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

The relation of one William Rutter to M. Anthony Hickman his master touching a voyage set out to Guinea in the yeere 1562, by Sir William Gerard, Sir William Chester, M. Thomas Lodge, the sayd Anthony Hickman, and Edward Castelin, which voyage is also written in verse by Robert Baker.

Worshipfull sir, my duty remembered, this shalbe to declare vnto you the discourse of this our voyage, since our departure out of England from Dartmouth; at which time I gaue you to vnderstand of our departure, which was the 25 of February 1562. Then hauing a prosperous winde we departed from thence, and sailed on our voyage vntill we arriued at Cauo verde the 20 of March, making no abode there, but sailed along the coast to our first appointed port Rio de Sestos, at which port we arriued the third of Aprill in the morning, hauing the sight of a Frenchman, who assoone as he perceiued vs, set saile and made to the sea: in the meane time we came to an anker in the rode: and after that he had espied our flag, perceiuing vs to be Englishman, he bare with the shore, and hailed our ships with his ordinance, at which time we the merchants of both the ships were in the riuer in traffike, and had vnderstanding of the Negroes that he had bene there three dayes before our comming: so we concluded together, that if he sent his pinnesse to traffike, we would not suffer him, vntill we had taken further order with their captaine and marchants. In the afternoone the pinnesse came into the riuer, whose men we willed to make no traffike vntill we had talked further with their captaine, whom we willed that night to come aboord our admirall: which was done. At which sayd time M. Burton and Iohn Munt went aboord the Minion where the Frenchmen were, and there concluded that they should tary by vs eight dayes, and suffer vs quietly to traffike, wherewith they were not well pleased. Wherevpon the next morning they departed from vs, sailing alongst the coast to the Eastward towards Potis, which he did to hinder our traffike that way: wherefore the marchants of the Minion and we concluded (forasmuch as at that present we vnderstood that were no sailes past alongst) that we should go before, to the end we might not be hindered of our traffike by the Frenchmen; which thing we did: and at our comming thither we found the Frenchmen in traffike to the West of Potis, by whom we passed, and arriued at Rio de Potis the 12 of April, where we remained in traffike vntill the 15 of the sayd moneth, and then departed from thence along the coast toward Sant Andre, where we appointed by agreement to tary for the Minion; and the 17 at night we came to the riuer of S. Andre, in which very day the Minion came vnto vs, telling vs that they met at cauo das Palmas a great ship and a caruell of the king of Portugals bound to the Mina, who gaue chase vnto them, and shot freely at them, and the Minion in her defence returned her the like: but God be praised the Minion had no hurt for that time. In the end we concluded to hasten towards cauo de tres puntus to haue put them from the castle, if by any meanes wee might; and when wee were come to the Cape, we lay a hull one night and two dayes, and doubting they had bene past, the Minion went neere the shore, and sent her merchants to a place called Anta, where beforetime we had traffike, and the next morning very early being the 21 of the sayd moneth, we againe had sight of the ship and the carauell a good way to sea-boord of vs. Then we presently set saile, and bare with the formost of them, hoping to haue got betweene the castle and them, but we came short of our purpose, which was no small griefe vnto vs all; and when they had gotten the castle to friend, they shot at vs freely, and we at them, and the castle at vs; but we profited litle. In the afternoone we set saile and came to the town of Don Iuan called Equi, where the 22 in the morning we went a shoare to traffike, but the Negros would not vntill they had newes from Don Luis, for at that time Don Iuan was dead, and the 23 came Don Luis his sonne and Pacheco minding to traffike with vs, at which said day came two gallies rowing along the shoare from the castle, minding to keepe vs from our traffike. The 24 we set saile and chased the galies to the castle againe. The Negroes being glad of that required vs to goe to Mowre, which is some 3 leagues behind, and thither would they come for that they stood in feare of the Portugals, and there we remained for the marchants that came out of the countrey which were come with their gold, but Anthonio don Luis his sonne, and Pacheco were aboord the Minion. And the 25 in the morning came the two galies from the castle againe vnto vs, the weather being very calme, they shot at vs and hit vs 3 times, and shortly after the wind came from the shore, at which instant we descried the ship, and the carauell comming toward vs, then we weighed and set saile, and bare as neere vnto them as we could: but it was night or euer wee met with them, and the night being very darke we lost them. The next day plying to the shore, at night we agreed to go with Cormantin, but the next morning being the 28 we were but a litle distant from the great ship and the 2 galies, hauing no wind at all, and the carauell hard aboord the shore. Then being calme, came the 2 galies rowing to the sterne of the Minion, and fought with her the most part of the forenoone: Much hurt done in the Minion with firing a barrel of gunpouder. and in the fight a mischance hapned in the Minions steward-roome by means of a barrell of pouder that tooke fire, wherewith were hurt the master gunner, the steward, and most part of the gunners: which the galies perceiuing, began to be more fierce vpon them, and with one shot cut halfe her foremast in twaine, that without present remedie shee was not able to beare saile, and presently vpon this the great ship sent her boat to the galies, who suddenly departed from vs. And after their departure we went aboord the Minion to counsell what were best to be done, at which time they were sore discomfited. Whereupon we deuised what was best to be done: and because wee knew that the Negros neither would nor durst traffike so long as the galies were on the coast it was therefore agreed that we should prepare our selues to depart to Rio de Sestos, and so we departed that day. They returne. The 14 of May in the rooming we fell with the land, and when wee came to it, we doubted what place it was, and sent our boates on land to know the trueth, and we found it to be Rio de Barbos, which is to be Eastward of sant Andre, and there remained in getting of water until the 21, where we lost the day before 5 of our men by meanes of overthrowing our black pinnasse. The 22 we departed from thence to Rio de Sesto, where we arriued the 2 of Iune, and the 4 wee departed from Rio de Sesto, and arriued (God bee thanked) the 6 of August within sight of the Stert in the West part of England, our men being very sicke and weake. We haue not at this present aboue 20 sound men that are able to labour, and we haue of our men 21 dead, and many more very sore hurt and sicke. Master Burton hath bene sicke this 6 weekes, and at this present (God strengthen him) is so weake that I feare he will hardly escape. Herein inclosed your worship shall receiue a briefe of all the goods sold by vs, and also what commodities we haue receiued for the same. Thus I leaue to trouble your worship, reseruing all things als to our generall meeting, and to the bringer hereof. From aboord the Primerose the 6 of August 1563.

Your obedient seruant

William Rutter.

There are brought home this voiage An. 1363. Elephants teeth 166 weighing 1758 pounds. Graines 22 buts full.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:55