*Section 1* -- Voyage of Captain Nicholas Downton to India, in 1614
*Section 2* -- Relations by Mr Elkington and Mr Dodsworth, in Supplement to the former Voyage
*Section 3* -- Journey of Richard Steel and John Crowther, from Ajmeer in India, to Ispahan in Persia, in the Years 1615 and 1616
*Section 4* -- Voyage of Captain Walter Peyton to India, in 1615
*Section 5* -- Notes, concerning the Proceedings of the Factory at Cranganore, from the Journal of Roger Hawes
*Section 6a* -- Journal of Sir Thomas Roe, Ambassador from King James I, to Shah Jehanguire, Mogul Emperor of Hindoostan: [§1. Journey from Surat to the Court of the Mogul, and Entertainment there, with some Account of the Customs of the Country]
*Section 6b* -- [§2. Occurrences in June, July, and August 1616, from which the Character and Dispositions of the Mogul and his Subjects may be observed]
*Section 6c* -- [§3. Of the Celebration of the King's Birth Day, with other Occurrences in September 1616]
*Section 6d* -- [§4. Broils about Abdala Khan and Khan-Khannan: Ambitious projects of Sultan Churrum to subvert his eldest Brother: Sea Fight with a Portuguese Carrack; and various other Occurrences]
*Section 6e* -- [§5. Continuation of Occurrences at Court, till leaving Agimere, in November, 1616]
*Section 6f* -- [§6. Sir Thomas Roe follows the Progress of the Court, and describes the King's Leskar, and some Places through which he passed; with instances of the King's Superstition and Drunkenness, and some curious Incidents respecting a Present]
*Section 6g* -- [§7. A New-Year's Gift. --Suspicions entertained of the English. --Trade of Dabul. --Dissatisfaction of the Persian Ambassador. --English Ships of War in the Indian Seas.]
*Section 6h* -- [§8. Asaph Khan protects the English for hope of Gain, as also Noormahal. --Arrival of Mr. Steel. --Danger to the Public from private Trade. --Stirs about a fort.]
*Section 7a* -- Relation of a Voyage to India in 1616, with Observations respecting the Dominions of the Great Mogul, by Mr. Edward Terry: [§1. Occurrences during the Voyage from England to Surat.]
*Section 7b* -- [§2. Description of the Mogul Empire.]
*Section 7c* -- [§3. Of the People of Hindoostan, and their Manners and Customs.]
*Section 7d* -- [§4. Of the Sects, Opinions, Rites, Priests, and other Circumstances of the Hindoo Religion; with other Observations.]
*Section 8* -- Journey of Thomas Coryat by land, from Jerusalem to the Court of the Great Mogul
*Section 9* -- Account of the Wrongs done to the English at Banda by the Dutch, in 1617 and 1618
*Section 10* -- Fifth Voyage [of] the joint stock by the English East India Company, in 1617, under the command of Captain Martin Pring
*Section 11* -- Voyage of the Ann Royal, from Surat to Mokha, in 1618
*Section 12* -- Journal of a Voyage to Surat and Jasques, in 1620
*Section 13* -- Relation of the war of Ormus, and the taking of that place by the English and Persians, in 1622
*Section 14* -- Account of the Massacre of Amboina, in 1623
[Section 15 -- Observations during a residence in Tisland of Chusan, in 1701, by Doctor James Cunningham, with some early notices respecting China]
In the immediately preceding chapter, we have given a series of the first twelve voyages fitted out by the English East India Company, in the prosecution of their exclusive trade to India, as preserved by Samuel Purchas; and we now mean, chiefly from the same source, to continue the series for a few years longer. At the close of the last voyage of the foregoing chapter, Purchas informs us that "The order of reckoning must be now altered, because the voyages of the company were for the future set forth by means of a joint stock, instead of by particular ships, each upon a separate subscription, having separate stocks and factories; the whole proceedings being, in the sequel, at the general risk of, and accountable to the entire society or company of adventurers." He farther adds, "That the whole of these joint-stock voyages had not come into his hands; but that such as he had been able to procure, and were meet for publication, he had inserted in his Collection."
The learned historiographer of the East India Company gives rather a different account of the former series of separate or unconnected voyages, than that which we have taken from Purchas, terming the last voyage in our former chapter only the ninth, while Purchas denominates it the twelfth.
This difference, which is not at all material, may have arisen from Purchas having considered some of the ships belonging to single adventurers or subscriptions, which made separate voyages or parts of voyages, as separate adventures. We come now to a new era in the mode of conducting the English exclusive trade to India, of the motives for which the Annals give the following account.
"The inconveniences which had been experienced from separate classes of adventurers, partners in the East India Company, fitting out equipments on their own particular portions of stock, induced the directors, or committees, to resolve, in 1612, that, in future, the trade should be carried on by a joint stock only; and on the basis of this resolution, the sum of £429,000 was subscribed; and, though portions of this joint stock were applied to the equipment of four voyages, the general instructions to the commanders were given in the name, and by the authority, of the governor, deputy-governor, and committees of the company of merchants in London trading to the East Indies, who explained that the whole was a joint concern, and that the commanders were to be responsible to the company for their conduct, both in the sale and purchase of commodities in the East Indies, and for their general conduct, in extending the commerce, within the limits of the company. The transition, therefore, from trading on separate adventures, which has been described as an imitation of the Dutch, to trading on a joint stock, arose out of the good sense of the English nation, which, from experience, had discovered the evil consequences of internal opposition, and had determined to proceed on a system better calculated to promote the general interest of the East India Company.
"Notwithstanding this resolution, the proportions of this aggregate sum were applied to what has been termed the tenth, eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth voyages, in the following manner: In 1613, the tenth voyage was undertaken, the stock of which was estimated at £18,810 in money, and £12,446 in goods, the fleet consisting of eight vessels. In 1614, the stock for the eleventh voyage was £13,942 in money, and £23,000 in goods, the fleet being eight ships. In 1615, the stock for the twelfth voyage was £26,660 in money, and £26,065 in goods, with six ships. In 1616, the stock for the thirteenth voyage was £52,087 in money, and £16,506 in goods, the fleet containing seven ships. The purchase, repair, and equipment of vessels during these four voyages amounted to £272,544, which, with the specified stock and cargoes, accounts for the disbursement of the £429,000, the sum subscribed on the joint stock in 1613.
"The profits on this joint stock are stated to have amounted, on the first two voyages, to £120 per cent. on the original subscription; but they were subsequently much diminished, by the difficulties which the English trade to the East Indies began to experience, from the opposition of the Dutch in the Spice Islands; so that, at the conclusion of this first joint stock, in 1617, the average profits of the four voyages did not exceed £87:10s. per. cent on the original subscription, notwithstanding the cargo of one of the vessels (the New-year's Gift) cost only 40,000 rials of eight, and the sale produce, in England, amounted to £80,000 sterling."
It is not the purpose of this Collection to enlarge on the history of the East India Company, any farther than by giving relations of its early voyages, so far as these have come down to us in the Pilgrims of Purchas, their only published record; and we now therefore proceed with such of these voyages as are contained in that curious collection, and seem to be worth including in this work.--E.
[Footnote 120: Ann. of the Hon. E.I. Co, I. 162.]
[Footnote 121: Id. I. 165.]
[Footnote 122: The enumerated particulars amount to £462,060, and exceed the subscribed joint stock by £33,060.--E.]
Volume 9, Chapter 11, Section 1 -- Voyage of Captain Nicholas Downton to India, in 1614.
The ships employed on this voyage, the second set forth by the joint stock of the East India Company, were the New-year's Gift, admiral, of 650 tons, on board of which Captain Downton sailed as general or chief commander; the Hector of 500 tons, vice-admiral; the Merchant's Hope, of 300 tons; and the Salomon of 200 tons. We have thus only four ships enumerated by Purchas, as employed in the second voyage of the new joint stock, instead of eight_mentioned in the Annals, as before stated in the introduction to the present chapter. In this voyage, Mr. William Edwards was lieutenant, or next in command under Captain Downton, being likewise Cape merchant, and commander of the Hector. Mr. Nicholas Easworth was Cape merchant, and commander of the Merchant's Hope. Mr. Thomas Elkington, Cape merchant, and commander of the Salomon. Mr. Peter Rogers minister; Martin Pring, Arthur Spaight, Matthew Molineux, and Hugh Bennet, masters of the four ships, assisted by sundry mates.--Purch.
§1. Incidents at Saldanha, Socotora, and Swally; with an Account of Disagreements between the Moguls and Portuguese, and between the Nabob and the English.
We sailed from England on the 1st March, 1614, and arrived in the road of Saldanha, or Table Bay, on Wednesday the 15th June, being saluted on our arrival by a great storm. While every person was busy in mooring the ship, John Barter, who had lost his reason in consequence of a long fever, was suddenly missing, and was supposed to have made away with himself. The 16th we erected our tents, and placed a guard for their defence. We landed half our casks on the 17th, to be overhauled and seasoned; and this day Choree, the Saldanian or Hottentot, presented me a young steer. The 18th we landed more of our beer casks, to be washed, repaired, and seasoned. This day, Choree departed into the interior, carrying with him his copper armour, javelins, and all things belonging to him, promising to be back the third day after, but he never returned.
The 29th I sent George Downton ashore, to take observations of the latitude and variation, in consideration of the great difference in the variations, as observed in this and my former voyage in the Pepper-corn. We made the latitude exactly 34° S. and the variation 1° 45' W. by an azimuth, whereas most of the former variations at this place were easterly. We this night took down our tents, and brought everything on board, making our ships ready to depart next day, which we did accordingly.
We came to anchor in the bay of St. Augustine in Madagascar on the 6th August, when the inhabitants abandoned the place, so that we could have no intercourse with them; but we afterwards got some refreshments from them. We here cut down some straight timber for various uses. We set sail on the 12th August, and anchored in Delisa bay in Socotora on the 9th September. Next day we went ashore to wait upon the king, who was ready with his attendants to receive me, and gave me an account of the existing war in India, where the Mogul and the kings of the Deccan had united to drive the Portuguese from the country, owing to their having captured a ship coming from Juddah in the Red Sea, in which were three millions of treasure. He also informed me of two great fights which Captain Best had with the Portuguese, and of other news in these parts. I here procured such refreshments as the place could furnish, and bought 2722 pounds of aloes from the king.
Leaving Delisa on the 14th September, we got sight of the Deccan coast near Dabul on the 2nd October, where we found great hindrance to our navigation, till we learnt by experience to anchor during the ebb tide, and continue our course with the tide of flood. Continuing this procedure, we anchored in the evening of the 14th, two and a half miles short of the bar of Surat; when presently a fleet of fourteen frigates or barks came to anchor near us, which we discovered by their lights, as it was quite dark. But as they could easily see us, by the lights at our ports, that we were in readiness for them, they durst not come any nearer, so that we rode quietly all night. Early of the 15th, we weighed with the land-wind, and coming somewhat near the frigates, they also weighed and stood to the southwards. We held on our course past the bar, towards South Swally, where we soon after arrived, though much opposed by contrary winds.
Soon after we were anchored, I sent Molineux in his pinnace, and Mr. Spooner with Samuel Squire in my gellywatte, to take the soundings within the sands. In a channel where we found only five feet at low water in our former voyage, Mr. Molineux had now three fathoms; and Mr. Spooner had now seven or eight feet, where our boats could not pass at all formerly. Seeing some people on the shore in the afternoon, whom I supposed might be some of our merchants from Surat, I sent my pinnace to them; but they were some of the people belonging to Coge Nozan, sent to discover what nation we were of. From them I got farther information respecting the wars with the Portuguese, being told that the Moguls were besieging Damaun and Diu, Mocrib or Mucrob Khan being the general of the Mogul forces against Damaun; and I also learnt, to my sorrow, that Mucrob Khan was governor and viceroy, as it may be called, not only over Surat, but all the country round, as, from former experience, I considered him to be a great enemy of our nation, and a friend to the Portuguese. From these people likewise, I heard of the health of Mr. Aldworth and the rest of our factory, and wrote to hasten his presence, sending my letters by the servants of Coge Nozan.
I sent my purser on shore in the pinnace, early of the 16th, to purchase such necessaries as I thought might easily have been got; but he returned about ten o'clock a.m. without buying any thing for our purpose, bringing with him Mr. Aldword, the chief merchant of our factory at Surat, along with whom was one Richard Steel, who had come over-land to Surat from Aleppo. Mr. Aldworth endeavoured to persuade me that Mucrob Khan was our friend, and that we had now an excellent opportunity to obtain good trade and satisfactory privileges while the Moguls were engaged in war with the Portuguese; and as both the Nabob and all the natives were rejoiced at hearing of our arrival, they would assuredly give us a most favourable reception.
Pleased with these hopeful circumstances, I yet still wished some other person here in command instead of Mucrob Khan, of whom I remained doubtful, and that we should have no free trade from him, but in his accustomed manner, which I believed to have been, of his own accord to cross us, and not as so constrained by direction of his king; and the event turned out accordingly, though we were wise behind the band, as will appear in the sequel. Even the name he bore ought to have opened our eyes as to his influence with the Great Mogul: as Mocrub signifies as much as his own bowels, Khan meaning great lord. Yet I was deluded to believe [[=into believing]] that his favour with the king was tottering, and that he might easily be brought into disgrace, by complaint of anything done contrary to the will or humour of the king; so that we were too bold, and injured our business when we found him opposing us, as we thought unreasonably. On enquiring into the state of our business, and the health of our factory, Mr. Aldworth informed me that Paul Canning and several others had died; that Thomas Kerridge had long since been agent in his room [[=place]] at the court of the Mogul, and that the factory at Surat now only contained himself and William Bidulph.
In the morning of the 17th, I called a council to advise upon the best manner of conducting our affairs here, and to consider who might be the best person to send to Agra as resident. Then entering upon the six interrogatories, inserted in the second article of our commission, I required Mr. Aldworth to give direct answers to every question. --1. [[and 2.?]] In what favour was Paul Canning with the emperor and his council, and how did he conduct himself at court in the business entrusted to him? He answered, That on his first arrival at court, he was well respected by the emperor, till the Jesuits made known that he was a merchant, and not sent immediately from our king; after which he was neglected, as he himself complained: and as for his carriage and behaviour there, so far as he knew, it was sufficiently good; --3. Then demanding, whether it were needful to maintain a resident at court, Mr. Aldworth answered, That it was certainly necessary, as the emperor required that one of our nation should reside there; and therefore, that the person ought to be a man of good respect, for preventing and counteracting any injuries that might be offered by the Jesuits, our determined adversaries; as he might also be extremely useful in promoting and directing the purchase and sale of various commodities. --6. Being questioned as to the expences of a resident at court, he said, according to the estimate of Paul Canning, it might be about £300 per annum; but some time afterwards, his estimate was found to extend to five, six, and seven hundred pounds a year. --Being afterwards questioned, Whether he thought it fit that Mr. Edwards should proceed to court under the designation of a merchant, according to the strict letter of the company's commission, his opinion was, by the experience of the late Mr. Canning, that such a resident would not be at all respected by the king.
In the morning of the 24th, Coge Nozan came down to the water side, and rested in my tent till I landed. I repaired to him, accompanied by all our merchants, and attended by a strong guard, armed with halberts, muskets, and pikes, having a coach to carry me from the landing place to the tent. On alighting from my coach, Coge Nozan came immediately to meet me. Before entering on business, he was told that a present for the Nabob was to be delivered to him, which was brought in. This consisted of a case containing six knives, two pair of knives, six sword-blades, six Spanish pikes, one case of combs, one mirror, one picture of Mars and Venus, one ditto of the Judgment of Paris, two Muscovy hides, and one gilded case of bottles filled with strong rich cordials. I then made the following present to himself: six knives in single sheaths, four sword-blades, two pikes, one comb-case, a mirror, a picture of Moses, and a case of bottles, in consideration of the promise made by the nabob to our people, that whatever Coge Nozan agreed to, he the nabob would perform.
I then moved for the enlargement of our privileges, and lessening of our customs, especially at Baroach, and that we might have a daily bazar or market at the water side, where we might purchase beef for our people, according to the firmaun already granted by the Mogul, and because other flesh did not answer for them. He answered, that the nabob would shew us every favour in his power, if we would assist him against the Portuguese; that the customs of Baroach were out of his power to regulate, as the king had already farmed these to another person at a stipulated rent; and that we should have a regular market, but that bullocks and cows could not be allowed, as the king had granted a firmaun to the Banians, in consideration of a very large sum of money, that these might not be slaughtered. In fine, I found he had no power to grant us anything; yet, willing to leave me somewhat contented, he proposed that I should send some of our merchants along with him to the nabob, where our business might be farther discussed.
I accordingly sent along with him, Mr. Aldworth, Mr. Ensworth, Mr. Dodsworth, Mr. Mitford, and some others. Two or three days afterwards, they had access to the nabob, to whom they explained our desires, as before expressed. He then desired to know whether we would go with our ships to fight for him against Damaun, in which case, he said, we might count upon his favour. To this it was answered, that we could not on any account do this, as our king and the king of Spain were in peace. He then asked if we would remove our ships to the bar of Surat, and fight there against the Portuguese ships, if they came to injure the subjects of the Mogul. This likewise was represented to be contrary to the peace between our kings. On which he said, since we would do nothing for his service, he would do nothing for us.
Several of the merchants of Surat endeavoured to persuade our merchants, that I ought to give way to the reasonable request of the nabob, and might still do what I thought proper; as, notwithstanding of our ships riding at the bar, the Portuguese frigates could go in and out on each side of me, owing to their light draught of water. To this I answered, that the proposal was utterly unfit for me to listen to; as whatever I promised I must perform, though at the expence of my own life and of all under my command, and that I could not possibly lend myself to fight against the Portuguese on any account whatever, unless they first attacked me, as it was absolutely contrary to my commission from my own sovereign. I added that,if the Portuguese provoked me by any aggression, I would not be withheld from fighting them for all the wealth of the nabob: But he made small account of this distinction, and seeing that we refused to fulfil his wishes, he opposed us in all our proceedings as far as he could, so that we nearly lost all our former hopes of trading at this place. In this dilemma, I made enquiry respecting Gengomar and Castellata, and also of Gogo, but could get poor encouragement to change for better dealing, so that we remained long perplexed how to act, and returned to our business at the ships.
The 27th, in the morning, when Nicholas Ufflet went ashore, he found all the people belonging to Swally had gone away from the water-side in the night, as also all those who used to stay beside the tents, in consequence of an order from the nabob; and was farther informed that our merchants were detained at Surat, having been stopped by force when attempting to cross the bridge, and had even been beaten by the guard set there by the nabob. The gunner's boy and his companion, formerly supposed to have run away, and who were in company at the time with our merchants, being on their return to the ships, were also well beaten, and detained with the rest. The 31st we began to take in fresh water, to be ready for departing, as our stay here seemed so very uncertain. This day, Thomas Smith, the master's boy, had most of the outer part of one of his thighs bitten off by a great fish, while swimming about the ship. The ravenous fish drew him under water, yet he came up again and swam to the ship, and got up to the bend, where he fainted. Being brought into the gun-room, the surgeon endeavoured to do what he could for his recovery; but he had lost so much blood that he never recovered out of the swoon, and shortly died.
In the evening of the 2nd November, Mr. Aldworth and Mr. Elkington came down from Surat, where they left Mr. Ensworth very sick. They reported to me their proceedings with the nabob, as formerly stated; but said they were now reconciled, and that he had made fair promises of future respect, with a free trade through all the country under his government. I do not attribute his severe proceedings hitherto to any hatred or ill-will to our nation, but to his fears lest we might unite with the Portuguese against him, owing to my refusing to assist him against Damaun. These his doubts and fears were increased by a knavish device of the subtle and lying Jesuits; who, taking advantage of my refusal to fight against the Portuguese without cause, at Damaun or elsewhere, pretended with the nabob that they had a letter from the viceroy, saying that he and his friends the English meant to join their forces and come against Surat. This devilish device gave much hindrance to our business, by occasioning continual doubt in the nabob's mind of our friendly intentions; and unfortunately likewise, Mr. Aldworth had strengthened these doubts and fears, though ignorant of the lying inventions of the jesuits; for, thinking to mollify their rigour, he rashly advised them to beware, lest their ill usage might force us to join with the Portuguese against them. We likewise believed that the order of the nabob, forbidding the people to trade with us on board, proceeded entirely from his desire to thwart us: But we afterwards learnt, by letter from Thomas Kerridge, that Mucrob Khan, and all other governors of sea-ports, had express orders from the Mogul, not to allow any trade with us till they had first chosen and purchased, for the king's use, all kinds of strange and unusual things we might have to dispose of.
On the 3rd I called a council to deliberate concerning our business, and especially how far we might proceed in aid of the natives against the Portuguese, for which purpose we carefully examined our commission and instructions. We also arranged the appointments of the merchants for their several places of employment, both such as were to remain in the factory at Surat, and those who were to proceed on the voyage. This day likewise, sixty bales of indigo, and eleven packs of cotton-yarn, came aboard from Surat, being goods that belonged to the twelfth voyage. It was my desire to have been ashore among our merchants, that I might assist in arranging our business at Surat; and this the rather because of the turbulent, head-strong, and haughty spirit of----, who was ever striving to sway every thing his own way, thwarting others who aimed at the common good, and whose better discretion led them to more humility. But such was the uncertain state of our business, partly owing to the nabob and his people, and partly to the Portuguese, who I heard were arming against us; and besides, because I understood that the nabob proposed to demand restitution for the goods taken by Sir Henry Middleton in the Red Sea, at under rates, as they say, though I know they had goods for goods even to the value of a halfpenny. On all these accounts, therefore, I thought it best to keep nearest my principal charge, referring all things on shore to the merchants of my council, in most of whom I had great confidence.
The 22nd November, I finished my letters for Persia; being one for the company, to be forwarded over land, one for Sir Robert Shirley, and one of instructions for Richard Steel. The 23rd, Lacandus, the Banian, came down to us, with news of discontent and hard speeches that had passed between the nabob and our merchants, but who were now again reconciled. This was occasioned by Mr. Edwards refusing to let him see the presents, which he was at last obliged to consent to. All these merchants wrote me at this time separately, that the viceroy was certainly arming against us. At this time Mr. Ensworth and Timothy Wood died within an hour of each other. John Orwicke, Robert Young, and Esay But, were now dispatched to provide such cloths and cotton-yarns as we had formerly agreed on. The 25th Mr. Edwards wrote me of the coming of three great men, bringing seven firmauns from the Great Mogul; in whose presence the nabob bestowed upon him 850 mahmudies, ten fine basties, thirty top-seels, and thirty allizaes; at the same time he gave ten top-seels to Mr. Elkington and Mr. Dodsworth, a cloak to Mr. Aldworth and another to Mr. Elkington, Mr. Dodsworth having had one before. He likewise promised free trade to all places under his command, and abundant refreshments for our people in the ships.
The 27th, John Crowther came from Surat, to inform me he had been appointed by the chief merchants at Surat to accompany Mr. Steel into Persia, and had therefore come to take leave of me, and to fetch away his things from the ship. This day also Mr. Edwards wrote to me, by Edmund Espinol, to send him fifty elephants teeth, indifferently chosen as to size, as a banian merchant was in treaty for them all, if they could agree on terms. The 6th December, the nabob seemed ashamed that he had not shewn me the smallest respect since my arrival, and, being desirous to excuse himself, he this day entreated Mr. Edwards to go on board along with the great banian who had bought our ivory, and Lacandas, the banian merchant of the junk belonging to the king of Cushan. He chose this last, on account of his former familiarity with our people, and commissioned him to buy sword-blades, knives, and mirrors. By them he sent me a present, consisting of two corge of coarse bastas, ten fine bastas, ten top-seels, ten cuttonies, and three quilts, together with a message, certifying that the nabob proposed to come down to visit me in a day or two at the most. At their going ashore, I gave them a salute of five guns.
They told me that the nabob had certain intelligence from Goa, that the viceroy was fitting out all the force he could muster to come against us; and expressed a wish, on the part of the nabob, that I would convoy one or two of his ships for two or three days' sail from the coast, which were bound for the Red Sea. To this I answered, that I could not do this; as, if once off the coast, the wind was entirely adverse for our return: But if he would further our dispatch, so that we might be ready in any convenient time, I would do any thing reasonable that he could desire. The 9th, the nabob's son came to the shore, but would not venture on board, wherefore I went ashore to him. He had a horse ready for me on landing to fetch me, and desired me to sit down beside him, which I did. He then commanded some horsemen, who accompanied him, to amuse me, by shewing their warlike evolutions on the sands, chasing each other after the fashion of the Deccan, whence they were; and at his desire I caused eleven guns to be fired, to do him honour. Though he refused to drink any wine at this interview, he sent for it after his departure, as also for a fowling-piece he had seen in the hands of one of our people, both which I sent him, together with a bowl from which to drink the wine.
§2. Account of the Forces of the Portuguese, their hostile Attempts, and Fight with the English, in which they are disgracefully repulsed.
On the 16th of December, 1613, Mr. Elkington wrote me, that the nabob had told him the Portuguese frigates had burnt Gogo, with many gouges or villages in its vicinity, together with ten large ships, of which the Rehemee was one, and an hundred and twenty small vessels. He said likewise, that the nabob was much displeased with me for not having fired upon the Portuguese vessels, as they passed our anchorage, which circumstance had renewed his suspicions of our friendly intelligence with the Portuguese; and, although Mr. Elkington had said every thing he could to explain the reason of our conduct, as stated formerly, he could not satisfy the nabob of its propriety. The 23rd two boats came off to us for lead; and on the same day we saw twenty-two Portuguese frigates, which came to anchor in the night between us and the mouth of the river, where they continued most part of next day.
The 24th, in the morning, we saw four boats coming down the river towards us; but on seeing the Portuguese frigates, they immediately turned back, and were chased up the river by two of the frigates. Finding they could not get up with the boats, the Portuguese landed and set fire to two or three poor cottages, and carried off two or three cattle, and then returned to their squadron at the mouth of the river. In the afternoon, they all went up the river in company. In the morning early of the 25th, we saw five or six frigates under sail. An hour or two after, we saw a boat standing towards us, which was presently chased by two frigates, on which the men in the small boat ran her a-ground and forsook her; but as the frigates could not float near where the boat was, and the tide was ebbing fast, they departed without farther harm. The 26th in the morning, I sent the Hope a good way to the northward from the rest of our fleet, to see whether the Portuguese would assail her.
Early in the morning of the 27th, the Portuguese frigates came and made a bravado before our ship, and then before the Salomon, which was next us; and from thence went directly against the Hope, which rode a great way from us, in which manoeuvre they had all their men close stowed below, and not one to be seen. The master of the Hope hailed them twice, but they would give no answer; on which they let fly at them from the bow-chases of the Hope, which only could be brought to bear, and by which they were forced with some loss to stand away. The master of the Hope was satisfied, if he had not shot at them, that they would have attempted to board, or to have set his ship on fire, as they had the advantage of both wind and tide, and were so directly a-head of his ship that he could hardly get any of his guns to bear upon them, while the rest of our ships could not have come up to his rescue. In the afternoon, I sent the Salomon to keep company with the Hope; and, going to the northwards of her, she made several shots at the frigates, but we did not perceive that any harm was done. I therefore ordered a gun to be fired, as a warning to desist, on which the Salomon stood in again and came to anchor.
In the morning of the 28th, I went in the pinnace aboard the Hope and Salomon, to enquire the reason of their firing. And the Portuguese, seeing our boats pass to and fro, removed in the afternoon, and anchored a little way without us, obviously for the purpose of cutting off our intercourse. In the meantime, the boat which had been chased ashore on the 25th, came aboard the Gift, bringing some letters from M.r Elkington, which our master sent to me, as I was then in the Hope. Having answered Mr. Elkington's letter, I sent back the gelliwat to the Gift, with directions to go thence to Surat in the night. But, as the gelliwat returned, she was chased by the frigates; which perceiving, I waved her to return, but she held on her way, not observing my signal. The frigates held her so close in chase, that they got within shot of her, and even fired one gun; and had not the Gift slipped one cable and veered another, and plied her ordnance at the Portuguese, they had surely taken or sunk the gelliwat. This forced the Portuguese to give over the chase, not without damage. Late at night, on the tide of ebb, I made the Hope and Salomon set sail and come near the other two ships, and then returned on board the Gift.
Perceiving, on the 29th, that my continuing off the bar of Surat was quite unavailing, as the Portuguese frigates could pass and repass to and from the river by going across the sands, where there was not water to float my ships; and that no boats could come to us to fetch away our goods for fear of the frigates, neither could we have any intercourse with our friends ashore, to know what passed; I therefore set sail for Swally roads, where I arrived next day, having very little wind.
On the 14th January, 1614, we heard of many frigates being arrived, which rode at the bar of Surat all next day till night; and, leaving that place after dark, they came and rode within shot of us till next morning, when they weighed and stood back to the southwards. While they remained at anchor, supposing they might be the Mallabars, which the nabob had formerly promised to send me, I put forth a flag of truce, and sent Mr. Spooner, one of our master's mates, towards them, directing him to keep a watchful eye to our signals, which we should make if we saw any reason of suspicion. Seeing our gallivat draw near, and no sign of friendship in answer to ours, I hoisted my flag and fired a shot to recall our boat, which immediately came back. At this time, our sentinel at the mast-head descried another fleet of frigates, which afterwards assembled at the bar of Surat, and went all into the river. By this I was satisfied they were all Portuguese, and was glad our men and boat had escaped their hands. Thinking these frigates were forerunners of a greater force, I ordered the decks to be cleared, all our guns thrown loose, and every thing to be in readiness for action, both for the great guns and small arms, and to fit up barricades for close quarters. In the night of the 17th, all the frigates came out of the river, and in the morning were all at the point of the bar.
The 18th, Maugie, the banian captain formerly mentioned, accompanied by another great man, who was son to Clych Khan, came to the water side to speak with me, to whom I went ashore. Not long after, word was brought from on board, that they had descried a fleet of ships far off, which looked very big, but which we could not see from the shore, owing to its being very low. Taking leave of my visitors, I returned aboard, and made everything be put in readiness, which was done immediately. Towards night, we made them out to be six galleons, with three smaller ships, besides the sixty frigates which were here before. Two galleys belonging to this armament were not yet come up. The tide being spent, they came to anchor till next day. The 19th, they plied up to the entrance of our new channel, where they came to anchor, and where they were joined by the two galleys. One of their great ships, being too forward, came too near the sands and grounded, but was soon got off again.
On this occasion, Mucrob Khan, the nabob of Surat, sent the sabandar and several others of the principal men of Surat, with a great present of provisions to the Portuguese, and to endeavour to enter into terms of peace; but though great policy was used on both sides, they broke off without coming to any terms. This was done by the nabob to my great mortification, for he and all the country despaired of my being able to resist such disproportionate force, and he was therefore willing beforehand to conciliate the viceroy by presents; considering, if I were once overthrown, his own turn would come next, either to endure a severe assault, or to make such a peace as the enemy chose to dictate. Peace was certainly most desirable for the viceroy, that he might restore trade with the Moguls. Yet, seeing the tractableness of the nabob, and his apparent earnestness for peace, the viceroy made light of it for the present, expecting to bring it to bear with great advantage after he had overthrown us, which he made no doubt easily to accomplish. When this was performed, he expected to receive great presents, and great submission from the Moguls to the dictates of the conqueror.
But it pleased God, who beheld the injustice of his attempt, to turn the event contrary to the expectations both of the viceroy and the nabob. After failing in all his attempts against me, and finding he could not even gain a boat's thole from me in all the time he spent here, with loss and disgrace, the viceroy was fain to revive the former despised proffer of peace with the nabob: While the nabob on the other hand, confirmed by the experience of a month, and seeing that the viceroy, after all his boastful threatenings, and with so vast an armament, was unable to prevail against our four merchant ships, or even to remove our small force one foot from their place, gave for answer, that he would not make peace with the viceroy. Thus was the viceroy frustrated in both his hopes, of an easy victory over us, and an advantageous peace with the Moguls. After this digression, I now return to our proceedings.
When we formerly heard of the force which the viceroy was fitting out against us; we had no conception it would be so formidable as it now appeared, and therefore deemed it expedient to consult how, by God's help, we might best resist. The odds and advantages on their side made me calculate everything that made against me. Being far out-numbered by his forces, which I esteemed the principal ships and means belonging to the Portuguese in India, and having all the people of greatest rank and valour, I considered it might be too hazardous for us to put out into deep water, as by their numbers they would be able to intercept and overcharge me, and to force me irrecoverably aground, on one side or other. Such were my apparent disadvantages in going out to sea; while I knew, on the other hand, that their numerous smaller vessels might much annoy us with fire-works, or put us otherwise into great hazard, in the place where we now rode at anchor, where I was hopeful their great ships could not or durst not come, owing to the shoal water.
Though my numbers were considerably lessened by sickness and deaths, all my people, from the highest to the lowest, seemed quite courageous, yet ignorant both of our danger and how it was to be prevented; but their brave spirit gave me great hope. Yet my anxiety was not small, how I might best act in maintaining the honour of my country, and not neglect the valuable property entrusted to my care by my friends and employers; as not only was the present charge to be put in hazard, but all hopes also of future benefits, if I were now overthrown; as the enemy, if he now got the mastery, would be able to make peace with the Moguls on his own terms, to the expulsion of our nation for ever.
Besides these considerations, I leave to such parents as are tender for the safety of their dutiful and obedient children, to imagine how great was my anxiety for the safety of the people under my command. So great was my cares all this time, that I had little time for conversation, or even almost to shew myself sensible of the approaching dangers. Whenever I could get free from others, I very earnestly craved the aid and direction of the almighty and ever merciful God, who had often delivered me before from manifold dangers, praying that he would so direct me that I might omit nothing having a tendency to the safety of my charge, and our defence against the enemy. I had strong confidence that the Almighty would grant my request, and yet was often led to doubt, through my manifold and grievous offences. I resolved at length what to do, by God's assistance, providing the masters of the ships would agree to second me. Being satisfied, if we should-receive a defeat while at anchor, our disgrace would be great, and our enemies could in that case be little injured by us; while by setting sail, the viceroy, in his greediness and pride, might do himself some wrong upon the sands, by which he might cripple his own force, and thereby open a way for our getting out through the rest.
Yet this plan seemed only fit for ultimate necessity, considering that much of our goods were now on their way, and others were expected from day to day; and, if once out, unless it pleased God to make us the conquerors, so as to drive the viceroy clean away, I should on no account be able to return to my anchorage, where only I could get in my lading. Considering also that the viceroy would hold his honour in such high estimation, that he would rather die than give way; and besides, that my people would be tired and half spent with labour, before going to fight, by heaving at the capstan to get up our anchors, setting the sails, and so forth, which in this hot country makes them both weary and faint, to the great diminution of their courage; while the viceroy and his soldiers, being troubled with no labour, which among them is done by slaves and inferior mariners, would come fresh into the battle. Likewise, even supposing the viceroy to lose many men in the fight, he could be again supplied from the nearest towns belonging to the Portuguese, by means of his frigates; whereas we could not have a single man replaced, whatever number we might have slain or disabled.
Having none of our merchants aboard, as they were all employed in the country, or with Mr. Elkington in our factory at Surat, I sent for all the masters, on the night of this Thursday the 19th January, desiring them and some of the mates to come to supper with me on board the Gift. I then made them a speech on our present situation, desiring every one to give his opinion freely, how we might best proceed in our present straits. I declared to them my confidence in God, notwithstanding all the force of these bragging Portuguese, that their injurious attempts would not prevail against us, who had been careful not to wrong them in the Indies. I represented also to them, the jealousy entertained of us by the nabob and other chief men of the country, because we had refrained from firing at the saucy bragging frigates.
I found all the masters willing and tractable to my heart's desire. We had some few discourses about our provident mooring, as also about removing a little lower down. I then proposed my plan to them, desiring to have their free opinion. I represented that our ships were now in as good condition for battle as we could make them, yet our danger by night, if we continued where we were, was not small, however provident we might be. Wherefore, I thought it fit in the morning at low water, to send one ship to ride as far down as we could have water for all our ships at the lowest ebb, at which time none of the enemies' ships could come to annoy her. This, as I thought, might induce the viceroy to make some attempt at high water, when our other three ships might bear down against the stream, the springs being now at the highest, when we should see what efforts the viceroy might make, and might attend to the same and act accordingly, in the hope that the viceroy might commit some error, to the weakening of his own force and our advantage. And if such should happen, it would then be proper for us to put out to sea, in the darkness of the following night, when the viceroy would not be in condition to make sail to hinder us. Or, if we saw reason, we might make sail daily on the flood, working to and again, which would somewhat dismay the Portuguese, and encourage our own men. My proposal was unanimously agreed to, as the best way of proceeding; and finding Mr. Molineux quite willing to fall down with the Hope at low water next morning, this was directed accordingly.
In the morning of the 20th, at low water, the Hope went down to induce the enemy to make some attempt against her when the tide rose, and then we in the other ships stood after her. The viceroy, and all the worthy knights about him, thinking I was about to flee, hastened as soon as the flood would permit to stop the passage, and prevent our getting out. We all came to anchor short of the Hope, yet not so as to leave her destitute of our help, but rather doubting of sufficient depth for our ships at low water so far down. On coming to anchor, I went down into my cabin, meaning to have given our friends ashore notice of my purposes, that they might know it proceeded from no rashness, but in good discretion to wait upon advantages to the prejudice of our enemies. But presently I had notice, that three of the Portuguese ships and most of their frigates were coming stem on before the wind upon the Hope, followed by all the galleons.
We endeavoured to weigh our anchor, but having no time for that, we cut our cables, and made sail for the rescue of the Hope. Before we could get sufficiently near, the enemies ships were close aboard of her, and had entered their men, boarding her with great appearance of resolution. But they had no quiet abode there, nor could they rest in their own ships, neither could they cast them loose from the Hope, so greatly were they annoyed by our great guns and small arms. At length, their principal officers being slain, the rest in great numbers leapt into the sea, whence many of them were taken up by their frigates. But before quitting their ships, they set them on fire, thinking to have burnt the Hope along with them. But, praised be the Lord of Hosts, they were burnt without harm to the Hope; for, so soon as the fire had well kindled, the flaming ships were cast loose and drifted on the sands, where they continued burning till quenched by the flowing tide.
So long as day-light lasted, we continued exchanging shots from all our ships with the galleons, they being on the outside of a spit of sand, and we on the inside. They did us little injury in our hulls, but much to our ropes and sails overhead. In this conflict, besides those who were wounded, we had five men slain. By a great mischance, the main-top-sail, top-mast, and shrouds got afire, communicated from the main-top, in consequence of the fire-works lodged there taking fire, the man being slain who had the charge there. All these were burnt quite away, together with a great part of the main-mast; and this misfortune prevented us from going out into deep water to try our fortune with the viceroy in close fight. We were likewise put to our shifts, not knowing by what means we might get the mast replaced.
The 21st I got the anchor weighed, which we had been obliged to cut from the day before. On the 22nd, I was informed that many great men, accompanied by a Portuguese friar, and escorted by five or six hundred horse, had come down to Swally, meaning to send the friar next day, with three or four principal Moors, to negotiate a peace with the viceroy. But the nabob sent me word, that he sought for no such thing, and was resolved to conclude no peace, unless we were included. He also granted me what timber we might need, of which we availed ourselves, and promised to supply us with provisions. The Portuguese remaining quiet on the 25th, the muccadam of Swally came to me, saying that the before-mentioned friar had sent to entice him to poison the well whence we had our water, which he would not consent to, and had therefore put some live tortoises into it, that these might shew by their deaths, if poison should be put therein by the Portuguese. At night, part of the 120 bales of indigo we had purchased came to the water side, and was presently got aboard. This day Isaac Beg sent me a present of fruit from his own garden; and this day likewise the rest of the timber for repairing the Hope's mast was brought down to us.
The 27th, I sent all our boats to sound the Swash at low water, being chiefly on purpose to keep the Portuguese in ignorance of my real intentions. They sent one galley and five frigates, thinking to have cut off our boats; but in this they failed, as in everything else they attempted against us. The 28th, the nabob sent great store of provisions to the viceroy, as goats, bread, plantains, and the like, together with a banquet of sweetmeats. Coge Nozan sent me a present of five bullocks. Several of our men died about this time of fluxes and other diseases. The 31st, we received aboard from Cambay, fifty bales of indigo. In the afternoon, one Coge Arson Ali came aboard, and presented me with several goats, a large supply of bread, roast-meat, plantains, sugar, and other such things. Along with him came an old acquaintance of mine, a Persian, who said there were news from Damaun, that the Portuguese had sent there 350 men to be buried; and we computed, that there could not be less than 100 more, killed and burnt in their ships, besides those who were drowned. They also told me, that not only were the Portuguese opposed here in India, but also by the Persians at Ormus, and that the Malays were in arms against them at Malacca. They likewise assured me, that the negociations between Mucrob Khan and the viceroy were entirely at an end, and that no peace would take place between them.
I had long wished to see this man, who, till now, could never get leave of the nabob, without which no one dared use that freedom. This jealousy of the nabob proceeded, as he said, from a great charge enjoined by the king to procure for his use all curious things of value, and he is fearful lest any of these should pass through other hands, to his disgrace, which forces him to employ strange and severe means to prevent this happening. Day being nearly spent, I sent them ashore, making them a present, and giving money to all their people, having first shewn them how far some of our great guns could throw a ball. They then took their leave and departed.
§3 Supplies received by the Portuguese, who vainly endeavour to use Fire-boats. They seek Peace, which is refused, and depart. Interview between the Nabob and Captain Downton, and Departure of the English.
On the 3d February, 1615, there arrived at the waterside twenty-four bales of indigo, seven packs of white, seven of black, and four of blue bastas, six packs of cotton yarn, three of candikens, and one pack of crecany, all of which were brought immediately on board. This day also the supplies for the viceroy came in sight, being two ships of burden, two junks, and eight or ten of the country boats. The nabob sent me a message by Lacandas, that these were not for the purpose of fighting, but were full of combustibles, meant to be set on fire, and allowed to drift with the tide upon our ships in the night. I was glad of this information, and took immediate measures to prevent the consequences of such an attempt, as well as to defend ourselves from the smaller vessels. The spring-tides were now near the highest, and were consequently fittest for their attacks, so that I expected them every tide; and to let them see I was ready for their reception, and how little I cared for them, I directed the setting and clearing our watch, mornings and evenings, to be announced by a volley of shot from every ship, pointing the best piece in my ship at the prow of the viceroy's ship, to try his temper, and to daunt the courage of his people. It pleased God this morning, when I had least leisure for mourning, to call my only son, George Downton, to his mercy, who was buried next morning ashore, and the volleys intended to insult the viceroy, served also to honour his obsequies.
This morning also, while expecting an assault from the Portuguese, I was visited by one Mousa Attale, a Malabar captain, together with his troop, from whom I got a description of the principal ports and harbours of his country, expressing my anxious desire to become acquainted with them, and to have league and intercourse between them and the English, with mutual trade and friendship. He seemed willing to encourage this proposal, and requested letters to that effect from me, which their ships might shew to my countrymen when they happened to meet, which I gave him, as also a letter for his king, requesting kind usage for my countrymen if any of their ships should come into his harbours. After some conference, he departed, and I presented him with a sword-blade, and three or four knives. This day the master of the Hope represented that he had several men killed in the former engagement, and many hurt, bruised, and disabled from service, on which I sent him three men from my ship, four from the Hector, and four from the Salomon.
The 5th I had letters from Mr. Aldworth, informing of his arrival at Baroach with his companions, and saying that he had been set upon by 200 Rajput thieves, nine coss from Baroach, the day before, the thieves being armed with pikes, matchlocks, and bows and arrows; but, after some skirmishing, they fled, three of them being slain, and more wounded. In this affair Humphrey Elkington was shot through the thigh with an arrow, one of the horsemen sent by Surder Khan to guard our people was killed, and Mr. Aldworth's horse sore wounded. The nabob sent me word that the viceroy proposed to assault me this day, and therefore sent Coge Nozan to guard the land. Nozan came accordingly to the water side, and sent his son, Mamud Iehad, to visit me on board, accompanied by a chief named Kemagee, the son of Leckdarsee, Rajput chieftain of Guigamar or Castelletto, who had for a long time maintained war with the Moguls and Portuguese. These chiefs entreated permission to see and partake in the fight, and as no assault was made that day, they remained all night on board. The Rajput chief went ashore next morning, but the other remained on board two or three days, and seeing the enemy would do nothing, he went likewise ashore.
On the forenoon of the 8th, we received more indigo aboard, and in the afternoon all the Portuguese frigates, with the two junks, and two gallies, came driving up with the flood, as if for some attempt against us, either by fire, which I most doubted, or otherwise. We therefore got under weigh and advanced to meet them, upon which they all made off as fast as they could, and we came again to anchor. This was merely a device, to make us believe their fire-boats were to come against us from the south, and that we might have no suspicion of their coming from the northwards; wherefore they again assembled all their junks, frigates, and galleys next night, a little without the sands, to call our attention from the northern quarter. But I was aware of that being the place of greatest danger; and though I commanded a careful outlook to be kept both ways, I especially enjoined to be watchful in the north quarter, as it fell out accordingly. A little within the night, between us and a great light to the westwards, upon the island of Gogo, we could discern them creeping up to the north upon the flood; and then, about ten o'clock at night, when very dark, and before the moon rose, upon the last quarter of the ebb tide, there came down towards us two fire-boats, towed by two frigates, which we happily descried before they came nigh, and plied them heartily both with great guns and small arms. By this we soon beat off the frigates, which set the fire-boats adrift, and made sail from us.
One of the fire-boats drifted clear of the Gift, Hector, and Salomon, but got athwart the cable of the Hope, and presently blew up; but, blessed be God, the Hope received no harm, having cut her cable and got clear. The other fire-boat came up likewise on the quarter of the Hope, all in flames, but did no harm, as she drifted past with the ebb. She came up again with the tide of flood, and was like to have got foul of us; but our boats towed her ashore continually burning. The former one floated likewise back with the flood, but sank near us in the morning. This day I had a letter from Thomas Kerridge, specifying that Nicholas Whittington had gone distracted, and expressing some doubts of Richard Steel.
The 10th, at night, about the same time as before, two other fire-boats came against us, towed by four or five frigates, bearing directly on the Hector. Immediately on perceiving them, the Gift and Hector let drive at them with great guns and small arms, so that the frigates threw them adrift, firing them sooner than they otherwise would. The burning boats floated toward the Hector, but having a stiff breeze, drifted past to leewards. Within half an hour after, we perceived many boats drifting towards the Hector, against which we again let drive, forcing the frigates to abandon them in such a hurry that they only set two of them on fire, there being four of them chained together. Fortunately we had a stiff gale, and by edging up to windward, they all floated clear to leeward. While passing, our gunner made a shot at one of the boats that was unfired, which struck her and set her on fire. The vehemence of the flames reached the fourth boat, and set her likewise on fire; so they all drifted ashore in flames, hard by our landing-place. My pinnace took three of the actors in a small canoe, in which they thought to have escaped. Two of these men were brought aboard my ship, the third being left in the Hector. Besides these, our gelliwat picked up another, which she brought with her. Thus did God disappoint all the malicious practices of our enemy.
Seeing himself foiled in all his injurious attempts, the viceroy set sail on the 11th, and fell down to the bar of Surat, where he anchored. Being suspicious that he meant to attempt taking Surat, I resolved, in that case, to have gone with my ships to set upon his fleet, which must have constrained him to desist from his enterprise against Surat, as I was desirous to assist in defending a place where we had so great a stock, and so many of our merchants. But the viceroy durst not trust me so far as to unman his ships, lest I should come against him. In the night he sent all his frigates into the river, and sent some person to propose peace, but received a flat denial. The 12th, the nabob sent Lacandas to inform me that five or six frigates had gone to the northwards, having four or five fire-boats, which they meant to let drive upon us in the night, and therefore wished me to keep a good look-out. I acknowledged his kindness, and was glad of his care, though needing no such admonition, as I was equally suspicious of their practices when out of sight as when they rode near us. The nabob had this intelligence from the Jesuits, with whom he kept on fair terms, for his better security, if he should have been put to the worst.
As the frigates, or other vessels in the offing, could not well discern the place where our ships rode during the darkness of the night, by reason of the shadow of the shore, they had lights made for them ashore for guiding them where to find us during their hellish incendiary plans. Having observed this light, night after night, always in the same place, and seeing it as before on the night of the 13th, I sent William Gurdin ashore with twenty men, armed with muskets and pikes, directing them to endeavour to surround this fire-blazer, supposing him to be some traitor inhabiting the neighbourhood. But, on coming near, the fire was presently put out, and was again seen at another place, quite contrary to the direction of their pursuit; and so going up and down for a long time, they gave it over, esteeming it some delusion of the devil. This night the viceroy set sail from the bar of Surat, leaving about twenty of his frigates in the river to keep in check the Malabar frigates which were there for the defence of the town.
The 14th, the nabob sent a great man, who, in token of friendship, was called his brother, to visit me. This person gave as his opinion that the viceroy was gone with all his fleet to Goa, leaving some frigates to keep possession of the river, and others to return to Diu and Ormus. But my own opinion is, that the viceroy has only gone somewhere to refresh his people, and to reinforce his ships, against our putting to sea, when no sands will be in the way of his greatest ships coming against me. He also told me that the king had sent down forces for the purpose of conquering Damaun and all the sea coast. He said likewise, that they were more willing to give entertainment and trade to our nation than the Portuguese, which I thought very reasonable, as the Portuguese had always been injurious, and had done many vile things against them. Yet unless we continue able to resist the Portuguese, they will soon unsay that speech for their own ease. When he had viewed our ship, with our ordnance and defensive preparations, we sent him and his train on shore in oar boats, in all courtesy.
We now set seriously to work in clearing and loading the Hope for England, having hitherto taken in our goods confusedly and by hasty snatches, some into one ship, and some into others, not deeming it proper to hazard all in one bottom while exposed to so much danger from the Portuguese. I had resolved to send home the Hope, not that I esteemed her burden the fittest for the goods we had provided, but because of the many impediments and disabilities of that ship, as daily complained of by the master and carpenter; in particular, that her stern-post within the rudder was unsheathed, a strange and dangerous neglect and unaccountable oversight, on which account it was fitting she should soonest return; besides, we were in danger of losing our quicksilver which was in her, and lay on her keel and bilges.
The 18th, the nabob sent to me Cage Arson Ali, the sabandar, and other merchants of Surat, requesting me to remain for fifteen days, which I would in no sort consent to. They then importuned me to stop for ten days, which likewise I refused, shewing them how prejudicial so long delay might be to my voyage. The cause of their request was, lest the viceroy might come with all his forces against Surat after my departure. Seeing them discontented at my denial, and loth to give displeasure to the nabob, which might be prejudicial to our affairs afterwards, and considering that it would require six days of the ten before we could get the Hope ready, I at last consented to their request, to their great satisfaction. At night on the 22nd I had a letter from Surat, informing me that the nabob meant to visit me next day, and accordingly two elephants and six camels came down in the morning of the 23rd, bringing his tents and other matters for his reception. The 24th, Mr. Aldworth came down with the rest of the merchants to finish all business with me previous to our departure.
In the morning of the 25th, the nabob came down with a great train, with six other elephants, and was two hours at the water side before I knew of his arrival. When told, I was sorry for the neglect, and sent Mr. Aldworth, Mr. Elkington, and Mr. Dodsworth ashore to compliment him, and to keep him in discourse till I could go on shore, which I did soon after. I proposed to have gone to him as a son to his father, in my doublet and hose, without arms or any great train, according to custom, to shew the trust and confidence I reposed in him; but my friends persuaded me to the contrary, insisting that I should go well appointed, and attended by a sufficient guard, to which I consented, though I afterwards repented that I had not followed my own way. I went accordingly ashore with about 140 men, part pikes, and part firelocks, who gave me a volley of small arms as I entered the nabob's tent. The nabob received me with much kindness, seeming much pleased at my coming ashore to him. We sat for some time under a very fair tent, open on all sides, and surrounded by many people, both his attendants and mine.
At length he brought me into a more private room, near adjoining, having only along with him Ali Khan, a great Persian captain, with Henie the Banian as his interpreter; while I was accompanied by Messrs. Aldworth, Elkington, and Dodsworth. We there conferred about the state of his country, and about our affairs. At last I invited him to go on board to view our ship, to which he readily consented. He then presented me with his own sword, with many complimentary speeches, saying it was the custom of his country to honour with arms such captains as had deserved well. This sword, as he said, was made in his own house, the hilt being of massy gold. In return, I presented to him my own arms, being sword and dagger, together with my girdle and hangers, by me much esteemed, and making a much finer shew than his, though of less value. We came forth together from the private tent, and I walked down to the shore to wait for his coming, whither he sent me a present of ten cuttonee quilts and twenty topseels.
Soon after, the nabob came to the shore, and we took boat together, going on board my ship. Having shewn our ordnance, and the manner of pointing the guns, and explained all our other preparations for defence, I presented him with a very handsome gilt cup and cover, some fair knives, a rundlet of Muscadine wine, and some other toys. Desiring to see some of our ordnance shot off, and how far they could carry their balls on the water, I caused three guns to be fired. He would then have taken leave, but I accompanied him ashore, and ordered him to be saluted at his departure with eleven guns. When we parted at the water side, the nabob gave me four baskets of grapes. He likewise gave among the gunners and trumpeters 200 mahmoodies, and 500 among the ship's company, together with 100 books of white bastas, worth two mahmoodies each. Thus, after some compliments, we took leave of each other and parted. While rowing up along shore for my better getting on board, as the tide ran very swiftly, Lacandas came running towards the boat, bearing a message from the nabob to ask if he should erect a tomb over the grave of my son. I returned my hearty thanks for the kind offer, desiring Lacandas to say that I had already begun to do so. The nabob then went away to Surat, and not long after, his tent was taken down and went after him, with all the rest of his carriages.
The 26th, the nabob's son and son-in-law, a very ingenious young man, came to visit me, upon whom I bestowed some knives and other things, such as I had left, which could not be much, as I had every now and then some great man or other to visit me, to all of whom I had to give something. The 27th, the three sons of Ali Khan came to visit me, the eldest of whom, named Guger Khan, presented me with two antilopes, a male and a female, of which I was very glad, having endeavoured before ineffectually to send some home to Sir Thomas Smith. After viewing all our ship, with our ordnance and warlike preparations for defence, I gave him four Spanish pikes, and some other things of my own, and saluted him with eleven guns at his departure.
In the afternoon of the 3rd March, upon the tide of ebb, and having a light gale from the north, sufficient to give steerage-way to our ships, we hastened to get up our anchors, meaning to set sail in the prosecution of our voyage, though our friends, the Malabars, who had desired to go with us, made no attempt to come out. At this time we saw another fleet of Portuguese frigates standing in from the westwards, and being willing to do my best to hinder them from going into the river of Surat, were it only to shew our good-will to the country people, we shot at the nearest of them, though without hope of doing them any hurt, as there was room for them to pass on either side of us, beyond reach of our shot. I was willing also to shew our friends on land, as also to those who I made no doubt would go down the coast to give notice to the galleons of our coming, that we shot at their frigates going into Surat, that they might also expect that we cared little for their greater strength.
In our passage this night we had various flaws of inconstant winds, which obliged us to come to anchor for some time. As the wind became afterwards steady, though faint, we again made sail, continuing our course S. by E. along shore. At day-light next morning we began to descry, between us and the shore, the Portuguese galleons and two galleys; all of which made sail on perceiving us, following with a light breeze, while we stood somewhat out of our course with all our sails, partly to gain time to prepare ourselves perfectly for battle, and partly to give rest to my people, who had taken much fatigue the night before, as also to draw the enemy farther from the coast, and from having the convenience of fresh supplies. Ere long, the tide of flood obliged us to anchor, not having sufficient wind to stem the current. The enemy, resting his hopes on the wind, kept longer under sail, to his great disadvantage.
But as I did not consider this at the time as an error in them, I was is great doubt lest they might intend going against Surat with all their force, now that we were at sea, and there work their wills upon our friends and goods, which I could only prevent by following them. Yet the season was now so far advanced that I doubted, even with our best haste, we should hardly get off the coast before the foul weather set in; and this gave me hope that the viceroy would not expose himself to the danger of the approaching winter. While considering these things, the tide of flood was spent, and it was time for us to use the ebb, when, to my great satisfaction, I saw the viceroy and his whole fleet standing towards us, with a fresh breeze. We likewise made sail, and stood our course before him all that ebb, and so spent that night to the best advantage, partly at anchor, and partly under sail, according as wind and tide served.
In the morning of the 5th, the enemy had gained very little way upon us. We spent this day, as before, in riding or sailing, as the tide answered. This night the viceroy gained much ground upon us, and by this time we had got a good way from the coast, and had advanced well to the southwards, so that I was now satisfied the Portuguese forces could not this year give any annoyance to Surat. I considered that my purposes in these parts, both by the authority of my king, and to fulfil the designs of my employers, were, in merchant ships, fitted indeed for defence, to seek honest commerce, without striving to injure any; wherefore I held it fit for me to proceed soberly and discreetly, neither basely to flee from the enemy, nor to tempt danger by proudly seeking it, if it might be honourably avoided.
The viceroy was quite differently situated. He had been sent by his master with the principal ships of all India, and all the gallants and braggarts of these parts, not only to disturb and intercept the peaceable trade of the English with the subjects of the Mogul, but to take and burn them in the harbours of that great king. The viceroy was furnished with abundance of all things the country could afford, and only wanted an upright cause. He found what he was in search of--four poor merchant ships, having few men, many being dead, and more sick; and these bragadocios, measuring our hearts by their own, thought we could never stand against what they esteemed so superior a force; and, seeing their intent, I baited my hook, which the fish presently ran after.
The Hope, being heavily laden, was in tow of the Hector, and being sternmost, three of the Portuguese ships, and thirty or forty of their frigates, as I had expected, boarded her with the flower of all their chivalry. But, by the hand of God, and to their great amazement, they received such a blow that few of them escaped, and these by extraordinary chance, and three of their ships were burnt. Thus it pleased God to baffle this their first assault. Ever after, though they beleaguered us round about for many days together, with all sorts of ships, our people still in action, and sadly worn out with continual labour, even shifting goods from ship to ship in that time, yet did they never gain from us even the value of a louse in all that time, except our bullets, which we most willingly gave them roundly, their fire-boats always failing, and nothing prospering in all their efforts. For many days together I sent the viceroy a defiance once every twenty-four hours, which must needs lie heavy on the stomach of so courageous a gentleman. Craving pardon for this digression, I now proceed with my narrative.
The 6th, in the morning, I sent for my master, letting him know that I proposed, when the viceroy should come up near us, to cast about and charge him suddenly, that we might strike unexpected terror in his people, who now bragged us, seeing us flee before them. To this end I went on board all the ships, giving them directions how to act, and gave orders to the Hector, by means of her pinnace and mine, to take in an hundred bales of goods from the Hope, to lighten her, and even staid to see it done. By this time it was mid-day, when my ship struck sail for my better getting on board; at which, the viceroy thinking it staid for him in contempt, as we imagined, he and his consorts bore up with the shore, and gave up all hope of mending their fortunes by following us any farther; which course I very well liked, as there is nothing under his foot to make amends for the loss of the worst man's finger in all our ships. Besides, I wished for no occasion of fighting unless for the honour of my king and country as I would rather save the life of one of my poorest sailors than kill a thousand enemies.
Having now finished with the viceroy, I set myself to write letters for the dispatch of the Hope, yet still thinking to have stood in for the bar of Goa to endeavour to have left some compliments there for the viceroy at his return. This was my earnest desire, but we were so long delayed in dispatching the Hope, that by the time we had finished, we were far beyond Goa.
* * * * *
"The rest of this journal is wanting, as he is also wanting who should have finished it. But, alas! this is the imperfection of man's best perfections; death lying in ambush to entrap those whom by open force he could not devour. He dying in this voyage, and following his son, hath left this glorious act, memoriae sacrum, the memorable epitaph of his worth, savouring of a true heroic disposition, piety and valour being in him seasoned by gravity and modesty." --Purch.
[Footnote 122: Purch. Pilg. I. 500.--Extracted from the journal of Captain Downton]
[Footnote 123: From this singular term, what is now called the jollyboat has probably derived its name.--E.]
[Footnote 124: Mr. Richard Stell, or Steel, had gone to Aleppo, to recover a debt from a merchant of that city, who had fled to India; and, following him through Persia, Mr. Steel had arrived at Surat. On his report, the factors at Surat made an experiment to open a trade with Persia, which will form the subject of a future section of this chapter.--E.]
[Footnote 125: Gogo is on the west shore of the gulf of Cambay. In an after passage of this voyage, what is here called Gengomar and Castellata, is called Gengomar or Castelletto, which may possibly refer to Jumbosier, on a river of the same name, about sixty miles north from Surat. Castelletta must have been a name imposed by the Portuguese.--E.]
[Footnote 126: This name is left blank in the Pilgrims, probably because Purchas, a contemporary, did not wish to give offence.--E.]
[Footnote 127: Kessem, on the coast of Arabia Felix, is probably here meant.--E.]
[Footnote 128: These knives, so often mentioned as presents in India, were probably daggers.--E.]
[Footnote 129: On a former occasion supposed to have been Jumbosier.--E.]
[Footnote 130: I strongly suspect this to be a mere recapitulation of what happened in Swally roads, as already related, as this second attack on the Hope by the Portuguese is entirely omitted by Elkington and Dodsworth.--E.]
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