Narrative of the Voyage.
On the 13th of September, 1598, the Maurice and Concord sailed from the port of Gocree; and, being joined by the Henry Frederick and Hope, from Amsterdam, the whole fleet proceeded for Plymouth, where their English pilot, Mr Mellish, who had been the companion of Sir Thomas Candish in his navigations, was to take in his apparel and other necessaries. They sailed from Plymouth on the 21th September, the wind then blowing a fresh gale at N.E. Next morning, being out of the channel, they perceived that the boat belonging to the vice-admiral was missing, in which were six men, which gave them considerable uneasiness, insomuch that they had some intention of returning to Plymouth in search of them. They met, however, with an English privateer, which soon made them alter their intentions; by assuring them that their men had run away with the boat, and could not be recovered, on which they resolved to proceed on their voyage. At this time considerable jealousies sprung up, respecting the capacity and conduct of the vice-admiral, which were soon increased by his losing his other boat and one man, and which could not be recovered by all their care. This carelessness occasioned much murmuring and discontent among the seamen, which the vice-admiral daily increased by his haughty behaviour, and by his contempt for advice, which no man needed more than he.
The 4th October, they met a small fleet of English, Dutch, and French ships, returning from Barbary, from whom they had accounts of a terrible pestilence then raging in that country, which had swept away 250,000 persons in a very short space of time. The 6th, they came between the islands of Teneriff and Grand Canary, and on the 3d November, they came in sight of the coast of Guinea. December 4th they were off Cape Palma, in lat. 3 deg. 30’ N. and on the 10th came in sight of Princes Island, in lat. 1 deg. N. Sending their boats ashore to this island, carrying a flag of truce, they were met on the shore by a negro, bearing a similar flag, from whom they demanded a supply of provisions, which was accorded on fair and friendly terms; but, while settling the terms, they were suddenly surprised by a party from an ambush, which cut off several of them, one of whom was Mr Mellish, their English pilot. The Portuguese pursued them to their boats, which they briskly attached, killing the admiral’s brother, and had nearly captured the whole party. In revenge of this outrage, it was determined in a council of war to attack the castle; but finding this enterprize too hazardous, they contented themselves with burning all the sugar ingenios. After this exploit, having provided themselves with fresh water, they set sail on the 17th.