Book: A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol.VII

A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. VII

by Robert Kerr














SECTION XIII. Account of an Expedition of the Portuguese from India to Madagascar in 1613

Being anxious to find out a considerable number of Portuguese who were reported to exist in the island of St. Lawrence or Madagascar, having been cast away at different times on that island, and also desirous of propagating the ever blessed gospel among its inhabitants, and to exclude the Hollanders from that island by establishing a friendly correspondence with the native princes, the viceroy Don Jerome de Azevedo sent thither, in 1613, a caravel from Goa commanded by Paul Rodrigues de Costa, accompanied by two Jesuits, some interpreters, and a competent number of soldiers. This island is about 260 leagues in length and 600 in circumference1, its greatest extent being from N.N.E. to S.S.W. It is 80 leagues from E. to W. where widest, but considerably less towards the north, where it ends in a point named St Ignatius which is about 15 leagues from east to west2. It may be considered as divided into three parts. The first or northern portion is divided from the other two by an imaginary line from east to west at Cape St Andrew3. The other two divisions are formed by a chain of mountains running nearly south from this line to Cape St Romanus, otherwise Cape St Mary, but much nearer the east coast than the west. The island is divided into a great number of kingdoms, but so confusedly and ill-defined, that it were endless to enumerate them. It is very populous, the inhabitants having many cities and towns of different extent and grandeur4. The country is fertile and well watered, and everywhere diversified with mountains, vallies, rivers, bays, and ports. The natives have no general name for the island, and are entirely ignorant of those of Madagascar and St Lawrence, which are given to it by strangers. The general population of the island consists of a nation called Buques, who have no religion and consequently no priests or places of worship, yet all their youth are circumcised at six or seven years old, any one performing the operation. The natives are not all of one colour; some being quite black with crisp or curled hair like negroes; others not quite so black with lank hair; others again resembling mulatoes; while some that live in the interior are almost white, yet have hair of both kinds. They are of large stature, strong and well made, of clear judgment, and apt to learn. Every man has as many wives as he pleases or can maintain, turning them off at pleasure, when they are sure to find other husbands, all of whom buy their wives from their fathers, by way of repaying the expence of their maintenance before marriage. Their funeral obsequies consist chiefly in feasting the guests; and their mourning in laying aside all appearance of joy, and cutting off their hair or daubing their faces and bodies with clay. Their government is monarchical, their kings or chiefs being called Andias, Anrias, and Dias, all independent of each other and almost continually engaged in war, more for the purpose of plunder than slaughter or conquest. On the Portuguese going among them, no arms were found in their possession except a few guns they had procured from the Moors and Hollanders, which they knew not how to use, and were even fearful of handling. They have excellent amber5, white sandal, tortoises, ebony, sweet woods of various kinds, and abundance of slaves, with plenty of cattle of all kinds, the flesh of their goats being as sweet as mutton. The island likewise produces abundance of sea cows, sea-horses, monkeys, and some say tigers, with a great many snakes which are not very venomous. It has no elephants, horses, asses, lions, bears, deer, foxes, nor hares.

The first place visited by de Costa on this voyage of discovery was a large bay near Masilage6 in lat. 16° S. in which there is an island half a league in circumference containing a town of 8000 inhabitants, most of them weavers of an excellent kind of stuff made of the palm-tree. At this place the Moors used to purchase boys who were carried to Arabia and sold for infamous uses. The king of this place, named Samamo, received the Portuguese in a friendly manner, and granted leave to preach the gospel among his subjects. Coasting about 40 leagues south from this place, they came to the mouth of a large river named Balue or Baeli in about 17° S. and having doubled Cape St Andrew, they saw the river and kingdom of Casame, between the latitudes of 17° and 18° S. where they found little water and had much trouble7. Here also amity was established with the king, whose name was Sampilla, a discreet old man; but hitherto they could get no intelligence of the Portuguese whom they were sent in search of. On Whitsunday, which happened that year about the middle of May, mass was said on shore and two crosses erected, at which the king appeared so much pleased that he engaged to restore them if they happened to fall or decay. During the holidays they discovered an island in lat. 18° S. to which they gave the name of Espirito Santo8, and half a degree farther they were in some danger from a sand bank 9 leagues long. On Trinity Sunday, still in danger from sand banks, they anchored at the seven islands of Cuerpo de Dios or Corpus Christi9 in 19° S. near the kingdom and river of Sadia to which they came on the 19th of June, finding scarcely enough of water to float the caravel. This kingdom is extensive, and its principal city on the banks of the river has about 10,000 inhabitants. The people are black, simple, and good-natured, having no trade, but have plenty of flesh, maize, tar, tortoises, sandal, ebony, and sweet woods. The name of the king was Capilate, who was an old man much respected and very honest. He received the Portuguese kindly, and even sent his son to guide them along the coast. All along this coast from Massalage to Sadia the natives speak the same language with the Kafrs on the opposite coast of Africa; while in all the rest of the island the native language called Buqua is spoken.

Continuing towards the south they came to the country of the Buques, a poor and barbarous people feeding on the spawn of fish, who are much oppressed by the kings of the inland tribes. Passing the river Mane10, that of Saume11 in 20° 15'; Manoputa in 20° 30', where they first heard of the Portuguese; Isango in 21°; Terrir in 21° 30'; the seven islands of Elizabeth in 22°; they came on the 11th of July into the port of St Felix12 in 22°, where they heard again of the Portuguese of whom they were in search, from Dissamuta the king of that part of the country. On offering a silver chain at this place for some provisions, the natives gave it to an old woman to examine if it was genuine, and she informed the Portuguese that at the distance of three days journey there was an island inhabited a long while before by a white people dressed like the Portuguese and wearing crosses hanging from their necks, who lived by rapine and easily took whatever they wanted, as they were armed with spears and guns, with which information the Portuguese were much gratified. Continuing their voyage past the bay of St Bonaventura and the mouth of the river Massimanga, they entered the bay of Santa Clara, where Diamassuto came to them and entered into a treaty of friendship, worshipping the cross on his knees. They were here told that white people frequented a neighbouring port, and concluded that they were Hollanders. Going onwards they found banks of sand not laid down in any chart, and entered a port in lat. 24° S. The king of this place was named Diacomena, and they here learnt that there were Portuguese on the opposite coast who had been cast away, and now herded cattle for their subsistence. They said likewise that the Hollanders had been three times at their port, and had left them four musketeers with whose assistance they had made war upon their enemies. On some trees there were several inscriptions, among which were the following. Christophorus Neoportus Anglus Cap. and on another Dominus Robertus Scherleius Comes, Legatus Regis Persarum.

In the latitude of 25° S. they entered a port which they named St Augustine13 in a kingdom called Vavalinta, of which a Buque named Diamacrinale was king, who no sooner saw the Portuguese than he asked if these were some of the men from the other coast. This confirmed the stories they had formerly heard respecting the Portuguese, and they were here informed that the place at which they dwelt was only six days sail from that place. In September they got sight of Cape Romain or St Mary the most southern point of Madagascar, where they spent 40 days in stormy weather, and on St Lukes day, 18th October, they entered the port of that name in the kingdom of Enseroe. The natives said that there were white people who wore crosses, only at the distance of half a days journey, who had a large town, and Randumana the king came on board the caravel, and sent one of his subjects with a Portuguese to shew him where these white people dwelt, but the black ran away when only half way.

Among others of the natives who came to this place to trade with the Portuguese, was a king named Bruto Chembanga with above 500 fighting men. His sons were almost white, with long hair, wearing gowns and breeches of cotton of several colours with silver buttons and bracelets and several ornaments of gold, set with pearls and coral. The territory of this king was named Matacassi, bordering on Enseroe to the west. He said that the Portuguese were all dead, who not far from that place had built a town of stone houses, where they worshipped the cross, on the foot or pedestal of which were unknown characters. He drew representations of all these things on the sand, and demanded a high reward for his intelligence. Some of his people wore crosses, and informed the Portuguese that there were two ships belonging to the Hollanders in port St Lucia or Mangascafe. In a small island at this place there was found a square stone fort14, and at the foot of it the arms of Portugal were carved on a piece of marble, with this inscription


Many conjectures were formed to account for the signification of the circle between the two last letters of this inscription, but nothing satisfactory could be discovered. King Chembanga requested that a Portuguese might be sent along with him to his residence, to treat upon some important affairs, and left his nephew as an hostage for his safe return. Accordingly the master, Antonio Gonzales, and one of the priests named Pedro Freyre, were sent; who, at twelve leagues distance, came to his residence called Fansaria, a very populous and magnificent place. At first he treated them with much kindness, after which he grew cold towards them, but on making him a considerable present he became friendly, and even delivered to them his eldest son to be carried to Goa, desiring that the two Jesuits and four other Portuguese might be left as hostages, to whom he offered the island of Santa Cruz to live in. These people are descended from the Moors, and call themselves Zelimas; they have the alcoran in Arabic, and have faquirs who teach them to read and write; they are circumcised, eat no bacon, and some of them have several wives. The king said that in the time of his father a ship of the Portuguese was cast away on this coast, from which about 100 men escaped on shore, some of whom had their wives along with them, and the rest married there and left a numerous progeny. He repeated several of their names, and even showed a book in Portuguese and Latin which had belonged to them, and some maps; and concluded by saying that there were more Portuguese on that coast, seven days journey to the north. On farther inquiry, a man 90 years of age was found, who had known the Portuguese that were cast away there, and could still remember a few detached words of their language.

The Portuguese set all hands to work to build a house and chapel for the two Jesuits and four Portuguese who were to remain, and when the work was finished, mass was solemnly said on shore, many of the natives coming to learn how to make the sign of the cross. One day while the king was looking on, and saw several men labouring hard to carry a cross that was meant to be set upon a rock, he went half naked and bareheaded, and carried it without assistance to the place appointed. The Portuguese might well say they had found another emperor Heraclius; for after this pious act of gigantic strength, he became very wicked; for being ready to sail, De Costa demanded that the king's son who had been promised should be sent, but he denied having ever made any such promise, and offered a slave. On this the captain sent the master and pilot with some men to enforce the demand, and safe conduct for some Portuguese to go to port St Lucia to see an inscription said by the natives to be at that place. The peace was thus broken, and a party of Portuguese soldiers was sent armed against the king, who endeavoured to resist, and the king's son, a youth of eleven years of age was brought away, the natives being unable to contend against fire-arms. Several messages were sent offering a high ransom for the boy; but on being told by the captain that he would lose his head if he did not carry him to the viceroy, they went away much grieved. This happened about the end of 1613; and towards the middle of 1614, de Costa arrived safe at Goa with the boy, whom the viceroy caused to be instructed in Christianity by the jesuits, and stood god-father at his baptism on St Andrews day, when he was named Andrew Azevedo.

The viceroy treated him with much honour and magnificence, in hopes that when he succeeded to his father, he might encourage the propagation of the gospel in Madagascar; and when he was supposed to be sufficiently instructed, he was sent away, accompanied by four Jesuits. On this occasion a pink and caravel were sent to Madagascar, commanded by Pedro de Almeyda Cabral, and Juan Cardoso de Pina, who sailed from Goa on the 17th of September 1616. On the 20th of March 1617, they discovered a most delightful island, watered with pure springs, and producing many unknown plants besides others already known, both aromatic and medicinal. To this island, in which were two mountains which overtopped the clouds, they gave the name of Isola del Cisne or swan island, and on it the jesuits planted some crosses and left inscriptions commemorative of the discovery15. The wreck of two ships of the Hollanders were found on this island. On the arrival of the two Portuguese ships in the port of St Lucia in Madagascar, the king and queen of Matacassi received their son with the strongest demonstrations of joy, and gave back the hostages left on taking him away. The four jesuits with six soldiers accompanied the young prince to his father's court at Fansaria, where, and at every place through which he passed, he was received with demonstrations of joy, which to the Portuguese seemed ridiculous, as no doubt those used by the Portuguese on similar occasions would have appeared to them. The king made a similar agreement with the two commanders on this voyage with that formerly made with De Costa, which was that the fathers should inhabit the inland of Santa Cruz and have liberty to preach the gospel in Madagascar. Upon this the fathers went to the fort at Santa Cruz, where Don Andrew, the king's son, sent them workmen and provisions.

The captain, Pedro de Almeyda, had orders to bring another of the king's sons to Goa, and if refused to carry one away by force; but the king declared that he had only one other son, who was too young for the voyage, on which Almeyda satisfied himself with Anria Sambo, the king's nephew, who was carried to Goa, and baptized by the name of Jerome. When sufficiently instructed in the Christian religion, he was sent back to his country in a pink, commanded by Emanuel de Andrada, together with two Jesuits, 100 soldiers, and presents for the king and prince, worth 4000 ducats. They set out in the beginning of February 1618; and being under the necessity of watering at the Isola de Cisne, they found three ships sunk at the mouth of the river. On landing, twenty Hollanders were found about two leagues from the shore, guarding the goods they had saved from the wreck. They made some opposition, but were forced to submit to superior numbers, and were found to have a large quantity of cloves, pepper, arms, ammunition, and provisions. Andrada carried the prisoners, and as many of the valuable commodities on board his pink as it could contain, and set fire to the rest, though the Hollanders alleged that they had come from the Moluccas, with a regular pass.

When Andrada arrived in the port of St Lucia, the two Jesuits came to him both sick, declaring that it was impossible to live in that country, where all the men who had been left along with them had died. Andrada sent the letters with which he was intrusted to the king and prince, by the servants of Don Jerome; and in return, the king sent 100 fat oxen, with a great quantity of fowls and honey, and six slaves, but would not come himself, and it was found that his son had reverted to Mahometanism. The tribes in Madagascar called Sadias and Fansayros are Mahometan Kafrs16, and are attached to the liberty allowed by the law of Mahomet, of having a plurality of wives. The king was of the Fansayro tribe, and was now desirous to destroy Andrada and the Portuguese by treachery; incited to this change of disposition by a Chingalese slave belonging to the Jesuits, who had run away, and persuaded the king, that the Portuguese would deprive him of his kingdom, as they had already done many of the princes in Ceylon and India. The Kafrs came accordingly to the shore in great numbers, and began to attack the Portuguese with stones and darts, but were soon put to flight by the fire-arms, and some of them slain, whose bodies were hung upon trees as a warning to the rest, and one of their towns was burnt.

Andrada carried away with him Don Jerome, the king's nephew, and a brother of his who was made prisoner in a skirmish with the natives, who was converted, and died at Goa. All the Jesuits agreed to desist from the mission of Madagascar, and departed along with Andrada much against his inclination; and thus ended the attempt to convert the natives of Madagascar to the Christian religion.

SECTION XIV. Continuation of the Transactions of the Portuguese in India, from 1617 to 1640; and the conclusion of the Portuguese Asia of Manuel de Faria

Towards the end of 1617, Don Juan Coutinno, count of Redondo, came to Goa, as viceroy, to succeed Azevedo. During this year, three ships and two fly-boats, going from Portugal for India, were intercepted near the Cape of Good Hope by six English ships, when the English admiral declared that he had orders from his sovereign to seize effects of the Portuguese to the value of 70,000 crowns, in compensation for the injury done by the late viceroy Azevedo to the four English ships at Surat. Christopher de Noronha, who commanded the Portuguese ships, immediately paid the sum demanded by the English admiral, together with 20,000 crowns more to divide among his men. But Noronha, on his arrival at Goa, was immediately put under an arrest by the viceroy, for this pusillanimous behaviour, and was sent home prisoner to Lisbon, to answer for his conduct.

In the year 1618, the Moor who had been seen long before, at the time when Nunno de Cunna took Diu, and was then upwards of 300 years old, died at Bengal now 60 years older, yet did not appear more than 60 years old at his death. In 1619, a large wooden cross, which stood on one of the hills which overlook Goa, was seen by many of the inhabitants of that city, on the 23d of February, to have the perfect figure of a crucified man upon it. The truth of this having been ascertained by the archbishop, he had it taken down, and got made from it a smaller cross, only two spans long, on which was fixed a crucified Jesus of ivory, and the whole surrounded by a golden glory; the rest of the cross being distributed to the churches and persons of quality. Ten days after this cross was removed, water gushed from the hole in which it was formerly fixed, in which cloths being dipped wrought many miraculous cures. A church was built on the spot to commemorate the miracle. At this time it was considered, in an assembly of the principal clergy, whether the threads, worn by the bramins across their shoulders, were a heathenish superstition or only a mark of their nobility, and, after a long debate, it was determined to be merely an honourable distinction. The reason of examining this matter was, that many of the bramins refused to embrace the Christian faith, because obliged to renounce these threads.

In November 1619, the count of Redondo died; and, by virtue of a patent of succession, Ferdinand de Albuquerque became governor-general, being now 70 years of age, 40 of which he had been an inhabitant of Goa, and consequently was well versed in the affairs of India, but too slow in his motions for the pressing occasions of the time. During his administration, the Portuguese were expelled from Ormuz by the sultan of Shiras, assisted by six English ships.

In July 1620, the Hollanders were desirous of gaining possession of the city of Macao in China, and appeared before it in seventeen ships, or, as some say, twenty-three, having 2000 soldiers on board, and were likewise in hopes of taking the fleet at that place, which was bound for Japan, having already taken several Portuguese and Chinese ships near the Philippine islands. After battering the fort of St Francis for five days, the Dutch admiral, Cornelius Regers, landed 800 men, with which he got possession of a redoubt or entrenchment, with very little opposition. He then marched to take possession of the city, not then fortified, where he did not expect any resistance; but Juan Suarez Vivas, taking post on some strong ground with only 160 men, defeated the Hollanders and compelled them to return precipitately to their ships, leaving 300 of their men slain, seven only with the colours and one piece of cannon being taken, and they threw away all their arms to enable them to swim off to their ships. In the mean while, the ships continued to batter the fort, but were so effectually answered that some of them were sunk and sixty men slain. After this the enemy abandoned the enterprise, and the citizens of Macao built a wall round the city with six bastions; and, as the mountain of our Lady of the Guide commanded the bastion of St Paul, a fort was constructed on its summit armed with ten large guns.

We have formerly mentioned the destruction of the Portuguese cities of Liampo and Chincheo, in China, through their own bad conduct. From that time, they lived in the island of Lampazau till the year 1557, when they were permitted to build the city Macao, the largest belonging to the Portuguese in the east after Goa. They had been in use to resort to the island of Sanchuan, on the coast of China, for trade, where they lived in huts made of boughs of trees, and covered with sails during their stay. At this time, the island of Goaxama, eighteen leagues nearer the coast of China, being wild and mountainous, was the resort of robbers who infested the neighbouring part of the continent, and, as the Chinese considered the Portuguese a more tolerable evil than these outlaws, they offered them that island on condition of extirpating the nest of thieves. The Portuguese undertook this task, and succeeded without losing a man. Then every one began to build where he liked best, as there were no proprietors to sell the land, which now sells at a dear rate. The trade and reputation of this city increasing, it soon became populous, containing above 1000 Portuguese inhabitants all rich; and as the merchants usually give large portions with their daughters, many persons of quality used to resort thither in search of wives. Besides these, there are a number of Chinese inhabitants who are Christians, who are clothed and live after the manner of the Portuguese; and about 6000 heathens, who are artificers, shop-keepers, and merchants. The duties of ships trading from thence to Japan, amount to 300,000 Xeraphins, at 10 per cent, being about equal to as many pieces-of-eight, or Spanish dollars17. The yearly expence of the garrison and repairs of the fortifications is above 40,000 ducats. A similar sum is paid yearly for duties at the fair of Quantung, or Canton. The Japan voyage, including presents to the King and Tonos, and the expence of the embassy, costs 25,000. The Misericordia expends about 9000 in charity, as the city maintains two hospitals, three parish churches, and five monasteries, besides sending continual alms to the Christians in China, Hainan, Japan, Tonkin, Cochin-china, Cambodia, and Siam.

Albuquerque governed India from the end of 1619, to the month of September 1622, during all which time so little care was taken in Spain of the affairs of Portuguese India that he did not receive a single letter from the king. In every thing relating to the civil government he was equal to any of his predecessors, but was unfortunate in military affairs, especially in the loss of Ormuz. In 1621, Don Alfonso de Noronna was nominated viceroy of India; but sailing too late, was driven back to Lisbon, being the last viceroy appointed by the pious Philip III. On the news coming to Lisbon, of the shameful surrender of the city of Bahia, in the Brazils, to the Hollanders, without considering his age, quality, and rank, he listed as a private soldier for that service, an instance of bravery and patriotism deserving of eternal fame, and an example that had many followers.

Don Francisco de Gama, Count of Vidugueyra, who had been much hated as viceroy of India, and sore affronted at his departure, as formerly related, always endeavoured to obtain that command a second time, not for revenge, as some asserted, but to satisfy the world that he had been undeservedly ill used. At length he obtained his desire, after twenty years solicitation, upon the accession of Philip IV. of Spain. He sailed from Lisbon on the 18th of March 1622, with four ships. On the coast of Natal, a flash of lightning struck his ship, and burnt his colours, but killed no one. Under the line two of his ships left him, and arrived at Goa in the end of August; another ship staid behind, and it was thought they shunned his company designedly. At this time six Dutch ships plied near the islands or Angoxa, or the Comoros, one of which perished in pursuit of a Portuguese ship; and while standing on for Mozambique, the viceroy encountered the other five, on the 22d of June. His other ships had now joined him, and a terrible battle ensued, which fell heaviest on the vice-admiral, whose ship was entirely disabled, but the viceroy and Francisco Lobo rescued and brought him off; yet the ship was so much battered that it sunk, some men and part of the money on board being saved, but some of the men fell into the hands of the enemy. Night coming on, the ships of the viceroy and Lobo were cast upon certain sands and lost, when they saved what goods, rigging, ammunition, and cannon they were able, and burnt the rest, to prevent them from falling into the hands of the enemy. The viceroy shipped all the goods that were saved on board some galliots, with what men they could contain, and went to Cochin, whence he went to Goa in September. On seeing him replaced in the dignity of viceroy, his enemies were terrified lest he might revenge the affronts formerly given him, but he behaved with unexpected moderation. He wished to have punished Simon de Melo, and Luis de Brito, for the shameful loss of Ormuz. Melo had fled to the Moors, and Brito was in prison; so that he only was punished capitally, and the other was hung in effigy.

About the year 1624, some of the Portuguese missionaries penetrated into the country of Thibet, in which are the sources of the river Ganges. The natives are well inclined, and of docile dispositions; zealous of their salvation, and value much the devotions enjoined them by their priests, called Lamas, who profess poverty and celibacy, and are much given to prayer. They have churches and convents like the most curious of those in Europe, and have some knowledge of the Christian religion, but mixed with many errors, and with strange customs and ceremonies; yet it plainly appears that they had formerly the light of the true gospel18; and they abhor the Mahometans and idolaters, being easily converted to the Christian faith. The habit of the Lamas is a red cassock, without sleeves, leaving their arms bare, girt with a piece of red cloth, of which the ends hang down to their feet. On their shoulders they wear a striped cloth, which they say was the dress of the Son of God; and they have a bottle of water hung at their girdle. They keep two fasts, during the principal of which they eat but once a day, and do not speak a word, using signs on all necessary occasions. During the other fast they eat as often as they have a mind, but use flesh only at one meal The people are called to prayers by the sound of trumpets, some of which are made of dead men's bones; and they use human skulls as drinking-vessels. Of other bones they make beads, which they allege is to remind them of death. The churches are only opened twice a year, when the votaries walk round the outside three times in procession, and then go in to reverence the images, some of which are of angels, called by them Las, the greatest being the one who intercedes with God for the souls of men. This being represented with the devil under his feet, was supposed by the missionaries to be St Michael the archangel. It is not unworthy of remark, that the word Lama, signifying priest, begins with La, which means an angel. The young Lamas go about the towns, dancing to the sound of bells and other noisy instruments of music; which, they say, is in imitation of the angels, who are painted by the Christians as singing in choirs.

At the beginning of every month a procession is made in which are carried black flags and the figures of devils, and attended by drums and music, which they believe chases away the devils. They use holy water, which is consecrated with many prayers, having gold coral and rice put into it, and is used for driving devils from their houses. The country people bring black horses, cows and sheep, over which the Lamas say many prayers, as it is alleged the devils endeavour to get into cattle of a black colour. They cure the sick by blowing on the part affected. They have three different kinds of funerals, according to the star which rules at the time of death. In one the body is buried in a tomb adorned with gilded pyramids. In another the body is burnt and the ashes being mixed with clay are formed into images by which they swear. In the last, which is reckoned the most honourable, the body is exposed to be devoured by certain birds resembling cranes. These three forms are used with such as have spent good lives, but others are cut in pieces and thrown to the dogs. They believe that the good go directly to heaven, and the bad to hell; while such as are indifferent remain in an intermediate state, whence their souls return to animate noble or base creatures according to their deserts. They give their children the names of filthy beasts, at the recommendation of their priests, that the devil may be loth to meddle with them. They believe in one God in Trinity; the son having become a man and died, yet is now in heaven. God equal with the father, yet man at the same time; and that his mother was a woman who is now in heaven: And they compute the time of the death of the son nearly as we do the appearance of the Redeemer on earth. They believe in a hell as we do, and burn lamps that God may light them in the right road in the other world: Yet do they use divination after a ridiculous manner. The country of Thibet produces several fruits of the same kinds with those grown in Europe, together with rice and wheat, and has abundance of cattle; but a great part of the land is barren.

The Jesuit fathers Andrada and Marquez went from Delhi in the country of the Great Mogul to Thibet along with a caravan of pilgrims that were going to visit a famous pagoda. Passing through the kingdom of Lahore, they came to the vast mountains whence the Ganges flows into the lower plain country of Hindostan, seeing many stately temples by the way full of idols. At the kingdom of Sirinagur they saw the Ganges flowing among snow, the whiteness of which is dazzling to the eyes of travellers. At the end of 50 days journey they came to a pagoda on the borders of Sirinagur, to which multitudes resort to bathe in a spring, the water of which is so hot as to be hardly sufferable, and which they imagine cleanses them from sin. The people here feed on raw flesh and eat snow, yet are very healthy; and the usual order of the sexes is reversed, as the women plough and the men spin. Having rested at the town of Mana the fathers pursued their journey, almost blinded by travelling continually among snow, and came at length to the source of the Ganges, which flows from a great lake. They soon afterwards entered the kingdom of Thibet, and were honourably received by officers sent on purpose from Chaparangue, the residence of the king of Thibet. The king and queen listened to their doctrines with much complacency, and even admitted their truths without dispute, and would not allow them to return to India till they promised an oath to come back, when the king not only engaged to give them liberty to preach, but that he would build them a church, and was greatly pleased with a picture they left him of the Virgin and Child.

The fathers returned according to promise, on which the king built them a church and was afterwards baptised along with the queen, in spite of every thing the Lamas could say to prevent him. From merchants who traded to this place from China, the fathers understood that it was 60 days journey from Chaparangue to China, 40 of which was through the kingdom of Usangue, and thence 20 days to China. They likewise learnt that Cathay is not a kingdom, but a great city-the metropolis of a province subject to the grand Sopo, very near China, whence perhaps some give the name of Cathay to China19. Perhaps this kingdom of Thibet is the empire of Prester John, and not Ethiopia as some have believed.

After having governed five years, the Count of Vidugueyra was ordered by the king to resign to Don Francisco de Mascarennas in 1628; but as that gentleman had left India for Europe, the viceroy resigned the charge of government to Don Luis de Brito, bishop of Cochin, and went home to Portugal. In this year the king of Acheen made an attempt to gain possession of Malacca, against which he sent a fleet of 250 sail, with 20,000 soldiers and a great train of artillery. In this great fleet there were 47 gallies of extraordinary strength, beauty, and size, all near 100 feet long and of proportional breadth. The king embarked with his wife, children, and treasure; but upon some ill omen the fleet and army sailed without him, and came before Malacca in the beginning of July 1629, the former under the command of Marraja, and the latter of Lacsamana, an experienced general who had made many conquests for his master. Having landed the troops, they were attacked by Antonio Pinto de Fonseca with only 200 men, who slew above 300 of the enemy without losing a man, and then retreated into the city. Juan Suarez Vivas with 350 Portuguese, who commanded at Iller, defended that post for some time with great gallantry and did great execution among the enemy; but at length, overpowered by numbers, was forced to retire. Having gained an eminence called mount St Juan, the enemy erected a battery there from which they played furiously against the fort, which answered them with great spirit. The Capuchin convent dedicated to the Mother of God, being considered as of great importance for the defence of the fort, was gallantly defended for 50 days by Diego Lopez de Fonseca, who on one occasion made a sally with 200 Portuguese and defeated 2000 of the enemy. On Lopez falling sick, Francisco Carvallo de Maya took the command of that post, and defended it till the convent was entirely ruined, so that he was obliged to withdraw into the city, on which the enemy converted it into a strong post in which Lacsamana took up his quarters with 3000 men. Marraja occupied mount St Juan, on which he erected a large fort; others were established at the convent of St Lawrence, at Iller and other places, having strong batteries and lines of communication, so that the city was invested on all sides by land, while a number of armed boats presented all access by sea for relief. Fonseca, who commanded in the besieged city, sent out Vivas with 220 Portuguese troops to dislodge Lacsamana from his head-quarters on the ruins of the Capuchin convent, on which occasion Vivas gained possession of the post by a night attack, killing 100 of the enemy, and retired with several cannon. The King of Pam, who was in alliance with the Portuguese, sent a fleet of paraos with 2000 men to the assistance of the town; and Michael Pereyra Botello brought five sail from the city of San Thome: Yet these reinforcements were insufficient to induce the enemy to retire, though they had lost above 4000 men during the siege, while 60 were slain on the side of the defenders.

Although the bishop of Cochin was informed in June of the intended attack on Malacca and the weak state of its garrison, he postponed sending any reinforcement, as it was then the dead of winter on the Malabar coast, proposing to dispatch succours in September. He died however about the end of July 1629, after having governed India for nineteen or twenty months. Upon his death the next patent of succession was opened, which named Don Lorenzo de Cunna, the commander of Goa, to the civil government of India, and Nunno Alvarez Pereyra to the military command. Of this last name there happened to be two in India, or none. If Don Nunno Alvarez Pereyra, a gentleman well known, were meant, the title of Don was omitted in the patent; if Nunno Alvarez Botello, the sirname teemed wrong. It was thought unlikely that the title of Don could be omitted through mistake, as that in Portugal is peculiar to certain families. The mistake of name in regard to Nunno Alvarez Botello was more probable, as he had long gone by the name of Pereyra, in memory of his grandfather Alvarez Pereyra, and had dropped that name for Botello when he inherited the estate of his father, whose name was Botello; yet some continued to call him by the old name, and others gave him the new one. The council of Goa, and the Count de Linnares after his arrival in India, allowed the pretensions of Botello.

In the meantime, considering how dangerous delay might prove to Malacca in its distress, Nunno Alvarez Botello undertook the relief of that place, saying that he would postpone the decision of the dispute till his return. By general consent however, he went by the title of governor; and by direction of the council of Goa, the Chancellor Gonzalo Pinto de Fonseca assumed the administration of justice, so that the government was divided between him, De Cunna, and Botello, who used such diligence in preparing for his expedition to relieve Malacca, that, from the 2d of August, when the charge of governor was awarded to him, to the beginning of September, he had collected 900 Portuguese troops, a good train of artillery, a large supply of arms and ammunition, and 30 vessels, and was ready to put to sea as soon as the weather would allow. He set sail on the 22d of September, rather too early, and encountered four several storms during his voyage, two of which were so terrible that every one expected to be lost. He at length reached Pulobutum, whence he sent two vessels to give notice at Malacca of his approach, yet arrived himself before them. At Pulobutum he found a vessel belonging to Cochin and two from Negapatnam, being some addition to his fleet He arrived at Malacca on the afternoon of the 22d October 1629, to the great surprise of Lacsamana, as his fleet was then in the river Pongor, a league from Malacca, and so situated as to be unable to escape.

Botello immediately landed and gave the necessary orders and again embarking forced his way up the river through showers of bullets, which he repaid with such interest that the enemy abandoned their advanced works that same night, and retired to that which they had constructed on the ruins of the Capuchin monastery. As the river Pongor had not sufficient water for the Portuguese ships, Botello embarked a strong detachment in 33 balones or balames, being country-vessels of lighter draught, with which he went in person to view the strength and posture of the hostile fleet. Being anxious for the safety of their gallies, the enemy abandoned their works at Madre de Dios and San Juan, and threw up other works with wonderful expedition for the protection of their fleet. But having attacked these with much advantage, Botello proposed to the enemy to surrender, on which Marraja returned a civil but determined refusal. His situation being desperate, Marraja endeavoured the night to escape with the smaller vessels, leaving his large gallies at the mercy of the Portuguese, but was prevented by the vigilance and bravery of Vasquez de Evora, who cut off many of his men, not without some loss on his own side, having one of his arms carried off. The enemy now endeavoured to make use of their formidable gallies, and the chief among them called the Terror of the World was seen in motion; on which Botello sent the admiral of the Portuguese gallies, Francisco Lopez to attack her, which he did with great gallantry, passing through clouds of smoke, and a tremendous fire of artillery, and after two hours hard fighting, carried her by boarding, after killing 500 of her men out of 700, with the loss only of seven of his own men.

On the 25th of November, the enemy set fire to a galley that was full of women whom they had brought to people Malacca, and made a fresh attempt to break through the Portuguese fleet, but without success, many of them being slain and taken, and great numbers leapt into the water, and fled to the woods, where they were devoured by wild beasts. Lacsamana then hung out a flag of truce, and sent a deputation to treat with Botello, who answered that he would listen to no proposals till they restored Pedro de Abren the Portuguese ambassador, whom they kept prisoner; and as they delayed compliance; the Portuguese cannon recommenced a destructive fire. On the last day of November, Botello got notice that Marraja the Acheen admiral was slain, and that the king Pam was approaching to the assistance of the Portuguese with 100 sail of vessels. Botello went immediately to visit him, and was received with the customary ceremonies used by the eastern princes to the Portuguese governors. After interchanging presents and mutual compliments, Botello returned to his post, where he found the Portuguese rather slackening their efforts in consequence of a desperate cannonade from the enemy. But on the 4th of December, the enemy sent fresh proposals for an accommodation, accompanied by the ambassador Abreu, requiring only to be allowed to withdraw with three of their gallies and 4000 men, being all that remained of 20,000 with which they had invested Malacca. In answer to this, they were told they must surrender at discretion on promise of life; and as Lacsamana hesitated to accept such humiliating terms, Botello assaulted and forced all his works, where many of the enemy were put to the sword; some throwing themselves into the river to swim across were drowned, and others who fled to the woods were devoured by beasts of prey. In fine, Botello obtained the most glorious victory that was ever gained by the Portuguese in India; as of all the fleet which came against Malacca, not a single vessel got away, and of the large army, not one man escaped death or captivity. So great was the booty, that the whole of the Portuguese troops and mariners were enriched, Botello reserving nothing to his own share but a parrot which had been much valued by Lacsamana.

On going to Malacca after this great victory, he entreated to be allowed to walk barefooted and unaccompanied to church, that he might humbly prostrate himself before the Lord of Hosts, in acknowledgement that the victory was entirely due to God, and not to the Portuguese valour; but he was constrained to enter the city in triumph. The streets were crowded with men, and the windows and house tops thronged with women, who sprinkled the hero with sweet waters and strewed flowers in his path. The music could not be heard for the noise of cannon, and all the city was filled with extreme joy. At this time an embassy came from the king of Pera, who was tributary to the king of Acheen, offering to pay tribute to the king of Portugal, and to deliver up a large treasure left in his custody belonging to the king of Acheen and his general Lacsamana. Don Jerome de Silveyra was sent with eleven ships to receive the treasure, and establish a treaty with the king of Pera, who performed his promise, and the treasure was applied to pay the men and refit the fleet.

About the middle of January 1630, Botello being off the straits of Cincapura to secure the ships expected from China against the Hollanders, Lacsamana and two other officers who had fled to the woods were brought prisoners to him, having been taken by the king of Pam. Owing to contrary winds, he was unable to get up with five Dutch ships that were about Pulo Laer, and which took a Portuguese galliot coming from China. He returned therefore to Malacca to refit his ships, and resolved to attempt the Dutch fort of Jacatara20, the best which was possessed by these rebels in all Asia. In the first place, he sent Antonio de Sousa Coutinno in the admiral galley lately belonging to Lacsamana called the Terror of the World, in which Lacsamana was now prisoner, to Goa; directing that Lacsamana should be sent to Portugal, and that this large and magnificent galley should be given as a present to the city of Goa. In this galley there was one cannon made of tombac, a precious sort of metal, which was valued at above 7000 ducats, and another cannon reckoned still more valuable on account of its curious workmanship. Lacsamana died before he could be carried to Portugal.

Learning that the Count de Linnares, now viceroy of India, had arrived at Goa in October 1629, Botello transmitted to him an account of all that he had done, and desired his assistance and approbation to continue in these parts in order to carry on his designs against the English and Hollanders. About the end of April 1630, the viceroy not only sent him every thing he asked, but gave him full power to act as governor general, without being obliged to wait for orders from Goa. In the meantime Botello sailed with 27 ships towards the straits of Cincapura, and put in at Jambo21, a place abounding in pepper, and on that account much resorted to by the Dutch and English. At this place he took two large ships after a stout resistance; and going higher up the river he discovered another ship so large and beautiful that he designed to make use of her for his entrance into Goa; but a ball falling into her powder-room, blew her up. After employing three weeks in working up the river, Botello learnt that at a town about two leagues distant, two Dutch ships had taken shelter, and being desirous of taking them, he manned 14 light vessels with which he went to view the place, on which he was opposed by 26 sail of small vessels manned with Hollanders and natives, whom he put to flight; but on viewing the place he found it impracticable to attempt the two vessels, on account of the strength of the works by which they were protected. He destroyed therefore all the neighbourhood with tire and sword, and then sailed down the river, intending to proceed against Jacatara.

While on his way thither, a Dutch ship of 24 guns was met, which was laden with powder for their forts, and on being attacked and boarded by some of his ships she took fire. In this situation, Botello gave orders for his ships to draw off from the danger, and on going up in his galliot to bring off Antonio Mascarennas, the Dutch ship blew up while Botello was passing her stern, by which his galliot was instantly sunk. His body was found and taken to Malacca, where it was honourably interred.

Don Michael de Noronna, Count de Linnares, arrived at Goa as viceroy of India in October 1629. About the commencement of his administration, Constantine de Sa, who commanded in Ceylon, marched from Columbo, which he left almost without any garrison, meaning to reduce the interior provinces to subjection. His force consisted of 400 Portuguese, with a considerable number of Christian Chingalese, in whose fidelity he reposed too much confidence, although a Franciscan friar who resided among the enemy, and his own officers warned him of the danger to which he was exposed. He penetrated to the city of Uva with very little opposition, which he destroyed; but was met on his return by the king of Candy with a considerable army, to whom the greatest part of the Christian Chingalese immediately deserted, and aided him in battle against the Portuguese, now reduced to 400 of their own troops and 200 Chingalese who remained faithful. De Sa and his inconsiderable army fought against prodigious odds during three entire days, but the general being slain, the Portuguese troops fell into disorder, and were all slain or taken prisoners.

Immediately after this victory, the king of Candy laid siege to Columbo with an army of 50,000 men, while the garrison under Launcelot de Leixas did not exceed 400, even including the priests and monks. The garrison was reduced to extreme distress, and even threatened with famine, when a ship from Cochin brought them a relief of provisions and ammunition; after which five ships came from San Thome and one from Goa. Though not mentioned by De Faria, it appears that the siege was now raised; as at a subsequent period, after the natives had reduced almost the whole of the island, the kings of Candy, Uva, and Matale again laid siege to Columbo with an army of 20,000 men. At this time five ships came from Goa to carry off the cinnamon to Portugal, on which the enemy raised the siege, believing these ships had come to relieve and reinforce the garrison.

The viceroy now appointed Don George de Almeyda to the command in Ceylon, who sailed from Goa for that place on the 19th of February 1631, in the great galley taken by Botello when he destroyed the fleet of Acheen: But encountering a storm off Cape Comorin, the galley was ready to founder, on which Almeyda took to the boat with 29 persons, and reached one of the Maldive islands after four days of incredible distress. Going over from thence to Cochin, he received a reinforcement of some Portuguese troops, with 500 kafrs and 800 Canarin lascars, and a supply of money, ammunition, and provisions. Having raised some more men at Cochin, Almeyda sailed again for Ceylon, where he arrived on the 21st October 1631, and landed at Columbo. He marched immediately against the enemy, though then the rainy season, and was soon forced to desist, as the country was mostly overflowed, and at this season the trees swarm with leeches, which drop down upon the men as they pass, and bleed them to death.

On the return of fine weather, Almeyda marched again on the 5th January 1632, though with much difficulty, as the waters were still out, so that the men had often to wade up to their breasts. Being opposed by the enemy near the fort of Tranqueyra Grande, many of them were slain, as the general gave three or four pistoles for every head that was brought him. At another pass, the enemy were defended, to the number of 6000 men, by some works, but on being attacked, and many of them killed, the rest fled, destroying every thing they could not carry away. After these successes, many of the natives came in, and submitted, and were treated with kindness; but as others hid themselves in hopes of getting away to join the enemy, Almeyda caused them to be apprehended, and given as slaves among his officers. One was delivered to the Kafrs, who, in sight of his wife and children, cut him immediately in pieces, which they divided among them to eat. At Cardevola, the enemy had two forts, which were carried by escalade. The enemy fled in every quarter, making no stand till they arrived at the foot of the mountains of Candy, where they were defeated, and the forts of Manicravare, Safragam, Maluana, and Caliture, were immediately afterwards reduced, as was the district of Matura, of which the commander of the Chingalese Christians, who deserted from de Sa, had made himself king. At last the king of Candy sent to implore peace, which was granted at the intercession of the priests and monks. In fine, Almeyda not only restored the reputation of the Portuguese arms in Ceylon, but increased it, and established the government of the island in good order. He was removed, however, by the succeeding viceroy, and returned to Goa poor, and full of honour, where he died poor, more from grief than age; and no sooner was he deprived of the command, than all he had gained was speedily lost, though it was again recovered by Diego de Melo y Castro in 1633.

About the end of the year 1635, the Count de Linares resigned the government of India to Pedro de Silva, who was usually called Mole or the Soft, on account of the easiness of his disposition. He disliked the government so much, that he was often heard to exclaim, "God forgive those who appointed me viceroy, as I am not fit for the office." He held the government, however, nearly four years, and died in the end of June 1639, when he was succeeded as governor by Antonio Tellez de Silva, whose name was found in one of the royal patents, which was now opened. Tellez happened to be absent from Goa at the time, for which reason, the archbishop of Goa, who was next in nomination, assumed the government in his name, and sent notice to him of his appointment, and in the meantime, employed himself in fitting out twelve ships of war for the relief of Malacca, then threatened by the king of Acheen and the Hollanders. At this time nine Dutch ships entered the river of Goa, and set on fire three Portuguese galleons then lying at Marmugam, after which they retired without loss or opposition, because the fort was destitute of men and ammunition. Antonio Tellez arrived immediately after this unfortunate accident, at which he was exceedingly enraged, not so much for the actual loss, as that the enemy should be able to insult the harbour of the Portuguese Indian capital without harm or resistance. On the back of this misfortune, news came that the Dutch fleet of 12 sail, and that of Acheen of 35 gallies, were in sight of Malacca. While occupied in making great preparations to relieve Malacca, and to remedy other disorders then subsisting in Portuguese India, he was superseded in the government of India, by the arrival of Juan de Silva Tello, as viceroy, towards the end of 1640; on which Antonio Tellez, having resigned the sword of command, immediately embarked for Portugal, not thinking proper to serve as admiral where he had enjoyed the supreme authority.

Other authors will write the actions of the new viceroy, Juan de Silva Tello, for he begins his task where I end mine.22

SECTION XV. Occurrences in Pegu, Martavan, Pram, Siam, and other places23

We here propose to give some account of the exploits of the black king of Siam, in whose character there was a strange mixture of virtues and vices. In the year 1544, the king of the Birmans24 besieged the city of Martavan by sea and land, being the metropolis of the great and flourishing kingdom of that name, which had a revenue of three millions of gold. Chaubainaa was then king of Martavan, and fell from the height of fortune to the depth of misery. The Birman fleet, on this occasion, consisted of 700 sail, 100 of which were large gallies, in which were 700 Portuguese, commanded by one Juan Cayero, who was reputed a commander of courage and conduct. After a siege of some months, during which the Birmans lost 12,000 men in five general assaults, Chaubainaa found himself unable to withstand the power of his enemy, being reduced to such extremity that the garrison had already eaten 3000 elephants. He offered, therefore, to capitulate, but all terms were refused by the enemy; on which he determined to make use of the Portuguese, to whom he had always been just and friendly: But favours received from a person in prosperity, are forgotten when the benefactor falls into adversity. He sent therefore one Seixas, a Portuguese in his service, to make an offer to Cayero, if he would receive himself, his family, and treasures, into the four ships which he commanded; that he would give half the treasure to the king of Portugal, to whom he would become vassal, paying such tribute as might be agreed on, being satisfied that he could recover his kingdom with the assistance of 2000 Portuguese troops, whom he proposed to take into his pay. Cayero consulted with his principal officers on this proposition, and asked Seixas, in their presence, what might be the amount of treasure belonging to the king of Martavan. Seixas said, that he had not seen the whole, but affirmed that he had seen enough in gold and jewels to load two ships, and as much silver as would load four or five. Envious of the prodigious fortune that Cayero might make by accepting this offer, the Portuguese officers threatened to delate him to the Birman sovereign, if he consented, and the proposal was accordingly refused.

The king of Martavan was astonished at the rejection of his proposals, and finding Seixas determined to withdraw from the danger that menaced the city, made him a present of a pair of bracelets, which were afterwards sold to the governor of Narsinga for 80,000 ducats. Despairing of relief or retreat, the king of Martavan now determined to set his capital on fire, and sallying out at the head of the few men that remained, to die honourably fighting against his enemies. But that night, one of his principal officers deserted to the enemy, and gave notice of his intention. Thus betrayed, he surrendered on promise of having his own life, and those of his wife and children spared, and being allowed to end his days in retirement. These terms were readily granted, as the conqueror meant to perform no part of his engagement.

From the gate of the city to the tent of the Birman king, at the distance of a league, a double lane of musketeers of sundry nations was formed, the Portuguese under Cayero being stationed nearest the gate, through which the captives were to march in procession. In the first place, came the queen of Martavan in a chair, her two sons and two daughters being carried in two other chairs. These were surrounded by forty beautiful young ladies, led by an equal number of old ladies, and attended by a great number of Talegrepos, who are a kind of monks or religious men, habited like Capuchins, who prayed with and comforted the captives. Then followed the king of Martavan, seated on a small she elephant, clothed in black velvet, having his head, beard, and eyebrows shaved, and a rope about his neck. On seeing the Portuguese, he refused to proceed till they were removed, after which he went on. Being come into the presence of the king of the Birmans, he cast himself at his feet; and being unable to speak owing to grief, the Raolim of Mounay, Talaypor, or chief priest of Martavan, who was esteemed a saint, made a harangue in his behalf, which had been sufficient to have moved compassion from any other than the obdurate tyrant to whom it was addressed, who immediately ordered the miserable king, with his wife, children, and attendant ladies, into confinement. For the two following days, a number of men were employed to remove the public treasure of Martavan, amounting to 100 millions in gold; and on the third day, the army was allowed indiscriminate plunder, which lasted for four days, and was estimated at 12 millions. Then the city was burnt, and above 60,000 persons were supposed to have perished by fire and sword, an equal number being reduced to slavery. On this occasion, 2000 temples and 40,000 houses were destroyed.

On the morning after the destruction of the city, 21 gibbets were erected on a neighbouring hill called Beydao, which were surrounded by a strong guard of cavalry, and on which the queen, with her children and attendants, to the number in all of 140 persons, were all hung up by the feet. The king of Martavan, with 50 men of the highest quality, were flung into the sea with stones about their necks. At this barbarous spectacle, the army of the Birmans mutinied, and for some time the king was in imminent danger. Leaving a sufficient number of people to rebuild the ruined city, the Birman king returned to Pegu with the rest of his army, accompanied by Juan Cayero, and his 700 Portuguese. Four Portuguese remained at Martavan, among whom was Juan Falcam; who, instead of assisting Fernan Mendez Pinta, sent by Pedro de Faria, the commander of Malacca, to confirm the peace which subsisted with the late king of Martavan, accused him to the governor of the town as an enemy to the king of the Birmans. On this false accusation, the governor seized the vessel commanded by Pinto, in which were goods to the value of 100,000 ducats, killed the master and some others, and sent the rest prisoners to Pegu. This false dealing was not new in Falcam, who had deserted from the late unfortunate king of Martavan, after having received many benefits from him.

Instead of being allowed to enjoy the fruits of his victories in peace, the king of the Birmans was obliged to engage in a new war with the king of Siam, who endeavoured to recover the kingdom of Tangu, which had been wrested from him. For this purpose, in March 1546, he embarked with 900,000 men in 12,000 vessels, on the river Ansedaa, out of which he passed in the month of April into the river Pichau Malacoa, and invested the city of Prom. The king of this territory was recently dead, leaving his successor, only thirteen years of age, who was married to a daughter of the king of Ava, from whom he looked for the assistance of 60,000 men. For this reason, the king of Siam pressed the siege, that he might gain the city before the arrival of the expected succours. After six days, the queen of Prom, who administered the government, offered to become tributary if he would grant a peace; but the king insisted that she should put herself into his hands with all her treasure. She refused these degrading terms, knowing his perfidious character, and resolved to defend the city to the last extremity. The king of Siam accordingly gave several assaults, in all of which he was repulsed, and in a short time, lost above 80,000 of his men, partly by the sword, and partly by a pestilential disease, which raged in his army, 500 Portuguese who were in his service perishing among the rest.

Being unable to take the place by assault, the king of Siam caused a great mount to be raised, which overlooked the city, and was planted with a great number of cannon, by which the defenders were prodigiously annoyed. Upon this, 5000 men sallied from the city, and destroyed the mount, killing 16,000 of the enemy, and carrying off 80 pieces of cannon. In this affair the king of Siam was wounded; and being greatly enraged against a body of 2000 Portuguese, who were in his pay, and had the guard of the mount, he caused them all to be massacred. About the end of August, Xemin Maletay, one of the four principal officers, who commanded in Prom, treacherously betrayed the city to the king of Siam, who ordered it to be utterly destroyed with fire and sword. Two thousand children were cut in pieces, and given as food to the elephants. The queen was publicly whipped, and given up to the lust of the soldiers till she died. The young king was tied to her dead body, and cast into the river; and above 300 principal nobles were impaled. The king of Ava, who was marching to the assistance of his sister, understood the unfortunate events of Prom, but came to battle with the traitor Zemin, who had betrayed her, who was at the head of a numerous army. In this battle all the soldiers of Ava were slain except 800, after making a prodigious slaughter among the enemy; after which the king of Siam came up with a part of his army, and slew the remaining 800 men of Ava, with the loss of 12,000 of his own men, and then beheaded the traitor Zemin. He then went up the river Queytor, with 60,000 men in 1000 boats, and coming to the port of Ava, about the middle of October, he burnt above 2000 vessels, and several villages, with the loss of 8000 of his men, among whom were 62 Portuguese. Understanding that the city of Ava was defended by 20,000 men, 30,000 of which people had slain 150,000 of his army at Maletay, and that the king of Pegu was coming to their relief, he returned in all haste to Prom, where he fortified himself, and sent an ambassador to the emperor of Calaminam, with rich presents, and the offer of an extensive territory, on condition of sending him effectual succours.

The empire of Calaminam is said to be 300 leagues in length and as much in breadth, having been formerly divided into 27 kingdoms, all using the same language, beautified with many cities and towns, and very fertile, containing abundance of all the productions of Asia. The name of the metropolis is Timphan, which is seated on the river Pitni, on which there are innumerable boats. It is surrounded by two strong and beautiful walls, contains 400,000 inhabitants, with many stately palaces and fine gardens, having 2500 temples belonging to 24 different sects. Some of these use bloody sacrifices. The women are very beautiful, yet chaste, two qualities that seldom go together. In their law-suits, O happy country! they employ no attornies, solicitors, or proctors, and every dispute is decided at one hearing. This kingdom maintains 1,700,000 soldiers, 400,000 of which are horse, and has 6000 elephants. On account of their prodigious number, the emperor assumes the title of Lord of the Elephants, his revenue exceeding 20 millions. There are some remnants of Christianity among these people, as they believe in the blessed Trinity, and make the sign of the cross when they sneeze.

Such was the great empire of Calaminam to which the king of the Birmans25, sent his ambassador. On his return, the king sent 150,000 men in 1300 boats against the city of Sabadii, 130 leagues distant to the north-east. The general of this army, named Chaunigrem, lost many of his men in several assaults, after which he raised two mounts whence he did much harm to the city: But the besieged sallying out, killed at one time 8000 and at another 5000 of his men. Leaving this siege for a time and the affairs of the king of the Birmans, we purpose to relate what was done at Siam, in order to treat of them both together.

The king of Chiammay, after destroying 30,000 men that had guarded the frontiers, besieged the city of Guitivam belonging to the king of Siam, who immediately drew together an army of 500,000 men, in which was a body of 120 Portuguese in which he placed great reliance. This vast multitude was conveyed along the river in 3000 boats, while 4000 elephants and 200 pieces of cannon were sent by land. He found the enemy had 300,000 men and 2000 boats. The king of Siam gave the command of his vast army to three generals, two of whom were Turks, and the third was Dominic Seixas a Portuguese. At first the Siamese were worsted, but recovering their order they gained a complete victory, in which 130,000 of the enemy were slain, 40,000 of whom were excellent cavalry, with the loss of 50,000 Siamese, all of whom were the worst troops in their army. After this victory the king of Siam marched against the queen of Guibem, who had allowed the enemy to pass through her country; and entering the city of Fumbacar spared neither age nor sex. Being besieged in her capital of Guirar, the queen agreed to pay an yearly tribute of 60,000 ducats, and gave her son as an hostage. After this the king of Siam advanced to the city of Taysiram, to which place he thought the king of Chiammay had fled, destroying every thing in his course with fire and sword, only sparing the women; but winter coming on he returned to Siam.

On his return to his court of Odiaa or Odiaz, he was poisoned by his queen, then big with child by one of her servants; but before he died he caused his eldest son, then young, to be declared king. He left 30,000 ducats to the Portuguese then in his service, and gave orders that they should pay no duties in any of his ports for three years. The adulterous queen, being near the time of her delivery, poisoned her lawful son, married her servant, and caused him to be proclaimed king. But in a short time they were both slain at a feast by the King of Cambodia and Oya Pansilaco.

There being no lawful heir to the kingdom of Siam, Pretiel a religious Talagrepo, bastard brother to him who was poisoned, was raised to the throne by common consent in the beginning of the year 1549. Seeing the affairs of Siam in confusion, the king of the Birmans, who was likewise king of Pegu, resolved to conquer that kingdom. For this purpose he raised an army of 800,000 men, of which 40,000 were horse, and 60,000 armed with muskets, 1000 being Portuguese. He had 20,000 elephants, 1000 cannon drawn by oxen and abadias26, and 1000 ammunition waggons drawn by buffaloes. The Portuguese troops in his service, were commanded by Diego Suarez de Mello, commonly called the Gallego, who went out to India in 1538. In 1542 this man became a pirate in the neighbourhood of Mozambique. In 1547 he was at the relief of Malacca: And now in 1549, being in the service of the king of the Birmans, was worth four millions in jewels and other valuables, had a pension of 200,000 ducats yearly, was stiled the king's brother, and was supreme governor of the kingdom and general in chief of the army. With this prodigious army the king of the Birmans, after one repulse, took the fort of Tapuram by assault, which was defended by 2000 Siamese, all of whom he put to the sword in revenge for the loss of 3000 of his own men in the two assaults. In the prosecution of his march, the city of Juvopisam surrendered, after which he set down before the city of Odiaa the capital of Siam. Diego Suarez the commander in chief gave a general assault on the city, in which he was repulsed with the loss of 10,000 men: Another attempt was made by means of elephants, but with no better success. The king offered 500,000 ducats to any one who would betray one of the gates to him; which coming to the knowledge of Oya Pansiloco, who commanded in the city, he opened a gate and sent word to the king to bring the money as he waited to receive it. After spending five months in the siege, during which he lost 150,000 men, news came that Xemindoo had rebelled at Pegu where he had slain 15,000 men that opposed him. When this was known in the camp, 120,000 Peguers deserted, in hatred to the king of the Birmans who oppressed them, and in revenge of the insolence of Diego Suarez their general in chief.

Xemindoo was of the ancient blood royal of Pegu, and being a priest was esteemed as a great saint. On one occasion he preached so eloquently against the tyranny and oppression which the Peguers suffered under the Birmans, that he was taken from the pulpit and proclaimed king of Pegu. On this he slew 8000 Birmans that guarded the palace, and seizing the royal treasure, he got possession of all the strong-holds in a short time, and the whole kingdom submitted to his authority. The armies of the rival kings met within two leagues of the city of Pegu; that of the Birmans amounting to 350,000 men, while Xemindoo had 600,000; yet Xemindoo was defeated with the loss of 300,000 men, while the Birmans lost 60,000. The victorious king of the Birmans immediately entered Pegu, where he slew a vast multitude of the inhabitants, and recovered his treasure. Meanwhile the city of Martavan declared for Xemindoo, and massacred the garrison of 2000 Birmans. Zemin did the same in the city of Zatam where he commanded. The king marched towards him, but he contrived to have him murdered by the way; on which Zemin was proclaimed king by his followers, and soon raised an army of 30,000 men. Chaumigrem, brother to the dead king, plundered the palace and city, and then fled to Tangu where he was born. In four months Zemin became so odious to his new subjects by his tyranny, that many of them fled to Xemindoo, who was soon at the head of 60,000 men.

Some short time before this, as Diego Suarez was passing the house of a rich merchant on the day of his daughter's intended marriage, being struck by the great beauty of the bride, he attempted to carry her off by force, killing the bridegroom and others who came to her rescue, and the bride strangled herself to avoid the dishonour. As the father expected no justice while that king reigned, he shut himself up till Zemin got possession of the throne, on which he so published his wrongs about the city, that 50,000 of the people joined with him in demanding justice. Fearing evil consequences, Zemin caused Suarez to be apprehended and delivered up to the people, by whom he was stoned to death. His house was plundered, and as much less treasure was found than he was supposed to be worth, he was believed to have buried the rest.

Zemin soon followed Suarez, for his subjects being unable to endure his cruelty and avarice, fled in great numbers to Xemindoo, who was now master of some considerable towns. Xemindoo having gathered an army of 200,000 men and 5000 elephants, marched to the city of Pegu, near which he was encountered by Zemin at the head of 800,000 men. The battle was long doubtful, but at last Gonzalo Neto, who served under Xemindoo with 80 Portuguese, killed Zemin with a musket ball, on which his army fled, and Xemindoo got possession of the capital. This happened on the 3d of February 1550. Gonzalo was rewarded with a gift of 10,000 crowns, and 5000 were divided among his companions.

Chaumigrem, who had fled the year before to Tangu, hearing that Xemindoo had disbanded most of his forces, marched against him and obtained a complete victory, by which the kingdom of Pegu was again reduced under the authority of the Birmans. Xemindoo was taken some time afterwards and put to death. Chaumigrem being now king of the Birmans and of Pegu, went to war against Siam, with an army of 1,700,000 men, and 17,000 elephants, having a considerable body of Portuguese in his service. All this army came to ruin, and the kingdom of Pegu was soon afterwards reduced to subjection by the king of Aracan, as formerly related.

The kingdom of Siam, though much harassed by these invasions, still held out, and, in 1627, was possessed by the black king, so called because he really was of a black colour, though all the inhabitants of that country are fair complexioned27. In 1621, this black king of Siam sent ambassadors to Goa, desiring that some Franciscans might be sent to preach the gospel in his dominions. Accordingly, father Andrew, of the convent of the Holy Ghost, went to Odiaa28, where he was received honourably, and got leave to erect a church, which was done at the king's expence. He likewise offered great riches to the venerable father, who constantly refused his offers, to the great admiration and astonishment of the king. This black king of Siam was of small stature, of an evil presence, and an extraordinarily compound character, of great wickedness, mixed with great generosity. Although cruel men are for the most part cowards, he was at the same time exceedingly cruel, and very valiant; and though tyrants are generally covetous, he was extremely liberal; being barbarous in some parts of his conduct, and generous and benevolent in others. Not satisfied with putting thieves and robbers to ordinary deaths, he was in use to have them torn in pieces in his presence by tigers and crocodiles for his amusement. Understanding that one of his vassal kings intended to rebel, he had him shut up in a cage, and fed him with morsels of his own flesh torn from his body, after which he had him fried in a pan. On one occasion he slew seven ladies belonging to the court, only because they walked too quick; and on another occasion he cut off the legs of three others, because they staid too long when sent by him for some money to give to certain Portuguese. He even extended his severity to animals; having cut off the paw of a favourite monkey for putting it into a box containing some curiosities. A valuable horse was ordered to be beheaded, in presence of his other horses, because he did not stop when he checked him. A tiger that did not immediately seize a criminal thrown to him, was ordered to be beheaded as a coward. Yet had this cruel and capricious tyrant many estimable virtues. He kept his word inviolable; was rigorous in the execution of justice; liberal in his gifts; and often merciful to those who offended him. Having at one time sent a Portuguese to Malacca with money to purchase some commodities; this man, after buying them lost them all at play, and yet had the boldness to return to the king, who even received him kindly, saying that he valued the confidence reposed in his generosity more than the goods he ought to have brought. He shewed much respect to the Christian priests and missionaries, and gave great encouragement to the propagation of the gospel in his dominions. His valour was without the smallest stain.

The proper name of the kingdom we call Siam, is Sornace29. It extends along the coast for 700 leagues, and its width inland is 260. Most part of the country consists of fertile plains, watered by many rivers, producing provisions of all sorts in vast abundance. The hills are covered with a variety of trees, among which there are abundance of ebony, brasilwood, and Angelin. It contains many mines of sulphur, saltpetre, tin, iron, silver, gold, sapphires, and rubies; and produces much sweet-smelling wood, benzoin, wax, cinnamon, pepper, ginger, cardamunis, sugar, honey, silk, and cotton. The royal revenue is about thirteen millions. The kingdom contains 13,000 cities and towns, besides innumerable villages. All the towns are walled; but the people for the most part are weak timorous and unwarlike. The coast is upon both seas; that which is on the sea of India, or bay of Bengal, containing the sea ports of Junzalam30, and Tanasserim; while on the coast of the China sea, are Mompolocata, Cey, Lugor, Chinbu, and Perdio.

SECTION XVI. A short Account of the Portuguese possessions between the Cape of Good Hope and China31

In the middle of the seventeenth century, the Portuguese empire in the east, comprehended under the general name of India, from beyond the Cape of Good Hope in Africa, to Cape Liampo in China, extended for 4000 leagues along the sea-coast, not including the shores of the Rea Sea and the Persian gulf, which would add 1200 leagues more. Within these limits are half of Africa, and all of eastern Asia, with innumerable islands adjoining these two vast divisions of the world. This vast extent may be conveniently divided into seven parts.

The first division, between the famous Cape of Good Hope, and the mouth of the Red Sea, contains along the coast many kingdoms of the Kafrs; as the vast dominions of the Monomotapa, who is lord of all the gold mines of Africa, with those of Sofala, Mozambique, Quiloa, Pemba, Melinda, Pate, Brava, Magadoxa, and others. In this division the Portuguese have the forts of Sofala and Mombaza, with the city and fort of Mozambique.

The second division, from the mouth of the Red Sea to that of the Persian gulf, contains the coast of Arabia, in which they have the impregnable fortress of Muskat.

The third division, between Busrah, or Bazorah, at the bottom of the Persian gulf, and India proper, contains the kingdoms of Ormuz, Guadel, and Sinde, with part of Persia, and Cambaya, on which they have the fort of Bandel, and the island of Diu.

The fourth division, from the gulph of Cambaya, to Cape Comorin, contains what is properly called India, including part of Cambaya, with the Decan, Canara, and Malabar, subject to several princes. On this coast the Portuguese have, Damam, Assarim, Danu, St Gens, Agazaim, Maim, Manora, Trapor, Bazaim, Tana, Caranja, the city of Chaul, with the opposite fort of Morro; the most noble city of GOA, the large, strong, and populous metropolis of the Portuguese possessions in the east. This is the see of an archbishop, who is primate of all the east, and is the residence of their viceroys; and there are the courts of inquisition, exchequer, and chancery, with a customhouse, arsenal, and well-stored magazines. The city of Goa, which stands in an island, is girt with a strong wall, and defended by six mighty castles called Dauguim, San Blas, Bassoleco, Santiago de Agazaim, Panguim, and Nuestra Sennora del Cabo. On the other side of the bar is the castle of Bardes, and opposite to Dauguim is the fort of Norva, with a considerable town. On one side of the island of Goa is that of Salsete, in which is the fort of Rachol. Then going along the coast are the forts of Onor, Barcelor, Mongalor, Cananor Cranganor, Cochin, which is a bishopric; and near Cape Comorin, the town and fort of Coulan.

The fifth division, between Cape Comorin and the river Ganges, contains the coasts of Coromandel and Orixa, on which they have the fort of Negapatam, the fort and city of Meliapour, which is a bishopric, formerly named after St Thomas, and the fort of Masulipatan.

The sixth division, between the Ganges and Cape Cincapura, contains the vast kingdoms of Bengal, Pegu, Tanasserim, and others of less note; where the Portuguese have the city of Malacca, the seat of a bishop, and their last possession on the continent.

The seventh division, from Cape Cincapura to Cape Liampo in China, contains the kingdoms of Pam, Lugor, Siam, Cambodia, Tsiompa, Cochin China, and the vast empire of China. In this vast extent the Portuguese have only the island and city of Macao, yet trade all along these coasts.

In the island of Ceylon, the Portuguese possess the city and fort of Columbo, with those of Manaar, Gale, and others. Beyond Malacca, a fort in the island of Timor. The number of our ports in all this great track is above fifty, with twenty cities and towns, and many dependent villages.

Much might be said of Ceylon, but we can only make room for a short account of that famous island32. About 500 years before the time of our Saviour, the heathen king of Tenacarii, who ruled over a great part of the east, banished his son and heir Vigia Rajah, for the wickedness and depravity of his conduct. The young man put to sea with 700 dissipated persons like himself, and landed at the port of Preature, between Trincomalee, and Jafnapatam, in the island of Ceylon, which was not then inhabited, but abounded in delightful rivers, springs, woods, and fruit-trees, with many fine birds, and numerous animals. These new colonists were so delighted with the country, that they gave it the name of Lancao, which signifies the terrestrial paradise, and, indeed, it is still considered as the delight of all the east. The first town they built was Montota, opposite to Manaar, whence they traded with Cholca Rajah, the nearest king on the continent, who gave his daughter as wife to the prince, and supplied his companions with women. He likewise sent them labourers and artizans to forward the new plantation; and seeing his power increase, the banished prince assumed the title of emperor of the islands. By strangers these new come people were named Galas, signifying banished men on account of their having actually been banished by the king of Tenacarii. Vigia Rajah died without children, and left the crown to his brother, in whole lineage it continued for 900 years. The fertility of the island, and the fame of its excellent cinnamon, drew thither the Chinese, who intermarried with the Galas, from which mixture arose a new race, called to this day the Chingalas, or Chingalese, who are very powerful in the island, being subtle, false, and cunning, and excellently adapted for courtiers.

On the extinction of the ancient royal family, the kingdom fell to Dambadine Pandar Pracura Mabago, who was treacherously taken prisoner by the Chinese, afterwards restored, and then murdered by Alagexere, who usurped the crown. The usurper dying ten years afterwards without issue, two sons of Dambadine were sent for who had fled from the tyrant. Maha Pracura Mabago, the eldest, was raised to the throne, who settled his court at Cota, and gave the dominion of the four Corlas to his brother. Maha Pracura was succeeded by a grandson, the son of a daughter who was married to the Rajah of Cholca. This line likewise failed, and Queta Permal, king of Jafnapatam, was raised to the throne, on which he assumed the name or title of Bocnegaboa, or king by force of arms, having overcome his brother, who was king of the four corlas. His son, Caypura Pandar, succeeded, but was defeated and slain by the king of the four Corlas, who mounted the throne, and took the name of Jauira Pracura Magabo. These two kings were of the royal lineage, and had received their dominions from king Maha Pracura. After Jauira, his son Drama Pracura Magabo succeeded, who reigned when Vasco de Gama discovered the route by sea to India. Afterwards, about the year 1500, the empire of Ceylon was divided by three brothers, into three separate kingdoms. Bocnegababo Pandar had Cota; Reigam Pandar had Reigam; and Madure Pandar had Cheitavaca.

In the district of Dinavaca in the centre of the island, there is a prodigiously high mountain called the Peak of Adam, as some have conceived that our first parents lived there, and that the print of a foot, still to be seen on a rock on its summit, is his. The natives call this Amala Saripadi, or the mountain of the footstep. Some springs running down this mountain form a pool at the bottom, in which pilgrims wash themselves, believing that it purifies them from sin. The rock or stone on the top resembles a tomb-stone, and the print of the foot seems not artificial, but as if it had been made in the same manner as when a person treads upon wet clay, on which account it is esteemed miraculous. Pilgrims of all sorts resort thither from all the surrounding countries, even from Persia and China; and having purified themselves by washing in the pool below, they go to the top of the mountain, near which hangs a bell, which they strike, and consider its sound as a symbol of their having been purified; as if any other bell, on being struck, would not sound. According to the natives, Drama Rajah, the son of an ancient king of the island, having done penance on the mountain along with many disciples, and being about to go away, left the print of his foot on the rock as a memorial. It is therefore respected as the relic of a saint, and their common name for this person is Budam, which signifies the wise man. Some believe this saint to have been St Jesaphat, but it was more likely St Thomas, who has left many memorials in the east, and even in the west, both in Brasil and Paraguay.

The natural woods of Ceylon are like the most curious orchards and gardens of Europe, producing citrons, lemons, and many other kinds of delicious fruit. It abounds in cinnamon, cardamums, sugar-canes, honey, and hemp. It produces iron, of which the best firelocks in the east are made. It abounds in precious stones, as rubies, sapphires, cats-eyes, topazes, chrysolites, amythests, and berils. It has many civet-cats, and produces, the noblest elephants in all the east. Its rivers and shores abound in a variety of excellent fish, and it has many excellent ports fit for the largest ships.

End of the Portuguese Asia.




This ancient itinerary into the east, at the commencement of the sixteenth century, together with the subsequent chapter, containing the peregrinations of Cesar Frederick, about 80 years later, form an appropriate supplement to the Portuguese transactions in India, as furnishing a great number of observations respecting the countries, people, manners, customs, and commerce of the east at an early period. We learn from the Bibliotheque Universelle des Voyages. I. 264, that this itinerary was originally published in Italian at Venice, in 1520. The version followed on the present occasion was republished in old English, in 1811, in an appendix to a reprint of HAKLUYT'S EARLY VOYAGES, TRAVELS, AND DISCOVERIES; from which we learn that it was translated from Latine into Englishe, by Richarde Eden, and originally published in 1576. In both these English versions, the author is named Lewes Vertomannus; but we learn from the Biol. Univ. des Voy. that his real name was Ludovico Verthema, which we have accordingly adopted on the present occasion, in preference to the latinized denomination used by Eden. Although, in the present version, we have strictly adhered to the sense of that published by Eden 236 years ago, it has appeared more useful, and more consonant to the plan of our work, to render the antiquated language into modern English: Yet, as on similar occasions, we leave the Preface of the Author exactly in the language and orthography of Eden, the original translator.

The itinerary is vaguely dated in the title as of the year 1503, but we learn from the text, that Verthema set out upon the pilgrimage of Mecca from Damascus in the beginning of April 1503, after having resided a considerable time at Damascus to acquire the language, probably Arabic; and he appears to have left India on his return to Europe, by way of the Cape of Good Hope and Lisbon, in the end of 1508. From some circumstances in the text, but which do not agree with the commencement, it would appear that Verthema had been taken prisoner by the Mamelukes, when fifteen years of age, and was admitted into that celebrated military band at Cairo, after making profession of the Mahometan religion. He went afterwards on pilgrimage to Mecca, from Damascus in Syria, then under the dominion of the Mameluke Soldan of Egypt, and contrived to escape or desert from Mecca. By some unexplained means, he appears to have become the servant or slave of a Persian merchant, though he calls himself his companion, and along with whom he made various extensive peregrinations in India. At length he contrived, when at Cananore, to desert again to the Portuguese, through whose means he was enabled to return to Europe.

In this itinerary, as in all the ancient voyages and travels, the names of persons, places, and things, are generally given in an extremely vicious orthography, often almost utterly unintelligible, as taken down orally, according to the vernacular modes of the respective writers, without any intimate knowledge of the native language, or the employment of any fixed general standard. To avoid the multiplication of notes, we have endeavoured to supply this defect, by subjoining those names which are now almost universally adopted by Europeans, founded upon a more intimate acquaintance with the eastern languages. Thus the author, or his translator Eden, constantly uses Cayrus and Alcayr, for the modern capital of Egypt, now known either by the Arabic denomination Al Cahira, or the European designation Cairo, probably formed by the Venetians from the Arabic. The names used in this itinerary have probably been farther disguised and vitiated, by a prevalent fancy or fashion of giving latin terminations to all names of persons and places in latin translations. Thus, even the author of this itinerary has had his modern Roman name, Verthema, latinized into Vertomannus, and probably the Cairo, or Cayro of the Italian original, was corrupted by Eden into Cayrus, by way of giving it a latin sound. Yet, while we have endeavoured to give, often conjecturally, the better, or at least more intelligible and now customary names, it seemed proper to retain those of the original translation, which we believe may be found useful to our readers, as a kind of geographical glossary of middle-age terms.

Of Verthema or Vertomannus, we only know, from the title of the translation of his work by Eden, that he was a gentleman of Rome; and we learn, at the close of his itinerary, that he was knighted by the Portuguese viceroy of India, and that his patent of knighthood was confirmed at Lisbon, by the king of Portugal. The full title of this journal or itinerary, as given by the original translator, is as follows; by which, and the preface of the author, both left unaltered, the language and orthography of England towards the end of the sixteenth century, or in 1576, when Eden published his translation, will be sufficiently illustrated. –Ed.



There haue been many before me, who, to know the miracles of the worlde, haue with diligent studie read dyuers authours which haue written of such thynges. But other giuing more credit to the lyuely voyce, haue been more desirous to know the same, by relation of such as haue traueyled in those countreys, and seene such thinges whereof they make relation, for that in many bookes, geathered of vncertaine aucthoritie, are myxt false thinges with true. Other there are so greatly desirous to know the trueth of these thinges, that they can in no wyse be satisfied vntyll, by theyr owne experience they haue founde the trueth by vyages and perigrinations into straunge countreys and people, to know theyr maners, fashions, and customes, with dyuers thynges there to be seene: wherein the only readyng of bookes could not satisfie theyr thirst of such knowledge, but rather increased the same, in so much, that they feared not with losse of theyr goods and daunger of lyfe to attempte great vyages to dyuers countreys, with witnesse of theyr eyes to see that they so greatly desired to knowe. The whiche thyng among other chaunced vnto me also, for as often as in the books of Hystories and Cosmographie, I read of such marueylous thynges whereof they make mention [especially of thynges in the east parts of the world], there was nothyng that coulde pacifie my vnquiet mynde, vntyll I had with myne eyes seene the trueth thereof.

I know that some there are indued with hygh knowledge, mountyng vnto the heauens, whiche will contempne these our wrytinges as base and humble, by cause we do not here, after theyr maner, with hygh and subtile inquisition intreate of the motions and dispositions of the starres, and gyue reason of theyr woorkyng on the earth, with theyr motions, retrogradations, directions, mutations, epicicles, reuolutions, inclinations, diuinations, reflexions, and suche other parteyning to the science of Astrologie: whych certeynely we doe not contempne, but greatly prayse. But measuryng vs with our owne foote, we will leaue that heauie burden of heauven to the strong shoulders of Atlas and Hercules: and only creepyng vpon the earth, in our owne person beholde the situations of landes and regions, with the maners and customes of men, and variable fourmes, shapes, natures, and properties of beastes, fruites, and trees, especially suche as are among the Arabians, Persians, Indians, Ethiopians. And whereas in the searchyng of these thynges we have [thanked be God], satisfied our desire, we thinke neuerthelesse that we haue done little, excepte we should communicate to other, such thynges as we haue seene and had experience of, that they lykewyse by the readyng therof may take pleasure, for whose sakes we have written this long and dangerous discourse, of thynges whych we haue seene in dyvers regions and sectes of men, desiryng nothyng more then that the trueth may be knowen to them that desyre the same. But what incommodities and troubles chaunced vnto me in these vyages, as hunger, thirst, colde, heate, warres, captiuitie, terrours, and dyuers other suche daungers, I will declare by the way in theyr due places.

SECTION I. Of the Navigation from Venice to Alexandria in Egypt, and from thence to Damascus in Syria34

Should any one wish to know the cause of my engaging in this voyage, I can give no better reason than the ardent desire of knowledge, which hath moved me and many others to see the world and the wonders of creation which it exhibits. And, as other known parts of the world had been already sufficiently travelled over by others, I was determined to wait and describe such parts as were not sufficiently known. For which reason, with the grace of God, and calling upon his holy name to prosper our enterprise, we departed from Venice, and with prosperous winds we arrived in few days at the city of Alexandria in Egypt. The desire we had to know things more strange and farther off, did not permit us to remain long at that place; wherefore, sailing up the river Nile, we came to the city of new Babylon, commonly called Cayrus or Akayr, Cairo or Al-cahira, called also Memphis in ancient times.

On my first arrival at this place I was more astonished than I can well express, yet on a more intimate observation it seemed much inferior to the report of its fame, as in extent it seemed not larger than Rome, though much more populous. But many have been deceived in regard to its size by the extensive suburbs, which are in reality numerous dispersed villages with fields interspersed, which some persons have thought to belong to the city, though they are from two to three miles distant, and surround it on all sides. It is not needful to expatiate in this place on the manners and religion of this city and its environs, as it is well known that the inhabitants are Mahometans and Mamelukes; these last being Christians who have forsaken the true faith to serve the Turks and Mahometans. Those of that description who used to serve the Soldan of Babylon in Egypt, or Cairo, in former times before the Turkish conquest, used to be called Mamelukes, while such of them as served the Turks were denominated Jenetzari or Janisaries. The Mameluke Mahometans are subject to the Soldan of Syria.

As the riches and magnificence of Cairo, and the Mameluke soldiers by whom it is occupied are well known, we do not deem it necessary to say any thing respecting them in this place. Wherefore departing from Babylon in Egypt, or Cairo, and returning to Alexandria, we again put to sea and went to Berynto, a city on the coast of Syria Phoenicia, inhabited by Mahometans and abounding in all things, where we remained a considerable time. This city is not encompassed with walls, except on the west side where there are walls close to the sea. We found nothing memorable at this place, except an old ruined building where they say St. George delivered the kings daughter from a cruel dragon which he slew, and then restated the lady to her father. Departing from thence we went to Tripoli in Syria, which is two days sail to the east of Berynto. It is inhabited by Mahometans, who are subject to the lieutenant or governor of Syria under the Soldan. The soil of the neighbouring country is very fertile, and as it carries on great trade this city abounds in all things. Departing from thence we came to the city of Comagene of Syria, commonly called Aleppo, and named by our men Antioch35. This is a goodly city, which is situated under mount Taurus and is subject to the lieutenant of Syria under the Soldan of Egypt. Here are the scales or ladders as they are called of the Turks and Syrians, being near mount Olympus. It is a famous mart of the Azamians and Persians. The Azamians are a Mahometan people who inhabit Mesopotamia on the confines of Persia.

Departing from Antioch we went by land to Damascus, a journey of ten days; but mid-way we came to a city named Aman in the neighbourhood of which there grows a great quantity of gossampine or cotton, and all manner of pleasant fruits. About six miles from Damascus on the declivity of a mountain is a city called Menin, inhabited by Greek christians who are subject to the governor of Damascus. At that place there are two fine churches, which the inhabitants allege were built by Helena the mother of the emperor Constantine. This place produces all kinds of fruit in great perfection, especially excellent grapes, and the gardens are watered with perpetual fountains.

SECTION II. Of the City of Damascus

Departing from Menin we came to Damascus, a city so beautiful as surpasses all belief, situated in a soil of wonderful fertility. I was so much delighted by the marvellous beauty of this city that I sojourned there a considerable time, that by learning the language I might inquire into the manners of the people. The inhabitants are Mahometans and Mamelukes, with a great number of Christians who follow the Greek ritual. It may be proper in this place to give some account of the Hexarchatus or commander of Damascus, who is subject to the lieutenant of Syria, which some call sorya. There is a very strong castle or fortress, which was built by a certain Etruscan or native of Florence in Tuscany, while he was exarch or governor of Damascus, as appears by a flower of the lily graven on marble, being the arms of Florence. This castle is encompassed by a deep ditch and high walls with four goodly high towers, and is entered by means of a drawbridge which can be let down or taken up at pleasure. Within, this castle is provided with all kinds of great artillery and warlike ammunition, and has a constant guard of fifty Mamelukes, who wait upon the captain of the castle and are paid by the viceroy of Syria. The following story respecting the Florentine exarch or governor of Damascus was related to me by the inhabitants. One of the Soldans of Syria happened to have poison administered to him, and when in search of a remedy he was cured by that Florentine who belonged to the company of Mamelukes. Owing to this great service he grew into high favour with the Soldan, who in reward made him exarch or governor of Damascus in which he built the before mentioned citadel. For saving the life of their Soldan this man is still reputed among them as a saint, and after his death the sovereignty of Damascus returned to the Syrians.

The Soldan is said to be much beloved by his princes and lords, to whom he is ever ready to grant principalities and governments, reserving always to himself the yearly payment of many thousands of those pieces of gold called saraphos or serafines, and any one who neglects payment of the stipulated tribute is liable to be immediately put to death. Ten or twelve of the chief noblemen or governors always reside with the Soldan to assist him with their councils and to carry his orders into execution. The Mameluke government is exceedingly oppressive to the merchants and even to the other Mahometan inhabitants of Damascus. When the Soldan thinks fit to extort a sum of money from any of the nobles or merchants, he gives two letters to the governor of the castle, in one of which is contained a list of such as he thinks proper to be invited into the castle, and in the other is set down what sum the Soldan is pleased to demand from his subjects; and with these commands they immediately comply. Sometimes however the nobles are of such power that they refuse to attend at the castle when summoned; and knowing that the tyrant will offer them violence, they often escape into the dominions of the Turks. We have noticed that the watchmen who are stationed in the towers do not give warning to the guard by calling out as with us, but by means of drums each answering the other; and if any of the centinels be asleep and do not answer the beat of the patrole in a moment, he is immediately committed to prison for a whole year.

This city is well built and wonderfully populous, much frequented and extremely rich, and abounds in all kinds of commodities and provisions, such as flesh, corn, and fruits. It has fresh damascene grapes all the year round, with pomegranates, oranges, lemons, and excellent olive trees; likewise the finest roses I ever saw, both red and white. The apples are excellent, but the pears and peaches are unsavoury, owing as is said to too much moisture. A fine clear river runs past the city, which is so well supplied with water that almost every house has a fountain of curious workmanship, many of them splendidly ornamented with embossed or carved work. Outwardly their houses are very plain, but the insides are beautifully adorned with various ornaments of the stone called oplus or serpentine marble. The city contains many temples which they call mosques, the most beautiful of which is built after the manner of St Peters at Rome, and as large, only that the middle has no roof being entirely open, all the rest of the temple being vaulted. This temple has four great double gates of brass, and has many splendid fountains on the inside, in which they preserve the body of the prophet Zacharias, whom they hold in great veneration. There are still to be seen the ruins of many decayed canonical or Christian churches, having much fine carved work. About a mile from the city the place is pointed out where our Saviour spoke to St Paul, saying, "Paul! Paul! why persecutest thou me!" at which place all the Christians who die in the city are buried. The tower also is shewn in which Paul was imprisoned, which joins the wall of the city; but even the Mahometans do not attempt to shut up that part of the tower through which St Paul was conducted by the angel, alleging that, when they close it up over night is found open again next morning. They likewise point out the houses in which they say that Cain slew his brother Abel, which are in a certain valley about a mile from the city, but on the side of a hill skirting that valley.

The Mamelukes or stranger soldiers who inhabit Damascus live in a most licentious manner. They are all men who have forsaken the Christian faith, and who have been purchased as slaves by the governor of Syria. Being brought up both in learning and warlike discipline, they are very active and brave; and all of them whether high or low, receive regular wages from the governor, being six of those pieces of gold called serafines monthly, besides meat and drink for themselves and servants, and provender for their horses; and as they shew themselves valiant and faithful their wages are increased. They never walk singly about the city, which would be deemed dishonourable, but always by two or three together; and if they chance to meet with two or three women in the streets, for whom even they are in use to wait in the neighbourhood of such houses as the women frequent, licence is granted to such as first meet them to carry them to certain taverns where they abuse them. When the Mamelukes attempt to uncover the faces of these women, they strive all they can to prevent being known, and are generally allowed to go away without having their veils lifted. Hence it sometimes happens, when they think to have abused the daughter of some nobleman or person of condition, that they have fallen in with their own wives, as actually happened while I was there. The women of Damascus beautify and adorn themselves with great attention, wearing silk clothes, which they cover with an outer garment of cotton as fine as silk. They wear white buskins, and red or purple shoes, having their heads decorated with rich jewels and ear-rings, with rings on their fingers and splendid bracelets on their arms. They marry as often as they please, as when weary of, or dissatisfied with their husbands, they apply to the chief of their religion, called the cady, and request of him to divorce them, which divorcement is called talacare in their language, after which they are at liberty to contract a new marriage; and the same liberty is allowed to the husbands. Some say that the Mahometans have usually five or six wives, but as far as I could learn they have only two or three. They eat openly in the markets or fairs, and there they cook all their food, living on the flesh, of horses, camels, buffaloes, goats, and other beasts, and use great quantities of fresh cheese. Those who sell milk drive flocks of forty or fifty she-goats through the streets, which they bring to the doors of those who buy, driving them even into their chambers, though three stories high, where the animals are milked, so that every one gets their milk fresh and unadulterated. These goats have their ears a span long, and are very fruitful. They use many mushrooms, as there are often seen at one time 20 or 30 camels loaded with mushrooms coming to market, and yet all are sold in two or three days. These are brought from the mountains of Armenia, and from Asia Minor, now called Turkey, Natolia, or Anatolia. The Mahometans use long loose vestures both of silk and cloth, most having hose or trowsers of cotton, and white shoes or slippers. When any Mahometan happens to meet a Mameluke, even though the worthier person, he must give place and reverence to the Mameluke, who would otherwise beat him with a staff. Though often ill used by the Mahometans, the Christians have many warehouses in Damascus, where they sell various kinds of silks and velvets, and other commodities.

SECTION III. Of the Journey from Damascus to Mecca, and of the Manners of the Arabians

On the 8th of April 1503, having hired certain camels to go with the caravan to Mecca, and being then ignorant of the manners and customs of those with whom I was to travel, I entered into familiarity and friendship with a certain Mameluke captain who had forsaken our faith, with whom I agreed for the expences of my journey, and who supplied me with apparel like that worn by the Mamelukes, and gave me a good horse, so that I went in his company along with other Mamelukes. This advantage cost me much money and many gifts. Thus entering on our journey, we came in three days to a place called Mezaris, where we tarried other three days that the merchants might provide all necessaries for the journey, and especially camels. There is a certain prince called Zambei, of great power in Arabia, who had three brothers and four sons. This prince possessed 40,000 horses, 10,000 mares, and 4000 camels, which he kept in a country two days journey in extent. His power is so great, that he is at war with the Soldan of Egypt, the governor of Damascus, and the prince of Jerusalem all at once. His chief time of robbing and plundering is in harvest, when, he often falls unexpectedly on the Arabians, invading their lands and carrying away their wheat and barley, employing himself continually in predatory incursions. When his mares are weary with continual running, he stops to rest them, and gives them camels milk to drink, to refresh and cool them after their fatigue. These mares are of most wonderful swiftness, and when I saw them they seemed rather to fly than to run in riding, these Arabians only cover their horses with cloths or mats, and their own clothing is confined to a single vesture somewhat like a petticoat. Their weapons are long lances or darts made of reeds, ten or twelve cubits long, pointed with iron and fringed with silk. The men are despicable looking people, of small stature, of a colour between black and yellow, which we call olive, having voices like women, and long black hair flowing on their shoulders. They are more numerous than can well be believed, and are continually at war among themselves. They inhabit the mountains, and have certain times appointed for going out on predatory excursions, when they march in troops in great order, carrying with them their wives and children, and all their goods. Their houses or tents rather are carried on camels, having no other houses, but dwelling always in tents like soldiers. These tents are made of wool, and look black and filthy.

On the 11th of April we departed from Mezaris to the number of 40,000 men with 35,000 camels, having only sixty Mamelukes to guide and guard us. We were regularly marshalled for the march into a van and main body, with two wings, in which order the caravans of pilgrims always travel in these regions. From Damascus to Mecca is a journey of forty days and forty nights. Departing from Mezaris we continued our journey that day till the twenty-second hour of the day. Then our captain or Agmirus36, having given the appointed signal, the whole caravan immediately halted and disburdened the camels, two hours only being allowed for rest and refreshment for the men and beasts. Then upon a new signal the camels were all reloaded, and we resumed our march. Every camel has for one feed five barley loaves, raw and not baked, as large as pomegranates. We continued our second days journey like the first, all day and night, from sun-rise to the twenty-second hour of the day, and this was the constant regular order. Every eighth day they procure water by digging the ground or sand, though sometimes we found wells and cisterns. Likewise after every eight day, they rest two days, that the camels and horses may recover strength. Every camel bears an incredible load, being equal to that Which is borne by two strong-mules.

At every resting-place at the waters, they are always obliged to defend themselves against vast numbers of Arabians, but these conflicts are hardly ever attended with bloodshed, insomuch that though we often fought with them, we had only one man slain during the whole journey, these Arabians are so weak and cowardly that our threescore Mamelukes have often driven 60,000 Arabians before them. Of these Mamelukes, I have often seen wonderful instances of their expertness and activity. I once saw a Mameluke place an apple on the head of his servant at the distance of 12 or 14 paces, and strike it off from his head, another while riding at full speed took the saddle from his horse, and carried it some time on his head, and put it again on the horse without checking his career.

At the end of twelve days journey we came to the valley of Sodom and Gomorra, which we found, as is said in the holy scripture, to retain the ruins of the destroyed city as a lasting memorial of God's wrath. I may affirm that there are three cities, each situated on the declivity of three separate hills, and the ruins do not seem above three or four cubits high, among which is seen something like blood, or rather like red wax mixed with earth. It is easy to believe that these people were addicted to horrible vices, as testified by the barren, dry, filthy unwholesome region, utterly destitute of water. These people were once fed with manna sent from heaven, but abusing the gifts of God they were utterly destroyed. Departing about twenty miles from this place, about thirty of our company perished for want of water, and several others were overwhelmed with sand. A little farther on we found water at the foot of a little hill, and there halted. Early next morning there came to us 24,000 Arabians, who demanded money from us in payment of the water we had taken, and as we refused them any money, saying that the water was the free gift of God to all, we came to blows. We gathered ourselves together on the mountain as the safest place, using our camels as a bulwark, all the merchants and their goods being placed in the middle of the camels while we fought manfully on every side. The battle continued for two days, when water failed both with us and our enemies, who encompassed the mountain all round, continually calling out that they would break in among our camels. At length our captain assembled all the merchants, whom he commanded to gather twelve hundred pieces of gold to be given to the Arabians: but on receiving that sum they said it was too little, and demanded ten thousand pieces and more for the water we had taken. Whereupon our captain gave orders that every man in the caravan who could bear arms should prepare for battle. Next morning our commander sent on the caravan with the unarmed pilgrims inclosed by the camels, and made an attack upon the enemy with our small army, which amounted to about three hundred in all. With the loss only of one man and a woman on our side, we completely defeated the Arabians of whom we slew 1500 men. This victory is not to be wondered at, considering that the Arabians are almost entirely unarmed being almost naked, and having only a thin loose vesture, while their horses are very ill provided for battle, having no saddles or other caparisons.

Continuing our march after this victory, we came in eight days to a mountain about ten or twelve miles in circuit, which was inhabited by about 5000 Jews. These were of very small stature, hardly exceeding five or six spans in height, and some much less37. They have small shrill voices like women, and are of very dark complexions, some blacker than the rest. Their only food is the flesh of goats. They are all circumcised and follow the Jewish law, and when any Mahometan falls into their hands they flea him alive. We found a hole at the foot of the mountain out of which there flowed an abundant source of water, at which we laded 16,000 camels, giving great offence to the Jews. These people wander about their mountain like so many goats or deer, not daring to descend into the plain for fear of the Arabians. At the bottom of the mountain we found a small grove of seven or eight thorn trees, among which we found a pair of turtle doves, which were to us a great rarity, as during our long journey hitherto we had seen neither beast nor bird.

Proceeding two days journey from the mountain of the Jews, we came to Medinathalhabi38 or Medina. Four miles from this city we found a well, where the caravan rested and remained for a whole day, that we might wash ourselves and put on clean garments to appear decently in the city. Medina contains about three hundred houses of stone or brick, and is well peopled, being surrounded by bulwarks of earth. The soil is utterly barren, except at about two miles from the city there are about fifty palm trees which bear dates. At that place, beside a garden, there is a water-course which runs into a lower plain, where the pilgrims are accustomed to water their camels. I had here an opportunity to refute the vulgar opinion that the tomb or coffin of the wicked Mahomet is at Mecca, and hangs in the air without support. For I tarried here three days and saw with my own eyes the place where Mahomet was buried, which is here at Medina, and not at Mecca. On presenting ourselves to enter the Meschita or mosque, which name they give to all their churches or temples, we could not be allowed to enter unless along with a companion39 little or great, who takes us by the hand and leads us to the place where they say that Mahomet is buried. His temple is vaulted, being about 100 paces long by 80 in breadth, and is entered by two gates. It consists of three parallel vaults, which are supported by four hundred pillars of white bricks, and within are suspended about three thousand lamps. In the inner part of this mosque or temple is a kind of tower five paces in circuit, vaulted on every side, and covered with a large cloth of silk, which is borne up by a grate of copper curiously wrought, and at the distance of two paces on every side from the tower, so that this tower or tomb is only seen as through a lattice by the devout pilgrims. This tomb is situated in an inner building toward the left hand from the great mosque, in a chapel to which you enter by a narrow gate. On every side of these gates or doors are seen many books in the manner of a library, twenty on one side, and twenty-five on the other, which contain the vile traditions of Mahomet and his companions. Within this chapel is seen a sepulchre in which they say that Mahomet lies buried with his principal companions, Nabi, Bubacar, Othamar, Aumar, and Fatoma. Mahomet, who was a native Arabian, was their chief captain. Hali or Ali was his son in-law, for he took to wife his daughter Fatima. Bubacar or Abubeker, was as they say exalted to be chief councillor and governor under Mahomet, but was not honoured with the office of apostle or prophet. Othamar and Aumar, Othoman and Omar, were chief captains in the army of Mahomet. Every one of these have particular books containing the acts and traditions which relate to them, whence proceed great dissentions and discords of religion and manners among these vile people, some of whom adhere to one doctrine and some to another, so that they are divided into various sects among themselves, and kill each other like beasts, upon quarrels respecting their various opinions, all equally false, having each their several patrons, doctors, and saints, as they call them. This also is the chief cause of war between the Sophy of Persia and the grand Turk, both of whom are Mahometans, yet they live in continual and mortal hatred of each other for the maintenance of their respective sects, saints, and apostles, every one thinking their own the best.

The first evening that we came to Medina, our captain, or Emir of the pilgrimage, sent for the chief priest of the temple, and declared that the sole object of his coming thither was to visit the sepulchre and body of the Nabi or prophet, as they usually call Mahomet, and that he understood the price generally paid for being admitted to a sight of these mysteries was four thousand gold serafines. He told him likewise that he had no parents, neither brothers nor sisters, kindred, wife, nor children; that he had not come hither to purchase any merchandise, such as spices, bacca40, spikenard, or jewels, but merely for the salvation of his soul and from pure zeal for religion, and was therefore exceedingly desirous to see the body of the prophet. To this the priest answered in apparent anger, "Darest thou, with those eyes with which thou hast committed so many abominable sins, presume to look on him by whom God created heaven and earth?" The captain replied that he spoke true, yet prayed him that he might be permitted to see the prophet, when he would instantly have his eyes thrust out. Then answered the Side or chief priest, "Prince! I will freely communicate all things to you. It is undeniable that our holy prophet died at this place; but he was immediately borne away by angels to heaven and there received among them as their equal." Our captain then asked where was now Jesus Christ the son of Mary, and the Side said that he was at the feet of Mahomet: To which the captain replied that he was satisfied, and wished for no more information. After this, coming out of the temple, he said to us, "See I pray you for what stuff I would have paid three thousand serafines of gold!"

That same evening at almost three o'clock of the night41, ten or twelve elders of the city came into the encampment of our caravan, close by one of the gates of the city, where running about like madmen, they continually cried out aloud, "Mahomet the apostle of God shall rise again: O prophet of God thou shalt rise again. God have mercy upon us!" Alarmed by these cries, our captain and all of us seized our weapons in all haste, suspecting that the Arabians had come to rob our caravan. On demanding the reason of all this outcry, for they cried out as is done by the Christians when any miraculous event occurs, the elders answered, "Saw you not the light which shone from the sepulchre of the prophet?" Then said one of the elders, "Are you slaves?" meaning thereby bought men or Mamelukes; and when our captain answered that we were Mamelukes, the elder replied, "You, my lords, being new to the faith, and not yet fully confirmed in the religion of our holy prophet, cannot see these heavenly things." To which our captain answered, "O! you mad and insensate beasts! I thought to have given you three thousand pieces of gold; but now I shall give you nothing, you dogs and progeny of dogs?" Now, it is to be understood that the pretended miraculous light which was seen to proceed from the sepulchre, was merely occasioned by a flame made by the priests in the open part of the tower formerly mentioned, which they wished to impose on us as a miracle. After this our commander gave orders that none of the caravan should enter into the temple. Having thus seen with my own eyes, I can assuredly declare that there is neither iron nor steel, nor magnet stone by which the tomb of Mahomet is made to hang in the air, as some have falsely imagined, neither is there any mountain nearer to Medina than four miles. To this city of Medina corn and all other kinds of victuals are brought from Arabia Felix, Babylon or Cairo in Egypt, and from Ethiopia by way of the Red Sea, which is about four days journey from the city.

Having remained three days in our encampment on the outside of Medina to rest and refresh ourselves and our animals, and being satisfied, or disgusted rather, by the vile and abominable trumperies, deceits, and hypocritical trifles of the Mahometan delusions, we determined to resume our journey; and procuring a pilot or guide, who might direct our way by means of a chart and mariners box or compass, as is used at sea, we bent our journey towards the west, where we found a fair well or fountain whence flowed an abundant stream of water, and where we and our beasts were satisfied with drink. According to a tradition among the inhabitants, this region was formerly burnt up with drought and sterility, till the evangelist St Mark procured this fountain from God by miracle. We came into the sea of sand before our arrival at the mountain of the Jews, formerly mentioned, and in it we journeyed three days and nights. This is a vast plain covered all over by white sand as fine almost as flour; and if by evil chance any one travels south while the wind blows to the north, they are overwhelmed by drifted sand. Even with the wind favourable, or blowing in the direction of their journey, the pilgrims are apt to scatter and disperse, as they cannot see each other at ten paces distance. For this reason those who travel across the sea of sand are enclosed in wooden cages on the backs of camels, and are guided by experienced pilots by chart and compass, as mariners on the ocean. In this journey many perish by thirst, and many by drinking with too much avidity when they fall in with wells. Owing to this Momia is found in these sands, bring the flesh of such as have been drowned in the sea of sand, which is there dried up by the heat of the sun, and the excessive dryness of the sand preventing putrefaction. This Momia or dried flesh is esteemed medicinal; but there is another and more precious kind of Momia, being the dried and embalmed bodies of kings and princes, which have been preserved in all times from corrupting.

When the wind blows from the north-east, the sand rises, and is driven against a certain mountain, which is a branch from Mount Sinai; and in that place we found certain pillars artificially wrought, which are called Januan. On the left hand side of that mountain, and near the highest summit, there is a cave or den, to which you enter by an iron gate, and into which cave Mahomet is said to have retired for meditation. While passing that mountain, we heard certain horrible cries and loud noises, which put us in great fear. Departing therefore from the fountain of St Mark, we continued our journey for ten days, and twice in that time we had to fight against fifty thousand Arabians. At length, however, we arrived at Mecca, where we found every thing in confusion, in consequence of a civil war between two brothers who contended for the kingdom of Mecca.

SECTION IV. Observations of the Author during his residence at Mecca

The famous city of Mecha or Mecca is populous and well built, in a round form, having six thousand houses as well built as those in Rome, some of which have cost three or four thousand pieces of gold. It has no walls, being protected or fortified as it were on all sides by mountains, over one of which, about two furlongs from the city, the road is cut by which we descended into the plain below; but there are three other entries through the mountains. It is under the dominion of a sultan, one of four brethren of the progeny of Mahomet, who is subject to the Soldan of Egypt, but his other three brothers are continually at war with him. On the 18th day of May, descending from the before-mentioned road obliquely into the plain, we came to Mecca by the north side. On the south side of the city there are two mountains very near each other, having a very narrow intervening valley, which is the way leading to Mecca on that side. To the east there in a similar valley between two other mountains, by which is the road to a mountain where they sacrifice to the patriarchs Abraham and Isaac, which hill or mount is ten or twelve miles from Mecca, and is about three stone throws in height, being all of a stone as hard as marble, yet is not marble. On the top of this mount is a temple or mosque, built after their manner, having three entrances. At the foot of the mountain are two great cisterns, which preserve water free from corruption: one of these is reserved for the camels belonging to the caravan of Cairo, and the other for that of Damascus. These cisterns are filled by rain water, which is brought from a great way off. We shall speak afterwards of the sacrifices performed at this mountain, and must now return to Mecca.

On our arrival we found the caravan from Memphis, or Babylon of Egypt, which had arrived eight days before us, coming by a different way, and consisted of 64,000 camels, with a guard of an hundred Mamelukes. This city of Mecca is assuredly cursed of God, for it is situated in a most barren spot, destitute of all manner of fruit or corn, and so burnt up with drought, that you cannot have as much water for twelve pence as will satisfy one person for a whole day. Most part of their provisions are brought from Cairo in Egypt, by the Red Sea, or Mare Erythreum of the ancients, and is landed at the port of Gida, Joddah or Jiddah, which is about forty miles from Mecca. The rest of their provisions are brought from the Happy Arabia, or Arabia Felix, so named from its fruitfulness in comparison with the other two divisions, called Petrea and Deserta, or the Stoney and Desert Arabias. They also get much corn from Ethiopia. At Mecca we found a prodigious multitude of strangers who were peregrines or pilgrims; some from Syria, others from Persia, and others from both the Indies, that is, from India on this side the river Ganges, and also from the farther India beyond that river. During my stay of twenty days at Mecca, I saw a most prodigious number and variety of people, infinitely beyond what I had ever before seen. This vast concourse of strangers of many nations and countries resort thither from various causes, but chiefly for trade, and to obtain pardon of their sins by discharging a vow of pilgrimage.

From India, both on this side and beyond the Ganges, they bring for sale precious stones pearls and spices; and especially from that city of the greater India, which is named Bangella42 they bring much gossampyne cloth43 and silk. They receive spices also from Ethiopia44; and, in short, this city of Mecca is a most famous and plentiful mart of many rich and valuable commodities. But the main object for which pilgrims resort thither from so many countries and nations, is, to purchase the pardon of their sins. In the middle of the city there is a temple after the manner of the coliseum or amphitheatre of Rome, yet not built of marble or hewn stone, being only of burnt bricks. Like an amphitheatre, it has ninety or an hundred gates, and is vaulted over. It is entered on every side by a descent of twelve steps, and in its porch is the mart for jewels and precious stones, all the walls of the entry being gilt over in a most splendid manner. In the lower part of the temple under the vaults, there is always to be seen a prodigious multitude of men; as there are generally five or six thousand in that place, who deal solely in sweet ointments and perfumes, among which especially is a certain most odoriferous powder, with which dead bodies are embalmed. From this place all manner of delightful perfumes are carried to all the Mahometan countries, for beyond any thing that can be found in the shops of our apothecaries.

On the 23d day of May yearly, the pardons begin to be distributed in the temple, after the following manner: The temple is entirely open in the middle, and in its centre stands a turret about six paces in circumference, and not exceeding the height of a man, which is hung all round with silken tapestry. This turret or cell is entered by a gate of silver, on each side of which are vessels full of precious balsam, which the inhabitants told us was part of the treasure belonging to the sultan of Mecca. At every vault of the turret is fastened a round circle of iron, like the ring of a door45. On the day of Pentecost, all men are permitted to visit this holy place. On the 22d of May, a great multitude of people began early in the morning, before day, to walk seven times round the turret, every corner of which they devoutly kissed and frequently handled. About ten or twelve paces from this principal turret is another, which is built like a Christian chapel, having three or four entries; and in the middle is a well seventy cubits deep, the water of which is impregnated with saltpetre. At this well eight men are stationed to draw water for all the multitude. After the pilgrims have seven times walked round the first turret, they come to this one, and touching the mouth or brim of the well, they say these words: "Be it to the honour of God, and may God pardon my sins." Then those who draw water pour three buckets on the heads of every one that stands around the well, washing or wetting them all over, even should their garments be of silk; after which the deluded fools fondly imagine that their sins are forgiven them. It is pretended that the turret first spoken of was the first house that was builded by Abraham; wherefore, while yet all over wet by the drenching at the well, they go to the mountain already mentioned, where the sacrifice is made to Abraham; and after remaining there for two days, they make their sacrifice to the patriarch at the foot of the mountain.

When they intend to sacrifice, the pilgrims who are able to afford it, kill some three, some four, or more sheep, even to ten, so that in one sacrifice there are sometimes slain above 3000 sheep; and as they are all slaughtered at sun-rise, the shambles then flow with blood. Shortly afterwards all the carcasses are distributed for God's sake among the poor, of whom I saw there at least to the number of 20,000. These poor people dig many long ditches in the fields round Mecca, where they make fires of camels' dung, at which they roast or seethe the sacrificial flesh which has been distributed to them by the richer pilgrims. In my opinion, these poor people flock to Mecca more to satisfy their hunger, than from motives of devotion. Great quantities of cucumbers are brought here for sale from Arabia Felix, which are bought by those who have money; and as the parings are thrown out from their tents, the half-famished multitude gather these parings from among the mire or sand to satisfy their hunger, and are so greedy of that vile food, that they fight who shall gather most.

On the day after the sacrifice to Abraham, the cadi, who is to these people as the preachers of the word of God among us, ascends to the top of a high mountain, whence he preaches to the people who stand below. He harangued for the space of on hour, principally inculcating that they should bewail their sins with tears and sighs and lamentations, beating their breasts. At one time he exclaimed with a loud voice, "O! Abraham the beloved of God, O! Isaac the chosen of God and his friend, pray to God for the people of the prophet." As these words were spoken, we suddenly heard loud cries and lamentations, and a rumour was spread that an army of 20,000 Arabians was approaching, on which we all fled into the city, even those who were appointed to guard the pilgrims being the first to make their escape. Mid-way between the mountain of Abraham and the city of Mecca, there is a mean wall, about four cubits broad, where the passengers had strewed the whole way with stones, owing to the following traditionary story: When Abraham was commanded to sacrifice his son Isaac, he directed his son to follow him to the place where he was to execute the divine command; and as Isaac was following after his father, a devil met him in the way near this wall, in the semblance of a fair and friendly person, and asked him whither he went. Isaac answered that he was going to his father, who waited for him. To this the arch enemy replied, that he had better not go, as his father meant to sacrifice him. But Isaac despising the warnings of the devil, continued his way, that his father might execute the commandments of God respecting him. On this the devil departed from him, but met him again as he went forward, under the semblance of another friendly person, and advised him as before not to go to his father. On this Isaac threw a stone at the devil, and wounded him in the forehead; in remembrance of which traditionary story it is that the people, on passing this way, are accustomed to throw stones at the wall before going to the city. As we went this way, the air was in a manner darkened with prodigious multitudes of stock doves, all, as they pretend, derived from the dove that spoke in the ear of Mahomet, in likeness of the Holy Ghost. These doves are seen in vast numbers in all parts about Mecca, as in the houses, villages, inns, and granaries of corn and rice, and are so tame that they can hardly be driven away. Indeed it is reckoned a capital crime to kill or even take them, and there are certain funds assigned for feeding them at the temple.

Beyond the temple there are certain parks or inclosures, in which there are two unicorns to be seen, called by the Greeks Monocerotae, which are shewn to the people as miracles of nature, and not without good reason, on account of their scarcity and strange appearance. One of these, though much higher than the other, is not unlike a colt of thirty months old, and has a horn in its forehead, growing straight forwards and the length of three cubits. The other is much younger, resembling a colt of one year old, and its horn is only four hand breadths long. These singular animals are of a weasel chesnut colour, having a head like that of a hart, but the neck is not near so long, with a thin mane, hanging all to one side. The legs are thin and slender, like those of a fawn or hind, and the hoofs are cleft much like those of a goat, the outer parts of the hind feet being very full of hair. These animals seemed wild and fierce yet exceedingly comely. They were sent out of Ethiopia by a king of that country, as a rare and precious gift to the sultan of Mecca46.

It may seem proper to mention here certain things which happened to me at Mecca, in which may be seen the sharpness of wit in case of urgent necessity, which according to the proverb, has no law; for I was driven to the extent of my wits how I might contrive to escape privately from Mecca. One day, while in the market purchasing some things by the direction of our captain, a certain Mameluke knew me to be a Christian, and said to me in his own language inte mename, which is to say, "Whence are you?" To this I answered that I was a Mahometan, but he insisted that I spoke falsely, on which I swore by the head of Mahomet that I really was. Then he desired me to go home along with him, which I willingly did; and when there he began to speak to me in the Italian language, affirming that he was quite certain I was not a Mahometan. He told me that he had been some time in Genoa and Venice, and mentioned many circumstances which convinced me that he spoke truth. On this I freely confessed myself A Roman, but declared that I had become a Mahometan at Babylon in Egypt, and had been there enrolled among the Mamelukes. He seemed much pleased as this, and treated me honourably. Being very desirous of proceeding farther in my travels, I asked him if this city of Mecca was as famous as was reported in the world, and where the vast abundance of pearls, precious stones, spices, and other rich merchandise was to be seen, which was generally believed to be in that city, wishing to know the reason why these things were not now brought there as in former times; but to avoid all suspicion, I durst not make any mention of the dominion acquired by the king of Portugal over the Indian ocean and the gulfs of Persia and Mecca. Then did he shew the cause why this mart of Mecca was not so much frequented as it used to be, assigning the whole blame to the King of Portugal. Thereupon I purposely detracted from the fame of that king, lest the Mahometan might suspect me of rejoicing that the Christians resorted to India for trade. Finding me a professed enemy to the Christians, he conceived a great esteem for me, and gave me a great deal of information. Then said I to him in the language of Mahomet Menaba menalhabi, or "I pray you to aid me." He asked me in what circumstance I wished his assistance; upon which I told him that I wished secretly to depart from Mecca, assuring him under the most sacred oaths that I meant to visit those kings who were the greatest enemies to the Christians, and that I possessed the knowledge of certain estimable secrets, which if known to those kings would certainly occasion them to send for me from Mecca. He requested to know what these secrets were, on which I informed him that I was thoroughly versant in the construction of all manner of guns and artillery. He then praised Mahomet for having directed me to these parts, as I might do infinite service to the true believers; and he agreed to allow me to remain secretly in his house along with his wife.

Having thus cemented a friendship with the Mahometan, he requested of me to obtain permission from the captain of our caravan that he might lead fifteen camels from Mecca loaded with spices under his name, by which means he might evade the duties, as thirty gold seraphines are usually paid to the sultan of Mecca for the custom of such a number of camels. I gave him great hopes that his request might be complied with, even if he asked for an hundred camels, as I alleged he was entitled to the privilege as being a Mameluke. Then finding him in excellent good humour, I again urged my desire of being concealed in his house; and having entirely gained his confidence, he gave me many instructions for the prosecution of my intended journey, and counselled me to repair to the court of the king of Decham, or Deccan, a realm in the greater India; of which I shall speak hereafter. Wherefore, on the day before the caravan of Damascus was to depart from Mecca, he concealed me in the most secret part of his house; and next morning early the trumpeter of our caravan of Syria gave warning to all the Mamelukes to prepare themselves and their horses for the immediate prosecution of the journey, on pain of death to all who should neglect the order. Upon hearing this proclamation and penalty I was greatly troubled in mind; yet committing myself by earnest prayer to the merciful protection of God, I entreated the Mamelukes wife not to betray me. On the Tuesday following, our caravan departed from Mecca and the Mameluke went along with it, but I remained concealed in his house. Before his departure, the friendly Mameluke gave orders to his wife that she should procure me the means of going along with the pilgrims who were to depart from Zide or Juddah the port of Mecca for India. This port of Juddah is 40 miles from Mecca. I cannot well express the kindness of the Mamelukes wife to me during the time I lay hid in her house; and what contributed mainly to my good entertainment was that a beautiful young maid who dwelt in the house, being niece to the Mameluke, was in love with me; but at that time I was so environed with troubles and fear of danger, that the passion of love was almost extinct in my bosom, yet I kept myself in her favour by kind words and fair promises.

On the Friday, three days after the departure of the caravan of Syria, I departed about noon from Mecca along with the caravan of India; and about midnight we came to an Arabian village, where we rested all the rest of that night and the next day till noon. From thence continuing our journey we arrived at Juddah on the second night of our journey. The city of Juddah has no walls, but the houses are well built, resembling those in the Italian cities. At this place there is great abundance of all kinds of merchandise, being in a manner the resort of all nations, except that it is held unlawful for Jews or Christians to come there. As soon as I entered Juddah I went to the mosque, where I saw a prodigious number of poor people, not less than 25,000, who were attending upon the different pilots, that they might go back to their countries. Here I suffered much trouble and affliction, being constrained to hide myself among these poor wretches and to feign myself sick, that no one might be too inquisitive about who I was, whence I came, or whether I was going. The city of Juddah is under the dominion of the Soldan of Babylon or Cairo, the Sultan of Mecca being his brother and his subject. The inhabitants are all Mahometans; the soil around the town is very unfruitful, as it wants water; yet this town, which stands on the shore of the Red Sea, enjoys abundance of all necessaries which are brought from Egypt, Arabia Felix, and various other places. The heat is so excessive that the people are in a manner dried up, and there is generally great sickness among the inhabitants. This city contains about 500 houses. After sojourning here for fifteen days, I at length agreed for a certain sum with a pilot or ship-master, who engaged to convey me to Persia. At this time there lay at anchor in the haven of Mecca near an hundred brigantines and foists, with many barks and boats of various kinds, some with oars and some with sails.

Three days after I had agreed for my passage, we hoisted sail and began our voyage down the Red Sea, called by the ancients Mare erythraeum47. It is well known to learned men that this sea is not red, as its name implies and as some have imagined, for it has the same colour with other seas. We continued our voyage till the going down of the sun, for this sea cannot be navigated during the night, wherefore navigators only sail in the day and always come to anchor every night. This is owing as they say, to the many dangerous sands, rocks and shelves, which require the ships way to be guided with great care and diligent outlook from the top castle, that these dangerous places may be seen and avoided: But after coming to the island of Chameran or Kamaran, the navigation may be continued with greater safety and freedom.

SECTION V. Adventures of the Author in various parts of Arabia Felix, or Yemen

After six days sailing from Juddah we came to a city named Gezan, which is well built and has a commodious port, in which we found about 45 foists and brigantines belonging to different countries. This city is close to the sea, and stands in a fertile district resembling Italy, having plenty of pomegranates, quinces, peaches, Assyrian apples, pepons ? melons, oranges, gourds, and various other fruits, also many of the finest roses and other flowers that can be conceived, so that it seemed an earthly paradise. It has also abundance of flesh, with wheat and barley, and a grain like white millet or hirse, which they call dora, of which they make a very excellent bread. The prince of this town and all his subjects are Mahometans, most of whom go nearly naked.

After sailing five days from Gezan, having always the coast on our left hand, we came in sight of some habitations where 14 of us went on shore in hopes of procuring some provisions from the inhabitants; but instead of giving us victuals they threw stones at us from slings, so that we were constrained to fight them in our own defence. There were about 100 of these inhospitable natives, who had no other weapons except slings, and yet fought us for an hour; but 24 of them being slain the rest fled, and we brought away from their houses some poultry and calves, which we found very good. Soon afterwards the natives returned, being reinforced by others to the number of five or six hundred; but we departed with our prey and reimbarked.

Continuing our voyage, we arrived on the same day at an island named Kamaran, which is ten miles in circuit. This island has a town of two hundred houses, inhabited by Mahometans, and has abundance of flesh and fresh water, and the fairest salt I ever saw. The port of Kamaran is eight miles from the Arabian coast, and is subject to the sultan of Amanian or Yaman, a kingdom of Arabia Felix. Having remained here two days, we again made sail for the mouth of the Red Sea, where we arrived in other two days. From Kamaran to the mouth of the Red Sea the navigation is safe both night and day; But from Juddah to Kamsran the Red Sea can only be navigated by day, as already stated, on account of shoals and rocks. On coming to the mouth of the Red Sea, we seemed quite inclosed, as the strait is very narrow, being only three miles across. On the right hand, or Ethiopian coast, the shore of the continent is about ten paces in height, and seems a rude uncultivated soil; and on the left hand, or coast of Arabia, there rises a very high rocky hill. In the middle of the strait is a small uninhabited island called Bebmendo48, and those who sail from the Red Sea towards Zeyla, leave this island on the left hand. Such, on the contrary, as go for Aden, must keep the north eastern passage, leaving this island on the right.

We sailed for Bab-al-Mondub to Aden, in two days and a half, always having the land of Arabia in sight on our left. I do not remember to have seen any city better fortified than Aden. It stands on a tolerably level plain, having walls on two sides: all the rest being inclosed by mountains, on which there are five fortresses. This city contains 6000 houses, and only a stone's throw from the city there is a mountain having a castle on its summit, the shipping being anchored at the foot of the mountain. Aden is an excellent city, and the chief place in all Arabia Felix, of which it is the principal mart, to which merchants resort from India, Ethiopia, Persia, and the Red Sea; but owing to the intolerable heat during the day, the whole business of buying and selling takes place at night, beginning two hours after sunset. As soon as our brigantines came to anchor in the haven, the customers and searchers came off, demanding what we were, whence we came, what commodities we had on board, and how many men were in each vessel? After being satisfied on these heads they took away our mast, sails, and other tackle, that we might not depart without paying the customs.

The day after our arrival at Aden, the Mahometans took me prisoner, and put shackles on my legs in consequence of an idolater calling after me that I was a Christian dog49. Upon this the Mahometans laid hold of me, and carried me before the lieutenant of the sultan, who assembled his council, to consult with them if I should be put to death as a Christian spy. The sultan happened to be absent from the city, and as the lieutenant had not hitherto adjudged any one to death, he did not think fit to give sentence against me till my case were reported to the sultan. By this means I escaped the present danger, and remained in prison 55 days, with an iron of eighteen pounds weight fastened to my legs. On the second day of my confinement, many Mahometans went in great rage to the lieutenant to demand that I should be put to death as a Portuguese spy. Only a few days before, these men had difficultly escaped from the hands of the Portuguese by swimming, with the loss of their foists and barks, and therefore greatly desired to be revenged of the Christians, outrageously affirming that I was a Portuguese and a spy. But God assisted me, for the master of the prison made fast its gates, that these outrageous men might not offer me violence. At the end of fifty-five days, the sultan sent for me into his presence; so I was placed on the back of a camel with my shackles, and at the end of eight days journey I was brought to the city of Rhada, where the sultan then resided, and where he had assembled an army of 30,000 men to make war upon the sultan of Sanaa, a fair and populous city about three days journey from Rhada, situated partly on the slope of a hill and partly in a plain. When I was brought before the sultan, he asked me what I was: on which I answered that I was a Roman, and had professed myself a Mahometan and Mameluke at Babylon in Egypt, or Cairo. That from motives of religion, and in discharge of a vow, I had made the pilgrimage to Medinathalhabi, to see the body of the Nabi or holy prophet, which was said to be buried there; and that having heard in all the countries and cities through which I passed, of the greatness, wisdom, and virtue of the sultan of Rhada, I had continued my travels to his dominions from an anxious desire to see his face, and I now gave thanks to God and his prophet that I had attained my wish, trusting that his wisdom and justice would see that I was no Christian spy, but a true Mahometan, and his devoted slave. The sultan then commanded me to say Leila illala Mahumet resullah, which words I could never well pronounce, either that it so pleased God, or because I durst not, from some fear or scruple of conscience. Wherefore, seeing me silent, the sultan committed me again to prison, commanding that I should be carefully watched by sixteen men of the city, every day four in their turns. After this, for the space of three months, I never enjoyed the sight of the heavens, being every day allowed a loaf of millet bread, so very small that seven of them would hardly have satisfied my hunger for one day, yet I would have thought myself happy if I could have had my fill of water.

Three days after I was committed to prison, the sultan marched with his army to besiege the city of Sanaa, having, as I said before, 30,000 footmen, besides 3000 horsemen, born of Christian parents, who were black like the Ethiopians, and had been brought while young from the kingdom of Prester John, called in Latin Presbyter Johannes, or rather Preciosus Johannes. These Christian Ethiopians are also called Abyssinians, and are brought up in the discipline of war like the Mamelukes and Janisaries of the Turks, and are held in high estimation by this sultan for the guard of his own person. They have high pay, and are in number four-score thousand50. Their only dress is a sindon or cloak, out of which they put forth one arm. In war they use round targets of buffaloe hide, strengthened with some light bars of iron, having a wooden handle, and short broad-swords. At other times they use vestures of linen of divers colours, also of gossampine or xylon, otherwise named bomasine51. In war every man carries a sling, whence he casts stones, after having whirled them frequently round his head. When they come to forty or fifty years of age, they wreath their hair into the form of horns like those of goats. When the army proceeds to the wars, it is followed by 5000 camels, all laden with ropes of bombasine52.

Hard by the prison to which I was committed, there was a long court or entry in the manner of a cloister, where sometimes I and other prisoners were permitted to walk, and which was overlooked by a part of the sultan's palace. It happened that one of the sultan's wives remained in the palace, having twelve young maidens to wait upon her, who were all very comely, though inclining to black. By their favour I was much aided, after the following manner: There were two other men confined alone with me in the same prison, and it was agreed among us that one of us should counterfeit madness, by which we might derive some advantage. Accordingly it fell to my lot to assume the appearance of madness, which made greatly for my purpose, as they consider mad men to be holy, and they therefore allowed me to go much more at large than before, until such time as the hermits might determine whether I were holy mad, or raging mad, as shall be shewn hereafter. But the first three days of my assumed madness wearied me so much, that I was never so tired with labour, or grieved with pain; for the boys and vile people used to run after me, sometimes to the number of forty or fifty, calling me a mad man, and throwing stones at me, which usage I sometimes repaid in their own coin. To give the better colour to my madness, I always carried some stones in the lap of my shirt, as I had no other clothing whatever. The queen hearing of my madness, used oftentimes to look from her windows to see me, more instigated by a secret love for my person than the pleasure she derived from my mad pranks, as afterwards appeared. One time, when some of the natives played the knave with me in view of the queen, whose secret favour towards me I began to perceive, I threw off my shirt, and went to a place near the windows, where the queen might see me all naked, which I perceived gave her great pleasure, as she always contrived some device to prevent me going out of her sight, and would sometimes spend almost the whole day in looking at me. In the mean time she often sent me secretly abundance of good meat by her maids; and when she saw the boys or others doing me harm or vexing me, she called to me to kill them, reviling them also as dogs and beasts.

There was a great fat sheep that was fed in the court of the palace, of that kind whereof the tail only will sometimes weigh eleven or twelve pounds. Under colour of my madness, I one day laid hold of this sheep, repeating Leila illala Mahumet resullah, the words which the Sultan desired me to repeat in his presence, by way of proof whether I was a Mahometan or professed Mameluke. As the sheep gave no answer, I asked him whether he were Mahometan, Jew, or Christian. And willing to make him a Mahometan, I repeated the formula as before, which signifies, "There is but one God, and Mahomet is his prophet," being the words the Mahometans rehearse as their profession of faith. As the sheep answered never a word to all I could say, I at length broke his leg with staff. The queen took much delight in these my mad tricks, and commanded the carcass of this sheep to be given me, and I never eat meat with more relish or better appetite. Three days afterwards I killed an ass that used to bring water to the palace, because he would not say these words and be a Mahometan. One day I handled a Jew so very roughly, that I had near killed him. On another occasion I threw many stones at a person who called me a Christian clog, but he threw them back at me with such vengeance, that he hurt me sore, on which I returned to my prison, of which I barricadoed the door with stones, and lay there for two days, in great pain, without meat or drink, so that the queen and others thought me dead, but the door was opened by command of the queen. Those Arabian dogs used to deride me, giving me stones in place of bread, and pieces of white marble, pretending that they were lumps of sugar, and others gave me bunches of grapes all full of sand. That they might not think I counterfeited madness, I used to eat the grapes sand and all.

When it was rumoured abroad that I had lived two days and nights without meat or drink, some began to believe that I was a holy madman, while others supposed me to be stark mad; wherefore they consulted to send for certain men who dwell in the mountain, who lead a contemplative life, and are esteemed holy as we do hermits. When they came to give their judgment concerning me, and were debating among themselves for upwards of an hour on my case, I pissed in my hands, and threw the water in their faces, on which they agreed I was no saint, but a mere madman. The queen saw all this from her window, and laughed heartily at it among her maids, saying, "By the head of Mahomet this is a good man." Next morning I happened to find the man asleep who had so sore hurt me with stones, and taking him by the hair of his head with both hands, I so punched him in the stomach, and on the face with my knees, that I left him all bloody and half dead. The queen happening to see me, she called out, "Kill the beast, Kill the dog." Upon which he ran away and came no more nigh me.

When the president of the city heard that the queen took so much delight in my mad frolics, he gave orders that I might go at liberty about the palace, only wearing my shackles, and that I should be immured every night in another prison in the lower part of the palace. After I had remained in this manner for twenty days, the queen took it into her head to carry me along with her a hunting; but on my return, I feigned myself sick from fatigue, and continued in my cell for eight days, the queen sending every day to inquire how I was. After this I took an opportunity to tell the queen that I had vowed to God and Mahomet to visit a certain holy person at Aden, and begged her permission to perform my vow. She consented to this, and immediately gave orders that a camel and 25 gold seraphins should be given me. Accordingly I immediately set off on my journey, and came to Aden at the end of eight days, when I visited the man who was reputed as a saint, merely because he had always lived in great poverty, and without the company of women. There are many such in those parts, but doubtless they lose their labour, not being in the faith of Christ. Having thus performed my vow, I pretended to have recovered my health by miracle performed by this holy person, of which I sent notice to the queen, desiring permission to visit certain other holy persons in that country who had great reputation. I contrived these excuses because the fleet for India was not to depart from Aden for the space of a month. I took the opportunity to agree secretly with the captain of a ship to carry me to India, making him many fair promises of reward. He told me that he did not mean to go to India till after he had gone first to Persia, and to this arrangement I agreed.

To fill up the time, I mounted my camel and went a journey of 25 miles, to a certain populous city named Lagi, seated in a great plain, in which are plenty of olives and corn, with many cattle, but no vines, and very little wood. The inhabitants are a gross and barbarous people of the vagabond Arabs, and very poor. Going a days journey from thence, I came to another city named Aiaz, which is built on two hills, having a large plain between them, in which is a noted fountain, where various nations resort as to a famous mart. The inhabitants are Mahometans, yet greatly differ in opinion respecting their religion. All those who inhabit the northern mount, maintain the faith of Mahomet and his successors, of whom I have formerly spoken; but those of the south mountain affirm that faith ought only to be given to Mahomet and Ali, declaring the others to have been false prophets. The country about Aiaz produces goodly fruits of various kinds, among which are vines, together with silk and cotton; and the city has great trade in spices and other commodities. On the top of both of the hills there are strong fortresses, and two days journey from thence is the city of Dante, on the top of a very high mountain, well fortified both by art and nature.

Departing from Dante, I came in two days journey to the city of Almacharam, on the top of a very high mountain of very difficult ascent, by a way so narrow that only two men are able to pass each other. On the top of this mountain is a plain of wonderful size, and very fertile, which produces abundance of every thing necessary to the use of man. It has also plenty of water, insomuch that at one fountain only there is sufficient water to supply a hundred thousand men. The Sultan is said to have been born in this city, and to keep his treasure here, which is so large as to be a sufficient load for an hundred camels all in gold. Here also always resides one of his wives. The air of this place is remarkably temperate and healthy, and the inhabitants are inclining to white. Two days journey from Almacharam, is the city of Reame, containing 2000 houses. The inhabitants are black, and are much addicted to commerce. The country around is fertile in all things, except wood. On one side of this city is a mountain, on which is a strong fortress. At this place I saw a kind of sheep without horns, whose tails weigh forty or fifty pounds. The grapes of this district have no stones or grains, and are remarkably sweet and delicate, as are all the other fruits, which are in great abundance and variety. This place is very temperate and healthful, as may be conceived by the long life of its inhabitants, for I have conversed with many of them that had passed the age of an hundred and twenty-five years, and were still vigorous and fresh-coloured. They go almost naked, wearing only shirts, or other thin and loose raiment like mantles, having one arm bare. Almost all the Arabs wreath their hair in the shape of horns, which they think gives them a comely appearance.

Departing from thence, I came in three days journey to the city of Sanaa or Zenan, upon the top of a very high mountain, and very strong both by art and nature. The Sultan had besieged this place for three months with a great army, but was unable to prevail against it by force, yet it was afterwards yielded on composition. The walls of this city are eighteen cubits high and twenty in thickness, insomuch that eight camels may march abreast upon them. The region in which it stands is very fertile, and resembles Italy, having abundance of water. The city contains four thousand houses, all well built, and in no respect inferior to those in Italy, but the city is so large in circuit, that fields, gardens, and meadows are contained within the walls. This city was governed by a Sultan, who had twelve sons, one of whom named Mahomet, was four cubits high, and very strong, of a complexion resembling ashes, and from some natural madness or grossly tyrannical disposition he delighted in human flesh, so that he used to kill men secretly to feed upon them.

Three days journey from thence I came to a city upon a mountain, named Taessa, well built, and abounding in all things necessary to man, and particularly celebrated for roses, of which the inhabitants make rose water. This is an ancient city, having many good houses, and still contains several monuments of antiquity. Its temple or chief mosque is built much like the church of Sancta Maria Rotunda at Rome. The inhabitants are of an ash-colour, inclining to black, and dress much like those already mentioned. Many merchants resort thither for trade. Three days journey from thence I came to another city named Zioith or Zabid, half a days journey from the Red Sea. This is a well built city, abounding in many good things, particularly in excellent white sugar and various kinds of delicious fruits. It is situated in a very large plain between two mountains, and has no walls, but is one of the principal marts for all sorts of spices, and various other merchandise. One days journey from thence I came to Damar, which is situated in a fruitful soil, and carries on considerable trade. All these cities are subject to a Sultan of Arabia-Felix, who is called Sechamir, or the holy prince; Secha signifying holy, and Amir prince, in the Arabian language. He is so named, because he abhors to shed men's blood. While I was there in prison, he nourished sixteen thousand poor, including captives in prison, who had been condemned to death, and he had as many black slaves in his palace.

Departing from Damar I returned in three days journey to Aden, passing in the mid way by an exceedingly large and high mountain, on which there are many wild beasts, and in particular the whole mountain is as it were covered with monkeys. There are also many lions, so that it is by no means safe to travel that way unless in large companies of at least a hundred men. I passed this way along with a numerous company, yet we were in much danger from the lions and other wild beasts which followed us, insomuch that we were forced to fight them with darts, slings, and arrows, using also the aid of dogs, and after all we escaped with some difficulty. On arriving at Aden I feigned myself sick, lurking in the mosque all day, and going only out under night to speak with the pilot of the ship formerly mentioned, from whom I obtained a bark in which I secretly left Aden.

We at length began our voyage for Persia, to which we were to go in the first place, our bark being laden with rubricke, a certain red earth used for dying cloth, with which fifteen or twenty vessels are yearly freighted from Arabia Felix. After having sailed six days on our voyage, a sudden tempest of contrary wind drove us back again and forced us to the coast of Ethiopia, where we took shelter in the port of Zeyla. We remained here five days to see the city, and to wait till the tempest was over and the sea become quiet. The city of Zeyla is a famous mart for many commodities, and has marvellous abundance of gold and ivory, and a prodigious number of black slaves, which are procured by the Mahometan or Moorish inhabitants, by means of war, from Ethiopia in the country of Prester John, the Christian king of the Jacobins or Abyssinians. These slaves are carried hence into Persia, Arabia Felix, Cairo, and Mecca. In this city justice and good laws are observed. The soil produces wheat and other convenient things, as oil which is not procured from olives but from something else that I do not know. It has likewise plenty of honey and wax, and abundance of animals for food, among which are sheep having tails of sixteen pounds weight, very fat and good; their head and neck black, and all the rest of their bodies white. There are also sheep all over white, whose tails are a cubit long, and hang down like a large cluster of grapes, with great flaps of skin hanging from their throats. The bulls and cows likewise have dewlaps hanging down almost to the ground. There are also certain kine having horns like to those of harts, which are very wild, and when taken are given to the sultan of the city as a gift worthy of a prince. I also saw other kine of a bright red colour, having only one horn in the midst of the forehead, about a span long, bending backwards, like the horn of the unicorn. The walls of this city are greatly decayed, and the haven bad and unsafe, yet it is resorted to by vast numbers of merchants. The sultan of Zeyla is a Mahometan, and has a numerous army both of horse and foot. The people, who are much addicted to war, are of a dark ash-colour inclining to black, and wear loose vestments like those spoken of in Arabia. After the weather had become calm, we again put to sea, and soon afterwards arrived at an island on the coast of Ethiopia named Barbora, which is under the rule of a Mahometan prince. It is a small island, but fertile and well peopled, its principal riches consisting in herds of cattle, so that flesh is to be had in great plenty. We remained here only one day, and sailing thence went to Persia.

SECTION VI. Observations of the Author relative to some parts of Persia

When we had sailed twelve days we came to a city named Divobanderrumi53, which name signifies the holy port of the Rumes or Turks. This place is only a little way from the Continent, and when the tides rise high it is an island environed on every side with water, but at ebb tides the passage between it and the land is dry. This is a great mart of commerce, and is governed by a person named Menacheas, being subject to the sultan of Cambaia. It is well fortified with good walls, and defended by a numerous artillery. The barks and brigantines used at this place are smaller than ours of Italy. Departing thence we came in three days to Zoar54, which also is a well frequented mart in a fertile country inhabited by Mahometans. Near this place are two other good cities and ports named Gieulfar and Meschet or Maskat.

Proceeding on our voyage we came to the fair city of Ormuz or Armusium, second to none in excellence of situation, and abundance of pearls. It stands in an island twelve miles from the Continent, being in itself very scarce of water and corn, so that all things required for the sustenance of the inhabitants are brought from other places. At the distance of three days sail from thence those muscles are procured which produce the fairest and largest pearls. There are certain people who gain their living by fishing for these muscles in the following manner: Going in small boats to that part of the sea where these are found, they cast a large stone into the sea on each side of the boat fastened to strong ropes, by which they fix their boat steadily in one place like a ship at anchor. Then another stone with a cord fastened to it is cast into the sea, and a man having a sack hung upon his shoulder both before and behind, and a stone hung to his feet, leaps into the water, and immediately sinks to the bottom to the depth of 15 paces or more, where he remains gathering the pearl muscles and putting them into his sack. He then casts off the stone that is tied to his feet and comes up by means of the rope. At Ormuz there are sometimes seen almost three hundred ships and vessels of various sorts at one time, which come from many different places and countries. The sultan of the city is a Mahometan. There are not less than four hundred merchants and factors continually residing here for the sake of trade in silks, pearls, precious stones, spices, and the like. The principal article of their sustenance at this place is rice.

Departing from Ormuz I went into Persia, and after ten days journey I came to Eri55 a city in Chorazani which also we may name Flaminia. This region is fertile, and abounds in all good things, particularly in silk, so that one might purchase enough in one day to load 3000 camels. Owing to the fertility of this country corn is always cheap. Rhubarb is in such abundance that six of our pounds of twelve ounces each may be bought for one gold crown. This city, in which dwells the king of that region, contains about seven thousand houses, all inhabited by Mahometans. In twenty days journey from thence, I noticed that the inland parts of Persia are well inhabited and have many good towns and villages. In this journey I came to a great river called by the inhabitants Eufra, which I verily believe to be the Euphrates, both from the resemblance of names and from its great size. Continuing my journey along this river by the left hand, I came in three days journey to another city named Schyra56, subject to a prince who is a Persian Mahometan, and is independent of any other prince. Here are found all sorts of precious stones, especially that called Eranon, which defends men against witchcraft, madness, and fearfulness proceeding from melancholy. It is the stone commonly called Turquoise, which is brought in great abundance from a city named Balascam, where also great plenty of Castoreum is procured and various kinds of colours. The reason why so very little true Castoreum is found among us is because it is adulterated by the Persians before it comes to our hands57. The way to prove true castoreum is by smelling, and if genuine and unadulterated it makes the nose bleed, as I saw proved on four persons in succession. When genuine and unadulterated, castoreum will preserve its flavour for ten years. The Persians are a courteous and gentle people, liberal and generous towards each other, and kind to strangers, as I found by experience. While here, I met with a Persian merchant to whom I was known in the year before when at Mecca. This man was born in the city of Eri in Chorozani, and as soon as he saw me he knew me again, and asked by what fortune I had come into that country. To this I answered, "that I had come thither from a great desire to see the world." "Praised be God, said he, that I have now found a companion of the same mind with myself." He exhorted me not to depart from him, and that I should accompany him in his journeys, as he meant to go through the chief parts of the world.

I accordingly remained with him for fifteen days in a city named Squilaz, whence we went in the first place to a city named Saint Bragant58, which is larger than Babylon of Egypt and is subject to a Mahometan prince, who is said to be able to take the field when occasion requires with 60,000 horsemen. This I say only from the information of others, as we could not safely pass farther in that direction, by reason of the great wars carried on by the Sophy against those Mahometans who follow the sect of Omar, who are abhorred by the Persians as heretics and misbelievers, while they are of the sect of Ali which they consider as the most perfect and true religion. At this place my Persian friend, as a proof of his unfeigned friendship, offered to give me in marriage his niece named Samis, which in their language signifies the Sun, which name she well deserved for her singular beauty. As we could not travel any farther by reason of the wars, we returned to the city of Eri, where he entertained me most honourably in his house, and showing me his niece desired that she might immediately become my wife. Being otherwise minded, yet not willing that I should appear to despise so friendly an offer, I thanked him for his goodness, yet begged the match might be delayed to a more convenient time. Departing soon afterwards from Eri, we came in eight days journey to Ormuz, where we took shipping for India.

SECTION VII. Observations of the Author on various parts of India

We arrived in India at a certain port named Cheo59, past which flows the great river Indus, not far from the city of Cambay. It is situated60 three miles within the land, so that brigantines and foists can have no access to it except when the tide rises higher than ordinary, when it sometimes overflows the land for the space of four miles. At this place the tides increase differently from what they do with us, as they increase with the wane of the moon, whereas with us while the moon waxes towards full. This city is walled after our manner, and abounds in all kinds of necessaries, especially wheat and all manner of wholesome and pleasant fruits. It has also abundance of gosampine or bombassine (cotton) and some kinds of spices of which I do not know the names. Merchants bring here such quantities of cotton and silk, that sometimes forty or fifty vessels are loaded with these commodities for other countries. In this region there is a mountain in which the onyx commonly called carneola is found, and not far from thence another mountain which produces calecdony and diamonds. While I was there, the sultan of Cambay was named Mahomet, and had reigned forty years after having expelled the king of Guzerat. The natives are not Mahometans, neither are they idolaters, wherefore I believe if they were only baptised they would not be far from the way of salvation, for they observe the pure rule of justice, doing unto others as they would be done by. They deem it unlawful to deprive any living creature of its life, and never eat flesh. Some of them go entirely naked, or only cover the parts of shame, wearing fillets of a purple colour round their heads. Their complexion is a dark yellow, commonly called a leonell colour.

The sultan of Cambay maintains a force of 20,000 horse. Every morning fifty men riding on elephants repair to his palace to reverence and salute the king, which is done likewise by the elephants kneeling down. As soon as the king wakes in the morning there is a prodigious noise of drums, trumpets, and other warlike instruments of music, as if in token of joy that the sultan still lives. The same is done while he is at dinner, when likewise the elephants are again brought forward to do him reverence. We shall afterwards have occasion to notice the customs, docility, and wisdom of these beasts. The sultan has his upper lip so large and gross that he sometimes beareth it up with a fillet as women do their hair. His beard is white and hangs down below his girdle. He has been accustomed to the use of poison even from his infancy, and he daily eats some to keep him in use; by which strange custom, although he feels no personal hurt therefrom, yet is he so saturated with poison that he is a certain poison to others. Insomuch that when he is disposed to put any noble to death, he causes the victim to be brought into his presence and to stand before him while he chews certain fruits called Chofolos61 resembling nutmegs, chewing at the same time the leaves of a certain herb named Tambolos, to which is added the powder of oyster shells. After chewing these things for some time, he spits upon the person whom he wishes to kill, and he is sure to die within half an hour, so powerful is the venom of his body62. He keeps about four thousand concubines, and whoever of them chances to sleep with him is sure to die next day. When he changes his shirt or any other article of his dress, no one dare wear it, or is sure to die. My companion learnt from the merchants of Cambay that this wonderful venomous nature of the sultan had been occasioned by his having been bred up by his father from a child in the constant use of poison, beginning by little and little, and taking preservatives at the same time.

Such is the wonderful fertility of this country that it surpasses all description. The people, as already said, go almost entirely naked, or content themselves with a single garment, and are a brave and warlike nation, being at the same time much given to commerce, so that their city is frequented by traders of all nations. From this city, and another to be named afterwards, innumerable kinds and quantities of merchandise are transported to almost every region and nation of the world; especially to the Turks, Syrians, Arabians, Indians, and to divers regions of Africa, Ethiopia, and Arabia; and more especially vast abundance of silk and cotton, so that by means of this prodigious trade the sultan is astonishingly rich. The sultan of Cambay is almost continually at war with the king of Joga, whose realm is fifteen days journey from Cambay, and extends very far in all directions. This king of Joga63 and all his people are idolaters. He maintains an army always on foot of 30.000 men, and is continually in the field travelling through his dominions with a prodigious train of followers at the charge of his subject, his camp containing at the least 4000 tents and pavilions. In this perpetual progress he is accompanied by his wife, children, concubines, and slaves, and by every apparatus for hunting and amusement. His dress consists of two goat-skins with the hair side outwards, one of which covers his breast and the other his back and shoulders. His complexion is of a brown weasel colour inclining to black, as are most of the native Indians, being scorched by the heat of the sun. They wear ear-rings of precious stones, and adorn themselves with jewels of various kinds; and the king and principal people paint their faces and other parts of their bodies with certain spices and sweet gums or ointments. They are addicted to many vain superstitions; some professing never to lie on the ground, while others keep a continual silence, having two or three persons to minister to their wants by signs. These devotees have horns hanging from their necks, which they blow all at once when they come to any city or town to make the inhabitants afraid, after which they demand victuals and whatever else they are in need of from the people. When this king remains stationary at any place, the greater part of his army keeps guard about his pavilion, while five or six hundred men range about the country collecting what they are able to procure. They never tarry above three days in one place, but are continually wandering about like vagabond Egyptians, Arabs, or Tartars. The region through which they roam is not fertile, being mostly composed of steep and craggy mountains. The city is without walls, and its houses are despicable huts or hovels. This king is an enemy to the sultan of Machamir ? and vexes his country with incessant predatory incursions.

Departing from Cambay, I came in twelve days journey to the city of Ceull64, the land of Guzerat being interposed between these two cities. The king of this city is an idolater. His subjects are of a dark yellow colour, or lion tawny, and are much addicted to war, in which they use swords, bows and arrows, darts, slings, and round targets. They have engines to beat down walls and to make a great slaughter in an army. The city is only three miles from the sea on the banks of a fine river, by which a great deal of merchandise is imported. The soil is fertile and produces many different kinds of fruits, and in the district great quantities of cotton cloth are made. The people are idolaters like those of Calicut, of whom mention will be made hereafter, yet there are many Mahometans in the city. The king has but a small military force, and the government is administered with justice. Two days journey from thence is a city named Dabuly65 on a great river and in a fertile country. It is walled like the towns of Italy, and contains a vast number of Mahometan merchants. The king is an idolater, having an army of 30,000 men. Departing from thence I came to the island of Goga66, not above a mile from the continent, which pays yearly a tribute of 1000 pieces of gold to the king of Deccan, about the same value with the seraphins of Babylon. These coins are impressed on one side with the image of the devil67, and on the other side are some unknown characters. On the sea coast at one side of this island there is a town much like those of Italy, in which resides the governor, who is captain over a company of soldiers named Savain, consisting of 400 Mamelukes, he being likewise a Mameluke. Whenever he can procure any white man he takes them into his service and gives them good entertainment, and if fit for military service, of which he makes trial of their strength by wrestling, he gives them a monthly allowance of 20 gold seraphins; but if not found fit for war he employs them in handicrafts. With this small force of only 400 men, he gives much disturbance to the king of Narsinga.

From the island of Goga I went to the city of Dechan68, of which the king or sultan is a Mahometan, and to whom the before mentioned captain of the Mamelukes at Goga is tributary. The city is beautiful, and stands in a fertile country which abounds in all things necessary for man. The king of this country is reckoned a Mameluke, and has 35,000 horse and foot in his service. His palace is a sumptuous edifice, containing numerous and splendid apartments, insomuch, that one has to pass through 44 several rooms in a continued suite before getting to the presence-chamber of the sultan, who lives with wonderful pomp and magnificence, even those who wait upon him having their shoes or starpins ornamented with rubies and diamonds, and rich ear-rings of pearls and other precious stones. Six miles from the city is a mountain from which they dig diamonds, which mountain is surrounded by a wall, and guarded by a band of soldiers. The inhabitants of the city are mostly Mahometans, who are generally clad in silk, or at least have their shirts or lower garments of that fabric; they wear also thin buskin and hose or breeches like the Greek mariners, or what are called trowsers. Their women, like those of Damascus, have their faces veiled. The king of Deccan is almost in continual war with the king of Nursinga; most of his soldiers being white men from distant countries hired for war, whereas the natives are of a dark colour like the other inhabitants of India. This king is very rich and liberal, and has a large navy of ships, but he is a great enemy to the Christians. Having visited this country, I went in five days from thence to Bathacala or Batecolak, the inhabitants of which are idolaters, except some Mahometan merchants who resort thither for trade. It abounds in rice, sugar, wheat, walnuts69, figs, and many kinds of fruits and roots unknown to us, and has plenty of beeves, kine, buffaloes, sheep, goats, and other beasts, but no horses, asses, or mules. From thence, at the distance of a days journey I came to Centacola? the prince of which has no great riches; but the district has plenty of flesh, rice, and such fruits as grow in India; and to this place many Mahometans resort for trade. The king is an idolater, and is subject to him of Batecolah. Two days journey from thence I came to Onore, the king of which is an idolater, subject to the king of Narsinga. The prince or king of Onore has eight armed foists or barks, which make excursions by sea, and subsist by piracy, yet is he in friendship with the Portuguese. The district produces plenty of rice, and has many kinds of wild beasts, as wild boars, harts, wolves, lions70, and many kinds of birds, such as peacocks and parrots, besides others very different from ours. It has likewise many cattle of a bright yellow colour, and fine fat sheep. It has also abundance of flowers of all kinds. The air is so temperate and healthy, that the natives live much longer than we do in Italy. Not far from this place is another city named Mangalore, whence about sixty ships depart yearly with cargoes of rice. The inhabitants are partly idolaters, and part Mahometans.

Departing from thence we went to the city of Cananore, where the king of Portugal has a strong garrison, though the king of the city is an idolater and no great friend to the Portuguese. At this port many horses are imported from Persia, which pay a high duty. Departing from thence into the inland we came to the city of Narsinga71, which is frequented by many Mahometan merchants. The soil in that country bears no wheat, so that the inhabitants have no bread, neither hath it vines or any other fruits except oranges and gourds, but they have plenty of rice and such walnuts as that country produces72. It has likewise plenty of spices, as pepper, ginger, mirabolans, cardamum, cassia, and others, also many kinds of fruits unlike ours, and much sweeter. The region is almost inaccessible, for many dens and ditches made by force73. The king has an army of 50,000 gentlemen whom they call heroes74. In war they use swords and round targets, also lances, darts, bows, and slings, and are now beginning to use fire arms. These men go almost entirely naked, except when engaged in war. They use no horses, mules, asses, or camels; only employing elephants, which yet do not fight in battle. Great quantities of merchandise are consumed in this city, insomuch that two hundred ships resort thither yearly from various countries75.

Departing from Narsinga, and travelling 15 days to the east76, we came to the city of Bisinagar, or Bijanagur, which is subject to the king of Narsinga. This city stands upon the side of a hill, and is very large, and well fortified, being surrounded by a triple wall, eight miles in circuit. The district in which it stands is wonderfully fertile, and produces every thing requisite for the necessities, and even the delicacies and luxuries of man. It is likewise a most convenient country for hunting and hawking, having many large plains, and fine woods, so that altogether it is a kind of earthly paradise. The king and people are idolaters; and the king has great power and riches, maintaining an army of 4000 horsemen, although it may be noted that a good horse in this country costs four or five hundred gold coins called pardaos, and sometimes eight hundred. The reason of this high price is, that these horses are brought from other countries, whence they can procure no mares, as the exportation of these is strictly prohibited by the princes of the countries whence the horses are procured. He has likewise 400 elephants to serve in his wars, and many of those swift running camels which we commonly call dromedaries77.

At this place I had an excellent opportunity of learning the docility and almost reasoning wisdom of the elephant, which certainly is the most sagacious and most docile of all animals, approaching even to human reason, and far exceeding all other beasts in strength. When used for war, the Indians fix great pack-saddles on their backs, resembling those used in Italy for mules of burden, but vastly larger. These saddles are girt round their bellies with two iron chains, and on each side is placed a small house, cage, or turret of wood, each of which contains three men. Between the two turrets an Indian sits on the back of the animal, and speaks to him in the language of the country, which the creature understands and obeys. Seven men, therefore, are that placed on the back of each elephant, all armed with coats of mail, and having lances, bows, darts, and slings, and targets for defence. Also the trunk, snout, or proboscis of the elephant is armed with a sword fastened to it, two cubits long, very strong, and a handbreadth in width. When necessary to advance, to retreat, to turn to either side, to strike, or to forbear, the governor or conductor of the elephant sitting on his back, causes him to do whatever he wills, by speaking in such language and expressions as he is accustomed to, all of which the beast understands and obeys, without the use of bridle or spur. But when fire is thrown at them, they are wonderfully afraid and run away, on which occasions it is impossible to stop them; on which account the Indians have many curious devices of fire-works to frighten the elephants, and make them run away. I saw an instance of the extraordinary strength of these animals while at Cananore, where some Mahometans endeavoured to draw a ship on the land, stem foremost, upon three rollers, on which occasion three elephant, commodiously applied, drew with great force, and bending their heads down to the ground, brought the ship on the land. Many have believed that elephants have no joints in their legs, which therefore they could not bend; but this notion is utterly false, as they have joints like other beasts, but lower down on their legs. The female elephants are fiercer than the males, and much stronger for carrying burdens. Sometimes they are seized by a kind of fury or madness, on which occasions they run about in a disorderly manner. One elephant exceeds the size of three buffaloes, to which latter animals their hair has some resemblance. Their eyes resemble those of swine. Their snout or trunk is very long, and by means of it they convey food and drink to their mouths, so that the trunk may be called the hand of the elephant. The mouth is under the trunk, and is much like the mouth of a sow. The trunk is hollow, and so flexible, that the animal can use it to lay hold of sticks, and wield them with it as we do with the hand. I once saw the trunk of a tree overthrown by one elephant, which 24 men had in vain attempted. It has two great teeth or tusks in the upper jaw. Their ears are very broad, above two spans even on the smallest elephants. Their feet are round and as broad as the wooden trenchers which are in ordinary use, and each foot has five round hoofs like large oyster shells. The tail is about four spans long, like that of a buffaloe, and is very thin of hair. Elephants are of various sizes, some 18 spans or 14 spans high, and some have been seen as high as 16 spans; but the females are larger than the males of the same age. Their gait is slow and wallowing, so that those who are not used to ride upon them are apt to become sick, as if they were at sea; but it is pleasant to ride a young elephant, as their pace is soft and gentle like an ambling mule. On mounting them, they stoop and bend their knee to assist the rider to get up; but their keepers use no bridles or halters to guide them. When they engender they retire into the most secret recesses of the woods, from natural modesty, though some pretend that they copulate backwards.

The king of Narsinga exceeds in riches and dominion, all the princes I have ever seen or heard of. In beauty and situation the city resembles Milan, only that being on the slope of a hill it is not so level. Other subject kingdoms lie round about it, even as Ausonia and Venice surround Milan. The bramins or priests informed me that the king receives daily of tribute from that city only the sum of 12,000 pardaos. He and his subjects are idolaters, worshipping the devil like those of Calicut. He maintains an army of many thousand men, and is continually at war with his neighbours. The richer people wear a slender dress, somewhat like a petticoat, not very long, and bind their heads with a fillet or broad bandage, after the fashion of the Mahometans, but the common people go almost entirely naked, covering only the parts of shame. The king wears a cape or short cloak of cloth of gold on his shoulders, only two spans long; and when he goes to war he wears a close vest of cotton, over which is a cloak adorned with plates of gold, richly bordered with all kinds of jewels and precious stones. The horse he rides on, including the furniture or caparisons, is estimated to equal one of our cities in value, being all over ornamented with jewels of great price. When be goes a hunting, he is attended by other three kings, whose office it is to bear him company wherever he goes. When he rides out or goes a journey he is attended by 6000 horsemen; and from all that we have said, and various other circumstances respecting his power, riches, and magnificence, he certainly is to be accounted one of the greatest sovereigns in the world. Besides the pieces already mentioned, named pardaos, which are of gold, he coins silver money called fano, or fanams, which are worth sixteen of our smallest copper money. Such is the excellent government of this country, that travellers may go through the whole of it in safety, if they can avoid the danger of lions78. This king is in amity with the king of Portugal, and is a great friend to the Christians, so that the Portuguese are received and treated in his dominions in a friendly and honourable manner.

When I had tarried many days in this great city, I returned to Cananore, whence, after three days stay I went to a city twelve miles from thence, named Trempata79, a sea-port, inhabited by idolaters, but frequented by many Mahometan merchants. The only riches of this place consists in Indian nuts, or cocoa-nuts, and timber for ship-building. Passing from thence, by the cities of Pandara and Capagot80, I came to the famous city of Calicut. To avoid prolixity, I pass over many other kingdoms and peoples, such as Chianul? Dabul, Onouи? Bangalore, Cananore, Cochin, Cacilon ? and Calonue, or Coulan81. I have so done on purpose to enable me to treat more at large of Calicut, being in a manner the metropolis of all the Indian cities, as the king thereof exceeds all the kings of the east in royal majesty, and is therefore called Samoory or Zamorin, which in their language signifies God on earth.

SECTION VIII. Account of the famous City and Kingdom of Calicut

The city of Calicut is situated on the continent or main land of India, close upon the sea, having no port; but about a mile to the south there is a river which runs into the ocean by a narrow mouth. This river is divided into many branches among the fields in the plain country, for the purpose of being distributed by means of trenches to water the grounds, and one of these branches not exceeding three or four feet deep runs into the city. Calicut is not walled, and contains about 6000 houses, which are not built close adjoining each other, as in European cities, but a certain space is left between each, either to prevent the communication of fire, or owing to the ignorance of the builders. It is a mile in length, and its houses are only mean low huts, not exceeding the height of a man on horseback, being mostly covered with boughs of trees, instead of tiles or other covering. It is said that on digging only five or six spans into the ground they come immediately to water, on which account they cannot dig foundations of any depth. Warehouses or lodgings for merchants may be bought for 15 or 20 pieces of gold; but the common run of houses cost only two pieces of gold or even less.

The king and people of Calicut are idolaters, and worshippers of the devil, though they acknowledge one supreme God, the Creator of heaven and earth, the first chief cause of all things. But they allege that God could have no pleasure in his government, if he were to take it upon himself, and hath therefore given it in charge to the devil, who was sent as they say from heaven, to rule over and judge the world, rendering good or evil to men according to their deserts. The great God they call Tamerani, and this devil or subordinate deity Deumo. The king has a chapel in his palace, where this Deumo is worshipped. This chapel has an open vault or arch on all the four sides, about two paces in breadth, and it is about three paces high. The entrance is by a wooden gate, ornamented with carved work of monstrous forms or shapes of devils. In the midst of the chapel is a royal seat or throne of copper, on which sits the figure or image of the devil, likewise of copper. On the head of this image is a crown like that worn by the pope, but having the addition of four horns, besides which he is represented with a great gaping mouth, having four monstrous teeth. The nose is horridly deformed, with grim lowering eyes, a threatening look, and crooked hands, or talons like flesh-hooks, and feet somewhat like those of a cock; forming on the whole, a monster terrible to look at. In every corner of the chapel there are other figures of devils of shining copper, as if flames of fire devouring miserable souls. These souls are about the size of half a finger, some of them larger, and each figure puts one of these souls into his mouth with the right hand, while the left is on the ground lifting up another. Every morning the priests, who are called Bramins, wash the idol with rose water, and perfume him with sweet savours, after which they pray to him prostrate on the earth. Once every week they sacrifice to the idol after this form. They have a little altar or cupboard, three spans high, five spans long and four broad, on which they strew all manner of flowers and sweet-smelling powders; then bringing a great silver chafing-dish full of warming coals, they kill a cock with a silver knife, throwing the blood into the fire, together with many sweet perfumes, and even thrust the bloody blade of the knife often into the fire that none of the blood may be lost; then the priest maketh many strange gestures with the knife, like a fencer, giving or defending thrusts. In the mean time other priests with burning censers go round about the altar perfuming it with incense, and ringing a small silver bell all the time of the sacrifice. The priest who sacrifices the cock has his arms and legs garnished with silver plates and pendants, which make a noise when he moves like hawks-bells, and he wears a kind of boss on his breast inscribed with I know not what signs, being perhaps the secret character of some hidden mystery. When the sacrifice is finished, he fills both his hands with wheat, and goes backwards, keeping his eyes fixed on the altar till he comes to a certain tree whereon he casts the wheat; then returning to the altar he removes all that is upon it.

The king never sits down to eat till four of his priests have offered his meat in this manner to the idol; lifting their hands above their heads with many fantastical gesticulations and murmuring voices, they present the meat to the idol, and after many foolish ceremonies bring back the meat to the king. The meat is offered in a wooden tray, after which it is laid on the broad leaves of a certain tree. The meat of the king consists of rice and divers other things, such as fruits; and be eats sitting on the ground without cloth or carpet. During his repast, the priests stand round him at four or five paces distance, carefully observing all his orders; and when he has done eating, they carry away all the remains of his food, which they give to certain crows, which being used to be thus fed, come upon a signal, and being esteemed holy, it is not lawful for any one to take or even hurt them. The chief priests of these idolaters are the bramins, who are with them as bishops are among us, and are considered as the order of highest dignity. The second order among them are the nairs, who come in place of our gentlemen, and go out to war with swords and bucklers, lancet, bows, and other weapons. The third order consists of mechanics and handicrafts of all kinds. In the fourth are victuallers, or those that make provision of fish and flesh. Next to them are those who gather pepper, cocoa nuts, grapes and other fruits. The baser sort are those who sow and gather rice, who are kept under such subjection by the bramins and nairs that they dare not approach nearer to them than 50 paces under pain of death and are therefore obliged to lurk in bye places and marshes; and when they go anywhere abroad they call out continually in a loud voice, that they may be hoard of the bramins and nairs otherwise if any of these were to come near they would certainly put these low people to death.

The dress of even the king and queen differ in little or nothing from the other idolaters, all going naked, barefooted, and bareheaded, except a small piece of silk or cotton to cover their nakedness; but the Mahometans wear single garments in a more seemly manner, their women being dressed like the men except that their hair is very long. The king and nobles eat no kind of flesh, except having first got permission of the priests; but the common people may eat any flesh they please except that of cows. Those of the basest sort, named Nirani and Poliars, are only permitted to eat fish dried in the sun.

When the king or zamorin dies, his male children, if any, or his brothers by the fathers side, or the sons of these brothers, do not succeed in the kingdom: For, by ancient law or custom, the succession belongs to the sons of the kings sisters; and if there be none such, it goes to the nearest male relation through the female blood. The reason of this strange law of succession is, that when the king takes a wife, she is always in the first place deflowered by the chief bramin, for which he is paid fifty-pieces of gold. When the king goes abroad, either in war or a-hunting, the queen is left in charge of the priests, who keep company with her till his return; wherefore the king may well think that her children may not be his; and for this reason the children of his sisters by the same mother are considered as his nearest in blood, and the right inheritors of the throne. When the king dies, all his subjects express their mourning by cutting their beards and shaving their heads; and during the celebration of his funerals, those who live by fishing abstain from their employment during eight days. Similar rules are observed upon the death of any of the kings wives. Sometimes the king abstains from the company of women for the space of a year, when likewise he forbears to chew betel and areka, which are reckoned provocatives.

The gentlemen and merchants of Calicut, when they wish to show great friendship to each other, sometimes exchange wives, but on these occasions the children remain with their reputed fathers. It is likewise customary among these idolaters, for one woman to have seven husbands at the same time, each of whom has his appointed night to sleep with her; and when she has a child, she fathers it upon any of the husbands she pleases. The people of this country, when at their meals, lie upon the ground, and eat their meat from copper trays, using certain leaves instead of spoons; their food consisting for the most part of rice and fish seasoned with spices, and of the ordinary fruits of the country. The lowest people eat in a filthy manner, putting their dirty hands into the dish, and thrusting their food by handfuls into their mouths. The punishment of murder is by impalement; but those who wound or hurt any one have to pay a fine to the king. When any one is in debt, and refuses to pay, the creditor goes to the judges, of whom there are said to be a hundred, and having made due proof of the debt, he receives a certain stick or branch of a tree, with authority to arrest his debtor, to whom, when he is able to find him, he uses these words: "I charge you by the heads of the Bramins, and by the head of the king, that you stir not from the spot on which you stand till you pay me what you owe." The debtor has now no resource but to pay immediately, or to lose his life: for, if he escape after this ceremony, he is adjudged a rebel, and it is lawful for any man to kill him.

When they mean to pray to their idols, they resort before sunrise to some pool or rivet where they wash themselves, after which they resort to the idol-house, taking especial care not to touch any thing by the way, and say their prayers prostrate on the ground, making strange gesticulations and contortions, so marvellously distorting their faces, eyes, and mouths, that it is horrible to behold. The nairs or gentlemen may not begin to eat, till one of them has dressed and set the food in order, with certain ceremonies, but the lower orders are not bound to such rules. The women also have no other care than to dress and beautify themselves, as they take much pains to wash and purify their persons, and to perfume their bodies with many sweet savours. Likewise when they go abroad, they are singularly loaded with jewels and ornaments on their ears, arms, and legs.

In Calicut there are certain teachers of warlike exercises, who train up the youth in the use of the sword, target, and lance, and of such other weapons as they employ in war; and when the king takes the field he has an army of 100,000 infantry, but there are no cavalry in that country. On this occasion the king rides upon an elephant, and elephants are used in their wars. Those who are next in authority to the king wear fillets round their heads of crimson or scarlet silk. Their arms are crooked swords, lances, bows and arrows, and targets. The royal ensign is an umbrella borne aloft on a spear, so as to shade the king from the heat of the sun, which ensign in their language is called somber. When both armies approach within three arrow-flights, the king sends his bramins to the enemy by way of heralds, to challenge an hundred of them to combat against an hundred of his nairs, during which set combat both sides prepare themselves for battle. In the mean time the two select parties proceed to combat, mid-way between the two armies, always striking with the edge of their swords at the heads of their antagonists, and never thrusting with the point, or striking at the legs. Usually when five or six are slain of either side, the Bramins interpose to stop the fight, and a retreat is sounded at their instance. After which the Bramins speak to the adverse kings, and generally succeed to make up matters without any battle or farther slaughter.

The king sometimes rides on an elephant, but at other times is carried by his nairs or nobles, and when he goes out is always followed by a numerous band of minstrels, making a prodigious noise with drums, timbrels, tambourets, and other such instruments. The wages of the nairs are four carlines each, monthly, in time of peace, and six during war. When any of them are slain, their bodies are burned with great pomp and many superstitious ceremonies, and their ashes are preserved; but the common people are buried in their houses, gardens, fields, or woods, without any ceremony. When I was in Calicut it was crowded with merchants from almost every part of the east, especially a prodigious number of Mahometans. There were many from Malacca and Bengal, from Tanaserim, Pegu, and Coromandel, from the islands of Ceylon and Sumatra, from all the cities and countries of Western India, and various Persians, Arabians, Syrians, Turks, and Ethiopians. As the idolaters do not sail on the sea, the Mahometans are exclusively employed in navigation, so that there are not less than 15,000 Mahometans resident in Calicut, mostly born in that place. Their ships are seldom below the burden of four or five hundred tons, yet all open and without decks. They do not put any tow or oakum into the seams of their ships, yet join the planks so artificially, that they hold out water admirably, the seams being pitched and held together with iron nails, and the wood of which their ships are built is better than ours. Their sails are made of cotton cloth, doubled in the under parts, by which they gather much wind and swell out like bags, having only one sail to each vessel. Their anchors are of marble, eight spans long, having two on each side of the ship, which are hung by means of double ropes. Their voyages are all made at certain appointed times and seasons, as one time of the year answers for one coast, and another season for other voyages, which must all be regulated according to the changes of the weather. In the months of May, June, and July, when with us in Italy every thing is almost burnt up with heat and drought, they have prodigious rains. The best of their ships are built in the island of Porcai, not far from Calicut. They have one kind of vessel or canoe, made all of one piece of wood like a trough, very long, narrow, and sharp, which is propelled either by oars or sails, and goes with amazing swiftness, which is much used by pirates.

The palace of the king of Calicut exceeds a mile in circumference, and is well constructed of beams and posts artificially joined, and curiously carved all over with the figures of devils. It is all however very low, for the reason before-mentioned, as they cannot dig deep for secure foundations. It is impossible to express in words the number and riches of the pearls and precious stones which the king wears about him, which exceed all estimate in regard to their value. Although, when I was in that place, the king lived rather in a state of grief, both on account of the war in which he was engaged with the Portuguese, and because he was afflicted by the venereal disease which had got into his throat, yet his ears, hands, legs, and feet, were richly garnished with all sorts of jewels and precious stones, absolutely beyond description. His treasure is so vast, that it cannot be contained in two immense cellars or warehouses, consisting of precious stones, plates of gold, and other rich ornaments, besides as much, gold coin as might load an hundred mules, as was reported by the Bramins, to whom these things are best known. This treasure is said to have been hoarded up by twelve kings, his predecessors. In this treasury there is said to be a coffer three spans long and two broad, entirely full of precious stones of inestimable value.

Pepper is gathered in the fields around the suburbs of Calicut, and even in some places within the city. It grows on a weak and feeble plant, somewhat like vines, which is unable to support itself without props or stakes. It much resembles ivy, and in like manner creeps up and embraces such trees as it grows near. This tree, or bush rather, throws out numerous branches of two or three spans long, having leaves like those of the Syrian apple, but somewhat thicker. On every twig there hang six clusters about the size of dates, and of the colour of unripe grapes, but thicker together. These are gathered in October, while still inclining to green, and are spread out on mats in the sun to dry, when in three days they become black, just as brought to us. The fruitfulness of these plants proceeds entirely from the goodness of the soil in which they grow, as they do not require pruning or lopping like vines with us. This region also produces ginger, some roots weighing twelve ounces, though they do not penetrate the ground above three or four spans. When the roots are dug up, the uppermost joint is again set in the ground, as seed for next year's crop. It and the mirabolans are found in a red-coloured soil, and the stalk much resembles a young pear-tree.

Were I to describe all the strange fruits that are produced in this country, it would require a large volume for that alone; as they not only have many quite different from ours in form, taste, and flavour, but even those kinds which are the same with ours, differ essentially in many particulars. Natural philosophers may consider how it should so happen that things of the same kind become so essentially different, according to the changes of soil and climate; by which some fruits and seeds, by transplantation to better soil, become more perfect in their kind, as larger, fairer, sweeter, and more fruitful; while others are improved by a worse soil and colder region. This diversity may not only be seen in plants and herbs, but also in beasts, and even in man. It is strange to observe how very differently some trees bear their fruits and seeds, some in one part of the tree and some in other parts. At Calicut there is a fruit named Jaceros, which grows on a tree about the size of our pear trees. The fruit is about two spans and a half long, and as thick as the thigh of a man, growing out of the body of the tree under the branches, some in the middle of the tree and others lower down. The colour of this fruit is green, and its form and appearance resembles a pine apple, but with smaller grains or knobs. When ripe it is black, and is gathered in December. It has the taste of a pepon with a flavour of musk, and in eating seems to give various pleasant tastes, sometimes resembling a peach, sometimes like a pomegranate, and leaves a rich sweet in the month like new honeycombs. Under the skin it has a pulp like that of a peach, and within that are other fruits like soft chesnuts, which when roasted eat much like them. This is certainly one of the finest fruits I ever met with. There is another fruit called Apolanda, which is worthy of being mentioned. The tree grows to the height of a man, having not above four or five leaves hanging from certain slips, each leaf being so large that it is sufficient to cover a man entirely from rain or the heat of the sun. In the middle of each leaf rises a stalk like that of a bean, which produces flowers followed by fruit a span long, and as thick as a mans arm. These fruits are gathered unripe, as they become ripe in keeping. Every slip bears about two hundred fruits in a cluster. They are of a yellow colour with a very thin skin, and are most delicate eating, and very wholesome. There are three kinds of this fruit, one of which is not so pleasant or so much esteemed as the others. This tree bears fruit only once and then dies; but there rise from the ground all about the root fifty or sixty young slips which renew the life of the parent tree. The gardeners transplant these to other places, and in one year they produce fruit This fruit is to be had in great abundance, almost the whole year, and are so cheap that twenty of them may be had for a penny. This country produces innumerable flowers of great beauty and most pleasant flavour, all the year round, and especially roses, both red, white, and yellow.

The cocoa is another tree most worthy of being known, as in fruitfulness and sweetness of fruit it surpasses all other trees. Its fruit is a nut of large size; and taken altogether, this tree produces ten different commodities of value: as it produces wood most excellent for burning, nuts very pleasant to eat, cords or ropes that answer well for ships, fine cloth, which when dyed resembles silk. The wood is the best that can be found for making charcoal, and it yields wine, odoriferous water, sugar, and oil. The boughs or leaves serve to cover houses, instead of tiles or thatch, as, by reason of their closeness and substance, they keep out the rain admirably. One tree will produce about two hundred large nuts. The outer rhind of these nuts is removed, and thrown into the fire, where it burns quickly and with a strong flame. The inner rhind is like cotton or flax, and can be wrought in the same manner. From the finer part of this, a kind of cloth is made resembling silk; and from the tow, or refuse, they make a coarser cloth, or small ropes and twine; while the coarsest parts are made into cables and large ropes for ships. The inner hard shell of the nut incloses the kernel, which is excellent eating, and lines the shell to the thickness of an inch or less. Within this is found to the quantity of two or three cups of sweet water, which is excellent to drink, and which, by boiling, produces good oil. Only one side of the tree is allowed to produce fruit, as they wound the other side every morning and evening in several places, whence a juice or sap runs out into vessels placed to receive it. Thus they procure at each wound, every night and morning, a cupful of most precious liquor, which sometimes they boil till it becomes strong as brandy, so as to make people drunk like strong wine, which it resembles in taste and flavour. They likewise procure sugar from this tree, but not very sweet. This tree produces fruit continually, as at all times there are to be seen upon it both old ripe fruit of the past season, and green fruit of the present year. It does not begin bearing till five years old, and only lives for twenty five years. It thrives best in sandy ground, and is planted or set out like our walnuts; and is so much valued, that it is to be found all over the country for at least two hundred miles. This country also produces other fruits, from which they make good oil.

For the cultivation of rice they till the ground with oxen as we do, and at the season for sowing they have a holiday, on which they testify their joy by singing and dancing to the sound of all kinds of instruments of music. To ensure, as they conceive, a favourable produce, ten men are disguised like so many devils, who dance to the noise of their music; and after the festivities of the day, they pray to the devils to send them a plentiful crop.

When any merchant of these idolaters is sore afflicted with disease and near death, then certain persons who are accounted physicians among them ore called to visit the person in extremity. These persons accordingly come to his house in the dead of night, dressed like devils, and carrying burning sticks in their mouth and hands. And there, with mad cries and boilings, and with the jangling of certain instruments, they make such a horrible noise in the ears of the sick man, as is enough to make a healthy man sick. This is the only remedy these pretended physicians offer to their sick persons, being merely to present to him when at the point of death the resemblance of him whom, worse than devils, they honour as the vicegerent of the deity. When any one hath so engorged himself with eating as to be sick at stomach, he takes the powder of ginger, mixed in some liquid to the consistence of syrup, which he drinks, and in three days he recovers his former health.

Their bankers, brokers, and money-changers use weights and scales of such small size, that the box containing the whole does not exceed an ounce in weight, yet are they so delicate and just that they will turn with the weight of a hair. For trying the parity of gold, they use the touch-stone as with us, but with this addition: having first rubbed the gold to be tried on the touch-stone, they rub over the mark with a ball of some sort of composition resembling wax, by which all that is not fine gold disappears, and the marks or spots of gold remain, by which they have an exact proof of the fineness of the gold. When the ball becomes full of gold, they melt it in the fire, to recover the gold which it contains; yet are these men very ignorant even of the art which they profess. In buying or selling merchandise they employ the agency of brokers; so that the buyer and seller each employs a separate broker. The seller takes the buyer by the hand, under cover of a scarf or veil, where, by means of the fingers, counting from one to a hundred thousand privately, they offer and bargain far the price till they are agreed, all of which passes in profound silence.

The women of this country suckle their children till three months old, after which they feed them on goats milk. When in the morning they have given them milk, they allow them to tumble about on the sands all foul and dirty, leaving them all day in the sun, so that they look more like buffaloe calves than human infants; indeed I never saw such filthy creatures. In the evening they get milk again. Yet by this manner of bringing up they acquire marvellous dexterity in running, leaping, swimming, and the like.

There are many different kinds of beasts and birds in this country, as lions, wild boars, harts, hinds, buffaloes, cows, goats, and elephants; but these last are not all bred here, being brought from other places. They have also parrots of sundry colours, as green, purple, and other mixt colours, and they are so numerous that the rice fields have to be watched to drive them away. These birds make a wonderful chattering, and are sold so low as a halfpenny each. There are many other kinds of birds different from ours, which every morning and evening make most sweet music, so that the country is like an earthly paradise, the trees, herbs, and flowers being in a continual spring, and the temperature of the air quite delightful, as never too hot nor too cold. There are also monkeys, which are sold at a low price, and are very hurtful to the husbandmen, as they climb the trees, and rob them of their valuable fruits and nuts, and cast down the vessels that are placed for collecting the sap from which wine is made. There are serpents also of prodigious size, their bodies being as thick as those of swine, with heads like those of boars; these are four footed, and grow to the length of four cubits, and breed in the marshes82. The inhabitants say that these have no venom. There are three other kinds of serpents, some of which have such deadly venom, that if they draw ever so little blood death presently follows, as happened several times while I was in the country. Of these some are no larger than asps, and some much bigger, and they are very numerous. It is said that, from some strange superstition, the king of Calicut holds them in such veneration, that he has small houses or cottages made on purpose for them, conceiving that they are of great virtue against an over abundance of rain, and overflowing of the rivers. Hence they are protected by law, and any person killing one would be punished with death, so that they multiply exceedingly. They have a strange notion that serpents come from heaven, and are actuated by heavenly spirits, and they allege that only by touching them instant death insues. These serpents know the idolaters from the Mahometans, or other strangers, and are much more apt to attack the former than the latter. Upon one occasion, I went into a house where eight men lay dead, and greatly swollen, having been killed the day before by these serpents; yet the natives deem it fortunate to meet any of them in their way.

The palace of the king of Calicut contains many mansions, and a prodigious number of apartments, in all of which a prodigious number of lamps are lighted up every evening. In the great hall of the palace there are ten or twelve great and beautiful candlesticks of laton or brass, of cunning workmanship, much like goodly fountains, the height of a man. In each of these are several vessels, and in every vessel are three burning candles of two spans long, with great plenty of oil. In the first vessel there are many lamps or wicks of cotton; the middle vessel, which is narrower, is also full of lamps; and the lowest vessel has also a great number of lights, maintained with oil and cotton wicks. All the angles or corners of these candlesticks are covered with figures of devils, which also hold lights in their hands; and in a vessel on the top of all the candlesticks there are innumerable cotton wicks kept constantly burning, and supplied with oil. When any one of the royal blood dies, the king sends for all the bramins or priests in his dominions, and commands them to mourn for a whole year. On their arrival, he feasts them for three days, and when they depart gives each of them five pieces of gold.

Not far from Calicut, there is a temple of the idolaters, encompassed with water like an island, built in the ancient manner, having a double row of pillars much like the church of St John de fonte at Rome, and in the middle of this temple is a stone altar, on which the people sacrifice to their idols. High up between the rows of pillars there is a vessel like a boat, two paces long, and filled with oil. Also, all round about the temple there are many trees, on which are hung an incredible number of lamps, and the temple itself is everywhere hung round with lamps, constantly burning. Every year, on the 25th of December, an infinite number of people resort to this temple, even from fifteen days journey all round the country, together with a vast number of priests, who sacrifice to the idols of the temple, after having washed in the water by which it is surrounded. Then the priests ascend to the boat which is filled with oil, from which they anoint the heads of all the people, and then proceed to the sacrifice. On one side of the altar, there is a most horrible figure of a devil, to whom the people lay their prayers, prostrate on the ground, and then depart each one to his home, believing that all their sins are forgiven them. On this occasion, the environs of the temple is considered a sanctuary, where no person may be arrested or troubled on any cause or pretence. I never saw so prodigious a number of people assembled in any one place, except in the city of Mecca.

SECTION IX. Observations on various parts of India

As there was no convenience for trade at Calicut, on account of war with the Portuguese, because the inhabitants in conjunction with the Mahometans had murdered 48 Portuguese while I was in that city, my faithful friend and companion Cociazenor the Persian, formerly mentioned, thought it best for us to depart from thence. Indeed, in revenge for that cruel murder, the Portuguese have ever since waged cruel war upon Calicut, doing infinite injury to the city and people. Wherefore, departing from thence by way of a fine river, we came to a city named Caicolon83, which is fifty leagues from Calicut. The inhabitants of this city are idolaters, but it is frequented by many merchants from different places, as its district produces excellent pepper. At this place we found certain merchants who were Christians, calling themselves followers of the apostle St Thomas. They observe lent, or the fast of forty days, as we do, and believe in the death and resurrection of Christ, so that they celebrate Easter after our manner, and observe the other solemnities of the Christian religion after the manner of the Greeks. They are commonly named John, James, Matthew, Thomas, and so forth, after the names of the apostles. Departing thence, after three days journey we came to another city named Coulan, about twenty leagues from Caicolon. The king of this place is an idolater, and has an army of 20,000 men always on foot. Coulan has an excellent harbour, and the surrounding country produces plenty of pepper, but no corn. By reason of the wars, we made no stay here, and on our way farther we saw people fishing for pearls, in the manner already mentioned when treating of Ormuz.

The city of Coromandel on the sea coast, is seven days sail from Coulan. It is very large, but without walls, and is subject to the king of Narsinga, being within sight of the island of Ceylon84. After passing the southern point of Cape Comorin, the eastern coast of India produces abundance of rice. This city is resorted to by vast numbers of Mahometan merchants from many distant countries, as from it they can travel to various great regions and cities of India. At this place I met with certain Christians, who affirm that the body of St Thomas the apostle is buried in a certain place about twelve miles from the city, where several Christians continually dwell to guard the body of the saint. They told me that these Christians are evil intreated by the natives, on account of the war carried on by the Portuguese against the people of the country; and that the Christians are often murdered in secret, that it may not be known to the king of Narsinga, who is in amity with the Portuguese, and greatly favours the Christians. Once on a time there was a conflict between the Christians and Mahometans, in which one of the Christians was sore wounded in the arm. He immediately repaired to the sepulchre of St Thomas, where, making his prayers and touching the holy shrine, he was immediately healed by miracle, upon which, as it is said, the king of Narsinga has ever since greatly favoured the Christians. At this place my companion sold much of his merchandize; but on account of war raging in the country, we determined to depart, and calling with much danger over a gulf 20 leagues broad, we came to the large island of Zailon, or Ceylon.

This island of Ceylon is 1000 miles in circumference, and is divided among four powerful kings; and because of the wars which then raged among them we could not remain long there to acquire any minute knowledge of the country and manners of its inhabitants. It contains many elephants. At the foot of a very long and high mountain there are found many precious stones called piropi or rubies, which are got in the following manner. The adventurers purchase from the king a certain measure of the ground where these rubies are found, being about a cubit square, for which they pay five pieces of gold, yet under the condition that there shall always be an officer belonging to the king present while they are digging, that if any stone be found beyond the weight of ten carats it may be reserved for the king, all under that weight belonging to the adventurer. Not far from that mountain they find other precious stones, as jacinths, sapphires, and topazes, besides others. The soil of Ceylon produces the sweetest fruits I ever saw, especially cloves85 and Assyrian apples of wonderful sweetness, and its other productions are similar to those of Calicut. The cinnamon-tree is much like our bay, only that the leaves are smaller and somewhat white. The true cinnamon is the bark of this tree, which is gathered every third year, and of which the island produces great quantities. When first gathered, it is by no means so sweet and fragrant as it becomes a month afterwards when thoroughly dry. A Mahometan merchant assured my companion, that on the top of a high mountain in the centre of this island, there is a certain cave or den where the inhabitants resort for devotion, in memory of our first parents, who, as they allege, lived in that place in continual penitence, after breaking the covenant with God, which is confirmed by the print of Adam's feet being still to be seen there above two spans in length. The inhabitants of this island are subject to the king of Narsinga, to whom they pay tribute. The climate is temperate and healthy, though situated so near the equinoctial line. The people are of a dark tawny colour, and wear slight cotton dresses, having the right arm bare, as is the universal custom of the Indians; the men being by no means warlike, neither have they the use of iron. In this island my companion sold the king a great deal of saffron and coral.

In three days sail we came to a city named Paleachet or Pullicat, belonging to the king of Narsinga, a famous mart for rich commodities, and especially for jewels and precious stones brought from Ceylon and Pegu, and where likewise abundance of spices are sold. Many Mahometan merchants dwell in this city; and being received into one of their houses, we told him whence we came, and that we had brought saffron and coral for sale, with other merchandise, of which he was very glad. At this city wheat is scarce, but rice is to be had in great plenty; and in other respects the productions of the neighbouring country are much the same as at Calicut. But as the inhabitants were preparing for war, we departed from thence, and after thirteen days sail we arrived at the city of Tarnasari or Tanaserim, a hundred miles distant.

The city of Tanaserim is not far from the sea, well walled, seated on a fine plain, and has a famous port on a fine river that runs past its north side. The king is an idolater of great power, and is constantly at war with the kings of Narsinga and Bengal86. He is able to bring into the field an hundred thousand foot and as many cavalry, together with a hundred of the largest and finest elephants I ever saw. The weapons of his troops are swords, round bucklers, peltes, bows and arrows, and javelins or darts made of long reeds; they also use for defence cotton jacks wrought very hard and close quilted. The houses in their towns are built close together like those in Italy. This country produces wheat, cotton, silk of various kinds, Brazil wood, sundry kinds of fruit like those of Italy, with Assyrian apples, oranges, lemons, citrons, gourds, cucumbers, and many others. It has many animals both wild and tame. Among the former are oxen and cows, sheep, goats, hogs, and deer. The wild beasts are lions, wolves, catamountains, and musk cats or civets. In the woods are many peacocks and falcons, with popinjays or parrots, some of which are entirely white, while others are of seven different colours. There are plenty of hares and partridges, and several kinds of birds of prey larger than eagles. These birds are black and purple, with several white feathers intermixed, having yellow bills tipt beautifully with crimson, which are so large that the handles of swords are sometimes made of the upper mandible. Their cocks and hens are the largest I ever saw, and both the natives and the Mahometans who dwell there, take great delight in cock-fighting, on which they venture large sums. I have seen them fight for six hours, yet will they sometimes kill at the first stroke. Some of their goats are much larger and handsomer than ours, and of these the females have often four kids at one birth. So abundant are animals in this country, that twelve sheep may be bought for a single piece of gold worth about a pistole. Some of their rams have horns like a buck, and are much bigger and fiercer than ours. Their buffaloes are not so good as those of Italy. This coast has abundance of fine large fish, which are sold very cheap. The natives eat the flesh of all kinds of beasts except cows, and feed sitting on the ground without cloth or carpet, having their meat in wooden vessels artificially wrought. Their drink is sugar and water. Their beds are raised from the ground like ours. Their apparel is a cloak or mantle of cotton cloth, leaving one arm bare, but some wear inner vests or shirts of silk or cotton. All go bareheaded, except the priests, who have a kind of caps of two spans long on their heads, with a knob on the top about the size of an acorn, all sparkling with gold. They delight in ear-rings, but have neither rings nor bracelets. The complexion of the natives inclines towards fair, as the air is more temperate than at Calicut. In their tillage and reaping there is little difference from the manner of Italy.

When the king or any of the priests or great men die, their bodies are burnt on a large pile of wood, and all the while the assistants sacrifice to the devil. The ashes are then gathered into earthen jars like those of Samos, and are preserved or buried in their houses. While the bodies are burning, they cast into the fire all manner of perfumes, as wood of aloes, myrrh, frankincense, storax, sandal-wood, and many other sweet gums, spices, and woods: In the mean time also, they make an incessant noise with drums, trumpets, pipes, and other instruments, much like what was done of old by the Greeks and Romans, when deifying their departed great men. Likewise during these obsequies, there are 15 or 20 persons disguised like devils, continually walking round the fire with strange gesticulations. All the while the wife of the deceased stands alone beside the fire weeping and lamenting her loss. Fifteen days afterwards she invites all the kindred of her husband to a feast, when they go at night in a body to the place where the husband was burnt, the widow being dressed in all her jewels and richest attire, using on this occasion the help of her relations to decorate her person to the utmost. At this place a pit of some size is prepared and filled with dry reeds, covered over with a silk cloth to conceal the pit. Then a fire of sweet woods is kindled in the pit; and when all the guests have been heartily feasted, the widow having eaten a great quantity of betola so as to make her mad or drunk, a great company of their musicians habited like devils, with burning sticks in their mouths, dance around the fire, and then make a sacrifice to the great devil Deumo. The widow then runs about like a person bereaved of her senses, dancing and rejoicing after a strange manner; then turning to the persons disguised like devils, she commends herself to their prayers, desiring them to make intercession for her with Deumo, that after this transitory life she may be received among his angels. When all the ceremonies are finished, she takes leave of all her kindred, and then lifting up her hands, and with a sudden loud cry, she leaps into the flaming pit, on which her kindred cover her up with faggots of sweet wood, and great quantities of pitch or bitumen, that she may be speedily consumed. If the widow refuses thus to sacrifice herself, she would be ever afterwards esteemed an evil woman, hated of all men, and even in danger of being slain by her own and her husband's kindred. The king is generally present at these ceremonies, which are not used at the death of ordinary people, but only for kings, priests, and great men.

Justice in strictly administered in this country. Whoever kills a man is adjudged to die as at Calicut. Proof of giving or receiving is taken by writings or by witnesses, the governor of the city being chief judge. If any merchant stranger die there without children, all his goods fall to the king. When the king dies, he is succeeded in the throne by his children. The children of the natives divide equally among them all the possessions of their father. When any Mahometan merchant dies, their bodies are embalmed with many sweet spices and gums, and being placed in wooden coffins, they are buried with their faces towards Mecca. In their manner of writing they use parchment as we do, and not the leaves of trees as at Calicut. Their vessels are a kind of shallow brigantines or barks with flat bottoms, which draw very little water. Some also use foists having double foreparts87, and two masts, but these have no decks. They have also some vessels of large burden, even carrying a thousand tons, in which they have several boats, and these are used when they go to Malacca for spices.

Having finished our business at Tanaserim, we packed up all our wares and embarked for Bengal, distant 700 miles from Tanaserim, whither we arrived in twelve days sailing. In fruitfulness and abundance of all things this city88 may contend for eminence with any city in the world. The kingdom dependent upon this city is very large, rich, and populous, and the king, who is a Mahometan, maintains an army of 200,000 men, including cavalry and infantry, with which he keeps up almost continual wars against the king of Narsinga. This country is so fruitful, that it possesses every thing conducive to the use of man, abounding in all kinds of beasts, wholesome fruits, and corn. It has spices also of several kinds, and vast abundance of cotton and silk. No other region in the world is comparable to this, so that there are many rich merchants. Every year there depart from hence fifty ships laden with cloths of cotton or silk, bound for the cities of Turkey, Syria, Arabia, Persia, Ethiopia, and India. There are also many merchant strangers, who buy precious stones from the natives. We found here many Christian merchants who were born, as they told us, in the city of Sarnau. They had brought to this great mart wood of aloes and laser, which latter yields the sweet gum called laserpitium, commonly called belzoi, or benzoin, which is a kind of myrrh. They bring also musk and several other sweet perfumes. These Christian merchants told us, that in their country were many Christian princes, subject to the great khan, who dwells in the city of Cathay89. The dress of these Christians was of camblet, very loose and full of plaits, and lined with cotton; and they wore sharp pointed caps of a scarlet colour, two spans high. They are white men, believing in one God with a trinity of persons, and were baptized after our manner. They believe in the doctrines of the evangelists and apostles, and write from right to left like the Armenians. They celebrate the birth and crucifixion of Christ, observe the forty days of lent, and keep the days of several saints. They wear no shoes, but have a kind of hose of silk on their legs, garnished with jewels. On their fingers they wore rings with stones of wonderful splendour. At their meat they use no tables, but eat lying on the ground, feeding upon flesh of all kinds. They affirmed also that there are certain Christian kings, whom they called Rumi, bordering on the Turks. When these Christians had seen the precious merchandise belonging to my companion, and particularly a great branch of coral, they earnestly advised him to accompany them to a certain city, whither they were bound, assuring him that by their procurement he should sell this to very great advantage, especially if he would take rubies in payment, by means of which he might easily gain 10,000 pieces of gold, assuring him that these stones were of much greater value in Turkey than in the east. And as they were ready to depart the very next day in a foist bound for the city of Pegu, where they meant to go, my companion consented to go with them, more especially as he expected to find there certain Persians his countrymen. Wherefore departing with these men from Bengal, and sailing across a great gulf to the south-east, we came at length to the city of Pegu, which is 1000 miles from Bengal.

The city of Pegu is situated on the continent, not far from the sea, and upon a large river, by which merchandise are conveyed to or from the city very conveniently. The city is walled, and the houses are well built. The king and his subjects are idolaters, of a fairer complexion than those of Tanaserim, as the climate is rather cooler, but in dress, manner of living, and general appearance, in every respect resemble the inhabitants of that other city. The king has a vast army both of horse and foot, among whom are many native Christians, who have six pardaos of monthly pay. The beasts and fowls are much the same as at Calicut, so that they have abundance of animal food; and besides these they have a few elephants. This country produces the best timber I ever saw, either for building ships or houses; and has many reeds or canes of vast size, as large in diameter as the body of a man or a large barrel. Civet-cats or musk-cats are so plenty that three may be bought for one piece of gold. This city produces very little merchandise for purchase, except precious stones, and especially rubies, which are brought thither from another city named Cassela, thirty days journey towards the east, where also they procure other precious stones called smaragdes or emeralds. On our arrival at Pegu, the king was at the distance of twenty-five days journey making war upon the king of Ava; but returned shortly afterwards in great triumph on account of a victory he had obtained over his enemy. Though this king is very rich and powerful, he does not use such pompous and magnificent ceremony as the king of Calicut, and is so affable and accessible, that even a child may come into his presence and speak to him; yet the rich jewels, pearls, and precious stones, especially rubies, with which he is decorated surpass all belief, and exceed the value of a great and flourishing city. His fingers are full of rings, his arms all covered with bracelets, and his legs and feet covered with similar ornaments, all gloriously beset and sparkling with the finest precious stones, and his ears so loaded with jewels that they hang down half a span. With all these splendid jewels he shines in a dark night as if with the sunbeams.

At a favourable opportunity, the Christian merchants whom we had accompanied to Pegu gave intimation to the king of the valuable merchandise which my companion had brought for sale, and accordingly he sent for us on the following day, desiring my companion to bring the goods which he had to dispose of. Among other things he had two great branches of coral so large and beautiful as had not been seen before, which the king took great pleasure to look upon, and being astonished at these things, he asked the Christian merchants what men we were. They answered that we were Persians. The king then desired to know if we would sell these things. Upon this my companion desired the interpreters to say to the king, that they were all his own, and that he begged he would do him the honour to accept them freely. The king then said that he had been two years continually at war with the king of Ava, by which his treasure was consumed, but if my companion would bargain for them by way of exchange for precious stones, especially rubies, that he would content him for the coral. Then said my companion to the interpreters, "I pray you give the king to understand that I desire nothing else for my goods than the good-will of his majesty, and therefore that I humbly intreat he may take of my goods what pleases him best without money or payment of my kind." When the king heard this, he said that he had often been told the Persians were courteous and liberal men, but that he had never known any one so generous as this, and swore by the head of the devil, that he would try whether he or the Persian were most liberal. Upon this he ordered one of his attendants to bring him a casket of precious stones. This casket was a span and a half square, entirely full of rubies, the inside being divided into many compartments where the stones were sorted in order according to their sizes. When he had opened the casket, he ordered it to be placed before the Persian, desiring him to take of these precious rubies as many as he thought fit. But my companion, as if still more provoked to generosity by the liberality of the king, spoke to him in these words, "Most high and honourable sovereign! Such is my sense of your generous conduct to me, that I swear by the head of Mahomet and all the mysteries of his holy religion, that I freely and gladly give you all my goods. I do not travel in search of gain, but merely from a desire to see the world; in which I have not hitherto found any thing that has given me so much delight as the generous favour your majesty has now been pleased to shew me!" To this the king answered, "Will you yet contend with me in liberality?" Then selecting some rubies from all the compartments in the casket, out of which he took as many as he could hold in his hand, being two hundred rubies, he gave all these to the Persian with most royal munificence, and commanded him not to refuse. He gave also to each of the Christians two rubies worth not less than a thousand crowns; but those he gave to the Persian were reckoned worth a hundred thousand crowns. This king therefore certainly exceeds all the kings of the earth in munificence, both in manner and in richness of his gifts. About this time news came to Pegu that the king of Ava was advancing against him with a vast army, on which the king of Pegu went to meet him with one almost innumerable.

Two days after the departure of the king from Pegu, we sailed towards the city of Malacca, where we arrived after a voyage of eight days. Not far from this city is a famous river named Gaza90, the largest I ever saw, as it is 25 miles broad, and on the other side of it is seen the very large island of Sumatra, which by old writers was called Taprobana, and which is said by the inhabitants to be 500 miles in circuit91. Upon our arrival at Malacca, called by some Melcha, we were commanded to appear before the sultan, who is a Mahometan and tributary to the great sultan of Chini92, because as is said the city was built about 80 years before on account of the convenience of its harbour, being one of the best in the ocean, and to which doubtless many ships resort for trade. This region is not everywhere fruitful, yet it has a sufficiency of corn and cattle, although scarce of wood. They have plenty of birds of the same kind with those at Calicut, but the popinjays or parrots are more beautiful. It produces sandal-wood and tin; likewise elephants, horses, sheep, kine, pardalles or leopards, buffaloes, peacocks, and many other beasts and birds. The country has but few products of value, so that its only merchandise is spices and silk. The people are of a blackish ash-colour, and are clothed like the Mahometans of Memphis, otherwise called Cayr, Alchayr, or Babylon, on the Nile. They have very large foreheads, round eyes, and flat noses; and they are so much given to murder and robbery that it is dangerous to go abroad in the night, for they kill one another like dogs, and therefore merchants always remain on board their ships in the night. The people are fierce, barbarous, and unruly, insomuch that they will not submit to any governor, being altogether addicted to sedition and rebellion, and they always threaten to quit the country when their rulers endeavour to enforce order; which threat they are certainly able to execute, as their country is upon the sea-coast.

We stopt no time at Malacca, but hiring a brigantine we sailed from thence for the island of Sumatra, and arrived at the city of Pyder or Pedier about 80 miles from the mainland, where we found an excellent harbour. The island of Sumatra is governed by four kings, who with their people are all idolaters, and do not differ much in fashions, apparel, and manner of life from the inhabitants of Tanaserim. They are of a whitish colour with large foreheads, round eyes; and of brasyll ? colour. They wear their hair long, have very broad and flat noses, and are of low mean stature. Their money is of gold, silver, and tin. On one side the gold coin has the head of a devil, and on the other a waggon or chariot drawn by elephants. The silver coin is similar, and ten of them passes for one of gold; but it requires 25 pieces of tin to equal one gold piece. In this country there are a greater number and finer elephants than in any other place I have been in. The people are by no means warlike, being entirely devoted to merchandise and gain; they use strangers with much kindness and hospitality, and justice is well administered. They have in this island great abundance of long pepper, which in their language is called Molaga, and is much longer and whiter than any other, yet very light and strong; it is sold by measure like corn, and is to be had in such plenty that twenty ships are loaded with it every year for Cathay, or China, where it is much in request on account of the coldness of the climate. The tree which produces this pepper has a larger body, with broader and flatter leaves than the pepper tree of Calicut. This island produces plenty of silk, which is the work of worms as with us; but there is another kind brought forth on the trees spontaneously without any care or labour, which is worse than the other. Here likewise grows the laser tree, which produces the precious gum called Laserpitium or Belzoe93, as we were told by the inhabitants and merchants, but not having myself seen it I am unable to give any distinct account of this substance. Variety is always pleasing, and ingenious minds can never be satiated with contemplating the marvellous and diversified works of God in nature: Therefore, that the reader may take the more pleasure in these my writings, or at least may experience less tediousness in reading them, I have thought good to set down such things as I have seen more at large. It is therefore to be understood that the reason of no great quantity of aloes or Laserpitium being brought to us is because it comes from the farthest parts of the earth. There are three kinds or sorts of aloes, differing greatly in point of goodness. The most perfect is that called Calampat, which is not found in Sumatra, but is brought from the city of Sarnau near which it grows, as we were told by our companions the Christian merchants formerly mentioned. There is another kind of aloes called Juba or Luba, brought to Sumatra by the before mentioned river or strait, but I know not from what country. The third kind is called bochor. These Christian merchants also told us that none of the finest and best kind of aloes is brought to us, because it comes from the kingdoms of Cathay, Chini, Macym, Sarnau, and Gravay, countries much richer than ours and more abounding in gold, having kings of great power and riches, who take great delight in sweet savours and use them much more than our western princes, owing to which circumstance the true and best kind of aloes is worth ten crowns the pound even in the city of Sarnau.

We were taught by the said Christian merchants our companions, how to know and distinguish the two kinds of the sweet gums called aloes or Laserpitium. One of them had a certain portion of them both, and about two ounces of the best sort of aloes called calampat. Taking a piece of this in his hand and holding it close for about as long as one might take to rehearse the psalm Miserere mei Deus three times, the aloes become hot, and on opening his hand gave out a savour of incredible sweetness, such as I had never experienced from any other substance. He took also about the size of a walnut of the common laserpitium or belzoe, and half a pound of that which comes from the city of Sarnau, and putting both into different chaffing-dishes with burning coals in a close chamber, the small quantity of belzoe far exceeded, in sweetness of flavour, the other which weighed half a pound, and would even have done so had it been two pounds weight94. In this region also is found the substance called lacca from which a bright red colour is procured. This is the gum of a tree not much unlike our walnut tree95. In Pedier I saw in one street not less than 500 bankers or exchangers of money; and at this place they make many curious works, such as fine baskets garnished with gold, which were sold for two crowns each96. This is a famous mart to which innumerable merchants resort. The inhabitants wear mantles of silk, and syndones ? made of cotton.

This country has plenty of wood fit for the construction of ships. Those which they build are of a strange fashion, named gunchos or junks, having three masts with two stems and two sterns, having gouvernals or rudders on both. "When sailing on the ocean and having given their sails to the wind, if it be afterwards needful to have more sails, not changing the first they go backwards without turning the ship and using only one mast97." The natives are most expert swimmers, and have a wonderful contrivance for producing fire in an instant. Their houses are very low and built of stone, and instead of tiles or thatch they are covered by the hide of a fish called tartaruca ! which is found in that part of the Indian sea, which is so huge a monster that one of their skins which I saw weighed 330 pounds. There are likewise serpents in this country much larger than those at Calicut.

At this place our Christian friends, meaning to prosecute their own affairs, proposed to take their leave of us, but my Persian companion spoke to them in this manner; "Though my friends I am not your countryman, yet being all brethren and the children of Adam, I take God to witness that I love you as if you were of my own blood, and children of the same parents, and considering how long we have kept company together in a loving manner, I cannot think of parting from you without much grief of mind: Besides, even if you would leave me, I hope you will not desert this my companion who is of the same faith with yourselves." Then the Christians asked how I, being a Persian, happened to be of the Christian faith? To which my companion answered that I was no Persian, but had been bought at Jerusalem. On hearing the holy name of Jerusalem pronounced, the Christians lifted up their hands and eyes to heaven, and prostrating themselves thrice kissed the ground; then rising up, they asked what age I was of when brought from Jerusalem. Being told that I was then fifteen years of age, they said I might well remember my country; to which my companion answered that I did so assuredly, and had often given him much pleasure by the things I had told him concerning it. Then the merchants said that although they had long desired to return into their own country, which was far from thence, they would still bear us company to those places to which we proposed going. Preparing ourselves therefore for a voyage, we took shipping and in fifteen days we came to the island of Bandan or Banda, whence nutmegs and mace are procured.

In this voyage to the isle of Banda, we passed about twenty islands, some of them inhabited and some desert. This island of Banda is very low, savage, and barren, being about 100 miles in circuit. It has neither king nor governor, but is inhabited by a savage and brutal people, who live without law, order, or government, dwelling in low huts scarcely rising above the ground, and having a scanty shirt for their whole clothing. Their complexion inclines towards white, and they are of low stature: They go bareheaded and barefooted, with their hair hanging down, having broad round foreheads. They are idolaters, and worse even than the Poliars and Hyrana98 of Calicut, being of dull apprehension, little strength, and altogether barbarous in their manners. The soil bears no fruits except nutmegs, which grow on a tree very much like the peach in its branches and leaves. Before the nut becomes ripe, the mace expands round like a red rose; but when the nut ripens the mace closes and embraces the nut, and both are gathered together, which the natives do without rule or order, catch who catch may, all things being there in common. The tree yields fruit of its own nature without grafting or pruning, and it is so common and plentiful that twenty-six pound weight is sold for three souses or half a carline of the money which is current at Calicut. These islanders have no other order of justice than the law of nature, and live therefore without lawsuits or any of those contentions proceeding from thine and mine.

Having tarried three days in Banda, my companion asked the Christian merchants where was the region which produces cloves, and they told him that these were found in an island named Monoch or Molucca, six days sail from Banda. We therefore resumed our voyage, and came there in seven days. This island99 is very narrow, yet is longer than Banda, and the inhabitants are even more barbarous than those of Banda, for if it were not for the human shape, they differ in nothing from brutes. Their colour is whiter, owing to the air being colder. This island produces cloves, which likewise grow on several small and desolate islands on its coast. The body of the tree resembles the box-tree, and has leaves almost like the bay tree. When the cloves are ripe, the inhabitants beat them off the tree with long canes, having previously laid matts under the tree to receive them. The soil is sandy, and so low under the horizon that the north star cannot be seen100. The price of cloves is about double that formerly mentioned for nutmegs, but they are sold by measure, as the natives are entirely ignorant of the use of weights.

As we were conversing together respecting our voyages, the Christian merchants addressed me as follows: "Dearly beloved friend, as by the grace of God we are come thus far in safety, we will, if it so please you go to visit one of the finest islands in the world, and so rich as we believe you have never seen. But we must go in the first place to another island named Borneo, where we shall procure a larger vessel, as we have to cross a deep and rough sea." My companion then desired them to do as they thought proper. Therefore hiring a larger foist, we directed our voyage to that island, sailing to the southward both by day and night, and passing our time in much pleasant conversation. The merchants, among other things, asked me many questions respecting the ceremonies and solemnities of the Christian religion as used among us in Europe. And when I made mention of the Veronica or Vernacle of the face of Christ101, and of the heads of St Peter and St Paul, the chiefest of the apostles, they told me secretly that if I would go with them, I should become a great man in their country by my knowledge of these divine things. But being deterred by the length of the journey, and fearful that I might never be able to get home, I refused to accompany them. At length we came to Borneo, which is 200 miles from Molucca and is somewhat bigger102 and as low under the horizon. The inhabitant are idolaters of a sharp wit and decent manner of life. Their complexion inclines towards fair. They do not all dress alike, as some wear cotton shirts, while others have camblet mantles, and others wear pointed caps of a red colour. They are under regular government and submit to laws, which are righteously administered. This island yields great quantities of camphor, which I was told was the gum of a tree; but I dare not affirm this for fact, as I have never seen the way in which it is procured.

At Borneo my companion hired a light bark for 100 pieces of gold, and having laid in provisions for the voyage, we directed our course for the great island of Gyava, or Java, to which we came in five days, sailing towards the south. Our pilot used the mariners compass with loadstone, and the sea chart as ours do. Observing that the north star could not be seen, my companion asked the Christian merchants in what manner they guided their course in those seas. To this the pilot made answer, that in navigating these southern seas, they were particularly guided by five stars, and one other particular star which was directly opposite thee north star, and that they also used the loadstone, which always points to the north. He said moreover, that beyond the island of Java there was a certain people who were antipodes to them of European Sarmatia, inhabiting a cold climate, and as near to the antarctic pole as Sarmatia is to the arctic, as was evident by the shortness of their day, which was only four hours long in winter103, in which conversation we took much delight.

Proceeding on our voyage for five days, we came to the great island of Java, in which there are many kingdoms and peoples, all idolaters, but of sundry manners and customs. Some worship the sun, others the moon, some consider cows as their gods, while others worship all day whatever they first meet in the morning. This island produces silk, which grows spontaneously in the woods, and has the finest emeralds in the world, as also great plenty of gold and copper. The soil is as productive of corn and fruits as that of Calicut, and has an abundance of flesh. The inhabitants are an honest and fair-dealing people, much of the same stature and colour with Europeans, but with larger foreheads, very large eyes of a brazil or red colour, with flat noses, and wear their hair long. It has a great number of birds different from ours, except peacocks, turtle-doves, and crows, which are the same as we have. In their dress, the natives wear mantles or cloaks of cotton, silk, or camblet, always having one arm bare. They have no defensive armour, as they are hardly ever at war; but when they go to sea they use bows and arrows, and likewise poisoned arrows made of reeds, which they blow from long hollow canes, and the poison with which these arrows are infected is so virulent that death certainly follows from the slightest wound. They have no kind of fire-arms. They eat all kinds of flesh, fish, or fruit, as they please or can procure.

Some of the natives of this island are so very barbarous, that when their parents become feeble from age, so as to be useless to themselves and others, they bring them into the public market and sell them to the cannibals who eat human flesh, who immediately upon buying them, kill and eat them. Likewise when any young person falls into disease of which they do not expect he shall recover, his kinsmen sell him in the same manner to the cannibals. When my companion expressed his horror at this barbarous and savage practice, a certain native merchant observed, "That no sacrifice could redeem the sins of the Persians, who gave the flesh of their dead to be eaten by the worms." Abhorring these savage manners, we returned to our ship not willing to tarry longer in that island. While we were there, the Christian merchants, who were ever desirous to shew us strange things which we might relate at our return to our own country, made us remark that the sun at noon-day was to the north of us, which as they said is always the case in the month of July. I must acknowledge however, that I hardly remember these things distinctly, as I had then almost forgot the names of our months. At this island my companion bought two fine emeralds for 1000 pieces of gold, and likewise two children who were eunuchs, for two hundred pieces, as there are in that country certain merchants who deal solely in these young eunuchs.

After remaining fifteen days in Java, being weary of the barbarous manners of the inhabitants, and of the coldness of the country at that season of the year, we determined to prosecute our voyage back to India, as there were no other regions in these eastern parts worth seeing. Wherefore, hiring a light bark, we departed from thence, and having sailed fifteen days to the north-west, we came to the city of Malacca, where we remained three days. At this place we took our leave of the Christian merchants, with sorrowful minds and many friendly embraces. Of this separation I was sore grieved, and had I been a single man without wife and children104, I certainly would never have separated from such dear friends. Leaving them therefore at Malacca, they remained at that place, whence they said they meant shortly to return to the city of Sana105. My Persian companion and I went on board a foist, in which we returned to Coromandel. While on this voyage the pilot informed us that there were about seven thousand small islands in the eastern sea, beyond Sumatra and Java. While at Malacca my companion bought as much spices, perfumes of various kinds, and silk, as cost him 5000 pieces of gold. We were fifteen days on our voyage to Coromandel, and remained there twenty days. Hiring another foist we sailed thence to the city of Coulan, where we found twenty-two Portuguese Christians. Fearing they might seize me as a spy, I began to contrive how I might make my escape from thence; but as there were many Mahometans there who knew that I had been on the pilgrimage to Mecca, I changed my purpose, and we soon afterwards went to Calicut by way of the river, which took us twelve days.

SECTION X. Continuation of the Author's Adventures, after his Return to Calicut

After so many long and dangerous voyages and peregrinations, in which we had partly satisfied our desire of travel, and were partly wearied by the many inconveniencies we had undergone, we began to consider of the best means for returning to our native country. I will therefore briefly relate what happened to me by the way, that other men, taking example by my travels, may know better how to conduct themselves in like situations, if similar inclinations should move them to undertake such voyages. In Calicut we found two Christians of Milan in Italy, who had come to India with licence from the king of Portugal, on purpose to buy precious stones. The names of these men were John Maria and Peter Anthony. I was more rejoiced at the sight of these men than I can express, and knowing them to be Christians by their fair complexions, though they could not know me as I was naked like the natives, I immediately spoke to them, informing them that I also was a Christian, and their countryman. Then, taking me kindly by the hand, they brought me to their house, where, for joy of this unexpected meeting, we could scarcely satisfy ourselves with tears, embraces, and kisses, for it seemed a strange thing to me thus to find men who spoke my own language, and even to speak it myself. They told me that they were in great favour with the king of Calicut, yet anxiously wished to get hack to their native country, but knew not how, as they had fled from the Portuguese, and durst not run the risk of falling into their hands, having made many pieces of great cannon and other ordnance for the king of Calicut, and that now the Portuguese fleet would shortly be there. When I proposed to endeavour to go to Cananore, and solicit their pardon from the Portuguese admiral, they said that could not be looked for, as they were well known to many of the kings and princes between Calicut and Cananore, who were friendly to the Portuguese, and who would certainly intercept them, as they had made above 400 guns, great and small, and could never hope for pardon. By this I could perceive how fearful a thing it is to have an evil conscience, and called to remembrance the saying of the poet:

"Multa male timeo, qui feci multa proterve."

That is to say, "I fear much evil because I have done much." These men had not only made many pieces of artillery for the infidels, to the great injury of the Christians, in contempt of Christ and his holy religion, but had also taught the idolaters both how to make and use them. While I remained in Calicut, I saw them give a mould to the idolaters, by which they might cast brass cannon of sufficient bigness to receive a charge of 105 cantaros or measures of powder. At this time also there was a Jew in Calicut who had built a handsome brigantine, in which were four large iron cannons; but Providence soon after gave him his due reward, as he was drowned while bathing in the river. To return to the two Italians: God knows how earnestly I endeavoured to persuade them never to make any more guns or artillery for the infidels, in contempt of God, and to the great detriment of our most holy faith. At my words, tears fell from the eyes of Peter Anthony; but John Maria, who perhaps was not so anxious to return home, said it was all one to him whether he died in India or Italy, and that God only knew what was decreed for him. Within two days after I returned to my companion, who had wondered what was become of me, fearing that I was either sick, or had died, or run away. I told him that I had been all night in the temple, that he might not suspect my great intimacy with the Christians.

While I remained in the lodging of my companion, there came to him two Persian merchants from the city of Cananore, saying that they had bad news to tell him, as there had arrived twelve Portuguese ships, which they had actually seen. Then asked he what manner of men were these Portuguese? To this the Persians answered, that they were Christians, armed in cuirasses of bright iron, and had built an impregnable fortress at Cananore. Then turning to me, my companion asked what kind of people these were. To this I answered, that they were a nation of wicked people, entirely given up to robbery and piracy on the seas: And I can truly say, that he was not so sorry for these news as I was rejoiced at their arrival. After the rumour spread of the arrival of the Portuguese, I began to be in fear for myself, and to consider what was best to be done to ensure my safety; and considering that nothing could be easier among these ignorant people than to gain a reputation of holiness by hypocrisy, I used to lurk about the temple all day without meat, as all the people thought, but in the night I had my fill in the house of the two Milanese. By this device, every one took me for a saint or holy person, so that in a few days I could go about all the city without being suspected. To help me in this assumed character, a rich Mahometan merchant of Calicut happened to fall sick, having his belly so constipated that he could get no ease; and as he was a friend of my Persian companion, and the disease daily increased, he at last asked me if I had any skill in physic. To this I answered, that my father was a physician, and that I had learnt many things from him. He then took me along with him to see his friend the sick merchant, and being told that he was very sick at the head and stomach, and sore constipated, and having before learnt that he was a great eater and drinker, I felt his pulse, and said that he was filled with choler or black bile, owing to surfeiting, and that it was necessary he should have a glyster. Then I made a glyster of eggs, salt, and sugar, together with butter and such herbs as I could think of upon a sudden; and in the space of a day and a night I gave him five such glysters, but all in vain, for his pains and sickness increased, and I began to repent me of my enterprise. But it was now necessary to put a good face on the matter, and to attempt some other way, yet my last error seemed worse than ever. Endeavouring to inspire him with confidence, I made him lie grovelling on his belly, and, by cords tied to his feet, I raised up the hinder part of his body, so that he rested only on his breast and hands; and in this posture I administered to him another glyster, allowing him to remain in that position for half an hour. On beholding this strange mode of practice, my Persian friend asked me, if that was the manner of treating sick people in my country, to which I answered that it was, but only in cases of extremity; on which he observed with a smile, that he believed it would certainly relieve him one way or other. In the mean time, the sick man cried out in his own language, "It is enough, it is enough, for my soul now departeth." We comforted him as well as we could, desiring him to have patience yet a little longer; and almost immediately his belly was loosened, and he voided like a gutter. We then let him down, and he continued to discharge a prodigious quantity, so that shortly the pain of his head and stomach left him, and his fever was assuaged, which gave us all great joy. By this adventurous cure, and my counterfeit holiness, I grew into great credit, and when my patient offered me ten pieces of gold as my reward, I would only accept two, which I gave away immediately among the poor.

These silly people believed implicitly in my hypocrisy, which I shewed in a constrained gravity of countenance and deportment, and by forbearing openly from eating flesh, insomuch that all thought themselves happy to have me at their houses, or to kiss my hands and feet. The report also of my companion, that he had met with me first at Mecca, where I had gone to see the body of the holy prophet Mahomet, greatly increased among the Mahometans the opinion of my sanctity. But all this while, I used to resort secretly in the night to the house of the Milanese Christians; and learning from them that the twelve Portuguese ships were arrived at Cananore, I thought that it was now a favourable opportunity for me to escape. I remained, however, for seven days more, learning every thing I could respecting the preparations that were making by the king of Calicut and his people against the Portuguese, in regard to their army, artillery, and every thing relative to the war. But, before I speak of the manner of my departure, it may be proper to say something of the religious practices of the Mahometans.

For calling the people to the mosque, their priests and other ministers, of whom there are a great number, ascend to the highest tower of the temple, where they sound three or four brass trumpets instead of bells, and then call to the people in a loud voice to come to prayers. Then stopping one ear with their finger, they call out in their own language, Alla u eccubar, etc. That is to say, "God is great! God is great! Come to the temple of the great God! Come pray to the great God! God is great! God is great! God was! God is! Mahomet, the messenger of God, shall arise!" They even invited me to the mosque, and desired me to pray to God for the Mahometans; and this I did outwardly, but with quite a different meaning from them. They have certain daily and stated prayers as we have, in which they call upon God as their father, and they even vouchsafe to name the blessed Virgin Mary; but they always wash before prayers. Standing all in order, after the priest has prayed, the whole people pray in their own language.

At this time I feigned myself sick, and finding some occasion or pretext for going to Cananore, I advertised my companion thereof, who gave me his consent, saying that he would shortly follow me to that place, and in the meantime gave me letters recommending me to a friend and countryman of his, a rich merchant at that place, desiring him to give me kind entertainment for his sake. The day before my departure, I made the before-mentioned Milanese Christians privy to my intentions, and my companion made me join company with two other Persian merchants who were going to Cananore, as there were then in Calicut many merchants of Persia, Syria, and Turkey. Therefore, on the 1st of December, having hired a light bark, I and my two companions set sail; but had hardly got from shore an arrow-flight, when four of the nairs of the king's guard called to the pilot of our vessel, and ordered him, in the king's name, to come to land. When the nairs understood who we were, they asked the Persians why they carried me along with them, without licence from the king? Then the Persians said, that this was a holy man, who meant to accompany them to Cananore. The nairs answered, that they knew I was a person who had wrought miracles; but as I could speak the language of the Portuguese, it was to be feared that I might betray their secrets to the enemy, and give them notice of the navy and army which had been prepared at Calicut against them, and therefore they strictly enjoined the pilot to carry us no farther. He accordingly obeyed their orders, and left us on the shore. It was then proposed by one of the Persians that we should return to Calicut, on which I advised him to take heed how he did so, as he would be in danger of losing all his silks, if it should be discovered that he had not paid the king's custom. Then he asked my advice as to what I thought was best for us to do in the present exigency, and I advised that we should travel along the shore, in hopes of finding some other bark for our purpose. They agreed to this proposal, and we accordingly travelled twelve miles along the shore, our slaves carrying our baggage; and I leave any judicious person to conceive the terror I was in, during this time, of being stopt by the servants of the king of Calicut. At length, by good providence, we found a poor fisherman, who agreed to carry us in his boat to Cananore, where we arrived in safety late at night. We went immediately to wait upon the Persian merchant, to whom I had letters of recommendation from my companion. Their tenor was as follows: That he should receive me into his house, and entertain me in a friendly manner, till his own arrival, and that whatever friendship was shewn me should be considered as done to himself, as I was a holy man, and united with him in the strictest friendship. Immediately on reading this letter, the merchant laid his hand on his head, and bid me welcome, swearing by his head that I was in safety, and caused a good supper to be set before us. After supper, the Persians and I took a walk by the sea side, and we soon came to where the Portuguese ships were lying at anchor. I am utterly unable to express the joy I felt on seeing these ships, but which I took care should not be observed by my companions. In our walk, I observed where the Portuguese had built their fortress, and determined within myself to go there as soon as possible.

Next day, finding a fit opportunity, I went towards the Portuguese fortress, which is not above four furlongs from the city of Cananore, and chanced to meet two Portuguese by the way, at whom I inquired in Spanish if that were the fortress of the Portuguese. They asked if I were a Christian? and having answered that I was, they demanded to know whence I came? I told them that I was from Calicut, on which they said they would immediately shew me the way to their governor, whose name was Lorenzo106, son to the viceroy. They accordingly brought me before him, and when I was come into his presence, I fell down on my knees, and entreated him in all humility, for the sake of Christ, to whom I was consecrated in baptism, that he would have compassion upon me, and deliver me out of the hands of these infidel dogs. When it was noised about in the city that I had escaped to the Christians, there began a stir and mutiny among the people, upon which the governor commanded his officers and men to put their artillery and all things in readiness, lest the people in their sudden rage should make any attempt against the fortress; but every thing was speedily pacified. After this, the governor took me by the hand into a hall or room by ourselves, and demanded to know what the king and people of Calicut were preparing to do against the Christians. I informed him of all things as far as I knew, having diligently inquired into all their preparations and designs. When I had thus informed the governor of all I knew, he appointed a galley commanded by one Joam Serano to carry me to the viceroy, who was then at Cochin.

The viceroy received me very favourably, and then I gave him an account of all the warlike preparations at Calicut. After this I humbly implored pardon for the two Italians, Peter Anthony and John Maria, who had made artillery for the infidel princes, declaring that they were desirous to return to the Christians, and would do them good service, for that all they had hitherto done at Calicut was by constraint, and that all they asked was a safe conduct and money to defray their charges. The viceroy listened to my petition, and three days afterwards he sent me back to Cananore with letters to his son, commanding him to deliver me as much money as might suffice for the Christian spies at Calicut. At Cananore, I procured an idolater, who from poverty had been forced to pawn his wife and children, and engaged him to carry a letter from me to the two Milanese at Calicut, informing them that the viceroy had granted their pardon and safe conduct, with money for their charges. I desired them to make no one privy to their intended departure, and particularly not to let it be known to their slaves or concubines, each of them having a concubine, a child, and a slave, and to leave all their goods behind, except things of great value, such as gold coin and precious stones. They had a very fine diamond of 32 carats, reckoned to be worth 35,000 crowns; a pearl of 24 carats; 2000 rubies, some of which weighed one carat, and others a carat and half; upwards of 60 bracelets, garnished with many fine jewels; and about 1500 pieces of gold coin. But in consequence of their covetousness, while they sought to save all they lost all, and their lives to boot; for, not content with carrying off all these riches, they would needs carry along with them, in spite of the advice I sent, four guns, three monkeys, two musquets, and two of those wheels on which precious stones are polished. The attempt to carry off these bulky articles was the cause of their destruction, as one of their slaves gave notice to the zamorin or king of Calicut of what was going on. The zamorin would not at first believe the information, having conceived a good opinion of their fidelity, yet sent four of his nairs to examine into the truth of the information. But the slave, perceiving that the zamorin seemed inclined to deal favourably with them, went to the cady or chief priest of the Mahometans, and told him all that he had said to the zamorin, adding that the two Christians had disclosed all their secrets to the Portuguese. The eddy immediately convened a council of all the Mahometan merchants, willing them to give an hundred pieces of gold to the king of Gioghi107, who was then at Calicut, and to speak to him in the following terms: "It is not unknown to you, most noble prince, that when your majesty came to this place some years ago, we received you in a more honourable manner than we are now enabled to do. The change in our behaviour is not owing to any want of good will towards you, but is occasioned by the great and manifold injuries which we have sustained, and are daily suffering from our mortal enemies the Christians. We have at the present moment a notable example of this in two Christian traitors now residing in this city, who have disclosed all our secrets to the Portuguese; and therefore we most humbly petition that you would be pleased to accept from us an hundred pieces of gold, and to issue your commands that these traitorous Christians shall be slain."

When this oration was repeated to the king of Gioghi, he immediately accepted the gift, and consented to the prayer of the petition, and appointed two hundred of his followers to put the Milanese to death. These men, that they might not be suspected by the devoted Christians, came in small bodies to their house, only ten at a time, as if to demand their customary reward. But on seeing so great a number of men assembled about their house, the Christians began to suspect that they were in search of something beyond their usual reward or offering, wherefore taking to their arms, they so bravely defended themselves, that they slew six of the assailants and wounded forty: But at length some of the Gioghi or Jogues, shot them both with arrows from cross-bows, one being sore wounded in the head and the other in the body; and as soon as they saw them fall, they broke into the house and cut their throats. Then taking the warm blood into the palms of their hands, they drank it up, using the most contumelious expressions against the Christians. After this murder, the concubine of John Maria came to Cananore with her young son, whom I bought of her for eight pieces of gold, and had him baptized by the name of Lorenzo, as he was christened on the festival of St Laurence. But he died within a year afterwards of the lues venerea, which disease has been spread over almost the whole world, as I have seen many infected with it 400 miles beyond Calicut. It is there called pua, and they affirm that it was not seen there till about seventeen years before; yet it is there more grievous and destructive than with us in Italy.

SECTION XI. Account of a memorable Battle between the Mahometan Navy of Calicut and the Portuguese

On the 4th of March 1506, intelligence was received at Cananore of the death of the two Milanese Christians at Calicut, and on the same day the Calicut fleet set sail from the cities of Pavan? Capagot? Pandaram ? and Trompatam ? It consisted of 208 vessels108, of which 84 were ships of considerable size and burden, and the rest were rowing vessels which are called paraos. This great fleet was manned with a prodigious number of Mahometans richly dressed in purple silk and cotton, also with high pointed caps after their fashion of the same colour, lined with silk, having their arms decked with many bracelets, and embroidered gloves on their hands. For weapons, they had Turkish bows, swords, lances, peltes109, and all kind of guns made in our manner. When we saw their fleet proceeding in order and well appointed, it seemed afar off like a great wood, so numerous were the masts, yet were we in sure belief that God would give us the victory over the blasphemers of his holy name, and that we should prevail against the idolaters and Saracens, the ancient enemies of the religion of the blessed Jesus. Therefore the valiant knight our governor, Don Lorenzo, the son of Don Francisco de Almeyda, viceroy of India, who had the supreme command of twelve Portuguese ships, with the assistance of the admiral, assembled all the Portuguese soldiers and mariners by sound of trumpet, and spoke to them after this manner: "Dear friends, and brethren in one God and in one faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, it is now time for us to consider that our Lord spared not to give his precious body unto death for our sakes; wherefore it is our bounden duty to spend our lives in defence of his glory and of our holy faith, assuring ourselves of victory over these infidel dogs, who are hated of God, being the progeny of the devil. Now, therefore, fighting in his holy name and under the banner of his cross, shew yourselves valiant, as you have now a fair opportunity to gain eternal fame in defending the glorious cause of your Lord and Saviour. Therefore, along with me, raising our hearts to God, and our arms with force and courage against the enemy, in the name of the Lord, let us manfully give the onset." When Don Lorenzo had spoken these words, the priest went up to the highest part of the ship, holding in his hands the picture of Christ nailed to the cross, which he exposed to the view of all the soldiers, and earnestly exhorted them to remember the commands of God, and the holy faith in which they were consecrated by baptism, having no doubt that all their sins should be forgiven to those who fell in the cause of God. Then blessing them in the name of the Lord, he pronounced the absolution and forgivenness of their sins. This exhortation of the priest so moved all our hearts, that tears of joy ran from our eyes, and we were all animated with a desire of dying in the holy cause.

In the mean time the Mahometan fleet made sail towards us, and on the same day our admiral went to reconnoitre their fleet with two foists, and passing between two of their largest ships discharged his ordnance on both sides, on purpose to try the strength of those ships in which they placed the greatest confidence. But nothing of any importance occurred this day. Next day the enemy made sail towards Cananore, and sent a message to our commanders, saying, that if they were permitted to pursue their voyage they would not attack us. To this it was answered, that the Christians had not forgotten the perjury and violated faith of the Mahometans, when they prevented the Christians from passing that way on a former occasion, and had slain 47 Portuguese, and robbed them of 4000 pieces of gold: Wherefore, they might proceed at their peril, and should learn of what spirit and reputation in arms the Christians were composed. Then said the Mahometans, "Mahomet will defend us and confound the Christians." Then with great fury they assaulted us all at once, thinking to have forced their way through our fleet, as they were only 10 miles from Cananore. Our admiral intentionally allowed them to draw near until they were right over-against Cananore, when he intended to set upon them with all his force, that the rajah or king of Cananore might be a witness of the valour of the Christians. When the trumpeter of the admiral sounded the charge as a signal of battle, the admiral immediately assaulted two of the largest ships of the enemy, casting his grappling irons and chains, that he might fight them hand to hand. After throwing our grapplings three times in vain, they caught hold the fourth time, on which the Christians boarded the greatest ship, and made such havoc that the whole crew of 600 Mahometans were slain, not one escaping or being made prisoner. Encouraged by this success, the admiral immediately grappled another large ship which had chained itself to one of the Christian foists; this ship was likewise taken and sunk, with the loss of 500 Mahometans. Discouraged by this defeat, the Mahometans assailed our twelve foists with all their force, and carried them away. On this emergency the captain of the galley, Joam Serano, shewed the utmost gallantry, as he fiercely assaulted in his single galley those ships of the enemy which had carried away our foists, and made such prodigious slaughter among the Mahometans as seemed quite incredible, so that he recovered all the foists, and sunk two other Mahometan ships. The conflict continued with unabated fury from morning till the darkness of the night parted the combatants, and God so favoured the Christians that few of them were slain, though many were wounded.

I must not omit to notice the zeal and courage displayed by Simon Martin, the captain of one of our ships, on the following occasion in this battle. It so happened that the brigantine in which I was, was at one time somewhat parted from the rest of our ships, on which four ships of the enemy assailed us all at once; and 150 of the Mahometans having boarded our vessel, constrained us to flee to the poop for safety. While we were in this extreme danger, Simon Martin leapt on board our vessel, invoking the name of Jesus to aid him, and fought with such desperate valour that he slew six of the enemy with his own bond. Encouraged by his gallantry, we came down from the poop to his assistance, and so handled the Mahometans that they leapt overboard for safety, when some of them were drowned and others escaped by swimming. Upon this our success, the enemy sent down four other foists to help those who were already engaged against us. But our captain took several empty casks in which gunpowder had been kept before, and placed them in such a manner on the side of our brigantine, that they seemed like large pieces of artillery, standing beside them with a fire-stick or lighted match, as if about to discharge them. This device put the enemy in such fear that they departed from us.

Our admiral continued to pursue the enemy, and gave them another great overthrow, taking seven of their foists laden with various kinds of merchandise, and sank ten others by the shot of his artillery, one of which was laden with elephants. Hie enemy, seeing the ocean almost covered with the bodies of their slain, their principal ships taken, sunk, or much injured, and having lost all hope of victory, endeavoured to save themselves by flight. But the Portuguese determined to follow up their success, and again brought them to battle, which continued a whole day and night, to the utter discomfiture of the Mahometans, most of whose vessels were sunk. At this time some of our foists saw a large ship belonging to the enemy at some distance, and made sail towards her; but as the enemy saw themselves overmatched, they hurled all their carriages into the sea110, after which they leapt overboard themselves, in hopes to swim on shore, as they are most expert swimmers. But our men followed them even to the shore with lances, cross-bows, and stones, killing them while swimming, so that the sea was coloured with their blood. Yet about 200 of them escaped on shore, after swimming about 20 miles. These Mahometans are all exceedingly expert swimmers, being accustomed to it from their early youth; and while we pursued them, they often dived and remained so long under water, that we thought they had sunk outright, and when they came up again and floated on the water, we thought we had been deceived by phantoms. They were however mostly all destroyed afterwards by one mischance or another, so that on this occasion the enemy lost a prodigious number of men. After the battle and pursuit ceased, our admiral sent some boats on shore in sundry places to number the dead bodies, which had been cast up by the sea, when about 3000 were found, besides many that had been carried away by the sea.

The king of Cananore beheld this great victory from the shore, and gave great commendations to the Portuguese for their valour, and very deservedly; for, though I have been in many hard-fought battles, I never saw greater valour than was displayed on this occasion by the Portuguese. After this great victory, we thought to have enjoyed peace and security, but worse events ensued; for the king of Cananore, who was a great friend to the Portuguese, died a few days afterwards, and was succeeded by a mortal enemy to the Christians, and a great friend to the zamorin, by whole interest he had been advanced to the kingdom of Cananore. This new king assembled his forces to make war against the Portuguese in all haste, believing that much of their ammunition had been expended in the late naval battle, and that their men were much wearied, and for the most part wounded, so that they would be unable to make any great resistance. To aid him on this occasion, the zamorin sent him 24 pieces of great cannon. This war began on the 7th of April, and continued to the 20th of August111, before peace was restored. It were too long to recount all the brave actions performed by the Christians in this war against the Mahometans112, who never encountered them with less than twenty-five or twenty-six thousand men and 140 pieces of artillery. The enemy on this occasion were armed in the manner already mentioned respecting the weapons of the inhabitants of Calicut, and the Christians in the harness and with the weapons then used by us in Europe113.

In their wars, the infidels divide their army into many wings, or brigades, of two or three thousand men each, only one of which proceeds to battle at a time, all the rest waiting the result of this charge before they proceed to join battle. While marching to give battle, it passes all imagination to conceive the prodigious noise made by innumerable musical instruments after their fashion, which fill the ears of their soldiers and encourage them to fight; while in the mean time a great number of men run before with artificial fireworks114. At last they give the onset with such fury and outcry, that two or three thousand of them are often able to put to flight 10,000 men who are unused to this mode of warfare. But God in his merciful providence never forsakes those who believe in his holy religion, as was now exemplified in our distress. For, while the Portuguese were in a manner overwhelmed with the multitude of their enemies, the joyful news arrived that a new fleet had come from Portugal to Cananore, under the valiant knight Don Tristan de Cunna, who was immediately informed of the straits to which we were reduced. He immediately sent us a reinforcement of 300 valiant soldiers, well provided with defensive armour, and weapons of offence, after the manner of the Christians. On the arrival of these succours, we were so encouraged that we would have burnt the city of Cananore, if our admiral had permitted us. But on learning the arrival of this reinforcement, the enemy were so cast down that they sought to make peace with us by every means they could think of, and appointed one Mamalmaricar, a man of great riches and wisdom, to be their ambassador, with full powers to conclude peace. This man accordingly waited on our admiral, who told him that he could not make peace without the authority of the viceroy, who was then at Cochin: Yet it was thought best not to reject the proffered peace, as, during war, the Portuguese could not send home their ships with the commodities of India, and for this reason the viceroy agreed to the conclusion of peace.

To mingle some pleasure with these tragedies, I shall now rehearse a pleasant story, worthy of being remembered. One day after the peace was settled, I happened to walk in the city of Cananore with some merchant idolaters, with whom I was acquainted before the war. They asked me to show them a certain Christian, much taller and stronger than any of the others, who used every day to slay about twenty of the Mahometans, and who at one time, when assailed by fifty of the nairs, escaped unhurt. At first I answered, that this valiant Christian had gone to Cochin to the viceroy: But after some farther consideration, I told them that this soldier was the God of the Portuguese, the great God who had created the world. Then answered they, that the Mahometans had said as much to them already, and therefore they were inclined to believe that the God of the Christians was better and more powerful than theirs. Thus it came to be rumoured all over the country that the Portuguese had overcome more by the assistance of God, than by the strength of man. These people are wonderfully simple and ignorant, and are easily astonished at very trifling matters; for when they saw one of our company ring a small hand-bell, and that it ceased to make a noise when set down, they took it for a miracle, saying one to another, "Doubtless the God of these men is greater than ours, for when they touch that little instrument it speaks, and when they touch it not it is silent." They took much delight in seeing the celebration of mass; and when the priest lifted up the holy bread, or host, I said unto them, "Behold the God of the Christians and of all the world." To which they answered, "You say truly, but we see him not." I repeat this that it may be seen how ignorant these people are. Yet are they great sorcerers, and can enchant the most venomous serpents, so as to do no harm, though their venom is so powerful as to kill only by touching. They are likewise of wonderful agility, and are astonishingly expert in vaulting, running, leaping, swimming, tumbling, walking on ropes, and such other feats of activity.

SECTION XII. Navigation of the Author to Ethiopia, and return to Europe by Sea

Those who engage to write any history, ought to keep in mind what they have promised, lest after all their pains and trouble they only reap shame and reproach. Wherefore, having in the beginning of this performance engaged to write concerning the navigation of Ethiopia, I shall now make an end of my long travels and peregrinations, by a description of this voyage, in which I shall speak of such things as I saw by the way, on my return from India to my long wished-for country, along with the Portuguese.

Leaving India on the 7th of December115, we directed our course to Ethiopia116; and having sailed across the great gulf we came to the island of Monzambrick, or Mozambique, which is under the dominion of the king of Portugal. But before our arrival there, we saw many towns and fortresses by the way, belonging to the Portuguese, in the kingdoms of Melinda and Mombaza. They have also some strong fortresses in Mozambique and Sofala. Were I to enlarge upon the memorable deeds of the valiant Tristran de Cunna, on his return from India, I should enter upon a subject far beyond my powers, being such as would rather require the pen of a Homer or a Virgil: For he invaded and subdued the great cities of Gogia, Pati, and Crava117, and also the goodly island of Sacutara [Socotoro], where a fortress was erected by order of the king of Portugal. I omit also to speak of many islands which we saw by the way, such as the island of Cumeris, or Curia Muria, and six others, which produce plenty of ginger, sugar, and other goodly fruits, and the most fruitful island of Penda, which is likewise subject to the Portuguese.

From the island of Mozambique, which belongs to Portugal, it brought much gold and ivory, but these come from the continent of Ethiopia. This island is not large, but has a commodious port, and is inhabited by black Mahometans118, who are in great want of all the necessaries of life, having no corn or provisions but what are brought from the continent. We landed on the continental part of Ethiopia to see the country, where we saw a barbarous Vagabond people of blacks, both men and women going entirely naked, except covering their parts of shame with leaves of trees. Their lips are two fingers thick, their foreheads very large, and they have great teeth as white as snow. They are exceedingly timorous and fearful of armed men; wherefore six of us, well armed with muskets, and accompanied by a black slave who knew the country, went a considerable way inland to view the country. When we had gone forwards a days journey, we came to many herds of elephants, and our guide recommended to us to carry burning firebrands in our hands, as these beasts are afraid of fire above all things; but we chanced to fall in with three female elephants that had lately calved, and they could not be scared by our fire, but followed us so far that we were obliged to save ourselves by scrambling up a steep mountain.

When we were about ten miles inland, we came to a cave on the side of a mountain inhabited by some of the black natives, whose manner of speech was so strange and chattering, like so many apes, that I am unable to express the manner of their language, which comes near the strange jargon used by the muleteers of Sicily, when they drive their mules119. Our pilot asked us if we were inclined to purchase any cattle from these people, saying that we might have them at a very low price; but suspecting that he either mocked us, or meant, in concert with the natives, to impose upon us, we said that we had no money. Then he told us that these people wanted no money, having already gold in greater plenty than we, which they procure not far from where we were. On asking him what articles they were desirous of in payment for their cattle, he said they preferred things of small value, such as pins, knives, scissars, looking-glasses, hawks-bells, bags, or boxes, to contain their gold, copper rings, janglings to hang at their timbrils, bosses, laces, broaches, copper-chains, caskanets, bracelets, and such like baubles to deck their wives and children. We then said that we would willingly give them such things for their cattle if they would bring them to us at the shore; but the pilot said the natives would drive them to the next mountain, but no farther on any condition. Then one of our companions said that he had a boss of engraven copper, and a small bell; and as I had none of such merchandise, and yet was desirous of eating fresh meat, I said I would give one of my shirts to buy cattle. The pilot engaged to make our purchases to the best advantage, and calling five or six of the natives about him, he shewed them our goodly jewels, and demanded from them three hundred head of cattle. The natives, not differing much from beasts, answered by signs that they would only give fifteen. At length we made a bargain, though we still suspected some deceit; yet they kept their promise, and sent us fifteen beasts by two of their companions. We had scarcely gone when we heard a noise and tumult among them, and were in some fear lest these troglodites might follow to do us some injury, wherefore leaving the cattle we took to our weapons. But they made signs to us to fear nothing, and the pilot told us they were quarrelling who should have the copper boss. Then recovering our cattle, we drove them forward to the top of the mountain, where we dismissed the two natives, and continued our journey towards the coast. While driving our cattle past a little wood, we again fell in with the elephants, which put us in such fear that we abandoned our cattle and trusted to our feet, making the best of our way to the island.

Having made provision for our voyage of such things as could be procured at Mozambique, we sailed for the Cape of Good Hope, passing the island of St Lawrence, otherwise called Madagascar, which is 80 leagues from the nearest part of the continent. I suppose that in a short time the Portuguese will be masters of this island, as they have burned and destroyed many of its towns and villages, and are much feared by the natives. So far as I conjecture by my peregrinations, especially those in India and Ethiopia, it is my opinion that the king of Portugal is likely to be the richest king in the world, if he continue as he has begun; and certainly his dignity and godly zeal is not unworthy of such high fortune, as by his means the knowledge of the Christian faith is greatly extended. In Cochin, where the viceroy of India resides, every holiday ten or twelve Mahometans or idolaters are professed to our religion; so that we may have good hope that in time our faith may greatly spread with the blessing of God, who hath given such miraculous victories to the Christians; wherefore all who profess to believe in the holy name of Christ, ought incessantly to pray to God to assist the king of Portugal in so godly an enterprise.

When we had sailed about two hundred miles beyond the Cape of Good Hope, there arose a sudden tempest of contrary wind, which towed us to and fro for seven days in great danger, but we escaped by the blessing of God. After the cessation of this tempest, and when we had again proceeded other two hundred miles on our voyage, a new tempest arose, which scattered all our ships during six days that it continued, so that we did not all meet again till our arrival at Lisbon in Portugal. I was in a ship called the St Vincent, belonging to one Bartholomew a Florentine, who was a citizen of Lisbon. She was a vessel of great size, and carried seven hundred tons of spices of all kinds. We passed the island of St Helena, near which we saw certain fishes of such enormous bigness that one of them was as large as a great house. When they rise above water, or gape or yawn, the upper jaw covers all the forehead, as it were a soldier in shining armour, and when they swim along the surface of the deep, the forehead seems three paces broad. As they swam about near the ships, they raised such a commotion in the sea that we discharged all our artillery to drive them away. We soon afterwards came to an island named Ascension, where we saw many birds about the size of ducks, which were so stupid that we took them with our hands, yet immediately afterwards they shewed wonderful fierceness. In that island we saw no outer living creatures besides these birds, which seemed as if they had never seen mankind before, and there were prodigious quantities of fish around its shores.

Having sailed many days beyond that island, we seemed to have returned again into our own world, as the north star, the guide of mariners, appeared to us. Here we have a good opportunity of refuting the opinion of those who think that it is impossible to sail in the regions of the antartic pole by the guidance of the north star; for it is undeniable that the Portuguese sail by the aid of the north polar star, although entirely hidden from their sight in the antartic region of the sea. Yet they frequently refresh the virtue of the needle by means of that stone which ever naturally points towards the north. A few days afterwards we arrived at a fair region, in which are seen many islands called the Astures Açores, so named from the multitude of that species of eagles or hawks which are called açores or azores. These islands are variously named, as Pico, Martii, Corvo, Flores, St George, Gratiosa and Fyal. From thence we went to the island of Tercera, where we remained two days. All these are very fertile, and have abundance of all the necessaries of life.

Departing from thence, we came in seven days sailing to Luxburne or Ulisbona [Lisbon] in Portugal. On my arrival I was carried to the presence of the king, whose hand I had the honour to kiss, and with most humble reverence I thanked his majesty for the great favour I had found with his officers and subjects in India. He entertained me very graciously at his court, until I had informed him fully of all that I had observed in my peregrinations in various parts of India. Some days afterwards, I shewed his majesty the letters-patent by which his viceroy in India had honoured me with the order of knighthood, and humbly requested of his majesty to confirm the same under his great seal, which he was graciously pleased to grant. Then departing from Lisbon, with the passport and safe conduct of the king, I returned at length, after these my long and perilous travels, to my long-desired native home, the city of Rome, by the blessing of God, to whom be all honour and glory.

End of the Voyages of Verthema.




This article has been adopted from the Collection of Hakluyt, and, with that immediately preceding, may serve as a supplement to the Portuguese Transactions in India. The entire title, as given in that early and curious Collection, is "The Voyage and Travel of M. Cesar Fredericke, Merchant of Venice, into the East India and beyond the Indies: Wherein are contained the Customes and Rites of these Countries, the Merchandise and Commodities, as well of Golde as Silver, as Spices, Drugges, Pearles, and other Jewels. Translated out of Italian by M. Thomas Hickocke."

In adapting the present chapter to the purposes of our Collection, the only liberty we have taken with the ancient translation exhibited by Hakluyt, has been to employ the modern orthography in the names of places, persons, and things, and to modernise the language throughout. As in the itinerary of Verthema, to avoid the multiplication of notes unnecessarily we have corrected the frequently vicious orthography of these names as given by Cesar Frederick and his original translator, either by substituting the true names or more generally received modern orthography, or by subjoining the right name in the text immediately after that employed by the author. When the names employed in the original translation of this Journal are so corrupt as to be beyond our power to rectify, or where we are doubtful of our correction, we have marked them with a point of interrogation, as doubtful or unknown, as has likewise been done in our version of the Itinerary of Verthema. These two journals, besides that they coincide with the plan of our arrangement of giving as many appropriate original journals of voyages and travels as we can procure, contain a great number of curious particulars, nowhere else to be met with, respecting the manners and customs of various parts of India, between the years 1503 and 1581, with many intersecting notices respecting its history, production, and trade.

We learn from the following journal, that Cesar Frederick began his peregrination in 1563; and, as he informs us in his preface, that he was continually employed in coasting and travelling for eighteen years, he could not have returned to Venice before the year 1581. In the publication of this journal in the Collection of Hakluyt, it is very irregularly divided into fragments, upon no apparent principles of regular distribution; but on the present occasion it has been arranged in sections, so as to suit the general plan of the present work. –E.

Cesar Frederick to the Reader

Having for the space of eighteen years continually coasted and travelled over almost all the East Indies, and many other countries beyond the Indies, both with good and bad success; and having seen and learned many things worthy of notice, which have never been before communicated to the world; I have thought it right, since the Almighty hath graciously been pleased to return me to my native country, the noble city of Venice, to write and publish this account of the perils I have encountered during my long and arduous peregrinations by sea and land, together with the many wonderful things I have seen in the Indies; the mighty princes that govern these countries; the religion or faith in which they live; their rites and customs; the various successes I experienced; and which of these countries abound in drugs and jewels: All of which may be profitable to such as desire to make a similar voyage: Therefore, that the world may be benefited by my experience, I have caused my voyages and travels to be printed, which I now present to you, gentle and loving readers, in hopes that the variety of things contained in this book may give you delight.

SECTION I. Voyage from Venice to Bir in Asia Minor

In the year 1563, while residing at Venice, being desirous to see the eastern parts of the world, I embarked in a ship called the Gradaige of Venice, commanded by Jacomo Vatica, bound for Cyprus, taking with me certain merchandise. On arriving at Cyprus, I left that ship, and went in a lesser to Tripoli in Syria, where I made a short stay. I then travelled by land to Aleppo, where I became acquainted with some Armenian and Moorish merchants, and agreed to accompany them to Ormuz. We accordingly departed together from Aleppo, and came to the city of Bir in two days journey and a-half.

Bir is a small city in which provisions are very scarce, situated in Asia Minor [in lat. 37° 5' N. long. 38° E. from Greenwich], the river Euphrates running near its walls. In this city, the merchants who intend to descend the Euphrates form themselves into companies or associations, according to the quantities of merchandise they possess, and either build or buy a boat to carry themselves and their goods down the Euphrates to Babylon121, under the care of a master and mariners hired to conduct the boat. These boats are almost flat-bottomed and very strong, yet serve only for one voyage, as it is impossible to navigate them upwards. They are fitted for the shallowness of the river, which in many places is full of great stones which greatly obstruct the navigation. At Feluchia a small city on the Euphrates, the merchants pull their boats to pieces or sell them for a small price; as a boat that cost forty or fifty chequins at Bir sells only at Feluchia for seven or eight chequins. When the merchants return back from Babylon, if they have merchandise or goods that pay custom, they travel through the wilderness in forty days, passing that way at much less expence than the other. If they have no such merchandise, they then go by the way of Mosul in Mesopotamia, which is attended with great charges both for the caravan and company. From Bir to Feluchia. on the Euphrates, over against Babylon, which is on the Tigris, if the river have sufficient water, the voyage down the river may be made in fifteen or eighteen days; but when the water is low in consequence of long previous drought, the voyage is attended with much trouble, and will sometimes require forty or fifty days to get down. In this case the boats often strike on the stones in the river, when it becomes necessary to unlade and repair them, which is attended with much trouble and delay; and on this account the merchants have always one or two spare boats, that if one happen to split or be lost by striking on the shoals, they may have another ready to take in their goods till they have repaired the broken boat If they were to draw the broken boat on the land for repair, it would be difficult to defend it in the night from the great numbers of Arabs that would come to rob and plunder them. Every night, when it is necessary to make fast the boat to the bank, good watch must be kept against the Arabs, who are great thieves and as numerous as ants; yet are they not given to murder on these occasions, but steal what they can and run away. Arquebuses are excellent weapons for keeping off these Arabs, as they are in great fear of the shot. In passing down the river from Bir to Feluchia, there are certain towns and villages on the Euphrates belonging to the son of Aborise, king of the Arabs and of the desert, at some of which the merchants have to pay so many medins of custom on each bale.

SECTION II. Of Feluchia and Babylon

Feluchia is a village on the Euphrates, where they who come from Bir for Babylon disembark with their goods, and go thence by land to Babylon, a journey of a day and a half. Babylon is no great city, but is very populous and is greatly resorted to by strangers, being the great thoroughfare for Persia, Turkey and Arabia, and from this place there are frequent caravans to different countries. Babylon is abundantly supplied with provisions, which are brought down the river Tigris on certain rafts or zattores called Vtrij, the river Tigris running past the walls of Babylon. The blown-up hides of which these rafts are composed, are bound fast together, on which boards are laid, and on these boards the commodities are loaded. When unladed at Babylon, the air is let out of the skins, which are then laid on the backs of camels and carried back to serve for another voyage. The city of Babylon is properly speaking in the kingdom of Persia, but is now under the dominion of the Turks. On the other side of the river towards Arabia, over against Babylon, there is a handsome town in which is an extensive Bazar for the merchants, with many lodging rooms, in which the greater part of the stranger merchants that go to Babylon expose their goods for sale. The passage across the river between Babylon and this town is by a long bridge of boats chained together with great chains: And when the river is swollen by the great rains, this bridge is opened in the middle, one half falling alongside of the walls of Babylon, and the other half along the opposite bank of the borough. So long as the bridge remains open, the people cross from side to side in small boats with much danger, by reason of their smallness, and that they are usually overladen, so that they are very liable to be overset by the swiftness of the current, or to be carried away and wrecked on the banks. In this manner-many people are lost and drowned, as I have often witnessed.

The tower of Nimrod, or Babel, is situated on the Arabian side of the Tigris, in a great plain, seven or eight miles from Babylon. Being ruined on every side, it has formed a great mountain, yet a considerable part of the tower is still standing, compassed and almost covered up by these ruins. It has been built of square bricks dried in the sun, and constructed in the following manner. In the first place a course of bricks was laid, then a mat made of canes squared like the bricks, and daubed with earth instead of lime mortar; and these mats still remain so strong that it is wonderful considering their great antiquity. I have gone all round it without being able to discover any place where there had been a door or entrance, and in my opinion it may be about a mile in circumference or rather less. Contrary to all other things, which appear small at a distance and become larger the nearer they are approached, this tower appears largest when seen from afar, and seems less as you come nearer. This may be accounted for, as the tower stands in a very large plain, and with its surrounding ruins forms the only perceptible object; so that from a distance the tower and the mountains formed of its ruins make a greater shew than it is found to be on coming near.


From Babylon I embarked in one of those small vessels which ply upon the Tigris between Babylon and Basora, which are built after the manner of foists or galliots, having a speron122 and a covered poop. They use no pumps, being so well daubed with pitch as effectually to exclude the water. This pitch they have from a great plain near the city of Heit on the Euphrates, two days journey from Babylon. This plain full of pitch is marvellous to behold, and a thing almost incredible, as from a hole in the earth the pitch is continually thrown into the air with a constant great smoke; and being hot it falls as it were sprinkled all over the plain, in such abundance that the plain is always full of pitch123. The Moors and Arabs of the neighbourhood allege that this hole is the mouth of Hell; and in truth it is a very memorable object From this native pitch or bitumen the whole people of that country derive great benefit, as with it they pay or serve their barks, which they call Daneck and Saffin.

When the river Tigris is well replenished with water, the passage from Babylon or Bagdat to Basora may be made in eight or nine days, less or more according to circumstances; we were fourteen or fifteen days, because the water was low, and when the waters are at the lowest it requires eighteen days. Having no rocks or shoals in the river, the voyage may be continued day and night. There are some places by the way at which you have to pay so many medins for each bale, as toll or custom. Basora, Bussora, or Busrah [in lat. 30° 20' N. long. 47° 40' E.], is a city on the Arabian side of the united rivers Euphrates and Tigris, which was governed of old by those Arabs called Zizarij, but is now under the dominion of the grand Turk, who keeps an army there at great charge. The tribe of Arabs called Zizarij still have possession of a large extent of country, and cannot be overcome by the Turks, as the sea divides their country into islands by many channels, so that the Turks are unable to bring an army against them either by land or sea, and likewise because the inhabitants are brave and warlike. A days sail before coming to Basora, we pass a small castle or fort called Corna, on the point of land where the Euphrates and Tigris join; whence the united waters of these two rivers form a very large river that runs into the gulf of Persia.

Basora is fifty miles from the sea, and it a place of great trade in spices and drugs, which are brought from Ormuz. It is abundantly supplied with corn, rice, and dates, from the surrounding country. At Basora I shipped myself for Ormuz, to which I sailed through the Persian gulf 600 miles, which is the distance between Basora and Ormuz. We sailed in small ships built of board fastened together with small ropes or cords, and, instead of caulking, a certain kind of straw is laid between the boards at their junctions, and they are sewed together; owing to which imperfect construction, these vessels are very dangerous, and take in much water. On departing from Basora we sailed 200 miles along the left shore of the gulf, having the open sea on our right hand, till we came to an island called Carichij or Karak, whence we continued our voyage to Ormuz, always keeping the Persian shore in sight on our left, and seeing many islands on our right hand towards Arabia.


The island of Ormuz is twenty-five or thirty miles in circuit, being the driest and most barren island in the world, producing nothing but salt-water and wood. All things necessary for the life of man are brought here from Persia, which is twelve miles off, and from islands adjoining to Persia, and in such abundance that the city has always a great store of every necessary. Near the shore there stands a fair castle, in which resides the commander appointed by the king of Portugal, with a good band of Portuguese soldiers. The married men belonging to the garrison dwell in the city, in which there are merchants of almost every nation, among whom are many Moors and Gentiles. This city has a vast trade for all kinds of spices, drugs, silk, cloth of silk, brocades, and various kinds of merchandise from Persia. The trade in horses is very great, being transported from hence to India. The island has a Mahometan or Moorish king of the Persian race, who is created and set up by the Portuguese commander in the name of the king of Portugal. Being present on one of these occasions, I shall set down the ceremonies as I saw them.

The old king being dead, the Portuguese commander proceeds with much pomp and ceremony to elect a new one in the castle; and when he is chosen from the blood-royal, the new king is sworn to be true and faithful to the king of Portugal, as his lord-paramount, after which the captain presents him with the royal sceptre. The newly elected king is then conducted in great pomp to the royal palace, amid great feasts and rejoicings, and attended by a numerous and splendid retinue. The king keeps a good train of attendants, and has sufficient revenues to maintain his state and dignity, with very little of the cares of royalty, as the captain of the castle defends the kingdom. When the king and captain ride out together, the king is treated with much ceremony and respect, yet cannot ride abroad with his train without having first received permission of the captain, which precaution is necessary because of the great trade carried on at this place. The native language in this island is the Persian. I embarked at Ormuz for Goa in India, in a ship on board of which were fourscore horses. All merchants proceeding from Ormuz for Goa ought to go in ships carrying horses, because every ship carrying twenty horses or upwards is privileged from the payment of customs on all their other goods, whereas all ships having no horses have to pay eight per centum on their goods and commodities.

SECTION V. Of Goa, Diu, and Cambaya

Goa is the chief city of the Portuguese in India, in which reside the viceroy and his court, being many officers of the crown of Portugal. From Ormuz it is 990 miles to Goa, on which passage the first city you come to in India is Diu, situated in a small island of the kingdom of Cambaia; and, though a small city, is the strongest fortified of any of those possessed by the Portuguese in India, having great trade, and loading many great ships with merchandise for Ormuz and the Red Sea. These ships belong both to Moors and Christians; but the Moors can neither trade nor navigate in these seas, unless they have a pass or licence from the Portuguese viceroy, without which they we liable to be captured. The merchandise loaded at Diu comes from Cambaietta, a port in the kingdom of Cambaia, about 180 miles up a strait or gulf called Macareo, which signifies a race of the tide, because the water runs there with immense rapidity, such as is not to be seen anywhere else, except in the kingdom of Pegu, where there is another Macareo or race of the tide still more violent. On this account, and because no large vessels can go to Cambaietta or Cambay, by reason of the shallowness of the water in the gulf for 80 or 100 miles, the principal city of Cambaia or Guzerat is Amadaver or Amedabad, a day and a half journey from Cambay, being a great and populous city, and for a city of the Gentiles it is well built with handsome houses and wide streets. In it there is a fine bason or canul, having many ships, so that it resembles Cairo, but not so large.

Cambay is situated on the sea at the head of the gulf of the same name, and is a handsome city. While I was there it was suffering great calamity, owing to a scarcity, insomuch that the Gentiles offered their sons and daughters for sale to the Portuguese, and I have seen them sold for 8 or 10 larines each, which is of our money about 10s. or 13s. 4d.124. Yet if I had not actually seen it, I could not have believed that Cambay had so great a trade. Every new and full moon, when the tides are at the highest, the small barks that come in and go out are quite innumerable. These barks are laden with all kinds of spices, with silks of China, sandal-wood, elephants teeth, velvets of Vercini, great quantities of Pannina, which comes from Mecca, chequins or gold coins worth 7s. each sterling, and various other commodities. These barks carry out an infinite quantity of cloth of all sorts made of bumbast or cotton, some white, others stamped or painted; large quantities of indigo, dried and preserved ginger, dry and confected myrabolans, boraso or borax in paste, vast quantities of sugar, cotton, opium, asafoetida, puchio? and many other kinds of drugs, turbans made at Delhi, great quantities of carnelians, garnets, agates, jaspers, calcedonies, hematitis, or bloodstones, and some natural diamonds.

It is customary at Cambay, though no one is obliged, to employ brokers, of whom there are great numbers at this place, all Gentiles and of great repute, every one of whom keeps fifteen or twenty servants. All the Portuguese, and more other merchants who frequent this place, employ these brokers, who purchase and tell for them; and such as come there for the first time are informed by their friends of this custom, and what broker they ought to employ. Every fifteen days, when the great fleet of barks comes into port, these brokers come to the water side, and the merchants immediately on landing give charge of their cargoes to the broker who transacts their business, with the marks of all their bales and packages. After this the merchant carries on shore all the furniture for his dwelling, it being necessary for every one who trades to India to carry a sufficient provision of household staff for his use, as none such are to be procured. Then the broker who takes charge of his cargo, makes his servants carry the merchant's furniture to some empty house in the city, every broker having several such for the accommodation of their merchants, where there are only bedsteads, tables, chairs, and empty water jars. Then the broker says to the merchant, go and repose yourself and take your rest in the city. The broker remains at the water-side in charge of the cargo, causes all the goods to be discharged from the bark, pays the customs, and causes every thing to be carried to the house in which the merchant has taken up his residence, the merchant having no trouble with any thing. After this, the broker inquires if the merchant is disposed to sell his goods at the rate then current; and if he desires it, the broker sells the goods immediately, and informs the merchant how much money comes to him after payment of all charges. If the merchant is disposed to lay out his money in the purchase of other commodities, the broker informs him at what rate the different articles may be put free on board, all charges paid. Being thus properly instructed, the merchant makes his calculations, and if he is satisfied to buy or sell at the current prices he directs the broker accordingly; so that if he have even to the value of 20,000 ducats or more, every thing will be sold off or bartered in fifteen days, without giving himself any trouble or concern about the matter. Should the merchant not be disposed to sell the goods at the then current prices, he may tarry as long as he pleases, but the goods cannot be sold for him by any other person than the broker who has taken them in hand, and has paid the duties. Sometimes, by delaying the sale of their commodities for a time, the merchants make good profit, and at other times they lose; but those articles which do not ordinarily come every fifteen days, frequently produce great profit by delaying to sell till the prices rise.

The barks that lade at Cambay go to Diu to supply the ships at that port which are taking in goods for the Red Sea and Ormuz, and some go to Chaul and Goa. These ships are either well armed, or are protected by Portuguese ships of war, as there are many corsairs or pirates continually cruizing along that coast, robbing and plundering whatever they are able to master. The kingdom of Cambaia or Guzerat has great trade, though it has long been in the hands of tyrants and usurpers, ever since the lawful sovereign, then 75 years of age, named Sultan Badur, was slain, at the assault of Diu, at which time four or five principal officers of his army divided the kingdom among themselves, all tyrannizing in their several shares as in emulation of each other. Twelve years before my coming, the great Mogul, who is the Mahometan king of Delhi and Agra, 40 days journey inland from Amedabad, reduced all the provinces of Guzerat under his authority without resistance, his power being so great that none of the usurpers dared to oppose him. While I dwelt in Cambay, I saw many curious things. There were a prodigious number of artificers who made ivory bracelets called mannij, of, various colours, with which the Gentile women are in use to decorate their arms, some covering their arms entirely over with them. In this single article there are many thousand crowns expended yearly, owing to this singular custom, that, when any of their kindred die, they break all their bracelets in token of grief and mourning, so that they have immediately to purchase new ones, as they would rather go without meat as not have these ornaments.

SECTION VI. Of Damann, Bassen, Tana, Chaul, and some other places

Leaving Diu, I went on to Damann, the second city belonging to the Portuguese in the territory of Guzerat, and distant from Diu 120 miles. This place has no trade of any importance, except in rice and wheat, and has many dependent villages, where in time of peace the Portuguese enjoy the pleasure of a country retirement, but in time of war they are all spoiled and plundered by the enemy, so that then they derive very small benefit from them. The next place is Bassen, a small dirty place in comparison with Damann, which supplies Goa with rice and wheat, besides timber for the construction of ships and gallies. At a small distance from Bassen is a small island named Tana, well peopled with Portuguese, Moors, and Gentiles. This place affords nothing but rice, but contains many manufacturers of armesies ? and weavers of girdles made of wool and cotton, black and red like moocharie ?

Beyond this is Chaul on the continent, where there are two cities, one belonging to the Portuguese, and the other to the Moors; that which belongs to the Portuguese is lower than the other, commands the mouth of the harbour, and is very strongly fortified. About a mile and a half from this city is that of the Moors, belonging to their king Zamaluco, or Nizam-al-mulk. In time of war no large ships can go to the city of the Moors, as they must necessarily pass under the guns of the Portuguese castles, which would sink them. Both cities of Chaul are sea-ports, and have great trade in all kinds of spices, drugs, raw silk, manufactures of silk, sandal-wood, Marsine, Versine125, porcelain of China, velvets and scarlets, both from Portugal and Mecca126, with many other valuable commodities. Every year there arrive ten or fifteen large ships, laden with great nuts called Giagra127, which are cured or dried, and with sugar made from these nuts. The tree on which these nuts grow is called the Palmer tree, and is to be found in great abundance over all India, especially between this place and Goa. This tree very much resembles that which produces dates, and no tree in the world is more profitable or more useful to man; no part of it but serves for some useful purpose, neither is any part of it so worthless as to be burnt. Of its timber they build ships, and with the leaves they make sails. Its fruit, or nuts, produce wine, and from the wine they make sugar and placetto128. This wine is gathered in the spring of the year from the middle of the tree, where there is then a continual stream of clear liquor like water, which they gather in vessels placed on purpose under each tree, and take them away full every morning and evening. This liquor being distilled by means of fire, is converted into a very strong liquor, which is then put into buts with a quantity of white or black Zibibs, and in a short time it becomes a perfect wine. Of the nuts they make great quantities of oil. The tree is made into boards and timbers for building houses. Of the bark cables and other ropes are made for ships which are said to be better than those made of hemp. The branches are made into bed-steads after the Indian fashion, and into Sanasches ? for merchandise. The leaves being cut into thin slips are woven into sails for all kinds of ships, or into thin mats. The outer rhind of the nut stamped serves as oakum for caulking ships, and the hard inner shell serves for spoons and other utensils for holding food or drink. Thus no portion whatever of this Palmer tree is so worthless as to be thrown away or cast into the fire. When the nuts are green, they are full of a sweet water, excellent to drink, and the liquor contained in one nut is sufficient to satisfy a thirsty person. As the nut ripens, this liquor turns all into kernel.

From Chaul, an infinite quantity of goods are exported for other parts of India, Macao, Portugal, the coast of Melinda, Ormuz, and other parts; such as cloth of bumbast or cotton, white, painted, and printed, indigo, opium, silk of all kinds, borax in paste, asafoetida, iron, corn, and other things. Nizam-al-Mulk, the Moorish king, has great power, being able to take the field with 200,000 men, and a great store of artillery, some of which are made in pieces129, and are so large that they are difficultly removed, yet are they very commodiously used, and discharge enormous stone bullets, some of which have been sent to the king of Portugal as rarities. The city of Abnezer130, in which Nizam-al-Mulk resides, is seven or eight days journey inland from Chaul. Seventy miles131 from Chaul toward the Indies, or south, is Dabul, a haven belonging to Nizam-al-Mulk, from whence to Goa is 150 miles132.


Goa, the principal city of the Portuguese in India, in which the viceroy resides with a splendid court, stands in an island about 25 or 30 miles in circuit. The city, with its boroughs or suburbs, is moderately large, and is sufficiently handsome for an Indian city; but the island is very beautiful, being full of fine gardens, and adorned with many trees, among which are the Palmer, or cocoa-nut trees, formerly mentioned. Goa trades largely in all kinds of merchandise usual in these parts, and every year five or six large ships come directly thither from Portugal, usually arriving about the 6th or 10th of September. They remain there 40 or 50 days, and go from thence to Cochin, where they finish their lading for Portugal; though they often load one ship at Goa and the other at Cochin for Portugal. Cochin is 420 miles from Goa. The city of Goa stands in the kingdom of Dial-can, or Adel Khan, a Moorish or Mahometan king, whose capital, called Bejapour or Visiapour, is eight days journey inland from Goa133. This sovereign has great power; for, when I was at Goa in 1570, he came to attack that city, encamping with 200,000 men at a river side in the neighbourhood, where he remained fourteen months, at the end of which a peace was concluded. It was reported in Goa that a great mortality prevailed in his army during the winter, which also killed many of his elephants. When I went in 1567 from Goa to Bezenegur or Bijanagur, the capital city of the kingdom of Narsinga, eight days journey inland from Goa134, I travelled in company with two other merchants, who carried with them 300 Arabian horses for sale to that king; the horses of the country being of small stature, occasioning Arabian horses to sell at high prices in that part of India. Indeed it is necessary that the merchants should get good prices, as they are at great charges in bringing them from Persia to Ormuz and thence to Goa. At going out of Goa, 42 pagodas are paid of duty for each horse; the pagoda being a small gold coin worth about 6s. 8d. sterling. In the inland country of Narsinga, the Arabian horses sell for 300, 400, and 500 ducats each, and some very superior horses sell as high as 1000 ducats.

SECTION VIII. Of the City of Bijanagur

In the year 1565, the city of Bijanagur was sacked by four Moorish kings of great power: Adel-Khan, Nizam-al-Mulk, Cotub-al-Mulk, and Viriday-Khan; yet with all their power they were unable to overcome this city and its king but by means of treachery. The king of Bijanagur was a Gentile, and among the captains of his numerous army had two famous Moors, each of whom commanded over seventy or eighty thousand men. These two captains being of the same religion with the four Moorish kings, treacherously combined with them to betray their own sovereign. Accordingly, when the king of Bijanagur, despising the power of his enemies, boldly faced them in the field, the battle had scarcely lasted four hours, when the two treacherous captains, in the very heat of the battle, turned with their followers against their own sovereign, and threw his army into such disorder that it broke and fled in the utmost confusion.

This kingdom of Bijanagur had been governed for thirty years by the usurpation of three brothers, keeping the lawful king a state prisoner, and ruling according to their own pleasure, shewing the king only once a year to his subjects. They had been principal officers under the father of the king whom they now held a prisoner, who was very young when his father died, and they assumed the government. The eldest brother was called Ram rajah, who sat in the royal throne and was called king; the second was named Temi rajah, who held charge of the civil government of the country; and the third, Bengatre, was general in chief of the army. In the great battle against the four Mahometan kings all the three brothers were present, but the first and the last were never heard of more, neither dead nor alive. Temi rajah alone escaped from the battle, with the loss of one eye. On the news of this great defeat coming to the city of Bijanagur, the wives and children of the three tyrants fled with the imprisoned king, and the four Mahometan kings entered the city in great triumph, where they remained for six months, searching everywhere for money and valuable effects that had been hidden. After this they departed, being unable to retain possession of so extensive a dominion at such a distance from their own territory135.

After the retreat of the four kings, Temi rajah returned to Bijanagur, which he repeopled, and sent word to the merchants of Goa to bring all the horses to him that they had for sale, promising good prices; and it was on this occasion that the two merchants went up with their horses, whom I accompanied. This tyrant also issued a proclamation, that if any merchant happened to have any of the horses which were taken in the late battle, even although they happened to have the Bijanagur mark upon them, that he would pay for them their full values, and give safe conduct for all who had such to come to his capital. When by this means he had procured a great number of horses, he put off the merchants with fair promises, till he saw that no more horses were likely to come, and he then ordered the merchants to depart without giving them any thing for the horses. I remained in Bijanagur seven months, though I might have concluded my whole business in one; but it was necessary for me to remain until the ways were cleared of thieves and robbers, who ranged up and down in whole troops.

While I rested there I saw many strange and barbarous deeds done among these Gentiles. When any noble man or woman dies, the dead body is burned. If a married man die, his widow must burn herself alive for the love of her husband, and along with his body; but she may have the respite of a month, or even of two or three, if she will. When the appointed day arrives on which she is to be burnt, she goeth out from her house very early in the morning, either on horseback or on an elephant, or on a stage carried by eight men, apparelled like a bride, and is carried in triumph all round the city, having her hair hanging down about her shoulders, garnished with jewels and flowers, according to her circumstances, and seemingly as joyful as a bride in Venice going to her nuptials. On this occasion, she carries a mirror in her left hand, and an arrow in her right, and sings during the procession, saying, that she is going to sleep with her dear husband. In this manner she continues, surrounded by her kindred and friends till about one or two in the afternoon, when the procession goes out of the city to the side of the river called Nigondin or Toombuddra, which runs past the walls of the city, to a certain spot where this ceremony is usually performed, where there is prepared a large square pit full of dried wood, having a little pinnacle or scaffold close to one side four or five steps up. On her arrival, a great banquet is prepared, where the victim eats with as much apparent joy as if it were her wedding-day; and at the end of the feast there is dancing and singing so long as she thinks fit. At length she gives orders of her own accord to kindle the dry wood in the square pit; and when told that the fire is kindled, she takes the nearest kinsman of her husband by the hand, who leads her to the bank of the river, where she puts off her jewels and all her clothes, distributing them among her parents or relations; when, putting on a cloth, that she may not be seen naked by the people, she throweth herself into the river, saying, O! wretches wash away your sins. Coming out of the water, she rolls herself up in a yellow cloth, fourteen yards long, and again taking the nearest kinsman of her husband by the hand, they go together to the pinnacle at the funeral pile. From this place she addresses the people, to whom she recommends her children and relations. Before the pinnacle it is usual to place a mat, that she may not see the fierce fire; yet there are many who order this to be removed, as not afraid of the sight. When the silly woman has reasoned with the people for some time, another woman takes a pot of oil, part of which she pours on the head of the devoted victim, anointing also her whole body with the same, and then throws the pot into the fire, which the widow immediately follows, leaping into the fiercest of the fire. Then those who stand around the pile throw after her many great pieces of wood, by the blows from which, and the fierce fire in which she is enveloped, she quickly dies and is consumed. Immediately the mirth of the people is changed to sorrow and weeping, and such howling and lamentation is set up as one is hardly able to bear. I have seen many burnt in this manner, as my house was near the gate where they go out to the place of burning; and when a great man dies, not only his widow, but all the female slaves with whom he has had connection, are burnt along with his body. Also when the baser sort of people die, I have seen the dead husband carried to the place of sepulchre, where he is placed upright; then cometh his widow, and, placing herself on her knees before him, she clasps her arms about his neck, till the masons have built a wall around both as high us their necks. Then a person from behind strangles the widow, and the workmen finish the building over their heads, and thus they remain immured in one tomb. Inquiring the reason of this barbarous custom, I was told that this law had been established in ancient times as a provision against the slaughters which the women were in use to make of their husbands, poisoning them on every slight cause of displeasure; but that since the promulgation of this law they have been more faithful to their husbands, reckoning their lives as dear to them as their own, because after the death of their husband their own is sure soon to follow. There are many other abominable customs among these people, but of which I have no desire to write.

In consideration of the injury done to Bijanagur by the four Mahometan kings, the king with his court removed from that city in 1567, and went to dwell in a castle named Penegonde, eight days journey inland from Bijanagur. Six days journey from Bijanagur is the place where diamonds are got136. I was not there, but was told that it is a great place encompassed by a wall, and that the ground within is sold to the adventurers at so much per square measure, and that they are even limited as to the depth they may dig. All diamonds found of a certain size and above belong to the king, and all below that size to the adventurers. It is a long time since any diamonds have been got there, owing to the troubles that have distracted the kingdom of Narsinga: For the son of Temi rajah having put the imprisoned king to death, the nobles and great men of the kingdom refused to acknowledge authority of the tyrant, so that the kingdom has fallen into anarchy, every one setting up for themselves.

The city of Bijanagur is not altogether destroyed, as the houses are said to be still standing, but entirely void of population, and become the dwellings of tigers, and other wild beasts. The circuit of this great city is twenty-four miles round the walls, within which are several hills. The ordinary dwellings are of earthen walls, and sufficiently mean, but the three palaces of the tyrant brothers, and the pagodas or idol temples, are built of fine marble, cemented with lime. I have seen many kings courts, yet have never seen any thing to compare with the greatness of the royal palace of Bijanagur, which hath nine gates. First, when you go into that part where the king lodged, there are five great gates kept by captains and soldiers: Within these are four lesser gates, which are kept by porters. On the outer side of the first gate is a small porch or lodge, where there is a captain and twenty-five soldiers, who keep watch day and night; and within that another, with a similar guard. Through this you enter into a very fair court, at the end of which is another porch like the first, with a similar guard, and within that another court. Thus the first five gates are each guarded by their respective captains. Then each of the lesser gates within are kept by a separate guard of porters. These gates stand open the greatest part of the night, as it is the custom of the Gentiles to transact business and make their feasts during the night, rather than in the day. This city is very safe from thieves, insomuch that the Portuguese merchants sleep under porches open to the street, and yet never meet with any injury.

At the end of two months, I determined to go for Goa, in company with two Portuguese merchants, who were making ready to depart in two palankins or small litters, which are very convenient vehicles for travelling, being carried by eight falchines, or bearers, four at a time, and other four as reliefs. For my own use I bought two bullocks, one to ride upon and the other to carry my provisions. In that country they ride upon bullocks, having pannels fastened with girths, and guide them with bridles. In summer, the journey from Bijanagur to Goa takes only eight days; but we went in July, which is the middle of winter in that country, and were fifteen days in going to Ancola, on the sea coast. On the eighth day of the journey I lost both my bullocks. That which carried my provisions was weak, and could not proceed; and on passing a river by means of a small foot bridge, I made my other bullock swim across, but he stopt on a small island in the middle of the river where he found pasture, and we could devise no means to get him out. I was under the necessity therefore to leave him, and was forced to go on foot for seven days, during which it rained almost incessantly, and I suffered great fatigue. By good fortune I met some falchines137 by the way, whom I hired to carry my clothes and provisions. In this journey we suffered great troubles, being every day made prisoners, and had every morning at our departure to pay four or five pagies? a man as ransom. Likewise, as we came almost every day into the country of a new governor, though all tributary to the king of Bijanagur, we found that every one of them had their own copper coin, so that the money we got in change one day was not current on the next. At length, by the mercy of God, we got safe to Ancola, which is in the country of the queen of Gargopam138, a tributary to the king of Bijanagur.

The merchandise sent every year from Goa to Bijanagur consists of Arabian horses, velvets, damasks, satins, armoisins of Portugal, porcelain of China, saffron, and scarlet cloth; and at Bijanagur, they received in exchange or barter, jewels and pagodas, which are the gold ducats of the country. At Bijanagur, according to the state and condition of the wearers, the apparel is of velvet, satin, damask, scarlet cloth, or white cotton; and they wear long hats on their heads, called colae, made of similar materials; having girdles round their bodies of fine cotton cloth. They wear breeches made like those used by the Turks; having on their feet plain high things called aspergh. In their ears they wear great quantities of golden ornaments.

Returning to my journey. When we got to Ancola, one of my companions having nothing to lose, took a guide and set out for Goa, which is only at the distance of four days journey; but as the other Portuguese was not inclined to travel any farther at this season, he and I remained there for the winter139, which beginning on the 15th of May, lasts to the end of October. While we tarried there, another horse-merchant arrived in a palanquin, together with two Portuguese soldiers from Ceylon, and two letter-carriers, who were Christians born in India. All these persons agreed to go in company to Goa, and I resolved to go with them; for which purpose, I got a sorry palanquin made for me of canes, and in the hollow of one of these I concealed all my jewels. According to the usual custom, I hired eight falchines or bearers, and we set off one day about eleven o'clock. About two o'clock the same day, as we were passing a mountain which separates the territory of Ancola from that belonging to Abel Khan, and while I was a little way behind the rest of the company, I was assaulted by eight robbers, four of whom were armed with swords and targets, and the others with bows and arrows. My bearers immediately let fall the palanquin and ran off, leaving me alone on the ground wrapped up in my clothes. The robbers instantly came up and rifled me of every thing I had, leaving me stark naked. I pretended to be sick and would not quit the palanquin, in which I had made a kind of bed of my spare clothes. After searching with great industry, the thieves found two purses in which I had tied up some copper money I had got in change for four pagodas at Ancola; and thinking this treasure consisted of gold coin, they searched no farther, and went away, throwing all my clothes into a bush. Fortunately at their departure they dropped a handkerchief which I noticed, and getting up I wrapped it up in my palaquin140. In this forlorn condition, I had resolved to pluck the hollow cane from my palanquin in which my jewels were hid, and to have endeavoured to make my own way on foot to Goa, using the cane as a walking stick. But my bearers were so faithful that they returned to look for me after the robbers departed, which indeed I did not expect, as they were paid before hand, according to the custom of India. We got to Goa in four days, during which I fared very badly, as the robbers had left me no money of any kind, and all I had to eat was given me by my bearers for God's sake; but after my arrival in Goa, I paid them royally for what they gave me.

From Goa I departed for Cochin, a voyage of 300 miles, there being several strong-holds belonging to the Portuguese between these two cities, as Onore, Barcelore, Mangalore, and Cananore. Onore, the first of these, is in the dominions of the queen of Battacella, or Batecolah, who is tributary to the king of Bijanagur. There is no trade at this place, which is only a military post held by a captain with a company of soldiers. After this you go to another small castle of the Portuguese called Mangalore, in which there is only a small trade in rice. Thence you go to a little fort called Bazelore141, whence a great deal of rice is transported to Goa. From thence you go to a city named Cananore, which is within a musket-shot of the capital of the king of Cananore who is a Gentile142. He and his people are wicked and malicious, delighting in going to war with the Portuguese; yet when at peace they find their interest in trading with them. From this kingdom of Cananore is procured great store of cardomums, pepper, ginger, honey, cocoa-nuts, and archa or areka. This is a fruit about the size of a nutmeg, which is chewed in all the Indies, and even beyond them, along with the leaf of a plant resembling ivy called betel. The nut is wrapped up in a leaf of the betel along with some lime made of oyster shells, and through all the Indies they spend a great deal of money; on this composition, which they use daily, a thing I could not have believed if I had not seen it continually practised. A great revenue is drawn from this herb, as it pays custom. When they chew this in their mouths, it makes their spittle as red as blood, and it is said to produce a good appetite and a sweet breath; but in my opinion, they eat it rather to satisfy their filthy lusts, for this herb is moist and hot, and causes a strong expulsion.

From Cananore you go Cranganore, which is a small fort of the Portuguese in the country of the king of Cranganore, another king of the Gentiles. This is a country of small importance of about a hundred miles extent, full of thieves, subject to the king of Calicut, who is another king of the Gentiles and a great enemy to the Portuguese, with whom he is continually engaged in war. This country is a receptacle of foreign thieves, and especially of those Moors called Carposa, on account of their wearing long red caps. These thieves divide the spoil they get with the king of Calicut, who gives them leave to go a-roving; so that there are so many thieves all along this coast, that there is no sailing in those seas except in large ships well armed, or under convoy of Portuguese ships of war. From Cranganore to Cochin is 15 miles143.


Cochin, next to Goa, is the chief place in India belonging to the Portuguese, and has a great trade in spices, drugs, and all other kinds of merchandise for Portugal. Inland from that place is the pepper country, which pepper is loaded by the Portuguese in bulk not in sacks. The pepper which is sent to Portugal is not so good as that which goes up the Red Sea; because in times past the officers of the king of Portugal made a contract with the king of Cochin for all the pepper, to be delivered at a fixed price, which is very low; and for which reason the country people deliver it to the Portuguese unripe and full of dirt. As the Moors of Mecca give a better price, they get it clean and dry and in much better condition; but all the spices and drugs which they carry to Mecca and the Red Sea are contraband and stolen or smuggled. There are two cities at Cochin, one of which belongs to the Portuguese and the other to the native king; that of the Portuguese being nearer the sea, while the native city is a mile and a half farther up the same river. They are both on the banks of the same large river, which comes from the mountains in the pepper country144, in which are many Christians of the order of St Thomas. The king of Cochin is a Gentile and a steadfast friend to the king of Portugal, and to all the Portuguese who are married and have become citizens of Cochin. By the name of Portuguese, all the Christians are known in India who come from Europe, whether they be Italians, Frenchmen, or Germans. All those who marry and settle at Cochin get some office according to the trades they are off, by which they have great privileges. The two principal commodities in which they deal are silk which comes in great quantities from China, and large quantities of sugar, which comes from Bengal. The married citizens pay no customs for these two commodities; but pay 4s. per centum for all other goods to the king of Cochin, rating their own goods almost at their own valuation. Those who are not married pay to the king of Portugal 8s. per centum for all kinds of commodities. While I was in Cochin, the viceroy used his endeavours to break the privileges of these married citizens, that they might pay the same rates of customs with others. On this occasion the citizens were glad to weigh their pepper in the night to evade the customs. When this came to the knowledge of the king of Cochin, he put a stop to the delivery of pepper, so that the viceroy was glad to allow the merchants to do as formerly.

The king of Cochin has small power in comparison with the other sovereigns of India as he is unable to send above 70,000 men into the field. He has a great number of gentlemen, some of whom are called Amochi145 and others Nairs. These two sorts of men do not value their lives in any thing which tends to the honour of their king, and will run freely into any danger in his service, even if sure to lose their lives in the attempt. These men go naked from the waist upwards, and barefooted, having only a cloth wrapped about their thighs. Their hair is long and rolled up on the top of their heads, and they go always armed, carrying bucklers and naked swords. The Nairs have their wives in common among themselves, and when any of them goes into the house of one of these women, he leaves his sword and buckler at the door, and while he is within no other dare enter the house. The king's children never inherit the kingdom after their fathers, lest perchance they may have been begotten by some other man; wherefore the son of the king's sisters, or of some female of the royal-blood succeeds, that they may be sure of having a king of the royal family. Those Naires and their wives have great holes in their ears by way of ornament, so large and wide as is hardly credible, holding that the larger these holes are, so much the more noble are they. I had leave from one of them to measure the circumference of the hole in one of his ears with a thread; and within that circumference I put my arm up to the shoulder with my clothes on, so that in fact they are monstrously large. This is begun when they are very young, at which time a hole is made in each ear, to which they hang a piece of gold or a lump of lead, putting a certain leaf into the hole which causes the hole to increase prodigiously. They load ships at Cochin both for Portugal and Ormuz: but all the pepper that is carried to Ormuz is smuggled. Cinnamon and all other spices and drugs are permitted to be exported to Ormuz or Cambaia, as likewise all other kinds of merchandise from other parts of India. From Cochin there are sent yearly to Portugal great quantities of pepper, dry and preserved ginger, wild cinnamon, areka nuts and large store of cordage made of cayro, that is from the bark of the cocoa-nut tree, which is reckoned better than that made of hemp. The ships for Portugal depart every season between the 5th of December and the 5th of January.

From Cochin I went to Coulan, at which is a small fort belonging to the Portuguese, 72 miles from Cochin. This is a place of small trade, as every year a ship gets only half a lading of pepper here, and then goes to Cochin to be filled up. From Cochin to Cape Comorin is 72 miles, and here ends the Indian coast. Along this coast, and also at Cape Comorin, and down to the low lands of Chialon146, which is about 200 miles, there are great numbers of the natives converted to the Christian faith, and among them are many churches of the order of St Paul, the friars of which order do much good in these places, and take great pains to instruct the natives in the Christian faith.

SECTION X. Of the Pearl Fishery in the Gulf of Manaar

The men along the coast which extends from Cape Comorin to the low land of Chioal147, and the island of Zeilan or Ceylon, is called the pearl-fishery. This fishery is made every year, beginning in March or April, and lasts fifty days. The fishery is by no means made every year at one place, but one year at one place, and another year at another place; all however in the same sea. When the fishing season approaches, some good divers are sent to discover where the greatest quantities of oysters are to be found under water; and then directly facing that place which is chosen for the fishery, a village with a number of houses, and a bazar all of stone, is built, which stands as long as the fishery lasts, and is amply supplied with all necessaries. Sometimes it happens near places already inhabited, and at other times at a distance from any habitations. The fishers or divers are all Christians of the country, and all are permitted to engage in this fishery, on payment of certain duties to the king of Portugal, and to the churches of the friars of St Paul on that coast. Happening to be there one year in my peregrinations, I saw the order used in fishing, which is as follows.

During the continuance of the fishery, there are always three or four armed foists or galliots stationed to defend the fishermen from pirates. Usually the fishing-boats unite in companies of three or four together. These boats resemble our pilot boats at Venice, but are somewhat smaller, having seven or eight men in each. I have seen of a morning a great number of these boats go out to fish, anchoring in 15 or 18 fathoms water, which it the ordinary depth all along this coast. When at anchor, they cast a rope into the sea, having a great stone at one end. Then a man, having his ears well stopped, and his body anointed with oil, and a basket hanging to his neck or under his left arm, goes down to the bottom of the sea along the rope, and fills his basket with oysters as fast as he can. When that is full, he shakes the rope, and his companions draw him up with the basket. The divers follow each other in succession in this manner, till the boat is loaded with oysters, and they return at evening to the fishing village. Then each boat or company makes their heap of oysters at some distance from each other, so that a long row of great heaps of oysters are seen piled along the shore. These are not touched till the fishing is over, when each company sits down beside its own heap, and fails to opening the oysters, which is now easy, as the fish within are all dead and dry. If every oyster had pearls in them, it would be a profitable occupation, but there are many which have none. There are certain persons called Chitini, who are learned in pearls, and are employed to sort and value them, according to their weight, beauty, and goodness, dividing them into four sorts. The first sort, which are round, are named aia of Portugal, as they are bought by the Portuguese: The second, which are not round, are named aia of Bengal: The third, which are inferior to the second, are called aia of Canara, which is the name of the kingdom of Bijanagur or Narsinga, into which they are sold: And the fourth, or lowest kind, is called aia of Cambaia, being sold into that country148. Thus sorted, and prices affixed to each, there are merchants from all countries ready with their money, so that in a few days all the pearls are bought up, according to their goodness and weight.

In this sea of the pearl-fishery there is an island called Manaar, over-against Ceylon, inhabited by Christians who were formerly Gentiles, and in which island there is a small fort belonging to the Portuguese. Between this island and Ceylon there is a narrow channel with a small depth of water, through which only small ships can pass at the full and change of the moon, when the tides are high, and even then they must put their cargoes into lighters to enable them to pass the shoals, after which they take in their goods again, and proceed on their voyage. But large ships going for the eastern coast of India pass by the coast of Coromandel, on the other side of this gulf, beside the land of Chilao149, which is between the firm land and the isle of Manaar. On this voyage ships are sometimes lost, but they are empty, as ships going this way discharge their cargoes at Periapatam into small flat-bottomed boats named Tane, which can run over any shoal without danger, as they always wait at Periapatam for fine weather. On departing from Periapatam, the small ships and flat-bottomed boats go always together, and on arriving at the shoals about thirty-six miles from that place, they are forced through by the winds, which always blow so forcibly that they have no means of taking shelter during the passage. The flat boats go through safely; but if the small ships happen to miss the proper channel, they get fast on the shoals, by which many of them are lost. In coming back from the Indies, instead of this passage, they take the channel of Manaar, which has an ouze bottom, so that even in case of grounding they are generally got off again without damage. The reason of not using this passage on the outward voyage is, that the prevailing winds between Ceylon and Manaar frequently occasion that channel to have so little water that it cannot be navigated. From Cape Comorin to the island of Ceylon, the distance is 120 miles.

SECTION XI. Of the Island of Ceylon

In my judgment, the island of Ceylon is a great deal larger than Cyprus. On the west side, facing India, is the city of Columba, the principal hold of the Portuguese, but without walls or enemies. In this city, which has a free port, dwells the lawful king of the whole island, who has become a Christian, and is maintained by the king of Portugal, having been deprived of his kingdom. The heathen king to whom this island formerly belonged was named Madoni, who had two sons named Barbinas and Ragine. By acquiring the favour of the soldiers, the younger son Ragine usurped the kingdom, in prejudice of his father and elder brother, and became a great warrior. Formerly there were three kingdoms in this island. Those were, the kingdom of Cotta, with other dependent or conquered provinces: The kingdom of Candy, which had considerable power, and was allied to the Portuguese, the king being supposed a secret Christian: The third was the kingdom of Gianisampatam, or Jafnapatam. During thirteen years that Ragine ruled over this island, he became a great tyrant.

The island of Ceylon produces fine cinnamon and abundance of pepper, with great quantities of nuts and aroche150. They here make great quantities of cayre of which ropes are manufactured, as formerly noticed. It likewise produces great store of that kind of crystal called ochi de gati or cats eyes, and it is said to produce some rubies; but on my return thither from Pegu, I sold some rubies here for a good price, which I had bought in that country. Being desirous to see how the cinnamon is gathered from the trees, and happening to be there during the season when it is gathered, which is in the month of April; at this time the Portuguese were in the field making war on the king of the country, yet to satisfy my curiosity, I took a guide and went out into a wood about three miles from the city, where there grew great numbers of cinnamon trees intermixed among other wild trees. The cinnamon is a small tree not very high, and has leaves resembling those of the bay tree. In March or April, when the sap rises, the cinnamon or bark is taken from the trees. They cut the bark of the trees round about in lengths, from knot to knot, or from joint to joint, both above and below, and then easily strip it off with their hands, after which it is laid in the sun to dry. Yet for all this the tree does not die, but recovers a new bark by the next year. That which is gathered every year is the best cinnamon, as what remains upon the trees for two or three years becomes thick and coarse, and not so good as the other. In these woods there grows much pepper.

SECTION XII. Of Negapatam

From the island of Ceylon a trade is carried on in small ships to Negapatam on the continent, and 72 miles off is a very great and populous city, full of Portuguese and native Christians, with many Gentiles.151 Almost the only trade here is for rice and cotton cloth, which is carried to various countries. It formerly abounded in victuals, on which account many Portuguese resorted thither and built houses, as they could live there at small expense, but provisions have now become scarcer and dearer. This city belongs to a Gentile nobleman of the kingdom of Bijanagur, yet the Portuguese and other Christians are well treated, and have built churches, together with a monastery of the Franciscans. They live with great devotion, and are well accommodated with houses; yet are they among tyrants who may always do them much harm at their pleasure, as in reality happened to them in the year 1565. At that time the nayer or lord of the city sent to demand from the citizens certain Arabian horses, which they refused; whereupon this lord gave out that he proposed to take a view of the sea, so that the poor citizens doubted some evil was meant against them by this unusual circumstance, dreading that he would plunder the city. Accordingly they embarked as fast as they could with all their goods and moveables, merchandise, jewels, and money, and put off from the shore. But to their great misfortune, a great storm arose next night, by which all their ships were driven on shore and wrecked, and all their goods which came to land were seized by the troops of this great lord, who had come down with his army to see the sea.

SECTION XIII. Of Saint Thome and other places

Following my voyage from Negapatam 150 miles towards the east, I came to the house of the blessed apostle St Thomas152, which is a church held in great devotion, and is even much reverenced by the Gentiles, for the great miracles which they have heard were performed by that holy apostle. Near to this church the Portuguese have built a city, which stands in the country that is subject to the king of Bijanagur. Though not large, this city, in my judgment, is the handsomest in all that part of India, having many good houses with fine gardens in the environs. The streets are large and in straight lines, with many well frequented churches; and the houses are built contiguous, each having a small door, so that every house is sufficiently defensible by the Portuguese against the natives. The Portuguese have no other property here beyond their houses and gardens, as the sovereignty, together with the customs on trade, belong to the king of Bijanagur. These customs are small and easy, and the country is very rich and has great trade. Every year there come to this port two or three very large and rich ships, besides many other small ships. One of these great ships goes to Pegu and the other to Malacca, laden with fine bumbast or cotton cloth of all kinds, many of them being beautifully painted, and as it were gilded with various colours, which grow the livelier the oftener they are washed. There is also other cotton cloth that is woven of divers colours and is of great value. They also make at St Thome a great quantity of red yarn, dyed with a root called saia, which never fades in its colour, but grows the redder the oftener it is washed. Most of this red yarn is sent to Pegu, where it is woven into cloth according to their own fashion, and at less cost than can be done at St Thome.

The shipping and landing of men and merchandise at St Thome is very wonderful to those who have not seen it before. The place is so dangerous that ordinary small barks or ships boats cannot be used, as these would be beaten to pieces; but they have certain high barks made on purpose, which they call Masadie or Mussolah, made of small boards sewed together with small cords, in which the owners will embark either men or goods. They are laden upon dry land, after which the boatmen thrust the loaded boat into the stream, when with the utmost speed they exert themselves to row her out against the huge waves of the sea which continually best on that shore, and so carry them out to the ships. In like manner these Masadies are laden at the ships with men and merchandise; and when they come near the shore, the men leap out into the sea to keep the bark right, that she may not cast athwart the shore, and keeping her right stem on, the surf of the sea sets her with her lading high and dry on the land without hurt or danger. Yet sometimes these boats are overset; but there can be but small loss on such occasions, as they lade but little at a time. All the goods carried outwards in this manner are securely covered with ox hides, to prevent any injury from wetting.

In my return voyage in 1566, I went from Goa to Malacca in a ship or galleon belonging to the king of Portugal, which was bound for Banda to lade nutmegs and mace. From Goa to Malacca it is 1800 miles. We passed without the island of Ceylon and went through the channel of Nicobar, and then through the channel of Sombrero, past the island of Sumatra, called in old times Taprobana153. Nicobar, off the coast of Pegu, consists of a great multitude of islands, many of which are inhabited by a wild people. These islands are likewise called Andemaon or Andaman154. The natives are savages who eat each other, and are continually engaged in war, which they carry on in small boats, chiefly to make prisoners for their cannibal feasts. When by any chance a ship happens to be cast away on those islands, as many have been, the men are sure to be slain and devoured. These savages have no trade or intercourse with any other people, but live entirely on the productions of their own islands. In my voyage from Malacca through the channel of Sombrero, two boats came off from these islands to our ship laden with fruit, such as Mouces which we call Adams apples, with fresh cocoa nuts, and another fruit named Inani, much like our turnips, but very sweet and good to eat. These people could not be prevailed on to come on board our ship, neither would they accept payment for their fruit in money, but bartered them for old shirts or old trowsers. These rags were let down from the ship into their boats by a rope, and when they had considered what they were worth in their estimation, they tied as much fruit as they thought proper to give in exchange to the rope, which they allowed us to hale up. I was told that sometimes a man may get a valuable piece of amber for an old shirt.

SECTION XIV. Of the Island of Sumatra and the City of Malacca

The island of Sumatra is very large and is governed by many kings, being divided by many channels through which there is a passage155. Towards the west end is the kingdom of Assi or Acheen, under a Mahometan king who has great military power, besides a great number of foists156 and gallies. This kingdom produces large quantities of pepper, besides ginger and benzoin. The king is a bitter enemy to the Portuguese, and has frequently gone against Malacca, doing great injury to its dependent towns, but was always bravely resisted by the citizens, with great injury to his camp and navy, done by their artillery from the walls and batteries.

Leaving Sumatra on the right hand, I came to Malacca, which is a city of wonderful trade in all kinds of merchandise from various parts, as all ships frequenting those seas whether large or small must stop at Malacca to pay customs, even though they do not load or unload any part of their cargoes at that place, just as all ships in Europe frequenting the Baltic must do at Elsineur. Should any pass under night without paying the dues at Malacca, they fall into great danger afterwards, if found any where in India without the seal of Malacca, having in that case to pay double duties.

I have not gone beyond Malacca during my Indian peregrinations. Indeed the trade to the east of Malacca, particularly to China and Japan, is not free for all, being reserved by the king of Portugal to himself and his nobles, or to those who have special leave for this purpose from the king, who expects to know what voyages are made from Malacca eastwards. The royal voyages from Malacca eastwards are as follow. Every year two galleons belonging to the king depart from Malacca, one of which is bound for the Moluccas to lade cloves, and the other goes to Banda for nutmegs and mace. These two are entirely laden on the kings account, and do not take any goods belonging to individuals, saving only the privilege of the mariners and soldiers. Hence these voyages are not frequented by merchants, who would have no means of transporting their return goods, and besides the captains of these ships are not permitted to carry any merchants thither. There go however to these places some small ships belonging to the Moors from the coast of Java, who exchange or barter their commodities in the kingdom of Acheen. These are mace, cloves, and nutmegs, which are sent from Acheen to the Red Sea. The voyages which the king of Portugal grants to his nobles, are those from China to Japan and back to China, from China to India, and those of Bengal, the Moluccas, and Sunda, with fine cloth and all kinds of cotton goods.

Sunda is an island of the Moors near the coast of Java, whence pepper is curried to China. The ship which goes yearly from India to China is called the drug ship, because she carries various drugs of Cambaia, but her principal lading consists of silver. From Malacca to China the distance is 1800 miles; and from China there goes every year a large ship to Japan laden with silk, in return for which she brings back bars of silver which are bartered in China for goods. The distance between Japan and China is 2400 miles, in which sea there are several islands of no great size, in which the friars of St Paul, by the blessing of God, have made many Christians like themselves: But from these islands the seas have not been fully explored and discovered, on account of the great numbers of shoals and sand banks157.

The Portuguese have a small city named Macao on an island near the coast of China, in which the church and houses are built of wood. This is a bishopric, but the customs belong to the king of China, and are payable at the city of Canton, two days journey and a half from Macao, and a place of great importance. The people of China are heathens, and are so fearful and jealous that they are unwilling to permit any strangers to enter their country. Hence when the Portuguese go there to pay their customs and to buy goods, they are not allowed to lodge within the city, but are sent out to the suburbs. This country of China, which adjoins to great Tartary, is of vast size and importance, as may be judged by the rich and precious merchandise which comes from thence, than which I believe there are none better or more abundant in quantity in all the world besides. In the first place it affords great quantities of gold, which is carried thence to the Indies made into small plates like little ships, and in value 23 carats each158; large quantities of fine silk, with damasks and taffetas; large quantities of musk and of occam159 in bars, quicksilver, cinabar, camphor, porcelain in vessels of divers sorts, painted cloth, and squares, and the drug called Chinaroot. Every year two or three large ships go from China to India laden with these rich and precious commodities. Rhubarb goes from thence over land by way of Persia, as there is a caravan every year from Persia to China, which takes six months to go there and as long to return. This caravan arrives at a place called Lanchin, where the king and his court reside. I conversed with a Persian who had been three years in that city of Lanchin, and told me that it was a city of great size and wealth.

The voyages which are under the jurisdiction of the captain of Malacca are the following. Every year he sends a small ship to Timor to load white sandal wood, the best being to be had in that island. He also sends another small ship yearly to Cochin-China for aloes wood, which is only to be procured in that country, which is on the continent adjoining to China. I could never learn in what manner that wood grows, as the people of Cochin-China will not allow the Portuguese to go into the land except for wood and water, bringing provisions and merchandise and all other things they want to their ships in small barks, so that a market is held daily on the deck of the ship till she is laden. Another ship goes yearly from Malacca for Siam to lade Verzino160. All these voyages belong exclusively to the captain of Malacca, and when he is not disposed to make them on his own account he sells them to others.

SECTION XV. Of the City of Siam

Siam was the imperial seat of the kingdom of that name and a great city, till the year 1567, when it was taken by the king of Pegu, who came by land with a prodigious army of 1,400,000 men, marching for four months, and besieged Siam for twenty-two mouths, during which he lost a vast number of men, and at lost won the city. I happened to be in the city of Pegu about six months after his departure on this expedition, and saw the governors left by him in the command of Pegu send off 500,000 men, to supply the places of those who were slain in this siege. Yet after all he would not have won the place unless for treachery, in consequence of which one of the gates was left open, through which he forced his way with great trouble into the city. When the king of Siam found that he was betrayed and that his enemy had gained possession of the city, he poisoned himself. His wives and children, and all his nobles that were not slain during the siege, were carried captives to Pegu. I was there at the return of the king in triumph from this conquest, and his entry into Pegu was a goodly sight, especially the vast number of elephants laden with gold, silver, and jewels, and carrying the noblemen and women who were made captives at Siam.

To return to my voyage. I departed from Malacca in a great ship bound for St Thome on the coast of Coromandel, and as at that time the captain of Malacca had intelligence that the king of Acheen meant to come against Malacca with a great fleet and army, he refused to allow any ships to depart. On this account we departed from Malacca under night without having made any provision of water; and being upwards of 400 persons on board, we proposed to have gone to a certain island for water, but by contrary winds we were unable to accomplish this, and were driven about by the tempests for forty-two days, the mountains of Zerzerline near the kingdom of Orissa, 500 miles beyond St Thome, being the first land we got sight of. So we came to Orissa with many sick, and had lost a great number for want of water. The sick generally died in four days illness. For the space of a year after, my throat continued sore and hoarse, and I could never satisfy my insatiable thirst. I judged the reason of this hoarseness to be from the continual use of sippets dipped in vinegar and oil, on which I sustained my life for many days. We had no scarcity of bread or wine; but the wines of that country are so hot that they cannot be drank without water, or they produce death. When we began to want water, I saw certain Moors who were officers in the ship who sold a small dish of water for a ducat, and I have afterwards seen a bar of pepper, which is two quintals and a half, offered for a small measure, and it could not be had even at that price. I verily believe I must have died, together with my slave, whom I had bought at a high price, had I not sold him for half his value, that I might save his drink to supply my own urgent wants, and save my own life.

SECTION XVI. Of the Kingdom of Orissa and the River Ganges

This was a fair and well regulated kingdom, through which a man might have travelled with gold in his hand without danger, so long as it was governed by its native sovereign who was a Gentile, and resided in the city of Catecha161 six days journey inland. This king loved strangers, especially merchants who traded in his dominions, insomuch that he took no customs from them, neither did he vex them with any grievous impositions, only that each ship that came thither paid some small affair in proportion to her tonnage. Owing to this good treatment twenty-five ships, great and small, used to lade yearly in the port of Orissa, mostly with rice and with different kinds of white cotton cloths, oil of zerzerline or verzino which is made from a seed, and answers well for eating or frying fish, lac, long pepper, ginger, dry and candied mirabolans, and great store of cloth made from a kind of silk which grows on trees requiring no labour or cultivation, as when the bole or round pod is grown to the size of an orange, all they have to do is to gather it. About sixteen years before this, the Pagan king of Orissa was defeated and slain and his kingdom conquered, by the king of Patane162, who was also king of the greatest part of Bengal. After the conquest of Orissa, this king imposed a duty of 20 per centum on all trade, as had been formerly paid in his other dominions. But this king did not enjoy his acquisitions long, being soon conquered by another tyrant, who was the great Mogul of Delhi, Agra, and Cambaia, against whom the king of Patane made very little resistance.

Departing from Orissa I went to the harbour of Piqueno in Bengal, 170 miles to the east from Orissa. We went in the first place along the coast for 54 miles when we entered the river Ganges. From the mouth of this river to a place called Satagan, where the merchants assemble with their commodities, are 100 miles, to which place they row up the river along with the flood tide in eighteen hours. This river ebbs and flows as it does in the Thames, and when the ebb begins, although their barks are light and propelled with oars like foists, they cannot row against the ebb tide, but must make fast to one of the banks of the river and wait for next flood. These boats are called bazaras and patuas, and row as well as a galliot or any vessel I have ever seen. At the distance of a good tide rowing before reaching Satagan we come to a place called Buttor, which ships do not go beyond, as the river is very shallow upwards. At Buttore a village is constructed every year, in which all the houses and shops are made of straw, and have every necessary convenience for the use of the merchants. This village continues as long as the ships remain there; but when they depart for the Indies, every man goes to his plot of houses and sets them on fire. This circumstance seemed very strange to me; for as I passed up the river to Satagan, I saw this village standing, having a great multitude of people with many ships and bazars; and at my return along with the captain of the last ship, for whom I tarried, I was amazed to see no remains of the village except the appearance of the burnt houses, all having been razed and burnt.

Small ships go up to Satagan where they load and unload their cargoes. In this port of Satagan twenty-five or thirty ships great and small are loaded yearly with rice, cotton cloths of various kinds, lac, great quantities of sugar, dried and preserved mirabolans, long pepper, oil of Verzino, and many other kinds of merchandise. The city of Satagan is tolerably handsome as a city of the Moors, abounding in every thing, and belonged formerly to the king of Patane or Patna, but is now subject to the great Mogul. I was in this kingdom four months, where many merchants bought or hired boats for their convenience and great advantage, as there is a fair every day in one town or city of the country. I also hired a bark and went up and down the river in the prosecution of my business, in the course of which I saw many strange things.

The kingdom of Bengal has been long under the power of the Mahomedans, yet there are many Gentile inhabitants. Wherever I speak of Gentiles I am to be understood as signifying idolaters, and by Moors I mean the followers of Mahomet. The inhabitants of the inland country do greatly worship the river Ganges; for if any one is sick, he is brought from the country to the banks of the river, where they build for him a cottage of straw, and every day they bathe him in the river. Thus many die at the side of the Ganges, and after their death they make a heap of boughs and sticks on which they lay the dead body and then set the pile on fire. When the dead body is half roasted, it is taken from the fire, and having an empty jar tied about its neck is thrown into the river. I saw this done every night for two months as I passed up and down the river in my way to the fairs to purchase commodities from the merchants. On account of this practice the Portuguese do not drink the water of the Ganges, although it appears to the eye much better and clearer than that of the Nile.

"Of Satagan, Buttor, and Piqueno, in the kingdom of Bengal, no notices are to be found in the best modern maps of that country, so that we can only approximate their situation by guess. Setting out from what the author calls the port of Orissa, which has already been conjectured to be Balasore, the author coasted to the river Ganges, at the distance of 54 miles. This necessarily implies the western branch of the Ganges, or Hoogly river, on which the English Indian capital, Calcutta, now stands. Satagan is said to have been 100 miles up the river, which would carry us up almost to the city of Sautipoor, which may possibly have been Satagan. The two first syllables of the name are almost exactly the same, and the final syllable in Sautipoor is a Persian word signifying town, which may have been gan in some other dialect. The entire distance from Balasore, or the port of Orissa, to Piqueno is stated at 170 miles, of which 154 have been already accounted for, so that Piqueno must have been only about 16 miles above Satagan, and upon the Ganges163."-ED.

SECTION XVII. Of Tanasserim and other Places

In continuation of my peregrinations, I sailed from the port of Piqueno to Cochin, from whence I went to Malacca, and afterwards to Pegu, being 800 miles distant. That voyage is ordinarily performed in twenty-five or thirty days; but we were four months on the way, and at the end of three months we were destitute of provisions. The pilot alleged that, according to the latitude by his observation, we could not be far from Tanassery, or Tanasserim, a city in the kingdom of Pegu. In this he was mistaken, as we found ourselves in the middle of many islands and uninhabited rocks, yet some Portuguese who were on board affirmed that they knew the land, and could even point out where the city of Tanasserim stood. This city belongs of right to Siam, and is situated on the side of a great river, which comes from the kingdom of Siam. At the month of this river there is a village called Mirgim, Merghi, or Morgui, at which some ships load every year with Verzino, Nypa, and Benzoin, with a few cloves, nutmegs, and mace, that come from Siam; but the principal merchandise are Verzino and Nypa. This last is an excellent wine, which is made from the flower of a tree called Nyper. They distil the liquor prepared from the Nyper, and make therewith an excellent drink, as clear as crystal, which is pleasant to the taste, and still better to the stomach, as it has most excellent virtues, insomuch that if a person were rotten with the lues, and drinks abundantly of this wine, he shall be made whole, as I have seen proved: For when I was in Cochin, the nose of a friend of mine began to drop off with that disease, on which he was advised by the physicians to go to Tanasserim at the season of the new wines, and to drink the Nyper wine day and night, as much as he was able. He was ordered to use it before being distilled, when it is most delicate; for after distillation it become much stronger, and is apt to produce drunkenness. He went accordingly, and did as he was directed, and I have seen him since perfectly sound and well-coloured. It is very cheap in Pegu, where a great quantity is made every year; but being in great repute in the Indies, it is dear when carried to a distance.

I now return to my unfortunate voyage, where we were among the uninhabited rocks and islands far from Tanasserim, and in great straits for victuals. From what was said by the pilot and two Portuguese, that we were directly opposite the harbour of Tanasserim, we determined to go thither in out boat to bring provisions, leaving orders to the ship to await our return. Accordingly, twenty-eight of us went into the boat, and left the ship about noon one day, expecting to get into the harbour before night; but, after rowing all that day and the next night, and all the ensuing day, we could find no harbour nor any fit place to land; for, trusting to the ignorant counsel of the pilot and the two Portuguese, we had overshot the harbour and left it behind us. In this way we twenty-eight unfortunate persons in the boat lost both our ship and the inhabited land, and were reduced to the utmost extremity, having no victuals along with us. By the good providence of God, one of the mariners in the boat had brought a small quantity of rice along with him, intending to barter it for some other thing, though the whole was so little that three or four men might have eaten it all at one meal. I took charge of this small store, engaging, with God's blessing, that it should serve to keep us all in life, till it might please God to send us to some inhabited place, and when I slept I secured it in my bosom, that I might not be robbed of my precious deposit. We were nine days rowing along the coast, finding nothing but an uninhabited country and desert islands, where even grass would have been esteemed a luxury in our miserable state. We found indeed some leaves of trees, but so hard that we could not chew them. We had wood and water enough, and could only row along with the flood tide, as when it ebbed we had to make fast our boat to one of the desert islands. On one of these days, it pleased God that we discovered a nest or hole, in which were 144 tortoise eggs, which proved a wonderful help to us, as they were as large as hens eggs, covered only by a tender skin, instead of a shell. Every day we boiled a kettle full of these eggs, mixing a handful of rice among the broth. At the end of nine days, it pleased God that we discovered some fishermen in small barks, employed in catching fish. We rowed immediately towards them with much delight and thankfulness, for never were men more glad than we, being so much reduced by famine that we could hardly stand on our legs; yet, according to the allotment we had made of our rice, we still had as much as would have served four days. The first village we came to was in the gulf of Tavay, on the coast of Tanasserim, in the dominions of Pegu, where we found plenty of provisions; yet for two or three days after our arrival none of us could eat much, and most of us were at the point of death. From Tavay to Martaban, in the kingdom of Pegu, the distance is 72 miles164. We loaded our boat at Tavay with provisions sufficient for six months, and then went in our boat to the city and port of Martaban, in the kingdom of Pegu, and arrived there in a short time. But not finding our ship there as we hoped, we dispatched two barks in search of her. They found her in great calamity at an anchor, with a contrary wind, which was exceedingly unfortunate for the people, especially as they had been a whole month without a boat, which prevented them from making any provision of wood and water. The ship, however, arrived safe, by the blessing of God, in the harbour of Martaban.

SECTION XVIII. Of Martaban and the Kingdom of Pegu

On our arrival at Martaban we found about ninety Portuguese there, including merchants and lower people, who had fallen at variance with the governor of the city, because certain vagabond Portuguese had slain five falchines, or porters, belonging to the king of Pegu. According to the custom of that country, when the king of Pegu happens to be at a distance from his capital, a caravan, or company of falchines, is dispatched every fifteen days, each of them having a basket on his head full of fruit or some other delicacy, or clean clothes for the king's use. It accordingly happened, about a month after the king of Pegu had gone against Siam, with 1,400,000 men, that one of these caravans stopt at Martaban, to rest for the night. On this occasion a quarrel ensued between them and some Portuguese, which ended in blows, and the Portuguese being worsted, returned upon the falchines in the night, while they were asleep, and cut off five of their heads. There is a law in Pegu, that whosoever sheds the blood of a man, shall pay the price of blood according to the rank of the person slain: but as these falchines were the servants of the king, the governor of Martaban durst not do any thing in the matter without the king's orders. The king was accordingly informed of the affair, and gave orders that the malefactors should be kept in custody till his return, when he would duly administer justice, but the captain of the Portuguese refused to deliver up these men to the governor, and even armed himself and the other Portuguese, marching every day about the city, with drums beating and displayed colours, as in despite of the governor, who was unable to enforce his authority, as the city was almost empty of men, all who were fit for war having gone with the vast army against Siam.

We arrived at Martaban in the midst of this difference, and I thought it a very strange thing to see the Portuguese behave themselves with such insolence in the city of a sovereign prince. Being very doubtful of the consequences, I did not think proper to land my goods, which I considered in greater safety on board ship than on shore. Most part of the goods on board belonged to the owner, who was at Malacca; but there were several merchants in the ship who had goods, though none of them had to any great value, and all of them declared they would not land any of their goods unless I landed mine; yet they afterwards neglected my advice and example, and landed their goods, all of which were accordingly lost. The governor and intendant of the custom-house sent for me, and demanded to know why I did not land my goods, and pay the duties like the rest; on which I said that I was a stranger, only new to the country, and observing so much disorder among the Portuguese, I was afraid to lose my goods, which I was determined not to bring on shore, unless the governor would promise me in the king's name that no harm should come to me or my goods, whatever might happen to the Portuguese, with whom I had taken no part in the late tumult. As what I said seemed reasonable, the governor sent for the Bargits, who are the councillors of the city, who engaged, in the name of the king, that neither I nor my goods should meet with any injury, and of which they made a notarial entry or memorandum. I then sent for my goods, and paid the customs, which is ten per centum of the value at that port; and for my greater security I hired a house for myself and my goods, directly facing the house of the governor.

In the sequel, the captain of the Portuguese and all the merchants of that nation, were driven out of the city, in which I remained, along with twenty-one poor men, who were officers in the ship I came in from Malacca. The Gentiles had determined on being revenged of the Portuguese for their insolence, but had delayed till all the goods were landed from our ship; and the very next night there arrived four thousand soldiers from Pegu, with some war elephants. Before these made any stir in the city, the governor issued orders to all the Portuguese, in case of hearing any noise or clamour in the city, not to stir from their houses on pain of death. About four hours after sunset, I heard a prodigious noise and tumult of men and elephants, who were bursting open the doors of the Portuguese warehouses, and overturning their houses of wood and straw, in which tumult some of the Portuguese were wounded, and one of them slain. Many of those who had before boasted of their courage, now fled on board some small vessels in the harbour, some of them fleeing naked from their beds. That night the Peguers carried all the goods belonging to the Portuguese from the suburbs into the city, and many of the Portuguese were likewise arrested. After this, the Portuguese who had fled to the ships resumed courage, and, landing in a body, set fire to the houses in the suburbs, and as these were entirely composed of boards covered with straw, and the wind blew fresh at the time, the entire suburbs were speedily consumed, and half of the city had like to have been destroyed. After this exploit, the Portuguese had no hopes of recovering any part of their goods, which might amount to the value of 16,000 ducats, all of which they might assuredly have got back if they had not set the town on fire.

Understanding that the late seizure of their goods had been done by the sole authority of the governor of Martaban, without authority from the king of Pegu, they were sensible of the folly of their proceedings in setting the town on fire; yet next morning they began to discharge their cannon against the town, and continued their cannonade for four days, yet all in vain, as their balls were intercepted by the top of a small hill or rising ground which intervened, and did no harm to the city. At this time the governor arrested the twenty-one Portuguese who were in the city, and sent them to a place four miles up the country, where they were detained till such time as the other Portuguese departed with their ships, after which they were allowed to go where they pleased, having no farther harm done them. During all these turmoils I remained quietly in my house, under the protection of a strong guard appointed by the governor, to prevent any one from doing harm to me or my goods. In this manner he effectually performed the promise he had made me in the king's name; but he would on no account permit me to depart till the king returned from Siam to Pegu, which was greatly to my hindrance, as I remained twenty-one months under sequestration, during all which time I could neither buy nor sell any kind of goods whatever. Those commodities which I had brought with me were pepper, sandal wood, and porcelain of China. At length, when the king came back to Pegu, I made my supplication to him, and had liberty to go when and where I pleased. Accordingly, I immediately departed from Martaban for Pegu, the capital city of the kingdom of that name, being a voyage by sea of three or four days. We may likewise go by land between these two places, but it is much better and cheaper for anyone that has goods to transport, as I had, to go by sea.

In this short voyage we meet with the Macareo, or bore of the sea, which is one of the most marvellous of the works of nature, and one of these hardest to be believed if not seen. This consists in the prodigious increase and diminution of the water of the sea all at one push or instant, and the horrible noise and earthquake which this Macareo produces when it makes its approach. We went from Martaban in barks like our pilot boats, taking the flood tide along with us, and they went with the most astonishing rapidity, as swift as an arrow from a bow as long as the flow lasts. Whenever the water is at the highest, these barks are carried out of the mid-channel to one or other bank of the river, where they anchor out of the way of the stream of the ebb, remaining dry at low water; and when the ebb is completely run out, then are the barks left on high above the water in the mid-channel, as far as the top of a house is from the foundation. The reason of thus anchoring so far from the mid-stream or channel is, that when the first of the flood, Macareo or bore, comes in, any ship or vessel riding in the fair way or mid-channel would surely be overthrown and destroyed. And even with this precaution of anchoring so far above the channel, so that the bore has lost much of its force before rising so high as to float them, yet they always moor with their bows to the stream, which still is often so powerful as to put them in great fear; for if the anchor did not hold good, they would be in the utmost danger of being lost. When the water begins to increase, it comes on with a prodigious noise as if it were an earthquake. In its first great approach it makes three great waves. The first wave washes over the bark from stem to stem: The second is not so strong; at the third they raise the anchor and resume their voyage up the river, rowing with such swiftness that they seem to fly for the space of six hours, while the flood lasts. In these tides there must be no time lost, for if you arrive not at the proper station before the flood is spent, you must turn back from whence you came, as there is no staying at any place except at these stations, some of which are more dangerous than others, according as they happen to be higher or lower. On returning from Pegu to Martaban they never continue more than half ebb, that they may have it in their power to lay their barks high upon the bank, for the reason already given. I could never learn any reason for the prodigious noise made by the water in this extraordinary rise of the tide. There is another Macareo in the gulf of Cambay, as formerly mentioned, but it is nothing in comparison of this in the river of Pegu.

With the blessing of God we arrived safe at Pegu, which consists of two cities, the old and the new, all the merchants of the country and stranger merchants residing in the old city, in which is far the greatest trade. The city itself is not very large, but it has very great suburbs. The houses are all built of canes, and covered with leaves or straw; but every merchant has one house or magazine, called Godown, built of bricks, in which they secure their most valuable commodities, to save them from fire, which frequently happens to houses built of such combustible materials.

In the new city is the royal palace, in which the king dwells, with all his nobles and officers of state, and attendants. While I was there the building of the new city was completed. It is of considerable size, built perfectly square upon an uniform level, and walled round, having a wet ditch on the outside, filled with crocodiles, but there are no draw-bridges. Each side of the square has five gates, being twenty in all; and there are many places on the walls for centinels, built of wood, and gilded over with gold. The streets are all perfectly straight, so that from any of the gates you can see clear through to the opposite gate, and they are so broad that 10 or 12 horsemen may ride abreast with ease. The cross streets are all equally broad and straight, and on each side of all the streets close to the houses there is a row of cocoa-nut trees, making a most agreeable shade. The houses are all of wood, covered with a kind of tiles, in the form of cups, very necessary and useful in that country. The palace is in the middle of the city, walled round like a castle, the lodgings within being built of wood, all over gilded, and richly adorned with pinnacles of costly work, covered all over with gold, so that it may truly be called a king's house. Within the gate is a large handsome court, in which are lodges for the strongest and largest elephants, which are reserved for the king's use, among which are four that are entirely white, a rarity that no other king can boast of; and were the king of Pegu to hear that any other king had white elephants, he would send and demand them as a gift. While I was there two such were brought out of a far distant country, which cost me something for a sight of them, as the merchants were commanded to go to see them, and every one was obliged to give something to the keepers. The brokers gave for every merchant half a ducat, which they call a tansa, and this produced a considerable sum, as there were a great many merchants in the city. After paying the tansa, they may either visit the elephants or not as they please, as after they are put into the king's stalls, every one may see them whenever they will. But before this, every one mast go to see them, such being the royal pleasure. Among his other titles, this king is called King of the White Elephants; and it is reported that if he knew of any other king having any white elephants who would not resign them to him, he would hazard his whole kingdom to conquer them. These white elephants are so highly esteemed that each of them has a house gilded all over, and they are served with extraordinary care and attention in vessels of gold and silver. Besides these white elephants, there is a black one of most extraordinary size, being nine cubits high. It is reported that this king has four thousand war elephants, all of which have teeth. They are accustomed to put upon their uppermost teeth certain sharp spikes of iron, fastened on with rings, because these animals fight with their teeth. He has also great numbers of young elephants, whose teeth are not yet grown.

In this country they have a curious device for hunting or taking elephants, which is erected about two miles from the capital. At that place there is a fine palace gilded all over, within which is a sumptuous court, and all round the outside there are a great number of places for people to stand upon to see the hunting. Near this place is a very large wood or forest, through which a great number of the king's huntsmen ride on the backs of female elephants trained on purpose, each huntsman having five or six of these females, and it is said that their parts are anointed with a certain composition, the smell of which so powerfully attracts the wild males that they cannot leave them, but follow them wheresoever they go. When the huntsmen find any of the wild elephants so entangled, they guide the females towards the palace, which is called a tambell, in which there is a door which opens and shuts by machinery, before which door there is a long straight passage having trees on both sides, so that it is very close and dark. When the wild elephant comes to this avenue, he thinks himself still in the woods. At the end of this avenue there is a large field, and when the hunters have enticed their prey into this field, they immediately send notice to the city, whence come immediately fifty or sixty horsemen, who beset the field all round. Then the females which are bred to this business go directly to the entry of the dark avenue, and when the wild male elephant has entered therein, the horsemen shout aloud and make as much noise as possible to drive the wild elephant forward to the gate of the palace, which is then open, and as soon as he is gone in, the gate is shut without any noise. The hunters, with the female elephants and the wild one, are all now within the court of the palace, and the females now withdraw one by one from the court, leaving the wild elephant alone, finding himself thus alone and entrapped, he is so madly enraged for two or three hours, that it is wonderful to behold. He weepeth, he flingeth, he runneth, he jostleth, he thrusteth under the galleries where the people stand to look at him, endeavouring all he can to kill some of them, but the posts and timbers are all so strong that he cannot do harm to any one, yet he sometimes breaks his teeth in his rage. At length, wearied with violent exertions, and all over in a sweat, he thrusts his trunk into his mouth, and sucks it full of water from his stomach, which he then blows at the lookers on. When he is seen to be much exhausted, certain people go into the court, having long sharp-pointed canes in their hands, with which they goad him that he may enter into one of the stalls made for the purpose in the court, which are long and narrow, so that he cannot turn when once in. These men must be very wary and agile, for though their canes are long, the elephants would kill them if they were not swift to save themselves. When they have got him into one of the stalls, they let down ropes from a loft above, which they pass under his belly, about his neck, and round his legs, to bind him fast, and leave him there for four or five days without meat or drink. At the end of that time, they loosen all the cords, put one of the females in beside him, giving them meat and drink, and in eight days after he is quite tame and tractable. In my opinion, there is not any animal so intelligent as the elephant, nor of so much capacity and understanding, for he will do every thing that his keeper desires, and seems to lack nothing of human reason except speech.

It is reported that the great military power of the king of Pegu mainly depends on his elephants; as, when he goes to battle, each elephant has a castle set on his back, bound securely with bands under his belly, and in every castle four men are placed, who fight securely with arquebusses, bows and arrows, darts, and pikes, or other missile weapons; and it is alleged that the skin of the elephant is so hard and thick as not to be pierced by the ball of an arquebuss, except under the eyes, on the temples, or in some other tender part of the body. Besides this, the elephants are of great strength, and have a very excellent order in time of battle, as I have seen in their festivals, which they make every year, which is a rare sight worth mention, that among so barbarous a people there should be such goodly discipline as they have in their armies; which are drawn up in distinct and orderly squares, of elephants, horsemen, pikemen, and arquebuseers, the number of which is infinite and beyond reckoning; but their armour and weapons are worthless and weak. Their pikes are very bad, and their swords worse, being like long knives without points; yet their arquebusses are very good, the king having 80,000 men armed with that weapon, and the number is continually increasing. They are ordained to practise daily in shooting at a mark, so that by continual exercise they are wonderfully expert. The king of Pegu has also great cannon made of very good metal; and, in fine, there is not a king in the world who has more power or strength than he, having twenty-six crowned kings under his command, and he is able to take the field against his enemies with a million and a half of soldiers. The state and splendour of this kingdom, and the provisions necessary for so vast a multitude of soldiers, is a thing incredible, except by those who know the nature and quality of the people and government. I have seen with my own eyes these people, both the commons and soldiers, feed upon all kinds of beasts or animals, however filthy or unclean, everything that hath life serving them for food: Yea, I have even seen them eat scorpions and serpents, and all kinds of herbs, even grass. Hence, if their vast armies can only get enough of water, they can maintain themselves long even in the forests, on roots, flowers, and leaves of trees; but they always carry rice with them in their marches, which is their main support.

The king of Pegu has no naval force; but for extent of dominion, number of people, and treasure of gold and silver, he far exceeds the Grand Turk in power and riches. He has various magazines full of treasure in gold and silver, which is daily increased, and is never diminished. He is also lord of the mines of rubies, sapphires, and spinels. Near the royal palace there is an inestimable treasure, of which he seems to make no account, as it stands open to universal inspection. It is contained in a large court surrounded by a stone wall, in which are two gates that stand continually open. Within this court there are four gilded houses covered with lead, in each of which houses are certain heathen idols of very great value. The first house contains an image of a man of vast size all of gold, having a crown of gold on his head enriched with most rare rubies and sapphires, and round about him are the images of four little children, all likewise of gold. In the second house is the statue of a man in massy silver, which seems to sit on heaps of money. This enormous idol, though sitting, is as lofty as the roof of a house. I measured his feet, which I found exceeded that of my own stature; and the head of this statue bears a crown similar to that of the former golden image. The third house has a brazen image of equal size, having a similar crown on its head. In the fourth house is another statue as large as the others, made of gansa, or mixed metal of copper and lead, of which the current money of the country is composed, and this idol has a crown on its head as rich and splendid as the others. All this valuable treasure is freely seen by all who please to go in and look at it, as the gates are always open, and the keepers do not refuse admission to any one.

Every year the king of Pegu makes a public triumph after the following manner. He rides out on a triumphal car or great waggon, richly gilded all over, and of great height, covered by a splendid canopy, and drawn by sixteen horses, richly caparisoned. Behind the car walk twenty of his nobles or chief officers, each of whom holds the end of a rope, the other end being fastened to the car to keep it upright and prevent it from falling over. The king sits on high in the middle of the car, and on the same are four of his most favoured nobles surrounding him. Before the car the whole army marches in order, and the whole nobles of the kingdom are round about the car; so that it is wonderful to behold so many people and so much riches all in such good order, especially considering how barbarous are the people. The king of Pegu has one principal wife, who lives in a seraglio along with 300 concubines, and he is said to have 90 children. He sits every day in person to hear the suits of his people, yet he nor they never speak together. The king sits up aloft on a high seat or tribunal in a great hall, and lower down sit all his barons round about. Those that demand audience enter into the great court or hall in presence of the king, and sit down on the ground at forty paces from the king, holding their supplications in their hands, written on the leaves of a tree three quarters of a yard long and two fingers broad, on which the letters are written or inscribed by means of a sharp stile or pointed iron. On these occasions there is no respect of persons, all of every degree or quality being equally admitted to audience. All suitors hold up their supplication in writing, and in their hands a present or gift, according to the importance of their affairs. Then come the secretaries, who take the supplications from the petitioners and read them to the king; and if he thinks good to grant the favour or justice which they desire, he commands to have the gifts taken from their hands; but if he considers their request not just or reasonable, he commands them to depart without receiving their presents.

There is no commodity in the Indies worth bringing to Pegu, except sometimes the opium of Cambay, and if any one bring money he is sure to lose by it. The only merchandise for this market is the fine painted calicos of San Thome, of that kind which, on being washed, becomes more lively in its colours. This is so much in request, that a small bale of it will sell for 1000 or even 2000 ducats. Also from San Thome they send great store of cotton yarn, dyed red by means of a root called saia, which colour never washes out. Every year there goes a great ship from San Thome to Pegu laden with a valuable cargo of these commodities. If this ship depart from San Thome by the 6th of September, the voyage is sure to be prosperous; but if they delay sailing till the 12th, it is a great chance if they are not forced to return; for in these parts the winds blow firmly for certain times, so as to sail for Pegu with the wind astern; and if they arrive not and get to anchor before the wind change, they must perforce return back again, as the wind blows three or four months with great force always one way. If they once get to anchor on the coast, they may save their voyage with great labour. There also goes a large ship from Bengal every year, laden with all kinds of fine cotton cloth, and which usually arrives in the river of Pegu when the ship of San Thome is about to depart. The harbour which these two ships go to is called Cosmin. From Malacca there go every year to Martaban, which is a port of Pegu, many ships, both large and small, with pepper, sandal-wood, porcelain of China, camphor, bruneo165, and other commodities. The ships that come from the Red Sea frequent the ports of Pegu and Ciriam, bringing woollen cloths, scarlets, velvets, opium, and chequins, by which last they incur loss, yet they necessarily bring them wherewith to make their purchases, and they afterwards make great profit of the commodities which they take back with them, from Pegu. Likewise the ships of the king of Acheen bring pepper to the same ports.

From San Thome or Bengal, out of the sea of Bara ? to Pegu, the voyage is 300 miles, and they go up the river, with the tide of flood in four days to the city of Cosmin, where they discharge their cargoes, and thither the customers of Pegu come and take notes of all the goods of every one, and of their several marks; after which they transport the goods to Pegu to the royal warehouses, where the customs of all the goods are taken. When the customers have taken charge of the goods, and laden them in barks for conveyance to Pegu, the governor of the city gives licences to the merchants to accompany their goods, when three or four of them club together to hire a bark for their passage to Pegu. Should any one attempt to give in a wrong note or entry of his goods, for the purpose of stealing any custom, he is utterly undone, as the king considers it a most unpardonable offence to attempt depriving him of any part of his customs, and for this reason the goods are all most scrupulously searched, and examined three several times. This search is particularly rigid in regard to diamonds, pearls, and other articles of small bulk and great value, as all things, in Pegu that are not of its own productions pay custom both in or out. But rubies, sapphires, and spinels, being productions of the country, pay no duties. As formerly mentioned respecting other parts of India, all merchants going to Pegu or other places, must carry with them all sorts of household furniture of which they may be in need, as there are no inns or lodging-houses in which they can he accommodated, but every man must hire a house when he comes to a city, for a month or a year, according to the time he means to remain. In Pegu it is customary to hire a house for six months.

From Cosmin to Pegu they go up the river with the flood in six hours166; but if the tide of ebb begin it is necessary to fasten the bark to the river side, and to remain there till the next flood. This is a commodious and pleasant passage, as there are many large villages on both sides of the river which might even be called cities, and in which poultry, eggs, pigeons, milk, rice, and other things may be had on very reasonable terms. The country is all level and fertile, and in eight days we get up to Macceo which is twelve miles from. Pegu, and the goods are there landed from the barks, being carried thence to Pegu in carts or wains drawn by oxen. The merchants are conveyed from Macceo to Pegu in close palanquins, called delings or doolies, in each of which one man is well accommodated, having cushions to rest upon, and a secure covering from the sun or rain, so that he may sleep if he will. His four falchines or bearers carry him along at a great rate, running all the way, changing at intervals, two and two at a time. The freight and customs at Pegu may amount to 20, 22, or 23 per centum, according as there may be more or less stolen of the goods on paying the customs. It is necessary therefore for one to be very watchful and to have many friends; for when the goods are examined for the customs in the great hall of the king, many of the Pegu gentlemen go in accompanied by their slaves, and these gentlemen are not ashamed when their slaves rob strangers, whether of cloth or any other thing, and only laugh at it when detected; and though the merchants assist each other to watch the safety of their goods, they cannot look so narrowly but some will steal more or less according to the nature or quality of the goods. Even if fortunate enough to escape being robbed by the slaves, it is impossible to prevent pilfering by the officers of the customs; for as they take the customs in kind, they oftentimes take the best, and do not rate each sort as they ought separately, so that the merchant is often, made to pay much more than he ought. After undergoing this search and deduction of the customs, the merchant causes his goods to be carried home to his house, where he may do with them what he pleases.

In Pegu there are eight brokers licenced by the king, named tareghe, who are bound to sell all the merchandise which comes there at the current prices; and if the merchants are willing to sell their goods at these rates they sell them out of hand, the brokers having two per centum for their trouble, and for which they are bound to make good all debts incurred for the goods sold by them, and often the merchant does not know to whom his goods are sold. The merchants may indeed sell their own goods if they will; but in that case the broker is equally intitled to his two per centum, and the merchant must run his own risk of recovering his money. This however seldom happens, as the wife, children, and slaves of the debtor are all liable in payment. When the agreed time of payment arrives, if the debt is not cleared, the creditor may seize the person of the debtor and carry him home to his house, and if not immediately satisfied, he may take the wife, children, and slaves of the debtor and sell them. The current money through all Pegu is made of ganza, which is a composition of copper and lead, and which every one may stamp at his pleasure, as they pass by weight; yet are they sometimes falsified by putting in too much lead, on which occasions no one will receive them in payment. As there is no other money current, you may purchase gold, silver, rubies, musk, and all other things with this money. Gold and silver, like other commodities, vary in their price, being sometimes cheaper and sometimes dearer. This ganza money is reckoned by byzas, each byza being 100 ganzas, and is worth about half a ducat of our money, more or less according as gold is cheap or dear.

When any one goes to Pegu to buy jewels, he will do well to remain there a whole year; for if he would return by the same ship, he can do very little to purpose in so short a time. Those who come from San Thome usually have their goods customed about Christmas, after which they must sell their goods, giving credit for a month or two, and the ships depart about the beginning of March. The merchants of San Thome generally take payment for their goods in gold and silver, which are always plentiful in Pegu. Eight or ten days before their departure they are satisfied for their goods. They may indeed have rubies in payment, but they make no account of them. Such as propose to winter in the country ought to stipulate in selling their goods for payment in two or three months, and that they are to be paid in so many ganzas, not in gold or silver, as every thing is most advantageously bought and sold by means of this ganza money. It is needful to specify very precisely both the time of payment, and in what weight of ganzas they are to be paid, as an inexperienced person may be much imposed upon both in the weight and fineness of the ganza money; for the weight rises and falls greatly from place to place, and he may be likewise deceived by false ganzas or too much alloyed with lead. For this reason, when any one is to receive payment he ought to have along with him a public weigher of money, engaged a day or two before he commences that business, whom he pays two byzas a-month, for which he is bound to make good all your money and to maintain it good, as he receives it and seals the bags with his own seal, and when he has collected any considerable sum he causes it to be delivered to the merchant to whom it belongs. This money is very weighty, as forty byzas make a porters burden. As in receiving, so in paying money, a public weigher of money must be employed.

The merchandises exported from Pegu are gold, silver, rubies, sapphires, spinels, great quantities of benzoin, long-pepper, lead, lac, rice, wine, and some sugar. There might be large quantities of sugar made in Pegu, as they have great abundance of sugar-canes, but they are given as food to the elephants, and the people consume large quantities of them in their diet. They likewise spend many of these sugar-canes167 in constructing houses and tents for their idols, which they call varely and we name pagodas. There are many of these idol houses, both large and small, which are ordinarily constructed in a pyramidical form, like little hills, sugar-loaves or bells, some of them being as high as an ordinary steeple. They are very large at the bottom, some being a quarter of a mile in compass. The inside of these temples are all built of bricks laid in clay mortar instead of lime, and filled up with earth, without any form or comeliness from top to bottom; afterwards they are covered with a frame of canes plastered all over with lime to preserve them from the great rains which fall in this country. Also about these varely or idol-houses they consume a prodigious quantity of leaf gold, as all their roofs are gilded over, and sometimes the entire structure is covered from top to bottom; and as they require to be newly gilded every ten years, a prodigious quantity of gold is wasted on this vanity, which occasions gold to be vastly dearer in Pegu than it would be otherwise.

It may be proper to mention, that in buying jewels or precious stones in Pegu, he who has no knowledge or experience is sure to get as good and as cheap articles as the most experienced in the trade. There are four men at Pegu called tareghe or jewel-brokers, who have all the jewels or rubies in their hands; and when any person wants to make a purchase he goes to one of these brokers, and tells him that he wants to lay out so much money on rubies; for these brokers have such prodigious quantities always on hand, that they know not what to do with them, and therefore sell them at a very low price. Then the broker carries the merchant along with him to one of their shops, where he may have what jewels he wants according to the sum of money he is disposed to lay out. According to the custom of the city, when the merchant has bargained for a quantity of jewels, whatever may be the amount of their value, he is allowed to carry them home to his house, where he may consider them for two or three days; and if he have not himself sufficient knowledge or experience in such things, he may always find other merchants who are experienced, with whom he may confer and take counsel, as he is at liberty to shew them to any person be pleases; and if he find that he has not laid out his money to advantage, he may return them back to the person from whom he had them without loss or deduction. It is reckoned so great a shame to the tareghe or jewel-broker to have his jewels returned, that he would rather have a blow on the face than have it believed that he had sold his jewels too dear and have them returned on his hands; for which reason they are sure to give good bargains, especially to those who have no experience, that they may not lose their credit. When such merchants as are experienced in jewels purchase too dear it is their own fault, and is not laid to the charge of the brokers; yet it is good to have knowledge in jewels, as it may sometimes enable one to procure them at a lower price. On the occasions of making these bargains, as there are generally many other merchants present at the bargain, the broker and the purchaser have their hands under a cloth, and by certain signals, made by touching the fingers and nipping the different joints, they know what is bidden, what is asked, and what is settled, without the lookers-on knowing any thing of the matter, although the bargain may be for a thousand or ten thousand ducats. This is an admirable institution, as, if the lookers-on should understand what is going on, it might occasion contention.

SECTION XIX. Voyages of the Author to different parts of India

When I was at Pegu in August 1569, having got a considerable profit by my endeavours, I was desirous to return to my own country by way of St Thome, but in that case I should have been obliged to wait till next March; I was therefore advised to go by way of Bengal, for which country there was a ship ready to sail to the great harbour of Chittagong, whence there go small ships to Cochin in sufficient time to arrive there before the departure of the Portuguese ships for Lisbon, in which I was determined to return to Europe. I went accordingly on board the Bengal ship; but this happened to be the year of the Tyffon, which will require some explanation. It is therefore to be understood that in India they have, once every ten or twelve years, such prodigious storms and tempests as are almost incredible, except to such as have seen them, neither do they know with any certainty on what years they may be expected, but unfortunate are they who happen to be at sea when this tempest or tyffon takes place, as few escape the dreadful danger. In this year it was our evil fortune to be at sea in one of these terrible storms; and well it was for us that our ship was newly over-planked, and had no loading save victuals and ballast, with some gold and silver for Bengal, as no other merchandise is carried to Bengal from Pegu. The tyffon accordingly assailed us and lasted three days, carrying away our sails, yards, and rudder; and as the ship laboured excessively, we cut away our mast, yet she continued to labour more heavily than before, so that the sea broke over her every moment, and almost filled her with water. For the space of three days and three nights, sixty men who were on board did nothing else than bale out the water continually, twenty at one place, twenty in another, and twenty at a third place; yet during all this storm so good was the hull of our ship that she took not in a single drop of water at her sides or bottom, all coming in at the hatches. Thus driving about at the mercy of the winds and waves, we were during the darkness of the third night at about four o'clock after sunset cast upon a shoal. When day appeared next morning we could see no land on any side of us, so that we knew not where we were. It pleased the divine goodness that a great wave of the sea came and floated us off from the shoal into deep water, upon which we all felt as men reprieved from immediate death, as the sea was calm and the water smooth. Casting the lead we found twelve fathoms water, and bye and bye we had only six fathoms, when we let go a small anchor which still hung at the stern, all the others having been lost during the storm. Our anchor parted next night, and our ship again grounded, when we shored her up the best we could, to prevent her from over-setting at the side of ebb.

When it was day, we found our ship high and dry on a sand-bank, a full mile from the sea. When the tyffon entirely ceased, we discovered an island not far from us, to which we walked on the sand, that we might learn where we were. We found it inhabited, and in my opinion the most fertile island I had ever seen. It is divided into two parts by a channel or water-course, which is full at high tides. With much ado we brought our ship into that channel; and when the people of the island saw our ship, and that we were coming to land, they immediately erected a bazar or market-place with shops right over-against the ship, to which they brought every kind of provisions for our supply, and sold them at wonderfully reasonable rates. I bought many salted kine as provision for the ship at half a larine each, being all excellent meat and very fat, and four wild hogs ready dressed for a larine. The larine is worth about twelve shillings and sixpence. Good fat hens were bought for a byza each, which does not exceed a penny; and yet some of our people said that we were imposed upon, as we ought to have got every thing for half the money. We got excellent rice at an excessively low price, and indeed every article of food was at this place in the most wonderful abundance. The name of this island is Sondiva or Sundeep, and belongs to the kingdom of Bengal, being 120 miles from Chittagong, to which place we were bound. The people are Moors or Mahometans, and the king or chief was a very good kind of man for a Mahometan; for if he had been a tyrant like others, he might have robbed us of all we had, as the Portuguese captain at Chittagong was in arms against the native chief of that place, and every day there were some persons slain. On receiving this intelligence, we were in no small fear for our safety, keeping good watch and ward every night, according to the custom of the sea; but the governor of the town gave us assurance that we had nothing to fear, for although the Portuguese had slain the governor or chief at Chittagong, we were not to blame, and indeed he every day did us every service and civility in his power, which we had no reason to expect, considering that the people of Sundeep and those of Chittagong were subjects of the same sovereign.

Departing from Sundeep we came to Chittagong, by which time a peace or truce had been agreed upon between the Portuguese and the chiefs of the city, under condition that the Portuguese captain should depart with his ship without any lading. At this time there were 18 Portuguese ships of different sizes at that port, and the captain being a gentleman and a brave man, was contented to depart in this manner, to his material injury, rather than hinder so many of his friends and countrymen who were there, and likewise because, the season for going to Western India was now past. During the night before his departure, every ship that was in the port, and had any part of their lading on board, transshipped it to this captain to help to lessen his loss and bear his charges, in reward for his courteous behaviour on this occasion. At this time there came a messenger from the king of Rachim or Aracan to this Portuguese captain, saying that his master had heard tidings of his great valour and prowess, and requesting him to bring his ship to the port of Aracan where he would be well received. The captain went thither accordingly, and was exceedingly well satisfied with his reception.

The kingdom of Aracan is in the mid-way between Bengal and Pegu, and the king of Pegu is continually devising means of reducing the king of Aracan under subjection, which hitherto he has not been able to effect, as he has no maritime force, whereas the king of Aracan can arm two hundred galleys or foists; besides which he has the command of certain sluices or flood-gates in his country, by which he can drown a great part of his country when he thinks proper, when at any time the king of Pegu endeavours to invade his dominions, by which be cuts off the way by which alone the king of Pegu can have access.

From the great port of Chittagong they export for India great quantities of rice, large assortments of cotton cloth of all sorts, with sugar, corn, money, and other articles of merchandise. In consequence of the war in Chittagong, the Portuguese ships were so long detained there, that they were unable to arrive at Cochin at the usual time; for which reason the fleet from Cochin was departed for Portugal before their arrival. Being in one of the smaller ships, which was somewhat in advance of our fleet from Chittagong, I came in sight of Cochin just as the very last of the homeward-bound fleet was under sail. This gave me much dissatisfaction, as there would be no opportunity of going to Portugal for a whole year; wherefore, on my arrival at Cochin, I was fully determined to go for Venice by way of Ormuz. At that time Goa was besieged by the troops of Dialcan [Adel-khan], but the citizens made light of this attack, as they believed it would not continue long. In the prosecution of my design, I embarked at Cochin in a galley bound for Goa; but on my arrival there the viceroy would not permit any Portuguese ship to sail for Ormuz on account of the war then subsisting, so that I was constrained to remain there.

Soon after my arrival at Goa I fell into a severe sickness, which held me four months; and as my physic and diet in that time cost me 800 ducats, I was under the necessity to sell some part of my rubies, for which I only got 500 ducats, though well worth 1000. When I began to recover my health and strength, very little of my money remained, every thing was so scarce and dear. Every chicken, and these not good, cost me seven or eight livres, or from six shillings to six and eightpence, and all other things in proportion; besides which the apothecaries, with their medicines, were a heavy charge upon me. At the end of six months the siege of Goa was raised, and as jewels rose materially in their price, I began to work168; and as before I had only sold a small quantity of inferior rubies to serve my necessities, I now determined to sell all the jewels I had, and to make another voyage to Pegu; and as opium was in great request at Pegu when I was there before, I went from Goa to Cambay, where I laid out 2100 ducats in the purchase of 60 parcels of opium, the ducat being worth 4s. 2d. I likewise bought three bales of cotton cloth, which cost me 800 ducats, that commodity selling well in Pegu. When I had bought these things, I understood the viceroy had issued orders that the custom on opium should be paid at Goa, after which it might be carried anywhere else. I shipped therefore my three bales of cotton cloth at Chaul, in a vessel bound for Cochin, and went myself to Goa to pay the duty for my opium.

From Goa I went to Cochin, in a ship that was bound for Pegu, and intended to winter at San Thome; but on my arrival at Cochin I learnt that the ship with my three bales of cotton cloth was cast away, so that I lost my 800 seraphins or ducats. On our voyage from Cochin to San Thome, while endeavouring to weather the south point of Ceylon, which lies far out to sea, the pilot was out in his reckoning, and laying-to in the night, thinking that he had passed hard by the Cape of Ceylon; when morning came we were far within the Cape, and fallen to leeward, by which it became now impossible to weather the island, as the wind was strong and contrary. Thus we lost our voyage for the season, and we were constrained to go to Manaar to winter there, the ship having lost all her masts, and being saved from entire wreck with great difficulty. Besides the delay and disappointment to the passengers, this was a heavy loss to the captain of the ship, as he was under the necessity of hiring another vessel at San Thome at a heavy charge, to carry us and our goods to Pegu. My companions and I, with all the rest of the merchants, hired a bark at Manaar to carry us to San Thome, where I received intelligence by way of Bengal, that opium was very scarce and dear in Pegu; and as there was no other opium but mine then at San Thome, for the Pegu market, all the merchants considered me as a very fortunate man, as I would make great profit, which indeed I certainly should have done, if my adverse fortune had not thwarted my well-grounded expectations, in the following manner: A large ship from Cambaya, bound for Assi [Acheen?] with a large quantity of opium, and to lade pepper in return, being forced to lay-to in crossing the mouth of the bay of Bengal, was obliged to go roomer169 for 800 miles, by which means it went to Pegu, and arrived there one day before me. Owing to this circumstance, opium, which had been very dear in Pegu, fell to a very low price, the quantity which had sold before for 50 bizze having fallen to 2-1/2, so large was the quantity brought by this ship. Owing to this unfortunate circumstance, I was forced to remain two years in Pegu, otherwise I must have given away my opium for much less than it cost me, and even at the end of that time I only made 1000 ducats by what had cost me 2100 in Cambaya.

After this I went from Pegu to the Indies170 and Ormuz, with a quantity of lac. From Ormuz I returned to Chaul, and thence to Cochin, from which place I went again to Pegu. Once more I lost the opportunity of becoming rich, as on this voyage I only took a small quantity of opium, while I might have sold a large quantity to great advantage, being afraid of meeting a similar disappointment with that which happened to me before. Being now again resolved to return into my native country, I went from Pegu to Cochin, where I wintered, and then sailed for Ormuz.

SECTION XX. Some Account of the Commodities of India

Before concluding this relation of my peregrinations, it seems proper that I should give some account of the productions of India.

In all parts of India, both of the western and eastern regions, there is pepper and ginger, and in some parts the greatest quantity of pepper is found wild in the woods, where it grows without any care or cultivation, except the trouble of gathering it when ripe. The tree on which the pepper grows is not unlike our ivy, and runs in the same manner up to the top of such trees as grow in its neighbourhood, for if it were not to get hold of some tree it would lie flat on the ground and perish. Its flower and berry in all things resemble the ivy, and its berries or grains are the pepper, which are green when gathered, but by drying in the sun they become black. Ginger requires cultivation, and its seeds are sown on land previously tilled. The herb resembles that called panizzo, and the root is the spice we call ginger. Cloves all come from the Moluccas, where they grow in two small islands, Ternate and Tidore, on a tree resembling the laurel. Nutmegs and mace come from the island of Banda, where they grow together on one tree, which resembles our walnut tree, but not so large. Long pepper grows in Bengal, Pegu, and Java.

All the good sandal-wood comes from the island of Timor. Camphor, being compounded, or having to undergo a preparation, comes all from China. That which grows in canes171 comes from Borneo, and I think none of that kind is brought to Europe, as they consume large quantities of it in India, and it is there very dear. Good aloes wood comes from Cochin-China; and benjamin from the kingdoms of Assi, Acheen? and Siam. Musk is brought from Tartary, where it is made, as I have been told, in the following manner. There is in Tartary a beast as large and fierce as a wolf, which they catch alive, and beat to death with small staves, that his blood may spread through his whole body. This they then cut in pieces, taking out all the bones, and having pounded the flesh and blood very fine in a mortar, they dry it and put it into purses made of the skin, and these purses with their contents are the cods of musk172.

I know not whereof amber is made173, and there are divers opinions respecting it; but this much is certain, that it is cast out from the sea, and is found on the shores and banks left dry by the recess of the tides. Rubies, sapphires, and spinells are got in Pegu. Diamonds come from different places, and I know but three kinds of them. The kind which is called Chiappe comes from Bezeneger, Bijanagur? Those that are naturally pointed come from the land of Delly and the island of Java, but those of Java are heavier than the others. I could never learn whence the precious stones called Balassi are procured. Pearls are fished for in different places, as has been already mentioned. The substance called Spodium, which is found concreted in certain canes, is procured in Cambaza, Cambaya? Of this concrete I found many pieces in Pegu, when building myself a house there, as in that country they construct their houses of canes woven together like mats or basket-work, as formerly related.

The Portuguese trade all the way from Chaul along the coast of India, and to Melinda in Ethiopia, in the land of Cafraria, on which coast are many good ports belonging to the Moors. To these the Portuguese carry a very low-priced cotton cloth, and many paternosters, or beads made of paultry glass, which are manufactured at Chaul; and from thence they carry back to India many elephants teeth, slaves, called Kafrs or Caffers, with some amber and gold. On this coast the king of Portugal has a castle at Mozambique, which is of as great importance as any of his fortresses, in the Indies. The captain or governor of this castle has certain privileged voyages assigned to him, where only his agents may trade. In their dealings with the Kafrs along this coast, to which they go in small vessels, their purchases and sales are singularly conducted without any conversation or words on either side. While sailing along the coast, the Portuguese stop in many places, and going on shore they lay down a small quantity of their goods, which they leave, going back to the ship. Then the Kafr merchant comes to look at the goods, and having estimated them in his own way, he puts down as much gold as he thinks the goods are worth, leaving both the gold and the goods, and then withdraws. If on the return of the Portuguese trader he thinks the quantity of gold sufficient, he taketh it away and goes back to his ship, after which the Kafr takes away the goods, and the transaction is finished. But if he find the gold still left, it indicates that the Portuguese merchant is not contented with the quantity, and if he thinks proper he adds a little more. The Portuguese must not, however, be too strict with them, as they are apt to be affronted and to give over traffic, being a peevish people. By means of this trade, the Portuguese exchange their commodities for gold, which they carry to the castle of Mozambique, standing in an island near the Continental coast of Cafraria, on the coast of Ethiopia, 2800 miles distant from India.

SECTION XXI. Return of the Author to Europe

To return to my voyage. On my arrival at Ormuz, I found there M. Francis Berettin of Venice, and we freighted a bark in conjunction to carry us to Bussora, for which we paid 70 ducats; but as other merchants went along with us, they eased our freight. We arrived safely at Bussora, where we tarried 40 days, to provide a caravan of boats to go up the river to Babylon [Bagdat], as it is very unsafe to go this voyage with only two or three barks together, because they cannot proceed during the night, and have to make fast to the sides of the river, when it is necessary to be vigilant and well provided with weapons, both for personal safety and the protection of the goods, as there are numerous thieves who lie in wait to rob the merchants: Wherefore it is customary and proper always to go in fleets of not less than 25 or 30 boats, for mutual protection. In going up the river the voyage is generally 38 or 40 days, according as the wind happens to be favourable or otherwise, but we took 50 days. We remained four months at Babylon, until the caravan was ready to pass the desert to Aleppo. In this city six European merchants of us consorted together to pass the desert, five of whom were Venetians and one a Portuguese. The Venetians were Messer Florinasca, and one of his kinsmen, Messer Andrea de Polo, Messer Francis Berettin, and I. So we bought horses and mules for our own use, which are very cheap there, insomuch that I bought a horse for myself for eleven akens, and sold him afterwards in Aleppo for 30 ducats. We bought likewise a tent, which was of very great convenience and comfort to us, and we furnished ourselves with sufficient provisions, and beans for the horses, to serve 40 days. We had also among us 33 camels laden with merchandise, paying two ducats for every camels load, and, according to the custom of the country, they furnish 11 camels for every 10 bargained and paid for. We likewise had with us three men to serve us during the journey, which are used to go for five Dd.174 a man, and are bound to serve for that sum all the way to Aleppo.

By these precautions we made the journey over the desert without any trouble, as, whenever the camels stopt for rest, our tent was always the first erected. The caravan makes but small journeys of about 20 miles a-day, setting out every morning two hours before day, and stopping about two hours after noon. We had good fortune on our journey as it rained, so that we were never in want of water; yet we always carried one camel load of water for our party for whatever might happen in the desert, so that we were in no want of any thing whatever that this country affords. Among other things we had fresh mutton every day, as we had many shepherds along with us taking care of the sheep we had bought at Babylon, each merchant having his own marked with a distinguishing mark. We gave each shepherd a medin, which is twopence of our money, for keeping and feeding our sheep by the way, and for killing them; besides which the shepherds got the heads, skins, and entrails of all the sheep for themselves. We six bought 20 sheep, and 7 of them remained alive when we came to Aleppo. While on our journey through the desert, we used to lend flesh to each other, so as never to carry any from station to station, being repaid next day by those to whom we lent the day before.

From Babylon to Aleppo is 40 days journey, of which 36 days are through the desert or wilderness, in which neither trees, houses, nor inhabitants are anywhere to be seen, being all an uniform extended plain or dreary waste, with no object whatever to relieve the eye. On the journey, the pilots or guides go always in front, followed by the caravan in regular order. When the guides stop, all the caravan does the same, and unloads the camels, as the guides know where wells are to be found. I have said that the caravan takes 36 days to travel across the wilderness; besides these, for the two first days after leaving Babylon we go past inhabited villages, till such time as we cross the Euphrates; and then we have two days journey through among inhabited villages before reaching Aleppo. Along with each caravan there is a captain, who dispenses justice to all men, and every night there is a guard appointed to keep watch for the security of the whole. From Aleppo we went to Tripoli, in Syria, where M. Florinasca, M. Andrea Polo, and I, with a friar in company, hired a bark to carry us towards Jerusalem. We accordingly sailed from Tripoli to Jaffa, from which place we travelled in a day and a half to Jerusalem, leaving orders that the bark should wait for our return. We remained 14 days at Jerusalem visiting the holy places, whence we returned to Jaffa, and thence back to Tripoli, and there we embarked in a ship belonging to Venice, called the Bajazzana; and, by the aid of the divine goodness, we safely arrived in Venice on the 5th of November 1581.

Should any one incline to travel into those parts of India to which I went, let him not be astonished or deterred by the troubles, entanglements, and long delays which I underwent, owing to my poverty. On leaving Venice, I had 1200 ducats invested in merchandise; but while at Tripoli in my way out I fell sick in the house of M. Regaly Oratio, who sent away my goods with a small caravan to Aleppo. This caravan was robbed, and all my goods lost, except four chests of glasses, which cost me 200 ducats. Even of my glasses many were broken, as the thieves had broken up the boxes in hopes of getting goods more suitable for their purpose. Even with this small remaining stock I adventured to proceed for the Indies, where, by exchange and re-exchange, with much patient diligence, and with the blessing of God, I at length acquired a respectable stock.

It may be proper to mention, for the sake of others who may follow my example, by what means they may secure their goods and effects to their heirs, in case of their death. In all the cities belonging to the Portuguese in India, there is a house or establishment called the school of the Santa Misericordia comissaria, the governors of which, on payment of a certain fee, take a copy of your testament, which you ought always to carry along with you when travelling in the Indies. There always goes into the different countries of the Gentiles and Mahometans a captain or consul, to administer justice to the Portuguese, and other Christians connected with them, and this captain has authority to recover the goods of all merchants who chance to die on these voyages. Should any of these not have their wills along with them, or not have them registered in one of the before-mentioned schools, these captains are sure to consume their goods in such a way that little or nothing will remain for their heirs. There are always also on such voyages some merchants who are commissaries of the Sancta Misericardia, who take charge of the goods of those who have registered their wills in that office, and having sold them the money is remitted to the head office of the Misericordia at Lisbon, whence intelligence is sent to any part of Christendom whence the deceased may have come, so that on the heirs of such persons going to Lisbon with satisfactory testimonials, they will receive the full value of what was left by their relation. It is to be noted, however, that when any merchant happens to die in the kingdom of Pegu, one-third of all that belongs to him goes, by ancient law and custom, to the king and his officers, but the other two-thirds are honourably restored to those having authority to receive them. On this account, I have known many rich men who dwelt in Pegu, who have desired to go thence into their own country in their old age to die there, that they might save the third of their property to their heirs, and these have always been allowed freely to depart without trouble or molestation.

In Pegu the fashion in dress is uniformly the same for the high and low, the rich and the poor, the only difference being in the quality or fineness, of the materials, which is cloth of cotton, of various qualities. In the first place, they have an inner garment of white cotton cloth which serves for a shirt, over which they gird another garment of painted cotton cloth of fourteen brasses or yards, which is bound or tucked up between the legs. On their heads they wear a tuck or turban of three yards long, bound round the head somewhat like a mitre; but some, instead of this, have a kind of cap like a bee-hive, which does not fall below the bottom of the ear. They are all barefooted; but the nobles never walk a-foot, being carried by men on a seat of some elegance, having a hat made of leaves to keep-off the rain and sun; or else they ride on horseback, having their bare feet in the stirrups. All women, of whatever degree, wear a shift or smock down to the girdle, and from thence down to their feet a cloth of three yards long, forming a kind of petticoat which is open before, and so strait that at every step they shew their legs and more, so that in walking they have to hide themselves as it were very imperfectly with their hand. It is reported that this was contrived by one of the queens of this country, as a means of winning the men from certain unnatural practices to which they were unhappily addicted. The women go all barefooted like the men, and have their arms loaded with hoops of gold adorned with jewels, and their fingers all filled with precious rings. They wear their long hair rolled up and fastened on the crown of their heads, and a cloth thrown over their shoulders, by way of a cloak.

By way of concluding this long account of my peregrinations, I have this to say, that those parts of the Indies in which I have been are very good for a man who has little, and wishes by diligent industry to make rich: providing always that he conducts himself so as to preserve the reputation of honesty. Such, persons will never fail to receive assistance to advance their fortunes. But, for those who are vicious, dishonest, or indolent, they had better stay at home; for they shall always remain poor, and die beggars.

End of the Peregrinations of Cesar Frederick.




On the present occasion we are principally guided in our selection by chronological order, owing to which this Chapter may have an anomalous appearance, as containing the early voyages of the English to the Western or Atlantic coast of Africa, while the title of the Book to which it belongs was confined to the Discoveries and Conquests of the Portuguese, and other European Nations, in India; yet the arrangement has been formed on what we have considered as sufficient grounds, more especially as resembling the steps by which the Portuguese were led to their grand discovery of the route by sea to India. Our collection forms a periodical work, in the conduct of which it would be obviously improper to tie ourselves too rigidly, in these introductory discourses, to any absolute rules of minute arrangement, which might prevent us from availing ourselves of such valuable sources of information as may occur in the course of our researches. We have derived the principal materials of this and the next succeeding chapter, from Hakluyt's Collection of the Early Voyages, Travels, and Discoveries of the English Nation, using the late edition published at London in 1810, and availing ourselves of the previous labours of the Editor of Astleys Collection, published in 1745. Mr John Green, the intelligent editor of that former collection, has combined the substance of the present and succeeding chapters of our work in the second book of his first volume, under the title of The First Voyages of the English to Guinea and the East Indies; and as our present views are almost solely confined to the period which he embraces, we have thought it right to insert his introduction to that book, as containing a clear historical view of the subject175. It is proper to mention, however, that, while we follow his steps, we have uniformly had recourse to the originals from which he drew his materials; and, for reasons formerly assigned, wherever any difference may occur between our collection and that of Astley, we shall subjoin our remarks and references, at the place or places to which they belong. –E.

"Although the Portuguese were the first who set on foot discoveries by sea, and carried them on for many years before any other European nation attempted to follow their example; yet, as soon as these voyages appeared to be attended with commercial gain, the English were ready to put in for a share. The Portuguese discovered Guinea about the year 1471; and only ten years afterwards we find the English making preparations to visit the newly discovered coast176. In the year 1481, John Tintam and William Fabian were busy in fitting out a fleet for the coast of Guinea; but whether on their own account in whole or in part, or solely for the Duke of Medina Sidonia in Spain, by whose command they are said to have done this, cannot be now determined. It is possible, as the Spaniards were excluded by the Papal grant in favour of the Portuguese from trading to the East Indies, that they might endeavour to elude this authority by employing Englishmen in that navigation. However this may have been, Joam or John II. king of Portugal, sent two persons on an embassy to Edward king of England, to renew the ancient league of friendship between the crowns, and to move him to hinder that fleet from putting to sea. The Portuguese ambassadors had orders to acquaint the king of England with the title which the king of Portugal derived from the Pope, to the exclusive sovereignty and navigation of Guinea, and to demand that Edward should prohibit his subjects from sending any ships to that country. This was accordingly done, and the purposes of that intended voyage were frustrated. This is an authentic testimony of the early attempts of the English, which is related at length by Garcia de Resende, in the life of Joam II. Ch. 33177. To this, or some similar circumstance, it may have been owing that the English desisted so long from sailing to the southwards, and turned their endeavours to the discovery of a passage to India by some other way.

"It appears by a memorandum or letter of Nicholas Thorn, senior, a considerable merchant in Bristol, of which Hakluyt gives the contents178, that in 1526, and from circumstances for a long time previous, certain English merchants, among whom were Nicholas Thorn and Thomas Spacheford, had frequently traded to the Canary islands. In that letter or memorandum, notice was given to Thomas Midnal his factor and William Ballard his servant; residing in St Lucar in Andalusia, that the Christopher of Cadiz bound for the West Indies, had taken on board several packs of cloth of different fineness and colours, together with packthread, soap, and other goods, to be landed at Santa Cruz in Teneriffe. They are directed to sell these goods, and to send back returns in Orchil179, sugar, and kid skins.

"At length, about the middle of the sixteenth century, the English spirit of trade, meeting with favourable circumstances, began to exert itself, and to extend its adventures to the south as well as the north. About the year 1551, Captain Thomas Windham sailed in the ship Lion for Morocco, whither he carried two Moors of the blood-royal. This was the first voyage to the western coast of Africa of which we have any account, and these are all the particulars to be found respecting it; except that one Thomas Alday, a servant to Sebastian Cabot, in a letter inserted in Hakluyt's Collection180, represents himself as the first promoter of this trade to Barbary, and observes that he would have performed this voyage himself, with the sole command of the ship and goods, had it not been that Sir John Lutterel, John Fletcher, Henry Ostrich, and others with whom he was connected, died of the sweating sickness, and he himself, after escaping that disease, was seized by a violent fever, so that Thomas Windham sailed from Portsmouth before he recovered, by which he lost eighty pounds.

"In the next year, 1552, Windham made a second voyage to Zafin or Saffi and Santa Cruz without the straits, which gave so much offence to the Portuguese, that they threatened to treat the English as enemies if found in these seas. Yet in the year following, the same Thomas Windham, with a Portuguese named Antonio Yanez Pinteado, who appears to have been the chief promoter of the attempt, undertook a voyage to Guinea, with three ships having an hundred and forty men; and having traded for some time on the coast for gold, they went to Benin to load pepper: But both the commanders and most of the men dying of sickness, occasioned by the climate, the rest returned to Plymouth with one ship only, having burnt the other two for want of hands, and brought back no great riches. In 1554, Mr John Lok made a voyage with three ships to the coast of Guinea, whence he brought back a considerable quantity of gold and ivory. These voyages appear to have been succeeded by others almost every year. At length, upon application to Queen Elizabeth, two patents were granted to certain merchants. One in 1585, for the Barbary or Morocco trade, and the other in 1588, for the trade to Guinea between the rivers Senegal and Gambia181. In 1592, a third patent was granted to other persons, taking in the coast from the river Nonnia to the south of Sierra Leona, for the space of 100 leagues, which patents gave rise to the African company. In all their voyages to the coast of Africa they had disputes with the Portuguese. Several of these voyages have been preserved by Hakluyt, and will be found inserted in this chapter, as forerunners to the English voyages to the East Indies.

"The views of the English extending with experience and success, and finding the long attempted north-east and north-west passages to India impracticable, they at length determined to proceed for that distant region round Africa by the same course with the Portuguese. In 1591, that voyage was undertaken for the first time by three large ships under the command of Captain Raymond; and in 1596, another fleet of three ships set out on the same design under Captain Wood, but with bad success. In the mean time several navigators were employed to discover this course to the East Indies. At length in 1600, a charter was obtained from Queen Elizabeth by a body of merchants, to the number of 216, having George Earl of Cumberland at their head, under the name of the Company of Merchant Adventurers, for carrying on a trade to the East Indies. From this period ships were sent there regularly every two or three years; and thus were laid the foundations of the English East India commerce, which has subsisted ever since under exclusive chartered companies.

"Long before the English sailed to India in their own ships, several English merchants and others had gone to India from time to time in the Portuguese ships, and some overland; from a desire to pry into and to participate in the advantages of that gainful commerce. Of those who went by land, several letters and relations remain which will be found in the sequel: But of all who performed the voyage as passengers in the Portuguese vessels, we know of only one who left any account of his adventures, or at least whose account has been published; viz. Thomas Stephens. To this may be added the account by Captain Davis of a voyage in the Dutch ship called the Middleburgh Merchants in 1598, of which he served as pilot, for the purpose of making himself acquainted with the maritime route to India, and the posture of the Portuguese affairs in that country. Both of these journals contain very useful remarks for the time in which they were made, and both will be found in our collection.

"Although the first voyages of the English to the East Indies are full of variety, yet the reader is not to expect such a continued series of new discoveries, great actions, battles, sieges, and conquests, as are to be met with in the history of the Portuguese expeditions: For it must be considered that we made few or no discoveries, as these had been already made before; that our voyages were for the most part strictly commercial; that our settlements were generally made by the consent of the natives; that we made no conquests; and that the undertakings were set on foot and carried on entirely by our merchants182. On this account it is, probably, that we have no regular history extant of the English Voyages, Discoveries, and Transactions in the East Indies, as we find there are many such of the Portuguese and Spanish. It may be presumed, however, that as the East India Company has kept regular journals of their affairs, and is furnished with letters and other memorials from their agents, that a satisfactory account of all the English Transactions in India might be collected, if the Company thought proper to give orders for its execution183." –Astley.

SECTION I. Second Voyage of the English to Barbary, in the year 1552, by Captain Thomas Windham184

Of the first voyage to Barbary without the straits, made by the same Captain Thomas Wyndham, the only remaining record is in a letter from James Aldaie to Michael Locke, already mentioned in the Introduction to this Chapter, and preserved in Hakluyt's Collection, II. 462. According to Hakluyt, the account of this second voyage was written by James Thomas, then page to Captain Thomas Windham, chief captain of the voyage, which was set forth by Sir John Yorke, Sir William Gerard, Sir Thomas Wroth, Messieurs Frances Lambert, Cole, and others. –E.


The ships employed on this voyage were three, of which two belonged to the River Thames. These were the Lion of London of about 150 tons, of which Thomas Windham was captain and part owner; and the Buttolfe of about 80 tons. The third was a Portuguese caravel of about 60 tons, bought from some Portuguese at Newport in Wales, and freighted for the voyage. The number of men in the three ships was 120. The master of the Lion was John Kerry of Minehead in Somersetshire, and his mate was David Landman. Thomas Windham, the chief captain of the Adventure, was a gentleman, born in the county of Norfolk, but resident at Marshfield Park in Somersetshire.

The fleet set sail from King-road near Bristol about the beginning of May 1552, being on a Monday morning; and on the evening of the Monday fortnight we came to anchor in the port of Zafia or Asafi on the coast of Barbary, in 32° N. where we landed part of our cargo to be conveyed by land to the city of Marocco. Having refreshed at this port, we went thence to the port of Santa-Cruz, where we landed the rest of our goods, being a considerable quantity of linen and woollen cloth, with coral, amber, jet, and divers other goods esteemed by the Moors. We found a French ship in the road of Santa-Cruz, the people on board which being uncertain whether France and England were then at peace or engaged in war, drew her as near as possible to the walls of the town, from which they demanded assistance for their defence in case of need; and on seeing our vessels draw near, they shot off a piece of ordnance from the walls, the ball passing through between the main and fore masts of the Lion. We came immediately to anchor, and presently a pinnace came off to inquire who we were; and on learning that we had been there the year before, and had the licence of their king for trade, they were fully satisfied, giving us leave to bring our goods peaceably on shore, where the viceroy, Sibill Manache came shortly to visit us, and treated us with all civility. Owing to various delays, we were nearly three months at this place before we could get our lading, which consisted of sugar, dates, almonds, and molasses, or the syrup of sugar. Although we were at this place for so long a time during the heat of summer, yet none of our company perished of sickness.

When our ships were all loaded, we drew out to sea in waiting for a western wind to carry us to England. But while at sea a great leak broke out in the Lion, on which we bore away for the island of Lançerota, between which and Fuertaventura we came to anchor in a safe road-stead, whence we landed 70 chests of sugar upon the island of Lançerota, with a dozen or sixteen of our men. Conceiving that we had come wrongfully by the caraval, the inhabitants came by surprise upon us and took all who were on shore prisoners, among whom I was one, and destroyed our sugars. On this transaction being perceived from our ships, they sent on shore three boats filled with armed men to our rescue; and our people landing, put the Spaniards to flight, of whom they slew eighteen, and made the governor of the island prisoner, who was an old gentleman about 70 years of age. Our party continued to chase the Spaniards so far for our rescue, that they exhausted all their powder and arrows, on which the Spaniards rallied and returned upon them, and slew six of our men in the retreat. After this our people and the Spaniards came to a parley, in which it was agreed that we the prisoners should be restored in exchange for the old governor, who gave us a certificate under his hand of the damages we had sustained by the spoil of our sugars, that we might be compensated upon our return to England, by the merchants belonging to the king of Spain.

Having found and repaired the leak, and all our people being returned on board, we made sail; and while passing one side of the island, the Cacafuego and other ships of the Portuguese navy entered by the other side to the same roadstead whence we had just departed, and shot off their ordnance in our hearing. It is proper to mention that the Portuguese were greatly offended at this our new trade to Barbary, and both this year and the former, they gave out through their merchants in England, with great threats and menaces, that they would treat us as mortal enemies, if they found us in these seas: But by the good providence of God we escaped their hands. We were seven or eight weeks in making our passage from Lançerota for the coast of England, where the first port we made was Plymouth; and from thence sailed for the Thames, where we landed our merchandise at London about the end of October 1552.

SECTION II. A Voyage from England to Guinea and Benin in 1553, by Captain Windham and Antonio Anes Pinteado185


This and the following voyage to Africa were first published by Richard Eden in a small collection, which was afterwards reprinted in 4to, by Richard Willes in 1577186. Hakluyt has inserted both these in his Collection, with Eden's preamble as if it were his own; only that he ascribes the account of Africa to the right owner187.

"I was desired by certain friends to make some mention of this voyage, that some memory of it might remain to posterity, being the first enterprised by the English to parts that may become of great consequence to our merchants, if not hindered by the ambition of such as conceive themselves lords of half the world, by having conquered some forty or fifty miles here and there, erecting certain fortresses, envying that others should enjoy the commodities which they themselves cannot wholly possess. And, although such as have been at charges in the discovering and conquering of such lands, ought in good reason to have certain privileges, pre-eminences and tributes for the same; yet, under correction, it may seem somewhat rigorous and unreasonable, or rather contrary to the charity that ought to subsist among Christians, that such as invade the dominions of others, should not allow other friendly nations to trade in places nearer and seldom frequented by themselves, by which their own trade is not hindered in such other places as they have chosen for themselves as staples or marts of their trade188. But as I do not propose either to accuse or defend, I shall cease to speak any farther on this subject, and proceed to the account of the first voyage to those parts, as briefly and faithfully as I was advertised of the same, by information of such credible persons as made diligent inquiry respecting it, omitting many minute particulars, not greatly necessary to be known; but which, with the exact course of the navigation, shall be more fully related in the second voyage. If some may think that certain persons have been rather sharply reflected on, I have this to say, that favour and friendship ought always to give way before truth, that honest men may receive the praise of well-doing, and bad men be justly reproved; that the good may be encouraged to proceed in honest enterprizes, and the bad deterred from following evil example.

That these voyages may be the better understood, I have thought proper to premise a brief description of Africa, on the west coast of which great division of the world, the coast of Guinea begins at Cape Verd in about lat. 12° N. and about two degrees in longitude from the measuring line189; whence running from north to south, and in some places by east, within 5, 4, and 3-1/2 degrees into the equinoctial, and so forth in manner directly east and north, for the space of about 36 degrees in longitude from west to east, as shall more plainly appear in the second voyage190.


Brief Description of Africa, by Richard Eden191.

In the lesser Africa are the kingdoms of Tunis and Constantina, which latter is at this day subject to Tunis, and also the regions of Bugia, Tripoli, and Ezzah. This part of Africa is very barren, by reason of the great deserts of Numidia and Barca. The principal ports of the kingdom of Tunis are, Goletta, Bizerta, Potofarnia, Bona, and Stora. Tunis and Constantina are the chief cities, with several others. To this kingdom belong the following islands, Zerbi, Lampadola, Pantalarea, Limoso, Beit, Gamelaro, and Malta; in which the grand-master of the knights of Rhodes now resides. To the south of this kingdom are the great deserts of Lybia. All the nations of this lesser Africa are of the sect of Mahomet, a rustical people living scattered in villages.

The best of this part of Africa is Mauritania, now called Barbary, on the coast of the Mediterranean. Mauritania is divided into two parts, Tingitana and Cesariensis. Mauritania Tingitana is now called the kingdoms of Fez and Marocco, of which the capitals bear the same names. Mauritania, Cesariensis is now called the kingdom of Tremessan, the capital of which is named Tremessan or Telensin. This region is full of deserts, and reaches to the Mediterranean, to the city of Oran with the port of Mersalquiber. The kingdom of Fez reaches to the ocean, from the west to the city of Arzilla, and Sala or Salee is the port of this kingdom. The kingdom of Marocco also extends to the ocean, on which it has the cities of Azamor and Azafi. Near to Fez and Marocco in the ocean are the Canary islands, anciently called the Fortunate islands.

To the south is the kingdom of Guinea, with Senega, Jalofo, Gambra, and many other regions of the black Moors, called Ethiopians or Negroes, all of which regions are watered by the river Negro, called anciently the Niger192. In these regions there are no cities, but only villages of low cottages made of boughs of trees, plastered over with chalk and covered with straw; and in these regions there are great deserts.

The kingdom of Marocco includes seven subordinate kingdoms, named Hea, Sus, Guzula, Marocco proper, Duccula, Hazchora, and Tedle. Fez has an equal number, as Fez, Temesne, Azgar, Elabath, Errif, Garet, and Elcair. Tremessan has only three, being Tremessan, Tenez, and Elgazair; all the inhabitants of all these regions being Mahometans. But all the regions of Guinea are peopled by Gentiles and idolaters, having no religion or knowledge of God except from the law of nature.

Africa, one of the three great divisions of the world known to the ancients, is separated from Asia on the east by the river Nile, and on the west from Europe by the Pillars of Hercules or the Straits of Gibraltar. The entire northern coast along the Mediterranean is now called Barbary, and is inhabited by the Moors. The inner part is called Lybia and Ethiopia. Lesser Africa, in which stood the noble city of Carthage, has Numidia on the west and Cyrenaica on the east.

On the east side of Africa, to the west of the Red Sea, are the dominions of the great and mighty Christian king or emperor Prester John, well known to the Portuguese in their voyages to Calicut. His dominions reach very far on every side, and he has many other kings under his authority who pay him tribute, both Christian and Pagan. This mighty prince is named David emperor of Ethiopia, and it is said that the Portuguese send him every year eight ships laden with merchandise. His dominions are bounded on one side by the Red Sea, and stretch far into Africa towards Egypt and Barbary. To the southwards they adjoin with the great sea or ocean towards the Cape of Good Hope, and to the north are bounded by the great and dangerous Sea of Sand, lying between the great city of Cairo in Egypt and the country of Ethiopia; in which are many uninhabitable deserts continuing for the space of five days journey. It is affirmed, if the Christian emperor were not hindered by the deserts, in which there is great want of provisions and especially of water, that he would ere now have invaded Egypt. The chief city of Ethiopia, in which this great emperor resides, is called Amacaiz, being a city of some importance, the inhabitants of which are of an olive complexion. There are many other cities, such as the city of Sava on the Nile, where the emperor ordinarily resides during the summer. There is likewise a great city named Barbaregaf and Ascon, whence the queen of Saba is supposed to have gone for Jerusalem to hear the wisdom of Solomon193. This last city though little is very fair, and one of the principal cities of Ethiopia. In this province there are many very high mountains, on which the terrestrial paradise is supposed to have been situated; and some say that the trees of the sun and moon which are mentioned by the ancients, are to be found there, but no one has ever been able to go to them, on account of great deserts extending to an hundred days journey. Also beyond these mountains is the Cape of Good Hope.

Journal of the Voyage.

On the 12th of August 1553, there sailed from Portsmouth two goodly ships, the Primrose and the Lion, with a pinnace called the Moon, all well furnished with 140 able bodied men, and with ordnance and victuals fitting for the voyage. They were commanded by two captains; one of whom was a foreigner named Antonio Anes Pinteado, a native of Oporto in Portugal, a wise, discreet, and sober man, who, for his skill in navigation both as an experienced pilot and prudent commander, was at one time in such favour with the king of Portugal, that the coasts of Brazil and Guinea were committed to his care against the French, to whom he was a terror in these seas. He had been likewise a gentleman of the household to the king. But as fortune ever flatters when it favours, ever deceives when it promises, and ever casts down whom it raises, so great wealth and high favour are always accompanied by emulation and envy; in like manner was he, after many adversities and malicious accusations, forced to take refuge in England. In this golden voyage Pinteado was ill-matched with an evil companion, his own various good qualities being coupled with one who had few or no virtues. Thus did these noble ships depart on their voyage; but previously captain Windham put out of his ship at Portsmouth a kinsman of one of the head merchants, shewing in this a sample of the bad intention of his mind, which grew from this small beginning to a monstrous enormity; yet happy was that young man for being left behind.

Arriving at the island of Madeira, they took in some wine for the use of the ships. At this island was a great galleon belonging to the king of Portugal, full of men and ordnance, which had been expressly fitted out to interrupt our ships in their intended voyage, or any others that might intend a similar expedition; for the king of Portugal had been secretly informed that our ships were armed to attack his castle of Mina, though no such thing was intended; yet did not that galleon attempt to stay our ships, nor could she have been able to withstand them if that had been tried.

After their departure from Madeira the worthy captain Pinteado began to experience affliction from Captain Windham, who had hitherto carried a fair appearance of good will, but now assumed to himself the sole command, setting both captain Pinteado and the merchants factors at nought, giving them opprobrious words and sometimes abusing them most shamefully with threats of personal ill-treatment. He even proceeded to deprive captain Pinteado of the service of the boys and others who had been assigned him by order of the merchant adventurers, reducing him to the rank of a common mariner, which is the greatest affront that can be put upon a Portuguese or Spaniard, who prize their honour above all things. Passing the Canaries, they came to the island of St Nicholas, one of the Cape Verds, where they procured abundance of the flesh of wild goats, being almost its only produce. Following their voyage from thence, they tarried by the way at certain desert islands, not willing to arrive too early on the coast of Guinea on account of the heat. But being under an arbitrary rule, they tarried too long, and came at length to the first land of Guinea at the river Cesto194, where they might have exchanged their merchandise for a full lading of the grains, or spice of that country, which is a very hot fruit and much like figs; the fruit being full of grains which are loose within the pod195. This kind of spice is much used in cold countries, and may be sold there to great advantage in exchange for other commodities. But, by the persuasion or command rather of our tyrannical captain, our people made light of this commodity in comparison with the fine gold for which they thirsted, wherefore they made sail an hundred leagues farther till they came to the golden land or gold coast.

At this part of the coast, not venturing to come near the castle of St George del Mina belonging to the king of Portugal, they made sale of their goods only on this side and beyond that place, receiving the gold of the country in exchange to the extent of 150 pounds weight196, and they might have bartered all their merchandise for gold at that place, if the pride of Windham had allowed him to listen to the counsel and experience of Pinteado: but not satisfied with what he had got or might still have procured, if he had remained in the neighbourhood of Mina, he commanded Pinteado to navigate the ships to Benin under the equinoctial, 150 leagues beyond the Mina, where he expected to have laden the ships with pepper. When Pinteado urged the lateness of the season, and advised that instead of going farther they should continue to dispose of their wares for gold, by which great profit would have been gained, Windham flew into a passion, called Pinteado a Jew, and gave him much opprobrious language, saying, "This rascally Jew promised to conduct us to places that either do not exist or to which he knows not the way, but if he does not I will cut off his ears and nail them to the mast." The advice given by Pinteado, not to go farther, was for the safety of the mens lives, which would have been in great danger at that late season, during their winter or rossia, not so called on account of cold, but from the heat accompanied with close and cloudy air, alternating with great tempests, during which the air was of so putrifying a quality as to rot the clothes on their backs. He had formerly lingered by the way, to prevent them arriving too soon on the coast, when the heat of the sun is scorching and unbearable.

Thus constrained contrary to his wish, he brought the ships to anchor off the mouth of the river Benin, whence the pinnace was sent 50 or 60 leagues up the river. They then landed, and Pinteado, with Francisco another Portuguese, Nicholas Lambert a gentleman, and other merchants were conducted to the kings court, ten leagues from the river, where they were brought into the kings presence by a great company. The king was a black Moor or negro, though not quite so black as the rest, and sat in a long wide hall having earthen walls without windows, roofed with thin planks open in many parts to let in air. These people give wonderful reverence to their king, even the highest of his officers when in his presence never daring to look him in the face, but sit cowering on their buttocks with their elbows on their knees, and their hands on their faces, never looking up till the king commands them. When coming towards the king they shew him the utmost reverence from as far off as they can see him; and when they depart they never turn their backs towards him. In the communication of our men with the king, he used the Portuguese language, which he had learnt when a child. Commanding our men to stand up, he inquired the reason of their coming into his country; on which he was answered by Pinteado, that we were merchants who had come from a distant country into his dominions, to procure the commodities of the country in exchange for wares which we had brought from our own country, to the mutual convenience of both countries. The king had then 30 or 40 quintals or hundred weights of pepper, which had long lain in a store-house, which he desired our people to look at, and that they should exhibit to him such commodities as they had brought for sale. He likewise sent some of his officers to conduct our people to the water-side, and to carry our wares from the pinnace to his residence. These things being done, the king engaged to our merchants that in 30 days he would provide a sufficiency of pepper to load all our ships, and in case our merchandise might not amount to the whole value of the pepper, he promised to give credit till next season, and immediately sent orders over all the country to gather pepper, so that in 30 days 80 tons of pepper were procured.

In the meantime our men lived without any rule, eating without measure of the fruit of the country, drinking the palm wine which runs in the night from the cut branches of that tree, and continually running into the water to assuage the extreme heat of the season; and not being used to these sudden transitions, which are excessively dangerous, they fell into swellings and agues, by which about the end of the year they were dying sometimes 3, 4, or 5 in a day. When the 30 days were expired, and Windham saw his men dying so fast, he sent orders to Pinteado and the rest to come away without any more delay. Pinteado and the others wrote back to inform him of the large quantity of pepper already gathered, and that they looked daily for more, desiring him to consider the great praise they would all get on their return if the voyage turned out profitable, and the shame that must attend returning without a full loading. Not satisfied with this answer, more especially as the men continued to die in great numbers, Windham sent a second message ordering them to return immediately, or that he would go away and leave them. Thinking to prevail upon him by reasonable means, Pinteado returned to the ships under an escort provided by the negro king.

In the mean time Windham, enraged at Pinteado, broke open his cabin and all his chests, spoiled all the cordials and sweetmeats he had provided for his health, and left him nothing either of his cloaths or nautical instruments; after which strange procedure he fell sick and died. When he came on board, Pinteado lamented as much for the death of Windham as if he had been his dearest friend; but several of the mariners and officers spit in his face, calling him Jew, and asserted that he had brought them to this place on purpose that they should die; and some even drew their swords, threatening to slay him. They insisted that he should leave the coast immediately, and though he only requested them to wait till those who were left at the court of the king of Benin could be sent for, they would by no means consent. He then prayed them to give him a boat, and as much of an old sail as might serve to fit her out, in which he proposed to bring Nicholas Lambert197 and the rest to England, but even this they would not consent to. Finding all his representations in vain, he wrote a letter to the merchants at court, informing them of all that had happened at the ships, promising, if God spared his life, that he would return as soon as possible for them.

Pinteado, thus kept on board against his will, was thrust among the cabin-boys, and worse used than any of them, insomuch that he was forced to depend on the favour of the cook for subsistence. Having sunk one of their ships for want of hands to navigate her, the people departed from the coast with the other. Within six or seven days, Pinteado died broken-hearted, from the cruel and undeserved usage he had met with,-a man worthy to have served any prince, and most vilely used. Of 140 men who had sailed originally from Portsmouth on this unfortunate and ill-conducted voyage, scarcely 40 got back to Plymouth, and many even of those died soon afterwards.

That no one may suspect that I have written in commendation of Pinteado from partiality or favour, otherwise than as warranted by truth, I have thought good to add copies of the letters which the king of Portugal and the infant his brother wrote to induce him to return to Portugal, at the time when, by the king's displeasure, and not owing to any crime or offence, he was enforced by poverty to come to England, where he first induced our merchants to engage in voyages to Guinea. All these writings I saw under seal in the house of my friend Nicholas Lieze, with whom Pinteado left them when he departed on his unfortunate voyage to Guinea. But, notwithstanding these friendly letters and fair promises, Pinteado durst not venture to return to Portugal, neither indeed durst he trust himself in company with any of his own countrymen, unless in the presence of other persons, as he had secret intimation that they meant to have assassinated him, when time and place might serve their wicked purpose.


The papers alluded to in this concluding paragraph by Richard Eden, do not seem necessary to be inserted. They consist of, a commission or patent dated 22d September 1551, appointing Pinteado one of the knights of the royal household, with 700 rees, or ten shillings a month, and half a bushel of barley every day so long as he should keep a horse; but with an injunction not to marry for six years, lest he might have children to succeed in this allowance. The second document is merely a certificate of registration of the first. The third is a letter from the infant, Don Luis, brother to the king of Portugal, dated 8th December 1552, urging Pinteado to return to Lisbon, and intimating that Peter Gonzalvo, the bearer of the letter, had a safe conduct for him in due form. From the introduction to these papers, it appears that Pinteado had suffered long disgrace and imprisonment, proceeding upon false charges, and had been at last set free by means of the king's confessor, a grey friar, who had manifested his innocence. –E.

SECTION III. Voyage to Guinea, in 1554, by Captain John Lok198

As in the first voyage of the English to Guinea, I have given rather the order of the history than the course of navigation, of which I had then no perfect information; so in this second voyage my chief purpose has been to shew the course pursued, according to the ordinary custom and observation of mariners, and as I received it from the hands of an expert pilot, who was one of the chiefest in this voyage199, who with his own hand wrote a brief journal of the whole, as he had found and tried in all things, not conjecturally, but by the art of navigation, and by means of instruments fitted for nautical use200. Not assuming therefore to myself the commendations due to another, neither having presumed in any part to change the substance or order of this journal, so well observed by art and experience, I have thought fit to publish it in the language commonly used by mariners, exactly as I received it from that pilot201.


On the 11th October 1554, we departed from the river Thames with three good ships. One of these named the Trinity, was of 140 tons burden; the second, called the Bartholomew, was 90 tons; and the third, called the John Evangelist, was 140 tons. With these three ships and two pinnaces, one of which was lost on the coast of England, we staid fourteen days at Dover, and three or four days at Rye, and lastly we touched at Dartmouth. Departing on the 1st November, at 9 o'clock at night, from the coast of England, off the Start point, and steering due south-west all that night, all next day, and the next night after, till noon of the 3d, we made our way good, running 60 leagues. The morning of the 17th we had sight of the island of Madeira, which to those who approach from N.N.E. seems to rise very high, and almost perpendicular in the west. To the S.S.E. is a long low land, and a long point with a saddle through the midst of it, standing in 32° N. [lat. 32° 30' N. long. 16° 12' W.] And in the west part are many springs of water running down from the mountain, with many white fields like fields of corn, and some white houses in the S.E. part. Also in this part is a rock at a small distance from the shore, over which a great gap or opening is seen in the mountain.

The 19th at noon we had sight of the isles of Palma, Teneriffe, and Grand Canarea. The isle of Palma rises round, and stretches from S.E. to N.W. the north-west part being lowest. In the south is a round hill over the head-land, with another round hill behind and farther inland. Between the S.E. end of Madeira and the N.W. part of the island of Palma, the distance is 57 leagues202, Palma being in 28°.(lat. 28° 45' N. long 17° 45' W.) Our course between the S.E. end of Madeira and the N.W. part of Palma was S. and S. by W. so that we had sight of Teneriffe and the Grand Canary. The S.E. part of Palma and N.N.E. of Teneriffe lie S.E. and N.W.(rather E. and W.) distance 20 leagues(33 leagues.) Teneriffe and Grand Canarea, with the west part of Fuertaventura, stand in 27° 30'203. Gomera is a fair island, but very rugged, W.S.W. from Teneriffe, the passage between running from N. by W. to S. by E. In the south part of Gomera is a town and good road-stead, in lat. 28° N. Teneriffe is a mountainous island, with a great high peak like a sugar-loaf, on which there is snow all the year, and by that peak it may be known from all other islands. On the 20th November we were there becalmed from six in the morning till four in the afternoon. On the 22d November, being then under the tropic of Cancer, the sun set W. and by S. On the coast of Barbary, 25 leagues N. of Cape Blanco, at 3 leagues from shore, we had 15 fathoms water on a good shelly bottom mixed with sand, and no currents, having two small islands in lat. 22° 20' N.204 From Gomera to Cape de las Barbas is 100 leagues (116), the course being S. by E. That cape is in lat. 22° 30,(22° 15') all the coast thereabout being flat, and having 16 and 17 fathoms off shore. All the way from the river del Oro to Cape Barbas, at 7 or 8 leagues off shore, many Spaniards and Portuguese employ themselves in fishing during the month of November, the whole of that coast consisting of very low lands. From Cape Barbas we held a course S.S.W. and S.W. by S. till we came into lat. 20° 30', reckoning ourselves 7 leagues off shore, and we there came to the least shoals of Cape Blanco. We then sailed to the lat. of 13° N. reckoning ourselves 20 leagues off; and in 15° we did rear the crossiers, or cross stars, and might have done so sooner if we had looked for them. They are not right across in the month of November, as the nights are short there, but we had sight of them on the 29th of that month at night. The 1st of December, being in lat. 13° N. we set our course S. by E. till the 4th at noon, when we were in 9° 20' reckoning ourselves 30 leagues W.S.W. from the shoals of the Rio Grande, which extend for 30 leagues. On the 4th, being in 6° 30', we set our course S.E. The 9th we changed our course E.S.E. The 14th, being in lat. 5° 30' and reckoning ourselves 36 leagues from the coast of Guinea, we set our course due E. The 19th, reckoning ourselves 17 leagues from Cape Mensurado, we set our course E. by N. the said cape being E.N.E. of us, and the river Sesto E. The 20th we fell in with Cape Mensurado or Mesurado, which bore S.E. 2 leagues distant. This cape may be easily known, as it rises into a hummock like the head of a porpoise. Also towards the S.E. there are three trees, the eastmost being the highest, the middle one resembling a hay-stack, and that to the southward like a gibbet. Likewise on the main there are four or five high hills, one after the other, like round hummocks. The south-east of the three trees is brandiernaure? and all the coast is a white sand. The said cape stands within a little of six degrees (lat. 6° 20' N. long. 10° 30' W.) The 22d we came to the river Sesto or Sesters, where we remained till the 29th, and we thought it best to send our pinnace before us to the Rio Dulce, that they might begin the market before the arrival of the John Evangelist. At the river Sesto, which is in six degrees less one terce, or 5° 40', we got a ton of grains205. From Rio Sesto to Rio Dulce the distance is 25 leagues, Rio Dulce being in 5° 30' N. The Rio Sesto is easily known by a ledge of rocks to the S.E. of the road206, and at the mouth of the river are five or six trees without leaves. It is a good harbour, but the entrance of the river is very narrow, and has a rock right in the mouth. All that coast, between Cape Mount and Cape Palmas, lies S.E. by E. and N.W. by N. being three leagues offshore207, and there are rocks in some places two leagues off, especially between the river Sesto and Cape Palmas.

Between the river Sesto and the river Dulce are 25 leagues. Between them and 8 leagues from Sesto river is a high land called Cakeado, and S.E. from it a place called Shawgro, and another called Shyawe or Shavo, where fresh water may be had. Off Shyawe lies a ledge of rocks, and to the S.E. is a headland named Croke, which is 9 or 10 leagues from Cakeado. To the S.E. is a harbour called St Vincent, right over against which is a rock under water, two and a half leagues from shore. To the S.E. of this rock is an island 3 or 4 leagues off, and not above a league from shore, and to the S.E. of the island is a rock above water, and past that rock is the entrance of the river Dulce, which may be known by that rock. The N.W. side of the haven is flat sand, and the S.E. side is like an island, being a bare spot without any trees, which is not the case in any other place. In the road ships ride in 13 or 14 fathoms, the bottom good ouse and sand. The marks for entering this road are to bring the island and the north-east land in one. We anchored there on the last day of December 1554, and on the 3d of January 1555 we came from the Rio Dulce. Cape Palmas is a fair high land, some low parts of which by the waterside seem red cliffs, with white streaks like highways, a cables length each, which is on the east side of the Cape. This is the most southerly land on the coast of Guinea, and is in lat. 4° 25' N. From Cape Palmas to Cape Three-points or Tres puntas, the whole coast is perfectly safe and clear, without rock or other danger. About 25 leagues to the eastward of Cape Palmas the land is higher than in any other place till we come to Cape Three-points, and about ten leagues westward from that Cape the land begins to rise, and grows higher all the way to the point. Also about 5 leagues west from that Cape there is some broken ground with two great rocks, within which, in the bight of a bay, there is a castle called Arra belonging to the king of Portugal, which is readily known by these rocks, as there are none other between Cape Palmas and Cape Three-points. The coast trends E. by N. and W. by S. From Cape Palmas to Arra castle is 95 leagues, and from thence to the western point of Cape Three-points it is S.E. by S. and N.W. by N. This western point of Cape Three-points is low land, stretching half a mile out to sea, and on the neck nearest the land is a tuft of trees.

We arrived at Cape Three-points on the 11th January, and came next day to a town called Samma or Samua, 8 leagues beyond, towards E.N.E. there being a great ledge of rocks a great way out to sea between Cape Three-points and that town. We remained four days off that town, the captain of which desired to have a pledge on shore, but on receiving one he kept him, and refused to continue trade, even shooting his ordnance at us, of which he only had two or three pieces208. On the 16th of the month we came to a place called Cape Corea209, where dwelt Don John, and where we were well received by his people. This Cape Corea is 4 leagues eastward from the castle of Mina. We arrived there on the 18th of the month, making sale of all our cloth except two or three packs. On the 26th we weighed anchor and went to join the Trinity, which was 7 leagues to the eastwards of us, and had sold most of her wares. Then the people of the Trinity willed us to go 8 or 9 leagues farther to the east, to sell part of their wares at a place called Perecow, and another called Perecow-grande, still farther east, which is known by a great hill near it called Monte Rodondo lying to the westwards, and many palm trees by the water side. From thence we began our voyage homewards on the 13th of February, and plied along the coast till we came within 7 or 8 leagues of Cape Three-points. About 8 in the afternoon of the 15th we cast about to seawards. Whoever shall come from the coast of Mina homewards, ought to beware of the currents, and should be sure of making his way good as far west as Cape Palmas, where the current sets always to the eastwards. About 20 leagues east of Cape Palmas is a river called De los Potos, where abundance of fresh water and ballast may be had, and plenty of ivory or elephants teeth, which river is in four degrees and almost two terces, or 4° 40' N. When you reckon to be as far west as Cape Palmas, being in lat. 1° or 1° 30' N. you may then stand W. or W. by N. till in lat. 3° N. Then you may go W. or N.W. by W. till in lat. 5° N. and then N.W. In lat. 6° N. we met northerly winds and great ruffling tides, and as far as we could judge the current set N.N.W. Likewise between Cape Mount and Cape Verd there are great currents, which are very apt to deceive.

On the 22d of April we were in lat. 8° 40' N. and continued our course to the north-west, having the wind at N.E. and E.N.E. sometimes at E. till the first of May, when we were in lat. 18° 20' N. Thence we had the wind at E. and E.N.E. sometimes E.S.E. when we reckoned the Cape Verd islands E.S.E. from us, and by estimation 48 leagues distant. In 20° and 21° N. we had the wind more to the east and south than before; and so we ran N.W. and N.N.W. sometimes N. by W. and N. till we came into lat. 31° N. when we reckoned ourselves 180 leagues S.W. by S. of the island of Flores. Here we had the wind S.S.E. and shaped our course N.E. In 23° we had the wind at S. and S.W. and made our course N.N.E. in which direction we went to 40°, and then set our course N.E. having the wind at S.W. and the isle of Flores E. of us, 17 leagues distant. In 41° we had the wind N.E. and lay a course N.W. Then we met the wind at W.N.W. and at W. within 6 leagues, when we went N.W. We then altered to N.E. till in 42° where we shaped our course E.N.E. judging the isle of Corvo to be W. of us, 36 leagues distant. On the 21st of May we communed with John Rafe who judged us to be in lat. 39° 30' N. 25 leagues E. of Flora, and recommended to steer N.E.

It is to be noted that in lat. 9° N. on the 4th of September, we lost sight of the north star. In lat. 45° N. the compass varied 8° to the W. of N. In 40° N. it varied 15°. And in 30° 30' N. its variation was 5° W.

It is also to be noted that two or three days before we came to Cape Three-points, the pinnace went along shore endeavouring to sell some of our wares, and then we came to anchor three or four leagues west by south of that cape, where we left the Trinity. Then our pinnace came on board and took in more wares, telling us that they would go to a place where the Primrose210 was, and had received much gold in the first voyage to these parts; but being in fear of a brigantine that was then on the coast, we weighed anchor and followed them, leaving the Trinity about four leagues from us. We accordingly rode at anchor opposite that town, where Martine, by his own desire and with the assent of some of the commissioners in the pinnace, went on shore to the town, and thence John Berin went to trade at another town three miles father on. The town is called Samma or Samua, which and Sammaterra are the two first towns to the N.E. of Cape Three-points, where we traded for gold.

Having continued the course of the voyage as described by the before-mentioned pilot, I will now say something of the country and people, and of such things as are brought from thence211.

They brought home in this voyage, 400 pounds weight and odd of gold212, twenty-two carats and one grain fine. Also 36 buts of grains, or Guinea pepper, and about 250 elephants teeth of different sizes. Some of these I saw and measured, which were nine spans in length measured along the crook, and some were as thick as a mans thigh above the knee, weighing 90 pounds each, though some are said to have been seen weighing 125 pounds. There were some called the teeth of calves, of one, two, or three years old, measuring one and a-half, two, or three feet, according to the age of the beast. These great teeth or tusks grow in the upper jaw downwards, and not upwards from the lower jaw, as erroneously represented by some painters and arras workers. In this voyage they brought home the head of an elephant of such huge bigness that the bones or cranium only, without the tusks or lower jaw, weighed about two hundred pounds, and was as much as I could well lift from the ground. So that, considering also the weight of the two great tusks and the under jaw, with the lesser teeth, the tongue, the great hanging ears, the long big snout or trunk, with all the flesh, brains, and skin, and other parts belonging to the head, it could not in my opinion weigh less than five hundred weight. This head has been seen by many in the house of the worthy merchant Sir Andrew Judde, where I saw it with my bodily eyes, and contemplated with those of my mind, admiring the cunning and wisdom of the work-master, without which consideration such strange and wonderful things are only curiosities, not profitable subjects of contemplation.

The elephant, by some called oliphant, is the largest of all four-footed beasts. The fore-legs are longer than those behind; in the lower part or ancles of which he has joints. The feet have each five toes, but undivided. The trunk or snout is so long and of such form that it serves him as a hand, for he both eats and drinks by bringing his food and drink to his mouth by its means, and by it he helps up his master or keeper, and also overturns trees by its strength. Besides his two great tusks, he has four teeth on each side of his mouth, by which he eats or grinds his food, each of these teeth being almost a span long, as they lie along the jaw, by two inches high and about as much in breadth. The tusks of the male are larger than those of the female. The tongue is very small, and so far within the mouth that it cannot be seen. This is the gentlest and most tractable of all beasts, and understands and is taught many things, so that it is even taught to do reverence to kings, being of acute sense and great judgment. When the female is once seasoned, the male never touches her afterwards. The male lives two hundred years, or at least 120, and the female almost as long; but the flower of their age is reckoned 60 years. They cannot endure our winter or cold weather; but they love to go into rivers, in which they will often wade up to their trunk, snuffing and blowing the water about in sport; but they cannot swim, owing to the weight of their bodies. If they happen to meet a man wandering in the wilderness, they will go gently before him and lead him into the right way. In battle they pay much respect to those who are wounded, bringing such as are hurt or weary into the middle of the army where they may be defended. They are made tame by drinking the juice of barley213.

They have continual war with dragons, which desire their blood because it is very cold; wherefore the dragon lies in wait for the passing of an elephant, winding its tail of vast length round the hind legs of the elephant, then thrusts his head into his trunk and sucks out his breath, or bites him in the ears where he cannot reach with his trunk. When the elephant becomes faint with the loss of blood, he falls down upon the serpent, now gorged with blood, and with the weight of his body crushes the dragon to death. Thus his own blood and that of the elephant run out of the serpent now mingled together, which cooling is congealed into that substance which the apothecaries call sanguis draconis or cinnabar214. But there are other kinds of cinnabar, commonly called cinoper or vermillion, which the painters use in certain colours.

There are three kinds of elephants, as of the marshes, the plains, and the mountains, differing essentially from each other. Philostratus writes, that by how much the elephants of Lybia exceed in bigness the horses of Nysea, so much do the elephants of India exceed those of Lybia, for some of the elephants of India have been seen nine cubits high; and these are so greatly feared by the others, that they dare not abide to look upon them. Only the males among the Indian elephants have tusks; but in Ethiopia and Lybia, both males and females are provided with them. They are of divers heights, as of 12, 13, or 14 dodrants, the dodrant being a measure of 9 inches; and some say that an elephant is bigger than three wild oxen or buffaloes. Those of India are black, or mouse-coloured; but those of Ethiopia or Guinea are brown. The hide or skin of them all is very hard, and without hair or bristles. Their ears are two dodrants, or 18 inches in breadth, and their eyes are very small. Our men saw one drinking at a river in Guinea as they sailed along the coast. Those who wish to know more of the properties of the elephant, as of their wonderful docility, of their use in war, of their chastity and generation, when they were first seen in the triumphs and amphitheatres of the Romans, how they are taken and tamed, when they cast their tusks, and of their use in medicine, and many other particulars, will find all these things described in the eighth book of Natural History, as written by Pliny. He also says in his twelfth book, that the ancients made many goodly works of ivory or elephants teeth; such as tables, tressels or couches, posts of houses, rails, lattices for windows, idols of their gods, and many other things of ivory, either coloured or uncoloured, and intermixed with various kinds of precious woods; in which manner at this day are made chairs, lutes, virginals, and the like. They had such plenty of it in ancient times, that one of the gates of Jerusalem was called the ivory gate, as Josephus reports. The whiteness of ivory was so much admired, that it was anciently thought to represent the fairness of the human skin; insomuch that those who endeavoured to improve, or rather to corrupt, the natural beauty by painting, were said reproachfully, ebur atramento candefacere, to whiten ivory with ink. Poets also, in describing the fair necks of beautiful virgins, call them eburnea colla, or ivory necks. Thus much may suffice of elephants and ivory, and I shall now say somewhat of the people, and their manners, and mode of living, with another brief description of Africa.

The people who now inhabit the regions of the coast of Guinea and the middle parts of Africa, as inner Lybia, Nubia, and various other extensive regions in that quarter, were anciently called Ethiopians and Nigritae, which we now call Moors, Moorens, or Negroes; a beastly living people, without God, law, religion, or government, and so scorched by the heat of the sun, that in many places they curse it when it rises. Of the people about Lybia interior, Gemma Phrysius thus writes: Libia interior is large and desolate, containing many horrible wildernesses, replenished with various kinds of monstrous beasts and serpents. To the south of Mauritania or Barbary is Getulia, a rough and savage region, inhabited by a wild and wandering people. After these follow the Melanogetuli, or black Getulians, and Phransii, who wander in the wilderness, carrying with them great gourds filled with water. Then the Ethiopians, called Nigritae, occupy a great part of Africa, extending to the western ocean or Atlantic. Southwards also they reach to the river Nigritis or Niger, which agrees in its nature with the Nile, as it increases and diminishes like the Nile, and contains crocodiles. Therefore, I believe this to be the river called the Senegal by the Portuguese. It is farther said of the Niger, that the inhabitants on one side were all black and of goodly stature, while on the other side they were brown or tawny and of low stature, which also is the case with the Senegal.215 There are other people of Lybia, called Garamantes, whose women are in common, having no marriages or any respect to chastity. After these are the nations called Pyrei, Sathiodaphintae, Odrangi, Mimaces, Lynxamator, Dolones, Agangince, Leuci Ethiopes, Xilicei Ethiopes, Calcei Ethiopes, and Nubi. These last have the same situation in Ptolemy, which is now given to the kingdom of Nubia, where there are certain Christians under the dominion of the great emperor of Ethiopia, called Prester John. From these towards the west was a great nation called Aphricerones, inhabiting, as far as we can conjecture, what is now called the Regnum Orguene, bordering on the eastern or interior parts of Guinea. From hence westwards and towards the north, are the kingdoms of Gambra and Budamel, not far from the river Senegal; and from thence toward the inland region and along the coast are the regions of Ginoia or Guinea. On the west side of this region is Cabo Verde, caput viride, Cap Verd, or the Green Cape, to which the Portuguese first direct their course when they sail to the land of Brazil in America, on which occasion they turn to the right hand towards the quarter of the wind called Garbino, which is between the west and south.

To speak somewhat more of Ethiopia, although there are many nations called Ethiopians, yet is Ethiopia chiefly divided into two parts, one of which being a great and rich region, is called Ethiopia sub Egypto, or Ethiopia to the south of Egypt. To this belongs the island of Meroe, which is environed by the streams of the Nile. In this island women reigned in ancient times, and, according to Josephus, it was some time called Sabea, whence the queen of Saba went to Jerusalem to listen to the wisdom of Solomon. From thence, towards the east and south, reigneth the Christian emperor called Prester John, by some named Papa Johannes, or as others say Pean Juan, signifying Great John, whose empire reaches far beyond the Nile, and extends to the coasts of the Red Sea and of the Indian ocean. The middle of this region is almost in 66 degrees of E. longitude, and 12 degrees of N. lat.216 About this region dwell the people called Clodi, Risophagi, Axiuntiae, Babylonii, Molili, and Molibae. After these is the region called Trogloditica, the inhabitants of which dwell in caves and dens, instead of houses, and feed upon the flesh of serpents, as is reported by Pliny and Diodorus Siculus, who allege, that instead of language, they have only a kind of grinning and chattering. There are also people without heads, called Blemines, having their eyes and mouths in their breast. Likewise Strucophagi, and naked Gamphasantes; satyrs also, who have nothing of human nature except the shape. Oripei likewise, who are great hunters, and Mennones. Here also is Smyrnophora, or the region of myrrh; after which is Azania, producing many elephants.217 A great portion of the eastern part of Africa beyond the equinoctial line is in the kingdom of Melinda, the inhabitants of which have long been in use to trade with the nations of Arabia, and whose king is now allied to the king of Portugal, and pays tribute to Prester John.

The other, or interior Ethiopia, being a region of vast extent, is now only somewhat known upon the sea-coast, but may be described as follows. In the first place, towards the south of the equator, is a great region of Ethiopians, in which are white elephants, tigers, (lions) and rhinoceroses. Also a region producing plenty of cinnamon, which lies between the branches of the Nile. Also the kingdom of Habesch or Habasia,218 a region inhabited by Christians, on both sides of the Nile. Likewise those Ethiopians called Ichthyophagi, or who live only on fish, who were subdued in the wars of Alexander the Great219. Also the Ethiopians called Rapsii and Anthropophagi, who are in use to eat human flesh, and inhabit the regions near the mountains of the moon. Gazatia is under the tropic of Capricorn; after which comes the front of Africa, and the Cape of Good Hope, past which they sail from Lisbon to Calicut: But as the capes and gulfs, with their names, are to be found on every globe and chart, it were superfluous to enumerate them here.

Some allege that Africa was so named by the Greeks, as being without cold; the Greek letter alpha signifying privation, void of, or without, and phrice signifying cold; as, although it has a cloudy and tempestuous season instead of winter, it is yet never cold, but rather smothering hot, with hot showers, and such scorching winds, that at certain times the inhabitants seem as if living in furnaces, and in a manner half ready for purgatory or hell. According to Gemma Phrisius, in certain parts of Africa, as in the greater Atlas, the air in the night is seen shining with many strange fires and flames, rising as it were as high as the moon, and strange noises are heard in the air, as of pipes, trumpets, and drums, which are caused perhaps by the vehement motions of these fiery exhalations, as we see in many experiments wrought by fire, air, and wind. The hollowness also, and various reflections and breakings of the clouds, may be great causes thereof, besides the great coldness of the middle region of the air, by which these fiery exhalations, when they ascend there, are suddenly driven back with great force. Daily experience teaches us, by the whizzing of a burning torch, what a noise fire occasions in the air, and much more so when it strives and is inclosed with air, as seen in guns; and even when air alone is inclosed, as in organ pipes and other wind instruments: For wind, according to philosophers, is nothing but air vehemently moved, as when propelled by a pair of bellows, and the like.

Some credible persons affirm that, in this voyage to Guinea, they felt a sensible heat in the night from the beams of the moon; which, though it seem strange to us who inhabit a cold region, may yet reasonably have been the case, as Pliny writes that the nature of stars and planets consists of fire, containing a spirit of life, and cannot therefore be without heat. That the moon gives heat to the earth seems confirmed by David, in the 121st psalm, where, speaking of such men as are defended from evils by the protection of God, he says, "The sun shall not burn thee by day, neither the moon by night220." They said likewise, that in some parts of the sea they saw streams of water, which they call spouts, falling out of the air into the sea, some of them being as large as the pillars of churches; insomuch that, when these fall into ships, they are in great danger of being sunk. Some allege these to be the cataracts of heaven, which were all opened at Noah's flood: But I rather consider them to be those fluxions and eruptions said by Aristotle, in his book de Mundo, to happen in the sea. For, speaking of such strange things as are often seen in the sea, he writes thus: "Oftentimes also, even in the sea are seen evaporations of fire, and such eruptions and breaking forth of springs, that the mouths of rivers are opened. Whirlpools and fluxions are caused of such other vehement motions, not only in the midst of the sea, but also in creeks and straits. At certain times also, a great quantity of water is suddenly lifted up and carried about by the moon," &c. From these words of Aristotle it appears, that such waters are lifted up at one time in one place, and suddenly fall down again in another place at another time. To this also may be referred what Richard Chancellor told me, as having heard from Sebastian Cabot, as far as I remember, either on the coast of Brazil or of the Rio de la Plata, that his ship or pinnace was suddenly lifted from the sea and cast upon the land, I know not how far. Which, and other strange and wonderful works of nature considered, and calling to remembrance the narrowness of human knowledge and understanding, compared with her mighty power, I can never cease to wonder, and to confess with Pliny, that nothing is impossible to nature, whose smallest power is still unknown to man.

Our people saw and considered many things in this voyage that are worthy of notice, and some of which I have thought fit to record, that the reader may take pleasure, both in the variety of these things, and in the narrative of the voyage. Among other matters respecting the manners and customs of these people, this may seem strange, that their princes and nobles are in use to pierce and wound their skins in such way as to form curious figures upon it, like flowered damask, which they consider as very ornamental221. Although they go in a manner naked, yet many of them, and the women especially, are almost loaded with collars, bracelets, rings, and chains, of gold, copper, or ivory. I have seen one of their ivory armlets weighing 38 ounces, which was worn by one of their women on her arm. It was made of one piece of the largest part of an elephant's tooth, turned and somewhat carved, having a hole through which to pass the hand. Some have one on each arm and one on each leg, and though often so galled by them as to be almost lame, they still persist to use them. Some wear great shackles on their legs of bright copper, and they wear collars, bracelets, garlands, and girdles of certain blue stones, resembling beads. Some also of their women wear upon their arms a kind of fore-sleeves222, made of plates of beaten gold. They wear likewise rings on their fingers made of gold wire, having a knot or wreath, like those which children make on rush rings. Among other golden articles bought by our men, were some dog-collars and chains.

These natives of Guinea are very wary in driving bargains, and will not willingly lose the smallest particle of their gold, using weights and measures for the same with great circumspection. In dealing with them, it is necessary to behave with civility and gentleness, as they will not trade with any who use them ill. During the first voyage of our people to that country, on departing from the place where they had first traded, one of them either stole a musk-cat or took her away by force, not suspecting that this could have any effect to prevent trading at the next station: But although they went there in full sail, the news had got there before them, and the people refused to deal with them until the cat were either restored or paid for at a fixed price. Their houses are made of four posts or trees set in the ground, and are covered with boughs; and their ordinary food is roots, with such fish as they take, which are in great plenty. Among these are flying fishes, similar to those seen in the West India seas. Our people endeavoured to salt some of the fish which they caught on the coast of Africa, but some said that they would not take salt, and must therefore be eaten immediately; while others alleged that, if salted immediately when taken, they would keep good for ten or twelve days. Part of the salt meat taken by our people from England became putrid while on the coast of Africa, yet turned sweet again after their return to a temperate region. They have a strange method of making bread, which is as follows: They grind, with their hands, between two stones, as much corn into meal as they think may suffice the family, and making this flour into a paste with water, they knead it into thin cakes, which are stuck upon the posts of their houses and baked or dried by the heat of the sun; so that when the master of the house or any of the family are in want of bread, they take it down from the post and eat.

They have very fair wheat, the ear of which is two hand-breadths long and as big as a great bulrush, the stem or straw being almost as thick as a man's little finger. The grains are white and round, shining like pearls that have lost their lustre, and about the size of our pease. Almost their whole substance turns to flour, leaving very little bran. The ear is inclosed in three blades, each about two inches broad, and longer than the ear; and in one of them I counted 260 grains of corn. By this fruitfulness, the sun seems in some measure to compensate for the trouble and distress produced by its excessive heat. Their drink is either water, or the juice which drops from cut branches of the palmito, a barren palm or date tree; to collect which they hang great gourds to the cut branches every evening, or set them on the ground under the trees, to receive the juice which issues during the night. Our people said that this juice tasted like whey, but sweeter and more pleasant. The branches of the palmito are cut every evening to obtain this juice, as the heat of the sun during the day dries up and sears over the wound. They have likewise large beans, as big as chesnuts, and very hard, having shells instead of husks or pods. While formerly describing the fruit containing the grains or Guinea pepper, called by the physicians grana paradisi, I remarked that they have holes through them, as in effect they have when brought to us; but I have been since informed, that these holes are made on purpose to put strings or twigs through, for hanging up the fruit to dry in the sun. This fruit grows on a plant which does not rise above eighteen inches or two feet above the ground.

At their coming home, the keels and bottoms of the ships were strangely overgrown with certain shells, two inches or more in length, as thick as they could stand, and so large that a man might put his thumb into their mouths. It is affirmed that a certain slimy substance grows in these shells, which falls afterwards into the sea, and is changed into the bird called barnacles223. Similar shells have been seen on ships coming from Ireland, but these Irish barnacles do not exceed half an inch long. I saw the Primrose in dock, after her return from Guinea, having her bottom entirely covered over with these shells, which in my judgment must have greatly impeded her sailing. Their ships also were in many places eaten into by the worms called Bromas or Bissas, which are mentioned in the Decades224. These worms creep between the planks, which they eat through in many places.

In this voyage, though they sailed to Guinea in seven weeks, they took twenty to return; owing to this cause, as they reported, that about the coast at Cape Verd the wind was continually east, so that they were obliged to stand far out into the ocean, in search of a western wind to bring them home. In this last voyage about twenty-four of the men died, many of them between the Azores and England, after their return into the cold or temperate region. They brought with them several black slaves225, some of whom were tall strong men, who could well agree with our meats and drinks. The cold and moist air of England somewhat offended them; yet men who are born in hot regions can much better endure cold, than those of cold regions can bear heat; because violent heat dissolves the radical moisture of the human body, while cold concentrates and preserves it. It is to be considered as among the secrets of nature, that while all parts of Africa under the equator, and for some way on both sides, are excessively hot, and inhabited by black people, such regions in the West Indies [America], under the same parallels, are very temperate, and the natives are neither black, nor have they short curled wool on their heads like the Africans; but are of an olive colour, with long black hair. The cause of this difference is explained in various places of the Decades. Some of those who were upon this voyage told me that on the 14th of March they had the sun to the north of them at noon.

SECTION IV. Voyage to Guinea in 1555, by William Towerson, Merchant of London226

On Monday the 30th of September 1555, we sailed from the harbour of Newport, in the Isle of Wight, with two good ships, the Hart and the Hind, both belonging to London, of which John Ralph and William Carters were masters, bound on a voyage for the river Sestos, in Guinea, and other harbours in that neighbourhood. Owing to variable winds, we could not reach Dartmouth before the 14th of October; and having continued there till the 20th of that month, we warpt out of the harbour, and set sail to the S.W. and by next morning had run 30 leagues. On the 1st November, by the reckoning of our master, we were in lat. 31° N. and that day we ran 40 leagues. The 2d we ran 36 leagues; and on the 3d we had sight of Porto Santo, a small island about three leagues long and one and a-half broad, belonging to the Portuguese, and lying in the ocean. As we came towards it from the N.N.W. it seemed like two small hills near each other. The east end of the island is a high land like a saddle, having a valley which gives it that appearance; while the west end is lower, with several small round hillocks227. Porto Santo is in about lat. 33° N. The same day at 11 o'clock A.M. we raised the island of Madeira, which is 12 leagues S.W. from Porto Santo. Madeira is a fine and fertile island belonging to the Portuguese, and rises from afar like one great high mountain. By 3 P.M. being athwart of Porto Santo, we set our course to the S.W. leaving both Madeira and Porto Santo to the eastwards, being the first land we had seen after leaving England. About three next morning we were abreast of Madeira, within three leagues of its west end, and were becalmed under its high land. We estimated having run 30 leagues in the past day and night. The 4th we remained becalmed under the west end of Madeira till 1 P.M. when the wind sprung up at east, and we continued our course S.W. making in the rest of that day 15 leagues. The 5th we ran 15 leagues.

The 6th in the morning we got sight of Teneriffe, otherwise called the Peak, being very high land, with a peak on the top like a sugar loaf; and the same night we got sight of Palma, which also is high land and W. from Teneriffe [W.N.W.] The 7th we saw Gomera, an island about 12 leagues S.E. from Palma, and eight W.S.W. from Teneriffe; and lest we might have been becalmed under Teneriffe, we left both it and Gomera to the east, and passed between Palma and Gomera. This day and night our course was 30 leagues. These islands, called the Canaries, are 60 leagues from Madeira, and there are other three islands in the group to the eastward of Teneriffe, named Gran Canarea, Fuertaventura, and Lancerota, none of which we saw. All these islands are inhabited by Spaniards. On this day likewise we got sight of the Isle of Ferro, which is 13 leagues south from Gomera, and belongs to the Spaniards like the others. We were unable all this day or the following night to get beyond Ferro, unless we had chosen to go to the westwards, which had been much out of our proper course; wherefore we put about, and stood back five hours E.N.E. in hope of being able to clear it next tack, the wind keeping always S.E. which is not often met with in that latitude by navigators, as it generally keeps in the N.E. and E.N.E. Next morning, being on the other tack, we were nearly close in with the island, but had room enough to get clear past.

The 8th, our due course to fetch the Barbary coast being S.E. by E. we were unable to keep it by reason of the wind being scant, but lay as near it as we could, running that day and night 25 leagues. The 9th we ran 30 leagues; the 10th 25; and 11th, 24 leagues. The 12th we saw a sail under our lee, which we thought to be a fishing bark, and stood down to speak with her; but in an hour there came on so thick a fog that we could neither see that vessel nor our consort the Hind. We accordingly shot off several guns to give notice to the Hind of our situation, but she did not hear or answer us. In the afternoon the Hind fired a gun, which we heard and answered with another gun. About half an hour afterwards the fog cleared away, and we were within four leagues of the Barbary coast, when sounding we had 14 fathoms water. The bark also had come room228 with us, and anchored here likewise, the wind being contrary for going down the coast, or to the southwards. On falling in with the land, we could not judge precisely whereabout we were, most of that coast being low, the forepart of the coast being white like chalk or sand, and very deep unto the hard shore229. Immediately on coming to anchor we began to fish, and got abundance of that kind which the Portuguese call Pergosses, the French saders, and our men salt-water breams. Before the fog entirely cleared away, the vessel we had followed shaped such a course that we lost sight of her, chiefly because we had bore up to find the Hind again. Our pilot reckoned that we were upon that part of the coast which is 16 leagues eastwards230 from the Rio del Oro.

In the afternoon of the 13th we spied a sail coming towards us, which we judged to be that we had seen the day before, and we immediately caused the Hind to weigh anchor and go towards her, manning likewise our own skiff, to lay her on board or to learn what she was, and within half an hour we weighed also. When the vessel noticed us, she put about and sailed from us; and soon after there came on so heavy a fog that we could not see her, and as the fog continued the whole night we had to quit the chase. In the afternoon the wind came about fair, so that we were able to shape a course S.W. by W. to keep clear of the coast, and ran that night 16 leagues. The 14th in the morning was very foggy, but the fog cleared away about noon, when we espied a caravel of 60 tons fishing, and sent our skiff on board with five men unarmed. For haste the caravel slipped her anchors and set sail, yet our unarmed boat overtook her and made her strike sail, and brought her away, though she had fourteen or fifteen men on board, all armed, but they had not the heart to resist. On coming to us they anchored, as we were likewise, because the wind had become foul; on which I made our skiff come for me, and I went on board the caravel, to take care that no harm was offered, and to see if they would spare us any thing for our money. Accordingly we got from them three tapnets of figs, two small jars of oil, two pipes of water, and four hogsheads of salt fish, which they had taken on the coast, besides some fresh fish, which they held of no value, as they are so plentiful on that coast that one man may often take as many in an hour or less as will serve twenty men a whole day. For these things, some wine we drank while on board their ship, and three or four great cans which they sent on board our ships, I paid them 27 pistoles, being twice as much as they would willingly have taken. We then let them go to their anchor and cable which they had slipped, and assisted them to recover. After this we made sail, but the wind obliged us to come to anchor again about 12 leagues from the Rio del Oro, as we were informed by the Portuguese. There were five other caravels in this place, but immediately on our appearance they all made away for fear of us.

The 15th we continued at anchor, as the wind was still foul. The 16th we set sail and run our course 40 leagues, being this day, according to our pilots, right under the Tropic of Cancer, in lat. 23° 30' N. The 17th we ran 25 leagues, mostly in sight of the coast of Barbary. The 18th we ran 30 leagues, and at noon, by the reckoning of our pilots, were abreast of Cape Blanco. The 22d they reckoned we were abreast of Cape Verd. The 12th of December we got sight of the coast of Guinea, towards which we immediately hauled, standing to the N.E. and about 12 at night, being less than two leagues from the shore, we lay to and sounded, finding 18 fathoms water. We soon afterwards saw a light between us and the shore, which we thought might have been a ship, from which circumstance we judged ourselves off the river Sestro, and we immediately came to anchor, armed our tops, and made all clear for action, suspecting it might be some Portuguese or French ship. In the morning we saw no ship whatever, but espied four rocks about two English miles from us, one being a large rock and the other three small; whence we concluded that the light seen during the night had been on shore. We then weighed and stood E.S.E. along shore, because the master did not rightly know the place, but thought we were still to the westward of Sestro river. All along this coast the land is low, and full of high trees close to the shore, so that no one can know what place he falls in with, except by means of the latitude. I think we ran 16 leagues that day, as we had all night a stiff gale, with much thunder and lightning.

For most port of the 13th we ran E.S.E. along the coast, within two leagues of the land, finding the shore all covered with tall trees to the water's edge, and great rocks hard by the beach, on which the billows continually broke in white foam, so high that the surf might easily be seen at four leagues distance, and in such a manner that no boat could possibly go to land. At noon our masters and pilots took the altitude of the sun, by which they judged that we were 24 leagues beyond the river Sestro to the eastwards, wherefore we hauled in towards the shore and came to anchor within two English miles of the land in 15 fathoms, the water being so smooth that we might have rode with a hawser. We employed the afternoon to rig out our boat with a sail, for the purpose of sending her along shore in search of a place to take in water, as we could not go back to the river Sestro, because the wind is always contrary and the current sets continually to the eastwards. The 14th we weighed anchor and plied up along the coast to the W.N.W. sending our boats close in shore to seek a watering-place, which they found about noon. At this time, being far out to sea, we fell in with several small long and narrow boats or canoes of the natives, in each of which was one man only. We gave them bread, which they accepted and eat readily. About 4 P.M. our boats came off to us with fresh water; and at night we anchored off the mouth of a river. The 15th we weighed and stood near the shore, sounding all the way, finding sometimes a rocky bottom, at other times good ground, and never less than seven fathoms. Finally, we cast anchor within an English mile of the shore, in seven and a half fathoms, directly over against the mouth of the river, and then sent our boats for water, which they got very good after rowing a mile up the river. This river, called St Vincent in the chart, is by estimation about eight leagues beyond the river Sestro, but is so hard to find that a boat may be within half a mile of it without being able to discover any river, as a ledge of rocks of greater extent than its breadth lies directly before its mouth, so that the boats had to go a considerable way between that ledge and the shore before coming to its mouth. When once in, it is a great river, having several others that fall into it. The entrance is somewhat difficult, as the surf is rather high, but after getting in it is as smooth as the Thames.231 Upon this river, near the sea, the inhabitants are tall large men, going entirely naked, except a clout about a quarter of a yard long before their middle, made of the bark of trees, yet resembling cloth, as the bark used for this purpose can be spun like flax. Some also wear a similar cloth on their heads, painted with sundry colours, but most of them go bareheaded, having their heads clipped and shorn in sundry ways, and most of them have their bodies punctured or slashed in various figures like a leathern jerkin. The men and women go so much alike, that a woman is only to be known from a man by her breasts, which are mostly long and hanging down like the udder of a milch goat.

Soon after coming to anchor on the 15th December, we went up the river in our skiff, carrying with us certain basons, manels, &c. for sale. We procured that day one hogshead and 100 pounds weight of grains,232 and two elephants teeth, getting both at an easy rate. We sold the natives basons, maneilios, and margarits,233 but basons were most in request, and for most of these we got thirty pounds of grains in exchange for each, and gave for an elephants tooth of thirty pounds weight six basons. We went again up the river on the 16th, in the morning, taking some of every kind of merchandise along with us in our boat, and shewed them to the negroes, but they made light of every thing, even of the basons, manellios, and margarite which they had bought the day before; yet they would have given us some grains for our basons, but so very little that we did not that day get above 100 pounds weight, through their chief or captain, who would not suffer any one to sell but through his mediation and at his price. He was so cunning that he would not give above 15 pounds of grains for a bason, and would sometimes offer us a small dishful, whereas we had a basket full for each the day before. Seeing that we would not accept what he offered, the captain of the negroes went away, and caused all the boats to depart likewise, thinking perhaps that we would have followed and agreed to his terms; but on perceiving his drift, we hauled up our grapnel and went away likewise. We landed at a small town, to see the manners of the people, and about 60 of them came about us, being at first shy, and seemingly afraid of us; but seeing we did them no harm, they came up in a familiar manner, and took us by the hand. We then went into their town, which consisted of about twenty small hovels, covered over with large leaves. All the sides were open, and the floor was raised like a scaffold about a yard high, where they work many ingenious things of the barks of trees, and there also they sleep. In some of these hovels they work in iron, making very pretty heads for javelins, tools for making their boats, and various other things, the women working as well as the men.

While we were among them, several of the women danced and sung after their manner, by way of amusing us, but the sound was by no means agreeable to our ears. Their song was continually,

Sakere, sakere, ho! ho!

Sakere, sakere, ho! ho!

And with these words they kept leaping, dancing and clapping their hands. The only animals we saw among them were two goats, a few small dogs, and some hens. Having seen these things, we went on board our ships; and on seeing us depart, the chief of the other town sent two of his servants after us with a basket of grains, making signs to us that when we had slept, or next day, we should have plenty of grains if we came for them: Then shewing us his grains, he went away. Accordingly, next morning being the 17th, thinking that some business might be done with the negroes as the captain sent for us, I sent the master with the rest of the merchants on shore, remaining myself on board, because they had esteemed our goods so lightly the day before. The captain accordingly came to our people after they went up the river, bringing grains with him, but not seeing me he made signs to know where I was, and was answered in the same manner that I was on board ship. He then inquired by signs who was captain, or Diago as they call it, and the master of the ship being pointed out to him, he began to shew his grains, but held them so unreasonably dear that no profit could be made of them; on which, and because they seemed to have no store, the master came away with only about 50 pounds of grains. Going on shore at the small town on their way back to the ships, some one of our people plucked a gourd which gave great offence to the negroes, on which many of them came with their darts and large targets, making signs for our men to depart; which our men did, as they had only one bow and two or three swords among them. As soon as they were on board we weighed and set sail, but the wind was from the sea, so that we could not clear certain rocks, for which reason we came again to anchor.

This river called St Vincent is in lat. 4° 30' N234. The tide at this place ebbs and flows every twelve hours, but while we were there the rise and fall did not exceed 9 feet. So far as we could see, the whole country was altogether covered with wood, all the kinds of trees being unknown to us, and of many different sorts, some having large leaves like gigantic docks, so high that a tall man is unable to reach their tops. By the sea-side there grow certain pease upon great and long stalks, one of which I measured and it was 27 paces long. These grow on the sand like trees, and so very near the sea that we could distinctly perceive by the water marks that the sea sometimes flows into the woods. All the trees and other plants of this country are continually green. Some of the women have exceedingly long breasts, but they are not all so. All day the wind blows from the sea, and all night from the land, though we found this to differ sometimes, at which our master was much surprised.

This night at 9 o'clock the wind came to east, which used ordinarily to be at N.N.W. off shore235; yet we weighed and hauled off south to seawards, and next morning stood in again towards the land, whence we took in 6 tons of water for our ship, the Hind probably taking as much. On this part of the coast I could not find that the natives had any gold or other valuable article of trade, for indeed they are so savage and idle that they give not themselves the trouble to seek for any thing, for if they would take pains they might easily gather large quantities of grains, yet I do not believe there were two tons to be had in all that river. They have many fowls likewise in their woods, but the people are not at the trouble to catch them. While here I collected the following words of their language, all of which they speak very thick, often repeating one word three times successively, and always the last time longer than the two former.

Bezow! bezow! Is their salutation.

Manegete afoye236, Grains enough.

Crocow afoye, Hens enough.

Zeramme afoye, Have you enough?

Begge sacke, Give me a knife.

Begge come, Give me bread.

Borke, Silence!

Contrecke, You lie!

Veede, Put forth, or empty.

Brekeke, Row!

Diago, or dabo, Captain, or chief.

Towards night on the 18th, while sailing along the coast, we fell in with some boats or canoes, when the natives expressed by signs that we were abreast of a river where we might have grains, but we did not think it right to stop there, lest other ships might get before us. This river has three great rocks and five small ones lying before it, with one great tree and a small one close by the river, which exceed all the rest in height. This night we proceeded 10 leagues along the coast. About noon of the 19th, while proceeding along shore, three boats came off to tell us we might have grains, and brought some to shew, but we did not choose to stop. Continuing our course we anchored at night, having run this day 10 leagues. On the 20th as the Hind had come to anchor near us among some rocks and foul ground, she lost a small anchor. While passing along shore about noon a negro came off to us as before, offering grains if we would go on shore, and where we anchored at night another brought us a similar intimation, besides which a fire was kindled on shore, as if indicating where we might land, which was likewise done on other parts of the coast when they saw us anchored. Wherever we happened to anchor on this coast from our first watering place, we always found the tide [of flood?] running to the westwards, and saw many rocks close along shore, many others being a league out to sea. This day we ran 12 leagues. The 21st though we sailed all day with a brisk gale, yet so strong were the tides against us that we were only able to make out 6 leagues. This day likewise some negroes came off to us, offering to deal in grains if we would land. The 22d we ran all day and night to a double point called Cabo das Palmas237.

The 23d about 3 o'clock we were abreast of the point, and before we came to the western part of it we saw a great ledge of rocks which lie out to the west of it about 3 leagues, and a league or more from the shore. We soon after got sight of the eastern side of this cape, which is 4 leagues from the west side. Upon both corners of this cape there are two green spots like meadows, and to the westwards of this cape the land forms a bay, by which it may be easily known. Four leagues farther on there is a head-land jutting out to sea, and about two leagues farther on there is a great bay, seemingly the entrance to a river, before which we anchored all that night, lest we should overshoot a river where, in the voyage of last year, 1554, they got all their elephants teeth. Cape Palmas is in lat. 4° 30' N. between which and the river Sestro the greatest abundance of grains is to be had, while beyond this cape very little is got. Where we anchored this night, we found that the tide now ran to the eastwards, while on the other side of the cape it went to the N.W. This day we ran about 16 leagues.

While continuing our course on the 24th about 8 o'clock, some boats came off to us bringing small soft eggs without shells, and made signs that we might have fresh water and goats by going on shore. As the master judged this might be the river of which we were in search, we cast anchor and sent our boat on shore with a person who knew the river. On coming near the shore he perceived that it was not the river, and came therefore back again, and went along shore by the help of sails and oars, upon which we weighed and sailed likewise along shore. Being now 13 leagues past the cape, the master observed a place which he believed might be the river, when we were in fact two miles past it. At this time the boat came off to the ship, reporting that there was no river; yet we came to anchor, after which the master and I went in the boat with five men, and on coming near the shore he saw that it was the river for which he sought. We then rowed in with much difficulty, the entrance being very much obstructed by a heavy surf. After entering, several boats came off to us, informing us by signs that they had elephants teeth, and brought us one of 8 pounds and a small one only one pound weight, both of which we bought. Then they brought some other teeth to the river side, giving us to understand by signs that they would sell them to us if we came next day. We then gave a manillio each to two chiefs, and departed to the ships. We sent another boat to a different place on shore, where some of the natives in the canoes at sea made signs that fresh water was to be had; and on going there they found a town but no river, yet the people brought them fresh water and shewed an elephants tooth, making signs that they would sell them such next day. This river lies 13 leagues beyond Cape Palmas, having a rock to the westwards about a league out to sea, and there juts out from the river a point of land on which grow five trees which may be discerned two or three leagues off when coming from the westwards; but the river itself cannot be seen till close upon it, and then a small town may be seen on either side, each of which has a diago or captain. The river is small, but the water is fresh and good238. Two miles beyond the river, where the other town lies, another point runs oat to sea, which is green like a meadow, having only six trees growing upon it, all distant from each other, which is a good mark to know it by, as I have not seen as much bare land on the whole coast239. In this place, and three or four leagues to the westwards, there grow many palm trees, from which the natives have their palm wine, all along shore. These trees are easily known almost two leagues off, as they are very straight, tall and white bodied, and thickest in the middle, having no limbs or boughs, but only a round bush of leaves at the top. In this top the natives bore a hole, to which they hang a bottle or empty gourd, and in this they receive the juice that runs from the tree, which is their wine.

From Cape Palmas to Cape Tres-puntas or Three-points, the distance is 100 leagues east240; and from Cape Three-points to the port where we proposed to sell our cloth are other 40 leagues241. The language here, as far as I could judge, seemed to differ little from that formerly mentioned. The people likewise dress much in the same manner, or almost naked, but they were gentler in their manners and better looking. They chiefly coveted manillios and margarites, and cared very little for the rest of our wares. About 9 o'clock A.M. some boats came off to us from both towns, bringing with them some elephants teeth, and having made me swear by the water of the sea that I would do them no harm, three or four of them came on board, and we entertained them with such things as we had, of which they eat and drank as freely as ourselves. We then bought all their teeth, of which they had 14, 10 being small. On going away, they desired us to come to their towns next day. Not wishing to trifle our time at this place, I desired the master to go on the 26th with two of our merchants to one of the towns, while I went with one merchant to the other town, the two towns being three miles asunder. Taking with us to both places some of every kind of merchandise that we had, the master got nine rather small teeth at one town, while at the other I got eleven not large. Leaving on board with the [other] master an assortment of manillios, he bought 12 teeth in our absence from people who came to the ships. I bought likewise a small goat, and the master bought five small hens at the other town. Finding that nothing more was to be done here, as they had no more teeth, we went on board by one o'clock, P.M. and immediately weighed anchor, continuing our progress eastward, always within sight of land.

The 28th, the wind turning contrary, we stood out to sea, and when the wind changed from the seaward we again stood for the land, which we fell in with at a great round red cliff, not very high, having to the eastwards a smaller red cliff, and right above that towards the inland a round green hummock, which we took to be covered with trees. In the last 24 hours we only made good about 4 leagues. The 29th coming near the shore, we noticed the before mentioned red cliff to have a large tuft of trees on its summit. All to the westwards as far as we could see was full of red cliffs, and all along the shore, both on the tops of these cliffs, and in the low intervals between them, was everywhere full of wood. Within a mile of the great cliff to the eastwards there was a river, and no cliffs that we could see beyond it, except one small cliff very near its eastern side. At this place we had the wind in the night at north off the land, and in the day south from the sea, which was not usual, as we were assured by such of our people as had been there before, being commonly N.W. and S.W. We ran this day and night 12 leagues. The 31st we went our course by the shore, which was everywhere low and covered with wood, with no rocks. This morning many boats of the negroes came out to fish, being larger than those we had seen hitherto but of similar make, some of them having five men. In the afternoon, about 3 o'clock we had sight of a town by the sea-side, which our pilots judged to be 25 leagues west from Cape Three-points.

On the morning of the 3d January 1556, we fell in with Cape Three-points, having passed during the night one of the Portuguese castles, which is 8 leagues west from this point242. This is a very high land all grown over with trees, and on coming nearer we perceived three head-lands, having a kind of two bays between them, which open directly westwards. The farthest out to sea is the eastern cape. The middle cape is not above a league from the western cape, though the chart we had laid them down as 3 leagues asunder. Right before the point of the middle cape there is a small rock near it, which cannot be seen from the cape itself, except one be near the shore, and on the top of this cape there is a great tuft of trees. When abreast of this cape there is seen close beside it a round green hummock rising from the main-land. The eastern cape is about a league from the middle one, and is high land like the other two, and between these there is a little head or point of land, and several rocks close in shore. About 8 leagues before we came to cape Three-points the coast trends S.E. by E., and after passing the cape it runs N.E. by E. About two leagues after passing Cape Three-points there is a low glade for about two miles in length, after which the land becomes again high, with several successive points or headlands, the first of which has several rocks out to sea. The middle of the three capes runs farthest out to sea southwards, so that it can be seen a great way off from the coast, when it appears to rise with two small rocks. We ran this day 8 leagues, and anchored before night, lest we might overshoot a town named St Johns243. In the afternoon a boat with five men came off from the shore and ranged alongside of us, as if looking at our flags, but would not come near, and after looking at us for some time went back to the land. In the morning of the 4th, while sailing along the coast, we espied a ledge of rocks close to the shore, to the westwards of which were two green hills joining together, with a hollow between them resembling a saddle; and, as the master thought the town we were looking for stood within these rocks, we manned our boats, taking with us a quantity of cloth and other goods, with which we rowed on shore; but after going some way along the shore without finding any town, we returned again on board. About two leagues to the eastwards from the two saddle hills, a ledge of rocks stretches almost two miles out to sea, beyond which is a great bay running N.N.W. while the general stretch of the coast at this place is from S.W. by W. to N.E. by E. Having with a gentle gale run past that uttermost headland, we saw a great red cliff, which the master again judged to be near the town of St Johns, on which we again took our boat and merchandise and rowed to the shore. We actually found a town on the top of a hill to which we directed our course, and on seeing us a considerable number of the inhabitants collected together and waved a piece of cloth as a signal for us to come in, on which we rowed into an excellent bay to eastward of the cliff on which the town stands, and on getting fairly into the bay we let drop our grapnel. After remaining some time, a boat or canoe came off to us and one of the men in her shewed us a piece of gold about half a crown weight, requiring us to give them our measure and weight that they might shew them to their captain. We accordingly gave them a measure of two ells, and a weight of two angels, as the principles on which we meant to deal. He took these on shore to their captain; and then brought us back a measure of two ells one quarter and a half, and one crusado weight of gold, making signs that they would give so much weight of gold for that measure of cloth and no more; but this we refused. After staying about an hour, and finding that they would not deal on our principles, besides understanding that the best places for trade were all before us, we returned to our ships, weighed anchor, and stood along shore, going before in the boat.

Having sailed about a league, we came to a point of land having a long ledge of rocks running out from it to seawards like the others; and on passing the ledge our master noticed a place which he said was assuredly the town of Don John244. As the night approached we could not see it very distinctly, wherefore we came to anchor as near as possible. On the morning of the 5th it was recognized to be the town we wanted, wherefore we manned our boats and went towards the shore; but knowing that the Portuguese had taken away a man from that place the year before, and had afterwards shot at them with great bases245, driving them from the place, we let go our grapnel almost a base shot from shore, and lay there near two hours without any boat coming off to us. At this time some of our men who had gone in the Hinds boat into the bay to the eastward of the town, where they found a fine fresh river, waved to us to join them, because the negroes were seen coming down to that place, which we did. Immediately afterwards the negroes came down to the shore, and gave us to know by signs that they had gold, but none of them would come to our boats, neither indeed did we see that they had any canoes to come in, so that we suspected the Portuguese had spoiled their boats, as we saw half their town in ruins. Wherefore, having tarried a good while, and seeing that they did not come to us, and as we were well armed, we run the heads of both boats on shore. Upon this the captain of the town came towards us with his dart in his hand, followed by six tall men each of whom had a dart and target. Their darts were all headed with iron well-fashioned and sharp. After this party came another negro carrying the captains stool. We all saluted the captain respectfully, pulling off our caps and bowing to him; but he, seeming to consider himself as a man of consequence, did not move his cap in return, and gravely sat down on his stool, hardly inclining his body in return to our salute: All his attendants however, took off their caps and bowed to us.

This chief was clothed from the loins downwards, with a cloth of the country manufacture, wrapped about him and made fast with a girdle round his waist, having a cap of the country cloth on his head, all his body above the loins with his legs and feet being bare. Some of his attendants had cloths about their loins, while others had only a clout between their legs, fastened before and behind to their girdles; having likewise caps on their heads of their own making, some made of basket-work, and others like a large wide purse of wild beast skins. All their cloth, girdles, fishing lines, and other such things, are made from the bark of certain trees, very neatly manufactured. They fabricate likewise all such iron implements as they use very artificially; such as the heads of their darts, fish-hooks, hooking irons, ironheads, and great daggers, some of these last being as long as a bill hook, or woodcutters knife, very sharp on both sides and bent like a Turkish cymeter, and most of the men have such a dagger hanging on their left side. Their targets are made of the same materials with their cloths, very closely wrought, very large and of an oblong square form, somewhat longer than broad, so that when they kneel on the ground the target entirely covers their whole body. Their bows are short and tolerably strong, as much as a man is able to draw with one finger, and the string is made of the bark of a tree, made flat, and a quarter of an inch broad. I have not seen any of their arrows, as they were all close wrapped up, and I was so busily engaged in traffic that I had not leisure to get them opened out for my inspection. They have also the art to work up their gold into very pretty ornaments.

When the captain had taken his seat on the stool, I sent him as a present two ells of cloth and two basins, and he sent back for our weight and measure, on which I sent him a weight of two angels, and informed him that such was our price in gold for two ells, or the measure I had already sent him. This rule of traffic he absolutely refused, and would not suffer his people to buy any thing but basins of brass or latten; so that we sold that day 74 brass basins for about half an angel weight each, and nine white basins for about a quarter of an angel each. We shewed them some of all our other wares, but they did not care for any of them. About two o'clock, P.M. the chief returned again, and presented me a hen and two great roots, which I accepted, and he then made me understand by signs, that many people would come from the country that night to trade with me, who would bring great store of gold. Accordingly about 4 o'clock there came about 100 men under 3 chiefs, all well equipped with darts and bows; and when they came to us, every man stuck his dart into the ground in token of peace, all the chiefs having their stools with them, sat down, after which they sent a youth on board our boat who brought a measure of an ell, a quarter and a sixteenth, making us understand that they would have four times that measure in cloth for the weight in gold of an angel and 12 grains. I offered him two ells for that weight, for which I had before demanded two angels; but this he despised, and stuck to the four measures, being 5-1/4 ells. When it grew late and I motioned to go away, he came to four ells for the above weight, and as he and I could not agree we went back to the ships. This day we took for basins 6 ounces a half and an eighth of gold.

In the morning of the 6th, we well manned our boats and the skiff, being in some fear of the Portuguese, who had taken away a man from the ships in the year before; and as the negroes had not canoes, we went near the shore to them. The young man who had been with us the night before was again sent to us, and he seemed to have had intercourse with the Portuguese, as he could speak a little of that language, and was quite expert in weights and measures. At his coming he offered us, as before, an angel and 12 grains for four ells, giving us to understand, if we would not deal on these terms, we might go away, which we did accordingly; but before going away, I offered him three ells of rotten cloth for his weight, which he would not accept. We then went on board our ships, which lay a league off, after which we went back in the boats for sand ballast. When the chiefs saw that our boats had now no merchandise, but came only for water and sand, they at last agreed to give the weight for three ells. Therefore, when the boats returned to the ships, we put wares into both, and, for greater expedition, I and John Saville went in one boat, while the master, John Makeworth, and Richard Curligin, went in the other. That night I took for my part 52 ounces of gold, and those in the other boat took 8-1/4 ounces, all by the above weight and measure. When it grew late we returned to the ships, having taken that day in all 5 pounds of gold.

We went on shore again on the 7th, and that day I took in our boat 3 pounds 19 ounces246, so that we had sold most of the cloth we carried in the boat before noon, by which time many of the negroes were gone, and the rest seemed to have very little gold remaining; yet they made signs to us to bring them more latten basins, which I was not inclined to, not wishing to spend any more time there, but to push forwards for Don Johns town. But as John Saville and John Makeworth were anxious to go again, I consented, but did not go myself. They bartered goods for eighteen ounces of gold and came away, all the natives having departed at a certain cry or signal. While they were on shore, a young negroe who could speak a little Portuguese came on board with three others, and to him I sold 39 basins and two small white saucers, for three ounces of gold. From what I could pick out, this young fellow had been in the castle of Mina among the Portuguese, and had got away from them, for he told us that the Portuguese were bad men, who made the negroes slaves when they could take them, and put irons on their legs. He said also that the Portuguese used to hang all the French or English they could lay hold of. According to his account, the garrison in the castle consisted of 60 men, and that there came thither every year two ships, one large and the other a small caravel. He told me farther that Don John was at war with the Portuguese, which encouraged me to go to his town, which is only four leagues from the castle, and from which our men had been driven in the preceding year. This fellow came fearlessly on board, and immediately demanded why we had not brought back the men we took away the year before, for he knew that the English had taken away five negroes. We answered that they were in England, where they were well received, and remained there till they could speak the language, after which they were to be brought back to serve as interpreters between the English and the natives; with which answer he seemed quite satisfied, as he spoke no more of that matter.

Our boats being come on board, we weighed and set sail, and soon afterwards noticed a great fire on the shore, by the light of which we could discern a large white object, which was supposed to be the Portuguese castle of St George del Mina; and as it is very difficult to ply up to windward on this coast, in case of passing any place, we came to anchor for the night two leagues from the shore, lest we might overshoot the town of Don John in the night. This town lies in a great bay which is very deep247, and there the people were chiefly desirous to procure basins and cloth, though they bought a few other trifles, as knives, horse-tails, and horns; and some of our people who were on shore sold a cap, a dagger, a hat, and other such articles. They shewed us a coarse kind of cloth, which I believe was of French manufacture: The wool was very coarse, and the stuff was striped with various colours, as green, white, yellow, &c. Several of the negroes at this place wore necklaces of large glass beads of various colours. At this place I picked up a few words of their language, of which the following is a short specimen:

Mattea! Mattea! Is their salutation.

Dassee! Dassee! I thank you.

Sheke, Gold.

Cowrte, Cut.

Cracca, Knives.

Bassina, Basins.

Foco, foco, Cloth.

Molta, Much, or great plenty248

In the morning of the 8th, we had sight of the Portuguese castle of Mina, but the morning being misty we could not see it distinctly till we were almost at Don Johns town, when the weather cleared up and we had a full view of the fort, beside which we noticed a white house on a hill, which seemed to be a chapel. We stood in towards the shore, within two English miles of Don Johns town, where we anchored in seven fathoms. We here found, as in many places before, that the current followed the course of the wind. At this place the land by the sea is in some places low, and in others high, everywhere covered with wood. This town of Don John249 is but small, having only about twenty huts of the negroes, and is mostly surrounded by a fence about the height of a man, made of reeds or sedge, or some such material. After being at anchor two or three hours, without any person coming off to us, we manned our boats and put some merchandize into them, and then went with our boats very near the shore, where we anchored. They then sent off a man to us, who told us by signs that this was the town belonging to Don John, who was then in the interior, but would be home at sunset. He then demanded a reward, as most of these people do on first coming aboard, and on giving him an ell of cloth he went away, and we saw no more of him that night. In the morning of the 9th we went again near the shore with our boats, when a canoe came off to us, from the people in which we were informed by signs that Don John was not yet come home, but was expected that day. There came also a man in a canoe from another town a mile from this, called Don Devis250, who shewed us gold, and made signs for us to go there. I then left John Saville and John Makeworth at the town of Don John, and went in the Hind to the other town, where we anchored, after which I went in the boat close to the shore near the town. Boats or canoes soon came off to us, shewing a measure of 4-1/2 yards, and a weight of an angel and 12 grains, as their rule of traffic, so that I could make no bargain. All this day our people lay off Don Johns town and did nothing, being told that he was still absent.

We went on the 10th to the shore, when a canoe came off with a considerable quantity of gold; and after long haggling we at length reduced their measure to a nail less than three ells, and brought up their weight to an angel and twenty grains, after which, in about a quarter of an hour, I sold cloth for a pound and a quarter of an ounce of gold. They then made signs for me to tarry till they had parted their cloth among them on shore, after their custom, and away they went and spread all their cloth on the sand. At this time a man came running from the town and spoke with them, and immediately they all hastened away into the woods to hide their cloth and gold. We suspected some treachery, and though invited by signs to land we would not, but returned on board the Hind, whence we could see 30 men on the hill, whom we judged to be Portuguese, who went up to the top of the hill, where they drew up with a flag. Being desirous to know what the people of the Hart were about, I went to her in the Hind's boat, and on nearing her was surprised on seeing her shoot off two pieces of ordnance. I then made as much haste as possible, and met her boat and skiff coming with all speed from the shore. We all met on board the Hart, when they told me that they had been on shore all day, where they had given 3-1/2 yards of cloth to each of Don Johns two sons, and three basins between them, and had delivered 3 yards more cloth at the agreed weight of an angel and 12 grains. That while remaining on shore for an answer, some Portuguese had come running down the hill upon them, of which the negroes had given them warning shortly before, but they understood them not. The sons of Don John had conspired with the Portuguese against them, so that they were almost taken by surprise; yet they recovered their boat and pushed off from the shore, on which the Portuguese discharged their calivers or muskets at them, but hurt none of them; in revenge for which hostility, the people in the ship had fired off the two guns formerly mentioned. We now laid bases251 into both the boats and the skiff, manning and arming them all, and went again towards the shore; but being unable to land on account of the wind, we lay off at the distance of about 200 yards, whence we fired against the Portuguese, but could not injure them as they were sheltered by the hill. They fired upon us in return from the hills and rocks, the negroes standing by to help them, more from fear than love. Seeing the negroes in such subjection that they durst not deal with us, we returned on board; and as the wind kept at east all night, we were unable to fetch the Hind, but I took the boat and went on board in the night, to see if any thing could be done there; and as in the morning we could perceive that the town was overawed by the Portuguese like the other, we weighed anchor and went along the coast to the eastwards.

This town of John de Viso stands on a hill like that of Don John, but had been recently burnt, so that there did not remain above six houses standing. Most of the gold on this part of the coast comes from the interior country, and doubtless, if the people durst bring their gold, which they are prevented from doing by the Portuguese, we might have got abundance; but they are under such subjection to the Portuguese, that they dare not trade with others.

While coasting along on the 11th, we saw a small town about 4 leagues to the east of that we last came from. About half a league farther was another town upon a hill, and half a league beyond that another large town on the coast, to which we went to try what could be done in the way of trade, meaning, if unsuccessful, to return to the towns we had left behind, in hopes that the Portuguese would leave them on our departure. All the way from the castle of Mina to this place, there were very high hills to be seen rising above other hills, all covered with wood, and the coast was lined with great red cliffs close to the sea. The boats of this coast are larger than those we had seen hitherto, as one of them could carry 12 men, but they were still of the same form with all the boats along the coast. About these towns there seemed few rivers, and their language seemed the same with that at Don Johns town, every person being able to speak a few words of Portuguese, which they constantly used to us. About five o'clock P.M. we saw 22 of the native boats or canoes going along shore to the westwards, on which we suspected some treachery; wherefore on the 12th we made sail farther along the coast eastwards, and descried more towns, in which there were some larger houses than any we had hitherto seen, and from these the people came out to look at us, but we could see no boats on the shore. Two miles beyond the eastermost town there are black rocks, which continue to the uttermost cape or point of the land for the space of a league, after which the land runs E.N.E. Some negroes came down to these black rocks, whence they waved a white flag for us to land; but as we were near the principal town, we continued our course along shore, and when we had opened the point of land we perceived another head-land about a league farther on, having a rock lying off to sea, which was thought to be the place of which were in search. On coming abreast of the town it was recognized, and having anchored within half a mile of the shore in five fathoms, with good ground, we put wares into our boat, and went near the shore to endeavour to open trade. Anchoring close to the shore, about 10 A.M. we saw many canoes on the beach, and some came past us, but no one would draw near, being, as we supposed, afraid of us, as four men had been forcibly taken away from thence the year before. Seeing that no one came off to us, we went again on board, expecting to make no sales; but towards evening a great number of people came to the shore and waved a white flag, as inviting us to land, after which their chief or captain came down with many men along with him, and sat down under a tree near the shore. On seeing this I took some things with me in the boat to present to him, and at length he sent off a boat to us which would not come near, but made signs for us to return next day. At length, by offering things for their captain, I enticed them into our boat, and gave them two ells of cloth, a latten basin, a white basin, a bottle, a large piece of beef, and six biscuits, which they received and made signs for us to come back next day, saying that their chief was grand captain, which indeed appeared by his numerous attendants, who were armed with darts, targets, and other weapons. This town is very large, and stands upon a hill among trees, so that it cannot well be seen except when one is near. To the eastwards of it there are two very high trees on a hill close to the town252; and under the town is another and lower hill washed by the sea, where it is all composed of great black rocks. Beyond this town there is another considerably smaller on a bay.

In the morning of the 13th we took our boat and went close to the shore, where we remained till ten o'clock, but no one came near us. We prepared therefore to return on board, on seeing which some negroes came running down and waved us back with a white flag, so we anchored again and they made us to understand by signs that the chief would soon come down. In the meantime we saw a sail pass by us, but being small we regarded it not. As the sun was high, we made a tilt with our oars and sails. There now came off to us a canoe with five men, who brought back our bottle, and gave me a hen, making signs by the sun that within two hours the merchants of the country would come and buy all we had. I gave them six manillios to present to their captain; and as they signified by signs that they would leave a man with us if we gave them a pledge, we put one of our men into their boat; but as they would not give us one of their men, we took back our man again, and remained in expectation of the merchants. Shortly afterwards there came down one of the natives to the shore, arrayed like their captain, attended by a numerous train, who saluted us in a friendly manner, and then sat down under a tree where the captain used to sit in the former year. Soon afterwards we perceived a great number of natives standing at the end of a hollow way, and behind them the Portuguese had planted a base, which they suddenly discharged, but its ball overshot us, though we were very near. Before we could ship our oars to get away, they shot at us again, but did us no harm; the negroes came to the rocks close beside us, whence they discharged calivers at us, and the Portuguese shot off their base twice more. On this our ship made some shots at them, but they were protected by the rocks and hills.

We now went on board to leave this place, as the negroes were bent against us, because in the former year Robert Gainsh had taken away the captains son from this place, with three others, and all their gold and every thing else they had about them; owing to which they had become friends to the Portuguese, whom they hated before, as appeared in the former year when the Trinity was there; when the chief came on board and brought them to his town, trading with them largely, and offering them ground on which to build a fort253. The 14th we plied back to meet the Hind, which we met in the morning, and then both ships sailed eastwards to try what could be done at the place where the Trinity sold her friezes in the preceding year. The day after we parted, the Hind had taken eighteen and a half ounces of gold from some negroes in exchange for wares. This day, about one P.M. we saw some canoes on the coast, with men standing beside them, and going to them with merchandise, we took three ounces of gold for eighteen fuffs of cloth, each fuffe being three and a half yards, at the rate of one angel twelve grains the fuffe. These people made us understand by signs that if we waited till next day we might have plenty of gold. For this reason I sent off the master with the Hind, accompanied by John Saville and John Makeworth, to seek the other place, while I and Richard Pakeman remained here to try our fortunes next day. When the negroes perceived the Hind going away they feared the other ship would follow, wherefore they sent off four men in two canoes, asking us to remain, and offering two men to remain with us, if we would give one as a pledge or hostage for his safety. Accordingly, one Edward, who was servant to Mr Morley, seeing them so much in earnest, offered himself as a pledge, and we let him go for two of them who staid with us, one of whom had his weights and scales, with a chain of gold about his neck and another round his arm. These men eat readily of such things as we had to give them, and seemed quite contented. During the night, the negroes kept a light on shore over against us; and about one o'clock, A.M. we saw the flash of a base, which was twice shot off at the light, and then two calivers were discharged, which in the end we perceived came from a Portuguese brigantine that followed us from place to place, to warn the natives to have no dealings with us.

In the morning of the 15th, the negro chief came down to the coast attended by 100 men, bringing his wife along with him, and many others brought their wives also, as they meant to remain by the sea side till they had bought what they wanted, and their town was eight miles up the country. Immediately on his arrival, the chief sent our man on board, and offered to come himself if we would give two of our men in pledge for him. I accordingly sent him two, but he only retained one, and came on board accompanied by his wife and several friends, bringing me a goat and two great roots, for which I gave him in return a latten basin, a white basin, six manillios and a bottle of Malmsey, and to his wife a small casket. After this we began to adjust our measure and weight. He had a weight of his own, equal to an angel and 14 grains, and required a measure of 4-1/2 ells. In fine we concluded the 8th part254, for an angel and 20 grains; and before we had done he took my own weight and measure. The 16th I took 8 libs. 1 oz. of gold. Since the departure of the Hind I had not heard of her; but when our pledge went into the country the first night he said that he saw her at anchor about 5 leagues from us. The 17th I sold about 17 pieces of cloth, for which I got 4 libs. 4-1/2 oz. of gold. The 18th the chief desired to purchase some of our wine, offering half a gold ducat for a bottle; but I gave him one freely, and made him and his train drink besides. This day I took 5 libs. 5 oz. of gold. The 19th I sold about 18 pieces of cloth, and took 4 libs. 4-1/2 oz. of gold. The 20th 3 libs. 6-1/4 oz; the 21st 8 libs. 7-1/4 oz; the 22d 3 libs. 8-1/4 oz: And about 4 o'clock this night255 the chief and all his people went away. The 23d we were waved on shore by other negroes, and sold them cloth, caskets, knives, and a dozen bells, for 1 lib. 10 oz. of gold. The 24th we sold bells, sheets256, and thimbles, for 2 libs. 1-1/4 oz. of gold. The 25th we sold 7 doz. of small bells and other things, and finding their gold all gone, we weighed and sailed to leewards in search of the Hind, which we found about 5 o'clock, P.M. and understood she had made some sales.

The 26th we received from the Hind 48 libs. 3-1/8 oz. of gold, which they had taken while we were asunder; and this day, on the request of a negro sent us by the chief, we went on shore with our merchandise and took 7 libs, 1 oz. of gold. At this place they required no pledges from us, yet sent every night a man to sleep on board, as an assurance that they would come to us next day. The 27th in both ships we took 8 libs. 1-7/8 oz. of gold. The 28th we made sales to the amount of 1 lib. 1/3 oz. for the company. The 29th in the morning we heard two caliver shots on shore, which we judged might either be the Portuguese or some of their negroes, and we accordingly manned our boats, armed ourselves and our men, and went on shore, but they were gone off. The 30th we made more sales both for the company and the masters. The 31st we sent our boats on shore to take in sand for ballast; and our men met the negroes with whom they had dealt the day before, who were now employed fishing, and helped them to fill sand; and having now no gold, sold fish to our men for their handkerchiefs and neckerchiefs. The 1st of February we weighed and went to another place, where we took 1 lib. 9 1/3 oz. of gold. The 2d we made more sales; but on taking a survey of our provisions, we resolved not to stay much longer on the coast, most of our drink being spent, and what remained turning sour. The 3d and 4th we made some sales though not great; and finding the wind on this last day come off shore, we set sail and went along the coast to the westwards. Upon this coast, we found by experience that ordinarily, about 2 o'clock in the night257 the wind came off shore from N.N.E., and continued in that direction till 8 o'clock in the morning, blowing all the rest of the day and night at S.W. The tide or current on this shore goes continually with the wind.258 We continued our course along shore on the 5th, expecting to have met some English ships, but found none.

The 6th February 1556, we altered our course S.W. leaving the coast, to fetch under the line, and ran 24 leagues by estimation. By the 13th we reckoned ourselves off Cape Palmas, and by the 22d we were by our reckoning abreast of Cape Mount, 30 leagues west from the river Sestos or Sestro. The 1st March we lost sight of the Hind in a tornado; on which we set up a light and fired a gun, but saw nothing of her, wherefore we struck sail and lay by for her, and in the morning had sight of her 3 leagues astern. This day we found ourselves in the latitude of Cape Verd which is in 14° 30' [14° 50' N.] Continuing our course till the 29th, we were then in 22°, on which day one of our men named William King died in his sleep, having been long sick. His clothes were distributed among those of the crew who were in want of such things, and his money was kept to be delivered to his friends at home. The 30th we found ourselves under the tropic. On the 1st April we were in the latitude of the Azores, and on the 7th of May we fell in with the south of Ireland, where we sent our boat on shore for fresh water, and where we bought two sheep and such other victuals as we needed from the country people, who are wild kernes. The 14th of the same month we went into the port of Bristol called Hungrode259, where we cast anchor in safety, giving God thanks for our happy arrival.

SECTION V. Second Voyage to Guinea in 1556, by William Towerson260

On the 14th September 1556, we set sail from Harwich bound for the coast of Guinea, in the Tiger of London of 120 tons, directing our coarse for Scilly, where we expected to meet the Hart of London of 60 tons and a pinnace of 16 tons, both of which had been fitted out and victualled at Bristol. We arrived at Scilly on the 28th, and having lain to some time for our consorts to no purpose, we sailed back to Plymouth on the 12th October. They there joined us, and we sailed together from that port on the 15th November.

We made the coast of Guinea on the 30th December, where we got sight of three ships and two pinnaces which were to windward of us, on which we made ourselves ready for action and gave them chase, hauling to the wind as near as we could to gain the weather-gage. At first they made sail from us, but having cleared for fighting they put about and came towards us in brave order, their streamers, pennants and ensigns displayed, and trumpets, sounding. When we met they still had the weather-gage of us, yet were we firmly determined to have fought them if they had been Portuguese, and hailed them to come under our lee, which they stoutly refused. On demanding whence they were, they said from France; and we then told them we were from London in England. They then told us there were certain Portuguese ships gone to Mina to protect that place, and that they had already burnt a Portuguese ship of 200 tons at the river Sestro. The captain of the admiral ship and several other Frenchmen came on board of us in a friendly manner, and proposed that we should join company because of the Portuguese, and go together to Mina. We told them that we had not yet watered, having just fallen in with the coast. They said we were 50 leagues to leeward of Sestro river, but still water might be had, and they would assist us in watering with their boats for the sake of our company. They told us farther that they had been six weeks on the coast, and had only got 3 tons of grains among them all261.

After hearing what they had to say, we considered that even if Mina were clear of Portuguese ships, yet if the Frenchmen went before us they would spoil our market: That if there were Portuguese ships at Mina, and they took the French ships, they would learn that we were behind, and would wait to take us likewise: And finally, if we went along with them and found the coast clear, we would do as well as they; but if the Portuguese remained on the coast we should be stronger in their company. Wherefore, having thus considered their friendly offers, we told them that we would confer more largely of the matter next day; upon which they invited me to dine with them next day, and to bring with me the masters of our ships and such merchants as I thought proper, offering to supply us with water from their own ships if we would, or else to remain with us and help us to water with their boats and pinnaces. In the morning of the 31st, the French admiral sent his boat for me, and I went on board his ship accompanied by our masters and some of our merchants. He had provided a noble banquet for us, and treated us excellently, requesting us to keep him company, promising to part with us what victuals were in his ship, or any other things that could serve us, even offering to strike his flag and obey my commands in all things. Not being able to find water at that place, we set sail on the 1st January 1557, and anchored off the mouth of a river, where on the two following days we procured water, and bought a few small elephants teeth.

On the 4th of January we landed with 30 men, well armed with arquebuses, pikes, long-bows, cross-bows, partizans, long swords, and swords and bucklers, meaning to seek for elephants. We found two, which we wounded several times with our fire-arms and arrows, but they both got away from us and hurt one of our men. We sailed on the 5th, and next day fell in with the river St Andrew [in long. 6° 4' W.] The land is somewhat high to the westward of this river, having a fine bay likewise to the westward, but to the east the land is low. This is a great river, having 7 fathoms water in some places at its mouth. On the 7th we went into the river, where we found no village, and only some wild negroes not used to trade. Having filled our water casks here, we set sail to the eastward. On the 10th we had a conference with Captain Blondel, the admiral of the French ships, Jerome Baudet his vice-admiral, and Jean de Orleans, master of the ship of 70 tons. We agreed to traffic in friendly accord, so as not to hurt each others market, certain persons being appointed to make a price for the whole, and then one boat from every ship to make sales on the agreed terms. On the 11th, at a place called Allow262, we got only half an angel weight and 4 grains of gold, which was taken by hand, the natives having no weights.

On the 14th we came within Saker shot of the castle of Mina, whence an Almadia was sent out to see what we were, but seeing that we were not Portuguese, she went immediately back to the large negroe town of Dondou close by the castle. Without this there lie two great rocks like islands, and the castle stands on a point resembling an island. At some distance to the westwards the land for 5 or 6 leagues was high, but for 7 leagues from thence to the castle the land is low, after which it becomes high again. The castle of Mina is about 5 leagues east from Cape Three-points263. Here I took the boat with our negroes, and, went along the coast till I came to the cape, where I found two small towns having no canoes, neither could we have any trade. At these places our negroes understood the natives perfectly, and one of them went on shore at all the places, where he was well received by his countrymen. At a place called Bulle, about 3 leagues east from the eastermost point of Cape Three-points, we learnt from the natives by means of our negro George, that about a month before there had been an engagement at this place, in which two ships had put one to flight; and that some time before, one French ship had put to flight four Portuguese ships at the castle of Mina.

On the 16th we went to a place called Hanta, 12 leagues beyond the cape, but did no good, as the natives held their gold too dear. We went thence to Shamma264, where we landed with 5 boats well armed with men and ordnance, making a great noise with our drums and trumpets, suspecting we might have found Portuguese here, but there were none. We sent our negroes first on shore, after which we followed and were well received. The 18th we agreed to give the negroes 2 yards and 3 nails of cloth, as a fuffe, to exchange for an angel-ducat weight; so we took in all 70 ducats, of which the Frenchmen had 40 and we 30. The 19th I took 4 libs. 2-1/2 oz. of gold, and the boat of the Hart had 21 oz. This night we were informed by the negroes that the Portuguese meant to attack us next day either by sea or land, and as we were about to return on board we heard several shots in the woods, but they durst not come near us. The 20th we went on shore well armed, but heard no more of the Portuguese, and this day the negroes informed us there were some ships come to Hanta, a town about 2 leagues to the west. The 21st we went in our boats to a town a league to the west, where we found many negroes under another chief, with whom we dealt on the same terms as at Shamma. The 22d we went again on shore, and I got 1 lib. 4 oz. of gold. The 23d the negroes told as that the Portuguese ships had departed from the Mina, intending to ply to windward and then come down to fight us, giving us warning to be on our guard. The 24th we went again on shore to trade, and I invited the chief of the town to dinner. While we were ashore on the 25th, our ships descried 5 sail of ships belonging to the king of Portugal, and fired several shots to recall us on board. So we went to the ships, but by the time that every thing was in order and we had weighed anchor it was night, so that nothing could be done. We set sail however and tried all night to gain the wind of the Portuguese, some of which were very near during the night. One of them, which we judged was their admiral, fired a shot, as we supposed to call the others to come and speak with him. The 26th we came in with the shore, and got sight of the Portuguese at anchor, on which we made sail towards them, giving all our men white scarfs, that the French and we might know each other in case of boarding: But night coming on before we could fetch the Portuguese, we anchored within demi-culverine shot of them.

In the morning of the 27th, both we and the Portuguese weighed anchor, and by 11 o'clock, A.M. we had gained the weather-gage, on which we went room with them265: on this they bore away towards the shore, and we after them, and when they were near shore they put about again to seawards. We put about likewise, and gained a head of them, on which we took in our topsails and waited for them. The first that came up was a small bark, which sailed so well that she cared not for any of us, and had good ordnance. As soon as she came up she discharged her guns at us and shot past with ease, after which she fired at the French admiral and struck his ship in several places; and as we were in our fighting sails, she soon got beyond our reach. Then another caravel came up under our lee, discharging her ordnance at us and at the French admiral, wounding two of his men and shooting through his main-mast. After him came up the Portuguese admiral also under our lee, but was not able to do us so much harm as the small ships had done, as he carried his ordnance higher than they; neither were we able to make a good shot at any of them, because our ship was so weak in the side that she laid all her ordnance in the sea266. We determined therefore to lay the Portuguese admiral on board; but on making the attempt, the French admiral fell to leeward and could not fetch him, after which he fell to leeward of two other caravels, and was unable to fetch any of them. Being thus to leeward, the French admiral kept on towards the shore and left us. We hoisted our topsails and gave chase to the enemy, but both the other French ships kept their wind and would not come near us, and our own consort was so much astern that she could not get up to our assistance. When we had followed them to seaward about two hours, the enemy put about towards the land, thinking to pay us as they went past, and to gain the wind of the French admiral which had gone in shore; but we put about likewise keeping still the weather gage, expecting our consort and the rest to have followed our example. But when the Portuguese had passed our consort and the two French ships, firing as they went along, all of these ships and our own pinnace continued to seawards, leaving us in the laps, (lurch.) We continued our course after the enemy, keeping the weather gage, that we might succour the French admiral who was to leeward of them all; and on coming up with him, all the enemies ships bore down and gave him their broadsides, after which they put about again, but durst not board him as we were still to wind-wind of them, otherwise they had certainly taken or sunk him. Three of their smallest vessels were such prime sailors that it was quite impossible for any of our ships to have boarded them, and they carried such ordnance that they would have sore troubled any three of our ships; if they had been able to gain the weather-gage. Their other ships, the admiral and vice-admiral, were both notably appointed.

When the French admiral was clear of them, he lay as near the wind as possible and ran to seaward after the rest, while we followed the enemy to leeward. Then seeing us alone and in chase, they put about, which we did likewise to keep the wind of them, and in this situation we sailed within base shot of them, but they shot not at us, because we had the weather gage and they could not therefore harm us. We continued in this course till night, when we lost sight of them. All the rest of our ships made to seawards with all the sail they could carry; and, as they confessed themselves afterwards, they gave us their prayers, and no other help had we at their hands.

Next day, the 28th, we rejoined our own consort and pinnace, and two of the French ships, but the third, which was a ship of 80 tons belonging to Rouen, had fled. I took my skiff and went to them to know why they, had deserted me. John Kire said his ship would neither rear nor stear267. John Davis said the pinnace had broke her rudder, so that she could sail no farther, and had been taken in tow by the Hart. I found the French admiral to be a man of resolution, but half his crew was sick or dead. The other Frenchman said his ship could bear no sail, and 16 of his men were sick or dead, so that he could do nothing. After this the French ships durst not come to anchor for fear of the Portuguese.

The 29th, on finding our pinnace incapable of farther use, we took out her four bases, anchor, and every thing of value, and set her on fire, after which we ran along the coast. On the 3d February we anchored about 4 leagues from a town, which we saluted with two guns, on which the chief came to the shore, to whom I sent Thomas Rippon who knew him. After some conference, the chief came off to me; as it was become late, he did not enter into bargain for any price, but exchanged pledges and, returned on shore. Next day I went on shore, and though some French ships had been there and spoiled the market, I took 5-1/2 oz. of gold. The 5th I took 8-1/2 oz. but could perceive that the negroes thought the French cloth better and broader than ours; wherefore I told Captain Blundel that I would go to leeward, as where he was I should do no good. The 6th there came an Almadie or canoe to us with some negroes, inviting me to their town, where they had plenty of gold and many merchants. I did so, but could do no good that night, as the merchants were not come from the interior. On the 7th our negro George came to us, having followed us at least 30 leagues in a small canoe, and soon after his arrival we settled the terms of dealing with the natives. George had been left in Shamma at the time of the fight, which he saw from the shore, and told us that the Portuguese had gone afterwards into that river, when they said that two of their men had been slain by a shot, which was from our ship. This day I took 5 libs. 1-1/4 oz. of gold; the 8th 19 libs. 3-1/2 oz.; the 9th 2 libs. 6-1/2 oz.; the 10th 3 libs. The 11th. Jerome Baudet, the French vice-admiral, came to us in his pinnace, saying that they could do no good where they were, and that he meant to go to the eastwards: But we told him this could not be allowed, and desired him to return to his comrades, which he refused; till we shot three or four pieces at his pinnace; on which his ship put about and ran out to sea followed by the pinnace. This day I took 1 lib. 5 oz.

The 12th one of the French pinnaces came with cloth, but we would not allow them to trade, and made them remain all day close to our ship. This day we took 5 lib. 6-1/2 oz. The 17th we went to another town, where we understood that three of the Portuguese ships were at the castle, and the other two at Shamma. Though the Portuguese were so near that they might have been with us in three hours, we yet resolved to remain and make sales if we could. The chief of this town was absent at the principal town of the district visiting the king, but came soon back with a weight and measure. The 18th some of the kings servants came to us, and we took 1 lib. 2-1/8 oz. of gold. The 19th we took 5 libs. 1 oz. the 20th 1 lib. 4 oz; the 21st 4 libs. 1 oz; the 22d 3-1/2 oz.

Having sent one of our merchants with a present to the king, he returned on the 23d, saying that he had been received in a friendly manner by Abaan, who had little gold but promised if we would stay that he would send all over his country in search of gold for us, and desired our people to request our king to send men to his country to build a fort, and to bring tailors with them to make them apparel, and to send good wares and we should be sure to sell them; but that the French had for the present filled the market with cloth. This town where the king Abaan resides, is about 4 leagues up the country, and in the opinion of our people who were there is as large in circumference as London, though all built like those we had already seen. Around the town there was great abundance of the wheat of the country, insomuch that on one side of it they saw 1000 ricks of wheat and of another sort of grain called mill or millet, which is much used in Spain. All round this town there is kept a good nightly watch, and across all the roads or paths they have cords stretched and connected with certain bells; so that if any one touch the cords the bells, immediately ring to alarm the watchmen, on which they run out to see what is the matter. In case of any enemies, they have nets suspended over the paths ready to let fall and entangle them. It is impossible to get to the town except by the regular paths, as it is every where environed with trees and thick underwood; besides which the town is surrounded by a fence of sedge bound with thick ropes made of the bark of trees268.

As in this country it is necessary to travel in the night to avoid the heat of the day, our men came to the town about five in the morning. About nine the king sent for them, as no one must go to him unless sent for, and they proposed carrying their present, but were told they must be brought before him three times, before their gift could be offered. They then waited upon him and were graciously received. And having been sent for three several times, they carried their present the last time, which was thankfully accepted; and calling for a pot of Palm wine, the king made them drink. Before drinking they use the following ceremonies: On bringing out the pot of wine, a hole is made in the ground into which a small quantity of the wine is poured, after which the hole is filled up, and the pot set on the place. Then with a small cup made of a gourd shell, they take out a little of the wine, which is poured on the ground in three several places. They set up likewise some branches of the Palm tree in different parts of the ground, where they shed some of the wine, doing reverence to the palms. All these ceremonies being gone through, the king took a gold cup full of wine which he drank off, all the people calling out Abaan! Abaan! together with certain words, as is usual in Flanders on twelfth night, the king drinks. When he had drank, then the wine was served round to every one, and the king allowed them to depart. Then every one bowed three times, waving his hands, and so departed. The king has usually sitting beside him, eight or ten old men with grey beards.

On the 23d we took 1 lib. 10 oz. of gold; the 24th 3 lib. 7 oz.; the 25th 3-1/4 oz.; the 26th 2 libs. 10 oz.; the 27th 2 libs. 5 oz.; the 28th 4 libs. Then seeing that there was no more gold to be had, we weighed anchor and continued along the coast. The 1st of March we came to a town called Moure, where we found neither boats nor people; but when about to depart there came some people to us in two canoes from another town, from whom we took 2-1/2 oz. of gold, and who told us that the inhabitants had removed from Mowre to Lagoua.269. The 2d we were abreast the castle of Mina, where we saw all the five Portuguese ships at anchor, and by night we were off Shamma or Chama, where we meant to water. But next day we saw a tall ship of about 200 tons to windward within two leagues, and then two more astern of her, one a ship of 500 tons or more and the other a pinnace. Upon this we weighed anchor, and made a shirt to stand out to sea, the wind being S.S.W., but the Hart fell three leagues to leeward of us. These ships chased us from 9 A.M. till 5 P.M. but could not make up with us. At night, when we joined the Hart, on asking why she fell to leeward, they pretended that they durst not make sail to windward, lest they had carried away their fore-top-mast. Having been thus obliged to abandon our watering-place, we were under the necessity of boiling our meat-in sea-water, and to reduce our allowance of drink to make it hold out, as we now shaped our course homewards.

On the 16th of March we fell in with the land, which I judged to be Cape Misurado, about which there is much high land. The 18th we lost sight of the Hart, and I think the master wilfully went in shore on purpose to lose us, being offended that I had reproved him for his folly when chased by the Portuguese. The 27th we fell in with two small islands about 6 leagues off Cape Sierra Leona; and before we saw them we reckoned ourselves at least 30 or 40 leagues from them. Therefore all who sail this way must allow for the current which sets N.N.W. or they will be much deceived. The 14th April we met two large Portuguese ships, which we supposed were bound to Calicut. The 23d we saw a French ship of 90 tons to windward of us, which came down upon us as if to lay us on board, sending up some of his men in armour into the tops, and calling out to us to strike. Upon this we saluted him with some cross-bars, chain-shot, and arrows, so thick that we made their upper works fly about their ears, and tore his ship so miserably, that he fell astern and made sail. Our trumpeter was a Frenchman, at this time ill in bed; yet he blew his trumpet till he could sound no more, and so died. The 29th we arrived at Plymouth, and gave thanks to God for our safety.

SECTION VI. Third Voyage of William Towerson to Guinea, in 1558270

On the 30th of January of the above year, we set sail from Plymouth with three ships and a pinnace, bound by the grace of God for the Canaries and the coast of Guinea. Our ships were the Minion, admiral; the Christopher, vice-admiral; the Tiger, and a pinnace called the Unicorn. Next day we fell in with two hulks271 of Dantziek, one called the Rose of 400 tons, and the other the Unicorn of 150, both laden at Bourdeaux, mostly with wine. We caused them to hoist out their boats and come on board, when we examined them separately as to what goods they had on board belonging to Frenchmen272. At first they denied having any; but by their contradictory stories, we suspected the falsehood of their charter parties, and ordered them to produce their bills of lading. They denied having any, but we sent certain persons to the place where they were hid, and thus confronted their falsehood. At length they confessed that there were 32 tons and a hogshead of wine in the Unicorn belonging to a Frenchman, and 128 tons in the Rose belonging to the, same person; but insisted that all the rest was laden by Peter Lewgues of Hamburgh, and consigned to Henry Summer of Campvere. After a long consultation, considering that to capture or detain them might lose our voyage, already too late, we agreed that each of our ships should take out as much as they could stow for necessaries, and that we should consider next morning what was farther to be done. We accordingly took out many tuns of wine, some aquavitae, cordage, rosin, and other things, giving them the rest of the Frenchmans wines to pay for what we had taken of their own, and took a certificate under their hands of the quantity of French goods they had confessed to, and then allowed them to continue their voyage.

The 10th January we had sight of the grand Canary, and on the 12th we anchored in the road, a league from the town, where we were well received. We went to the town with two English merchants who resided there, and remained that day at their house. The second day following we returned on board to get our pinnace repaired, which had broken her rudder, and to deliver our merchandize. The 14th there came nineteen sail of Spanish ships into the road, bound for the West Indies, six of them being of 400 or 500 tons each, and the rest of 200, 150, and 100 tons. On coming to anchor they saluted us, which we returned. The Spanish admiral, who was a knight, sent a boat for me, and received me in a friendly manner, desiring to learn the news of England and Flanders. After partaking of a banquet, I departed; and when I was in the boat, he desired my interpreter to say that he expected I should strike my flag to him, as general of the Emperors fleet. When I was come on board my own ship this was told me by the interpreter, and as I refused compliance and continued to display my ensign, some Spanish soldiers began to discharge their arquebusses at us. At this time some Spanish gentlemen came on board to see our ship, to whom I said that if they did not order their men to cease firing, I would fire my cannon through their ships. They accordingly went away and made their soldiers give over firing, and coming back said that they had punished their men. I then shewed them our ship, and gave them such cheer as I had, which they were well pleased with. Next day they sent for me to dine with them, saying their general was sorry any one should have desired me to strike my flag, which had been done without his orders.

The 17th we set sail, and got sight of the coast of Africa, and running along shore came off Rio del Oro which is almost under the tropic of Cancer. The 25th we got sight of the land in the bay to the north of Cape Verd273. The 26th taking our interpreter Francisco and Francis Castelin along with me in the pinnace, I went to the Tiger, which was nearer shore than the other ships. With her and the other ships we ran W. by S. and W.S.W, till about 4 o'clock, P.M. when we were close on board the cape. Then going about 4 leagues beyond the cape S.W. we found a fair island, and beside that two or three islands of high rocks, full of various kinds of sea fowl and pigeons, with other kinds of land birds, and so numerous that the whole island was covered with their dung, and as white as if the whole had been covered by chalk. Within these islands was a fine bay; and close by the rocks we had 18 fathoms and good ground274. The 27th, as no negroes came to us, we went along shore in the pinnace, and going beyond the point of the bay (Cape Emanuel) we found a fair island (Goree ) with a goodly bay, and saw some negroes on the main who waved us on shore. Going a-land, they told us that they had elephants teeth, musk275, and hides for traffic; but as the captain of the Christopher was not willing to stop, we went on board and made sail, On inquiry, some of the negroes said there had been no ships there for 8 months, others said six, and some only four, and that they were French ships.

The 10th of March we fell in with the coast of Guinea, 5 leagues east of Cape Monte, beside a river called Rio das Palmas. At this place I got 19 elephants teeth, and 2 1/2oz. of gold. The 13th we came to Rio Sestro, and next day sent our boats for water, and delivered such wares to the Christopher and Tiger as they needed. The 15th we sent the Tiger to another river for water, and to try what she could do for grains. We here learnt that three French ships had been at this river two months before, two six weeks ago, and one only a fortnight past, all of which had gone eastwards to the Mina. Getting few grains, and many of our men falling sick at this unwholesome place, and considering that the French ships were before us, we left the Rio Sestro on the 19th, and made all sail for the Mina276. The 21st we came to Rio de Potos, where our boats went for water, and where I got 12 small elephants teeth. The 31st we came to Hanta, where I sold some Manillios.

On the 1st of April we had sight of 5 Portuguese ships, on which we stood out to sea to gain the wind of them, which we had done if the wind had kept its ordinary course at S.W. and W.S.W. but this day it kept with a flow always at E. and E.S.E. so that they had the wind of us and chased us to leeward till near night, when all but one that sailed badly were within shot of us. It then fell calm, and the wind came round to S.W. at which time the Christopher was about 4 leagues to leeward of us. We tacked in the Minion, and gained the wind of the Portuguese admiral and other three of his ships; when he cast about and fired at us, which we returned, shooting him four or five times through. Several of their shots went through our sails, but none of our men were hurt. The Christopher was still to leeward, though the Tiger and the pinnace had joined us; but as it was night we did not think it adviseable to lay him on board; wherefore, after firing two hours or more, we three stood out to sea, and fired a gun to give notice to the Christopher. We joined the Christopher on the 2d, which had exchanged shots with the Portuguese the night before about midnight, and we agreed to seek the Portuguese, keeping however to windward of the place where we meant to trade. We accordingly ran all day on the 3d to the S.W. in search of the Portuguese ships, but could not see them, and stood towards the shore at night. When we made the shore on the 4th, we found ourselves off Lagua, 30 leagues to the eastwards of our reckoning, owing to the currents setting east. Going on shore with our negro interpreter, we learned that there were four French ships on the coast: One at Perinnen, 6 leagues west of Lagua; one at Weamba277, 4 leagues east of Lagua; a third at Perecow278, 4 leagues east of Weamba; and the fourth at Egrand279, 4 leagues east of Perecow. We accordingly proceeded toward Weamba, where we saw one of the French ships under sail to which we gave chase; and lest we should over-shoot her in the night, the Minion was brought to anchor, and the Tiger and Christopher followed the chase all night.

The 5th we found three French ships at anchor: One called La Foi of Harfleur of 200 tons, the second the Venturuse of Harfleur of 100, and third the Mulet de Batville of Rouen of 120 tons. On nearing them, we in the Minion were determined to lay the admiral on board, while the Christopher boarded the vice-admiral, and the Tiger the smallest. But they weighed and got under sail, on which the Christopher, being our headmost ship, bore down on La Foi, and we in the Minion on the Mulet, which we took; but the Venturuse sailed so swift that we could not take her. The one we took was the richest except the admiral, which had taken 80 libs, of gold, the Venturuse having only 22 libs.; while our prise had 50. They had been above two months on the coast; but three others had been there before them, and had departed a month before our arrival, having swept the coast of 700 pounds of gold. Having continued the chase all that day and night, and the next day till 3 P.M. and being unable to get up with them, we were afraid of falling too far to leewards, and made sail back to the shore. On the 7th, I convened the captains masters and merchants of all our three ships, when we weighed the gold taken in the prize, being 50 libs. 5 oz., after which we put men out of all our ships into the prize to keep her. On the 12th, on coming to Egrand, having taken all the goods out of the prize, we offered to sell the ship to the Frenchmen; but she was so leaky that they would not have her, and begged us to save their lives by taking them into our ships. So we agreed to take out all the victuals and sink the ship, dividing the men among us.

On the 15th, it was proposed to proceed to Benin, but most of our people refused; wherefore it was agreed to remain as long as we could on the coast of Mina, leaving the Minion at Egrand, sending the Tiger to Perecow 4 leagues, west, and the Christopher to Weamba 10 leagues west, with directions in case of seeing any force they were unable to cope with, to come to leewards to us in the Minion at Egrand. We remained here till the last of April, by which time many of our men fell sick and six of them died, and we could only trade with the natives three or four days of the week, as on the other days they could not come off to us. The 3d May, as the pinnace had not come to us with cloth from the other ships, as promised, we sold French cloth, giving only three yards for every fuffe. The 5th the negroes left us, saying they would be back in four days. The 8th all our own cloth being sold, I called the people together, to ask them whether they chose to remain till the prize cloth was all sold. They answered, that as several of our men were dead, and twenty now sick, they would not tarry, but desired that we should repair to the other two ships. On the 10th we accordingly sailed in quest of the other ships, meaning to try what we could do at Don Johns town. The 11th we joined the Christopher, which had done little. The 13th the Tiger was sent down to Egrand, as we found no trade worth while at Perinnen. The 14th the pinnace was sent with cloth to Weamba, where she had before got 10 libs. of gold.

The 21st we anchored before Don Johns town; and on the 22d we manned our boats and went close in shore, but the negroes would not come to us. The 24th our pinnace came to us from Cormantine, where they had taken 2 libs. 5 oz. of gold. The 25th the master of the Christopher sent his boat on shore at Mowre for ballast, when the negroes attempted to drive them off with stones; but our men slew and hurt several of them, then burnt their town and stove all their canoes. The 27th we went to Cormantine, where we were joined next day by the Christopher. The 2d June the Tiger came to us from Egrand and the pinnace from Weamba, the two having procured 50 libs. of gold. The 4th we made sail and plied to windward for Chama, not being able to remain longer for want of victuals, and especially as our drink ran short. The 7th we saw five Portuguese ships at anchor beside the castle. The 8th George and Binny came off to us, and brought about 2 libs. of gold. The 21st we put 25 Frenchmen into our pinnace with such victuals as we could spare, and sent them away. The 25th we put to sea on our homeward voyage. The 30th we fell in again with the land, 18 leagues to leeward of the place whence we had taken our departure, having been deceived by the current which sets continually towards the east. The 7th July we fell in with the island of San Thome280, where we wished to come to anchor; but the wind coming about we again made sail. From that time till the 13th we were tossed about by baffling winds, and that day fell in again with San Thome.

This is a very high island, and being on the west side of it, we had sight of a very high small and upright peak, like the steeple of a church, which peak is directly under the equator, and to the westward of the south end of the island there is a small islet about a mile from the larger one. The 3d of August we set sail from San Thome with the wind at S.W. The 22d we fell in with the island of Salt, one of the Cape Verds; and being told by a Scotsman whom we had taken among the French on the coast of Guinea, that there were fresh provisions to be had at this place, we came to anchor. The 24th we went on shore, where we found no houses, and only saw four men who would not come near us. We found plenty of goats, but so wild that we could only take three or four of them; but we got plenty of fish, and great quantities of sea-fowl on a small isle close to the larger one. At night the Christopher broke her cable and lost an anchor, so that we were all obliged to weigh and put to sea. On this occasion the Scotsman was left on shore, by what means we could not tell, unless that he had been found asleep by the inhabitants and carried off-prisoner.

The 25th the master of the Tiger came on board, and reported his ship to be in so leaky a condition and his men so weak, that he was unable to keep her afloat, and requested therefore that we would return to the island to take every thing out of her, that she might be abandoned: This day on mustering the companies of all the three ships, we had not above 30 sound men altogether281. The 25th we had sight of St Nicholas, and the day following of St Lucia, St Vincent, and St Anthony, four of the Cape Verd islands, which range with each other from N.W. by W. to S. E by E. The 26th we were unable to weather the Cape of St Anthony, and this day Philip Jones the master of the Christopher came on board and reported that they were not able to keep the Tiger from sinking as she was so leaky, and the master and crew were very weak. The 3d September I went on board the Tiger, accompanied by the masters and merchants to survey her, and we found her in a very leaky condition with only six men fit for duty, one of whom was master gunner. It was agreed accordingly to take all the men into the other ships, with all the goods we could save, and then to abandon her. We began discharging her on the 5th, and having taken out her guns, victuals, gold, and every thing we could by the 8th, we set her adrift in lat. 25° N.

On the 6th October, the ships companies both of the Minion and Christopher being very weak, so as to be scarce able to keep the sea, we agreed to make for Vigo, which is frequented by many English ships; but having a fair wind for England on the 10th, we fired two shots to give notice to the Christopher of our intention, and immediately shaped our course homewards. She followed us, and we carried a light to direct her way; but it was so thick next morning that we could not see her, and as she was not seen all that day we concluded she had either shot ahead of us in the night or had bore up for Spain, for which reason we hoisted our top-sails and continued our course, being then 120 leagues from England and 45 leagues N.W. by W. from Cape Finister, having then only six mariners and six merchants in health. The 16th we had a great storm at W.S.W. by W. which came on about 6 P.M. and our men being very weak and unable to hand our sails, we that night lost our mainsail, foresail, and spritsail, and were obliged to lie hulling till the 18th, when we got up an old foresail; and finding ourselves now in the Channel, we bore up for the coast of England. In less than two hours the old foresail was blown from the yard by a spurt of wind, and we were again forced to lie to till the morning of the 19th, when we got up an old bonnet, or topsail, on the fore-yard, which by the blessing of God brought us to the Isle of Wight in the afternoon of the 20th.


Commodities most in request in Guinea, between Sierra Leone and the farthest extremity of the Mine or Gold Coast282.

MANILS of brass, and some of lead.

Basins of various sorts, but chiefly of latten.

Pots holding a quart or more, of coarse tin.

Some wedges of iron.

Margarites, and other low priced beads.

Some blue coral.

Some horse nails.

Linen cloth, principally.

Basins of Flanders.

Some low priced red cloth, and kersies.

Dutch kettles with brass handles.

Some large engraved brass basins, like those usually set upon their cupboards in Flanders.

Some large pewter basins and ewers, graven.

Some lavers for holding water.

Large low priced knives.

Slight Flemish caskets.

Low priced Rouen chests, or any other chests.

Large pins.

Coarse French coverlets.

Good store of packing sheets.

Swords, daggers, prize-mantles and gowns, cloaks, hats, red cans, Spanish blankets, axe heads, hammers, short pieces of iron, slight bells, low priced gloves, leather bags, and any other trifling articles you will.

SECTION VII. Notices of an intended Voyage to Guinea, in 1561283

In 1561, a voyage was projected to Guinea by Sir William Gerard, knight, in conjunction with Messrs William Hunter, Benjamin Gonson, Anthony Hickman, and Edward Castelin. Only one ship, the Minion, was to have gone, and seems to have been intended to assist and bring home the Primrose and Flower de Luce, then on the coast. The command of the Minion was to have been given to John Lok, probably the same person who made the Guinea voyage in 1554, already inserted. The adventurers sent the following articles of instruction to Mr Lok, dated 8th September 1561. But Lok declined undertaking the voyage for the following reasons, dated Bristol, 11th December 1561. 1. The Minion was so spent and rotten, as to be incapable of being put into a fit and safe condition for the voyage. 2. The season was too far gone to perform the voyage in safety. 3. He understood that four large Portuguese ships were in readiness to intercept him. 4. It was quite uncertain that he should meet the Primrose, which would have completed her voyage before he could get to the coast, or would have been obliged to quit the coast by that time for want of provisions. It will be seen in the succeeding section, that the Minion actually proceeded on her voyage; on the 25th February 1562, and the unsuccessful events of that voyage fully justify the refusal of Lok.


Remembrance for Mr Lok, at his Arrival on the Coast of Guinea.

When God shall bring you upon the coast of Guinea, you are to make yourself acquainted, as you proceed along the coast, with all its rivers, havens and harbours or roadsteads, making a plat or chart of the same, in which you are to insert every place that you think material, all in their true elevations. You will also diligently inquire what are the commodities to be procured it the several places you visit, and what wares are best calculated for their markets.

As it is believed that a fort on the coast of Mina or the Gold Coast of Guinea, in the King of Habaan's country, might be extremely useful, you are especially desired to consider where such a fort could be best placed, in which you will carefully note the following circumstances.

1. That the situation be adjoining to the sea on one side, so that ships and boats may conveniently load and unload-2. What is the nature of the soil in its neighbourhood?-3. What wood or timber may be had, and in what manner it may be carried?-4. What victuals are to be procured in the country, and what kinds of our victuals are best calculated for keeping there?-5. The place must be strong by nature, or capable of being made strong at small expence, and of being afterwards defended by a small number of men.-6. How water is to be procured, if none is to be had on the ground where the fort is to stand, or at least near it?-7. What help may be expected from the natives, either in building the fort, or in defending it afterwards?

You are to sound the King of Habaan at a distance as to the erection of a fort in his country, taking notice how he relishes the proposal; yet you will so manage your communication with him that he may not understand your meaning, although there may seem good cause for its erection.

You will search the country as far as you can, both along the coast and into the interior. You will likewise use your endeavours to learn what became of the merchants who were left at Benin. In all other important matters worthy of notice, we have no doubt that you will diligently inquire and report to us, which we leave to your good discretion. We also request, that you will aid and assist our factors on all occasions, both with your advice and otherwise; and thus God send you safely to return.

SECTION VIII. Voyage to Guinea in 1562, written by William Rutter284

This relation is said by Hakluyt to have been written by one William Rutter, to his master Anthony Hickman, being an account of a voyage to Guinea in 1562, fitted out by Sir William Gerard, Sir William Chester, Thomas Lodge, Anthony Hickman, and Edward Castelin. Three of these are named in the preceding section as adventurers in the voyage proposed to have gone under John Lok, and two of those former adventurers are here omitted, while two others seem now to have supplied their places, yet it appears to have been the same adventure, as the Minion was the ship employed, notwithstanding the unfavourable report made of her by Lok. But it would appear that the Primrose was likewise of this voyage, as this relation is contained in a letter from Rutter to his master, dated on board the Primrose, 16th of August 1563. –E.


Worshipful Sir,-My duty remembered, this shall serve to inform you of our voyage, since our departure from Dartmouth on the 25th February 1562, of which I then gave you notice. Having prosperous wind, we arrived at Cape Verd on the 20th of March, whence we sailed along the coast, to our first appointed port at Rio de Sestos, where we arrived on the morning of the 3d April. We here saw a French ship, which immediately made sail to leeward, and we came to anchor in the road. While we merchants were on shore engaged in traffic, the French ship returned and hailed [saluted] our ship with his ordnance. We were informed by the negroes that the Frenchman had been trading there for three days before our arrival, and we concluded, if he sent his boat on shore again for trade, that we would not suffer him till we had conferred with his captain and merchants. Accordingly his pinnace came on shore in the afternoon, but we desired them not to trade till we had spoken with their captain and merchants, whom we desired might come that night on board our admiral for that purpose. They did so accordingly, when Mr Burton and John Munt went on board the Minion, where the Frenchmen were, and it was determined that they should wait eight days beside us, allowing us to trade quietly the while. They were much dissatisfied with this arrangement, and sailed next morning eastwards to the Rio de Potos, on purpose to hinder our trade on the coast.

In consequence of this the merchants, both of the Minion and our ship, determined to go on before them, understanding that no other ships had gone that way before this season, and that our trade might not be interrupted by the French ship. We did so accordingly, and found the Frenchman trading to the westward at Rio de Potos, on which we passed them, and came to Rio de Potos on the 12th of April, where we remained trading till the 15th, when we departed with the Primrose for the river St Andrew, where we agreed to wait for the Minion. We arrived at that river on the 17th, and the Minion came to us that same day, saying that they had met with a great ship and a caravel, belonging to the king of Portugal, off cape Palmas, bound for the Mina, which had chased them, and shot many guns at them, which the Minion had returned in her defence. God be praised the Minion had no harm at that time. We then concluded to hasten to cape Three-points, to endeavour to intercept them on their way to the castle. We lay to off the cape for two days and a night, and suspecting they were past, the Minion went in shore and sent her boats to a place called Anta, where we had formerly traded. Next morning, the 21st of April, we again saw the ship and caravel to seaward, when we immediately made sail, endeavouring to get between them and the castle, but to our great grief they got to the castle before us, when they shot freely at us and we at them, but as they had the aid of the castle against us we profited little.

We set sail in the afternoon, and came to the town of Don Juan, called Equi, where, on the morning of the 22d, we went ashore to trade: But the negroes refused till they should hear from Don Luis the son of Don Juan, who was now dead. On the 23d Don Luis and Pacheco came to Equi, intending to trade with us; but two gallies came rowing along shore from the castle of Mina, meaning to interrupt our trade. We made sail on the 24th, and chased the gallies back to the castle, at which the negroes were much pleased; but they desired us to proceed to Mowre, about three leagues farther on, where they promised to follow us, being in fear of the Portuguese. We did so, and remained there waiting for the merchants who were coming with gold from the country, but Antonio, the son of Don Luis, and Pacheco were on board the Minion. In the morning of the 25th the two gallies came again from the castle, the weather being very calm, and shot at us, hitting us three times. Shortly after the land-wind sprung up, at which time we observed the great ship and the caravel making towards us, on which we weighed and made sail to attack them; but it was night before we could get up with them, and we lost sight of them in the night. While returning towards the coast next night we agreed to proceed to Cormantin; and next morning, the 28th, we found ourselves very near the large ship and the two gallies, the caravel being close in-shore. It being very calm, the two gallies rowed towards the stern of the Minion, and fought with her most part of the forenoon. During the engagement a barrel of powder blew up in the steward room of the Minion, by which misfortune the master-gunner, the steward, and most of the gunners were sore hurt. On perceiving this, the gallies became more fierce, and with one shot cut half through the Minions foremast, so that she could bear no sail till that were repaired. Soon after this, the great ship sent her boat to the gallies, which suddenly withdrew.

After their departure we went on board the Minion to consult what was best to be done: As the Minion was sore discomfited by the accident, and as we knew the negroes durst not trade with us so long as the gallies were upon the coast, it was agreed to return to the Rio Sestos. In the morning of the 14th of May we fell in with the land, and being uncertain whereabout we were, the boats were sent on shore to learn the truth, when it was found to be the Rio Barbas. We remained there taking in water till the 21st, and lost five of our men by the Hack pinnace over-setting. Departing on the 22d, we came to the Rio Sestos on the 2d of June. We again set sail on the 4th, and arrived this day, the 6th of August, within sight of the Start Point in the west of England, for which God be praised. We are very side and weak, not having above twenty men in both ships, able for duty. Of our men 21 have died, and many more are sore hurt or sick. Mr Burton has been sick for six weeks, and is now so very weak that, unless God strengthen him, I fear he will hardly escape. Your worship will find inclosed an abstract of all the goods we have sold, and also of what commodities we have received for them; reserving all things else till our meeting, and to the bearer of this letter.

In this voyage there were brought home, in 1563, 166 elephants teeth, weighing 1758 libs, and 22 buts full of grains, or Guinea pepper.

SECTION IX. Supplementary Account of the foregoing Voyage285

An account of the preceding voyage to Guinea in 1563, of which this section is an abstract, was written in verse by Robert Baker, who appears to have been one of the factors employed by the adventurers. It is said to have been written in prison in France, where he had been carried on his subsequent voyage, which forms the subject of the next section, and was composed at the importunity of his fellow traveller and fellow-prisoner, Mr George Gage, the son of Sir Edward Gage. Of this voyage he relates nothing material, except a conflict which happened with the negroes at a certain river, the name of which is not mentioned; neither does the foregoing relation by Rutter give any light into the matter. But from the circumstance of the ship commencing her return for England immediately after this adventure, it must have happened at the river Sestos or Sestre, which was the last place they touched at, and where they staid three days, as stated both in this and the proceeding narratives.-Astl. I. 179.

In the versified relation, which is to be found at large in the last edition of Hakluyts Collection, London, 1810, Vol. II. p.518-523, he complains of being detained in a French prison, against all law and right, as the war between England and France was concluded by a peace. The account given of this conflict with the negroes is to the following effect-E.

One day while the ship was at anchor on the coast of Guinea, Baker ordered out the small pinnace or boat, with nine men well armed, to go on shore to traffic. At length, having entered a river, he saw a great number of negroes, whose captain came to him stark naked, sitting in a canoe made of a log, like a trough to feed hogs in. Stopping, at some distance, the negro chief put water on his cheek, not caring to trust himself nearer till Baker did the like. This signal of friendship being answered, and some tempting merchandize being shewn him, the chief came forward and intimated by signs, that he would stand their friend if some of these things were given him. He was gratified, and many things given to others of the natives. After trading all day with the negroes, Baker returned at night to the ship, carrying the chief along with him, where he clothed him and treated him kindly. In return the chief promised by signs to freight them in a day or two. While on board, Baker observed that the chief took much notice of the boat which was left astern, of the ship loaded with goods; yet not suspecting he had any ill design, no farther care or precaution was taken of the boat.

Next morning the chief was carried on shore, and trade or barter went on with the negroes as on the day before; and at the return of Baker to the ship, the boat was fastened to the stern, and the goods left in her as usual. In the night the negro captain came with two or three canoes, and was noticed by the watch to be very busy about the boat. On giving the alarm, the negroes fled; but on hoisting up the boat, all the goods were carried of. Vexed at being so tricked, the English went next morning up the river to the negro town, in order to recover their goods; but all their signs were to no purpose, as the negroes would neither understand them nor acknowledge the theft. On the contrary, as if wronged by the charge, and resolved to revenge the affront, they followed the English down the river in 100 canoes, while as many appeared farther down ready to intercept their passage. In each canoe were two men armed with targets and darts, most of which had long strings to draw them back again after they were thrown.

Being hard pressed, they discharged their arquebuses upon the negroes, who leapt into the water to avoid the shot. The English then rowed with all their might to get to sea; but the negroes getting again into their canoes, pursued and overtook them. Then drawing near, poured in their darts with accurate aim. The English kept them off with their pikes and halberts, and many of the negroes being slain or wounded by the English arrows and hail-shot from the arquebuses, they retreated. But when the English had expended all their arrows, the negroes came on again, and made many attempts to board the boat. The negro chief, who was a large tall man, advanced in his canoe under cover of his target, with a poisoned dart in his hand, in order to board; and as he pressed forward, the masters-mate thrust a pike through his target and throat, which dispatched him. While the mate was striving to disengage his pike, which stuck fast in the shield, he was wounded by a dart; yet drew the dart from his flesh and killed with it the negro who had wounded him. The enemy continued the fight closer than ever, and did great mischief with their darts, which made wide and grievous wounds. The gunner received two desperate wounds, and lost a great deal of blood, and the brave masters-mate, while standing firmly in his post, was struck through the ribs by a dart, on pulling out which his bowels followed, and he fell down dead. On perceiving this, the negroes gave a great shout, and pressed to enter the boat where the mate had stood, imagining as so many of the English were wounded they would now soon yield. But four of those remaining in the pinnace kept them off with their pikes, while the other four at the oars made the best of their way to sea.

At length they got out of the river, and the negroes retired having expended all their darts. This was fortunate for the English, as six of the remaining eight were desperately wounded, one of whom was Robert Baker, the author of this narrative, and only two remained who were able to handle the oars, so that they made very slow progress to the ship, which appears to have been four leagues from the shore. When they got on board they were all so faint that none of them were able to stand. After having their wounds dressed they refreshed themselves; but as Robert Baker had more occasion for rest than food he went to bed, and when he awoke in the morning the ship was under sail for England.

SECTION X. Voyage to Guinea in 1563 by Robert Baker286

This relation, like the former, is written in verse, and only contains a description of two adventures that happened in the voyage, one of which proved extremely calamitous to those concerned in it, among whom was the author. From the title or preamble, we learn that the adventurers in this voyage were Sir William Gerard, Sir William Chester, Sir Thomas Lodge, Benjamin Gonson, William Winter, Lionel Ducket, Anthony Hickman, and Edward Castelin. There were two ships employed, one called the John Baptist, of which Lawrence Rondell was master, and the other the Merlin, Robert Revell master. The factors were Robert Baker, the author, Justinian Goodwine, James Gliedell, and George Gage. They set out on their voyage in November 1563, bound for Guinea and the river Sestos, but the port whence they fitted out is nowhere mentioned. After the unlucky disaster that befel him in Guinea in the year before, Baker had made a kind of poetical vow not to go near that country any more; but after his return to England, and recovery from his wounds, he soon forgot past sorrows; and being invited to undertake the voyage in quality of factor, he consented.-Astley.

After we had been at sea two days and a night, the man from the main-top descried a sail or two, the tallest of which they immediately made up to, judging her to be the most valuable; and, as captains are in use to do287, I hailed her to know whence she was. She answered from France, on which we waved her, but she nothing dismayed, waved us in return. I immediately ordered armed men aloft into the main and fore-tops, and caused powder to be laid on the poop to blow up the enemy if they should board us that way. At the sound of trumpets we began the fight, discharging both chain and bar-shot from our brazen artillery; while the Frenchmen, flourishing their swords from the main-yard, called out to us to board their ship. Willing to accept their invitation, we plied them warmly with our cannon, and poured in flights of arrows, while our arquebuses plied them from loop-holes, and we endeavoured to set their sails on fire by means of arrows and pikes carrying wildfire. I encouraged, the men to board, by handing spiced wine liberally among them, which they did with lime-pots, after breaking their nets with stones, while those of our men who were aloft entered the enemys tops, after killing those who defended them. Then cutting the ropes, they brought down the yard by the board, and those who entered the ship plied the enemy so well with their swords, that at length the remaining Frenchmen ran below deck and cried out for quarter. Having thus become masters of the ship, we carried her to the Groin in Spain, or Corunna, where we sold the ship and cargo for ready money.

After this we proceeded on our voyage and arrived in Guinea. One day about noon, I went with eight more in a boat towards the shore to trade, meaning to dispatch my business and be back before night. But when we had got near the shore, a furious tempest sprung up, accompanied with rain and thunder, which drove the ships from their anchors out to sea; while we in the boat were forced to run along the coast in search of some place for shelter from the storm, but meeting none, had to remain all night near the shore, exposed to the thunder, rain, and wind in great jeopardy. We learnt afterwards that the ships returned next day in search of us, while we rowed forward along the coast, supposing the ships were before us, and always anxiously looked out for them; but the mist was so great that we could never see them nor they us. The ships continued, as we were told afterwards, looking out for us for two or three days; after which, concluding that we had inevitably perished in the storm, they made the best of their way for England.

Having been three days in great distress for want of food, we at length landed on the coast and exchanged some of our wares with the negroes for roots and such other provisions as they had, and then put to sea again in search of the ships, which we still supposed were before us or to leeward, wherefore we went down the coast to the eastwards. We continued in this manner ranging along shore for twelve days, seeing nothing but thick woods and deserts, full of wild beasts, which often appeared and came in crowds at sunset to the sea shore, where they lay down or played on the sand, sometimes plunging into the water to cool themselves. At any other time it would have been diverting to see how archly the elephants would fill their trucks with water, which they spouted out upon the rest. Besides deer, wild boars, and antelopes, we saw many other wild beasts, such as I had never seen before.

We often saw a man or two on the shore, who on seeing us used to come off in their almadias or canoes; when casting anchor we offered such wares as we had in the boat for fish and fresh water, or provisions of their cooking, and in this way we procured from them roots and the fruit of the palm tree, and some of their wine, which is the juice of a tree and is of the colour of whey. Sometimes we got wild honeycombs; and by means of these and other things we relieved our hunger; but nothing could relieve our grief, fatigue and want of sleep, and we were so sore depressed by the dreadful situation in which we were placed, that we were ready to die, and were reduced to extreme weakness. Having lost all hope of rejoining the ships, which we now concluded were either lost or gone homewards, we knew not how to conduct ourselves. We were in a strange and distant country, inhabited by a people whose manners and customs were entirely different from ours; and to attempt getting home in an open boat destitute of every necessary was utterly impossible. By this time we found we had passed to leeward of Melegete or the grain coast, and had got to the Mina or gold coast of Guinea, as the negroes who now came on board spoke some Portuguese, and brought off their weights and scales for the purpose of trade, asking where were our ships. To this we answered, in hopes of being the better treated, that we had two ships at sea, which would be with them in a day or two.

We now consulted together how they should best proceed. If we continued at sea in our boat, exposed by day to the burning heat of the sun which sensibly consumed us by copious perspiration, and to the frequent tornadoes or hurricanes by night, accompanied with thunder, lightning and rain; which deprived us of all rest, we could not possibly long hold out. We were often three days without a morsel of food; and having sat for twenty days continually in our boat, we were in danger of losing the use of our limbs for want of exercise, and our joints were so swollen by the scurvy, that we could hardly stand upright. It was not possible for us to remain much longer in the boat in our present condition, so that it was necessary to come to some resolution, and we had only three things to choose. The first was to repair to the castle of St George del Mina, which was not far off, and give ourselves up to the Portuguese who were Christians, if we durst trust them or expect the more humanity on that account. Even the worst that could happen to us from them was to be hanged out of our misery; yet possibly they might have some mercy on us, as nine young men such as we were might be serviceable in their gallies, and if made galley slaves for life we should have victuals enough to enable us to tug at the oar, whereas now we had both to row and starve.

The next alternative was to throw ourselves upon the mercy of the negroes, which I stated was very hopeless and discouraging, as I did not see what favour could be expected from a beastly savage people, whose condition was worse than that of slaves, and who possibly might be cannibals. It was likewise difficult for us to conform ourselves to their customs, so opposite to ours; and, we could not be expected, having always lived on animal food, to confine ourselves to roots and herbs like the negroes, which are the food of wild beasts. Besides, having been always accustomed to the use of clothes, we could not for shame go naked. Even if we could get the better of that prejudice, our bodies would be grievously tormented and emaciated by the scorching heat of the sun, for want of that covering and defence to which we had been accustomed. The only other course was to stay at sea in the boat, and die miserably. Being determined to run any risk at land, rather than to continue pent up in a narrow boat, exposed to all the inclemencies of the weather day and night, and liable to be famished for want of victuals, I gave it as my opinion that we had better place confidence in the Christian Portuguese than in the negroes who lived like so many brutes. We how determined to throw ourselves on the mercy of the Portuguese, and hoisting sail shaped our course for the castle of St George del Mina; which was not above 20 leagues distant. We went on all day without stopping till late at night, when we perceived a light on shore. Concluding that this might be a place of trade, our boatswain proposed to cast anchor at this place, in hopes that we might be able to procure provisions next morning in exchange for some of our wares. This was agreed upon, and on going next morning near the shore we saw a watchhouse upon a rock, in the place whence the light had proceeded during the night, and near the watchhouse a large black cross was erected. This made us doubtful whereabout we were, and on looking farther we perceived a castle which perplexed us still more288.

Our doubts were quickly solved by the appearance of some Portuguese, one of whom held a white flag in his hand which he waved as inviting us to come on shore. Though we were actually bound in quest of the Portuguese, yet our hearts now failed us, and we tacked about to make from the shore. On being seen from the castle, a gun was fired at us by a negro, the ball from which fell within a yard of our boat. At length we turned towards the shore to which we rowed, meaning to yield ourselves up; but to our great surprise, the nearer we came to the shore the more did the Portuguese fire at us; and though the bullets fell thick about us we continued to advance till we got close under the castle wall, when we were out of danger from their cannon. We now determined to land in order to try the courtesy of the Portuguese, but were presently assailed by showers of stones from the castle: wall, and saw a number of negroes marching down to the beach with their darts and targets, some of them having bows and poisoned arrows. Their attack was very furious, partly from heavy stones falling into the boat which threatened to break holes in her bottom, as well as from flights of arrows which came whizzing about our ears, and even wounded some of us: Therefore being in desperation, we pushed off from the shore to return to sea, setting four of our men to row, while the other five determined to repay some part of the civility we had received, and immediately handled our fire-arms and bows. We employed these at first against the negroes on the beach, some of whom soon dropped; and then against the Portuguese who stood on the walls dressed in long white-shirts and linstocks in their hands, many of which were dyed red by means of the English arrows. We thus maintained our ground a long while, fighting at our leisure, regardless of the threats of the enemy, as we saw they had no gallies to send out to make us prisoners. When we had sufficiently revenged their want of hospitality, we rowed off, and though we knew that we must pass through another storm of bullets from the castle, we escaped without damage.

When we got out to sea, we saw three negroes rowing after us in an almadia, who came to inquire to what country we belonged, speaking good Portuguese. We told them we were Englishmen, and said we had brought wares to trade with them if they had not used us so ill. As the negroes inquired where our ship was, we said we had two at sea well equipped, which would soon come to the coast to trade for gold, and that we only waited their return. The negroes then pretended to be sorry for what had happened, and intreated us to remain where we were for that day, and promised to bring us whatever we were in want of. But placing no confidence in their words, we asked what place that was, and being answered that it was a Portuguese castle at the western head-land of Cape Three-points, we hoisted sail and put to sea, to look out for some more friendly place.

We now resolved to have no more reliance on the kindness of the Portuguese, of which we had thus sufficient experience, and to make trial of the hospitality of the negroes; for which purpose we sailed back about 30 leagues along the coast, and coming to anchor, some natives came off to the boat, to all of whom we gave presents. By this we won their hearts, and the news of such generous strangers being on the coast soon brought the kings son to our boat. On his arrival, I explained our sad case to him as well as I could by signs, endeavouring to make him understand that we were quite forlorn, having been abandoned by our ships, and being almost famished for want of food, offering him all the goods in our boat if he would take us under his protection and relieve our great distress. The negro chief was moved even to tears, and bid us be comforted. He went then on shore to know his fathers pleasure regarding us, and returning presently invited us to land. This was joyful news to us all, and we considered him as a bountiful benefactor raised up to us by the goodness of Providence. We accordingly fell to our oars in all haste to pull on shore, where at least 500 negroes were waiting our arrival; but on coming near shore the surf ran so high that the boat overset, on which the negroes plunged immediately into the water and brought us all safe on shore. They even preserved the boat and all that was in her, some swimming after the oars, and others diving for the goods that had sunk. After this they hauled the boat on shore and brought every thing that belonged to us, not daring to detain the most trifling article, so much were they in awe of the kings son, who was a stout and valiant man, and having many excellent endowments.

They now brought us such provisions as they used themselves, and being very hungry we fed heartily, the negroes all the while staring at us with much astonishment, as the common people are used to do in England at strange outlandish creatures. Notwithstanding all this apparent humanity and kindness, we were still under great apprehensions of the negroes, all of whom were armed with darts. That night we lay upon the ground among the negroes, but never once closed our eyes, tearing they might kill us while asleep. Yet we received no hurt from them, and for two days fared well; but finding the ships did not come for us, as they expected would soon have been the case, when likewise they looked to have had a large quantity of goods distributed among them in reward for their hospitality, they soon became weary of us; and after lessening our allowance from day to day, they at length left us to shift for ourselves. In this forlorn state, we had to range about the woods in search of fruits and roots, which last we had to dig from the ground with our fingers for want of any instruments. Hunger had quite abated the nicety of our palates, and we were glad to feed on every thing we could find that was eatable. Necessity soon reconciled us to going naked, for our clothes becoming rotten with our sweat fell from our backs by degrees, so that at length we had scarcely rags left to cover our nakedness. We were not only forced to provide ourselves in food, but had to find fuel and utensils to dress it. We made a pot of clay dried in the sun, in which we boiled our roots, and roasted the berries in the embers, feasting every evening on these varieties. At night we slept on the bare ground, making a great fire round us to scare away the wild beasts.

What with the entire change in our manner of living, and the heat and unhealthiness of the climate, our people sickened apace; and in a short time our original number of nine was reduced to three. To those who died it was a release from misery, but we who remained were rendered more forlorn and helpless than before. At length, when we had abandoned all hopes of relief, a French ship arrived on the coast, which took us on board and carried us to France, which was then at war with England, where we were detained prisoners.

A prisner therefore I remaine,

And hence I cannot slip

Till that my ransome be

Agreed upon and paid:

Which being levied yet so hie,

No agreement can be made.

And such is lo my chance,

The meane time to abide;

A prisner for ransome in France,

Till God send time and tide.

From whence this idle rime

To England I do send:

And thus, till I have further time,

This tragedie I end.

SECTION XI. A Voyage to Guinea, in 1564:, by Captain David Carlet289

At a meeting of merchant adventurers, held at the house of Sir William Gerard, on the 11th July 1564, for setting forth a voyage to Guinea, the following chief adventurers were present, Sir William Gerard, Sir William Chester, Sir Thomas Lodge, Anthony Hickman, and John Castelin. It was then agreed that Francis Ashbie should be sent to Deptford for his letters to Peter Pet, to go about rigging of the Minion at the charges of the queens majesty, after which Francis Ashbie was to repair with these letters to Gillingham, with money to supply our charges there.

It was also agreed that every one of the five partners shall forthwith call upon their partners to supply, towards this new rigging and victualling L.29, 10s. 6d., for every L.100 value. Also that every one of the five partners shall forthwith bring in L.50, towards the furniture of the premises. Likewise, if Mr Gonson give his consent that the Merlin shall be brought round from Bristol to Hampton, that a letter shall be drawn under his hand, before order be given in the same.

The ships employed in this voyage were, the Minion belonging to the queen, David Carlet, captain, the John Baptist of London, and the Merlin belonging to Mr Gonson. The success of this voyage in part appears by certain brief relations extracted out of the second voyage of Sir John Hawkins to the West Indies, made in the year 1564, which I have thought good to set down for want of more direct information, which hitherto I have not been able to procure notwithstanding every possible endeavour290.


Sir John, then only Mr Hawkins, departed from Plymouth with a prosperous wind for the West Indies, on the 18th of October 1564, having under his command the Jesus of Lubec of 700 tons, the Salomon of 140 tons, a bark named the Tiger of 50 tons, and a pinnace called the Swallow of 30 tons, having in all 170 men, well supplied with ordnance and provisions for such a voyage. While casting loose the foresail, one of the officers in the Jesus was killed by the fall of a block, giving a sorrowful beginning to the expedition. After getting ten leagues out to sea, they fell in with the Minion, a ship belonging to the queen, of which David Carlet was captain, and her consort the John Baptist of London; which two ships were bound for Guinea. The two squadrons, as they may be called, saluted each other with some pieces of ordnance, after the custom of the sea; after which the Minion parted company to seek her other consort the Merlin of London, which was out of sight astern, leaving the John Baptist in company with Hawkins.

Continuing their voyage with a prosperous wind until the 21st, a great storm arose at N.E. about 9 o'clock at night, which continued 23 hours, in which storm Hawkins lost sight of the John Baptist and of his pinnace called the Swallow, the other three ships being sore tossed by the tempest. To his great joy the Swallow joined company again in the night, 10 leagues to the north of Cape Finister, having been obliged to go roomer, as she was unable to weather that cape against a strong contrary wind at S.W. On the 25th, the wind still continuing contrary, he put into Ferol in Galicia, where he remained five days, and gave out proper instructions to the masters of the other ships for keeping company during the rest of the voyage.

On the 26th of the month the Minion came into Ferol, on which Mr Hawkins saluted her with some guns, according to the custom of the sea, as a welcome for her safe arrival: But the people of the Minion were not in the humour of rejoicing, on account of the misfortune which had happened to their consort the Merlin, whom they had gone to seek on the coast of England when they parted from Mr Hawkins. Having met with her, they kept company for two days; when, by the negligence of one of the gunners of the Merlin, the powder in her gun-room took fire, by which her stern was blown out and three of her men lost, besides many sore hurt, who saved their lives in consequence of their brigantine being at her stern; for the Merlin immediately sunk, to the heavy loss of the owners and great grief of the beholders.

On the 30th of the month, Mr Hawkins and his ships, together with the Minion and her remaining consort the John Baptist, set sail in the prosecution of their voyage with a prosperous gale, the Minion having both brigantines at her stern. The 4th of November they had sight of Madeira, and the 6th of Tenerife, which they thought to have been grand Canary, as they reckoned themselves to the east of Tenerife, but were not. The Minion and her consort, being 3 or 4 leagues a head of the ships of Mr Hawkins, kept the course for Tenerife, of which they had a better view than the other ships, and by that means they parted company.

Hawkins and his ships continued his voyage by Cape Verd and Sierra Leone, after which he crossed the Atlantic ocean and came to the town of Burboroata on the coast of the Terra Firma in the West Indies, or South America; where he afterwards received information of the unfortunate issue of the Guinea voyage, in the following manner. While at anchor in the outer road on the 29th of April 1565, a French ship came in called the Green Dragon of Newhaven, of which one Bon-temps was captain, which saluted the English squadron after the custom of the sea, and was saluted in return. This ship had been at the Mina, or Gold coast of Guinea, whence she had been driven off by the Portuguese gallies, and obliged to make for the Terra Firma to endeavour to sell her wares. She informed that the Minion had been treated in the same manner; and that the captain, David Carlet, with a merchant or factor and twelve mariners, had been treacherously made prisoners by the negroes on their arrival on that coast, and remained in the hands of the Portuguese; besides which they had lost others of their men through the want of fresh water, and were in great doubts of being able to get home the ships291.


Note. –It may not be improper to state in this place, that no ship need be reduced to utter distress for want of fresh water at sea; as distilled sea water is perfectly fresh and wholesome. For this purpose, all ships bound on voyages of any length, ought to have a still head worm and cooler adapted to the cooking kettle, to be used when needed, by which abundance of fresh water may always be secured while cooking the ships provisions, sufficient to preserve the lives of the crew. In default of that useful appendage, a still may be easily constructed for the occasion, by means of the pitch kettle, a reversed tea kettle for a head, and a gun barrel fixed to the spout of the tea kettle, the breach pin being screwed out, and the barrel either soldered to the spout, or fixed by a paste of flour, soap and water, tied round with rags and twine. The tea kettle and gun barrel are to be kept continually wet by means of swabs and sea water, to cool and condense the steam. This distilled water is at first vapid and nauseous, both to the taste and the stomach; but by standing open for some time, especially if agitated in contact with air, or by pumping air through it, as is commonly done to sweeten putrid water, this unpleasant and nauseous vapidness is soon removed.

The nautical world owes this excellent discovery, of distilled sea water being perfectly fresh, to the late excellent and ingenious Dr James Lino, first physician to the general hospital of the navy at Haslar near Portsmouth during the American war, the author of two admirable works, on the Scurvy, and the Means of Preserving the Health of Seamen during long voyages, to which the British navy, and seamen in general, owe inestimable advantages. The editor, while giving this useful hint to seamen engaged on long voyages, is happy in having an opportunity of bearing this feeble testimony of honourable respect to the friend of his youth, under whom he had the happiness and advantage of serving, in that magnificent asylum of the brave defenders of the glory and prosperity of our king and country, for the last three years of the American war. Besides being an eminent and experienced physician, Dr Lind was a man of exemplary humanity, and of uncommon urbanity and singleness of manners: He was truly the seaman's friend. The rules and expedients which he devised and proposed, founded on the solid basis, of observation and experience, for Preserving the Health of Seamen on long voyages, were afterwards employed and perfected by the great navigator and discoverer COOK, and by his pupils and followers; and are now universally established in our glorious navy, to the incalculable advantage of the service.

In high northern or southern latitudes, solid clear ice melted affords good fresh water, the first runnings being thrown away as contaminated by adhering sea water. White cellular ice is quite unfit for the purpose, being strongly impregnated with salt. In future articles of our work, several opportunities will occur in which these two expedients for supplying ships with fresh water will be amply detailed. But on the present opportunity, it seemed proper to mention these easy and effectual expedients for preserving the health and lives of seamen, when in want of fresh water by the ordinary means. –Ed.

SECTION XII. A Voyage to Guinea and the Cape de Verd Islands in 1566, by George Fenner292

Three ships were employed on this voyage, the admiral, called the Castle of Comfort, George Fenner general293 of the expedition, and William Bats master; the May-Flower, vice-admiral, William Courtise master; the George, John Heiwood captain, and John Smith of Hampton master; besides a small pinnace. Walter Wren, the writer of the narrative, belonged to the George.

We departed from Plymouth on the 10th December 1566, and were abreast of Ushant on the 12th. On the 15th we got sight of Cape Finister, and lost company of our admiral that night, for which reason we sailed along the coast of Portugal, hoping our admiral might be before us. Meeting a French ship on the 18th and getting no intelligence of our admiral, we made sail for the Canaries, and fell in with the island of Tenerife on the 28th, where we came to anchor in a small bay, at which there were three or four small houses, about a league from the town of Santa Cruz. In this island there is a marvellous high hill called the Peak, and although it is in lat. 28° N. where the air is as warm in January as it is in England at midsummer, the top of this hill, to which no man has ever been known to ascend, is seldom free from snow even in the middle of summer. On the 3d January 1567, we departed from this place, going round the western point of the island, about 12 or 14 leagues from Santa Cruz, and came into a bay right over against the house of one Pedro de Souza, where we came to anchor on the 5th, and heard that our admiral had been there at anchor seven days before us, and had gone thence to the island of Gomera, to which place we followed him, and coming to anchor on the 6th over against the town of Gomera, we found our admiral at anchor to our great mutual satisfaction. We found here Edward Cooke in a tall ship, and a ship of the coppersmiths of London, which had been treacherously seized by the Portuguese in the bay of Santa Cruz on the coast of Barbary, or Morocco, which ship we left there all spoiled. At this place we bought 14 buts of wine for sea stores, at 15 ducats a but, which had been offered to us at Santa Cruz for 8, 9, or 10 ducats. The 9th we went to another bay about three leagues off, where we took in fresh water; and on the 10th we sailed for Cape Blanco on the coast of Africa.

The 12th we came to a bay to eastwards of Cape Pargos, (Barbas? ) which is 35 leagues from Cape Blanco, but being unacquainted with that part of the coast, we proceeded to Cape Blanco, off which we had 16 fathoms two leagues from shore, the land being very low and all white sand. At this place it is necessary to beware of going too near shore, as when in 12 or 10 fathoms you may be aground within two or three casts of the lead. Directing our course on the 17th S. and S. by E. we fell into a bay about 16 leagues east of Cape Verd, where the land seemed like a great number of ships under sail, owing to its being composed of a great number of hummocks, some high some low, with high trees upon them. When within three leagues of the land we sounded and had 28 fathoms over a ground of black ouze. This day we saw much fish in sundry sculs or shoals, swimming with their noses at the surface. Passing along this coast we saw two small round hills about a league from the other, forming a cape, and between them great store of trees, and in all our sailing we never saw such high land as these two hills. The 19th we came to anchor at the cape in a road, fast by the western side of two hills294, where we rode in 10 fathoms, though we might safely have gone into five or six fathoms, as the ground is good and the wind always blows from the shore.

At this place some of our officers and merchants went on shore with the boat unarmed, to the number of about 20 persons, among whom were Mr George Fenner the general, his brother Edward Fenner, Thomas Valentine, John Worme, and Francis Leigh, merchants, John Haward, William Bats, Nicholas Day, John Thomson, and several others. At their coming on shore they were met by above 100 negroes armed with bows and arrows. After some talk pledges were interchanged, five of the English being delivered into their hands, and three negroes taken on board the admirals skiff. Our people mentioned the merchandize they had brought, being linen and woolen cloth, iron, cheese, and other articles; on which the negroes said that they had civet, musk, gold, and grains to give in exchange, with which our people were well pleased. The negroes desired to see our merchandize, on which one of the boats was sent back to the ships, while our general and merchants remained in the other with the three negroe pledges, our five men walking about on shore among the negroes. On the return of the boat from the ship with goods, bread, wine, and cheese were distributed among the natives. At this time two of the negroe pledges, on pretence of sickness, were allowed to go on shore, promising to send two others in their stead. On perceiving this, Captain Haiward began to dread some perfidy, and retreated towards the boat, followed by two or three negroes, who stopped him from going on board, and made signs for him to bring them more bread and wine, and when he would have stepped into the boat, one of them caught him by the breeches, but he sprung from him and leapt into the boat. As soon as he was in, one of the negroes on shore began to blow a pipe, on which the negroe pledge who remained in the boat, suddenly drew Mr Wormes sword, cast himself into the sea and swam on shore. The negroes immediately laid hands on our men that were on shore, and seized three of them with great violence, tore their clothes from their backs, and left them nothing to cover them. Then many of them shot so thick at our men in the boats that they could scarcely handle their oars, yet by God's help they got the boats away, though many of them were hurt by the poisoned arrows. This poison is incurable, if the arrow pierce the skin so as to draw blood, except the poison be immediately sucked out, or the part hurt be cut out forthwith; otherwise the wounded man inevitably dies in four days. Within three hours after any part of the body is hurt, or even slightly pricked, although it be the little toe, the poison reaches the heart, and affects the stomach with excessive vomiting, so that the person can take neither meat nor drink.

The persons seized in this treacherous manner by the negroes were Nicholas Day, William Bats, and John Thomson, who were led away to a town about a mile from the shore. The 20th we sent a boat on shore with eight persons, among whom was the before-mentioned John Thomson295 and our interpreter, who was a Frenchman, as one of the negroes spoke good French. They carried with them two arquebuses, two targets, and a mantell? and were directed to learn what ransom the negroes demanded for Bats and Day whom they detained. On coming to the shore and telling the negroes the nature of their errand, Bats and Day were brought from among some trees quite loose, but surrounded by some 40 or 50 negroes. When within a stone's throw of the beach, Bats broke suddenly from them and ran as fast as he could into the sea towards the boat; but immediately on getting into the water he fell, so that the negroes retook him, violently tearing off his clothes. After this some of the negroes carried our two men back to the town, while the rest began to shoot at our people in the boat with their poisoned arrows, and wounded one of our men in the small of the leg, who had nearly died in spite of every thing our surgeons could do for him. Notwithstanding this unjustifiable conduct, our general sent another message to the negroes, offering any terms they pleased to demand as ransom for our men. But they gave for answer, that three weeks before we came an English ship had forcibly carried off three of their people, and unless we brought or sent them back we should not have our men, though we gave our three ships and all their lading. On the 21st a French ship, of 80 tons came to the place where we were, intending to trade with the negroes, and seeing that the Frenchmen were well received by the natives, our general told them of our two men being detained, and wished them to endeavour to procure their release, promising L.100 to the Frenchmen if they succeeded. We then committed this affair to the management of the Frenchmen, and departed. Of our men who were hurt by the poisoned arrows, four died, and one had to have his arm cut off to save his life. Andrews, who was last hurt, lay long lame and unable to help himself, and only two recovered.

While between Cape Verd and Bonavista on the 26th, we saw many flying fishes of the size of herrings, two of which fell into the boat which we towed at our stern. The 28th we fell in with Bonavista, one of the Cape de Verd islands, which is 86 leagues from that cape. The north side of that island is full of white sandy hills and dales, being somewhat high land. That day we came to anchor about a league within the western point, in ten fathoms upon fine sand, but it is quite safe to go nearer in five or six fathoms, as the ground is every where good. The 30th we went into a bay within a small island about a league from our first anchorage, where we took plenty of various kinds of fish. Whoever means to anchor in this bay may safely do so in four or five fathoms off the south point of the small island; but must beware of the middle of the bay, where there is a ledge of rocks on which the sea breaks at low water, although then they are covered by three fathoms water. The last day of January, our general went on shore in the bay to some houses, where he found twelve Portuguese, the whole island not having more than 30 inhabitants, who were all banished men, some condemned to more years of exile and some to less, and among them was a simple man who was their captain. They live on goat's flesh, cocks and hens, with fresh water, having no other food except fish, which they do not care for, neither indeed have they any boats wherewith to catch them. They told us that this island had been granted by the king of Portugal to one of his gentlemen, who had let it at 100 ducats of yearly rent, which was paid by the profit on goats skins, of which 40,000 had been sent from that island to Portugal in one year. These men made us very welcome, entertaining us as well as they could, giving us the carcasses of as many he-goats as we pleased, and even aided us in taking them, bringing them down for us from the mountains on their asses. They have great store of oil procured from tortoises, which are fishes that swim in the sea, having shells on their backs as large as targets. It only rains in this island for three months in every year, from the middle of July to the middle of October; and the climate is always very hot. Cows have been brought here, but owing to the heat and drought they always died.

We left Bonavista, or Buenavista, on the 3d February, and fell in the same day with another island called Mayo, 14 leagues distant; there being a danger midway between the two islands, but it is always seen and easily avoided. We anchored in a fine bay on the N.W. side of Mayo, in eight fathoms on a good sandy bottom; but weighed next day and went to another island called St Jago, about five leagues E. by S. from Mayo. At the westermost point of this island, we saw a good road-stead, having a small town by the waterside, close to which was a fort or battery. We here proposed to have anchored on purpose to trade; but before we were within shot, they let fly two pieces at us, on which we went to leeward along shore two or three leagues, where we found a small bay and two or three houses, off which we anchored in 14 fathoms upon good ground. Within an hour after we had anchored, several persons both on foot and horseback were seen passing and repassing opposite the ships. Next day a considerable force of horse and foot was seen, and our general sent a message to know whether they were disposed to trade with us. They answered that we were made welcome as merchants, and should have every thing we could reasonably demand. On this our general ordered all the boats to be made ready, but doubting the good faith of the Portuguese, caused the boats to be well armed, putting a double base in the head of his pinnace and two single bases in the skiff, directing the boats of the May-flower and George to be similarly armed. On rowing towards the shore with all the boats, the general was surprised to see above 60 horsemen and 200 foot all armed to receive us, for which reason he sent a flag of truce to learn their intentions. Their answer was fair and smooth, declaring that they meant to treat us like gentlemen and merchants, and desired that our general might come on shore to converse with their captain. When our general approached the shore in his skiff, they came towards him in great numbers, with much seeming politeness, bowing and taking off their bonnets, and earnestly requesting our general and the merchants to come on shore. He declined this however, unless they would give sufficient hostages for our security. At length they promised to send two satisfactory hostages, and to give us water, provisions, money, and negroes in exchange for our merchandize, and desired a list of our wares might be sent on shore; all of which our general promised to do forthwith, and withdraw from the shore, causing our bases, curriers296, and arquebuses to be fired off in compliment to the Portuguese, while at the same time our ships saluted them with five or six cannon shot. Most of the Portuguese now left the shore, except a few who remained to receive the list of our commodities; but, while we meant honestly and fairly to trade with them as friends, their intentions were treacherously to betray us to our destruction, as will appear in the sequel.

About two leagues to the west of where we lay, there was a town behind a point of land, where the Portuguese had several caravels, and two brigantines or row barges like gallies. With all haste the Portuguese fitted out four caravels and these two brigantines, furnishing them with as many men and cannon as they could carry; and as soon as it was night these vessels made towards us with sails and oars, and as the land was high, and the weather somewhat dark and misty, we did not see them till they were almost close on board the May-flower, which lay at anchor about a gun-shot nearer them than our other ships. When within gun-shot of the May-flower, one of the watch chanced to see a light, and then looking out espied the four ships and gave the alarm. The Portuguese, finding themselves discovered, began immediately to fire their cannon, curriers, and arquebuses; then lighted up certain tubes of wild fire, and all their people both on shore and in their ships set up great shouts, while they continued to bear down on the May-flower. With all the haste we could, one of our guns was got ready and fired at them, on which they seemed to hesitate a little; But they recharged their ordnance, and again fired at us very briskly. In the mean time we got three guns ready which we fired at them, when they were so near that we could have shot an arrow on board. Having a fine breeze of wind from the shore, we hoisted our foresail and cut our cable, making sail to join our admiral to leeward, while they followed firing sometimes at us and sometimes at our admiral. At length one shot from our admiral had the effect to make them retire, when they made away from us like cowardly traitors. During all this time, though they continually fired all their guns at us, not a man or boy among us was hurt; but we know not what were the effects of our shot among them.

Seeing the villany of these men, we set sail immediately for an island named Fuego, or the Fire island, twelve leagues from St Jago, where we came to anchor on the 11th February, opposite a white chapel at the west end of the island, half a league from a small town, and about a league from the western extremity of the island. In this island, there is a remarkably high hill which burns continually, and the inhabitants told us, that about three years before, the whole island had like to have been destroyed by the prodigious quantity of fire which it discharged. About a league west from the chapel we found a fine spring of fresh water, whence we supplied our ships. They have no wheat in this island, instead of which they grow millet, which makes good bread, and they likewise cultivate peas like those of Guinea. The inhabitants are Portuguese, and are forbidden by their king to trade either with the English or French, or even to supply them with provisions, or any other thing unless forced. Off this island is another named Brava, or St John, not exceeding two leagues over, which has abundance of goats and many trees, but not above three or four inhabitants.

On the 25th of February we set sail for the Azores, and on the 23d of March we got sight of one of these islands called Flores, to the north of which we could see another called Cuervo, about two leagues distant. The 27th we came to anchor at Cuervo, opposite a village of about a dozen mean houses; but dragging our anchors in the night during a gale of wind, we went to Flores, where we saw strange streams of water pouring from its high cliffs, occasioned by a prodigious rain. The 18th April we took in water at Flores, and sailed for Fayal, which we had sight of on the 28th, and of three other islands, Pico, St George, and Graciosa, which are round about Fayal. The 29th we anchored in 22 fathoms water in a fine bay on the S.W. side of Fayal, over against a small town, where we got fresh water and fresh provisions. In this island, according to the report of the inhabitants, there grows green woad, which they allege is far better than the woad of St Michael or of Tercera.

The 8th of May we came to Tercera, where we found a Portuguese ship, and next morning we saw bearing down, upon us, a great ship and two caravels, which we judged to belong to the royal navy of Portugal, as they really were, and therefore made ready for our defence. The large ship was a galliass, of about 400 tons and 300 men, well appointed with brass guns both large and small, some of their shot being as large as a mans head; and the two caravels were both well appointed in men and ammunition of war. As soon as they were within shot of us, they waved us amain with their swords as if in defiance, and as we kept our course they fired at us briskly, while we prepared as well as we could for our defence. The great ship gave us a whole broadside, besides firing four of her greatest guns which were in her stern, by which some of our men were hurt, while we did our best to answer their fire. At this time two other caravels came from shore to join them, and two pinnaces or boats full of men, whom they put on board the great ship, and then returned to the shore with only two men in each. The ship and caravels gave us three attacks the first day, and when night came they ceased firing, yet kept hard by us all night, during which we were busily employed knotting and spicing our ropes and strengthening our bulwarks.

Next day the Portuguese were joined by four great caravels or armadas, three of which were not less than 100 tons each, the fourth being smaller, but all well armed and full of men. All these came up against us, in the admiral or Castle of Comfort, and we judged that one of the caravels meant to lay us on board, as we could see them preparing their false nettings and all other things for that purpose, for which the galliasse came up on our larboard side, and the caravel on our starboard. Perceiving their intention, we got all our guns ready with bar-shot, chain-shot, and grape; and as soon as they came up, and had fired off their guns at us, thinking to lay us on board, we gave them such a hearty salutation on both sides of us, that they were both glad to fall astern, where they continued for two or three hours, there being very little wind. Then our small bark the George came up to confer with us, and as the Portuguese ships and caravels were coming up again to attack us, the George, while endeavouring to get astern of us, fell to leeward, and was so long of filling her sails for want of wind, that the enemy got up to us, and she got into the middle of them, being unable to fetch us. Then five of the caravels assailed her all round about, yet she defended herself bravely against them all. The great ship and one caravel came to us and fought us all day. The May-flower being well to windward, took the benefit of that circumstance, and kept close hauled all that day, but would not come near us. When night came, the enemy ceased firing, yet followed us all night. During these repeated attacks we had some men slain and several wounded, and our tackle much injured; yet we did our best endeavour to repair all things, resolving to defend ourselves manfully, putting our trust in God. In the night the May-flower came up to us, on which our captain requested they would spare us half a dozen fresh men, but they would not, and bore away again.

Next morning, the enemy seeing us at a distance from one another, came up against us with a great noise of hooping and hallooing, as if resolved to board or sink us; yet although our company was small, lest they might think us any way dismayed, we answered their shouts, and waved upon them to board us if they durst, but they did not venture. This day they gave us four several assaults; but at night they forsook us, desisting with shame from the fight which they had begun with pride. We had some leaks in our ship from shot holes, which we stopped with all speed, after which we took some rest after our long hard labour. In the morning the Mayflower joined, and sent six of her men on board us, which gave us much relief, and we sent them four of our wounded men.

We now directed our course for England, and by the 2d of June came into soundings off the Lizard. On the 3d we fell in with a Portuguese ship, the captain of which came on board our admiral, saying that he was laden with sugar and cotton. Our merchants shewed him five negroes we had, asking him to buy them, which he agreed to do for 40 chests of sugar, which were very small, not containing above 26 loaves each. While they were delivering the sugar, we saw a large ship and a small one bearing down upon us, which our captain supposed to be men of war or rovers, on which he desired the Portuguese to take back their sugars, meaning to prepare for defence. But the Portuguese earnestly entreated our captain not to forsake him, and promised to give him ten chests of sugar in addition to the bargain, if we would defend him. To this our captain consented, and the rovers seeing that we were not afraid of them, let us alone. Next morning two others came up, but on seeing that we did not attempt to avoid them, they left us also. The 5th of June we got sight of the Start, and about noon were abreast of Lyme bay, where we sounded in 35 fathoms water. Next day we came in at the Needles, and anchored at a place called Meadhole, under the isle of Wight; from whence we sailed to Southampton, where our voyage ended.

SECTION XIII. Embassy of Mr Edmund Hogan to Morocco in 1577, written by himself297

Though not exactly belonging to the subject of the present chapter, yet as given by Hakluyt along with the early voyages to Guinea, it has been thought proper to be inserted in this place. According to Hakluyt, Mr Hogan was one of the sworn esquires of the person to Queen Elizabeth, by whom he was sent ambassador to Muley Abdulmeleck, emperor of Morocco and king of Fez. –Hakl.


I Edmund Hogan, being appointed ambassador from her majesty the queen to the emperor and king Muley Abdulmeleck, departed from London with my company and servants on the 22d of April 1577; and embarking in the good ship called the Gallion of London, I arrived at Azafi, a port in Barbary, on the 21st of May. I immediately sent Leonell Edgerton on shore, with my letters to the care of John Williams and John Bampton, who dispatched a trottero or courier to Morocco, to learn the emperors pleasure respecting my repair to his court. They with all speed gave the king notice of it298; who, being much satisfied with the intelligence, sent next day some of his officers and soldiers to Azafi, with tents and other necessaries, so that these captains, together with John Bampton, Robert Washborne, and Robert Lion, came late on Whitsunday night to Azafi. Having written in my letter, that I would not land till I knew the kings pleasure, I remained on board till their arrival; but I caused some of the goods to be landed to lighten the ship.

The 22d of May the Make-speed arrived in the road: and on the 27th, being Whitsunday, John Bampton came on board the Gallion with others in his company, giving me to understand that the king was rejoiced at my safe arrival from the queen of England, and that for my safe conduct he had sent four captains and 100 soldiers, together with a horse and furniture on which the king was in use to ride. I accordingly landed with my suite consisting of ten persons, three of whom were trumpeters. The four English ships in the harbour were dressed up to the best advantage, and shot off all their ordnance, to the value of twenty marks in powder. On coming ashore, I found all the soldiers drawn up on horseback, the captains and the governor of the town standing close to the water side to receive me, with a jennet belonging to the king for my use. They expressed the great satisfaction of their sovereign, at my arrival from the queen my mistress, and that they were appointed by the king to attend upon me, it being his pleasure that I should remain five or six days on shore, to refresh myself before commencing my journey. Having mounted the jennet, they conducted me through the town to a fair field, where a tent was provided for me, having the ground spread with Turkey carpets. The castle discharged a peal of ordnance, and every thing necessary was brought to my tent, where I had convenient table and lodging, and had other tents for the accommodation of my servants. The soldiers environed the tents, and kept watch as long as I remained there.

Although I sought a speedier dispatch, I could not be permitted to begin my journey till Wednesday the 2d of June, when I mounted towards evening, and travelled about ten miles to the first place on the road where water was to be had, and there pitched our tents till next morning299. The 3d we began our journey early, and travelled till ten o'clock, when we halted till four, at which time we resumed our journey, travelling as long as we had light, making about 26 miles in all that day. The 4th being Friday, we travelled in the same manner about 28 miles, and pitched our tents beside a river, about six wiles from the city of Morocco. Immediately afterwards, all the English and French merchants came on horseback to visit me, and before night there came an alcayde from the king, with 50 men and several mules laden with provisions, to make a banquet for my supper, bringing a message from the king, expressing how glad he was to hear from the queen of England, and that it was his intention to receive me more honourably than ever Christian had been before at the court of Morocco. He desired also to know at what time I proposed to come next day into his city, as he was resolved that all the Christians, and also his own nobles should meet me. He desired likewise that John Bampton should wait upon him early next morning, which he did accordingly.

About seven o'clock the next morning, I moved towards the city, accompanied by the English and French merchants, and a great number of soldiers; and by the time I had gone about two miles, I was met by all the Spanish and Portuguese Christians, which I knew was more owing to the kings commands than of their own good will,300 for some of them, though they spoke me fair, hung down their heads like dogs, especially the Portuguese, and I behaved to them accordingly. When I had arrived within two miles of the city, John Bampton rejoined me, expressing that the king was so glad of my arrival, that he knew not how sufficiently to shew his good will towards the queen and her realm. His counsellors met me without the gates; and on entering the city some of the kings footmen and guards were placed on both sides of my horse, and in this manner I was conducted to the palace. The king sat in his chair of state, having his counsellors about him, both Moors and Elchies; and, according to his order previously given me, I declared my message to him in the Spanish language, and delivered her majestys letters. All that I spoke at this time in Spanish, he caused one of his Elchies to interpret to the Moors who were present in the Larbe tongue. When this was done, he answered me in Spanish, returning great thanks to the queen my mistress, for my mission, and offering himself and country to be at her majesty's disposal; after which he commanded some of his counsellors to conduct me to my lodging, which was at no great distance from the court. The house appointed for me was very good according to the fashion of the country, and was every day furnished with all kinds of provisions at the kings charge.

I was sent for again to court that same night, and had a conference with the king for the space of about two hours, when I declared to him the particulars of what had been given me in charge by the queen, and found him perfectly willing to oblige her majesty, and not to urge her with any demands that might not conveniently be complied with, well knowing that his country might be better supplied from England with such things as it stood in need of, than England from his country. He likewise informed me, that the king of Spain had sent demanding a licence to send an ambassador to him, and had strongly urged him not to give credence or entertainment to any ambassador that might come from the queen of England: "Yet," said he, "I know well what the king of Spain is, and what the queen of England and her realm; for I neither like him nor his religion, being so governed by the inquisition that he can do nothing of himself; wherefore, when his ambassador comes upon the licence I have given, he will see how little account I make of him and Spain, and how greatly I shall honour you for the sake of the queen of England. He shall not come into my presence, as you have done and shall daily; for I mean to accept of you as a companion and one of my household, whereas he shall wait twenty days after he has delivered his message."

At the end of this speech I delivered him the letters of Sir Thomas Gresham; upon which he took me by the hand, and led me down a long court to a palace, past which there ran a fair fountain of water, and sitting down in a chair, he commanded me to sit upon another, and sent for such simple musicians as he had to entertain me. I then presented him with a great bass lute, which he thankfully accepted, and expressed a desire to hear when he might expect the musicians: I told him great care had been taken to provide them, and I did not doubt that they would come out in the first ship after my return. He is willing to give them good entertainment, with lodgings and provisions, and to let them live according to their own law and conscience, as indeed he urges, no one to the contrary. He conducts himself greatly by the fear of God, and I found him well read in the scriptures both of the old and new testament, bearing a greater affection for our nation than any other, because that our religion forbids the worship of images; and indeed the Moors call him the Christian king. That same night301 I continued with him till twelve o'clock, and he seemed to have taken a great liking for me, as he took from his girdle a short dagger set with 200 stones, rubies and turquoises, which he presented to me, after which I was conducted back to my lodgings.

Next day being Sunday, which he knew was our Sabbath, he allowed me to remain at home; but he sent for me on the afternoon of Monday, when I had a conference with him, and was entertained with music. He likewise sent for me on Tuesday by three o'clock, when I found him in his garden laid upon a silk bed, as he complained of a sore leg. Yet after a long conference, he walked with me into another orchard, having a fine banqueting-house and a large piece of water, in which was a new galley. He took me on board the galley, and for the space of two or three hours, shewed me what great experience he had in the management of gallies, in which he said he had exercised himself for eighteen years of his youth. After supper he shewed me his horses, and other matters about his house. From that time I did not see him, as he was confined with his sore leg, yet he sent messages to me every day. I was sent for to him again on the 13th of June, about six in the evening, and continued with him till midnight, conferring about her majestys commission, and with regard to the good usage of our merchants trading in his dominions. He said that he would even do more than was asked for the queen and her subjects, who might all come to his ports in perfect security, and trade in every part of his dominions, likewise that they should at all times freely have water and provisions, and in times of war might bring in the ships taken from our enemies, and either sell them there, or freely depart at their pleasure. Likewise that all English ships, either passing along his coast of Barbary, or going through the straits into the Mediterranean or Levant sea, should have safe conducts to pass freely to the dominions of the Turks or of Algiers, as well as to his own. And he engaged to write to the great Turk and the king of Algiers to use our ships and goods in a friendly manner. Also, that if any Englishmen should be hereafter made captives and brought into his dominions, that they should on no account be sold as slaves. Whereupon, declaring the acceptance by her majesty of these conditions, to confirm the intercourse of trade between our merchants and his dominions, I engaged to satisfy him with such commodities as he stood in need of, to furnish the wants of his country in all kinds of merchandize, so that he might not require any thing from her majesty contrary to her honour and law, or in breach of league and amity with the Christian princes her neighbours. That same night I presented him with a case of combs302, and requested his majesty to give orders for the lading of the ships back again, as I found there was very little saltpetre in the hands of John Bampton. He answered that I should have all the aid in his power, as he expected there was some store in his house at Sus, and that the mountaineers had much in readiness. On my request that he would send orders for that to be brought, he promised to do so.

The 18th day I was with him again and continued till night, when he shewed me his house, with the amusement of duck-hunting with water spaniels, and bull-baiting with English dogs. At this time I reminded him of sending to Sus about the saltpetre, which he engaged to do; and on the 21st the Alcayde Mammie departed on that errand, accompanied by Lionel Edgerton and Rowland Guy, carrying with them, on our account and the king's, letters to his brother Muley Hamet, the Alcayde Shavan, and the viceroy. The 23d the king sent me out of Morocco with a guard, and accompanied by the Alcayde Mahomet, to see his garden called Shersbonare; and at night of the 24th I was sent for to court to see a Morris dance, and a play acted by his Elchies. He promised me an audience on the next day being Tuesday, but put it off till Thursday, when he sent for me after supper, when the Alcaydes Rodwan and Gowry were appointed to confer with me; but after a short conversation, I requested to be admitted to the king to receive my dispatch. On being admitted, I preferred two bills, or requests, of John Bampton respecting the provision of saltpetre, also two other petitions for the quiet trade of our English merchants, together with petitions or requests for the sugars which had been agreed to be made by the Jews, both for the debts they had already incurred to our merchants, and those they might incur hereafter, as likewise for the proper regulation of the ingenios. I also moved him to give orders for the saltpetre and other affairs that had been before agreed upon, which he referred me to be settled by the two alcaydes. But on Friday the alcaydes could not attend to my affairs, and on Saturday Rodwan fell sick. So on Sunday I again made application to the king, and that afternoon I was sent for to confer upon the bargain with the alcaydes and others, but we could not agree.

Upon Tuesday I wrote a letter to the king for my dispatch, and was called again to court that afternoon, when I referred all things to the king, accepting his offer of saltpetre. That night the king took me again into his galley, when the water spaniels hunted the duck. On Thursday I was appointed to weigh the 300 gross quintals of saltpetre; and that afternoon the tabybe came to my lodging, to inform me that the king was offended with John Bampton for various reasons. Late on Sunday night, being the 7th of July, I got the king to forgive all to John Bampton, and he promised to give me another audience on Monday. Upon Tuesday I wrote to the king for my dispatch, when he sent Fray Lewes to me, who said he had orders to write them out. Upon Wednesday I wrote again, and the king sent me word that I should come on Thursday to receive my dispatches, so that I might depart without fail on Friday the 12th of July.

According to the kings appointment I went to court on Friday, when all the demands I had made were granted, and all the privileges which had been requested on behalf of the English merchants were yielded to with great favour and readiness. As the Jews resident in Morocco were indebted in large sums to our men, the emperor issued orders that all these should be paid in full without delay or excuse. Thus at length I was dismissed with great honour and special favour, such as had not ordinarily been shewn to other Christian ambassadors. Respecting the private affairs treated on between her majesty and the emperor, I had letters to satisfy her highness in the same. To conclude, having the same honourable escort for my return from court that I had on my way there, I embarked with my suite, and arrived soon after in England, when I repaired to court, and ended my embassy to her majestys satisfaction, by giving a relation of my services.

SECTION XIV. Embassy of Henry Roberts from Queen Elizabeth to Morocco in 1585, written by himself303

Like the former ambassador, Edmund Hogan, Mr Henry Roberts was one of the sworn esquires of the person to Elizabeth queen of England, and the following brief relation of his embassy, according to Hakluyt, was written by himself. This, like the former, does not properly belong to the present portion of our arrangement, but seemed necessary to be inserted in this place, however anomalous, as an early record of the attentions of the English government to extend the commerce and navigation of England, the sinews of our strength, and the bulwark of our glorious constitution. Mr Roberts appears to have spent three years and five months on this embassy, leaving London on the 14th August 1585, and returning to the same place on the 12th January 1589, having, in the words of Hakluyt, remained at Morocco as lieger, or resident, during upwards of three years.

In the commencement of this brief notice, Mr Roberts mentions the occasion of his embassy as proceeding from the incorporation of a company of merchants, for carrying on an exclusive trade from England to Barbary; upon which event he was appointed her majestys messenger and agent to the emperor of Morocco, for the furtherance of the affairs of that company. It is not our intention to load our work with copies of formal patents and diplomatic papers; yet in the present instance it may not be amiss to give an abridgment of the patent to the Barbary company, as an instance of the mistaken principles of policy on which the early foundations of English commerce were attempted. –E.

Letters Patent and Privileges granted in 1585 by Queen Elizabeth, to certain Noblemen and Merchants of London, for a Trade to Barbary.304

Elizabeth, &c.-Whereas our right trusty and well beloved counsellors, Ambrose earl of Warwick, and Robert earl of Leicester, and also our loving and natural subjects Thomas Starkie, &c.305 all merchants of London, now trading into the country of Barbary, in the parts of Africa under the government of Mulley Hamet Sheriffe, emperor of Morocco, and king of Fez and Sus, have made it evident to us that they have sustained great and grievous losses, and are likely to sustain greater if it should not be prevented. In tender consideration whereof, and because diverse merchandize of the same countries are very necessary and convenient for the use and defence of this our realm, &c. Wherefore we give and grant to the said earls, &c. by themselves, their factors or servants, and none others, for and during the space of twelve years, the whole freedom and liberty of the said trade, any law, &c. to the contrary in any way notwithstanding. The said trade to be free of all customs, subsidies or other duties, during the said period to us, our heirs and successors, &c. Witness ourself at Westminster, the 5th July, in the 27th year of our reign.


Upon an incorporation granted to the company of Barbary merchants resident in London, I Henry Roberts, one of her majesties sworn esquires of her person, was appointed messenger and agent from her highness unto Mulley Hamet Sheriffe, emperor of Morocco and king of Fez and Sus. And, having received my commission, instructions, and her majesties letters, I departed from London, the 14th August 1585, in a tall ship called the Ascension, in company with the Minion and Hopewell. We arrived in safety at the port of Azaffi in Barbary on the 14th of September following. The alcaide of the town, who is the kings chief officer there, or as it were mayor of the place, received me with all civility and honour, according to the custom of the country, and lodged me in the best house in the town. From thence I dispatched a messenger, which in their language is called a trottero, to inform the emperor of my arrival; who immediately sent a party of soldiers for my guard and safe conduct, with horses for myself, and mules for my baggage and that of my company or suite.

Accompanied by Richard Evans, Edward Salcot, and other English merchants resident in the country, and with my escort and baggage, I came to the river Tenisist, within four miles of the city of Morocco, and pitched my tents among a grove of olive trees on the banks of that river, where I was met by all the English merchants by themselves, and the French, Flemish, and various other Christians, who waited my arrival. After we had dined, and when the heat of the day was over, we set out about 4 o'clock in the afternoon for the city, where I was lodged by order of the emperor in a fair house in the Judaria or jewry, the quarter in which the Jews have their abode, being the best built and quietest part of the city.

After I had rested there three days, I was introduced into the kings presence, to whom I delivered my message and her majesties letters, and was received with much civility. During three years in which I remained there as her majesties agent and ligier, or resident, I had favourable audiences from time to time; as, whenever I had any business, I was either admitted to his majesty himself or to his viceroy, the alcaide Breme Saphiana, a very wise and discreet person, and the principal officer of the court. For various good and sufficient reasons, I forbear to put down in writing the particulars of my service.

After obtaining leave, and receiving an honourable reward from the emperor, I departed from his court at Morocco the 18th of August 1588, to a garden belonging to him called Shersbonare, where he promised I should only stay one day for his letters. Yet on one pretence or another, I was detained there till the 14th of September, always at the kings charges, having 40 or 50 shot attending upon me as my guard. At length I was conducted from thence, with every thing requisite for my accommodation, to the port of Santa Cruz, six days journey from Morocco, where our ships ordinarily take in their lading, and where I arrived on the 21st of that month.

I remained at Santa Cruz 43 days. At length, on the 2d November, I embarked in company with one Marshok, a Reis or captain, a gentleman sent along with me by the emperor on an embassy to her majesty. After much foul weather at sea, we landed on new-years day 1589, at St Ives in Cornwal, whence we proceeded together by land to London. We were met without the city by 40 or 50 of the principal Barbary merchants all on horseback, who accompanied us by torch light into the city on Sunday the 12th January 1589, the ambassador and myself being together in a coach.

Edict of the Emperor of Morocco in favour of the English, obtained by Henry Roberts.

In the name of the most merciful God, &c. The servant of the Supreme God, the conqueror in his cause, the successor appointed by God, emperor of the Moors, son of the emperor of the Moors, the Shariffe, the Haceny, whose honour and estate may God long increase and advance. This our imperial commandment is delivered into the hands of the English merchants who reside under the protection of our high court, that all men who see these presents may understand that our high councils will defend them, by the aid of God, from all that may injure or oppress them in any way or manner in which they shall be wronged; and that which way soever they may travel, no man shall take them captives in these our kingdoms, ports, or other places belonging to us; and that no one shall injure or hinder them, by laying violent hands upon them, or shall give occasion that they be aggrieved in any manner of way. And we charge and command all the officers of our ports, havens, and fortresses, and all who bear authority of any sort in our dominions, and likewise all our subjects generally of all ranks and conditions, that they shall in no way molest, offend, wrong, or injure them. And this our commandment shall remain inviolable, being registered on the middle day of the month Rabel of the year 996.

The date of this letter agrees with the 20th of March 1587, which I, Abdel Rahman el Catun, interpreter for his majesty, have translated out of Arabic into Spanish, word for word as contained therein.306

SECTION XV. Voyage to Benin beyond Guinea in 1588, by James Welsh307

This and the subsequent voyage to Benin were fitted out by Messrs Bird and Newton, merchants of London, in which a ship of 100 tons called the Richard of Arundel and a pinnace were employed, under the chief command of James Welsh, who wrote the account of both voyages-Astley.

It seems not improbable that these voyages were intended as an evasion of an exclusive privilege granted in May 1588 by Queen Elizabeth, for trade to the rivers Senegal and Gambia, called Senega and Gambra in Hakluyt. The boundaries of this exclusive trade are described as beginning at the northermost part of the river Senegal, and from and within that river all along the coast of Guinea into the southermost part of the river Gambia, and within that river also; and the reason assigned for this exclusive grant is, that the patentees had already made one voyage to these parts, and that the enterprizing a new trade must be attended with considerable hazard and expence. The patentees were several merchants of Exeter and other parts of Devonshire, and one merchant of London, who had been instigated by certain Portuguese resident in England to engage in that trade, and the privilege is extended to ten years.308-E.


On the 12th October 1588, weighing anchor from Ratcliff we dropped down to Blackwall, whence we sailed next day; but owing to contrary winds we did not reach Plymouth till the 25th October, where we had to remain for want of a fair wind to the 14th of December, when we set sail and passed the Lizard that night. Thursday the 2d January 1589, we had sight of the land near Rio del Oro, making our lat. 22° 47' N. The 3d we saw Cape Barbas, distant 5 leagues S.E. The 4th in the morning we had sight of the stars called the Croziers. The 7th we had sight of Cape Verd, making our lat. 14° 43' at 4 leagues off shore. Friday 17th Cape Mount bore from us N.N.E., when we sounded and had 50 fathoms water with a black ouse, and at 2 P.M. it bore N.N.W. 8 leagues distant, when Cape Misurado bore E. by S. Here the current sets E.S.E. along shore, and at midnight we had 26 fathoms on black ouse. The 18th in the morning we were athwart a land much resembling Cabo Verde, about 9 leagues beyond Cape Misurado. It is a saddle-backed hill, and there are four or five one after the other; and 7 leagues farther south we saw a row of saddle-backed hills, all the land from Cape Misurado having many mountains. The 19th we were off Rio de Sestos, and the 20th Cape Baixos was N. by W. 4 leagues distant. In the afternoon a canoe came off with three negroes from a place they called Tabanoo. Towards evening we were athwart an island, and saw many small islands or rocks to the southward, the current setting from the south. We sounded and had 35 fathoms. The 21st we had a flat hill bearing N.N.E. being 4 leagues from shore; and at 2 P.M. we spoke a French ship riding near a place called Ratere, there being another place hard bye called Crua309. The Frenchman carried a letter from us on shore for Mr Newton; and as we lay to while writing the letter, the current set us a good space along shore to the S.S.E. The 25th we were in the bight of a bay to the west of Cape Three-points, the current setting E.N.E. The 31st January we were off the middle part of Cape Three-points at 7 in the morning, the current setting to the E. Saturday 1st February we were off a round foreland, which I considered to be the easternmost part of Cape Three-points, within which foreland was a great bay and an island in the bay.

The 2nd February we were off the castle of Mina; and when the third glass of the watch was run out, we spied under our larboard quarter one of their boats with some negroes and one Portuguese, who would not come on board. Over the castle upon some high rocks, we saw what we thought to be two watch houses, which were very white. At this time our course was E.N.E. The 4th in the morning we were athwart a great hill, behind which within the land were other high rugged hills, which I reckoned were little short of Monte Redondo, at which time I reckoned we were 20 leagues E.N.E. from the castle of Mina; and at 11 o'clock A.M. I saw two hills within the land, 7 leagues by estimation beyond the former hills. At this place there is a bay, having another hill at its east extremity, beyond which the land is very low. We went this day E. N E. and E. by N. 22 leagues, and then E. along shore. The 6th we were short of Villa Longa, and there we met a Portuguese caravel. The 7th, being a fair temperate day, we rode all day before Villa Longa, whence we sailed on the 8th, and 10 leagues from thence we anchored again, and remained all night in 10 fathoms water. The 9th we sailed again, all along the shore being clothed with thick woods, and in the afternoon we were athwart a river310, to the eastward of which a little way was a great high bushy tree which seemed to have no leaves. The 10th we sailed E. and E. by S. 14 leagues along shore, the whole coast being so thick of woods that in my judgment a person would have much difficulty in passing through them. Towards night we anchored in 7 fathoms. The 11th we sailed E. by S. and 3 leagues from shore we had only 5 fathoms water, all the wood along shore being as even as if it had been clipt by gardeners sheers. After running 2 leagues, we saw a high tuft of trees on a brow of land like the head of a porpoise. A league farther on we had a very low head land full of trees; and a great way from the land we had very shallow water, on which we hauled off to seaward to get deeper water, and then anchored in 5 fathoms, athwart the mouth of the river Jayo. The 12th we sent the pinnace and the boat to land with the merchants, and they did not return till next morning. The shallowest part of this river is toward the west, where there is only 4-1/2 fathoms, and it is very broad.

Thursday the 13th we set sail going S.S.E. along shore, the trees being wonderfully even, the east shore being higher than the west shore311. After sailing 18 leagues we had sight of a great river, called Rio de Benin, off which we anchored in 3-1/2 fathoms, the sea being here very shallow two leagues from the main312. The 15th we sent the pinnace and boat with the merchants into the river; and as we rode in shallow water, we made sail with the starboard tacks aboard till we came to 5 fathoms water, where we anchored having the current to the westwards. The west part of the land was high-browed, much like the head of a Gurnard, and the eastermost land was lower, having three tufts of trees like stacks of corn. Next day we only saw two of these trees, having removed more to the eastwards. We rode here from the 14th of February till the 14th of April, having the wind always at S.W.

The 17th February our merchants weighed their goods and put them aboard the pinnace to go into the river, on which day there came a great current out of the river setting to the westwards. The 16th March our pinnace came on board with Anthony Ingram the chief factor, bringing 94 bags of pepper and 28 elephants teeth. All his company were sick. The 19th our pinnace went again into the river, having the purser and surgeon on board; and the 25th we sent the boat up the river again. The 30th our pinnace came from Benin with the sorrowful news that Thomas Hemstead and our captain were both dead. She brought with her 159 serons or bags of pepper, besides elephants teeth. In all the time of our remaining off the river of Benin, we had fair and temperate weather when the wind was at S.W. from the sea; but when the wind blew at N. and N.E. from the land, it then rained with thunder and lightning, and the weather was intemperately hot.

The 13th of April 1589, we began our voyage homeward, and the 27th of July we spoke a ship called the Port belonging to London, giving us good news of England. The 9th September we put into Catwater, where we remained till the 28th, owing to sickness and want of men. The 29th we sailed from Plymouth, and arrived at London on the 2d October 1589.

The commodities we carried out in this, voyage were linens and woollen cloths, iron work of sundry kinds, manillios or bracelets of copper, glass beads and coral. Those we brought home were pepper, elephants teeth, palm oil, cloth made of cotton very curiously woven, and cloth made of the bark of the palm tree. Their money consists of pretty white shells, as they have no gold or silver. They have also great store of cotton. Their bread is made of certain roots called Inamia, as large as a mans arm, which when well boiled is very pleasant and light of digestion. On banian or fish days, our men preferred eating these roots with oil and vinegar to the best stock-fish313. There are great quantities of palm trees, out of which the negroes procure abundance of a very pleasant white wine, of which we could purchase two gallons for 20 shells. The negroes have plenty of soap, which has the flavour of violets. They make very pretty mats and baskets, also spoons of ivory very curiously wrought with figures of birds and beasts.

Upon this coast we had the most terrible thunder and lightning, which used to make the deck tremble under our feet, such as I never heard the like in any other part of the world. Before we became accustomed to it, we were much alarmed, but God be thanked we had no harm. The natives are very gentle and courteous; both men and women going naked till they are married, after which they wear a garment reaching from the middle down to the knees. Honey was so plentiful, that they used to sell our people earthen pots of comb full of honey, the size of two gallons for 100 shells. They brought us also great store of oranges and plantains, which last is a fruit which grows on a tree, and resembles our cucumbers, but is very pleasant eating. It pleased God of his merciful goodness to give me the knowledge of a means of preserving water fresh with little cost, which served us six months at sea; and when we came to Plymouth it was much wondered at by the principal men of the town, who said there was not sweeter water in all Plymouth314. Thus God provides for his creatures, unto whom be praise, now and for ever more, amen.

SECTION XVI. Supplement to the foregoing Voyage, in a Letter from Anthony Ingram the chief Factor, written from Plymouth to the Owners, dated 9th September, the day of arriving at Plymouth315

Worshipful Sirs! The account of our whole proceedings in this voyage would require more time than I have, and a person in better health than I am at present, so that I trust you will pardon me till I get to London.

Departing from London in December 1588, we arrived at our destined port of Benin on the 14th of February following, where we found not water enough to carry our ship over the bar, so that we left her without in the road. We put the chiefest of our merchandise into the pinnace and ships boat, in which we went up the river to a place called Goto316, where we arrived on the 20th, that place being the nearest to Benin to which we could go by water. From thence we sent negro messengers to certify the king of our arrival, and the object of our coming. These messengers returned on the 22d with a nobleman to conduct us to the city of Benin, and with 200 negroes to carry our merchandise. On the 23d we delivered our commodities to the kings factor, and the 25th we came to the great city of Benin, where we were well entertained. The 26th we went to court to confer with the king, but by reason of a solemn festival then holding we could not see him; yet we spoke with his veador, or chief man who deals with the Christians, who assured us that we should have every thing according to our desires, both in regard to pepper and elephants teeth.

We were admitted into the kings presence on the 1st of March, who gave us like friendly assurances respecting our trade; and next day we went again to court, when the veador shewed us a basket of green pepper and another of dry in the stalks. We desired to have it plucked from the stalks and made clean, which he said would require some time to get done, but should be executed to our satisfaction, and that by next year it should be all in readiness for us, as we had now come unexpectedly to their country, to which no Christians had traded for pepper in the reign of the present king. Next day they sent us 12 baskets full, and continued to send more daily till the 9th March, by which time we had made up 64 serons of pepper and 28 elephants teeth. By this time, as our constitutions were unused to the climate of Benin, all of us were seized with fevers; upon which the captain sent me down to Goto with the goods we had collected. On my arrival there, I found all the men belonging to our pinnace sick, so that they were unable to convey the pinnace and goods to the ship; but fortunately the boat came up to Goto from the ship within two hours after my arrival, to see what we were about, so that I put the goods into the boat and went down to the ship: But by the time I had got on board several of our men died, among whom were Mr Benson, the copper, and the carpenter, with three or four more, and I was in so weak a state as to be unable to return to Benin. I therefore sent up Samuel Dunne and the surgeon, that he might let blood of them if it were thought adviseable; but on their arrival they found the captain and your son William Bird both dead, and Thomas Hempstead was so very weak that he died two days after.

In this sorrowful state of affairs they returned with all speed to the ship, with such pepper and elephants teeth as they had got, as will appear by the cargo. At their coming away; the veador told them he would use all possible expedition to procure them more goods if they would remain longer; but the sickness so increased among us, that by the time our men came back we had so many sick and dead, that we looked to lose our ship, lives, country, and all. We were so reduced that it was with much difficulty we were able to heave our anchors; but by Gods blessing we got them up and put to sea, leaving our pinnace behind, on the 13th of April. After which our men began to recover and gather strength. Sailing between the Cape de Verd islands and the Main, we came to the Azores on the 25th of July; and here our men began again to fall sick, and several died, among whom was Samuel Dunn, those who remained alive being in a sad state. In the midst of our distress, it pleased God that we should meet your ship the Barke Burre on this side the North Cape, which not only kept company with us, but sent us six fresh men on board, without whose assistance we must have been in a sad condition. By this providential aid we are now arrived at Plymouth, this 9th September; and, for want of better health at this present. I must refer you for farther particulars till my arrival in London.

Yours to command,


SECTION XVII. Second Voyage of James Welsh to Benin, in 1590317

In the employment of the same merchants, John Bird and John Newton, and with the same ship as in the former voyage, the Richard of Arundel, accompanied by a small pinnace, we set sail from Ratclif on the 3d September 1590, and came to Plymouth Sound on the 18th of that month. We put to sea again on the 22d, and on the 14th October got sight of Fuertaventura, one of the Canary islands, which appeared very rugged as we sailed past. The 16th of October, in the lat. of 24° 9' N. we met a prodigious hollow sea, such as I had never seen before on this coast; and this day a monstrous great fish, which I think is called a gobarto318, put up his head to the steep-tubs where the cook was shifting the victuals, whom I thought the fish would have carried away. The 21st, being in lat. 18° N. we had a counter-sea from the north, having in the same latitude, on our last voyage, encountered a similar sea from the south, both times in very calm weather. The 24th we had sight of Cape Verd, and next day had a great hollow sea from the north, a common sign that the wind will be northerly, and so it proved. The 15th November, when in lat. 6° 42' N. we met three currents from west to north-west, one after the other, with the interval of an hour between each. The 18th we had two other great currents from S.W. The 20th we saw another from N.E. The 24th we had a great current from S.S.W. and at 6 P.M. we had three currents more. The 27th we reckoned to have gone 2-1/2 leagues every watch, but found that we had only made one league every watch for the last 24 hours, occasioned by heavy billows and a swift current still from the south. The 5th December, on setting the watch, we cast about and lay E.N.E. and N.E. and here in lat. 5° 30' our pinnace lost us wilfully. The 7th, at sunset, we saw a great black spot on the sun; and on the 8th, both at rising and setting we saw the like, the spot appearing about the size of a shilling. We were then in lat. 5° N. and still had heavy billows from the south.

We sounded on the 14th December, having 15 fathoms on coarse red sand, two leagues from shore, the current setting S.E. along shore, and still we had heavy billows from the south. The 15th we were athwart a rock, somewhat like the Mewstone in England, and at the distance of 2 leagues from the rock, had ground in 27 fathoms. This rock is not above a mile from the shore, and a mile farther we saw another rock, the space between both being broken ground. We sounded off the second rock, and had ground at 20 fathoms on black sand. We could now see plainly that the rocks were not along the shore, but at some distance off to sea, and about 5 leagues farther south we saw a great bay, being then in lat. 4° 27' N. The 16th we met a French ship belonging to Harfleur, which robbed our pinnace: we sent a letter by him. This night we saw another spot on the sun at his going down. Towards evening we were athwart the mouth of a river, right over which was a high tuft of trees. The 17th we anchored in the mouth of the river, when we found the land to be Cape Palmas, there being a great ledge of rocks between us and the Cape, a league and half to sea, and an island off the point or foreland of the Cape. We then bore to the west of the Cape, and as night came on could see no more of the land, except that it trended inwards like a bay, in which there ran a stream or tide as it had been the Thames. This was on the change day of the moon.

The 19th December, a fair temperate day, with the wind S. we sailed east, leaving the land astern of us to the west, all the coast appearing low like islands to the east of Cape Palmas, and trending inwards like a great bay or sound. We went east all night, and in the morning were only three or four leagues from shore. The 20th we were off Rio de las Barbas. The 21st we continued along shore; and three or four leagues west of Cape Three Points, I found the bay to be set deeper than it is laid down by four leagues. At 4 P.M. the land began to shew high, the first part of it being covered by palm trees. The 24th, still going along shore, the land was very low and full of trees to the water side. At noon we anchored off the Rio de Boilas, where we sent the boat towards the shore with our merchants, but they durst not put into the river, because of a heavy surf that broke continually on the bar. The 28th we sailed along shore, and anchored at night in seven fathoms, to avoid being put back by a current setting from E.S.E. from Papuas.

At noon on the 29th we were abreast of Ardrah, and there we took a caravel, the people belonging to which had fled to the land. She had nothing in her except a small quantity of palm oil and a few roots. Next morning our captain and merchants went to meet the Portuguese, who came off in a boat to speak with them. After some communing about ransoming the caravel, the Portuguese promised to give for her some bullocks and elephants teeth, and gave us then one tooth and one bullock, engaging to bring the rest next day. Next day being the 1st January 1591, our captain went a-land to speak with the Portuguese, but finding them to dissemble, he came on board again, when presently we unrigged the caravel and set her on fire before the town. We then set sail and went along the coast, where we saw a date tree, the like of which is not on all that coast, by the water side. We also fell a little aground at one place. Thus we went on to Villalonga where we anchored. The 3d we came to Rio de Lagoa, or Lagos Creek, where our merchants went to land, finding 3 fathoms on the bar, but being late they did not go in. There is to the eastward of this river a date tree, higher than all the other trees thereabouts. Thus we went along the coast, anchoring every night, and all the shore was full of trees and thick woods. The morning of the 6th was very foggy, so that we could not see the land; but it cleared up about three in the afternoon, when we found ourselves off the river Jaya; and finding the water very shallow, we bore a little out to seawards as we had done in the former voyage, and came to anchor in five fathoms. We set sail again next day, and came about noon abreast the river of Benin, where we anchored in four fathoms.

The 10th our captain went to land with the boat at 2 P.M. All this week it was very foggy every day till 10 o'clock A.M. and hitherto the weather had been as temperate as our summer in England. This day we anchored in the road in 4 fathoms, the west point bearing from us E.N.E. The 21st, being a fair temperate day, Mr Hassald went up to the town of Gato to hear news of our captain. The 23d came the caravel319 in which was Samuel, bringing 63 elephants teeth and three bullocks. The 28th was a fair temperate day, but towards night we had much rain with thunder and lightning. This day our boat came on board from Gato. The 24th February, we took in 298 serons or bags of pepper, and 4 elephants teeth. The 26th we put the rest of our goods on board the caravel, in which Mr Hassald went up to Gato. The 5th March the caravel came again, bringing 21 serons of pepper and 4 elephants teeth. The 9th April our caravel came again on board with water for our return voyage, and this day we lost our shallop or small boat. The 17th was a hazy and rainy day, and in the afternoon we saw three great water spouts, two to larboard and one right a-head, but by the blessing of God they came not to our ship. This day we took in the last of our water for sea store, and on the 26th we victualled our caravel to accompany us. The 27th we set sail on our voyage homewards.

The 24th May we were 37 leagues south of Cape Palmas. The 1st July we got sight of Brava, one of the Cape Verd islands, bearing east 7 leagues off. The 13th August we spoke the queens ship, of which Lord Howard was admiral and Sir Richard Grenville vice-admiral. They made us keep company till the night of the 15th, lying all the time a hull in waiting for prizes, 30 leagues S.W. from the island of Flores. That night we got leave to depart, accompanied by a fliboat laden with sugar from the island of San Thome which had been taken by the queens ship, and of which my lord admiral gave me strict charge not to part with her till safe harboured in England. The 23d the N.E. part of the island of Corvo bore from us E. by S. 6 leagues distant. The 17th September we fell in with a ship belonging to Plymouth bound from the West Indies. Next day we had sight of another sail; and this day died Mr Wood one of our company. The 23d we spoke the Dragon belonging to my Lord Cumberland, of which master Ivie was maister320. The 2d October we met a ship belonging to Newcastle coming from Newfoundland, out of which we got 300 couple of Newland fish. The 13th we put into Dartmouth, where we staid till the 12th December, when we sailed with a west wind, and by the blessing of God we anchored on the 18th December 1591, at Limehouse in the river Thames, where we discharged 589 sacks of pepper, 150 elephants teeth, and 32 barrels of palm oil.

The commodities we carried out on this my second voyage were, broad cloth, kersies, bays, linen cloth, unwrought iron, copper bracelets, coral, hawks bells, horse-tails, hats, and the like. This voyage was more comfortable to us than the former, because we had plenty of fresh water and that very sweet. For even yet, being the 7th June 1592, the water we brought out of Benin on the 1st of April 1591, is as clear and good as any fountain can yield. In this voyage we sailed 350 leagues within half a degree of the equator, where we found the weather more temperate than at our anchorage on the coast of Benin. Under the line we killed many small dolphins, and many other good fish, which were very refreshing to us; and the fish never forsook us till we were to the north of the Azores: But God be thanked we met with several ships of our own country, during the five months we were at sea, which were great comfort to us, having no consort.

SECTION XVIII. Voyage of Richard Rainolds and Thomas Dassel to the Rivers Senegal and Gambia adjoining to Guinea, in 1591321


In virtue of her majestys most gracious charter, given in the year 1588, being the 30th of her reign, certain English merchants were privileged to trade, in and from the river of Senega or Senegal, to and in the river of Gambra or Gambia on the western coast of Africa. The chiefest places of trade on that coast, in and between these rivers are: 1. Senegal river, where the commodities are hides, gum, elephants teeth, a few grains or pepper, ostrich feathers, ambergris, and some gold. 2. Beseguiache323, a town near Cape Verd, and – leagues324 from the river Senegal. The commodities here are small hides and a few teeth. 3. Rufisque, or Refisca viejo, a town 4 leagues from Beseguiache, producing small hides and a few teeth now and then. 4. Palmerin, a town 2 leagues from Rufisque325, having small hides and a few elephants teeth occasionally. 5. Porto d'Ally, or Portudale, a town 5 leagues from Palmerin, having small hides, teeth, ambergris, and a little gold; and many Portuguese are there. 6. Candimal, a town half a league from Portudale, having small hides and a few teeth now and then. 7. Palmerin326, a town 3 leagues from Candimal, with similar commodities. 8. Jaale or Joala, 6 leagues beyond Palmerin, its commodities being hides, wax, elephants teeth, rice, and some gold, for which it is frequented by many Spaniards and Portuguese, 9. Gambia river, producing rice, wax, hides, elephants teeth, and gold.

The French have traded thither above thirty years from Dieppe in New-haven327, commonly with four or five ships every year, of which two small barks go up the river Senegal. The others are wont, until within these four years that our ships came thither, to ride with their ships in Portudale, sending small shalops of six or eight tons to some of the before-named places on the sea coast. They were generally as well beloved and as kindly treated by the negroes as if they had been natives of the country, several of the negroes going often into France and returning again, to the great increase of their mutual friendship. Since we frequented the coast, the French go with their ships to Rufisque, and leave us to anchor a Portudale. The French are not in use to go up the river Gambia, which is a river of secret trade and riches concealed by the Portuguese. Long since, one Frenchman entered the river in a small bark, which was surprised, betrayed, and taken by the Portuguese. In our second voyage in the second year of our trade328, about forty Englishmen were cruelly slain or captured, and most or all of their goods confiscated, by the vile treachery of the Portuguese, with the consent of the negro kings in Portudale and Joala. On this occasion only two got back, who were the merchants or factors. Likewise, by the procurement of Pedro Gonzalves, a person in the service of Don Antonio one of the officers of the king of Portugal, Thomas Dassel and others had been betrayed, if it had not pleased the Almighty to reveal and prevent the same.

From the south side of the river Senegal, all along the sea coast to Palmerin is one kingdom of the Negroes, the king of which is named Melick Zamba329, who dwells about two days journey inland from Rufisque.

The Voyage.

On the 12th of November 1591, I, Richard Rainolds and Thomas Dassel, being factors in a ship called the Nightingale of London, of 125 tons, accompanied by a pinnace of 40 tons called the Messenger, arrived near Cape Verd at a small island called the Isle of Liberty. At this island we set up a small pinnace in which we are in use to carry our goods to land in the course of our traffic; and in the mean time Thomas Dassel went in the large pinnace to traffic with the Spaniards or Portuguese in Portudale or Joale. Over against this island of Liberty [Goree] there is a village of the negroes called Beseguiache, the alcaide or governor of which came on board, with a great train in a number of canoes, to receive the kings duties for anchorage and permission to set up our pinnace. He was much pleased that we had no Portuguese in our ships, saying that we should be always better thought of by the king and people of that country if we never brought any Portuguese, but came of ourselves as the French do always. To secure his favour, I gave him and his company very courteous entertainment, and upon his entreaty, having sufficient hostages left on board, I and several others went to the land along with him. At this time a war subsisted between this governor and the governor of a neighbouring province; but upon our arrival a truce was entered into for some time, and I with my companions were conducted through among the contending parties belonging to both provinces, to the house of the governor of Beseguiache, where we were hospitably entertained after their manner, and having received some presents returned safely on board. Next day the alcaide came again on board, desiring me to send some iron and other commodities in the boat to barter with the negroes, and also requested me to remove with the ship to Rufisque, which I did accordingly. I observed one thing, that a number of negroes, armed with bows and poisoned arrows, poisoned darts, and swords, attended the landing of the governor in warlike array, because the hostile tribe had come there to view our ship, taking advantage of the truce. These his armed attendants for the most part approached him in a kneeling posture, and kissed the back of his hand.

On the 17th of November, finding no French ship had yet come out, I left the anchorage at the island [Goree], and went to the road of Rufisque, where the interpreters of the alcaide came on board and received from me the kings duties for free trade with the negroes, with whom I every day exchanged my iron and other wares for hides and some elephants teeth, finding the people very friendly and tractable. Next day I went about three miles inland to the town of Rufisque, where I was handsomely received and treated by the alcaide, and especially so by a young noble named Conde Amar Pattay330, who presented me with an ox, and some goats and kids, for my company, assuring me that the king would be glad to hear of the arrival of a Christian ship, calling us blancos or white men, and more especially that we were English. Every day the young conde came to the sea-side with a small company of horsemen, feasting me with much courtesy and kindness. On the 5th of December, he and his train came on board to view the ship, which to them seemed wonderful, as a thing they had seldom seen the like of. He then told me that a messenger sent to the king to notify our arrival was returned, and that the king was much rejoiced that the English had brought a ship to trade in his ports; and as I was the first Englishman who had brought a ship there, he promised that I and any Englishman hereafter might be sure of being well treated, and of receiving good dealings in his country. The conde farther requested, in the kings name and his own, that before my final departure from the coast, I might return to the road of Rufisque, to confer with him for our better acquaintance, and for the establishment of stable friendship between them and the English, which I agreed to. Having shewn him and his train every civility in my power, he went on shore, on which I proposed to have given him a salute, but he desired the contrary, being amazed at the sight of the ship and noise of the guns, which they greatly admired.

The 13th of December I weighed anchor from before Rufisque, and went to Porto d'Ally, which is in another kingdom, the king of which is called Amar Malek, being son to Malek Zamba the other king, and has his residence a days journey and a half inland from Porto d'Ally. When we had anchored, the governors of the town, who were the kings kinsmen, and all the other officers, came on board to receive the kings duty for anchorage and liberty to trade, all of whom seemed much pleased that we had no Portuguese on board, saying that it was the kings pleasure we should bring none of that nation, whom they considered as a people devoid of truth331. They complained of one Francisco de Costa, a servant of Don Antonio, who had often, and particularly the former year, abused their king Amar Malek, promising to bring him certain things out of England which he had never done, and supposed that might be his reason for not coming this voyage. They said likewise that neither the Portuguese nor Spaniards could abide us, but always spoke to the great defamation and dishonour of England. They also affirmed that on the arrival of a ship called the Command, belonging to Richard Kelley of Dartmouth, one Pedro Gonzalves, a Portuguese, who came in that ship from Don Antonio, reported to them that we were fled from England, and had come to rob and commit great spoil on the coast, and that Thomas Dassel had murdered Francisco de Acosta since we left England, who was coming in our ship with great presents for their king from Don Antonio, desiring on our arrival that they should seize our goods and ourselves secretly. They assured us however that they had refused to do this, as they disbelieved the report of Gonzalves, having often before been abused and deceived by such false and slanderous stories by the Portuguese. Their king, they said, was extremely sorry for the former murder of our people, and would never consent to any such thing in future, holding the Portuguese and Spaniards in utter abhorrence ever since, and having a much better opinion of us and our nation than these our enemies wished them to entertain. I gave them hearty thanks for their good opinion, assuring them that they should always find a great difference between our honour, and the dishonourable words and actions of our enemies, and then paid them the customary duties. As this was a chief place for trade, I told them that I intended to wait upon their king that I might give him certain presents which I had brought out of England, on purpose to strengthen the friendship between their nation and ours.

All this time, Thomas Dassel was with our large pinnace at the town of Joala, in the dominions of king Jocoel Lamiockeric, trading with the Spaniards and Portuguese at that place. The before-mentioned Pedro Gonzalves, who had come out of England, was there also along with some English merchants, employed in the service of Richard Kelley. As Gonzalves had not been able to accomplish his treacherous purposes against Dassel at Porto d'Ally, where I remained, he attempted, along with other Portuguese who were made privy to his design, to betray Dassel at this town of Joala, and had seduced the chiefs among the negroes, by means of bribes, to concur in his wicked and most treacherous intentions. These, by the good providence of God, were revealed to Thomas Dassel by Richard Cape, an Englishman, in the service of Richard Kelley; on which Thomas Dassel went on board a small English bark called the Cherubim of Lyme, where a Portuguese named Joam Payva, a servant of Don Antonio, declared that Thomas Dassel would have been betrayed long before, if he and one Garcia, a Portuguese, who lived at Joala, would have concurred with Pedro Gonzalves. Upon this warning, Thomas Dassel contrived next day to get three Portuguese on board the pinnace, two of whom he sent on shore, and detained the third named Villanova as an hostage, sending a message that if they would bring Gonzalves on board next day by eight o'clock, he would release Villanova; but they did not. Dassel likewise got intelligence, that certain Portuguese and negroes were gone post by land from Joala to Porto d'Ally, with the view of having me, Richard Rainolds, and my company detained on shore; and, being doubtful of the negro friendship, who were often wavering, especially when overcome by wine, he came with his pinnace and the Portuguese hostage to Porto d'Ally on the 24th December, for our greater security, and to prevent any treacherous plan that might have been attempted against us in the roads by the Portuguese. He was no sooner arrived beside our large ship the Nightingale in the road of Porto d'Ally, than news was brought him from John Baily, servant to Anthony Dassel, that he and our goods were detained on shore, and that twenty Portuguese and Spaniards were come there from Joala along with Pedro Gonzalves, for the purpose of getting Villanova released. After a conference of two or three days, held with the negro chiefs and the Spaniards and Portuguese, the negroes were in the end convinced how vilely Pedro Gonzalves had behaved; and as he was in their power, they said he ought to suffer death or torture for his villany, as an example to others; but we, in recompence of his cruel treachery, pitied him and shewed mercy, desiring the negroes to use him well though undeserving; upon which the negro chiefs brought him on board the pinnace to Thomas Dassel, to do with him as he thought proper. Owing to some improper language he had used of certain princes, Gonzalves was well buffetted by a Spaniard at his coming off from the shore, and had been slain if the natives had not rescued him for our sakes.

When I went on shore to release Villanova, Pedro Gonzalves confessed to Thomas Dassel, that he had concerted with some negroes and Portuguese about detaining Dassel and the goods on shore; but that he had acted nothing on this subject without authority from his king, contained in certain letters he had received at Dartmouth from London, after our departure from the Thames, occasioned by our presuming to trade to Guinea without a servant of the king of Portugal; and declared likewise that he had power or authority from Francisco de Costa, a Portuguese, remaining in England, to detain the goods of Anthony Dassel in Guinea. By consent of Francis Tucker, John Browbeare, and the other factors of Richard Kelley, with whom this Pedro Gonzalves came from England, it was agreed that we should detain Gonzalves in our ships until their departure, to avoid any other mischief that he might contrive. Therefore, on 9th January 1592, he was delivered to go for England in the same ship that brought him, being all the time he remained in our ship, well and courteously treated by me, though much against the will of our mariners, who were much disgusted at seeing one who had been nourished and relieved in our country, seeking, by villanous means, to procure the destruction of us all.

Although the Spaniards and Portuguese are dissemblers and not to be trusted, yet when they saw how the subjects of Amar Malek befriended and favoured us, and that it would be prejudicial to their trade if we were any way injured, they renounced their evil intentions against us, shewing detestation of him who had been the cause of it, and promised to defend us and our affairs in all faithfulness for the future; desiring us, as the negro king had done already, to bring no more Portuguese with us from England, for they esteemed one bar of iron as more valuable than twenty Portuguese, and more serviceable towards the profitable trade which had been of late carried on by us and the French; whereas the Portuguese, whom we were in use to bring with us, endeavoured all they could to do us injury, and even to hurt all parties concerned in the trade.

At the beginning of these broils, Amar Malek had sent his chief secretary with three horses for me, Richard Rainolds; but I refused going, on account of the disturbances, though I might have had negroes of condition left as hostages for my safety; yet I transmitted the customary presents for the king. When he understood the reason of my not coming to his residence, he was very sorry and much offended at the cause, and immediately issued a proclamation, commanding that no injury should be done to us in his dominions by his own people, neither suffered to be done by the Spaniards or Portuguese; and declaring, if any of the neighbouring negro tribes should confederate with the Spaniards and Portuguese to molest us, that he and his subjects should be ready to aid and defend us. Thus there appeared more kindness and good will towards us in these ignorant negroes, than in the Spaniards and Portuguese.

None of the Spaniards or Portuguese are in use to trade up the river Senegal, except one Portuguese named Ganigogo who dwells far up that river, where he has married the daughter of one of the kings. In the towns of Porto d'Ally and Joala, which are the places of chief trade on this coast, and at Cauton and Cassan in the river Gambia, there are many Spaniards and Portuguese who have become resident by permission of the negroes, and carry on a valuable trade all along the coast, especially to the Rio San Dominica and Rio Grande, which are not far distant from the Gambia, to which places they transport the iron which they purchase from us and the French, exchanging it for negro slaves, which are transported to the West Indies in ships that come hither from Spain. By order of the governor and renters of the castle of Mina, and of all those places on the coast of Guinea where gold is to be had, these residents have a place limited for them in the river Gambia, beyond which they must not go under pain of death and confiscation of their goods; as the renters themselves send their own barks at certain times up the river, to those places where gold is to be had. In all those places hereabout, where we are in use to trade, the Spaniards and Portuguese have no castle or other place of strength, merely trading under the licence and safe conduct of the negroes. Most of the Spaniards and Portuguese who reside in those parts are banished men or fugitives, who have committed heinous crimes; and their life and conversation is conformable to their conditions, as they are the basest and most villainously behaved persons of their nation that are to be met with in any part of the world.




The present chapter is rather of an anomalous nature, and chiefly consists of naval expeditions against the Spaniards and Portuguese, scarcely belonging in any respect to our plan of arrangement: yet, as contained mostly in the ancient English collection of Hakluyt, and in that by Astley, we have deemed it improper to exclude them from our pages, where they may be considered in some measure as an episode. Indeed, in every extensively comprehensive plan, some degree of anomaly is unavoidable. The following apology or reason given by the editor of Astley's collection for inserting them in that valuable work, may serve us likewise on the present occasion; though surely no excuse can be needed, in a national collection like ours, for recording the exploits of our unrivalled naval defenders.

"For want of a continued series of trading voyages to Guinea, we shall here insert an account of some remarkable achievements by the English against the Spaniards and Portuguese; who, being greatly alarmed to find out merchants extending their commerce, and trading to those parts of the world which they pretended a right of engrossing to themselves, began to treat our ships very severely, wherever they had the superiority; and when they wanted force, endeavoured to surprise them by treachery, never scrupling to violate the most solemn oaths and engagements to compass their designs. For this reason the English merchant ships were obliged to go to sea armed and in company; by which means they not only prevented the outrages of these faithless enemies, but often revenged the injuries done to others of their countrymen. At length, the resentment of the nation being inflamed by their repeated treacheries and depredations, the English began to send out fleets to annoy their coasts and disturb their navigation. Of these proceedings, we propose to give a few instances in this chapter, which may suffice to shew the noble spirit that prevailed in these early times."-Astl. I. 194.

SECTION I. Gallant escape of the Primrose from Bilboa in Spain, in 1585332

It is not unknown to the world, what dangers our English ships have lately escaped from, how sharply they have been entreated, and how hardly they have been assaulted; insomuch that the valour of those who managed and defended them is worthy of being held in remembrance. Wherefore, the courageous attempt and valiant enterprize of the tall ship named the Primrose of London, from before the town of Bilboa, in the province of Biscay in Spain, (which ship the corregidore of that province, accompanied by 97 Spaniards, offered violently to arrest, yet was defeated of his purpose, and brought prisoner into England,) having obtained renown, I have taken in hand to publish the truth thereof, that it may be generally known to the rest of our English ships; that, by the good example of this gallant exploit, the rest may be encouraged and incited in like extremity to act in a similar manner, to the glory of the realm and their own honour.-Hakluyt, II, 597.


Upon Wednesday the 26th of May 1585, while the ship Primrose of 150 tons was riding at anchor off the bay of Bilboa, where she had been two days, there came on board a Spanish pinnace, in which were the corregidore and six others, who seemed to be merchants, bringing cherries with, them, and spoke in a very friendly manner to the master of the ship, whose name was Foster. He received them courteously, giving them the best cheer he could, with beer, beef, and biscuit. While thus banqueting, four of the seven departed in the pinnace for Bilboa; the other three remaining, and seeming much pleased with their entertainment. Yet Mr Foster was suspicious of some evil designs, and gave secret intimation to his people that he was doubtful of the intentions of these men, but said nothing to his guests by which they could any way surmise that he distrusted them. Soon afterwards there came a shipboat in which were seventy persons, seemingly merchants and the like of Biscay, and a little behind came the pinnace in which were twenty-four other persons, as the Spaniards afterwards confessed. On reaching the Primrose, the corregidore and three or four of his men went on board that ship; but on seeing such a multitude, Mr Foster desired that no more might come on aboard which was agreed to: Yet suddenly all the Spaniards left their boat and boarded the Primrose, all being armed with rapiers and other weapons which they had brought secretly in the boat, and had even a drum along with them to proclaim their expected triumph.

On getting on board, the Spaniards dispersed themselves over the ship, some below deck, others entering the cabins, while the most part remained in a body as if to guard their prize. Then the corregidore, who had an officer along with him bearing a white rod in his hand, desired Mr Foster to yield himself as a prisoner to the king of Spain; on which he called out to his men that they were betrayed. At this time some of the Spaniards threatened Mr Foster with their daggers in a furious manner, as if they would have slain him, yet they had no such purpose, meaning only to have taken him and his men prisoners. Mr Foster and his men were amazed at this sudden assault, and were greatly concerned to think themselves ready to be put to death; yet some of them, much concerned for their own and Mr Fosters danger, and believing themselves doomed to death if landed as prisoners, determined either to defend themselves manfully or to die with arms in their hands, rather than to submit to the hands of the tormentors333; wherefore they boldly took to their weapons, some armed with javelins, lances, and boar-spears, and others with five calivers ready charged, being all the fire-arms they had. With these they fired up through the gratings of the hatches at the Spaniards on deck, at which the Spaniards were sore amazed not knowing how to escape the danger, and fearing the English had more fire-arms than they actually possessed. Others of the crew laid manfully about among the Spaniards with their lances and boar-spears, disabling two or three of the Spaniards at every stroke. Then some of the Spaniards urged Mr Foster to command his men to lay down their arms and surrender; but he told them that the English were so courageous in the defence of their lives and liberties, that it was not in his power to controul them, for on such an occasion they would slay both them and him. At this time the blood of the Spaniards flowed plentifully about the deck; some being shot between the legs from below, the bullets came out at their breasts; some were cut in the head, others thrust in the body, and many of them so sore wounded that they rushed faster out at one side of the ship than they came in at the other, tumbling fast overboard on both side with their weapons, some falling into the sea, and others into their boats, in which they made all haste on shore. But though they came to the ship in great numbers, only a small number of them returned, yet it is not known how many of them were slain or drowned. On this occasion only one Englishman was slain named John Tristram, and six others wounded; but it was piteous to behold so many Spaniards swimming in the sea, and unable to save their lives, of whom four who had got hold of some part of the ship, were rescued from the waves by Mr Foster and his men, whose bosoms were found stuffed with paper to defend them from the shot, and these four being wounded, were dressed by the English surgeon. One of these was the corregidore himself, who was governor over an hundred cities and towns, his appointments exceeding six hundred pounds a year. This strange incident took place about six o'clock in the evening; after they had landed upwards of twenty tons of goods from the Primrose, which were delivered at Bilboa by John Barrell and John Brodbank, who were made prisoners on shore.

After this valiant exploit, performed by 28 Englishmen against 97 Spaniards, Mr Foster and his men saw that it were vain for them to remain any longer; wherefore they hoisted their sails and came away with the rest of their goods, and arrived safely by the blessing of God near London, on the 8th June 1585. During their return towards England, the corregidore and the other Spaniards they had made prisoners offered 500 crowns to be set on shore anywhere on the coast of Spain or Portugal; but as Mr Foster would not consent, they were glad to crave mercy and remain on board. On being questioned by Mr Foster as to their reason for endeavouring thus to betray him and his men, the corregidore assured him it was not done of their own accord, but by the command of the king of Spain; and calling for his hose, which were wet, he took out the royal commission authorising and commanding him to do what he had attempted, which was to the following purport:

"Licentiate de Escober, my corregidore of my lordship of Biscay. Seeing that I have caused a great fleet to be equipped in the havens of Lisbon and Seville, that there is required for the soldiers, armour, victuals, and ammunition, and that great store of shipping is wanted for the said service: I therefore require you, on sight of this order, that with as much secrecy as may be, you take order for arresting all the shipping that may be found on the coast and in the ports of the said lordship, particularly all such as belong to Holland, Zealand, Esterland, Germany, England, or other provinces and countries that are in rebellion against me; excepting those of France, which, being small and weak, are thought unfit for the present service. And being thus arrested and staid, you shall take special care, that such merchandise as are on board these ships be taken out, and that all the armour, arms, ammunition, tackle, sails, and provisions be bestowed in safe custody, so that none of the ships and men may escape, &c. Done at Barcelona, the 29th May 1585."

In this gallant exploit is to be noted, both the great courage of the master, and the love of the mariners to save their master; likewise the great care of Mr Foster to save as much as he could of the goods of his owners, although by this conduct he may never more frequent those parts, without losing his own life and those of his people, as they would assuredly, if known, subject themselves to the sharp torments of their Holy house. As for the king of Spain pretending that the English were in rebellion against him, it is sufficiently well known even to themselves, with what love, unity, and concord our ships have ever dealt with them, being always at least as willing to shew pleasure and respect to their king and them, as they have been to deal hospitably by the English. –Hakl.

SECTION II. Voyage of Sir Francis Drake, in 1585, to the West Indies334

Upon the knowledge of the embargo laid by the king of Spain in 1585, upon the English ships, men, and goods found in his country, having no means to relieve her subjects by friendly treaty, her majesty authorised such as had sustained loss by that order of embargo to right themselves by making reprisals upon the subjects of the king of Spain; for which she gave them her letters of reprisal, to take and arrest all ships and merchandises they might find at sea or elsewhere, belonging to the subjects of that King. At the same time, to revenge the wrongs offered to her crown and dignity, and to resist the preparations then making against her by the king of Spain, her majesty equipped a fleet of twenty-five sail of ships, and employed them under the command of Sir Francis Drake, as the fittest person in her dominions, by reason of his experience and success in sundry actions.

It is not my intention to give all the particulars of the voyages treated of, but merely to enumerate the services performed, and the mistakes and oversights committed, as a warning to those who may read them, to prevent the like errors hereafter. As this voyage of Sir Francis Drake was the first undertaking on either side in this war, for it ensued immediately after the arrest of our ships and goods in Spain, I shall deliver my opinion of it before I proceed any farther. One impediment to the voyage was, that to which the ill success of several others that followed was imputed, viz. the want of victuals and other necessaries fit for so great an expedition; for had not this fleet met with a ship of Biscay, coming from Newfoundland with fish, which relieved their necessities, they had been reduced to great extremity. In this expedition Sir Francis Drake sailed in the Elizabeth Bonadventure; captain Frobisher, in the Aid was second in command; and captain Carlee was lieutenant-general of the forces by land, Sir Francis having the supreme command both as admiral and general.

The services performed in this expedition were, the taking and sacking of St Domingo in Hispaniola, of Carthagena on the continent of America, and of St Justina in Florida, three towns of great importance in the West Indies. This fleet was the greatest of any nation, except the Spaniards, that had ever been seen in these seas since their first discovery; and, if the expedition had been as well considered of before going from home, as it was happily performed by the valour of those engaged, it had more annoyed the king of Spain than all the other actions that ensued during that war. But it seems our long peace had made us incapable of advice in war; for had we kept and defended those places when in our possession, and made provision to have relieved them from England, we had diverted the war from Europe; for at that time there was no comparison betwixt the strength of Spain and England by sea, by means whereof we might have better defended these acquisitions, and might more easily have encroached upon the rest of the Indies, than the king of Spain could have aided or succoured them. But now we see and find by experience, that those places which were then weak and unfortified, are since fortified, so that it is to no purpose for us to attempt annoying the king of Spain now in his dominions in the West Indies. And, though this expedition proved fortunate and victorious, yet as it was father an awakening than a weakening of the king of Spain, it had been far better wholly let alone, than to have undertaken it on such slender grounds, and with such inconsiderable forces335.

SECTION III. Cruizing Voyage to the Azores by Captain Whiddon, in 1586, written by John Evesham336

This voyage was performed by two barks or pinnaces, the Serpent of 35 tons, and the Mary Sparke of Plymouth of 50 tons, both belonging to Sir Walter Raleigh, knight. Leaving Plymouth on the 10th June 1586, we directed our course in the first place for the coast of Spain, and thence for the islands called the Azores, in which course we captured a small bark, laden with sumach and other commodities, in which was the Portuguese governor of St Michael's Island, with several other Portuguese and Spaniards. Sailing thence to the island of Gracioso, westward of Tercera, we descried a sail to which we gave chase, and found her to be a Spaniard. But at the first, not much respecting whom we took, so that we might enrich ourselves, which was the object of our expedition, and not willing it should be known what we were, we displayed a white silk ensign in our maintop, which made them believe that we were of the Spanish navy laying in wait for English cruizers; but when we got within shot, we hauled down our white flag, and hoisted the St Georges ensign, on which they fled as fast as they were able, but all in vain, as our ships sailed faster than they; wherefore they threw overboard all their ordnance and shot, with many letters and the chart of the straits of Magellan, which lead into the south sea, immediately after which we took her, finding on board a Spanish gentleman named Pedro Sarmiento, who was governor of the straits of Magellan, whom we brought home to England, and presented to the queen our sovereign.

After this, while plying off and on about the islands, we espied another sail to which we gave chase, during which our admiral sprung his main-mast; yet in the night our vice-admiral got up with and captured the chase, which we found was laden with fish from Cape Blanco on which we let her go for want of hands to bring her home. Next day we descried two vessels, one a ship and the other a caravel, to which we gave chase, on which they made with all haste for the island of Gracioso, where they got to anchor under protection of a fort; as having the wind of us we were unable to cut them off from the land, or to get up to attack them with our ships as they lay at anchor. Having a small boat which we called a light horseman, there went into her myself and four men armed with calivers, and four others to row, in which we went towards them against the wind. On seeing us row towards them, they carried a considerable part of their merchandise on shore, and landed all the men of both vessels; and as soon as we got near, they began to fire upon us both from their cannon and small arms, which we returned as well as we could. We then boarded one of their ships, in which they had not left a single man; and having cut her cables and hoisted her sails, we sent her off with two of our men. The other seven of us then went very near the shore and boarded the caravel, which rode within stones throw of the shore, insomuch that the people on the land threw stones at us; yet in spite of them, we took possession of her, there being only one negro on board. Having cut her cables and hoisted her sails, she was so becalmed under the land that we had to tow her off with our boat, the fort still firing on us from their cannon, while the people on shore, to the number of about 150, continually fired at us with muskets and calivers, we answering them with our five muskets. At this time the shot from my musket, being a bar-shot, happened to strike the gunner of the fort dead, while he was levelling one of his great guns; and thus we got off from them without loss or wound on our part. Having thus taken five337 sail in all, we did as we had done with the ship with the fish, we turned them off without hurting them, save that we took from one of them her mainmast for our admiral, and sent her away with all our Spanish and Portuguese prisoners, except Pedro Sarmiento, three other principal persons, and two negroes, leaving them within sight of land, with bread and water sufficient to serve them ten days.

We now bent our course for England, taking our departure from off the western islands in about the latitude of 41° N. and soon afterwards one of our men descried a sail from the foretop, then ten sail, and then fifteen sail. It was now concluded to send off our two prizes, by manning of which we did not leave above 60 men in our two pinnaces. When we had dispatched them, we made sail towards the fleet we had discovered, which we found to consist of 24 sail in all; two of them being great caraks, one of 1200 and the other of 1000 tons, and 10 galeons, all the rest being small ships and caravels, laden with treasure, spices, and sugars. In our two small pinnaces we kept company with this fleet of 24 ships for 32 hours, continually fighting with them and they with us; but the two huge caraks always kept between their fleet and us, so that we were unable to take any one of them; till at length, our powder growing short, we were forced to give over, much against our wills, being much bent upon gaining some of them, but necessity compelling us by want of powder, we left them, without any loss of our men, which was wonderful, considering the disparity of force and numbers.

We now continued our course to Plymouth, where we arrived within six hours after our prizes, though we sent them away forty hours before we began our homeward course. We were joyfully received, with the ordnance of the town, and all the people hailed us with willing hearts, we not sparing our shot in return with what powder we had left. From thence we carried our prizes to Southampton, where our owner, Sir Walter Raleigh, met us and distributed to us our shares of the prizes.

Our prizes were laden with sugars, elephants teeth, wax, hides, Brazil-wood, and cuser? as may be made manifest by the testimony of me, John Evesham, the writer hereof, as likewise of captains Whiddon, Thomas Rainford, Benjamin Wood, William Cooper master, William Cornish master, Thomas Drak corporal, John Ladd gunner, William Warefield gunner, Richard Moon, John Drew, Richard Cooper of Harwich, William Beares of Ratcliff, John Row of Saltash, and many others.

SECTION IV. Brief relation of notable service performed by Sir Francis Drake in 1587338


The title of this article at large in Hakluyt is, A brief relation of the notable service performed by Sir Francis Drake, upon the Spanish fleet prepared in the road of Cadiz; and of his destroying 100 sail of barks; passing from thence all along the coast of Spain to Cape Sacre, where also he took certain forts; and so to the mouth of the river of Lisbon; thence crossing over sea to the isle of St Michael, where he surprised a mighty carak called the St Philip, coming from the East Indies, being the first of that kind ever seen in England.

The editor of Astleys Collection says, that this relation seems to have been taken from a letter, written by one who was in the expedition to a friend; and thinks that it is not unlike the manner of Sir Walter Raleigh. –E.


Being informed of mighty naval preparations in Spain for the invasion of England, her Majesty queen Elizabeth, by the good advice of her grave and prudent council, thought it expedient to use measures to prevent the same; for which purpose she caused a fleet of some thirty sail to be equipped, over which she appointed as general Sir Francis Drake, of whose many former good services she had sufficient proof. She accordingly caused four ships of her royal navy to be delivered to him, the Bonaventure, in which he went general; the Lion, under the command of Mr William Borough, comptroller of the navy; the Dreadnought, commanded by Mr Thomas Venner; and the Rainbow, of which Mr Henry Bellingham was captain339. Besides these four ships, two of her majestys pinnaces were appointed to serve as tenders or advice boats. To this fleet, there were added certain tall ships belonging to the city of London, of whose special good service the general made particular mention, in his letters to the queen.

This fleet sailed from Plymouth Sound, towards the coast of Spain, in April 1587. The 16th of that month, in latitude of 40° N. we met two ships belonging to Middleburg, in Zealand, coming from Cadiz, by which we were acquainted that vast abundance of warlike stores were provided at Cadiz and that neighbourhood, and were ready to be sent to Lisbon. Upon this information, our general made sail with all possible expedition thither, to cut off and destroy their said forces and stores, and upon the 19th of April entered with his fleet into the harbour of Cadiz; where at our first entering we were assailed by six gallies over against the town, but which we soon constrained to retire under cover of their fortress. There were in the road at our arrival sixty ships, besides sundry small vessels close under the fortress. Twenty French ships fled immediately to Puerta Real, followed by some small Spanish vessels that were able to pass the shoals. At our first coming, we sunk a ship belonging to Ragusa of 1000 tons, very richly laden, which was armed with 40 brass guns. There came two other gallies from Port St Mary, and two more from Puerta Real, which shot freely at us, but altogether in vain, so that they were forced to retire well beaten for their pains. Before night we had taken 30 of their ships, and were entire masters of the road in spite of the gallies, which were glad to retire under the protection of the fort. Among the captured ships was one quite new, of extraordinary size, being above 1200 tons burden, belonging to the Marquis of Santa Cruz, high admiral of Spain. Five were ships of Biscay, four of which were taking in stores and provisions belonging to the king of Spain for his great fleet at Lisbon, which we burnt. The fifth was of about 1000 tons, laden with iron spikes, nails, hoops, horse shoes, and other things of a similar kind, for the West Indies, which we likewise set on fire. We also took a ship of 250 tons, laden with wines on the kings account, which ship we carried with us to sea, when we took out the wines for our own use, and then set her on fire. We took three fliboats of 300 tons each, laden with biscuit, one of which we set on fire, after taking out half her loading, and took the other two with us to sea. We likewise fired ten ships, which were laden with wine, raisins, figs, oil, wheat, and the like. The whole number of ships which we then burnt, sunk, or brought away, amounted to 30 at the least, and by our estimation to the burden of 10,000 tons. Besides these, there were about 40 ships at Puerta Real, not including those that fled from Cadiz.

We found little ease during our stay in the road of Cadiz, as the enemy were continually firing at us from the gallies, the fortress, and the shore, being continually employed in planting new batteries against us in all convenient situations; besides which, finding they could not defend their ships any longer, they set them on fire that they might come among us, so that at the tide of flood we had much ado to defend ourselves: Yet was this a pleasant sight to behold, as we were thereby relieved from the great labour and fatigue of discharging the provisions and stores belonging to the enemy into our ships. Thus, by the assistance of the Almighty, and the invincible courage and good conduct of our general, this perilous but happy enterprize was achieved in one day and two nights, to the great astonishment of the king of Spain, and the so great vexation of the Marquis of Santa Cruz, the high admiral, that he never had a good day after, and in a few months, as may justly be supposed, he died of extreme grief. Having thus performed this notable service, we came out from the road of Cadiz on Friday morning, the 21st of April, having sustained so small loss as is not worth mentioning.

After our departure, the ten gallies which were in the road of Cadiz came out after us, as if in bravado, playing their ordnance against us. At this time the wind scanted, upon which we cast round again, and made for the shore, coming to anchor within a league of the town; and there, for all their vapouring, the gallies allowed us to ride in quiet. Having thus had experience of a galley fight, I can assure you that the four ships of her majesty which we had with us would make no scruple to fight with twenty gallies, if all alone, and not being occupied in guarding others. There never were gallies that had better place and opportunity of advantage to fight against ships; yet were they forced to retire from us while riding at anchor in a narrow gut, which we were obliged to maintain till we had discharged and fired their ships, which we could only do conveniently upon the flood tide, at which time the burning ships might drive clear of us. Being thus provisioned for several months with bread and wine at the enemies cost, besides what we had brought with us from England, our general dispatched captain Crosse to England with his letters, giving him farther in charge to relate all the particulars of this our first enterprize to her majesty.

We then shaped our course to Cape Sacre340, and in our way thither we took at several times near 100 ships, barks, and caravels, laden with hoops, galley oars, pipe staves, and other stores belonging to the king of Spain, intended for furthering his preparations against England, all of which we set on fire and destroyed, setting all their men on shore. We also spoiled and destroyed all the fishing boats and nets thereabouts, to their great annoyance, and as we suppose to the entire overthrow of their rich Tunny fishing for that year. We came at length to Cape Sagres, where we landed; and the better to enjoy the harbour at our ease341, we assailed the castle of Sagres and three other strong holds, some of which we took by storm and others by surrender. From thence we came before the harbour of Lisbon or mouth of the Tagus, where lay the Marquis of Santa Cruz with his fleet of gallies, who seeing us chase his ships on shore, and take and carry away his barks and caravels, was obliged to allow us to remain quietly at our pleasure, and likewise to depart, without exchanging a single shot. When our general sent him word that he was ready to combat with him, the marquis refused his challenge, saying that he was not then ready, neither had he any such commission from his sovereign.

Thus having his challenge refused by the marquis, and seeing no more good to be done on the coast of Spain, our general thought it improper to spend any more time there; and therefore with consent of his chief officers342, he shaped his course towards the island of St Michael, within 20 or 30 leagues of which he had the good fortune to fall in with a Portuguese carak, called the San Philippo, being the same ship which had carried out to the Indies three Japanese princes who had been in Europe343. The carak surrendered without resistance, and being the first that had ever been taken on the homeward voyage from India, the Portuguese took it for a bad omen, especially as she had the kings own name. Our general put all the people belonging to this carak into certain vessels well provided with provisions, and sent them courteously home to their own country. The riches of this prize seemed so great to the whole fleet, as in truth they were, that every one expected to have sufficient reward of their labour, and thereupon it was unanimously resolved to return to England, which we happily did, and arrived safe the same summer in Plymouth with our whole fleet and this rich booty, to our own profit and due honour, and the great admiration of the whole kingdom.

It may be here noted, that the taking of this carak wrought two extraordinary effects in England; as in the first place it taught others that caraks were no such bugbears but that they might be easily taken, as has been since experienced in taking the Madre de Dios, and in burning and sinking others; and secondly in acquainting the English nation more particularly with the exceeding riches and vast wealth of the East Indies, by which themselves and their neighbours of Holland have been encouraged, being no less skillful in navigation nor of less courage than the Portuguese, to share with them in the rich trade of India, where they are by no means so strong as was formerly supposed.

SECTION V. Brief account of the Expedition of the Spanish Armada in 1588344

Notwithstanding the great hurt and spoil made by Sir Francis Drake in Cadiz roads the year before, by intercepting some part of the preparations intended for the great navy of the king of Spain, he used his utmost endeavours to be revenged this year, lest by longer delay his designs might be prevented as before; wherefore he arrested all ships, men, and necessaries that were wanting for his fleet, compelling every one to serve him in his great expedition. He appointed for general of this his so called Invincible Armada, the duke of Medina Sidonia, who was employed on this occasion more for his high birth and exalted rank, than for any experience in sea affairs; for so many dukes, marquises, and earls had volunteered on this occasion, that it was feared they might repine if commanded by a person of lower quality than themselves. They departed from Lisbon on the 19th of May 1588, with the greatest pride and glory, and with less doubt of victory than ever had been done by any nation. But God, angry with their insolence, turned the event quite contrary to their expectation.

The directions given by the king of Spain to his general, the duke of Medina Sidonia, were to repair, as wind and weather might allow, to the road of Calais in Picardy, there to wait the arrival of the prince of Parma and his army, and on their meeting they were to open a letter containing their farther instructions. He was especially commanded to sail along the coasts of Brittany and Normandy in going up the channel, to avoid being discovered by the English; and, if he even met the English fleet, he was in no case to offer them battle, but only to defend himself in case of attack. On coming athwart the North Cape345 the duke was assailed with contrary wind and foul weather, by which he was forced to take shelter in the Groyne, or bay of Corunna, where part of his fleet waited for him.

When about to depart from Corunna, the duke got intelligence from an English fisherman, that our fleet had lately been at sea, but had put back again and discharged most of their men, as not expecting the Spanish armada this year. This intelligence occasioned the duke to alter his resolutions, and to disobey the instructions given him by the king; yet this was not done without some difficulty, as the council was divided in opinion, some holding it best to observe the kings commands, while others were anxious not to lose the opportunity of surprising our fleet at unawares, when they hoped to burn and destroy them. Diego Flores de Valdes, who commanded the squadron of Andalusia, and on whom the duke most relied, because of his judgment and experience in maritime affairs, was the main cause of persuading to make the attempt upon our ships in harbour, and in that design they directed their course for England.

The first land they fell in with was the Lizard, being the most southerly point of Cornwall, which they mistook for the Ram-head off Plymouth; and as the night was at hand, they tacked out to sea, laying their account to make an attempt upon our ships in Plymouth next morning. In the mean time, while thus deceived in the land, they were discovered by captain Fleming, a pirate or freebooter who had been roving at sea, and who knowing them to be the Spanish fleet, repaired in all haste to Plymouth, and gave notice to our fleet then, riding at anchor, as follows:


Ships – Commanders (Tons Guns Men)

The Ark Royal – The Lord Admiral (800 32 400)

Revenge – Sir F. Drake, vice admiral

Victory – Sir J. Hawkins, rear admiral (800 52 400)

Lion – Lord Thomas Howard (500 80 250)

Bear – Lord Sheffield (900 40 500)

Elizabeth-Jonas – Sir Robert Southwell (900 40 500)

Triumph – Sir Martin Frobisher (1000 40 500)

Hope – Captain Crosse (600 30 250)

Bonaventure – Captain Reyman (600 30 250)

Dreadnought – Captain George Beeston (400 20 200)

Nonparielle – Captain Thomas Fenner (500 50 250)

Swiftsure – Captain William Fenner (400 20 200)

Rainbow – Lord Henry Seymour

Vauntguard – Sir William Wentworth

Mary-Rose – Captain Fenton

Antilope – Sir Henry Palmer (350 16 160)

Foresight – Captain Baker (300 16 160)

Aid – Captain John Wentworth

Swallow – Captain Richard Hawkins (330 16 160)

Tiger – Captain William Wentworth (200 12 100)

Scout – Captain Ashley (120 8 66)


Tremontanny (– 8 70)

Acatice (100 8 60)

Charles, pinnace Captain Roberts

Moon – Captain Clifford

Spy – Captain Bradbury (50 5 40)


Immediately on receiving the intelligence brought by Fleming, the lord admiral got out his ships to sea with all possible expedition; so that before the Spaniards could draw near Plymouth, they were welcomed at sea by the lord admiral and his fleet, who continued to fight with them till they came to anchor at Calais. The particulars of the fight and its success I purposely omit, being things so well known347.

While this great armada was preparing, her majesty had frequent and perfect intelligence of the designs of the Spaniards; and knowing that the king of Spain intended to invade England by means of a mighty fleet from his own coast, she caused her royal navy to be fitted out under the conduct of the lord high admiral of England, whom she stationed at Plymouth as the fittest place for attending their coming. Knowing however, that it was not the Armada alone which could endanger the safety of England, as it was too weak for any enterprise on land, without the assistance of the Prince of Parma and his army in Flanders, she therefore appointed thirty ships of the Hollanders to lie at anchor off Dunkirk, where the prince and his army were to have embarked in flat bottomed boats, which were built on purpose and all in readiness for the expedition to England. Thus by the wise precautions of the queen, the prince was effectually prevented from putting to sea with his flat boats; but in truth neither his vessels nor his army were in readiness, which caused the king of Spain to be jealous of him ever after, and is supposed to have hastened his end.

Although her majesty had taken the most vigilant precautions to foresee and prevent all dangers that might threaten from sea, yet did she not deem herself and country too secure against the enemy by these means, and therefore prepared a royal army to receive them in case of landing. But it was not the will of God that the enemy should set foot on England, and the queen became victorious over him at sea with small hazard, and little bloodshed of her subjects. Having thus shewn the designs of the Spaniards, and the course pursued by the queen to prevent them, I propose now to consider the errors committed on both sides348.

Nothing could appear more rational or more likely to happen, after the Duke of Medina Sidonia had got intelligence of the state of our navy, than a desire to surprise them at unawares in harbour; since he well knew, if he had taken away or destroyed our strength at sea, that he might have landed when and where he pleased, which is a great advantage to an invading enemy: Yet, admitting it to have had the effect he designed, I see not how he is to be commended for infringing the instructions he had received from his sovereign. That being the case, it is easy to appreciate what blame he deserved for the breach of his instructions, when so ill an event followed from his rashness and disobedience. It was not his want of experience, or his laying the blame on Valdes, that excused him at his return to Spain, where he certainly had been severely punished, had not his wife obtained for him the royal favour.

Before the arrival in Spain of the ships that escaped from the catastrophe of this expedition, it was known there that Diego Flores de Valdes had persuaded the duke to infringe the royal instructions. Accordingly, the king had given strict orders in all his ports, wherever Valdes might arrive, to apprehend him, which was executed, and he was carried to the castle of Santander, without being permitted to plead in his defence, and remained there without being ever seen or heard of afterwards; as I learned from his page, with whom I afterwards conversed, we being both prisoners together in the castle of Lisbon. If the directions of the king of Spain had been punctually carried into execution, then the armada had kept along the coast of France, and had arrived in the road of Calais before being discovered by our fleet, which might have greatly endangered the queen and realm, our fleet being so far off at Plymouth. And, though the Prince of Parma had not been presently ready, yet he might have gained sufficient time to get in readiness, in consequence of our fleet being absent. Although the prince was kept in by the thirty sail of Hollanders, yet a sufficient number of the dukes fleet might have been able to drive them from the road of Dunkirk and to have possessed themselves of that anchorage, so as to have secured the junction of the armada and the land army; after which it would have been an easy matter for them to have transported themselves to England. What would have ensued on their landing may be well imagined.

But it was the will of HIM who directs all men and their actions, that the fleets should meet, and the enemy be beaten, as they were, and driven from their anchorage in Calais roads, the Prince of Parma blockaded in the port of Dunkirk, and the armada forced to go about Scotland and Ireland with great hazard and loss: Which shews how God did marvellously defend us against the dangerous designs of our enemies. Here was a favourable opportunity offered for us to have followed up the victory upon them: For, after they were beaten from the road of Calais, and all their hopes and designs frustrated, if we had once more offered to fight them, it is thought that the duke was determined to surrender, being so persuaded by his confessor. This example, it is very likely, would have been followed by the rest. But this opportunity was lost, not through the negligence or backwardness of the lord admiral, but through the want of providence in those who had the charge of furnishing and providing for the fleet: For, at that time of so great advantage, when they came to examine into the state of their stores, they found a general scarcity of powder and shot, for want of which they were forced to return home; besides which, the dreadful storms which destroyed so many of the Spanish fleet, made it impossible for our ships to pursue those of them that remained. Another opportunity was lost, not much inferior to the other, by not sending part of our fleet to the west of Ireland, where the Spaniards were of necessity to pass, after the many dangers and disasters they had endured. If we had been so happy as to have followed this course, which was both thought of and discoursed of at the time, we had been absolutely victorious over this great and formidable armada. For they were reduced to such extremity, that they would willingly have yielded, as divers of them confessed that were shipwrecked in Ireland.

By this we may see how weak and feeble are the designs of men, in respect of the great Creator; and how indifferently he dealt between the two nations, sometimes giving one the advantage sometimes the other; and yet so that he only ordered the battle.

SECTION VI. Account of the Relief of a part of the Spanish Armada, at Anstruther in Scotland, in 1588349

However glorious and providential the defeat and destruction of the Invincible Armada, it does not belong to the present work to give a minute relation of that great national event. It seems peculiarly necessary and proper, however, in this work, to give a very curious unpublished record respecting the miserable fate of the Spanish armada, as written by a contemporary, the Reverend James Melville, minister of Anstruther, a sea-port town on the Fife, or northern, shore of the Frith of Forth.

James Melville, who was born in 1556, and appears to have been inducted to the living of Anstruther only a short time before the year 1588, left a MS. history of his own life and times, extending to the year 1601. Of this curious unpublished historical document, there are several copies extant, particularly in the splendid library of the Faculty of Advocates, and in that belonging to the Writers to the Signet, both at Edinburgh. The present article is transcribed from a volume of MSS belonging to a private gentleman, communicated to the editor by a valued literary friend. It had formerly belonged to a respectable clergyman of Edinburgh, and has the following notice of its origin written by the person to whom it originally belonged.

"The following History of the Life of James Melville, was transcribed from an old MS. lent to me by Sir William Calderwood of Poltoun, one of the Judges of the Courts of Session and Justiciary, who had it among other papers that belonged to his grand-uncle, Mr David Calderwood, author of Altare Damascenum, History, &c."

This MS. so far as it contains the Life of James Melville, extends to 360 folio pages; of which the present article occupies about three pages, from near the bottom of p. 184. to nearly the same part of p. 187. The orthography seems to have been considerably modernized by the transcriber, but without changing the antiquated words and modes of expression. Such of these as appeared difficult to be understood by our English readers, are here explained between brackets. –E.


That winter [1587-8] the King [James VI. of Scotland] was occupied in commenting of the Apocalyps, and in setting out sermons thereupon, against the papists and Spaniards; and yet, by a piece of great oversight, the papists practiced never more busily in this land, and [nor] made greater preparation for receiving of the Spaniards, nor [than] that year. For a long time, the news of a Spanish navy and army had been blazed abroad; and about the lambastyde of the year 1588, this island had found a fearful effect thereof, to the utter subversion both of kirk and policy, if God had not wonderfully watched over the same, and mightily foughen and defeat that army, by his souldiers the elements, which he made all four most fiercely till afflict them, till almost utter consumption. Terrible was the fear, peircing were the preachings, earnest zealous and fervent were the prayers, sounding were the sighs and sabs, and abounding were the tears, at that fast and general assembly keeped at Edinburgh, when the news were credibly told, sometimes of their landing at Dunbar, sometimes at St Andrews and in Tay, and now and then at Aberdeen and Cromerty firth: and, in very deed, as we knew certainly soon after, the Lord of armies, who rides upon the wings of the wind, the Keeper of his own Israel, was in the mean time convying that monstrous navy about our coasts, and directing their hulks and galliasses to the islands, rocks and sands, whereupon he had distinat their wrack and destruction.

For, within two or three moneths thereafter, early in the morning by break of day, one of our baillies350 came to my bed side, saying, but not with fray [fear], "I have to tell you news, Sir: There is arrived within our harbour this morning, a shipfull of Spaniards, but not to give mercy; but to ask." And so shews me that the commander had landed, and he had commanded them to their ship again, and the Spaniards had humbly obeyed. He therefore desired me to rise and hear their petition with them. Up I got with diligence, and, assembling the honest men of the town, came to the tolbooth351, and after consultation taken to hear them and what answer to make, there presented us a very venerable man of big stature, and grave and stout countenance, grey haired and very humble like, who, after much and very low courtesie, bowing down with his face near the ground, and touching my shoe with his hand, began his harangue in the Spanish tongue, whereof I understood the substance; and, I being about to answer in Latin, he having only a young man with him to be his interpreter, [who] began and told over again to us in good English.

The sum was, That king Philip his master had rigged out a navy and army to land in England, for just causes to be avenged of many intollerable wrongs which he had received of that nation. But God, for their sins, had been against them, and by storm of weather had driven the navy by [past] the coast of England, and him with certain captains, being the general of twenty hulks, upon an isle of Scotland called the Fair isle, where they had made shipwrack, and were, so many as had escaped the merciless seas and rocks, more nor [than] six or seven weeks suffered great hunger and cold, till conducting that bark out of Orkney, they were come hither as to their special friends and confederates, to kiss the kings majesties hand of Scotland, and herewith he becked [bowed] even to the yeard [ground]; and to find relief and comfort thereby to himself, these gentlemen, captains, and the poor souldiers, whose condition was for the present most miserable and pitiful.

I answered this much in sum, That, howbeit neither our friendship, which could not be great, seeing their king and they were friends to the greatest enemy of Christ, the pope of Rome, and our king and we defied him, nor yet their cause against our neighbours and special friends of England, could procure any benefit at our hands for their relief or comfort; nevertheless they should know by experience that we were men, and so moved by human compassion, and christians of better religion nor [than] they, which should kythe [appear manifest] in the fruits and effects plain contrary to theirs: For, whereas our people, resorting among them in peaceable and lawful affairs of merchandise, were violently taken and cast in prison, their goods and gier [chattels] confiscate, and their bodies committed to the cruel flaming fire for the cause of religion, they should find nothing amongst us but Christian pity and works of mercy and alms, leaving to God to work in their hearts concerning religion as it pleased him. This being truly reported again to him by his townsmen, with great reverence he gave thanks and said, "He could not make answer for their kirk [church], and the laws and order thereof, only for himself, that there were divers Scotsmen who knew him, and to whom he had shewn courtesy and favour at Calice352, and as he supposed some of this same town of Anstruther."

So [I] shewed him that the bailies had granted him licence, with the captains, to go to their lodging for their refreshment, but to none of their men to land, till the overlord of the town were advertised, and understood the kings majesties mind anent [concerning] them. Thus with great courtesie he departed.

That night the laird [lord of the manor] being advertised, came; and, on the morn, with a good number of the gentlemen of the countrey round about, gave the said general and the captains presence, [audience] and after the same speeches in effect as before, received them in his house, and suffered the souldiers to come a land and ly altogether to the number of thirteen score, for the most part young beardless men, silly, [weak] travelled, and hungered; to the which, one day or two kail pottage353 and fish was given; for my advice was conform to the prophet Elizeus [Elisha] his to the king of Israel in Samaria, Give them bread and water, &c.

The names of the commanders were Jan [Juan] Gomes de Medina, general of twenty hulks, captain Patricio, captain de Lagaretto, captain de Luffera, captain Mauretio, and Seingour Serrano. But verily all the while, my heart melted within me for desire of thankfulness to God, when I remembered the prideful and cruel natural temper of the people, and how they would have used us, in case they had landed with their forces among us, and the wonderful work of Gods mercy and justice in making us see them, the chief commanders of them, to make such due-gard [submission] and courtesie to poor seamen, and their souldiers, so abjectly, to beg alms at our doors and in our streets.

In the mean time, they knew not of the wrack of the rest, but supposed that the rest of the army was safely returned [to Spain], till one day I got in St Andrews, in print, the wrack of the gallies in particular, with the names of the principal men, and how they were used, in Ireland and our Highlands, in Wales and other parts of England. The which, when I recorded to Jan Gomes, by particular and special names, he cried out for grief, bursted and grat [burst into tears]. This Jan Gomes shewed great kindness to a ship of our town, which he found arriested at Calais354 at home coming, rode355 to court for her, and made great russe [praise] of Scotland to his king, took the honest men to his house, and inquired for the laird of Anstruther, for the minister, and his host, and sent home many commendations: But we thanked God in our hearts, that we had seen them in that form.

SECTION VII. A cruising Voyage to the Azores in 1589, by the Earl of Cumberland356

We learn from Hakluyt, II. 647, that this narrative was written by Mr Edward Wright, an eminent mathematician and engineer, who was the real author of that admirable invention for charts, commonly called Mercators projection, but unjustly, as Mr Wright complains in his work entitled Vulgar Errors, where he charges Mercator with plagiarism. From the narrative, Mr Wright appears to have been engaged in the expedition and on board the Victory357.


The right honourable the Earl of Cumberland, intending to cruize against the enemy, prepared a small fleet of four ships only358 at his own charges, one of which was the Victory359 belonging to the queens royal navy. The others were the Meg and Margaret, two small ships, one of which was soon obliged to be sent home as unable to endure the sea, besides a small caravel. Having assembled about 400 men, sailors and soldiers, with several gentlemen volunteers, the earl and they embarked and set sail from Plymouth Sound on the 28th June 1589, accompanied by the following captains and gentlemen. Captain Christopher Lister, an officer of great resolution, Captain Edward Careless, alias Wright, who had been captain of the Hope in Sir Francis Drakes expedition to the West Indies against St Domingo and Carthagena; Captain Boswel, Mr Mervin, Mr Henry Long, Mr Partridge, Mr Norton; Mr William Monson, afterwards Sir William360, who was captain of the Meg and vice-admiral, and Mr Pigeon, who was captain of the caravel.

About three days after our departure from Plymouth, we met with three French ships, one of which belonged to Newhaven361, and another to St Maloes; and finding them to be leaguers362, and therefore lawful prizes, we took them, and sent two of them home to England with all their loading, being mostly fish from Newfoundland, having first distributed among our ships as much of the fish as they could find stowage room for; and in the third ship we sent all the prisoners home to France. On that day and the next we met some other ships, but finding them belonging to Rotterdam and Embden, bound for Rochelle, we dismissed them. On the 28th and 29th, we met several of our English ships returning from an expedition to Portugal, which we relieved with victuals. The 13th July, being in sight of the coast of Spain in lat. 39° N. we descried eleven ships, on which we immediately prepared to engage them, sending the Meg commanded by Captain Monson to ascertain what and whence they were. On the approach of the Meg some shots were exchanged, and as their admiral and vice-admiral displayed their flags, we perceived that some fighting was likely to follow. Having therefore prepared for battle, we made all haste towards them, always taking care to get to windward, and between ten and eleven o'clock A.M. we came up with them in the Victory, when they all yielded after a slight resistance. The masters all came on board our admiral, and shewed their several passports from Hamburg, Lubeck, Bremen, Pomerania, and Calais. They had certain bags of pepper and cinnamon, which they confessed to belong to a Jew in Lisbon, which they had charge of to deliver to his factor in their country; and finding this to be lawful prize by their own confession, the same was taken and divided among our whole company, the value being estimated at L.4500, at two shillings the pound363. We dismissed these ships on the 17th of July, but seven of their men, having volunteered as sailors in our fleet, were taken to reinforce our crew. After this we held on our course for the Azores or Western islands.

In the morning of the 1st August we got sight of St Michael, one of the eastermost of the Azores, towards which we made sail all that day; and, putting up a Spanish flag at our maintop that we might not be suspected for enemies, we approached at night to the chief town and road of the island, where we espied three ships and some other vessels at anchor, all of which we determined to take during the darkness of the night. Accordingly about ten or eleven o'clock P.M. our boats were sent well manned to cut their cables and hawsers and tow them out to sea. On coming to them, one of the largest of these ships was found to be the Falcon of London, commanded by a Scots pilot who passed her off as his own. But our men let loose three other smaller ships, which they towed towards us, most of their men leaping overboard and swimming on shore with loud outcries, which were answered from the town, which was all in an uproar on hearing what was going forwards. The castle discharged some shots at our boats, but being unable to see them by reason of the darkness, did us no harm. The Scotsman too, to make the Spaniards believe him their friend, fired a few shots in the air. Shortly after, he and some others came on board our admiral, offering their services. The three ships brought out were laden with wine and sallad oil from Seville. The same day our caravel chaced a Spanish caravel on shore, which carried letters by which we learnt that the caraks had departed from the island of Tercera eight days before.

The 7th of August we got sight of a small ship which we chased towards Tercera with our pinnace, the weather being calm, and overtook her towards evening, when we found in her 30 tons of good Madeira wine, besides woollen cloth, silk, taffeta, and other goods. Coming on the 14th to the island of Flores, it was determined to take in fresh water, and such fresh provisions as the island afforded; wherefore manning our boats with about 120 men, we rowed towards the shore, where the inhabitants, who were assembled at the watering-place, hung out a flag of truce, and we did the like. On coming to them, the earl gave them to understand, by means of his Portuguese interpreter, that he was a friend to their king Don Antonio, and came not with any intention to injure them, meaning only to procure water and fresh provisions, by way of exchange for oil wine and pepper, to which they readily agreed, and sent off some of their people immediately for beeves and sheep. In the meantime we marched southwards to their town of Santa Cruz, whence all the inhabitants had fled and carried off every thing of value. On demanding the reason of this, they answered it proceeded from fear, and that they always did so on the appearance of any ships near their coast. That part of the island was mostly composed of large rocky hills and barren mountains, and was little inhabited, being apt to be molested by ships of war; and even Santa Cruz, one of their principal towns, was all in ruins, having been burnt about two years before by some English ships of war, according to what we were told by the inhabitants. As we were rowing towards the Victory in the evening, a huge fish pursued us for nearly two miles, mostly distant about a spear length from the stern of the boat, and sometimes so near as to touch. The tips of his fins at the gills, appearing often above water, were by estimation four or five yards asunder, and his jaws gaping a yard and half wide, put us in fear he might overset our pinnace; but God be thanked, by rowing as hard as we could, we escaped.

When we were about the island of Flores, we got notice from a small vessel called the Drake364, that the caraks were at Tercera, of which news we were very glad, and made sail thither with all the speed we could. By the way we came to Fayal road on the 27th August after sunset, where we saw some ships at anchor, towards which Captains Lister and Monson were sent in the skiff to see what they were, and lest any mischance should befall our boat, we sent in likewise the Saucy Jack and the small caravel; but as the wind was off shore, these vessels were not able to set up to where the Spanish ships were anchored. The skiff went on however, and endeavoured to board a ship of 250 tons, which carried 14 pieces of ordnance, and continued fighting with her for an hour, till our other boats came up to the rescue and aid of the skiff. A fresh boarding was then attempted, by one boat on the quarter and another on the bow, when we entered on one side while all the Spaniards leapt overboard on the other side, except Juan de Palma the captain, and two or three more. This ship was moored close to the castle, which fired at us all the time; but the only one wounded on the occasion was the master of our caravel, who had the calf of one of his legs shot away. This ship was from St Juan de Puerto Rico, laden with sugar ginger and hides. After we had towed her clear of the castle, our boats went in again and brought out five other small ships; one laden with hides, another with elephants teeth, grains365, cocoa-nuts, and goats skins, come from Guinea; another with woad, and two with dog-fish, which two last were set adrift as of no value, but all the other four were sent for England on the 30th of August. At the taking of these prizes there were consorted with us some other small men of war, as Master John Davis, with his ship, pinnace, and boat; Captain Markesburie with his ship, whose owner was Sir Walter Raleigh; and the bark of Lyme, which also was consorted with us before.

The last of August we came in sight of Tercera in the morning, being about nine or ten leagues from shore, when we espied a small boat under sail coming towards us, which seemed strange at such a distance from land and no ship in sight; but on coming near, we found it to contain eight Englishmen, who had been prisoners in Tercera, and had committed themselves to the sea in this open boat in hopes to escape. Their mainyard consisted of two pipe-staves tied together by the ends, and they had no other provisions than what they had been able to carry off in their pockets and bosoms. When taken on board the Victory, they gave us certain assurance that the caraks had left Tercera about a week before. Being thus without any hopes of taking the caraks, it was resolved to return for Fayal, intending to surprise the town; but till the 9th of September, we had either the wind so contrary, or such calm weather, that in all that time we scarcely made nine or ten leagues way, lingering up and down near the island of Pico.

In the afternoon of the 10th September, we came again to Fayal road; upon which the earl sent Captain Lister, with a person from Graciosa whom Captain Monson had taken some time before, and some others, carrying a message to Fayal. He was met by some of the inhabitants in a boat, who were brought by Captain Lister to my lord, who gave them their choice, either to allow him to take possession of the platform or fort, when he and his company would remain quietly there for some space, without injury, till the inhabitants had compounded for the ransom of their town; or else to stand the chance of war. With this message they returned on shore; but those who had charge of the fort said, that it was contrary to their allegiance and the oath they had taken to king Philip, to deliver up their garrison without endeavouring to defend it. Upon this, the earl gave orders for all the boats of the different ships to be manned and armed, and he soon afterwards landed with all his men on the sandy beach under the side of a hill, about half a league from the fort. Certain troops both horse and foot were seen on the top of the hill, and two other companies appeared to oppose us with displayed ensigns, one on the shore in front of the town, which marched towards our landing place as if they meant to attack us; while the other was seen in a valley to the south of the fort, as if coming to assist in defending the town; and at the same time, the garrison in the fort fired upon us briskly from their cannon. In spite of all these demonstrations of resistance, having first marshalled his men in proper order, my lord marched along the sandy beach towards the fort, passing between the sea and the town for something more than a mile; and as the shore became rocky, so as to render any farther progress in that direction extremely difficult, he entered the town, and marched through the streets unopposed to the fort, these companies of the enemy, that seemed at first resolved to resist his progress, being soon dispersed. Those in the fort likewise fled at our approach, leaving my lord and his men to scale the walls and gain possession, without any resistance. In the meantime the ships continued to batter the town and fort, until they saw the red cross of England floating from the walls.

Fayal is the principal town of this island, and is situated directly over against the high and mighty mountain of Pico, towards the north-west from that mountain, from which it is divided by a narrow sea or strait, which at that place is some two or three leagues broad, between the islands of Fayal and Pico. This town contained about 300 houses, which were handsomely and strongly built of stone and lime, their roofs being double covered with hollow tyles, much like those used in England, only that they are less at one end than at the other. Almost every house had a cistern or well in a garden behind, in which likewise there were vines with ripe grapes, forming pleasant arbours or shady walks; and in every garden there grew some tobacco, then hardly known, but now commonly used in England, with which the women of the place were then in use to stain their faces, to make them look young and fresh. In these gardens there likewise grew pepper, both Indian and common, fig-trees with fruit both white and red, peach-trees rather of humble growth, oranges, lemons, quinces, potatoes, and other fruits and roots. Sweet wood, which I think is cedar, is very common in that island, and is used both for building and fuel.

Having possessed himself of the town and fort, my lord issued orders that none of the soldiers or mariners should enter into any of the houses for plunder, and was especially careful that none of the churches or religious houses should suffer injury of any kind, all of which were preserved from violation by the appointment of guards for their protection. But the rest of the town, either from the want of that precaution, or owing to the cupidity of our people, was rifled and ransacked by the soldiers and mariners, who scarcely left a single house unsearched, taking out of them every thing that struck their fancy or seemed worth carrying away, such as chests of sweet wood, chairs, clothes, coverlets, hangings, bedding, and the like; besides many of our people ranged the country in search of plunder, where some of them were wounded by the inhabitants. The friery at this place contained Franciscan friars, not one of whom was able to speak pure Latin. It was built in 1506 by a friar of that order belonging to Angra in the island of Tercera. The tables in its hall or refectory had seats only on one side, and was always covered, as if ever ready for feasting. We continued in the town from the Wednesday afternoon, at which time we took possession, until the Saturday night, when the inhabitants agreed to pay 2000 ducats for its ransom, which was mostly paid in church plate. In the fort there were 58 pieces of iron ordnance, 23 of which, according to my remembrance, were mounted upon carriages, and placed between baricadoes or merlins on a platform by the sea side. Taking away all the ordnance, we set the platform on fire. On the Sunday following, my lord had invited as many of the inhabitants as chose to dine with him on board the Victory, save only Diego Gomez the governor, who only came once to confer about the ransom. Only four came, who were well entertained, and were afterwards honourably dismissed with the sound of drums and trumpets, and a salute from our cannon. To these persons my lord delivered a letter subscribed by himself, requesting all other Englishmen to abstain from any farther molestation of the place, save only to take such water and provisions as might be necessary.

The day after we came to Fayal, being the 11th September, two men came to us from Pico, who had been prisoners in that island; and we also set a prisoner at liberty who had been sent thither from St Jago, being cousin to a servant of Don Antonio king of Portugal, then residing in England. On Monday we sent our boats on shore for fresh water, having now abundance running down the hills in consequence of heavy rain the night before, which otherwise had been hard to be got. Next day we sent again on shore to complete our stock of water, which was not then so easily brought off, by reason of a strong gale, which increased so much in the afternoon that we did not think it safe to ride so near the land, for which reason we weighed anchor, and stood N.W. by W. along the coast of Fayal. Some of the inhabitants came on board this day, who told us that the wind usually blew strong at W.S.W. at this time of the year on this coast. While near St Georges Island we saw a huge fish of a black colour right ahead of our ship, a little under water, or rather even with its surface, on which the sea broke in such manner that we supposed it a rock; and as we were going directly stem on, we were in great fear for a time how to avoid the seeming danger, till at length we saw it move out of our way.

It lightened much in the night of the 16th September, which was followed by heavy rains and violent gales till the 21st. On the 23d we returned to Fayal road, to weigh an anchor which we had left in our haste to depart. We went on shore to the town, whence many of the people ran away, or were preparing to depart with their goods, till assured by my lord that they had nothing to fear, as we only came for fresh water and other necessaries, for all of which they should be paid to their satisfaction. We then went quietly about the town, purchasing such things as we needed as peaceably as if we had been in England; and the people helped us to fill our water casks, for which they received what satisfied them. We were forced by a heavy tempest to depart on the 25th, before we had completed our water; and the tempest came on so suddenly that my lord himself had to raise the people from their beds to weigh the anchors, himself assisting at the capstans, and cheering the men with wine. Next day, the caravel and the Saucy Jack were sent to the road of St Michaels to see what was there, and we followed on the 27th, plying to and fro; but by contrary winds on the 28th, 29th, and 30th, we were driven to leeward, and could not get near the island. The 1st October, we sailed along the island of Tercera, and at Cape Brazil, near Angra, the strongest town of that island, we espied some boats going towards the town, which we attempted to intercept; but being near land, they ran on shore and escaped.

Coming near Graciosa in the afternoon, my lord sent Captain Lister on shore, to inform the islanders that he only wanted water, wine, and some fresh provisions, and would not otherwise trouble them. They sent back word that they could give no positive answer, until the governors of the island had consulted on the subject, and desired therefore to send for an answer next day. The 2d October, early in the morning, we dispatched our long-boat and pinnace, with 50 or 60 men, together with the Margaret and Captain Davis in his ship to protect them, as we now wanted our other consorts; but when our people endeavoured to land, they were fired at by the islanders, who would not permit them to go on shore, several troops of armed men being drawn up to oppose us with displayed ensigns. Our boats rowed along shore, seeking some place where they might land, without the enemy having too much advantage, our ships and boats firing all the while upon the islanders. No convenient place being found for landing, we were under the necessity of retiring without any answer, as had been promised. After some negociation and delay, they agreed to let us have sixty butts of wine, together with fresh provisions to refresh our men; but declared we could not have water, having little or none for themselves, except what they had saved in tanks or cisterns, insomuch that they would rather give us two tons of wine than one of water. They requested that our soldiers might not come on shore, as they would themselves bring all they had promised to the water side; which request was granted, one of their messengers remaining on board as an hostage for the fulfilment of their promise, while the other went ashore with our empty casks and some of our men to assist in filling them and bringing them away, with such other provision as was promised.

The Margaret, the ship of Captain Davis, and another belonging to Weymouth remained at anchor before the town, to take in our wine and provisions. This ship of Weymouth came to us only the day before, having taken a rich prize said to be worth sixteen thousand pounds, and brought us news that the West India fleet had not yet gone past, but was shortly expected. We put to sea in the Victory, and on Saturday the 4th October, we took a French ship of St Maloes, a city belonging to the league, laden with fish from Newfoundland, which had been forced to cut away her mast in a tempest, and was now bound to Gracioso for repairs. Taking out her principal people, we put some of our own mariners and soldiers on board, and sent her off for England. At night on the following Sunday, having received all the supplies promised us at Gracioso, we parted from the islanders in a friendly manner, and saluted them with our ordnance.

The three next days we plyed to and fro among these western islands, having very rough weather. On Thursday night, being driven to within three or four leagues of Tercera, we saw fifteen sail of the West India fleet going into the haven of Angra in that island; but, though we lay as close to windward as possible during the four following days, we were unable to get near them. At this time we lost sight of our French prize, which was not able to lay so close to the wind as our ships, and heard no more of her till our return to England, where she arrived safe. Getting at length on the fifth day near the mouth of Angra harbour, we inclined to have run among the West India fleet, on purpose to have cut out some of them if possible; but this enterprize was deemed too hazardous, considering the strength of the place, as the ships were hauled close to the town on our approach, under protection of the castle of Brazil on one side, having 25 pieces of ordnance, and a fort on the other side with 13 or 14 large brass cannon. Besides which, on nearing the land, the wind proved too scanty for the attempt.

On Thursday the 14th October, we sent our boat into the road of Angra to take the soundings, and to endeavour to find some proper place for us to anchor, beyond the shot of the castle and within shot of some of the ships, that we might either force them to come out to us or sink them where they lay. Our boat found a fit place for us, but the wind would not suffer us to get to it; and besides, if we had anchored there, it was more likely that they would have run their ships on shore, to save their lives and liberties and some of their goods, than have resigned all to us by coming out. We therefore discharged a few guns at them, but our shot fell far short; upon which we departed, as it was not likely they would come out while we watched before the mouth of the harbour, or remained within sight. We accordingly put to sea, where we cruized for five days, sending a pinnace to watch them close in shore but out of sight, to bring us word when they set sail. After some time the pinnace brought us notice that all the ships had taken down their sails and struck their top-masts, so that we concluded they would remain till sure of our departure. Wherefore, having heard there were some Scots ships at St Michael, we sailed thither on the 20th October, and found there one Scots roader, and two or three more at Villa-franca, the next road, a league or two east from St Michaels. From these we received five or six butts of wine and some fresh water, but by no means sufficient to serve our wants. The 21st October, we sent our long-boat on shore to procure fresh water at a brook a short way west from Villa-franca; but the inhabitants came down with about 150 armed men, having two ensigns displayed, and our boat was forced to return without water, having spent all its powder in vain, and being unable to prevail against such great odds.

Learning that the island of St Mary was a place of no great strength, we made sail for that place, intending to take in water there, and to go thence to the coast of Spain. On the Friday following, my lord sent captain Lister and captain Amias Preston, afterwards Sir Amias, with our long-boat and pinnace, with between 60 and 70 arquebusiers, carrying a friendly letter to the islanders, desiring leave to procure water, in exchange for which he engaged to do them no harm. Captain Preston had come on board the Victory not long before from his own ship, which lost company with us in the night, so that he was under the necessity of remaining with us. We departed from the Victory in our boats about nine in the morning, rowing for the land, and by three in the afternoon had got within a league or two of the shore, being then four or five leagues from the Victory, and our men sore spent with hard rowing. At this time we perceived, to our great joy, two ships at anchor close under the town; upon which we shifted six or seven of our men into the boat belonging to captain Davis, being too much crowded, and retaining about 20 arquebusiers in the pinnace, we made towards these two ships with all possible haste.

While proceeding towards them, we saw several boats passing between the roaders366 and the shore, and many men in their shirts swimming and wading on shore, who, as we afterwards learnt, were endeavouring to get the ships fast aground; and the inhabitants were at the same time busied in preparing to defend the ships and themselves against us. On coming near them, captain Lister commanded the trumpets to be sounded, but prohibited any firing till farther orders; yet some of the people, either not hearing, or disregardful of these orders, began firing as soon as the trumpets sounded, though with small injury to the islanders, who mostly lay under the cover of trenches or other means of defence. Captain Lister then urged on the rowers, who began to shrink at the shot from the enemy which flew thick about their ears, and was himself the first to board one of the ships which lay farther from shore than the other, while we speedily followed, still plying the enemy with our shot, and having cut her cables and hawsers, we towed her out to sea. In the mean time, captain Davis came up in his boat, and boarded the other ship, both having been abandoned by their crews; but, as she was quite fast aground, he was under the necessity of quitting her, exposed to shot and stones even from the shore. At this time, the towns-people made an attempt to capture captain Davis and his boats crew, which were but few in number; but they joined us, and we jointly towed off our prize, which was a ship from Brazil laden with sugar. In this exploit we had two men slain and sixteen wounded, while it is probable that the enemy suffered small loss, as they were mostly sheltered behind stone walls, many of which were built above one another on the end of the hill on which the town stands, between two vallies. On the top of the hill they had some large cannon, from which they fired leaden bullets, one only of which went through the side of our prize, but did no other injury.

Next day we made another attempt to get fresh water at this island, but as we were ignorant of the landing-place, where we found many inconveniences and disadvantages, we were unable to effect our purpose. Wherefore we departed on the night of the 25th October for the island of St George, in quest of fresh water, and got there on the 27th. Observing a stream of water running down into the sea, the pinnace, and long-boat were sent under captains Preston and Manson, by whom a letter was sent by my lord to the islanders, desiring leave to take water quietly, and no farther injury should be done them. On getting to the shore, our men found some of the poor islanders hid among the rocks, being afraid of us. On the 29th, our boats returned with fresh water, bringing only six tons to the Victory, alleging they could get no more; thinking, as was afterwards supposed, as he had only 12 tons of water and wine, that my lord would now return direct for England, as many of our men greatly desired. My lord, was very unwilling to do this, and meant next day to have taken in more water, but from the roughness of the sea, and the wind freshening, and owing to the unwillingness of the people, no more water was procured: yet my lord would not return with so much provision unspent, especially as the expedition had not hitherto produced such fruits as might reasonably satisfy himself and others. Wherefore, with consent of the whole ships companies, it was agreed to go for England by way of the coast of Spain, to endeavour to make more captures, the whole people being reduced to half allowance of water, except such as were sick or wounded, who were to have whole allowance. On Saturday, the 31st October, as the Margaret was very leaky, she was sent off direct for England in charge of the Brazil ship, and in them our sick and wounded men were sent home; but captain Monson was taken out of the Megge into the Victory367.

We now shaped our course for the coast of Spain, having the wind fair and large, which had seldom been the case hitherto. On the 4th November we saw a sail right before us, to which we gave chase, and coming up with her about 3 P.M. we took possession of her, being a ship of about 110 tons burden, from Pernambucke or Fernambucco, in Brazil, bound for Portugal, having on board 410 chests of sugar, and 50 quintals of Brazil wood, each quintal being 100 pounds weight. We took her in lat. 29° N. about 200 leagues west from Lisbon. Captain Preston was sent on board the prize, who brought her principal people into the Victory, certain of our seamen and soldiers being appointed to take charge of her. The Portuguese reported, that they had seen another ship that day before them about noon; wherefore, when all things were properly disposed respecting our prize, we left her under the charge of captain Davis, with whom likewise we left our long-boat, taking his smaller boat with us, and made all sail due east after this other ship, leaving orders for captain Davis and the prize to follow us due east, and if he had not sight of us next morning, to bear away direct for England. Next morning we could not see the vessel of which we were in chase, neither was the prize or the ship of captain Davis to be seen.

On the 6th November, being then in lat. 38° 30' N. and about 60 leagues west from Lisbon, captain Preston descried a sail early in the morning two or three leagues a-head of us, which we came up with about 8 or 9 o'clock A.M. She was lastly from St Michaels, but originally from Brazil laden with sugar. While employed shifting the prisoners into the Victory, one of our men in the main-top espied another sail some three or four leagues a-head, on which we immediately sent back our boat with men to take charge of the prize, and made all sail in chase, so that we overtook the other ship about 2 P.M. She made some preparation to resist us, hanging many hides all round her sides, so that musquetry could not have injured her; but by the time we had fired two cannon shot at her, she lowered her sails and surrendered. She was of between 300 and 400 tons, bound from Mexico and St John de Lowe, (San Juan de Ulloa) her cargo consisting of 700 dry hides; worth 10s. apiece, six chests of cochineal, every chest holding 100 pounds weight, and every pound worth L. 1, 6s. 8d., besides which she had several chests of sugar, some packages of China ware, with some wrought plate and silver in coin. The captain was an Italian, a grave, wise, and civil person, who had to the value of 25,000 ducats adventure in this ship. He and some of the principal Spanish prisoners were taken on board the Victory; and captain Lister was sent into the prize, with some 20 of our best mariners, soldiers, and sailors. In the meantime our other prize came up with us, and having now our hands full, we joyfully shaped our course for England, as we had so many Portuguese, Spanish, and French prisoners, that we could not well have manned any more prizes with safety to ourselves. Wherefore, about 6 P.M. when our other prize came up, we made sail for England. But as our two prizes were unable to keep up with us without sparing them many of our own sails, our ship rolled and wallowed so that it was both exceedingly troublesome, and put our main-mast in great danger of being carried away. Having accordingly acquainted them with these circumstances, and taken back our sails, we directed them to keep their course following us, so as to make for Portsmouth.

We took this last prize in lat. 39° N. about 46 leagues west from the Rock of Lisbon. She was one of the 16 ships we saw going into the harbour of Angra in the island of Tercera on the 8th October. Some of the prisoners taken from this ship told us, that while we were plying off and on before that harbour in waiting for their coming out, three of the largest of these ships were unloaded of all their treasure and merchandize, by order of the governor of Tercera, and were each manned with 300 soldiers, on purpose to have come out and boarded the Victory; but by the time these preparations were made, the Victory was gone out of sight.

We now went merrily before the wind with all the sails we could carry, insomuch that between the noons of Friday and Saturday, or in 24 hours, we sailed near 47 leagues, or 141 English miles, although our ship was very foul, and much grown with sea grass, owing to our having been long at sea. This quick sailing made some of our company expect to be present at the tilting on the queens birth-day at Whitehall, while others were flattering themselves with keeping a jolly Christmas in England from their shares in the prizes. But it was our lot to keep a cold Christmas with the Bishop and his Clerks, rocks to the westwards of Scilly; for soon after the wind came about to the east, the very worst wind for us which could blow from the heavens, so that we could not fetch any part of England. Upon this our allowance of drink, before sufficiently scanty, was now still farther curtailed, owing to the scarcity in our ship, each man being confined to half a pint of cold water at a meal, and that not sweet. Yet this was an ample allowance in comparison, as our half pint was soon reduced to a quarter, and even at this reduced rate our store was rapidly disappearing, insomuch that it was deemed necessary for our preservation to put into some port in Ireland to procure water. We accordingly endeavoured to do this, being obliged, when near that coast, to lie to all night, waiting for day light; but when it appeared we had drifted so far to leeward in the night that we could fetch no part of Ireland, we were therefore constrained to return again, with heavy hearts, and to wait in anxious expectation till it should please God to send us a fair wind either for England or Ireland.

In the mean time we were allowed for each man two or three spoonfuls of vinegar at each meal, having now no other drink, except that for two or three meals we had about as much wine, which was wrung out of the remaining lees. Under this hard fare we continued near a fortnight, being only able to eat a very little in all that time, by reason of our great want of drink. Saving that now and then we enjoyed as it were a feast, when rain or hail chanced to fall, on which occasions we gathered up the hail-stones with the most anxious care, devouring them more eagerly than if they had been the finest comfits. The rain-drops also were caught and saved with the utmost careful attention; for which purpose some hung up sheets tied by the four corners, having a weight in the middle, to make the rain run down there as in a funnel into some vessel placed underneath. Those who had no sheets hung up napkins or other clouts, which when thoroughly wet they wrung or sucked to get the water they had imbibed. Even the water which fell on the deck under foot, and washed away the filth and soil of the ship, though as dirty as the kennel is in towns during rain, was carefully watched and collected at every scupper-hole, nay, often with strife and contention, and caught in dishes, pots, cans, and jars, of which some drank hearty draughts, mud and all, without waiting for its settlement or cleansing. Others cleaned it by filtrating, but it went through so slowly that they could ill endure to wait so long, and were loath to lose so much precious liquid. Some licked the water like dogs with their tongues from the decks, sides, rails, and masts of the ship. Others, that were more ingenious, fastened girdles or ropes about the masts, daubing tallow between these and the mast, that the rain might not run down between; and making one part of these girdles lower than the rest, fixed spouts of leather at these lower parts, that the rain running down the masts might meet and be received at these spouts. He who was fortunate enough to procure a can of water by these means, was sued to, and envied as a rich man.

Quem pulchrum digito monstrari, et dicere hic est.

Some of the poor Spaniards who were prisoners, though having the same allowance with our own men, often begged us for the love of God to give them as much water as they could hold in the hollow of their hands: And, notwithstanding our own great extremity, they were given it, to teach them some humanity, instead of their accustomed barbarity both to us and other nations. Some put leaden bullets into their months, to slack their thirst by chewing them. In every corner of the ship, the miserable cries of the sick and wounded were sounding lamentably in our ears, pitifully crying out and lamenting for want of drink, being ready to die, yea many dying for lack thereof. Insomuch, that by this great extremity we lost many more men than in all the voyage before; as before this, we were so well and amply provided for, that we lived as well and were as healthy as if we had been in England, very few dying among us; whereas now, some of our men were thrown overboard every day.

The 2d of December 1589 was with us a day of festival, as it then rained heartily, and we saved some considerable store of water, though we were well wet for it, and that at midnight, and had our skins filled with it besides. This went down merrily, although it was bitter and dirty, with washing the ship, but we sweetened it with sugar, and were happy to have our fill. Besides our other extremities, we were so tossed and turmoiled with stormy and tempestuous weather, that every man had to hold fast his can or dish, and to fasten himself by the ropes, rails, or sides of the ship, to prevent falling on the deck. Our main-sail was torn from the yard, and blown away into the sea; and our other sails so rent and torn that hardly any of them remained serviceable. The raging waves and foaming surges of the sea came rolling upon us in successive mountains, breaking through the waste of the ship like a mighty river; although in fine weather our deck was near twenty feet above water. So that we were ready to cry out, with the royal prophet, Psalm 107, verses 26 and 27. "They mount up to heaven, and go down again to the depths: Their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits end." In this extremity of foul weather, the ship was so tossed and shaken, that, by its creaking noise, and the leaking which was now more than ordinary, we were in great fear that it would have shaken asunder, and had just cause to pray, a little otherwise than the poet, though marring the verse, yet mending the meaning:

Deus maris et caeli, quid enim nisi vota supersunt;

Solvere quassatae parcito membra ratis.

Yet it pleased God of his infinite goodness to deliver us out of this danger. We made a new main-sail, which we fastened to the yard, and repaired our other damages as well as we could. This was hardly done when we were reduced to as great extremity as before, so that we had almost lost our new main-sail, had not William Antony, the master of our ship, when no one else would venture for fear of being washed overboard, by crawling along the main-yard, then lowered close down upon the rails, and with great danger of drowning, gathered it up out of the sea and fastened it to the yard; being in the mean time often ducked overhead and ears in the sea. So terrible were these storms, that some of our company, who had used the sea for twenty years, had never seen the like, and vowed, if ever they got safe to land, that they would never go to sea again.

At night on the last day of November, we met with an English ship, and because it was too late that night, it was agreed that they were to give us two or three tons of wine next morning, being, as they said, all the provision of drink they had, save only a butt or two which they must reserve for their own use: But, after all, we heard no more of them till they were set on ground on the coast of Ireland, where it appeared they might have spared us much more than they pretended, as they could very well have relieved our necessities, and had sufficient for themselves remaining to bring them to England. The first of December we spoke with another English ship, and had some beer out of her for our urgent necessities, but not sufficient to carry us to England, wherefore we were constrained to put into Ireland, the wind so serving. Next day we came to an anchor under the land, not far from the S. Kelmes, under the land and wind, where we were somewhat more quiet. But as that was not a safe place to ride in, we endeavoured next morning to weigh our anchor, when having some of our men hurt at the capstan, we were forced to leave it behind, holding on our course for Ventrie Haven, [Bantry Bay?] where we safely arrived the same day, and found that place a safe and convenient harbour for us, so that we had just cause to sing with the Psalmist, They that go down to the sea in ships, &c.

As soon as we had anchored, my lord went forthwith on shore, and presently after brought off fresh provisions and water; such as sheep, pigs, fowls, &c. to refresh his ships company, though he had lately been very weak himself, and had suffered the same extremity with the rest: For, in the time of our former want, having only a little water remaining by him in a pot, it was broken in the night and all the water lost. The sick and wounded were soon afterwards landed and carried to the principal town, called Dingenacush368, about three miles distant from the haven, and at which place our surgeons attended them daily. Here we well refreshed ourselves, while the Irish harp sounded sweetly in our ears, and here we, who in our former extremity were in a manner half dead, had our lives as it were restored.

This Dingenacush is the chief town in all that part of Ireland, consisting but of one street, whence some smaller ones proceed on either side. It had gates, as it seemed, in former times at either end, to shut and open as a town of war, and a castle also. The houses are very strongly built, having thick stone walls and narrow windows, being used, as they told us, as so many castles in time of troubles, among the wild Irish or otherwise. The castle and all the houses in the town, except four, were taken and destroyed by the Earl of Desmond; these four being held out against him and all his power, so that he could not win them. There still remains a thick stone wall, across the middle of the street, which was part of their fortification. Some of the older inhabitants informed us, that they were driven to great extremities during their defence, like the Jews of old when besieged by the Roman emperor Titus, insomuch that they were constrained by hunger to feed on the carcasses of the dead. Though somewhat repaired, it still remains only the ruins of their former town. Except in the houses of the better sort, they have no chimnies, so that we were very much incommoded by the smoke during our stay at that place. Their fuel is turf, which they have very good, together with whins or furze. As there grows little wood hereabout, building is very expensive; as also they are in want of lime, which they have to bring from a far distance. But they have abundance of stone, the whole country appearing entirely composed of rocks and stones, so that they commonly make their hedges of stone, by which each mans ground is parted from his neighbour. Yet their country is very fruitful, and abounds in grass and grain, as appears by the abundance of cattle and sheep; insomuch that we had very good sheep, though smaller than those of England, for two shillings, or five groats a-piece, and good pigs and hens for threepence each.

The greatest want is of industrious and husbandly inhabitants, to till and improve the ground; for the common sort, if they can only provide sufficient to serve them from hand to mouth, take no farther care. Good land was to be had here for fourpence an acre of yearly rent. They had very small store of money among them, for which reason, perhaps, they doubled and trebled the prices of every thing we bought, in proportion to what they had been before our arrival. They have mines of alum, tin, brass, and iron; and we saw certain natural stones, as clear as crystal, and naturally squared like diamonds. That part of the country is full of great mountains and hills, whence run many pleasant streams of fine water. The native hardiness of the Irish nation may be conceived from this, that their young children, even in the midst of winter, run about the streets with bare legs and feet, and often having no other apparel than a scanty mantle to cover their nakedness. The chief officer of their town is called the sovereign, who hath the same office and authority among them with our mayors in England, having his Serjeants to attend upon him, and a mace carried before mm as they have. We were first entertained at the sovereigns house, which was one of the four that withstood the Earl of Desmond in his rebellion.

They have the same form of common prayer, word for word, that we have, only that it is in Latin. On Sunday, the sovereign goeth to church having his Serjeant before him, and accompanied by the sheriff and others of the town. They there kneel down, every one making his prayers privately by himself. They then rise up and go out of the church again to drink. After this, they return again to church, and the minister makes prayers. Their manner of baptising differs somewhat from ours, part of the service belonging to it being in Latin and part in Irish. The minister takes the child on his hands, dipping it first backwards and then forwards, over head and ears into the cold water even in the midst of winter. By this the natural hardiness of the people may appear, as before specified. They had neither bell, drums, nor trumpet, to call the parishioners together, but wait for the coming of the sovereign, when those that have devotion follow him. Their bread is all baked in cakes, and the bakers bake for all the town, receiving a tenth part for their trouble. We had of them some ten or eleven tons of beer for the Victory; but it acted as a severe purge upon all who drank it, so that we chose rather to drink water.

Having provided ourselves with fresh water, we set sail from thence on the 20th December, accompanied by Sir Edward Dennie and his lady, with two young sons. In the morning of that day, my lord went on shore to hasten the dispatch of some fresh water for the Victory, and brought us news that sixty Spanish prizes were taken and brought to England. For two or three days after we sailed, we had a fair wind; but it afterwards scanted, so that we were fain to keep a cold Christmas with the bishop and his clerks, as I said before. After this, meeting with an English ship, we received the joyful news that ninety-one Spanish prizes were come to England; and along with that, the sorrowful intelligence that our last and best prize was cast away on the coast of Cornwal, at a place the Cornish men call Als-efferne, that is Hell-cliff, where Captain Lister and all the people were drowned, except five or six, half English and half Spaniards, who saved their lives by swimming. Yet much of the goods were saved and preserved for us, by Sir Francis Godolphin and other worshipful gentlemen of the country. My lord was very sorry for the death of Captain Lister, saying that he would willingly have lost all the fruits of the voyage to have saved his life.

The 29th December we met another ship, from which we learned that Sir Martin Frobisher and Captain Reymond had taken the admiral and vice-admiral of the fleet we had seen going into the haven of Tercera; but that the admiral had sunk, in consequence of much leaking, near the Eddystone, a rock over against Plymouth sound, all the people however being saved. We were likewise informed by this ship, that Captain Preston had captured a ship laden with silver. My lord took his passage in this last ship to land at Falmouth, while we held on our course for Plymouth.

Towards night we came near the Ram-head, the next cape westwards from Plymouth sound, but we feared to double it in the night, by reason of the scantness of the wind: so we stood out to seawards for half the night, and towards morning had the wind more large. But we made too little to spare thereof; partly for which reasons and partly mistaking the land, we fell so much to leeward that we could not double the cape. For this reason we turned back again and got into Falmouth haven, where we grounded in 17 feet water; but as it was low ebb, the sea ready again to flow, and the ground soft, we received no harm. Here we gladly set our feet again on the long desired English ground, and refreshed ourselves by keeping part of Christmas on our native soil.

SECTION VIII. Valiant Sea Fight, by Ten Merchant Ships of London against Twelve Spanish Gallies in the Straits of Gibraltar, on the 24th April 1590369

In 1590, sundry ships belonging to the merchants of London, some freighted for Venice, some for Constantinople, and some to divers other parts, met on their homeward course within the Straits of Gibraltar, having escaped all danger hitherto. The first of these was the Salomon, belonging to Mr Alexander Barnam of London, and Messrs Bond and Tweed of Harwich, which had sailed on the first of February last. The second was the Margaret and John, belonging to Mr Wats of London. The third was the Minion; the fourth the Ascension; the fifth the Centurion, belonging to Mr Cordal; the sixth the Violet; the seventh the Samuel; the eighth the Crescent; the ninth the Elizabeth; the tenth the Richard belonging to Mr Duffield. All these ships, being of notable and approved service, and coming near the mouth of the Straits hard by the coast of Barbary, they descried twelve tall gallies bravely furnished, and strongly provided with men and ammunition of war, ready to intercept and seize them. Being perceived by our captains and masters, we made speedy preparation for our defence, waiting the whole night for the approach of the enemy.

Next morning early, being Tuesday in Easter week, the 24th of April 1590, we had service according to our usual custom, praying to Almighty God to save us from the hands of the tyrannous Spaniards, whom we justly imagined and had always found to be our most mortal enemies on the sea. Having finished our prayers, and set ourselves in readiness, we perceived them coming towards us, and knew them indeed to be the Spanish gallies, commanded by Andrea Doria, viceroy for the king of Spain in the Straits of Gibraltar, and a notable enemy to all Englishmen. When they came near us, they waved us amain for the king of Spain, and in return we waved them amain for the Queen of England370; at which time it pleased the Almighty so to encourage our hearts, that the nearer they came we the less feared their great strength and huge number of men; they having to the amount of two or three hundred in each galley. It was concluded among us, that our four largest and tallest ships should be placed in the rear, the weaker and smaller ships going foremost; and so it was performed, every one of us being ready to take part in such successes as it should please God to send.

The gallies came upon us very fiercely at the first encounter, yet God so strengthened us that, even if they had been ten times more, we had not feared them at all. The Salomon, being a hot ship with sundry cast pieces in her, gave the first shot in so effectual a manner on their headmost galley, that it shared away so many of the men that sat on one side of her, and pierced her through and through, insomuch that she was ready to sink: Yet they assaulted us the more fiercely. Then the rest of our ships, especially the four chiefest, the Salomon, Margaret and John, Minion, and the Ascension, gave a hot charge upon them, and they on us, commencing a hot and fierce battle with great valour on both sides, which continued for the space of six hours. About the commencement of this fight, our fleet was joined by two Flemish vessels. Seeing the great force of the gallies, one of these presently struck his sails and yielded to the enemy; whereas, had they exerted themselves on our side and in their own defence, they needed not to have been taken in this cowardly manner. The other was ready also to have yielded immediately, and began to lower his sails: But the trumpeter of that ship drew his faulcion, and stepping up to the pilot at the helm, vowed that he would put him instantly to death, if he did not join and take part with the English fleet: This he did, for fear of death, and by that means they were defended from the tyranny which they had otherwise assuredly found among the Spaniards.

When we had continued the fight somewhat more than six hours, God gave us the upper hand, so that we escaped the hands of so many enemies, who were constrained to flee into harbour to shelter themselves from us. This was the manifest work of God, who defended us in such sort from all danger, that not one man of us was slain in all this long and fierce assault, sustaining no other damage or hurt than this, that the shrouds and back-stays of the Salomon, which gave the first and last shot, and sore galled the enemy during the whole battle, were clean shot away. When the battle ceased, we were constrained for lack of wind to stay and waft up and down, and then went back again to Tition [Tetuan] in Barbary, six leagues from Gibraltar, where we found the people wondrously favourable to us; who, being but Moors and heathen people, shewed us where to find fresh water and all other necessaries. In short, we had there as good entertainment as if we had been in any place in England. The governor favoured us greatly, to whom we in return presented such gifts and commodities as we had, which he accepted of very graciously: And here we staid four days.

After the cessation of the battle, which was on Easter Tuesday, we remained for want of wind before Gibraltar till the next morning, being all that time becalmed, and therefore expected every hour that they would have sent out a fresh force against us: But they were in no condition to do so, all their gallies being so sore battered that they durst not come out of harbour, though greatly urged thereunto by the governor of that town; but they had already met with so stout resistance, that they could not be prevailed on to renew the fight.

While we were at Tetuan, we received a report of the hurt we had done the gallies; as we could not well discern any thing during the fight, on account of the great smoke. We there heard that we had almost spoiled those twelve gallies, which we had shot clean through, so that two of them were on the point of sinking; and we had slain so many of their men, that they were not able to fit out their gallies any more all that year. After going to Tetuan, we attempted three several times to pass the straits, but could not: Yet, with the blessing of God, we came safely through on the fourth attempt; and so continued on our voyage with a pleasant breeze all the way to the coast of England, where we arrived on the beginning of July 1590.

SECTION IX. A valiant sea fight in the Straits of Gibraltar, in April 1591, by the Centurion of London, against five Spanish gallies

In the month of November 1590, sundry ships belonging to different merchants of London sailed with merchandise for various ports within the Straits of Gibraltar; all of which, having fair wind and weather, arrived safe at their destined ports. Among these was the Centurion of London, a very tall ship of large burden, yet but weakly manned, as appears by the following narrative.

The Centurion arrived safe at Marseilles, on her outward bound voyage, where, after delivering her goods, she remained better than five weeks, taking in lading, and then intended to return to England. When she was ready to come away from Marseilles, there were sundry other ships of smaller burden at that place, the masters of which intreated Robert Bradshaw of Limehouse, the master of the Centurion, to stay a day or two for them till they could get in readiness to depart, saying that it were far better for them all to go in company for mutual support and defence, than singly to run the hazard of falling into the hands of the Spanish gallies in the Straits. On which reasonable persuasion, although the Centurion was of such sufficiency as might have been reasonably hazarded alone, yet she staid for the smaller ships, and set out along with them from Marseilles, all engaging mutually to stand by each other, if they chanced to fall in with any of the Spanish gallies.

Thus sailing altogether along the coast of Spain, they were suddenly becalmed upon Easter-day in the Straits of Gibraltar, where they immediately saw several gallies making towards them in a very gallant and courageous manner. The chief leaders and soldiers in these gallies, were bravely apparelled in silken coats, with silver whistles depending from their necks, and fine plumes of feathers in their hats. Coming on courageously, they shot very fast from their calivers upon the Centurion, which they boarded somewhat before ten o'clock A.M. But the Centurion was prepared for their reception, and meant to give them as sour a welcome as they could; and having prepared their close quarters with all other things in readiness, called on God for aid, and cheered one another to fight to the last. The Centurion discharged her great ordnance upon the gallies, but the little ships her consorts durst not come forward to her aid, but lay aloof, while five of the gallies laid on board the Centurion, to whom they made themselves fast with their grappling irons, two on one side and two on the other, while the admiral galley lay across her stern. In this guise the Centurion was sore galled and battered, her main-mast greatly wounded, all her sails filled with shot holes, and her mizen mast and stern rendered almost unserviceable. During this sore and deadly fight, the trumpeter of the Centurion continually sounded forth the animating points of war, encouraging the men to fight gallantly against their enemies; while in the Spanish gallies there was no warlike music, save the silver whistles, which were blown ever and anon. In this sore fight, many a Spaniard was thrown into the sea, while multitudes of them came crawling up the ships sides, hanging by every rope, and endeavouring to enter in: Yet as fast as they came to enter, so courageously were they received by the English, that many of them were fain to tumble alive into the sea, remediless of ever getting out alive. There were in the Centurion 48 men and boys in all, who bestirred themselves so valiantly and so galled the enemy, that many a brave and lusty Spaniard lost his life. The Centurion was set on fire five several times, with wild-fire and other combustibles thrown in for that purpose by the Spaniards; yet by the blessing of God, and the great and diligent foresight of the master, the fire was always extinguished without doing any harm.

In every one of these five gallies there were about 200 soldiers; who, together with the great guns, spoiled, rent, and battered the Centurion very sorely; shot her mainmast through, and slew four of her men, one of whom was the masters mate. Ten other persons were hurt by splinters. But in the end, the Spaniards had almost spent their shot, so that they were obliged to load with hammers and the chains of their galley-slaves, yet, God be praised, the English received no more harm. At length, sore galled and worn out, the Spaniards were constrained to unfasten their grapplings and sheer off; at which time, if there had been any fresh ship to aid and succour the Centurion, they had certainly sunk or taken all those gallies. The Dolphin lay aloof and durst not come near, while the other two small ships fled away. One of the gallies from the Centurion set upon the Dolphin; which ship went immediately on fire, occasioned by her own powder, so that the ship perished with all her men: But whether this was done intentionally or not, was never known. Surely, if she had come bravely forward in aid of the Centurion, she had not perished.

This fight continued five hours and a half, at the end of which time both parties were glad to draw off and breathe themselves; but the Spaniards, once gone, durst not renew the fight. Next day, indeed, six other gallies came out and looked at the Centurion, but durst on no account meddle with her. Thus delivered by the Almighty from the hands of their enemies, they gave God thanks for the victory, and arrived not long after safe at London. Mr John Hawes merchant, and sundry others of good note were present in this fight.

SECTION X. Sea-fight near the Azores, between the Revenge man of war, commanded by Sir Richard Granville, and fifteen Spanish men of war, 31st August 1591. Written by Sir Walter Raleigh371


Because the rumours are diversely spread, as well in England as in the Low Countries and elsewhere, of this late encounter between her majestys ships and the armada of Spain; and that the Spaniards, according to their usual manner, fill the world with their vain-glorious vaunts, making great shew of victories, when on the contrary themselves are most commonly and shamefully beaten and dishonoured, thereby hoping to possess the ignorant multitude by anticipating and forerunning false reports: It is agreeable with all good reason, for manifestation of the truth, to overcome falsehood and untruth, that the beginning, continuance, and success of this late honourable encounter by Sir Richard Grenville, and others her majestys captains, with the armada373 of Spain, should be truly set down and published, without partiality or false imaginations. And it is no marvel that the Spaniards should seek, by false and slanderous pamphlets, advisos, and letters, to cover their own loss, and to derogate from others their due honours, especially in this fight being far off; seeing they were not ashamed, in the year 1588, when they purposed the invasion of this land, to publish in sundry languages in print, great victories in words, which they pretended to have obtained against this realm, and spread the same in a most false sort over all parts of France, Italy, and other countries. When, shortly after it was happily manifested in very deed to all nations, how their navy, which they termed invincible, consisting of 140 sail of ships, not only of their own kingdom, but strengthened with the greatest argosies, Portugal caraks, Florentines, and huge hulks of other countries, were by 80 of her majestys own ships of war, and a few belonging to our own merchants, by the wise, valiant, and advantageous conduct of the lord Charles Howard, high admiral of England, beaten and shuffled together, even from the Lizard in Cornwall, first to Portland where they shamefully left Don Pedro de Valdes with his mighty ship: from Portland to Calais, where they lost Hugo de Moncado with the gallies of which he was captain: and from Calais driven by squibs from their anchors, were chased out of sight of England, round about Scotland and Ireland. Where for the sympathy of their barbarous religion, hoping to find succour and assistance, a great part of them were crushed against the rocks, and those others that landed, being very many in number, were notwithstanding broken, slain, and taken, and so sent from village to village, coupled in halters, to be shipped for England. Where her majesty, of her princely and invincible disposition, disdaining to put them to death, and scorning either to retain or entertain them, they were all sent back again into their countries, to witness and recount the worthy achievements of their invincible and dreadful navy: of which, the number of soldiers, the fearful burden of their ships, the commanders names of every squadron, with all their magazines of provisions were put in print, as an army and navy irresistible and disdaining prevention. With all which so great and terrible ostentation, they did not, in all their sailing about England, so much as sink or take one ship, bark, pinnace, or cock-boat of ours, or ever burnt so much as one sheep-cot of this land. When, as on the contrary, Sir Francis Drake, with only 800 soldiers, not long before landed in their Indies, and forced San Jago, Santo Domingo, Carthagena, and the forts of Florida.

And after that, Sir John Norris marched from Peniche in Portugal with a handful of soldiers to the gates of Lisbon, being above 40 English miles: Where the earl of Essex himself, and other valiant gentlemen, braved the city of Lisbon, encamping at the very gates: from whence, after many days abode, finding neither promised parley nor provision wherewith to batter, they made their retreat by land, in spite of all their garrisons both of horse and foot. In this sort I have a little digressed from my first purpose, only by the necessary comparison of their and our actions: the one covetous of honour, without vaunt or ostentation; the other so greedy to purchase the opinion of their own affairs, and by false rumours to resist the blasts of their own dishonours, as they will not only not blush to spread all manner of untruths, but even for the least advantage, be it but for the taking of one poor adventurer of the English, will celebrate the victory with bonefires in every town, always spending more in faggots than the purchase they obtained was worth. Whereas, we never thought it worth the consumption of two billets, when we have taken eight or ten of their Indian ships at one time, and twenty of their Brazil fleet. Such is the difference between true valour and vain ostentation, and between honourable actions and frivolous vain-glorious boasting. But to return to my purpose:


The Lord Thomas Howard, with six of her majestys ships, six victuallers of London, the bark Raleigh, and two or three pinnaces, riding at anchor near Flores, one of the western islands called the Azores, on the last of August 1591, in the afternoon, had intelligence by one captain Middleton, of the approach of the Spanish armada. This Middleton, being in a very good sailing ship, had kept them company for three days before, of good purpose, both to discover their force, and to give the lord admiral advice of their approach. He had no sooner communicated the news, when the Spanish fleet hove in sight; at which time, many belonging to our ships companies were on shore in the island of Flores, some providing ballast for the ships, others filling water, and others refreshing themselves from the land with such things as they could procure either for money or by force. Owing to this, our ships were all in confusion, pestered, rummaging, and every thing out of order, very light for want of ballast; and what was most of all to their disadvantage, the half of the men in every ship was sick and unserviceable. For in the Revenge, there were ninety sick; in the Bonaventure, not so many in health as could hand her mainsail, insomuch, that unless twenty men had been taken from a bark of Sir George Careys which was sunk, and appointed into her, she had hardly been able to get back to England. The rest of the ships for the most part were in little better state.

The names of her majestys ships were as follows: The Defiance, admiral, the Revenge, vice-admiral, the Bonaventure commanded by captain Crosse, the Lion by George Fenner, the Foresight by Thomas Vavasour, and the Crane by Duffild. The Foresight and Crane were small ships, the other four were of the middle size. All the others, except the bark Raleigh, commanded by captain Thin, were victuallers, and of small or no force. The approach of the Spanish fleet being concealed by means of the island, they were soon at hand, so that our ships had scarce time to weigh their anchors, and some even were obliged to slip their cables and set sail. Sir Richard Grenville was the last to weigh, that he might recover the men who were a land on the island, who had otherwise been lost. The lord Thomas Howard, with the rest of the fleet, very hardly recovered the wind, which Sir Richard was unable to do; on which his master and others endeavoured to persuade him to cut his main sail and cast about, trusting to the swift sailing of his ship, as the squadron of Seville was on his weather bow. But Sir Richard absolutely refused to turn from the enemy, declaring he would rather die than dishonour himself, his country, and her majestys ship, and persuaded his company that he would be able to pass through the two squadrons in spite of them, and force those of Seville to give him way. This he certainly performed upon divers of the foremost, who, as the sailors term it, sprang their luff, and fell under the lee of the Revenge. The other course had certainly been the better, and might very properly have been adopted under so great impossibility of prevailing over such heavy odds; but, out of the greatness of his mind, he could not be prevailed on to have the semblance of fleeing.

In the meantime, while Sir Richard attended to those ships of the enemy that were nearest him and in his way, the great San Philip being to windward of him, and coming down towards him, becalmed his sails in such sort that his ship could neither make way nor feel the helm, so huge and high was the Spanish ship, being of fifteen hundred tons, and which presently laid the Revenge on board. At this time, bereft of his sails, the ships that had fallen under his lee, luffed up and laid him on board also, the first of these that now came up being the vice-admiral of the Biscay squadron, a very mighty and puissant ship, commanded by Brittandona. The San Philip carried three tier of ordnance on a side, and eleven pieces in each tier, besides eight pieces in her forecastle chase, and others from her stern-ports. After the Revenge was thus entangled by the huge San Philip, four others laid her on board, two to larboard and two to starboard. The fight thus began at three in the afternoon, and continued very terribly the whole of that evening. But the great San Philip, having received a discharge from the lower tier of the Revenge, loaded with cross-bar shot, shifted herself with all diligence from her side, utterly disliking this her first entertainment. Some say the San Philip foundered, but we cannot report this for a truth, not having sufficient assurance. Besides the mariners, the Spanish ships were filled with companies of soldiers, some having to the number of two hundred, some five hundred, and others as far even as eight hundred. In ours, there were none besides the mariners, except the servants of the commanders, and some few gentlemen volunteers.

After interchanging many vollies of great ordnance and small shot, the Spaniards deliberated to enter the Revenge by boarding, and made several attempts, hoping to carry her by the multitudes of their armed soldiers and musketeers, but were still repulsed again and again, being on every attempt beaten back into their own ships or into the sea. In the beginning of the fight, the George Noble of London being only one of the victuallers, and of small force, having received some shot through her from the Spanish armadas, fell under the lee of the Revenge, and the master of her asked Sir Richard what he was pleased to command him; on which Sir Richard bad him save himself as he best might, leaving him to his fortune. After the fight had thus continued without intermission, while the day lasted, and some hours of the night, many of our men were slain and hurt; one of the great galeons of the armada and the admiral of the hulks both sunk, and a great slaughter had taken place in many of the other great Spanish ships. Some allege that Sir Richard was very dangerously hurt almost in the beginning of the fight, and lay speechless for a time ere he recovered: But two men belonging to the Revenge, who came home in a ship of Lyme from the islands, and were examined by some of the lords and others, affirmed, that he was never so much wounded as to forsake the upper deck till an hour before midnight, and being then shot in the body by a musket ball, was shot again in the head as the surgeon was dressing him, the surgeon himself being at the same time wounded to death. This also agrees with an examination of four other returned mariners of the same ship, taken before Sir Francis Godolphin, and sent by him to master William Killegrue of her majestys privy chamber.

To return to the fight: As the Spanish ships which attempted to board the Revenge were wounded and beaten off, so always others came up in their places, she never having less than two mighty galeons by her sides and close on board her; so that ere morning, from three o'clock of the day before, she had been successively assailed by no less than fifteen several armadas or great ships of war; and all of them had so ill approved their entertainment, that, by break of day, they were far more willing to hearken to a composition, than hastily to make any more assaults or entries for boarding. But as the day advanced, so our men decreased in number, and as the light grew more and more, by so much more increased the discomforts of our men. For now nothing appeared in sight but enemies, save one small ship called the Pilgrim, commanded by Jacob Whiddon, who hovered all night to see what might be the event; but, bearing up towards the Revenge in the morning, was hunted like a hare among so many ravenous hounds, yet escaped.

All the powder of the Revenge was now spent to the very last barrel, all her pikes broken, forty of her best men slain, and most part of the rest wounded. In the beginning of the fight, she had 90 of her men lying sick on the ballast in the hold, and only 100 capable of duty, a small crew for such a ship, and a weak garrison to resist so mighty an army. By this brave hundred was the whole of this hot fight sustained, the volleys, boardings, assaults, and entries, from fifteen great ships of war all full of men, besides those which had cannonaded her from a distance. On the contrary, the Spanish ships were always supplied with fresh soldiers from the several squadrons of this vast fleet, and had all manner of arms and powder at will; while to our men there remained no hope or comfort, no supply either of ships, men, weapons, or powder. The masts were all beaten overboard; all her tackle was cut asunder; her upper works all battered to pieces, and in effect evened with the water, nothing but the hull or bottom of the ship remaining, nothing being left over-head for flight or for defence.

Finding his ship in this distress, and altogether unable for any longer resistance, after fifteen hours constant fighting against fifteen great ships of war which assailed him in turns, having received by estimation 800 shot of great ordnance, besides many assaults and entries; and considering that he and his ship must now soon be in possession of the enemy, who had arranged their ships in a ring round about the Revenge, which was now unable to move any way, except as acted on by the waves; Sir Richard called for his master gunner, whom he knew to be a most resolute man, and commanded him to split and sink the ship, that nothing of glory or victory might remain to the enemy, who with so great a navy, and in so long a time, were unable to take her. They had fifty-three ships of war, and above 10,000 men, and had been engaged against this single ship for fifteen hours. At the same time, Sir Richard endeavoured to prevail upon as many of the company as he could influence, to commit themselves to the mercy of God, and not of their enemies, since they had like valiant men repulsed so many enemies, urging them not now to obscure their honour and that of their nation, for the sake of prolonging their lives a few days. The master gunner and various others of the crew readily assented to this desperate resolution; but the captain and master were quite of an opposite opinion, and conjured Sir Richard to desist from his desperate proposal; alleging that the Spaniards would be as ready to agree to a capitulation as they to offer it; and begged him to consider, that there still were many valiant men still living in the ship, and others whose wounds might not be mortal, who might be able to do acceptable service to their queen and country hereafter. And, although Sir Richard had alleged that the Spaniards should never have the glory of taking one ship of her majesty, which had been so long and valiantly defended; they answered, that the ship had six feet water in her hold, and three shot holes under water, which were so weakly stopped, that she must needs sink with the first labouring of the sea, and was besides so battered and bruised, that she could never be removed from the place.

While the matter was thus in dispute, Sir Richard refusing to listen to any reasons, the captain won over the most part to his opinion, and the master was conveyed on board the Spanish general, Don Alfonso Baçan. Finding none of his people very ready to attempt boarding the Revenge again, and fearing lest Sir Richard might blow up both them and himself, as he learned from the master his dangerous disposition; Don Alfonso agreed that all their lives should be saved, the ships company sent to England, and the better sort to pay such reasonable ransom as their estate could bear, all in the meantime to be free from prison or the gallies. He so much the rather consented to these terms, lest any farther loss or mischief might accrue to themselves, and for the preservation of Sir Richard, whose notable valour he greatly honoured and admired. On receiving this answer, in which the safety of life was promised; the common sort, now at the end of their peril, mostly drew back from the proposal of Sir Richard and the master gunner, it being no hard matter to dissuade men from death to life. Finding himself and Sir Richard thus prevented and mastered by the majority, the master gunner would have slain himself with his sword, but was prevented by main force, and locked up in his cabin.

Then the Spanish general sent many boats on board the Revenge, and several of her men, fearing Sir Richards disposition, stole away on board the general and other ships. Thus constrained to submit, Sir Richard was desired by a message from Alfonso Baçan to remove from the Revenge, as it was filled with blood and the bodies of the slain, and with wounded men, like a slaughter-house. Sir Richard gave for answer, that he might do now with his body what he pleased; and while removing from the ship, he fainted away, and on recovering he requested the company to pray for him. The Spanish general used Sir Richard with all humanity, leaving no means untried that tended towards his recovery, highly commending his valour and worthiness, and greatly bewailing his dangerous condition; seeing that it was a rare spectacle, and an instance of resolution seldom met with, for one ship to withstand so many enemies, to endure the batteries and boardings of so many huge ships of war, and to resist and repel the assaults and entries of such numbers of soldiers. All this and more is confirmed, by the recital of a Spanish captain in that same fleet, who was himself engaged in this action, and, being severed from the rest in a storm, was taken by the Lion, a small ship belonging to London, and is now prisoner in London.

The general commanding this great armada, was Don Alphonso Baçan, brother to the Marquis of Santa Cruz. Britandona was admiral of the squadron of Biscay. The Marquis of Arumburch [Aremberg] commanded the squadron of Seville. Luis Coutinho commanded the hulks and flyboats. There were slain and drowned in this fight, as the before-mentioned Spanish captain confessed, near a thousand of the enemy, with two special commanders, Don Luis de San Juan, and Don George de Prunaria de Mallaga, besides others of special account whose names have not yet been reported. The admiral of the hulks and the Ascension of Seville were both sunk at the side of the Revenge. One other ship, which got into the road of San Miguel, sank there also; and a fourth ship had to run on shore to save her men. Sir Richard, as it is said, died the second or third day on board the general, much bewailed by his enemies; but we have not heard what became of his body, whether it were committed to the sea or buried on land. The comfort remaining to his friends is, that he ended his life honourably, having won great reputation for his nation and his posterity, and hath not outlived his honour.

For the rest of her majestys ships, that entered not into the fight like the Revenge, the reasons and causes were these: There were of them only six in all, two whereof were only small ships; and they could be of no service, as the Revenge was engaged past recovery. The island of Flores was on one side; 53 sail of Spanish ships were on the other, divided into several squadrons, all as full of soldiers as they could contain. Almost one half of our men were sick and unable to serve; the ships were grown foul, unroomaged374, and hardly able to bear any sail for want of ballast, having been six months at sea. If all the rest of the ships had entered into the action, they had been all lost; for the very hugeness of the Spanish ships, even if no other violence had been offered, might have crushed them all into shivers between them; by which the loss and dishonour to the queen had been far greater, than any injury the enemy could have sustained. It is nevertheless true, that the Lord Thomas Howard would have entered between the squadrons of the enemy, but the others would on no account consent; and even the master of his own ship threatened to leap into the sea, rather than conduct the admirals ship and the rest to be a certain prey to the enemy, where there was no hope or possibility of victory or even of defence. In my opinion, such rashness would have ill assorted with the discretion and trust of a general, to have committed himself and his charge to assured destruction, without any hope or likelihood of prevailing, thereby to have diminished the strength of her majestys navy, and to have increased the pride and glory of the enemy.

The Foresight, one of her majestys vessels, commanded by Thomas Vavasour, performed a very great service, and staid two hours as near the Revenge as the weather would permit, not forsaking the fight till well nigh encompassed by the squadrons of the enemy, and then cleared himself with great difficulty. The rest gave diverse vollies of shot, and engaged as far as the place and their own necessities permitted, so as to keep the weather-gage of the enemy, till night parted them.

A few days after this fight, the prisoners being dispersed among the Spanish ships of war and ships from the Indies, there arose so great a storm from the W. and N.W. that all the fleet was dispersed, as well the fleet of the Indies then come to them as the rest of the armada that had attended their arrival, of which 14 sail, together with the Revenge having 200 Spaniards on board of her, were cast away upon the island of St Michael. Thus they honoured the obsequies of the renowned Revenge, for the great glory she had achieved, not permitting her to perish alone. Besides these, other 15 or 16 of the Spanish ships of war were cast away in this storm upon the other islands of the Azores: And, of an 100 sail and more of the fleet of the Indies, which were expected this year in Spain, what with the loss sustained in this tempest, and what before in the bay of Mexico and about the Bermuda islands, above 70 were lost, including those taken by our London ships; besides one very rich ship of the Indies, which set herself on fire being boarded by the Pilgrim, and five others taken by the ship belonging to Mr Wats of London between the Havannah and Cape St Antonio. On the 4th of November this year, we had letters from Tercera, affirming that 3000 dead bodies had been thrown upon that island from the perished ships, and that the Spaniards confessed to have lost 10,000 men in this storm, besides those who perished between the main and the islands. Thus it hath pleased God to fight for us, and to defend the justice of our cause, against the ambitious and bloody pretences of the Spaniards, who seeking to devour all nations are themselves devoured: A manifest testimony how unjust and displeasing are their attempts in the sight of God, who hath been pleased to witness, by the evil success of their affairs, his mislike of their bloody and injurious designs, purposed and practised against all Christian princes, over whom they seek unlawful and ungodly rule and supreme command.

A day or two before this terrible catastrophe, when some of our prisoners desired to be set on shore on the Azores islands, hoping to be thence transported into England, and which liberty had been formerly promised by the Spanish general; one Morice Fitz John, (son of old John of Desmond, a notable traitor, who was cousin-german to the late earl of Desmond,) was sent from ship to ship to endeavour to persuade the English prisoners to serve the king of Spain. The arguments he used to induce them were these. Increase of pay to treble their present allowance; advancement to the better sort; and the free exercise of the true catholic religion, ensuring the safety of all their souls. For the first of these, the beggarly and unnatural behaviour of those English and Irish rebels that served the king of Spain in that action was a sufficient answer; for so poor and ragged were they, that, for want of apparel, they stripped the poor prisoners their countrymen of their ragged garments, worn out by six months service, not even sparing to despoil them of their bloody shirts from their wounded bodies, and the very shoes from their feet; a noble testimony of their rich entertainment and high pay. As to the second argument, of hope of advancement if they served well and continued faithful to the king of Spain; what man could be so blockishly ignorant ever to expect promotion and honour from a foreign king, having no other merit or pretension than his own disloyalty, his unnatural desertion of his country and parents, and rebellion against his true prince, to whose obedience he is bound by oath, by nature, and by religion? No! such men are only assured to be employed on all desperate enterprizes, and to be held in scorn and disdain even among those they serve. That ever a traitor was either trusted or advanced I have never learnt, neither can I remember a single example. No man could have less becomed the office of orator for such a purpose, than this Morice of Desmond: For, the earl his cousin, being one of the greatest subjects in the kingdom of Ireland, possessing almost whole counties in his large property, many goodly manors, castles, and lordships, the county palatine of Kerry, 500 gentlemen of his own family and name ready to follow him, all which he and his ancestors had enjoyed in peace for three or four hundred years: Yet this man, in less than three years after his rebellion and adherence to the Spaniards, was beaten from all his holds, not so many as ten gentlemen of his name left living, himself taken and beheaded by a gentleman of his own nation, and his lands given by parliament to her majesty and possessed by the English. His other cousin, Sir John Desmond, taken by Mr John Zouch; and his body hung up over the gates of his native city to be devoured by ravens. The third brother, Sir James, hanged, drawn, and quartered in the same place. Had he been able to vaunt of the success of his own house, in thus serving the king of Spain, the argument might doubtless have moved much and wrought great effect: the which, because he happened to forget, I have thought good to remember in his behalf.

As for the matter of religion, to which he adverted, it would require a separate volume, were I to set down how irreligiously they cover their greedy and ambitious pretences with that veil of pretended piety. But sure I am, there is no kingdom or commonwealth in all Europe that they do not invade, under pretence of religion, if it be reformed. Nay if it even be what they term catholic, they pretend a title, as if the kings of Castile were the natural heirs of all the world. Thus between both, no kingdom is exempted from their ambition. Where they dare not invade with their own forces, they basely entertain the traitors and vagabonds of all nations; seeking by their means, and by their runagate Jesuits, to win other parts to their dominion, by which they have ruined many noble houses and others in this land, extinguishing their lives and families. What good, honour, or fortune, any one hath ever yet achieved through them, is yet unheard of. If our English papists will only look to Portugal, against which they have no pretence of religion; how their nobility are imprisoned and put to death, their rich men made a prey, and all sorts of people reduced to servitude; they shall find that the obedience even of the Turk is ease and liberty, compared to the tyranny of Spain. What have they done in Sicily, in Naples, in Milan, in the low countries? Who hath there been spared even for religion? It cometh to my remembrance of a certain burgher at Antwerp, whose house was entered by a company of Spanish soldiers when they sacked that city. He besought them to spare him and his goods, being a good catholic, and therefore one of their own party and faction. The Spaniards answered, they knew him to be of a good conscience in himself; but his money, plate, jewels, and goods, were all heretical, and therefore good prize. So they abused and tormented the foolish Fleming, who thought that an Agnus Dei had been a sufficient safeguard against all the force of that holy and charitable nation.

Neither have they at any time, as they protest, invaded the kingdoms of Mexico and Peru and elsewhere, being only led thereto to reduce the people to Christianity, not for gold or empire: Whereas, in the single island of Hispaniola, they have wasted and destroyed thirty hundred thousand of the natives, besides many millions else in other places of the Indies: a poor and harmless people, created of God, and might have been won to his service, as many of them were, even almost all whom they endeavoured to persuade thereto. The story of these their enormities, has been written at large by Bartholomew de las Casas375, a bishop of their own nation, and has been translated into English and many other languages, under the title of The Spanish Cruelties. Who therefore would repose trust in such a nation of ravenous strangers, and more especially in those Spaniards, who more greedily thirst after the blood of the English, for the many overthrows and dishonours they have received at our hands; whose weakness we have discovered to the world, and whose forces, at home, abroad, in Europe, in the Indies, by sea and by land, even with mere handfuls of men and ships on our sides, we have overthrown and dishonoured? Let not therefore any Englishman, of what religion soever, have other opinion of these Spaniards or their abettors, but that those whom they seek to win of our nation, they esteem base and traiterous, unworthy persons, and inconstant fools; and that they use this pretence of religion, for no other purpose but to bewitch us from the obedience due to our natural prince, hoping thereby to bring us in time under slavery and subjection, when none shall be there so odious and despised, as those very traitors who have sold their country to strangers, forsaking their faith and obedience, contrary to the laws of nature and religion, and contrary to that humane and universal honour, not only of Christians but of heathen and unbelieving nations, who have always sustained every degree of labour, embracing even death itself, in defence of their country, their prince, and their commonwealth.

To conclude, it hath ever to this day pleased God to prosper and defend her majesty, to break the purposes of her malicious enemies, to confound the devices of forsworn traitors, and to overthrow all unjust practices and invasions. She hath ever been held in honour by the worthiest kings, served by faithful subjects, and shall ever, by the favour of God, resist, repell, and confound all attempts against her person and kingdom. In the mean time, let the Spaniards and traitors vaunt of their success; while we, her true and obedient subjects, guided by the shining light of her virtues, shall always love, serve, and obey her, to the end of our lives.

SECTION XI. Note of the Fleet of the Indies, expected in Spain this year 1591; with the number that perished, according to the examination of certain Spaniards, lately taken and brought to England376

The fleet of New Spain, at their first gathering together, consisted of 52 sail. The admiral and vice-admiral ships were each of 600 tons burden. Four or five of the ships were of 900 and 1000 tons each; some were of 400 tons, and the smallest of 200. Of this fleet 19 were cast away, containing by estimation 2600 men, which happened along the coast of New Spain, so that only 33 sail came to the Havannah.

The fleet of Terra Firma, at its first departure from Spain, consisted of 50 sail, bound for Nombre de Dios, where they discharged their loading, and returned thence for their health sake to Carthagena, till such time as the treasure they were to take in at Nombre de Dios were ready. But before this fleet departed, some were gone by one or two at a time, so that only 23 sail of this fleet arrived at the Havannah.

There met at the Havannah,

33 sail from New Spain,

23 from the Terra Firma,

12 belonging to San Domingo,

9 from Honduras.

Thus 77 ships joined and set sail from the Havannah, on the 17th of July 1591, according to our account, and kept together till they arrived in the lat. of 35° N. which was about the 10th of August. There the wind, which had been at S.W. changed suddenly to N. so that the sea coming from the S.W. and the wind violent from the N. they were put in great extremity, and then first lost the admiral of their fleet, in which were 500 men; and within three or four days after, another storm rising, five or six others of their largest ships were cast away with all their men, together with their vice-admiral.

In lat. 38° N. and about the end of August, another great storm arose, in which all their remaining ships, except 48, were lost. These 48 ships kept together till they came in sight of the islands of Corvo and Flores, about the 5th or 6th of September, at which time they were separated by a great storm; and of that number, 15 or 16 sail were afterwards seen by three Spanish prisoners, riding at anchor under Tercera, while 12 or 14 more were observed to bear away for San Miguel. What became of them after these Spaniards were taken, cannot yet be certified; but their opinion is, that very few of this fleet escaped being either taken or cast away. It has been ascertained of late by other means of intelligence, that of this whole fleet of 123 sail, which should have come to Spain this year, there have only 25 yet arrived. This note was extracted from the examinations of certain Spanish prisoners, brought to England by six of the London ships, which took seven of these men from the before-mentioned fleet of the Indies near the islands of the Açores.

SECTION XII. Report of a Cruizing Voyage to the Azores in 1591, by a feet of London ships sent with supplies to the Lord Thomas Howard. Written by Captain Robert Flicke377


The following voyage is extracted from a letter, dated at Plymouth the 24th of October 1591, and sent thence by Captain Flicke to Messrs Thomas Bromley, Richard Staper, and – Cordall, three of the contractors, as we apprehend, for the ships, and is titled, "Concerning the success of a part of the London supplies sent to the isles of the Azores to my Lord Thomas Howard." In this letter no mention is made of the number of ships employed, nor of the names of more than two captains besides Flicke, namely, Brothus and Furtho, the latter of whom was bearer of the letter. We also find the name of four of the ships; the Costly, Centurion, Cherubim, and the Margaret and John, but not the names of their commanders, neither the name of the ship in which Flicke sailed, and which, for distinctions sake, we call the admiral. These omissions may be excuseable in a private letter, written only to acquaint the merchants of particulars they had not before learnt, and not designed as a formal narrative of the voyage to be laid before the public. As these, however, are essential to narratives of this kind, it might have been expected of Mr Hakluyt to have supplied such defects. We may judge, however, that the number of ships was seven, as in the preceding account of the fleet of the Indies, six London ships are mentioned as having fallen in with it, which were probably those separated from the admiral or commodore, which ship will make the seventh. –Astley.


Worshipful, my hearty commendations to you premised.-By my last letter, dated 12th August from this place, I advertised you particularly of the accidents which had befallen our fleet till then. It now remains to relate our exertions for accomplishing our orders for endeavouring to join my Lord Thomas Howard, and the success we have had. We departed from hence on the 17th August, the wind not serving before. Next day I summoned a council by signal, on which the captains and masters of all the ships came on board, when I acquainted them with my commission, confirmed by the lords of her majestys council, and with the advertisement of Sir Edward Denny, that my lord had determined to remain 60 leagues west of Fayal, spreading his squadron north and south between 37° 30' and 38° 30' north. But, if we did not there find him, we were to repair to the islands of Flores and Corvo, where a pinnace would purposely wait our coming till the last day of August; with the intent, after that day, to repair to the coast of Spain, about the heighth of the rock [of Lisbon?], some twenty or thirty leagues off shore. This being advisedly considered, and having regard to the shortness of time occasioned by our long delay at this place, and the uncertainty of favourable weather for us, it was generally concluded, as the best and surest way to meet my lord, to bear up for the heighth of the rock, without making any stay upon the coast, and thence to make directly for the foresaid islands, which was accordingly fully agreed to and performed.

The 28th of August we had sight of the Burlings, and being on the 29th athwart of Peniche, and having a favourable wind, we directed our course west for the Azores, without making any stay off the coast of Portugal. The 30th we met the Red Rose, Captain Royden, formerly called the Golden Dragon, which had separated from my lord in a storm. He informed us of 50 sail of the king of Spains armada having sailed for the islands, but could not give us any intelligence of my lord, otherwise than supposing him to remain about the islands, wherefore we continued our course, the wind remaining favourable. The 4th of September we had sight of Tercera, and ranged along all the islands, both on their south, and north sides, for the space of four days, during which time we met with no ships whatever, so that we could learn no intelligence, either of my lord or of the fleet of the Indies; wherefore we directed our course to the west of Fayal, according to the instructions of Sir Edward Denny. When plying to the westwards on the 11th, we descried a sail from our main-top, and by two or three in the afternoon raised her hull, but the weather fell so calm that we could not fetch her. I therefore sent off my skiff well manned, and furnished with shot and swords, the Cherubim and the Margaret and John doing the like. Upon this the sail stood off again, and on the approach of night our boats lost sight of her and so returned. During this pursuit the Centurion was left astern, so that we missed her next morning, and spent all that day plying up and down in search of her: And, as all our ships were directed, in case of separation by stress of weather or other mischance, to meet and join at Flores, we, according to the instructions of Sir Edward Denny, proceeded for the purpose of finding my Lord Thomas Howard, and being in the heighth appointed, and not able to remain there in consequence of extreme tempests, which forced us to the isles of Flores and Corvo, which we made on the 14th in the morning, and there rejoined the Centurion. She informed us, that on the 12th day, being the same on which she lost us, she had met 45 sail of the fleet of the Indies.

The same night, in consequence of this intelligence, we came to anchor between Flores and Corvo, and next morning at day-break, I convened a council of all the captains and masters on board my ship, by a signal flag. For satisfying our desire to learn some intelligence of my lord, as also for the purpose of procuring a supply of water, it was thought good to send our boats on shore armed, under the command of Captain Brothus; besides which, it was agreed, after our departure thence, to range along the south sides of the islands, that we might either procure some intelligence of my lord, or fall in with the fleet of the Indies; and, in case of missing both objects, to direct our course for Cape St Vincent. The boats being sent on shore, according to this determination, it chanced that the Costely, which rode outermost at our anchoring ground, having weighed to bring herself nearer among us to assist in protecting our boats, discovered two sail in opening the land, which we in the road-stead could not perceive. Upon this she fired a shot of warning, which caused us to wave all our boats back; and before they could recover their ships, the two ships seen by the Costely appeared to us, on which we made all sail towards them, and in a happy hour as it pleased God. We had no sooner cleared the land and spoken one of them, which was a bark belonging to Bristol, also seeking my lord ineffectually at the place appointed, when so violent a storm arose that we had been in great danger of perishing if we had continued in the road. This storm continued in its utmost violence for sixty hours, during which I was separated from all our fleet except the Cherubim, and Costely, which continued in company. After it subsided, sailing in among the islands, I viewed the road of Fayal, and finding no roaders there, I went thence for the isle of Tercera.

On the 19th day of September in the morning, coming to Tercera, and intending to edge into the road, a tempest arose and so scanted the wind that we could not get in. Being accordingly driven to leeward, we fell in among some of the fleet of the Indies, which had been dispersed by the storm, and driven from the road. Upon this our ship and the two others then with me gave several chases, by which we parted company. Following up my chase, we made her strike and yield about noon, when she turned out to be a Portuguese, laden with hides, sarsa-parilla, and anile [Indigo]. At this instant we espied another, and taking our prize with us, followed and captured her before night. She was called the Conception, commanded by Francisco Spinola, and was laden with cochineal, raw hides, and certain raw silk: And as the sea was so tempestuous that we could in no way board her, neither by boats nor from the ship, so we kept her under our lee till a fit opportunity. That same night, a little before day, another ship joined company with us, supposing us and our two prizes to belong to their fleet, which we dissembled till morning.

In the morning of the 20th, this new sail being somewhat shot a-head of us, and being anxious for the safe keeping of the two former, we purposed to cause our two prizes put out more sail, so as to keep near us while chasing the third, as our master insisted that they would follow us; owing to which, by the time we had caused this new one to yield, and had sent men on board to take possession, the Conception being far astern, and having got the wind of us, stood off with all her sails, so that we were forced to make a new chase after her, and had not the wind enlarged upon us we had lost her. The whole of this day was spent in this new pursuit, before we recovered her, and brought ourselves again in company with our other prizes; by which we lost the opportunity of that day, during which the weather served for boarding the Portuguese prize, which was in great distress, making request of us to take them on board, as they were ready to sink, as we could well perceive by their pumping incessantly, and in our judgment she went down that night.

On the 21st the Conception sprung a leak also, which gained upon her notwithstanding every effort at the pumps, so that she could not be kept long above water. So I took out of her 42 chests of cochineal and silk, leaving her to the sea with 11 feet water in her hold, and 4700 hides. The other prize, which we have brought into harbour, is the Nuestra Sennora de los Remedios, Francisco Alvares captain, laden with 16 chests of cochineal, certain fardels [or bales] of raw silk, and about 4000 hides. Upon the discharge of the goods, your honours shall be particularly advertised of the same. In boarding our prizes, such was the disorder of our men, that, besides rifling the persons of the Spaniards, they broke open the chests and purloined what money was in them; although I had given notice of my intention of going on board in person, to have taken a just account thereof in presence of three or four witnesses, putting the whole in safe custody, pursuant to the articles made in this behalf. And whereas certain sums of money taken from our men, which they had thus purloined and embezzled, together with other parcels brought on board my ship, amounting to 2129 pesos and a half, all of which the company demanded to have shared among them as due pillage, I refused this demand, and read to them openly at the mast the articles confirmed by my lord treasurer and my lord admiral, by which they ought to be directed in these things, declaring that it was not in my power to dispose thereof until the same were finally determined at home. Thereupon they mutinied, and grew at length to such fury, that they declared they would have it or else would break down the cabin. Seeing them ready to execute this threat, I was forced to yield, lest the great number of Spaniards we had on board might have taken the opportunity of rising against us; which, indeed, after the brawls of our men were appeased, they actually endeavoured to have done.

By the last advice from Castile, the general of the king of Spains armada, lately put to sea, is ordered to join his fleet with that of the Indies, and to remain at Tercera till the 15th of October, waiting for six pataches with seven or eight millions of the royal treasure expected by that time: otherwise they are to wait their coming from the Havannah till January next, or until the kings farther pleasure shall be made known. These pataches are said to be of 300 tons burden each, carrying 30 pieces of brass cannon, and are also reported to sail in a superior manner to any other ships. Before their coming to Flores, there perished of the fleet of the Indies eleven sail, among which was the admiral, and not one roan saved. It is likewise supposed by the Spaniards, that the storms we encountered at Flores and Tercera must have destroyed many more of them, of which indeed we were partly eye-witnesses. On the whole, therefore, what by the seas and our men of war, of the 75 sail that came from the Havannah, I presume one half will not arrive in Spain.

On the night of the 11th October, we came to anchor in Plymouth sound, and got up next morning with our prize into Catwater, for which God be praised: For so vehement a storm arose, that our prize was forced to cut away her main-mast, otherwise, her ground tackle being bad, she had been driven on shore by the violence of the storm. This was the main cause which induced me to put in here, where I now propose to discharge the goods without farther risk, and have certified thus much to my lord admiral, and therewith desire to receive the directions of my lords of the council together with yours, as my lord Thomas Howard is not yet returned. How the rest of our consorts, which separated from us, may have sped, or what prizes they may have taken, of which there is much hope by reason of the scattering of the West India fleet, I am as yet unable to say any thing. And thus, waiting your answer, and referring for all other matters to captain Furtho, the bearer hereof, I make an end, at Plymouth this 24th of October 1591.

Your Worships loving Friend,


SECTION XIII. Exploits of the English in several Expeditions and cruizing Voyages from 1589 to 1592; extracted from John Huighen van Linschoten380


The entire title of this article in Hakluyts Collection is, "A large testimony of John Huighen van Linschoten, Hollander, concerning the worthy exploits achieved by the right honourable the Earl of Cumberland, by Sir Martine Frobisher, Sir Richard Grenville, and diverse other English captains, about the isles of the Azores, and upon the coasts of Spain and Portugal, in the years 1589, 1590, 1591, &c. recorded in his excellent discourse of voyages to the East and West Indies, cap. 96, 97, and 99." Of this article, the Editor of Astley gives the following account.

"The author, John Huighen van Linschoten, left Goa with a fleet of ships, viz. The Santa Maria, Nuestra Sennora de la Concepçao, the San Christopher admiral, the San Thome which was the largest and most richly laden, and the Santa Cruz in which Linschoten sailed. It was extracted by Hakluyt from the 96th, 97th, and 99th chapters of the first book of Linschotens Voyages in English, beginning at p. 171. This section is intended as a supplement to the English cruizing voyages already inserted, which fall within the period mentioned in the title; and is the more material, as the memoirs it contains not only confirm the most material facts related in these preceding voyages, but give a satisfactory account of many things which are there but imperfectly related, often continuing the history which in these breaks off abruptly, and bringing to light some remarkable achievements of our countrymen, of which otherwise no mention could be found in our voluminous naval transactions.

"We are persuaded the reader will feel a secret joy in contemplating the great figure this nation made in these heroic times; owing to that universal zeal to promote the commerce and glory of England, which then prevailed among the ministers of the crown, as well as the people at large. We presume likewise, that this pleasure will be not a little enhanced by the consideration that these particulars were written by a foreigner, who is held in great reputation for his judgment and fidelity, and who has sounded the praise of our countrymen even beyond what has been done by our own historians. On the other hand, the reader will be no less concerned to find what immense treasures some of our adventurers lost, by unaccountably missing the fleets of which they went in search, when at the same time they were so near them, that it seemed almost impossible they should escape. This shews, after all, how uncertain is the meeting of ships at sea, and that two great fleets may sail almost close to one another, without having the least suspicion." –Astley.


The 22d of July 1589, about evening, being near the islands of Flores and Corvo, we perceived three ships making towards us, which came from under the land and put us in great fear, for they came close to our admiral and shot diverse times at him and at another ship of our company, whereby we perceived them to be English, for they bore the English flag at their main-tops, but none of them seemed above 60 tons burden. About evening they followed after us, and all night bore lanterns with candles burning at their sterns, although the moon shined. That night we passed hard by the island of Fayal; and next morning, being between the isle of St George on our right and the small isle of Graciosa on our left, we espied the three English ships still following us. They consulted together, upon which one of them sailed backwards, as if one ship had followed after us without company, and for a time that ship was out of sight; but in no long time afterwards, it returned to the other two, when they consulted again, and came all three together against our ship, because we were to leeward of all our ships, having the island of St George on one side instead of a sconce, [fort] thinking so to deal with us as to force us to run on shore, to which we were very near. In that manner they came bravely towards us, with their flags displayed, sounding their trumpets, and sailed at least three times about us, discharging at us their muskets and calivers and some pieces of great ordnance, doing us no harm in the hull of our ship, but spoiled all our sails and ropes, and so plagued us that no man durst put forth his head. When we shot off a piece of ordnance, we had at the least an hours work to load it again, there being a great noise and cry in our ship, as if we had been all cast away, whereupon the English began to mock us, calling out to us with many taunting words.

In the mean time, the other ships that were in company with us hoisted all their sails, doing their best to bear away for Tercera, and not looking once behind them to help us, as not caring for us, but doubting they would be too late thither, and thinking they did enough if they could save themselves, whereby it may be easily seen what kind of company they keep with each other, and what kind of order is among them. In the end, finding small advantage against us, and little knowing in what fear we were, and also because we were not far from Tercera, the English left us; on which we were not a little rejoiced, as thinking ourselves risen from death to life, though we were not yet well assured nor void of fear, till we got to anchor in the road of Tercera, under the protection of the Portuguese fort, towards which we made all possible sail. On the other hand, we were still in great doubt, not knowing the situation of the island, or whether they were our friends or enemies; and we were so much the more doubtful, because we found no man of war there, nor any caravels of advice from Portugal as we expected, to have convoyed us home, or given us intelligence, as they usually do in that country. And, because the English had been so victorious in those parts, we suspected that it went not well with Spain. The inhabitants of Tercera were no less fearful than we, for on seeing our fleet they thought us to have been English, and that we came to over-run the island, because the three English ships came in along with us and had wound up their flags; upon which the islanders sent out two caravels to us that lay there, with advice from the king for such India ships as should come there.

Those caravels came to view us, and perceiving what we were made after us; upon which the English ships left us and made towards the caravels, because the caravels thought them friends and shunned them not, as supposing them of our company: But we shot three or four times, and made signs to them that they should make towards the island, which they presently did. On perceiving that, the Englishmen made out to sea: and then the caravels sent on board us, saying that the people of the island were all in arms, having received advice from Portugal, that Sir Francis Drake was in readiness, and meant to come to the islands. They likewise brought us news of the overthrow of the Spanish armada which had gone against England, and that the English had been at the gates of Lisbon; for which reason it win the king's commands that we should put into the island of Tercera, and remain there under the protection of its castle, till we received further orders, as it was then thought too dangerous for us to continue our voyage to Lisbon. These news put all our fleet in great fear, making us look upon each other as not knowing what to do or say; as it was dangerous for us to put into the road, which lies open to the sea, so that although they had the kings commands for so doing, the India ships durst not anchor there, but only used to come thither, standing off and on, and sending their boats a-land for such necessaries as they wanted, without coming to anchor. But now necessity compelled us to this measure, owing to our fears for the three small English ships, also because of the kings orders, and because we understood that the Earl of Cumberland was not far from these islands with sundry ships of war. We made therefore a virtue of necessity, and entering the road of Tercera, anchored close under the castle, in waiting for orders from the king to pursue our voyage, it being then the 24th of July or St Jameses day.

The 12th of August, the Earl of Cumberland, with six or seven ships of war, sailed past the island of Tercera; and to our great good fortune passed out of sight. We then set out in all haste, and, for our greater security, took along with us 400 Spaniards of those who were in garrison in the island, and made sail for Lisbon with a favourable wind, so that in eleven days we arrived in the river Tagus with great joy and triumph. For, had we been one day longer of getting into the river, we had all been taken by Captain Drake, [Sir Francis Drake] who came before Cascais with 40 ships, at the very time when we cast anchor in the Tagus under the guard of several gallies.

While I remained in Tercera, the Earl of Cumberland came to St Marys to take in fresh water and other victuals; but the inhabitants would not suffer him to have it, and wounded both the earl himself and several of his men, so that they were forced to depart without having any thing. Likewise, while I was at Tercera, the same earl came to the island of Graciosa, where he went to land in person with seven or eight others, demanding certain beasts, poultry, and other victuals, with wine and fresh water, which they willingly gave him, after which he departed without doing any injury, for which the inhabitants were very thankful, praising his courtesy and faithfulness to his promise. The earl came likewise at that time to Fayal, where at the first they begun to resist him; but by reason of some controversy among themselves, they let him land, when he razed the castle, throwing all the cannon into the sea, and took with him certain caravels and ships that lay in the road, with all such provisions as he wanted, and then departed. Thereupon, the king caused the principal actors in that transaction to be punished, and went thither a company of soldiers, which went from Tereera, with all kind of warlike ammunition and great shot, rebuilding the cattle the better to defend the island, and no more trusting to the Portuguese inhabitants.

The 9th of October 1589381, there arrived in Tereera fourteen ships from the Spanish West Indies, laden with cochineal, hides, gold, silver, pearls, and other rich wares. When they departed from the harbour of the Havannah, they were fifty in company; of which eleven sunk in the channel [of Florida] by reason of foul weather, and all the rest were scattered and separated from each other in a storm. Next day there came another ship of the same fleet, which sailed close under the island endeavouring to get into the road; when she was met by an English whip that had not above three cast pieces [of ordnance], while the Spaniards had twelve. They fought a long while together, which we in the island could distinctly see. The governor of the island sent out two boats filled with musketeers to aid the Spanish ship; but before they could get up to her assistance; the English had shot her below water, so that we saw her sink into the sea with all her sails up, and she entirely disappeared. The Englishmens boat saved the Captain and about thirty others, but not one pennyworth of the goods, which were to the value of 200,000 ducats, in gold, silver, and pearls. All the rest of the crew were drowned, to the number of about fifty persons, among whom were some friars and women, whom the English could not save. The English set all the people they had saved on shore, and then sailed away. The 27th of the same month of October 1589, these fourteen ships sailed from Tercera, for Seville; and on coming to the coast of Spain, they were all taken by some English ships that watched for them, two only excepted which made their escape, all the rest being carried to England.

About this time, the earl of Cumberland, with one of the queens ships and five or six others, kept hovering about the islands, and came oft-times close to the island of Tercera, and to the road of Angra, so near that the people on land could easily count all the men on his decks, and could even distinguish one from another; they of the island not once shooting at them, which they might easily have done, as they were often within musket-shot of the town and fort. He continued in these parts for the space of two months, sailing round about the islands, and landed in Graciosa and Fayal, as I have already mentioned. He took several ships and caravels, which he sent off to England, so that the people of the islands durst not put forth their heads. At one time, about three or four days after the earl had been at the island of Fayal, and was departed from thence, there arrived there six ships of the Indies, the general of which was one Juan Dorives, which landed in that island four millions of gold and silver382. Then, being much in fear of the English, and having refreshed themselves with all speed, they set sail and arrived safe at San Lucar, without meeting an enemy, to the great good luck of the Spaniards and bad fortune of the English; for, within less than two days after the gold and silver was again laden into the Spanish ships, the earl of Cumberland sailed past the island again; so that if he had once got sight of these valuable ships, without doubt he had got them all, as the Spaniards themselves confessed.

In the month of November, two great ships arrived in Tercera, being the admiral and vice-admiral of the fleet laden with silver, which had been separated from the fleet in a great storm, and were in great jeopardy and distress, ready to sink, being forced to use all their pumps, and so terrified, that they wished a thousand times to have met the English, to whom they would willingly have given all the silver, and every thing they had on board, only to preserve their lives. Although the earl still hovered about the islands, yet did he not meet with these ships, which got with much labour and difficulty into the road of Angra, where with all speed they unladed and landed about five millions in silver, all in great pieces or ingots of 8 or 12 great pounds, so that the whole quay lay covered with plates and chests of silver, full of pieces of eight rials, most wonderful to behold: Each million being worth ten hundred thousand ducats, besides gold, pearls, and other precious stones, which were not registered. The admiral and chief commander of these ships, and of the whole fleet to which they belonged, was Alvaro Flores de Quin Quiniones, who was sick of the Neapolitan disease, and was brought to land; and of which malady he died soon afterwards at Seville. He had with him the kings commission under the great seal, giving him full authority as general and commander in chief upon the seas, over all fleets and ships, and in all places, lands, and islands, on shore wherever he came; wherefore the governor of Tercera shewed him much honour, and between them it was concerted, seeing the weakness of the ships and the danger from the English, that they should send the ships first empty of treasure to Seville or Lisbon, under a guard of soldiers, when the king might give orders afterwards to fetch the silver home under safe convoy. The said admiral Alvaro Flores staid there, under colour of taking care of the silver, but chiefly because of his disease and fear of the English. He had for his part alone, above the value of 50,000 ducats in pearls, which he shewed us, and sought to sell or barter them with us for spices or bills of exchange. These two ships sailed from Tercera with three or four hundred men, including those who came with them from the Indies and soldiers; but while at sea in a storm, the admiral split and sunk outright, not one man being saved; and the vice-admiral, after cutting away her masts, ran aground hard by Setubal, where she broke in pieces, some of the men saving themselves by swimming, who brought the news of all the rest being drowned.

In the same month of November 1589, there came two great ships out of the Spanish Indies, and when within half a mile of the road of Tercera, they were met with by an English ship which fought them both together for a long while, and took them both. About seven or eight months before, there came an English ship to Tercera, pretending to be a Frenchman come for traffic, and began to load woad, but being discovered was confiscated to the king, both ship and cargo, and the men all made prisoners, yet were allowed to roam up and down to get their livings, by labouring like slaves, being considered in as safe custody in the island at large as if in a prison. But at length, upon a Sunday, they all went behind the hills called Bresil, where they found a fishing boat, in which they rowed out to sea to the ships of the Earl of Cumberland, who chanced for their good fortune to come to the island, and anchored with his ships about half a mile from the road of Angra, close to two small islands about a bare shot from the shore of Tercera, which are full of goats, deer, and sheep, belonging to the inhabitants of Tercera. These sailors knew this well, wherefore they rowed to these islands in their boats, whence they took as many goats and sheep as they needed, which was well seen by those of the town and main island, but they durst not go forth to hinder them. By this exploit, there only remained behind the master and merchant of the detained English ship. This master had a brother-in-law in England, who, on hearing of his brothers imprisonment, got a licence from the queen to fit out a ship, with which to endeavour to recover his losses by cruizing against the Spaniards, by which to redeem his brother from imprisonment in Tercera, and it was he who took the two Spanish ships before the town: The before-mentioned merchant, who was my intimate acquaintance, was standing on the shore along with me, looking at them at the time. When these ships were taken, which were worth 300,000 ducats, the brother sent all the men on shore, except only two of the principal gentlemen, whom he kept to give in exchange for his brother; and by the pilot of one of the captured ships he sent a letter to the governor of Tercera, offering to send the two gentlemen on shore if his brother were delivered up, otherwise he would carry them prisoners into England, which indeed he did, as the governor would not deliver up his brother, saying the gentlemen might make that suit to the king of Spain. We invited that Spanish pilot to supper with us, and the Englishmen likewise, when he related to us the particulars of the fight, much commending the order and manner in which the English fought, as also their courteous behaviour to him: But, in the end, the English merchant stole away in a French ship, without paying any ransom.

In January 1590, there arrived one ship alone at Tercera from the Spanish West Indies, bringing news that a fleet of an hundred sail, which had set out from the Indies, were driven by a storm on the coast of Florida, where they were all cast away, vast riches and many men being lost, and she alone had escaped with the news. Thus by account, of 200 ships which were certainly known to have sailed out of New Spain, San Domingo, Havannah, Cabo Verde, Brazil, Guinea, &c. in the year 1589, for Spain and Portugal, not above 14 or 15 of them arrived safe, all the rest having either been foundered, cast away, or taken. In the same month of January, there came to Tercera from Seville, 15 or 16 ships, mostly fliboats of the Low Countries, and some ships of Britanny, that were arrested in Spain. These came out full of soldiers and well provided with guns and ammunition, to lade home the silver that lay in Tercera, and to bring home Alvaro Flores into Spain, by order of the king. As at this time of the year there are always great storms about these islands, the above-mentioned ships durst not enter the road of Tercera, for it then blew so great a storm that some of the ships, which had entered the road, had been forced to cut away their masts, and were in much danger of being lost, and among these a ship of Biscay was actually driven upon the coast and dashed to pieces, but all the men were saved. The other ships were obliged to keep to sea and to separate from each other, allowing themselves to drive at the mercy of the winds and waves till the 15th of March, as in all that time they had not one day of good weather in which to anchor, so that they endured much distress, heartily cursing both the silver and the island.

When this storm was passed, they fell in with an English ship of about 40 tons, which by reason of the heavy wind could not hoist all her sails, so that they took her. Hoisting her English ensign on the stern of their admiral, the ships came now as proudly into the road-stead of Tercera as if they had defeated the whole navy of England: But, just as their admiral was entering the road, trickt out with the English flag on his stern, there came by chance two English ships past the island, which paid her so well for her bravity, that she had to cry out misericordia. Had she been a mile farther out, the English ships doubtless would have taken her; but getting under the guns of the fortress, which began to play upon the English ships, they were forced to leave her and put farther out to sea, after having slain five or six of the Spaniards.

The Englishmen taken in the small ship were put under hatches, coupled together in irons; and, after the