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.

This section contains a letter from Mr Thomas Spurway, merchant or factor, addressed from Bantam, “To the Honourable and Right Worshipful the East India Company of England, touching the wrongs done at Banda to the English by the Hollanders; the former unkind disgusts and brabling quarrels now breaking unexpectedly out into a furious and injurious war.”  Such is the account given of this section by Purchas, who farther informs his readers, “That the beginning of this letter was torn, and therefore imperfect in his edition; but, what is here defective, was to be afterwards supplied from the journals of Nathaniel Courthop, and other continuations of these insolences of the Dutch at Banda, by Mr Hayes, and others.”  These journals of Courthop and Hayes are so intolerably and confusedly written, and so interlarded with numerous letters about the subject of these differences with the Dutch, that we have been reluctantly under the necessity of omitting them, being so monstrously inarticulate as to render it impossible to make them at all palatable to our readers, without using freedoms that were altogether inadmissible in a work like the present.

[Footnote 254:  Purch.  Pilgr.  I. 608.]

From this letter, and other information of a similar nature, it appears that the attempts to form establishments for trade at Banda and the Molucca islands were found to be difficult or impracticable, owing to the opposition of the Dutch, who were much stronger in that part of India, and had not only conceived the plan of monopolizing the spice trade, but even avowed their determination to exclude the English and all other European nations from participating in any share of it.  We do not pretend, in our Collection, to write the history of the English East India Company, but merely to give a series of the voyages which contributed to the establishment of that princely association of merchant adventurers.  Yet it seems proper, occasionally at least, in the introductions to leading voyages, like the present, to give some short historical notices of the subject, for the materials of which we are chiefly, if not solely, indebted to the Annals of the Company, a work of meritorious and laborious research, already several times referred to.

Under the difficulties which had long attended the exertions of the English to acquire a share in this peculiarly called spice trade, the agent and commercial council of the English company at Bantam, gave authority to the commanders of the Swan and Defence to endeavour to obtain from the native chiefs of the islands of Puloroon and Puloway, a surrender of these islands to the king of England, with the stipulation of paying annually as a quit-rent, a fruit-bearing branch of the nutmeg tree; yet stipulating that these islanders were to continue entirely under the guidance of their own laws and customs, providing only that they should engage to sell their spices exclusively to the agents of the English company, who were, in

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