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Title: A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 07
Author: Kerr, Robert, 1755-1813
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 07" ***

available by the Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions.










CHAP. IV. Continued.

SECT. XIII. Account of an expedition of the Portuguese from India to
Madagascar in 1613.

XIV. Continuation of the transactions of the Portuguese in India, from
1617 to 1640: and the conclusion of the Portuguese Asia of Manuel de

XV. Occurrences in Pegu, Martavan, Pram, Siam, and other places.

XVI. A short account of the Portuguese possessions between the Cape of
Good Hope and China.

CHAP. V. Voyages and Travels in Egypt, Syria, Arabia, Persia, and India.
By Ludovico Verthema, in 1503.


SECT. I Of the Navigation from Venice to Alexandria in Egypt, and from
thence to Damascus in Syria.

II. Of the City of Damascus.

CHAP. V. SECT. III. Of the Journey from Damascus to Mecca, and of the
Manners of the Arabians.

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

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

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

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

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

IX. Observations on various parts of India.

X. Continuation of the Authors Adventures, after his return to Calicut.

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

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

CHAP. VI. Voyages and Travels of Cesar Frederick in India.


SECT. I. Voyage from Venice to Bir in Asia Minor.

II. Of Feluchia and Babylon.

III. Of Basora.

IV. Of Ormuz.

V. Of Goa, Diu, and Cambaya.

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

VII. Of Goa.

VIII. Of the City of Bijanagur.

IX. Of Cochin.

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

XI. Of the Island of Ceylon.

XII. Of Negapatam.

XIII. Of Saint Thome and other places.

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

XV. Of the City of Siam.

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

XVII. Of Tanasserim and other places.

Sect. XVIII. Of Martaban and the Kingdom of Pegu.

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

XX. Some Account of the Commodities of India.

XXI. Return of the Author to Europe.

CHAP. VII. Early English Voyages to Guinea, and other parts of the West
Coast of Africa.


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

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

III. Voyage to Guinea, in 1554, by Captain John Lok.

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

V. Second Voyage to Guinea in 1556, by William Towerson.

VI. Third Voyage of William Towerson to Guinea in 1558.

VII. Notices of an intended Voyage to Guinea, in 1561.

VIII. Voyage to Guinea in 1562, written by William Rutter.

IX. Supplementary Account of the foregoing Voyage.

X. Voyage to Guinea in 1563 by Robert Baker.

XI. A Voyage to Guinea in 1564, by Captain David Carlet.

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

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

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

SECT. XV. Voyage to Benin beyond Guinea in 1588, by James Welsh.

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

XVII. Second Voyage of James Welsh to Benin, in 1590.

VIII. Voyage of Richard Rainolds and Thomas Dassel to the Rivers Senegal
and Gambia adjoining to Guinea, in 1591.

CHAP. VIII. Some miscellaneous early Voyages of the English.


SECT. I. Gallant escape of the Primrose from Bilboa in Spain, in 1585.

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

III. Cruising Voyage to the Azores by Captain Whiddon, in 1586, written
by John Evesham.

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

V. Brief account of the Expedition of the Spanish Armada in 1588.

VI. Account of the Relief of a part of the Spanish Armada, at Anstruther
in Scotland, in 1588.

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

VIII. Valiant Sea Fight by Ten Merchant Ships of London against Twelve
Spanish Gallies, in the Straits of Gibraltar, on the 24th April 1590.

IX. A valiant Sea Fight in the Straits of Gibraltar, in April 1591, by
the Centurion of London, against five Spanish Gallies.

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

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

XII. Report of a Cruizing Voyage to the Azores in 1581, by a fleet of
London ships sent with supplies to the Lord Thomas Howard. Written by
Captain Robert Flicke.

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

XIV. Cruising voyage to the Azores, in 1592, by Sir John Burrough,

XV. The taking of two Spanish Ships, laden with quicksilver and the
Popes bulls, in 1592, by Captain Thomas White.

XVI. Narrative of the Destruction of a great East India Carak in 1584,
written by Captain Nicholas Downton.

XVII. List of the Royal Navy of England at the demise of Queen

CHAP IX. Early Voyages of the English to the East Indies, before the
establishment of an exclusive company.

SECT. I. Voyage to Goa in 1579, in the Portuguese fleet, by Thomas


II. Journey to India over-land, by Ralph Fitch, Merchant of London, and
others, in 1583.

III. Supplement to the Journey of Fitch No. 1.--Letter from Mr John
Newbery to Mr Richard Hakluyt of Oxford, Author of the Voyages, &c.

No. 2,--Letter from Mr John Newbery to Mr Leonard Poore of London.

3.--Letter from Mr John Newbery to the same.

4.--Letter from John Newbery to Messrs John Eldred and William Scales at

5.--Letter from Mr John Newbery to Messrs Eldred and Scales.

6.--Letter from Mr Newbery to Mr Leonard Poore.

7.--Letter from Mr Ralph Fitch to Mr Leonard Poore.

8.--The Report of John Huighen, &c.


       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *




_Account of an Expedition of the Portuguese from India to Madagascar in

Being anxious to find out a considerable number of Portuguese who were
reported to exist in the island of St. Lawrence or Madagascar, having
been cast away at different times on that island, and also desirous of
propagating the ever blessed gospel among its inhabitants, and to
exclude the Hollanders from that island by establishing a friendly
correspondence with the native princes, the viceroy Don Jerome de
Azevedo sent thither, in 1613, a caravel from Goa commanded by Paul
Rodrigues de Costa, accompanied by two Jesuits, some interpreters, and a
competent number of soldiers. This island is about 260 leagues in length
and 600 in circumference[1], its greatest extent being from N.N.E. to
S.S.W. It is 80 leagues from E. to W. where widest, but considerably
less towards the north, where it ends in a point named St Ignatius which
is about 15 leagues from east to west[2]. It may be considered as
divided into three parts. The first or northern portion is divided from
the other two by an imaginary line from east to west at Cape St
Andrew[3]. The other two divisions are formed by a chain of mountains
running nearly south from this line to Cape St Romanus, otherwise Cape
St Mary, but much nearer the east coast than the west. The island is
divided into a great number of kingdoms, but so confusedly and
ill-defined, that it were endless to enumerate them. It is very
populous, the inhabitants having many cities and towns of different
extent and grandeur[4]. The country is fertile and well watered, and
everywhere diversified with mountains, vallies, rivers, bays, and ports.
The natives have no general name for the island, and are entirely
ignorant of those of Madagascar and St Lawrence, which are given to it
by strangers. The general population of the island consists of a nation
called _Buques_, who have no religion and consequently no priests or
places of worship, yet all their youth are circumcised at six or seven
years old, any one performing the operation. The natives are not all of
one colour; some being quite black with crisp or curled hair like
negroes; others not quite so black with lank hair; others again
resembling mulatoes; while some that live in the interior are almost
white, yet have hair of both kinds. They are of large stature, strong
and well made, of clear judgment, and apt to learn. Every man has as
many wives as he pleases or can maintain, turning them off at pleasure,
when they are sure to find other husbands, all of whom buy their wives
from their fathers, by way of repaying the expence of their maintenance
before marriage. Their funeral obsequies consist chiefly in feasting the
guests; and their mourning in laying aside all appearance of joy, and
cutting off their hair or daubing their faces and bodies with clay.
Their government is monarchical, their kings or chiefs being called
_Andias_, _Anrias_, and _Dias_, all independent of each other and almost
continually engaged in war, more for the purpose of plunder than
slaughter or conquest. On the Portuguese going among them, no arms were
found in their possession except a few guns they had procured from the
Moors and Hollanders, which they knew not how to use, and were even
fearful of handling. They have excellent amber[5], white sandal,
tortoises, ebony, sweet woods of various kinds, and abundance of slaves,
with plenty of cattle of all kinds, the flesh of their goats being as
sweet as mutton. The island likewise produces abundance of sea cows,
sea-horses, monkeys, and some say tigers, with a great many snakes which
are not very venomous. It has no elephants, horses, asses, lions, bears,
deer, foxes, nor hares.

[Footnote 1: Madagascar, between the latitudes of 12° 30' and 35° 45' S.
and the longitudes of 44° and 53° W. from Greenwich, rather exceeds 1000
statute miles from N.N.W to S.S.E. and is about 220 miles in mean width
from east to west. This island therefore, in a fine climate, capable of
growing all the tropical productions in perfection, and excellently
situated for trade, extends to about 200,000 square miles, or 128
millions of acres, yet is abandoned entirely to ignorant

[Footnote 2: The north end of Madagascar, called the point of St
Ignatius, is 70 miles from east to west, the eastern headland being Cape
Natal or de Ambro, and the western Cape St Sebastian.--E.]

[3][Footnote 3: 3 Cape Antongil on the east coast is probably here
meant, in lat. 15° 45' S. as at this place the deep bay of Antongil or
Manghabei penetrates about 70 mile inland, and the opposite coast also
is deeply indented by port Massali. It is proper to mention however,
that Cape St Andrew is on the west coast of Madagascar, in lat. 17° 12'

[Footnote 4: There may be numerous villages, or collections of huts, in
Madagascar, and some of these may possibly be extensive and populous;
but there certainly never was in that island any place that merited the
name of a city.--E.]

[Footnote 5: More probably Ambergris thrown on their shores.--E.]

The first place visited by de Costa on this voyage of discovery was a
large bay near _Masilage_[6] in lat. 16° S. in which there is an island
half a league in circumference containing a town of 8000 inhabitants,
most of them weavers of an excellent kind of stuff made of the
palm-tree. At this place the Moors used to purchase boys who were
carried to Arabia and sold for infamous uses. The king of this place,
named _Samamo_, received the Portuguese in a friendly manner, and
granted leave to preach the gospel among his subjects. Coasting about 40
leagues south from this place, they came to the mouth of a large river
named _Balue_ or _Baeli_ in about 17° S. and having doubled Cape St
Andrew, they saw the river and kingdom of _Casame_, between the
latitudes of 17° and 18° S. where they found little water and had much
trouble[7]. Here also amity was established with the king, whose name
was Sampilla, a discreet old man; but hitherto they could get no
intelligence of the Portuguese whom they were sent in search of. On
Whitsunday, which happened that year about the middle of May, mass was
said on shore and two crosses erected, at which the king appeared so
much pleased that he engaged to restore them if they happened to fall or
decay. During the holidays they discovered an island in lat. 18° S. to
which they gave the name of Espirito Santo[8], and half a degree farther
they were in some danger from a sand bank 9 leagues long. On Trinity
Sunday, still in danger from sand banks, they anchored at the seven
islands of _Cuerpo de Dios_ or _Corpus Christi_[9] in 19° S. near the
kingdom and river of _Sadia_ to which they came on the 19th of June,
finding scarcely enough of water to float the caravel. This kingdom is
extensive, and its principal _city_ on the banks of the river has about
10,000 inhabitants. The people are black, simple, and good-natured,
having no trade, but have plenty of flesh, maize, tar, tortoises,
sandal, ebony, and sweet woods. The name of the king was _Capilate_, who
was an old man much respected and very honest. He received the
Portuguese kindly, and even sent his son to guide them along the coast.
All along this coast from _Massalage_ to _Sadia_ the natives speak the
same language with the Kafrs on the opposite coast of Africa; while in
all the rest of the island the native language called _Buqua_ is spoken.

[Footnote 6: On this bay is a town called New Massah to distinguish it
from Old Massah on the bay of Massali, somewhat more than half a degree
farther north. Masialege or Meselage is a town at the bottom of the bay
of Juan Mane de Cuna, about half a degree farther south.--E.]

[Footnote 7: They were here on the bank of Pracel, which seems alluded
to in the text from the shallowness of the water; though the district
named Casame in the text is not to be found in modern maps--E.]

[Footnote 8: Probably the island of the bay of St Andrew in 17° 30' is
here meant; at any rate it must be carefully distinguished from Spiritu
Santo, St Esprit, or Holy Ghost Island, one of the Comoros in lat. 15°

[Footnote 9: Perhaps those now called _barren isles_ on the west coast,
between lat. 18° 40' and 19° 12' S. The river Sadia of the text may be
that now called _Santiano_ in lat. 19° S.--E.]

Continuing towards the south they came to the country of the _Buques_,
a poor and barbarous people feeding on the spawn of fish, who are much
oppressed by the kings of the inland tribes. Passing the river
_Mane_[10], that of _Saume_[11] in 20° 15'; _Manoputa_ in 20° 30', where
they first heard of the Portuguese; _Isango_ in 21°; _Terrir_ in 21°
30'; the seven islands of _Elizabeth_ in 22°; they came on the 11th of
July into the port of _St Felix_[12] in 22°, where they heard again of
the Portuguese of whom they were in search, from _Dissamuta_ the king of
that part of the country. On offering a silver chain at this place for
some provisions, the natives gave it to an old woman to examine if it
was genuine, and she informed the Portuguese that at the distance of
three days journey there was an island inhabited a long while before by
a white people dressed like the Portuguese and wearing crosses hanging
from their necks, who lived by rapine and easily took whatever they
wanted, as they were armed with spears and guns, with which information
the Portuguese were much gratified. Continuing their voyage past the bay
of _St Bonaventura_ and the mouth of the river _Massimanga_, they
entered the bay of _Santa Clara_, where _Diamassuto_ came to them and
entered into a treaty of friendship, worshipping the cross on his knees.
They were here told that white people frequented a neighbouring port,
and concluded that they were Hollanders. Going onwards they found banks
of sand not laid down in any chart, and entered a port in lat. 24° S.
The king of this place was named _Diacomena_, and they here learnt that
there were Portuguese on the opposite coast who had been cast away, and
now herded cattle for their subsistence. They said likewise that the
Hollanders had been three times at their port, and had left them four
musketeers with whose assistance they had made war upon their enemies.
On some trees there were several inscriptions, among which were the
following. _Christophorus Neoportus Anglus Cap_. and on another _Dominus
Robertus Scherleius Comes, Legatus Regis Persarum_.

[Footnote 10: It is singular that the large circular bay of Mansitare in
lat. 19° 30' S. is not named, although probably meant by the river
_Mane_ in the text.--E.]

[Footnote 11: Now called Ranoumanthe, discharging its waters into the
bay of St Vincents.--E.]

[Footnote 12: Now Port St James.--E.]

In the latitude of 25° S. they entered a port which they named St
Augustine[13] in a kingdom called _Vavalinta_, of which a _Buque_ named
_Diamacrinale_ was king, who no sooner saw the Portuguese than he asked
if these were some of the men from the other coast. This confirmed the
stories they had formerly heard respecting the Portuguese, and they were
here informed that the place at which they dwelt was only six days sail
from that place. In September they got sight of Cape _Romain_ or St
_Mary_ the most southern point of Madagascar, where they spent 40 days
in stormy weather, and on St Lukes day, 18th October, they entered the
port of that name in the kingdom of Enseroe. The natives said that there
were white people who wore crosses, only at the distance of half a days
journey, who had a large town, and _Randumana_ the king came on board
the caravel, and sent one of his subjects with a Portuguese to shew him
where these white people dwelt, but the black ran away when only half

[Footnote 13: In lat. 23° 30' or directly under the tropic of Capricorn,
is a bay now called St Augustine. If that in the text, the latitude 1s
erroneous a degree and a half.--E.]

Among others of the natives who came to this place to trade with the
Portuguese, was a king named _Bruto Chembanga_ with above 500 fighting
men. His sons were almost white, with long hair, wearing gowns and
breeches of cotton of several colours with silver buttons and bracelets
and several ornaments of gold, set with pearls and coral. The territory
of this king was named _Matacassi_, bordering on _Enseroe_ to the west.
He said that the Portuguese were all dead, who not far from that place
had built a town of stone houses, where they worshipped the cross, on
the foot or pedestal of which were unknown characters. He drew
representations of all these things on the sand, and demanded a high
reward for his intelligence. Some of his people wore crosses, and
informed the Portuguese that there were two ships belonging to the
Hollanders in port _St Lucia_ or _Mangascafe_. In a small island at this
place there was found a _square stone fort_[14], and at the foot of it
the arms of Portugal were carved on a piece of marble, with this


[Footnote 14: This is unintelligible as it stands in the text. It may
possibly have been a square stone pedestal for one of the crosses of
discovery, that used to be set up by the Portuguese navigators as marks
of possession.--E.]

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

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

The viceroy treated him with much honour and magnificence, in hopes that
when he succeeded to his father, he might encourage the propagation of
the gospel in Madagascar; and when he was supposed to be sufficiently
instructed, he was sent away, accompanied by four Jesuits. On this
occasion a pink and caravel were sent to Madagascar, commanded by Pedro
de Almeyda Cabral, and Juan Cardoso de Pina, who sailed from Goa on the
17th of September 1616. On the 20th of March 1617, they discovered a
most delightful island, watered with pure springs, and producing many
unknown plants besides others already known, both aromatic and
medicinal. To this island, in which were two mountains which overtopped
the clouds, they gave the name of _Isola del Cisne_ or swan island, and
on it the jesuits planted some crosses and left inscriptions
commemorative of the discovery[15]. The wreck of two ships of the
Hollanders were found on this island. On the arrival of the two
Portuguese ships in the port of St Lucia in Madagascar, the king and
queen of _Matacassi_ received their son with the strongest
demonstrations of joy, and gave back the hostages left on taking him
away. The four jesuits with six soldiers accompanied the young prince
to his father's court at _Fansaria_, where, and at every place through
which he passed, he was received with demonstrations of joy, which to
the Portuguese seemed ridiculous, as no doubt those used by the
Portuguese on similar occasions would have appeared to them. The king
made a similar agreement with the two commanders on this voyage with
that formerly made with De Costa, which was that the fathers should
inhabit the inland of Santa Cruz and have liberty to preach the gospel
in Madagascar. Upon this the fathers went to the fort at Santa Cruz,
where Don Andrew, the king's son, sent them workmen and provisions.

[Footnote 15: The text gives no indication by which even to conjecture
the situation of this island, unless that being bound towards the
southern part of the east coast of Madagascar, it may possibly have been
either the isle of France, or that of Bourbon.--E.]

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

When Andrada arrived in the port of St Lucia, the two Jesuits came to
him both sick, declaring that it was impossible to live in that country,
where all the men who had been left along with them had died. Andrada
sent the letters with which he was intrusted to the king and prince, by
the servants of Don Jerome; and in return, the king sent 100 fat oxen,
with a great quantity of fowls and honey, and six slaves, but would not
come himself, and it was found that his son had reverted to
Mahometanism. The tribes in Madagascar called _Sadias_ and _Fansayros_
are _Mahometan Kafrs_[16], and are attached to the liberty allowed by
the law of Mahomet, of having a plurality of wives. The king was of the
_Fansayro_ tribe, and was now desirous to destroy Andrada and the
Portuguese by treachery; incited to this change of disposition by a
_Chingalese_ slave belonging to the Jesuits, who had run away, and
persuaded the king, that the Portuguese would deprive him of his
kingdom, as they had already done many of the princes in Ceylon and
India. The Kafrs came accordingly to the shore in great numbers, and
began to attack the Portuguese with stones and darts, but were soon put
to flight by the fire-arms, and some of them slain, whose bodies were
hung upon trees as a warning to the rest, and one of their towns was

[Footnote 16: In strict propriety, this expression is a direct
contradiction, is Kafr is an Arabic word signifying _unbelievers_; but
having been long employed as a generic term for the natives of the
eastern coast of Africa, from the Hottentots to the Moors of Zeyla
exclusively, we are obliged to employ the ordinary language.--E.]

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


_Continuation of the Transactions of the Portuguese in India, from 1617
to 1640; and the conclusion of the Portuguese Asia of Manuel de Faria._

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

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

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

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

We have formerly mentioned the destruction of the Portuguese cities of
_Liampo_ and _Chincheo_, in China, through their own bad conduct. From
that time, they lived in the island of _Lampazau_ till the year 1557,
when they were permitted to build the city _Macao_, the largest
belonging to the Portuguese in the east after Goa. They had been in use
to resort to the island of _Sanchuan_, on the coast of China, for trade,
where they lived in huts made of boughs of trees, and covered with sails
during their stay. At this time, the island of Goaxama, eighteen leagues
nearer the coast of China, being wild and mountainous, was the resort of
robbers who infested the neighbouring part of the continent, and, as the
Chinese considered the Portuguese a more tolerable evil than these
outlaws, they offered them that island on condition of extirpating the
nest of thieves. The Portuguese undertook this task, and succeeded
without losing a man. Then every one began to build where he liked best,
as there were no proprietors to sell the land, which now sells at a dear
rate. The trade and reputation of this city increasing, it soon became
populous, containing above 1000 Portuguese inhabitants all rich; and as
the merchants usually give large portions with their daughters, many
persons of quality used to resort thither in search of wives. Besides
these, there are a number of Chinese inhabitants who are Christians, who
are clothed and live after the manner of the Portuguese; and about 6000
heathens, who are artificers, shop-keepers, and merchants. The duties of
ships trading from thence to Japan, amount to 300,000 Xeraphins, at 10
_per cent_, being about equal to as many pieces-of-eight, or Spanish
dollars[17]. The yearly expence of the garrison and repairs of the
fortifications is above 40,000 ducats. A similar sum is paid yearly for
duties at the fair of _Quantung_, or Canton. The Japan voyage, including
presents to the King and _Tonos_, and the expence of the embassy, costs
25,000. The Misericordia expends about 9000 in charity, as the city
maintains two hospitals, three parish churches, and five monasteries,
besides sending continual alms to the Christians in China, Hainan,
Japan, Tonkin, Cochin-china, Cambodia, and Siam.

[Footnote 17: The xeraphin, as formerly mentioned, being 5s. 9d., this
yearly revenue amounted to L.52,250 sterling. But the state of Macao, in
the text, refers to what it was 150 years ago. It is still inhabited by
Portuguese, and remains a useless dependence on Portugal, owing its
principal support to the residence of the British factory for the
greater part of the year.--E.]

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

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

About the year 1624, some of the Portuguese missionaries penetrated into
the country of Thibet, in which are the sources of the river Ganges. The
natives are well inclined, and of docile dispositions; zealous of their
salvation, and value much the devotions enjoined them by their priests,
called _Lamas_, who profess poverty and celibacy, and are much given to
prayer. They have churches and convents like the most curious of those
in Europe, and have some knowledge of the Christian religion, but mixed
with many errors, and with strange customs and ceremonies; yet it
plainly appears that they had formerly the light of the true gospel[18];
and they abhor the Mahometans and idolaters, being easily converted to
the Christian faith. The habit of the Lamas is a red cassock, without
sleeves, leaving their arms bare, girt with a piece of red cloth, of
which the ends hang down to their feet. On their shoulders they wear a
striped cloth, which they say was the dress of the Son of God; and they
have a bottle of water hung at their girdle. They keep two fasts, during
the principal of which they eat but once a day, and do not speak a word,
using signs on all necessary occasions. During the other fast they eat
as often as they have a mind, but use flesh only at one meal The people
are called to prayers by the sound of trumpets, some of which are made
of dead men's bones; and they use human skulls as drinking-vessels. Of
other bones they make beads, which they allege is to remind them of
death. The churches are only opened twice a year, when the votaries walk
round the outside three times in procession, and then go in to reverence
the images, some of which are of angels, called by them _Las_, the
greatest being the one who intercedes with God for the souls of men.
This being represented with the devil under his feet, was supposed by
the missionaries to be St Michael the archangel. It is not unworthy of
remark, that the word _Lama_, signifying priest, begins with _La_, which
means an angel. The young Lamas go about the towns, dancing to the sound
of bells and other noisy instruments of music; which, they say, is in
imitation of the angels, who are painted by the Christians as singing in

[Footnote 18: Wherever any coincidence appears in the ceremonies and
externals of the heathen worship, the zealous catholics are eager to
conceive that these have been borrowed from Christianity; unconscious
that their own mummeries have all been borrowed from heathen worship,
and superadded to the rational purity of primitive Christianity,--E.]

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

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

The fathers returned according to promise, on which the king built them
a church and was afterwards baptised along with the queen, in spite of
every thing the Lamas could say to prevent him. From merchants who
traded to this place from China, the fathers understood that it was 60
days journey from _Chaparangue_ to China, 40 of which was through the
kingdom of _Usangue_, and thence 20 days to China. They likewise learnt
that Cathay is not a kingdom, but a great city--the metropolis of a
province subject to the grand _Sopo_, very near China, whence perhaps
some give the name of Cathay to China[19]. Perhaps this kingdom of
Thibet is the empire of Prester John, and not Ethiopia as some have

[Footnote 19: This is evidently erroneous, as we know certainly from the
travels of Marco Polo and other authorities, that Cathay was the
northern part of China, once a separate kingdom.--E.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the middle of January 1630, Botello being off the straits of
Cincapura to secure the ships expected from China against the
Hollanders, _Lacsamana_ and two other officers who had fled to the woods
were brought prisoners to him, having been taken by the king of Pam.
Owing to contrary winds, he was unable to get up with five Dutch ships
that were about _Pulo Laer_, and which took a Portuguese galliot coming
from China. He returned therefore to Malacca to refit his ships, and
resolved to attempt the Dutch fort of _Jacatara_[20], the best which was
possessed by _these rebels_ in all Asia. In the first place, he sent
Antonio de Sousa Coutinno in the admiral galley lately belonging to
_Lacsamana_ called the _Terror of the World_, in which Lacsamana was now
prisoner, to Goa; directing that Lacsamana should be sent to Portugal,
and that this large and magnificent galley should be given as a present
to the city of Goa. In this galley there was one cannon made of
_tombac_, a precious sort of metal, which was valued at above 7000
ducats, and another cannon reckoned still more valuable on account of
its curious workmanship. Lacsamana died before he could be carried to

[Footnote 20: In the neighbourhood of which was afterwards built the
city of Batavia, the emporium at the Dutch trade in the east, now
subject to Britain.--E.]

Learning that the Count de Linnares, now viceroy of India, had arrived
at Goa in October 1629, Botello transmitted to him an account of all
that he had done, and desired his assistance and approbation to continue
in these parts in order to carry on his designs against the English and
Hollanders. About the end of April 1630, the viceroy not only sent him
every thing he asked, but gave him full power to act as governor
general, without being obliged to wait for orders from Goa. In the
meantime Botello sailed with 27 ships towards the straits of Cincapura,
and put in at _Jambo_[21], a place abounding in pepper, and on that
account much resorted to by the Dutch and English. At this place he took
two large ships after a stout resistance; and going higher up the river
he discovered another ship so large and beautiful that he designed to
make use of her for his entrance into Goa; but a ball falling into her
powder-room, blew her up. After employing three weeks in working up the
river, Botello learnt that at a town about two leagues distant, two
Dutch ships had taken shelter, and being desirous of taking them, he
manned 14 light vessels with which he went to view the place, on which
he was opposed by 26 sail of small vessels manned with Hollanders and
natives, whom he put to flight; but on viewing the place he found it
impracticable to attempt the two vessels, on account of the strength of
the works by which they were protected. He destroyed therefore all the
neighbourhood with tire and sword, and then sailed down the river,
intending to proceed against _Jacatara_.

[Footnote 21: Probably _Jambee_ on the N.E. side of Sumatra, in about
lat. 18 20' S. to the S.E. of the straits of Cincapura.--E.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 22: Manuel de Faria rightly thought proper to close his work
at this period, which was immediately followed by the expulsion of the
Portuguese from Malacca and Ceylon, and many other of their Indian
possessions; where, except a few inconsiderable factories, they now only
hold Goa, Diu, and Macao, and even these possess very little trade, and
no political importance. From their subjection to the crown of Spain,
the Dutch, who had thrown off the iron yoke of the Austrian princes of
Spain, revenged their own injuries upon the Portuguese in India: And in
the present age, at the distance of 160 years, having themselves fallen
under the heavy yoke of the modern French Caesar, they have been
stripped by Britain of every foreign possession in Asia, Africa, and


_Occurrences in Pegu, Martavan, Pram, Siam, and other places._[23]

We here propose to give some account of the exploits of the _black_ king
of Siam, in whose character there was a strange mixture of virtues and
vices. In the year 1544, the king of the _Birmans_ [24] besieged the
city of _Martavan_ by sea and land, being the metropolis of the great
and flourishing kingdom of that name, which had a revenue of three
millions of gold. _Chaubainaa_ was then king of Martavan, and fell from
the height of fortune to the depth of misery. The Birman fleet, on this
occasion, consisted of 700 sail, 100 of which were large gallies, in
which were 700 Portuguese, commanded by one Juan Cayero, who was reputed
a commander of courage and conduct. After a siege of some months, during
which the Birmans lost 12,000 men in five general assaults, _Chaubainaa_
found himself unable to withstand the power of his enemy, being reduced
to such extremity that the garrison had already eaten 3000 elephants. He
offered, therefore, to capitulate, but all terms were refused by the
enemy; on which he determined to make use of the Portuguese, to whom he
had always been just and friendly: But favours received from a person in
prosperity, are forgotten when the benefactor falls into adversity. He
sent therefore one Seixas, a Portuguese in his service, to make an offer
to Cayero, if he would receive himself, his family, and treasures, into
the four ships which he commanded; that he would give half the treasure
to the king of Portugal, to whom he would become vassal, paying such
tribute as might be agreed on, being satisfied that he could recover his
kingdom with the assistance of 2000 Portuguese troops, whom he proposed
to take into his pay. Cayero consulted with his principal officers on
this proposition, and asked Seixas, in their presence, what might be the
amount of treasure belonging to the king of Martavan. Seixas said, that
he had not seen the whole, but affirmed that he had seen enough in gold
and jewels to load two ships, and as much silver as would load four or
five. Envious of the prodigious fortune that Cayero might make by
accepting this offer, the Portuguese officers threatened to delate him
to the Birman sovereign, if he consented, and the proposal was
accordingly refused.

[Footnote 23: De Faria, III. 347--364. Both as in a great measure
unconnected with the Portuguese transactions, and as not improbably
derived from the worse than suspicious source of Fernand Mendez de
Pinro, these very problematical occurrences have been kept by
themselves, which indeed they are in de Faria. After this opinion
respecting their more than doubtful authenticity, it would be a waste of
labour to attempt illustrating their geographical obscurities. Indeed
the geography of India beyond the Ganges, is still involved in almost
impenetrable darkness, from the Bay of Bengal to the empire of

[Footnote 24: Called always the _Bramas_ by De Faria.--E.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

Such was the great empire of _Calaminam_ to which the king of the
Birmans[25], sent his ambassador. On his return, the king sent 150,000
men in 1300 boats against the city of _Sabadii_, 130 leagues distant to
the north-east. The general of this army, named _Chaunigrem_, lost many
of his men in several assaults, after which he raised two mounts whence
he did much harm to the city: But the besieged sallying out, killed at
one time 8000 and at another 5000 of his men. Leaving this siege for a
time and the affairs of the king of the _Birmans_, we purpose to relate
what was done at _Siam_, in order to treat of them both together.

[Footnote 25: Formerly this was attributed to the king of _Siam_: But
the whole story of this section is so incredible and absurd as not to
merit any observations. It is merely retained from De Faria, as an
instance of the fables of Fernand Mendez de Pinto.--E.]

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

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

There being no lawful heir to the kingdom of Siam, _Pretiel_ a religious
_Talagrepo_, bastard brother to him who was poisoned, was raised to the
throne by common consent in the beginning of the year 1549. Seeing the
affairs of Siam in confusion, the king of the Birmans, who was likewise
king of Pegu, resolved to conquer that kingdom. For this purpose he
raised an army of 800,000 men, of which 40,000 were horse, and 60,000
armed with muskets, 1000 being Portuguese. He had 20,000 elephants, 1000
cannon drawn by oxen and _abadias_[26], and 1000 ammunition waggons
drawn by buffaloes. The Portuguese troops in his service, were commanded
by Diego Suarez de Mello, commonly called the Gallego, who went out to
India in 1538. In 1542 this man became a pirate in the neighbourhood of
Mozambique. In 1547 he was at the relief of Malacca: And now in 1549,
being in the service of the king of the Birmans, was worth four millions
in jewels and other valuables, had a pension of 200,000 ducats yearly,
was stiled the king's brother, and was supreme governor of the kingdom
and general in chief of the army. With this prodigious army the king of
the Birmans, after one repulse, took the fort of _Tapuram_ by assault,
which was defended by 2000 Siamese, all of whom he put to the sword in
revenge for the loss of 3000 of his own men in the two assaults. In the
prosecution of his march, the city of Juvopisam surrendered, after which
he set down before the city of Odiaa the capital of Siam. Diego Suarez
the commander in chief gave a general assault on the city, in which he
was repulsed with the loss of 10,000 men: Another attempt was made by
means of elephants, but with no better success. The king offered 500,000
ducats to any one who would betray one of the gates to him; which coming
to the knowledge of _Oya Pansiloco_, who commanded in the city, he
opened a gate and sent word to the king to bring the money as he waited
to receive it. After spending five months in the siege, during which he
lost 150,000 men, news came that _Xemindoo_ had rebelled at Pegu where
he had slain 15,000 men that opposed him. When this was known in the
camp, 120,000 Peguers deserted, in hatred to the king of the Birmans who
oppressed them, and in revenge of the insolence of Diego Suarez their
general in chief.

[Footnote 26: Rhinoceroses, which are so brutishly ferocious as in
no instance to have been tamed to labour, or to have ever shewn the
slightest degree of docility. Being of enormous strength, the only way
of preserving them when in custody, is in a sling; so that on the first
attempt to more forwards, they are immediately raised from the

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

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

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

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

The kingdom of Siam, though much harassed by these invasions, still
held out, and, in 1627, was possessed by the _black_ king, so called
because he really was of a black colour, though all the inhabitants of
that country are fair complexioned[27]. In 1621, this _black_ king of
Siam sent ambassadors to Goa, desiring that some Franciscans might be
sent to preach the gospel in his dominions. Accordingly, father Andrew,
of the convent of the Holy Ghost, went to _Odiaa_[28], where he was
received honourably, and got leave to erect a church, which was done at
the king's expence. He likewise offered great riches to the venerable
father, who constantly refused his offers, to the great admiration and
astonishment of the king. This _black_ king of Siam was of small
stature, of an evil presence, and an extraordinarily compound character,
of great wickedness, mixed with great generosity. Although cruel men are
for the most part cowards, he was at the same time exceedingly cruel,
and very valiant; and though tyrants are generally covetous, he was
extremely liberal; being barbarous in some parts of his conduct, and
generous and benevolent in others. Not satisfied with putting thieves
and robbers to ordinary deaths, he was in use to have them torn in
pieces in his presence by tigers and crocodiles for his amusement.
Understanding that one of his vassal kings intended to rebel, he had him
shut up in a cage, and fed him with morsels of his own flesh torn from
his body, after which he had him fried in a pan. On one occasion he slew
seven ladies belonging to the court, only because they walked too quick;
and on another occasion he cut off the legs of three others, because
they staid too long when sent by him for some money to give to certain
Portuguese. He even extended his severity to animals; having cut off the
paw of a favourite monkey for putting it into a box containing some
curiosities. A valuable horse was ordered to be beheaded, in presence of
his other horses, because he did not stop when he checked him. A tiger
that did not immediately seize a criminal thrown to him, was ordered to
be beheaded as a coward. Yet had this cruel and capricious tyrant many
estimable virtues. He kept his word inviolable; was rigorous in the
execution of justice; liberal in his gifts; and often merciful to those
who offended him. Having at one time sent a Portuguese to Malacca with
money to purchase some commodities; this man, after buying them lost
them all at play, and yet had the boldness to return to the king, who
even received him kindly, saying that he valued the confidence reposed
in his generosity more than the goods he ought to have brought. He
shewed much respect to the Christian priests and missionaries, and gave
great encouragement to the propagation of the gospel in his dominions.
His valour was without the smallest stain.

[Footnote 27: De Faria seems now to drop the fables of Fernan Mendez
Pinto, and to relate real events in the remainder of this section.--E.]

[Footnote 28: More properly Ythia, vulgarly called Siam.--E.]

The proper name of the kingdom we call _Siam_, is _Sornace_[29]. It
extends along the coast for 700 leagues, and its width inland is 260.
Most part of the country consists of fertile plains, watered by many
rivers, producing provisions of all sorts in vast abundance. The hills
are covered with a variety of trees, among which there are abundance of
ebony, brasilwood, and _Angelin_. It contains many mines of sulphur,
saltpetre, tin, iron, silver, gold, sapphires, and rubies; and produces
much sweet-smelling wood, benzoin, wax, cinnamon, pepper, ginger,
cardamunis, sugar, honey, silk, and cotton. The royal revenue is about
thirteen millions. The kingdom contains 13,000 cities and towns, besides
innumerable villages. All the towns are walled; but the people for the
most part are weak timorous and unwarlike. The coast is upon both seas;
that which is on the sea of India, or bay of Bengal, containing the sea
ports of _Junzalam_[30], and _Tanasserim_; while on the coast of the
China sea, are _Mompolocata_, _Cey_, _Lugor_, _Chinbu_, and _Perdio_.

[Footnote 29: The oriental term _Shan_, probably derived from the
inhabitants of Pegu; but the Siamese call themselves _Tai_, or freemen,
and their country _Meuang tai_, or the country of freemen--E.]

[Footnote 30: Otherwise called Junkseylon.--E.]


_A short Account of the Portuguese possessions between the Cape of Good
Hope and China_.[31]

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

[Footnote 31: De Faria, III. 115. This is to be understood as about the
year 1640, before the Dutch had begun to conquer the Portuguese
possessions. They are now few and unimportant, containing only some
remnant of dominion at Mozambique, with the cities of Goa and Diu in
India, and Macao in China.--E.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Much might be said of Ceylon, but we can only make room for a short
account of that famous island[32]. About 500 years before the time of
our Saviour, the heathen king of _Tenacarii_, who ruled over a great
part of the east, banished his son and heir _Vigia Rajah_, for the
wickedness and depravity of his conduct. The young man put to sea with
700 dissipated persons like himself, and landed at the port of
_Preature_, between Trincomalee, and Jafnapatam, in the island of
Ceylon, which was not then inhabited, but abounded in delightful rivers,
springs, woods, and fruit-trees, with many fine birds, and numerous
animals. These new colonists were so delighted with the country, that
they gave it the name of _Lancao_, which signifies the terrestrial
paradise, and, indeed, it is still considered as the delight of all the
east. The first town they built was _Montota_, opposite to _Manaar_,
whence they traded with _Cholca Rajah_, the nearest king on the
continent, who gave his daughter as wife to the prince, and supplied his
companions with women. He likewise sent them labourers and artizans to
forward the new plantation; and seeing his power increase, the banished
prince assumed the title of emperor of the islands. By strangers these
new come people were named _Galas_, signifying banished men on account
of their having actually been banished by the king of _Tenacarii._ Vigia
Rajah died without children, and left the crown to his brother, in whole
lineage it continued for 900 years. The fertility of the island, and the
fame of its excellent cinnamon, drew thither the _Chinese_, who
intermarried with the _Galas_, from which mixture arose a new race,
called to this day the _Chingalas_, or Chingalese, who are very powerful
in the island, being subtle, false, and cunning, and excellently adapted
for courtiers.

[Footnote 32: This is supplied from a former portion of the Portuguese
Asia, Vol II. p. 507.]

On the extinction of the ancient royal family, the kingdom fell to
_Dambadine Pandar Pracura Mabago_, who was treacherously taken prisoner
by the Chinese, afterwards restored, and then murdered by _Alagexere_,
who usurped the crown. The usurper dying ten years afterwards without
issue, two sons of _Dambadine_ were sent for who had fled from the
tyrant. _Maha Pracura Mabago_, the eldest, was raised to the throne, who
settled his court at _Cota_, and gave the dominion of the four _Corlas_
to his brother. _Maha Pracura_ was succeeded by a grandson, the son of a
daughter who was married to the Rajah of _Cholca_. This line likewise
failed, and _Queta Permal_, king of Jafnapatam, was raised to the
throne, on which he assumed the name or title of _Bocnegaboa_, or king
by force of arms, having overcome his brother, who was king of the four
_corlas_. His son, _Caypura Pandar_, succeeded, but was defeated and
slain by the king of the four _Corlas_, who mounted the throne, and took
the name of _Jauira Pracura Magabo_. These two kings were of the royal
lineage, and had received their dominions from king _Maha Pracura_.
After _Jauira_, his son _Drama Pracura Magabo_ succeeded, who reigned
when Vasco de Gama discovered the route by sea to India. Afterwards,
about the year 1500, the empire of Ceylon was divided by three brothers,
into three separate kingdoms. _Bocnegababo Pandar_ had _Cota_; _Reigam
Pandar_ had _Reigam_; and _Madure Pandar_ had _Cheitavaca_.

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

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

_End of the Portuguese Asia_.




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

[Footnote 33: Hakluyt, iv. App. pp. 547--612. Ed. Lond. 1810-11.]

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

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

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



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

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


_Of the Navigation from Venice to Alexandria in Egypt, and from thence
to Damascus in Syria_[34].

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

[Footnote 34: To accommodate this curious article to our mode of
arrangement, we have made a slight alteration of the nomenclature of its
subdivisions; calling those in this version _Sections_, which in the
original translation of Mr Eden are denominated chapters; and have used
the farther freedom of sometimes throwing several of these chapters into
one section.--E.]

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

As the riches and magnificence of Cairo, and the Mameluke soldiers by
whom it is occupied are well known, we do not deem it necessary to say
any thing respecting them in this place. Wherefore departing from
Babylon in Egypt, or Cairo, and returning to Alexandria, we again put to
sea and went to _Berynto_, a city on the coast of Syria Phoenicia,
inhabited by Mahometans and abounding in all things, where we remained a
considerable time. This city is not encompassed with walls, except on
the west side where there are walls close to the sea. We found nothing
memorable at this place, except an old ruined building where they say
St. George delivered the kings daughter from a cruel dragon which he
slew, and then restated the lady to her father. Departing from thence we
went to Tripoli in Syria, which is two days sail to the east of Berynto.
It is inhabited by Mahometans, who are subject to the lieutenant or
governor of Syria under the Soldan. The soil of the neighbouring country
is very fertile, and as it carries on great trade this city abounds in
all things. Departing from thence we came to the city of _Comagene_ of
Syria, commonly called Aleppo, and named by our men Antioch[35]. This is
a goodly city, which is situated under mount _Taurus_ and is subject to
the lieutenant of Syria under the Soldan of Egypt. Here are the _scales_
or ladders as they are called of the Turks and Syrians, being near mount
Olympus. It is a famous mart of the Azamians and Persians. The Azamians
are a Mahometan people who inhabit Mesopotamia on the confines of

[Footnote 35: This is a gross error, as Aleppo is above 80 English miles
N.E. and island from Antioch. From the sequel it is evident that Antioch
is the place meant by Vertomannus in the text, as the _scales_, mart, or
staple of the Syrian trade.--E.]

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


_Of the City of Damascus_.

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

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

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

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


_Of the Journey from Damascus to Mecca, and of the Manners of the

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

On the 11th of April we departed from Mezaris to the number of 40,000
men with 35,000 camels, having only sixty Mamelukes to guide and guard
us. We were regularly marshalled for the march into a van and main body,
with two wings, in which order the caravans of pilgrims always travel
in these regions. From Damascus to Mecca is a journey of forty days and
forty nights. Departing from Mezaris we continued our journey that day
till the twenty-second hour of the day. Then our captain or
_Agmirus_[36], having given the appointed signal, the whole caravan
immediately halted and disburdened the camels, two hours only being
allowed for rest and refreshment for the men and beasts. Then upon a new
signal the camels were all reloaded, and we resumed our march. Every
camel has for one feed five barley loaves, raw and not baked, as large
as pomegranates. We continued our second days journey like the first,
all day and night, from sun-rise to the twenty-second hour of the day,
and this was the constant regular order. Every eighth day they procure
water by digging the ground or sand, though sometimes we found wells and
cisterns. Likewise after every eight day, they rest two days, that the
camels and horses may recover strength. Every camel bears an incredible
load, being equal to that Which is borne by two strong-mules.

[Footnote 36: The Emir Haji, or captain of the pilgrimage, which name of
office is transposed in the text to Haji-emir, corrupted _Agmir_, and
latinized Agmirus.--E.]

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

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

Continuing our march after this victory, we came in eight days to a
mountain about ten or twelve miles in circuit, which was inhabited by
about 5000 Jews. These were of very small stature, hardly exceeding five
or six spans in height, and some much less[37]. They have small shrill
voices like women, and are of very dark complexions, some blacker than
the rest. Their only food is the flesh of goats. They are all
circumcised and follow the Jewish law, and when any Mahometan falls into
their hands they flea him alive. We found a hole at the foot of the
mountain out of which there flowed an abundant source of water, at which
we laded 16,000 camels, giving great offence to the Jews. These people
wander about their mountain like so many goats or deer, not daring to
descend into the plain for fear of the Arabians. At the bottom of the
mountain we found a small grove of seven or eight thorn trees, among
which we found a pair of turtle doves, which were to us a great rarity,
as during our long journey hitherto we had seen neither beast nor bird.

[Footnote 37: This account of the stature of the Jewish tribe cannot
fail to be much exaggerated, otherwise the text must have been corrupted
at this place; as we cannot well conceive of a tribe in Arabia not
exceeding four feet two inches in average height.--E.]

Proceeding two days journey from the mountain of the Jews, we came to
_Medinathalhabi_[38] or Medina. Four miles from this city we found a
well, where the caravan rested and remained for a whole day, that we
might wash ourselves and put on clean garments to appear decently in the
city. Medina contains about three hundred houses of stone or brick, and
is well peopled, being surrounded by bulwarks of earth. The soil is
utterly barren, except at about two miles from the city there are about
fifty palm trees which bear dates. At that place, beside a garden, there
is a water-course which runs into a lower plain, where the pilgrims are
accustomed to water their camels. I had here an opportunity to refute
the vulgar opinion that the tomb or coffin of the _wicked_ Mahomet is at
Mecca, and hangs in the air without support. For I tarried here three
days and saw with my own eyes the place where Mahomet was buried, which
is here at Medina, and not at Mecca. On presenting ourselves to enter
the _Meschita_ or mosque, which name they give to all their churches or
temples, we could not be allowed to enter unless along with a
companion[39] little or great, who takes us by the hand and leads us to
the place where they say that Mahomet is buried. His temple is vaulted,
being about 100 paces long by 80 in breadth, and is entered by two
gates. It consists of three parallel vaults, which are supported by
four hundred pillars of white bricks, and within are suspended about
three thousand lamps. In the inner part of this mosque or temple is a
kind of tower five paces in circuit, vaulted on every side, and covered
with a large cloth of silk, which is borne up by a grate of copper
curiously wrought, and at the distance of two paces on every side from
the tower, so that this tower or tomb is only seen as through a lattice
by the devout pilgrims. This tomb is situated in an inner building
toward the left hand from the great mosque, in a chapel to which you
enter by a narrow gate. On every side of these gates or doors are seen
many books in the manner of a library, twenty on one side, and
twenty-five on the other, which contain the vile traditions of Mahomet
and his companions. Within this chapel is seen a sepulchre in which they
say that Mahomet lies buried with his principal companions, _Nabi_,
_Bubacar_, _Othamar_, _Aumar_, and _Fatoma_. Mahomet, who was a native
Arabian, was their chief captain. _Hali_ or _Ali_ was his son in-law,
for he took to wife his daughter _Fatima_. _Bubacar_ or Abubeker, was as
they say exalted to be chief councillor and governor under Mahomet, but
was not honoured with the office of apostle or prophet. _Othamar and
Aumar_, Othoman and Omar, were chief captains in the army of Mahomet.
Every one of these have particular books containing the acts and
traditions which relate to them, whence proceed great dissentions and
discords of religion and manners among these vile people, some of whom
adhere to one doctrine and some to another, so that they are divided
into various sects among themselves, and kill each other like beasts,
upon quarrels respecting their various opinions, all equally false,
having each their several patrons, doctors, and saints, as they call
them. This also is the chief cause of war between the Sophy of Persia
and the grand Turk, both of whom are Mahometans, yet they live in
continual and mortal hatred of each other for the maintenance of their
respective sects, saints, and apostles, every one thinking their own the

[Footnote 38: This name ought probably to have been written
Medinat-al-habi, and is assuredly the holy city of Medina, in which
Mahomet was buried.--E.]

[Footnote 39: This seems to refer to some official residents of Medina,
who must accompany the pilgrims in their visits to the holy places,
probably for profit.--E.]

The first evening that we came to Medina, our captain, or Emir of the
pilgrimage, sent for the chief priest of the temple, and declared that
the sole object of his coming thither was to visit the sepulchre and
body of the _Nabi_ or prophet, as they usually call Mahomet, and that he
understood the price generally paid for being admitted to a sight of
these mysteries was four thousand gold _serafines_. He told him likewise
that he had no parents, neither brothers nor sisters, kindred, wife, nor
children; that he had not come hither to purchase any merchandise, such
as spices, _bacca_[40], spikenard, or jewels, but merely for the
salvation of his soul and from pure zeal for religion, and was therefore
exceedingly desirous to see the body of the prophet. To this the priest
answered in apparent anger, "Darest thou, with those eyes with which
thou hast committed so many abominable sins, presume to look on him by
whom God created heaven and earth?" The captain replied that he spoke
true, yet prayed him that he might be permitted to see the prophet, when
he would instantly have his eyes thrust out. Then answered the _Side_ or
chief priest, "Prince! I will freely communicate all things to you. It
is undeniable that our holy prophet died at this place; but he was
immediately borne away by angels to heaven and there received among them
as their equal." Our captain then asked where was now Jesus Christ the
son of Mary, and the _Side_ said that he was at the feet of Mahomet: To
which the captain replied that he was satisfied, and wished for no more
information. After this, coming out of the temple, he said to us, "See I
pray you for what stuff I would have paid three thousand _serafines_ of

[Footnote 40: This word is obviously _berries_, and signifies

That same evening at almost three o'clock of the night[41], ten or
twelve elders of the city came into the encampment of our caravan, close
by one of the gates of the city, where running about like madmen, they
continually cried out aloud, "Mahomet the apostle of God shall rise
again: O prophet of God thou shalt rise again. God have mercy upon us!"
Alarmed by these cries, our captain and all of us seized our weapons in
all haste, suspecting that the Arabians had come to rob our caravan. On
demanding the reason of all this outcry, for they cried out as is done
by the Christians when any miraculous event occurs, the elders answered,
"Saw you not the light which shone from the sepulchre of the prophet?"
Then said one of the elders, "Are you slaves?" meaning thereby bought
men or Mamelukes; and when our captain answered that we were Mamelukes,
the elder replied, "You, my lords, being new to the faith, and not yet
fully confirmed in the religion of our holy prophet, cannot see these
heavenly things." To which our captain answered, "O! you mad and
insensate beasts! I thought to have given you three thousand pieces of
gold; but now I shall give you nothing, you dogs and progeny of dogs?"
Now, it is to be understood that the pretended miraculous light which
was seen to proceed from the sepulchre, was merely occasioned by a flame
made by the priests in the open part of the tower formerly mentioned,
which they wished to impose on us as a miracle. After this our commander
gave orders that none of the caravan should enter into the temple.
Having thus seen with my own eyes, I can assuredly declare that there is
neither iron nor steel, nor magnet stone by which the tomb of Mahomet is
made to hang in the air, as some have falsely imagined, neither is there
any mountain nearer to Medina than four miles. To this city of Medina
corn and all other kinds of victuals are brought from Arabia Felix,
Babylon or Cairo in Egypt, and from Ethiopia by way of the Red Sea,
which is about four days journey from the city.

[Footnote 41: Counting from sunset after the manner of the

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

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


_Observations of the Author during his residence at Mecca_.

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

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

From India, both on this side and beyond the Ganges, they bring for sale
precious stones pearls and spices; and especially from that city of the
greater India, which is named _Bangella_[42] they bring much
_gossampyne_ cloth[43] and silk. They receive spices also from
Ethiopia[44]; and, in short, this city of Mecca is a most famous and
plentiful mart of many rich and valuable commodities. But the main
object for which pilgrims resort thither from so many countries and
nations, is, to purchase the pardon of their sins. In the middle of the
city there is a temple after the manner of the coliseum or amphitheatre
of Rome, yet not built of marble or hewn stone, being only of burnt
bricks. Like an amphitheatre, it has ninety or an hundred gates, and is
vaulted over. It is entered on every side by a descent of twelve steps,
and in its porch is the mart for jewels and precious stones, all the
walls of the entry being gilt over in a most splendid manner. In the
lower part of the temple under the vaults, there is always to be seen a
prodigious multitude of men; as there are generally five or six thousand
in that place, who deal solely in sweet ointments and perfumes, among
which especially is a certain most odoriferous powder, with which dead
bodies are embalmed. From this place all manner of delightful perfumes
are carried to all the Mahometan countries, for beyond any thing that
can be found in the shops of our apothecaries.

[Footnote 42: This must necessarily be the kingdom or province of

[Footnote 43: Fine cottons or muslins are here evidently meant.--E.]

[Footnote 44: This is inexplicable, as Ethiopia possesses no spices,
unless we may suppose the author to mean here the sea of Ethiopia or Red
Sea, as the track by which spices were brought to Mecca.--E.]

On the 23d day of May yearly, the pardons begin to be distributed in the
temple, after the following manner: The temple is entirely open in the
middle, and in its centre stands a turret about six paces in
circumference, and not exceeding the height of a man, which is hung all
round with silken tapestry. This turret or cell is entered by a gate of
silver, on each side of which are vessels full of precious balsam, which
the inhabitants told us was part of the treasure belonging to the sultan
of Mecca. _At every vault of the turret is fastened a round circle of
iron, like the ring of a door_[45]. On the day of Pentecost, all men
are permitted to visit this holy place. On the 22d of May, a great
multitude of people began early in the morning, before day, to walk
seven times round the turret, every corner of which they devoutly kissed
and frequently handled. About ten or twelve paces from this principal
turret is another, which is built like a Christian chapel, having three
or four entries; and in the middle is a well seventy cubits deep, the
water of which is impregnated with saltpetre. At this well eight men are
stationed to draw water for all the multitude. After the pilgrims have
seven times walked round the first turret, they come to this one, and
touching the mouth or brim of the well, they say these words: "Be it to
the honour of God, and may God pardon my sins." Then those who draw
water pour three buckets on the heads of every one that stands around
the well, washing or wetting them all over, even should their garments
be of silk; after which the deluded fools fondly imagine that their sins
are forgiven them. It is pretended that the turret first spoken of was
the first house that was builded by Abraham; wherefore, while yet all
over wet by the drenching at the well, they go to the mountain already
mentioned, where the sacrifice is made to Abraham; and after remaining
there for two days, they make their sacrifice to the patriarch at the
foot of the mountain.

[Footnote 45: This description is altogether unintelligible.--E.]

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

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

Beyond the temple there are certain parks or inclosures, in which there
are two _unicorns_ to be seen, called by the Greeks _Monocerotae_, which
are shewn to the people as miracles of nature, and not without good
reason, on account of their scarcity and strange appearance. One of
these, though much higher than the other, is not unlike a colt of thirty
months old, and has a horn in its forehead, growing straight forwards
and the length of three cubits. The other is much younger, resembling a
colt of one year old, and its horn is only four hand breadths long.
These singular animals are of a weasel chesnut colour, having a head
like that of a hart, but the neck is not near so long, with a thin mane,
hanging all to one side. The legs are thin and slender, like those of a
fawn or hind, and the hoofs are cleft much like those of a goat, the
outer parts of the hind feet being very full of hair. These animals
seemed wild and fierce yet exceedingly comely. They were sent out of
Ethiopia by a king of that country, as a rare and precious gift to the
sultan of Mecca[46].

[Footnote 46: The unicorn is an unknown, or rather a fabulous animal,
and the most charitable interpretation that can be made of the
description in the text is, that Verthema was mistaken, or that one of
the horns of some species of antelope had either been removed, or was
wanting by a lusus naturae. The only real _Monoceros_, or one horned
animal, known to naturalists, is the rhinoceros monoceros, or one-horned
rhinoceros, which bears its horn on the nose, a little way above the
muzzle, not on the forehead.--E.]

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

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

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

Three days after I had agreed for my passage, we hoisted sail and began
our voyage down the Red Sea, called by the ancients _Mare
erythraeum_[47]. It is well known to learned men that this sea is not
red, as its name implies and as some have imagined, for it has the same
colour with other seas. We continued our voyage till the going down of
the sun, for this sea cannot be navigated during the night, wherefore
navigators only sail in the day and always come to anchor every night.
This is owing _as they say_, to the many dangerous sands, rocks and
shelves, which require the ships way to be guided with great care and
diligent outlook from the _top castle_, that these dangerous places may
be seen and avoided: But after coming to the island of _Chameran_ or
Kamaran, the navigation may be continued with greater safety and

[Footnote 47: The _Mare erythraeum_ of the ancients was of much more
extended dimensions, comprising all the sea of India from Arabia on the
west to Guzerat and the Concan on the east, with the coasts of Persia
and Scindetic India on the north; of which sea the Red Sea and the
Persian gulfs were considered branches or deep bays.--E.]


_Adventures of the Author in various parts of Arabia Felix, or Yemen_.

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

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

Continuing our voyage, we arrived on the same day at an island named
_Kamaran_, which is ten miles in circuit. This island has a town of two
hundred houses, inhabited by Mahometans, and has abundance of flesh and
fresh water, and the fairest salt I ever saw. The port of Kamaran is
eight miles from the Arabian coast, and is subject to the sultan of
_Amanian_ or _Yaman_, a kingdom of Arabia Felix. Having remained here
two days, we again made sail for the mouth of the Red Sea, where we
arrived in other two days. From Kamaran to the mouth of the Red Sea the
navigation is safe both night and day; But from Juddah to Kamsran the
Red Sea can only be navigated by day, as already stated, on account of
shoals and rocks. On coming to the mouth of the Red Sea, we seemed quite
inclosed, as the strait is very narrow, being only three miles across.
On the right hand, or Ethiopian coast, the shore of the continent is
about ten paces in height, and seems a rude uncultivated soil; and on
the left hand, or coast of Arabia, there rises a very high rocky hill.
In the middle of the strait is a small uninhabited island called
_Bebmendo_[48], and those who sail from the Red Sea towards Zeyla, leave
this island on the left hand. Such, on the contrary, as go for Aden,
must keep the north eastern passage, leaving this island on the right.

[Footnote 48: This word is an obvious corruption of Bab-el-Mondub, the
Arabic name of the straits, formerly explained as signifying the gate or
passage of lamentation. The island in question is named _Prin_.--E.]

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

The day after our arrival at Aden, the Mahometans took me prisoner, and
put shackles on my legs in consequence of an _idolater_ calling after me
that I was a Christian dog[49]. Upon this the Mahometans laid hold of
me, and carried me before the lieutenant of the sultan, who assembled
his council, to consult with them if I should be put to death as a
Christian spy. The sultan happened to be absent from the city, and as
the lieutenant had not hitherto adjudged any one to death, he did not
think fit to give sentence against me till my case were reported to the
sultan. By this means I escaped the present danger, and remained in
prison 55 days, with an iron of eighteen pounds weight fastened to my
legs. On the second day of my confinement, many Mahometans went in great
rage to the lieutenant to demand that I should be put to death as a
Portuguese spy. Only a few days before, these men had difficultly
escaped from the hands of the Portuguese by swimming, with the loss of
their foists and barks, and therefore greatly desired to be revenged of
the Christians, outrageously affirming that I was a Portuguese and a
spy. But God assisted me, for the master of the prison made fast its
gates, that these outrageous men might not offer me violence. At the end
of fifty-five days, the sultan sent for me into his presence; so I was
placed on the back of a camel with my shackles, and at the end of eight
days journey I was brought to the city of _Rhada_, where the sultan then
resided, and where he had assembled an army of 30,000 men to make war
upon the sultan of _Sanaa_, a fair and populous city about three days
journey from _Rhada_, situated partly on the slope of a hill and partly
in a plain. When I was brought before the sultan, he asked me what I
was: on which I answered that I was a Roman, and had professed myself a
Mahometan and Mameluke at Babylon in Egypt, or Cairo. That from motives
of religion, and in discharge of a vow, I had made the pilgrimage to
_Medinathalhabi_, to see the body of the _Nabi_ or holy prophet, which
was said to be buried there; and that having heard in all the countries
and cities through which I passed, of the greatness, wisdom, and virtue
of the sultan of Rhada, I had continued my travels to his dominions from
an anxious desire to see his face, and I now gave thanks to God and his
prophet that I had attained my wish, trusting that his wisdom and
justice would see that I was no Christian spy, but a true Mahometan, and
his devoted slave. The sultan then commanded me to say _Leila illala
Mahumet resullah_, which words I could never well pronounce, either that
it so pleased God, or because I durst not, from some fear or scruple of
conscience. Wherefore, seeing me silent, the sultan committed me again
to prison, commanding that I should be carefully watched by sixteen men
of the city, every day four in their turns. After this, for the space of
three months, I never enjoyed the sight of the heavens, being every day
allowed a loaf of millet bread, so very small that seven of them would
hardly have satisfied my hunger for one day, yet I would have thought
myself happy if I could have had my fill of water.

[Footnote 49: According to the monk Picade, Christians are found in all
regions except Arabia and Egypt, where they are most hated.--_Eden_.]

Three days after I was committed to prison, the sultan marched with his
army to besiege the city of _Sanaa_, having, as I said before, 30,000
footmen, besides 3000 horsemen, born of Christian parents, who were
black like the Ethiopians, and had been brought while young from the
kingdom of _Prester John_, called in Latin _Presbyter Johannes_, or
rather _Preciosus Johannes_. These Christian Ethiopians are also called
Abyssinians, and are brought up in the discipline of war like the
Mamelukes and Janisaries of the Turks, and are held in high estimation
by this sultan for the guard of his own person. They have high pay, and
are in number four-score thousand[50]. Their only dress is a _sindon_ or
cloak, out of which they put forth one arm. In war they use round
targets of buffaloe hide, strengthened with some light bars of iron,
having a wooden handle, and short broad-swords. At other times they use
vestures of linen of divers colours, also of _gossampine_ or _xylon_,
otherwise named _bomasine_[51]. In war every man carries a sling, whence
he casts stones, after having whirled them frequently round his head.
When they come to forty or fifty years of age, they wreath their hair
into the form of horns like those of goats. When the army proceeds to
the wars, it is followed by 5000 camels, all laden with ropes of

[Footnote 50: This is a ridiculous exaggeration, or blunder in
transcription, and may more readily be limited to four thousand.--E.]

[Footnote 51: These terms unquestionably refer to cotton cloth. Perhaps
we ought to read gossamopine _of_ Xylon, meaning cotton cloth from

[Footnote 52: The use of this enormous quantity of cotton ropes is
unintelligible. Perhaps the author only meant to express that the packs
or bales on the camels were secured by such ropes.--E.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


_Observations of the Author relative to some parts of Persia._

When we had sailed twelve days we came to a city named
_Divobanderrumi_[53], which name signifies the holy port of the _Rumes_
or Turks. This place is only a little way from the Continent, and when
the tides rise high it is an island environed on every side with water,
but at ebb tides the passage between it and the land is dry. This is a
great mart of commerce, and is governed by a person named
_Menacheas_, being subject to the sultan of Cambaia. It is well
fortified with good walls, and defended by a numerous artillery. The
barks and brigantines used at this place are smaller than ours of Italy.
Departing thence we came in three days to _Zoar_[54], which also is a
well frequented mart in a fertile country inhabited by Mahometans. Near
this place are two other good cities and ports named _Gieulfar_ and
_Meschet_ or _Maskat_.

[Footnote 53: From the context, this place appears to have been on that
part of the oceanic coast of Arabia called the kingdom of Maskat,
towards Cape Ras-al-gat and the entrance to the Persian gulf. The name
seems compounded of these words _Div_ or _Diu_, an island, _Bander_ a
port, and _Rumi_ the term in the east for the Turks as successors of the
Romans. It is said in the text to have been subject to the sultan of
Cambaia, but was more probably tributary to the king or sultan of

[Footnote 54: In the text of Hakluyt this place is called _Goa_,
assuredly by mistake, as it immediately afterwards appears to have been
in the neighbourhood of Maskat, and in the direct voyage between Aden
and Ormus, by creeping along the coast from port to port.--E.]

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

Departing from Ormuz I went into Persia, and after ten days journey I
came to _Eri_[55] a city in _Chorazani_ which also we may name
_Flaminia_. This region is fertile, and abounds in all good things,
particularly in silk, so that one might purchase enough in one day to
load 3000 camels. Owing to the fertility of this country corn is always
cheap. Rhubarb is in such abundance that six of our pounds of twelve
ounces each may be bought for one gold crown. This city, in which dwells
the king of that region, contains about seven thousand houses, all
inhabited by Mahometans. In twenty days journey from thence, I noticed
that the inland parts of Persia are well inhabited and have many good
towns and villages. In this journey I came to a great river called by
the inhabitants _Eufra_, which I verily believe to be the Euphrates,
both from the resemblance of names and from its great size. Continuing
my journey along this river by the left hand, I came in three days
journey to another city named _Schyra_[56], subject to a prince who is a
Persian Mahometan, and is independent of any other prince. Here are
found all sorts of precious stones, especially that called _Eranon_,
which defends men against witchcraft, madness, and fearfulness
proceeding from melancholy. It is the stone commonly called _Turquoise_,
which is brought in great abundance from a city named _Balascam_, where
also great plenty of _Castoreum_ is procured and various kinds of
colours. The reason why so very little true _Castoreum_ is found among
us is because it is adulterated by the Persians before it comes to our
hands[57]. The way to prove true castoreum is by smelling, and if
genuine and unadulterated it makes the nose bleed, as I saw proved on
four persons in succession. When genuine and unadulterated, _castoreum_
will preserve its flavour for ten years. The Persians are a courteous
and gentle people, liberal and generous towards each other, and kind to
strangers, as I found by experience. While here, I met with a Persian
merchant to whom I was known in the year before when at Mecca. This man
was born in the city of _Eri_ in Chorozani, and as soon as he saw me he
knew me again, and asked by what fortune I had come into that country.
To this I answered, "that I had come thither from a great desire to see
the world." "Praised be God, said he, that I have now found a companion
of the same mind with myself." He exhorted me not to depart from him,
and that I should accompany him in his journeys, as he meant to go
through the chief parts of the world.

[Footnote 55: In the rambling journey of Verthema, we are often as here
unable to discover the meaning of his strangely corrupted names.
Chorazani or Chorassan is in the very north of Persia, at a vast
distance from Ormuz, and he pays no attention to the particulars of his
ten days journey which could not have been less than 400 miles. We are
almost tempted to suspect the author of romancing.--E.]

[Footnote 56: Supposing that the place in the text may possibly mean
_Shiras_, the author makes a wonderful skip in three days from the
Euphrates to at least 230 miles distance--E.]

[Footnote 57: What is named _Castoreum_ in the text was probably musk,
yet Russia castor might in those days have come along with rhubarb
through Persia.--E.]

I accordingly remained with him for fifteen days in a city named
_Squilaz_, whence we went in the first place to a city named _Saint
Bragant_[58], which is larger than Babylon of Egypt and is subject to a
Mahometan prince, who is said to be able to take the field when occasion
requires with 60,000 horsemen. This I say only from the information of
others, as we could not safely pass farther in that direction, by reason
of the great wars carried on by the Sophy against those Mahometans who
follow the sect of _Omar_, who are abhorred by the Persians as heretics
and misbelievers, while they are of the sect of Ali which they consider
as the most perfect and true religion. At this place my Persian friend,
as a proof of his unfeigned friendship, offered to give me in marriage
his niece named _Samis_, which in their language signifies the Sun,
which name she well deserved for her singular beauty. As we could not
travel any farther by reason of the wars, we returned to the city of
Eri, where he entertained me most honourably in his house, and showing
me his niece desired that she might immediately become my wife. Being
otherwise minded, yet not willing that I should appear to despise so
friendly an offer, I thanked him for his goodness, yet begged the match
might be delayed to a more convenient time. Departing soon afterwards
from Eri, we came in eight days journey to _Ormuz_, where we took
shipping for India.

[Footnote 58: Of Squilaz and Saint Bragant it is impossible to make any
thing, even by conjecture--E.]


_Observations of the Author on various parts of India._

We arrived in India at a certain port named _Cheo_[59], past which flows
the great river Indus, not far from the city of _Cambay_. It is
situated[60] three miles within the land, so that brigantines and foists
can have no access to it except when the tide rises higher than
ordinary, when it sometimes overflows the land for the space of four
miles. At this place the tides increase differently from what they do
with us, as they increase with the wane of the moon, whereas with us
while the moon waxes towards full. This city is walled after our manner,
and abounds in all kinds of necessaries, especially wheat and all manner
of wholesome and pleasant fruits. It has also abundance of _gosampine_
or _bombassine_ (cotton) and some kinds of spices of which I do not know
the names. Merchants bring here such quantities of cotton and silk, that
sometimes forty or fifty vessels are loaded with these commodities for
other countries. In this region there is a mountain in which the _onyx_
commonly called _carneola_ is found, and not far from thence another
mountain which produces _calecdony_ and diamonds. While I was there, the
sultan of Cambay was named Mahomet, and had reigned forty years after
having expelled the king of Guzerat. The natives are not Mahometans,
neither are they idolaters, wherefore I believe if they were only
baptised they would not be far from the way of salvation, for they
observe the pure rule of justice, doing unto others as they would be
done by. They deem it unlawful to deprive any living creature of its
life, and never eat flesh. Some of them go entirely naked, or only cover
the parts of shame, wearing fillets of a purple colour round their
heads. Their complexion is a dark yellow, commonly called a _leonell_

[Footnote 59: This name is inexplicably corrupted; and nothing more can
be said of it than is contained in the text, which indeed is very

[Footnote 60: Verthema appears at this place to make an abrupt
transition to the city of Cambay, taking no farther notice of Cheo.--E.]

The sultan of Cambay maintains a force of 20,000 horse. Every morning
fifty men riding on elephants repair to his palace to reverence and
salute the king, which is done likewise by the elephants kneeling down.
As soon as the king wakes in the morning there is a prodigious noise of
drums, trumpets, and other warlike instruments of music, as if in token
of joy that the sultan still lives. The same is done while he is at
dinner, when likewise the elephants are again brought forward to do him
reverence. We shall afterwards have occasion to notice the customs,
docility, and wisdom of these beasts. The sultan has his upper lip so
large and gross that he sometimes beareth it up with a fillet as women
do their hair. His beard is white and hangs down below his girdle. He
has been accustomed to the use of poison even from his infancy, and he
daily eats some to keep him in use; by which strange custom, although he
feels no personal hurt therefrom, yet is he so saturated with poison
that he is a certain poison to others. Insomuch that when he is
disposed to put any noble to death, he causes the victim to be brought
into his presence and to stand before him while he chews certain fruits
called _Chofolos_[61] resembling nutmegs, chewing at the same time the
leaves of a certain herb named _Tambolos_, to which is added the powder
of oyster shells. After chewing these things for some time, he spits
upon the person whom he wishes to kill, and he is sure to die within
half an hour, so powerful is the venom of his body[62]. He keeps about
four thousand concubines, and whoever of them chances to sleep with him
is sure to die next day. When he changes his shirt or any other article
of his dress, no one dare wear it, or is sure to die. My companion
learnt from the merchants of Cambay that this wonderful venomous nature
of the sultan had been occasioned by his having been bred up by his
father from a child in the constant use of poison, beginning by little
and little, and taking preservatives at the same time.

[Footnote 61: It is evident from the text that the _areka_ nut is here
meant, which is chewed along with _betel_ leaf, called tambolos in the
text, and strewed with _chunam_ or lime made of oyster shells.--E.]

[Footnote 62: This ridiculous story can only be understood as an eastern
metaphor, expressive of the tyrannous disposition of the sultan.--E.]

Such is the wonderful fertility of this country that it surpasses all
description. The people, as already said, go almost entirely naked, or
content themselves with a single garment, and are a brave and warlike
nation, being at the same time much given to commerce, so that their
city is frequented by traders of all nations. From this city, and
another to be named afterwards, innumerable kinds and quantities of
merchandise are transported to almost every region and nation of the
world; especially to the Turks, Syrians, Arabians, Indians, and to
divers regions of Africa, Ethiopia, and Arabia; and more especially vast
abundance of silk and cotton, so that by means of this prodigious trade
the sultan is astonishingly rich. The sultan of Cambay is almost
continually at war with the king of _Joga_, whose realm is fifteen days
journey from Cambay, and extends very far in all directions. This king
of _Joga_[63] and all his people are idolaters. He maintains an army
always on foot of 30.000 men, and is continually in the field travelling
through his dominions with a prodigious train of followers at the
charge of his subject, his camp containing at the least 4000 tents and
pavilions. In this perpetual progress he is accompanied by his wife,
children, concubines, and slaves, and by every apparatus for hunting and
amusement. His dress consists of two goat-skins with the hair side
outwards, one of which covers his breast and the other his back and
shoulders. His complexion is of a brown weasel colour inclining to
black, as are most of the native Indians, being scorched by the heat of
the sun. They wear ear-rings of precious stones, and adorn themselves
with jewels of various kinds; and the king and principal people paint
their faces and other parts of their bodies with certain spices and
sweet gums or ointments. They are addicted to many vain superstitions;
some professing never to lie on the ground, while others keep a
continual silence, having two or three persons to minister to their
wants by signs. These devotees have horns hanging from their necks,
which they blow all at once when they come to any city or town to make
the inhabitants afraid, after which they demand victuals and whatever
else they are in need of from the people. When this king remains
stationary at any place, the greater part of his army keeps guard about
his pavilion, while five or six hundred men range about the country
collecting what they are able to procure. They never tarry above three
days in one place, but are continually wandering about like vagabond
Egyptians, Arabs, or Tartars. The region through which they roam is not
fertile, being mostly composed of steep and craggy mountains. The city
is without walls, and its houses are despicable huts or hovels. This
king is an enemy to the sultan of _Machamir_? and vexes his country with
incessant predatory incursions.

[Footnote 63: What sovereign of India is meant by the _king of Joga_ we
cannot ascertain, unless perhaps some Hindoo rajah in the hilly country
to the north-east of Gujerat. From some parts of the account of this
king and his subjects, we are apt to conceive that the relation in the
text is founded on some vague account of a chief or leader of a band of
Hindoo devotees. A king or chief of the _Jogues_.--E.]

Departing from Cambay, I came in twelve days journey to the city of
_Ceull_[64], the land of Guzerat being interposed between these two
cities. The king of this city is an idolater. His subjects are of a dark
yellow colour, or lion tawny, and are much addicted to war, in which
they use swords, bows and arrows, darts, slings, and round targets. They
have engines to beat down walls and to make a great slaughter in an
army. The city is only three miles from the sea on the banks of a fine
river, by which a great deal of merchandise is imported. The soil is
fertile and produces many different kinds of fruits, and in the district
great quantities of cotton cloth are made. The people are idolaters like
those of Calicut, of whom mention will be made hereafter, yet there are
many Mahometans in the city. The king has but a small military force,
and the government is administered with justice. Two days journey from
thence is a city named _Dabuly_[65] on a great river and in a fertile
country. It is walled like the towns of Italy, and contains a vast
number of Mahometan merchants. The king is an idolater, having an army
of 30,000 men. Departing from thence I came to the island of _Goga_[66],
not above a mile from the continent, which pays yearly a tribute of 1000
pieces of gold to the king of _Deccan_, about the same value with the
seraphins of Babylon. These coins are impressed on one side with the
image of the _devil_[67], and on the other side are some unknown
characters. On the sea coast at one side of this island there is a town
much like those of Italy, in which resides the governor, who is captain
over a company of soldiers named _Savain_, consisting of 400 Mamelukes,
he being likewise a Mameluke. Whenever he can procure any white man he
takes them into his service and gives them good entertainment, and if
fit for military service, of which he makes trial of their strength by
wrestling, he gives them a monthly allowance of 20 gold seraphins; but
if not found fit for war he employs them in handicrafts. With this small
force of only 400 men, he gives much disturbance to the king of

[Footnote 64: There is a district on the west of Gujerat or Guzerat
named _Chuwal_, on the river Butlass or Banass which runs into the gulf
of Cutch, which may be here meant.--.]

[Footnote 65: No name having the least affinity to that in the text is
to be found in any modern map of India near the coast of Gujerat. It
would almost appear that the author had now gone down the coast of
India, and that his Chuwal and Dabuly are Chaul and Dabul on the coast
of the Concan.--E.]

[Footnote 66: Nothing can possibly be made of this island of Goga. There
is a town on the coast of Gujerat and western side of the gulf of Cambay
called Gogo, but it is no island, and could not possibly be subject to
the king of the Deccan; and besides Verthema is obviously now going down
the western coast of India.--E.]

[Footnote 67: Of a Swammy or Hindoo idol.--E.]

From the island of _Goga_ I went to the city of _Dechan_[68], of which
the king or sultan is a Mahometan, and to whom the before mentioned
captain of the Mamelukes at _Goga_ is tributary. The city is beautiful,
and stands in a fertile country which abounds in all things necessary
for man. The king of this country is reckoned a Mameluke, and has 35,000
horse and foot in his service. His palace is a sumptuous edifice,
containing numerous and splendid apartments, insomuch, that one has to
pass through 44 several rooms in a continued suite before getting to the
presence-chamber of the sultan, who lives with wonderful pomp and
magnificence, even those who wait upon him having their shoes or
_starpins_ ornamented with rubies and diamonds, and rich ear-rings of
pearls and other precious stones. Six miles from the city is a mountain
from which they dig diamonds, which mountain is surrounded by a wall,
and guarded by a band of soldiers. The inhabitants of the city are
mostly Mahometans, who are generally clad in silk, or at least have
their shirts or lower garments of that fabric; they wear also thin
buskin and hose or breeches like the Greek mariners, or what are called
trowsers. Their women, like those of Damascus, have their faces veiled.
The king of Deccan is almost in continual war with the king of Nursinga;
most of his soldiers being white men from distant countries hired for
war, whereas the natives are of a dark colour like the other inhabitants
of India. This king is very rich and liberal, and has a large navy of
ships, but he is a great enemy to the Christians. Having visited this
country, I went in five days from thence to _Bathacala_ or _Batecolak_,
the inhabitants of which are idolaters, except some Mahometan merchants
who resort thither for trade. It abounds in rice, sugar, wheat,
_walnuts_[69], figs, and many kinds of fruits and roots unknown to us,
and has plenty of beeves, kine, buffaloes, sheep, goats, and other
beasts, but no horses, asses, or mules. From thence, at the distance of
a days journey I came to _Centacola?_ the prince of which has no great
riches; but the district has plenty of flesh, rice, and such fruits as
grow in India; and to this place many Mahometans resort for trade. The
king is an idolater, and is subject to him of Batecolah. Two days
journey from thence I came to _Onore_, the king of which is an idolater,
subject to the king of Narsinga. The prince or king of Onore has eight
armed foists or barks, which make excursions by sea, and subsist by
piracy, yet is he in friendship with the Portuguese. The district
produces plenty of rice, and has many kinds of wild beasts, as wild
boars, harts, wolves, _lions_[70], and many kinds of birds, such as
peacocks and parrots, besides others very different from ours. It has
likewise many cattle of a bright yellow colour, and fine fat sheep. It
has also abundance of flowers of all kinds. The air is so temperate and
healthy, that the natives live much longer than we do in Italy. Not far
from this place is another city named Mangalore, whence about sixty
ships depart yearly with cargoes of rice. The inhabitants are partly
idolaters, and part Mahometans.

[Footnote 68: Dechan, Deccan, or Dacshin, is the name of a territory or
kingdom, and properly signifies southern India, or simply the south, in
reference to Hindostan proper, on the north of the Nerbuddah: But
Verthema almost always names the capital from the kingdom.--E.]

[Footnote 69: By walnuts, I suspect that coca-nuts are meant, and
rendered walnuts by some mistaken translation.--E.]

[Footnote 70: There are no lions in India, and tigers are certainly here

Departing from thence we went to the city of _Cananore_, where the king
of Portugal has a strong garrison, though the king of the city is an
idolater and no great friend to the Portuguese. At this port many horses
are imported from Persia, which pay a high duty. Departing from thence
into the inland we came to the city of _Narsinga_[71], which is
frequented by many Mahometan merchants. The soil in that country bears
no wheat, so that the inhabitants have no bread, neither hath it vines
or any other fruits except oranges and gourds, but they have plenty of
rice and such walnuts as that country _produces_[72]. It has likewise
plenty of spices, as pepper, ginger, mirabolans, cardamum, cassia, and
others, also many kinds of fruits unlike ours, and much sweeter. The
region is almost inaccessible, _for many dens and ditches made by
force_[73]. The king has an army of 50,000 _gentlemen whom they call
heroes_[74]. In war they use swords and round targets, also lances,
darts, bows, and slings, and are now beginning to use fire arms. These
men go almost entirely naked, except when engaged in war. They use no
horses, mules, asses, or camels; only employing elephants, which yet do
not fight in battle. Great quantities of merchandise are consumed in
this city, insomuch that two hundred ships resort thither yearly from
various countries[75].

[Footnote 71: Bijanagur was the capital of the kingdom known by the name
of Narsinga; but from the neighbourhood of Cananore, it is possible that
Verthema here means Narsingapoor, about 25 miles S.S.W. from

[Footnote 72: The walnuts of this author must have been cocoa-nuts,
perhaps converted to walnuts by erroneous translation.--E.]

[Footnote 73: This singular passage probably means, that the country is
defended by a great number of forts and garrisons, as indeed we know
that the interior table land of southern India is thickly planted with
_droogs_ or hill forts, which must then have been impregnable.--E.]

[Footnote 74: Probably meaning Nairs or Rajputs, who are reckoned of a
high or noble cast, next to the Bramins--E.]

[Footnote 75: This is a most astonishing error, as Narsingapoor is above
100 miles from the nearest coast.--E.]

Departing from Narsinga, and travelling 15 days to the _east_[76], we
came to the city of _Bisinagar_, or Bijanagur, which is subject to the
king of Narsinga. This city stands upon the side of a hill, and is very
large, and well fortified, being surrounded by a triple wall, eight
miles in circuit. The district in which it stands is wonderfully
fertile, and produces every thing requisite for the necessities, and
even the delicacies and luxuries of man. It is likewise a most
convenient country for hunting and hawking, having many large plains,
and fine woods, so that altogether it is a kind of earthly paradise. The
king and people are idolaters; and the king has great power and riches,
maintaining an army of 4000 horsemen, although it may be noted that a
good horse in this country costs four or five hundred gold coins called
pardaos, and sometimes eight hundred. The reason of this high price is,
that these horses are brought from other countries, whence they can
procure no mares, as the exportation of these is strictly prohibited by
the princes of the countries whence the horses are procured. He has
likewise 400 elephants to serve in his wars, and many of those swift
running camels which we commonly call _dromedaries_[77].

[Footnote 76: Bijanagur is 175 miles directly _north_ from

[Footnote 77: In modern language the term dromedary is very improperly
applied to the Bactrian, or two-hunched camel, a slow beast of burden.
The word dromedary is formed from the Greek _celer_, and only belongs to
a peculiar breed of camels of amazing swiftness.--E.]

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

The king of Narsinga exceeds in riches and dominion, all the princes I
have ever seen or heard of. In beauty and situation the city resembles
Milan, only that being on the slope of a hill it is not so level. Other
subject kingdoms lie round about it, even as Ausonia and Venice surround
Milan. The bramins or priests informed me that the king receives daily
of tribute from that city only the sum of 12,000 _pardaos_. He and his
subjects are idolaters, worshipping the devil like those of Calicut. He
maintains an army of many thousand men, and is continually at war with
his neighbours. The richer people wear a slender dress, somewhat like a
petticoat, not very long, and bind their heads with a fillet or broad
bandage, after the fashion of the Mahometans, but the common people go
almost entirely naked, covering only the parts of shame. The king wears
a cape or short cloak of cloth of gold on his shoulders, only two spans
long; and when he goes to war he wears a close vest of cotton, over
which is a cloak adorned with plates of gold, richly bordered with all
kinds of jewels and precious stones. The horse he rides on, including
the furniture or caparisons, is estimated to equal one of our cities in
value, being all over ornamented with jewels of great price. When be
goes a hunting, he is attended by other three kings, whose office it is
to bear him company wherever he goes. When he rides out or goes a
journey he is attended by 6000 horsemen; and from all that we have said,
and various other circumstances respecting his power, riches, and
magnificence, he certainly is to be accounted one of the greatest
sovereigns in the world. Besides the pieces already mentioned, named
_pardaos_, which are of gold, he coins silver money called _fano_, or
_fanams_, which are worth sixteen of our smallest copper money. Such is
the excellent government of this country, that travellers may go through
the whole of it in safety, if they can avoid the danger of _lions_[78].
This king is in amity with the king of Portugal, and is a great friend
to the Christians, so that the Portuguese are received and treated in
his dominions in a friendly and honourable manner.

[Footnote 78: Wherever lions are mentioned by this traveller in India,
tigers are to be understood.--E.]

When I had tarried many days in this great city, I returned to Cananore,
whence, after three days stay I went to a city twelve miles from thence,
named _Trempata_[79], a sea-port, inhabited by idolaters, but frequented
by many Mahometan merchants. The only riches of this place consists in
Indian nuts, or cocoa-nuts, and timber for ship-building. Passing from
thence, by the cities of _Pandara_ and _Capagot_[80], I came to the
famous city of Calicut. To avoid prolixity, I pass over many other
kingdoms and peoples, such as _Chianul_? _Dabul_, _Onouè_? _Bangalore_,
_Cananore_, _Cochin_, _Cacilon_? and _Calonue_, or _Coulan_[81]. I have
so done on purpose to enable me to treat more at large of Calicut, being
in a manner the metropolis of all the Indian cities, as the king thereof
exceeds all the kings of the east in royal majesty, and is therefore
called _Samoory_ or _Zamorin_, which in their language signifies _God on

[Footnote 79: About that distance south from Cananore is

[Footnote 80: No names in the least respect similar to these are to be
found in the indicated route between Cananore and Calicut.--E.]

[Footnote 81: Of the three places marked with points of interrogation,
the names are so disfigured in the orthography as to be unintelligible;
_Cianul_ may possibly be Chaul, _Onouhè_ Onore, and _Cacilon_


_Account of the famous City and Kingdom of Calicut._

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There are many different kinds of beasts and birds in this country, as
_lions_, wild boars, harts, hinds, buffaloes, cows, goats, and
elephants; but these last are not all bred here, being brought from
other places. They have also parrots of sundry colours, as green,
purple, and other mixt colours, and they are so numerous that the rice
fields have to be watched to drive them away. These birds make a
wonderful chattering, and are sold so low as a halfpenny each. There are
many other kinds of birds different from ours, which every morning and
evening make most sweet music, so that the country is like an earthly
paradise, the trees, herbs, and flowers being in a continual spring, and
the temperature of the air quite delightful, as never too hot nor too
cold. There are also monkeys, which are sold at a low price, and are
very hurtful to the husbandmen, as they climb the trees, and rob them of
their valuable fruits and nuts, and cast down the vessels that are
placed for collecting the sap from which wine is made. There are
serpents also of prodigious size, their bodies being as thick as those
of swine, with heads like those of boars; these are four footed, and
grow to the length of four cubits, and breed in the marshes[82]. The
inhabitants say that these have no venom. There are three other kinds of
serpents, some of which have such deadly venom, that if they draw ever
so little blood death presently follows, as happened several times while
I was in the country. Of these some are no larger than asps, and some
much bigger, and they are very numerous. It is said that, from some
strange superstition, the king of Calicut holds them in such veneration,
that he has small houses or cottages made on purpose for them,
conceiving that they are of great virtue against an over abundance of
rain, and overflowing of the rivers. Hence they are protected by law,
and any person killing one would be punished with death, so that they
multiply exceedingly. They have a strange notion that serpents come from
heaven, and are actuated by heavenly spirits, and they allege that only
by touching them instant death insues. These serpents know the idolaters
from the Mahometans, or other strangers, and are much more apt to
attack the former than the latter. Upon one occasion, I went into a
house where eight men lay dead, and greatly swollen, having been killed
the day before by these serpents; yet the natives deem it fortunate to
meet any of them in their way.

[Footnote 82: From the description these must be crocodiles--E.]

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

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


_Observations on various parts of India_.

As there was no convenience for trade at Calicut, on account of war with
the Portuguese, because the inhabitants in conjunction with the
Mahometans had murdered 48 Portuguese while I was in that city, my
faithful friend and companion _Cociazenor_ the Persian, formerly
mentioned, thought it best for us to depart from thence. Indeed, in
revenge for that cruel murder, the Portuguese have ever since waged
cruel war upon Calicut, doing infinite injury to the city and people.
Wherefore, departing from thence by way of a fine river, we came to a
city named _Caicolon_[83], which is fifty leagues from Calicut. The
inhabitants of this city are idolaters, but it is frequented by many
merchants from different places, as its district produces excellent
pepper. At this place we found certain merchants who were Christians,
calling themselves followers of the apostle St Thomas. They observe
lent, or the fast of forty days, as we do, and believe in the death and
resurrection of Christ, so that they celebrate Easter after our manner,
and observe the other solemnities of the Christian religion after the
manner of the Greeks. They are commonly named John, James, Matthew,
Thomas, and so forth, after the names of the apostles. Departing thence,
after three days journey we came to another city named _Coulan_, about
twenty leagues from _Caicolon_. The king of this place is an idolater,
and has an army of 20,000 men always on foot. Coulan has an excellent
harbour, and the surrounding country produces plenty of pepper, but no
corn. By reason of the wars, we made no stay here, and on our way
farther we saw people fishing for pearls, in the manner already
mentioned when treating of Ormuz.

[Footnote 83: From the distance and direction of the journey or voyage,
this name may possibly be an error or corruption for Cranganore.--E.]

The _city of Coromandel_ on the sea coast, is seven days sail from
Coulan. It is very large, but without walls, and is subject to the king
of Narsinga, being within sight of the island of Ceylon[84]. After
passing the southern point of Cape Comorin, the eastern coast of India
produces abundance of rice. This city is resorted to by vast numbers of
Mahometan merchants from many distant countries, as from it they can
travel to various great regions and cities of India. At this place I met
with certain Christians, who affirm that the body of St Thomas the
apostle is buried in a certain place about twelve miles from the city,
where several Christians continually dwell to guard the body of the
saint. They told me that these Christians are evil intreated by the
natives, on account of the war carried on by the Portuguese against the
people of the country; and that the Christians are often murdered in
secret, that it may not be known to the king of Narsinga, who is in
amity with the Portuguese, and greatly favours the Christians. Once on a
time there was a conflict between the Christians and Mahometans, in
which one of the Christians was sore wounded in the arm. He immediately
repaired to the sepulchre of St Thomas, where, making his prayers and
touching the holy shrine, he was immediately healed by miracle, upon
which, as it is said, the king of Narsinga has ever since greatly
favoured the Christians. At this place my companion sold much of his
merchandize; but on account of war raging in the country, we determined
to depart, and calling with much danger over a gulf 20 leagues broad, we
came to the large island of _Zailon_, or Ceylon.

[Footnote 84: From other circumstances in the text, particularly the
neighbourhood of the place where St Thomas lay buried, the city here
alluded to was probably Meliapour, which formerly stood not far from
Madras, or the famous _Mahubulipoor_, the city of the great Bali, 16 or
18 miles from the English settlement. The author, as on many other
occasions, gives the name of the country to the capital. As to being in
sight of Ceylon, this may be an error in transcription, and we ought to
read that on the voyage between Coulan and the city of Coromandel; the
author passed in sight of Ceylon.--E.]

This island of Ceylon is 1000 miles in circumference, and is divided
among four powerful kings; and because of the wars which then raged
among them we could not remain long there to acquire any minute
knowledge of the country and manners of its inhabitants. It contains
many elephants. At the foot of a very long and high mountain there are
found many precious stones called _piropi_ or rubies, which are got in
the following manner. The adventurers purchase from the king a certain
measure of the ground where these rubies are found, being about a cubit
square, for which they pay five pieces of gold, yet under the condition
that there shall always be an officer belonging to the king present
while they are digging, that if any stone be found beyond the weight of
ten carats it may be reserved for the king, all under that weight
belonging to the adventurer. Not far from that mountain they find other
precious stones, as jacinths, sapphires, and topazes, besides others.
The soil of Ceylon produces the sweetest fruits I ever saw, especially
_cloves_[85] and Assyrian apples of wonderful sweetness, and its other
productions are similar to those of Calicut. The cinnamon-tree is much
like our bay, only that the leaves are smaller and somewhat white. The
true cinnamon is the bark of this tree, which is gathered every third
year, and of which the island produces great quantities. When first
gathered, it is by no means so sweet and fragrant as it becomes a month
afterwards when thoroughly dry. A Mahometan merchant assured my
companion, that on the top of a high mountain in the centre of this
island, there is a certain cave or den where the inhabitants resort for
devotion, in memory of our first parents, who, as they allege, lived in
that place in continual penitence, after breaking the covenant with God,
which is confirmed by the print of Adam's feet being still to be seen
there above two spans in length. The inhabitants of this island are
subject to the king of Narsinga, to whom they pay tribute. The climate
is temperate and healthy, though situated so near the equinoctial line.
The people are of a dark tawny colour, and wear slight cotton dresses,
having the right arm bare, as is the universal custom of the Indians;
the men being by no means warlike, neither have they the use of iron. In
this island my companion sold the king a great deal of saffron and

[Footnote 85: Cloves are certainly not found in Ceylon.--E.]

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

The city of Tanaserim is not far from the sea, well walled, seated on a
fine plain, and has a famous port on a fine river that runs past its
north side. The king is an idolater of great power, and is constantly at
war with the kings of Narsinga and Bengal[86]. He is able to bring into
the field an hundred thousand foot and as many cavalry, together with a
hundred of the largest and finest elephants I ever saw. The weapons of
his troops are swords, round bucklers, _peltes_, bows and arrows, and
javelins or darts made of long reeds; they also use for defence cotton
jacks wrought very hard and close quilted. The houses in their towns are
built close together like those in Italy. This country produces wheat,
cotton, silk of various kinds, Brazil wood, sundry kinds of fruit like
those of Italy, with Assyrian apples, oranges, lemons, citrons, gourds,
cucumbers, and many others. It has many animals both wild and tame.
Among the former are oxen and cows, sheep, goats, hogs, and deer. The
wild beasts are lions, wolves, catamountains, and musk cats or civets.
In the woods are many peacocks and falcons, with popinjays or parrots,
some of which are entirely white, while others are of seven different
colours. There are plenty of hares and partridges, and several kinds of
birds of prey larger than eagles. These birds are black and purple, with
several white feathers intermixed, having yellow bills tipt beautifully
with crimson, which are so large that the handles of swords are
sometimes made of the upper mandible. Their cocks and hens are the
largest I ever saw, and both the natives and the Mahometans who dwell
there, take great delight in cock-fighting, on which they venture large
sums. I have seen them fight for six hours, yet will they sometimes
kill at the first stroke. Some of their goats are much larger and
handsomer than ours, and of these the females have often four kids at
one birth. So abundant are animals in this country, that twelve sheep
may be bought for a single piece of gold worth about a pistole. Some of
their rams have horns like a buck, and are much bigger and fiercer than
ours. Their buffaloes are not so good as those of Italy. This coast has
abundance of fine large fish, which are sold very cheap. The natives eat
the flesh of all kinds of beasts except cows, and feed sitting on the
ground without cloth or carpet, having their meat in wooden vessels
artificially wrought. Their drink is sugar and water. Their beds are
raised from the ground like ours. Their apparel is a cloak or mantle of
cotton cloth, leaving one arm bare, but some wear inner vests or shirts
of silk or cotton. All go bareheaded, except the priests, who have a
kind of caps of two spans long on their heads, with a knob on the top
about the size of an acorn, all sparkling with gold. They delight in
ear-rings, but have neither rings nor bracelets. The complexion of the
natives inclines towards fair, as the air is more temperate than at
Calicut. In their tillage and reaping there is little difference from
the manner of Italy.

[Footnote 86: It is not easy to conceive by what means this could be, as
Pegu, Ava, Aracan, and Tipera, intervene between Tanaserim and Bengal,
and the bay of Bengal between Tanaserim and Narsinga or the Carnatic,
none of the powers mentioned being possessed of any maritime force.--E.]

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

Justice in strictly administered in this country. Whoever kills a man is
adjudged to die as at Calicut. Proof of giving or receiving is taken by
writings or by witnesses, the governor of the city being chief judge. If
any merchant stranger die there without children, all his goods fall to
the king. When the king dies, he is succeeded in the throne by his
children. The children of the natives divide equally among them all the
possessions of their father. When any Mahometan merchant dies, their
bodies are embalmed with many sweet spices and gums, and being placed in
wooden coffins, they are buried with their faces towards Mecca. In their
manner of writing they use parchment as we do, and not the leaves of
trees as at Calicut. Their vessels are a kind of shallow brigantines or
barks with flat bottoms, which draw very little water. Some also use
foists having _double foreparts_[87], and two masts, but these have no
decks. They have also some vessels of large burden, even carrying a
thousand tons, in which they have several boats, and these are used when
they go to Malacca for spices.

[Footnote 87: This is not easily understood, unless it may mean that
they are so built that they may sail with either end foremost.--E.]

Having finished our business at Tanaserim, we packed up all our wares
and embarked for Bengal, distant 700 miles from Tanaserim, whither we
arrived in twelve days sailing. In fruitfulness and abundance of all
things _this city_[88] may contend for eminence with any city in the
world. The kingdom dependent upon this city is very large, rich, and
populous, and the king, who is a Mahometan, maintains an army of 200,000
men, including cavalry and infantry, with which he keeps up almost
continual wars against the king of Narsinga. This country is so
fruitful, that it possesses every thing conducive to the use of man,
abounding in all kinds of beasts, wholesome fruits, and corn. It has
spices also of several kinds, and vast abundance of cotton and silk. No
other region in the world is comparable to this, so that there are many
rich merchants. Every year there depart from hence fifty ships laden
with cloths of cotton or silk, bound for the cities of Turkey, Syria,
Arabia, Persia, Ethiopia, and India. There are also many merchant
strangers, who buy precious stones from the natives. We found here many
Christian merchants who were born, as they told us, in the city of
_Sarnau_. They had brought to this great mart wood of aloes and _laser_,
which latter yields the sweet gum called _laserpitium_, commonly called
_belzoi_, or benzoin, which is a kind of myrrh. They bring also musk and
several other sweet perfumes. These Christian merchants told us, that in
their country were many Christian princes, subject to the great khan,
who dwells in the city of _Cathay_[89]. The dress of these Christians
was of camblet, very loose and full of plaits, and lined with cotton;
and they wore sharp pointed caps of a scarlet colour, two spans high.
They are white men, believing in one God with a trinity of persons, and
were baptized after our manner. They believe in the doctrines of the
evangelists and apostles, and write from right to left like the
Armenians. They celebrate the birth and crucifixion of Christ, observe
the forty days of lent, and keep the days of several saints. They wear
no shoes, but have a kind of hose of silk on their legs, garnished with
jewels. On their fingers they wore rings with stones of wonderful
splendour. At their meat they use no tables, but eat lying on the
ground, feeding upon flesh of all kinds. They affirmed also that there
are certain Christian kings, whom they called _Rumi_, bordering on the
Turks. When these Christians had seen the precious merchandise belonging
to my companion, and particularly a great branch of coral, they
earnestly advised him to accompany them to a certain city, whither they
were bound, assuring him that by their procurement he should sell this
to very great advantage, especially if he would take rubies in payment,
by means of which he might easily gain 10,000 pieces of gold, assuring
him that these stones were of much greater value in Turkey than in the
east. And as they were ready to depart the very next day in a foist
bound for the city of Pegu, where they meant to go, my companion
consented to go with them, more especially as he expected to find there
certain Persians his countrymen. Wherefore departing with these men from
Bengal, and sailing across a great gulf to the south-east, we came at
length to the city of Pegu, which is 1000 miles from Bengal.

[Footnote 88: Here, as usual, the name of the country is given instead
of the chief city, and we have no means even to guess what place is
indicated, unless perhaps the _Satigan_ of other ancient relations,
which appears to have been a city on the Hoogly river, or western branch
of the Ganges.--E.]

[Footnote 89: The capital of Cathay or northern China is Cambalu or
Pekin, but it is difficult to make any thing of these Christian natives
of _Sarnau_, or of their many Christian princes in Tartary; unless we
may suppose Verthema to have mistaken the followers of the Lama of
Thibet for Christians, as appears to have been done by some of the more
ancient travellers in our early volumes.--E.]

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

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

Two days after the departure of the king from Pegu, we sailed towards
the city of Malacca, where we arrived after a voyage of eight days. Not
far from this city is a famous river named Gaza[90], the largest I ever
saw, as it is 25 miles broad, and on the other side of it is seen the
very large island of _Sumatra_, which by old writers was called
_Taprobana_, and which is said by the inhabitants to be 500 miles in
circuit[91]. Upon our arrival at _Malacca_, called by some _Melcha_, we
were commanded to appear before the sultan, who is a Mahometan and
tributary to the great sultan of _Chini_[92], because as is said the
city was built about 80 years before on account of the convenience of
its harbour, being one of the best in the ocean, and to which doubtless
many ships resort for trade. This region is not everywhere fruitful, yet
it has a sufficiency of corn and cattle, although scarce of wood. They
have plenty of birds of the same kind with those at Calicut, but the
popinjays or parrots are more beautiful. It produces sandal-wood and
tin; likewise elephants, horses, sheep, kine, _pardalles_ or leopards,
buffaloes, peacocks, and many other beasts and birds. The country has
but few products of value, so that its only merchandise is spices and
silk. The people are of a blackish ash-colour, and are clothed like the
Mahometans of _Memphis_, otherwise called _Cayr_, _Alchayr_, or
_Babylon_, on the Nile. They have very large foreheads, round eyes, and
flat noses; and they are so much given to murder and robbery that it is
dangerous to go abroad in the night, for they kill one another like
dogs, and therefore merchants always remain on board their ships in the
night. The people are fierce, barbarous, and unruly, insomuch that they
will not submit to any governor, being altogether addicted to sedition
and rebellion, and they always threaten to quit the country when their
rulers endeavour to enforce order; which threat they are certainly able
to execute, as their country is upon the sea-coast.

[Footnote 90: It is obvious from the context, that this famous river of
Gaza refers to the Straits of Malacca.--E.]

[Footnote 91: The Taprobana of the ancients certainly was Ceylon.
Sumatra is about 977 statute miles in length, and 200 in its greatest
breadth, so that its circumference must exceed 2500 miles.--E.]

[Footnote 92: By Chini in the text is probably meant _Acheen_ in

We stopt no time at Malacca, but hiring a brigantine we sailed from
thence for the island of Sumatra, and arrived at the city of _Pyder_ or
Pedier about 80 miles from the mainland, where we found an excellent
harbour. The island of Sumatra is governed by four kings, who with their
people are all idolaters, and do not differ much in fashions, apparel,
and manner of life from the inhabitants of Tanaserim. They are of a
whitish colour with large foreheads, round eyes; and of _brasyll_?
colour. They wear their hair long, have very broad and flat noses, and
are of low mean stature. Their money is of gold, silver, and tin. On
one side the gold coin has the head of a _devil_, and on the other a
waggon or chariot drawn by elephants. The silver coin is similar, and
ten of them passes for one of gold; but it requires 25 pieces of tin to
equal one gold piece. In this country there are a greater number and
finer elephants than in any other place I have been in. The people are
by no means warlike, being entirely devoted to merchandise and gain;
they use strangers with much kindness and hospitality, and justice is
well administered. They have in this island great abundance of long
pepper, which in their language is called _Molaga_, and is much longer
and whiter than any other, yet very light and strong; it is sold by
measure like corn, and is to be had in such plenty that twenty ships are
loaded with it every year for _Cathay_, or China, where it is much in
request on account of the coldness of the climate. The tree which
produces this pepper has a larger body, with broader and flatter leaves
than the pepper tree of Calicut. This island produces plenty of silk,
which is the work of worms as with us; but there is another kind brought
forth on the trees spontaneously without any care or labour, which is
worse than the other. Here likewise grows the _laser_ tree, which
produces the precious gum called _Laserpitium_ or _Belzoe_[93], as we
were told by the inhabitants and merchants, but not having myself seen
it I am unable to give any distinct account of this substance. Variety
is always pleasing, and ingenious minds can never be satiated with
contemplating the marvellous and diversified works of God in nature:
Therefore, that the reader may take the more pleasure in these my
writings, or at least may experience less tediousness in reading them, I
have thought good to set down such things as I have seen more at large.
It is therefore to be understood that the reason of no great quantity of
_aloes_ or _Laserpitium_ being brought to us is because it comes from
the farthest parts of the earth. There are three kinds or sorts of
_aloes_, differing greatly in point of goodness. The most perfect is
that called _Calampat_, which is not found in Sumatra, but is brought
from the city of _Sarnau_ near which it grows, as we were told by our
companions the Christian merchants formerly mentioned. There is another
kind of _aloes_ called _Juba_ or _Luba_, brought to Sumatra by the
before mentioned river or strait, but I know not from what country. The
third kind is called _bochor_. These Christian merchants also told us
that none of the finest and best kind of aloes is brought to us, because
it comes from the kingdoms of _Cathay, Chini, Macym, Sarnau_, and
_Gravay_, countries much richer than ours and more abounding in gold,
having kings of great power and riches, who take great delight in sweet
savours and use them much more than our western princes, owing to which
circumstance the true and best kind of _aloes_ is worth ten crowns the
pound even in the city of _Sarnau_.

[Footnote 93: From similarity of names this appears to be _Benzoin_, or
_benzoe_, sometimes called _gum benjamin_; yet from some circumstances
in the sequel it may possibly indicate _camphor_.--E.]

We were taught by the said Christian merchants our companions, how to
know and distinguish the two kinds of the sweet gums called _aloes_ or
_Laserpitium_. One of them had a certain portion of them both, and about
two ounces of the best sort of aloes called _calampat_. Taking a piece
of this in his hand and holding it close for about as long as one might
take to rehearse the psalm _Miserere mei Deus_ three times, the aloes
become hot, and on opening his hand gave out a savour of incredible
sweetness, such as I had never experienced from any other substance. He
took also about the size of a walnut of the common _laserpitium_ or
_belzoe_, and half a pound of that which comes from the city of
_Sarnau_, and putting both into different chaffing-dishes with burning
coals in a close chamber, the small quantity of _belzoe_ far exceeded,
in sweetness of flavour, the other which weighed half a pound, and would
even have done so had it been two pounds weight[94]. In this region also
is found the substance called _lacca_ from which a bright red colour is
procured. This is the gum of a tree not much unlike our walnut tree[95].
In Pedier I saw in one street not less than 500 bankers or exchangers of
money; and at this place they make many curious works, such as fine
baskets garnished with gold, which were sold for two crowns each[96].
This is a famous mart to which innumerable merchants resort. The
inhabitants wear mantles of silk, and _syndones_? made of cotton.

[Footnote 94: It is impossible to determine from the account in the text
what is meant by these articles of sweet scent under the names of
_aloes, laserpitium, belzoe, calampat, luba_, and _bochor_; all of which
seem to be different names of the same substance in different degrees of
quality, and assuredly not the drugs now known by the name of _aloes_
and _benzoin_. There is a sweet-scented wood in the east known by the
name of _lignum aloes_, and possibly the sweet gum called _belzoe_ may
have been extracted from it, or from that which produces the oil of

[Footnote 95: Gum lac, long believed the gum of a tree, is now known to
be the work of insects, serving as a nidus for their young, in the same
manner as bees wax is used by the honey bee.--E.]

[Footnote 96: Perhaps filagree work?--E.]

This country has plenty of wood fit for the construction of ships. Those
which they build are of a strange fashion, named _gunchos_ or junks,
having three masts with two stems and two sterns, having _gouvernals_ or
rudders on both. "When sailing on the ocean and having given their sails
to the wind, if it be afterwards needful to have more sails, not
changing the first they go backwards without turning the ship and using
only one mast[97]." The natives are most expert swimmers, and have a
wonderful contrivance for producing fire in an instant. Their houses are
very low and built of stone, and instead of tiles or thatch they are
covered by the hide of a fish called _tartaruca_! which is found in that
part of the Indian sea, which is so huge a monster that one of their
skins which I saw weighed 330 pounds. There are likewise serpents in
this country much larger than those at Calicut.

[Footnote 97: This account of the mode of navigation is inexplicable, or
at least obscure. Perhaps it is meant to express that they do not tack,
but sail with either end foremost as suits the change of wind or
direction of the ship.--E.]

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

In this voyage to the isle of Banda, we passed about twenty islands,
some of them inhabited and some desert. This island of Banda is very
low, savage, and barren, being about 100 miles in circuit. It has
neither king nor governor, but is inhabited by a savage and brutal
people, who live without law, order, or government, dwelling in low huts
scarcely rising above the ground, and having a scanty shirt for their
whole clothing. Their complexion inclines towards white, and they are of
low stature: They go bareheaded and barefooted, with their hair hanging
down, having broad round foreheads. They are idolaters, and worse even
than the _Poliars_ and _Hyrana_[98] of Calicut, being of dull
apprehension, little strength, and altogether barbarous in their
manners. The soil bears no fruits except nutmegs, which grow on a tree
very much like the peach in its branches and leaves. Before the nut
becomes ripe, the mace expands round like a red rose; but when the nut
ripens the mace closes and embraces the nut, and both are gathered
together, which the natives do without rule or order, catch who catch
may, all things being there in common. The tree yields fruit of its own
nature without grafting or pruning, and it is so common and plentiful
that twenty-six pound weight is sold for three _souses_ or half a
_carline_ of the money which is current at Calicut. These islanders have
no other order of justice than the law of nature, and live therefore
without lawsuits or any of those contentions proceeding from _thine and

[Footnote 98: These are named on a former occasion _Nirani_.--E.]

Having tarried three days in Banda, my companion asked the Christian
merchants where was the region which produces cloves, and they told him
that these were found in an island named _Monoch_ or Molucca, six days
sail from Banda. We therefore resumed our voyage, and came there in
seven days. This island[99] is very narrow, yet is longer than Banda,
and the inhabitants are even more barbarous than those of Banda, for if
it were not for the human shape, they differ in nothing from brutes.
Their colour is whiter, owing to the air being colder. This island
produces cloves, which likewise grow on several small and desolate
islands on its coast. The body of the tree resembles the box-tree, and
has leaves almost like the bay tree. When the cloves are ripe, the
inhabitants beat them off the tree with long canes, having previously
laid matts under the tree to receive them. The soil is sandy, and so low
under the horizon that the north star cannot be seen[100]. The price of
cloves is about double that formerly mentioned for nutmegs, but they are
sold by measure, as the natives are entirely ignorant of the use of

[Footnote 99: Instead of one island, the Moluccas are a group of
islands, the largest of which, Gilolo, is about 200 miles from N. to S.
On its western side are several small islands, the most important of
which for the produce of cloves are Ternate and Tidore. Gilolo was
probably the island visited by Verthema.--E.]

[Footnote 100: A strange mode of expressing that Gilolo is immediately
under the line.--E]

As we were conversing together respecting our voyages, the Christian
merchants addressed me as follows: "Dearly beloved friend, as by the
grace of God we are come thus far in safety, we will, if it so please
you go to visit one of the finest islands in the world, and so rich as
we believe you have never seen. But we must go in the first place to
another island named _Borneo_, where we shall procure a larger vessel,
as we have to cross a deep and rough sea." My companion then desired
them to do as they thought proper. Therefore hiring a larger foist, we
directed our voyage to that island, sailing to the southward both by day
and night, and passing our time in much pleasant conversation. The
merchants, among other things, asked me many questions respecting the
ceremonies and solemnities of the Christian religion as used among us in
Europe. And when I made mention of the _Veronica_ or _Vernacle_ of the
face of Christ[101], and of the heads of St Peter and St Paul, the
chiefest of the apostles, they told me secretly that if I would go with
them, I should become a great man in their country by my knowledge of
these divine things. But being deterred by the length of the journey,
and fearful that I might never be able to get home, I refused to
accompany them. At length we came to Borneo, which is 200 miles from
Molucca and is somewhat bigger[102] and as low under the horizon. The
inhabitant are idolaters of a sharp wit and decent manner of life. Their
complexion inclines towards fair. They do not all dress alike, as some
wear cotton shirts, while others have camblet mantles, and others wear
pointed caps of a red colour. They are under regular government and
submit to laws, which are righteously administered. This island yields
great quantities of _camphor_, which I was told was the gum of a tree;
but I dare not affirm this for fact, as I have never seen the way in
which it is procured.

[Footnote 101: The Veronica among the Catholics, is the handkerchief
with which our Saviour is supposed to have wiped his face during his
passion, which they allege took from his bloody sweat a miraculous
impression or portrait of his countenance.--E.]

[Footnote 102: Instead of being only _somewhat_ larger than Gilolo,
Borneo is perhaps the largest island in the world, except New Holland,
being about 880 English miles in its greatest diameter from S.W. to N.E.
and 550 in the opposite direction at the widest.--E.]

At Borneo my companion hired a light bark for 100 pieces of gold, and
having laid in provisions for the voyage, we directed our course for the
great island of _Gyava_, or Java, to which we came in five days, sailing
towards the south. Our pilot used the mariners compass with loadstone,
and the sea chart as ours do. Observing that the north star could not be
seen, my companion asked the Christian merchants in what manner they
guided their course in those seas. To this the pilot made answer, that
in navigating these southern seas, they were particularly guided by five
stars, and one other particular star which was directly opposite thee
north star, and that they also used the loadstone, which always points
to the north. He said moreover, that beyond the island of Java there was
a certain people who were antipodes to them of European Sarmatia,
inhabiting a cold climate, and as near to the antarctic pole as Sarmatia
is to the arctic, as was evident by the shortness of their day, which
was only four hours long in winter[103], in which conversation we took
much delight.

[Footnote 103: This pilot must have been acquainted with the southern
extremity of South America, or must have built this information on
hypothesis, as there is no known inhabited land of this description to
the South of Java--E.]

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

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

After remaining fifteen days in Java, being weary of the barbarous
manners of the inhabitants, and of the coldness of the country at that
season of the year, we determined to prosecute our voyage back to India,
as there were no other regions in these eastern parts worth seeing.
Wherefore, hiring a light bark, we departed from thence, and having
sailed fifteen days to the north-west, we came to the city of Malacca,
where we remained three days. At this place we took our leave of the
Christian merchants, with sorrowful minds and many friendly embraces. Of
this separation I was sore grieved, and had I been a single man without
wife and children[104], I certainly would never have separated from such
dear friends. Leaving them therefore at Malacca, they remained at that
place, whence they said they meant shortly to return to the city of
_Sana_[105]. My Persian companion and I went on board a foist, in which
we returned to Coromandel. While on this voyage the pilot informed us
that there were about seven thousand small islands in the eastern sea,
beyond Sumatra and Java. While at Malacca my companion bought as much
spices, perfumes of various kinds, and silk, as cost him 5000 pieces of
gold. We were fifteen days on our voyage to Coromandel, and remained
there twenty days. Hiring another foist we sailed thence to the city of
Coulan, where we found twenty-two Portuguese Christians. Fearing they
might seize me as a spy, I began to contrive how I might make my escape
from thence; but as there were many Mahometans there who knew that I had
been on the pilgrimage to Mecca, I changed my purpose, and we soon
afterwards went to Calicut by way of the river, which took us twelve

[Footnote 104: This oblique insinuation of having a wife and children,
is rather contradictory to several circumstances in the early part of
the itinerary of Verthema.--E.]

[Footnote 105: This is probably a mistake for _Sarnau_, whence the
Christians are said to have come.--E.]


_Continuation of the Author's Adventures, after his Return to Calicut._

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

"Multa male timeo, qui feci multa proterve."

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

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

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

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

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

Next day, finding a fit opportunity, I went towards the Portuguese
fortress, which is not above four furlongs from the city of Cananore,
and chanced to meet two Portuguese by the way, at whom I inquired in
Spanish if that were the fortress of the Portuguese. They asked if I
were a Christian? and having answered that I was, they demanded to know
whence I came? I told them that I was from Calicut, on which they said
they would immediately shew me the way to their governor, whose name was
Lorenzo[106], son to the viceroy. They accordingly brought me before
him, and when I was come into his presence, I fell down on my knees, and
entreated him in all humility, for the sake of Christ, to whom I was
consecrated in baptism, that he would have compassion upon me, and
deliver me out of the hands of these infidel dogs. When it was noised
about in the city that I had escaped to the Christians, there began a
stir and mutiny among the people, upon which the governor commanded his
officers and men to put their artillery and all things in readiness,
lest the people in their sudden rage should make any attempt against the
fortress; but every thing was speedily pacified. After this, the
governor took me by the hand into a hall or room by ourselves, and
demanded to know what the king and people of Calicut were preparing to
do against the Christians. I informed him of all things as far as I
knew, having diligently inquired into all their preparations and
designs. When I had thus informed the governor of all I knew, he
appointed a galley commanded by one Joam Serano to carry me to the
viceroy, who was then at Cochin.

[Footnote 106: Don Francisco de Almeyda was viceroy of Portuguese India
from 1507 to 1510, both inclusive, and his son Lorenzo made a
conspicuous figure on several occasions under his father. It is true
that Verthema appears in the present journal to have returned from India
to Europe in the end of 1506 or beginning of 1507; but the dates of the
present journal are exceedingly few and vague, and the incidents which
it relates could hardly have occurred in so short a period as between
the commencement of 1503 and close of 1506.--E.]

The viceroy received me very favourably, and then I gave him an account
of all the warlike preparations at Calicut. After this I humbly implored
pardon for the two Italians, Peter Anthony and John Maria, who had made
artillery for the infidel princes, declaring that they were desirous to
return to the Christians, and would do them good service, for that all
they had hitherto done at Calicut was by constraint, and that all they
asked was a safe conduct and money to defray their charges. The viceroy
listened to my petition, and three days afterwards he sent me back to
Cananore with letters to his son, commanding him to deliver me as much
money as might suffice for the Christian spies at Calicut. At Cananore,
I procured an idolater, who from poverty had been forced to pawn his
wife and children, and engaged him to carry a letter from me to the two
Milanese at Calicut, informing them that the viceroy had granted their
pardon and safe conduct, with money for their charges. I desired them to
make no one privy to their intended departure, and particularly not to
let it be known to their slaves or concubines, each of them having a
concubine, a child, and a slave, and to leave all their goods behind,
except things of great value, such as gold coin and precious stones.
They had a very fine diamond of 32 carats, reckoned to be worth 35,000
crowns; a pearl of 24 carats; 2000 rubies, some of which weighed one
carat, and others a carat and half; upwards of 60 bracelets, garnished
with many fine jewels; and about 1500 pieces of gold coin. But in
consequence of their covetousness, while they sought to save all they
lost all, and their lives to boot; for, not content with carrying off
all these riches, they would needs carry along with them, in spite of
the advice I sent, four guns, three monkeys, two musquets, and two of
those wheels on which precious stones are polished. The attempt to carry
off these bulky articles was the cause of their destruction, as one of
their slaves gave notice to the zamorin or king of Calicut of what was
going on. The zamorin would not at first believe the information,
having conceived a good opinion of their fidelity, yet sent four of his
nairs to examine into the truth of the information. But the slave,
perceiving that the zamorin seemed inclined to deal favourably with
them, went to the cady or chief priest of the Mahometans, and told him
all that he had said to the zamorin, adding that the two Christians had
disclosed all their secrets to the Portuguese. The eddy immediately
convened a council of all the Mahometan merchants, willing them to give
an hundred pieces of gold to the _king of Gioghi_[107], who was then at
Calicut, and to speak to him in the following terms: "It is not unknown
to you, most noble prince, that when your majesty came to this place
some years ago, we received you in a more honourable manner than we are
now enabled to do. The change in our behaviour is not owing to any want
of good will towards you, but is occasioned by the great and manifold
injuries which we have sustained, and are daily suffering from our
mortal enemies the Christians. We have at the present moment a notable
example of this in two Christian traitors now residing in this city, who
have disclosed all our secrets to the Portuguese; and therefore we most
humbly petition that you would be pleased to accept from us an hundred
pieces of gold, and to issue your commands that these traitorous
Christians shall be slain."

[Footnote 107: This king of _Gioghi_ was probably the chief bramin in
the southern part of India, a species of patriarch or pope of the
braminical idolatry, similar to the king of _Joga_, formerly mentioned,
in Guzerat, in these travels of Verthema. In a future part of our
collection we shall have a more favourable opportunity of explaining the
hierarchy of the Hindoos.--E.]

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


_Account of a memorable Battle between the Mahometan Navy of Calicut and
the Portuguese_.

On the 4th of March 1506, intelligence was received at Cananore of the
death of the two Milanese Christians at Calicut, and on the same day the
Calicut fleet set sail from the cities of _Pavan? Capagot? Pandaram_?
and _Trompatam_? It consisted of 208 vessels [108], of which 84 were
ships of considerable size and burden, and the rest were rowing vessels
which are called _paraos_. This great fleet was manned with a prodigious
number of Mahometans richly dressed in purple silk and cotton, also with
high pointed caps after their fashion of the same colour, lined with
silk, having their arms decked with many bracelets, and embroidered
gloves on their hands. For weapons, they had Turkish bows, swords,
lances, _peltes_[109], and all kind of guns made in our manner. When we
saw their fleet proceeding in order and well appointed, it seemed afar
off like a great wood, so numerous were the masts, yet were we in sure
belief that God would give us the victory over the blasphemers of his
holy name, and that we should prevail against the idolaters and
Saracens, the ancient enemies of the religion of the blessed Jesus.
Therefore the valiant knight our governor, Don Lorenzo, the son of Don
Francisco de Almeyda, viceroy of India, who had the supreme command of
twelve Portuguese ships, with the assistance of the admiral, assembled
all the Portuguese soldiers and mariners by sound of trumpet, and spoke
to them after this manner: "Dear friends, and brethren in one God and in
one faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, it is now time for us to consider
that our Lord spared not to give his precious body unto death for our
sakes; wherefore it is our bounden duty to spend our lives in defence of
his glory and of our holy faith, assuring ourselves of victory over
these infidel dogs, who are hated of God, being the progeny of the
devil. Now, therefore, fighting in his holy name and under the banner of
his cross, shew yourselves valiant, as you have now a fair opportunity
to gain eternal fame in defending the glorious cause of your Lord and
Saviour. Therefore, along with me, raising our hearts to God, and our
arms with force and courage against the enemy, in the name of the Lord,
let us manfully give the onset." When Don Lorenzo had spoken these
words, the priest went up to the highest part of the ship, holding in
his hands the picture of Christ nailed to the cross, which he exposed to
the view of all the soldiers, and earnestly exhorted them to remember
the commands of God, and the holy faith in which they were consecrated
by baptism, having no doubt that all their sins should be forgiven to
those who fell in the cause of God. Then blessing them in the name of
the Lord, he pronounced the absolution and forgivenness of their sins.
This exhortation of the priest so moved all our hearts, that tears of
joy ran from our eyes, and we were all animated with a desire of dying
in the holy cause.

[Footnote 108: According to the account of this great armament formerly
given in the History of the Portuguese Transactions in India, the fleet
of the Mahometans and Zamorin on this occasion consisted of 260 paraos,
60 of which exceeded the size of the armed ships then used in India by
the Portuguese. The action between the Portuguese and their enemies is
there stated to have been in 1508.--E.]

[Footnote 109: Perhaps cross-bows, or it may probably signify leathern
targets, or shields made of _pelts_ or skins.--E.]

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

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

Our admiral continued to pursue the enemy, and gave them another great
overthrow, taking seven of their foists laden with various kinds of
merchandise, and sank ten others by the shot of his artillery, one of
which was laden with elephants. Hie enemy, seeing the ocean almost
covered with the bodies of their slain, their principal ships taken,
sunk, or much injured, and having lost all hope of victory, endeavoured
to save themselves by flight. But the Portuguese determined to follow up
their success, and again brought them to battle, which continued a whole
day and night, to the utter discomfiture of the Mahometans, most of
whose vessels were sunk. At this time some of our foists saw a large
ship belonging to the enemy at some distance, and made sail towards her;
but as the enemy saw themselves overmatched, they hurled all their
carriages into the sea [110], after which they leapt overboard
themselves, in hopes to swim on shore, as they are most expert swimmers.
But our men followed them even to the shore with lances, cross-bows,
and stones, killing them while swimming, so that the sea was coloured
with their blood. Yet about 200 of them escaped on shore, after swimming
about 20 miles. These Mahometans are all exceedingly expert swimmers,
being accustomed to it from their early youth; and while we pursued
them, they often dived and remained so long under water, that we thought
they had sunk outright, and when they came up again and floated on the
water, we thought we had been deceived by phantoms. They were however
mostly all destroyed afterwards by one mischance or another, so that on
this occasion the enemy lost a prodigious number of men. After the
battle and pursuit ceased, our admiral sent some boats on shore in
sundry places to number the dead bodies, which had been cast up by the
sea, when about 3000 were found, besides many that had been carried away
by the sea.

[Footnote 110: Perhaps they threw their guns overboard to lighten their
vessel and facilitate their escape.--E.]

The king of Cananore beheld this great victory from the shore, and gave
great commendations to the Portuguese for their valour, and very
deservedly; for, though I have been in many hard-fought battles, I never
saw greater valour than was displayed on this occasion by the
Portuguese. After this great victory, we thought to have enjoyed peace
and security, but worse events ensued; for the king of Cananore, who was
a great friend to the Portuguese, died a few days afterwards, and was
succeeded by a mortal enemy to the Christians, and a great friend to the
zamorin, by whole interest he had been advanced to the kingdom of
Cananore. This new king assembled his forces to make war against the
Portuguese in all haste, believing that much of their ammunition had
been expended in the late naval battle, and that their men were much
wearied, and for the most part wounded, so that they would be unable to
make any great resistance. To aid him on this occasion, the zamorin sent
him 24 pieces of great cannon. This war began on the 7th of April, and
continued to the 20th of August [111], before peace was restored. It
were too long to recount all the brave actions performed by the
Christians in this war against the Mahometans [112], who never
encountered them with less than twenty-five or twenty-six thousand men
and 140 pieces of artillery. The enemy on this occasion were armed in
the manner already mentioned respecting the weapons of the inhabitants
of Calicut, and the Christians in the harness and with the weapons then
used by us in Europe[113].

[Footnote 111: From the context, combined with the date of the late
naval action, as given from the History of the Portuguese Transactions,
this land-war with the rajah of Cananore must have been in 1509.--E.]

[Footnote 112: In the naval battle the principal force at least must
have been Mahometans, as the Hindoos do not use the sea; but, in this
land-war with the new rajah of Cananore, the nairs would constitute the
main force of the enemy, though there might be some Mahometan

[Footnote 113: The European soldiers then wore defensive armour and
shields. And besides matchlocks, their offensive arms were pikes,
swords, and cross-bows.--E.]

In their wars, the infidels divide their army into many _wings_, or
brigades, of two or three thousand men each, only one of which proceeds
to battle at a time, all the rest waiting the result of this charge
before they proceed to join battle. While marching to give battle, it
passes all imagination to conceive the prodigious noise made by
innumerable musical instruments after their fashion, which fill the ears
of their soldiers and encourage them to fight; while in the mean time a
great number of men run before with artificial fireworks[114]. At last
they give the onset with such fury and outcry, that two or three
thousand of them are often able to put to flight 10,000 men who are
unused to this mode of warfare. But God in his merciful providence never
forsakes those who believe in his holy religion, as was now exemplified
in our distress. For, while the Portuguese were in a manner overwhelmed
with the multitude of their enemies, the joyful news arrived that a new
fleet had come from Portugal to Cananore, under the valiant knight Don
Tristan de Cunna, who was immediately informed of the straits to which
we were reduced. He immediately sent us a reinforcement of 300 valiant
soldiers, well provided with defensive armour, and weapons of offence,
after the manner of the Christians. On the arrival of these succours, we
were so encouraged that we would have burnt the city of Cananore, if our
admiral had permitted us. But on learning the arrival of this
reinforcement, the enemy were so cast down that they sought to make
peace with us by every means they could think of, and appointed one
_Mamalmaricar_, a man of great riches and wisdom, to be their
ambassador, with full powers to conclude peace. This man accordingly
waited on our admiral, who told him that he could not make peace without
the authority of the viceroy, who was then at Cochin: Yet it was thought
best not to reject the proffered peace, as, during war, the Portuguese
could not send home their ships with the commodities of India, and for
this reason the viceroy agreed to the conclusion of peace.

[Footnote 114: Probably alluding to a kind of javelins armed with a
species of rockets, which have long been used in the wars of India, and
often produce great disorder among the crowded masses of their
ill-disciplined troops.--E.]

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


_Navigation of the Author to Ethiopia, and return to Europe by Sea._

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

Leaving India on the 7th of December[115], we directed our course to
Ethiopia[116]; and having sailed across the great gulf we came to the
island of _Monzambrick_, or Mozambique, which is under the dominion of
the king of Portugal. But before our arrival there, we saw many towns
and fortresses by the way, belonging to the Portuguese, in the kingdoms
of Melinda and Mombaza. They have also some strong fortresses in
Mozambique and Sofala. Were I to enlarge upon the memorable deeds of the
valiant Tristran de Cunna, on his return from India, I should enter upon
a subject far beyond my powers, being such as would rather require the
pen of a Homer or a Virgil: For he invaded and subdued the great cities
of _Gogia, Pati_, and _Crava[117]_, and also the goodly island of
_Sacutara_, [Socotoro,] where a fortress was erected by order of the
king of Portugal. I omit also to speak of many islands which we saw by
the way, such as the island of _Cumeris_, or Curia Muria, and six
others, which produce plenty of ginger, sugar, and other goodly fruits,
and the most fruitful island of _Penda_, which is likewise subject to
the Portuguese.

[Footnote 115: Probably of the year 1508.--E.]

[Footnote 116: It is hardly necessary to remark, that the term Ethiopia
is here applied to the western coast of Africa on the ocean.--E.]

[Footnote 117: The Gogia of the text is probably Oja, on the coast of
Africa, 17 leagues from Melinda, and Pati may possibly be some
corruption of Paniany, both of these places having been reduced by de
Cunna. Crava may be an error for Brava, on the western coast of

From the island of Mozambique, which belongs to Portugal, it brought
much gold and ivory, but these come from the continent of Ethiopia. This
island is not large, but has a commodious port, and is inhabited by
black Mahometans[118], who are in great want of all the necessaries of
life, having no corn or provisions but what are brought from the
continent. We landed on the continental part of Ethiopia to see the
country, where we saw a barbarous Vagabond people of blacks, both men
and women going entirely naked, except covering their parts of shame
with leaves of trees. Their lips are two fingers thick, their foreheads
very large, and they have great teeth as white as snow. They are
exceedingly timorous and fearful of armed men; wherefore six of us, well
armed with muskets, and accompanied by a black slave who knew the
country, went a considerable way inland to view the country. When we had
gone forwards a days journey, we came to many herds of elephants, and
our guide recommended to us to carry burning firebrands in our hands, as
these beasts are afraid of fire above all things; but we chanced to fall
in with three female elephants that had lately calved, and they could
not be scared by our fire, but followed us so far that we were obliged
to save ourselves by scrambling up a steep mountain.

[Footnote 118: Perhaps this expression ought to have been black-a-moors,
the old name for negroes.--E.]

When we were about ten miles inland, we came to a cave on the side of a
mountain inhabited by some of the black natives, whose manner of speech
was so strange and chattering, like so many apes, that I am unable to
express the manner of their language, which comes near the strange
jargon used by the muleteers of Sicily, when they drive their
mules[119]. Our pilot asked us if we were inclined to purchase any
cattle from these people, saying that we might have them at a very low
price; but suspecting that he either mocked us, or meant, in concert
with the natives, to impose upon us, we said that we had no money. Then
he told us that these people wanted no money, having already gold in
greater plenty than we, which they procure not far from where we were.
On asking him what articles they were desirous of in payment for their
cattle, he said they preferred things of small value, such as pins,
knives, scissars, looking-glasses, hawks-bells, bags, or boxes, to
contain their gold, copper rings, _janglings_ to hang at their timbrils,
bosses, laces, broaches, copper-chains, caskanets, bracelets, and such
like baubles to deck their wives and children. We then said that we
would willingly give them such things for their cattle if they would
bring them to us at the shore; but the pilot said the natives would
drive them to the next mountain, but no farther on any condition. Then
one of our companions said that he had a boss of engraven copper, and a
small bell; and as I had none of such merchandise, and yet was desirous
of eating fresh meat, I said I would give one of my shirts to buy
cattle. The pilot engaged to make our purchases to the best advantage,
and calling five or six of the natives about him, he shewed them our
_goodly jewels,_ and demanded from them _three hundred_ head of cattle.
The natives, not differing much from beasts, answered by signs that they
would only give fifteen. At length we made a bargain, though we still
suspected some deceit; yet they kept their promise, and sent us fifteen
beasts by two of their companions. We had scarcely gone when we heard a
noise and tumult among them, and were in some fear lest these
_troglodites_ might follow to do us some injury, wherefore leaving the
cattle we took to our weapons. But they made signs to us to fear
nothing, and the pilot told us they were quarrelling who should have the
copper boss. Then recovering our cattle, we drove them forward to the
top of the mountain, where we dismissed the two natives, and continued
our journey towards the coast. While driving our cattle past a little
wood, we again fell in with the elephants, which put us in such fear
that we abandoned our cattle and trusted to our feet, making the best of
our way to the island.

[Footnote 119: Perhaps alluding to the _cluck_, which occurs perpetually
in the language of the Hottentots, resembling the sound used in some
parts to urge on a horse, and which is inexpressible in

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

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

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

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

_End of the Voyages of Verthema._




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

[Footnote 120: Hakluyt, II. pp. 359--375. Ed. Lond. 1810.]

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

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

_Cesar Frederick to the Reader._

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


_Voyage from Venice to Bir in Asia Minor._

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

Bir is a small city in which provisions are very scarce, situated in
Asia Minor, [in lat. 37° 5' N. long. 38° E. from Greenwich], the river
Euphrates running near its walls. In this city, the merchants who intend
to descend the Euphrates form themselves into companies or associations,
according to the quantities of merchandise they possess, and either
build or buy a boat to carry themselves and their goods down the
Euphrates to Babylon[121], under the care of a master and mariners hired
to conduct the boat. These boats are almost flat-bottomed and very
strong, yet serve only for one voyage, as it is impossible to navigate
them upwards. They are fitted for the shallowness of the river, which in
many places is full of great stones which greatly obstruct the
navigation. At _Feluchia_ a small city on the Euphrates, the merchants
pull their boats to pieces or sell them for a small price; as a boat
that cost forty or fifty chequins at Bir sells only at Feluchia for
seven or eight chequins. When the merchants return back from Babylon, if
they have merchandise or goods that pay custom, they travel through the
wilderness in forty days, passing that way at much less expence than the
other. If they have no such merchandise, they then go by the way of
Mosul in Mesopotamia, which is attended with great charges both for the
caravan and company. From Bir to _Feluchia_. on the Euphrates, over
against Babylon, which is on the Tigris, if the river have sufficient
water, the voyage down the river may be made in fifteen or eighteen
days; but when the water is low in consequence of long previous drought,
the voyage is attended with much trouble, and will sometimes require
forty or fifty days to get down. In this case the boats often strike on
the stones in the river, when it becomes necessary to unlade and repair
them, which is attended with much trouble and delay; and on this account
the merchants have always one or two spare boats, that if one happen to
split or be lost by striking on the shoals, they may have another ready
to take in their goods till they have repaired the broken boat If they
were to draw the broken boat on the land for repair, it would be
difficult to defend it in the night from the great numbers of Arabs that
would come to rob and plunder them. Every night, when it is necessary to
make fast the boat to the bank, good watch must be kept against the
Arabs, who are great thieves and as numerous as ants; yet are they not
given to murder on these occasions, but steal what they can and run
away. Arquebuses are excellent weapons for keeping off these Arabs, as
they are in great fear of the shot. In passing down the river from Bir
to Feluchia, there are certain towns and villages on the Euphrates
belonging to _the son of Aborise_, king of the Arabs and of the desert,
at some of which the merchants have to pay so many _medins_ of custom on
each bale.

[Footnote 121: It is obvious that Bagdat is here meant.--E.]


_Of Feluchia and Babylon._

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

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


_Of Basora._

From Babylon I embarked in one of those small vessels which ply upon the
Tigris between Babylon and Basora, which are built after the manner of
foists or galliots, having a _speron_[122] and a covered poop. They use
no pumps, being so well daubed with pitch as effectually to exclude the
water. This pitch they have from a great plain near the city of _Heit_
on the Euphrates, two days journey from Babylon. This plain full of
pitch is marvellous to behold, and a thing almost incredible, as from a
hole in the earth the pitch is continually thrown into the air with a
constant great smoke; and being hot it falls as it were sprinkled all
over the plain, in such abundance that the plain is always full of
pitch[123]. The Moors and Arabs of the neighbourhood allege that this
hole is the mouth of Hell; and in truth it is a very memorable object
From this native pitch or bitumen the whole people of that country
derive great benefit, as with it they pay or serve their barks, which
they call _Daneck_ and _Saffin_.

[Footnote 122: In imitation of the original translator Hickocke and
Hakluyt, this word must be left untranslated and unexplained.--E.]

[Footnote 123: This account of the hole which discharges pitch or native
bitumen mixed with water is most true; the water and pitch running into
the valley _or island_, where the pitch remains, and the water runs into
the Euphrates, when it occasions the water for a long way to have a
brackish taste with the smell of pitch and brimstone.--Hakl.]

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

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


_Of Ormuz._

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

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


_Of Goa, Diu, and Cambaya._

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

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

[Footnote 124: This comparison seems made by the translator between
_larines_ and sterling money.--E.]

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

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


_Of Damann, Bassen, Tana, Chaul, and some other places_.

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

Beyond this is Chaul on the continent, where there are two cities, one
belonging to the Portuguese, and the other to the Moors; that which
belongs to the Portuguese is lower than the other, commands the mouth of
the harbour, and is very strongly fortified. About a mile and a half
from this city is that of the Moors, belonging to their king _Zamaluco_,
or Nizam-al-mulk. In time of war no large ships can go to the city of
the Moors, as they must necessarily pass under the guns of the
Portuguese castles, which would sink them. Both cities of Chaul are
sea-ports, and have great trade in all kinds of spices, drugs, raw silk,
manufactures of silk, sandal-wood, _Marsine, Versine_[125], porcelain of
China, velvets and scarlets, both from Portugal and Mecca[126], with
many other valuable commodities. Every year there arrive ten or fifteen
large ships, laden with great nuts called _Giagra_[127], which are cured
or dried, and with sugar made from these nuts. The tree on which these
nuts grow is called the _Palmer_ tree, and is to be found in great
abundance over all India, especially between this place and Goa. This
tree very much resembles that which produces dates, and no tree in the
world is more profitable or more useful to man; no part of it but serves
for some useful purpose, neither is any part of it so worthless as to be
burnt. Of its timber they build ships, and with the leaves they make
sails. Its fruit, or nuts, produce wine, and from the wine they make
sugar and _placetto_[128]. This wine is gathered in the spring of the
year from the middle of the tree, where there is then a continual stream
of clear liquor like water, which they gather in vessels placed on
purpose under each tree, and take them away full every morning and
evening. This liquor being distilled by means of fire, is converted into
a very strong liquor, which is then put into buts with a quantity of
white or black _Zibibs_, and in a short time it becomes a perfect wine.
Of the nuts they make great quantities of oil. The tree is made into
boards and timbers for building houses. Of the bark cables and other
ropes are made for ships which are said to be better than those made of
hemp. The branches are made into bed-steads after the Indian fashion,
and into _Sanasches_? for merchandise. The leaves being cut into thin
slips are woven into sails for all kinds of ships, or into thin mats.
The outer rhind of the nut stamped serves as oakum for caulking ships,
and the hard inner shell serves for spoons and other utensils for
holding food or drink. Thus no portion whatever of this _Palmer_ tree is
so worthless as to be thrown away or cast into the fire. When the nuts
are green, they are full of a sweet water, excellent to drink, and the
liquor contained in one nut is sufficient to satisfy a thirsty person.
As the nut ripens, this liquor turns all into kernel.

[Footnote 125: Formerly noticed as a species of velvet; but the words
marsine and versine were inexplicable in the days of Hakluyt, and must
so remain.--E.]

[Footnote 126: The velvets and scarlet cloths from Mecca were probably
Italian manufactures, brought through Egypt and the Red Sea.--E.].

[Footnote 127: These great nuts must necessarily be the cocoa nuts, and
the palmer tree, on which they grow, the cocoa palm.--E.]

[Footnote 128: Possibly molasses are here meant.--E.]

From Chaul, an infinite quantity of goods are exported for other parts
of India, Macao, Portugal, the coast of Melinda, Ormuz, and other parts;
such as cloth of _bumbast_ or cotton, white, painted, and printed,
indigo, opium, silk of all kinds, borax in paste, asafoetida, iron,
corn, and other things. Nizam-al-Mulk, the Moorish king, has great
power, being able to take the field with 200,000 men, and a great store
of artillery, some of which are made in pieces[129], and are so large
that they are difficultly removed, yet are they very commodiously used,
and discharge enormous stone bullets, some of which have been sent to
the king of Portugal as rarities. The city of _Abnezer[130]_, in which
Nizam-al-Mulk resides, is seven or eight days journey inland from Chaul.
Seventy miles[131] from Chaul toward the Indies, or south, is Dabul, a
haven belonging to Nizam-al-Mulk, from whence to Goa is 150 miles[132].

[Footnote 129: Probably meaning that they were formed of bars hooped or
welded together, in the way in which the famous _Mons meg_, long in
Edinburgh Castle, and now in the tower of London, was certainly

[Footnote 130: Perhaps that now called Assodnagur in the Mahratta
country, about 125 miles nearly east from Chaul.--E.]

[Footnote 131: In fact only about half that distance.--E.]

[Footnote 132: About 165 English miles--E.]


_Of Goa._

Goa, the principal city of the Portuguese in India, in which the viceroy
resides with a splendid court, stands in an island about 25 or 30 miles
in circuit. The city, with its boroughs or suburbs, is moderately large,
and is sufficiently handsome for an Indian city; but the island is very
beautiful, being full of fine gardens, and adorned with many trees,
among which are the _Palmer_, or cocoa-nut trees, formerly mentioned.
Goa trades largely in all kinds of merchandise usual in these parts, and
every year five or six large ships come directly thither from Portugal,
usually arriving about the 6th or 10th of September. They remain there
40 or 50 days, and go from thence to Cochin, where they finish their
lading for Portugal; though they often load one ship at Goa and the
other at Cochin for Portugal. Cochin is 420 miles from Goa. The city of
Goa stands in the kingdom of _Dial-can_, or Adel Khan, a Moorish or
Mahometan king, whose capital, called Bejapour or Visiapour, is eight
days journey inland from Goa[133]. This sovereign has great power; for,
when I was at Goa in 1570, he came to attack that city, encamping with
200,000 men at a river side in the neighbourhood, where he remained
fourteen months, at the end of which a peace was concluded. It was
reported in Goa that a great mortality prevailed in his army during the
winter, which also killed many of his elephants. When I went in 1567
from Goa to _Bezenegur_ or Bijanagur, the capital city of the kingdom of
_Narsinga,_ eight days journey inland from Goa[134], I travelled in
company with two other merchants, who carried with them 300 Arabian
horses for sale to that king; the horses of the country being of small
stature, occasioning Arabian horses to sell at high prices in that part
of India. Indeed it is necessary that the merchants should get good
prices, as they are at great charges in bringing them from Persia to
Ormuz and thence to Goa. At going out of Goa, 42 pagodas are paid of
duty for each horse; the pagoda being a small gold coin worth about 6s.
8d. sterling. In the inland country of Narsinga, the Arabian horses sell
for 300, 400, and 500 ducats each, and some very superior horses sell as
high as 1000 ducats.

[Footnote 133: About 175, N.E. from Goa. In the original it is called

[Footnote 134: The ruins of the royal city of Bijanagur are 190 English
miles nearly due east from Goa.--E.]


_Of the City of Bijanagur._

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

This kingdom of Bijanagur had been governed for thirty years by the
usurpation of three brothers, keeping the lawful king a state prisoner,
and ruling according to their own pleasure, shewing the king only once a
year to his subjects. They had been principal officers under the father
of the king whom they now held a prisoner, who was very young when his
father died, and they assumed the government. The eldest brother was
called _Ram rajah_, who sat in the royal throne and was called king; the
second was named _Temi rajah_, who held charge of the civil government
of the country; and the third, _Bengatre_, was general in chief of the
army. In the great battle against the four Mahometan kings all the three
brothers were present, but the first and the last were never heard of
more, neither dead nor alive. Temi rajah alone escaped from the battle,
with the loss of one eye. On the news of this great defeat coming to the
city of Bijanagur, the wives and children of the three tyrants fled with
the imprisoned king, and the four Mahometan kings entered the city in
great triumph, where they remained for six months, searching everywhere
for money and valuable effects that had been hidden. After this they
departed, being unable to retain possession of so extensive a dominion
at such a distance from their own territory[135].

[Footnote 135: The reason in the text for evacuating the kingdom of
Narsinga, or Bijanagur, is very unsatisfactory, as it in fact bordered
on their dominions. More probably they could not agree on the partition,
each being afraid of the others acquiring an ascendancy, and they
satisfied themselves with the enormous spoils of the capital. This event
has been before mentioned from De Faria.--E.]

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

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

In consideration of the injury done to Bijanagur by the four Mahometan
kings, the king with his court removed from that city in 1567, and went
to dwell in a castle named _Penegonde_, eight days journey inland from
Bijanagur. Six days journey from Bijanagur is the place where diamonds
are got[136]. I was not there, but was told that it is a great place
encompassed by a wall, and that the ground within is sold to the
adventurers at so much per square measure, and that they are even
limited as to the depth they may dig. All diamonds found of a certain
size and above belong to the king, and all below that size to the
adventurers. It is a long time since any diamonds have been got there,
owing to the troubles that have distracted the kingdom of Narsinga: For
the son of Temi rajah having put the imprisoned king to death, the
nobles and great men of the kingdom refused to acknowledge authority of
the tyrant, so that the kingdom has fallen into anarchy, every one
setting up for themselves.

[Footnote 136: The diamond mines of Raolconda are about 90 miles direct
north from the ruins of Bijanagur, on the Kisma. The castle of Penegonde
is not now to be found in the maps of Indostan; but indeed the names of
this ingenious traveller an often unintelligible, and almost always
extremely corrupt.--E.]

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

At the end of two months, I determined to go for Goa, in company with
two Portuguese merchants, who were making ready to depart in two
palankins or small litters, which are very convenient vehicles for
travelling, being carried by eight _falchines_, or bearers, four at a
time, and other four as reliefs. For my own use I bought two bullocks,
one to ride upon and the other to carry my provisions. In that country
they ride upon bullocks, having pannels fastened with girths, and guide
them with bridles. In summer, the journey from Bijanagur to Goa takes
only eight days; but we went in July, which is the middle of winter in
that country, and were fifteen days in going to _Ancola_, on the sea
coast. On the eighth day of the journey I lost both my bullocks. That
which carried my provisions was weak, and could not proceed; and on
passing a river by means of a small foot bridge, I made my other
bullock swim across, but he stopt on a small island in the middle of the
river where he found pasture, and we could devise no means to get him
out. I was under the necessity therefore to leave him, and was forced to
go on foot for seven days, during which it rained almost incessantly,
and I suffered great fatigue. By good fortune I met some
_falchines_[137] by the way, whom I hired to carry my clothes and
provisions. In this journey we suffered great troubles, being every day
made prisoners, and had every morning at our departure to pay four or
five _pagies?_ a man as ransom. Likewise, as we came almost every day
into the country of a new governor, though all tributary to the king of
Bijanagur, we found that every one of them had their own copper coin, so
that the money we got in change one day was not current on the next. At
length, by the mercy of God, we got safe to _Ancola_, which is in the
country of the queen of _Gargopam_[138], a tributary to the king of

[Footnote 137: These _falchines_ of Cesar Frederick are now denominated

[Footnote 138: These names of Ancola and Gargopam are so unintelligibly
corrupted, as not be even conjecturally referable to any places or
districts in our best maps.--E.]

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

Returning to my journey. When we got to _Ancola_, one of my companions
having nothing to lose, took a guide and set out for Goa, which is only
at the distance of four days journey; but as the other Portuguese was
not inclined to travel any farther at this season, he and I remained
there for the winter[139], which beginning on the 15th of May, lasts to
the end of October. While we tarried there, another horse-merchant
arrived in a palanquin, together with two Portuguese soldiers from
Ceylon, and two letter-carriers, who were Christians born in India. All
these persons agreed to go in company to Goa, and I resolved to go with
them; for which purpose, I got a sorry palanquin made for me of canes,
and in the hollow of one of these I concealed all my jewels. According
to the usual custom, I hired eight _falchines_ or bearers, and we set
off one day about eleven o'clock. About two o'clock the same day, as we
were passing a mountain which separates the territory of _Ancola_ from
that belonging to Abel Khan, and while I was a little way behind the
rest of the company, I was assaulted by eight robbers, four of whom were
armed with swords and targets, and the others with bows and arrows. My
bearers immediately let fall the palanquin and ran off, leaving me alone
on the ground wrapped up in my clothes. The robbers instantly came up
and rifled me of every thing I had, leaving me stark naked. I pretended
to be sick and would not quit the palanquin, in which I had made a kind
of bed of my spare clothes. After searching with great industry, the
thieves found two purses in which I had tied up some copper money I had
got in change for four pagodas at Ancola; and thinking this treasure
consisted of gold coin, they searched no farther, and went away,
throwing all my clothes into a bush. Fortunately at their departure they
dropped a handkerchief which I noticed, and getting up I wrapped it up
in my palaquin[140]. In this forlorn condition, I had resolved to pluck
the hollow cane from my palanquin in which my jewels were hid, and to
have endeavoured to make my own way on foot to Goa, using the cane as a
walking stick. But my bearers were so faithful that they returned to
look for me after the robbers departed, which indeed I did not expect,
as they were paid before hand, according to the custom of India. We got
to Goa in four days, during which I fared very badly, as the robbers had
left me no money of any kind, and all I had to eat was given me by my
bearers for God's sake; but after my arrival in Goa, I paid them royally
for what they gave me.

[Footnote 139: This winter of our author, on the coast of Canara, in
about the lat. of 15° N. when the sun is nearly vertical, must be
understood as the rainy season.--E.]

[Footnote 140: This incident in the text is given as fortunate, and
perhaps it ought to have been expressed, "He wrapped it about his loins
and returned to his palanquin."--E.]

From Goa I departed for Cochin, a voyage of 300 miles, there being
several strong-holds belonging to the Portuguese between these two
cities, as Onore, Barcelore, Mangalore, and Cananore. Onore, the first
of these, is in the dominions of the queen of _Battacella_, or
_Batecolah_, who is tributary to the king of Bijanagur. There is no
trade at this place, which is only a military post held by a captain
with a company of soldiers. After this you go to another small castle of
the Portuguese called Mangalore, in which there is only a small trade in
rice. Thence you go to a little fort called Bazelore[141], whence a
great deal of rice is transported to Goa. From thence you go to a city
named Cananore, which is within a musket-shot of the capital of the king
of Cananore who is a Gentile[142]. He and his people are wicked and
malicious, delighting in going to war with the Portuguese; yet when at
peace they find their interest in trading with them. From this kingdom
of Cananore is procured great store of cardomums, pepper, ginger, honey,
cocoa-nuts, and _archa_ or _areka_. This is a fruit about the size of a
nutmeg, which is chewed in all the Indies, and even beyond them, along
with the leaf of a plant resembling ivy called _betel_. The nut is
wrapped up in a leaf of the betel along with some lime made of oyster
shells, and through all the Indies they spend a great deal of money; on
this composition, which they use daily, a thing I could not have
believed if I had not seen it continually practised. A great revenue is
drawn from this herb, as it pays custom. When they chew this in their
mouths, it makes their spittle as red as blood, and it is said to
produce a good appetite and a sweet breath; but in my opinion, they eat
it rather to satisfy their filthy lusts, for this herb is moist and hot,
and causes a strong expulsion.

[Footnote 141: This must be Barcelore, and ought to have been named
before Managalore, as above 50 miles to the north, between Goa and

[Footnote 142: This passage ought to have stood thus "The fort of
Cananore belonging to the Portuguese, only a musket-shot from the city
of that name, the capital of" &c.--E.]

From Cananore you go Cranganore, which is a small fort of the Portuguese
in the country of the king of Cranganore, another king of the Gentiles.
This is a country of small importance of about a hundred miles extent,
full of thieves, subject to the king of Calicut, who is another king of
the Gentiles and a great enemy to the Portuguese, with whom he is
continually engaged in war. This country is a receptacle of foreign
thieves, and especially of those Moors called _Carposa_, on account of
their wearing long red caps. These thieves divide the spoil they get
with the king of Calicut, who gives them leave to go a-roving; so that
there are so many thieves all along this coast, that there is no sailing
in those seas except in large ships well armed, or under convoy of
Portuguese ships of war. From Cranganore to Cochin is 15 miles[143].

[Footnote 143: The direct distance is twenty geographical miles.--E.]


_Of Cochin._

Cochin, next to Goa, is the chief place in India belonging to the
Portuguese, and has a great trade in spices, drugs, and all other kinds
of merchandise for Portugal. Inland from that place is the pepper
country, which pepper is loaded by the Portuguese in bulk not in sacks.
The pepper which is sent to Portugal is not so good as that which goes
up the Red Sea; because in times past the officers of the king of
Portugal made a contract with the king of Cochin for all the pepper, to
be delivered at a fixed price, which is very low; and for which reason
the country people deliver it to the Portuguese unripe and full of dirt.
As the Moors of Mecca give a better price, they get it clean and dry and
in much better condition; but all the spices and drugs which they carry
to Mecca and the Red Sea are contraband and stolen or smuggled. There
are two cities at Cochin, one of which belongs to the Portuguese and the
other to the native king; that of the Portuguese being nearer the sea,
while the native city is a mile and a half farther up the same river.
They are both on the banks of the same large river, which comes from the
mountains in the pepper country[144], in which are many Christians of
the order of St Thomas. The king of Cochin is a Gentile and a steadfast
friend to the king of Portugal, and to all the Portuguese who are
married and have become citizens of Cochin. By the name of Portuguese,
all the Christians are known in India who come from Europe, whether they
be Italians, Frenchmen, or Germans. All those who marry and settle at
Cochin get some office according to the trades they are off, by which
they have great privileges. The two principal commodities in which they
deal are silk which comes in great quantities from China, and large
quantities of sugar, which comes from Bengal. The married citizens pay
no customs for these two commodities; but pay 4s. per centum for all
other goods to the king of Cochin, rating their own goods almost at
their own valuation. Those who are not married pay to the king of
Portugal 8s. per centum for all kinds of commodities. While I was in
Cochin, the viceroy used his endeavours to break the privileges of these
married citizens, that they might pay the same rates of customs with
others. On this occasion the citizens were glad to weigh their pepper in
the night to evade the customs. When this came to the knowledge of the
king of Cochin, he put a stop to the delivery of pepper, so that the
viceroy was glad to allow the merchants to do as formerly.

[Footnote 144: In the version of Cesar Frederick in Hakluyt, it is said
"to come from the mountains of the king of the pepper country, who is a
Gentile, and in whose dominions there are many Christians," &c. as in
the text. This king of the pepper country is probably meant for the
rajah of Travancore. The great river of the text is merely a sound,
which reaches along the coast from Cochin to beyond Coulan, a distance
of above 90 miles, forming a long range of low islands on the sea-coast,
and receiving numerous small rivers from the southern gauts.--E.]

The king of Cochin has small power in comparison with the other
sovereigns of India as he is unable to send above 70,000 men into the
field. He has a great number of gentlemen, some of whom are called
_Amochi_[145] and others _Nairs_. These two sorts of men do not value
their lives in any thing which tends to the honour of their king, and
will run freely into any danger in his service, even if sure to lose
their lives in the attempt. These men go naked from the waist upwards,
and barefooted, having only a cloth wrapped about their thighs. Their
hair is long and rolled up on the top of their heads, and they go always
armed, carrying bucklers and naked swords. The Nairs have their wives in
common among themselves, and when any of them goes into the house of one
of these women, he leaves his sword and buckler at the door, and while
he is within no other dare enter the house. The king's children never
inherit the kingdom after their fathers, lest perchance they may have
been begotten by some other man; wherefore the son of the king's
sisters, or of some female of the royal-blood succeeds, that they may be
sure of having a king of the royal family. Those Naires and their wives
have great holes in their ears by way of ornament, so large and wide as
is hardly credible, holding that the larger these holes are, so much the
more noble are they. I had leave from one of them to measure the
circumference of the hole in one of his ears with a thread; and within
that circumference I put my arm up to the shoulder with my clothes on,
so that in fact they are monstrously large. This is begun when they are
very young, at which time a hole is made in each ear, to which they hang
a piece of gold or a lump of lead, putting a certain leaf into the hole
which causes the hole to increase prodigiously. They load ships at
Cochin both for Portugal and Ormuz: but all the pepper that is carried
to Ormuz is smuggled. Cinnamon and all other spices and drugs are
permitted to be exported to Ormuz or Cambaia, as likewise all other
kinds of merchandise from other parts of India. From Cochin there are
sent yearly to Portugal great quantities of pepper, dry and preserved
ginger, wild cinnamon, areka nuts and large store of cordage made of
_cayro_, that is from the bark of the cocoa-nut tree, which is reckoned
better than that made of hemp. The ships for Portugal depart every
season between the 5th of December and the 5th of January.

[Footnote 145: On former occasions these _amochi_ have been explained as
devoted naires, under a vow to revenge the death of their

From Cochin I went to Coulan, at which is a small fort belonging to the
Portuguese, 72 miles from Cochin. This is a place of small trade, as
every year a ship gets only half a lading of pepper here, and then goes
to Cochin to be filled up. From Cochin to Cape Comorin is 72 miles, and
here ends the Indian coast. Along this coast, and also at Cape Comorin,
and down to the low lands of _Chialon_[146], which is about 200 miles,
there are great numbers of the natives converted to the Christian faith,
and among them are many churches of the order of St Paul, the friars of
which order do much good in these places, and take great pains to
instruct the natives in the Christian faith.

[Footnote 146: These geographical notices are inexplicable, unless by
_Chialon_ is meant the low or maritime parts of Ceylon, which Cesar
Frederick afterwards calls Zeilan.--E.]


_Of the Pearl Fishery in the Gulf of Manaar_.

The men along the coast which extends from Cape Comorin to the low land
of _Chioal_[147], and the island of _Zeilan_ or Ceylon, is called the
pearl-fishery. This fishery is made every year, beginning in March or
April, and lasts fifty days. The fishery is by no means made every year
at one place, but one year at one place, and another year at another
place; all however in the same sea. When the fishing season approaches,
some good divers are sent to discover where the greatest quantities of
oysters are to be found under water; and then directly facing that place
which is chosen for the fishery, a village with a number of houses, and
a bazar all of stone, is built, which stands as long as the fishery
lasts, and is amply supplied with all necessaries. Sometimes it happens
near places already inhabited, and at other times at a distance from any
habitations. The fishers or divers are all Christians of the country,
and all are permitted to engage in this fishery, on payment of certain
duties to the king of Portugal, and to the churches of the friars of St
Paul on that coast. Happening to be there one year in my peregrinations,
I saw the order used in fishing, which is as follows.

[Footnote 147: This word is unintelligible, having no similar name in
modern geography. From the context, it seems to signify the maritime
coast of Tinnevelly and Marwar, or the most southern part of the
Carnatic, opposite to Ceylon; and may possibly be that called _Chialon_
immediately before--E.]

During the continuance of the fishery, there are always three or four
armed foists or galliots stationed to defend the fishermen from pirates.
Usually the fishing-boats unite in companies of three or four together.
These boats resemble our pilot boats at Venice, but are somewhat
smaller, having seven or eight men in each. I have seen of a morning a
great number of these boats go out to fish, anchoring in 15 or 18
fathoms water, which it the ordinary depth all along this coast. When at
anchor, they cast a rope into the sea, having a great stone at one end.
Then a man, having his ears well stopped, and his body anointed with
oil, and a basket hanging to his neck or under his left arm, goes down
to the bottom of the sea along the rope, and fills his basket with
oysters as fast as he can. When that is full, he shakes the rope, and
his companions draw him up with the basket. The divers follow each other
in succession in this manner, till the boat is loaded with oysters, and
they return at evening to the fishing village. Then each boat or company
makes their heap of oysters at some distance from each other, so that a
long row of great heaps of oysters are seen piled along the shore. These
are not touched till the fishing is over, when each company sits down
beside its own heap, and fails to opening the oysters, which is now
easy, as the fish within are all dead and dry. If every oyster had
pearls in them, it would be a profitable occupation, but there are many
which have none. There are certain persons called _Chitini_, who are
learned in pearls, and are employed to sort and value them, according to
their weight, beauty, and goodness, dividing them into four sorts. The
_first_ sort, which are round, are named _aia_ of Portugal, as they are
bought by the Portuguese: The _second_, which are not round, are named
_aia_ of Bengal: The _third_, which are inferior to the second, are
called _aia_ of Canara, which is the name of the kingdom of Bijanagur or
Narsinga, into which they are sold: And the _fourth_, or lowest kind, is
called _aia_ of Cambaia, being sold into that country[148]. Thus sorted,
and prices affixed to each, there are merchants from all countries ready
with their money, so that in a few days all the pearls are bought up,
according to their goodness and weight.

[Footnote 148: Pearls are weighed by _carats_, each of which is four
grains. The men who sort and price them have a copper instrument with
holes of various sizes, by which they estimate their several

In this sea of the pearl-fishery there is an island called _Manaar_,
over-against Ceylon, inhabited by Christians who were formerly Gentiles,
and in which island there is a small fort belonging to the Portuguese.
Between this island and Ceylon there is a narrow channel with a small
depth of water, through which only small ships can pass at the full and
change of the moon, when the tides are high, and even then they must put
their cargoes into lighters to enable them to pass the shoals, after
which they take in their goods again, and proceed on their voyage. But
large ships going for the eastern coast of India pass by the coast of
Coromandel, on the other side of this gulf, beside the land of
_Chilao_[149], which is between the firm land and the isle of Manaar. On
this voyage ships are sometimes lost, but they are empty, as ships going
this way discharge their cargoes at _Periapatam_ into small
flat-bottomed boats named _Tane_, which can run over any shoal without
danger, as they always wait at Periapatam for fine weather. On departing
from Periapatam, the small ships and flat-bottomed boats go always
together, and on arriving at the shoals about thirty-six miles from that
place, they are forced through by the winds, which always blow so
forcibly that they have no means of taking shelter during the passage.
The flat boats go through safely; but if the small ships happen to miss
the proper channel, they get fast on the shoals, by which many of them
are lost. In coming back from the Indies, instead of this passage, they
take the channel of Manaar, which has an ouze bottom, so that even in
case of grounding they are generally got off again without damage. The
reason of not using this passage on the outward voyage is, that the
prevailing winds between Ceylon and Manaar frequently occasion that
channel to have so little water that it cannot be navigated. From Cape
Comorin to the island of Ceylon, the distance is 120 miles.

[Footnote 149: By this account of the matter, the land of _Chilao_
appears to be the island of Ramiseram, between which and the island of
Manaar extends a reef of rocks called _Adams Bridge_. The deep channel
is between Ramiseram and the point of _Tanitory_ on the Coromandel


_Of the Island of Ceylon_

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

The island of Ceylon produces fine cinnamon and abundance of pepper,
with great quantities of _nuts_ and _aroche_[150]. They here make great
quantities of _cayre_ of which ropes are manufactured, as formerly
noticed. It likewise produces great store of that kind of crystal called
_ochi de gati_ or cats eyes, and it is said to produce some rubies; but
on my return thither from Pegu, I sold some rubies here for a good
price, which I had bought in that country. Being desirous to see how the
cinnamon is gathered from the trees, and happening to be there during
the season when it is gathered, which is in the month of April; at this
time the Portuguese were in the field making war on the king of the
country, yet to satisfy my curiosity, I took a guide and went out into a
wood about three miles from the city, where there grew great numbers of
cinnamon trees intermixed among other wild trees. The cinnamon is a
small tree not very high, and has leaves resembling those of the bay
tree. In March or April, when the sap rises, the cinnamon or bark is
taken from the trees. They cut the bark of the trees round about in
lengths, from knot to knot, or from joint to joint, both above and
below, and then easily strip it off with their hands, after which it is
laid in the sun to dry. Yet for all this the tree does not die, but
recovers a new bark by the next year. That which is gathered every year
is the best cinnamon, as what remains upon the trees for two or three
years becomes thick and coarse, and not so good as the other. In these
woods there grows much pepper.

[Footnote 150: The author probably here means cocoa-nuts and areka.--E.]


_Of Negapatam._

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

[Footnote 151: It is not easy to say whether the author means to express
that Negapatam is this great city 72 miles from Ceylon, or if he refers
to another city 72 miles from Negapatam.--E.]


_Of Saint Thome and other places._

Following my voyage from Negapatam 150 miles towards the east, I came to
the house of the blessed apostle St Thomas[152], which is a church held
in great devotion, and is even much reverenced by the Gentiles, for the
great miracles which they have heard were performed by that holy
apostle. Near to this church the Portuguese have built a city, which
stands in the country that is subject to the king of Bijanagur. Though
not large, this city, in my judgment, is the handsomest in all that part
of India, having many good houses with fine gardens in the environs. The
streets are large and in straight lines, with many well frequented
churches; and the houses are built contiguous, each having a small door,
so that every house is sufficiently defensible by the Portuguese against
the natives. The Portuguese have no other property here beyond their
houses and gardens, as the sovereignty, together with the customs on
trade, belong to the king of Bijanagur. These customs are small and
easy, and the country is very rich and has great trade. Every year there
come to this port two or three very large and rich ships, besides many
other small ships. One of these great ships goes to Pegu and the other
to Malacca, laden with fine _bumbast_ or cotton cloth of all kinds, many
of them being beautifully painted, and as it were _gilded_ with various
colours, which grow the livelier the oftener they are washed. There is
also other cotton cloth that is woven of divers colours and is of great
value. They also make at St Thome a great quantity of red yarn, dyed
with a root called _saia_, which never fades in its colour, but grows
the redder the oftener it is washed. Most of this red yarn is sent to
Pegu, where it is woven into cloth according to their own fashion, and
at less cost than can be done at St Thome.

[Footnote 152: St Thome, about 5 miles south from Madras, is about 160
English miles nearly north from Negapatam.--E.]

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

In my return voyage in 1566, I went from Goa to Malacca in a ship or
galleon belonging to the king of Portugal, which was bound for Banda to
lade nutmegs and mace. From Goa to Malacca it is 1800 miles. We passed
without the island of Ceylon and went through the channel of _Nicobar_,
and then through the channel of _Sombrero_, past the island of Sumatra,
called in old times _Taprobana_.[153] Nicobar, off the coast of Pegu,
consists of a great multitude of islands, many of which are inhabited by
a wild people. These islands are likewise called _Andemaon_ or
Andaman.[154] The natives are savages who eat each other, and are
continually engaged in war, which they carry on in small boats, chiefly
to make prisoners for their cannibal feasts. When by any chance a ship
happens to be cast away on those islands, as many have been, the men are
sure to be slain and devoured. These savages have no trade or
intercourse with any other people, but live entirely on the productions
of their own islands. In my voyage from Malacca through the channel of
Sombrero, two boats came off from these islands to our ship laden with
fruit, such as _Mouces_ which we call Adams apples, with fresh cocoa
nuts, and another fruit named _Inani_, much like our turnips, but very
sweet and good to eat. These people could not be prevailed on to come on
board our ship, neither would they accept payment for their fruit in
money, but bartered them for old shirts or old trowsers. These rags were
let down from the ship into their boats by a rope, and when they had
considered what they were worth in their estimation, they tied as much
fruit as they thought proper to give in exchange to the rope, which they
allowed us to hale up. I was told that sometimes a man may get a
valuable piece of amber for an old shirt.

[Footnote 153: The Taprobana or Sielendive of the ancients certainly was
Ceylon, not Sumatra.--E.]

[Footnote 154: The Andaman and Nicobar islands, in long. 93° East from
Greenwich, reach from the lat. of 6° 45' to 15° N.--E.]


_Of the Island of Sumatra and the City of Malacca_.

The island of Sumatra is very large and is governed by many kings, being
divided by many channels through which there is a passage[155]. Towards
the west end is the kingdom of _Assi_ or _Acheen_, under a Mahometan
king who has great military power, besides a great number of
_foists_[156] and gallies. This kingdom produces large quantities of
pepper, besides ginger and benzoin. The king is a bitter enemy to the
Portuguese, and has frequently gone against Malacca, doing great injury
to its dependent towns, but was always bravely resisted by the citizens,
with great injury to his camp and navy, done by their artillery from the
walls and batteries.

[Footnote 155: This assertion is unintelligible, unless the author means
to include a number of small islands off the coast as belonging to

[Footnote 156: Foists are described as a kind of brigantines, rather
larger than half gallies, and much used by the Turks and other eastern
nations in those days for war. _Maons_, formerly mentioned among the
ships of Soliman Pacha in the siege of Diu, are said to have been large
flat-bottomed vessels or hulks, of 700 or 800 tons burden, having
sometimes _seven_ mizen sails.--_Hakluyt_.]

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

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

Sunda is an island of the Moors near the coast of Java, whence pepper is
curried to China. The ship which goes yearly from India to China is
called the _drug ship_, because she carries various drugs of Cambaia,
but her principal lading consists of silver. From Malacca to China the
distance is 1800 miles; and from China there goes every year a large
ship to Japan laden with silk, in return for which she brings back bars
of silver which are bartered in China for goods. The distance between
Japan and China is 2400 miles, in which sea there are several islands of
no great size, in which the friars of St Paul, by the blessing of God,
have made many Christians _like themselves_: But from these islands the
seas have not been fully explored and discovered, on account of the
great numbers of shoals and sand banks [157].

[Footnote 157: The text in this place it erroneous or obscure. The
indicated distance between China and Japan is enormously exaggerated,
and probably ought to have been stated as between Malacca and Japan. The
undiscovered islands and shoals seem to refer to the various islands
between Java and Japan, to the east and north.--E.]

The Portuguese have a small city named Macao on an island near the
coast of China, in which the church and houses are built of wood. This
is a bishopric, but the customs belong to the king of China, and are
payable at the city of Canton, two days journey and a half from Macao,
and a place of great importance. The people of China are heathens, and
are so fearful and jealous that they are unwilling to permit any
strangers to enter their country. Hence when the Portuguese go there to
pay their customs and to buy goods, they are not allowed to lodge within
the city, but are sent out to the suburbs. This country of China, which
adjoins to great Tartary, is of vast size and importance, as may be
judged by the rich and precious merchandise which comes from thence,
than which I believe there are none better or more abundant in quantity
in all the world besides. In the first place it affords great quantities
of gold, which is carried thence to the Indies made into small plates
_like little ships_, and in value 23 _carats_ each[158]; large
quantities of fine silk, with damasks and taffetas; large quantities of
musk and of _occam_[159] in bars, quicksilver, cinabar, camphor,
porcelain in vessels of divers sorts, painted cloth, and squares, and
the drug called Chinaroot. Every year two or three large ships go from
China to India laden with these rich and precious commodities. Rhubarb
goes from thence over land by way of Persia, as there is a caravan every
year from Persia to China, which takes six months to go there and as
long to return. This caravan arrives at a place called _Lanchin_, where
the king and his court reside. I conversed with a Persian who had been
three years in that city of _Lanchin_, and told me that it was a city of
great size and wealth.

[Footnote 158: Perhaps the author may have expressed _of 23 carats

[Footnote 159: Perhaps the mixed metal called tutenag may be here

The voyages which are under the jurisdiction of the captain of Malacca
are the following. Every year he sends a small ship to Timor to load
white sandal wood, the best being to be had in that island. He also
sends another small ship yearly to Cochin-China for aloes wood, which is
only to be procured in that country, which is on the continent adjoining
to China. I could never learn in what manner that wood grows, as the
people of Cochin-China will not allow the Portuguese to go into the
land except for wood and water, bringing provisions and merchandise and
all other things they want to their ships in small barks, so that a
market is held daily on the deck of the ship till she is laden. Another
ship goes yearly from Malacca for Siam to lade _Verzino_[160]. All these
voyages belong exclusively to the captain of Malacca, and when he is not
disposed to make them on his own account he sells them to others.

[Footnote 160: From another part of this voyage it appears that this is
some species of seed from which oil was expressed.--E.]


_Of the City of Siam_.

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

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


_Of the Kingdom of Orissa and the River Ganges_.

This was a fair and well regulated kingdom, through which a man might
have travelled with gold in his hand without danger, so long as it was
governed by its native sovereign who was a Gentile, and resided in the
city of _Catecha_[161] six days journey inland. This king loved
strangers, especially merchants who traded in his dominions, insomuch
that he took no customs from them, neither did he vex them with any
grievous impositions, only that each ship that came thither paid some
small affair in proportion to her tonnage. Owing to this good treatment
twenty-five ships, great and small, used to lade yearly in the port of
Orissa, mostly with rice and with different kinds of white cotton
cloths, oil of _zerzerline_ or _verzino_ which is made from a seed, and
answers well for eating or frying fish, lac, long pepper, ginger, dry
and candied mirabolans, and great store of cloth made from a kind of
silk which grows on trees requiring no labour or cultivation, as when
the _bole_ or round pod is grown to the size of an orange, all they have
to do is to gather it. About sixteen years before this, the Pagan king
of Orissa was defeated and slain and his kingdom conquered, by the king
of _Patane_[162], who was also king of the greatest part of Bengal.
After the conquest of Orissa, this king imposed a duty of 20 per centum
on all trade, as had been formerly paid in his other dominions. But this
king did not enjoy his acquisitions long, being soon conquered by
another tyrant, who was the great Mogul of Delhi, Agra, and Cambaia,
against whom the king of Patane made very little resistance.

[Footnote 161: Cuttack, at the head of the Delta of the Mahamuddy or
Gongah river, in lat. 20° 32' N. lon. 86° 9' E. is probably here meant,
It is only about 45 miles from the sea, but might have been six days
journey from the port where the author took shelter, which probably was

[Footnote 162: Probably so called from residing at Patna, called Patane
in the text.--E.]

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

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

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

"Of _Satagan, Buttor_, and _Piqueno_, in the kingdom of Bengal, no
notices are to be found in the best modern maps of that country, so that
we can only approximate their situation by guess. Setting out from what
the author calls the port of _Orissa_, which has already been
conjectured to be Balasore, the author coasted to the river Ganges, at
the distance of 54 miles. This necessarily implies the western branch of
the Ganges, or _Hoogly_ river, on which the English Indian capital,
_Calcutta_, now stands. _Satagan_ is said to have been 100 miles up the
river, which would carry us up almost to the city of _Sautipoor_, which
may possibly have been _Satagan_. The two first syllables of the name
are almost exactly the same, and the final syllable in Sauti_poor_ is a
Persian word signifying town, which may have been _gan_ in some other
dialect. The entire distance from _Balasore_, or the port of Orissa, to
_Piqueno_ is stated at 170 miles, of which 154 have been already
accounted for, so that Piqueno must have been only about 16 miles above
Satagan, and upon the Ganges[163]."--ED.

[Footnote 163: These observations, distinguished by inverted commas, are
placed in the text, as too long for a note.--E.]


_Of Tanasserim and other Places_.

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

I now return to my unfortunate voyage, where we were among the
uninhabited rocks and islands far from Tanasserim, and in great straits
for victuals. From what was said by the pilot and two Portuguese, that
we were directly opposite the harbour of Tanasserim, we determined to go
thither in out boat to bring provisions, leaving orders to the ship to
await our return. Accordingly, twenty-eight of us went into the boat,
and left the ship about noon one day, expecting to get into the harbour
before night; but, after rowing all that day and the next night, and all
the ensuing day, we could find no harbour nor any fit place to land;
for, trusting to the ignorant counsel of the pilot and the two
Portuguese, we had overshot the harbour and left it behind us. In this
way we twenty-eight unfortunate persons in the boat lost both our ship
and the inhabited land, and were reduced to the utmost extremity, having
no victuals along with us. By the good providence of God, one of the
mariners in the boat had brought a small quantity of rice along with
him, intending to barter it for some other thing, though the whole was
so little that three or four men might have eaten it all at one meal. I
took charge of this small store, engaging, with God's blessing, that it
should serve to keep us all in life, till it might please God to send us
to some inhabited place, and when I slept I secured it in my bosom, that
I might not be robbed of my precious deposit. We were nine days rowing
along the coast, finding nothing but an uninhabited country and desert
islands, where even grass would have been esteemed a luxury in our
miserable state. We found indeed some leaves of trees, but so hard that
we could not chew them. We had wood and water enough, and could only row
along with the flood tide, as when it ebbed we had to make fast our boat
to one of the desert islands. On one of these days, it pleased God that
we discovered a nest or hole, in which were 144 tortoise eggs, which
proved a wonderful help to us, as they were as large as hens eggs,
covered only by a tender skin, instead of a shell. Every day we boiled a
kettle full of these eggs, mixing a handful of rice among the broth. At
the end of nine days, it pleased God that we discovered some fishermen
in small barks, employed in catching fish. We rowed immediately towards
them with much delight and thankfulness, for never were men more glad
than we, being so much reduced by famine that we could hardly stand on
our legs; yet, according to the allotment we had made of our rice, we
still had as much as would have served four days. The first village we
came to was in the gulf of _Tavay_, on the coast of Tanasserim, in the
dominions of Pegu, where we found plenty of provisions; yet for two or
three days after our arrival none of us could eat much, and most of us
were at the point of death. From Tavay to _Martaban_, in the kingdom of
Pegu, the distance is 72 miles[164]. We loaded our boat at Tavay with
provisions sufficient for six months, and then went in our boat to the
city and port of Martaban, in the kingdom of Pegu, and arrived there in
a short time. But not finding our ship there as we hoped, we dispatched
two barks in search of her. They found her in great calamity at an
anchor, with a contrary wind, which was exceedingly unfortunate for the
people, especially as they had been a whole month without a boat, which
prevented them from making any provision of wood and water. The ship,
however, arrived safe, by the blessing of God, in the harbour of

[Footnote 164: On the coast of Tanasserim, in lat. 13° N. is an island
called _Tavay_, so that the gulf of Tavay in the text was probably in
that neighbourhood. Martaban is in lat. 16° 40' N. So that the
difference of latitude is 8° 40', and the distance cannot be less than
250 miles.--E.]


_Of Martaban and the Kingdom of Pegu._

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is no commodity in the Indies worth bringing to Pegu, except
sometimes the opium of Cambay, and if any one bring money he is sure to
lose by it. The only merchandise for this market is the fine painted
calicos of San Thome, of that kind which, on being washed, becomes more
lively in its colours. This is so much in request, that a small bale of
it will sell for 1000 or even 2000 ducats. Also from San Thome they send
great store of cotton yarn, dyed red by means of a root called _saia_,
which colour never washes out. Every year there goes a great ship from
San Thome to Pegu laden with a valuable cargo of these commodities. If
this ship depart from San Thome by the 6th of September, the voyage is
sure to be prosperous; but if they delay sailing till the 12th, it is a
great chance if they are not forced to return; for in these parts the
winds blow firmly for certain times, so as to sail for Pegu with the
wind astern; and if they arrive not and get to anchor before the wind
change, they must perforce return back again, as the wind blows three or
four months with great force always one way. If they once get to anchor
on the coast, they may save their voyage with great labour. There also
goes a large ship from Bengal every year, laden with all kinds of fine
cotton cloth, and which usually arrives in the river of Pegu when the
ship of San Thome is about to depart. The harbour which these two ships
go to is called _Cosmin_. From Malacca there go every year to Martaban,
which is a port of Pegu, many ships, both large and small, with pepper,
sandal-wood, porcelain of China, camphor, _bruneo_[165], and other
commodities. The ships that come from the Red Sea frequent the ports of
Pegu and Ciriam, bringing woollen cloths, scarlets, velvets, opium, and
chequins, by which last they incur loss, yet they necessarily bring them
wherewith to make their purchases, and they afterwards make great profit
of the commodities which they take back with them, from Pegu. Likewise
the ships of the king of Acheen bring pepper to the same ports.

[Footnote 165: Perhaps we ought to read in the text _camphor of

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

From Cosmin to Pegu they go up the river with the flood in six
hours[166]; but if the tide of ebb begin it is necessary to fasten the
bark to the river side, and to remain there till the next flood. This is
a commodious and pleasant passage, as there are many large villages on
both sides of the river which might even be called cities, and in which
poultry, eggs, pigeons, milk, rice, and other things may be had on very
reasonable terms. The country is all level and fertile, and in eight
days we get up to _Macceo_ which is twelve miles from. Pegu, and the
goods are there landed from the barks, being carried thence to Pegu in
carts or wains drawn by oxen. The merchants are conveyed from _Macceo_
to Pegu in close palanquins, called _delings_ or _doolies_, in each of
which one man is well accommodated, having cushions to rest upon, and a
secure covering from the sun or rain, so that he may sleep if he will.
His four _falchines_ or bearers carry him along at a great rate, running
all the way, changing at intervals, two and two at a time. The freight
and customs at Pegu may amount to 20, 22, or 23 per centum, according as
there may be more or less stolen of the goods on paying the customs. It
is necessary therefore for one to be very watchful and to have many
friends; for when the goods are examined for the customs in the great
hall of the king, many of the Pegu gentlemen go in accompanied by their
slaves, and these gentlemen are not ashamed when their slaves rob
strangers, whether of cloth or any other thing, and only laugh at it
when detected; and though the merchants assist each other to watch the
safety of their goods, they cannot look so narrowly but some will steal
more or less according to the nature or quality of the goods. Even if
fortunate enough to escape being robbed by the slaves, it is impossible
to prevent pilfering by the officers of the customs; for as they take
the customs in kind, they oftentimes take the best, and do not rate each
sort as they ought separately, so that the merchant is often, made to
pay much more than he ought. After undergoing this search and deduction
of the customs, the merchant causes his goods to be carried home to his
house, where he may do with them what he pleases.

[Footnote 166: From subsequent circumstances the text is obviously here
incorrect, and ought to have been translated, that the flood tides run
six hours; as it will be afterwards seen that the voyage to a place 12
miles short of Pegu requires eight days of these tide trips of six]

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

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

The merchandises exported from Pegu are gold, silver, rubies, sapphires,
spinels, great quantities of benzoin, long-pepper, lead, lac, rice,
wine, and some sugar. There might be large quantities of sugar made in
Pegu, as they have great abundance of sugar-canes, but they are given as
food to the elephants, and the people consume large quantities of them
in their diet. They likewise spend many of these sugar-canes[167] in
constructing houses and tents for their idols, which they call _varely_
and we name pagodas. There are many of these idol houses, both large and
small, which are ordinarily constructed in a pyramidical form, like
little hills, sugar-loaves or bells, some of them being as high as an
ordinary steeple. They are very large at the bottom, some being a
quarter of a mile in compass. The inside of these temples are all built
of bricks laid in clay mortar instead of lime, and filled up with earth,
without any form or comeliness from top to bottom; afterwards they are
covered with a frame of canes plastered all over with lime to preserve
them from the great rains which fall in this country. Also about these
_varely_ or idol-houses they consume a prodigious quantity of leaf gold,
as all their roofs are gilded over, and sometimes the entire structure
is covered from top to bottom; and as they require to be newly gilded
every ten years, a prodigious quantity of gold is wasted on this
vanity, which occasions gold to be vastly dearer in Pegu than it would
be otherwise.

[Footnote 167: This is certainly an error, and Cesar Frederick has
mistaken the bamboo cane used in such erections for the sugar-cane.--E.]

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


_Voyages of the Author to different parts of India._

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

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

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

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

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

Soon after my arrival at Goa I fell into a severe sickness, which held
me four months; and as my physic and diet in that time cost me 800
ducats, I was under the necessity to sell some part of my rubies, for
which I only got 500 ducats, though well worth 1000. When I began to
recover my health and strength, very little of my money remained, every
thing was so scarce and dear. Every chicken, and these not good, cost me
seven or eight livres, or from six shillings to six and eightpence, and
all other things in proportion; besides which the apothecaries, with
their medicines, were a heavy charge upon me. At the end of six months
the siege of Goa was raised, and as jewels rose materially in their
price, _I began to work_[168]; and as before I had only sold a small
quantity of inferior rubies to serve my necessities, I now determined to
sell all the jewels I had, and to make another voyage to Pegu; and as
opium was in great request at Pegu when I was there before, I went from
Goa to Cambay, where I laid out 2100 ducats in the purchase of 60
parcels of opium, the ducat being worth 4s. 2d. I likewise bought three
bales of cotton cloth, which cost me 800 ducats, that commodity selling
well in Pegu. When I had bought these things, I understood the viceroy
had issued orders that the custom on opium should be paid at Goa, after
which it might be carried anywhere else. I shipped therefore my three
bales of cotton cloth at Chaul, in a vessel bound for Cochin, and went
myself to Goa to pay the duty for my opium.

[Footnote 168: From this expression it may be inferred, that besides his
mercantile speculations in jewels, Cesar Frederick was a lapidary.--E.]

From Goa I went to Cochin, in a ship that was bound for Pegu, and
intended to winter at San Thome; but on my arrival at Cochin I learnt
that the ship with my three bales of cotton cloth was cast away, so that
I lost my 800 seraphins or ducats. On our voyage from Cochin to San
Thome, while endeavouring to weather the south point of Ceylon, which
lies far out to sea, the pilot was out in his reckoning, and laying-to
in the night, thinking that he had passed hard by the Cape of Ceylon;
when morning came we were far within the Cape, and fallen to leeward, by
which it became now impossible to weather the island, as the wind was
strong and contrary. Thus we lost our voyage for the season, and we were
constrained to go to Manaar to winter there, the ship having lost all
her masts, and being saved from entire wreck with great difficulty.
Besides the delay and disappointment to the passengers, this was a heavy
loss to the captain of the ship, as he was under the necessity of hiring
another vessel at San Thome at a heavy charge, to carry us and our goods
to Pegu. My companions and I, with all the rest of the merchants, hired
a bark at Manaar to carry us to San Thome, where I received intelligence
by way of Bengal, that opium was very scarce and dear in Pegu; and as
there was no other opium but mine then at San Thome, for the Pegu
market, all the merchants considered me as a very fortunate man, as I
would make great profit, which indeed I certainly should have done, if
my adverse fortune had not thwarted my well-grounded expectations, in
the following manner: A large ship from Cambaya, bound for _Assi_
[Acheen?] with a large quantity of opium, and to lade pepper in return,
being forced to lay-to in crossing the mouth of the bay of Bengal, was
obliged to go _roomer_[169] for 800 miles, by which means it went to
Pegu, and arrived there one day before me. Owing to this circumstance,
opium, which had been very dear in Pegu, fell to a very low price, the
quantity which had sold before for 50 _bizze_ having fallen to 2-1/2, so
large was the quantity brought by this ship. Owing to this unfortunate
circumstance, I was forced to remain two years in Pegu, otherwise I must
have given away my opium for much less than it cost me, and even at the
end of that time I only made 1000 ducats by what had cost me 2100 in

[Footnote 169: The meaning of this ancient nautical term is here clearly
expressed, as drifting to leeward while laying-to.--E.]

After this I went from Pegu to the Indies[170] and Ormuz, with a
quantity of _lac_. From Ormuz I returned to Chaul, and thence to Cochin,
from which place I went again to Pegu. Once more I lost the opportunity
of becoming rich, as on this voyage I only took a small quantity of
opium, while I might have sold a large quantity to great advantage,
being afraid of meeting a similar disappointment with that which
happened to me before. Being now again resolved to return into my native
country, I went from Pegu to Cochin, where I wintered, and then sailed
for Ormuz.

[Footnote 170: Here, and in various other parts of these early voyages,
India and the Indies seem confined to the western coast of the
peninsula, as it is called, or the Malabar coast.--E.]


_Some Account of the Commodities of India_.

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

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

All the good sandal-wood comes from the island of Timor. Camphor, being
compounded, or having to undergo a preparation, comes all from China.
That which grows in canes[171] comes from Borneo, and I think none of
that kind is brought to Europe, as they consume large quantities of it
in India, and it is there very dear. Good aloes wood comes from
Cochin-China; and benjamin from the kingdoms of _Assi_, Acheen? and
Siam. Musk is brought from Tartary, where it is made, as I have been
told, in the following manner. There is in Tartary a beast as large and
fierce as a wolf, which they catch alive, and beat to death with small
staves, that his blood may spread through his whole body. This they then
cut in pieces, taking out all the bones, and having pounded the flesh
and blood very fine in a mortar, they dry it and put it into purses made
of the skin, and these purses with their contents are the cods of

[Footnote 171: This is an error, as camphor is a species of essential
oil, grossly sublimed at first from a tree of the laurel family, and
afterwards purified by farther processes.--E.]

[Footnote 172: The whole of this story is a gross fabrication imposed by
ignorance on credulity. The cods of musk are natural bags or
emunctories, found near the genitals on the males of an animal named
_Moschus Moschiferus_, or Thibet Musk. It is found through the whole of
Central Asia, except its most northern parts, but the best musk comes
from Thibet.--E.

"The Jewes doe counterfeit and take out the halfe of the goode muske,
beating it up with an equal quantity of the flesh of an asse, and put
this mixture in the bag or purse, which they sell for true

I know not whereof amber is made[173], and there are divers opinions
respecting it; but this much is certain, that it is cast out from the
sea, and is found on the shores and banks left dry by the recess of the
tides. Rubies, sapphires, and spinells are got in Pegu. Diamonds come
from different places, and I know but three kinds of them. The kind
which is called _Chiappe_ comes from _Bezeneger_, Bijanagur? Those that
are naturally pointed come from the land of Delly and the island of
Java, but those of Java are heavier than the others. I could never learn
whence the precious stones called _Balassi_ are procured. Pearls are
fished for in different places, as has been already mentioned. The
substance called Spodium, which is found concreted in certain canes, is
procured in _Cambaza_, Cambaya? Of this concrete I found many pieces in
Pegu, when building myself a house there, as in that country they
construct their houses of canes woven together like mats or basket-work,
as formerly related.

[Footnote 173: Ambergris is probably meant in the text under the name of
Amber, as the former came formerly from India, while the latter is
principally found in the maritime parts of Prussia.--E.]

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


_Return of the Author to Europe_.

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

[Footnote 174: Such is the manner in which the hire of these servants is
expressed in Hakluyt. Perhaps meaning 500 pence; and as the Venetian
_sol_ is about a halfpenny, this will amount to about a guinea, but it
does not appear whether this is the sum for each person, or for all

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

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

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

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

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

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

_End of the Peregrinations of Cesar Frederick_.

       *       *       *       *       *




On the present occasion we are principally guided in our selection by
chronological order, owing to which this _Chapter_ may have an anomalous
appearance, as containing the early voyages of the English to the
Western or Atlantic coast of Africa, while the title of the _Book_ to
which it belongs was confined to the Discoveries and Conquests of the
Portuguese, and other European Nations, in India; yet the arrangement
has been formed on what we have considered as sufficient grounds, more
especially as resembling the steps by which the Portuguese were led to
their grand discovery of the route by sea to India. Our collection
forms a periodical work, in the conduct of which it would be obviously
improper to tie ourselves too rigidly, in these introductory discourses,
to any absolute rules of minute arrangement, which might prevent us from
availing ourselves of such valuable sources of information as may occur
in the course of our researches. We have derived the principal materials
of this and the next succeeding chapter, from Hakluyt's Collection of
the Early Voyages, Travels, and Discoveries of the English Nation, using
the late edition published at London in 1810, and availing ourselves of
the previous labours of the Editor of Astleys Collection, published in
1745. Mr John Green, the intelligent editor of that former collection,
has combined the substance of the present and succeeding chapters of our
work in the second book of his first volume, under the title of The
First Voyages of the English to Guinea and the East Indies; and as our
present views are almost solely confined to the period which he
embraces, we have thought it right to insert his introduction to that
book, as containing a clear historical view of the subject[175]. It is
proper to mention, however, that, while we follow his steps, we have
uniformly had recourse to the originals from which he drew his
materials; and, for reasons formerly assigned, wherever any difference
may occur between our collection and that of Astley, we shall subjoin
our remarks and references, at the place or places to which they

[Footnote 175: Astley's Collection, Vol. I. p. 138, 140.]

"Although the Portuguese were the first who set on foot discoveries by
sea, and carried them on for many years before any other European nation
attempted to follow their example; yet, as soon as these voyages
appeared to be attended with commercial gain, the English were ready to
put in for a share. The Portuguese discovered Guinea about the year
1471; and only ten years afterwards we find the English making
preparations to visit the newly discovered coast[176]. In the year 1481,
John Tintam and William Fabian were busy in fitting out a fleet for the
coast of Guinea; but whether on their own account in whole or in part,
or solely for the Duke of _Medina Sidonia_ in Spain, by whose command
they are said to have done this, cannot be now determined. It is
possible, as the Spaniards were excluded by the Papal grant in favour
of the Portuguese from trading to the East Indies, that they might
endeavour to elude this authority by employing Englishmen in that
navigation. However this may have been, _Joam_ or John II. king of
Portugal, sent two persons on an embassy to Edward king of England, to
renew the ancient league of friendship between the crowns, and to move
him to hinder that fleet from putting to sea. The Portuguese ambassadors
had orders to acquaint the king of England with the title which the king
of Portugal derived from the Pope, to the exclusive sovereignty and
navigation of Guinea, and to demand that Edward should prohibit his
subjects from sending any ships to that country. This was accordingly
done, and the purposes of that intended voyage were frustrated. This is
an authentic testimony of the early attempts of the English, which is
related at length by _Garcia de Resende_, in the life of Joam II. Ch.
33[177]. To this, or some similar circumstance, it may have been owing
that the English desisted so long from sailing to the southwards, and
turned their endeavours to the discovery of a passage to India by some
other way.

[Footnote 176: The French pretend to have traded with Guinea from 1364
till 1413, being 107 years before it was discovered by the
Portuguese.--Astl. I. 138, a.]

[Footnote 177: Cited by Hakluyt, Vol. II. Part 2. p. 2]

"It appears by a memorandum or letter of _Nicholas Thorn_, senior, a
considerable merchant in Bristol, of which Hakluyt gives the
contents[178], that in 1526, and from circumstances for a long time
previous, certain English merchants, among whom were _Nicholas Thorn_
and _Thomas Spacheford_, had frequently traded to the Canary islands. In
that letter or memorandum, notice was given to _Thomas Midnal_ his
factor and _William Ballard_ his servant; residing in St Lucar in
Andalusia, that the Christopher of Cadiz bound for the West Indies, had
taken on board several packs of cloth of different fineness and colours,
together with packthread, soap, and other goods, to be landed at Santa
Cruz in Teneriffe. They are directed to sell these goods, and to send
back returns in Orchil[179], sugar, and kid skins.

[Footnote 178: Id. ib. p. 3.]

[Footnote 179: A species of moss growing on high rocks, much used in
these days in dying.--Astl. I. 138. d.]

"At length, about the middle of the _sixteenth_ century, the English
spirit of trade, meeting with favourable circumstances, began to exert
itself, and to extend its adventures to the south as well as the north.
About the year 1551, Captain Thomas Windham sailed in the ship Lion for
Morocco, whither he carried two Moors of the blood-royal. This was the
first voyage to the western coast of Africa of which we have any
account, and these are all the particulars to be found respecting it;
except that one Thomas Alday, a servant to Sebastian Cabot, in a letter
inserted in Hakluyt's Collection[180], represents himself as the first
promoter of this trade to Barbary, and observes that he would have
performed this voyage himself, with the sole command of the ship and
goods, had it not been that Sir John Lutterel, John Fletcher, Henry
Ostrich, and others with whom he was connected, died of the sweating
sickness, and he himself, after escaping that disease, was seized by a
violent fever, so that Thomas Windham sailed from Portsmouth before he
recovered, by which he lost eighty pounds.

[Footnote 180: Vol. II. p. 7.]

"In the next year, 1552, Windham made a second voyage to _Zafin_ or
_Saffi_ and Santa Cruz without the straits, which gave so much offence
to the Portuguese, that they threatened to treat the English as enemies
if found in these seas. Yet in the year following, the same Thomas
Windham, with a Portuguese named Antonio Yanez Pinteado, who appears to
have been the chief promoter of the attempt, undertook a voyage to
Guinea, with three ships having an hundred and forty men; and having
traded for some time on the coast for gold, they went to Benin to load
pepper: But both the commanders and most of the men dying of sickness,
occasioned by the climate, the rest returned to Plymouth with one ship
only, having burnt the other two for want of hands, and brought back no
great riches. In 1554, Mr John Lok made a voyage with three ships to the
coast of Guinea, whence he brought back a considerable quantity of gold
and ivory. These voyages appear to have been succeeded by others almost
every year. At length, upon application to Queen Elizabeth, two patents
were granted to certain merchants. One in 1585, for the Barbary or
Morocco trade, and the other in 1588, for the trade to Guinea between
the rivers Senegal and Gambia[181]. In 1592, a third patent was granted
to other persons, taking in the coast from the river _Nonnia_ to the
south of Sierra Leona, for the space of 100 leagues, which patents gave
rise to the African company. In all their voyages to the coast of Africa
they had disputes with the Portuguese. Several of these voyages have
been preserved by Hakluyt, and will be found inserted in this chapter,
as forerunners to the English voyages to the East Indies.

[Footnote 181: The former for twelve years, was granted to the Earls of
Leicester and Warwick, and certain merchants of London, to the number of
32 in all. The other for ten years to eight persons of Exeter, London,
and other places. By this latter patent, it appears that this trade was
advised by the Portuguese residing in London, and one voyage had been
made before the grant. See Hakluyt, II. part 2. pp. 114 and 123.--Astl.
I. 139. a.]

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

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

"Although the first voyages of the English to the East Indies are full
of variety, yet the reader is not to expect such a continued series of
new discoveries, great actions, battles, sieges, and conquests, as are
to be met with in the history of the Portuguese expeditions: For it must
be considered that we made few or no discoveries, as these had been
already made before; that our voyages were for the most part strictly
commercial; that our settlements were generally made by the consent of
the natives; that we made no conquests; and that the undertakings were
set on foot and carried on entirely by our merchants[182]. On this
account it is, probably, that we have no regular history extant of the
English Voyages, Discoveries, and Transactions in the East Indies, as we
find there are many such of the Portuguese and Spanish. It may be
presumed, however, that as the East India Company has kept regular
journals of their affairs, and is furnished with letters and other
memorials from their agents, that a satisfactory account of all the
English Transactions in India might be collected, if the Company thought
proper to give orders for its execution[183]."--_Astley_.

[Footnote 182: These observations are to be considered as applying
entirely to the earlier connection of the English with India. In more
modern days there has been a sufficiently copious series of great
actions, battles, sieges, and conquests; but these belong to a different
and more modern period than that now under review, and are more
connected with the province of political military and naval history,
than with a Collection of Voyages and Travels. Yet these likewise will
require to be noticed in an after division of this work.--E.]

[Footnote 183: A commencement towards this great desideratum in English
History has been lately made, by the publication of the early History of
the English East India Company, by John Bruce, Esquire, Historiographer
to the Company.--E.]


_Second Voyage of the English to Barbary, in the year 1552, by Captain
Thomas Windham_[184].

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

[Footnote 184: Hakluyt, II. 463. Astley, I. 140.]

       *       *       *       *       *

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

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

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

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


_A Voyage from England to Guinea and Benin in 1553, by Captain Windham
and Antonio Anes Pinteado_[185].


This and the following voyage to Africa were first published by Richard
Eden in a small collection, which was afterwards reprinted in 4to, by
Richard Willes in 1577[186]. Hakluyt has inserted both these in his
Collection, with Eden's preamble as if it were his own; only that he
ascribes the account of Africa to the right owner[187].

[Footnote 185: Astley, I. 141. Hakluyt, II. 464.--The editor of Astley's
Collection says _Thomas_ Windham; but we have no evidence in Hakluyt,
copying from Eden, that such was his Christian name, or that he was the
same person who had gone twice before to the coast of Morocco. In
Hakluyt, the Voyage is said to have been at the charge of certain
merchant adventurers of London.--E.]

[Footnote 186: Hist. of Travayle in the West and East Indies, &c. by
Eden and Willes, 4to, p. 336.--Astl. I. 141. b.]

[Footnote 187: So far the editor of Astley's Collection: The remainder
of these previous remarks contains the preamble by Eden, as reprinted by
Hakluyt, II. 464.--E.]

"I was desired by certain friends to make some mention of this voyage,
that some memory of it might remain to posterity, being the first
enterprised by the English to parts that may become of great consequence
to our merchants, if not hindered by the ambition of such as conceive
themselves lords of half the world, by having conquered some forty or
fifty miles here and there, erecting certain fortresses, envying that
others should enjoy the commodities which they themselves cannot wholly
possess. And, although such as have been at charges in the discovering
and conquering of such lands, ought in good reason to have certain
privileges, pre-eminences and tributes for the same; yet, under
correction, it may seem somewhat rigorous and unreasonable, or rather
contrary to the charity that ought to subsist among Christians, that
such as invade the dominions of others, should not allow other friendly
nations to trade in places nearer and seldom frequented by themselves,
by which their own trade is not hindered in such other places as they
have chosen for themselves as staples or marts of their trade[188]. But
as I do not propose either to accuse or defend, I shall cease to speak
any farther on this subject, and proceed to the account of the first
voyage to those parts, as briefly and faithfully as I was advertised of
the same, by information of such credible persons as made diligent
inquiry respecting it, omitting many minute particulars, not greatly
necessary to be known; but which, with the exact course of the
navigation, shall be more fully related in the second voyage. If some
may think that certain persons have been rather sharply reflected on, I
have this to say, that favour and friendship ought always to give way
before truth, that honest men may receive the praise of well-doing, and
bad men be justly reproved; that the good may be encouraged to proceed
in honest enterprizes, and the bad deterred from following evil example.

[Footnote 188: Richard Eden here obviously endeavours to combat the
monopoly of trade to the Portuguese discoveries, arrogated by that
nation; although the entire colonial system of all the European nations
has always been conducted upon the same exclusive principles, down to
the present day.--E.]

That these voyages may be the better understood, I have thought proper
to premise a brief description of Africa, on the west coast of which
great division of the world, the coast of Guinea begins at Cape Verd in
about lat. 12° N. and about two degrees in longitude _from the measuring
line_[189]; whence running from north to south, and in some places by
east, within 5, 4, and 3-1/2 degrees into the equinoctial, and so forth
in manner directly east and north, for the space of about 36 degrees in
longitude from west to east, as shall more plainly appear in the second

[Footnote 189: Evidently meaning the first meridian passing through the
island of Ferro, one of the Canaries, from which Cape Verd is about 2°

[Footnote 190: These geographical indications respecting the coast of
Guinea, are extremely obscure, so as to be almost unintelligible.--E.]

       *       *       *       *       *

_Brief Description of Africa, by Richard Eden_[191].

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

[Footnote 191: This brief description of Africa is preserved, rather for
the purpose of shewing what were the ideas of the English on this
subject towards the end of the sixteenth century, than for any

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

To the south is the kingdom of Guinea, with Senega, Jalofo, Gambra, and
many other regions of _the black Moors_, called Ethiopians or Negroes,
all of which regions are watered by the river Negro, called anciently
the Niger[192]. In these regions there are no cities, but only villages
of low cottages made of boughs of trees, plastered over with chalk and
covered with straw; and in these regions there are great deserts.

[Footnote 192: In the text the Senegal river is to be understood by the
Negro, or river of the Blacks. But the ancient Niger is now well known
to run eastwards in the interior of Nigritia, having no connection
whatever with the Senegal or with the sea.--E.]

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

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

On the east side of Africa, to the west of the Red Sea, are the
dominions of the great and mighty Christian king or emperor Prester
John, well known to the Portuguese in their voyages to Calicut. His
dominions reach very far on every side, and he has many other kings
under his authority who pay him tribute, both Christian and Pagan. This
mighty prince is named David emperor of Ethiopia, and it is said that
the Portuguese send him every year eight ships laden with merchandise.
His dominions are bounded on one side by the Red Sea, and stretch far
into Africa towards Egypt and Barbary. To the southwards they adjoin
with the great sea or ocean towards the Cape of Good Hope, and to the
north are bounded by the great and dangerous _Sea of Sand_, lying
between the great city of Cairo in Egypt and the country of Ethiopia; in
which are many uninhabitable deserts continuing for the space of five
days journey. It is affirmed, if the Christian emperor were not hindered
by the deserts, in which there is great want of provisions and
especially of water, that he would ere now have invaded Egypt. The chief
city of Ethiopia, in which this great emperor resides, is called
_Amacaiz_, being a city of some importance, the inhabitants of which are
of an olive complexion. There are many other cities, such as the city of
_Sava_ on the Nile, where the emperor ordinarily resides during the
summer. There is likewise a great city named _Barbaregaf_ and _Ascon_,
whence the queen of Saba is supposed to have gone for Jerusalem to hear
the wisdom of Solomon[193]. This last city though little is very fair,
and one of the principal cities of Ethiopia. In this province there are
many very high mountains, on which the terrestrial paradise is supposed
to have been situated; and some say that the trees of the sun and moon
which are mentioned by the ancients, are to be found there, but no one
has ever been able to go to them, on account of great deserts extending
to an hundred days journey. Also beyond these mountains is the Cape of
Good Hope.

[Footnote 193: The names of places are so corruptly given as hardly even
to be guessed at. Amacaiz may possibly be meant for Amba Keshem, Sava
for Shoa, Barbaregaf for the Baharnagash, and Ascon for Assab.--E.]

_Journal of the Voyage_.

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

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

After their departure from Madeira the worthy captain Pinteado began to
experience affliction from Captain Windham, who had hitherto carried a
fair appearance of good will, but now assumed to himself the sole
command, setting both captain Pinteado and the merchants factors at
nought, giving them opprobrious words and sometimes abusing them most
shamefully with threats of personal ill-treatment. He even proceeded to
deprive captain Pinteado of the service of the boys and others who had
been assigned him by order of the merchant adventurers, reducing him to
the rank of a common mariner, which is the greatest affront that can be
put upon a Portuguese or Spaniard, who prize their honour above all
things. Passing the Canaries, they came to the island of St Nicholas,
one of the Cape Verds, where they procured abundance of the flesh of
wild goats, being almost its only produce. Following their voyage from
thence, they tarried by the way at certain desert islands, not willing
to arrive too early on the coast of Guinea on account of the heat. But
being under an arbitrary rule, they tarried too long, and came at length
to the first land of Guinea at the river _Cesto_[194], where they might
have exchanged their merchandise for a full lading of the _grains_, or
spice of that country, which is a very hot fruit and much like figs; the
fruit being full of grains which are loose within the pod[195]. This
kind of spice is much used in cold countries, and may be sold there to
great advantage in exchange for other commodities. But, by the
persuasion or command rather of our tyrannical captain, our people made
light of this commodity in comparison with the fine gold for which they
thirsted, wherefore they made sail an hundred leagues farther till they
came to the golden land or gold coast.

[Footnote 194: Or Sestre, a river on the Grain coast or Malaguette.--E.]

[Footnote 195: This is the Guinea pepper, called grains of Paradise by
the Italians, whence this part of Guinea was named the grain coast. The
text describes the pods as having a hole on each side, which, it was
afterwards learnt, were for putting thongs, strings or twigs on which to
dry the pods. These pods grow on a humble plant, not above a foot and a
half or two feet from the ground, and are bright red when first

At this part of the coast, not venturing to come near the castle of St
George del Mina belonging to the king of Portugal, they made sale of
their goods only on this side and beyond that place, receiving the gold
of the country in exchange to the extent of 150 pounds weight[196], and
they might have bartered all their merchandise for gold at that place,
if the pride of Windham had allowed him to listen to the counsel and
experience of Pinteado: but not satisfied with what he had got or might
still have procured, if he had remained in the neighbourhood of Mina, he
commanded Pinteado to navigate the ships to Benin under the equinoctial,
150 leagues beyond the Mina, where he expected to have laden the ships
with pepper. When Pinteado urged the lateness of the season, and advised
that instead of going farther they should continue to dispose of their
wares for gold, by which great profit would have been gained, Windham
flew into a passion, called Pinteado a Jew, and gave him much
opprobrious language, saying, "This rascally Jew promised to conduct us
to places that either do not exist or to which he knows not the way, but
if he does not I will cut off his ears and nail them to the mast." The
advice given by Pinteado, not to go farther, was for the safety of the
mens lives, which would have been in great danger at that late season,
during their winter or _rossia_, not so called on account of cold, but
from the heat accompanied with close and cloudy air, alternating with
great tempests, during which the air was of so putrifying a quality as
to rot the clothes on their backs. He had formerly lingered by the way,
to prevent them arriving too soon on the coast, when the heat of the sun
is scorching and unbearable.

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

[Footnote 196: Or 1800 ounces, which at L.3, 17s. 6d. per ounce, is
equal to L.6975 sterling, a large sum in those days.--E.]

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

In the mean time Windham, enraged at Pinteado, broke open his cabin and
all his chests, spoiled all the cordials and sweetmeats he had provided
for his health, and left him nothing either of his cloaths or nautical
instruments; after which strange procedure he fell sick and died. When
he came on board, Pinteado lamented as much for the death of Windham as
if he had been his dearest friend; but several of the mariners and
officers spit in his face, calling him Jew, and asserted that he had
brought them to this place on purpose that they should die; and some
even drew their swords, threatening to slay him. They insisted that he
should leave the coast immediately, and though he only requested them to
wait till those who were left at the court of the king of Benin could be
sent for, they would by no means consent. He then prayed them to give
him a boat, and as much of an old sail as might serve to fit her out, in
which he proposed to bring Nicholas Lambert[197] and the rest to
England, but even this they would not consent to. Finding all his
representations in vain, he wrote a letter to the merchants at court,
informing them of all that had happened at the ships, promising, if God
spared his life, that he would return as soon as possible for them.

[Footnote 197: This Lambert was a Londoner born, his father having been
Lord Mayor of London.--Hakluyt.]

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

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

       *       *       *       *       *

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


_Voyage to Guinea, in 1554, by Captain John Lok_[198].

As in the first voyage of the English to Guinea, I have given rather the
order of the history than the course of navigation, of which I had then
no perfect information; so in this second voyage my chief purpose has
been to shew the course pursued, according to the ordinary custom and
observation of mariners, and as I received it from the hands of an
expert pilot, who was one of the chiefest in this voyage[199], who with
his own hand wrote a brief journal of the whole, as he had found and
tried in all things, not conjecturally, but by the art of navigation,
and by means of instruments fitted for nautical use[200]. Not assuming
therefore to myself the commendations due to another, neither having
presumed in any part to change the substance or order of this journal,
so well observed by art and experience, I have thought fit to publish it
in the language commonly used by mariners, exactly as I received it from
that pilot[201].

[Footnote 198: Hakluyt, II. 470. Astl 1.114. In the first edition of
Hakluyt's collection, this voyage is given under the name of Robert
Gainsh, who was master of the John Evangelist, as we learn by a marginal
note at the beginning of the voyage in both editions.--Astl. I. 144. a.]

[Footnote 199: Perhaps this might be Robert Gainsh, in whose name the
voyage was first published.--Astl. I. 144. b.]

[Footnote 200: Yet the latitudes he gives, if observed, are by no means

In this version we have added the true latitudes and longitudes in the
text between brackets; the longitude from Greenwich always

[Footnote 201: This is the exordium, written by Richard Eden, from whose
work it was adopted by Hakluyt, yet without acknowledgement. In the
title, it appears that this expedition was fitted out as the joint
adventure of Sir George Barne, Sir John York, Thomas Lok, Anthony
Hickman, and Edward Castelin.--E.]

       *       *       *       *       *

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

The 19th at noon we had sight of the isles of Palma, Teneriffe, and
Grand Canarea. The isle of Palma rises round, and stretches from S.E. to
N.W. the north-west part being lowest. In the south is a round hill over
the head-land, with another round hill behind and farther inland.
Between the S.E. end of Madeira and the N.W. part of the island of
Palma, the distance is 57 leagues[202], Palma being in 28°. [lat. 28°
45' N. long 17° 45' W.] Our course between the S.E. end of Madeira and
the N.W. part of Palma was S. and S. by W. so that we had sight of
Teneriffe and the Grand Canary. The S.E. part of Palma and N.N.E. of
Teneriffe lie S.E. and N.W. [rather E. and W.] distance 20 leagues [33
leagues.] Teneriffe and Grand Canarea, with the west part of
Fuertaventura, stand in 27° 30'[203]. Gomera is a fair island, but very
rugged, W.S.W. from Teneriffe, the passage between running from N. by W.
to S. by E. In the south part of Gomera is a town and good road-stead,
in lat. 28° N. Teneriffe is a mountainous island, with a great high peak
like a sugar-loaf, on which there is snow all the year, and by that peak
it may be known from all other islands. On the 20th November we were
there becalmed from six in the morning till four in the afternoon. On
the 22d November, being then under the tropic of Cancer, the sun set W.
and by S. On the coast of Barbary, 25 leagues N. of Cape Blanco, at 3
leagues from shore, we had 15 fathoms water on a good shelly bottom
mixed with sand, and no currents, having two small islands in lat. 22°
20' N.[7] From Gomera to Cape de las Barbas is 100 leagues, [116] the
course being S. by E. That cape is in lat. 22° 30, [22° 15'] all the
coast thereabout being flat, and having 16 and 17 fathoms off shore. All
the way from the river del Oro to Cape Barbas, at 7 or 8 leagues off
shore, many Spaniards and Portuguese employ themselves in fishing during
the month of November, the whole of that coast consisting of very low
lands. From Cape Barbas we held a course S.S.W. and S.W. by S. till we
came into lat. 20° 30', reckoning ourselves 7 leagues off shore, and we
there came to the least shoals of Cape Blanco. We then sailed to the
lat. of 13° N. reckoning ourselves 20 leagues off; and in 15° _we did
rear the crossiers_, or cross stars, and might have done so sooner if we
had looked for them. They are not right across in the month of November,
as the nights are short there, but we had sight of them on the 29th of
that month at night. The 1st of December, being in lat. 13° N. we set
our course S. by E. till the 4th at noon, when we were in 9° 20'
reckoning ourselves 30 leagues W.S.W. from the shoals of the Rio Grande,
which extend for 30 leagues. On the 4th, being in 6° 30', we set our
course S.E. The 9th we changed our course E.S.E. The 14th, being in lat.
5° 30' and reckoning ourselves 36 leagues from the coast of Guinea, we
set our course due E. The 19th, reckoning ourselves 17 leagues from Cape
Mensurado, we set our course E. by N. the said cape being E.N.E. of us,
and the river Sesto E. The 20th we fell in with Cape Mensurado or
Mesurado, which bore S.E. 2 leagues distant. This cape may be easily
known, as it rises into a hummock like the head of a porpoise. Also
towards the S.E. there are three trees, the eastmost being the highest,
the middle one resembling a hay-stack, and that to the southward like a
gibbet. Likewise on the main there are four or five high hills, one
after the other, like round hummocks. The south-east of the three trees
is _brandiernaure?_ and all the coast is a white sand. The said cape
stands within a little of six degrees [lat. 6° 20' N. long. 10° 30' W.]
The 22d we came to the river Sesto or Sesters, where we remained till
the 29th, and we thought it best to send our pinnace before us to the
Rio Dulce, that they might begin the market before the arrival of the
John Evangelist. At the river Sesto, which is in six degrees less one
terce, or 5° 40', we got a ton of grains[205]. From Rio Sesto to Rio
Dulce the distance is 25 leagues, Rio Dulce being in 5° 30' N. The Rio
Sesto is easily known by a ledge of rocks to the S.E. of the road[206],
and at the mouth of the river are five or six trees without leaves. It
is a good harbour, but the entrance of the river is very narrow, and has
a rock right in the mouth. All that coast, between Cape Mount and Cape
Palmas, lies S.E. by E. and N.W. by N. being three leagues
offshore[207], and there are rocks in some places two leagues off,
especially between the river Sesto and Cape Palmas.

[Footnote 202: The real distance is 84 marine leagues, 20 to the

[Footnote 203: The parallel of lat. 28° N. goes through the centre of
Grand Canarea, touching the southern point of Teneriffe, and just
keeping free of the S.W. point of Fuertaventura.--E.]

[204][Footnote 204: 7 Cape Blanco is in lat. 20° 50' N. 25 leagues to
the north, would only reach to lat. 22° 5'; exactly almost in 22° is the
small island of Pedro de Agale.--E.]

[Footnote 205: In the preceding voyage grains have been explained as
Guinea pepper, a species of capsicum.--E.]

[Footnote 206: Rock Sesters is in long. 9° 20' W.]

[Footnote 207: This is not intelligible, unless meant that ships may
anchor for three leagues from the shore.--E.]

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

We arrived at Cape Three-points on the 11th January, and came next day
to a town called _Samma_ or _Samua_, 8 leagues beyond, towards E.N.E.
there being a great ledge of rocks a great way out to sea between Cape
Three-points and that town. We remained four days off that town, the
captain of which desired to have a pledge on shore, but on receiving one
he kept him, and refused to continue trade, even shooting his ordnance
at us, of which he only had two or three pieces[208]. On the 16th of the
month we came to a place called Cape _Corea_[209], where dwelt Don John,
and where we were well received by his people. This Cape Corea is 4
leagues eastward from the castle of _Mina_. We arrived there on the 18th
of the month, making sale of all our cloth except two or three packs. On
the 26th we weighed anchor and went to join the Trinity, which was 7
leagues to the eastwards of us, and had sold most of her wares. Then the
people of the Trinity willed us to go 8 or 9 leagues farther to the
east, to sell part of their wares at a place called _Perecow_, and
another called _Perecow-grande_, still farther east, which is known by a
great hill near it called _Monte Rodondo_ lying to the westwards, and
many palm trees by the water side. From thence we began our voyage
homewards on the 13th of February, and plied along the coast till we
came within 7 or 8 leagues of Cape Three-points. About 8 in the
afternoon of the 15th we cast about to seawards. Whoever shall come from
the coast of Mina homewards, ought to beware of the currents, and should
be sure of making his way good as far west as Cape Palmas, where the
current sets always to the eastwards. About 20 leagues east of Cape
Palmas is a river called _De los Potos_, where abundance of fresh water
and ballast may be had, and plenty of ivory or elephants teeth, which
river is in four degrees and almost two terces, or 4° 40' N. When you
reckon to be as far west as Cape Palmas, being in lat. 1° or 1° 30' N.
you may then stand W. or W. by N. till in lat. 3° N. Then you may go W.
or N.W. by W. till in lat. 5° N. and then N.W. In lat. 6° N. we met
northerly winds and great ruffling tides, and as far as we could judge
the current set N.N.W. Likewise between Cape Mount and Cape Verd there
are great currents, which are very apt to deceive.

[Footnote 208: The pledge was nephew to Sir John Yorke.--_Eden_.]

[Footnote 209: From the context, this seems to have been the place now
called Cape Coast.--E.]

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

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

It is also to be noted that two or three days before we came to Cape
Three-points, the pinnace went along shore endeavouring to sell some of
our wares, and then we came to anchor three or four leagues west by
south of that cape, where we left the Trinity. Then our pinnace came on
board and took in more wares, telling us that they would go to a place
where the Primrose[210] was, and had received much gold in the first
voyage to these parts; but being in fear of a brigantine that was then
on the coast, we weighed anchor and followed them, leaving the Trinity
about four leagues from us. We accordingly rode at anchor opposite that
town, where Martine, by his own desire and with the assent of some of
the commissioners in the pinnace, went on shore to the town, and thence
John Berin went to trade at another town three miles father on. The town
is called Samma or Samua, which and Sammaterra are the two first towns
to the N.E. of Cape Three-points, where we traded for gold.

[Footnote 210: This was one of the ships in the former voyage under

Having continued the course of the voyage as described by the
before-mentioned pilot, I will now say something of the country and
people, and of such things as are brought from thence[211].

[Footnote 211: These subsequent notices seem subjoined by Richard Eden,
the original publisher.--E.]

They brought home in this voyage, 400 pounds weight and odd of
gold[212], twenty-two carats and one grain fine. Also 36 buts of
_grains_, or Guinea pepper, and about 250 elephants teeth of different
sizes. Some of these I saw and measured, which were nine spans in length
measured along the crook, and some were as thick as a mans thigh above
the knee, weighing 90 pounds each, though some are said to have been
seen weighing 125 pounds. There were some called the teeth of calves, of
one, two, or three years old, measuring one and a-half, two, or three
feet, according to the age of the beast. These great teeth or tusks
grow in the upper jaw downwards, and not upwards from the lower jaw, as
erroneously represented by some painters and _arras_ workers. In this
voyage they brought home the head of an elephant of such huge bigness
that the bones or cranium only, without the tusks or lower jaw, weighed
about two hundred pounds, and was as much as I could well lift from the
ground. So that, considering also the weight of the two great tusks and
the under jaw, with the lesser teeth, the tongue, the great hanging
ears, the long big snout or trunk, with all the flesh, brains, and skin,
and other parts belonging to the head, it could not in my opinion weigh
less than five hundred weight. This head has been seen by many in the
house of the worthy merchant Sir Andrew Judde, where I saw it with my
bodily eyes, and contemplated with those of my mind, admiring the
cunning and wisdom of the work-master, without which consideration such
strange and wonderful things are only curiosities, not profitable
subjects of contemplation.

[Footnote 212: Or 4800 ounces, worth, L.18,600 sterling at the old price
of L.3 17s. 6d. per ounce; and perhaps worth in those days as much as
ninety or an hundred thousand pounds in the present day.--E.]

The elephant, by some called oliphant, is the largest of all four-footed
beasts. The fore-legs are longer than those behind; in the lower part or
ancles of which he has joints. The feet have each five toes, but
undivided. The trunk or snout is so long and of such form that it serves
him as a hand, for he both eats and drinks by bringing his food and
drink to his mouth by its means, and by it he helps up his master or
keeper, and also overturns trees by its strength. Besides his two great
tusks, he has four teeth on each side of his mouth, by which he eats or
grinds his food, each of these teeth being almost a span long, as they
lie along the jaw, by two inches high and about as much in breadth. The
tusks of the male are larger than those of the female. The tongue is
very small, and so far within the mouth that it cannot be seen. This is
the gentlest and most tractable of all beasts, and understands and is
taught many things, so that it is even taught to do reverence to kings,
being of acute sense and great judgment. When the female is once
seasoned, the male never touches her afterwards. The male lives two
hundred years, or at least 120, and the female almost as long; but the
flower of their age is reckoned 60 years. They cannot endure our winter
or cold weather; but they love to go into rivers, in which they will
often wade up to their trunk, snuffing and blowing the water about in
sport; but they cannot swim, owing to the weight of their bodies. If
they happen to meet a man wandering in the wilderness, they will go
gently before him and lead him into the right way. In battle they pay
much respect to those who are wounded, bringing such as are hurt or
weary into the middle of the army where they may be defended. They are
made tame by drinking the juice of barley[213].

[Footnote 213: The meaning of this expression is by no means obvious. It
is known that in India, arrack, or a spirituous liquor distilled from
rice, is given regularly to elephants, which may be here alluded

They have continual war with dragons, which desire their blood because
it is very cold; wherefore the dragon lies in wait for the passing of an
elephant, winding its tail of vast length round the hind legs of the
elephant, then thrusts his head into his trunk and sucks out his breath,
or bites him in the ears where he cannot reach with his trunk. When the
elephant becomes faint with the loss of blood, he falls down upon the
serpent, now gorged with blood, and with the weight of his body crushes
the dragon to death. Thus his own blood and that of the elephant run out
of the serpent now mingled together, which cooling is congealed into
that substance which the apothecaries call _sanguis draconis_ or
cinnabar[214]. But there are other kinds of cinnabar, commonly called
_cinoper_ or vermillion, which the painters use in certain colours.

[Footnote 214: It is surely needless to say that this is a mere

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

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

[Footnote 215: It may be proper to mention in this place, that the Niger
and the Senegal, though agreeing in these particulars, are totally
different rivers in the same parallel. The Senegal runs into the sea
from the east; while the Niger running to the east, loses itself in an
interior lake, as the Wolga does in the Caspian, having no connection
whatever with the ocean. According to some accounts, this lake only
exists as such during the rainy season, drying up in the other part of
the year, probably however leaving an extensive marsh, called the
_Wangara_. If so, the environs of that lake and marsh must be unhealthy
in the utmost extreme.--E.]

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

[Footnote 216: Reckoning the longitude from the island of Ferro, the
middle of Abyssinia is only in about 52° 30' E. and as Ferro is 18° W.
from Greenwich, that coincides with 34° 30' E. as the longitude is now
reckoned by British geographers.--E.]

[Footnote 217: It is impossible, in the compass of a note, to enter into
any commentary on this slight sketch of the ancient geography of eastern

The other, or interior Ethiopia, being a region of vast extent, is now
only somewhat known upon the sea-coast, but may be described as follows.
In the first place, towards the south of the equator, is a great region
of Ethiopians, in which are white elephants, _tigers_, (lions) and
rhinoceroses. Also a region producing plenty of cinnamon, which lies
between the branches of the Nile. Also the kingdom of Habesch or
Habasia,[218] a region inhabited by Christians, on both sides of the
Nile. Likewise those Ethiopians called _Ichthyophagi_, or who live only
on fish, who were subdued in the wars of Alexander the Great[219]. Also
the Ethiopians called _Rapsii_ and _Anthropophagi_, who are in use to
eat human flesh, and inhabit the regions near the mountains of the moon.
_Gazatia_ is under the tropic of Capricorn; after which comes the
_front_ of Africa, and the Cape of Good Hope, past which they sail from
Lisbon to Calicut: But as the capes and gulfs, with their names, are to
be found on every globe and chart, it were superfluous to enumerate them

[Footnote 218: It is strange that Habasia or Abyssinia, inhabited by
Christians, should thus be divided from the empire of Prester John.--E.]

[Footnote 219: The Icthyophagi of Alexander dwelt on the oceanic coast
of Persia, now Mekran, between the river Indus and the Persian gulf, not
in Ethiopia.--E.]

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

Some credible persons affirm that, in this voyage to Guinea, they felt a
sensible heat in the night from the beams of the moon; which, though it
seem strange to us who inhabit a cold region, may yet reasonably have
been the case, as Pliny writes that the nature of stars and planets
consists of fire, containing a spirit of life, and cannot therefore be
without heat. That the moon gives heat to the earth seems confirmed by
David, in the 121st psalm, where, speaking of such men as are defended
from evils by the protection of God, he says, "The sun shall not burn
thee by day, neither the moon by night[220]." They said likewise, that
in some parts of the sea they saw streams of water, which they call
_spouts_, falling out of the air into the sea, some of them being as
large as the pillars of churches; insomuch that, when these fall into
ships, they are in great danger of being sunk. Some allege these to be
the cataracts of heaven, which were all opened at Noah's flood: But I
rather consider them to be those fluxions and eruptions said by
Aristotle, in his book de Mundo, to happen in the sea. For, speaking of
such strange things as are often seen in the sea, he writes thus:
"Oftentimes also, even in the sea are seen evaporations of fire, and
such eruptions and breaking forth of springs, that the mouths of rivers
are opened. Whirlpools and fluxions are caused of such other vehement
motions, not only in the midst of the sea, but also in creeks and
straits. At certain times also, a great quantity of water is suddenly
lifted up and carried about by the moon," &c. From these words of
Aristotle it appears, that such waters are lifted up at one time in one
place, and suddenly fall down again in another place at another time. To
this also may be referred what Richard Chancellor told me, as having
heard from Sebastian Cabot, as far as I remember, either on the coast of
Brazil or of the Rio de la Plata, that his ship or pinnace was suddenly
lifted from the sea and cast upon the land, I know not how far. Which,
and other strange and wonderful works of nature considered, and calling
to remembrance the narrowness of human knowledge and understanding,
compared with her mighty power, I can never cease to wonder, and to
confess with Pliny, that nothing is impossible to nature, whose smallest
power is still unknown to man.

[Footnote 220: In our present version the word _smite_ is used instead
of burn. But the quotation in the text is a literal translation from the
Latin vulgate, and agrees with the older English version, still used in
the Book of Common Prayer.--E.]

Our people saw and considered many things in this voyage that are
worthy of notice, and some of which I have thought fit to record, that
the reader may take pleasure, both in the variety of these things, and
in the narrative of the voyage. Among other matters respecting the
manners and customs of these people, this may seem strange, that their
princes and nobles are in use to pierce and wound their skins in such
way as to form curious figures upon it, like flowered damask, which they
consider as very ornamental[221]. Although they go in a manner naked,
yet many of them, and the women especially, are almost loaded with
collars, bracelets, rings, and chains, of gold, copper, or ivory. I have
seen one of their ivory armlets weighing 38 ounces, which was worn by
one of their women on her arm. It was made of one piece of the largest
part of an elephant's tooth, turned and somewhat carved, having a hole
through which to pass the hand. Some have one on each arm and one on
each leg, and though often so galled by them as to be almost lame, they
still persist to use them. Some wear great shackles on their legs of
bright copper, and they wear collars, bracelets, garlands, and girdles
of certain blue stones, resembling beads. Some also of their women wear
upon their arms a kind of _fore-sleeves_[222], made of plates of beaten
gold. They wear likewise rings on their fingers made of gold wire,
having a knot or wreath, like those which children make on rush rings.
Among other golden articles bought by our men, were some dog-collars and

[Footnote 221: Now well known under the name of tatooing.--E.]

[Footnote 222: Sleeves for the fore-arms, or from the elbow to the

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

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

At their coming home, the keels and bottoms of the ships were strangely
overgrown with certain shells, two inches or more in length, as thick as
they could stand, and so large that a man might put his thumb into their
mouths. It is affirmed that a certain slimy substance grows in these
shells, which falls afterwards into the sea, and is changed into the
bird called barnacles[223]. Similar shells have been seen on ships
coming from Ireland, but these Irish barnacles do not exceed half an
inch long. I saw the Primrose in dock, after her return from Guinea,
having her bottom entirely covered over with these shells, which in my
judgment must have greatly impeded her sailing. Their ships also were in
many places eaten into by the worms called _Bromas_ or _Bissas_, which
are mentioned in the Decades[224]. These worms creep between the planks,
which they eat through in many places.

[Footnote 223: This is an old fable not worth confuting. The Barnacle
goose or clakis of Willoughby, anas erythropus of Linnaeus, called
likewise tree-goose, anciently supposed to be generated from drift wood,
or rather from the _lepas anatifera_ or multivalve shell, called
barnacle, which is often found on the bottoms of ships.--See Pennant's
Brit. Zool. 4to. 1776. V. II. 488, and Vol. IV. 64.--E.]

[Footnote 224: Meaning the Decades of Peter Martyr, part of which book
was translated and published by Richard Eden.--Astl I. 149. b.]

In this voyage, though they sailed to Guinea in seven weeks, they took
twenty to return; owing to this cause, as they reported, that about the
coast at Cape Verd the wind was continually east, so that they were
obliged to stand far out into the ocean, in search of a western wind to
bring them home. In this last voyage about twenty-four of the men died,
many of them between the Azores and England, after their return into the
cold or temperate region. They brought with them several black
slaves[225], some of whom were tall strong men, who could well agree
with our meats and drinks. The cold and moist air of England somewhat
offended them; yet men who are born in hot regions can much better
endure cold, than those of cold regions can bear heat; because violent
heat dissolves the radical moisture of the human body, while cold
concentrates and preserves it. It is to be considered as among the
secrets of nature, that while all parts of Africa under the equator, and
for some way on both sides, are excessively hot, and inhabited by black
people, such regions in the West Indies [America], under the same
parallels, are very temperate, and the natives are neither black, nor
have they short curled wool on their heads like the Africans; but are of
an olive colour, with long black hair. The cause of this difference is
explained in various places of the _Decades_. Some of those who were
upon this voyage told me that on the 14th of March they had the sun to
the north of them at noon.

[Footnote 225: In a side note, _five blacke moors_.--E.]


_Voyage to Guinea in 1555, by William Towerson, Merchant of

On Monday the 30th of September 1555, we sailed from the harbour of
Newport, in the Isle of Wight, with two good ships, the Hart and the
Hind, both belonging to London, of which John Ralph and William Carters
were masters, bound on a voyage for the river Sestos, in Guinea, and
other harbours in that neighbourhood. Owing to variable winds, we could
not reach Dartmouth before the 14th of October; and having continued
there till the 20th of that month, we warpt out of the harbour, and set
sail to the S.W. and by next morning had run 30 leagues. On the 1st
November, by the reckoning of our master, we were in lat. 31° N. and
that day we ran 40 leagues. The 2d we ran 36 leagues; and on the 3d we
had sight of Porto Santo, a small island about three leagues long and
one and a-half broad, belonging to the Portuguese, and lying in the
ocean. As we came towards it from the N.N.W. it seemed like two small
hills near each other. The east end of the island is a high land like a
saddle, having a valley which gives it that appearance; while the west
end is lower, with several small round hillocks[227]. Porto Santo is in
about lat. 33° N. The same day at 11 o'clock A.M. we raised the island
of Madeira, which is 12 leagues S.W. from Porto Santo. Madeira is a fine
and fertile island belonging to the Portuguese, and rises from afar like
one great high mountain. By 3 P.M. being athwart of Porto Santo, we set
our course to the S.W. leaving both Madeira and Porto Santo to the
eastwards, being the first land we had seen after leaving England. About
three next morning we were abreast of Madeira, within three leagues of
its west end, and were becalmed under its high land. We estimated having
run 30 leagues in the past day and night. The 4th we remained becalmed
under the west end of Madeira till 1 P.M. when the wind sprung up at
east, and we continued our course S.W. making in the rest of that day 15
leagues. The 5th we ran 15 leagues.

[Footnote 226: Hakluyt, II. 480, Astl. I. 150.--From several passages in
this journal it appears that Towerson had been on the former voyage to
Guinea with Captain Lock; but in the present voyage he appears to have
acted as captain or chief director, and seems to have been the author of
the journal here adopted from Hakluyt.--Astl. I. 150, 2.]

[Footnote 227: The saddle-backed hills of old navigators, are to be
considered in reference to the old demipique or war-saddle, having high
abrupt peaks, or hummocks, at each end, with a flattish hollow

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

The 8th, our due course to fetch the Barbary coast being S.E. by E. we
were unable to keep it by reason of the wind being scant, but lay as
near it as we could, running that day and night 25 leagues. The 9th we
ran 30 leagues; the 10th 25; and 11th, 24 leagues. The 12th we saw a
sail under our lee, which we thought to be a fishing bark, and stood
down to speak with her; but in an hour there came on so thick a fog that
we could neither see that vessel nor our consort the Hind. We
accordingly shot off several guns to give notice to the Hind of our
situation, but she did not hear or answer us. In the afternoon the Hind
fired a gun, which we heard and answered with another gun. About half an
hour afterwards the fog cleared away, and we were within four leagues of
the Barbary coast, when sounding we had 14 fathoms water. The bark also
had come _room_[228] with us, and anchored here likewise, the wind being
contrary for going down the coast, or to the southwards. On falling in
with the land, we could not judge precisely whereabout we were, most of
that coast being low, the forepart of the coast being white like chalk
or sand, _and very deep unto the hard shore_[229]. Immediately on coming
to anchor we began to fish, and got abundance of that kind which the
Portuguese call _Pergosses_, the French _saders_, and our men salt-water
_breams_. Before the fog entirely cleared away, the vessel we had
followed shaped such a course that we lost sight of her, chiefly because
we had bore up to find the Hind again. Our pilot reckoned that we were
upon that part of the coast which is 16 leagues eastwards[230] from the
Rio del Oro.

[Footnote 228: This antiquated nautical word, which occurred before in
the journal of Don Juan de Castro, is here obviously going down the
wind, large, or to leeward.--E.]

[Footnote 229: The meaning of this passage is not obvious, and seems to
want some words to make out the meaning: It may be that the shore is
very steep, or that the water continues deep close to the shore.--E.]

[Footnote 230: Eastwards from Rio del Oro is directly into the land; so
that they must either have been N.N.E. or S.S.W. probably the

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

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

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

[Footnote 231: Sestro river, in the Complete Neptune of the Rev. James
Stanier Clarke, chart. 2, is called Sesters, in lat. 5° 30' N. long. 9°
10' W. from Greenwich. The river St Vincent of the text does not appear
in that chart, but nearly at the indicated distance to the E.S.E. is one
named Sangwin.--E.]

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

[Footnote 232: That is grains of paradise, so the Italians called Guinea
pepper when they first saw it, not knowing what it was. We took the name
from them, and hence came the name of the Grain Coast--Astl. I. 152, a.]

[Footnote 233: Margarits may possibly have been mock pearl beads; the
manels or manellios were bracelets of some kind.--E.]

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

   Sakere, sakere, ho! ho!
   Sakere, sakere, ho! ho!

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

This river called St Vincent is in lat. 4° 30' N[234]. The tide at this
place ebbs and flows every twelve hours, but while we were there the
rise and fall did not exceed 9 feet. So far as we could see, the whole
country was altogether covered with wood, all the kinds of trees being
unknown to us, and of many different sorts, some having large leaves
like gigantic docks, so high that a tall man is unable to reach their
tops. By the sea-side there grow certain pease upon great and long
stalks, one of which I measured and it was 27 paces long. These grow on
the sand like trees, and so very near the sea that we could distinctly
perceive by the water marks that the sea sometimes flows into the woods.
All the trees and other plants of this country are continually green.
Some of the women have exceedingly long breasts, but they are not all
so. All day the wind blows from the sea, and all night from the land,
though we found this to differ sometimes, at which our master was much

[Footnote 234: This latitude would bring us to a river about half way
between the Grand Sesters and Cape Palmas; but which does not agree with
the former circumstances, as they could hardly have been so far to the
S.E. without seeing Cape Palmas. The river Sangwin, which we have before
supposed might be the St Vincent, is in lat. 5° 20' N. almost a degree
farther north.--E.]

This night at 9 o'clock the wind came to east, which used ordinarily to
be at N.N.W. off shore[235]; yet we weighed and hauled off south to
seawards, and next morning stood in again towards the land, whence we
took in 6 tons of water for our ship, the Hind probably taking as much.
On this part of the coast I could not find that the natives had any gold
or other valuable article of trade, for indeed they are so savage and
idle that they give not themselves the trouble to seek for any thing,
for if they would take pains they might easily gather large quantities
of grains, yet I do not believe there were two tons to be had in all
that river. They have many fowls likewise in their woods, but the people
are not at the trouble to catch them. While here I collected the
following words of their language, all of which they speak very thick,
often repeating one word three times successively, and always the last
time longer than the two former.

[Footnote 235: The text here is probably corrupt. The direct off-shore
wind on the grain coast of Africa is N.E. The wind at N.N.W. certainly
is in some degree off-shore, but very obliquely; and the wind at east is
more direct from shore.--E.]

   Bezow! bezow!            Is their salutation.
   Manegete afoye,[236],     Grains enough.
   Crocow afoye,            Hens enough.
   Zeramme afoye,           Have you enough?
   Begge sacke,             Give me a knife.
   Begge come,              Give me bread.
   Borke,                   Silence!
   Contrecke,               You lie!
   Veede,                   Put forth, or empty.
   Brekeke,                 Row!
   Diago, or dabo,          Captain, or chief.

[Footnote 236: In some maps the grain coast is named Malaguete, probably
from this word, and consequently synonimous with the ordinary name. It
is likewise called the Windward coast.--E.]

Towards night on the 18th, while sailing along the coast, we fell in
with some boats or canoes, when the natives expressed by signs that we
were abreast of a river where we might have grains, but we did not think
it right to stop there, lest other ships might get before us. This river
has three great rocks and five small ones lying before it, with one
great tree and a small one close by the river, which exceed all the rest
in height. This night we proceeded 10 leagues along the coast. About
noon of the 19th, while proceeding along shore, three boats came off to
tell us we might have grains, and brought some to shew, but we did not
choose to stop. Continuing our course we anchored at night, having run
this day 10 leagues. On the 20th as the Hind had come to anchor near us
among some rocks and foul ground, she lost a small anchor. While passing
along shore about noon a negro came off to us as before, offering grains
if we would go on shore, and where we anchored at night another brought
us a similar intimation, besides which a fire was kindled on shore, as
if indicating where we might land, which was likewise done on other
parts of the coast when they saw us anchored. Wherever we happened to
anchor on this coast from our first watering place, we always found the
tide [of flood?] running to the westwards, and saw many rocks close
along shore, many others being a league out to sea. This day we ran 12
leagues. The 21st though we sailed all day with a brisk gale, yet so
strong were the tides against us that we were only able to make out 6
leagues. This day likewise some negroes came off to us, offering to deal
in grains if we would land. The 22d we ran all day and night to a double
point called Cabo das Palmas[237].

[Footnote 237: Reckoning the course run as expressed in the text, the
distance measured back from Cape Palmas brings us very nearly to Sangwin
for the river St Vincent of Towerson, as formerly conjectured.--E.]

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

While continuing our course on the 24th about 8 o'clock, some boats came
off to us bringing small soft eggs without shells, and made signs that
we might have fresh water and goats by going on shore. As the master
judged this might be the river of which we were in search, we cast
anchor and sent our boat on shore with a person who knew the river. On
coming near the shore he perceived that it was not the river, and came
therefore back again, and went along shore by the help of sails and
oars, upon which we weighed and sailed likewise along shore. Being now
13 leagues past the cape, the master observed a place which he believed
might be the river, when we were in fact two miles past it. At this time
the boat came off to the ship, reporting that there was no river; yet we
came to anchor, after which the master and I went in the boat with five
men, and on coming near the shore he saw that it was the river for which
he sought. We then rowed in with much difficulty, the entrance being
very much obstructed by a heavy surf. After entering, several boats came
off to us, informing us by signs that they had elephants teeth, and
brought us one of 8 pounds and a small one only one pound weight, both
of which we bought. Then they brought some other teeth to the river
side, giving us to understand by signs that they would sell them to us
if we came next day. We then gave a _manillio_ each to two chiefs, and
departed to the ships. We sent another boat to a different place on
shore, where some of the natives in the canoes at sea made signs that
fresh water was to be had; and on going there they found a town but no
river, yet the people brought them fresh water and shewed an elephants
tooth, making signs that they would sell them such next day. This river
lies 13 leagues beyond Cape Palmas, having a rock to the westwards about
a league out to sea, and there juts out from the river a point of land
on which grow five trees which may be discerned two or three leagues off
when coming from the westwards; but the river itself cannot be seen till
close upon it, and then a small town may be seen on either side, each of
which has a _diago_ or captain. The river is small, but the water is
fresh and good[238]. Two miles beyond the river, where the other town
lies, another point runs oat to sea, which is green like a meadow,
having only six trees growing upon it, all distant from each other,
which is a good mark to know it by, as I have not seen as much bare land
on the whole coast[239]. In this place, and three or four leagues to the
westwards, there grow many palm trees, from which the natives have their
palm wine, all along shore. These trees are easily known almost two
leagues off, as they are very straight, tall and white bodied, and
thickest in the middle, having no limbs or boughs, but only a round bush
of leaves at the top. In this top the natives bore a hole, to which they
hang a bottle or empty gourd, and in this they receive the juice that
runs from the tree, which is their wine.

[Footnote 238: From the indicated distance eastwards from Cape Palmas,
and the description in the text, the river and point in question seem
those called Tabou, in long. 7° 10' W. from Greenwich.--E.]

[Footnote 239: It is hardly necessary to observe that these are very bad
land-marks, being subject to alteration from many causes; besides that
this description is above 250 years old.--E.]

From Cape Palmas to Cape _Tres-puntas_ or Three-points, the distance is
100 leagues east[240]; and from Cape Three-points to the port where we
proposed to sell our cloth are other 40 leagues[241]. The language here,
as far as I could judge, seemed to differ little from that formerly
mentioned. The people likewise dress much in the same manner, or almost
naked, but they were gentler in their manners and better looking. They
chiefly coveted manillios and margarites, and cared very little for the
rest of our wares. About 9 o'clock A.M. some boats came off to us from
both towns, bringing with them some elephants teeth, and having made me
swear by the water of the sea that I would do them no harm, three or
four of them came on board, and we entertained them with such things as
we had, of which they eat and drank as freely as ourselves. We then
bought all their teeth, of which they had 14, 10 being small. On going
away, they desired us to come to their towns next day. Not wishing to
trifle our time at this place, I desired the master to go on the 26th
with two of our merchants to one of the towns, while I went with one
merchant to the other town, the two towns being three miles asunder.
Taking with us to both places some of every kind of merchandise that we
had, the master got nine rather small teeth at one town, while at the
other I got eleven not large. Leaving on board with the [other] master
an assortment of manillios, he bought 12 teeth in our absence from
people who came to the ships. I bought likewise a small goat, and the
master bought five small hens at the other town. Finding that nothing
more was to be done here, as they had no more teeth, we went on board by
one o'clock, P.M. and immediately weighed anchor, continuing our
progress eastward, always within sight of land.

[Footnote 240: Between these two points is what is called the ivory
coast of Guinea: After which is the gold coast to Cape St Pauls; and
then the slave coast.--E.]

[Footnote 241: Forty leagues E.N.E. along the gold coast bring us to
Saccoom or Accra, in the country called Aquamboo.--E.]

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

On the morning of the 3d January 1556, we fell in with Cape
Three-points, having passed during the night one of the Portuguese
castles, which is 8 leagues west from this point[242]. This is a very
high land all grown over with trees, and on coming nearer we perceived
three head-lands, having a kind of two bays between them, which open
directly westwards. The farthest out to sea is the eastern cape. The
middle cape is not above a league from the western cape, though the
chart we had laid them down as 3 leagues asunder. Right before the point
of the middle cape there is a small rock near it, which cannot be seen
from the cape itself, except one be near the shore, and on the top of
this cape there is a great tuft of trees. When abreast of this cape
there is seen close beside it a round green hummock rising from the
main-land. The eastern cape is about a league from the middle one, and
is high land like the other two, and between these there is a little
head or point of land, and several rocks close in shore. About 8 leagues
before we came to cape Three-points the coast trends S.E. by E., and
after passing the cape it runs N.E. by E. About two leagues after
passing Cape Three-points there is a low glade for about two miles in
length, after which the land becomes again high, with several successive
points or headlands, the first of which has several rocks out to sea.
The middle of the three capes runs farthest out to sea southwards, so
that it can be seen a great way off from the coast, when it appears to
rise with two small rocks. We ran this day 8 leagues, and anchored
before night, lest we might overshoot a town named St Johns[243]. In the
afternoon a boat with five men came off from the shore and ranged
alongside of us, as if looking at our flags, but would not come near,
and after looking at us for some time went back to the land. In the
morning of the 4th, while sailing along the coast, we espied a ledge of
rocks close to the shore, to the westwards of which were two green hills
joining together, with a hollow between them resembling a saddle; and,
as the master thought the town we were looking for stood within these
rocks, we manned our boats, taking with us a quantity of cloth and other
goods, with which we rowed on shore; but after going some way along the
shore without finding any town, we returned again on board. About two
leagues to the eastwards from the two saddle hills, a ledge of rocks
stretches almost two miles out to sea, beyond which is a great bay
running N.N.W. while the general stretch of the coast at this place is
from S.W. by W. to N.E. by E. Having with a gentle gale run past that
uttermost headland, we saw a great red cliff, which the master again
judged to be near the town of St Johns, on which we again took our boat
and merchandise and rowed to the shore. We actually found a town on the
top of a hill to which we directed our course, and on seeing us a
considerable number of the inhabitants collected together and waved a
piece of cloth as a signal for us to come in, on which we rowed into an
excellent bay to eastward of the cliff on which the town stands, and on
getting fairly into the bay we let drop our grapnel. After remaining
some time, a boat or canoe came off to us and one of the men in her
shewed us a piece of gold about half a crown weight, requiring us to
give them our measure and weight that they might shew them to their
captain. We accordingly gave them a measure of two ells, and a weight of
two _angels_, as the principles on which we meant to deal. He took these
on shore to their captain; and then brought us back a measure of two
ells one quarter and a half, and one _crusado_ weight of gold, making
signs that they would give so much weight of gold for that measure of
cloth and no more; but this we refused. After staying about an hour, and
finding that they would not deal on our principles, besides
understanding that the best places for trade were all before us, we
returned to our ships, weighed anchor, and stood along shore, going
before in the boat.

[Footnote 242: This was probably Fort St Antonio, at the mouth of the
river Aximer or Ashim.--Astl. I. 155. a.]

[Footnote 243: St Johns river is about 12 leagues E.N.E. of Cape
Three-points, nearly in lat. 5° N. long 2° 10' W.--E.]

Having sailed about a league, we came to a point of land having a long
ledge of rocks running out from it to seawards like the others; and on
passing the ledge our master noticed a place which he said was assuredly
the town of Don John[244]. As the night approached we could not see it
very distinctly, wherefore we came to anchor as near as possible. On the
morning of the 5th it was recognized to be the town we wanted, wherefore
we manned our boats and went towards the shore; but knowing that the
Portuguese had taken away a man from that place the year before, and had
afterwards shot at them with great _bases_[245], driving them from the
place, we let go our grapnel almost a _base_ shot from shore, and lay
there near two hours without any boat coming off to us. At this time
some of our men who had gone in the Hinds boat into the bay to the
eastward of the town, where they found a fine fresh river, waved to us
to join them, because the negroes were seen coming down to that place,
which we did. Immediately afterwards the negroes came down to the shore,
and gave us to know by signs that they had gold, but none of them would
come to our boats, neither indeed did we see that they had any canoes to
come in, so that we suspected the Portuguese had spoiled their boats, as
we saw half their town in ruins. Wherefore, having tarried a good while,
and seeing that they did not come to us, and as we were well armed, we
run the heads of both boats on shore. Upon this the captain of the town
came towards us with his dart in his hand, followed by six tall men each
of whom had a dart and target. Their darts were all headed with iron
well-fashioned and sharp. After this party came another negro carrying
the captains stool. We all saluted the captain respectfully, pulling off
our caps and bowing to him; but he, seeming to consider himself as a man
of consequence, did not move his cap in return, and gravely sat down on
his stool, hardly inclining his body in return to our salute: All his
attendants however, took off their caps and bowed to us.

[Footnote 244: Called St Johns twice before; and we shall see that they
came to another town afterwards called Don Johns, more to the east,
whence it appears that the Don John of the text here is an error for St

[Footnote 245: Probably musketoons or blunderbusses, and certainly some
species of gun or fire-arm.--E.]

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

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

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

We went on shore again on the 7th, and that day I took in our boat 3
pounds 19 ounces[246], so that we had sold most of the cloth we carried
in the boat before noon, by which time many of the negroes were gone,
and the rest seemed to have very little gold remaining; yet they made
signs to us to bring them more latten basins, which I was not inclined
to, not wishing to spend any more time there, but to push forwards for
Don Johns town. But as John Saville and John Makeworth were anxious to
go again, I consented, but did not go myself. They bartered goods for
eighteen ounces of gold and came away, all the natives having departed
at a certain cry or signal. While they were on shore, a young negroe who
could speak a little Portuguese came on board with three others, and to
him I sold 39 basins and two small white saucers, for three ounces of
gold. From what I could pick out, this young fellow had been in the
castle of Mina among the Portuguese, and had got away from them, for he
told us that the Portuguese were bad men, who made the negroes slaves
when they could take them, and put irons on their legs. He said also
that the Portuguese used to hang all the French or English they could
lay hold of. According to his account, the garrison in the castle
consisted of 60 men, and that there came thither every year two ships,
one large and the other a small caravel. He told me farther that Don
John was at war with the Portuguese, which encouraged me to go to his
town, which is only four leagues from the castle, and from which our men
had been driven in the preceding year. This fellow came fearlessly on
board, and immediately demanded why we had not brought back the men we
took away the year before, for he knew that the English had taken away
five negroes. We answered that they were in England, where they were
well received, and remained there till they could speak the language,
after which they were to be brought back to serve as interpreters
between the English and the natives; with which answer he seemed quite
satisfied, as he spoke no more of that matter.

[Footnote 246: This is surely an error, as the troy or bullion pound
contains only 12 ounces. We ought therefore to read 3 pounds 9

Our boats being come on board, we weighed and set sail, and soon
afterwards noticed a great fire on the shore, by the light of which we
could discern a large white object, which was supposed to be the
Portuguese castle of St George del Mina; and as it is very difficult to
ply up to windward on this coast, in case of passing any place, we came
to anchor for the night two leagues from the shore, lest we might
overshoot the town of Don John in the night. This town lies in a great
bay which is very deep[247], and there the people were chiefly desirous
to procure basins and cloth, though they bought a few other trifles, as
knives, horse-tails, and horns; and some of our people who were on shore
sold a cap, a dagger, a hat, and other such articles. They shewed us a
coarse kind of cloth, which I believe was of French manufacture: The
wool was very coarse, and the stuff was striped with various colours, as
green, white, yellow, &c. Several of the negroes at this place wore
necklaces of large glass beads of various colours. At this place I
picked up a few words of their language, of which the following is a
short specimen:

   Mattea! Mattea!       Is their salutation.
   Dassee! Dassee!       I thank you.
   Sheke,                Gold.
   Cowrte,               Cut.
   Cracca,               Knives.
   Bassina,              Basins.
   Foco, foco,           Cloth.
   Molta, Much,          or great plenty[248]

[Footnote 247: This abrupt account of a town, &c. seems to refer back to
that of St John, which they had just left.--E.]

[Footnote 248: This language seems partly corrupted.--_Hakluyt_.

Two of the words in this short specimen have been evidently adopted from
the Portuguese, _bassina_ and _molta_.--E.]

In the morning of the 8th, we had sight of the Portuguese castle of
Mina, but the morning being misty we could not see it distinctly till we
were almost at Don Johns town, when the weather cleared up and we had a
full view of the fort, beside which we noticed a white house on a hill,
which seemed to be a chapel. We stood in towards the shore, within two
English miles of Don Johns town, where we anchored in seven fathoms. We
here found, as in many places before, that the current followed the
course of the wind. At this place the land by the sea is in some places
low, and in others high, everywhere covered with wood. This town of Don
John[249] is but small, having only about twenty huts of the negroes,
and is mostly surrounded by a fence about the height of a man, made of
reeds or sedge, or some such material. After being at anchor two or
three hours, without any person coming off to us, we manned our boats
and put some merchandize into them, and then went with our boats very
near the shore, where we anchored. They then sent off a man to us, who
told us by signs that this was the town belonging to Don John, who was
then in the interior, but would be home at sunset. He then demanded a
reward, as most of these people do on first coming aboard, and on giving
him an ell of cloth he went away, and we saw no more of him that night.
In the morning of the 9th we went again near the shore with our boats,
when a canoe came off to us, from the people in which we were informed
by signs that Don John was not yet come home, but was expected that day.
There came also a man in a canoe from another town a mile from this,
called Don Devis[250], who shewed us gold, and made signs for us to go
there. I then left John Saville and John Makeworth at the town of Don
John, and went in the Hind to the other town, where we anchored, after
which I went in the boat close to the shore near the town. Boats or
canoes soon came off to us, shewing a measure of 4-1/2 yards, and a
weight of an angel and 12 grains, as their rule of traffic, so that I
could make no bargain. All this day our people lay off Don Johns town
and did nothing, being told that he was still absent.

[Footnote 249: Or Don _Juan_. This place stands at Cape Korea or
Cors.--Astl. I. 158. a.

Cape Cors or Korea is now corruptly called Cape coast, at which there is
an English fort or castle of the same name, in lat. 5° 10' N. long. 1°
16' W.--E.]

[Footnote 250: Called afterwards the town of John De Viso.--E.]

We went on the 10th to the shore, when a canoe came off with a
considerable quantity of gold; and after long haggling we at length
reduced their measure to a nail less than three ells, and brought up
their weight to an angel and twenty grains, after which, in about a
quarter of an hour, I sold cloth for a pound and a quarter of an ounce
of gold. They then made signs for me to tarry till they had parted their
cloth among them on shore, after their custom, and away they went and
spread all their cloth on the sand. At this time a man came running from
the town and spoke with them, and immediately they all hastened away
into the woods to hide their cloth and gold. We suspected some
treachery, and though invited by signs to land we would not, but
returned on board the Hind, whence we could see 30 men on the hill, whom
we judged to be Portuguese, who went up to the top of the hill, where
they drew up with a flag. Being desirous to know what the people of the
Hart were about, I went to her in the Hind's boat, and on nearing her
was surprised on seeing her shoot off two pieces of ordnance. I then
made as much haste as possible, and met her boat and skiff coming with
all speed from the shore. We all met on board the Hart, when they told
me that they had been on shore all day, where they had given 3-1/2 yards
of cloth to each of Don Johns two sons, and three basins between them,
and had delivered 3 yards more cloth at the agreed weight of an angel
and 12 grains. That while remaining on shore for an answer, some
Portuguese had come running down the hill upon them, of which the
negroes had given them warning shortly before, but they understood them
not. The sons of Don John had conspired with the Portuguese against
them, so that they were almost taken by surprise; yet they recovered
their boat and pushed off from the shore, on which the Portuguese
discharged their calivers or muskets at them, but hurt none of them; in
revenge for which hostility, the people in the ship had fired off the
two guns formerly mentioned. We now laid _bases[251]_ into both the
boats and the skiff, manning and arming them all, and went again towards
the shore; but being unable to land on account of the wind, we lay off
at the distance of about 200 yards, whence we fired against the
Portuguese, but could not injure them as they were sheltered by the
hill. They fired upon us in return from the hills and rocks, the negroes
standing by to help them, more from fear than love. Seeing the negroes
in such subjection that they durst not deal with us, we returned on
board; and as the wind kept at east all night, we were unable to fetch
the Hind, but I took the boat and went on board in the night, to see if
any thing could be done there; and as in the morning we could perceive
that the town was overawed by the Portuguese like the other, we weighed
anchor and went along the coast to the eastwards.

[Footnote 251: Formerly conjectured to be musquetoons, or

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

While coasting along on the 11th, we saw a small town about 4 leagues to
the east of that we last came from. About half a league farther was
another town upon a hill, and half a league beyond that another large
town on the coast, to which we went to try what could be done in the way
of trade, meaning, if unsuccessful, to return to the towns we had left
behind, in hopes that the Portuguese would leave them on our departure.
All the way from the castle of Mina to this place, there were very high
hills to be seen rising above other hills, all covered with wood, and
the coast was lined with great red cliffs close to the sea. The boats of
this coast are larger than those we had seen hitherto, as one of them
could carry 12 men, but they were still of the same form with all the
boats along the coast. About these towns there seemed few rivers, and
their language seemed the same with that at Don Johns town, every person
being able to speak a few words of Portuguese, which they constantly
used to us. About five o'clock P.M. we saw 22 of the native boats or
canoes going along shore to the westwards, on which we suspected some
treachery; wherefore on the 12th we made sail farther along the coast
eastwards, and descried more towns, in which there were some larger
houses than any we had hitherto seen, and from these the people came out
to look at us, but we could see no boats on the shore. Two miles beyond
the eastermost town there are black rocks, which continue to the
uttermost cape or point of the land for the space of a league, after
which the land runs E.N.E. Some negroes came down to these black rocks,
whence they waved a white flag for us to land; but as we were near the
principal town, we continued our course along shore, and when we had
opened the point of land we perceived another head-land about a league
farther on, having a rock lying off to sea, which was thought to be the
place of which were in search. On coming abreast of the town it was
recognized, and having anchored within half a mile of the shore in five
fathoms, with good ground, we put wares into our boat, and went near the
shore to endeavour to open trade. Anchoring close to the shore, about 10
A.M. we saw many canoes on the beach, and some came past us, but no one
would draw near, being, as we supposed, afraid of us, as four men had
been forcibly taken away from thence the year before. Seeing that no one
came off to us, we went again on board, expecting to make no sales; but
towards evening a great number of people came to the shore and waved a
white flag, as inviting us to land, after which their chief or captain
came down with many men along with him, and sat down under a tree near
the shore. On seeing this I took some things with me in the boat to
present to him, and at length he sent off a boat to us which would not
come near, but made signs for us to return next day. At length, by
offering things for their captain, I enticed them into our boat, and
gave them two ells of cloth, a latten basin, a white basin, a bottle, a
large piece of beef, and six biscuits, which they received and made
signs for us to come back next day, saying that their chief was _grand
captain_, which indeed appeared by his numerous attendants, who were
armed with darts, targets, and other weapons. This town is very large,
and stands upon a hill among trees, so that it cannot well be seen
except when one is near. To the eastwards of it there are two very high
trees on a hill close to the town[27]; and under the town is another
and lower hill washed by the sea, where it is all composed of great
black rocks. Beyond this town there is another considerably smaller on a

[252][Footnote 252: 27 It is added, _which is a good mark to know the
town_. But at this distance of time, above 250 years, such marks cannot
be supposed to remain.--E.]

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

We now went on board to leave this place, as the negroes were bent
against us, because in the former year Robert Gainsh had taken away the
captains son from this place, with three others, and all their gold and
every thing else they had about them; owing to which they had become
friends to the Portuguese, whom they hated before, as appeared in the
former year when the Trinity was there; when the chief came on board
and brought them to his town, trading with them largely, and offering
them ground on which to build a fort[253]. The 14th we plied back to
meet the Hind, which we met in the morning, and then both ships sailed
eastwards to try what could be done at the place where the Trinity sold
her friezes in the preceding year. The day after we parted, the Hind had
taken eighteen and a half ounces of gold from some negroes in exchange
for wares. This day, about one P.M. we saw some canoes on the coast,
with men standing beside them, and going to them with merchandise, we
took three ounces of gold for eighteen _fuffs_ of cloth, each _fuffe_
being three and a half yards, at the rate of one angel twelve grains the
_fuffe_. These people made us understand by signs that if we waited till
next day we might have plenty of gold. For this reason I sent off the
master with the Hind, accompanied by John Saville and John Makeworth, to
seek the other place, while I and Richard Pakeman remained here to try
our fortunes next day. When the negroes perceived the Hind going away
they feared the other ship would follow, wherefore they sent off four
men in two canoes, asking us to remain, and offering two men to remain
with us, if we would give one as a pledge or hostage for his safety.
Accordingly, one Edward, who was servant to Mr Morley, seeing them so
much in earnest, offered himself as a pledge, and we let him go for two
of them who staid with us, one of whom had his weights and scales, with
a chain of gold about his neck and another round his arm. These men eat
readily of such things as we had to give them, and seemed quite
contented. During the night, the negroes kept a light on shore over
against us; and about one o'clock, A.M. we saw the flash of a _base_,
which was twice shot off at the light, and then two _calivers_ were
discharged, which in the end we perceived came from a Portuguese
brigantine that followed us from place to place, to warn the natives to
have no dealings with us.

[Footnote 253: In the margin, Hakluyt sets down the voyage of Robert
Gainsh to Guinea as in 1554; yet does not mention where that voyage is
to be found, or that it is the same voyage published in his second
edition, under the name of Lok, instead of Gainsh to whom it was
ascribed in his first edition. All the light we have into the matter
from the second edition, is from a marginal note at the beginning of
Loks voyage, in which Robert Gainsh is said to have been master of the
John Evangelist; neither is there any mention of this villainous
transaction in the relation of that voyage. Such crimes deserve severe
punishment; since a whole community may suffer for the fault of one bad
man.--Astl. I. 160, a.]

In the morning of the 15th, the negro chief came down to the coast
attended by 100 men, bringing his wife along with him, and many others
brought their wives also, as they meant to remain by the sea side till
they had bought what they wanted, and their town was eight miles up the
country. Immediately on his arrival, the chief sent our man on board,
and offered to come himself if we would give two of our men in pledge
for him. I accordingly sent him two, but he only retained one, and came
on board accompanied by his wife and several friends, bringing me a goat
and two great roots, for which I gave him in return a latten basin, a
white basin, six _manillios_ and a bottle of _Malmsey_, and to his wife
a small casket. After this we began to adjust our measure and weight. He
had a weight of his own, equal to an angel and 14 grains, and required a
measure of 4-1/2 ells. In fine we concluded the 8th part[254], for an
angel and 20 grains; and before we had done he took my own weight and
measure. The 16th I took 8 libs. 1 oz. of gold. Since the departure of
the Hind I had not heard of her; but when our pledge went into the
country the first night he said that he saw her at anchor about 5
leagues from us. The 17th I sold about 17 pieces of cloth, for which I
got 4 libs. 4-1/2 oz. of gold. The 18th the chief desired to purchase
some of our wine, offering half a gold ducat for a bottle; but I gave
him one freely, and made him and his train drink besides. This day I
took 5 libs. 5 oz. of gold. The 19th I sold about 18 pieces of cloth,
and took 4 libs. 4-1/2 oz. of gold. The 20th 3 libs. 6-1/4 oz; the 21st
8 libs. 7-1/4 oz; the 22d 3 libs. 8-1/4 oz: And about 4 o'clock this
night[255] the chief and all his people went away. The 23d we were waved
on shore by other negroes, and sold them cloth, caskets, knives, and a
dozen bells, for 1 lib. 10 oz. of gold. The 24th we sold bells,
sheets[256], and thimbles, for 2 libs. 1-1/4 oz. of gold. The 25th we
sold 7 doz. of small bells and other things, and finding their gold all
gone, we weighed and sailed to leewards in search of the Hind, which we
found about 5 o'clock, P.M. and understood she had made some sales.

[Footnote 254: The meaning is here obscure; perhaps the word _less_ is
omitted, and the bargain was for a measure an eighth part less than that
originally proposed.--E.]

[Footnote 255: Perhaps we should rather understand 4 o'clock next

[Footnote 256: Perhaps this ought to be sheers or scissars?--E.]

The 26th we received from the Hind 48 libs. 3-1/8 oz. of gold, which
they had taken while we were asunder; and this day, on the request of a
negro sent us by the chief, we went on shore with our merchandise and
took 7 libs, 1 oz. of gold. At this place they required no pledges from
us, yet sent every night a man to sleep on board, as an assurance that
they would come to us next day. The 27th in both ships we took 8 libs.
1-7/8 oz. of gold. The 28th we made sales to the amount of 1 lib. 1/3
oz. for the company. The 29th in the morning we heard two caliver shots
on shore, which we judged might either be the Portuguese or some of
their negroes, and we accordingly manned our boats, armed ourselves and
our men, and went on shore, but they were gone off. The 30th we made
more sales both for the company and the masters. The 31st we sent our
boats on shore to take in sand for ballast; and our men met the negroes
with whom they had dealt the day before, who were now employed fishing,
and helped them to fill sand; and having now no gold, sold fish to our
men for their handkerchiefs and neckerchiefs. The 1st of February we
weighed and went to another place, where we took 1 lib. 9 1/3 oz. of
gold. The 2d we made more sales; but on taking a survey of our
provisions, we resolved not to stay much longer on the coast, most of
our drink being spent, and what remained turning sour. The 3d and 4th we
made some sales though not great; and finding the wind on this last day
come off shore, we set sail and went along the coast to the westwards.
Upon this coast, we found by experience that ordinarily, about 2 o'clock
in the night[257] the wind came off shore from N.N.E., and continued in
that direction till 8 o'clock in the morning, blowing all the rest of
the day and night at S.W. The tide or current on this shore goes
continually with the wind.[258] We continued our course along shore on
the 5th, expecting to have met some English ships, but found none.

[Footnote 257: It is hard to say whether this means 2 hours after
sunset, or after midnight--E.]

[Footnote 258: Apparently running from the east during the land breeze,
and from the west with the sea breeze--E.]

The 6th February 1556, we altered our course S.W. leaving the coast, to
fetch under the line, and ran 24 leagues by estimation. By the 13th we
reckoned ourselves off Cape Palmas, and by the 22d we were by our
reckoning abreast of Cape Mount, 30 leagues west from the river Sestos
or Sestro. The 1st March we lost sight of the Hind in a tornado; on
which we set up a light and fired a gun, but saw nothing of her,
wherefore we struck sail and lay by for her, and in the morning had
sight of her 3 leagues astern. This day we found ourselves in the
latitude of Cape Verd which is in 14° 30' [14° 50' N.] Continuing our
course till the 29th, we were then in 22°, on which day one of our men
named William King died in his sleep, having been long sick. His clothes
were distributed among those of the crew who were in want of such
things, and his money was kept to be delivered to his friends at home.
The 30th we found ourselves under the tropic. On the 1st April we were
in the latitude of the Azores, and on the 7th of May we fell in with the
south of Ireland, where we sent our boat on shore for fresh water, and
where we bought two sheep and such other victuals as we needed from the
country people, who are wild _kernes_. The 14th of the same month we
went into the port of Bristol called Hungrode[259], where we cast anchor
in safety, giving God thanks for our happy arrival.

[Footnote 259: Probably that now called King-road?--E.]


_Second Voyage to Guinea in 1556, by William Towerson_[260].

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

[Footnote 260: Hakluyt, II. 496. Astl. I. 162.

Hitherto we have given these voyages to Guinea at full length, as they
are found in the collection of Hakluyt; but in this and the subsequent
early English voyages to Guinea, we have thought proper to abbreviate
such matters as seemed of small importance.--E.]

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

[Footnote 261: These ships were the Espoir of Harfleur, the admiral, of
which Denis Blundel was captain; the Levriere of Rouen, vice-admiral,
commanded by Jerome Baudet; and a ship of Houfleur, commanded by Jean de

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

On the 4th of January we landed with 30 men, well armed with arquebuses,
pikes, long-bows, cross-bows, partizans, long swords, and swords and
bucklers, meaning to seek for elephants. We found two, which we wounded
several times with our fire-arms and arrows, but they both got away from
us and hurt one of our men. We sailed on the 5th, and next day fell in
with the river St Andrew, [in long. 6° 4' W.] The land is somewhat high
to the westward of this river, having a fine bay likewise to the
westward, but to the east the land is low. This is a great river, having
7 fathoms water in some places at its mouth. On the 7th we went into the
river, where we found no village, and only some wild negroes not used to
trade. Having filled our water casks here, we set sail to the eastward.
On the 10th we had a conference with Captain Blondel, the admiral of the
French ships, Jerome Baudet his vice-admiral, and Jean de Orleans,
master of the ship of 70 tons. We agreed to traffic in friendly accord,
so as not to hurt each others market, certain persons being appointed to
make a price for the whole, and then one boat from every ship to make
sales on the agreed terms. On the 11th, at a place called _Allow_[262],
we got only half an angel weight and 4 grains of gold, which was taken
by hand, the natives having no weights.

[Footnote 262: Rather Lu how or La hu.--Astl. I 163. b.--The river
called Jack Lahows river, in Long. 4° 14' W.--E.]

On the 14th we came within _Saker_ shot of the castle of Mina, whence an
Almadia was sent out to see what we were, but seeing that we were not
Portuguese, she went immediately back to the large negroe town of
_Dondou_ close by the castle. Without this there lie two great rocks
like islands, and the castle stands on a point resembling an island. At
some distance to the westwards the land for 5 or 6 leagues was high, but
for 7 leagues from thence to the castle the land is low, after which it
becomes high again. The castle of Mina is about 5 leagues east from Cape
Three-points[263]. Here I took the boat with our negroes, and, went
along the coast till I came to the cape, where I found two small towns
having no canoes, neither could we have any trade. At these places our
negroes understood the natives perfectly, and one of them went on shore
at all the places, where he was well received by his countrymen. At a
place called _Bulle_, about 3 leagues east from the eastermost point of
Cape Three-points, we learnt from the natives by means of our negro
George, that about a month before there had been an engagement at this
place, in which two ships had put one to flight; and that some time
before, one French ship had put to flight four Portuguese ships at the
castle of Mina.

[Footnote 263: Mina is in Long. 1° 60', Cape Three points in 2 40' both
west, the difference of Longitude therefore is about 50 minutes, or
nearly 17 leagues.--E]

On the 16th we went to a place called _Hanta_, 12 leagues beyond the
cape, but did no good, as the natives held their gold too dear. We went
thence to _Shamma_[264], where we landed with 5 boats well armed with
men and ordnance, making a great noise with our drums and trumpets,
suspecting we might have found Portuguese here, but there were none. We
sent our negroes first on shore, after which we followed and were well
received. The 18th we agreed to give the negroes 2 yards and 3 nails of
cloth, as a _fuffe_, to exchange for an angel-ducat weight; so we took
in all 70 ducats, of which the Frenchmen had 40 and we 30. The 19th I
took 4 libs. 2-1/2 oz. of gold, and the boat of the Hart had 21 oz. This
night we were informed by the negroes that the Portuguese meant to
attack us next day either by sea or land, and as we were about to return
on board we heard several shots in the woods, but they durst not come
near us. The 20th we went on shore well armed, but heard no more of the
Portuguese, and this day the negroes informed us there were some ships
come to _Hanta_, a town about 2 leagues to the west. The 21st we went in
our boats to a town a league to the west, where we found many negroes
under another chief, with whom we dealt on the same terms as at Shamma.
The 22d we went again on shore, and I got 1 lib. 4 oz. of gold. The 23d
the negroes told as that the Portuguese ships had departed from the
Mina, intending to ply to windward and then come down to fight us,
giving us warning to be on our guard. The 24th we went again on shore to
trade, and I invited the chief of the town to dinner. While we were
ashore on the 25th, our ships descried 5 sail of ships belonging to the
king of Portugal, and fired several shots to recall us on board. So we
went to the ships, but by the time that every thing was in order and we
had weighed anchor it was night, so that nothing could be done. We set
sail however and tried all night to gain the wind of the Portuguese,
some of which were very near during the night. One of them, which we
judged was their admiral, fired a shot, as we supposed to call the
others to come and speak with him. The 26th we came in with the shore,
and got sight of the Portuguese at anchor, on which we made sail towards
them, giving all our men white scarfs, that the French and we might know
each other in case of boarding: But night coming on before we could
fetch the Portuguese, we anchored within demi-culverine shot of them.

[Footnote 264: Called Chama in modern maps, near the mouth of St Johns
river, about 6 leagues east from Mina.--E.]

In the morning of the 27th, both we and the Portuguese weighed anchor,
and by 11 o'clock, A.M. we had gained the weather-gage, on which we went
room with them[265]: on this they bore away towards the shore, and we
after them, and when they were near shore they put about again to
seawards. We put about likewise, and gained a head of them, on which we
took in our topsails and waited for them. The first that came up was a
small bark, which sailed so well that she cared not for any of us, and
had good ordnance. As soon as she came up she discharged her guns at us
and shot past with ease, after which she fired at the French admiral and
struck his ship in several places; and as we were in our fighting sails,
she soon got beyond our reach. Then another caravel came up under our
lee, discharging her ordnance at us and at the French admiral, wounding
two of his men and shooting through his main-mast. After him came up the
Portuguese admiral also under our lee, but was not able to do us so much
harm as the small ships had done, as he carried his ordnance higher than
they; neither were we able to make a good shot at any of them, because
our ship was so weak in the side that she laid all her ordnance in the
sea[266]. We determined therefore to lay the Portuguese admiral on
board; but on making the attempt, the French admiral fell to leeward and
could not fetch him, after which he fell to leeward of two other
caravels, and was unable to fetch any of them. Being thus to leeward,
the French admiral kept on towards the shore and left us. We hoisted
our topsails and gave chase to the enemy, but both the other French
ships kept their wind and would not come near us, and our own consort
was so much astern that she could not get up to our assistance. When we
had followed them to seaward about two hours, the enemy put about
towards the land, thinking to pay us as they went past, and to gain the
wind of the French admiral which had gone in shore; but we put about
likewise keeping still the weather gage, expecting our consort and the
rest to have followed our example. But when the Portuguese had passed
our consort and the two French ships, firing as they went along, all of
these ships and our own pinnace continued to seawards, leaving us in the
_laps_, (lurch.) We continued our course after the enemy, keeping the
weather gage, that we might succour the French admiral who was to
leeward of them all; and on coming up with him, all the enemies ships
bore down and gave him their broadsides, after which they put about
again, but durst not board him as we were still to wind-wind of them,
otherwise they had certainly taken or sunk him. Three of their smallest
vessels were such prime sailors that it was quite impossible for any of
our ships to have boarded them, and they carried such ordnance that they
would have sore troubled any three of our ships; if they had been able
to gain the weather-gage. Their other ships, the admiral and
vice-admiral, were both notably appointed.

[Footnote 265: Bore down upon them.--E.]

[Footnote 266: Meaning apparently that she lay too much over to

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

Next day, the 28th, we rejoined our own consort and pinnace, and two of
the French ships, but the third, which was a ship of 80 tons belonging
to Rouen, had fled. I took my skiff and went to them to know why they,
had deserted me. John Kire said his ship would neither rear nor
stear[267]. John Davis said the pinnace had broke her rudder, so that
she could sail no farther, and had been taken in tow by the Hart. I
found the French admiral to be a man of resolution, but half his crew
was sick or dead. The other Frenchman said his ship could bear no sail,
and 16 of his men were sick or dead, so that he could do nothing. After
this the French ships durst not come to anchor for fear of the

[Footnote 267: Meaning perhaps, would neither wear nor tack?--E.]

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

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

Having sent one of our merchants with a present to the king, he returned
on the 23d, saying that he had been received in a friendly manner by
_Abaan_, who had little gold but promised if we would stay that he would
send all over his country in search of gold for us, and desired our
people to request our king to send men to his country to build a fort,
and to bring tailors with them to make them apparel, and to send good
wares and we should be sure to sell them; but that the French had for
the present filled the market with cloth. This town where the king Abaan
resides, is about 4 leagues up the country, and in the opinion of our
people who were there is as large in circumference as London, though all
built like those we had already seen. Around the town there was great
abundance of the wheat of the country, insomuch that on one side of it
they saw 1000 ricks of wheat and of another sort of grain called _mill_
or millet, which is much used in Spain. All round this town there is
kept a good nightly watch, and across all the roads or paths they have
cords stretched and connected with certain bells; so that if any one
touch the cords the bells, immediately ring to alarm the watchmen, on
which they run out to see what is the matter. In case of any enemies,
they have nets suspended over the paths ready to let fall and entangle
them. It is impossible to get to the town except by the regular paths,
as it is every where environed with trees and thick underwood; besides
which the town is surrounded by a fence of sedge bound with thick ropes
made of the bark of trees[268].

[Footnote 268: It is hard to discover what place this was. Perhaps it
was _Great Commendo_ or _Guaffo_, which stands on a river that runs by
the town of the _Mina_, and is still the residence of a negro king; in
which case the port they put in at might have been little _Commendo._
But the royal city is very far from being as large as London was in
1556, not having above 400 houses. The contrivance for apprizing the
watchmen of the approach of an enemy, and for taking them prisoners,
seems a notable invention of our countrymen; for surely an enemy might
easily destroy these net-traps to catch soldiers, these pack-thread
fortifications.--Astl. 1. 167. a.]

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

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

[Footnote 269: Mowree is 4-1/2 leagues east from the castle of Minas,
and Lagoua or Laguy is 9 leagues east from the same place.--Astl. I.
168. a.]

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


_Third Voyage of William Towerson to Guinea, in 1558_[270].

On the 30th of January of the above year, we set sail from Plymouth with
three ships and a pinnace, bound by the grace of God for the Canaries
and the coast of Guinea. Our ships were the Minion, admiral; the
Christopher, vice-admiral; the Tiger, and a pinnace called the Unicorn.
Next day we fell in with two hulks[271] of Dantziek, one called the Rose
of 400 tons, and the other the Unicorn of 150, both laden at Bourdeaux,
mostly with wine. We caused them to hoist out their boats and come on
board, when we examined them separately as to what goods they had on
board belonging to Frenchmen[272]. At first they denied having any; but
by their contradictory stories, we suspected the falsehood of their
charter parties, and ordered them to produce their bills of lading. They
denied having any, but we sent certain persons to the place where they
were hid, and thus confronted their falsehood. At length they confessed
that there were 32 tons and a hogshead of wine in the Unicorn belonging
to a Frenchman, and 128 tons in the Rose belonging to the, same person;
but insisted that all the rest was laden by Peter Lewgues of Hamburgh,
and consigned to Henry Summer of Campvere. After a long consultation,
considering that to capture or detain them might lose our voyage,
already too late, we agreed that each of our ships should take out as
much as they could stow for necessaries, and that we should consider
next morning what was farther to be done. We accordingly took out many
tuns of wine, some aquavitae, cordage, rosin, and other things, giving
them the rest of the Frenchmans wines to pay for what we had taken of
their own, and took a certificate under their hands of the quantity of
French goods they had confessed to, and then allowed them to continue
their voyage.

[Footnote 270: Hakluyt, II. 504. Astley, I. 169.--In the last London
edition of Hakluyt, 1810, it is dated erroneously in 1577, but we learn
from the editor of Astley's Collection that in the edition 1589, it is
dated in 1557. Yet, notwithstanding that authority, we may be assured
that the date of this voyage could not have been earlier than January
1558, as Towerson did not return from his former voyage till the 29th of
April 1557.--E.]

[Footnote 271: Probably meaning large unwieldy ships.--E]

[Footnote 272: It is to be noted, that at this time there was war
between England and France.--This observation is a side note of Hakluyt:
And it may be worth while to notice that, so early as 1557, free bottoms
were not considered by the English as making free goods.--E.]

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

The 17th we set sail, and got sight of the coast of Africa, and running
along shore came off Rio del Oro which is almost under the tropic of
Cancer. The 25th we got sight of the land in the bay to the north of
Cape Verd[273]. The 26th taking our interpreter Francisco and Francis
Castelin along with me in the pinnace, I went to the Tiger, which was
nearer shore than the other ships. With her and the other ships we ran
W. by S. and W.S.W, till about 4 o'clock, P.M. when we were close on
board the cape. Then going about 4 leagues beyond the cape S.W. we found
a fair island, and beside that two or three islands of high rocks, full
of various kinds of sea fowl and pigeons, with other kinds of land
birds, and so numerous that the whole island was covered with their
dung, and as white as if the whole had been covered by chalk. Within
these islands was a fine bay; and close by the rocks we had 18 fathoms
and good ground[274]. The 27th, as no negroes came to us, we went along
shore in the pinnace, and going beyond the point of the bay (Cape
Emanuel) we found a fair island (_Goree_) with a goodly bay, and saw
some negroes on the main who waved us on shore. Going a-land, they told
us that they had elephants teeth, musk[275], and hides for traffic; but
as the captain of the Christopher was not willing to stop, we went on
board and made sail, On inquiry, some of the negroes said there had been
no ships there for 8 months, others said six, and some only four, and
that they were French ships.

[Footnote 273: The bay of Yof, in lat. 15° N. long. 17° 20' W. from

[Footnote 274: Obviously the Bird isles, which are 4-1/2 leagues E.S.E.
from Cape Verd, not W.S.W. as in the text.--E.]

[Footnote 275: What is here called musk must have either been civet or

The 10th of March we fell in with the coast of Guinea, 5 leagues east of
Cape _Monte_, beside a river called Rio das Palmas. At this place I got
19 elephants teeth, and 2 1/2oz. of gold. The 13th we came to Rio
Sestro, and next day sent our boats for water, and delivered such wares
to the Christopher and Tiger as they needed. The 15th we sent the Tiger
to another river for water, and to try what she could do for grains. We
here learnt that three French ships had been at this river two months
before, two six weeks ago, and one only a fortnight past, all of which
had gone eastwards to the Mina. Getting few grains, and many of our men
falling sick at this unwholesome place, and considering that the French
ships were before us, we left the Rio Sestro on the 19th, and made all
sail for the Mina[276]. The 21st we came to Rio de Potos, where our
boats went for water, and where I got 12 small elephants teeth. The 31st
we came to _Hanta_, where I sold some _Manillios_.

On the 1st of April we had sight of 5 Portuguese ships, on which we
stood out to sea to gain the wind of them, which we had done if the
wind had kept its ordinary course at S.W. and W.S.W. but this day it
kept with a _flow_ always at E. and E.S.E. so that they had the wind of
us and chased us to leeward till near night, when all but one that
sailed badly were within shot of us. It then fell calm, and the wind
came round to S.W. at which time the Christopher was about 4 leagues to
leeward of us. We tacked in the Minion, and gained the wind of the
Portuguese admiral and other three of his ships; when he cast about and
fired at us, which we returned, shooting him four or five times through.
Several of their shots went through our sails, but none of our men were
hurt. The Christopher was still to leeward, though the Tiger and the
pinnace had joined us; but as it was night we did not think it
adviseable to lay him on board; wherefore, after firing two hours or
more, we three stood out to sea, and fired a gun to give notice to the
Christopher. We joined the Christopher on the 2d, which had exchanged
shots with the Portuguese the night before about midnight, and we agreed
to seek the Portuguese, keeping however to windward of the place where
we meant to trade. We accordingly ran all day on the 3d to the S.W. in
search of the Portuguese ships, but could not see them, and stood
towards the shore at night. When we made the shore on the 4th, we found
ourselves off Lagua, 30 leagues to the eastwards of our reckoning, owing
to the currents setting east. Going on shore with our negro interpreter,
we learned that there were four French ships on the coast: One at
_Perinnen_, 6 leagues west of Lagua; one at _Weamba[277]_, 4 leagues
east of Lagua; a third at _Perecow[9]_, 4 leagues east of Weamba; and
the fourth at _Egrand[10]_, 4 leagues east of Perecow. We accordingly
proceeded toward Weamba, where we saw one of the French ships under sail
to which we gave chase; and lest we should over-shoot her in the night,
the Minion was brought to anchor, and the Tiger and Christopher followed
the chase all night.

[Footnote 276: The Mina is here to be considered as the gold coast of
Guinea, called Mina or the mines on account of its great produce in gold
dust. The castle of St George del Mina, is usually called in these early
voyages _the castle._--E.]

[Footnote 277: Or Wiamba, where the English had afterwards a
fort.--Astl. I. 172. d.]

[278][Footnote 278: 9 This seems to have been little Barakhow, or
Berow.--Astl. I. 172. c.]

[279][Footnote 279: 10 Probably Akkara, where the English, Dutch, and
Danes had afterwards separate forts--Astl. 1.172. d.]

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

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

The 21st we anchored before Don Johns town; and on the 22d we manned our
boats and went close in shore, but the negroes would not come to us. The
24th our pinnace came to us from Cormantine, where they had taken 2
libs. 5 oz. of gold. The 25th the master of the Christopher sent his
boat on shore at Mowre for ballast, when the negroes attempted to drive
them off with stones; but our men slew and hurt several of them, then
burnt their town and stove all their canoes. The 27th we went to
Cormantine, where we were joined next day by the Christopher. The 2d
June the Tiger came to us from Egrand and the pinnace from Weamba, the
two having procured 50 libs. of gold. The 4th we made sail and plied to
windward for Chama, not being able to remain longer for want of
victuals, and especially as our drink ran short. The 7th we saw five
Portuguese ships at anchor beside the castle. The 8th George and Binny
came off to us, and brought about 2 libs. of gold. The 21st we put 25
Frenchmen into our pinnace with such victuals as we could spare, and
sent them away. The 25th we put to sea on our homeward voyage. The 30th
we fell in again with the land, 18 leagues to leeward of the place
whence we had taken our departure, having been deceived by the current
which sets continually towards the east. The 7th July we fell in with
the island of San Thome [280], where we wished to come to anchor; but
the wind coming about we again made sail. From that time till the 13th
we were tossed about by baffling winds, and that day fell in again with
San Thome.

[Footnote 280: They must have fallen far to leeward, as San Thome is to
the east of the Bight of Benin, almost 8 degrees or 160 leagues to the
east of St George del Mina.--E.]

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

The 25th the master of the Tiger came on board, and reported his ship to
be in so leaky a condition and his men so weak, that he was unable to
keep her afloat, and requested therefore that we would return to the
island to take every thing out of her, that she might be abandoned: This
day on mustering the companies of all the three ships, we had not above
30 sound men altogether[281]. The 25th we had sight of St Nicholas, and
the day following of St Lucia, St Vincent, and St Anthony, four of the
Cape Verd islands, which range with each other from N.W. by W. to S. E
by E. The 26th we were unable to weather the Cape of St Anthony, and
this day Philip Jones the master of the Christopher came on board and
reported that they were not able to keep the Tiger from sinking as she
was so leaky, and the master and crew were very weak. The 3d September I
went on board the Tiger, accompanied by the masters and merchants to
survey her, and we found her in a very leaky condition with only six men
fit for duty, one of whom was master gunner. It was agreed accordingly
to take all the men into the other ships, with all the goods we could
save, and then to abandon her. We began discharging her on the 5th, and
having taken out her guns, victuals, gold, and every thing we could by
the 8th, we set her adrift in lat. 25° N.

[Footnote 281: At this place Hakluyt observes in a note, the
great inconvenience of staying late on the coast of Guinea. He ought
rather to have said, the impropriety of sailing too late for that

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

       *       *       *       *       *

_Commodities most in request in Guinea, between Sierra Leone and the
farthest extremity of the Mine or Gold Coast[282]._

   MANILS of brass, and some of lead.
   Basins of various sorts, but chiefly of latten.
   Pots holding a quart or more, of coarse tin.
   Some wedges of iron.
   Margarites, and other low priced beads.
   Some blue coral.
   Some horse nails.
   Linen cloth, principally.
   Basins of Flanders.
   Some low priced red cloth, and kersies.
   Dutch kettles with brass handles.
   Some large engraved brass basins, like those usually set upon.
   their cupboards in Flanders.
   Some large pewter basins and ewers, graven.
   Some lavers for holding water.
   Large low priced knives.
   Slight Flemish caskets.
   Low priced Rouen chests, or any other chests.
   Large pins.
   Coarse French coverlets.
   Good store of packing sheets.

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

[Footnote 282: This list is appended in Hakluyt's Collection, II.513. to
the present voyage, and is therefore here retained, though several of
the articles are scarcely intelligible.--E.]


_Notices of an intended Voyage to Guinea, in 1561[283]._

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

[Footnote 283: Hakluyt, II. 514. Astl I. 176.--As this voyage did not
take place, it is principally inserted here for the sake of the
instructions devised by the adventurers, for the conduct of the intended

       *       *       *       *       *

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

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

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

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

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

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


_Voyage to Guinea in 1562, written by William Rutter_[284].

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

[Footnote 284: Hakluyt, II. 516. Astley, I. 177.]

       *       *       *       *       *

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

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

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

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

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


_Supplementary Account of the foregoing Voyage_ [285]

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

[Footnote 285: Astley, I. 179. Hakluyt, II. 518.]

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

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

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

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

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


_Voyage to Guinea in 1563 by Robert Baker_[286]

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

[Footnote 286: Astley I. 180. Hakluyt, II. 523-531. The prose abstract
here inserted is chiefly taken from Astleys collection, carefully
compared with the original versified narrative in Hakluyt.--E.]

After we had been at sea two days and a night, the man from the main-top
descried a sail or two, the tallest of which they immediately made up
to, judging her to be the most valuable; and, as captains are in use to
do[287], I hailed her to know whence she was. She answered from France,
on which we _waved_ her, but she nothing dismayed, _waved_ us in return.
I immediately ordered armed men aloft into the main and fore-tops, and
caused powder to be laid on the poop to blow up the enemy if they should
board us that way. At the sound of trumpets we began the fight,
discharging both chain and bar-shot from our brazen artillery; while the
Frenchmen, flourishing their swords from the main-yard, called out to
us to board their ship. Willing to accept their invitation, we plied
them warmly with our cannon, and poured in flights of arrows, while our
arquebuses plied them from loop-holes, and we endeavoured to set their
sails on fire by means of arrows and pikes carrying wildfire. I
encouraged, the men to board, by handing spiced wine liberally among
them, which they did with lime-pots, after breaking their nets with
stones, while those of our men who were aloft entered the enemys tops,
after killing those who defended them. Then cutting the ropes, they
brought down the yard by the board, and those who entered the ship plied
the enemy so well with their swords, that at length the remaining
Frenchmen ran below deck and cried out for quarter. Having thus become
masters of the ship, we carried her to the _Groin_ in Spain, or Corunna,
where we sold the ship and cargo for ready money.

[Footnote 287: In these early trading voyages, the chief factor, who
here appears to have been Baker, seems to have had the supreme
command--Astl. I. 180. b.]

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

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

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

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

The next alternative was to throw ourselves upon the mercy of the
negroes, which I stated was very hopeless and discouraging, as I did not
see what favour could be expected from a beastly savage people, whose
condition was worse than that of slaves, and who possibly might be
cannibals. It was likewise difficult for us to conform ourselves to their
customs, so opposite to ours; and, we could not be expected, having
always lived on animal food, to confine ourselves to roots and herbs
like the negroes, which are the food of wild beasts. Besides, having
been always accustomed to the use of clothes, we could not for shame go
naked. Even if we could get the better of that prejudice, our bodies
would be grievously tormented and emaciated by the scorching heat of the
sun, for want of that covering and defence to which we had been
accustomed. The only other course was to stay at sea in the boat, and
die miserably. Being determined to run any risk at land, rather than to
continue pent up in a narrow boat, exposed to all the inclemencies of
the weather day and night, and liable to be famished for want of
victuals, I gave it as my opinion that we had better place confidence in
the Christian Portuguese than in the negroes who lived like so many
brutes. We how determined to throw ourselves on the mercy of the
Portuguese, and hoisting sail shaped our course for the castle of St
George del Mina; which was not above 20 leagues distant. We went on all
day without stopping till late at night, when we perceived a light on
shore. Concluding that this might be a place of trade, our boatswain
proposed to cast anchor at this place, in hopes that we might be able to
procure provisions next morning in exchange for some of our wares. This
was agreed upon, and on going next morning near the shore we saw a
watchhouse upon a rock, in the place whence the light had proceeded
during the night, and near the watchhouse a large black cross was
erected. This made us doubtful whereabout we were, and on looking
farther we perceived a castle which perplexed us still more[288].

[Footnote 288: It appears in the sequel that this fort or castle had
been recently erected by the Portuguese at the western point or
head-land of Cape Three-points, and of which there are no notices in any
of the preceding voyages on this part of the coast.--Astley, I. 132, a.]

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

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

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

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

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

   A prisner therefore I remaine,
     And hence I cannot slip
   Till that my ransome be
     Agreed upon and paid:
   Which being levied yet so hie,
     No agreement can be made.
   And such is lo my chance,
    The meane time to abide;
   A prisner for ransome in France,
     Till God send time and tide.
   From whence this idle rime
     To England I do send:
   And thus, till I have further time,
     This tragedie I end.


_A Voyage to Guinea, in 1564:, by Captain David Carlet_[289].

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

[Footnote 289: Hakluyt, II. 531. Astley, I. 134.]

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

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

[Footnote 290: This is the substance of Hakluyt's introduction to the
following brief relation of the present voyage.--E.]

       *       *       *       *       *

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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 291: Hakluyt might have said whether they did come home or
not, which he certainly might have known; but he often leaves us in the
dark as to such matters.--Astl. I. 185. a.]

       *       *       *       *       *

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

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

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


_A Voyage to Guinea and the Cape de Verd Islands in 1566, by George

Three ships were employed on this voyage, the admiral, called the Castle
of Comfort, George Fenner general[293] of the expedition, and William
Bats master; the May-Flower, vice-admiral, William Courtise master; the
George, John Heiwood captain, and John Smith of Hampton master; besides
a small pinnace. Walter Wren, the writer of the narrative, belonged to
the George.

[Footnote 292: Hakluyt, II. 533. Astley, I. 185.]

[Footnote 293: This general was probably head factor--E.]

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

The 12th we came to a bay to eastwards of Cape Pargos, (_Barbas?_) which
is 35 leagues from Cape Blanco, but being unacquainted with that part of
the coast, we proceeded to Cape Blanco, off which we had 16 fathoms two
leagues from shore, the land being very low and all white sand. At this
place it is necessary to beware of going too near shore, as when in 12
or 10 fathoms you may be aground within two or three casts of the lead.
Directing our course on the 17th S. and S. by E. we fell into a bay
about 16 leagues east of Cape Verd, where the land seemed like a great
number of ships under sail, owing to its being composed of a great
number of hummocks, some high some low, with high trees upon them. When
within three leagues of the land we sounded and had 28 fathoms over a
ground of black ouze. This day we saw much fish in sundry _sculs_ or
shoals, swimming with their noses at the surface. Passing along this
coast we saw two small round hills about a league from the other,
forming a cape, and between them great store of trees, and in all our
sailing we never saw such high land as these two hills. The 19th we came
to anchor at the cape in a road, fast by the western side of two
hills[294], where we rode in 10 fathoms, though we might safely have
gone into five or six fathoms, as the ground is good and the wind always
blows from the shore.

[Footnote 294: The paps of Cape Verd are about a League S.S.E. from the
extreme west point of the Cape.--E.]

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

The persons seized in this treacherous manner by the negroes were
Nicholas Day, William Bats, and John Thomson, who were led away to a
town about a mile from the shore. The 20th we sent a boat on shore with
eight persons, among whom was the before-mentioned John Thomson[295] and
our interpreter, who was a Frenchman, as one of the negroes spoke good
French. They carried with them two arquebuses, two targets, and a
_mantell?_ and were directed to learn what ransom the negroes demanded
for Bats and Day whom they detained. On coming to the shore and telling
the negroes the nature of their errand, Bats and Day were brought from
among some trees quite loose, but surrounded by some 40 or 50 negroes.
When within a stone's throw of the beach, Bats broke suddenly from them
and ran as fast as he could into the sea towards the boat; but
immediately on getting into the water he fell, so that the negroes
retook him, violently tearing off his clothes. After this some of the
negroes carried our two men back to the town, while the rest began to
shoot at our people in the boat with their poisoned arrows, and wounded
one of our men in the small of the leg, who had nearly died in spite of
every thing our surgeons could do for him. Notwithstanding this
unjustifiable conduct, our general sent another message to the negroes,
offering any terms they pleased to demand as ransom for our men. But
they gave for answer, that three weeks before we came an English ship
had forcibly carried off three of their people, and unless we brought or
sent them back we should not have our men, though we gave our three
ships and all their lading. On the 21st a French ship, of 80 tons came
to the place where we were, intending to trade with the negroes, and
seeing that the Frenchmen were well received by the natives, our general
told them of our two men being detained, and wished them to endeavour
to procure their release, promising L.100 to the Frenchmen if they
succeeded. We then committed this affair to the management of the
Frenchmen, and departed. Of our men who were hurt by the poisoned
arrows, four died, and one had to have his arm cut off to save his life.
Andrews, who was last hurt, lay long lame and unable to help himself,
and only two recovered.

[Footnote 295: It is not said how he had got away from the negroes.--E.]

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

We left Bonavista, or Buenavista, on the 3d February, and fell in the
same day with another island called Mayo, 14 leagues distant; there
being a danger midway between the two islands, but it is always seen and
easily avoided. We anchored in a fine bay on the N.W. side of Mayo, in
eight fathoms on a good sandy bottom; but weighed next day and went to
another island called St Jago, about five leagues E. by S. from Mayo. At
the westermost point of this island, we saw a good road-stead, having a
small town by the waterside, close to which was a fort or battery. We
here proposed to have anchored on purpose to trade; but before we were
within shot, they let fly two pieces at us, on which we went to leeward
along shore two or three leagues, where we found a small bay and two or
three houses, off which we anchored in 14 fathoms upon good ground.
Within an hour after we had anchored, several persons both on foot and
horseback were seen passing and repassing opposite the ships. Next day a
considerable force of horse and foot was seen, and our general sent a
message to know whether they were disposed to trade with us. They
answered that we were made welcome as merchants, and should have every
thing we could reasonably demand. On this our general ordered all the
boats to be made ready, but doubting the good faith of the Portuguese,
caused the boats to be well armed, putting a _double base_ in the head
of his pinnace and two _single bases_ in the skiff, directing the boats
of the May-flower and George to be similarly armed. On rowing towards
the shore with all the boats, the general was surprised to see above 60
horsemen and 200 foot all armed to receive us, for which reason he sent
a flag of truce to learn their intentions. Their answer was fair and
smooth, declaring that they meant to treat us like gentlemen and
merchants, and desired that our general might come on shore to converse
with their captain. When our general approached the shore in his skiff,
they came towards him in great numbers, with much seeming politeness,
bowing and taking off their bonnets, and earnestly requesting our
general and the merchants to come on shore. He declined this however,
unless they would give sufficient hostages for our security. At length
they promised to send two satisfactory hostages, and to give us water,
provisions, money, and negroes in exchange for our merchandize, and
desired a list of our wares might be sent on shore; all of which our
general promised to do forthwith, and withdraw from the shore, causing
our _bases, curriers_[296], and arquebuses to be fired off in
compliment to the Portuguese, while at the same time our ships saluted
them with five or six cannon shot. Most of the Portuguese now left the
shore, except a few who remained to receive the list of our commodities;
but, while we meant honestly and fairly to trade with them as friends,
their intentions were treacherously to betray us to our destruction, as
will appear in the sequel.

[Footnote 296: Bases and curriers must have been some small species of
ordnance, capable of being used in boats; arquebuses were matchlock

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


_Embassy of Mr Edmund Hogan to Morocco in 1577, written by

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

[Footnote 297: Hakluyt, II. 541.]

       *       *       *       *       *

I Edmund Hogan, being appointed ambassador from her majesty the queen to
the emperor and king Muley Abdulmeleck, departed from London with my
company and servants on the 22d of April 1577; and embarking in the good
ship called the Gallion of London, I arrived at Azafi, a port in
Barbary, on the 21st of May. I immediately sent Leonell Edgerton on
shore, with my letters to the care of John Williams and John Bampton,
who dispatched a _trottero_ or courier to Morocco, to learn the emperors
pleasure respecting my repair to his court. They with all speed gave the
king notice of it[298]; who, being much satisfied with the intelligence,
sent next day some of his officers and soldiers to Azafi, with tents and
other necessaries, so that these captains, together with John Bampton,
Robert Washborne, and Robert Lion, came late on Whitsunday night to
Azafi. Having written in my letter, that I would not land till I knew
the kings pleasure, I remained on board till their arrival; but I caused
some of the goods to be landed to lighten the ship.

[Footnote 298: It would appear that Williams and Bampton were resident
at the city of Morocco.--E.]

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

Although I sought a speedier dispatch, I could not be permitted to begin
my journey till Wednesday the 2d of June, when I mounted towards
evening, and travelled about ten miles to the first place on the road
where water was to be had, and there pitched our tents till next
morning[299]. The 3d we began our journey early, and travelled till ten
o'clock, when we halted till four, at which time we resumed our journey,
travelling as long as we had light, making about 26 miles in all that
day. The 4th being Friday, we travelled in the same manner about 28
miles, and pitched our tents beside a river, about six wiles from the
city of Morocco. Immediately afterwards, all the English and French
merchants came on horseback to visit me, and before night there came an
_alcayde_ from the king, with 50 men and several mules laden with
provisions, to make a banquet for my supper, bringing a message from the
king, expressing how glad he was to hear from the queen of England, and
that it was his intention to receive me more honourably than ever
Christian had been before at the court of Morocco. He desired also to
know at what time I proposed to come next day into his city, as he was
resolved that all the Christians, and also his own nobles should meet
me. He desired likewise that John Bampton should wait upon him early
next morning, which he did accordingly.

[Footnote 299: Having no inns in Barbary, travellers have to encamp or
lodge in the open fields where they can find water.--_Hakluyt_.]

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

[Footnote 300: The Spaniards and Portuguese were commanded by the king,
on pain of death, to meet the English ambassador.--Hakluyt.]

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

At the end of this speech I delivered him the letters of Sir Thomas
Gresham; upon which he took me by the hand, and led me down a long court
to a palace, past which there ran a fair fountain of water, and sitting
down in a chair, he commanded me to sit upon another, and sent for such
simple musicians as he had to entertain me. I then presented him with a
great bass lute, which he thankfully accepted, and expressed a desire to
hear when he might expect the musicians: I told him great care had been
taken to provide them, and I did not doubt that they would come out in
the first ship after my return. He is willing to give them good
entertainment, with lodgings and provisions, and to let them live
according to their own law and conscience, as indeed he urges, no one to
the contrary. He conducts himself greatly by the fear of God, and I
found him well read in the scriptures both of the old and new testament,
bearing a greater affection for our nation than any other, because that
our religion forbids the worship of images; and indeed the Moors call
him the Christian king. That same night[301] I continued with him till
twelve o'clock, and he seemed to have taken a great liking for me, as
he took from his girdle a short dagger set with 200 stones, rubies and
turquoises, which he presented to me, after which I was conducted back
to my lodgings.

[Footnote 301: In the original this is said to have been the 1st of
June; but from what has gone before, that date must necessarily be
erroneous; it could not be before the 5th of June, on which day he
appears to have entered Morocco in he morning.--E.]

Next day being Sunday, which he knew was our Sabbath, he allowed me to
remain at home; but he sent for me on the afternoon of Monday, when I
had a conference with him, and was entertained with music. He likewise
sent for me on Tuesday by three o'clock, when I found him in his garden
laid upon a silk bed, as he complained of a sore leg. Yet after a long
conference, he walked with me into another orchard, having a fine
banqueting-house and a large piece of water, in which was a new galley.
He took me on board the galley, and for the space of two or three hours,
shewed me what great experience he had in the management of gallies, in
which he said he had exercised himself for eighteen years of his youth.
After supper he shewed me his horses, and other matters about his house.
From that time I did not see him, as he was confined with his sore leg,
yet he sent messages to me every day. I was sent for to him again on the
13th of June, about six in the evening, and continued with him till
midnight, conferring about her majestys commission, and with regard to
the good usage of our merchants trading in his dominions. He said that
he would even do more than was asked for the queen and her subjects, who
might all come to his ports in perfect security, and trade in every part
of his dominions, likewise that they should at all times freely have
water and provisions, and in times of war might bring in the ships taken
from our enemies, and either sell them there, or freely depart at their
pleasure. Likewise that all English ships, either passing along his
coast of Barbary, or going through the straits into the Mediterranean or
Levant sea, should have safe conducts to pass freely to the dominions of
the Turks or of Algiers, as well as to his own. And he engaged to write
to the great Turk and the king of Algiers to use our ships and goods in
a friendly manner. Also, that if any Englishmen should be hereafter made
captives and brought into his dominions, that they should on no account
be sold as slaves. Whereupon, declaring the acceptance by her majesty of
these conditions, to confirm the intercourse of trade between our
merchants and his dominions, I engaged to satisfy him with such
commodities as he stood in need of, to furnish the wants of his country
in all kinds of merchandize, so that he might not require any thing from
her majesty contrary to her honour and law, or in breach of league and
amity with the Christian princes her neighbours. That same night I
presented him with a case of combs[302], and requested his majesty to
give orders for the lading of the ships back again, as I found there was
very little saltpetre in the hands of John Bampton. He answered that I
should have all the aid in his power, as he expected there was some
store in his house at _Sus,_ and that the mountaineers had much in
readiness. On my request that he would send orders for that to be
brought, he promised to do so.

[Footnote 302: This seems rather a singular present to the emperor of

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

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

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


_Embassy of Henry Roberts from Queen Elizabeth to Morocco in 1585,
written by himself_[303].

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

[Footnote 303: Hakluyt, II 602.]

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

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

[Footnote 304: Hakluyt, II. 599.]

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

[Footnote 305: Here are enumerated forty merchants of London, as members
of the Barbary company in conjunction with the two earls.--E.]


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

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

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

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

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

_Edict of the Emperor of Morocco in favour of the English, obtained by
Henry Roberts_.

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

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

[Footnote 306: Besides this, Hakluyt gives copies in Spanish and English
of a letter from Mulley Hamet to the Earl of Leicester, and of a letter
from Queen Elizabeth to Mulley Hamet, both of which are merely
complimentary, or relate to unexplained circumstances respecting one
John Herman an English rebel, whose punishment is required from the
emperor of Morocco. He had probably contraveened the exclusive
privileges of the Barbary company, by trading in Morocco.--E.]


_Voyage to Benin beyond Guinea in 1588, by James Welsh_[307].

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

[Footnote 307: Hakluyt, II. 613. Astley, I. 199.]

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

[Footnote 308: See the patent at large in Hakluyt, II. 610. London
edition, 1810.]

       *       *       *       *       *

On the 12th October 1588, weighing anchor from Ratcliff we dropped down
to Blackwall, whence we sailed next day; but owing to contrary winds we
did not reach Plymouth till the 25th October, where we had to remain for
want of a fair wind to the 14th of December, when we set sail and passed
the Lizard that night. Thursday the 2d January 1589, we had sight of the
land near Rio del Oro, making our lat. 22° 47' N. The 3d we saw Cape
Barbas, distant 5 leagues S.E. The 4th in the morning we had sight of
the stars called the _Croziers_. The 7th we had sight of Cape Verd,
making our lat. 14° 43' at 4 leagues off shore. Friday 17th Cape Mount
bore from us N.N.E., when we sounded and had 50 fathoms water with a
black ouse, and at 2 P.M. it bore N.N.W. 8 leagues distant, when Cape
Misurado bore E. by S. Here the current sets E.S.E. along shore, and at
midnight we had 26 fathoms on black ouse. The 18th in the morning we
were athwart a land much resembling Cabo Verde, about 9 leagues beyond
Cape Misurado. It is a saddle-backed hill, and there are four or five
one after the other; and 7 leagues farther south we saw a row of
saddle-backed hills, all the land from Cape Misurado having many
mountains. The 19th we were off Rio de Sestos, and the 20th Cape Baixos
was N. by W. 4 leagues distant. In the afternoon a canoe came off with
three negroes from a place they called Tabanoo. Towards evening we were
athwart an island, and saw many small islands or rocks to the southward,
the current setting from the south. We sounded and had 35 fathoms. The
21st we had a flat hill bearing N.N.E. being 4 leagues from shore; and
at 2 P.M. we spoke a French ship riding near a place called _Ratere_,
there being another place hard bye called Crua[309]. The Frenchman
carried a letter from us on shore for Mr Newton; and as we lay to while
writing the letter, the current set us a good space along shore to the
S.S.E. The 25th we were in the bight of a bay to the west of Cape
Three-points, the current setting E.N.E. The 31st January we were off
the middle part of Cape Three-points at 7 in the morning, the current
setting to the E. Saturday 1st February we were off a round foreland,
which I considered to be the easternmost part of Cape Three-points,
within which foreland was a great bay and an island in the bay.

[Footnote 309: Krou Sestra, nearly in lat. 5° N.]

The 2nd February we were off the castle of Mina; and when the third
glass of the watch was run out, we spied under our larboard quarter one
of their boats with some negroes and one Portuguese, who would not come
on board. Over the castle upon some high rocks, we saw what we thought
to be two watch houses, which were very white. At this time our course
was E.N.E. The 4th in the morning we were athwart a great hill, behind
which within the land were other high rugged hills, which I reckoned
were little short of _Monte Redondo_, at which time I reckoned we were
20 leagues E.N.E. from the castle of Mina; and at 11 o'clock A.M. I saw
two hills within the land, 7 leagues by estimation beyond the former
hills. At this place there is a bay, having another hill at its east
extremity, beyond which the land is very low. We went this day E. N E.
and E. by N. 22 leagues, and then E. along shore. The 6th we were short
of Villa Longa, and there we met a Portuguese caravel. The 7th, being a
fair temperate day, we rode all day before Villa Longa, whence we sailed
on the 8th, and 10 leagues from thence we anchored again, and remained
all night in 10 fathoms water. The 9th we sailed again, all along the
shore being clothed with thick woods, and in the afternoon we were
athwart a river[310], to the eastward of which a little way was a great
high bushy tree which seemed to have no leaves. The 10th we sailed E.
and E. by S. 14 leagues along shore, the whole coast being so thick of
woods that in my judgment a person would have much difficulty in passing
through them. Towards night we anchored in 7 fathoms. The 11th we sailed
E. by S. and 3 leagues from shore we had only 5 fathoms water, all the
wood along shore being as even as if it had been clipt by gardeners
sheers. After running 2 leagues, we saw a high tuft of trees on a brow
of land like the head of a porpoise. A league farther on we had a very
low head land full of trees; and a great way from the land we had very
shallow water, on which we hauled off to seaward to get deeper water,
and then anchored in 5 fathoms, athwart the mouth of the river _Jayo_.
The 12th we sent the pinnace and the boat to land with the merchants,
and they did not return till next morning. The shallowest part of this
river is toward the west, where there is only 4-1/2 fathoms, and it is
very broad.

[Footnote 310: Rio de Lagoa--_Hakluyt_.--Probably that now called Lagos,
in long. 2° 40' E. from Greenwich, in the Bight of Benin.--E.]

Thursday the 13th we set sail going S.S.E. along shore, the trees being
wonderfully even, the east shore being higher than the west shore[311].
After sailing 18 leagues we had sight of a great river, called Rio de
Benin, off which we anchored in 3-1/2 fathoms, the sea being here very
shallow two leagues from the main[312]. The 15th we sent the pinnace and
boat with the merchants into the river; and as we rode in shallow water,
we made sail with the starboard tacks aboard till we came to 5 fathoms
water, where we anchored having the current to the westwards. The west
part of the land was high-browed, much like the head of a Gurnard, and
the eastermost land was lower, having three tufts of trees like stacks
of corn. Next day we only saw two of these trees, having removed more to
the eastwards. We rode here from the 14th of February till the 14th of
April, having the wind always at S.W.

[Footnote 311: This is only to be understood as implying that the shore
was now higher in the eastern part of the voyage along the coast, than
formerly to the west on the coast of Mina; the east shore and the west
shore referring to the bight or bay of Benin.--E.]

[Footnote 312: It is probable that the two rivers mentioned in the text
under the names of Rio de Lagoa and Rio de Benin, are those now called
the Lagos creek and the great river Formosa, both in the negro kingdom
of Benin.--E.]

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

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

The commodities we carried out in this, voyage were linens and woollen
cloths, iron work of sundry kinds, manillios or bracelets of copper,
glass beads and coral. Those we brought home were pepper, elephants
teeth, palm oil, cloth made of cotton very curiously woven, and cloth
made of the bark of the palm tree. Their money consists of pretty white
shells, as they have no gold or silver. They have also great store of
cotton. Their bread is made of certain roots called _Inamia_, as large
as a mans arm, which when well boiled is very pleasant and light of
digestion. On banian or fish days, our men preferred eating these roots
with oil and vinegar to the best stock-fish[313]. There are great
quantities of palm trees, out of which the negroes procure abundance of
a very pleasant white wine, of which we could purchase two gallons for
20 shells. The negroes have plenty of soap, which has the flavour of
violets. They make very pretty mats and baskets, also spoons of ivory
very curiously wrought with figures of birds and beasts.

[Footnote 313: It is obvious that the banian or meager days, still
continued in the British navy, are a remnant of the meager days of the
Roman catholic times, when it was deemed a mortal sin to eat flesh.
Stock-fish are, however now abandoned, having been found to promote

Upon this coast we had the most terrible thunder and lightning, which
used to make the deck tremble under our feet, such as I never heard the
like in any other part of the world. Before we became accustomed to it,
we were much alarmed, but God be thanked we had no harm. The natives are
very gentle and courteous; both men and women going naked till they are
married, after which they wear a garment reaching from the middle down
to the knees. Honey was so plentiful, that they used to sell our people
earthen pots of comb full of honey, the size of two gallons for 100
shells. They brought us also great store of oranges and plantains, which
last is a fruit which grows on a tree, and resembles our cucumbers, but
is very pleasant eating. It pleased God of his merciful goodness to give
me the knowledge of a means of preserving water fresh with little cost,
which served us six months at sea; and when we came to Plymouth it was
much wondered at by the principal men of the town, who said there was
not sweeter water in all Plymouth[314]. Thus God provides for his
creatures, unto whom be praise, now and _for ever more_, amen.

[Footnote 314: This preservative is wrought by casting a handful of
bay-salt into a hogshead of water, as the author told me.--_Hakluyt_.

The Thames water soon putrifies on board ships in long voyages; but
afterwards throws down a sediment and becomes perfectly sweet pleasant
and wholesome; insomuch that it is often bought from ships which have
been to India and back. Putrid water at sea is purified or rendered
comparatively sweet by forcing streams of air through it by what is
called an air pump. Water may be preserved sweet on long voyages, or
restored when putrid, by means of pounded charcoal.--E.]


_Supplement to the foregoing Voyage, in a Letter from Anthony Ingram the
chief Factor, written from Plymouth to the Owners, dated 9th September,
the day of arriving at Plymouth_[315].

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

[Footnote 315: Hakluyt, II. 616. Astley, I. 202.]

Departing from London in December 1588, we arrived at our destined port
of Benin on the 14th of February following, where we found not water
enough to carry our ship over the bar, so that we left her without in
the road. We put the chiefest of our merchandise into the pinnace and
ships boat, in which we went up the river to a place called _Goto_[316],
where we arrived on the 20th, that place being the nearest to Benin to
which we could go by water. From thence we sent negro messengers to
certify the king of our arrival, and the object of our coming. These
messengers returned on the 22d with a nobleman to conduct us to the city
of Benin, and with 200 negroes to carry our merchandise. On the 23d we
delivered our commodities to the kings factor, and the 25th we came to
the great city of Benin, where we were well entertained. The 26th we
went to court to confer with the king, but by reason of a solemn
festival then holding we could not see him; yet we spoke with his
_veador_, or chief man who deals with the Christians, who assured us
that we should have every thing according to our desires, both in regard
to pepper and elephants teeth.

[Footnote 316: Goto or Gato is a negro town on the northern branch of
the Rio Formoso, about 45 miles in a straight line from the mouth of the
river, and about 85 miles short of the town of Benin. This branch or
creek is probably the river of Benin of the text.--E.]

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

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



_Second Voyage of James Welsh to Benin, in 1590_[317].

In the employment of the same merchants, John Bird and John Newton, and
with the same ship as in the former voyage, the Richard of Arundel,
accompanied by a small pinnace, we set sail from Ratclif on the 3d
September 1590, and came to Plymouth Sound on the 18th of that month. We
put to sea again on the 22d, and on the 14th October got sight of
Fuertaventura, one of the Canary islands, which appeared very rugged as
we sailed past. The 16th of October, in the lat. of 24° 9' N. we met a
prodigious hollow sea, such as I had never seen before on this coast;
and this day a monstrous great fish, which I think is called a
_gobarto_[318], put up his head to the steep-tubs where the cook was
shifting the victuals, whom I thought the fish would have carried away.
The 21st, being in lat. 18° N. we had a _counter-sea_ from the north,
having in the same latitude, on our last voyage, encountered a similar
sea from the south, both times in very calm weather. The 24th we had
sight of Cape Verd, and next day had a great hollow sea from the north,
a common sign that the wind will be northerly, and so it proved. The
15th November, when in lat. 6° 42' N. we met three currents from west to
north-west, one after the other, with the interval of an hour between
each. The 18th we had two other great currents from S.W. The 20th we saw
another from N.E. The 24th we had a great current from S.S.W. and at 6
P.M. we had three currents more. The 27th we reckoned to have gone 2-1/2
leagues every watch, but found that we had only made _one_ league every
watch for the last 24 hours, occasioned by heavy billows and a swift
current still from the south. The 5th December, on setting the watch, we
cast about and lay E.N.E. and N.E. and here in lat. 5° 30' our pinnace
lost us wilfully. The 7th, at sunset, we saw a great black spot on the
sun; and on the 8th, both at rising and setting we saw the like, the
spot appearing about the size of a shilling. We were then in lat. 5° N.
and still had heavy billows from the south.

[Footnote 317: Hakluyt, II. 618. Astley, I. 203.]

[Footnote 318: In a side note, Astley conjectures this to have been a
great shark.]

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

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

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

The 10th our captain went to land with the boat at 2 P.M. All this week
it was very foggy every day till 10 o'clock A.M. and hitherto the
weather had been as temperate as our summer in England. This day we
anchored in the road in 4 fathoms, the west point bearing from us E.N.E.
The 21st, being a fair temperate day, Mr Hassald went up to the town of
Gato to hear news of our captain. The 23d came the caravel[319] in which
was Samuel, bringing 63 elephants teeth and three bullocks. The 28th was
a fair temperate day, but towards night we had much rain with thunder
and lightning. This day our boat came on board from Gato. The 24th
February, we took in 298 serons or bags of pepper, and 4 elephants
teeth. The 26th we put the rest of our goods on board the caravel, in
which Mr Hassald went up to Gato. The 5th March the caravel came again,
bringing 21 serons of pepper and 4 elephants teeth. The 9th April our
caravel came again on board with water for our return voyage, and this
day we lost our shallop or small boat. The 17th was a hazy and rainy
day, and in the afternoon we saw three great water spouts, two to
larboard and one right a-head, but by the blessing of God they came not
to our ship. This day we took in the last of our water for sea store,
and on the 26th we victualled our caravel to accompany us. The 27th we
set sail on our voyage homewards.

[Footnote 319: It is not mentioned how they came by this caravel.--Astl.
I. 204. b. Probably the pinnace that attended them in the voyage, for
the purpose of going up the shallow rivers.--E.]

The 24th May we were 37 leagues south of Cape Palmas. The 1st July we
got sight of Brava, one of the Cape Verd islands, bearing east 7 leagues
off. The 13th August we spoke the queens ship, of which Lord Howard was
admiral and Sir Richard Grenville vice-admiral. They made us keep
company till the night of the 15th, lying all the time a hull in waiting
for prizes, 30 leagues S.W. from the island of Flores. That night we got
leave to depart, accompanied by a fliboat laden with sugar from the
island of San Thome which had been taken by the queens ship, and of
which my lord admiral gave me strict charge not to part with her till
safe harboured in England. The 23d the N.E. part of the island of Corvo
bore from us E. by S. 6 leagues distant. The 17th September we fell in
with a ship belonging to Plymouth bound from the West Indies. Next day
we had sight of another sail; and this day died Mr Wood one of our
company. The 23d we spoke the Dragon belonging to my Lord Cumberland, of
which _master_ Ivie was _maister_[320]. The 2d October we met a ship
belonging to Newcastle coming from Newfoundland, out of which we got 300
couple of _Newland_ fish. The 13th we put into Dartmouth, where we staid
till the 12th December, when we sailed with a west wind, and by the
blessing of God we anchored on the 18th December 1591, at Limehouse in
the river Thames, where we discharged 589 sacks of pepper, 150 elephants
teeth, and 32 barrels of palm oil.

[Footnote 320: This distinction of master and maister often occurs in
these early voyages.--Astl. I. 205. a.]

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


_Voyage of Richard Rainolds and Thomas Dassel to the Rivers Senegal and
Gambia adjoining to Guinea, in 1591_[321].


In virtue of her majestys most gracious charter, given in the year 1588,
being the 30th of her reign, certain English merchants were privileged
to trade, in and from the river of Senega or Senegal, to and in the
river of Gambra or Gambia on the western coast of Africa. The chiefest
places of trade on that coast, in and between these rivers are: 1.
_Senegal_ river, where the commodities are hides, gum, elephants teeth,
a few grains or pepper, ostrich feathers, ambergris, and some gold. 2.
_Beseguiache_[323], a town near Cape Verd, and ---- leagues[324] from the
river Senegal. The commodities here are small hides and a few teeth. 3.
_Rufisque_, or _Refisca viejo_, a town 4 leagues from Beseguiache,
producing small hides and a few teeth now and then. 4. _Palmerin_, a
town 2 leagues from Rufisque[325], having small hides and a few
elephants teeth occasionally. 5. _Porto d'Ally_, or _Portudale_, a town
5 leagues from Palmerin, having small hides, teeth, ambergris, and a
little gold; and many Portuguese are there. 6. _Candimal_, a town half a
league from Portudale, having small hides and a few teeth now and then.
7. _Palmerin_[326], a town 3 leagues from Candimal, with similar
commodities. 8. _Jaale_ or _Joala_, 6 leagues beyond Palmerin, its
commodities being hides, wax, elephants teeth, rice, and some gold, for
which it is frequented by many Spaniards and Portuguese, 9. _Gambia
river_, producing rice, wax, hides, elephants teeth, and gold.

[Footnote 321: Hakluyt, III. 2. Astley, I. 242.]

[Footnote 322: In Astley, these previous remarks are stated to have been
written by Richard Rainolds; but in the original collection of Hakluyt
no such distinction is made, only that in the text Richard Rainolds
states himself to have written the account of the voyage.--E.]

[Footnote 323: Or Barzaguiche, by which name the natives call the island
of Goree; the town of that name being on the opposite shore of the
continent.--Astl, I. 242. c.]

[Footnote 324: At this place the editor of Astley's Collection supplies
28 leagues, in the text between brackets: But Cape Verd is 39 leagues
from the southern mouth of the Senegal, and Goree is 6 leagues beyond
Cape Verd. Near the situation pointed out for Beseguiache, modern maps
place two small towns or villages named Dakar and Ben.--E.]

[Footnote 325: A league north from Rufisque in modern maps is a place
called Ambo; about 1-1/2 league farther north, one named Canne; and near
2 leagues south, another named Yenne.--E.]

[Footnote 326: We have here two towns called Palmerin within a few
leagues, perhaps one of them may be wrong named in the text.--E.]

The French have traded thither above thirty years from Dieppe in
New-haven[327], commonly with four or five ships every year, of which
two small barks go up the river Senegal. The others are wont, until
within these four years that our ships came thither, to ride with their
ships in Portudale, sending small shalops of six or eight tons to some
of the before-named places on the sea coast. They were generally as well
beloved and as kindly treated by the negroes as if they had been natives
of the country, several of the negroes going often into France and
returning again, to the great increase of their mutual friendship. Since
we frequented the coast, the French go with their ships to Rufisque, and
leave us to anchor a Portudale. The French are not in use to go up the
river Gambia, which is a river of secret trade and riches concealed by
the Portuguese. Long since, one Frenchman entered the river in a small
bark, which was surprised, betrayed, and taken by the Portuguese. In
our second voyage in the second year of our trade[328], about forty
Englishmen were cruelly slain or captured, and most or all of their
goods confiscated, by the vile treachery of the Portuguese, with the
consent of the negro kings in Portudale and Joala. On this occasion only
two got back, who were the merchants or factors. Likewise, by the
procurement of Pedro Gonzalves, a person in the service of Don Antonio
one of the officers of the king of Portugal, Thomas Dassel and others
had been betrayed, if it had not pleased the Almighty to reveal and
prevent the same.

[Footnote 327: Havre de Grace is probably here meant--E.]

[Footnote 328: Hence it appears that the relation in the text was the
third voyage of the English exclusive company, in the third year of
their patent, but we find no account of the other two beyond what is now
mentioned. It appears, however from Kelly's ship being at the same time
upon the coast, that others as well as the patentees carried on this
trade.--Astl. I. 242. d.]

From the south side of the river Senegal, all along the sea coast to
Palmerin is one kingdom of the Negroes, the king of which is named
Melick Zamba[329], who dwells about two days journey inland from

[Footnote 329: Melick; or Malek, in Arabic signifies king.--Astl. I.
242. e.]

_The Voyage._

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

On the 17th of November, finding no French ship had yet come out, I left
the anchorage at the island [_Goree_], and went to the road of Rufisque,
where the interpreters of the alcaide came on board and received from me
the kings duties for free trade with the negroes, with whom I every day
exchanged my iron and other wares for hides and some elephants teeth,
finding the people very friendly and tractable. Next day I went about
three miles inland to the town of Rufisque, where I was handsomely
received and treated by the alcaide, and especially so by a young noble
named _Conde Amar Pattay_[330], who presented me with an ox, and some
goats and kids, for my company, assuring me that the king would be glad
to hear of the arrival of a Christian ship, calling us _blancos_ or
white men, and more especially that we were English. Every day the young
_conde_ came to the sea-side with a small company of horsemen, feasting
me with much courtesy and kindness. On the 5th of December, he and his
train came on board to view the ship, which to them seemed wonderful, as
a thing they had seldom seen the like of. He then told me that a
messenger sent to the king to notify our arrival was returned, and that
the king was much rejoiced that the English had brought a ship to trade
in his ports; and as I was the first Englishman who had brought a ship
there, he promised that I and any Englishman hereafter might be sure of
being well treated, and of receiving good dealings in his country. The
_conde_ farther requested, in the kings name and his own, that before my
final departure from the coast, I might return to the road of Rufisque,
to confer with him for our better acquaintance, and for the
establishment of stable friendship between them and the English, which I
agreed to. Having shewn him and his train every civility in my power, he
went on shore, on which I proposed to have given him a salute, but he
desired the contrary, being amazed at the sight of the ship and noise of
the guns, which they greatly admired.

[Footnote 330: In the name or title of this negro chief or noble may be
recognized the Portuguese or Spanish _conde_, and the Arabic _amir_ or

The 13th of December I weighed anchor from before Rufisque, and went to
Porto d'Ally, which is in another kingdom, the king of which is called
Amar Malek, being son to Malek Zamba the other king, and has his
residence a days journey and a half inland from Porto d'Ally. When we
had anchored, the governors of the town, who were the kings kinsmen, and
all the other officers, came on board to receive the kings duty for
anchorage and liberty to trade, all of whom seemed much pleased that we
had no Portuguese on board, saying that it was the kings pleasure we
should bring none of that nation, whom they considered as a people
devoid of truth[331]. They complained of one Francisco de Costa, a
servant of Don Antonio, who had often, and particularly the former year,
abused their king Amar Malek, promising to bring him certain things out
of England which he had never done, and supposed that might be his
reason for not coming this voyage. They said likewise that neither the
Portuguese nor Spaniards could abide us, but always spoke to the great
defamation and dishonour of England. They also affirmed that on the
arrival of a ship called the Command, belonging to Richard Kelley of
Dartmouth, one Pedro Gonzalves, a Portuguese, who came in that ship from
Don Antonio, reported to them that we were fled from England, and had
come to rob and commit great spoil on the coast, and that Thomas Dassel
had murdered Francisco de Acosta since we left England, who was coming
in our ship with great presents for their king from Don Antonio,
desiring on our arrival that they should seize our goods and ourselves
secretly. They assured us however that they had refused to do this, as
they disbelieved the report of Gonzalves, having often before been
abused and deceived by such false and slanderous stories by the
Portuguese. Their king, they said, was extremely sorry for the former
murder of our people, and would never consent to any such thing in
future, holding the Portuguese and Spaniards in utter abhorrence ever
since, and having a much better opinion of us and our nation than these
our enemies wished them to entertain. I gave them hearty thanks for
their good opinion, assuring them that they should always find a great
difference between our honour, and the dishonourable words and actions
of our enemies, and then paid them the customary duties. As this was a
chief place for trade, I told them that I intended to wait upon their
king that I might give him certain presents which I had brought out of
England, on purpose to strengthen the friendship between their nation
and ours.

[Footnote 331: From this and other passages of the present journal, it
appears that the English used to carry a Portuguese along with them in
their first voyages to the coast of Africa, whether from choice or by
agreement with the government of Portugal does not clearly appear: and
that, finding the inconvenience of this custom, they began now to lay it
aside. This seems to have provoked the king of Portugal, who proposed to
ruin the English trade by means of these agents or spies.--_Astl_. I.
214. b.]

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

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

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

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

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




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

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


_Gallant escape of the Primrose from Bilboa in Spain, in 1585_[332].

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

[Footnote 332: Hakluyt, II. 537. Astley, I.194.]

       *       *       *       *       *

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

On getting on board, the Spaniards dispersed themselves over the ship,
some below deck, others entering the cabins, while the most part
remained in a body as if to guard their prize. Then the corregidore, who
had an officer along with him bearing a white rod in his hand, desired
Mr Foster to yield himself as a prisoner to the king of Spain; on which
he called out to his men that they were betrayed. At this time some of
the Spaniards threatened Mr Foster with their daggers in a furious
manner, as if they would have slain him, yet they had no such purpose,
meaning only to have taken him and his men prisoners. Mr Foster and his
men were amazed at this sudden assault, and were greatly concerned to
think themselves ready to be put to death; yet some of them, much
concerned for their own and Mr Fosters danger, and believing themselves
doomed to death if landed as prisoners, determined either to defend
themselves manfully or to die with arms in their hands, rather than to
submit to the hands of the tormentors[333]; wherefore they boldly took
to their weapons, some armed with javelins, lances, and boar-spears, and
others with five calivers ready charged, being all the fire-arms they
had. With these they fired up through the gratings of the hatches at the
Spaniards on deck, at which the Spaniards were sore amazed not knowing
how to escape the danger, and fearing the English had more fire-arms
than they actually possessed. Others of the crew laid manfully about
among the Spaniards with their lances and boar-spears, disabling two or
three of the Spaniards at every stroke. Then some of the Spaniards urged
Mr Foster to command his men to lay down their arms and surrender; but
he told them that the English were so courageous in the defence of their
lives and liberties, that it was not in his power to controul them, for
on such an occasion they would slay both them and him. At this time the
blood of the Spaniards flowed plentifully about the deck; some being
shot between the legs from below, the bullets came out at their
breasts; some were cut in the head, others thrust in the body, and many
of them so sore wounded that they rushed faster out at one side of the
ship than they came in at the other, tumbling fast overboard on both
side with their weapons, some falling into the sea, and others into
their boats, in which they made all haste on shore. But though they came
to the ship in great numbers, only a small number of them returned, yet
it is not known how many of them were slain or drowned. On this occasion
only one Englishman was slain named John Tristram, and six others
wounded; but it was piteous to behold so many Spaniards swimming in the
sea, and unable to save their lives, of whom four who had got hold of
some part of the ship, were rescued from the waves by Mr Foster and his
men, whose bosoms were found stuffed with paper to defend them from the
shot, and these four being wounded, were dressed by the English surgeon.
One of these was the corregidore himself, who was governor over an
hundred cities and towns, his appointments exceeding six hundred pounds
a year. This strange incident took place about six o'clock in the
evening; after they had landed upwards of twenty tons of goods from the
Primrose, which were delivered at Bilboa by John Barrell and John
Brodbank, who were made prisoners on shore.

[Footnote 333: This seems to allude to their fears of the Inquisition,
if made prisoners.--E.]

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

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

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


_Voyage of Sir Francis Drake, in 1585, to the West Indies_[334].

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

[Footnote 334: Church. Collect. III. 155.]

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

The services performed in this expedition were, the taking and sacking
of St Domingo in Hispaniola, of Carthagena on the continent of America,
and of St Justina in Florida, three towns of great importance in the
West Indies. This fleet was the greatest of any nation, except the
Spaniards, that had ever been seen in these seas since their first
discovery; and, if the expedition had been as well considered of before
going from home, as it was happily performed by the valour of those
engaged, it had more annoyed the king of Spain than all the other
actions that ensued during that war. But it seems our long peace had
made us incapable of advice in war; for had we kept and defended those
places when in our possession, and made provision to have relieved them
from England, we had diverted the war from Europe; for at that time
there was no comparison betwixt the strength of Spain and England by
sea, by means whereof we might have better defended these acquisitions,
and might more easily have encroached upon the rest of the Indies, than
the king of Spain could have aided or succoured them. But now we see and
find by experience, that those places which were then weak and
unfortified, are since fortified, so that it is to no purpose for us to
attempt annoying the king of Spain now in his dominions in the West
Indies. And, though this expedition proved fortunate and victorious, yet
as it was father an awakening than a weakening of the king of Spain, it
had been far better wholly let alone, than to have undertaken it on such
slender grounds, and with such inconsiderable forces[335].

[Footnote 335: It must be acknowledged that the present section can only
be considered as a species of introduction or prelude to an intended
narrative of an expedition: Yet such actually is the first article in
Sir William Monson's celebrated Naval Tracts, as published in the
Collection of Churchill; leaving the entire of the narrative an absolute
blank. Nothing could well justify the adoption of this inconclusive and
utterly imperfect article, but the celebrity of its author and actor:
For Sir William Monson, and the editor of Churchill's Collection, seem
to have dosed in giving to the public this _Vox et preterea nihil_.--E.]


_Cruizing Voyage to the Azores by Captain Whiddon, in 1586, written by
John Evesham_[336].

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

[Footnote 336: Hakluyt; II. 606. Astley, I. 196. The command of this
expedition is attributed by the editor of Astley's Collection to captain
Whiddon, on the authority of the concluding sentence.--E.]

After this, while plying off and on about the islands, we espied another
sail to which we gave chase, during which our admiral sprung his
main-mast; yet in the night our vice-admiral got up with and captured
the chase, which we found was laden with fish from Cape Blanco on which
we let her go for want of hands to bring her home. Next day we descried
two vessels, one a ship and the other a caravel, to which we gave chase,
on which they made with all haste for the island of Gracioso, where they
got to anchor under protection of a fort; as having the wind of us we
were unable to cut them off from the land, or to get up to attack them
with our ships as they lay at anchor. Having a small boat which we
called a _light horseman_, there went into her myself and four men armed
with calivers, and four others to row, in which we went towards them
against the wind. On seeing us row towards them, they carried a
considerable part of their merchandise on shore, and landed all the men
of both vessels; and as soon as we got near, they began to fire upon us
both from their cannon and small arms, which we returned as well as we
could. We then boarded one of their ships, in which they had not left a
single man; and having cut her cables and hoisted her sails, we sent her
off with two of our men. The other seven of us then went very near the
shore and boarded the caravel, which rode within stones throw of the
shore, insomuch that the people on the land threw stones at us; yet in
spite of them, we took possession of her, there being only one negro on
board. Having cut her cables and hoisted her sails, she was so becalmed
under the land that we had to tow her off with our boat, the fort still
firing on us from their cannon, while the people on shore, to the number
of about 150, continually fired at us with muskets and calivers, we
answering them with our five muskets. At this time the shot from my
musket, being a bar-shot, happened to strike the gunner of the fort
dead, while he was levelling one of his great guns; and thus we got off
from them without loss or wound on our part. Having thus taken five[337]
sail in all, we did as we had done with the ship with the fish, we
turned them off without hurting them, save that we took from one of them
her mainmast for our admiral, and sent her away with all our Spanish and
Portuguese prisoners, except Pedro Sarmiento, three other principal
persons, and two negroes, leaving them within sight of land, with bread
and water sufficient to serve them ten days.

[Footnote 337: Four only are mentioned in the text; and it appears that
they only sent away at this time the first taken ship, in which they had
captured Sarmiento.--E.]

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

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

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


_Brief relation of notable service performed by Sir Francis Drake in


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

[Footnote 338: Hakl. II. 607. Astl. I. 197.]

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

       *       *       *       *       *

Being informed of mighty naval preparations in Spain for the invasion of
England, her Majesty queen Elizabeth, by the good advice of her grave
and prudent council, thought it expedient to use measures to prevent the
same; for which purpose she caused a fleet of some thirty sail to be
equipped, over which she appointed as general Sir Francis Drake, of
whose many former good services she had sufficient proof. She
accordingly caused four ships of her royal navy to be delivered to him,
the Bonaventure, in which he went general; the Lion, under the command
of Mr William Borough, comptroller of the navy; the Dreadnought,
commanded by Mr Thomas Venner; and the Rainbow, of which Mr Henry
Bellingham was captain[339]. Besides these four ships, two of her
majestys pinnaces were appointed to serve as tenders or advice boats. To
this fleet, there were added certain tall ships belonging to the city of
London, of whose special good service the general made particular
mention, in his letters to the queen.

[Footnote 339: Sir William Monson in his Naval Tracts, in Churchills
Collection, III. 156, gives a short account of this expedition. By him
the admiral ship is called the Elizabeth Bonaventure, and Sir William
Burroughs is called vice admiral. From a list given by Sir William
Monson of the royal navy of England left by queen Elizabeth at her
death, (Church. Coll. III. 196.) the Bonaventure appears to have been of
the burden of 600 tons, carrying 50 pieces of cannon and 250 men, 70 of
whom were mariners, and the rest landsmen. The Lion and Rainbow of 500
tons each, with the same number of guns and men as the Bonaventure. The
Dreadnought of 400 tons, 20 guns, 200 men, 50 of them seamen.--E.]

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

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

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

We then shaped our course to Cape Sacre[340], and in our way thither we
took at several times near 100 ships, barks, and caravels, laden with
hoops, galley oars, pipe staves, and other stores belonging to the king
of Spain, intended for furthering his preparations against England, all
of which we set on fire and destroyed, setting all their men on shore.
We also spoiled and destroyed all the fishing boats and nets
thereabouts, to their great annoyance, and as we suppose to the entire
overthrow of their rich Tunny fishing for that year. We came at length
to Cape Sagres, where we landed; and the better to enjoy the harbour at
our ease[341], we assailed the castle of Sagres and three other strong
holds, some of which we took by storm and others by surrender. From
thence we came before the harbour of Lisbon or mouth of the Tagus, where
lay the Marquis of Santa Cruz with his fleet of gallies, who seeing us
chase his ships on shore, and take and carry away his barks and
caravels, was obliged to allow us to remain quietly at our pleasure, and
likewise to depart, without exchanging a single shot. When our general
sent him word that he was ready to combat with him, the marquis refused
his challenge, saying that he was not then ready, neither had he any
such commission from his sovereign.

[Footnote 340: Cape St Vincent, or rather Punta de Sagres, one of the
head lands of that great promontory.--E.]

[Footnote 341: Probably the harbour of Figuera in Algarve, a town near
Cape Sagres.--E.]

Thus having his challenge refused by the marquis, and seeing no more
good to be done on the coast of Spain, our general thought it improper
to spend any more time there; and therefore with consent of his chief
officers[342], he shaped his course towards the island of St Michael,
within 20 or 30 leagues of which he had the good fortune to fall in with
a Portuguese carak, called the San Philippo, being the same ship which
had carried out to the Indies three Japanese princes who had been in
Europe[343]. The carak surrendered without resistance, and being the
first that had ever been taken on the homeward voyage from India, the
Portuguese took it for a bad omen, especially as she had the kings own
name. Our general put all the people belonging to this carak into
certain vessels well provided with provisions, and sent them courteously
home to their own country. The riches of this prize seemed so great to
the whole fleet, as in truth they were, that every one expected to have
sufficient reward of their labour, and thereupon it was unanimously
resolved to return to England, which we happily did, and arrived safe
the same summer in Plymouth with our whole fleet and this rich booty, to
our own profit and due honour, and the great admiration of the whole

[Footnote 342: According to Sir William Monson, Church. Col. III. 156.
Sir Francis Drake went upon this expedition to conciliate the merchant
adventurers, to whom most of the ships of his squadron belonged.--E.]

[Footnote 343: Sir William Monson, in the place quoted above, says he
had intelligence of this carak having wintered at Mosambique, and being
now expected home.--E.]

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


_Brief account of the Expedition of the Spanish Armada in 1588_[344].

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

[Footnote 344: Church. Col. III. 157.]

The directions given by the king of Spain to his general, the duke of
Medina Sidonia, were to repair, as wind and weather might allow, to the
road of Calais in Picardy, there to wait the arrival of the prince of
Parma and his army, and on their meeting they were to open a letter
containing their farther instructions. He was especially commanded to
sail along the coasts of Brittany and Normandy in going up the channel,
to avoid being discovered by the English; and, if he even met the
English fleet, he was in no case to offer them battle, but only to
defend himself in case of attack. On coming athwart the North Cape[345]
the duke was assailed with contrary wind and foul weather, by which he
was forced to take shelter in the _Groyne_, or bay of Corunna, where
part of his fleet waited for him.

[Footnote 345: Perhaps Cape Ortegal may be here meant, being the most
northern head land of Spain, and not far from Corunna, called the Groyne
in the text.--E.]

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

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


   _Ships.       Commanders.                Tons. Guns. Men._
   The Ark Royal    The Lord Admiral              800   32   400
   Revenge          Sir F. Drake, vice admiral
   Victory          Sir J. Hawkins, rear admiral  800   52   400
   Lion             Lord Thomas Howard            500   80   250
   Bear             Lord Sheffield                900   40   500
   Elizabeth-Jonas  Sir Robert Southwell          900   40   500
   Triumph          Sir Martin Frobisher         1000   40   500
   Hope             Captain Crosse                600   30   250
   Bonaventure      ---- Reyman                   600   30   250
   Dreadnought      ---- George Beeston           400   20   200
   Nonparielle      ---- Thomas Fenner            500   50   250
   Swiftsure        ---- William Fenner           400   20   200
   Rainbow          Lord Henry Seymour
   Vauntguard       Sir William Wentworth
   Mary-Rose        Captain Fenton
   Antilope         Sir Henry Palmer              350   16   160
   Foresight        Captain Baker                 300   16   160
   Aid              ---- John Wentworth
   Swallow          ---- Richard Hawkins          330   16   160
   Tiger            ---- William Wentworth        200   12   100
   Scout            ---- Ashley                   120    8    66
   Tremontanny                                           8    70
   Acatice                                        100    8    60
   Charles, pinnace Captain Roberts
   Moon             ---- Clifford
   Spy              ---- Bradbury                  50    5    40

[Footnote 346: This list, as given by Sir William Monson in the present
article, contains only the names of the ships and commanders; the other
circumstances enumerated, tonnage, guns, and men, are added from a list
of the royal navy of England at the death of queen Elizabeth, which will
be given hereafter.--E.]

Immediately on receiving the intelligence brought by Fleming, the lord
admiral got out his ships to sea with all possible expedition; so that
before the Spaniards could draw near Plymouth, they were welcomed at sea
by the lord admiral and his fleet, who continued to fight with them till
they came to anchor at Calais. The particulars of the fight and its
success I purposely omit, being things so well known[347].

[Footnote 347: This surely is a poor excuse for omitting the glorious
destruction of the Spanish Armada; yet in a Collection of Voyages, it
were improper to attempt supplying even this great omission, by any
composition of our own; as it may be found in the historians of the

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

Although her majesty had taken the most vigilant precautions to foresee
and prevent all dangers that might threaten from sea, yet did she not
deem herself and country too secure against the enemy by these means,
and therefore prepared a royal army to receive them in case of landing.
But it was not the will of God that the enemy should set foot on
England, and the queen became victorious over him at sea with small
hazard, and little bloodshed of her subjects. Having thus shewn the
designs of the Spaniards, and the course pursued by the queen to prevent
them, I propose now to consider the errors committed on both sides[348].

[Footnote 348: Our readers are requested to remember that these are the
reflections of Sir William Monson, a contemporary.--E.]

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

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

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

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


_Account of the Relief of a part of the Spanish Armada, at Anstruther in
Scotland, in 1588_[349].

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

[Footnote 349: From MS. Memoirs of James Melville, a contemporary.]

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

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

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

       *       *       *       *       *

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

For, within two or three moneths thereafter, early in the morning by
break of day, one of our baillies[350] came to my bed side, saying, but
not with fray [fear], "I have to tell you news, Sir: There is arrived
within our harbour this morning, a shipfull of Spaniards, but not to
give mercy; but to ask." And so shews me that the commander had landed,
and he had commanded them to their ship again, and the Spaniards had
humbly obeyed. He therefore desired me to rise and hear their petition
with them. Up I got with diligence, and, assembling the honest men of
the town, came to the tolbooth[351], and after consultation taken to
hear them and what answer to make, there presented us a very venerable
man of big stature, and grave and stout countenance, grey haired and
very humble like, who, after much and very low courtesie, bowing down
with his face near the ground, and touching my shoe with his hand, began
his harangue in the Spanish tongue, whereof I understood the substance;
and, I being about to answer in Latin, he having only a young man with
him to be his interpreter, [who] began and told over again to us in good

[Footnote 350: The baillies of towns in Scotland are equivalent to
aldermen in England. The author here refers to the town of Anstruther, a
sea port town of Fife, on the northern shore of the Firth of Forth, of
which he was minister. There are two Anstruthers, easter and wester,
very near each other, and now separate parishes; but it does not appear
to which of these the present historical document refers: Perhaps they
were then one.--E.]

[Footnote 351: The town-house; but now generally applied to signify the
prison, then, and even now, often attached to the town hall.--E.]

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

I answered this much in sum, That, howbeit neither our friendship, which
could not be great, seeing their king and they were friends to the
greatest enemy of Christ, the pope of Rome, and our king and we defied
him, nor yet their cause against our neighbours and special friends of
England, could procure any benefit at our hands for their relief or
comfort; nevertheless they should know by experience that we were men,
and so moved by human compassion, and christians of better religion
_nor_ [than] they, which should _kythe_ [appear manifest] in the fruits
and effects plain contrary to theirs: For, whereas our people, resorting
among them in peaceable and lawful affairs of merchandise, were
violently taken and cast in prison, their goods and _gier_ [chattels]
confiscate, and their bodies committed to the cruel flaming fire for the
cause of religion, they should find nothing amongst us but Christian
pity and works of mercy and alms, leaving to God to work in their hearts
concerning religion as it pleased him. This being truly reported again
to him by his townsmen, with great reverence he gave thanks and said,
"He could not make answer for their _kirk_ [church], and the laws and
order thereof, only for himself, that there were divers Scotsmen who
knew him, and to whom he had shewn courtesy and favour at Calice[352],
and as he supposed some of this same town of Anstruther."

[Footnote 352: _Calice_ in this passage, and _Calais_ in one subsequent,
certainly means Cadiz in Spain; which to this day is often called
_Cales_ by English mariners.--E.]

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

That night the _laird_ [lord of the manor] being advertised, came; and,
on the morn, with a good number of the gentlemen of the countrey round
about, gave the said general and the captains _presence_, [audience] and
after the same speeches in effect as before, received them in his house,
and suffered the souldiers to come a land and ly altogether to the
number of thirteen score, for the most part young beardless men,
_silly_, [weak] travelled, and hungered; to the which, one day or two
_kail pottage_[353] and fish was given; for my advice was conform to the
prophet Elizeus [Elisha] his to the king of Israel in Samaria, _Give
them bread and water, &c._

[Footnote 353: A mess formerly much used in Scotland among the commons,
being a kind of soup maigre, composed of _kail_, a species of greens or
coleworts, boiled in water, and thickened with oat-meal, grits, or
shelled barley.--E.]

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

In the mean time, they knew not of the wrack of the rest, but supposed
that the rest of the army was safely returned [to Spain,] till one day I
got in St Andrews, in print, the wrack of the gallies in particular,
with the names of the principal men, and how they were used, in Ireland
and our Highlands, in Wales and other parts of England. The which, when
I recorded to Jan Gomes, by particular and special names, he cried out
for grief, _bursted and grat_ [burst into tears.] This Jan Gomes shewed
great kindness to a ship of our town, which he found arriested at
_Calais_[354] at home coming, _rode_[355] to court for her, and made
great _russe_ [praise] of Scotland to his king, took the honest men to
his house, and inquired for the laird of Anstruther, for the minister,
and his host, and sent home many commendations: But we thanked God in
our hearts, that we had seen them in that form.

[Footnote 354: This must signify Cadiz, as mentioned before.--E.]

[Footnote 355: Perhaps ought to have been _wrote_.--E.]


_A cruising Voyage to the Azores in 1589, by the Earl of

We learn from Hakluyt, II. 647, that this narrative was written by Mr
Edward Wright, an eminent mathematician and engineer, who was the real
author of that admirable invention for charts, commonly called
_Mercators projection_, but unjustly, as Mr Wright complains in his work
entitled _Vulgar Errors_, where he charges Mercator with plagiarism.
From the narrative, Mr Wright appears to have been engaged in the
expedition and on board the Victory[357].

[Footnote 356: Hakluyt, II. 647. Churchill, III. 161. Astley, I. 206.]

[Footnote 357: Astley, I. 206. a.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The right honourable the Earl of Cumberland, intending to cruize against
the enemy, prepared a small fleet of four ships only[358] at his own
charges, one of which was the Victory[359] belonging to the queens royal
navy. The others were the Meg and Margaret, two small ships, one of
which was soon obliged to be sent home as unable to endure the sea,
besides a small caravel. Having assembled about 400 men, sailors and
soldiers, with several gentlemen volunteers, the earl and they embarked
and set sail from Plymouth Sound on the 28th June 1589, accompanied by
the following captains and gentlemen. Captain Christopher Lister, an
officer of great resolution, Captain Edward Careless, _alias Wright_,
who had been captain of the Hope in Sir Francis Drakes expedition to
the West Indies against St Domingo and Carthagena; Captain Boswel, Mr
Mervin, Mr Henry Long, Mr Partridge, Mr Norton; Mr William Monson,
afterwards Sir William[360], who was captain of the Meg and
vice-admiral, and Mr Pigeon, who was captain of the caravel.

[Footnote 358: Sir William Monson, in Churchills collection, says there
were _five_ ships; and indeed we find a fifth, called the Saucy Jack,
mentioned in the narrative.--E.]

[Footnote 359: The Victory was of 800 tons, carrying 32 guns and 400
men; of whom, according to Sir William Monson, 268 were mariners, and
100 sailors, the remaining 32 being probably soldiers, or as we now call
them marines. The distinction between mariners and sailors is not
obvious; perhaps what are now called ordinary and able seamen,--E.]

[Footnote 360: Sir William Monson was author of some curious Naval
Tracts, giving an account of the Royal Navy of England in the reigns of
Queen Elizabeth and James I. which are preserved in Churchills
Collection, Vol. III. pp. 147--508.--E.]

About three days after our departure from Plymouth, we met with three
French ships, one of which belonged to Newhaven[361], and another to St
Maloes; and finding them to be leaguers[362], and therefore lawful
prizes, we took them, and sent two of them home to England with all
their loading, being mostly fish from Newfoundland, having first
distributed among our ships as much of the fish as they could find
stowage room for; and in the third ship we sent all the prisoners home
to France. On that day and the next we met some other ships, but finding
them belonging to Rotterdam and Embden, bound for Rochelle, we dismissed
them. On the 28th and 29th, we met several of our English ships
returning from an expedition to Portugal, which we relieved with
victuals. The 13th July, being in sight of the coast of Spain in lat.
39° N. we descried eleven ships, on which we immediately prepared to
engage them, sending the Meg commanded by Captain Monson to ascertain
what and whence they were. On the approach of the Meg some shots were
exchanged, and as their admiral and vice-admiral displayed their flags,
we perceived that some fighting was likely to follow. Having therefore
prepared for battle, we made all haste towards them, always taking care
to get to windward, and between ten and eleven o'clock A.M. we came up
with them in the Victory, when they all yielded after a slight
resistance. The masters all came on board our admiral, and shewed their
several passports from Hamburg, Lubeck, Bremen, Pomerania, and Calais.
They had certain bags of pepper and cinnamon, which they confessed to
belong to a Jew in Lisbon, which they had charge of to deliver to his
factor in their country; and finding this to be lawful prize by their
own confession, the same was taken and divided among our whole company,
the value being estimated at L.4500, at two shillings the pound[363]. We
dismissed these ships on the 17th of July, but seven of their men,
having volunteered as sailors in our fleet, were taken to reinforce our
crew. After this we held on our course for the Azores or Western

[Footnote 361: Probably that port now called Havre de Grace.--E.]

[Footnote 362: Alluding to the _Catholic League_, then in alliance with
Spain, and in rebellious opposition to their lawful sovereign, for the
purpose of excluding the king of Navarre, afterwards Henry IV. from the
crown of France.--E.]

[Footnote 363: Sir William Monson, who gives a short account of this
expedition in the Naval Tracts already quoted, says that spices to the
value of L.7000 were taken out of these vessels.--E.]

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

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

When we were about the island of Flores, we got notice from a small
vessel called the Drake[364], that the caraks were at Tercera, of which
news we were very glad, and made sail thither with all the speed we
could. By the way we came to Fayal road on the 27th August after sunset,
where we saw some ships at anchor, towards which Captains Lister and
Monson were sent in the skiff to see what they were, and lest any
mischance should befall our boat, we sent in likewise the Saucy Jack and
the small caravel; but as the wind was off shore, these vessels were not
able to set up to where the Spanish ships were anchored. The skiff went
on however, and endeavoured to board a ship of 250 tons, which carried
14 pieces of ordnance, and continued fighting with her for an hour,
till our other boats came up to the rescue and aid of the skiff. A fresh
boarding was then attempted, by one boat on the quarter and another on
the bow, when we entered on one side while all the Spaniards leapt
overboard on the other side, except Juan de Palma the captain, and two
or three more. This ship was moored close to the castle, which fired at
us all the time; but the only one wounded on the occasion was the master
of our caravel, who had the calf of one of his legs shot away. This ship
was from St Juan de Puerto Rico, laden with sugar ginger and hides.
After we had towed her clear of the castle, our boats went in again and
brought out five other small ships; one laden with hides, another with
elephants teeth, grains[365], cocoa-nuts, and goats skins, come from
Guinea; another with woad, and two with dog-fish, which two last were
set adrift as of no value, but all the other four were sent for England
on the 30th of August. At the taking of these prizes there were
consorted with us some other small men of war, as Master John Davis,
with his ship, pinnace, and boat; Captain Markesburie with his ship,
whose owner was Sir Walter Raleigh; and the bark of Lyme, which also was
consorted with us before.

[Footnote 364: Sir William Monson says, from an English man of war.--E.]

[Footnote 365: Guinea Pepper.--E.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

While proceeding towards them, we saw several boats passing between the
_roaders_[366] and the shore, and many men in their shirts swimming and
wading on shore, who, as we afterwards learnt, were endeavouring to get
the ships fast aground; and the inhabitants were at the same time busied
in preparing to defend the ships and themselves against us. On coming
near them, captain Lister commanded the trumpets to be sounded, but
prohibited any firing till farther orders; yet some of the people,
either not hearing, or disregardful of these orders, began firing as
soon as the trumpets sounded, though with small injury to the islanders,
who mostly lay under the cover of trenches or other means of defence.
Captain Lister then urged on the rowers, who began to shrink at the shot
from the enemy which flew thick about their ears, and was himself the
first to board one of the ships which lay farther from shore than the
other, while we speedily followed, still plying the enemy with our shot,
and having cut her cables and hawsers, we towed her out to sea. In the
mean time, captain Davis came up in his boat, and boarded the other
ship, both having been abandoned by their crews; but, as she was quite
fast aground, he was under the necessity of quitting her, exposed to
shot and stones even from the shore. At this time, the towns-people made
an attempt to capture captain Davis and his boats crew, which were but
few in number; but they joined us, and we jointly towed off our prize,
which was a ship from Brazil laden with sugar. In this exploit we had
two men slain and sixteen wounded, while it is probable that the enemy
suffered small loss, as they were mostly sheltered behind stone walls,
many of which were built above one another on the end of the hill on
which the town stands, between two vallies. On the top of the hill they
had some large cannon, from which they fired leaden bullets, one only
of which went through the side of our prize, but did no other injury.

[Footnote 366: This uncommon word seems merely to signify, ships lying
at anchor in an open road.--E.]

Next day we made another attempt to get fresh water at this island, but
as we were ignorant of the landing-place, where we found many
inconveniences and disadvantages, we were unable to effect our purpose.
Wherefore we departed on the night of the 25th October for the island of
St George, in quest of fresh water, and got there on the 27th. Observing
a stream of water running down into the sea, the pinnace, and long-boat
were sent under captains Preston and Manson, by whom a letter was sent
by my lord to the islanders, desiring leave to take water quietly, and
no farther injury should be done them. On getting to the shore, our men
found some of the poor islanders hid among the rocks, being afraid of
us. On the 29th, our boats returned with fresh water, bringing only six
tons to the Victory, alleging they could get no more; thinking, as was
afterwards supposed, as he had only 12 tons of water and wine, that my
lord would now return direct for England, as many of our men greatly
desired. My lord, was very unwilling to do this, and meant next day to
have taken in more water, but from the roughness of the sea, and the
wind freshening, and owing to the unwillingness of the people, no more
water was procured: yet my lord would not return with so much provision
unspent, especially as the expedition had not hitherto produced such
fruits as might reasonably satisfy himself and others. Wherefore, with
consent of the whole ships companies, it was agreed to go for England by
way of the coast of Spain, to endeavour to make more captures, the whole
people being reduced to half allowance of water, except such as were
sick or wounded, who were to have whole allowance. On Saturday, the 31st
October, as the Margaret was very leaky, she was sent off direct for
England in charge of the Brazil ship, and in them our sick and wounded
men were sent home; but captain Monson was taken out of the _Megge_ into
the Victory[367].

[Footnote 367: In the commencement of this voyage, the Meg and Margaret
are named as distinct ships, one of which is said to have been sent home
soon after, as unfit for sea. In this passage the Margaret and Megge are
evidently different names for the same ship.--E.]

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

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

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

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

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

   _Quem pulchrum digito monstrari, et dicere hic est_.

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

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

   Deus maris et caeli, quid enim nisi vota supersunt;
   Solvere quassatae parcito membra ratis.

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

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

As soon as we had anchored, my lord went forthwith on shore, and
presently after brought off fresh provisions and water; such as sheep,
pigs, fowls, &c. to refresh his ships company, though he had lately been
very weak himself, and had suffered the same extremity with the rest:
For, in the time of our former want, having only a little water
remaining by him in a pot, it was broken in the night and all the water
lost. The sick and wounded were soon afterwards landed and carried to
the principal town, called _Dingenacush_[368], about three miles distant
from the haven, and at which place our surgeons attended them daily.
Here we well refreshed ourselves, while the Irish harp sounded sweetly
in our ears, and here we, who in our former extremity were in a manner
half dead, had our lives as it were restored.

[Footnote 368: Called otherwise Dingle Icouch by the editor of Astleys

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

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

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

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

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

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


_Valiant Sea Fight, by Ten Merchant Ships of London against Twelve
Spanish Gallies in the Straits of Gibraltar, on the 24th April_

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

[Footnote 369: Hakluyt, II. 660.]

Next morning early, being Tuesday in Easter week, the 24th of April
1590, we had service according to our usual custom, praying to Almighty
God to save us from the hands of the tyrannous Spaniards, whom we justly
imagined and had always found to be our most mortal enemies on the sea.
Having finished our prayers, and set ourselves in readiness, we
perceived them coming towards us, and knew them indeed to be the Spanish
gallies, commanded by Andrea Doria, viceroy for the king of Spain in the
Straits of Gibraltar, and a notable enemy to all Englishmen. When they
came near us, they _waved us amain_ for the king of Spain, and in return
we waved them amain for the Queen of England[370]; at which time it
pleased the Almighty so to encourage our hearts, that the nearer they
came we the less feared their great strength and huge number of men;
they having to the amount of two or three hundred in each galley. It was
concluded among us, that our four largest and tallest ships should be
placed in the rear, the weaker and smaller ships going foremost; and so
it was performed, every one of us being ready to take part in such
successes as it should please God to send.

[Footnote 370: This waving amain seems to have been some salutation of
defiance, then usual at sea.--E.]

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

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

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

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


_A valiant sea fight in the Straits of Gibraltar, in April_ 1591, _by
the Centurion of London, against five Spanish gallies_.

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

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

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

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

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


_Sea-fight near the Azores, between the Revenge man of war, commanded by
Sir Richard Granville, and fifteen Spanish men of war_, 31_st August_
1591. _Written by Sir Walter Raleigh_[371].


Because the rumours are diversely spread, as well in England as in the
Low Countries and elsewhere, of this late encounter between her majestys
ships and the armada of Spain; and that the Spaniards, according to
their usual manner, fill the world with their vain-glorious vaunts,
making great shew of victories, when on the contrary themselves are most
commonly and shamefully beaten and dishonoured, thereby hoping to
possess the ignorant multitude by anticipating and forerunning false
reports: It is agreeable with all good reason, for manifestation of the
truth, to overcome falsehood and untruth, that the beginning,
continuance, and success of this late honourable encounter by Sir
Richard Grenville, and others her majestys captains, with the
armada[373] of Spain, should be truly set down and published, without
partiality or false imaginations. And it is no marvel that the Spaniards
should seek, by false and slanderous pamphlets, _advisos_, and letters,
to cover their own loss, and to derogate from others their due honours,
especially in this fight being far off; seeing they were not ashamed, in
the year 1588, when they purposed the invasion of this land, to publish
in sundry languages in print, great victories in words, which they
pretended to have obtained against this realm, and spread the same in a
most false sort over all parts of France, Italy, and other countries.
When, shortly after it was happily manifested in very deed to all
nations, how their navy, which they termed _invincible_, consisting of
140 sail of ships, not only of their own kingdom, but strengthened with
the greatest argosies, Portugal caraks, Florentines, and huge hulks of
other countries, were by 80 of her majestys own ships of war, and a few
belonging to our own merchants, by the wise, valiant, and advantageous
conduct of the lord Charles Howard, high admiral of England, beaten and
shuffled together, even from the Lizard in Cornwall, first to Portland
where they shamefully left Don Pedro de Valdes with his mighty ship:
from Portland to Calais, where they lost Hugo de Moncado with the
gallies of which he was captain: and from Calais driven by squibs from
their anchors, were chased out of sight of England, round about Scotland
and Ireland. Where for the sympathy of their barbarous religion, hoping
to find succour and assistance, a great part of them were crushed
against the rocks, and those others that landed, being very many in
number, were notwithstanding broken, slain, and taken, and so sent from
village to village, coupled in halters, to be shipped for England. Where
her majesty, of her princely and invincible disposition, disdaining to
put them to death, and scorning either to retain or entertain them, they
were all sent back again into their countries, to witness and recount
the worthy achievements of their invincible and dreadful navy: of which,
the number of soldiers, the fearful burden of their ships, the
commanders names of every squadron, with all their magazines of
provisions were put in print, as an army and navy irresistible and
disdaining prevention. With all which so great and terrible ostentation,
they did not, in all their sailing about England, so much as sink or
take one ship, bark, pinnace, or cock-boat of ours, or ever burnt so
much as one sheep-cot of this land. When, as on the contrary, Sir
Francis Drake, with only 800 soldiers, not long before landed in their
Indies, and forced San Jago, Santo Domingo, Carthagena, and the forts of

[Footnote 371: Hakluyt, II. 668. Astley, I. 216.]

[Footnote 372: This preliminary discourse, by the famous Sir Walter
Raleigh, is given from Hakluyt without alteration, except in

[Footnote 373: Armada is a general word, signifying in Spanish a ship of
war or a fleet or squadron. Generally in English it has been limited to
the invincible armada, or powerful fleet fitted out by Philip II. in the
vain hope of conquering England.--E.]

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For the rest of her majestys ships, that entered not into the fight like
the Revenge, the reasons and causes were these: There were of them only
six in all, two whereof were only small ships; and they could be of no
service, as the Revenge was engaged past recovery. The island of Flores
was on one side; 53 sail of Spanish ships were on the other, divided
into several squadrons, all as full of soldiers as they could contain.
Almost one half of our men were sick and unable to serve; the ships were
grown foul, _unroomaged_[374], and hardly able to bear any sail for want
of ballast, having been six months at sea. If all the rest of the ships
had entered into the action, they had been all lost; for the very
hugeness of the Spanish ships, even if no other violence had been
offered, might have crushed them all into shivers between them; by which
the loss and dishonour to the queen had been far greater, than any
injury the enemy could have sustained. It is nevertheless true, that the
Lord Thomas Howard would have entered between the squadrons of the
enemy, but the others would on no account consent; and even the master
of his own ship threatened to leap into the sea, rather than conduct the
admirals ship and the rest to be a certain prey to the enemy, where
there was no hope or possibility of victory or even of defence. In my
opinion, such rashness would have ill assorted with the discretion and
trust of a general, to have committed himself and his charge to
assured destruction, without any hope or likelihood of prevailing,
thereby to have diminished the strength of her majestys navy, and to
have increased the pride and glory of the enemy.

[Footnote 374: This singular antiquated sea term may signify, not in
sailing _trim_.--E.]

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

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

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

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

Neither have they at any time, as they protest, invaded the kingdoms of
Mexico and Peru and elsewhere, being only led thereto to reduce the
people to Christianity, not for gold or empire: Whereas, in the single
island of Hispaniola, they have wasted and destroyed thirty hundred
thousand of the natives, besides many millions else in other places of
the Indies: a poor and harmless people, created of God, and might have
been won to his service, as many of them were, even almost all whom they
endeavoured to persuade thereto. The story of these their enormities,
has been written at large by Bartholomew de las Casas[375], a bishop of
their own nation, and has been translated into English and many other
languages, under the title of _The Spanish Cruelties_. Who therefore
would repose trust in such a nation of ravenous strangers, and more
especially in those Spaniards, who more greedily thirst after the blood
of the English, for the many overthrows and dishonours they have
received at our hands; whose weakness we have discovered to the world,
and whose forces, at home, abroad, in Europe, in the Indies, by sea and
by land, even with mere handfuls of men and ships on our sides, we have
overthrown and dishonoured? Let not therefore any Englishman, of what
religion soever, have other opinion of these Spaniards or their
abettors, but that those whom they seek to win of our nation, they
esteem base and traiterous, unworthy persons, and inconstant fools; and
that they use this pretence of religion, for no other purpose but to
bewitch us from the obedience due to our natural prince, hoping thereby
to bring us in time under slavery and subjection, when none shall be
there so odious and despised, as those very traitors who have sold their
country to strangers, forsaking their faith and obedience, contrary to
the laws of nature and religion, and contrary to that humane and
universal honour, not only of Christians but of heathen and unbelieving
nations, who have always sustained every degree of labour, embracing
even death itself, in defence of their country, their prince, and their

[Footnote 375: He was bishop of Chiapa in New Spain, and computes the
Indians destroyed by the Spaniards in about fifty years, at no fewer
than twenty millions.--Astley, I. 221. a.]

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


_Note of the Fleet of the Indies, expected in Spain this year 1591; with
the number that perished, according to the examination of certain
Spaniards, lately taken and brought to England[376]._

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

[Footnote 376: Hakluyt, II. 670.]

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

There met at the Havannah,

   33 sail from New Spain,
   23 from the Terra Firma,
   12 belonging to San Domingo,
   9 from Honduras.

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

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


_Report of a Cruizing Voyage to the Azores in 1591, by a feet of London
ships sent with supplies to the Lord Thomas Howard. Written by Captain
Robert Flicke_[377].


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

[Footnote 377: Hakluyt, II. 671. Astley, I. 221.]

[Footnote 378: Astley, I. 221.]


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

[Footnote 379: In pursuance of our uniform plan, of drawing from the
original sources, this article is an exact transcript from Hakluyt, only
modernizing his antiquate