The voyage of M. Roger Bodenham with the great Barke Aucher to Candia and Chio, in the yeere 1550.
In the yeere 1550. the 13 of Nouember I Roger Bodenham Captaine of the Barke Aucher entered the said ship at Grauesend, for my voiage to the Ilands of Candia and Chio in the Leuant. The master of my ship was one William Sherwood. The Barke Aucher goeth for Leuant. From thence we departed to Tilbery hope, and there remained with contrarie windes vntill the 6. of Ianuarie, 1551. The 6 of Ianuary, the M. came to Tilbery, and I had prouided a skilfull pylot to cary me ouer the lands end, whose name was M. Wood, and with all speede I valed downe that night 10 miles to take the tide in the morning, which happily I did, and that night came to Douer, and there came to an anker, and there remained vntill Tuesday, meeting with the worthy knight sir Anthony Aucher owner of the saide ship.
The 11 day we arriued in Plimoth, and the 13 in the morning we set forward on our voyage with a prosperous winde, and the 16 we had sight of Cape Finister on the coast of Spaine.
The 30 we arriued at Cades, and there discharged certaine marchandise, and tooke others aboord.
Mallorca. The 20 of February we departed from Cades, and passed the straights of Gibraltar that night, and the 25 we came to the Ile of Mallorca, and stated there fiue daies with contrary windes.
The first of March, we had sight of Sardenna, and the fift of the said month wee arriued at Messina in Sicilia, and there discharged much goods and remained there vntill good Fryday in Lent.
The chiefe marchant that landed the sayd Barke Aucher was a marchant stranger called Anselm Saluago, and because the time was then very dangerous, and on going into Leuant, especially to Chio, without a safe conduct from the Turke, the said Anselm promised the owner Sir Anthony Aucher, that we should receiue the same at Messina. But I was posted from thence to Candia, and there I was answered that I should send to Chio, and there I should haue my safe conduct. I was forced to send one, and hee had his answere that the Turke would giue none, willing me to looke what was best for me to doe, which was no small trouble to me, considering I was bound to deliuer the goods that were in the ship at Chio, or send them at mine aduenture. The Turke prepareth an army to besiege Malta The marchants without care of the losse of the ship would haue compelled me to goe, or send their goods at mine aduenture, the which I denied, and sayd plainely I would not goe, because the Turkes gallies were come foorth to go against Malta, but by the French kings means, he was perswaded to leaue Malta, and to goe to Tripoly in Barbary, which by the French he wan. In this time there were in Candia certaine Turkes vessels called Skyrasas, which had brought wheat thither to sell, and were ready to depart for Turkie. And they departed in the morning be times, carying newes that I would not goe foorth: the same night I prepared beforehande what I thought good, without making any man priuie, vntill I sawe time. Then I had no small businesse to cause my mariners to venture with the ship in such a manifest danger. Neuerthelesse I wan them to goe all with me, except three which I set on land, and with all diligence I was readie to set foorth about eight of the clocke at night, being a faire moone shine night, and went out. Then my 3 marriners made such requests vnto the rest of my men to come aborde, as I was constrained to take them in. The Barke Ancher at Milcone. And so with good wind we put into the Archipelago, and being among the Ilands the winde scanted, and I was forced to anker at an Iland called Micone, where I taried 10 or 12 daies, hauing a Greeke Pilot to carrie the ship to Chio. In this meane season, there came many small botes with mysson sayles to go for Chio, with diuerse goods to sell, and the Pilot requested me that I would let them goe in my company, to which I yeelded. After the sayd dayes expired, I wayed and set saile for the Iland of Chio, with which place I fel in the after noone, whereupon I cast to seaward againe to come with the Iland in the morning betimes. The foresaid smal vessels which came in my company, departed from me to win the shore, to get in the night, but vpon a sudden they espied 3 foystes of Turkes comming vpon them to spoyle them. My Pilot, hauing a sonne in one of those small vessels, entreted me to cast about towards them, which at his request I did, and being something farre from them, I caused my Gunner to shoot a demycoluering at a foyst that was readie to enter one of the botes. That was so happy a shot, that it made the Turke to fall a sterne of the bote and to leaue him, by the which meanes hee escaped. Then they all came to me, and requested that they might hang at my sterne vntill day light, by which time I came before the Mole of Chio, and sent my bote on land to the marchants of that place to send for their goods out of hand, or else I would returne back with all to Candia, and they should fetch their goods there. The towne of Chio is bound in 12000 ducats for the safegard of Barke Aucher. But in fine, what by perswasion of my merchant English men, and those of Chio, I was entreated to come into the harbour, and had a safe assurance for 20 dayes against the Turkes army, with a bond of the citie in the summe of 12000 ducats. So I made hast and solde such goods as I had to Turkes that came thither, and put all in order, with as much speede as I could, fearing the comming of the Turkes nauie, of the which, the chiefe of the citie knew right wel. So vpon the sudden they called me of great friendship, and in secret told me, I had no way to saue my selfe but to be gone, for said they, we be not able to defend you, that are not able to help our selues, for the Turke where he commeth, taketh what he will, and leaueth what he list, but the chiefe of the Turkes set order that none shal do any harme to the people or to their goods. This was such news to me, that indeed I was at my wits end, and was brought into many imaginations how to do, for that the winde was contrarie. In fine, I determined to goe foorth. The companie do murmure against their Captaine. But the marchants English men and other regarding more their gaines then the ship, hindred me very much in my purpose of going foorth, and made the marriners to come to me to demaund their wages to be payed them out of hande, and to haue a time to employ the same there. But God prouided so for me, that I paied them their money that night, and then charged them, that if they would not set the ship foorth, I would make them to answere the same in England, with danger of their heads. Many were married in England, and had somewhat to loose, those did sticke to me. I had twelue gunners: the Master gunner who was a madde brayned fellow, and the owners seruant had a parlament betweene themselues, and he vpon the same came vp to me with his sword drawen, swearing that hee had promised the owner Sir Anthony Aucher, to liue and die in the sayde shippe against all that should offer any harme to the shippe, and that he would fight with the whole armie of the Turkes, and neuer yeelde: with this fellow I had much to doe, but at the last I made him confesse his fault and followe mine aduise. Thus with much labour I gat out of the Mole of Chio, into the sea by warping foorth, with the helpe of Genoueses botes, and a French bote that was in the Mole, and being out God sent mee a speciall gale of winde to goe my way. The Turkes Gallies come to seeke the Barke Aucher. Then I caused a peece to be shotte off for some of my men that were yet in the towne, and with much a doe they came aboord, and then I set sayle a little before one of the clocke, and I made all the sayle I could, and about halfe an houre past two of the clocke there came seuen gallies into Chio to stay the shippe: and the admirall of them was in a great rage because she was gone. Whereupon they put some of the best in prison, and tooke all the men of the three ships which I left in the port, and put them into the Gallies. They would haue followed after mee, but that the townes men found meanes they did not The next day came thither a hundred more of Gallies, and there taried for their whole companie, which being together were about two hundred and 50 sayle, taking their voyage for to surprise the Iland of Malta. The next day after I departed, I had the sight of Candia, but I was two dayes after or euer I could get in, where I thought my selfe out of their daunger. There I continued vntill the Turkes armie was past, who came within the sight of the towne. There was preparation made as though the Turks had come thither. Fiue thousand banished men in Candia. There be, in that Iland of Candia many banished men, that liue continually in the mountaines, they came down to serue, to the number of foure or fiue thousand, they are good archers, euery one with his bowe and arrowes, a sword and a dagger, with long haire, and bootes that reach vp to their grine, and a shirt of male, hanging the one halfe before, and the other halfe behinde, these were sent away againe assoon as the armie was past. They would drinke wine out of all measure. Then the armie being past, I laded my shippe with wines and other things; and so after I had that which I left in Chio, I departed for Messina. In the way I found about Zante, certaine Galliots of Turkes, laying abord of certaine vessels of Venice laden with Muscatels: I rescued them, and had but a barrell of wine for my powder and shot: and within a few dayes after I came to Messina. I had in my shippe a Spanish pilot called Noblezia, which I tooke in at Cades at my comming foorth: he went with me all this voyage into the Leuant without wages, of good will that he bare me and the shippe, he stoode me in good steede vntill I came backe againe to Cades, and then I needed no Pilot. And so from thence I came to London with the shippe and goods in safetie, God be praysed. And all those Mariners that were in my sayd shippe, which were, besides boyes, three score and tenne, for the most part were within fiue or sixe yeeres after able to take charge, and did. Master Richard Chancellour. Master Mathew Baker. Richard Chanceller, who first discouered Russia, was with me in that voyage, and Mathew Baker, who afterward became the Queenes Maiesties chiefe ship-wright.
Last updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 14:09