A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. VIII.
by Robert Kerr
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[Footnote 333: It should rather be Kahwah house, signifying a house where they sell coffee.—Astl. I. 373. c.]

The 1st March we came to Eufras, sixteen miles through a mountainous and stony country. This is a small town on the side of a hill, to which many people resort from afar about the 5th of January, where they do some foolish ceremonies at the grave of one of their saints who is buried here, after which they all go on pilgrimage to Mecca. The governor of this town, though a Turk, used me very civilly on my going up to Zenan; and, on the present occasion, sent a person six miles to meet us at a place where two roads meet, to bring us to this town, where he used us kindly. The 2d we lodged at a sensor called Assambine, eleven miles, where were only a few poor cottages. The 3d to another sensor called Accomoth, in a barren common, with a few cottages, thirteen miles. The 4th to Mousa,[334] seventeen miles, through a barren plain with few inhabitants. Mousa is a small unwalled town, but very populous, standing in a moderately fertile plain, in which some indigo is made. We departed from Mousa at midnight, and rested two or three hours at a church, or coughe house,[335] called Dabully, built by a Dabull merchant Our stop was to avoid coming to Mokha before day.[336]

[Footnote 334: Probably the same place called Mowssi on the journey inland.—E.]

[Footnote 335: It is not easy to reconcile this synonime of a coughe house or church, with the explanation formerly given, that coughe house means coffee-house; perhaps we ought to read in the text, a church or mosque, and a coughe or coffee-house.—E.]

[Footnote 336: The preceding journal gives fourteen stages, the estimated length of two of which are omitted. The amount of the twelve stages, of which the lengths are inserted, is 185 miles; and, adding thirty for the two others as the average, the whole estimated distance will be 215 miles. In these old times, the estimated or computed mile seems to have been about one and a half of our present statute mile, which would make the entire distance 322 statute miles; and allowing one quarter far deflexion and mountain road, reduces the inland distance of Zenau from Mokha to 242 miles, nearly the same already mentioned in a note, on the authority of our best modern maps.—E.]

We got there about eight in the morning, and were met a mile without the town by our carpenters and smiths, and some others who had remained at Mokha, all of whom had their irons taken off the day before, and were now at liberty to walk abroad. The first question I asked was, what was become of Mr Pemberton; when they told me, to my great satisfaction, that he contrived to get hold of a canoe, in which he got aboard. From the end of the town all the way to the aga's house, the people were very thick to see us pass, and welcomed us back to Mokha. On coming before the aga, I delivered the letters I brought from Zenan. He now received me in his original dissembled shew of kindness, bidding me welcome, and saying he was glad of my safe return, and sorry and ashamed for what was past, praying me to pardon him, as he had done nothing but as commanded by his master the pacha, and I might now assure myself of his friendship, and that all the commands of the pacha should be punctually obeyed. I soothed him with fair speech, but believed nothing of his promises. He called for breakfast, and made Mr Femell, Mr Fowler, and me sit down by him, desiring us to eat and be merry, for now we had eaten bread and salt with him, we need have no fear of harm.

After breakfast the aga appointed us a large fair house near the sea, in which we abode two days; but we were afterwards removed to a large strong house standing by itself in the court yard of a mosque in the middle of the town, where we were guarded by a captain and his company appointed for the charge. He watched himself all day, and at night our house was surrounded by his soldiers Mokha it a third part less than Tayes, situated close to the sea, in a salt barren sandy soil, and unwalled. The house of the governor is close to the sea, and beside it is a quay, or jetty; which advances a good way into the water, at which all boats from any ship are enjoined to land, lest they should defraud the customs. Close to the quay is a platform or battery, on which are about twelve brass cannon; and at the west end of the town is a fort with a similar number of ordnance. At our first coming, this fort was in ruins; but it had been since pulled down and new built. The Darling came into the roads this afternoon, and brought me news of the welfare of the rest, to my no small comfort after so many troubles.

The 6th March, Nakhada Malek Ambar, captain of a great ship of Dabul, came ashore, accompanied by a great number of merchants, all of them being carried round the town in a kind of triumph, and were afterwards feasted by the aga. I likewise was sent for to this feast, and entertained with much seeming love and friendship. In presence of the whole company, the aga sent for the Koran, which he kissed, and voluntarily swore and protested that he had no ill will to me, but wished me all good, and would do every thing in his power to do me pleasure, being much grieved for the past, and his heart entirely free of malice or hatred. I returned him thanks, seemingly much satisfied with his protestations, though I gave no credit to them, but was forced to endure what I could not remedy, till God should please to provide better.

The 7th, the aga made a great feast at his garden-house for the Dabul merchants, to which I and Mr Femell were invited. The 8th we were all sent for by the aga, when thirty were selected to remain along with me a-land, and the rest, to the number of thirty-six, were sent on board the Darling. The 9th I had escaped, if I had not been more careful for those who had then been left behind than for myself. This day the Darling departed to the other ships in an excellent road called Assab, on the coast of Habash or Abyssinia, which they had found out during my absence, where they, were safe in all winds that blow in these seas, and where they had plenty of wood and water merely for the trouble of fetching. The water was indeed a little brackish, but it satisfied them who had been long in want on that necessary. The people of this country are as black as the Guinea negroes; those on the sea-coast being Mahometans, but those of the inland country are Christians, and subjects to Prester John. They go almost naked, having only a cloth round their waists and down to their knees. At the first coming of our people they were much afraid; but after becoming acquainted, and a mutual peace being sworn between them, they supplied our ships with beeves, sheep, and goats, for money, at a reasonable rate; and, as they afterwards desired calico rather than money, I furnished them with it from Mokha, after which our ships got refreshments much cheaper in truck than formerly for money, dealing faithfully and kindly with our people, though the Turks sought to make them inimical by means of barks, which pass to and fro. The king of this country on the sea-coast, who resides at a town on the coast called Rahayta, about forty miles south from Assab, nearer the bab, sent some of his principal people with presents to the commanders of our ships, who returned the compliment by sending him some presents by messengers of their own. He entertained these messengers very courteously, promising every thing his country afforded. The vulgar speech of this people is quite different from Arabic, but the better sort speak and write Arabic, in which language their law of Mahomet is written.

Sec. 4. Sir Henry Middleton makes his Escape from the Turks, and forces them to make Satisfaction.

April 1st, 1611, the Darling departed from Mokha for Assab, having permission of the aga to come over every ten days to see how I did. This unlooked-for kindness gave no hopes of being able to work my freedom. Between and the fourth there came in two great ships of Dabul, which, with the one here before, belonged to the governor of Dabul, who is a Persian, and a great merchant, having many slaves. Of these, Malek Ambar is one, who is in high credit with him, and had the management of all the goods in the three ships. Ambar is a negro, born in Habash, and perhaps cost his master fifteen or twenty dollars; but now never goes out of doors without great troops of followers, like some great lord.[337]

[Footnote 337: We have here omitted the enumeration of many merchant ships that arrived from various places, and of a caravan of merchants from Damascus, Sues, and Mecca, to make purchases from these ships of India commodities.—E.]

The 11th, the aga and all the chief men of the town rode out at day-break to make merry at his garden-house, which gave me a fair opportunity of putting in practice what I had long projected, for Hamet aga and others had told me the pacha would not perform his promise unless for fear. I wrote, therefore, to Mr Pemberton, saying that I meant this day to make my escape on board, and that I would have myself conveyed to the boat in an empty cask; and desired, therefore, that he would send the boat in all speed manned with choice hands, and that he would send me some wine and spirits to make my keepers drunk, all which he punctually performed. Before I told Mr Femell of my intentions, I made him swear to be secret, and not to endeavour to persuade me from my intentions. I then gave him notice of what I meant to do, and that, if he and others would walk down to a certain place at the sea-side, I would not fail to take him and the rest in. I also told him that the carpenters were appointed to embark themselves at another place, where a boat lay on the beach, south from the town, with a mast and sail ready for the purpose, but were not to push off till they saw the Darling's boat away from the jetty.

All things fell out well for my purpose. The subasha, who was our guardian, and left in town only to look after me, fell to hard drinking at a rack house. The boat being come, and my keepers all drunk, the subasha came home to our house about noon. I then sent away the carpenters, two and two only together to avoid suspicion, as if to walk, with orders to shift for themselves in the appointed boat. Mr Femell, and those others I was to take in to leeward of the town, I ordered likewise to walk by twos at the shore, and to wait my coming for them. Having given all these directions, I was put into my cask and safely carried to the boat, on which I gave immediate orders to bear up to leewards, where I took in Mr Fowler and ten more of our people. Mr Femell and others, being too late of coming out of town, were taken before they could get to the boat. Having got safe on board the Darling, we espied the boat with the carpenters coming towards us, in which four escaped, but a fifth was too long of coming to the boat, and, attempting to swim on board, was drowned.

About two hours after coming on board, a letter from Mr Femell was brought me by two Arabs in a canoe, stating, that by the command of the aga, he and the others who remained ashore had been chained by the necks, and threatened with death; but had been released by the intercession of Nokhada Malek Ambar and Nokhada Mahomet of Cananore, and others, and permitted to remain in our former house, but under a strong guard. These Nokhadas, or ship captains, acted this friendly part not from love to us, but for fear of their ships in the roads, which were now at my disposal. I answered Mr Femell, and sent word to the aga, that if he did not send me all my people and every thing belonging to my ships, which he detained contrary to the orders of the pacha, that I would burn all the ships in the roads, and would batter the town about his ears. I like-wise sent word to the Nokhadas, not to send any boat on board their ships without first coming to acquaint me of their business, nor to carry any thing ashore from their ships without my leave.

After my escape there was no small bustle and disturbance in the town; the aga not knowing how to answer to the pacha; the subasha at his wits end; and the Emir-al-Bahr in little better case; all afraid of losing their heads. One of our porters, who had assisted in carrying me in the cask, took sanctuary in a mosque, and would not come out till assured of pardon. The Nokhadas and merchants, who before scorned to speak with any of us, being now afraid of losing their ships and goods, sent presents of victuals and refreshments to Mr Femell and the rest. At night I sent the boat well manned to carry news to Assab of my escape, with directions for our ships to come over with all speed; and I placed the Darling in such a situation as to command all the ships in the roads of Mokha.

The 12th, Mahomet, the Nokhada of Cananore, came off, saying that the aga was very sorry for my departure, which I knew to be true, as he was determined to have set me and all my people at liberty to my full content in a few days, which I believed to be false. As for the things belonging to our ships which were on shore, he would deliver them, but could not send off my people without farther orders from the pacha, for which he asked fifteen days respite, after which, if I had not my men, they desired no favour. I insisted to have my pinnace at the same time, of which he said he should inform the aga. I yielded to his request of a peace of fifteen days, on promise of having my men and pinnace within the time; but durst not demand restitution or satisfaction for my goods, till such time as I had all my men aboard. The Darling's cables, anchors, pitch, tar, and other things were sent off, and few days passed but I had some present or other of refreshments from the aga and the Dabul merchants and others, who would scarcely speak to me when I was ashore in trouble, but were now fain to flatter me. Early this morning, a boat from the shore went aboard the innermost ship, on which I made the gunner fire two shots at her, which caused them to come to me; and I threatened to hang them if they did so any more, so they never durst attempt the like again.

The 13th, the Increase and Pepper-corn came to anchor towards night in sight of the roads, the lee-tide being against them, and got into the roads next day, when I went on board the Increase, where I was received very joyfully by all my company. The 18th there came a ship of Diu into the roads, belonging to Shermall the sabander, laden with India goods, which I embargoed, both people and goods, causing her to come to anchor close beside my ship; but next day, at the request of Shermall, I allowed all the people to go ashore, except a few to look after the ship. The 26th, Mahomet came off, saying the aga refused to deliver up the pinnace and my men, unless I gave a writing under my hand, confirmed by four or five more of our chief officers, and sanctioned by our oaths, containing a perfect peace with the Turks and Indians, and not to meddle in this sea or elsewhere in revenge of any thing that had passed, nor to demand satisfaction or restitution for the goods taken from me. I told him I was astonished he should thus come daily with new demands, as he had this day promised to bring my men and pinnace, which I looked to have performed; and for better security, he and all with him should remain as hostages till I had them, and desired, therefore, that he would write to this effect to the aga. Mahomet said that he had acted quite voluntarily in all this business, and would be laughed at for his forwardness if he should write as I desired, and therefore, whatever might betide, he would on no account write to the aga, but promised, if I gave him such a writing as he proposed, he would bring off my people before night.

Finding him inflexible, I thought best to give him something that might carry the name of what he desired, so I caused draw up a writing in English, signed by myself and five more, containing nothing else than a brief narrative of the treacherous misusage we had from the Turks; and I sent advice to Mr Femell how he was to interpret it to them. When Mahomet desired me to swear, I positively refused, saying my word should be found truer than the oath of a Turk. Mahomet went now ashore with this writing, leaving some of the better sort of his company in pledge, whom he desired me to hang if he brought not off my people that night. In fact, he returned a little before night with Mr Femell and nine more; Mr Femell and other two having received vests of small value. Another rest was sent for me, which they said came from the pacha, and the Nokhada would have me put it on. I refused it, telling him I scorned to wear any thing that came from so unconscionable a dog, by whose order I had received so many injuries. He now departed, taking with him the Turk who was made prisoner in the attempt upon the Darling, who had remained till now in the Increase.

The 27th, according to promise, Mahomet brought off my pinnace, and asked me if all that was promised was not now performed. I told him no; for I had not yet all my company, as they still kept my boy at Tayes, whom they had forcibly circumcised, and that I was determined to have him before I would release the ships. The 1st June I wrote to the pacha in Italian, demanding restitution of my goods, and satisfaction for the damages I had received; and was answered, my letter was not understood for want of an interpreter. I therefore again embargoed the ship of Diu, declaring, that no more goods should be landed from her, till the pacha had satisfied me to the value of 70,000 dollars, which I had lost and was damnified by him. The 2d, came aboard my interpreter at Zenan, Ally Hoskins, with a message from the pacha, desiring me not to take any violent courses here, but to seek justice at Constantinople. He told me likewise he had brought with him the boy from Tayes. I answered, I would by no means release the ship till I had restitution of my goods, and satisfaction for my damages to the amount already specified.

The 3d, the aga requested peace for twelve days, till the pacha were informed of my demands. The 4th, Ally Hoskins, Tocorsi, a Banian, and others, came on board, and desired me to make out an account of the particulars of my losses, that it might be considered of ashore. I did so in writing; and sent word by them to the aga, that if he did not presently make me restitution and satisfaction, I would batter the town about his ears, would take all the goods from the Diu ship into my own, and burn all the ships; all which I could do without breach of covenant, as the time of the agreed truce was expired, and they had not performed their part of the agreement. The 8th, I sent Mr Pemberton to Assab to purchase fresh provisions, as we had many sick in our ships, and I was fearful of taking provisions at Mokha, being warned by my friends to beware of poison.

The 19th, Shermall, Ally Hoskins, Tocorsi, and many others came on board, bringing Mr Pemberton's boy. After compliments, Shermall began with a long preamble of love and favour, for which he hoped I would now requite him; for the pacha had enjoined him to give me satisfaction, or to have his throat cut and his goods seized, which he declared to be truth. After a long debate, it was concluded that all our lead and iron was to be restored, and I was to receive 18,000 dollars in full for satisfaction, to be paid in fifteen days. Whereupon a peace was concluded between us and them, from the port of Mokha to Cananore, conditioning that the pacha gave me a writing under his hand and seal, confirming this peace between his nation and ours for the time specified. The 2d July we received the last payment, the sabander Shermall coming himself. On this occasion I cleared all accounts with him, as well for money borrowed while I was prisoner as disbursed since. He then demanded the 1500 chequins I had promised the kiahya, but this I peremptorily refused to pay, as the kiahya had not performed his promise to me. The 3d, Tocorsi and Ally Hoskins came again and bought some vermilion, for which I gave them credit, on their promise to pay me at Assab in fifteen days, and also to bring me over some supply of grain, together with a writing from the pacha in confirmation of the peace agreed upon. In the afternoon we warped out of the road of Mokha, and set sail that night for Assab, but did not arrive there till the morning of the 5th.

The 6th I went ashore, and caused all the wells to be emptied and cleaned out, for fear of poison; having been often told at Mokha, that the Turks had practised with the people of Assab to poison the wells. The 13th, the king of this country hearing of my escape from Mokha, sent me a complimentary letter and a present. The 17th, a vessel came over from Mokha, in which was Tocorsi and another Banian, bringing with them the provisions I had desired them to buy for us, and the money they owed me; but as for the writing confirming the peace, they made excuse that the pacha was so much occupied in war that he could not get it attended to; which was a manifest warning that they would give no quarter to our nation. Wherefore, on the 24th, we sailed from Assab, plying to windward as far as Kamaran, to wait the arrival of a large ship, which comes yearly from Sues to Mokha richly laden, hoping by her means to be amply revenged for all the losses and disgraces I had incurred from the Turks; and I the more anxiously wished to meet with her, as I understood the two traitors, Jaffer pacha and Regib aga, had both great adventures in that ship. From the 24th therefore to 31st July we plyed to windward for this purpose, sailing by day and anchoring all night, in which period we narrowly escaped many dangers, being in want of a pilot, being many times in imminent danger of running aground, to the hazard and loss of all, had not God preserved us. But the ship of Sues escaped us in the night, as we found on our return towards the south.

Sec. 5. Voyage from the Red Sea to Surat, and Transactions there.

We set sail from the neighbourhood of Mokha in the morning of the 9th August, 1611, and in the evening cast anchor three leagues short of the straits of Bab-al-Mondub. The 10th, the Darling and Release[338] went out by the western passage, which they found to be three leagues over, from the main land of Habesh to the island Bab-Mandel, [Prin.] One third of the way over from the island they had no ground at forty fathoms, the channel being quite clear and free from danger, though the Turks and Indians reported it was full of rocks and shoals, and not navigable for ships. We in the Increase, accompanied by the Pepper-corn, went out by the eastern narrow channel at which we came in, which does not exceed a mile and half between the island and the Arabian shore, of which a considerable distance from the main is encumbered with shoals. We all met outside of the straits in the afternoon, in nineteen fathoms water, about four miles from the Arabian shore. From the 12th to the 27th, we were much pestered with contrary winds, calms, and a strong adverse current, setting to the S.W. at the rate of four miles an hour. The 27th, we had a favouring gale to carry us off, and by six p.m. had sight of Mount Felix, [Baba Feluk,] a head-land to the west of Cape Guardafui. The 30th, we came to anchor in the road of Delisha, on the northern coast of Socotora. We found there a great ship of Diu and two smaller, bound for the Red Sea, but taken short by the change of the monsoon. The captain of the great ship with several others came aboard me, and assured me our people at Surat were well, being in daily expectation of ships from India, and that Captain Hawkins was at the court of the Great Mogul, where he was made a great lord, and had a high allowance from the king. They said likewise, that the king had given Captain Sharpey money to build a ship, which was nearly ready for launching at Surat. This and many other things he told me seemed too good news to be true.

[Footnote 338: This must be the pinnace which was set up at Mokha, so named in memory of their release from that place.—E.]

As the monsoon was far spent, I requested the nokhada of Diu to aid me with his boats and people in procuring water and ballast, which he and the others willingly did, offering me all the water in their ship, and employing their people to bring me more from the shore, so anxious were they to get me away. It was long before I could bargain with the king for his aloes, but at last I got it, paying higher than Captain Keeling had done; for I think the Indians were in hand with him for it, which made him enhance the price. I left letters with the king, which he promised to deliver to the first English ship that came there. Having finished all my business, I had much ado to get a simple fellow from the ship of Diu to pilot me on the coast of India, who pretended to be a good coaster. We set sail from Delisha on the 3d September, with a favourable wind, which brought us by the 26th into the road of Surat, where we came to anchor in seven fathoms near three India ships. A mile from us rode at anchor seven sail of Portuguese frigates or men of war, there being thirteen more of them within the river of Surat.[339]

[Footnote 339: These twenty Portuguese frigates, as then called, were only barks, grabs, or praws of the country, armed with small guns.—E.]

Long before our arrival, the Portuguese had intelligence that we were in the Red Sea, and bound for Surat, so that these frigates were sent purposely to prevent us from trading at Surat, or any other place on that coast. Don Francisco de Soto-major was captain-major of this flotilla, being what is called captain-major of the north, and reaped great profit from granting cartasses, or passports, to all ships and barks trading on that coast, all being confiscated that presumed to navigate without his licence. I discharged my pilots that night, paying them well, and sent by them a letter to such Englishmen as might be in Surat, as I could not learn how many or who were there resident.

The 29th, came a small Portuguese frigate from the admiral of the armada, as they term it, in which was one Portuguese and his boy, bringing me a letter from the captain-major, in answer to one I wrote him the day before. He expressed his satisfaction to hear that I belonged to a king in friendship with his sovereign, and that he and his people would be ready to do me every service, provided I brought a letter or order from the King of Spain, or the Viceroy of India, allowing me to trade in these parts; if otherwise, he must guard the port committed to his charge, in which the king his master had a factory. I answered by word of mouth, by the Portuguese messenger, that I neither had letters from the King of Spain nor the viceroy, of which I had no need, being sent by the King of England, with letters and rich presents for the Great Mogul, and to establish the trade already begun in these parts. As for the Portuguese factory there, I meant not to harm it, as both it and our factory might continue to trade, and I saw no reason they had to oppose us, as the country was free for all nations, the Mogul and his subjects not being under vassalage to the Portuguese. I therefore desired him to tell his captain, that I expected he would, in a friendly manner, permit any English who were at Surat to come on board to confer with me, and hoped he would not reduce me to the necessity of using force, as I was resolved to have intercourse with them by one means or the other.

I went that day in the Darling to examine the bar, but seeing we could not possibly go over the bar without a pilot, I returned in the evening to the road. On going aboard the Increase, I found a letter from Surat, written by Nicholas Bangham, formerly a joiner in the Hector. He informed me that we had no factory in Surat, to which place he had been sent by Captain Hawkins to recover some debts owing there, and had likewise letters for me from Captain Hawkins, but durst not send them aboard for fear of the Portuguese. He said nothing as to what had become of our factory and goods; wherefore I wrote to him to send me Captain Hawkins' letters, and information of all other particulars of our affairs in that country.

The third October, Khojah Nassan, governor of Surat, and the governor's brother of Cambaya, sent me a Mogul messenger with a present of refreshments, offering to do me all the service in their power; saying, they wished to trade with us, but could see no way of doing so while the Portuguese armada rode there, and therefore advised me to go for Gogo,[340] a far better place, where our ships could ride nearer the shore, and where the Portuguese armada could not hinder our landing. That place likewise was nearer Cambay, where there were more merchants and greater store of merchandise for our purpose than at Surat. I told this messenger, that till I knew what was become of our countrymen and goods formerly left in the country, I could not determine how to proceed, and desired him therefore to be a means that some one of our people might come aboard to confer with me, and that I might have a pilot to conduct me to Gogo, and then I would quickly resolve them what I was to do. I dismissed this messenger and his interpreter with small presents. The 5th, the interpreter, who was a bramin, or priest of the Banians, came off with a letter from Bangham, and the letter from Captain Hawkins, dated from Agra in April last, giving an account of the fickleness of the Mogul, who had given a firman to the Portuguese, by which our trade, formerly granted, was disallowed.

[Footnote 340: Gogo is a sea-port of Guzerat, on the west coast of the Gulf of Cambay, in lat. 22 deg. 43' N.]

There were likewise two letters of a later date from Thomas Fitch, at Lahore, giving the same account of the inconstancy of the Great Mogul, and advising me on no account to land any goods, or to hope for trade.

On reading these letters, I grew hopeless of any trade here, yet resolved to try all I possibly could before I would depart. I understood by Bangham's letter, that Captain Sharpey, John Jordayne, and others, were coming from Cambaya to Surat to go along with me: and although I could have no trade, I yet resolved to do all I could to get them on board. The Indian ships that rode beside me had given over their voyage southwards for this monsoon, and the bramin desired me to allow them to be carried into the river. This I would by no means grant; desiring him to tell the governor and owners, that their ships should be detained till I had all the English from Cambaya and Surat on board. If I had permitted them to be gone, I should have lost all means of sending to or hearing from our people ashore, as the Portuguese used their endeavours to intercept all letters and messengers.

The 22d, the Portuguese laid an ambush to intercept some of my men that were sent on shore, and, on seeing an advantage, broke out upon them in great numbers, confusedly running towards my men and boats. They discharged their shot at us, and we at them, both such of my men as were on shore, and those also in my frigate,[341] which rowed close to the land. All my men retired in safety to my boats and frigate, and the Portuguese retired, with some hurt, behind the sand hills, out of shot, and so, in worse case than they came, returned to their frigates. There were of them seven ensigns, and might be about three hundred men. At the time when these came upon us by land, five of their largest frigates, which rode a little way off to the northward, came up towards us, firing at us, but far out of shot. Returning with our boats and frigate to the ships, I consulted with Captain Downton and others what course to take, and it was thought best to bring the smaller ships out to where the Increase lay. The 8th November, Nicholas Bangham came from Surat with some refreshments, and news that Mocreb Khan was soon expected. This day the son of the Portuguese viceroy came into the river with 100 frigates, most of them being merchant grabs bound for Cambaya. At night, I caused our ships that rode in shore to come out and anchor beside me, lest the Portuguese might attempt any thing against them.

[Footnote 341: This frigate could only be the pinnace called the Release.—E.]

The 9th November, Khojah Nassan came to the shore, and I went to him with my frigate and boats to confer with him. He promised in two or three days at farthest to return, and bring goods with him for trade. I told him we had been here long, and could get no refreshment of victuals for our money, and desired therefore that he would give orders to the country people to bring me some, which he promised. The 18th, I had a letter from Bangham, saying, there were little or no hopes of any trade. All things considered I determined now to go away, and wrote therefore to Nicholas Bangham to come on board; but Khojah Nassan would not permit him, and he at length stole privately out of town, and got on board. Upon this, Khojah Nassan and Mocreb Khan sent me letters by Jaddaw, a broker, both promising speedily to visit me. Though I hardly believed them, yet I determined to spend a few days longer to see the event. At this time the Portuguese made another attempt to entrap our men on shore, for they did not dare to attack us at sea. They laid another ambush among the sand hills with a great number of men, not far from our landing-place, whence they attacked our people, but they all got safe into our boat. In the mean time, our people in the ships let fly at them, and they took to their heels to their lurking place behind the hills, leaving one of their men on the strand mortally wounded in the head, whom our people brought aboard.

The 24th, Jaddaw came again aboard, saying that Mocreb Khan was coming, and would be with me before night. After dinner I went close in shore with my frigate, where I found Khojah Nassan, who sent me word Mocreb Khan would be there presently; having provided a suitable present, I went ashore well accompanied, where I found Mocreb Khan and Khojah Nassan waiting for me with many attendants. We embraced at meeting, and our ships fired some cannon to salute Mocreb Khan, which he seemed to take in good part. Having delivered my present, we sat down on carpets spread on the ground, and had some conference. Being near sun-set, I invited Mocreb to go on board and stay all night, which he agreed to, taking with him his son, the son of Khojah Nassan, and several of his chief followers, but Khojah Nassan would not go. I gave him the best entertainment I could, setting before him such dainties as I could provide on a sudden, of which he and those with him eat heartily. I now conceived good hopes of trade, as all this country was under his command, as he promised every thing I asked, even to give us any place or harbour I pleased to name, and leave to fortify ourselves there. It growing late, I left him to his rest.

Next morning, the 25th, Mocreb Khan busied himself in buying knives, glasses, and any toys he could find among the people. I shewed him the whole ship aloft and below; and any thing that pleased him he got away for nothing; besides many toys that struck his fancy belonging to the company, which I bought and gave him. On returning to my cabin, he would see all my trunks, chests, and lockers opened, and whatever was in them that took his liking, I gave him for nothing. Dinner being ready, he dined with me, and went afterwards on board the other ships, where he behaved as in mine.

The 30th and 31st, I sent Mr Fowler, Mr Jordayne, and other merchants to look at the goods, after which they returned with Mustrels, or invoices and prices, on which we set down what we would give for each, desiring them to do the like with ours. But they put me off from day to day, concluding nothing, and would neither abate in their prices, nor make any offer for our goods. Having sold all our sword-blades to Mocreb Khan at a moderate rate, as taking all one with another, he returned all the worst, above half of them, and no word when the others were to be paid. They then removed all their goods to Surat, and made a proclamation under great penalties, that no victuals or other thing should be brought to us. The 8th December, Mocreb Khan and his crew came to the strand with about forty packs of their goods, partly his and Khojah Nassan's, and partly belonging to the sabander and other merchants. I went immediately ashore with a good guard of shot and halberts, and fell to business, and we soon agreed for all our lead, quicksilver, and vermilion, and for their goods in return. The business was mostly conducted by Khojah Nassan, no one daring to buy and sell with us without his leave.

The 9th, in the morning, we began to land our lead, and to receive some of their goods in return, and were in good forwardness to make prices for the rest, when a letter came to Mocreb Khan from his king, which dashed all his mirth and stopt our proceedings for the present. He seemed quite cheerful and pleasant before receiving this letter; but immediately on perusing it he became very sad. After sitting a good while musing, he suddenly rose and went away, neither looking at nor speaking to me, though I sat close beside him. But before he took horse he sent for me, praying me to excuse his sudden departure, having earnest business; but that he should leave Khojah Nassan to receive and deliver the goods bargained for, and to agree for more. We heard shortly after, that he was deposed from the government of Cambay, and Khojah Nassan from that of Surat, others being appointed in their places. Mocreb Khan was now nothing more than customer of Surat.

The 10th December, the new governor of Surat and Hassan Ally came aboard the Pepper-corn to see the ships; and I afterwards took them aboard the Trades-increase. At this time our factors were ashore to see the lead weighed, which was now nearly all ready to be sent on shore. They entreated Khojah Nassan to go hand in hand with them in this affair, as it would take a long while in doing. The factors wanted to weigh with our English weights, which he would by no means agree to, the weigher of Surat being there with the weights of the town, which he insisted should be used. Seeing no other remedy they gave way, and began to use the country beam; but after some few draughts, they desired to understand the beam before they proceeded; and on trial found a vast difference between their beam and ours, no less than ten or eleven maunds on five pigs of lead, every maund being thirty-three pounds English. Seeing he could not have the lead at any weight he pleased, Khojah Nassan began to cavil, saying he would have half money and half goods for his commodities, railing and storming like a madman, calling for the carmen to drive away his goods, and that he would not have any of our lead or other goods.

While I was in the Trades-increase with the governor and sabander, one of the factors came off and told me how Khojah Nassan was going on. I advised with such of my officers as were then about me what was best to be done, and we concluded to keep these men who were aboard as pledges, and if we could get hold of Khojah Nassan to keep him and set these men free. Wherefore, I detained the governor and sabander, telling them how Khojah Nassan had dealt with me, going about to delude me as formerly, and therefore I had no other remedy but to keep them as pledges for the performance of the bargain. The governor advised me to go ashore and fetch the man, which I did; and giving the governor a good present, I let him depart.

The 19th, Hassan Ally the sabander came on board, shewing me two letters from the viceroy at Goa, one to himself and the other to the captain-major of the Portuguese armada. I opened and perused them both. That to the captain-major thanked him for his special good service against the English, in making their captain and his people to swim to the boats for their safety, in which he had done the part of a valiant captain and faithful soldier, which would redound to his great honour, and, to gratify him for his service on this occasion, he bestowed upon him certain frigates lately taken from the Malabars. The viceroy added, that he had sent his son in the command of the northern fleet, who, being young, he prayed the captain-major to aid him with his counsel. Thus were the viceroy and I abused by the false reports of a lying braggart. The letter to the sabander thanked him for refusing to allow the English to trade at Surat, willing him to continue the same conduct, which would do great service to the King of Portugal, and for which he should be rewarded. This day came sundry carts laden with provisions from Surat, bought there for us by Nicholas Bangham.

The 24th, accounts on both sides being cleared, and business finished, the pledges on either side were released. They now promised to deal with us for the rest of our commodities, but after waiting till the 26th, they did nothing worth notice. The 27th a Jew came on board, bringing me a letter from Masulipatam, dated 8th September, from Peter Floris, a Dantzicker, employed by the company, shewing his setting out in February, his speedy and safe passage, and his arrival at Masulipatam in the beginning of September.

The 2d January, 1612, I wrote to Captain Hawkins, and sent to him Captain Sharpey, Hugh Fraine, and Hugh Gred, to set his mind on some better course than he seemed to be in when he wrote me on the 28th December; also desiring them to buy some indigo and other commodities, if they could be had at reasonable rates.

The 26th, Captain Hawkins and Captain Sharpey with the rest, came towards where we lay, leaving their carriages five miles from the water-side. I landed with 200 armed men and went to meet them, about three miles off, to guard them and their goods from the Portuguese, who I doubted might attempt to intercept them, and brought them all in safety aboard without seeing any thing of the Portuguese. The 27th I sent John Williams, one of our factors, to Surat on business. Some days before, Mocreb Khan sent for Mr Jourdayne, desiring his compliments to me, and that he was now going out of town for two or three days, to meet a great commander who was coming from the Deccan wars; but that on his return he would be as good as his word, in regard to the establishment of our factory. He came back on the 27th, when he again sent for Mr Jourdayne, whom he asked with an angry countenance what he did in Surat, and wherefore the English were not all gone? His answer was, that he staid on his word and promise to have a factory allowed us. He angrily answered, we should have no factory there, and that the long stay of the English ships had hindered him in his customs to the tune of a million of Manuveys,[342] and commanded him therefore, in the king's name, to be gone with all speed, as there were neither factory nor trade to be had there by us. John Williams returned this morning, and two carts came from Surat with provisions. The 29th I sent for the factors to hasten away from Surat, as I meant to set sail.

[Footnote 342: This seems an error for mamudies, the Surat currency in the former narratives of Hawkins and others.—E.]

Sec. 6. Voyage from Surat to Dabul, and thence to the Red Sea, and Proceedings there.

The morning of the 9th February, 1612, we warped the Trades-increase over the sands from the road of Swally, which, if we had not done this tide, we had lost the whole spring. This road is in the latitude of 20 deg. 57', and the variation is 16 deg. 30'.[343] The morning of the 11th we sailed for Surat road, and anchored there in the afternoon beside a new ship belonging to Surat, just launched and come out of the river, and bound for the Red Sea. Surat road is in lat. 20 deg. 40'.[344] We weighed anchor on the 12th, and anchored two leagues south from the road beside a ship of Calicut bound for Surat, out of which I took a pilot for Dabul. We sailed again on the 13th, and at six in the evening of the 16th we arrived in the road of Dabul, in lat. 17 deg. 42', [17 deg. 45'] N.

[Footnote 343: Swally road, a little way north from the mouth of the Taptee, or Surat river, is in lat. 21 deg. 7' N. long. 72 deg. 49' E. We have no account in the original of having removed there, but that probably is owing to the negligence of Purchas in abbreviating.—E.]

[Footnote 344: The parallel of 21 deg. N. runs through Surat roads, while the latitude in the text falls far to the south of Surat river. The difference of latitude assigned by Sir Henry between Swally roads and Surat roads, supposing that of the preceding note for Swally accurate, which we believe is the case, as taken upon the authority of the latest and best map of India, Arrowsmith's, would place the best anchoring ground of Surat roads in 20 deg. 50', which likewise is much too far south.—E.]

The 17th I sent ashore the Malabar pilot, with a letter I had got when at Mokha from Malek Ambar to the governor, desiring him to use me well, and to trade with me if I came to that place. In the afternoon, both the governor and Malek Ambar sent me a small present of refreshments, with many compliments, offering me every thing the country afforded, and to deal with me for my commodities if I chose to send on shore for that purpose. I accordingly sent two of my merchants with a good present, who were kindly welcomed and well entertained while there. The 18th, 19th, and 20th, were spent in the sale of goods, boats going every day between the ship and the shore, the particulars of which I refer to the merchants accounts, as not fit to be here expressed. By the 23d we had delivered all the goods bargained for, and had no farther hope of sales at this place.

The 24th I called a council of my principal officers and merchants, to consider what was best for us to do; whether to proceed for Priaman, Bantam, and the Spice islands, or to return to the Red Sea to meet the ships of India, and, as they would not deal with us at their own doors, after we had come so far with commodities only vendible there, I thought we should do ourselves some right, and them no wrong, to cause them to barter with us, we taking their indigos and other goods at what they were worth, and giving ours in return. All were of this opinion for the following reasons: 1st, The putting off our English goods, and getting others in their place fit for our country; 2d, to take some revenge of the great wrongs suffered from the Turks; 3d, to save a ship, with her goods and men, which we heard were bound there, by letters received from Masulipatam, and which we thought could not possibly escape being betrayed as we had been.

Having concluded to return to the Red Sea, we were employed till the 27th in getting fresh water aboard, and taking back our red-lead, which we had sold and delivered at Dabul, but they disliked. In the evening we saw a sail in the offing, which some Malabar vessels beside us said was a Portuguese ship of Cochin bound for Chaul; on which I sent the Pepper-corn, Darling, and Release, to bring her in, which they did on the 28th. Finding my people in the Release had pillaged the Portuguese vessel, I took every thing away from them, and gave them back to the owners. Her lading was mostly cocoa-nuts, and I took some small matter out of her.

Continuing our voyage for the Red Sea, we got sight of the island of Socotora on the 24th of March, and at four p.m. the point of Delisha bore S.S.W. six leagues distant. From noon of the 24th till noon of the 25th, we steered N.W. by W. and W.N.W. and W. all night, thinking by day-light to have been near the westermost part of the island; but we found we had gone little a-head, although we had a fair wind, owing to a strong current against us. The 27th, in the morning, we had sight of Abdal Curia, and before night espied Guar-da-fui.

The 2d April, Mr Pemberton came aboard me, telling me he had been at Socotora, where the king shewed him a writing left there by Captain John Saris, who was general of three ships from India, stating the time he left England, his places of refreshment, the time of his arrival at Socotora, and his having proceeded for the Red Sea in quest of trade; mentioning likewise his having perused the writing left by me, containing many reasons for not going there; but, having the pass of the Grand Signior, he hoped to meet better entertainment than I had. On this unexpected news, I called a council to deliberate on what we had best do; when we quickly resolved to proceed as we had formerly determined, having now no other way left, as we could not return again till the next westerly monsoon, which would not be till the middle of May. I therefore left Captain Downton in the Pepper-corn to remain till the 5th off the mouth, keeping the port of Aden shut up; while I went with the Trades-increase and Darling to keep the two passages of the straits of Bab-al-Mondub.

The 4th, about ten a.m. we anchored within the island in eight fathoms. Presently after there came a boat from shore with a Turk and three or four Arabian soldiers, the Turk being chief of the place under the aga of Mokha. He offered, if I had any letter to send, he would dispatch it by a foot-post, who would bring back an answer in three days. I wrote, therefore, to Captain Saris, giving him an account of the cause of my coming, and what I proposed to do.

The 6th came a Jalba belonging to Zeyla, a place without the Bab, on the African coast, bound for Mokha, laden with mats. I bought from her twelve sheep, and permitted her to depart. The 7th, before day, came in a ship of Basanor, which I obliged to anchor beside me. Richard Wickam, one of Captain Saris's merchants, came this morning with letters to me from Captain Saris, the contents of which I omit to write. I sent back an answer by a Turk that came in his company, but detained Wickam, lest they might have made him prisoner at Mokha, as I had embargoed the India ships. The 8th came in a ship of Diu, bound for Mokha, which I stopped and brought to anchor beside me, being the same I detained last year in Mokha roads. This day we rummaged these two ships, taking out of them such goods as suited our purpose, which were brought on board my ship. The 9th came in a small bark of Shahr,[345] laden with coarse olibanum, some of which we bought and paid for in ryals to their contentment.

[Footnote 345: Called Shaher in Purchas, and by others Xaer and Xael after the Portuguese orthography. It is dependent upon Kushen or Kasbin.—Astl. I. 388. d.]

The 14th we were joined by Captain Saris with his three ships. After mutual salutes, Captain Saris, Captain Towerson, and Mr Cox, their chief merchant, came aboard of me, and we spent all that day in friendly communication; and acquainting Captain Saris that I was much in want of cables, he engaged to supply me. The 15th I went aboard the Clove, where I and those that came with me were kindly entertained. Captain Saris shewed me the pass from the Grand Signior, and we had a long conversation, he believing that he would have had much good trade at Mokha if I had not come, which my experience found otherwise. At last we agreed, and set it down in writing interchangeably, that he was to have a third part of all that was taken, paying for the same as I did, leaving the subsequent disposal of the ships to me, who had sustained the injury. From this to the 23d, many ships came in at the bab from different ports of India, as Surat, Diu, Calicut, Cannanor, Acheen, and other ports; and this last day came in the Rhemy of Surat, belonging to the queen mother of the Great Mogul, laden with India commodities, and bound for Jiddah, the port of Mecca.[346] In this ship were 1500 persons, mostly pilgrims, going to Mecca. The 24th I weighed anchor from the bab, together with all the ships I had detained, and went for the road of Assab. About five p.m. we came to anchor with all the fleet off Crab island in twelve fathoms; and next morning stood in for the bay of Assab, where at one p.m. we anchored in seven and a half fathoms. The 27th we brought good store of indigo out of the ships of Surat and Diu. The Clove being in sight, plying off and on and not seeing us, I caused a shot to be fired, which they hearing, answered with another, and presently bore up for the road.....

[Footnote 346: It has been thought quite needless to enumerate the different ships mentioned in Purchas, amounting in all to sixteen sail of various sorts and sizes.—E.]

* * * * *

Note. The narrative of Sir Henry Middleton breaks off here abruptly, for which no reason is assigned by Purchas. The omission will, however, be found supplied in the subsequent report of the same voyage by Captain Downton, and in the Journal of the Eighth Voyage of the India Company commanded by Captain John Saris.—Ed.


Journal of the preceding Voyage by Nicholas Downton, Captain of the Pepper-corn.[347]


Captain Nicholas Downton was what was then called lieutenant-general under Sir Henry Middleton, in the sixth voyage set forth by the English East India Company. We once meant only to have given an extract from this journal, to supply the deficiency in the latter part of the former narrative by Sir Henry Middleton; but on a careful examination, we have found its information so superior to most of the early relations of voyages, that we even regret it had been before garbled or abbreviated by Purchas, who tells us, that this article consists only of certain extracts from the journal of Captain Downton. Some uninteresting details have however been omitted.—E.

[Footnote 347: Purch. Pilg. I. 274. Astl. I. 390.]

Sec. 1. Notices of the Voyage between Saldanha Bay and Socotora, both inclusive.

The 22d July, 1611, we got sight of the Table and point of Saldanha, bearing east, twelve leagues distant; but owing to calms and contrary winds, it was the 24th before we got moored in the road. We there found three ships belonging to Holland; one of which, bound for Bantam, was commanded by Peter Bat, general of thirteen sail outward-bound, but having spent his main-mast and lost company of his fleet, put in here to refresh his sick men. The other two were homeward-bound, having made train-oil of seals at Penguin island.

Saldanha bay is some fourteen leagues N.N.E. from the Cape of Good Hope,[348] and ten leagues N. by W. from Cape Falso, which is eastward of the former; and both of which capes may be seen from the said bay. These two capes are divided by another great bay, False bay, the distance between the two bays being about three leagues of low marshy land, extending north and south, and on either side environed by mountains.

[Footnote 348: Although these hydrographical notices of the environs of Saldanha bay and the Cape of Good Hope are by no means perfectly accurate, probably vitiated in the abbreviation of Purchas, they distinctly shew, that the bay named Saldanha by our early voyagers, was that now called Table bay: This latter is twelve or thirteen leagues from the Cape, nearly as in the text, while that now called Saldanha bay is twenty-seven leagues distant. The near neighbourhood of False bay is incontestible evidence of the fact, being only three leagues distant; while our modern Saldanha bay is more than twenty leagues from False bay as the crow flies.—E.]

In former time, Saldanha bay was very comfortable to our navigators, both outward and homeward-bound, yielding them abundance of cattle and sheep, by which their weak and sick men in former voyages were easily recovered and made strong. These used to be brought down by the savage inhabitants, and sold for mere trifles, as an ox for a piece of hoop-iron fourteen inches long, and a sheep for a much shorter piece. It is now quite otherwise; but, from my ignorance of the language of the natives, I have not been able to ascertain the cause. Whether it may have proceeded from the too great liberality of the Dutch, spoiling the trade, which indeed they are apt to do in all places where they come, as they only consider their present occasions; or whether it may have been that the cattle formerly brought down in such abundance were plunder taken from each other in wars then raging, which made them greedy of iron to make heads for their lances and darts, which now by peace or reconciliation they have little need of. However this may have been, all our bribes or contrivances should only procure at this time four old lean cows, for which they would not take iron in payment, but thin pieces of copper six inches square. We got likewise six or seven sheep, for pieces of copper three inches square, cut out of a kettle. Of this copper they made rings, six or eight of which made very bright they wear on their arms.

These people are the filthiest I have ever seen or heard of; for, besides other uncleanness, which most people clear off by washing, this people, on the contrary, augment their natural filth, anointing their bodies with a nasty substance, which I suppose to be the juice of herbs, but seems on their bodies like cow-dung; and with which the wool of their heads is so baked, as to seem a scurf of green herbs. For apparel, they wear the tail of a cat, or some other small beast, hanging before them, and a cloak of sheep-skin, which hangs down to the middle of their thighs, turning it according to the weather, sometimes the drest side, and sometimes the hair next the body; for their sheep have hair instead of wool, and are party coloured like calves. Their principal people wear about the bend of their arms a thin flat ring of ivory, and on their wrists six, eight, ten, or twelve rings of copper, kept bright and smooth. They are decorated also with other toys, as bracelets of blue glass, beads, or shells, given them for ostrich egg-shells or porcupine quills by the Dutchmen. They wear also a most filthy and abominable thing about their necks, being the nasty guts of their slaughtered cattle, making them smell more offensively than a butcher's shambles. They carry in their hands a small dart or javelin, with a small iron head, and a few ostrich feathers to drive away flies. They have also bows and arrows, but generally when they come down to us, they leave them in some hole or bush by the way. They are a well-made people, and very swift of foot, and their habitations seem to be moveable, so as to shift about to the best pastures for their cattle in the valleys among the mountains, which far up in the country were at this time covered with snow, but those near the sea, though very lofty, were quite clear.

We saw various animals, as fallow-deer, antilopes, porcupines, baboons, land-tortoises, snakes, and adders. The Dutchmen told us also of lions, but we saw none. There are fowls also in abundance, as wild geese, ducks, pelicans, passea, flamingos, crows having a white band on their necks, small green birds, and various others unknown to us. Also penguins, gulls, pintados spotted with black and white, alcatrasses, which are grey with black pinions, shags or cormorants at the island in great abundance, and another like a moor-hen. Fishes likewise of various kinds, as great numbers of small whales, great abundance of seals at the island, and with the sein we took many fishes like mullets as large as trouts, smelts, thorn-backs, and dogs; and plenty of limpets and muscles on the rocks. This place has a most wholesome air, and has plenty of water both to serve navigators, and for travellers in the country, as numerous small streams descend every where from the mountains.

This being the spring season at this place, it repented me that I had not brought out many kinds of garden seeds, which might have been useful afterwards for the relief of many Christians coming here for refreshments. Also planting acorns might in time be useful, as trees grow here more quickly than in our cold country.

Having finished our business of laying in a stock of water, and somewhat relieved those of our men who were sick and weak, with what fresh provisions we could procure, which indeed consisted principally of muscles, we prepared to set sail, which we did at four in the morning of the 13th of August. We descried the island of Madagascar on the 6th September, in lat. 23 deg. 38' S. and anchored that evening in the bay of St Augustine in twelve fathoms. We here found the Union of London, vice-admiral of the fourth voyage, her people being much distressed for provisions to carry them home. They related to our general their having unfortunately lost company of their admiral and pinnace, between Saldanha and the Cape of Good Hope, of which they had never heard since, and various other unfortunate circumstances of their outward-bound voyage.[349] Our general supplied them plentifully with provisions, and also restored union among the ship's company, Mr Samuel Bradshaw being much disliked by the factious master and his adherents, for his sober, discreet, and provident management of the company's business.

[Footnote 349: It is unnecessary to repeat these circumstances, having been already related; and need only be mentioned, that the bay in Madagascar, where the captain and others were betrayed, is here called Jungomar, or Vinganora, and is said to have been at the north-west corner of Madagascar. In modern maps, the bay of Vingora is placed on the west side of Madagascar, its mouth being in lat. 13 deg. 41' S. and E. long. 49 deg. 28'.—E.]

At this place I particularly remarked two singular kinds of trees. One of these yields from its leaves and boughs a yellow sap of so fat a nature, that when fire is put to it standing quite green, the fire blazes up immediately over all the leaves and branches. Its wood is white and soft. The other kind has white wood with a small brown heart, but nearly as hard as lignum vitae. The trees which we of the Pepper-corn cut for fire-wood, hung all full of green fruit called Tamerim, [tamarinds,] as large as an English bean-cod, having a very sour taste, and reckoned good against the scurvy. The men of our admiral, having more leisure than ours, gathered some of this fruit for their own use. We saw likewise here abundance of a plant, hardly to be distinguished from the sempervivum of Socotora, whence the Socotrine aloes is made; but I know not if the savage natives of this island have any knowledge of its use. The natives, for what reason I know not, came not near us, so that we got not here any beef or mutton, though oxen used to be had here for a dollar a-piece. But we were told the disorderly fellows of the Union had improvidently given whatever the savages asked, so that scarcely any are now to be had even for ten shillings each. Though savage, the people of this island are not ignorant in ordering their men in battle array, as was experienced by the Union at Jungomar: But in all parts of the island, it is necessary for the Christians to be very much on their guard, for the natives are very treacherous.

We left St Augustine bay on the 9th September, leaving the Union still there. The 29th, the wind being E.S.E. and the current, as I judged, setting S.W. we were entangled with a lee-shore, which we called the Carribas,[350] being several small islands with sundry ledges of rocks among them, only to be discovered by the breaking of the waves upon them. These are between 10 deg. and 11 deg. S. lat. and we spent six days before we could get disengaged from among them, the wind all that time being E.N.E. or E.S.E. still forcing us to leewards, though using every effort by towing and otherwise to get off. The great danger arose from the strength of the current, and the want of any place where we could anchor; as, although we had ground near the rocks, it was very deep and foul. There are several of these islands, mostly full of trees. Every night after dark, we could see fires on shore made by the natives, but we had no inclination to go ashore to speak with them. When it pleased God that we got clear of this danger, we found the current to our amazement carry us to the northwards, as much more in our estimation as we made our ship's way; so that when we judged by the log we had gone fifteen leagues, we had actually made thirty leagues.

[Footnote 350: The Karribas islands on the coast of Zanjibar, between Cape Del Gada and Quiloa bay.—E.]

The 9th October we lost the current, except it might then set to the eastwards, but which we could not ascertain. The 10th, 11th, and 12th, we lost ground daily, caused by the current. The 17th at sunrise, we descried two islands, which we judged to be the Duas Hermanas, or Two Sisters, bearing from each other W. by S. and E. by N. about seven and a half leagues from the west point of Socotora. Having the west point of that island from us N.N.E. three and a half leagues distant, we had twenty-three, twenty-four, and twenty-six fathoms. After getting to anchor near a town called Gallanza, the general informed me that the people of the island had confirmed what he already much feared, that the easterly monsoon was already come, and all our hopes of getting to Cambaya were frustrated for nine months; but of this we expected to be better informed by the king of the island at Tamarin, where he resides. The 20th, we got to anchor at a point six leagues short of Tamarin, and five leagues from the point of Gallanzoe; but weighing next day with a small promising breeze, we were forced back by the current again athwart the town of Gallanza, and had to cast anchor far out in a great depth. The 22d being full moon, it was high water about nine p.m. and I judged that it flowed between ten and eleven feet, the flood-tide setting to the northward, close by the shore.

The 25th, about 11 a.m. we anchored in eight fathoms, a mile from shore, right over against the town of Tamarin, where the king's house is north from the castle, on the top of the hill above the town. At anchoring, we saluted the king with nine guns, and the general sent Mr Femell ashore handsomely attended in the pinnace, with a fine crimson awning, to present the king a fair gilt cup of ten ounces weight, a sword-blade, and three yards of stammel [red] broad-cloth. The king was ready at the shore to receive him, in an orange-tawny tent, attended by the principal of his people, being Arabs, and a guard of small shot. He thankfully received the present, promised water free, and any thing else the island afforded at reasonable price; but they had suffered a two years drought, and consequently had little to spare. He had no aloes for sale, having sent the whole produce to the Red Sea. He informed Mr Femell, that the Ascension and her pinnace came there in February, and went in company with a Guzerat ship to the Red Sea, whence both returned to Socotora and took in water, departing for Cambaya. That his own frigate being afterwards at Basseen, near Damaun, in India, was informed by the Portuguese, that the Ascension and pinnace were both lost, but the men saved, having come too soon upon the coast, before the bad weather of winter was over. After a conference of more than an hour, the king sent the general a present of twelve goats.

This king of Socotora was named Muley Amor ebn Sayd, being only viceroy under his father, who is King of Fartak, in Arabia, not far from Aden, and comes into the sea at Camricam..[351] He said his father was at war with the Turks of Aden in his own defence, for which reason he refused to give us a letter for the governor of Aden, as it would do us harm. The people in Socotora on which the king depends are Arabs, the original natives of the island being kept under a most servile slavery. The merchandise of this island consists of Aloes Socotarina, of which they do not make above a ton yearly; a small quantity of Sanguis draconis, some of which our factors bought at twelve-pence a pound; dates, which serve them instead of bread, and which the king sells at five dollars the hundred [weight?] Bulls and cows we bought at twelve dollars a-piece; goats for a dollar; sheep half a dollar; hens half a dollar; all exceedingly small conformable with the dry rocky barrenness of the island; wood cost twelve-pence for a man's burden; every thing in short was very dear. I know of nothing else the island produces, except rocks and stones, the whole country being very dry and bare.

[Footnote 351: We cannot tell what to make of this remark in the text. Purchas, who has probably omitted something in the text, puts in the margin, King of Fartak, or Canacaym; which does not in the least elucidate the obscurity, unless we suppose Canacaym an error for Carasem, the same with Kassin, or rather Kushem, to which Fartak now belongs.—Astl. I. 395. b.]

Sec. 2. Of Abdal Kuria, Arabia Felix, Aden, and Mokha, and the treacherous Proceedings of both Places.

After saluting the king, we took our departure from Socotora for Aden, taking our course along the north side of Abdal Kuria[352] for Cape Guar-da-fui, which is the eastermost point of Abax [Habesh, or Abyssinia], and is about thirty-four leagues west from the western point of Socotora; from which the eastern point of Abdal Kuria is fourteen leagues off. Abdal Kuria is a long narrow rugged island, about five leagues in extent from east to west, on which the King of Socotora keeps a few people to tend a flock of goats. About three leagues north from the middle of Abdal Kuria, are two great rocks near each other, and some half a mile long, which are rendered entirely white by the dung of birds. From the west of Abdal Kuria to Cape Guar-da-fui, the distance is fifteen leagues. The 31st October, being athwart the west end of Socotora, we left, to the north, a white rock called Saboyna, four leagues N.W. by W. from the point of Socotora. The first November, at sunrise, we were abreast the middle of Abdal Kuria, leaving it two and a half leagues to larboard, and the two white rocks half a league to starboard. At one p.m. we descried Cape Guar-da-fui, but it was night before we came near and passed it, so that we could not fix its true position. On the morning of the second we were abreast a high mountain, nine leagues west from Cape Guar-da-fui, between which point and another high point five leagues W. by S. by the compass, there is a low sandy point stretching one league and a quarter to sea; and about three leagues more westerly, we anchored and went ashore with all our boats to cut wood, of which we were in great want. From some of the inhabitants we learnt that the last mount, or high point, which we passed was called Feluk, or Foelix, by the Portuguese; but as soon as these people knew us to be Christians, they fled from us.

[Footnote 352: In Purchas named Abba del Curia, by some called Abdel Curia: Perhaps its name ought to be Abdal Kuria, or Adal Kuri, as written by Captain Hamilton.—Astl. I. 395. c.]

The third, in the afternoon, having laid in a stock of wood, we set sail, standing west towards the Red Sea. At ten a.m. on the 5th, we descried the coast of Arabia Felix, bearing from us N.N.W. and N. by E. the nearest land about twelve leagues distant. At noon I found the lat. 13 deg. 28' N. At sun-set we were still about twelve leagues from land, which seemed mountainous in the interior, all very high, without any appearance of trees or grass, or any other fruitfulness. We now directed our course W. by S. as the coast lay, expecting soon to see Aden, as on falling in with the land I reckoned we were not more than twenty-four leagues eastward of that place; but, while I reckoned the course of the ships across the gulf, N.W. by N. we found that we had made little more than bare north, owing to the current, so that on falling in with the land we were little less than sixty leagues short of Aden. We continued our course with a good breeze all day, but shortened sail during the night, not to overshoot Aden, having for the most part twenty-five, twenty, fifteen, twelve, ten, and eight fathoms water. At sun-set on the 7th, we suddenly got sight of Aden, which stands at the foot of a barren mountain, where one could scarcely have expected to find a town; but it has been placed here for strength, being very defensible, and not to be easily won, if the defendants are men of resolution, and are provided with victuals and ammunition. To seaward, though in a manner dry at low water, there stands a high rock, rather larger than the Tower of London, which is very steep, and not easily ascended by an enemy, having but one narrow passage to go up by means of steps, where four resolute men may withstand a multitude. This rock is walled, flanked, and furnished with cannon, and seems to me capable of commanding both the town and road; yet any ship may anchor in nine fathoms beyond reach of its guns. The anchorage under its command is in nine fathoms downwards. At a little distance, northwards of the former rock, is another of small compass, quite low, and almost even with the water, on which likewise there is a fort well furnished with ordnance. I could not learn what garrison is usually kept at Aden, but as occasion requires it has reinforcements from other towns in the interior. It is supplied with provisions partly from the low adjoining country, and partly by means of barks from Barbara, on the opposite coast of Abexin,[353] whence they bring cattle, grain, and other provisions, with myrrh and frankincence. Aden is in lat. 12 deg. 35' N. the variation being 12 deg. 40'.[354] The tide, by estimation, flows between six and seven feet at the change of the moon. The mountain, at the foot of which this city is built, is a peninsula jutting out to seaward, joined to the main by a narrow neck of sandy ground, beyond which a large extent of marsh-like ground stretches towards the interior mountains, which may be some sixteen or twenty miles from the town.

[Footnote 353: Abyssinia, as Downton always names this north-east coast of Africa, but which ought rather to be called the coast of Adel or Zeyla, Abyssinia being, properly speaking, confined to the interior mountainous country at the head of the Nile. The south-west coast of the Red Sea indeed, from Swaken south-east to the Straits of Bab-al-Mondub, is generally called the coast of Habash, or Abyssinia, although its ports are all occupied by Turks or Arabs.—E.]

[Footnote 354: The latitude of Aden is in 12 deg. 45' N. and its longitude nearly 45 deg. E. from Greenwich.—E.]

At our first anchoring, the governor sent an Arab in a canoe to view our ships, but though called to, he refused to come aboard. Next morning the same Arab came aboard our admiral from the Mir,[355] or governor, to know what we were, and to say that we were welcome to land, if friends. Our general sent ashore a present for the governor, being an engraved musket made in the Turkish fashion, and a choice sword-blade, under the charge of John Williams and Mr Walter, our linguists, accompanied by other factors. They were not admitted into the town, but were entertained without the gates near the shore, seemingly with much kindness, pretending great respect for our nation, yet they spoke not a word about trading with us, but said they every day expected the arrival of 30,000 soldiers, which to us seemed strange that so barren a country could find provisions for so great a multitude. Being told that our general only wished a pilot to carry his ships to Mokha, the chief said he was only deputy to the governor, who was out of town, but would return next day, when an answer should be given. In the mean time the chief sent to our general two Barbara sheep, having broad rumps and small tails, with some plantains and other fruits. The 9th our general sent again ashore for a pilot, but got only fair words, as the mir or governor was not yet returned. Without sending any pilot, the chief requested our general would not remain for trade at that place with all his ships, but that one only might be left there for their supply. He desired likewise to know the price of several of our commodities, with pretensions that they could supply indigo, olibanum, myrrh, and various other things. Before this answer came back, our ships had been driven by the current so far beyond the point to the west of Aden, that we could not get again eastwards in sight of the town, and had to anchor abreast of a bay to the south-west.

[Footnote 355: Mir is a contraction of Amir or Emir, much used by the Persians. From Amir comes our Admiral, first used by the Europeans during the crusades.—Astl. I. 396. c.

The origin of Admiral is probably from Amir-al-bahr, lord of the sea, or sea-commander; corrupted in Spanish into Almirante, and changed in French and English into Admiral.—E.]

We saw several people fishing in the bay, and many people of fashion[356] on the hill. On this the general went ashore to enquire when the current would change, so that we might get back. The deputy-governor seemed very angry, pretending that our coming was not with any good intent, but merely to discover their strength, insomuch that John Williams was in doubt they would have detained him: but the governor, who was now present, seemed not so rigorous, dissembling with fair words, and promised to give a pilot for Mokha, yet desired that one of our ships might stay for their supply; saying, that by the misconduct of former governors, the town had lost its trade, which he now wished to restore, and hoped we would make a beginning. He added, that if our ships all departed without trade, he would be blamed by the pacha, his superior officer, who would impute our departure to his ill usage. The 12th the general sent John Williams again ashore for the promised pilot; when the governor said the pilot's wife would not allow him to go, unless we left four of our principal persons behind as pledges for his safe return, which bred in us a general suspicion of their evil intentions: yet the general, in performance of his promise, determined to leave me behind in the Pepper-corn, but directed me not to carry any goods on shore, as they would not trust us with one of their rascal people except on such disgraceful terms, he thought fit not to trust them with any of our goods. Wherefore, if they wanted any, as they pretended, they were to purchase and pay for them on board; and in case of suspecting any unfair dealings, we were to exchange pledges. If they refused to deal on these principles, I was to follow the general to Mokha. That same afternoon, the general departed with his own ship and the Darling towards Mokha.

[Footnote 356: Probably Turks, distinguished from the half-naked Arabs by their dress.—E.]

We laboured hard on the 13th November, by means of long warps, to get up to Aden against wind and current, and actually got abreast the fishing-cove. This day the mir or governor of Aden sent a message on board, desiring to speak with our merchants, to know if we meant to trade. Accordingly Mr Fowler and John Williams, together with the purser, who had other business, went ashore; and having informed the mir in what manner they were directed to trade, he detained all three, pretending he did so that he might procure payment for anchorage and other duties, for which he demanded 1500 gold Venetianoes, each worth a dollar and half, or 6s. 9d. I continued unprofitably before Aden till the 16th December, in continual danger of shipwreck if any storm had happened, and always fed with promises of trade, but no performance, and our three officers continuing in confinement.

Being informed by my boatswain that he was much in want of small cordage for many purposes, and that he wished he and others might go ashore to lay some on the strand by the town wall, I sent to ask permission from the governor, with assurance of their safely. This was immediately granted with the utmost readiness and complacency, desiring that they might use the most convenient place for their purpose, and offering the use of a house in which to secure their things during the night Yet after all these fair promises, every man who went ashore was seized, stript of their money and every thing they had, and put in irons. My pinnace was lost, all the ropes taken away, together with the implements for laying it over again. Thus there were now prisoners, two merchants, the purser, a man to wait upon them, a prating apothecary, my surgeon, master-caulker, boatswain, one of his mates, two quarter-masters, the cooper, carpenter, gunner's mate, cockswain, and five of his crew, in all twenty persons.

Monday, 16th December, I weighed anchor from the southermost road of Aden, and directed my course through the straits for Mokha. The 20th I came to the road of Mokha, where I saw the Trades-increase riding alone, but no appearance of the Darling. The Trades-increase was about four miles from shore, riding with two anchors ahead, on account of the vehemence of the weather. On coming near, the people of the Trades-increase lowered their flag, as a signal of bad news, by which I suspected some misfortune had befallen our general. When I had anchored, Mr Thornton, the master of the Trades-increase, came aboard, when he began with a heavy heart to unfold by degrees all that had happened since we parted at Aden.[357]

[Footnote 357: The incidents that happened at Mokha having been already related in the preceding section, we here omit a long account of them by Downton.—E.]

The 21st I sent ashore a letter to the general, informing him of the misfortunes that had befallen me at Aden. In answer, he gave me a brief account of the treachery that had been practised upon himself, and requested me, if I could get to sea, to go to Aden and remain there till I heard what became of him and the others on shore. The 22d the general and all his company set out on their journey for Zenan, attended by a strong guard of soldiers to prevent their escape. The carpenters, however, were detained at Mokha, where they wrought in chains on our pinnace for the pacha; likewise several wounded men, who were unable for the journey, remained still in chains at Mokha. That same evening, though the Turks guarded our men very narrowly, Mr Pemberton slipt aside among the bushes, and made for the sea-side, where he chanced upon a canoe with a paddle, in which he put off, committing himself to the danger of the sea, rather than trust to the mercy of the Turks. Through the fatigue of his long journey, he was forced to give over rowing by the morning; but it pleased God that the canoe was noticed from the Trades-increase, and picked up by her pinnace, which brought Mr Pemberton on board, hardly able to speak through faintness. The 27th, the Darling, which had been sent to seek me at Aden, returned to the road of Mokha, having lost an anchor and cable.

On the 2d January, 1611, I departed with all the three ships from Mokha roads, intending to ply up for Bab-al-Mondub, for three reasons: First, to ease our ground tackle, which was much decayed through long riding at anchor in boisterous weather; second, to seek some place where we could procure water, for which we were now much distressed; and, lastly, to stop the passage of all the Indian ships entering the Red Sea, by which to constrain the Turks to release our general with the people and goods. We stood over in the first place for the Abyssinian coast, where we left the Darling to look for her anchor and cable, while with the other two ships we plied to windward, and came to anchor in the evening on the Arabian coast, about three leagues to windward of Mokha, and about four miles off shore, in eight fathoms water. The 3d we set sail with the ebb-tide, working to windward; but in the afternoon I spent my two topsails, and before we got other two to the yard we were half-seas over towards the Abyssinian coast, and anchored in sixteen fathoms. Towards morning the wind increased, with dark cloudy weather and a rough sea, when we lost sight of the Trades-increase, at which time she had broke an anchor and drove, and let fall another anchor, which not holding, she drifted into six fathoms, when they were forced to cut their cable, and stand off into deeper water. The 4th, when preparing to weigh anchor, I saw the Trades-increase standing over for Mokha, while Mr Pemberton in the Darling was riding in a good road, to which I would gladly have gone, but not knowing what need our great ship might have of my carpenters, her own being prisoners at Mokha, I stood after her, and carrying too much sail in rigorous weather, we split both our new topsails, which had been sewed with rotten twine, as indeed most of our sails were. Owing to this, it was night before I got into Mokha road, where I learnt the Trades-increase had lost two anchors, on which I sent my carpenters aboard to stock some others for her.

From that to the 18th we continued in Mokha roads with little ease, and to the material injury of our cables. From the 6th to the 11th canoes came every day from the town with letters from the carpenters, containing a variety of forged news communicated by the aga, who permitted them to send off chiefly for the sake of wine and beer, with which they gratified the Turks; and were sometimes allowed to send off some little fresh provisions. The 12th the Darling came into the road, saluting me with three guns in token of good news. Mr Pemberton came immediately aboard, and told me, to my great comfort, that he had found an easy road and a good watering place, and had recovered his cable and anchor. The 18th some persons came off to us from Mokha, bringing us two bullocks, two goats, a few hens and eggs, and some fruit, but no news of our general. That afternoon we set sail for the good road on the Abyssinian coast, and anchored at night three leagues short of it, under an island which we named Crab island, owing to the great abundance of crabs we found there. The 19th we weighed again, and anchored under another island, smaller than the former; and on the 20th we stood farther into the bay, anchoring in eight fathoms, half a mile from shore, right opposite the watering place.

I sent George Jeff ashore in the pinnace to find out the river, and to endeavour to speak with the natives. Immediately on landing, about an hundred of the natives presented themselves, armed with lances, and one bolder than the rest came forwards, and even desired to be carried on board. He there informed me, by means of an interpreter, that the Turks had sent over to them, saying how they had betrayed and slain many of our men, and wishing them to do the like to as many as they could lay hold of. This young man was said to be a person of consideration, and was very kind to us all the time we lay in this bay. He remained all night in the Trades-increase, where he was kindly used to his entire content. The 21st, with all the boats, I went a-land with most of our men, setting some to dig wells, some to fetch ballast, others to fill water from a small well we found ready dug, and the rest under arms to guard those who wrought. Soon after our landing, there came to me the priest of the natives, with the father and brothers of our friendly youth, who had not yet left us. They received him very joyfully on his landing, and presented me with a goat, promising to bring us some more goats next day for sale. I remained ashore all night with a strong guard, to see that no harm were done to our water; and next day set the people to work as before: For, considering the ill usage the general had met with at Mokha from the Turks, and having no assurance of the honesty of this people, I was suspicions of what evil the Turks might intend, or might persuade this people to, against us, even by putting poison into our water; therefore, I trusted no one farther than I could avoid. This day was very boisterous, and none of the natives came near us all day. I continued this night likewise on shore, setting a strong guard to keep watch.

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