Volume 8, Chapter 10, Section 8 -- Fourth Voyage of the English East India Company, in 1608, by Captain Alexander Sharpey.
The relation of this fourth voyage fitted out by the English East India Company, and of various circumstances arising out of it, as given by Purchas, consists of four different narratives, to which the editor of Astley's Collection adds a fifth, here adopted from him. The following are the remarks in Astley, respecting this voyage and its several narratives.
In this voyage there were employed two good ships; the Ascension admiral, commanded by Captain Alexander Sharpey, general of the adventure; and the Union vice-admiral, under the command of Captain Richard Rowles, lieutenant-general. As these vessels separated at the Cape of Good Hope, and the Ascension was cast away in the bay of Cambaya, they may be considered as separate voyages, of which we have distinct relations.
There are two accounts extant of the voyage of the Ascension; one written by Captain Robert Coverte, and the other by Thomas Jones. There was a third, written by Henry Moris at Bantam, from the mouth of William Nichols, one of the sailors belonging to the Ascension; but as the voyage part was the same in substance as that given by Jones, Purchas omitted that part, and only inserted the journey of Nichols by land from Surat to Masulipatam; which requires to be inserted, although his remarks on the road to Masulipatam, and his voyage from thence to Bantam, are comprised in very few words.
The relation of Captain Coverte is not inserted in the Pilgrims of Purchas, who omitted it because, as he tells us, it was already in print. Its title runs thus: A true and almost incredible Report of an Englishman, that, being cast away in the good Ship called the Ascension, in Cambaya, the furthest Part of the East Indies, travelled by Land through many unknown Kingdoms and great Cities. With a particular Description of all these Kingdoms, Cities, and People. As also a Relation of their Commodities and Manner of Traffic, &c. With the Discovery of a great Empire, called the Great Mogul, a Prince not till now known to the English Nation. By Captain Coverte. London, printed by William Hall, for Thomas Archer and Richard Redmer, 1612.
The circumstance of this narrative having been before printed, is a very insufficient reason for its omission, since Purchas inserted many others which were before in print, and few tracts had a better title for insertion, than this of Coverte. De Bry, however, knew its value, and gave a translation of it with cuts, in his Ind. Orient. part xi. p. 11., but divided into chapters, the original being in one continued narrative. It is true that Purchas has given an extract from it in his Pilgrimage, book V. chap. vii. sect. 5., a work on general geography entirely different from his Pilgrims, or Collection of Voyages and Travels; but this is very imperfect, and only refers to his land journey.
This voyage of Coverte contains sixty-eight pages in quarto, black letter, besides the dedication and title, which occupy four pages more. It is dedicated to Robert Earl of Salisbury, Lord High Treasurer of England; but there is nothing in the dedication worth notice, except that he says, after the wreck of the Ascension, and getting on shore with seventy-four others, he was the only one among them who would venture upon so desperate an undertaking as to travel home by land. He likewise asserts that everything he relates is true, protesting that he speaks of nothing but what he had seen and suffered.
In this place, we shall only abstract the author's voyage to Cambaya; and, instead of his journey home through India, Persia, and Turkey (which will be inserted among the Travels), shall give the account of Jones of his own return from Cambaya by sea to England. This voyage lays claim to two discoveries, that of the Mogul's country, as appears in the tide, though Captain Hawkins had got the start of him there; and the discovery of the Bed Sea by the Ascension, as mentioned in the title of the relation by Jones in Purchas.--Astley.
In Astley's Collection, copying from Purchas, a brief account of the same voyage is given, as written by Thomas Jones, who seems to have been carpenter or boatswain of the Ascension, and whose narrative differs in some particulars from that of Coverte, though they agree in general. Instead of augmenting our pages by the insertion of this additional narrative, we have only remarked in notes the material circumstances in which they differ. Neither can be supposed very accurate in dates, as both would probably lose their journals when shipwrecked near Surat.
We have likewise added, in supplement to the narrative of Coverte, such additional circumstances as are supplied by Jones, after the loss of the ship.--E.
§ 1. Relation of this Voyage, as written by Robert Coverte.
We weighed anchor from Woolwich on the 14th of March, 1608, and came to the Downs over against Deal, three miles from Sandwich, where we remained till the 25th, when we sailed for Plymouth. Leaving that place with a fair gale on the 31st, we arrived at the Salvages, 500 leagues from thence, on the 10th of April, and came next morning in sight of the Grand Canary. Casting anchor there at midnight, we fired a gun for a boat to come off. But the Spaniards, fearing we were part of a squadron of twelve Hollanders expected in these seas, instead of sending anyone on board, sent into the country for a body of 150 horse and foot to defend the town; neither were their fears abated till two of our factors went ashore, and acquainted them that we were two English ships in want of some necessaries. Next morning we fired another gun, when the governor sent off a boat to know what we wanted. Having acquainted him, he made answer that it was not in his power to relieve our wants, unless we came into the roads. Yet, having examined our factors upon oath, they had a warrant for a boat at their pleasure, to go between the shore and the ships with whatever was wanted. What we most wondered at, was the behaviour of two ships then in the roads, known by their colours to be English, the people of which had not the kindness to apprize us of the customs of the subtile currish Spaniards. It is the custom here, when any foreign ship comes into the roads, that no person of the same nation even, or any other, must go on board without leave from the governor and council.
During five days that we remained here, some of the Spaniards came on board every day, and ate and drank with us in an insatiable manner. The general also made a present to the governor of two cheeses, a gammon of bacon, and five or six barrels of pickled oysters, which he accepted very thankfully, and sent in return two or three goats and sheep, and plenty of onions. We there took in fresh water, Canary wine, marmalade of quinces at twelve-pence a pound, little barrels of suckets, or sweetmeats, at three shillings a barrel, oranges, lemons, pame citrons, and excellent white bread baked with aniseeds, called nuns-bread.
We set sail on the 18th April in the morning with a fair wind, which fell calm in three hours, which obliged us to hover till the 21st, when a brisk gale sprung up; with which we reached Mayo, one of the Cape Verd islands, in the afternoon of the 27th, 300 leagues from the Canaries, where we came to anchor, determining to take in water at Bonavista; but finding the water not clear, and two or three miles inland, we took the less, but had other good commodities. At our arrival we were told by two negroes that we might have as many goats as we pleased for nothing; and accordingly we got about 200 for both ships. They told us also, that there were only twelve men on the island, and that there was plenty of white salt growing out of the ground, so that we might have loaded both ships. It was excellent white salt, as clear as any that I ever saw in England. Eight leagues from Mayo is the island of St. Jago.
We left Mayo on the 4th May at six in the morning, and passed the equinoctial line at the same hour on the 20th. The 14th July, we came to Saldanha bay, having all our men in health except two, who were a little touched, with the scurvy, but soon recovered on shore. That day we had sight of the Cape of Good Hope, 15 or 16 leagues from hence. We refreshed ourselves excellently at Saldanha bay, where we took in about 400 cattle, as oxen, steers, sheep, and lambs; with fowls, plenty of fish of various kinds, and fresh water. At Penguin island, five or six leagues from the land, there are abundance of the birds of that name, and infinite numbers of seals. With these latter animals we filled our boat twice, and made train-oil for our lamps. From this island we took off six fat sheep, left there by the Hollanders for a pinnace which we met 200 leagues from the Cape, and left six bullocks in their stead. On our first arrival at Saldanha bay, we set up our pinnace, which we launched on the 5th September, and in six or eight days after she was rigged and fit for sea.
The natives of the country about Saldanha bay are a very beastly people, especially in their feeding; for I have seen them eat the guts and garbage, dung and all. They even ate the seals which we had cast into the river, after they had lain fourteen days, being then full of maggots, and stinking most intolerably. We saw here several signs of wild beasts, some so fierce that when we found their dens, we durst neither enter nor come near them. The natives brought down to us ostrich eggs, some of the shells being empty, with a small hole at one end; also feathers of the same bird, and porcupine quills, which they bartered for our commodities, being especially desirous of iron, esteeming old pieces of that metal far beyond gold or silver.
Early on the 20th September, we came out of the bay and set sail; and that night, being very dark and windy, we lost sight of the Union and our pinnace, called the Good Hope. The Union put out her ensign about five o'clock p.m., for what reason we never knew, and lay to all that night. We proceeded next day; and having various changes of wind, with frequent calms, we came on the 27th October to the latitude of 26° S. nearly in the parallel of St. Lawrence. Continuing our course with similar weather, we descried two or three small islands on the 22nd November in the morning, and that afternoon came to another off a very high land, called Comoro. Sending our boat ashore on the 24th, the people met five or six of the natives, from whom they bought plantains. The 25th, by the aid of our boat towing the ship between two islands, as the wind would not serve, we came to anchor in the evening near the shore of Comoro, in between 17 and 20 fathoms water.
The boat was sent ashore on the 26th with a present for the king, in [[the]] charge of our factor, Mr. Jordan, consisting of two knives, a sash or turban, a looking-glass and a comb, the whole about 15s. value. The king received these things very scornfully, and gave them to one of his attendants, hardly deigning them a look: Yet he told Mr. Jordan that if our general would come ashore, he might have anything the country afforded, and he bowed to him very courteously on taking leave. It appears the king had examined the present afterwards, and been better pleased with it, for he sent off a bullock to our general in the afternoon, when the messenger seemed highly gratified by receiving two penny knives. Next day, the general went ashore with twelve attendants, carrying a small banquet as a present to the king, consisting of a box of marmalade, a barrel of suckets, and some wine. These were all tasted by the English in the king's presence, who touched nothing, but his nobles both ate and drank. The general had some discourse with the king, by means of an interpreter, concerning our wants; and understood that he had some dealings with the Portuguese, which language the king could speak a little. The king had determined on the 28th to have gone aboard the Ascension, but we were told by the interpreter, that his council and the common people would not allow him.
I went ashore on the 29th with the master, Mr. Tindall and Mr. Jordan, and all the trumpeters. We were kindly received at the water-side by the interpreter, who conducted us to the king, who was then near his residence, and bowed very courteously on our approach. His guard consisted of six or eight men, with sharp knives a foot long, and as broad as hatchets, who went next his person. Besides these, several persons went before and many behind, for his defence. The natives seem very civil, kind, and honest; for one of our sailors having left his sword, one of the natives found it and brought it to the king, who, perceiving that it belonged to one of the English, told him he should be assuredly put to death, if he had come by it otherwise than he declared. Next day, on going ashore, the interpreter returned the sword, and told us what the king had said on the occasion.
The natives likewise have much urbanity among themselves, as we observed them, in the mornings when they met, shaking hands and conversing, as if in friendly salutation. Their manners are very modest, and both men and women are straight, well-limbed, and comely. Their religion is Mahometism, and they go almost naked, having only turbans on their heads, and a piece of cloth round their middles. The women have a piece of cloth before, covering their breasts and reaching to the waist, with another piece from thence to a little below their knees, having a kind of apron of sedges hanging down from a girdle, very becomingly. They go all barefooted, except the king, who wears sandals. His dress was as follows: A white net cap on his head; a scarlet vest with sleeves, but open before; a piece of cloth round his middle; and another which hung from his shoulders to the ground.
When at the town, the natives brought us cocoa-nuts for sale, of various sizes, some as big as a man's head, each having within a quantity of liquor proportioned to its size, and as much kernel as would suffice for a man's dinner. They brought us also goats, hens, chickens, lemons, rice, milk, fish, and the like, which we bought very cheap for commodities; as two hens for a penny knife; lemons, cocoa-nuts, and oranges for nails, broken pikes, and pieces of old iron. Fresh water is scarce, being procured from holes made in the sands, which they lade [[=scoop]] out in cocoa-nut shells as fast as it springs, and so drink. They brought some of it to us, which we could not drink, it looked so thick and muddy.
We sailed from Comoro on the 29th November; and on the 10th December, at three a.m. we suddenly descried a low land, about a league ahead, having high trees growing close to the shore. We took this at first to be the island of Zanjibar, till one of the natives told us it was Pemba. We immediately stood off till day-break, when we again made sail for the shore, along which we veered in search of a harbour or anchoring place, and sent Mr. Elmore in the boat to look out for a convenient watering-place. On landing, some of the inhabitants demanded in Portuguese who we were; and being told we were English, they asked again what we had to do there, as the island belonged to the King of Portugal. Answer was made that we knew not this, and only wanted a supply of water. The ship came next day to anchor, near two or three broken islands, close by Pemba, in lat. 5° 20' S. The 12th, Mr Jordan went ashore, and conversed with some of the people in Portuguese, but they seemed not the same who had been seen before, as they said the king of the island was a Malabar. Mr. Jordan told them, though the ship was English, that he was a Portuguese merchant, and the goods were belonging to Portugal. They then said he should have every thing he wanted, and sent a Moor to shew them the watering-place, which was a small hole at the bottom of a hill, more like a ditch than a well. Having filled their borachios, or goat-skins, they carried the Moor aboard, and going again next day for water, set him ashore. The report he made of his good usage, brought down another Moor who could speak a little Portuguese, and said he was one of the king's gentlemen.
This man went also on board and was well treated; and on landing next day, he promised to bring hens, cocoa-nuts, and oranges, which he did. I went this day on shore along with the master, Mr. Revet, and some others, and dined on shore. When we had done dinner, there came two head men and a Moor slave to the watering-place, who asked if the chief men belonging to the ship were ashore, and where they were. Edward Churchman told them that the master and one of the merchants were ashore, and he would bring us to them if they pleased. At our meeting they saluted us after the Portuguese fashion, and told us that we were welcome, and that every thing in the island was at our command: But all these sugared words were only a cloak to their treacherous designs. We asked who the chief person among them was, and were told he was the king's brother; who immediately produced a plate of silver, on which were engraven the names of all the villages and houses in the island, telling us that he was governor of all these. On asking if there were any Portuguese on the island, they said no, for they were all banished, because they would have refreshments there by force, and endeavoured to make slaves of the people; wherefore they had made war upon them ever since their first appearance.
In the mean time our pinnace joined us, having been sent to another part of the island for cattle according to appointment, but the people had postponed supplying them, till they could find an opportunity of executing their intended treachery. The people of the pinnace told us, they had been informed that fifteen sail of Hollanders had lately taken Mozambique, and put all the Portuguese to the sword. At this news, which came from Zanjibar, the head Moors seemed overjoyed, being another subtle contrivance to lead us on to our ruin. On the approach of night, we entreated them to go on board with us, which they declined, but promised they would next day. Accordingly, he who called himself the king's brother came with two others on board, having Thomas Cave, Gabriel Brooke, and Lawrence Pigot, our surgeon, as their pledges. They were handsomely entertained, and next morning our general gave the chief two goats and a cartridge of gunpowder, with some trifles to the two others. Messrs Revet, Jordan, Glascock, and I went ashore with them for the pledges, and on landing went unadvisedly along with them to some houses, where we found the pledges guarded by some fifty or sixty men, armed with bows and arrows, swords, bucklers, and darts; yet were they delivered to us. We then returned to the pinnace, accompanied by the king's brother, most of the Moors following us, and six or seven of them going up to the pinnace to examine it, after which they returned to the rest. We went all into the boat, and the king's brother readily came along with us, and was courteously entertained as usual. Towards night the master offered him a knife, which he scornfully refused, and immediately went ashore in an almadia.
The long-boat went ashore very early of the 14th for water, and when the casks were filled the ship was seen with her sails set down to dry; but the natives believing she was going away, the companion of the king's brother came and asked our boatswain if it were so. The boatswain, as well as he could by signs, made him understand that it was only to dry the sails. While thus talking, our pinnace was observed coming ashore well armed, on which the natives went away. Had not the pinnace made her appearance so very opportunely, I believe they intended at this time to have cut off our men, and seized the long-boat, for two or more of the rogues were seen lurking about the watering-place, as if waiting for the signal of attack. When our pinnace came on shore, and the men were standing near on the sands under arms, the master sent Nicholas White to the town, to tell the islanders that our merchants were landed, and as White was passing a house full of people, he observed six Portuguese in long branched or flowered damask gowns, lined with blue taffeta, under which they wore white calico breeches. Presently after, the attendant on the king's brother came and told Mr. Revet that the native merchants were weary, and requested therefore that the English would come up to look at the cattle. Now White saw only one bullock and no more. Mr. Revet desired to be excused, and pressed him to send down the bullock, saying there were enough of goods in the boat to pay for it; with which answer he went away.
The king's brother was then on the sands, and gave orders to a negro to gather cocoa-nuts to send to our general, and desired Edward Churchman to go and fetch them, who went accordingly, but was never seen or heard of more. Finding that the English refused to land, and stood on their guard, the word was given for assault, and a horn was sounded, upon which our men at the watering-place were immediately assaulted. John Harrington, the boat-swain's mate, was slain, and Robert Backer, Mr Ellanor's man, was sore wounded in eight or ten places, and had certainly been killed, but that a musket or two were fired from the boat, by which it would seem that some of them were hurt, as they retired crying out. Bucker, though weak and faint, made a shift to get to the boat, and two or three other men, who were at the watering-place, got safe into the boat.
In the morning of the 26th, the boat and pinnace went ashore well armed to fetch in our davy, which is a piece of timber by which the anchor is hauled up; and a little beyond it, they found the body of Harrington stark naked, which they buried in an island near Pemba. The natives of this island seemed well disposed towards us; for, at our first coming, they made signs to us, as if warning us to take care of having our throats cut, which we then paid no attention to.
We set sail that same day from Pemba, being the 20th December, and by midnight our ship got aground on the shoals of Melinda, or Pemba, which we were not aware of, but got off again by backing our sails, as the wind was very moderate. Next morning we pursued and took three small boats, called pangaias, which had their planks very slightly connected together, while another boat was endeavouring to come off from the land to give them notice to avoid us. In these boats there were above forty persons, six or eight of whom being comparatively pale and fair, much differing from the Moors, we thought to have been Portuguese; but being asked, they shewed their backs all over with written characters; and when we still insisted they were Portuguese, they said the Portuguese were not circumcised as they were. As we could not be satisfied of their not being Portuguese, some of our mariners spoke to them about the murder of our men, which seemed to put them in fear, and they talked with each other in their own language, which made us suspect they were meditating some desperate attempt. For this reason, I remained watchful on the poop of our ship, looking carefully after our swords, which lay naked in the master's cabin, which they too seemed to have their eyes upon. They seemed likewise to notice the place where I and Mr Glascock had laid our swords, and anxiously waiting for the place being clear. They even beckoned several times for me to come down upon the spar-deck, which I refused, lest they might have taken that opportunity to seize our weapons, which would have enabled them to do much more mischief than they afterwards did.
Our master, Philip de Grove, came soon afterwards on the spar-deck, and asking for their pilot, took him down into his cabin to shew him his plat or chart, which he examined very attentively; but on leaving the others to go with the master, he spoke something to them in the Moors language which we did not understand, but which we afterwards supposed was warning them to be on their guard to assault us as soon as he gave the signal. It was reported that the pilot had a concealed knife, for which he was searched; but he very adroitly contrived to shift it, and therewith stabbed our master in the belly, and then cried out. This probably was the signal for the rest, for they immediately began the attack on our people on the spar-deck. The general, with Messrs Glascock and Tindal, and one or two more, happened to be there at the time, and had the good fortune to kill four or five of the white rogues, and made such havoc among the rest that at length they slew near forty of them, and brought the rest under subjection. A little before this, our master had proposed to the general to buy from them some garavances, or pease, the ordinary food of the country, if they had any for sale, and then to set them at liberty with their boats and goods. To this the general had agreed, and the master, as before mentioned, had called the Moorish pilot, to see if he had any skill in charts. But as they had treacherously attacked us, we certainly could do no otherwise now than slay them in our own defence. Five or six of them, however, leapt overboard, and recovered a pangaia by their astonishing swiftness in swimming, and escaped on shore, as they swam to windward faster than our pinnace could row.
In this skirmish only three of our men were hurt, namely, Mr Glascock, Mr Tindal, and our master. The first had two wounds, one of which was very deep in the back. When they commenced the attack, Mr Tindal had no weapon in his hand, and one of them aimed to stab him in the breast; but as he turned suddenly round, he received the wound on his arm. They all recovered perfectly.
The 19th of January, 1609, we espied many islands, which the Portuguese call Almirante, being nine in number, and all without inhabitants, as the Portuguese affirm. Next morning we sent our pinnace to one of them in search of fresh water, which could not be found, but our people saw many land tortoises, and brought six on board. We then went to another of these islands, where we came to anchor in twelve or thirteen fathoms in a tolerably good birth, and here we refreshed ourselves with water, cocoa-nuts, fish, palmitos, and turtle-doves, which last were in great plenty. The 1st of February we set sail with a fair wind, and passed the line on the 19th, having previously on the 15th come within ken of the land on the coast of Melinda. We came to anchor next day on the coast of the continent, in 12 fathoms, about two leagues from shore, and sent our pinnace to seek refreshments; but they were unable to land, and the natives could not be induced to adventure within hearing, wherefore our ship departed in the afternoon. About this time William Acton, one of the ship boys, confessed being guilty of a foul and detestable crime; and being tried and found guilty by a jury, was condemned and executed on the morning of the 3rd March.
The 21st betimes, we espied an island in lat. 12° 17' N. with four
rocks or hills about three leagues from it. We had beaten up a whole day
and night to get to this island; but finding it barren and unpeopled, we
passed on, and got sight of three other islands that same day about sun-set,
in lat. 12° 29' N. Two were about a league asunder, and we found the
third to be Socotora, which is in lat. 12° 24' N. We arrived here the
29th March, and came to anchor next day in a fine bay. As the islanders
lighted a fire on seeing us, we sent the skiff on shore; but the people
fled in all haste, having possibly been injured by some who had passed
that way. Finding no prospect of any relief here, our men returned on board,
when we again made sail to find the chief harbour.
Standing out to sea next day, we met a ship from Guzerat, laden with cotton, calico, and pintados or chintz, and bound for Acheen. As they told us it was a place of great trade, we went there along with her, but we found it quite otherwise, being merely a garrison town with many soldiers. There is a castle at the entrance cut out of the main land, and surrounded by the sea, having thirty-two pieces of ordnance, and there were fifty in the town. Arriving there the 10th April, the people of the Guzerat ship landed, and told the governor that an English ship had come to trade there. The governor sent his admiral to invite our general, who went very unadvisedly on shore, where he and his attendants were received with much courtesy, three or four horses waiting for his use, and was brought in great pomp to the governor. Finding our general but a simple man, the governor put him into a house with a chiaus, or keeper, and a strong guard of janissaries, and kept him and his attendants prisoners for six weeks, I being of the number. The governor then obliged him to send aboard for iron, tin, and cloth, to the value of 2500 dollars, pretending that he meant to purchase the goods; but when once on shore, he seized them under pretence of customs. Seeing he could get no more, he sent the general aboard on the 27th May, but detained two of our merchants as pledges for payment of 2000 dollars, which he said was for anchorage; but as we all declared against submitting to pay this arbitrary exaction, the governor sent our two merchants to the Pacha at Sanaa, about eight days journey up the country.
The 28th of May, we were joined by our pinnace, the Good Hope, the master of which, John Luffkin, had been knocked in the head with a mallet by Thomas Clarke, with the consent of Francis Driver, master's mate, together with Andrew Evans and Edward Hilles. Being asked the reason for this murder, they could only allege being refused some aqua vitae and rosa solis, which Luffkin wished to preserve for the crew in case of sickness. A jury was called on the 31st May, when the murderers were convicted; of whom Driver and Clarke were hanged in the pinnace. The other two met their deserts, for Hilles was eaten by canibals, and Evans rotted where he lay.
The 3d June, we departed from Aden and sailed into the Red Sea through the Straits of Mecca. This strait is about a league in breadth, and three leagues in length, with an island in the middle, and 18 fathoms water close to the island. Within the straits there is a shoal some two leagues off shore, which it is necessary to keep clear from. From the straits it is about six leagues to Mokha, where is a good road and fair ground for vessels to ride in 14 fathoms. This port is never without shipping, being a place of great trade, and frequented by caravans from Sanaa, Mecca, Cairo, and Alexandria. There is good vent here for tin, iron, lead, cloth, sword-blades, and all kinds of English commodities. It has a great bazar, or market, every day in the week; and has plenty of apricots, quinces, dates, grapes, peaches, lemons, and plantains, which I much wondered at, as the inhabitants told me they had no rain for seven years before, and yet there was abundance of good corn to be had at 18d. a bushel. There is such abundance of cattle, sheep, and goats, that we got an ox for three dollars, and a goat for half a dollar. Of dolphins, mow-fish, basse, mullets, and other good fish, there was such plenty, that we could buy as much for 3d. as would suffice ten men for a meal. The town is under the government of the Turks, who punish the Arabians severely for any offence, having galleys for that purpose, otherwise they would be unable to keep them in awe and under subjection.
We departed from Mokha on the 18th July, repassing the straits, where we lost two anchors. From thence we sailed to Socotora, and about the 5th August cast anchor opposite the town of Saiob, or Sawb, where the king resides. One of our merchants went ashore, desiring leave to purchase water, goats, and other provisions; which he refused, alleging that the women were much afraid of us; but if we would remove to another anchorage about five leagues off, we might have every thing his country afforded. We accordingly went there, where we bought water, goats, aloes, dragon's blood, &c. We set sail from Socotora on the 18th. [August?], and on the 28th came to Moa, where one of the natives told us we might have a pilot for 20 dollars to bring us to the road of Surat, but our wilful master refused, saying that he had no need of a pilot.
The 29th [August?] we proceeded, thinking to hit the channel for the bar of Surat, getting first from ten fathoms into seven, and afterwards into six and a half. We now tacked westwards, and deepened our water to fifteen fathoms; but the next tack brought us into five. When some of the company asked the master where he proposed going, he answered, the vessel must go over the height. The ship immediately struck, which I told him of. On hearing this he cried out, who dares to say the ship has struck; and had scarcely spoken these words when she struck again with such violence that the rudder broke off and was lost. We then came to anchor, and rode there for two days; after which our skiff was split in pieces, so that we now only had our long-boat to help us in our utmost need. But our people made a shift to get the pieces of the skiff into the ship, which our carpenter contrived to bind together with waldings, so that, in the extremity of our distress, she brought sixteen people on shore.
The 2nd September, about six p.m. the ship again struck and began to founder, having presently two feet water in the well. We plied our pumps till eleven; but the water increased so fast that we could continue no longer on board, and took to our boats. About £10,000 in money lay between the main-mast and steerage, of which the general desired the people to take what they would; and I think they took among them about £3000; some having £50, some £40, and others more or less. We now quitted our ill-fated and ill-managed ship, without taking a morsel of meat or a single drop of drink along with us; putting off for the shore, which lay about twenty leagues to the eastward, between midnight and one in the morning. We sailed and rowed all night and next day till five or six in the evening, without any sustenance, when we reached a small island on the bar. But just then, a sudden squall of wind broke the middle thwart of our long-boat, in which were fifty-five persons. But we saved our mast, and when the gust ceased we got over the bar into the river of Gundewee.
When the people of the country saw so many men in two boats, they beat their drums and ran to arms, taking us for Portuguese coming to plunder some of their towns. Observing their alarm, and having a native of Guzerat among us, we set him on shore to undeceive the inhabitants; and as soon as they knew who we were, they directed us to the city of Gundavee, of which a great man was governor, who seemed sorry for our misfortunes, and gave us a kind welcome; and here ended our unfortunate voyage.
§2. Supplement to the foregoing Narrative, from the Account of the same unfortunate Voyage, by Thomas Jones.
Thus was our tall ship lost, to the great detriment of the worshipful company, and the utter ruin of all us poor mariners; our voyage being altogether overthrown with the loss of all the treasure and goods both of the merchants and all of us, who were now far from our native country. We took to our boats on the night of the 5th September, it being almost miraculous that in two so small boats so many men should be saved, being at the least eighteen leagues from the shore. We remained at sea in our boats till about four p.m. of the 6th, when we discovered land, which we made towards by all the means in our power, endeavouring to get into the river of Surat. But Providence, which had already saved us from the shipwreck, would not now suffer us to fall into the hands of our enemies the Portuguese, who then lay off the bar of Surat with five frigates to take us and our boats, as they had intelligence of the intended coming of our ill-fated ship; for, contrary to our wish and intention, we fell in with the river of Gundavee, about five leagues to the southward of the bar of Surat, where we were kindly entertained by the governor of the town. We here learnt that our pinnace had come into the same river, and had been taken possession of by the Portugueze, but all her men got ashore, and were gone by land to Surat.
The governor of this town of Gundavee is a Banian, and one of those people who observe the law of Pythagoras. They hold it a great sin to eat of any thing that hath life, but live on that which the earth naturally produces. They likewise hold the cow in great honour and reverence, and also observe the ancient custom of burning their dead. It has also been an ancient custom among them, for the women to burn themselves alive along with the bodies of their deceased husbands; but of late years they have learnt more wisdom, and do not use this custom so commonly; yet those women who do not, have their hair cut out, and are ever afterwards held as dishonoured, for refusing to accompany their husbands into the other world.
On the 7th of September, we left Gundavee to travel by land to Surat, which might be some thirty or forty miles distant, and we arrived there on the 9th, where we were met by William Finch, who kept the English factory at that place. Captain Hawkins had gone up to Agra, which is about thirty days' journey up into the interior country from Surat, and at which place the King, or Emperor of the Moguls, resides. Our general, Captain Alexander Sharpey, remained at Surat with his company till the end of September, when he and the rest of our people went from Surat to Agra, intending to go by land through Persia in the way to England. But I, holding this to be no fit course for me, determined to try some other method of endeavouring to get home. While I was in much uncertainty how to proceed, it pleased God of his infinite goodness to send a father of the order of St. Paul, who was a Portuguese, who came from Cambaya to Surat by land, and with whom I became acquainted. He offered, if I would commit myself to his guidance, to procure me a passage home, or at least to Portugal, and which promise he most faithfully performed.
In company with this father, myself and three more of our company left Surat on the 7th of October: these were Richard Mellis, who died afterwards in the carak during our voyage to Europe; John Elmor, who was master of the pinnace Good Hope; and one Robert Fox. We arrived at the strong town and fortress of Daman, where I again saw our pinnace, the Good Hope, which we built at Saldanha Bay, near the Cape of Bona Esperanza. From Daman we went to Chaul, and thence to Goa, where we arrived on the 18th November, 1609.
We embarked on the 9th January, 1610, in a carak called Our Lady of Pity, being admiral of a fleet of four sail bound for Lisbon, and immediately sailed. The 28th, we crossed the equinoctial line on the eastern coast of Africa. The 21st March, we fell in with the land in lat. 33° 30' S. about five leagues east of Cape Aguillas, where we lay with contrary winds till the second of April, when we had a terrible storm at W.S.W. so that we were forced to bear up six hours before the sea, and then it pleased God to send us fair weather. The 4th April, we again fell in with the land in lat. 34° 40' S. We continued driving about in sight of land with contrary winds, having twice sight of the Cape of Good Hope, yet could not possibly get beyond it till the 19th April, when, by the blessing of God, we doubled the Cape to our no small comfort; being almost in despair, and feared we must have wintered at Mosambique, which is usual with the Portuguese. The 27th April, we crossed the tropic of Capricorn, and came to anchor at St. Helena on the 9th May, in lat. 15° S. We remained here watering till the 15th, when we weighed anchor, and crossed the equator on the 2nd June.
We crossed the tropic of Cancer on the 26th June, having the wind at N.E., which the Portuguese call the general wind. By the judgment of our pilot in the carak, we passed the Western Islands, or Azores, on the 16th July, being in latitude forty degrees and odd minutes, but we saw no land after leaving St. Helena, till the 3rd of August, when we got sight of the coast of Portugal not above two leagues from the rock of Lisbon, to our no small comfort, for which we gave thanks to God. We came that same day to anchor in the road of Caskalles [Cascais]; and the same day I got ashore in a boat, and so escaped from the hands of the Portuguese. I remained secretly in Lisbon till the 13th of that same month, when I embarked in a ship belonging to London, commanded by one Mr. Steed, and bound for that place. We weighed anchor that day from the Bay of Wayers, where a boat full of Portuguese meant to have taken the ship and carried us all on shore, having intelligence of our intended departure; but by putting out to sea we escaped the danger, and, God be praised, arrived at our long-desired home on the 17th September, 1610, having been two years and six months absent from England.
§3. Additional Supplement, from the Report of William Nichols.
At Bramport, or Boorhanpoor, most of our company departed from the general, Captain Sharpey, who was unable to provide for them, except some who were sick and were obliged to remain. Some went to one place, and some to another, and some back again to Surat. I told my companions, being one of those who were willing to take the best course we could, that I would travel, God willing, to Masulipatam, where I had learnt at Surat that there was a factory of the Hollanders. Not being able to prevail on any Christian to accompany me, I made enquiry at Boorhanpoor if there were any persons going thence for Masulipatam, and found one, but it was such a company as few Englishmen would have ventured to travel with, as it contained three Jews; but necessity has no law. After agreeing to travel with them, I thought if I had any money, the dogs would cut my throat, wherefore I made away with all my money, and attired myself in a Turkish habit, and set off along with these dogs without a penny in my purse.
Travelling along with them for four months, I had nothing to eat but what the Jews gave me; and many times they refused to give me any food, so that I was reduced to the necessity of eating such food as they gave their camels, and was glad to get even that, for which I had often to make interest with the camel-keepers. In this miserable case I travelled with these dogs four months. Sometimes they would say to each other, "Come, let us cut the throat of this dog, and then open his belly, for he has certainly swallowed his gold." Two of them would have cut my throat, but the third was an honest dog, and would not consent.
So at length, with many a weary day's journey, and many a hungry belly, after long and dangerous travel, we came safe to Masulipatam, where I immediately quitted these cruel dogs, and betook myself to the Dutch factory, where the chief used me very kindly, and gave me clothes and meat and drink for five months, before any shipping came there. At last there came to Masulipatam three ships belonging to the Hollanders, one called the Hay, and another the Sun; the third was a frigate which they had taken in the Straits of Malacca. The Sun and the frigate being bound for Bantam, I entreated the master of the Sun to allow me to work my passage to Bantam, when he told me very kindly, he would not only grant me a passage for my work, but would give me wages, for which I gave him my hearty thanks, and so went on board. We set sail not long after from Masulipatam, and arrived safe at Bantam on Thursday the 6th September, 1610, when I immediately went with a joyful heart to the English house.
In my travel overland with the three Jews, I passed through the following fair towns, of which only I remember the names, not being able to read or write. First, from Bramport [Boorhanpoor] we came to Jevaport, Huidare, and Goulcaude, and so to Masulipatania.
[Footnote 270: Purch. Pilgr. I. 228, Astley, I. 336.]
[Footnote 271: This promise is not however performed in Astley's Collection. In the Pilgrims, I. 235, Purchas has inserted the peregrination of Mr Joseph Salbank through India, Persia, part of Turkey, the Persian Gulf, and Arabia, in 1609, written to Sir Thomas Smith; and tells us in a sidenote, that Robert Coverte was his companion in the journey all the way through India and Persia, to Bagdat. We meant to have inserted these peregrinations as a substitute for those of Coverte, but found the names of places so inexplicably corrupted, as to render the whole entirely useless.--E.]
[Footnote 272: Astley, I. 336.--In Astley's Collection, this person is named captain; but it does not appear wherefore he had this title.--E.]
[Footnote 273: This must be understood as formed naturally by evaporation, owing to the heat of the sun, in some places where the sea-water stagnates after storms or high tide.--E.]
[Footnote 274: Jones observes, that after passing the line, they fell in with the trade-wind, which blows continually between S.E. and S.E. by E. the farther one goes to the southwards, finding it still more easterly, all the way between the line and the tropic of Capricorn. This almost intolerable obstacle to the outward-bound India voyage was afterwards found easy to be avoided, by keeping a course to the westward, near the coast of Brazil. Jones likewise mentions, that on the 11th June, when in lat. 26° S. they overtook a carak called the Nave Palma, bound for India; which was afterwards lost on the coast of Sofala, within twelve leagues of Mozambique.--E.]
[Footnote 275: Jones says the 25th, and that the subsequent storm, on the 26th, in which they lost sight of the Union and the pinnace, was so violent as to split their fore-course.--E.]
[Footnote 276: According to Jones, they wished to have passed to the south of Madagascar, making what is now called the outer and usual passage, but could not, and were forced to take the channel of Mozambique.--E.]
[Footnote 277: Jones says they overshot Zanjibar by the fault of their master, so that all their misfortunes seem attributable to his ignorance.--E.]
[Footnote 278: Jones says he was informed afterwards by a Portuguese, that Churchman afterwards died at Mombaza. He tells us likewise, that the Portuguese of Mombaza intended to have manned a Dutch hulk which had wintered there, on purpose to take the Ascension; but learning her force they laid that design aside, and endeavoured to circumvent them by means of the natives of Pemba, who are very cowardly, and dare not venture on any enterprize unless instigated by the Portuguese.--E.]
[Footnote 279: This circumstance is not easily understood, unless by the natives are here meant negroes, as distinguished from the Moors, who endeavoured to murder the English, probably at the instigation of the Portuguese.--E.]
[Footnote 280: These men were probably tawny Moors, or Arabs of pure descent; whereas many of the Mahometans along the eastern shore of Africa; and in its islands, are of mixed blood, partly negro,--E.]
[Footnote 281: According to Jones, he personally slew the Moorish pilot in this affray. One of the persons wounded on this occasion was the chaplain, but his name is not mentioned. Great lamentation was made by the Moors on the coast of Africa for their loss in this affair, as Jones was told afterwards by the Portuguese; as some of them, probably those mentioned as white rogues by Coverte, were of the blood royal.--E.]
[Footnote 282: Called by Jones the Desolate Islands, because not inhabited.--E.]
[Footnote 283: Jones says these turtle-doves were so tame that one man might have taken twenty dozen in a day with his hands.--E.]
[Footnote 284: In the last paragraph but one of his book, Mr Coverte explains the nature of this crime: "Philip de Grove, our master, was a Fleming, and an arch villain, for this boy confessed to myself that he was a detestable sodomite. Hence, had not the mercy of God been great, it was a wonder our ship did not sink in the ocean." --For anything that appears [[=as far as can be ascertained]], the boy was put to death to save the master.--Astl. I. 342. c. In Jones's Narrative no notice is taken of this crime and punishment.--E.]
[Footnote 285: Jones says she belonged to Diu, but told the English she was from Surat, and gave them an account of the arrival of Captain Hawkins at that place.--E.]
[Footnote 286: Jones calls Clarke master's-mate, and Driver gunner.--E.]
[Footnote 287: Hilles was left at Madagascar, where perhaps he might be eaten.--Astl. 343. c.]
[Footnote 288: In the original it is Mockoo, and on the margin Moha, but these are not the Straits of Mokha, but of Mecca--Astl. I. 348 b. The proper name of the entrance into the Red Sea is Bab-al-Mondub, usually called Babelmandel, signifying the gates of lamentation, owing to the dangers of the navigation outwards to India.--E.]
[Footnote 289: This date is inexplicable, but was probably the 18th of August; the month being omitted by the editor of Astley's Collection, in the hurry of abbreviation.--E.]
[Footnote 290: Jones says they fell in with the coast of Diu about eight leagues to the eastward of that place, and steering seven leagues more along the coast, came to anchor at a head-land, where they sent the skiff ashore, and bought sheep and other things, and were here offered a pilot to Surat for seven dollars. Fifteen leagues east from Diu would bring them to near Wagnagur, almost directly west from Surat river, on the opposite coast of the Gulf of Cambay. Moa was probably a village on the coast.--E.]
[Footnote 291: According to Jones they attempted the shoals of Surat river at the last quarter of the ebb; whereas if they had taken the first quarter of the flood tide, they would have had sufficient water to carry them clear over the shoals.--E.]
[Footnote 292: Gundavee, a small river, on which is a town of the same name, five leagues south from the river of Surat.--E.]
[Footnote 293: Purch. Pilgr. I.228. Astl. I.344. We have here given only so much of the narrative of Jones as supplies additional circumstances after the end of that by Coverte.--E.]
[Footnote 294: This surely is a gross error, as they could hardly exceed the distance of a league or two from shore, though the shore is said in the former narrative to have been twenty leagues from where the ship was lost.--E.]
[Footnote 295: In Purchas it is called the coast of India, an obvious error.--E.]
[Footnote 296: The meaning of this is not clear. Perhaps they had to drive with the storm, being unable to ply to windward.--E.]
[Footnote 297: Purch. Pilgr. I. 232.--William Nichols, according to Purchas, was a mariner in the Ascension, who travelled by land from Boorhanpoor to Masulipatam. His account of the unfortunate voyage was written at Bantam, 12th September, 1612, by Henry Moris; but being the same in substance with those already given, Purchas has only retained the following brief narrative of the route of Nichols to Masulipatam and Bantam.--E.]
[Footnote 298: These names are strangely corrupted, and the places on that route which most nearly resemble them are Jalnapoor, Oudigur or Oudgir, and Golconda, near Hydrabad.--E.]
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