The principal navigations, voyages, traffiques, and discoveries of the English nation, by Richard Hakluyt

The second voyage made by Maister William Towrson to the coast of Guinea, and the Castle of Mina, in the yeere 1556. with the Tiger of London, a ship of 120 tunnes, the Hart of London of 60 tunnes, and a Pinnesse of sixteene tunnes.

The fourteenth day of September, the yeere abouesayd, we departed from Harwich, and directed our course for the Isle of Sillie, to meete there with the Hart and Pinnesse, which were rigged and victualed at Bristoll, but arriuing there the eight and twientieth day we found them not, and therefore after long lying at Hull to tarrie for them, but not espying them, we turned backe to Plimmouth the 12 day of October, and being there, the Hart and the Pinnesse came to vs, so that the 15 of Nouember we all departed together from Plimmouth at one of the clocke in the after noone, and the 28 day we had sight of the Isle of Porto Santo, and the next day in the morning of Madera.

The third day of December we fell with the Ile of Palma, and the 9 we were thwart of Cape Blanke, and found there certaine Carauels fishing for Pargoes.

The 19 we found our selues in the height of Sierra Leona, and all this day we ranne thwart of certaine Currants, which did set to the West Southwestward so fast as if it had bene the ouerfall of a sand, making a great noyse like vnto a streame or tide-gate when the water is shoale: and to prooue whither we could finde ground in this place, we sounded and had 150 fadome, and no ground, and so departed.

The 30 of December we fell with the coast of Guinea, and had first sight of it about 4 leagues off. The best marke that we could take of the place to knowe it was three hilles, which lay Northeast and by East from vs: betwixt the Northermost two hilles there are two high and great trees standing in sight as it were a sailes breadth one from another, and a litle more to the Northwestwards are certaine hommocks. Hauing sayled somewhat into the shoare wee tooke our selues to be shotte somewhat past the riuer de Sestos, so that we kept about to fetch it. And a litle after we had sight of three sayles of shippes and two pinnesses which were in the weather of vs, and hauing sight of them we made our selues readie to meete them, and halled off our ships to fetch the winde as neere as we could: and hauing sayled about an houre or two, they also went about, and went as we went to make themselues readie, and when we had them in chase, they went away from vs: but when they had made themselues readie, they kept about againe, and came with vs verie finely appointed with their streamers, and pendants and ensignes, and noyse of trumpets very brauely: so when we met, they had the weather of vs, and we being determined to fight, if they had bene Portugals, waued them to come vnder our Lee, which they denied stoutly: then we demaunded of them whence they were, and they sayd of France, we told them againe that we were of London in England. They asked of vs what Portugals wee had seene, we answered, none but Fishermen: then they told vs that there were certaine Portugall ships gone to the Mina to defend it, and that they met with another at the riuer de Sestos, which was a ship of two hundred which they had burned, and had saued none but the master and two or three Negroes, and certaine others which were sore burned which they left a shoare there. Then they desired to come aboord of vs with their boates to talke with vs, and wee gaue them leaue. Then the captaine of the Admirall and diuers others came aboord very friendly, desiring vs to keepe them company because of the Portugals, and to goe to the Mina with them: wee told them that we had not watered, and that we were but now fallen with the coast, and they shewed vs that we were fiftie leagues past the riuer de Sestos: notwithstanding there was water enough to be had, and they would helpe vs to water with their owne boates because they would haue our companie. And told vs further, that they had bene sixe weekes vpon the coast, and had gotten but three tunnes of graines amongst them all: and when wee had heard them, we made our reckoning that although the Mina were cleare, yet if they did goe before vs, they would marre our market; and if it were not cleare, then if the Portugals were there and did take them, they would vnderstand that we were behind, and so would waite for vs. [Sidenote: They admit certaine Frenchmen into their companie.] And further we made account that if we went with them we should doe as well as they, if the coast were cleare: if it were not cleare, then by them we were assured to be the stronger. Therefore hauing considered thus much of their gentle offers, we tolde them that the next day wee would conferre more largely of the matter. Whereupon they desired me to come the next day to dinner to them, and to bring the masters of our ships with me, and such merchants as I thought good, promising to giue vs water out of their owne ships if we would take it, or els to tarie with vs and helpe vs to water with their own boats and pinnasses.

The 31 day in the morning the Admirall sent his boat aboord for me, and I tooke our masters and certaine of our marchants and went to him, who had prouided a notable banquet for vs, and intreated vs very friendly, desiring vs still to keepe his company, promising that what victuals were in his ships, or other things that might doe vs pleasure vntill the end, we should haue the one halfe of it, offering vs if we would to furle his Flags, and to bee at our commaundement in all things.

In the ende we agreed to come to an anker, and to send our boat on shore with the Admirals boat, and one of his pinnasses, and an Almaine which they had brought out of France, to seeke water, as for our pinnasse she came to an anker to seaward of vs all, and would not come at vs. All this night the boats continued on shore.

The first day of Ianuary our boats came to vs againe and had found no riuer. Whereupon we weighed and set saile, and ankred againe at another riuer.

The 2 day we went into the riuer and bargained, and tooke 5 small Elephants teeth.

The 3 day we tooke 5 more.

[Sidenote: An assault vpon elephants.] The fourth day the French Admirall and wee tooke fifteene small teeth. This day wee tooke thirtie men with vs and went to seeke Elephants, our men being all well armed with harquebusses, pikes, long bowes, crossebowes, partizans, long swordes, and swordes and bucklers: wee found two Elephants which wee stroke diuers times with harquebusses and long bowes, but they went away from vs and hurt one of our men. The fift day we set saile and ranne along the coast.

The 6 day we fell with the riuer de S. Andre, at which place the land is somewhat high to the Westward of the riuer, and a faire Baie also to the Westward of it: but to the Eastward of it it is lowe land.

The 7 day we went into the Riuer and found no village, but certaine wild Negros not accustomed to trade. It is a very great riuer and 7 fadome water in some places at the entring. Here we filled water, and after set saile.

The 8 day we sailed along the shore and came to the red cliffes, and went forward in sailing the 9 day also.

The 10 day we came together to confer with captaine Blundel Admiral of the French ships, Ierom Baudet his vice admiral, and Iohn de Orleans master of a ship of 70 tunne, and with their marchants, and agreed that when God should send vs to any place where wee might make sale, that we should be of one accord and not one of vs hurt the market of the other, but certaine of our boates to make the price for all the rest, and then one boate to make sale for euery shippe. This night our boats going to the shore met with certaine Negros, who said that they had gold, and therefore we here cast anker.

The 11 day all the day we tooke but one halfe angel weight of 4 graines, which we tooke by hand, for the people of this place had no weight: the Negros called this place Allow.

The 12 day we ran along the coast and found but one towne, but no boates would come out to vs, and therefore we went our course.

The 13 day I tooke my boat and went along the shore, and passed by diuers small townes, and was waued to come on shore at 3 places, but the sea went so high vpon the shore, that it was not possible for vs to land, neither could they come to vs if they had had boats, as I could see none but at one place, where there was one that would haue come vnto vs, but the Land-wash went so sore that it ouerthrew his boat, and one of the men was drowned, which the people lamented, and cried so sore, that we might easily heare them, and they got his body out of the sea, and caried it amongst them to their towne.

[Sidenote: The castle of Mina.] The 14 day we came within Saker-shot of the castle, and straightway they set forth an Almade to descry vs, and when they perceiued that we were no Portugals, they ranne within the towne againe: for there is a great towne by the Castle which is called by the Negros Dondou. Without this there lie two great rockes like Ilands, and the castle standeth vpon a point which sheweth almost like an Iland. Before we came at this castle, we found the land for fiue or six leagues to be high land, and about seuen leagues before we came to the castle, lowe land, vntil we came at the castle, and then wee found the land high againe. This castle standeth about fiue leagues to the East of Cape de Tres puntas. Here I tooke the boate with our Negros and ranne alongst the shore till I came to the Cape and found two small townes, but no boates at them, neither any traffique to be had. At these places our Negros did vnderstand them well, and one of them went ashore at all the places and was well receiued of them. This night we ankred at the Cape de Tres puntas.

The 15 day I tooke our boat and went along the shore, and about 3 leagues beyond the Eastermost part of the Cape we found a faire Bay where we ran in, and found a smal towne and certaine boates which belonged to the same towne, but the Negros in a long time would not come to vs, but at the last by the perswasion of our owne Negros, one boat came to vs, and with him we sent George our Negro a shore, and after he had talked with them, they came aboard our boates without feare, and I gaue to their captaine a bason, and two strings of Margarets, and they shewed vs about 5 duckats weight of gold, but they required so much for it that wee would not take it, because the Frenchman and we had agreed to make price of our goods all in one boat, and the price being made then euery man to sell in his owne boat, and no man to giue more then the price which should be set by vs al. This place is called Bulle, and here the Negros were very glad of our Negros, and shewed them all the friendship they could, when they had told them that they were the men that were taken away being now againe brought by vs.

The Negros here shewed vs that a moneth since there were 3 ships that fought together, and the two shippes put the other to flight: and before that at the castle of Mina there were 4 ships of the Portugals which met with one Frenchman, which Frenchman caused them all to flee, which shippe we tooke to be the Roebarge: for the Frenchmen of our company iudged her to be thereabout that time with her pinnasse also. And further, that after her went a shippe of twelue score named the Shaudet all alone, and after her a ship of fourescore, and both for the Mina. And there were two others also which they left, one at Cape Verde called the Leuriere of Diepe, and another at the riuer De Sestos, besides these 3 which all this time be in our company, whose names be these:

The Espoier of Hableneff which is the Admirall, whose captaine is Denis Blundell.

The Leuriere of Roan Viceadmirall, whose master is Ierome Baudet.

The other is of Hunfleur whose master is called Iohn de Orleans.

The sixteenth day I went along the shore with two pinasses of the Frenchmen, and found a Baie and a fresh riuer, and after that went to a towne called Hanta, twelue leagues beyond the Cape. At this towne our Negros were well knowen, and the men of the towne wept for ioy when they saw them, and demanded of them where Anthonie and Binne had bene: and they told them that they had bene at London in England, and should bee brought home the next voyage. So after this, our Negros came aboord with other Negros which brought a weight with them, which was so small that wee could not giue them the halfe of that which they demaunded for it.

The Negros here told vs that there were fiue Portugall shippes at the Castle, and one pinnasse, and that the Portugals did much harme to their Countrey, and that they liued in feare of them, and we told them againe, that we would defend them from the Portugals whereof they were very glad.

The 17 day we went a shoare and the Frenchmen with vs, but did no great good, the Negros were so vnreasonable, we sold 80. Manellios for one ounce of gold.

[Sidenote: The Negros brought home by our men.] Then wee departed and went to Shamma, and went into the riuer with fiue boates well appointed with men and ordinance, and with our noises of trumpets and drummes, for we thought here to haue found some Portugals but there were none: so wee sent our Negros on shoare, and after them went diuers of vs, and were very well receiued, and the people were very glad of our Negros, specially one of their brothers wiues, and one of their aunts, which receiued them with much ioy, and so did all the rest of the people, as if they had bene their naturall brethren: we comforted the captaine and told him that hee should not feare the Portugals, for wee would defend him from them: whereupon we caused our boats to shoote off their bases and harquebusses, and caused our men to come on shore with their long bowes, and they shot before the captaine, which he, with all the rest of the people, wondred much at, specially to see them shoot so farre as they did, and assaied to draw their bowes but could not. When it grew to be late, we departed to our ships, for we looked euery houre for the Portugals. And here the Negros shewed vs that there was an English ship at the Mina, which had brought one of the Negros againe, which Robert Gaynsh tooke away.

The 18 day we went into the riuer with no lesse strength then before, and concluded with the Negros to giue them for euery Fuffe two yardes and three nailes of Cloth, and to take for it one angel-duckat: so that we tooke in all 70 Duckats, whereof the Frenchmen had fortie, and wee thirtie.

The nineteenth day wee went a shore euery man for himselfe, and tooke a good quantitie of gold, and I for my part tooke foure pound and two ounces and a halfe of gold, and our Hartes boate tooke one and twentie ounces. At night the Negros shewed vs that the next day the Portugals would be with vs by land or by Sea: and when we were ready to depart, we heard diuers harquebusses shoote off in the woods by vs which wee knew to bee Portugals, which durst come no neerer to vs, but shot off in the woods to see if they could feare vs and so make vs to leaue our traffique.

The 20 day we manned our fiue boats, and also a great boat of the Frenchmens with our men and the Admirals, 12 of them in their murrians and corsets, and the rest all well appoynted, with foure trumpets, a drumme and a Fife, and the boate all hanged with streamers of Silke and pendants very faire, and went into the riuer and traffiqued, our man of warre lying off and on in the riuer to waft vs, but we heard no more of the Portugals. This day the Negros told vs that there were certain ships come into Hanta, which towne is about two leagues to the Westward of this place.

This 21 day we manned our boats againe and went to a place a league from this to the Westwards, and there found many Negros with another Captaine, and sold at the same rate that wee had done with the others.

The 22 day we went ashore againe and traffiqued in like sort quietly, and I tooke 4 pound and six ounces of gold.

The 23 day about night the Negros with their captaine came to vs and told vs that the king of Portugals ships were departed from the Castle, meaning the next day to plie to the windward to come to vs, giuing vs warning to take heed to our selues: we told them againe that wee were very glad of their comming, and would be ready at all times to meet them, and to assure them that wee were glad of it, wee sounded our trumpets, and shot off certaine bases whereof the Negros were very glad, and requested vs that if the Portugals sought to hinder our traffique, to shew them all the extremitie that we could, promising vs that if they came by land, they would aduertise vs thereof.

The 24 we went a shore with our trumpets and drummes, and traffiqued, and I bade the captaine of the towne to dinner.

[Sidenote: Fiue sailes of Portingals descried.] The 25 day we being a shore, our ships had descried fiue sailes of the king of Portugals, and our ships shot off ordinance to call vs away, and we threw euery man his caske ashore for water, and went to our ships, and by that time we had weighed and giuen order one to another what to do, it was night, so that that night nothing was done. We set saile and lay close all night to get the wind if we could: we were neere some of them, and one shot off a piece which wee iudged to be the Admirall of the Portugals, to cause the rest to come and speake with him: so all this night we made our selues ready for fight.

The 26 we came in with the shore and had sight of the Portugals where they rid at anker, and we bare with them, and we gaue all our men white scarffes, to the ende that the Frenchmen might know one the other if we came to boording: but the night came vpon vs that we could not fetch them, but we ankered within demie-Culuering shot of them.

[Sidenote: The fight with the Portugals.] The 27 day we weighed and so did the Portugals, and about eleuen of the clocke wee had the wind of them, and then we went roome with them, which when they pereeiued, they kept about to the shore againe, and wee after them, and when they were so neere the shore that they could not well runne any further on that boord, they kept about againe, and lay to the Seaward, and then we kept about with them, and were a head of them, and tooke in our topsailes and taried for them: and the first that came vp was a small barke which sailed so well that she cared not for any of vs, and caried good ordinance: and as soone as she came vp, she shot at vs, and ouershot vs, and then she shot at the Admirall of the Frenchmen, and shot him through in two or three places, and went forth a head of vs, because we were in our fighting sailes: then came vp another carauell vnder our Lee in like case which shot at vs and at the Frenchman, and hurt two of his men and shot him through the maine maste. And after them came vp the Admirall vnder our Lee also, but he was not able to doe vs so much harme as the small shippes, because he caried ordinance higher then they, neither were we able to make a good shot at any of them, because our shippe was so weake in the side, that she laid all her ordinance in the Sea: [Sidenote: The French forsake our men.] wherefore we thought to lay the great ship aboord, and as soone as the French Admirall went roome with him, be fell a sterne and could not fetch him, and after he fell asterne of two carauels more and could fetch none of them, but fell to Leeward of them all: and when he was to Leeward, he kept about to the shoreward, and left vs, and then we put out our topsailes and gaue them chase, and both the other Frenchmen kept the wind, and would not come neere vs, and our owne ship was a sterne so that she could not come to vs: and after we had folowed them about two houres to the seaward, they kept about againe towards the shore, thinking to pay vs as they went along by, and to haue the wind of the French Admirall which before ran in towards the shore, and we kept about with them, and kept still the wind of them thinking that our Viceadmiral and the other would haue folowed vs as wee willed them to do: but after that the Portugall was past by them, and euery one had shot at vs and our Viceadmirall, both our Viceadmirall and the two Frenchmen, and our owne pinnasse left vs in the laps, and ran to seaward, and we ran still along, and kept the wind of them to succour the French Admirall, who was vnder all of their Lees, and when they met with him, euery one went roome with him, and gaue him the broad side, and after they cast about againe, and durst not boord him, because they sawe vs in the weather of them, or els without doubt they had taken or sunke them, for three of them which were the smallest went so fast that it was not possible for a ship to boord them, and caried such ordinance that if they had had the weather of vs, they would haue troubled 3 of the best ships that we had, and as for their Admirall and Viceadmirall they were both notablie appointed.

When the Frenchman was cleare of them, hee laie as neere the winde as hee could, and wee followed them still towardes the shore, and there the Admirall ranne to Sea after the rest, and left vs all alone: and when the Portugals perceiued that we were alone, and gaue them chase, they kept about with vs and we with them, to keepe the wind of them, and we ranne still within base shot of them, but they shot not at vs, because we had the weather of them, and sawe that they could do vs no hurt: and thus we folowed one another vntil night, and in the night we lost them, but as for all the rest of our ships, they packed on all the sailes that they could and ranne to sea, and as they themselues confesse, they praied for vs, but as for helpe at their hands we could haue none.

The 28 day we met with our Viceadmirall, our pinnasse, and two of the Frenchmen, and the third was fled which was a ship of fourscore tunne, and belonged to Roan: and when I had the sight of the rest of our ships, I tooke our skiffe and went to them to know why they lost vs in such a case, and Iohn Kire made me answere that his ship would neither reare nor steere, and as for the pinnasse, Iohn Dauis made me answere that she would doe nothing, and that he could cary her no further, for her rudder was broken, so that the Hart was glad to towe her. Then I went to the French Admirall, and found himselfe to be a man of good stomacke, but the one halfe of his men were sicke and dead: and then I talked with the smaller Frenchman, and hee made me answere that he could doe nothing, saying, that his ship would beare no saile, and had 16 of his men dead and sicke, so he made vs plaine answere that he was able to doe nothing. After this the Frenchman durst not anker for feare of the Portugales.

The 29 day the master of the pinnasse came to vs and sayd that they were not able to keepe her any longer, and then wee viewed her and seeing there was no remedie, her rudder with all the iron worke being broken both aloft and belowe, wee agreed to breake her vp and to put the men into the Hart. So wee tooke out of her foure bases, one anker, and certaine fire wood, and set her on fire, and afterwards ran along the coast.

The thirtie day we went in to the shore, and spake with certaine Negros, who told vs that some French shippes had bene there, but wee could not bargaine with them they were so vnreasonable.

The 31 day I went to shore but did not traffike.

The 1 day of Februarie we weighed, seeing we could not bring the Negros to any reason, and came to another place which standeth vpon an hill.

The third day I went to a towne foure leagues from vs, and shot off two pieces, and the Captaine came to vs, and I sent Thomas Rippen a land who knew the Captaine, and assoone as he came on shore, the Captaine knew him and diuers of the Negros who then began to aske for mee, and hauing told the Captaine that I was in the boate, hee made no longer tarying but by and by caused two boates to be put to the Sea, and came to me himselfe, and when he sawe me, he cryed to me before hee came to the boat and seemed to be the gladdest man aliue, and so did all the companie that knew mee, and I gaue him a reward as the maner of the Countrey is, and caused the Frenchman to giue another, promising the next day to giue him wine: and that night because it was late, he would not talke of any price but left me a pledge, and tooke another of me and so departed.

The 4 day going on shore, I found that the ships of France which had bin there, had done much hurt to our markets but yet I tooke fiue ounces and a halfe of gold.

The fift day I tooke eight ounces and one eight part of gold: but I saw that the Negros perceiued the difference in Cloth betwixt ours and that which the Frenchmen had, which was better, and broader then ours: and then I told captaine Blundel that I would goe to the Leeward, because I perceiued that being there where his Cloth was sold, I should do no good, whereof hee was sorie.

The 6 day there came an almade and Negros aboord me, requesting me to come to their towne for they had much gold and many marchants: and so I went and found their old Captaine gone, and another in his place: but this night wee did no good, because the marchants were not come downe: so he required a pledge which I let him haue, and tooke another of him.

The 7 day George our Negro came to vs, who had followed vs at the least 30 leagues in a small boat, and when he came, the Negros and we soone concluded of price. I tooke this day fiue pound and one ounce, and 3 quarters of gold. This Negro we had left at Shamma at the time of the fight, who said that he saw the fight being on shore, and that when we were gone from the Portugals, the Portugals came into their riuer, and told them that the Englishmen had slaine two Portugals with a piece, which was in deed out of our ship, and they required harbour there, but the captaine of Shamma would not suffer them.

The 8 day we tooke nineteene pound three ounces and a halfe.

The 9 day we tooke two pound six ounces and a halfe.

The 10 day three pound.

[Sidenote: The Frenchmen bridled by the English.] The 11 day came to vs Ierome Bawdet the Viceadmiral of the Frenchmen and his pinnasse, and he shewed vs that where we left them there was no good to be done, and sayd he would goe to the Eastward, but we told him hee should not: and thereupon commaunded him to goe to his company which he was appointed to bee with, which hee refused to doe vntill wee had shot three or foure pieces at their pinnasse, and when the ship sawe that, she kept about, and ranne to Seaward, and durst come no neerer to vs, so the pinnasse went after her. We tooke this day one pound fiue ounces.

The 12 day there came one of the Frenchmens pinnasses to vs laden with cloth, and would haue made sale, but I would not suffer him, and therefore tooke him and sent him aboord of our ship, and caused him to ride there all day. We tooke fiue pound six ounces and a halfe.

The 14 day we tooke of some Negros 4 ounces of gold.

The 16 we came to another towne.

The 17 day I went a shore and vnderstood that 3 of the Portugall ships were at the Castle, and the other two at Shamma. The captaine of this towne was gone to the principall towne, to speake with their king, and would returne shortly as they told me, and so he did, and brought me a weight and measure, and I sent a man to see that principall towne, and their king. The Portugall ships rid so neere vs, that within 3 houres they might be with vs, yet were all contented to tary for sales.

The 18 day certaine of the kings seruants came to vs, and we tooke one pound two ounces, and one eight part of gold.

The 10 day we tooke fiue pound one ounce.

The 20 day one pound and foure ounces.

The 21 I tooke foure pound and one ounce, and the Negroes enquired for fine cloth, and I opened two pieces which were not fine enough, as they sayd, but seeing that we had no other, they bought of them. At night I prouided a gift, or present, and sent one marchant and a mariner with it to the king, to certifie him of our want of victuals, by reason whereof we could not stay long: for in deed we searched our ship, and the most part of our beere was leaked out of all our barrels.

The 22 day we tooke three ounces and a halfe.

[Sidenote: The offer of the king to the English to build a Fort.] The 23 our men came from the king Abaan, and told vs, that he had receiued them very friendly, but he had litle gold, but promised, if we would tary, to send into all his countrey for gold for vs, and he willed our men at their comming home to speake to our king to send men and prouision into his countrey, to build a castle, and to bring Tailors with them, to make them apparell, and good wares, and they should be sure to sell them: but for that present the Frenchmen had filled them full of cloth.

This towne standeth about foure leagues vp in the land, and is by the estimation of our men, as big in circuit as London, but the building is like to the rest of the countrey. They haue about this Towne great store of the wheate of the Countrey, and they iudge, that on one side of the towne there were one thousand rikes of Wheate, and another sorte of Corne which is called Mill, which is much vsed in Spaine.

[Sidenote: A pretie deuise to descrie the enemie.] About this towne they keepe good watch euery night, and haue to warne the watchmen certaine cordes made fast ouer their wayes which lead into the town, and certaine bels vpon them, so that if any man touch the cordes, the bels ring, and then the watchmen runne foorth of their watch houses to see what they be: and if they be enemies, if they passe the cord, they haue prouision with certaine nets hanged ouer the wayes, where they must passe, to let fall vpon them, and so take them, and otherwise then by the wayes it is not possible to enter the towne, by reason of the thickets and bushes which are about the same, and the towne is also walled round about with long cords, and bound together with sedge and certaine barkes of tree.

[Sidenote: The kings friendly entertainment of our men.] When our men came to the towne, it was about fiue of the clock in the morning, for there they trauell alwayes in the night by reason of the heate of the day: and about nine of the clocke, the king sent for them, for there may no man come to him before he be sent for, and then they would haue carried their present with them: but the Negros told them, that they must bee three times brought before him, before they might offer their gift: and when they came to him, he talked with them, and receiued them very friendly and kept them about half an hour, and then they departed, and after that sent for them againe three times, and last of all, they brought him their present, which he receiued thankfully, and then caused a pot of wine of Palme to be brought foorth, and made them drinke: and before they drinke, both here and in all the Countrey, they vse certaine ceremonies.

[Sidenote: Their ceremonies in drinking.] First, they bring foorth their pot of drinke, and then they make a hole in the ground, and put some of the drinke into it, and they cast the earth vpon it, which they digged forth before, and then they set the pot vpon the same, then they take a little thing made of a goord, and with that they take out of the same drinke, and put it vpon the ground in three places, and in diuers places they haue certaine bunches of the pils of Palme trees set in the ground before them, and there they put in some drinke, doing great reuerence in all places to the same Palme trees.

All these ceremonies first done, the king tooke a cup of gold, and they put him in wine, and hee dranke of it, and when he dranke, the people cried all with one voice, Abaan, Abaan, with certaine other words, like as they cry commonly in Flanders, vpon the Twelfe night, The kinning [sic — KTH] drinks: and when he had drunke, then they gaue drinke to euery one, and that done, the king licensed them to depart, and euery one that departeth from him boweth 3 times towards him, and waueth with both hands together, as they bow, and then do depart. The king hath commonly sitting by him 8 or 10 ancient men with gray beards.

This day we tooke one pound and 10 ounces of gold.

The 24 day we tooke 3 pound and 7 ounces.

The 25 we tooke 3 ounces and 3 quarters.

The 26 day we tooke 2 pound and 10 ounces.

The 27 two pound and fiue ounces.

The 28 foure pound, and then seeing that there was no more gold to be had, we weighed and went foorth.

The first day of March we came to a towne called Mowre, but we found no boats nor people there: but being ready to depart, there came two Almades to vs from another towne, of whom we tooke two ounces and a halfe of gold: and they tolde vs that the Negros that dwelled at Mowre were gone to dwell at Lagoua.

The second day we came thwart of the castle, and about two leagues off, and there saw all the fiue Portugall ships at anker, and this day by night we fetched Shamma.

[Sidenote: Ships of Portugall.] The third day we had sight of one tall ship, of about two hundred tunnes in the weather of vs, and within lesse then two leagues of our ships, and then we saw two more a sterne of her, the one a ship of fiue hundred or more, and the other a pinnesse: and these were a new fleet at that present arriued out of Portugall. Whereupon we wayed, and made shift to double out of the land, and then the winde comming to the South-southwest, the Hart going roome with them fell three leagues to the leewards of vs. These Portugals gaue vs the chase from nine of the clocke in the morning, till fiue at night, but did no good against vs. At last, we perceiuing the Admirall to be farre a sterne of his company, because his maine topmast was spent, determined to cast about againe with them, because we were sure to weather them, and the winde being as it was, it was our best course: but the Hart was so farre to the leeward, that we could not doe it, except we would lose her company, so that we tooke in some of our sailes, and went roome with him: which when he perceiued, he looffed to, and was able to lie as neere as he did before. At night, when we came to him, he would not speake to vs: then we asked of his company why he went so roome; and they made excuse that they were able to beare no saile by, for feare of bearing their foretopmast ouer boord: but this was a simple excuse.

The fourth day, being put from our watring place we began to seethe our meat in salt water, and to rebate our allowance of drinke, to make it indure the longer: and so concluded to set our course thence, for our owne countrey.

The 12 of March I found my selfe thwart of Cape das Palmas.

The 16 day we fell with the land, which we iudged to be the Cape Mensurado, about which place is very much high land.

The 18 day we lost sight of the Hart, and I thinke the willfull Master ran in with the shore of purpose to lose vs, being offended that I tolde him of his owne folly.

[Sidenote: Two small Ilands by Sierra Leona. Note.] The 27 day we fell in sight of two small Islands, which lie by our reckoning sixe leagues off the headland of Sierra Leona: and before we came in sight of the same Ilands, we made our reckoning to be forty or thirty leagues at the least off them. Therefore all they that saile this way are to regard the currents which set Northnorthwest, or els they may be much deceiued.

The 14 of April we met with two great ships of Portugall, which although they were in the weather of vs, yet came not roome with vs, whereby we iudged that they were bound for Calicut.

The 18 day we were in the heigth of Cape verde.

The 24 we were directly vnder the tropike of Cancer.

The first day of May Henry Wilson our Steward died: and the next day died Iohn Vnderwood.

[Sidenote: A French brauado.] The 23 we had sight of a shippe in the weather of vs, which was a Frenchman of 90 tunne, who came with vs as stoutly and as desperately as might be, and comming neere vs perceiued that we had bene vpon a long voyage, and iudging vs to be weake, as in deed we were, came neerer vs, and thought to haue layed vs aboord, and there stept vp some of his men in armour, and commanded vs to strike saile: whereupon we sent them some of our stuffe, crossebarres, and chaineshot, and arrowes, so thicke, that it made the vpper worke of their shippe flit about their eares, and then we spoiled him with all his men, and toare his shippe miserably with our great ordinance, and then he began to fall a sterne of vs, and to packe on his sailes, and get away: and we seeing that, gaue him foure or fiue good pieces more for his farewell; and thus we were rid of this French man, who did vs no harme at all. We had aboord vs a French man a Trumpeter, who being sicke, and lying in his bed, tooke his trumpet notwithstanding, and sounded till he could sound no more, and so died.

The 28 we conferred together, and agreed to go into Seuerne, and so to Bristoll, but the same night we had sight of the Lizard, and by reason of the winde, we were not able to double the lands end to go into Seuerne, but were forced to beare in with the Lizard.

The 29 day, about nine of the clocke in the morning, we arriued safely in Plimmouth, and praised God for our good arriuall.

Last updated Monday, March 10, 2014 at 22:20