East Indies
July 1628

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Institute of Historical Research

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W. Noel Sainsbury (editor)

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1884

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520-532

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'East Indies: July 1628', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, East Indies, China and Persia, Volume 6: 1625-1629 (1884), pp. 520-532. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=71284 Date accessed: 26 July 2014.


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July 1628

July 2.677. Court Minutes of the East India Company. The Earl of Warwick brought this day in person the order of the Lords concerning the agreement of the Company to pay his Lordship 4,000l., which coming short in the point of freeing the Company from wages pretended by mariners' wives and Mr. Morgan, his Lordship promised to have amended as drawn by the Company's counsel; and the times of payment were agreed to. His Lordship gave the Company thanks for dealing so nobly with him, and assured them they would find him ready to be employed by them either at home or in the Indies, which great favour and respect the Court in all thankful manner acknowledged, and tendered his Lordship the freedom of the Company, which he kindly accepted. Gratuities of 30l. to Mr. Massingberd at the instance of Mr. Treasurer for his extraordinary pains in the Treasury, and of 50l. to Mr. Cappur, on his promise first to clear his difference with Edw. Seagar in accounts. Report of Mr. Governor that he was lately commanded to attend his Majesty, who imparted how great and urgent his occasions were for the present use of money, whereof if he were not presently supplied it might endanger the loss of Rochelle, and therefore he sent for Mr. Governor to be supplied from the Company with 10,000l. for three weeks, which should be repaid out of the first subsidy; to which unexpected request Mr. Governor answered that he desired to be spared from making this motion, for it could never come more unseasonably, for they were now on a new subscription for prosecution of the trade, and if this request should be known it would utterly overthrow the work intended; nevertheless his Majesty's pleasure was that it should be moved to the Company and answer returned by Thursday next. The Court concluded that it was impossible to gratify his Majesty, as there was not sufficient in the house to satisfy the Earl of Warwick's first 2,000l. and if the Company had the money yet was it not in their power to lend, therefore they desired Mr. Governor to make their humble excuses to his Majesty and beg a gracious interpretation: On petition of Edward Lee, employed in gathering in the Company's debts; ordered that he be continued till Michaelmas, but no longer. Account of Nicholas Bourne for printing a book in answer to the Dutch concerning the business of Amboyna amounting to 10l. 11s. 4d., and for printing the Company's Petition and Remonstrance exhibited in Parliament amounting to 15l. 4s. The Court conceived there was no reason to give allowance for the first parcel, which by his own dispersing of them abroad were taken by order of the Lords on complaint of the Dutch Ambassador, so as the Company never had any; but Bourne protesting his innocency, and having been at the time deadly sick, was allowed 20l. for all, and to bring into Court 50 or 60 of the books taken from him. Letter read from Mr. Baron Sotherton demanding 20l. for the fish he pretended to have lost by breach of the dam at Chillworth Mills; ordered that 5l. in money or spice be given, but higher the Company would not be drawn, choosing rather to stand to the hazard of law. Concerning the motion of Mr. Robinson for 250l. to be paid to him out of Hawley's wages. Suit of young Mr. Browning for part of the 80l. due to him, to enable him to make good his bargain. De Quester's bill for postage of letters from Persia and Amsterdam amounting to 1l. 12s. 2d. to be paid. Petition of John Head about freight of pepper sold to Randall Jesson. Letter presented by Mrs. Jesson from her husband desiring the Court to forgive him the freight of goods he brought home in the Expedition, promising if they would employ him one voyage more to deserve it by his honest and faithful service; but the Court relished not this motion the freight being above 300l., but lent 20l. for supply of their necessities. 4½ pp. [Ct. Min. Bk. X. 420–424.]
July 2.678. Minutes of a General Court of Election. The Court being set Lord Carleton made known that his Majesty, to prevent their petition which he understood they intended to exhibit for protection against the Hollanders, had thought fit to send Carleton to assure the Company that such is his love to commerce in general, and to this Company in particular, that he would not have them doubt his protection against the Dutch, both for the injuries past and for the time to come, commending much their resolution for continuance of the trade by a third joint stock, especially in these troublesome times, when trade near at home fails, and therefore wished that nothing might hinder their intended proceedings. His Lordship further intimated that in all likelihood the Company would very shortly have news to their own contentment concerning the disputes that have happened between them and the Dutch in remote places, and therefore gave encouragement to the Company to go on with the trade, for there was a settled resolution in the Prince of Orange and the States that they should proceed jointly in trade hereafter without any violence, and represented that as both nations mutually assist one another against the common enemy, so it will beget good correspondence if their differences be once well accorded, and that if the trade begun so long since should now be relinquished it would be damnum cum vituperio, a disgraceful loss, and therefore his Lordship advised the Company to be confident of his Majesty's gracious intentions and promise, being persuaded that what he had now delivered from his Majesty would be a sufficient ground to encourage them cheerfully to proceed in the trade were it only in its beginning. His Lordship also declared his desire to have seen the manner of the election, but that the hour for his return to his Majesty was past; but Mr. Governor entreated him to return their humble thankfulness to his Majesty for his gracious message, and forgot not to acknowledge their obligation likewise to his Lordship for his pains therein. Minutes of the last General Court read, upon which Mr. Governor observed two things, one the resolution to become suitors for his Majesty's protection, of which he should not need now to speak, and the other touching the subscription, for which yet few had underwritten, nor is it known what is the reason: Mr. Governor then said the occasion of this meeting was to elect a Governor, Deputy, Treasurer, and 24 Committees for the ensuing year, and that himself desired now to be eased of the burden of being Governor, but first declared that there was a libel put out by Mr. Smethwike, and copies dispersed here and in Holland, the principal point whereof was to remove the Governor, Deputy, and Committees, and that not satisfied therewith Smethwike had exhibited a petition to his Majesty for a commission to examine their actions, and by underhand practices endeavoured to procure a prohibition of the last General Court, for no other end but wholly to overthrow the trade. Amongst other particulars in said petition Mr. Governor read as follows:-"Our Governors and Committees had always concealed from us the state of our business, howbeit sundry miscarriages are of late made manifest unto many of the generality who have fairly sought reformation, but so powerful are our said officers with their adherents that some of the Company endeavouring good have found no other but reproachful terms and wrongs from such officers, to whom they pay yearly great sums of money for salaries. Another complaint is that it is now much suspected that some of our officers endeavour ere long to get into their hands and some of their friends the whole trade of India and Persia, and also the remainder of this stock, being 500,000l., at half the value, to the great loss of the kingdom and the present adventurers." To these complaints Mr. Governor answered that they were false and scandalous; the state of the business is not concealed from Mr. Smethwike, for he is perfecter in the books than the Governor himself; and as for any practice to engross the whole trade and stock into the hands of a few, that is most untrue, for the book went about by order of the General Court for men to have supplied upon the old stock if they had pleased, and because they would not the General Court had resolved upon a third joint stock. As for the pretended miscarriages of brokes, Mr. Governor explained, as formerly, why they had been reduced from 9 to 8 per cent., nor did he know that any of the Committees were Farmers of the Customs, or of any reproachful language given save to himself, who had been disgracefully and maliciously used, when of 440 in brokes his name only and one more were published in open Court, besides the scorn put upon them by being accounted Mr. Smethwike's officers, conceiving they deserve a better title and more respect. Mr. Governor having thus declared Smethwike's proceedings, showed how he had likewise been affronted by one who had been a party in divers contentions, instancing those of Mellin, Spruson (? Pruson), Withers, and now Smethwike, the supposed reason being that he had been put by from being a Committee; but the party [Mr. Chamberlain] thus charged desired to have answered these accusations, but Mr. Governor advised him to forbear, and they should meet at the next General Court on equal terms and the business should be argued between them. He also remembered how a ballotting box had been motioned from man to man in Westminster Hall with a scandalous preamble desiring that the Governor might be changed, four General Courts a year held, and election had by the ballotting box; and he advised the Company to look to themselves, for doubtless there was some secret hand in this plot, telling them he had caused a ballotting box to be brought into Court, that he kept four General Courts in a month or five weeks, and that it was his resolution to be changed as Governor, desiring them to accept of his labours and not so much as to put his name in election, for he would be no longer subject to these affronts, and thereupon he departed the Court, notwithstanding he was earnestly importuned to tarry. One of the Committees then signified that the Governor, Deputy, and Committees were not the Company's officers, but their neighbours, friends, and fellow adventurers, and chosen by themselves, and he made known that by some false brother a project had been delivered to the King to entitle his Majesty to a fifth part of the stock as a recompense for his protection to be given to the Company, and he put them in mind that King James offered to be a partner and adventurer, but their Counsel declared that if the King were admitted the whole right of the Company's stock would devolve to his Majesty, for there can be no partnership held with the King. Hereupon it was required to nominate the man, but while he laboured to excuse himself Mr. Smethwike stood up and first seeking to maintain the word officers, acknowledged himself to have exhibited this project, which he conceived was a good to the Company; but the Court exceedingly condemned this practice of his, and he was cried down by some to be an unworthy member of the Company and fit to be thrust out of the Court. Mr Deputy observed that this aspersion confessed to by Smethwike is now taken off all others, and left it to be further handled as the Court should think fit, and then desired the Court to proceed to the business of the day. Seven persons named to be put in election for Governor, but of these Sir Edwin Sandys, Sir John Wolstenholme, and Alderman Clitheroe excused themselves; the remaining four, Sir Morris Abbott, Aldermen Cambell, Ducy, and Garway, were put to election, and after the Court had rejected the ballotting box the general vote by erection of hands fell upon Sir Morris Abbott, who was chosen Governor for the year ensuing. A motion of Wm. Fleetwood that the ballotting box be again put to the question after some dispute rejected. For Deputy Governor Alderman Clitheroe and Anthony Abdy were put in election, but Alderman Clitheroe was chosen. For Treasurer Robert Bateman, Anthony Abdy, Geoffrey Kirby, and John Williams were put in election. Bateman desired to be excused, for he had served nine years in that office and was now old, and his office of Chamberlain of London would take up a whole man's time; but notwithstanding his earnest desire to be freed he was again elected Treasurer for the year ensuing for the old stock, not for the new, it being time to consider of that place when their moneys are come in. Then followed the election of 24 Committees, six to be changed and no one to be a Committee unless he has 2,000l. adventure. The names of the six Committees first chosen are, Thos. Rastell, Jo. Langham, Jo. Milward, Hen. Andrewes, Daniel Gorsuch, and Daniel Harvy; and of the 18 from the 24 last year's Committees Aldermen Cambell, Ducy, and Fenn, Sheriff Garway, Tho. Styles, Tho. Mun, Anthony Abdi, Jeoffery Kirby, Hugh Perry, Clement Harby, Job Harby, Tho. Mustard, John Gayer, John Williams, Wm. Spurstowe, Humphrey Browne, Wm. Garway, and Ri. Bladwell. The election of the secretary, book-keepers, and husband, as formerly accustomed, referred to the Court of Committees; and Sir John Wolstenholme, Mr. Deputy, and Messrs. Cotton, Mun, and Smith entreated to go to Sir Morris Abbott in the morning, and in the name of the Company to prevail with him to accept the place of Governor. 9 pp [Ct. Min. Bk. XI. 1–9.]
July 4–9.679. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Ordered that 10l. more be allowed the widow of Capt. Jourdain to end her suit with Jonas Viney, the Court resolving howsoever the suit succeed not to be troubled any more on this occasion. 20l. lent to Jesson on his bond, until his suit between the Company and Warner be ended. Committee appointed to view Mr. Slaney's elephants' teeth. Gratuity of 5s. out of the poor box to Anne Yonge, widow, who lost her husband in the Hope [well]. Lists of the names of the Committees appointed for several employments, viz.:—For the warehouses; to provide beef, pork, butter, fish, cheese, salt; beer, wax, sugar, rice, soap, cider, candles, spice, honey, juice of lemons; bread, meal, flour, biscuit, peas, French barley, plates for bread rooms; wine, "vine eagar," "beer eagar," aquavitæ, sweet oil, rape oil; cordage, pitch, tar, rosin, masts, deals, wainscotes, timber, treenails, planks, sheathing boards, pipe staves, hogshead staves; iron, lead, sheet lead, copper, billets, apparel for mariners, iron hoops and brass shivers: elephant's teeth, quicksilver, vermilion, tapestry, coral, silk stuffs, gold and silver lace; powder, shot, ordnance, canvas for sails and pepper bags, flags, wastcloths, ensigns and streamers, stores for gunners, cooks, armourers, boatswains and stewards; ryals; cloth; casks; also for the yards; and to hire mariners; to take up old stores at the return of ships; for bolt ropes; for making masts and carving work; to audit Mr. Hurt's accounts; to oversee Mr. Sambrooke about mariners accounts and firm the tickets.
July 9.—Report of Sir Wm. Becher that the King had sent him concerning some propositions he had received from Smethwike, wherein because Smethwike had endeavoured to do his Majesty service and was likely to receive disgrace from the Company, therefore his Majesty wished to let the Company know that the expected they should deal fairly and favourably with him. To this Mr. Governor briefly recapitulated Smethwike's misbehaviour and proceedings which had in part given a blow to the Company, insomuch as the courses propounded for raising a new stock have hitherto proved fruitless, yet the Court resolved to try one general meeting more, and if the action succeeded not, the Company will be forced to make known his misdemeanors and petition the Lords of the Council. A Committee then observed that what Smethwike had done and his Majesty conceived to be a service, was a very great disservice, for it discourageth adventurers, and hinders the employment of his Majesty's subjects, and lessens his Majesty's customs, yet, notwithstanding all this, the Court humbly submits to his Majesty's command, unless Smethwike's evil carriages force the Company to complain. Letter from the Earl of Warwick making overture if the Company will victual two ships and one of his own with two pinnaces, to adventure 1,000l. and go in person to meet the caracs; the Court, with all thankfulness for his noble offer, answered that in these distracted times the Company wanted money, and cannot resolve on the prosecution of any such design. Letter read from Capt. Weddell, aboard H.M.S. St. George, offering his service, which the Court took thankfully, and resolved to treat with him on his return from sea. Gratuity of 10l. to Roger Giffard for translating divers pieces from English into French, and who was in prison for suretyship. Request of Jaques Oyles and De La Barr for an allowance of 300l. for damage to a bargain of calicoes; denied. 7 pp. [Ct. Min. Bk. XI., 10–16.]
July 10.
The Hague.
680. Dudley Carleton to Sec. Lord Conway. The Directors of the East Indian Company have not yet named their deputies that should go into England, but promise to have them ready for the journey some time next month. [Extract, Holland Corresp.]
July 11.681. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Want of long boats by reason of supplying his Majesty's occasions; Mr. Steevens to go in hand for the making of one boat. Account between the King and the Company for provisions to be made ready, and Mr. Steevens to prepare masts. Suit of Tho. Browning for part payment of his contract for timber. Concerning the account of John Head, late mate of the Expedition. Petition of Edward Seagar, lately discharged from the Company's service, and now deputy victualler for his Majesty's navy, that his accounts may be audited and his wages paid; ordered accordingly. John Neale and Henry Hall, brothers-in-law, admitted jointly anchor smiths. Bill of Edmond Chambers, the Company's waterman, to be paid. Offer of Mr. Bownest to settle accounts with the Company; Committees to be appointed to settle the differences if they can. 3 pp. [Ct. Min. Bk. XI. 17–19.]
July 13/23.682. Declaration of the States Ambassadors to the King. Since on their complaints concerning the three Indian ships arrested at Portsmouth, his Majesty has declared that they should be released and restored as soon as public promise should be made that the Indian Company of the United Provinces would send within two months deputies, with full power, into England to accord with the intervention of said Ambassadors' differences between the two Companies since the Treaty of 1619; and also that speedy and thorough justice should be administered on the judicature of Amboyna; they are specially authorised to promise that on said release their superiors and said Company will send over in September next their Ambassadors and Deputies into England to accord upon said differences, and that speedy and thorough justice shall be administered on the judicature of Amboyna. They therefore await with gratitude present order for the release of their ships to prevent further damages. French. 1 p. [East Indies, Vol. IV., No. 48.]
July 16.683. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Clifton's petition, wherein he acknowledges having received 63l. more than his due for provisions, to be examined against next meeting. Request of the widow of Capt. Jourdain that no more of his estate be paid to Jonas Viney till the suit between her and Viney be determined; ordered accordingly. Debate upon the request of Mr. Governor for advice what to propound to the generality in the afternoon, seeing that the first resolution for supply of half a capital upon the old stock, and now this second for underwriting a third joint stock had both failed. A voyage for this year only being proposed, it was remembered that out of 12 voyages before the joint stocks began 11 proved successful, and therefore the general opinion was to make overture to the General Court for one voyage to be set out this year. Letters from Messrs. Misselden and Barlow read that the three Dutch ships were forthwith to be discharged. The Court apprehending that this with the scandalous proceedings of the factious spirits would exceedingly discourage the action, desired Mr. Governor and others to attend his Majesty, and if possible to prevent this discharge. Request of Mr. Bromtield, suitor for the estate of Capt. Arnold Browne, deceased, that the Company would refer the difference depending to arbitrators; was answered they would leave him to his course, recounting the private trade, expense of powder, &c., for which Browne's bond of 1,000 marks was forfeited. Concerning four elephants' teeth which Robert Fisher, cutler, bought of one Weston, that he be paid at the rate of 7½d. per lb. for 150 lbs. 3pp [Ct.Min. Bk. XI., 20–22.]
July 16.684. Minutes of a General Court. Report of Mr. Governor that himself with Mr. Deputy and Committees had come but now from the King, who directed the Lord President to give them notice that his Majesty had resolved to release the three Dutch ships at Portsmouth, but on such conditions as are not hurtful, but rather beneficial to the Company. Whereupon Mr. Governor and those with him did not spare to say as much as they conceived fit and necessary as well in discharge of their duties to his Majesty and the Kingdom as in respect of their oaths to the Company; but when he considered the reasons which had been delivered for the release of said ships, he thought it in vain to press the matter further, also that his Majesty has appointed divers of the Lords to come down presently and publicly declare to the generality as much as has already been delivered by his Majesty and the Lords at the Board. Mr. Governor then fell to the business of the day, and made known that according to their order two books had been sent out for subscription for a third joint stock, but not above 118,000l.[sic] had been underwritten, that he made account at the last Court that he had parted with the Company, but their great love in chosing him again for Governor, the importunity of those sent, and the information of the beadle that no man would underwrite until they knew their Governor, induced him to accept the place, that he had written a fair proportion, which rather than the trade should be deserted he would enlarge. He also recited the several propositions formerly propounded to raise a stock, and that a voyage was now thought upon, and spoke of the trade of Persia which he was persuaded would prove very beneficial and that he hoped within six months to hear that Bantam was open, which would be as good, if not better. While Mr. Governor was speaking notice was given that the Lords were come, whereupon Mr. Governor, Mr. Deputy, and others went forth and attended them into the Court, viz., the Lord Keeper, Lord Privy Seal, Duke of Buckingham, Lord Steward, Lord Chamberlain, Earl of Suffolk, and Lord Carleton. The Lord Keeper then declared that his Majesty having a gracious care and zeal of the prosperity and welfare of the Company had commanded them to come down and publicly declare what was delivered to Mr. Governor and some of the Company at the Board that afternoon; and first his Lordship showed how great is his Majesty's care for the Company, as a business wherein he is deeply interested, in relation to his revenues, the general good of his kingdom, the exportation of great quantities of native commodities, the importation of eastern commodities, and the increase of bullion, for which reasons his Majesty had been very zealous therein, and especially of the business of Amboyna, wherein although embroiled in a great war with Spain he did not spare to capitulate with the Dutch for a just satisfaction at the Treaty of Southampton; and they failing in what they had undertaken, his Majesty, even when engaged in a greater war with France, forbare not to lay hand on the Dutch ships, which he had kept many months though tempted many ways with large offers to relinguish his justice. This constancy of his Majesty has at last wrought this good effect which could never be obtained before. That for the business of Amboyna the States have appointed judges and engaged themselves for a speedy and exemplary justice upon the malefactors; and, secondly, they have promised betwixt this and September next to send over commissioners to join with such as his Majesty shall appoint to treat for satisfaction for losses and damages past, and for a reglement of the trade hereafter; and therefore seeing that the seizure of the Dutch ships was never intended otherwise than to force the Dutch to this, his Majesty holds it just and reasonable to release them, yet if there should be any prevarication or delay after the time prescribed, his Majesty will make this cause his own and confiscate their ships and goods; and so far doth his Majesty engage himself to make this good that he hath commanded that this declaration shall be recorded as an act of State in the Register of Council Causes. The Lord Privy Seal seconding the Lord Keeper, added that he had always loved Companies, and that they were not sent to deceive or persuade any man to the prosecution of the trade, but to assure the Company of his Majesty's care of and resolution to protect them and their trade, of which their Lordships approved so well that they would themselves become adventurers: but if any man apprehended any fears he advised they should make them known. One of the generality took occasion to remember his Majesty's offer to be partner with the Company, which if admitted the Company would forthwith lose all their property, it being well known that a subject can hold no partnership with his sovereign. To this the Lord Duke answered that this had not been omitted to be spoken of by Mr. Governor to the King, who with the other gentlemen had so well handled the business that they had left out nothing that might advantage their cause, and the Duke assured them that but for extraordinary matter of State the Company would have obtained their request that the ships should not be discharged; and wished the Company to take comfort in his Majesty's gracious promises, and for the King's offer to be a partner it was the better to protect the Company, to whom he had shown his affection though at war both with France and Spain: and for his own part he did not now come more readily to them to relate his Majesty's commands than he would be ready hereafter, if there should not be a real performance of what was promised by the Dutch, to leap into a ship and do the Company service by enforcing them thereto. Mr. Governor observed that he was confident all that had been delivered by their Lordships was really intended to be performed, yet one of the Committee represented that the abuses of the Dutch have much affrighted the Company, so cunningly and fraudulently do they handle their business, and that in the last Treaty by fraud and protraction the Dutch so wearied out his Majesty's Commissioners that they restored not the principal much less any damage, and if at last they repay the principal only they will by these delays take the trade wholly from the Company and the English nation; but the Lords conceived it just and reasonable that the Dutch should satisfy both principal and good damages, which they promised to consider at the next Treaty, the Lord Duke declaring that they can now no longer delude this State by such dilatory proceedings as heretofore, being now unmasked, for his Majesty resolved to prefix them a time to do justice. It was also demonstrated that the States Ambassadors had been in treaty with some of the Scottish nobility to plant and fortify upon an island called Lewis, in the south of Scotland, which, if permitted, the Dutch ships will never come through the Narrow Seas, and their Lordships promised at the Company's request to be suitors to his Majesty to make stay of that grant, though it had already passed his hand. To Alderman Fenn's remarks, Lord Carleton assured the Company that Pensionary Pawe hath assured his Majesty that letters had been written into the Indies that no seizure of English ships should be made there on occasion of the staying of the Dutch ships here. After further remarks on the dangerous effects of these delays of the Dutch on the Company, Sir Edwin Sandys' opinion of the very unequal terms of this intended treaty, and the desire that the Company may have some security from the Dutch for the performance of what they have promised before their ships be discharged, the Lords answered that they had engaged the public faith of their State, which was never done till now; but his Majesty cared not whether the Bewinthebbers would perform or not, seeing he was resolved to right himself upon them if they failed, and their Lordships promised to move his Majesty that in case his Majesty should confiscate the Dutch ships and goods, the Company might be recompensed their losses and damages out of such confiscation. The Lords having departed Mr. Governor assured the Court that they had said nothing but what the King himself had spoken, and he was confident that what the State had resolved on was more for the good of the Company than if the ships had been detained longer. He then resumed the business of the Court, and made known that seeing that neither the first proposition for the supply of half a capital had succeeded, nor the second for a third joint stock is like to take effect, there being but 35,000l. a year underwrit for four years, instead of 135,000l., the Committees had resolved to have a voyage to Persia and Surat, having no doubt that on good returns there would be encouragement for further prosecution of the trade, and intimated that it would be a great wrong to the Company if a third book should go out to as little purpose. But to this proposition objection was made that now on the Lords coming down it is likely many men had received better encouragement, and that therefore the book for the third joint stock lie open 10 days more, after debate upon the proposal of one voyage, which it was argued would only embroil the business, and not be of sufficient strength to defray the charge, or to encounter the forces of the Dutch; and upon motions that the King would by proclamation declare his resolution of protection to this trade; and that goods be divided to the adventurers as fast as they came in to dispose of at pleasure, which last was utterly misliked, as also Sir Edwin Sandys' opinion to proceed upon the old stock, it was generally held fit by erection of hands that the book of subscription for a third joint stock lie open until the 25th present. 10 pp. [Ct. Min. Bk. XI., 23–32.]
July 18.685. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Request of Thos. Smethwike to be admitted; he delivered a writing, which was read, and found to be very scandalous, laying unjust imputations upon the Court for their ill-government, and upon their book-keepers for ignorance in their accounts; he was told the Court thought he would have meddled no further in this business considering how the General Court had distasted his libellous papers, but seeing that nothing would satisfy his turbulent and vexatious spirit, they answered that what the General Court had ordered they would observe and hearken not to his frothy and idle projects which were conceived only to distract and overthrow the affairs of the Company and that they meant to question him for them before a higher power; whereat he grew so intemperate that he spared not in opprobrious terms to tell a Committee, who reprehended him for his malapert and uncivil behaviour to the Court, that he had as great authority to speak there as any man present; whereupon the Court resolved to complain to the Lords for justice against him and to show this scandalous paper to the Lord Treasurer, under whose favour he assumes protection. Letters read from Middleburg to Sir Wm. Courteen advertising that at Dieppe were certain ships with power form the King and Cardinal to intercept the Company's ships expected form the Indies; whereupon it was ordered to send out the Reformation with 120 men and the pinnace Fly with 20 or 30 victualled for three or four months to lie near Scilly for the succour and relief of their ships from the Indies, and that their Secretary procure letters of marque for the ship and pinnace in case they meet with either Spaniard or French. Ordered that Mr Fotherby deliver as many large and hard stones from the yard at Blackwall as Mr. Treasurer may require to supply the City for new paving the Tower Dock, paying such price as they shall be reasonably valued at. 2 pp. [Ct. Min. Bk. XI. 32, 33.]
July 19.686. Warrant for a commission of reprisal to Sir Morris Abbott and the rest of the East India Company to set forth the Reformation of about 500 tons and her pinnace the Fly of about 15 tons against France and Spain. [Domestic Corresp., Chas. I., Vol. CXV., p. 114. Cal. p. 308.]
July 23–30.687. Court Minutes of the East India Company. Ordered that Mr. Acton attach Capt. Browne's estate upon forfeiture of his bond of 1,000 marks for private trade and other damages, and also the estate of Richard Cocks, whose administrator is a suitor for same. Capt. Bickley, an ancient servant, appointed Captain of the Reformation at 7l. per month, and a sixth part of reprisal goods to be divided amongst the ships' company, Thomas Newport, master, with 6l. per month, Philip Bearden, purser, and Charles Charles his mate, William Clarke, steward, and Constantine Woodroffe his mate. Wm. Pring appointed master of the pinnace with 5l. per month. Committee appointed to view several pinnaces, which are described, and to buy or freight one as they think meet. Walter Ambler appointed purser, and all necessary provisions to be got ready for both vessels. Complaint of Peter Langley against Edw. Vaughan, servant to one Owen, concerning his division on stock. Ordered that Mary Jarrett sister to Sebastian Palmer receive two months pay of her brother's wages according to his letter of attorney. Bill of charges presented by Williamson, the Company's Proctor, to be paid. The subscription for the third joint stock not being like to take effect, Wednesday next appointed for a General Court to take into further consideration the prosecution of the trade this year. This business was then debated, and after various propositions had been considered it was resolved to propose to the General Court that 50 or 100 persons be found who will adventure 100,000l. for this year only, none to write less than 500l., with liberty to have sub-adventurers, but it was thought unfit for the Committees to declare what they will adventure before the time of subscription for the third joint stock be expired.
July 25.—Proposal of Burlamachi for 13,000l. worth of pepper, agreed to if he will take it at the same price and time as the last, to be transported but not sold in town. Resolved that Mr. Deputy, in the absence of Mr. Governor, in attendance on the Lord Mayor, intimate to the General Court the proposition made at the last Court of Committees for a particular voyage, the proposition to proceed upon the old stock being so much disliked and not fit to be touched upon. Steevens much blamed for delay in getting ready the Reformation. Ordered that Mountney make ready the petty stores, and buy two falcons for the pinnace Edward, which had been agreed for upon freight. Suit of Mr. Bromfield on behalf of his daughter, Mrs. Johnson, late wife of Capt. Arnold Browne, concerning her late husband's estate; it was thought good to put her off to a fuller Court and then offer 50l. more than before, and if refused then to take her course at law. The charge of shutting the gates of the dock at Woolwich, which the Company have had the use of for trimming the London and Reformation, in regard they have already spent 20 marks in mending and cleansing the dock, to be upon his Majesty.
July 30.—Suit of Lieut. Symcocks, of the Reformation, for a month's pay detained for leaving the ship at Plymouth ordered to be paid as a gratification to set him to sea. Concerning a debt demanded by Mr. Langley as due from Edward Vaughan, and two bills of exchange for 200l. each charged upon the Treasurer by Barlow. Consideration of the business to be moved at the General Court in the afternoon. To make known the Act of State, and then seeing the failure of the course propounded for raising a stock that a voyage had been resolved upon, for which, after much debate, it was agreed none should underwrite less than 300l., and also that none should be allowed to underwrite but were already or shall be made free of the Company. 8 pp. [Ct. Min. Bk., XI. 34–41.]
July 30.688. Minutes of a General Court. The Act of State concerning the release of the Dutch ships read; report of Mr. Deputy how his Majesty had honoured them more than any other Company by sending down seven of his greatest Lords to show his affection and care of the Company and to explain that what had been done was for their own good. He then put them in mind of the work of the day, which was for the maintenance of so hopeful a trade, and represented that at first the trade yielded two or three for one, and now that the trade (not without the loss of much blood) was discovered from the Gulf of Persia to the coast of China, it would be a great dishonour to the nation and wrong to the Company to lie down to the Dutch, and therefore seeing two books had gone forth and failed, there being underwritten but 129,000l. for a stock for four years, Mr. Deputy desired them to consider of one voyage or some other course. A motion for lessening the Company's charge considered not proper to be debated now, because a stock must first be settled and then to calculate the charge, and that a particular voyage would be far better than none at all. Observations of Sir Edwyn Sandys, who also said if the trade were deserted it would be a great dishonour to the nation, and that if a new stock should pursue it he accounted it would be unjust to the old. Arguments for and against a particular voyage. The success of the first voyages recounted, of which 11 proved successful, and only one miscarried. Proposed by Mr. Martyn that liberty be given for one particular voyage only this year, and seconded by Sir Edwyn Sandys with proviso that the old stock resume the business next year if they be able. Mr. Deputy then put it to the question, with reservation that the old stock may resume the business after March next, and by a general erection of hands it was ordered that a book shall be set out for a particular voyage, and that it shall be lawful for those that adventure therein to send ships hereafter to fetch home their adventure if cause shall require, or to freight their goods in ships belonging to the old stock; the last of August, 29th September, 25th December, and 25th of March next agreed upon for bringing in the money; the book to lie open for those in town till the 9th August, and for those absent until the 15th. 5¼ pp. [Ct. Min. Bk. XI. 42–47.]