Volume 9, Chapter 11, Section 9 -- Account of the Wrongs done to the English at Banda by the Dutch, in 1617 and 1618.
This section contains a letter from Mr. Thomas Spurway, merchant or factor, addressed from Bantam, "To the Honourable and Right Worshipful the East India Company of England, touching the wrongs done at Banda to the English by the Hollanders; the former unkind disgusts and brabling quarrels now breaking unexpectedly out into a furious and injurious war." Such is the account given of this section by Purchas, who farther informs his readers, "That the beginning of this letter was torn, and therefore imperfect in his edition; but what is here defective was to be afterwards supplied from the journals of Nathaniel Courthop, and other continuations of these insolences of the Dutch at Banda, by Mr Hayes and others."
These journals of Courthop and Hayes are so intolerably and confusedly written, and so interlarded with numerous letters about the subject of these differences with the Dutch, that we have been reluctantly under the necessity of omitting them, being so monstrously inarticulate as to render it impossible to make them at all palatable to our readers, without using freedoms that were altogether inadmissible in a work like the present.
From this letter, and other information of a similar nature, it appears that the attempts to form establishments for trade at Banda and the Molucca islands were found to be difficult or impracticable, owing to the opposition of the Dutch, who were much stronger in that part of India, and had not only conceived the plan of monopolizing the spice trade, but even avowed their determination to exclude the English and all other European nations from participating in any share of it.
We do not pretend, in our Collection, to write the history of the English East India Company, but merely to give a series of the voyages which contributed to the establishment of that princely association of merchant adventurers. Yet it seems proper, occasionally at least, in the introductions to leading voyages, like the present, to give some short historical notices of the subject, for the materials of which we are chiefly, if not solely, indebted to the Annals of the Company, a work of meritorious and laborious research, already several times referred to.
Under the difficulties which had long attended the exertions of the English to acquire a share in this peculiarly called spice trade, the agent and commercial council of the English company at Bantam gave authority to the commanders of the Swan and Defence to endeavour to obtain from the native chiefs of the islands of Puloroon and Puloway, a surrender of these islands to the king of England, with the stipulation of paying annually as a quit-rent, a fruit-bearing branch of the nutmeg tree; yet stipulating that these islanders were to continue entirely under the guidance of their own laws and customs, providing only that they should engage to sell their spices exclusively to the agents of the English company, who were, in return, to supply them with provisions and Hindoostan manufactures at a fair price, in exchange for their peculiar productions, nutmegs and mace.
They were likewise authorised, if they procured the consent of the natives, to establish fortified stations, or factories, at Puloroon, Puloway. Pulo-Lantore, and Rosinging, or Rosengin. The views of the Bantam factory on this occasion seem to have been generally judicious as to the measure they now authorised, but exceedingly ill judged in attempting to execute so very important a purpose with a force entirely inadequate to that with which it had to contend.
The Dutch had expelled the Portuguese, at that time the subjects of their tyrannical oppressors, the Spaniards, from a great portion of the spice islands, in which warlike measure, and its consequences, they had always to support a considerable force, both naval and military, in these seas, and in various forts upon these islands; and besides that they felt their preponderance from these circumstances, and used it very naturally for their own exclusive benefit, they alleged, and with no small appearance of equity, that the English had no right to enjoy the advantages of a trade which they, the Dutch, had conquered from the Portuguese and Spaniards.
This opposition of interests proceeded in the sequel to great extremities, in which the greatly superior power of the Hollanders in these seas enabled them effectually to oppress the English, in what are peculiarly called the spice islands, and even to expel them from all participation in that trade, as will appear in some of the subsequent sections of this chapter.
It would be not only premature in this place, but incompatible with the nature of our work, which is intended as a Collection of Voyages and Travels, to attempt giving a connected history of these dissensions between the Dutch and English in Eastern India, which will be found detailed in the Annals of the English Company. It is hardly possible, however, to refrain from one observation on the subject, --that the Dutch company, and the government of Holland, appear to have mainly proceeded, in their hostile opposition to the English East India trade, on their knowledge of the pusillanimous character of King James, which he vainly thought to veil under the pretensions of loving peace; but which the Dutch, as will be seen in the present section, clearly understood, and openly expressed, as the childhood of St. George, the tutelary martial saint of England. Beati pacifici, his favourite adage, is an excellent Christian and moral sentiment, but is incompatible with the unavoidable exigencies of government, at least as they were then situated.--E.
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May it please your Worships,
We arrived at Macassar on the 19th of November, 1616, from Bantam, with the Swan and Defence, under the command of Captain Nicholas Courthop, who sailed in the Swan, of which ship Mr. Davis was master, the other being commanded by Mr. Hinchley. We remained there for the purpose of taking in an hundred quoines of rice. On the 4th December, we saw a large Dutch ship in the offing, which came to anchor about five leagues off, and on the 5th they sent their skiff ashore, which made directly for the English house, having eight men on board.
As soon as we perceived this boat coming ashore, we ran to the seaside; but before we got there, two of her men were landed, whom we acquainted with the danger they were in, as the king of Macassar, and all the other kings thereabouts, were become their mortal enemies, because of the many injuries done them by the Hollanders, who had forcibly carried away a principal sabander, and other persons belonging to Macassar, for which they were determined upon revenge; and, therefore, that they might all expect to be put to death, unless the king could be prevailed upon to spare them. The Dutchmen were so much alarmed at this intelligence, that they wished to have gone back to their boat, but the Macassers had already gathered about us, and laid hands upon them.
I and other English immediately went in all haste to the king, acquainting him with what had happened; lest, if the Dutch had intended any treachery, he might have suspected us as being accessory. The king gave us thanks, and desired us to take the two Dutchmen who had landed to our house, that we might learn from them their intentions in coming here. This we did, and they informed us that they belonged to a fleet lately fitted out from Holland, and had lost company of their consorts. One of these called himself John Staunch, and reported himself to be an under-factor. The other was an English sailor.
Perceiving themselves to be in great danger, they earnestly entreated us to stand their friends and procure their liberty. We promised to do every thing we could for them. Soon after this, the kings of Macassar and Talow, together with about 2000 attendants, came to the sands near the seaside, where they held a council upon these men. The king of Talow was clear for putting them to death, but we used our interest so successfully for them, that they were commanded to be gone instantly in their boat; the king of Macassar observing, that these were too few for satisfying his revenge, and that he should wait for one more ample. So they departed and went to their ship.
Next day another boat was observed coming towards the shore from the same ship; and, on the king being informed of this, he gave immediate orders for twenty proas and corracorras to be manned and launched. This was done immediately, and the whole made towards the Dutch boat, which was rowing for the land directly towards our house. On observing the native craft endeavouring to intercept them, the Dutch turned their boat, and rowed back to regain their ship; but the Macassars soon got up, boarded them on both sides, and slew every man of the Hollanders, being sixteen in number. There were at this time near 5000 people at the seaside, and we were commanded to keep the house.
The name of this Dutch ship was the Endraught, and imagining that we were bound for Banda or the Moluccas, she remained at sea waiting for us. We set sail from Macassar road on the 8th December, 1616; and when the Dutchmen, saw us under sail, they also weighed and kept company with us. We would gladly have gone from them, but could not, owing to the bad sailing of the Defence. They sent their boat to us, requesting we would spare them two quoines of rice, four tons of water, and some poultry, all of which we gave them, only taking payment for the rice, being forty dollars, giving the water and poultry freely.
We asked why they had attempted to land the second time; when they told us their first boat had not then returned to the ship, so that they believed the Dutch factory had still remained at Macassar. But I believe it proceeded from obstinacy, believing their first boat had been denied access at our instigation, and meaning to make a second trial, when they hoped to have flattered the king to allow them to return, and reinstate their factory. For both their boats passed within musket-shot of our ships on their way to the land, yet did not go aboard to enquire what were the situation of affairs on shore; which if they had done, we should have forewarned them of their danger.
They kept company with us till we came near Amboina, for which place they stood in, while we continued our course. We have since learnt that they gave out we had been the cause of their men being slain at Macassar, which is most false: For I solemnly protest that we used our best endeavours to save them, and if it had not been for us, the eight men in their first boat had also been slain.
The Swan and Defence arrived in the road of Puloroon on the 13th December. Next day the people of that island came on board, and conferred with us about surrendering the island to us. We represented that our nation had come often to their island, at great cost, and at their particular request, to settle a factory, and trade with them in a friendly manner, bringing them rice and other provisions, with cloth and sundry commodities, in exchange for their spices; that we had no desire to usurp over them, or to reduce them under bondage, as had been done formerly by the Hollanders and other nations; and that if they would surrender their island of Puloroon to our sovereign the king of England, by a formal writing, and by the delivery of some earth, with a tree and fruits of the island, as true tokens of their fidelity, and thereafter a nut-tree yearly as an acknowledgment, we should settle a factory, and would furnish them with rice, cloth, and other commodities, both now and yearly afterwards.
We also assured them, if we were once settled on the island, that sufficient supplies would come to them yearly, much better than now; and that we would use our utmost efforts, both by means of our men and ships, to defend them and ourselves from all enemies. We also demanded, whether they had come under any contract with the Hollanders, or had made them any surrender of their island. To this they unanimously replied, that they had made no such engagement, and never would, but held the Hollanders as their mortal enemies. This was earnestly declared to us, both by the men of Puloroon and by divers chiefs from Puloway, who had fled from that island on its forcible reduction by the Hollanders.
And they all declared that the island of Puloway had been lawfully surrendered to Richard Hunt, for the king of England, before the Hollanders came into the road, the English colours having been hoisted in the castle, which the Hollanders shot down, using many disgraceful words of his majesty. They farther declared, that they defended their island for his majesty's use, as long as they possibly could; and, being constrained by force, they had fled to Puloroon, Lantor, and Serran.
After this conference had continued the whole day, the writings of surrender were drawn up, and confirmed by all the chief men of Puloroon and Puloway, and so delivered by their own hands to us, Nathaniel Cowthorp, Thomas Spurway, and Sophonie Cozocke, for his majesty's use. They also that same instant delivered to us a nutmeg-tree, with its fruit growing thereon, having the earth about its root, together with oilier fruits, and a live goat, in symbolical surrender of the sovereignty of the island, desiring us to hoist the English colours, and to fire a salute of ordnance. Accordingly, the colours were set up, and we fired thirty pieces of ordnance, as a mark of taking possession; and at night all the chiefs went ashore, parting from us on the most friendly terms.
On Christmas-day we descried two large Dutch ships edging towards Puloroon. On seeing our ships in the road, they bore away to leeward for Nero, and next day another of their ships hove in sight, which went to the same place. The 28th, a Dutch pinnace stood right over for Puloroon, and came bravadoing within gun-shot of our fort, having the Dutch colours flying at her poop; but presently tacked about, lowered her colours, and hoisted a bloody ensign instead, as if in defiance, and then stood over for Nero.
By this bravado, we daily looked for their coming against us, according to their old injurious custom. We landed four pieces of ordnance on the 30th, besides two others formerly landed on the 25th, and set to work to construct fortifications for our defence. By the assistance of the Bandanese, we erected two forts, which were named the Swan and Defence, after our two ships, each mounted with three guns; the fort called the Swan being within caliver shot of the ships, and entirely commanding the road on the eastern side, where is the principal anchorage for the westerly monsoon.
The 3rd of January, 1617, the three Dutch ships came from Nero into the road of Puloroon, being the Horne, of 800 tons, the Star, of 500 tons, and the Yaugar, of 160 tons. The Horne anchored close by our ship the Swan, the Star close beside the Defence, and the Yaugar ahead of all, to cut off our intercourse with the shore. Our commission directed us, on receiving the surrender of Puloroon, and forming a settlement there, to give due notice thereof in writing to the Hollanders, warning them not to come there to molest us under the pretence of ignorance, as they had been formerly accustomed to do.
We had accordingly a letter written to that effect, but knew not how to have it sent, not daring to dispatch it either by Englishmen or natives, for fear of being detained. On coming into the road, however, we sent George Muschamp aboard their admiral, the Star, to deliver the before-mentioned letter to Mynheer Dedall, the Dutch commander; and with a message desiring them to depart from the road of Puloroon before six glasses were run, as the islanders would not allow them to remain in the roads, or to come near their island, and would even have already fired upon them, if we had not prevailed upon them to forbear.
Soon afterwards, the Dutch commander, Dedall, came on board the Swan, attended by their chaplain, to enquire the reason of our message; when we told him that we suspected they came to injure us, as they had formerly done at Paloway, Cambella, and other places; and as they had formerly turned the glass to Mr Ball, when in their power, threatening to hang him if he did not immediately cause the English to quit the land, we had now in like manner appointed a time for them to quit the roads.
We also showed him the instrument by which Puloroon was surrendered to us, and our consequent right to keep possession for the king of England, which we were determined upon doing to the utmost of our power, wishing them to be well advised in their proceedings, as they might expect to be shortly called to answer for their abusive words and injurious conduct to the English. We also demanded the restoration of Puloway, which had likewise been lawfully surrendered to the king of England. After this, we enquired if they had received any previous surrender at Puloroon, but they could not say they had any; and when we shewed the formal surrender made to our king, which their chaplain perused, he acknowledged that it was a true surrender.
All this while the glass was running in the great cabin before their eyes, putting them in mind to be gone. We also told them plainly, that we believed their only purpose in coming here was to betray us, and to drive us from the island by treachery or force, of which scandalous conduct our nation had already had divers experience from theirs; wherefore we neither could nor would trust them any more, and we must insist upon their departure; as, when the glass was six times run out, they must expect to be shot at from the shore; and if they fired in return against the islanders, or showed any discourtesy or wrong to them, we should consider it as hostility to us, and would defend them, being now the subjects of our king.
They desired to remain till next day, which we would not agree to, doubting that more of their ships might come to join them. They then desired to stay till midnight; which we agreed to, on condition that we saw them preparing to weigh their anchors, in which case we said that notice should be sent ashore to the Bandanese, not to fire upon them.
I also demanded to know from Dedall, what was their purpose in thus coming into the road of Puloroon, unless to molest us. He pretended that it was their usual custom in passing that island. But I told them that was not true, as the islanders had declared there never was any Christian ship in their roads till we came. So he remained silent. They came to anchor in the roads this day about three in the afternoon, and departed about eleven at night.
We have been since certainly informed that their purpose was to have taken possession of our ships by treachery, or to have driven us out of the roads, and only gave up their intentions on seeing that we were fortified on shore. Had they then assailed us, we had little doubt of being able to have defended ourselves against them, as we had both forts in readiness, the cannon charged, and the gunners prepared to give fire, on the first signal from our ships.
A Dutch ship and pinnace came from Nero on the 10th January; the pinnace edging near the small island or high sand, called Nylacka. This island is uninhabited, but full of trees and bushes, being daily resorted to by the men of Puloroon for fishing; and as belonging to Puloroon, belonged now to the English. On coming near the island, the people in the pinnace were observed continually sounding, wherefore we made four shots towards her from Fort Defence; but, not intending to strike her, shot wide. At every shot, the pinnace answered with a base, or some such piece, firing into the small island among the trees and bushes, where were some Englishmen and Bandanese of Puloroon, who were in no small danger from the shot.
Seeing they braved us in this manner, the gunner was desired to do his best, and his next shot fell close over the stern of the pinnace or frigate, which made her presently go away. Their purpose of coming thus to sound about the small island, seemed to be to look out for a landing-place; meaning to come there with their forces, and there to fortify themselves, on purpose to compel us to quit the large island.
On the 13th, Mr. Davey complained that he was in want of water, and proposed to go over for that purpose to Wayre upon Lantore; but on the people of Puloroon being informed of this, they would by no means consent to his going out of the roads, and indeed neither would we, fearing the Hollanders might do us some injury in his absence. The people of Puloroon said they would rather bring him water from Lantore, in their proas. I went on board Mr. Davey to acquaint him with this; but he and his people would not consent, saying the Bandanese would bring them rain water, or such other as was unwholesome, and that they would only be six days absent, or eight at most.
At this time, the principal people of Wayre, a free town on the island of Lantore, and of the separate island of Rosinging, came over to us, to enter into a parley respecting the surrender of both to the sovereignty of his majesty; and the formal deed of surrender being agreed upon and drawn up, they desired that some Englishmen might go over to receive the same in a public manner from all their hands, and to witness the ceremonial. As Mr. Davey still persisted to go over with his ship, it was resolved upon that Messrs Sophonie Cozocke, George Muschamp, Robert Fuller, and Thomas Hodges, should go over in the Swan to Wayre and Rosinging, to see that business accomplished, while the Swan was procuring water; after which, it was appointed that Mr. Cozocke was to return in the Swan, while the other three were to remain upon the island of Rosinging for possession, till farther orders.
All business being there concluded to our satisfaction, several persons in Wayre and Rosinging desired to load nutmegs and mace in the Swan, and to have a passage for Puloroon, there to sell us their spices for rice and cloths. All this was agreed to, and twelve of these persons came on board, with a great quantity of nutmegs and mace.
The Swan then set sail for Geulegola, which is only a little way from Wayre, and there watered, after which she again set sail. When about eight leagues from the land, a Holland ship or two gave them chase. The people of the Swan now asked Mr. Davey what he proposed to do. He answered, "They see my colours and I see theirs: I know them to be Dutch, and they know us to be English: I know of no injury I have done them, and I will continue my course for Puloroon." In short time, the Star, for such was the Dutch ship, got up within shot of the Swan, and without hailing, or giving the smallest intimation of her intention, let fly both with great guns and small arms in the most violent manner. The Swan received two or three great shot through and through before she replied, and even had some of her men slain.
After this, as Mr. Davey writes, the fight continued an hour and a half, during which five men were killed in the Swan, viz. Mr. Sophonie Cozocke, merchant, who was driven to pieces by a cannon-ball; Robert Morton, quartermaster and drummer; Christopher Droope; Edward Murtkin; and a Bantianese passenger from Wayre. Three others were maimed, having lost arms or legs, with very little hopes of recovery; and eight others were wounded, most of them mortally. During the engagement, a Dutchman stood upon the poop of the Star with a drawn sword, calling out in the Dutch language, English villains and rogues, we will kill you all.
The people of the Swan were much discouraged, on seeing so many of their companions dead and wounded, insomuch that none of them would stand by the sails to trim the ship to the best advantage, so that the Hollander lay upon her quarter pouring in great and small shot, and at last took her by boarding, both with soldiers and others. They immediately broke open and pillaged the cabins, plundered the men basely of their clothes and everything else worth taking, and throwing overboard whatever did not please their fancies.
Even the Spaniards never used more stern cruelty in their professed wars, than did now the Dutch to us, with whom they were in peace and amity. The Star had on board 160 men, mostly soldiers taken from the castles of Nero and Puloway, while the Swan had not above thirty able to stand to quarters, the rest being sick or lame, and all much worn out in toilsome labour at Puloroon, in landing the ordnance and constructing the two forts. Ten also of their complement had been left in Puloroon to defend the two forts, two of whom, Herman Hammond and John Day, were gunners.
The Swan being thus taken and sore battered in the action, was carried away under the guns of the castle at Nero. The Dutch gloried much in their victory, boasting of their exploit to the Bandanese, saying that the king of England was not to be compared with their great king of Holland: That Saint George was now turned a child, and they cared not for the king of England; for one Holland ship was able to take ten English ships. They landed all our men at Nero, and kept them all strict prisoners, many of them in irons.
The Swan left us at Puloroon on the 16th of January, and we expected her back in eight or ten days at farthest, but never heard of her till the 25th of February, when Robert Fuller came over to us from Rosinging and Wayre; to acquaint us that be had heard of an English ship being under the guns of Nero castle. We immediately sent away Robert Hayes, the purser of the Defence, accompanied by some of the chief men of Puloroon, with directions to land on that side of Lantore which was in friendship with us, and to go as near as possible to the Dutch ships with a flag of truce, to enquire into the matter.
After staying almost two hours, there came at last a boat to fetch him off, but made him wade to the middle before they would take him in. Being taken on board one of the Dutch ships, the president and assistants of Nero met him, when he demanded to know why they had made prize of the Swan, what was become of her men, and wherefore they detained our ship and goods. They answered, that time should bring all to light. Still urging for an answer, they used many opprobrious words against the English, threatening to come over to Puloroon with their forces, and to drive us from there and other places.
To this Hayes replied, that they had already done much more than they could answer for, and was obliged to come away without seeing anyone belonging to the Swan. He could however see our poor ship all rent and torn, in view of the natives, as an ill-got and dishonourable trophy of Dutch treachery and ingratitude. In a short time after, they sent over a messenger to us with a letter, which we answered, as we did others afterwards, their messengers frequently coming over with flags of truce, all of which letters, together with the surrenders, I brought over with me to Bantam, and delivered to Captain Ball.
The Dutch continually threatened us, by their letters and messengers, that as they had now taken the Swan, they would soon come and take possession of the Defence, and drive us from the island of Puloroon. We always answered that we expected them, and would defend ourselves to the last. They made many bravados, daily shooting off forty, fifty, or sixty pieces of ordnance at Nero and Puloway, thinking to frighten us. Also the people of Lantore brought us word that they were fitting out their ships, and shipping planks and earth, which we imagined was for land service.
They had then seven ships, four galleys and frigates, and a great number of men, with all which force they threatened to come against us. We were told, likewise, that they had endeavoured to prevail on their black slaves, by promise of freedom and great rewards, to come over secretly to Puloroon and set fire to the Defence. The Hollanders also threatened that we should carry no spices from Puloroon or any other of the Banda islands. Thereupon, considering our engagements with the people of Puloroon, Wayre, and Rosinging, to all of whom we had trusted our goods, and that we had ready at Puloroon a good quantity of nutmegs and mace, and the threats of the Hollanders, we resolved to maintain the honour of our king and country, and to defend the interest of our employers, the honourable Company, to the utmost of our power.
For this purpose, we determined to land all the guns, provisions, and stores, from the Defence, and to fortify the small island of Nylacka adjoining to Puloroon; which the Hollanders proposed to have fortified formerly; which, if they had done, would have commanded the road, and done us much injury, as the people of Puloroon would have been prevented from fishing, and English ships could not have come into the roads.
Having therefore landed all the ordnance of the Defence, except four pieces of cannon, and being busied in erecting a fortification with the assistance of the Bandanese, Mr. Hinshley also, the master of the Defence, being ashore, and every one hard at work landing the things, except a few left on board to keep the ship, a conspiracy was entered into by some of the men on the 20th March, 1617; and that same night they cut the cables and so drove out to sea. Perceiving this from the small island, we immediately sent a boat after them, advising them to return with the ship: But the mutineers would neither listen to them, nor suffer the boat to come near the ship, pointing their pieces at them, and even fired one musket-shot to keep off the boat; which was therefore compelled to return to the small island.
There went away in the Defence nine of our men, including John Christmas, the boatswain's mate, and we could distinctly see them next day going into Nero roads under sail, and come to anchor under the guns of the castle. As we afterwards learnt, some of the runaways went immediately on shore to inform the Dutch of their exploit, contending among themselves which of them had piloted the ship. They even brought a can of wine ashore with them, and drank to the Hollanders on landing.
The Dutch took immediate possession of the Defence, and brought all our rascally deserters into their castle, where they examined them as to our proceedings at Puloroon and Nylacka, in regard to our fortifications and means of defence. By this scandalous affair, we were in great danger of being all put to death by the Bandanese of Puloroon, as they suspected the desertion of our ships to have been a concerted matter between us and the Hollanders, on purpose to betray them. By this likewise, as our weakness was made known to the Hollanders, they might be encouraged to attack us. Indeed they made many violent threatenings of so doing, and we daily looked for their appearance; which, if they had so done, must have cost many lives, as we were greatly enraged against them for the capture of the Swan, and the severe usage of her people.
On the 23rd of March, we sent a letter to the Hollanders at Nero, by Robert Fuller, who landed upon Lantore; but, owing to some difference between the people of that island and the Dutch, he could not be allowed to pass, so that he had to return. The 25th there came a messenger to us from Lawrence Ryall, the principal commander of the Hollanders, newly come to Nero from the Moluccas, desiring Mr. Courthop and I would come in a proa to hold a conference with two of his principal merchants, half-way between Puloroon and Puloway; but we refused this request, being afraid of treachery.
By this messenger we had a letter from Mr. Davies, then a prisoner at Nero, intimating his disapprobation of our proceedings in keeping possession of Puloroon, alleging that our commission did not warrant us in so doing, and recommending a parley between us and the Dutch general, to prevent the loss of any more lives. It appeared that he was instigated to give us this advice by the Hollanders, who had made him believe that they had authority in writing from our king to make prize of any English ships they found to the east of Celebes, as we afterwards learnt to our great surprise; since, if they actually had such authority we must have obeyed.
We wrote to Lawrence Ryall by his messenger that if he would send over Henrick de Watterfoord and Peter de Yonge, two of his principal merchants, to remain as pledges in Nylacka, Mr. Courthop and another should be sent to confer with him. We got back for answer, that the merchants we demanded as pledges could not be sent, as the one was gone to sea, and the other could not be spared, being their chief book-keeper; but offering us two other principal merchants, whom we agreed to accept. Accordingly, on the 6th April, the Dutch galley brought over these two, whom we lodged in a tent near the landing-place under a guard of twelve Englishmen to protect them from the Bandanese, as we did not think it right to bring them into our fort, that they might not have an opportunity of viewing our fortifications.
Mr. Courthop went immediately over to Nero in their galley, and had a long conference with the Dutch, in which they used many threats, and complained of many injuries they pretended to have suffered from the English, but of which I shall only briefly treat, as the letter from Mr. Courthop, which I brought over from Banda and delivered to Captain Ball, will certify your worships at large on this matter. They complained that Sir Henry Middleton had used the Dutch colours when in the Red Sea, pretending to be Holland ships, to their injury and discredit. To this Mr. Courthop replied that it was false, as he had sailed with Sir Henry, and never knew him to wear Dutch colours; which, moreover, Sir Henry was too much a gentleman to have done.
They pretended to have our king's letter, authorizing them to capture any English ship seen to the eastwards of the Celebes. Mr. Courthop urged them to produce this letter, on seeing which he declared his readiness to obey the authority of his sovereign, and to evacuate Puloroon; but they had none such to produce. They alleged many other things, equally false, and used many arguments to induce us to quit Puleroon. All this time, neither Mr. Davies nor any other of the English in their hands were permitted to come near Mr. Courthop.
Finding he could not prevail, Lawrence Ryall, the Dutch general, grew much discontented, throwing his hat on the ground and pulling his beard for sheer anger. At length Mr. Courthop told him that he could conclude nothing of his own authority, being joined with a council, but should relate every thing that had passed at Puloroon, which should be taken into consideration and an answer sent. I had advised him to say this, to get the easier away. Mr. Courthop also urged them to restore our ship the Defence, with her men and goods; but they would not, unless we agreed to surrender Puloroon: offering, if we would deliver up Nylacka and our fort, in which we had twelve pieces of ordnance, that they would then restore both the Swan and Defence, with all our men and goods. Ryall then desired Mr. Courthop to sign a note which he had drawn, acknowledging the proffers he had made, but this Mr. Courthop refused.
They had so wrought upon Mr. Davies, that they expected he might be able to prevail upon Mr. Courthop to come into their terms, and now therefore brought him to Mr. Courthop, with whom he had much discourse, and particularly urged the truth of the letter they pretended to have from the king of England, as before mentioned. When Mr. Courthop told him what he had offered, in case that letter were produced, Mr. Davies distinctly saw he had been imposed upon, and broke out into a rage against them, for having told so many falsehoods; adding that they had promised him and his men good treatment, but that his men complained of being in great want of food and clothing, and of general hard usage. They had sat in judgment upon him and his men, condemning them to remain as prisoners till they had orders from Holland as to their ultimate destination. He even said, that he was willing to continue in durance, provided we could keep them out of Puloroon. The conference being ended, Mr Courthop came back to Nylacka in the galley, and the pledges were restored.
The eastern monsoon being now come, we fitted out a proa to send with dispatches to Bantam, giving an account of what had passed; and it was agreed that Mr. Hinchley and I were to go, accompanied by four Englishmen and fourteen natives of Puloroon, of whom five were chiefs, or orancays, one of them being son to the sabander, who is the principal man of the island. We set sail from Puloroon on the 17th April, 1617, and when in sight of Bottone on our way for Macassar, we descried a large ship and a pinnace, which gave us chase under a press of sail, so that we had no means of escape, except by standing in for Bottone.
After being chased half a day, we got near the town of Bottone by night, thinking the ships could not have got so far up the river; but seeing the ship and pinnace almost within musket-shot of us next morning, we presently landed most of what we had in the proa, taking refuge in the woods. Having so done, we went immediately to the king, to whom we gave a present of such things as we had, to the value of about thirty dollars, desiring his protection, which he promised in the kindest manner, and faithfully performed. He sent his servants along with us, to put all our things into a house, giving us also two houses for our lodging, desiring us to remain within, that we might not be discovered by our enemies.
Almost immediately afterwards, the Hollanders went to the king, giving him a present three times the value of ours, and enquired who we were that had landed. To which the king answered that he knew not who we were. On being asked by the king how long they meant to stay, the Dutch said they proposed remaining six days; of which the king sent us notice, advising us to keep close for that time, that we might proceed in greater security after they were gone. But at the end of these six days the Dutch said they would stay six days longer, pretending they had to repair one of their masts.
Seeing their intention, and because our proa lay in view of the Dutch, we bought another proa, into which the king made all our things be carried by his slaves, causing them to navigate that proa past the Hollanders, and to carry her to the back of the island, whither he sent us over land under the protection of fifty men. We went immediately aboard, but remained under the island till near night, when we stood our course for Macassar, and saw no more of the Hollanders.
We arrived at Macassar on the 7th May, where we found the Attendance intending for Banda, but was unable to beat up, owing to the change of the monsoon. Having shipped in the Attendance 180 suckles of mace, purchased at Macassar, we sent the proa to Banjarmassen and Succadanea in Borneo, with advice that a supply of goods could not be sent there as expected, owing to the non-arrival of the Solomon, which had been long expected at Bantam.
The 3rd June we arrived at Bantam. As Captain George Barkley was dead, to whom Mr. Ball succeeded as chief of the factory, I have delivered all the papers to him, and doubt not that your worships may receive them by the first conveyance. Those are, two surrenders, the letters from the Hollanders with our answers, and everything relative to our proceedings in Banda.
When I left Puloroon, it was agreed that another proa was to be dispatched for Bantam in twenty days after our departure, lest we might have been pursued and taken by the Hollanders. Accordingly a proa was sent, in which was laden 170 suckles of mace, containing 3366 cattees, each cattee being six English pounds and nearly two ounces, costing at the rate of one dollar the cattee; which, had it gone safe, might have sold in England for £5000. In this proa there were eight Englishmen and thirty Bandanese, under the charge of Walter Stacie, who had been mate under Mr. Hinchley in the Defence. His knowledge and care, however, did not answer expectation, for he ran the proa on the rocky shoals near the island of Bottone, where she bilged and lost all the mace, the men getting ashore. Stacie is much blamed by the rest, some of whom told him they saw land on the lee-bow, but he was peevish and headstrong, calling them all fools, and would not listen to them.
May it please your worships to understand that the Hollanders replied, when told that their vile abuses to us would lie heavy on them when known in Europe, "That they can make as good friends in the court of England as your worships; that this which they have done will oblige your worships and them to join, so that a gold chain will recompense all, and they have dollars enough in Holland to pay for a ship or two, providing they can hinder us from trading at Banda."
In regard to the trade of the Banda islands, Puloroon is reported to be the worst island. It is about eight English miles in circuit, and the small adjoining island of Nylacka is about a mile round. There is a tolerable quantity of nutmegs and mace grown on Puloroon, and considerably more might be got there if the island were well cultivated. Rosengin is a fine island, producing the largest nutmegs and best mace of all the Banda islands; and if we hold possession of Puloroon, abundance of nutmegs and mace could be had from Rosengin, Lantore, and other places; as the natives would come over to us with their spices, provided we supply them with rice, cloth, salt, pepper, molasses, and other necessaries, and some Macassar gold, which passes as current in Banda as Spanish rials of eight, and at the same rate, though only worth at Bantam two shillings and fourpence or two and sixpence, for the piece called mass.
Our cargo was small, having only 100 quoines of rice, and our cloth was much decayed, having lain two or three years at Macassar. If we had had three times as much, we could have sold it all at Puloroon for mace and nutmegs, being entreated for cloth and rice by people from Lantore, Rosengin and other places, but had it not, so that some returned home again with part of their spices. They came over to Puloroon in the night with proas and corracorras. The mace and nuts were very good, but must be injured by lying so long, owing to the molestations of the Hollanders, while we had no lime for preserving the nuts. The trade will turn out very profitable, if we may quietly possess the island of Puloroon; but we must buy rice at a lower rate than in Macassar, and I understand it can be had in Japan for about half the price.
In regard to our right to the Banda islands, especially Puloway, Captain Castleton might have made that secure, as I have often been told; and at all events, we have a much better right than the Hollanders, who by force of arms have dispossessed us. Except Puloroon be supplied this year, and the possession maintained, the English name will be utterly disgraced, with little chance of our ever being received there again.
If we are able to hold it until your worships have determined what to do in the matter, we shall soon be able to procure there as much mace and nutmegs as the Hollanders; and it may also serve as an entrance into the Moluccas for cloves. The Hollanders pretend an exclusive right to the Bandas and Moluccas, in consequence of having the son of the king of Ternate in their hands as a prisoner. But the Bandanese deny that the king of Ternate has any right of dominion in their islands, every one of their islands being free, and governed by sabanders and orancays of their own appointment.
It is indispensible that supplies of rice and other victuals, and cloth, should be sent for the English and Bandanese, and to bring away the nutmegs and mace we have there in godowns or warehouses. The Hollanders give out that they will take all your ships that go to those parts, so as to famish both the English and Bandanese; wherefore it requires earnest and speedy attention, that we may quietly enjoy our trade to these islands, which have been surrendered to us, and desire our trade. These are Puloway, Puloroon, Rosengin, and Wayre, which last is a town in Lantore. Puloway is reported to be a paradise, and the Hollanders allege that it is as much worth to them as Scotland is to his majesty.
Even should your worships not be able to get Puloway restored, yet if you enjoy the other three, we shall be able to procure enough of nutmegs and mace for the supply of England, and also for the trade of Surat and other places in India. Now is the time or never, considering the vile abuses and murders committed upon us by the Hollanders. At this time, the Charles and the Hope are bound home from Bantam, and I pray God to send them safe to London. I have sent your worships a brief abstract of our cargo for Banda, and of the sales made there. If I seem tedious, I humbly crave pardon; and, with my humble duty, beseeching the Almighty to prosper and give good success to all your designs, I humbly take leave,
being your worships most humble servant in all duty,
[Footnote 254: Purch. Pilgr. I. 608.]
[Footnote 255: An. of E.I. Co. I. 187.]
[Footnote 256: The amount or quantity of these quoines are nowhere stated, or even hinted at; but, from circumstances in the sequel, they appear to have been considerable.--E.]
[Footnote 257: Purchas, in a side note at this place, quaintly converts the name of the Dutch general into Lawrence Lyall.--E.]
[Footnote 258: In a marginal note, this is called a junk.--E.]
[Footnote 259: From the statement in the text, the suckle appears to have been about 122 English pounds, and the quantity of mace accordingly, shipped on this occasion, about 185 cwt. or 9 1/4 tons.--E.]
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