Volume 2, Chapter 6 -- History of the Discovery and Conquest of India by the Portuguese, between the years 1497 and 1505, from the original Portuguese of Hernan Lopez de Castaneda: *section index*

Volume 2, Chapter 6, Section 7 -- Voyage of Alonso and Francisco de Albuquerque to India in 1503; being the fifth of the Portuguese Expeditions to the East Indies.

In the year 1503, supposing that the admiral Don Vasco de Gama had quietly settled factories in Cochin and Cananor, the king of Portugal did not consider it necessary to send any great fleet to India. He therefore determined to send only six ships in two separate squadrons, under separate generals. Alonso de Albuquerque, who was afterwards governor- general or viceroy of India, commanded one of these squadrons, having under him, as captains, Duarte Pacheco and Hernan Martinez Mascarennas, who is said to have died during the voyage. The other squadron, likewise of three ships, was under the command of Francisco de Albuquerque, cousin to Alonso, having as captains Nicholas Coello and Pedro Vas de la Vega, the former of whom sailed under De Gama in the first discovery of India. This latter squadron sailed from Lisbon fifteen days after the other, yet arrived first in India. Both squadrons encountered severe storms during the voyage, in which the ship commanded by De la Vega was lost. Francisco de Albuquerque, and Nicholas Coello, arrived at Anchediva in the month of August, where they found De Tayde and the other captains who had wintered there, as related in the former section. They here received notice of the war between the Zamorin and the rajah of Cochin, and of the sinister events which had occurred at that place; for which reason Francisco stood over with the whole fleet, now consisting of six sail, to Cananor, where he expected to receive more exact intelligence of the state of affairs in Cochin. They were here received with great joy by the Portuguese factory; and even the rajah of Cananor came on board the generals ship in person, and gave him a distinct recital of what had happened at Cochin, and of the present situation of Trimumpara.

Alonso de Albuquerque lost no time in going to Cochin, where he arrived on the night of Saturday the 2d of September 1503. Immediately on his approach, the troops of Calicut who guarded the entrenchments thrown up by the Zamorin abandoned their posts in the island of Cochin and fled to Cranganor, according to orders to that effect from the Zamorin, who had received notice of the arrival of our fleet at Cananor. On Sunday morning Francisco came to anchor close to Cochin, when he was joyfully received by the inhabitants, playing on various instruments of music, and was soon afterwards visited by the Portuguese factor, who brought him a message from the rajah. On the Monday morning, leaving his ships in good order, Francisco took several boats well armed, and went to the island of Vaipi to visit the rajah, ordering two caravels to follow for security, in case of any of the Calicut paraws making their appearance.

The rajah received our general with infinite satisfaction, greeting them with the exclamation, Portugal! Portugal! as soon as our boats were within hail; which was answered by our people shouting out, Cochin! Cochin! and down with the Zamorin! On landing, the rajah embraced Francisco de Albuquerque with tears in his eyes, saying he only desired to live till restored to his dominions, that his subjects might be satisfied of his just conduct in suffering so much for the service of the king of Portugal. In the name of that sovereign, Francisco gave hearty thanks to Triumpara for his fidelity, and promised him ample revenge on his enemies. And as his finances were much reduced, he made him a present of 10,000 crowns from the chest belonging to the expedition, to serve his present necessities, until he might be again able to draw the rents of his own dominions. This gift was exceedingly acceptable to the rajah, whose affairs were then at a very low ebb; and gave much satisfaction to the natives, who were by it greatly reconciled to the protection which their rajah had given to our men.

The rajah was immediately brought back in triumph to Cochin, amid the joyful acclamations of his subjects, who henceforwards treated our men with esteem and respect. The news of the rajahs return to Cochin, and of the money which had been given him by our general, was speedily communicated to the Zamorin; who, in expectation of the renewal of the war, sent orders to his Caymals or governors on the frontiers towards Cochin to make every preparation for defence. On the very day on which the rajah returned to Cochin, Francisco de Albuquerque resolved to commence hostilities by an attack on the island directly over against Cochin, where he found the inhabitants quite unprepared and off their guard, as they had no idea of being so soon attacked. In this unprepared state, a great number of the Calicut troops were slain, and several of the towns on the island destroyed, after which the Portuguese returned to their ships without loss.

Next day Francisco made a fresh assault on the same island with six hundred men, and was opposed by the Caymal or governor for the Zamorin, with a force of two thousand Nayres, part of whom were spearmen, but the greater number armed with bows and arrows, and some with swords and targets. After some resistance, but in which none of them were hurt, our people made good their landing, and galled the Indians so sore with their cross-bows, that they soon fled. The Portuguese pursued quite across the island, and forced their enemies to continue their flight across the water, leaving many of their men behind both killed and wounded. Having now no enemy to oppose them in the island, the Portuguese laid it entirely waste, and burnt all the towns and villages it contained.

Adjoining to this island there lay another, named Charanaipin,[1] which belonged to a Caymal who was subject to the rajah of Cochin, but had revolted to the Zamorin at the commencement of the war. From some spies employed by the rajah of Cochin, it was understood that this Caymal had a force of three thousand Nayres, seven hundred of whom were archers, and forty were, armed with matchlocks;[2] besides which all their towns were well fortified with trenches. He had likewise several paraws provided with ordnance, with which he was supplied by the Zamorin, and these were stationed in one of the harbours of the island, to defend it against the Portuguese. Notwithstanding all these preparations, of which he was well informed, Francisco Albuquerque went against this island the day after he had reduced the former, and commenced his attack against the harbour in which the paraws were stationed. The enemy were soon driven by our ordnance from their boats, yet many of them continued in the water up to their girdles to resist the landing of our troops, annoying them as much as possible with stones, spears, and arrows.

They were at length driven from the water by our ordnance, but rallied again on the shore, and bravely resisted our people in landing for a long time. They were at length driven to take shelter in a grove of palm trees, in which they defended themselves for a short space, and were at the last driven to seek for safety in a disorderly flight, in which they were pursued by our men. In the pursuit, Pedro de Lares, who was constable to Francisco de Albuquerque, being separated from the rest, was attacked by three Nayres all at once. One of these let fly an arrow which hit Pedro on his breast- plate but without hurting him; on which Pedro levelled his piece and shot him dead. The second Nayre he likewise slew by another shot. The third Nayre wounded him in the leg with a weapon called a gomya, and then endeavoured to run away, but Pedro killed him, with his sword. On the enemy being put to flight, Francisco divided his forces into three bodies, two of them Portuguese, and the third composed of Nayres in the service of the rajah of Cochin, and marched all over the island plundering and burning the towns and villages without resistance.

While thus employed, a considerable number of paraws arrived with reinforcements from Calicut, from which a powerful body of Nayres landed in that part of the island where Duarte Pacheco happened to be posted with a very inferior force, and had assuredly destroyed him and his men, but that Francisco de Albuquerque came very opportunely to his aid. Finding greater resistance than he expected, and fearing lest the Caymal might attack him in the rear, while engaged in front with the nayres of Calicut, Francisco detached a part of his troops under Nicholas Coello, assisted by Antonio del Campo and Pedro de Tayde, to assault the residence of the Caymal, who was slain bravely fighting in its defence. At this place one of our men was slain and eighteen wounded. In the mean time, Francisco de Albuquerque and Duarte Pacheco defeated the reinforcements from Calicut, and forced them to take refuge on board their paraws, leaving many of their men slain and wounded on the shore. After this signal victory, by which the greater part of the three thousand Nayres belonging to the Caymal and many of those from Calicut were slain, Francisco de Albuquerque conferred the honour of knighthood on several of his officers who had signalized themselves on the occasion. He then wasted the whole island with fire and sword.

Francisco determined, in the next place, to attack the country of the lord of Repelim, for which purpose he departed with his troops by water from Cochin, and reached a town in that territory, four leagues from Cochin, about eight o'clock next morning. Near two thousand Nayres, five hundred of whom were armed with bows and arrows, were stationed on the beach of the isle of Repelim to repel this attack; but were soon forced by our ordnance to retire into a grove of palms, on which Francisco landed with his troops, the van being led by Nicholas Coello. The enemy resisted for some time under the shelter of the trees, and wounded some of our people; but were at length forced to take to flight, after losing a good many of their men, who were shot by our cross-bows and calivers.[3] Our troops followed the Nayres, who took refuge in the towns of the island, in which much greater slaughter was made of the enemy than in the field, as they were crowded together and more exposed to our shot. On taking possession of the town, Francisco gave it up to be plundered by the Nayres of Cochin, who assisted him on this expedition, that they might not consider the conduct of the Portuguese on this occasion proceeded from any inclination for plundering the country, but from a desire to revenge the injuries which had been done to their own rajah.

On his return from this victory, Francisco was joyfully received by the rajah of Cochin, who desired him to desist from any farther operations against the enemy, as he considered himself sufficiently revenged. But Francisco requested his permission to continue the war, as he was still unsatisfied till he had taken effectual vengeance on the Zamorin, and accounted it no trouble to fight in the service of the rajah. He seized, however, the present opportunity of the high favour in which he stood with the rajah, to solicit permission for constructing a fort at Cochin, for the protection of the Portuguese factory during the absence of the ships. This request was immediately complied with; the rajah even offered to be at the sole charge, and Francisco lost no time in proceeding to construct the intended fort. As there were neither stones, lime, nor sand to be procured, it was necessary to build the castle of timber; which the rajah ordered to be immediately provided for the purpose, and brought to the spot appointed, which was close to the river side, as best adapted for resisting the assault of the Calicut fleet in any future attempt against Cochin. The rajah sent likewise a great number of his subjects to carry on the work; saying that our people had already had enough to do in the operations of the war: But Francisco commanded our people to work in constructing the fortifications, the foundations of which were laid on the 26th September 1503. The inhabitants of Cochin were astonished at the diligence with which our people laboured at this work, saying there were no such men in the world, as they were equally good at all things.

On the 30th September, four days after the commencement of the fort, Alonso de Albuquerque arrived with his ships at Cochin, having been delayed on his voyage by severe storms and contrary winds, yet brought all his men with him in excellent health. Francisco was much pleased at his arrival; and a portion of the fort being allotted to those newly arrived, it was soon finished. Though built of timber, this castle was as strong and handsome as if it had been constructed of stone and lime. It was of a square form, each face being eighteen yards, with bulwarks or bastions at each corner mounted with ordnance. The walls were made of two rows of palm trees and other strong timber, firmly set in the ground, and bound together with iron hoops and large nails, the space between the two rows of timber being rammed full of earth and sand, and the whole surrounded by a ditch always full of water.[4] The day after this fort was finished, which was named Manuel in honour of the king of Portugal, the captain- general with all his people made a solemn procession, in which the vicar of the fort bore the crucifix under a canopy carried by the captains of the fleet, preceded by trumpets and other instruments of music.

The fort was solemnly blessed, and consecrated by the celebration of mass; after which friar Gaston preached a sermon, in which he exhorted his hearers to be thankful to God, who had permitted the inhabitants of the small western kingdom of Portugal to construct a fortress in this distant region, among so many enemies of the Catholic faith. He expressed a hope that this might be the forerunner of many other establishments of a similar nature, to the advancement of the true religion among the heathen, and the glory of Portugal. He likewise desired his hearers to keep always in mind the high obligations they owed to the rajah for the good service he had rendered to the king of Portugal on this occasion. A faithful report was carried to the rajah of this part of the discourse, who was much gratified, and gave thanks for the same to the two generals.

After completing the fort, the Portuguese renewed the war, and made an attack on two towns belonging to the lord of Repelim on the coast, about five leagues from Cochin, having learned from spies that they were but slightly garrisoned. On this expedition the generals took a body of seven hundred men, and departing from Cochin about two hours before day, they arrived at their destination about nine o'clock next morning. These towns had a population of six thousand people, besides children, and were only defended by three hundred nayres, all bowmen. Alonso de Albuquerque with part of the forces landed at the nearest town, and Francisco with the remainder of the forces at the other, which was only about a cannon-shot distant from the former. In the first town the enemy was completely surprised and ran away, and the place was set on fire without resistance. On seeing the people run away, our men pursued and slew many of the fugitives, and when wearied of the pursuit they plundered and destroyed the country.

In the mean time the alarm was spread over the neighbourhood, and about 6000 Nayres assembled, who made an attack upon our men as they were embarking, so that they were in great danger: In particular, Duarte Pacheco, not being able to find his boat in the place where he had left it, was closely pursued; and though he and his company defended themselves valiantly, and killed many of the enemy, eight of his men were wounded with arrows. So superior was the number of the enemy on this occasion, that Pacheco and his men had assuredly been all slain, if the rest of the troops had not again landed to his rescue; on which the enemy lost heart and ran away, leaving the field of battle strewed over with their slain. After the defeat of the Nayres, our men set fire to fifteen paraws, which were drawn up on the beach, and carried away seven which were afloat.

The lord of Repelim was much grieved at the destruction of his towns; and being afraid of our people making an attack on another about a league farther up the river, he sent a strong detachment of his Nayres for its security. The generals, however, resolved to follow up their victory, and to do all the evil in their power to the territories of this lord. For this purpose, after allowing their men some time for rest, they departed about midnight, while it was still so dark that they could not see each other in the boats, expecting to come upon their enemies by surprise by dawn of next morning. The boats in which Alonso de Albuquerque and his party were embarked got considerably ahead of the rest, and arrived at the town which it was intended to attack a good while before day. Weary of waiting for the rest, he landed his men, and gave orders to set the town on fire. At first they were successful in this rash enterprise, as the ordinary inhabitants were a cowardly unarmed people. But the garrison of above two thousand Nayres, having assembled on the alarm, attacked Alonso and his men with great fury and forced them to retreat to their boats, after killing one man and wounding several others of the party, which only consisted originally of forty men.

Alonso and his soldiers would not have been able to make good their retreat, if the sailors who remained in charge of the boats had not fired off a falcon,[5] or small piece of ordnance, on which the Nayres gave over the pursuit. By this time day broke, and Francisco de Albuquerque approached with the rest of the boats; and seeing the perilous situation of Alonso, he commanded the ordnance in the boats to be played off against the enemy, on which they fled from the shore. At this time Pacheco, who was somewhat astern of the rest, observed a great number of armed Nayres marching along a narrow passage to reinforce the others at the town; and brought his boat so near the pass, that he completely stopt their passage that way. The whole of our men were now landed, and soon constrained the enemy to take flight with considerable loss; after which they set the town on fire, but did not think it prudent to pursue the runaways, as they were not acquainted with the country.

After this exploit, Duarte Pacheco and Pedro de Tayde went with their divisions to destroy another town at some distance, in their way towards which they fought and defeated eighteen paraws belonging to the Zamorin, and then set the town on fire. From thence they stood over to the island of Cambalan, the Caymal of which was an enemy of the Cochin rajah, where they destroyed a large town. From that place, Pacheco went with five armed paraws of Cochin to burn another town, where he met with considerable resistance, and slew a great number of the enemy, seven of his own people being wounded. After setting the town on fire, he retired towards Cochin, and was forced to fight with thirteen armed paraws of Calicut, which he defeated with the assistance of Pedro de Tayde and Antonio del Campo, who fortunately joined him in this emergency. On their defeat, the Calient paraws retired into a creek, where one of them ran aground and was taken by Pacheco; but our men, being worn out with hard rowing, were unable to pursue the rest, and returned to Cochin. On receiving an account of these transactions, the rajah was much satisfied with the revenge which had been taken of his enemies, and requested of our generals to discontinue the war, to which, however, they were by no means inclined.

On account of the war, no pepper was brought from the country to sell at the factory in Cochin; neither dared the merchants to go out in search of that commodity, insomuch that the factory had only been able to procure 300 bahars,[6] and the factor requested the generals to go in quest of some which was to be procured at a place about nine leagues from Cochin. For this purpose the two generals and all their captains set out from Cochin under night, that their intentions might not be discovered by the enemy. On the way Pacheco destroyed a whole island, in which he fought against six thousand of the enemy with his own company only, and the two generals put thirty-four paraws to flight. After this Pacheco and del Campo destroyed a town on the continent, where they defeated two thousand Nayres, many of whom were slain, without any loss on their side. After this, the generals sent on the tony[7] for the pepper, which carried such merchandize as was meant to be given in exchange; and for its protection Pacheco and three other captains accompanied it with two hundred men, and five hundred Cochin paraws.[8]

In passing a narrow strait or river, our people were assailed from the banks by a vast number of the natives armed with bows and arrows, but were defended by their targets, which were fixed on the gunwales of their boats. Leaving one of his captains with fifty Portuguese to protect the tony, Pacheco with the other two captains and the troops belonging to the rajah, made towards the shore, firing off his falcons against the enemy, whom he forced to quit the shore with much loss; after which he landed with his troops, most of whom were armed with hand-guns. The enemy, who were full two thousand strong, resisted for a quarter of an hour, but at length took to flight after having many slain. Pacheco pursued them to a village, where the fugitives rallied and were joined by many Nayres, insomuch that they now amounted to six thousand men, and our people were in great jeopardy, as the enemy endeavoured to surround them, and to intercept their return to the boats. But our men defended themselves manfully, and fought their way back to the shore, where the natives divided on each hand, being afraid of the shot of the falcons, which slew great numbers of them, and our men re-embarked without having a single man killed or wounded.

The Zamorin was much displeased at the successes of our people against his confederates, and by the loss of many of his paraws in these several actions, and was even afraid lest the Portuguese might eventually dispossess him of his dominions. He used every exertion therefore to prevent us from procuring pepper, being in hopes, if our ships were constrained to return to Portugal without loading, that they would come no more back to India. He used his influence therefore even with the merchants of Cochin to refuse supplying pepper to our ships, which they did so effectually, under pretence of the war, that in spite of the influence of the rajah, and notwithstanding high offers of reward from Francisco de Albuquerque, the factory had only been able to procure 1200 quintals or 4000 bahars[9] of pepper; and even that was got with hard fighting, some hurt to our own men, and infinite loss of lives to the enemy. Unable to procure any more pepper in Cochin, Alonso de Albuquerque went to Coulan in search of that commodity, accompanied by Pedro de Tayde and Antonio del Campo, knowing that the government of that state was desirous of having one of our factories established in their city, and had solicited both Pedro Alvares Cabral and the lord admiral De Gama to that effect; and Alonso was determined to go to war with the people of Coulan unless they gave him loading for his ships.

Coulan is twelve leagues from Cochin, and twenty-four from Cape Comorin. Before the building of Calicut, Coulan was the principal city of Malabar, and the port of greatest trade on that coast. Its buildings, more especially the temples and shrines of their idols, are larger and more splendid than those of Cochin. The haven is excellent, the country is well stored with provisions, and the condition of the people resembles in all things what has been formerly said of the inhabitants of Calicut. The inhabitants are idolatrous Malabars, having among them many rich Moorish merchants, more especially since the war broke out between us and the Zamorin, as many of these merchants had left Calicut to reside at Coulan. They trade with Coromandel, Ceylon, the Maldive islands, Bengal, Pegu, Camatia, and Malava. The rajah or king of this state rules over an extensive kingdom, in which there are many rich cities and several good harbours; by which means he has a large revenue, and is able to maintain a great military force, but the men are mostly of a low stature: He entertains in his palace a guard of three hundred women, armed with bows and arrows, who are very expert archers, and they bind up their breasts very tight with bandages of silk and linen, that they may not stand in the way of using their bows. This rajah usually resides in a city named Calle, and is generally at war with the king of Narsinga.[10]

In the city of Coulan, which is governed by certain officers or aldermen, there is a church which was built by the apostle St. Thomas, who came here to preach the Catholic faith, and made many converts both among the idolaters and others, who have handed down the Christian belief from generation to generation, so that there are at least twelve thousand families of Christians scattered abroad in the country, in which they have churches in many places. The king who then ruled in Coulan, being much displeased at the numbers of his subjects who were converted to Christianity, banished St. Thomas from his dominions, who then went to a city called Malapur or Meliapour, on the coast of the dominions of Narsinga, and was followed by the Christians of Coulan, and even by many of the idolaters. He is said to have retired into a solitude in the mountains, where he died, and whence his body was removed for interment in a vault of the church he had built at Coulan. This church is now deserted and entirely overgrown with trees and bushes, and is kept by a poor Moorish zealot, who subsists on alms which he receives from Christian pilgrims, and even some of the idolaters give alms at this tomb.

On the arrival of Alonso de Albuquerque at the harbour of Coulan, the governors of the city came on board to visit him, and settled a treaty with him, in which it was stipulated that we were to have a factory in the city, and that they should provide a loading with all possible dispatch for the three ships he had along with him. While one of his ships was taking in a lading in the harbour, the other two always kept out at sea watching all ships that passed, and obliging every one they could descry to come and give an account of themselves to Albuquerque as captain-general under the king of Portugal. He offered no injury to any of these, unless to such as belonged to the Moors of the Red Sea, all of which that fell in his way were first plundered and then burnt, in revenge for the injuries they had done to the Portuguese. When the house for the factory was finished, and the ships laden, Alonso left there Antonio de Sola as factor, with two clerks, Rodrigo Aranso and Lopo Rabelo, an interpreter named Medera, and two friars to serve as chaplains, together with other assistants, being twenty in all; after which he returned to Cochin.

About this time Francisco de Albuquerque received a message from Cosebequin, a friendly Moor of Calicut who has been formerly mentioned, giving him notice that the Zamorin was determined to make another attack on Cochin so soon as the Portuguese fleet had departed for Europe, and to fortify it in such a manner as should prevent them from having any farther intercourse with that country. With this view the Zamorin had entered into treaties with all the rajahs and leading Nayres or nobles of Malabar, and it was even rumoured that those of Cananor and Coulan had secretly entered into terms with him against the Portuguese and the rajah of Cochin.[11] He said farther that the Moorish merchants had promised large assistance for carrying on the war, as they were exceedingly desirous to exclude the Christians from trading to India. About the same time a letter came from Rodrigo Reynel to the same effect, saying that the Zamorin was levying troops, and had caused a great number of cannon to be prepared for the war. Reynel likewise said that the Moors of Cochin were decidedly in the interest of the Zamorin, and were therefore to be looked to with much jealousy [[=suspicion]]. The rajah likewise informed Albuquerque that from certain Bramins who had come from Calicut he was informed of the intentions and preparations of the Zamorin for reducing Cochin; and as he had little reliance on his own subjects, he requested some Portuguese troops might be left for his defence. Francisco gave the rajah assurance of protection, and even that the Portuguese would add to his dominions at a future period, in reward for his fidelity and friendship to their nation, and as a compensation for the injuries he had suffered in their cause.

The rajah was much pleased with this assurance; and as Francisco found he could have no more pepper at Cochin, he determined upon returning to Portugal, when he had appointed a fit person to remain as captain-general in India. He found this matter difficult, as none of his captains were willing to remain with the small force which he was able to leave behind. At length Duarte Pacheco willingly accepted the charge, and the rajah was much pleased with his appointment, having already sufficient proof of his valour. Pacheco was accordingly left at Cochin with his own ship and two caravels commanded by Pedro Raphael and Diego Perez, and a pinnace, with ninety men in health besides others who were sick.[12] As much ordnance and ammunition was likewise given him as could possibly be spared from the homeward bound ships.

All these things being settled, Francisco de Albuquerque sailed for Cananor, where he proposed to endeavour to procure the liberty of Rodrigo Reynel and the others who were at Calicut. But the Zamorin sent him word that there was no necessity to take this person away, who was desirous of remaining in India; and if the captain-general would remain he should have the pepper which was promised.[13] At this time Alonso de Albuquerque returned from Coulan, and joined Francisco at Cananor; and a letter was brought from Rodrigo Reynel, giving information that the Zamorin was certainly resolved to attempt the conquest of Cochin, as soon as the Portuguese ships should leave the coast; and that his only intention in making an offer of pepper was with a view to prevent them from burning the ships which were then in the harbour of Calicut.

All matters being arranged, the Portuguese fleet sailed from Cananor on the 31st of January 1504. Alonso de Albuquerque and Antonio del Campo came to Lisbon on the 23d of August, and presented to the king 400 weight of seed pearls, which are called Alhofer or Ragges, 144 pound weight of great pearls, and eight of the oysters from which the pearls are procured.[14] He gave likewise to the king a diamond as big as a large bean, and many other jewels; and two Persian horses of wonderful swiftness. Francisco de Albuquerque and Nicholas Coello, who left Cananor some time after Alonso, were cast away on the voyage and never more heard of. Pedro de Tayde was driven to Quiloa, where his ship was lost on the bar and most of his men drowned. From Quiloa he went to Mozambique in a zambucco, where he afterwards died; but left a letter in which he gave a particular account of the state of affairs in India, which he ordered to be, delivered to the first captain who might put in there from Portugal.[15]

* * * * *

Antonio de Saldanna, the last of the three commanders who were sent to cruise in the north of the Red Sea, having lost Diego Fernandez Peteira, came to anchor at a place called St. Thomas, on the east side of the Cape of Good Hope, which was made famous by the name of Aquada del Saldanna, or Saldanna's watering-place, on account of his having lost several of his men there in endeavouring to land. At this time Ruy Lorenzo was parted from him in a storm which drove him to Mozambique, whence he held on his course for Quiloa, where he took some small prizes. Being ambitious to distinguish himself, he went to the island of Zanzibar, twenty leagues short of Mombasa, where he took twenty small vessels. After this he appeared before the town of Mombasa, the king of which place sent out a number of armed almadias or paraws to take his ship: But Lorenzo armed his long boat with a crew of thirty men, which took four of the almadias and killed a great many of the Moors. The king sent an army of 4000 men to the shore under the command of his son, who was killed with some others at the first volley; on which one of the Moors ran out from the ranks with a flag of the Portuguese arms, craving a parley. Peace was soon concluded, by which the king agreed to pay 100 meticals of gold yearly as a tribute to the king of Portugal.[16]

From Mombasa, Lorenzo sailed for Melinda, the king of which place was much oppressed by him of Mombasa, on account of his connection with the Portuguese. On his way he took two ships and three small vessels called zambuccos, in which were twelve magistrates of Brava, who submitted their city to the king of Portugal, and engaged to give 500 meticals of yearly tribute. On his arrival at Melinda, he found that a battle had been fought between the kings of Melinda and Mombasa, in which neither could claim the victory. Antonio de Saldanna likewise arrived at Melinda about this time, and by his mediation peace was restored between these princes. Saldanna and Lorenzo went thence to the mouth of the Red Sea, where they defeated some Moors at the islands of Kanakani[17] beyond Cape Guardafu. On the upper coast of Arabia, they burnt one ship belonging to the Moors which was laden with frankincense, and they drove another on shore which carried a number of pilgrims for Mecca.

[1] This seems to be the island named Chirapipil on a former occasion.--E.
[2] Thus I understand the expression in Lichefilds translation of Castaneda, "Forty were armed with, shot."--E.
[3] Caliver is the old name of the matchlock or carabine, the precursor of the modern firelock or musket.--E.
[4] A very ordinary precaution in India, to guard the passage of the wet ditch in fortified places, both against desertion and surprise, is by keeping numbers of crocodiles in the water.--E.
[5] A falcon or faulcon is described as a small cannon of two pound shot. The following enumeration of the ancient English ordnance, from Sir William Monsons Naval Tracts, in the reigns of Elizabeth and James the First, is given in Churchill's Collection, Vol. III. p. 803. I suspect the weight of the basilisk, marked 400 pounds in this list, may be a typographical error for 4000.--E.
Names. Bore. Weight. Shot. Powder. Random.
inches lbs. lbs. lbs. paces
Cannon-royal 8-1/2 8000 66 30  1930
Cannon  8 6000 60 27 2000
Cannon-serpentine 7 5500 53-1/2 25 2000
 Bastard cannon 7 4500 41 20 1800
Demi-cannon 6-3/4 4000 30-1/2 18 1700
Cannon-petro 6 3000 24-1/2 14 1600
Culverin 5-1/2 4500 17-1/2 12 2500
Basilisk 5 400* 15 10 3000
Demi-culverin 4 3400 9-1/2 8 2500
Bastard culverin 4 3000 5 5-3/4 1700
Sacar 3-1/2 1400 5-1/2 5-1/2 1700
Minion 3-1/2 1000 4 4 1500
Faulcon 2-1/2 660 2 3-1/2 1500
Falconet 2 500 1-1/2 3 1500
Serpentine 1-1/2 400 3/4 1-1/2 1400
Rabanet 1 300 1/2 1/3 1000

[6] Two weights of that name are described as used in India for the sale of pepper and other commodities, the small and the large bahar; the former consisting of three, and the latter of four and a half peculs. The pecul is said to weigh 5 1/2 pounds avoirdupois. Consequently the smaller bahar is equal to 16 1/2, and the larger to 24 3/4 English pounds. A little farther on in the present work of Castaneda, 4000 bahars are said to equal 1200 quintals; which would make the bahar of Cochin equal to thirty Portuguese pounds.--E.
[7] This is a species of bark of some burthen, then used on the Malabar coast.--E.
[8] Such is the expression of Lichefild; which I suspect ought to have been 500 nayres of Cochin in paraws.--E.
[9] The quantity in the text is probably exaggerated considerably, as only a few pages before, the factory at Cochin is said to have only been able to procure 300 quintals.--E.
[10] In Astleys Collection, I. p. 55. Coulan or Koulan is said to have been governed at this time by a queen, or rana. By Narsinga Bisnagar is to be understood, which was one of the sovereignties into which the Decan or southern peninsula of India was then divided--E.
[11] The western coast of India below the Gauts, is divided into three portions, the Concan in the north, after this the coast of Canara, and in the south, the country of Malabar, reaching from Mount Deli to Cape Comorin. At the present period, Malabar was divided into seven kingdoms or provinces: Cananor, Calicut, Cranganor, Cochin, Porka, Coulan, and Travancore; which last was subject to the kingdom of Narsinga or Bisnagar. Cananor, Calicut, and Coulan only were considered as independent rajahs, the others being less or more subjected to the authority of these three.--E.
[12] According to Astley, his whole force consisted of 110 men. Vol. I. p. 65.
[13] This story of Reynel and the pepper promised by the zamorin, is so confusedly told in Lichefild's translation of Castaneda, as to be altogether unintelligible.--E.
[14] In Astley the weight of the large pearls is reduced to 40 pounds. Even with that correction, the immense quantity of pearls in the text is quite incredible. There must be some error in the denomination, but which we are unable to correct.--E.
[15] The remainder of this section is taken from Astley, I. 56, being there appended to the abridgement of the voyage of the Albuquerques. It is an isolated incident, having no apparent connection with the history in the text, yet seemed proper to be preserved in this place. --E.
[16] Mombasa belonged to the Portuguese for near 200 years. In 1698 it was very easily taken by the Muskat Arabs, who put twenty Portuguese to the sword.--Astl. I. 56. a.
[17] No islands of that name are to be found on our maps. The islands of Socotora, Abdul Kuria, and los dos Hermanas, are to the eastwards of Cape Guardafu: Chartan Martan, or the islands of Kuria Muria, are a considerable distance N.N.E. on the outer or oceanic coast of Yemen.--E.


-- *Index of Part Two, Book One* -- *Glossary*-- *Robert Kerr index page* -- *FWP's main page* --