where I was met by all the English merchants by themselves, and the French, Flemish, and various other Christians, who waited my arrival. After we had dined, and when the heat of the day was over, we set out about 4 o’clock in the afternoon for the city, where I was lodged by order of the emperor in a fair house in the _Judaria_ or jewry, the quarter in which the Jews have their abode, being the best built and quietest part of the city.

After I had rested there three days, I was introduced into the kings presence, to whom I delivered my message and her majesties letters, and was received with much civility. During three years in which I remained there as her majesties agent and _ligier_, or resident, I had favourable audiences from time to time; as, whenever I had any business, I was either admitted to his majesty himself or to his viceroy, the alcaide Breme Saphiana, a very wise and discreet person, and the principal officer of the court. For various good and sufficient reasons, I forbear to put down in writing the particulars of my service.

After obtaining leave, and receiving an honourable reward from the emperor, I departed from his court at Morocco the 18th of August 1588, to a garden belonging to him called Shersbonare, where he promised I should only stay one day for his letters. Yet on one pretence or another, I was detained there till the 14th of September, always at the kings charges, having 40 or 50 shot attending upon me as my guard. At length I was conducted from thence, with every thing requisite for my accommodation, to the port of Santa Cruz, six days journey from Morocco, where our ships ordinarily take in their lading, and where I arrived on the 21st of that month.

I remained at Santa Cruz 43 days. At length, on the 2d November, I embarked in company with one Marshok, a Reis or captain, a gentleman sent along with me by the emperor on an embassy to her majesty. After much foul weather at sea, we landed on new-years day 1589, at St Ives in Cornwal, whence we proceeded together by land to London. We were met without the city by 40 or 50 of the principal Barbary merchants all on horseback, who accompanied us by torch light into the city on Sunday the 12th January 1589, the ambassador and myself being together in a coach.

_Edict of the Emperor of Morocco in favour of the English, obtained by Henry Roberts_.

In the name of the most merciful God, &c. The servant of the Supreme God, the conqueror in his cause, the successor appointed by God, emperor of the Moors, son of the emperor of the Moors, the Shariffe, the Haceny, whose honour and estate may God long increase and advance. This our imperial commandment is delivered into the hands of the English merchants who reside under the protection of our high court, that all men who see these presents may understand that our high councils will defend them, by the aid of God, from all that may injure or oppress them in any way or manner in which they shall be wronged; and that which way soever they may travel, no man shall take them captives in these our kingdoms, ports, or other places belonging to us; and that no one shall injure or hinder them, by laying violent hands upon them, or shall give occasion that they be aggrieved in any manner of way. And we charge and command all the officers of our ports, havens, and fortresses, and all who bear authority of any sort in our dominions, and likewise all our subjects generally of all ranks and conditions, that they shall in no way molest, offend, wrong, or injure them. And this our commandment shall remain inviolable, being registered on the middle day of the month Rabel of the year 996.

The date of this letter agrees with the 20th of March 1587, which I, Abdel Rahman el Catun, interpreter for his majesty, have translated out of Arabic into Spanish, word for word as contained therein.[306]

[Footnote 306: Besides this, Hakluyt gives copies in Spanish and English of a letter from Mulley Hamet to the Earl of Leicester, and of a letter from Queen Elizabeth to Mulley Hamet, both of which are merely complimentary, or relate to unexplained circumstances respecting one John Herman an English rebel, whose punishment is required from the emperor of Morocco. He had probably contraveened the exclusive privileges of the Barbary company, by trading in Morocco.–E.]


_Voyage to Benin beyond Guinea in 1588, by James Welsh_[307].

This and the subsequent voyage to Benin were fitted out by Messrs Bird and Newton, merchants of London, in which a ship of 100 tons called the Richard of Arundel and a pinnace were employed, under the chief command of James Welsh, who wrote the account of both voyages–_Astley_.

[Footnote 307: Hakluyt, II. 613. Astley, I. 199.]

It seems not improbable that these voyages were intended as an evasion of an exclusive privilege granted in May 1588 by Queen Elizabeth, for trade to the rivers Senegal and Gambia, called Senega and Gambra in Hakluyt. The boundaries of this exclusive trade are described as beginning at the northermost part of the river Senegal, and from and within that river all along the coast of Guinea into the southermost part of the river Gambia, and within that river also; and the reason assigned for this exclusive grant is, that the patentees had already made one voyage to these parts, and that the enterprizing a new trade must be attended with considerable hazard and expence. The patentees were several merchants of Exeter and other parts of Devonshire, and one merchant of London, who had been instigated by certain Portuguese resident in England to engage in that trade, and the privilege is extended to ten years.[308]–E.

[Footnote 308: See the patent at large in Hakluyt, II. 610. London edition, 1810.]

* * * * *

On the 12th October 1588, weighing anchor from Ratcliff we dropped down to Blackwall, whence we sailed next day; but owing to contrary winds we did not reach Plymouth till the 25th October, where we had to remain for want of a fair wind to the 14th of December, when we set sail and passed the Lizard that night. Thursday the 2d January 1589, we had sight of the land near Rio del Oro, making our lat. 22 deg. 47′ N. The 3d we saw Cape Barbas, distant 5 leagues S.E. The 4th in the morning we had sight of the stars called the _Croziers_. The 7th we had sight of Cape Verd, making our lat. 14 deg. 43′ at 4 leagues off shore. Friday 17th Cape Mount bore from us N.N.E., when we sounded and had 50 fathoms water with a black ouse, and at 2 P.M. it bore N.N.W. 8 leagues distant, when Cape Misurado bore E. by S. Here the current sets E.S.E. along shore, and at midnight we had 26 fathoms on black ouse. The 18th in the morning we were athwart a land much resembling Cabo Verde, about 9 leagues beyond Cape Misurado. It is a saddle-backed hill, and there are four or five one after the other; and 7 leagues farther south we saw a row of saddle-backed hills, all the land from Cape Misurado having many mountains. The 19th we were off Rio de Sestos, and the 20th Cape Baixos was N. by W. 4 leagues distant. In the afternoon a canoe came off with three negroes from a place they called Tabanoo. Towards evening we were athwart an island, and saw many small islands or rocks to the southward, the current setting from the south. We sounded and had 35 fathoms. The 21st we had a flat hill bearing N.N.E. being 4 leagues from shore; and at 2 P.M. we spoke a French ship riding near a place called _Ratere_, there being another place hard bye called Crua[309]. The Frenchman carried a letter from us on shore for Mr Newton; and as we lay to while writing the letter, the current set us a good space along shore to the S.S.E. The 25th we were in the bight of a bay to the west of Cape Three-points, the current setting E.N.E. The 31st January we were off the middle part of Cape Three-points at 7 in the morning, the current setting to the E. Saturday 1st February we were off a round foreland, which I considered to be the easternmost part of Cape Three-points, within which foreland was a great bay and an island in the bay.

[Footnote 309: Krou Sestra, nearly in lat. 5 deg. N.]

The 2nd February we were off the castle of Mina; and when the third glass of the watch was run out, we spied under our larboard quarter one of their boats with some negroes and one Portuguese, who would not come on board. Over the castle upon some high rocks, we saw what we thought to be two watch houses, which were very white. At this time our course was E.N.E. The 4th in the morning we were athwart a great hill, behind which within the land were other high rugged hills, which I reckoned were little short of _Monte Redondo_, at which time I reckoned we were 20 leagues E.N.E. from the castle of Mina; and at 11 o’clock A.M. I saw two hills within the land, 7 leagues by estimation beyond the former hills. At this place there is a bay, having another hill at its east extremity, beyond which the land is very low. We went this day E. N E. and E. by N. 22 leagues, and then E. along shore. The 6th we were short of Villa Longa, and there we met a Portuguese caravel. The 7th, being a fair temperate day, we rode all day before Villa Longa, whence we sailed on the 8th, and 10 leagues from thence we anchored again, and remained all night in 10 fathoms water. The 9th we sailed again, all along the shore being clothed with thick woods, and in the afternoon we were athwart a river[310], to the eastward of which a little way was a great high bushy tree which seemed to have no leaves. The 10th we sailed E. and E. by S. 14 leagues along shore, the whole coast being so thick of woods that in my judgment a person would have much difficulty in passing through them. Towards night we anchored in 7 fathoms. The 11th we sailed E. by S. and 3 leagues from shore we had only 5 fathoms water, all the wood along shore being as even as if it had been clipt by gardeners sheers. After running 2 leagues, we saw a high tuft of trees on a brow of land like the head of a porpoise. A league farther on we had a very low head land full of trees; and a great way from the land we had very shallow water, on which we hauled off to seaward to get deeper water, and then anchored in 5 fathoms, athwart the mouth of the river _Jayo_. The 12th we sent the pinnace and the boat to land with the merchants, and they did not return till next morning. The shallowest part of this river is toward the west, where there is only 4-1/2 fathoms, and it is very broad.

[Footnote 310: Rio de Lagoa–_Hakluyt_.–Probably that now called Lagos, in long. 2 deg. 40′ E. from Greenwich, in the Bight of Benin.–E.]

Thursday the 13th we set sail going S.S.E. along shore, the trees being wonderfully even, the east shore being higher than the west shore[311]. After sailing 18 leagues we had sight of a great river, called Rio de Benin, off which we anchored in 3-1/2 fathoms, the sea being here very shallow two leagues from the main[312]. The 15th we sent the pinnace and boat with the merchants into the river; and as we rode in shallow water, we made sail with the starboard tacks aboard till we came to 5 fathoms water, where we anchored having the current to the westwards. The west part of the land was high-browed, much like the head of a Gurnard, and the eastermost land was lower, having three tufts of trees like stacks of corn. Next day we only saw two of these trees, having removed more to the eastwards. We rode here from the 14th of February till the 14th of April, having the wind always at S.W.

[Footnote 311: This is only to be understood as implying that the shore was now higher in the eastern part of the voyage along the coast, than formerly to the west on the coast of Mina; the east shore and the west shore referring to the bight or bay of Benin.–E.]

[Footnote 312: It is probable that the two rivers mentioned in the text under the names of Rio de Lagoa and Rio de Benin, are those now called the Lagos creek and the great river Formosa, both in the negro kingdom of Benin.–E.]

The 17th February our merchants weighed their goods and put them aboard the pinnace to go into the river, on which day there came a great current out of the river setting to the westwards. The 16th March our pinnace came on board with Anthony Ingram the chief factor, bringing 94 bags of pepper and 28 elephants teeth. All his company were sick. The 19th our pinnace went again into the river, having the purser and surgeon on board; and the 25th we sent the boat up the river again. The 30th our pinnace came from Benin with the sorrowful news that Thomas Hemstead and our captain were both dead. She brought with her 159 serons or bags of pepper, besides elephants teeth. In all the time of our remaining off the river of Benin, we had fair and temperate weather when the wind was at S.W. from the sea; but when the wind blew at N. and N.E. from the land, it then rained with thunder and lightning, and the weather was intemperately hot.

The 13th of April 1589, we began our voyage homeward, and the 27th of July we spoke a ship called the Port belonging to London, giving us good news of England. The 9th September we put into Catwater, where we remained till the 28th, owing to sickness and want of men. The 29th we sailed from Plymouth, and arrived at London on the 2d October 1589.

The commodities we carried out in this, voyage were linens and woollen cloths, iron work of sundry kinds, manillios or bracelets of copper, glass beads and coral. Those we brought home were pepper, elephants teeth, palm oil, cloth made of cotton very curiously woven, and cloth made of the bark of the palm tree. Their money consists of pretty white shells, as they have no gold or silver. They have also great store of cotton. Their bread is made of certain roots called _Inamia_, as large as a mans arm, which when well boiled is very pleasant and light of digestion. On banian or fish days, our men preferred eating these roots with oil and vinegar to the best stock-fish[313]. There are great quantities of palm trees, out of which the negroes procure abundance of a very pleasant white wine, of which we could purchase two gallons for 20 shells. The negroes have plenty of soap, which has the flavour of violets. They make very pretty mats and baskets, also spoons of ivory very curiously wrought with figures of birds and beasts.

[Footnote 313: It is obvious that the banian or meager days, still continued in the British navy, are a remnant of the meager days of the Roman catholic times, when it was deemed a mortal sin to eat flesh. Stock-fish are, however now abandoned, having been found to promote scurvy.–E.]

Upon this coast we had the most terrible thunder and lightning, which used to make the deck tremble under our feet, such as I never heard the like in any other part of the world. Before we became accustomed to it, we were much alarmed, but God be thanked we had no harm. The natives are very gentle and courteous; both men and women going naked till they are married, after which they wear a garment reaching from the middle down to the knees. Honey was so plentiful, that they used to sell our people earthen pots of comb full of honey, the size of two gallons for 100 shells. They brought us also great store of oranges and plantains, which last is a fruit which grows on a tree, and resembles our cucumbers, but is very pleasant eating. It pleased God of his merciful goodness to give me the knowledge of a means of preserving water fresh with little cost, which served us six months at sea; and when we came to Plymouth it was much wondered at by the principal men of the town, who said there was not sweeter water in all Plymouth[314]. Thus God provides for his creatures, unto whom be praise, now and _for ever more_, amen.

[Footnote 314: This preservative is wrought by casting a handful of bay-salt into a hogshead of water, as the author told me.–_Hakluyt_.

The Thames water soon putrifies on board ships in long voyages; but afterwards throws down a sediment and becomes perfectly sweet pleasant and wholesome; insomuch that it is often bought from ships which have been to India and back. Putrid water at sea is purified or rendered comparatively sweet by forcing streams of air through it by what is called an air pump. Water may be preserved sweet on long voyages, or restored when putrid, by means of pounded charcoal.–E.]


_Supplement to the foregoing Voyage, in a Letter from Anthony Ingram the chief Factor, written from Plymouth to the Owners, dated 9th September, the day of arriving at Plymouth_[315].

Worshipful Sirs! The account of our whole proceedings in this voyage would require more time than I have, and a person in better health than I am at present, so that I trust you will pardon me till I get to London.

[Footnote 315: Hakluyt, II. 616. Astley, I. 202.]

Departing from London in December 1588, we arrived at our destined port of Benin on the 14th of February following, where we found not water enough to carry our ship over the bar, so that we left her without in the road. We put the chiefest of our merchandise into the pinnace and ships boat, in which we went up the river to a place called _Goto_[316], where we arrived on the 20th, that place being the nearest to Benin to which we could go by water. From thence we sent negro messengers to certify the king of our arrival, and the object of our coming. These messengers returned on the 22d with a nobleman to conduct us to the city of Benin, and with 200 negroes to carry our merchandise. On the 23d we delivered our commodities to the kings factor, and the 25th we came to the great city of Benin, where we were well entertained. The 26th we went to court to confer with the king, but by reason of a solemn festival then holding we could not see him; yet we spoke with his _veador_, or chief man who deals with the Christians, who assured us that we should have every thing according to our desires, both in regard to pepper and elephants teeth.

[Footnote 316: Goto or Gato is a negro town on the northern branch of the Rio Formoso, about 45 miles in a straight line from the mouth of the river, and about 85 miles short of the town of Benin. This branch or creek is probably the river of Benin of the text.–E.]

We were admitted into the kings presence on the 1st of March, who gave us like friendly assurances respecting our trade; and next day we went again to court, when the _veador_ shewed us a basket of green pepper and another of dry in the stalks. We desired to have it plucked from the stalks and made clean, which he said would require some time to get done, but should be executed to our satisfaction, and that by next year it should be all in readiness for us, as we had now come unexpectedly to their country, to which no Christians had traded for pepper in the reign of the present king. Next day they sent us 12 baskets full, and continued to send more daily till the 9th March, by which time we had made up 64 serons of pepper and 28 elephants teeth. By this time, as our constitutions were unused to the climate of Benin, all of us were seized with fevers; upon which the captain sent me down to Goto with the goods we had collected. On my arrival there, I found all the men belonging to our pinnace sick, so that they were unable to convey the pinnace and goods to the ship; but fortunately the boat came up to Goto from the ship within two hours after my arrival, to see what we were about, so that I put the goods into the boat and went down to the ship: But by the time I had got on board several of our men died, among whom were Mr Benson, the copper, and the carpenter, with three or four more, and I was in so weak a state as to be unable to return to Benin. I therefore sent up Samuel Dunne and the surgeon, that he might let blood of them if it were thought adviseable; but on their arrival they found the captain and your son William Bird both dead, and Thomas Hempstead was so very weak that he died two days after.

In this sorrowful state of affairs they returned with all speed to the ship, with such pepper and elephants teeth as they had got, as will appear by the cargo. At their coming away; the _veador_ told them he would use all possible expedition to procure them more goods if they would remain longer; but the sickness so increased among us, that by the time our men came back we had so many sick and dead, that we looked to lose our ship, lives, country, and all. We were so reduced that it was with much difficulty we were able to heave our anchors; but by Gods blessing we got them up and put to sea, leaving our pinnace behind, on the 13th of April. After which our men began to recover and gather strength. Sailing between the Cape de Verd islands and the Main, we came to the Azores on the 25th of July; and here our men began again to fall sick, and several died, among whom was Samuel Dunn, those who remained alive being in a sad state. In the midst of our distress, it pleased God that we should meet your ship the _Barke Burre_ on this side the North Cape, which not only kept company with us, but sent us six fresh men on board, without whose assistance we must have been in a sad condition. By this providential aid we are now arrived at Plymouth, this 9th September; and, for want of better health at this present. I must refer you for farther particulars till my arrival in London.–Yours to command,



_Second Voyage of James Welsh to Benin, in 1590_[317].

In the employment of the same merchants, John Bird and John Newton, and with the same ship as in the former voyage, the Richard of Arundel, accompanied by a small pinnace, we set sail from Ratclif on the 3d September 1590, and came to Plymouth Sound on the 18th of that month. We put to sea again on the 22d, and on the 14th October got sight of Fuertaventura, one of the Canary islands, which appeared very rugged as we sailed past. The 16th of October, in the lat. of 24 deg. 9′ N. we met a prodigious hollow sea, such as I had never seen before on this coast; and this day a monstrous great fish, which I think is called a _gobarto_[318], put up his head to the steep-tubs where the cook was shifting the victuals, whom I thought the fish would have carried away. The 21st, being in lat. 18 deg. N. we had a _counter-sea_ from the north, having in the same latitude, on our last voyage, encountered a similar sea from the south, both times in very calm weather. The 24th we had sight of Cape Verd, and next day had a great hollow sea from the north, a common sign that the wind will be northerly, and so it proved. The 15th November, when in lat. 6 deg. 42′ N. we met three currents from west to north-west, one after the other, with the interval of an hour between each. The 18th we had two other great currents from S.W. The 20th we saw another from N.E. The 24th we had a great current from S.S.W. and at 6 P.M. we had three currents more. The 27th we reckoned to have gone 2-1/2 leagues every watch, but found that we had only made _one_ league every watch for the last 24 hours, occasioned by heavy billows and a swift current still from the south. The 5th December, on setting the watch, we cast about and lay E.N.E. and N.E. and here in lat. 5 deg. 30′ our pinnace lost us wilfully. The 7th, at sunset, we saw a great black spot on the sun; and on the 8th, both at rising and setting we saw the like, the spot appearing about the size of a shilling. We were then in lat. 5 deg. N. and still had heavy billows from the south.

[Footnote 317: Hakluyt, II. 618. Astley, I. 203.]

[Footnote 318: In a side note, Astley conjectures this to have been a great shark.]

We sounded on the 14th December, having 15 fathoms on coarse red sand, two leagues from shore, the current setting S.E. along shore, and still we had heavy billows from the south. The 15th we were athwart a rock, somewhat like the _Mewstone_ in England, and at the distance of 2 leagues from the rock, had ground in 27 fathoms. This rock is not above a mile from the shore, and a mile farther we saw another rock, the space between both being broken ground. We sounded off the second rock, and had ground at 20 fathoms on black sand. We could now see plainly that the rocks were not along the shore, but at some distance off to sea, and about 5 leagues farther south we saw a great bay, being then in lat. 4 deg. 27′ N. The 16th we met a French ship belonging to Harfleur, which robbed our pinnace: we sent a letter by him. This night we saw another spot on the sun at his going down. Towards evening we were athwart the mouth of a river, right over which was a high tuft of trees. The 17th we anchored in the mouth of the river, when we found the land to be Cape Palmas, there being a great ledge of rocks between us and the Cape, a league and half to sea, and an island off the point or foreland of the Cape. We then bore to the west of the Cape, and as night came on could see no more of the land, except that it trended inwards like a bay, in which there ran a stream or tide as it had been the Thames. This was on the change day of the moon.

The 19th December, a fair temperate day, with the wind S. we sailed east, leaving the land astern of us to the west, all the coast appearing low like islands to the east of Cape Palmas, and trending inwards like a great bay or sound. We went east all night, and in the morning were only three or four leagues from shore. The 20th we were off Rio de las Barbas. The 21st we continued along shore; and three or four leagues west of Cape Three Points, I found the bay to be set deeper than it is laid down by four leagues. At 4 P.M. the land began to shew high, the first part of it being covered by palm trees. The 24th, still going along shore, the land was very low and full of trees to the water side. At noon we anchored off the Rio de Boilas, where we sent the boat towards the shore with our merchants, but they durst not put into the river, because of a heavy surf that broke continually on the bar. The 28th we sailed along shore, and anchored at night in seven fathoms, to avoid being put back by a current setting from E.S.E. from _Papuas_.

At noon on the 29th we were abreast of Ardrah, and there we took a caravel, the people belonging to which had fled to the land. She had nothing in her except a small quantity of palm oil and a few roots. Next morning our captain and merchants went to meet the Portuguese, who came off in a boat to speak with them. After some communing about ransoming the caravel, the Portuguese promised to give for her some bullocks and elephants teeth, and gave us then one tooth and one bullock, engaging to bring the rest next day. Next day being the 1st January 1591, our captain went a-land to speak with the Portuguese, but finding them to dissemble, he came on board again, when presently we unrigged the caravel and set her on fire before the town. We then set sail and went along the coast, where we saw a date tree, the like of which is not on all that coast, by the water side. We also fell a little aground at one place. Thus we went on to _Villalonga_ where we anchored. The 3d we came to Rio de Lagoa, or Lagos Creek, where our merchants went to land, finding 3 fathoms on the bar, but being late they did not go in. There is to the eastward of this river a date tree, higher than all the other trees thereabouts. Thus we went along the coast, anchoring every night, and all the shore was full of trees and thick woods. The morning of the 6th was very foggy, so that we could not see the land; but it cleared up about three in the afternoon, when we found ourselves off the river Jaya; and finding the water very shallow, we bore a little out to seawards as we had done in the former voyage, and came to anchor in five fathoms. We set sail again next day, and came about noon abreast the river of Benin, where we anchored in four fathoms.

The 10th our captain went to land with the boat at 2 P.M. All this week it was very foggy every day till 10 o’clock A.M. and hitherto the weather had been as temperate as our summer in England. This day we anchored in the road in 4 fathoms, the west point bearing from us E.N.E. The 21st, being a fair temperate day, Mr Hassald went up to the town of Gato to hear news of our captain. The 23d came the caravel[319] in which was Samuel, bringing 63 elephants teeth and three bullocks. The 28th was a fair temperate day, but towards night we had much rain with thunder and lightning. This day our boat came on board from Gato. The 24th February, we took in 298 serons or bags of pepper, and 4 elephants teeth. The 26th we put the rest of our goods on board the caravel, in which Mr Hassald went up to Gato. The 5th March the caravel came again, bringing 21 serons of pepper and 4 elephants teeth. The 9th April our caravel came again on board with water for our return voyage, and this day we lost our shallop or small boat. The 17th was a hazy and rainy day, and in the afternoon we saw three great water spouts, two to larboard and one right a-head, but by the blessing of God they came not to our ship. This day we took in the last of our water for sea store, and on the 26th we victualled our caravel to accompany us. The 27th we set sail on our voyage homewards.

[Footnote 319: It is not mentioned how they came by this caravel.–Astl. I. 204. b. Probably the pinnace that attended them in the voyage, for the purpose of going up the shallow rivers.–E.]

The 24th May we were 37 leagues south of Cape Palmas. The 1st July we got sight of Brava, one of the Cape Verd islands, bearing east 7 leagues off. The 13th August we spoke the queens ship, of which Lord Howard was admiral and Sir Richard Grenville vice-admiral. They made us keep company till the night of the 15th, lying all the time a hull in waiting for prizes, 30 leagues S.W. from the island of Flores. That night we got leave to depart, accompanied by a fliboat laden with sugar from the island of San Thome which had been taken by the queens ship, and of which my lord admiral gave me strict charge not to part with her till safe harboured in England. The 23d the N.E. part of the island of Corvo bore from us E. by S. 6 leagues distant. The 17th September we fell in with a ship belonging to Plymouth bound from the West Indies. Next day we had sight of another sail; and this day died Mr Wood one of our company. The 23d we spoke the Dragon belonging to my Lord Cumberland, of which _master_ Ivie was _maister_[320]. The 2d October we met a ship belonging to Newcastle coming from Newfoundland, out of which we got 300 couple of _Newland_ fish. The 13th we put into Dartmouth, where we staid till the 12th December, when we sailed with a west wind, and by the blessing of God we anchored on the 18th December 1591, at Limehouse in the river Thames, where we discharged 589 sacks of pepper, 150 elephants teeth, and 32 barrels of palm oil.

[Footnote 320: This distinction of master and maister often occurs in these early voyages.–Astl. I. 205. a.]

The commodities we carried out on this my second voyage were, broad cloth, kersies, bays, linen cloth, unwrought iron, copper bracelets, coral, hawks bells, horse-tails, hats, and the like. This voyage was more comfortable to us than the former, because we had plenty of fresh water and that very sweet. For even yet, being the 7th June 1592, the water we brought out of Benin on the 1st of April 1591, is as clear and good as any fountain can yield. In this voyage we sailed 350 leagues within half a degree of the equator, where we found the weather more temperate than at our anchorage on the coast of Benin. Under the line we killed many small dolphins, and many other good fish, which were very refreshing to us; and the fish never forsook us till we were to the north of the Azores: But God be thanked we met with several ships of our own country, during the five months we were at sea, which were great comfort to us, having no consort.


_Voyage of Richard Rainolds and Thomas Dassel to the Rivers Senegal and Gambia adjoining to Guinea, in 1591_[321].


In virtue of her majestys most gracious charter, given in the year 1588, being the 30th of her reign, certain English merchants were privileged to trade, in and from the river of Senega or Senegal, to and in the river of Gambra or Gambia on the western coast of Africa. The chiefest places of trade on that coast, in and between these rivers are: 1. _Senegal_ river, where the commodities are hides, gum, elephants teeth, a few grains or pepper, ostrich feathers, ambergris, and some gold. 2. _Beseguiache_[323], a town near Cape Verd, and —- leagues[324] from the river Senegal. The commodities here are small hides and a few teeth. 3. _Rufisque_, or _Refisca viejo_, a town 4 leagues from Beseguiache, producing small hides and a few teeth now and then. 4. _Palmerin_, a town 2 leagues from Rufisque[325], having small hides and a few elephants teeth occasionally. 5. _Porto d’Ally_, or _Portudale_, a town 5 leagues from Palmerin, having small hides, teeth, ambergris, and a little gold; and many Portuguese are there. 6. _Candimal_, a town half a league from Portudale, having small hides and a few teeth now and then. 7. _Palmerin_[326], a town 3 leagues from Candimal, with similar commodities. 8. _Jaale_ or _Joala_, 6 leagues beyond Palmerin, its commodities being hides, wax, elephants teeth, rice, and some gold, for which it is frequented by many Spaniards and Portuguese, 9. _Gambia river_, producing rice, wax, hides, elephants teeth, and gold.

[Footnote 321: Hakluyt, III. 2. Astley, I. 242.]

[Footnote 322: In Astley, these previous remarks are stated to have been written by Richard Rainolds; but in the original collection of Hakluyt no such distinction is made, only that in the text Richard Rainolds states himself to have written the account of the voyage.–E.]

[Footnote 323: Or Barzaguiche, by which name the natives call the island of Goree; the town of that name being on the opposite shore of the continent.–Astl, I. 242. c.]

[Footnote 324: At this place the editor of Astley’s Collection supplies 28 leagues, in the text between brackets: But Cape Verd is 39 leagues from the southern mouth of the Senegal, and Goree is 6 leagues beyond Cape Verd. Near the situation pointed out for Beseguiache, modern maps place two small towns or villages named Dakar and Ben.–E.]

[Footnote 325: A league north from Rufisque in modern maps is a place called Ambo; about 1-1/2 league farther north, one named Canne; and near 2 leagues south, another named Yenne.–E.]

[Footnote 326: We have here two towns called Palmerin within a few leagues, perhaps one of them may be wrong named in the text.–E.]

The French have traded thither above thirty years from Dieppe in New-haven[327], commonly with four or five ships every year, of which two small barks go up the river Senegal. The others are wont, until within these four years that our ships came thither, to ride with their ships in Portudale, sending small shalops of six or eight tons to some of the before-named places on the sea coast. They were generally as well beloved and as kindly treated by the negroes as if they had been natives of the country, several of the negroes going often into France and returning again, to the great increase of their mutual friendship. Since we frequented the coast, the French go with their ships to Rufisque, and leave us to anchor a Portudale. The French are not in use to go up the river Gambia, which is a river of secret trade and riches concealed by the Portuguese. Long since, one Frenchman entered the river in a small bark, which was surprised, betrayed, and taken by the Portuguese. In our second voyage in the second year of our trade[328], about forty Englishmen were cruelly slain or captured, and most or all of their goods confiscated, by the vile treachery of the Portuguese, with the consent of the negro kings in Portudale and Joala. On this occasion only two got back, who were the merchants or factors. Likewise, by the procurement of Pedro Gonzalves, a person in the service of Don Antonio one of the officers of the king of Portugal, Thomas Dassel and others had been betrayed, if it had not pleased the Almighty to reveal and prevent the same.

[Footnote 327: Havre de Grace is probably here meant–E.]

[Footnote 328: Hence it appears that the relation in the text was the third voyage of the English exclusive company, in the third year of their patent, but we find no account of the other two beyond what is now mentioned. It appears, however from Kelly’s ship being at the same time upon the coast, that others as well as the patentees carried on this trade.–Astl. I. 242. d.]

From the south side of the river Senegal, all along the sea coast to Palmerin is one kingdom of the Negroes, the king of which is named Melick Zamba[329], who dwells about two days journey inland from Rufisque.

[Footnote 329: Melick; or Malek, in Arabic signifies king.–Astl. I. 242. e.]

_The Voyage._

On the 12th of November 1591, I, Richard Rainolds and Thomas Dassel, being factors in a ship called the Nightingale of London, of 125 tons, accompanied by a pinnace of 40 tons called the Messenger, arrived near Cape Verd at a small island called the _Isle of Liberty_. At this island we set up a small pinnace in which we are in use to carry our goods to land in the course of our traffic; and in the mean time Thomas Dassel went in the large pinnace to traffic with the Spaniards or Portuguese in Portudale or Joale. Over against this island of Liberty [_Goree_] there is a village of the negroes called Beseguiache, the alcaide or governor of which came on board, with a great train in a number of canoes, to receive the kings duties for anchorage and permission to set up our pinnace. He was much pleased that we had no Portuguese in our ships, saying that we should be always better thought of by the king and people of that country if we never brought any Portuguese, but came of ourselves as the French do always. To secure his favour, I gave him and his company very courteous entertainment, and upon his entreaty, having sufficient hostages left on board, I and several others went to the land along with him. At this time a war subsisted between this governor and the governor of a neighbouring province; but upon our arrival a truce was entered into for some time, and I with my companions were conducted through among the contending parties belonging to both provinces, to the house of the governor of Beseguiache, where we were hospitably entertained after their manner, and having received some presents returned safely on board. Next day the alcaide came again on board, desiring me to send some iron and other commodities in the boat to barter with the negroes, and also requested me to remove with the ship to Rufisque, which I did accordingly. I observed one thing, that a number of negroes, armed with bows and poisoned arrows, poisoned darts, and swords, attended the landing of the governor in warlike array, because the hostile tribe had come there to view our ship, taking advantage of the truce. These his armed attendants for the most part approached him in a kneeling posture, and kissed the back of his hand.

On the 17th of November, finding no French ship had yet come out, I left the anchorage at the island [_Goree_], and went to the road of Rufisque, where the interpreters of the alcaide came on board and received from me the kings duties for free trade with the negroes, with whom I every day exchanged my iron and other wares for hides and some elephants teeth, finding the people very friendly and tractable. Next day I went about three miles inland to the town of Rufisque, where I was handsomely received and treated by the alcaide, and especially so by a young noble named _Conde Amar Pattay_[330], who presented me with an ox, and some goats and kids, for my company, assuring me that the king would be glad to hear of the arrival of a Christian ship, calling us _blancos_ or white men, and more especially that we were English. Every day the young _conde_ came to the sea-side with a small company of horsemen, feasting me with much courtesy and kindness. On the 5th of December, he and his train came on board to view the ship, which to them seemed wonderful, as a thing they had seldom seen the like of. He then told me that a messenger sent to the king to notify our arrival was returned, and that the king was much rejoiced that the English had brought a ship to trade in his ports; and as I was the first Englishman who had brought a ship there, he promised that I and any Englishman hereafter might be sure of being well treated, and of receiving good dealings in his country. The _conde_ farther requested, in the kings name and his own, that before my final departure from the coast, I might return to the road of Rufisque, to confer with him for our better acquaintance, and for the establishment of stable friendship between them and the English, which I agreed to. Having shewn him and his train every civility in my power, he went on shore, on which I proposed to have given him a salute, but he desired the contrary, being amazed at the sight of the ship and noise of the guns, which they greatly admired.

[Footnote 330: In the name or title of this negro chief or noble may be recognized the Portuguese or Spanish _conde_, and the Arabic _amir_ or _emir_.–E.]

The 13th of December I weighed anchor from before Rufisque, and went to Porto d’Ally, which is in another kingdom, the king of which is called Amar Malek, being son to Malek Zamba the other king, and has his residence a days journey and a half inland from Porto d’Ally. When we had anchored, the governors of the town, who were the kings kinsmen, and all the other officers, came on board to receive the kings duty for anchorage and liberty to trade, all of whom seemed much pleased that we had no Portuguese on board, saying that it was the kings pleasure we should bring none of that nation, whom they considered as a people devoid of truth[331]. They complained of one Francisco de Costa, a servant of Don Antonio, who had often, and particularly the former year, abused their king Amar Malek, promising to bring him certain things out of England which he had never done, and supposed that might be his reason for not coming this voyage. They said likewise that neither the Portuguese nor Spaniards could abide us, but always spoke to the great defamation and dishonour of England. They also affirmed that on the arrival of a ship called the Command, belonging to Richard Kelley of Dartmouth, one Pedro Gonzalves, a Portuguese, who came in that ship from Don Antonio, reported to them that we were fled from England, and had come to rob and commit great spoil on the coast, and that Thomas Dassel had murdered Francisco de Acosta since we left England, who was coming in our ship with great presents for their king from Don Antonio, desiring on our arrival that they should seize our goods and ourselves secretly. They assured us however that they had refused to do this, as they disbelieved the report of Gonzalves, having often before been abused and deceived by such false and slanderous stories by the Portuguese. Their king, they said, was extremely sorry for the former murder of our people, and would never consent to any such thing in future, holding the Portuguese and Spaniards in utter abhorrence ever since, and having a much better opinion of us and our nation than these our enemies wished them to entertain. I gave them hearty thanks for their good opinion, assuring them that they should always find a great difference between our honour, and the dishonourable words and actions of our enemies, and then paid them the customary duties. As this was a chief place for trade, I told them that I intended to wait upon their king that I might give him certain presents which I had brought out of England, on purpose to strengthen the friendship between their nation and ours.

[Footnote 331: From this and other passages of the present journal, it appears that the English used to carry a Portuguese along with them in their first voyages to the coast of Africa, whether from choice or by agreement with the government of Portugal does not clearly appear: and that, finding the inconvenience of this custom, they began now to lay it aside. This seems to have provoked the king of Portugal, who proposed to ruin the English trade by means of these agents or spies.–_Astl_. I. 214. b.]

All this time, Thomas Dassel was with our large pinnace at the town of Joala, in the dominions of king Jocoel Lamiockeric, trading with the Spaniards and Portuguese at that place. The before-mentioned Pedro Gonzalves, who had come out of England, was there also along with some English merchants, employed in the service of Richard Kelley. As Gonzalves had not been able to accomplish his treacherous purposes against Dassel at Porto d’Ally, where I remained, he attempted, along with other Portuguese who were made privy to his design, to betray Dassel at this town of Joala, and had seduced the chiefs among the negroes, by means of bribes, to concur in his wicked and most treacherous intentions. These, by the good providence of God, were revealed to Thomas Dassel by Richard Cape, an Englishman, in the service of Richard Kelley; on which Thomas Dassel went on board a small English bark called the Cherubim of Lyme, where a Portuguese named Joam Payva, a servant of Don Antonio, declared that Thomas Dassel would have been betrayed long before, if he and one Garcia, a Portuguese, who lived at Joala, would have concurred with Pedro Gonzalves. Upon this warning, Thomas Dassel contrived next day to get three Portuguese on board the pinnace, two of whom he sent on shore, and detained the third named Villanova as an hostage, sending a message that if they would bring Gonzalves on board next day by eight o’clock, he would release Villanova; but they did not. Dassel likewise got intelligence, that certain Portuguese and negroes were gone post by land from Joala to Porto d’Ally, with the view of having me, Richard Rainolds, and my company detained on shore; and, being doubtful of the negro friendship, who were often wavering, especially when overcome by wine, he came with his pinnace and the Portuguese hostage to Porto d’Ally on the 24th December, for our greater security, and to prevent any treacherous plan that might have been attempted against us in the roads by the Portuguese. He was no sooner arrived beside our large ship the Nightingale in the road of Porto d’Ally, than news was brought him from John Baily, servant to Anthony Dassel, that he and our goods were detained on shore, and that twenty Portuguese and Spaniards were come there from Joala along with Pedro Gonzalves, for the purpose of getting Villanova released. After a conference of two or three days, held with the negro chiefs and the Spaniards and Portuguese, the negroes were in the end convinced how vilely Pedro Gonzalves had behaved; and as he was in their power, they said he ought to suffer death or torture for his villany, as an example to others; but we, in recompence of his cruel treachery, pitied him and shewed mercy, desiring the negroes to use him well though undeserving; upon which the negro chiefs brought him on board the pinnace to Thomas Dassel, to do with him as he thought proper.

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