The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques,
Part 4 out of 7
to be done or thought for any thing in the world, but rather he and they to
die. The lords hearing this answere, went their wayes and then returned
againe to the sayd lord, aduising him more to thinke well, on all things,
and to the saluation of his towne and of his religion. And they said
moreouer, that they doubted that the people would rather haue a peace then
to die themselues, their wiues and children. The lord seeing that such
words were as things inforced, as who should say, if thou do it not, we
shall do it as wise men and prudent, willing to make remedies of needfull
things by counsell, called the lords of his Councell for to haue aduise in
these doings, and other. And when they were assembled, the lord proposed
the words that were to him denounced, and sayd: With these terms and wordes
came two or three marchants and citizens of the towne that knocked at the
doore of the Councell, and presented a supplication to the great master,
and lords of the Councel, whereby they required and besought meekely the
sayd reuerend lord to haue respect to them and their poore housholds, and
to make some appointment with the great Turke, seeing that the sayd matter
was already forward in purpose, that he would do it; and that it would
please him to consider the pitious and sorrowful estate that the towne was
in; and that there was no remedy to saue it: and at the lest way, if the
lord would not make appointment, to giue them leaue (of his goodnesse) to
haue their wiues and their children out of the Rodes to saue them, for they
would not haue them slaine nor made slaues to the enemies. And the
conclusion was, that if the sayd lord would not puruey therefore, they
would puruey for it themselues. And there was written in the sayd request
the names of eight or ten of the richest of the towne. Which words of the
sayd supplication being heard, the sayd lord and his councell were abashed
and ill content as reason would, seeing that it was but a course game, and
thought on many things to make answere to the sayd citizens, for to content
and appease them: and also to see if they should intend to the appointment,
as they required, and after as the Genouoy had reported: and the better to
make the sayd answere, and to know more plainly in what estate the towne
was in all things: that is to wit, first of gunpowder, and then of men of
warre, and of the batteries. Also were demanded and asked the lord S. Giles
pre Iohn, which had the charge of the gunpowder, and then the captaine Sir
Gabriel Martiningo, for being ouer their men of warre (as it is said) as to
him that knew the truth; if the towne might holde or not, or there were any
meanes to saue it. The sayd lord of S. Giles arose, saying and affirming
vpon his honour and his conscience that almost all the slaues and labourers
were dead and hurt, and that scantly there were folke enow to remoue a
piece of artillery from one place to another, and that it was vnpossible
without folke any more to make or set vp the repaires the which euery day
were broken and crushed by the great, furious, and continuall shot of the
enemies artillery. As for gunpowder the sayd lord sayd, that all that was
for store in the towne, was spent long agone, and that which was newly
brought, was not to serue and furnish two assaults. And he seeing the great
aduantage of the enemies being so farre within the towne, without powder to
put or chase them away, for default of men, was of opinion that the towne
would be lost, and that there was no meanes to saue it. The words of the
sayd lord finished, the captaine Gabriel Martiningo for his discharge sayd
and declared to the reuerend lord and them of the Councell, that seeing and
considering the great beatings of the shot that the towne had suffered, and
after seeing the entring which the enemies had so large, and that they were
within the towne by their trenches both endlong and ouerthwart; seeing also
that in two other places they were at the foot of the wall, and that the
most part of our knights and men of warre and other were slaine and hurt,
and the gunpowder wasted, and that it was vnpossible for them to resist
their enemies any more, that without doubt the towne was lost if there came
no succors for to helpe and resist the siege. The which opinions and
reasons of these two woorthy men and expert in such feats, vnderstood and
pondered by the lord great master and the lords of the Councell, they were
most part aduised for to accept and take treaty if it were offered, for the
saueguard of the common people, and of the holy reliques of the church, as
part of the holy crosse, the holy throne, the hand of S. Iohn, and part of
his head, and diuers other reliques. Howbeit the lord great master to whom
the businesse belonged very neere, and that tooke it most heauily, and was
more sorrowfull then any of the other, as reason required, was alway
stedfast in his first purpose, rather willing to die then to consent to
such a thing, and sayd againe to the lordes of the Councell: Aduise you,
and thinke well on euery thing, and of the end that may happen, and he
proposed to them two points: that is to wit, whether it is better for vs to
die all, or to saue the people and the holy reliques. The which two points
and doubts were long time disputed, and there were diuers opinions:
neuerthelesse, at the last they sayd all, that howbeit that it were well
and safely done to die for the faith, and most honor for vs,
notwithstanding seeing and considering that there is no remedy to resist
against our enemies, and meanes to saue the towne: and on the other part,
that the great Turke would not oppresse vs to forsake our faith, but only
would haue the towne, it were much better then, and tending to greater
wealth to saue all the iewels abouesayde, that should be defiled and lost
if they came in the handes of the enemies of the faith. And also to keepe
so much small people, as women and children, that they would torment and
cut some in pieces, other take, and perforce cause them to forsake their
faith, with innumerable violences, and shamefull sinnes that should be
committed and done, if the towns were put to the sword, as was done at
Modon, and lately at Bellegrado. Whereby they did conclude, that it were
better, and more agreeable to God, for to take the treaty, if it were
proffered, then for to die as people desperate, and without hope.
How the great Turke sent two of his men to the towne, to haue it by
intreating. And how the lord great master sent two knights to him, to
know his assurance.
Vpon these consultations and words almighty God that saueth them which
trust in him, and that would not that so many euils and cruelties should
come to the poore city and inhabitants of it, and also that the great Turke
might not arise in ouer great pride and vaineglory, put him in minde to
seeke to haue the sayd towne by treaty, which he ought not to haue done for
his honour, nor by reason, for the towne was in a maner his. And in like
sort he ought not to haue let vs goe as he did, seeing that we were his
mortall enemies euer, and shall be still in the time comming, considering
the great slaughter of his people that we haue made in this siege. Howbeit,
the eternall goodnesse hath blinded him, and hath pleased that these things
should be thus, for some cause vnknowen of vs. And for conclusion, the
great Turke sent to haue a communication and parle in following the words
of the Genouese aforesayd. Then was a signe set vpon the churche of the
abbey without the towne, to the which was made answere with another at the
milles of Quosquino. And forthwith came two Turks to speake with them of
the towne. Then the lord great master sent the Priour of S. Giles pre Iohn,
and the captaine Gabriel Martiningo to know the cause of their comming. And
when they came to them, without holding of long speech, the two Turkes
deliuered them a letter for to beare to the lord great master from the
great Turke, and then returned safely into their tents. When the two lords
had receiued it, they bare and presented it to the reuerend lord great
master, which caused it to be read. By the which the great Turke demanded
of the lord great master to yeeld the towne to him, and in so doing he was
content to let him go and all his knights, and all the other people of what
condition soeuer they were, with all their goods and iewels safe without
feare of any harme or displeasure of his folks. And also he swore and
promised on his faith so to do. The sayd letter was sealed with his signet
that he vseth, that is as it were gilded. And he sayde afterward, that if
the lord great master would not accept the sayde treaty, that none of the
city, of what estate soeuer he were, should thinke to escape, but that they
all vnto the cats, should passe by the edge of the sword, and that they
should send him an answere forthwith, either yea or nay. After the sight of
the contents of the sayd letter of so great weight, and the time so short
for to giue so great an answere, and with demand, the sayd lord great
master and all the lords of the Councell were in great thought, howbeit
they determined to giue an answere, seeing the estate of the towne so ill
that it could be no woorse. Hearing the report and opinions a day or two
before of the two lords ordeined to view the defects of the towne, saying
that the towne was lost without remedy: considering also that the
principalles of the towne would haue appointment. And in likewise, at the
other counsell all the lords had already willed and declared, that it were
better to saue the towne for respect of the poore people, then to put it
all whole to the furie of the enemies, whereupon they agreed and concluded
for to take the foresayd treatie. After the conclusion taken, answere was
made readily for a good respect: that is to weet, to take the Turke at his
worde, to the ende that he should not repent him of it, nor change his
opinion. For euery houre his people wanne and entered further and further
into the towne. And for to goe vnto the great Turke were ordeined these two
knights, Sir Passin afore named, and he bare the token of the White crosse:
and another of the towne named Robert de Perruse iudge Ordinarie.
When these two ambassadours had made them readie, they went out at the gate
of Quosquino, and went to the tent of Acmek basha, capitaine generall. And
because it was late, and that they might not goe that day to the great
Turke, on the next day in the morning the foresaid captaine Acmek led and
conueied our sayd ambassadours to the great Turkes pauillion, that they
might haue the more knowledge plainely, and for to heare his will as
touching the wordes which were reported to the reuerend lord great master,
and after, the contents of his letter and writings.
When the sayd two ambassadours were departed out of the towne, there did
enter two men of authoritie of the campe; one was nephew or kinsman of the
sayd Acmek, the other was the great Turkes truchman, which the lord master
caused to be well receiued, and they were lodged nigh the sayd gate of
Quosquino. And then truce was taken for 3. dayes, and the enemies came to
our repaires, and spake with our folke and dranke one with another.
How the ambassadours of Rhodes spake with the great Turke, and what answere
When our ambassadours had made reuerence to the great Turke, they sayd that
the lord great master of Rhodes had sent them to his Imperiall maiestie to
know what he requested and desired that they might talke together, and how
the great master had receiued his letter. The great Turke answered them by
his truchman, that of demanding to speake together, nor writing of letter
to the great master he knew nothing. Howbeit, sith the great master had
sent to him for to know his will, he bade say to them that the great master
should yeeld him the towne. And in so doing he promised by his faith for to
let him goe with all his knights, and all other that would goe with their
goods, without receiuing any displeasure of his people of the campe. And if
he accepted not the sayd treatie, to certifie him that he would neuer
depart from Rhodes till he had taken it, and that all his might of Turkie
should die there, rather then hee would faile of it, and that there should
neither great nor litle escape, but vnto the cats they should be all cut in
pieces, and sayd that within 3. dayes they should giue him an answere, for
hee would not that his people should loose time, and that during the sayd
truce they should make no repaires nor defences within the towne.
When the great Turke had ended his wordes, our ambassadours tooke their
leaue of him, and returned to the towne, and there was giuen to each of
them a rich garment of branched veluet, with cloth of gold of the Turkish
fashion. Then Acmek basha tooke sir Passin, and led him to his pauillion,
and intreating him right well, caused him to abide all that day and night:
and in eating and drinking they had many discourses of things done at the
siege, questioning each with other. And among all other things our
ambassadour demaunded of Acmek, and prayed him to tell for trueth how many
men died of the campe while the siege was laied. [Sidenote: 64000. Turks
slaine at the siege of Rhodes] The said Basha sware vpon his faithand
certified, that there were dead of the campe of violent death, that is to
say, of gunshot and other wayes, 64000. men or more, beside them that died
of sicknesse, which were about 40. or 50. thousand.
How one of the ambassadours made answere of his message, and how the
Commons would not agree to yeeld the towne.
Returne we now to our purpose and to the answere that our ambassadours
brought to the lord great master. The sayd Robert Perruse made the answere,
and told what the great Turke had sayd, certifying that he would haue an
answere quickly yea or nay. The which answere after the demaund of the
great Turke hath bene purposed and concluded by the whole counsel, and his
offer and treatie accepted, howbeit the sayd ambassadours had it not to do
so soone nor the first time that they went for good reasons, but yet they
would not deferre it, for feare lest he should repent him. And vpon these
determinations that they would haue sent the sayd Peruse to beare the
answere, came some of the common people of the towne to the lord great
master, that was with the lordes of the counsell, and sayd that they were
aduertised of the appointment that he had made with the great Turke, and
that he would yeeld the towne with couenaunts by him taken, which, they
supposed ought not to be done without calling of them. And because they
were not called to it, they sayd that they would not agree thereto, and
that it were better for them to die, for the great Turke by some way would
put them all to death, as was done in Bellegrado in Hungarie.
How the lord great master sent two ambassadors for the Commons to the great
When the reuerend lord great master had heard their wordes, he sayd
graciously to them, that as touching the acceptation of the great Turks
offer, it was needful so to do in the degree that the towne was, and the
causes wherefore he bad done it the counsell had seene and discussed, and
that it was a thing that might not, nor ought not to be sayd nor published
in common, for reporting of it to the enemies by traitours, but be kept
still and secret. And moreouer, that it was concluded to make an answere
shortly, for to take the great Turke at his word, lest he repented, him.
For if they had bene called, or the answere had bene giuen, it had bene
ouerlong businesse, and in the meane time the Turke might haue changed his
mind, and that that he had done and concluded with the great Turke, the
lordes of the counsell had well regarded and considered in all things, and
for their profite and aduantage, as much or more as for that of the
Religion. And that they would send to the great Turke againe other
ambassadours, the better to know his will, and to be surer of his promise.
Then the lord great master ordained two other ambassadours for to goe to
the great Turke, which were two Spaniardes, the one named sir Raimon
Market, and the other messire Lopez at whose issuing entered Sir Passin the
first ambassadour, and the other two went to the tent; of Acmek basha, for
to leade them to the great Turke. And when they were within the Turkes
pauillion, and had done him reuerence as appertained, our ambassadours sayd
that the great master had heard and seen his demaund to yeeld the towne.
And for that it is a thing of great weight, and that he had to doe and say
with many men of diuers nations, and because the time of answere was so
short, hee might not doe that that hee demaunded so soone. Howbeit hee
would speake with his people, and then hee would giue him no answere.
How the Turke began the assault, and how the Commons agreed to yeeld the
When the great Turke heard the answere of our ambassadours, he sayd
nothing, but commaunded his Bashas that they should begin the battell
againe to the towne, the which was done, and then the truce was broken, and
the shot of the enemies was sharper then it was afore. And on the other
side nothing, or very litle for fault of pouder: for that that there was
left, was kept for some great assault or neede. Howbeit the sayd Acmek
Basha kept one of the ambassadours, and messire Lopez onely entered. The
great master seeing the warre begun, and the shot thicker then it was
afore, and the enemies entred hourely by their trenches further into the
towne, called them that before had sayde to him, that they would not the
towne should be yeelded, but had rather for to die. And therefore the sayd
lord sayd that he was content for to die with them, and that they should
dispose them to defend themselues well, or to doe their endeuour better
then they had done in times past. And to the ende that each one of them
should haue knowledge of his will (for as then be spake but to foure or
fiue of them that gainesayd him) he made a cry through all the towne, that
all they that were holden to be at the posternes or gates should giue
attendance, and not to come away day nor night on payne of death: for
afore, the Rhodians came but litle there. And that the other that were not
of the posternes, or that were of his succours, should goe to the breach of
Spaine where the sayd lord was continually, and not to goe away day nor
night on the aboue sayd payne. The sayd cry made, each one were obedient
for a day or twaine, howbeit a yoong Rhodian left his posterne and went to
his house, which on the next day was hanged for breaking of the lordes
commaundement. Notwithstanding that, by litle and litle the people annoyed
them, and their heartes failed; and left the posternes and breaches: in
such wise, that the enemies might come in without finding great
resistaunce, but of a fewe that the lord master caused to abide there (that
is to weet) knightes of his succours. And in the night he sought out more
people for to keep the watch at the said breach, and paied to them as much
as they would. The sayd lord seeing himself thus abandoned and left of his
people, he sent to aske them againe wherefore they did not their endeuour,
and why they came not to day, as they sayd before. Which made answere that
they sawe and knew well that the towne was lost for certaine reasons that
were told them: by occasion whereof they had gainesaid the ordinance of the
sayd lord, and sayd that they had bene wrong enformed of diuers things: and
on the other side, that they feared that the Turke would not hold his word.
But sithens they sawe that there was none other remedie but to abide the
aduenture and fortune, they sayd that they put all to the sayd lord to doe
what he thought good, and that hee would see what were best for them. And
required the lord, to doe them so much fauour as to let them choose one or
two among them for to goe to the great Turke with his ambassadours for to
haue suretie of him. The which was granted, and two ordinarie ambassadours
were chosen for them; one Nicholas Vergotie, and the other Piero of saint
Cretice, and the foresayd Passin should returne with them for to make the
sayd answere. Then the great master or they departed (prolonging the time
as much as he might) aduised to send a letter to the great Turke, the which
his grandfather had written or caused to be written. In the which letter he
gaue his malediction or curse to his children and successours, if they
enterprised to besiege Rhodes. The sayd Robert Perruse bare the sayd
letter, and as he was accustomed, he went to Acmek Basha for to cause him
to haue audience, and to present the sayd letter. And the Basha sayd hee
would see the letter: for it is the guise in the great Turkes court, that
none may speake to him nor giue him a letter, but he be aduertised first
what shall be said, or what shall be written. When the Basha had seene the
wordes written in the said letter, he brake it and cast it on the ground,
and did tread vpon it, saying many iniurious and villanous wordes to the
sayd iudge. And bade him returne apace to his great master, and bid him to
thinke on his businesses and to make answere to the great lord (as he had
sent and commaunded) or els, it should not be long or he sawe his dolorous
and wofull ende. And that same day were taken two men of ours that bare
earth toward the bulwarke of England. Of whom the sayd Acmek caused an
officer to cut off their noses, fingers, and eares, and gaue them a letter
to beare to the lord great master, wherein were great wordes and
threatnings. After the sayd Perruse was returned, messire Passin was sent
againe to the sayde Basha, for to know of him if the great Turke would be
content with any summe of money for his costes and expenses, that he had
made for his armie. The which answered that such wordes or offers of siluer
were not to bee sayd nor presented to the great lord on paine of life, and
that hee set more by honour then by siluer. And therefore hee bade him
returne and say to the great master that hee should make answere to the
great lord after his demaund, to yeeld or not yeeld the towne. The sayd
Passin made relation of the wordes of the Basha to the great master: the
which for the great sorrow that hee had deterred alwayes, saw himselfe in
such pitious estate. Notwithstanding, the sayd lord putting all to the wil
of our lord, and considering that there was no remedie to do otherwise, nor
to resist any more his enemies: and being constrained on all sides to make
the appointment, with great heauinesse, inestimable dolours and bewailings,
at the last gaue his voyce to yeeld the towne (with the treatise or offers
to him presented) which was the 20. day of December, the yeere of our lord
a thousand fiue hundreth and two and twentie.
An answere to such as will make question for the deliuerance of the citie
And if by any it were demaunded wherefore the sayde lord great master hath
yeelded the towne to the great Turke, requesting it with treatie and
couenaunts, which was a signe that he feared and would no more fight, but
goe his way. To this I answere: Notwithstanding that the great Turke was
aduertised by some traitours, and by other that fled into the campe, that
the powder almost failed, and that there were but fewe men of warre within
the towne, yet he beleeued not, nor gaue credence of all that was reported
to him, but thought verily that wee had ynough for a great while, and
considered that hee must tary till they were wasted and spent, whereto
behooued time. And seeing all his estate entered into strange places, and
into the lands of his enemies, and had bene there already sixe moneths,
(and not without great danger of his owne person) thinking on the other
side, that taking the towne by assault, he should lose many of his folke;
and yet when hee had ouercome and wonne the towne, they should fall each
vpon other in departing of the bootie or pillage, doubting finally the
hazard of warre. For these reasons and other that may be alleaged, the
great Turke had much rather to haue the towne by composition and treaty
then otherwise. And it suffised him to driue his olde enemies out of the
countreys of Leuant, and set the subiects of his countreys in rest and
suretie. And we of the towne that knew our weaknesse, and that we might do
no more, it seemed better to saue so much small people, then we and they to
fall into the furie of our enemies, for otherwise could we not haue done,
but tempt God, and died as in dispaire.
How the citie of Rhodes was yeelded to the great Turke, and of the euill
behauiour of certaine Turkes.
But to returne to our principall: After that the reuerend great master had
giuen his voyce to the yeelding of the towne, he sent the said Passin
againe for to beare it to the great Turke. And with him went the two men
that were chosen of the Commons, and they went all three together to the
tent of Acmek Basha. To whom the sayd Passin first made this pitious
answere and conclusion to yeeld the towne. Notwithstanding, he sayd the
people had ordained two men among them for to goe to the great Turke, to
speake of their particular doings, and to haue some suretie of their
persons, wiues, and children, to the ende that it were not done to them, as
to those of Bellegrado. The sayd Acmek led the three ambassadours toward
the great Turke. And when they were entered into the pauilion, the sayde
messire Passin made the report of his ambassade to the sayd lord, and sayd
that the great master yeelded him the towne vnder the promise made by his
Imperiall maiestie, with the treatie promised. Of the which promise bee
held him sure and certaine, and that hee would doe no lesse: howbeit, the
people had required him to giue them licence to go to his maiestie for to
aske some request of him. Then the two citizens besought the great Turke
that he would for suretie remooue his campe from the towne, to the ende
that they should haue no maner of harme to their bodies nor goods, and that
they that would goe, should goe, and that they that would abide still,
might be well entreated. The great Turke answered by his interpreter to
messire Passin, that hee accepted the towne, and promised agayne vpon his
faith, and on his honour to the lord great master, that he would performe
that he had promised, and sent to him by the same Passin that he should not
doubt of the contrary: and if he had not ships ynough for to carie his
people and their goods, that hee would let them haue of his, and that he
would deliuer the artillerie that was woont to be in the ships of the
Religion. And as touching the request of the people, he sayd that he would
remooue the campe, and that they that would abide, might abide, and they
should bee well entreated, and should pay no tribute in fiue yeeres, and
their children should not bee touched, and who so would goe within the sayd
space of fiue yeeres, they should goe in good time. These worries ended,
our ambassadours tooke leaue of him, and when they were departed, they
spake againe with the saide Acmed Basba for to haue a letter of the
contents of the promise of the sayd lord. And by his commandement the sayd
letter was made, whereby he promised to let go the great master with all
his knights, strangers and men of the towne that would go with their goods,
without hauing displeasure of any of his people of the campe, or by the
wayes. When the letter was made, it was deliuered to messire Passin. And as
touching withdrawing of the campe, the sayd Basha promised againe that he
would do it, since the great lord would so: howbeit he remooued but from
the trenches, and some of his people went a litle way off. And the sayd
Basha demaunded in the Turkes behalfe, that they should send to him in
hostage foure and twentie knights, whereof two should bee of the great
Crosse, and two and twentie citizens. And the sayd lord should send onely a
captaine with three or foure hundred Ianissaries, for to keepe the towne
when the campe were withdrawen. And so it was done; and beside this he gaue
twelue dayes respite to the lord great master, to prepare him and depart
out of Rhodes. And in conclusion all this done, our ambassadours returned
and made the report to the reuerend great master of all that they had done
and practised with the great Turke, and the sayd Basha, and gaue him the
letter for to goe surely. Then the great master with his counsell ordained
the foure and twentie persons, and other of the towne. When they were
readie, they went to the campe, where they were well intreated foure dayes.
During this time, Ferra Basha passed from the maine land to the campe, with
foure and twentie or fiue and twentie thousand Ianissaries, which by the
commaundement of the great Turke was gone vpon the borders of the countreis
of the Sophie. For the Turke seeing the people of the campe discouraged and
willing no more to goe to the assaults, sent to the sayde Basha to come to
Rhodes with his people, which would haue withstood vs sore as fresh men.
And it was the worke of God and a wonderfull myracle, that they came after
that the appointment was made: for if they had come afore, it is to be
supposed that the deed had gone otherwise, and there had bene many strokes
giuen: but I beleeue that the ende should haue bene pitious for vs, but God
would not that the Turke should haue victory vpon vs as hee might haue had,
seeing the great aduantage that he had in all things, but he blinded him
and would not that he should know his might. And on the other part it may
be sayd and marueiled how it was possible alway to haue ouercome our
enemies in all assaults and skirmishes, and at the end to loose the towne,
it was the will of God that so hath pleased for some cause to vs vnknowen.
It is to bee thought, that lacke of men and gunshot, and the enemies so
farre within the towne, and ready to enter at other places with the
treasons haue caused the towne to be lost. Two or three dayes after the
comming of the sayd Basha, his Ianissaries and other of the campe entred
into the Towne, which was on Christmas day, within the time giuen to vs,
and then the Turkes word was broken, if it were his will or not, I cannot
tell. Neuerthelesse there was no sword drawen, and in that respect promise
was kept. But they made pillage, and entered by force into the houses of
the castle, and tooke all that they might and would. After that they had
ransacked the houses, they entered into the churches, and pilled all that
they found, and brake the images. And there was no crucifix, nor figure of
our lady, nor of other saints, that were left whole. Then with great
inhumanitie they went into the hospitall of poore and sicke folke, called
the Fermorie, and tooke all the siluer vessell that the sicke folke were
serued with, and raised them out of their beds, and droue them away, some
with great strokes and staues, and some were cast down from the galleries.
When these hounds had done that acte, they went to the church of saint Iohn
and tooke downe the tombes of the great masters, and sought if there were
any treasure hid in them, and they forced certaine women and maidens. And
all they that were christened and had bene Turkes afore, were they men,
women or children, and children, that the sayd men had made christians,
they led into Turkie, which thing is of greater importance then any of the
other. The morrow after Christmas day, the reuerend lord great master went
to the great Turkes pauillion for to visite him, and to be better assured
of his promise, the which lord he made to be wel and graciously receiued.
And he signified vnto him by his interpreter, that the case so happened to
him was a thing vsuall and common: as to loose townes and lordships, and
that hee should not take ouermuch thought for it: and as for his promise,
he bade that he should not doubt in any thing, and that he should not feare
any displeasure to his person, and that he should goe with his people
without feare. With these wordes the sayd lord thanked him, and tooke his
leaue and departed.
Lenuoy of the Translator.
Go little booke, and woefull Tragedie,
Of the Rhodian feareful oppugnation,
To all estates complaining ruthfully
Of thine estate, and sudden transmutation:
Excusing me if in thy translation
Ought be amisse in language or in werke,
I me submit with their supportation,
To be correct, that am so small a clerke.
* * * * *
An ambassage from Don Ferdinando, brother to the emperor Charles 5. vnto
king Henry the 8. in the yeere 1527 desiring his aide against Solyman the
great Turke. Holinshed. pag. 894.
On the 14. day of March, 1527. were conueied from London to Greenwich by
the earle of Rutland and others, the lord Gabriel de Salamanca, earle of
Ottonburge, Iohn Burgraue of Sayluerberge, and Iohn Faber a famous clerke,
after bishop of Vien, as ambassadours from Don Ferdinando, brother to
Charles the emperor, newly elected king of Hungarie and Beame, after the
death of his brother in law king Lewes, which was slaine by Solyman the
Turke the last Sommer. This company was welcommed of the high officers, and
after brought into the kings presence, all the nobilitie being present; and
there after great reuerence made, M. Faber made a notable oration, taking
his ground out of the Gospell, Exijt seminator seminare semen suum: and of
that hee declared how Christ and his disciples went foorth to sowe, and how
their seed was good that fel into the good ground, and brought foorth good
fruite, which was the Christian faith. And then he declared how contrary to
that sowing, Mahomet had sowen seed, which brought foorth euill fruit. He
also shewed from the beginning, bow the Turkes haue increased in power,
what realmes they had conquered, what people they had subdued euen to that
day. He declared further what actes the great Turke then liuing had done;
and in especiall, he noted the getting of Belgrade and of the Rhodes, and
the slaying of the king of Hungarie, to the great rebuke (as he sayd) of
all the kings christened. Hee set foorth also what power the Turke had,
what diuersities of companies, what captaines he had, so that he thought,
that without a marueilous great number of people, he could not be
ouerthrowen. Wherefore he most humbly besought the king as S. Georges
knight, and defender of the faith, to assist the king his master in that
godly warre and vertuous purpose.
To this oration the king by the mouth of Sir Thomas Moore answered; that
much hee lamented the losse that happened in Hungarie, and if it were not
for the warres which were betweene the two great princes, [Sidenote: He
meaneth the Emperor and the French King.] he thought that the Turke would
not haue enterprised that acte: wherefore he with all his studie would take
paine, first, to set an vnitie and peace throughout all Christendome, and
after that, both with money and men he would be readie to helpe toward that
glorious warre, as much as any other prince in Christendome. After this
done, the ambassadours were well cherished, and diuers times resorted to
the court, and had great cheere and good rewards, and so the third day of
May next following, they tooke their leaue and departed homeward.
* * * * *
The antiquitie of the trade with English ships into the Leuant.
In the yeeres of our Lord, 1511. 1512. &c till the yeere 1534. diuers tall
ships of London, namely, The Christopher Campion, wherein was Factor one
Roger Whitcome: the Mary George, wherein was Factor William Gresham: the
great Mary Grace, the Owner whereof was William Gunson, and the master one
Iohn Hely: the Trinitie Fitz-williams, whereof was master Laurence Arkey:
the Mathew of London, whereof was master William Capling, with certaine
other ships of Southampton and Bristow, had an ordinarie and vsuall trade
to Sicilia, Candie, Chio, and somewhiles to Cyprus, as also to Tripolis and
Barutti in Syria. The commodities which they caried thither were fine
Kersies of diuers colours, course Kersies, white Westerne dozens, Cottons,
certaine clothes called Statutes, and others called Cardinal whites, and
Cauleskins which were well sold in Sicilie, &c. The commodities which they
returned backe were Silks, Chamlets, Rubarbe, Malmesies, Muskadels and
other wines, sweete oyles, cotten wool, Turkie carpets, Galles, Pepper,
Cinamon, and some other spices, &c. Besides the naturall inhabitants of the
foresayd places, they had, euen in those dayes, traffique with Iewes,
Turkes, and other forreiners. Neither did our merchants onely employ their
owne English shipping before mentioned, but sundry strangers also: as
namely Candiots, Raguseans, Sicilians, Genouezes, Venetian galliases,
Spanish and Portugale ships. All which particulars doe most euidently
appeare out of certaine auncient Ligier Bookes of the R. W. Sir William
Locke Mercer of London, of Sir William Bowyer Alderman of London, of master
Iohn Gresham, and of others; which I Richard Hakluyt haue diligently
perused and copied out. And here for authorities sake I doe annexe, as a
thing not impertinent to this purpose, a letter of King Henry the eight,
vnto Don Iohn the third, king of Portugale.
* * * * *
A letter of the king of England Henry the eight, to Iohn king of Portugale,
for a Portingale ship with the goods of Iohn Gresham and Wil. Locke with
others, vnladen in Portugale from Chio.
Serenissimo Principi, domino Ioanni Dei gratia Regi Portugallia, et
Algarbiorum citra et vltra mare in Africa, ac domino Guinea, et conquista,
nauigationis, et commercij Athiopia, Arabia, Persia, atque India, etc.
Fratri, et amico nostro charissimo.
Henricus Dei gratia, Rex Anglia, et Francia, fidei defensor, ac dominus
Hibernia, Serenissimo Principi; domino Ioanni eadem gratia Regi Portugallia
et Algarbiorum citra et vltra mare in Africa, ac domino Guinea, et
conquista nauigationis, et commercij Athiopia, Arabia, Persia, atque India
etc. Fratri, et amico nostro charissimo, salutem. Tanto libentius,
promptiusque iustas omnes causas vestra Serenitati commendandas suscipimus,
quanto apertiori indies nostrorum, qui in eiusdem vestra Serenitatis regno
ac ditione negotiantur, subditorum testimonio cognoscimus, ipsam ex optimi
principis officio ita accurate, exacteque ius suum cuique prabere, vt ad
eam nemo iustitia consequenda gratia frustra vnquam confugiat. Cum itaque
dilectus ac fidelis subditus noster Ioannes Gresham mercator Londoniensis
nuper nobis humiliter exposuerit, quod quidam Willielmus Heith ipsius
Factor, et negotiorum gestor nauim quondam Portugallensem, cui nomen erat
Sancto Antonio, praeratque Diego Peres Portugallensis superioribus mensibus
in Candia conduxerit, cum nauisque prafecto conuenerit, vt in insulam Chium
ad quasdam diuersi generis merces onerandas primo nauigaret, in Candiamque
mox aliarum mercium onerandarum gratia rediret, omnes quidem in hoc nostrum
regnum postmodum aduecturus ad valorem circiter duodecim millium ducatorum,
quemadmodum ex pactionis, conuentionisque instrumento apertius constat,
accidit, vt prafatus Diego vestra Serenitatus subditus, dictis susceptis
mercibus, et iam in itinere parum fideliter, et longe prater initas
conuentiones, grauissimo certe nostrorum subditorum detrimento, vbi in
Portugallia portum diuertisset, sententia huc nauigandi mutata, in eodem
portu commoretur, nostrorumque etiam subditorum merces detineat: quam
iniuriam (quum subditis nostris in vestra Serenitatis regno, et ab eius
subdito illata sit) ex aquitate, ac iustitia ab ipsa corrigi, emendarique
confidimus, nostro quoque potissimum intuitu, qui vestra Serenitatis
ipsiusque subditorum causas, mercesque, si quando in hoc nostrum regnum
appulerint, semper commendatissimas habemus, id quod superiori anno testati
sumus: proinde ipsam vehementer rogamus, vt Ioannem Ratliffe prasentium
latorem, et dicti Ioannis Gresham nouum constitutum procuratorem, huius rei
causa istuc venientem, velit in suis agendis, in dictisque bonis
recuperandis, impuneque asportandis remittendisque vectigalibus (quod nos
in vestros subditos fecimus) quum per nauis prafectum fraude, ac dolo istuc
merces fuerint aduecta, nisi istic vendantur, ac toto denique ex aquitate
conficiendo negotio, sic commendatum suscipere, sicque ad suos, quos opus
fore intellexerit magistratus missis literis rem omnem iuuare, et expedire,
vi perspiciamus ex hac nostra commendatione fuisse nostrorum subditorum
iuri, et indemnitati quam maxime consultum. Quod nobis gratissimum est
futurum, et in re consimili, aut grauiori vestra Serenitas nos sibi
gratificandi cupidissimos experietur, qua foeliciter valeat. Ex Regia
nostra de Waltham, Die 15. Octobr. 1531.
The same in English.
To the high and mighty prince, Iohn by the grace of God, king of Portugale,
and of Algarue on this side and beyond the sea in Africa, lord of Ghinea,
and of the conquest, nauigation, and traffique of Athiopia, Arabia, Persia,
India, &c. our most deere and welbeloued brother.
Henry by the grace of God, king of England and of France, defender of the
faith, and lord of Ireland; to Iohn by the same grace, king of Portugale
and Algarue, on this side and beyond the sea in Africa, and lord of Ghinea,
and of the conquest, nauigation, and traffique of Athiopia, Arabia, Persia,
India, &c. our most deare and welbeloued brother, sendeth greeting. So much
the more willingly and readily we vndertake the recommending of all iust
causes vnto your highnesse, because by the daily testimonie of our subiects
which traffike in your kingdoms and dominions, we are informed, that
according to the dutie of a most worthy prince, so carefully and exactly
you minister iustice vnto euery man, that all men most willingly repaire
vnto your highnesse, with full trust to obtaine the same. Whereas therefore
our welbeloued and trustie subiect Iohn Gresham merchant of London, of late
in humble maner hath signified vnto vs, that one William Heith his Factor
and Agent, certaine moneths agoe had hired in Candie a certaine Portugale
ship called Santo Antonio, (the patrone whereof is Diego Perez) and
couenanted with the patrone of the sayd ship, that he should first saile to
the Isle of Sio, to take in merchandize of sundry sortes, and then
eftsoones returne to Candie, to be fraighted with other goods, all which he
was to bring into our kingdome of England, to the value of 12000 ducats, as
by their billes of couenant and agreement more plainly appeareth: it so fel
out, that the aforesaid Diego your highnes subiect hauing receiued the said
goods, very trecherously and much contrary to his couenant, to the
exceeding great losse of our subiects, putting in by the way into an hauen
of Portugale, and altering his purpose of comming into England, he
remaineth still in that hauen, and likewise detaineth our subiects goods.
Which iniury (seeing it is done in your Highnes kingdome) we hope your
Highnes will see reformed according to equity and right, the rather at our
request, which alwayes haue had a speciall care of the causes and goods of
your Highnes, and of your subiects whensoeuer they come into our kingdome,
whereof we made proofe the last yeere. Wherefore wee instantly request your
Highnes, that you would so receiue Iohn Ratcliffe the bearer of these
present letters, and the new appointed agent of Iohn Gresham, which commeth
into your dominions about this busines, being thus commended vnto you in
this busines, and recouering and freely bringing home of the said goods,
and in remitting of the customs, vnlesse they were sold there (the like
whereof we did towards your subiects) seeing by the fraud and deceit of the
patron of the ship, the wares were brought thither, and finally in
dispatching the whole matter, according to iustice, and so further the same
by directing your highnes letters to your officers whom it may concerne,
that we may perceiue, that our subiects right and liberty hath especially
bene maintained vpon this our commendation. Which we will take in most
thankful part, and your highnes shal find vs in the like or a greater
matter most readie to gratifie you, whom we wish most heartily well to
fare. From our court at Waltham the 15. of October 1531.
* * * * *
A voyage made with the shippes called the Holy Crosse, and the Mathew
Gonson, to the Iles of Candia and Chio, about the yeere 1534, according
to a relation made to Master Richard Hackluit, by Iohn Williamson, Cooper
and citizen of London, who liued in the yeere 1592, and went as cooper in
the Mathew Gonson the next voyage after.
[Sidenote: The Holy Crosse and the Mathew Gonson depart for Turkie.] The
shippes called the Holy Crosse, and the Mathew Gonson, made a voyage to the
Islandes of Candia and Chio in Turkie, about the yeere 1534. And in the
Mathew Crosse went as Captaine M. Richard Gonson, sonne of old Master
William Gonson, paymaster of the kings nauie. In this first voyage went
William Holstocke (who afterwards was Controuller of her Maiesties Nauie,
lately deceased) as page to M. Richard Gonson aforesaid, which M. Gonson
died in Chio in this his first voyage. The ship called the Holy Crosse was
a short shippe, and of burden 160 tunnes. And hauing beene a full yeere at
the sea in performance of this voyage, with great danger she returned home,
where, vpon her arriual at Blackwall, in the riuer of Thames, her wine and
oyle caske was found so weake, that they were not able to hoyse them out of
the ship, but were constrayned to draw them as they lay, and put their wine
and oyle into new vessels, and so to vnlade the shippe. Their chiefe
fraight, was very excellent Muscatels and red Malmesie, the like whereof
were seeldome seene before in England. They brought home also good
quantitie of sweete oyles, cotton wooles, Turkie Carpets, Galles, Cynamon,
and some other spices. The saide shippe called the Holy Crosse was so
shaken in this voyage, and so weakened, that she was layd vp in the docke,
and neuer made voyage after.
* * * * *
Another voyage to the Iles of Candia and Chio made by the shippe the Mathew
Gonson, about the yeere 1535, according to the relation of Iohn
Williamson, then Cooper in the same ship, made to M. Richard Hackluit in
the yeere 1592.
[Sidenote: The Mathew Gonson goeth into Turkie.] The good shippe called the
Mathew Gonson, of burden 300 tunnes, whereof was owner old M. William
Gonson, pay-master of the kings Nauie, made her voyage in the yeere 1535.
In this ship went as Captaine Richard Gray, who long after died in Russia,
Master William Holstocke afterward Controuller of the Queenes Nauie went
then as purser in the same voyage. The Master was one Iohn Pichet, seruant
to old M. William Gonson, Iames Rumnie was mate. The master Cooper was Iohn
Williamson citizen of London, liuing in the yeere 1592, and dwelling in
Sant Dunstons parish in the East. The M. Gunner was Iohn Godfrey of
Bristoll. In this ship were 6 gunners and 4 trumpetters, all which foure
trumpetters at our returne hornewards went on land at Messina in the Iland
of Sicilia, as our ship road there at anker, and gat them into the Gallies
that lay neere vnto vs, and in them went to Rome. The whole number of our
companie in this ship were about 100. men, we were also furnished with a
great bote, which was able to cary 10 tunnes of water, which at our returne
homewards we towed all the way from Chio vntill we came through the
straight of Gibraltar into the maine Ocean. We had also a great long boat
and a skiff. We were out vpon this voyage eleuen moneths, yet in all this
time there died of sicknesse but one man, whose name was George Forrest,
being seruant to our Carpenter called Thomas Plummer.
In a great lygier booke of one William Eyms, seruant vnto Sir William
Bowyer Alderman of London, bearing date the 15 of Nouember 1533, and
continued vntill the 4. of Iuly 1544. I find that the said William Eyms was
factor in Chio, not only for his Master, but also for the duke of Norfolkes
grace and for many other worshipful marchants of London, among whom I find
the accompts of these especially, to wit, of his said Master, sir William
Bowyer, of William and Nicholas Wilford Marchant-taylors of London, of
Thomas Curtis pewterer, of Iohn Starkey Mercer, of William Ostrige
Marchant, and of Richard Field Draper. And further I find in the said
ligier booke, a note of the said Eyms, of all such goods as he left in the
hands of Robert Bye in Chio, who became his Masters factor in his roome,
and another like note of particulers of goods that he left in the hands of
Oliuer Lesson, seruant to William and Nicholas Wilford. And for proofe of
the continuance of this trade vntill the end of the yeere 1552. I found
annexed vnto the former note of the goods left with Robert Bye in Chio, a
letter being dated the 27 of Nouember 1552 in London.
* * * * *
The Epitaph of the valiant Esquire M. Peter Read in the south Ile of Saint
Peters Church in the citie of Norwich, which was knighted by Charles the
fift at the winning of Tunis in the yeere of our Lord 1538.
Here vnder lieth the corpes of Peter Reade Esquire, who hath worthily
serued, not onely his Prince and Countrey, but also the Emperour Charles
the fift, both at his conquest of Barbarie, and at his siege at Tunis, as
also in other places. Who had giuen him by the said Emperour for his
valiant deedes the order of Barbary. Who dyed the 29 day of December, in
the yeere of our Lord God 1566.
* * * * *
A discourse of the trade to Chio, in the yeere 1569. made by Caspar
Campion, vnto master Michael Locke, and vnto master William Winter, as by
his letters vnto them both shall appeare. Written the 14. of February.
Worshipfull Sir, &c. As these dayes past I spake vnto you about the
procurement of a safeconduct from the great Turke, for a trade to Chio: The
way and maner how it may be obtained with great ease shall plainly appeare
vnto you in the lines following. Sir, you shall vnderstand that the Island
of Chio in time past hath bene a Signiorie or lordship of it selfe, and did
belong vnto the Genowaies. There were 24. of them that gouerned the island
which were called Mauneses. But in continuance of time the Turke waxed so
strong and mightie, that they, considering they were not able to keepe it,
vnlesse they should become his tributaries, because the Island had no
corne, nor any kind of vitailes to sustaine themselues, but onely that
which must of necessitie come out of the Turkes dominions, and the sayd
island being inclosed with the Turks round about, and but 12. miles from
the Turks Continent, therefore the said Genowaies did compound and agree to
be the Turkes tributaries, and to pay him 14000. thousand ducates yeerely.
Alwayes prouided, that they should keep their lawes both spirituall and
temporall, as they did when the Iland was in their owne hands. Thus he
granted them their priuiledge, which they inioyed for many yeeres, so that
all strangers, and also many Englishmen did trade thither of long
continuance, and went and came in safety. [Sidenote: The Prince Pedro Doria
is captaine of 40 gallies vnder the Emperor.] In this meane time, the
prince Pedro Doria (being a Genouois) became a captaine to serue the
Emperour with 30 or 40 gallies against the Turke. And since that time
diuers other captaines belonging to Genoa haue bene in the seruice of king
Philip against the Turke. Moreouer, whensoeuer the Turke made out any army,
he perceiued that no nation did him more hurt then those Genouois, who were
his tributaries. Likewise at the Turkes siege of Malta, before which place
he lay a great while, with losse of his men, and also of his gallies, he
found none so troublesome vnto his force, as one Iuanette Doria a Genouois,
and diuers others of the Iland of Chio, who were his tributaries.
[Sidenote: The Mauneses put out of the Iland of Chio by the Turke.] At
which sight, he tooke such displeasure against them of Chio, that he sent
certaine of his gallies to the Iland, for to seise vpon all the goods of
the 24 Mauneses and to turne them with their wiues and children out of the
Iland, but they would let none other depart, because the Iland should not
be vnpeopled. So that now the Turke hath sent one of his chiefe men to rule
there: whereby now it will be more easie to obtaine our safeconduct then
euer it was before. [Sidenote: The custome thorowout all Turkie is ten in
euery hundreth.] For if the townesmen of Chio did know that we would trade
thither (as we did in times past) they themselues, and also the customer
(for the Turke in all his dominions doth rent his customes) would be the
chiefest procurer of this our safe conduct, for his owne gaine: which is no
small matter: for we can pay no lesse than ten in the hundred thorowout the
Turks whole dominion. Insomuch, that if one of our shippes should go
thither, it would be for the customers profit 4000 ducats at least, whereas
if we should not trade thither, he should lose so much. [Sidenote: English
men do buy more commodities of Chio then any other nation.] Also the
burgesses, and the common people would be very glad of our trade there, for
the Communalty do get more by our countreymen then they do any nation
whatsoeuer: for we do vse to buy many of their silke quilts, and of their
Scamato and Dimite, that the poore people make in that towne, more then any
other nation, so that we would not so gladly trade, but the people of the
countrey would be twise so willing. Wherefore they themselues would be a
meanes vnto their gouernour, by their petition to bring this trade to
passe: giuing him to vnderstand that of all nations in the world we do him
least hurt, and that we may do his countrey great good in consuming those
commodities which his countrey people make. Furthermore, it were farre more
requisite that we should cary our owne commodities, then to suffer a
stranger to cary them thither, for that we can affoord them better cheape
then a stranger can. I write not this by hearsay of other men, but of mine
own experience, for I haue traded in the countrey aboue this 30 yeres, and
haue bene maried in the towne of Chio full 24. yeres, so that you may
assure yourselfe that I will write nothing but truth. [Sidenote: Great
store of sundry commodities to be had in Chio.] Now I will declare vnto you
the wares and commodities that are in the countreys neere about Chio. There
are very good galles, the best sort whereof are sold in England fiue
shillings deerer then any other countrey galles, There is also cotton
wooll, tanned hides, hides in the haire, waxe, chamlets, mocayares,
grogerams, silke of diuers countreys, cordouan skinnes, tanned white, to be
made blacke, of them great quantity, and also course wooll to make beds.
The naturall commodities growing in the Iland it selfe are silke rawe, and
masticke. Of these commodities there are laden yeerely ten or twelue great
ships of Genoa, besides fiue or sixe that do belong to the towne of Chio,
which ships are fraughted for Genoa, Messina, and Ancona. And now that the
Mauneses and the chiefe merchants of Genoa are banished, the trade is
cleane lost, by reason whereof merchandise must now of necessity be better
cheape then they haue bene in times past. But yet when all those ships did
trade to the countrey, and also our ships, we neuer had lesse then three
kintals of galles for a carsie, and in England we sold them for 35 and 36
shillings the hundred. And whereas now they are brought by the Venetians,
they sell them vnto vs for three pound tenne shillings, and foure pound the
hundred. Also we had three kintals of cotten wooll for a carsie, and solde
the wooll in England for 50 shillings or 3 pound at the most, whereas now
the Italians sell the some to vs for 4 pound 10 shillings and 5 pound the
hundred. In like maner chamlets, whereas we had three pieces, and of the
best sort two and a halfe for a carsie, and could not sell them aboue 20
shillings and 22 shillings the piece, they sell them for 30 and 35
shillings the piece. Also grogerams, where we had of the best, two pieces
and a halfe for a carsie, they sell them for foure shillings and foure
shillings and sixe pence the yard. Carpets the smaller sort which serue for
cupboords, we had three for a carsie: whereas we at the most could not sell
them but for 26 shillings the piece, they sell them for 35 shillings the
piece. And so all other commodities that the Venetians do bring, they sell
them to vs for the third part more gaines then we our selues in those dayes
that we traded in those parts. Likewise the barrels of oile that they bring
from Candia, we neuer could sell them aboue foure nobles the barrell, where
they sell them alwayes for 50 shillings and 3 pound the barrell. What great
pity is this, that we should loose so good a trade, and may haue it in our
owne hands, and be better welcome to that countrey then the Venetians.
Moreouer, the Venetians come very little to Chio, for their trade is into
Alexandria. And for to assure you that we had these commodities in barter
of our carsies, looke into your fathers books, and the books of Sir Iohn
Gresham, and his brethren, and you shall finde what I haue sayd to be true.
[Sidenote: Diuers places where we may haue sweete oiles for our clothing
farre cheaper then out of Spaine.] Also you know, that we are forced to
seeke oiles out of Spaine, and that for these many yeeres they haue bene
solde for 25 pound and 30 pound the tunne: whereas, if we can obtaine the
foresayd safeconduct from the Turke, there are diuers places in his
dominions, where we may lade 500 tunnes, at 5 pound sterling the tunne. The
places are Modon, and Coron, which are but twelue miles distant the one
from the other, and do stand in our way to Chio, as you may plainly see by
the Card. Also these are places where we may vtter our owne commodities,
and not onely these two places, but many others, where we may haue oiles,
and be better vsed then we are in Spaine, where we pay very deare, and also
are very euill intreated many wayes, as to you is hot vnknowen. So that by
these meanes (if the marchants will) we may be eased, and haue such a trade
as the like is not in Christendome. Now, as for getting the safeconduct, if
I were but able to spend one hundred pounds by the yeere, I would be bound
to lose it, if that I did not obtaine the foresayd safeconduct. For I know
that if the inhabitants of Chio did but thinke that wee would trade thither
againe, they at their owne cost would procure to vs a safeconduct, without
any peny of charges to the marchants. So that if the marchants will but
beare my charges to solicit the cause, I will vndertake it my selfe.
Wherefore I pray you speake to M. Winter and the other marchants, that this
matter may take effect And let me haue your answere herein assoone as
conueniently you may, for that the time of the yeere draweth nigh that this
businesse must be done. Thus I commit you to God, and rest alwayes yours to
Yours as your seruant Gaspar Campion.
* * * * *
The first voyage of Robert Baker (to Guinie), with the Minion, and
Primrose, set out in October, 1562. by Sir William Garrard, Sir William
Chester, M. Thomas Lodge, Anthony Hickman, and Edward Castelin.
As men whose heads be fraught.
with care, haue seldom rest:
(For through the head the body strait
with sorowes is opprest:)
So I that late on bed
lay wake, for that the watch
Pursued mine eye, and causde my hed
no sleepe at all to catch:
To thinke vpon my chaunce
which hath me now betide:
To lie a prisoner here in France,
for raunsome where I bide;
And feeling still such thoughts
so thicke in head to runne,
As in the sommer day the moats
doe fall into the Sunne,
To walke then vp I rose,
fansie to put to flight:
And thus a while I doe purpose
to passe away the night.
Morpheus I perceiu'd [The God of Sleepe.]
had small regarde of me,
Therefore I should be but deceiu'd
on bed longer to lie.
And thus without delay
rising as voide of sleepe,
I horned Cynthia sawe streight way [The Moone.]
in at my grate to peepe:
Who passing on her way,
eke knowing well my case,
How I in darke dungeon there lay
alwayes looking for grace:
To, me then walking tho
in darke withouten light,
She wipte her face, and straight did show
the best countnance she might:
Astonneth eke my head
and senses for a space,
And olde fansies away now fled
she putteth new in place.
Then leaning in my grate
wherein full bright she shinde,
And viewing her thus on her gate
she mazeth streight my minde:
And makes me thinke anon
how oft in Ginnie lande
She was my friend, when I haue gone
all night vpon the sande,
Walking and watching efte
least any boate or ship
At any time, while we had slept
perhaps by vs might slip.
And streight with ardent fire
my head inflameth shee,
Eke me inspires with whole desire
to put in memorie,
Those daungers I haue bid
and Laberinth that I
Haue past without the clue of threede,
eke harder ieopardie.
I then gin take in hand
straight way to put in rime,
Such trauell, as in Ginnie lande
I haue past in my time.
But hauing writte a while
I fall faint by the way,
And eke at night I lothe that stile
which I haue writte that day.
And thinke my doings then
vnworthy sure, to be
Set forth in print before all men,
for eueryone to see.
Eke with dispaire therefore
my pen I cast away,
And did intende this neuer more
hereafter to assay.
My fellow prisoner then
sir Edward Gages sonne [Sir Edward Gages sonne,
Willes me to take againe my pen whose name was George Gage.]
and ende that I begonne.
By this our friends (sayth he)
shall right well vnderstande
And knowe the great trauels that we
haue past in Heathen lande.
Take pen therefore againe
in hande, I you require,
And thinke (saith he) thereof no paine
to graunt this my desire.
Then once againe my hed
my hande a worke doth sette:
But first I fall vpon my bed.
and there deepe sighes I fette,
To see that this to taske
is giuen me silly wight:
And of Minerua helpe I aske
that she me teach aright.
Helpe now without delay,
helpe, helpe, ye Muses nine,
O Cleo, and Calliope,
shew me how to define
In condigne stile and phrase
eche thing in euery line,
To you I giue loe all the praise
the trauell only mine.
Giue care then ye that long
to know of my estate,
Which am in France in prison strong
as I wrote home of late:
Against all lawe or right
as I doe thinke in deede,
Sith that the warre is ended quite, [The warre at Newe hauen.]
and pease is well agreed
Yet least perchaunce you might
much maruell, how that I
Into a Frenchmans powre should light
In prison here to lie:
Giue now attentiue heede,
a straunge tale gin I tell,
How I this yeare haue bene besteede,
scaping the gates of hell,
More harde I thinke truly,
in more daunger of life,
Than olde Orpheus did when he
through hell did seeke his wife,
Whose musike so did sounde
in pleasant play of string,
That Cerberus that hellish hounde
(who as the poets sing
Hauing three huge heads great,
which doe continually
Still breath out firy flames of heate
most horrible to see)
Did giue him leaue to passe
in at the gates of Hell:
Of which gate he chiefe porter was
the Poets thus me tell.
And how he past alone
through great king Plutos Court
Yea ferried ouer with Charon [Caron passenger of Hell.]
and yet he did no hurt.
Well to my purpose now,
in Hell what hurt had hee?
Perchance he might strange sights inow
and vgly spirits there see:
Perhaps eke Tantalus,
there, making of his mone,
Who staru'd always: and Sysiphus
still rolling vp the stone.
Yet Orpheus passed by,
and went still on his way,
There was no torment came him nigh
or heate to make him stay.
And I a Gods name woulde
at hazarde play my life
In Guinie lande, to seeke for golde,
as Orpheus sought his wife.
At which saide lande of Guinie [His first voyage 1562.]
I was eke once before,
And scapt the death as narrowly
As Orpheus did and more.
Which first ill lucke will I
recite, then iudge you plaine,
If loue plagued me not now rightly
this yeare to goe againe.
The other yeere before
when Neptune vs had brought
Safely vnto that burning shore,
for which so long we sought,
One day when shippe was fast
in sea at anker holde,
The sailes vpfirll'd, all businesse past
the boteswaine then I tolde,
That he forthwith shoulde see
the small pinnesse well mande,
Eke all things therin prest to be
that we shoulde haue a lande,
And gunner see that ye
want not bowe, pike, or bill.
Your ordinance well primed be
with lintstocks burning still.
With merchandize a shore,
we hied to traffike then,
Making the sea fome vs before,
by force of nine good men.
And rowing long, at last
a riuer we espie,
In at the which we bare full fast
to see what there might be.
And entring in, we see
a number of blacke soules,
Whose likelinesse seem'd men to be,
but as blacke as coles.
Their Captaine comes to me
as naked as my naile,
Not hauing witte or honestie
to couer once his taile.
By which I doe here gesse
and gather by the way,
That he from man and manlinesse
was voide and cleane astray.
And sitting in a trough,
a boate made of a logge,
The very same wherein you know
we vse to serue a hogge,
Aloofe he staide at first,
put water to his cheeke,
A signe that he would not vs trust
vnlesse we did the like.
That signe we did likewise,
to put him out of feare,
And shewd him much braue marchandise
to make him come vs neare.
The wilde man then did come,
by signes nowe crieth the fiend
Of those gay things to giue him some
and I should be his friend.
I traffikt there that time
for such things as they had,
At night to ship I caried him,
where I with clothes him clad,
Yea, made him there good cheere,
and he by signes againe
Tolde vs that he would fraight vs then
after a day or twaine.
And eene thus as we were
in talke, looking about,
Our boate he sawe with wares that there
was tied at sterne without:
Which boate he viewing still,
as then well stuft with ware.
We thinking he had ment no ill,
had thereof little care.
And the next morne, againe
we caried him a shore,
Eke bartred there that day with them
as we had done before.
But when Phoebus began
somewhat for to draw neare
To Icarus his Court, the sonne
of Dedalus most deare,
(Whose chaunce it is to dwell
amids the Ocean flood,
Because that he obseru'd not well
his fathers counsell good)
We then with saile and ore
to ship began to hie,
That we might fetch aboorde, before
the day had lost his eye.
To ship we come at last,
which rid foure leagues from shore
Refresht vs after trauaile past
taken that day before.
Then, as it was our guise,
our boate at sterne we tie,
Eke therin leaue our marchandise,
as they were wont to be.
With troughes then two or three [The theft of the Negroes.]
this Captaine comes by night
Aboord our boate, where he with wares
himselfe now fraighteth quight.
The watch now hearing this,
the boate they hal'd vp fast:
But gone was all the marchandise,
and they escapte and past.
The next morne then by day
againe we went to shore,
Amends to haue for that which they
had stolne the night before.
But all in vaine was it,
our signes were now too bad,
They would not vnderstand a whit
of any thing they had.
But as though they had wrong [A conflict between the Negros
for to reuenged be, and our men.]
As we row'd downe the streame along
after comes hee and hee.
A hundred boats come fro
the steremost towne I say,
At least meets vs as many mo
before, to make vs stay.
In euery boat two men,
and great long targets twaine:
Most of their darts had long strings then
to picke and pull againe.
Now gunners to your charge,
giue fier all arow,
Ech slaue for feare forsakes his barge,
and ducks in water low.
We downe the streame amaine
do row to get the sea,
They ouertake vs soone againe,
and let vs of our way.
Then did the slaues draw neere,
with dart and target thicke,
With diuelish fixed eyes they peere
where they their darts may sticke.
Now Mariners do push
with right good will the pike,
The haileshot of the harquebush
The naked slaue doth strike.
Through targe and body right
that downe he falleth dead
His fellow then in heauie plight,
doth swimme away afraid.
To bathe in brutish bloud,
then fleeth the graygoose wing.
The halberders at hand be good,
and hew that all doth ring.
Yet gunner play thy part,
make haileshot walke againe,
And fellowes row with like good heart
that we may get the maine.
Our arrowes all now spent,
the Negroes gan approach:
But pikes in hand already hent
the blacke beast fast doth broch.
Their captaine being wood,
a villaine long and large,
With pois'ned dart in hand doth shroud
himselfe vnder his targe.
And hard aboord he comes
to enter in our boat,
Our maisters mate, his pike eftsoones
strikes through his targe and throat.
The capteine now past charge
of this brutish blacke gard,
His pike he halde backe which in targe
alas was fixed hard:
And wresting it with might,
to pull it forth in hast,
A deadly dart strikes him too right
and in his flesh sticks fast,
He stands still like a man,
and shrinkes not once therefore,
But strikes him with his owne dart then
which shot at him before.
Then presse they on, and shake
their darts on euery side,
Which, in our flesh doth light, and make
both deadly wounds and wide.
The gunner in that stound
with two darts strooke at last,
Shrinks not yet though the double wound
with streames of bloud out brast.
And eke the maisters mate,
of stomacke bolde and stout,
For all his wound receiu'd of late,
yet stirred not a foot.
But kept his standing still,
till that a deathful dart
Did strike him through the ribs so ill
that scarce it mist his hart.
The dart out hal'd quickly,
his guts came out withall,
And so great streames of bloud that he
for faintnesse downe gan fall.
The Negros seeing this,
how he for dead doth lie,
Who erst so valiant prou'd iwis,
they gladly, shout and crie:
And then do minde as there
to enter in his place,
They thinke so many wounded were
the rest would yeld for grace.
We then stand by the pike,
and foure row on our boat,
Their darts among vs fast they strike
that few were free I wot.
In legge and eke in thigh,
some wounded eke in th'arme,
Yea many darts stucke vs hard by,
that mist and did no harme.
By little thus at last,
in great danger of life
We got the sea, and almost past
the danger erst so rife.
Then gin they all retire
sith all their darts were spent
They had nought to reuenge their ire,
and thus away they went.
Our boat to ship doth roe,
where two ores make soft way
Sixe of vs nine were wounded so, [Sixe of our men wounded.]
the seuenth for dead there lay.
Lo, heare how cruelly
the fiends ment vs to kill,
Causelesse you see, if they truly
on vs might had their will.
And yet we gaue before
much merchandize away,
Among those slaues, thinking therefore
to haue friendship for aye.
And Orpheus past I wot
the passage quietly,
Among the soules in Charons boat,
and yet to say truly
I neuer read that he
paid for his passage there,
Who past and repast for to see.
if that his wife there were.
Nor yet that he paid ought,
or any bribe there gaue
To any office, while he sought
his wife againe to haue.
Whereby I surely gesse
these men with whom that we
Haue had to do, are fiends more fierce
then those in hell that be.
Well we now scaping thus
the danger I haue tolde,
Aboord we come, where few of vs
could stand now being colde.
Our wounds now being drest,
to meat went they that list,
But I desired rather rest,
for this in minde I wist.
That if I might get once
a sleepe that were full sound,
I should not feele my weary bones
nor yet my smarting wound.
And lying long aloft
vpon my bed in paine,
Vnto Morpheus call'd I oft
that he would not disdaine
To heare me then poore wight,
but sende me helpe with speed
That I might haue good rest this night
of which I had great need.
Me thought then by and by.
there hung a heauie waight,
At ech eye lid, which clos'd mine eye
and eke my head was fraight.
And being streight sleepe,
I fell into a sweauen,
That of my wound I tooke no keepe
I dream'd I was in heauen.
Where as me thought I see
god Mars in armor bright,
His arming sword naked holdes he
in hand, ready to fight.
Castor and Pollux there
all complet stand him by,
Least if that Mars conuinced were
they might reuenged be.
Then came marching along
the great blacke smith Vulcan,
Hauing a staffe of yron strong,
and thus at last began:
O Mars, thou God of might,
what is the cause that thou
Hast chaleng'd me with thee to fight?
lo present am I now.
Wherefore if that thou hast
any great grudge to me,
Before this day be spent and past
it shall reuenged be.
Then spake god Mars and said,
for that thou churlish wight,
Thy brutish blacke people hast made
with those white men to fight
Which cal'd on me for aid,
I bid thee warre for this.
Then answered Vulcan straight and said
that that coast sure was his.
And therefore he would still
his blacke burnt men defend,
And if he might, all other kill
which to that coast did wend,
Yea thus (said he) in boast
that we his men had slaine,
And ere that we should passe this coast
he would vs kill againe.
Now marcheth Mars amaine
and fiercely gins to fight,
The sturdie smith strikes free againe
whose blowes dint where they light.
But iupiter that sat
in his great royall throne
Hearing this noise maruell'd thereat,
and streightway sendeth one
To know the cause thereof:
but hearing them in fight,
Commandeth them for to leaue off
by vertue of his might,
And of Vulcan demands
the cause: then answered he,
O mightie Loue whose power commands
and rules all things that be,
Who at a word hast power
all things to destroy cleane,
And in the moment of an houre,
canst them restore againe,
The same God licence me
to speake now here my minde:
It is not, Loue, vnknowne to thee,
how that I was assign'd,
And pointed king of most
of all the Ginnie land,
A people lo is on my coast
which doth me now withstand.
They do my people strike,
they do this day them kill,
To whom I minde to do the like
if I may haue my will.
Then Iupiter bespake:
O Vulcan then said he,
Let this thy rage and anger slake
for this time presently,
But if at any time
these men chance there againe,
Doe as thou list, the charge is thine
I will not meddle then.
I know, them well (said he)
these men need not to seeke,
They haue so fruitfull a countrey
that there is none the like.
But if they can not be
therewith content, but still
Will seeke for golde so couetously
worke then with them thy will.
And therewith straight doth send.
a pursuiuant in post,
To whom (saith he) see that thou wend
vnto the windie coast,
To Eolus, the king
command him thus from me,
That he straight way without lingring
do set at libertie,
His seruant Zephirus,
which now is lockt so low,
Eke that he do command him thus,
that he straight way do go
To Vulcans coast in hast,
a ship where he shall finde,
Which ship he must with gentle blast
and eke with moderate winde,
Conduct safe to that coast
which Albion was hight,
And that no stormes do them withstand
by day or eke by night.
I sleeping all this space,
as it were in a trance,
The noise of them that hail'd apace
did waken me by chance.
Then looking out to know
what winde did blow in skie,
The maister straight came to me tho
and thus said by and by.
All our ill lucke is past,
we haue a merie winde,
I hope England, if this winde last,
yet once againe to finde.
When this I vnderstand,
to loue I vowed then,
Forswearing cleane the Ginnie land
for comming there againe.
And passing on in post
with fauourable windes,
We all arriu'd on Englands coast
with passing cheerefull mindes.
* * * * *
The second voyage to Guinie, and the riuer of Sesto, set out in the Moneth
of Nouember 1563, by Sir William Gerrard, Sir William Chester, Sir Thomas
Lodge, Maister Beniamin Gonston, Maister William Winter, Maister Lionel
Ducket, Anthonie Hickman, and Edward Castelin, with two ships, the one
called the Iohn Baptist, wherein went for Maister, Laurence Rondell: and
the other the Marlin, wherein went also for Maister, Robert Reuell,
hauing for Factors, Robert Baker, Iustinian Goodwine, Iames Gleidell, and
George Gage: and written in verse by the foresaid Robert Baker.
You heard before, that home I got
from Ginnie at the last,
But by and by, I quite forgot
the sorrowes I had past.
And ships rigged also,
with speed to ship againe,
I being then requir'd to go,
did not denie them plaine,
But granted them to go,
vnhappie foolish wight,
When they command, eke there to do
the best seruice I might.
In fine, to go our way
now serueth time and tide.
We hauing nothing vs to stay,
what should we longer bide?
The hempen band with helpe
of Mariners doth threat
To wey and reare that slouthfull whelpe [The anker.]
vp from his mothers teat.
The Maister then gan cheere
with siluer whistle blast
His Mariners, which at the Icere
are laboring wondrous fast.
Some other then againe,
the maineyard vp to hoise,
The hard haler doth hale a maine,
while other at a trice
Cut saile without delay:
the rest that be below,
Both sheats abaft do hale straitway
and boleins all let go.
The Helme a Mariner
in hand then strait way tooke,
The Pilot eke what course to stir
within his care did looke.
Againe with siluer blast,
the Maister doth not faile,
To cause his mates fortwith in hast
abroad to put more saile.
We then lanch from the shore,
sith warre we knew it right.
And kept in sea aloofe therefore
two dayes and eke a night.
And, as it is the guise,
to toppe a man we send,
Who straight a saile or two espies,
with whom we then do wend.
Aloofe would some with one,
and roomeward would the rest:
But with the tallest ship we gone,
whom we thinke to be best.
At last, in camming neere
as captaines vse to do,
I hale them, and of whence they were
I did desire to know:
Of France when they had said,
we weaued them a maine,
But they nothing therewith dismaid
did like to vs againe.
We then our selues aduant
through hope of purchase here,
Amaine say we, ye iolly gallant
or you shall buie it deere.
To arme the maine top tho
the boatswaine goeth eke,
His mate to the foretop also
makes hast to do the like.
To top both stones and darts
good fellowes hoise apace:
The quarter maisters with glad hearts
do know ech one his place.
Our topsailes strike we tho
and fit our sailes to fight,
Our bulwarke at maine mast also
is made likewise aright.
Vpon our poope eke then
right subtilly we lay
Pouder, to blow vp all such men,
as enter theraway.
Our Trumpetter aloft
now sounds the feats of war,
The brasen pieces roring oft
fling forth both chain and bar.
Some of the yardes againe
do weaue with naked swoord,
And crying loud to them amaine
they bid vs come aboord.
To bath hir feet in bloud
the graigoose fleeth in hast:
And Mariners as Lions wood,
do crie abroad as fast.
Now firie Faulkons flie
right greedie of their pray,
And kils at first stone dead truely
ech thing within their way.
Alarme ye now my mates I say,
see that ye nothing lacke.
At euery loope then gins straightway
a harquebush to cracke.
Their saile to burne, we shoot
our arrowes of wilde fire,
And pikes burning therewith about
lads tosse with like desire.
Eke straightway forth for wine
the steward call I then,
With fiery spice enough therein
I drinke vnto my men,
And then euen with a woord
our lime pot prest to fall,
This iolly gallant we clap aboord
and enter him withall.
Their nettings now gan teare
dint of heauie stone.
And some mens heads witnesse did beare
who neuer could make mone.
The harquebush acroke
which hie on top doth lie,
Discharg'd full of haileshot doth smoke
to kill his enemie.
Which in his enemies top
doth fight, there it to keepe,
Yet he at last a deadly lope
is made from thence to lepe.
Then entreth one withall
into this Frenchman's top,
Who cuts ech rope, and makes to fall
his yard, withouten stop.
Then Mariners belowe,
as carelesse of the pike,
Do hew, and kill still as they goe,
and force not where they strike.
And still the trumpets sound
with pleasant blast doth cheare
Ech Mariner, so in that stound
that they nothing did feare.
The Maister then also,
his mates to cheare in fight,
His Whistle chearefully doth blow,
whereby strait euery wight
So fierce begins to be,
that Frenchmen gin to stoe,
And English men as right worthy
do catch for pillage tho.
What would you more I say
but tell the truth alway:
We vsde our matters so this day
we caried him away,
Vnto a port in Spaine,
which sure is call'd the Groine,
Whereas we for French lading plaine
receiued readie coine.
Well thus this good lucke past,
we through salt Seas did scoure,
To Ginney coast eke come at last,
O that vnhappie houre.
My hand alas for feare
now shakes, of this to write,
Mine eye almost full fraught with teare,
eke lets me to indite.
What should I here recite
the miserie I had,
When none of you will scarce credit
that ere it was so bad?
Well, yet I would assay
to let it, if I might,
But O Minerua, helpe me aye,
my wits astond be quite.
Yea helpe, ye muses nine,
lot no thought me withstand,
Aid me this thing well to define,
which here I take in hand.
Well, thus it fortuned tho,
in Ginney now arriu'd,
Nine men in boat to shoe we go,
where we traffike espide,
And parting at midday
from ship, on good intent
In hope of traffike there I say
to shore away we went.
Our ships then riding fast
in sea at anker bight,
We minded to dispatch in hast,
cke to returne that night.
But being hard by land,
there suddenly doth rise
A mightie winde, wherewith it raind
and thundred, in such wise,
That we by shore did ride,
where we best Port might finde,
Our ships we thinke from anker slide,
a trice before the winde.
This night Vulcan begins
on vs reueng'd to be,
And thunderbolts about he flings
most terrible to see,
Admixt with fierie flame
which cracks about our cares.
And thus gins he to play his game,
as now to him appeares,
He Eolus hath feed
herein to be his friend,
And all the whirling windes with speed
among vs doth he send,
Thus hard by shore we lay,
this wet and weary night,
But on next morne and all the day
of ship we had no sight.
For Vulcan all this night
from fierie forge so fast
Sent thunder bolts with such great light,
that when the night was passed,
The next day there remaind
so great smoke all about,
Much like a mist, eke therewith raine,
that we were wet throughout.
And thus in smoke mindes he
to part vs from our ship:
Thus nere a one ech other see,
and so haue we the slip.
Our ships then backe againe,
thinking we were behinde,
Do saile by shore a day or twaine
in hope there vs to finde.
And we the contrary,
do row along the shore
Forward thinking our ships to be
still sailing vs before.
They sailing thus two dayes or three,
and could not finde vs than
Do thinke in that foule night we
were drowned euery man.
Our ship then newes doth beare
when she to England wends
That we nine surely drowned were,
and thus doth tell our friends:
While we thus being lost,
aliue in miserie
Do row in hope yet on this coast,
our ships to finde truly.
Well thus one day we spent,
tho next and third likewise,
But all in vaine was our intent,
no man a saile espies:
Three dayes be now cleane past
since any of vs nine,
Of any kinde of food hath tast,
and thus gan we to pine,
Till at the last bare need
bids vs hale in with land,
That we might get some root or weed
our hunger to withstand:
And being come to shore,
with Negros we intreat,
That for our wares which we had there
they would giue vs to eat.
Then fetch they vs of roots,
and such things as they had,
We gaue to them our wares to boote
and were thereof right glad.
To sea go we againe,
in hope along the shore,
To finde our ships, yet thinking plaine
that they had beene before.
And thus with saile and ore
twelue dayes we went hard by
The strange vncomfortable shore
where we nothing espie,
But all thicke woods and bush
and mightie wildernesse,
Out of the which oft times do rush
strange beasts both wilde and fierse,
Whereof oft times we see,
at going downe of Sunne,
Diuers descend in companie,
and to the sea they come.
Where as vpon the sand
they lie, and chew the cud:
Sometime in water eke they stand
and wallow in the floud.
The Elephant we see,
a great vnweldie beast,
With water fils his troonke right hie
and blowes it on the rest.
The Hart I saw likewise
delighted in the soile,
The wilde Boare eke after his guise
with snout in earth doth moile.
A great strange beast also,
the Antelope I weene
I there did see, and many mo,
which erst I haue not seene.
And oftentimes we see
a man a shore or twaine,
Who strait brings out his Almadie
and rowes to vs a maine.
Here let we anker fall,
of wares a shew we make,
We bid him choose among them all,
what wares that he will take
To bring to vs some fish,
and fresh water therefore,
Or else of meat some daintie dish,
which their cookes dresse ashore.
They bring vs by and by
great roots and beries eke,
Which grow vpon the high palme tree,
such meat as they do like.
We drinke eke of their wine
much like our whey to see:
Which is the sappe as I haue seene
that runnes out of a tree.
Thus do they bring ech thing
which they thinke to be good,
Sometime wilde hony combes they bring
Which they finde in the wood,
With roots and baggage eke
our corps we thus sustaine
From famine though it be so weake,
that death was figured plaine
In euery ioynt for lacke
of sustenance and rest.
That still we thinke our hearts would breake
with sorrowes so opprest.
We now alongst the coast
haue saild so many a mile,
That sure we be our ships be lost,
what should we do this while?
In Heathen land we be,
impossible it is
That we should fetch our owne countrey
in such a boat as this.
We now gan to perceiue
that wee had ouerpast
The Melegate coast so much,
that we were come at last
Vnto the coast of Myne,
for Niegros came aboord
With weights to poise their golde so fine,
yea speaking euery word
In Portugesse right well
demanding traffike there?
If we had any wares to sell,
and where our ships then were?
We answered them againe,
we had two ships at sea,
The which would come trafike with them
we thought within a day.
The cause why we thus said,
was hope to be well vsde:
But seeing this, as men dismaid
away we went and musde
Whither our ships were gone,
what way were best for vs:
Shall we here perish now saith one?
no, let vs not do thus:
We see all hope is past
our ships to finde againe,
And here our liues do shorten fast
in miserie and paine:
For why the raging heat
of Sunne, being so extreme,
Consumes our flesh away in sweat,
as dayly it is seene.
The Ternados againe
so often in a weeke,
With great lightnings, thunder and raine
with such abundance eke,
Doe so beat vs by night,
that we sleepe not at all,
Whereby our strength is vaded quite.
no man an ore can hale.
How hard liue we, alas?
three whole dayes oft be past,
Ere we poore men (a heauie case)
of any thing doe tast.
These twentie dayes ye see,
we haue sit still ech one,
Which we doe of necessitie,
for place to walke is none.
Our legs now vs deceiue,
swolne euery ioint withall,
With this disease, which, by your leaue,
the Scuruie men doe call.
We cannot long endure
in this case as we be,
To leaue our boat I am right sure,
compeld we must agree.
Three wayes for vs there is,
and this is my request,
That we may of these three deuise,
to choose thereof the best.
The Castle of the Mine
is not farre hence, we know,
To morrow morne we there may be,
if thither you will goe.
There Portingals do lie,
are christened men they be:
If we dare trust their curtesie,
the worst is hanging glee.
Our miserie may make
them pitie vs the more,
Nine such yong men great pains would take
for life to hale an ore.
Their Gallies may perhaps
lacke such yong men as we,
And thus it may fall in our laps,
all Galeyslaues to be,
During our life, and this,
we shall be sure to haue,
Although we row, such meate as is
the allowance of a slaue.
But here we rowe and sterue,
our misery is so sore:
The slaue with meat inough they serue,
that he may teare his ore.
If this you will not like.
the next way is to goe:
Vnto the Negros, and to seeke
what friendship they will shew.
But what fauour would ye
of these men looke to haue:
Who beastly sauage people be,
farre worse then any slaue?
If Cannibals they be
in kind, we doe not know,
But if they be, then welcome we,
to pot straightway we goe.
They naked goe likewise,
for shame we cannot so:
We cannot liue after their guise,
thus naked for to go.
By rootes and leaues they liue,
as beasts doe in the wood:
Among these heathen who can thriue,
with this so wilde a food?
The piercing heate againe,
that, scorcheth with such strength,
Piercing our naked flesh, with paine,
will vs consume at length.
The third and last is this,
(if those two you refuse)
To die in miserable wise,
here in the boate you chuse.
And this iudge by the way,
more trust is to be giuen,
Vnto the Portingals alway,
sith they be christned men,
Then to these brutish sort,
which beastly are ye see:
Who of our death will make a sport,
if Canibals they be.
We all with one consent,
now death despising plaine:
(Sith if we die as innocent,
the more it is our gaine)
Our sayle we hoyse in hast,
wih speed we mind to go
Vnto the castell, now not past
a twentie leagues vs fro.
And sayling all this day,
we spied late in the night.
And we past by thus on our way,
vpon the shore a light.
Then sayd our Boateswaine thus,
by this great light a shore,
Trafique there seemes, will you let vs
anker this night therefore,
And trie if we may get,
this next morning by day,
Some kind of food for vs to eate,
and then to goe our way?
We anker there that night,
the next morning to shore:
And in the place, where we the light
did see the night before:
A watch house now there stood,
vpon a rocke without:
Hard by a great blacke crosse of wood,
which putteth vs in doubt,
What place that this should be,
and looking to the shore,
A Castell there we gan espie,
this made vs doubt the more.
Wherein we saw did stand
a Portingall or twaine;
Who held a white flag in his hand,
and waued vs amaine.
Our flesh as fraile now shakes,
whereby we gan retire,
And he at vs a shot then makes,
a Negro giuing fire.
A piece discharged thus,
the hissing pellet lights,
I thinke within a yard of vs,
but none of vs it hits.
We wisht then we had there
a good ship, eke or twaine,
But helpelesse now, we rowe a shore
to know th'end of our paine.
The neerer that we went
to them vnto the shore,
To yeld our selues, as first we ment
they still did shoot the more.
Now Canons loud gan rore,
and Culuerins now crackt,
The Castell eke it thundred sore,
as though the wals were sackt.
Some shot doth light hard by,
some ouer vs againe:
But though the shot so thicke doth flie,
yet rowe we in a maine,
That now so neere we be
vnto the castell wall,
That none of them at vs we see,
can make a shot at all.
We ment a land to goe,
their curtesie to trie:
But from the wall great stones they throw,
and therewith by and by,
The Negros marching downe,
in battell ray do come,
With dart and target from the towne,
and follow all a dromme.
A bowe in hand some hent,
with poisn'd arrow prest,
To strike therewith they be full bent,
a pined English brest.
But stones come downe so fast
on vs on euery side,
We thinke our boats bottom would brast
if long we thus abide.
And arrowes flie so thicke,
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