A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. VIII.
by Robert Kerr
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[Footnote 424: The passage between the S.W. extremity of Celebes and the Sallyee islands seems here meant.—E.]

The afternoon of the 1st February we were abreast the point of the island, bearing S. of us, and the two islands which make the straits lay from each other N. and S. distant five small leagues. The morning of the 2d we had sight of the south part of Desalon, S.W. by S. and the north part W. by N. eight leagues off. We steered E. by N. the wind at N. by E. Our latitude being 5 deg. 52' S. and Desalon ten leagues off. The morning of the 3d the south end of the isle of Cambyna bore N.E. by E. and a small island or hummock N.E. eight or nine leagues off. In the morning of the 4th we were in latitude 5 deg. S. with the wind at N.E. and at 3 p. m. we saw land E. by N. which we made to be Boeton or Botun. The 5th, being three or four leagues off Cambyna, we found the current carrying us to the northwards. The 7th at day-break we neared Botun, and the 8th saw another island called Tingabasse, or Tockan Bessy, rising round and flat.

The 9th we had sight of two Curra-Curras between us and Botun, on which we sent the skiff to one of them, which brought one Mr Welden, who had formerly belonged to the Expedition, and a Dutchman, both of them being bound for Banda. Mr Welden was in the employment of the king of Botun, in the trade between that place and Banda, and had the command of these two curra-curras. Our latitude was 5 deg. 20'. We had the wind at E.N.E. and steered north. At night the wind came southerly, and we steered N.N.E. From the east point of Botun the land falls away suddenly, forming two great bays to the N.N.W. and with three great islands which lie to the northward of Botun, forms the straits of that name. The strait of Botun is not above a league broad, the entrance being on the north side of the island. If you come from the westwards, when abreast the north-west point, the proper course is E.N.E. and E. by N. up to the road, with no danger but what may be seen; but you must leave the three great islands to the north of your course, not going between any of them; and on falling in with the west end of Botun, go not between and the island lying off it. There are two long islands, but leave both to starboard, as there is broken ground between them and Botun. If the wind serve, haul to the northward of all the islands, going either between Botun and Cambyna, or else to the northward of Cambyna likewise, and so you may keep the shore of Celebes, for it is bold.

The morning of the 13th we had sight of the island of Buro or Boero, being high land; and the 14th, in the morning, we bore up with the east point of the island, to seek for some place where we might anchor. At noon of the 18th, we were within a mile of an island called Sula, and sent our skiff ashore to speak with the natives. We had fifteen fathoms only the ship's length from shore, and no ground a mile off with 100 fathoms line. The west part of Boero bore S. 1/2 a point W. and N. 1/2 a point E. fourteen leagues one from the other, the land stretching N.N.E. The morning of the 21st we were four or five leagues off an island called by our sailors Haleboling, being a high-capped round island, different in shape from all the islands in sight, the point of this island of Haleboling, or Boa de Bachian, bearing N.E. by N. four leagues off. The 22d, in the morning, we had sight of land N. by E. being the island of Machian, which is very high land. The 23d, in the morning, we were three leagues from the land, having the wind at N.E. and were in search of a place wherein to anchor. Within a quarter of a mile from the shore we had forty fathoms, wherefore we bore up to the south part of the island, where we had twenty and nineteen fathoms for a few casts, and then no ground. We steered from this point E.S.E. for so the land lieth open, off the point of the high round island, being four leagues between the two points; but the western point is an island, with three or four others to the eastwards of it, which cannot be perceived till very near them. The land then falls away N.E. having a large and round bay or sound, very deep, with land on both sides of it. This round hill is Bachian, and yields great abundance of cloves; but by reason of the wars they are wasted, and as the people are not allowed the advantages of the cloves, they are not gathered, but are left to drop from the trees upon the ground to absolute waste. The natives are oppressed by the Hollanders and Spaniards, and induced by them to spoil and waste each other in civil wars; while both of these, their oppressors, remain secure in strong-holds, and look on till they can snatch, the bone from he who can wrest it from his fellow. Finding no ground on which to anchor, and being unable to get to the northwards, we stood off and on all night, hoping to get a shift of wind to carry us to Machian.

The morning of the 24th; the high land of the island, laying from us S. by E. ten or twelve leagues, had a rugged appearance. We stood in, however, and when a league from the point, sent off the skiff to look for water, and to sound for an anchorage. She returned on board, having neither found water nor place to anchor in; wherefore we stood into the bay, and presently got sight of a town and fort belonging to the Hollanders, called Boa de Bachian. The pinnace a-head found water in several places, which were all very steep and in the bottom of the bay, near to which is the Dutch fort very artificially built, and warlike, with a town hard by. We came here to anchor, a sacker shot from the fort, having very irregular soundings in going up, as seventy, sixty, eight, and ten fathoms, the ground all ooze. The Dutch saluted us with five pieces, which I returned with a like number. A messenger being on board of my ship from the king of the island, I told him our salute was in honour of his master; who indeed had sent me word by this person, that he would have come aboard to visit me, but was hindered by the Dutch. In this fort there were thirteen pieces of artillery, one being a brass demi-culverine, the others sackers and minions. The Hollanders here are more feared than loved by the natives, which yet is the cause of their greater profit; for, as soon as we arrived, the natives told us, they durst not for their lives bring us a catty of cloves.

At our anchorage here, the outermost point bore S.S.W. and the other S.W. distant from us four leagues. The king sent his admiral and others of his nobles aboard to bid me welcome, saying that they knew what nation we were of by our flag. They used many ceremonious compliments, wishing we were seated among them instead of the Dutch, that they might get clear of them, as they had almost ruined their country by civil wars. I entertained them in a friendly manner, saying we had come among them for trade, and would leave a factory with them, if their king were so inclined. They answered, that such a thing would please them much, but could not now be granted; yet they would acquaint their king with what I said. The captain of the Dutch fort made me a visit on board, from whom I understood that his force consisted of thirty men, most of whom were married, some to natives of the country, and some to Dutch women; eleven of whom, as he told me, were able to do military duty even against the Spaniards or any other nation, being large and strong viragoes, with few other good qualities. No sooner was the captain on board but he was followed by this Amazonian band, who complained that they suffered great misery, and readily sat down along with our sailors to partake of such as our ship afforded; after which they returned ashore with the captain.

The 3d March we sent our skiff to sound the east side of the bay, and at an opening or entrance near a little island, she found an anchorage in twelve, sixteen, and twenty fathoms on coral ground, out from under the command of the fort; but having a shoal to the southwards, the length of three cables. This is in latitude 0 deg. 50'. The 4th, the king of Ternate sent me a present by his priest. The 5th, at sun-rise, we observed the variation to be 4 deg. 48' easterly. This day a Moor came aboard with a sample of cloves, and offered to sell us some quantity if we would go for them to Machian; being sent on this errand by his master, who was now on this island of Bachian. For this reason we deemed it proper to stay a day longer to have some conference with this person, whose name was Key Malladaia, being brother to the old king of Ternate. The 6th he came aboard, and promised to go with us to Machian, and to bring us to a place there called Tahannee.[425] He accordingly left two of his chief men with me as pilots, desiring us to go before and wait for him at an island by the way, where he promised to be with us in two days, giving great encouragement to hope for abundance of cloves. He told us that the Dutch gave 50 dollars the bahar, but they would cost us 60, which I very readily promised to give. The 7th we weighed from this anchorage or road, called Amascan; and, by direction of our new pilots, steered W. and W. by N. for Machian, leaving two islands to larboard, four or five miles from Amascan; we had twenty-two, thirty, and even forty fathoms, two cables length only off the island. The 10th we had sight of Machian, being a high and capped island, bearing N.E. and the island of Tidore opening like a sugar-loaf on its western side, but not such high land as Machian. We anchored in twenty-three fathoms, a mile from a little island in the mouth of a strait or passage among islands five leagues from the straits of Namorat, and fourteen leagues from the road of Amascan, where is the Dutch fort we had been near in Bachian. The 11th in the morning, we weighed with the wind at S.S.E. and the current setting to the northwards, enabled us to pass the straits. The wind then veered to N.W. by N. on which we stood east till noon, when we tackt to westwards, and had sight of Gilolo, a long land. Our depth going out of the strait was from twenty-nine to thirty-four fathoms, and we had many islands to the E. and E.S.E. The point of old Bachian was three or four leagues north of the strait, leaving four islands to starboard. The island which makes that side of the strait is called Tavally Backar, where we anchored and remained till the 12th, waiting for Key Malladaia, being the place where he appointed to come to us, being ten leagues from Machian. In this island of Tavally we had plenty of wood, but no water. The 13th our coopers provided themselves with rattans, which make excellent hoops, and of which there was abundance to be had here of all sizes.

[Footnote 425: Tahannee is a town on the island of Machian, where the Portuguese formerly had a fort, but there is none now, neither for them nor the Hollanders. There is here the best anchorage in the whole island, and though very near the shore, yet perfectly safe.—Purchas.]

As Key Malladaia did not make his appearance on the 14th, his people doubted that the Dutch had detained him, on seeing us making our way among the islands, and suspecting he was in treaty with us. Wherefore we set sail with the wind at N.W. and plied up towards Machian. The channel between Bachian, Machian, Tidore, and Ternate, stretches N. by W. and S. by E. and is six leagues across in its narrowest part. In the morning of the 15th, we passed between Gilolo, otherwise called Batta-china and Caia, our latitude at noon being 0 deg. 17' N. so that Machian was not truly placed on our chart, in which the equator is made to pass through its middle, whereas we found it five leagues more to the northwards. The 16th in the morning we were close by the island of Caia, and had sight of a sail to the northwards, which we learnt from a fisherman to be a Dutch vessel, bound from. Machian to Tidore with sago, of which the natives make use instead of bread.[426] In the morning of the 17th we were near a fort of the Hollanders, called Tabalda; and at four p.m. we came to anchor in the road of Pelebere, hard by Tahanue, in fifty fathoms water, so near the shore as to be within call;, having one point of land to the S.S.W. two miles off, another N.E. by N. one and a half mile off, and the island of Caia five leagues distant. This night some small quantities of cloves were brought to us, and a price fixed at sixty dollars the bahar of 200 cattees, each cattee being three pounds five ounces English.[427] I received a letter from Key Malladaia at Bachian, excusing his absence, promising to be with me shortly, and saying he had sent orders to his people to supply me with all the cloves they could procure.

[Footnote 426: In the test of the Pilgrims, Captain Sons calls sago a root, while Purchas, in a marginal note, informs us that some say it is the tops of certain trees. Sago is a granulated dried paste, prepared from the pith of certain trees that grow in various of the eastern islands of India, and of which a bland, mucilaginous, and nutritive jell; is made by maceration and boiling in water.—E.]

[Footnote 427: The bahar in this instance may be called 662 pounds, and the agreed price for the cloves rather below 5d the pound.—E.]

A Samaca came aboard on the 18th, who made great offers of kindness. He was accompanied by two Dutchmen, who were very inquisitive to know who had directed us into this road, saying it must have been one of the natives, and if they knew him, they would cut him in pieces before our faces. To this they added, that we did wrong in coming into these parts, as the country belonged to the Dutch by right of conquest. I ordered them back to their fort, desiring them to tell their captains, that I was ready to let them have any thing I could spare, at reasonable rates, before all others, because we acknowledged them as our neighbours and brethren in Christ; but that we could not acknowledge the country to be their property, and would therefore continue to ride there while we thought proper, and would trade with whoever was pleased to come to us. The two Dutchmen then departed, threatening the natives then aboard, that they would all be put to death if they brought us any cloves. The natives made light of this threat, saying they looked on us as friends, and would come aboard in spite of the Dutch; and this day we bought 300 cattees of cloves in exchange for Cambaya cloth, and some sold for ready money.

Next day the two Dutchmen came again on board, and immediately begun to write down in their table books the names of all the natives which came aboard our ship, on which I made our boatswain turn them out of the ship, with orders not to return. Several of our men were sent ashore, to see what entertainment the natives would give them; and on going to the towns of Tahanne and Pelebere, they were hospitably used. The natives told our men, that the Dutch had so wrought with Key Chillisadang, son to the king of Ternate, who was newly come to this island, that he had prohibited them from selling us any cloves on pain of death, otherwise we should have had them in preference to the Dutch, who greatly oppressed them. Towards night that prince passed by our ship in his curracurra, and I sent our pinnace to him, handsomely fitted with a fine Turkey carpet awning, and curtains of crimson silk and gold, requesting he would come aboard. He seemed to take this message kindly, but excused himself; saying he would visit me in the morning.

The 21st an Orankey came aboard, telling us that a curracurra belonging to the Dutch had searched three or four proas, or canoes, bringing cloves to us, which they had confiscated, and threatened to put the natives to death for the next offence. He told us likewise, that the Dutch, since our arrival, had dispersed the whole garrison of their forts round about the island, to prevent the natives from bringing us any more spice; and had sent a message to Tidore, for two large ships to come and anchor beside us, one a-head and the other a-stern, that they might force us away without trade or refreshments. The 22d, we saw one of these ships coming round the point, after which we had little trade, as the natives were afraid to come near us; and they waited to see what we might do, as the Dutch reported we would run away at the sight of their ship. This vessel was the Red Lion, carrying thirty guns, which came to anchor astern Of our ship. I this day received a present from Key Malladaia, who was not yet come to the island.

The 24th, Key Chillisadang, prince of Ternate, sent to tell me that he was coming to make me a visit, on which I made preparations to give him a handsome reception. He came attended by several great curracurras, and rowed thrice round the ship before coming aboard. On entering, we fired five guns, and immediately conducted him to the cabin, where I had prepared a banquet that might have been set before the king of Ternate, with a concert of music, with which he was much delighted. He promised to give the people leave to bring us cloves, but requested me to have patience for a day or two, till he had advice from his brother, who was then at Tidore. At parting, I gave him several presents, and saluted him with seven pieces of cannon.

In the morning of the 25th, a curracurra of the Dutch rowed past our ship, scoffing at our people, and singing a song which they had made to deride us, which they often repeated, to the great displeasure of our people, who were likewise much offended by their rowing several times over our can-bodies, endeavouring to sink them. Thereupon I ordered the pinnace to be well manned and armed, and directed, if the Dutch on their return continued their scoffs, to run aboard and sink their curracurra. They accordingly came back, singing and scoffing as before, on which the pinnace ran aboard them with such violence, that the water came through her sides. There were on board this curracurra two Dutch captains of their forts, and plenty of men armed with shot and darts; but our pinnace was well provided, and had two good fowlers[428] at her head. She lay a good space aboard the curracurra, desiring the Dutchmen to take this for a warning to leave off their impertinent scoffs, or we should teach them better manners in a worse way the next time. So they went away, promising to do so no more.

[Footnote 428: Probably some species of ordnance, as swivels or musquetoons.—E.]

Towards evening the Dutch sent one of their merchants to me, with a writing from their doctor-of-laws, who was their chief in the absence of De Bot, or Blocke, who had come from Holland as general over eleven ships. The purport of this writing was, that all the inhabitants of the Moluccas had entered into a perpetual contract with the Dutch for all their cloves, at fifty dollars the bahar, of 200 cattees, in reward for having freed them from the Spanish yoke, at great expence of blood and treasure; and required therefore, that I should not excite the people to disobedience, to their great disadvantage, as the country was certainly theirs by right of conquest. He added, that the islanders were indebted in large sums to the Dutch, advanced on promise of repayment in cloves. I answered, that I had no intention to interfere in any of the concerns of the Dutch, and had only come for the purpose of trading with whoever might be inclined to trade with us.

The 27th, the Dutch made the prince Key Chillisadang moor his curracurra astern of us, to prevent the natives from coming aboard of us; and, in our sight, we saw him stop a canoe, which we thought was bringing us spice, and obliged it to go back to the land: yet, towards night, two of the natives brought us off some refreshments. Next day, understanding that we were dissatisfied with his proceedings, the prince removed behind a point at some distance, which much displeased the Dutch. In the afternoon, I went with the skiff, well manned, to endeavour to bargain with the prince for a parcel of cloves, but found him gone to another place. Seeing my skiff going into the bay, Captain Blocke followed in his curracurra, and would have landed where I was, but I would not suffer him. On the natives seeing this, and that Captain Blocke went back to his ship without landing, many of the better sort came down to us with much respect, and sent for cocoas and other fruits, which they distributed to the boat's crew. When the master of my ship saw Captain Blocke following me in great haste, he manned our long-boat to assist us in case of need, but on a signal to that effect from me, he returned on board.

On the 30th, the Dutch brought the prince to ride in his old place, and towards evening another Dutch ship came into the roads, called the Moon, having thirty-two pieces of good cannon, but not more than fifty men. She came to anchor a-head of us, and so near, that we could hardly swing clear of each other. The prince sent an apology for coming back, but we now saw that he was forced to do as the Dutch thought proper. On the 31st, several harsh dealings and discourtesies passed between us and the Dutch. The 1st of April, 1613, the Dutch mustered about 120 men ashore, gathered from their ships and forts, and every morning and evening relieved guard with drum and fife, and displayed ensign. On the 2d, seeing no appearance of Key Malladaia, according to his promise, I ordered our water-casks to be filled, and every thing to be in readiness for setting sail with the first fair wind. At noon this day, we found the latitude of this road of Pelebre, or Pelabry, to be 26' N. of the equator, the variation being 3 deg. 28', and the highest land in the island of Machian bearing W.N.W. half a point westerly.

On the 5th of April we weighed anchor with little wind, and the current setting to the southwards, we drove to sea under our foresail, passing a-head of the Moon, the larger of the Dutch ships, which made a fair shot under our stern, which we presently answered close a-head of his admiral, expecting farther, but heard no more of them. At noon they both weighed and followed us; but having the wind at S.W. we were far to windward, so that the natives came aboard of us with cloves for a time, as fast as we could weigh and pay for them, the Dutch being unable to hinder. There came also an Orankey aboard, who promised us a good parcel of cloves, if we could come near the shore in the evening. The 6th, about fifty cattees of cloves were brought to us in several canoes. Towards evening; stood rather nearer the shore than I wished, in consequence of seeing a weft, on which I sent a skiff to the Orankey, who said his cloves were ready, and should be brought aboard in the dark. But in consequence of a Dutch curracurra passing by, he was in such fear, that though our people offered to guard him, he durst not venture aboard.

In the morning of the 16th, we were abreast of Mootiere, four leagues from the western point of Machian, N. by E. half a point easterly; and three leagues from it to the north is the island of Marro, two leagues beyond which is Tidore, between and around all which islands is clear passage on all sides, without any danger. Our latitude at noon was 0 deg. 25'; and we could see the two Dutch ships to the southwards, plying after us. In sailing from Marro to Tidore, it is proper to keep a sharp look-out, as there is a long shoal in the fair way, quite even with the sea at high-water, close to which the water has a whitish look. This shoal stretches N.E. and S.W. between Marro and Battachina. It is seen at low-water, the ebb being six feet, the tide setting six hours to the north, and six to the south; but if you keep close to the islands, there is no fear.

The Spanish fort is on the east side of Tidore, where there is deep water close in shore; and, while off that place, the wind suddenly fell quite calm, so that the current set us in upon the land, when the fort made a shot at us, but willingly sent it short, to which we made answer by one shot to seawards. The fort then fired other two guns, which were meant to strike us, one being aimed between the mizen and ancient staff, and the other between the main and foremasts. They then fired one gun without shot, to which we answered in like manner; on which they sent off a boat with a flag of truce, the current still setting us towards the shore, there being no wind to fill our sails, and no ground at 100 fathoms, so that we could in no way keep off. There were two gallies riding under the fort, which, on their boat putting off, fired two blank shots. The boat came and made fast to our stern, having two Spaniards of some rank, who were known to Hernando, the Spaniard we brought from Bantam. These Spaniards were sent from Don Fernand Byseere, the captain-general of Tidore, to enquire who we were, what we came for, and why we did not come to anchor under the fort. Being requested to come aboard, they said they were enjoined to the contrary, wherefore I made wine and bread be handed down to them from the poop, which they fell to lustily, although under the heaviest rain I ever saw, yet would not come aboard. I told them we were subjects of the king of Great Britain, as they might well see by our colours; but they said the Dutch had often passed by scot-free by shewing British colours, which was the reason they had fired the second sharp-shot at us, thinking we were Dutch. I sent word to the Spanish commandant, that I had every inclination to serve the subjects of the king of Spain, as far as in my power, but meant to anchor farther on, where, if Don Fernando pleased to come aboard, I should give him the best welcome I could.

The Spaniards went away well satisfied with this answer, and as a fine breeze immediately sprung up, we stood along shore. The captain-general sent off to me the pilot-major of the gallies, Francisco Gomez, a man of good presence, to bid me welcome, offering his assistance to bring my ship into the best anchorage under the fort; or any where else about the island. Being dark, he brought us to an anchorage, about a league and a half from the fort, at a place where he said there was no force; and, after supper, he entreated to be set ashore, as the captain-general meant to dispatch letters to Don Jeronimo de Sylva, the maestre del campo at Ternate, for instructions concerning our visit. On the morning of the 9th, before sun-rise, we found ourselves within command of a battery of eight cannon, wherefore we hoisted our anchor, and removed a league farther to the southwards, where we again anchored in thirty-five fathoms. The pilot Gomez came aboard soon after, accompanied by other two Spaniards of good family, whom I received with such welcome, that they took their lodging on board. They brought me a present of eatables from their general, to whom I sent back a suitable return; offering to supply his wants with any thing in my ship he desired, taking cloves in payment, and desiring a speedy answer, as I could not tarry long. The two Dutch ships continued to ply after us, as if they would have anchored beside us, but they afterwards went to anchor at their new fort of Maracco, or Marieca.


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