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 evening of the 27th, we allowed the Portuguese to depart for Goa, to the number of 2500 persons, including men, women, and children, to whom we gave our two prizes, the Robert and Shilling, for their transport, with victuals and water necessary for the voyage, and a pass to free them from any molestation, in case they met with any of our ships at sea.  Besides these, there were upwards of an hundred persons, so maimed or sick as to be incapable of being sent off at this time, for want of room in these two ships.

The king of Ormus was very poor, and lived chiefly on a pension or allowance of 140,000 rees, allowed him by the king of Spain, with some small reserved petty customs.  In rummaging among his papers, we found the copy of a letter from him to the king of Spain, complaining loudly of the injustice of the Portuguese, and charging them with the entire overthrow of the kingdom of Ormus.[312]

[Footnote 312:  Besides this letter, too long and uninteresting for insertion, there are several other letters and documents in the Pilgrims at this place, so much in the same predicament as to be here omitted.—­E.]

When we expected to have received 1200 tomans[313] from Pulot Beg, who was chief commissioner under the Khan of Shiras, as our pay for the time occupied in this enterprize, he contrived to make us a larger sum in their debt, under pretence of embezzling the plunder in the castle; while we, on the other hand, made counter demands of a much larger sum due to us from the Persians, in the same manner.  At length, three months pay were allowed, and our other demands were shifted off, as he pretended to have no power to liquidate them without an order from the Khan.  After business was ended, our misery began, occasioned by the insufferable heat of Ormus, and the disorders of our own people in drinking arrack, and other excesses no less injurious; through which such diseases arose among our people, that three-fourths of them were dangerously sick, and many died so suddenly, that the plague was feared to have got among them, although no symptoms of that dreadful malady as yet appeared.  This extremity lasted for fourteen days, during which time, six or seven of our men died every day; but after this, it pleased God to stay the mortality, and the rest recovered.  Ten pieces of ordnance belonging to the Portuguese, were taken into our ships, to replace that number of our own which had been broken or otherwise spoiled during the siege.  Our fleet was detained till the 1st September, owing to the shifting of the monsoon, and waiting its return.  Leaving Ormus on that day, we arrived in Swally roads on the 24th of that month, where the London, Jonas, and Lion, loaded for England, and sailed homewards bound on the 30th December.  Before setting sail, news was brought of sinking three Portuguese carracks off the port of Masulipatam, by the English and Dutch in conjunction.

[Footnote 313:  This must be a gross error, as by the value of the toman formerly given, the sum in the text very little exceeds L400.  Purchas mentions, in a side-note, that he had heard the English received L20,000 for this service from the Persians.—­E.]

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