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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. VIII. by Robert Kerr

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uncomfortable place, having neither fruits, fowls, or any other
refreshment for our men. We took these islands to be some of the broken
lands which are laid down to the south-east of the island of Bantam.
Having taken in wood and water, we weighed anchor and stood for Patane,
as well as a bad wind would permit; for we found the winds in these
months very contrary, keeping always at N. or N.W. or N.E.

While near Pulo Laor, on the 12th December, we descried three sail, and
sent our pinnace and shallop after one of them which was nearest, while
we staid with the ship, thinking to intercept the other two; but they
stood another course in the night, so that we saw them no more. In the
morning we descried our pinnace and shallop about four leagues to
leeward, with the other ship which they had taken; and as both wind and
current were against them, they were unable to come up to us, so that we
had to go down to them. On coming up with them, we found the prize was a
junk of _Pan-Hange_,[74] of about 100 tons, laden with rice, pepper, and
tin, going for Bantam in Java. Not caring for such mean luggage, our
general took as much rice as was necessary for provisioning our ship,
and two small brass guns, paying them liberally for all; and took
nothing else, except one man to pilot us to Patane, who came willingly
along with us, when he saw our general used them well. The other two
pilots, we had taken before from the three praws, were very unskilful,
wherefore our general rewarded them for the time they had been with us,
and sent them back to their own country in this junk.

[Footnote 74: This should rather be, perhaps, _Pau-hang_, being the same
place called by other writers Pahaung, Pahang, or Pahan, often called
_Pam_ in the Portuguese accounts, and pronounced by them Pang.--Astl. I.
310. c.]

We parted from her on the 13th, steering for Pulo Timaon, adjoining to
the country of the King of Pan-Hange, [Pahan,] and were much vexed with
contrary winds and adverse currents: For, from the beginning of November
to the beginning of April, the sea runs always to the southwards, and
from April to November back again towards the north. The wind also in
these first five months is most commonly northerly, and in the other
seven months southerly. All the ships, therefore, of China, Patane,
Johor, Pahan, and other places, going to the northward, come to Bantam,
or Palimbangan, when the northern monsoon is set in, and return back
again when the southern monsoon begins, as before stated, by observing
which rule they have the wind and current along with them; but by
following the opposite course, we found such violent contrary winds and
currents, that in three weeks we did not get one league forwards. The
country of Pahan is very plentiful, being full of gentry according to
the fashion of that country, having great store of victuals, which are
very cheap, and many ships. It lies between Johor and Patane, stretching
along the eastern coast of Malacca, and reaches to Cape _Tingeron_,
which is a very high cape, and the first land made by the caraks of
Macao, junks of China, or praws of Cambodia, on coming from China for
Malacca, Java, Jumbe, Johor Palimbangan, Grisi, or any other parts to
the southwards.

Here, as I stood for Patane, about the 27th December, I met with a
Japanese junk, which had been pirating along the coasts of China and
Cambodia. Their pilot dying, what with ignorance and foul weather, they
had lost their own ship on certain shoals of the great island of Borneo;
and not daring to land there, as the Japanese are not allowed to come
a-shore in any part of India with their weapons, being a desperate
people, and so daring that they are feared in all places; wherefore, by
means of their boats, they had entered this junk, which belonged to
Patane, and slew all the people except one old pilot. This junk was
laden with rice; and having furnished her with such weapons and other
things as they had saved from their sunken ship, they shaped their
course for Japan; but owing to the badness of their junk, contrary
winds, and the unseasonable time of the year, they were forced to
leeward, which was the cause of my unfortunately meeting them.

Having haled them and made them come to leeward, and sending my boat on
board, I found their men and equipment very disproportionate for so
small a junk, being only about seventy tons, yet they were ninety men,
most of them in too gallant habits for sailors, and had so much equality
of behaviour among them that they seemed all comrades. One among them
indeed was called captain, but he seemed to be held in very little
respect. I made them come to anchor, and on examining their lading,
found nothing but rice, and that mostly spoilt with wet, for their
vessel was leaky both in her bottom and upper works. Questioning them, I
understood they were pirates, who had been making pillage on the coast
of China and Cambodia, and had lost their own ship on the shoals of
Borneo, as already related. We rode by them at anchor under a small
island near the isle of Bintang for two days, giving them good usage,
and not taking any thing out of them, thinking to have gathered from
them the place and passage of certain ships from the coast of China, so
as to have made something of our voyage: But these rogues, being
desperate in minds and fortunes, and hopeless of ever being able to
return to their own country in that paltry junk, had resolved among
themselves either to gain my ship or lose their own lives.

During mutual courtesy and feastings, sometimes five or six and twenty
of the principal persons among them came aboard my ship, of whom I would
never allow more than six to have weapons; but there never was so many
of our men on board their junk at one time. I wished Captain John Davis,
in the morning, to possess himself of their weapons, putting the company
before the mast, and to leave a guard over their weapons, while they
searched among the rice; doubting that by searching, and perhaps finding
something that might displease them, they might suddenly set upon my men
and put them to the sword, as actually happened in the sequel. But,
beguiled by their pretended humility, Captain Davis would not take
possession of their weapons, though I sent two messages to him from my
ship, expressly to desire him. During the whole day my men were
searching among the rice, and the Japanese looking on. After a long
search, nothing was found except a little storax and benzoin. At
sun-set, seeking opportunity, and talking to their comrades who were in
my ship, which was very near, they agreed to set upon us in both ships
at once, on a concerted signal. This being given, they suddenly killed
and drove overboard all of my men that were in their ship. At the same
time, those who were on board my ship sallied out of my cabin, with such
weapons as they could find, meeting with some targets there, and other
things which they used as weapons. Being then aloft on the deck, and
seeing what was likely to follow, I leapt into the waste, where, with
the boatswains, carpenter, and some few more, we kept them under the
half-deck. At first coming from the cabin, they met Captain Davis coming
out of the gun-room, whom they pulled into the cabin, and giving him six
or seven mortal wounds, they pushed him before them out of the cabin. He
was so sore wounded, that he died immediately on getting to the waste.

They now pressed so fiercely upon us, while we received them on our
levelled pikes, that they attempted to gather them with one hand that
they might reach us with their swords, so that it was near half an hour
before we could force them back into the cabin, after having killed
three or four of their leaders. When we had driven them into the cabin,
they continued to fight us for at least four hours, before we could
finally suppress them, in which time they several times set the cabin on
fire, and burnt the bedding and other furniture; and if we had not
beaten down the bulkhead and poop, by means of two demi-culverines from
under the half-deck, we had never been able to prevent them from
burning the ship. Having loaded these pieces of ordnance with bar-shot,
case-shot, and musket-bullets, and discharged them close to the
bulk-head, they were so annoyed and torn with shot and splinters, that
at last only one was left out of two and twenty. Their legs, arms, and
bodies were so lacerated as was quite wonderful to behold. Such was the
desperate valour of these Japanese, that they never once asked quarter
during the whole of this sanguinary contest, though quite hopeless of
escape. One only leapt overboard, who afterwards swam back to our ship
and asked for quarter. On coming on board, we asked him what was their
purpose? To which he answered, that they meant to take our ship and put
us all to death. He would say no more, and desired to be cut in pieces.

Next day, being the 28th December, we went to a small island to leeward;
and when about five miles from the land, the general ordered the
Japanese who had swum back to our ship to be hanged; but the rope broke,
and he fell into the sea, but whether he perished or swam to the island
I know not. Continuing our course to that island, we came to anchor
there on the 30th December, and remained three days to repair our boat
and to take in wood and water. At this island we found a ship belonging
to Patane, out of which we took the captain, whom we asked whether the
China ships were yet come to Patane? He said they were not yet come, but
were expected in two or three days. As he knew well the course of the
China ships, we detained him to pilot us, as we determined to wait for
them. The 12th January, 1606, one of our mates from the top of the mast
descried two ships coming towards us, but which, on account of the wind,
fell to leeward of the island. As soon as we had sight of them, we
weighed anchor and made sail towards them, and came up with the larger
that night. After a short engagement, we boarded and took her, and
brought her to anchor.

Next morning we unladed some of her cargo, being raw silk and silk
goods. They had fifty tons of their country silver, but we took little
or none of it, being in good hope of meeting with the other China ships.
So we allowed them to depart on the 15th January, and gave them to the
value of twice as much as we had taken from them. Leaving this ship, we
endeavoured to go back to China Bata, but could not fetch it on account
of contrary wind, so that we had to go to leeward to two small islands,
called Palo Sumatra by the people of Java, where we anchored on the 22d
January. On the 24th there arose a heavy storm, during which we parted
our cable, so that we were under the necessity of taking shelter in the
nearest creek.

The 5th February, five homeward-bound ships belonging to Holland put
into the same road where we lay. Captain Warwick, who was general of
these ships, invited our general to dine with him, which he accepted. He
told us, that our English merchants at Bantam were in great peril, and
looked for nothing else but that the King of Java would assault them,
because we had taken the China ship, by which he was deprived of his
customs. For which reason Captain Warwick requested our general to
desist from his courses, and to go home along with him. But our general
answered, that he had not yet made out his voyage, and would not return
till it should please God to send him somewhat to make up his charges.
Seeing that he could not persuade our general to give up his purpose,
Captain Warwick and the Hollanders departed from us on the 3d February.

Our general now considered, if he were to continue his voyage, that it
might bring the English merchants who were resident in those parts into
danger; and besides, as he had only two anchors and two cables
remaining, he thought it best to repair his ships and return home with
the poor voyage he had made. Our ships being ready, and having taken in
a supply of wood and water, we set sail on the 5th February, on our
return to England. The 7th April, after encountering a violent storm, we
had sight of the Cape of Good Hope. The 17th of the same month we came
to the island of St Helena, where we watered and found refreshments, as
swine and goats, which we ourselves killed, as there are many of these
animals wild in that island. There are also abundance of partridges,
turkies, and guinea fowls, though the island is not inhabited. Leaving
St Helena on the 3d May, we crossed the line on the 14th of that month,
and came to Milford Haven in Wales on the 27th June. The 9th of July,
1606, we came to anchor in the roads of Portsmouth, where all our
company was dismissed, and here ended our voyage, having occupied us for
full nineteen months.




We have now to record the early voyages, fitted out from England, for
trading to file East Indies, by THE GOVERNOR AND COMPANY OF MERCHANTS OF
LONDON, TRADING INTO THE EAST INDIES.[75] By which stile, or legal
denomination, George Earl of Cumberland, Sir John Hart, Sir John
Spencer, and Sir Edward Mitchelburne, knights, with 212 others, whose
names are all inserted in the patent, were erected into a body corporate
and politic, for trading to and from all parts of the East Indies, with
all Asia, Africa, and America, and all the islands, ports, havens,
cities, creeks, towns, and places of the same, or any of them, beyond
the Cape of Good Hope to the Straits of Magellan, for fifteen years,
from and after Christmas 1600; prohibiting all other subjects of
England, not free of this company, from trading to these parts without
licence from the company, under forfeiture of their goods and ships,
half to the crown and half to the company, together with imprisonment
during the loyal pleasure, and until they respectively grant bond in the
sum of L1000 at the least, not again to sail or traffic into any part of
the said East Indies, &c. during the continuance of this grant. With
this proviso, "That, if the exclusive privilege thus granted be found
unprofitable for the realm, it may be voided on two years notice: But,
if found beneficial, the privilege was then to be renewed, with such
alterations and modifications as might be found expedient" This
exclusive grant, in the nature of a patent, was dated at Westminster on
the 31st December, 1600, being the 43d year of the reign of Queen
Elizabeth, signed by herself, and sealed with her privy seal.

[Footnote 75: So denominated in the copy of the charter in the Pilgrims
of Purchas, vol. I. p. 139--147, which we have not deemed it necessary
to insert.--E.]

It is by no means intended to attempt giving in this place any history
of our East India Company, the early Annals of which, from its
establishment in 1600, to the union of the London and English Companies
in 1708, have been lately given to the public, in three quarto volumes,
by John Bruce, Esq. M.P. and F.R.S. Historiographer to the Honourable
East India Company, &c. &c. &c. to which we must refer such of our
readers as are desirous of investigating that vast portion of the
history of our commerce. All that we propose on the present occasion, is
to give a short introduction to the series of voyages contained in this
chapter, all of which have been preserved by _Samuel Purchas_, in his
curious work, which he quaintly denominated PURCHAS HIS PILGRIMS,
published in five volumes folio at London in 1625.

In the first extension of English commerce, in the sixteenth century,
consequent upon the discoveries of Western Africa, America, and the
maritime route to India, it seems to have been conceived that exclusive
chartered companies were best fitted for its effectual prosecution. "The
spirit of enterprise in distant trade, which had for a century brought
large resources to Spain and Portugal, began to diffuse itself as a new
principle, in the rising commerce of England, during the long and able
administration of Queen Elizabeth. Hence associations were beginning to
be formed, the joint credit of which was to support experiments for
extending the trade of the realm."[76]

[Footnote 76: Ann. of the Honb. East India Co, I. 206.]

In the reign of Edward VI. a company was projected with this view; which
obtained a charter in 1553, from Philip and Mary, under the name of
_Merchant Adventurers for the Discovery of Lands, Countries, Isles, &c.
not before known to the English_. This company, of which Sebastian Cabot
was governor, in the last year of Queen Mary, had extended its trade
through Russia into Persia, to obtain raw silks, &c. In the course of
their proceedings, the agents of this company met with merchants from
India and China, from whom they acquired a knowledge of the productions
of these countries, and of the profits which might be derived from
extending the trade of England to these distant regions.[77] In 1581,
Queen Elizabeth gave an exclusive charter to the Levant or Turkey
Company, for trading to the dominions of the Grand Signior or Emperor
of Turkey. In the prosecution of this trade, of which some account has
been given in our preceding chapter, the factors, or travelling
merchants, having penetrated from Aleppo to Bagdat and Basora, attempted
to open an overland trade to the East Indies, and even penetrated to
Agra, Lahore, Bengal, Malacca, and other parts of the East, whence they
brought information to England of the riches that might be acquired by a
direct trade by sea to the East Indies.[78] The circumnavigations of Sir
Francis Drake in 1577-1580, and of Mr Thomas Cavendish, or Candish, in
1586, of which voyages accounts will be found in a future division of
this work, who brought back great wealth to England, obtained by making
prizes of the Spanish vessels, contributed to spread the idea among the
merchants of England, that great profits and national advantages might
be derived from a direct trade to India by sea.[79]

[Footnote 77: Ann. of the H.E.I. Co. I. 107.]

[Footnote 78: Ann. of the Hon. E. India Co. I. 108.]

[Footnote 79: Id. ib.]

In consequence of these views, a memorial was presented to the lords of
council in 1589, requesting a royal licence for three ships and three
pinnaces to proceed for India, which gave rise to the expedition of
Captain Raymond, in 1591, already related. In 1599, an association of
London Adventurers entered into a contract for embarking, what was then
considered as a _large joint stock_, for the equipment of a voyage to
the East Indies. The fund subscribed amounted to L30,133: 6: 8, divided
into 101 shares or adventures, the subscriptions of individuals varying
from L100 to L3000.[80] This project, however, seems to have merged into
the East India Company, at the close of the next year 1600, as already

[Footnote 80: Id. III.--From the peculiar amount of this capital sum,
the subscriptions were most probably in marks, of 13s 4d. each.--E.]

On the 30th September, 1600, a draft of the patent, already said to have
been subsequently sealed on the last day of that year, was read before
the _seventeen committees_, such being then the denomination of what are
now called _directors_; and being approved of, was ordered to be
submitted to the consideration of the Queen and Privy Council. "In this
early stage of the business, the lord-treasurer applied to the _Court of
Committees_ or Directors, recommending Sir Edward Mitchelburne to be
employed in the voyage; and thus, before the Society of Adventurers had
been constituted an East India Company, that influence had its
commencement, which will be found, in the sequel, to have been equally
adverse to the prosperity of their trade and to the probity of the
directors."[81] Yet, though still petitioners for their charter, the
directors had the firmness to resist this influence, and resolved _Not
to employ any gentleman in any place of charge_, requesting to be
permitted to _sort_ their business with men of _their own quality_, lest
the suspicion of employing _gentlemen_ might drive a great number of the
adventurers to withdraw their contributions.[82]

[Footnote 81: Ann. of the H.E.I. Co. I.128.]

[Footnote 82: Id. ib.]

In the commencement of its operations, the East India Company proceeded
upon rather an anomalous plan for a great commercial company. Instead of
an extensive joint stock for a consecutive series of operations, a new
voluntary subscription was entered into among its members for each
successive adventure. That of the _first_ voyage was about L70,000. The
_second_ voyage was fitted out by a new subscription of L60,450. The
_third_ was L53,500. The _fourth_ L33,000. The _fifth_ was a branch or
extension of the third, by the same subscribers, on an additional call
or subscription of L13,700. The subscription for the _sixth_ was
L82,000. The _seventh_ L71,581. The _eighth_ L76,375. The _ninth_ only

In 1612, the trade began to be carried on upon a broader basis by a
joint stock, when L429,000 was subscribed, which was apportioned to the
_tenth, eleventh, twelfth_, and _thirteenth_ voyages. In 1618, a new
_joint stock_ was formed by subscription, amounting to L1,600,000.[83]

[Footnote 83: Ann. of the H.E.I. Co. Vol. I. passim.]

In the year 1617, King James I. of England and VI. of Scotland, granted
letters patent under the great seal of Scotland, dated at Kinnard, 24th
May, 1617, to Sir James Cunningham of Glengarnock, appointing him, his
heirs and assigns, to be governors, rulers, and directors of a _Scottish
East India Company_, and authorizing him "to trade to and from the East
Indies, and the countries or parts of Asia, Africa, and America, beyond
the Cape of _Bona Sperantia_, to the straits of Magellan, and to the
Levant Sea and territories under the government of the Great Turk, and
to and from the countries of Greenland, and all other countries and
islands in the north, north-west, and north-east seas, and other parts
of America and Muscovy." Which patent, and all the rights and
privileges annexed to it, was subsequently, for a valuable
consideration, assigned by Sir James Cunningham to the London East India

[Footnote 84: Ann. &c. I. 192.--_Note_.]

It is quite unnecessary to extend this introductory view of the rise of
the India Company any farther, as our limits could not possibly admit
any satisfactory deduction of its history, any farther than is contained
in the following series of the _Early Voyages_, for which we are almost
entirely indebted to the Collection of Purchas. By this _first_ English
East India Company, with a capital or joint stock of about 70,000l. at
least for the _first_ voyage, were laid the stable foundations of that
immense superstructure of trade and dominion now held by the present
company. Their first joint stock did not exceed the average of 325l. or
330l. for each individual of 216 members, whose names are recorded in
the copy of the charter in _Purchas his Pilgrims_, already referred to.
Yet _one_ of these was disfranchised on the 6th July, 1661, not six
months after the establishment of the company, probably for not paying
up his subscription, as the charter grants power to disfranchise any one
who does not bring in his promised adventure.

The East India Company of Holland, the elder sister of that of England,
now a nonentity, though once the most extensive and most flourishing
commercial establishment that ever existed, long ago published, or
permitted to be published, a very extensive series of voyages of
commerce and discovery, called _Voyages which contributed to establish
the East India Company of the United Netherlands_. It were, perhaps,
worthy of the _Royal Merchants_ who constitute the _English East India
Company_, now the unrivalled possessors of the entire trade and
sovereignty of all India and its innumerable islands, to publish or
patronize a similar monument of its early exertions, difficulties, and
ultimate success.--E.


_First Voyage of the English East India Company, in 1601, under the
Command of Captain James Lancaster_.[85]


From the historiographer of the company[86] we learn, that the period of
this voyage being estimated for twenty months, the charges of provisions
were calculated at L6,600 4:10: and the investment, exclusive of
bullion, at L4,545; consisting of iron and tin, wrought and unwrought,
lead, 80 pieces of broad cloth of all colours, 80 pieces of Devonshire
kersies, and 100 pieces of Norwich stuffs, with smaller articles,
intended as presents for the officers at the ports where it was meant to
open their trade. Captain John Davis, who appears to have gone as chief
pilot, was to have L100 as wages for the voyage, with L200 on credit for
an adventure; and, as an incitement to activity and zeal, if the profit
of the voyage yielded _two for one_, he was to receive a gratuity of
L500; if _three for one_, L1000; if _four for one_, L1500; and if _five
for one_, L2000.[87] Thirty-six factors or supercargoes were directed to
be employed for the voyage: _Three_ of the _first_ class, who seem to
have been denominated _cape merchants_, were to have each L100 for
equipment, and L200 for an adventure; _four_ factors of the _second_
class at L50 each for equipment, and L100 for an adventure; _four_ of
the _third_ class, with L30 each for equipment, and L50 for adventure;
and _four_ of the _fourth_ class, with L20 each for equipment, and L40
for adventure.[88] They were to give security for their fidelity, and to
abstain from _private trade_; the _first_ class under penalties of L500
the second of 500 marks, the _third_ at L200 and the _fourth_ of L100
each.[89] These only exhaust fifteen of the thirty-six, and we are
unable to account for the remaining twenty-one ordered to be nominated.

[Footnote 85: Purch. Pilgr. I. 147. Astl. I. 262.]

[Footnote 86: Ann. of the H.E.I. Co. I. 129.]

[Footnote 87: Id. I. 130.]

[Footnote 88: Ann. of the H.E.I. Co. I. 131.]

[Footnote 89: Id. I. 133.]

In the Annals of the Company,[90] we are told that the funds provided
for this first voyage amounted to L68,373, of which L39,771 were
expended in the purchase and equipment of the ships, L28,742 being
embarked in bullion, and L6,860 in goods. But the aggregate of these
sums amounts to L77,373; so that the historiographer appears to have
fallen into some error, either in the particulars or the sum total. We
are not informed of the particular success of this first voyage; only
that the conjunct profits of it and of the second amounted to L95 per
cent. upon the capitals employed in both, clear of all charges.[91]

[Footnote 90: Id. I.146.]

[Footnote 91: Ann. of the H.E.I. Co. I. 153.]

We may state here from the Annals of the Company, that the profits of
the _third_ and _fifth_ voyage combined amounted to L234 per cent. Of
the _fourth_ voyage to a total loss, as one of the vessels was wrecked
in India on the outward-bound voyage, and the other on the coast of
France in her return. The profits of the _sixth_ voyage were L121 13:4:
per cent. Of the _seventh_ L218 per cent. Of the _eighth_ L211 per cent.
Of the _ninth_ L160 per cent. The average profits of the _tenth,
eleventh, twelfth_, and _thirteenth_ voyages were reduced to L87-1/2 per

Captain James Lancaster, afterwards Sir James, who was general in this
voyage, was a member of the company; and is the same person who went to
India in 1591, along with Captain Raymond. Captain John Davis, who had
been in India with the Dutch, was pilot-major and second in command of
the Dragon, or admiral ship. It does not appear who was the author of
the following narrative; but, from several passages, he seems to have
sailed in the Dragon.[92]--E.

[Footnote 92: Astl. I. 262., a and b.]

Sec. 1. _Preparation for the Voyage, and its Incidents till the Departure
of the Fleet from Saldanha Bay_.

Having collected a joint stock of _seventy thousand pounds_, to be
employed in ships and merchandize in the prosecution of their privileged
trade to the East Indies, by means of which they were to bring spices
and other commodities into this realm, the company bought and fitted out
four large ships for their first adventure. These were the Dragon[93] of
600 tons, and 202 men, admiral, in which Mr James Lancaster was placed
as general;[94] the Hector of 300 tons, and 108 men, commanded by Mr
John Middleton, vice-admiral; the Ascension of 260 tons, and 82 men,
Captain William Brand;[95] and the Susan,[96] commanded by Mr John
Hayward, with 84 men:[97] Besides these commanders, each ship carried
three merchants or factors, to succeed each other in rotation in case of
any of them dying. These ships were furnished with victuals and stores
for twenty months, and were provided with merchandize and Spanish money
to the value of _twenty-seven thousand pounds_; all the rest of the
stock being expended in the purchase of the ships, with their necessary
stores and equipment, and in money advanced to the mariners[98] and
sailors who went upon the voyage. To these was added, as a victualler,
the _Guest_ of 130 tons.[99]

[Footnote 93: This ship, originally called the Malice Scourge, was
purchased from the Earl of Cumberland for 3,700l.--Ann. of the H.E.I.
Co. I. 128.]

[Footnote 94: In these early voyages the chief commander is usually
styled _general_, and the ship in which he sailed the _admiral_.--E.]

[Footnote 95: This person is called by Purchas _chief governor_. Perhaps
the conduct of commercial affairs was confided to his care.--E.]

[Footnote 96: The burden of this ship was 240 tons.--Ann. I. 129.]

[Footnote 97: Besides there was a pinnace of 100 tons and 40 men.--Ann.
I. 129.]

[Footnote 98: In many of the old voyages, this distinction is made
between mariners and sailors: Unless a mere pleonasm, it may indicate
able and ordinary seamen; or the former may designate the officers of
all kinds, and the latter the common men.--E.]

[Footnote 99: Perhaps the pinnace already mentioned.--E.]

On application to the queen, her majesty furnished the merchants with
friendly letters of recommendation to several of the sovereigns in
India, offering to enter into treaties of peace and amity with them,
which shall be noticed in their proper places. And, as no great
enterprize can be well conducted and accomplished without an absolute
authority for dispensing justice, the queen granted a commission of
martial law to Captain Lancaster, the general of the fleet, for the
better security of his command.

Every thing being in readiness, the fleet departed from Woolwich, in the
river Thames, on the 13th of February, 1600, after the English mode of
reckoning,[100] or more properly 1601. They were so long delayed in the
Thames and the Downs, for want of wind, that it was Easter before they
arrived at Dartmouth, where they spent five or six days, taking in
bread and other provisions, appointed to be procured there. Departing
thence on the 18th of April, they came to anchor in Torbay, at which
place the general sent on board all the ships instructions for their
better keeping company when at sea, and directions as to what places
they were to repair to for meeting again, in case of being separated by
storms or other casualties. These were the _calms of Canary_; Saldanha
bay,[101] in case they could not double the Cape of Good Hope; Cape St
Roman, in Madagascar; the island of Cisne, Cerne, or Diego Rodriguez;
and finally, Sumatra, their first intended place of trade.

[Footnote 100: At this time, and for long after, there was a strangely
confused way of dating the years, which were considered as beginning at
Lady-day, the 25th of March. Hence, what we would now reckon the year
1601, from the 1st January to the 24th March inclusive, retained the
former date of 1600. The voyage actually commenced on the 13th February,
1601, according to our present mode of reckoning.--E.]

[Footnote 101: It will appear distinctly in the sequel of these voyages,
that the place then named Saldanha, or Saldania bay, was what is now
termed Table bay at the Cape of Good Hope.--E.]

* * * * *

The wind came fair on the 22d of April, when we weighed and stood out of
Torbay, directing our course for the Canaries. As the wind continued
fair, we had sight of _Alegranza_, or Great Island, the northermost of
the Canaries, on the 5th of May, and we directed our course to pass
between Fuertaventura and Gran Canaria; and coming to the south of Gran
Canaria, thinking to have watered there, we fell into _the calms_, which
are occasioned by the high lands being so near the sea. About three in
the afternoon of the 7th of May, having the wind at N.E. we departed
from Gran Canaria, shaping our course S.W. by S. and S.S.W. till we came
into the lat. of 21 deg. 30' N. From the 11th to the 20th, our course was
mostly S till we came to lat. 8 deg. N. the wind being always northerly and
N.E. In this latitude we found calms and contrary winds, which, at this
season of the year, prevail much off this part of the coast of Guinea,
alternating with many sudden gusts of wind, storms, and thunder and
lightning very fearful to behold, and very dangerous to the ships,
unless the utmost care be taken suddenly to strike all the sails, on
perceiving the wind to change even never so little. Yet such was the
suddenness many times, although the masters of the ships were very
careful and diligent, that it could hardly be done in time.

From the 20th of May till the 21st of June, we lay mostly becalmed, or
with contrary winds at south; and, standing to and again to bear up
against this contrary wind, we got with much ado to 2 deg. N. where we
espied a ship, to which the general gave chace, commanding all the
ships to follow him. By two in the afternoon we got up with and took
her. She was of Viana, in Portugal, and came from Lisbon, in company of
two caraks and three galleons, bound for the East Indies, but had parted
from them at sea. The three galleons were ships of war, intended to keep
the coast of India from being traded with by other nations. From this
ship we took 146 butts of wine, 176 jars and 12 casks of oil, and 55
hogsheads and vats of meal,[102] which were of great service to us
afterwards during our voyage. The general divided these victuals
impartially among all the ships, giving a due proportion to each.

[Footnote 102: Probably wheaten meal or flour.--E.]

The 31st June about midnight we crossed the line, having the wind at
S.E. and lost sight of the north star; and continuing our course S.S.W.
we passed Cape St Augustine about 26 leagues to the eastward. The 20th
July, we reached the latitude of 19 deg. 40' S. the wind getting daily more
and more towards the east. We here unloaded the _Guest_, which went
along with us to carry such provisions as we could not stow in the other
four ships; after which we took out her masts, sails, yards, and all
other tackle; broke up her upper works for fire-wood, and left her hull
floating in the sea, following our own course southwards. We passed the
tropic of Capricorn on the 24th July, the wind N.E. by N. our course
E.S.E. On account of our having been so long near the line, by reason of
leaving England too late in the season by six or seven weeks, many of
our men fell sick; for which reason the general sent written orders to
the captain of each ship, either to make Saldanha bay or St Helena for

The 1st August we were in 30 deg. S. at which time we got the wind at S.W.
to our great comfort, for by this time many of our men were sick of the
scurvy; insomuch, that in all our ships, except the admiral, they were
hardly able to manage the sails. This wind held fair till we were within
250 leagues of the Cape of Good Hope, and then came clean contrary at E.
continuing so for fifteen or sixteen days, to the great discomfort of
our men; for now the few that had continued sound began also to fall
sick, so that in some of the ships the merchants had to take their turn
at the helm, and to go into the tops to hand the top-sails along with
the common mariners. But God, shewing us mercy in our distress, sent us
again a fair wind, so that we got to Saldanha bay on the 9th September,
when the general, before the other ships bore in and came to anchor,
sent his boats to help the other ships. The state of the other three
ships was such that they were hardly able to let go their anchors. The
general went on board them all with a number of men, and hoisted out
their boats for them, which they were not able to do of themselves.

The reason of the men in the admiral being in such better health than in
the other three ships was this: He brought with him to sea several
bottles of lemon juice, of which he gave to each man, as long as it
would last, three spoonfuls every morning fasting, not suffering them to
eat any thing afterwards till noon. This juice worketh much the better
if the person keeps a spare diet, wholly refraining from salt meat;
which salt meat, and being long at sea, are the only causes of breeding
this disease. By this means the general cured many of his men and
preserved the rest; so that, though his ship had double the number of
men of any of the rest, he had not so many sick, nor did he lose so many
men, as any of the rest.

After getting all the ships to anchor, and hoisting out their boats, the
general went immediately aland, to seek refreshments for our sick and
weak men. He presently met with some of the natives, to whom he gave
various trifles, as knives, pieces of old iron, and the like; making
signs for them to bring him down sheep and oxen. For he spoke to them in
the cattle's language, which was not changed at the confusion of Babel;
using _mouth_ for oxen, and _baa_ for sheep, imitating their cries;
which language the people understood very well without any interpreter.
Having sent the natives away, well contented with the kind usage and
presents he had given them, orders were given for so many men from every
ship to bring sails ashore, to make tents for the sick; and also to
throw up fortifications for defence, lest by any chance the natives
might take offence and offer violence. He at the same time prescribed
regulations for buying and selling with the natives; directing, when
they should come down with cattle, that only five or six men selected
for the purpose should go to deal with them, and that the rest, which
should never be under thirty muskets and pikes, should keep at the
distance of at least eight or ten score yards, always drawn up in order
and readiness, with their muskets in the rests, whatever might befal.
This order was so strictly enforced, that no man was permitted to go
forward to speak with the natives, except with special leave. I
attribute our continuing in such amity and friendship with the natives
to these precautions, for the Hollanders had lately five or six of their
men slain by the treachery of these natives.

The third day after our arrival in Saldanha bay, the natives brought
down beeves and sheep, which we bought for pieces of old iron hoops; as
two pieces of eight inches each for an ox, and one piece for a sheep,
with which the natives seemed perfectly satisfied. In ten or twelve
days, we bought 1000 sheep and 42 oxen, and might have had more if we
would. After this they discontinued bringing any more cattle, but the
people often came down to us afterwards; and when we made signs for more
sheep, they would point to those we had already, which the general kept
grazing on the hills near our tents; which, as we judged, was the reason
why they did not bring us more, as they thought we meant to inhabit
there. But, God be thanked, we were now well provided, and could very
well pass without farther purchases. The oxen were as large as ours in
England, and very fat; and the sheep were many of them bigger than ours,
of excellent flesh, sweet and fat, and to our liking much better than
our English mutton, but having coarse hairy wool.

The people of this place are all of a tawny colour, of reasonable
stature, swift of foot, and much given to pick and steal. Their language
is entirely uttered through their throats, and they _cluck_ with their
tongues in so strange a manner, that, in seven weeks which we remained
here, the sharpest wit among us could not learn one word of their
language, yet the natives soon understood every sigh we made them. While
we staid at this bay, we had such royal refreshing that all our men
recovered their health and strength, except four or five. Including
these, and before we came in, we lost out of all our ships 105 men; yet,
on leaving this bay,[103] we reckoned ourselves stronger manned than
when we left England, our men were now so well inured to the southern
climates and to the sea.

[Footnote 103: In a marginal note, Purchas gives the lat. of Saldanha
bay as 34 deg. S. The place then called Saldanha bay was certainly Table
bay, the entrance to which is in 33 deg. 50' S. So that Purchas is here
sufficiently, accurate.--E.]

Sec. 2. _Continuation of the Voyage, from Saldanha Bay to the Nicobar and
Sombrero Islands._

The general ordered all our tents to be taken down on the 24th of
October, and all our men to repair on board their respective ships,
having laid in an ample supply of wood and water. We put to sea the 29th
of that month, passing a small island in the mouth of the bay, which is
so full of seals and penguins, that if no better refreshment could have
been procured, we might very well have refreshed here. Over the bay of
Saldanha there stands a very high and flat hill, called the Table; no
other harbour on all this coast having so plain a mark to find it by, as
it can be easily seen seventeen or eighteen leagues out at sea. In the
morning of Sunday the 1st November, we doubled the Cape of Good Hope in
a heavy gale at W.N.W.

On the 26th November we fell in with the head-land of the island of St
Lawrence or Madagascar, somewhat to the eastward of cape St Sebastian,
and at five mile from the shore we had 20 fathoms; the variation of the
compass being 16 deg., a little more or less. In an east and west course,
the variation of the compass serves materially, and especially in this
voyage.[104] From the 26th November till the 15th December we plied to
the eastwards, as nearly as we could, always striving to get to the
island of Cisne, called Diego Rodriguez in some charts; but ever from
our leaving Madagascar, we found the wind at E. or E.S.E. or E.N.E. so
that we could not accomplish it, and we could not continue to strive
long in hopes of the wind changing, as our men began again to fall sick
of the scurvy. The captain of our vice-admiral, John Middleton of the
Hector, now proposed to our general to bear away for the bay of
_Antongit_, on the east coast of Madagascar, where we might refresh our
men with oranges and lemons, so as to get rid again of this cruel
disease; which counsel was approved by him and the whole company.

[Footnote 104: At this period, and for long afterwards, mariners
estimated their longitudes by dead reckonings, or by the observed
variations of the compass; both very uncertain guides.--E.]

We had sight of the southernmost part of the island of St Mary [in lat.
16 deg. 48' S. long. 50 deg. 17' E.] and anchored next day between that island
and the main of Madagascar. We immediately sent our boats to St Mary,
where we procured some store of lemons and oranges, being very precious
for our sick men to purge them of the scurvy. While riding here, a great
storm arose, which drove three of our ships from their anchors; but
within sixteen hours the storm ceased, and our ships returned and
recovered their anchors. The general thought it improper to remain here
any longer, on account of the uncertainty of the weather, the danger of
riding here, and because we were able to procure so little refreshment
at this island; having got, besides a few lemons and oranges, a very
little goats milk, and a small quantity of rice: But as our men were
sick, and the easterly winds still prevailed, he gave orders to sail for

The isle of St Mary is high land and full of wood. The natives are tall
handsome men, of black colour and frizzled hair, which they stroke up at
their foreheads as our women do in England, so that it stands three
inches upright. They go entirely naked, except covering their parts; and
are very tractable and of familiar manners, yet seemed valiant. Most of
their food is rice, with some fish; yet while we were there we could get
very little rice to purchase, as their store was far spent, and their
harvest near at hand. There are two or three watering places on the
north part of this island, none of them very commodious, yet there is
water enough to be had with some trouble.

Departing from this island of St Mary on the 23d December, we came into
the bay of Antongil on Christmas-day, and anchored in eight fathoms
water, at the bottom of the bay, between a small island and the
main.[105] The best riding is nearest under the lee of that small
island, which serves as a defence from the wind blowing into the bay;
for while we were there it blew a very heavy storm, and those ships
which were nearest the island fared best Two of our ships drove with
three anchors a-head, the ground being oosy and not firm. Going a-land
on the small island, we perceived by a writing on the rocks, that five
Holland ships had been there, and had departed about two months before
our arrival, having had sickness among them; for, as we could perceive,
they had lost between 150 and 200 men at this place.

[Footnote 105: This island of _Maroise_ is in lat. 15 deg. 10' S. and almost
in the same longitude with the isle of St Mary, being 62 English miles
from its northern extremity.--E.]

The day after we anchored, we landed on the main, where the people
presently came to us, making signs that five Dutch ships had been there,
and had bought most of their provisions. Yet they entered into trade
with us for rice, hens, oranges, lemons, and another kind of fruit
called plantains; but held every thing very high, and brought only small
quantities. Our market was beside a considerable river, into which we
went in our boats, such of our men as were appointed to make the
purchases going ashore; the rest always remaining in the boats with
their arms in readiness, and the boats about twenty or thirty yards from
the land, where the natives could not wade to them, and were ready at
all times, if needful, to take our marketers from the land. In this
manner we trifled off some days before we could get the natives to
commence a real trade; for all these people of the south and east parts
of the world are subtle and crafty in bartering, buying, and selling, so
that, without sticking close to them, it is difficult to bring them to
trade in any reasonable sort, as they will shift continually to get a
little more, and then no one will sell below that price. Upon this, the
general ordered measures to be made of about a quart, and appointed how
many glass beads were to be given for its fill of rice, and how many
oranges, lemons, and plantains were to be given for every bead, with
positive orders not to deal at all with any who would not submit to that
rule. After a little holding off, the natives consented to this rule,
and our dealing became frank and brisk; so that during our stay we
purchased 15-1/4 tons of rice, 40 or 50 bushels of their peas and beans,
great store of oranges, lemons, and plantains, eight beeves, and great
numbers of hens.

While at anchor in this bay, we set up a pinnace which we had brought in
pieces from England; and cutting down trees, which were large and in
plenty, we sawed them into boards, with which we sheathed her. This
pinnace was about 18 tons burden, and was very fit and necessary for
going before our ships at our getting to India. While we remained here,
there died out of the Admiral, the master's mate, chaplain, and surgeon,
with about ten of the common men; and out of the Vice-Admiral, the
master and some two more. By very great mischance, the captain and
boatswain's mate of the Ascension were slain: For, when the master's
mate of the Admiral was to be buried, the captain of the Ascension took
his boat to go on shore to his funeral; and as it is the rule of the sea
to fire certain pieces of ordnance at the burial of an officer, the
gunner fired three pieces that happened to be shotted, when the ball of
one of them struck the Ascension's boat, and slew the captain and
boatswain's mate stark dead; so that, on going ashore to witness the
funeral of another, they were both buried themselves. Those who died
here were mostly carried off by the flux, owing, as I think, to the
water which we drank; for it was now in the season of winter, when it
rained very much, causing great floods all over the country, so that the
waters were unwholesome, as they mostly are in these hot countries in
the rainy season. The flux is likewise often caught by going open, and
catching cold at the stomach, which our men were very apt to do when

We sailed from this bay on the 6th March, 1602, steering our course for
India, and on the 16th fell in with an island called _Rogue Pize_, [in
lat. 10 deg. 30' S. and long. 64 deg. 20' E.] The general sent his boat to see
if there were any safe anchorage, but the water was found almost every
where too deep. As we sailed along, it seemed every where pleasant, and
full of cocoa-nut trees and fowls, and there came from the land a most
delightful smell, as if it had been a vast flower garden. Had there been
any good anchorage, it must surely have been an excellent place of
refreshment; for, as our boats went near the land, they saw vast
quantities of fish, and the fowls came wondering about them in such
flocks, that the men killed many of them with their oars, which were the
best and fattest we had tasted in all the voyage. These fowls were in
such vast multitudes, that many more ships than we had might have been
amply supplied.

The 30th March, 1602, being in lat. 6 deg. S[106] we happened upon a ledge
of rocks, and looking overboard, saw them under the ship about five
fathoms below the surface of the water, which amazed us exceedingly by
their sudden and unexpected appearance. On casting the ship about, we
had eight fathoms, and so held on our course to the east. Not long
after, one of our men in the top saw an island S.E. of us, some five or
six leagues off, being low land, which we judged to be the island of
_Candu_,[107] though our course by computation did not reach so far
east. Continuing our course some thirteen or fourteen leagues, we fell
upon another flat of sunken rocks, when we cast about southwards, and in
sailing about twelve leagues more found other rocks, and in trying
different ways we found rocks all round about, having twenty, thirty,
forty, and even fifty fathoms among the flats. We were here two days and
a half in exceeding great danger, and could find no way to get out. At
last we determined to try to the northward and in 6 deg. 40' S. thank God,
we found six fathoms water. The pinnace went always before, continually
sounding, with orders to indicate by signals what depth she had, that we
might know how to follow.

[Footnote 106: The Speaker bank, in long. 78 deg. E. is nearly in the
indicated latitude.--E.]

[Footnote 107:4 There are two islands called Candu, very small, and
direct N. and S. of each other, in lat. 50 deg. 40' S. long. 78 deg. E. and less
than half a degree N.N.E. is a small group called the Adu islands,
surrounded by a reef--E.]

Being delivered out of this _pound_, we followed our course till the 9th
May about four in the afternoon, when we got sight of the islands of
Nicobar, on which we bore in and anchored on the north side of the
channel. But as the wind changed to S.W. we had to weigh again, and go
over to the south side of the channel, where we came to an anchor under
a small island on that shore. We here got fresh water and cocoa-nuts,
but very little other refreshments; yet the natives came off to us in
long canoes that could have carried twenty men in each. They brought
gums to sell instead of amber, with which they deceived several of our
men; for these eastern people are wholly given to deceit. They brought
also hens and cocoa-nuts for sale; but held them at so dear a rate that
we bought very few. We staid here ten days, putting our ordnance in
order and trimming our ships, that we might be in readiness at our first
port, which we were not now far from.

In the morning of the 20th April, we set sail for Sumatra, but the wind
blew hard at S.S.W. and the current set against us, so that we could not
proceed. While beating up and down, two of our ships sprung leaks, on
which we were forced to go to the island of Sombrero,[108] ten or
twelve leagues north of Nicobar. Here we in the Admiral lost an anchor,
for the ground is foul, and grown full of false coral and some rocks,
which cut our cable asunder, so that we could not recover our anchor.
The people of these islands go entirely naked, except that their parts
are bound up in a piece of cloth, which goes round the waist like a
girdle, and thence between their legs. They are all of a tawny hue, and
paint their faces of divers colours. They are stout and well-made, but
very fearful, so that none of them would come on board our ships, or
even enter our boats. The general reported that he had seen some of
their priests all over cloathed, but quite close to their bodies, as if
sewed on; having their faces painted green, black, and yellow, and horns
on their heads turned backwards, painted of the same colours, together
with a tail hanging down behind from their buttocks, altogether as we
see the devil sometimes painted in Europe. Demanding why they went in
that strange attire, he was told that the devil sometimes appeared to
them in such form in their sacrifices, and therefore his servants the
priests were so cloathed. There grew many trees in this island,
sufficiently tall, thick, and straight to make main-masts for the
largest ship in all our fleet, and this island is full of such.

[Footnote 108: So called, because on the north end of the largest island
of the cluster there is a hill resembling the top of an umbrella--ASTL.
I. 267. a.]

Upon the sands of this island of Sombrero we found a small twig growing
up like a young tree, and on offering to pluck it up, it shrinks down to
the ground, and sinks, unless held very hard. On being plucked up, a
great worm is found to be its root, and as the tree groweth in
greatness, so doth the worm diminish; and as soon as the worm is
entirely turned into tree, it rooteth in the earth, and so becomes
great. This transformation is one of the strangest wonders that I saw in
all my travels: For, if this tree is plucked up while young, and the
leaves and bark stripped off, it becomes a hard stone when dry, much
like white coral: Thus is this worm twice transformed into different
natures. Of these we gathered and brought home many.

* * * * *

The editor of Astley's Collection supposes this a mere fiction, or that
it might take its rise from coral growing accidentally on shell fish.
The _first_ part of the story probably arose from some of the animals
called _animal flowers_, the body of which, buried in the sand, and
resembling a worm, extends some member having the appearance of a young
tree, which retracts when touched rudely. The second part may have been
some corraline or madrepore growing in shallow water, the coriaccous
part of which, and the animals residing in the cells, may have resembled
the bark and leaves of a plant. Considering both of these erroneously as
the same plant in different states, might easily give occasion to the
wonders in the text, without the smallest intention of fiction.--E.

Sec. 3. _Their Reception and Trade at Acheen._

We set sail from the island of Sombrero on the 29th May, and got sight
of Sumatra on the 2d June, coming to anchor in the road of Acheen on the
5th, about two miles from the city. We here found sixteen or eighteen
sail of different countries, Guzerat, Bengal, Calicut, Malabar, Pegu,
and Patane, which had come for trade. There came on board two Dutch
merchants or factors, who had been left behind by their ships, to learn
the language and the customs of the country; who told us we should be
made welcome by the king, who was desirous to entertain strangers; and
that the Queen of England was already famous in those parts, on account
of the wars and great victories she had gained over the King of Spain.
That same day, the general sent Captain John Middleton, with four or
five gentlemen in his train, to wait upon the king, and to inform him,
that the general of our ships had a message and letter from the most
famous Queen of England to the most worthy King of Acheen and Sumatra,
to request the king would vouchsafe to give audience to the said
ambassador, to deliver his message and letter, giving sufficient
warranty for the safety of him and his people, according to the law of
nations. Captain Middleton was very kindly entertained by the king, who,
on hearing the message, readily granted the request, and communed with
him on many topics; after which a royal banquet was served up to him;
and, at his departure, he was presented with a robe, and a _tuke_ or
turban of calico wrought with gold, as is the manner of the kings of
this place to those whom they are pleased to favour. The king sent his
commendations to the general, desiring him to remain yet another day on
board, to rest from the fatigues of his voyage, and to come the day
following on shore, when he might be sure of a kind reception and free
audience, in as much safety as if in the dominions of the queen his
mistress: but, if he doubted the royal word, such honourable pledges
should be sent for his farther assurance as might give him entire

The general went ashore on the third day after our arrival with thirty
attendants or more. He was met on landing by the Holland merchants, who
conducted him to their house, as had been appointed; as the general did
not think fit to have a house of his own till he had been introduced to
the king. He remained at the Holland factory, where a nobleman from the
king came and saluted him kindly, saying that he came from the king,
whose person he represented, and demanded the queen's letter. The
general answered, that he must himself deliver the letter to the king,
such being the custom of ambassadors in Europe. The nobleman then asked
to see the superscription of the letter, which was shewn him. He read
the same, looked very earnestly at the seal, took a note of the
superscription and of the queen's name, and then courteously took his
leave, returning to tell the king what had passed. Soon afterwards six
great elephants were sent, with many drums, trumpets and streamers, and
much people, to accompany the general to court. The largest elephant was
about thirteen or fourteen feet high, having a small castle like a coach
on his back, covered with crimson velvet. In the middle of the castle
was a large basin of gold, with an exceedingly rich wrought cover of
silk, under which the queen's letter was deposited. The general was
mounted upon another of the elephants, some of his attendants riding,
while others went a-foot. On arriving at the gate of the palace, the
procession was stopped by a nobleman, till he went in to learn the
king's farther pleasure; but he presently returned, and requested the
general to come in.

On coming into the presence of the king, the general made his obeisance
according to the manner of the country, saying, that he was sent by the
most mighty Queen of England, to compliment his majesty, and to treat
with him concerning peace and amity with the queen his mistress, if it
pleased him to do so. He then began to enter upon farther discourse;
but the king stopt him short, by desiring him to sit down and refresh
himself, saying, that he was most welcome, and that he would readily
listen to any reasonable conditions, for the queen's sake, who was
worthy of all kindness and frank conditions, being a princess of great
nobleness, of whom fame reported much. The general now delivered the
queen's letter, which the king graciously received, delivering it to a
nobleman who waited on him. The general then delivered his present,
consisting of a basin of silver, having a fountain in the middle of it,
weighing 205 ounces; a large standing cup of silver; a rich mirror; a
head-piece with a plume of feathers; a _case of very fair dagges_[109];
a richly embroidered sword-belt; and a fan made of leathers. All these
were received in the king's presence by a nobleman of the court, the
king only taking into his own hand the fan of feathers, with which he
made one of his women fan him, as if this had pleased him more than all
the rest.

[Footnote 109: A case of handsomely mounted pistols.--E.]

The general was then commanded to sit down in the presence, on the
ground, after the manner of the country, and a great banquet was served,
all the dishes being either of pure gold, or of _tomback_, a metal
between gold and brass, which is held in much estimation. During this
banquet, the king, who sat aloft in a gallery about six feet from the
ground, drank often to the general in the wine of the country, called
arrack, which is made from rice, and is as strong as our brandy, a
little of it being sufficient to set one to sleep. After the first
draught of this liquor, the general either drank it mixed with water, or
pure water, craving the king's pardon, as not able to take such strong
drink; and the king gave him leave.

After the feast was done, the king caused his damsels to come forth and
dance, and his women played to them on several instruments of music.
These women were richly attired, and adorned with bracelets and jewels;
and this was accounted a great favour, as the women are not usually seen
of any but such as the king will greatly honour. The king gave also to
the general a fine robe of white calico, richly wrought with gold: a
very fine girdle of Turkey work; and two _crisses_, which are a kind of
daggers all of which were put on him by a nobleman in the king's
presence. He was then courteously dismissed, and a person was sent
along with him, to make choice of a house in the city, wherever the
general might think most suitable. But at that time he refused the
proffered kindness, chusing rather to go on board the ships, till the
king had considered the queen's letter.

The letter from the queen was superscribed, To the great and mighty King
of Achem, &c. in the island of Sumatra, our loving brother,
greeting.[110] After a long complimentary preamble, and complaining
against the Portuguese and Spaniards for pretending to be absolute lords
of the East Indies, and endeavouring to exclude all other nations from
trading thither, it recommended the English to his royal favour and
protection, that they might be allowed to transact their business freely
then and afterwards in his dominions, and to permit their factors to
remain with a factoryhouse in his capital, to learn the language and
customs of the country, till the arrival of another fleet. It likewise
proposed that reasonable capitulations, or terms of commercial
intercourse, should be entered into by the king with the bearer of the
letter, who was authorised to conclude the same in her name; and
requested an answer accepting the proffered league of amity.

[Footnote 110: In the Pilgrims this letter is given at full length; but,
being merely complimentary, is here only abridged.--E.]

At his next audience, the general had a long conference with the king
respecting the queen's letter, with which he seemed well satisfied;
saying, if the contents came from the heart he had reason to think of it
highly, and was well pleased to conclude the proposed treaty of amity
and commerce. As for the particular demands made in the queen's name by
the general, respecting trade, the king referred him to two noblemen,
who were authorised to confer with him, promising that all which was
requested by the queen should be granted. With this satisfactory answer,
and after another banquet, the general departed. He sent next day to the
two noblemen appointed to treat with him, to know when they proposed to
meet, and confer with him. One of these was chief bishop or high-priest
of the realm,[111] a person in high estimation with the king and people,
as he well deserved, being a very wise and prudent person. The other
was one of the ancient nobility of the country, a man of much gravity,
but not so fit for conferring on the business in hand as the former.

[Footnote 111: As the grand Turk has his Mufti, so other Mahomedan
princes have their chief priests in all countries of that

After a long conference,[112] the general demanded that proclamation
might be instantly made, that none of the natives should abuse the
English, but that they might be permitted to follow their business in
peace and quietness. This was so well performed, that though there was a
strict order for none of their people to walk by night, yet ours were
allowed to go about by day or night without molestation; only, when any
of our people were found abroad at unlawful hours, the justice brought
them home to the general's house, and delivered them there.

[Footnote 112: A long train of formal particulars are here omitted, as
tedious and uninteresting.--E.]

At the close of the conference, the chief-priest required from the
general notes of his demands of privileges for the merchants in writing,
with the reasons of the same, that they might be laid before the king;
promising that he should have answers within a few days. With these
conferences, and much courtesy, and after some conversation on the
affairs of Christendom, they broke up for that time. The general was not
negligent in sending his demands in writing to the noblemen, as they
were mostly drawn up before coming ashore, being not unready for such a

On his next going to court, and sitting before the king, beholding a
cock-fight, which is one of the sports in which the king takes great
delight, the general sent his interpreter with his obeisance to the
king, requesting him to be mindful of the business on which he had
conferred with the two noblemen. The king then made him draw near,
telling him he was careful of his dispatch, and would willingly enter
into a league of peace and amity with the Queen of England, which he
would truly perform: and that the demands and articles he had set down
in writing should all be extended in proper form by one of his
secretaries, which he should then authorise and confirm. Within five or
six days these were delivered to the general, from the king's own hands,
with many gracious words. It were too long to insert the entire articles
of this treaty; but the whole demands of the English were granted.
_First_, free trade and entry. _Second_, freedom from customs on import
and export. _Third_, assistance of their vessels to save our goods and
men from wreck, and other dangers. _Fourth_, liberty of testament, to
bequeath their goods to whom they pleased. _Fifth_, stability of
bargains and payments by the subjects of Acheen, &c. _Sixth_, authority
to execute justice on their own people offending. _Seventh_, justice
against injuries from the natives. _Eighth_, not to arrest or stay our
goods, or to fix prices upon them. _Lastly_, freedom of conscience.

This important treaty being settled, the merchants were incessantly
occupied in providing pepper for loading the ships; but it came in
slowly and in small quantities, as the last year had been very sterile.
Hearing of a port called Priaman, about 150 leagues from Acheen, in the
south part of Sumatra, where one of the smaller ships might be loaded,
the general prepared to send the Susan thither, placing in her Mr Henry
Middleton as captain and chief merchant. The general was not a little
grieved, that Mr John Davis, his chief pilot, had told the merchants
before leaving London, that pepper was to be had at Acheen for four
Spanish, ryals of eight the hundred, whereas it cost us almost twenty.
Owing to this, the general became very thoughtful, considering how to
load his ships, and save his credit in the estimation of his employers;
as it would be a disgrace to all concerned, in the eyes of all the
neighbouring nations of Europe, seeing there were merchandise enough to
be bought in the East Indies, while his ships were likely to return

Sec. 4. _Portuguese Wiles discovered, and a Prize taken near Malacca_.

A Portuguese ambassador was at this time in Acheen, who looked with an
evil eye on every step we took, but was by no means in favour with the
king: for, on the last day of his being at court, on demanding leave to
settle a factory in the country, and to build a fort at the entrance of
the harbour, for the protection of the merchants goods, because the city
was subject to fire, the king, perceiving what he meant, gave him this
sharp answer: "Has your master a daughter to give my son, that he is so
careful for the security of my country? He shall not need to be at the
charge of building a fort; for I have a fit house about two leagues
inland from the city, which I can give him for a factory, where you
need neither fear enemies nor fire, for I will protect you." The king
was much displeased with this insolent demand, and the ambassador left
the court much discontented.

Shortly after this, an Indian, who belonged to a Portuguese captain, who
came to the port with a ship-load of rice from Bengal, came to our house
to sell hens. The Portuguese captain lodged at the ambassador's house,
and our general suspected he came only as a spy to see what we were
about; yet he gave them orders to treat the Indian well, and always to
give him a reasonable price for his hens. At last he took occasion to
commune with this Indian, asking whence he came and what he was, saying
to him pleasantly, that a young man of his appearance deserved a better
employment than buying and selling hens. To this he answered, "I serve
this Portuguese captain, yet am neither bound nor free; for, though
free-born, I have been with him so long that he considers me as his
property, and he is so great a man that I cannot strive with him." Then,
said the general, "If thy liberty be precious to thee, thy person, seems
to merit it; but what wouldst thou do for him who should give thee thy
liberty, without pleading to thy master for it?" "Sir," said the Indian,
"freedom is as precious as life, and I would venture my life for him
that would procure it for me: Try me, therefore, in any service that I
can perform for you, and my willingness shall make good my words."
"Then," said the general, "thou desirest me to try thee? What says the
ambassador of me and my shipping, and what are his purposes?" The Indian
told him, that the Portuguese had a spy employed over his ships, being a
Chinese who was intimate with the men, so that he has procured drawings
of the ships, and of every piece of ordnance in them, and how they are
placed, with a list of all the men in each: That he thought the ships
strong and well equipped, but being weak in men, believed they might
easily be taken, if any force could be had to attack them suddenly; and
intended in a few days to send his draughts to Malacca, to induce the
Portuguese to send a force from thence to attack them as they lay at
anchor. The general laughed heartily at this account, but said the
ambassador was not so idle as the Indian thought, for he well knew the
English ships were too strong for all the forces in those parts. He then
desired the Indian to go his way, and return in a day or two to inform
him if the ambassador continued his project, and when he was to send his
messenger to Malacca. Saying, that although it would serve him little to
know these things, yet he would give the Indian his liberty for the
good-will he shewed to serve him.

The Indian went away well pleased, as might easily be seen by his
countenance and the lightness of his steps. When he was gone, the
general said to me, that we had now met with a fit person to betray his
master, if we could derive any benefit from his treachery; and in this
he was not deceived, for by his means, whatever was done or said by the
ambassador during the day, was regularly reported to our general that
night or next morning; yet did this fellow conduct himself so prudently,
that neither was he suspected by any one in the Portuguese ambassador's
house, nor was it known to any one in ours, what business he was engaged
in. He had the right character for a spy, being crafty, careful, and
subtle, never trusting any one to hear his conversation with our
general, but always spoke to him when alone, and that in a careless
manner, as if he had answered idly; for he was in fear that our people
should discover that the selling of hens was a mere pretence for coming
continually to our house.

The general was sent for to court next day, when the king had a
conference with him about an embassy from the King of Siam respecting
the conquest of Malacca, having sent to know what force he would employ
for that service by sea, if the King of Siam undertook to besiege it by
land. This King of Acheen is able to send a great force of gallies to
sea, if he may have four or five months warning to make them ready. The
general endeavoured to further this proposal with many reasons; and took
occasion to talk about the Portuguese ambassador, who conducted himself
with much proud insolence, and who, he said, had come to Acheen for no
other reason but to spy out the strength of his kingdom. "I know it
well," said the king, "for they are my enemies, as I have been to them;
but what makes you see this?" The general then said, that he could take
nothing in hand but that they employed spies to mark his conduct, and
that the ambassador intended to send drawings of all his ships to
Malacca, to procure a force from thence to fall upon him suddenly. The
king smiled at this, saying that he need fear no strength that could
come from Malacca, as all the force they had there was quite
insufficient to do the English any harm. Then said the general, that he
did not fear their strength or what they could do against him; but as
they would know when he was to go to sea, the ambassador would send them
notice to keep in port, so that he would be unable to do them harm;
wherefore he entreated the king to arrest two of the ambassador's
servants that were to go for Malacca in a few days, not meaning to sail
from Acheen, but to go thence to another port of the king's, and there
to hire a bark for Malacca. "Well," said the king, "let me know when
they depart from hence, and thou shall see what I will do for thee." The
general now took leave of the king, well pleased with his friendly
intentions, and continued his daily conferences with his hen-merchant,
so that he became privy to everything that was either done or said in
the ambassador's house.

When the time was come, the ambassador's servants went away to a port
about twenty-five leagues from Acheen; upon which the general went
immediately to inform the king, who had already given proper orders, so
that, on their arrival at the port, when they had hired a vessel in
which they embarked with their letters, and were even going over the bar
a mile from the town, a galley went after them, and caused the bark to
strike sail, that the justice might see what was their lading. On the
justice coming on board, and seeing the two Portuguese, he asked whence
they came and whither they were going? They answered, that they came
from Acheen, being in the service of the Portuguese ambassador. "Nay,"
said the justice, "but you have robbed your master and run away with his
goods; wherefore I shall return you again to him, that you may answer
for your conduct." In this confusion they lost their plots and letters,
their trunks having been broke open; and they were sent back to Acheen
to the king, to be delivered to the ambassador, if they belonged to him.
The general was immediately sent for to court, and asked by the king if
he were satisfied; on which he gave the king humble and hearty thanks
for his friendship in the business. The merchant of hens continued to
come daily to our house with his goods; and the general suspected, not
without his master's knowledge, as indeed he afterwards confessed, to
carry news from us as well as bringing us intelligence.

It was now September, and summer being past, and the general intending
to go to sea to seek for means to supply his necessities, was like to
have been crossed worse than ever. The Portuguese ambassador had got his
dispatches of leave from the king, and was about to go from Acheen;
which coming to the knowledge of our general, he went immediately to
court, where the king sat looking at certain sports which were made for
his amusement. The general sent his interpreter to request permission to
speak with the king, who immediately called him, desiring to know what
he wished. "It has pleased your majesty," said the general, "to shew me
many courtesies, by which I am emboldened to entreat one more favour."
"What is that?" said the king, smiling: "Are there any more Portuguese
going to Malacca to hinder your proceedings?" "The ambassador himself,"
said the general, "as I am given to understand, has received your
majesty's dispatches, with licence to go when he pleases, and is
determined to go in five days." Then, said the king, "What would you
have me do?" To this the general replied, "Only stay him for ten days
after I have sailed." "Well," said the king, laughing, "you must bring
me a fair Portuguese maiden at your return."

With this answer the general took his leave, and made all the haste he
could to be gone, having recommended the factors during his absence to
the protection and favour of the king, and to purchase pepper, to help
out the loading of the Ascension, which was now more than three parts
laden; yet he did not chuse to leave her behind, as the road was open.
When all the three ships were nearly ready, the captain of a Holland
ship, called the Sheilberge, then in the roads, requested permission of
the general to join company with him, and take part in the adventure
upon which he was going. This ship was above 200 tons burden; but her
captain was as short of money in proportion as we were, and was
therefore desirous of a chance of making some addition to his stock; and
as our general was content to have his aid, he agreed to let him have an
eighth part of what might be taken. The general then went to take leave
of the king, to whom he presented two of the chief merchants, Messrs
Starkie and Styles, whom the king graciously took under his protection,
as they and some others were to remain behind to provide pepper against
the return of the ships.

We sailed on the 11th September, 1602, steering our course for the
straits of Malacca; but, before giving an account of this adventure, I
shall relate how the king dealt with the Portuguese ambassador after our
departure. Every day the ambassador urgently pressed for permission to
depart; but still, on one pretence or another, the king delayed his
voyage; till at last, twenty-four days after our departure, the king
said to him, "I wonder at your haste to be gone, considering that the
English ambassador is at sea with his ships, for if he meet you he will
do you some wrong or violence." "I care little for him," said the
ambassador, "for my _frigate_[113] is small and nimble, with sails and
oars; and if I were only her length from the Englishman, I could easily
escape all his force." The king then gave him his dispatch, and allowed
him to depart. This delay served well for us, for had he got away in
time, such advices would have been sent from Malacca into the straits by
_frigates_, that all ships would have had warning to avoid us: But by
detaining the ambassador, we lay within 25 leagues of Malacca, and were
never descried.

[Footnote 113: Frigates, in the present day, are single-decked ships of
war, of not less than 20 guns: The term seems then to have been applied
to a swift-sailing vessel of small size and force; and is frequently
applied to armed or even unarmed barks or grabs, small Malabar vessels
employed by the Portuguese for trade and war.--E.]

While we lay in the straits of Malacca, on the 3d October, the Hector
espied a sail, and calling to us, we all saw her likewise. Being towards
night, the general directed us to spread out in a line, a mile and a
half from each other, that she might not pass us in the night. During
the night the strange sail fell in with the Hector, which first espied
her. The captain immediately hailed her to surrender, firing two or
three shots to bring her to; so that the rest of our ships were apprized
of where she was, and all gathered about her, firing at her with their
cannon, which she returned. On the coming up of the admiral, which shot
off six pieces at once out of her prow, the main-yard of the chase fell
down, so that she could not escape. The admiral now ordered all our
ships to discontinue firing, lest some unfortunate shot might strike
between wind and water, and sink our expected prize; so we lay by her
till morning without any more fighting. At break of day, the captain of
the chase, and some of his men, went into his boat; on which the Hector,
being nearest, called to them to come to his ship. Mr John Middleton,
the captain of the Hector, being vice-admiral, brought the boat and
captain immediately aboard the general, to whom they surrendered their
ship and goods.

The general gave immediate orders to remove all the principal men of the
prize on board our ships, and only placed four of our men in the prize,
for fear of rifling and pillaging the valuable commodities she
contained, and gave these men strict warning, if any thing were
amissing, that they should answer for the value out of their wages and
shares, ordering them on no account to allow any one to come on board
the prize, unless with his permission. When the prize was unloaded, her
own boatswain and mariners did the whole work, none of our men being
allowed to go on board even to assist. They only received the goods into
our boats, carrying them to such ships as they were directed by the
general; by which orderly proceeding there was neither rifling,
pillaging, nor spoil, which could hardly have been otherwise avoided in
such a business. Within five or six days we had unladen her of 950 packs
of calicoes and pintados, or chintzes, besides many packages of other
merchandise. She had likewise much rice and other goods, of which we
made small account: And as a storm now began to blow, all their men were
put on board, and we left her riding at anchor. She came from San Thome,
[or Meliapour near Madras,] in the bay of Bengal, and was going to
Malacca, being of the burden of about 900 tons. When we intercepted her,
there were on board 600 persons, including men, women, and children.

The general would never go on board to see her, that there might be no
suspicion, either among our mariners, or the merchants in London, of any
dishonest dealing on his part, by helping himself to any part of her
goods. He was exceeding glad and thankful to God for this good fortune,
which had eased him of a heavy care, as it not only supplied his
necessities, to enable him to load his ships, but gave him sufficient
funds for loading as many more; so that now his care was not about
money, but how he should leave these goods, having so much more than
enough, till the arrival of other ships from England.

The 21st October, we began our voyage from the straits of Malacca to
return to Acheen; and by the way there came a great spout of water,
pouring from the heavens, and fell not far from our ship, to our extreme
terror. These spouts come pouring down like a river of water; so that,
if they were to fall upon a ship, she would be in imminent danger of
sinking downright; as the water falls all at once like one vast drop, or
as a prodigious stream poured from a vessel, and with extreme violence,
sometimes enduring for an hour together, so that the sea boils and foams
to a great height.

Sec. 5. _Presents to and from the King of Acheen, and his Letters to Queen
Elizabeth. Their Departure to Priaman and Bantam, and Settlement of
Trade at these Places._

We again cast anchor in the road of Acheen, on the 24th of October, when
the general went immediately on shore, and found all our merchants well
and in safety, giving great commendations of the kind entertainment they
had from the king in the absence of the general. On this account, the
general, willing to gratify the king with some of the most valuable
articles taken in the prize, selected a present of such things as he
thought might be most to his liking, and presented them to him on his
first going to court. The king received the present very graciously, and
welcomed the general on his return, seeming to be much pleased with his
success against the Portuguese; but jestingly added, that the general
had forgotten his most important commission, which was to bring back
with him a fair Portuguese maid. To this the general replied, that there
were none worthy of being offered. The king smiled, and said, if there
were any thing in his dominions that could gratify the general, he
should be most welcome to have it.

The merchants were now directed to ship in the Ascension, all the
pepper, cinnamon, and cloves they had bought in the absence of the
ships, which was scarcely enough to complete her loading; but there was
no more to be had at the time, nor could any more be expected that year.
The general, therefore, ordered every thing to be conveyed on board the
ships, as he was resolved to depart from Acheen, and to sail for Bantam
in _Java Major_, where he understood good sale might be procured for his
commodities, and a great return of pepper at a much more reasonable
price than at Acheen. Upon this order being promulgated, every person
made haste to get their things embarked.

The general went to court, and communicated to the king his intentions
of departing, and had a long conference with his majesty, who delivered
to him a complimentary letter for the Queen of England.[114] A present
was likewise delivered to him for the queen, consisting of three fine
vestments, richly woven and embroidered with gold of exquisite
workmanship, and a fine ruby set in a gold ring, the whole enclosed in a
_red box of Tzin_.[115] He likewise presented the general with another
ruby set in a ring, and when about to take leave, he asked the general
if we had the Psalms of David extant among us. On being told that we
had, and sang them daily, he said, that he and his nobles would sing a
psalm to God for our prosperous voyage, which they did very reverently.
He then desired that we might sing another psalm in our own language;
and being about twelve of us present, we sang a psalm. That being ended,
the general took leave of the king, who shewed him much kindness at his
departure, desiring God to bless us during our voyage, and to guide us
safely to our country; adding, that if any of our ships should come
hereafter to his ports, they might depend on receiving as kind treatment
as we had got.

[Footnote 114: Purchas gives a copy of this letter, as translated from
the Arabic by William Bedwell. It is long, tedious, and merely composed
of hyperbolical compliment; and therefore omitted.--E.]

[Footnote 115: This was probably a casket of red Chinese lacker or
varnish, usually denominated Japanned.--E.]

All our goods and men being shipped, we departed from Acheen on the 9th
November, 1602, with three ships, the Dragon, Hector, and Ascension, the
Susan having been long before sent to Priaman. We kept company for two
days, in which time the general prepared his letters for England,
sending them away in the Ascension, which now directed her course by the
Cape of Good Hope for England; while we steered along the south-western
coast of Sumatra, in our way to Bantam, meaning to look for the Susan,
which had been sent formerly to endeavour to procure a loading on that
coast. While in this course we suddenly fell in among a number of
islands in the night, and when the morning dawned were astonished how we
had got in among them, without seeing or running upon any of them. They
were all low land, environed with rocks and shoals, so that we were in
great danger; but thanks be to God, who had delivered us from many
dangers, and enabled us to extricate ourselves from the present
difficulty. Continuing our course, we passed the equinoctial line for
the third time, and coming to Priaman, the 26th November, we rejoined
the Susan, which the general had sent there from Acheen to load with

The people of the Susan were rejoiced at our arrival, having already
provided 600 bahars of pepper, and sixty-six bahars of cloves. Pepper
was cheaper here than at Acheen, though none grows in the neighbourhood
of this port, being all brought from a place called _Manangcabo_, eight
or ten leagues within the country; which place has no other merchandise,
except a considerable store of gold in dust and small grains, which is
washed out of the sands of rivers after the great floods of the rainy
season, by which it is brought down from the mountains. Priaman is a
good place of refreshment, and is very pleasant and healthy, though it
lies within 15' of the line. Having refreshed ourselves here with good
air, fresh victuals, and water, the general left orders for the Susan to
complete her loading in all speed, which wanted only a few hundred
bahars of pepper, and then to proceed direct for England.

Leaving the Susan at Priaman, we left that place with the Dragon and
Hector on the 4th December, directing our course for Bantam in Java.
Entering the straits of Sunda, the 15th December, we came to anchor
under an island three leagues from Bantam, called _Pulo Pansa_. Next
morning we got into the road of Bantam, and fired a great peal of
ordnance from our two ships, the like of which had never been heard in
that place before. Next morning, the general sent Captain John Middleton
on shore with a message for the king, to say that he, the general, was
sent by the Queen of England with a letter and message for his majesty,
and required his majesty's licence and safe conduct to come on shore to
deliver them. The king sent back word that he was glad of his arrival,
sending a nobleman along with Captain Middleton to welcome the general,
and accompany him on shore. Taking about sixteen attendants, the
general went on shore with this nobleman to the court, where he found
the king, being a boy of ten or eleven years of age, sitting in _a round
house_, surrounded in some decent state by sixteen or eighteen of his
nobles. The general made his obeisance after the custom of the country,
and was welcomed very kindly by the young king. After some conference
about his message, he delivered the queen's letter into the king's
hands, and made him a present of plate and some other things, which the
king received with a smiling countenance, and referred the general for
farther conference to one of his nobles, who was protector or regent of
the kingdom in his minority.

After a conference of an hour and a half; the regent in the king's name
received the general and all his company under the king's protection,
with perfect freedom to come on land, to buy and sell without
molestation, assuring him of as great security as in his own country, to
all which the other nobles gave their consent and assurance. There
passed many discourses upon other topics at this conference, which I
omit troubling the reader with for the sake of brevity; my purpose being
to shew the effect of this first settlement of trade in the East Indies,
rather than to be tediously particular. After this kind welcome and
satisfactory conference, the general took his leave of the king and
nobles, and immediately gave orders for providing houses, of which he
had the king's authority to make choice to his liking. Within two days,
the merchants brought their goods ashore, and began to make sales; but
one of the nobles came to the general, saying, that it was the custom of
the place, for the king to buy and provide himself before the subjects
could purchase any thing. The general readily consented to this
arrangement, being informed that the king would give a reasonable price
and make punctual payment.

When the king was served, the merchants went on with their sales, and in
a few weeks sold more goods than would have sufficed to purchase loading
for both ships, yet we only brought away from thence 276 bags of pepper,
each containing sixty-two pounds. Each bag cost at first rate 5-1/2
ryals of eight, of 4s. 6d. being L1:4:9 per bag, or something less than
5d. a pound. This was, however, besides duty of anchorage and custom to
the king. By agreement with the _Sabander_ or governor of the
city,[116] the general paid as anchorage duty for the two ships, 1500
ryals of eight; and one ryal of eight as custom for each bag of pepper.
We traded here very peaceably, though the Javans are reckoned the
greatest thieves in the world: But; after having received one or two
abuses, the general had authority from the king to put to death whoever
was found about his house in the night, and after four or five were thus
slain, we lived in reasonable peace and quiet, yet had continually to
keep strict watch all night.

[Footnote 116: This officer, as his title implies, which ought to be
written Shah-bander, is lord of the port or harbour.--E.]

We went on with our trade, so that by the 10th February, 1603, our ships
were fully laden and ready to depart. In the mean time, Mr John
Middleton, captain of the Hector, fell sick on board his ship in the
road. For, from the very first of our voyage, the general made it an
invariable rule, if he were ashore, that the vice-admiral must be on
board, and _vice versa_, that both might not be at one time from their
charge. Hearing of his sickness, the general went aboard to visit him,
and found him much weaker than he himself felt or suspected, which
experience in these hot climates had taught our general to know; for,
although Captain Middleton was then walking about the deck, he died
about two o'clock next morning.

The general now proceeded to put every thing in order for our speedy
departure, and appointed a pinnace of about 40 tons, which we had, to be
laden with commodities, putting into her twelve mariners with certain
merchants, whom he sent to the Moluccas, to trade there and settle a
factory, against the arrival of the next ships from England. He likewise
left eight men and three factors in Bantam, Mr William Starkie being
head factor; whom he appointed to sell such commodities as were left,
and to provide loading for the next ships. Every thing being arranged,
the general went to court to take his leave of the king, from whom he
received a letter for Queen Elizabeth, with a present of some fine
bezoar stones. To the general he gave a handsome Java dagger, which is
much esteemed there, a good bezoar stone, and some other things. After
this the general took leave of the king, with many courteous expressions
on both sides.

Sec. 6. _Departure for England, and Occurrences in the Voyage_.

We all embarked on the 20th February, 1603, shot off our ordnance, and
set sail for England, giving thanks to God with joyful hearts for his
merciful protection. We were in the straits of Sunda on the 22d and 23d
of that month, and on the 26th we got clear of all the islands in these
straits and of the land, shaping our course S.W. so that on the 28th we
were in lat. 8 deg. 40' S. On Sunday the 13th March, we were past the tropic
of Capricorn, holding our course mostly S.W. with a stiff gale at S.E.
The 14th April we were in lat. 34 deg. S. judging the great island of
Madagascar to be north of us. We had a great and furious storm on the
28th, which forced us to take in all our sails. This storm continued a
day and night, during which the sea so raged that none of us expected
our ships to live; but God, in his infinite mercy, calmed the violence
of the storm, and gave us opportunity to repair the losses and injuries
we had received; but our ships were so shaken by the violence of the
wind and waves, that they continued leaky all the rest of the voyage.

We had another great storm on the 3d May, which continued all night, and
did so beat on the quarter of our ship that it shook all the iron work
of our rudder, which broke clean off next morning from our stern, and
instantly sunk. This misfortune filled all our hearts with fear, so that
the best and most experienced among us knew not what to do, especially
seeing ourselves in so tempestuous a sea, and a so stormy place, so that
I think there be few worse in the world. Our ship now drove about at the
mercy of the winds and waves like a wreck, so that we were sometimes
within a few leagues of the Cape of Good Hope, when a contrary wind came
and drove us almost into 40 deg. S. among hail, snow, and sleety cold
weather. This was a great misery to us, and pinched us sore with cold,
having been long used to hot weather. All this while the Hector
carefully kept by us, which was some comfort, and many times the master
of the Hector came aboard our ship to consult upon what could be done.
At length it was concluded to put our mizen-mast out at a stern port, to
endeavour to steer our ship into some place where we might make and hang
a new rudder to carry us home. This device, was however to little
purpose; for, when we had fitted it and put it out into the sea, it did
so lift up with the strength of the waves, and so shook the stem of our
ship, as to put us in great danger, so that we were glad to use all
convenient haste to get the mast again into the ship.

We were now apparently without hope or remedy, unless we made a new
rudder, and could contrive to hang it at sea, which may easily be judged
was no easy matter, in so dangerous a sea, and our ship being of seven
or eight hundred tons.[117] But necessity compelled us to try all
possible means. The general ordered our carpenters to make a new rudder
of the mizen-mast; but there was this great obstacle, that we had lost
all our rudder-irons along with the old rudder: Yet we proceeded with
all expedition; One of our men dived, to search what might remain of our
rudder-irons on the stern port, who found but two, and another that was
broken. Yet, with God's help, finding a fair day, we made fast our new
rudder, and were able to make sail homewards. Within three or four
hours, the sea took it off again, and we had great difficulty to save
it, losing another of our irons, so that only two now remained to hang
it by, and our men began to propose quitting the ship and going on board
the Hector to save themselves. "Nay," said the general, "we will abide
God's leisure, and see what mercy he will shew us; for I do not yet
despair to save ourselves, the ship, and the goods, by some means which
God will appoint." With that, he went into his cabin, and wrote a letter
for England, proposing to send it by the Hector, commanding her to
continue her voyage and leave us; but not one of our ship's company knew
of this command. The tenor of the letter was as follows, little more or
less, addressed to the Governor and Company:


_What hath passed in this voyage, and what trades I have settled for the
company, and what other events have befallen us, you shall understand by
the bearers hereof, to whom (as occasion has fallen) I must refer you, I
shall strive with all diligence to save my ship and her goods, as you
may _perceive by the course I take in venturing my own life, and those
that are with me. I cannot tell where you should look for me, if you
send any pinnace to seek me; because I live at the devotion of the winds
and seas. And that, fare you well, praying God to send us a merry
meeting in this world, if it be his good will and pleasure.

The passage to the_ East India _lieth in 62 1/2 degrees, by the
north-west on the America side_.[118]

_Your very loving friend,


[Footnote 117: At the commencement of this article, the burden of the
Dragon is only stated at 600 tons.--E.]

[Footnote 118: This latter paragraph obviously refers to the _ignis
fatuus_ of a northwest passage by sea to India, to be noticed in an
after part of this work.--E.]

When this letter was delivered to the Hector, together with his orders
for her departure, the general expected she would have gone off from us
in the night, according to instructions; but when he espied her in the
morning, he said to me that they regarded no orders. But the Hector kept
some two or three leagues from us, not coming any nearer; for the master
was an honest and good man, who loved our general, and was loth to leave
him in such great distress. It was now incumbent upon us to try every
means to save ourselves and the ship. Our carpenter mended our new
rudder, and in a few days the weather became somewhat fair and the sea
smooth. So we made a signal for the Hector to come near, out of which
came the master, Mr Sander Cole, bringing the best swimmers and divers
belonging to his ship, who helped us materially in our work. By the
blessing of God, we hung our rudder again on the two remaining hooks,
and then had some hope of being able to fetch some port for our relief.

We were sore beaten to and fro in these raging seas, and had many more
storms than are here expressed, sometimes for a whole month together, so
that our men began to fall sick, and the wind was so scant that we could
fetch no port on the coast of Africa, which was the nearest land.
Committing ourselves therefore into the hands of God, we made sail for
the island of St Helena, knowing that we were to the westwards of the
Cape of Good Hope, especially by the height we were now in to the
northward. While in this course our main-yard fell down, and drove one
of our men into the sea, where he was drowned; this being the last of
our misfortunes. The 5th June, we passed the tropic of Capricorn, and in
the morning of the 16th we got sight of St Helena to our great joy. We
bore close along shore, to get to the best part of the road, where we
came to anchor in twelve fathoms water, right over against a chapel
which the Portuguese had built there long since.

When we went ashore, we found by many writings, that the Portuguese
caraks had departed from thence only eight days before our arrival. In
this island there are excellent refreshments to be had, especially water
and wild goats; but the latter are hard to be got at, unless good means
are followed. For this purpose the general selected four stout active
men, the best marksmen among our people, who were directed to go into
the middle of the island, each of these, having four men to attend him,
and to carry the goats he killed to an appointed place, whence every day
twenty men went to bring them to the ships. By this plan there was no
hooting or hallooing about the island to scare the goats, and the ships
were plentifully supplied to the satisfaction of all. While we remained
here, we refitted our ships as well as we could, and overhauled our
temporary rudder, securing it so effectually that we had good hope it
might last us home. All our sick men recovered their health, through the
abundance of goats and hogs we procured for their refreshment. Indeed
all of us stood in great need of fresh provisions, having seen no laud
in three months, but being continually beaten about at sea.

We departed from St Helena on the 5th July, steering N.W. and passed the
island of Ascension, in lat. 8 deg. S. on the 13th. No ships touch at this
island, for it is altogether barren and without water; only that it
abounds with fish all around in deep water, where there is ill riding
for ships. Holding our course still N.W. with the wind at E. and S.E.
till the 19th of that month, we then passed the equator, and on the 24th
were in lat. 6 deg. N. at which time we judged ourselves to be 150 leagues
from the coast of Guinea. We then steered N. by W. and N. till the 29th,
when we got sight of the island of _Fuego_, one of the Cape Verds, where
we were becalmed five days, striving to pass to the eastwards of this
island but could not, for the wind changed to the N.E. so that we had to
steer W.N.W. We were in lat. 16 deg. N. on the 7th August, and on the 12th
we passed the tropic of Cancer, in lat. 23 deg. 30' N. holding our course to
the north. The 23d the wind came westerly; and on the 29th we passed St
Mary, the southeastermost of the Azores, with a fair wind. We had
soundings on the 7th September, 1603, the coast of England being then 40
leagues from us by our reckoning; and we arrived in the Downs on the
11th of that month, where we came safe to anchor: For which we thanked
the Almighty God, who hath delivered us from infinite perils and
dangers, in this long and tedious navigation; having been, from the 2d
April, 1601, when we sailed from Torbay, two years five months and nine
days absent from England.


_Account of Java, and of the first Factory of the English at Bantam;
with Occurrences there from the 11th February, 1603, to the 6th October,


The entire title of this article, in the Pilgrims of Purchas, is, "A
Discourse of Java, and of the first English Factory there, with divers
Indian, English, and Dutch Occurrences; written by Mr Edmund Scot,
containing a History of Things done from the 11th February, 1602, till
the 6th October, 1605, abbreviated."

[Footnote 119: Purch. Pilgr. I. 164. Astl. I. 284.]

It is to be observed, that February, 1602, according to the old way of
reckoning time in England, was of the year 1603 as we now reckon, for
which reason we have changed the date so far in the title of the
section. Mr Edmund Scot, the author of this account of Java, was one of
the factors left there by Sir James Lancaster. He became latterly head
factor at that place, and returned from thence to England with Captain
Henry Middleton, leaving Mr Gabriel Towerson to take charge of the trade
in his room; doubtless the same unhappy person who fell a sacrifice,
seventeen years afterwards, to the avarice, cruelty, and injustice of
the Dutch. This article may be considered as a supplement to the voyage
of Sir James Lancaster, and is chiefly adopted as giving an account of
the first factory established by the English in the East Indies. Being
in some parts rather tediously minute upon matters of trifling interest,
some freedom has been used in abbreviating its redundancies. The
following character is given of it by the editor of Astley's

"The whole narrative is very instructive and entertaining, except some
instances of barbarity, and affords more light into the affairs of the
English and Dutch, as well as respecting the manners and customs of the
Javanese and other inhabitants of Bantam, than if the author had dressed
up a more formal relation, in the usual way of travellers: From the
minute particulars respecting the Javanese and Chinese, contained in the
last sections, the reader will be able to collect a far better notion of
the genius of these people, than from the description of the country
inserted in the first; and in these will be found the bickerings between
the Dutch and English, which laid the foundations of these quarrels and
animosities which were afterwards carried to such extreme length, and
which gave a fatal blow to the English trade in the East

* * * * *

Sec. 1. _Description of Java, with the Manners and Customs of its
Inhabitants, both Javanese and Chinese_.

Java Major is an island in the East Indies, the middle of which is in
long. 104 deg. E. and in lat. 9 deg. S.[120] It is 146 leagues long from east to
west, and about 90 leagues broad from south to north.[121] The middle of
the island is for the most part mountainous, yet no where so steep as to
prevent the people from travelling to their tops either a-foot or on
horseback. Some inhabitants dwell on the hills nearest the sea; but in
the middle of the land, so far as I could learn, there were no
inhabitants; but wild beasts of several sorts, some of which come to the
valleys near the sea, and devour many people. Towards the sea the land
for the most part is low and marshy, whereon stand their towns of
principal trade, being mostly on the north and north-east sides of the
island, as Chiringin, Bantam, Jackatra, and Jortan or Greesey. These low
lands are very unwholesome, and breed many diseases, especially among
the strangers who resort thither, and yield no merchandise worth
speaking of, except pepper, which has been long brought from all parts
of the island to Bantam, as the chief mart or trading town of the
country. Pepper used formerly to be brought here from several other
countries for sale, which is not the case now, as the Dutch trade to
every place where it can be procured, and buy it up.

[Footnote 120: The longitude of the middle of Java may be assumed at
110 deg. E. from Greenwich, and its central latitude 7 deg. 15' S. The western
extremity is in long. 105 deg. 20' and the eastern in 114 deg. 48' both E. The
extreme north-west point is in lat. 6 deg., the most southeastern in 8 deg. 45',
both S. It is hard to guess what Mr Scot chose as his first meridian,
giving an error of excess or difference of 30 deg. from the true position;
as the meridian of Ferro would only add about 18 degrees.--E.]

[Footnote 121: The difference of longitude in the preceding note gives
189 leagues, being 43 more than in the text, whereas its greatest
breadth does not exceed 28 leagues, not a third part of what is assigned
in the text.--E.]

The town of Bantam is about three English miles long, and very populous.
It has three markets held every day, one in the forenoon and two in the
afternoon. That especially which is held in the morning abounds as much
in people, and is equally crowded with many of our fairs in England; yet
I never saw any cattle there for sale, as very few are bred or kept in
the country. The food of the people is almost entirely confined to rice,
with some hens and fish, but not in great abundance. All the houses are
built of great canes, with a few small timbers, being very slight
structures; yet in many houses of the principal people there is much
good workmanship, with fine carvings and other embellishments. Some of
the chiefest have a square chamber built of brick, in a quite rude
manner, no better than a brick-kiln; the only use of which is to secure
their household stuff in time of fires, for they seldom or never lodge
or eat in them.

Many small rivers pervade the town, which also has an excellent road for
shipping; so that if the people were of any reasonable capacity, it
could easily be made a goodly city. It is entirely surrounded by a
brick-wall, built in a very warlike manner, with flankers and towers,
scouring in all directions; and I have been told by some that it was
first built by the Chinese. In many places this wall has fallen to ruin.
At one end of the city is the Chinese town, being divided from that of
the Javanese by a narrow river, which, after crossing the end of the
Chinese town, runs past the king's palace, and then through the middle
of the great town, where the tide ebbs and flows, so that at high water
galleys and junks of heavy burden can go into the middle of the city.
The Chinese town is mostly built of brick, every house being square and
flat-roofed, formed of small timbers, split canes, and boards, on which
are laid bricks and sand to defend them from fire. Over these brick
warehouses a shed is placed, constructed of large canes, and thatched;
some being of small timber, but mostly of canes. Of late years, since we
came here, many wealthy persons have built their houses fire-proof all
the way to the top: but, on our first coming, there were none other in
that manner except the house of the Sabander, and those of the rich
Chinese merchants: yet even these, by means of their windows, and the
sheds around them, have been consumed by fire. In this town stand the
houses of the English and Dutch, built in the same manner with the
others; but of late the Dutch have built one of their houses to the top
of brick, but with much trouble and expence, in hopes of securing
themselves from fire.

The King of Bantam is an absolute sovereign, and since the deposition
and death of the late Emperor of _Damacke_ he is considered as the
principal king of the whole island. He uses martial law on any offender
he is disposed to punish. If the wife or wives of any private individual
are guilty of adultery, upon good proof, both the woman and her paramour
are put to death. They may put their slaves to death for any small
fault. For every wife that a free Javan marries he must keep ten female
slaves, though some keep forty such for each wife, and may have as many
more as they please, but can only have three wives; yet may use all
their female slaves as concubines. The Javanese are exceedingly proud,
yet very poor, as hardly one among them of a hundred will work. The
gentry among them are reduced to poverty by the number of their slaves,
who eat faster than their pepper and rice grow. The Chinese plant,
dress, and gather all the pepper, and sow the rice, living as slaves
under the Javanese proprietors; yet they absorb all the wealth of the
land by their industry, from the indolent and idle Javanese. All the
Javanese are so proud that they will not endure an equal to sit an inch
higher than themselves. They are a most blood-thirsty race, yet seldom
fight face to face, either among themselves or with other nations,
always seeking their revenge after a cowardly manner, although stout men
of good stature. The punishment for murder among them is to pay a fine
to the king: but evermore the relations of the murdered person seek for
revenge upon the murderer or his kindred; so that the more they kill one
another the more fines come to the king. The ordinary weapon, which they
all wear, is a dagger, called a _criss_, about two feet long, with a
waved blade, crooked to and fro indenture ways, like what is called a
flaming sword, and exceedingly sharp, most of them being poisoned, so
that not one among five hundred wounded in the body escapes with life.
The handles of these weapons are of horn or wood, curiously carved in
the likeness of a devil, which many of these people worship. In their
wars they use pikes, darts, and targets; and of late some of them have
learnt to use fire-arms, but very awkwardly.

The better sort wear a _tuke_ or turban on their heads, and a fine piece
of painted calico round their loins, all the rest of their bodies being
naked. They sometimes wear a close coat like a _mandilion_,[122] made of
cloth, camblet, velvet, or some other silk; but this is seldom, and only
on extraordinary occasions. The common people have a flat cap of velvet,
taffeta, or calico, on their heads, cut out in many pieces, and neatly
sewed together, so as to fit close. About their loins they wrap a piece
of calico made at _Clyn_, put on like a girdle, but at least a yard
broad, being mostly of two colours. There come also from the same place
many sorts of white cloth, which they dye, paint, and gild, according to
their own fashions. They can also weave a kind of striped stuff, either
of cotton or the rinds of trees; but, owing to their indolence, very
little of that is made or worn. The men for the most part wear their
hair, which is very thick and curly, and in which they take great pride,
and often go bare-headed to show their hair. The women go all
bare-headed, many of them having their hair tucked up like a cart-horse,
but the better sort tuck it up like our riding geldings. About their
loins they wear the same stuffs like the men; and always have a piece of
fine painted calico, of their country fashion, thrown over their
shoulders, with the ends hanging down loose behind.

[Footnote 122: The editor of Astley's Collection substitutes the word
_cassock_ at this place.--E.]

The principal people are very religious, yet go seldom to church. They
acknowledge Jesus to have been a great prophet, calling him _Nabu Isa_,
or the prophet Jesus, and some of them entertain Mahometan priests in
their houses: but the common people have very little knowledge of any
religion, only saying that there is a God who made heaven and earth and
all things. They say that God is good, and will not hurt them, but that
the devil is bad, and will do them harm; wherefore many of them are so
ignorant as to pray to him, for fear he should harm them. Assuredly, if
there were here men of learning, and having a sufficient knowledge of
their language to instruct them, many of these ignorant people might be
drawn over to the true Christian faith, and civilized; for many with
whom I have conversed upon Christian laws have liked all very well,
except the prohibition of a plurality of wives, as they are all very
lascivious, both men and women.

The better sort of the Javanese, who are in authority, are great takers
of bribes; and all of them are bad payers when trusted, although their
laws for debt are so strict, that the creditor may take his debtor,
wives, children, slaves, and all that he hath, and sell them in
satisfaction of the debt. They are all much given to stealing, from the
highest to the lowest; and surely they were, in times past, canibals or
man-eaters, before they had trade with the Chinese, which some say is
not above a hundred years ago. They delight much in indolent ease and in
music, and for the most part spend the day sitting cross-legged like
tailors, cutting a piece of stick, by which many of them become good
carvers, and carve their criss handles very neatly; which is all the
work that most of them perform. They are great eaters; but the gentry
allow nothing to their slaves except rice sodden in water, with some
roots and herbs. They have also an herb called _betel_, which they carry
with them wherever they go; in boxes, or wrapped up in a cloth like a
sugar-loaf; and also a nut called _pinang_,[123] which are both very
hot-tasted, and which they chew continually to warm them within, and to
keep away the flux. They also use much tobacco, and take opium. The
Javanese are a very dull and blockish people, very unfit for managing
the affairs of a commonwealth, so that all strangers who come to their
land get beyond them; and many who come here to dwell from the country
of _Clyn_, grow very rich, and rise to high offices, as the _sabander,
laytamongon_, and others. The Chinese especially, who live crouching
under them like Jews, rob them of their wealth, and send it to China.

[Footnote 123: Probably that called _areka_ on the continent of India;
the areka and betel being chewed together, along with powdered chunam,
or shell-lime.--E.]

The Chinese are very crafty in trade, using every conceivable art to
cheat and deceive. They have no pride in them, neither will they refuse
any labour, except they turn Javans, when they have committed murder or
some other villainy, when they become every whit as proud and lazy as a
Javan.[124] They follow several different sects of religion, but are
mostly atheists; many of them believing, that if they lead good lives,
they will be born again to great riches, and be made governors; whereas
those who lead bad lives will be changed to some vile animal, as a frog
or toad. They burn sacrifices every new moon, mumbling over certain
prayers in a kind of chanting voice, tingling a small bell, which they
ring aloud at the close of each prayer. When any of them of good account
lies sick and like to die, they sacrifice in this manner: Their altars
are furnished with goats, hens, ducks, and various kinds of fruit, some
dressed fit for eating, and others raw, which are all dressed and eaten;
after which they burn a great many pieces of paper, painted and cut out
into various devices. I have often asked them, to whom they burn their
sacrifices? when they always said, it was to God; but the Turks and
Guzerates who were there, alleged it was to the devil: If so, they are
ashamed to confess.

[Footnote 124: Though not obviously expressed, it would appear, that for
murder, and some other crimes, the Chinese had to become Mahometans, to
be entitled to redeem their lives by a fine.--E.]

Many of them are well skilled in astronomy, keeping an exact account of
the months and years. They observe no Sabbaths, neither keep they any
day holier than another; except that, on laying the foundation of a
house, or beginning any great work, they note down the day, and keep it
ever after as a festival. When any of them that are wealthy die at
Bantam, their bodies are burnt to ashes, which are collected into close
jars, and carried to their friends in China. I have seen when some of
them lay dying, that there were set up seven burning perfumes, four of
them great shining lights, arranged on a cane laid across two crochets,
six feet from the ground, and three small dim lights on the ground
directly under the others. On asking frequently the meaning of this
ceremony, I could never get any other answer than that it was the custom
of China. They do many other such foolish things, not knowing wherefore,
but only that it has been so done by their ancestors.

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