A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 09 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 844 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 09.
On the 19th, the friars being absent, he carried both of us to the master of the ceremonies, or Maimondare, and took us along with him to the Grand Vizier, Sarek Hogea, who immediately called his scribes or secretaries, and made draughts of what we desired:  namely, three firmauns, one of which John Crowther has to carry to Surat, one for Richard Steel to carry to England, and the third to be sent to the governor of Jasques, all sealed with the great seal of the king.  The same day that these firmauns were procured, being the last of September, Sir Robert Shirley set out for Shiras in great pomp, and very honourably attended.

[Footnote 158:  Of the landing of Sir Robert Shirley, see Peyton’s first voyage before; and of the rest of his journey see the second voyage of Peyton, in the sequel.—­Purch.]

Copy of the Firmaun granted by the King of Persia.

“Firmaun or command given unto all our subjects, from the highest to the lowest, and directed to the Souf-basha, or constable of our country, kindly to receive and entertain the English Franks[159] or nation, when any of their ships may arrive at Jasques, or any other of the ports in our kingdom, to conduct them and their merchandize to what place or places they may desire, and to see them safely defended upon our coasts from any other Franks whomsoever.  This I will and command you to do, as you shall answer in the contrary.  Given at our royal city, this 12th of Ramassan, in the year of our Tareag, 1024. [October, 1615.]”

The chief commodities of Persia are raw silks, of which it yields, according to the king’s books, 7700 batmans yearly.  Rhubarb grows in Chorassan, where also worm-seed grows.

[Footnote 159:  Frank is a name given in the East to all western Christians, ever since the expedition to the Holy Land, because the French were the chief nation on that occasion, and because the French council at Clermont was the cause of that event.—­Purch.]

Carpets of all sorts, some of silk and gold, silk and silver, half silk, half cotton, &c.  The silver monies of Persia are the abacee, mahamoody, shakee, and biftee, the rest being of copper, like the tangas and pisos of India.  The abacee weighs two meticals, the mahmoody is half an abacee, and the shahee is half a mahamoody.  In the dollar or rial of eight there are thirteen shahees.[160] In a shahee there are two biftees and a half, or ten cashbegs, one biftee being four cashbegs, or two tangs.  The weights differ in different places; two mahans of Tauris being only one of Ispahan, and so of the batman.  The measure of length, for silks and other stuffs, is the same with the pike of Aleppo, which we judge to be twenty-seven English inches.

[Footnote 160:  Assuming the Spanish dollar at 4s. 6d. sterling, the shahee ought therefore to be worth about 4d. 1-6, the mahamoody,8d. 1-3, and the abecee, 1s. 4d. 2-3.—­E.]

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