Volume 6, Chapter 4, Section 11 -- Continuation of the
Portuguese Transactions in India, from 1597 to 1612.
In May 1597, Don Francisco de Gama, count of Vidugueyra, grandson to the discoverer, arrived at Goa as viceroy of India, but carried himself with so much haughty state that he gained the dislike of all men. During his government the scourge of the pride and covetousness of the Portuguese came first into India, as in the month of September news was brought to Goa that the two first ships of the Hollanders that had ventured to navigate the Indian seas had been in the port of Titangone and were bound for the island of Sunda. In a grand council held upon this important event, it was ordered to fit out a squadron of two galleons, three galleys, and nine other vessels to attack the intruders, and the command was given on this occasion to Lorenzo de Brito, an ancient and experienced officer.
The two Holland ships did some small damage on the coast of Malabar and other places, and when off Malacca fell in with six ships bound from that place for India, commanded by Francisco de Silva. They immediately engaged and fought the whole of that afternoon and part of the night. Next morning the engagement was renewed, and was repeated for eight successive days; till finding themselves too weak, the Hollanders drew off and made for the port of Queda, many of their men being slain and most of the rest wounded. At that place they quitted the smallest of their ships for want of men, and the other was afterwards cast away on the coast of Pegu.
In this same year 1597 the Hollanders fitted out a squadron of eight ships at Amsterdam for India, with 800 men and provisions for three years, under the command of the admiral Jacob Cornelius van Nec. The object of this expedition, besides hostility to the king of Spain, was that they might purchase the spices and other commodities of Asia at a cheaper rate than they had hitherto been accustomed to in Portugal. The fleet sailed from Amsterdam on the 13th of May 1598; arrived at Madeira on the 15th, and at the Canaries on the 17th, where they both took in wine. On the 29th they were in the latitude of 6° S. and passed the line on the 8th of June; a wonderful swiftness, to me incredible! On the 24th July they saw the Cape of Good Hope, where three of the ships were separated in a violent storm and arrived at the island of Banda in April. The other four ships under the admiral discovered the island of Madagascar on the 24th of August, coming to Cape St Julian on the 30th of that month.
On the 20th of September they came to the island of Cerne or Cisne, in lat. 21° S., to which they gave the name of Mauritius. Here they found tortoises of such magnitude that one of them carried two men on its back, and birds which were so tame as to allow themselves to be killed with sticks, whence they concluded that the island was not inhabited. At Banda they joined the other three ships, and having laded four with spices they were sent away to Holland, while the other three went on to the Moluccas. On the 21st January 1598, they discovered the Great Java, and touched at the port of Tuban, after which they came to Madura, an island in lat. 2° 30' S., on the 27th of that month.
At this place they endeavoured to ransom some of their countrymen who had been cast away in their former ships, and some others who had been made prisoners for endeavouring to pass false money; but as the natives demanded too high a ransom, they attempted to rescue them by force; but two boats full of armed men being sunk in the attempt, they were forced to comply with the terms demanded. They settled a trade at Amboina, and two of the ships opened a factory at Banda, where they loaded with spice and returned into Holland on the 20th of April 1600. Those who were left in the remaining ship at Amboina went to Ternate in the Moluccas, where they were well received by the king, and after procuring a lading of cloves returned home.
Don Alexius de Menezes, archbishop of Goa, went about this time to visit the Christians of St. Thomas, who lived dispersedly in the mountains of Malabar, in Muli, Turubuli, Maota, Batimena, Diamper, Pimienta, Tetemute, Porca, Paru, and Cartuti. These Christians continued steadfast at the faith till about the year 750, yet with some tincture of error. About the year 810 the second Thomas, formerly mentioned, came to this country, where he repaired the churches that had been erected by the apostle and restored the true doctrine; but about the year 900 this church was overrun by the Nestorian heresy. In the year 890 two Chaldeans came here from Babylon, named Mar Xarsio and Mar Prod, who divided the district into two bishoprics, and were ever afterwards prayed to as saints, till our archbishop ordered this to be discontinued, as he much suspected they had not been legitimately canonized.
After these Chaldeans came one Mar Joanne, who was sent by the Greek Patriarch and resided at Cranganor, where he introduced the Chaldean ritual. His successor was Mar Jacob, who died in 1500, and was succeeded by Mar Joannato. Thus the bishops and heresies continued among the Thomists till 1536, when Pope Paul IV. appointed Juan Bermudez ,patriarch of Ethiopia; Simin Sulacca bishop of Caheremit, the metropolis of Mesopotamia; Mar Elias as patriarch of Mosul; and Mar Joseph, bishop of Nineveh, whom he ordered to govern the Christians of Malabar, with the bishop Ambrose Montecelli for his coadjutor. By this interference of the Pope there were two patriarchs of the East, one orthodox at Mosul, and the other heretical at Antioch.
Joseph and Ambrose went over to the mountains of Malabar, to assume the pastoral charge of the Thomists; but the latter separated from the former and went to Goa, where after reading divinity for some time he died at Cochin in the year 1557. As Don George Temudo, bishop of Cochin, perceived that Joseph spread the poison of Nestorius among his flock in Malabar, he contrived to have him apprehended and sent in chains to Portugal, were he was permitted to return to his bishopric on promise of amendment. On his return he found Mar Abraham officiating as bishop of the Thomists, who had chosen him in the absence of Joseph; and as Abraham found himself persecuted, or disturbed in the exercise of his functions, by Joseph, he went to Rome, where he got a brief from Paul IV. appointing him bishop of the Thomists, having engaged to reduce that people to the orthodox faith. Yet neither he nor Joseph adhered to their engagements, but continued in their heresies.
After this one Mar Simon came to Malabar, saying that he was sent by the patriarch of Babylon to officiate as bishop of Malabar. He was received by the queen of Pimienta and placed at Cartuse, where he exercised episcopal functions; till being carried to Lisbon he was sent thence to Rome, where he was condemned by Pope Sixtus Quintus as a mere Nestorian and not even a priest. After the death of Mar Abraham his archdeacon governed the diocese, as no Babylonian prelates dared to come to Malabar; Don Alexius, the archbishop of Goa, using his utmost endeavours to keep out all such heretical prelates, which was the particular occasion of his present visitation.
This prelate found that among other errors, the Thomists denied the virginity of our blessed lady. They rejected the use of images; they believed the souls of the just did not enjoy the beatific presence of God till after the general judgment; they allowed only of three sacraments, baptism, ordination and the eucharist; instead of confession they used perfuming in their churches; the wine employed in the sacrament was made from cocoas; their host was a cake made with oil and salt; their priests were ordained at seventeen years of age, and were permitted to marry after ordination; fathers, sons, and grandsons administered the sacrament in the same church; the Catatorias or Caffaneras, so they called the wives of priests, wore a distinguishing mark to be known by; in matrimony, they used no other formalities except the consent of parties and consummation; the women observed the time prescribed by the law of Moses in regard to churching; no sacraments were administered gratuitously; holy water was mixed with some powder of frankincense and some of the soil on which St. Thomas was supposed to have trodden; they used sorcery and witchcraft. In fine, that all was error, confusion, and heresy.
Don Alexius with much labour and toil convinced them of their errors and converted them to the true faith, so that whole towns were baptised and reconciled to the Roman see. He even held a provincial synod at Diamper, all the decrees of which were confirmed by the Pope; and Francisco Rodriguez, a Jesuit who had assisted the archbishop on this important visitation, was made bishop of that diocese. On the breaking up of the synod, Don Alexius visited all the churches in these parts. While in the country of the queen of Changanate, visiting the church of Talavecare, one of the most ancient in those parts, they shewed him three plates on which were engraven certain privileges and revenues granted by the king of Ceylon, at the time when the Babylonians Zabro and Proo were in that country. At this place likewise Don Alexius met Topamuta Pandara, king of Gundara in the neighbourhood of Changanate, to whom he presented a letter from king Philip giving him the title of brother, for having allowed liberty for the exercise of the Christian religion in his dominions.
In the year 1596, a Moor, named Pate Marcar obtained leave from the Zamorin to build a fort in the peninsula of Pudepatam, 77 leagues from Goa and 33 from Cochin, where was a most convenient station for piratical paraos, to annoy the trade of the Malabar coast; and having built a square fort at this place, he went thither with all his kinsmen and followers, and did much injury to the Portuguese and their allies, even making incursions upon their maritime possessions; whence on several occasions, he carried off much spoil. Pate Marcar soon died, and was succeeded in the sovereignty of the fort by his nephew Mahomet Cuneale Marcar, who added greatly to the strength of the fort; and foreseeing that the Portuguese might seek to be revenged for the injuries they had sustained, he fortified the town both by sea, and land, which he named Cuneale after himself. On the land side he made a deep ditch with a double wall above seven feet thick, flanked at regular distances with towers called zarames, all of which were mounted with small cannon. Between the two creeks forming the peninsula, he built a strong wall with two towers to secure the town, and lined the sea-shore with strong palisades; flanked by two bastions, one of which considerably larger than the other, was mounted with heavy cannon to defend the entrance of the harbour, which was farther secured by a boom of masts strongly chained together.
Having thus, as he thought, provided a secure retreat, he continued his uncle's enterprises against the Portuguese with much success, assisting all their enemies against them, even robbing the Malabar traders on the coast, and filled his residence with rich plunder. The viceroy Albuquerque had endeavoured to destroy this nest of pirates, so prejudicial to the Portuguese trade, and had even prevailed on the Zamorin to concur in the destruction of Cuneale; so that a treaty had been entered into, by which the Zamorin engaged to besiege Cuneale by land, while the Portuguese fleet attacked him by sea. Both parties provided according to stipulation for this joint expedition; but it was postponed for some time, in consequence of the change in the government by the arrival of the Count of Vidigueyra as viceroy, and even by the secret concurrence of the Zamorin in the piracies of Cuneale, who communicated to him a share of the plunder.
At length, however, the Zamorin became incensed against Cuneale, who assumed the title of king of the Malabar Moors, and lord of the Indian Sea; but chiefly because he had caused the tail of one of his elephants to be cut off, and had used one of his Nayres in a cruel and scandalous manner. Laying hold of this favourable opportunity, the viceroy, De Gama, probably in 1598, renewed the league with the Zamorin against Cuneale, and sent some light vessels under Ferdinand de Noronha to blockade the entrance into the port of Cuneale, till a larger force could be provided to co-operate with the Zamorin, who was marching to besiege it by land with 20,000 men and some cannon.
That part of the western coast of India, which is properly called the coast of Malabar, extends from Cananor to Cochin for the space of 42 leagues. From Cananor it is two leagues to the small island of Tremapatan, within which is a good river; thence half a league to the river of Sal, thence one and a half to the river Maim; one to the town of Comena, a small distance beyond which are the towns of Motangue, Curiare, and Baregare; thence to the river Pudepatan; two leagues farther the town of Tiracole; another two leagues the town of Cotulete; one league from this the river Capocate; one league farther Calicut; two more to the river Chale; two to the city Pananor; two thence to Tanor; two more to Paranora; one more to the famous river Paniane; thence nine to Paliporto; four to the river of Cranganor; and five more to Cochin.
At the mouth of the river Pudepatan the fort of Cuneale is seated in a square peninsula formed by several creeks, and joined to the land on the south side, the length of the four sides being about a cannon shot each. Just within the bar there is sufficient water for ships of some size, which may go about half way up the port; beyond that it is only fit for almadias or boats. The river runs first towards the north-east, then turning to the south forms the peninsula in which the fort is built; the isthmus being secured by a strong wall about a musket-shot in length, reaching between the creek and the river, at the mouth of which is the small island Pinale. The fort was large, strongly built, well manned, and had abundance of cannon, ammunition, and provisions.
In this emergency, Cuneale was well provided for defence, having a force of 1500 choice Moors, well armed, whom he distributed to the different posts. The small vessels under Noronha cannonaded the fort, principally on purpose to draw off the attention of the Moors, that they might not interrupt the Zamorin on the land side, who was establishing his camp for the purpose of the siege. At the same time, Noronha scoured the coast, taking some of the piratical vessels belonging to Cuneale, and preventing the introduction of provisions into the fort. After some time Don Luis de Gama, brother to the viceroy, arrived with four galleys and 35 smaller vessels, ten more being brought by private gentlemen at their own charge, and three full of men and ammunition sent by the city of Cochin. Besides these, there were two large barks mounted with heavy cannon to batter the fort.
The rajah of Cochin, being apprehensive that the great power which was now employed against Cuneale might prove his ruin by uniting the Zamorin his ancient enemy with the Portuguese, circulated a report that the Zamorin had entered into a secret agreement with Cuneale to cut off the whole Portuguese when engaged in the assault on the fort. The archbishop of Goa, who was then at Cochin on his way to the Malabar mountains to visit the Thomist churches, was at first much alarmed by this report, fearing it might be true; but on mature consideration was satisfied that it was only a political contrivance of the rajah, and prudently advised the rajah to desist from the propagation of any such false reports. He then assured the principal persons of Cochin that their ships might safely proceed against Cuneale, yet recommended that they should conduct themselves with much caution.
All the fleet being now united before the fort, it was found that Cuneale had drawn up a line of armed galliots on the edge of the water under the wall of his fort, in case of being attacked that way. It was resolved in a council of war to force an entrance into the river, after which to draw up the Portuguese vessels in a line with their bows to the shore, that they might cover the debarkation of the troops for the purpose of assaulting the fort. This proposition was transmitted to Goa and approved by the viceroy, yet Don Luis was persuaded by some gentlemen who wished to disgrace him, to attack on the side of Ariole, under pretence that the passage of the bar might prove fatal. At this time the Zamorin was battering the walls of the town or petah, and desired that some Portuguese might be sent to his assistance. Don Luis, being suspicious, demanded hostages for their safety, and accordingly six principal Nayres were sent, among whom were the rajahs of Tanor, Chale, and Carnere, and the chief judge of Calicut. Don Luis then sent 300 Portuguese under the command of Belchior Ferreyra.
By previous concert, a combined assault was to be made on the night of the 3rd of May, the troops of the Zamorin attacking on the land side, and the Portuguese on the sea front at the same time, the signal for both to commence at once being by means of a flaming lance. But Belchior Calaca, who was appointed to give the signal, mistook the hour, and gave it too soon, so that everything fell into confusion. Immediately on seeing the signal, Ferreyra, who commanded the Portuguese troops along with the zamorin, fell on with his men and 5000 Nayres, but lost 28 of his men at the first onset. Luis de Silva, who was appointed to lead the van of the Portuguese sea attack with 600 men, though ready and observing the concerted signal, did not move till past midnight, which was the appointed hour, by which the enemy were left free to resist the land attack with their forces undivided.
At length when it was towards morning, de Silva passed the creek of Balyzupe with 500 men in 60 almadias or native boats. But immediately on landing de Silva was slain, and his ensign Antonio Diaz concealed his death by covering his body with the colours, which he stripped for that purpose from the staff. Thus landing without commander or colours, the Portuguese fell into contusion, and the two next in command were both slain. Don Luis de Gama, leaving his fleet under the next officer, had landed with a reserve on the other side of the river opposite the fort, but for want of boats was unable either to cross to assume the command, or to send assistance.
The Portuguese troops were forced to retreat disgracefully with the loss of 300 men, most of whom were drowned; though even in this confusion a part of them forced their way into the fort and burnt the mosque and part of the town, where they slew 500 Moors and Malabars, above 20 of whom were men of note. After this discomfiture, Don Luis de Gamu retired to Cochin with the greater part of the fleet, leaving Francisco de Sousa to continue the blockade, who persuaded the Zamorin to assault the town, as he believed the defenders had been so much weakened by the late slaughter that it might be easily carried. But though the Zamorin gave the assault with 2000 men, he was repulsed.
On the receipt of these bad tidings at Goa, Don Luis de Gama was ordered back to Cuneale, to settle a treaty with the Zamorin, and to continue the siege during the winter, till the Portuguese fleet could return at the commencement of the next fine season. A treaty to this effect was accordingly concluded, by one of the articles of which the Zamorin consented that the Christian religion might be preached in his dominions, and churches erected. After this Don Luis returned to Goa, whence he went to command at Ormuz, and Ferdinand de Noronha remained before Cuneale with twelve ships, to prevent the introduction of provisions or other supplies.
Cuneale was so much elated by his success in repelling the Portuguese,
that, in addition to his former title, he stiled himself Defender of
the Mahometan Faith and Conqueror of the Portuguese; but when the season
returned for maritime operations on the coast, the viceroy sent Andrew
Furtado against him with three galleys, 54 other vessels, and a powerful
military force. In the mean time Antonio de Noronha continued to blockade
the port all winter, taking several vessels laden with provisions, and
on different occasions slew above 100 Moors who opposed him in taking fresh
water for his ships. While on his way from Goa, Furtado dissuaded the rajah
of Banguel and the queen or rana of Olala from sending aid to Cuneale
as they intended, and cut off five ships from Mecca that were going with
relief to the enemy.
When Furtado came to anchor in the port of Cuneale, he sent to treat with the Zamorin, who had continued the siege on the land side all winter according to his engagement, and an interview took place between them on the shore where the Zamorin came to meet him. The Zamorin was naked from the waist upwards. Round his middle a piece of cloth of gold was wrapped, hanging to his knees and fastened by a girdle of inestimable value, about the breadth of a hand. His arms were covered from the elbows to the wrists with golden bracelets adorned with rich jewels, and so heavily laden that two men supported his arms. He wore an extraordinarily rich chain about his neck, and so many diamonds and rubies hung from his ears that they were stretched down almost to his shoulders by their weight. He seemed about 30 years of age, and had a majestic presence.
A little on one side stood the prince, carrying a naked sword. Behind him were many of his nobles; among whom was father Francisco Rodriguez, the new bishop of the Thomists in Malabar. The Zamorin and Furtado embraced in token of friendship, on which all the cannon in the fleet fired a salvo. After this friendly meeting they retired into the tent of the Zamorin, where they had a long conference about their future operations; and on taking leave, Furtado put a rich collar about the neck of the Zamorin, and they parted in a most amicable manner.
The rajah of Tanor and other great men were sent by the Zamorin on board the admiral ship, having full powers from their sovereign to treat and conclude on all things concerning the joint interests of both parties, and everything was settled to mutual satisfaction. There now arrived from Goa and other places, a galley and galleon, with 11 ships and 21 smaller vessels, bringing ammunition and 790 soldiers, upon which Furtado commenced the active operations of the siege, raising entrenchments and batteries, and taking absolute possession of every avenue leading to the fort and peninsula by water. He likewise caused some advanced works belonging to the enemy to be assaulted, on which Cuneale came in person to assist in their defence, and for a time repulsed the assailants, till Furtado landed with a reinforcement, on which the Portuguese remained victorious, slaying 600 of the Moors, with the loss of two officers and nine privates on their side. Fort Blanco or the white tower was next assaulted, but with more bravery than success.
Yet Cuneale seeing that he could not much longer hold out, offered rich presents to the Zamorin to admit him to surrender upon security of his own life and the safety of his garrison. But on this secret negociation coming to the knowledge of Furtado, he made a furious assault on the works, which were at the same time assailed on the land side by 6000 Nayres, by which joint attack the lower town or petah was taken, plundered, and burnt. Batteries were immediately erected against the upper town and fort, and as their fire soon ruined the defences, Cuneale was constrained to surrender at discretion, merely bargaining that his life should be saved.
He accordingly marched out having a black veil on his head, and carrying his sword with the point downwards, which he surrendered to the Zamorin, who immediately delivered it to Furtado. According to one of the articles of agreement the spoil was to have been equally divided; but Furtado dealt generously by the Zamorin, alleging that this was to be understood only in respect to the artillery, and appeased his own soldiers who expected that reward of their labour. The fort and all other works were levelled with the ground, and Furtado returned with the fleet and army to Goa.
Cuneale was about 50 years of age, of a low stature, but strong and well made. He and his nephew Cinale, with other forty Moors of note, were sent as prisoners on board the fleet, where they well treated; but as soon as some of them were set on shore at Goa, they were torn in pieces by the rabble; and Cuneale and his nephew were both publicly beheaded by order of the viceroy, so that the government and the mob went hand and hand to commit murder and a flagrant breach of faith. How can those who are guilty of such enormities give the name of barbarians to the much more honourable Indians!
In the year 1600, Ayres de Saldanna arrived at Goa as viceroy to supersede the Count de Vidugueira, who was universally disliked by the Portuguese inhabitants. The marble statue of the great Vasco de Gama, his grandfather, stood over the principal gate of the city, fastened to the wall by a strong bar of iron. At the instigation of some enemies to the count, a French engineer named Sebastian Tibao applied to the iron bar during the night a certain herb that has the quality of eating iron, so that the statue fell down next night, and its quarters were hung up in different parts of the city. On the day when the count was to embark for his return to Portugal, a party of armed men went on board before him, and hung up his effigy at the yard arm, made exactly like him both in face and habit. Just as he was going on board they returned; and on seeing the effigy he asked what it was, when someone answered, "It is your lordship, whom these men have hung up." He made no reply, but ordered the figure to be thrown into the sea, and immediately set sail; but two days afterwards had to return to port for a new stock of fowls, as all these he took with him were poisoned. He was better beloved by the elements than by those whom he had governed; for he went all the way from India to Lisbon without once needing to furl a sail. By the constant chafing of the yards on the masts, it was found impossible to lower the yards in the usual way when the ship arrived at Lisbon, insomuch that they had to be cut down. Sailing from Goa on the 25th December 1600, he arrived at Lisbon on the 27th May 1601, having spent only five months on the voyage.
During the administration of Ayres de Saldana, Xilimixa king of Aracan, who had possessed himself of the kingdom of Pegu, gave the port of Siriam to the Portuguese in grateful acknowledgment of their services. That town and port is at the mouth of the river Siriam which flows within a league of the city of Bagou, the capital of Pegu. This grant was obtained by Philip Brito de Nicote, who proved false and ungrateful to the king of Aracan, who had raised him from the lowest rank to his favour and esteem. By his persuasion, Xilimixa erected a custom-house at the entry to the river Siriam to increase his revenues; which Brito meant afterwards to seize, and to build a fort there, on purpose to give a footing for the Portuguese to conquer the kingdom. Xilimixa accordingly built the custom-house, which he gave in charge to one Bannadala, who fortified himself and suffered no Portugeuse to enter there, except a Dominican named Belchior de Luz. Nicote, seeing his purposes likely to be defeated by Bannadala, determined to gain possession by force before the works were completed. He had along with him at this time three Portuguese officers and fifty men, whom he ordered to surprize the fort and turn out Bannadala, trusting to his great credit with Xilimixa to bear him out in this procedure.
The Portuguese officers accordingly executed their orders so effectually that they used to be called the Founders of the Portuguese dominion in Pegu, and Salvador Ribeyro their commander was like to have got the whole credit of the exploit, as some even affirmed that he was its author, though in reality all was due to Nicote. Bannadala, being expelled from his fort, fortified himself with 1000 men in a neighbouring island of the river Siriam, and seized the treasures of the pagoda of Digan to maintain his troops. Xilimixa was much offended by the conduct of the Portuguese in this affair, and resolved to support Bannadala, but was dissuaded by the contrivances of Nicote, who represented that he was about to favour a sacrilegious robber, and offered to arrange matters with the Portuguese to his entire satisfaction.
He accordingly went to Siriam, where he ordered everything to his own mind; and when the fort was nearly finished, he went to Goa, where he offered to deliver up the fort to the viceroy, whence the Portuguese might easily conquer the kingdom of his master, to whom he represented his voyage to Goa as intended to procure an auxiliary force which would enable him to make a conquest of Bengal. At the same time Nicote negociated with all the princes in the provinces adjoining the dominions of Xilimixa, persuading them to confederate with the Portuguese viceroy, by which means they might easily conquer the kingdom of Pegu; and several of them sent ambassadors along with him to Goa for this purpose.
Hardly had Nicote set sail for Goa, when Xilimixa became sensible of his error in confiding in him, and sent a fleet of war boats down the river Siriam with 6000 men under Bannadala to expel the Portuguese from their fort. Salvador Ribeyra met this great armament with only three small vessels and thirty men, and without the loss of one man, took forty vessels of the enemy and put the rest to flight. Then calling in the aid of the king of Pram, Xilimixa beset the fort with 1200 vessels by water, while 40,000 men surrounded it by land; but as Ribeyra learnt that the enemy observed no order or discipline, he boldly fell upon them with his handful of men, and having slain their general put that army to flight. Bannadala rallied 8000 of the fugitives, with which be again besieged the fort, lodging his men in good order, and having battered the place for some days, he ventured to make a fierce assault in the dead of night; but he was bravely repelled by the Portuguese, and above 1000 of his men were found dead next morning in the ditch.
The enemy continued the siege however for eight months, and though some of the garrison deserted, Ribeyra defended the place with great resolution; and to take away all hopes of escape from his men, burnt all the vessels that were in the port. Hearing of these proceedings, Ayres de Saldanna, the viceroy, sent a considerable reinforcement, along with which came so many volunteers, ambitions either of honour or profit, that Ribeyra found himself at the head of 800 men. With these he attacked the enemy, whom he drove from their works with great slaughter, and Bannadala had the mortification to see the works which he had been constructing for almost a year destroyed in a day. After this success, the Portuguese volunteers withdrew, only 200 that had been sent by the viceroy remaining in the fort with Ribeyra.
The enemy returned a fourth time against the fort, which they now assailed with many moving castles and various kinds of fire works, and soon reduced the fort to great extremity; but were so terrified by a fiery meteor that they fled, leaving their castles behind, which were soon reduced to ashes by the garrison. Soon afterwards the Portuguese obtained a great victory over king Massinga in the province of Camelan; after which the natives flocked to their standard to the number of above 20,000 men, and proclaimed Nicote king of Pegu, calling him Changa, which signifies good man. Nicote was at this time absent, but Ribeyra accepted the proffered crown in his name, on which account it was reported in Spain that Ribeyra had been proclaimed king. Nicote afterwards, as a loyal subject, received the kingdom in the name of his sovereign, and was the first of the Portuguese that rose to such high fortune in Asia. Rodrigo Alvarez de Sequeyra succeeded Ribeyra in command of the fort of Siriam, and defended it bravely till it took fire by accident, only the bare walls being left standing.
In the meantime Nicote solicited succours at Goa, where the viceroy married him to a niece he had born in Goa of a woman of Java; after which he gave him powerful succours, and sent him to Siriam with six ships, with the title of Commander of Siriam, and General for the conquest of Pegu. On his arrival at Siriam, Nicote repaired the fort, built a church, and sent a splendid present to the king of Aracan, who had sent a complimentary message on his arrival. At Siriam Nicote regulated the custom-house pursuant to the instructions of the viceroy, obliging all vessels that traded on the coast of Pegu to make entry at Siriam, and pay certain duties. As some of the Coromandel traders refused obedience to these orders, Nicote sent Francisco de Moura against them with six vessels, who took two ships of Acheen on the coast of Tanacerim richly laden.
As the king of Aracan was desirous of recovering possession of the fort and custom-house of Siriam, he sent an ambassador to the king of Tangu with twenty jalias or small ships, to prevail upon him to join in that enterprize. But Nicote sent Bartholomew Ferreyra, who command the small craft, who put them to flight, and they were forced to take refuge in the dominions of the king of Jangona. Upon this, the enemy collected 700 small vessels and 40,000 men, under the command of the son of the king of Aracan, accompanied by Ximicalia and Marquetam, sons to the reigning emperor of Pegu. Paul del Rego went against them with seven ships and a number of war boats, and defeated the prince with great loss, taking all his vessels, and obliging him to make his escape by land. After this Paul took the fort of Chinim, with a great number of prisoners, among whom was the wife of Bannadala.
At this time Nicote was abroad with fourteen small vessels, in which were 60 Portuguese, and 200 Peguers; and learning that the prince was on shore with 4000 men, 900 of whom were armed with firelocks, he landed and attacked him, gaining a complete victory, and even taking the prince. When the Peguers saw their prince carried off, they were all eager to have accompanied him into captivity, and entreated to be received into the Portuguese vessels, such as were refused bewailing that they could not follow, as prisoners, him whom they had served faithfully while at liberty. On this occasion Nicote gave a notable example how brave men ought to use their victories. Remembering that he had formerly been slave to the prince who was now his prisoner, he served him with as much respect as he had done formerly; watching him while asleep, and holding his baskins in his hands with his arms across, as is done by the meanest servants of princes in that country, and continually attended him on all occasions.
While these transactions were going on in Pegu, Don Martin Alfonzo de Castro came to Goa as viceroy, to replace Ayres de Saldanna, in 1604. Ximilixa, king of Aracan, sent to treat with Nicote for the ransom of the prince, his son, and accordingly paid 50,000 crowns on that account, although Nicote was ordered by the viceroy to set the prince free without any ransom. Ximilixa afterwards besieged Siriam in conjunction with the king of Tangu, who brought a great army against the town by land, while Ximilixa shut it up by sea with 800 sail, in which he had 10,000 men. Paul del Rego went against him with 80 small vessels; and failing of his former success, set fire to the powder and blew up his ship, rather than fall into the hands of the enemy. The siege continued so long, that the garrison was reduced to extremity, and on the point of surrendering, when the king of Tangu retired one night with his army upon some sudden suspicion, on which Ximilixa was likewise obliged to draw off with his fleet.
Several of the neighbouring princes were now so much alarmed by the success of Nicote, that they solicited his friendship, and to be admitted into alliance with the king of Portugal. The first of these was the king of Tangu, and afterwards the king of Martavan, who gave one of his daughters as a wife to Simon the son of Nicote. Soon after, the king of Tangu being overcome in battle by the king of Ova and rendered tributary, Nicote united with the king of Martavan and invaded the dominions of Tangu, though in alliance with that prince, took him prisoner, and plundered him of above a million in gold, although he protested that he was a faithful vassal to the king of Portugal.
About this time another low adventurer, Sebastian Gonzalez Tibao, raised himself by similar arts to great power in Aracan. In the year 1605, Gonzalez embarked from Portugal for India; and going to Bengal, enlisted as a soldier. By dealing in salt, which is an important article of trade in that country, he soon gained a sufficient sum to purchase a Jalia, or small vessel, in which he went with salt to Dianga, a great port in Aracan. At this period Nicote, who had possessed himself of Siriam, as before related, wishing to acquire Dianga likewise, sent his son with several small vessels thither on an embassy to the king of Aracan, to endeavour to procure a grant of that port. Some Portuguese who then resided at the court of Aracan persuaded the king that the object of Nicote in this demand was to enable him to usurp the kingdom; upon which insinuation the son of Nicote and all his attendants were slain, after which the same was done with the crews of his vessels; and all the Portuguese inhabitants at Dianga, to the number of about 600, were put to death, except a few who escaped on board nine or ten small vessels and put out to sea. Among these was the vessel belonging to Sebastian Gonzalez, who assumed the command; and as the fugitives were reduced to great distress, they subsisted by plunder on the coasts of Aracan, carrying their booty to the ports of the king of Bacala, who was in friendship with the Portuguese.
Not long before this had died Emanuel de Mattos, who had been commander of Bandel of Dianga, and lord of Sundiva, an island about 70 leagues in compass, the subordinate command of which he had confided to a valiant Moor named Fatecan. On learning the death of Mattos, Fatecan murdered all the Portuguese on the island of Sundiva, with their wives and children, and all the Christian natives; and gathering a considerable force of Moors and Patans, fitted out a fleet of 40 small vessels, which he maintained by means of the ample revenue of the island he had now usurped. Understanding that Sebastian Gonzalez and his small squadron was cruising near Sundiva, Fatecan went out to seek them, with such assurance of success that he inscribed upon his colours, "Fatecan, by the grace of God, Lord of Sundiva, Shedder of Christian Blood, and Destroyer of the Portuguese Nation."
Sebastian and his companions had put into a river called Xavaspur, where they quarrelled about the division of their spoil, and one Pinto sailed away from the rest in disquiet; but meeting the fleet of Fatecan, who had hoped to surprise the Christians, he returned and gave his companions notice of their danger. After a severe conflict, the 10 small vessels in which were only 80 Portuguese, proved victorious over the 40 vessels belonging to Fatecan, though manned with 600 Moors, not a single vessel or man escaping.
After this great victory, the Portuguese agreed to appoint Sebastian Gonzalez to command over the rest. Sebastian entered into a treaty with the king of Bacala for his assistance to reduce the island of Sundiva, engaging to pay him half the revenues of that island, and accordingly procured from him some vessels, and 200 auxiliary horse. Having likewise gathered a number of Portuguese from Bengal and other parts, he saw himself in March 1609 at the head of 400 Portuguese troops, and had mustered a fleet of 40 small ships. In consequence of the delay necessary for making these preparations, the island of Sundiva was provided for defence, under a brother of the late Fatecan, who had raised a respectable force of Moors.
Sebastian, however, attempted its conquest, and had nearly been forced to desist for want of provisions and ammunition, when he was reinforced by a Spaniard named Gaspar de Pina, who brought 50 men to his aid; after which they carried the fort by assault, and put all its garrison to the sword. Having formerly been subject to the Portuguese under de Mattos, the islanders immediately submitted to Gonzalez, to whom they delivered upwards of 1000 Moors who were scattered about the country, all of whom he put to death. Thus Gonzalez became absolute master of the island, and was obeyed by the natives and Portuguese like an independent prince.
Gonzalez, having now a considerable revenue at his command, raised a respectable military force of 1000 Portuguese, 2000 well-armed natives, and 200 horse, with above 80 sail of small vessels well provided with cannon. He erected a custom-house, and encouraged the resort of merchants to his dominions, and became so formidable that the neighbouring princes courted his alliance. Insolent and ungrateful in the progress of his power, he not only refused to give half the revenue of the island to the king of Bacala according to agreement, but made war upon his benefactor, from whom he conquered the islands of Xavaspur and Patelabanga, and other lands from other neighbouring princes; so that he became suddenly possessed of vast riches and great power, and acted as an independent sovereign, having many brave men at his command. But such monsters are like comets that threaten extensive ruin, yet last only for a short time; or like the lightning, which no sooner expends its flash but it is gone for ever.
Soon after the elevation of Gonzalez to the sovereignty of Sundiva, a civil war broke out between the king of Aracan and his brother Anaporam, because the latter refused to resign a remarkable elephant, to which all the other elephants of the country were said to allow a kind of superiority. Being unsuccessful in the contest, Anaporam fled to Gonzalez for assistance and protection, who demanded his sister as a hostage. Gonzalez and Anaporam endeavoured, in conjunction, to fight the king of Aracan, who had an army of 80,000 men and 700 war elephants; but being unsuccessful, were obliged to retreat to Sundiva, into which Anaporam brought his wife and family, with all his treasure, and became a subject of Gonzalez, who soon afterwards had the sister of Anaporam baptized, and took her to wife.
Anaporam soon died, not without suspicion of poison; and Gonzalez immediately seized all his treasures and effects, though he had left a wife and son. To stop the mouths of the people on this violent and unjust procedure, he wished to have married the widow of Anaporam to his brother Antonio Tibao, who was admiral of his fleet, but she refused to become a Christian. Sebastian continued the war against the king of Aracan with considerable success; insomuch that on one occasion his brother Antonio, with only five sail, defeated and captured 100 sail belonging to Aracan. At length the king of Aracan concluded peace, and procured the restoration of his brother's widow, whom he married to the rajah of Chittigong.
At this time, the Moguls undertook the conquest of the kingdom of Balua; and as Gonzalez considered this conquest might prove dangerous to his ill-got power, Balua being adjoining to his own territories, he entered into a league with the king of Aracan for the defence of that country. Accordingly, the king of Aracan took the field with an immense army, having 80,000 of his own native subjects, mostly armed with firelocks; 10,000 Peguers who fought with sword and bucklers; and 700 elephants with castles carrying armed men. Besides these, he sent 200 sail of vessels to sea, carrying 4000 men, ordering this fleet to join that of Gonzalez, and to be under his command. According to the treaty, Gonzalez, with the combined fleet, was to prevent the Moguls from passing to the kingdom of Balua, till the king of Aracan could march there with his army for its protection; besides which it was agreed, when the Moguls were expelled from Balua, that half the kingdom was to be given up to Gonzalez; who, on this occasion, gave as hostages for the safety of the Aracan fleet and the faithful performance of his part of the treaty, a nephew of his own, and the sons of some of the Portuguese inhabitants of Sundiva.
According to treaty, the king of Aracan entered the kingdom of Balua with his army, and expelled the Moguls; but Gonzalez did not perform his part of the agreement in preventing the Moguls from penetrating into that kingdom, some alleging that he had been bribed by the Moguls to allow them a free passage; while according to others, he did so from revenge against the king of Aracan, for the Portuguese who had been slain by that king in Bangael of Dianga. However this may have been, Gonzalez was guilty of a most execrable treachery, as, by leaving open the mouth of the river Dangatiar, he left a free passage to the Moguls. After this he went with his fleet into a creek of the island Desierta; and assembling all the captains of the Aracan vessels on board his ship, he murdered them all, seized all their vessels, and killed or made slaves of all their men, after which he returned to Sundiva. Soon afterwards the Moguls returned in great force to the kingdom of Balua, where they reduced the king of Aracan to such straits that he made his escape with great difficulty on an elephant, and came almost alone to Chittigong.
Immediately upon this discomfiture of the Aracan army, which was utterly destroyed by the Moguls in Balua, Gonzalez plundered and destroyed all the forts on the coast of Aracan, which were then unprovided for defence, as depending on the peace and alliance between their king and Gonzalez; he even went against the city of Aracan, where he burnt many merchant vessels, and acquired great plunder, and destroyed a vessel of great size, richly adorned, and containing several splendid apartments like a palace, all covered with gold and ivory, which the king kept as a pleasure-yacht for his own use.
Exasperated against Gonzalez for his treachery, the king ordered the nephew of that lawless ruffian, who was in his power as a hostage, to be be impaled. But Gonzalez, being a person utterly devoid of honour, cared not at whose cost he advanced his own interests; yet the guilt of so many villanies began to prey upon his conscience, and he became apprehensive of some heavy punishment falling upon him, which he had little means to avert, as all men considered him a traitor unworthy of favour; those of Aracan, because he had betrayed them to the Moguls; and the Moguls, because he had been false to those that trusted him. He afterwards met his just reward under the government of Don Jerom de Azevedo.
The Hollanders, becoming powerful at the Molucca islands, and forming an alliance with these islanders, who were weary of the avarice and tyranny of the Portuguese, expelled them [[=the Portuguese]] from Amboyna and established themselves at Ternate, whence the Portuguese had been formerly expelled by the natives. By the aid of the king of Ternate, the Hollanders likewise, about 1604, got possession of the fort of Tidore, whence about 400 Portuguese were permitted to retire by sea to the Phillipine islands, where they were hospitably received by Don Pedro de Cunha, who commanded there for the Spaniards. In February 1605, Cunna sailed from the Philippines with 1000 Spanish and 400 native troops, and recovered the fort of Ternate, chiefly owing to the bravery of Joam Rodriguez Camelo, who commanded a company of Portuguese in this expedition. De Cunha thence proceeded for Tidore, which he likewise reduced, by which conquest the Molucca islands became subject to Spain.
The viceroy Don Alfonso de Castro, dying in 1607, was succeeded as governor by Alexias de Menezes, archbishop of Goa, pursuant to a patent of succession. Next year, 1608, Don Joam Pereyra Frojas, count de Feyra, was sent out from Portugal as viceroy of India, but died on the voyage. After administering the government for two years and a half, the archbishop was succeeded as governor by Andrew Furtado de Mendoza in 1609, who was soon afterwards superseded in the same year by Ruy Lorenzo de Tavora, who came out from Portugal as viceroy. At this time, Don Jerome de Azevedo commanded in Ceylon; who, with an army of 700 Portuguese troops and 25,000 Cingalese, took and burnt the city of Candy; on which the sovereign of that central dominion made peace with the Portuguese, consenting to the ministry of the Franciscans in his dominions, and even placed two of his sons in their hands, to be instructed in the Christian religion.
About this time, a large English ship and a ketch had an engagement with two Portuguese ships beyond the Cape of Good Hope, which escaped after suffering a severe loss. These English ships went afterwards to Surat, where they were found by Nunno de Cunna, who had four well-manned galleons, but ill provided with gunners, who were ignorant and cowardly. On descrying these large ships, though the English had reason to be afraid of their number, they undervalued them as heavy sailors, and immediately engaged and fought them till evening, killing 30 of the Portuguese. The engagement recommenced at day-light next morning, and two of the Portuguese galleons, endeavouring to run on board the large English ship, got aground, on which the pink or ketch belonging to the enemy kept firing its cannon upon one of the grounded galleons, till it floated off with the evening tide. The other two galleons fought the large English ship all day. On the third day all the four galleons, being afloat, endeavoured to board the enemy, who relied on their cannon and swiftness, and sailed away to Castelete, a bay of the pirates near Diu. De Cunna followed them thither, and again fought them for two days, in all which time the Portuguese ships could never board them by reason of their unwieldy bulk. At length the English stood away, shewing black colours in token that their captain was slain. In these long indecisive actions, the English and Portuguese both lost a number of men. The English made for Surat, followed still by De Cunna; on which they left that port, and De Cunna returned to Goa.
[Footnote 419: We have no means of correcting the strange chronology of this voyage, wonderful even in the opinion of De Faria. He names the Dutch Admiral Neque; but as qu in Portuguese is used to mark the sound of k or hard c, we have ventured to give this first successful rival of the Portuguese trade in India the name of Van Nec.--E.]
[Footnote 420: Borneo is probably here meant, as they could not have been in Banda without seeing both Sumatra and Java.--E.]
[Footnote 421: Under this story we may presume without any lack of Christian charity, that these promises were extorted by means best known to the inquisition, that diabolical instrument of the pretended disciples of the Prince of Peace, and eternal opprobrium of the Peninsula. With regard to Joseph there was some shadow of excuse, as he seems to have accepted his appointment from the orthodox pope, though secretly attached to the heretical Nestorian patriarch.--E.]
[Footnote 422: This probably refers to her supposed immaculate purity even after the birth of the Saviour.--E.]
[Footnote 423: Only a few pages before these men are named Xanio and Prod; but we have no means of ascertaining which are the right names.--E.]
[Footnote 424: These petty kings of small districts in the South of India are now known by the titles of Polygars; and the hereditary female chiefs are stiled Rana. It is prostituting the dignity of king to give that denomination to the chiefs of small villages and trifling districts, often not so large as parishes in Europe. They are mere temporary chiefs, occasionally hereditary by sufferance; indeed such could not possibly be otherwise, when all the larger dominions and even empires have been in perpetual fluctuation from revolution and conquest for at least 3000 years.--E.]
[Footnote 425: The history of this ancient Christian church of Malabar has been lately illustrated by the Christian Researches of Dr Buchannan, who seems to have opened a door for the propagation of the gospel in India infinitely promising, if judiciously taken advantage of.--E.]
[Footnote 426: It is highly probable, though not mentioned by De Faria, that this Portuguese was in the service of the king of Aracan, under whom he had held these offices. Sundiva or Sundeep is a considerable island to the south-east of the mouth of the Burrampooter, near the coast of Chittagong, and to the east of the Sunderbunds or Delta of the Ganges.--E.]
[Footnote 427: Shabapour is an island to the west of Sundeep, at the principal mouth of the Barrampooter.--E.]
[Footnote 428: There still is a town named Bulloah, to the east of the Barrampooter and directly north of Sundeep, which may then have given name to a province or small principality, of which Comillah is now the chief town.--E.]
[Footnote 429: Perhaps the island now called Balonga on the coast of Aracan.--E.]
[Footnote 430: Probably a desert or uninhabited island among the Sunderbunds, in the Delta of the Ganges. Indeed the whole geography of this singular story is obscure, owing to the prodigious change in dominion and names that have since taken place in this part of India.--E.]
[Footnote 431: Owing to the want of interest in the transactions of these times, as related in the Portuguese Asia, and the confused arrangement of De Faria, we have in this place thrown together the principal incidents in the extraordinary rise of these two successful adventurers, Nicote and Gonzalez, leaving their fate to be mentioned in the succeeding section.--E.]
Volume 6, Chapter 4, Section 12 -- Continuation of the Portuguese Transactions, from 1512 to 1517.
Towards the close of 1511, orders came to India for Don Jerome de Azevedo to succeed Tavora as viceroy. Azevedo had acquired a high character by many years' service, eighteen years of which he had spent in Ceylon, where he had acquired great riches, and yet preserved a good name. The report of his riches contributed, as much as the fame of his valour, to his present promotion, as it was thought that he who had so much already, would be less inclined to covetousness; though experience shews that those who have much still covet more. Azevedo had likewise offered to serve the office of viceroy without the usual salary, but afterwards accepted it. Among the first actions of his administration was to send home Danish Beg, ambassador from Shah Abbas, king of Persia, who had been in Spain at the court of King Philip.
Shah Abbas treated, at the same time, both with King Philip, and James king of England, endeavouring to influence both to the furtherance of his own designs, having taken the island of Bahrayn from the Portuguese; and [[he]] was now endeavouring to gain Ormuz. Along with this Persian ambassador, Antonio de Guovea, titular bishop of Sirene, went for the purpose of propagating Christianity in Persia; but finding that the Persian government was inimical to his mission, he went no farther than Ormuz. Shah Abbas was so much displeased with his ambassador for not succeeding in his negotiation for the surrender of Ormuz, that he caused him to be beheaded; and was so much exasperated against the Christians, that he forced many of his Armenian subjects to renounce the faith.
The fortune of Nicote in Pegu now declined as swiftly as it had risen. In 1513 the king of Ova, being provoked at the violence which Nicote had been guilty of against the king of Tangu, who was under his protection, made a vow that he would revenge his injuries. Having assembled an army of 120,000 men, and 400 vessels of considerable strength, in which were above 6000 of those Moors so noted for valour, called Caperuzas from their wearing caps, he marched against Siriam, where he burnt everything beyond the walls of the fort. Nicote made a brave resistance, though taken unawares, as he had suffered most of his men to go to India, and was very scarce of powder. In this distress he sent a soldier to purchase powder at Bengal, who ran away with the money; and sent likewise to San Thoma for the same commodity, but was refused any supply. For want of powder he was unable to fire his cannon against the enemy, and was reduced to the expedient of pouring boiling pitch and oil on their heads.
At length, Nicote was taken and carried to the king of Ova, who ordered him to be impaled on an eminence in view of the fort, where he lived two days in torment. His wife, Donna Luisa de Saldanna, was kept three days in the river to be purified, as the king designed her for himself; but when brought before him, she upbraided him for his cruelty, and he ordered her leg to be bored, and that she should be sent to Ova along with the other slaves. A native named Banna, who had betrayed Nicote, demanding his reward from the king of Ova, was ordered to be torn in pieces, the king alleging that he who had been false to his benefactor would never be true to him. The son of Nicote resided at that time in Martavan, having married the daughter of the king of that place; but the king of Ova caused him to be put to death, that no one of the race might remain alive. Thus ended Nicote, who from the lowest poverty had raised himself to great power and prodigious riches, being worth three millions. The enemy allowed of having lost 30,000 men in this siege. The viceroy, on hearing of the danger of Siriam, had dispatched Diego de Mendoza to its relief with five galliots; but having put off his time by the way on other objects, he was too late.
In the year 1614, the viceroy resolved to go in person to the sea of Guzerate to meet the English and Hollanders, who were then strong in these seas. He sent before him Emanuel de Azevedo with 22 sail, who was joined at Surat by two other squadrons, after which he landed and destroyed the lands of Cifandam and Diva. The towns of Baroach and Goga were plundered, with six large ships in the bay, as was likewise the city of Patane. Having completed his preparations, the viceroy sailed from Goa with seven galleons, one of which was so large that it easily carried 230 men besides mariners, 30 of them being gentlemen. Besides the galleons, there were two pinks, one galley, one caravel, and five other vessels, on board of which were 1400 Portuguese soldiers, with a great number of cannon, but the gunners were very unskilful.
At Surat the viceroy was joined by the squadron under Emanuel de Azevedo, the chief design of this large armament being to destroy four English vessels then in that port. The preparations for this purpose seemed disproportionately large, yet the event proved the contrary. Being come in sight of the English, the viceroy ordered the two pinks with the caravel and other smaller vessels to close with one of the English vessels which lay at some distance from the rest. Having all grappled with the enemy and almost carried her by boarding, the other three ships came up and drove them all off. The first of the three vessels which had attacked the English ship took fire, and being attempted to be steered on board the English ship to set her on fire was destroyed without doing the enemy any harm. In this manner the first day was expended to no purpose; and next day, on proposing to attack the English ships, they were found riding in a place to which the entrance was so narrow that one galleon only could come at them at once, which might therefore have been disabled by the English cannon, for which reason no attempt was made to attack them; but some alleged that this was only a pretence set up by those who had no mind for the enterprise. A fruitless endeavour was made to destroy them by means of fire-ships.
Perceiving that he only lost his labour at this place, the viceroy went to Diu, whence he dispatched relief to Ormuz; and on his return from Diu towards Goa, the four English ships were seen at a great distance from Surat in full sail to the south. The viceroy pursued, and towards evening came up with the sternmost, having left his own fleet far behind. The head gunner offered to sink the English ship by means of two 40 pounders; but the officers who accompanied the viceroy opposed this, alleging that the other three English ships would come upon him while alone, and the galleon might be lost. The viceroy accordingly submitted to their opinion, but neglected to make them give it under their hands; and when he was afterwards accused for having neglected to do what the gunner proposed, they denied having ever given him any such advice. The English were so thankful for this forbearance, that they fired their cannons without ball as if saluting.
In the year 1615, Sebastian Gonzalez Tibao, formerly mentioned, who had raised himself from a poor dealer in salt to be an absolute sovereign by treachery and ingratitude, and who had neglected to submit himself to the Portuguese viceroy in the height of his prosperity, finding himself now in danger of losing his ill-got power, sent to request succour; but even now proposed terms like an independent prince, and offered in return for assistance and protection to deliver a large ship-load of rice yearly at Goa as an acknowledgement of vassalage. He urged that all he had done was to revenge the murder of the Portuguese in Banguel of Dianga by the king of Aracan, and hinted that the vast treasures of the king might easily be taken by a very moderate effort.
This blinded the viceroy, who immediately fitted out 14 of the largest galliots with a fliboat and a pink, and sent them to Aracan under the command of Francisco de Menezes Roxo, who had formerly commanded in Ceylon. Roxo sailed from Goa about the middle of September 1615. On the 2nd of October he arrived at Aracan, the chief port and residence of the king, having detached a galleon to Sundiva to give notice to Gonzalez of his arrival and intentions. Having opened his instructions in presence of all the captains, they directed him to proceed against Aracan without waiting for Gonzalez; which was highly improper, as that man knew the country and was acquainted with their manner of fighting; besides that the force he was able to bring was of importance. But God confounded their councils, having decreed the ruin of that vile wretch, and of the unjust succours that were now sent to his aid.
On the 15th of October, the Aracan fleet was observed coming down the river to attack, so numerous that they could not be counted. The foremost vessel was a Dutch pink, and many of the other vessels were commanded by Hollanders. All that could be seen appeared full of men well armed and equipped, and seemed a prodigious overmatch for the small number the Portuguese had to oppose them, as besides the galliot sent to Sundiva another had been dispatched in search of the pink, so that only 12 galliots remained, and the fliboat. The Dutch pink fired the first gun, and then the fight began with great fury, the Portuguese galliots bravely advancing against the vast hostile fleet. Four of the galliots got before the rest, and in the very beginning of the action their captains and many of their men were slain, but the other eight came up to their rescue, and great execution was done among the enemy, many of whom were drowned by oversetting their vessels in their haste to escape from the destructive fire of the Portuguese. The battle raged the whole day, but the enemy drew off in the evening, thinking that a reinforcement was coming to the Portuguese, as they saw the galliot approaching which had been sent in search of the pink. In this engagement the Portuguese lost 25 men of note besides others.
Next morning the pink joined the fleet, on board of which all the wounded men were put, and those that were fit for service in that vessel were distributed among the others. Roxo now resolved to remain at anchor at the mouth of the river till Gonzalez came to join him, and then to attack the enemy. At length Gonzalez made his appearance with 50 vessels well manned and equipped, and on being told the orders of the viceroy and what had been already done, he expressed much displeasure at the viceroy for giving such orders, and at Roxo for imprudently fighting before his arrival. About the middle of November: the combined fleets sailed up the river and discovered the vast fleet of Aracan at anchor in a well chosen situation, where it was resolved immediately to attack them.
Roxo took half of the ships belonging to Gonzalez under his immediate command, giving Gonzalez half of these he had brought from Goa, so as to make two equal squadrons. Thus arranged they advanced against the enemy, firing against those vessels they could reach, but none of the enemy ventured to advance. The king of Aracan viewed the engagement from the shore to encourage his people, and caused the heads of such as fled to be cut off and exposed on spears as a terror to the rest. About noon, when the heat of the sun was so great as to scorch the Portuguese; the Aracan ships came on in three numerous squadrons. Sebastian Gonzalez put to flight those of the enemy that were opposed to him, and the Portuguese pink compelled that belonging to the Hollanders to draw off. On that side where Roxo commanded there was much slaughter on both sides without any evident superiority; but about sunset, when the advantage was obviously leaning to the Portuguese, Roxo was slain.
Being informed by signal of this mischance, Gonzalez was obliged to
discontinue following up his good fortune; and on the tide ebbing the fleet
separated, one of the Portuguese galliots being left aground among the
enemy, who tore her to pieces and slew all her crew. The Portuguese fleet
retired to the mouth of the river, where care was taken of the wounded
men, and above 200 dead bodies were thrown into the sea. Don Luis de Azevedo
succeeded in the command of the Portuguese squadron, and they all retired
to Sundiva, whence Don Luis sailed back to Goa, in spite of everything
that Gonzalez could say to detain him. Soon after the departure of the
Portuguese ships, the king of Aracan invaded and conquered the island of
Sundiva, by which Sebastian Gonzalez was reduced to his original poverty,
his sovereignty passing away like a dream, his pride humbled in the dust,
and his villainous conduct deservedly punished.
In 1616, Don Nunno Alvarez Pereyra succeeded Emanuel Mascarennas Homem as general of the Portuguese in Ceylon, and made several successful inroads into the kingdom of Candy, whence he brought off many prisoners and great numbers of cattle. From the commencement of the Portuguese dominion in that island, they had been engaged in almost perpetual wars with the different petty sovereigns who ruled over its various small maritime divisions, and with the central kingdom of Canea, most of which have been omitted in this work as not possessing sufficient interest. At this time a dangerous commotion took place in the island, occasioned by a circumstance which, though not new in the world, is still admired though often repeated. Some years before, Nicapeti the converted king of Ceylon died without issue, and left the king of Portugal heir to his dominions. A poor fellow of the same name got admittance to one of the queens of Valgameme, from whom he learnt several particulars respecting the deceased king, taking advantage of which he determined to assume the character of the late sovereign, and to endeavour to persuade the people that he was their prince who had come again to life.
For this purpose he feigned himself a jogue, similar to a hermit among the Christians; and making his appearance in the neighbourhood of Maregnepora, he gave out that he came to free his country from the tyranny of the Portuguese. Finding credit among the people, many of whom flocked to him, he entered the Seven Corlas during the absence of the Dissava Philip de Oliveyra; and being assisted by 2000 men sent to him by the king of Candy, he was acknowledged as king by most of the country. Hearing of this commotion, Pereyra sent a force under Emanuel Cesar to suppress the insurrection. Cesar encountered the false Nicapeti at Gandola, a village on the river Laoa, where the insurgents had collected a force of 6000 men. In the heat of the battle, 1000 Chingalese troops who served under Luis Gomez Pinto deserted to the enemy; but Don Constantine, a native Christian of the blood royal who served the Portuguese, called them back by declaring himself their lawful king, on which they immediately returned and proclaimed him their sovereign. After a long engagement the enemy was defeated and fled across the river.
Philip de Oliveyra returned at this time from Candy to his command in the Seven Corlas, having heard of the insurrection but not of the victory at Gandola, to which place he immediately marched with about 800 Chingalese lascarins. On reaching the field of battle above 1000 men were found slain, but no indication by which he could ascertain which party had gained the victory. An inscription was found on a tree, signifying that all the Portuguese were slain, none of that nation remaining in Ceylon, and that Columbo had surrendered to Nicapeti, which startled the Portuguese who accompanied Oliveyra, and gave great satisfaction to his Chingalese troops. Continuing his march he was attacked in the rear by 300 of the enemy, but on facing about they all fled; soon after which he joined Emanuel Cesar on the river Laoa, and the insurgents fled to the woods. Cesar and Oliveyra, by way of obliging the insurgents to return to their duty, seized above 400 of their women and children; but it had the contrary effect, as all their Chingalese troops immediately deserted with their arms, leaving only about 200 Portuguese. In this dilemma Cesar marched to the pagoda of Atanagala, not far from Maluana where the general resided, who sent him a reinforcement of 500 men, 200 of whom were Portuguese.
Nicapeti had so much success with the natives that he collected an army of 24,000 men, with which he marched against Columbo, and was so vain of his good fortune that he caused himself to be proclaimed emperor of Ceylon, and transmitted an order to the king of Candy to send him one of his two wives. The answer on this occasion was, that it should be done when the Portuguese were subdued. Nicapeti was so enraged at this answer, that he threatened to use the king of Candy like the Portuguese; and on this threat coming to the knowledge of the 2000 auxiliaries from Candy, they immediately returned home. By these means the two enemies of the Portuguese became at variance with each other, to the great benefit of the Portuguese interests.
Emanuel Cesar, being joined by a considerable reinforcement, marched against Nicapeti, and found the road by which Nicapeti intended to march clean swept and strewed with flowers. A Chingalese who carried intelligence of the approach of Cesar to Nicapeti, was ordered to be impaled, the tyrant declaring there were no Portuguese in Ceylon; but he was soon undeceived, as the vanguards of the two armies came in sight of each other. Nicapeti immediately took possession of a hill with 7000 men, where he entrenched himself; but his works were soon carried, 1000 of his men slain; and the usurper was forced to flee into the woods, laying aside his regal ornaments for better concealment. The rest of the insurgent army immediately fled on seeing their chief defeated, and the morning after the battle 500 of the Chingalese deserted from the enemy and joined the victors.
At this time a native Chingalese of low birth named Antonio Barreto, who had been a Christian and in the service of the Portuguese, but had gone over to the king of Candy, who appointed him general of his forces with the title of prince and governor of the kingdom of Uva, took advantage of the revolt of Nicapeti to seize upon the Portuguese fort of Safragan, which he got possession of by treachery and slew the Portuguese garrison. This was a severe but just retribution upon the Portuguese, as they had slain an ambassador sent by the king of Candy to treat of an accommodation, that they might jointly carry on the war against Nicapeti. After this the king of Candy marched against the Portuguese fort of Balane, which he reduced; yet immediately sent a message to the general Pereyra, offering to treat of peace.
In 1617, the Portuguese affairs were in a dangerous situation in Ceylon, having at the same time to make war on the king of Candy, Antonio Barreto, and Nicapeti, who was still in considerable strength notwithstanding his late defeat. Pereyra divided his forces with considerable hazard, and put all to the sword in the revolted districts, sparing neither age nor sex; but neither will mercy and kind usage conciliate the Chingalese, nor cruelty terrify them into submission. Part of the forces pursued Nicapeti from Pelandu to Catugambala, Devamede and Coraagal, taking several forts, killing many of the enemy, and making 600 prisoners. The usurper retired to Talampeti his usual refuge, and the Portuguese advanced to Polpeti where they came in sight of the enemy's camp, and forcing their works passed on to Balapane of Religiam, whence they sent away the prisoners and wounded men. At this time the Portuguese force was divided, one part marching against Barreto while the other continued to follow Nicapeti, but were able to effect very little; and after being quite spent with fatigue, went into quarters at Botale.
Having received reinforcements, Pereyra marched in person with a considerable force to drive Barreto from Sofragam and Matura; leaving Gomez Pinto with his regiment to secure Alicur and oppose Nicapeti, while Cesar stayed to defend Botale with 100 men. The Portuguese were successful on all sides, driving the enemy from their works and slaughtering great numbers of them in the woods. In May the army advanced against Nicapeti, who was strongly entrenched at Moratena, yet fled towards Candy with such speed that he could not be got up with. He was at length overtaken in the desert of Anorajapure, when after losing 60 men his troops dispersed and fled into the woods. On this occasion the wives of the usurper, a grandson of Raju, and the nephew of Madune, were all made prisoners.
The fame of this victory induced the inhabitants of the Corlas to submit, and they plentifully supplied the army then at Malvana with rice. The news of this victory induced the king of Candy to sue for peace, sending by his ambassadors 32 Portuguese who had been made prisoners during the war. The terms agreed upon were, that he was to repair and restore the fort at Balane, and permit another to be constructed at Candy, and was to deliver yearly as tribute to the crown of Portugal four elephants and a certain stipulated quantity of cinnamon. Finding afterwards that the Portuguese affairs in Ceylon were less prosperous, he receded from these conditions and would only agree to give two elephants as the yearly tribute, but the peace was concluded.
[Footnote 432: Probably ducats are here meant.]
[Footnote 433: In the translation of the Portuguese Asia, this sovereign is here named Anaras Pandar king of Pandar; but from every circumstance in the context it appears that we ought to read Anaras Pandar king of Candy.--E.]
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