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Title: A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11 - Arranged in Systematic Order: Forming a Complete History - of the Origin and Progress of Navigation, Discovery, and - Commerce, by Sea and Land, from the Earliest Ages to the - Present Time
Author: Kerr, Robert, 1755-1813
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11 - Arranged in Systematic Order: Forming a Complete History - of the Origin and Progress of Navigation, Discovery, and - Commerce, by Sea and Land, from the Earliest Ages to the - Present Time" ***

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CHAP. XII.--(_Continued_.)
  Voyage round the World, by Captain George Shelvocke, in 1719-1722,

  V. Voyage from California to Canton in China,

  VI. Residence in China, and Voyage thence to

  VII. Supplement to the foregoing Voyage,

  VIII. Appendix to Shelvocke's Voyage round the
  World. Containing Observations on the
  Country and Inhabitants of Peru, by Captain

  § 1. Particulars of the Capture of the Mercury
  by the Spaniards,
  § 2. Observations made by Betagh in the
  North of Peru,
  § 3. Voyage from Payta to Lima, and Account
  of the English Prisoners at that
  § 4. Description of Lima, and some Account
  of the Government of Peru,
  § 5. Some Account of the Mines of Peru and
  § 6. Observations on the Trade of Chili,
  § 7. Some Account of the French Interlopers
  in Chili,
  § 8. Return of Betagh to England,

CHAP. XIII. Voyage round the World, by Commodore Roggewein, in 1721-1723


  I. Narrative of the Voyage from Holland to the Coast of Brazil,

  II. Arrival in Brazil, with some Account of that Country,

  III. Incidents during the Voyage from Brazil to Juan Fernandez, with a
  Description of that Island,

  IV. Continuation of the Voyage from Juan Fernandez till the Shipwreck of
  the African Galley,

  V. Continuation of the Voyage after the Loss of the African, to the
  Arrival of Roggewein at New Britain,

  VI. Description of New Britain, and farther Continuation of the Voyage
  till the Arrival of Roggewein at Java,

  VII. Occurrences from their Arrival at the Island of Java, to the
  Confiscation of the Ships at Batavia,

  VIII. Description of Batavia and the Island of Java, with some Account
  of the Government of the Dutch East-India Company's Affairs,

  IX. Description of Ceylon,

  X. Some Account of the Governments of Amboina, Banda, Macasser, the
  Moluccas, Mallacca, and the Cape of Good Hope,

  XI. Account of the Directories of Coromandel, Surat, Bengal, and

  XII. Account of the Commanderies of Malabar, Gallo, Java, and

  XIII. Some Account of the Residences of Cheribon, Siam, and Mockha,

  XIV. Of the Trade of the Dutch in Borneo and China,

  XV. Of the Dutch Trade with Japan,

  XVI. Account of the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope,

  XVII. Voyage from the Cape of Good Hope to Holland, with some Account of
  St Helena, the Island of Ascension, and the Açores,

CHAP. XIV. Voyage round the World, by Captain George Anson, in the Years



  I. Of the Equipment of the Squadron, and the Incidents relating to it,
  from its first Appointment to its setting Sail from St Helens,

  II. The Passage from St Helens to the Island of Madeira, with a short
  Account of that Island, and of our Stay there,

  III. History of the Spanish Squadron commanded by Don Joseph
  Pizarro, 236

  IV. Passage from Madeira to St Catharines,

  V. Proceedings at St Catharines, and a Description of that Place, with
  a short Account of Brazil,

  VI. The Run from St Catharines to Port St Julian; with some Account of
  the Port, and of the Country to the South of the Rio Plata,

  VII. Departure from the Bay of St Julian, and Passage from thence to
  the Straits of Le Maire,

  VIII. Course from the Straits of Le Maire to Cape Noir,

  IX. Observations and Directions for facilitating the Passage of future
  Navigators round Cape Horn,

  X. Course from Cape Noir to the Island of Juan Fernandez,

  XI. Arrival of the Centurion at Juan Fernandez, with a Description of
  that Island,

  XII. Separate Arrivals of the Gloucester, and Anna Pink, at Juan
  Fernandez, and Transactions at that Island during the

  XIII. Short Account of what befell the Anna Pink before she rejoined;
  with an Account of the Loss of the Wager, and the putting back of
  the Severn and Pearl,

  XIV. Conclusion of Proceedings at Juan Fernandez, from the Arrival of
  the Anna Pink, to our final Departure from thence,

  XV. Our Cruise, from leaving Juan Fernandez, to the taking of

  XVI. Capture of Payta, and Proceedings at that Place,

  XVII. Occurrences from our Departure from Payta to our Arrival
  at Quibo,

  XVIII. Our Proceedings at Quibo, with an Account of the Place,

  XIX. From Quibo to the Coast of Mexico,

  XX. An Account of the Commerce carried on between the City of Manilla on
  the Island of Luconia, and the Port of Acapulco on the Coast of

  XXI. Our Cruise off the Port of Acapulco for the Manilla Ship,

  XXII. A short Account of Chequetan, and of the adjacent Coast and

  XXIII. Account of Proceedings at Chequetan and on the adjacent Coast,
  till our setting sail for Asia,

  XXIV. The Run from the Coast of Mexico to the Ladrones or Marian

  XXV. Our Arrival at Tinian, and an Account of the Island, and of our
  Proceedings there, till the Centurion drove out to Sea,

  XXVI. Transactions at Tinian after the Departure of the Centurion,

  XXVII. Account of the Proceedings on board the Centurion when driven out
  to Sea,

  XXVIII. Of our Employment at Tinian, till the final Departure of the
  Centurion, and of the Voyage to Macao,

  XXIX. Proceeding at Macao,

  XXX. From Macao to Cape Espiritu Santo: The taking of the Manilla
  Galleon, and returning back again,

  XXXI. Transactions in the River of Canton,

  XXXII. Proceedings at the City of Canton, and the Return of the
  Centurion to England,




     *     *     *     *     *

CHAPTER XII--_Continued_.



_Voyage from California to Canton in China_.

We fell in with the coast of California on the 11th of August, and
as soon as we were discovered by the natives, they made fires on the
shore as we sailed past. Towards evening, two of them came off on a
bark log, and were with difficulty induced to come on board. Seeing
our negroes standing promiscuously among the whites, they angrily
separated them from us, and would hardly suffer them to look at us.
They then made signs for us to sit down, after which one of them put
himself into strange postures, talking to us with great vehemence, and
seeming to be in a transport of extacy, running from one to the
other of us with great vehemence, continually singing, speaking, and
running, till quite out of breath. Night coming on, they were for
departing, when we gave them a knife and an old coat each, with which
they were much pleased, and invited us by signs to go on shore along
with them. On the 13th, we were near Porto Leguro, whence some of the
natives came out to meet us on bark-logs, while others made fires,
as if to welcome us, on the tops of hills and rocks near the sea, all
seemingly rejoiced to see us; those on shore running up and down
to each other, and those on the bark-logs paddling with all their
strength to meet us.

No sooner was our anchor down than they came off to us in crowds, some
off bark-logs, but most of them swimming, all the while talking and
calling to each other confusedly. In an instant our ship was full of
these swarthy gentry, all quite naked. Among the rest was their
king or chief; who was no way distinguishable from the rest by any
particular ornament, or even by any deference paid to him by his
people, his only ensign of sovereignty being a round black stick of
hard wood, about two feet and a half long. This being observed by some
of our people, they brought him to me, and concluding that I was the
chief of the ship, he delivered his black sceptre to me in a handsome
manner, which I immediately returned. Notwithstanding his savage
appearance, this man had a good countenance, and there was something
dignified in his manner and behaviour. I soon found a way to regale
them, by setting before them abundance of our choicest Peruvian
conserves, with which they seemed much gratified. They were
accommodated with spoons, mostly silver, all of which they very
honestly returned.

Having thus commenced friendship with the natives, I sent an officer
ashore to view the watering-place; and, to make him the more welcome,
I sent with him some coarse blue baize and some sugar, to distribute
among the women. On seeing our boat ready to put off, the king was
for accompanying her in his bark-log, but I persuaded him to go in the
boat, with which he seemed to be much gratified. The remainder of
the day was spent with our wild visitors, who behaved in general very
quietly. The officer returned with an account of having been very
civilly received, and we prepared our casks for being sent ashore next
morning. Although, at first view, the country and inhabitants might
dissuade us from venturing freely among them, I had formerly read such
accounts of these people, that I was under no apprehension of being
molested in wooding and watering. The Californians, however, appeared
very terrible to our negroes, insomuch, that one of them, who
accompanied the officer on shore, was afraid to stir from the boat,
and held an axe constantly in his hand, to defend himself in case of
being attacked. On the approach of night, all the Indians swam ashore,
leaving us a clear ship, after the fatigues of the day.

Next morning, at day-break, our boat went ashore with the people
appointed to cut wood and fill our water-casks; and before the sun was
up, our ship was again filled with our former guests, who seemed
never satisfied with gazing at us and every thing about the ship. That
nothing might be wanting to keep up our amity, I sent a large boiler
on shore, with a good store of flour and sugar, and a negro cook, who
continually boiled hasty-pudding, to serve the numerous guests on the
beach. At first the natives remained idle spectators of our labours;
but at length, taking compassion to see our few men labouring hard in
rolling great casks of water over the heavy sand in the sultry heat
of the day, they put forth their hands to help them, encouraged by the
particular readiness of their chief to serve us; for, after seeing Mr
Randal take up a log of wood to carry to the boat, he took up another,
and was immediately followed by two or three hundred of the natives,
so that they eased our men mightily. They also rolled our casks down
to the beach, but always expected a white man to assist them, though
quite satisfied if he only touched the cask with his finger. This
eased our men of a great deal of fatigue, and shortened the time of
our stay at this place. We even found means to make those who used to
stay all day on board, of some use to us; for, when we came to heel
the ship, we crowded them, all over on one side, which, with other
shifts, gave her a deep heel, while we cleaned and paid her bottom
with pitch and tallow.

The natives seemed every day more and more attached to us. When our
boat went ashore in the morning, there was constantly a large retinue
in waiting on the beach for our people, and particularly for those
whom they guessed to be above the common rank, by their better dress.
By this time, the news of our arrival had spread through all the
neighbouring parts, and some natives of different tribes from that
which dwelt about the bay, came daily to visit us. Those who came
from any distance in the inland country could not swim, and were
differently painted, besides some other visible distinctions; but
all united amicably to assist us, and hardly any were idle except the
women, who used to sit in circles on the scorching sand, waiting for
their shares of what was going forwards, which they received without
any quarrelling among themselves about the inequality of distribution.
Having completed our business in five days, we prepared for our
departure on the 18th August, and employed that morning in making a
large distribution of sugar among the women, and gave a great many
knives, old axes, and old iron among the men, being the most valuable
presents we could make them; and, in return, they gave us bows and
arrows, deer-skin bags, live foxes and squirrels, and the like. That
we might impress them with awe of our superior power, we saluted them
with five guns on loosing our top-sails, which greatly frightened
them, and there seemed an universal damp on their spirits on seeing
our sails loosed, as sorry for our approaching departure. The women
were all in tears when my people were coming off to the ship; and many
of the men remained till we were under sail, and then leapt into the
sea with sorrowful countenances.

Having made some stay in California, some account of that country and
its inhabitants may be expected; though I believe a complete discovery
of its extent and boundaries would produce few real advantages, except
satisfying the curious. That part of California which I saw, being the
southern extremity of its western coast, appears mountainous, barren,
and sandy, much like some parts of Peru: yet the soil about Porto
Leguro, and most likely in the other vallies, is a rich black mould,
and when turned up fresh to the sun, appears as if intermingled with
gold-dust. We endeavoured to wash and purify some of this, and the
more this was done, the more it appeared like gold. In order to be
farther satisfied, I brought away some of this earth, but it was
afterwards lost in our confusions in China. However this may be,
California probably abounds in metals of all sorts, though the natives
had no ornaments or utensils of any metal, which is not to be wondered
at, as they are perfectly ignorant of all arts.

The country has plenty of wood, but the trees are very small, hardly
better than bushes. But woods, which are an ornament to most other
countries, serve only to make this appear the more desolate; for
locusts swarm here in such numbers, that they do not leave a
green leaf on the trees. In the day, these destructive insects are
continually on the wing in clouds, and are extremely troublesome by
flying in, one's face. In shape and size they greatly resemble our
green grasshoppers, but are of a yellow colour. Immediately after we
cast anchor, they came off in such numbers, that the sea around the
ship was covered with their dead bodies. By their incessant ravages,
the whole country round Porto Leguro was stripped totally naked,
notwithstanding the warmth of the climate and the richness of the
soil. Believing that the natives are only visited with this plague at
this season of the year, I gave them a large quantity of calavances,
and shewed them how they were sown. The harbour of Porto Leguro is
about two leagues to the N.E. of Cape St Lucas, being a good and safe
port, and very convenient for privateers when cruizing for the Manilla
ship. The watering-place is on the north side of the bay or harbour,
being a small river which there flows into the sea, and may easily be
known by the appearance of a great quantity of green canes growing
in it, which always retain their verdure, not being touched by the
locusts, as these canes probably contain, something noxious to that
voracious insect.

The men of this country are tall, straight, and well set, having large
limbs, with coarse black hair, hardly reaching to their shoulders. The
women are of much smaller size, having much longer hair than the men,
with which some of them almost cover their faces. Some of both sexes
have good countenances; but all are much darker-complexioned than
any of the other Indians I saw in the South Seas, being a very deep
copper-colour. The men go quite naked, wearing only a few trifles by
way of ornament, such as a band or wreath of red and white silk-grass
round their heads, adorned on each side with a tuft of hawk's
feathers. Others have pieces of mother-of-pearl and small shells
fastened among their hair, and tied round their necks; and some had
large necklaces of six or seven strings, composed of small red and
black berries. Some are scarified all over their bodies; others use
paint, some smearing their faces and breasts with black, while others
were painted black down to the navel, and from thence to the feet with

The women wear a thick fringe or petticoat of silk-grass, reaching
from their middle to their heels, and have a deer-skin carelessly
thrown over their shoulders. Some of the better sort have a cloak of
the skin of some large bird, instead of the bear-skins. Though the
appearance of the Californians is exceedingly savage, yet, from what
I could observe of their behaviour to each other, and their deportment
towards us, they seem to possess all imaginable humanity. All the time
we were there, and constantly among many hundreds of them, there
was nothing to be seen but the most agreeable harmony, and most
affectionate behaviour to each other. When any of us gave any thing
eatable to one person, he always divided it among all who were around
him, reserving the smallest share to himself. They seldom walked
singly, but mostly in pairs, hand in hand. They seemed of meek
and gentle dispositions, having no appearance of cruelty in their
countenances or behaviour, yet seemed haughty towards their women.
They lead a careless life, having every thing in common, and seemed to
desire nothing beyond the necessaries of life. They never once offered
to pilfer or steal any of our tools or other utensils; and such was
their honesty, that my men having forgotten their axes one day on
shore, while cutting wood, which was noticed by one of the natives, he
told it to the king, who sent into the wood for the axes, and restored
them with much apparent satisfaction.

Their language is guttural and harsh, and they talk a great deal, but
I could never understand a single word they spoke. Their dwellings
were very mean, being scarcely sufficient to shelter them. Their diet
is, I believe, mostly fish, which they frequently eat raw, but they
sometimes bake it in the sand. They seldom want abundance of this
food, as the men go out to sea on their bark-logs, and are very expert
harponiers. Their harpoons are made of hard wood, and with these
they strike the largest albicores, and bring them ashore on their
bark-logs, which they row with double paddles. This seemed strange
to us, who had often experienced the strength of these fish; for
frequently when we had hold of one of these with very large hooks,
made fast to eight-strand twine, we had to bring the ship to, to bring
them in, and it was then as much as eight or ten men could do; so that
one would expect, when an Indian had struck one of these fish,
from his light float, it would easily run away with the man and the
bark-log; but they have some sleight in their way of management, by
which the strength and struggling of these fish are all in vain. There
are hardly any birds to be seen in this country except a few pelicans.

When the Californians want to drink, they wade into the river, up to
their middles, where they take up the water in their hands, or stoop
down and suck it with their mouths. Their time is occupied between
hunting, fishing, eating, and sleeping; and having abundant exercise,
and rather a spare diet, their lives are ordinarily prolonged to
considerable age, many of both sexes appearing to be very old, by
their faces being much wrinkled, and their hair very grey. Their bows
are about six feet long, with strings made of deer's sinews, but their
arrows seemed too long for their bows; and considering that they have
no adequate tools, these articles must require much time in making.
The shafts of their arrows consist of a hollow cane, for two-thirds of
their length, the other third, or head, being of a heavy kind of wood,
edged with flint, or sometimes agate, and the edges notched like a
saw, with a very sharp point. They made no display of their arms to
us, and we seldom saw any in their hands, though they have need of
some arms to defend themselves from wild beasts, as I saw some men who
had been severely hurt in that way, particularly one old man, who
had his thigh almost torn in pieces by a tiger or lion, and though,
healed, it was frightfully scarred. The women commonly go into the
woods with bows and arrows in search of game, while the men are
chiefly occupied in fishing. I can say nothing respecting their
government, except that it did not seem any way strict or rigorous.
When the king appeared in public, he was usually attended by many
couples, or men walking hand in hand, two and two together. On the
first morning of our arrival, he was seen in this manner coming out of
a wood, and noticing one of my officers cutting down a tree, whom
he judged to be better than ordinary, by having silver lace on his
waistcoat, be shewed both his authority and civility at the same time,
by ordering one of his attendants to take the axe and work in his

One day while we were there, a prodigious flat fish was seen basking
in the sun on the surface of the water near the shore, on which twelve
Indians swam off and surrounded him. Finding himself disturbed, the
fish dived, and they after him, but he escaped from them at this time.
He appeared again in about an hour, when sixteen or seventeen Indians
swam off and encompassed him; and, by continually tormenting him,
drove, him insensibly ashore. On grounding, the force with which he
struck the ground with his fins is not to be expressed, neither can
I describe the agility with which the Indians strove to dispatch
him, lest the surf should set him again afloat, which they at length
accomplished with the help of a dagger lent them by Mr Randal. They
then cut him into pieces, which were distributed among all who stood
by. This fish, though of the flat kind, was very thick, and had a
large hideous mouth, being fourteen or fifteen feet broad, but not
quite so much in length.

On the 18th August, 1721, we set sail from Porto Leguro, bound for
Canton in China, as a likely place for meeting with some English
ships, in which we might procure a passage home. Considering the
length of the voyage before us, our ship was in a very bad condition,
as her sails and rigging were so old and rotten, that if any accident
had befallen our masts or sails, we had been reduced to extreme
distress and danger, having no change either of sails or ropes; but
ours being a case of necessity, we had to run all hazards, and to
endeavour, by the utmost attention, to guard against deficiencies
which could not be supplied. Having already overcome many
difficulties, seemingly insurmountable in prospect, we were full
of hope to get over these also, and the pleasing expectation of
revisiting our native shores gave us spirits to encounter this tedious
navigation in so weak and comfortless a condition. We were now so
weakly manned, that we could scarcely have been able to navigate our
vessel without the assistance of the negroes, not amounting now
to thirty whites, so much had our crew been reduced by untoward

We discovered an island on the 21st, 110 leagues W.S.W. from Cape St
Lucas,[1] but as the wind blew fresh, I could not get nearer than two
leagues, and did not think proper to lose time in laying-to in the
night. It seemed seven or eight leagues in circumference, having a
large bay on its S.W. side, in the middle of which was a high rock. My
people named this Shelvocke's island. From hence we shelved, down to
the latitude of 13° N. but were stopped two or three days by westerly
winds, which we did not expect in this sea, especially as being
now five or six hundred leagues from the land. The trade-wind again
returning, we kept in the parallel of 13° N. except when we judged
that we were near the shoals of St Bartholomew, and then haled a
degree more to the north, and so continued for sixty or seventy
leagues. A fortnight after leaving California, my people, who had
hitherto enjoyed uninterrupted health, began to be afflicted with
sickness, particularly affecting their stomachs, owing doubtless to
the great quantities of sweetmeats they were continually devouring,
and also to oar common food, chiefly composed of puddings made of
coarse flour and sweetmeats, mixed up with sea-water, together with
jerked beef, most of which was destroyed by ants, cockroaches, and
other vermin. We could not afford to boil the kettle once in the whole
passage with fresh water, so that the crew became reduced to a
very melancholy state by scurvy and other distempers. The sickness
increased upon us every day, so that we once buried two in one day,
the armourer and carpenter's, mate, besides whom the carpenter,
gunner, and several others died, together with some of our best

[Footnote 1: Probably La Nablada, in lat. 18° 55' N. long. 180° 48'

The greatest part of my remaining people were disabled, and our ship
very leaky; and to add to our misfortunes, one of our pumps split and
became useless. Under these unhappy circumstances, we pushed forwards
with favourable gales till within 80 leagues of Guam, one of the
Ladrones, when we encountered dismal weather and tempestuous winds,
veering round the compass. This was the more frightful, as we were
unable to help ourselves, not above six or seven, being able for duty,
though necessity obliged even those who were extremely low and weak
to lend what help they could. In the boisterous sea raised by these
gales, our ship so laboured that the knee of her head, and her whole
beak-head, became loose, so that the boltsprit fetched away and played
with every motion of the ship, and so continued all the rest of
the time we were at sea. For some time our main-mast stood without
larboard shrouds, till we could unlay our best cable to make more,
having knotted and spliced the old shrouds till our labour was in
vain. In the midst of these difficulties, I was taken very ill, and
had little expectations of living much longer, till the gout gave me
some painful hopes of recovery.

In the beginning of October, we made the island of Guam, 100 leagues
short of the account given by Rogers, who makes 105° of longitude
between Cape St Lucas and Guam, while we made not quite 100°.[2] We
passed through between Guam and Serpana, and saw several flying proas,
but none came near us that day. We had heavy and squally weather,
which obliged me to keep the deck in the rain, by which I caught a
cold, which threw me into a worse condition than before, in which I
continued all the time I was in China. Guam seemed very green and of
moderate height, and the sight of land was so pleasant after our long
run, that we would gladly have stopped to procure some refreshments,
but durst not venture in, though on the point of perishing, lest the
inhabitants should take advantage of our weakness. From Guam I shaped
our course for the island of Formosa, to which we had a long and
melancholy voyage, as our sickness daily increased; so that, on the 3d
November, when we got sight of that island, both ship and company
were almost entirely worn out. Next day we doubled the south Cape of
Formosa, passing within a league of the rocks of _Vele-Rete_, where
we were sensible of a very strong current. As we passed in sight, the
inhabitants of Formosa made continual fires on the coast, as inviting
us to land; but we were so weak that we did not deem it prudent to
venture into any of their harbours.

[Footnote 2: Rogers is however nearer the truth, the difference of
longitude being 106° 42' between these two places.--E.]

We directed our course from Formosa for the neighbouring coast of
China, and found ourselves on the 6th at the mouth of the river
_Loma_,[3] in twelve fathoms water, but the weather was so hazy that
we could not ascertain where we were. Seeing abundance of fishing
boats, we tried every method we could think of to induce some of
the fishermen to come on board to pilot us to Macao, but found
this impracticable, as we could not understand each other. We were
therefore obliged to keep the land close on board, and to anchor
every evening. This was a prodigious fatigue to our men, who were so
universally ill that we could hardly find any one able to steer
the ship. We were bewildered in a mist during four days, and much
surprised by seeing a great many islands, omitted in our charts, on
some of which we saw large fortifications. This made us believe
that the current had carried us beyond our port, and occasioned much
dejection of spirits; for, though the sea was covered with fishing
boats, we could get no one to set us right, or to give us any
directions we could understand.

[Footnote 3: This name is so corrupted as to be unintelligible.--E]

Towards evening of the 10th, as we were passing through a very narrow
channel between two islands, a fisherman who was near, and observed
by our manner of working that we were afraid to venture through, waved
with his cap for us to bring to till he came to us. When he came, he
seemed to understand that we enquired for Macao, and made signs that
he would carry us there, if we gave him as many pieces of silver as
he counted little fish from his basket, which amounted to forty. We
accordingly counted out forty dollars into a hat, and gave them to
him, on which he came into our ship, and took her in charge, carrying
us through the narrow channel, and brought us to anchor at sun-set. We
weighed next morning, and kept the coast of China close on board. By
noon we were abreast of Pulo Lantoon, whence we could see two English
ships under sail, passing the island of Macao on their way from the
river of Canton. They kept on their way, taking no notice of us, which
struck a damp into our spirits, fearing we should miss a passage for
England this season. In the afternoon of next day, we anchored in
the road of Macao, near the entrance of Canton river, which we never
should have found out by any of our charts.

I was much amazed at the incorrectness with which these coasts are
laid down, to the eastwards of Pulo Lantoon; as there runs a cluster
of islands for upwards of twenty leagues in that direction, which are
not in the least noticed by any of our hydrographers, nor have I ever
met with any navigator who knew any thing about them. The coast of
China, within these islands, is rocky, mountainous, and barren;
but, owing to my heavy sickness, I was unable to make any useful


_Residence in China, and Voyage thence to England._

As Macao is the place where ships always stop for a pilot to carry
them up the river of Canton, I sent an officer with my compliments
to the governor, and with orders to bring off a pilot; but
hearing nothing of him till next morning, I was under very great
apprehensions. Next morning, a great number of the people belonging
to the Success came off to our ship, and acquainted me that Clipperton
had left me designedly. About noon this day, the 12th November,
1721, a pilot came off to us, when we immediately weighed anchor, and
immediately entered Canton river, being assured that there still were
some European ships at Wampoo, about ten miles short of Canton. We
were four days in plying up to the road between the tower bars, where
we anchored; and, finding the Bonetta and Hastings, two English
ships, I sent an officer to request their instructions how to conduct
ourselves in this port, and to acquaint us with its customs. They
answered, that the Cadogan and Francis, two English European ships,
were lying at Wampoo, and advised me to send up to the English factors
at Canton, to acquaint them with our arrival, and the reasons which
obliged us to come here. This I accordingly did next day, borrowing
one of their flags to hoist as our boat, without which we had met with
much trouble from the _Hoppo-men_, or custom-house officers. I sent
letters to the captains of the English ships, signifying the necessity
which forced me to this country, and requesting their succour and
protection; assuring them that I acted under his majesty's commission,
which also I sent, for their perusal. Next morning, being the 17th, I
weighed and worked up to Wampoo, where, besides the two English ships,
I found three belonging to France, one Ostender, and a small ship from

I was here in hopes of all my troubles being at an end, and that I
should have full leisure for rest and refreshment after my many and
great fatigues; but I soon found these expectations ill grounded,
and after all my perils, that I was fallen into others least to be
endured, as proceeding from false brethren. A most unlucky accident
happened the very evening that we anchored at Wampoo, which gave birth
to all the troubles I encountered in India; though, in respect to
me, both unforeseen and unavoidable, and purely the effects of that
eagerness in the ship's company to get out of this part of the world
at any rate. Had there been any government among the English settled
here, to have supported my authority, this unlucky business had never
happened; and, as it was, could only be imputed to nothing but the
want of such an establishment. One of my men, named David Griffith,
being in a hurry to remove his effects into the Bonetta's boat, in
which he was chased by a _Hoppo_ or custom-house boat; and being a
little in liquor, and fearing to lose his silver, fired a musket and
killed the Hoppo-man or custom-house officer. Early next morning, the
dead body was laid at the door of the English factory, where Chinese
officers lay in wait to seize the first Englishman that should come
out. A supercargo belonging to the Bonetta happened to be the first;
he was immediately seized and carried off, and afterwards led in
chains about the suburbs of Canton. All that could be said or done
by the most considerable Chinese merchants who were in correspondence
with the English, was of no avail. In the mean time, my man, who had
slain the Chinese officer, and another, were put in irons aboard
the Francis, which was _chopped_, or seized, till the guilty man
was delivered up. He was then carried to Canton in chains, and the
supercargo was released.

I had not been here many days, when I was deserted by all my officers
and men, who were continually employed in removing their effects from
my ship to some of the European ships, without my knowledge, I being
then confined to bed. My officers were using all their efforts to
engage the gentlemen belonging to the company in their interest, and
had only left my son and a few negroes to look after the ship, and
to defend my effects, which were on the brink of falling into the
bottomless pit of Chinese avarice; besides, they and the ship's
company had so many ways of disposing of every thing they could lay
their hands on, that I found it impossible to oblige them to do what
I thought justice to our owners: They all soon recovered from
their illness, and they all became their own masters. There were no
magistrates for me to appeal to on shore, who would aid me so far as
to compel them to remain in my ship; and the officers commanding
the English ships could not afford me the help they might have been
inclined to give, lest the supercargoes might represent their conduct
to the East India Company. And these last, who superintend the English
trade at this port, seemed even inclined to have refused me a passage
in one of their ships, and even treated me as one enemy would treat
another in a neutral port; looking on me in that light for presuming
to come within the limits of the Company, without considering the
necessity by which I had been compelled to take that step.

When Captains Hill and Newsham came to visit me, they were astonished
at the ruinous condition of my ship, and could scarcely think it
possible for her to have made so long a passage. The rottenness of her
cordage, and the raggedness of her sails, filled them with surprise
and pity for my condition. When I had given them a short history of
the voyage, and requested they would receive my officers and company,
with their effects, they at once said, That they saw plainly my ship
was in no condition to be carried any farther, and they were willing
to receive us all as soon as we pleased, on payment of our passage.
But the supercargoes were displeased that I had not applied to them,
as they are the chief men here, though only passengers when aboard; so
that I was quite neglected, and the English captains were ordered to
fall down with their ships five or six miles below where I lay. I was
thus left destitute in the company of five foreign ships; yet their
officers, seeing me deserted by my countrymen, kindly offered me their
services, and assisted me as much as they could, and without them
I know not what might have been my fate, as I was under perpetual
apprehensions that the Chinese would have seized my ship.

After the murder of the custom-house officer seemed to have been quite
forgotten, a magistrate, called a _Little Mandarin_, committed the
following outrageous action:--At the beginning of the troubles,
occasioned by that murder, he had received orders to apprehend all the
English he could find, which he neglected till all was over. He then
one day, while passing the European factories, ordered his attendants
to seize on all the English he could see in the adjoining shops, and
took hold of nine or ten, French as well as English, whom he carried,
with halters about their necks, to the palace of the _Chantock_, or
viceroy. Application was then made to the _Hoppo_, or chief customer,
who represented matters to the viceroy in favour of the injured
Europeans; on which the mandarin was sent for, and being unable to
vindicate himself was degraded from his post, subjected to the bamboo,
a severe punishment, and rendered incapable of acting again as a
magistrate; the Europeans being immediately liberated. It appears to
me, however, that the English are tyrannized over by the Chinese, and
exposed to the caprices of every magistrate, wherefore I was the more
urgent to be on board one of the European ships. I had now discovered
my error in addressing the captains, and now sent a letter to the
supercargoes, demanding a passage for myself, my officers, and
ship's company, which I was sensible they could not refuse: but their
compliance was clogged with a charge to the captains not to receive
any thing belonging to us, unless consigned to the company in England.

The hoppo now made a demand upon me for anchorage in the river,
amounting to no less than 6000 _tahel_, and, to quicken the payment,
annexed a penalty to this extortion of 500 _tahel_ for every day
the payment was delayed. There were no means to avoid this gross
imposition; and though a day necessarily elapsed before I could
send up the money, I had to add the penalty of that day, so that he
received 6500 _tahel_, or L. 2166:13:4 sterling;[4] being about six
times as much as was paid for the Cadogan, the largest English ship
there at the time, and which measured a third larger than mine. I soon
after sold my ship for 2000 tahel, or L. 666, 13s. 4d. sterling, which
money was consigned to the India Company, along with all the rest of
my effects, and I prevailed on most of my officers and men to take
their passage in the English homeward-bound ships.

[Footnote 4: At these proportions, the Chinese _tahel_ is exactly 6s.
8d. sterling.--E.]

Considering my short stay in China, and my bad health, I cannot be
expected to give any tolerable account of this place from my own
observation, and to copy others would be inconsistent with the purpose
of this narrative, so that I shall only observe, that the English, at
this time, had no settled factory at Canton, being only permitted
to hire large houses, called _hongs_, with convenient warehouses
adjoining, for receiving their goods previous to their shipment. For
these they pay rent to the proprietors, and either hire the same or
others, as they think proper, next time they have occasion for the

Notwithstanding my utmost diligence, the business I was engaged in
kept me in a continual hurry till the ships were ready to depart,
which was in December, 1721: At which time, heartily tired of the
country, and the ill usage I had met with, I sailed in the Cadogan,
Captain John Hall, in company with the Francis, Captain Newsham; and
as the latter ship sailed much better than the Cadogan, she left us
immediately after getting out to sea. Finding his ship very tender, or
crank, Captain Hill put in at Batavia, to get her into better trim. We
continued here about ten days; but I can say little about that place,
being all the time unable to stand on my legs, and was only twice out
in a coach to take the air, two or three miles out of the city, in
which little excursion I saw a great variety of beautiful prospects of
fine country seats and gardens, and, indeed, every thing around shewed
the greatest industry. The buildings in the city are generally very
handsome, and laid out in very regular streets, having canals running
through most of them, with trees planted on each side, so that Batavia
may justly be called a fine city: But the sight is the only sense that
is gratified here, for the canals smell very offensively when the tide
is low, and breed vast swarms of muskitoes, which are more troublesome
here than in any place I was ever in.

A great part of the inhabitants of Batavia are Chinese, who are
remarkable for wearing there their ancient dress, having their hair
rolled up in such a manner that there is little difference in that
respect between the men and women. Ever since the revolution in China,
which brought that country under the Tartar yoke, the Tartarian
dress has been imposed upon the whole kingdom, which was not
effected without great bloodshed: For many of the Chinese were
so superstitiously attached to their ancient modes, that they
unaccountably chose rather to lose their lives than their hair; as the
Tartar fashion is to shave the head, except a long lock on the crown,
which they plait in the same manner we do. The Dutch, taking advantage
of this superstitious attachment of the Chinese to their hair, exact
from all the men who live under their protection, a poll-tax of a
dollar a month for the liberty of wearing their hair, which produces a
very considerable revenue.

Hearing at Batavia that there were several pirates in these seas,
Captain Hill joined the Dutch homeward-bound fleet in Bantam bay, and
the Dutch commodore promised to assist Captain Hill in wooding and
watering at _Mew_ island, the water at Batavia being very bad. We fell
in with the Francis in the Straits of Sunda, though we imagined that
ship had been far a-head. The Dutch made this a pretence for leaving
us before we got to Mew island, and Captain Newsham also deserted
us, so that we were left alone. We continued six or seven days at
Mew island, during which time several boats came to us from Prince's
island, and brought us turtle, cocoa-nuts, pine-apples, and other
fruits. From Mew island we had a very pleasant voyage to and about the
Cape of Good Hope. By the good management of Captain Hill, although
the Francis and the Dutch ships had the start of us seven days, by
deserting us in the Straits of Sunda, we yet got to the cape seven
days before the Francis, though she sailed considerably better than
we. By comparing notes with the officers of the Francis, we found that
she had suffered a good deal of bad weather off the south of Africa,
while we, by keeping about ten leagues nearer shore, continually
enjoyed pleasant weather and a fair wind, till we anchored in Table
Bay, which we did towards the end of March, 1722.

We here found Governor Boon and others, bound for England in the
London Indiaman. We had a pleasant voyage from the cape to St Helena,
and thence to England, arriving off the Land's-end towards the close
of July. On coming into the British channel we had brisk gales from
the west, with thick foggy weather. In the evening of the 30th July we
anchored under Dungeness, and that same night some of the supercargoes
and passengers, among whom I was one, hired a small vessel to carry
us to Dover, where we arrived the next morning early. The same day we
proceeded for London, and arrived there on the 1st August, 1722. Thus
ended a long, fatiguing, and unfortunate voyage, of _three years,
seven months, and eleven days_, in which I had sailed considerably
more than round the circumference of the globe, and had undergone a
great variety of troubles and hardships by sea and land.


_Supplement to the foregoing Voyage._

In the Collection of Harris, besides interweaving several
controversial matters respecting this voyage, from an account of it by
one Betagh, who was captain of marines in the Speedwell, a long series
of remarks on the conduct of Shelvocke by that person, are appended.
Neither of these appear to possess sufficient interest, at this
distance of time, almost a century, to justify their insertion in
our collection, where they would have very uselessly occupied a
considerable space. Captain Betagh appears to have been actuated by
violent animosity against Captain Shelvocke, whose actions he traduced
and misrepresented with the utmost malignity, the innocent cause of
his having suffered captivity among the Spaniards in South America,
of which some account will be found in the subsequent section. Of
all these charges, we have only deemed it expedient to insert the
following statement of the circumstances connected with the capture
of the Conception, as related by Betagh, which Harris, I. 230,
characterizes as "a very extraordinary piece of recent history, and
seemingly supported by evidence;" but at this distance of time we have
no means of ascertaining to which side the truth belongs.--_Ed._

"This being the great crisis of the voyage, I shall be more particular
in relating the affair of this last prize. This ship was named the
Conception, Don _Stephen de Recova_ commander,[1] bound from Calao to
Panama, having on board several persons of distinction, particularly
the Conde de la Rosa, who had been some time governor of Pisco,
and was now going to Spain, laden with flour, sugar, marmalade, _et
cetera_. Now, be it known to all men, that the _et cetera_ was 108,630
pieces of eight, or Spanish dollars: And Shelvocke little thought,
when he took this prize, or compiled his book, that I, of all men,
should have the exact state of this affair. He often said that he
would give the gentlemen owners a fair account; and I have often
promised to prove that he did say so. We have now both made our
words good, and I have not only an authentic account, but I will also
declare how I got it.

[Footnote 1: Shelvocke who certainly ought to have known best, names
the ship the Conception de Recova, and her commander Don Joseph

"When I was carried prisoner to Lima, I had sufficient leisure to
reflect on my misfortunes, and how likely I was to be ruined and
the owners cheated; wherefore, to prepare them to defend their just
rights, I wrote to one of them the substance of what had occurred
to me; how Shelvocke had mismanaged; how arbitrarily he had acted in
defiance of their articles, and what were his private intentions in
the latter part of the voyage. As soon as I came to London, which was
in October, 1721, I confirmed the report of my letter with several
new circumstances; for all which performance of my duty, it is, as
I suppose, that my name has met with so much reproach in Captain
Shelvocke's book. But, besides my advices, the gentlemen owners had
many proofs from prisoners and other people. Eleven months after me,
being August, 1722, Shelvocke himself arrived, and immediately waited
on the gentlemen in the lump for all his transactions; not owning any
thing of this prize, which he had unlawfully shared, with every thing
else, among twenty-three of his men. Instead of compromising the
matter, the gentlemen read him a letter, secured him, and had him
the same day confined in _Wood-street Compter_. A few days after, his
pupil, Stewart, arrived at Dover, and was seized by the honest warden
of the castle, according to directions, securing also his book of
accounts, and brought it along with the prisoner to the owners, from
whom I had the book, and copied from it the following statement of the

Names.                Quality     Number   Dollars       Eng.
                                  of                     Money.

George Shelvocke     Captain       6      14,325        2642  10  0
Samuel Rundal        Lieutenant    2-1/2|
John Rainer          Cap. Marines  2-1/2|
Blowfield Coldsea    Master        2-1/2|---4718        1100  17  4
Nicholas Adams       Surgeon       2-1/2|                  each
Mathew Stewart       First mate    2|
Monsieur La Porte    Second mate   2|
George Henshall      Boatswain     2|-------3775         880  16  8
Robert Davenport     Carpenter     2|                      each
William Clark        Gunner        2|
James Daniel         Midshipman    1-1/2|
David Griffith       Ditto         1-1/2|
Christopher Hawkins  Ditto         1-1/2|
Oliver Lefevre       Sail-maker    1-1/2|
John Doydge          Surgeon's          |
                     mate          1-1/2|
William Morgan       Ditto         1-1/2|---2850         660   0  0
John Popplestone     Armourer      1-1/2|                  each
James Moyett         Cooper        1-1/2|
John Pearson         Carpenter's   1-1/2|
                     mate               |
Geo. Shelvocke, jun.               1-1/2|
William Clement      Able seaman   1|
John Norris          Ditto         1|
James Moulville      Ditto         1|
George Gill          Ditto         1|
Peter Fero           Ditto         1|-------1887-1/4     440  7  2
John Smith           Ditto         1|                      each
Edward Alcocke       Ditto         1|
John Theobald        Barber        1|
William Burrows      Old seaman      3/4
Daniel M'Donald      Ditto           3/4
Richard Croft        Ditto           3/4
John Robbins         Grommet,        1/2|
                     or boy             |----943-1/4     220  4  2
Benedict Harry       Cook            1/2|                  each
33 persons in all                 52-1/4  98,604-2/3  23,007 15  6

"The reader will perceive that the sum total of this dividend falls
short of what I said the capture amounted to; but, in order to set
that matter right, there is a secret article of 627 quadruples of
gold, which Shelvocke graciously shared among private friends, each
quadruple, or double doubloon; being worth sixteen dollars each, or L.
3:14:8 sterling, at 4s. 8d. the dollar. The value of these is 10,032
dollars, which, added to the sum of the foregoing account, make
108,636-3/4 dollars, or L. 25,348:11:6 sterling in all. Which large
sum of money Shelvocke had the prodigious modesty to conceal, under
the mysterious _et cetera_. Stewart's book mentions the double
doubloons, but says not a word as to how they were distributed, so
that we may imagine they were sunk between the two Shelvockes and
Stewart: For, as Stewart was agent, cashier, and paymaster, it was an
easy matter to hide a bag of gold from the public, and to divide it
afterwards in a committee of two or three."--_Betagh._


_Appendix to Shelvocke's Voyage round the World. Containing
Observations on the Country and Inhabitants of Peru, by Captain

[Footnote 1: Harris, I. 240.]


This article may rather seem misplaced, as here inserted among the
circumnavigations; but, both as having arisen out of the voyage of
Shelvocke, and because arranged in this manner by Harris, it has been
deemed proper and necessary to preserve it in this place, where it
may be in a great measure considered as a supplement to the preceding
voyage. In the opinion of Harris, "The time that Betagh lived among
the Spaniards in Peru, and the manner in which he was treated by them,
gave him an opportunity of acquainting himself with their manners and
customs, and with the nature and maxims of their government, such as
no Englishman had possessed; and the lively manner in which he tells
his story, gives it much beauty and spirit." We have already seen, in
the narrative of Shelvocke, the occasion of Betagh separating from his
commander, along with Hately and a complement of men in the Mercury,
on which occasion Shelvocke alleged that they purposely separated from
him, in consequence of taking a prize containing 150,000 dollars. In
the following narrative, Betagh tells his own story very differently,
and we do not presume to determine between them. The separation of
Shelvocke originally from his own superior officer, Clipperton, is not
without suspicion; and Hately and Betagh may have learnt from their
commander, to endeavour to promote their own individual interests, at
the expense of their duty, already weakened by bad example.--_Ed_.


It was in the beginning of the year 1720, about the middle of March,
when Captain Shelvocke sent Hately and the rest of us to seek our
fortunes in the lighter called the Mercury. He then went in the
Speedwell to plunder the village of Payta, where we might easily have
joined him, had he been pleased to have imparted his design to us.
We had not cruized long off Cape Blanco, when we took a small bark,
having a good quantity of flour and chocolate. There were also on
board an elderly lady, and a thin old friar, whom we detained two
or three days; and, after taking out what could be of use to us, we
discharged the bark and them. Soon after this we took the Pink, which
Shelvocke calls the rich prize. Her people had no suspicion of our
being an enemy, and held on their way till they saw the Mercury
standing towards them, and then began to suspect us; on which, about
noon, they clapt their helm hard a-weather, and crowded all sail
before the wind; and, being in ballast, this was her best sailing, yet
proved also the greatest advantage they could have given us; for, had
she held her wind, our flat-bottomed vessel could never have got up
with theirs. About ten o'clock at night, with the assistance of hard
rowing, we got up within shot of the chase, and made her bring to,
when pretty near the shore. On boarding the prize, in which were
about seventy persons, thirty of whom were negroes, Hately left me and
Pressick in the Mercury, with other four, where we continued two or
three days, till a heavy rain spoiled all our bread and other dry
provisions. We then went on board the prize, sending three men to take
charge of the Mercury.

After this, we stood off and on in the height of Cape Blanco for seven
or eight days, expecting to meet with the Speedwell; and at that
place we sent ashore the Spanish Captain, a padre or priest, and some
gentlemen passengers. At last we espied a sail plying to windward;
and, having no doubt that she was either the Speedwell or the Success,
we stood towards her, while she also edged down towards us. About ten
in the morning we were near enough to make her out to be a ship of
war, but neither of these we wished for. The master of our prize had
before informed us, that he had fallen in with the _Brilliante_,
which was cruizing for our privateers, and we had till now entirely
disregarded his information. Upon this, Hately advised with me what
we ought to do in this emergency, when we agreed to endeavour to take
advantage of the information given us by the Spaniards; considering,
as the Brilliante had spoken so very lately with the Pink, that there
might not be many questions asked now. Accordingly, Hately and
I dressed ourselves like Spaniards, and hoisted Spanish colours,
confined all our prisoners in the great cabin, and allowed none but
Indians and negroes to appear on the deck, that the Pink might have
the same appearance as before. We had probably succeeded in this
contrivance, but for the obstinacy of John Sprake, one of our men,
whom we could not persuade to keep off the deck. As the Brilliante
came up, she fired a gun to leeward, on which we lowered our topsail,
going under easy sail till we got alongside. The first question asked
was, If we had seen the English privateer? We answered, No. The next
question was, How we had got no farther on our way to Lima? To
which we answered, By reason of the currents. To two or three other
questions, we answered satisfactorily in Spanish, and they were
getting their tacks aboard in order to leave us, when Sprake and two
or three more of our men appeared on the main deck. A Frenchman aboard
the Brilliante, who was on the mast-head, seeing their long trowsers,
called out, _Par Dieu, Monsieur, ils sont Anglois_, By Heaven, Sir,
they are English: Upon which they immediately fired a broad-side into
us with round and partridge shot, by one of which Hately was slightly
wounded in the leg.

As soon as we struck our flag, the enemy sent for all the English
on board their ships, and ordered two of their own officers into our
prize. The Brilliante then bore down on the Mercury, into which she
fired at least twenty-five shot, which bored her sides through and
through: Yet such was the construction of that extraordinary vessel,
that, though quite full of water, there was not weight enough to sink
her, and our three men who were in her remained unhurt. Don Pedro
Midrando, the Spanish commander, ordered these three men into his
own ship, in which he intended to sail for Payta. As for me, he gave
directions that I should be sent forty miles up the country, to a
place called _Piura_, and was so kind as to leave Mr Pressick the
surgeon, and my serjeant Cobbs, to bear me company. Mr Hately and
the rest of our men were ordered to Lima by land, a journey of four
hundred miles.[2] Hately had the misfortune to be doubly under the
displeasure of the Spaniards: First, for returning into these seas
after having been long their prisoner, and being well used among them:
And, second, for having stripped the Portuguese captain at Cape Frio
of a good quantity of moidores, which were now found upon him. Don
Pedro proposed to have this business searched to the bottom, and the
guilty severely punished, without exposing the innocent to any danger.

[Footnote 2: Lima is above six hundred miles from Cape Blanco, and
Piura is about seventy-five miles from the same place. Betagh gives no
account of the place where he landed; but forty miles northwards from
Piura would only carry him to the north side of the bay of Payta; and,
as he makes no mention of passing any river, he was probably landed on
the south side of the river Amatape or Chira.--E.]


Leaving Mr Hately for the present, I proceed to the observations I
made on the road, as the admiral was so good as send me up into the
country, till his return from Payta. As the weather in this part of
the world is much too hot to admit of any labour in the middle of the
day, the custom is to travel only from six in the evening till eight
next morning. My Indian guide set me on the best mule he had,
which did not think proper to follow the rest, so that I led my
fellow-travellers while day lasted. The whole country through which we
travelled was an open plain, having Indian plantations laid out with
tolerable regularity, on both sides of us. This champaign country is
from thirty to an hundred miles broad, and extends three hundred
miles along shore; and I was travelling to the southward, having the
Cordelieras, or mountains of the Andes, on my left hand, and the great
Pacific Ocean to the right. As the soil is good and fertile, this land
would be as fine a country as any in the world, if well watered; but
travellers are here obliged to carry water for their mules as well as
themselves. At the approach of night, I was much puzzled to find the
way, my mule still persisting to go foremost, being often stopped by
great sand hills, and my mule as often endeavoured to pull the reins
out of my hand. This being very troublesome, the Indians advised me
to lay the reins on the mule's neck, and on doing that the creature
easily hit the way. These sand hills often shift from place to place,
which I suppose is occasioned by strong eddy winds, reverberated from
the mountains.

We rested at night in an old empty house, about half way, which
the guide told me was built by the inhabitants of Piura, for the
accommodation of the prince of San Bueno, viceroy of Peru, when they
met and regaled him at his entrance on his government. After a short
rest, we continued our journey, and arrived at Piura, a handsome
regularly built town, on the banks of the river _Callan_ or _Piura_.
The Indian conducted us to the house of an honest Spanish gentleman
and his wife, to whose charge he committed us, and then returned to
Payta. In less than a quarter of an hour, the inhabitants of the town
flocked to see us, as a raree-show, and entertained us with respect
and civility, instead of using us as prisoners of war. The gentleman
to whose charge we were committed was named Don Jeronimo Baldivieso,
who had five daughters, who received us in so benevolent a manner,
that we hoped our time would slide easily away, and our captivity
prove no way disagreeable; and I now became sensible of the favour
shewn me by Don Pedro in sending me to this place; for he had such
interest in all Peru, that for his sake we found very good treatment.

After refreshing ourselves, according to the custom of the country,
with chocolate, biscuit, and water, we were serenaded by the sound
of a harp from some inner apartment, of which instrument the artist
seemed to have a good command, as I heard parts of several famous
compositions, both Italian and English. Upon enquiry, I found that
all Don Jeronimo's daughters had learnt music, and sung or played
upon some instrument. Though this seemed unaccountable at first, I
afterwards found that music was much cultivated in Peru. During the
prevalence of the Italian party at the court of Madrid, the last
viceroy of Peru, the prince of San Bueno, who was an Italian, brought
a great many musicians to that country along with him, by whom the
taste for music had spread every where, and had become as good in
Peru as in old Spain. I the rather notice this, because, by our
being lovers of music, and behaving peaceably and civilly to the
inhabitants, we passed our time quietly and chearfully. We were only
exposed to one inconvenience, which lasted all the time we remained
here: which was, the daily assembling of the people to stare at us.
I and my sergeant Cobbs, being used to exercise in public, bore this
pretty well; but Mr Pressick, being a grave man, at first hung down
his head, and was very melancholy. But he grew better acquainted with
the people by degrees, and came to like them so well, that we had much
ado to get him away, when it became necessary for us to remove our

Almost all the commodities of Europe are distributed through Spanish
America by a sort of pedlars, or merchants who travel on foot. These
men come from Panama to Payta by sea; and in their road from Payta
to Lima, make Piura their first stage, disposing of their goods, and
lessening their burdens, as they go along. From Piura, some take the
inland road by Caxamarca, and others the road along the coast through
Truxillo. From Lima they take their passage back to Panama by sea,
perhaps carrying with them a small adventure of brandy. At Panama
they again stock themselves with European goods, and return by sea to
Payta. Here they hire mules to carry their goods, taking Indians along
with them to guide the mules and carry them back: And in this
way these traders keep a continual round, till they have gained a
sufficiency to live on. Their travelling expenses are next to nothing;
as the Indians are under such entire subjection to the Spaniards,
that they always find them in lodgings free, and provide them with
provender for their mules. All this every white man may command, being
an homage the Indians have long been accustomed to, and some think
themselves honoured into the bargain. Yet out of generosity, they
sometimes meet with a small recompense. Among the British and French,
a pedlar is despised, and his employment is considered as a very, mean
shift for getting a living: But it is quite otherwise here, where the
quick return of money is a sufficient excuse for the manner in which
it is gained; and there are many gentlemen in old Spain, in declining
circumstances, who send their sons to what they call _the Indies_, to
retrieve their fortunes in this way.

Our lodging while at Piura was in an out-house, which had been built
on purpose for accommodating such travelling merchants. Every day,
according to the Spanish custom, our dinner was served up under
covers, and we eat at the same table with Don Jeronimo; while the good
lady of the house and her daughters sat in another room. Any strong
liquors are only used during dinner: And I think the only circumstance
in our conduct that any way disobliged our good host, was once seeing
me drink a dram with the doctor, at a small eating-house; and, as
nothing is more offensive to the Spaniards than drunkenness, I had
much ado to apologise for this step. Yet they admit of gallantry in
the utmost excess, thus only exchanging one enormity for another.

After remaining about six weeks at Piura, our Indian guide came to
conduct us to Payta, to which place the Brilliante had returned. When
about to take leave, Mr Pressick our surgeon was not to be found,
which detained us a day. They had concealed him in the town, meaning
to have kept him there, being a very useful man; and if he could have
had a small chest of medicines, he might soon have made a handsome
fortune. Next day, however, we mounted our mules, and parted
reluctantly with our kind host and his family. We went on board the
Brilliante at Payta, which had done nothing at sea since we left her,
and now made a sort of cruizing voyage to Calao, the port of Lima.
I have already mentioned the civility I received from Don Pedro
Midranda, who was admiral or general of the South Seas; and I shall
here add one circumstance to the honour of Monsieur de Grange, a
captain under the general. When taken by the Brilliante, the soldiers
stripped us, considering our clothes as the usual perquisite of
conquerors; on which that gentleman generously gave me a handsome suit
of clothes, two pair of silk stockings, shirts, a hat and wig, and
every thing accordant, so that I was rather a gainer by this accident.


Our voyage to Lima occupied about five weeks; and, immediately on our
arrival, we were committed to the same prison in which the rest of
the ship's company were confined, except Mr Hately, who, for reasons
formerly assigned, was confined by himself, and very roughly treated.
A short time after our arrival, commissioners were appointed to
hear our cause, and to determine whether we were to be treated as
criminals, or as prisoners of war. We were charged with piracy,
not solely for what we had done in the South Seas in plundering
the Spaniards, but for having used the like violence against other
nations, before our arrival in that sea, from which they proposed to
infer that we had evinced a piratical disposition in the whole of
our conduct. Of this they thought they had sufficient proof in the
moidores found upon Hately, as they appeared to have been taken from
the subjects of a prince in amity with our sovereign. Happily for us,
Don Diego Morsilio, the viceroy, who was an archbishop in the decline
of life, was pleased to investigate this matter; and finding only one
of us guilty, would not sign an order for taking away the lives of
the innocent. Some were for sending Hatley to the mines for life,
and others for hanging him: But the several accounts of the vile
proceedings of Captain Shelvocke contributed to his deliverance, of
the truth of which circumstance, there were enough of our people at
Lima to witness; for, besides Lieutenant Sergeantson and his men,
who were brought thither, there came also the men whom Shelvocke sent
along with Hopkins to shift for themselves in an empty bark, who were
forced to surrender themselves to the Indians for want of sustenance;
so that the court were satisfied that Shelvocke was the principal in
that piratical act, rather than Hately. Considering that we had all
been sufficiently punished before our arrival at Lima, they thought
fit to let us all go by degrees. Hately was kept in irons about a
twelvemonth, and was then allowed to return to England. I was more
fortunate, as my imprisonment lasted only a fortnight, owing to the
interposition of one Captain Fitzgerald, a gentleman born in France,
who had great interest with the viceroy, and became security for
me, on which I was allowed my liberty in the city, provided I were
forthcoming when called for.

Among my first enquiries was into the condition of other English
prisoners at this place. I learnt from Lieutenant Sergeantson and
his men, who were here before us, that most of them had adopted the
religion of the country, had been christened, and were dispersed among
the convents of the city. The first of these I met had his catechism
in one hand, and a large string of beads dangling in the other. I
smiled, and asked him how he liked it? He said, very well; for having
a religion to chuse, he thought theirs better than none, especially
as it brought him good meat and drink, and a quiet life. Many of
Shelvocke's men followed this example, and I may venture to say, that
most of them had the same substantial reason for their conversion.
It is here reckoned very meritorious to make a convert, and many
arguments were used for that purpose, but no rigorous measures
were used to bring any one over to their way of thinking. Those who
consented to be baptized, generally had some of the merchants of Lima
for their patrons and god-fathers, who never failed to give them a
good suit of clothes, and some money to drink their healths.

About this time four or five of Clipperton's men had leave from the
convents where they resided, to meet together at a public-house kept
by one John Bell, an Englishman, who had a negro wife, who had been
made free for some service or other. The purpose of this meeting was
merely to confirm their new baptism over a bowl of punch; but they all
got drunk and quarrelled, and, forgetting they were true catholics,
they demolished the image of some honest saint that stood in a corner,
mistaking him for one of their companions. Missing them for a few
days, I enquired at Bell what was become of them, when he told me they
were all in the Inquisition; for the thing having taken air, he was
obliged to go himself to complain of their behaviour, but he got them
released a few days after, when they had time to repent and get
sober in the dungeons of the holy office. Bell said, if these men had
remained heretics, their drunken exploit had not come within the verge
of the ecclesiastical power; but as they were novices, they were the
easier pardoned, their outrages on the saint being attributed to the
liquor, and not to any designed affront to the catholic faith, or a
relapse into heresy.

Some time afterwards, about a dozen of our men from the Success and
Speedwell were sent to Calao, to assist in careening and fitting out
the Flying-fish, designed for Europe. They here entered into a plot
to run away with the Margarita, a good sailing ship which lay in the
harbour, meaning to have gone for themselves, in which of course they
would have acted as pirates. Not knowing what to do for ammunition and
a compass, they applied to Mr Sergeantson, pretending they meant to
steal away to Panama, where there was an English factory, and whence
they had hopes of getting home. They said they had got half a dozen
firelocks, with which they might be able to kill wild hogs or other
game, as they went along, and begged him to help them to some powder
and shot, and a compass to steer their way through the woods. By
begging and making catholic signs to the people in Lima, they had
collected some dollars, which they desired Sergeantson to lay out
for them; and he, not mistrusting their plot, bought them what they
wanted. Thus furnished, one of them came to me at Lima, and told me
their intention, and that Sprake was to have the command, as being the
only one among them who knew any thing of navigation. I answered, that
it was a bold design; but as Captain Fitzgerald had engaged for my
honour, I could not engage in it. Their plot was discovered a few days
after, their lodgings searched, their arms taken away, and they were
committed to prison. The government was much incensed against them,
and had nearly determined upon their execution; but they were soon all
released except Sprake, who was the ringleader, and was kept in irons
for two or three months, and then set at liberty.

The dominions belonging to the Spaniards in America are so large and
valuable, that, if well governed, they might render that monarchy
exceedingly formidable. In my long stay in Peru, I had the means of
examining at leisure, and with attention, their manner of living, the
form of their government, and many other circumstances little known
in our part of the world, and had many opportunities of enquiring into
things minutely, which did not fall under my immediate observation;
and of which I propose to give as clear and accurate an account as
I can, constantly distinguishing between what fell under my own
immediate knowledge, and what I received from the information of


The great and rich city of Lima is the metropolis of Peru, and the
seat of an archbishop. It is all regularly built, the streets being
all straight and spacious, dividing the whole into small squares. It
stands in an open vale, through which runs a gentle stream, dividing
the city in two, as the Thames does London from Southwark. Calao is
the port of Lima, from whence it is about seven miles distant. Because
of the frequent earthquakes, the houses are only of one story, and
generally twelve or fourteen feet high. It contains eight parish
churches, three colleges for students, twenty-eight monasteries of
friars, and thirteen nunneries, so that the religions occupy a fourth
part of the city; yet, by the quick and plentiful flow of money, and
the vast sums bequeathed through the effects of celibacy, they are
well endowed. Besides these, there are two hospitals for sick, poor,
and disabled; and in which several of our men were kindly looked
after. The length of the city from north to south is two miles, and
its breadth one and a half; its whole circumference, including the
wall and the river, being six miles. The other, or smaller part of
the city, is to the east of the river, over which there is a handsome
stone bridge of seven arches. Including all sorts and colours, I
computed that the whole population of Lima amounted to between
sixty and seventy thousand persons; and I should not wonder at any
multiplication in this city, as it is the centre of so much affluence
and pleasure. Besides the natural increase of the inhabitants, all
ships that trade this way, whether public or private, generally leave
some deserters, who remain behind in consequence of the encouragement
given to all white faces.

The people here are perhaps the most expensive in their habits of any
in the world. The men dress nearly as in England, their coats being
either of silk, fine English cloth, or camblets, embroidered or laced
with gold or silver, and their waistcoats usually of the richest
brocades. The women wear no stays or hoops, having only a stitched
holland jacket next their shifts, and they generally wear a square
piece of swansdown flannel thrown over their shoulders, entirely
covered with Flanders lace, and have their petticoats adorned with
gold or silver lace. When they walk out, the Creole women are mostly
veiled, but not the mulattoes; and, till thirty or forty years of
age, they wear no head-clothes, their hair being tied behind with fine
ribbons. The pride of the ladies chiefly appears in fine Mechlin or
Brussels lace, with which they trim their linen in a most extravagant
manner, not omitting even their sheets and pillows. Their linen
jackets are double bordered with it, both at top and bottom, with four
or five ruffles or furbelows hanging down to their knees. They
are very extravagant also in pearls and precious stones, in rings,
bracelets, and necklaces, though the value of these is hardly equal to
the shew.

The viceroy has a splendid palace in the royal square, or great
quadrangle of the city, which seemed as large as Lincoln's-Inn-Fields.
His salary is ten thousand pounds a-year, but his perquisites amount
to double that sum. And though his government expires at the end of
three, four, or five years, he generally makes a handsome fortune,
as all places are in his gift, both in the government and the army
throughout all Peru, except such as are sent out or nominated by the
king. The great court of justice consists of twelve judges, besides a
number of inferior officers, councillors, and solicitors. Before this
court all causes are decided, but they are too often determined in
favour of the party who gives most money. And, though these vast
dominions abound in riches, there is not much work for the lawyers,
as the laws are few and plain, which certainly is much better than
a multiplicity of laws, explaining one another till they become so
intricate that the issue of a cause depends more on the craft of the
solicitor and advocate, than on its justice. Every magistrate in this
country knows that his reign is short, and that he will be laughed at
if he does not make a fortune, so that they wink at each other; and,
so great is the distance between Spain and Peru, that the royal orders
are seldom, regarded, being two years in going backward and forward:
Hence arise many clandestine doings. According to law, the king ought
to have a twentieth part of all the gold, and a fifth of all the
silver procured from the mines; but vast quantities are carried away
privately, without paying any duty, both north by Panama, and south
through the Straits of Magellan. There are also vast sums allowed for
the militia, the garrisons, and the repairs of fortifications, one
half of which are never applied to these objects. Hence it may easily
be imagined what immense riches would flow into the treasury of
Madrid, if his catholic majesty were faithfully served.

The country of Peru is naturally subject to earthquakes. About fifty
years before I was there, or about the year 1670, there were two great
ones at Lima, which overturned many houses, churches, and convents.
And in the reign of Charles II. the late king of Spain, there was an
earthquake near the equator, which lifted up whole fields, carrying
them to the distance of several miles. Small shocks are often felt
which do no harm, and I have been often called out of bed on such
occasions, and heard nothing more about the matter; but on these
occasions the bells always toll to prayers. Yet, although this country
has suffered much from earthquakes, especially near the coast, their
churches are lofty and neatly built. Such parts of their buildings as
require strength are made of burnt bricks; but their dwelling-houses
are all constructed of bamboos, canes, and bricks only dried in
the sun, which are sufficiently durable, as it never rains in Peru.
Instead of roofs, they are merely covered over with mats, on which
ashes are strewed, to keep out the dews. The small river of Lima,
or _Runac_, consists mostly of snow-water from the neighbouring
mountains, which are covered all the year with snow, that partly
dissolves in the summer-season, from September to March.

One would expect the weather to be much hotter here; but there is
no proportion between the heat of this part of America and the
same latitudes in Africa. This is owing to two causes; that the
neighbourhood of the snowy mountains diffuses a cool temperature
of the air all around; and the constant humid vapours, which are so
frequent that I often expected it to rain when I first went to Lima.
These vapours are not so dense, low, and gloomy, like our fogs, nor
yet are they separated above like our summer clouds; but an exhalation
between both, spread all around, as when we say the day is overcast,
so that sometimes a fine dew is felt on the upper garments, and may
even be discerned on the knap of the cloth. This is a prodigious
convenience to the inhabitants of Lima, who are thus screened half the
day from the sun; and though it often shines out in the afternoon, yet
is the heat very tolerable, being tempered by the sea-breezes, and
not near so hot as at Lisbon and some parts of Spain, more than thirty
degrees farther from the equator.

The entire want of rain in this country induced the Indians, even
before the conquest, to construct canals and drains for leading water
from among the distant mountains, which they have done with great
skill and labour, so as to irrigate and refresh the vallies, by which
they produce grass and corn, and a variety of fruits, to which also
the dews contribute. A Spanish writer observes that this perpetual
want of rain is occasioned by the south-west wind blowing on the coast
of Peru the whole year round, which always bears away the vapours from
the plains before they are of sufficient body to descend in showers:
But, when carried higher and farther inland, they become more compact,
and at length fall down in rain on the interior hills. The inhabitants
of Peru have plenty of cattle, fowls, fish, and all kinds of
provisions common among us, except butter, instead of which they
always use lard. They have oil, wine, and brandy in abundance, but not
so good as in Europe. Instead of tea from China, which is prohibited,
they make great use of _camini_, called herb of Paraguay, or Jesuits
tea, which, is brought from Paraguay by land. They make a decoction
of this, which they usually suck through a pipe, calling it _Mattea_,
being the name of the bowl out of which it is drank. Chocolate is
their usual breakfast, and their grace cup after dinner; and sometimes
they take a glass of brandy, to promote digestion, but scarcely drink
any wine. In Chili, they make some butter, such as it is, the cream
being put into a skin bag kept for that purpose, which is laid on a
table between two women, who shake it till the butter comes.

The Spaniards are no friends to the bottle, yet gallantry and intrigue
are here brought to perfection, insomuch that it is quite unmannerly
here not to have a mistress, and scandalous not to keep her well. The
women have many accomplishments, both natural and acquired, having
graceful motions, winning looks, and engaging, free, and sprightly
conversation. They are all delicately shaped, not injured by
stiff-bodied stays, but left entirely to the beauty of nature, and
hardly is there a crooked body to be seen, among them. Their eyes and
teeth are singularly beautiful, and their hair is universally of a
dark polished hue, nicely combed and plaited, and tied behind with
ribbons, but never disguised by powder; and the brightness of their
skins round the temples, clearly appears through their dark hair.
Though amours are universal at Lima, the men are very careful to bide
them, and no indecent word or action is ever permitted in public.
They usually meet for these purposes, either in the afternoon at
the _Siesta_, or in the evening in calashes on the other side of the
river, or in the great square of the city, where calashes meet in
great numbers in the dusk. These are slung like our coaches, but
smaller, many of them being made only to hold two persons sitting
opposite. They are all drawn by one mule, with the negro driver
sitting on his back; and it is quite usual to see some of these
calashes, with the blinds close, standing still for half an hour at
a time. In these amusements they have several customs peculiar to
themselves. After evening prayers, the gentleman changes his dress
from a cloak to a _montero_, or jockey-coat, with a laced linen cap on
his head, and a handkerchief round his neck, instead of a wig; or if
he wear his own hair, it must be tucked under a cap and concealed, as
it is the universal fashion to be thus disguised. Even those who
have no mistress, are ashamed to appear virtuous, and must be somehow
masked or disguised, in order to countenance the way of the world.
As, all this is night-work, they have an established rule to avoid
quarrels, by never speaking to or noticing each other, when going in
quest of or to visit their ladies.

In short, the fore-part of every night in the year is a kind of
masquerade. Among people of any rank who do not keep calashes, one
couple never walks close behind another, but each at the distance
of at least twelve paces, to prevent the overhearing of any secret
whispers. Should a lady drop a fan or any thing else by accident, a
gentleman may take it up, but he must not give it to the lady, but to
the gentleman who accompanies her, lest she may happen to be the wife
or sister of him who takes it up; and as all the ladies are veiled,
these wise rules are devised to prevent any impertinent discoveries.
Any freedom in contravention of these laws of gallantry would be
looked upon as the highest affront, and would be thought to merit a
drawn sword through the midriff. Should any one see his most intimate
friend any where with a woman, he must never take notice of it, or
mention it afterwards. Every thing of this nature is conducted with
all imaginary gravity and decorum, by which the practice of gallantry
becomes decent and easy; yet there are some jealousies in this regular
commerce of love, which sometimes end fatally. A story of this kind
happened shortly before I went to Lima. A young lady, who thought
herself sole sovereign in the heart of her lover, saw him by chance
in the company of another, and, waiting no farther proof of his
infidelity, she instantly plunged a dagger in his bosom. She was soon
after brought to trial, and every one expected that she should pay
the forfeit with her life; but the judges, considering her rashness
as proceeding from excess of love, not malice, acquitted her. However
agreeable these gallantries may be to the _Creole_ Spaniards, they
have an inconvenient effect on society; as the men are so engrossed
by these matters, as to spoil all public conversation. Their time is
entirely taken up in attendance on their mistresses, so that there are
no coffee-houses or taverns, and they can only be met with at their
offices, or in church.

Perhaps it may be chiefly owing to this effeminate propensity, that
all manly exercises, all useful knowledge, and that noble emulation
which inspires virtue, and keeps alive respect for the public good,
are here unknown. Those amusements which serve in other countries to
relax the labours of the industrious, and to keep alive the vigour of
the body and mind, are unknown in Peru; and whoever should attempt to
introduce any such, would be considered as an innovator, which, among
them, is a hateful character: For they will never be convinced, that
martial exercises or literary conferences are preferable to intrigues.
They have, however, a sort of a play-house, where the young gentlemen
and students divert themselves after their fashion; but their dramatic
performances are so mean as hardly to be worth mentioning, being
scripture stories, interwoven with romance, a mixture still worse than
gallantry. At this theatre, two Englishmen belonging to the squadron
of Mons. Martinat, fought a prize-battle a short time before I came
to Lima. Having first obtained leave of the viceroy to display their
skill at the usual weapons, and the day being fixed, they went through
many previous ceremonies, to draw, as the phrase is, a good house.
Preceded by beat of drum, and dressed in holland shirts and ribbons,
they went about the streets saluting the spectators at the windows
with flourishes of their swords, so that the whole city came to see
the trial of skill, some giving gold for admittance, and hardly any
one less than a dollar. The company, male and female, being assembled,
the masters mounted the stage, and, after the usual manner of the
English, having shaken hands, they took their distance, and stood
on their guard in good order. Several bouts were played without much
wrath or damage, the design being more to get money than cuts or
credit, till at length one of the masters received a small hurt on
the breast, which blooded his shirt, and began to make the combat look
terrible. Upon this, fearing from this dreadful beginning that the
zeal of the combatants might grow too warm, the company cried out,
_Basta! basta!_ or enough! enough! And the viceroy would never permit
another exhibition of the same kind, lest one of the combatants might
receive a mortal wound, and so die without absolution.

So deficient are the Spaniards in energy of spirit, that many
extensive countries and islands remain unexplored, in the immediate
neighbourhood of their vast American dominions, though some of these
are reported to be richer and more valuable than those which are
already conquered and settled. The first Spanish governors of Mexico
and Peru were not of this indolent disposition, but bestowed great
pains in endeavouring to acquire the most perfect knowledge bordering
upon their respective governments: But now that general thirst of fame
is entirely extinguished, and they content themselves with plundering
their fellow-subjects in the countries already known. The regions to
the north of Mexico are known to abound in silver, precious stones,
and other rich commodities, yet the Spaniards decline all conquest on
that side, and discourage as much as possible the reports which have
spread of the riches of these countries. On the same principles, they
give no encouragement to attempt penetrating into the heart of South
America, whence most of the riches of Peru are known to come, the
mountains at the back of the country being extremely rich in gold; and
the regions, on the other side, towards the Atlantic, being inhabited
by nations that have abundance of that metal, though, for fear of
being oppressed by the Europeans, they conceal it as much as possible.

Of all the discoveries that have been talked of among the Spaniards,
that which has made the most noise is the island or islands of
Solomon, supposed to be the same with those discovered by the famous
Ferdinand Quiros. He reported them to be extremely rich and very
populous, and repeatedly memorialed the court of Spain to be
authorised to complete his discovery. All his solicitations, however,
were neglected, and it became a question in a few years whether any
such islands had ever existed. At length, towards the close of the
seventeenth century, such discoveries were made as to the reality of
these islands, that Don Alvaro de Miranda was sent out to discover
them in 1695. He failed in the attempt, but in the search met with
four islands, between the latitude of 7° and 10° S. which were
wonderfully rich and pleasant, the inhabitants being a better looking
race, and far more civilized than any of the Indians on the continent
of America. This discovery occasioned a good deal of discourse at the
time; but the subsequent disturbances relative to the succession to
the crown of Spain, so occupied the attention of every person, that
all views of endeavouring to find the islands of Solomon were laid

[Footnote 2: These islands of Miranda appear to have been the
Marquebes, between the latitudes of 8° 45' and 10° 25' N. and long.
139° W. The Solomon islands, or New Georgia, are between 5° and 10° N.
and long. 200° to 205° W. 63-1/2 degrees of longitude farther to the


As the riches of Peru consist chiefly in mines of silver, I shall
endeavour to give some account of them, from the best information I
could procure. There are two sorts of silver-mines, in one of which
the silver is found scattered about in small quantities, or detached
masses, while, in the other kind of mine, it runs in a vein between
two rocks, one of which is excessively hard, and the other much
softer. These certainly best deserve the name of silver-mines, and
are accordingly so denominated. This precious metal, which in other
countries is the standard or measure of riches, is the actual riches
of Peru, or its chief natural commodity; as, throughout the whole of
that vast country, silver-mines are almost every where to be met with,
of more or less value, according as the ore produces more or less
silver, or can be wrought at a greater or less expence. Some of these
mines are to the north of Lima, but not a great many, but to the south
they are very numerous. On the back, or eastern side of the Andes,
there is a nation of Indians called _Los Platerors_, or the _Plate_,
or _Silver_ men, from their possessing vast quantities of silver,[1]
but with them the Spaniards have very little communication. The best
of the mine countries are to the south of Cusco, from thence to Potosi
and the frontiers of Chili, where, for the space of 800 miles, there
is a continued succession of mines, some being discovered and others
abandoned almost every day.

[Footnote 1: This tribe still holds its place in modern geography,
in the vast plain to the E. of the Maranors or Amazons, where there
cannot be any silver-mines, at least that they can explore. They are
so named because of wearing silver ear-rings, which they must, almost
certainly, procure in barter from the tribes in the mountains, far to
the west.--E.]

It is common, both here and elsewhere, for people to complain of the
times, commending the past, as if there had been infinitely greater
quantities of silver dug from the mines formerly than at present. This
certainly may be the case with particular mines; but, on the whole,
the quantities of silver now annually obtained from the mines in
Spanish America, abundantly exceeds what used formerly to be procured.
Those mines which are at present [1720] most remarkable in Peru are,
Loxa, Camora, Cuenca, Puerto-veio, and St Juan del Oro. Those of Oruro
and Titiri are neglected; and those of Porco and Plata are filled
up. At Potosi there are a vast number of mines; and those of Tomina,
Chocaia, Atacuna, Xuxui, Calchaques, Guasco, Iquique, &c. are all
wrought with more or less profit, according to the skill of the
proprietors or managers. It is generally believed that the Creoles
have a very perfect acquaintance with the minerals, from experience,
and with the art of treating them, so as to obtain the largest profit;
but, when their utter ignorance in all other arts is considered, their
constant going on in the old beaten track, and their enormous waste of
quicksilver, one is tempted to believe that our European miners might
conduct their works to still greater advantage.

The most perfect silver that is brought from Peru is in the forms
called _pinnas_ by the Spaniards, being extremely porous lumps of
silver, as they are the remainder of a paste composed of silver dust
and mercury, whence the latter being exhaled or evaporated, leaves the
silver in a spongy mass, full of holes, and very light. This is the
kind of silver which is put into various forms by the merchants, in
order to cheat the king of his duty; wherefore all silver in this
state, found any where on the road, or on board any ship, is looked
upon as contraband, and liable to seizure.

In regard to the art of refining, I propose to shew the progress of
the ore, from the mine till it comes to this spongy mass or cake.
After breaking the stone or ore taken out of the veins, it is grinded
in mills between grindstones, or pounded in the _ingenious reales_,
or royal engines, by means of hammers or beetles, like the mills for
Paris plaster. These generally have a wheel of twenty-five or thirty
feet diameter, with a long axle or lying shaft, set round with smooth
triangular projections, which, as the axle turns, lay hold of the iron
hammers, of about two hundred-weight each, lifting them to a certain
height, whence they drop down with such violence that they crush and
reduce the hardest stones to powder. The pounded ore is afterwards
sifted through iron or copper sieves, which allow the finest powder
to go through, the coarse being returned to the mill. When the one
happens to be mixed with copper or other metals which prevent
its reduction to powder, it is roasted or calcined in an oven or
reverberatory furnace, and pounded over again.

At the smaller mines, where they only use grindstones, they, for the
most part, grind the ore along with water, forming it into a liquid
paste, which runs out into receivers. When grinded dry, it has to be
afterwards mixed with water, and well moulded up with the feet for a
long time. For this purpose, they make a court or floor, on which that
mud, or paste of pounded ore and water, is disposed in square parcels
of about a foot thick, each parcel containing half a _caxon_, or
chest, which is twenty-five quintals or hundred-weights of ore, and
these parcels are called _cuerpos_, or bodies. On each of these they
throw about two hundred-weights of sea-salt, more or less, according
to the nature of the ore, which they mould or incorporate with the
moistened ore for two or three days. They then add a certain quantity
of quicksilver, squeezing it from a skin bag, to make it fall in drops
equally on the mass or _cuerpo_, allowing to each mass ten, fifteen,
or twenty pounds of quicksilver, according to the nature or quality of
the ore, as the richer it is, it requires the more mercury to draw it
to the silver contained in the mass, so that they know the quantity
by long experience. An Indian is employed to mould or trample one
of these square cuerpos eight times a-day, that the mercury
may thoroughly incorporate with the silver. To expedite this
incorporation, they often mix lime with the mass, when the ore happens
to be what they call greasy, and in this great caution is required,
as they say the mass sometimes grows so hot that they neither find
mercury nor silver in it, which seems quite incredible. Sometimes also
they strew in some lead or tin ore, to facilitate the operation of the
mercury, which is slower in very cold weather; wherefore, at Potosi
and Lipes, they are often obliged to mould or work up their cuerpos
during a month or six weeks; but, in more temperate climates, the
amalgama is completed in eight or ten days. To facilitate the action
of the mercury, they, in some places, as at Puno and elsewhere,
construct their _buiterons_ or floors on arches, under which they keep
fires for twenty-four hours, to heat the masses or _cuerpos_, which
are in that case placed as a pavement of bricks.

When it is thought that the mercury has attracted all the silver,
the assayer takes a small quantity of ore from each cuerpo, which he
washes separately in a small earthen plate or wooden bowl; and, by the
colour and appearance of the amalgama found at the bottom, when the
earthy matters are washed away, he knows whether the mercury has
produced its proper effect. When blackish, the ore is said to have
been too much heated, and they add more salt, or some other temper. In
this case they say that mercury is _dispara_, that is, shoots or flees
away. If the mercury remains white, they put a drop under the thumb,
and pressing it hastily, the silver in the amalgam sticks to the
thumb, and the mercury slips away in little drops. When they conceive
that all the silver has incorporated with the mercury, the mixed mass,
or cuerpo, is carried to a basin or pond, into which a small stream
of water is introduced to wash it, much in the same way as I shall
afterwards describe the manner in which they wash gold, only that as
the silver-ore is reduced to a fine mud without stones, it is stirred
by an Indian with his feet, to dissolve it thoroughly, and loosen the
silver. From the first basin it falls into a second, and thence into
a third, where the stirring and washing is repeated, that any amalgam
which has not subsided in the first and second may not escape the

The whole being thoroughly washed in these basins, which are lined
with leather, till the water runs clear off, the amalgam of mercury
and silver is found at the bottom, and is termed _la pella_. This is
put into a woollen bag and hung up, from whence some of the mercury
runs out. The bag is then beaten and pressed as much as they can,
laying upon it a flat piece of wood loaded with a heavy weight, to get
out as much of the mercury as they can. The paste is then put into
a mould of wooden planks bound together, generally in the form of an
octagon pyramid cut short, its bottoms being a plate of copper, full
of small holes, into which the paste is stirred and pressed down, in
order to fasten it. When they design to make many _pinnas_, or spongy
lumps of various weights, these are divided from each other by thin
beds or layers of earth, which hinder them from uniting. For this
purpose, the _pella_, or mass of amalgam, must be weighed out in
separate portions, deducting two-thirds for the contained mercury, by
which they know to a small matter the quantity of silver contained in
each. They then take off the mould, and place the pella or mass with
its copper base on a trivet, or such like instrument, standing over a
great earthen vessel full of water, and cover it with an earthen cap,
which again is covered by lighted coals. This fire is fed and kept
up for some hours, by which the mass of pella below becomes violently
heated, the contained mercury being thereby raised into vapour: But,
having no means of escape through the cap or cover, it is forced down
to the water underneath, where it condenses into quicksilver and sinks
to the bottom. By this contrivance, little of the mercury is lost,
and the same serves over again. But the quantity must be increased,
_because it grows weak_.[2] At Potosi, as Acosta relates, they
formerly consumed six or seven thousand quintals of mercury every
year, by which Some idea may be formed of the silver there procured.

[Footnote 2: This is utterly absurd, as the mercury must be the same
in _quality_ as before, the _quantity_ only being _weakened_.]

On the evaporation of the mercury, nothing remains but a spongy lump
of contiguous grains of silver, very light and almost mouldering,
called _la pinna_ by the Spaniards. These masses must be carried to
the king's receipt or mint, to pay the royal fifth; and are there cast
into ingots, on which are stamped the arms of the crown, the place
where cast, and their weight and fineness. All these ingots, having
paid the fifth, are sure to be without fraud or deceit; but it is not
so with the _pinnas_, as these have often iron, sand, or some other
matter contained within them, to increase their weight; Hence,
prudence requires that these should be opened, and made red hot in a
fire; for, if falsified, the fire will turn them black or yellow, or
melt them more easily. This trial by fire is also necessary to extract
moisture, which they contract in places where they are purposely laid
to render them heavier, as also for separating the mercury with which
the bottom of the mass is always more or less impregnated. The weight
of these _pinnas_ may be increased nearly a third, by dipping them
while red hot into water. It also sometimes happens that the same mass
of pinna may be of different fineness in different parts.

The ore, or stones taken from the mines, or the _mineray_, as it is
called in Peru, from which the silver is extracted, is not always of
the same nature, consistence, and colour. Some are white and grey,
mixed with red or bluish spots, called _plata blanca_ or white silver;
of which sort the one in the Lipes mines mostly consists. For the most
part, some little grains of silver are to be discerned, and very often
small branches are seen, ramifying along the layers of the stone. Some
ores are as black as the dross of iron, and in which no silver is to
be seen, which is called _negrillo_ or blackish ore. Sometimes the ore
is rendered black by admixture of lead, and is called _plombo ronco_,
or coarse lead, in which the silver appears as if scratched by
something harsh. This ore is generally the richest in silver, and from
it also the silver is got at the smallest charge; as instead of having
to be moulded or kneaded with quicksilver, it has only to be melted
in furnaces, where the lead evaporates by the force of fire, and the
silver remains pure behind. From this sort. of mines, the Indians drew
their silver before the coming of the Spaniards, having no knowledge
of the use of mercury, and they accordingly only wrought those mines
of which the ore would melt; and, having but little wood, they heated
their furnaces with _ylo_, the dung of the _Llamas_ or Peruvian sheep,
placing their furnaces on the sides of mountains, that the wind might
render their fires fierce.

There is another sort of black ore, in which the silver does not at
all appear; and which, when wetted and rubbed against iron, becomes
red. This ore is called _rosicler_, signifying that ruddiness which
appears at the dawn of day. This is very rich, and affords the finest
silver. Another kind, called _zoroche_, glitters like talc, and is
generally very poor, yielding little silver: Its outer coat is very
soft and of a yellowish red, but seldom rich; and the mines of this
sort are wrought on account of the easiness of extracting the ore,
being very easily dug. Another kind, not much harder than the last, is
of a green colour, called _cobrissa_ or copperish, and is very rare.
Although the silver usually appears in this kind, and it is almost
mouldering, it is the most difficult of all to manage, as it parts
very difficultly with the silver. Sometimes, after being stamped or
reduced to powder, it has to be burnt in the fire, and several other
expedients must be used to separate the silver, doubtless because
mixed with copper. There is another very rare sort of ore, which has
only been found in the mine of _Cotamiso_ at Potosi, being threads of
pure silver entangled, or wound up together, like burnt lace, and so
fine that it is called _arana_, or spider ore, from its resemblance to
a cobweb.

The veins of _mineray_, of whatever sort they may be, are generally
richer in the middle than towards the edges; and where two veins
happen to cross each other, the place where they meet is always very
rich. It is also observed that those which lie north and south are
richer than those which lie in any other direction. Those also which
are near to places where mills can be erected, and can consequently
be more commodiously wrought, are often preferable to others that are
richer, but require more expense in working. For this reason, at Lipes
and Potosi, a chest of ore must yield ten marks or eighty ounces of
silver, to pay the charges of working; while those in the province of
Tarama only require five merks or forty ounces to defray the expences.
When even very rich, and they happen to sink down so as to be liable
to be flooded, the adventurers must have recourse to pumps and
machines in order to drain them; or to _cocabones_ or levels dug
through the sides of the mountain, which often ruin the owners by the
enormous expence they are insensibly drawn into. At some of the mines,
where the methods of separation already described fail, they use other
means of extracting the silver from the ore, and from other metals
which may be combined with it; as by fire, or strong separating
waters; and there the silver is cast into a sort of ingots, called
_bollos_. But the most general and useful method is that already

It may naturally be supposed that mines, as well as other things, are
subject to variation in their productiveness. The mines which, till
very lately, yielded most silver, were those of _Oroura_, a small town
about eight leagues from Arica. In the year 1712, one was discovered
at _Ollachea_ near Cusco, so rich that it yielded 2500 marks of silver
of eight ounces each, or 20,000 ounces, out of each _caxon_ or chest,
being almost a fifth part of the ore; but it has since declined much,
and is now [1720] only reckoned among the ordinary sort. Those of
Lipes have had a similar fate. Those at Potosi now yield but little,
and are worked at a very heavy expence, owing to their excessive
depth. Although the mines here are far diminished in their
productiveness, yet the quantity of ore which has been formerly
wrought, and has lain many years on the surface, is now thought
capable of yielding a second crop; and when I was at Lima, they were
actually turning it up, and milling it over again with great success.
This is a proof that these minerals generate in the earth like all
other inanimate things;[3] and it likewise appears, from all the
accounts of the Spaniards, that gold, silver, and other metals are
continually growing and forming in the earth. This opinion is verified
by experience in the mountain of Potosi, where several mines had
fallen in, burying the workmen and their tools; and these being
again opened up after some years, many boxes and pieces of wood were
discovered, having veins of silver actually running through them.[4]

[Footnote 3: It is merely a proof that the ore had been formerly very
imperfectly managed, and still contained enough of silver to pay for
extraction with profit, by more expert methods.--E.]

[Footnote 4: This proves only change of place, by solution,
infiltration, and deposition not growth, increase, or new

All these mines become the property of their first discoverer, who
immediately presents a petition to the magistrates, desiring to have
such a piece of ground for his own. This is accordingly granted, and
a spot of ground eighty Spanish yards in length by forty in breadth[5]
is measured out and appropriated to the discoverer, who chuses what
spot he pleases within these bounds, and does with it as he thinks
fit. The exact same quantity is then measured off as belonging to the
king, and is sold to the best bidder, there being always many who are
willing to purchase, what may turn out an inestimable treasure. After
this, if any person may incline to work a part of this mine on his own
account, he bargains with the proprietor for a particular vein. All
that is dug out by any one is his own, subject however to payment of
the royal duties; being one-twentieth part for gold, and a fifth for
silver; and some proprietors find a good account in letting out their
grounds and mills to others.

[Footnote 5: In Harris this is said to be _about 1200 feet in length,
and 100 in breadth_, which is obviously absurd; as the one measure
gives the Spanish yard at 15 English feet, and the latter at 2-1/2
feet. Both measures are probably erroneous; but there are no data for
their correction.--E.]

There are gold-mines just beyond the town of Copaipo, and in all the
country around, which have attracted many purchasers and workmen to
that district, to the great injury and oppression of the Indians;
as the Spanish magistrates not only take away their lands for the
purposes of mining, but their horses also, which they sell to the
new adventurers, under pretence of serving the king and improving the
settlements. There is also abundance of magnet and _lapiz lazuli_,
of which the Indians know not the value; and some leagues within the
country, there is plenty of salt and salt-petre, which often lies an
inch thick on the ground. On the _Cordelieras_, about an hundred miles
to the east, there is a vein of sulphur about two feet wide, so fine
and pure that it needs no cleaning. This part of the country is full
of all sorts of mines, but so excessively barren, that the inhabitants
have to fetch all their subsistence from the country about Coquimbo,
over a desert of more than 300 miles extent, in which the earth
abounds so much in salt and sulphur that the mules often perish by
the way, for want of grass and fresh water. In that long road there
is only one river in the course of two hundred miles, which is named
_Ancalulae_ or the Hyporite, because it runs only from sun-rise to
sun-set. This is occasioned by the great quantities of snow melted on
the Cordelieras in the day, which freezes again by the excessive cold
of the night. Hence _Chili_ is said to derive its name, as _chile_
signifies cold in the Indian language; and we are told by the Spanish
historians, that some of their countrymen and others, who first traded
to this country, were frozen to death on their mules; for which reason
they now always travel by a lower road, towards the coast.

The mine countries are all so cold and barren, that the inhabitants
have to procure most of their provisions from the coast; this is
caused by the exhalations of salts and sulphur from the earth, which
destroy the growth of all vegetables. These are so stifling to the
Spaniards who dwell about the mines, that they are obliged often to
drink the _mattea_, or tea made of the herb _camini_, to moisten their
mouths. The mules also, that trip it nimbly over the mountains, are
forced to walk slowly in the country about the mines, and have often
to stop to take breath. If these vapours are so strong without and in
the open air, what must they be within the bowels of the earth in the
mines, into which, if a fresh man go, he is suddenly benumbed with
pain. This is the case with many, but seldom lasts above a day, and
they are not liable to be affected a second time: Yet vapours often
burst forth suddenly, by which the workmen are killed on the spot;
and one way or another, great multitudes of Indians die in working the
mines. One is apt to wonder that, through all this part of the world,
those districts which are most barren and unwholesome are the best
inhabited; while other places, that seem to vie with our nations of
the terrestrial paradise, in beauty and fertility, are but thinly
peopled. Yet, when one considers, that it is the thirst of wealth, not
the love of ease, which attracts people thither, the wonder ceases,
and we see how much the hope of living rich gets the better even of
the hope of living; as if the sole end for which man was created was
to acquire wealth, at the expence of health and happiness.

In reference to these deserts, the following observation occurs to my
memory, as having happened when we were on the road to Piura. When
we lay down to sleep at night, our mules went eagerly in search of a
certain root, not unlike a parsnip, but much bigger, which contains a
great deal of juice, and, besides serving as food, often answers as
a substitute for water in the deserts. When the mules find these, and
are unable to rake them out of the ground with their feet, they stand
over them and bray with all their might, till the Indians come to
their assistance.

It is generally understood that silver is the peculiar wealth of Peru,
and the Spaniards usually talk of gold-mines as confined to Chili: Yet
there are one or two _lavaderas_, or washing-places for gold in the
south of Peru, near the frontiers of Chili. In 1709, two surprizingly
large _pepitos_, or lumps of virgin gold, were found in one of these
places, one of which weighed complete thirty-two pounds, and was
purchased by the _Conde de Monclod_, then viceroy of Peru, and
presented by him to the king of Spain. The other, shaped somewhat like
an ox's heart, weighed twenty-two pounds and a half; and was purchased
by the corregidor of Arica. In searching for these _lavadores_ or
washing places, they dig in the corners of some little brook, where
they judge, from certain tokens, that the grains of gold are lodged.
To assist in carrying away the earth or mud, they let in a stream or
current of water into the excavation, and keep stirring up the soil,
that the water may carry it away. On reaching the golden sand, they
turn the stream another way, and dig out this sand, which is carried
on mules to certain ponds or basons, which are joined by small canals.
Into these they introduce a smart stream of water, to loosen the earth
and carry away the grosser part. The Indians stand in the basons or
ponds, stirring up the earth to assist the operation of the water, and
throwing out the stones. The gold remains at the bottom, still mixed
with a black sand, and is hardly to be seen till farther cleaned and
separated, which is easily done. These washing places differ much from
each other. In some the grains of gold are as big as small shot; and
in one belonging to the priests, near Valparaiso, some are found from
the weight of two or three ounces to a pound and a half. This way
of getting gold is much better than from the mines, as it does not
require expensive digging, neither are mills necessary for grinding
the ore, nor quicksilver for extracting the metal; so that both the
trouble and expence are much less. The Creoles are by no means so nice
in washing their gold as are the people in Europe; but great plenty
makes them careless, both in this and other matters.


It is not intended in this place to give a description of the large
kingdom of Chili, but only some account of the nature of its trade,
and the manner in which that is connected with the general commerce
of Peru, by which the wealth of Chili is transmitted to Europe.
Chili extends in length about 1200 miles from north to south, but its
breadth is uncertain. The air is very temperate and wholesome, unless
when rendered otherwise by pestilential exhalations, that are most
common after earthquakes, to which this country is peculiarly liable.
The winter rains are very heavy, during the months of May, June, July,
and August; after which, for eight months together, they have fine
weather, generally speaking. The soil, where it admits of cultivation,
is prodigiously fertile, and fruit-trees carried thither from Europe
come to the greatest perfection, so that fruit is coming forward in
its different stages at all times of the year; insomuch that it is
common to see apple-trees, in the situation so much admired in orange
trees, having blossoms, fruit just set, green fruit, and ripe apples,
all on one tree at the same time. The valleys, wherever they have any
moisture, wear a perpetual verdure; and the hills are covered with
odoriferous herbs, many of which are very useful in medicine. The
country also produces trees of all sorts. Thus Chili, independent of
its gold-mines, may well be accounted one of the richest and finest
countries in the world. For instance, the town of Coquimbo, in lat.
30° S. [30° 20'] a short mile from the sea, in a most delightful
place. It is situated on a green rising ground, about ten yards high,
formed by nature like a regular terrace, stretching north and south in
a direct line of more than half a mile, turning a little at each end
to the eastwards; and its principal street forms a delightful walk,
having a fine prospect of the country and the bay. All this is placed
in an evergreen valley, and watered by a beautiful river, which rises
in the mountains, and flows in a winding stream to the sea, through
beautiful meadows and fertile vales.

Notwithstanding its many advantages, this vast country is very thinly
inhabited; so that through its whole extent there are scarcely five
towns deserving that appellation, and only one city, named St Jago.
Through all the rest of the country there are only farms, called
_estancias_, which are so remote from each other, that the whole
country cannot muster 20,000 whites capable of bearing arms, of which
St Jago contains 2000. All the rest of the population consists of
mesticoes, mulattoes, and Indians, the number of whom may amount to
three times as many.[1] This is exclusive of the _friendly_ Indians to
the south of the river _Biobio_, who are reckoned to amount to 15,000
fighting men, but whose fidelity is not much to be depended upon.

[Footnote 1: Allowing _eight_ persons of all ages and both sexes
to _one_ fit to bear arms, this would give to Chili, in 1720, a
population of 160,000 whites, and 480,000 of colour, or 640,000 in

The trade of this country is chiefly carried on by sea, and at
present, 1720, is rather in a declining situation. The port of
Baldivia was formerly very famous, on account of the very rich
gold-mines which were wrought in its neighbourhood, which are now in
a great measure disused. Hence it is now only kept as a garrison,
serving to Peru as the fortresses on the coast of Barbary do to
Spain, as a place to which malefactors are sent, to serve against the
Indians. The trade of this place consists in sending ten or twelve
ships every year to Peru, laden with hides, tanned leather, salt meat,
corn, and other provisions, which are to be had here in great plenty.

The port of Conception is more considerable, by reason of its trade
with the Indians who are not under subjection to the crown of Spain.
These Indians are copper-coloured, having large limbs, broad faces,
and coarse lank hair. The nation of the _Puelches_ differs somewhat
from the rest, as among them there are some who are tolerably white,
and have some little colour in their cheeks; which is supposed to be
owing to their having some Europeans blood in their veins, ever since
the natives of this country revolted from the Spaniards, and cut off
most of their garrisons; on which occasion they preserved the women,
and especially the nuns, by whom they had many children; who still
retain a sort of affection for the country of their mothers, and,
though too proud to submit to the Spaniards, yet are unwilling to hurt

These _Puelches_ inhabit the ridge of mountains called _La Cordeliera_
by the Spaniards, and as the manner of trading with them is very
singular, it may be proper to give some account of it. When the
Spanish pedlar or travelling merchant goes into this country, he
goes directly to a caçique or chief, and presents himself before him
without speaking a word. The caçique breaks silence first, saying
to the merchant, _Are you come?_ To which the merchant answers _I am
come._ _What have you brought me?_ replies the caçique. To which the
merchant rejoins, _Wine_, and such other things as he may have to
dispose of, wine being a necessary article. Upon which the caçique
never fails to say, _You are welcome_. The caçique then appoints
a lodging for the merchant near his own hut, where his wives and
children, bidding him welcome, each demand a present, however small,
which he accordingly gives. The caçique then gives notice to his
scattered subjects, by means of his horn or trumpet, that a merchant
is arrived with whom they may trade. They come accordingly and see
the commodities, which are knives, axes, combs, needles, thread, small
mirrors, ribbons, and the like. The best of all would be wine, were it
not dangerous to supply them with that article; as, when drunk, they
are very quarrelsome and apt to kill one another, and it would not
then be safe to be among them. When they have agreed on the price, or
barter rather, they carry away all the articles without then making
payment; so that the merchant delivers all his commodities without
knowing to whom, or even seeing any of his debtors. When his business
is concluded, and he proposes to go away, the caçique commands payment
by again sounding his horn, and then every man honestly brings to
the merchant the cattle he owes for the goods received; and, as
these consist of mules, goats, oxen, and cows, the caçique commands a
sufficient number of men to conduct them to the Spanish frontiers.

The far greater number of bullocks and cows that are slaughtered and
consumed every year in Chili, comes from the plains of Paraguay,[2]
which are in a manner covered by them. The Puelches bring them through
the plain of _Tapa-papa_, inhabited by the _Pteheingues_,[3] or
unconquered Indians, this being the best pass for crossing the
mountains, as being divided into two hills of less difficult access
than the others, which are almost impassable for mules. There is
another pass, about eighty leagues from Conception, at the volcano of
_Silla Velluda_, which now and then casts out fire, and sometimes with
so great a noise as to be heard even at that city. In that way the
journey is much shortened, and they can go to Buenos Ayres in six
weeks. By these communications they generally bring all the beeves and
goats,[4] which are slaughtered in Chili by thousands for their tallow
and lard. This last consists of the marrow of the bones, which serves
throughout all South America instead of butter and oil, for making
sauces. The flesh is either dried in the sun, or by means of smoke,
to preserve it for use, instead of salt as used in Europe. These
slaughters also afford great quantities of hides, especially
goat-skins, which they dress like Morocco leather, by them called
cordovanes, and is sent into Peru for making shoes, or other uses.

[Footnote 2: Paraguay is here used in far too extensive a sense,
as comprising the whole level country to the east of the Andes: The
plains of Cuyo are those alluded to in the text.--E.]

[Footnote 3: The Pehneuches are probably here meant, who dwell on the
west side of the Andes, between the latitudes of 33° and 36° S. The
Puelches on the same side of the Andes, from 36° to 40°.--E.]

[Footnote 4: Perhaps, instead of the goats in the text, _vicunnas_
ought to be understood.--E.]

Besides the trade of hides, tallow, and dried meat, the inhabitants of
Conception send every year eight or ten ships of forty or fifty tons
to Calao laden with corn; besides supplying meal and biscuit to the
French ships, which take in provisions there in order to proceed
to Peru, and for their voyage back to France. All this were quite
inconsiderable for so fine a country, were it better peopled; since
the land is so extraordinarily fertile, were it well cultivated, that
they only scratch it for the most part, by means of a plough made of a
crooked stick, and drawn by two oxen; and, though the seed be scarcely
covered, it produces seldom less than an hundred fold. Neither are
they at any more pains in procuring their vines, in order to make good
wine. Besides which, as they have not the art to glaze their jars in
which the wine is secured, to make them hold in, they are under the
necessity of pitching them. And this, together with the goat-skin bags
in which it is carried from the estancias, gives it a bitter taste
like treacle, and a flavour to which it is hard for strangers to
accustom themselves. The grasses also are allowed to grow without any
attention or industry being employed in grafting. Apples and pears
grow naturally in the woods, and in such abundance as it is hard to
comprehend how they could have so multiplied since the conquest, as
they affirm there were none in the country before.

The mines of _Quilogoya_ and _Quilacura_ are within four leagues of
this port, and afford vast quantities of gold. At the _Estancia del
Re_, or king's farm, which is at no great distance, there is by far
the most plentiful _lavaders_, or washing-place for gold in all Chili,
where sometimes they find lumps of pure gold of prodigious size. The
mountains of the Cordelieras are reported to contain a continued chain
of mines for many hundred miles, which certainly is highly probable,
as hardly any of these mountains have hitherto been opened without
vast quantities of metal being found in them, especially fine copper,
of which all the artillery in the Spanish West Indies is constructed,
at least all that are used in the countries on the South Seas.

The most considerable port in Chili is Valparaiso, which is esteemed
one of the best harbours on the whole coast of the South Sea. It lies
on a river fifteen leagues below St Jago, the capital of Chili.[5]
To this port all the riches of the mines on every side are brought,
particularly from those of _Tiltil_, which are immensely rich, and are
situated between St Jago and Valparaiso. The gold here is found in
a very hard stone, some of which sparkles and betrays the inclosed
treasure to the eye; but most of it does not shew the smallest sign
of gold, appearing merely a hard harsh stone of various colours, some
white, some red, some black. This ore, after being broken in pieces,
is grinded or stamped in a mill by the help of water, into a gross
powder, with which quicksilver is afterwards mixed. To this mixture a
brisk stream of water is let in, which reduces the earthy matters to a
kind of mud, which is carried off by the current, the amalgam of gold
and quicksilver remaining at the bottom, in consequence of its weight.
This amalgam is then put into a linen bag, and pressed very hard,
by which the greatest part of the mercury is strained off, and the
remainder is evaporated off by the force of fire, leaving the gold in
a little wedge or mass, shaped like a pine-apple, whence it is called
a _pinna_. This is afterwards melted and cast in a mould, to know its
exact weight, and to ascertain the proportion of silver that is mixed
with the gold, no farther process of refining being done here. The
weightiness of the gold, and the facility with which it forms an
amalgam with the mercury, occasions it easily to part from the dross
or earthy matters of the stone or matrix. This is a great advantage
to the gold-miners, as they every day know what they get; but the
silver-miners often do not know how much they get till two months
after, owing to the tediousness of their operation, as formerly

[Footnote 5: This is a material error. Valparaiso is on no river, and
lies forty English miles north from the river Maypo, on one of the
upper branches of which, the Mapocho, St Jago is situated.--E.]

According to the nature of these gold-mines, and the comparative
richness of the veins, every _caxon_, or chest of fifty quintals,
yields four, five, or six ounces of gold. When it only yields two
ounces, the miner does not cover his charges, which often happens; but
he sometimes receives ample amends, when he meets with good veins; and
the gold-mines are those which produce metals the most unequally. In
following a vein, it frequently widens, then becomes narrower, and
then seems to disappear, all within a small space of ground; and this
sport of nature makes the miners live in continual hopes of finding
what they call a _purse_, being the expanded end of a vein, which is
sometimes so rich as to make a man's fortune at once; yet this same
inequality sometimes ruins them, which is the reason that it is more
rare to see a gold-miner rich than a silver-miner, or even one in any
other metal, although there be less expence in extracting gold from
the mineral than any other metal. For this reason also the gold-miners
have the particular privilege that they cannot be sued to execution in
civil actions. Gold only pays a twentieth part to the king, which
duty is called _Covo_, from the name of a private individual at whose
instance the duty was thus reduced, gold having formerly paid a fifth,
as silver still does.

On the descent of this mountain of _Tiltil_, there runs, during the
rainy season, a brisk stream of water, which passes through among
the gold-ore, and washes away abundance of that rich metal, as it
ripens[6] and breaks from its bed. On this account, this stream is
accounted one of the richest lavaderos in all Chili for four months
of every year; and well it may, as there are sometimes found in it
pellets of gold of an ounce weight. At _Palma_, about four leagues
from Valparaiso, there is another rich lavadero; and every where
throughout the country, the fall of a brook or rivulet is accompanied
by more or less of these golden showers, the richest of which fall
into the laps of the jesuits, who farm or purchase abundance of mines
and lavaderos, which are wrought for their benefit by their servants.
The soil in the neighbourhood of Valparaiso is exceedingly rich and
fertile, so that forty ships go from thence yearly to Calao, laden
with corn; yet that commodity still remains so cheap at this place,
where money is so abundant, that an English bushel of wheat may be
bought for less than three shillings. It would be still cheaper, could
all the country be cultivated; but as it has constant dry weather for
eight months endurance, cultivation is only possible where they have
brooks or little rills in the vales coming from the mountains, which
can be applied for irrigating or watering the cultivated land.

[Footnote 6: That is, as the matrix or rock in which it is contained,
moulders and decays by the influences of the weather and of this
stream; for the notion of ores ripening is a mere dream or fancy.--E.]

There is a great trade carried on to all parts of Chili from the
Atlantic ocean, by way of Buenos Ayres, whence the Chilese receive
some European goods, together with large sums in silver, in return
for their commodities. This is perhaps the largest route of Indian
commerce in the world, as the road from Buenos Ayres to Potosi is 1500
miles; and though the distance from Valparaiso be not above 160 miles
more,[7] yet it is attended with much greater difficulty, as the
vast chain of mountains called the Cordelieras of the Andes has to be
passed, which can only be done during the three first months of the
year, the passes being impracticable at all other times. At that
season the merchants come from Mendoza, an inland town about 300
leagues from Buenos Ayres, and travel through the mountains to St
Jago. The passage of the mountains usually takes up six or seven days,
though only about sixty leagues, and the travellers have not only to
carry their own provisions with them, but also the provender of their
mules, as the whole of that part of the road is a continued series
of rocks and precipices, and all the country round so barren and so
exposed to snows in winter, that it is utterly uninhabitable. The
remainder of the journey, from St Jago to the mines, and from thence
to Valparaiso, is both safe and pleasant; and in this the merchants
have nothing to fear, except staying too long, and losing their
passage home through the mountains for that season, in which case they
would have to remain in Chili at least nine months longer than they

[Footnote 7: In these estimates, Betagh has been very unfortunate, as
the direct distance from Buenos Ayres to Potosi does not exceed 1100
miles, and the distance from Valparaiso, also in a straight line, is
hardly 800 miles.--E.]

On the whole, though a very great part of the enormous extent of
the Spanish dominions in South America be absolutely desert, and the
people in some of the inhabited parts do not acquire large fortunes,
yet the Spanish settlers in Chili certainly procure immense riches
yearly, as the country is but thinly inhabited, and all the gold
drawn from the mines and lavadores must be divided among them. It
is evident, however, that the greater part of the inhabitants do not
abound in wealth. Those among them who deal in cattle, corn, and the
other productions of the country, only acquire moderate fortunes;
and those who are concerned in the mines are frequently ruined by
launching out into unsuccessful speculations, and by expensive living.
Those who are easy in their circumstances, and retire to the city of
St Jago, Jago, live in such a manner as sufficiently demonstrates
the riches of Chili; as all their utensils, even those of the most
ordinary sort, are of pure gold, and it is believed that the wealth
of that city cannot fall short of twenty millions.[8] Add to this,
the gold-mines are continually increasing, and it is only for want
of hands that they are not wrought to infinitely more advantage; for
those already discovered and now neglected, would be sufficient to
employ 40,000 men. It may also be observed, that the frauds practised
against the royal revenue are increasing daily, and, as the riches
of the Spanish West Indies are measured by the amount of the royal
revenue, this must make them appear poorer than they are in reality.
We have one instance of this in the mines of Potosi, which are said to
produce less silver than they did formerly; yet, on a computation
for fifty years, the annual revenue to the king has amounted, on the
average, to 220,000 _pesos_, of thirteen rials and a quarter yearly,
which shews that the annual produce of these mines, so far as it has
paid the royal duty, amounts nearly to two million pieces of eight,
or dollars, and it may be confidently asserted that the royal treasury
does not receive above half of what is due: wherefore, from this
example, the rest may be judged of.

[Footnote 8: The coin or denomination is not specified: If dollars, at
4s. 6d., this would amount to four millions and a half sterling.--E.]


As the policy of Spain chiefly consists in endeavouring, by all
possible means, to prevent the riches of these extensive dominions
from passing into other hands, so the knowledge possessed by other
nations of the great wealth of these countries, and of the great
demand for European manufactures among their inhabitants, has excited
almost every nation in Europe to devise every possible contrivance for
coming in for a share in these riches, and this with such effect, that
it is even questionable whether any considerable portion of the riches
of the new world centres among the inhabitants of Old Spain. This may
be judged of from the following considerations: Even the trade carried
on from Spain to the new world is of much greater importance to
foreigners than to the Spaniards themselves. For as Spain has few
commodities of its own, and carries on scarcely any manufactures, the
Spanish merchants at Cadiz have to make up their cargoes by means of
purchases from other countries; or rather the Cadiz merchants are mere
factors for the merchants of England, France, and Holland, whose goods
they send to America, and pay them by the returns made in the Plate
fleets. Spain also is a country very ill provided with some of the
necessaries of life, and most of the conveniences; so that prodigious
sums of the money brought from America have to be yearly exported for
the purchase of these.

Besides such drawbacks as the above, to which the Spaniards willingly
submit, there are many others which they are forced to endure: For
instance, all the negroes they employ in their plantations, in
which every kind of labour is performed by them, are purchased from
foreigners, particularly the English and Dutch, at a very large
annual expence; and, under pretence of furnishing them with negroes, a
clandestine trade is carried on every year, along the whole coasts
of their possessions on the Atlantic. In the South Sea, however,
they were tolerably free from every thing except the depredations
of pirates, till the general war on account of the succession to the
crown of Spain, which created a new kind of contraband trade, unknown
in former times, of which I now propose to give some account.

The _French interlopers_ carried vast quantities of goods directly
from Europe into the South Seas, which till then had hardly ever been
attempted by any European nation. This was always viewed with an evil
eye by the court of Spain, as repugnant to the interests of Spain, and
diametrically opposite to the maxims of her government; but there
were many circumstances at that time which rendered this a kind of
necessary evil, and obliged therefore the people of Old Spain to
submit to it. As for the Creoles, they had European goods and at a
cheaper rate, and it did not give them much concern who it was that
received their money. The town of St Malo has always been noted for
privateers, and greatly annoyed the trade of the English and Dutch
during the whole reign of King William, and part of that of Queen
Anne; and though some allege that money procured by privateering never
prospers, yet I may safely affirm that the people of St Malo are as
rich and flourishing as any in all France. Privateering has thriven
so well among them, that all their South Sea trade has arisen from
thence; and, during the last war, they were so rich and generous,
that they made several free gifts to Louis XIV.; and so dexterous were
they, that though our Admiralty always kept a stout squadron in
the Atlantic, we were never able to capture one of their South-Sea
traders. The reason of this was, that they always kept their ships
extremely clean, having ports to careen at of which we knew not. In
1709, when I belonged to her majesty's ship the Loo, being one of the
convoy that year to Newfoundland, we saw and chased upon that coast
a ship of fifty guns, which we soon perceived to be French-built; but
she crowded sail and soon left us. She had just careened at Placentia,
and we wondered much to find such a ship in that part of the world. We
afterwards learnt, from some French prisoners, that she was a French
ship bound to St Malo, having two or three millions of dollars on
board, and was then so trim that she trusted to her heels, and valued
nobody. They went thus far to the north and west on purpose to have
the advantage of a westerly wind, which seldom failed of sending them
into soundings at one spirt, if not quite home. Since Placentia
has been yielded to Great Britain, they now use St Catherine and
Islagrande, on the coast of Brasil, and Martinico in the West Indies.

This trade succeeded so well, that all the merchants of St Malo
engaged in it, sending every year to the number of twenty sail of
ships. In 1721, I saw eleven sail of these together at one time on the
coast of Chili, among which were several of fifty guns, and one called
the _Fleur-de-luce_, which could mount seventy, formerly a man-of-war.
As this trade was contrary to the _Assiento_ treaty between Great
Britain and Spain, memorials were frequently presented against it
at Madrid by the court of London; and the king of Spain, willing to
fulfil his engagements to the king of England, resolved to destroy
this contraband French trade. As there was no other way to accomplish
this but by sending a squadron of men-of-war into the South Sea, and
as few of the Spaniards were acquainted with the navigation of Cape
Horn, or could bear the extreme rigour of the climate, the court of
Spain was obliged to use foreigners on this expedition, and the
four ships sent oat were both manned and commanded by Frenchmen. The
squadron consisted of the _Gloucester_, of 50 guns, and 400 men, the
_Ruby_, of 50 guns, and 330 men, both of these formerly English ships
of war, the _Leon Franco_, of 60 guns, and 450 men, and a frigate
of 40 guns, and 200 men. Monsieur _Martinet_, a French officer, was
commodore of this squadron, and commanded the _Pembroke_,[1] and
Monsieur _La Jonquiere_ the Ruby. The French conducted the navigation
round the cape very well, though in the middle of winter; but the last
ship of the four, which was manned with Spaniards, could not weather
Cape Horn, and was forced back to the Rio Plata, where she was cast
away. As the Spaniards have little or no trade into any of the cold
climates, and are unused to hard work, it is not to be wondered that
they failed on this occasion, especially considering the improper
season of the year. The Biscaneers, indeed, are robust enough fellows;
and had the Leon Franco been manned with them, she had certainly
doubled the cape along with the other three ships; but the Spaniards
in general, since acquiring their possessions in America, have become
so delicate and indolent, that it would be difficult to find an entire
ship's company capable to perform that navigation.

[Footnote 1: No such name occurs, in enumerating the squadron
immediately before--E.]

The vast advantage of the trade of Chili by way of Cape Horn, is so
obvious, that his catholic majesty is obliged by treaty to shut out
all the European nations from it, as well as the English, although
his own subjects make nothing of it, as it very rarely happens that
a Spanish ship ventures to go round Cape Horn. Owing to this, all
European goods sell enormously dear in Chili and Peru; insomuch, that
I have been told at Lima, that they are often at 400 per cent. profit,
and it may be fairly asserted, that the goods carried from France by
Cape Horn are in themselves 50 per cent. better than those sent in
the Cadiz _flota_ to Carthagena and Vera Cruz, because the former are
delivered in six months, fresh and undamaged, while the latter are
generally eighteen months before they reach Chili. In the course of
this trade, the French sold their goods, furnished themselves with
provisions, and got home again, all within twelve or fourteen months.

When Martinet arrived on the coast of Chili in 1717, furnished with a
commission from the king of Spain to take or destroy all the ships of
his countrymen found trading in the South Sea, he soon had sufficient
employment for his squadron and of fourteen ships belonging to St
Malo, then on the coast, only one escaped him, which lay hid in a
landlocked creek unseen till he had gone to leeward. Although in this
he executed the orders of his catholic majesty, and did a material
benefit to the British South Sea company, yet he almost ruined the
trading part of the Creole Spaniards, as hindering the circulation of
money and spoiling business, so that they could not bear the sight
of the French men-of-war, though they liked the French merchant ships
very much. On the other hand, imagining that they had done essential
service to the Spaniards, the French expected to have received at
least civil treatment in return, during their stay in these seas.
As soon, however, as Martinet brought his prizes into Calao, and the
Frenchmen had received their shares of the prize-money, forgetting
the ancient antipathy of the Spaniards for the French, they gave
themselves extravagant airs on shore, by dancing and drinking, which
still more incensed the creolians against them, who called them
cavachos and renegados, for falling foul of their own countrymen. From
one thing to another, their mutual quarrels grew so high, that the
Frenchmen were obliged to go about Lima and Calao in strong armed
parties, the better to avoid outrages and affronts. At last, a young
gentleman, who was ensign of the Ruby, and nephew to Captain La
Jonquiere, was shot from a window, and the murderer took refuge in
the great church of Calao. Martinet and La Jonquiere petitioned the
viceroy to have the murderer delivered up to justice: But the viceroy,
who was at the same time archbishop, would on no account consent to
violate the privileges of the church. On this refusal, they called all
their men on board by beat of drum, and laid the broadsides of their
three ships to bear on the town of Calao, threatening to demolish
the town and fortifications, unless the assassin were delivered up
or executed. All this blustering, however, could not prevail upon the
viceroy to give them any satisfaction, though they had several other
men killed, besides that gentleman.

At length, unwilling to proceed to extremities, and no longer able
to endure the place where his nephew had been murdered, La Jonquiere
obtained leave of his commodore to make the best of his way home.
About this time, many _padros_ and many rich passengers were assembled
at Conception in Chili, intending to take their passage to Europe in
the French squadron, knowing that all ships bound for Cape Horn must
touch at Conception, or some places thereabout, for provisions.
La Jonquiere, having thus the start of his commodore, had all the
advantage to himself of so many good passengers in his ship; for, as
the king of Spain had no officer at Conception to register the
money shipped at that place, these passengers and missionaries put
astonishing sums of money on board the Ruby. They were thereby spared
the trouble of a voyage to Panama or Acapulco, and travelling thence
for Portobello or Vera Cruz, where they must have had their coffers
visited, to see if the _indulto_ of his majesty were fairly accounted
for. They therefore saved every shilling of that _indulto_, as the
Ruby touched first in France, where no cognizance whatever was taken
of this affair. They also got clear of the other moiety payable in
Spain, as they landed all their money in France.

Besides these rich passengers and their money, the Ruby had also on
board a considerable sum arising to his catholic majesty from the
confiscation of the thirteen captured interlopers, all of which, as I
was informed, amounted to four millions of dollars in that ship. What
a fine booty we missed therefore by the obstinacy of Shelvocke! For,
when this ship, the Ruby, found us at the island of St Catharine, her
company was so sickly that she had not above sixty sound men out of
four hundred; so that La Jonquiere was actually afraid of us, and
would not send his boat to the watering-place, where we kept guard,
and our coopers and sail-makers were at work, till he had first
obtained leave of our captain; neither is this strange, for he knew we
had a consort, and was in Spain all the time he staid there, lest the
Success should have joined us.

After Commodore Martinet had cleared the coast of Chili and Peru
of his countrymen, he sent his brother-in-law, Monsieur de Grange,
express with the news to Madrid, who went by way of Panama,
Portobello, Jamaica, and London. On delivering his message, the king
of Spain asked what he could do for him, when he humbly requested his
majesty would give him the command of a ship, and send him again round
Cape Horn into the South Sea. He accordingly got the Zelerin, of fifty
guns. He came first to _Calais_,[2] where the ship was getting ready,
and was surprised to meet with a cold reception from the French
merchants and other gentlemen of his acquaintance residing there; for,
as there were merchants of various nations interested in the ships
taken and confiscated in the South Sea, they universally considered
him and all the French in that squadron as false brethren, for serving
the crown of Spain to the prejudice of their own countrymen. Thus,
while he expected to have had a valuable cargo consigned to his care,
no man would ship the value of a dollar with him. Captain Fitzgerald,
who was then at _Cales_, made him a considerable offer for the
privilege of going out as his second officer, with liberty to take out
what goods he might be able to procure, in his own name. As de Grange
was not a little embarrassed, he accepted this offer, and procured a
commission for Fitzgerald as second captain. They accordingly manned
the Zelerin chiefly with French seamen, and some English, and got very
well round Cape Horn. At this time our two privateers, the Success and
Speedwell, were known to be in the South Seas, and the Zelerin was
one of the ships commissioned by the viceroy of Peru to cruize for
us. Fitzgerald sold all his goods to great advantage at Lima, where he
continued to reside; while de Grange served as captain under Admiral
Don Pedro Miranda, who took Hately and me prisoners.

[Footnote 2: This, certainly, is a mistake for Cadiz, often named
Cales by English seamen; and, in fact, only a few lines lower down,
the place is actually named Cales.--E.]

Though great sufferers by so many confiscations, the merchants of St
Malo were not entirely discouraged; for, in the year 1720, we found
the Solomon of St Malo, of 40 guns, and 150 men, at _Ylo_, on the
coast of Chili, with several Spanish barks at her stern. In the course
of six weeks, she sold all her cargo, got in a supply of provisions,
and left the coast without interruption, as by this time Martinet's
squadron had left the coast. Encouraged by the success of the Solomon,
the merchants of St Malo fitted out fourteen sail together, all of
which arrived in the South Sea in the beginning of the year 1721.
Three of the commanders of these ships, being well acquainted with the
creolians, quickly sold their cargoes and returned home. About this
time, the people of Lima judged that our privateers were gone off the
coast, or at least would not commit any more hostilities, because
of the truce between the two crowns. Wherefore, the three Spanish
men-of-war that had been fitted out to cruize against us, were ordered
against these fresh interlopers. I was on board the Flying-fish, an
advice-boat that accompanied the men-of-war, when they came up with
eleven sail of the St Malo ships, which were then altogether on the
coast of Chili, and, instead of firing on them, the Spaniards joined
them as friends. At first, expecting to have been attacked, the French
ships drew up in a line, as if daring the ships of war. This seemed to
me somewhat strange, that three such ships, purposely fitted out for
this cruize, should decline doing their duty on their own coasts; for,
had they proved too weak, they had ports of their own to retire
to, under their lee. But the ships of war contented themselves with
watching the motions of the interlopers, keeping them always in sight;
and when any of the French ships drew near the shore, the Spaniards
always sent a pinnace or long-boat along with her, carrying the
Spanish flag, the sight of which effectually deterred the creolians
from trading with the French. In this manner they contrived to prevent
all these ships from disposing of their goods, except when they
were met with at sea by chance, and sold some of their commodities
clandestinely. At length, completely tired out by this close
superintendence, the French got leave to take in provisions, and went
home, at least half of their goods remaining unsold. Notwithstanding
these losses and disappointments, and severe edicts issued against
this trade in France, the merchants of St Malo still persist to carry
it on, though privately, nor is it probable they will ever leave off
so lucrative a commerce, unless prevented by the strong arm of power,
or supplanted by some other nation.


I now return to my own affairs, and the manner of my return to England
from Peru. I have already acknowledged the kind reception I met with
from the admiral of the South Seas, Don Pedro Miranda, and the reasons
of his treating us so civilly. I think it barely justice to mention
the several favours I received, during the eleven months that I
continued at Lima, particularly from Don Juan Baptista Palacio, a
native of Biscay, a knight of the order of St Jago, who came weekly
to the prison while we were there, and distributed money to us all, in
proportion to our several ranks. Captain Nicholas Fitzgerald procured
my enlargement, by becoming security for me; and he afterwards
supplied me with money and necessaries, from that time till my
departure; and procured for me and twenty more, a passage to Cadiz, in
a Spanish advice-boat called the Flying-fish, of which our surgeon's
mate, Mr Pressick, acted as surgeon, receiving wages, as did the
rest of our men, being released from prison expressly to assist in
navigating that vessel home to Spain. For my own part, being well
treated, I did not think proper to eat the bread of idleness, but kept
my watches as well as the other officers. And pray, what is the harm
of all this? Though Shelvocke had the stupidity to call it treason;
it must surely appear a very malicious, as well as an ignorant charge,
after a man has been driven among the enemy, to call him a traitor
because he has been kindly used, and for accepting his passage back
again; and, because I was not murdered in Peru, I ought to be
executed at home. This is Shelvocke's great Christian charity and good

[Footnote 1: After all, had the Flying-fish been captured by a British
cruizer, Betagh would have run great risk of being found guilty of
treason for _keeping his watches_.--E.]

On my arrival at Cadiz, captain John Evers of the Britannia kindly
gave me my passage to London, and entertained me at his own table. On
my return to London, and representing the hardships I had undergone,
nine honourable persons made me a present of ten guineas each; which
afforded me the satisfaction of seeing, that such as were the best
judges, had a proper idea of the miseries I had suffered, and approved
the manner in which I had behaved, the only consolation I could
receive in the circumstances in which I was left by that unfortunate
voyage. The fair account I have given of facts, and the detail of my
proceedings in the Spanish West Indies, together with the account of
what I observed worthy of notice during my stay in these parts,
will acquit me, I hope, in the opinion of every candid and impartial
person, from the aspersions thrown upon me by Shelvocke, in the
account he has published of his voyage.

       *       *       *       *       *


"Betagh has fully shewn, that the navigation round Cape Horn is no
such dangerous or wonderful voyage. If twenty ships from St Malo could
perform it in one year, and not a single vessel either shipwrecked or
forced to put back, what shall hinder an English ship or an English
fleet from doing the same? We see from the foregoing account, with how
much ease the French carried on a prodigious trade to the South Seas,
at a time when the appearance of an English ship there was esteemed
a prodigy. We certainly can send our frigates there, as well as the
French can their ships from St Malo; and it might be well worth the
while of our merchants to send out ships to the coasts of Chili and
Peru, laden with proper goods for that country."--_Harris._

In the present day, this trade to the coasts of Chili and Peru has
been resumed by the citizens of the United States; but the subjects
of Britain are debarred from even attempting to take a share, because
within the exclusive limits of the East India Company; although their
ships never come nearer to the western coast of America than Canton
in China, at the enormous distance of 174 degrees of longitude, and
59 degrees of latitude, counting from Canton in China to Conception in
Peru, or upwards of _twelve thousand English miles_. It is certainly
at least extremely desirable, that a trade of such promise should not
remain any longer prohibited, merely to satisfy a punctilio, without
the most distant shadow of benefit to the India Company, or to the
nonentity denominated the South-sea Company.--_Ed._




There was, perhaps, no country in the world where commerce was more
profitable, or held more honourable, than in Holland, or where more
respect and attention was shewn to it by the government. As the
republic chiefly subsisted by trade, every thing relating to it was
considered as an affair of a public nature, in which the welfare
of the state was concerned, and highly deserving therefore of the
strictest and readiest attention. The great companies in Holland,
as in other countries, were considered as injurious to trade in
some lights, yet necessary to its welfare in others. The _West India
Company_ of that country, originally erected in 1621, held, by an
exclusive charter, the commerce of the coast of Africa, from the
tropic of Cancer to the Cape of Good Hope, and that of America, from
the southern point of Newfoundland in the N.E. all along the eastern
coast to the Straits of Magellan or Le Maire, and thence northwards
again along the western coast, to the supposed Straits of Anian, thus
including the entire coasts of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The
directors of this company consisted of seventy-two persons, divided
into five chambers, of whom eighteen were chosen to administer the
affairs of the Company, together with a nineteenth person, nominated
by the States-General.

[Footnote 1: Harris, I. 256. Callender, III. 644.]

The affairs of this Company were once in so very flourishing a
condition, that it was considered as even superior to their East India
Company. This prosperity was chiefly owing, to the happy success of
their affairs at sea; as their admiral, Peter Haines, in the 1629,
captured the Spanish plate fleet, laden with immense riches. They at
one time made themselves masters of the greatest part of Brazil; and
were so considerable that the great Count Maurice of Nassau did not
think it beneath him to accept a commission from this Company as
Governor-General of Brazil; which country, however, after it had cost
them immense sums to defend, they at length lost. The term of their
charter, originally limited to twenty-four years, expired in 1647,
and was then renewed for other twenty-five years. During this second
period, their affairs became so perplexed, so that the Company was
dissolved towards the close of that term, with its own consent.

In 1674, a new company was erected, by letters patent from the
States-General, with nearly the same powers and privileges, which has
subsisted ever since with great reputation.[2] The capital of this
new company consisted of six millions of florins, which are equal
to 545,454l. 10s. 10d. 10-11ths sterling. And the limits of their
authority are the western coast of Africa and both coasts of America,
all the establishments of the Dutch in these countries being under
their authority, so that any one who proposes a new scheme of commerce
in those parts, must necessarily apply himself to that company. Under
these circumstances, a Mr Roggewein, a person of parts and enterprize,
formed a project for the discovery of the vast continent and numerous
islands, supposed to be in the southern part of the globe, under the
name of _Terra Australis Incognita_, of which the world had hitherto
only very imperfect notices from others; which project, with a plan
for carrying the discovery into execution, they presented to the Dutch
_East_ India Company[3] in 1696, by which it was favourably received,
and he was assured of receiving all the assistance and support he
could desire or expect, as soon as the affairs of the Company would
permit. But the disturbances which soon afterwards followed put a stop
to the good intentions of the Company; and Mr Roggewein died before
any thing could be done. Mr Roggewein was a gentleman of the province
of Zealand, who had addicted himself from his youth to mathematical
studies, and we have reason to suppose recommended his projected
discovery on his death-bed to his son.

[Footnote 2: This refers to the year 1743, when Harris wrote: It
is hardly necessary to say, that Holland and its great commercial
companies are now merely matters of history.--E.]

[Footnote 3: From what goes both before and after, this seems a
mistake for the _West_ India Company.--E.]

After the death of his father, the younger Roggewein applied to his
studies with much vigour, and qualified himself for the office of
counsellor in the court of justice at Batavia, where he resided
for many years. After his return from Java, where he had acquired a
handsome fortune, he resolved upon carrying his father's projected
discovery into execution; and, in the year 1721, presented a memorial
to the West India Company, narrating the proposal of his father
for discovering the southern continent and islands, which they had
formerly been pleased to approve of, and which he was now ready to
attempt. The Company received this memorial with readiness; and, as
its affairs were now in better order, acquainted Mr Roggewein, that it
would give immediate orders for equipping such a squadron as might
be necessary for carrying his design into effect. The squadron
accordingly fitted out on this occasion consisted of three ships: The
Eagle of 36 guns and 111 men, commanded by Captain Job Coster, and in
which Mr Roggewein embarked as Commodore; the Tienhoven of 28 guns and
100 men, commanded by Captain James Bowman; and the African, a galley
armed with 14 guns, and carrying 60 men, commanded by Captain Henry

It may be proper to acquaint the reader, that the subsequent account
of this voyage is derived from an original journal, which never
appeared before in our language, for which I was indebted to the
gentleman who commanded the land-forces on board the Commodore, and
whose name I am not at liberty to mention; neither that of another
gentleman who was engaged in the voyage, and from whom I received
considerable assistance. The nature of the expedition is sufficient
in itself to recommend it to the notice of the curious; and the many
remarkable particulars it contains, especially respecting the state of
the Dutch Company in the Indies, renders it both a very entertaining
and a most instructive performance.

Before proceeding to the narrative of this voyage, I hope to be
indulged in making a few remarks, which may contribute both to
amusement and information, and may clear up some points that might
otherwise appear obscure in the following voyage. It is worth
observing, that the Dutch West India Company had been long in a
declining condition; which, instead of dispiriting the Directors,
engaged them to turn their thoughts to every method that could be
devised for recovering their affairs. There is so wide a difference
between our English great chartered companies and those [formerly]
in Holland, that it may not be amiss to give a concise account of the
flourishing state of that Company, as it may shew what great things
may be managed by a board of merchants, for such the Directors
generally were.

It appears, from the books of the Company, that, in the space of
thirteen years, from 1623 to 1636, the Company had fitted out 800
ships, either for war or trade, and that the expence of building,
equipping, and seamen's wages had cost forty-five millions of florins,
or upwards of _four millions_ sterling: And, in the same space of
time, the Company had taken from the enemy 545 vessels, valued at
_sixty millions_ of florins, or nearly _five and a half millions_
sterling; besides to the value of _thirty millions_ at the least, or
nearly _two millions and a quarter_ sterling, in spoils of various
denominations. The greatest of their exploits was the capture of the
Spanish _flota_ at the Havannah, by their admiral Peter Heyne; by
which they gained seven millions of dollars in money, or L. 2,625,000
sterling; besides ships, brass cannon, and other military stores, to
the value of above ten millions.[4] Such were the flourishing times of
the Company.

[Footnote 4: Harris does not say whether dollars or florins: If the
former, equal to L. 2,250,000 sterling at 4s. 6d. the dollar; if the
latter, a little above L. 900,000 sterling at 11 florins to the pound
sterling; both of these the old par of exchange.--E.]

The causes of their decay seem to have been principally the following.
_First_, their emulation of the East India Company, which induced
them to make the conquest of Brazil from Portugal, the crown of which
country had been usurped by their arch enemy the king of Spain. This
was achieved at a vast expence, and Count Maurice of Nassau was
appointed governor-general, who conducted their affairs with great
skill and prudence. _Secondly_, owing to the desire of the Company
to conduct all things, and repining at the expence incurred by
that prince in the government of Brazil, was another cause of their
misfortunes: For the merchants, who had conducted their affairs with
great wisdom and capacity, while they confined themselves to commerce
and maritime war, shewed themselves only indifferent statesmen, and
soon lost all that Prince Maurice had gained, and loaded the Company
with so heavy a debt, as compelled them in the end to consent to its

The new West India Company, warned by the example of its predecessors,
has kept more within bounds, and has certainly managed its affairs
with great prudence and economy. Having formed a project in 1714,
for uniting the East and West India Companies into one,[5] and the
proposition, being rejected, the directors of the West India
Company very wisely turned their thoughts another way; and it is not
improbable, that the rejection of their proposal on this occasion
may have induced them to give encouragement to the proposition of
Roggewein: For, being disappointed in their aim of coming in for a
share in the commodities of the East Indies, they were desirous of
acquiring the same articles of trade by some other means, expecting to
have found these in the continent or islands proposed to be discovered
by Roggewein. This also accounts for the extraordinary heat and
violence of the Dutch East India Company, against those who were
engaged on the present expedition, and is the true secret of the
dispute so warmly carried on by the two Companies, and so wisely
decided by the States-General. When the Dutch East India Company
persecuted and destroyed Le Maire for his voyage of discovery,
under pretence of interfering within their exclusive boundaries, the
government did not interfere, because at that time the power of the
East India Company was of the highest importance to the state: But,
as the government of Holland became better established, and especially
since a share in the public administration has been acquired by such
as are conversant in trade, the concerns of the East India Company
have been viewed in a new light. The first who explained this matter
clearly was that consummate statesman and true patriot, John de Witte,
whose words are most worthy the attention of the reader.

[Footnote 5: A long, indistinct, and uninteresting account of this
project is here omitted, which Harris alleges might have transferred
the whole commerce of Europe to the Dutch, but for which opinion he
advances no substantial reasons, or rather none at all.--E.]

"When the East India Company had attained to a certain extent of power
and grandeur, its interests came not only to clash with, but grew
absolutely opposite to those of the country. For, whereas the
advantage of the nation consists in the increase of manufactures,
commerce, and freight of ships; the interests of the Company are to
promote the sale of foreign manufactures, and that with the smallest
extent of traffic and navigation that can be contrived. Hence, if
the East India Company can gain more by importing Japan cloths, India
quilts, carpets, and chintzes, than by raw silk; or, if the Company,
by creating an artificial scarcity of nutmegs, mace, cloves, cinnamon,
and other spices, can raise their price so as to gain as much profit
by the sale of 100 tons, as it would otherwise gain by the sale of
1000 tons, we are not to expect that it will import raw silks, or be
at the expence of transporting 1000 tons of spice; though the former
would assist and encourage our manufactures at home, and the latter
would increase our navigation.

This chain of reasoning is so plain, and so evidently agrees with the
interests of all nations, as well as with those of Holland, that it
is impossible for any unprejudiced person not to discern that all
exclusive companies destroy, instead of promoting, the commerce of
the countries in which they are established. The same great statesman
already quoted observes, "That the more any country extends its
foreign conquests, the more of its stock must necessarily be spent,
for the preservation and defence of these conquests: And consequently,
by how much the greater are its dominions, so much the less is that
company able to prosecute the trade, for the promotion of which it was

[Footnote 6: The remarks of Harris on this voyage are extended to a
far greater length than have been here adopted, and are many of them
loose and uninteresting; but some of those here inserted have a strong
reference to a most important subject now under consideration of the
legislature; and the notices respecting the Dutch West India Companies
are curious in themselves, as well as upon a subject very little known
in this country.

The subject of this voyage round the world is principally exhausted
in the _seven_ first sections; all those subsequent being chiefly a
detail of the Indian settlements of the Dutch East India Company, as
it was in the year 1722, almost a century ago. These certainly might
have been omitted on the present occasion, without injury to the
present article, as a _circumnavigation_: But, as conveying a
considerable mass of information, respecting the _Dutch possessions in
India_, now all belonging to Britain, and respecting which hardly any
thing has been published in the English language, it has been deemed
indispensable to preserve them.--E.]


_Narrative of the Voyage from Holland to the Coast of Brazil._[1]

The small squadron of three ships, already enumerated, sailed
from Amsterdam on the 16th July, 1721, and arrived at the Texel in
thirty-six hours, where they were provided with every thing requisite
for so long a voyage. All things being in readiness, they sailed with
a fair wind on the 21st August; but, as the wind changed next day,
they were three days in beating to windward through the British
channel, after which they continued their course to the S.W. for the
coast of Barbary, but were opposed by a heavy storm which did them
considerable damage. To this a dead calm succeeded, during which the
water ran mountains high, owing to agitation they had been thrown into
by the storm. By the rolling of the ships during the calm, several
injuries were sustained, one of the vessels losing its main-top-mast
and mizen-mast; and the main-yard of the Commodore came down with such
force as to wound several of the people on deck. After two days the
wind freshened again, and they continued their course S.W. towards the
Canaries, amusing themselves with observing the manner in which the
flying-fish endeavours to escape from its enemies, the albicores and
bonitoes. The _flying-fish_ are not larger than a herring, and raise
themselves into the air by means of two long fins, one on each side,
not much unlike the wings of a bat in strength and texture. They are
considered as good eating, and the sailors are always well pleased
when they are met with in plenty. The _bonito_ is about two feet long,
of a greyish colour, finely streaked from head to tail; but the flesh
is hard, dry, and disagreeably tasted. The _albicore_ is generally
five or six feet long, and sometimes weighs 150 pounds. They saw
likewise several water-fowls, particularly _teal_, which the seamen
account a sign of land being near.

[Footnote 1: In the various steps of this voyage, the merely
uninteresting journal or log-book incidents have been materially

While in lat. 28° N. and soon expecting to see the Canaries, a sail
was descried from the mast-head carrying English colours. On drawing
near she struck her colours and bore away, but re-appeared in about an
hour, having four sail more in her company, sometimes carrying white,
sometimes red, and sometimes black colours, which gave reason to
suspect that they were pirates. The Commodore immediately made the
signal for the line of battle, and all hands went to work in clearing
the ship for action, filling grenades, and preparing every thing for
the ensuing engagement, in which they fortunately had the advantage
of the weather-gage. Observing this, the pirates put themselves into
a fighting posture, struck their red flag, and hoisted a black one, on
which was a death's head in the centre, surmounted by a powder horn,
and two cross bones underneath. They likewise formed the line, and
commenced a smart action. The pirates fought very briskly for some
time, as believing the Dutch ships to be merchantmen; but after two
hours cannonade, perceiving the Commodore preparing to board the
vessel to which he was opposed, the pirates spread all their canvass,
and crowded away as fast as they could sail. Commodore Roggewein, on
seeing them bear away, called out, _Let the rascals go:_ In which he
strictly obeyed his instructions; as all the ships belonging to the
Dutch East and West India Companies have strict orders to pursue their
course, and never to give chase. In this action, four men were killed,
and nine wounded in the Commodore, the other two ships having seven
slain and twenty-six wounded. The carpenters also had full employment
in stopping leaks, and repairing the other damages sustained.

Continuing their voyage, they had sight of Madeira on the 15th
November, and in the neighbourhood saw a desert island which is much
frequented by the pirates, for wood and water and other refreshments.
They afterwards had sight of the Peak of Teneriffe, which is generally
esteemed the highest single mountain in the world, on which account
the geographers of Holland adopt it as the first meridian in their
maps and charts; while the French and English of late incline to
fix their first meridians at their respective capitals of Paris and
London. These differences are apt to create much confusion in the
longitudes of places, when not explained by the writers who use these
several modes of reckoning; on which account Lewis XIII. of France, by
edict in 1634, endeavoured to obviate this inconvenience, by directing
the first meridian to be placed in the island of Ferro, the most
westerly of the Canaries.[1] From these islands they directed their
course for the islands of Cape Verde, so named from Cabo Verde, or
the Green Cape, a point or mountain on the coast of Africa, called
_Arlinarium_ by Ptolemy.

[Footnote 1: The Royal Observatory at Greenwich is now the first
meridian in British maps and globes, from which St Paul's in London is
0° 5' 37" W. the observatory of Paris 2° 20' E. Teneriffe peak 16° 40'
W. and Ferrotown 17° 45' 50" W.]

This cape is bounded by two rivers, the Senegal and Gambia, called by
the ancients the _Garatius_ and _Stachiris_. It has an island to the
west, which is frequented by an infinite number of birds, the eggs of
which are frequently gathered by mariners going this way. This cape is
dangerous to land upon, because of a great many sunken rocks about
it. The continent is here inhabited by negroes, who trade with all
nations, and speak many languages, especially French and Portuguese.
Most of them go naked, except a piece of cloth about their middle, but
their princes and great men wear long garments of calico striped
with blue, and made like shifts; they hang also little square bags of
leather on their arms and legs, but we could not learn of them what
these bags contain.[2] They wear necklaces made of sea-horses teeth,
alternating with glass beads; and have caps of blue and white striped
calico on their heads. They are a prudent and wise people, cultivating
their soil, which bears good rice and other articles sufficient for
their maintenance; and the richer people keep cattle, which are very
dear, as being scarce. They have many good blacksmiths, and iron is
much, valued among them, being forged into fish-spears, implements for
cultivating the ground, and various weapons, as the heads of arrows,
darts, and javelins. Their religion seems to border on Mahometism, as
they are all circumcised; but they have little knowledge of the true
God, except among a few who converse with Christians. They are very
lascivious, and may have as many wives as they please; but the women
are seldom contented with one husband, and are passionately fond of
strangers. The whole country is under subjection to the governors
or head-men of the various towns and villages, who row on board such
ships as arrive, making them pay customs. Several Portuguese reside
here, who trade freely with all nations, but have no power or
authority, except over their own slaves and servants.

[Footnote 2: These are called _obi_, containing a variety
of ridiculous trash, and are held in superstitious esteem as

Having the advantage of a strong N.E. wind, they took their departure
from Cape de Verde, and continued their course for six weeks, without
coming to anchor or handing a sail. In this long passage, they had
some days in which the heat was almost insupportable, and the crew
began to murmur excessively on account of being at short allowance of
water. On this occasion one of the swabbers got into the hold, and,
being extremely thirsty, pierced a cask of brandy, of which he pulled,
so heartily that he was soon intoxicated to a degree of madness. In
this condition he staggered into the cook-room, where he threw down a
pan of grease, and being sharply reproved by the cook, drew his knife
and rushed upon him. Some of the crew gathered about him and wrenched
the knife out of his hand, but not till he had drawn it two or three
times across the cook's face. For this they drubbed him soundly, which
he resented so deeply that he seized a knife as soon as he got loose,
and gave himself several stabs in the belly. The utmost care was taken
of his recovery, in order to make him a public example, to prevent
such actions in future among the crew; and after his recovery he
was punished in the following manner. Being declared infamous at
the fore-mast, he was thrice keel-hauled, and had 300 strokes on the
buttocks, after which his right hand was fastened to the mast with his
own knife. When he had stood some time in this condition, he was put
in chains on the fore-castle, being allowed nothing but bread and
water for some days; and was continued in irons to be set on shore at
the first barren island they came to.

Continuing their voyage till near the line, they were much incommoded
by the shifting of the wind; and by scarcity of water, many of the
crew falling ill of the scurvy. When it sometimes fell entirely calm,
the heat of the sun became more than ordinarily oppressive, owing to
which some of the men became quite distracted, others fell into high
fevers, and some had fits like the epilepsy. Their water, as it grew
low, stunk abominably, and became full of worms. The salt provisions
were in a manner quite spoiled, and served only to turn their stomachs
and increase their thirst. Hunger is said to be the greatest of
torments, but they had reason to consider thirst as the greatest
misery incident to human nature. At this time they often observed
towards evening that the sea appeared all on fire; and taking up some
buckets of water in this condition, they observed that it was full of
an infinite number of little globules, of the size, form, and colour
of pearls. These retained their lustre for some time when held in the
hand, but on pressure seemed nothing more than an earthy fat substance
like mud.

They at length crossed the line, with the loss only of one man, who
died of a high fever; and on getting into the latitude of 3° S. they
fell into the true trade-wind, before which they scudded along at a
great rate. In lat. 5° S. they had the sun directly vertical, so that
they were some days without any observation. In 6° S. they caught
many dorados and dolphins, both, in the opinion of the author of this
voyage, being the same fish, of which the dolphin is the male and
the dorado the female. Some of these are six feet long, but not of
proportional bulk. In the water they appear excessively beautiful,
their skins shining as if streaked with burnished gold; but lose their
splendid appearance on being taken out of the water. Their flesh is
very sweet and well flavoured, so that the seamen always feast when
they can procure plenty of this fish. They saw also abundance of
sharks, many of which are ten feet long. Their flesh is hard, stringy,
and very disagreeably tasted; yet the seamen frequently hang them up
in the air for a day or two, and then eat them: Which compliment the
surviving sharks never fail to return when a seaman falls in their
way, either dead or alive, and seem to attend ships for that purpose.


_Arrival in Brazil, with some Account of that Country._

Coming near the coast of Brazil, their design was to have anchored
at the island _Grande_, but finding they had passed that island, they
continued their course till off Porto, in lat. 24° S. where they came
to anchor. Some of the ship's company of the commodore then got into
the boat in order to go shore, both for the purpose of procuring wood
and water and other refreshments, and in order to bury one of their
seamen who had died. Before they could get on shore, they descried a
body of Portuguese well armed moving along the coast, who seemed
to prevent them from landing, and beckoned the Dutch to keep off,
threatening to fire if they attempted to land: But, on shewing them
the dead body, they allowed them to land, and even shewed them a place
in which to inter their dead companion. Being desirous of procuring
some intelligence, the Dutch asked many questions about the country,
but could only get for answer, that Porto was an advanced port to St
Sebastian, not marked in the charts, and that they were inhabitants
of Rio Janeiro, which lay at the distance of eight miles.[1] The Dutch
endeavoured to persuade them to go on board the commodore, but they
refused, fearing they might be pirates, which frequently used to come
upon the coast, and, under pretence of getting fresh water, would land
and pillage any of the little towns near the sea.

[Footnote 1: There must be a considerable mistake here in regard to
the latitude of Porto, said to be in 21° S. as Rio Janeiro is in
lat. 22° 54' S. and must therefore have been eighty leagues distant.
Perhaps the eight miles in the text, as the distance to Rio Janeiro,
ought to have been eighty leagues or Dutch miles.--E.]

About six months before the arrival of Roggewein at this place, a
pirate had been there, and, while the crew were preparing to make a
descent, a French ship of force arrived, which sent her to the bottom
with one broadside. She sank in thirteen fathoms, and as she was
supposed to have seven millions on board,[2] they had sent for divers
from Portugal, in order to attempt recovering a part of her treasure.
However, by dint of entreaties and the strongest possible assurance of
safety, two of them were prevailed upon to go on board the commodore,
where they were very kindly treated, and had clothes given them, by
which they were induced to carry the squadron into a safe port, which
was most serviceable to men in their condition, almost worn out with
fatigues, and in a manner destroyed for want of water.

[Footnote 2: This is a most inconclusive mode of expression, perhaps
meaning Dutch florins, and if so, about £636,363 sterling.--E.]

The harbour of Porto affords good anchorage in from six to eight
fathoms. In entering it on the S.W. the main land is on the right, and
a large island on the left, all the coast appearing very high land,
consisting of mountains and intermediate vallies, overgrown with trees
and shrubs. Porto is in a pleasant situation, but at this time had
no inhabitants. They caught here both fish and tortoises of exquisite
flavour, and so very nourishing, that about forty of the people who
were ill of the scurvy, recovered very fast. Having remained there two
days, in which time they supplied themselves with wood and water, they
weighed anchor, and in six leagues sailing to the S.W. came into the
road of St Sebastian. Just when entering the mouth of the river a
violent storm arose, on which they had to drop their anchors, lest
they had been driven on the rocks, and to wait the return of the tide
in that situation. They entered the port next day, and came to anchor
just before the town, which they saluted, but without being answered,
either because the Portuguese guns were not in order, of because the
inhabitants were not pleased, with their arrival, suspecting them of
being pirates, though under the Dutch flag. In order to remove these
apprehensions, Roggewein wrote to the governor, informing him what
they were, and desiring to be furnished with cattle, vegetables,
fruits, and other refreshments for payment, also requesting the use
of a few huts on shore for the recovery of the sick men. The governor
made answer, that these things were not in his power, as he was
subordinate to the governor of Rio de Janeiro, to whom he should
dispatch an express that evening, and hoped the commodore would give
him time to receive the orders of his superior officer. But Roggewein
was by no means satisfied with this answer, giving the governor to
know, if he refused to deal with him by fair means and for ready money
as offered, be should be obliged to have recourse to force, though
much against his inclinations. Having learnt that there was a
Franciscan monastery in the town, Roggewein sent also to inform the
fathers of his arrival, accompanying his message by a present.

It happened fortunately for the Dutch, that a native of Utrecht, one
Father Thomas, belonged to this monastery, who came immediately on
board, accompanied by several other monks. He was so much delighted
at the sight of his countrymen, that he declared he should now die
in peace, having earnestly wished for twenty-two years to enjoy the
satisfaction he was now gratified with. The commodore gave him a kind
welcome, and presented him with whatever was deemed useful for the
monastery. The prior, who was of the party on this occasion, begged
the commodore to have patience till the return of the express from
Rio de Janeiro, and promised to use his interest with the governor, to
induce him to furnish the demanded refreshments, so that they parted
well satisfied with each other. In the mean time, the Portuguese came
down to the coast in large bodies well armed, posting themselves in
such places as they judged the Dutch might attempt to put their men on
shore; and at the approach of a Dutch pinnace, thought proper to fire
at her, by which one of the Dutchmen was dangerously wounded in the
shoulder. The boat's crew returned the fire by a general discharge of
their fire-arms, by which two of the Portuguese were brought down,
and the rest made a precipitate retreat. The Dutch then landed
immediately, filling what water they had occasion for, and returned on

On the report of what had happened, which he deemed an act of
hostility, Roggewein made immediate dispositions for attacking the
town, ordering his smallest ship to go as near the place as possible,
while the Teinhoven was ordered to watch the coast, and the commodore
laid his own ship opposite the monastery, as if he had intended to
batter it down. All this was merely to frighten the Portuguese
into better behaviour, and it had the desired effect, as the
deputy-governor came soon after on board, and entered into a
treaty, granting every thing desired. He at the same time expressed
considerable doubts of being paid for what they might furnish, as
a French ship had been lately supplied with necessaries, and at its
departure the French captain threatened to burn the town about their
ears, if they insisted on payment according to agreement and his
promises on first coming in. The sick were now landed on the island,
and the whole of the ships companies were daily furnished by the
Portuguese with beef, mutton, fowls, vegetables, fruits, and every
thing else they wanted. The ships companies also had leave to go on
shore, and soon contracted acquaintance among the Portuguese, from
whom they obtained sugar, tobacco, brandy, and every thing else they
wished for, in exchange for European goods, although the governor had
strictly prohibited all commerce, under the strictest penalties. Thus,
in a very short time the Portuguese became so well satisfied of the
honesty and good intentions of the Dutch, that they brought back all
their rich effects, formerly carried out of town when the ships first
arrived. The Portuguese, however, complained loudly of the bad usage
they met with from the French, who came frequently to this place with
their ships, taking whatever they pleased by force, and plundering the
houses in which they were permitted to lodge the sick; owing to which
the Portuguese believed that all other Europeans would treat them in
the same manner.

The town of St Sebastians is situated in lat. 24° S. and long. 60°
W.[3] being a place of moderate extent, only indifferently fortified
by an inclosure of palisades, with a few cannon for its defence. The
church however is a beautiful building, and the palace of the governor
is very magnificent; but the houses of the inhabitants are only such
as are commonly met with among the Spanish and Portuguese colonists in
America. The Franciscan monastery stands on the S. side of the town,
and accommodates about thirty monks very conveniently. The prior
shewed to the commodore and his officers a curious idol, which he said
had been worshipped by the ancient natives of the place. It was the
image of a creature half tiger half lion, about four feet high and a
foot and a half round. Its feet resembled the paws of a lion, and
the head was adorned with a double crown, in which were stuck twelve
Indian darts, one of which on each side was broken. On each shoulder
there was a large wing like that of a stork. In the inside was seen
the statue of a man, completely armed in the manner of the country,
having a quiver of arrows at his back, a bow in his left hand, and an
arrow in his right. The tail of this strange idol was very long, and
twisted three or four times round the body of the man. It had been
called _Nasil Lichma_, by its worshippers, and the prior said that it
was made of gold; but the author of this voyage suspected it was
only gilded. The monks had also a numerous collection of European and
American curiosities, which they exhibited at the same time.

[Footnote 3: It is impossible to reconcile this longitude with any
of the first meridians mentioned in a former note, or indeed with any
known geographical principles. It is 45° 30' W. from Greenwich. If
reckoned from the meridian of Teneriffe, said to be that used by the
Dutch, this would place it 21° 10' too far west, as Teneriffe is 16°
40' W. from Greenwich. This place, in an island of the same name, has
to be carefully distinguished from the city of St Sebastian, now more
commonly known by the name of Rio de Janeiro.--E.]

The port, or river rather, of St Sebastian, is three or four leagues
in length, and about one league broad, having a very fine island on
the N.E. of about four miles round, and there are smaller islands on
all the other sides of this haven. The country of Brazil is very large
and rich, insomuch that the king of Portugal is said to draw as
great a revenue from hence, as the king of Spain from all his vast
possessions in America. Its capital is Bahia, or St Salvador, besides
which there are many other towns, as Siara, Olinda, Rio de Janeiro, St
Vincent, and others. The country was discovered in 1590; but even at
this day the Portuguese have not penetrated above eighty leagues
into the interior. The soil is good, and the country would doubtless
produce abundance of corn and wine for the use of its inhabitants;
but, from a principle of policy, the colonists are not permitted to
cultivate these productions, and are consequently supplied with them
from Portugal. It is the common opinion that the ancient inhabitants
were _anthropophagi_, or cannibals, and it is even said that human
flesh was sold in their markets, as commonly as beef and mutton, but
of this there is no authentic proof.[4]

[Footnote 4: There is no doubt that at least some of the tribes
roasted and eat their prisoners, like the Caribs of the West Indies.
But certainly they had not arrived to that state of civilization as
to have markets; and beef and mutton were unknown in America, till
carried there from Europe.--E.]

Such of the natives as were seen were large dark-complexioned men,
having thick lips, flat noses, and very white teeth. The Portuguese
are numerous in Brazil, both Creoles, and such as come from time to
time from Portugal, to repair their broken fortunes. A little time
before the arrival of Roggewein, the Portuguese had discovered a
diamond mine not far from St Sebastian, of which at that time they
were not in full possession, but were meditating an expedition against
the Indians, in order to become sole masters of so valuable a prize;
and with this view they invited the Dutch to join them, promising them
a share in the riches in the event of success. By these means, nine
of our soldiers were tempted to desert. I know not the success of this
expedition; but it is probable that it succeeded, as great quantities
of diamonds have since been imported from Brazil into Europe. They are
said to be found on the tops of mountains among a peculiar red earth
containing a great deal of gold; and, being washed down by the great
rains and torrents into the vallies, are there gathered in lavaderas
by negroes employed for the purpose.

Brazil abounds with numerous sorts of beasts, birds, and fish, both
wild and tame. They have tigers that do a great deal of mischief,
also elephants in great abundance, the teeth of which are of great
value.[5] There is no country on earth where serpents, and other
venomous reptiles, are more frequent, or of larger size. So far as
the Portuguese power and colonization extends, the popish religion is
established; but vast numbers of the indigenous natives of the country
remain unsubdued, and continue their original idolatry, being of such
cruel and vindictive dispositions, that when a Christian falls into
their hands, the best thing that can happen to him is to have his
throat cut, as they are, for the most part, put to death by means
of cruel tortures. The air of the country, though excessively hot at
certain times of the year, is extremely wholesome, as we experienced
by our speedy recovery from the scurvy and other distempers. About
St Sebastian there are vast quantities of venomous musquetoes, which
sting to such a degree that we were all covered over with blisters.
Our pilot, having drank too freely of the country rum, and afterwards
fallen asleep in the open air, had his head, face, arms, and legs so
severely stung, that his life was in imminent danger, and he recovered
after a long time, not without much care.

[Footnote 5: There are animals of the tyger kind in Brazil and
other parts of America, and the Jaguar, Owza, or Brazilian tyger, is
probably the one here meant. No elephants exist in America, and
their teeth, mentioned in the text, must have come from some of the
Portuguese African possessions.--E.]

While here, the commodore kept up a very strict discipline over his
people; and some of his sailors being complained against as having
maltreated some Indian women, he caused them to be severely punished,
and would never afterwards allow them to go on shore. The Dutch and
Portuguese agreed extremely well, but the governor was far from being
pleased with his visitors, more especially because he had learnt from
some of the deserters that the object of the expedition was to make
discoveries in the south. For this reason he practised every art he
could devise to hinder and distress them, and furnished them with
provisions only from day to day, that they might not increase their
sea-stores. He also frequently talked of there being five or six
Portuguese men-of-war in Rio de Janeiro, in order to put the Dutch in
fear of being attacked, and actually sent for the only ship that
was there at the time, to come to St Sebastian. Roggewein perfectly
understood the meaning of all this, of which he took no notice, and
complied exactly with the terms of the agreement entered into with the
deputy governor, saving part of the fresh provisions daily and salting
them, cleaned and repaired his ship in succession, and took on board
tobacco, sugar, and every thing else he wanted, till in a condition
to continue the voyage. He then fully satisfied the governor for every
thing procured at this place, making payment in fire-arms, hats, silk
stockings, linen, stock-fish, and other European articles, and made
him a considerable present besides. In return, the governor sent
him some black cattle, and gave him a certificate of his honourable


_Incidents during the Voyage from Brazil to Juan Fernandez, with a
Description of that Island._

Every thing being settled at St Sebastian, Roggewein set sail towards
the S.W. and falling in with a desert island about three leagues from
the coast, he set on shore the swabber who had attempted to murder the
cook, pursuant to his sentence, as formerly related. Leaving the coast
of Brazil, the commodore proposed to have visited an island called
Aukes Magdeland, after the name of its supposed discoverer, who
is said to have seen a light on that island about an hundred years
before, but did not go on shore. This island was said to be situated
in the latitude of 30° S. and as being in the route of the navigation
towards the South Sea, and in a good climate, he proposed to have
settled a colony there for the service of such ships as might
afterwards be bound for the _Southern Indies_, the object he was now
in search of, where they might be supplied with wood, water, and other
refreshments. But after much pains, he could neither discover that
nor any other island in or near the latitude of 30° S. He therefore
altered his coarse, steering for those called the _New Islands_ by the
Dutch, and the _Islands of St Lewis_, by a French privateer who first
discovered them. Keeping always within forty or fifty leagues of
the American coast, the squadron prosecuted its course very happily,
having always the advantage of the land and sea-breezes; whereas, if
it had kept farther from land, it would infallibly have fallen in with
the western trade-wind.

On the 21st December, being in lat. 40°. S. they were assailed by a
hurricane, attended with thunder and lightning, during which storm
the Tienhoven parted company, and did not rejoin till three months
afterwards. The extreme violence of this hurricane only lasted about
four hours, during which they every moment expected to have been
swallowed up by the waves, which ran mountain-high. These hurricanes
are extremely dangerous, and are far more frequent in the American
seas than in the East Indies. They usually happen at that season of
the year when the west monsoon reigns, which is from the 20th July to
the 15th October, for which reason ships usually remain then in port
till they think the danger is over. Yet as storms of this kind are not
exactly periodical, ships that trust to such calculations are often
caught, as there are some years in which there are no hurricanes, and
others in which they are more frequent and violent, and at unusual
periods. The ordinary, or at least the surest sign of an approaching
hurricane, is very fair weather, and so dead a calm that not even a
wrinkle is to be seen on the surface of the sea. A very dark cloud is
then seen to rise in the air, not larger than a man's hand, and in a
very little time the whole sky becomes overcast. The wind then begins
to blow from the west, and in a short space of time, whirls round the
compass, swelling the sea to a dreadful height; and as the wind blows
now on one side and then on the other, the contrary waves beat so
forcibly on the ships that they seldom escape foundering or shipwreck.
On first perceiving the before-mentioned small cloud, the best thing
a ship can do is to stand out to sea. It is remarkable that the
hurricanes are less frequent as we approach the higher latitudes in
either hemisphere, so that they are not to be feared beyond the lat.
of 55° either S. or N. It is also remarked, that hurricanes rarely
happen in the middle of the wide ocean, but chiefly on the coasts of
such countries as abound with minerals, and off the mouths of large
rivers. Another surprising phenomenon at sea is what is called a
whirlwind water-spout, or syphon, which often carries up high into
the air whatever comes within the circle of its force, as fish,
grasshoppers, and other things, where they appear like a thick vapour
or cloud. The English fire at a water-spout or whirlwind, and often
succeed in stopping its progress; the circular motion ceasing, and all
that it had taken up falling immediately down, when the sea becomes
presently calm.

On the cessation of the hurricane, the commodore and his remaining
consort, the African galley, continued their course to the S.S.W. till
in the height of the Straits of Magellan. They here fell in with an
island of near 200 leagues in circumference, and about 14 leagues from
the mainland of America, and seeing no smoke, nor any boat, or other
kind of embarkation, they concluded that it was uninhabited. The west
coast of this island was discovered by a French privateer, and named
the Island of St Lewis; but being seen afterwards by the Dutch, who
fancied its many capes to be distinct islands, they called it _New
Islands_. Considering that, if ever it should be inhabited, its
inhabitants would be the antipodes of the Dutch, Roggewein gave it the
name of _Belgia Australis_. It is in the lat. of 52° S. and long. of
95° W.[1]

[Footnote 1: There is not the smallest doubt that the text refers
to the Falkland islands or Malouines, which consist of two principal
islands, called West and East Islands, besides a number of islets,
about 360 English miles from the continent of South America. The
centre of the west, or principal island, is in lat. 51° 25' S. and
long. 60° W. from Greenwich.--E.]

The land appeared extremely beautiful and very fertile, being
chequered with mountains and vallies, all of which were cloathed with
fine straight trees. The verdure of the meadows, and freshness of the
woods, afforded a delightful prospect, insomuch that all the people
believed they should have found abundance of excellent fruits. But the
commodore would not delay by permitting them to land, being anxious
to get round Cape Horn, and chose therefore to defer a thorough
examination of this new country till his return from discovering the
southern continent and islands: This, however reasonable, proved vain
in the sequel, as he was forced to return with his squadron by the
East Indies; and this fine island, therefore, is likely to continue in
a great measure unknown.

Quitting this island, they made for the Straits of Magellan, in order
to wait a wind favourable for their navigation, which took place in a
few days: for, if it had continued to blow from the west, they could
not possibly have got into the South Seas. They now resolved to
attempt the Straits of Le Maire, as infinitely more commodious than
the Strait of Magellan, in which latter the sea has but small depth,
and the meeting of the north and south currents occasion continual
rough seas. The bottom also of the Straits of Magellan is rocky,
affording no good anchorage; and the flows of winds from the mountains
on both sides are apt to endanger all ships that endeavour to pass
through these perilous straits. Having now a fair wind, they continued
their course to the south for the Straits of Le Maire, seeing on their
way abundance of whales and other large fish of that kind. Among the
rest, they were followed for a whole month by that kind of fish which
is called the _Sea Devil_ by the Dutch sailors, which they took the
utmost pains to catch, but to no purpose. It has a large head, a thick
short body, and a very long tail, like that which painters bestow on
the dragon.

Arriving in the lat. of 55° S. they soon after saw State Island, or
Staten-land, which forms one side of the Straits of Luttaire. The
fury of the waves, and the clashing of contending currents, gave such
terrible shocks to their vessels, that they expected every moment
their yards should have been broken, and their masts to come by the
board. They would gladly have come to anchor, especially on finding
the bottom to be good, but the weather and the sea were so rough that
they durst not. They passed through the straits, which are about ten
leagues long, by six over, with a swiftness not to be expressed, owing
to the force and rapidity of the current. After getting through, this
current, together with the westerly winds, carried them a great way
from the coast of America; and, that they might be sure to sail free
of Cape Horn, they sailed as high as the lat. of 62° 30' S. For three
weeks together, they sustained the most dreadful gusts of a furious
west wind, accompanied with hail and snow, and the most piercing
frost. While enveloped in thick mists, they were apprehensive of being
driven by the extreme violence of the winds upon mountains of ice,
where they must inevitably have perished.

Whenever the weather was in any degree clear or serene, they had
scarcely any night; for, being in the middle of January, 1722, the
summer was then in its height, and the days at their utmost length.

These mountains of ice, of which they were so much afraid, are certain
proofs that the southern countries extend quite to the pole, as well
as those under the north; for, without question, these vast hills of
ice cannot be produced in the sea, nor formed by the common force of
cold. It must therefore he concluded, that they are occasioned by the
sharp piercing winds blowing out of the mouths of large rivers.[2] It
is no less certain, that the currents discerned in this ocean must all
proceed from the mouths of large rivers, which, rolling down from
a high continent, fall with such impetuosity into the sea, as to
preserve a great part of their force long after they have entered
it.[3] The great quantity of birds seen here was an additional proof
that land was not far off. It may be asked, whether this land be
inhabited or not? For my part I believe it is. It may be again asked,
How men should live in such a climate, in the lat. of 70° S. where the
winter is so very long, the summer so short, and where they must be
involved for so great a portion of the year in perpetual night? To
this I answer, That such as dwell there come only in the fine season
in order to fish, and retire on the approach of winter, as is done by
many of the inhabitants of Russia and of Davis Straits, who, when they
have provided themselves with fish on the coasts of a frozen climate,
retire farther inland, and eat in their cabins during the winter
the fish they have caught in the summer. If the people who inhabit
Greenland and Davis Straits are to be believed, the country is
inhabited even as high as 70° N. both winter and summer; and what is
practicable in one country, cannot justly be reputed impracticable
when supposed in another.[4]

[Footnote 2: This is quite erroneous, as it is now well known that
the sea water freezes, when reduced to a sufficient degree of cold,
considerably lower than what is requisite for freezing fresh water. On
this occasion, the salt precipitates from the freezing water, and the
ice of sea water is sufficiently fresh for use when melted, if the
first running be thrown away, which often contains salt, either
adhering to the surface, or contained in cells.--E.]

[Footnote 3: This is poor reasoning to support a preconceived theory
of a southern continent, and might easily have been answered by
themselves, as the prodigious current which set them through the
Straits of Le Maire with such rapidity, could not have originated from
any such cause. Currents are well known to be occasioned by the
tides, the diurnal revolution of the earth, and by prevailing winds,
influenced and directed by the bendings of coasts, the interposition
of islands, and the position of straits. No such currents could
possibly come from rivers in an austral land, locked up in ever-during
frost, should any such land exist.--E.]

[Footnote 4: It might be asked, whence are these fishers to come?
Not surely from among the miserable inhabitants of Terra del Fuego.
A miserable hypothesis is thus often obstinately defended by wretched

Being driven 500 leagues from the continent by the contrary winds, the
commodore now believed that he was beyond Cape Horn to the westwards,
and steered therefore N.E. by N. in order to fall in with the coast of
Chili. On the 10th March, being in lat. 37° 30' S. they discovered
the coast of Chili to their great joy, and anchored soon after on
the coast of the island of Mocha, which is three leagues from the
continent.[5] They were in hopes of finding on this island at least a
part of the refreshments of which they were in want, especially fresh
meat and vegetables, but were disappointed, by finding the island
entirely abandoned, all its inhabitants having removed to the main
land. They saw, however, in the island a multitude of horses and
birds, and found some dogs in two cabins near the shore. They also
discovered the wreck of a Spanish ship, from which they supposed the
dogs had got on shore. The horses were supposed to have been left here
to graze, and that the owners came at certain times from the main to
take them, as wanted. They here killed abundance of geese and ducks;
and finding the coast extremely rocky, and having no safe place of
anchorage, they resolved to put to sea. In a council of the officers,
it was determined to continue for some time longer on the coast of
Chili, in hopes of meeting with some port in which they could
safely anchor, in order to get some refreshments; but perceiving the
Spaniards to be every where on their guard, they steered W.N.W.
for the island of Juan Fernandez, which they reckoned to be at the
distance of ninety leagues in that direction. Although the coast of
Chili appears to be enormously high when seen from a distance, they
discovered, by sailing along shore, that it was not higher than the
coast of England, and that they had been deceived by the enormous
height of the inland mountains, the tops of which are hid in the
clouds, and cloathed in perpetual snow.

[Footnote 5: Mocha is in lat. 36° 20' S. and about 20 miles from the
coast of Chili.--E.]

Having a favourable wind, they made way at a great rate, and got sight
of the island of Juan Fernandez, on the fourth day after leaving the
coast of Chili, but could not get to anchor that day in the road,
owing to its falling calm. Next day, when ready to go in, they were
astonished by seeing a ship riding at anchor, which they conjectured
to be either a Spanish ship of force or a French interloper, but at
last concluded to be a pirate. While consulting what to do, they saw
the boat belonging to the ship coming towards them, carrying a Spanish
flag, on which they began to prepare for an engagement, but were
astonished beyond measure, on its nearer approach, to find that it
belonged to their consort the Tienhoven, which they concluded had
foundered. Captain Bowman was himself on board the boat, and shewed
how well he had followed his instructions, as, by the commodore's
orders in case of separation, this was to be the first place of
rendezvous; whence, after cruizing six weeks, they were to repair
to lat. 28° S. and cruize there a similar time: But, in case of not
meeting the commodore in either of these places, they were then to
open their sealed instructions, and follow them exactly. As soon as
Captain Bowman was on board the commodore, he made a signal agreed
on to his own ship, to acquaint them that the two ships were their
consorts, After this, the Eagle and African entered the harbour.

When leisure permitted, Captain Bowman gave an account of the dangers
he had encountered in passing the Straits of Magellan: That he had met
with many storms on the coast of America, and that his ship was in a
very bad condition, having only arrived at Juan Fernandez the evening
before his consorts, both of which he believed had been lost in
the hurricane at the time of their separation. The three captains
afterwards dined together very cheerfully in the Tienhoven, where they
recounted and reciprocally commiserated their past misfortunes, and
rejoiced at their present happy meeting. As it still continued a dead
calm, they were unable to come to anchor at the place intended, but
they next day got close beside the Tienhoven, anchoring in forty
fathoms, within musket-shot of the shore. The sick were now landed,
and proper persons sent ashore along with them to construct cabins
or huts for their accommodation; and to search for provisions and

According to the author of this voyage, the island of Juan Fernandez
is one of the finest and best situated in the world, having a
pleasant, wholesome, and temperate climate, fit to restore health to
the sick, and to give a constant flow of spirits to those who are
in health, which this author personally experienced, having here
recovered from a complication of disorders to perfect health. The
hills are covered with tall trees of various kinds, fit for all kinds
of uses; and the vallies are fertile, and able to produce all the
necessaries of life with very little cultivation. It abounds with
small streams and brooks, the banks of which are covered with
wholesome giants; and the waters which run down from the mountains,
though not in the least disagreeable to the taste, or injurious to
health, are so impregnated with some mineral particles, that they
never corrupt. On the east side of the bay in which the Dutch ships
anchored, there are three mountains, the middlemost of which resembles
the Table Mountains at the Cape of Good Hope. Behind these there
are many other mountains which rise to a prodigious height, and are
generally covered by very thick mist, especially in the mornings and
evenings, whence I am apt to suspect that these mountains may contain
rich mines. To give a just idea of the island in few words, it
resembles in all respects the country at the Cape of Good Hope.

This author also mentions the sea-lions and seals of other writers,
and adds, that there are sea-cows also of enormous size, some weighing
near half a ton. He also mentions the abundance and excellence of the
fish, of which the Dutch cured many thousands during their short stay,
which proved extraordinarily good, and were of great service during
the rest of the voyage. He mentions goats also on the island in
abundance, but says the Dutch were unable to catch them, and at a loss
how to get at their bodies when shot; but they were frightened from
this sport by an unlucky accident which happened to the steward of one
of the ships, soon after their arrival, who, rambling one evening in
the mountains, fell suddenly from the top of a rock and was dashed to
pieces. They found here the remains of a wreck, supposed by them to
have been of a Spanish ship; but it was more probably the vestiges of
the Speedwell, lost a year before, and from which, by diving, some of
the sailors recovered several pieces of silver plate.

Having attentively considered the advantageous situation and many
conveniences of this island, Roggewein conceived the design of
settling on it, as the most proper place that could be thought of
for ships bound, as he was, for the _Terra Australis_, or southern
islands, and was the more encouraged in this design by considering
the fertility of the island, which could not fail to afford sufficient
subsistence for six hundred families at least. He postponed this,
however, as also the settlement of _Belgia Australis_, or Falkland
islands, till his proposed return, owing to which they never were
settled. A settlement at the latter might have afforded a proper place
for ships to careen and refit at, and to procure wood and water, after
the long voyage from Europe, before entering the Straits of Magellan,
and Juan Fernandez would have afforded every convenience for repairing
any injuries that might have been sustained in passing through these
straits, or going round Cape Horn. Whatever nation may revive and
prosecute this plan, will certainly acquire in a few years as rich and
profitable a commerce as is now possessed by the Spaniards with Mexico
and Peru, or the Portuguese with Brazil.[6]

[Footnote 6: Britain once tried a settlement at Falkland islands, and
had nearly gone to war with Spain on the occasion; and there can be no
doubt that Spain could never have submitted to the settlement of Juan
Fernandez by any other power. There is now a fort and small garrison
kept in that island.--E]


_Continuation of the Voyage from Juan Fernandez till the Shipwreck of
the African Galley._

On leaving Juan Fernandez, Roggewein proposed to visit that part of
the southern lands which was reported to have been discovered by Davis
in 1680.[1] As the Dutch author of this voyage is rather dark on this
subject, I shall here insert Mr Wafer's account of this discovery, as
it is very short. Wafer was a man of sense and knowledge, who sailed
along with Davis when this discovery was made.

[Footnote 1: We have omitted a long, inconclusive, and uninteresting
discussion about the climate and productions of the proposed
discovery, the _Terra Australis_, which still remains _incognito_, or
rather has been clearly shewn to have no existence.--E.]

"We steered from the Gallapagos island S. by E. 1/2 E. until we came
into the lat. of 27° 20' S. when we fell in with a low sandy island,
and heard a great roaring noise right a-head of the ship, like that
of the sea beating on the shore. It being some hours before day, and
fearing to fall foul of the shore, the ship put about, and plied off
and on till next morning, and then stood in for the land, which
proved to be a small flat island, not surrounded by any rocks. To the
westwards, about twelve leagues by estimation, we saw a range of high
land which we took to be islands, as there were several partitions
in the prospect, and this land seemed to extend fourteen or sixteen
leagues. There came great flocks of fowls from that direction; and I
and more of the men would have made this land and gone on shore there,
but the captain would not consent. The small island bears 500 leagues
from Copaipo almost due W. and from the Gallapagos 600 leagues."[2]

[Footnote 2: There can be no doubt that the small low flat island was
Easter island, in lat. 27° 20' S. long. 110° 10' W. Its distance from
Copaipo, almost due W. is almost exactly 40° or 800 marine leagues.
The range of high land seen to the westwards, could be nothing but a
fog bank, so that Roggewein set out from Juan Fernandez in search of a

In prosecuting his voyage to the westwards, the first land seen by
Roggewein was the lesser island of Juan Fernandez, otherwise called
Massa-fuero, about ninety-five English miles direct west. This
appeared lower and less fertile from a distance, but they had not an
opportunity of landing. Having the benefit of a S.E. trade-wind, they
soon arrived in lat. 28° S. and the longitude of 251° E. where they
expected to have fallen in with the land seen by Davis, but no such
land was to be found. Continuing their voyage to the westwards, and
attended by a vast quantity of birds, they arrived on the coast of a
small island about sixteen leagues in extent, which they fell in with
on the 14th April, 1722, being Easter-day, and called it therefore
_Pascha_, or _Easter_ Island.

The African galley being the smallest ship, was sent in first to
examine this new discovery, and reported that it seemed to be very
fertile and well peopled, as abundance of smoke was to be seen in all
parts of the island. Next day, while looking out for a port, and when
about two miles from the shore, an Indian came off to the ships in a
canoe, who came readily on board and was well received. Being naked,
he was first presented with a piece of cloth to cover him, and they
gave him afterwards pieces of coral, beads, and other toys, all of
which he hung about his neck, together with a dried fish. His body was
painted all over with a variety of figures, through which the
natural colour of his skin appeared to be dark brown. His ears were
excessively large and long, hanging down to his shoulders, occasioned
doubtless by wearing large heavy ear-rings; a thing also practised
by the natives of Malabar. He was tall, well-made, robust and of a
pleasing countenance, and brisk and active in his manners, appearing
to be very merry by his gestures and way of speaking. They gave him
victuals, of which he eat heartily, but could not be prevailed on to
use a knife and fork; and when offered a glass of wine threw it away
to their great surprise, afraid of being poisoned, or offended by
the smell of strong liquor, to which he was unaccustomed. He was then
dressed from head to foot, and had a hat put on his head, with which
he did not seem at all pleased, but cut a very awkward figure, and
seemed uneasy. The music was then ordered to play, with which he
seemed much pleased, and when taken by the hand would leap and dance.
Finding it impossible to bring the ships to anchor that day, they
sent off the Indian, allowing him to keep all he had got in order to
encourage the rest to come on board. But, what was really surprising,
he had no mind to go away, and looked at the Dutch with regret, held
up his hands towards his native island, and cried in a loud voice
several times _Odorega!_ making appear by signs that he would much
rather have staid, and they had much ado to get him into his canoe.
They afterwards imagined he called upon his gods, as they saw
abundance of idols erected on the coast when they landed.[3]

[Footnote 3: It will be afterwards seen in the modern
circumnavigations, that there are several gigantic statues, having
a distant resemblance to the human figure, on this island, which are
perhaps alluded to in the text.--E.]

Next morning at day-break, the ships entered a cove or bay on the S.E.
side of the island, when _many thousands_[4] of the inhabitants came
down to meet them, bringing with them vast quantities of fowls and
roots; and many of them brought these provisions on board, while
the rest ran backwards and forwards on the shore, like so many wild
beasts. As the ships drew near, the islanders crowded down to the
shore to get a better view of them, and at the same time lighted
fires, and made offerings to their idols, probably to implore their
protection against the strangers. All that day the Dutch spent in
getting into the bay and mooring their ships. Next morning very early,
the islanders were observed prostrating themselves before their idols
towards the rising sun, and making burnt offerings. While preparations
were making for landing, the friendly native who had been before on
board came a second time, accompanied by many others, who had their
canoes loaded with living fowls and roots cooked after their manner,
as if to make themselves welcome. Among this troop of islanders there
was one man perfectly white, having round pendents in his ears as big
as a man's fist. He had a grave decent air, and was supposed to be a
priest. By some accident, one of the islanders was shot dead in his
canoe by a musket, which threw the whole into prodigious confusion,
most of them leaping into the sea in order to get the sooner ashore;
while the rest who remained in their canoes paddled away with all
their might.

[Footnote 4: This surely is a prodigious exaggeration, as the island
is utterly incapable to have supported any considerable number of
inhabitants, and there is not any other within 1500 miles.--E.]

The Dutch presently followed, and made a descent with 150 soldiers and
seamen, at the head of whom was Commodore Roggewein, accompanied by
the author of the voyage, who commanded the soldiers. The islanders
crowded so close upon them while landing, that they thought it
necessary to make their way by force, especially as some of the
natives were so bold as to lay hold of their arms; and the Dutch
accordingly fired, when a great number of the islanders were slain,
among whom was the friendly native who had been twice aboard ship.
This frightened and dispersed them; yet in a few minutes they rallied
again, but did not come quite so near the strangers as before, keeping
at the distance of about ten yards, as if they supposed that
were sufficient to ensure their safety from the muskets. Their
consternation was however very great, and they howled and lamented
dismally. After all, as if to employ every possible means to mollify
their invaders, the men, women, and children presented themselves in
the most humble postures, carrying branches of palm in token of peace
and submission, bringing plenty of provisions of all kinds, and even
pointing to their women, giving the Dutch to understand by signs that
these were entirely at their disposal, and that they might carry as
many of them on board ship as they thought proper. Softened by these
tokens of submission, the Dutch did them no farther harm, but
made them presents of coral beads and small looking-glasses, and
distributed among them sixty yards of painted cloth.

The natives now brought at once to the Dutch about 500 live fowls,
every way the same with the ordinary poultry of Europe, together with
a great quantity of red and white roots and potatoes, which these
islanders use instead of bread. They brought also several hundred
sugar-canes, and a great quantity of _pisans_, which are a sort of
figs as large as gourds covered by a green rind, the pulp of which is
as sweet as honey. The leaves of the tree on which these figs grow
are six or eight feet long and three broad, and there are sometimes an
hundred of these _pisans_ on one bough. The Dutch saw no quadrupeds of
any kind, yet supposed there might be cattle and other beasts in the
interior, as on shewing some hogs to the islanders, they expressed by
signs that they had seen such animals before. They used pots to dress
their meat in; and it appeared that every family or tribe among
them dwelt in a separate village. The huts or cabins composing these
villages were from forty to sixty feet long, by six or eight feet
broad, made of upright poles, having the interstices filled up with
loam or fat earth, and covered at top with palm leaves. They drew most
of their subsistence from the earth by cultivation, the land being
portioned out into small plantations very neatly divided and staked
out. While the Dutch were there, almost all the fruits and roots were
in full maturity, and the island seemed to abound in good things. In
their houses there were not many moveables, and those they had were
of no value, except some red and white quilts or cloths, which served
them in the day for mantles, and at night for coverlets. The stuff of
which these were composed felt as soft as silk, and was probably of
their own manufacture.

The natives of this island were in general a brisk, slender, active,
well-made people, very swift of foot, and seemed of sweet tempers, and
modest dispositions, but timorous and faint-hearted; for whenever they
brought fowls or other provisions to the Dutch, they threw themselves
on their knees, and immediately on delivering their presents retired
in all haste. They were mostly as brown-complexioned as Spaniards,
some among them being almost black, while others were white, and
others again had their skins entirely red, as if sun-burnt. Their ears
hung down to their shoulders, and some had large white bales hanging
to them, which they seemed to consider as a great ornament. Their
bodies were painted all over with the figures of birds and other
animals, on some much better executed than on others.[5] All their
women had artificial bloom on their cheeks, but of a much deeper
crimson than is known in Europe, and the Dutch could not discover what
this colour was composed of. They wore little hats on their heads
made of straw or reeds, and had no other covering than the quilts or
mantles formerly mentioned.[6] The women were by no means extremely
modest, for they invited the Dutchmen into their houses by signs,
and when they sat by them would throw off their mantles, as inviting
familiarity. It is very singular of these islanders, that the Dutch
saw no appearance whatever of arms among them; but, when attacked,
they fled for refuge to their idols, numbers of which were erected
all along the coast. These idols were all of stone, representing
the figures of men with great ears, their heads covered by the
representations of crowns; and all so nicely proportioned, and
so highly finished, that the Dutch were much amazed. Many of the
inhabitants seemed to be more frequent and more zealous worshippers
of these images than the rest, which induced the Dutch to believe that
these were priests; and that the more especially, as their heads were
close shaven, on which they wore caps of black and white feathers,[7]
and they had large white balls hanging at their ears.

[Footnote 5: _Tatooed_ in all probability, a practice so common
through the inhabitants of Polynesia, which will be minutely described
in an after division of this collection. It may suffice to say at
present, that this decoration is formed by pricking the skin with
sharp instruments till it just bleeds, and afterwards rubbing
some coloured powders into the punctures, which leave indelible

[Footnote 6: It is left ambiguous whether these straw hats and mantles
were worn by both sexes, or confined exclusively to the women.--E.]

[Footnote 7: A dissertation is here omitted on a fancied migration
of storks annually from Europe to this island and others in the
South-sea, as high as lat. 40° and 50° S. merely because the Dutch
thought the feathers in these caps resembled those of storks.--E.]

No appearance of government or subordination was observed among these
islanders, and consequently no prince or chief having dominion over
the rest. The old people wore bonnets made of feathers resembling
the down of ostriches, and had sticks in their hands. In some of the
houses, the father of the family was observed to have rule over all
its inhabitants, and was obeyed with the greatest readiness. In the
opinion of the Dutch author of this voyage, this island might be
settled to great advantage, as the air is very wholesome and the soil
rich; being proper for producing corn in the low lands, and its higher
grounds might be converted into vineyards. On the evening, after
returning on board, Roggewein proposed to land again next morning with
a force sufficient to make a strict survey of the whole island: But
during the night there arose so strong a west wind as drove them from
their anchors, and they were forced to put to sea, to avoid being
shipwrecked. After this misfortune, they cruized for some time in the
same latitude, seeking in vain for the land discovered by Davis, on
which Roggewein determined to bear away for the _Bad Sea of Schouten_,
keeping always a west course, in hopes of discovering some new land.
In this coarse, they soon found themselves in the height of the
island discovered by Schonten in 1615, to which he gave the name of
_Bad-water_, because all its waters were brackish; but, by changing
their course, they ran 300 leagues out of their way, and at least 150
leagues farther than Schonten.

In this wide sea, Roggewein sailed upwards of 800 leagues without
seeing land, though he frequently varied his course. At length, when
in lat. 15° 30' S. they discovered a very low island, the coast of
which was covered with a deep yellow-coloured sand, having in
the middle of the island a kind of pond, lake, or lagoon. All the
principal officers were of opinion that this was the island to which
Schonten gave the name of _Dog_ island, and did not therefore think
it necessary to go on shore for more particular examination.[8] The
author of this voyage was of a different opinion, conceiving it a new
discovery, and calling it _Carlshoff_,[9] which he says is in lat. 15°
45' S. and long. 280°. He describes it as a low flat island of about
three leagues in extent, having a lake in the middle.

[Footnote 8: In modern geography Dog island is placed in lat. 15° 10'
S. long. 137° 45' W. from Greenwich.--E.]

[Footnote 9: Carlshoff is laid down by Arrowsmith in lat. 15° 45' S.
as in the text, and long. 145° 28' W. The first meridian used for the
longitude in the text is quite inexplicable, and was probably assumed
on very erroneous computation. It is 190 marine leagues due west from
Dog island.--E.]

Leaving this island, the wind came about to the S.W. a sign that they
were near some coast, which had changed the current of the air; and
by this alteration of wind they were driven among some small islands,
where they found themselves considerably embarrassed. In this
situation the African galley led the way for the rest, as sailing best
and drawing least water; but she soon found herself in such danger,
that they fired repeated guns of distress, on which the other two
ships hastened to her assistance, when they found her stuck so fast
between two rocks that it was impossible to get her of? and were only
able to save her people. Roused by the noise of the signal guns, the
natives of the surrounding islands kindled many fires on their hills,
and flocked in crowds to the coasts; and the Dutch; not knowing what
might be their designs in the darkness of the night and in the midst
of their own confusion, fired upon them without ceremony, that they
might have as few dangers as possible to deal with at one time. In the
morning as soon as it was light, they had a clear view of the danger
all the ships had been in during the darkness of the past night,
finding themselves environed on all sides by four islands, with a
continued chain of steep rocks, and so close together that they could
hardly discern the channel by which they had got in, so that they had
much reason to be thankful for having been so wonderfully preserved
in the midst of so much danger. On this occasion only one seaman was
lost, who belonged to the Tienhoven, and who, in his eagerness to go
to succour his friends, dropt overboard and was drowned.

The danger was by no means over as soon as discovered, as it cost
the Dutch no less than five days to extricate themselves from their
perilous situation, during which time the commodore was separated from
the Tienhoven, and remained ignorant of the fate of the African. At
length, the boat of the Tienhoven, having sailed all round the group
of islands, brought information that the crew of the African had got
safe on shore; and that the natives, after being once fired on, had
retired into the interior in all haste. Roggewein now sent his boat to
bring off all those who had got on shore; and on mustering the crew of
the African on board the Eagle, it appeared that a quarter-master and
four seamen were missing. On enquiry, it was found that these men had
chosen to remain on the island, as they had mutinied against their
officers on getting ashore, because they had interposed to prevent
them from killing each other with their knives, and Captain Rosenthall
had threatened to have them all put to death when he got them aboard
the commodore, wherefore they had fled to avoid punishment. Being
unwilling to lose them, the commodore sent the author of this
narrative with a detachment of soldiers to bring them away, but he was
unable to succeed.

These islands are situated between the latitudes of 15° and 16° S.
about twelve leagues west from Carlshoff,[10] each of them appearing
to be four or five leagues in compass. That on which the African
was shipwrecked was named _Mischievous Island_, the two next it
the _Brothers_, and the fourth the _Sister_ All four islands were
beautifully verdant, and abounded in fine tall trees, especially
cocoas; and the crews found material benefit while here by refreshing
themselves on the vegetable productions of these islands, by which
many of them were surprisingly recovered from the scurvy. The Dutch
found here vast quantities of muscles, cockles, mother-of-pearls,
and pearl-oysters, which gave reason to expect that a valuable pearl
fishery might have been established here. These islands are extremely
low, so that some parts of them must be frequently overflowed; but the
inhabitants have plenty of stout canoes, as also stout barks provided
with sails and cables; and the Dutch found several pieces of rope on
the shore, that seemed made of hemp. The natives were of extraordinary
size, all their bodies being painted [or _tatooed_] with many colours,
and had mostly long black hair, though some had brown hair even
inclined towards red. They were armed with pikes or lances eighteen or
twenty feet long, and kept in bodies of fifty or an hundred together,
endeavouring to entice the Dutch to follow them into the interior, as
if to draw them into an ambuscade, on purpose to be revenged for the
loss they had sustained by the firing on the night of the shipwreck.

[Footnote 10: Pernicious islands, almost certainly the Mischievous
islands of the text, are placed in lat. 16° 5' S. and long. 148° 50'
W. about 20 leagues W. by S. from Carlshoff by Arrowsmith.--E.]


_Continuation of the Voyage after the Loss of the African, to the
Arrival of Roggewein at New Britain._

The next morning after leaving Mischievous island, they saw a new
island eight leagues to the west, to which they gave the name of
_Aurora_ island, because observed first at break of day. At this time
the Tienhoven was so near, that if the sun had risen half an hour
later, she must have shared the same fate with the African, as she was
within cannon-shot of the shore when the danger was perceived, and she
then tacked and escaped with considerable difficulty. The fright which
this occasioned produced a mutiny, in which all the seamen insisted
with the commodore either to return immediately, or to give them
security for payment of their wages, in case they should be so
unfortunate as to suffer shipwreck. This request seemed just and
reasonable, being daily exposed to excessive fatigue in these stormy
and unknown seas, and at the same time ran the hazard of losing all
the reward of their labours, as it is the custom in Holland that the
seamen lose their wages if the ship is lost in which they sail.
The commodore listened to their complaints with much humanity, and
immediately gave them assurance upon oath, that they should have their
wages to the uttermost farthing, and kept his promise with the utmost
exactness; for, though the African was lost before, and both the other
ships were condemned at Batavia, yet every one of their respective
crews received their full wages on their arrival at Amsterdam.

The island of _Aurora_ was about four leagues in extent, the whole
being covered with delightful verdure, and adorned with lofty trees
interspersed with smaller wood. But, as the coast was found to be all
foul and rocky, they left this island also without landing. Towards
evening of the same day, they had sight of another island, to which
therefore they gave the name of _Vesper_.[1] This was about twelve
leagues in circuit, all low land, yet verdant and containing abundance
of trees of various sorts. Continuing their course to the west in
about the latitude of 15° S. they next morning discovered another
country; and, as it was covered with smoke, they concluded it
was inhabited, and made there all sail to come to it, in hopes of
procuring refreshments. On approaching nearer, some of the inhabitants
were seen diverting themselves off the coast in their canoes. They
also perceived by degrees, that what they had at first supposed to
be one country or large island, was in reality abundance of islands
standing close together, among which they had now entered so far, that
they found it difficult to get out again. In this situation, a man was
sent to the mast-head to look out for a passage, and as the weather
was quite serene, they had the good fortune to get out once more into
the open sea without injury; although in passing by several steep
ranges of rocks, they had reason to consider this as a great
deliverance. There were six of these islands, exceedingly beautiful
and pleasant in appearance, which altogether could not be less than
thirty leagues in circumference. They were about twenty-five
leagues west from Mischievous island, and the Dutch called them the
Labyrinth,[2] having difficultly got clear of them by numerous tacks.

[Footnote 1: Aurora and Vesper are called in modern geography
Roggewein's or Palliser's Islands, in lat. 15° 32' S, about 10 leagues
N. by W. of Pernicious Islands.--E.]

[Footnote 2: Perhaps Prince of Wales' islands are here alluded to, in
lat. 15° 50' S. and long. 148° 5' W. about 40 marine leagues W.N.W.
from Pernicious islands.--E.]

As it was very dangerous to anchor on the coast, and as none of the
inhabitants came off in their canoes, the Dutch did not think fit to
make any stay, but continued still a western course, and in a few days
discovered another island, which at a distance appeared very high
and beautiful; but, on a nearer approach they found no ground for
anchorage, and the coast appeared so rocky that they were afraid to
venture near. Each ship therefore embarked twenty-five men in their
boats, in order to make a descent. The natives no sooner perceived
their design than they came down in crowds to the coast to oppose
their landing, being armed with long spears, which they soon shewed
they knew how to use to the best advantage. When the boats drew near,
the shore was found to be so steep and rocky, that the boats could not
come to land, on which most of the sailors went into the water with
their arms in their hands, having some baubles fit for presents to the
natives tied upon their heads; while those who remained in the boats
kept up a continual fire to clear the shore. This expedient succeeded,
and the seamen got ashore without much resistance from the natives;
who were frightened by the fire of the musquetry, and retired up the
mountains, but came down again as soon as the Dutch ceased firing.

On the return of the islanders, the Dutch who had landed shewed them
small mirrors, beads, and other baubles, and the people came up to
them without fear, took their presents, and suffered them to search
where they pleased for herbs and sallading for the sick. They found
abundance of these, and soon filled twelve sacks, six for the Eagle
and six for the Tienhoven, the inhabitants even assisting them and
shewing them the best sorts. They carried their cargo of greens
immediately on board, which were more acceptable to the sick than if
they had brought them as much gold and silver. Next morning a larger
body of men were ordered on shore, both on purpose to gather herbs and
to examine the island. The first thing they did was to make a present
to the king or chief of a considerable assortment of trinkets, which
he received with an air of indifference and disdain, which did not
promise much good in their future intercourse, yet sent the Dutch
a considerable quantity of cocoa nuts in return, which were very
agreeable to them in their present circumstances. The chief was
distinguished from the ordinary inhabitants by wearing various
ornaments of pearls, as they judged to the value of 600 florins, or
L. 55 sterling. The women of the island seemed to admire the white men
much, and almost stifled them with caresses: But this was all employed
to lull the Dutch into security, that the plot contrived by the men
for their destruction might the more readily succeed.

When the Dutch had filled twenty sacks with greens, they advanced
farther into the country, till they came to the top of some steep
rocks, which hung over a large and deep valley, the natives going both
before and behind them, quite unsuspected of any evil intention.
At length, thinking they had the Dutch at an advantage, the natives
suddenly quitted them, and soon after prodigious numbers came pouring
out from caves and holes in the rocks, and surrounded the Dutch on all
sides, while they immediately formed in close order for defence. The
chief or king then made a signal for the Dutch to keep off, but as
they continued to advance, the chief made a signal of battle, which
was instantly followed by a prodigious shower of stones. The Dutch in
return made a general discharge of their fire arms, which did great
execution, and the chief was among the first who fell. Yet the
islanders continued to throw stones with great fury, so that most of
the Dutch were soon wounded and almost disabled, on which they retired
under shelter of a rock, whence they fired with such success that
great numbers of the islanders were slain. They still obstinately
maintained their ground, and the Dutch were at last forced to retreat,
having some of their number killed, and a great many wounded, most of
whom died not long after, in consequence of their scorbutical habit
of body, in spite of every care. As soon as they could disengage
themselves from the enemy, the Dutch retired on board ship, carrying
with them the sacks of greens which they had gathered. This rencounter
had so great an effect on the Dutch, that when it was proposed to
land again, not a man could be prevailed upon to make the dangerous

They had given to this island, before this unfortunate affair, the
name of the _Island of Recreation_,[3] which is in lat. 16° S. and
long. 285°. It is about twelve leagues in compass, with a fertile
soil, producing a great number of trees, especially cocoa nuts, palms,
and iron-wood. The Dutch conceived that there might be rich mines
in the heart of the country, and other valuable things, but were not
allowed to search. The natives were of middle size, but robust
and active, having long black shining hair, which they anoint with
cocoa-nut oil, a practice very common among the Indians. They were
painted all over, like the inhabitants of Easter island; the men
wearing a kind of net-work round their middles, which they stick
up between their legs. The women were entirely covered by a kind of
mantles of their own manufacture, the stuff of which to the sight and
touch resembled silk;[4] and they wear long strings of pearls about
their necks and wrists.

[Footnote 3: By Arrowsmith, this island is placed in lat. 16° 32' S.
and long. 148° 50' W. The longitude in the text is inexplicable on any

[Footnote 4: The cloth of the South-sea islands is a substance in
a great measure resembling paper, composed of the inner bark of the
paper mulberry, the preparation of which will be afterwards detailed
in the narratives of the modern circumnavigators--E.]

Roggewein thought proper to sail from this island without farther loss
of time, and before his departure held a council of his officers,
in which he stated his instructions, which were,--If no discovery of
importance could be made in the latitude and longitude in which they
then were, that he should return home. Some of the council were much
astonished at this, and remonstrated, That having already gone so
far, and met with such encouragement to hope for discoveries of great
importance, they thought it would betray a great want of spirit not
to proceed. To this Roggewein answered, That they had now been out ten
months, having still a long voyage to make to the East Indies; that
provisions began to grow scarce, and, above all, that the crews were
already so much diminished in number, and the survivors in so weak a
condition, that if twenty more were to die or fall sick, there would
not be a sufficient number remaining to navigate both ships. The true
reason, however, in the opinion of the author of this voyage, was the
anxiety to get to the East Indies before the change of the monsoon,
in which case they must have remained six months longer in these
seas. Some of the officers opposed this motion to the last, earnestly
entreating the commodore that he would rather winter at the land
mentioned by Ferdinand de Quiros, from which they could not now be
more than 150 leagues distant. They insisted that it was wrong to
think of going to the East Indies, that being directly contrary to
the design of their instructions: And that by continuing in the same
western course, they could not fail to fall in with some island, where
they might land and procure refreshments, remaining on shore till
all their sick men were recovered, and erecting a fort to defend
themselves against the natives. If this were complied with, they said
they might afterwards return home by an eastern coarse; and, by taking
time, might effectually complete the discoveries on which they were

These reasons were listened to with patience and civility, but had
not the weight they deserved; and a resolution was formed to continue
their coarse for New Britain and New Guinea, and thence to the East
Indies, by way of the Moluccas, being in hopes to procure there a
supply of provisions and necessaries, together with a reinforcement
of seamen, in case they should then be too weak for navigating their
ships home to Europe. In consequence of this resolution, an end was
put to all hope of visiting the land of Quiros, which the best seamen
on board thought might have been easily discovered, called by him
and Torres the _Islands of Solomon_, and reported to be beautiful
and fertile, and abounding in gold, silver, precious stones, and

[Footnote 5: We have here omitted a long, uninteresting, and
inconclusive disquisition on the supposed Terra Australis, as
altogether founded on supposition and error.--E.]

Leaving the island of _Recreation_, Roggewein steered a coarse towards
the N.W. pursuant to the resolution of the council, in order to get
into the latitude of New Britain. On the third day, in lat. 12° S.
and long. 29° they discovered several islands which appeared very
beautiful at a distance, and, on a nearer approach, were seen to be
well planted with all sorts of trees, and produced herbs, corn,
and roots in great plenty, to which they gave the name of _Bowman's
Islands_, after the captain of the Tienhoven, by whom they were first
seen.[6] As soon as they were seen by the natives, they came off in
their canoes to the ships, bringing fish, cocoa-nuts, Indian figs,
and other refreshments, in return for which the Dutch gave them small
mirrors, strings of beads, and other trifles. These islands were very
fully peopled, as many thousands of men and women came down to the
shore to view the ships, most of the men being armed with bows and
arrows. Among the rest, they saw a majestic personage, who, from the
peculiar dress he wore, and the honours that were paid him, evidently
appeared to be chief or king of these islanders. This person soon
afterwards went into a canoe, accompanied by a fair young woman, who
sat close by his side, and his canoe was immediately surrounded by a
vast number of others, which seemed intended for his guard.

[Footnote 6: These appear to have been the most northerly of the
Society islands, about 70 marine leagues, or 3-1/2 degrees W. by N.
from Recreation island, in lat. 15° 20' S. long. 152° W.]

All the inhabitants of these islands were white, differing only from
Europeans in being sun-burnt, and they seemed a very harmless good
sort of people, of brisk and lively dispositions, behaving to each
other with much civility, and shewing no appearance of wildness or
savageness in their behaviour. Their bodies were not painted like
those of the islanders they had seen hitherto, but very handsomely
cloathed from the waist downwards, with a sort of silk fringes very
neatly arranged. On their heads they wore hats of a very neat-looking
stuff, very large and wide spreading, in order to keep off the sun,
and their necks were adorned with collars or garlands of beautiful
odoriferous flowers. The islands appeared quite charming, being
agreeably diversified with beautiful hills and intermediate vallies.
Each family or tribe appeared to have its separate district, and
to compose a separate government or community, all the land being
regularly laid out into regular and fair plantations, as had formerly
been observed at _Pasch_, or _Easter_ island. In all respects, the
natives were the most civilized and best disposed people they had seen
in the South Seas. Instead of shewing any terror or apprehension at
the arrival of the Dutch, the natives expressed the utmost joy and
satisfaction, treating them with the utmost kindness and respect, and
manifested the most sincere and deep concern at their departure. Many
of the Dutch also felt a similar regret, and would have been well
pleased to have made a longer stay in this delightful and plenteous
country, among so kind a people, as, by the help of the excellent
provisions in great abundance with which these good islands furnished
them, all their sick people would have been perfectly recovered in
a month. These islands had also one convenience greatly superior to
those they had met with before, as there was good anchorage almost
every where along their coasts, where they rode in the utmost safety,
in from fifteen to twenty fathoms.

So many advantageous circumstances ought to have induced Roggewein
and his officers to have remained here longer; but their heads were
so full of proceeding for the East Indies, that they were fearful of
missing the favourable monsoon, while they afterwards discovered, to
their cost, that they were two months too early, instead of two months
too late. By this indiscreet step, they sacrificed the health and
strength of their crew to such a degree, that they were at length
hardly able to navigate their ships, and at one time were on the
point of burning one of their ships, that they might be better able to
manage the other: All of which inconveniences might have been avoided,
had they embraced this opportunity afforded them by Divine Providence,
and been contented to remain in a place of safety, plenty, and
pleasure, till their sick were recovered, instead of wilfully seeking
new dangers which they were so little able to encounter.

Leaving Bowman's islands, and continuing their course towards the N.W.
they came next morning in sight of two islands, which they took to
be _Coccos_ and _Traitor's_ islands,[7] so called by Schouten, who
discovered them. The island of Coccos, at a distance, for Roggewein
would not stop to examine it, seemed very high land, and about eight
leagues in circuit. The other seemed much lower, composed of a red
soil, and destitute of trees. They soon after saw two other islands
of large extent, one of which they named _Tienhoven_,[8] and the other
_Groninguen_; which last many of their officers were of opinion was
no island, but the _great southern continent_ they were sent out to
discover. The island of _Tienhoven_ appeared a rich and beautiful
country, moderately high, its meadows or low lands, by the sea,
exceedingly green, and the interior well provided with trees. They
coasted along this island for a whole day without reaching its
extremity, yet noticed that it extended semi-circularly towards the
island of Groninguen, so that those which they took for islands might
be contiguous lands, and both of them parts of the _Terra Australis

[Footnote 7: There must be here an enormous error in the text; Coccos
and Traitor's islands are almost directly west from Recreation
island, and the northermost of the Society islands, supposed to be the
Bowman's islands of the text, and not less than 23°10' farther west
than these last, or 463 marine leagues, which could not well be run in
less than a week or ten days.--E.]

[Footnote 8: These were probably the _Fee-jee_, or Bligh's islands, in
lat. 17° 20' S. long. 181° 30' W. but the narrative is too
incomplete to ascertain this and many other points with any tolerable

A great part of the company were for anchoring on this coast, and
making a descent, but the officers were so intent on proceeding
for India, that they alleged it might be very dangerous to attempt
landing, lest any of the men might be cut off, and they should not
have enough left to carry on the ships. They continued in their
course, therefore, not doubting that they should soon see the coasts
of New Britain or New Guinea: But, after sailing many days without
seeing any land at all, they began to see the vanity of these
calculations, and could not forbear murmuring at their effects, as
the scurvy began to cut off three, four, or five of their best hands
daily. At this time nothing was to be seen but sick people, struggling
with inexpressible pains, or dead carcasses just relieved from their
intolerable distress. From these there arose so abominable a stench,
that even those who were yet sound often fainted away, unable to
endure it. Cries and groans were incessantly heard in all parts of the
ships, and the sight of the poor diseased wretches who were still able
to crawl about, excited horror and compassion. Some were reduced to
such mere skeletons that their skins seemed to cleave to their bones,
and these had this consolation, that they gradually consumed away
without pain. Others were swelled out to monstrous sizes, and were so
tormented with excruciating pain, as to drive them to furious madness.
Some were worn away by the dysentery, and others were racked with
excruciating rheumatism, while others again dragged their dead limbs
after them, having lost feeling through the palsy. To these
numerous and complicated diseases of the body, many had superadded
distemperature of the mind. An anabaptist of twenty-five years old
called out continually to be baptized, and when told with a sneer that
there was no parson on board, he became quiet, and died with great
resignation. Two papists on board gave what little money they had to
their friends, beseeching them, if they ever got back to Holland, to
lay it out in masses to St Anthony of Padua for the repose of their
souls. Others again would listen to nothing that had the smallest
savour of religion, for some time before they died. Some refused
meat and drink for twenty-four hours before death, while others were
suddenly carried off in the midst of conversation.

All these various appearances of disease are attributed by the author
of this voyage principally to the bad quality of their provisions;
their salt meat being corrupted, their bread full of maggots, and
their water intolerably putrid. Under these circumstances medicines
were of no avail, being utterly unable to work a cure, and could at
best only defer death for a little, and protract the sufferings of
the sick. Though as well as any one in either ship, the author of this
journal had the scurvy to such a degree that his teeth were all loose,
his gums inflamed and ulcerated, and his body all over covered with
livid spots. Even such as were reputed in best health, were low, weak,
and much afflicted with the scurvy. Nothing could effectually relieve
or even alleviate their sufferings, except fresh meat, vegetables,
and sweet water. At length it pleased God to put a period to their
miseries, by giving them sight of the coast of New Britain, the joy of
which filled the sick with new spirits, and encouraged those who were
still able to move, with the enlivening hope of once more revisiting
their native land. Our author was fully of opinion, that if they
had been many days longer at sea, they must all have perished by the
continuance and necessary increase of the miseries which they endured,
which no description can possibly express in any thing like adequate


_Description of New Britain, and farther Continuation of the Voyage
till the Arrival of Roggewein at Java._

The country of New Britain, and all the islands in its neighbourhood,
is composed of very high land, many of the mountains hiding their
heads in the clouds. The sea coasts are however both pleasant and
fertile, the low lands being cloathed in perpetual verdure, and the
hills covered with a variety of trees, mostly bearing fruit. It is
in lat. between 4°and 7° S.[1] and both in regard to situation and
appearance, no country can promise better than this. After some
consultation, it was resolved to go on shore here at all events,
though now so much reduced by the long-continued sickness, that they
could hardly muster a sufficient number of men from both ships to man
a boat, and leave men enough, in case they were cut off, to navigate
one ship home, supposing them even to sacrifice one of the ships. Yet
such was the ardent desire of all to get on shore, and so urgent was
the necessity for that measure, that it appeared indispensable
to venture on landing, let the consequences be what they might.
Accordingly, our author was ordered into the boat, with as many men
as could be spared, with orders to get on shore at any rate, by fair
means if possible, and with the consent of the inhabitants, for whom
he carried a great number of baubles to distribute among them as
presents. If, however, these had no effect, he was then to use force,
as the circumstances to which they were reduced made it as eligible to
die by the hands of barbarians as to perish gradually by disease and

[Footnote 1: No account is given of this voyage from Bowman's islands,
perhaps the Fee-jees, as already mentioned, to New Britain, neither
indeed is it any way expressed on what part of New Britain they had
now arrived. They probably steered a course N.W. or N.W. by W. from
the Fee-jees, and fell in with the N.E. part of New Britain, now known
to be a separate island, and called New Ireland; and by the lower
latitude mentioned, in the text, they appear to come first to the
eastern part of New Ireland; but it is impossible to say whether they
went to the N. or S. of Solomon's island.--E.]

The nearer they drew towards the coast, the more they were delighted
with its appearance, as giving them a nearer prospect of the
wished-for refreshments. The inhabitants came down in multitudes to
the coast, but in such guise as did not by any means increase their
satisfaction, as they were all armed with bows and arrows and slings,
and demonstrated sufficiently by their gestures that the Dutch were
by no means welcome visitors, and that they were not to expect being
permitted to land peaceably. As the boat approached the shore, the
natives seemed to become frantic with despair, made frightful faces,
tore their hair, and howled in a horrible manner; and at length, as
borrowing courage from the increase of danger, they hurried into
their canoes and put off from the shore, as if to meet that danger the
sooner which was evidently unavoidable. As the Dutch continued their
way towards the land, the natives discharged a flight of arrows at the
boat, which they followed by throwing their spears or javelins,
after which they threw in a shower of stones discharged from slings.
Convinced now that there was nothing to be trusted to but force, the
Dutch opened their fire, and kept it up with such effect, that many of
the natives were slain, and the rest so terrified, that great numbers
of them leapt into the water to swim ashore, and at last all the
survivors followed the example, by turning their canoes towards the
land. But such was their confusion and dismay, that they were now
unable to distinguish the proper channels by which to get back to the
coast, but ran them on the rocks and shoals. This circumstance almost
deprived the Dutch of all hopes of being able to attain the coast.

While thus embarrassed, there arose a violent storm, of that kind
which the Dutch call _traffat_, and which in the east is named a
_tuffoon_, which usually arises suddenly in the midst of a calm, and
when the air is perfectly clear and serene, and which, by its extreme
violence, often brings the masts by the board, and whirls the sails
into the air, if they are not furled in an instant. By this sudden
tempest, the two ships were forced out to sea, and the poor people in
the boat were left without relief, and almost devoid of hope. The boat
was forced on a sand-bank, where she was for some time so beaten by
the winds and waves, that there seemed no chance of escaping almost
instant destruction. But despair often lends strength and spirits to
men beyond their usual powers; and, by dint of great exertions, they
dragged their boat clear of the bank, and got to land, where all got
safe on shore without hurt, but almost exhausted by fatigue. The first
thing they did was to look out for some place of retreat, where they
might be safe from any sudden assault of the natives; but night came
on before any such could be found, so that they were forced to rest
contented with making a fire on the shore, in order to dry and warm
themselves, which in some measure revived their spirits. The light
of the fire enabled them to discover several huts or cabins of the
natives in the neighbourhood of where they were, on which they felt
inclined to examine them, but found neither inhabitants nor household
goods of any kind, all that they met with worth taking away being a
few nets of curious workmanship. They also saw abundance of cocoa-nut
trees, but, having no hatchets, were unable to come at any of the
fruit, and had to pass a most comfortless night, during which they
were perpetually disturbed and alarmed by the frightful noise of the
natives in the adjoining wood, whence they naturally concluded they
were every moment about to attack them. About midnight they heard a
signal from the ships, which had been able to come back to that
part of the coast, on which they immediately hastened on board, and
immediately continued their voyage along the coast of New Britain,
making their way with considerable difficulty through among numerous
islands. They named that part of the coast on which they landed,
_Stormland_, which was probably the same called _Slinger's bay_ by
Dampier, on account of the dexterity of the natives in the management
of that instrument.

This country of New Britain seems to be extremely fertile, and to
abound in fruits of many sorts. The inhabitants are a tall well-made
people, perfect mulattoes in their complexions, with long black hair
hanging down to their waists, being extremely nimble and vigorous,
and so dexterous in the management of their weapons, that in all
probability they live in a state of continual warfare with their
neighbours. The sea along the coast is studded with numerous islands,
so that they had great difficulty in getting a passage through them.

Notwithstanding the dangers they had already experienced, they
resolved to make another descent upon the coast on the first
opportunity, though they had not now ten men in both vessels in
perfect health, but their necessities admitted of no other remedy.
The stock-fish, on which they had lived for some time past, was now
so full of worms, and stunk so abominably, that, instead of eating
it, they were unable to come near it. The officers were unable now
to pacify the men with stories of relief in the East Indies, for
they unanimously declared that immediate death on shore would be more
welcome than living longer at sea in this dreadful condition. In
this forlorn condition they arrived in the lat. of 2° S. where they
fortunately fell in with the islands of _Moa_ and _Arimoa_, [2]
formerly discovered by Schouten, and immediately determined upon
endeavouring to procure relief from Arimoa, the larger of these
islands. The natives, on perceiving the approach of the two ships,
came immediately off to meet them in their canoes, of which they
had prodigious numbers. All of these people were armed with bows and
arrows, even their women and children; but they brought with them
various refreshments, as cocoa-nuts, _pisans_, or Indian figs, with
various other fruits, and different kinds of roots, rowing directly to
the ships without any signs of fear or distrust. The Dutch gave them
such kind of trifles as they had by way of presents, and in return
for these refreshments; but on shewing more of these, and giving the
islanders to understand, by signs, that such was the merchandize they
had to give in barter for refreshments, they looked at them coolly,
as if they had no desire to trade for such commodities. Next day,
however, they returned with great quantities of similar articles of
provision; and the Dutch having endeavoured to express by signs
that they wished them to bring some hogs, the natives mistook their
meaning, and brought two or three dogs the day following, to the great
disappointment of the Dutch.

[Footnote 2: It is utterly impossible to ascertain what islands are
here meant, as the indications of the voyage are so entirely vague. In
the indicated latitude, off the mouth of the Great bay, in New Guinea,
there are two considerable islands, named Mysory, or Schouten's
island, and Jobie, or Long-island, which may possibly be Arimoa and
Moa. Perhaps Jobie of our modern maps includes both, as in some more
recent maps it is laid down as two contiguous islands, and it is more
exactly in the indicated latitude, while Mysory is rather less than
one degree from the line.]

These refreshments were very seasonable, and greatly amended the
health of many of the sick people in the two ships; and our author is
convinced that most of them would have perfectly recovered in a few
days, if they could have ventured to live on shore. The islanders
never failed to invite them ashore every time they came off; but being
greatly weakened, as for some days they had thrown four or five of
their people overboard, they did not think it prudent to run so great
a hazard; more especially as, even in the midst of their civility, the
air, look, and language of these people seemed to savour of perfidy,
and besides the island was extremely populous. The Dutch noticed that
these islanders, always on coming on board their ships, carried a
piece of stick to which some white stuff was fixed, as if in the
nature of a flag of truce, whence they supposed they were often at
war with some neighbouring nation or tribe, and especially with the
inhabitants of _Moa_, particularly as none of their canoes ever went
ashore on that island, but always, on the contrary, passed it with
evident precipitation. These remarks furnished the Dutch with a
new project by which to acquire a considerable stock of provisions
speedily, by a sudden descent on Moa, which appeared to be but thinly
peopled, though as pleasant and fertile as the other, hoping to carry
off at once enough of provisions to enable them to prosecute their
voyage, without the risk of falling again into the distress they had
so lately endured.

This bold scheme required much prudence, and it was thought expedient
to land in different places at once, one party being directed to
advance into the country, while the others should be at hand to
support them, and to secure their retreat. This was accordingly very
happily effected; for, although the natives formed an ambush behind
the trees and bushes, and discharged their arrows at the principal
party as soon as they began to cut down the cocoa-trees, the Dutch
fortunately remained uninjured, and laid many of the natives dead by
discharges of their fire-arms. This so frightened the rest that they
took refuge in their canoes, whence they endeavoured by cries
and shouts to alarm the rest of their countrymen to come to their
assistance: But the Dutch were so judiciously posted as to constrain
them to remain in the mountains, by which means the main party were
enabled to carry off about 800 cocoa-nuts to their boats, with which
booty they rejoined their ships.

The _cocoa-tree_ is a species of palm, found in most parts of the East
and West Indies. The trunk is large, straight, and lofty, tapering
insensibly to the top, whence the fruit hangs in bunches united by a
tendril, not unlike the twig of a vine, but stronger. The flowers are
yellow, resembling those of the chesnut. As it produces new bunches
every month, there are always some quite ripe, some green, some
just beginning to button, and others in full flower. The fruit is
three-lobed and of a greenish hue, of different sizes, from the size
of an ordinary tennis-ball, to that of a man's head, and is composed
of two rinds. The outer is composed of long tough fibres, between red
and yellow colour, the second being a hard shell. Within this is a
thick firm white substance or kernel, lining the shell, tasting like
a sweet almond; and in a central hollow of this kernel there is a
considerable quantity of a clear, bright, cool liquor, tasting like
sugared water. The natives of the countries in which these trees grow,
eat the kernel with their victuals instead of bread; and likewise
extract from it, by pressure, a liquor resembling milk of almonds
in taste and consistence. When this milk is exposed to the action of
fire, it changes to a kind of oil, which they use as we do butter
in dressing their victuals, and also burn in their lamps; and they
likewise employ it for smearing their bodies. They also draw from the
tree a liquor called _sura_ by the Indians, and which the Europeans
name _toddy_, or palm-wine. For this purpose, having cut one of the
largest twigs about a foot from the body of the tree, they hang to
this stump a bottle or calabash, into which the sap distils. This
_sura_ is of a very agreeable taste, little inferior to the Spanish
white wine; but being strong and heady, is generally diluted with
fresh clear water got from the nut It does not however keep, as it
becomes sour in about two days; when, by exposure to the sun, it is
converted into excellent vinegar. When boiled in its recent state,
it is converted into another liquor, called _orraqua_ by the Indians;
from which they distil a spirituous liquor called arrack, which many
people prefer to the other liquor of the same name distilled from rice
in India, which is so well known and so much esteemed in Europe.

Besides cocoa-nuts, the Dutch found in Moa great plenty of
pomegranates of exquisite taste, and abundance of _pisans_ or Indian
figs. These refreshments were of infinite service to them, as without
them the whole of both ships companies must have inevitably perished;
and immediately on returning to their ships, they began to prepare
for resuming their voyage. While engaged in these preparations, the
inhabitants of Moa came off to the ships in about 200 canoes, which
they exchanged with the Dutch for various articles, apparently doing
this to prevent the Dutch from making a second descent on their
island: But on this occasion, though the Dutch received them kindly,
and treated them with fairness in purchasing their provisions, they
would only admit a few of them into the ships at once; and when the
islanders attempted to rush on board in crowds, they fired upon them.
On these occasions, the natives all ducked their heads, and when they
raised them again broke out into loud laughter. This exchange was no
sooner over than they weighed anchor and proceeded on their voyage.
The author of this narrative remarks, that such of the sick as had any
strength remaining recovered surprisingly at these islands, through
the excellent refreshments they procured there, while those who were
already quite exhausted soon died.

Leaving these islands of _Moa_ and _Arimoa_, they continued their
voyage through a part of the sea so very full of islands, that finding
it difficult or impossible to count them, they gave them the name of
_Thousand Isles_.[3] Their inhabitants were negroes, of a short squat
make, and their heads covered with thick curled wool, being a bold,
mischievous, and intractable race of savages. They were all naked,
men, women, and children, having no other ornaments except a belt
about two fingers broad, stuck fall of teeth, and bracelets of
the same; and some of them wore light straw hats, adorned with the
feathers of the _Bird-of-Paradise_. These birds are said to be found
no where else but in these islands. Such of these islands as are
situated near the west point of New Guinea are still called the
_Islands of the Popoes_ or _Papuas_, the continent itself being called
the _Land of Papua_, till Schouten imposed upon it the name of _New
Guinea_, chiefly because of its being in the same latitude with _Old

[Footnote 3: These appear, by the sequel, to have been the islands
at the N.W. extremity of Papua or New Guinea, and from thence to

[Footnote 4: More probably because of its inhabitants being

When the inhabitants of these islands go to Ternate, Banda, Amboina,
or any of the Moluccas, in order to sell their salt pork, amber,[5]
gold-dust, and other merchandise, they always carry some of these
_Birds-of-Paradise_, which they constantly sell dead, affirming that
they find them so, and that they know not whence they come or where
they breed. This bird is always seen very high in the air. It is
extremely light, as its bulk consists mostly of feathers, which are
extremely beautiful, rendering it one of the greatest curiosities in
the world. The plumage of the head is as bright as burnished gold;
that of the neck resembles the neck of a drake; and those of the wings
and tail are like those of a peacock. In beak and form, this bird
comes nearest to a swallow, though considerably larger. Such as deal
in them endeavour to persuade strangers that they have no feet, and
that they hang themselves, when they sleep, to the boughs of trees by
means of their feathers. But, in reality, these traders cut off their
feet, to render them the more wonderful. They also pretend that the
male has a cavity on his back, where the female lodges her young till
they are able to fly. They always cut off the feet of these birds so
close to the body, that the flesh dries in such a manner that the skin
and feathers perfectly unite, making it impossible to perceive the
smallest scar. They also assert, that these birds are perpetually on
the wing, subsisting on birds and insects, which they catch in the
air. The feathers of the male are much brighter than those of the
female. In the east, this bird is usually called _Mancodiata_, or the
Bird-of-God. Great numbers of them are sent to Batavia, where they
generally sell for three crowns each. The Moors, Arabians, and
Persians are anxious to procure these birds, with which they adorn
their saddles and housings, often mixing with them pearls and
diamonds. They wear them also in their turbans, especially on going
to war, having a superstitious notion that they act as a charm or
talisman, capable of preserving them from wounds. Formerly, the Shah
and Mogul used to present their favourites with one of these birds, as
a mark of esteem or favour.

[Footnote 5: Perhaps ambergris ought to be here understood.--E.]

Besides their girdle and bracelets, formerly mentioned, the _Popoes_,
or inhabitants of the Thousand Isles, wear a bit of stick, the size of
a tobacco-pipe and the length of a finger, thrust through the gristle
of the nose, which they think renders them terrible to their enemies,
as some Europeans consider mustachios. They are the worst and most
savage people in all the South Seas. The continent of _New Guinea_
appeared a high country, extremely full of trees and plants of a vast
variety of kinds, so that, in sailing 400 leagues along its coast,
they did not observe one barren spot. Our author thinks that it
probably contains many precious commodities, as rich metals and
valuable spices, especially as most of the countries hitherto
discovered under the same parallel are not deficient in such riches.
He was afterwards assured, that some of the free burgesses in the
Moluccas go annually to New Guinea, where they exchange small pieces
of iron for nutmegs. Schouten and other navigators conceived high
ideas of this country, and represented it as one of the finest and
richest in the world; but they were unable to penetrate any way into
the interior, which could not be done with a small force, as it is
extremely populous, and the natives are mostly well armed, and of a
martial disposition.

Roggewein and his officers were at this time in considerable doubts,
whether to prosecute the route formerly followed by Dampier, or to go
by Ternate, Tidore, and Bacian, as the less dangerous passage. To
gain time, however, they chose the former, as they most otherwise
have coasted round the last-mentioned islands, in their way to the
Moluccas. In this view, they steered along shore, or rather through an
innumerable chain of small islands, extending from the western point
of New Guinea to the island of Gilolo, making their passage with much
difficulty and danger, and were greatly delighted and astonished on
getting sight of the island of _Bouro_, in lat. 2° S. [3° 30' S. and
long. 127° E.] the most eastern country in which the Dutch East-India
Company, maintain a factory. This island is mostly pretty high land,
and abounds every where with trees and shrubs of various kinds. On
their arrival upon its coast, they were spoken with by a small vessel,
in which were two white men and several blacks. The white men examined
them very strictly to whom they belonged, whence they came, and
whither they were bound. To which they answered, that they came from
New Guinea, and were going to Batavia, but wisely concealed belonging
to the West-India Company, knowing that the East-India Company
permitted no vessels, except their own, to navigate these seas, and
had given strict orders to capture all strange vessels that might
appear there. Yet, in spite of these precautions, the English
sometimes find their way among these islands, to the no small
displeasure of the Dutch company, although they keep ships cruizing
here during both monsoons, to preserve their monopoly of spices.

The island of _Bouro_ is about forty or fifty leagues in
circumference, and is indifferently fertile, formerly producing
abundance of clove-trees; but a detachment of Dutch soldiers is sent
yearly to grub them up, as they do also in the other Molucca islands,
because Amboina is thought to produce enough of that commodity to
maintain their commerce. Formerly also the Dutch had a strong fort
here, which the natives took and demolished after a long siege,
putting all the garrison to the sword. At present, [in 1721,]
the company only sends a detachment of soldiers to root out the
clove-trees, for which the inhabitants receive some present. The two
whites who were on board this Dutch bark were the first Christians
seen by Roggewein for the space of ten months, or since leaving the
coast of Brazil. Continuing their course for the island of _Bootan_,
in hopes of meeting with refreshments, of which they were now in
extreme want, they arrived there in lat 4° S.[6] and sailed along its
coast for a whole day, in hopes of finding the strait for which they
sought, and at length found they were eight leagues to leeward of
it, and the monsoon now blew too strong to be able to bear up for the
intended port. They had now no hopes of being able to find any port
for refreshments till they should arrive at the island of Java; as,
wherever they might attempt to land, they well knew that their ships
would be confiscated, in consequence of the invariable maxims of the
East-India Company. All men therefore, but especially the sick and
feeble, cast an anxious look on the fertile island now left behind
them, presaging the melancholy effects which must necessarily attend
so pernicious a measure.

[Footnote 6: The northern end of Bootan is in lat. 4° 40' S.]

The situation of the island of _Bootan_ is remarkably advantageous,
being in from 4° to 6° of S. latitude, and nearly equal in size to the
island of _Bouro_. It is extremely fertile, especially in rice, and
has abundance of cattle and fish. It would also produce plenty both
of clove and nutmeg trees, if they were permitted to grow. The king
of the island has a very strong fort, on which the Dutch standard is
displayed, though there is no Dutch garrison; the company contenting
itself with sending deputies yearly to see the spice trees destroyed,
in consideration of which the king receives a considerable sum
yearly from the company. This nation is the most faithful of all the
inhabitants of the Indian islands to the India company, having not
only assisted them in expelling the Portuguese, but also against the
inhabitants of the Moluccas, whenever they have attempted to revolt;
by which means the company has acquired the whole trade of this part
of the world. In consideration of this, the inhabitants of Bootan
enjoy many privileges that are denied to all other Indians: As, for
instance, they are allowed to come into any of the Dutch forts armed,
which is never allowed even to the natives of the countries in which
the forts are situated. Some time before this voyage, the king of
Bootan sent his eldest son ambassador to the governor-general
of Batavia, where he was received with every mark of honour and
distinction. It would not have been easy to have known this prince for
an Indian, had he not worn a triple-rowed turban, richly adorned
with gold and precious stones, as the rest of his dress was entirely
European, and he wore a sword instead of a cutlass, which no Indian
had done before. His train was numerous and splendid, all dressed
in the Indian manner: Twelve of them were armed with cuirasses and
bucklers, carrying each a naked sword resting on his shoulder. At this
time there was a prodigious mortality in Batavia, which carried off
500 of the attendants of this prince, and destroyed no less than
150,000 persons in one year, besides vast numbers of beasts. This
mortality was occasioned by a malignant pestilential fever, which
attacked indiscriminately all the inhabitants of Batavia, Europeans,
natives, Chinese, and blacks. It spread also through Bengal and all
the dominions of the Great Mogul, where it made incredible ravages,
and extended even to Japan in the most extreme violence, where numbers
fell down dead in the streets, who had left their houses in perfect
health. This dreadful malady was supposed to have arisen from
excessive drought, as no rain had fallen during the space of two
years, whence it was conceived that the air was surcharged with
mineral vapours.

Leaving the island of Bootan, and passing through the channel of
the Moluccas, or between the S.W. leg of Celebes and Salayr
islands, during which course the crews of the two vessels suffered
inexpressible miseries, by which the greatest part of them were
carried off, Roggewein arrived on the coast of Java towards the close
of September 1722.


_Occurrences from their Arrival at the Island of Java, to the
Confiscation of the Ships at Batavia._

Roggewein came to anchor immediately in the road of Japara, and
saluted the city and fort, after which the boats were hoisted out to
go on shore, where they were astonished to find that it was Saturday,
whereas on quitting their ships they conceived it to be Friday
morning. This was occasioned by having come round from the east
along with the sun, by which they had lost a day in their reckoning.
Roggewein immediately waited upon Ensign Kuster, a very civil and
well-behaved gentleman, who commanded there on the part of the
East-India Company, to whom he gave an account of his motives for
coming to this place. Kuster immediately assembled a council, to
consider what measures were to be taken on this occasion, and all
were much moved at the recital of the miseries which Roggewein and
his people had endured. In truth, never were men more worthy of
compassion. Only ten persons remained in any tolerable health, and
twenty-six were down in various sicknesses, by which, exclusive of
those who had been slain in their different engagements with the
Indians, they had lost seventy men during the voyage. Their next care
was to get the sick men on shore, which was done with all care and
diligence, slinging them in their hammocks into the boats. Four of
these poor people were in so low a condition that it was thought
impossible they could bear removal, and they were therefore left on
board, the very thoughts of which, after their companions went ashore,
soon killed them. Those who were carried on shore were lodged under
tents in an island, where they had every necessary afforded them that
the country produced, yet many of them died.

Mr Kuster sent an immediate account of their arrival to the
commandant of the coasts of Java, who instantly forwarded it to Mr
_Swaardekroon_, at that time governor-general of the East Indies. He
sent a favourable answer, promising every assistance in his power, and
adding, that they had nothing to do but to get to Batavia as soon as
possible. While waiting the answer of the governor-general and the
recovery of their sick, they passed their time agreeably enough at
Japara, as their countrymen used them with all imaginable kindness.
In a few days, the seamen became as frolicsome and gay as if they had
made a pleasant and fortunate voyage; insomuch, that those who, only
a few days before, were weeping, sighing, praying, and making warm
protestations of leading new lives, if God in his mercy were pleased
to save them, now ran headlong into the greatest extravagances;
spending their whole time in debauched houses, and in swearing and
drinking. This our author attributed to the bad example of those among
whom they lived, all the lower people at Japara being as lewd and
profligate as could be imagined; insomuch, that the first question
they put to strangers from Europe is, if they have brought over any
new oaths.

The town of _Japara_ is seated at the bottom of a mountain of moderate
height, is of a middling size, and is inhabited by Javans, Chinese,
and Dutch; and was of more considerable extent than now, when in the
hands of the Portuguese. Before getting possession of Jacatra, now
Batavia, the Dutch East-India Company had their principal magazines
for trade at this place, which was their chief factory, and on which
all the other factories in Java were dependent; but it has fallen much
in importance since the factory was transferred to Samarang. The port
of Japara is both safe and commodious, and is defended by a fort,
built mostly of wood, on the top of the mountain at the foot of which
the town is seated. This fort is called the _Invincible Mountain_,
because the Javanese were constantly defeated in all their attempts to
get it into their hands, when in possession of the Portuguese; and its
guns command the whole road.

The king of Japara mostly resides at a place called _Kattasura_, about
twenty-nine leagues up the country, where the Dutch have a strong
fort with a good garrison, serving at the same time to secure their
conquest, and to guard the king. This prince is a Mahomedan, and is
served entirely by women, of whom he takes as many as he pleases,
either as wives or concubines. Some of his priests are obliged to
go every year on pilgrimage to Mecca, in order to make vows for the
safety and prosperity of the king and royal family. His subjects are
extremely faithful, and devoted to his service; the principal persons
of his court having to approach him on their knees, every time they
have an audience; but in time of war, this slavish custom is dispensed
with. Such as commit the slightest fault, are poniarded on the spot by
a kriss or dagger; this being almost the only punishment in use among
them, as the smallest faults and the greatest crimes are all equally
capital. The natives of this country are mostly of a very brown
complexion, tolerably well shaped, and having long black hair, which
however many of them cut short. Their noses are all flat and broad,
and their teeth very black, owing to the incessant chewing of betel
and faufel.

The _faufel_ or _areka_ is a kind of nut, not much unlike a nutmeg,
but smaller, and in a great measure tasteless, but yielding a red
juice when chewed, which juice also is used by the Indians in painting
chintzes, so much admired in Europe. The tree which bears this nut is
very straight, and has leaves like those of the cocoa-nut tree. The
_betel_ is a plant producing long rank leaves, shaped like those of
the citron, and having an agreeable bitter taste. The fruit of this
plant resembles a lizard's tail, and is about an inch and half long,
having a pleasant aromatic flavour. The Indians continually carry
the leaves of this plant, which also are presented at all ceremonious
visits. They are almost continually chewing these leaves, and they
mostly qualify their extreme bitterness by the addition of the faufel
or areka-nut, and the powder of calcined oyster-shells, which give
them a very agreeable taste; though some mix their betel leaves with
shell lime, ambergris, and cardamom seeds, while others use Chinese
tobacco. After all the juice is chewed out, they throw away the
remaining dry mass. Many Europeans have got into the habit of chewing
betel, so that they cannot leave it off, though it has proved fatal to
some of them; for the natives are very skilful in preparing betel so
as to do a man's business as effectually as a pistol or a dagger.

The prevailing diversion among these people is called _tandakes_,
which are a kind of comedies, acted by women very richly dressed, and
consists chiefly in singing and dancing, accompanied by music, not
very pleasant to European ears, the only instruments being small
drums, on which they beat with much dexterity. Their dancing is mostly
of a grotesque kind, in which they are very dexterous, throwing
their bodies into all sorts of postures with astonishing agility, and
expressing by them the passions of the mind so comically, that it is
impossible to refrain from laughing. The men also practise a kind
of war dance, in which the king and grandees bear a part. They also
practise cock-fighting, like the English, and bet such considerable
sums on this sport as often beggars them.

The country abounds in all the necessaries of life, having abundance
of beeves and hogs, and amazing quantities of fowls. The only thing
scarce is mutton, chiefly owing to the richness of the pasture,
which is very apt to burst the sheep. As to wild animals, they have
buffaloes, stags, tygers, and rhinoceroses; which last animal is
hunted by the Indians chiefly for the sake of its horns, of which they
make drinking cups that are greatly valued, owing to a notion that
they will not contain poison, but break immediately on that being
poured into them. The high price of these tends to shew that the
Javanese are addicted to the infamous practice of poisoning. The land
is every where extremely fertile, producing vast abundance of pepper,
ginger, cinnamon, rice, cardamoms, and other valuable articles. Of
late they have planted coffee, and with such success as to have a
reasonable hope of rendering it a principal commodity of the country.
Cocoa-nuts, figs, and a variety of other excellent fruits grow every
where in the greatest profusion; and as the trees on which they grow
are verdant during the whole year, and are planted in rows along the
rivers, they form the most agreeable walks that can be conceived.
Sugar-canes also abound in Java. They have also plenty of vines, which
produce ripe grapes seven times every year, but they are only fit
for making raisins, and not wine, being too hastily ripened by the
climate. The sea, and all the rivers, furnish an infinite variety of
the finest fish. Thus, taking it altogether, it may be safely affirmed
that Java is one of the most plentiful and pleasantest islands in the

Having refreshed at Japara for about a month, Roggewein began to
think of proceeding to Batavia, encouraged by the fine promises of the
governor-general. Every thing being ready, the voyagers spent two
days in taking leave of their kind friends, who supplied them with all
sorts of provisions, much more than sufficient for so short a voyage,
and they at length departed, feeling a sensible regret at parting with
those who had treated them with so much kindness, relieving all their
wants with so much generosity, and had enabled them to spend several
weeks in peace and plenty, after a long period of sickness and misery.
Steering from thence about seventy leagues to the westwards, with a
fair wind, they entered the road of Batavia, where they saluted the
fort, and anchored close to the ships that were loading for the voyage
home, believing that all their distresses were now over, and that they
should speedily accompany these other ships homewards. As soon as
the ships were safely anchored, Roggewein went along with the other
captains into his boat, meaning to have gone ashore to Batavia, but
had not proceeded far from the ship when he met a boat having the
commandant of Batavia on board, together with the fiscal, and some
other members of the council, by whom he was desired to go back to his
ship, which he did immediately; and, when the two boats came within
hearing of the ships, the fiscal proclaimed, with a loud voice, that
both ships were confiscated by order of the governor-general. At this
time both ships were so environed by other large vessels belonging
to the East India Company, that it was impossible to have escaped,
if they had so inclined; and soon afterwards several hundred soldiers
came on board, taking possession of both ships, and placing their
crews under safe custody. Taught by so many and such unlooked-for
misfortunes, Roggewein now thoroughly repented having proposed to
return home by way of the East Indies, but was now wise behind hand.
He had neglected prosecuting the discovery on which he had been
sent, for which he now suffered a just punishment from the East India
Company, however unjust in itself the sentence might be considered. By
the sentence, both ships were declared legal prizes, and all the goods
they contained were confiscated; and to prevent all trouble and delay
from representations, reclamations, or memorials, every thing was
immediately exposed to public auction, and sold to the highest
bidders. The crews of both ships were divided, and put on board
several of the homeward-bound ships.


_Description of Batavia and the Island of Java, with some Account of
the Government of the Dutch East India Company's Affairs._

The city of Batavia lies in the lat. of 6° 20' S. and long. 107° E.
from Greenwich, being the capital of all the vast dominions belonging
to the Dutch East India Company, serving also as the emporium of
its prodigious trade, where all the merchandise and riches of that
princely and wealthy company are laid up. It fell into the hands of
the Dutch company in 1618, till which time it was known by the name of
_Jacatra_, and soon afterwards they built a fort in the neighbourhood
of that native city, to which they gave the name of Batavia. By the
time this was hardly well finished, the natives of the island attacked
it, animated and assisted by the English, and repeated their attempts
several times, but always unsuccessfully, and to their great loss.
The last time, they kept it blockaded for a considerable time, till
succoured by a powerful squadron from Europe under Admiral Koen, when
the siege was immediately raised, and the natives obliged to retire
with the utmost precipitation. The Dutch had now leisure to consider
the excellent situation of the fort, and the many advantages it
possessed for becoming the centre of their East Indian trade and
dominion, on which they resolved to build a town in the neighbourhood
of the fort. With this view they demolished Jacatra, and erected on
its ruins this famous commercial city, which they named Batavia.

This city arrived at perfection in a short time, by the extraordinary
diligence bestowed upon its construction, in spite of the many
obstacles it met with from the two kings of Matarana and Bantam; the
former of whom laid siege to it in 1629, and the latter in 1649. It
is surrounded by an earthen rampart of twenty-one feet thick, faced on
the outside with stone, and strengthened by twenty-two bastions, the
whole environed by a ditch forty-five yards wide, and quite full of
water, especially in spring-tides. All the approaches to the town are
defended by several detached forts, all of which are well furnished
with excellent brass cannon. Six of these are so considerable as
to deserve being particularly mentioned, which are, Ansiol, Anke,
Jacatra, Ryswyk, Noordywyk, and Vythock. The fort of _Ansiol_ is
seated on a river of the same name, to the eastwards, and about 1200
yards from the city, being built entirely of squared stone, and always
provided with a strong garrison. _Anke_ is on a river of the same
name, to the westwards, about 500 yards from the city, and is built
like the former. _Jacatra_ lies also on a river of the same name, and
is exactly like the two former, being 500 paces from the city. The
road to this fort lies between two regular rows of fine trees, having
very fine country houses and gardens on each side. The other three
forts are all built of similar materials on the inland side of the
city, and at small distances; the two first-named serving to secure
the city on the side of the sea, and the other four to defend the
approaches towards it from the land, and at the same time to protect
the country houses, plantations, and gardens of the inhabitants.
By these, all enemies are prevented from coming upon the city by
surprise, as on every side they would be sure to meet a formidable
resistance; and besides, no person is allowed to pass the forts, even
outwards, unless with a passport.

The river of Jacatra passes through the middle of the city, and
supplies water to fifteen canals, all faced with freestone, and
adorned on each side with ever-green trees, affording a charming
prospect. Over these canals, which are all within the city, there are
fifty-six bridges, besides others without the town. The streets are
all perfectly straight, and are in general thirty feet broad on each
side, besides the breadth of the canals. The houses are built of
stone, mostly of several stories high, like those in the cities of
Holland. The city of Batavia is about a league and a half in circuit,
but is surrounded by a vast number of houses without the walls, which
may be considered as forming suburbs, and in which there is ten times
the population that is within the city. It has five gates, including
that leading to the port, near to which there is a boom, or barrier,
which is shut every night at nine o'clock, and at which there is a
strong guard of soldiers night and day. There were formerly six
gates, but one of these has since been walled up. There is a very fine
stadt-house, or town-hall, and four churches for the Calvinists. The
first of these, named _Kruist-kirk_, or Cross-church, was built in
1640, and the second in 1672, and in both of these the worship is
in the Dutch language. The third church belongs to the _protestant_
Portuguese, and the fourth is for the Malays who have been converted
to the reformed Christian religion. Besides these, there are abundance
of other places of worship for various sorts of religions.

They have likewise in this city a _Spin-hays_, or house of correction
for the confinement of disorderly women; an orphan-house, and arsenal
of marine stores, and many magazines for spiceries: Also many wharfs,
docks, rope-walks, and other public buildings. The garrison usually
consists of from two to three thousand men. Besides the forts formerly
mentioned, the famous citadel or castle of Batavia is a fine regular
fortification, having four bastions, situated at the mouth of the
river opposite to the city; two of its bastions fronting towards the
sea and commanding the anchorage, while the other two face towards
the city. There are two main gates to the citadel, one called the
Company's gate, which was built in 1636, to which leads a stone bridge
of fourteen arches, each of which is twenty-six feet span, and ten
feet wide. The other is called the Water-gate. Besides which, there
are two posterns, one in the east curtain, and the other in the
west, neither of which are ever opened except for the purposes of the
garrison. In this citadel the governor-general resides, having a brick
palace two stories high, with a noble front of Italian architecture.
Opposite to this palace is that of the director-general, who is next
in rank to the governor. The counsellors and other principal officers
of the company have also their apartments within the citadel, together
with the chief physician, chief surgeon, and chief apothecary. There
in also a remarkably neat and light small church, and there are many
magazines and store-houses well furnished with ammunition and military
stores; and in it are the offices in which all the affairs of the
company are transacted, and archives for containing all the records.

Besides many Dutch, all of whom are either in the service of the
company or free burgesses, the city is inhabited by a vast number
of people of many different Indian nations, besides many Portuguese,
French, and other Europeans, established here on account of trade. The
Portuguese are mostly descendants of those who lived formerly here or
at Goa, and who, finding their account in living under the government
of the Dutch, did not think proper to remove after the Dutch had
reduced the country; but far the greater number of these are now of
the reformed religion. The Indian inhabitants consist of Javanese, or
natives of the island, Chinese, Malays, negroes, Amboinese, Armenians,
natives of the island of Bali, Mardykers, Macassars, Bougis, and
others. It is a very curious thing to see so great a multitude of
different nations all living in the same great city, and each nation
according to their own manners. Every moment one sees new customs,
strange manners, varieties of dresses, and faces of different colours,
as black, white, brown, yellow, and olive-coloured; every one living
as he pleases, and all speaking their different languages. Yet, amidst
all this variety of people and customs so opposite to each other,
there is a surprising unity among the citizens, occasioned by the
advantages of commerce, the common object of all, so that they live
harmoniously and happily under the gentle and prudent laws established
by the company. All enjoy perfect liberty of conscience, whatever may
be their religion or sect, only that none are permitted the public
exercise of their religion except the Calvinists, any more than in
Holland, so that priests and monks must not walk the streets in the
habits of their respective orders. All are however allowed to live
here in peace, and may exercise the rites of their religion within
doors. Jesuits are, however, excluded, for fear of their intrigues;
and the Chinese religion, because of its abominable idolatry, is
obliged to have its pagoda, or idol temple, about a league from the
city, where also they bury their dead.

Every Indian nation settled at Batavia has its chief or head, who
watches over the interests of his nation, but is not allowed to decide
upon any thing of importance, his chief functions being those of
religion, and to decide slight controversies among his countrymen. The
_Japanese_ chiefly addict themselves to agriculture, ship-building,
and fishing. These people, for the most part, only wear a kind of
short petticoat, reaching to their knees, all the rest of their
bodies being naked, having also a sort of scarf or sash across their
shoulders, from which hangs a short sword. On their heads they wear
small bonnets. Their huts or cabins are remarkably neater than those
of the other Indians, built of split bamboos, with large spreading
roofs, under which they sit in the open air.

The _Chinese_ are very numerous, as it is reckoned there are at least
five thousand of them in the city and its suburbs. These people seem
naturally born for trade, and are great enemies to idleness, thinking
nothing too hard or laborious that is attended with a prospect of
gain. They can live on very little, are bold, enterprising, possessed
of much address, and indefatigably industrious. Their sagacity,
penetration, and subtilty, are so extraordinary as to make good their
own saying, "That the Dutch have only one eye, while they have two;"
but they are deceitful beyond measure, taking a pride in imposing on
those who deal with them, and even boast of that cunning of which they
ought to be ashamed. In husbandry and navigation they surpass all the
other nations of India. Most of the sugar-mills around Batavia belong
to them, and the distillery of arrack is entirely in their hands. They
are the carriers of eastern Asia, and even the Dutch often make use
of their vessels. They keep all the shops and most of the inns of
Batavia, and farm all the duties of excise and customs. Generally
speaking, they are well-made men, of an olive complexion, their heads
being peculiarly round, with small eyes, and short flat noses. They
do not cut their hair, as all in China are obliged to do since the
Tartars conquered the country; and whenever any one comes to Batavia
from China, he immediately suffers his hair to grow, as a token
of freedom, dressing it with the utmost care; their priests only
excepted, whose heads are all close shaven.

The Chinese go always bare headed, carrying an umbrella in their hands
to keep off the sun; and they suffer their nails to grow immoderately
long, which gives them prodigious dexterity in slight of hand, an art
of considerable importance as they use it. Their dress here differs
materially from what they wear in their own country, their cotton
robes being very ample, and their sleeves very wide. Below this they
have a kind of breeches reaching to their ancles, having a kind
of little slippers on their feet instead of shoes, and never wear
stockings. Their women, who are very brisk, lively, impudent, and
debauched, wear very long cotton robes. In general, the Chinese have
no distinction of meats, but eat without ceremony of any animal that
comes to hand, be it even dog, cat, or rat, or what it may. They are
amazingly fond of shows and entertainments. Their feast of the new
year, which they celebrate in the beginning of March, commonly lasts
a whole month; during which they do nothing but divert themselves,
chiefly in dancing, which they do in a strange manner, running round
about to the sound of gongs, flutes, and trumpets, which do not form a
very agreeable concert. They use the same music at their comedies,
or theatrical diversions, of which they are extremely fond: These
comedies consist of a strange mixture of drama, opera, and pantomime,
as they sometimes sing, sometimes speak, and at other times the whole
business of the scene consists in gesture. They have none but _women_
players,[1] who are brought up to this employment from their infancy;
but many of them act male parts, using proper disguises for the
purpose. Whenever they act a comedy, the city receives fifty crowns
for a licence. They erect the theatre in the street, in front of the
house of him who is at the expence of the play, the subject of
which always turns on the exploits of their ancient heroes, or the
austerities of their old saints.

[Footnote 1: This may possibly have been the case at this time in
Batavia; but we are assured by recent travellers in China, that they
have there none but _men_ players, the female parts being acted by

The funerals of the Chinese are very singular, as well as very rich
and pompous, forming grand and solemn processions, in which sometimes
at least 500 persons of both sexes assist, the women being all
cloathed in white. At these funerals they employ music to heighten the
shew, together with coloured umbrellas and canopies, carrying their
principal idol, which they call _Joostie de Batavia_, under one of
their canopies. Their tombs are some of them very magnificent. They
follow the idolatrous religion of their native country, and have a
pagoda, or idol temple, about the distance of a league from the
city, where they assemble for worship. They are perhaps the grossest
idolaters, and the most ridiculous in their opinions, of all the
pagans of the east, as they openly profess to worship and adore the
devil. This does not proceed from their ignorance or unbelief in a
God, but rather from mistaken notions in their belief concerning him.
They say that God is infinitely good and merciful, giving to man every
thing he possesses, and never doing any hurt; and therefore that there
is no need to worship him. But with the devil, the author of all ill,
they are desirous to live upon good terms, and to omit nothing that
can entitle them to his good graces. It is the devil therefore whom
they represent by the idol above mentioned, and in whose honour they
have frequently great feasts and rejoicings.

Like the Javans, the Chinese are extravagantly addicted to gaming
and laying wagers; and this humour, especially at cock-fights and the
new-year's feasts, drives them sometimes into downright madness.
They will not only stake and lose their money, goods, and houses, but
sometimes their wives and children; and when these are all lost, will
stake their beards, nails, and winds; that is, they bind themselves
not to shave their beards, pare their nails, or go on board ship to
trade, till they have paid their game debts. When reduced to this
condition, they are forced to hire themselves as the bond slaves of
some other Chinese. Under such misfortunes their only resource is,
that some relative, either at Batavia or China, pays their debts out
of compassion, and by that means reinstates them in their property and

The _Malays_ who live at Batavia usually employ themselves in fishing,
having very neat and shewy vessels, the sails of which are most
ingeniously constructed of straw. These are a most wicked and
profligate people, who often commit atrocious murders for very
trifling gain. They profess the Mahomedan religion, but are so
absolutely devoid of moral principle, that they even make a boast and
merit of cheating Christians. Their last chief was publicly whipped
and branded for his frauds and villainies, his goods confiscated, and
he himself banished to Ceylon; since when they have been ashamed
to elect another chief. Their habits are of silk or cotton, the men
wearing a piece of cotton round their heads, and their black hair tied
into a knot behind.

The blacks or negroes at Batavia are mostly Mahomedans, who come
chiefly from Bengal, dressing like the Malays, and living in the same
quarter of the city. Some of them work at different mechanic trades,
and others are a kind of pedlars; but the most considerable of them
trade in stones for buildings, which they bring from the neighbouring

The _Amboinese_ are chiefly employed in building houses of bamboos,
the windows of which are made of split canes, very nicely wrought in
various figures. They are a bold boisterous race, and so turbulent
that they are not permitted to reside in the city, but have their
quarter near the Chinese burying ground. The chief of their own
nation, to whom they pay the utmost submission, has a magnificent
house in their quarter, well furnished after their manner. Their arms
are chiefly large sabres and long bucklers. The men wear a piece of
cotton cloth wrapped round their heads, the ends of which hang down
behind, and adorn this species of turban with a variety of flowers.
Their women wear a close habit, and a cotton mantle over their
shoulders, having their arms bare. Their houses are built of boards,
thatched with leaves, usually two or three stories high, the ground
floor especially being divided into several apartments.

The _Mardykers_ or _Topasses_ are idolaters from various Indian
nations, and follow various trades and professions; and their
merchants, under licences or passports from the company, carry on
considerable commerce among the neighbouring islands. Some of these
people are gardeners, others rear cattle, and others breed fowls. The
men of this mixed tribe generally dress after the Dutch fashion, but
the women wear the habits of other Indians. These people dwell both
in the city and country, their houses being better than those of the
other Indians, built of stone or brick, several stories high, and very
neat. There are also some _Macassers_ at Batavia, so famous for their
little poisoned arrows, which they blow from tubes. This poison is
made of the juice of a certain tree, which grows in Macasser and the
_Bougis_ islands, into which they dip the points of the arrows and
allow them to dry. The wound inflicted by these arrows is absolutely
mortal. The _Bougis_ are natives of three or four islands near
Macasser, and since the conquest of that island have settled at
Batavia. They are very bold and hardy fellows, for which reason they
are employed as soldiers by the company. Their arms are bows and
arrows, with sabres and bucklers. Besides these enumerated nations,
which contribute to form the population of Batavia, there are several
Armenians and some other Asiatics who reside there occasionally for
the sake of trade, and stay no longer than their affairs require, All
the inhabitants around Batavia, and for a track of about forty leagues
along the mountains of the country of Bantam, are immediately subject
to the governor-general, who sends _drossards_ or commissaries among
them, to administer justice, and to collect the public revenues; and
the chief men of the several districts resort at certain times to
Batavia, to give an account of the behaviour of these commissaries.

The city of Batavia, and all the dominions possessed by the company in
the East Indies, are governed by two supreme councils, one of which is
named the Council of the Indies, and the other the Council of Justice,
both of which are fixed at Batavia, the capital of the dominions
belonging to the company. To the first of these belong all matters
of government, and the entire direction of public affairs, and to
the other the administration of justice in all its branches. The
governor-general always presided in the former of these councils,
which is ordinarily composed of eighteen or twenty persons, called
counsellors of the Indies; but it seldom happens that these are all
at Batavia at one time, as they are usually promoted to the seven
governments which are at the disposal of the company. This council
assembles regularly twice a-week, besides as often extraordinarily as
the governor pleases. They deliberate on all affairs concerning the
interest of the company, and superintend the government of the island
of Java and its dependencies: But in affairs of very great importance,
the approbation and consent of the directors of the company in Europe
must be had. From this Council of the Indies, orders and instructions
are sent to all the other governments, which must be implicitly
obeyed. In this council, all letters addressed to the governor or
director-general are read and debated, and answers agreed upon by a
plurality of voices.

The Council of Justice consists of a president, who is generally a
counsellor of the Indies, together with eight counsellors of justice,
a fiscal or attorney-general for affairs of government, another fiscal
for maritime affairs, and a secretary. The first fiscal has a vote
along with the counsellors, and receives a third part of all fines
below an hundred florins, and a sixth part of all above that sum.
The duty of his office is to observe that the laws are obeyed, and to
prefer informations against those who break them. The fiscal of the
sea has jurisdiction over all frauds committed in commerce, in cases
of piracy, or in whatever tends to disturb the settled rules of
maritime affairs. Besides these sovereign tribunals, there is a
council of the city of Batavia, consisting of nine burgomasters or
aldermen, including a president, who is always a member of the Council
of the Indies, and a vice-president. The bailiff of the city, and the
commissary of the adjacent territory, have also seats in this council,
to which likewise there is a secretary.

The governor-general is head of the empire belonging to the company in
India, being as it were stadtholder, captain-general, and admiral of
the Indies. By his office he is president of the supreme council, in
which he has two voices. He has the keys of all the magazines, and
directs every thing belonging to them, without being accountable to
any one. He commands by his own proper authority, and every person is
bound to obey him, so that his authority equals, and even surpasses,
that of several European sovereigns. But he is accountable to, and
removeable by the directors at home. In cases, however, of being
guilty of treason, or any other enormous crime, the Council of Justice
have a right to seize his person and call him to account. In case the
governor-general dies or resigns his office, the Council of the Indies
meets and elects a successor, when they immediately write to the
directors at home, desiring them to confirm and approve their choice.
They also write to the same purpose to the states-general of the
United Provinces, who have reserved to themselves the power of
confirming or excluding a governor-general. It is usual, however, for
the directors and the state to confirm the choice of the council, and
to send him letters patent, conformable to the desire of the council;
yet there have been some instances of the directors rejecting the
governor-general thus elected, and sending out another.

The salary allowed by the company to the governor-general is 800
rix-dollars, with other 500 dollars for his table, and also pay the
salaries of the officers of his household. But these appointments form
a very small portion of his revenue; as the legal emoluments of his
office are so great that he is able to amass an immense fortune in
two or three years, without oppressing the people or burdening his
conscience. Being the head and apparent sovereign of all the countries
belonging to or dependent upon the company, he is allowed a court and
most of the honours usually paid to crowned heads, in compliance with
the customs of the east. When he goes from his palace to his country
seat, he is preceded by the master of his household, at the head
of six gentlemen on horseback. A trumpeter and two halberdeers on
horseback go immediately before the coach. The master of the horse and
six mounted halberdeers ride on the right; and he is followed by
other coaches carrying his friends and retinue. The whole cavalcade is
closed by a troop of forty-eight dragoons, commanded by a captain and
three quarter-masters, and preceded by a trumpeter richly clothed. If
this office be considerable for its honour, power, and emolument,
it is also very fatiguing, as the governor-general is employed from
morning to night in giving audiences, in reading letters, and in
giving orders in the service of the company; so that he seldom can
allow above half an hour for dinner, and even dispatches pressing
affairs while at table. He has also to receive all Indian princes and
ambassadors who come to Batavia, and of these many arrive every year.

The director-general is the next in authority after the
governor-general, and is the second person in the council of the
Indies. This employment requires great care and attention, as he has
the charge of buying and selling all the commodities that enter into
or go out from the Company's warehouses. He gives orders for the kinds
and quantities of all goods sent to Holland or elsewhere, keeps the
keys of all the magazines, and every officer in the service of the
Company makes a report to him daily of every thing committed to their
charge. He has the supreme direction of every thing relative to the
trade and commerce of the Company, both at Batavia and all other
places; and the members of all the factories belonging to the Company
are accountable to him for their conduct.

The third person in the government is the Major-general, who has the
command of all the forces under the governor-general. The number of
regular troops in the service of the Company throughout the Indies may
be about 12,000 men, exclusive of the militia, which amount to about
100,000 more, and are well disciplined, and always called out in time
of danger. The entire military and naval strength of the Company by
land and sea is about 25,000 men, including officers, soldiers,
and sailors. For the support of its commerce, the Company keeps
in constant employment about 180 ships, of from 30 to 60 pieces of
cannon, and in cases of emergency are able at any time to fit out
forty of the largest size.

The ecclesiastical government at Batavia, or consistory, consists of
eleven persons; viz. the five ministers of the two Dutch churches in
the city, and that in the citadel, besides the minister who resides
in the island of _Ourust_, together with the three ministers of the
Portuguese churches, and the two belonging to the Malay church. These
last five are all Dutchmen-born, though they preach in the Portuguese
and Malay languages. As it is deemed necessary that the state should
be informed of all that passes among their clergy, the eleventh person
is nominated by the government, whose especial business is to see
that they do nothing contrary to the laws or to the regulations of the
Company. Besides these, the consistory also consists of eight elders
and twenty deacons. One principal branch of business confided to the
consistory, is to provide ministers for the subordinate governments;
where they are relieved after a certain term of years, and either
return to Batavia or to Holland, to enjoy the fruits of their labours.
Our author relates that one of these ministers went home in the same
ship with him, who had made such good use of his time, that he bought
a _noble fief_ on his return, and became a man of quality. In
the smaller places belonging to the Company, where there are no
established ministers, an itinerant is sent once in three or four
years, to marry, baptize, and dispense the communion; which is
necessary, since the synods do not permit the propagation of any other
except the reformed religion in the territories of the Company.

For a long time the Lutherans have solicited for permission to have a
church in Batavia, but have constantly been refused, though certainly
a just and reasonable demand, especially in a place where Mahomedans
and Pagans are freely tolerated in the exercise of their religion,
and where the Chinese are even permitted to worship the devil.
This ecclesiastical consistory has also dependent upon it all the
schoolmasters, consolators of the sick, and catechists. Of these last
there are many in the service of the Company in their ships; their
duty being to say prayers every day, and to instruct such as embrace
the Christian religion; and as they are mostly natives, and speak
several languages, they are the better able to give instructions, and
to teach the confession of faith to so many different nations. Such
as are converted are baptized and receive the communion; and, for the
better preservation of uniformity in doctrine, an annual visitation of
all the new converts is made by the ministers. In consequence of
these regulations, the reformed religion has made amazing progress,
especially among the blacks, of whom our author says he has seen 150
at a time present themselves to receive baptism. This however is not
rashly granted, as all who receive it must be well instructed, and be
able to make their confession of faith. The Chinese are well known
to be so obstinately addicted to their great Confucius, as not to be
easily induced to embrace any other religion; yet some even of them
from time to time have abjured their idolatry, and embraced the
protestant faith. Yet our author seems to doubt their sincerity,
alleging that the Chinese are seldom sincere in any thing; and he
tells us, that a Chinese, on renouncing idolatry; said he was about to
embrace the religion of the Company.

The country around Batavia is extremely beautiful, and it may be said
that nature and art seem to strive which shall have the greatest share
in adorning it. The air is sweet and mild, the land extremely fertile,
and the face of the country finely diversified with hills and vallies,
all laid out in regular plantations, beautiful canals, and whatever
can contribute to render the country pleasant and agreeable. The
island of Java is about 300 leagues in circumference, divided into
several kingdoms and principalities, all dependent upon the emperor
who resides at _Kattasura_, except the kings of Bantam and Japara,[2]
who do not acknowledge his authority. The country produces in
abundance all the necessaries of life, as also great quantities of
those valuable productions which form its commerce. It is interspersed
by many mountains, rivers, and woods, to all of which nature has
bestowed her treasures with a bountiful hand. There are gold-mines in
some parts of the country, and for some years the government caused
the mountains of _Parang_ to be wrought, in hopes of reaping profit;
but, after expending a million, the marcasites were found not to
be fully ripened.[3] Those who directed this enterprise were much
censured, and the works have been long discontinued. Some are
thoroughly satisfied that the natives find considerable quantities
of gold in several places, which they carefully conceal from the
knowledge of the Dutch. During the last war in Java, which continued
from 1716 to 1721, the inhabitants of some parts of the country were
so often plundered that they were reduced to absolute beggary; yet,
after a year's peace, they were observed to have grown excessively
rich, having plenty of gold, both in dust and ingots.

[Footnote 2: There is some strange error here, which we do not presume
to correct or explain. In the former section, the king of _Japara_ is
said to reside chiefly at _Kattasura_, which in the present instance
is said to be the residence of the emperor. In an after division of
this collection, more ample and distinct accounts will be found of
this rich island, now subject to Britain.--E.]

[Footnote 3: In plain English, the mineral, or ore, was so poor as not
to defray the expence of extracting the metal.--E.]

The mountains of Java are very high, so that many of them can be seen
at the distance of thirty or forty leagues. That which is called the
_Blue Mountain_ is by far the highest, being seen from the greatest
distance at sea. Java is subject to frequent and terrible earthquakes,
which the inhabitants believe are caused by the mountain of Parang,
which is full of sulphur, salt-petre, and bitumen, which take fire by
their intestine commotions, causing a prodigious struggle within the
bowels of the earth, whence proceeds the earthquake; and they assert
that it is common, after an earthquake, to see a vast cloud of smoke
hanging over the top of that mountain. About thirty years before
Roggewein was in Batavia, Mynheer Ribeck, then governor-general, went
with many attendants to the top of this mountain, where he perceived
a large cavity, into which he caused a man to be let down, to examine
the inside. On his return, this man reported that the mountain was
all hollow within, that he heard a most frightful noise of torrents of
water on every side, that he here and there saw flames bursting out,
so that he was afraid of going far, from apprehension of either being
stifled by the noxious vapours, or falling into one of the chasms. The
waters in the neighbourhood of this mountain are unwholesome, and even
those in the neighbourhood of Batavia are impregnated with sulphur,
those who drink much of them being liable to several disorders,
particularly the dysentery. But when boiled, their water is entirely
freed from the sulphur, and does no manner of harm, though drank

The fruits and plants of Java are excellent and numberless. Among
these the cocoa-nut tree is by far the most valuable, as besides
its fruit already described, the bark makes a kind of hemp which is
manufactured into good ropes and cables; the timber serves to build
houses and ships, and the leaves serve to cover the former. It is said
that the father of a family in this country causes a cocoa-nut tree
to be planted at the birth of each of his children, by which each may
always know his own age, as this tree has a circle rising yearly on
its stem, so that its age may be known by counting these circles: and
when any one asks a father the ages of his children, he sends them to
look at his cocoa trees.

There are numerous woods or forests in different parts of the
island, in which are abundance of wild beasts, as buffaloes, tigers,
rhinoceroses, and wild horses. These also abound in serpents, some
of which are of prodigious size. Crocodiles are numerous and large in
this island, being mostly found about the mouths of the rivers; and,
being amphibious animals, delight much in marshes and savannahs. Like
the tortoise, this creature deposits its eggs in the hot sands,
taking no farther care of them, and the sun hatches them in the proper
season, when they immediately betake themselves to the water. A short
time before the arrival of Roggewein at Batavia, a crocodile was
taken in the mouth of the river to the east of the city, upwards of
thirty-three feet long, and proportionally large. They have fowls of
all kinds, and exquisitely good; particularly peacocks, partridges,
pheasants, and wood-pigeons. The Indian bat is a great curiosity,
differing little in form from ours, but its extended wings measure a
full yard, and its body is as large as a rat.

There are great numbers of excellent fish of different sorts to be had
in the adjoining sea, and so plentiful and cheap that as much may be
bought for three-pence as will dine six or seven men. Tortoises or
sea-turtle also are abundant, their flesh resembling veal, and there
are many persons who think it much better. The flat country round
Batavia abounds in all kinds of provisions; and to prevent all danger
of scarcity, vessels belonging to the Company are continually employed
in bringing provisions, spiceries, and all other necessaries, from the
most distant parts of the island, together with indigo, rice, pepper,
cardamoms, coffee, and the like. In the magazines and store-houses,
there are always vast quantities of rich and valuable commodities, not
of Java only, but of all parts of India, ready to be transported to
other parts of the Company's dominions, in the ships which return
annually to Holland.

The homeward-bound ships sail five times every year from Batavia. The
first fleet sails in July, generally consisting of four or five sail,
which touch on their way at the island of Ceylon. The second, of six
or seven vessels, sails in September. The third usually consists
of from sixteen to twenty ships, and leaves Batavia in October. The
fourth, of four or five vessels, sails in January. And the fifth,
being only a single ship, generally sails in March, but not till the
arrival of the fleet from China which brings the tea, of which the
principal part of the cargo of this ship consists, wherefore it is
usually called the _tea-ship_: The common people call it also the
_book-ship_ as it carries home the current account of the whole year,
by which the Company is enabled to judge of the state of its trade
in India. It is to be observed that these ships, laden with the rich
commodities of many countries, all sail from this single port of
Batavia; the ships from Mokha which carry coffee, being the only
vessels in the service of the Dutch East India Company that are
allowed to proceed directly home without going to Batavia.


_Description of Ceylon._

The next best government belonging to the Dutch East India Company,
after Batavia, is that of the island of Ceylon. The governor of this
island is generally a member of the council of the Indies, and has
a council appointed to assist him, framed after the model of that in
Batavia, only that the members are not quite such great men. Though
the governor of Ceylon be dependent upon the Council of the Indies at
Batavia, he is at liberty to write directly to the directors of
the Company in Holland, without asking permission from the
governor-general, or being obliged to give any account of his conduct
in so doing. This singular privilege has had bad effects, having even
tempted some governors of Ceylon to endeavour to withdraw themselves
from their obedience to the Company, in order to become absolute
sovereigns of the island. There have been many examples of this kind,
but it may be sufficient to mention the two last, owing to the
tyranny of two successive governors, Vuist and Versluys, which made a
considerable noise in Europe.

When Mr Rumpf left the government of Ceylon, his immediate successor,
Mr Vuist, began to act the tyrant towards all who were not so
fortunate as to be in his good graces, persecuting both Europeans and
natives. Having from the beginning formed the project of rendering
himself an independent sovereign, he pursued his plan steadily, by
such methods as seemed best calculated to insure success. He thought
it necessary in the first place to rid himself of the richest persons
in the island, and of all having the reputation of wisdom, experience,
and penetration. In order to save appearances, and to play the
villain with an air of justice, he thought it necessary to trump up a
pretended plot, and caused informations to be preferred against such
persons as he intended to ruin, charging them with having entered into
a conspiracy to betray the principal fortresses of the island into the
hands of some foreign power. This scheme secured him in two ways, as
it seemed to manifest his great zeal for the interest of the Company,
and enabled him to convict those he hated of high treason, and to
deprive them at once of life and fortune. To manage this the more
easily, he contrived to change the members of his council, into
which he brought creatures of his own, on whose acquiescence in his
iniquities he could depend upon. The confiscations of the estates and
effects of a number of innocent persons whom he had murdered by these
false judicial proceedings, gave him the means of obliging many, and
gained him numerous dependants.

Vuist was born in India of Dutch parents, and had a strong natural
capacity which had been improved by assiduous application to his
studies. His dark brow, and morose air, shewed the cruelty of his
disposition: Yet he loved and protected the Indians, either from a
natural disposition, or because he deemed them fit instruments to
forward his designs. In order to gain the natives in his interest, he
preferred them to many vacant offices under his government, in direct
opposition to repeated instructions from the Company, to bestow the
principal offices on Dutchmen or other Europeans. After carrying on
his designs with much dexterity, and having acquired by gifts a vast
number of dependants, ready to support his purposes, some of the
faithful servants of the Company sent such clear and distinct
information of his proceedings to Holland, as sufficiently evinced his
real intentions, in spite of all his arts to conceal them. At length
the Company sent out Mr Versluys to supersede him in the government
of Ceylon, with orders to send him prisoner to Batavia. As soon as he
arrived there, abundance of informations were preferred against him,
for a variety of crimes both of a private and public nature, into
all of which the council of justice made strict inquisition, and were
furnished with abundant proofs of his guilt. In the end, he freely
confessed that he had caused nineteen innocent persons to be put to
death, having put them all to the torture, extorting from all of them
confessions of crimes which they had never even dreamt of committing.
He was accordingly sentenced to be broken alive on the wheel, his body
to be quartered, and his quarters burnt to ashes and thrown into the

Such was the deserved end of the traitor and tyrant Vuist; yet
Versluys, who was sent expressly to amend what the other had done
amiss, and to make the people forget the excesses of his predecessor
by a mild and gentle administration, acted perhaps even worse than
Vuist. Versluys was by no means of a cruel disposition, wherefore,
strictly speaking, he shed no blood, yet acted as despotically and
tyrannically as the other, though with more subtilty and under a
fairer appearance. His great point was not the absolute possession of
the country, but to possess himself of all that it contained of value.
For this purpose, immediately on getting possession of the government,
he raised the price of rice, the bread of the country, to so
extravagant a height that the people in a short time were unable
to purchase it, and were soon reduced to beggary and a starving
condition. Their humble representations of the great and general
misery which reigned among all ranks of people throughout the island
made no impression on his avaricious disposition; but all things went
on from bad to worse, till an account of his nefarious conduct was
transmitted to Holland. When informed of the distressed situation of
the inhabitants of Ceylon, the States-general sent out Mr Doembourgh
as governor, with orders to repair all past errors, and to treat the
natives with all possible tenderness and indulgence. On his arrival,
Versluys, after beggaring the whole nation, took it into his head that
they would defend him against his masters, and absolutely refused to
resign the government; and had even the insolency to fire upon
the Company's ships as they lay at anchor in the road of Columbo.
Doembourgh, however, immediately landed, and his authority was readily
recognised by all the Company's servants, and submitted to by the
people. He caused Versluys to be immediately arrested and sent to
Batavia, where a long criminal process was instituted against him, but
which was not concluded when our author left India.

Of all the Asiatic islands, Ceylon is perhaps the fairest and most
fertile. It lies to the S.E. of the peninsula of India on this side of
the Ganges, between the latitudes of 5° 30' and 9° N. and between
the longitudes of 79° 45' and 82° 12' E. so that it extends 70 marine
leagues from N. to S. and 49 leagues from E. to W. It is so fertile
and delicious, that many have believed it to have been the seat of the
terrestrial paradise; and the natives certainly believe this, for they
pretend to shew the tomb of Adam, and the print of his foot on the
mountain named the Peak of Adam,[1] one of the highest mountains
in the world. On another mountain there is a salt-lake, which the
inhabitants affirm was filled by the tears shed by Eve, while she wept
incessantly an hundred years for the death of Abel.

[Footnote 1: This gross absurdity is not worth contesting; but the
fact is, that the real natives, the idolaters of the interior, refer
both the tomb and the footmark to their false god, or lawgiver,

The principal places in Ceylon are Jafnapatam, Trinkamaly, Baracola,
Punta de Galla, Columbo, Negombo, Sitavaca, and Candy. The Dutch East
India Company are possessed of all the coasts of the island, and ten
or twelve leagues within the land, and most of the before-mentioned
towns, except the two last. While the Portuguese had possession, they
built abundance of forts for their security, so that the Dutch found
it a difficult matter to dislodge them; but having contracted a secret
treaty with the king of Candy, the Portuguese were attacked on all
sides, by sea and land, and were driven by degrees out of all their
possessions. Since then, the Dutch have taken much pains to cultivate
a good understanding with that native sovereign, from whom they have
obtained almost every thing they demanded. They send every year an
ambassador to him with various presents; in return for which his
Candian majesty sends to the company a casket of jewels, of such value
that the ship which carries it home is reckoned to be worth half the

Punta de Galle and Columbo are the two principal places in the
island, the latter being the residence of the governor, and the other,
properly speaking, is only the port of that city. Though extremely
hot, the air of Ceylon is reckoned healthy, and the country abounds
with excellent fruits of many kinds. The sea and the rivers afford
plenty of various kinds of fish. There are also on the land great
abundance of fowls, both wild and tame, and many wild animals,
particularly elephants that are larger than any other country in Asia,
also tygers, bears, civet cats, monkeys, and others. _Cinnamon_ is the
production for which this island is peculiarly famous, as that which
is procured here is estimated far superior to any other. The Dutch
East India Company have the entire monopoly not only of this, but of
all the other spices, with which they supply all parts of the world.
Cinnamon is the inner bark of a tree resembling the orange, the
flowers of which very much resemble those of the laurel both in size
and figure. There are three sorts of cinnamon. The finest is taken
from young trees; a coarser sort from the old ones; and the third is
the _wild cinnamon_, or cassia, which grows not only in Ceylon, but
in Malabar and China, and of late years in Brazil. The company also
derives great profit from an essential oil drawn from cinnamon, which
sells at a high price; and it also makes considerable gain by the
precious stones found in this island, being rubies, white and blue
sapphires, topazes, and others.

Off the coast of this island, at Manaar and Tutecorin, there is a fine
pearl fishery, which brings in a large revenue, being let twice a-year
in farm to certain black merchants. The oysters are at the bottom of
the sea, and the fishery is only carried on in fine weather, when the
sea is perfectly calm. The diver has one end of a rope fastened round
his body below the arm-pits, the other end being tied to the boat,
having a large stone tied to his feet, that he may descend the
quicker, and a bag tied round his waist to receive the oysters. As
soon as he gets to the bottom of the sea, he takes up as many oysters
as are within his reach, putting them as fast as possible into the
bag; and in order to ascend, pulls strongly at a cord, different from
that which is round his body, as a signal for those in the boat to
haul him up as fast as they can, while he endeavours so shake loose
the stone at his feet. When the boats are filled with oysters, the
black merchants carry them to different places on the coast, selling
them at so much the hundred; which trade is hazardous for the
purchasers, who sometimes find pearls of great value, and sometimes
none at all, or those only of small value.

The inhabitants of Ceylon are called _Cingolesians_, or Cingalese, who
are mostly very tall, of a very dark complexion, with very large ears,
owing to the numerous large and heavy ornaments they wear in them.
They are men of great courage, and live in a hardy manner, and
are therefore excellent soldiers. They are, for the most part,
Mahomedans,[2] though there are many idolaters among them who worship
cows and calves. The inhabitants of the interior do not greatly
respect the Dutch, whom they term their _coast-keepers_, in derision;
but the Dutch care little about this, endeavouring to keep in good
correspondence with the king of Candy, whose dominions are separated
from theirs by a large rapid river, and by impenetrable forests. The
Ceylonese are remarkable for their great skill in taming elephants,
which they employ as beasts of burden in time of peace, and render
serviceable against their enemies in war.

[Footnote 2: The author has probably confounded the original natives
of Ceylon, who are idolaters, with the Malays, who are Mahomedans, and
of whom a considerable number are settled on the coast country.--E.]


_Some Account of the Governments of Amboina, Banda, Macasser, the
Moluccas, Mallacca, and the Cape of Good Hope._

The third government under the East India Company is that of Amboina,
one of the Molucca islands, which was formerly the seat of the
governor-general till the building of Batavia, when it was transferred
there on account of its advantageous situation, in the centre of the
company's trade and settlements, while Amboina lay too far to the
east. The island of Java also is vastly more fertile than Amboina,
producing all the necessaries of life in abundance, so that it has
no dependence for provisions on any other country, while they had
provisions to search for in all other places, at the time when the
government was established at Amboina. This island is one of the
largest of the Moluccas, being situated in the _Archipelago of St
Lazarus_, in lat. 3 40' S. and long. 128° 30' E. 21° 30' or 430 marine
leagues east from Batavia. It was conquered in 1519 by the Portuguese,
who built a fort there to keep the inhabitants under subjection, and
to facilitate the conquest of all the adjacent islands. This fort was
taken by the Dutch in 1605, but they did not entirely reduce the whole
island of Amboina and the neighbouring islands till 1627, by which
conquest they acquired entire possession of the clove trade, whence
these islands are termed the _gold-mine_ of the company, owing to the
vast profit they draw from them, and it is so far superior to
other gold-mines, that there is no fear of these islands being ever
exhausted of that commodity. A pound weight of cloves or nutmegs, for
the company has the entire monopoly of both, does not in fact cost the
company much more than a half-penny, and every one knows at what rate
the spices are sold in Europe. Amboina is the centre of all this rich
commerce; and to keep it more effectually in the hands of the company,
all the clove-trees in the other islands are grubbed up and destroyed;
and sometimes, when the harvest is very large at Amboina, a part even
of its superfluous produce is burnt.

This valuable spice grows only in Amboina and the other five Molucca
islands, and in the islands of Meao, Cinomo, Cabel, and Marigoran. The
Indians call cloves _calafoor_, while the inhabitants of the Moluccas
call them _chinke_. The clove-tree is much like the laurel, but its
leaves are narrower, resembling those of the almond and willow. Even
the wood and leaves taste almost as strong as the cloves themselves.
These trees bear a great quantity of branches and flowers, and each
flower produces a single clove. The flowers are at first white, then
green, and at last grow red and pretty hard, and are properly the
cloves. While green, their smell is sweet and comfortable, beyond all
other flowers. When ripe, the cloves are of a yellow colour, but
after being gathered and dried, they assume a smoky and black hue. In
gathering, they tie a rope round each bough, and strip off the whole
of its produce by force, which violence injures the tree for the next
year, but it bears more than ever in the following season. Others beat
the trees with long poles, as we do walnut-trees, when the cloves fall
down on cloths spread on the ground to receive them. The trees
bear more fruit than leaves, the fruit hanging from the trees like
cherries. Such cloves as are sold in the Indies are delivered just as
procured from the trees, mixed with their stalks, and with dust and
dirt; but such as are to be transported to Holland are carefully
cleaned and freed from the stalks. If left ungathered on the tree,
they grow large and thick, and are then termed _mother-cloves_, which
the Javanese value more than the others, but the Dutch prefer the
ordinary cloves.

No care is ever taken in propagating or planting clove-trees, as the
cloves which fall to the ground produce them in abundance, and the
rains make them grow so fast that they give fruit in eight years,
continuing to bear for more than an hundred years after. Some are of
opinion that the clove-tree does not thrive close to the sea, nor when
too far removed; but seamen who have been on the island assert that
they are found everywhere, on the mountains, in the vallies, and
quite near the sea. They ripen from the latter end of August to the
beginning of January. Nothing whatever grows below or near these
trees, neither grass, herb, or weed, as their heat draws all the
moisture and nourishment of the soil to themselves. Such is the hot
nature of cloves, that when a sackful of them is laid over a vessel
of water, some of the water is very soon wasted, but the cloves are no
way injured. When a pitcher of water is left in a room in which cloves
are cleaned, all the water is consumed in two days, although even the
cloves have been removed. Cloves are preserved in sugar, forming an
extraordinary good confection. They are also pickled. Many Indian
women chew cloves to give them a sweet breath. A very sweet-smelling
water is distilled from green cloves, which is excellent for
strengthening the eyes, by putting a drop or two into the eyes. Powder
of cloves laid upon the head cures the headache; and used inwardly,
increases urine, helps digestion, and is good against a diarrhoea, and
drank in milk, procures sleep.

A few days after the cloves are gathered, they are collected together
and dried before the fire in bundles, by which operation they lose
their natural beautiful red colour, changing into a deep purple or
black. This is perhaps partly owing to their being sprinkled with
water, which is said to be necessary for preventing worms from getting
into them. Those persons who are sent for this commodity in the
company's ships, practise a fraud of this nature, in order to conceal
their thefts: For, having abstracted a certain quantity or proportion
from the cloves received on board, they place two or three hogsheads
of sea-water among those remaining, which is all sucked up in a few
days by the cloves, which that recover their former weight. By this
contrivance, the captain and merchant or supercargo agreeing
together, find a way to cheat the company out of part of this valuable
commodity. Yet this fraud, though easy and expeditious, is extremely
dangerous as when detected it is invariably punished with death,
and the company never want spies. Owing to this, cloves are commonly
enough called galgen kruid, or gallows-spice, as frequently bringing
men to an ill end.

The king of Amboina has a pension from the company, and a guard of
European soldiers, maintained at its expence. The inhabitants of the
island are of middle stature, and of black complexions, being all
extremely lazy and given to thieving; yet some of them are very
ingenious, and have a singular art of working up the cloves while
green into a variety of curious toys, as small ships or houses,
crowns, and such like, which are annually sent to Europe as presents,
and are much esteemed. Those of the Amboinese who acknowledge the
authority of the king are Mahomedans, but there are many idolaters who
live in the mountains, and maintain their independence, considering
themselves as free men, but the king and the Hollanders reckon them
savages; and as they are guilty of frequent robberies and murders,
they are always reduced to slavery when caught, and are treated with
the utmost rigour, and employed in the hardest labour. On this
account a most excessive hatred subsists between them and the other
inhabitants of the island, with whom they are perpetually at war,
and to whom they hardly ever give quarter. Their arms are bucklers;
swords, and javelins or pikes.

The garrison kept in the fort of Amboina is numerous, and constantly
maintained in excellent order, being composed of the best troops in
the company's service. The fort is so strong, both by nature and
art, as to be reckoned impregnable, and so effectually commands the
harbour, that no vessel can possibly go in or out without being sunk
by its cannon. Although the rich commerce in cloves might make a
sufficient return to the company for the charges of this island, yet
of late years coffee has been ordered to be cultivated here, and
is likely to turn out to advantage. While this island was under
the government of Mr Barnard, it was discovered that considerable
quantities of gold-dust were washed down by the torrents in some parts
of the mountains, and by tracing up the auriferous streams to their
sources, the mine has at last been found. Amboina also produces a red
kind of wood, which is both beautiful and durable, and is naturally
embellished in its grain with abundance of curious figures. Of this
wood they make tables, cabinets, writing-desks, and other beautiful
pieces of furniture, which are sent as presents to the principal
persons in the government, the rest being sold at extravagant prices
all over India.

The fourth government under the company is _Banda_, an island about
fifty leagues from Amboina towards the east, and to the southward
of the Moluccas. The governor, who is generally an eminent merchant,
resides at _Nera_, the capital of the country, and has several other
neighbouring islands under his jurisdiction, in the government of
all which he is assisted by a council, as at Amboina. In some
representations sent home, and published by the company, this island
is set forth as being very expensive to the company, and so thinly
inhabited as to take off very little goods, while it is so barren as
to require large supplies of provisions. All this is pure artifice;
for, though Banda is a very small island in comparison with Amboina,
being only about twelve leagues in circumference, it certainly affords
as great profits, which arise from the important commerce in nutmegs,
which grow here in such prodigious quantities as to enable the Dutch
company to supply all the markets in Europe.

This admirable and much-valued fruit grows in no other part of the
world except Banda and a few other small islands in its neighbourhood,
named Orattan, Guimanasa, Wayer, Pulo-wai, and Pulo-rion. The
nutmeg-tree is much like a peach-tree, but the leaves are shorter and
rounder. The fruit is at first covered by two skins or shells, the
outer one being tough and as thick as one's finger, which falls off
when the fruit ripens. This outer rind when candied has a fine taste
and flavour. When this falls off, the next is a fine smooth skin or
peel, which is the mace, or flower of the nutmeg; and below this is a
harder and blackish shell, much like that of a walnut; and on opening
this shell, the nutmeg is found within, being the kernel. The mace is
at first of a fine scarlet colour; but, when ripe, it falls off the
shell, and is then of an orange colour, as it comes to Europe. They
preserve whole nutmegs in sugar, which make the best sweetmeat in
India. The Bandanese call nutmegs _palla_, and mace _buaa-palla_.
There are two sorts of nutmegs; the one being of a long shape, called
males, and the other round and reddish, called females, which latter
have better taste and flavour than the other. When gathered and the
mace carefully preserved, the shells are removed and the nutmegs
dried, being first thrown among quicklime, as otherwise worms would
breed in and destroy them.

There are several islands in the neighbourhood of Banda in which the
nutmeg-trees grow, but these are carefully destroyed every year, which
at first sight may seem extraordinary, as, if once destroyed, one
would imagine they would never grow again. But they are annually
carried by birds to these islands. Some persons allege that the birds
disgorge them undigested, while others assert that they pass through
in the ordinary manner, still retaining their vegetative power. This
bird resembles a cuckoo, and is called the nutmeg-gardener by the
Dutch, who prohibit their subjects from killing any of them on pain
of death. The nutmeg is a sovereign remedy for strengthening the
brain and memory, for warming the stomach, sweetening the breath,
and promoting urine; it is also good against flatulence, diarrhoea,
head-ach, pain of the stomach, heat of the liver, and amenorrhoea.
Oil of nutmegs is a powerful cordial. Mace is an effectual remedy
for weakness of the stomach, helps digestion, expels bad humours,
and cures flatulence. A plaister of mace and nutmegs in powder,
and diluted with rose-water, greatly strengthens the stomach. Being
peculiar to Banda, merchants from Java, Malucca, China, and all parts
of the Indies, come to Nera and the other towns of Banda to purchase
mace and nutmegs; and immediately on their arrival, they all purchase
wives to keep house for them and dress their victuals during their
stay, which is usually two or three months, and when they go away
again, they give liberty to these temporary wives to go where they

The island of Banda is very hilly, yet fertile, the government
among the natives being a kind of commonwealth, administered by the
Mahomedan priests, who are very strict and severe. The population
of the whole island may be about 12,000 persons of all ages, of whom
about 4000 are fighting men. It is so well fortified as to be deemed
impregnable, yet there is always a numerous squadron of small vessels
on the coast for farther security. The garrison is numerous, but in
a worse condition than those of any other garrison, belonging to the
company, owing to the scarcity of victuals, as the island is of a
barren sandy soil,[1] wherefore the soldiers eat dogs, cats, and
any other animal they can find. For six months of the year they have
tolerable abundance of turtle or sea-tortoises, and after this they
are glad to get a little sorry fish, now and then. Their bread is made
from the juice of a tree, which resembles the grounds of beer when
first drawn, but grows as hard as a stone when dried: Yet, when put
into water, it swells and ferments, and so becomes fit to eat, at
least in this country, where nothing else is to be had.[2] Butter,
rice, dried fish, and other provisions, are all imported from Batavia,
and are much too dear to be purchased by the soldiers, at least in any
great plenty. Thus the inhabitants are none of the happiest; but, to
do them justice, they live fully as well as they deserve, as there is
not an honest man on the island.

[Footnote 1: This is contradictory, having been before described as
hilly, yet fertile.--E.]

[Footnote 2: This account of the matter is not easily understood, and
seems to want confirmation. Perhaps it is an ignorant or perverted
report of sago: Yet there may possibly be some tree or plant affording
a considerable quantity of fecula or starch by expression.--E.]

According to the Dutch, the original natives of this island were so
cruel, perfidious and intractable, that they were forced to root them
out in a great measure for their own security, and to send a Dutch
colony to occupy the island: But such a colony as has not much mended
the matter, being entirely composed of a rascally good-for-nothing
people, who were either content to come, or were sentenced to be sent
here, almost to starve, not being able to live elsewhere. Their misery
at this place does not continue long, as they are usually soon carried
off by the dry gripes or twisting of the guts, which is the endemic,
or peculiar disease of the country. Hence, and because wild young
fellows are sometimes sent here by their relations, the Dutch at
Batavia usually call this _Verbeetering Island_, or the Island of

Macasser, or the island of Celebes, is considered as the fourth best
government after Batavia. This island lies between Borneo and the
Moluccas, 260 leagues or 13° E. from Batavia. It is a singularly
irregular island, consisting in a manner of four long peninsular
processes, two projecting eastwards, and two towards the south,
reaching from lat. 1° 30' N. to 5° 45' S. and from long. 119° to 125°
20', both E. It is called, and with great reason, the key of the spice
islands, and the form of its government is much the same as in the
other islands, consisting of a governor and council. Since the Dutch
conquered these islands from the Portuguese, they have carefully
fortified the sea-coast, and have always a very numerous garrison
in the fort of Macasser, where the governor resides; which is
particularly necessary, as the island is very populous, and the
natives are beyond comparison the bravest and best soldiers in India.
This nation long gave inexpressible trouble to the Dutch, but was at
length, subdued, and stands now in as much awe of the company as any
other nation: But, till very lately, the expences of the troops at
this place were so large, that the company derived very little gain
from the conquest, although the slave-trade here is very profitable.

Before the last Macasser war, which ended in the entire subjugation of
the prince of this country, he was able to procure great quantities
of mace, nutmegs, and cloves, which he sold to the English and other
nations, at much more reasonable rates than they could procure them
from the Dutch. For which reason the Dutch were at great pains and
expence to reduce this island to entire subjection, that it might
become the bulwark of the Moluccas, and secure their monopoly of the
spice-trade: But, for similar reasons, the other European powers ought
to have supported the king of Macasser in his independence. The
island of Celebes is very fertile, and produces abundance of rice, and
articles of great value in the Indies. The inhabitants are of middle
stature, and have yellow complexions, with good features, and are of
brisk and active dispositions: But are naturally thieves, traitors,
and murderers to such a degree, that it is not safe for an European to
venture beyond the walls of the fort after dark, or to travel at any
time far into the country, lest he be robbed and murdered. Yet many of
the natives live under the protection of the Dutch forts, being
free burgesses, who carry on considerable trade. There are also a
considerable number of Chinese residents, who sail from hence in
vessels of their own to all parts of the company's dominions, and who
acquire immense wealth by means of extensive commerce.

The inland country is under the dominion of three different princes,
who, fortunately for the Dutch, are in continual opposition to each
other; for, if united, they might easily drive the Dutch from the
island. One of these princes is styled the _Company's King_, as
he lives in good correspondence with the Dutch, and promotes their
interest as far as he can. On this account the Dutch make him presents
of considerable value from time to time, such as gold chains, golden
coronets set with precious stones, and the like, in order to keep him
steady in his allegiance, and to prevent him from uniting with the
other two princes of the island. Some little time before the arrival
of Roggewein at Batavia, a rich gold-mine was discovered in Celebes,
to which a director and a great number of workmen were sent from
Batavia; but how far this has been attended with success, our author
was unable to say.

_Ternate_ is the fifth government at the disposal of the company, and
the farthest east of all belonging to the Dutch dominions in India, so
that it is a kind of frontier. The governor is always a merchant, and
has a council, like all the others already mentioned. This is one of
the largest of the Molucca islands, and the king of Ternate is the
most valuable of all the allies of the company; as, although his
island would abound in cloves, he causes them to be rooted out
annually, for which the company allows him a pension of eighteen
or twenty thousand rix dollars yearly. He has likewise a numerous
life-guard, with a very strong fort well garrisoned, all at the
expence of the company. The kings of Tidore and Bachian are his
tributaries. Ternate is very fertile, and abounds in all sorts of
provisions, and in every thing that can contribute to the ease and
happiness of life, yet its commerce is of no great importance, hardly
amounting to as much as is necessary to defray the charges of the
government. It was at this time, however, expected to turn out to
better account, as a rich gold-mine had been recently discovered. The
natives are a middle-sized people, strong and active, more faithful
than their neighbours, and better affected towards the Europeans. In
religion they are mostly Mahometans or Pagans; but of late many of
them had become Christians, chiefly occasioned by their king having
declared himself of that religion, a point of great consequence
towards the conversion of the people. The inhabitants of Ternate
make a species of palm wine, called _Seggeweer_, which is excessively
strong. There are here many most beautiful birds, having feathers
of all sorts of colours, charmingly diversified, which are sent to
Batavia, where they are sold at high prices on account of their beauty
and docility, as they may be taught to sing finely, and to imitate the
human voice. Many Birds-of-Paradise are also brought from this island.
There are several sorts of these birds. The most common kind is
yellow, having small bodies, about eight inches long exclusive of the
tail, which is half a yard long, and sometimes more. The second kind
is red, the third blue, and the fourth black. These last are the
most beautiful and most in request, being called the King of the
Birds-of-Paradise. This kind has a crown or tuft of feathers on the
top of its head, which lies flat or is raised up at pleasure. In this
they resemble the _cadocus_ or cockatoo, a bird entirely white, with a
yellow crown on its head.

The sixth government is Malacca, which city is the capital of a
small kingdom of the same name, inhabited by Malayans or Malays. The
governor here is a merchant, and is assisted by a council like all the
others. This kingdom of Malacca is the south part of the peninsula of
India beyond the Ganges, being divided from the island of Sumatra by
a strait, named the strait of Malacca. This city is of considerable
size, and carries on an extensive commerce, for which it is admirably
situated, and is the storehouse or emporium of all that part of India.
It is also the rendezvous of all the homeward-bound ships from Japan,
which make at this place a distribution of their merchandise into
various assortments, which are sent from hence to all the settlements
of the company in India. It is however subject to the great
inconvenience of scarcity of provisions, having nothing of that kind
except various sorts of fish. The princes of the adjacent countries
and their subjects are all notorious pirates, and give much
disturbance to the trade of India; but are particularly inimical to
the Dutch company, and omit no opportunity of doing all the evil
in their power to its subjects. These people suffered formerly some
severe reverses from the Portuguese, who were formerly established
here, and since from their successors the Dutch, which has gradually
reduced their power, so that they are now much less able to carry
on their depredations. The natives of Malacca are of a very dark
complexion, but brisk and active, and greatly addicted to thieving.
Some are idolaters but they are mostly Mahometans.

When the Portuguese were masters of Malacca, they had no less than
three churches and a chapel within the fortress, and one on the
outside. That which is now used for worship by the Dutch stands
conspicuously on the top of a hill, and may be seen for a great
distance up or down the straits. It has a flag-staff on the top of its
steeple, where a flag is always displayed on seeing a ship. The fort
is large and strong. A third part of its walls is washed by the sea:
A deep, narrow, and rapid river covers its western side; and all the
rest is secured by a broad, deep ditch. The governor's house is both
beautiful and convenient, and there are several other good houses,
both in the fort and the town. But, owing to the shallowness of the
sea at this place, ships are obliged to ride above a league off,
which is a great inconvenience, as the fort is of no use to defend the
roads. The straits here are not above four leagues broad, and though
the opposite coast of Sumatra is very low, it may easily be seen in
a clear day: Hence the sea here is always quite smooth, except
in squalls of wind, which are generally accompanied with thunder,
lightning, and rain. These squalls, though violent, seldom last more
than an hour.

The country of Malacca produces nothing for exportation, except a
little tin and elephants teeth; but has several excellent fruits and
roots for the use of its inhabitants, and the refreshment of strangers
who navigate this way. The pine-apples of Malacca are esteemed the
best in the world, as they never offend the stomach; while those of
other places, if eaten in the smallest excess, are apt to occasion
surfeits. The _mangostein_ is a delicious fruit, almost in the shape
of an apple. Its skin is thick and red, and when dried is an excellent
astringent. The kernels, if they may be so called, are like cloves of
garlic, of a most agreeable taste, but very cold. The _rambostan_ is
a fruit about the size of a walnut, with a tough skin beset with
capillaments,[3] and the pulp within is very savoury.

[Footnote 3: This uncommon word is explained by Johnson, as "small
threads or hairs growing in the middle of flowers, adorned with little
knobs."--Here it may be supposed to mean that the fruit is hairy.--E.]

There is a high mountain to the N.E. of Malacca, whence several rivers
descend, that of Malacca being one of them, and all these have small
quantities of gold in their channels. The inland inhabitants, called
_Monacaboes_, are a barbarous and savage people, whose chief delight
is in doing injury to their neighbours. On this account, the peasantry
about Malacca sow no grain, except in inclosures defended by thickset
prickly hedges or deep ditches: For, when the grain is ripe in the
open plains, the Monacaboes never fail to set it on fire. These inland
natives are much whiter than the Malays of the lower country; and the
king of Johor, whose subjects they are or ought to be, has never been
able to civilize them.

When the Dutch finally attempted to conquer Malacca from the
Portuguese, in alliance with the king of Johor, and besieged it both
by sea and land, they found it too strong to be reduced by force, and
thought it would be tedious to reduce it by famine. Hearing that the
Portuguese governor was a sordid, avaricious wretch, much hated by the
garrison, they tampered with him by letters, offering him mountains of
gold to betray his trust, and at length struck a bargain with him for
80,000 dollars, and to convey him to Batavia. Having in consequence of
his treachery got into the fort, where they gave no quarter to any one
found in arms, they dispatched the governor himself, to save payment
of the promised bribe.

The seventh government bestowed by the company is that of the Cape of
Good Hope. The governor here is always one of the counsellors of the
Indies, and has a council to assist him. This colony was taken from
the Portuguese by the Dutch in 1653, and is justly esteemed one of the
most important places in the hands of the company, though the profits
derived from it are not comparable to what they derive from some of
the islands in the East Indies. Formerly things were still worse, as
the revenues of this settlement fell short of its expences. Yet the
company could hardly carry on the trade to India, were it not in
possession of this place, as here only the ships can meet with water
and other refreshments on the outward and homeward-bound voyages; and
these are indispensably necessary, especially for such ships as are
distressed with the scurvy. This place so abounds in all sorts of
provisions, that there never is any scarcity, notwithstanding the vast
yearly demand, and all ships putting in here are supplied at moderate
rates. These refreshments consist of beef, mutton, fowls, fruit,
vegetables, wine, and every thing, in short, that is necessary, either
for recovering the sick on shore, or recruiting the sea-stores for
the continuance of the voyage out or home. In the space of a year, at
least forty outward-bound ships touch here from Holland alone, and
in these there cannot be less than eight or nine thousand people. The
homeward-bound Dutch ships are not less than thirty-six yearly, in
which there are about three thousand persons; not to mention
foreign vessels, which likewise put in here, and have all kinds of
refreshments furnished to them at reasonable rates. There are almost
always some ships in this road, except in the months of May, June, and
July, when the wind usually blows with great violence at N.W. and then
the road is very dangerous.


_Account of the Directories of Coromandel, Surat, Bengal, and Persia._

Having now given a short view of the governments in the disposal of
the Dutch East-India Company, which are a kind of principalities, as
each governor, with the advice and assistance of his council, is a
kind of sovereign, and acts without controul through the whole extent
of his jurisdiction, we are now to consider the other establishments
of the company in India, for carrying on this extensive trade. In all
the countries where their affairs require it, they have factories, in
each of which there is a chief, with some title or other, having also
a council to assist him in regard to matters of policy or trade. Among
these, the directories of Coromandel, Surat, Bengal, and Persia are
all of great importance, and the direction of them is attended with
great profit. The directors have the same power with the governors,
within their respective jurisdictions; only that they cannot execute
any criminal sentences within the countries in which they reside, so
that all criminals are executed on board ship, under the flag of the

The directory of Coromandel is the first of the four, and has all the
forts and factories belonging to the Dutch on that coast under
his jurisdiction. Besides Negapatnam, on the southernmost point of
Coromandel, and the fort of _Gueldria_, in which the director resides,
they have factories at Guenepatnam, Sadraspatnam, Masulipatnam,
Pelicol, Datskorom, Benlispatnam, Nagernauty, and Golconda. The Dutch
director is a principal merchant, and if he discharges his office with
reputation, he is commonly in a few years promoted to be one of
the counsellors of the Indies. It is not uncommon for a governor
or director in the Indies, in the space of a few years, to amass a
fortune equal to the original capital of the company, or six millions
and a half of guilders, or nearly £600,000 sterling.

Formerly, the country of Coromandel was divided into a great number of
principalities, and the little princes and chiefs imposed such heavy
duties, and gave such interruptions to trade in other respects, as
rendered the company very uneasy. But after the war of Golconda, which
cost the company a great deal of money, yet ended to their advantage,
these princes grow more tractable. At present, the kings of Bisnagar
and Hassinga,[1] who are the most powerful in Coromandel, live in
tolerably good terms with the Dutch and other European nations; the
English and Danes having also a share in Coromandel, with several good
fortresses for the protection of their trade.

[Footnote 1: This seems to be a misprint for Narsinga, otherwise the

The great trade carried on here is in cotton goods, as muslins,
chintzes, and the like; in exchange for which the Dutch bring them
spices, Japan copper, steel, gold-dust, sandal and _siampan_ woods.
In this country, the inhabitants are some Pagans, some Mahomedans, and
not a few Christians. The country is very fertile in rice, fruits,
and herbs, and in every thing necessary to the support of man; but
the weather is exceedingly hot during the eastern monsoon. All the
manufactures of this country, purchased by the Dutch, are transported
first to Batavia, whence they are sent home to Holland, and are thence
distributed through all Germany and the north of Europe.

The second and third directories are established at Hoogly on the
Ganges, and at Surat on the western coast of India, both in the
territories of the Great Mogul, and the two most important places
of trade in all Asia. The Dutch, English, French, and other European
natives trade to both, and have erected forts and magazines for their
security and convenience. The best part of the trade is carried on by
black merchants, who deal in all sorts of rich goods; such as opium,
diamonds, rich stuffs, and all kinds of cotton cloths. The empire of
the Great Mogul is of prodigious extent, and the countries under his
dominion are esteemed the richest in the world. The air is tolerably
pure, yet malignant fevers are common, generally attacking strangers
as a kind of seasoning sickness, in which, if the patient escape the
third day, he generally recovers.

Most of the inhabitants of this country are tall black robust men, of
gay and lively dispositions. In point of religion, many of them are
idolaters, more of them Mahometans,[2] and some of them Christians.
The idolaters are split into numerous sects, some of whom believe
firmly in the metempsychosis, or transmigration of souls; for which
reason they will not take away the life of any living creature, not
even daring to kill a fly or a flea. They have even hospitals for
worn-out oxen and old cows, where they are fed and attended till they
die of age or disease. These people are in general very industrious,
but covetous, false, and perfidious. They employ themselves, such as
reside in towns, in the manufactures of silk and cotton; and those
who live in the country are very diligent cultivators, so that they
annually expect from hence vast quantities of grain to Batavia.

[Footnote 2: This is an obvious mistake, as by far the greater part of
the population is idolatrous.--E.]

The Great Mogul is one of the richest and most powerful princes in the
world, having a most magnificent court, and a numerous army always
on foot. The directors at Bengal and Surat know perfectly well how
to deal with him, and, by making shewy presents, procure valuable
diamonds and other precious stones in return. Surat is a town of no
great antiquity, yet very large and immensely rich. It is in compass
about five miles within the walls, and is computed to contain about
200,000 inhabitants. The Moorish and even the Indian merchants
here are many of them prodigiously rich. The former chiefly addict
themselves to the diamond trade, which is very precarious; for
sometimes a small stock produces an immense fortune, while at other
times, a man wastes immense sums without finding stones of any great
value: For, at the diamond-mines, the adventurers purchase so many
yards square at a certain price, employing slaves to dig and lift the
earth, taking whatever stones are found in that spot; which sometimes
are of great value, and sometimes so few and small as not to pay
costs. Other Moorish merchants deal largely in foreign trade, and
as the Mogul is a very easy master, some of them acquire prodigious
wealth, and carry on commerce to such an extent as can scarce be
credited in Europe. About twenty years ago, [that is, about the year
1700,] there died a Moorish merchant at Surat, who used yearly to
fit out twenty sail of ships, from three to eight hundred tons, the
cargoes of each of which were in value from ten to twenty thousand
pounds, and who always retained goods in his warehouses equal in
value to what he sent away. The customs of Surat amount every year to
upwards of L. 160,000 sterling, and, as the merchants pay three per
cent. at a medium, the value of the goods must exceed five millions

The fourth and last factory under a director, is that of Gambroon or
Bendar-abassi on the coast of Persia. The director here is always a
principal merchant, having a council and a fiscal to assist him. As
this city stands on the Persian gulf or sea of Basora, being the only
port of Persia on the Indian sea, and lies at a great distance from
Batavia, this direction is not so much sought after as others; and
besides, the heat at this place is greater than in any part of the
world, and the air is excessively unwholesome. To balance these
inconveniences, the director at Gambroon has an opportunity of making
a vast fortune in a short time, so that in general, in four or five
years, he has no farther occasion to concern himself in commerce.
There are several other European nations settled here besides the
Dutch, but they have by far the best factory, and have fortified it so
effectually, that the inhabitants of the neighbouring mountains, who
are a crew of bold and barbarous robbers, have never been able to gain
possession of it, though they have made frequent attempts. The king
of Persia, who reigned about 1722, came sometimes to Gambroon, and
distinguished the Dutch above the other European nations by many marks
of his favour, and by the grant of many privileges. Some time before
that period, he sent a gold saddle very richly wrought, and adorned
with precious stones, a present to the governor of Batavia, desiring
in return an European habit for himself and another for his queen.

Gambroon is a disagreeable place to live in, as in August it is
unbearably hot; and yet the winter is so cold that they wear English
cloth lined with furs. They have here beeves, sheep, goats, poultry,
and fish, all good of their kinds, and tolerably cheap. They have also
grapes, melons, and mangoes in the utmost perfection, and excellent
wine, which is esteemed superior to that of all other countries,
insomuch that it still preserves its flavour after being diluted with
four times its quantity of water. At the time when our author was in
India, intestine wars raged to such a degree in Persia, that a ship
had to be constantly stationed at Gambroon to bring off the factory,
in case of danger. Another inconvenience to the trade on this
coast proceeded from the multitude of pirates on those seas, mostly
Europeans, who, having run away with the ships of their owners,
subsisted by robbing all nations. Among these at this time was a stout
ship named the Hare, which had been sent from Batavia to Persia: But
the crew mutinied, and forced their officers to turn pirates. After
committing many depredations on this coast, they sailed to the
Red-Sea, where they attacked and plundered many Arabian pirates. At
length, being short of provisions, and not daring to put into any
port, they resolved to return; and finding themselves also in want
of water, they resolved to supply themselves at an island. With this
view, most of them crowded into the pinnace and put off from the ship,
which gave an opportunity to the officers to resume their authority;
wherefore they cut the cable, and brought the ship into the harbour
of Gambroon, by which means the ship and cargo were restored to the

In 1701, the Ballorches, who rebelled against the Shah, attempted
to make themselves masters of the English and Dutch factories at
Gambroon, with a body of four thousand men, but were beat off at both
places; but a warehouse belonging to the Dutch, at some distance from
the factory, fell into their hands, in which were goods to the value
of twenty thousand pounds. A short time afterwards, the famous rebel
_Meriweys_ made himself master of Ispahan, where he plundered both the
English and Dutch factories, taking from the former goods to the value
of half a million, and from the latter to the value of two hundred
thousand pounds.


_Account of the Commanderies of Malabar, Gallo, Java, and Bantam._

In such subordinate places as were not thought of sufficient
consequence to require a governor or director, the Dutch East India
Company has established another principal officer, with the title of
chief or commander. If the person entrusted with this authority be a
merchant, he is accountable for his conduct to the civil government,
but if a captain, to the military establishment. A chief or commander,
in conjunction with his council, has nearly the same authority with
a governor, except that he cannot execute any capital judgment on
criminals, till the case has been reviewed and confirmed by the
council at Batavia.

At the time when our author was in India, the commander at the fort of
Cochin on the Malabar coast, was Captain Julius de Golints, a native
of Mecklenburg, from whom he received great civilities. Malabar was
the first country discovered by the Portuguese in India, and in which
they established themselves, not without great effusion of blood, nor
were they many years in possession till they were driven out by the
Dutch. These conquerors, in their turn, found it very difficult to
support themselves against the natives, who attacked them with great
spirit and success, and had infallibly driven them out of the country,
but for the courage and conduct of Major John Bergman, who preserved
their establishments with much difficulty.

Though very warm, the climate of Malabar is very healthy, and the soil
is fertile in rice, fruit, and all sorts of herbs. It is divided into
many principalities, among which the following are reckoned kingdoms;
Cananore, Calicut, Cranganore, Cochin, Calicoulan, Porcaloulang, and
Travancore. As the capital of the Dutch possessions in Malabar was the
city of Cochin, it may be proper to describe this little kingdom as
at that period. It reaches from _Chitway_ in the north, and extends
twenty-four leagues to the southwards along the coast, being divided
into a multitude of small islands by the streams which descend from
the mountains of _Gatti_, [the Gauts.] These rivers have two great
or principal mouths, one at Cranganore in the north, and the other at
Cochin, in the south, distant thirty marine leagues from each other.
The Portuguese were the first European nation who settled here, where
they built a fine city on the river about three leagues from the sea;
but the sea has since so gained on the land, that it is now not above
an hundred paces from the city. This place is so pleasantly situated,
that the Portuguese had a common saying, "That China was a good place
to get money in, and Cochin a pleasant place to spend it at." The
great number of islands formed by the rivers and canals, make fishing
and fowling very amusing; and the mountains, which are at no great
distance, are well stored with wild game. On the island of _Baypin_
[Vaypen], there stands an old fort called _Pallapore_, for the purpose
of inspecting all boats that pass between Cranganore and Cochin:
And five leagues up the rivulets, there is a Romish church called
_Varapoli_ [Virapell], served by French and Italian priests, and at
which the bishop takes up his residence when he visits this part of
the country. The _padre_, or superior priest at Virapell can raise
four thousand men on occasion, all Christians of the church of Rome;
but there are many more Christians of the church of St Thomas, who do
not communicate with the Romanists.[1] About two leagues farther
up than Virapell, towards the mountains, there is a place called
_Firdalgo_,[2] on the side of a small but deep river, where the
inhabitants of Cochin annually resort in the hot months of April and
May to refresh themselves. The banks and bottom of the river here are
clean sand, and the water is so clear that a small pebble stone may be
seen at the bottom, in three fathoms water.

[Footnote 1: A very interesting account of the remnant of an ancient
Christian church in the Travancore country, a little to the southward
of Cochin, has been lately published by Dr Buchanan, in a work named
Christian Researches in India, which will be noticed more particularly
in an after division of our Collection.--E.]

[Footnote 2: Perhaps Bardello, about the distance mentioned in the

All the water along this low flat coast, to the south of Cranganore,
has the very bad quality of occasioning swelled legs to those who
drink it. This disease sometimes only affects one leg, but sometimes
both, and the swelling is often so great as to measure a yard round at
the ancles. It occasions no pain, but great itching, neither does
the swelled leg feel any heavier than that which occasionally remains
unaffected. To avoid this disease, the Dutch who reside at Cochin,
send boats daily to Virapell, from which they bring water in small
casks of about ten or twelve gallons, to serve the city. This water is
given free to the servants of the Company, but private persons have to
pay six-pence for each cask-full, which is brought to their houses
at that price. Still, however, both Dutch men and women are sometimes
afflicted with this disease, and no means have hitherto been found
out for prevention or cure. The old legend imputes this disease to the
curse laid by St Thomas upon his murderers and their posterity, as
an odious mark to distinguish them: But St Thomas was slain by the
_Tilnigue_[3] priests at Miliapoor in Coromandel, above four hundred
miles from this coast; and the natives there have no touch of this

[Footnote 3: This word ought assuredly to have been Telinga.--E.]

Cochin is washed by the greatest outlet on this coast, and being
near the sea, its situation is strong by nature, but art has not been
wanting to strengthen it. As built by the Portugueze, it was a mile
and a half long by a mile in breadth. The Dutch took it in 1662, when
Heitloff van Chowz was commander of the forces by sea and land. The
insolence of the Portuguese had made several of the neighbouring
princes their enemies, who joined with the Dutch to drive them out of
that country, and the king of Cochin in particular assisted them with
twenty thousand men. Not long after the Dutch had invested the town,
Van Chowz received notice of a peace having been concluded between
Portugal and Holland, but kept the secret to himself and pushed on the
siege. Having made a breach in the weakest part of the fortifications,
he proceeded to a furious assault, which was kept up for eight days
and nights incessantly, relieving the assailants every three hours,
while the Portuguese were kept on continual duty the whole time, and
were quite worn out with fatigue. Finding the city in danger of being
taken by storm, the Portuguese at length capitulated and gave up the
place. There were at this time four hundred topasses in the garrison,
who had done good service to the Portuguese, but were not comprehended
in the capitulation. On discovering this omission, and knowing the
cruel and licentious character of the Dutch soldiery in India, they
drew up close to the gate at which the Portuguese were to march out,
and the Dutch to enter, declaring, unless they had equally favourable
terms granted them with the Portugueze, they would massacre them all,
and set fire to the town. The Dutch general not only granted them all
they asked, but even offered to take those who had a mind into the
Dutch pay, to which many of them assented. The very day after the
surrender, a frigate came from Goa, with the articles of peace, and
the Portuguese loudly complained of having been unfairly dealt with by
Van Chowz; but he answered, that the Portuguese had acted in the same
manner with the Dutch, only a few years before, in the capture of
Pernambuco in Brazil. The English had at that time a factory in
Cochin, but the Dutch ordered them immediately to remove with all
their effects, which they accordingly did to their factory at Paniany.

On gaining possession of Cochin, the Dutch thought it too extensive,
and therefore contracted it to the size it is now, being hardly a
tenth part of what it was before. It measures about 600 paces long,
by 200 in breadth, and is fortified with seven large bastions and
intermediate curtains, all the ramparts being so thick that they are
planted with double rows of trees, to give shade in the hot season.
Some of the streets built by the Portuguese still remain, together
with a church, which is now used for the Dutch worship, the cathedral
being converted into a warehouse. The house of the commandant is the
only one built in the Dutch fashion, which is so near the river that
the water washes some part of its walls. The flag-staff is placed on
the steeple of the old cathedral, on a mast seventy-five feet high,
above which is the staff, other sixty feet in length, so that the flag
may be seen above seven leagues off at sea. The garrison of Cochin
usually consists of three hundred men; and from Cape Comoras upwards,
in all their forts and factories, they have five hundred soldiers,
and an hundred seamen, all Europeans, besides some topasses and the
militia. They procure their store of rice from Barcelore, because the
Malabar rice will not keep above three months out of the husk,
though it will keep twelve with the husk on. This part of the country
produces great quantities of pepper, but it is lighter than that which
grows more to the northwards. The forests in the interior affords good
teak-wood for ship-building, and two woods, called _angelique_ and
_prospect_, which make beautiful chests and cabinets, which are sent
all over the coasts of western India. They have also iron and steel
in plenty, and bees-wax for exportation. The sea and the rivers afford
abundance of excellent fish of various kinds, which are sold very

_Cranganore_, a little to the north of Cochin, stands upon a river
about a league from the sea, and at this place the Dutch have a
fort. This place is remarkable for having formerly been the seat of a
_Jewish government_, and that nation was once so numerous here as to
consist of 40,000 families, though now reduced to 4000. They have a
synagogue about two miles from the city of Cochin, not far from the
palace of the rajah, and in it they carefully preserve their records,
engraven upon plates of copper in the Hebrew language; and when any
of the characters decay, they are cut anew, so that they still possess
their history down from the reign of Nebuchadnezzar to the present
day. About the year 1695, _Mynheer van Reede_ had an abstract of this
history translated from Hebrew into the Dutch language. They assert
themselves to be of the tribe of Manasseh, a part of which was sent
by Nebuchadnezzar to the most easterly province of his large empire,
which is alleged to have reached Cape Comorin. Twenty thousand of them
travelled from Babylon to this place in three years, and were civilly
and hospitably treated by the inhabitants of Malabar, who allowed
them liberty of conscience in religion, and the free exercise of their
reason and industry in the management of their secular affairs. Having
increased in numbers and riches, they at length, by policy or wealth,
became masters of the small kingdom of Cranganore: And a particular
family among them being much esteemed for wisdom and riches, two of
that family were chosen by their elders and senators to govern the
commonwealth, and to reign jointly over them. At length one of the
brothers invited his colleague to a feast, at which he basely killed
him, thinking to reign alone; but a son of the deceased slew the
fratricide, after which the state fell into a democracy, which still
continues among the Jews here. Their lands have, however, reverted for
many years into the hands of the Malabars, and poverty and oppression
have occasioned many of them to apostatise.

Between Cranganore and Cochin there is an island called Baypin,
[Vaypen] four leagues long, but in no part above two miles broad.
The Dutch do not allow any vessels or boats to enter or go out at
Cranganore, obliging all to use the river of Cochin, which is a
quarter of a mile broad, and very deep, but has a bar on which there
is no more than fourteen feet water at spring-tides. The inhabitants
of this country are mostly idolaters, over whom the bramins or
priests exercise great authority, which they much abuse, of which
the following abominable custom is a strong instance. When any man
marries, he is prohibited from bedding with his wife the first night,
which function is performed in his stead by one of the bramins, or, if
none of these be at hand, by some other man. Foreigners used formerly
to be often employed on these occasions, as the Malabars made choice
of them instead of their own countrymen, often making large presents
to the substitutes, sometimes to the value of forty or fifty pounds.
But of late the bramins have become so very religious, that they
never fail to execute this duty themselves. Besides this, the bramins
frequent the company of the women so much, that no one of their
religion can pretend to know his own father with any certainty. For
which reason, by the laws of this country, sons or daughters never
inherit from the husbands of their mothers, but the heritage always
goes, to nephews and nieces, by sisters of the deceased born of the
same mother, as certainly of his blood. This rule is observed also
in the order of succession in their royal families, and is a glaring
proof of the strange effects of boundless superstition.[4]

[Footnote 4: This strange custom has been differently related
formerly, and we believe more accurately, as prevalent only in the
Nayra tribe, in which the women are allowed several husbands at the
same time, and may change them at pleasure.--E.]

The next commandery is _Gallo_, or Point de Galle, on the island of
Ceylon, at the distance of about twenty leagues from Columbo, the
Dutch capital of that island. Gallo was the first place in Ceylon
taken from the Portuguese by the Dutch, and still is a place of
considerable trade. The commander at this place is entirely
dependent upon the governor of Ceylon, and can do nothing without his
approbation. About the year 1672, Lewis XIV. sent out a squadron of
eight frigates, with orders to make themselves master of this place,
this project having been proposed to the court of France by one
Mynheer Jan Martin, who had served the Dutch East India Company for
many years, and had quitted their service on some disgust. When
the royal orders came to be opened at sea, Martin found that the
government was to be vested in another person, in case the place were
taken, on which he took such measures as frustrated the object of the
expedition. Mynheer van Cosse, who then commanded the Dutch fleet,
soon arrived on the coast, and the French retired without venturing
an engagement. They went to _Trankamala_, or _Trinconomalee_, and
anchored in the bay of that name, meaning to force the garrison of
that small fort to surrender: But Van Cosse soon followed them, and
brought them to action while disadvantageously situated in the bay,
and either sank or burnt half of the French fleet. The rest fled to
St Thomas, on the coast of Coromandel, intending to have formed a
settlement there; but Van Cosse again followed them to that place and
seized all their ships, many of their guns having been carried ashore,
as were at this time a great number of their officers and men. The
French who were on shore capitulated with the Dutch to quit India, on
being allowed shipping to carry them home, which Van Cosse agreed to,
giving them his flag-ship, the _Groote Britanye_, and two others, for
that purpose. Martin was detained and carried to Batavia, where he was
confined for life on an allowance of a rix-dollar a-day.

The next commandery is that of Samarang, on the island of Java, and
he who commands here has the direction of all the factories in that
island, except those which depend immediately on the government of
Batavia. _Kuttasura_, which is the residence of the emperor of Java,
is within his jurisdiction. In the year 1704, a war broke out in Java
between the brother and son of the deceased emperor, as competitors
for the succession, which lasted twenty years. The Dutch sided with
the former, but the affections of the natives were with the latter,
who drew over to his party a great number of the native soldiers who
had served under the Dutch, and who, being well disciplined, behaved
gallantly on all occasions, and gave the Dutch much trouble.

At _Bantam_, on the same island, the Dutch have a strong fort with a
numerous garrison, to keep the people in awe, who are very mutinous,
and far from being well affected to the Dutch government. The king,
or rajah of Bantam, has also a fort only a few hundred paces from that
belonging to the Dutch, in which be keeps a numerous garrison for the
security of his person. The only commodity of this part of the country
is pepper, of which they are able to export 10,000 tons yearly. The
king is obliged to supply the company with a certain quantity of
pepper yearly; but in all other respects they treat him kindly enough.
His dominions are extensive and well peopled, and his subjects are
hardy and enterprising, but perfidious and revengeful, and mortally
hate all Christians. The bay of Bantam is safe and pleasant, having
many islands, which still retain the names given them by the English,
who had a fine factory here, from which they were expelled in 1683.
The territory of Bantam is very fertile, abounding in rice, pepper,
fruits, and cattle. In the interior of the country the natives
sometimes find precious stones of great value, of which however the
Dutch rarely get possession, as the people fear they might be
induced to extend their conquests, by which they are already greatly
oppressed. The head of the factory at this place has the title of

Another Dutch chief resides at _Padang_, on that part of the coast of
Sumatra which is called the _gold-coast_. This chief has a council
and fiscal like all the rest, and his post is considered as both
honourable and profitable. Sumatra is a very large fine island,
separated from the continent of Asia by the Straits of Malacca,
and from the island of Java by the Straits of Sunda, and is justly
esteemed one of the richest and noblest islands in all India. The
Dutch have a factory at Palambaugan, about eight leagues from the sea,
on the banks of a very large river, which empties itself into the
sea by four different channels. The great trade of this part of the
country is in pepper, which the Dutch company wish to monopolize, as
they have done cloves, nutmegs, mace, and cinnamon; and are at great
expence in keeping several armed barks cruising at the mouths of this
river, to prevent what they are pleased to call smuggling. It must
be allowed, however, that they have a contract with the king of this
country to take all the pepper in his dominions, at the rate of ten
dollars the bahar of 400 pounds weight, which is a fair price.[5] They
have, however, a clause in the contract, by which half the price is to
be paid in cloth, at such rates as greatly reduce the cost.

[Footnote 5: Exactly five farthings and two-fifths of a farthing the

The interior of the island is very mountainous, but most of the
mountains abound in mines of gold, silver, lead, and other metals. The
company possesses some mines of gold, said to be very rich, and great
care is taken to secure and conceal the profits. Gold-dust is found
in great quantities in all the rivers and rivulets of the country,
especially when the western monsoon reigns, when the torrents roll
down from the mountains with great rapidity. Abundance of copper
is also found here, of which they make very good cannon. There are
likewise found several sorts of precious stones. There is a burning
mountain on the island, which continually throws forth flame and
smoke, like Etna in Sicily; and there is said to be a fountain of
balsam, or petroleum. This island abounds also in spice and silk; but
the air is not very wholesome, especially to strangers, owing to the
great numbers of rivers, standing waters, and thick forests, which
every where abound. It produces no wheat, nor any other of the grains
which grow in Europe; but has plenty of rice, millet, and fruits,
which afford good and sufficient nourishment for the inhabitants. It
produces also, in great abundance, honey, bees-wax, ginger, camphor,
cassia, pepper, and many Other valuable articles. It is of great
extent, being 310 leagues long from N.W. to S.E. and about 50 leagues
across at an average. The greatest sovereign in the island is the king
of _Acheen, Atcheen_, or Achem, who resides in a city of that name
at the N.W. end of the island. It was formerly always governed by a
woman, and it is not above forty years ago since the government fell
into the hands of a man, since which several attempts have been made
to restore the old constitution. Acheen is a free port, to which the
English, Dutch, Portuguese, and Chinese resort, and in short all the
trading nations of Europe and Asia. The goods brought there are rich
brocades, silks of all kinds, muslins of all sorts, raw silk, fish,
butter, oil, and ammunition, for which the payments are mostly made in
gold, the great commodity of the country, and remarkably fine.

During the western monsoon, the rains fall here with prodigious
violence, attended with terrible storms of thunder and lightning, and
frequent earthquakes; but the people, being used to them, are not much
alarmed. The nations are, generally speaking, Mahometans, and are very
expert in making all sorts of plate and ornaments in gold, with very
few tools, yet with such inimitable dexterity, that their workmanship
sells at a high rate all over India. The company sends a great number
of slaves to this island every year to work in their gold-mines; but
the kings in that part of the country are seldom on good terms with
the Dutch, with whom they often quarrel. The principal places where
gold is found are _Trion_ and _Manicabo_, and the way in which they
procure the gold is as follows:--They dig trenches at the bottoms of
the hills, so as to intercept the torrents which roll rapidly down
their sides in the winter months: and having drained off the water
from the ditches in summer, they find considerable quantities of
gold-dust in the mud which remains. It is generally believed that this
island furnishes annually 5000 pounds weight of gold-dust,[6] yet
very little of this quantity is ever brought to Europe, being mostly
employed by the servants of the East India Company in making purchases
of commodities in places where gold bears a high price.

[Footnote 6: Supposing these troy pounds, the value may be estimated
at L. 240,000 sterling.--E.]

The Dutch East India Company has long entertained a project of
building ships at this island, as its timber is so good that ships
built here are expected to last forty or fifty years, whereas those of
Europe seldom last more than twelve or thirteen years. The Dutch have
a strong fort and great factory at _Jambee_, and another at _Siack_,
both in this island. This last place is excessively unwholesome, owing
to the following circumstance, which certainly might be obviated. It
stands on the great river Andragheira, into which, at one season of
the year, there come vast shoals of large shads, a third part of
their bulk being composed of their _roes_, which are accounted a great
delicacy. Wherefore, after taking these out, the rest of the fish is
thrown away, and as these lie in great heaps to corrupt, they exhale
pestilential vapours and infect the air. The persons, therefore, who
are sent to reside at Siack, are much of the same description
with those formerly mentioned as sent to Banda, being of abandoned
characters and desperate fortunes. There is another very considerable
factory on the river Bencalis, which produces a large profit from the
sale of cloth and opium, for which gold-dust is received in payment.
This trade was discovered about forty years ago, that is, about
the year 1680, by a factor, who carried it on privately for his own
emolument for ten years, during which he acquired upwards of a _ton
of gold_ yearly, a Dutch phrase implying L. 10,000 sterling. He then
resolved to secure what he had got by making a disclosure of this
valuable branch of traffic to the company. There are also several
Dutch establishments on what is called the _West-coast_ of Sumatra.

A very powerful and warlike people subsists in this island, known to
Europeans by the name of the _Free-nation_, who are equally averse
from submitting either to the Sumatran sovereigns or Europeans,
and have always defended themselves valiantly against both. All the
natives of Sumatra are much more inclined to the English than the
Dutch, perhaps because they are not under subjection to the former.
But the latter use every precaution they can to prevent the natives
from dealing with any except themselves. For a considerable time past,
the chiefs at Padang have been so unlucky as to have their honesty
much suspected, chiefly owing to their management of the mines, which
do not turn out greatly to the profit of the company, while all their
officers gain immense sums out of them, which the councils at Batavia
are much dissatisfied with, yet cannot prevent. For this reason they
change the chief very frequently, yet to little purpose.


_Some Account of the Residences of Cheribon, Siam, and Mockha._

The chiefs of those factories belonging to the Dutch in India are
termed _Residents_, and correspond directly with the governor-general
at Batavia, and are not dependent on any subordinate governor or
director. The first of these independent residents is fixed at
_Cheribon_, on the coast of Java, at the distance of about forty
leagues from Batavia, where a very advantageous commerce is carried on
by the company in coffee, cardamoms, indigo, and cotton. The land at
this place is as fertile in rice and other provisions as perhaps any
country in the world. This district is of considerable extent, and was
formerly under the dominion of four great lords, who used to be
styled _pangerans_, but have now the titles of sultans, though their
authority is not much extended by these more splendid titles. One of
these is called the company's sultan, because always attached to the
interests of the company, though in truth they might all get the same
appellation, as they are all under the protection of the company, and
freed from apprehensions of the king of Bantam, who used formerly
to be continually at war with them, and must have reduced them under
subjection, but for the assistance of the Dutch. Since then, both from
gratitude for past favours, and in expectation of future protection,
they have granted great privileges to the company in their dominions.
The company maintains a fort at Cheribon, with a garrison of sixty
men, and has an excellent factory.

About half a league from the fort of Cheribon, the tombs of the
princes of Cheribon stand in a vast temple, splendidly built of
various fine kinds of stone, and are said to contain vast riches,
yet are left unguarded, from an idea that they are protected by some
supernatural power; and they tell strange stories of persons having
dropt down dead, on approaching the places where these riches are
hidden, with an intention to steal. Many people believe that the
Javanese priests, who are Mahometans, have the power of causing sudden
death by means of incantations; and that they are able to enchant
crocodiles and serpents, causing the former to go into and out of the
water at command, and the latter to remain in any posture they please.
A great number of priests are maintained about this great temple, many
of whom have made the pilgrimage to Mecca, and are therefore held in
much veneration. These priests are all governed by a sovereign pontiff
or mufti, who is even more respected than the sultans. There was
formerly a considerable English factory at Cheribon, having a small
town belonging to it: But the persons of the factory so provoked the
people, by intriguing with their wives, that they rose one night and
massacred them all. Perhaps this might have been set on foot by their
Dutch neighbours.

Another resident has the direction of the company's affairs in the
kingdom of Siam, where the company carries on a considerable trade in
tin, lead, elephants-teeth, gum-lac, _wool_,[1] and other commodities.
The king of Siam is a prince of considerable power, and his dominions
extend nearly 300 leagues. Being favourable to commerce, all nations
are allowed to trade freely in his country; but ships of no great
burden are forced to anchor at the distance of sixty leagues from his
capital; because the river _Menan_, on which it is situated, is so
rapid that they find great difficulty in getting higher up. This
river, like the Nile and many others, overflows its banks at a certain
season, so that most of the country is under water for half the year,
for which reason all the houses are built on posts. The capital is a
large city, consisting at least of 50,000 houses, with a prodigious
number of temples.[2] The natives are all pagans, and hold this
singular maxim, "That all religions are good, provided they tend to
the honour of God." They think, however, that their own is the best;
though they sometimes own that the God of the Christians is most
powerful, because the head of their principal idol has been twice
beaten to pieces by thunder. This is perhaps the largest idol in the
world, and is called by the Dutch in derision, _The great blockhead of
Lust_. He is represented sitting cross-legged like a tailor; in which
posture he measures seventy feet high, and every one of his fingers
is as large as the body of a man. About three leagues from the capital
there is a temple of vast size, having an idol not quite so large as
the other, which the priests say is his wife; and that once in seven
years, one of these goes to visit the other. The priests also pretend
that both of these idols are of solid gold; but the thunder-clap,
which destroyed the head of the larger idol detected that part of the
cheat, shewing it to be only brick and lime, very artificially gilded
all over. One may justly wonder that this accident did not put an end
to the adoration of so wretched a deity; but where superstition once
prevails the plainest proofs very seldom produce any effect.

[Footnote 1: Perhaps cotton, often termed _cotton-wool_, ought to have
been here substituted.--E.]

[Footnote 2: In Harris the temples are stated at 30,000.--E.]

The country of Siam is very rich and fertile, and there is a
considerable trade carried on here by the Chinese. The Dutch have here
considerable privileges, and are the favoured nation, especially since
the great revolution, when they got into great favour with the new
king, because the English had been entrusted by his predecessor, whom
he murdered, with the best places in the government, both civil and
military. The Dutch have a factory on the side of the river, about a
mile below the city, where they collect great numbers of deer-skins;
which are sent annually to Japan. The Siamese are themselves much
addicted to trade, and the Chinese who reside here still more; so that
they send ships every year to Japan, which, considering the difficulty
of the navigation, is not a little extraordinary. The Siamese boast of
having used the compass above a thousand years before it was known
in Europe: But the Jesuits very justly observe, that the Siamese and
Chinese compasses are very imperfect.

The third resident is fixed at _Mokha_, being always a merchant,
having two factors under him. This country is under the government
of an Arab prince, styled _Imaum_, who resides in the inland country,
about 200 miles east from Mokha. The sea-port of his dominions was
formerly Aden; but as that was found very inconvenient, he removed the
trade to Mokha, then only a fishing village. Mokha is situated close
to the sea, in a large dry sandy plain, which affords neither fruits
nor water, except what is brackish and unwholesome, and those who are
forced to drink it have long worms bred in their legs and feet, which
are very troublesome and dangerous. The town is supplied with very
good and wholesome water from _Musa_, a town at the distance of twenty
miles; but it is so dear, being brought by land carriage; that it
costs as much as small beer does in England. Mokha is large, and makes
a fine appearance from the sea, the buildings being lofty, but they
look much better without than within. The markets are well supplied
with provisions, such as beef, mutton, goats, kid, lamb, and camels
flesh, antelopes, poultry, guinea-fowls, partridges, and pigeons. The
sea affords a variety of fish, but not well tasted, owing probably
to the nature of their food. It is also furnished all the year with
excellent fruits, as grapes, peaches, apricots, and quinces, of which
they make great quantities of marmalade, both for their own use and
exportation. Yet there is neither tree nor shrub to be seen near the
town, except a few date-trees, and they seldom have above two or three
showers of rain in a year, sometimes no rain for two or three years.
Among the mountains, however, about twenty miles inland, seldom a
morning passes without a moderate shower, which makes the vallies very
fertile in such corn and fruits as suit the soil and climate. They
have plenty of wheat and barley, but no rice.

Since Mokha has been made a free port, it has become a place of great
trade. Besides the Dutch factory, it has one belonging to the English
East-India Company. Trade is also carried on here by English free
merchants, by Portuguese, Banians, and Moors; also by vessels
from Basora, Persia, and Muskat. The country itself produces few
commodities, except coffee and some drugs, as myrrh, olibanum or
frankincense from _Cossin_, Soccotrine aloes from Soccotora, liquid
storax, white and yellow arsenic, some gum-arabic, mummy, and balm
of gilead, these two last being brought down the Red Sea. The coffee
trade brings a continual supply of gold and silver from Europe,
particularly Spanish money, German crowns, and other European silver
coins, with chequins and German and Hungarian gold ducats, and
_ebramies_ and _magrabees_ of Turkey. It is a settled point here,
though other goods may be bought and sold on credit for a certain
time, coffee must always be paid for in ready money. The European
shipping that comes here annually rather exceeds 20,000 tons, and that
belonging to other nations may amount to nearly the same tonnage. The
whole province of _Betlefackee_ is planted with coffee-trees, which
are never allowed to grow above four or five yards high. The berries
cling to the branches like so many insects, and are shaken off when
ripe. They are at first green, then red, and lastly of a dark-brown

The Dutch have here a great advantage over all other nations, in
consequence of their monopoly of the spice-trade, as these are
consumed here in great quantities, which consequently enables them to
procure coffee at much easier rates than other nations. Yet this trade
of Mokha is continually falling off, owing to the vast quantities
of coffee produced in their own plantations, especially at Batavia,
Amboina, and the Cape of Good Hope: Even the Dutch, however,
acknowledge that there is no comparison between the coffee raised on
their own plantations and that brought from Mokha.

The _Happy Arabia_ is divided into many small territories, under
independent princes, styled Emirs, who all pay a kind of homage, but
no obedience, to the Grand Signor or Emperor of the Turks. The Red Sea
gets this name from several parts of it being of a red colour, owing
to its bottom in these parts.


_Of the Trade of the Dutch in Borneo and China._

_Borneo_ is the largest island in the East Indies, perhaps the largest
in the world, being 220 marine leagues from N. to S. and 170 leagues
from E. to W. It is divided into many small principalities, of which
the most powerful is the king of _Banjaar Masseen_, and after him the
kings of _Borneo_ and _Sambas_. The air is reckoned very unwholesome
in some places, on account of being low and marshy; and it is only
thinly peopled, though abounding in very rich commodities. On the
first establishment of the Dutch in India, they were very solicitous
to have factories in this island, and accordingly fixed three, at the
cities of Borneo, Sambas, and Succadanea; but they soon found it was
impossible to have any dealings with the natives, who certainly
are the basest, crudest, and most perfidious people in the world;
wherefore they quitted the island, and though several times invited
back, have absolutely refused to return. The commerce of Borneo is
as rich as any in India. At Sambas and Banjaar Masseen they deal in
diamonds, of which there is a mine in the interior country. These
stones generally run from four to twenty-four carats each, though some
are found as high as thirty and even forty carats; but the whole trade
does not exceed 600 carats yearly. They always sell these stones
for gold, though that is a commodity of the island, and there is a
considerable trade in gold-dust at Pahang, Saya, Calantan, Seribas,
Catra, and Melanouba. Bezoar is another principal article of their
trade. Japan wood, fine wax, incense, mastic, and several other rich
gums, are here met with; but the staple commodity is pepper, which
this island produces in as great abundance as any place in India.
A drug is met with in this island, called _piedro de porco_, or
pork-stone, so highly esteemed as to be worth 300 crowns each; as the
Indian physicians pretend that they can infallibly discover whether
their patients are to live or die, by exhibiting to them the water in
which this stone has been steeped.

Before the Portuguese discovered the way by sea to India, the Chinese
possessed the whole trade of this island, and since the Europeans
have declined settling here, it has reverted to them again. The places
where they are settled are Banjaar Masseen, Mampua, Teya, Lando, and
Sambas, where they parry on a great trade, furnishing the inhabitants
with silks, chintz, calico, and all the manufactures of China and
Japan. It has been suggested, that a more valuable trade might be
established in Borneo than in any other part of India, as there come
here every year large fleets of Chinese junks, laden with all the
commodities of that empire, which might be purchased here as cheap, or
cheaper even than in China itself. There come also yearly some small
vessels from the island of Celebes to Borneo, in spite of the utmost
vigilance of the Dutch, which bring considerable quantities of cloves,
nutmegs, and mace, so that the Dutch are unable to sell much of these
spices to the inhabitants: Yet they send ships here frequently to load
with pepper, endeavouring to keep up a good correspondence with the
kings of Borneo and Sambas, for the king of Banjaar Masseen refuses to
have any dealings with them.

Considering the vast sway of the Dutch in India, it is strange that
they should not have any factory in China. They have indeed formerly
sent ambassadors to that country, under pretence of demanding a free
trade, but in reality on purpose to gain a more accurate knowledge of
the nature of trade in China, and in consequence of their discoveries
in that manner, have been induced to decline entering upon any direct
trade to that country. While they were possessed of the island of
Formosa, they carried on a direct trade to China with great profit:
But, since their expulsion from that island in 1661, they have
not been able to make that trade turn out profitable. After the
establishment of the Ostend East-India Company, they tried to send
ships to China, direct from Holland; but even this came to no great
account, the profit having seldom exceeded twenty-five per cent.
which, considering the hazard of so long a voyage, was not considered
a very encouraging return. It has been doubted whether the Dutch were
able to deal with the Chinese, where both nations are upon an equal
footing, as the latter are certainly the cunningest of men: Besides,
the Chinese are less inclined to deal with the Dutch than with any
other Europeans; and, when they do, always hold them to harder terms.
The port charges also in China, and the presents they are obliged to
make, cut deep into their gains.

Besides the foregoing circumstances, as China is at a great distance
from Batavia, and as the officers of the Dutch ships can so easily
consign their effects into the hands of the Portuguese, English,
and other foreign merchants, they have been found to mind their own
affairs much more than those of the Company. But the principal
reason of avoiding the trade to China is, that the Chinese carry on
a prodigious trade with Batavia; and though the voyage exceeds 550
leagues, the Chinese junks make the run in six weeks, sailing from
Canton in the beginning of December, and arriving at Batavia in the
middle of January. The company has in the first place a duty of four
per cent. on all the goods brought by the Chinese, which are gold,
silks of all sorts, tea, anniseed, musk, rhubarb, copper, quicksilver,
vermilion, china ware, &c. For which they receive in exchange lead,
tin, pepper, incense, camphor, cloves, nutmegs, amber, and many
other articles, on all which the Dutch fix their own prices, and
consequently buy much cheaper than other nations can do in China. They
have also found by experience, that a direct trade greatly lessens
this more profitable mode at Batavia. They have also opportunities of
dealing with the Chinese in many other parts of India, where, after
the Chinese merchants have completed their sales to the natives, they
are glad to part with the remainder of their commodities to the Dutch,
at a cheap rate. Thus, the Dutch East-India Company are able to send
home vast quantities of the commodities of China, and purchased on
very advantageous terms, without trading directly to China, either
from Holland or from Batavia.


_Of the Dutch Trade with Japan._

A Dutch chief resides at Japan, who is always a principal merchant,
and is assisted by some writers in the Company's service. The profit
formerly made of this establishment by the Dutch East-India Company,
frequently amounted to 80 and even 100 per cent. but has fallen off
to such a degree, that they rarely make now, 1721, above eight or ten.
This has been chiefly occasioned by the Chinese, who for some time
past have purchased every kind of goods at Canton that are in demand
in Japan, and it is even said that they have contracted with the
Japanese to furnish them with all kinds of merchandize at as low
prices as the Dutch. Another cause of the low profits is, that the
Japanese fix the prices of all the goods they buy, and if their offer
is not accepted, they desire the merchants to take them home again.
This may possibly have been suggested to them by the Chinese, who
used formerly to be treated in the same manner at Batavia. There is no
place in all India where the Dutch have so little authority, or where
their establishments are of so little consequence, as in Japan. They
are allowed a small island to themselves, where they have warehouses
for their goods, and a few ordinary houses for the members of the
factory; but this island is a prison, in which they are completely
shut up as long as they remain in Japan, not being permitted to pass
the bridge that joins this island to the city of Naugasaque. The only
shadow of liberty that is allowed them is, that their chief, with two
or three attendants, goes once a-year as ambassador to the emperor.
One great reason of this is said to have been occasioned by their
using too great familiarities with the Japanese women; but the true
reason is, that the Dutch have more than once given strong indications
of an inclination to establish themselves in the country by force.

A French gentleman, Monsieur Carron, who was for some time at the head
of their factory in Japan, and who, in several journeys to the
court, had ingratiated himself into the favour of the emperor,
by entertaining him with accounts of the state of Europe, got his
permission to build a house for the factory on the little island
allotted to them. He accordly laid the fortifications of great extent,
and continued the work till he had completed a handsome fortification,
in form of a regular tetragon; and as the Japanese were quite ignorant
in the art of fortification, they suffered it to be finished, without
any suspicion of deceit. Carron now desired the council at Batavia
to send him some cannon, packed in casks filled with oakum or cotton,
along with some other casks of the same form filled with spices. This
was done accordingly, but in rolling the casks after landing, one
of them that contained a brass gun burst open, by which accident the
cheat was discovered. This put an entire stop to all trade till the
pleasure of the emperor was known. The emperor, without prohibiting
trade, gave orders that no Dutchman should presume to stir out of the
island on pain of death, and ordered Carron up to Jeddo, to answer for
his fault. The emperor reproached him for abusing his favour; after
which he ordered his beard to be pulled out by the roots, and that
he should be led, dressed in a fool's coat and cap, through all the
streets of the city. He was thus sent back to the factory, with orders
to leave Japan in the first ship that sailed for Batavia.

The island of _Desima_, where the Dutch reside, is divided from the
city of Naugasaki by a small creek of salt water of about forty feet
broad, over which there is a convenient bridge, having a draw-bridge
at one end, of which the Japanese keep possession, and no Dutchman can
pass this without leave from the governor of the city; neither
dare any Japanese converse with the Dutch, except the merchants and
factors, who have a licence for that purpose. For the security of the
factory, the island of Desima is pallisaded all round. It contains
four streets, with large warehouses, and a spacious market-place over
against the bridge, where at stated times the town's people have leave
to trade with the Dutch. So great is the jealousy entertained of the
Dutch, that they are not even allowed to have the command of their own
ships while in Japan: For, as soon as one of them enters the harbour,
the Japanese take entire possession of her, taking out all the arms
and ammunition, which they lay up on shore, and return again in good
order, when the ship is ready to sail. They also exact a complete
account of all the men on board, whom they muster by one of their own

Japan is well peopled, and produces every thing necessary for human
sustenance in great plenty; yet the Dutch pay high for every thing
they need, and have even to purchase wood for fuel by weight. The
mountains are rich in gold, silver, and copper, which last is the best
in the world. Their porcelain is finer than that of China, as also
much thicker and heavier, with finer colours, and sells much dearer
both in India and Europe. The tea of Japan, however, is not near so
good as that of China. Their lackered ware, usually called Japan, is
the best in the world, and some of it will even hold boiling water
without being injured. They have abundance of silks, both raw and
manufactured, much stronger than what is produced in China. Their
houses are mostly built of wood, but the palace of the emperor is
of marble, covered with copper, so remarkably well gilded that it
withstands the weather many years. Jeddo is the metropolis, and its
magnitude may be guessed from this circumstance, that in a great
fire which raged in this city for eight days, about the year 1660, it
consumed 120,000 houses, and 500 temples.

The Japanese are strict observers of moral rules, especially in
commercial matters; insomuch that merchants of reputation put up sums
of gold _cupangs_, always in decimal numbers, in silken bags, sealed
with their seals; and these bags always pass current for the several
sums indicated by the seals, without any one ever examining the
contents of the bags for several generations. These _cupangs_ are
broad oblong pieces of gold, of about twenty shillings value in Japan;
but gold is there so plentiful and cheap, in relation to silver, that
a _cupang_ passes current in Batavia for thirty-two shillings; and,
after being stampt with the lion of the Company, it passes for forty
shillings sterling. The Japanese also are exact observers of justice,
and punish crimes with extreme rigour. To a man of distinction,
when found guilty of a capital crime, the emperor writes a letter,
commanding him to become his own executioner, on an appointed day and
hour, on penalty of being subjected to the most exquisite tortures,
if he survive the appointed time. On receiving this mandate, the
delinquent invites all his friends and near relations to a sumptuous
feast on the set day. When the feast is over, he shows them the letter
from the emperor, and, while they are reading it, he stabs himself
with a dagger below the navel, and cuts open his belly to the breast
bone. The capital punishments inflicted on the inferior people are
hanging, beheading, or being flung over a precipice; and for smaller
faults, whipping and branding are usual.

The government of Japan would be well pleased to encourage trade with
all nations, but for two considerations. The first is, lest their
religion should be insulted, which was frequently the case from
misguided zeal, while there were any Christians among the Japanese.
The other proceeds from their aversion to strange customs, or to any
innovation in the manners of the people, from which they dread the
worst consequences. When the Dutch were first established in this
empire, the then prime minister explained their opinions on this
subject in the following manner: "We are well acquainted with the
advantages resulting from the system of government established among
us, and will on no account run the hazard of any change. We know that
great revolutions are often brought about by imperceptible degrees,
and are therefore resolved to cure the itch of novelty by the rod of
chastisement." Upon this maxim a law is established in Japan, by
which all the subjects of the empire are prohibited from leaving the
country; or, if any do, they must never return. They are so wedded to
their own customs and opinions, and so jealous of the introduction
of any new or foreign customs, that they never send any embassies to
other countries, neither do they allow their merchants to carry on
commerce beyond their own country. A few small junks are sent in
summer to the land of Yedso, a country about fifty leagues from the
northern extremity of Japan; and it is said that they bring much gold
from thence.

There is but one good harbour in Japan, all the rest of the coast
being so guarded by steep rocks or shoals, that they have no reason to
fear being invaded. In point of military discipline and bravery, the
Japanese far exceed the Chinese, and are by no means of so base and
effeminate dispositions as most of the inhabitants of that great
empire. The government also of Japan is perfectly uniform and well
settled, so that there cannot be any diversity of interests; for,
though several of its provinces are denominated kingdoms, yet all
these petty kings are under the strictest subjection to the emperor,
and the laws of the country extend over all. These laws pay the
strictest regard to private property, the father transmitting to his
children not only the patrimonial estate, but all the acquisitions of
his own industry; and this is certainly a powerful prevention of any
desire of change. Though the emperor resides at Jeddo, thirty days
journey from Naugasaki, yet he receives intelligence in the space
of three days, of the number and force of every ship that arrives,
conveyed by a chain of signal-posts, by means of flags and fire

The forms observed in business are wonderfully exact, and the edicts
and orders of the emperor are signified in most expressive and
dignified terms, containing very little of the bombast and swelling
style so common among oriental courts. Yet, amid all their good sense
and quick parts, the religion of the Japanese is the idlest and most
ridiculous paganism that can well be imagined, of which the following
is a sufficient proof. Every family has a tutelary deity or idol,
which is placed at the top of the house, and instructed to keep off
all sickness, misfortunes, or accidents: And when any such happen, the
idol is taken down and whipt, for not doing its duty. _Amida_ is
the name of their favourite god, his residence in heaven is at a
prodigious distance, insomuch that it requires three years journey
of a departed soul to reach paradise, which is only the outskirts or
suburbs of heaven; but when once there, the soul is sure of getting
to heaven, and enjoys a quiet residence in that place, as none of
the fiends dare come there to give annoyance. They have several other
gods, to all of whom they are particularly attached devotees; and each
god has his own particular paradise, none nearer this world than three
years journey. On purpose to gain an easy passage to these paradises,
some of the zealots cut their own throats, and others hang themselves.
Their idols are often carried in procession on horseback, attended
by bands of music; and many feasts and sacrifices are made in their
honour, the idols being fed on the smoke and flavour, while the
votaries regale on the substantial meats.[1]

[Footnote 1: Harris here subjoins a long enquiry into the nature of
the Dutch commerce in Japan, in the form of answers to a number of
queries on the subject: But as we shall have an opportunity, in
a subsequent division of this work, to give much more ample and
satisfactory accounts of these matters, by actual travellers in Japan,
this has been omitted, as tedious and unsatisfactory.--E.]


_Account of the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope._

Nothing remarkable occurred to the author of this voyage, while on the
way from Batavia to the Cape of Good Hope, except seeing the wreck of
the Schonenberg, a ship belonging to the Company, which had been lost
a little before.[2] On coming in sight of the Cape, they discovered
many French, English, and Dutch ships at anchor in the roads, some
outward-bound and some homewards. A little way from the entrance of
the bay is a small island, on which there is always a guard composed
of a serjeant and a small number of men. As soon as the serjeant sees
what number of ships a fleet consists of, he hoists a flag, and fires
so many pieces of cannon as there are ships in sight, to give notice
to the commandant at the Cape. They are here employed in making
train-oil, and in raking oyster-shells to burn into lime. Into this
island, malefactors are generally banished from the Cape, and from
most parts of India. Here, besides the punishment of being separated
from all their friends, they are kept to the hardest labour.

[Footnote 2: This is said to have been on the coast of Africa _at the
height of Angola_, whither they were driven by a storm. But this could
not possibly have been the case _before_ reaching the Cape of Good

Table Bay is very fine and large, of a semi-oval form, entering
several leagues into the land, and may be about nine leagues in
circuit; but the anchorage is not every where equally good, and there
is some danger near the shore. The middle of the bay is commanded by
a very strong fort, being a regular pentagon, and each of its fine
bastions mounts twenty pieces of heavy cannon. This fort and the town
are situated on the edge of a plain about three leagues in extent,
lying at the bottom of three very high mountains. The first of these
is _Lion Mountain_, having some resemblance to a lion couchant. The
second is _Table Mountain_, which is much higher, and has a broad flat
top like a table, being so high that it may be seen twenty leagues out
at sea in clear weather. The third is called the _Devil's Mountain_,
and is not so remarkable as either of the other two. The houses of
Cape Town are very neat and commodious, but are only built two stories
high, on account of the furious winds at S.E. which sometimes blow

About the year 1650, the Dutch East-India Company bought a certain
district of this country from the Hottentots, its aboriginal
inhabitants, and took care to have it immediately planted and well
peopled, for the convenience of their ships, both outward and homeward
bound. All the inhabitants of this colony are Europeans, or descended
from Europeans. Some of the planters are settled at the distance of
three hundred leagues from the Cape; yet all are obliged to appear
once a-year at a place called Stellenbosch, where the _Drossart_ or
magistrate of the country resides. They have here to pass in review,
as all the peasants, as well as the towns-men, are formed into
companies under proper officers. After the review is over, they go
back to their respective plantations, generally carrying home with
them what tools or other European articles they stand in need of.
These people cultivate the ground, raising rye, barley, beans, and
other grains. They also plant vines, which produce excellent grapes,
of which they make very good wine. Some of these peasants are in
very easy circumstances, having, besides large and well-cultivated
plantations, great flocks of sheep and cattle.

Among other colonists, there is one about eight leagues from Cape
Town, at a place called _Drakenstein_, entirely composed of French
refugees, who have a large tract of well cultivated ground, and are
allowed churches and ministers of their own. Part of the inhabitants
of Cape Town are in the service of the Company, and the rest are free
burgesses. They have regular magistrates, who decide causes of small
importance, and regulate any little disputes that happen among them;
but affairs of moment are carried before the governor and council,
who determine finally and without appeal. In the interior country, the
drossart determines in things of small consequence; but all matters of
importance must come before the governor and council, whose sentences,
both in civil and criminal cases, are executed without delay. The
officer who commands here in chief, has the rank and pay of major, yet
does the duty in all respects of a major-general. The officers under
him are captains, lieutenants, and ensigns, who take care to keep
their companies always complete and well disciplined; and in case of
attack, they can draw together five thousand men at least, all well
armed and as good as regular troops: Each peasant knows where he has
to repair to, in order to range himself under his proper standard.

It is not easy to describe the expertness with which these peasants
manage their fire-arms, an exercise in which they are constantly
employed, even from their infancy; and it is almost incredible how
boldly they attack even the fiercest animals. Many among them disdain
to shoot a sleeping lion, because, as they say, it shows neither skill
nor courage: When, therefore, they discover a lion asleep, they throw
stones to waken him, and do not fire till he is on his feet. A little
before the arrival of our author at the Cape, two peasants went out
together to hunt. One of them, seeing a lion, fired at and missed him,
when the lion rushed upon the man, who threw away his gun, to have
more liberty to defend himself. The other peasant, on hearing the
report, hastened to the place, and found his companion and the lion
closely engaged; on which he snatched up the gun, and slew the lion
by a few blows on the head, but broke the gun in pieces. The first
peasant, whose property the gun was, complained loudly of its
demolition, blamed his companion for coming up uncalled for, and even
talked of making him pay for the gun, insisting that he could have
slain the lion himself without aid. It was formerly considered a
wonderful deed for a man to kill a lion; but now it is so common an
occurrence, that they make no more of killing a lion, than we do of
shooting a hare.

The country about Cape Town is full of vineyards and gardens. Two
of these belong to the company, which are perhaps the finest in the
world. One is at the distance of two hundred paces from the fort,
between the town and Table Mountain, being about 1400 paces in length,
by 235 paces broad, and having a fine rivulet from the mountain
running through the middle of it. It is divided into quarters, in
which they cultivate, with the utmost success, the fruits and flowers
of the four quarters of the globe. The other garden is about two
leagues distant from the town, in what is called the _New Country_,
and is likewise kept in excellent order by slaves belonging to the
company, of whom there are seldom less than five hundred. The
country hereabout is mountainous and stony; but the vallies are very
agreeable, and extremely fertile. The climate is perhaps the best
in the world, neither cold nor heat being ever felt here to any
intolerable degree. The people accordingly live to great ages, and
have hardly any diseases except such as proceed from intemperance of
some kind. The mountains, which contribute to the wholesomeness of the
country, are supposed to be rich in gold and other valuable metals.
Some trials have been made; but as yet no mines have been discovered,
or at least none in such situations as would permit their being worked
to advantage.

Mynheer van Steel, who was lately governor of this colony, travelled
over the country, and examined it with much attention. He caused
gardens to be laid out, and pleasure-houses to be built, in several
places; but the peasants who were employed in building these houses
and cultivating these gardens, sent over a representation and
complaint to the company, alleging that these works were prejudicial
to their private affairs, and prevented them from being able to
maintain their families; upon which that governor was immediately
recalled. His discoveries, however, were of great consequence, having
made the interior country known to the Dutch, together with the
nations or tribes by whom it is inhabited. These, so far as yet
discovered, consist of seven different tribes, all comprehended under
the general denomination of _Hottentots_. The first of these, and
least considerable, who live in the neighbourhood of the Cape, have
no chief, and are mostly either in the service of the company, or are
employed as servants by the townsmen, or by the peasants and farmers
in cultivating the lands, or tending their flocks and herds. The
second tribe inhabit the mountains, or, more properly speaking,
dwell in the caverns of the mountains, being thieves and robbers by
profession, and subsist entirely by plundering the other Hottentots,
with whom they are perpetually at war; yet never rob or molest the
Christians. The other tribes are called the _Great_ and _Little
Maqua_, and the _Great_ and _Little Kriqua_[2], and the _Caffres_.
The words _Maqua_ and _Kriqua_ signify king or chief, and these four
tribes are continually engaged in war against each other; but when
any one nation is in danger of being totally ruined, other tribes
immediately take up its cause; and these rude tribes seem to have a
notion of maintaining a kind of balance of power.

[Footnote 2: These tribes are known in geography by the names of
Namaquas and Briquas, the latter being also called Booshuanas. The
second tribe in this account are named Bosjemans by the Dutch.--E.]

Such of the Hottentots as have submitted to the Hollanders are called
the Company's Hottentots. The Dutch send every year fifty or sixty
persons to trade among the Hottentots, who purchase their cattle,
giving them in exchange arrack, tobacco, hemp, and such other things
as they have occasion for; by which means a good understanding is kept
up. These Hottentots of the Company are often attacked by the other
tribes, and, when no longer able to defend themselves, their king
or chief comes down to the Cape, attended by a small escort of his
subjects, to demand assistance. He goes immediately to the governor,
having in his hand the staff of command given him by the Company,
decorated with their arms, and holding it in his hand, demands
assistance. If the governor does not think proper to grant his
request, but endeavours to shift him off with fair words, he throws
down his staff saying, in bad Dutch, _Voor my, niet meer Compagnies
Hottentot_; that is, "For me, I will no more be the Company's
Hottentot." The governor generally sends him home with an escort of
troops, as it is the interest of the company to be on good terms with
these chiefs, who are always ready to do any service required of them.

The Hottentots are a very stupid and brutal people. They rub their
bodies all over with rancid grease, which gives them a very bad smell,
so that you may nose them at a considerable distance. Their children
are all born perfectly white; but being constantly rubbed with grease,
and exposed to the sun, they grow by degrees quite brown, and almost
black. When a woman brings forth twins, one of them is immediately
condemned to death, and is tied to a tree, where it is left to expire.
Some of them have a custom of extirpating one testicle in their male
children, as soon as they are able to bear the operation, in hope of
preventing them afterwards from begetting twins. They seem to have
little or no religion; yet they frequently look with admiration at the
heavenly bodies, saying, "He who governs these is certainly a being of
infinite power and wisdom." In many respects they are more like beasts
than men, being abominably nasty in their persons, and, taking them
altogether, they are certainly one of the meanest nations on the face
of the earth. They are short and thick-set, with flat noses like a
Dutch pug dog, very thick lips, and large mouths, having very white
teeth, but very long and ill set, some of them sticking out of their
mouths like boar's tusks. Their hair is black, and curled like
wool. They are very nimble, and run with incredible speed. They are
generally covered with a sheep's skin, each man having a quiver full
of arrows on his back, and a bow in his hand. Immediately on coming in
sight of an enemy, they set up a dreadful cry, leaping, dancing,
and skipping about, and throwing themselves into the most frightful

The seventh nation is named the _Caffres_, who are certainly the
_Anthropophagi_ who have made so much noise in the world[3]. The
Hottentots are much afraid of them, and take care to keep out of their
way as much as possible, for fear of being roasted or boiled if taken
prisoners. This abominable nation has never entered into any kind
of commerce with the Christians; but, on the contrary, takes all the
pains they can to entrap and murder them, in order, as is generally
believed, to eat them. It is reported that they have grown somewhat
more tractable of late years, and will enter into some sort of trade
with such as venture among them. They are a potent and warlike nation,
strong and well-made; and though black, and having curled hair
like other negroes, they have better faces, and a much more manly

[Footnote 3: A very different account is now given of the Caffres,
or Koussis rather, who are described as a half-civilized race, who
cultivate the ground, and live under regular government.--E.]

At the distance of about eighteen leagues from the Cape, there is
another port called Saldanha Bay, which is, in all respects, an
infinitely better harbour than Table Bay, except in wanting fresh
water, which prevents it from being frequented. The animals of this
country are many. The lion is common here, and in hard winters often
comes very near the habitations of the colonists. He is reputed the
king of beasts, because he never eats a man till he has beaten out his
breath with his paws. Before attacking a man he roars terribly, and
shakes his mane; and if he does not give these signals of rage, there
is no danger in passing him. Tigers and leopards are also very common,
and do a vast deal of mischief; and it is probable these animals would
be much more numerous, were it not for a race of wild dogs, which hunt
in packs, and are so bold that they often weary out and worry a lion.
They often destroy tigers, leopards, and wolves, and it is said that
they will allow a man to take their prey from them when they have
killed it. Travellers are never afraid when they fall in with these
wild dogs, but rather rejoice, because they are sure that no ferocious
animal is in the neighbourhood. There are many elephants in this
country, and of as great size, as any in the world, being often from
twelve to fifteen feet high or better, their teeth weighing from sixty
to an hundred and twenty pounds. The rhinoceros is also often met
with. This animal is rather less than the elephant, but stronger. His
skin is prodigiously thick, and so hard that scarcely any weapon can
pierce it. His snout is like that of a hog, on which grows a solid
horn, ten or twelve inches long, which is much valued, because
esteemed an excellent medicine in convulsions.

There are two animals peculiar to this country, which therefore
deserve notice. One is a species of wild ass, which resembles the
common ass in nothing but the length of its ears. It is as large as
an ordinary horse, and is the most beautiful animal in the world. His
hair is very soft, and from the ridge of the back descends in coloured
streaks to the belly, forming so many circles. It is a brisk and
lively creature, which runs more swiftly than any horse. It is very
difficult to take alive, and when taken cannot be tamed; yet sells
at a prodigious price, and is thought a fit present for a sovereign
prince, from its rarity and exquisite beauty[4]. The other creature,
found in no other country, is called by the Dutch the _Stinkbungsen_,
or Stinking-Badger. This is of the size of an ordinary dog, but is
shaped like a ferret. When pursued by man or beast, it retreats but
slowly, and when its enemy draws near, discharges backwards a so
intolerably fetid wind, that dogs tear up the ground and hide their
noses in it, to avoid the smell. When killed, it stinks so abominably
that there is no approaching the carcass, which is therefore left to
consume where it falls.

[Footnote 4: This is a very imperfect account of the Zebra, which
exactly resembles the ass, except in colour, and is by no means
larger. One died lately in Edinburgh, after being exhibited as a show,
which was as quiet and gentle as any lady's donkey.--E.]

It is impossible to describe all the creatures that are seen in the
vast forests of Africa, as the inhabitants see new animals every year
that are utterly unknown to them. They allege that, in the middle of
summer, when the wild animals are almost raging mad with thirst, they
resort in vast multitudes to the rivers named Salt, Elephants, and
St John's rivers, where the males and females of different species
intermixing, produce strange beasts that seem to be new species. The
Hottentots in the service of the Company frequently carry the skins of
these monsters to the governor; and our author assures us that he
saw one of the following description, that had been killed not long
before. It was about the size of a calf of six months old, and seemed
to have had four eyes. The head resembled that of a lion, but the hair
was quite smooth, and of a dark grey colour. It had tusks like a boar.
The fore-feet resembled those of that creature; but the hind-feet were
like those of a tiger.

The birds of this country are in a manner infinite in numbers and
sorts; and though they have not been observed often to intermingle
species, yet hybrids are sometimes remarked among them. The largest
and strongest birds are to be found in Africa, among which is the
ostrich, the largest of all, being commonly seven feet high. The beak
is short and pointed, but the neck is very long. The feathers of the
male are white and black only, while those of the female are mixed
white, black, and grey. Those of the former are most esteemed, as
their large feathers are better spread, and their down much softer.
This bird is prodigiously swift of foot, and is hunted down by hounds.
Their wings do not serve them to fly, but assist them in running,
especially when they have the wind with them. The common opinion of
their being able to digest iron is totally false. They swallow pieces
of iron indeed, but then it is only to bruise the food in their
gizzards, just as other birds swallow stones for the same purpose.
They are also said to leave their eggs uncovered on the sand, and to
take no care of their young. But those of the Cape country hide their
eggs in the sand, and are so tender of their young, that, though
naturally timorous, if one of them is missing, they become quite
furious, so that it is not safe to go near them. There are abundance
of eagles of all sorts at the Cape, which are very bold, and
frequently do a great deal of mischief. They are not very large, yet
are incredibly strong, so that they often kill and devour cattle when
returning home from work, when they come in great flocks. of fifty or
an hundred at once, single out a beast as it feeds among the flock,
and falling upon it all at once, kill and devour it.

Some years before our author was at the Cape, there was seen on Table
Mountain a bird as large in the body as a horse, having grey and black
plumage. His beak and talons were like those of an eagle, but of a
most dreadful size. He sat and hovered about that mountain for a long
time, and the people were persuaded it was a griffin. It frequently
carried off sheep and calves, and at length began to destroy the cows,
on which orders were given to destroy it, and it was accordingly shot,
its skin stuffed, and sent home as a curiosity to the Company. No such
bird, has been seen since, and the oldest people of the colony do not
remember to have heard of any such before.[5]

[Footnote 5: This was probably a stray Condor, and its size an
ordinary exaggeration, in the passage of the story, like that of _the
three black crows_.--E.]

Africa has been long famous for serpents, and there are such vast
numbers of them in the neighbourhood of the Cape, that many of them
have no names. Most of them are extremely venomous, and the colonists
would suffer much more than they do from them, were it not that they
have a specific remedy for their bites, not known in Europe. This
remedy is the _serpent-stone_, allowed to be factitious, and is
brought from India, where they are made by the bramins who have the
secret of composing them, which they so carefully conceal, that no
Europeans have hitherto been able to discover how they are made. The
serpent-stone is about the size of a bean, white in the middle, but of
a fine sky-blue on the outside. When a person is bitten by a serpent,
this stone is applied to the wound, to which it soon sticks fast of
itself, without the aid of any bandage or plaister. The part bitten
begins immediately to swell and becomes inflamed. The stone also
swells till it becomes full of the venom, and then drops off. It is
then put into warm milk, where it soon purges itself from the venom,
and resumes its natural colour, after which it is again applied to the
wound, where it sticks as before, till a second time full, and so on
till all the venom is extracted and the cure perfected.

All the mountains of this vast country are full of minerals and
crystal, with many things of great value, if they could be got at;
but the natives are so fearful of being made slaves in the mines, that
they take all imaginable pains to conceal them. There is particularly
a mountain, about 500 leagues from the Cape, called _Copper-mountain_,
which is supposed to contain great quantities of metals. Large
quantities of copper have been found here, which is said to contain a
mixture of gold. Some Europeans endeavoured to follow the natives, who
were suspected of going to that mountain to gather gold, but were all
massacred. The Company is so tender of the colonists, and so unwilling
to risk a revolt, that they have even neglected a gold-mine much
nearer the Cape, the marcasites of which gave great hopes of its
containing abundance of gold. Perhaps the Company may have another
reason for acting in this manner, lest, if a gold-mine was discovered
at the Cape, it might tempt the French or English to undertake
something to their prejudice. Under its present management, the Dutch
colony at the Cape is a general advantage to other nations, as well
as to the Dutch. A few years ago a cavern was discovered in a mountain
very near Cape-Town, in which the Hottentots find the venom in which
they dip their poisoned arrows. There have likewise been found about
twenty leagues from the Cape, some hot springs impregnated with steel,
which have been found to cure many diseases, by using as a bath.

Considerable improvements may certainly be made on this colony, for
the advantage both of the inhabitants and the company, which latter
make no great gains by this establishment besides the convenience it
affords in giving refreshments to their ships going to and returning
from India. The Company would be glad of any means that might
increase the value of the settlement, consistent with their maxims of
government, and with that indulgence they find it necessary to shew
the Hottentots, who are perhaps more tenacious of their liberty than
any people on earth, and the most desperate in resenting any attempts
to its prejudice.


_Voyage from the Cape of Good Hope to Holland, with some Account of St
Helena, the Island of Ascension, and the Acores_.

Towards the end of March, 1723, the ship being revictualled, they
sailed from Table-bay with a brisk wind at S.E. the fleet homewards
bound consisting of twenty-three sail, mostly belonging to the Dutch
East India Company. In about three weeks they reached the island of
_St Helena_, which is in the latitude of 16° 15' S. [lat. 16° S. long.
5° 30' W.] This island is about seven leagues in circumference, and
is entirely composed of rocky hills, which may be seen in a clear day
from the distance of forty leagues. It is surprising to see so small
an island in the midst of the ocean, at so great a distance from any
other land, being 550 leagues from the Cape, 500 leagues from Brazil,
and 350 from Augusta, which is the nearest land[1]; yet the sea is all
around so very deep, that there is hardly an anchorage to be found.
This island was first discovered by the Portuguese, on which occasion
one of their large Indian carracks was wrecked, from the remains of
which they built a chapel, long since decayed, but which still gives
name to the finest valley in the island. They planted lemons, oranges,
and pomegranates all over the island, and left here hogs and goats,
together with partridges, pigeons, and peacocks, for the convenience
of ships touching here. At one time a hermit chose to live here,
killing the goats for the sake of their skins, which he sold to
ships that stopped here; but the Portuguese removed him, as they did
afterwards some negro slaves who had settled in the mountains. It is
now possessed by the English, who have so good a fort that it is not
likely any other nation should be able to drive them out. The vallies
are exceedingly beautiful and fertile, and in these the weather is
sometimes exceedingly hot; but as it is always cool on the mountains,
the inhabitants can never be in want of a place of refreshment. It is
admirably watered, having many rivulets running from the tops of the
hills into the sea, the water of these being as clear as crystal. The
island produces abundance of mustard, parsley, sorrel, cresses, and
other herbs, excellent against the scurvy. It has also abundance of
trees fit for fuel, but none that can serve as timber. All sorts of
refreshments are to be had in plenty.

[Footnote 1: Caleo Negro, in lat. 16° 20' S. on the coast of Africa,
is the nearest part of the continent, and is probably what is referred
to in the text under the name of Augusta.--E.]

They sailed from hence for the island of _Ascension_, which lies in
lat 8° N. and long. 14° 20' W. about 200 leagues N.W. from St Helena.
This is much of the same size, but the shore is excessively rocky, and
the whole island absolutely barren, having neither trees nor grass,
and the entire surface seems as it were rent asunder, whence some
have conceived, and not without great show of reason, that it had been
formerly a volcano, or burning mountain. In the middle of the island
there is a high hill, on one side of which water has been found. At
one season of the year, the whole surface of the island is covered
with sea-fowl. What chiefly induces ships to put into the only harbour
of the island, is the great plenty of excellent turtle to be found
here. When these animals come on shore in the night to lay their eggs,
the sailors turn them over on their backs till they have leisure to
carry them on board. These creatures will live above a month without
any kind of sustenance, having only a little salt water sprinkled
over them three or four times a-day. The sailors never weary of eating
them, believing that they make a perfect change of their juices,
freeing them entirely from the scurvy and other diseases of the blood.

As this island is a very miserable place to live in, it is common to
leave malefactors here when they do not incline to put them to death.
This was done not long before our author passed this way, to a Dutch
book-keeper, who was convicted of sodomy; though perhaps this may
be considered as a worse punishment even than death, considering the
miseries that must be endured in the hottest climate of the world, on
a place that does not afford even the slightest shelter. After leaving
this island, they began to approach the line, which they crossed
without feeling any excessive heat, as the sun was then towards the
north, and they had the benefit of pretty fresh gales, which moderated
the heat extremely. They now also began to see the north-star at
night, which they had not done for a year and a half and it is
impossible to express how much the seamen were rejoiced at this

Coming into the latitude of 18° N. we found that part of the sea which
is generally so covered with grass that it looks at a distance like a
meadow. This grass has a yellowish cast, being hollow within, and on
being pressed it yields a clammy viscous juice. In some years none
of this grass appears, while in other years it is found in prodigious
quantities. Some imagine that it comes from the bottom of the sea, as
divers report that the bottom is in many places covered with grass and
flowers. Others conceive that it comes from the coast of Africa: But
our author disapproves both of these opinions, because, if it came
from the bottom, there is no reason why the same appearance should not
be found elsewhere; whereas, if it came from the coast of Africa, it
ought to be found in other situations, especially near that coast. His
opinion, therefore, is, that it comes from the coast of America, and
particularly from the Gulf of Bahama, or Mexico, where it is known
to grow in great abundance, and where, when it comes to maturity, it
breaks off; and is carried away by the currents.[2]

[Footnote 2. In the old Portuguese maps and voyages, this part of
the Atlantic is called _Mar de Sargasso_, or the _Sea of Cresses_;
Sargasso signifying water-cresses, which these weeds which spread over
the sea nearly resemble.--Harris.]

Nothing is more difficult than to account for the motion and course
of currents in the ocean, which, in some places, run for six months
in one direction, and six in another, while in other places they run
always one way. There are instances also where they run one way for
a day or two after full moon, and then run strongly in the opposite
direction till next full moon. Seamen also observe, that in places
where the trade-winds blow, the currents are generally influenced by
them, moving the same way with the winds, but not with equal force
in all places; neither are they so discernible in the wide ocean,
but chiefly about islands, where their effects are more or less felt
according as they are influenced by being more or less in the way
of the trade-winds. It would be of great service to navigation if
sensible men would take notice of these currents, and enquire into the
reason of their appearances. In old books of voyages we find many more
wonders than in those of later date, not because the course of nature
is at all changed, but because nature was not then so well understood.
A thousand things were prodigious a century ago, which are not now at
all strange. Thus the storms at the Cape of Good Hope, which make so
great a figure in the histories of the Portuguese discoveries, are now
known to have been merely the effect of endeavouring to double that
Cape at a wrong season of the year.

In the East and West Indies, the natives are able to foretell
hurricanes and tornadoes, not from any superior skill, but by
observing certain signs which usually precede them. There is often so
little apparent connection between the sign and the event, that men
who value themselves on their wisdom are apt to slight such warnings
as impertinent and absurd. But they had better enquire diligently into
facts, and neither receive nor reject them too hastily. In the present
case, it is a clear matter of fact that the sea, in the latitude of
18° N. between Africa and America, is frequently covered with weeds
to a great extent, and there is good reason for enquiry as to whence
these weeds come. In the first voyage made by the famous Columbus for
the discovery of the new world, he met with this grass or sea-weed
floating on the sea, without which he could not have prevailed on his
sailors to continue the voyage; and it is very remarkable, that, by
pursuing his course through these weeds, he arrived in the Gulf of
Bahama, the place whence our present author supposes this sea-grass to

[Footnote 3: In his first voyage, Columbus kept the parallel of
about 37° N. but was considerably farther south in his subsequent

Continuing their course to the north, they encountered hard gales of
wind, by which they were driven into lat. 37° N. where they fell in
with two islands, which proved to be _Flores_ and _Corres_;[4] and as
their fresh provisions were now nearly spent, they stopped three days
at the larger island to procure refreshments. There are two of the
islands named _Açores_ by the Spaniards, which signifies the _islands
of hawks_. The Dutch call them _Vlanneische eslanders_, or _Flemish
islands_, because Fayal was first peopled by Flemings, and their
descendants remain in the island to this day, and are easily
distinguished from the other inhabitants by their shape and air. They
dwell upon a little river running down a mountain, called _Ribera dos
Flamenas_ by the Portuguese, or river of the Flemings.

[Footnote 4: Flores is in lat. 39° 10', Corvo in 39° 35', both N.]

The nine islands of the Açores, or Wester Islands, are Tercera, San
Michael, Santa Maria, St George, Gratiosa, Pico, Fayal, Corvo, and
Flores. Tercera is the chief island, being fifteen or sixteen leagues
in circumference, and so high and steep in many places that it is
almost impregnable, and they have built forts in such places as are
accessible. The only port is before the capital, named _Angra_, and
as it is in the form of a half-moon, it is called the _Half-Moon of
Angra_. At each horn of this half-moon there is a mountain, which are
called the Brazils, which project out into the sea, appearing from a
distance as if two islands; and these mountains are so high that one
may see at any time ten or twelve leagues off, and fifteen in clear
weather. Angra has a fine cathedral, and is the residence of a bishop,
and of a governor and council, whose authority extends over all the
nine islands. There is another town three leagues from Angra, called
Praya, or the town of the shore, situated on a shore which cannot be
approached by ships, so that it has no trade, and the town seems a
kind of desert, though well built and walled round.

The inhabitants raise sufficient provisions on the island for
all their wants, being pleasant and fertile, and all covered with
corn-fields; and so abounds with flesh, fish, and all sorts of
victuals, that even in times of the greatest scarcity, there is enough
for all the inhabitants. It produces wine also, but very small, and
does not keep well, wherefore the richer people provide themselves
from Madeira and the Canaries. They want oil, salt, lime, and potters
ware, which they have to import from other countries. They have
abundance of peaches, apples, pears, oranges, and lemons, with all
sorts of vegetables and garden stuffs, and among these a plant
called _batatas_, which grows like a vine stock, but the leaves are
different. These produce roots, weighing a pound more or less, and
are so plentiful that they are despised by the rich, though of a sweet
pleasant taste and very nourishing. There is another root in this
country as large as a man's two fists, covered over with filaments of
a golden yellow colour, and as smooth as silk. The inhabitants
stuff beds with this, instead of feathers, but skilful workmen could
certainly manufacture it into fine stuffs.

There are but few birds, except canaries, quails, ordinary poultry,
and turkies, which are numerous. Several parts of this island are very
hilly, and full of thick and almost impervious woods; and travelling
is rendered very difficult, as you often find rocks a league in
length, so rugged and sharp that they cut the shoes at every step;
yet these rocks are so full of vines that they are not to be seen
in summer, being covered over by the vine leaves. These vines spread
their roots among the crannies and crevices of the rocks, which are
so small and devoid of soil, that it is wonderful how they should find
any nourishment; yet if planted in the good soil of the country, the
vines will not grow. The corn and fruits of this island will not keep
above a year; and unless the corn is buried under ground, it spoils in
four months. On this account, every inhabitant has a pit without the
town, the mouth of which is round, just large enough to admit a man,
which is covered by a flat stone and secured by a lock. Some of these
pits are so large as to contain two or three lasts of corn, the last
containing 108 bushels Amsterdam measure, and each bushel weighing
forty pounds or more. They put their corn into these pits in July,
and cover the stone with earth to exclude the air, and take it out at
Christmas, or considerably later, finding it then as good as when put
in. The oxen in Tercera are the largest and finest that can be, equal
to any in Europe, and have prodigiously wide horns. Every one has his
name, like our dogs, and they are so familiar, that when the master
calls one of them by his name, though among a thousand others, he will
presently come to him.

One would think the ground of this island were hollow, as the rocks
sound like vaults when walked on; and indeed the thing is not at all
improbable, as the island is much subject to earthquakes. In many
places of the island of San Michael there are holes and cracks, out of
which there comes a great smoke, and the ground seems as if burnt all
around. This is not uncommon also in all the islands, as they all have
sulphur mountains. There are also fountains of water so hot as to boil
eggs. Three leagues from Angra there is a petrifying spring, which
changes wood into stone; and there was formerly a tree having some of
its roots in that water, which were stony and as hard as flint. This
island produces excellent timber, especially cedar, which is so common
that their carts and waggons are made of it, and it is even used as
fuel. The island of _Pico_, twelve leagues from Tercera, has a sort of
wood called _teixo_, as hard as iron, and of a shining red colour when
wrought. It becomes always better and finer as it grows older; for
which reason no person is allowed to cut any of these trees, unless
for the king's use, and by virtue of a special order from the royal
officers. The chief trade of Tercera consists in _woad_, of which they
have great quantities. The fleets of Spain and Portugal, bound for the
East Indies, Brazil, Cape Verd, Guinea, and other countries, usually
come here for refreshments, to the great profit of this and the other
islands, the inhabitants selling to them their various articles at
good prices.

The island of _San Michael_ is seven or eight leagues S.E. of Tercera,
and is about twenty leagues in length, having several towns and
villages. The capital of this island is _Ponta del Guda_, which drives
a considerable trade in _woad_, sent to Tercera, producing about
200,000 quintals[5] every year. This island also produces such
abundance of corn, that it is transported to the other islands; but it
has no harbours or rivers to give shelter to ships.

[Footnote 5: This is perhaps an error for 2000, as the larger quantity
would amount to 10,000 tons.--E.]

_Santa Maria_, twelve leagues S. of San Michael, is ten or twelve
leagues in circumference, its only trade being in earthen ware, with
which the inhabitants supply the other islands. It also produces
plenty of all manner of provisions for its own inhabitants. The island
of _Gratiosa_, seven or eight leagues N.N.W. of Tercera, is only about
five or six leagues in circumference, but abounds in provisions of all
sorts. _St George_, eight or nine leagues N.W. of Tercera, is
twelve leagues in length by two or three in breadth. This is a wild
mountainous country, producing very little woad. The inhabitants
subsist by cultivating the ground and keeping cattle, and export
considerable quantities of cedar to Tercera. _Fayal_, seven German
leagues S.S.W. of St George, is seventeen or eighteen leagues in
circumference, and is the best of the Açores, after Tercera and San
Michael. This island has plenty of woad, with abundance of fish,
cattle, and other commodities, which are exported to Tercera and the
other islands. Its chief town is called _Villa Dorta_. Most of the
inhabitants of this island are descended from Flemings, but now speak
the Portuguese language; yet they continue to love the Flemings, and
use all strangers kindly.

Three leagues S.E. of Fayal is the island of _Pico_, so called from
a peaked mountain, which some believe to be higher than the Peak of
Teneriffe. The inhabitants cultivate the soil, and have plenty of
cattle and other provisions, growing also better wine than in any
other island of the Açores. This island is about fifteen leagues in
circumference. Seventy leagues W.N.W. from Tercera is the island of
_Flores_, and to the N. of it lies _Corvo_, the former about seven,
and the latter not above two or three leagues in circumference.
They both produce woad, especially Flores, which also abounds in
provisions. The winds at all these islands are so strong, and the air
so piercing, especially at Tercera, that they in a short time spoil
and consume the stones of the houses, and even iron.[6] They have a
kind of stone, however, that is found within high-water mark, which
resists the air better than the other sorts, and of which the fronts
of their houses are generally built.

[Footnote 6: This effect on the iron is obviously occasioned by
the muriatic acid in the sea spray; and were it not that the author
expressly says they have no lime, one would be apt to believe that the
stones so affected were limestone. There are, however, some cilicious
sand-stones, in which the grit, or particles of sand, are cemented
together by a calcareous infiltration, which may be the case in these

Leaving the Açores, and getting into Spanish sea, or mouth of the bay
of Biscay, the weather proved so bad that the _Advice-ship_ lost
her rudder, which obliged her to go through the Channel in order to
purchase a new one on the coast of England. The French, Danish, and
other ships, generally go that way; but the Dutch ships generally go
round Ireland and north about, from an idea, if they should happen
to meet with stormy weather in the channel, so as to be obliged to go
into an English port, that this might occasion several inconveniences.
Such ships, however, as have sustained any damage at sea, are
permitted to take their way through the channel. The rest of the Dutch
fleet followed the north-about course; and after three weeks, during
which they were involved in perpetual mists and fogs, they had sight
at length of the Orkney islands, where some Dutch ships were still
engaged in the herring fishery. In the latitude of 60° N. they met
some ships of war that waited for them, and convoyed them to the
coast of Holland, where all the ships got into their destined ports
in safety. Those on board of which were our author, and the other
prisoners, came into the Texel on the 11th of July, 1723; and arrived
five days afterwards at Amsterdam, the very same day two years after
sailing on their voyage.

The West-Company immediately commenced a law-suit against the
East-India Company, in behalf of themselves and all the persons
engaged in their service in the foregoing voyage, to obtain
satisfaction for the injury and injustice done them at Batavia. After
a long litigation, the States-General decreed, that the East-India
Company should furnish the West-India Company with two new ships,
completely fitted for sea in every respect, better than those which
had been confiscated by their officers in India, and should pay the
full value of their cargoes. Also, that the East-India Company should
pay the wages of the crews of both ships, up to the day of their
landing in Holland: Together with the entire costs of suit; besides
a considerable sum by way of fine, as a punishment for having abused
their authority so egregiously.[7]

[Footnote 7: Harris has given a report of this law-suit at some
length, but it did not seem necessary to give any more than the
result, as quite uninteresting at the present day.--E.]




Though of considerable length, the importance of this narrative
forbids all attempts to alter it in any respect; except that it has
been necessary to leave out the explanations of several engraved
views of coasts and harbours, inserted in the original, but which were
greatly too large for admission, and would have been rendered totally
useless by being reduced to any convenient use for the octavo form
of this collection. Indeed, to have introduced all the engravings of
plans and views, necessary for the illustration of this and many other
voyages and travels, would have been utterly incompatible with the
nature and circumstances of this work; as nothing less than a complete
Atlas and entire Neptune of the whole globe could have sufficed,
attended by an enormous expence, and at the same time inadmissible
into octavo volumes. It has therefore been indispensably requisite,
on all occasions, to confine our illustrations of that kind to a
few reduced charts, merely sufficient to convey general notions of
geographical circumstances, and occasionally sketch plans of harbours,
straits, islands, and capes, explanatory of particular and important
places. Such of our readers, therefore, as require more complete
illustrations of geography, topography, and hydrography, must have
recourse to Atlasses, Neptunes, and coasting pilots.

[Footnote 1: Voyage, &c. by George Anson, Esq. afterwards Lord
Anson; compiled from his papers and materials by Richard Walter, M.A.
chaplain of H.M.S. Centurion in that expedition--_fifteenth edition_,
4to, Lond. 1776.]

This narrative was originally published under the name of Richard
Walter, chaplain to H.M.S. Centurion in the expedition, dedicated by
him to John Duke of Bedford, and said to have been compiled by that
gentleman from papers and materials furnished for the purpose by
Commodore Anson.

As the object of this expedition was of an extensive political nature,
intended to humble the power of Spain, in her most valuable yet most
vulnerable possessions, by injuring and intercepting the great source
of her public treasure, it has been thought proper, on the present
occasion, to give a transcript of the reflections made upon the
policy and expedience of this important voyage, very soon after
its completion, by Dr John Harris, by way of _Introduction_ to his
abridged account of this circumnavigation, in his Collection of
Voyages and Travels, vol. i. p. 337.

       *       *       *       *       *

"It is a thing that has been generally taken for granted, ever since
Spain has been possessed of her American dominions, and has made use
of the riches derived from these to disturb the peace and invade the
liberties of her neighbours, that the best way to reduce her strength,
and to prevent the bad effects of her evil intentions, would be to
attack her in the South Seas. This was pursued with great diligence,
and in some measure with success, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, [as
has been already shewn in the circumnavigatory voyages of Drake
and Candish, almost solely devoted to that object.] In that of her
successor, when a new quarrel broke out with that crown, in the year
1624, the first thing thought of by our patriots, who were equally
willing to humble the king's enemies and to save the money of the
nation, was an expedition to the South Seas, to be carried on at
the expence of, and for the benefit of the people; which scheme was
entitled _The West-India Association_.

"It may be thought I look a great way back when I offer to the view
of the reader the reasons which were then suggested in parliament in
support of that scheme. But whoever considers that it is not only the
most effectual, but the safest method, to instruct the present age
from the sentiments of the last, will readily enter into the reasons
which induce me, upon this occasion, to produce the speech of an
eminent patriot, in which the nature and scope of that _Association_,
as well as the motives on which it is grounded, are very fully and
pathetically set forth; and this in such terms, as, if the reader were
not told that this was a speech to Sir Dudley Diggs, then chairman
of a committee of the whole house, by Sir Benjamin Rudyard, he might
mistake it for a speech made only a few years since, so agreeable is
it, in language and sentiments, even to our present occasions.

"Sir,--I do profess that as my affections, my reason, and my judgement
go strongly with the scope and drift of this proposition, so shall
good part of my fortune when it comes to execution. For, to my
understanding, there was never propounded in parliament a design more
proper for this kingdom, nor more pregnant with advantages to it,
whether we consider the nature of our situation or the quality of our
enemy's forces. As we are an island, it concerns our very being to
have store of ships to defend us, and also our well-being by their
trade to enrich us. This Association for the West Indies, when it
shall be regulated and established by act of parliament, and thereby
secured from the violence and injury of any intruding hand, will
certainly give many men encouragement and confidence voluntarily
to bring in large and liberal contributions towards so noble and so
profitable an enterprize; so that, in short, we shall see many new
ships built, many brave men employed, and enabled to act for the
service of their country. None of this money shall be carried out of
the kingdom, but laid out in shipping, which is the defence of it, and
bestowed upon our own men, who must be fed and maintained though they
stay at home. For this, we shall reap the fruit of whatsoever benefit
plantation, traffic, or purchase can procure us, besides honour and

"Now, let us a little consider the enemy we have to encounter, the
king of Spain. They are not his great territories which make him so
powerful and so troublesome to all Christendom. For it is very well
known that Spain itself is but weak in men, and barren of natural
commodities, and as for his other territories, they lie divided and
asunder, which is a weakness in itself. Besides, they are held
by force, and maintained at an extraordinary charge; insomuch, as
although he be a great king, yet he is like that giant who was said
to have an hundred hands, but had fifty bellies to feed, so that,
rateably, he had no more hands than another man. No, sir, they are
his mines in the West Indies which minister fuel to feed his ambitious
desire of universal monarchy. It is the money he hath from thence
which makes him able to levy and pay soldiers in all places, and to
keep an army on foot ready to invade and endanger his neighbours, so
that we have no other way but to endeavour to cut him off at the root,
and seek to impeach or to supplant him in the West Indies; by part
of which course that famous queen, of glorious memory, had heretofore
almost brought him to his knees. And this our undertaking, if it
pleases God to bless it, most needs affect it sooner and quicker, the
whole body of the kingdom being united, and concurring in a perpetual
supply to this action, so that he shall have no free time given him to

"Moreover, this will be a means not only to save, but to fill his
majesty's coffers, enabling the people to give him liberally and
often. The king's ships will have little to do but to guard the
coasts; for the sea-war will be chiefly made at the charge of the
subjects. This I doubt not but that, in a short time, both king and
people shall be safe at home, and feared abroad. To conclude, I shall
be very glad to hear any man make objection against this design, so
that he do so with an intention to refine and perfect the work; but
if any shall speak against it with a mind to hinder and destroy it, I
must entreat him to pardon me, if I do scarce think him to be a good

"That project of the West India Association had the same fate with
most other bold and honest projects in that reign, which was, after
being talked of a little, it sunk into oblivion. Our next difference
with Spain was under the protectorate of Cromwell, who encouraged
Father Gage to publish his account of the Spanish West Indies, which
formed the foundation of his attempt upon Hispaniola, and conquest of
Jamaica; but I do not know of any design formed by him to attack the
Spaniards in the South Seas. After the Restoration we were upon good
terms with Spain, as certainly was our interest. Yet Charles II. did
not absolutely neglect this navigation, but sent Sir John Marborough,
one of the best seamen this nation ever bred, in the Sweepstakes, in
the latter end of the year 1669, by way of the Straits of Magellan,
into the South Seas. To say the truth, our privateers, under the
command of Captains Sharpe, Davis, Swan, &c. were continually in these
seas, during all that reign and the next; so that, in those days, our
seamen were no strangers to any of the passages into the South Seas;
and, as the reader may have already observed, from the voyage of
Captain Cowley, it was then no unusual thing for the traders of London
to fit out ships for these parts, but whether with a view to traffic
or privateering, is a point not easy to determine at this distance of
time. But whatever the purpose they were sent upon, thither they went,
and no complaints were ever heard of with respect to extraordinary
hardships in the voyage, which is sufficient to shew how much
depends upon keeping all branches of navigation open, in order to
be constantly in a condition to secure and extend our trade, and to
preserve our reputation as a maritime power.

"After the Revolution, several proposals were made in relation to the
establishment of a commerce in the South Sea, which were received with
approbation; and it is certain that king William gave instructions to
Admiral Benbow, when he went out last to the West Indies, to enquire
how far any of these projects were feasible. After the breaking out of
the last general war, all the world expected that the first thing the
maritime powers would have done, would have been sending a squadron
to these seas, either for the service of the prince whom they owned as
king of Spain, or for their own advantage. The people of this nation,
in particular, were so desirous of seeing the war carried on this way,
and on this side, that, to give them hopes, and to shew, at the same
time, that the legislature approved their sentiments, a bill was
brought in and passed, in the House of Lords, for the better carrying
on the war in the West Indies, which was lost, however, by a kind
of ministerial craft, in the House of Commons; and soon after, for
reasons which have never yet been explained to the public, all designs
of this nature were laid aside. The only expedition of this nature,
during the whole war, was that of the Duke and Duchess, under the
command of Captain Woods Rogers, already related, which was fitted out
at the expence of some private merchants of Bristol. On the change of
ministry, a prodigious clamour was raised on this head, and all of a
sudden a resolution was taken to secure all the advantages that could
be wished for to this nation from the trade of the South Seas, which
ended, however, only in erecting a company under that title.
The nation very soon became sensible that this would not do, and
therefore, as soon as our disputes with the king of Spain came to
a height, in the reign of the late king, George I. a design was
immediately set on foot for sending privateers once more into that
part of the world, which ended in the expedition of Captain Shelvocke
and Captain Clipperton, already related at large.

"By this short deduction of facts, I think it is demonstrably proved,
that, in the judgement of this nation, the most probable way of
humbling Spain, in case of a war, is to send a squadron into the South
Seas, and I will venture to say, that there is one reason why this
is now become more expedient than ever, which is, that we are now no
longer at liberty to send ships thither in time of peace, as we were
before the South Sea Company was erected. It is not therefore at all
strange, that as soon as the present war broke out with Spain, the
general voice of the nation dictated such an expedition, or that, when
they saw it resolved on, and a squadron actually equipped for that
service, they very loudly testified their approbation of the scheme.
I believe also, my readers will readily give credit to the assertion,
when I affirm, that, during the time this squadron lay at Portsmouth,
there was a more general expectation of its performing things of the
highest consequence for the service of Great Britain, and reducing the
enemy to reason.

"It was in the midst of summer, in the year 1740, that this squadron
was formed at Portsmouth, at the same time that a great embarkation
was preparing for the West Indies, by which the siege of Carthagena
was afterwards undertaken, which turned the eyes of the whole world
upon that sea-port. At London, every person spoke of the intended
expedition to the South Seas as a design that must necessarily be
attended with highly advantageous consequences, if properly conducted;
and of this there was not made the least doubt, when it was known that
Captain Anson was named to the command, because he had shewn himself
upon all occasions equally vigilant in his duty, and moderate in the
exercise of power, more ready to correct by his own example than by
any other sort of reproof, and who, in the course of his services,
had acquired the respect of the officers, and the love of the sailors;
qualities that rarely meet in one person, and qualities which, without
the least contradiction, were ascribed to him.[2]

[Footnote 2: The sequel of these observations, by Harris, are
extracted from his supplementary reflections at the close of the
expedition, vol. 1, p. 364, _et sequ._ In these, however, we have used
much retrenchment, as the observations that may have been exceedingly
applicable in 1745, when Spain was in a great manner identified with
France, have now lost much of their force, in consequence of the
passing events, well known to all, but which do not admit of being
discussed in a note.--E.]

"Though this expedition was not attended by so great success in the
South Seas as was expected, yet the nation in general was far from
believing that its comparative failure ought to deter us from
the thoughts of such expeditions for the future, since it plainly
appeared, that, if the whole squadron had got round along with
the commodore into the South Seas, he would have been able to have
performed much greater things than any of our commanders had hitherto
done in these parts. Neither is it at all clear that the Spaniards
are there in a better condition, their coasts better fortified,
their garrisons more numerous, or the country in any respect better
provided, than when our privateers had formerly so great success
in those parts. The sacking of Payta in this expedition proves the
contrary, since it was then actually in a worse condition, and less
capable of making any resistance, than when formerly taken by Captain
Shelvocke. If this expedition had never taken place, we might have
been told that it was impracticable, that the Spaniards were grown
wiser, that all their ports were well fortified, and any attempt of
this kind would be only to sacrifice the lives of such as might be
employed in the expedition. But we now know the contrary, and that the
Spaniards remained as unguarded, and as little apprehensive as ever;
perhaps even the fate of this expedition may have made them less
so, insomuch, that were a new project of the same kind to be put in
execution, either at public or private expence, there seems next to a
moral certainty that it would succeed. Another expedition might,
and probably would be attended by fewer difficulties; at least, it
certainly might be undertaken at much less expence; and, besides
all the advantages resulting to such private persons as became
proprietors, this inestimable advantage would accrue to the public,
that we should once more have a number of able marines, well
acquainted with the navigation of the South Seas, which we never can
have by any other means.

"I would not be understood at all to lessen the miseries and
distresses of these who were employed in this voyage; and all I would
endeavour to aim at is to convince the reader that the difficulties
and discouragements met with in this voyage are not sufficient to
ground a decisive opinion by the few in opposition to the sentiments
of the many, that all attempts on this side ought to be abandoned. And
I really think that the setting the difficulties and discouragements
encountered by the Centurion in the strongest light, will serve my
purpose much better than lessening or extenuating them. For, if after
being ruined in a manner by storms, diseases, and hardships, they
landed rather skeletons than men, on the island of Juan Fernandez; if,
after their long cruize in the South Seas, their distresses came to be
as great when they took shelter in the island of Tinian; if the lying
at Macao was attended with many inconveniences; if the taking of the
Spanish galleon be a thing almost incredible, considering the small
number of men, and the condition they were in, who attacked her in the
Centurion; if the difficulties they afterwards met with in the river
of Canton, and the hazards run by the commodore in visiting the
viceroy, and thereby putting himself into the hands of such a people
as the Chinese, who could not but be displeased with his proceedings,
are circumstances which aggravate the matter: If so perilous a
navigation as that from Canton, through the Straits of Sunda, and
thence to the Cape of Good Hope, with little or no refreshment, with
a crew that wanted it so much, is still more amazing; and if the
bringing the ship home from thence, with a crew composed of so many
different nations, in the midst of a French war, and without the least
assistance from home, swell the whole into a kind of miracle, what
does all this prove? Since all this, under God, was entirely owing to
the prudence, moderation, and wise conduct of the commanding officer,
it certainly proves, if a right choice be made of commanders, that
there are no difficulties which may not be overcome, and therefore
that the adverse circumstances attending this voyage ought not at all
to discourage us.

"For, with the help of the example afforded by Commodore Anson, I
presume that there are many officers who would undertake and execute
such an expedition, to the honour of their country, and to the
advantage of their employers, supposing them to be employed by private
persons. This is the right use that might be made of this expedition:
an expedition difficult, dangerous, and in a manner impracticable,
considered in one light, but equally glorious and successful
when considered in another point of view; An expedition that has
demonstrated to the whole world that a train of unforeseen and most
disastrous accidents may be remedied, and even turned to advantage, by
an honest, skilful, brave, experienced, and well-meaning officer; An
expedition which shews that there are no hazards, no difficulties, no
distresses capable of depressing the courage of English seamen under
a proper commander; an expedition which makes it evident that
discontent, sedition, and mutiny, do not arise from the restless
tempers, intractable dispositions, and unruly behaviour of the English
sailors, but purely from the want of prudence, and right management,
and, in short, from the want of experience and capacity of such as
are entrusted with the command of them; an expedition, in a word, that
puts it beyond all doubt that the British nation is, at this day,
as capable of undertaking as great things, and of performing them as
successfully, as ever were done by their ancestors; and, consequently,
an expedition that must convince not only us, but all Europe, that
if our maritime force be not employed in undertakings of the most
important nature, it is not owing to the degeneracy or our seamen, nor
to be imputed to our want of able or daring commanders, which is not
my business, and which indeed surpasses my abilities, to discover.

"We are now to close this general subject of circumnavigations, which
relates to the whole world. It is true, that all the circumnavigators
did not propose, and that several of them did not make, any
discoveries; yet all their voyages are of great, though not of equal
importance, down to this last. For, by comparing that by Magellan,
which was the first, with this by Mr Anson, we shall find them to
differ in many respects, especially in the conclusion; that by Mr
Anson being by far the longer of the two. Some of them, also, took
quite a different route from others. As, for instance, Le Maire and
Roggewein, who never ran at all into the northern latitudes, but
sailed directly through the South Seas to the coast of New Guinea, and
thence to the island of Java; which is a much shorter course than
by way of California to the Philippines. From hence it very clearly
appears, that the passage to the East Indies by the South Seas is
shorter than that by the Cape of Good Hope;[3] of which the reader
will be convinced by considering the following particulars. Captain
Woods Rogers, in the Duke, sailed From the coast of Ireland and
doubled Cape Horn in four months; and Le Maire sailed from Juan
Fernandez to New Guinea and the Moluccas in three months; so that this
voyage takes up but seven months in the whole; whereas the Dutch, when
the chief emporium of their eastern commerce was fixed at Amboina,
thought it a good passage thither from Holland, if performed in ten or
eleven months.[4] It is from these stupendous voyages, that not only
the greatest discoveries have been made in general geography, but
from which all future discoveries must be expected; and therefore
this ought to be considered as one of the strongest arguments for
encouraging such voyages.[5]--_Harris._

[Footnote 3: It is not easy to conceive how Harris should have fallen
into this enormous error. To say nothing of the greater length and
difficulty of passing round Cape Horn, rather than the Cape of Good
Hope, the difference in longitudes is sufficient to establish the
absolute contrary of the position in the text. The longitude, for
instance, of the island of Ceylon, by the eastern passage, is only
80° E. whereas by the western passage it is 280 W. an excess of 200
degrees. Even Canton in China, is only in 113° E. but in 247° W. an
excess of 134 degrees.--E.]

[Footnote 4: To say nothing of the absurdity of the partial instances
adduced, it may be mentioned that, only a few years ago, an English
East Indiaman performed the voyage from England to Madras, delivered
his outward-bound cargo, took on board a new cargo, and returned to
England, all within nine months.--E.]

[Footnote 5: The remaining observations of Harris, supplementary
to his abbreviated account of this expedition, have no manner of
connection with the subject in hand, and are therefore omitted.]

       *       *       *       *       *

George Anson, the commodore on this expedition, was born in 1697,
being the third son of William Anson, Esq. of Shuckborough, in the
county of Stafford. Taking an early inclination for the naval service,
and after passing through the usual inferior steps, he was appointed
second lieutenant of the Hampshire in 1716. He was raised to the rank
of master and commander in 1722, and obtained the rank of post captain
in 1724, with the command of the Scarborough man-of-war. Between that
time and the year 1733, he made three voyages to North Carolina; and
having acquired considerable wealth, he appears to have purchased an
estate in that colony, where he erected a small town of his own name,
which gave the name of Anson County to the surrounding district. In
the years 1738 and 1739, he made another voyage to America and the
coast of Africa; and, without proceeding to hostilities, removed
certain obstructions under which the English trade on the coast of
Guinea had suffered from the French.

In the _War of the Merchants_, as it was called by Sir Robert Walpole,
which broke out in 1739 between Britain and Spain, Captain Anson was
appointed to the command of the expedition, the narrative of which
forms the subject of the present chapter. Immediately after his
return to England from this circumnavigation, Captain Anson was
made rear-admiral of the blue, and shortly afterwards, one of the
commissaries of the Admiralty. In 1746 he was farther promoted to the
rank of Vice-admiral; and in the winter of 1746-7, was entrusted with
the command of the channel fleet. In May 1747, off Cape Finisterre,
he captured six French ships of the line under the command of Admiral
Jonquiere, which had been dispatched for the protection of the
merchant ships destined for the East and West Indies. On this
occasion, when Mons. St George, one of the French captains,
surrendered his sword to Admiral Anson, he addressed him in the
following terms: _Vous avez vaincu L'Invincible, et La Gloire vous
suit._--"You have defeated the Invincible, and Glory follows you:"
alluding to two of the French ships, the Invincible and the Gloire,
which had surrendered to him.

For this important service to his king and country, he was created a
peer of the realm, by the title of LORD ANSON; and, in 1749, on the
death of Admiral Norris, he was appointed Vice-admiral of England. In
1751, he succeeded to Lord Sandwich, as first Lord Commissioner of the
Admiralty; but, incurring censure for the loss of Minorca, he resigned
this situation in 1756. But, having been acquitted of all blame
relative to that disgraceful affair, after a parliamentary enquiry, he
was reinstated in that high office, which he continued to fill, with
honour to himself and advantage to his country, during the remainder
of his life. While attending upon the Duke of Mecklenburgh Strelitz,
brother to our present queen, to shew him the naval arsenal at
Portsmouth, and the fleet which was then about to sail on the
expedition against the Havannah, he caught a violent cold, of which he
died, at Moor-Park in Hertfordshire, on the 6th of June 1762, in the
sixty-fifth year of his age. Having no issue by his lady, the daughter
of Lord Hardwicke, whom he married in 1748, he left the whole of his
property to his brother.

Lord Anson appears to have been remarkable for the coolness and
equanimity of his temper. Amid all the dangers and successes of his
circumnavigation of the globe, he never expressed any strong emotion,
either of sorrow or joy, except when the Centurion hove in sight of
Tinian. He was a man of few words, and was even reckoned particularly
silent among English seamen, who have never been distinguished for
their loquacity. He introduced a rigid discipline into the English
navy, somewhat resembling that of the Prussian army; and revived
that bold and close method of fighting, within pistol-shot, which had
formerly been so successfully employed by Blake and Shovel, and which
has fostered that daring courage and irresistible intrepidity in our
British seamen, which anticipate and secure success to the most daring
and hazardous enterprizes.

In some reflexions, towards the conclusion of Betagh's
circumnavigation, Harris,[6] a former editor of a collection of
voyages and travels, breaks forth in the following laudatory strain:--

"Happy, happy, for us, that we have still a SEAMAN left, who has shewn
that the race of heroes is not yet extinct among us, in ADMIRAL ANSON,
that great and fortunate commander; who enjoys the singular felicity,
in an age of sloth, luxury, and corruption, that his _ease_ is the
result of his _labour_, his _title_ the reward of his _merit_, and
that his _wealth_ does _honour_ to his country."

[Footnote 6: Harris, Voy. and Trav. I. 253.]

How much more happy is it for us in the present day, somewhat more
than half a century later, and while every energy is required to the
utmost stretch, that we still have a race of transcendent heroes, who
have annihilated the navy and trade and colonies or our arch enemy,
have vindicated and preserved our glory and freedom and prosperity,
and bid fair to restore the honour and independence of the civilized
world, threatened with subversion by the modern Atilla--Ed.


Notwithstanding the great improvement of navigation within the last
two centuries, a voyage round the world is still considered as an
enterprize of so very singular a nature, that the public have never
failed to be extremely inquisitive about the various accidents
and turns of fortune with which this uncommon attempt is generally
attended. And, though the amusement expected in these narratives is
doubtless one great source of that curiosity with the bulk of readers,
yet the more intelligent part of mankind have always agreed, that,
from accounts of this nature, if faithfully executed, the more
important purposes of navigation, commerce, and national interest, may
be greatly promoted. For every authentic description of foreign coasts
and countries will contribute to one or more of these great ends, in
proportion to the wealth, wants, or commodities of these countries,
and our ignorance of these coasts; and therefore, a voyage round
the world promises a species of information, of all others, the most
desirable and interesting; since great part of it is performed in seas
with which we are, as yet, but very imperfectly acquainted, and in the
neighbourhood of a country renowned for the abundance of its wealth;
though it is, at the same time, stigmatized for its poverty in the
necessaries and conveniences of a civilized life.

These considerations have occasioned the compiling the ensuing work;
which, in gratifying the inquisitive disposition of mankind, and
contributing to the safety and success of future navigators, and to
the extension of our commerce, may doubtless vie with any narration of
this kind hitherto made public; since, as to the first of these heads,
it may well be supposed that the general curiosity hath been strongly
excited, by the circumstances of this undertaking already known to the
world; for, whether we consider the force of the squadron sent on
this service, or the diversified distresses that each single ship was
separately involved in, or the uncommon instances of varying fortune
which attended the whole enterprize; each of these articles must,
I conceive, from its well-known rude outlines, appear worthy of a
completer and more finished delineation: And, if this be allowed with
respect to the narrative part of the work, there can be no doubt about
the more useful and instructive parts, which are almost every where
interwoven with it; for I can venture to affirm, without fear of being
contradicted, on a comparison, that no voyage, hitherto published,
furnishes such a number of views of land, soundings, draughts of
ports, charts, and other materials, for the improvement of geography
and navigation, as are contained in the ensuing volume; which are the
more valuable too, as the greatest part of them relate to such islands
or coasts as have been hitherto not at all, or erroneously described;
and where the want of sufficient and authentic information might
occasion future enterprizes to prove abortive, perhaps with the
destruction of the ships and men employed therein.

Besides the number and choice of these marine drawings and
descriptions, there is another very essential circumstance belonging
to them, which much enhances their worth; and that is the great
accuracy with which they were executed. I shall express my opinion of
them, in this particular, very imperfectly, when I say that they are
not exceeded, and perhaps not equalled, by any thing of this nature
that hath, as yet, been communicated to the world: For they were not
copied from the works of others, or composed at home from imperfect
accounts given by incurious and unskilful observers, a practice
too frequent in these matters; but the greatest part of them were
delineated on the spot, with the utmost exactness, by the direction
and under the eye of Mr Anson himself; and where, as is the case in
three or four of them, they have been done by less skilful hands, or
were found in possession of the enemy, and consequently their justness
could be less relied on, I have always taken care to apprize the
reader of it, and to put him on his guard against giving entire credit
to them; although I doubt not but these less authentic draughts, thus
cautiously inserted, are to the full as correct as those which are
usually published upon these occasions. For, as actual surveys of
roads and harbours, and nice and critical delineations of views of
land, take up much time and attention, and require a good degree
of skill, both in planning and drawing, those who are defective
in industry and ability supply these wants by bold conjectures and
fictitious descriptions; and, as they can be no otherwise confuted
than by going on the spot, and running the risk of suffering by their
misinformation, they have no apprehension of being detected; and
therefore, when they intrude their supposititious productions on the
public, they make no conscience of boasting, at the same time, with
how much skill and care they have been executed. But let not those who
are unacquainted with naval affairs imagine, that the impositions of
this kind are of an innocent nature; for, as exact views of land are
the surest guides to a seaman, on a coast where he has never been
before, all fictions, in so interesting a matter, must be attended
with numerous dangers, and sometimes with the destruction of those who
are thus unhappily deceived.[7]

[Footnote 7: It must be quite obvious to all who are in the least
degree acquainted with the nature of these draughts and views of land,
in the nature of a coasting pilot, that it is utterly impossible to
reduce them within the compass of an octavo size, and at the same
time to render them of the smallest degree of usefulness; while large
plates must have been necessary, and speedily destroyed by opening and

Besides these draughts of such places as Mr Anson, or the ships which
he commanded, have touched at in the course of this expedition, and
the descriptions and directions relating thereto, there is inserted,
in the ensuing work, an ample account, with a chart annexed to it, of
a particular navigation, of which hitherto little more than the name
has been known, except to those immediately employed in it: I mean
the tract described by the Manilla ship, in her passage to Acapulco,
through the northern part of the Pacific-ocean. This material article
is collected from the draughts and journals met with on board the
Manilla galleon, founded on the experience of more than an hundred and
fifty years practice, and corroborated in its principal circumstances
by the concurrent evidence of all the Spanish prisoners taken in that
vessel. And as many of their journals; which I have examined, appear
to have been not ill kept, I presume the chart of that northern ocean,
and the particulars of their routes through it, may be very safely
relied on by future navigators. The advantages which may be drawn from
an exact knowledge of this navigation, and the beneficial projects
which may be formed thereon, both in war and peace, are by no means
proper to be discussed in this place; but they will easily offer
themselves to the skilful in maritime affairs. However, as the Manilla
ships are the only ones which have ever traversed this vast ocean,
except a French straggler or two, which have been afterwards seized on
the coast of Mexico; and as, during near two ages, in which this trade
has been carried on, the Spaniards have secreted with the utmost
care all accounts of their voyages from the rest of the world; these
reasons would alone authorize the insertion of those papers, and would
recommend them to the inquisitive, as a very great improvement in
geography, and worthy of attention, from the singularity of many
circumstances therein recited.

I must add what, in my opinion, is far from being the least
recommendation of these materials, that the observations of the
variations of the compass, which are laid down in the chart from these
Spanish journals, tend greatly to complete the general system of
the magnetic variation, of infinite importance to the commercial and
sea-faring part of mankind. These observations were, though in vain,
often publicly called for by our learned countryman, the late Dr
Halley, and to his immortal reputation they confirm, as far as they
extend, the wonderful hypothesis he had entertained on this head,
and very nearly correspond, in their quantity, to the predictions he
published about fifty years since, long before he was acquainted with
any one observation made in those seas. The ascertaining the
variation in that part of the world is just now of more than
ordinary consequence, as the editors of a new variation chart, lately
published, for want of proper information, have been misled by
an erroneous analogy, and have even mistaken the very species of
variation in that of the northern ocean; for they make it westerly
where it is easterly, and have laid it down 12° or 13° different from
its real quantity.

This much it has been thought necessary to premise, with regard to the
hydrographical and geographical part of the ensuing work; which, it
is hoped, the reader will find, on perusal, much ampler and more
important than this slight sketch can well explain. But, as there
are hereafter interspersed, occasionally, some accounts of Spanish
transactions, and many observations relative to the dispositions
of the American Spaniards, and to the condition of the countries
bordering on the South Seas; and as herein I may appear to differ
greatly from the opinions generally established; I think it behoves me
particularly to recite the authorities I have been guided by in these
matters, that I may not be censured as having given way, either to a
thoughtless credulity on the one hand, or, what would be a much more
criminal imputation, to a wilful and deliberate misrepresentation on
the other.

Mr Anson, before he set sail upon this expedition, besides the printed
journals to these parts, took care to furnish himself with the best
manuscript accounts he could procure of all the Spanish settlements
upon the coasts of Chili, Peru, and Mexico. These he carefully
compared with the examinations of his prisoners, and the informations
of several intelligent persons who fell into his hands in the South
Seas. He had likewise the good fortune, in some of his captures, to
possess himself of a great number of letters and papers of a public
nature, many of them written by the viceroy of Peru to the viceroy
of Santa Fee, to the presidents of Panama and Chili, to Don Blass
de Lezo, admiral of the galleons, and to divers other persons in
considerable employments; and in these letters there was usually
inserted a recital of those they were intended to answer, so that they
contained no small part of the correspondence between these officers,
for some time previous to our arrival on the coast. We took, besides,
many letters, sent from persons entrusted by the Spanish government,
to their friends and correspondents, which were frequently filled with
narrations of public business, and sometimes contained undisguised
animadversions on the views and conduct of their superiors. From these
materials those accounts of the Spanish affairs ore drawn, which may
appear, at first sight, the most exceptionable. In particular, the
history of the various casualties which befel Pizarro's squadron is,
for the most part, composed from intercepted letters; though, indeed,
the relation of the insurrection of Orellana and his followers is
founded on rather a less disputable authority; for it was taken from
the mouths of an English gentleman then on board Pizarro, who often
conversed with Pizarro; and it was, upon enquiry, confirmed in its
principal circumstances by others who were in the ship at the same
time: so that the fact, however extraordinary, is, I conceive, not to
be contested.

And, on this occasion, I cannot but mention, that, though I have
endeavoured with my utmost care to adhere strictly to truth, in every
article of the ensuing narration, yet I am apprehensive that, in so
complicated a work, some oversights must have been committed, by the
inattention to which, at all times, all mankind are liable. However, I
am conscious, as yet, of none but literal and insignificant mistakes;
and if there are others more considerable, which have escaped me, I
flatter myself they are not of moment enough to affect any material
transaction; and therefore I hope they may justly claim the reader's

After this general account of the ensuing work, it might be expected
perhaps, that I should proceed to the work itself; but I cannot finish
this introduction without adding a few reflections on a matter very
nearly connected with the present subject, and, as I conceive, neither
destitute of utility nor unworthy the attention of the public: I
mean the animating my countrymen, both in their public and private
stations, to the encouragement of all kinds of geographical and
nautical observations, and of every species of mechanical and
commercial information. It is by a settled attachment to these
seemingly minute particulars, that our ambitious neighbours have
established some part of that power with which we are now struggling:
and as we have the means in our hands of pursuing these subjects more
effectually than they can, it would be a dishonour to us longer to
neglect so easy and beneficial a practice. For, as we have a navy much
more numerous than theirs, great part of which is always employed in
very distant stations, either in the protection of our colonies and
commerce, or in assisting our allies against the common enemy, this
gives us frequent opportunities of furnishing ourselves with such kind
of materials as are here recommended, and such as might turn greatly
to our advantage either in war or peace; since, not to mention what
might be expected from the officers of the navy, if their application
to these subjects was properly encouraged, it would create no new
expence to the government to establish a particular regulation for
this purpose; as all that would be requisite would be constantly to
embark, in some of our men of war which are sent on those distant
cruizes, a person who, with the character of an engineer, and the
skill and talents necessary to that profession, should be employed in
drawing such coasts, and planning such harbours, as the ship should
touch at, and in making such other observations, of all kinds, as
might either prove of advantage to future navigators, or might any
ways tend to promote the public service. Persons habituated to these
operations, which could not fail at the same time of improving them in
their proper business, would be extremely useful in many other lights
besides those already mentioned, and might tend to secure our fleets
from those disgraces with which their attempts against places on
shore have been often attended. And, in a nation like ours, where
all sciences are more eagerly and universally pursued, and better
understood, than in any other part of the world, proper subjects for
these employments cannot long be wanting, if due encouragement were
given to them.

This method, here recommended, is known to have been frequently
practised by the French, particularly in the instance of Mons.
Frezier, an engineer, who has published a celebrated voyage to the
South Seas: for this person was purposely sent by the French king, in
the year 1711, into that country, on board a merchant ship, that
he might examine and describe the coast, and take plans of all the
fortified places; the better to enable the French to prosecute their
illicit trade, or, on a rupture between them and the court of Spain,
to form their enterprizes in those seas with more readiness and
certainty. Should we pursue this method, we might hope that the
emulation amongst those who were commissioned for these undertakings,
and the experience which, even in the most peaceable intervals, they
would thereby acquire, might at length procure us a proper number
of able engineers, and might efface the national scandal which our
deficiency in that species of men has sometimes exposed us to: and
surely every step to encourage and improve them is of greater moment
to the public, as no persons, when they are properly instructed, make
better returns in war for the distinctions and emoluments bestowed
on them in times of peace: of which, the advantages the French have
reaped from their dexterity, too numerous and recent to be soon
forgot, are an ample confirmation.

Having mentioned engineers, or such as are skilled in drawing and the
other usual practices of that profession, as the properest persons
to be employed in these foreign enquiries, I cannot but lament, as
it offers itself so very naturally to the subject in hand, how very
imperfect many of our accounts of distant countries are rendered by
the relators being unskilled in drawing, and in the general principles
of surveying, even where other abilities have not been wanting. Had
more of our travellers been initiated in these acquirements, and had
there been added thereto some little skill in the common astronomical
observations, all which a person of ordinary talents might attain with
a very moderate share of application, we should, by this time, have
seen the geography of the globe much correcter than we now find it;
the dangers of navigation would have been considerably lessened, and
the manners, arts, and produce of foreign countries would have been
better known to us than they are. Indeed, when I consider the strong
incitements that all travellers have to pursue some part at least of
these qualifications, especially drawing; when I consider how much
it would facilitate their observations, assist and strengthen their
memories, and of how tedious, and often unintelligible, a load of
description it would rid them; I cannot but wonder that any person who
intends to visit distant countries, with a view of informing either
himself or others, should be wanting in so necessary a piece of skill.
And, to enforce this argument still farther, I must add, that, besides
the uses of drawing already mentioned, there is one which, though not
so obvious, is yet perhaps of more consequence than all that has been
hitherto urged; I mean the strength and distinguishing power it adds
to some of our faculties. This appears from hence, that those who are
used to draw objects observe them with more accuracy than others who
are not habituated to that practice. For we may easily find, by a
little experience, that when we view any object, however simple, our
attention or memory is scarcely at any time so strong as to enable us,
when we have turned our eyes away from it, to recollect exactly every
part it consisted of, and to recall all the circular stances of its
appearance; since, on examination, it will be discovered, that in some
we were mistaken, and others we had totally overlooked. But he who is
accustomed to draw what he sees, is, at the same time, accustomed to
rectify this inattention; for, by confronting his ideas, copied on
the paper, with the object he intends to represent, he finds out
what circumstance has deceived him in its appearance; and hence he at
length acquires the habit of observing much more at one view than he
could ever have done without his practice and proficiency in drawing.

If what has been said merits the attention of travellers of all sorts,
it is, I think, more particularly applicable to the gentlemen of the
navy, since, without drawing and planning, neither charts nor views of
land can be taken; and without these it is sufficiently evident that
navigation is at a full stand. It is doubtless from a persuasion of
the utility of these qualifications, that his majesty has established
a drawing-master at Portsmouth, for the instruction of those who are
presumed to be hereafter entrusted with the command of his royal
navy; and though some have been so far misled as to suppose that the
perfection of sea officers consisted in a turn of mind and temper
resembling the boisterous element they have to deal with, and have
condemned all literature and science, as effeminate and derogatory
to that ferocity, which, they would falsely persuade us, was the most
unerring characteristic of courage, yet it is to be hoped that
such absurdities have not at any time been authorized by the public
opinion, and that the belief daily diminishes. If those who adhere
to these mischievous positions were capable of being influenced by
reason, or swayed by example, I should think it sufficient for their
conviction to observe, that the most valuable drawings inserted in
the following work, though done with such skill that even professed
artists can with difficulty imitate them, were taken by Mr Piercy
Bret, one of Mr Anson's lieutenants, and since captain of the Lion
man-of-war, who, in his memorable engagement with the Elizabeth, [for
the importance of the service, or the resolution with which it was
conducted, inferior to none this age has seen,] has given ample proof
that a proficiency in the arts I have been recommending, is extremely
consistent with the most exemplary bravery, and the most distinguished
skill in every function belonging to a sea officer.

Indeed, when the many branches of science are considered, of which
even the common practice of navigation is composed, and the many
improvements which men of skill have added to this practice within
these few years, it would induce one to believe that the advantages
of reflection and speculative knowledge were in no profession more
eminent than in that of a naval officer; for, not to mention some
expertness in geography, geometry, and astronomy, which it would be
dishonourable for him to be without, as his journal and his estimate
of the daily position of the ship are founded on particular branches
of these sciences, it may well be supposed, that the management and
working of a ship, the discovery of her most eligible position in the
water, usually called her trim, and the disposition of her sails in
the most advantageous manner, are articles in which the knowledge
of mechanics cannot but be greatly assistant. And, perhaps, the
application of this kind of knowledge to naval subjects may produce
as great improvements in sailing and working a ship, as it has already
done in many other matters conducive to the ease and convenience of
human life; since, when the fabric of a ship and the variety of her
sails are considered, together with the artificial contrivances for
adapting them to her different motions, as it cannot be doubted but
these things have been brought about by more than ordinary sagacity
and invention; so neither can it be doubted but that, in some
conjunctures, a speculative and scientific turn of mind may find out
the means of directing and disposing this complicated mechanism much
more advantageously than can be done by mere habit, or by a servile
copying of what others may have, perhaps erroneously, practised in
similar emergencies. But it is time to finish this digression, and to
leave the reader to the perusal of the ensuing work, which, with how
little art soever it may be executed, will yet, from the importance
of the subject, and the utility and excellence of the materials, merit
some share of the public attention.


_Of the Equipment of the Squadron, and the Incidents relating to it,
from its first Appointment to its setting Sail from St Helens._

The squadron under the command of Mr Anson, of which I here propose to
recite the most material proceedings, having undergone many changes in
its destination, its force, and its equipment, during the ten months
between its original appointment and its final sailing from St Helens,
I conceive the history of these alterations is a detail necessary to
be made public, both for the honour of those who first planned and
promoted this enterprize, and for the justification of those who have
been entrusted with its execution; since it will from hence appear,
that the accidents the expedition was afterwards exposed to, and which
prevented it from producing all the national advantages the strength
of the squadron and the expectation of the public seemed to presage,
were principally owing to a series of interruptions, which delayed the
commander in the course of his preparations, and which it exceeded his
utmost industry either to avoid or get removed.

When, in the latter end of the summer 1739, it was foreseen that a
war with Spain was inevitable, it was the opinion of some considerable
persons, then trusted with the administration of affairs, that the
most prudent step the nation could take, on the breaking out of the
war, was attacking that crown in her distant settlements; for by this
means, as at that time there was the greatest probability of success,
it was supposed that we should cut off the principal resources of the
enemy, and should reduce them to the necessity of sincerely desiring
a peace, as they would be deprived of the returns of that treasure by
which alone they could be enabled to carry on a war.

In pursuance of these sentiments, several projects were examined,
and several resolutions were taken by the council. And, in all these
deliberations, it was from the first determined, that George
Anson, Esq. then captain of the Centurion, should be employed as
commander-in-chief of an expedition of this kind: and, he at that time
being absent on a cruize, a vessel was dispatched to his station so
early as the beginning of September, to order him to return with his
ship to Portsmouth. And soon after he came there, that is, on the
10th November following, he received a letter from Sir Charles
Wager, directing him to repair to London, and to attend the board of
Admiralty; where, when he arrived, he was informed by Sir Charles,
that two squadrons would be immediately fitted out for two secret
expeditions, which, however, would have some connection with each
other; and that he, Mr Anson, was intended to command one of them; and
that Mr Cornwall, who hath since lost his life gloriously in defence
of his country's honour, was to command the other; that the squadron
under Mr Anson was to take on board three independent companies of an
hundred men each, and Bland's regiment of foot; that Colonel Bland was
likewise to embark with his regiment, and to command the land-forces;
and that, as soon as this squadron could be fitted for sea, they were
to sail, with express orders to touch at no place till they came to
Java-Head in the East-Indies; that they were there only to stop to
take in water, and thence to proceed directly to the city of Manilla
in Luçonia, one of the Philippine islands; that the other squadron,
of equal force with this commanded by Mr Anson, was intended to pass
round Cape Horn into the South Seas, to range along that coast; and,
after cruizing upon the enemy in those parts, and attempting their
settlements, this squadron, in its return, was to rendezvous at
Manilla, there to join the squadron under Mr Anson, where they were
to refresh their men, and to refit their ships, and perhaps receive
orders for other considerable enterprizes.

This scheme was doubtless extremely well projected, and could not
but have greatly advanced the public service, and the reputation
and fortune of those concerned in its execution; for, had Mr Anson
proceeded to Manilla at the time and in the manner proposed by Sir
Charles Wager, he would in all probability have arrived there before
they had received any advice of the war between us and Spain, and
consequently before they had been in the least prepared for the
reception of an enemy, or had any apprehensions of their danger. The
city of Manilla might well be supposed to have been at that time in
the same defenceless condition with all the other Spanish settlements,
just at the breaking out of the war; that is, their fortifications
neglected, and in many places decayed; their cannon dismounted, or
rendered useless by the mouldering of their carriages; their magazines
both of military stores and provisions, all empty; their garrisons
unpaid, and consequently thin, ill affected, and dispirited; and the
royal chests of Peru, whence alone all these disorders could receive
redress, drained to the very bottom. This, from the intercepted
letters of their viceroys and governors, is well known to have been
the defenceless state of Panama, and the other places on the coast of
the South Sea, for near a twelvemonth after our declaration of war.
And it cannot be supposed that the city of Manilla, removed still
farther by almost half the circumference of the globe, should have
experienced from the Spanish government a greater share of attention
for its security than Panama, and the other important ports in Peru
and Chili, on which their possession of that immense empire depends.
Indeed, it is now well known that Manilla was at that time incapable
of making any considerable defence, and, in all probability, would
have surrendered only on the appearance of our squadron before it. The
consequence of this city, and the island it stands on, may, in some
measure, be estimated from the known healthiness of its air,
the excellence of its port and bay, the number and wealth of its
inhabitants, and the very extensive and beneficial commerce it carries
on to the principal ports in the East-Indies and China, and its
exclusive trade to Acapulco; the returns for which alone, being made
in silver, are, upon the lowest calculation, not less than three
millions of dollars yearly.

On this scheme Sir Charles Wager was so intent, that, on the 18th
December, a few days only before this first conference, Mr Anson
received an order to take under his command the Argyle, Severn, Pearl,
Wager, and Tryal sloop; and other orders were issued to him, in
the same month and in December, relating to the victualling of this
squadron. But, on attending the Admiralty in the beginning of January,
1740, Mr Anson was informed by Sir Charles Wager, that, for reasons
with which he was not acquainted, the expedition to Manilla was laid
aside. It may well be conceived that Mr Anson was extremely chagrined
at losing the command of so infallible, so honourable, and in every
respect so desirable an enterprize; especially as he had already, at
a very great expence, made the necessary provision for his own
accommodation in this voyage, which he had reason to expect would
prove very long. However, to render this appointment more tolerable,
Sir Charles Wager informed him that the expedition to the South Sea
was still intended; and that he, Mr Anson, and his squadron, as their
first destination was now countermanded, should be employed in that
service. And, on the 10th January, 1740, he received his commission,
appointing him Commander-in-chief of the before-mentioned squadron,
the Argyle being in the course of preparation exchanged for the
Gloucester, with which he sailed above eight months afterwards from St
Helens. On this change of destination, the equipment of the squadron
was still prosecuted with as much vigour as ever; and the victualling,
and whatever depended on the commodore, was soon so far advanced, that
he conceived the ships might be capable of putting to sea the
instant he should receive his final orders, of which he was in daily

At length, on the 28th June, 1740, the Duke of Newcastle, principal
secretary of state, delivered to him his majesty's instructions, dated
on the 31st of January preceding, with an additional instruction from
the lords justices, dated 19th June. On the receipt of these, Mr Anson
immediately repaired to Spithead, with a resolution to sail with the
first fair wind, flattering himself that all his difficulties were now
at an end: for though he knew by the muster that his squadron wanted
three hundred men of their complement, a deficiency he had not, with
all his assiduity, been able to get supplied, yet as Sir Charles Wager
had informed him that an order from the board of Admiralty was sent to
Sir John Norris to spare him the numbers which he wanted; he doubted
not of its being complied with. But, on his arrival at Portsmouth, he
found himself greatly mistaken and disappointed in this persuasion:
for, on application, Sir John Norris told him he could spare him none,
as he wanted men for his own fleet. This occasioned an inevitable
and very considerable delay, and it was the end of July before this
deficiency was by any means supplied, and all that was then done
was extremely short of his necessities and expectation; for Admiral
Balchen, who succeeded to the command at Spithead, after Sir John
Norris had sailed to the westward, instead of three hundred sailors
which Mr Anson wanted of his complement, ordered on board the squadron
an hundred and seventy men only, of which thirty-two were from the
hospital and sick-quarters, thirty-seven men from the Salisbury, with
three officers and ninety-eight marines of Colonel Lowther's regiment;
and these were all that were ever granted to make up the forementioned

But the commodore's mortification did not end here. It has been
already observed, that it was at first intended that Colonel Bland's
regiment, and three independent companies of an hundred men each,
should embark as land-forces on board the squadron. But this
disposition was now changed; and all the land-forces that were to
be allowed were five hundred invalids, to be collected from the
out-pensioners of Chelsea College. As these consisted of soldiers,
who, from their age, wounds, and other circumstances, were incapable
of serving in marching regiments, Mr Anson was much chagrined at
having such a decrepid detachment allotted to him; for he was fully
persuaded that the greatest part of them would perish long before they
could arrive at the scene of action, since the delays he had already
experienced necessarily confined his passage round Cape Horn to the
most rigorous season of the year. Sir Charles Wager joined in opinion
with the commodore, that invalids were by no means proper for this
service, and strenuously solicited to have them, exchanged. But he was
told, that persons who were considered better judges of soldiers than
he or Mr Anson, thought them the properest men that could be employed
on this occasion; and, upon this determination, they were ordered on
board the squadron on the 5th of August. But, instead of five hundred,
there came no more on board than two hundred and fifty-nine; for all
those who had limbs and strength to walk out of Portsmouth deserted,
leaving only those behind who were literally invalids, most of them
being sixty years of age, and some upwards of seventy. Indeed, it
is difficult to conceive a more moving scene than the embarkation of
these unhappy veterans: they were themselves extremely averse from
the service in which they were engaged, and fully apprized of all the
disasters they were afterwards exposed to, the apprehensions of
which were strongly marked by the concern which appeared in their
countenances, which was mixed with no small degree of indignation to
be thus hurried from their repose into a fatiguing employ, to which
neither the strength of their bodies, nor the vigour of their minds,
were any way proportioned; and in which, without seeing the face of an
enemy, or in the least promoting the success of the enterprize, they
would in all probability uselessly perish by lingering and painful
diseases; and this, too, after they had spent the activity and
strength of their youth in the service of their country.

I cannot but observe, on this melancholy incident, how extremely
unfortunate it was, both to this aged and diseased detachment, and
to the expedition in which they were engaged, that, amongst all the
out-pensioners of Chelsea College, which were supposed to amount to
two thousand men, the most crazy and infirm only should be called out
for so laborious and perilous an undertaking; for it was well known,
however unfit invalids in general might be for this service, yet, by a
prudent choice, there might have been found amongst them five hundred
men who had some remains of vigour; and Mr Anson fully expected that
the best of them would have been allotted to him; whereas the
whole detachment sent seemed to be made up of the most decrepid and
miserable objects that could be collected out of the whole body; and
by the desertion already mentioned, even these were cleared of the
little strength and health which were to be found among them, and he
had to take up with such as were much fitter for an infirmary than for
any military duty.

It is here also necessary to mention another material particular in
the equipment of this squadron. After it was determined that Mr Anson
should be sent to the South Sea, it was proposed to Mr Anson to take
with him two persons under the denomination of agent-victuallers.
Those mentioned for this employment had been formerly in the Spanish
American colonies, in the service of the South-Sea Company, and it
was supposed, that, by their knowledge and intelligence on that coast,
they might often procure provisions for the squadron by compact with
the inhabitants, when they were not to be got by force of arms. These
agent-victuallers were, for this purpose, to be allowed to carry
to the value of fifteen thousand pounds in merchandize on board the
squadron, as they represented that it would be much easier to procure
provisions in exchange for goods, than for the value of the same goods
in money. Whatever colours were given to this scheme, it was difficult
to persuade the generality of mankind that it was not principally
intended for the enrichment of the agents, by the beneficial commerce
they proposed to carry on upon that coast. From the beginning, Mr
Anson objected both to the appointment of agent-victuallers and to
allowing them to carry a cargo on board the squadron; for he conceived
that in those few amicable ports where the squadron might touch,
he needed not their assistance to contract for any provisions these
places afforded; and, when on the enemy's coast, he did not imagine
they could ever procure him the necessaries he should want, unless
the military operations of his squadron were to be regulated by the
ridiculous views of their trading projects, with which he was resolved
not to comply. All that he thought the government ought to have
done, of this kind, was to put on board, to the value of two or three
thousand pounds, of such goods only as were suitable for the Indians,
or the Spanish planters on the less cultivated parts of the coast, as
it was in such places only that he considered it might be worth
while to truck with the enemy for provisions, and it was sufficiently
evident that a very small cargo would suffice for such places.

Although the commodore objected both to the appointment of these
officers and to their project, of the ill success of which he had
no question, yet, as they had insinuated that their scheme, besides
victualling the squadron, might contribute to the settling a trade on
that coast which might afterwards be carried on without difficulty,
and might become of very considerable national advantage, they were
much listened to by several considerable persons; and, of the fifteen
thousand pounds, which was to be the amount of their cargo, the
government agreed to advance them ten thousand pounds upon imprest,
and the remaining five thousand they raised on bottomry bonds, and the
goods purchased with this latter sum were all that were put on
board the squadron, how much soever their amount might be afterwards
magnified by common report. This cargo was shipped at first in the
Wager store-ship, and one of the victuallers, no part of it being
admitted on board the men-of-war; but, when the commodore was at St
Catharine's, he considered, in case the squadron might be separated,
that it might be pretended that some of the ships were disappointed of
provisions for want of a cargo to truck with, wherefore he distributed
some of the least bulky commodities on board the men-of-war, leaving
the remainder principally on board the Wager, in which it was lost,
and more of the goods perishing, by various accidents to be recited
afterwards, and as no part of them being disposed of on the coast,
the few that came home to England, when sold, did not produce above a
fourth part of the original cost. So true was the commodore's judgment
of the event of this project, which had been considered by many as
infallibly productive of immense gain.

We return to the transactions at Portsmouth. To supply the place
of the two hundred and forty invalids who had deserted, there were
ordered on board two hundred and ten marines, drafted from different
regiments. These were raw and undisciplined men, just raised, and had
scarcely any thing more of the soldier than their regimentals, none of
them having been so far trained as to be permitted to fire. The last
of these detachments came on board on the 8th August, and on the 10th
the squadron dropped down from Spithead to St Helen's, there to wait
for a wind to proceed on the expedition. The delays we had already
suffered had not yet spent all their influence; for we were now
advanced to that season of the year when the westerly winds are
usually very prevalent and violent; and it was thought proper that
we should put to sea in company with the fleet commanded by Admiral
Balchen, and the expedition under Lord Cathcart. As we now made up
in all twenty-one sail of men-of-war, and one hundred and twenty-four
sail of merchant ships and transports, we had no hopes of getting out
of the channel with so large a fleet, without the continuance of a
fair wind for a considerable time, and this was what we had every day
less and less reason to expect, as the time of the equinox drew near;
wherefore our golden dreams and ideal possession of the Peruvian
treasures grew every day more faint, and the difficulties and dangers
of the passage round Cape Horn, in the winter season, filled our
imaginations in their room. It was forty days from our arrival at St
Helens to our final departure from that place; and even then, having
orders to proceed without Lord Cathcart, we tided down the channel
with a contrary wind. But this interval of forty days was not free
from the displeasing fatigue of often setting sail, and being as often
obliged to return, nor exempt from dangers greater than have been
sometimes undergone in surrounding the globe. For the wind coming fair
for the first time on the 23d August, we got under sail, and Admiral
Balchen shewed himself truly solicitous to have proceeded to sea; but
the wind soon returned to its old quarter, and obliged us to put
back to St Helens, not without considerable hazard, and some damage
received by two of the transports, which ran foul of each other when
tacking. We made two or three other attempts to sail, but without any
better success; and, on the 6th September, being returned to anchor
at St Helens, after one of those fruitless attempts, the wind blew so
fresh that the whole fleet had to strike yards and topmasts to prevent
drifting: Yet, notwithstanding this precaution, the Centurion drove
next evening, and brought both cables a-head, when we were in no small
danger of getting foul of the Prince Frederick, a seventy-gun ship,
which was moored only a small distance under our stern, but we happily
escaped, in consequence of her drifting at the same time, by which she
preserved her distance, yet we did not think ourselves safe till we at
last let go our sheet anchor, which fortunately brought us up.

We were in some measure relieved from this lingering and vexatious
situation on the 9th September, by an order then received by
Commodore Anson, from the lords justices, to put to sea on the first
opportunity, with his own squadron only, if Lord Cathcart should not
be ready. Being thus freed from the troublesome company of so large
a fleet, our commodore resolved to weigh and tide it down channel,
as soon as the weather should become sufficiently moderate, and this
might easily have been done by our squadron full two months sooner,
had the orders of the Admiralty for supplying us with seamen been
punctually complied with, and had we met with none of those other
delays mentioned in this narration. Even now, our hopes of a speedy
departure were somewhat damped, by a subsequent order which Mr Anson
received on the 12th September, by which he was required to take under
his convoy the St Albans and the Turkey fleet, and to join the Dragon
and the Winchester, with the Straits and American trade, at Torbay or
Plymouth, and to proceed with them to sea as far as their way and
ours lay together. This encumbrance of convoy gave us some uneasiness,
fearing it might lengthen our passage to Madeira: However, having now
the command to himself, Mr Anson resolved to tide down channel with
the first moderate weather; and, that the junction of the convoy
might occasion as little loss of time as possible, he immediately sent
directions to Torbay that the fleet he was there to take charge of
should be in readiness to join him instantly on his approach. And at
last, on the 18th September, he weighed from St Helens, and, though
the wind was at first contrary, had the good fortune to get clear of
the channel in four days, as will be more particularly related in the
ensuing section.

Having thus gone through the respective steps taken in the equipment
of this squadron, it must be sufficiently obvious how different an
aspect the expedition bore at its first appointment in the beginning
of January, from what it did in the latter end of September, when
it left the channel, and how much its numbers, its strength, and the
probability of its success were diminished by the various incidents
which took place in that interval. For, instead of having all our old
and ordinary seamen exchanged for such as were young and able,
which the commodore was at first promised, and having our complement
complete to its full number, we were obliged to retain our first
crews, which were very indifferent; and a deficiency of three hundred
men in our numbers was no otherwise made up than by sending on board
an hundred and seventy men, the greatest part of whom were discharged
from hospitals, or new-raised marines who had never been at sea
before. In the land-forces allotted to us, the change was still more
disadvantageous; as, instead of Bland's regiment of foot, which was
an old one, and three independent companies of an hundred men each,
we had only four hundred and seventy invalids and marines, one part of
whom were incapable of action, by their age and infirmities, and the
other part useless, by ignorance of their duty. But the diminution of
the strength of the squadron was not the greatest inconveniency which
attended these alterations; for the contests, representations, and
difficulties which they continually produced, as we have seen above
that the authority of the Admiralty in these cases was not always
submitted to, occasioned a delay and waste of time, which, in its
consequences, was the source of all the disasters to which the
enterprize was afterwards exposed. For, owing to these circumstances,
we were forced to make our passage round Cape Horn at the most
tempestuous season of the year, whence proceeded the separation of our
squadron, the loss of numbers of our men, and the imminent hazard of
oar total destruction. By this delay also, the enemy had been so well
informed of our designs, that a person who had been employed in the
service of the South-Sea Company, and arrived from Panama three or
four days before we left Portsmouth, was able to relate to Mr Anson
most of the particulars of the destination and strength of our
squadron, from what he had learnt from the Spaniards before he
left them. This was afterwards confirmed by a more extraordinary
circumstance; for we shall find, that when the Spaniards, fully
satisfied of our expedition being intended for the South Seas, had
fitted out a squadron before us, which had so far got the start as
to arrive before us at the island of Madeira, the commander of this
squadron was so well instructed in the form and make of Mr Anson's
broad pendant, and had imitated it so exactly, that he thereby decoyed
the Pearl, one of our squadron, within gun-shot of him, before the
captain of the Pearl was able to discover the deception.


_The Passage from St Helens to the Island of Madeira, with a short
Account of that Island, and of our Stay there._

As observed in the preceding section, the squadron weighed from
St Helens with a contrary wind on the 18th of September, 1740, our
commodore proposing to tide down the channel, as he less dreaded the
inconveniences we might have thereby to struggle with, than the risk
he should run of ruining the enterprize by an uncertain, and, in
all probability, a tedious attendance for a fair wind. The squadron
allotted for this expedition consisted of five men-of-war, a sloop of
war, and two victuallers. These were, the Centurion of 60 guns, and
400 men, George Anson, Esq. commander; the Gloucester, of 50 guns, and
300 men, Richard Norris, commander; the Severn, of 50 guns, and 300
men, the Honourable Edward Legg, commander; the Pearl, of 40 guns, and
250 men, Matthew Mitchell, commander; the Wager, of 28 guns, and 160
men, Dandy Kidd, commander; the Tryal sloop, of 8 guns, and 100 men,
the Honourable John Murray, commander. The two victuallers were pinks,
the largest of about four hundred tons burden; and these were to
attend us till the provisions we had on board were so far consumed as
to make room for the additional quantity they carried, which was then
to be taken into our ships, and they were to be discharged. Besides
the before-mentioned complements of men borne by the ships as their
crews, there were embarked in our squadron about 470 invalids
and marines, as particularly mentioned in last section, under
the denomination of land-forces, which were commanded by
Lieutenant-Colonel Cracherode.

With this squadron, together with the St Albans and Lark, and the
Turkey trade under their convoy, we tided down channel for the first
forty-eight hours. In the morning of the 20th, we discovered the
Dragon, Winchester, South-Sea Castle, and Rye, with a number of
merchantmen under their convoy, waiting for us off the Ram-head. We
joined there the same day about noon, the commodore having orders to
see them, together with the convoy of the St Albans and Lark, as far
as their course and ours lay together. When we came in sight of this
last-mentioned ship, Mr Anson first hoisted his broad pendant, and
was saluted by all the men-of-war in company. After joining this last
convoy, we made up eleven men-of-war, and about 150 sail of merchant
ships, consisting of the Turkey, the Straits, and the American trades.
The same day Mr Anson made a signal for all captains of men-of-war
to come on board, when he delivered them their fighting and sailing
instructions, and then we all stood to the S.W. with a fair wind; so
that next day at noon, being the 21st, we had run forty leagues beyond
the Ram-head. Being now clear of the land, our commodore, to render
our view more extensive, ordered Captain Mitchell, in the Pearl, to
make sail two leagues a-head of the fleet every morning, and to repair
to his station every evening. Thus we proceeded till the 25th, when
the Winchester, with the American convoy, made the concerted signal
for leave to separate, and this being answered by the commodore, they
left us, which, was done by the St Albans and the Dragon on the 24th,
with the Turkey and Straits convoys.

There now remained only our own squadron and the two victuallers, with
which we stood on our course for the island of Madeira. But the winds
were so contrary, that we had the mortification to be forty days on
our passage to that island from St Helens, though it is often known
to be done in ten or twelve. This delay was most unpleasant, and was
productive of much discontent and ill humour among our people, of
which these only can have an adequate idea who have experienced a
similar situation: For, besides the peevishness and despondency, which
foul and contrary winds, and a lingering voyage, never fail to produce
on all occasions, we in particular had substantial reasons for being
greatly alarmed at this unexpected impediment; since, as we departed
from England much later than we ought to have done, we had placed
almost all our hope of success on the chance of retrieving in some
measure at sea, the time we had so unhappily wasted at Spithead and St
Helens. At last, on Monday the 25th October, at five in the morning,
we made the land to our great joy, and came to anchor in the afternoon
in Madeira road, in forty fathoms, the Brazen Head bearing from us E.
by S. the Loo N.N.W. and the Great Church N.N.E. We had hardly let go
our anchor when an English privateer sloop ran under our stern, and
saluted the commodore with nine guns, which we returned with five.
Next day the English consul visited the commodore, and was saluted
with nine guns on coming on board.

The island of Madeira, where we now arrived, is famous through all our
American settlements for its excellent wines, which seem designed by
Providence for the refreshment of the inhabitants of the torrid zone.
It is situated in a fine climate, in lat. 32° 27' N. and long. from
London 18° 30' to 19° 30' W. by our different reckonings, though laid
down in the charts in 47°.[1] The whole island is composed of one
continued hill of considerable height, extending from east to
west; the declivity of which, on the south side, is cultivated and
interspersed with vineyards. In the middle of this slope the merchants
have their country seats, which contribute to form a very agreeable
prospect. There is but one considerable town, named Fonchiale, on
the south part of the island, situated at the bottom of a large
bay. Towards the sea it is defended by a high wall with a battery of
cannon, besides a castle on the Loo, which is a rock standing in the
water at a small distance from the shore. Tonchiale is the only place
of trade, and indeed the only place where it is possible for a boat to
land; and even there the beach is so covered with great stones, and so
violent a surf beats continually upon it, that the commodore did not
care to venture the long-boats of our ships in fetching off water,
and therefore ordered the captains to employ Portuguese boats on that

[Footnote 1: The charts are however the most accurate, as that is the
long. of the centre of Madeira, in our best modern maps.--E.]

We continued about a week at this island, watering our ships, and
providing the squadron with wine and other refreshments. While here,
on the 3d November, Captain Richard Norris signified to the commodore,
by letter, his desire to quit the command of the Gloucester, in order
to return to England for the recovery of his health. The commodore
complied with this request, and was pleased to appoint Captain Matthew
Mitchell to command the Gloucester in his room, to remove Captain Kidd
from the Wager to the Pearl, and Captain Murray from the Tryal sloop
to the Wager, giving the command of the Tryal to Lieutenant
Cheap. These promotions being settled, with other changes in the
lieutenancies, the commodore, on the 4th November, gave to the
captains their orders, appointing St Jago, one of the Cape Verd
islands, to be the first place of rendezvous in case of separation;
and, if they did not meet the Centurion there, directing them to make
the best of their way to the island of St Catharine on the coast of
Brazil. The water for the squadron being that day completed, and each
ship supplied with as much wine and other refreshments as they
could take in, we weighed anchor in the afternoon, and took leave of
Madeira. But, before continuing the narrative of our transactions,
I think it necessary to give some account of the proceedings of the
enemy, and of the measures they had taken to render all our designs

On visiting the governor of Madeira, Mr Anson was informed by him,
that for three or four days in the latter end of October, there had
appeared to the westward of the island seven or eight ships of the
line and a _patache_, which last was sent close in with the land every
day. The governor assured our commodore, upon his honour, that no
person on the island had either given them intelligence, or had any
sort of communication with them. He believed them to be either French
or Spanish, but was rather inclined to suppose the latter. On this
intelligence, Mr Anson sent an officer in a clean sloop eight leagues
to the westwards, to reconnoitre them, and, if possible, to discover
what they were: But the officer returned without having seen them, so
that we still remained in uncertainty; yet we could not but conjecture
that this fleet was intended to put a stop, if possible, to our
expedition; and, had they cruized to the eastward of the island,
instead of the westward, they could not have failed in doing so: for,
as in that case they must infallibly have fallen in with us, we should
have been under the necessity of throwing overboard vast quantities of
provisions, to clear our ships for action; and this alone, independent
of the event of the action, would have effectually prevented our
progress. This was so obvious a measure, that we could not help
imagining reasons which might have prevented them from pursuing it.
We supposed, therefore, that this French or Spanish squadron, having
advice that we were to sail in company with Admiral Balchen and Lord
Cathcart's expedition, might not think it adviseable to meet with us
till we had parted company, from apprehension of being over-matched,
and supposed we might not separate before our arrival at this island.
These were our speculations at the time, from which we had reason to
suppose we might still fall in with them, in our way to the Cape
de Verd islands. We were afterwards persuaded, in the course of our
expedition, that this was the Spanish squadron commanded by Don Joseph
Pizarro, sent out purposely to traverse the views and enterprizes of
our squadron, to which they were greatly superior in strength. As this
Spanish armament was so nearly connected with our expedition, and as
the catastrophe, if underwent, though not effected by our force, was
yet a considerable advantage to this nation produced in consequence
of our equipment; I have, in the following section, given a summary
account of their proceedings, from their first setting out from Spain
in 1740, till the Asia, the only ship of the whole squadron that
returned to Europe, got back to Corunna in the beginning of the year


_History of the Spanish Squadron commanded by Don Joseph Pizarro._

The squadron fitted out by the court of Spain, to attend our motions,
and traverse our projects, we supposed to have been the ships seen
off Madeira. As this force was sent out particularly against our
expedition, I cannot but imagine that the following history of its
casualties, so far as has come to my knowledge, by intercepted letters
and other information, is an essential part of the present work. For
it will from hence appear, that we were the occasion of a considerable
part of the Spanish naval power being diverted from prosecuting the
ambitious views of that court in Europe; and whatever men and ships
were lost by the enemy in this undertaking, were lost in consequence
of the precautions they took to secure themselves against our

This squadron, besides two ships bound for the West Indies, which did
not part company till after they left Madeira, was composed of the
following men-of-war, commanded by Don Joseph Pizarro. The Asia of 66
guns and 700 men, the admiral's ship; the Guipuscoa of 74 guns and 700
men; the Hermiona of 54 guns and 500 men; the Esperanza of 50 guns and
450 men; the St Estevan of 40 guns and 350 men; and a patache of 20

Over and above their complements of sailors and marines, these ships
had on board an old Spanish regiment of foot, intended to reinforce
the garrisons on the coast of the South-Sea. Having cruised some days
to leeward of Madeira, as formerly mentioned, they left that station
in the beginning of November, and steered for the Rio de la Plata,
where they arrived on the 5th of January O.S. and coming to anchor in
the bay of Maldonado, at the mouth of that river, their admiral sent
immediately to Buenos Ayres for a supply of provisions, having left
Spain with only four months provisions on board. While waiting this
supply, they received intelligence, by the treachery of the Portuguese
governor of St Catharines, of Mr Anson having arrived at that island
on the 21st December preceding, and that he was preparing to put to
sea again with the utmost expedition. Notwithstanding his superior
force, Pizarro had his reasons, and some say his orders, for avoiding
our squadron any where short of the South-Sea. He was, besides,
extremely desirous of getting round Cape Horn before us, imagining
that alone would effectually baffle all our designs; wherefore,
hearing that we were in his neighbourhood, and that we should be soon
ready to proceed for Cape Horn, he weighed anchor with his five large
ships, the Patache being disabled and condemned, and the men taken
out of her; and, after a stay of seventeen days only, got under sail
without his provisions, which arrived at Maldonado within a day or two
after his departure. Notwithstanding this precipitation, we put to sea
from St Catharines four days before he did from Maldonado; and at one
part of our passage to Cape Horn the two squadrons were so near, that
the Pearl, one of our ships, being separated from the rest, fell in
with the Spanish fleet, and, mistaking the Asia for the Centurion,
got within gun-shot of the Asia before the mistake was discovered, and
narrowly escaped being taken.

As it was the 22d January when the Spaniards weighed from Maldonado,
they could not expect to get into the latitude of Cape Horn before the
equinox; and, as they had reason to apprehend very tempestuous weather
in doubling it at that season, while the Spanish sailors, for the most
part accustomed to a fair-weather country, might be supposed averse
from so dangerous and fatiguing a navigation, the better to encourage
them, some part of their pay was advanced to them in European goods,
which they were to have leave to dispose of in the South-Seas, that
so the hopes of the great profits they were to make of their ventures,
might animate them in their duty, and render them less disposed
to repine at the labours, hardships, and perils they might in all
probability meet with, before their arrival on the coast of Peru.

Towards the latter end of February, Pizarro and his squadron got into
the latitude of Cape Horn, and then stood to the westwards in order
to double that southern promontory. But, in the night of the last of
February O.S. while turning to windward with this view, the Guipuscoa,
Hermiona, and Espranza were separated from the admiral. On the 6th
March following, the Guipuscoa was separated from the other two; and
next day, being that after we passed the Straits of Le Maire, there
came on a most furious storm at N.W. which, in spite of all their
efforts, drove the whole squadron to the eastward, and, after several
fruitless attempts, obliged them to bear away for the river of Plate.
Pizarro arrived there in the Asia about the middle of May, and was
followed a few days after by the Esperanza and Estevan. The Hermiona
was supposed to have foundered, as she was never more heard of; and
the Guipuscoa was run on shore and destroyed on the coast of Brazil.
The calamities of all kinds which this squadron underwent in their
unsuccessful attempt to double Cape Horn, can only be paralleled by
what we ourselves experienced in the same climate, when buffeted by
the same storms. There was indeed some diversity in our distresses,
rendering it difficult to decide whose situation was most worthy of
commiseration; for, to all the miseries and misfortunes we experienced
in common, as shattered rigging, leaky ships, and the fatigues and
despondency necessarily attendant on these disasters, there was
superadded on board our squadron the ravages of a most destructive
and incurable disease; and in the Spanish squadron the devastation of

It has been already observed, that this squadron left Spain with only
four months provisions on board, and even that, it is said, at short
allowance, either owing to the hurry of their outfit, or presuming
upon a supply at Buenos Ayres; so that, when their continuance at sea
was prolonged, by the storms they met with off Cape Horn, a month
or more beyond their expectation, they were reduced to such infinite
distress, that rats, when they could be caught, sold for four dollars
a-piece; and a sailor who died in one of the ships, had his death
concealed by his brother for some days, who lay all that time in
the hammock with the corpse, that he might receive the dead man's
allowance of provisions. In this dreadful situation, if their horrors
were capable of augmentation, they were alarmed by discovering
a conspiracy among the marines on board the Asia, who proposed
massacring the officers and whole crew, their sole motive for this
bloody resolution appearing to be the desire of relieving their
hunger, by appropriating the whole provisions in the ship to
themselves. This design was prevented, when just on the point of
execution, by means of one of their confessors, and three of the
ringleaders were immediately put to death. By the complicated
distresses of fatigue, sickness, and famine, the three ships that
escaped lost the greatest part of their men. The admiral's ship, the
Asia, arrived at Monte Video in the Rio Plata with only half her crew.
The Estevan, when she anchored in the bay of Barragan had also lost
half her men. The Esperanza was still more unfortunate, for of 450
hands she brought with her from Spain, only 58 remained alive. The
whole regiment of foot perished except sixty men. To give a more
distinct idea of what they underwent upon this occasion, I shall
present a short account of the fate of the Guipuscoa, extracted from a
letter written by Don Joseph Mindinuetta, her captain, to a person of
distinction at Lima, a copy of which fell into our hands when in the

Having separated on the 6th March in a fog from the Hermiona and
Esperanza, being then, as I suppose, to the S.E. of States Land, and
plying to the westward, it blew a furious storm at N.W. the succeeding
night, which, at half past ten, split his main-sail, and obliged him
to bear away with his foresail. The ship now went ten knots an hour
with a prodigious sea, and often ran her gangway under water. He
likewise sprung his main-mast, and the ship made so much water that
she could not be freed by four pumps assisted by bailing. On the 9th
the wind became calm, but the sea continued so high that the ship, in
rolling, opened all her upper works and seams, and started the butt
ends of her planks, and the greatest part of her top-timbers, the
bolts being drawn by the violence of the roll. In this condition, with
additional disasters to the hull and rigging, they continued beating
westward to the 12th, when they were in lat. 60° S. and in great want
of provisions, numbers perishing daily by the fatigue of pumping, and
the survivors quite dispirited by labour, hunger, and the severity
of the weather, their decks being covered with snow above a foot in
depth. Finding the wind fixed in the west and blowing strong, and
their passage that way impossible, they resolved to bear away for the
Rio Plata. On the 22d they had to throw overboard all their upper-deck
guns and an anchor, and were obliged to take six turns of the cable
round the ship to prevent her from opening and falling to pieces. On
the 4th of April, in calm weather, but with a very heavy sea, the
ship rolled so much that her main-mast came by the board, and was soon
after followed by the fore and mizen masts, after which they had
to cut away the boltsprit, to diminish, if possible, the leakage
forwards. By this time two hundred and fifty of the men had perished
by hunger and fatigue. Those who were capable of working at the pumps,
at which every officer took his turn without exception, were only
allowed an ounce and a half of biscuit daily; while those who were
weak and sickly, so that they could not assist in this necessary
labour, had no more than one ounce of wheat. It was common for the men
to fall down dead at the pumps, and all they could muster for duty,
including the officers, was from eighty to an hundred men.

The S.W. wind blew so fresh for some days after they lost their masts,
that they could not set up jury-masts; so that they were obliged to
drive like a wreck, between the latitude of 32° and 38° S. till the
24th of April, when they made the coast of Brazil at Rio de Patas,
ten leagues to the southward of the island of St Catharines. They came
here to an anchor, the captain being very desirous of proceeding to St
Catharines, in order to save the hull of the ship, with her guns and
stores: But the crew instantly left off pumping, and all in one voice
cried out, _On shore! on shore!_ enraged at the hardships they had
suffered and the numbers they had lost, there being at this time
thirty dead bodies lying on the deck. Thus the captain was obliged to
run the ship directly to the land, where she parted and sunk five days
after, with all her stores and furniture; but the remainder of the
crew, whom hunger and fatigue had spared, to the number of four
hundred, got safe on shore.

From this account of the adventures and catastrophe of the Guiapuscoa,
we may form some conjecture of the manner in which the Hermiona was
lost, and of the distresses endured by the three remaining ships of
the squadron which got into the Rio Plata. These last being in great
want of masts, yards, rigging, and all kinds of naval stores,
and having no supply at Buenos Ayres or any of the neighbouring
settlements, Pizarro dispatched an advice-boat with a letter of credit
to Rio de Janeiro, to purchase what was wanting from the Portuguese.
He sent at the same time an express across the continent to St Jago de
Chili, to be thence forwarded to the viceroy of Peru, informing him
of the disasters that had befallen his squadron, and desiring a
remittance of two hundred thousand dollars from the royal chest at
Lima, to enable him to refit and victual his remaining ships, that he
might be again in condition to attempt the passage to the South-Sea
as soon as the season of the year should be more favourable. It is
mentioned by the Spaniards, as a most extraordinary circumstance,
that, though then the depth of winter, when the Cordilleras are
esteemed impassable on account of the snow, the Indian who was charged
with this express was only thirteen days on his journey from Buenos
Ayres to St Jago in Chili, though the distance is three hundred
Spanish leagues, near forty of which are among the snows and
precipices of the Cordilleras.

The return to this dispatch of Pizarro from the viceroy was by no
means favourable. Instead of two hundred thousand dollars, the sum
demanded, the viceroy remitted him only one hundred thousand, telling
him that it was with great difficulty he was able to procure even
that sum. But the inhabitants of Lima, who considered the presence
of Pizarro as absolutely necessary to their security, were much
discontented at this procedure, and did not scruple to assert, that
it was not the want of money, but the interested views of some of the
viceroy's confidants, that prevented Pizarro from getting the whole

The advice-boat sent to Rio Janeiro also executed her commission but
imperfectly; for, though she brought back a considerable quantity of
pitch, tar, and cordage, she could not procure either masts or yards;
and, as an additional misfortune, Pizarro was disappointed of some
masts he expected from Paraguay, as a carpenter whom he entrusted
with a large sum of money, and sent there to cut masts, instead of
prosecuting the business he was sent upon, married in the country,
and refused to return. However, by removing the masts of the Esperanza
into the Asia, and using what spare masts and yards they had on board,
they made a shift to refit the Asia and Estevan: And, in the October
following, Pizarro was prepared to put to sea with these two ships,
in order to attempt the passage round Cape Horn a second time; but, in
coming down the Rio Plata, the Estevan ran upon a shoal and beat off
her rudder, and Pizarro proceeded to sea in the Asia without her.
Having now the antarctic summer before him, and the winds favourable,
no doubt was made of his having a fortunate and speedy passage: But,
when off Cape Horn and going right before the wind, it being moderate
weather, though in a swelling sea, the ship rolled away her masts, by
some misconduct of the officer having the watch, and was a second time
obliged to put back in great distress to the Rio Plata.

As the Asia had suffered considerably in this second unfortunate
expedition, the Esperanza was now ordered to be refitted, the command
of her being given to Mindinuetta, who was formerly captain of the
Guipuscoa. In November 1742, he sailed from the Rio Plata for the
south, and arrived safe on the coast of Chili, where he was met by
his commodore, Pizarro, who passed over-land from Buenos Ayres. Great
animosities and contests took place between these two officers, owing
to the claim of Pizarro to command the Esperanza, which Mindinuetta
had brought round, and now refused to resign; insisting, as he had
come round the South Sea alone and under no superior, it was not now
in the power of Pizarro to resume the authority he had once parted
with. But, after a long and obstinate struggle, as the president of
Chili interposed and declared for Pizarro, Mindinuetta was obliged to

Pizarro had not yet completed the series of his misfortunes. When
he and Mindinuetta returned over-land, in 1745, from Chili to Buenos
Ayres, they found the Asia still at Monte Video, and resolved, if
possible, to carry her to Europe. With this view they refitted her in
the best manner they could, but had great difficulty in procuring
a sufficient number of hands to navigate her, as all the remaining
sailors of the squadron, then to be met with in the neighbourhood of
Buenos Ayres, did not amount to an hundred men. They endeavoured to
supply this defect, by pressing many of the inhabitants of Buenos
Ayres, and putting on board all the English prisoners then in their
custody, together with a number of Portuguese smugglers they had taken
at different times, and some of the Indians of the country. Among
these last there was a chief and ten of his followers, who had been
surprised by a party of Spanish soldiers about three months before.
The name of this chief was Orellana, and he belonged to a very
powerful tribe, which had committed great ravages in the neighbourhood
of Buenos Ayres. With this motley crew, all of them except the
European sailors averse from the voyage, Pizarro set sail from Monte
Video about the beginning of November 1745: and the native Spaniards,
being no strangers to the dissatisfaction of their forced men, treated
them, the English prisoners and the Indians, with great insolence and
barbarity, particularly the Indians; for it was common in the meanest
officers in the ship to beat them cruelly on the slightest pretence,
and often merely to shew their superiority.

Orellana and his followers, though in appearance sufficiently patient
and submissive, meditated a severe revenge for all these inhumanities.
As these Indians have great intercourse with Buenos Ayres in time of
peace, Orellana understood Spanish, and affected to converse with such
of the English prisoners as could speak that language, seeming very
desirous of being informed how many Englishmen there were on board,
and of having them pointed out to him. As he knew the English were as
much enemies to the Spaniards as he was, he had doubtless an intention
of disclosing his purposes to them, and making them partners in the
scheme he had projected for revenging his wrongs and recovering his
liberty; but, having sounded them at a distance, and not finding them
so precipitate and vindictive as he expected, he proceeded no farther
with them, but resolved to trust alone to the resolution of his ten
faithful followers, who readily engaged to observe his directions and
to execute his commands. Having agreed on the measures to be pursued,
they contrived to provide themselves with Dutch knives, sharp at the
point, which, being the common knives used in the ship, they procured
without difficulty. They also employed their leisure in secretly
cutting thongs from raw hides, of which there were great numbers on
board, and in fixing to each end of these thongs the double-headed
shot of the small quarter-deck guns; by which they formed most
mischievous weapons, in the use of which, by swinging round the head,
the Indians about Buenos Ayres are extremely expert, being trained to
it from their infancy. When these things were in good forwardness,
the execution of their scheme was perhaps precipitated by a particular
outrage committed upon Orellana, who was ordered aloft by one of the
officers, and being incapable of doing so, the officer, who was
a brutal fellow, beat him with such violence, under pretence of
disobedience, that he left him bleeding on the deck, and quite
stupified with wounds and bruises. This certainly increased his thirst
of revenge, so that within a day or two he and his followers began to
execute their desperate resolves in the following manner.

About nine in the evening, when many of the principal officers were
on the quarter-deck indulging in the freshness of the night air, the
forecastle being manned with its customary watch, Orellana and his
companions, having prepared their weapons, and thrown off their
trowsers and other cumbrous parts of their dress, came all together
on the quarter-deck, and drew towards the door of the great cabin. The
boatswain reprimanded them for their presumption, and ordered them
to be gone; on which Orellana spoke to his followers in their native
language, when four of them drew off, two towards each gangway, and
the chief and six remaining Indians seemed to be slowly quitting the
quarter-deck. When the detached Indians had taken possession of the
gangways, Orellana placed his hands hollow to his mouth, and bellowed
out the war-cry of the savages, said to be the harshest and most
terrifying of sounds. This hideous yell was the signal for beginning
the massacre; upon which all the Indians drew their knives and
brandished their prepared double-headed shot. The chief, and the six
who remained with him on the quarter-deck, fell immediately on the
Spaniards with whom they were intermingled, and in a very short space
laid forty of them at their feet, above twenty of whom were killed on
the spot, and the rest disabled.

In the beginning of the tumult, many of the officers rushed into the
great cabin, where they put out the lights and barricadoed the door;
while of the others, who had escaped the first fury of the Indians,
some endeavoured to escape along the gangways to the forecastle, where
the Indians, placed there on purpose, stabbed the greater part of them
as they attempted to pass, or forced them off the gangways into the
waste of the ship, which was filled with live cattle. Some threw
themselves voluntarily over the barricades into the waste, and thought
themselves fortunate to lie concealed among the cattle; but the
greatest part escaped up the main-shrouds, and took shelter in the
tops and rigging of the ship. Although the Indians only attacked
the quarter-deck, yet the watch in the forecastle, finding their
communication cut off, and terrified by a few of the wounded who had
been able to force their passage, and not knowing either who were
their enemies, or what were their numbers, they also gave all over for
lost, and in great confusion ran up into the rigging of the foremast
and boltsprit.

Thus these eleven Indians, with a resolution perhaps without example,
possessed themselves almost in an instant of the quarter-deck of a
ship mounting sixty-six guns, and manned by near five hundred hands,
and even continued in peaceable possession of this part for some time.
During a considerable space, the officers in the great cabin, among
whom were Pizarro and Mindinuetta, the crew between decks, and those
who had escaped into the tops and rigging, were merely anxious for
their own safety, and were incapable of forming any project for
suppressing the insurrection and recovering the possession of the
ship. The yells of the Indians, the groans of the wounded, and the
confused clamours of the crew, all heightened by the darkness of the
night, had at first greatly magnified the danger, and filled them with
imaginary terrors. The Spaniards were sensible of the dissatisfaction
of their impressed hands, and were conscious of their barbarity to
their prisoners, wherefore they concluded that the conspiracy was
general, and considered their own destruction as infallible; insomuch,
that some are said to have designed to leap into the sea, but were
prevented by their companions.

When the Indians had entirely cleared the quarter-deck, the tumult in
a great measure subsided; for those who had escaped were kept silent
by their fears, and the Indians were incapable of pursuing them.
Orellana, when master of the quarter-deck, broke open the arm-chest,
which had been ordered there a few days before, on a slight suspicion
of mutiny. He there expected to find cutlasses wherewith to arm
himself and his followers, who were all well skilled in the use of
that weapon, and with these it is imagined they proposed to have
forced the great cabin: But on opening the chest, there appeared
nothing but fire-arms, which to them were of no use. There were indeed
abundance of cutlasses in the chest, but they were hidden by the
fire-arms being laid uppermost. This was a sensible disappointment to
Orellana and his Indians. By this time Pizarro and his companions in
the great cabin had been able to communicate with those below in the
gun-room and between decks, by conversing aloud through the cabin
windows; by which means they learnt that the English prisoners, whom
they chiefly suspected, were all safe below, and had not participated
in the mutiny; and by other circumstances they were at last made
sensible that Orellana and his people only were concerned in it. Upon
this information, Pizarro and the officers resolved to attack them on
the quarter-deck, before any of the discontented on board had so far
recovered from their surprise as to reflect on the facility of
seizing the ship by joining with the Indians. With this view, Pizarro
collected what arms were in the cabin and distributed them to those
who were with him. There were no fire-arms except pistols, and
for these they had neither powder nor ball; but having now a
correspondence with the gun-room, they lowered a bucket from the cabin
window, into which the gunner put a quantity of pistol cartridges out
of one of the gun-room ports. Having thus procured ammunition, and
loaded their pistols, they partly opened the cabin door, and fired
several shots among the Indians on the quarter-deck, though at first
without effect. At last Mindinuetta had the good fortune to shoot
Orellana dead; on which his faithful companions, abandoning all
thoughts of farther resistance, instantly leaped into the sea, where
they all perished. Thus was this insurrection quelled, and possession
of the quarter-deck regained, after it had been fully two hours in the
power of this great and daring chief, and his small band of gallant
unhappy countrymen.

Having thus escaped from imminent peril, Pizarro continued his
voyage for Europe, and arrived safely on the coast of Gallicia in the
beginning of the year 1746, after an absence of between four and five
years, and having, by attendance on our expedition, diminished the
royal power of Spain by above three thousand of their prime sailors,
and by four considerable ships of war and a patache. For we have seen
that the Hermione foundered at sea, the Guipuscoa was stranded and
destroyed on the coast of Brazil, the St Estevan was condemned and
broken up in the Rio Plata, and the Esperanza, being left in the South
Sea, is doubtless by this time incapable of returning to Spain:
So that the Asia alone, with less than an hundred hands, may be
considered as all that remains of the squadron with which Pizarro put
forth to sea; and whoever considers the very large proportion which
this squadron bore to the whole navy of Spain, will no doubt confess
that, even if our undertaking had been attended with no other
advantages, than that of ruining so great a part of the naval force of
so dangerous an enemy, this alone would be a sufficient equivalent
for our equipment, and an incontestable proof of the service which the
nation has thence received. Having thus given a summary of Pizarro's
adventures, I return to the narrative of our own transactions.


_Passage from Madeira to St Catharines._

I have already mentioned that we weighed from Madeira on the 3d
November, after orders being given to rendezvous at St Jago, one of
the Cape Verd islands, in case of a separation. But next day, when we
were got to sea, the commodore, considering that the season was far
advanced, and that touching at St Jago would create additional delay,
thought proper for this reason to alter the rendezvous, and appointed
the island of St Catharines, on the coast of Brazil, to be the first
place to which the ships of the squadron were to repair, in case of

In our passage to the island of St Catharines, we found the direction
of the trade winds to differ considerably from what we had reason to
expect, both from the general histories given of these winds, and the
experience of former navigators. For the learned Dr Halley, in his
account of the trade-winds which prevail in the Ethiopic and Atlantic
Oceans, tells us that, from the lat. of 28° N. to 10° N. there is
generally a fresh gale of N.E. wind, which, towards the African
coasts, rarely comes to the eastward of E.N.E. or passes to the
northward of N.N.E. but on the American side the wind is somewhat
more easterly; though even there it is commonly a point or two to the
northward of east; that from 10° N. to 4° N. the calms and tornadoes
take place; and from 4° N. to 30° S. the winds are generally and
perpetually between the south and east. We expected to find this
account of the matter confirmed by our experience; but we found
considerable variations from it, both in regard to the steadiness of
the winds, and the quarters from whence they blew. For though we met
with a N.E. wind about lat. 28° N. yet, from lat. 25° N. to 18° N the
wind was never once to the northward of E. but almost constantly to
the southward of it. From thence, however, to 6° 20' N. we had it
usually to the northward of E. though not always, as it changed for a
short time to E.S.E. From 6° 20' N. to about 4° 46' N. the weather was
very unsettled, the wind being sometimes N.E. then changing to S.E.
and sometimes we had a dead calm, with small rain and lightning. After
this, to the lat. of 7° 30' S. the wind continued almost invariably
between S. and E. and then again as invariably between N. and E. till
we came to 15° 30' S. then E. and S.E. to 21° 37' S. After this, even
to 27° 44' S. the wind was never once between S. and E. though we
had it in all the other quarters of the compass; though this last
circumstance may be in some measure accounted for from our approach to
the coast of Brazil.

I do not mention these particulars with a view of cavilling at the
received accounts of these trade-winds, which, I doubt not, are
sufficiently accurate; but I thought it worthy of public notice, that
such deviations from the established rules do sometimes take place.
This observation may not only be of service to navigators, by putting
them on their guard against these hitherto unexplained and unnoticed
irregularities, but it is also a circumstance that requires to be
attended to in the solution of the great question about the causes
of trade-winds and monsoons; a question which, in my opinion, has not
been hitherto discussed with that clearness and accuracy which
its importance demands, whether it be considered in a naval or a
philosophical point of view.

On the 16th November, one of our victuallers made a signal to speak
with the commodore, and we shortened sail for her to come up with us.
The master came on board, and represented to Mr Anson, that, having
complied with the terms of his charter-party, he now desired to be
unloaded and discharged. On consulting the captain of the squadron,
it was found all the ships had still such quantities of provisions
between their decks, and were also so deep, that they could only take
in their proportions of brandy from the Industry pink, one of the
victuallers; and consequently the commodore had to continue the other,
the Ann pink, in the service of attending the squadron. Accordingly, a
signal was made next day for the ships to bring to, and the long-boats
were employed that and the three following days, till the 19th in the
evening, to take their proportions of the brandy in the Industry to
the several ships of the squadron. Being then unloaded, she parted
company, intending for Barbadoes; and there to take in a freight for
England. Most of the officers in the squadron took the opportunity of
this ship, to write to their friends at home; but I have been informed
she was taken by the Spaniards.

On the 20th November, the captains of the squadron represented to the
commodore, that their ships companies were very sickly; and that,
both in their own opinions and of their surgeons, it would tend to the
health of the men to let in more air between decks; but that the
ships were so deep in the water, that the lower-deck ports could not
possibly be opened. On this representation, the commodore ordered
six air-scuttles to be cut in each ship, in such places as had least
tendency to weaken them. On this occasion, I cannot but observe how
much it is the duty of all who have any influence in the direction
of our naval affairs, to attend to the preservation of the lives and
health of our seamen. If it could be supposed that motives of humanity
were insufficient for this purpose, yet policy, a regard to the
success of our arms, and the honour and interest of each individual
commander, all should lead to a careful and impartial examination of
every probable method proposed for preserving the health and vigour of
seamen. But hath this been always done? Have the late invented,
plain, and obvious methods for keeping our ships sweet and clean, by
a constant supply of fresh air, been considered with that candour
and temper which the great benefits they promise to produce ought
naturally to have inspired? On the contrary, have not these salutary
schemes been often treated with neglect and contempt? And have not
some, who have been entrusted with experimenting their effects, been
guilty of the most indefensible partiality in the accounts they have
given of these trials? It must, however, be confessed, that many
distinguished persons, both in the direction and command of our
fleets, have exerted themselves on these occasions with a judicious
and dispassionate examination, becoming the interesting nature of the
enquiry: But the wonder is, that any one should have been found so
irrational as to act a contrary part, in despite of the strongest
dictates of prudence and humanity. I cannot, however, believe
this conduct to have arisen from such savage motives as the first
reflection seems naturally to suggest; but am apt rather to impute
it to an obstinate, and, as it were, superstitious attachment to
long-established practices, and to a settled contempt and hatred to
all innovations, especially such as are projected by landsmen, or
persons residing on shore.

We crossed the equinoctial, with a fine fresh gale at N.E. on Friday,
the 28th November, at four in the morning, being thus, by estimation,
in long. 27° 59' W. from London. In the morning of the 2d December, we
saw a sail in the N.W. and made the Gloucester's and Tryal's signals
to chase; and half an hour after, let out our reefs, and chased with
the rest of the squadron. About noon a signal was made for the Wager
to take our remaining victualler, the Ann pink, in tow; but, at seven
in the evening, finding we did not near the chase, and that the Wager
was very far astern, we shortened sail, and recalled the chasing
ships. Next day but one we again discovered a sail, which, on a nearer
approach, we judged to be the same vessel. We chased her the whole
day, and though we rather gained upon her, night came on before
we could overtake her, which obliged us to give over the chase, to
collect the scattered squadron. We were much chagrined at the escape
of this vessel, supposing her to have been an advice-boat from Old
Spain to Buenos Ayres, sent to give notice of our expedition: But we
have since learnt that it was our East-India Company's packet, bound
to St Helena.

On the 10th December, being by our reckoning in lat. 20° S. and long.
36° 30' W. from London, the Tryal fired a gun to denote soundings. We
immediately tried, and found sixty fathoms, the bottom coarse ground
with broken shells. The Tryal, which was a-head of us, had at one
time thirty-seven fathoms, which afterwards increased to ninety,
after which she had no bottom; which happened to us also at our second
trial, though we sounded with a line of 150 fathoms. This is the shoal
laid down in most charts by the name of the _Abrollos_,[1] and
it appeared we were upon its verge; perhaps farther in it may be
extremely dangerous. We were then, by our different accounts, from
sixty to ninety leagues east of the coast of Brazil. Next day but one
we spoke a Portuguese brigantine from Rio Janeiro bound to _Bahia de
todos los Santos_, by which we learnt that we were thirty-four leagues
from Cape St Thomas, and forty from Cape Frio; which latter bore from
us W.S.W. By our own accounts we were nearly eight leagues from Cape
Frio; and though, on the information of this brig, we altered our
course, standing more southerly, yet, by our coming in with the land
afterwards, we were fully convinced that our own reckoning was more
correct than that of the Portuguese. After passing lat. 16° S. we
found a considerable current setting to the southward. The same took
place all along the coast of Brazil, and even to the southward of the
Rio Plata, amounting sometimes to thirty miles in twenty-four hours,
and once to above forty miles. If, as is most probable, this current
be occasioned by the running off of the water which is accumulated on
the coast of Brazil by the constant sweeping of the eastern trade-wind
over the Ethiopic Ocean, it were then most natural to suppose that
its general course must be determined by the bearings of the adjacent
shores. Perhaps in every instance of currents the same may hold true,
as I believe there are no examples of any considerable currents at any
great distance from land. If this could be ascertained as a general
principle, it might be easy by their assistance and the observed
latitude, to correct the reckoning. But it were much to be wished, for
the general interests of navigation, that the actual settings of the
different currents in various parts of the world were examined
more frequently and more accurately than appears to have been done

[Footnote 1: In the map of the world by Arrowsmith, the Abrolhos are
made a cluster of islands off the coast of Brazil, in lat. 18° 10' S.
long. 39° W. from Greenwich.--E.]

We began now to grow impatient for a sight of land, both for the
recovery of our sick, and for the refreshment and security of those
who still continued in health. When we left. St Helens, we were in
so good a condition that we only lost two men in the Centurion in our
long run to Madeira. But in this run, from Madeira to St Catharines,
we were remarkably sickly, so that many died, and great numbers were
confined to their hammocks, both in our ship and the others, and
several of these past all hopes of recovery. The disorders they in
general laboured under were those common to hot climates, and which
most ships bound to the south experience in a greater or less degree.
These were the fevers usually called _calentures_, a disease not only
terrible in its first instance, but of which the remains often proved
fatal to those who considered themselves as recovered; for it always
left them in a very weak and helpless condition, and usually
afflicted with fluxes or tenesmus. By our continuance at sea all these
complaints were every day increasing; so that it was with great joy we
discovered the coast of Brazil on the 18th December, at seven in the

The coast of Brazil appeared high and mountainous, extending from W.
to W.S.W. and when we first saw it, the distance was about seventeen
leagues. At noon we could perceive a low double land, bearing W.S.W.
about ten leagues distant, which we took to be the island of St
Catharines. That afternoon and the next morning, the wind being N.N.W.
we gained very little to windward, and were apprehensive of being
driven to leeward of the island: But next day, a little before noon,
the wind came about to the southward, and enabled us to steer in
between the N. point of St Catharines and the neighbouring island
of Alvoredo. As we stood in for the land we had regular soundings,
gradually decreasing from thirty-six to twelve fathoms, all muddy
ground. In this last depth of water we let go our anchor at five in
the evening of the 18th,[2] the N.W. part of St Catharines bearing
S.S.W. three miles off; and the island of Alvoredo N.N.E. distant two
leagues. Here we found the tide to set S.S.E. and N.N.W. at the rate
of two knots, the tide of flood coming from the southward.

[Footnote 2: There is an error in date here, as it has been already
said they first got sight of the coast of Brazil on the 18th,
obviously two days before. Hence, if the former date be right, this
ought to be the 20th.--E.]

We could perceive from our ships two fortifications at a considerable
distance from us, which seemed intended to prevent the passage of an
enemy between the island of St Catharines and the main. We could also
soon see that our squadron had alarmed the coast, as the two forts
hoisted their colours and fired several guns, signals, as we supposed,
for assembling the inhabitants. To prevent any confusion, the
commodore immediately sent an officer to compliment the governor, and
to request a pilot to conduct our ships into the road. The governor
returned a very civil answer, and ordered us a pilot. On the morning
of the 20th we weighed and stood in, and the pilot came aboard of us
about noon, and the same afternoon brought us to anchor in five and
a half fathoms, in a commodious bay on the continent, called by the
French Bon-port. From our last anchorage to this, we found every where
an oozy bottom, the water first regularly decreasing to five fathoms,
and then increasing to seven, after which we had five and six fathoms
alternately. The squadron weighed again next morning, in order to run
above the two fortifications formerly mentioned, which are called the
castles of Santa Cruiz and St Joam. Our soundings between the island
and the main were four, five, and six fathoms, with muddy ground. We
saluted the castle of Santa Cruiz in passing with eleven guns, and
were answered with an equal number. At one in the afternoon of the
21st December, the squadron came to anchor in five fathoms and a half,
Governor's Isle bearing N.N.W. St Joam's castle N.E. 1/2 E. and the
island of St Antonio S. At this time the squadron was sickly, and in
great want of refreshments, both of which we hoped to have speedily
remedied at this settlement, celebrated by former navigators for
its healthiness and abundance of provisions, and for the freedom,
indulgence, and friendly assistance given here to all the ships of
nations in amity with the crown of Portugal.


_Proceedings at St Catharines, and a Description of that Place, with a
short Account of Brazil._

Our first care after mooring the ships was to get our sick men on
shore; preparatory for which each ship was ordered by the commodore to
erect two tents, one for the reception of the sick, and the other for
the surgeon and his assistants. We sent eighty sick on shore from the
Centurion, and I believe the other ships sent as many in proportion
to the number of their hands. As soon as this necessary duty was
performed, we scraped our decks, and gave our ship a thorough
cleansing, then smoaked it between decks, and lastly washed every part
with vinegar. These operations were extremely necessary for correcting
the noisome stench on board, and destroying the vermin; for, from the
number of our men and the heat of the climate, both these nuisances
had increased upon us to a very loathsome degree, and, besides being
most intolerably offensive, were doubtless in some sort productive of
the sickness we had laboured under for a considerable time before our
arrival at this island.[3]

[Footnote 3: This matter is now infinitely better regulated in
the British navy, and with most admirable and infinitely important
advantages. By the most minute, sedulous, and perpetual attention to
cleanliness, all noisome stench and all vermin are prevented, by which
doubtless diseases are in a great measure lessened.--E.]

Our next employment was wooding and watering the squadron, caulking
the sides and decks of the ships, overhawling the rigging, and
securing our masts against the tempestuous weather we were, in all
probability, to meet with in going round Cape Horn at so advanced
and inconvenient a season. Before proceeding in the narrative of our
voyage, it may be proper to give some account of the present state of
the island of St Catharines and the neighbouring country; both because
the circumstances of the place have materially changed from what they
were in the time of former writers, and as these changes laid us under
many more difficulties and perplexities than we had reason to expect,
or than other British ships, bound hereafter to the South Sea, may
perhaps think it prudent to struggle with.

This island is nine leagues from N. to S. and two from E. to W. It
extends from lat. 27° 35' to 28° both S. and is in long. 49° 45'
W. from London.[4] Although of considerable height, it is scarcely
discernible at the distance of ten leagues, being obscured under the
continent of Brazil, the mountains of which are exceedingly high; but
on a nearer approach is easily distinguished, and may be readily known
by having a number of small islands at each end.[5] Frezier has given
a draught of the island of St Catharines and the neighbouring coast,
with the smaller adjacent isles; but has, by mistake, called the
island of Alvoredo St Gal; whereas the true island of St Gal is seven
or eight miles northward of Alvoredo, and much smaller. He has also
called an island to the southward of St Catharines Alvoredo, and
has omitted the island of Masaquara. In other respects his plan is
sufficiently exact. The best entrance to the harbour is between the
N.E. point of the island of St Catharines and the island of Alvoredo,
where ships may pass under the guidance of the lead, without the least
apprehensions of danger. The north entrance is about five miles broad,
the distance from thence to the island of St Antonio is eight miles,
and the coarse to that island is S.S.W. 1/2 W. About the middle of the
island the harbour is contracted to a narrow channel by two points of
land, not more than a quarter of a mile separate, and at this time a
battery was erecting on the point on the island side to defend this
passage. This seemed, however, a very useless work, as this channel
had only two fathoms water, and is consequently only navigable for
barks and boats, wherefore an enemy could have no inducement to
attempt this passage, more especially as the northern one is so broad
and safe that no squadron can be prevented from coming in by any
fortifications whatever, when the sea-breeze makes. The brigadier Don
Jose Sylva de Paz, who is governor of this settlement, has a different
opinion; for, besides the above-mentioned battery, there were three
other forts carrying on for the defence of the harbour, none of which
were completed when we were there. The first of these, called St Joam,
was building on a point of the island of St Catharines, near Parrot
Island. The second, in form of a half-moon, was on the island of
St Antonio; and the third, which seemed the chief, and had some
appearance of a regular fortification, is on an island near the
continent, where the governor resides. Don Jose Sylva de Paz was
esteemed an expert engineer; and he doubtless understood one branch of
his business very well, which is the advantages which new works bring
to those who have charge of their erection.

[Footnote 4: This account of the matter is very erroneous. The
latitudes are between 28° 5' and 28° 30' both S. and the longitude is
49° 10' W. from Greenwich.--E.]

[Footnote 5: The more elaborate nautical description of this island
is necessarily omitted, as referring to two extensive views, without
which the description would be unintelligible.--E.]

The soil of this island is truly luxuriant, producing many kinds of
fruits spontaneously, and is covered over with one continued forest of
trees, in perpetual verdure, and which, from the exuberant fertility
of the soil, are so entangled with thorns, briars, and underwood,
as to form an absolutely impenetrable thicket, except by some narrow
paths which the inhabitants have opened for their own convenience; and
these, with a few spots cleared for plantations, along that side of
the island which faces the continent, are the only uncovered parts of
the island. The woods are extremely fragrant, from the many aromatic
trees and shrubs with which they abound, and here the fruits and
vegetables of all climates thrive, almost without culture, and are
to be had in great plenty, so that there is no want of pine-apples,
peaches, grapes, oranges, lemons, citrons, melons, apricots, and
plantains; there is also abundance of onions and potatoes, two
productions of no small consideration for sea-stores. The flesh
provisions are, however, much inferior to the vegetables. There are,
indeed, small wild cattle to be purchased, something like buffaloes,
but these are very indifferent food, their flesh being of a loose
texture, and generally of a disagreeable flavour, probably owing to
their feeding on wild calabash. There are also abundance of pheasants,
but they are not to be compared in taste to those we have in England.
The other provisions of the place are monkeys, parrots, and, above
all, fish of various sorts: These abound in the harbour, and are both
exceedingly good and easily caught, as there are numerous sandy bays,
very convenient for haling the seyne.

The water, both on the island and the opposite continent, is
excellent, and preserves at sea as well as that of the Thames. After
it has been a day or two in the cask, it begins to purge itself,
stinks most abominably, and is soon covered over with a green
scum, which subsides in a few days to the bottom, leaving the water
perfectly sweet, and as clear as crystal. The French first brought
this place into repute during their South-Sea trade in the reign
of Queen Anne, and usually wooded and watered in Bon-port, on the
continental side of the harbour, where they anchored in great safety
in six fathoms, and this is doubtless the most commodious station
for ships that are meant only for a short stay. We watered on the
St Catharine's side, at a plantation opposite to the island of St

Such are the advantages of this island; but it has its inconveniences
also, partly proceeding from its climate, but more particularly
from its new regulations and the form of its government, as lately
established. In regard to the climate, it must be remembered that the
woods and hills which surround the harbour prevent a free circulation
of air, and the continual vigorous vegetation furnishes such a
prodigious quantity of vapour, that a thick fog covers the whole
country all night, and a great part of the morning, continuing till
either the sun gathers strength to dissipate it, or it is dispersed
by a brisk sea-breeze. This renders the place close and humid, and
probably occasioned the many fevers and fluxes we were there afflicted
with. I must not omit to add, that we were pestered all day by vast
numbers of mosquetoes, which are not much unlike the gnats in England,
but much more venomous in their stings. At sunset, when the musquetoes
retired, they were succeeded by an infinity of sand-flies, which
made a mighty buzzing, though scarcely discernable by the naked eye;
wherever these bite, they raise a small lump attended by painful
itching, like that arising from the bite of an English harvest bug.
The only light in which this place deserves our consideration is its
favourable situation for supplying and refreshing our cruizers bound
for the South Sea, and in this view its greatest inconveniences remain
to be related, to do which more distinctly, it may not be amiss
to consider the changes which it has lately undergone, both in its
inhabitants, its police, and its governor.

In the time of Frazier and Shelvocke, this place served only as a
retreat to vagabonds and outlaws, who fled hither from all parts of
Brazil. It is true, that they acknowledged their subjection to the
crown of Portugal, and had a person among them whom they called their
captain, and who was considered as a kind of governor; but both their
allegiance to their king, and their obedience to the captain, were
merely verbal; for, as they had plenty of provisions and no money,
they were in a condition to support themselves without aid from any
neighbouring settlements, and had nothing among them to tempt any
neighbouring governor to interpose his authority among them. In this
situation they were extremely hospitable and friendly to such foreign
ships as came among them; for, as these ships wanted only provisions,
of which the natives had great store, while the natives wanted
clothes, for they often despised money, and refused to take it, the
ships furnished them with apparel in exchange for their provisions,
both sides finding their account in this traffic, and their captain
had neither interest nor power to tax or restrain it.

Of late, for reasons which will afterwards appear, these honest
vagabonds have been obliged to receive a new colony among them, and
to submit to new laws and a new form of government. Instead of their
former ragged and bare-legged captain, whom they took care, however,
to keep innocent, they have now the honour of being governed by Don
Jose Sylva de Paz, a brigadier of the armies of Portugal, who is
accompanied by a garrison of soldiers, and has consequently a more
extensive and better supported power than any of his predecessors:
And as he wears better cloaths, lives more splendidly, and has a much
better knowledge of the importance of money than any of them could
ever pretend to, so he puts in practice certain methods for procuring
it with which they were utterly unacquainted; yet it may be much
doubted if the inhabitants consider these methods as tending to
promote either their interests, or that of their sovereign, the king
of Portugal. This much is certain, that his behaviour cannot but be
extremely embarrassing to such British ships as touch here in their
way to the South Seas.

One of his practices was, that he placed centinels at all the avenues,
to prevent the people from selling us any refreshments, except at such
exorbitant rates as we could not afford to give. His pretence for this
extraordinary stretch of power was, that he was obliged to preserve
their provisions for upwards of an hundred families, which were daily
expected as a reinforcement to the colony. Thus he seems no novice in
his profession, by his readiness at inventing a plausible pretence
for his interested management. This circumstance, however, though
sufficiently provoking, was far from being the most exceptionable
part of his conduct; for, as by the neighbourhood of the Rio Plata, a
considerable smuggling trade is carried on between the Portuguese and
Spaniards, especially in exchanging gold for silver, by which both
princes are defrauded of their fifths; and as Don Jose was deeply
engaged in this prohibited commerce, in order to ingratiate himself
with his Spanish correspondents, he treacherously dispatched an
express to Buenos Ayres, where Pizarro then lay, with an account of
our arrival, our strength, the number, of our ships, guns, men,
and every circumstance he could suppose our enemy desirous of being
acquainted with.

This much, and what we shall have to relate in the course of our own
proceedings, may suffice as to the present state of St Catharines and
the character of its governor. But as the reader may wish to know
the reasons for the late new modelling of this settlement, it will
require, to explain this circumstance, to give a short account of the
adjacent continent of Brazil, and of the wonderful discoveries which
have been made within the last forty years, which, from a country of
but mean estimation, has rendered it now perhaps the most considerable
colony on the face of the earth.

This country was first discovered by Americus Vesputio, a Florentine,
who had the good fortune to be honoured by giving his name to the
immense continent found out some time before by Columbus. As Vesputio
was in the service of Portugal, this discovery was settled and planned
by that nation, and afterwards devolved to the crown of Spain along
with the rest of the Portuguese dominions. During the long war between
Spain and the states of Holland, the Dutch possessed themselves of the
northermost parts of Brazil, and kept it for some years; but, when
the Portuguese revolted from the Spanish government, this country
took part in the revolt, and the Dutch were soon driven out of their
acquisitions; since which time it has continued without interruption
under the crown of Portugal. Till the beginning of the present
century, it was only productive of sugar and tobacco, and a few other
commodities of very little importance; but has been lately discovered
to abound in the two mineral productions, gold and diamonds, which
mankind hold in the highest estimation, and which they exercise their
utmost art and industry in acquiring.

Gold was first found in the mountains adjacent to the city of Rio
Janeiro. The occasion of its discovery is variously related, but the
most common account is, that the Indians dwelling on the back of the
Portuguese settlements were observed, by the soldiers employed in an
expedition against them, to use this metal for fish-hooks; and,
on enquiry into their manner of procuring this precious metal, it
appeared that great quantities of it were annually washed from the
hills, and left among the sand and gravel which remained in the
vallies after the running off or evaporation of the water. It is now
[in 1740] little more than forty years since any quantities of gold,
worth notice, have been imported from Brazil to Europe; but, since
that time, the annual imports have been continually augmented by the
discovery of places in other provinces, where it is to be met with
as plentifully as at first about Rio Janeiro. It is alleged that a
_slender vein_[3] of gold spread through all the country, at about
twenty-four feet below the surface, but that this vein is too thin and
poor to answer the expence of digging.[4] However, where the rivers
or rains have had any course for a considerable time, there gold is
always to be collected, the water having separated the metal from the
earth, and deposited it in the sands, thereby saving the expence of
digging; hence it is esteemed an infallible gain to be able to divert
a stream from its channel, and ransack its bed. From this account of
the manner of gathering gold, it should follow that there are no mines
of this metal in Brazil, and this the governor of Rio Grande, who
happened to be at St Catharines, and frequently visited Mr Anson, did
most confidently affirm, assuring us that all the gold was collected
from rivers, or from the beds of torrents after floods. It is indeed
asserted that large rocks are found in the mountains abounding in
gold, and I have seen a fragment of one of these rocks having a
considerable lump of gold entangled in it; but, even in this case, the
workmen only break off the rocks, and do not properly mine into them;
and the great expence of subsisting among these mountains, and in
afterwards separating the metal from the stone, occasions this method
of procuring gold to be but rarely put in practice.

[Footnote 3: The author ought here to have said, _a thin layer_, or
_stratum_, to express the obvious meaning intended in the text.--E.]

[Footnote 4: The editor was informed, many years ago, by an
intelligent native of Rio Janeiro, that the search for gold is
confined by law to certain districts, on purpose to secure the royal
fifth; and that all over the country round Rio Janeiro, where the
search is prohibited, gold, emeralds, and aqua-marines are found in
small quantities, on every occasion of digging to any depth into the
earth, as for the purpose of a pit-well.--E.]

The examining the bottom of rivers and beds of torrents, and the
washing the gold there found, from the sand and dirt with which it is
always mixed, are performed by slaves, who are principally negroes,
kept in great numbers by the Portuguese for this purpose. The
regulation of the duty of these slaves is singular, as they are each
of them obliged to furnish their master with the eighth part of an
ounce of gold daily.[5] If they are either so fortunate or industrious
as to collect a greater quantity, the surplus becomes their own
property, and they may dispose of it as they think fit; so that some
negroes, who have accidentally fallen upon rich washing-places, are
said to have themselves purchased slaves, and to have lived afterwards
in great splendour, their original master having no other demand upon
them than the daily supply of the before-mentioned eighths; which,
as the Portuguese ounce is somewhat lighter than our troy ounce, may
amount to about nine shillings sterling.

[Footnote 5: On the data of the text, and allowing sixty-five days
in the year for Sundays and high festivals, the yearly profit of one
slave to his master would be L. 135 sterling.--E.]

The quantity of gold thus collected in the Brazils and returned
annually to Lisbon, may be estimated, in some degree, from the amount
of the royal fifth. This has been of late computed, one year with
another, at one hundred and fifty _aroues_, of thirty-two Portuguese
pounds each, which, valued at L. 4 sterling the troy ounce, make very
nearly three hundred thousand pounds sterling; and consequently the
capital, of which this is the fifth, is about a million and a half
sterling. It is obvious that the annual return of gold to Lisbon
cannot be less than this, though it may be difficult to guess how much
more it may be. Perhaps we may not be much mistaken in conjecturing
that the gold exchanged with the Spaniards at Buenos Ayres for silver,
and what is privately brought to Europe without paying the duty, may
amount to near half a million more, which will make the entire yearly
produce of Brazilian gold nearly two millions sterling; a prodigious
sum to be found in a country which only a few years since was not
known to furnish a single grain.

Besides gold, this country also affords diamonds, as already
mentioned. The discovery of these valuable stones is much more recent
even than that of gold, as it is scarcely twenty years since the first
were brought to Europe.[6] They are found in the same manner as gold,
in the gullies of torrents and beds of rivers, but only in particular
places, and by no means so universally spread throughout the country.
They were often found while washing for gold, before they were known
to be diamonds, and were consequently thrown away along with the
sand and gravel; and it is well remembered that numbers of very large
stones, which would have made the fortunes of the possessors, have
passed unregarded through the hands of those who now impatiently
support the mortifying reflection. However, about twenty years since,
[that is, in 1720,] a person acquainted with the appearance of rough
diamonds, conceived that these pebbles, as they were then called, were
of the same kind; yet it is said there was a considerable interval
between the first stating of this opinion and its confirmation, by
proper examination, as it was difficult to persuade the inhabitants
that what they had been long accustomed to despise, could be of such
amazing importance; and in this interval, as I was told, a governor of
one of these places procured a good number of these stones, which
he pretended to make use of as markers at cards. The truth of the
discovery was at last confirmed by skilful jewellers in Europe, who
were consulted on the occasion, and who declared that these Brazilian
pebbles were true diamonds, many of which were not inferior in lustre,
or other qualities, to those of the East Indies. On this being made
known, the Portuguese in the neighbourhood of the places where these
had been first discovered, set themselves to search for diamonds with
great assiduity, and were hopeful of discovering them in considerable
quantities, as they found large rocks of crystal in many of the
mountains whence the streams proceeded that washed down the diamonds.

[Footnote 6: The author writes as of the year 1740.--E.]

Soon after this discovery, it was represented to the king of Portugal,
that if diamonds should be met with in such abundance as their
sanguine expectations seemed to indicate, their value and estimation
would be so debased as to ruin all the Europeans who had any quantity
of East India diamonds in their possession, and would even render
the discovery itself of no importance, and prevent his majesty from
deriving any advantages from it. On these considerations, his majesty
thought proper to restrain the general search for diamonds, and
erected a diamond company, with an exclusive charter for this purpose;
in which company, in consideration of a sum of money paid to the king,
the property of all diamonds found in Brazil is vested: But, to hinder
them from collecting too large quantities, and thereby reducing their
value in the market, they are prohibited from employing above eight
hundred slaves in this search. To prevent any of his other subjects
from continuing the search, and to secure the company against
interlopers, a large town, and considerable surrounding district, has
been depopulated; and all the inhabitants, said to have amounted
to six thousand, have been obliged to remove to another part of the
country: For as this town and district were in the neighbourhood of
the diamonds, it was thought impossible to prevent such a number of
people from frequently smuggling, if allowed to reside on the spot.

In consequence of these important discoveries in Brazil, new laws, new
governments, and new regulations, have been established in many parts
of the country. Not long ago there was a considerable track of country
possessed by a set of inhabitants called Paulists, from the name of
their principal settlement, who were almost independent of the
crown of Portugal, to which it scarcely ever acknowledged a nominal
allegiance. These Paulists are said to be descendants from the
Portuguese who retired from the northern part of Brazil when it was
invaded and possessed by the Dutch. Being long neglected by their
superiors, owing to the confusions of the times, and obliged to
provide for their own security and defence, the necessity of their
affairs produced a kind of government among themselves, which sufficed
for their mode of life. Thus habituated to their own regulations, they
became fond of independence, so that, rejecting the mandates of the
court of Lisbon, they were often engaged in a state of downright
rebellion; and, owing to the mountains surrounding their country, and
the difficulty of clearing the few passes leading towards it, they
were generally able to make their own terms before they submitted. But
as gold was found in this country of the Paulists, the present king of
Portugal, in whose reign almost all these great discoveries have been
made, thought it necessary to reduce this province, now become of
great importance, under the same dependence and obedience with the
rest of the country, which was at length effected, though, as I was
informed, with great difficulty.

The same motives which induced his majesty to reduce the Paulists,
have also occasioned the changes which I have mentioned as having
taken place at the island of St Catharines: For, as we were assured
by the governor of Rio Grande, there are considerable rivers in this
neighbourhood that are found to be extremely rich in gold, for which
reason a military governor with a garrison have been placed here,
along with a new colony; and, as the harbour at this island is by much
the largest and most secure of any on the coast, it is not improbable,
if the riches of the neighbourhood answer their present expectation,
that it may become in time the principal settlement in Brazil, and the
most considerable port in all South America.

This much I thought necessary to insert, in relation to the present
state of Brazil and of the island of St Catharines; for, as this last
place has been generally recommended as the most eligible place for
our cruizers to refresh at when bound to the South Sea, I believed it
to be my duty to instruct my countrymen in the hitherto unsuspected
inconveniences which attend that place. And, as the Brazilian gold and
diamonds are subjects of novelty, of which very few particulars have
hitherto been published, I considered that the account I have been
able to collect respecting them might not be regarded either a
trifling or useless digression.

When we first arrived at St Catharines, we were employed in refreshing
our sick on shore, in wooding and watering the squadron, in cleaning
our ships, and in examining and securing our masts and rigging, as
formerly mentioned. At the same time Mr Anson gave orders that the
ships companies should be supplied with fresh meat, and have a full
allowance of all kinds of provisions. In consequence of these orders
we had fresh meat sent on board continually for our daily expenditure;
and every thing else that was wanting to make up our allowances, was
received from the Anna Pink, our victualler, in order to preserve the
provisions on board the ships of the squadron as entire as possible
for future service. As the season of the year grew every day less
favourable for our passage round Cape Horn, Mr Anson was very anxious
to leave St Catharines as soon as possible, and we were at first in
hopes that all our business would be concluded, and we should be in
readiness to sail, in about a fortnight from our arrival; but, on
examining the masts of the Tryal, we found, to our no small vexation,
inevitable employment for twice that time; for, on a survey, her
main-mast was sprung at the upper woulding, though that was thought
capable of being secured by means of two fishes; but the fore-mast was
reported entirely unfit for service, on which the carpenters were sent
into the woods in search of a stick proper for a new foremast. After
a search of four days, nothing could be found fit for the purpose;
wherefore, on a new consultation, it was agreed to endeavour to secure
the mast by three fishes, in which work the carpenters were employed
till within a day or two of our departure. In the meantime, thinking
it necessary to have a clean vessel, on our arrival in the South Sea,
the commodore ordered the Tryal to be hove down, which occasioned
no loss of time, as it might be completed while the carpenters were
refitting her masts on shore.

A sail being discovered in the offing on the 27th December, and not
knowing but she might be Spanish, the eighteen-oared boat was manned
and armed, and sent under the command of our second lieutenant, to
examine her before she got within the protection of the forts. She
proved to be a Portuguese brigantine from Rio Grande; and, though
our officer behaved with the utmost civility to the master, and even
refused to accept a calf which the master pressed him to accept, the
governor took great offence at the sending our boat, talking of it
in a high strain, as a violation of the peace subsisting between
the crowns of Great Britain and Portugal. We thus attributed this
blustering to no deeper cause than the natural insolence of Don Jose;
but when he charged our officer with behaving rudely, and attempting
to take by violence the calf which he had refused as a present, we had
reason to suspect that he purposely sought this quarrel, and had more
important objects in view than the mere captiousness of his temper.
What these motives might be we had then no means of determining, or
even guessing at; but we afterwards found, by letters which fell into
our hands when in the South-Seas, that he had dispatched an express to
Pizarro, who then lay in the Rio Plata, with an account of our arrival
at St Catharines, together with a most ample and circumstantial
account of our force and condition. We then conceived, that Don Jose
had raised this groundless clamour on purpose to prevent us from
visiting the brigantine when she should go away again, lest we might
have found proofs of his perfidy, and perhaps have discovered
the secret of his smuggling correspondence with his neighbouring
governors, and with the Spaniards at Buenos Ayres.

It was near a month before the Tryal was refitted; for not only were
her lower-masts defective, but her main-topmast and fore-yard were
likewise found rotten. While this work was going on, the other
ships of the squadron set up new standing-rigging, together with a
sufficient number of preventer shrowds to each mast, to secure them in
the most effectual manner. Also, in order to render the ships stiffer,
to enable them to carry more sail abroad, and to prevent them from
straining their upper works in hard gales of wind, the several
captains were ordered to put some of their great guns into their
holds. These precautions being complied with, and all the ships having
taken in as much wood and water as there was room for, the Tryal was
at last completed, and the whole squadron was ready for sea: On which
the tents on shore were struck, and all the sick removed on board. We
had here a melancholy proof how much the healthiness of this place
was over-rated by former writers; for, though the Centurion had alone
buried no less than twenty-eight of her men since our arrival, yet, in
the same interval, the number of her sick had increased from eighty to

All being embarked, and every thing prepared for our departure, the
commodore made the signal for all captains, and delivered them their
orders, containing the successive places of rendezvous from hence to
the coast of Chili. Next day, being the 18th of January, 1741, the
signal was made for weighing, and the squadron put to sea; leaving
this island of St Catharines without regret, as we had been extremely
disappointed in our accommodations and expectatations of refreshment,
and in the humane and friendly offices we had been taught to look
for, in a place so much celebrated for its hospitality, freedom, and


_The Run from St Catharines to Port St Julian; with some Account of
that Port, and of the Country to the South of the Rio Plata._

In quitting St Catharines, we left the last amicable port we proposed
to touch at, and were now proceeding to a hostile, or at best a desert
and inhospitable coast. As we were to expect a more boisterous climate
to the southward than any we had yet experienced, not only our
danger of separation would by this means be much augmented, but other
accidents of a more mischievous nature were also to be apprehended,
and as much as possible provided against. Mr Anson, therefore, in
appointing the various stations at which the ships of the squadron
were to rendezvous, had considered that his own ship might be disabled
from getting round Cape Horn, or might be lost, and gave therefore
proper directions, that, even in that case, the expedition might not
be abandoned. The orders delivered to the captains, the day before
sailing from St Catharines, were, in case of separation, which they
were to endeavour to avoid with the utmost care, that the first place
of rendezvous was to be Port St Julian, describing the place from Sir
John Narborough's account of it. They were there to provide as much
salt as they could take on board, both for their own use and that of
the other ships of the squadron; and, if not joined by the commodore
after a stay of ten days, they were then to pass through the straits
of Le Maire and round Cape Horn into the South-Seas, where the next
place of rendezvous was to be the island of Nostra Senora del Socoro,
in lat. 45° S. long. 71° 12' W. from the Lizard.[1] They were to bring
this island to bear E.N.E. and to cruize from five to twelve leagues
distance from it, as long as their store of wood and water would
permit, both of which they were directed to expend with the utmost
frugality. When under the necessity of procuring a fresh supply, they
were to stand in, and endeavour to find an anchorage; and in case they
could not, and the weather made it dangerous to supply the ships by
standing off and on, they were then to make the best of their way to
the island of Juan Fernandez in lat. 33° 37' S. at which island, after
recruiting their wood and water, they were to cruize off the anchorage
for fifty-six days; and, if not joined by the commodore in that time,
they were to conclude that some accident had befallen him, and were
forthwith to put themselves under the command of the senior officer,
who was to use his utmost endeavour to annoy the enemy both by sea and
land. In this view, the new commander was urged to continue in these
seas as long as provisions lasted, or as they could be supplied by
what could be taken from the enemy, reserving only a sufficiency to
carry the ships to Macao, at the entrance of the river of Canton
on the coast of China; whence, being supplied with a new stock of
provisions, they were to make the best of their way to England. As it
was found still impossible to unload the Anna Pink, our victualler,
the commodore gave her master instructions for the same rendezvouses,
and similar orders to put himself under the command of the remaining
senior officer.

[Footnote 1: The centre of the island of Socoro, or Guayteca, on the
western coast of Patagonia, is in lat. 43° 10' S. and long. 73° 40' W.
from Greenwich.--E.]

Under these orders, the squadron sailed from St Catharines on Sunday
the 18th of January, 1741. Next day we had very squally weather,
attended with rain, lightning, and thunder; but it soon cleared up
again, with light breezes, and continued so to the evening of the
21st, when it again blew fresh, and, increasing all night, it became a
most violent storm by next morning, accompanied by so thick a fog that
it was impossible for us to see to the distance of two ships lengths,
and we consequently lost sight of all the squadron. On this a signal
was made, by firing guns, to bring to with the larboard tacks, the
wind being due east. We in the Centurion handed the top-sails, bunted
the main-sail, and lay to under a reefed-mizen till noon, when the
fog dispersed, and we soon discovered all the ships of the squadron,
except the Pearl, which did not join till near a month afterwards.
The Tryal was a great way to leeward, having lost her main-mast in
the squall, and having been obliged to cut away the wreck, for fear of
bilging. We therefore bore down with the squadron to her relief, and
the Gloucester was ordered to take her in tow, as the weather did not
entirely abate till next day, and even then a great swell continued
from the eastward, in consequence of the preceding storm. After this
accident we continued to the southward with little interruption,
finding the same setting of the current we had observed before our
arrival at St Catharines; that is, we generally found ourselves about
twenty miles to the southward of our reckoning by the log every day.
This, with some inequality, lasted till we had passed the latitude of
the Rio Plata, and even then the same current, however difficult to
be accounted for, undoubtedly continued; for we were not satisfied in
attributing this appearance to any error in our reckoning, but tried
it more than once, when a calm rendered it practicable.

Immediately on getting to the south of the latitude of the Rio Plata
we had soundings, which continued all along the coast of Patagonia.
These soundings, when well ascertained, being of great use in
determining the position of a ship on this coast, and as we tried them
more frequently, in greater depths, and with more attention, than I
believe had ever been done before, I shall recite our observations
on this subject as succinctly as I can. In lat. 36° 52' S. we had 60
fathoms on a bottom of fine black and grey sand: From thence to 39°
55' S. we varied our depths from 50 to 80 fathoms, but always with the
same bottom: Between the last-mentioned latitude and 43° 16' S. we had
only fine grey sand with the same variation of depths, except that
we once or twice lessened the water to 40 fathoms. After this we
continued in 40 fathoms for about half a degree, having a bottom of
coarse sand and broken shells, at which time we were in sight of land
at not above seven leagues distance. As we edged from the land we had
a variety of soundings; first black sand, then muddy, and soon after
rough ground with stones: But when we had increased our depth to
forty-eight fathoms, we had a muddy bottom to the lat. of 46° 10' S.
Hence drawing near the shore, we had at first thirty-six fathoms,
and still kept shoaling till we came into twelve fathoms, having
constantly small stones and pebbles at the bottom.

Part of this time we had a view of Cape Blanco, in about lat. 47°
10' S. and long. 69° W. from London.[2] Steering from hence S. by
E. nearly, we deepened our water to fifty fathoms in a run of about
thirty leagues, without once altering the bottom; and then drawing
towards the shore, with a S.W. course, varying rather westward, we had
constantly a sandy bottom till we came to thirty fathoms, when we had
again a sight of land in about lat. 48° 31' S. We made this land on
the 17th February, and came to anchor at five that afternoon in lat.
48° 58' S. with the same soundings as before; the southermost land
then in view bearing S.S.W. the northermost N.E. a small island N.W.
and the westermost hummock W.S.W. At this anchorage we found the tide
to set S. by W.

[Footnote 2: Cape Blanco is in lat 47° 20' S. long. 64° 30' W. from
Greenwich. At this place, instead of a description of Cape Blanco, the
original gives two views of the coast in different directions, as seen
from sea; here omitted for reasons already assigned.--E.]

We weighed anchor at five next morning, and an hour afterwards
descried a sail, which was soon found to be the Pearl, which had
separated from us a few days after leaving St Catharines. Yet she
increased her sail and stood away from the Gloucester; and when she
came up, the people of the Pearl had their hammocks in their netting,
and every thing ready for an engagement. The Pearl joined us about
two in the afternoon, and running up under our stern, Lieutenant
Salt informed the commodore that Captain Kidd had died on the 31st
of January. He likewise said that he had seen five large ships on
the 10th of this month, which he for some time imagined had been our
squadron, insomuch that he suffered the commanding ship, which wore a
red broad pendant exactly resembling that of our commodore at the
main top-mast head, to come within gun-shot of the Pearl before he
discovered the mistake; but then, finding it was not the Centurion,
he haled close upon a wind and crowded from theirs with all sail; and
standing across a rippling, where they hesitated to follow, he happily
escaped. He had made them out to be five Spanish ships of war, one of
which was so exceedingly like the Gloucester that he was under great
apprehension when chased now by the Gloucester. He thought they
consisted of two seventy-gun ships, two of fifty, and one of forty;
the whole of which squadron chased him all that day, but at night,
finding they could not get near, they gave over the chase and stood
away to the southward.

Had we not been under the necessity of refitting the Tryal, this
intelligence would have prevented our making any stay at St Julians;
but as it was impossible for that sloop to proceed round Cape Horn
in her present condition, some stay there became inevitable; and
therefore we came to an anchor again the same evening in twenty-five
fathoms, the bottom a mixture of mud and sand, a high hummock bearing
from us S.W. by W. Weighing at nine next morning, we sent the cutters
of the Centurion and Severn in shore to discover the harbour of St
Julian, while the ships kept standing along the coast about a league
from the land. At six in the evening we anchored in the bay of St
Julian, in nineteen fathoms, the bottom muddy ground with sand, the
northermost land in sight bearing N. by E. the S. 1/2 E. and the
high hummock, called Wood's Mount by Sir John Narborough, W.S.W. The
cutters returned soon after, having discovered the harbour, which did
not appear to us where we lay, the northermost point shutting in upon
the southermost, and closing the entrance in appearance.

Our principal object in coming to anchor in this bay was to refit the
Tryal, in which business the carpenters were immediately employed. Her
main-mast had been carried away about twelve feet below the cap, but
they contrived to make the remainder of the mast serve. The Wager
was directed to supply her with a spare main-top-mast, which
the carpenters converted into a new fore-mast. And I cannot help
observing, that this accident to the Tryal's masts, which gave us so
much uneasiness at the time on account of the delay it occasioned, was
the means, in all probability, of preserving this sloop and all her
crew. For her masts before this were much too lofty for the high
southern latitudes we were proceeding into, so that, if they had
weathered the preceding storm, it would have been impossible for them
to have stood against the seas and tempests we afterwards encountered
in passing round Cape Horn; and the loss of masts, in that boisterous
climate, would scarcely have been attended with less than the loss of
the vessel and all on board, as it would have been impracticable for
the other ships to have given them any assistance whatever, during the
continuance of these impetuous storms.

While at this place, the commodore appointed the honourable Captain
Murray to succeed to the Pearl, and Captain Cheap to the Wager. He
promoted Mr Charles Saunders, first lieutenant of the Centurion, to
the command of the Tryal sloop; but, as Mr Saunders lay dangerously
ill of a fever in the Centurion, and the surgeons considered his
removal to his own ship might hazard his life, Mr Saumarez had
orders to act as commander of the Tryal during the illness of Captain

At this place, the commodore held a consultation with his captains
about unloading and discharging the Anna pink; but they represented
that, so far from being in a condition for taking her loading on
board, their ships still had great quantities of provisions in the way
of their guns between decks, and that their ships were so deep and so
lumbered that they would not be fit for action without being cleared.
It was therefore necessary to retain the pink in the service; and, as
it was apprehended that we should meet with the Spanish squadron in
passing the cape, Mr Anson ordered all the provisions that were in
the way of the guns to be put on board the Anna pink, and that all the
guns which had been formerly lowered into the holds, for the ease of
the ships, should be remounted.

As this bay and harbour of St Julian is a convenient rendezvous, in
case of separation, for all cruizers bound to the southwards, or to
any part of the coast of Patagonia, from the Rio Plata to the Straits
of Magellan, as it lies nearly parallel to their usual route, a
short account of the singularity of this country, with a particular
description of Port St. Julian, may perhaps be neither unacceptable to
the curious, nor unworthy the attention of future navigators, as some
of them, by unforeseen accidents, may be obliged to run in with the
land and to make some stay on this coast; in which case a knowledge of
the country, and of its productions and inhabitants, cannot fail to be
of the utmost consequence to them.

The tract of country usually called Patagonia, or that southern
portion of South America, not possessed by the Spaniards, extends
from their settlements to the Straits of Magellan. This country on its
eastern side, along the Atlantic ocean, from the Rio Plata southwards,
is remarkable for having no trees of any kind, except a few peach
trees planted by the Spaniards in the neighbourhood of Buenos Ayres;
so that the whole eastern coast of Patagonia, extending near four
hundred leagues from north to south, and as far back into the interior
as any discoveries have yet been made, contains nothing that can be
called by the name of wood, and only a few insignificant shrubs
in some places. Sir John Narborough, who was sent out expressly by
Charles II to examine this country, wintered upon this coast in Port
St Julian and Port Desire, in the year 1670, and declares that he did
not see a stick in the whole country large enough to make the handle
of a hatchet. But, although this country be destitute of wood, it
abounds in pasture, as the whole land seems made up of downs of a
light dry and gravelly soil, producing great quantities of long grass,
which grows in tufts, interspersed with large spots of barren gravel.
In many places this grass feeds immense herds of cattle, all derived
from a few European cattle brought over by the Spaniards at their
first settling, which have thriven and multiplied prodigiously, owing
to the abundance of herbage which they every where met with, and
are now so increased and extended so far into different parts of
Patagonia, that they are not considered as private property; thousands
of them being slaughtered every year by the hunters, only for their
hides and tallow.

The manner of killing these cattle, being peculiar to that part of the
world, merits a circumstantial description. Both Spaniards and Indians
in that country are usually most excellent horsemen; and accordingly
the hunters employed on this occasion are all mounted on horseback,
armed with a kind of spear, which, instead of the usual point or blade
in the same line with the shaft, has its blade fixed across. Armed
with this instrument, they ride at a beast and surround him, when the
hunter that is behind hamstrings him, so that he soon falls, and
is unable to rise from the ground, where they leave him and proceed
against others, whom they serve in the same manner. Sometimes there is
a second party attending the hunters, on purpose to skin the cattle as
they fall; but it is said that the hunters sometimes prefer to leave
them to languish in torment till next day, from an opinion that the
lengthened anguish bursts the lymphatics, and thereby facilitates the
separation of the skin from the carcass. Their priests have loudly
condemned this most barbarous practice, and have even gone so far, if
my memory do not deceive me, as to excommunicate such as persist to
follow it, yet all their efforts to put an entire stop to it have
hitherto proved ineffectual.

Besides great numbers of cattle which are slaughtered every year in
this manner, for their hides and tallow, it is often necessary, for
the uses of agriculture, and for other purposes, to catch them alive,
and without wounding them. This is performed with a most wonderful
and most incredible dexterity, chiefly by means of an implement or
contrivance which the English who have resided at Buenos Ayres usually
denominate a lash. This consists of a very strong thong of raw hide,
several fathoms in length, with a running noose at one end. This the
hunter, who is on horseback, takes in his right hand, being properly
coiled up, and the other end fastened to the saddle: Thus prepared,
the hunters ride at a herd of cattle, and when arrived within a
certain distance of a beast, they throw their thong at him with such
exactness, that they never fail to fix the noose about his horns.
Finding himself thus entangled, the beast usually endeavours to run
away, but the hunter attends his motions, and the horse being swifter,
the thong is prevented from being so much straitened as to break, till
another hunter throws another noose about one of his hind-legs. When
this is done, the horses being trained to the sport, instantly turn in
opposite directions, straining the two thongs contrary ways, by which
the beast is overthrown. The horses then stop, keeping both thongs
on the stretch, so that the beast remains on the ground incapable of
resistance; and the two hunters alight from their horses and secure
the beast in such a manner that they afterwards easily convey him to
wherever they please.

They catch horses by means of similar nooses, and are even said to
catch tigers in the same manner, which, however strange it may appear,
is asserted by persons of credit. It must be owned, indeed, that the
address both of Spaniards and Indians in this part of the world, in
the use of this lash or noose, and the certainty with which they throw
and fix it on any intended part of a beast, even at a considerable
distance, is so wonderful as only to be credited and repeated on the
concurrent testimony of all who have frequented this country. The
cattle killed in the before-mentioned manner are slaughtered only for
their hides and tallow, and sometimes their tongues also are taken
out; but the rest of the flesh is left to putrify, or to be devoured
by birds of prey and wild beasts. The greatest part of it falls to the
share of the wild-dogs, of which there are immense numbers to be found
in the country. These are all supposed to be descended of Spanish dogs
from Buenos Ayres, which had left their masters, allured by the great
quantity of carrion, and had run wild where they had such facility
of subsisting, for they are plainly of the European breed of dogs.
Although these dogs are said to prowl in vast packs, even some
thousands together, they do not diminish the number, nor prevent the
increase of the cattle, as they dare not attack the herds, by reason
of the vast numbers that feed together, but content themselves with
the carrion left by the hunters, and perhaps now and then meet with
a few stragglers, separated accidentally from the herds to which they

This country, to the southward of Buenos Ayres, is also stocked with
great numbers of wild-horses, brought also originally from Spain, and
prodigiously increased, and extending to a much greater distance than
the cattle. Though many of these are excellent, their numbers
make them of very little value, the best of them being sold in the
neighbouring settlements, where money is plenty and commodities very
dear, for not more than a dollar a piece. It is not certain how far to
the southwards these herds of wild cattle and horses extend; but there
is reason to believe that stragglers of both are to be met with very
near the Straits of Magellan, and they will doubtless in time fill
all the southern part of the continent with their breeds, which cannot
fail to be of vast advantage to such ships as may touch on the coast.
The horses are said to be very good eating, and are even preferred by
some of the Indians before the cattle. But however plentiful Patagonia
may hereafter become in regard to flesh, this eastern coast of that
extensive country seems very defective in regard to fresh water; for
as the land is generally of a nitrous and saline nature, the ponds
and streams are frequently brackish. However, as good water has been
found, though in small quantities, it is not improbable but this
inconvenience may be removed, on a farther search.

There are also in all parts of this country a good number of
_Vicunnas_, or Peruvian sheep, but these, by reason of their
swiftness, are very difficultly killed. On the eastern coast, also,
there are immense quantities of seals, and a vast variety of sea-fowl,
among which the most remarkable are the penguins. These are, in size
and shape, like a goose, but have short stumps like fins instead of
wings, which are of no use to them except when in the water. Their
bills are narrow, like that of the albatross, and they stand and walk
quite erect, from which circumstance, and their white bellies, Sir
John Narborough has whimsically likened them to little children
standing up in white aprons.

The inhabitants of this eastern coast, to which hitherto I confine my
observations, appear to be but few, and rarely have more than two or
three of them been seen at a time by any ships that have touched here.
During our stay at Port St Julian we did not see any. Towards
Buenos Ayres, however, they are sufficiently numerous, and are very
troublesome to the Spaniards: But there the greater breadth and
variety of the country, and a milder climate, yield them greater
conveniences. In that part the continent is between three and four
hundred leagues in breadth, while at Port St Julian it is little more
than one hundred. I conceive, therefore, that the same Indians who
frequent the western coast of Patagonia, and the northern shore of the
Straits of Magellan, often ramble to this eastern side. As the Indians
near Buenos Ayres are more numerous than those farther south, they
also greatly excel them in spirit and activity, and seem nearly allied
in their manners to the gallant Chilese Indians, [Araucanians] who
have long set the whole Spanish power at defiance, have often ravaged
their country, and remain to this hour independent. The Indians about
Buenos Ayres have learned to be excellent horsemen, and are extremely
expert in the management of all cutting weapons, though ignorant of
fire-arms, which the Spaniards are exceedingly solicitous to keep from
them. Of the vigour and resolution of these Indians, the behaviour
of Orellana and his followers, formerly mentioned, is a memorable

This much may suffice respecting the eastern coast of Patagonia. The
western coast is of less extent; and, by reason of the Andes which
skirt it, and stretch quite down to the sea side, the shore is very
rocky and dangerous. As I shall hereafter have occasion to take
farther notice of that coast, I shall not enlarge any farther
respecting it in this place, but shall conclude this account with a
short description of the harbour of St Julian, the general form of
which may be conceived from the annexed sketch. It must however be
noticed, that the bar there marked at the entrance has many holes in
it, and is often shifting. The tide flows here N. and S. and at full
and change rises four fathoms. On our first arrival, an officer was
sent on shore to the salt pond marked D. in the sketch, in order to
procure a quantity of salt for the use of the squadron; for Sir John
Narborough had observed, when he was here, that the salt was very
white and good, and that in February there was enough to have loaded a
thousand ships. But our officer returned with a sample which was very
bad, and said that even of this very little was to be had: I suppose
the weather had been more rainy this year than ordinary, and had
destroyed the salt, or prevented its fermentation.


_Departure from the Bay of St Julian, and Passage from thence to the
Straits of Le Maire._

The Tryal being nearly refitted, which was our principal occupation
at this bay, and sole occasion of our stay, the commodore thought
it necessary to fix the plan of his first operations, as we were
now directly bound for the South Seas and the enemy's coasts; and
therefore, on the 24th February, a signal was made for all captains,
and a council of war was held on board the Centurion. There were
present on this occasion the Honourable Edward Legg, Captain Matthew
Mitchell, the Honourable George Murray, Captain David Cheap, and
Colonel Mordaunt Cracherode, commander of the land-forces. At this
council, it was proposed by Commodore Anson, that their first attempt,
after arriving in the South Seas, should be against the town and
harbour of Baldivia, the principal frontier place in the south of
Chili, informing them, as an inducement for this enterprize, that it
formed part of his majesty's instructions to endeavour to secure
some port in the South Seas where the ships of the squadron might be
careened and refitted. The council readily and unanimously agreed
to this proposal; and, in consequence of this resolution, new
instructions were issued to the captains, by which, though still
directed, in case of separation, to make the best of their way to the
island of Socoro, they were only to cruize off that island for ten
days; from whence, if not then joined by the commodore, they were to
proceed off Baldivia, making the land between the latitudes of 40° and
40° 30' S. and taking care to keep to the southward of the port. If
not there joined in fourteen days by the rest of the squadron, they
were then to direct their course for the island of Juan Fernandez;
after which they were to regulate their farther proceedings by the
former orders given out at St Catharines. The same orders were also
given to the master of the Anna pink, who was enjoined to answer and
obey the signals made by any ship of the squadron, in absence of the
commodore; and, if he should be so unfortunate as to fell into the
hands of the enemy, he was directed to destroy his orders and papers
with the utmost care. Likewise, as the separation of the squadron
might prove highly prejudicial to the service, each captain was
ordered to give it in charge to the respective officers of the watch,
on all occasions, never to keep their respective ships at a greater
distance from the Centurion than two miles, as they should answer
at their peril; and if any captain should find his ship beyond the
specified distance, he was to acquaint the commodore with the name of
the officer who thus neglected his duty.

These necessary regulations established, and the repairs of the Tryal
sloop completed, the squadron weighed from Port St Julians on Friday
the 27th February, 1741, at seven in the morning, and stood to sea.
The Gloucester found such difficulty in endeavouring to purchase her
anchor, that she was left a great way astern, so that we fired several
guns in the night as signals for her to make more sail: But she did
not rejoin us till next morning, when we learnt that she had been
obliged to cut her cable, leaving her best bower anchor behind. At ten
in the morning of the 28th, Wood's Mount, the high land over Port
St Julian, bore from us N. by W. distant ten leagues, and we had
fifty-two fathoms water. Standing now to the southward, we had great
expectations of falling in with the Spanish squadron under Pizarro;
as, during our stay at Port St Julian, there had generally been hard
gales between W.N.W. and S.W. so that we had reason to conclude that
squadron, had gained no ground upon us in that interval. Indeed, it
was the prospect of meeting them that had occasioned our commodore to
be so very solicitous to prevent the separation of our ships; for, had
he been solely intent on getting round Cape Horn in the shortest time,
the most proper method for this purpose would have been, to order each
ship to make the best of her way to the rendezvous, without waiting
for the rest.

From the time of leaving Port St Julian to the 4th March, we had
little wind with thick hazy weather and some rain, and our soundings
were generally from forty to fifty fathoms, with a bottom of black
and gray sand, sometimes mixed with pebble stones. On the 4th March
we were in sight of Cape Virgin Mary, and not more than six or seven
leagues distant, the northern boundary of the eastern entrance of
the Straits of Magellan, in lat 52° 21' S. long. 71° 44' W. from
London.[1] It seemed a low flat land, ending in a point.[2] Off this
cape the depth of water was from thirty-five to forty-eight fathoms.
The afternoon of this day was bright and clear, with small breezes
of wind, inclining to a calm; and most of the captains took the
opportunity of this fine weather to visit the commodore. While all
were on board the Centurion, they were greatly alarmed by a sudden
flame bursting out in the Gloucester, followed by a cloud of
smoke; but were soon relieved of their apprehensions, by receiving
information that the blast had been occasioned by a spark of fire from
the forge lighting on some gun-powder, and other combustibles, which
an officer was preparing for use, in case of falling in with the
Spanish squadron, and which had exploded without any damage to the

[Footnote 1: The longitude of Cape Virgin Mary, is only 67° 42' W.
from Greenwich.--E.]

[Footnote 2: By the draught in the original, omitted here for
substantial reasons already repeatedly stated, the coast at this
southern extremity of Patagonia is represented as a high bluff flat on
the top, and ending abruptly at this cape.--E.]

We here found, what was constantly the case in these high southern
latitudes, that fair weather was always of exceedingly short
continuance, and that when remarkably fine it was a certain presage of
a succeeding storm: For the calm and sunshine of this afternoon ended
in a most turbulent night; the wind freshening from the S.W. as the
night came on; and increasing continually in violence till nine next
morning. It then blew so hard that we were forced to bring to with the
squadron, and to continue under a reefed mizen till eleven at night,
having in that time from forty-three to fifty-seven fathoms water
on black sand and gravel; and, by an observation we had at noon, we
concluded that a current had set us twelve miles to the southward
of our reckoning. Toward midnight the wind abated, and we again made
sail, steering S. In the morning we discovered the southern land
beyond the Straits of Magellan, called Terra del Fuego, stretching
from S. by W.S.E. 1/2 E. This country afforded a very uncomfortable
prospect, appearing of stupendous height, every where covered with
snow, and shewing at its southern extremity the entrance into the
Straits of Le Maire at Cape St Diego.[3] We steered along this
uncouth and rugged coast all day, having soundings from forty to fifty
fathoms, on stones and gravel.

[Footnote 3: The western side of the entrance into the Straits of Le
Maire is formed by the Capes of St Vincent and St Diego; the former in
lat. 54° 30', the latter in 54° 40', both S. and long. 65° 40' W.]

Intending to pass through the straits of Le Maire next day, we lay to
at night that we might not overshoot them, and took this opportunity
to prepare ourselves for the tempestuous climate in which we were soon
to be engaged, with which view we were employed good part of the night
in bending an entire new suit of sails to the yards. At four next
morning, being the 7th of March, we made sail, and at eight saw land,
and soon after began to open the straits, at which time Cape St Diego
bore E.S.E. Cape St Vincent S.E. 1/2 E. the middlemost of the Three
Brothers, hills so called on Terra del Fuego S. by W. Montegorda, a
high land up the country appearing over the Three Brothers; S. and
Cape St Bartholomew, the southernmost point of Staten Land, E.S.E. I
must observe here that, though Frezier has given a very correct view
of that part of Terra del Fuego which borders on these straits to the
westwards, he has omitted the draught of Staten Land, which forms
the opposite shore of these straits, whence we found it difficult to
determine exactly where the straits lay until they began to open upon
our view; and hence, had we not coasted a considerable way along the
shore of Terra del Fuego, we might have missed the straits, and have
gone to the eastward of Staten Land before discovering it. This has
happened to many ships; particularly, as mentioned by Frezier, to the
Incarnation and Concord, which, intending to pass through the Straits
of Le Maire, were deceived by three hills on Staten Land, and some
creeks, resembling the Three Brothers and coves of Terra del Fuego, so
that they overshot the straits.

Though Terra del Fuego presented an aspect exceedingly barren and
desolate, yet this island of Staten Land far surpasses it in the
wildness and horror of its appearance, seeming to be entirely composed
of inaccessible rocks, without the smallest apparent admixture of
earth or mould, upon or between them. These rocks terminate in a vast
number of rugged points, which spire up to a prodigious height,
and are all covered with everlasting snow; their pointed summits or
pinnacles being every way surrounded by frightful precipices, and
often overhanging in a most astonishing manner. The hills which are
crowned by the rugged rocks, are generally separated from each other
by narrow clifts, appearing as if the country had been frequently rent
by earthquakes; for these chasms are nearly perpendicular, and extend
through the substance of the main rocks almost to their bases; so that
nothing can be imagined more savage and gloomy than the whole aspect
of this coast.

Having opened the Straits of Le Maire on the morning of the 7th March,
as before mentioned, the Pearl and Tryal, about ten o'clock,
were ordered to keep a-head of the squadron and lead the way. We
accordingly entered the straits with fair weather and a brisk gale,
and were hurried through by the rapidity of the tide in about two
hours, though they are between seven and eight leagues in length. As
these straits are often esteemed the boundary between the Atlantic and
Pacific oceans, and as we presumed that we had nothing now before us
but an open sea, till we should arrive on the opulent coasts where all
our hopes and wishes centered, we could not help flattering ourselves
that the greatest difficulty of our voyage was now at an end, and
that our most sanguine dreams were on the point of being realized. We
indulged ourselves, therefore, in the romantic imaginations which
the fancied possession of the gold of Chili and silver of Peru might
readily be conceived to inspire. These joyous ideas were considerably
heightened, by the brightness of the sky and serenity of the weather,
which indeed were both most remarkably delightful: For, though the
antarctic winter was now advancing with hasty strides, the morning of
this day, in mildness and even brilliancy, gave place to none that
we had seen since our departure from England. Thus, animated by these
flattering delusions, we passed those memorable straits, ignorant of
the dreadful calamities then impending, and ready to burst upon us;
ignorant that the moment was fast approaching when our squadron was to
be separated, never again to unite; and that this day of our passage
was the last cheerful day that the greatest part of us was ever to
enjoy in this world.


_Course from the Straits of Le Maire to Cape Noir._

We had scarcely reached the southern extremity of the Straits of Le
Maire, when our flattering hopes were almost instantly changed to the
apprehension of immediate destruction. Even before the sternmost ships
of the squadron were clear of the straits, the serenity of the sky was
suddenly obscured, and we observed all the presages of an impending
storm. The wind presently shifted to the southward, and blew in
such violent squalls that we had to hand our top-sails and reef our
main-sail; while the tide, which had hitherto favoured us, turned
furiously adverse, and drove us to the eastward with prodigious
rapidity, so that we were in great anxiety for the Wager and Anna
pink, the two sternmost vessels, fearing they might be dashed to
pieces upon the shore of Staten Land; nor were our apprehensions
without foundation, as they weathered that coast with the utmost
difficulty. Instead of pursuing our intended course to the S.W. the
whole squadron was now drifted to the eastward, by the united force of
the storm and current; so that next morning we found ourselves nearly
seven leagues eastward of the straits, which then bore from us N.W.

The violence of the current, which had set us with so much
precipitation to the eastward, together with the fierceness and
constancy of the westerly winds, soon taught us to consider the
doubling of Cape Horn as an enterprize that might prove too mighty
for all our efforts; though some among us had so lately treated the
difficulties which former voyagers were said to have encountered in
this undertaking as little better than chimerical, and had supposed
them to have arisen from timidity and unskilfulness, rather than
from the real embarrassments of the winds and seas. But we were now
convinced, from severe experience, that these censures were rash and
ill founded; for the distresses with which we struggled during the
three succeeding months, will not be easily paralleled in the relation
of any former naval expedition; which, I doubt not, will be readily
allowed by those who shall carefully peruse the ensuing narration.

From this storm, which came on before we were well clear of the
straits of Le Maire, we had a continual succession of such tempestuous
weather as surprised the oldest and most experienced mariners on
board, and obliged them to confess, that what they had hitherto called
storms were inconsiderable gales, when compared with those winds
we now encountered; which raised such short, and at times such
mountainous waves, as greatly surpassed in danger all seas known
in other parts of the globe, and, not without reason, this unusual
appearance filled us with continual terror; for, had any one of these
waves broken fairly over us, it must almost inevitably have sent us
instantly to the bottom. Neither did we escape with terror only:
for the ship, rolling incessantly gunwale-to, gave us such quick and
violent jerking motions, that the men were in perpetual danger of
being dashed to pieces against the decks and sides of the ship; and,
though we were extremely careful to secure ourselves against these
shocks, by grasping some fixed body, yet many of our people were
forced from their holds, some of whom were actually killed, and others
greatly injured. In particular, one of our best seamen was canted
overboard and drowned; another dislocated his neck; a third was thrown
down the main hatchway into the hold and broke his thigh; one of our
boatswain's mates broke his collar-bone twice; not to mention many
other similar accidents.

These tempests, so dreadful in themselves, though unattended by any
other unfavourable circumstances, were yet rendered more mischievous
to us by their inequality, and by the deceitful intervals that at
times occurred; for, although we had often to lie-to for days together
under a reefed mizen, and were frequently reduced to drive at the
mercy of the winds and waves under bare poles, yet now and then we
ventured to make sail under double-reefed courses; and occasionally,
the weather proving more moderate, were perhaps encouraged to set our
top-sails; after which, without any previous notice, the wind would
return with redoubled force, and would in an instant tear our sails
from the yards. And, that no circumstance might be wanting which could
aggravate our distress, these blasts generally brought with them a
great quantity of snow and sleet, which cased our rigging in ice, and
froze our sails, rendering them and our cordage so brittle as to tear
and snap with the least strain; adding thereby great difficulty and
labour to the working of the ship, benumbing the hands and limbs of
our people, and rendering them incapable of exerting themselves
with their accustomed activity, and even disabling many of them, by
inducing mortification of their toes and fingers. It were, indeed,
endless to enumerate the various disasters of different kinds which
befel us, and I shall only mention the most material, which will
sufficiently evince; the calamitous condition of the whole squadron,
during this part of our navigation.

As already observed, it was on the 7th of March that we passed the
Straits of Le Maire, and were immediately afterwards driven to the
eastwards, by a violent storm, and by the force of the current setting
in that direction. During the four or five succeeding days, we had
hard gales of wind from the same western quarter, attended by a most
prodigious swell; insomuch that, although we stood all that time
towards the S.W. we had no reason to imagine we had made any way to
the westwards. In this interval we had frequent squalls of rain and
snow, and shipped great quantities of water. After this, for three
or four days, though the sea ran mountains high, yet the weather was
rather more moderate; but, on the 18th; we had again strong gales of
wind with excessive cold, and at midnight the main top-sail split, and
one of the straps of the main dead-eyes broke. From the 18th to the
23d the weather was more moderate, though, often intermixed with rain
and sleet and some hard gales; but, as the waves did not subside,
the ship, by labouring sore in this lofty sea, became so loose in her
upper-works that she let in water at every seam, so that every part of
her within board was constantly exposed to the sea-water, and scarcely
any even of the officers ever lay dry in their beds. Indeed, hardly
did two nights pass without many of them being driven from their beds
by deluges of water.

On the 23d we had a most violent storm of wind, hail, and rain, with a
prodigious sea; and, though we handed the main-sail before the height
of the squall, yet we found the yard spring; and soon after, in
consequence of the foot-rope of the main-sail breaking, the main-sail
itself split instantly into rags, and much the greater part of it
was blown away, in spite of every endeavour to save it. On this the
commodore made the signal for the squadron to bring to; and as
the storm lulled into a calm, we had an opportunity to lower the
main-yard, and set the carpenters to work upon it, while we also
repaired our rigging; after which, having bent a new main-sail, we got
again under way with a moderate breeze. But, in less than twenty-four
hours, we had another storm, still more furious than the former, which
blew a perfect hurricane, and obliged us to lie-to under bare poles.
As our ship kept the wind better than any of the rest, we were obliged
in the afternoon to wear, in order to join the squadron to leeward, as
otherwise we had been in danger of parting from them in the night. On
this occasion, as we dared not venture to show any sail to the gale,
we had to use an expedient, which answered the purpose: This was
putting the helm a-weather and manning the fore-shrouds: But, though
this answered the end in view, yet in its execution one of our ablest
seamen was canted overboard. Notwithstanding the prodigious agitation
of the waves, we could perceive that he swam very vigorously, yet we
found ourselves, to our excessive concern, incapable of giving him the
smallest assistance; and were the more grieved at his unhappy fate, as
we lost sight of him struggling with the waves, and conceived that
he might continue long sensible of the horror of his irretrievable

Before this storm was quite abated, we found that two of our
main-shrouds and one of our mizen-shrouds were broken, all of which
we knotted and replaced immediately. After this we had an interval of
three or four days less tempestuous than usual, but accompanied by so
thick a fog, that we had to fire guns almost every half hour to keep
our squadron together. On the 31st we were alarmed by a gun from the
Gloucester, and a signal to speak the commodore. We immediately bore
down to her, prepared to learn some terrible disaster, of which we
were apprised before we came down, by seeing that her main-yard was
broken in the slings. This was a grievous misfortune to us all, at
this juncture, as it was evident that it must prove a hinderance to
our sailing, and would detain us the longer in these inhospitable
latitudes. Our future safety and success was not to be promoted by
repining, but by resolution and activity; and therefore, that this
unhappy incident might delay us as short as possible, the commodore
ordered several carpenters to be put on board the Gloucester from the
other ships of the squadron, in order to repair her damage with
the utmost expedition. At this time also, the captain of the Tryal
represented that his pumps were so bad, and his ship made so much
water, that he was scarcely able to keep her free; wherefore the
commodore ordered him a pump, ready fitted, from the Centurion. It was
very fortunate, both for the Gloucester and Tryal, that the weather
proved more favourable that day, than for many days both before and
after; since by this means they were enabled to receive the assistance
which seemed so essential for their preservation, and which they
could scarcely have procured at any other time, as it would have been
extremely hazardous to have ventured a boat on board.

Next day, being the 1st of April, the weather returned to its
customary bias; the sky looking dark and gloomy, and the wind
beginning to freshen and to blow in squalls; yet it was not so
boisterous as to prevent us carrying our top-sails close reefed,
but its appearance evidently prognosticated that a still more severe
tempest was at hand. Accordingly, on the 3d of April, there came on a
storm, which, both in its violence and duration, for it lasted three
days, exceeded all we had hitherto experienced. In its first onset,
we received a furious shock from a sea, which broke upon our larboard
quarter, where it stove in the quarter gallery, and rushed into the
ship like a deluge. Our rigging suffered also extremely from the blow;
among the rest, one of the straps of the main dead-eyes was broken, as
were likewise a main shroud and a puttock shroud; so that, to ease the
stress upon the masts and shrouds, we had to lower both our main and
fore yards, and to furl all our sails. We lay in this posture for
three days, when, the storm somewhat abating, we ventured to make sail
under our courses only. Even this would not avail us long; for
next day, being the 7th, we had another hard gale, accompanied with
lightning and rain, which obliged as to lie-to all night.

It was really wonderful, notwithstanding the severe weather we
endured, that no extraordinary accident had happened to any of the
squadron since the Gloucester broke her main-yard. But this good
fortune now no longer attended us, for, at three next morning, several
guns were fired to leeward as signals of distress, on which the
commodore made the signal for the squadron to bring to. At day-break
we saw the Wager a considerable way to leeward of any of the other
ships, and soon perceived that she had lost her mizen-mast, and main
topsail-yard. We immediately bore down towards her, and found that
this disaster had arisen from the badness of her iron-work, as all the
chain plates to windward had given way, in consequence of her having
fetched a deep roll. This accident proved the more unfortunate for the
Wager, as her captain had been on board the Gloucester ever since
the 31st March, and the weather was now too severe to permit of his
return. Nor was the Wager the only ship in the squadron that suffered
in this tempest; for next day, a signal of distress was made by the
Anna pink, and on speaking her, we found she had broken her fore-stay
and the gammon of her boltsprit, and was in no small danger of all her
masts coming by the board; so that the whole squadron had to bear away
to leeward till she made all fast, after which we again hauled upon a

After all our solicitude, and the numerous ills of every kind, to
which we had been incessantly exposed for near forty days, we now
had great consolation in the hope that our fatigues were drawing to
a close, and that we should soon arrive in a more hospitable
climate, where we should be amply rewarded for all our past toils and
sufferings; for, towards the latter end of March, by our reckoning, we
had advanced near ten degrees to the west of the westermost point
of Terra del Fuego; and, as this allowance was double what former
navigators had thought necessary to compensate the drift of the
western current, we esteemed ourselves to be well advanced within
the limits of the Southern Pacific, and had been, ever since then,
standing to the northward, with as much expedition as the turbulence
of the weather and our frequent disasters would permit. On the 13th of
April, in addition to our before-mentioned westing, we were only one
degree of latitude to the southward of the western entrance into the
Straits of Magellan, so that we fully expected in a very few days to
experience the celebrated tranquillity of the Pacific Ocean. But these
were only delusions, which served to render our disappointment more
terrible. On the morning of the 14th, between two and three o'clock,
the weather, which till then had been hazy, fortunately cleared up,
and the pink made a signal for seeing the land right a-head; and, as
it was only two miles distant, we were all under the most dreadful
apprehensions of running on shore; which, had either the wind blown
from its usual quarter, with its wonted violence, or had not the moon
suddenly shone out, not a ship of the whole squadron could possibly
have avoided. But the wind, which some hours before blew in squalls
from the S.W. had fortunately shifted to W.N.W. by which we were
enabled to stand to the southward, and to clear ourselves of this
sudden and unexpected danger, and were fortunate enough by noon to
have gained an offing of near twenty leagues.

By the latitude of this land we fell in with, it was agreed to be that
part of Terra del Fuego, near the south-western outlet of the Straits
of Magellan, described in Frezier's chart, and was supposed to be that
point which he calls Cape Noir.[1] It was indeed wonderful that the
current should have driven us to the eastward with so much strength,
for the whole squadron computed that we were ten degrees to the
westward of this land; so that in turning, by our reckoning, about
nineteen degrees of longitude, we had not in reality advanced half
that distance: And now, instead of having our labours and anxieties
relieved by approaching a warmer climate, and more tranquil seas, we
were forced again to steer southwards, and had again to combat those
western blasts which had already so often terrified us; and this
too, when we were greatly enfeebled by our men falling sick and dying
apace, and when our spirits, dejected by long continuance at sea
and by this severe disappointment, were now much less capable of
supporting us through the various difficulties and dangers, which we
could not but look for in this new and arduous undertaking. Added to
all this, we were sore discouraged by the diminution in the strength
of the squadron; for, three days before this, we had lost sight of the
Severn and Pearl in the morning, and, though we spread our ships, and
beat about for them for some time, we never saw them more; whence we
apprehended that they also had fallen in with this land in the night,
and being less favoured by the wind and the moon, might have perished
by running on shore. Full of these desponding thoughts and
gloomy presages, we stood away to the S.W. prepared, by our late
disappointment, how large an allowance soever we made in our westing
for the drift of the current from the westward, that we might still
find it insufficient upon a second trial.

[Footnote 1: Cape Noir, is a small island off the western coast of
Terra del Fuego, is in lat. 54° 28' S. long, 78° 40' W.--E.]


_Observations and Directions for facilitating the Passage of future
Navigators round Cape Horn._

The improper season of the year in which we attempted to double Cape
Horn, and to which is to be imputed the before-recited disappointment,
in falling in with Terra del Fuego, when we reckoned ourselves above
an hundred leagues to the westward of that coast, and consequently
well advanced into the Pacific Ocean, to which we were necessitated by
our too late departure from England, was the fatal source of all the
misfortunes we afterwards experienced. For, from hence proceeded the
separation of our ships, the destruction of so many of our people, the
ruin of our project against Baldivia, and of all our other views on
the Spanish settlements, and the reduction of our squadron, from the
formidable condition in which it passed the Straits of Le Maire, to a
couple of shattered half-manned cruizers and a sloop, so exceedingly
disabled that, in many climates, they scarcely durst have put to
sea. To prevent, therefore, as much as in me lies, the recurrence of
similar calamities to all ships bound hereafter to the South Seas,
I think it my duty to insert in this place such observations and
directions, as either my own experience and reflection, or the
conversation of the most skilful navigators on board the squadron,
could furnish me with, as to the most eligible manner of doubling Cape
Horn, whether in regard to the season of the year, the course proper
to be steered, or the places of refreshment both on the eastern and
western sides of South America.

To begin with the proper place for refreshment on the eastern side of
South America. For this purpose the island of St Catharines has been
usually recommended by former writers, and on their authority we put
in there; but the treatment we experienced, and the small store of
refreshments we could procure their are sufficient reasons to render
all ships very cautious in future how they trust to the government of
Don Jose Sylva de Paz; for they may assuredly depend on having their
strength, condition, and designs betrayed to the Spaniards, as far as
the knowledge the governor can procure of these particulars may enable
him. As this treacherous conduct was inspired by the views of private
gain, in the illicit commerce carried on to the river Plate, rather
than by any natural affection between the Portuguese and Spaniards,
the same perfidy may perhaps be expected from most of the governors on
the coast of Brazil, since these smuggling engagements are doubtless
very general and extensive; and, though the governors themselves
should detest so faithless a procedure, yet, as ships are perpetually
passing from one or other of the Brazilian ports to the Rio Plata,
the Spaniards could scarcely fail of receiving intelligence, by this
means, of any British ships being on the coast; and, however imperfect
such intelligence might be, it might prove injurious to the views and
interests of cruizers thus discovered.

As the Spanish trade in the South Seas is all in one direction, from
north to south, or the direct reverse, with very little deviation
to the eastward or westward, it is in the power, of two or three
cruisers, properly stationed on different parts of this track, to
possess themselves of every ship that puts to sea. This, however,
can only be the case so long as they continue concealed from the
neighbouring coast; for, the moment that an enemy is known to be in
these seas, all navigation is prohibited, and all chance of capture
is consequently at an end; as the Spaniards, well aware of these
advantages to an enemy, send expresses all along the coast, and lay
a general embargo on all trade; which measure they know will not
only prevent their vessels from being taken, but must soon oblige
all cruisers, that have not sufficient strength to attempt their
settlements on shore, to quit these seas for want of provisions. Hence
the great importance of carefully concealing all expeditions of this
kind is quite evident; and hence too it is obvious how extremely
prejudicial such intelligence must prove as that communicated by the
Portuguese to the Spaniards in our case, in consequence of touching at
the ports of Brazil. Yet it will often happen that ships, bound beyond
Cape Horn, may be obliged to call there for wood, water, and other
refreshments; in which case, St Catharines is the very last place I
would recommend; both because the proper animals for a live stock at
sea, as hogs, sheep, and fowls, are not to be procured there, for want
of which we found ourselves greatly distressed, being reduced to live
almost entirely on salt provisions; and because, from that port being
nearer the Rio Plata than many others of the Portuguese settlements,
the inducements and conveniences for betraying us to the Spaniards
were so much the stronger. The place I would recommend is Rio Janeiro,
where two of our squadron put in, after separating from us in passing
Cape Horn. At this place, as I was informed by a gentleman on board
one of these ships, any quantity of hogs and poultry can be procured;
and as it is more distant from the Rio Plata, the difficulty of
sending intelligence to the Spaniards is somewhat increased, and
consequently the chance of continuing there undiscovered is so much
the greater. Other measures, which may effectually obviate all these
embarrassments, will be considered more at large hereafter.

I proceed, in the next place, to consider of the proper measures to
be pursued for doubling Cape Horn: And here, I think I am sufficiently
authorized, by our own fatal experience, and by a careful comparison
and examination of the journals of former navigators, to give the
following advice, which ought never, in prudence, to be departed from:
Which is, That all ships bound to the South Seas, instead of passing
through the Straits of Le Maire, should constantly pass by the
eastward of Staten-Land, and should be invariably bent on running as
far as the latitude of 61° or 62° S. before they endeavour to stand to
the westwards; and ought then to make sure of a sufficient westing
in or about that latitude, before commencing a northern course. But,
since directions diametrically opposite to these have been formerly
given by other writers, it is incumbent on me to produce my reasons
for each part of this maxim.

First then, as to the propriety of passing to the eastward of
Staten-Land. Those who have attended to the risk we ran in passing
the Straits of Le Maire, the danger we were in of being driven upon
Staten-Land by the current, when, though we happily escaped being
driven on shore, we were yet carried to the eastward of that island:
those, I say, who reflect on this and the like accidents which have
happened to other ships, will surely not esteem it prudent to
pass through these straits and run the risk of shipwreck, and find
themselves, after all, no farther to the westward, the only reason
hitherto given for this practice, than they might have been, in the
same time, by a more secure navigation in an open sea. And next, as
to the directions I have given for running into the latitude of 61°
or 62° S. before any endeavour is made to stand to the westward. The
reasons for this precept are, that, in all probability, the violence
of the current setting from the westward will be thereby avoided,
and the weather will prove less tempestuous and uncertain. This
last circumstance we experienced most remarkably; for after we had
unexpectedly fallen in with the land at Cape Noir, we stood away
southward to get clear of it; and were no sooner advanced into the
lat. of 60° S. or upwards, than we met with much better weather and
smoother water than in any other part of this whole passage. The air
indeed was very sharp and cold, and we had strong gales, but they were
steady and uniform, and we had at the same time sunshine and a clear
sky: whereas in the lower latitudes, the wind every now and then
intermitted, as it were, to recover new strength, and then returned
suddenly in the most violent gusts, threatening at every blast to blow
away our masts, which must have proved our inevitable destruction.

Also, that the currents in this high latitude would be of much
less efficacy than nearer the land, seems to be evinced by these
considerations: That all currents run with greater violence near the
shore than out at sea, and that at great distances from the land
they are scarcely perceptible. The reason of this seems sufficiently
obvious, if we consider that constant currents, in all probability,
are produced by constant winds; the wind, though with a slow and
imperceptible motion, driving a large body of water continually before
it, which, being accumulated on any coast that it meets with in its
course, must escape along the shore by the endeavours of the surface
to reduce itself to the level of the rest of the ocean. It is likewise
reasonable to suppose, that those violent gusts of wind which we
experienced near the shore, so very different from what we found in
the lat. of 60° S. and upwards, may be owing to a similar cause; for a
westerly wind almost perpetually prevails in the southern part of
the Pacific Ocean, and this current of air being interrupted by the
enormously high range of the Andes, and by the mountains on Terra del
Fuego, which together bar up the whole country as far south as Cape
Horn, a part only of the wind can force its way over the top of
these prodigious precipices, while the rest must naturally follow the
direction of the coast, and must range down the land to the southward,
and sweep with an impetuous and irregular blast round Cape Horn, and
the southermost part of Terra del Fuego. Without placing too
much reliance on these speculations, we may assume, I believe, as
incontestable facts, that both the rapidity of the currents, and the
violence of the western gales, are less sensible in lat. 61° or 62° S.
than nearer the coasts of Terra del Fuego.

Though satisfied, both from our own experience and the relations of
other navigators, of the importance of the precept here insisted on,
of proceeding to lat. 61° or 62° S. before any endeavours are made to
stand to the westwards, yet I would also advise all ships hereafter
not to trust so far to this management as to neglect another most
essential maxim: Which is, to make this passage in the height of the
_antarctic summer_, or, in other words, in the months of December and
January, which correspond exactly to the months of June and July in
our northern or arctic hemisphere: and the more distant the time
of passing may be from this season, so much the more disastrous the
passage may reasonably be expected to prove. Indeed, if the mere
violence of the western winds be considered, the time of our passage,
which was about the antarctic autumnal equinox, was perhaps the most
favourable period of the whole year. But then it must be considered
that there are, independent of the winds, many other inconveniences to
be apprehended in the depth of winter, which are almost insuperable.
For, at that season, the severity of the cold, and the shortness of
the days, would render it impracticable to run so far to the southward
as is here recommended. The same reasons would also greatly augment
the danger and alarm of sailing, at that season, in the neighbourhood
of an unknown shore, dreadful in its appearance, even in the midst of
summer, and would render a winter navigation on this coast, beyond all
others, most dismaying and terrible. As I would, therefore, advise all
ships to make their passage, if possible, in December and January,
so I would warn them never to attempt doubling Cape Horn, from the
eastward, after the month of March, which is equivalent to our August.
As to the remaining consideration, in regard to the most proper place
for cruizers to refit at, on their first arrival in the South Seas,
there is scarcely any choice, the island of Juan Fernandez being the
only place that can be prudently recommended for that purpose. For,
although there are many ports on the western side of Patagonia,
between the Straits of Magellan, one of which I shall particularly
notice in the sequel, in which ships may ride in great safety, and may
also recruit their wood and water, and procure some few refreshments,
yet that coast is in itself so extremely dangerous, owing to its
numerous rocks and breakers, and to the violence of the western winds,
which blow upon it continually, that it is by no means advisable
to fall in with that coast, at least till the roads, channels, and
anchorages in each part of it have been accurately surveyed, and both
the perils and shelters with which it abounds are more distinctly

Having thus given the best directions in my power, for the success of
our cruizers that may be hereafter bound to the South Seas, it might
be expected that I should now resume the narrative of our voyage. Yet
as, both in the preceding and subsequent parts of this work, I have
thought it my duty not only to recite all such facts, and to inculcate
such maxims, as had even the least appearance of proving beneficial to
future navigators, and also to recommend such measures to the public
as seemed adapted to promote the same laudable purpose, I cannot
desist from the present subject without beseeching those persons to
whom the conduct of our naval affairs is confided, to endeavour
to remove the many perplexities and embarrassments with which the
navigation to the South Sea is at present encumbered. An effort of
this kind could not fail of proving highly honourable to themselves,
and extremely beneficial to their country; for it is sufficiently
evident, that whatever improvements navigation shall receive, either
by the invention of methods by which its practice may be rendered less
hazardous, or by the more accurate delineation of the coasts, roads,
and harbours already known, or by the discovery of new countries and
nations, or of new species and sources of commerce, the advantages
thence arising must ultimately redound to the emolument of Great
Britain. Since, as our fleets are at present superior to those of the
whole world united, it must be a matchless degree of supineness or
meanness of spirit, if we permit any of the advantages deriveable from
new discoveries, or from a more extended navigation, to be ravished
from us.

Since it appears, from what has been already said, that all our future
expeditions to the South Seas must run a considerable risk of proving
abortive, while we remain under the necessity of touching at Brazil
in our passage thither, the discovery of some place more to the
southward, where ships might refresh, and supply themselves with the
necessary sea stock for their passage round Cape Horn, would relieve
us from this embarrassment, and would surely be a matter worthy of
the attention of the public. Neither does this seem difficult to be
effected, as we already have an imperfect knowledge of two places,
which might perhaps prove, on examination, extremely convenient for
this purpose. One of these is Pepy's Island, in the latitude of 47°
S. and laid down by Dr Bailey about eighty leagues to the eastward
of Cape Blanco, on the coast of Patagonia.[1] The other is Falkland's
Islands, in lat. 51° 30' S.[2] nearly south of Pepy's Island.

[Footnote 1: Isla Grande, supposed to be the Pepy's Island discovered
by Cowley, is in lat. 46° 34' S. and is placed by Mr Dalrymple in
long. 46° 40' W. while the illustrious navigator Cook makes its long.
35° 40' W. a difference of longitude of no less than eleven degrees.]

[Footnote 2: The centre of Falkland's Islands is in 51° 45' S.
Janson's Islands, the most north-westerly of the group, or the
Sebaldines, is in 51°; and Beauchene's Isle, the most southerly, in
53° S.--E.]

The first of these was discovered by Captain Cowley in 1683, during
his voyage round the world, and is represented by that navigator as a
commodious place for ships to wood and water at, being provided with a
good and capacious harbour, where a thousand sail of ships might ride
at anchor in great safety, being also the resort of vast numbers of
fowls; and as its shores consist of either rocks or sands, it seems
to promise great plenty of fish. Falkland's Islands have been seen by
many navigators, both French and English. It is laid down by Frezier,
in his chart of the extremity of South America, under the name of
the New Islands. Woods Rogers, who ran along the N.E. coasts of these
islands in 1708, says they extend about two degrees in length,[3] and
appeared with gentle descents from hill to hill, seeming to be good
ground, interspersed with woods, and not destitute of harbours.

[Footnote 3: The west extremity of this group is in long. 62° W. and
the east extremity in 56° 43' W. so that their extent is 5° 12' in
difference of longitude.--E.]

Either of these places, being islands at a considerable distance from
the continent, may be supposed, from their latitude, to be situated
in a sufficiently temperate climate. They are both, it is true, too
little known at present to be recommended as the most eligible
places of refreshment for ships bound to the South Seas: But, if the
admiralty should think proper to order them to be surveyed, which
might be done at a very small expence, by a vessel fitted out on
purpose; and if, on examination, either one or both should appear
proper for serving the end in view, it is scarcely possible to
conceive how exceedingly important so convenient a station might
prove, so far to the southward, and so near Cape Horn. The Duke and
Duchess of Bristol, under Woods Rogers, were only thirty-five days
from losing sight of Falkland's Islands to their arrival at Juan
Fernandez, in the South Sea; and, as the return back is much
facilitated by the western winds, a voyage might doubtless be made
from Falkland's Islands to Juan Fernandez and back again in little
more than two months. Even in time of peace, this station might be of
great consequence to the nation; and in time of war, would render us
masters of those seas.

As all discoveries of this kind, though extremely honourable to
those who direct and promote them, may yet be carried on at an
inconsiderable expence, since small vessels are much the most proper
to be employed in this service, it were greatly to be wished that
the whole coasts of Patagonia, Terra del Fuego, and Staten-Land, were
carefully surveyed, and the numerous channels, roads, harbours, and
islands, in which they abound, accurately examined, described, and
represented. This might open to us vast facilities for passing into
the South Seas, such as hitherto we have no knowledge of, and would
render the whole of that southern navigation greatly more secure than
it is at present: Particularly as exact draughts of the western coast
of Patagonia, from the Straits of Magellan to the Spanish settlements,
might furnish us with better and more convenient ports for
refreshment, and better situated, both for the purposes of war and
commerce, than Juan Fernandez, as being above a fornight's sail nearer
to Falkland's Islands.

The discovery of this coast was formerly thought of so much
importance, by reason of its neighbourhood to the _Araucos_ and other
Indians of Chili, who are generally at war, or at least on ill
terms, with the Spaniards, that, in the reign of Charles II. Sir John
Narborough was purposely fitted out to survey the Straits of Magellan,
the neighbouring coast of Patagonia, and the Spanish ports on that
frontier, with directions, if possible, to procure some intercourse
with the Chilese Indians, and to establish a commerce and lasting
correspondence with them. His majesty's views, on this occasion, were
not solely directed to the advantage he might hope to receive from an
alliance with these savages, in restraining and intimidating the king
of Spain, but he even conceived, independent of these considerations,
that an immediate traffic with these Indians might prove highly
advantageous to the nation; for it is well known that Chili, at its
first discovery by the Spaniards, abounded in vast quantities of
gold, much beyond what it has ever produced since it came into their
possession. Hence it has been generally believed, that the richest
mines are carefully concealed by the Indians, as well knowing that
their discovery would excite in the Spaniards a greater thirst for
conquest and tyranny, and would render their own independence more
precarious. But, in regard to their commerce with the English, could
that be established, these reasons would no longer influence them;
since it would be in our power to supply them with arms and ammunition
of all kinds, together with many other conveniences, which their
intercourse with the Spaniards has taught them to relish. They would
then, in all probability, open their mines, and gladly embrace a
traffic of such mutual advantage to both nations: For their gold,
instead of proving an incitement to enslave them, would then procure
them weapons with which to assert their liberty, to chastise their
tyranny, and to secure themselves for ever from falling under the
Spanish yoke; while, with our assistance, and under our protection,
they might become a considerable people, and might secure to us that
wealth, which was formerly most mischievously lavished by the house of
Austria, and lately by the house of Bourbon, in pursuit of universal

It is true, that Sir John Narborough did not succeed in opening this
commerce, which promised, in appearance, so many advantages to
the nation: But his disappointment was merely accidental; and his
transactions on that coast, besides the many advantages he furnished
to geography and navigation, are rather an encouragement for future
trials of this kind, than any objection against them. His principal
misfortune was in losing a small bark that accompanied him, and having
some of his people trepanned at Baldivia. It even appeared, by the
fears and precautions of the Spaniards, that they were fully convinced
of the practicability of the scheme he was sent to execute, and were
extremely alarmed with apprehensions for its consequences. It is
said that Charles II. was so far prepossessed with the belief of the
advantages that might redound to the public from this expedition, and
was so eager to be informed of the event, on receiving intelligence of
Sir John Narborough passing through the Downs on his return, that he
had not patience to wait till his arrival at court, but went himself
in his barge to meet him at Gravesend.

The two most famous charts hitherto published, [i.e. in 1745,] of
the southern parts of South America, are those of Dr Halley, in his
General Chart of the Magnetic Variation, and of Frezier, in his Voyage
to the South Seas. Besides these, there is a chart of the Straits of
Magellan and some parts of the adjacent coast, by Sir John Narborough,
which is doubtless infinitely more exact in that part than Frezier's,
and even in some parts superior to Halley's, particularly in regard to
the longitudes of different places in these straits. We were in some
measure capable of correcting, by our own observations, the coast from
Cape Blanco to Terra del Fuego, and thence to the Straits of Le
Maire, as we ranged along that coast, generally in sight of land. The
position of the land to the northward of the Straits of Magellan, on
the western side of Patagonia, is doubtless laid down very imperfectly
in our charts; and yet I believe it to be much nearer the truth than
any hitherto published; as it was drawn from the information of some
of the crew of the Wager, which was shipwrecked on that coast; and
as it pretty nearly agrees with what I have seen in some Spanish
manuscripts. The channel, called Whale Sound, dividing Terra del
Fuego, towards the western extremity of the Straits of Magellan, was
represented by Frezier; but Sir Francis Drake, who first discovered
Cape Horn, and the south-west parts of Terra del Fuego, observed that
the whole coast was indented by a great number of inlets, all of which
he conceived to communicate with the Straits of Magellan: And I do
not doubt, when this country shall be thoroughly examined, that this
conjecture will be verified, and that Terra del Fuego will be found to
consist of several islands.

I must not omit warning all future navigators against relying on the
longitude of the Straits of Le Maire, or of any part of that coast,
as laid down by Frezier; the whole being from eight to ten degrees
too far to the eastward, if any faith can be given to the concurrent
evidences of a great number of journals, verified, in some
particulars, by astronomical observations. For instance, Sir John
Narborough places Cape Virgin Mary in long. 65° 42' W. from the
Lizard, or about 71° 20' from London. The ships of our squadron,
taking their departure from St Catharines, where the longitude was
rectified by an observation of an eclipse of the moon, found Cape
Virgin Mary to be from 70° 15' to 72° 30' W. from London, according to
their different reckonings; and, as there were no circumstances in
our run that could Tender it considerably erroneous, it cannot be
estimated in less than 71° W. from London;[4] whereas Frezier makes
it only 66° W. from Paris, which is little more than 63° from London.
Again, our squadron found the difference of longitude between Cape
Virgin Mary and the Straits of Le Maire to be not more than 2° 30',
while Frezier makes the difference nearly 4°,[5] by which he enlarged
the coast, from the Straits of Magellan to the Straits of Le Maire, to
near double its real extent.[6]

[Footnote 4: Only 67° 40' W. from Greenwich.--E.]

[Footnote 5: The Straits of Le Maire are in long. 65° 30' W. so that
the difference is 2° 10'.]

[Footnote 6: Some farther critical observations on the geographical
positions, as laid down by Frezier, Sir John Narborough, and Dr
Halley, are here omitted, as tending to no use or information; these
things having been since ascertained with much more accuracy.--E.]


_Course from Cape Noir to the Island of Juan Fernandez._

After the mortifying disappointment of falling in with the coast of
Terra del Fuego, at Cape Noir, when we reckoned ourselves ten degrees
to the westward of it, as formerly mentioned to have happened on the
14th of April, we stood away to the S.W. till the 22d of that month,
when we were in upwards of 60° S. and, by our reckoning, 6° westwards
of Cape Noir. In this run, we had a series of as favourable weather
as could well be expected in that part of the world, even in a
better season of the year; so that this interval, setting aside our
disquietudes on various accounts, was by far the most eligible of any
we had enjoyed since passing the Straits of Le Maire. This moderate
weather continued, with little variation, till the evening of the
24th, when the wind began to blow fresh, and soon increased to a
prodigious storm. About midnight, the weather being very thick, we
lost sight of the other ships of the squadron, which had hitherto
kept us company, notwithstanding the violence of the preceding
storms. Neither was this our sole misfortune, for next morning, while
endeavouring to hand the top-sails, the clew-lines and bunt-lines
broke, and the sheets being half flown, every seam in the top-sails
was soon split from top to bottom. The main top-sail shook so
violently in the wind, that it carried away the top lanthorn, and
even endangered the head of the mast. At length, however, some of the
boldest of our men ventured upon the yard, and cut the sail away close
to the reefs, with the utmost hazard of their lives. At the same time,
the fore top-sail beat about the yard with so much fury, that it was
soon blown to pieces. The main-sail also blew loose, which obliged
us to lower down the yard to secure the sail; and the fore-yard also
being lowered, we lay-to under a mizen. In this storm, besides the
loss of our top-sails, we had much of our rigging broken, and lost a
main studding-sail boom out of the chains.

The weather became more moderate on the 25th at noon, which enabled us
to sway up our yards, and to repair our shattered rigging in the
best manner we could; but still we had no sight of the rest of our
squadron, neither did any of them rejoin us till after our arrival
at Juan Fernandez; nor, as we afterwards learnt, did any two of them
continue in company together. This total, and almost instantaneous
separation was the more wonderful, as we had hitherto kept together
for seven weeks, through all the reiterated tempests of this turbulent
climate. It must be owned, indeed, that we had hence room to expect
we might make our passage in a shorter time than if we had continued
together, because we could now make the best of our way, without being
retarded by the misfortunes of the other ships; but then we had the
melancholy reflection, that we were thereby deprived of the assistance
of others, and our safety depended solely on our single ship; so that,
if a plank started, or any other important accident occurred, we must
all irrecoverably perish. Or, should we happen to be driven on shore,
we had the uncomfortable prospect of ending our days on some desolate
coast, without any reasonable hope of ever getting off again; whereas,
with another ship in company, all these calamities are much less
formidable, as in every kind of danger there would always be some
probability that one ship at least might escape, and be capable of
preserving or relieving the crew of the other.

During the remainder of April, we had generally hard gales, though
every day, since the 22d, edging to the northward. On the last day
of the month, however, we flattered ourselves with the expectation of
soon terminating our sufferings, as we then found ourselves in lat.
52° 13' S. which, being to the northward of the Straits of Magellan,
we were now assured that we had completed our passage, and were
arrived on the confines of the South Sea: And, as this ocean is
denominated the _Pacific_, from the equability of the seasons said to
prevail there, and the facility and security with which navigation is
there carried on, we doubted not that we should be speedily cheered
with the moderate gales, the smooth water, and the temperate air, for
which that portion of the globe is so renowned. Under the influence of
these pleasing circumstances, we hoped to experience some compensation
for the complicated sufferings, which had so constantly beset us for
the last eight weeks. Yet here we were again miserably disappointed;
for, in the succeeding month of May, our sufferings rose even to a
much higher pitch than they had ever yet done, whether we consider the
violence of the storms, the shattering of our sails and rigging, or
the diminution and weakening of our crew by deaths and sickness, and
the even threatening prospect of our utter destruction. All this will
be sufficiently evident, from the following circumstantial recital of
our diversified misfortunes.

Soon after we had passed the Straits of Le Maire, the scurvy began
to make its appearance among us, and our long continuance at sea, the
fatigue we underwent, and the various disappointments we met with, had
occasioned its spreading to such a degree, that there were but few on
board, by the latter end of April, that were not afflicted with it in
some degree; and in that month no less than forty-three died of it in
the Centurion. Although we thought the distemper had then risen to
an extraordinary height, and were willing to hope that its malignity
might abate as we advanced to the northward, we yet found, on the
contrary, that we lost near double that number in the month of May;
and, as we did not get to land till the middle of June, the mortality
went on increasing, and so prodigiously did the disease extend, that,
after the loss of above 200 men, we could not muster at the last above
six foremast-men in a watch that were capable of duty.

This disease, so frequent in long voyages, and so particularly
destructive to us, is surely the most singular and unaccountable of
any that affects the human body. Its symptoms are innumerable and
inconstant, and its progress and effects singularly irregular, for
scarcely have any two persons complaints exactly resembling each
other; and where there have been, some conformity in the symptoms,
the order of their appearance has been totally different. Though
it frequently puts on the form of many other diseases, and is not
therefore to be described by any exclusive and infallible criterions,
yet there are some symptoms which are more general than the rest, and
of more frequent and constant occurrence, and which therefore deserve
a more particular enumeration. These common appearances are large
discoloured spots dispersed over the whole surface of the body,
swelled legs, putrid gums, and, above all, an extraordinary
lassitude of the whole body, especially after any exercise, however
inconsiderable and this lassitude at last degenerates into a proneness
to swoon, and even to die, on the least exertion of strength, or even
on the least motion. This disease is usually attended, also, by a
strange dejection of spirits, with shiverings, tremblings, and
a disposition to be seized with the most dreadful terrors on the
slightest accident. Indeed it was most remarkable, in all our
reiterated experience of this malady, that whatever discouraged our
people, or at any time damped their hopes, never failed to add new
vigour to the distemper, for such usually killed those who were in the
last stages of the disease, and confined those to their hammocks who
were before capable of some kind of duty, so that it seemed as if
alacrity of mind and sanguine hopes were no small preservatives from
its fatal malignity.

But it is not easy to complete the long roll of the various
concomitants of this disease; for it often produced putrid fevers,
pleurisies, jaundice, and violent rheumatic pains, and sometimes
occasioned obstinate costiveness, which was generally attended with a
difficulty of breathing, and this was esteemed the most deadly of
all the scorbutic symptoms. At other times the whole body, but
more especially the legs, were subject to ulcers of the worst kind,
attended by rotten bones, and such a luxuriance of fungous flesh as
yielded to no remedy. The most extraordinary circumstance, and which
would scarcely be credible upon any single evidence, was, that the
scars of wounds that had been healed for many years, were forced open
again by this virulent distemper. There was a remarkable instance
of this in the case of one of the invalid soldiers on board the
Centurion, who had been wounded above fifty years before, at the
battle of the Boyne; and though he was cured soon after, and had
continued well for a great many years, yet, on being attacked by the
scurvy, his wounds broke out afresh in the progress of the disease,
and appeared as if they had never been healed. What is even still more
extraordinary, the callus of a broken bone, which had been completely
formed for a long time, was dissolved in the course of this disease,
and the fracture seemed as if it had never been consolidated. The
effects, indeed, of this disease, were in almost every instance
wonderful, for many of our people, though confined to their hammocks,
appeared to have no inconsiderable share of health, as they eat and
drank heartily, were even cheerful, talking with much seeming vigour
with a loud strong voice; and yet, on being in the least moved, though
only from one part of the ship to another, and that too in their
hammocks, they would instantly expire. Others, who have confided
in their seeming strength, and have resolved to get out of their
hammocks, have died before they could well reach the decks; neither
was it uncommon for such as were able to walk the deck, and even to
perform some kind of duty, to drop down dead in an instant, on any
attempt to act with their utmost effort; many of our people having
perished in this manner in the course of our voyage.

We struggled under this terrible disease during the greatest part of
the time of our beating round Cape Horn; and though it did not then
rage with its utmost violence, yet we buried no less than forty-three
men in the month of April, as formerly observed. We were still,
however, in hopes of seeing a period to this cruel malady, and to all
the other evils which had so constantly pursued us, when we should
have secured our passage round the Cape: but we found, to our
heavy misfortune, that the (so-called) Pacific Ocean was to us less
hospitable even than the turbulent neighbourhood of Terra del Fuego
and Cape Horn. On the 8th of May, being arrived of the island of
Socoro, on the western coast of Patagonia, [in lat. 44° 50' S. long.
73° 45' W.] the first rendezvous appointed for the squadron, and where
we hoped to have met with some of our consorts, we cruized for them in
that station several days. We were here not only disappointed in
our expectations of meeting our friends, which induced the gloomy
apprehensions of their having all perished, but were also perpetually
alarmed with the fear of being driven on this coast, which appeared
too craggy and irregular to give us the least prospect, in such a
case, that any of us could possibly escape immediate destruction. The
land, indeed, had a most tremendous aspect. The most distant part, far
within the country, being the mountains of the Andes, or Cordelieras,
was extremely high, and covered with snow; while the coast seemed
quite rocky and barren, and the edge of the water skirted with
precipices. In some places, indeed, we observed several deep bays
running; into the land; but their entrances were generally blocked
up by numbers of small islands; and though it was not improbable but
there might be convenient shelter in some of the bays, and proper
channels leading to them, yet, as we were utterly ignorant of the
coast, had we been driven ashore by the westerly winds, which blew
almost incessantly we could not well have avoided the loss both of the
ship and of our lives.

This continued peril which lasted above a fortnight, was greatly
aggraved by the difficulties we found in working the ship; as the
scurvy, by this time, had destroyed so great a number of our hands,
and had in some degree infected almost the whole crew. Neither did
we, as we hoped, find the winds less violent as we advanced to the
northward; for we had often prodigious squalls of wind, which split
our sails, greatly damaged our rigging, and endangered our masts.
Indeed, during much the greatest part of the time we were upon this
coast, the wind blew so hard that, in any other situation where we
had sufficient sea-room, we should certainly have lain-to; but, in the
present exigency, we were necessitated to carry both our courses and
top-sails, in order to keep clear of this lee-shore. In one of these
squalls, which was attended by several violent claps of thunder, a
sudden flash of fire darted along our decks, which dividing, exploded
with a report like that of several pistols, and wounded many of our
men and officers, marking them in different parts of their bodies.
This flame was attended by a strong, sulphurous stench, and was
doubtless of the same nature with the larger and more violent flashes
of lightning which then filled the air.

It were endless to recite minutely the various disasters, fatigues,
and terrors, which we encountered on this coast, all of which went
on increasing till the 22d of May; at which time the fury of all the
storms we had hitherto encountered seemed to have combined for our
destruction. In this hurricane almost all our sails were split, and a
great part of our standing rigging broken. About eight in the evening,
an overgrown mountainous wave took us upon our star-board quarter, and
gave us so prodigious a shock that several of our shrouds broke with
the jerk, to the great danger of our masts giving way, and our ballast
and stores were so strangely shifted, that the ship heeled afterwards
two streaks to port. This was a most tremendous blow, and we were
thrown into the utmost consternation, having the dismal apprehension
of instantly foundering. Though the wind abated in a few hours, yet,
having no sails left in a condition to bend to the yards, the ship
laboured exceedingly in a hollow sea, rolling gunwale too, for want
of sail to keep her steady, so that we every moment expected that our
masts, now very slenderly supported, would have come by the board. We
exerted ourselves, however, the best we could, to stirrup our shrouds,
to reeve new lanyards, and to mend our sails: But, while these
necessary operations were going on, we ran great risk of being driven
ashore on the island of Chiloe, which was not far from us. In the
midst of our peril, the wind happily shifted to the southward, and we
steered off the land with the main-sail only; at which time the master
and I undertook the management of the helm, while every one else,
capable of acting, were busied in securing the masts, and bending the
sails as fast as they could be repaired. This was the last effort of
that stormy climate; for, in a day or two after, we got clear of the
land, and found the weather more moderate than we had yet experienced
since passing the Straits of Le Maire.

Having now cruized in vain, for the other ships of the squadron,
during more than a fortnight, it was resolved to take advantage of
the present favourable weather, and the offing we had made from this
terrible coast, and to make the best of our way for the island of
Juan Fernandez. It is true that our next rendezvous was appointed off
Baldivia; yet, as we had seen none of our companions at this first
rendezvous, it was not to be supposed that any of them would be found
at the second, and indeed we had the greatest reason to suspect that
all but ourselves had perished. Besides, we were now reduced to so low
a condition, that, instead of pretending to attack the settlements
of the enemy, our utmost hopes could only suggest the possibility
of saving the ship, and some part of the remaining crew, by a speedy
arrival at Juan Fernandez; as that was the only place, in this part of
the world, where there was any probability of recovering our sick or
refitting our ship, and consequently our getting thither was the only
chance we had left to avoid perishing at sea.

Our deplorable situation allowing no room for deliberation, we stood
for the island of Juan Fernandez; and, to save time, which was now
extremely precious, as our men were dying by four, five, and six of
a day, and likewise to avoid being again engaged on a lee shore, we
resolved to endeavour to hit that island upon a meridian. On the 28th
of May, being nearly in the parallel on which it is laid down, we had
great expectations of seeing that island; but, not finding it in the
position laid down in our charts, we began to fear that we had got too
far to the westward; and therefore, though the commodore was strongly
persuaded that he saw it in the morning of the 28th, yet his officers
believing it to have been only a cloud, to which opinion the
haziness of the weather gave some countenance, it was resolved, on
consultation, to stand to the eastward in the parallel of the island;
as, by this course, we should certainly fall in with the island, if we
were already to the westward of it, or should at least make the main
land of Chili, whence we could take a new departure, so as not to miss
it a second time in running to the westward.

Accordingly, on the 30th May, we had sight of the continent of Chili,
distant about twelve or thirteen leagues, the land appearing very low
and uneven, and quite white; what we saw being doubtless a part of the
Cordilleras, which are always covered with snow. Though by this
view of the land we ascertained our position, yet it gave us great
uneasiness to find that we had so needlessly altered our course, when
we had been, in all probability, just upon the point of making
the island: For the mortality among us was now increased to a most
frightful degree, and those who remained were utterly dispirited by
this new disappointment, and the prospect of their longer continuance
at sea. Our water, too, began to grow scarce, and a general dejection
prevailed among us, which added much to the virulence of the disease,
and destroyed numbers of our best men. To all these calamities, there
was added this vexatious circumstance, after getting sight of the main
land, that we were so much delayed by calms and contrary winds, while
tacking westwards in quest of the island, that it took us nine days
to regain the westing, which we ran down in two when standing to the

In this desponding condition, and under these disheartening
circumstances, we stood to the westward, with a crazy ship, a great
scarcity of fresh water, and a crew so universally diseased, that
there were not above ten foremast men in a watch capable of doing
duty, and even some of these lame and unable to go aloft. At last, at
day-break on the 9th of June, we discovered the long-wished-for island
of Juan Fernandez. Owing to our suspecting ourselves to be to the
westward of this island on the 28th of May, and in consequence of the
delay occasioned by our standing in for the main and returning, we
lost between seventy and eighty of our men, whom we had doubtless
saved, if we had made the island on that day, which we could not
have failed to do, if we had kept on our course only for a few hours


_Arrival of the Centurion at Juan Fernandez, with a Description of
that Island._

As mentioned in the preceding section, we descried the island of
Juan Fernandez at day-break on the 9th June, bearing N. by E. 1/2
E. distant eleven or twelve leagues. Though on this first view it
appeared very mountainous, ragged, and irregular, yet it was land,
and the land we sought for, and was therefore a most agreeable sight:
because here only we could hope to put a period to those terrible
calamities with which we had so long struggled, which had already
swept away above half of our crew, and which, had we continued only
a few days longer at sea, must inevitably have completed our
destruction. For we were now reduced to so helpless a condition, that,
out of two hundred and odd men who remained alive, taking all our
watches together, we could not muster hands now to work the ship on
any emergency, even including the officers, the servants, and the

The wind being northerly when we first made the island, we kept plying
to windward all that day, and the ensuing night, in order to get in
with the land; and, while wearing ship in the middle watch, we had a
melancholy instance of the almost incredible debility of our people;
for the lieutenant could muster no more than two quarter-masters and
six foremast men capable of working; so that, without the assistance
of the officers, servants, and boys, it might have been impossible for
us to have reached the island after we got sight of it; and even
with their assistance, we were two hours in trimming the sails; to so
wretched a condition were we reduced, in a sixty-gun ship, which had
passed the Straits of Le Maire only three months before with between
four and five hundred men, most of them then in health and vigour.

In the afternoon of the 10th, we got under the lee of the island, and
kept ranging along its coast at the distance of about two miles, in
order to look out for the proper anchorage, which was described to
be in a bay on its north side. Being now so near the shore, we could
perceive that the broken craggy precipices, which had appeared so
very unpromising from a distance, were far from barren, being in most
places covered by woods; and that there were every where the finest
vallies interspersed between them, cloathed with a most beautiful
verdure, and watered by numerous streams and cascades, every valley of
any extent being provided with its own rill; and we afterwards found
that the water was constantly clear, and not inferior to any we had
ever met with. The aspect of a country thus beautifully diversified
would at any time have been extremely delightful; but, in our
distressed situation, languishing as we were for the land and its
vegetable productions, an indication constantly attending every stage
of the sea-scurvy, it is scarcely credible with what eagerness and
transport we viewed the shore, and with how much impatience we longed
for the greens and other refreshments which were in sight. We were
particularly anxious for the water, as we had been confined to a very
sparing allowance for a considerable time, and had then only five
tons remaining on board. Those only who have endured a long series of
thirst, and who can readily recall the desire and agitation which
even the ideas alone of springs and brooks have at that time raised
in their minds, can judge of the emotion with which we viewed a large
cascade of the purest water, which poured into the sea at a short
distance from the ship, from a rock near a hundred feet high.
Even those of the sick who were not in the very last stage of the
distemper, though they had been long confined to their hammocks,
exerted their small remains of strength, and crawled up to the deck,
to feast their eyes with this reviving prospect.

We thus coasted along the island, fully occupied in contemplating this
enchanting landscape, which still improved as we proceeded. But at
last the night closed upon us, before we could determine upon the
proper bay in which to anchor. It was resolved, therefore, to keep in
soundings all night, having then from sixty-four to seventy fathoms,
and to send our boat next morning to discover the road. The current
shifted, however, in the night, and set us so near the land that we
were obliged to let go our best bower in fifty-six fathoms, not half
a mile from shore. At four next morning, the cutter was dispatched,
under our third-lieutenant, to find out the bay of which we were in
search. The boat returned at noon, full of seals and grass; for though
the island abounded with better vegetables, the boat's crew, during
their short stay, had not met any other, and thought even this would
be acceptable as a dainty, and indeed it was all speedily and eagerly
devoured. The seals, too, were considered as fresh provision, but were
not much admired, though they afterwards came into more repute; but we
had taken a prodigious quantity of excellent fish during the absence
of the boat, which rendered the seals less valuable at this time.

The cutter had discovered the bay in which we intended to anchor,
which was to the westward of our present station; and next morning,
the weather proving favourable, we endeavoured to weigh, in order to
proceed thither, mustering all the strength we could, obliging even
the sick, who could hardly stand on their legs, to assist; yet the
capstan was so weakly manned, that it was near four hours before we
could heave the cable right up and down: after which, with our utmost
efforts, though with many surges and some additional purchases to
increase our strength, we found it utterly impossible to start the
anchor out of the ground. At noon, however, as a fresh gale blew
towards the bay, we were induced to set the sails, which fortunately
tripped the anchor. We then steered along shore, till we came abreast
of the point forming the eastern part of the bay: But on opening the
bay, the wind, which had hitherto favoured us, chanced to shift, and
blew from the bay in squalls; yet, by means of the head-way we had
got, we luffed close in, till the anchor, which still hung at our bow,
brought us up in fifty-six fathoms.

Soon after we had thus got to anchor in the mouth of the bay, we
discovered a sail making toward us, which we had no doubt was one
of our squadron, and which, on a nearer approach, we found to be the
Tryal sloop; whereupon, we immediately dispatched some of our hands
to her assistance, by whose means she was brought to anchor between
us and the land. We soon learnt that she had by no means been exempted
from the same calamities by which we had been so severely afflicted;
for Captain Saunders, her commander, waiting on the commodore,
informed him, that he had buried thirty-four men out of his small
complement, and those that remained alive were so universally
afflicted with the scurvy, that only himself, his lieutenant, and
three of the men were able to stand by the sails.

It was on the 12th about noon that the Tryal came to anchor within us,
when we carried our hawsers on board her, in order to warp our ship
nearer the shore; but the wind coming off the land in violent gusts,
prevented our mooring in the intended birth. Indeed our principal
attention was now devoted to a business of rather more importance, as
we were now anxiously employed in sending on shore materials to
erect tents for the reception of the sick, who died rapidly on board.
Doubtless the distemper was considerably augmented by the stench and
filthiness in which they lay; for the number of the sick was so great,
and so few of them could be spared from the necessary duty of the
sails to look after them, that it was impossible to avoid a great
relaxation in regard to cleanliness, so that the ship was extremely
loathsome between decks. Notwithstanding our desire to free the sick
from their present hateful situation, and their own extreme eagerness
to get on shore, we had not hands enough to prepare the tents
for their reception sooner than the 16th; but on that and the two
following days we got them all on shore, to the number of an hundred
and sixty-seven persons, besides twelve or fourteen who died in the
boats on being exposed to the fresh air. The greatest part of our sick
were so infirm, that we had to carry them out of the ship in their
hammocks, and to convey them afterwards in the same manner from
the water-side to the tents, over a stony beach. This was a work of
considerable fatigue to the few who remained healthy; and therefore
our commodore, according to his accustomed humanity, not only
assisted in this himself, but obliged all his officers to give their

The extreme weakness of our sick may be collected, in some measure,
from the numbers that died after they got on shore. It has generally
been found that the land, and the refreshments it affords, very
soon produce recovery in most stages of the scurvy, and we flattered
ourselves that those who had not perished on their first exposure to
the open air, but had lived to be placed in the tents, would have
been speedily restored to health and vigour. Yet to our great
mortification, it was nearly twenty days after they landed, before
the mortality entirely ceased, and for the first ten or twelve days we
rarely buried less than six each day, and many of those who survived
recovered by very slow and insensible degrees. Those, indeed, who had
sufficient strength, at their first getting on shore, to creep out
of the tents, and to crawl about, were soon relieved, and speedily
recovered their health and strength: But, in the rest, the disease
seemed to have attained a degree of inveteracy altogether without

Before proceeding to any farther detail of our proceeding, I think it
necessary to give a distinct account of this island of Juan Fernandez,
including its situation, productions, and conveniences. We were well
enabled to be minutely instructed in these particulars, during our
three months stay at this island; and its advantages will merit a
circumstantial description, as it is the only commodious place in
these seas, where British cruizers can refresh and recover their men,
after passing round Caps Horn, and where they may remain for some
time without alarming the Spanish coast. Commodore Anson, indeed, was
particularly industrious, in directing the roads and coasts of this
island to be surveyed, and other observations of all kinds to be made;
knowing, from his own experience, of how great benefit these materials
might prove hereafter, to any British cruizers in these seas. For the
uncertainty we were in of its position, and our standing in for
the main on the 28th May, as formerly related, cost us the lives of
between seventy and eighty of our men; from which fatal loss we might
have been saved, had we possessed such an account of its situation as
we could have fully depended upon.

The island of Juan Fernandez is in lat. 33° 40'S. [long. 77° 30'
W.] one hundred marine leagues or five degrees of longitude from
the continent of Chili. It is said to have received its name from a
Spaniard who formerly procured a grant of it, and resided there for
some time with the view of forming a settlement, but abandoned it
afterwards.[1] On approaching its northern side from the east, it
appears a large congeries of lofty peaked mountains, the shore in
most places being composed of high precipitous rocks, presenting three
several bays, East bay, Cumberland bay, and West bay, the second only
being of any extent, and is by far the best, in which we moored. The
island itself is of an irregular triangular figure; one side of which,
facing the N.E. contains these three bays. Its greatest extent is
between four and five leagues, and its greatest breadth something
less than two. The only safe anchorage is on the N.E. side, where, as
already mentioned, are the three bays; the middlemost of which, named
Cumberland bay, is the widest and deepest, and in all respects by much
the best; for the other two, named East and West bays, are scarcely
more than good landing places, where boats may conveniently put casks
on shore for water. Cumberland bay is well secured to the southward,
and is only exposed from the N. by W. to the E. by S. and as the
northerly winds seldom blow in that climate, and never with any
violence, the danger from that quarter is not worth attending to. This
last-mentioned bay is by far the most commodious road in the island,
and it is advisable for all ships to anchor on its western side,
within little more than two cables length of the beach, where they may
ride in forty fathoms, and be sheltered, in a great measure, from a
large heavy sea which comes rolling in, whenever the wind blows from
eastern or western quarters. It is expedient, however, to _cackle_ or
arm the cables with an iron chain, or with good rounding, for five or
six fathoms from the anchor, to secure them from being rubbed by the
foulness of the ground.[2]

[Footnote 1: In the original, the description given of this island
refers to large engraved views, which could not be inserted in our
octavo form, so as to be of the smallest utility.--E.]

[Footnote 2: Cumberland bay is called _La Baya_ by the Spaniards, who
seem now to have established a fort here. East bay is by them called
_Puerta de Juan Fernandez_. There is yet a fourth bay, or small
indentation of the coast, with a landing place and stream of water,
named _Puerta Ingles_, or Sugar-loaf bay, between West bay and the
north point of the island.--E.]

I have already observed that a northerly wind, to which alone this bay
is directly exposed, very seldom blew while we were there; and, as it
was then winter, such may be supposed less frequent in other seasons.
In those few instances when the wind was in that quarter, it did not
blow with any great force, which might be owing to the high lands,
south of the bay, giving a check to its force; for we had reason to
believe that it blew with considerable force a few leagues out at
sea, since it sometimes drove a prodigious sea before it into the bay,
during which we rode forecastle in. Though the northerly winds are
never to be apprehended in this bay, yet the southerly winds, which
generally prevail here, frequently blow off the land in violent gusts
and squalls, which seldom lasted, however, longer than two or
three minutes. This seems to be owing to the high hills, in the
neighbourhood of the bay, obstructing the southern gale; as the wind,
collected by this means, at last forces its passage through the narrow
vallies; which, like so many funnels, both facilitate its escape,
and increase its violence. These frequent and sudden guests make it
difficult for a ship to work in with the wind offshore, or to keep a
clear hawse, when anchored.

The northern part of this island is composed of high craggy hills,
many of them inaccessible, though generally covered with trees. The
soil of this part is loose and shallow, so that very large trees in
the hills frequently perish for want of root, and are then easily
overturned. This circumstance occasioned the death of one of our men,
who, being on the hills in search of goats, caught hold of a tree
upon a declivity to assist him in his ascent, and this giving way, he
rolled down the hill; and though, in his fall, he fastened on another
tree of considerable bulk, this also gave way, and he fell among the
rocks, where he was dashed to pieces. Mr Brett, also, having rested
his back against a tree, near as large about as himself, which grew on
a slope, it gave way with him, and he fell to a considerable distance,
though without receiving any injury. Our prisoners, whom, as will
appear in the sequel, we afterwards brought to this island, remarked
that the appearance of the hills in some parts resembled that of the
mountains in Chili where gold is found; so that it is not impossible
that mines might be discovered here. In some places we observed
several hills of a peculiar red earth, exceeding vermillion in colour,
which perhaps, on examination, might prove useful for many purposes.
The southern, or rather S.W. part of the island, is widely different
from the rest; being destitute of trees, dry, stony, and very flat and
low, compared, with the hills on the northern part. This part of
the island is never frequented by ships, being surrounded by a steep
shore, and having little or no fresh water; besides which, it is
exposed to the southerly winds, which generally blow here the whole
year round, and with great violence in the antarctic winter.

The trees, of which the woods in the northern part of the island are
composed, are mostly aromatic, and of many different sorts. There are
none of them of a size to yield any considerable timber, except those
we called myrtle-trees, which are the largest on the island, and
supplied us with all the timber we used; yet even these would not
work to a greater length than forty feet. The top of the myrtle is
circular, and as uniform and regular as if clipped round by art. It
bears an excrescence like moss on its bark, having the taste and smell
of garlic, and was used instead of it by our people. We found here
the pimento, and the cabbage-tree, but in no great quantity. Besides
these, there were a great number of plants of various kinds, which
we were not botanists enough to describe or attend to. We found
here, however, almost all the vegetables that are usually esteemed
peculiarly adapted to the cure of those scorbutic disorders which are
contracted by salt diet and long voyages, as we had great quantities
of water-cresses and purslain, with excellent wild sorrel, and a vast
profusion of turnips and Sicilian radishes, which two last, having a
strong resemblance to each other, were confounded by our people under
the general name of turnips. We usually preferred the tops of the
turnips to the roots, which we generally found stringy, though some
of them were free from that exception, and remarkably good.
These vegetables, with the fish and flesh we got here, to be more
particularly described hereafter, were not only exceedingly grateful
to our palates after the long course of salt diet to which we had
been confined, but were likewise of the most salutary consequence in
recovering and envigorating our sick, and of no mean service to us who
were well, by destroying the lurking seeds of the scurvy, from which
none of us, perhaps, were totally exempted, and in refreshing and
restoring us to our wonted strength and activity. To the vegetables
already mentioned, of which we made perpetual use, I must add that we
found many acres of ground covered with oats and clover. There were
some few cabbage-trees, as before observed, but these grew generally
on precipices and in dangerous situations, and as it was necessary to
cut down a large tree to procure a single cabbage, we were rarely able
to indulge in this dainty.

The excellence of the climate, and the looseness of the soil, renders
this island extremely proper for all kinds of cultivation: for, if
the ground be any where accidentally turned up, it becomes immediately
overgrown with turnips and Sicilian radishes. Our commodore,
therefore, having with him garden-seeds of all kinds, and stones of
different kinds of fruits, sowed here lettuces, carrots, and other
garden-plants, and set in the woods great numbers of plumb, apricot,
and peach-stones, for the better accommodation of our countrymen who
might hereafter touch at this island. These last have since thriven
most remarkably, as has been since learnt by Mr Anson. For some
Spanish gentlemen having been taken on their passage from Lima to
Spain, and brought to England, having procured leave to wait upon him,
to thank him for his generosity and humanity to his prisoners, some
of whom were their relations, and foiling into discourse about his
transactions in the South Seas, asked if he had not planted a great
number of fruit-stones on the island of Juan Fernandez, as their late
navigators had discovered there a great many peach and apricot trees,
which, being fruits not observed there before, they supposed to have
been produced from kernels set by him.

This may suffice in general as to the soil and vegetable productions
of Juan Fernandez; but the face of the country, at least of its
northern part, is so extremely singular as to require a particular
consideration. I have already noticed the wild and inhospitable
appearance of it to us at first sight, and the gradual improvement
of its uncouth landscape as we drew nearer, till we were at last
captivated by the numerous beauties we discovered on landing. During
our residence, we found the interior to fall no ways short of the
sanguine prepossessions we at first entertained. For the woods, which
covered most of even the steepest hills, were free from all bushes and
underwood, affording an easy passage through every part of them; and
the irregularities of the hills and precipices, in the northern part
of the island, traced out, by their various combinations, a great
number of romantic vallies, most of which were pervaded by streams
of the purest water, which tumbled in beautiful cascades from rock to
rock, as the bottoms of the vallies happened to be broken into sudden
descents by the course of the neighbouring hills. Some particular
spots occurred in these vallies where the shade and fragrance of the
contiguous woods, the loftiness of the overhanging rocks, and the
transparency and frequent cascades of the streams, presented scenes of
such elegance and dignity, as would with difficulty be rivalled in
any other part of the globe. Here, perhaps, the simple productions of
unassisted nature may be said to excel all the fictitious descriptions
of the most fertile imagination.

The piece of ground which the commodore chose in which to pitch his
tent, was a small lawn on a gentle ascent, about half a mile from
the sea. In front of the tent was a large avenue, opening through the
woods to the shore, and sloping with a gentle descent to the water,
having a prospect of the bay and the ships at anchor. This lawn was
screened behind by a wood of tall myrtle trees, sweeping round in a
crescent form, like a theatre, the slope on which the wood grew rising
more rapidly than the open lawn, yet not so much but that the hills
and precipices of the interior towered considerably above the tops of
the trees, and added greatly to the beauty and grandeur of the view.
There were also two streams of water, pure as the finest crystal,
which ran to the right and left of the tent within the distance of an
hundred yards, and which, shaded by trees skirting either side of the
lawn, completed the symmetry of the whole.

It only now remains that we should mention the animals and provisions
which we met with at this island. Former writers have related that
this island abounded with vast numbers of goats, and their accounts
are not to be questioned, as this place was the usual resort of the
buccaneers and privateers who used formerly to frequent these seas.
There are two instances, one of a _musquito_ Indian, and the other of
Alexander Selkirk, a Scotsman, who were left here by their respective
ships, and lived alone upon the island for some years, and were
consequently no strangers to its productions. Selkirk, who was here
the last, after a stay of between four and five years, was taken off
by the Duke and Duchess privateers, of Bristol, as may be seen at
large in the journal of their voyage. His manner of life, during his
solitude, was very remarkable in most particulars; but he relates one
circumstance, which was so strongly verified by our own experience,
that it seems worthy of being mentioned. He tells us, as he often
caught more goats than he had occasion for, that he sometimes marked
their ears, and let them go. This was about thirty-two years before
our arrival, yet it happened that the first goat killed by our people
after they landed, had its ears slit; whence we concluded that it had
doubtless been formerly caught by Selkirk. This was indeed an animal
of a most venerable aspect, dignified with a most majestic beard, and
bearing many other marks of great age. During our residence, we
met with others marked in the same manner, all the males being
distinguished by exuberant beards, with every other characteristic of
extreme age.

The great number of goats, which former writers describe as having
been found on this island, were very much diminished before our
arrival. For the Spaniards, aware of the advantages derived by the
buccaneers and pirates from the goats-flesh they here procured,
have endeavoured to extirpate the breed, on purpose to deprive their
enemies of this resource. For this purpose, they put on shore
great numbers of large dogs, which have greatly increased, and have
destroyed all the goats in the accessible pans of the country; so
that there were only, when we were there, a few among the crags and
precipices, where the dogs cannot follow them. These remaining goats
are divided into separate flocks, of twenty or thirty each, which
inhabit distinct fastnesses, and never mingle with each other, so
that we found it exceedingly difficult to kill them; yet we were so
desirous of their flesh, which we all agreed resembled venison, that
we came, I believe, to the knowledge of all their haunts and flocks;
and, by comparing their numbers, it was conceived that they scarcely
exceeded two hundred on the whole island. I once witnessed a
remarkable contest between a flock of goats and a number of dogs.
Going in our boat into the East bay, we perceived some dogs running
very eagerly upon the foot, and willing to see what game they were in
pursuit of, we rested some time on our oars to observe them, when
at last they took to a hill, on the ridge of which we saw a flock
of goats drawn up for their reception. There was a very narrow path
leading to the ridge, skirted on each side by precipices; and here
the master he-goat of the flock posted himself fronting the enemy, the
rest of the goats being all behind him, on more open ground. As the
ridge was inaccessible by any other path, except where this champion
stood, though the dogs ran up the hill with great alacrity, yet, when
they came within twenty yards, not daring to encounter him, as he
would infallibly have driven them down the precipice, they gave over
the chase, and lay down at that distance, panting at a great rate.

These dogs, which are masters of all the accessible parts of the
island, are of various kinds, some of them very large, and have
multiplied to a prodigious degree. They sometimes came down to our
habitations under night, and stole our provisions; and once or twice
they set upon single persons, but, assistance being at hand, they were
driven away, without doing any mischief. As it is now rare for any
goats to fall in their way, we conceived that they lived principally
on young seals; and some of our people, having the curiosity to kill
dogs sometimes, and dress them, seemed to agree that they had a fishy

Goats-flesh being scarce, as we were rarely able to kill above one in
a day, and our people growing tired of fish, which abounded at this
place, they at last condescended to eat seals, which they came by
degrees to relish, calling it _lamb_. As the seal, of which numbers
haunt this island, has been often mentioned by former writers, it
seems unnecessary to say any thing particular respecting that animal
in this place. There is, however, another amphibious animal to be met
with here, called the _sea-lion_, having some resemblance to a seal,
but much larger, which I conceive may merit a particular description.
This too we eat, under the denomination of beef. When arrived at full
size, the sea-lion is between twelve and twenty feet in length, and
from eight to fifteen feet in circumference. They are extremely fat,
so that, below the skin, which is an inch thick, there is at least
a foot deep of fat, before coming to the lean or bones, and we
experienced more than once, that the fat of some of the largest
afforded us a butt of oil. They are also very full of blood; for, if
deeply wounded in a dozen places, there will instantly gush out as
many fountains of blood, spouting to a considerable distance. To try
what quantity of blood one of them might contain, we shot one first,
and then cut its throat, measuring the blood which flowed, and found
that we got at least two hogsheads, besides a considerable quantity
remaining in the vessels of the animal.

Their skins are covered with short hair of a light dun colour; but
their tails and fins, which serve them for feet on shore, are almost
black. These fore-feet, or fins, are divided at the ends like fingers,
the web which joins them not reaching to the extremities, and each
of these fingers is furnished with a nail. They have a distant
resemblance to an overgrown seal; though in some particulars there
are manifest differences between these two animals, besides the vast
disproportion in size. The males especially are remarkably dissimilar,
having a large snout, or trunk, hanging down five or six inches beyond
the extremity of the upper jaw, which renders the countenances of the
male and female easily distinguishable from each other. One of the
largest of these males, who was master of a large flock of females,
and drove off all the other males, got from our sailors the name of
the bashaw, from that circumstance. These animals divide their time
between the sea and the land, continuing at sea all summer, and coming
on shore at the setting in of winter, during all which season they
reside on the land. In this interval they engender and bring forth
their young, having generally two at a birth, which are suckled by the
dams, the young at first being as large as a full-grown seal.

During the time they continue on shore, they feed on the grass and
other plants which grow near the banks of fresh-water streams; and,
when not employed in feeding, sleep in herds in the most miry places
they can find. As they seem of a very lethargic disposition, and are
not easily awakened, each herd was observed to place some of their
males at a distance, in the nature of centinels, who never failed to
alarm them when any one attempted to molest, or even to approach them.
The noise they make is very loud, and of different kinds; sometimes
grunting like hogs, and at other times snorting like horses in full
vigour. Especially the males have often furious battles, principally
about their females; and we were one day extremely surprised at seeing
two animals, which at first appeared quite different from any we
had before observed; but on a nearer approach, they proved to be two
sea-lions, which had been goring each other with their teeth, and
were all covered over with blood. The bashaw, formerly mentioned, who
generally lay surrounded by a seraglio of females, to which no other
male dared approach, had not acquired that envied pre-eminence without
many bloody contests, of which the marks remained in numerous scars in
every part of his body.

We killed many of these animals for food, particularly for their
hearts and tongues, which we esteemed exceeding good eating, and
preferable even to those of bullocks. In general there was no
difficulty in killing them, as they are incapable either of flight or
resistance, their motion being the most unwieldy that can be imagined,
and all the time they are in motion, their blubber is agitated
in large waves under the skin. One day, a sailor being carelessly
employed in skinning a young sea-lion, the female from whom he had
taken it, came upon him unperceived, and getting his head into her
mouth, scored his skull in notches with her teeth in many places,
and wounded him so desperately that he died in a few days, though all
possible care was taken of him.[3]

[Footnote 3: There are two species of the seal tribe which have
received the name of sea-lion; the phoca leonina, or bottle-nosed
seal, which is that of the text; and the phoca jubata, or maned seal,
which is the sea-lion of some other writers. These two species are
remarkably distinguishable from each other, especially the moles: The
bottle-nosed seal having a trunk, snout, or long projection, on the
upper jaw; while the male of the maned seal has his neck covered
with a long flowing mane. The latter is also much larger, the males
sometimes reaching twenty-five feet in length, and weighing fifteen
or sixteen hundred weight. Their colour is reddish, and their voice
resembles the bellowing of bulls. The former are chiefly found in the
Southern Pacific; while the latter frequent the northern parts of the
same ocean.--E.]

These are the principal animals which we found upon the island of
Juan Fernandez. We saw very few birds, and these were chiefly hawks,
blackbirds, owls, and hummingbirds. We saw not the _paradela_,[4]
which burrows in the ground, and which former writers mention to be
found here; but as we often met with their holes, we supposed that the
wild dogs had destroyed them, as they have almost done the cats; for
these were very numerous when Selkirk was here, though we did not see
above two or three during our whole stay. The rats, however, still
keep their ground, and continue here in great numbers, and were very
troublesome to us, by infesting our tents in the night.

[Footnote 4: This name is inexplicable; but, from the context, appears
to refer to some animal of the cavia genus, resembling the rabbit:
Besides, a small islet, a short way S.W. of Juan Fernandez, is named
Isla de Conejos, or Rabbit Island.--E.]

That which furnished us with the most delicious of our repasts, while
at this island, still remains to be described. This was the fish, with
which the whole bay was most abundantly stored, and in the greatest
variety. We found here cod of prodigious size; and by the report of
some of our crew, who had been formerly employed in the Newfoundland
fishery, not less plentiful than on the banks of that island. We had
also cavallies, gropers, large breams, maids, silver-fish, congers of
a particular kind; and above all, a black fish which we esteemed most,
called by some the chimney-sweeper, in shape somewhat resembling a
carp. The beach, indeed, was every where so full of rocks and loose
stones, that there was no possibility of hauling the seyne; but with
hooks and lines we caught what numbers we pleased, so that a boat with
only two or three lines, would return loaded with fish in two or
three hours. The only interruption we ever met with arose from great
quantities of dog-fish and large sharks, which sometimes attended our
boats, and prevented our sport.

Besides these fish, we found one other delicacy in greater perfection,
both as to size, quantity, and flavour, than is to be met with perhaps
in any other part of the world. This was sea craw-fish, usually
weighing eight or nine pounds each, of a most excellent taste, and
in such vast numbers near the edge of the water, that our boat-hooks
often struck into them in putting the boats to and from the shore.

These are the most material articles relating to the accommodations,
soil, vegetables, animals, and other productions of the island of Juan
Fernandez, by which it will distinctly appear how admirably this place
was adapted for recovering us from the deplorable situation to which
we had been reduced by our tedious and unfortunate navigation round
Cape Horn. Having thus given the reader some idea of the situation and
circumstances of this island, in which we resided for six months, I
shall now proceed to relate all that occurred to us in that period,
resuming the narrative from the 18th of June, on which day the Tryal
sloop, having been driven out by a squall three days before, came
again to her moorings, on which day also we finished sending our sick
on shore, being about eight days after our first anchoring at this


_Separate Arrivals of the Gloucester, and Anna Pink, at Juan
Fernandez, and Transactions at that Island during the Interval._

The arrival of the Tryal sloop at this island, so soon after we
came there ourselves in the Centurion, gave us great hopes of being
speedily joined by the rest of the squadron; and we were accordingly
for some days continually looking out, in expectation of their coming
in sight. After near a fortnight had elapsed without any of them
appearing, we began to despair of ever meeting them again, knowing, if
our ship had continued so much longer at sea, that we should every
man of us have perished, and the vessel, occupied only by dead bodies,
must have been left to the caprice of the winds and waves; and this we
had great reason to fear was the fate of our consorts, as every hour
added to the probability of these desponding suggestions. But, on the
21st of June, some of our people, from an eminence on shore, discerned
a ship to leeward, with her courses even with the horizon. They could,
at the same time, observe that she had no sails aboard, except her
courses and main-topsail. This circumstance made them conclude that it
must be one of our squadron, which had probably suffered as severely
in her sails and rigging as we had done. They were prevented, however,
from forming more definite conjectures concerning her; for, after
viewing her a short time, the weather grew thick and hazy, and she was
no longer to be seen.

On this report, and no ship appearing for some days, we were all under
the greatest concern, suspecting that her people must be under the
utmost distress for want of water, and so weakened and diminished in
numbers by sickness, as to be unable to ply up to windward, so that we
dreaded, after having been in sight of the island, that her whole crew
might yet perish at sea. On the 21st, at noon, we again discerned a
ship at sea in the N.E. quarter, which we conceived to be the same
that had been seen before, and our conjecture proved true. About one
o'clock she had come so near that we could plainly distinguish her
to be the Gloucester; and as we had no doubt of her being in great
distress, the commodore immediately ordered out his boat to our
assistance, laden with fresh water, fish, and vegetables, which was
a most comfortable relief to them; for our apprehensions of their
calamitous situation were only too well founded, as there never
was, perhaps, a crew in greater distress. They had already thrown
two-thirds of their complement overboard; and of those who remained
alive, scarcely any were capable of doing duty, except the officers
and their servants. They had been a considerable time at the small
allowance of a pint of water to each man in twenty-four hours, and yet
had so very little left, that they must soon have died of thirst, had
it not been for the supply sent them by our commodore.

The Gloucester plied up within three miles of the bay, but could not
reach the road, both wind and currents being contrary. She continued,
however, in the offing next day; and as she had no chance of being
able to come to anchor, the commodore repeated his assistance, sending
off the Tryal's boat, manned with the people of the Centurion, with a
farther supply of water, and other refreshments. Captain Mitchell of
the Gloucester was under the necessity of detaining both this boat and
that sent the preceding day, as he had no longer strength to navigate
his ship without the aid of both their crews. The Gloucester continued
near a fortnight in this tantalizing situation, without being able
to fetch the road, though frequently making the attempt, and even at
times bidding fair to effect the object in view. On the 9th July,
we observed her stretching away to the eastward, at a considerable
distance, which we supposed was with a design to get to the southward
of the island; but, as she did not again appear for near a week, we
were prodigiously alarmed for her safety, knowing that she must be
again in extreme distress for want of water. After great impatience
about her, we again discovered her on the 16th, endeavouring to come
round the eastern point of the island, but the wind still blowing
directly from the bay, prevented her from getting nearer than within
four miles of the land.

Captain Mitchell now made signals of distress, and our long-boat, was
sent off with a good supply of water, and plenty of fish and other
refreshments: And, as the long-boat could not be wanted, the cockswain
had positive orders from the commodore to return immediately. But next
day proving stormy, and the boat not appearing, we much feared she was
lost, which would have been an irretrievable misfortune to us all. We
were relieved, however, from this anxiety on the third day after, by
the joyful appearance of her sails on the water, on which the cutter
was sent to her assistance, and towed her alongside in a few hours,
when we found that the long-boat had taken in six of the Gloucester's
sick men, to bring them on shore, two of whom had died in the boat.
We now learnt that the Gloucester was in a most dreadful condition,
having scarcely a man in health on board, except the few she had
received from us. Numbers of their sick were dying daily, and it
appeared, had it not been for the last supply sent by our long-boat,
that both the healthy and diseased must all have perished for want
of water. This calamitous situation was the more terrifying, as it
appeared to be without remedy; for the Gloucester had already spent a
month in fruitless endeavours to fetch the bay, and was now no farther
advanced than when she first made the island. The hopes of her
people of ever succeeding were now worn out, by the experience of
its difficulty; and, indeed, her situation became that same day more
desperate than ever, as we again lost sight of her, after receiving
our last supply of refreshments, so that we universally despaired of
her ever coming to anchor.

Thus was this unhappy vessel bandied about, within a few leagues of
her intended harbour, while the near neighbourhood of that place, and
of these circumstances which could alone put an end to the calamities
under which her people laboured, served only to aggravate their
distress, by torturing them with a view of the relief they were unable
to reach. She was at length delivered from this dreadful situation at
a time when we least expected it: For, after having lost sight of her
for several days, we were joyfully surprised, in the morning of the
23d July, to see her open the N.W. point of the bay with a flowing
sail, when we immediately dispatched what boats we had to her
assistance, and within an hour from our first perceiving her, she
anchored safe within us in the bay.

We were now more particularly convinced of the importance of the
assistance and refreshments we had repeatedly sent her, and how
impossible it must have been for a single man of her crew to
have survived, had we given less attention to their wants. For,
notwithstanding the water, vegetables, and fresh provisions with
which we had supplied them, and the hands we had sent to assist in
navigating the ship, by which the fatigue of her own people had been
greatly diminished, their sick relieved, and the mortality abated;
notwithstanding this provident care of our commodore, they yet buried
above three-fourths of their crew, and a very small proportion of the
survivors remained capable of assisting in the duty of the ship. On
getting to anchor, our first care was to assist them in mooring,
and the next to get their sick on shore. These were now reduced, by
numerous deaths, to less than fourscore, of which we expected the
greatest part to have died; but whether it was that those farthest
advanced in the cruel distemper had already perished, or that the
vegetables and fresh provisions we had sent had prepared those who
remained alive for a more speedy recovery, it so happened, contrary to
our fears, that their sick, in general, were relieved and restored to
health in a much shorter time than our own had been when we first came
to the island, and very few of them died on shore.

Having thus given an account of the principal events relating to the
arrival of the Gloucester, in one continued narration, I shall only
add, that we were never joined by any other of our ships, except our
victualler, the Anna pink, which came in about the middle of August,
and whose history I shall defer for the present, as it is now high
time, to return to our own transactions, both on board and ashore,
during the anxious interval of the Gloucester making frequent and
ineffectual attempts to reach the island.

Our next employment, after sending our sick on shore from the
Centurion, was cleansing our ship, and filling our water casks. The
former of these measures was indispensably necessary to our future
health, as the number of our sick, and the unavoidable negligence
arising from our deplorable situation at sea, had rendered the decks
most intolerably loathsome. The filling our water was also a caution
that appeared essential to our security, as we had reason to apprehend
that accidents might intervene which would oblige us to quit the
island at a very short warning, as some appearances we had discovered
on shore, at our first landing, gave us grounds to believe that there
were Spanish cruizers in these seas, which had left the island only a
short time before our arrival, and might possibly return again, either
for a supply of water, or in search of us. For we could not doubt that
the sole purpose they had at sea was to intercept us, and we knew that
this island was the likeliest place, in their opinion, to meet with
us. The circumstances which gave rise to these reflections, in part
of which we were not mistaken, as will appear more at large hereafter,
were our finding on shore several pieces of earthen jars, made use
of in these seas for holding water and other liquids, which appeared
fresh broken. We saw also many heaps of casks, near which were fish
bones and pieces of fish, besides whole fish scattered here and there,
which plainly appeared to have been only a short time out of the
water, as they were but just beginning to decay.

These were infallible indications that there had been a ship or
ships at this place only a short time before our arrival; and, as all
Spanish merchant ships are instructed to avoid this island, on account
of its being the common rendezvous of their enemies, we concluded that
those which had touched here must have been ships of force; and, as we
knew not that Pizarro had returned to the Rio Plata, and were ignorant
what strength might have been fitted out at Calao, we were under
considerable apprehensions for our safety, being in so wretched and
enfeebled a condition, as, notwithstanding the rank of our ship, and
the sixty guns with which she was armed, there was hardly a privateer
sent to sea that was not an overmatch for us. Our fears on this head,
however, fortunately proved imaginary, and we were not exposed to the
disgrace which must unavoidably have befallen us, had we been reduced
to the necessity, by the appearance of an enemy, of fighting our
sixty-gun ship with no more than thirty hands.

While employed in cleaning our ship, and filling our water casks, we
set up a large copper oven on shore, near the sick tents, in which
fresh bread was baked every day for the ship's company, as, being
extremely desirous of recovering our sick as soon as possible, we
believed that new bread, added to their green vegetables and fresh
fish, might prove powerfully conducive to their relief. Indeed, we
had all imaginable inducements to endeavour at augmenting our present
strength, as every little accident, which to a full crew would have
been insignificant, was extremely alarming in our present helpless
condition. Of this we had a troublesome instance, on the 30th of June,
at five in the morning, when we were alarmed by a violent gust of
wind directly off shore, which instantly parted our small bower cable,
about ten fathoms from the ring of the anchor. The ship at once swung
off to the best bower, which happily stood the violence of the jerk,
and brought us up, with two cables on end, in eighty fathoms.

At this time we had not above a dozen seamen in the ship, and were
apprehensive, if the squall continued, that we might be driven out to
sea in this helpless condition. We sent, therefore, the boat on shore,
to bring off all who were capable of acting; and the wind soon abating
of its fury, gave us an opportunity of receiving the boat back with a
reinforcement. With this additional strength, we went immediately to
work, to have in what remained of the broken cable, which we suspected
to have received some injury from the ground before it parted, and
accordingly we found that seven fathoms and a half had been chaffed
and rendered unserviceable. In the afternoon, we bent this cable to
the spare anchor, and got it over the bows. Next morning, the 1st of
July, being favoured by the wind in gentle breezes, we warped the
ship in again, and let go the anchor in forty-one fathoms; the eastern
point of the bay now bearing from us E. 1/2 S. the western point N.W.
by W. and the bottom of the bay S.S.W. as before. We were, however,
much concerned for the loss of our anchor, and swept frequently to
endeavour its recovery; but the buoy having sunk at the instant when
the cable parted, we could never find it again.

As the month of July advanced, and some of our sick men were tolerably
recovered, the strongest of them were set to cut down trees, and
to split them into billets, while others, too weak for this work,
undertook to carry the billets, by one at a time, to the water
side. This they performed, some by the help of crutches, and others
supported by a single stick. We next set up the forge on shore, and
employed our smith, who was just capable of working, to repair our
chain-plates, and other broken and decayed iron-work. We began also
the repair of our rigging; but as we had not enough of junk to make
spun-yarn, we deferred the general overhaul in the daily hope of the
Gloucester arriving, which was known to have a great quantity of junk
on board. That we might dispatch our refitting as fast as possible,
we set up a large tent on the beach for the sail-makers, who were
employed diligently in repairing our old sails and making new ones.
These occupations, with cleansing and watering our ship, now pretty
well completed, together with attending our sick, and the frequent
relief sent to the Gloucester, were the principal transactions of our
infirm crew, till the arrival of the Gloucester at anchor in the bay.

Captain Mitchell immediately waited on the commodore, whom he
informed, that, in his last absence, he had been forced as far as
the small island of _Masefuero_, nearly in the same latitude with the
larger island of Juan Fernandez, and thirty leagues farther W. That he
had endeavoured to send his boat on shore there for water, of which he
observed several streams; but the wind blew so strong upon the shore,
and caused so great a surf, that it was impossible to get to land.
The attempt, however, was not entirely useless, as the boat came
back loaded with fish. This island had been represented, by former
navigators, as a mere barren rock, but Captain Mitchell assured the
commodore, that it was almost every where covered with trees and
verdure, and was nearly four miles in length. He believed also,
that some small bay might possibly be found in it which might afford
sufficient shelter to any ship desirous of procuring refreshments.

As four ships of our squadron were still missing, this description of
Masefuero gave rise to a conjecture, that some of them might possibly
have fallen in with that island, mistaking it for the true place of
rendezvous. This suspicion was the more reasonable, that we had no
draught of either island that could be relied upon; wherefore the
commodore resolved to send the Tryal sloop thither, as soon as she
could be made ready for sea, in order to examine all its creeks and
bays, that it might be ascertained whether any of our missing ships
were there or not. For this purpose, some of our best hands were sent
on board the Tryal next morning, to overhaul and fix her rigging,
and our long-boat was employed to complete her water; what stores and
necessaries she wanted, being immediately supplied from the Centurion
and Gloucester. It was the 4th of August before the Tryal was in
readiness to sail. When, having weighed, it soon after fell calm,
and the tide set her very near the eastern shore of the bay. Captain
Saunders immediately hung out lights, and fired several guns, to
apprise us of his danger; upon which all the boats were sent to his
aid, which towed the sloop into the bay, where she anchored till next
morning, and then proceeded with a fair breeze.

We were now busily employed in examining and repairing our rigging,
and that of the Gloucester; but, in stripping our fore-mast, we were
alarmed by discovering that it was sprung just above the partners
of the upper deck. This spring was two inches in depth and twelve in
circumference; but the carpenters, on inspection, gave it as their
opinion, that fishing it with two leaves of an anchor-stock would
render it as secure as ever. Besides this defect in our mast, we had
other difficulties in refitting, from the want of cordage and canvass;
for, although we had taken to sea much greater quantities of both than
had ever been done before, yet the continued bad weather we had met
with, after passing the straits of Le Maire, had occasioned so great
a consumption of these stores, that we were reduced to great straits;
as, after working up all our junk and old shrouds, to make twice laid
cordage, we were at last reduced to the necessity to unlay a cable, to
work up into running rigging; and, with all the canvass and remnants
of old sails, that could be mustered, we could only make up one
complete suit.

Towards the middle of August, our men being indifferently recovered,
they were permitted to quit the sick tents, and to build separate huts
for themselves; as it was imagined, by living apart, that they might
be much cleanlier, and consequently likely to recover their strength
the sooner: But strict orders were given, at the same time, that they
were instantly to repair to the water-side, on the firing of a
gun from the ship. Their employment now on shore, was either the
procurement of refreshments, the cutting of wood, or the procurement
of oil from the blubber of sea-lions. This oil served for several
purposes; as burning in lamps, mixing with pitch to pay the sides of
our ships, or, when worked up with wood-ashes, to supply the place of
tallow, of which we had none left, to give the ship boat-hose tops.
Some of the men were also occupied in salting cod; for, having two
Newfoundland fishermen in the Centurion, the commodore set them to
work in providing a considerable quantity of salted cod for sea-store;
though very little of it was used, as it was afterwards thought to be
equally productive of scurvy with any other kind of salted provisions.

It has been before mentioned, that we set up a copper oven on shore,
to bake bread for the sick: But it happened that the greatest part of
the flour, for the use of the squadron, was on board the Anna pink. It
should also have been mentioned, that the Tryal sloop informed us, on
her arrival, that she had fallen in with our victualler, on the 9th
of May, not far from the coast of Chili, and had kept company with her
for four days, when they were parted in a gale of wind. This gave us
some room to hope that she was safe, and might rejoin us: But, all
June and July having passed without any news of her, we gave her over
for lost; and the commodore, at the end of July, ordered all the ships
on a short allowance of bread. Neither was it in bread alone that we
feared a deficiency: For, since our arrival at Juan Fernandez, it was
discovered that our former purser had neglected to take on board large
quantities of several kinds of provisions, which the commodore had
expressly ordered him to receive; so that the supposed loss of our
victualler was, on all accounts, a most mortifying circumstance.

About noon on Thursday the 16th of August, after we had given over all
hopes of the Anna pink, a sail was espied in the northern quarter, on
which a gun was immediately fired from the Centurion, to call off the
people from the shore, who readily obeyed the summons, by repairing
to the beach, where the boats waited to fetch them on board. Being
now prepared for the reception of the ship in view, whether friend or
enemy, we had various speculations respecting her, many supposing at
first, that it was the Tryal sloop returning from the examination of
Masefuero. As she drew nearer, this opinion was confuted, by observing
that she had three masts, when other conjectures were eagerly
canvassed; some judging the vessel in sight to be the Severn and
others the Pearl, while several affirmed that she did not belong to
our squadron. But, about three in the afternoon, all speculations were
ended by the unanimous persuasion that it was our victualler, the
Anna pink. And, though, this ship had fallen in with the island to the
northward like the Gloucester, she yet had the good fortune to come
to anchor in the bay at five in the afternoon. Her arrival gave us
all the utmost satisfaction, as the ship's companies were immediately
restored to their full allowance of bread, and we were now relieved
from the apprehensions of our provisions falling short before we could
reach some friendly port,--a calamity, in these seas, of all others
the most irretrievable. This was the last ship that joined us; and,
as the dangers she encountered, and the good fortune she afterwards
experienced, are worthy of a separate narration, I shall refer them,
together with a short account of the other missing ships, to the
ensuing section.


_Short Account of what befell the Anna Pink before she rejoined;
with an Account of the Loss of the Wager, and the putting back of the
Severn and Pearl._

On the first recognition of the Anna pink, it seemed quite wonderful
to us how the crew of a vessel, which had thus come to the rendezvous
two months after us, should be capable of working their ship in
the manner they did, and with so little appearance of debility and
distress. This difficulty, however, was soon solved after she came
to anchor; for we then found that she had been in harbour since the
middle of May, near a month before our arrival at Juan Fernandez,
so that their sufferings, excepting the risk they had run of being
shipwrecked, were greatly short of what had been undergone by the rest
of the squadron.

They fell in with the land on the 16th of May, in lat. 45° 15' S.
being then about four leagues from shore. On the first sight of
it, they wore ship and stood to the southward; but their fore-sail
splitting, and the wind being strong at W.S.W. they drove towards the
shore. The captain, either unable to clear the land, or, as others
say, resolved to keep the sea no longer, steered now for the coast,
in order to look out for some shelter among the many islands which
appeared in sight, and had the good fortune to bring the ship to
anchor to the eastward of the island of _Inchin_[1]. But, as they did
not run sufficiently near the east shore of that island, and had not
hands enough to veer away the cable briskly, they were soon driven to
the eastwards, deepening their water from twenty-five to thirty-five
fathoms. Still continuing to drive, they next day, being the 17th May,
let go their sheet anchor, which brought them up for a short time: but
on the 18th they drove again, till they came into sixty-five fathoms;
and, being now within a mile of the land, they expected every moment
to be forced on shore in a place where the coast was so very high and
steep, that there was not the smallest prospect of saving the ship and
cargo. As their boats were very leaky, and there was no appearance of
a landing place, the whole crew, consisting of sixteen men and boys,
gave themselves up for lost, believing, if even any of them happened
to get on shore by some extraordinary chance, that they would be
almost certainly massacred by the savages; as these people, knowing
no other Europeans except Spaniards, might be expected to treat all
strangers with the same cruelty which they have so often, and so
signally, exercised against their Spanish neighbours.

[Footnote 1: The island of Inchin and the bay in which the Anna pink
took shelter is in lat. 46° 30' S. long. 74° 30' in what is called the
Peninsula de tres Montes, to the N. of the Golfo de Penas.--E.]

Under these terrifying circumstances, the Anna continued to drive
towards the rocks which formed the shore; and at last, when expecting
every instant to strike, they perceived a small opening in the land,
which raised their hopes of safety. Wherefore, immediately cutting
away their two anchors, they steered for this opening, which they
found to be a narrow opening between an island and the main, which led
them into a most excellent harbour; which, for its security against
all winds and swells, and the consequent smoothness of its water, may
perhaps vie with any in the known world: And this place being
scarcely two miles from the spot where they deemed their destruction
inevitable, the horrors of shipwreck and immediate death, with which
they had been so long and strongly possessed, vanished almost in
an instant, giving place to the most joyous ideas of security,
refreshment, and repose.

In this harbour, discovered almost by miracle, the Anna came to anchor
in twenty-five fathoms, with only a hawser and small anchor of about
three hundred weight. Here she continued for near two months, and her
people, who were many of them ill of the scurvy, were soon restored
to perfect health by the fresh provisions, which they procured in
abundance, and the excellent water which they found in plenty on the
adjacent shore. As this place may prove of the greatest importance to
future navigators forced upon this coast by the western winds, which
are almost perpetual in that part of the world, it may be proper to
give the best account that could be collected of this port, as to
its situation, conveniences, and productions, before continuing the
adventures of the Anna pink. To facilitate, also, the knowledge of
this place, to such as may be desirous hereafter of using it, there
is annexed a plan both of the harbour and the large bay before it,
through which the Anna drifted. This plan, perhaps, may not be in
all respects as accurate as could be wished, being composed from the
memorandums and rude sketches of the master and surgeon, who were not
the most able draughtsmen; but, as the principal parts were laid down
by their estimates of their distances from each other, in which kind
of computation seamen are commonly very dextrous, the errors are
probably not very considerable.

The latitude, which certainly is a very material point, was not very
accurately ascertained, as the Anna had no observation either on the
day she got there, or within a day of leaving the bay; but is supposed
to be not very distant from 45° 30' S.[2] But the large extent of
the bay, at the bottom of which the harbour is situated, renders this
uncertainty of the less importance. The island lying before this bay,
called _Inchin_ by the Indians, is supposed to be one of the islands
named _Chonos_ by the Spanish accounts, and said to spread along all
this coast,[3] being inhabited by a barbarous people, famous for their
hatred to the Spaniards, and their cruelty to such of that nation as
have fallen into their hands. It is even possible that the land in
which this harbour is situated may be one of these islands, while the
continent may be considerably to the eastward. This harbour, besides
its depth of water and complete shelter, has two coves, where ships
may very conveniently be hove down, as the water is constantly smooth.
There are also several fine runs of excellent fresh water, which fall
into the harbour, some so conveniently situated that the casks may
be filled in the long-boat by means of a hose. The most remarkable of
these is a stream in the N.E. part of the harbour, being a fresh-water
river, where the crew of the Anna caught a few mullets of excellent
flavour, and they were persuaded that it would be found to have plenty
of fish in the proper season, it being winter when they were there.

[Footnote 2: This has already, on the authority of Arrowsmith, been
stated at 46° 30' S.]

[Footnote 3: The gulf and archipelago of Chonos, or Guaytecas, one of
the islands of which is Socora, or Guayteca, is considerably to the
N. of Inchin, between the peninsula de tres Montes and the island of
Chiloe, the centre of that archipelago being in lat. 45° S.--E.]

The principal refreshments of green vegetables met with at this port
were wild cellery, nettle-tops, and the like, which, after so long
a continuance at sea, were highly acceptable. We got abundance
of shell-fish, as cockles and muscles of great size and delicious
flavour, with plenty of geese, shags, and penguins. Though in the
depth of winter the climate was by no means extremely rigorous,
neither were the trees or the face of the country destitute of
verdure; whence it may be concluded, that many other kinds of fresh
provisions would doubtless be found there in summer. Notwithstanding
the relations of the Spaniards respecting the violence and barbarity
of the inhabitants, it does not appear that their numbers are
sufficient to excite any apprehensions in the crew of a ship of any
size, or that their dispositions are by any means so mischievous or
merciless as has been represented. With all these advantages, this
place is so far from the frontiers of the Spanish settlements, and
so little known to the Spaniards themselves, that, with proper
precautions, there is reason to believe a ship might remain here
a long time undiscovered. It is also capable of being made a very
defensible port; as, by possessing the island that closes tip the
port or inner harbour, which island is only accessible in a very few
places, a small force might easily secure this port against all the
force which the Spaniards could muster in that part of the world. For
this island is so steep towards the harbour, having six fathoms close
to the shore, that the Anna anchored within forty yards of its coast;
whence it is obvious how difficult it would prove, either to board
or cut out any vessel protected by a force posted on shore within
pistol-shot, and where those thus posted could not be themselves
attacked. All these circumstances seem to render this port worthy of
a more accurate examination; and it is to be hoped that this rude
attempt to suggest, may hereafter recommend it to the consideration
of the public, and the attention of those who are more immediately
entrusted with the conduct of our naval affairs.

After this account of the place where the Anna lay for two months, it
may be expected that I should relate the discoveries made by her crew
upon the adjacent coast, and the principal incidents that occurred
during their stay here. But, as they were only a few in number, they
durst not venture to detach any of their people on distant searches,
being under continual apprehensions of being attacked either by the
Spaniards or Indians, so that their excursions were generally confined
to the tract of land surrounding the port, where they were never out
of view of the ship: Even if they had known from the first how little
grounds there were for these fears, yet the neighbouring country
was so overgrown with wood, and so traversed by mountains, that
it appeared impracticable to penetrate to any distance, so that no
account of the interior could be expected. They were, however, in a
condition to disprove the relations given by Spanish writers, who have
represented this coast as inhabited by a fierce and powerful people,
as no such inhabitants were to be found, at least in the winter
season; for, during the whole time of their continuance here, they
never saw any more than one small Indian family, which came into the
harbour in a periagua, or canoe, about a month after the arrival of
the Anna, and consisted only of one Indian man, near forty years of
age, his wife, and two children, one about three years of age, and
the other still on the breast. They seemed to have with them all their
property, consisting of a dog and cat, a fishing net, a hatchet, a
knife, a cradle, some bark of trees, intended for covering a hut, a
reel with some worsted, a flint and steel, and a few roots of a yellow
hue, and very disagreeable taste, which served them for bread.

As soon as these were perceived, the master of the Anna sent his yawl
and brought them on board; and, lest they might discover him to the
Spaniards if permitted to go away, he took proper precautions, as he
conceived, for securing them, but without violence or ill usage, as
they were permitted to go about the ship where they pleased in the day
time, but were locked up in the forecastle at night. As they were fed
in the same manner with the crew, and were often indulged with brandy,
which they seemed greatly to relish, it did not appear at first that
they were much dissatisfied with their situation. The master took
the Indian on shore when he went to shoot, and he seemed always much
delighted on seeing the game killed. The crew also treated them with
great humanity; but it was soon apparent, though the woman continued
easy and cheerful, that the man grew pensive and discontented at his
confinement. He seemed to have good natural parts, and though utterly
unable to converse with our people otherwise than by signs, was yet
very curious and inquisitive, and showed great dexterity in his manner
of making himself understood. Seeing so few people on board so large
a ship, he seemed to express his opinion that they had once been more
numerous, and, by way of representing what he imagined had become of
their companions, he laid himself on the deck, closing his eyes, and
stretching himself out motionless, as if to imitate the appearance of
a dead body.

The strongest proof of his sagacity was the manner of his getting
away. After having been on board the Anna for eight days, the scuttle
of the forecastle, where he and his family were locked up every night,
happened to be left unnailed, and on the following night, which
was extremely dark and stormy, he contrived to convey his wife and
children through the scuttle, and then over the ship's side into the
yawl, and immediately rowed on shore, using the precaution to cut
away the long-boat and his own periagua, which were towing astern, to
prevent being pursued. He conducted all this with so much silence
and secrecy, that, though there was a watch on the quarter-deck with
loaded arms, he was not discovered by them till the noise of his oars
in the water gave notice of his escape, after he had put off from the
ship, when it was too late either to prevent or pursue him. Besides,
as their boats were all adrift, it was some time before they could
contrive the means of getting on shore to search for their boats. By
this effort, besides regaining his liberty, the Indian was in some
measure revenged on those who had confined him, both by the perplexity
they were in for the loss of their boats, and by the terror occasioned
by his departure; for, on the first alarm of the watch, who cried,
"The Indians," the whole crew were in the utmost confusion, believing
that the ship had been boarded by a whole fleet of armed canoes.

Had the resolution and sagacity with which this Indian behaved on
this occasion, been exerted on a more extensive object, it might have
immortalized the exploit, and given him a rank among the illustrious
names of antiquity. The people of the Anna, indeed, allowed that it
was a most gallant enterprise, and were grieved at having thus been
under the necessity, from attention to their own safety, to abridge
the liberty of one who had now given so distinguished a proof of
courage and prudence. As he was supposed still to continue in the
woods near the port, where he might suffer for want of provisions,
they easily prevailed on the master to leave a quantity of such food
as they thought would be most agreeable to him in a place where he
was likely to find it, and there was reason to believe this was not
altogether without its use, for, on visiting the place afterwards, the
provisions were gone, and in a manner that made them conclude they had
fallen into his hands.

Although many of the crew of the Anna believed that this Indian still
continued in the neighbourhood, there were some who strongly suspected
he might have gone off to the island of Chiloe, where they feared
he would alarm the Spaniards, and would soon return with a force
sufficient to surprise or overpower the Anna. The master was therefore
prevailed upon to discontinue firing the evening gun, and there is a
particular reason for attending to this circumstance, to be explained
hereafter; for he had hitherto, from an ostentatious imitation of
the men-of-war, fired a gun every evening at setting the night watch.
This, as he pretended, was to awe the enemy, if there were any within
hearing, and to convince them that his ship was always on her
guard. The crew being now well refreshed, and their wood and water
sufficiently replenished, he put to sea a few days after the escape
of the Indian, and had a fortunate passage to the rendezvous at
Juan Fernandez, where he arrived on the 16th of August, as already

The remaining ships of the squadron, none of which rejoined the
commodore, were the Severn, Pearl, and Wager, of the fate of which
it may be proper to make mention. The Severn and Pearl parted company
from the commodore off Cape Voir; and, as we afterwards learnt, put
back to Brazil. The Wager had on board a few field-pieces, and some
coehorn-mortars, mounted for land service, with several kinds of
artillery stores and pioneers tools, intended for operations on shore.
And, as an enterprise had been planned against Baldivia, for the first
operation of the squadron, Captain Cheap was extremely solicitous
that these articles might be forthcoming, and determined to use his
endeavours for that purpose, that no delay or disappointment might
be imputed to him, not knowing the state the squadron was reduced
to. While making the best of his way, with these views, to the first
appointed rendezvous, off Socoro, whence he proposed to proceed
for Baldivia, the Wager made the land on the 14th of May, about the
latitude of 47° S. and while Captain Cheap was exerting himself in
order to get clear of the land, he had the misfortune to fall down the
after-ladder, by which he dislocated his shoulder, and was rendered
incapable of acting. This accident, together with the crazy condition
of the ship, which was little better than a wreck, prevented her from
getting off to sea, and entangled her more and more with the land;
insomuch, that at day-break next morning, the 15th May, she struck on
a sunken rock, and soon afterwards bilged, and grounded between two
small islands, about musket-shot from the shore.

In this situation the ship continued entire a long time, so that all
the crew might have got safe on shore. But a general confusion ensued;
many of them, instead of consulting their safety, or reflecting
on their calamitous condition, fell to pillaging the ship, arming
themselves with the first weapons that came to hand, and threatening
to murder all who should oppose their proceedings. This frenzy was
greatly heightened by the liquors they found on board, with which they
made themselves so excessively intoxicated, that some fell down into
the hold, where they were drowned, as the water flowed into the wreck.
Having done his utmost, ineffectually, to get the whole crew on shore,
the captain was at last obliged to leave the mutineers behind, and to
follow his officers on shore, with such few men as he could prevail
upon to accompany him; but did not fail to send back the boats, with a
message to those who remained, entreating them to have some regard to
their own preservation. All his efforts, however, were for some time
in vain; but next day, the weather proving stormy, and there being
great danger of the ship going to pieces, the refractory part of the
crew began to be afraid of perishing, and were desirous of getting to
land; and, in their madness, as the boat did not come to fetch them
off so soon as they wished, they pointed a four-pounder from the
quarter-deck, against the hut in which the captain resided on shore,
and fired two shots, which passed just over its roof.

From this specimen of the behaviour of part of the crew, some idea
may be formed of the disorder and anarchy which prevailed when they at
length got all on shore. For the men conceived that the authority of
their officers was at an end, in consequence of the loss of the ship;
and, as they were now upon an inhospitable coast, where scarcely any
other provisions could be got beyond what could be saved from the
wreck, this was another insurmountable source of discord: for the
working upon the wreck, and securing the provisions on shore, so that
they might be preserved as much as possible for future exigencies,
and that they might be sparingly and equally distributed for present
subsistence, were matters, however important, that could not be
brought about unless by means of discipline and subordination. At the
same time, the mutinous disposition of the people, stimulated by the
immediate impulses of hunger, rendered every regulation attempted for
these indispensable purposes, quite unavailing; so that there were
continual frauds, concealments, and thefts, which animated every one
against his neighbour, and produced infinite contentions and perpetual
quarrels. Hence a perverse and malevolent disposition was constantly
kept up among them, which rendered them utterly ungovernable.

Besides these heart-burnings, occasioned by petulance and hunger,
there was another important point which set the greatest part of the
people at variance with the captain. This was their difference in
opinion from him, on the measures proper to be pursued on the present
emergency; for the captain was determined, if possible, to fit out
the boats in the best manner he could, and to proceed with them to
the northward, as, having above two hundred men in health, and having
saved some fire-arms and ammunition from the wreck, he had no doubt
of being able to master any Spanish, vessel they might fall in with in
these seas, and he thought that he could not fail of meeting with one
in the neighbourhood of Chiloe or Baldivia, in which, when taken,
he proposed to proceed to the rendezvous at Juan Fernandez. He also
insisted, should they even meet with no prize by the way, that the
boats alone could easily carry them to Juan Fernandez. But this
scheme, however prudent and practicable, was by no means relished by
the generality of the people; for, quite jaded and disgusted with the
fatigues, dangers, and distresses they had already encountered, they
could not be persuaded to prosecute an enterprize which had hitherto
proved so disastrous. The common resolution, therefore, was to
lengthen the long-boat, and, with her and the other boats, to steer to
the southwards, to pass through the Straits of Magellan, and to range
along the eastern coast of South America, till they came to Brazil,
where they had no doubt of being well received, and procuring a
passage to Britain.

This project was evidently a vast deal more tedious, and infinitely
more hazardous, than that proposed by the captain; but, as it had the
air of returning home, and flattered them with the hope of getting
once more to their native country, that circumstance rendered them
blind to all its inconveniences, and made them adhere to it with
insurmountable obstinacy. The captain was therefore obliged to give
way to the torrent, though he never changed his opinion, and had, in
appearance, to acquiesce in this resolution, though he gave it all
the obstruction he could, particularly in regard to lengthening the
long-boat, which he contrived should be of such a size, as, though
it might carry them to Juan Fernandez, he yet hoped might appear
incapable of so long a navigation as that to the coast of Brazil.
But the captain, by his steady opposition at first to this favourite
project, had much embittered the people against him, to which, also,
the following unhappy accident greatly contributed.

A midshipman, named Cozens, had appeared the foremost in all the
refractory proceedings of the crew, had involved himself in brawls
with most of the officers who had adhered to the authority of the
captain, and had even treated the captain himself with much insolence
and abuse. As his turbulence and brutality grew every day more and
more intolerable, it was not in the least doubted that some violent
measures were in agitation, in which Cozens was engaged as the
ringleader; for which reason the captain, and those about him,
constantly kept themselves on their guard. One day the purser having
stopped, by order of the captain, the allowance of a fellow who
would not work, Cozens, though the man had not complained to him,
intermeddled in the affair with great bitterness, and grossly insulted
the purser, who was then delivering out the provisions close by the
captain's tent, and was himself sufficiently violent. Enraged by his
scurrility, and perhaps piqued by former quarrels, the purser cried
out, _A mutiny_; adding, _the dog has pistols_, and then immediately
fired himself a pistol at Cozens, but missed him. On hearing this
outcry, and the report of the pistol, the captain rushed out from
his tent, and not doubting that it had been fired by Cozens as the
commencement of a mutiny, immediately shot him in the head without
farther enquiry. Though he did not die on the spot, the wound proved
mortal in about a fortnight.

Though this accident was sufficiently displeasing to the people, it
yet awed them for a considerable time to their duty, and rendered them
more submissive to the authority of the captain. But at last, towards
the middle of October, when, the long-boat was finished, and they were
preparing to put to sea, the additional provocation given them, by
covertly traversing their project of proceeding through the Straits of
Magellan, and their fears that he might at length engage a sufficient
party to overturn this favourite measure, made them resolve to take
advantage of the death of Cozens as a reason for depriving him of his
command, under pretence of carrying him a prisoner to England to be
tried for murder, and he was accordingly confined under a guard. Yet
they never meant to carry him with them, as they too well knew what
they might expect on their return to England, if their commander
should be present to confront them; and therefore, when just ready to
depart, they set him at liberty, leaving him, and the few who chose to
take their fortunes along with him, no other embarkation but the yawl,
to which the barge was afterwards added, by the people on board her
being prevailed upon to turn back.

When the ship was wrecked, there were about one hundred and thirty
persons alive on board; above thirty of whom died on the place where
they landed, and nearly eight went off in the long-boat and cutter
to the southward; after whose departure, there remained no more than
nineteen persons along with the captain, which were as many,
however, as the barge and yawl could well carry, these being the only
embarkations left them. It was on the 13th of October, five months
after the shipwreck, that the long-boat, converted into a schooner,
weighed and sailed to the southwards, giving three cheers at their
departure to the captain and Lieutenant Hamilton of the land-forces,
and the surgeon, who were then standing on the beach. On the 29th of
January, 1742, they arrived at Rio Grande, on the coast of Brazil;
but having, by various accidents, left about twenty of their people on
shore at the different places where they touched, and a still greater
number having perished of famine in the course of their navigation,
there were not more than thirty of them remaining, when they arrived
at that port. This undertaking was certainly most extraordinary in
itself; for, not to mention the great length of the voyage, the vessel
was scarcely able to contain the number that first put to sea in her;
and their stock of provisions, being only what they saved from the
ship, diminished by five months expenditure on shore, was extremely
slender. They had also this additional misfortune, that the cutter,
the only boat they had along with them, broke loose from their stern,
and was staved to pieces, so that, when their provisions and water
failed, they had frequently no means of getting on shore in search of
a supply.

The captain and those who remained with him, now proposed to proceed
to the northward in the barge and yawl; but the weather was so bad,
and the difficulty of subsisting so great, that it was two months
after the departure of the long boat, before they were able to put to
sea. It seems that the place where the Wager was lost, was not a
part of the continent, but an island at some distance from the main,
affording no other sort of provisions besides shell-fish, and a few
herbs; and, as the greatest part of what they had saved out of the
wreck had been carried off in the long-boat, the captain and his
people were often in extreme want of food, especially as they chose
to preserve what little remained to them of the ship's provisions, to
serve them as sea-store, when they should proceed to the northward.
During their residence at this place, which was called Wager Island
by the seamen, they were now and then visited by a straggling canoe or
two of Indians, who came and bartered their fish and other provisions
with our people. This was some little relief to their necessities,
and might perhaps have been greater at another season; for there were
several Indian huts on the shore, whence it was supposed that, in some
years, many of these savages might resort thither in the height of
summer, to catch fish. Indeed, from what has been related in the
account of the Anna pink, it would seem to be the general practice of
these Indians, to frequent this coast in the summer season, for the
purpose of fishing, and to retire more to the northwards in winter,
into a better climate.

It is worthy of remark, how much it is to be lamented that the people
of the Wager had no knowledge of the Anna pink being so near them on
the coast;[4] for, as she was not above thirty leagues from them at
the most, and came into that neighbourhood about the same time that
the Wager was lost, and was a fine roomy ship, she could easily have
taken them all on board, and have carried them to Juan Fernandez.
Indeed, I suspect that she was still nearer them than is here
estimated; for, at different times, several of the people belonging to
the Wager heard the report of a cannon, which could be no other
than the evening gun fired by the Anna, as formerly mentioned, more
especially as the gun heard at Wager Island was at that time of the

[Footnote 4: Inchin island, where the Anna pink lay, has been formerly
stated to be in lat. 46° 30' S. the supposed latitude in which the
Wager was lost, stated in the text at 47° S. is only _ten_ marine
leagues to the southward, instead of _thirty_, and must therefore
have been on some one of the islands toward the southern coast of the
peninsula de Tres Montes, on the north of the Golfo de Penas.--E.]

Captain Cheap and his people embarked in the barge and yawl, on the
14th of December, in order to proceed to the northward, taking on
board along with them all the provisions they could gather from the
wreck of the ship; but they had scarcely been an hour at sea, when the
wind began to blow hard, and the sea to run so high, that they were
obliged to throw the greatest part of their provisions overboard, to
avoid immediate destruction. This was a terrible misfortune, in a part
of the world where food was so difficult to be got; yet they persisted
in their design, going on shore as often as they could, in search
of subsistence. About a fortnight after their departure from Wager
island, another dreadful accident befel them, as the yawl sunk at
an anchor, and one of her hands was drowned; and, as the barge was
incapable of carrying the whole company, they were reduced to the hard
necessity of leaving four marines behind them, on that desolate
coast. They still, however, kept their course to the northward; though
greatly delayed by cross winds, and by the frequent interruptions
occasioned by the necessity of searching for food on shore, and
constantly struggling with a series of the most sinister events. At
length, about the end of January, 1742, having made three unsuccessful
attempts to double a head-land, which they supposed to be that called
Cape _Tres Montes_ by the Spaniards, and finding the difficulty
insurmountable, they unanimously resolved to return to Wager Island,
which they effected about the middle of February, quite disheartened
and desponding, through their reiterated disappointments, and almost
perishing with hunger and fatigue.

On their return, they had the good fortune to fall in with several
pieces of beef, swimming in the sea, which had been washed out of
the wreck, which afforded them a most seasonable relief, after the
hardships they had endured. To complete their good fortune, there came
shortly afterwards to the place two canoes with Indians, among whom
there happened to be a native of Chiloe, who spoke a little Spanish.
The surgeon who accompanied Captain Cheap understood that language,
and made a bargain with the Chiloe Indian, that, if he would carry the
captain and his people in the barge to Chiloe, he should have her and
all her furniture for his reward. Accordingly, on the 6th of March,
the eleven persons, to which the company was now reduced, embarked
again in the barge on this new expedition. After having proceeded
a few days, the captain and four of his principal officers being on
shore, the six, who remained in the barge along with an Indian, shoved
her off and put to sea, and never returned again.

Captain Cheap, together with Mr Hamilton, lieutenant of marines, the
honourable Mr Byron and Mr Campbell, midshipmen, and Mr Elliot, the
surgeon, were thus left on shore in the most deplorable situation
imaginable. It might be thought that their distresses, long before
this time, were hardly capable of being increased: Yet they found
their present situation much more dismaying than any thing they had
hitherto experienced; being left on a desert coast, far from the
haunts of men, without provisions, or the means of procuring any, and
with no visible prospect of relief; for their arms and ammunition, and
every convenience that had hitherto remained to them, except the few
tattered garments they had on, were all carried away in the barge.
While revolving the various circumstances of this new and unlooked-for
calamity, and sadly persuaded that they had no possible relief to hope
for, they perceived a canoe at a distance, which proved to be that
belonging to the Indian of Chiloe, who had undertaken to convey them
to that island. He it seems had left Captain Cheap and his people,
only a little before, to go a fishing in his canoe, accompanied by his
family, leaving the barge in the mean time under the care of the other
Indian, whom the sailors had carried with them to sea. When he came
on shore, and found the barge and his companion gone, he was much
concerned, and was with difficulty persuaded that his companion had
not been murdered; yet, being at last satisfied with the account that
was given him by Mr Elliot, he still undertook to carry them to the
Spanish settlements, and, being well skilled in fishing and fowling,
he undertook also to provide them in provisions by the way.

About the middle of March, Captain Cheap and his four remaining
companions set out for Chiloe; their Indian conductor having provided
several canoes, and gathered many of his countrymen together for that
purpose. Mr Elliot, the surgeon, soon afterwards died, so that there
now only remained four of the whole company. At last, after a very
complicated passage, partly by sea and partly by land, Captain Cheap,
Mr Byron, and Mr Campbell, arrived at the island of Chiloe, where they
were received by the Spaniards with great humanity; but, on account of
some quarrel among the Indians, Mr Hamilton did not get there till two
months later. It was thus above a twelvemonth, from the loss of the
Wager, before this fatiguing peregrination terminated. The four who
now remained were brought so extremely low, by their fatigues and
privations, that in all probability none of them would have survived,
had their distresses continued only a few days longer. The captain was
with difficulty recovered; and the rest were so reduced by labour, the
severity of the weather, scantiness of food, and want of all kinds of
necessaries, that it was wonderful how they had supported themselves
so long.

After some stay at Chiloe, the captain and the other three who were
with him, were sent to Valparaiso, and thence to St Jago, the capital
of Chili, where they continued above a year, and where they were
joined by Mr Hamilton. News arriving that a cartel had been settled
between Great Britain and Spain, Captain Cheap, Mr Byron, and Mr
Hamilton, were permitted to return to Europe in a French ship. Mr
Campbell, the other midshipman, having changed his religion while at
St Jago, chose to go from thence to Buenos Ayres along with Pizarro
and his officers, overland, and went with them afterwards to Spain in
the Asia: But failing in his endeavours to procure a commission from
the court of Spain, he returned to England, and attempted in vain to
get reinstated in the British navy. He has since published a narration
of his adventures in which he complains of the injustice that has
been done him and strongly disavows having ever been in the Spanish
service: but, as the change of his religion and his offering himself
to the court of Spain, though he was not accepted, are matters which
he must be conscious can be incontestably proved, he has been entirely
silent on these two heads.[5]

[Footnote 5: The circumstances connected with the loss of the Wager,
and of the separation of the Severn and the Pearl, will be given more
at large, by way of supplement to the circumnavigation. The incidents
which occur to bold and unfortunate navigators are certainly curious
and interesting; but the author of Anson's Voyage seems to have
forgotten, that the circumstances respecting the countries they
visited, especially such of these which are so little known, are of
infinitely greater utility.--E.]


_Conclusion of Proceedings at Juan Fernandez, from the Arrival of the
Anna Pink, to our final Departure from thence._

About a week after the arrival of the Anna pink, the Tryal sloop,
which had been sent to examine the island of Masefuero, returned to
an anchor at Juan Fernandez, having gone entirely round that island,
without seeing any one of our squadron. As, on this occasion, the
island of Masefuero was more particularly examined, I have no doubt,
than it had ever been before, or perhaps ever may be again, and as the
knowledge of it may be of great consequence hereafter, under peculiar
circumstances, I think it incumbent to insert the accounts given of it
by the officers of the Tryal.

The Spaniards have generally mentioned two islands, under the same of
Juan Fernandez, naming them the greater and the less;[1] the greater
being that island, where we anchored, and the less that we are
now about to describe; which, because it is more distant from the
continent, they call Masefuero. The Tryal found that it bore from the
greater Juan Fernandez, W. by S. about twenty-two leagues distant.
It is much larger and better than has been usually represented, being
reported by former writers as a small barren rock, destitute of wood
and water, and altogether inaccessible. Whereas our people found that
it was covered with trees, and that there were several fine falls
of water pouring down its sides into the sea. They found, also, that
there is a place on its north side, where a ship might come to an
anchor, though indeed the anchorage be inconvenient; for the bank is
steep, and extends only a little way, and has very deep water, so
that she must anchor very near the shore, and be there exposed to all
winds, except those from the southward. Besides the inconvenience
of the anchorage, there is also a reef of rocks, about two miles in
length, running off the eastern point of the island, though these are
little to be feared, because always to be seen, by the sea breaking
over them. This island has at present one advantage beyond Juan
Fernandez, as it abounds in goats; and as these are not accustomed to
be disturbed, they were no way shy till they had been frequently fired
at. These animals reside here in great tranquillity, as the Spaniards,
not thinking this island sufficiently considerable to be frequented by
their enemies, have not been solicitous to destroy the provisions
it contains, so that no dogs have hitherto been put on shore there.
Besides goats, the people of the Tryal found there vast numbers of
seals and sea lions; and upon the whole, though they did not consider
it as the most eligible place for ships to refresh at, yet, in case
of necessity, it might afford some sort of shelter, and prove of
considerable use, especially to a single ship, apprehensive of meeting
an enemy at Juan Fernandez.

[Footnote 1: They also distinguish the greater by the name of Isla de
Tierra, as being nearer the main land of Chili. There is yet a third
and smallest island, a little way from the S.W. extremity of the
largest, called J. de Cabras or Conejos, Goat or Rabbit island.--E.]

The latter end of the month of December was spent in unloading the
provisions from the Anna pink; when we had the mortification to find,
that great quantities of our provisions, as bread, rice, groats, &c.
were decayed and unfit for use. This had been occasioned by the Anna
taking in water, by her working and straining in bad weather; owing
to which several of her casks had rotted, and many of her bags were
soaked through. Having now no farther occasion for her services, the
commodore, pursuant to his orders from the admiralty, sent notice
to her master, Mr Gerard, that he now discharged the Anna pink from
attending the squadron, and gave him a certificate at the same time,
specifying how long she had been employed. In consequence of this
dismission, her master was left at liberty, either to return directly
to England, or to make the best of his way to any port where he
thought he could take in such a cargo as might serve the interest of
his owners. But, sensible of the bad condition of his ship, and
her unfitness for any such voyage, the master wrote next day to the
commodore, stating, that he had reason to apprehend the bottom of the
Anna to be very much decayed, from the great quantity of water she
had let in on her passage round Cape Horn, and ever since, in the
tempestuous weather she had experienced on the coast of Patagonia;
that her upper decks were rotten abaft; that she was extremely leaky;
that her fore-beam was broken; and, in short, that, in his opinion, it
was impossible to proceed with her to sea, unless she were thoroughly
repaired. He therefore requested of the commodore, that the carpenters
of the squadron might be directed to survey her, so that their
judgment of her condition might be known. In compliance with this
request, the carpenters were ordered to make a careful and accurate
survey of the Anna, and to give in a faithful report to the commodore
of her condition; directing them to proceed with such circumspection,
that they might be able, if hereafter called upon, to confirm the
veracity of their report upon oath. Pursuant to these orders, the
carpenters immediately set about the examination, and made their
report next day. This was in substance, That the Anna had no less than
fourteen knees and twelve beams broken, and decayed; one breast-hook
broken, and another decayed; her water-ways open and decayed; two
standards and several clamps broken, besides others much rotten; all
her iron-work greatly decayed; her spirkiting and timbers very rotten;
that, having ripped off part of her sheathing, her wales and outside
planks were extremely defective; and her bows and decks were very
leaky. From all these defects and decays, they certified that, in
their opinion, the vessel could not depart from Juan Fernandez,
without great hazard, unless previously thoroughly repaired.

In our present situation, this thorough repair was impracticable,
all the plank and iron in the squadron being insufficient for that
purpose. Wherefore, the opinion of the master being confirmed by this
report, he presented a petition to the commodore, in behalf of his
owners, praying, as his vessel was incapable of leaving the island,
that her hull, materials, and furniture, might be purchased for the
use of the squadron. The commodore, therefore, ordered an inventory
to be taken of every thing belonging to the pink, with its just value;
and as many of her stores might become useful in repairing the other
ship, these articles having become very scarce, in consequence of
the great quantities already expended, he agreed with Mr Gerard to
purchase the whole for £300. The pink was now broken up, Mr Gerard and
her hands being sent on board the Gloucester, as that ship had buried
the greatest number of men in proportion to her complement. Two or
three of them were afterwards received into the Centurion on their
petition, as they were averse from sailing in the same ship with
their old master, on account of some ill usage they alledged to have
suffered from him.

This transaction brought us down to the beginning of September, by
which time our people were so far recovered from the scurvy, that
there was little danger of burying any more for the present. I shall
therefore now sum up the whole of our loss since our departure from
England, the better to convey some idea of our past sufferings and our
then remaining strength. In the Centurion, since leaving St Helens, we
had buried 292 men, and had 214 remaining. This will doubtless appear
a most extraordinary mortality, yet that in the Gloucester had been
much greater; as, out of a much smaller crew than ours, she had lost
the same number, and had only 82 remaining alive. It might have been
expected that the mortality would have been the most terrible in the
Tryal, as her decks were almost constantly knee deep in water: But
it happened otherwise, for she escaped more favourably than the other
two, having only buried 42, and had 39 remaining alive. The havoc of
this cruel disease had fallen still more severely on the invalids
and marines, than on the sailors. For, in the Centurion, out of 50
invalids and 79 marines, there only remained four invalids, including
officers, and 11 marines. In the Gloucester every invalid perished;
and of 48 marines, only two escaped. It appears from this account,
that the three ships departed from England with 961 men on board, of
whom 626 were dead, and 335 men and boys only remained alive; a number
greatly insufficient for manning the Centurion alone, and barely
capable of navigating all the three with the utmost exertion of their
strength and vigour.

This prodigious reduction of our men was the more alarming, as we were
hitherto unacquainted with the fate of the squadron under Pizarro, and
had reason to suppose that some part of it, at least, had got round
into the South Seas. We were, indeed, much of opinion, from our own
sad experience, that they must have suffered greatly in the passage:
but then every port in the South Sea was open to them, and the whole
power of Peru and Chili would be exerted for their refreshment and
repair, and for recruiting their loss of men. We had, also, some
obscure information of a force to be fitted out against us from Paluo;
and, however contemptible the ships and sailors of this part of the
world may have been generally esteemed, it was hardly possible for
any thing bearing the name of a ship of war, to be feebler or less
considerable than ourselves. Even if there had been nothing to
apprehend from the naval power of the Spaniards in these seas, yet our
enfeebled situation necessarily gave us great uneasiness, as we were
incapable of making an attempt against any of their considerable
places; for, in our state of weakness, the risking even of twenty
men, would have put the safety of the whole in hazard. We conceived,
therefore, that we should be forced to content ourselves with what
prizes we might be able to fall in with at sea, before we were
discovered, and then to depart precipitately, and esteem ourselves
fortunate to regain our native country; leaving our enemies to triumph
on the inconsiderable mischief they had suffered from a squadron which
had filled them with such dreadful apprehensions. We had reason to
imagine the Spanish ostentation would remarkably exert itself on
this subject, though our disappointment and their security neither
originated in their valour nor our misconduct. Such were the
desponding reflections which at this time arose, on the review and
comparison of our remaining weakness with our original strength: And,
indeed, our fears were far from being groundless, or disproportionate
to our feeble and almost desperate condition: For, though the final
event proved more honourable than we foreboded, yet the intermediate
calamities did likewise surpass our most gloomy apprehensions; and,
could these have been predicted to us while at Juan Fernandez, they
would doubtless have appeared insurmountable.

In the beginning of September, as already mentioned, our men being
tolerably well recovered, and the season of navigation in these seas
drawing nigh, we exerted ourselves in getting our ships ready for sea.
We converted the foremast of the Anna into a new main-mast for the
Tryal; and, still flattering ourselves with the possible hope of
some other ships of our squadron arriving, we intended to leave the
main-mast of the Anna, to make a new mizen-mast for the Wager. All
hands being thus employed in preparing for our departure, we espied
a sail to the N.E. about eleven a.m. of the 18th September, which
continued to approach us till her courses appeared even with the
horizon. While advancing, we had great hopes that this might prove
one of our squadron; but she at length steered away to the eastward,
without hauling in for the island, on which we concluded that she must
be Spanish. Great differences of opinion now took place, as to the
possibility of her people having discovered our tents on shore; some
of us strongly insisting, that she certainly had been near enough to
have seen something that had given them a jealousy to an enemy, which
had occasioned her standing away to the eastwards. Leaving these
contests to be settled afterwards, it was resolved to pursue her; and,
as the Centurion was in the greatest forwardness, all her hands were
got immediately on board, her rigging set up, and her sails bent with
all possible expedition, and we got under sail by five in the evening.

At this time we had so very little wind, that all the boats were
employed to tow us out of the bay, and what wind there was lasted only
long enough to give us an offing of two or three leagues, when it
fell dead calm. As night came on we lost sight of the chase, and were
extremely impatient for the return of light, in hopes to find that she
had been becalmed, as well as we; yet her great distance from the land
was 3 reasonable ground for suspecting the contrary, as we actually
found in the morning, to our great mortification; for, though the
weather was then quite clear, we had no sight of the chase from the
mast-head. But, being now quite satisfied that she was an enemy, and
the first we had seen in these seas, we resolved not to give over the
chase lightly; and, on a small breeze springing up from the W.N.W. we
got up our top-gallant masts and yards, set all the sails, and steered
S.E. in hopes of retrieving the chase, which we imagined might be
bound for Valparaiso. We continued on this course all that day and the
next; and then, seeing nothing of the chase, gave over the pursuit,
believing that she had, in all probability, reached her port.

Resolving to return to Juan Fernandez, we hauled up to the S.W. having
very little wind till the 12th, at three a.m. when a gale sprung up at
W.S.W. which obliged us to tack and stand to the N.W. At day-break,
we were agreeably surprised by the appearance of a sail on our
weather-bow, between four and five leagues distant, on which we
crowded all sail and stood towards her, soon perceiving she was a
different vessel from that we had chased before. She at first bore
down towards us, shewing Spanish colours, and making a signal as to
a consort; but, seeing we did not answer her signal, she instantly
loofed close to the wind and stood to the southward. Our people were
now all in high spirits, and put about ship with great briskness;
and, as the chase appeared a large ship, and had mistaken us for
her consort, we imagined that she must be a man of war, and probably
belonged to the squadron of Pizarro. This induced the commodore to
order all the officers cabins to be knocked down and thrown overboard,
along with several casks of water and provisions, that stood between
the guns; so that we had a clear ship, ready for action. About nine
a.m. it came on thick hazy weather, with a shower of rain, during
which we lost sight of the chase, and were apprehensive, if this
weather should continue, she might escape us, by going on the other
tack, or some other device. The weather cleared up, however, in
less than an hour, when we found that we had both weathered and
fore-reached upon her considerably, and were then near enough to
perceive that she was only a merchant ship, without a single tire of
guns. About half an hour after twelve noon, being within reasonable
distance, we fired four shot among her rigging; on which they lowered
their top-sails and bore down to us, but in very great confusion,
their top-gallant-sails and stay-sails all fluttering in the wind.
This was owing to their having let run their sheets and halyards, just
as we fired at them; after which not a man among them would venture
aloft to take them in, as our shot had passed there just before.

As soon as the vessel came within hail of us, the commodore ordered
her to bring to under his lee quarter; and having the boat hoisted
out, sent our first lieutenant, Mr Saumarez, to take possession of the
prize, with orders to send all the prisoners on board the Centurion,
the officers and passengers first. When Mr Saumarez boarded the prize,
he was received by her people at the side with the most abject tokens
of submission; as they were all, especially the passengers, who were
twenty-five in number, extremely terrified, and under the greatest
apprehensions of meeting with very severe and cruel usage. But the
lieutenant endeavoured, with great courtesy, to dissipate their
terror, assuring them that their fears were altogether groundless,
and that they would find a generous enemy in the commodore, who was
no less remarkable for his lenity and humanity, than for courage and
resolution. The prisoners who were first sent on board the Centurion,
informed us, that the prize was called _Neustra Lenora del Monte
Carmelo_, and her commander Don Manuel Zamorra. Her cargo consisted
chiefly of sugar, and a great quantity of blue cloth, made in the
province of Quito, somewhat resembling our coarse English broad cloth,
but inferior. They had also several bales of a coarser cloth, of
different colours, somewhat like Colchester baize, called by them
_Panniada Tierra_; with a few bales of cotton, and some tolerably
well-flavoured tobacco, though strong. These were her principal goods;
but we found besides, what was much more valuable than the rest of
her cargo, some trunks full of wrought silver plate, and twenty-three
serons of dollars, each weighing upwards of two hundred pounds.[2]
This ship was of about 450 tons burden, having on board 53 sailors,
including whites and blacks. She came from Calao, bound for
Valparaiso, and had been twenty-seven days at sea. Her return cargo
from Chili was to have been corn and Chili wine, with some gold, dried
beef, and small cordage, which is afterwards converted at Calao into
larger rope. This vessel had been built thirty years before; yet,
as they lie in harbour all winter, and the climate is remarkably
favourable, she was not considered as very old. Her rigging and sails
were very indifferent, the latter being of cotton. She had only three
four-pounders, which were quite unserviceable, as their carriages
could scarcely support them; and they had no small arms on board,
except a few pistols belonging to the passengers. They had sailed from
Callao in company with two other ships, which they had parted from
a few days before, and had at first taken our ship for one of their
consorts; and, by the description we gave of the ship we had chased
from Juan Fernandez, they assured us that she was one of their number;
although the coming in sight of that island is directly contrary to
the merchant's instructions, as knowing, if any English ships should
be in these seas, that this island is most likely to be their place of

[Footnote 2: A seron is a species of package made and used in Spanish
America, consisting of a piece of raw bullock's hide with the hair on,
formed while wet into the shape of a small trunk, and sewed together.
The quantity of dollars taken on this occasion may have been between
seventy and eighty thousand.--E.]

We met with very important intelligence in this prize, partly from
the prisoners, and partly from letters and papers that fell into
our hands. By these we first learnt with certainty the force and
destination of that squadron which cruised off Madeira at our arrival
there, and had afterwards chased the Pearl in our passage to Port St
Julian. This squadron we now knew to be composed of five large Spanish
ships, commanded by Admiral Pizarro, and purposely fitted out to
traverse our designs, as has been already more amply related in our
third section. We had now the satisfaction to find, that Pizarro,
after his utmost endeavours to get round into these seas, had been
forced back to the Rio Plata, after losing two of his largest
ships; which, considering our great weakness, was no unacceptable
intelligence. We also learnt, that, though an embargo had been laid on
all shipping in the ports of South America, by the viceroy of Peru,
in the preceding month of May, on the supposition that we might then
arrive on the coast, yet it now no longer subsisted: For, on receiving
the account overland of the distresses of Pizarro, part of which they
knew we must also have suffered; and, on hearing nothing of us for
eight months after we were known to have left St Catharines, they were
fully satisfied we must either have been shipwrecked, have perished
at sea, or have been obliged to put back again; as they conceived
it impossible for any ships to have continued at sea for so long an
interval, and therefore, on the application of the merchants, and the
persuasion that we had miscarried, the embargo had been lately taken

This intelligence made us flatter ourselves, as the enemy was still
ignorant of our having got round Cape Horn, and as navigation was
restored, that we might meet with some valuable captures, and might
indemnify ourselves in that way, of our incapacity to attempt any of
their considerable settlements on shore. This much at least we were
certain of, from the information of our prisoners, that, whatever
might be our success in regard to prizes, we had nothing to fear, weak
even as we were, from the Spanish force in that part of the world,
though we discovered that we had been in most imminent peril, when we
least apprehended any, when our other distresses were at the greatest
height. As we found, by letters in the prize, that Pizarro, in the
dispatch he sent by express to the viceroy of Peru overland, after
his own return to the Rio Plata, had intimated the possibility of some
part of our squadron getting round; and as, from his own experience,
he was certain any of our ships that might arrive in the South Seas
must be in a very weak and defenceless condition, he advised the
viceroy to send what ships of war he had to the southwards, in order
to be secure at all events, where, in all probability, they would
intercept us singly, before we had an opportunity of touching any
where for refreshment; in which case he had no doubt of our proving an
easy conquest. The viceroy approved this advice, and as he had already
fitted out four ships of force at Callao, one of 50 guns, two of 40
each, and one of 24, which were intended to have joined Pizarro, three
of these were stationed off the port of Conception, and one at the
island of Juan Fernandez, where they continued cruising for us till
the 6th of June; and then, conceiving it impossible that we could
have kept the sea so long, they quitted this station and returned to
Callao, fully persuaded we must either have perished, or been driven

Now, as the time when they left Juan Fernandez was only a few days
before our arrival at that island, it is evident, if we had made it
on our first search, without hauling in for the main to secure our
easting, a circumstance we then considered as very unfortunate, on
account of the many men we lost by our long continuance at sea; had
we made the island 28th of May, when we first expected to see it, and
were in reality very near to have so done, we had inevitably fallen in
with some part of the squadron from Callao; and in our then distressed
condition, the encounter of a healthy and well-provided enemy might
have proved fatal, not only to us in the Centurion, but also to the
Tryal, Gloucester, and Anna pink, which separately joined us, and were
each less capable to have resisted than we. I may also add, that these
Spanish ships, sent out to intercept us, had been greatly shattered by
a storm during their cruise, and had been laid up after their
return to Callao; and we were assured by our prisoners, that, when
intelligence might be received at Lima of our being in the South Seas,
it would require two months at least, before this armament could
be refitted for going to sea. The whole of this intelligence was as
favourable as we, in our reduced circumstances, could wish for; and
we were now at no loss to account for the broken jars, ashes, and fish
bones, which we had observed at Juan Fernandez on our first landing;
these things having been doubtless the relics of the cruisers
stationed at that island. Having thus satisfied ourselves in the most
material articles of our enquiry, got all the silver on board the
Centurion, and most of the prisoners, we made sail to the northward
at eight that same evening, in company with our prize. We got sight of
Juan Fernandez at six next morning, and the day following both we and
our prize got safe there to anchor. When the prize and her crew came
into the bay, in which the rest of our squadron lay, the Spaniards,
who had been sufficiently informed of the distresses we had gone
through, and were astonished we had been able to surmount them, were
still more surprised when they saw the Tryal sloop, that, after all
our fatigues, we should have had the industry to complete such a
vessel in so short a time, besides refitting our other ships, as they
concluded we had certainly built her there; nor was it without great
difficulty they could be brought to believe that she came from England
with the rest of the squadron; for they long insisted, that it was
impossible for such a bauble as she was to have passed round Cape
Horn, when the best ships of Spain were forced to put back.

By the time of our arrival at Juan Fernandez, the letters found on
board our prize were more minutely examined, and it appeared from
them, and from the examination of our prisoners, that several other
merchant-ships were bound from Callao to Valparaiso. Whereupon, the
commodore dispatched the Tryal sloop, the very next morning, to cruise
off the port of Valparaiso, reinforcing her crew with ten men from the
Centurion. The commodore resolved also, on the above intelligence,
to employ the ships under his command in separate cruises, as by this
means he might increase the chance of taking prizes, and should run
less risk of being discovered, and alarming the coast. The spirits of
our people were now greatly raised, and their despondency dissipated,
by this earnest of success, so that they forgot all their past
distresses, resumed their wonted alacrity, and laboured incessantly in
completing our water, receiving our lumber, and preparing to leave the

These necessary occupations took us up four or five days, with all our
industry and exertions; and in this interval, the commodore
directed the guns of the Anna pink, being four six-pounders and four
four-pounders, with two swivels, to be mounted in the Carmelo, our
prize. He sent also on board the Gloucester, six Spanish passengers
and twenty-three captured seamen, to assist in navigating that ship,
and directed Captain Mitchell to leave the island as soon as possible,
the service demanding the utmost despatch, giving him orders to
proceed to the latitude of 5° S. and there to cruise off the high-land
of Payta, at such distance from shore as should prevent his being
discovered. He was to continue on this station till joined by the
Centurion; which was to be whenever it should be known that the
viceroy had fitted out the ships of war at Callao, or on the commodore
receiving any other intelligence that should make it necessary to
divide our strength. These orders being delivered to Captain Mitchell
of the Gloucester, and all our business completed, we weighed anchor
in the Centurion, on Saturday the 19th of September, in company with
our prize the Carmelo, and got out of the bay, taking our last leave
of Juan Fernandez, and steering to the eastward, with the intention
of joining the Tryal sloop, on her station off Valparaiso, leaving the
Gloucester still at anchor.


_Our Cruise, from leaving Juan Fernandez, to the taking of Payta._

Although we left the bay on the 19th of September, yet, by the
irregularity and fluctuation of the wind in the offing, it was the 22d
of that month, in the evening, before we lost sight of Juan Fernandez;
after which we continued our course to the eastward, in order to join
the Tryal off Valparaiso. Next night the weather proved squally, and
we split our main top-sail, which we then handed; but got it repaired
and set again by next morning. In the evening, a little before sunset,
we saw two sail to the eastward, on which our prize stood directly
from us, to avoid any suspicion of our being cruisers, while we made
ready for an engagement, and steered with all our canvass towards the
two ships we had descried. We soon perceived, that one of them, which
seemed a very stout ship, stood directly for us, while the other kept
at a great distance. By seven o'clock we were within pistol-shot of
the nearest, and had a broadside ready to pour into her, the gunners
having their lighted matches in their hands, only waiting orders to
fire. But, as the commodore knew that she could not now escape,
he ordered the master to hail the ship in Spanish; on which her
commanding officer, who happened to be Mr Hughes, lieutenant of the
Tryal, answered us in English, that she was a prize, taken by the
Tryal a few days before, and that the other vessel at a distance was
the Tryal, disabled in her masts.

We were soon after joined by the Tryal, when her commander, Captain
Saunders, came on board the Centurion. He acquainted the commodore,
that he had taken this ship on the 18th, being a prime sailor, which
had cost him thirty-six hours chase before he could get up with her,
and that for some time he gained so little upon her, that he almost
despaired of ever making up with the chase. The Spaniards were at
first alarmed, by seeing nothing but a cloud of sail in pursuit of
them, as the hull of the Tryal lay so low in the water, that no part
of it appeared; yet knowing the goodness of their ship, and finding
how little the Tryal neared them, they at last laid aside their fears,
and, recommending themselves to the protection of the blessed Virgin,
they began to think themselves quite secure. Indeed, their success was
near doing honour to their _Ave Marias_; for, altering their course
in the night, and shutting close their cabin windows to prevent any of
their lights from being seen, they had some chance of escaping: But a
small crevice in one of their shutters rendered all their invocations
of no avail; as the people of the Tryal perceived a light through this
crevice, which they chased till they got within gun-shot; and then
Captain Saunders alarmed them with a broadside, when they flattered
themselves they were beyond his reach. For some time, however, the
chase still kept the same sail abroad, and it was not observed that
this first salute had made any impression; but, just as the Tryal was
about to repeat her broadsides the Spaniards crept from their holes,
lowered their sails, and submitted without opposition. She was named
the _Arranzazu_, being one of the largest merchantmen employed in
these seas, of about 600 tons burden, bound from Calao to Valparaiso,
having much the same cargo with the Carmelo, our former prize, except
that her silver amounted only to about 5000l. sterling.

To balance this success, we found that the Tryal had sprung her
main-mast, and that her main-top-mast had come by the board; and next
morning, as we were all standing to the eastward in a fresh gale at S.
she had the additional misfortune to spring her fore-mast, so that now
she had not a mast left on which she could carry sail. These unhappy
circumstances were still further aggravated, by the impossibility
of our being then able to assist her, for the wind blew so hard, and
raised such a hollow sea, that we could not venture to hoist out a
boat, and consequently could not have any communication with her; so
that we were obliged to lie-to for the greatest part of forty-eight
hours to attend upon her, as we could not possibly leave her in such a
condition of distress. It was no small addition to our misfortunes,
on this occasion, that we were all the while driving to leeward of our
intended station, and at the very time, when, by our intelligence, we
had reason to expect several of the enemy's ships would appear on the
coast, and would now get into the port of Valparaiso unobstructed;
and, I am convinced, the embarrassment we suffered by the dismasting
of the Tryal and our consequent absence from our intended station,
deprived, us of some very considerable captures.

The weather proved somewhat more moderate on the 27th, when we sent
our boat for Captain Saunders, who came on board the Centurion, where
he produced an instrument, signed by himself and all his officers,
representing that the Tryal, besides being dismasted, was so very
leaky in her hull, that it was necessary to ply the pumps continually,
even in moderate weather, and that they were then scarcely able
to keep her free; insomuch that, in the late gale, though all the
officers even had been engaged in turns at the pumps, yet the water
had increased upon them; and that, on the whole, they apprehended her
present condition to be so defective, that they must all inevitably
perish if they met with much bad weather: For all which reasons,
he petitioned the commodore to take measures for their safety. The
refittal of the Tryal, and the repair of her defects, were utterly
beyond our power on the present conjuncture, for we had no masts to
spare, no stores to complete her rigging, and no port in which she
could be hove down, to examine and repair her bottom. Even had we
possessed a port, and proper requisites for the purpose it would yet
have been extremely imprudent, in so critical a conjuncture to have
loitered away so much time as would have been necessary for these
operations. The commodore, therefore, had no choice left, but was
under the necessity of taking out her people and destroying her. Yet,
as he conceived it expedient to keep up the appearance of our force,
he appointed the Tryal's prize, which had often been employed by the
viceroy of Peru as a man-of-war, to be a frigate in his majesty's
service, manning her with the crew of the Tryal, and giving
commissions to the captain and all the inferior officers accordingly.
This new frigate, when in the Spanish service, had mounted thirty-two
guns; but she was now to have only twenty, which were the twelve that
belonged to the Tryal and eight that had been on board the Anna pink.

This affair being resolved on, the commodore gave orders to Captain
Saunders to carry it into execution, directing him to take all the
arms, stores, ammunition, and every thing else that could be of use
from the sloop, and then to scuttle and sink her. After all this was
done, Captain Saunders was to proceed with his new frigate, now
called the _Tryal's prize_, to cruise off the high-land of Valparaiso,
keeping it from him N.N.W. at the distance of twelve or fourteen
leagues: for, as all ships from Valparaiso bound to the northward,
steer that course, the commodore proposed, by this means, to stop any
intelligence that might be dispatched to Callao, of two of their ships
being amissing, which might give them apprehensions of the English
squadron being in their neighbourhood. The Tryal's prize was to
continue on this station for twenty-four days, and, if not joined by
the commodore before the expiration of that time, was then to proceed
along the coast to Pisco, or Nasca, where she would be certain to find
the Centurion. The commodore also ordered Lieutenant Saumarez,
who commanded the Centurion's prize, to keep company with Captain
Saunders, both to assist in unloading the Tryal, and that, by
spreading in their cruise off Valparaiso, there might be less danger
of any ships of the enemy slipping past unobserved. These orders being
dispatched, the Centurion parted from the other vessels at eleven at
night of the 27th September, directing her course towards Valparaiso,
with the view of cruising for some days to windward of that port. By
this distribution of our ships, we flattered ourselves that we had
taken all the advantages we possibly could of the enemy with our small
force, as our disposition was certainly the most prudent that could
be devised: For, as we might suppose the Gloucester to be now drawing
nigh the high-land of Payta, we were thus enabled, by our separate
stations, to intercept all vessels employed either between Peru and
Chili to the southward, or between Panama and Peru to the northward,
since the principal trade from Peru to Chili being carried on with the
port of Valparaiso, the Centurion, cruising to windward of that port,
would probably meet with them, as it is the constant practice of these
ships to fall in with land to windward of that place. The Gloucester,
also, would be in the way of all ships bound from Panama, or any other
place to the northward, to any port in Peru, since the highland, off
which she was ordered to cruise, is constantly made by every ship on
that voyage. While the Centurion and Gloucester were thus conveniently
situated for intercepting the trade of the enemy, the Tryal's prize,
and Centurion's prize, were as conveniently stationed for preventing
the communication of intelligence, by intercepting all vessels bound
from Valparaiso to the northward; as by such vessels it was to be
feared that some account of us might be transmitted to Peru.

But the most judicious dispositions only produce a probability of
success, and cannot command certainty; since those chances, which may
reasonably enough be overlooked in deliberation, are sometimes of most
powerful influence in execution. Thus, in the present instance, the
distress of the Tryal, and our necessary quitting our station to
assist her, which were events that no degree of prudence could either
foresee or obviate, gave an opportunity to all the ships bound for
Valparaiso to reach that port without molestation during this unlucky
interval: so that, after leaving Captain Saunders, we used every
expedition in regaining our station, which we reached on the 29th at
noon; yet, in plying on and off till the 6th of October, we had not
the good fortune to fall in with a sail of any sort. Having lost all
hope of meeting with any better fortune by longer stay, we then made
sail to leeward of the port, in order to rejoin our prizes; but when
we arrived off the high-land, where they were directed to cruise, we
did not find them, though we continued there three or four days. It
was supposed, therefore, that some chase had occasioned them to
quit their station, wherefore we proceeded to the northward to the
high-land of Nasca, in lat. 15° 20' S. being the second rendezvous
appointed for Captain Saunders to join us. We got there on the 21st of
October, and were in great expectation of falling in with some of
the enemy's vessels, as both the accounts of former voyagers, and
the information of our prisoners, assured us, that all ships bound to
Callao consequently make this land to prevent the danger of falling to
leeward of the port.

Notwithstanding the advantages of this station, we saw no sail
whatever till the 2d November, when two ships appeared together, to
which we immediately gave chase, and soon perceived that they were the
Tryal's and Centurion's prizes. As they were to windward, we brought
to and waited their coming up; when Captain Saunders came on board
the Centurion, and acquainted the commodore that he had cleared and
scuttled the Tryal according to his orders, and remained by her till
she sunk. It was, however, the 4th of October before this could be
effected; for there ran so large and hollow a sea that the sloop,
having neither masts nor sails to steady her, rolled and pitched so
violently, that, for the greatest part of the time, it was impossible
for a boat to lie alongside of her; and, during this attendance on
the sloop, they were all driven so far to the N.W. that they were
afterwards obliged to stretch a long way to the westward, in order to
regain the ground they had lost, which was the reason we had not met
them on their station. They had met with no better fortune on their
cruise than ourselves, never having seen a single vessel since we left

This want of success, and our certainty if any ships had been stirring
in these seas for some time past, that we must have fallen in with
them, made us believe that the enemy at Valparaiso, on missing the
two ships we had taken, had suspected us to be in these seas, and had
consequently laid an embargo on all trade in the southern parts. We
likewise apprehended they might, by this time, be fitting out the
ships of war at Callao; as we knew that it was not uncommon for an
express to reach Lima from Valparaiso in twenty-nine or thirty days,
and it was now more than fifty since we had taken the first prize.
These apprehensions of an embargo on the coast, and of the equipment
of the Spanish squadron at Callao, determined the commodore to hasten
down to the leeward of Callao, to join the Gloucester as soon as
possible off Payta, that, our strength being united, we might be
prepared to give the ships from Callao a warm reception, if they dared
to put to sea. With this view we bore away that same afternoon, taking
particular care to keep at such a distance from the shore that there
might be no danger of our being discovered from thence; for we knew
that all the ships of that country were commanded, under the severest
penalties, not to sail past the harbour of Callao without stopping: as
this order is always complied with, we should undoubtedly be known for
enemies if we were seen to act contrary to that regulation. In this
new navigation, being uncertain if we might not meet the Spanish
squadron on the way, the commodore took back a part of the crew of the
Centurion which had been for some time on board the Carmelo.

While standing to the northward, we had sight of the small island of
St Gallan[1] before night, bearing from us N.N.E. 1/2 E. about seven
leagues distant. This island lies in about the latitude of 14° S. and
about five miles to the northward of a high-land called Morro Viejo,
or the Old-man's Head, which island and high-land near it are here
more particularly mentioned, because between them is perhaps the most
eligible station on all this coast for cruising against the enemy, as
hereabouts all ships bound for Callao, whether from the northward or
southward, run well in with the land. By the 5th November, at 3 p.m.
we were within sight of the high-land of _Barranca_, in lat. 10° 36'
S. bearing from us N.E. by E. eight or nine leagues distant; and an
hour and a half afterwards we had the satisfaction, so long wished
for, of seeing a sail. She appeared to leeward, and we all immediately
gave chase; but the Centurion so much outsailed the two prizes that
we soon ran them both out of sight, and gained considerably upon the
chase. Night, however, came on before we could make up with her, and
about seven o'clock the darkness concealed her from our view, and
we were in some perplexity what course to steer; but our commodore
resolved, being then before the wind, to keep all his sails set and
not to change his course: For, although there was no doubt the chase
would alter her course in the night, as it was quite uncertain what
tack she might go upon, he thought it more prudent to continue the
same course, rather than change it on conjecture, as, should we
mistake, she would certainly get away. Continuing the chase about
an hour and a half after dark, one or other of our people constantly
believing they saw her sails right a-head of us, our second
lieutenant, Mr Brett, at length actually discovered her about four
points on the larboard bow, steering off to seawards, on which we
immediately clapped the helm a-weather, standing right towards her,
and came up with her in less than an hour, and, having fired fourteen
shots at her, she struck. Mr Dennis, our third lieutenant, was sent
in the boat with sixteen men to take possession of the prize, and to
shift the prisoners to our ship.

[Footnote 1: This island of San Gallan is in lat. 14° S. long. 76° W.
about twelve miles S.W. of Pisco.--E.]

This vessel was named the _Santa Teresa de Jesus_, built at Guayaquil,
of about 300 tons burden, commanded by Bartolome Urrunaga, a Biscayan.
She was bound from Guayaquil to Callao, her loading consisting of
timber, cocoa, cocoa-nuts, tobacco, hides, _Pito_ thread, (which is
made of a kind of grass and is very strong,) Quito cloth, wax,
and various other articles; but the specie on board was very
inconsiderable, being principally small silver coin, not exceeding
170l. sterling in value. Her cargo, indeed, was of great value, if
we could have sold it; but the Spaniards have strict orders never to
ransom their ships, so that all the goods we captured in the South
Seas, except what little we had occasion for ourselves, were of no
advantage to us; yet it was some satisfaction to consider, that it
was so much real loss to the enemy, and that despoiling them was no
contemptible part of the service in which we were employed, and was so
far beneficial to our country. Besides her crew of forty-five hands,
she had on board ten passengers, consisting of four men and three
women, who were natives of the country, but born of Spanish parents,
together with three negro slaves who attended them. The women were a
mother and two daughters, the elder about twenty-one, and the younger
about fourteen. It is not to be wondered that women of these years
should be excessively alarmed at falling into the hands of an enemy
whom they had been taught to consider as the most lawless and brutal
of all mankind, owing to the former excesses of the buccaneers, and
by the artful insinuations of their priests. In the present instance
these apprehensions were much augmented by the singular beauty of
the youngest of the women, and the riotous disposition they might
naturally enough expect to find in a set of sailors who had not seen a
woman for near a twelvemonth.

Full of these terrors, the women all hid themselves on the lieutenant
coming on board, and, when found out, it was with difficulty he could
persuade them to come to the light. But he soon satisfied them, by the
humanity of his conduct, and by his assurances of their future
safety and honourable treatment, that they had nothing to fear. The
commodore, also, being informed of their fears, sent directions that
they should continue in their own ship, with the use of the same
apartments and all other conveniences they had before enjoyed,
giving strict orders that they should experience no inquietude or
molestation; and, that they might be the more certain of having these
orders complied with, or having the means of complaining if they were
not, the commodore appointed the pilot, who is generally the second
person in Spanish ships, to remain with them as their guardian and
protector. He was particularly chosen on this occasion, as he seemed
extremely interested in all that concerned these women, and had
at first declared that he was married to the youngest; though it
afterwards appeared that he had asserted this merely with the view of
securing them from the insults they dreaded on falling into our hands.
By this compassionate and indulgent behaviour of the commodore, the
consternation of our female prisoners entirety subsided, and they
continued easy and cheerful during the time they were with us.

I have before mentioned that the Centurion ran her two consorts out
of sight at the commencement of this chase, on which account we lay to
for them all the night after we had taken the prize, firing guns and
shewing false fires every half hour, to prevent them from passing us
unobserved. But they were so far astern, that they neither heard nor
saw any of our signals, and were not able to come up with us till
broad day. When they had joined, we proceeded together to the
northward, being now four sail in company. We here found the sea
for many miles of a beautiful red colour, owing, as we found upon
examination, to an immense quantity of spawn floating on its surface:
For, taking some of the water in a glass, it soon changed from a dirty
aspect to be perfectly clear, with some red globules of a slimy nature
floating on the top. Having now a supply of timber in our new prize,
the commodore ordered all our boats to be repaired, and a swivel-stock
to be fitted in the bow of the barge and pinnace, in order to increase
their force, in case we should have occasion to use them in boarding
ships, or making any attempt on shore.

Continuing our course to the northward, nothing remarkable occurred
for two or three days, though we spread our ships in such a manner
that it was not probable any vessel of the enemy should escape us.
During our voyage along this coast, we generally observed that a
current set us to the northward, at the rate of ten or twelve miles
every day. When in about the latitude of 8° S. we began to be attended
by vast numbers of flying fish and bonitos, which were the first we
had seen after leaving the coast of Brazil. It is remarkable that
these fish extend to a much higher latitude on the east side of
America than on the west, as we did not lose them on the coast of
Brazil till near the southern tropic. The reason, doubtless, of this
diversity, is owing to the different degrees of heat obtaining on
different sides of the continent in the same latitude; and, on this
occasion, I use the freedom to make a short digression on the heat and
cold of different climates, and on the variations which occur in the
same places at different times of the year, and in different places in
the same degree of latitude.

The ancients conceived that of the five zones into which they divided
the surface of the globe, two only were habitable; supposing that the
heat between the tropics, and the cold within the polar circles, were
too intense to be supported by mankind. The falsehood of this idea has
been long established; but the particular comparison of the heat
and cold of these various climates have as yet been very imperfectly
considered. Enough is known, however, safely to determine this
position, that all the places within the tropics are far from being
the hottest on the globe, as many within the polar circle are far from
enduring that extreme degree of cold to which their situation seems to
subject them; that is to say, that the temperature of a place depends
much more upon other circumstances, than upon its distance from the
pole, or its proximity to the equinoctial line.

This proposition relates to the general temperature of places taking
the whole year round, and, in this sense, it cannot be denied that
the city of London, for instance, enjoys much warmer seasons than
the bottom of Hudson's Bay, which is nearly in the same latitude, but
where the severity of the winter is so great as scarcely to permit
the hardiest of our garden plants to live. If the comparison be made
between the coast of Brazil and the western shore of South America,
as, for example, between Bahia and Lima, the difference will be found
still more considerable; for, though the coast of Brazil is extremely
sultry, yet the coast of the South Sea, in the same latitude, is
perhaps as temperate and tolerable as any part of the globe; since we,
in ranging it along, did not once meet with such warm weather as is
frequently felt in a summer day in England, which was still the more
remarkable, as there never fell any rain to refresh and cool the air.

The causes of this lower temperature in the South Sea are not
difficult to be assigned, and shall be mentioned hereafter. I am now
only solicitous to establish the truth of this assertion, that the
latitude of a place alone is no rule by which to judge of the degree
of heat and cold which obtains there. Perhaps this position might be
more briefly confirmed by observing that on the tops of the Andes,
though under the equator, the snow never melts the whole year round;
a criterion of cold stronger than is known to take place in many parts
far within the polar circle.

Hitherto I have considered the temperature of the air all the year
through, and the gross estimations of heat and cold which every one
makes from his own sensations. But if this matter be examined by means
of thermometers, which are doubtless the most unerring evidences in
respect to the absolute degrees of heat and cold, the result will be
indeed most wonderful; since it will appear that the heat in very high
latitudes, as at Petersburgh for instance, is, at particular times,
much greater than any that has been hitherto observed between the
tropics. Even at London in the year 1746, there was a part of one day
considerably hotter than was at any time felt in one of the ships
of our squadron in the whole voyage out and home, though four times
passing under the equator; for, in the summer of that year, the
thermometer in London, graduated according to the scale of Fahrenheit,
stood at 78°, and the greatest observed heat, by a thermometer of the
same kind in the same ship, was 76°, which was at St Catharines in
the latter end of December, when the sun was within about 3° of the
vertex. At St Petersburgh, I find by the acts of the Academy, in the
year 1734, on the 20th and 25th of July, that the thermometer rose
to 98° in the shade, or 22° higher than it was found to be at
St Catharines; which extraordinary degree of heat, were it not
authenticated by the regularity and circumspection with which the
observations appear to have been conducted, would appear altogether

If it should be asked, how it comes then to pass, that the heat,
in many places between the tropics, is esteemed so violent and
insufferable, when it appears, by these instances, that it is
sometimes rivalled, and even exceeded, in very high latitudes, not far
from the polar circle? I shall answer, That the estimation of heat,
in any particular place, ought not to be founded upon that particular
degree of it which may now and then obtain there; but is rather to be
deduced from the medium observed during a whole season, or perhaps in
a whole year; and in this light, it will easily appear how much more
intense the same degree of heat may prove, by being long continued
without remarkable variation. For instance, in comparing together St
Catharines and St Petersburg, we shall suppose the summer heat at St
Catharines to be 76°, and the winter heat to be only 56°. I do not
make this last supposition upon sufficient authority, but am apt to
suspect the allowance is full large. Upon this supposition, therefore,
the medium heat all the year round will be 66°; and this perhaps by
night as well as by day, with no great variation. Now, those who have
attended to thermometrical observation will readily allow, that a
continuance of this degree of heat for a length of time, would be
found violent and suffocating by the generality of mankind. But at
Petersburg, though the heat, as measured by the thermometer, may
happen to be a few times in the year considerably higher than at St
Catharines, yet, at other times, the cold is intensely sharper, and
the medium for a year, or even for one season only, would be far
short of 60°. For I find, that the variation of the thermometer at
Petersburgh, is at least five times greater, from its highest to its
lowest point, than I have supposed it to be at St Catherines.[2]

[Footnote 2: On his own principles, the lowest heat of Petersburg
ought to be -2°, and the medium temperature of the year 48°; but the
data are loosely expressed and quite unsatisfactory, as indeed is the
whole reasoning on the subject.--E.]

Besides this estimation of the heat of a place, by taking the medium
for a considerable time together, there is another circumstance which
will still farther augment the apparent heat of the warmer climates,
and diminish that of the colder, though I do not remember to have seen
it remarked by any author. To explain myself more distinctly upon this
head, I must observe, that the measure of absolute heat, marked by
the thermometer, is not the certain criterion of the sensation of
heat with which human bodies are affected; for, as the presence and
perpetual succession of fresh air is necessary to our respiration, so
there is a species of tainted or stagnated air often produced by the
continuance of great heats, which, being less proper for respiration,
never fails to excite in us an idea of sultriness and suffocating
warmth, much beyond what the heat of the air alone would occasion,
supposing it pure and agitated. Hence it follows, that the mere
inspection of the thermometer will never determine the heat which the
human body feels from this cause; and hence also, the heat, in most
places between the tropics, must be much more troublesome and uneasy,
than the same degree of absolute heat in a high latitude. For the
equability and duration of the tropical heat contribute to impregnate
the air with a multitude of steams and vapours from the soil and
water; and many of these being of an impure and noxious kind, and
being not easily removed, by reason of the regularity of the winds
in those parts, which only shift the exhalations from place to place,
without dispersing them, the atmosphere is by this means rendered
less capable of supporting the animal functions, and mankind are
consequently affected by what they call a most intense and stifling
heat. Whereas, in the higher latitudes, these vapours are probably
raised in smaller quantities, and are frequently dispersed by the
irregularity and violence of the winds; so that the air, being in
general more pure and less stagnant, the same degree of absolute heat
is not attended by that uneasy and suffocating sensation.

This may suffice, in general, with respect to the present speculation;
but I cannot help wishing, as it is a subject in which mankind are
very much interested, especially travellers of all sorts, that it were
more thoroughly and accurately examined, and that all ships bound
to the warmer climates were furnished with thermometers of a known
fabric, and would observe them daily, and register their observations.
For, considering the turn to philosophical enquiries which has
obtained in Europe since the beginning of the eighteenth century, it
is incredible how very rarely any thing of this kind has been
attended to. For my own part, I do not remember to have ever seen any
observations of the heat and cold, either in the East or West Indies,
which were made by marines or officers of vessels, excepting those
made by order of Commodore Anson on board the Centurion, and those by
Captain Legg on board the Severn, another ship of our squadron.

I have been in some measure drawn into this digression, by the
consideration of the fine weather we experienced on the coast of
Peru, even under the equinoctial, but I have not yet described the
particularities of this weather. I shall now therefore observe, that
every circumstance concurred, in this climate, that could render the
open air and the day-light desirable: For, in other countries, the
scorching heat of the sun in summer renders the greater part of the
day unapt either for labour or amusement, and the frequent rains are
not less troublesome in the more temperate parts of the year: But, in
this happy climate, the sun rarely appears. Not that the heavens
have at any time a dark or gloomy aspect; for there is constantly a
cheerful gray sky, just sufficient to screen the sun, and to mitigate
the violence of its perpendicular rays, without obscuring the air, or
tinging the light of day with an unpleasant or melancholy hue. By this
means, all parts of the day are proper for labour or exercise in
the open air; nor is there wanting that refreshing and pleasing
refrigeration of the air which is sometimes produced by rains in
other climates; for here the same effect is brought about by the fresh
breezes from the cooler regions to the southward. It is reasonable to
suppose, that this fortunate complexion of the heavens is principally
owing to the neighbourhood of those vast mountains called the Andes,
which, running nearly parallel to the shore, and at a small distance
from it, and extending immensely higher than any other mountains upon
the globe, form upon their sides and declivities a prodigious tract of
country, where, according to the different approaches to the summit,
all kinds of climates may be found at all seasons of the year.

These mountains, by intercepting great part of the eastern winds,
which generally blow over the continent of South America, and by
cooling that part of the air which forces its way over their tops, and
by keeping besides a large portion of the atmosphere perpetually cool,
from its contiguity to the snows by which they are always covered,
and thus spreading the influence of their frozen crests to the
neighbouring coasts and seas of Peru, are doubtless the cause of the
temperature and equability which constantly prevail there. For, when
we had advanced beyond the equinoctial to the north, where these
mountains left us, and had nothing to screen us to the eastward but
the high lands on the Isthmus of Darien, which are mere mole-hills
compared to the Andes, we then found that we had totally changed
our climate in a short run; passing, in two or three days, from the
temperate air of Peru, to the sultry and burning atmosphere of the
West Indies.

To return to our narration. On the 10th of November we were three
leagues south of the southern island, of _Lobos_, in lat. 6° 27'
S. This is called _Lobos de la Mar_; and another, which is to the
northward of it, and resembles it so much in shape and appearance as
to be often mistaken for it, is called _Lobos de Tierra_.[3] We
were now drawing near the station that had been appointed for the
Gloucester, and fearing to miss her, we went under easy sail all
night. At day-break next morning, we saw a ship in shore and to
windward, which had passed us unseen in the night, and soon perceiving
that she was not the Gloucester, we got our tacks on board and gave
her chase. But as there was very little wind, so that neither we
nor the chase had made much way, the commodore ordered his barge
and pinnace, with the pinnace of the Tryal's prize, to be manned
and armed, and to pursue and board the chase. Lieutenant Brett, who
commanded our barge, came up with her first about nine o'clock, a.m.
and, running alongside, fired a volley of small shot between her
masts, just over the heads of her people, and then instantly boarded
with the greatest part of his men. But the enemy made no resistance,
being sufficiently intimidated by the dazzling of the cutlasses, and
the volley they had just received. Lieutenant Brett now made the sails
of the prize be trimmed, and bore down towards the commodore, taking
up the other two boats in his way. When within about four miles of us,
he put off in the barge, bringing with him a number of the prisoners,
who had given him some material intelligence, which he was desirous of
communicating to the commodore as soon as possible. On his arrival, we
learnt that the prize was called _Nuestra Senora del Carmin_, of
about 270 tons burden, commanded by Marcos Moreno, a native of Venice,
having on board forty-three mariners. She was deeply laden with
steel, iron, wax, pepper, cedar plank, snuff, _rosarios_, European
bale-goods, powder-blue, cinnamon, papal indulgences, and other kinds
of merchandize; and, though this cargo was of little value to us, in
our present circumstances, it was the most considerable capture we
had made, in respect to the Spaniards, as it amounted to upwards of
400,000 dollars, prime cost at Panama. This ship was bound from Panama
to Callao, and had stopped at Payta on her way, to take on board a
recruit of water and provisions, and had not left that place above
twenty-four hours when she fell into our hands.

[Footnote 3: The Southern Lobos, or Lobos de la Mar, is in fact two
contiguous islands, N. and S. from each other, in lat. 6° 57' S. and
long. 80° 43' W. _Lobos de Tierra_, called also _Inner Lobos_, from
being nearer the land, lying in the same longitude, is in lat. 6° 28'
S. There is still a third, or Northern Lobos, in lat. 5° 10' S. long.
81° W.]

The important intelligence received by Mr Brett, which he was so
anxious to communicate to the commodore, he had learnt from one John
Williams, an Irishman, whom he found in the prize, and which was
confirmed by examination of the other prisoners. Williams was a
papist, who had worked his passage from Cadiz, and had travelled over
the whole of the kingdom of Mexico as a pedlar. He pretended that,
by this business, he had at one time cleared four or five thousand
dollars, but at length got entangled by the priests, who knew he had
money, and was stripped of every thing. At present he was all in rags,
having just got out of Payto gaol, where he had been confined for some
misdemeanour. He expressed great joy in thus meeting his countrymen,
and immediately informed them, that a vessel had come into Payta, only
a few days before, the master of which had informed the governor, that
he had been chased in the offing by a very large ship, which he was
persuaded, from her size and the colour of her sails, must be one of
the English squadron. This we conjectured to have been the Gloucester,
as we found afterwards was the case. On examining the master, and
being fully satisfied of his account, the governor sent off an express
with all expedition to the viceroy at Lima; and the royal officer
residing at Payta, apprehensive of a visit from the English, had been
busily employed, from his first hearing of this news, in removing the
king's treasure and his own to Piura, a town in the interior, about
fourteen leagues distant.[4] We learnt farther, from our prisoners,
that there was at this time a considerable sum of money in the
custom-house of Payta, belonging to some merchants of Lima, which
was intended to be shipped on board a vessel, then in the harbour of
Payta, and was preparing to sail for the bay of _Sansonnate_, on
the coast of Mexico, in order to purchase a part of the cargo of the
Manilla ship.

[Footnote 4: San Migual de Piura is about 50 English miles E. by S.
from Payta, and nearly the same distance from the mouth of the Piura

As the vessel in which this money was to be shipped was reckoned
a prime sailer, and had just received a new coat of tallow on her
bottom, and might, in the opinion of the prisoners, be able to sail
the succeeding morning, we had little reason to expect that our ship,
which had been nearly two years in the water, could have any chance
to get up with her, if she were once allowed to escape from the port.
Wherefore, and as we were now discovered, and the whole coast would
soon be alarmed, and as our continuing to cruise any longer in
these parts would now answer no purpose, the commodore determined
to endeavour to take Payta by surprise, having in the first place
informed himself minutely of its strength and condition, by examining
the prisoners, and being fully satisfied that there was little danger
of losing many of our men in the attempt.

This attack on Payta, besides the treasure it promised, and its being
the only enterprise in our power to undertake, had also several other
probable advantages. We might, in all probability, supply ourselves
with great quantities of live provisions, of which we were in great
want; and we should also have an opportunity of setting our prisoners
on shore, who were now very numerous, and made a greater consumption
of our food than our remaining stock was capable of furnishing much
longer. In all these lights, the attempt was most eligible, and
to which our situation, our necessities, and every prudential
consideration, strongly prompted. How it succeeded, and how far it
answered our expectations, shall be the subject, of the succeeding


_Capture of Payta, and Proceedings at that Place._

The town of Payta is in lat 50° 12' S. [long. 81° 15' W.] being
situated in a most barren soil, composed only of sand and slate. It
is of small extent, being about 275 yards in length along the shore
of the bay, and 130 yards in breadth, containing less than two hundred
families. The houses are only ground floors, their walls composed of
split canes and mud, and the roofs thatched with leaves. Though thus
extremely slight, these edifices are abundantly sufficient for a
climate where rain is considered as a prodigy, and is not seen in many
years: Insomuch that, a small quantity of rain falling in the year
1728, is said to have ruined a great number of buildings, which
mouldered away, and melted as it were before it. The inhabitants are
chiefly Indians and black slaves, or of mixed breed, the whites
being very few. The port of Payta, though little more than a bay,
is reckoned the best on this coast, and is indeed a very secure and
commodious anchorage, and is frequented by all vessels coming from the
north, as here only the ships from Acapulco, Sonsonnate, Realejo,
and Panama, can touch and refresh in their passage to Callao; and the
length of these voyages, the wind for the greatest part of the year
being full against them, renders it indispensably necessary for them
to call in here for a recruit of fresh water. Payta itself, however,
is situated in so parched a spot, that it does not furnish a drop
of fresh water, neither any kind of vegetables or other provisions,
except fish and a few goats. But, from an Indian town named Colan, two
or three leagues to the northward, water, maize, vegetables, fowls,
and other provisions, are conveyed to Payta on _balsas_ or floats,
for the supply of ships which touch there; and cattle are sometimes
brought from Piura, a town about thirty miles up the country. The
water brought from Colan is whitish and of a disagreeable appearance,
but is said to be very wholesome; for it is pretended by the
inhabitants that it runs through large tracks overgrown with
sarsaparilla, with which it is sensibly impregnated. Besides
furnishing the trading ships bound from the north for Callao with
water and other necessary refreshments this port of Payta is the
usual place where passengers from Acapulco and Panama, bound to Lima,
disembark; as the voyage from hence to Callao, the port of Lima, is
two hundred leagues, and is extremely tedious and fatiguing, owing to
the wind being almost always contrary; whereas there is a tolerably
good road by land, running nearly parallel to the coast, with many
stations and villages for the accommodation of travellers.

Payta is merely an open town, unprovided with any defence, except
a small fort or redoubt near the shore of the bay. It was of much
consequence to us to be well informed of the fabric and strength of
this fort; which, we learnt from our prisoners, had eight pieces of
cannon, but neither ditch nor outwork, being merely surrounded by a
plain brick wall; and that the garrison consisted of one weak company,
though the town might possibly be able to arm three hundred men.
Having informed himself of the strength of the place, the commodore
determined upon making an attempt for its capture that very night,
the 12th November. We were then about twelve leagues from shore; a
sufficient distance to prevent being discovered, yet not so far but
that, by making all the sail we could carry; we might arrive in the
bay long before day-break. The commodore considered, however, that
this would be an improper manner of proceeding, as our ships, being
large bodies, might easily be seen at a distance, even in the night,
and might alarm the inhabitants, so as to give them an opportunity of
removing their most valuable effects. He resolved therefore, as the
strength of the place did not require the employment of our whole
force, to make the attempt with the boats only, ordering our
eighteen-oared barge, with our own and the Tryal's pinnaces, on this
service. Fifty-eight men, well furnished with arms and ammunition,
were picked out to man them, and the command of the expedition
was entrusted to Lieutenant Brett, to whom the commodore gave the
necessary orders and instructions.

The better to prevent the disappointment and confusion which might
arise in the darkness of the night, and from the ignorance of our
people of the streets and passages of the place, two of the Spanish
pilots were appointed to attend Mr Brett, to conduct him to the most
convenient landing-place, and afterwards to be his guides on shore.
Likewise, that we might have the greater security for their fidelity
on this occasion, the commodore publicly assured all our prisoners,
that they should be set on shore and released at this place, provided
the pilots acted faithfully: But, in case of any misconduct or
treachery, the pilots were threatened with being instantly shot, and
all the rest were assured of being carried prisoners to England. Thus
the prisoners were themselves interested in our success, and we had no
reason to suspect our guides of negligence or perfidy. It is worthy
of remark, on this occasion, as a singular circumstance, that one
of these pilots, as we afterwards learnt, had been taken by Captain
Clipperton above twenty years before, and had then been obliged to
guide Captain Clipperton and his people to the surprizal of Truxillo,
a town to the southward of Payta; where, however, he contrived to
alarm and save his countrymen, though the place was carried and
pillaged. It is certainly an extraordinary incident, that the only two
attempts on shore, and at so long an interval, should have been
guided by the same person, a prisoner both times, and forced upon, the
service contrary to his inclination.

During our preparation, the ships continued to stand for the port with
all the sail they could carry, secure that we were still at too great
a distance to be seen. About ten at night, being then within five
leagues of Payta, Lieutenant Brett put off with the boats under his
command, and arrived at the mouth of the bay undiscovered. He had no
sooner entered the bay, than some of the people in a ship riding there
at anchor perceived him, and getting instantly into their boat, rowed
towards the fort, shouting and crying, _The English! the English
dogs!_ By this the whole town was suddenly alarmed, and our people
soon observed several lights hurrying backwards and forwards in the
fort, and other indications of the inhabitants being all in motion.
On this, Mr Brett encouraged his men to pull briskly, that they might
give the enemy as little time as possible to prepare for defence. Yet,
before our boats could reach the shore, the people in the fort had
got some of their cannons ready, and pointed them towards the
landing-place; and though, in the darkness of the night, chance may
be supposed to have had a greater share in their direction than skill,
yet the first shot passed extremely near one of our boats, whistling
just over the heads of the crew. This made our people redouble their
efforts, so that they had reached the shore, and were in part landed,
by the time the second shot was fired.

As soon as our men were landed, they were conducted by one of the
pilots to the entrance of a narrow street, not above fifty yards from
the beach, where they were covered from the fire of the fort; and
being here formed as well as the shortness of the time would allow,
they marched immediately for the parade, a large square at the other
end of this street, on one side of which stood the fort, while the
governor's house formed another side of the same square. In this
march, though performed with tolerable regularity, the shouts and
clamours of nearly threescore sailors, who had been so long confined
on ship board, and who were now for the first time on shore of an
enemy's country, joyous as seamen always are when they land, and
animated on the present occasion with the hopes of immense pillage,
joined with the noise of their drums, and favoured by the night, had
augmented their numbers, in the opinion of the astonished enemy, to
at least three hundred; by which estimation, the inhabitants were so
greatly intimidated, that they were infinitely more solicitous about
the means of flight than of resistance. Hence, though upon entering
the parade, our people received a volley from the merchants to whom
the treasure then in the town belonged, who were ranged in a gallery
that went round the governor's house, yet that post was immediately
abandoned on the first fire made by our people, who were thereby left
in quiet possession of the parade.

Mr Brett now divided his men into two parties, ordering one of them to
surround the governor's house, and if possible to secure the governor,
while he went himself at the head of the other party, with the
intention of forcing possession of the fort. But the enemy abandoned
it on his approach, making their escape over the walls, and he entered
it without opposition. Thus the place was mastered in less than a
quarter of an hour after landing, and with no other loss on our side
than one man killed and two wounded. One of these was the Spanish
pilot of the Teresa, who received a slight bruise by a ball, which
grazed his wrist. The honourable Mr Keppell, son to the Earl of
Albemarle, had on this occasion a narrow escape. He wore a jockey-cap,
one side of the peak of which was shaved off by a ball, close to his
temple, yet did him no other injury.

Having thus far happily succeeded, Mr Brett placed a guard at the
fort, and another in the governor's house, and fixed centinels at all
the avenues of the town, both to prevent any surprise from the enemy,
and to secure the effects in the place from being embezzled. His next
care was to seize upon the custom-house, in which the treasure was
lodged, and to examine if any of the inhabitants remained in the town,
that he might know what farther precautions were necessary. He soon
found that the numbers remaining were no ways formidable; for by far
the greatest part of them, being in bed when the place was surprised,
had run away with so much precipitation, that they had not taken
time to put on their clothes. The governor was not the last to secure
himself in this general rout; for he fled betimes half-naked, leaving
his wife behind, a young lady of about seventeen, to whom he had
only been married three or four days; yet she also was carried off
half-naked, by a couple of centinels, just as our detachment, ordered
to invest the house, arrived for that purpose. This escape of
the governor was an unpleasant circumstance, as the commodore had
particularly recommended to Mr Brett to secure him if possible, as by
that means he might have treated for the ransom of the place; but his
alacrity in flight rendered this impracticable. The few inhabitants
who remained were confined in one of the churches under a guard,
except some stout negroes, who were employed the remaining part of
the night in carrying the treasure, from the custom-house and other
places, to the fort, each party of them being attended by a file
of musketeers. This transportation of the treasure was the chief
employment of Mr Brett's people after getting possession of the
place; yet the sailors, while thus busied, could not be prevented from
entering the houses in their way, in search of private pillage; when
the first things that occurred to them, were the clothes left by the
Spaniards, and which were mostly embroidered or laced, according to
the fashion of the country. Our people eagerly seized these glittering
dresses, and put them on over their own dirty trowsers and jackets,
not forgetting the tye or bag-wigs, and laced hats, which were
generally found along with the clothes. When this had once begun,
there was no possibility of preventing the whole detachment from
imitating the example; but those who came latest into the fashion, not
finding men's clothes sufficient to equip them, were forced to take
up with women's gowns and petticoats, which, provided these were fine
enough, they made no scruple of putting on and blending with their own
greasy dress: So that, when a party of them first made they appearance
in that guise before Mr Brett, he was extremely surprised at their
grotesque exhibition, and could hardly believe they were his own men.

While these transactions were going on at Payta, we lay-to till one
in the morning, from the time when our boats pushed off; and then,
supposing the detachment to be near landing, we went on under easy
sail for the bay. This we began to open about seven a.m. of the 13th,
and soon after had a view of the town. Though we had no reason to
doubt the success of the enterprise, yet we saw with much joy an
infallible sign of its being effected, as, by means of our telescope,
we could see the English flag hoisted on the flag-staff of the fort.
We plied into the bay with as much expedition as the wind, which then
blew from the shore, would, allow; and at eleven a.m. the Tryal's
pinnace came on board us, laden with dollars and church plate, when
the officer who commanded her gave an account of the transactions
of the preceding night. About two p.m. we anchored in ten and a half
fathoms, about a mile and half from the town, and were consequently
near enough to have direct intercourse; with the shore.

Mr Brett had hitherto gone on, collecting and removing the treasure,
without interruption; but the enemy had now rendezvoused from all
parts of the country, on a hill at the back of the town, where they
made no inconsiderable appearance; as, among the rest of their force,
there were two hundred horse, seemingly well armed and mounted,
and, as we conceived, properly trained and regimented, as they were
furnished with trumpets, drums, and standards. These troops paraded
about the hill with much ostentation, sounding their military music;
and, as our small force on shore was by this time known to them,
practising every art to intimidate us, in hopes we might be induced,
by our fears of them, to abandon the place before completing its
pillage. We were not, however so ignorant as to believe that this body
of horse, which seemed to be what they chiefly depended on, would dare
to venture themselves among the streets and houses, even had they been
three times more numerous; and we went on calmly, as long as
day-light lasted, in sending off the treasure, and carrying on board
refreshments, such as hogs, poultry, and the like, which we found in
great abundance. At night, to prevent surprise, the commodore sent a
reinforcement on shore, who were posted in all the avenues leading to
the parade; and, for farther security, all the streets were traversed
with barricades six feet high. But the enemy continued quiet all
night, and at day-break we resumed our labour, in loading and sending
off the boats.

We were now thoroughly convinced of what consequence it would have
been, had fortune seconded the prudent views of the commodore, by
enabling us to have secured the governor. For we found many warehouses
full of valuable effects, which were quite useless to us in our
present circumstances, as we could not find room for them on board.
But, had the governor been in our power, he would have treated, in all
probability, for the ransom of this merchandize, which would have
been extremely advantageous, both for him and us. Whereas, he being
at liberty, and having collected all the force of the country for many
leagues around, and having even got a body of militia from Piura, he
was so elated by his numbers, and so fond of his new military command,
that he did not seem to care about the fate of his government.
Insomuch that, although our commodore sent several messages to him,
by some of the inhabitants who were made prisoners, offering to enter
into treaty for the ransom of the town and goods, even giving
an intimation that we should be far from insisting on a rigorous
equivalent, and might perhaps be satisfied with some live cattle
and other necessaries for the use of the squadron, yet the governor
despised all these reiterated overtures, and did not deign to give
the slightest answer, though repeatedly threatened, if he would not
condescend to treat, that we would set the town and all the warehouses
on fire.

On the second day of our possessing the place, several negro slaves
deserted from the enemy on the hill, and voluntarily entered into our
service, one of them being well known to a gentleman on board, who
remembered to have seen him formerly at Panama. We now learnt that the
Spaniards, without the town, were in extreme distress for water; for
many of their slaves crept into town by stealth, and carried away
several jars of water to their masters on the hill; and, though some
of these were seized in the attempt, yet their thirst was so pressing,
that they continued the practice as long as we remained in possession
of the place. In the course of this second day, we were assured, both
by deserters and prisoners, that the Spaniards were now increased to
a formidable number, and had resolved to storm the town and fort next
night, under the command of one Gordon, a Scots papist, and captain
of a ship in these seas. We continued, however, to prosecute our work,
without hurry, loading and sending off the boats as long as we had
light; and at night, a reinforcement was again sent on shore by the
commodore, and Mr Brett doubled his guards at all the barricades, all
his posts being connected, by means of centinels placed within call
of each other, and the whole visited by frequent rounds, attended by a
drum. These marks of our vigilance and readiness to receive the enemy,
which they could not be ignorant of, cooled their resolution, and made
them forget the vaunts of the preceding day; so that we passed this
second night with as little molestation as we had done the first.

We had finished sending the treasure on board the evening before, so
that the third morning, being the 15th of November, the boats were
employed in carrying off the most valuable part of the effects from
the town. As the commodore proposed to sail in the afternoon, he this
day about ten o'clock, pursuant to his promise, sent all his prisoners
on shore, to the number of eighty-eight, giving orders to Lieutenant
Brett to have them secured in one of the churches under a strict
guard, till he and his men were ready to embark. Mr Brett was also
ordered to set the whole town on fire, except the two churches, which
fortunately stood at some distance from the houses, after which he was
to abandon the place and return on board. Mr Brett punctually complied
with these orders, and immediately distributed pitch, tar, and other
combustibles, of which there was great abundance to be had, into
various houses in the several streets of the town, so that as the
place was to be fired in many different quarters at the same time, the
destruction might be the more violent and sudden, and the enemy
might not be able to extinguish it after his departure. All these
preparations being made, Mr Brett made the cannon in the fort be
spiked; and setting fire to the houses most to windward, he collected
his men and marched them to the beach, where the boats waited to take
them off.

As that part of the beach where he intended to embark was an open
place without the town, near the churches, his retreat was perceived
by the Spaniards on the hill, on which they resolved to endeavour
to precipitate his departure, in order to have a pretext for
future boasting. For this purpose, a small squadron of their horse,
consisting of about sixty, selected probably for this service, marched
down the hill with much seeming resolution, as if they had proposed
to have charged our men now on the open beach without any advantage
or situation. But no sooner did Mr Brett halt his men and face about,
than they stopped their career, and did not venture to advance any
farther. On arriving at the boats, and being quite ready to embark,
our people were detained some time by missing one of their number;
and, after some considerable delay, being unable to learn where he
was left, or by what accident he was detained, they resolved to depart
without him. Just when the last man was embarked, and the boats were
going to shove off they heard him calling to be taken in; at which
time the town was so thoroughly on fire, and the smoke so covered the
beach, that they could hardly discern him, though he was quite well
heard. Mr Brett, however, instantly ordered one of the boats to his
relief, which found him up to the chin in the water, for he had waded
as far as he durst, being extremely terrified at the idea of falling
into the hands of the enemy, enraged as they doubtless were at the
pillage and destruction of their town. On enquiring into the cause of
his staying behind the rest, he acknowledged having taken too large a
dose of brandy, which had thrown him into so profound a sleep that he
did not wake till the fire began to scorch him. At first opening his
eyes, he was amazed to see all the houses in a blaze on one side, and
several Spaniards and Indians not far from him on the other. The great
and sudden terror instantly restored him to sobriety, and gave him
sufficient presence of mind to push through the thickest of the smoke,
as the most likely means of escaping from the enemy; and, making
the best of his way to the beach, he ran into the water as far as he
durst, for he could not swim, before he ventured to look back.

It was certainly much to the honour of our people, that though there
were great quantities of wine and spirits found in the town, yet this
was the only one who was known to have so far neglected his duty as to
get drunk: indeed, their whole behaviour, while on shore, was greatly
more regular than could well have been expected, from sailors who had
been so long confined on board ship; and, though much of this good
conduct must doubtless be imputed to the diligence of the officers,
and to the excellent discipline they had been constantly inured to
under the commodore, it was certainly not a little to the reputation
of the men, that they should so generally have refrained from
indulging in these intoxicating liquors, which they found in abundance
in every warehouse.

There was another singular incident occurred here which merits being
recorded. An Englishman, who had formerly wrought as a ship-carpenter
in Portsmouth yard, had left his country and entered into the
Spanish service, and was at this time employed by them at the port of
Guayaquil; and, as it was well known to his friends in England that he
was in that part of the world, they had put letters for him on board
the Centurion. This man happened at the present time to be among the
Spaniards who had retired to the hill of Payta; and ambitious, as it
would seem, of acquiring reputation among his new masters, he came
down unarmed to one of our centinels, who was posted at some distance
from the fort towards the enemy, pretending that he was desirous of
surrendering himself and returning to the service of his country. Our
centinel had a cocked pistol in his hand, but, deceived by the fair
speeches of the carpenter, he allowed him very imprudently to come
much too near him, so that, watching his opportunity, the carpenter
wrenched the pistol from his hand, and ran away with it up the
hill. By this time two others of our men, who had seen the carpenter
advance, and suspected his intentions, were making towards him, and
now pursued him, but he got up the hill before they could reach him,
and then turned round and fired the pistol. His pursuers immediately
returned the fire, though at a great distance, and the crest of the
hill covered him as soon as they had fired, so that they took it for
granted they had missed him: yet we afterwards learnt that he was shot
through the body, and had fallen dead the very next step he took after
firing his pistol and getting out of sight. The centinel, too, whom
he had so grossly imposed upon, did not escape unpunished; as he was
ordered to be severely whipt, for allowing himself to be so shamefully
surprised on his post, and giving an example of carelessness, which,
if followed in other instances, might have proved fatal to us all.

By the time our people had taken their comrade out of the water, and
were making the best of their way to the squadron, the flames had got
possession of every part of the town with so powerful a hold, by means
of the combustibles laid for the purpose, and by the slightness of the
materials of the houses, and their aptitude to take fire, that it was
now quite apparent no efforts of the enemy, who now flocked down in
great numbers, could possibly stop its ravages, or prevent the entire
destruction of the place and all the merchandize it contained. Our
detachment under Lieutenant Brett safely joined the squadron, and the
commodore prepared to leave the bay that same evening. On our first
arrival there were six vessels belonging to the enemy at anchor, one
of which was the ship, that was to have sailed with the treasure to
the coast of Mexico; and, as she was supposed to be a good sailer,
the commodore resolved to take her along with us. The others were
two snows, a bark, and two row gallies of thirty-six oars each. These
last, as we afterwards learnt, with many others of the same kind built
at different ports, were intended to prevent us from landing in the
neighbourhood of Callao; as the Spaniards, on the first intelligence
of our squadron being destined for the South seas, and learning its
force, expected that we would attempt the city of Lima. Having no
occasion for these five vessels, the commodore ordered all their masts
to be cut by the board at our first arrival; and on leaving the place,
they were all towed out into deep water, scuttled, and sunk. The
command of the remaining ship, called the Solidad, was given to Mr
Hughes, lieutenant of the Tryal, with a crew of ten men. Towards
midnight the squadron weighed anchor and sailed out of the bay,
now consisting of six ships, the Centurion, Tryal's prize, Carmelo,
Teresa, Carmin, and Solidad.

Before proceeding to narrate our subsequent transactions, it may be
proper to give a succinct account of the booty we acquired at Payta,
and the losses there sustained by the Spaniards. It has been already
observed, that there were great quantities of valuable effects at this
place, but most of them were of a nature that we could neither dispose
of nor carry away, and their value, therefore, can only be guessed at.
In their representations to the court of Madrid, as we were afterward
assured, the Spaniards estimated their loss at a million and a half of
dollars; and as no small portion of the goods we there burnt were
of the richest and most expensive kinds, as broad cloths, silks,
cambrics, velvets, and the like, perhaps that valuation might be
sufficiently moderate. The acquisition we made, though inconsiderable
in comparison to what we destroyed, was yet far from despicable, as,
in wrought plate, dollars, and other coin, there was to the value of
more than 30,000l. sterling, besides several rings, bracelets, and
other jewels, the value of which could not then be ascertained;
and besides the very great plunder which became the property of the
immediate captors.

It has been already observed, that all the prisoners we had taken
in our preceding prizes were here discharged. Among these were some
persons of considerable distinction, one of them a youth of
seventeen, son to the vice-president of Chili. As the barbarity of the
buccaneers, and the artful uses the Spanish ecclesiastics had made of
that circumstance, had filled the natives of these countries with
the most horrible notions of the English cruelty, we always found our
prisoners, on first coming aboard, extremely dejected, and under great
horror and anxiety. This youth particularly, having never been before
from home, lamented his captivity in the most moving terms, regretting
the loss of his parents, his brothers, his sisters, and his native
country; all of which he believed he should never see more, conceiving
that he was devoted for the remainder of his life to an abject and
cruel servitude. Indeed, all the Spaniards who came into our power,
seemed to entertain similarly desponding notions of their condition.
The commodore constantly exerted his utmost endeavours to efface these
terrifying impressions, always having as many of the principal people
among them as there was room for to dine at his table; and
giving strict charges that they should at all times, and in every
circumstance, be treated with the utmost decency and humanity. In
spite of this precaution, they hardly ever parted with their fears
for the first few days, suspecting the gentleness of their usage to be
only preparatory to some after calamity; but at length, convinced of
our sincerity, they grew perfectly easy and cheerful, so that it
was often doubtful whether they considered their captivity as a
misfortune. The before-mentioned youth, who was near two months on
board the Centurion, had at last so completely conquered his
original melancholy surmises, and had taken such an affection for
the commodore, and seemed so much pleased with the manner of life
on board, so different from all he had ever seen before, that I much
question, if it had been in his choice, if he would not have preferred
a voyage to England in the Centurion to going on shore at Payta,
though he had here liberty of returning to his friends and country.

This generous conduct of our commodore to his prisoners, which he
continued without interruption or deviation, gave them all the highest
idea of his humanity and benevolence; and, as mankind are ever fond
of forming general opinions, induced them to entertain very favourable
thoughts of the whole English nation. But, whatever opinion they might
be disposed to form of his character before the capture of the Teresa,
their veneration for him was prodigiously increased by his conduct
towards the women who were taken in that vessel, as formerly
mentioned. For the circumstance of leaving them in possession of their
own apartments, the strict orders he issued to prevent any of our
people from approaching them, and his permitting the pilot to remain
with them as their guardian, were measures that seemed so different
from what they expected in an enemy and a heretic, that, although the
Spanish prisoners had themselves experienced his beneficence, they
were astonished at this particular instance; and the more so, that all
this was done without his ever having seen the women, though the two
daughters were both reckoned handsome, and the youngest was celebrated
for her uncommon beauty. The women were themselves so sensible of the
obligations they owed him for the attention and delicacy with which
he had protected them, that they refused to go on shore at Payta
till permitted to wait upon him, that they might in person return him
thanks. Indeed all the prisoners left us with the strongest assurances
of their grateful remembrance of his uncommon kindness. A Jesuit,
in particular, of some distinction, expressed himself with great
thankfulness for the civilities he and his countrymen had experienced
while on board, declaring that he should consider it his duty to do
Mr Anson justice at all times; adding, that his usage of the men
prisoners was such as could never be forgotten, and merited the
highest acknowledgments; but his behaviour to the women was so
extraordinary and honourable, that he doubted all the regard due to
his own ecclesiastical character would be scarcely sufficient to make
it believed. Indeed, we were afterwards informed that he and the rest
of the prisoners had not been silent on this topic, but had given the
highest commendations of our commodore, both at Lima and other places;
and the Jesuit, as we were told, had interpreted in his favour, in a
lax and hypothetical sense, that article of his church which asserts
the impossibility of heretics being saved.

Let it not be imagined, that the impression received by the Spaniards
to our advantage on the present occasion was a matter of slight
import; for, not to mention several of our countrymen who had already
felt the good effects of these prepossessions, it may be observed,
that the good opinion of this nation is certainly of more consequence
to us than that of all the world besides. Not only as the commerce we
have formerly carried on with them, and perhaps may again hereafter,
is so extremely valuable, but also as its transacting so immediately
depends upon the honour and good faith of those who are entrusted with
its management. Even if no national conveniences were likely to flow
from this honourable conduct of our commodore, his own equity and good
dispositions would not the less have prevented him from the exercise
of tyranny and oppression on those whom the chance of war had put into
his hands. I shall only add, that, by his constant practice of this
humane and prudent conduct, he acquired a distinguished character
among the Spanish Creoles over all their settlements in America, so
that his name was universally mentioned with honour and applause by
most of the Spanish inhabitants of that vast empire.


_Occurrences from our Departure from Payta to our Arrival at Quibo._

Setting sail from the road of Payta about midnight of the 16th
November, we stood to the westward, and next morning the commodore
caused the squadron to spread, on purpose to look out for the
Gloucester, as we drew near the station where Captain Mitchell had
been directed to cruise, and we hourly expected to get sight of him,
yet the whole day passed without seeing him.

At this time a jealousy between those who had gone ashore to the
attack of Payta, and those who had continued on board, grew to such a
height, that the commodore became acquainted with it, and thought
it necessary to interpose his authority for its abatement. This was
occasioned by the plunder taken at Payta, which those who acted on
shore had appropriated to themselves, considering it as due to the
risks they had run, and the resolution they had shewn on that service.
But those who had remained on board, deemed this a very partial and
unjust procedure; urging, that they also would have preferred acting
on shore if it had been left to their choice; that their duty on
board was extremely fatiguing while their comrades were on shore; for,
besides the labour of the day, they were forced to remain all night
under arms to secure the prisoners, who were more numerous than
themselves, and of whom it was then necessary to be extremely
watchful, to prevent any attempts they might have planned at that
critical conjuncture. They insisted, also, that it was undeniably as
necessary to the success of the enterprize to have an adequate force
on board as on shore in its execution, and, therefore, that those who
remained on board could not be deprived of their share in the plunder,
without manifest injustice. These contests were carried on with great
heat on both sides; and though the plunder in question was a mere
trifle, in comparison with the treasure taken, in which there was no
doubt that those on board had an equal right, yet, as the obstinacy
of sailors is not always regulated by the importance of the matter in
dispute, the commodore thought it necessary to put a speedy stop to
this commotion. Accordingly, on the morning of the 17th, he ordered
all hands to assemble on the quarter-deck, when, addressing his
discourse to those who had been detached on shore, he highly commended
their gallant conduct, and thanked them for their services on that
occasion. He then represented to them the reasons that had been urged
by those who continued on board, for an equal distribution of the
plunder, telling them that he thought these reasons were conclusive,
and that the expectations of their comrades were justly founded; and
he insisted, therefore, that not only the men, but all the officers
also, who had been employed in the capture of Payta, should
immediately produce the whole of their plunder upon the quarter-deck,
and that it should be impartially divided among the whole crew,
proportionally to the rank and commission of each. To prevent those
who had been in possession of this plunder from murmuring at this
decision, and the consequent diminution of their shares, he added,
as an encouragement to those who might be afterwards employed on
like services, that he gave up his entire share, to be distributed
exclusively among those who had been detached to attack the place.
Thus this troublesome affair, which might perhaps have had mischievous
consequences if permitted to go on, was soon appeased by the prudence
of the commodore, to the general satisfaction of all. Some few,
indeed, whose selfish dispositions were uninfluenced by the justice of
this procedure, and who were incapable of discerning the equity of the
decision, were dissatisfied, as it tended to deprive them of what they
had once possessed.

This important affair employed the best part of the day after leaving
Payta; and at night, having seen nothing of the Gloucester, the
commodore made the squadron bring to, that we might not pass her in
the dark. Next morning we again spread on the look-out, and saw a sail
at 10 a.m. to which we gave chase, and which we came near enough by
two p.m. to observe to be the Gloucester, having a small vessel in
tow. We joined her in about an hour after, when we learnt that Captain
Mitchell had only taken two small prizes during the whole of his
cruise. One was a small snow, the cargo of which consisted chiefly
of wine, brandy, and olives in jars, with about 7000l. in specie. The
other was a large boat or launch, taken near shore by the Gloucester's
barge. The prisoners on board this boat alleged that they were very
poor, and that their loading consisted only of cotton; though the
circumstances under which they were surprized, seemed to insinuate
that they were more opulent than they pretended; for they were found
at dinner on a pigeon-pye, served up in silver dishes. The officer who
commanded the barge, having opened several of the jars in the prize,
to satisfy his curiosity, found nothing as he thought but cotton,
which inclined him to believe the account given by the prisoners; but
when these jars were examined more strictly in the Gloucester, they
were agreeably surprised to find the whole a very extraordinary piece
of deception; as in every jar there was a considerable quantity of
double doubloons and dollars, artfully concealed among the cotton, to
the amount in all of near 12,000l. This treasure was going to Payta,
and belonged to the same merchants who were proprietors of most of
the money we had taken there; so that, if this boat had escaped the
Gloucester, her cargo would probably have fallen into our hands.
Besides these two prizes, the Gloucester had been in sight of two or
three other ships, which had escaped them; and one of them, from some
of our intelligence, we had reason to believe was of immense value.

It was now resolved to stand to the northwards, and to make the best
of our way either for Cape St Lucas, in California, or Cape Corientes
on the coast of Mexico. When at Juan Fernandez, the commodore had
resolved to touch somewhere in the neighbourhood of Panama, to
endeavour to get some correspondence overland with the fleet under
Admiral Vernon. For, on our departure from England, we left a fleet
at Portsmouth intended for the West Indies, to be employed there in
an expedition against some of the Spanish settlements. Taking for
granted, therefore, that this enterprise had succeeded, and that
Portobello might then be garrisoned by British troops, the commodore
conceived he might easily procure an intercourse with our countrymen,
on the other side of the isthmus of Darien, either by means of
the Indians, who are greatly disposed to favour us, or even by
the Spaniards themselves; some of whom might be induced, by proper
rewards, to carry on this correspondence; which, when once begun,
might be continued with little difficulty. By this means, Mr Anson
flattered himself that he might procure a reinforcement of men from
the other side, and that, by settling a prudent plan of co-operation
with our commanders in the West Indies, he might even have taken
Panama. This would have given the British nation the command of the
isthmus, by which we should in effect have become masters of all the
wealth of Peru, and should have held an equivalent in our hands
for any demand, however extraordinary, that might have been thought
advisable to make on either branch of the Bourbon family.

Such were the magnificent projects which the commodore revolved in his
mind, when at the island of Juan Fernandez, notwithstanding the feeble
condition to which his force was then reduced; and, had the success
of the expedition to the West Indies been answerable to the general
expectation, these views had certainly been the most prudent that
could have been devised. But, on examining the papers found on board
the Carmelo, our first prize, it was then learnt, though I deferred
mentioning it till now, that the attempt on Carthagena had failed, and
that there was no probability of our fleet in the West Indies engaging
in any new enterprise that could at all facilitate this plan. Mr
Anson, therefore, had relinquished all hope of being reinforced across
the isthmus, and consequently had no inducement to proceed at present
for Panama, being incapable of assaulting that place; and there was
reason to believe there was now a general embargo over all the coast
of the South Sea. The only feasible measure that now remained, was to
steer as soon as possible for the southern parts of California, or the
adjacent coast of Mexico, and there to cruise for the Manilla galleon,
which was now known to be at sea on her voyage to Acapulco; and we had
no doubt of being able to get upon that station in sufficient time to
intercept her, as she does not usually arrive at Acapulco till
towards the middle of January, and, being now only about the middle of
November, we did not suppose our passage thither would cost us above
a month or six weeks, so that, in our opinion, we had nearly twice as
much time as was necessary.

There was one business, however, which we knew must occasion some
delay, but which we hoped might be accomplished in four or five days.
This was to recruit our water; for the number of prisoners we had to
maintain, ever since we left Juan Fernandez, had so far exhausted our
stock, that it was impossible to think of venturing upon a passage to
the coast of Mexico, till we had procured a fresh supply; especially
as we had not found enough at Payta for our consumption while there.
It was for some time a matter of deliberation with the commodore,
where we might take in this necessary article; but, by consulting the
accounts of former navigators, and examining our prisoners, he at last
resolved for the island of Quibo, beyond the bay of Panama. There was
indeed a small island called _Cocos_, less out of our way than Quibo,
where some of the Buccaneers pretended to have found water: But none
of our prisoners knew any thing of that island, and it was thought too
hazardous to risk the safety of the squadron, by exposing ourselves to
the chance of not finding water at that place, on the mere authority
of these legendary writers, of whose misrepresentations and falsities
we had almost daily experience. Besides, we were not without hopes
that in going to Quibo some of the enemies ships bound to or from
Panama might fall into our hands, particularly such of them as were
put to sea, before they had intelligence of our squadron; we therefore
directed our course to the northward, being eight sail, and so
having the appearance of a very formidable fleet; and on the 19th
at day-break, we discovered Cape Blanco, bearing S.S.E. 1/2 E. seven
miles distant. This cape lies in the latitude of 4° 15' south, and is
always made by ships bound either to windward or to leeward, so that
it is a most excellent station to cruise upon the enemy. As our last
prize, the Solidad, was far from answering the character given her of
a good sailer, and she and the Santa Teresa delayed us considerably,
the commodore ordered them to be cleared of every thing that might
prove useful to the rest of the ships, and then to be burnt. We then
proceeded in our course for Quibo, and, on the 22d in the morning,
saw the island of Plata bearing east, distant four leagues. One of our
prizes, which was ordered to stand close in, both to discover if there
were any ships between that island and the continent, and likewise to
look out for a stream of fresh water reported to be there, returned
without having seen any ship, or finding any water. At three in the
afternoon point Manta bore S.E. by E. seven miles distant; and there
being a town of the same name in the neighbourhood, Captain Mitchell
took this opportunity of sending away several of his prisoners
from the Gloucester in the Spanish launch. The boats were now daily
employed in distributing provisions on board the Tryal and other
prizes, to complete their stock for six months; and, that the
Centurion might be the better prepared to give the Manilla ship (one
of which we were told was of immense size) a warm reception, the
carpenters were ordered to fix eight stocks in the main and fore-tops
for the mounting of swivel guns.

On the 25th we had a sight of the island of Gallo, bearing E.S.E. 1/2
E. four leagues distant; from hence we crossed the bay of Panama with
a N.W. course, hoping that this would have carried us in a direct line
to the island of Quibo. But we afterwards found that wrought to have
stood more to the westward, for the winds in a short time began to
incline to that quarter, and made it difficult for us to gain the
island. And now, after passing the equinoctial on the 22d, leaving the
neighbourhood of the Cordilleras, and standing more and more towards
the isthmus, where the communication of the atmosphere to the eastward
and the westward was no longer interrupted, we found, in a few
days, an extraordinary alteration in the climate. Instead of uniform
temperature, we had, for several days together, close and sultry
weather, resembling what we had met with between the tropics on the
eastern side of America. We had besides frequent calms and heavy
rains, which we at first ascribed to the neighbourhood of the line,
where this kind of weather is found to prevail; but, observing that it
attended us to the latitude of seven degrees north, we were induced
to believe that the stormy season, or, as the Spaniards call it, the
Vandevals, was not yet over; though many positively assert, that it
begins in June, and is ended November.

On the 27th Captain Mitchel's largest prize being cleared, was
scuttled, and set on fire, and as the remaining five ships were all
good sailers, so we never occasioned any delay to each other. Being
now in a rainy climate, which we had been long disused to, we found
it necessary to caulk the decks and sides of the Centurion, to prevent
the rain-water from running into her.

On the 3d of December we had a view of the island of Quibo, the
east end then bearing N.N.W. four leagues distant, and the island of
Quicara W.N.W. at about the same distance. Here we struck ground with
sixty-five fathom of line, and found the bottom to consist of grey
sand, with black specks. When we got sight of the land, we found the
wind to hang westerly, and therefore thought it adviseable to stand
off till morning, as there are said to be some shoals in the entrance
of the channel. At six the next morning, point Mariato bore N.E. 1/2
N. three or four leagues distant. In weathering this point, all the
squadron, except the Centurion, were very near it, and the Gloucester,
being the leewardmost ship, was forced to tack and stand to the
southward, so that we lost sight of her. At nine, the island Sebaco
bore N.W. by N. four leagues distant; but the wind still proving
unfavourable, we were obliged to ply on and off for the succeeding
twenty-four hours, and were frequently taken a-back. However, at
eleven the next morning the wind happily settling in the S.S.W. we
bore away for the S.S.E. end of the island, and about three in the
afternoon entered Canal Bueno, passing round a shoal which stretches
off about two miles from the south point of the island. This Canal
Bueno, or Good Channel, is at least six miles in breadth; and as we
had the wind large, we kept in a good depth of water, generally from
twenty-eight to thirty-three fathom, and came not within a mile and a
half distance of the breakers, though, in all probability, if it had
been necessary, we might have ventured much nearer without incurring
the least danger. At seven in the evening we came to an anchor in
thirty-three fathom, muddy ground; the south point of the island
bearing S.E. by E. a remarkable high part of the island W. by N. and
the island Sebaco E. by N.


_Our Proceedings at Quibo, with an Account of the Place._

The morning after our coming to an anchor, an officer was dispatched
to discover the watering-place; and, having found it, returned before
noon; then we sent the long-boat for a load of water, and at the same
time weighed and stood farther in with our ships. At two we came
again to an anchor in twenty-two fathom, with a bottom of rough gravel
intermixed with broken shells, the watering-place now bearing from us
N.W. 1/2 N. only three quarters of a mile distant.

The island of Quibo is extremely convenient for wooding and watering,
for the trees grow close to the high-water mark, and a large rapid
stream of fresh water runs over the sandy beach into the sea; so that
we were little more than two days in laying in all the wood and water
we wanted. The whole island is of a very moderate height, excepting
one part. It consists of a continued wood spread over the whole
surface of the country, which preserves its verdure all the year
round. We found there abundance of cassia, and a few lime-trees.
It appeared singular to us, that, considering the climate and the
shelter, we should see no other birds there than parrots, parroquets,
and mackaws; of the last there were prodigious flights. Next to these
birds, the animals we found in most plenty were monkeys and guanos,
and these we frequently killed for food; for though there were many
herds of deer upon the place, yet the difficulty of penetrating the
woods prevented our coming near them, so that though we saw them
often, we killed only two during our stay. Our prisoners assured us
that this island abounded with tygers; we did once discover the print
of a tyger's paw upon the beach, but the tygers themselves we never
saw. The Spaniards, too, informed us that there was often found in the
woods a most mischievous serpent, called the Flying Snake, which they
said darted itself from the boughs of trees on either man or beast
that came within its reach, and whose sting they believed to be
inevitable death. Besides these mischievous land-animals, the
sea hereabouts is infested with great numbers of alligators of an
extraordinary size; and we often observed a large kind of flat fish
jumping a considerable height out of the water, which we supposed to
be the fish that is said frequently to destroy the pearl-divers, by
clasping them in its fins as they rise from the bottom; and we were
told that the divers, for their security, are now always armed with a
sharp knife, which, when they are entangled, they stick into the belly
of the fish, and thereby disengage themselves from its embraces.

Whilst the ship continued here at anchor, the commodore, attended by
some of his officers, went in a boat to examine a bay which lay to
the northward; and afterwards ranged all along the eastern side of
the island. In the places where they put on shore in the course of his
expedition, they generally found the soil to be extremely rich, and
met with great plenty of excellent water. In particular, near the
N.E. point of the island, they discovered a natural cascade, which
surpassed, as they conceived, every thing of this kind, which human
art or industry hath hitherto produced. It was a river of transparent
water, about forty yards wide, which ran down a declivity of near
a hundred and fifty yards in length. The channel it ran in was very
irregular; for it was entirely formed of rock, both its sides and
bottom being made up of large detached blocks; and by these the course
of the water was frequently interrupted: For in some places it ran
sloping with a rapid but uniform motion, while in other parts it
tumbled over the ledges of rocks with a perpendicular descent. All the
neighbourhood of this stream was a fine wood; and even the huge
masses of rock which overhung the water, and which, by their various
projections, formed the inequalities of the channel, were covered with
lofty forest trees. Whilst the commodore, and those with him, were
attentively viewing this place, and remarking the different blendings
of the water, the rocks, and the wood, there came in sight (as it
were with an intent still to heighten and animate the prospect) a
prodigious flight of mackaws, which hovering over this spot, and often
wheeling and playing on the wing about it, afforded a most brilliant
appearance, by the glittering of the sun on their variegated
plumage; so that some of the spectators cannot refrain from a kind of
transport, when they recount the complicated beauties which occurred
in this extraordinary scene.

In this expedition, along the eastern side of the island, though they
met with no inhabitants, yet they saw many huts upon the shore, and
great heaps of shells of fine mother-of-pearl scattered up and down
in different places: These were the remains left by the pearl-fishers
from Panama, who often frequent this place in the summer season; for
the pearl oysters, which are to be met with every where in the bay of
Panama, are so plenty at Quibo, that by advancing a very little way
into the sea, you might stoop down and reach them from the bottom.
They are usually very large, but extremely tough and unpalatable.

The oysters most productive of pearls, are those found in considerable
depths; for, though what are taken up by wading are of the same
species, yet the pearls found in them are rare and very small. It is
said, too, that the pearl partakes in some degree of the quality of
the bottom on which the oyster is found; so that if the bottom be
muddy, the pearl is dark and ill-coloured.

The diving for oysters is a work performed by negro slaves, of whom
the inhabitants of Panama and the neighbouring coast formerly kept
great numbers, carefully trained to this business. These are not
esteemed complete divers, till they are able to protract their stay
under water so long, that the blood gushes out from their nose, mouth,
and ears. It is the tradition of the country, that when this accident
has once befallen them, they dive for the future with much greater
facility than before; that no inconvenience attends it, the bleeding
generally stopping of itself, and that there is no probability of
their being subject to it a second time.[1]

[Footnote 1: The intelligent reader will demand more than the
_tradition of the country_ to induce his belief, that this diving
business is not most certainly destructive of the miserable wretches
who are compelled to pursue it. The divers in the Persian gulph, where
it is well known the pearl fishery is carried on by individuals on
their own account, "seldom live to a great age," (says Mr Morier in
the account of his Journey through Persia.) "Their bodies break out
in sores, and their eyes become very weak and blood-shot. They are
restricted to a certain regimen; and to food composed of dates and
other light ingredients." It cannot be imagined that the negroes of
Panama fare better in this hazardous occupation. But to the expression
of any solicitude as to _their_ blood, it is very probable the answer
might be something in the style of one of Juvenal's worthy ladies:

  ----ita servus homo est?
  Hoc volo, sic jubeo, sit pro ratione voluntas.--P.]

The sea at this place furnished us with a dainty, in the greatest
plenty and perfection, viz. the turtle. There are reckoned four
species of turtle: the trunk-turtle, the loggerhead, the hawksbill,
and the green turtle. The two first are rank and unwholesome; the
hawksbill (which furnishes the tortoise-shell) is but indifferent
food, though better than the other two; but the green turtle is
esteemed, by the greatest part of those who are acquainted with
its taste, as the most delicious of eatables; and that it is a most
wholesome food, we were amply convinced by our own experience: For we
fed on this for near four months, and consequently had it been in any
degree noxious, its ill effects could not possibly have escaped us. At
this island we took what quantity we pleased with great facility; for,
as they are an amphibious animal, and get on shore to lay their eggs,
which they generally deposit in a large hole in the sand, just above
the high-water mark, covering them up, and leaving them to be hatched
by the heat of the sun, we usually dispersed several of our men along
the beach, whose business it was to turn them on their backs when
they came to land; and the turtle being thereby prevented from getting
away, we carried them off at our leisure. These proved of great
service both in lengthening out our store of provision, and in
heartening the whole crew with an almost constant supply of fresh and
palatable food; for the turtle being large, generally weighing about
200 lb. weight each, what we took with us lasted us near a month, and
by that time we met with a fresh recruit on the coast of Mexico, where
we often saw them in the heat of the day floating in great numbers
on the surface of the water fast asleep. Our mode of taking them was
this; we sent out our boat with a man in the bow, who was a dexterous
diver; when the boat came within a few yards of the turtle, the
diver plunged into the water, and took care to rise close upon it; on
seizing the shell near the tail, and pressing down the hinder parts,
the turtle awakened, and began to strike with its claws, which motion
supported both it and the diver, till the boat came up and took them
in. By this management we never wanted turtle for the succeeding four
months in which we continued at sea; and though we had been three
months on board, without putting our foot on shore, except for the
few days we stayed at the island of Quibo, and those employed in the
attack of Payta, yet, in the whole seven months, from our leaving Juan
Fernandez to our anchoring in the harbour of Chequetan, we buried no
more in the whole squadron than two men; a most incontestable proof
that the turtle on which we fed for the last four months of this term,
was at least innocent, if not something more. It appears wonderful,
therefore, that a species of food so very palatable and salubrious,
and so much abounding in those parts, should be proscribed by the
Spaniards as unwholesome, and little less than poisonous. Perhaps the
strange appearance of this animal may have been the foundation of this
ridiculous aversion, which is strongly rooted in all the inhabitants
of that coast, and of which we had many instances in the course of
this navigation. Some Indian and negro slaves we had taken in our
prizes, and continued on board to assist in navigating our ships, were
astonished at our feeding on turtle, and seemed fully persuaded that
it would soon destroy us; but finding that none of us died, nor even
suffered in our health by a continuation of this diet, they at last
got so far the better of their aversion, as to be persuaded to taste
it, to which the absence of all other kinds of fresh provisions might
not a little contribute. However, it was with great reluctance, and
very sparingly, that they began to eat it: But the relish improving
upon them by degrees, they at last grew extremely fond of it,
preferred it to every other kind of food, and often felicitated each
other on the happy experience they had acquired, and the delicious and
plentiful repasts it would be always in their power to procure, when
they should return to their country. Those who are acquainted with the
manner of life of these unhappy wretches, need not be told, that next
to large draughts of spirituous liquors, plenty of tolerable food is
the greatest joy they know; and that the discovering a method which
would supply them with what quantity they pleased of a kind more
luxurious to the palate than any their haughty lords and masters
could indulge in, was a circumstance which they considered as the most
fortunate that could befal them.

In three days time we had completed our business at this place, and
were extremely impatient to put to sea, that we might arrive time
enough on the coast of Mexico to intercept the Manilla galleon. The
wind being contrary detained us a night, and the next day when we got
into the offing, (which we did through the same channel by which we
entered) we were obliged to keep hovering about the island, in hopes
of getting sight of the Gloucester. It was the 9th of December, in the
morning, when we put to sea, and continuing to the southward of the
island, looking out for the Gloucester, we, on the 10th, at five in
the afternoon, discerned a small sail to the northward of us, to which
we gave chase, and coming up took her. She proved to be a bark from
Panama, bound to Cheripe, an inconsiderable village on the continent,
and was called the _Jesu Nazareno_. She had nothing on board but some
oakum, about a ton of rock-salt, and between 30l. and 40l. in specie,
most of it consisting of small silver money, intended for purchasing a
cargo of provisions at Cheripe.

I cannot but observe, for the use of future cruisers, that had we been
in want of provisions, we had by this capture an obvious method of
supplying ourselves. For at Cheripe, whither she was bound, there is a
constant store of provisions prepared for the vessels which go thither
every week from Panama, the market of Panama being chiefly supplied
from thence: So that by putting a few of our hands on board our prize,
we might easily have seized a large store without any hazard, since
Cheripe is a place of no strength.

On the 12th of December we were relieved from the perplexity we had
suffered, by the separation of the Gloucester; for on that day she
joined us, and informed us, that in tacking to the southward on our
first arrival, she had sprung her fore-top-mast, which had disabled
her from working to windward, and prevented her from joining us
sooner. We now scuttled and sunk the Jesu Nazareno, the prize we took
last, and having the greatest impatience to get into a proper station
for the galleon, stood altogether to the westward, and notwithstanding
the impediments we met with, left the island of Quibo in about nine
days after our first coming in sight of it.


_From Quibo to the Coast of Mexico._

On the 12th of December we left Quibo, and the same day the commodore
delivered fresh instructions to the captains of the men of war, and
the commanders of our prizes, appointing them the rendezvouses
they were to make, and the courses they were to steer in case of a
separation. And first, they were directed to use all possible dispatch
in getting to the northward of the harbour of Acapulco, where they
were to endeavour to fall in with the land, between the latitudes of
18 and 19°; from thence, they were to beat up the coast at eight or
ten leagues distance from the shore, till they came a-breast of Cape
Corientes, in the latitude of 20°20'. When they arrived there, they
were to continue cruising on that station till the 14th of February;
and then they were to proceed to the middle island of the Tres Marias,
in the latitude of 21°25', bearing from Cape Corientes N.W. by N.,
twenty-five leagues distant. And if at this island they did not meet
the commodore, they were there to recruit their wood and water, and
then to make the best of their way to the island of Macao, on the
coast of China. These orders being distributed, we had little doubt
of arriving soon upon our intended station; as we expected, upon
the increasing our offing from Quibo, to fall in with the regular
trade-wind. But, to our extreme vexation, we were baffled for near a
month, either with tempestuous weather from the western quarter, or
with dead calms and heavy rains, attended with a sultry air; so that
it was the 25th of December before we got a sight of the island of
Cocos, which by our reckoning was only a hundred leagues from the
continent; and we had the mortification to make so little way, that we
did not lose sight of it again in five days. This island we found to
be in the latitude of 5°20' north. It has a high hummock towards the
western part, which descends gradually, and at last terminates in a
low point to the eastward. From the island of Cocos we stood W. by N.,
and were till the 9th of January in running an hundred leagues more.
We had at first flattered ourselves, that the uncertain weather and
western gales we met with were owing to the neighbourhood of the
continent, from which, as we got more distant, we expected every day
to be relieved, by falling in with the eastern trade-wind: But as our
hopes were so long baffled, and our patience quite exhausted, we began
at length to despair of succeeding in the great purpose we had in
view, that of intercepting the Manilla galleon; and this produced
a general dejection amongst us, as we had at first considered this
project as almost infallible, and had indulged ourselves in the most
boundless hopes of the advantages we should thence receive. However,
our despondency was at last somewhat alleviated, by a favourable
change of the wind; for, on the 9th of January, a gale for the first
time sprang up from the N.E., and on this we took the Carmelo in tow,
as the Gloucester did the Carmin, making all the sail we could to
improve the advantage, for we still suspected that it was only a
temporary gale, which would not last long; but the next day we had the
satisfaction to find, that the wind did not only continue in the same
quarter, but blew with so much briskness and steadiness, that we now
no longer doubted of its being the true trade-wind. And as we advanced
apace towards our station, our hopes began to revive, and our despair
by degrees gave place to pleasing prejudices: For though the customary
season of the arrival of the galleon at Acapulco was already elapsed,
yet we were unreasonable enough to flatter ourselves, that some
accidental delay might lengthen her passage beyond its usual limits.

When we got into the trade-wind, we found no alteration in it till the
17th of January, when we were advanced to the latitude of 12°50', but
on that day it shifted to the westward of the north: This change
we imputed to our having haled up too soon, though we then esteemed
ourselves full seventy leagues from the coast, which plainly shows,
that the trade-wind doth not take place, but at a considerable
distance from the continent. After this, the wind was not so
favourable to us as it had been: However, we still continued to
advance, and, on the 26th of January, being then to the northward of
Acapulco, we tacked and stood to the eastward, with a view of making
the land.

In the preceding fortnight we caught some turtle on the surface of the
water, and several dolphins, bonitos, and albicores. One day, as one
of the sail-makers mates was fishing from the end of the gib-boom, he
lost his hold, and dropped into the sea; and the ship, which was then
going at the rate of six or seven knots, went directly over him: But
as we had the Carmelo in tow, we instantly called out to the people on
board her, who threw him over several ends of ropes, one of which he
fortunately caught hold of, and twisting it round his arm, was hauled
into the ship, without having received any other injury than a wrench
in his arm, of which he soon recovered.

On the 26th of January, we stood to the eastward, expecting, by our
reckonings, to have fallen in with the land on the 28th; but though
the weather was perfectly clear, we had no sight of it at sun-set, and
therefore continued our course, not doubting but we should see it
by the next morning. About ten at night we discovered a light on the
larboard-bow, bearing from us N.N.E. The Tryal's prize too, about a
mile a-head of us, made a signal at the same time for seeing a sail;
and as we had no doubt that what we saw was a ship's light, we were
extremely animated with a firm persuasion, that it was the Manilla
galleon, which had been so long the object of our wishes: And what
added to our alacrity, was our expectation of meeting with two of them
instead of one, for we took it for granted, that the light in view
was carried in the top of one ship for a direction to her consort.
We immediately cast off the Carmelo and pressed forward with all our
canvass, making a signal for the Gloucester to do the same. Thus we
chased the light, keeping all our hands at their respective quarters,
under an expectation of engaging in the next half hour, as we
sometimes conceived the chase to be about a mile distant, and at other
times to be within reach of our guns; and some positively averred,
that besides the light, they could plainly discern her sails. The
commodore himself was so fully persuaded that we should be soon
along-side of her, that he sent for his first lieutenant, who
commanded between decks, and directed him to see all the great guns
loaded with two round-shot for the first broadside, and after that
with one round-shot and one grape, strictly charging him, at the same
time, not to suffer a gun to be fired, till he, the commodore, should
give orders, which he informed the lieutenant would not be till we
arrived within pistol-shot of the enemy. In this constant and eager
attention we continued all night, always presuming that another
quarter of an hour would bring us up with this Manilla ship, whose
wealth, with that of her supposed consort, we now estimated by round
millions. But when the morning broke, and day-light came on, we were
most strangely and vexatiously disappointed, by finding that the light
which had occasioned all this bustle and expectancy was only a fire
on the shore. Indeed the circumstances of this deception are so
extraordinary as to be scarcely credible; for, by our run during the
night, and the distance of the land in the morning, this fire, when we
first discovered it, must have been above twenty-five leagues from
us. It was indeed upon a very high mountain, and continued burning
for several days afterwards; it was not a volcano, but rather, as
I suppose, stubble, or heath, set on fire for some purpose of

[Footnote 1: The reasons for this supposition ought to have been
adduced. It is not improbable that the volcanic mountain in the
neighbourhood of Acapulco did furnish this vexatious light.--E.]

At sun-rising, after this mortifying delusion, we found ourselves
about nine leagues off the land, which extended from the N.W. to E.
1/2 N. On this land we observed two remarkable hummocks, such as are
usually called paps, which bore north from us: These, a Spanish pilot
and two Indians, who were the only persons amongst us that pretended
to have traded in this part of the world, affirmed to be over the
harbour of Acapulco. Indeed, we very much doubted their knowledge of
the coast; for we found these paps to be in the latitude of 17°56',
whereas those over Acapulco are said to be in 17° only; and we
afterwards found our suspicions of their skill to be well grounded:
However, they were very confident, and assured us, that the height of
the mountains was itself an infallible mark of the harbour; the
coast, as they pretended, (though falsely) being generally low to the
eastward and westward of it.

And now being in the track of the Manilla galleon, it was a great
doubt with us (as it was near the end of January,) whether she was or
was not arrived: But examining our prisoners about it, they assured
us, that she was sometimes known to come in after the middle of
February; and they endeavoured to persuade us, that the fire we
had seen on shore was a proof that she was as yet at sea, it being
customary, as they said, to make use of these fires as signals for
her direction, when she continued longer out than ordinary. On this
information, strengthened by our propensity to believe them in a
matter which so pleasingly flattered our wishes, we resolved to cruise
for her for some days; and we accordingly spread our ships at the
distance of twelve leagues from the coast, in such a manner, that it
was impossible she should pass us unobserved: However, not seeing her
soon, we were at intervals inclined to suspect that she had gained
her port already; and as we now began to want a harbour to refresh
our people, the uncertainty of our present situation gave us
great uneasiness, and we were very solicitous to get some positive
intelligence, which might either set us at liberty to consult our
necessities, if the galleon was arrived, or might animate us to
continue our present cruise with cheerfulness, if she was not.
With this view the commodore, after examining our prisoners very
particularly, resolved to send a boat, under night, into the harbour
of Acapulco, to see if the Manilla ship was there or not, one of the
Indians being very positive that this might be done without the
boat itself being discovered. To execute this project, the barge
was dispatched the 6th of February, with a sufficient crew and two
officers, who took with them a Spanish pilot, and the Indian who had
insisted on the practicability of this measure, and had undertaken to
conduct it. Our barge did not return to us again till the eleventh,
when the officers acquainted Mr Anson, that, agreeable to our
suspicion, there was nothing like a harbour in the place where the
Spanish pilots had at first asserted Acapulco to lie; that when they
had satisfied themselves in this particular, they steered to the
eastward, in hopes of discovering it, and had coasted along shore
thirty-two leagues; that in this whole range they met chiefly with
sandy beaches of a great length, over which the sea broke with so much
violence, that it was impossible for a boat to land; that at the
end of their run they could just discover two paps at a very great
distance to the eastward, which from their appearance and their
latitude, they concluded to be those in the neighbourhood of Acapulco;
but that not having a sufficient quantity of fresh water and provision
for their passage thither and back again, they were obliged to return
to the commodore, to acquaint him with their disappointment. On this
intelligence we all made sail to the eastward, in order to get into
the neighbourhood of that port, the commodore resolving to send the
barge a second time upon the same enterprize, when we were arrived
within a moderate distance. And the next day, which was the 12th of
February, we being by that time considerably advanced, the barge was
again dispatched, and particular instructions given to the officers
to preserve themselves from being seen from the shore. On the 13th we
espied a high land to the eastward, which we first imagined to be that
over the harbour of Acapulco; but we afterwards found that it was the
high land of Seguateneo, where there is a small harbour, of which we
shall have occasion to make more ample mention hereafter. And now,
having waited six days without any news of our barge, we began to be
uneasy for her safety; but, on the 7th day, that is, on the 19th of
February, she returned. The officers informed the commodore, that they
had discovered the harbour of Acapulco, which they esteemed to bear
from us E.S.E. at least fifty leagues distant: That on the 17th, about
two in the morning, they were got within the island that lies at
the mouth of the harbour, and yet neither the Spanish pilot, nor the
Indian who were with them, could give them any information where they
then were; but that while they were lying upon their oars in suspence
what to do, being ignorant that they were then at the very place
they sought for, they discerned a small light upon the surface of
the water, on which they instantly plied their paddles, and moving
as silently as possible towards it, they found it to be in a fishing
canoe, which they surprised, with three negroes that belonged to it.
It seems the negroes at first attempted to jump overboard; and being
so near the land, they would easily have swam on shore; but they
were prevented by presenting a piece at them, on which they readily
submitted, and were taken into the barge. The officers further added,
that they had immediately turned the canoe adrift against the face of
a rock, where it would inevitably be dashed to pieces by the fury of
the sea: This they did to deceive those who perhaps might be sent from
the town to search after the canoe; for upon seeing several pieces of
a wreck, they would immediately conclude that the people on board her
had been drowned, and would have no suspicion of their having fallen
into our hands. When the crew of the barge had taken this precaution,
they exerted their utmost strength in pulling out to sea, and by dawn
of day had gained such an offing, as rendered it impossible for them
to be seen from the coast.

And now having got the three negroes in our possession, who were not
ignorant of the transactions at Acapulco, we were soon satisfied about
the most material points which had long kept us in suspense: And
on examination we found, that we were indeed disappointed in our
expectation of intercepting the galleon before her arrival at
Acapulco; but we learnt other circumstances which still revived our
hopes, and which, we then conceived, would more than balance the
opportunity we had already lost: For though our negro prisoners
informed us that the galleon arrived at Acapulco on our 9th of
January, which was about twenty days before we fell in with this
coast, yet they at the same time told us, that the galleon had
delivered her cargo, and was taking in water and provisions for her
return, and that the viceroy of Mexico had by proclamation fixed her
departure from Acapulco to the 14th of March, N.S. This last news
was most joyfully received by us, as we had no doubt but she must
certainly fall into our hands, and as it was much more eligible to
seize her on her return, than it would have been to have taken her
before her arrival, as the specie for which she had sold her cargo,
and which she would now have on board, was prodigiously more to be
esteemed by us than the cargo itself; great part of which would have
perished on our hands, and no part of it could have been disposed of
by us at so advantageous a mart as Acapulco.

Thus we were a second time engaged in an eager expectation of meeting
with this Manilla ship, which, by the fame of its wealth, we had been
taught to consider as the most desirable prize that was to be met with
in any part of the globe. As all our future projects will be in
some sort regulated with a view to the possession of this celebrated
galleon, and as the commerce which is carried on by means of these
vessels between the city of Manilla and the port of Acapulco is
perhaps the most valuable, in proportion to its quantity, of any in
the known world, I shall endeavour, in the ensuing chapter, to give as
distinct an account as I can of all the particulars relating thereto,
both as it is a matter in which I conceive the public to be in some
degree interested, and as I flatter myself, that from the materials
which have fallen into my hands, I am enabled to describe it with more
distinctness than has hitherto been done, at least in our language.


_An Account of the Commerce carried on between the City of Manilla
on the Island of Luconia, and the Port of Acapulco in the Coast of

Though Spain did not acquire the property of any of the spice islands,
by the enterprising labours of Magellan (related in our tenth volume,
to which we refer,) yet the discovery made in his expedition to the
Philippine Islands, was thought too considerable to be neglected; for
these were not far distant from those places which produced spices,
and were very well situated for the Chinese trade, and for the
commerce of other parts of India; and therefore a communication was
soon established, and carefully supported between these islands
and the Spanish colonies on the coast of Peru: So that the city of
Manilla, (which Was built on the island of Luconia, the chief of the
Philippines) soon became the mart for all Indian commodities, which
were brought up by the inhabitants, and were annually sent to the
South-Seas to be there vended on their account; and the returns of
this commerce to Manilla being principally made in silver, the place
by degrees grew extremely opulent and considerable, and its trade so
far increased, as to engage the attention of the court of Spain, and
to be frequently controlled and regulated by royal edicts.

[Footnote 1: Much of the original in this section is omitted, as
either unimportant now; or elsewhere given in the work.]

In the infancy of this trade, it was carried on from the port
of Callao to the city of Manilla, in which voyage the trade-wind
continually favoured them; so that notwithstanding these places were
distant between three and four thousand leagues, yet the voyage was
often made in little more than two months: But then the return from
Manilla was extremely troublesome and tedious, and is said to have
sometimes taken them up above a twelvemonth, which, if they pretended
to ply up within the limits of the trade-wind, is not at all to be
wondered at; and it is asserted, that in their first voyages they were
so imprudent and unskilful as to attempt this course. However, that
route Was soon laid aside by the advice, as it is said, of a Jesuit,
who persuaded them to steer to the northward till they got clear of
the trade-winds, and then by the favour of the westerly winds, which
generally prevail in high latitudes, to stretch away for the coast
of California. This has been the practice for at least a hundred and
sixty years past, (1740-4:) For Sir Thomas Cavendish, in the year
1586, engaged off the south end of California a vessel bound from
Manilla to the American coast. And it was in compliance with this
new plan of navigation, and to shorten the run both backwards and
forwards, that the staple of this commerce to and from Manilla was
removed from Callao, on the coast of Peru, to the port of Acapulco, on
the coast of Mexico, where it continues fixed at this time.

This trade to Acapulco is not laid open to all the inhabitants of
Manilla, but is confined by very particular regulations, somewhat
analogous to those by which the trade of the register ships from Cadiz
to the West-Indies is restrained.

The trade is limited to a certain value, which the annual cargo ought
not to exceed. Some Spanish manuscripts', I have seen, mention this
limitation to be 600,000 dollars; but the annual cargo does certainly
surpass this sum; and though it may be difficult to fix its exact
value, yet from many comparisons I conclude, that the return cannot be
greatly short of three millions of dollars.

This trade from Manilla to Acapulco and back again, is usually carried
on in one or at most two annual ships, which set sail from Manilla
about July, and arrive at Acapulco in the December, January, or
February following, and having there disposed of their effects, return
for Manilla some time in March, where they generally arrive in June;
so that the whole voyage takes up very near an entire year: For this
reason, though there is often no more than one ship employed at
a time, yet there is always one ready for the sea when the other
arrives; and therefore are provided three or four stout ships, that,
in case of any accident, the trade may not be suspended.

The ship having received her cargo on board, and being fitted for
the sea, generally weighs from the mole of Cabite about the middle of
July, taking the advantage of the westerly monsoon, which then sets
in, to carry them to sea. It appears that the getting through the
Boccadero to the eastward must be a troublesome navigation, and in
fact it is sometimes the end of August before they get clear of the
land. When they have got through this passage, and are clear of the
islands, they stand to the northward of the east, in order to get into
the latitude of thirty odd degrees, where they expect to meet
with westerly winds, before which they run away for the coast of
California.[2] It is most remarkable, that by the concurrent testimony
of all the Spanish navigators, there is not one port, nor even a
tolerable road, as yet found out betwixt the Philippine Islands and
the coast of California and Mexico; so that from the time the Manilla
ship first loses sight of land, she never lets go her anchor till she
arrives on the coast of California, and very often not till she gets
to its southermost extremity: And therefore, as this voyage is rarely
of less than six months continuance, and the ship is deep laden with
merchandise and crowded with people, it may appear wonderful how they
can be supplied with a stock of fresh water for so long a time. A
supply indeed they have, but the reliance upon it seems at first sight
so extremely precarious, that it is wonderful such numbers should
risque perishing by the most dreadful of all deaths, on the
expectation of so casual a circumstance. In short, their only method
of recruiting their water is by the rains, which they meet with
between the latitudes of 30° and 40° north, and which they are always
prepared to catch: For this purpose they take to sea with them a
great number of mats, which they place slopingly against the gunwale,
whenever the rain descends; these mats extend from one end of the ship
to the other, and their lower edges rest on a large split bamboe, so
that all the water which falls on the mats drain into the bamboe,
and by this, as a trough, is conveyed into ajar; and this method of
supplying their water, however accidental and extraordinary it may at
first sight appear, hath never been known to fail them, so that it is
common, for them, when their voyage is a little longer than usual, to
fill all their water jars several times over.

[Footnote 2: In the original is inserted a chart for the explanation
of this track, which it is unnecessary to give here.--E.]

The length of time employed in this passage, so much beyond what
usually occurs in any other navigation, is perhaps in part to be
imputed to the indolence and unskilfulness of the Spanish sailors, and
to an unnecessary degree of caution and concern for so rich a vessel:
For it is said, that they never set their main-sail in the night, and
often lie by unnecessarily. And indeed the instructions given to their
captains (which I have seen) seem to have been drawn up by such as
were more apprehensive of too strong a gale, though favourable, than
of the inconveniences and mortality attending a lingering and tedious
voyage; for the captain is particularly ordered to make his passage in
the latitude of 30° if possible, and to be extremely, careful to
stand no farther to the northward than is absolutely necessary for the
getting a westerly wind. This, according to our conceptions, appears
to be a very absurd restriction; since it can scarcely be doubted,
that in the higher latitudes the westerly winds are much steadier and
brisker than in the latitude of 30°: So that the whole conduct of this
navigation seems liable to very great censure. If instead of steering
E.N.E. into the latitude of thirty odd degrees, they at first stood
N.E., or even still more northerly, into the latitude of 40° or 45°,
in part of which course the trade-winds would greatly assist them, I
doubt not they might considerably contract their voyage. And this is
not merely matter of speculation; for I am credibly informed, that
about the year 1721, a French ship, by pursuing this course, ran from
the coast of China to the valley of Vanderas on the coast of
Mexico, in less than fifty days: But it was said that this ship,
notwithstanding the shortness of her passage, suffered prodigiously
by the scurvy, so that she had only four or five of her crew left when
she arrived in America.

The Manilla ship having stood so far to the northward as to meet with
a westerly wind, stretches away nearly in the same latitude for the
coast of California: And when she has run into the longitude of 96°
from Cape Espiritu, Santo, she generally meets with a plant floating
on the sea, which, being called Porra by the Spaniards, is, I
presume, a species of sea-leek. On the sight of this plant they esteem
themselves sufficiently near the Californian shore, and immediately
stand to the southward; they rely so much on this circumstance, that
on the first discovery of the plant the whole ship's company chaunt
a solemn _Te Deum_, esteeming the difficulties and hazards of their
passage to be now at an end; and they constantly correct their
longitude thereby, without ever coming within sight of land, till they
draw near its southern extremity.

The most usual time of the arrival of the galleon at Acapulco is
towards the middle of January: But this navigation is so uncertain,
that she sometimes gets in a month sooner, and at other times has been
detained at sea above a month longer. The port of Acapulco is by
much the securest and finest in all the northern parts of the Pacific
Ocean; being, as it were, a bason surrounded by very high mountains:
But the town is a most wretched place, and extremely unhealthy, for
the air about it is so pent up by the hills, that it has scarcely any
circulation. The place is besides destitute of fresh water; except
what is brought from a considerable distance; and is in all respects
so inconvenient, that except at the time of the mart, whilst the
Manilla galleon is in the port, it is almost deserted.

When the galleon arrives in this port, she is generally moored on its
western side, and her cargo is delivered with all possible expedition.
And now the town of Acapulco, from almost a solitude, is immediately
thronged with merchants from all parts of the kingdom of Mexico. The
cargo being landed and disposed of, the silver and the goods intended
for Manilla are taken on board, together with provisions and water,
and the ship prepares to put to sea with the utmost expedition.
There is indeed no time to be lost; for it is an express order to the
captain to be out of the port of Acapulco on his return, before the
first day of April, N.S.

The principal return is made in silver, and consequently the rest of
the cargo is but of little account; the other articles, besides the
silver, being some cochineal and a few sweetmeats, the produce of the
American settlements, together with European millinery ware for the
women at Manilla, and some Spanish wines, such as tent and sherry,
which are intended for the use of their priests in the administration
of the sacrament.

This difference in the cargo of the ship to and from Manilla,
occasions a very remarkable variety in the manner of equipping the
ship for these two different voyages. For the galleon, when she sets
sail from Manilla, being deep laden with a variety of bulky goods, has
not the conveniency of mounting her lower tire of guns, but
carries them in her hold, till she draws near Cape St Lucas, and is
apprehensive of an enemy. Her hands too are as few as is consistent
with the safety of the ship, that she may be less pestered with the
stowage of provisions. But on her return from Acapulco, as her cargo
lies in less room, her lower tire is (or ought to be) always mounted
before she leaves the port, and her crew is augmented with a supply of
sailors, and with one or two companies of foot, which are intended
to reinforce the garrison at Manilla. And there being besides many
merchants who take their passage to Manilla, her whole number of hands
on her return is usually little short of six hundred, all which are
easily provided for, by reason of the small stowage necessary for the
silver. The galleon being thus fitted for her return, the captain, on
leaving the port of Acapulco, steers for the latitude of 13° or 14°,
and runs on that parallel, till he gets sight of the island of Guam,
one of the Ladrones. In this run the captain is particularly directed
to be careful of the shoals of St Bartholomew, and of the island of
Gasparico. He is also told in his instructions, that to prevent his
passing the Ladrones in the dark, there are orders given that, through
all the month of June, fires shall be lighted every night on the
highest part of Guam and Rota, and kept in till the morning.

At Guam there is a small Spanish garrison, purposely intended to
secure that place for the refreshment of the galleon, and to yield her
all the assistance in their power. However, the danger of the road at
Guam is so great, that though the galleon is ordered to call there,
yet she rarely stays above a day of two, but getting her water and
refreshments on board as soon as possible, she steers away directly
for Cape Espiritu Santo, on the island of Samal. Here the captain is
again ordered to look out for signals; and he is told, that centinels
will be posted not only on that Cape, but likewise in Catanduanas,
Butusan, Birriborongo, and on the island of Batan. These centinels
are instructed to make a fire when they discover the ship, which the
captain is carefully to observe: For if, after this first fire is
extinguished, he perceives that four or more are lighted up again, he
is then to conclude that there are enemies on the coast; and on this
he is immediately to endeavour to speak with the centinel on shore,
and to procure from him more particular intelligence of their force,
and of the station they cruise in; pursuant to which, he is to
regulate his conduct, and to endeavour to gain some secure port
amongst those islands, without coming in sight of the enemy; and in
case he should be discovered when in port, and should be apprehensive
of attack, he is then to land his treasure, and to take some of his
artillery on shore for its defence, not neglecting to send frequent
and particular accounts to the city of Manilla of all that passes.
But if, after the first fire on shore, the captain observes that two
others only are made by the centinels, he is then to conclude, that
there is nothing to fear: And he is to pursue his course without
interruption, and to make the best of his way to the port of Cabite,
which is the port to the city of Manilla, and the constant station for
all the ships employed in this commerce to Acapulco.


_Our Cruise off the Port of Acapulco for the Manilla Ship._

I have already mentioned, that the return of our barge from the port
of Acapulco, where she had surprised three negro fishermen, gave us
inexpressible satisfaction, as we learnt from our prisoners, that the
galleon was then preparing to put to sea, and that her departure was
fixed, by an edict of the viceroy of Mexico, to the 14th of March,
N.S. that is, to the 3d of March, according to our reckoning.

Having satisfied ourselves upon this head, we indulged our curiosity
in enquiring after other news; when the prisoners informed us, that
they had received intelligence at Acapulco, of our having plundered
and burnt the town of Paita; and that, on this occasion, the governor
of Acapulco had augmented the fortifications of the place, and had
taken several precautions to prevent us from forcing our way into the
harbour; that in particular, he had placed a guard on the island which
lies at the harbour's mouth, and that this guard had been withdrawn
but two nights before the arrival of our barge: So that had the barge
succeeded in her first attempt, or had she arrived at the port the
second time two days sooner, she could scarcely have avoided being
seized on, or if she had escaped, it must have been with the loss of
the greatest part of her crew, as she would have been under the fire
of the guard, before she had known her danger.

The withdrawing of this guard was a circumstance that greatly
encouraged us, as it seemed to demonstrate, not only that the enemy
had not as yet discovered us, but likewise that they had now no
farther apprehensions of our visiting their coast, indeed the
prisoners assured us, that they had no knowledge of our being in those
seas, and that they had therefore flattered themselves, that, in
the long interval since our taking of Paita, we had steered another
course. But we did not consider the opinion of these negro prisoners
so authentic a proof of our being hitherto concealed, as the
withdrawing of the guard from the harbour's mouth, which being the
action of the governor, was of all arguments the most convincing, as
he might be supposed to have intelligence, with which the rest of the
inhabitants were unacquainted.

Satisfied therefore that we were undiscovered, and that the time was
fixed for the departure of the galleon from Acapulco, we made all
necessary preparations, and waited with the utmost impatience for the
important day. As this was the 3d of March, and it was the 19th of
February when the barge returned and brought us our intelligence, the
commodore resolved to continue the greatest part of the intermediate
time on his present station, to the westward of Acapulco, conceiving
that in this situation there would be less danger of his being seen
from the shore, which was the only circumstance that could deprive us
of the immense treasure, on which we had at present so eagerly fixed
our thoughts. During this interval, we were employed in scrubbing and
cleansing our ships, in bringing them into their most advantageous
trim, and in regulating the orders, signals, and stations to be
observed, when we should arrive off Acapulco, and the time of the
departure of the galleon should draw nigh.

On the first of March, we made the high lands, usually called the paps
over Acapulco, and got with all possible expedition into the situation
prescribed by the commodore's orders. The distribution of our squadron
on this occasion, both for the intercepting the galleon, and for the
avoiding a discovery from the shore, was so very judicious, that it
well merits to be distinctly described.

The Centurion brought the paps over the harbour to bear N.N.E., at
fifteen leagues distance, which was a sufficient offing to prevent our
being seen by the enemy. To the westward of the Centurion there was
stationed the Carmelo, and to the eastward were the Tryal prize, the
Gloucester, and the Carmin: These were all ranged in a circular line,
and each ship was three leagues distant from the next; so that the
Carmelo and the Carmin, which were the two extremes, were twelve
leagues distant from each other: And as the galleon could, without
doubt, be discerned at six leagues distance from either extremity,
the whole sweep of our squadron, within which nothing could pass
undiscovered, was at least twenty-four leagues in extent; and yet
we were so connected by our signals, as to be easily and speedily
informed of what was seen in any part of the line: And, to render this
disposition still more complete, and to prevent even the possibility
of the galleon's escaping us in the night, the two cutters belonging
to the Centurion and the Gloucester were both manned and sent in
shore; and were ordered to lie all day at the distance of four or five
leagues from the entrance of the port, where they could not possibly
be discovered; but they were directed in the night to stand nearer
to the harbour's mouth, and as the light of the morning came on, to
return back again to their day-posts. When the cutters should first
discover the Manilla ship, one of them was to return to the squadron,
and to make a signal, whether the galleon stood to the eastward or
to the westward; whilst the other was to follow the galleon at a
distance, and if it grew dark, to direct the squadron in their chace,
by shewing false fires.

Besides the care we had taken to prevent the galleon from passing us
unobserved, we had not been inattentive to the means of engaging her
to advantage, when we came up with her: For, considering the thinness
of our hands, and the vaunting accounts given by the Spaniards of her
size, her guns, and her strength, this was a consideration not to be
neglected. As we supposed that none of our ships but the Centurion
and the Gloucester were capable of lying alongside of her, we took
on board the Centurion all the hands belonging to the Carmelo and the
Carmin, except what were just sufficient to navigate those ships;
and Captain Saunders was ordered to send from the Tryal prize
ten Englishmen, and as many negroes, to reinforce the crew of the
Gloucester. For the encouragement of our negroes, we promised them,
that on their good behaviour they should all have their freedom; and
as they had been almost every day trained to the management of the
great guns for the two preceding months, they were very well qualified
to be of service to us; and from their hopes of liberty, and in return
for the usage they had met with amongst us, they seemed disposed to
exert themselves to the utmost of their power.

Being thus prepared for the reception of the galleon, we expected,
with the utmost impatience, the so-often-mentioned third of March, the
day fixed for her departure. And on that day we were all of us most
eagerly engaged in looking out towards Acapulco; and we were so
strangely prepossessed with the certainty of our intelligence, and
with an assurance of her coming out of port, that some or other of us
were constantly imagining they discovered one of our cutters returning
with a signal. But, to our extreme vexation, both this day and the
succeeding night passed without any news of the galleon: However,
we did not yet despair, but were all heartily disposed to flatter
ourselves, that some unforeseen accident had intervened, which might
have put off her departure for a few days; and suggestions of this
kind occurred in plenty, as we knew that the time fixed by the viceroy
for her sailing was often prolonged on the petition of the merchants
of Mexico. Thus we kept up our hopes, and did not abate of our
vigilance; and as the 7th of March was Sunday the beginning of
Passion-week, which is observed by the Papists with great strictness,
and a total cessation from all kinds of labour, so that no ship is
permitted to stir out of port during the whole week, this quieted our
apprehensions for some days, and disposed us not to expect the galleon
till the week following. On the Friday in this week our cutters
returned to us, the officers being very confident that the galleon was
still in port, and that she could not possibly have come out but they
must have seen her. On the Monday morning succeeding Passion-week,
that is, on the 15th of March, the cutters were again dispatched
to their old station, and our hopes were once more indulged in as
sanguine prepossessions as before; but in a week's time our eagerness
was greatly abated, and a general dejection and despondency took
place. It is true, there were some few amongst us who still kept
up their spirits, and were very ingenious in finding out reasons to
satisfy themselves, that the disappointment had been occasioned by a
casual delay of the galleon, which a few days would remove, and not
by a total suspension of her departure for the whole season: But these
speculations were not relished by the generality of our people; for
they were persuaded that the enemy had, by some accident, discovered
our being upon the coast, and had therefore laid an embargo on the
galleon till the next year. And indeed this persuasion was but too
well founded; for we afterwards learnt, that our barge, when sent on
the discovery of the port of Acapulco, had been seen from the
shore; and that this circumstance (no embarkations but canoes
ever frequenting that coast) was to them a sufficient proof of the
neighbourhood of our squadron; on which they stopped the galleon till
the succeeding year.

The commodore himself, though he declared not his opinion, was yet in
his own thoughts very apprehensive that we were discovered, and that
the departure of the galleon was put off; and he had, in consequence
of this opinion, formed a plan for possessing himself of Acapulco;
for he had no doubt that the treasure remained in the town, though the
orders for dispatching the galleon were countermanded.[3]

[Footnote 3: It is unnecessary to detail this plan, as, for sufficient
reasons soon discovered, it was not attempted to be executed.--E.]

His scheme was formed on a supposition that the galleon was detained
till the next year; but as this was a matter of opinion only, and not
founded on intelligence, and there was a possibility that she might
still put to sea in a short time, the commodore thought it prudent
to continue his cruise upon this station, as long as the necessary
attention to his stores of wood and water, and to the convenient
season for his future passage to China, would give him leave; and
therefore, as the cutters had been ordered to remain, before Acapulco
till the 23d of March, the squadron did not change its position till
that day; when the cutters not appearing, we were in some pain for
them, apprehending they might have suffered either from the enemy or
the weather; but we were relieved from our concern the next morning,
when we discovered them, though at a great distance and to the leeward
of the squadron: We bore down to them and took them up and were
informed by them, that, conformable to their orders, they had left
their station the day before, without having seen any thing of the
galleon; and we found, that the reason of their being so far to
the leeward of us was a strong current, which had driven the whole
squadron to windward.

It afterwards appeared that this prolongation of our cruise was a very
prudent measure, and afforded us no contemptible chance of seizing the
treasure, on which we had so long fixed our thoughts. For it seems,
after the embargo was laid on the galleon, the persons principally
interested in the cargo sent several expresses to Mexico, to beg
that she might still be permitted to depart: For as they knew, by the
accounts sent from Paita, that we had not more than three hundred men
in all, they insisted that there was nothing to be feared from us;
for that the galleon (carrying above twice as many hands as our whole
squadron) would be greatly an overmatch for us. Though the viceroy was
inflexible; yet, on this representation, she was kept ready for the
sea for near three weeks after the first order came to detain her.

When we had taken up the cutters, all the ships being joined, the
commodore made a signal to speak with their commanders; and upon
enquiry into the stock of fresh water remaining on board the squadron,
it was found to be so very slender, that we were under a necessity of
quitting our station to procure a fresh supply. It was agreed, that
the harbour of Seguataneo or Chequetan being the nearest to us, was,
on that account, the most eligible; it was therefore immediately
resolved to make the best of ou