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

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ran 30 leagues; the 10th 25; and 11th, 24 leagues. The 12th we saw a
sail under our lee, which we thought to be a fishing bark, and stood
down to speak with her; but in an hour there came on so thick a fog that
we could neither see that vessel nor our consort the Hind. We
accordingly shot off several guns to give notice to the Hind of our
situation, but she did not hear or answer us. In the afternoon the Hind
fired a gun, which we heard and answered with another gun. About half an
hour afterwards the fog cleared away, and we were within four leagues of
the Barbary coast, when sounding we had 14 fathoms water. The bark also
had come _room_[228] with us, and anchored here likewise, the wind being
contrary for going down the coast, or to the southwards. On falling in
with the land, we could not judge precisely whereabout we were, most of
that coast being low, the forepart of the coast being white like chalk
or sand, _and very deep unto the hard shore_[229]. Immediately on coming
to anchor we began to fish, and got abundance of that kind which the
Portuguese call _Pergosses_, the French _saders_, and our men salt-water
_breams_. Before the fog entirely cleared away, the vessel we had
followed shaped such a course that we lost sight of her, chiefly because
we had bore up to find the Hind again. Our pilot reckoned that we were
upon that part of the coast which is 16 leagues eastwards[230] from the
Rio del Oro.

[Footnote 228: This antiquated nautical word, which occurred before in
the journal of Don Juan de Castro, is here obviously going down the
wind, large, or to leeward.--E.]

[Footnote 229: The meaning of this passage is not obvious, and seems to
want some words to make out the meaning: It may be that the shore is
very steep, or that the water continues deep close to the shore.--E.]

[Footnote 230: Eastwards from Rio del Oro is directly into the land; so
that they must either have been N.N.E. or S.S.W. probably the

In the afternoon of the 13th we spied a sail coming towards us, which we
judged to be that we had seen the day before, and we immediately caused
the Hind to weigh anchor and go towards her, manning likewise our own
skiff, to lay her on board or to learn what she was, and within half an
hour we weighed also. When the vessel noticed us, she put about and
sailed from us; and soon after there came on so heavy a fog that we
could not see her, and as the fog continued the whole night we had to
quit the chase. In the afternoon the wind came about fair, so that we
were able to shape a course S.W. by W. to keep clear of the coast, and
ran that night 16 leagues. The 14th in the morning was very foggy, but
the fog cleared away about noon, when we espied a caravel of 60 tons
fishing, and sent our skiff on board with five men unarmed. For haste
the caravel slipped her anchors and set sail, yet our unarmed boat
overtook her and made her strike sail, and brought her away, though she
had fourteen or fifteen men on board, all armed, but they had not the
heart to resist. On coming to us they anchored, as we were likewise,
because the wind had become foul; on which I made our skiff come for me,
and I went on board the caravel, to take care that no harm was offered,
and to see if they would spare us any thing for our money. Accordingly
we got from them three _tapnets_ of figs, two small jars of oil, two
pipes of water, and four hogsheads of salt fish, which they had taken on
the coast, besides some fresh fish, which they held of no value, as they
are so plentiful on that coast that one man may often take as many in an
hour or less as will serve twenty men a whole day. For these things,
some wine we drank while on board their ship, and three or four great
cans which they sent on board our ships, I paid them 27 pistoles, being
twice as much as they would willingly have taken. We then let them go to
their anchor and cable which they had slipped, and assisted them to
recover. After this we made sail, but the wind obliged us to come to
anchor again about 12 leagues from the Rio del Oro, as we were informed
by the Portuguese. There were five other caravels in this place, but
immediately on our appearance they all made away for fear of us.

The 15th we continued at anchor, as the wind was still foul. The 16th we
set sail and run our course 40 leagues, being this day, according to our
pilots, right under the Tropic of Cancer, in lat. 23 deg. 30' N. The 17th we
ran 25 leagues, mostly in sight of the coast of Barbary. The 18th we ran
30 leagues, and at noon, by the reckoning of our pilots, were abreast of
Cape Blanco. The 22d they reckoned we were abreast of Cape Verd. The
12th of December we got sight of the coast of Guinea, towards which we
immediately hauled, standing to the N.E. and about 12 at night, being
less than two leagues from the shore, we lay to and sounded, finding 18
fathoms water. We soon afterwards saw a light between us and the shore,
which we thought might have been a ship, from which circumstance we
judged ourselves off the river Sestro, and we immediately came to
anchor, armed our tops, and made all clear for action, suspecting it
might be some Portuguese or French ship. In the morning we saw no ship
whatever, but espied four rocks about two English miles from us, one
being a large rock and the other three small; whence we concluded that
the light seen during the night had been on shore. We then weighed and
stood E.S.E. along shore, because the master did not rightly know the
place, but thought we were still to the westward of Sestro river. All
along this coast the land is low, and full of high trees close to the
shore, so that no one can know what place he falls in with, except by
means of the latitude. I think we ran 16 leagues that day, as we had all
night a stiff gale, with much thunder and lightning.

For most port of the 13th we ran E.S.E. along the coast, within two
leagues of the land, finding the shore all covered with tall trees to
the water's edge, and great rocks hard by the beach, on which the
billows continually broke in white foam, so high that the surf might
easily be seen at four leagues distance, and in such a manner that no
boat could possibly go to land. At noon our masters and pilots took the
altitude of the sun, by which they judged that we were 24 leagues beyond
the river Sestro to the eastwards, wherefore we hauled in towards the
shore and came to anchor within two English miles of the land in 15
fathoms, the water being so smooth that we might have rode with a
hawser. We employed the afternoon to rig out our boat with a sail, for
the purpose of sending her along shore in search of a place to take in
water, as we could not go back to the river Sestro, because the wind is
always contrary and the current sets continually to the eastwards. The
14th we weighed anchor and plied up along the coast to the W.N.W.
sending our boats close in shore to seek a watering-place, which they
found about noon. At this time, being far out to sea, we fell in with
several small long and narrow boats or canoes of the natives, in each of
which was one man only. We gave them bread, which they accepted and eat
readily. About 4 P.M. our boats came off to us with fresh water; and at
night we anchored off the mouth of a river. The 15th we weighed and
stood near the shore, sounding all the way, finding sometimes a rocky
bottom, at other times good ground, and never less than seven fathoms.
Finally, we cast anchor within an English mile of the shore, in seven
and a half fathoms, directly over against the mouth of the river, and
then sent our boats for water, which they got very good after rowing a
mile up the river. This river, called St Vincent in the chart, is by
estimation about eight leagues beyond the river Sestro, but is so hard
to find that a boat may be within half a mile of it without being able
to discover any river, as a ledge of rocks of greater extent than its
breadth lies directly before its mouth, so that the boats had to go a
considerable way between that ledge and the shore before coming to its
mouth. When once in, it is a great river, having several others that
fall into it. The entrance is somewhat difficult, as the surf is rather
high, but after getting in it is as smooth as the Thames.[231] Upon this
river, near the sea, the inhabitants are tall large men, going entirely
naked, except a clout about a quarter of a yard long before their
middle, made of the bark of trees, yet resembling cloth, as the bark
used for this purpose can be spun like flax. Some also wear a similar
cloth on their heads, painted with sundry colours, but most of them go
bareheaded, having their heads clipped and shorn in sundry ways, and
most of them have their bodies punctured or slashed in various figures
like a leathern jerkin. The men and women go so much alike, that a woman
is only to be known from a man by her breasts, which are mostly long and
hanging down like the udder of a milch goat.

[Footnote 231: Sestro river, in the Complete Neptune of the Rev. James
Stanier Clarke, chart. 2, is called Sesters, in lat. 5 deg. 30' N. long. 9 deg.
10' W. from Greenwich. The river St Vincent of the text does not appear
in that chart, but nearly at the indicated distance to the E.S.E. is one
named Sangwin.--E.]

Soon after coming to anchor on the 15th December, we went up the river
in our skiff, carrying with us certain basons, _manels_, &c. for sale.
We procured that day one hogshead and 100 pounds weight of grains,[232]
and two elephants teeth, getting both at an easy rate. We sold the
natives basons, _maneilios_, and _margarits_,[233] but basons were most
in request, and for most of these we got thirty pounds of _grains_ in
exchange for each, and gave for an elephants tooth of thirty pounds
weight six basons. We went again up the river on the 16th, in the
morning, taking some of every kind of merchandise along with us in our
boat, and shewed them to the negroes, but they made light of every
thing, even of the basons, manellios, and margarite which they had
bought the day before; yet they would have given us some grains for our
basons, but so very little that we did not that day get above 100 pounds
weight, through their chief or captain, who would not suffer any one to
sell but through his mediation and at his price. He was so cunning that
he would not give above 15 pounds of grains for a bason, and would
sometimes offer us a small dishful, whereas we had a basket full for
each the day before. Seeing that we would not accept what he offered,
the captain of the negroes went away, and caused all the boats to depart
likewise, thinking perhaps that we would have followed and agreed to his
terms; but on perceiving his drift, we hauled up our grapnel and went
away likewise. We landed at a small town, to see the manners of the
people, and about 60 of them came about us, being at first shy, and
seemingly afraid of us; but seeing we did them no harm, they came up in
a familiar manner, and took us by the hand. We then went into their
town, which consisted of about twenty small hovels, covered over with
large leaves. All the sides were open, and the floor was raised like a
scaffold about a yard high, where they work many ingenious things of the
barks of trees, and there also they sleep. In some of these hovels they
work in iron, making very pretty heads for javelins, tools for making
their boats, and various other things, the women working as well as the

[Footnote 232: That is grains of paradise, so the Italians called Guinea
pepper when they first saw it, not knowing what it was. We took the name
from them, and hence came the name of the Grain Coast--Astl. I. 152, a.]

[Footnote 233: Margarits may possibly have been mock pearl beads; the
manels or manellios were bracelets of some kind.--E.]

While we were among them, several of the women danced and sung after
their manner, by way of amusing us, but the sound was by no means
agreeable to our ears. Their song was continually,

Sakere, sakere, ho! ho!
Sakere, sakere, ho! ho!

And with these words they kept leaping, dancing and clapping their
hands. The only animals we saw among them were two goats, a few small
dogs, and some hens. Having seen these things, we went on board our
ships; and on seeing us depart, the chief of the other town sent two of
his servants after us with a basket of grains, making signs to us that
when we had slept, or next day, we should have plenty of grains if we
came for them: Then shewing us his grains, he went away. Accordingly,
next morning being the 17th, thinking that some business might be done
with the negroes as the captain sent for us, I sent the master with the
rest of the merchants on shore, remaining myself on board, because they
had esteemed our goods so lightly the day before. The captain
accordingly came to our people after they went up the river, bringing
grains with him, but not seeing me he made signs to know where I was,
and was answered in the same manner that I was on board ship. He then
inquired by signs who was captain, or Diago as they call it, and the
master of the ship being pointed out to him, he began to shew his
grains, but held them so unreasonably dear that no profit could be made
of them; on which, and because they seemed to have no store, the master
came away with only about 50 pounds of grains. Going on shore at the
small town on their way back to the ships, some one of our people
plucked a gourd which gave great offence to the negroes, on which many
of them came with their darts and large targets, making signs for our
men to depart; which our men did, as they had only one bow and two or
three swords among them. As soon as they were on board we weighed and
set sail, but the wind was from the sea, so that we could not clear
certain rocks, for which reason we came again to anchor.

This river called St Vincent is in lat. 4 deg. 30' N[234]. The tide at this
place ebbs and flows every twelve hours, but while we were there the
rise and fall did not exceed 9 feet. So far as we could see, the whole
country was altogether covered with wood, all the kinds of trees being
unknown to us, and of many different sorts, some having large leaves
like gigantic docks, so high that a tall man is unable to reach their
tops. By the sea-side there grow certain pease upon great and long
stalks, one of which I measured and it was 27 paces long. These grow on
the sand like trees, and so very near the sea that we could distinctly
perceive by the water marks that the sea sometimes flows into the woods.
All the trees and other plants of this country are continually green.
Some of the women have exceedingly long breasts, but they are not all
so. All day the wind blows from the sea, and all night from the land,
though we found this to differ sometimes, at which our master was much

[Footnote 234: This latitude would bring us to a river about half way
between the Grand Sesters and Cape Palmas; but which does not agree with
the former circumstances, as they could hardly have been so far to the
S.E. without seeing Cape Palmas. The river Sangwin, which we have before
supposed might be the St Vincent, is in lat. 5 deg. 20' N. almost a degree
farther north.--E.]

This night at 9 o'clock the wind came to east, which used ordinarily to
be at N.N.W. off shore[235]; yet we weighed and hauled off south to
seawards, and next morning stood in again towards the land, whence we
took in 6 tons of water for our ship, the Hind probably taking as much.
On this part of the coast I could not find that the natives had any gold
or other valuable article of trade, for indeed they are so savage and
idle that they give not themselves the trouble to seek for any thing,
for if they would take pains they might easily gather large quantities
of grains, yet I do not believe there were two tons to be had in all
that river. They have many fowls likewise in their woods, but the people
are not at the trouble to catch them. While here I collected the
following words of their language, all of which they speak very thick,
often repeating one word three times successively, and always the last
time longer than the two former.

[Footnote 235: The text here is probably corrupt. The direct off-shore
wind on the grain coast of Africa is N.E. The wind at N.N.W. certainly
is in some degree off-shore, but very obliquely; and the wind at east is
more direct from shore.--E.]

Bezow! bezow! Is their salutation.
Manegete afoye,[236], Grains enough.
Crocow afoye, Hens enough.
Zeramme afoye, Have you enough?
Begge sacke, Give me a knife.
Begge come, Give me bread.
Borke, Silence!
Contrecke, You lie!
Veede, Put forth, or empty.
Brekeke, Row!
Diago, or dabo, Captain, or chief.

[Footnote 236: In some maps the grain coast is named Malaguete, probably
from this word, and consequently synonimous with the ordinary name. It
is likewise called the Windward coast.--E.]

Towards night on the 18th, while sailing along the coast, we fell in
with some boats or canoes, when the natives expressed by signs that we
were abreast of a river where we might have grains, but we did not think
it right to stop there, lest other ships might get before us. This river
has three great rocks and five small ones lying before it, with one
great tree and a small one close by the river, which exceed all the rest
in height. This night we proceeded 10 leagues along the coast. About
noon of the 19th, while proceeding along shore, three boats came off to
tell us we might have grains, and brought some to shew, but we did not
choose to stop. Continuing our course we anchored at night, having run
this day 10 leagues. On the 20th as the Hind had come to anchor near us
among some rocks and foul ground, she lost a small anchor. While passing
along shore about noon a negro came off to us as before, offering grains
if we would go on shore, and where we anchored at night another brought
us a similar intimation, besides which a fire was kindled on shore, as
if indicating where we might land, which was likewise done on other
parts of the coast when they saw us anchored. Wherever we happened to
anchor on this coast from our first watering place, we always found the
tide [of flood?] running to the westwards, and saw many rocks close
along shore, many others being a league out to sea. This day we ran 12
leagues. The 21st though we sailed all day with a brisk gale, yet so
strong were the tides against us that we were only able to make out 6
leagues. This day likewise some negroes came off to us, offering to deal
in grains if we would land. The 22d we ran all day and night to a double
point called Cabo das Palmas[237].

[Footnote 237: Reckoning the course run as expressed in the text, the
distance measured back from Cape Palmas brings us very nearly to Sangwin
for the river St Vincent of Towerson, as formerly conjectured.--E.]

The 23d about 3 o'clock we were abreast of the point, and before we came
to the western part of it we saw a great ledge of rocks which lie out to
the west of it about 3 leagues, and a league or more from the shore. We
soon after got sight of the eastern side of this cape, which is 4
leagues from the west side. Upon both corners of this cape there are two
green spots like meadows, and to the westwards of this cape the land
forms a bay, by which it may be easily known. Four leagues farther on
there is a head-land jutting out to sea, and about two leagues farther
on there is a great bay, seemingly the entrance to a river, before which
we anchored all that night, lest we should overshoot a river where, in
the voyage of last year, 1554, they got all their elephants teeth. Cape
Palmas is in lat. 4 deg. 30' N. between which and the river Sestro the
greatest abundance of grains is to be had, while beyond this cape very
little is got. Where we anchored this night, we found that the tide now
ran to the eastwards, while on the other side of the cape it went to the
N.W. This day we ran about 16 leagues.

While continuing our course on the 24th about 8 o'clock, some boats came
off to us bringing small soft eggs without shells, and made signs that
we might have fresh water and goats by going on shore. As the master
judged this might be the river of which we were in search, we cast
anchor and sent our boat on shore with a person who knew the river. On
coming near the shore he perceived that it was not the river, and came
therefore back again, and went along shore by the help of sails and
oars, upon which we weighed and sailed likewise along shore. Being now
13 leagues past the cape, the master observed a place which he believed
might be the river, when we were in fact two miles past it. At this time
the boat came off to the ship, reporting that there was no river; yet we
came to anchor, after which the master and I went in the boat with five
men, and on coming near the shore he saw that it was the river for which
he sought. We then rowed in with much difficulty, the entrance being
very much obstructed by a heavy surf. After entering, several boats came
off to us, informing us by signs that they had elephants teeth, and
brought us one of 8 pounds and a small one only one pound weight, both
of which we bought. Then they brought some other teeth to the river
side, giving us to understand by signs that they would sell them to us
if we came next day. We then gave a _manillio_ each to two chiefs, and
departed to the ships. We sent another boat to a different place on
shore, where some of the natives in the canoes at sea made signs that
fresh water was to be had; and on going there they found a town but no
river, yet the people brought them fresh water and shewed an elephants
tooth, making signs that they would sell them such next day. This river
lies 13 leagues beyond Cape Palmas, having a rock to the westwards about
a league out to sea, and there juts out from the river a point of land
on which grow five trees which may be discerned two or three leagues off
when coming from the westwards; but the river itself cannot be seen till
close upon it, and then a small town may be seen on either side, each of
which has a _diago_ or captain. The river is small, but the water is
fresh and good[238]. Two miles beyond the river, where the other town
lies, another point runs oat to sea, which is green like a meadow,
having only six trees growing upon it, all distant from each other,
which is a good mark to know it by, as I have not seen as much bare land
on the whole coast[239]. In this place, and three or four leagues to the
westwards, there grow many palm trees, from which the natives have their
palm wine, all along shore. These trees are easily known almost two
leagues off, as they are very straight, tall and white bodied, and
thickest in the middle, having no limbs or boughs, but only a round bush
of leaves at the top. In this top the natives bore a hole, to which they
hang a bottle or empty gourd, and in this they receive the juice that
runs from the tree, which is their wine.

[Footnote 238: From the indicated distance eastwards from Cape Palmas,
and the description in the text, the river and point in question seem
those called Tabou, in long. 7 deg. 10' W. from Greenwich.--E.]

[Footnote 239: It is hardly necessary to observe that these are very bad
land-marks, being subject to alteration from many causes; besides that
this description is above 250 years old.--E.]

From Cape Palmas to Cape _Tres-puntas_ or Three-points, the distance is
100 leagues east[240]; and from Cape Three-points to the port where we
proposed to sell our cloth are other 40 leagues[241]. The language here,
as far as I could judge, seemed to differ little from that formerly
mentioned. The people likewise dress much in the same manner, or almost
naked, but they were gentler in their manners and better looking. They
chiefly coveted manillios and margarites, and cared very little for the
rest of our wares. About 9 o'clock A.M. some boats came off to us from
both towns, bringing with them some elephants teeth, and having made me
swear by the water of the sea that I would do them no harm, three or
four of them came on board, and we entertained them with such things as
we had, of which they eat and drank as freely as ourselves. We then
bought all their teeth, of which they had 14, 10 being small. On going
away, they desired us to come to their towns next day. Not wishing to
trifle our time at this place, I desired the master to go on the 26th
with two of our merchants to one of the towns, while I went with one
merchant to the other town, the two towns being three miles asunder.
Taking with us to both places some of every kind of merchandise that we
had, the master got nine rather small teeth at one town, while at the
other I got eleven not large. Leaving on board with the [other] master
an assortment of manillios, he bought 12 teeth in our absence from
people who came to the ships. I bought likewise a small goat, and the
master bought five small hens at the other town. Finding that nothing
more was to be done here, as they had no more teeth, we went on board by
one o'clock, P.M. and immediately weighed anchor, continuing our
progress eastward, always within sight of land.

[Footnote 240: Between these two points is what is called the ivory
coast of Guinea: After which is the gold coast to Cape St Pauls; and
then the slave coast.--E.]

[Footnote 241: Forty leagues E.N.E. along the gold coast bring us to
Saccoom or Accra, in the country called Aquamboo.--E.]

The 28th, the wind turning contrary, we stood out to sea, and when the
wind changed from the seaward we again stood for the land, which we fell
in with at a great round red cliff, not very high, having to the
eastwards a smaller red cliff, and right above that towards the inland a
round green hummock, which we took to be covered with trees. In the last
24 hours we only made good about 4 leagues. The 29th coming near the
shore, we noticed the before mentioned red cliff to have a large tuft of
trees on its summit. All to the westwards as far as we could see was
full of red cliffs, and all along the shore, both on the tops of these
cliffs, and in the low intervals between them, was everywhere full of
wood. Within a mile of the great cliff to the eastwards there was a
river, and no cliffs that we could see beyond it, except one small cliff
very near its eastern side. At this place we had the wind in the night
at north off the land, and in the day south from the sea, which was not
usual, as we were assured by such of our people as had been there
before, being commonly N.W. and S.W. We ran this day and night 12
leagues. The 31st we went our course by the shore, which was everywhere
low and covered with wood, with no rocks. This morning many boats of the
negroes came out to fish, being larger than those we had seen hitherto
but of similar make, some of them having five men. In the afternoon,
about 3 o'clock we had sight of a town by the sea-side, which our pilots
judged to be 25 leagues west from Cape Three-points.

On the morning of the 3d January 1556, we fell in with Cape
Three-points, having passed during the night one of the Portuguese
castles, which is 8 leagues west from this point[242]. This is a very
high land all grown over with trees, and on coming nearer we perceived
three head-lands, having a kind of two bays between them, which open
directly westwards. The farthest out to sea is the eastern cape. The
middle cape is not above a league from the western cape, though the
chart we had laid them down as 3 leagues asunder. Right before the point
of the middle cape there is a small rock near it, which cannot be seen
from the cape itself, except one be near the shore, and on the top of
this cape there is a great tuft of trees. When abreast of this cape
there is seen close beside it a round green hummock rising from the
main-land. The eastern cape is about a league from the middle one, and
is high land like the other two, and between these there is a little
head or point of land, and several rocks close in shore. About 8 leagues
before we came to cape Three-points the coast trends S.E. by E., and
after passing the cape it runs N.E. by E. About two leagues after
passing Cape Three-points there is a low glade for about two miles in
length, after which the land becomes again high, with several successive
points or headlands, the first of which has several rocks out to sea.
The middle of the three capes runs farthest out to sea southwards, so
that it can be seen a great way off from the coast, when it appears to
rise with two small rocks. We ran this day 8 leagues, and anchored
before night, lest we might overshoot a town named St Johns[243]. In the
afternoon a boat with five men came off from the shore and ranged
alongside of us, as if looking at our flags, but would not come near,
and after looking at us for some time went back to the land. In the
morning of the 4th, while sailing along the coast, we espied a ledge of
rocks close to the shore, to the westwards of which were two green hills
joining together, with a hollow between them resembling a saddle; and,
as the master thought the town we were looking for stood within these
rocks, we manned our boats, taking with us a quantity of cloth and other
goods, with which we rowed on shore; but after going some way along the
shore without finding any town, we returned again on board. About two
leagues to the eastwards from the two saddle hills, a ledge of rocks
stretches almost two miles out to sea, beyond which is a great bay
running N.N.W. while the general stretch of the coast at this place is
from S.W. by W. to N.E. by E. Having with a gentle gale run past that
uttermost headland, we saw a great red cliff, which the master again
judged to be near the town of St Johns, on which we again took our boat
and merchandise and rowed to the shore. We actually found a town on the
top of a hill to which we directed our course, and on seeing us a
considerable number of the inhabitants collected together and waved a
piece of cloth as a signal for us to come in, on which we rowed into an
excellent bay to eastward of the cliff on which the town stands, and on
getting fairly into the bay we let drop our grapnel. After remaining
some time, a boat or canoe came off to us and one of the men in her
shewed us a piece of gold about half a crown weight, requiring us to
give them our measure and weight that they might shew them to their
captain. We accordingly gave them a measure of two ells, and a weight of
two _angels_, as the principles on which we meant to deal. He took these
on shore to their captain; and then brought us back a measure of two
ells one quarter and a half, and one _crusado_ weight of gold, making
signs that they would give so much weight of gold for that measure of
cloth and no more; but this we refused. After staying about an hour, and
finding that they would not deal on our principles, besides
understanding that the best places for trade were all before us, we
returned to our ships, weighed anchor, and stood along shore, going
before in the boat.

[Footnote 242: This was probably Fort St Antonio, at the mouth of the
river Aximer or Ashim.--Astl. I. 155. a.]

[Footnote 243: St Johns river is about 12 leagues E.N.E. of Cape
Three-points, nearly in lat. 5 deg. N. long 2 deg. 10' W.--E.]

Having sailed about a league, we came to a point of land having a long
ledge of rocks running out from it to seawards like the others; and on
passing the ledge our master noticed a place which he said was assuredly
the town of Don John[244]. As the night approached we could not see it
very distinctly, wherefore we came to anchor as near as possible. On the
morning of the 5th it was recognized to be the town we wanted, wherefore
we manned our boats and went towards the shore; but knowing that the
Portuguese had taken away a man from that place the year before, and had
afterwards shot at them with great _bases_[245], driving them from the
place, we let go our grapnel almost a _base_ shot from shore, and lay
there near two hours without any boat coming off to us. At this time
some of our men who had gone in the Hinds boat into the bay to the
eastward of the town, where they found a fine fresh river, waved to us
to join them, because the negroes were seen coming down to that place,
which we did. Immediately afterwards the negroes came down to the shore,
and gave us to know by signs that they had gold, but none of them would
come to our boats, neither indeed did we see that they had any canoes to
come in, so that we suspected the Portuguese had spoiled their boats, as
we saw half their town in ruins. Wherefore, having tarried a good while,
and seeing that they did not come to us, and as we were well armed, we
run the heads of both boats on shore. Upon this the captain of the town
came towards us with his dart in his hand, followed by six tall men each
of whom had a dart and target. Their darts were all headed with iron
well-fashioned and sharp. After this party came another negro carrying
the captains stool. We all saluted the captain respectfully, pulling off
our caps and bowing to him; but he, seeming to consider himself as a man
of consequence, did not move his cap in return, and gravely sat down on
his stool, hardly inclining his body in return to our salute: All his
attendants however, took off their caps and bowed to us.

[Footnote 244: Called St Johns twice before; and we shall see that they
came to another town afterwards called Don Johns, more to the east,
whence it appears that the Don John of the text here is an error for St

[Footnote 245: Probably musketoons or blunderbusses, and certainly some
species of gun or fire-arm.--E.]

This chief was clothed from the loins downwards, with a cloth of the
country manufacture, wrapped about him and made fast with a girdle round
his waist, having a cap of the country cloth on his head, all his body
above the loins with his legs and feet being bare. Some of his
attendants had cloths about their loins, while others had only a clout
between their legs, fastened before and behind to their girdles; having
likewise caps on their heads of their own making, some made of
basket-work, and others like a large wide purse of wild beast skins. All
their cloth, girdles, fishing lines, and other such things, are made
from the bark of certain trees, very neatly manufactured. They fabricate
likewise all such iron implements as they use very artificially; such as
the heads of their darts, fish-hooks, _hooking_ irons, _ironheads_, and
great daggers, some of these last being as long as a bill hook, or
woodcutters knife, very sharp on both sides and bent like a Turkish
cymeter, and most of the men have such a dagger hanging on their left
side. Their targets are made of the same materials with their cloths,
very closely wrought, very large and of an oblong square form, somewhat
longer than broad, so that when they kneel on the ground the target
entirely covers their whole body. Their bows are short and tolerably
strong, as much as a man is able to draw with one finger, and the string
is made of the bark of a tree, made flat, and a quarter of an inch
broad. I have not seen any of their arrows, as they were all close
wrapped up, and I was so busily engaged in traffic that I had not
leisure to get them opened out for my inspection. They have also the art
to work up their gold into very pretty ornaments.

When the captain had taken his seat on the stool, I sent him as a
present two ells of cloth and two basins, and he sent back for our
weight and measure, on which I sent him a weight of two angels, and
informed him that such was our price in gold for two ells, or the
measure I had already sent him. This rule of traffic he absolutely
refused, and would not suffer his people to buy any thing but basins of
brass or latten; so that we sold that day 74 brass basins for about half
an angel weight each, and nine white basins for about a quarter of an
angel each. We shewed them some of all our other wares, but they did not
care for any of them. About two o'clock, P.M. the chief returned again,
and presented me a hen and two great roots, which I accepted, and he
then made me understand by signs, that many people would come from the
country that night to trade with me, who would bring great store of
gold. Accordingly about 4 o'clock there came about 100 men under 3
chiefs, all well equipped with darts and bows; and when they came to us,
every man stuck his dart into the ground in token of peace, all the
chiefs having their stools with them, sat down, after which they sent a
youth on board our boat who brought a measure of an ell, a quarter and a
sixteenth, making us understand that they would have four times that
measure in cloth for the weight in gold of an angel and 12 grains. I
offered him two ells for that weight, for which I had before demanded
two angels; but this he despised, and stuck to the four measures, being
5-1/4 ells. When it grew late and I motioned to go away, he came to four
ells for the above weight, and as he and I could not agree we went back
to the ships. This day we took for basins 6 ounces a half and an eighth
of gold.

In the morning of the 6th, we well manned our boats and the skiff, being
in some fear of the Portuguese, who had taken away a man from the ships
in the year before; and as the negroes had not canoes, we went near the
shore to them. The young man who had been with us the night before was
again sent to us, and he seemed to have had intercourse with the
Portuguese, as he could speak a little of that language, and was quite
expert in weights and measures. At his coming he offered us, as before,
an angel and 12 grains for four ells, giving us to understand, if we
would not deal on these terms, we might go away, which we did
accordingly; but before going away, I offered him three ells of rotten
cloth for his weight, which he would not accept. We then went on board
our ships, which lay a league off, after which we went back in the boats
for sand ballast. When the chiefs saw that our boats had now no
merchandise, but came only for water and sand, they at last agreed to
give the weight for three ells. Therefore, when the boats returned to
the ships, we put wares into both, and, for greater expedition, I and
John Saville went in one boat, while the master, John Makeworth, and
Richard Curligin, went in the other. That night I took for my part 52
ounces of gold, and those in the other boat took 8-1/4 ounces, all by
the above weight and measure. When it grew late we returned to the
ships, having taken that day in all 5 pounds of gold.

We went on shore again on the 7th, and that day I took in our boat 3
pounds 19 ounces[246], so that we had sold most of the cloth we carried
in the boat before noon, by which time many of the negroes were gone,
and the rest seemed to have very little gold remaining; yet they made
signs to us to bring them more latten basins, which I was not inclined
to, not wishing to spend any more time there, but to push forwards for
Don Johns town. But as John Saville and John Makeworth were anxious to
go again, I consented, but did not go myself. They bartered goods for
eighteen ounces of gold and came away, all the natives having departed
at a certain cry or signal. While they were on shore, a young negroe who
could speak a little Portuguese came on board with three others, and to
him I sold 39 basins and two small white saucers, for three ounces of
gold. From what I could pick out, this young fellow had been in the
castle of Mina among the Portuguese, and had got away from them, for he
told us that the Portuguese were bad men, who made the negroes slaves
when they could take them, and put irons on their legs. He said also
that the Portuguese used to hang all the French or English they could
lay hold of. According to his account, the garrison in the castle
consisted of 60 men, and that there came thither every year two ships,
one large and the other a small caravel. He told me farther that Don
John was at war with the Portuguese, which encouraged me to go to his
town, which is only four leagues from the castle, and from which our men
had been driven in the preceding year. This fellow came fearlessly on
board, and immediately demanded why we had not brought back the men we
took away the year before, for he knew that the English had taken away
five negroes. We answered that they were in England, where they were
well received, and remained there till they could speak the language,
after which they were to be brought back to serve as interpreters
between the English and the natives; with which answer he seemed quite
satisfied, as he spoke no more of that matter.

[Footnote 246: This is surely an error, as the troy or bullion pound
contains only 12 ounces. We ought therefore to read 3 pounds 9

Our boats being come on board, we weighed and set sail, and soon
afterwards noticed a great fire on the shore, by the light of which we
could discern a large white object, which was supposed to be the
Portuguese castle of St George del Mina; and as it is very difficult to
ply up to windward on this coast, in case of passing any place, we came
to anchor for the night two leagues from the shore, lest we might
overshoot the town of Don John in the night. This town lies in a great
bay which is very deep[247], and there the people were chiefly desirous
to procure basins and cloth, though they bought a few other trifles, as
knives, horse-tails, and horns; and some of our people who were on shore
sold a cap, a dagger, a hat, and other such articles. They shewed us a
coarse kind of cloth, which I believe was of French manufacture: The
wool was very coarse, and the stuff was striped with various colours, as
green, white, yellow, &c. Several of the negroes at this place wore
necklaces of large glass beads of various colours. At this place I
picked up a few words of their language, of which the following is a
short specimen:

Mattea! Mattea! Is their salutation.
Dassee! Dassee! I thank you.
Sheke, Gold.
Cowrte, Cut.
Cracca, Knives.
Bassina, Basins.
Foco, foco, Cloth.
Molta, Much, or great plenty[248]

[Footnote 247: This abrupt account of a town, &c. seems to refer back to
that of St John, which they had just left.--E.]

[Footnote 248: This language seems partly corrupted.--_Hakluyt_.

Two of the words in this short specimen have been evidently adopted from
the Portuguese, _bassina_ and _molta_.--E.]

In the morning of the 8th, we had sight of the Portuguese castle of
Mina, but the morning being misty we could not see it distinctly till we
were almost at Don Johns town, when the weather cleared up and we had a
full view of the fort, beside which we noticed a white house on a hill,
which seemed to be a chapel. We stood in towards the shore, within two
English miles of Don Johns town, where we anchored in seven fathoms. We
here found, as in many places before, that the current followed the
course of the wind. At this place the land by the sea is in some places
low, and in others high, everywhere covered with wood. This town of Don
John[249] is but small, having only about twenty huts of the negroes,
and is mostly surrounded by a fence about the height of a man, made of
reeds or sedge, or some such material. After being at anchor two or
three hours, without any person coming off to us, we manned our boats
and put some merchandize into them, and then went with our boats very
near the shore, where we anchored. They then sent off a man to us, who
told us by signs that this was the town belonging to Don John, who was
then in the interior, but would be home at sunset. He then demanded a
reward, as most of these people do on first coming aboard, and on giving
him an ell of cloth he went away, and we saw no more of him that night.
In the morning of the 9th we went again near the shore with our boats,
when a canoe came off to us, from the people in which we were informed
by signs that Don John was not yet come home, but was expected that day.
There came also a man in a canoe from another town a mile from this,
called Don Devis[250], who shewed us gold, and made signs for us to go
there. I then left John Saville and John Makeworth at the town of Don
John, and went in the Hind to the other town, where we anchored, after
which I went in the boat close to the shore near the town. Boats or
canoes soon came off to us, shewing a measure of 4-1/2 yards, and a
weight of an angel and 12 grains, as their rule of traffic, so that I
could make no bargain. All this day our people lay off Don Johns town
and did nothing, being told that he was still absent.

[Footnote 249: Or Don _Juan_. This place stands at Cape Korea or
Cors.--Astl. I. 158. a.

Cape Cors or Korea is now corruptly called Cape coast, at which there is
an English fort or castle of the same name, in lat. 5 deg. 10' N. long. 1 deg.
16' W.--E.]

[Footnote 250: Called afterwards the town of John De Viso.--E.]

We went on the 10th to the shore, when a canoe came off with a
considerable quantity of gold; and after long haggling we at length
reduced their measure to a nail less than three ells, and brought up
their weight to an angel and twenty grains, after which, in about a
quarter of an hour, I sold cloth for a pound and a quarter of an ounce
of gold. They then made signs for me to tarry till they had parted their
cloth among them on shore, after their custom, and away they went and
spread all their cloth on the sand. At this time a man came running from
the town and spoke with them, and immediately they all hastened away
into the woods to hide their cloth and gold. We suspected some
treachery, and though invited by signs to land we would not, but
returned on board the Hind, whence we could see 30 men on the hill, whom
we judged to be Portuguese, who went up to the top of the hill, where
they drew up with a flag. Being desirous to know what the people of the
Hart were about, I went to her in the Hind's boat, and on nearing her
was surprised on seeing her shoot off two pieces of ordnance. I then
made as much haste as possible, and met her boat and skiff coming with
all speed from the shore. We all met on board the Hart, when they told
me that they had been on shore all day, where they had given 3-1/2 yards
of cloth to each of Don Johns two sons, and three basins between them,
and had delivered 3 yards more cloth at the agreed weight of an angel
and 12 grains. That while remaining on shore for an answer, some
Portuguese had come running down the hill upon them, of which the
negroes had given them warning shortly before, but they understood them
not. The sons of Don John had conspired with the Portuguese against
them, so that they were almost taken by surprise; yet they recovered
their boat and pushed off from the shore, on which the Portuguese
discharged their calivers or muskets at them, but hurt none of them; in
revenge for which hostility, the people in the ship had fired off the
two guns formerly mentioned. We now laid _bases[251]_ into both the
boats and the skiff, manning and arming them all, and went again towards
the shore; but being unable to land on account of the wind, we lay off
at the distance of about 200 yards, whence we fired against the
Portuguese, but could not injure them as they were sheltered by the
hill. They fired upon us in return from the hills and rocks, the negroes
standing by to help them, more from fear than love. Seeing the negroes
in such subjection that they durst not deal with us, we returned on
board; and as the wind kept at east all night, we were unable to fetch
the Hind, but I took the boat and went on board in the night, to see if
any thing could be done there; and as in the morning we could perceive
that the town was overawed by the Portuguese like the other, we weighed
anchor and went along the coast to the eastwards.

[Footnote 251: Formerly conjectured to be musquetoons, or

This town of John de Viso stands on a hill like that of Don John, but
had been recently burnt, so that there did not remain above six houses
standing. Most of the gold on this part of the coast comes from the
interior country, and doubtless, if the people durst bring their gold,
which they are prevented from doing by the Portuguese, we might have got
abundance; but they are under such subjection to the Portuguese, that
they dare not trade with others.

While coasting along on the 11th, we saw a small town about 4 leagues to
the east of that we last came from. About half a league farther was
another town upon a hill, and half a league beyond that another large
town on the coast, to which we went to try what could be done in the way
of trade, meaning, if unsuccessful, to return to the towns we had left
behind, in hopes that the Portuguese would leave them on our departure.
All the way from the castle of Mina to this place, there were very high
hills to be seen rising above other hills, all covered with wood, and
the coast was lined with great red cliffs close to the sea. The boats of
this coast are larger than those we had seen hitherto, as one of them
could carry 12 men, but they were still of the same form with all the
boats along the coast. About these towns there seemed few rivers, and
their language seemed the same with that at Don Johns town, every person
being able to speak a few words of Portuguese, which they constantly
used to us. About five o'clock P.M. we saw 22 of the native boats or
canoes going along shore to the westwards, on which we suspected some
treachery; wherefore on the 12th we made sail farther along the coast
eastwards, and descried more towns, in which there were some larger
houses than any we had hitherto seen, and from these the people came out
to look at us, but we could see no boats on the shore. Two miles beyond
the eastermost town there are black rocks, which continue to the
uttermost cape or point of the land for the space of a league, after
which the land runs E.N.E. Some negroes came down to these black rocks,
whence they waved a white flag for us to land; but as we were near the
principal town, we continued our course along shore, and when we had
opened the point of land we perceived another head-land about a league
farther on, having a rock lying off to sea, which was thought to be the
place of which were in search. On coming abreast of the town it was
recognized, and having anchored within half a mile of the shore in five
fathoms, with good ground, we put wares into our boat, and went near the
shore to endeavour to open trade. Anchoring close to the shore, about 10
A.M. we saw many canoes on the beach, and some came past us, but no one
would draw near, being, as we supposed, afraid of us, as four men had
been forcibly taken away from thence the year before. Seeing that no one
came off to us, we went again on board, expecting to make no sales; but
towards evening a great number of people came to the shore and waved a
white flag, as inviting us to land, after which their chief or captain
came down with many men along with him, and sat down under a tree near
the shore. On seeing this I took some things with me in the boat to
present to him, and at length he sent off a boat to us which would not
come near, but made signs for us to return next day. At length, by
offering things for their captain, I enticed them into our boat, and
gave them two ells of cloth, a latten basin, a white basin, a bottle, a
large piece of beef, and six biscuits, which they received and made
signs for us to come back next day, saying that their chief was _grand
captain_, which indeed appeared by his numerous attendants, who were
armed with darts, targets, and other weapons. This town is very large,
and stands upon a hill among trees, so that it cannot well be seen
except when one is near. To the eastwards of it there are two very high
trees on a hill close to the town[27]; and under the town is another
and lower hill washed by the sea, where it is all composed of great
black rocks. Beyond this town there is another considerably smaller on a

[252][Footnote 252: 27 It is added, _which is a good mark to know the
town_. But at this distance of time, above 250 years, such marks cannot
be supposed to remain.--E.]

In the morning of the 13th we took our boat and went close to the shore,
where we remained till ten o'clock, but no one came near us. We prepared
therefore to return on board, on seeing which some negroes came running
down and waved us back with a white flag, so we anchored again and they
made us to understand by signs that the chief would soon come down. In
the meantime we saw a sail pass by us, but being small we regarded it
not. As the sun was high, we made a tilt with our oars and sails. There
now came off to us a canoe with five men, who brought back our bottle,
and gave me a hen, making signs by the sun that within two hours the
merchants of the country would come and buy all we had. I gave them six
_manillios_ to present to their captain; and as they signified by signs
that they would leave a man with us if we gave them a pledge, we put one
of our men into their boat; but as they would not give us one of their
men, we took back our man again, and remained in expectation of the
merchants. Shortly afterwards there came down one of the natives to the
shore, arrayed like their captain, attended by a numerous train, who
saluted us in a friendly manner, and then sat down under a tree where
the captain used to sit in the former year. Soon afterwards we perceived
a great number of natives standing at the end of a hollow way, and
behind them the Portuguese had planted a base, which they suddenly
discharged, but its ball overshot us, though we were very near. Before
we could ship our oars to get away, they shot at us again, but did us no
harm; the negroes came to the rocks close beside us, whence they
discharged calivers at us, and the Portuguese shot off their base twice
more. On this our ship made some shots at them, but they were protected
by the rocks and hills.

We now went on board to leave this place, as the negroes were bent
against us, because in the former year Robert Gainsh had taken away the
captains son from this place, with three others, and all their gold and
every thing else they had about them; owing to which they had become
friends to the Portuguese, whom they hated before, as appeared in the
former year when the Trinity was there; when the chief came on board
and brought them to his town, trading with them largely, and offering
them ground on which to build a fort[253]. The 14th we plied back to
meet the Hind, which we met in the morning, and then both ships sailed
eastwards to try what could be done at the place where the Trinity sold
her friezes in the preceding year. The day after we parted, the Hind had
taken eighteen and a half ounces of gold from some negroes in exchange
for wares. This day, about one P.M. we saw some canoes on the coast,
with men standing beside them, and going to them with merchandise, we
took three ounces of gold for eighteen _fuffs_ of cloth, each _fuffe_
being three and a half yards, at the rate of one angel twelve grains the
_fuffe_. These people made us understand by signs that if we waited till
next day we might have plenty of gold. For this reason I sent off the
master with the Hind, accompanied by John Saville and John Makeworth, to
seek the other place, while I and Richard Pakeman remained here to try
our fortunes next day. When the negroes perceived the Hind going away
they feared the other ship would follow, wherefore they sent off four
men in two canoes, asking us to remain, and offering two men to remain
with us, if we would give one as a pledge or hostage for his safety.
Accordingly, one Edward, who was servant to Mr Morley, seeing them so
much in earnest, offered himself as a pledge, and we let him go for two
of them who staid with us, one of whom had his weights and scales, with
a chain of gold about his neck and another round his arm. These men eat
readily of such things as we had to give them, and seemed quite
contented. During the night, the negroes kept a light on shore over
against us; and about one o'clock, A.M. we saw the flash of a _base_,
which was twice shot off at the light, and then two _calivers_ were
discharged, which in the end we perceived came from a Portuguese
brigantine that followed us from place to place, to warn the natives to
have no dealings with us.

[Footnote 253: In the margin, Hakluyt sets down the voyage of Robert
Gainsh to Guinea as in 1554; yet does not mention where that voyage is
to be found, or that it is the same voyage published in his second
edition, under the name of Lok, instead of Gainsh to whom it was
ascribed in his first edition. All the light we have into the matter
from the second edition, is from a marginal note at the beginning of
Loks voyage, in which Robert Gainsh is said to have been master of the
John Evangelist; neither is there any mention of this villainous
transaction in the relation of that voyage. Such crimes deserve severe
punishment; since a whole community may suffer for the fault of one bad
man.--Astl. I. 160, a.]

In the morning of the 15th, the negro chief came down to the coast
attended by 100 men, bringing his wife along with him, and many others
brought their wives also, as they meant to remain by the sea side till
they had bought what they wanted, and their town was eight miles up the
country. Immediately on his arrival, the chief sent our man on board,
and offered to come himself if we would give two of our men in pledge
for him. I accordingly sent him two, but he only retained one, and came
on board accompanied by his wife and several friends, bringing me a goat
and two great roots, for which I gave him in return a latten basin, a
white basin, six _manillios_ and a bottle of _Malmsey_, and to his wife
a small casket. After this we began to adjust our measure and weight. He
had a weight of his own, equal to an angel and 14 grains, and required a
measure of 4-1/2 ells. In fine we concluded the 8th part[254], for an
angel and 20 grains; and before we had done he took my own weight and
measure. The 16th I took 8 libs. 1 oz. of gold. Since the departure of
the Hind I had not heard of her; but when our pledge went into the
country the first night he said that he saw her at anchor about 5
leagues from us. The 17th I sold about 17 pieces of cloth, for which I
got 4 libs. 4-1/2 oz. of gold. The 18th the chief desired to purchase
some of our wine, offering half a gold ducat for a bottle; but I gave
him one freely, and made him and his train drink besides. This day I
took 5 libs. 5 oz. of gold. The 19th I sold about 18 pieces of cloth,
and took 4 libs. 4-1/2 oz. of gold. The 20th 3 libs. 6-1/4 oz; the 21st
8 libs. 7-1/4 oz; the 22d 3 libs. 8-1/4 oz: And about 4 o'clock this
night[255] the chief and all his people went away. The 23d we were waved
on shore by other negroes, and sold them cloth, caskets, knives, and a
dozen bells, for 1 lib. 10 oz. of gold. The 24th we sold bells,
sheets[256], and thimbles, for 2 libs. 1-1/4 oz. of gold. The 25th we
sold 7 doz. of small bells and other things, and finding their gold all
gone, we weighed and sailed to leewards in search of the Hind, which we
found about 5 o'clock, P.M. and understood she had made some sales.

[Footnote 254: The meaning is here obscure; perhaps the word _less_ is
omitted, and the bargain was for a measure an eighth part less than that
originally proposed.--E.]

[Footnote 255: Perhaps we should rather understand 4 o'clock next

[Footnote 256: Perhaps this ought to be sheers or scissars?--E.]

The 26th we received from the Hind 48 libs. 3-1/8 oz. of gold, which
they had taken while we were asunder; and this day, on the request of a
negro sent us by the chief, we went on shore with our merchandise and
took 7 libs, 1 oz. of gold. At this place they required no pledges from
us, yet sent every night a man to sleep on board, as an assurance that
they would come to us next day. The 27th in both ships we took 8 libs.
1-7/8 oz. of gold. The 28th we made sales to the amount of 1 lib. 1/3
oz. for the company. The 29th in the morning we heard two caliver shots
on shore, which we judged might either be the Portuguese or some of
their negroes, and we accordingly manned our boats, armed ourselves and
our men, and went on shore, but they were gone off. The 30th we made
more sales both for the company and the masters. The 31st we sent our
boats on shore to take in sand for ballast; and our men met the negroes
with whom they had dealt the day before, who were now employed fishing,
and helped them to fill sand; and having now no gold, sold fish to our
men for their handkerchiefs and neckerchiefs. The 1st of February we
weighed and went to another place, where we took 1 lib. 9 1/3 oz. of
gold. The 2d we made more sales; but on taking a survey of our
provisions, we resolved not to stay much longer on the coast, most of
our drink being spent, and what remained turning sour. The 3d and 4th we
made some sales though not great; and finding the wind on this last day
come off shore, we set sail and went along the coast to the westwards.
Upon this coast, we found by experience that ordinarily, about 2 o'clock
in the night[257] the wind came off shore from N.N.E., and continued in
that direction till 8 o'clock in the morning, blowing all the rest of
the day and night at S.W. The tide or current on this shore goes
continually with the wind.[258] We continued our course along shore on
the 5th, expecting to have met some English ships, but found none.

[Footnote 257: It is hard to say whether this means 2 hours after
sunset, or after midnight--E.]

[Footnote 258: Apparently running from the east during the land breeze,
and from the west with the sea breeze--E.]

The 6th February 1556, we altered our course S.W. leaving the coast, to
fetch under the line, and ran 24 leagues by estimation. By the 13th we
reckoned ourselves off Cape Palmas, and by the 22d we were by our
reckoning abreast of Cape Mount, 30 leagues west from the river Sestos
or Sestro. The 1st March we lost sight of the Hind in a tornado; on
which we set up a light and fired a gun, but saw nothing of her,
wherefore we struck sail and lay by for her, and in the morning had
sight of her 3 leagues astern. This day we found ourselves in the
latitude of Cape Verd which is in 14 deg. 30' [14 deg. 50' N.] Continuing our
course till the 29th, we were then in 22 deg., on which day one of our men
named William King died in his sleep, having been long sick. His clothes
were distributed among those of the crew who were in want of such
things, and his money was kept to be delivered to his friends at home.
The 30th we found ourselves under the tropic. On the 1st April we were
in the latitude of the Azores, and on the 7th of May we fell in with the
south of Ireland, where we sent our boat on shore for fresh water, and
where we bought two sheep and such other victuals as we needed from the
country people, who are wild _kernes_. The 14th of the same month we
went into the port of Bristol called Hungrode[259], where we cast anchor
in safety, giving God thanks for our happy arrival.

[Footnote 259: Probably that now called King-road?--E.]


_Second Voyage to Guinea in 1556, by William Towerson_[260].

On the 14th September 1556, we set sail from Harwich bound for the coast
of Guinea, in the Tiger of London of 120 tons, directing our coarse for
Scilly, where we expected to meet the Hart of London of 60 tons and a
pinnace of 16 tons, both of which had been fitted out and victualled at
Bristol. We arrived at Scilly on the 28th, and having lain to some time
for our consorts to no purpose, we sailed back to Plymouth on the 12th
October. They there joined us, and we sailed together from that port on
the 15th November.

[Footnote 260: Hakluyt, II. 496. Astl. I. 162.

Hitherto we have given these voyages to Guinea at full length, as they
are found in the collection of Hakluyt; but in this and the subsequent
early English voyages to Guinea, we have thought proper to abbreviate
such matters as seemed of small importance.--E.]

We made the coast of Guinea on the 30th December, where we got sight of
three ships and two pinnaces which were to windward of us, on which we
made ourselves ready for action and gave them chase, hauling to the wind
as near as we could to gain the weather-gage. At first they made sail
from us, but having cleared for fighting they put about and came towards
us in brave order, their streamers, pennants and ensigns displayed, and
trumpets, sounding. When we met they still had the weather-gage of us,
yet were we firmly determined to have fought them if they had been
Portuguese, and hailed them to come under our lee, which they stoutly
refused. On demanding whence they were, they said from France; and we
then told them we were from London in England. They then told us there
were certain Portuguese ships gone to Mina to protect that place, and
that they had already burnt a Portuguese ship of 200 tons at the river
Sestro. The captain of the admiral ship and several other Frenchmen came
on board of us in a friendly manner, and proposed that we should join
company because of the Portuguese, and go together to Mina. We told them
that we had not yet watered, having just fallen in with the coast. They
said we were 50 leagues to leeward of Sestro river, but still water
might be had, and they would assist us in watering with their boats for
the sake of our company. They told us farther that they had been six
weeks on the coast, and had only got 3 tons of grains among them

[Footnote 261: These ships were the Espoir of Harfleur, the admiral, of
which Denis Blundel was captain; the Levriere of Rouen, vice-admiral,
commanded by Jerome Baudet; and a ship of Houfleur, commanded by Jean de

After hearing what they had to say, we considered that even if Mina were
clear of Portuguese ships, yet if the Frenchmen went before us they
would spoil our market: That if there were Portuguese ships at Mina, and
they took the French ships, they would learn that we were behind, and
would wait to take us likewise: And finally, if we went along with them
and found the coast clear, we would do as well as they; but if the
Portuguese remained on the coast we should be stronger in their company.
Wherefore, having thus considered their friendly offers, we told them
that we would confer more largely of the matter next day; upon which
they invited me to dine with them next day, and to bring with me the
masters of our ships and such merchants as I thought proper, offering to
supply us with water from their own ships if we would, or else to remain
with us and help us to water with their boats and pinnaces. In the
morning of the 31st, the French admiral sent his boat for me, and I went
on board his ship accompanied by our masters and some of our merchants.
He had provided a noble banquet for us, and treated us excellently,
requesting us to keep him company, promising to part with us what
victuals were in his ship, or any other things that could serve us,
even offering to strike his flag and obey my commands in all things. Not
being able to find water at that place, we set sail on the 1st January
1557, and anchored off the mouth of a river, where on the two following
days we procured water, and bought a few small elephants teeth.

On the 4th of January we landed with 30 men, well armed with arquebuses,
pikes, long-bows, cross-bows, partizans, long swords, and swords and
bucklers, meaning to seek for elephants. We found two, which we wounded
several times with our fire-arms and arrows, but they both got away from
us and hurt one of our men. We sailed on the 5th, and next day fell in
with the river St Andrew, [in long. 6 deg. 4' W.] The land is somewhat high
to the westward of this river, having a fine bay likewise to the
westward, but to the east the land is low. This is a great river, having
7 fathoms water in some places at its mouth. On the 7th we went into the
river, where we found no village, and only some wild negroes not used to
trade. Having filled our water casks here, we set sail to the eastward.
On the 10th we had a conference with Captain Blondel, the admiral of the
French ships, Jerome Baudet his vice-admiral, and Jean de Orleans,
master of the ship of 70 tons. We agreed to traffic in friendly accord,
so as not to hurt each others market, certain persons being appointed to
make a price for the whole, and then one boat from every ship to make
sales on the agreed terms. On the 11th, at a place called _Allow_[262],
we got only half an angel weight and 4 grains of gold, which was taken
by hand, the natives having no weights.

[Footnote 262: Rather Lu how or La hu.--Astl. I 163. b.--The river
called Jack Lahows river, in Long. 4 deg. 14' W.--E.]

On the 14th we came within _Saker_ shot of the castle of Mina, whence an
Almadia was sent out to see what we were, but seeing that we were not
Portuguese, she went immediately back to the large negroe town of
_Dondou_ close by the castle. Without this there lie two great rocks
like islands, and the castle stands on a point resembling an island. At
some distance to the westwards the land for 5 or 6 leagues was high, but
for 7 leagues from thence to the castle the land is low, after which it
becomes high again. The castle of Mina is about 5 leagues east from Cape
Three-points[263]. Here I took the boat with our negroes, and, went
along the coast till I came to the cape, where I found two small towns
having no canoes, neither could we have any trade. At these places our
negroes understood the natives perfectly, and one of them went on shore
at all the places, where he was well received by his countrymen. At a
place called _Bulle_, about 3 leagues east from the eastermost point of
Cape Three-points, we learnt from the natives by means of our negro
George, that about a month before there had been an engagement at this
place, in which two ships had put one to flight; and that some time
before, one French ship had put to flight four Portuguese ships at the
castle of Mina.

[Footnote 263: Mina is in Long. 1 deg. 60', Cape Three points in 2 40' both
west, the difference of Longitude therefore is about 50 minutes, or
nearly 17 leagues.--E]

On the 16th we went to a place called _Hanta_, 12 leagues beyond the
cape, but did no good, as the natives held their gold too dear. We went
thence to _Shamma_[264], where we landed with 5 boats well armed with
men and ordnance, making a great noise with our drums and trumpets,
suspecting we might have found Portuguese here, but there were none. We
sent our negroes first on shore, after which we followed and were well
received. The 18th we agreed to give the negroes 2 yards and 3 nails of
cloth, as a _fuffe_, to exchange for an angel-ducat weight; so we took
in all 70 ducats, of which the Frenchmen had 40 and we 30. The 19th I
took 4 libs. 2-1/2 oz. of gold, and the boat of the Hart had 21 oz. This
night we were informed by the negroes that the Portuguese meant to
attack us next day either by sea or land, and as we were about to return
on board we heard several shots in the woods, but they durst not come
near us. The 20th we went on shore well armed, but heard no more of the
Portuguese, and this day the negroes informed us there were some ships
come to _Hanta_, a town about 2 leagues to the west. The 21st we went in
our boats to a town a league to the west, where we found many negroes
under another chief, with whom we dealt on the same terms as at Shamma.
The 22d we went again on shore, and I got 1 lib. 4 oz. of gold. The 23d
the negroes told as that the Portuguese ships had departed from the
Mina, intending to ply to windward and then come down to fight us,
giving us warning to be on our guard. The 24th we went again on shore to
trade, and I invited the chief of the town to dinner. While we were
ashore on the 25th, our ships descried 5 sail of ships belonging to the
king of Portugal, and fired several shots to recall us on board. So we
went to the ships, but by the time that every thing was in order and we
had weighed anchor it was night, so that nothing could be done. We set
sail however and tried all night to gain the wind of the Portuguese,
some of which were very near during the night. One of them, which we
judged was their admiral, fired a shot, as we supposed to call the
others to come and speak with him. The 26th we came in with the shore,
and got sight of the Portuguese at anchor, on which we made sail towards
them, giving all our men white scarfs, that the French and we might know
each other in case of boarding: But night coming on before we could
fetch the Portuguese, we anchored within demi-culverine shot of them.

[Footnote 264: Called Chama in modern maps, near the mouth of St Johns
river, about 6 leagues east from Mina.--E.]

In the morning of the 27th, both we and the Portuguese weighed anchor,
and by 11 o'clock, A.M. we had gained the weather-gage, on which we went
room with them[265]: on this they bore away towards the shore, and we
after them, and when they were near shore they put about again to
seawards. We put about likewise, and gained a head of them, on which we
took in our topsails and waited for them. The first that came up was a
small bark, which sailed so well that she cared not for any of us, and
had good ordnance. As soon as she came up she discharged her guns at us
and shot past with ease, after which she fired at the French admiral and
struck his ship in several places; and as we were in our fighting sails,
she soon got beyond our reach. Then another caravel came up under our
lee, discharging her ordnance at us and at the French admiral, wounding
two of his men and shooting through his main-mast. After him came up the
Portuguese admiral also under our lee, but was not able to do us so much
harm as the small ships had done, as he carried his ordnance higher than
they; neither were we able to make a good shot at any of them, because
our ship was so weak in the side that she laid all her ordnance in the
sea[266]. We determined therefore to lay the Portuguese admiral on
board; but on making the attempt, the French admiral fell to leeward and
could not fetch him, after which he fell to leeward of two other
caravels, and was unable to fetch any of them. Being thus to leeward,
the French admiral kept on towards the shore and left us. We hoisted
our topsails and gave chase to the enemy, but both the other French
ships kept their wind and would not come near us, and our own consort
was so much astern that she could not get up to our assistance. When we
had followed them to seaward about two hours, the enemy put about
towards the land, thinking to pay us as they went past, and to gain the
wind of the French admiral which had gone in shore; but we put about
likewise keeping still the weather gage, expecting our consort and the
rest to have followed our example. But when the Portuguese had passed
our consort and the two French ships, firing as they went along, all of
these ships and our own pinnace continued to seawards, leaving us in the
_laps_, (lurch.) We continued our course after the enemy, keeping the
weather gage, that we might succour the French admiral who was to
leeward of them all; and on coming up with him, all the enemies ships
bore down and gave him their broadsides, after which they put about
again, but durst not board him as we were still to wind-wind of them,
otherwise they had certainly taken or sunk him. Three of their smallest
vessels were such prime sailors that it was quite impossible for any of
our ships to have boarded them, and they carried such ordnance that they
would have sore troubled any three of our ships; if they had been able
to gain the weather-gage. Their other ships, the admiral and
vice-admiral, were both notably appointed.

[Footnote 265: Bore down upon them.--E.]

[Footnote 266: Meaning apparently that she lay too much over to

When the French admiral was clear of them, he lay as near the wind as
possible and ran to seaward after the rest, while we followed the enemy
to leeward. Then seeing us alone and in chase, they put about, which we
did likewise to keep the wind of them, and in this situation we sailed
within _base_ shot of them, but they shot not at us, because we had the
weather gage and they could not therefore harm us. We continued in this
course till night, when we lost sight of them. All the rest of our ships
made to seawards with all the sail they could carry; and, as they
confessed themselves afterwards, they gave us their prayers, and no
other help had we at their hands.

Next day, the 28th, we rejoined our own consort and pinnace, and two of
the French ships, but the third, which was a ship of 80 tons belonging
to Rouen, had fled. I took my skiff and went to them to know why they,
had deserted me. John Kire said his ship would neither rear nor
stear[267]. John Davis said the pinnace had broke her rudder, so that
she could sail no farther, and had been taken in tow by the Hart. I
found the French admiral to be a man of resolution, but half his crew
was sick or dead. The other Frenchman said his ship could bear no sail,
and 16 of his men were sick or dead, so that he could do nothing. After
this the French ships durst not come to anchor for fear of the

[Footnote 267: Meaning perhaps, would neither wear nor tack?--E.]

The 29th, on finding our pinnace incapable of farther use, we took out
her four bases, anchor, and every thing of value, and set her on fire,
after which we ran along the coast. On the 3d February we anchored about
4 leagues from a town, which we saluted with two guns, on which the
chief came to the shore, to whom I sent Thomas Rippon who knew him.
After some conference, the chief came off to me; as it was become late,
he did not enter into bargain for any price, but exchanged pledges and,
returned on shore. Next day I went on shore, and though some French
ships had been there and spoiled the market, I took 5-1/2 oz. of gold.
The 5th I took 8-1/2 oz. but could perceive that the negroes thought the
French cloth better and broader than ours; wherefore I told Captain
Blundel that I would go to leeward, as where he was I should do no good.
The 6th there came an Almadie or canoe to us with some negroes, inviting
me to their town, where they had plenty of gold and many merchants. I
did so, but could do no good that night, as the merchants were not come
from the interior. On the 7th our negro George came to us, having
followed us at least 30 leagues in a small canoe, and soon after his
arrival we settled the terms of dealing with the natives. George had
been left in Shamma at the time of the fight, which he saw from the
shore, and told us that the Portuguese had gone afterwards into that
river, when they said that two of their men had been slain by a shot,
which was from our ship. This day I took 5 libs. 1-1/4 oz. of gold; the
8th 19 libs. 3-1/2 oz.; the 9th 2 libs. 6-1/2 oz.; the 10th 3 libs. The
11th. Jerome Baudet, the French vice-admiral, came to us in his pinnace,
saying that they could do no good where they were, and that he meant to
go to the eastwards: But we told him this could not be allowed, and
desired him to return to his comrades, which he refused; till we shot
three or four pieces at his pinnace; on which his ship put about and ran
out to sea followed by the pinnace. This day I took 1 lib. 5 oz.

The 12th one of the French pinnaces came with cloth, but we would not
allow them to trade, and made them remain all day close to our ship.
This day we took 5 lib. 6-1/2 oz. The 17th we went to another town,
where we understood that three of the Portuguese ships were at the
castle, and the other two at Shamma. Though the Portuguese were so near
that they might have been with us in three hours, we yet resolved to
remain and make sales if we could. The chief of this town was absent at
the principal town of the district visiting the king, but came soon back
with a weight and measure. The 18th some of the kings servants came to
us, and we took 1 lib. 2-1/8 oz. of gold. The 19th we took 5 libs. 1 oz.
the 20th 1 lib. 4 oz; the 21st 4 libs. 1 oz; the 22d 3-1/2 oz.

Having sent one of our merchants with a present to the king, he returned
on the 23d, saying that he had been received in a friendly manner by
_Abaan_, who had little gold but promised if we would stay that he would
send all over his country in search of gold for us, and desired our
people to request our king to send men to his country to build a fort,
and to bring tailors with them to make them apparel, and to send good
wares and we should be sure to sell them; but that the French had for
the present filled the market with cloth. This town where the king Abaan
resides, is about 4 leagues up the country, and in the opinion of our
people who were there is as large in circumference as London, though all
built like those we had already seen. Around the town there was great
abundance of the wheat of the country, insomuch that on one side of it
they saw 1000 ricks of wheat and of another sort of grain called _mill_
or millet, which is much used in Spain. All round this town there is
kept a good nightly watch, and across all the roads or paths they have
cords stretched and connected with certain bells; so that if any one
touch the cords the bells, immediately ring to alarm the watchmen, on
which they run out to see what is the matter. In case of any enemies,
they have nets suspended over the paths ready to let fall and entangle
them. It is impossible to get to the town except by the regular paths,
as it is every where environed with trees and thick underwood; besides
which the town is surrounded by a fence of sedge bound with thick ropes
made of the bark of trees[268].

[Footnote 268: It is hard to discover what place this was. Perhaps it
was _Great Commendo_ or _Guaffo_, which stands on a river that runs by
the town of the _Mina_, and is still the residence of a negro king; in
which case the port they put in at might have been little _Commendo._
But the royal city is very far from being as large as London was in
1556, not having above 400 houses. The contrivance for apprizing the
watchmen of the approach of an enemy, and for taking them prisoners,
seems a notable invention of our countrymen; for surely an enemy might
easily destroy these net-traps to catch soldiers, these pack-thread
fortifications.--Astl. 1. 167. a.]

As in this country it is necessary to travel in the night to avoid the
heat of the day, our men came to the town about five in the morning.
About nine the king sent for them, as no one must go to him unless sent
for, and they proposed carrying their present, but were told they must
be brought before him three times, before their gift could be offered.
They then waited upon him and were graciously received. And having been
sent for three several times, they carried their present the last time,
which was thankfully accepted; and calling for a pot of Palm wine, the
king made them drink. Before drinking they use the following ceremonies:
On bringing out the pot of wine, a hole is made in the ground into which
a small quantity of the wine is poured, after which the hole is filled
up, and the pot set on the place. Then with a small cup made of a gourd
shell, they take out a little of the wine, which is poured on the ground
in three several places. They set up likewise some branches of the Palm
tree in different parts of the ground, where they shed some of the wine,
doing reverence to the palms. All these ceremonies being gone through,
the king took a gold cup full of wine which he drank off, all the people
calling out Abaan! Abaan! together with certain words, as is usual in
Flanders on twelfth night, _the king drinks._ When he had drank, then
the wine was served round to every one, and the king allowed them to
depart. Then every one bowed three times, waving his hands, and so
departed. The king has usually sitting beside him, eight or ten old men
with grey beards.

On the 23d we took 1 lib. 10 oz. of gold; the 24th 3 lib. 7 oz.; the
25th 3-1/4 oz.; the 26th 2 libs. 10 oz.; the 27th 2 libs. 5 oz.; the
28th 4 libs. Then seeing that there was no more gold to be had, we
weighed anchor and continued along the coast. The 1st of March we came
to a town called _Moure_, where we found neither boats nor people; but
when about to depart there came some people to us in two canoes from
another town, from whom we took 2-1/2 oz. of gold, and who told us that
the inhabitants had removed from Mowre to _Lagoua._[269]. The 2d we were
abreast the castle of Mina, where we saw all the five Portuguese ships
at anchor, and by night we were off Shamma or Chama, where we meant to
water. But next day we saw a tall ship of about 200 tons to windward
within two leagues, and then two more astern of her, one a ship of 500
tons or more and the other a pinnace. Upon this we weighed anchor, and
made a shirt to stand out to sea, the wind being S.S.W., but the Hart
fell three leagues to leeward of us. These ships chased us from 9 A.M.
till 5 P.M. but could not make up with us. At night, when we joined the
Hart, on asking why she fell to leeward, they pretended that they durst
not make sail to windward, lest they had carried away their
fore-top-mast. Having been thus obliged to abandon our watering-place,
we were under the necessity of boiling our meat-in sea-water, and to
reduce our allowance of drink to make it hold out, as we now shaped our
course homewards.

[Footnote 269: Mowree is 4-1/2 leagues east from the castle of Minas,
and Lagoua or Laguy is 9 leagues east from the same place.--Astl. I.
168. a.]

On the 16th of March we fell in with the land, which I judged to be Cape
Misurado, about which there is much high land. The 18th we lost sight of
the Hart, and I think the master wilfully went in shore on purpose to
lose us, being offended that I had reproved him for his folly when
chased by the Portuguese. The 27th we fell in with two small islands
about 6 leagues off Cape Sierra Leona; and before we saw them we
reckoned ourselves at least 30 or 40 leagues from them. Therefore all
who sail this way must allow for the current which sets N.N.W. or they
will be much deceived. The 14th April we met two large Portuguese ships,
which we supposed were bound to Calicut. The 23d we saw a French ship of
90 tons to windward of us, which came down upon us as if to lay us on
board, sending up some of his men in armour into the tops, and calling
out to us to strike. Upon this we saluted him with some cross-bars,
chain-shot, and arrows, so thick that we made their upper works fly
about their ears, and tore his ship so miserably, that he fell astern
and made sail. Our trumpeter was a Frenchman, at this time ill in bed;
yet he blew his trumpet till he could sound no more, and so died. The
29th we arrived at Plymouth, and gave thanks to God for our safety.


_Third Voyage of William Towerson to Guinea, in 1558_[270].

On the 30th of January of the above year, we set sail from Plymouth with
three ships and a pinnace, bound by the grace of God for the Canaries
and the coast of Guinea. Our ships were the Minion, admiral; the
Christopher, vice-admiral; the Tiger, and a pinnace called the Unicorn.
Next day we fell in with two hulks[271] of Dantziek, one called the Rose
of 400 tons, and the other the Unicorn of 150, both laden at Bourdeaux,
mostly with wine. We caused them to hoist out their boats and come on
board, when we examined them separately as to what goods they had on
board belonging to Frenchmen[272]. At first they denied having any; but
by their contradictory stories, we suspected the falsehood of their
charter parties, and ordered them to produce their bills of lading. They
denied having any, but we sent certain persons to the place where they
were hid, and thus confronted their falsehood. At length they confessed
that there were 32 tons and a hogshead of wine in the Unicorn belonging
to a Frenchman, and 128 tons in the Rose belonging to the, same person;
but insisted that all the rest was laden by Peter Lewgues of Hamburgh,
and consigned to Henry Summer of Campvere. After a long consultation,
considering that to capture or detain them might lose our voyage,
already too late, we agreed that each of our ships should take out as
much as they could stow for necessaries, and that we should consider
next morning what was farther to be done. We accordingly took out many
tuns of wine, some aquavitae, cordage, rosin, and other things, giving
them the rest of the Frenchmans wines to pay for what we had taken of
their own, and took a certificate under their hands of the quantity of
French goods they had confessed to, and then allowed them to continue
their voyage.

[Footnote 270: Hakluyt, II. 504. Astley, I. 169.--In the last London
edition of Hakluyt, 1810, it is dated erroneously in 1577, but we learn
from the editor of Astley's Collection that in the edition 1589, it is
dated in 1557. Yet, notwithstanding that authority, we may be assured
that the date of this voyage could not have been earlier than January
1558, as Towerson did not return from his former voyage till the 29th of
April 1557.--E.]

[Footnote 271: Probably meaning large unwieldy ships.--E]

[Footnote 272: It is to be noted, that at this time there was war
between England and France.--This observation is a side note of Hakluyt:
And it may be worth while to notice that, so early as 1557, free bottoms
were not considered by the English as making free goods.--E.]

The 10th January we had sight of the grand Canary, and on the 12th we
anchored in the road, a league from the town, where we were well
received. We went to the town with two English merchants who resided
there, and remained that day at their house. The second day following we
returned on board to get our pinnace repaired, which had broken her
rudder, and to deliver our merchandize. The 14th there came nineteen
sail of Spanish ships into the road, bound for the West Indies, six of
them being of 400 or 500 tons each, and the rest of 200, 150, and 100
tons. On coming to anchor they saluted us, which we returned. The
Spanish admiral, who was a knight, sent a boat for me, and received me
in a friendly manner, desiring to learn the news of England and
Flanders. After partaking of a banquet, I departed; and when I was in
the boat, he desired my interpreter to say that he expected I should
strike my flag to him, as general of the Emperors fleet. When I was come
on board my own ship this was told me by the interpreter, and as I
refused compliance and continued to display my ensign, some Spanish
soldiers began to discharge their arquebusses at us. At this time some
Spanish gentlemen came on board to see our ship, to whom I said that if
they did not order their men to cease firing, I would fire my cannon
through their ships. They accordingly went away and made their soldiers
give over firing, and coming back said that they had punished their men.
I then shewed them our ship, and gave them such cheer as I had, which
they were well pleased with. Next day they sent for me to dine with
them, saying their general was sorry any one should have desired me to
strike my flag, which had been done without his orders.

The 17th we set sail, and got sight of the coast of Africa, and running
along shore came off Rio del Oro which is almost under the tropic of
Cancer. The 25th we got sight of the land in the bay to the north of
Cape Verd[273]. The 26th taking our interpreter Francisco and Francis
Castelin along with me in the pinnace, I went to the Tiger, which was
nearer shore than the other ships. With her and the other ships we ran
W. by S. and W.S.W, till about 4 o'clock, P.M. when we were close on
board the cape. Then going about 4 leagues beyond the cape S.W. we found
a fair island, and beside that two or three islands of high rocks, full
of various kinds of sea fowl and pigeons, with other kinds of land
birds, and so numerous that the whole island was covered with their
dung, and as white as if the whole had been covered by chalk. Within
these islands was a fine bay; and close by the rocks we had 18 fathoms
and good ground[274]. The 27th, as no negroes came to us, we went along
shore in the pinnace, and going beyond the point of the bay (Cape
Emanuel) we found a fair island (_Goree_) with a goodly bay, and saw
some negroes on the main who waved us on shore. Going a-land, they told
us that they had elephants teeth, musk[275], and hides for traffic; but
as the captain of the Christopher was not willing to stop, we went on
board and made sail, On inquiry, some of the negroes said there had been
no ships there for 8 months, others said six, and some only four, and
that they were French ships.

[Footnote 273: The bay of Yof, in lat. 15 deg. N. long. 17 deg. 20' W. from

[Footnote 274: Obviously the Bird isles, which are 4-1/2 leagues E.S.E.
from Cape Verd, not W.S.W. as in the text.--E.]

[Footnote 275: What is here called musk must have either been civet or

The 10th of March we fell in with the coast of Guinea, 5 leagues east of
Cape _Monte_, beside a river called Rio das Palmas. At this place I got
19 elephants teeth, and 2 1/2oz. of gold. The 13th we came to Rio
Sestro, and next day sent our boats for water, and delivered such wares
to the Christopher and Tiger as they needed. The 15th we sent the Tiger
to another river for water, and to try what she could do for grains. We
here learnt that three French ships had been at this river two months
before, two six weeks ago, and one only a fortnight past, all of which
had gone eastwards to the Mina. Getting few grains, and many of our men
falling sick at this unwholesome place, and considering that the French
ships were before us, we left the Rio Sestro on the 19th, and made all
sail for the Mina[276]. The 21st we came to Rio de Potos, where our
boats went for water, and where I got 12 small elephants teeth. The 31st
we came to _Hanta_, where I sold some _Manillios_.

On the 1st of April we had sight of 5 Portuguese ships, on which we
stood out to sea to gain the wind of them, which we had done if the
wind had kept its ordinary course at S.W. and W.S.W. but this day it
kept with a _flow_ always at E. and E.S.E. so that they had the wind of
us and chased us to leeward till near night, when all but one that
sailed badly were within shot of us. It then fell calm, and the wind
came round to S.W. at which time the Christopher was about 4 leagues to
leeward of us. We tacked in the Minion, and gained the wind of the
Portuguese admiral and other three of his ships; when he cast about and
fired at us, which we returned, shooting him four or five times through.
Several of their shots went through our sails, but none of our men were
hurt. The Christopher was still to leeward, though the Tiger and the
pinnace had joined us; but as it was night we did not think it
adviseable to lay him on board; wherefore, after firing two hours or
more, we three stood out to sea, and fired a gun to give notice to the
Christopher. We joined the Christopher on the 2d, which had exchanged
shots with the Portuguese the night before about midnight, and we agreed
to seek the Portuguese, keeping however to windward of the place where
we meant to trade. We accordingly ran all day on the 3d to the S.W. in
search of the Portuguese ships, but could not see them, and stood
towards the shore at night. When we made the shore on the 4th, we found
ourselves off Lagua, 30 leagues to the eastwards of our reckoning, owing
to the currents setting east. Going on shore with our negro interpreter,
we learned that there were four French ships on the coast: One at
_Perinnen_, 6 leagues west of Lagua; one at _Weamba[277]_, 4 leagues
east of Lagua; a third at _Perecow[9]_, 4 leagues east of Weamba; and
the fourth at _Egrand[10]_, 4 leagues east of Perecow. We accordingly
proceeded toward Weamba, where we saw one of the French ships under sail
to which we gave chase; and lest we should over-shoot her in the night,
the Minion was brought to anchor, and the Tiger and Christopher followed
the chase all night.

[Footnote 276: The Mina is here to be considered as the gold coast of
Guinea, called Mina or the mines on account of its great produce in gold
dust. The castle of St George del Mina, is usually called in these early
voyages _the castle._--E.]

[Footnote 277: Or Wiamba, where the English had afterwards a
fort.--Astl. I. 172. d.]

[278][Footnote 278: 9 This seems to have been little Barakhow, or
Berow.--Astl. I. 172. c.]

[279][Footnote 279: 10 Probably Akkara, where the English, Dutch, and
Danes had afterwards separate forts--Astl. 1.172. d.]

The 5th we found three French ships at anchor: One called _La Foi_ of
Harfleur of 200 tons, the second the _Venturuse_ of Harfleur of 100, and
third the _Mulet de Batville_ of Rouen of 120 tons. On nearing them, we
in the Minion were determined to lay the admiral on board, while the
Christopher boarded the vice-admiral, and the Tiger the smallest. But
they weighed and got under sail, on which the Christopher, being our
headmost ship, bore down on La Foi, and we in the Minion on the Mulet,
which we took; but the Venturuse sailed so swift that we could not take
her. The one we took was the richest except the admiral, which had taken
80 libs, of gold, the Venturuse having only 22 libs.; while our prise
had 50. They had been above two months on the coast; but three others
had been there before them, and had departed a month before our arrival,
having swept the coast of 700 pounds of gold. Having continued the chase
all that day and night, and the next day till 3 P.M. and being unable to
get up with them, we were afraid of falling too far to leewards, and
made sail back to the shore. On the 7th, I convened the captains
masters and merchants of all our three ships, when we weighed the gold
taken in the prize, being 50 libs. 5 oz., after which we put men out of
all our ships into the prize to keep her. On the 12th, on coming to
_Egrand_, having taken all the goods out of the prize, we offered to
sell the ship to the Frenchmen; but she was so leaky that they would not
have her, and begged us to save their lives by taking them into our
ships. So we agreed to take out all the victuals and sink the ship,
dividing the men among us.

On the 15th, it was proposed to proceed to Benin, but most of our people
refused; wherefore it was agreed to remain as long as we could on the
coast of Mina, leaving the Minion at Egrand, sending the Tiger to
Perecow 4 leagues, west, and the Christopher to Weamba 10 leagues west,
with directions in case of seeing any force they were unable to cope
with, to come to leewards to us in the Minion at Egrand. We remained
here till the last of April, by which time many of our men fell sick and
six of them died, and we could only trade with the natives three or four
days of the week, as on the other days they could not come off to us.
The 3d May, as the pinnace had not come to us with cloth from the other
ships, as promised, we sold French cloth, giving only three yards for
every _fuffe_. The 5th the negroes left us, saying they would be back in
four days. The 8th all our own cloth being sold, I called the people
together, to ask them whether they chose to remain till the prize cloth
was all sold. They answered, that as several of our men were dead, and
twenty now sick, they would not tarry, but desired that we should repair
to the other two ships. On the 10th we accordingly sailed in quest of
the other ships, meaning to try what we could do at Don Johns town. The
11th we joined the Christopher, which had done little. The 13th the
Tiger was sent down to Egrand, as we found no trade worth while at
Perinnen. The 14th the pinnace was sent with cloth to Weamba, where she
had before got 10 libs. of gold.

The 21st we anchored before Don Johns town; and on the 22d we manned our
boats and went close in shore, but the negroes would not come to us. The
24th our pinnace came to us from Cormantine, where they had taken 2
libs. 5 oz. of gold. The 25th the master of the Christopher sent his
boat on shore at Mowre for ballast, when the negroes attempted to drive
them off with stones; but our men slew and hurt several of them, then
burnt their town and stove all their canoes. The 27th we went to
Cormantine, where we were joined next day by the Christopher. The 2d
June the Tiger came to us from Egrand and the pinnace from Weamba, the
two having procured 50 libs. of gold. The 4th we made sail and plied to
windward for Chama, not being able to remain longer for want of
victuals, and especially as our drink ran short. The 7th we saw five
Portuguese ships at anchor beside the castle. The 8th George and Binny
came off to us, and brought about 2 libs. of gold. The 21st we put 25
Frenchmen into our pinnace with such victuals as we could spare, and
sent them away. The 25th we put to sea on our homeward voyage. The 30th
we fell in again with the land, 18 leagues to leeward of the place
whence we had taken our departure, having been deceived by the current
which sets continually towards the east. The 7th July we fell in with
the island of San Thome [280], where we wished to come to anchor; but
the wind coming about we again made sail. From that time till the 13th
we were tossed about by baffling winds, and that day fell in again with
San Thome.

[Footnote 280: They must have fallen far to leeward, as San Thome is to
the east of the Bight of Benin, almost 8 degrees or 160 leagues to the
east of St George del Mina.--E.]

This is a very high island, and being on the west side of it, we had
sight of a very high small and upright peak, like the steeple of a
church, which peak is directly under the equator, and to the westward of
the south end of the island there is a small islet about a mile from the
larger one. The 3d of August we set sail from San Thome with the wind at
S.W. The 22d we fell in with the island of _Salt_, one of the Cape
Verds; and being told by a Scotsman whom we had taken among the French
on the coast of Guinea, that there were fresh provisions to be had at
this place, we came to anchor. The 24th we went on shore, where we found
no houses, and only saw four men who would not come near us. We found
plenty of goats, but so wild that we could only take three or four of
them; but we got plenty of fish, and great quantities of sea-fowl on a
small isle close to the larger one. At night the Christopher broke her
cable and lost an anchor, so that we were all obliged to weigh and put
to sea. On this occasion the Scotsman was left on shore, by what means
we could not tell, unless that he had been found asleep by the
inhabitants and carried off-prisoner.

The 25th the master of the Tiger came on board, and reported his ship to
be in so leaky a condition and his men so weak, that he was unable to
keep her afloat, and requested therefore that we would return to the
island to take every thing out of her, that she might be abandoned: This
day on mustering the companies of all the three ships, we had not above
30 sound men altogether[281]. The 25th we had sight of St Nicholas, and
the day following of St Lucia, St Vincent, and St Anthony, four of the
Cape Verd islands, which range with each other from N.W. by W. to S. E
by E. The 26th we were unable to weather the Cape of St Anthony, and
this day Philip Jones the master of the Christopher came on board and
reported that they were not able to keep the Tiger from sinking as she
was so leaky, and the master and crew were very weak. The 3d September I
went on board the Tiger, accompanied by the masters and merchants to
survey her, and we found her in a very leaky condition with only six men
fit for duty, one of whom was master gunner. It was agreed accordingly
to take all the men into the other ships, with all the goods we could
save, and then to abandon her. We began discharging her on the 5th, and
having taken out her guns, victuals, gold, and every thing we could by
the 8th, we set her adrift in lat. 25 deg. N.

[Footnote 281: At this place Hakluyt observes in a note, the
great inconvenience of staying late on the coast of Guinea. He ought
rather to have said, the impropriety of sailing too late for that

On the 6th October, the ships companies both of the Minion and
Christopher being very weak, so as to be scarce able to keep the sea, we
agreed to make for Vigo, which is frequented by many English ships; but
having a fair wind for England on the 10th, we fired two shots to give
notice to the Christopher of our intention, and immediately shaped our
course homewards. She followed us, and we carried a light to direct her
way; but it was so thick next morning that we could not see her, and as
she was not seen all that day we concluded she had either shot ahead of
us in the night or had bore up for Spain, for which reason we hoisted
our top-sails and continued our course, being then 120 leagues from
England and 45 leagues N.W. by W. from Cape Finister, having then only
six mariners and six merchants in health. The 16th we had a great storm
at W.S.W. by W. which came on about 6 P.M. and our men being very weak
and unable to hand our sails, we that night lost our mainsail, foresail,
and spritsail, and were obliged to _lie hulling_ till the 18th, when we
got up an old foresail; and finding ourselves now in the Channel, we
bore up for the coast of England. In less than two hours the old
foresail was blown from the yard by a spurt of wind, and we were again
forced to lie to till the morning of the 19th, when we got up an old
bonnet, or topsail, on the fore-yard, which by the blessing of God
brought us to the Isle of Wight in the afternoon of the 20th.

* * * * *

_Commodities most in request in Guinea, between Sierra Leone and the
farthest extremity of the Mine or Gold Coast[282]._

MANILS of brass, and some of lead.
Basins of various sorts, but chiefly of latten.
Pots holding a quart or more, of coarse tin.
Some wedges of iron.
Margarites, and other low priced beads.
Some blue coral.
Some horse nails.
Linen cloth, principally.
Basins of Flanders.
Some low priced red cloth, and kersies.
Dutch kettles with brass handles.
Some large engraved brass basins, like those usually set upon.
their cupboards in Flanders.
Some large pewter basins and ewers, graven.
Some lavers for holding water.
Large low priced knives.
Slight Flemish caskets.
Low priced Rouen chests, or any other chests.
Large pins.
Coarse French coverlets.
Good store of packing sheets.

Swords, daggers, prize-mantles and gowns, cloaks, hats, red cans,
Spanish blankets, axe heads, hammers, short pieces of iron, slight
bells, low priced gloves, leather bags, and any other trifling articles
you will.

[Footnote 282: This list is appended in Hakluyt's Collection, II.513. to
the present voyage, and is therefore here retained, though several of
the articles are scarcely intelligible.--E.]


_Notices of an intended Voyage to Guinea, in 1561[283]._

In 1561, a voyage was projected to Guinea by Sir William Gerard, knight,
in conjunction with Messrs William Hunter, Benjamin Gonson, Anthony
Hickman, and Edward Castelin. Only one ship, the Minion, was to have
gone, and seems to have been intended to assist and bring home the
Primrose and Flower de Luce, then on the coast. The command of the
Minion was to have been given to John Lok, probably the same person who
made the Guinea voyage in 1554, already inserted. The adventurers sent
the following articles of instruction to Mr Lok, dated 8th September
1561. But Lok declined undertaking the voyage for the following reasons,
dated Bristol, 11th December 1561. 1. The Minion was so spent and
rotten, as to be incapable of being put into a fit and safe condition
for the voyage. 2. The season was too far gone to perform the voyage in
safety. 3. He understood that four large Portuguese ships were in
readiness to intercept him. 4. It was quite uncertain that he should
meet the Primrose, which would have completed her voyage before he could
get to the coast, or would have been obliged to quit the coast by that
time for want of provisions. It will be seen in the succeeding section,
that the Minion actually proceeded on her voyage; on the 25th February
1562, and the unsuccessful events of that voyage fully justify the
refusal of Lok.

[Footnote 283: Hakluyt, II. 514. Astl I. 176.--As this voyage did not
take place, it is principally inserted here for the sake of the
instructions devised by the adventurers, for the conduct of the intended

* * * * *

_Remembrance for Mr Lok, at his Arrival on the Coast of Guinea._

When God shall bring you upon the coast of Guinea, you are to make
yourself acquainted, as you proceed along the coast, with all its
rivers, havens and harbours or roadsteads, making a plat or chart of the
same, in which you are to insert every place that you think material,
all in their true elevations. You will also diligently inquire what are
the commodities to be procured it the several places you visit, and what
wares are best calculated for their markets.

As it is believed that a fort on the coast of Mina or the Gold Coast of
Guinea, in the King of _Habaan's_ country, might be extremely useful,
you are especially desired to consider where such a fort could be best
placed, in which you will carefully note the following circumstances.

1. That the situation be adjoining to the sea on one side, so that ships
and boats may conveniently load and unload--2. What is the nature of the
soil in its neighbourhood?--3. What wood or timber may be had, and in
what manner it may be carried?--4. What victuals are to be procured in
the country, and what kinds of our victuals are best calculated for
keeping there?--5. The place must be strong by nature, or capable of
being made strong at small expence, and of being afterwards defended by
a small number of men.--6. How water is to be procured, if none is to be
had on the ground where the fort is to stand, or at least near it?--7.
What help may be expected from the natives, either in building the fort,
or in defending it afterwards?

You are to sound the King of Habaan at a distance as to the erection of
a fort in his country, taking notice how he relishes the proposal; yet
you will so manage your communication with him that he may not
understand your meaning, although there may seem good cause for its

You will search the country as far as you can, both along the coast and
into the interior. You will likewise use your endeavours to learn what
became of the merchants who were left at Benin. In all other important
matters worthy of notice, we have no doubt that you will diligently
inquire and report to us, which we leave to your good discretion. We
also request, that you will aid and assist our factors on all occasions,
both with your advice and otherwise; and thus God send you safely to


_Voyage to Guinea in 1562, written by William Rutter_[284].

This relation is said by Hakluyt to have been written by _one_ William
Rutter, to his master Anthony Hickman, being an account of a voyage to
Guinea in 1562, fitted out by Sir William Gerard, Sir William Chester,
Thomas Lodge, Anthony Hickman, and Edward Castelin. Three of these are
named in the preceding section as adventurers in the voyage proposed to
have gone under John Lok, and two of those former adventurers are here
omitted, while two others seem now to have supplied their places, yet it
appears to have been the same adventure, as the Minion was the ship
employed, notwithstanding the unfavourable report made of her by Lok.
But it would appear that the Primrose was likewise of this voyage, as
this relation is contained in a letter from Rutter to his master, dated
on board the Primrose, 16th of August 1563.--E.

[Footnote 284: Hakluyt, II. 516. Astley, I. 177.]

* * * * *

Worshipful Sir,--My duty remembered, this shall serve to inform you of
our voyage, since our departure from Dartmouth on the 25th February
1562, of which I then gave you notice. Having prosperous wind, we
arrived at Cape Verd on the 20th of March, whence we sailed along the
coast, to our first appointed port at Rio de Sestos, where we arrived on
the morning of the 3d April. We here saw a French ship, which
immediately made sail to leeward, and we came to anchor in the road.
While we merchants were on shore engaged in traffic, the French ship
returned and hailed [_saluted_] our ship with his ordnance. We were
informed by the negroes that the Frenchman had been trading there for
three days before our arrival, and we concluded, if he sent his boat on
shore again for trade, that we would not suffer him till we had
conferred with his captain and merchants. Accordingly his pinnace came
on shore in the afternoon, but we desired them not to trade till we had
spoken with their captain and merchants, whom we desired might come that
night on board our admiral for that purpose. They did so accordingly,
when Mr Burton and John Munt went on board the Minion, where the
Frenchmen were, and it was determined that they should wait eight days
beside us, allowing us to trade quietly the while. They were much
dissatisfied with this arrangement, and sailed next morning eastwards to
the Rio de Potos, on purpose to hinder our trade on the coast.

In consequence of this the merchants, both of the Minion and our ship,
determined to go on before them, understanding that no other ships had
gone that way before this season, and that our trade might not be
interrupted by the French ship. We did so accordingly, and found the
Frenchman trading to the westward at Rio de Potos, on which we passed
them, and came to Rio de Potos on the 12th of April, where we remained
trading till the 15th, when we departed with the Primrose for the river
St Andrew, where we agreed to wait for the Minion. We arrived at that
river on the 17th, and the Minion came to us that same day, saying that
they had met with a great ship and a caravel, belonging to the king of
Portugal, off cape Palmas, bound for the Mina, which had chased them,
and shot many guns at them, which the Minion had returned in her
defence. God be praised the Minion had no harm at that time. We then
concluded to hasten to cape Three-points, to endeavour to intercept them
on their way to the castle. We lay to off the cape for two days and a
night, and suspecting they were past, the Minion went in shore and sent
her boats to a place called _Anta_, where we had formerly traded. Next
morning, the 21st of April, we again saw the ship and caravel to
seaward, when we immediately made sail, endeavouring to get between them
and the castle, but to our great grief they got to the castle before us,
when they shot freely at us and we at them, but as they had the aid of
the castle against us we profited little.

We set sail in the afternoon, and came to the town of Don Juan, called
_Equi_, where, on the morning of the 22d, we went ashore to trade: But
the negroes refused till they should hear from Don Luis the son of Don
Juan, who was now dead. On the 23d Don Luis and Pacheco came to Equi,
intending to trade with us; but two gallies came rowing along shore from
the castle of Mina, meaning to interrupt our trade. We made sail on the
24th, and chased the gallies back to the castle, at which the negroes
were much pleased; but they desired us to proceed to _Mowre_, about
three leagues farther on, where they promised to follow us, being in
fear of the Portuguese. We did so, and remained there waiting for the
merchants who were coming with gold from the country, but Antonio, the
son of Don Luis, and Pacheco were on board the Minion. In the morning of
the 25th the two gallies came again from the castle, the weather being
very calm, and shot at us, hitting us three times. Shortly after the
land-wind sprung up, at which time we observed the great ship and the
caravel making towards us, on which we weighed and made sail to attack
them; but it was night before we could get up with them, and we lost
sight of them in the night. While returning towards the coast next night
we agreed to proceed to Cormantin; and next morning, the 28th, we found
ourselves very near the large ship and the two gallies, the caravel
being close in-shore. It being very calm, the two gallies rowed towards
the stern of the Minion, and fought with her most part of the forenoon.
During the engagement a barrel of powder blew up in the steward room of
the Minion, by which misfortune the master-gunner, the steward, and most
of the gunners were sore hurt. On perceiving this, the gallies became
more fierce, and with one shot cut half through the Minions foremast, so
that she could bear no sail till that were repaired. Soon after this,
the great ship sent her boat to the gallies, which suddenly withdrew.

After their departure we went on board the Minion to consult what was
best to be done: As the Minion was sore discomfited by the accident, and
as we knew the negroes durst not trade with us so long as the gallies
were upon the coast, it was agreed to return to the Rio Sestos. In the
morning of the 14th of May we fell in with the land, and being uncertain
whereabout we were, the boats were sent on shore to learn the truth,
when it was found to be the Rio Barbas. We remained there taking in
water till the 21st, and lost five of our men by the Hack pinnace
over-setting. Departing on the 22d, we came to the Rio Sestos on the 2d
of June. We again set sail on the 4th, and arrived this day, the 6th of
August, within sight of the Start Point in the west of England, for
which God be praised. We are very side and weak, not having above twenty
men in both ships, able for duty. Of our men 21 have died, and many more
are sore hurt or sick. Mr Burton has been sick for six weeks, and is now
so very weak that, unless God strengthen him, I fear he will hardly
escape. Your worship will find inclosed an abstract of all the goods we
have sold, and also of what commodities we have received for them;
reserving all things else till our meeting, and to the bearer of this

In this voyage there were brought home, in 1563, 166 elephants teeth,
weighing 1758 libs, and 22 buts full of grains, or Guinea pepper.


_Supplementary Account of the foregoing Voyage_ [285]

An account of the preceding voyage to Guinea in 1563, of which this
section is an abstract, was written in verse by Robert Baker, who
appears to have been one of the factors employed by the adventurers. It
is said to have been written in prison in France, where he had been
carried on his subsequent voyage, which forms the subject of the next
section, and was composed at the importunity of his fellow traveller and
fellow-prisoner, Mr George Gage, the son of Sir Edward Gage. Of this
voyage he relates nothing material, except a conflict which happened
with the negroes at a certain river, the name of which is not mentioned;
neither does the foregoing relation by Rutter give any light into the
matter. But from the circumstance of the ship commencing her return for
England immediately after this adventure, it must have happened at the
river Sestos or Sestre, which was the last place they touched at, and
where they staid three days, as stated both in this and the proceeding
narratives.--Astl. I. 179.

[Footnote 285: Astley, I. 179. Hakluyt, II. 518.]

In the versified relation, which is to be found at large in the last
edition of Hakluyts Collection, London, 1810, Vol. II. p.518-523, he
complains of being detained in a French prison, against all law and
right, as the war between England and France was concluded by a peace.
The account given of this conflict with the negroes is to the following

One day while the ship was at anchor on the coast of Guinea, Baker
ordered out the small pinnace or boat, with nine men well armed, to go
on shore to traffic. At length, having entered a river, he saw a great
number of negroes, whose captain came to him stark naked, sitting in a
canoe made of a log, _like a trough to feed hogs in_. Stopping, at some
distance, the negro chief put water on his cheek, not caring to trust
himself nearer till Baker did the like. This signal of friendship being
answered, and some tempting merchandize being shewn him, the chief came
forward and intimated by signs, that he would stand their friend if some
of these things were given him. He was gratified, and many things given
to others of the natives. After trading all day with the negroes, Baker
returned at night to the ship, carrying the chief along with him, where
he clothed him and treated him kindly. In return the chief promised by
signs to freight them in a day or two. While on board, Baker observed
that the chief took much notice of the boat which was left astern, of
the ship loaded with goods; yet not suspecting he had any ill design, no
farther care or precaution was taken of the boat.

Next morning the chief was carried on shore, and trade or barter went on
with the negroes as on the day before; and at the return of Baker to the
ship, the boat was fastened to the stern, and the goods left in her as
usual. In the night the negro captain came with two or three canoes, and
was noticed by the watch to be very busy about the boat. On giving the
alarm, the negroes fled; but on hoisting up the boat, all the goods were
carried of. Vexed at being so tricked, the English went next morning up
the river to the negro town, in order to recover their goods; but all
their signs were to no purpose, as the negroes would neither understand
them nor acknowledge the theft. On the contrary, as if wronged by the
charge, and resolved to revenge the affront, they followed the English
down the river in 100 canoes, while as many appeared farther down ready
to intercept their passage. In each canoe were two men armed with
targets and darts, most of which had long strings to draw them back
again after they were thrown.

Being hard pressed, they discharged their arquebuses upon the negroes,
who leapt into the water to avoid the shot. The English then rowed with
all their might to get to sea; but the negroes getting again into their

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