Volume 6, Chapter 4, Section 6 -- Continuation of the Portuguese Transactions in India, from 1564 to the year 1571.
On the death of the count of Redondo, Juan de Mendoza, late [[=former]] governor of Malacca, succeeded to the command in India with the title of governor. A short while before his accession, some Malabar pirates had committed hostilities on the coast of Calicut upon the Portuguese; and when complaints were carried to the Zamorin, he alleged that these had been done contrary to his authority by rebels, and that the Portuguese were welcome to punish them at their pleasure. The late viceroy had accordingly sent Dominic de Mosquita to make reprisals, who took above twenty sail of Malabar vessels, the crews of which he barbarously put to death.
Immediately after the accession of Mendoza to the government an ambassador
was sent to him from the Zamorin, complaining of the conduct of Mosquita;
when the governor, in imitation of the answer given on a similar occasion
by the Zamorin, said that it had probably been done by Portuguese rebels
whom he might punish if taken. As Mosquita came to Goa while the Calicut
ambassadors were still there, the governor thought it expedient to apprehend
him in their presence; but as soon as they were departed, he released Mosquita
and rewarded him. His conduct, however, soon afterwards occasioned a long
war with the Zamorin. Mendoza only enjoyed the government for six months,
as, in the beginning of September 1564, Don Antonio de Noronha arrived
at Goa with the title of viceroy.
It is the received opinion in India that the apostle St. Thomas was slain at Antmodur, a mountain about a league and half from Meliapour, where were two caves into which he used to retire for prayer and meditation. The nearest of these caves now belongs to the Jesuits, and the other has been converted into a church dedicated to our Lady of the Mount. According to the legend, the apostle being one day at prayers in the former of these caves, opposite to a cleft which let in the light, a Bramin thrust in a spear at the hole and gave the saint a mortal wound, part of the spear breaking off and remaining in his body. The saint had just strength enough remaining to go into the other cave, where he died embracing a stone on which a representation of the cross was engraved. His disciples removed his body and buried it in the church which he had built, where the body was afterwards found by Emanuel de Faria and the priest Antonio Penteado, who were sent thither on purpose by king Emanuel.
When in the year 1547 the Portuguese were clearing out the cave or oratory in which the apostle died, a stone was found which seems to have been [[the one]] that he clung to at his death. This stone is about a yard long and three quarters broad, of a grey colour with some red spots. On its middle there is a carved porch, having letters between two borders, and within two banisters, on which are two twisted figures resembling dogs in a sitting posture. From their heads springs a graceful arch of five borders, between every two of which are knobs resembling heads. In the hollow of this arch or portal is a pedestal of two steps, from the upper of which rises a branch on each side, and over these, as if hung in the air, is a cross, said to resemble that of the military order of Alcantara; but in the print the ends resemble three crescents with their convex sides outwards and their points meeting, like those in many old churches in Europe. Over all is a dove on the wing, as if descending to touch the cross with its beak.
When in the year 1551 this oratory was repaired and beautified, this stone was solemnly set up and consecrated; and when the priest was reading the gospel, it began to turn black and shining, then sweated, and returned to its original colour, and plainly discovered the red spots of blood, which were before obscure. The letters on this stone could not be understood till the year 1561, when a learned Bramin said they consisted of 36 hieroglyphic characters, each containing a sentence, and explained them to this effect: "In the time of the son of Sagad the gentile, who reigned 30 years, the one only GOD came upon earth, and was incarnate in the womb of a virgin. He abolished the law of the Jews, whom he punished for the sins of men, after he had been thirty-three years in the world, and had instructed twelve servants in the truth which he preached. A king of three crowns, Cheraldcone, Indalacone, Cuspindiad; and Alexander king of Ertinabarad, with Catharine his daughter, and many virgins, with six families, voluntarily followed the law of Thomas, because [[it was]] the law of truth, and he gave them the sign of the cross to adore. Going up to the place of Antenodur, a Bramin thrust him through with a lance, and he died embracing this cross which was stained with his blood. His disciples carried him to Maiale, where they buried him in his own church with the lance still in his body. And as we, the above-mentioned kings, saw this, we carved these letters." Hence it may be inferred, that Maiale was the ancient name of Meliapour, now called St. Thomas. This stone afterwards sweated sometimes; which till the year 1561 was a good omen, but has since been a bad one.
There were likewise found three brass plates, about a span long and half a span broad, shaped like scutcheons, having rings on the top. On one side was engraven a cross and peacock, the ancient arms of Meliapour, and on the other side certain characters which were explained by another learned Bramin to the following effect: "Boca Rajah son of Campula Rajah, and grandson of Atela Rajah, who confesses one GOD without beginning, creator of all things, who is greater than the beast Chigsan, and one of five kings who has conquered ninety and nine, who is strong as one of the eight elephants that support the world, and hath conquered the kingdoms of Otia, Tulcan, and Canara, cutting his enemies to pieces with his sword." This is the inscription on one of these plates.
The others contain grants of lands to St. Thomas, directed by the king to himself, and calling him Abidarra Modeliar; whence it may be inferred, that these kings reigned at the time when Christ was crucified. One of these grants begins thus: "After the year 1259, in the first year called Icarana Rachan, and on the 12th day of the new moon of the good year, I give in alms to the saint Abidarra Modeliar," &c. The other begins in this manner: "This is a token of alms-deeds to purchase Paradise. All kings that perform them shall obtain much more than they give; and he who disannuls [[=annuls]] them shall remain 60,000 years with the worms in hell," &c.
It has been disputed by what road St. Thomas came into India. The heathen history says that he and Thaddeus being in Mesopotamia, they parted at the city of Edessa, whence St. Thomas sailed with certain merchants to the island of Socotora, where he converted the people, and then passed over to Mogodover Patana, a city of Paru, in Malabar, where he built a church. When at this place, a heathen who had struck St. Thomas in the king's presence, going to fetch water, had his hand bitten off by a tiger; and running to the palace to tell his misfortune, a dog followed him with the hand in his mouth, on which the saint set on his hand again, so that no mark remained. He went afterwards to Calicut, where he converted king Perimal. There is an account that he went to the Mogul's country, where Chesitrigal then reigned, whence going into China, he returned through Thibet into India, and went to Meliapour, where he ended his days.
In the year 800, a rich Armenian Christian named Thomas Cananeus arrived at Mogodover or Patana. Having acquired the favour of the king by his presents, he received a grant of Cranganor and the city of Patana, in which there were scarcely any vestiges remaining of the church there established by St. Thomas. On these foundations the Armenian built a new church, and another at Cranganor, which he dedicated to St. Thomas, and which is still standing on the outside of the Portuguese fort. He likewise built two other churches, one dedicated to the Holy Virgin, and the other to St. Cyriacus. All of these have been erroneously ascribed to St. Thomas, when in fact they were the works of Thomas Cananeus, the Armenian. It may reasonably be believed that the temple or pagoda into which Vasco de Gama entered, as he went from Calicut to the palace of the Zamorin, may have been one of these churches, because the image of the Virgin was there called Mary by the heathens. It is believed that one of the three kings who went to Bethlem, at the nativity of our Lord, was king of Malabar. The heathens celebrate yearly a festival in honour of St. Thomas, for the preservation of their ships, because formerly, every year, many of them used to be lost while sailing to Parvi.
From this long digression we return to the government of the viceroy Don Antonio de Noronha, who arrived in the beginning of September 1564, as formerly mentioned. In consequence of the cruelties exercised on the Moors of Malabar by Mesquita, as formerly mentioned, those of Cananor had besieged the Portuguese fort at that place, and had destroyed above thirty vessels which were under its protection. After a siege of some endurance, the Portuguese fleet destroyed many of the paraos belonging to the enemy, while the besieged garrison of Cananor killed great numbers of their assailants, besides cutting down above 40,000 palm trees, to the infinite injury of the natives, who depend upon these trees as their principal sustenance. The natives were so exasperated at this that, collecting forces from all the surrounding districts to the amount of 90,000 men, they assaulted and even scaled the walls of the fort and city; but after fighting from day-break to sunset, during which time they lost about 5000 men, they were forced to retire to their camp, resolving to protract the siege, or rather to convert the siege into a strict blockade. In the farther prosecution of this war, the Portuguese utterly destroyed the city belonging to Adderajao,,who commanded the besieging enemy, and cut down a large wood of palm trees, making great slaughter of the enemy, without any loss on their own side, so that the natives were constrained to raise the siege.
About this time the fort of Daman, towards the frontier of Guzerat,
was threatened by a detachment of 3000 Mogul horse. Juan de Sousa stood
immediately on his defence, and sent advice to the viceroy and the neighbouring
commanders of his danger, trusting however to the strength of his defences,
and particularly to a pallisade or bound hedge, which he had made of the
plant named lechera or the milk plant, which throws out when cut
a milky liquor which is sure to blind any one if it touches their eyes.
On receiving reinforcements, De Sousa marched out against the Moguls, who
were encamped about three leagues from Daman; but they fled precipitately,
leaving their camp and baggage, in which the Portuguese found a rich booty.
During the year 1566, the trade of India was reduced to a very low ebb, owing to a desolating war in the rich and extensive kingdom of Bisnagar, which then reached from the frontiers of Bengal to that of Sinde. The kings of the Decan, Nizam al Mulk, Adel Khan, and Cuttub Shah, envious of the power and grandeur of the king of Bisnagar, entered into a league to partition his dominions among themselves, and took the field with 50,000 horse and 300,000 foot. To repel this formidable invasion, the king of Bisnagar, who was then ninety-six years of age, met his enemies with an army double their numbers. At first the confederates seemed to have the worst of the war; but fortune favoured them in the end, and the ancient king of Bisnagar was defeated and slain. The confederates spent five months in plundering the capital of Bisnagar, although the natives had previously carried off 1550 elephants loaded with money and jewels to the value of above an hundred millions of gold, besides the royal chair of state, which was of inestimable value. Among his share of the plunder Adel Khan got a diamond as large as an ordinary egg, with another of extraordinary size though smaller, and other jewels of prodigious value. The dominions of the old king were partitioned by the victors among his sons and nephews.
In the year 1567 the great poet Camoens, being extremely poor though he had served sixteen years in India, was prevailed upon to go to Sofala along with Pedro Barreto, who was going there with the command, and promised to do great things for him; but after waiting long and receiving nothing, Camoens resolved to return to Portugal in a ship which put in at Sofala, in which was Hector de Silveyra and other gentlemen. Barreto, however, opposed his departure, having promised him promotion without any intentions of doing so, but only to procure his company for his own gratification, and now detained him under pretence of a debt of two hundred ducats. Silveyra and the other Portuguese gentlemen paid this money and brought Camoens away, so that it may be said, that the person of Camoens and the honour of Barreto were both sold for that money. Camoens arrived at Lisbon in 1569, at which time the plague raged in that city; so that in flying from one plague our great and famous poet fell into another.
In 1568, Don Antonio de Noronha was succeeded as viceroy of India by Don Luis de Ataide, count of Atougaia, who arrived at Goa in the October of that year. At this time Itimi Khan held the administration of the Kingdom of Guzerat, having by great artifice persuaded the chiefs that his own son was son of the former king; but the kingdom was in great confusion. One Rustum Khan had usurped Baroch, in which he was besieged by the Moguls, and being in alliance with the Portuguese, a force was sent to his assistance, which succeeded in obliging the Moguls to raise the siege; but Rustum now forgot his promises, and refused to become tributary. At Surat the government had been usurped by one Agalu Khan, who was loading two large ships at that port without licence from the Portuguese viceroy; on which the commander of the Portuguese fort at Daman seized both ships, which were valued at 100,000 ducats.
Nunno Vello de Pereyra, who had gone from Daman to clear the bay of Cambaya from pirates that infested the Portuguese trade, burnt two villages and several vessels, and carried away many prisoners. He then landed with 400 men, and went against a body of Moguls who had taken post on the mountain of Parnel, about three leagues from Daman, a place almost impregnable by its situation and the strength of its works. Although unacquainted with the strength of the place or the number of its defenders, who exceeded 8000 men, Nunno immediately began to climb up the steep ascent, whence the enemy rolled down great stones upon the assailants. The soldiers however clambered up on their hands and knees, and reached the first entrenchment which they carried after a vigorous opposition; but were forced to retire from the fort after a desperate assault, in which the Portuguese lost seven men. In their retreat the Portuguese carried off a considerable quantity of provisions, with fifty horses and several camels and oxen, and were pursued on their retreat by 500 of the enemy, 100 of whom were cavalry.
From Daman, to which he had retreated, Nunno marched again against the enemy, having now 100 Portuguese and 50 native horse, with 650 foot, half Portuguese, and half native, and three pieces of cannon. In this new attempt, they had to climb the mountain by roads never trod before, and against considerable opposition from the enemy, who had five pieces of cannon. After three days of severe labour and almost continual fighting, in which he lost eight men, six of whom were slain and two made prisoners, Nunno at length gained the summit of the mountain, and planted his cannon against the fort, which he battered with such fury that the enemy abandoned it on the sixth night, and the fort was razed.
In the year 1580, a dangerous war broke out in India against the Portuguese, by a confederacy which had been negotiating for five years with wonderful secrecy. The confederated princes were Adel Khan, Nizam al Mulk, the Zamorin, and the king of Acheen, and they flattered themselves in the hope of extirpating the Portuguese from India, making themselves so sure of success, that they agreed beforehand on the division of their expected conquests. Adel Khan was to have Goa, Onor, and Barcalor; Nizam al Mulk to have Chaul, Daman, and Basseen; and Cananor, Mangalor, Cochin, and Chale were to become the share of the Zamorin. At the same time, the king of Acheen was to attack Malacca, that the Portuguese, assailed at once on every important point, might be incapable of sending succours to the different places. Adel Khan was so confident of success, that he had assigned the different offices at Goa among his chiefs, and had even allotted among them certain Portuguese ladies who were celebrated for their beauty.
In pursuance of this league, Adel Khan took the field to besiege Goa, and Nizam al Mulk marched against Chaul. In this great emergency, it was recommended by many to abandon Chaul for the greater security of Goa; but the viceroy undauntedly resolved to defend both. Don Francisco Mascarenhas was sent with six hundred men in four galleys and five small vessels for the relief of Chaul, about the beginning of September, and the viceroy took proper precautions for the defence of Goa. The pass of Benastarim was committed to the care of Ferdinand de Sousa y Castellobranco with 120 men. Paul de Lima had charge of Rachol with sixty, and fifteen hundred native troops were distributed in different parts of the island under approved [[=experienced]] commanders. At this time there were only 700 Portuguese troops in Goa, which were kept as a body of reserve, whenever their services might be most wanted. The defence of the city was confided to the monks and clergy, to the number of 300, assisted by 1000 slaves. Juan de Sousa with 50 horse was ready to give assistance where wanted. Don George de Menezes had the defence of the river with 25 vessels; and the viceroy, having procured ammunition and provisions from all quarters, took post about the middle of December on the bank of the river.
These measures of defence were hardly completed, when several bodies of the enemy were seen descending from the gauts, and taking up a camp at Ponda, under the command of Nori Khan, general of the army of Adel Khan. About the end of December, Nori Khan advanced from Ponda and encamped, facing the pass of Benastarim, where he pitched the royal tents of Adel Khan; who spent eight days in descending the Gauts, so vast was the army which now came against Goa. At night, so many fires were lighted up to illuminate the passes of the mountain, that though at a great distance, the multitudes of the enemy could be distinctly seen from the island. The army of Adel Khan, on this occasion, amounted to 100,000 fighting men, of whom 36,000 were horse, with 2140 war-elephants, and 350 pieces of cannon, most of which were of an extraordinary size; and some barks were brought upon mules to be launched into the river to assist in getting into the island. The chief commanders of this vast army were Nori Khan, Rumer Khan, and Coger Khan; the former of whom commanded in chief under the king, and the other two had charge of advanced posts on the side of the river. Their encampment was so extensive and regularly arranged that it resembled a regularly built city.
Adel Khan took up his quarters at Ponda with 4000 horse, 6000 musketeers, 300 elephants, and 220 pieces of cannon. Rumer Khan, Coger Khan, and Mortaz Khan were stationed near the mouth of the Ganja channel, with 3000 horse, 130 elephants, and nine cannon. Nori Khan commanded opposite the island of Juan Lopez with 7000 horse, 130 elephants, and eight large cannon. Camil Khan and Deliren Khan faced the pass of Benastarim with 9000 horse, 200 elephants, and 32 pieces of battering artillery. Solyman Aga took post on a hill above Benastarim with 1500 horse and two field-pieces. Anjoz Khan, opposite the island of Juan Rangel, with 2500 horse, 50 elephants, and six cannon. Xatiaryiatan in sight of Sapal, with 1500 horse, six elephants, and six cannon. Daulate Khan, Xetiatimanaique, Chiti Khan, and Codemena Khan faced the pass of Agazaim with 9000, 200 elephants, and 26 cannon. The rest of the army, with innumerable followers, covered the mountains to a vast extent, sufficient to strike terror into the boldest spirits.
Having carefully examined the dispositions of the enemy, and naturally considering the means he possessed for defence, now somewhat increased by the arrival of reinforcements from different quarters, the viceroy made a new distribution of his force to various posts, his force in all amounting to 1600 men; besides several small armed vessels, which were directed to guard the river, and to relieve the several posts as occasion offered or required. The enemy spent their first efforts against the fort at the pass of Benastarim, where they did considerable damage by the constant fire of their heavy guns; but whatever injury they did during the day was repaired in the ensuing night. Such was the extent of their cannonade that only in one small post, occupied by Alvaro de Mendoza with ten men, 600 bullets were picked up, some of which were two spans [[in]] diameter. The Portuguese were unable to answer with anything like a correspondent fire, but being well directed, their shot did great execution, and the small armed vessels plied from place to place with much diligence, doing great injury with their small guns.
One night an officer of the enemy was seen with a great number of torches passing a height opposite the fort of Benastarim, having a number of young women dancing before him. On this occasion, Ferdinand de Sousa caused a cannon to be so exactly pointed among them, that the officer with several of his torch-bearers and two couple of the dancers were seen to fly into the air. As this was the time for dispatching the homeward-bound trade to Portugal, the governor was anxiously advised to stop that fleet, as it would deprive him of 400 men, who might be of great use in defending Goa; but ambitious of acquiring greater glory by conquering every difficulty, he ordered the ships to sail at their usual time, alleging that their cargoes were much wanted in Portugal, and that he trusted he should have a sufficient force remaining to defend the seat of government.
The Portuguese had often the boldness to cross over and attack the enemy in their posts in the mainland, whence they brought away many prisoners and many heads of those they slew, with various arms and standards. On one occasion Don George de Menezes who commanded the armed vessels, and Don Pedro de Castro who landed with 200 Portuguese, made so great slaughter that the viceroy sent two carts loaded with heads to the city, to animate the inhabitants with this barbarous proof of the energy of the defence. One night Gaspar and Lancelot Diaz penetrated four or five miles up the country with eighty men, burnt two villages with many detached houses, and brought away many prisoners, many heads of the slain enemy, and much cattle.
At another time these two brothers, with one hundred and thirty men, attacked the quarters of Coger Khan and Rumer Khan, where they made great havock, and destroyed all the preparations they had made for passing over into the island of Juan Lopez. The enemy were astonished at the exploits performed by such small numbers, and still more so when they learnt that the viceroy had sent off Don Diego de Menezes with his squadron to the Malabar coast, and Don Ferdinand de Vasconcellos with four galleys and two small vessels, on an expedition to destroy Dabul.
Don Ferdinand burnt two large ships belonging to Mecca at that place, where he likewise landed and destroyed several villages, and would even have done the same to Dabul if he had not been opposed by his officers. On his return to Goa he attacked the quarters of Anjoz Khan, which were three miles from the post of the viceroy. He forced an entrance with great slaughter of the enemy; but his men falling into confusion for the sake of plunder, the enemy rallied and fell upon them, so that they were constrained to seek their safety in flight, with some loss, while Don Ferdinand was weakened with loss of blood and wearied by the weight of his armour, so that he was surrounded and slain. On this occasion 40 of the Portuguese were slain, and the ship of Don Ferdinand was taken by the enemy; but the viceroy sent Don George de Menezes with 100 men, who set the ship on fire, and brought away her guns.
At this time the Zamorin made proposals for renewing the peace, either in hopes of deriving some advantage during the present state of affairs, or of covering his real designs of hostility; but the viceroy replied that he would not yield a single point of difference, and even persisted in that resolution although the queen of Quarcopa declared war at Onor. Even under all the difficulties of his situation, the viceroy sent succours to Onor to oppose this new enemy, to the great astonishment of Adel Khan, who thought the force in Goa had been already too small for defence against his numerous army. At this time likewise, the viceroy sent reinforcements to the Moluccas and Mozambique, both of which places were much straitened by the enemy.
The grand object of the enemy was to get across into the island of Goa, for which purpose the great general Nori Khan began to construct a bridge, in which he employed a vast number of workmen; but the viceroy fell upon them and made great havock, destroying all their preparations and materials. It was reported that Adel Khan designed to go over into the island in person, and that he was extremely desirous to get possession of a fine horse belonging to the viceroy, for which he had formerly offered a large sum of money. On this being made known to the viceroy, he sent the horse as a present to Adel Khan, with a complimentary message, saying "that it would give him much satisfaction to see his majesty on the island." Adel Khan accepted the horse, and caused him to be bedded with silken quilts, under a canopy of cloth of gold, to be covered with embroidered damask, and all his caparisons to be ornamented with massy gold, while his provender was mixed with preserves and other dainties. But the horse was soon afterwards killed by a cannon-ball.
After the siege had continued above two months to the beginning of March, during which time many of the buildings in the island had been beaten down by the cannon of the enemy, who had lost numbers of their men, Adel Khan began to despair of success, especially as the Portuguese were now considerably increased in strength by the arrival of several squadrons from different places. He wished, therefore, for peace, yet was loath to propose it himself; but the viceroy was acquainted with his most secret councils, as he used all possible means to procure intelligence from the hostile camp, where he had in his pay several renegado Portuguese who served under Adel Khan, and had even corrupted the favourite wife of Adel Khan. He so converted these secret advices to advantage, that he contrived to get a treaty of pacification begun without its appearing who was its author, and at length even Adel Khan stooped to make proposals.
Still, however, the siege was continued unto the month of April, at which time considerable reinforcements arrived at Goa, under Don George de Menezes, who brought back 1500 men from the Moluccas, and Lorenzo de Barbuda from Cochin. At one time, 3000 of the enemy began to enter the island of Juan Lopez, but were repulsed with great slaughter by 120 men under two Portuguese commanders. In many expeditions from the island, the Portuguese attacked the various posts of the enemy on the mainland, mostly by night, ruining the works they had thrown up, burning the villages, and destroying great numbers of their men. Yet though Adel Khan had hardly any hopes of ultimate success, he caused gardens to be laid out at his quarters, and made such other demonstrations as if he had resolved to dwell in his present camp till Goa were reduced.
Winter being near at hand, Adel Khan determined upon a great effort to gain possession of the island; for which purpose 9000 men were brought to the pass of Mercantor, which had not been fortified by the Portuguese as the river was very wide at that place. Fortunately the Portuguese heard the sound of a great drum in that direction, which is never beat but when the king marches in person; upon which they ran thither and saw Adel Khan on the opposite side encouraging his men. Advice of this was immediately conveyed to the viceroy, who sent several parties to defend the pass, and marched thither himself, sending orders for assistance to the various posts and quarters. In spite of every opposition, five thousand of the enemy got over under the command of Solyman Aga, a Turk who was captain of the guards of Adel Khan. By the time the viceroy got to the place, he had collected a force of 2000 men, with which he immediately attacked the enemy.
The battle continued the whole of the 13th of April from morning to night, and from the morning of the 14th to that of the following day. During all this time, Adel Khan surveyed the engagement from the opposite side of the river, often cursing his prophet and throwing his turban on the ground in his rage; and at length had the mortification of seeing his troops entirely defeated, with the loss of Solyman Aga and 4000 men, while the Portuguese scarcely lost twenty. Though in public he vowed never to stir from before Goa still it was taken, he privately made overtures for peace, in which he even ridiculously demanded the surrender of Goa. About this time, the viceroy secretly entered into a treaty with Nori Khan, the grand general of Adel Khan, whom he instigated to kill the king, offering to support him in assuming the crown, or at least in acquiring a preponderating influence in the government under the successor. Nori Khan agreed to these proposals; but when the conspiracy was ripe for execution it was detected, and Nori Khan with all his adherents were secured.
When the siege had continued to the middle of July, the viceroy endeavoured
to stir up other princes to invade the dominions of Adel Khan, that he
might be constrained to abandon the siege. Both he and the king were desirous
of peace, but both endeavoured to conceal their wishes; the viceroy giving
out that he cared not how long the king continued the siege, and the king
pretending that he would persevere till he gained the place. At length,
towards the end of August 1571, when the summer or fine weather had begun,
and when the enemy might still better have been able to keep the field,
and to recommence active operations, the number of the hostile tents could
be seen plainly to decrease, then the cannon were drawn off from the posts
of the enemy, and at last the men entirely disappeared; Adel Khan having
abandoned the siege without coming to any accommodation, after a siege
of ten months, in which he lost 12,000 men, 300 elephants, 4000 horses,
and 6000 draught bullocks, partly by the sword and partly by the weather.
Exactly at the same time when Adel Khan invested Goa, Nizam al Mulk sat down before Chaul. Being suspicious of each other, the two sovereigns kept time exactly in their preparations, in the commencement of their march, and in all their subsequent operations. Farete Khan the general of Nizam al Mulk sat down before Chaul with 8000 horse, 20 elephants and 20,000 foot, on the last day of November 1570, breaking ground with a prodigious noise of warlike instruments of music. At this time Chaul was under the command of Luis Fereiyra de Andrada, an officer well deserving of such a charge, who long laboured under great want of almost every necessary for conducting the defence, supplying these defects by his own genius and the valour of his men, till reinforced by Don Francisco Mascarenhas, who brought him 500 men in four galleys, and provisions.
Desirous of distinguishing himself before the arrival of Nizam his sovereign, Farete Khan resolved upon giving an assault, in which he employed his elephants with castles on their backs, and with scythes tied to their trunks. The fight lasted three hours; but the Moors were repulsed with great slaughter, both by sea and land, and forced to retire to the church of Madre de Dios. Nothing remarkable happened after this till the commencement of the year 1571, when some Moors were observed gathering fruit in an orchard at a short distance from the garrison, on which Nuno Vello went out against them with only five soldiers and killed one of the Moors. Both parties were gradually increased till the enemy amounted to 6000 men, and the Portuguese to 200; but notwithstanding this disparity of force, the Portuguese drove that vast multitude to flight and slew 180 of them, only losing two of their own number.
In the beginning of January 1571, Nizam al Mulk came before Chaul with his whole army, now consisting of 34,000 horse, 100,000 infantry, 16,000 pioneers, 4000 smiths, masons, carpenters, and other trades, and of sundry different nations, as Turks, Chorassans, Persians, and Ethiopians, with 360 elephants, an infinite number of buffaloes and bullocks, and 40 pieces of cannon, mostly of prodigious size, some of which carried balls of 100, some of 200, and some even of 300 pounds weight. These cannon had all appropriate names, as the cruel, the butcher, the devourer, the furious, and the like.
Thus an army of 150,000 men sat down to besiege a town that was defended merely by a single wall, a fort not much larger than a house, and a handful of men. Farete Khan took up his quarters near the church of Madre de Dios with 7000 horse and 20 elephants; Agalas Khan in the house of Juan Lopez with 6000 horse; Ximiri Khan between that and upper Chaul with 2000 horse; so that the city was beset from sea to sea. The Nizam encamped with the main body of the army at the farther end of the town, where the ground was covered with tents for the space of two leagues; and 5000 horse were detached to ravage the district of Basseen.
At the commencement of the siege the Portuguese garrison was a mere handful of men; and the works being very slight, no particular posts were assigned, all acting wherever their services were most wanted. Soon afterwards, the news of the siege having spread abroad, many officers and gentlemen flocked thither with reinforcements, so that in a short time the garrison was augmented to 2000 men. It was then resolved to maintain particular points besides the general circuit of the walls. The monastery of St. Francis was committed to the charge of Alexander de Sousa; Nunno Alvarez Pereyra was entrusted to defend some houses near the shore; those between the Misericordia and the church of St Dominic were confided to Gonzalo de Menezes; others in that neighbourhood to Nuno Vello Perreyra; and so in other places.
In the meanwhile it was generally recommended at Goa that Chaul ought to be abandoned, but the viceroy thought otherwise, in which opinion he was only seconded by Ferdinand de Castellobranco, and he immediately sent succours under Ferdinand Tellez and Duarte de Lima. Before their arrival, Zimiri Khan, who had promised the Nizam that he would be the first person to enter Chaul, vigorously assaulted the ports of Henry De Betancour and Ferdinand de Miranda, who resisted him with great gallantry, and on receiving reinforcements repulsed him with the slaughter of 300 of his men, losing seven on their side.
The enemy erected a battery against the monastery of St. Francis where the Portuguese had some cannon; and as the gunners on both sides used their utmost endeavour to burst or dismount the opposite guns, the bullets were sometimes seen to meet by the way. On the eve of St. Sebastian, the Portuguese made a sally upon some houses which were occupied by the Moors, and slew a great number of them without the loss of one man. Enraged at this affront and the late repulse, the enemy made that same night an assault on the fort or monastery of St. Francis with 5000 men, expecting to surprise the Portuguese, but were soon undeceived by losing many of their men. This assault lasted with great fury for five hours; and as the Portuguese suspected the enemy were undermining the wall, and could not see by reason of the darkness, one Christopher Curvo thrust himself several times out from a window, with a torch in one hand and a buckler in the other to discover if possible what they were doing. During this assault those in the town sent out assistance to the garrison in the monastery, though with much hazard. When morning broke and the assailants had retired, the monastery was all stuck full of arrows, and the dead bodies of 300 Moors were seen around its walls, while the defenders had not lost a single man.
The enemy renewed the assault on this post for five successive days, and were every time repulsed by the Portuguese with vast slaughter, the garrison often sallying out and strewing the field with slain enemies. It was at length judged expedient to withdraw the men from this place into the town, lest its loss might occasion greater injury than its defence could do service. Seventeen of the Portuguese were here slain. One of these used to stand on a high place to notice when the enemy fired their cannon, and on one occasion said to the men below; "If these fellows should now fire Raspadillo, a cannon 18 feet long to which that name was given, it will send me to sup with Christ, to whom I commend my soul, for it points directly at me." He had hardly spoken these words when he was torn in pieces by a ball from that very gun. On getting possession of the monastery of St. Francis, the Moors fired a whole street in the town of Chaul, but on attempting to take post in some houses, they were driven out with the loss of 400 men. At this time Gonzalez de Camera went to Goa for reinforcements, as the garrison was much pressed, and brought a relief in two galleys.
About this period the 5000 men that had been detached by the Nizam to ravage the district of Basseen attempted to get possession of some of the Portuguese garrisons. Being beaten off at Azarim and Daman, they invested Caranja, a small work between Chaul and Daman on the water-side, and almost an island, as it is surrounded by several small brooks. It was at this time commanded by Stephen Perestrello with a garrison of only 40 men, but was reinforced on the reappearance of the enemy by Emanuel de Melo with 30 more. With this small band of only 70 soldiers, Perestrello sallied out against the enemy, and with such success, that after covering the little island with dead bodies, the rest fled, leaving their cannon and a considerable quantity of ammunition and provisions.
In the meantime the Moors continued to batter Chaul without intermission for a whole month with 70 pieces of large cannon, every day expending against its weak defences at least 160 balls. This tremendous cannonade did much damage to the houses of the town, in which many of the brave defenders were slain. On one occasion six persons who were eating together were destroyed by a single ball. This furious battery was commenced against the bastion of the holy cross, and was carried on for a considerable way along the defences of that front of the town, levelling everything with the ground. The besieged used every precaution to shelter themselves by digging trenches; but the hostile gunners were so expert that they elevated their guns and made their balls plunge among those who considered themselves in safety. Observing that one of the enemies' batteries beyond the church of St. Dominic never ceased its destructive fire, Perestrello detached 120 men under Alexander de Sousa and Augustino Nunnez, who drove the enemy after a vigorous resistance from the battery with great slaughter, and set their works on fire, and levelled them with the ground, without sustaining any loss. Among the arms taken in this successful sortie was a scimitar inscribed, Jesus save me.
Having ruined the defences of the town, the enemy attacked several large houses in which they endeavoured to establish themselves, but were repulsed from some of these with considerable loss, while the defenders lost but one man. On attacking the house of Hector de Sampayio, which was undermined by the Portuguese with the intention of blowing it up when occupied by the enemy, some fire accidentally communicated to the mine during the conflict, and blew it up while still occupied by the Portuguese, by which 42 of their soldiers were destroyed, and without injury to the Moors, who planted their colours on the ruins. Ximiri Khan made an assault by night with 600 men upon the bastion of the holy cross, in which Ferdinand Pereyra was posted with 30 men, who was reinforced by Henry de Betancourt with a few more. The assailants were beaten off and five of their colours taken which they had planted on the work. In this action Betancourt fought with his left hand, having previously lost the right; and Dominic del Alama, being lame, caused himself to be brought out in a chair.
April 1571 was now begun, and the enemy were employed in constructing new works as if determined to continue the siege all winter. Alexander de Sousa and Gonzalo de Menezes were appointed to head a sally upon these new works, but their men ran out without orders to the number of 200, and made a furious assault upon the enemy, whom they drove from the works after killing fifty of them and losing a few of their own number. The two commanders hastened to join their men, and then directed them to destroy the works they had so gallantly won. Perplexed with so many losses, the Nizam made a general assault under night with his whole army, attacking all the posts at one time, every one of which almost they penetrated; but the garrison exerted themselves with so much vigour that they drove the Moors from every point of attack, and in the morning above 500 of the enemy were found slain in and about the ruined defences, while the Portuguese had only lost four or five men. About this time the defenders received a reinforcement of above 200 men from Goa, Diu, and Basseen, with a large supply of ammunition and provisions; but at this time they were much afflicted by a troublesome though not mortal disease, by which they became swelled all over so as to lose the use of their limbs.
Having ineffectually endeavoured to stir up enemies against the Portuguese in Cambaya on purpose to prevent relief being sent to the brave defenders of Chaul, the Nizam used every effort to bring his arduous enterprize to a favourable conclusion. The house of Nuno Alvarez Pereyra, being used as a strong-hold by the Portuguese, was battered during forty-two days by the enemy, who then assaulted it with 5000 men. At first the defenders of this post were only forty in number, but twenty more came to their assistance immediately, and several others afterwards. The Moors were repulsed with the loss of 50 men, while the Portuguese only lost one. The house of Nuno Vello was battered for thirty days and assaulted with the same success, only the Portuguese lost ten men in its defence. Judging it no longer expedient to defend this house, it was undermined and evacuated, on which the enemy hastened to take possession and it was blown up, doing considerable execution among the enemy, but not so much as was expected.
The summer was now almost spent; above 6000 cannon-balls had been thrown into the town, some of which were of prodigious size, and the Nizam seemed determined to continue the siege during the winter. About 200 Portuguese, appalled by the dangers of the siege, had already deserted; but instead of them 300 men had come from Goa, so that the garrison was even stronger than before. On the 11th of April, Gonzalez de Camara made a sortie upon 500 Moors in an orchard, only fifty of whom escaped.
Fortune could not be always favourable to the besieged. By a chance ball from the enemy, one of the galleys which brought relief was sunk downright with 40 men and goods to the value of 40,000 ducats. But, next day, Ferdinand Tellez made a sally with 400 men, and gained a victory equal to that of Gonzalez de Camara, and brought away one piece of cannon with some ammunition, arms, and other booty. This action was seen by the Nizam in person, who mounted his horse and threatened to join in it in person, for which purpose he seized a lance, which he soon changed for a whip, with which he threatened to chastise his men, and upbraided them as cowards.
The Portuguese were now so inured to danger that nothing could terrify them, and they seemed to court death instead of shunning it on all occasions. Some of them being employed to level some works from which the enemy had been driven near the monastery of St. Francis, and being more handy at the sword than the spade, drew upon themselves a large party of the enemy of whom they slew above 200, yet not without some loss on their side. About this time Farete Khan, one of the Nizam's generals, made some overtures towards peace, but without any apparent authority from his sovereign, who caused him to be arrested on suspicion of being corrupted by the Portuguese, though assuredly he had secret orders for what he had done. Indeed it was not wonderful that the Nizam should be desirous of peace, as he had now lain seven months before Chaul to no purpose, and had lost many thousand men; neither was it strange in the Portuguese to have the same wish, as they had lost 400 men besides Indians.
When the siege had continued to the beginning of June, the attacks and batteries were carried on by both sides with as much obstinacy and vigour as if then only begun. The house of Nunno Alvarez was at this time taken by the enemy through the carelessness of the defenders, and on an attempt to recover it 20 of the Portuguese lost their lives without doing much injury to the enemy. The Moors in the next place got possession of the monastery of St. Dominic, but not without a heavy loss; and then gained the house of Gonzalo de Menezes, in which the Portuguese suffered severely. The hostile batteries kept up a constant fire from the end of May to the end of June, as the Nizam had resolved to make a breach fit for the whole army to try its fortune in a general assault.
On the 28th of June, everything being in readiness, the Nizam's whole army was drawn out for the assault, all his elephants appearing in the front with castles on their backs full of armed men. While the whole army stood in expectation of the signal of assault, an officer of note belonging to the enemy was slain by a random shot from one of the Portuguese cannon, which the Nizam considered as an evil omen, and ordered the attack to be deferred till next day. On this occasion six of the garrison ventured beyond the works and drew a multitude of the enemy within reach of the Portuguese fire, which was so well bestowed that 118 of the enemy were slain and 500 wounded, without any loss on the side of the defenders.
About noon on the 29th of June 1571, the Nizam gave the signal of assault, when the whole of his men and elephants moved forwards with horrible cries and a prodigious noise of warlike instruments. The Portuguese were drawn up in their several posts to defend the ruined works, and Don Francisco Mascarenhas, the commander in chief, placed himself opposite the Nizam with a body of reserve to relieve the posts wherever he might see necessary. The day was darkened with smoke, and alternately lighted up with flames. The slaughter and confusion was great on both sides. Some of the colours of the enemy were planted on the works, but were soon taken or thrown down along with those who had set them up. The elephants were made drunk by the Nayres who conducted them, that they might be the fiercer; but being burnt and wounded, many of them ran madly about the field. One that was much valued by the Nizam, having his housings all in flames, plunged into the sea and swam over the bar, where he was killed by a cannon ball from one of the Portuguese vessels. The Moors continued the assault till night, unable to gain possession of any of the works, and then drew off, after losing above 3000 men, among whom were many officers of note. On the side of the Portuguese eight gentleman were slain and a small number of private soldiers.
Next day the Moors asked leave to bury their dead, and a truce was granted for that purpose. While employed in removing their dead, some of the Moors asked the Portuguese, What woman it was that went before them in the fight, and if she were alive? One of the Portuguese answered, Certainly she was alive, for she was immortal! On this the Moors observed that it must have been the Lady Mariam, for so they call the blessed Virgin. Many of them declared that they saw her at the house of Lorenzo de Brito, and that she was so bright that she blinded them. Some of them even went to see her image in the churches of Chaul, where they were converted and remained in the town.
The Nizam was now seriously disposed for peace, and the Portuguese commander equally so, yet neither wished to make the first overture. At length however advances were made and a treaty set on foot. Farete Khan and Azaf Khan were commissioners from the Nizam, while Pedro de Silva and Antonio de Teyva were deputed by the Portuguese commander in chief, and Francisco Mascarenhas by the captain of the city. Accordingly a league offensive and defensive was concluded in the name of the Nizam and the king of Portugal, which was celebrated by great rejoicings on both sides and the interchange of rich presents. This however might easily have been accomplished without the effusion of so much blood. The Nizam now raised his camp and returned to his own dominions.
The Zamorin of Calicut, who was one of the contracting parties in this extensive confederacy for driving the Portuguese from India, performed his part of the agreement very coldly. After Goa and Chaul had been besieged for near a month, instead of sending his fleet to sea according to his engagements, he sent to treat with the viceroy for a separate peace, either on purpose to mislead him, or in expectation of gaining some advantages for himself in the present emergency. Few princes follow the dictates of honour when it interferes with their interest. When this affair was laid before the council at Goa, it was their unanimous opinion to agree to peace with the Zamorin even on hard terms; but the viceroy was determined to lose all or nothing, and declared he would make no peace unless on such terms as he could expect when in the most flourishing condition.
Finding his designs fail, the Zamorin sent out a fleet about the end of February under the command of Catiproca, who made his appearance before Chaul with 21 sail, having on board a large land force, of which above 1000 were armed with firelocks. Though the harbour of Chaul was then occupied by a considerable number of Portuguese galleys and galliots, Catiproca and his fleet entered the harbour under night without opposition. The Nizam was much pleased with the arrival of this naval force, and having ordered a great number of his small vessels named calemutes to join the Malabar fleet, he prevailed on Catiproca to attack the Portuguese ships, which were commanded by Lionel de Sousa. They accordingly made the attempt, but were so warmly received by De Sousa and his galleys as to be beat off with considerable loss. The Nizam, who had witnessed this naval battle from an adjoining eminence, used every argument to prevail upon Catiproca to make another attempt, but to no purpose; for after remaining twenty days in the harbour, he stole away one night, and got away as fortunately as he had got in.
While on his return, Catiproca was applied to by the queen of Mangalore to assist her in surprizing the Portuguese fort at that place, which she alleged might be easily taken. Catiproca agreed to this, in hopes of regaining the reputation he had lost at Chaul. He accordingly landed his men secretly, and made an attempt under night to scale the walls. While his men were mounting the ladders some servants of Antonio Pereyra, who commanded in that fort, were awakened by the noise, and seeing the enemy on the ladders threw out of a window the first thing that came to hand, which happened to be a chest of silver; with which they beat down those who were on the ladder. Pereyra waking with the noise, threw down those who had mounted, and the rest fled, carrying his chest of silver on board their ships. While passing Cananor, Don Diego de Menezes fell upon the Malabar squadron, which he totally routed and drove up the river Tiracole, where every one of the ships were taken or destroyed, the admiral Catiproca slain, his nephew Cutiale made prisoner, and the chest of money belonging to Pereyra recovered.
Even by the fitting out of this unfortunate fleet, the Zamorin did not fulfil the conditions of the confederacy against the Portuguese, as each of the high contracting parties had engaged to undertake some considerable enterprize against them in person; but he had been hitherto deterred by the presence of Diego de Menezes with a squadron in their seas, who burned several of his maritime towns and took many of his ships. Towards the end of June 1571, Diego de Menezes having withdrawn from the coast with his squadron, and when Adel Khan and the Nizam were both about to desist from their enterprises upon Goa and Chaul, the Zamorin took the field with an army of 100,000 men, most of them armed with firelocks, with which he invested the fort of Chale about two leagues from Calicut, which was then under the command of Don George de Castro. Having planted forty pieces of brass cannon against the fort and straitly invested it with his numerous army so as to shut out all apparent hope of relief, a small reinforcement under Noronha was unable to penetrate; but soon afterwards Francisco Pereyra succeeded by an effort of astonishing bravery to force his way into Chale with a few men.
Advice being sent to the viceroy of the dangerous situation of Chale, Diego de Menezes was sent with 18 sail to carry supplies and reinforcements to the besieged. De Menezes got to Chale with great difficulty about the end of September, at which time the besieged were reduced to great extremity, having not above 70 men able to bear arms out of 600 persons then in the fort. The relief of the fort seemed impracticable, as the mouth of the harbour was very narrow, and was commanded on all sides by numbers of cannon on surrounding eminences. Diego resolved however to surmount all difficulties. A large ship was filled with sufficient provisions to serve the garrison for two months, and carried likewise fifty soldiers as a reinforcement. One galley preceded to clear the way and two others followed the large ship to defend her against the enemy. By this means, but with incredible difficulty and danger, the relief was thrown in, but it was found impossible to bring away the useless people from the fort as had been intended. Thus, by the valour and good fortune of the viceroy, this formidable confederacy was dissipated, which had threatened to subvert the Portuguese power in India, and their reputation was restored among the native princes.
[Footnote 374: Probably Mr Stephens may have mistranslated this passage, which might be more appropriately read, who put him to death for the sins of men. This clumsy legend of St Thomas may amuse our readers; but probably derives its principal features from the contrivances of the Jesuits.--E.]
[Footnote 375: Assuredly cocoa-nut trees. This explains a circumstance repeatedly mentioned on former occasions, of the Portuguese anxiously cutting down the woods in their war with the natives on the coast of India.--E.]
[Footnote 376: From the name of the commander of the enemy, probably Adde Rajah, and other circumstances, they were most likely Nagres and other native Malabars, though called Moors in the text of De Faria.--E.]
[Footnote 377: In the original, there is along enumeration of twenty-four several posts, with the names of the officers commanding each, and the numbers in their respective detachments; all here omitted as uninteresting.--E.]
[Footnote 378: These names are of course to be considered as translations of the native or Persian names. That named the furious in the text, is called the Orlando furioso in the translation of De Faria by Stevens; but it is not easy to guess how the subjects of the Nizam should have known anything of that hero of Christian romance.--E.]
[Footnote 379: To expert modern gunners it would be an easy matter so discharge as many balls in one day, as were expended in this siege in a whole month. De Faria mentions that an expedient was fallen upon by which the danger from the plunging fire was avoided, but gives us no intimation of its nature.--E.]
[Footnote 380: At the commencement of this siege, according to De Faria, Luis Ferreyra de Andrada commanded in Chaul; and Mascarenhas is said to have brought a reinforcement of 600 men; it would now appear that he had assumed the command.--E.]
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