Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation, by Richard Hakluyt

His third Letter to Maister Leonard Poore, written from Goa.

[Michael Stropine an Italian accused our men to be spies.] My last I sent you was from Ormuz, whereby I certified you what had happened there vnto me, and the rest of my company, which was, that foure dayes after our arriuall there, we were all committed to prison, except one Italian which came with me from Aleppo, whom the Captaine never examined, onely demaunded what countryman he was, but I make account Michael Stropene, who accused vs, had informed the Captaine of him. The first day we arriued there, this Stropene accused vs that we were spies sent from Don Antonio, besides diuers other lies: nothwithstanding if we had beene of any other countrey then of England, we might freely haue traded with them. And although we be Englishmen, I know no reason to the contrary, but that we may trade hither and thither as well as other nations, for all nations doe, and may come freely to Ormuz, as Frenchmen, Flemmings, Almains, Hungarians, Italians, Greekes, Armenians, Nazaranies, Turkes and Moores, Iewes and Gentiles, Persians, Moscouites, and there is no nation that they seeke for to trouble, except ours: wherefore it were contrary to all iustice and reason that they should suffer all nations to trade with them, and to forbid vs. But now I haue as great liberty as any other nation, except it be to go out of the countrey, which thing as yet I desire not But I thinke hereafter, and before it be long, if I shall be desirious to go from hence, that they wil not deny me licence. Before we might be suffered to come out of prison, I was forced to put in suerties for 2000 pardaus, not to depart from hence without licence of the viceroy Otherwise except this, we haue as much libertie as any other nation, for I haue our goods againe, and haue taken an house in the chiefest streete in the towtte, called the Rue dreete, where we sell our goods.

[Two causes of our mens imprisonment at Ormus.] There were two causes which moued the captaine of Ormus to imprison vs, and afterwards to send vs hither. The first was, because Michael Stropene had accused vs of many matters, which were most false. And the second was for that M. Drake at his being at Maluco, caused two pieces of his ordinance to be shot at a gallion of the kings of Portugall, as they say. But of these things I did not know at Ormus: and in the ship that we were sent in came the chiefest justice in Ormus, who was called Aueador generall of that place, he had been there three yeeres, so that now his time was expired: which Aueador is a great friend to the captaine of Ormus, who, certaine dayes after our comming from thence, sent for mee into his chamber, and there beganne to demaund of me many things, to the which I answered: and amongst the rest, he said, that Master Drake was sent out of England with many ships, and came to Maluco, and there laded cloues, and finding a gallion there of the kings of Portugall, hee caused two pieces of his greatest ordinance to be shot at the same: and so perceiuing that this did greatly grieue them, I asked, if they would be reuenged of me for that which M. Drake had done: To the which he answered, No: although his meaning was to the contrary.

He said moreouer, that the cause why the captaine of Ormus did send me for Goa, was, for that the Viceroy would vnderstand of mee, what newes there was of Don Antonio, and whether he were in England, yes or no, and that it might be all for the best that I was sent hither, the which I trust in God wil so fall out, although contrary to his expectation: for had it not pleased God to put into the minds of the archbishop and other two Padres or Iesuits of S. Pauls college to stand our friends, we might haue rotted in prison. The archbishop is a very good man, who hath two yong men to his seruantes, the one of them was borne at Hamborough, and is called Bernard Borgers: [The author of the book of the East Indies.] and the other was borne at Enchuysen, whose name is Iohn Linscot, who did vs great pleasure; for by them the archbishop was many times put in minde of vs. [Footnote: He was really born at Haarlem about 1563, and left the Texel in 1579 to go to Seville. Thence he went to Lisbon, where he entered the service of Vicenzo Fonseca, archbishop of Goa, where he arrived in 1583. He returned to Europe in 1589, having visited most of Southern Asia. His principal work is his “Relation”, published first in Dutch at the Hague in 1591. Curiously enough, the place erroneously named as his birth place in the text, is where he died in 1611.] And the two good fathers of S. Paul, who trauelled very much for vs, the one of them is called Padre Marke, who was borne in Bruges in Flanders, and the other was borne in Wiltshire in England, and is called [Marginal note: This is he whose letters to his father from Goa are before put downe, and he was sometimes of New colledge in Oxford.] Padre Thomas Steuans.

Also I chaunced to finde here a young man, who was borne in Antwerpe, but the most part of his bringing vp hath beene in London, his name is Francis de Rea, and with him it was my hap to be acquainted in Aleppo, who also hath done me great pleasure here.

In the prison at Ormus we remained many dayes, also we lay a long time at sea comming hither, and forthwith at our arriual here were caried to prison, and the next day after were sent for before the Aueador, who is the chiefest justice, to be examined: and when we were examined, he presently sent vs backe againe to prison.

[Iames Storie their painter.] And after our being here in prison 13. dayes, Iames Storie went into the monastery of S. Paul, where he remaineth, and is made one of the company, which life he liketh very well.

[They arriued at Goa the 20 of Nouember 1583.] And vpon S. Thomas day (which was 22 dayes after our arriuall here) I came out of prison, and the next day after came out Ralph Fitch, and William Bets.

If these troubles had not chanced, I had beene in possibility to haue made as good a voyage as euer any man made with so much money. Many of our things I haue solde very well, both here and at Ormus in prison, notwithstanding the captaine willed me (if I would) to sell what I could before we imbarked: and so with officers I went diuers times out of the castle in the morning, and solde things, and at night returned againe to the prison, and all things that I solde they did write, and at our imbarking from thence, the captain gaue order that I should deliuer all my mony with the goods into the hands of the scriuano, or purser of the ship, which I did, and the scriuano made a remembrance, which he left there with the captaine, that my selfe and the rest with money and goods he should deliuer into the hands of the Aueador generall of India: but at our arriuall here, the Aueador would neither meddle with goods nor money, for that he could not proue any thing against vs: wherefore the goods remained in the ship 9 or 10 daies after our arriual, and then, for that the ship was to saile from thence, the scriuano sent the goods on shore, and here they remained a day and a night, and no body to receiue them. In the end they suffered this bringer to receiue them, who came with me from Ormus, and put them into an house which he had hired for me, where they remained foure or fiue daies. But afterward when they should deliuer the money, it was concluded by the justice, that both the money and goods should be deliuered into the positors hands, where they remained fourteene dayes after my comming out prison. At my being in Aleppo, I bought a fountaine of siluer and gilt, sixe kniues, sixe spoones, and one [‘oue’ in source text — KTH] forke trimmed with corall for fiue and twentie chekins, which the captaine of Ormus did take, and payed for the same twentie pardaos, which is one hundred larines, and was worth there or here one hundred chekins. Also he had fiue emrauds set in golde, which were woorth fiue hundred or sixe hundred crownes, and payed for the same an hundred pardaos. Also he had nineteene and a halfe pikes of cloth, which cost in London twenty shillings the pike, and was worth 9 or 10 crownes the pike, and he payed for the same twelue larines a pike. Also he had two pieces of greene Kersies, which were worth foure and twentie pardaos the piece, and payd for them sixteene pardaos a piece: besides diuers other trifles, that the officers and others had in the like order, and some for nothing at all. But the cause of all this was Michael Stropene, which came to Ormus not woorth a penie, and now hath thirtie or fortie thousand crownes, and he grieueth that any other stranger should trade thither but himselfe. But that shall not skill, for I trust in God to goe both thither and hither, and to buy and sell as freely as he or any other. Here is very great good to be done in diuers of our commodities, and in like manner there is great profite to be made with commodities of this countrey, to be carried to Aleppo.

It were long for me to write, and tedious for you to read of all things that haue passed since my parting from you. But of all the troubles that haue chanced since mine arrinal in Ormus, this bringer is able to certifie you. I mind to stay here: wherefore if you will write vnto me, you may send your letters to some friend at Lisbone, and from thence by the ships they may be conueyed hither. Let the direction of your letters be either in Portuguise or Spanish, whereby they may come the better to my hands. From Goa this 20 day of Januarie. 1584.

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Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 19:52