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

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bow and long arrows, which are their best weapons; yet they have some
fire-arms among them, which they handle very badly.

In this country pepper grows, being trained up a tree or pole. It is
like our ivy berry, but something longer, like an ear of wheat. At first
the bunches are green, but as they become ripe they are cut off and
dried. The leaf is much smaller and thinner than that of ivy. The houses
of the inhabitants are very small, and are covered with the leaves of
the coco-tree. The men are of moderate stature, but the women very
little; all black, with a cloth about their middles, hanging down to
their hams, all the rest of their bodies being naked. They have horribly
great ears, with many rings set with pearls and other stones. All the
pepper sold in Calicut, and the coarse cinnamon [cassia] grow in this
country. The best cinnamon comes from Ceylon, and is peeled from fine
young trees. They have here many palmers, or coco-nut trees, which is
their chief food, as it yields both meat and drink, together with many
other useful things, as I said formerly.

The nairs belonging to the Samorin or king of Calicut, which are
Malabars, are always at war with the Portuguese, though their sovereign
be at peace with them; but his people go to sea to rob and plunder.
Their chief captain is called _Cogi Alli_, who hath three castles under
his authority. When the Portuguese complain to the Samorin, he pretends
that he does not send them out, but he certainly consents to their
going. They range all along the coast from Ceylon to Goa, and go in
parties of four or five paraos or boats together, in each of which are
fifty or sixty men, who immediately board every vessel they come up
with, doing much harm on that coast, and every year take many foists and
barks belonging to the Portuguese. Besides the nairs, many of the people
in these paraos are Moors. The dominions of the Samorin begin twelve
leagues from Cochin and reach to near Goa.

I remained in Cochin eight months, till the 2d of November, not being
able to procure a passage in all that time; whereas if I had arrived two
days sooner I should have got a passage immediately. From Cochin I went
to Goa, which is an hundred leagues; and after remaining three days I
went to Chaul, sixty leagues from Goa. I remained twenty-three days at
Chaul, making all necessary preparations for the prosecution of my
voyage. I then sailed for Ormus, four hundred leagues from Goa, where I
had to wait fifty days for a passage to Basora.

From Basora I went up the Euphrates and Tigris to Babylon or Bagdat,
being drawn up most of the way by the strength of men, hauling by a long
rope. From Bagdat I went by land to Mosul, which stands near the scite
of the ancient Nineveh, which is all ruinated and destroyed. From Mosul
I travelled to Merdin in Armenia, where a people called _Cordies_ or
Curds now dwell. I went thence to Orfa, a fair town having a fair
fountain full of fish, where the Mahometans hold many opinions, and
practice many ceremonies in reference to Abraham, who they allege once
dwelt there. From thence I went to Bir, where I crossed the Euphrates,
and continued my journey to Aleppo; whence, after staying some months
for a caravan, I went to Tripolis in Syria. Finding an English ship
there, I had a prosperous voyage to London, where by the blessing of God
I arrived safe on the 29th of April 1591, having been eight years absent
from my native country.

* * * * *

Before ending this my book, I have thought right to declare some things
which are produced in India and the countries farther east[428].

[Footnote 428: This account of the commodities of India so very much
resembles that already given in the perigrinations of Cesar Frederick,
Vol. VII. p. 204, as to seem in a great measure borrowed from it, though
with some variations.--E.]

Pepper grows in many parts of India, especially about Cochin; much of it
growing wild in the fields among the bushes without cultivation, and is
gathered when ripe. When first gathered it is green, but becomes black
by drying in the sun. Ginger is found in many parts of India, growing
like our garlic, the root being the ginger. Cloves come from the Molucca
islands, the tree resembling our bay. Nutmegs and mace grow together on
the same tree, and come from the island of Banda, the tree being like
our walnut-tree, but smaller. White sandal wood comes from the island of
Timor. It is very sweet scented, and is in great request among the
natives of India, who grind it up with a little water, and then anoint
their bodies with it, as a grateful perfume. Camphor is esteemed very
precious among the Indians, and is sold dearer than gold, so that I
think none of it comes to Christendom. That which is compounded comes
from China: But the best, which grows in canes, comes from the great
island of Borneo.

Lignuo aloes are from Cochin China. Benjamin, or Benzoin, comes from
Siam and Jangomes[429]. Long pepper grows in Bengal, Pegu, and the
Javas. Musk comes from Tartary[430], Amber[431] is supposed by most to
come out of the sea, as it is all found on the shore.

[Footnote 429: In Cesar Fredericks peregrinations, Benzoin is said to
come from Siam and _Assi_, or Assam, which confirms the conjecture
already made, of Langeiannes and the Jangomes referring to Assam.--E.]

[Footnote 430: Fitch here repeats the ridiculous, story respecting the
fabrication of musk, already given by Cesar Frederick.--E.]

[Footnote 431: Certainly Ambergris, the origin of which from the
Spermaceti whale has been formerly noticed in this work.--E.]

Rubies, sapphires and spinels are found in Pegu. Diamonds are found in
several places, as in Bisnagur, Agra, Delhi, and the Javan islands. The
best pearls come from the isle of Bahrein in the gulf of Persia; and an
inferior sort from the fisheries near Ceylon, and from Ainan, a large
island off the southern coast of China. Spodium and many other drugs
come from Cambaia or Gujrat, commonly called Guzerat.


_Supplement to the Journey of Fitch_[432].


In Hakluyt's collection, p. 235--376, are given letters from queen
Elizabeth to Akbar Shah, Mogul emperor of Hindostan, called there
Zelabdim Echebar, king of Cambaia, and to the king or emperor of China,
dated 1583. These are merely complimentary, and for the purpose of
recommending John Newbery and his company to the protection and favour
of these eastern sovereigns, in case of visiting their dominions; and
need not therefore be inserted in this place. The following articles
however, are of a different description, consisting of several letters
from John Newbery and Ralph Fitch to different friends in England; and
of an extract from the work of John Huighen Van Linschoten, who was in
Goa in December 1583, upon their arrival at that emporium of the
Portuguese trade in India, affording a full confirmation of the
authenticity of the expedition thus far.--E.

[Footnote 432: Hakluyt, II. 375--381. and 399--402.]

No. 1.--_Letter from Mr John Newbery to Mr Richard Hakluyt of Oxford,
author of the Voyages, &c._

Right well beloved, and my assured good friend, I heartily commend me
unto you, hoping that you are in good health, &c. After we set sail from
Gravesend on the 13th of February, we remained on our coast till the
11th of March, when we sailed from Falmouth, and never anchored till our
arrival in the road of Tripoli in Syria, on the 30th of April. After
staying fourteen days there, we came to this place, Aleppo, on the 20th
of this present month of May, where we have now been eight days, and in
five or six days, with Gods help, we go from hence towards the Indies.
Since my arrival at Tripoli, I have made diligent inquiry, both there
and here, for the book of Cosmography of Abulfeda Ismael, but cannot
hear of it. Some say that it may possibly be had in Persia; but I shall
not fail to make inquiry for it both in Babylon and Balsara, [Bagdat and
Basora] and if I can find it in either of these places, shall send it
you from thence. The letter which you gave me to copy out, which came
from Mr Thomas Stevens in Goa, as also the note you gave me of Francis
Fernandez the Portuguese, I brought away with me inadvertantly among
other writings; both of which I now return you inclosed.

Great preparations are making here for the wars in Persia; and already
is gone from hence the pacha of a town called _Rahemet_, and shortly
after the pachas of Tripoli and Damascus are to follow; but they have
not in all above 6000 men. They go to a town called _Asmerome_,
[Erzerum] three days journey from Trebesond, where they are to meet with
sundry captains and soldiers from Constantinople and other places, to go
altogether into Persia. This year many men go for these wars, as has
been the case every year since they began, now about eight years, but
very few return again; although they have had the advantage over the
Persians, and have won several castles and strong holds in that country.

Make my hearty commendations to Mr Peter Guillame, Mr Philip Jones, Mr
Walter Warner, and all the rest of our friends. Mr Fitch sends his
hearty commendations; and so I commit you to the tuition of Almighty
God, whom I pray to bless and keep you, and send us a joyful meeting.
From Aleppo, the 28th of May 1583.

Your loving friend to command in all that I may, JOHN NEWBERY.

No. 2.--_Letter from Mr John Newbery to Mr Leonard Poore of London_.

My last was sent you on the 25th of February last from Deal out of the
Downs, after which, in consequence, of contrary winds, we remained on
the coast of England till the 11th March, when we sailed from Falmouth.
The 13th the wind came contrary with a great storm, by which some of our
goods were wet; but, God be thanked, no great hurt was done. After this,
we sailed with a fair wind within the Straits, continuing our voyage and
anchoring no where till the 30th of April, when we arrived in the road
of Tripoli in Syria, which was a good passage, God make us thankful for
it. We left Tripoli on the 14th of this month of May, and arrived here
at Aleppo on the 20th; and with Gods help we begin our voyage to-morrow
for Bagdat and Basora, and so to India.

Our friend Mr Barret, commendeth him to you, and sent you a _ball_
[bale?] of nutmegs in the Emanuel, for the small trifles you sent him,
which I hope you have long since received. He has also by his letter
informed you how he sold these things, whereof I say nothing, neither
having seen the account nor demanded it; for, ever since our coming
hither, he has been constantly occupied about the dispatch of the ship
and about our voyage, and I likewise in purchasing things here to carry
to Basora and India. We have bought coral to the value of 1200 ducats,
amber for 400, and some soap and broken glass and other small matters,
which I hope will serve well for the places we are going to. All the
rest of the account of the bark Reinolds was sent home in the Emanuel,
which amounted to 3600 ducats, being L.200 more than they were rated; as
Mr Staper rated them at L.1100, and it is L.1300; so that our part is
L.200, besides such profit as it shall please God to send thereof;
wherefore you would do well to speak to Mr Staper for the account.

If you could resolve to travel for three or four years, I would advise
you to come here, or to go to Cairo, if any go there. For we doubt not,
if you were to remain here three or four months, you would like the
place so well, that I think you would not desire to return in less than
three or four years; as, were it my chance to remain in any place out of
England, I would choose this before all other that I know. My reason is,
that the place is healthful and pleasant, and the profits good; and
doubtless the profits will be better hereafter, things being carried on
in an orderly manner. In every ship, the fourth part of her cargo should
come in money, which would help to put off the rest of our commodities
at a good price. It were also proper that two good ships should come
together, for mutual assistance, in which case the danger of the voyage
would be as little as from London to Antwerp.

Mr Giles Porter and Mr Edmund Porter went from Tripoli in a small bark
to Jaffa, the same day that we came from thence, which was the 14th of
this month of May, so that I have no doubt they are long since in
Jerusalem. God send them and us a safe return. At this instant, I have
received the account from Mr Barret, and the rest of the rings, with 22
ducats and 2 medins in ready money; so there remaineth nothing in his
hands but a few books, and I left certain small trifles with Thomas
Bostocke, which I pray you to demand. From Aleppo, the 29th May 1583.

No. 3.--_Letter from Mr John Newbery to the same_.

My last was of the 29th May from Aleppo, sent by George Gill, purser of
the Tiger. We left that place on the 31st, and came to Feluchia, which
is one days journey from Babylon [Bagdat,] on the 19th of June. Yet some
of our company came not hither till the 30th of June, for want of camels
to carry our goods; for by reason of the great heats at this time of the
year, camels are very hard to be got. Since our coming here we have
found very scanty sales, but are told our commodities will sell well in
winter, which I pray God may be the case. I think cloth, kersies, and
tin have never been here so low as now. Yet, if I had here as much ready
money as our goods are worth, I would not doubt to make a very good
profit of the voyage here and at Basora, and as it is, with Gods help,
there will be reasonable profit made of the adventure. But, with half
money and half commodities, the best sort of spices and other
merchandise from India, may be bought at reasonable rates, while without
money there is very little to be done here at this time to purpose. Two
days hence, God willing, I purpose going from hence to Basora, and from
thence I must necessarily go to Ormus, for want of a man who speaks the
Indian tongue. While at Aleppo, I hired two Nazarenes, one of whom has
been twice in India, and speaks the language well; but he is a very lewd
fellow, wherefore I will not take him with me.

The following are the prices of wares, as they are worth here at
present: Cloves and mace the _bateman_, 5 ducats; cinnamon, 6 ducats,
and very little to be had; ginger, 40 medins; pepper, 75 medins;
turbetta[433], 50 medins; neel [or indigo,] the _churle_ 70 ducats: the
churle is 27-1/2 rotils of Aleppo; silk, much better than that which
comes from Persia, 11-1/2 ducats the bateman, each bateman being 7
pounds 5 ounces English. From Bagdat this 20th July 1583.

[Footnote 433: Most likely turmeric, anciently called turbith vegetable,
in contradistinction to turbith mineral, so named from its yellow colour
resembling turbith or turmeric.--E.]

No. 4.--_Letter from, John Newbery to Messrs John Eldred and William
Scales at Basora_.

Time will not permit to give you an account of my voyage after my
departure from you. But on the 4th day of this present September, we
arrived here at Ormus; and the 10th day I and the rest were committed to
prison. The middle of next month, or thereabout, the captain proposes
sending us all in his ship to Goa. The cause for which we have been
imprisoned is said to be, because we brought letters from Don Antonio:
But the truth is, Michael Stropene is the only cause, through letters
written to him by his brother from Aleppo. God knows how we may be dealt
with at Goa; and therefore, if you our masters can procure that the king
of Spain may send his letters for our release, you would do us great
good, for they cannot with any justice put us to death, though it may be
that they will cut our throats, or keep us long in prison. Gods will be

All the commodities I brought to this place had been well sold, if this
trouble had not come upon us. You shall do well to send a messenger in
all speed by land from Basora to Aleppo, to give notice of this
mischance, even though it may cost 30 or 40 crowns, that we may be the
sooner released, and I shall thereby be the better able to recover again
what is now like to be lost. From prison in Ormus, this 21st September

No. 5.--_Letter Mr J. Newbery to Messrs Eldred and Scales_.

The bark of the Jews is arrived here two days ago, by which I am sure
you wrote; but your letters are not likely to come to my hands. The
bringer of this hath shewed me very great courtesy, for which I pray
you to shew him what favour you can. About the middle of next month, I
think we shall depart from hence: God be our guide. I think Andrew will
go by land to Aleppo; and I pray you to further him what you may: But,
if he should not go, then I pray you to dispatch a messenger in all
speed. I can say no more, but beg you to do for me what I should do for
you in the like case. From prison in Ormus, the 24th September 1583.

No. 6.--_Letter from Mr Newbery to Mr Leonard Poore_.

My last from Ormus certified you what had happened to me there, with the
rest of my company; as in four days after our arrival we were all
committed to prison, except one Italian, who came with me from Aleppo,
whom the captain never examined, except asking what countryman he was;
but I believe Michael Stropene, who accused us, had informed the captain
of him. The first day of our arrival at Ormus, this Stropene accused us
of being spies for Don Antonio, besides diverse other lies; yet if we
had been of any other country than England, we might freely have traded
with them. Although we be Englishmen, I know no reason why we may not as
well trade from place to place as the natives of other countries; for
all nations may and do come freely to Ormus, as Frenchmen, Flemings,
Germans, Hungarians, Italians, Greeks, Armenians, Nazarenes, Turks,
Moors, Jews, and Gentiles, Persians, and Muscovites. In short, there is
no nation they seek to trouble, but only ours; wherefore it were
contrary to all justice and reason that they should suffer all nations
to trade with them, and forbid us. Now indeed I have as great liberty as
those of any other nation, except it be to leave the country, which as
yet I desire not. But hereafter, and I think ere long, if I shall be
desirous to go from hence, that they will not refuse me licence. Before
we were suffered to come out of prison, I was forced to put in sureties
for 2000 pardaos, not to depart from hence without licence of the
viceroy; and except this, we have now as much liberty as any one, for I
have got back our goods, and have taken a house in the chiefest street
called the _Rue drette_, where we sell our goods.

There were two causes which moved the captain of Ormus to imprison us,
and afterwards to send us to Goa. The first was because Michael Stropene
had most falsely accused us of many matters. The other was, because when
Mr Drake was at the Molucca islands, he caused two pieces of cannon to
be fired at a Portuguese galeon belonging to the king, at least so they
allege. But of these things I did not know when at Ormus. In the same
ship which brought us to Goa, came the chief justice of Ormus, called
the veedor general of that place, who had been there three years, so
that his time was expired. This veedor is a great friend to the captain
of Ormus, and sent for me into his chamber, one day after coming here to
Goa, and began to demand many things at me, to which I made answers.
Among other things, he said that Mr Drake had been sent out of England
with many ships, and had gone to Molucca where he loaded cloves, and
finding a Portuguese galeon there belonging to the king, had shot two
pieces of his great ordnance against her. Perceiving this grieved them
much, I asked if they meant to be revenged on me for what had been done
by Mr Drake: To which he answered no; though his meaning was yes.

He said moreover, that the captain of Ormus had sent me to Goa, that the
viceroy might learn the news from me respecting Don Antonio, and whether
he were in England or not; and that it might possibly be all for the
best my being sent hither; which I trust in God may so fall out, though
contrary to his expectation and intention: For, if it had not pleased
God to influence the minds of the archbishop, and two padres or Jesuits
of the college of St Paul, to stand our friends, we might have rotted in
prison. The archbishop is a very good man, who has two young men in his
service, one called Bernard Borgers born in Hamburgh, and the other
named John Linscot[434], a native of Enkhuysen, who did us especial
service; for by them the archbishop was often reminded of our case. The
two good fathers who laboured so much for us were padre Mark, a native
of Bruges in Flanders, and padre Thomas Stevens[435], born in Wiltshire
in England. I chanced likewise to fall in with here a young man, Francis
de Rea, who was born in Antwerp, but was mostly brought up in London,
with whom I became acquainted in Aleppo, who also has done me much

[Footnote 434: John Huighen van Linschoten, the author of the book
respecting the East Indies, formerly quoted, and from which a second
quotation will be given in this supplement.--E.]

[Footnote 435: This is he whose letter to his father from Goa has been
already inserted, and who was sometime of New College in

We remained many days in prison at Ormus, and were a long while at sea
coming hither. Immediately on our arrival at this place we were sent to
prison, whence next day we were brought before the chief justice or
veedor, to be examined, after which we were remanded to prison. When we
had been thirteen days in prison, James Storie, the painter who
accompanied us, went into the monastery of St Paul, where he remains,
being made one of the company, which life he seems to like[436]. Upon St
Thomas day, 12th December, 22 days after our arrival here, I was
liberated from prison, and the next day Ralph Fitch and William
Bets[437] came out.

[Footnote 436: It will appear afterwards that he did not continue.--E.]

[Footnote 437: In the narrative of Fitch no such name occurs, but
William Leedes jeweller, is named as one of the party. Perhaps he ought
to have been named by Fitch, William Bets of Leeds.--E.]

If these troubles had not occurred, I think I was in a fair way of
making as good a voyage as was ever made with such a sum of money. Many
of our things I sold very well, both here and at Ormus while in prison,
although the captain of Ormus wished me to have sold all I had before I
embarked; so, by his permission, I went sundry times from the castle in
the mornings, accompanied by officers, and sold things, and returned
again at night to prison. They wrote down every thing that I sold; and
at my embarking, the captain directed me to deliver all my money and
goods into the hands of the _scrivano_ or purser of the ship, which I
did, and the scrivano left an acknowledgement with the captain, that
myself with the money and goods should be delivered up to the veedor
general in India. But on our arrival here, the veedor would not meddle
with either money or goods, seeing that no crime was substantiated
against us: Wherefore the goods remained in the ship nine or ten days
after our arrival; and then, as the ship was to sail from thence, the
scrivano sent the goods on shore, where they remained a day and a night
without any one to receive them. In the end, they permitted the bearer
of this letter to receive them, who put them into a house which he hired
for me, in which they remained four or five days. When afterwards they
ought to have delivered the money, it was ordered by the _veedor_, that
both the money and goods should be given into the custody of the
_positor_, where they remained for fourteen days after I was liberated
from prison.

When in Aleppo, I bought a fountain of silver gilt, six knives, six
spoons, and one fork, all trimmed with coral, for 25 chekins, which the
captain of Ormus took to himself and only paid 20 pardaos, or 100
larines, though they were worth there or here at Goa 100 chekins. Also
he had five emeralds set in gold, worth five or six hundred crowns, for
which he only paid 100 pardaos. He likewise took 19-1/2 pikes of cloth,
which cost 20 shillings the pike at London, and was worth 9 or 10 crowns
the pike at Ormus, for which he only paid 12 larines. He also had two
pieces of green kersie, worth 24 pardaos each; besides divers other more
trifling articles which he and the officers took at similar inferior
prices, and some for nothing at all. But the real cause of all was
Michal Stropene, who came to Ormus without a penny, and is now worth
thirty or forty thousand crowns, and is grieved that any stranger should
trade there but himself. But that shall not avail him; for I trust yet
to go both hither and thither, and to buy and sell as freely as he or
any other.

There is a great deal of good to be done here in divers of our
commodities; and likewise there is much profit to be made with the
commodities of this country, when carried to Aleppo. It were long for me
to write, and tedious for you to read, all the incidents which have
occurred to me since we parted; but the bearer is able to inform you of
every thing that has befallen me since my arrival in Ormus. It is my
intention to remain here in Goa; wherefore, if you write me, you may
send your letters to some friend in Lisbon, to be forwarded from thence
by the India ships. Let your direction, therefore be in Portuguese or
Spanish, by which they will the more readily reach me.--From Goa, this
20th of January 1584.

No, 7.--_Letter from Mr Ralph Fitch to Mr Leonard Poore_.

Loving friend, &c. Since my departure from Aleppo, I have not written
you, because at Bagdat I was ill of flux, and continued in all the way
thence to Basora, which was twelve days journey down the Tigris, when we
had extremely hot weather, bad fare, and worse lodging, all of which
increased my disease; besides which our boat was pestered with people.
During eight entire days I hardly eat any thing, so that if we had been
two days longer on the water, I verily believe I had died. But, thanks
be to God, I presently mended after coming to Basora. We remained there
fourteen days, when we embarked for Ormus, where we arrived on the 5th
of September, and were put in prison on the 9th of the same month, where
we continued till the 11th of October, and were then shipt for this city
of Goa, in the ship belonging to the captain of Ormus, with 114
horses[438], and about 200 men. Passing by Diu and Chaul, at which place
we landed on the 20th November, we arrived at Goa on the 29th of that
month, where, for our better entertainment, we were committed to a fair
strong prison, in which we continued till the 22d of December. It
pleased God, that there were two padres there who befriended us, the one
an Englishman named Thomas Stevens, the other a Fleming named Marco,
both Jesuits of the college of St Paul. These good men sued for us to
the viceroy and other officers, and stood us in such good stead as our
lives and goods were worth: But for them, even if we had escaped with
our lives, we must have suffered a long imprisonment.

[Footnote 438: In the narrative of Fitch, called 124, which might easily
be mistaken either way in transcription.--E.]

When we had been fourteen days in prison, they offered us leave to go at
large in the town, if we would give sureties, for 2000 ducats, not to
depart the country without the licence of the viceroy. Being unable to
procure any such, the before mentioned friendly fathers of St Paul
procured sureties for us. The Italians are much offended and displeased
at our enlargement, and many wonder at our delivery. James Storie the
painter has gone into the cloister of St Paul, as one of their order,
and seems to like the situation. While we were in prison, both at Ormus
and here, a great deal of our goods were pilfered and lost, and we have
been at great charges in gifts and otherwise, so that much of our
property is consumed. Of what remains, much will sell very well, and for
some we will get next to nothing. The viceroy is gone to Chaul and Diu
as it is said to win a castle of the Moors, and it is thought he will
return about Easter; when I trust in God we shall procure our liberty,
and have our sureties discharged. It will then, I think, be our best way
for one or both of us to return, as our troubles have been very great,
and because so much of our goods have been spoiled and lost: But if it
should please God that I come to England, I will certainly return here
again. It is a charming country, and extremely fruitful, having summer
almost the whole year, but the most delightful season is about
Christmas. The days and nights are of equal length throughout the whole
year, or with very little difference; and the country produces a most
wonderful abundance of fruit. After all our troubles we are fat and in
good health, for victuals are plentiful and cheap. I omit to inform you
of many strange things till we meet, as it would be too long to write of
them. And thus I commit you to God, &c. From Goa in the East Indies,
25th January 1584.

No. 8.--_The Report of John Huighen van Linschoten, concerning the
imprisonment of Newbery and Fitch; which happened while he was at Goa_.

In the month of December 1583, four Englishmen arrived at Ormus, who
came by way of Aleppo in Syria, having sailed from England by the
Mediterranean to Tripoli, a town and haven in Syria, where all ships
discharge their wares and merchandise for Aleppo, to which they are
carried by land, which is a journey of nine days. In Aleppo there reside
many merchants and factors of all nations, as Italians, French, English,
Armenians, Turks, and Moors, every one following his own religion, and
paying tribute to the grand Turk. It. is a place of great trade, whence
twice every year there go two _cafilas_ or caravans, containing great
companies of people and camels, which travel to India, Persia, Arabia,
and all the adjoining countries, dealing in all kinds of merchandise
both to and from these countries, as I have already declared in another
part of this book.

Three of these Englishmen were sent by the company of English who reside
in Aleppo, to see if they might keep any factors at Ormus, and so
traffic in that place, as the Italians do, that is the Venetians, who
have their factors in Ormus, Goa, and Malacca, and trade there, both for
pearls and precious stones, and for other wares and spices of these
countries, which are carried thence over-land to Venice. One of these
Englishmen, Mr John Newbery, had been once before in the said town of
Ormus, and had there taken good information of the trade; and on his
advice the others were then come hither along with him, bringing great
store of merchandise; such as cloths, saffron, all kinds of drinking
glasses and haberdashery wares, as looking-glasses, knives, and such
like stuff; and to conclude, they brought with them every kind of small
wares that can be thought of.

Although these wares amounted to great sums of money, they were yet only
as a shadow or colour, to give no occasion of mistrust or suspicion, as
their principal intention was to purchase great quantities of precious
stones, as diamonds, pearls, rubies, &c. to which end they brought with
them a great sum of money in silver and gold, and that very secretly,
that they might not be robbed of it, or run into danger on its
account[439]. On their arrival at Ormus, they hired a shop and began to
sell their wares; which being noticed by the Italians, whose factors
reside there as I said before, and fearing if these Englishmen got good
vent for their commodities, that they would become residents and so
daily increase, which would be no small loss and hindrance to them, they
presently set about to invent subtle devices to hinder them. To which
end, they went immediately to the captain of Ormus, who was then Don
Gonzalo de Menezes[440], saying that these Englishmen were heretics come
to spy the country, and that they ought to be examined and punished as
enemies, for a warning to others. Being friendly to these Englishmen, as
one of them had been there before and had given him presents, the
captain could not be prevailed upon to injure them, but shipped them
with all their wares for Goa, sending them to the viceroy, that he might
examine and deal with them as he thought good.

[Footnote 439: This seems a mere adoption of the rumours of the
Italians; as Newbery distinctly complains of the want of cash, by which
he might have made very profitable purchases in Aleppo, Bagdat, and

[Footnote 440: The captain of the castle of Ormus is named Don Mathias
de Albuquerque by Fitch.--E.]

Upon their arrival at Goa, they were cast into prison, and were in the
first place examined whether or not they were good Christians. As they
could only speak very bad Portuguese, while two of them spoke good
Dutch, having resided several years in the low countries, a Dutch Jesuit
who was born at Bruges in Flanders, and had resided thirty years in
India, was sent to them, to undermine and examine them; in which they
behaved so well, that they were holden and esteemed for good and
Catholic Christians; yet were they still suspected, as being strangers
and Englishmen. The Jesuits told them that they would be sent prisoners
into Portugal, and advised them to leave off their trade in merchandise,
and to become Jesuits; promising in return to defend them from all their
troubles. The cause of thus earnestly persuading them was this: The
Dutch Jesuit had been secretly informed that they had great sums of
money, and sought to get that for the order; as the first vow and
promise made on becoming a Jesuit is, to procure and advance the welfare
of the order by every possible means. Although the Englishmen refused
this, saying that they were quite unfit for such matters, yet one of
them, a painter, who came with the other three to see the country and
seek his fortune, and was not sent by the English merchants, partly
through fear, and partly from want of means to relieve himself from
prison, promised to become a Jesuit. And although the fathers knew that
he was not one of those who had the treasure, yet, because he was a
painter, of whom there are few in India, and that they had great need of
one to paint their church, which would cost them great charges to bring
from Portugal, they were very glad of him, and hoped in time to get all
the rest, with all their money, into their fellowship.

To conclude, they made this painter a Jesuit, and he continued some time
in their college, where they gave him plenty of work to perform, and
entertained him with all the favour and friendship they could devise,
all to win the rest to become their prey. But the other three remained
in prison in great fear, because they did not understand any who came to
them, neither did any one understand what they said. They were at last
informed of certain Dutchmen who dwelt with the archbishop, and were
advised to send for them, at which they greatly rejoiced, and sent for
me and another Dutchman, desiring us to come and speak with them, which
we presently did. With tears in their eyes, they complained to us of
their hard usage, explaining to us distinctly, as is said before, the
true cause of their coming to Ormus, and praying us for God's sake to
help them to their liberty upon sureties, declaring themselves ready to
endure whatever could be justly ordained for them, if they were found to
be otherwise than they represented, or different from other travelling
merchants who sought to profit by their wares.

Promising to do our best for them, we at length prevailed on the
archbishop to deliver a petition for them to the viceroy, and persuaded
him to set them at liberty and restore their goods, on condition of
giving security to the amount of 2000 pardaos, not to depart the country
without licence. Thereupon they presently found a citizen who became
their surety in 2000 pardaos, to whom they paid in hand 1300, as they
said they had no more money; wherefore he gave them credit for the rest,
seeing that they had great store of merchandise, through which he might
at any time be satisfied, if needful. By these means they were delivered
out of prison, on which they hired a house, and began to open shop; so
that they sold many of their goods, and were presently well known among
the merchants, as they always respected gentlemen, especially such as
bought their wares, shewing them much honour and courtesy, by which they
won much credit, and were beloved of all men, so that all favoured them,
and were ready to shew them favour. To us they shewed great friendship,
and for our sakes the archbishop favoured them much, and gave them good
countenance, which they well knew how to increase by offering him many
presents, although he would not receive them, as he never accepted gift
or present from any person. They behaved themselves in all things so
discreetly, that no one carried an evil eye or evil thought towards
them. This did not please the Jesuits, as it hindered what they still
wished and hoped for; so that they still ceased not to intimidate them
by means of the Dutch Jesuit, intimating that they would be sent
prisoners to Portugal, and counselling them to become Jesuits in the
cloister of St Paul, when they would be securely defended from all
troubles. The Dutchman pretended to give them this advice as a friend,
and one who knew certainly that it was so determined in the viceroy's
council, and that he only waited till the ship sailed for Portugal;
using this and other devices to put them in fear, and so to effect their

The Englishmen durst not say any thing to the contrary, but answered
that they would remain as they were yet a little while and consider
their proposal, thus putting the Jesuits in hopes of their compliance.
The principal of these Englishmen, John Newbery, often complained to me,
saying that he knew not what to think or say of these things, or how
they might get rid of these troubles. In the end, they determined with
themselves to depart from Goa; and secretly, by means of other friends,
they employed their money in the purchase of precious stones, which they
were the better able to effect as one of them was a jeweller, who came
with them for that purpose. Having concluded on this step, they durst
not make it known to any one, not even to us, although they used to
consult us on all occasions and tell us every thing they knew.

On one of the Whitson holidays, they went out to recreate themselves
about three miles from Goa, in the mouth of the river, in a country
called _Bardez_[441], taking with them a supply of victuals and drink.
That they might not be suspected, they left their house and shop, with
same of their wares unsold, in the charge of a Dutch boy whom we had
procured for them, and who remained in their house, quite ignorant of
their intentions. When in Bardez, they procured a _patamer_, one of the
Indian post-boys or messengers who carry letters from place to place,
whom they hired as a guide. Between Bardez and the main-land there is
only a small river, in a manner half dry, which they passed over on
foot, and so travelled away by land, and were never heard of again; but
it is thought they arrived in Aleppo, though no one knows: with
certainty. Their great dependence is upon John Newbery, who can speak
the Arabian language, which is used in all these countries, or at least
understood, being as commonly known in all the east as French is with

[Footnote 441: Bardes is an island a short way north from the island of
Goa, and only divided from the main-land by a small river or creek.--E.]

On the news of their departure being brought to Goa, there was a great
stir and murmuring among the people, as all much wondered. Many were of
opinion that we had counselled them to withdraw, and presently their
surety seized on the remaining goods, which might amount to the value of
200 pardaos; and with that and the money he had received of the
Englishmen, he went to the viceroy, and delivered it to him, the viceroy
forgiving him the rest. This flight of the Englishmen grieved the
Jesuits worst, as they had lost so rich a prey, which they made
themselves secure of. The Dutch Jesuit came to ask us if we knew of
their intentions, saying, if he had suspected as much he would have
dealt differently by them, for he had once in his hands a bag of theirs,
in which were 40,000 _veneseanders_, [442], each worth two pardaos, at
the time when they were in prison. But as they had always given him to
believe he might accomplish his desire of getting them to profess in the
Jesuit college, he had given them their money again, which otherwise
they would not have come by so easily, or peradventure never. This he
said openly, and in the end he called them heretics, spies, and a
thousand other opprobrious names.

[Footnote 442: This word _veneseander_, or venetiander, probably means,
a Venetian chekin.--E.]

When the English painter, who had become a Jesuit, heard that his
countrymen were gone, and found that the Jesuits did not use him with so
great favour as at first, he repented himself; and not having made any
solemn vow, and being counselled to leave their house, he told them that
he made no doubt of gaining a living in the city, and that they had no
right to keep him against his inclination, and as they could not accuse
him of any crime, he was determined not to remain with them. They used
all the means they could devise to keep him in the college, but he would
not stay, and, hiring a house in the city, he opened shop as a painter,
where he got plenty of employment, and in the end married the daughter
of a mestee, so that he laid his account to remain there as long as he
lived. By this Englishman I was instructed in all the ways, trades, and
voyages of the country between Aleppo, and Ormus, and of all the rules
and customs observed in the overland passage, as also of all the towns
and places on the route. Since the departure of these Englishmen from
Goa, there have never arrived any strangers, either English or others,
by land, except Italians, who are constantly engaged in the overland
trade, going and coming continually.


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