It is not the purpose of this Collection to enlarge on the history of the East India Company, any farther than by giving relations of its early voyages, so far as these have come down to us in the Pilgrims of Purchas, their only published record; and we now therefore proceed with such of these voyages as are contained in that curious collection, and seem to be worth including in this work.—E.
Voyage of Captain Nicholas Downton to India, in 1614.
The ships employed on this voyage, the second set forth by the joint stock of the East India Company, were the New-year’s Gift admiral, of 650 tons, on board of which Captain Downton sailed as general or chief commander; the Hector of 500 tons, vice-admiral; the Merchant’s Hope, of 300 tons; and the Salomon of 200 tons. We have thus only_ four_ ships enumerated by Purchas, as employed in the second voyage of the new joint stock, instead at eight mentioned in the Annals, as before stated in the introduction to the present chapter. In this voyage, Mr William Edwards was lieutenant, or next in command under Captain Downton, being likewise Cape merchant, and commander of the Hector. Mr Nicholas Easworth was Cape merchant, and commander of the Merchant’s Hope. Mr Thomas Elkington, Cape merchant, and commander of the Salomon. Mr Peter Rogers minister; Martin Pring. Arthur Spaight, Matthew Molineux, and Hugh Bennet, masters of the four ships, assisted by sundry mates,—Purch.
[Footnote 122: Purch. Pilg. I. 500.—Extracted from the journal of Captain Downton]
Sec.1. Incidents at Saldanha, Socotora, and Swally; with an Account of Disagreements between the Moguls and Portuguese, and between the Nabob and the English.
We sailed from England on the 1st March, 1614, and arrived in the road of Saldanha, or Table Bay, on Wednesday the 15th June, being saluted on our arrival by a great storm. While every person was busy in mooring the ship, John Barter, who had lost his reason in consequence of a long fever, was suddenly missing, and was supposed to have made away with himself. The 16th we erected our tents, and placed a guard for their defence. We landed half our casks on the 17th, to be overhauled and seasoned; and this day Choree, the Saldanian or Hottentot, presented me a young steer. The 18th we landed more of our beer casks, to be washed, repaired, and seasoned. This day, Choree departed into the interior, carrying with him his copper armour, javelins, and all things belonging to him, promising to be back the third day after, but he never returned.
The 29th I sent George Downton ashore, to take observations of the latitude and variation, in consideration of the great difference in the variations, as observed in this and my former voyage in the Pepper-corn. We made the latitude exactly 34 deg. S. and the variation 1 deg. 45’ W. by an azimuth, whereas most of the former variations at this place were easterly. We this night took down our tents, and brought every thing on board, making our ships ready to depart next day, which we did accordingly.