Volume 8, Chapter 10, Section 11 -- Sixth Voyage of the English East India Company, in 1610, under the Command of Sir Henry Middleton.
This is one of the most curious of all the early voyages of the English to India, particularly on account of the transactions of Sir Henry in the Red Sea. According to the title of the voyage in the Pilgrims, the narrative was written by Sir Henry himself, probably an abstract of his journal. It breaks off abruptly, and leaves the fate of the voyage entirely unexplained, which will be found in some measure supplied by the subsequent narrative of Downton.
From the title given by Purchas to the narrative, it appears that there were three ships employed in this voyage: The Trades-increase of 1000 tons, admiral, commanded by Sir Henry Middleton, general of the expedition; the Pepper-corn of 250 tons, vice-admiral, commanded by Captain Nicholas Downton; and the Darling of 90 tons. Besides these, the bark Samuel of 180 tons accompanied as a victualler to Cape Verd.--E.
§ 1. Incidents of the Voyage till the Arrival of the Squadron at Mokha.
We came to anchor in the roads of Cape Verd on the 1st May, 1610, under an island, where we found a Frenchman of Dieppe, who was setting up a pinnace. Next day, I set all the carpenters of the fleet to work on my mainmast; and having taken off the fishes, they found it so sore wrung about three feet above the upper-deck that it was half through, so that it must have gone by the board if we had met with any foul weather. I sent one of my carpenters a-land on the main to search for trees, who returned that night, saying he had seen some that would answer. The third we began to unload the Samuel, and sent the carpenters on shore to cut down trees, having leave of the alcaide, who came on board to dine with me, and to whom I gave a piece of Rouen cloth which I bought of the Frenchman, and some other trifles. The fifteenth, the mast being repaired, and all our water-casks full, we stowed our boats at night, and prepared to be gone next morning. Cape Verd is the best place I know of for our outward-bound ships; not being out of the way, the road being good and fit for the dispatch of any kind of business, and fresh fish to be had in great plenty. In a council with Captain Downton and the masters, it was agreed that our best course to steer for the line from hence was S.S.W. for sixty leagues, then S.S.E. till near the line, and then easterly. We dismissed the Samuel to return home, and held on our way.
We came into Saldanha roads the 24th July, and saluted the Dutch admiral with five guns, which he returned. There were also two other Holland ships there, which came to make train-oil of seals, and which had made 300 pipes. This day I went a-land, and found the names of Captain Keeling and others, homewards-bound in January, 1610; also my brother David's name, outward-bound, 9th August, 1609; and likewise a letter buried under ground, according to agreement between him and me in England, but it was so consumed with damp as to be altogether illegible. The 26th, we set up a tent for our sick men, and got them all ashore to air our ships. From this till we departed, nothing happened worth writing.
The 6th September, in lat. 23° 30' S. wind southerly, a pleasant gale. This day after dinner, we saw land; and before night, came to anchor in the bay of St. Augustine, where we found the Union distressed for want of provisions. The 7th, I went ashore in my pinnace to endeavour to get fresh victuals for the people, but could not; we got however wood and water. The 10th, we steered along the coast with a fresh gale at S.E., reckoning to have made twenty-six leagues that day; but we only went twenty-two, owing to a current setting south. The 11th, we steered along the land, having still a great current against us. The 20th, at noon, our latitude was 11° 10', the variation being 12° 40' This afternoon we saw land, being the islands of Queriba, which are dangerous low islands, environed with rocks and shoals.
The 16th October, early in the morning, we saw the Duas Irmanas, or Two Sisters, bearing N. by W. the wind at S.W. and the 18th, we came to anchor in a sandy bay in the island of Socotora, in lat. 12° 25' N. In the evening we caught many fish with the sein. The 21st, we endeavoured to get into the road of Tamarin, the chief town of the island, but from contrary winds were unable to get there till the 25th. The latitude of Tamarin is 12° 30' [13° 37'] S. This town stands at the foot of high rugged hills, and the road is all open between E. by N. and W.N.W. We anchored in ten fathoms on good ground. I sent Mr. Femell ashore well accompanied, with a present to the king of a cloth vest, a piece of plate, and a sword-blade, when he promised all possible kindness. The 26th, I went ashore, accompanied by the chief merchants and a strong guard, and being conducted to the king's house, he entertained me courteously.
I enquired of him concerning the trade of the Red Sea, which he highly commended, saying the people of Aden and Mokha were good, and would be glad to trade with us. He said farther that the Ascension had sold all her goods there at high prices, and came so light to Tamarin as to require much ballast. This news gave me good content. I asked leave to set up my pinnace on his island, but he would not allow it in this road, as if I staid long at Tamarin it might deter all others from coming there; but if I chose to return to the former port, I might set up the pinnace at that place. On enquiring for aloes, he said he had sent away all his aloes to his father, who resides at Kushem, near Cape Fartak, being king of that part of Arabia Felix. I asked leave to wood and water. He gave me free leave to take water, but said if I would have any wood, I must pay very dear for it. He confirmed the loss of the Ascension and her pinnace, which was no small grief to me. He urged me much to go to the Red Sea, but advised me not to attempt trade at Fartak, as he thought his father would not allow me. I and all my people dined with the king, and then went aboard.
The 7th November, while steering along the coast of Arabia, we saw a high land about ten o'clock, rising like Abba-del-curia, and capable of being seen a great way off, which we imagined to be the high land of Aden. In the evening, we came to anchor before the town in twenty fathoms on sandy ground. Aden stands in a vale at the foot of a mountain, and makes a fair appearance. It is surrounded by a stone wall, and has forts and bulwarks in many places; but how these are furnished I know not. The 8th, there came off a small boat in which were three Arabs, who said they were sent by the lieutenant of the town to enquire of what nation we were; sending us word we were welcome if English, and that Captain Sharpey had been there the year before, and had gone thence to Mokha, where he sold all his goods. I asked the name of the pacha, and whether he was a good man. They answered his name was Jaffer Pacha; that the former pacha was a very bad man, this rather better, but all the Turks were bad. Asking what sort of place Mokha was for trade, they told me there was one man in Mokha who would purchase all my goods. I sent John Williams ashore, one of my factors, who could speak Arabic, who was kindly entertained.
The morning of the 9th, I sent my pinnace ashore to procure a pilot for Mokha, and in the meantime weighed anchor and got under sail. The pinnace returned without a pilot, saying, they would not let us have any unless we left three of our chief merchants in pledge, and that they entreated me to leave one ship, and they would buy all her goods. Being desirous of trade, I agreed to leave the Pepper-corn, and did what we could to regain the road, but were carried to leeward by the current, so we came to anchor to the south of the town. I then sent Mr. Fowler and John Williams ashore, to tell them I was to leave one ship with them to trade, and begged they would let me have a pilot They seemed glad that one of the ships was to remain, and promised me a pilot next day. Seeing no hope of a pilot on the 12th, and having dispatched our business with the Pepper-corn, I sailed about noon with the Trades-increase and Darling for Mokha.
The 14th, we saw the head-land going into the Red Sea, rising like an island, and about eleven, we were athwart the entrance, being only three miles broad. On the north side is a rugged land like an island, and on the other side is a low flat island, called Babelmandd, on the south side of which island there appeared to be a broad strait or entrance. After passing through the strait, we saw a village in a sandy bay on the north shore, to which place I sent my pinnace to get a pilot. It soon returned with two Arabs, who pretended to be very skilful. Our depth in the straits was from eight to eleven fathoms, and the distance from Aden to the straits is thirty leagues. About four o'clock p.m. we had sight of the town of Mokha; and about five, while luffing with a strong wind, we split our main-top-sail, and putting abroad our mizen, it split likewise. At this time our pilots got our ship aground on a sand bank, the wind blowing hard, and the sea somewhat high, so that we much feared [[that there was little chance of]] her getting safe off again.
§ 2. Transactions at Mokha, and Treachery of the Turks there, and at Aden.
That same night, a boat came off to us from the town, in which was a proper man of a Turk, sent by the governor to enquire who we were, and what was our business. I answered that we were English merchants, who came in search of trade. To this he replied that we were heartily welcome, and should not fail in what we wanted; and that Alexander Sharpey had sold all his goods there, and we might do the like. He made light of the grounding of our ship, saying it was quite customary for the great ships of India to get there aground, and yet none of them ever suffered any harm by it. He then hastened on shore to acquaint the aga what we were, and promised to return in the morning with boats to lighten our ship. This man, as I afterwards understood, was what they call lord of the sea; his office is to board all ships that come to Mokha, to see lighters sent to discharge the ships, and to take care that they do not defraud the customs; for all which he has certain fees, which constitute his salary.
Early in the morning of the 14th, the lord of the sea returned with three or four other Turks in his company, two of whom spoke Italian. They brought me a small present from the aga, with hearty welcome to his port, saying we should have as good and free trade as we had in Stamboul [Constantinople], Aleppo, or any other part of the Turkish dominions, with many other compliments, and offers of every thing that the country could afford. They brought three or four lighters, into which we put any thing that first came to hand to lighten the ship. Mr. Femell went ashore in one of these before I was aware, carrying with him every thing he had in the ship.
We sent our money, elephants teeth, and all our shot, aboard the Darling; and in the evening carried out our anchors into deep water, trying to heave off our ship, but could not. The 15th we sent more goods ashore, and some on board the Darling, and about five p.m. on heaving the capstan, our ship went off the bank to all our comforts. I had this day a letter from Mr. Femell, telling me he had received kind entertainment from the aga, and had agreed to pay five per cent custom for all we should sell, and all that was not sold to be returned custom-free. Likewise the aga sent me a letter under his hand and seal, offering himself and every thing in his country at my disposal, with many other compliments.
The 19th two boats came off for iron to Mr. Femell, which I caused to be sent; but wrote to him not to send for any more goods till those he had already were sold. In answer, Mr. Femell wrote, that I must come ashore according to the custom of the country, if I minded to have trade; otherwise they could not be persuaded but we were men of war. The aga likewise sent his interpreter to entreat me to come ashore, if I were a merchant and friend to the Great Turk, and hoped for trade; alledging that Captain Sharpey, and all Indian captains, did so. The 20th, I went ashore, and was received at the water-side by several of the chief men, accompanied with music, and brought in great state to the aga's house, where all the chief men of the town were assembled. I was received with much kindness, was seated close to the aga, all the rest standing, and many compliments paid me.
I delivered his majesty's letter for the pacha, and a present, which I requested might be sent up to the pacha with all speed. I likewise gave the aga a present, with which he seemed much pleased, assuring me I should have free trade, and if any of the townspeople offended me or my men, he would punish them severely. He then made me stand up, and one of his chief men put upon me a vest of crimson silk and silver, saying, this was the Grand Seignor's protection, and I need fear no ill. After some compliments, I took my leave, and was mounted on a gallant horse with rich furniture, a great man leading my horse, and was conducted in my new coat, accompanied by music, to the English factory, where I staid [[for]] dinner. Meaning to go aboard in the evening, I was much entreated to remain, which I yielded to, being forced also for some days following by bad weather.
Every day I had some small present sent me by the aga, with compliments from him, enquiring if I were in want of any thing. On the 28th, he sent twice complimentary messages, desiring me to be merry, as when their fast was over, now almost expired, he would take me along with him to his gardens and other places of pleasure. This afternoon Mr. Pemberton came ashore for cocoa-nuts, and wishing afterwards to return on board, the Turks would not allow him, saying it was too late, and he might go as early next morning as he pleased. I sent to entreat permission for him to go, but it was refused. All this time we suspected no harm, only thinking the officer was rather too strict in his conduct on this occasion, which we thought had been without orders, and of which I meant next day to complain to the aga. After sun-set, I ordered stools to be set for us at the door, where Mr. Femell, Mr. Pemberton, and I sat to take the fresh air, having no suspicions that any evil was intended us.
About eight o'clock, a janissary brought some message for me from the aga; and as we could not understand him, I sent my man to call one of my people who could speak Turkish. While this man was interpreting the aga's message, which was merely complimentary, my own man came to us in great consternation, saying we were betrayed, for the Turks and my people were by the ears at the back of the house. The Turk who sat beside us rose up immediately, and desired my man to shew him where the quarrel was, several of my folks following to see what was the matter. I immediately ran after them, calling as loud as I was able for them to turn back and defend our house; but while speaking, I was struck on the head by one behind me with such violence, that I fell down and remained senseless till they had bound my hands behind me so tightly, that the pain restored my senses.
As soon as they saw me move, they set me on my feet, and led me between two of them to the house of the aga, where I found several of my people in a similar situation with myself. On the way the soldiers pillaged me of all the money I had about me, and took from me three gold rings, one of which was my seal, another was set with seven diamonds, which were of considerable value, and the third was a gimmall ring. When all of us that escaped alive in this treacherous and bloody massacre were brought together, they began to put us in irons, I and seven more being chained together by the neck, others by their feet, and others again by the hands. This being done they all left us, except two soldiers appointed to keep guard over us. These soldiers had compassion upon us, and eased us of the bands which tied our hands behind; for most of us were so tightly bound that the blood was ready to start from our finger-ends.
After my hands were thus eased, being much distressed both for myself and the rest, and in great anxiety for the ships, which I believed the faithless Turks would leave no villainy unattempted to get possession of, we began to converse together as to what could be the reason of this infamous usage. I demanded if any of them could tell how the affray began, and if any of our people were slain. I was informed by those of our company who were in the fray, and had escaped, that Francis Slanny, John Lanslot, and six more were slain, and that fourteen of those now in custody along with me were sore wounded. They said that our house was surrounded by soldiers who, when I was knocked down, attacked our company with merciless cruelty, against those who had no weapons to defend themselves.
Having thus succeeded in the first act of their treachery, they now aimed to gain possession of our ships and goods. For about ten o'clock that same night, they manned three large boats with about 150 armed men, in order to take the Darling, which rode somewhat nearer the shore than our large ship. The boats put off from the shore together, and that they might be mistaken for Christians, the Turks took off their turbans, and all boarded the Darling, most of them getting upon her deck. This attack was so sudden, that three men belonging to the Darling were slain before they could get down below: The rest took to their close quarters, and stood on their defence. At this time, the Emir al Bahar, who commanded on this enterprize, called to his soldiers to cut the tables in the house. The soldiers misunderstanding him, many of them leapt into the boats and cut the boat ropes, so that they drifted away.
By this time our men had got hold of their weapons and manned their close quarters, the Turks standing thick in the waste, hallooing and clanging their swords upon the deck. One of our company threw a large barrel of powder among them, and after it a fire-brand, which took instant effect, and scorched several of them. The rest retired to the quarter-deck and poop, as they thought for greater safety, where they were entertained with musket-shot and another train of powder, which put them in such fear that they leapt into the sea, many of them clinging to the ship's side and desiring quarter, which was not granted, as our men killed all they could find, and the rest were drowned. One man only was saved, who hid himself till the fury was over, when he yielded and was received to mercy. Thus God, of his goodness and mercy, delivered our ship and men out of the hands of our enemies, for which blessed be his holy name for ever more. Amen.
On the return of the boats to Mokha, they reported that the ship was taken, for which there were great rejoicings. The aga sent off the boats again, with orders to bring the ship close to the shore; but on getting out to where she rode, they found her under sail and standing off, on which they returned, and told the aga that the ship had escaped and was gone, and they now believed the Emir-al-bahar and his soldiers were taken prisoners, which was no pleasing news to him. Before day, he sent his interpreter to tell me that my small ship was taken, which I believed. At day-break, I was sent for to come before the aga, and went accordingly with my seven yoke-fellows, all fastened with me by the neck to the same chain.
With a frowning countenance, he asked how I durst be so bold as to enter their port of Mokha, so near their holy city of Mecca. I answered, that he already knew the reason of my coming, and that I had not landed till earnestly entreated by him, with many promises of kind usage. He then said it was not lawful for any Christian to come so near their holy city, of which Mokha was as one of the gates, and that the pacha had express orders from the Great Turk to captivate all Christians who came into these seas, even if they had the imperial pass. I told him the fault was his own, for not having told me so at first, but deluding us with fair promises.
He now gave me a letter to read from Captain Downton, dated long before at Aden, saying,that two of his merchants and his purser had been detained on shore, and that they could not get them released without landing merchandize and paying 1500 Venetian chequins for anchorage. After I had read the letter, the aga desired to know its purport, which I told him. He then informed me that the ship, since the writing of that letter, had been cast away on a rock, and all her goods and men lost. He then commanded me to write a letter to the people in my large ship to know how many Turks were detained in the small one. I said that was needless, as he had already sent me word the small ship was taken. To this he replied, that she was once taken, but the large ship had rescued her.
He then ordered me to write a letter, commanding all the people of the large ship to come ashore, and to deliver the large ship and her goods into his hands, when he would give us the small ship to carry us home. I said it would be folly to write any such thing, as those who were aboard and at liberty would not be such fools as to forsake their ship and goods, and come ashore to be slaves, merely for my writing them. He said he was sure if I wrote such a letter, they durst not disobey me. When I told him plainly I would write no such letter, he urged me again, threatening to cut off my head if I refused. I bade him do so, in which he would give me pleasure, being weary of my life. He then asked what money we had in the ship, and what store of victuals and water? I said we had but little money, being only for purchasing victuals, not merchandize, and that we had enough of victuals and water for two years, which he would not believe.
I was now taken out of my chain and collar, having a large pair of fetters put upon my legs, with manacles on my wrists; and being separated from the rest of my company, I was bestowed all that day in a dirty dog-kennel under a stair; but at night, at the entreaty of Shermall, consul of the Banians, I was taken to a better room, and allowed to have one of my men along with me who spoke Turkish; yet my bed was the hard ground, a stone my pillow, and my company to keep me awake were grief of heart and a multitude of rats. About midnight came the lieutenant of the aga with the trugman, entreating me to write a letter on board to enquire how many Turks they had prisoners, and what were their names; but in no case to write any thing of the loss of our men, and the hard usage we had met with; but to say we were detained in the aga's house till orders came from the pacha, and that we wanted for nothing. This letter I wrote exactly as they wished; but commanded them to look well to their ships and boats, and by no means to let any of their men come ashore. Taking this letter with them, they examined two or three of my men apart as to its meaning.
They could not at first get any one who would venture on board, so that my first letter was not sent. But at length a person, who was born at Tunis, in Barbary, and spoke good Italian, undertook to carry a letter, providing I would write to use him well. I wrote again as they desired, which was taken on board and answered, saying that all the Turks were slain or drowned, save one named Russwan; a common soldier; in this answer they expressed their satisfaction to hear that I was alive, as Russwan told them he believed I and all the rest were slain. We continued in this misery till the 15th December, never hearing anything from the ships nor they from us. The aga came several times to me, sometimes with threats and sometimes soothing, to have me write for all my people to come ashore and deliver up the ships; but I always answered him as before. He was in hopes our ships would be forced, for want of water and provisions, to surrender to him, knowing they could not have a wind to get out of the straits till May, and would by no means believe me that they were provided for two years.
In the mean time they in the ships were at their wits' end, hearing nothing from us ashore, and not knowing well what to do. They rode very insecurely in an open anchorage, the wind blowing continually hard at S.S.E. inclosed all round with shoals, and their water beginning to fail, as we had started fifty tons in our large ship to lighten her when we got aground. While in this perplexity, an honest true-hearted sailor named John Chambers offered to go ashore and see what was become of us, putting his life and liberty at stake, rather than see the people so much at a loss. He effected this on the 15th December, being set ashore upon a small island with a flag of truce, a little to windward of the town, having one of our Indians along with him as an interpreter. On being carried before the aga, who asked him how he durst come on shore without leave, he said he came with a flag of truce, and was only a messenger, which was permitted among enemies. Being asked what message he had to deliver, he said a letter for his general, and likewise, if allowed, to see and enquire how we all did. He and the Indian were strictly examined as to the store of provisions and water on board, when both answered as I had done, that there was enough of both for two years.
Chambers was then brought to my dark cell, and could not for some time see me on coming out of the light. He delivered me the letter with watery eyes, on seeing me so fettered, both hands and feet being in irons. When he had told me how he came ashore, I told him I hardly thought they would let him off again; as not many days before a man who brought a letter for me from the Pepper-corn was detained a prisoner, being neither allowed to return nor to go aboard the ships in the roads. His answer was that before leaving the ship he had made up his mind to submit to the same hard fate as I did, if they were so villainous as to detain him who was only a messenger. The 16th I wrote an answer, and delivered it to Chambers; and, contrary to my expectation, they let him and the Indian return, with leave to come again next day if they had occasion. Next day accordingly, Chambers returned alone, for the Indian was so terrified that he durst not venture again. My man sent me various things by Chambers, but the aga was my receiver, thinking them too good for me.
While daily expecting orders from the pacha to put us to death, or to make us perpetual prisoners or slaves, on the 20th December an aga came down from Zenan, who was captain, or chief of the chiauses, with orders to bring us all up there. Being desirous to see me and my company, three chairs were brought into my prison, on which Regib aga, Ismael aga, the messenger, and Jaffer aga seated themselves. Regib aga began by asking how I dared to come into that country so near their holy city, without a pass from the Turkish emperor. I answered, that the king my master was in peace and amity with the Grand Turk, and that by the treaty between them, trade was allowed to us in all his dominions; of which this being a part, we needed no pass. He then said that this place being the door, as it were, of their holy city, was not lawful for any Christians to enter; and then asked me if I did not know the grand signior had a long sword? I answered, we were not taken by the sword, but by treachery; and if I and my people were aboard, I would not care for the length of his sword, nor for all their swords. He then said this was proudly spoken; and as formerly, desired I would write, commanding all my people to come ashore, and surrender themselves and ships to the pacha, to which I answered as formerly.
Ismael aga now broke off this idle discourse by telling me he came from the pacha with express orders to conduct me and all my people to Zenan, and therefore advised me to send aboard for warm clothing, as we should find it very cold in the mountains. I requested him that my poor men might be sent aboard ship, and that only I and a few more should go up to Zenan. He said it was not in his power to remedy this, as the pacha had ordered all to go; but Regib aga said I should have my wish, and that I and five more should go to Zenan, the rest remaining where they were till farther orders from the pacha. This same day, the 20th December, Captain Downton came in the Pepper-corn to Mokha roads from Aden; and learning this, I wrote him a letter, giving him my opinion of what was best for him to do, he being commander in my absence.
§ 3. Journey of Sir Henry Middleton to Zenan, in the Interior of Yemen, or Arabia Felix, with some Description of the Country, and Occurrences till his Return to Mokha.
The 22nd December, our irons were all taken off our legs, except the carpenters and smiths, who were detained at Mokha to set up our pinnace, and some sick men who were unable to travel. I and thirty-four of my people were destined to go up to Zenan, the chief city of the kingdom, where the pacha resided. About four p.m. of the 22nd we left Mokha, myself and Mr. Femell being on horseback, and all the rest of my people upon asses. About ten at night, when ten or twelve miles from Mokha, Mr. Pemberton slipped away. We missed him immediately but said not a word, aiding his escape with our prayers to God to speed him safe aboard. About one hour after midnight, we came to an inn or town called Mowssie, when we were counted, but Pemberton was not missed. We remained here till four in the afternoon of the 23rd, when at our coming out to depart, we were again counted, and one was now found wanting. The aga asked me how many of us left Mokha, on which I answered, thirty-four, as I thought, but I was not certain. He insisted there certainly were thirty-five, and that one was now missing; on which I said that was more than I knew.
I ought to have mentioned that while a prisoner at Mokha, I found much kindness from one Hamet aga, who sent me various presents, encouraging me to be of good comfort, as my cause was good. He sent a supply of bread for me and my people on the journey, and gave me letters for the kiahya of the pacha. The consul likewise of the Banians came every day to visit me, and never empty handed; and Tookehar was our great friend all the time we were prisoners, sending every day to each man, fifty-one in all, two cakes of white bread, and a quantity of dates or plantains. He went away from Mokha for Zenan two days before us, promising me to use his best endeavours with the pacha for our good; and I believe he did what he said, for I was told by several persons at Zenan, that he laboured hard in our business, both with the pacha and the kiahya, which latter was a very discreet person, and governed the kingdom.
On Christmas day we arrived at the city of Tyes, four days journey from Mokha, where we were marshalled two and two together, as they do at Stambol with captives taken in the wars, our aga riding in triumph, as a great conqueror. We were met a mile out of town by the chief men of the place on horseback, multitudes of people standing all the way gazing and wondering at us; and this was done at all the cities and towns through which we passed. A youth belonging to Mr. Pemberton fell sick at this town, and had to be left in charge of the governor, being unable to travel.
I kept no journal all the way from Tyes to Zenan; but this I well remember, that it was exceedingly cold all that part of the journey, our lodging being the cold ground, and every morning the ground was covered with hoar frost. I would not believe at Mokha when I was told how cold was the upper country, but experience taught me, when too late, to wish I had come better provided. I bought fur gowns for most of my men, who were slenderly clothed, otherwise I think they would have starved. Zenan is, as I judge, about 180 miles N.N.W. from Mokha. It is in lat. 16° 15', as I observed by an instrument I made there. We were fifteen days between Mokha and Zenan. The 5th of January, 1611, two hours before day, we came within two miles of Zenan, where we had to sit on the bare ground till day-light, and were much pinched by the cold, and so benumbed that we could hardly stand. Every morning the ground was covered with hoar frost, and in Zenan we have had ice an inch thick in one night, which I could not have believed unless I had seen it.
About a mile from the town, we were met by the subasha, or sheriff, with at least 200 shot, accompanied by drums and trumpets. We were now drawn up in single file, or one behind the other, at some distance, to make the greater shew, our men having their gowns taken from them, and being forced to march on foot in their thin and ragged suits. The soldiers led the way, after whom went our men one by one, our trumpeters being next before me, and commanded by the aga to sound, but I forbade them. After our trumpeters, came Mr. Femell and I on horseback; and lastly, came the aga riding in triumph, with a richly caparisoned spare horse led before him. In this order we were led through the heart of the city to the castle, all the way being so thronged with people that we could hardly get through them. At the first gate there was a good guard of armed soldiers; at the second were two great pieces of cannon on carriages.
After passing this gate, we came into a spacious court yard, twice as long as the Exchange at London. The soldiers discharged their pieces at this gate, and placed themselves, among many others there before them, on the two sides, leaving a lane for us to walk through. Mr. Femell and I alighted at this gate, and placed ourselves on one side along with our men, but he and I were soon ordered to attend upon the pacha, it being their divan day, or meeting of the council. At the upper end of the court-yard, we went up a stair of some twelve steps, at the top of which two great men came and held me by the wrists, which they griped very hard, and led me in this manner to the pacha, who was seated in a long spacious gallery, many great men standing on each side of him, and others stood on each side all along this gallery, making a good shew, the floor being all covered with Turkey carpets.
When I came within two yards of the pacha, we were commanded to stop. The pacha then, with a frowning and angry countenance, demanded of what country I was, and what brought me into these parts. I answered, that I was an Englishman and a merchant, a friend to the grand signior, and came to seek trade. He then said, it was not lawful for any Christian to come into that country, and he had already given warning to Captain Sharpey for no more of our nation to come hither. I told him Captain Sharpey was cast away on the coast of India, and did not get to England to tell us so; which, if we had known, we had never put ourselves to the trouble we were now in; that Regib aga had imposed upon us, saying, we were welcome into the country, and that we should have as free trade as in any part of Turkey, with many other fair promises; and, contrary to his word, had assaulted us with armed soldiers, had murdered several of my men, and made me and others prisoners.
He said Regib aga was no more than his slave, and had no power to pass his word to me without his leave, and that what had befallen me and my people was by his orders to Regib aga; he having such orders from the grand signior so to chastise all Christians that dared to come into these parts. I told him we had already received great harm, and if it pleased him to let us return to our ships, what we had suffered would be a sufficient warning for our nation never to return again into his country. He answered, that he would not allow us to depart, but that I should write to the ambassador of our nation at Constantinople, and he would write to the grand signior, to know his pleasure as to what was to be done with us, or whether he chose to permit us to trade or no.
The pacha then dismissed me, desiring me to go to the lodging that was appointed for me, taking four or five of my people with me at my choice. These men and I were conveyed to the jailor's house, while all the rest were committed to the common prison, where they were all heavily ironed. At the time when I was taken before the pacha, one of our youths fainted, thinking I was led away to be beheaded, and that his turn would soon follow. He sickened immediately, and died shortly after. The 6th, I was sent for to breakfast with the kiabya, or lieutenant-general of the kingdom, and after breakfast, I gave him a particular account of the vile treachery that had been practised against me by Regib aga.
He desired me to be of good cheer, not thinking of what was past, which could not be remedied, as he hoped all would go well in the end, for which his best endeavours to do me good should not be wanting. Shermall, the Banian at Mokha, had made this man my friend. The 7th, I was sent for again by the kiabya to his garden, where he feasted Mr. Femell and me, telling me that I and my people should be soon set at liberty, and sent back to Mokha, where all my wrongs should be redressed, as he was resolved to stand my friend. This declaration was made before many of the principal persons, both Turks and Arabs, his only inducement being for God's sake, as he pretended; but I well knew it was in hopes of a reward. The letter of Hamet aga to this man did us much good.
At this time there came to Zenan a Moor of Cairo, who was an old acquaintance of the pacha, and had lent him large sums at his first coming from Constantinople very poor. This man was our next neighbour in Mokha at the time when we were betrayed, and had a ship in the road of Mokha, bound for India, which he feared our ships would have taken in revenge of our injuries, but as she was allowed peaceably to depart, he became our great friend. He wrote a letter in our behalf to the pacha, blaming him for using us so ill, and saying he would destroy the trade of the country by such conduct. On coming now to the pacha, he repeated what he had written and much more, urging him to return me all my goods, and to send me and my people away contented. His influence prevailed much; as when the pacha sent for us, it was his intention to have put me to death, and to make slaves of all the rest. Of all this I was informed by Shermall and Hamet Waddy, who were both present when the letter was read, and at the conference between the pacha and him. This Hamet Waddy is a very rich Arabian merchant, residing in Zenan, and is called the pacha's merchant: He was much our friend, in persuading the pacha to use us kindly and permit us to depart.
The 8th January, I represented to the pacha that at my coming away from Mokha, I had ordered the commanders of my ships to forbear hostilities for twenty-five days, and afterwards to use their discretion, unless they heard farther from me. And as the time was almost expired, I requested he would enable me to write them some encouraging news, to stay them from doing injury to Mokha. The 11th, I was sent for to the kiahya, who told me my business was ended satisfactorily, and that the only delay now was in waiting for the rest of my people coming from Aden, immediately after which we should be sent to Mokha. The 17th, Mr. Fowler and eighteen more of the company of the Pepper-corn arrived at Zenan from Aden, and were carried before the pacha, who asked them the same question he had done me. Afterwards, Mr. Fowler, John Williams, and Robert Mico were sent to keep me company, and all the rest to the common prison with my other men, where they were all put in irons. Their only allowance from the pacha was brown bread and water, and they had all died of hunger if I had not relieved them.
The 25th, I was sent for to the kiahya's garden, where we spent some hours in conference. He told me I was to accompany him to the pacha, and advised me to soothe him with fair words. The chief cause of this man being our friend was, that I had promised him 1500 sequins after we were delivered, which I had done through Shermall, the consul of the Banians, after a long negotiation. Mr. Femell and I were brought to the pacha's garden, where we found him in a kiosk, or summer-house, sitting in a chair, the kiabya standing at his right hand, and five or six others behind him. The pacha asked me how I did, desiring me to be of good cheer, as I and my people should soon be sent to Mokha, where I and twenty-nine more were to remain till all the India ships were come in, and the winds settled westerly, and then I and all my company should be allowed to embark and proceed on our voyage to India. I requested that he would not detain so many of us; but he answered, "Thirty have I said, and thirty shall remain." I then asked if our goods should be returned. He answered no, for they were all put to the account of the grand signior. I asked if all my people should be allowed to depart at the time appointed. To which he answered, that not one should be detained, not even if I had a Turkish slave, and I might depend on his word.
Having given him thanks for his kindness, as counselled by the kiahya, he began to excuse himself; and to praise his own clemency, saying, it was happy for us we had fallen into his hands, as if it had been in the time of any of his predecessors, we had all suffered death for presuming to come so near their holy city. He said, what had been done was by order of the grand signior, proceeding upon the complaints of the pachas of Cairo and Swaken, and the sharif of Mecca, who represented that, when the Ascension and her pinnace were in the Red Sea, they had bought up all the choice goods of India, by which the Turkish customs were much diminished; and if allowed to continue, it would ruin the trade of the Red Sea. Wherefore the grand signior had given orders, if any more Englishmen or other Christians came into these parts, to confiscate their ships and goods, and to kill or reduce to slavery all their men they could get hold of.
In the meantime many of our people fell sick, and became weak through grief, cold, bad air, bad diet, wretched lodging, and heavy irons. I never ceased urging the kiahya, till he procured their liberations from the loathsome prison; so that on the 11th February they were freed from their irons, and had a house in the town to live in, with liberty to walk about. Next day the kiahya sent me six bullocks for my men, so that in a few days, with wholesome food and exercise, they recovered their former health and strength. The kiahya informed me, that Regib aga had written to the pacha to send us all down to Aden, to be there taken on board his ships; by which means his town of Mokha, and the India ships in passing the Bab would be freed from the danger of suffering any harm from our ships. This advice had nearly prevailed with the pacha, but was counteracted for our good by the kiahya.
Early in the morning of the 17th February, I and Mr. Femell and others were sent for by the kiahya, and told that we were all to depart next morning for Mokha. After breakfast, he took us to the pacha to take leave. After again extolling his clemency and magnifying the power of the grand signior, he strictly enjoined me to come no more into those seas; saying that no Christian or Lutheran should be allowed to come thither, even if they had the grand signior's pass. I requested, if any of our nation came there before I could give advice to England, that they might be permitted to depart quietly, and not betrayed as I had been: but this he positively refused to comply with. I then entreated him to write to Regib aga, to execute all that the pacha had promised me; for, being my mortal enemy, he would otherwise wrong me and my people. He answered with great pride, "Is not my word sufficient to overturn a city? If Regib wrong you, I will pull his skin over his ears, and give you his head. Is he not my slave?"
I then asked him for an answer to his majesty's letter, but he would give me none. On my departure, I told the kiahya that I had no weapon, and therefore desired leave to buy a sword, that I might not ride down like a prisoner. He acquainted the pacha with my request, who sent me one of his cast swords. The kiahya also gave me this morning an hundred pieces of gold of forty maydens, having before given me fifty. The 18th, I paid all the dues of the prison, and went to breakfast with the kiahya, where I received my dispatch, and a letter for the governor of Aden, to deliver the boat belonging to the Pepper-corn; I requested also his letter to the governor of Tyes, to restore Mr. Pemberton's boy who was left sick there, and who, I had been informed, was forced to turn Mahometan. He wrote a letter and sealed it, but I know not its purport. I now took leave of the kiahya, and departed for Mokha; I, Mr. Femell, and Mr. Fowler, being mounted on horses, and all the rest on asses or camels. We had two chiautes to conduct us on the way, one a-horseback and the other a-foot.
The city of Zenan is somewhat larger than Bristol, and is well built of stone and lime, having many churches or mosques. It is surrounded by a mud wall, with numerous battlements and towers. On the west side there is a great deal of spare ground enclosed within the walls, where the principal people have their gardens, orchards, and kiosks, or pleasure-houses. It stands in a barren stony valley, enclosed among high hills at no great distance, on one of which to the north, which overlooks the town, there is a small castle to keep off the mountaineers, who used from thence to offend the city. Its only water is from wells, which have to be dug to a great depth. Wood is very scarce and dear, being brought from a distance.
The castle is at the east side of the city, and is enclosed with mud walls, having many turrets, in which they place their watch every night, who keep such a continual hallooing to each other all night long that one unaccustomed to the noise can hardly sleep. The pacha and some other principal men dwell within the castle. The house of the keeper of the prison, in which I was confined, adjoins the wall, at the foot of which is a spacious yard, where a great number of people, mostly women and children, are kept as pledges, to prevent their husbands, parents, and relations from rebelling. The boys while young run about loose in the yard, but when they come to any size, they are put in irons, and confined in a strong tower. The women and children dwell in little huts in the yard built on purpose, the children going mostly naked, unless when the weather is very cold, and then they have sheep-skin coats.
The first night of our journey we arrived at Siam, a small town, with a cattle, on the side of a hill, sixteen miles from Zenan, the country about being very barren. The 19th we came to Surage, a small village eighteen miles from Siam, in a very barren country. The people are very poor and go almost naked, except a cloth round their middles reaching to their knees. The 20th, Damare, or Dhamar, a town built of stone and lime, but in five separate parts, like so many distinct villages. It stands in a spacious plain or valley, abounding in water, and producing plenty of grain and other provisions. This town is twenty miles from Surage, and we remained here two days by order of Abdallah Chelabi, the Kiabys, who was governor of this province.
The 22d we came to Ermin, a small village, about fifteen miles. The 23d, Nakhil Sammar, a common inn for travellers, called Sensors by the Turks. There are many of these sensors between Mokha and Zenan, being built at the cost of the grand signior for the relief of travellers. This sensor stands in the middle of a very steep hill called Nakhil Sammar, on the top of which is a great castle in which the governor of the province resides, who is an Arabian; these craggy mountainous countries being mostly governed by Arabians, as the inhabitants of the mountains cannot brook the proud and insolent government of the Turks. No Turk may pass this way, either to or from Zenan, without a passport from the governor of the province from which they come. This sensor is about fourteen miles from Ermin.
The 24th we came to Mohader, a small village at the foot of the great hill, thirteen miles from Nakhil Sammar. Our chiaus had a warrant from the pacha to take up asses for our men, and accordingly did so at this place over night; but next morning the Arabians lay in ambush in the way, and took back their asses, neither of our chiauses daring to give them one uncivil word. The 25th we came to Rabattamaine, a sensor, with a few small cottages and shops, on the side of a hill, sixteen miles. Here grow poppies, of which they make opium, but it is not good. The 26th we came to a coughe house, called Merfadine, in the middle of a plain, sixteen miles. The 27th, Tayes, a city half as big as Zenan, surrounded by a mud wall. We staid here two days, in which time I did all I could to recover Mr. Pemberton's boy, whom Hamet aga the governor had forced to become Mahometan, and would on no account part with him.
Walter Talbot, who spoke the Turkish language, was allowed to converse with him in a chamber among other boys. He told Talbot that he was no Turk, but had been deluded by them, saying that I and all my people were put to death at Zenan, and that he must change his religion if he would save his life, but he refused: yet they carried him to a bagnio, where he was circumcised by force. Finding the aga would not deliver the boy, I gave him the kiahya's letter, desiring him to be given up if not turned; so he was refused. This city stands in a valley under very high hills, on the top of one of which is a fair strong castle. All kinds of provisions are here plentiful and cheap, and in the neighbourhood some indigo is made, but I could not learn what quantity or quality. This city is very populous, as indeed are all the cities and districts we passed through.
The 1st March we came to Eufras, sixteen miles through a mountainous and stony country. This is a small town on the side of a hill, to which many people resort from afar about the 5th of January, where they do some foolish ceremonies at the grave of one of their saints who is buried here, after which they all go on pilgrimage to Mecca. The governor of this town, though a Turk, used me very civilly on my going up to Zenan; and, on the present occasion, sent a person six miles to meet us at a place where two roads meet, to bring us to this town, where he used us kindly. The 2nd we lodged at a sensor called Assambine, eleven miles, where were only a few poor cottages. The 3rd to another sensor called Accomoth, in a barren common, with a few cottages, thirteen miles. The 4th to Mousa, seventeen miles, through a barren plain with few inhabitants. Mousa is a small unwalled town, but very populous, standing in a moderately fertile plain, in which some indigo is made. We departed from Mousa at midnight, and rested two or three hours at a church, or coughe house, called Dabully, built by a Dabull merchant Our stop was to avoid coming to Mokha before day.
We got there about eight in the morning, and were met a mile without the town by our carpenters and smiths, and some others who had remained at Mokha, all of whom had their irons taken off the day before, and were now at liberty to walk abroad. The first question I asked was, what was become of Mr. Pemberton; when they told me, to my great satisfaction, that he contrived to get hold of a canoe, in which he got aboard. From the end of the town all the way to the aga's house, the people were very thick to see us pass, and welcomed us back to Mokha. On coming before the aga, I delivered the letters I brought from Zenan.
He now received me in his original dissembled shew of kindness, bidding me welcome, and saying he was glad of my safe return, and sorry and ashamed for what was past, praying me to pardon him, as he had done nothing but as commanded by his master the pacha, and I might now assure myself of his friendship, and that all the commands of the pacha should be punctually obeyed. I soothed him with fair speech, but believed nothing of his promises. He called for breakfast, and made Mr. Femell, Mr. Fowler, and me sit down by him, desiring us to eat and be merry, for now we had eaten bread and salt with him, we need have no fear of harm. After breakfast the aga appointed us a large fair house near the sea, in which we abode two days; but we were afterwards removed to a large strong house standing by itself in the court yard of a mosque in the middle of the town, where we were guarded by a captain and his company appointed for the charge. He watched himself all day, and at night our house was surrounded by his soldiers.
Mokha is a third part less than Tayes, situated close to the sea, in a salt barren sandy soil, and unwalled. The house of the governor is close to the sea, and beside it is a quay, or jetty; which advances a good way into the water, at which all boats from any ship are enjoined to land, lest they should defraud the customs. Close to the quay is a platform or battery, on which are about twelve brass cannon; and at the west end of the town is a fort with a similar number of ordnance. At our first coming, this fort was in ruins; but it had been since pulled down and new built. The Darling came into the roads this afternoon, and brought me news of the welfare of the rest, to my no small comfort after so many troubles.
The 6th March, Nakhada Malek Ambar, captain of a great ship of Dabul, came ashore, accompanied by a great number of merchants, all of them being carried round the town in a kind of triumph, and were afterwards feasted by the aga. I likewise was sent for to this feast, and entertained with much seeming love and friendship. In presence of the whole company, the aga sent for the Koran, which he kissed, and voluntarily swore and protested that he had no ill will to me, but wished me all good, and would do every thing in his power to do me pleasure, being much grieved for the past, and his heart entirely free of malice or hatred. I returned him thanks, seemingly much satisfied with his protestations, though I gave no credit to them, but was forced to endure what I could not remedy, till God should please to provide better.
The 7th, the aga made a great feast at his garden-house for the Dabul merchants, to which I and Mr. Femell were invited. The 8th we were all sent for by the aga, when thirty were selected to remain along with me a-land, and the rest, to the number of thirty-six, were sent on board the Darling. The 9th I had escaped, if I had not been more careful for those who had then been left behind than for myself. This day the Darling departed to the other ships in an excellent road called Assab, on the coast of Habash or Abyssinia, which they had found out during my absence, where they were safe in all winds that blow in these seas, and where they had plenty of wood and water merely for the trouble of fetching. The water was indeed a little brackish, but it satisfied them who had been long in want on that necessary.
The people of this country are as black as the Guinea negroes; those on the sea-coast being Mahometans, but those of the inland country are Christians, and subjects to Prester John. They go almost naked, having only a cloth round their waists and down to their knees. At the first coming of our people they were much afraid; but after becoming acquainted, and a mutual peace being sworn between them, they supplied our ships with beeves, sheep, and goats for money, at a reasonable rate; and, as they afterwards desired calico rather than money, I furnished them with it from Mokha, after which our ships got refreshments much cheaper in truck than formerly for money, dealing faithfully and kindly with our people, though the Turks sought to make them inimical by means of barks which pass to and fro.
The king of this country on the sea-coast, who resides at a town on the coast called Rahayta, about forty miles south from Assab, nearer the Bab, sent some of his principal people with presents to the commanders of our ships, who returned the compliment by sending him some presents by messengers of their own. He entertained these messengers very courteously, promising every thing his country afforded. The vulgar speech of this people is quite different from Arabic, but the better sort speak and write Arabic, in which language their law of Mahomet is written.
§ 4. Sir Henry Middleton makes his Escape from the Turks, and forces them to make Satisfaction.
April 1st, 1611, the Darling departed from Mokha for Assab, having permission of the aga to come over every ten days to see how I did. This unlooked-for kindness gave no hopes of being able to work my freedom. Between and the fourth there came in two great ships of Dabul, which, with the one here before, belonged to the governor of Dabul, who is a Persian and a great merchant, having many slaves. Of these, Malek Ambar is one, who is in high credit with him, and had the management of all the goods in the three ships. Ambar is a negro, born in Habash, and perhaps cost his master fifteen or twenty dollars; but now never goes out of doors without great troops of followers, like some great lord.
The 11th, the aga and all the chief men of the town rode out at day-break to make merry at his garden-house, which gave me a fair opportunity of putting in practice what I had long projected, for Hamet aga and others had told me the pacha would not perform his promise unless for fear. I wrote therefore, to Mr. Pemberton, saying that I meant this day to make my escape on board, and that I would have myself conveyed to the boat in an empty cask; and desired therefore that he would send the boat in all speed manned with choice hands, and that he would send me some wine and spirits to make my keepers drunk, all which he punctually performed. Before I told Mr. Femell of my intentions, I made him swear to be secret, and not to endeavour to persuade me from my intentions. I then gave him notice of what I meant to do, and that, if he and others would walk down to a certain place at the sea-side, I would not fail to take him and the rest in. I also told him that the carpenters were appointed to embark themselves at another place, where a boat lay on the beach, south from the town, with a mast and sail ready for the purpose, but were not to push off till they saw the Darling's boat away from the jetty.
All things fell out well for my purpose. The subasha, who was our guardian, and left in town only to look after me, fell to hard drinking at a rack house. The boat being come, and my keepers all drunk, the subasha came home to our house about noon. I then sent away the carpenters, two and two only together to avoid suspicion, as if to walk, with orders to shift for themselves in the appointed boat. Mr. Femell, and those others I was to take in to leeward of the town, I ordered likewise to walk by twos at the shore, and to wait my coming for them. Having given all these directions, I was put into my cask and safely carried to the boat, on which I gave immediate orders to bear up to leewards, where I took in Mr. Fowler and ten more of our people. Mr. Femell and others, being too late of coming out of town, were taken before they could get to the boat. Having got safe on board the Darling, we espied the boat with the carpenters coming towards us, in which four escaped, but a fifth was too long of coming to the boat, and, attempting to swim on board, was drowned.
About two hours after coming on board, a letter from Mr. Femell was brought me by two Arabs in a canoe, stating, that by the command of the aga, he and the others who remained ashore had been chained by the necks, and threatened with death; but had been released by the intercession of Nokhada Malek Ambar and Nokhada Mahomet of Cananore, and others, and permitted to remain in our former house, but under a strong guard. These Nokhadas, or ship captains, acted this friendly part not from love to us, but for fear of their ships in the roads, which were now at my disposal. I answered Mr. Femell, and sent word to the aga, that if he did not send me all my people and everything belonging to my ships, which he detained contrary to the orders of the pacha, that I would burn all the ships in the roads, and would batter the town about his ears. I likewise sent word to the Nokhadas, not to send any boat on board their ships without first coming to acquaint me of their business, nor to carry any thing ashore from their ships without my leave.
After my escape there was no small bustle and disturbance in the town; the aga not knowing how to answer to the pacha; the subasha at his wits' end; and the Emir-al-Bahr in little better case; all afraid of losing their heads. One of our porters, who had assisted in carrying me in the cask, took sanctuary in a mosque, and would not come out till assured of pardon. The Nokhadas and merchants, who before scorned to speak with any of us, being now afraid of losing their ships and goods, sent presents of victuals and refreshments to Mr. Femell and the rest. At night I sent the boat well manned to carry news to Assab of my escape, with directions for our ships to come over with all speed; and I placed the Darling in such a situation as to command all the ships in the roads of Mokha.
The 12th, Mahomet, the Nokhada of Cananore, came off, saying that the aga was very sorry for my departure, which I knew to be true, as he was determined to have set me and all my people at liberty to my full content in a few days, which I believed to be false. As for the things belonging to our ships which were on shore, he would deliver them, but could not send off my people without farther orders from the pacha, for which he asked fifteen days respite, after which, if I had not my men, they desired no favour. I insisted to have my pinnace at the same time, of which he said he should inform the aga. I yielded to his request of a peace of fifteen days, on promise of having my men and pinnace within the time; but durst not demand restitution or satisfaction for my goods, till such time as I had all my men aboard.
The Darling's cables, anchors, pitch, tar, and other things were sent off, and few days passed but I had some present or other of refreshments from the aga and the Dabul merchants and others, who would scarcely speak to me when I was ashore in trouble, but were now fain to flatter me. Early this morning, a boat from the shore went aboard the innermost ship, on which I made the gunner fire two shots at her, which caused them to come to me; and I threatened to hang them if they did so any more, so they never durst attempt the like again.
The 13th, the Increase and Pepper-corn came to anchor towards night in sight of the roads, the lee-tide being against them, and got into the roads next day, when I went on board the Increase, where I was received very joyfully by all my company. The 18th there came a ship of Diu into the roads, belonging to Shermall the sabander, laden with India goods, which I embargoed, both people and goods, causing her to come to anchor close beside my ship; but next day, at the request of Shermall, I allowed all the people to go ashore, except a few to look after the ship. The 26th, Mahomet came off, saying the aga refused to deliver up the pinnace and my men, unless I gave a writing under my hand, confirmed by four or five more of our chief officers, and sanctioned by our oaths, containing a perfect peace with the Turks and Indians, and not to meddle in this sea or elsewhere in revenge of anything that had passed, nor to demand satisfaction or restitution for the goods taken from me.
I told him I was astonished he should thus come daily with new demands, as he had this day promised to bring my men and pinnace, which I looked to have performed; and for better security, he and all with him should remain as hostages till I had them, and desired, therefore, that he would write to this effect to the aga. Mahomet said that he had acted quite voluntarily in all this business, and would be laughed at for his forwardness if he should write as I desired, and therefore, whatever might betide, he would on no account write to the aga, but promised, if I gave him such a writing as he proposed, he would bring off my people before night.
Finding him inflexible, I thought best to give him something that might carry the name of what he desired, so I caused draw up a writing in English, signed by myself and five more, containing nothing else than a brief narrative of the treacherous misusage we had from the Turks; and I sent advice to Mr. Femell how he was to interpret it to them. When Mahomet desired me to swear, I positively refused, saying my word should be found truer than the oath of a Turk. Mahomet went now ashore with this writing, leaving some of the better sort of his company in pledge, whom he desired me to hang if he brought not off my people that night.
In fact, he returned a little before night with Mr. Femell and nine more; Mr. Femell and other two having received vests of small value. Another vest was sent for me, which they said came from the pacha, and the Nokhada would have me put it on. I refused it, telling him I scorned to wear any thing that came from so unconscionable a dog, by whose order I had received so many injuries. He now departed, taking with him the Turk who was made prisoner in the attempt upon the Darling, who had remained till now in the Increase.
The 27th, according to promise, Mahomet brought off my pinnace, and asked me if all that was promised was not now performed. I told him no; for I had not yet all my company, as they still kept my boy at Tayes, whom they had forcibly circumcised, and that I was determined to have him before I would release the ships. The 1st June I wrote to the pacha in Italian, demanding restitution of my goods, and satisfaction for the damages I had received; and was answered, my letter was not understood for want of an interpreter. I therefore again embargoed the ship of Diu, declaring, that no more goods should be landed from her, till the pacha had satisfied me to the value of 70,000 dollars, which I had lost and was damnified by him. The 2nd, came aboard my interpreter at Zenan, Ally Hoskins, with a message from the pacha, desiring me not to take any violent courses here, but to seek justice at Constantinople. He told me likewise he had brought with him the boy from Tayes. I answered, I would by no means release the ship till I had restitution of my goods, and satisfaction for my damages to the amount already specified.
The 3rd, the aga requested peace for twelve days, till the pacha were informed of my demands. The 4th, Ally Hoskins, Tocorsi, a Banian, and others, came on board, and desired me to make out an account of the particulars of my losses, that it might be considered of ashore. I did so in writing; and sent word by them to the aga, that if he did not presently make me restitution and satisfaction, I would batter the town about his ears, would take all the goods from the Diu ship into my own, and burn all the ships; all which I could do without breach of covenant, as the time of the agreed truce was expired, and they had not performed their part of the agreement. The 8th, I sent Mr. Pemberton to Assab to purchase fresh provisions, as we had many sick in our ships, and I was fearful of taking provisions at Mokha, being warned by my friends to beware of poison.
The 19th, Shermall, Ally Hoskins, Tocorsi, and many others came on board, bringing Mr. Pemberton's boy. After compliments, Shermall began with a long preamble of love and favour, for which he hoped I would now requite him; for the pacha had enjoined him to give me satisfaction, or to have his throat cut and his goods seized, which he declared to be truth. After a long debate, it was concluded that all our lead and iron was to be restored, and I was to receive 18,000 dollars in full for satisfaction, to be paid in fifteen days. Whereupon a peace was concluded between us and them, from the port of Mokha to Cananore, conditioning that the pacha gave me a writing under his hand and seal, confirming this peace between his nation and ours for the time specified.
The 2nd July we received the last payment, the sabander Shermall coming himself. On this occasion I cleared all accounts with him, as well for money borrowed while I was prisoner as disbursed since. He then demanded the 1500 chequins I had promised the kiahya, but this I peremptorily refused to pay, as the kiahya had not performed his promise to me. The 3rd, Tocorsi and Ally Hoskins came again and bought some vermilion, for which I gave them credit, on their promise to pay me at Assab in fifteen days, and also to bring me over some supply of grain, together with a writing from the pacha in confirmation of the peace agreed upon. In the afternoon we warped out of the road of Mokha, and set sail that night for Assab, but did not arrive there till the morning of the 5th.
The 6th I went ashore, and caused all the wells to be emptied and cleaned out, for fear of poison; having been often told at Mokha, that the Turks had practised with the people of Assab to poison the wells. The 13th, the king of this country, hearing of my escape from Mokha, sent me a complimentary letter and a present. The 17th, a vessel came over from Mokha, in which was Tocorsi and another Banian, bringing with them the provisions I had desired them to buy for us, and the money they owed me; but as for the writing confirming the peace, they made excuse that the pacha was so much occupied in war that he could not get it attended to; which was a manifest warning that they would give no quarter to our nation.
Wherefore, on the 24th, we sailed from Assab, plying to windward as far as Kamaran, to wait the arrival of a large ship, which comes yearly from Sues to Mokha richly laden, hoping by her means to be amply revenged for all the losses and disgraces I had incurred from the Turks; and I the more anxiously wished to meet with her, as I understood the two traitors, Jaffer pacha and Regib aga, had both great adventures in that ship. From the 24th therefore to 31st July we plyed to windward for this purpose, sailing by day and anchoring all night, in which period we narrowly escaped many dangers, being in want of a pilot, being many times in imminent danger of running aground, to the hazard and loss of all, had not God preserved us. But the ship of Sues escaped us in the night, as we found on our return towards the south.
§ 5. Voyage from the Red Sea to Surat, and Transactions there.
We set sail from the neighbourhood of Mokha in the morning of the 9th August, 1611, and in the evening cast anchor three leagues short of the straits of Bab-al-Mondub. The 10th, the Darling and Release  went out by the western passage, which they found to be three leagues over from the main land of Habesh to the island Bab-Mandel [Prin]. One third of the way over from the island they had no ground at forty fathoms, the channel being quite clear and free from danger, though the Turks and Indians reported it was full of rocks and shoals and not navigable for ships. We in the Increase, accompanied by the Pepper-corn, went out by the eastern narrow channel at which we came in, which does not exceed a mile and half between the island and the Arabian shore, of which a considerable distance from the main is encumbered with shoals. We all met outside of the straits in the afternoon, in nineteen fathoms water, about four miles from the Arabian shore.
From the 12th to the 27th, we were much pestered with contrary winds, calms, and a strong adverse current, setting to the S.W. at the rate of four miles an hour. The 27th, we had a favouring gale to carry us off, and by six p.m. had sight of Mount Felix [Baba Feluk], a head-land to the west of Cape Guardafui. The 30th, we came to anchor in the road of Delisha, on the northern coast of Socotora. We found there a great ship of Diu and two smaller, bound for the Red Sea, but taken short by the change of the monsoon. The captain of the great ship with several others came aboard me, and assured me our people at Surat were well, being in daily expectation of ships from India, and that Captain Hawkins was at the court of the Great Mogul, where he was made a great lord, and had a high allowance from the king. They said likewise, that the king had given Captain Sharpey money to build a ship, which was nearly ready for launching at Surat. This and many other things he told me seemed too good news to be true.
As the monsoon was far spent, I requested the nokhada of Diu to aid me with his boats and people in procuring water and ballast, which he and the others willingly did, offering me all the water in their ship, and employing their people to bring me more from the shore, so anxious were they to get me away. It was long before I could bargain with the king for his aloes, but at last I got it, paying higher than Captain Keeling had done; for I think the Indians were in hand with him for it, which made him enhance the price. I left letters with the king, which he promised to deliver to the first English ship that came there. Having finished all my business, I had much ado to get a simple fellow from the ship of Diu to pilot me on the coast of India, who pretended to be a good coaster. We set sail from Delisha on the 3d September, with a favourable wind, which brought us by the 26th into the road of Surat, where we came to anchor in seven fathoms near three India ships. A mile from us rode at anchor seven sail of Portuguese frigates or men of war, there being thirteen more of them within the river of Surat.
Long before our arrival, the Portuguese had intelligence that we were in the Red Sea and bound for Surat, so that these frigates were sent purposely to prevent us from trading at Surat, or any other place on that coast. Don Francisco de Soto-major was captain-major of this flotilla, being what is called captain-major of the north, and reaped great profit from granting cartasses, or passports, to all ships and barks trading on that coast, all being confiscated that presumed to navigate without his licence. I discharged my pilots that night, paying them well, and sent by them a letter to such Englishmen as might be in Surat, as I could not learn how many or who were there resident.
The 29th, came a small Portuguese frigate from the admiral of the armada, as they term it, in which was one Portuguese and his boy, bringing me a letter from the captain-major, in answer to one I wrote him the day before. He expressed his satisfaction to hear that I belonged to a king in friendship with his sovereign, and that he and his people would be ready to do me every service, provided I brought a letter or order from the King of Spain, or the Viceroy of India, allowing me to trade in these parts; if otherwise, he must guard the port committed to his charge, in which the king his master had a factory.
I answered by word of mouth, by the Portuguese messenger, that I neither had letters from the King of Spain nor the viceroy, of which I had no need, being sent by the King of England with letters and rich presents for the Great Mogul, and to establish the trade already begun in these parts. As for the Portuguese factory there, I meant not to harm it, as both it and our factory might continue to trade, and I saw no reason they had to oppose us, as the country was free for all nations, the Mogul and his subjects not being under vassalage to the Portuguese. I therefore desired him to tell his captain, that I expected he would, in a friendly manner, permit any English who were at Surat to come on board to confer with me, and hoped he would not reduce me to the necessity of using force, as I was resolved to have intercourse with them by one means or the other.
I went that day in the Darling to examine the bar, but seeing we could not possibly go over the bar without a pilot, I returned in the evening to the road. On going aboard the Increase, I found a letter from Surat, written by Nicholas Bangham, formerly a joiner in the Hector. He informed me that we had no factory in Surat, to which place he had been sent by Captain Hawkins to recover some debts owing there, and had likewise letters for me from Captain Hawkins, but durst not send them aboard for fear of the Portuguese. He said nothing as to what had become of our factory and goods; wherefore I wrote to him to send me Captain Hawkins' letters, and information of all other particulars of our affairs in that country.
The third October, Khojah Nassan, governor of Surat, and the governor's brother of Cambaya, sent me a Mogul messenger with a present of refreshments, offering to do me all the service in their power; saying, they wished to trade with us, but could see no way of doing so while the Portuguese armada rode there, and therefore advised me to go for Gogo, a far better place, where our ships could ride nearer the shore, and where the Portuguese armada could not hinder our landing. That place likewise was nearer Cambay, where there were more merchants and greater store of merchandise for our purpose than at Surat.
I told this messenger, that till I knew what was become of our countrymen and goods formerly left in the country, I could not determine how to proceed, and desired him therefore to be a means that some one of our people might come aboard to confer with me, and that I might have a pilot to conduct me to Gogo, and then I would quickly resolve them what I was to do. I dismissed this messenger and his interpreter with small presents. The 5th, the interpreter, who was a bramin, or priest of the Banians, came off with a letter from Bangham, and the letter from Captain Hawkins, dated from Agra in April last, giving an account of the fickleness of the Mogul, who had given a firman to the Portuguese, by which our trade, formerly granted, was disallowed.
There were likewise two letters of a later date from Thomas Fitch, at Lahore, giving the same account of the inconstancy of the Great Mogul, and advising me on no account to land any goods, or to hope for trade.
On reading these letters, I grew hopeless of any trade here, yet resolved to try all I possibly could before I would depart. I understood by Bangham's letter that Captain Sharpey, John Jordayne, and others, were coming from Cambaya to Surat to go along with me: and although I could have no trade, I yet resolved to do all I could to get them on board. The Indian ships that rode beside me had given over their voyage southwards for this monsoon, and the bramin desired me to allow them to be carried into the river. This I would by no means grant; desiring him to tell the governor and owners, that their ships should be detained till I had all the English from Cambaya and Surat on board. If I had permitted them to be gone, I should have lost all means of sending to or hearing from our people ashore, as the Portuguese used their endeavours to intercept all letters and messengers.
The 22nd, the Portuguese laid an ambush to intercept some of my men that were sent on shore, and on seeing an advantage, broke out upon them in great numbers, confusedly running towards my men and boats. They discharged their shot at us, and we at them, both such of my men as were on shore, and those also in my frigate, which rowed close to the land. All my men retired in safety to my boats and frigate, and the Portuguese retired, with some hurt, behind the sand hills, out of shot, and so, in worse case than they came, returned to their frigates. There were of them seven ensigns, and might be about three hundred men.
At the time when these came upon us by land, five of their largest frigates, which rode a little way off to the northward, came up towards us, firing at us, but far out of shot. Returning with our boats and frigate to the ships, I consulted with Captain Downton and others what course to take, and it was thought best to bring the smaller ships out to where the Increase lay. The 8th November, Nicholas Bangham came from Surat with some refreshments, and news that Mocreb Khan was soon expected. This day the son of the Portuguese viceroy came into the river with 100 frigates, most of them being merchant grabs bound for Cambaya. At night, I caused our ships that rode in shore to come out and anchor beside me, lest the Portuguese might attempt any thing against them.
The 9th November, Khojah Nassan came to the shore, and I went to him with my frigate and boats to confer with him. He promised in two or three days at farthest to return, and bring goods with him for trade. I told him we had been here long, and could get no refreshment of victuals for our money, and desired therefore that he would give orders to the country people to bring me some, which he promised. The 18th, I had a letter from Bangham, saying there were little or no hopes of any trade. All things considered I determined now to go away, and wrote therefore to Nicholas Bangham to come on board; but Khojah Nassan would not permit him, and he at length stole privately out of town, and got on board.
Upon this, Khojah Nassan and Mocreb Khan sent me letters by Jaddaw, a broker, both promising speedily to visit me. Though I hardly believed them, yet I determined to spend a few days longer to see the event. At this time the Portuguese made another attempt to entrap our men on shore, for they did not dare to attack us at sea. They laid another ambush among the sand hills with a great number of men, not far from our landing-place, whence they attacked our people, but they all got safe into our boat. In the mean time, our people in the ships let fly at them, and they took to their heels to their lurking place behind the hills, leaving one of their men on the strand mortally wounded in the head, whom our people brought aboard.
The 24th, Jaddaw came again aboard, saying that Mocreb Khan was coming, and would be with me before night. After dinner I went close in shore with my frigate, where I found Khojah Nassan, who sent me word Mocreb Khan would be there presently; having provided a suitable present, I went ashore well accompanied, where I found Mocreb Khan and Khojah Nassan waiting for me with many attendants. We embraced at meeting, and our ships fired some cannon to salute Mocreb Khan, which he seemed to take in good part. Having delivered my present, we sat down on carpets spread on the ground, and had some conference.
Being near sun-set, I invited Mocreb to go on board and stay all night, which he agreed to, taking with him his son, the son of Khojah Nassan, and several of his chief followers, but Khojah Nassan would not go. I gave him the best entertainment I could, setting before him such dainties as I could provide on a sudden, of which he and those with him ate heartily. I now conceived good hopes of trade, as all this country was under his command, as he promised everything I asked, even to give us any place or harbour I pleased to name, and leave to fortify ourselves there. It growing late, I left him to his rest.
Next morning, the 25th, Mocreb Khan busied himself in buying knives, glasses, and any toys he could find among the people. I shewed him the whole ship aloft and below; and any thing that pleased him he got away for nothing; besides many toys that struck his fancy belonging to the company, which I bought and gave him. On returning to my cabin, he would see all my trunks, chests, and lockers opened, and whatever was in them that took his liking, I gave him for nothing. Dinner being ready, he dined with me, and went afterwards on board the other ships, where he behaved as in mine.
The 30th and 31st, I sent Mr. Fowler, Mr. Jordayne, and other merchants to look at the goods, after which they returned with Mustrels, or invoices and prices, on which we set down what we would give for each, desiring them to do the like with ours. But they put me off from day to day, concluding nothing, and would neither abate in their prices, nor make any offer for our goods. Having sold all our sword-blades to Mocreb Khan at a moderate rate, as taking all one with another, he returned all the worst, above half of them, and no word when the others were to be paid. They then removed all their goods to Surat, and made a proclamation under great penalties, that no victuals or other thing should be brought to us.
The 8th December, Mocreb Khan and his crew came to the strand with about forty packs of their goods, partly his and Khojah Nassan's, and partly belonging to the sabander and other merchants. I went immediately ashore with a good guard of shot and halberts, and fell to business, and we soon agreed for all our lead, quicksilver, and vermilion, and for their goods in return. The business was mostly conducted by Khojah Nassan, no one daring to buy and sell with us without his leave.
The 9th, in the morning, we began to land our lead, and to receive some of their goods in return, and were in good forwardness to make prices for the rest, when a letter came to Mocreb Khan from his king, which dashed all his mirth and stopt our proceedings for the present. He seemed quite cheerful and pleasant before receiving this letter; but immediately on perusing it he became very sad. After sitting a good while musing, he suddenly rose and went away, neither looking at nor speaking to me, though I sat close beside him. But before he took horse he sent for me, praying me to excuse his sudden departure, having earnest business; but that he should leave Khojah Nassan to receive and deliver the goods bargained for, and to agree for more. We heard shortly after, that he was deposed from the government of Cambay, and Khojah Nassan from that of Surat, others being appointed in their places. Mocreb Khan was now nothing more than customer [[=customs officer]] of Surat.
The 10th December, the new governor of Surat and Hassan Ally came aboard the Pepper-corn to see the ships; and I afterwards took them aboard the Trades-increase. At this time our factors were ashore to see the lead weighed, which was now nearly all ready to be sent on shore. They entreated Khojah Nassan to go hand in hand with them in this affair, as it would take a long while in doing. The factors wanted to weigh with our English weights, which he would by no means agree to, the weigher of Surat being there with the weights of the town, which he insisted should be used. Seeing no other remedy they gave way, and began to use the country beam; but after some few draughts, they desired to understand the beam before they proceeded; and on trial found a vast difference between their beam and ours, no less than ten or eleven maunds on five pigs of lead, every maund being thirty-three pounds English. Seeing he could not have the lead at any weight he pleased, Khojah Nassan began to cavil, saying he would have half money and half goods for his commodities, railing and storming like a madman, calling for the carmen to drive away his goods, and that he would not have any of our lead or other goods.
While I was in the Trades-increase with the governor and sabander, one of the factors came off and told me how Khojah Nassan was going on. I advised with such of my officers as were then about me what was best to be done, and we concluded to keep these men who were aboard as pledges, and if we could get hold of Khojah Nassan to keep him and set these men free. Wherefore, I detained the governor and sabander, telling them how Khojah Nassan had dealt with me, going about to delude me as formerly, and therefore I had no other remedy but to keep them as pledges for the performance of the bargain. The governor advised me to go ashore and fetch the man, which I did; and giving the governor a good present, I let him depart.
The 19th, Hassan Ally the sabander came on board, shewing me two letters from the viceroy at Goa, one to himself and the other to the captain-major of the Portuguese armada. I opened and perused them both. That to the captain-major thanked him for his special good service against the English, in making their captain and his people to swim to the boats for their safety, in which he had done the part of a valiant captain and faithful soldier, which would redound to his great honour, and, to gratify him for his service on this occasion, he bestowed upon him certain frigates lately taken from the Malabars. The viceroy added, that he had sent his son in the command of the northern fleet; who being young, he prayed the captain-major to aid him with his counsel. Thus were the viceroy and I abused by the false reports of a lying braggart. The letter to the sabander thanked him for refusing to allow the English to trade at Surat, willing him to continue the same conduct, which would do great service to the King of Portugal, and for which he should be rewarded. This day came sundry carts laden with provisions from Surat, bought there for us by Nicholas Bangham.
The 24th, accounts on both sides being cleared, and business finished, the pledges on either side were released. They now promised to deal with us for the rest of our commodities, but after waiting till the 26th, they did nothing worth notice. The 27th a Jew came on board, bringing me a letter from Masulipatam, dated 8th September, from Peter Floris, a Dantzicker, employed by the company, shewing his setting out in February, his speedy and safe passage, and his arrival at Masulipatam in the beginning of September.
The 2d January, 1612, I wrote to Captain Hawkins, and sent to him Captain Sharpey, Hugh Fraine, and Hugh Gred, to set his mind on some better course than he seemed to be in when he wrote me on the 28th December; also desiring them to buy some indigo and other commodities, if they could be had at reasonable rates.
The 26th, Captain Hawkins and Captain Sharpey, with the rest, came towards where we lay, leaving their carriages five miles from the water-side. I landed with 200 armed men and went to meet them, about three miles off, to guard them and their goods from the Portuguese, who I doubted [[=suspected]] might attempt to intercept them, and brought them all in safety aboard without seeing any thing of the Portuguese. The 27th I sent John Williams, one of our factors, to Surat on business. Some days before, Mocreb Khan sent for Mr. Jourdayne, desiring his compliments to me, and that he was now going out of town for two or three days, to meet a great commander who was coming from the Deccan wars; but that on his return he would be as good as his word, in regard to the establishment of our factory.
He came back on the 27th, when he again sent for Mr. Jourdayne, whom he asked with an angry countenance what he did in Surat, and wherefore the English were not all gone. His answer was, that he staid on his word and promise to have a factory allowed us. He angrily answered, we should have no factory there, and that the long stay of the English ships had hindered him in his customs to the tune of a million of Manuveys, and commanded him therefore, in the king's name, to be gone with all speed, as there were neither factory nor trade to be had there by us. John Williams returned this morning, and two carts came from Surat with provisions. The 29th I sent for the factors to hasten away from Surat, as I meant to set sail.
§ 6. Voyage from Surat to Dabul, and thence to the Red Sea, and Proceedings there.
The morning of the 9th February, 1612, we warped the Trades-increase over the sands from the road of Swally, which, if we had not done this tide, we had lost the whole spring. This road is in the latitude of 20° 57', and the variation is 16° 30'. The morning of the 11th we sailed for Surat road, and anchored there in the afternoon beside a new ship belonging to Surat, just launched and come out of the river, and bound for the Red Sea. Surat road is in lat. 20° 40'. We weighed anchor on the 12th, and anchored two leagues south from the road beside a ship of Calicut bound for Surat, out of which I took a pilot for Dabul. We sailed again on the 13th, and at six in the evening of the 16th we arrived in the road of Dabul, in lat. 17° 42', [17° 45'] N.
The 17th I sent ashore the Malabar pilot, with a letter I had got when at Mokha from Malek Ambar to the governor, desiring him to use me well, and to trade with me if I came to that place. In the afternoon, both the governor and Malek Ambar sent me a small present of refreshments, with many compliments, offering me everything the country afforded, and to deal with me for my commodities if I chose to send on shore for that purpose.
I accordingly sent two of my merchants with a good present, who were kindly welcomed and well entertained while there. The 18th, 19th, and 20th, were spent in the sale of goods, boats going every day between the ship and the shore, the particulars of which I refer to the merchants' accounts, as not fit to be here expressed. By the 23d we had delivered all the goods bargained for, and had no farther hope of sales at this place.
The 24th I called a council of my principal officers and merchants, to consider what was best for us to do; whether to proceed for Priaman, Bantam, and the Spice islands, or to return to the Red Sea to meet the ships of India, and, as they would not deal with us at their own doors after we had come so far with commodities only vendible there, I thought we should do ourselves some right, and them no wrong, to cause them to barter with us, we taking their indigos and other goods at what they were worth, and giving ours in return. All were of this opinion for the following reasons: 1st, The putting off our English goods, and getting others in their place fit for our country; 2nd, to take some revenge of the great wrongs suffered from the Turks; 3rd, to save a ship, with her goods and men, which we heard were bound there, by letters received from Masulipatam, and which we thought could not possibly escape being betrayed as we had been.
Having concluded to return to the Red Sea, we were employed till the 27th in getting fresh water aboard, and taking back our red-lead, which we had sold and delivered at Dabul, but they disliked. In the evening we saw a sail in the offing, which some Malabar vessels beside us said was a Portuguese ship of Cochin bound for Chaul; on which I sent the Pepper-corn, Darling, and Release, to bring her in, which they did on the 28th. Finding my people in the Release had pillaged the Portuguese vessel, I took everything away from them, and gave them back to the owners. Her lading was mostly cocoa-nuts, and I took some small matter out of her.
Continuing our voyage for the Red Sea, we got sight of the island of Socotora on the 24th of March, and at four p.m. the point of Delisha bore S.S.W. six leagues distant. From noon of the 24th till noon of the 25th, we steered N.W. by W. and W.N.W. and W. all night, thinking by daylight to have been near the westermost part of the island; but we found we had gone little a-head, although we had a fair wind, owing to a strong current against us. The 27th, in the morning, we had sight of Abdal Curia, and before night espied Guarda-fui.
The 2d April, Mr. Pemberton came aboard me, telling me he had been at Socotora, where the king shewed him a writing left there by Captain John Saris, who was general of three ships from India, stating the time he left England, his places of refreshment, the time of his arrival at Socotora, and his having proceeded for the Red Sea in quest of trade; mentioning likewise his having perused the writing left by me, containing many reasons for not going there; but having the pass of the Grand Signior, he hoped to meet better entertainment than I had.
On this unexpected news, I called a council to deliberate on what we had best do; when we quickly resolved to proceed as we had formerly determined, having now no other way left, as we could not return again till the next westerly monsoon, which would not be till the middle of May. I therefore left Captain Downton in the Pepper-corn to remain till the 5th off the mouth, keeping the port of Aden shut up; while I went with the Trades-increase and Darling to keep the two passages of the straits of Bab-al-Mondub.
The 4th, about ten a.m., we anchored within the island in eight fathoms. Presently after there came a boat from shore with a Turk and three or four Arabian soldiers, the Turk being chief of the place under the aga of Mokha. He offered, if I had any letter to send, he would dispatch it by a foot-post, who would bring back an answer in three days. I wrote, therefore, to Captain Saris, giving him an account of the cause of my coming, and what I proposed to do.
The 6th came a Jalba belonging to Zeyla, a place without [[=outside]] the Bab on the African coast, bound for Mokha, laden with mats. I bought from her twelve sheep, and permitted her to depart. The 7th, before day, came in a ship of Basanor, which I obliged to anchor beside me. Richard Wickam, one of Captain Saris's merchants, came this morning with letters to me from Captain Saris, the contents of which I omit to write. I sent back an answer by a Turk that came in his company, but detained Wickam, lest they might have made him prisoner at Mokha, as I had embargoed the India ships. The 8th came in a ship of Diu, bound for Mokha, which I stopped and brought to anchor beside me, being the same I detained last year in Mokha roads. This day we rummaged these two ships, taking out of them such goods as suited our purpose, which were brought on board my ship. The 9th came in a small bark of Shahr, laden with coarse olibanum, some of which we bought and paid for in ryals to their contentment.
The 14th we were joined by Captain Saris with his three ships. After mutual salutes, Captain Saris, Captain Towerson, and Mr. Cox, their chief merchant, came aboard of me, and we spent all that day in friendly communication; and acquainting Captain Saris that I was much in want of cables, he engaged to supply me. The 15th I went aboard the Clove, where I and those that came with me were kindly entertained. Captain Saris shewed me the pass from the Grand Signior, and we had a long conversation, he believing that he would have had much good trade at Mokha if I had not come, which my experience found otherwise. At last we agreed, and set it down in writing interchangeably, that he was to have a third part of all that was taken, paying for the same as I did, leaving the subsequent disposal of the ships to me, who had sustained the injury.
From this to the 23d, many ships came in at the Bab from different ports of India, as Surat, Diu, Calicut, Cannanor, Acheen, and other ports; and this last day came in the Rhemy of Surat, belonging to the queen mother of the Great Mogul, laden with India commodities, and bound for Jiddah, the port of Mecca. In this ship were 1500 persons, mostly pilgrims, going to Mecca. The 24th I weighed anchor from the Bab, together with all the ships I had detained, and went for the road of Assab. About five p.m. we came to anchor with all the fleet off Crab island in twelve fathoms; and next morning stood in for the bay of Assab, where at one p.m. we anchored in seven and a half fathoms. The 27th we brought good store of indigo out of the ships of Surat and Diu. The Clove being in sight, plying off and on and not seeing us, I caused a shot to be fired, which they hearing, answered with another, and presently bore up for the road.....
* * * * *
Note. The narrative of Sir Henry Middleton breaks off here abruptly, for which no reason is assigned by Purchas. The omission will, however, be found supplied in the subsequent report of the same voyage by Captain Downton, and in the Journal of the Eighth Voyage of the India Company commanded by Captain John Saris.--Ed.
[Footnote 317: Purch. Pilgr. I. 247. Astl. I. 360.]
[Footnote 318: In a letter which I had from Mr. Femell, written from Saldanha bay, he mentions two French ships in like employment, which he suspected lay in wait for distressed ships coming from India.--Purch.]
[Footnote 319: See the narrative of her voyage in sect. ix. of this chapter.]
[Footnote 320: Querimba, an island and river of that name on the Cafre coast, in lat. 12° 30' S. There is an island called Oibo, a little way to the north, and another named Goat's island, a little-way south of Querimba; all three being probably the islands of Queriba in the text.--E.]
[Footnote 321: The latitude in the text is very erroneous; the most southerly part of Socotora being in 13° 6' N.]
[Footnote 322: This must have been the N.E. passage, between the island of Prin and the promontory on the coast of Arabia. The other passage is much broader.--E.]
[Footnote 323: The name of the island is Prin; Bab-al-Mondub, signifying the gate of lamentation, is the Arabian name of the straits leading into the Red Sea.--E.]
[Footnote 324: In Arabic, Amir-al-Bahar.--Astl. I. 363. a.]
[Footnote 325: This seems unintelligible nonsense, from what follows, it would appear that the order was to cut the cables in the hose, that the ship might drift a-shore.--E.]
[Footnote 326: Besides these, twenty more were treacherously betrayed at Aden, having leave given them to go onshore for business.--Purch.]
[Footnote 327: Or interpreter, now commonly called dragoman, druggeman, or trucheman, all of which are corruptions from the Arabic tarijmán.--Astl. I. 366. a.]
[Footnote 328: Zenan, or Sanaa, is a city in the interior of Yemen, or Yaman, in lat. 16° 45' N. and long. 46° E. from Greenwich; being about 250 miles N.N.E. from Mokha, and about 150 miles N.N.W. from the nearest coast of the Indian ocean, situated on one of the very few rivers that are to be found in Arabia.--E.]
[Footnote 329: Stambola, Stamboli, Stamboul, vulgar names in the east for Constantinople, is a correction and corruption of [Greek] which the Greeks used to say when going to Constantinople, i.e. to the city, by way of especial eminence above all other cities.--Purch.]
[Footnote 330: See a former note, in which its geographical relation to Mokha is given on the authority of our latest and best maps.--E.]
[Footnote 331: This is the gate or straits of Bab-al-Mondub, or Babel Mandel, as corruptly called by Europeans.--Astl I. 372. a.]
[Footnote 332: This is a most improper mode of description, as it is now impossible to say what size Bristol was then.--E.]
[Footnote 333: It should rather be Kahwah house, signifying a house where they sell coffee.--Astl. I. 373. c.]
[Footnote 334: Probably the same place called Mowssi on the journey inland.--E.]
[Footnote 335: It is not easy to reconcile this synonym of a coughe house or church, with the explanation formerly given, that coughe house means coffee-house; perhaps we ought to read in the text, a church or mosque, and a coughe or coffee-house.--E.]
[Footnote 336: The preceding journal gives fourteen stages, the estimated length of two of which are omitted. The amount of the twelve stages, of which the lengths are inserted, is 185 miles; and, adding thirty for the two others as the average, the whole estimated distance will be 215 miles. In these old times, the estimated or computed mile seems to have been about one and a half of our present statute mile, which would make the entire distance 322 statute miles; and allowing one quarter far deflexion and mountain road, reduces the inland distance of Zenau from Mokha to 242 miles, nearly the same already mentioned in a note, on the authority of our best modern maps.--E.]
[Footnote 337: We have here omitted the enumeration of many merchant ships that arrived from various places, and of a caravan of merchants from Damascus, Sues, and Mecca, to make purchases from these ships of India commodities.--E.]
[Footnote 338: This must be the pinnace which was set up at Mokha, so named in memory of their release from that place.--E.]
[Footnote 339: These twenty Portuguese frigates, as then called, were only barks, grabs, or praws of the country, armed with small guns.--E.]
[Footnote 340: Gogo is a sea-port of Guzerat, on the west coast of the Gulf of Cambay, in lat. 22° 43' N.]
[Footnote 341: This frigate could only be the pinnace called the Release.--E.]
[Footnote 342: This seems an error for mamudies, the Surat currency in the former narratives of Hawkins and others.--E.]
[Footnote 343: Swally road, a little way north from the mouth of the Taptee, or Surat river, is in lat. 21° 7' N. long. 72° 49' E. We have no account in the original of having removed there, but that probably is owing to the negligence of Purchas in abbreviating.--E.]
[Footnote 344: The parallel of 21° N. runs through Surat roads, while the latitude in the text falls far to the south of Surat river. The difference of latitude assigned by Sir Henry between Swally roads and Surat roads, supposing that of the preceding note for Swally accurate, which we believe is the case, as taken upon the authority of the latest and best map of India, Arrowsmith's, would place the best anchoring ground of Surat roads in 20° 50', which likewise is much too far south.--E.]
[Footnote 345: Called Shaher in Purchas, and by others Xaer and Xael after the Portuguese orthography. It is dependent upon Kushen or Kasbin.--Astl. I. 388. d.]
[Footnote 346: It has been thought quite needless to enumerate the different ships mentioned in Purchas, amounting in all to sixteen sail of various sorts and sizes.--E.]
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