[Footnote 259: Probably that now called King-road?—E.]
Second Voyage to Guinea in 1556, by William Towerson.
On the 14th September 1556, we set sail from Harwich bound for the coast of Guinea, in the Tiger of London of 120 tons, directing our coarse for Scilly, where we expected to meet the Hart of London of 60 tons and a pinnace of 16 tons, both of which had been fitted out and victualled at Bristol. We arrived at Scilly on the 28th, and having lain to some time for our consorts to no purpose, we sailed back to Plymouth on the 12th October. They there joined us, and we sailed together from that port on the 15th November.
[Footnote 260: Hakluyt, II. 496. Astl. I. 162.
Hitherto we have given these voyages to Guinea at full length, as they are found in the collection of Hakluyt; but in this and the subsequent early English voyages to Guinea, we have thought proper to abbreviate such matters as seemed of small importance.—E.]
We made the coast of Guinea on the 30th December, where we got sight of three ships and two pinnaces which were to windward of us, on which we made ourselves ready for action and gave them chase, hauling to the wind as near as we could to gain the weather-gage. At first they made sail from us, but having cleared for fighting they put about and came towards us in brave order, their streamers, pennants and ensigns displayed, and trumpets, sounding. When we met they still had the weather-gage of us, yet were we firmly determined to have fought them if they had been Portuguese, and hailed them to come under our lee, which they stoutly refused. On demanding whence they were, they said from France; and we then told them we were from London in England. They then told us there were certain Portuguese ships gone to Mina to protect that place, and that they had already burnt a Portuguese ship of 200 tons at the river Sestro. The captain of the admiral ship and several other Frenchmen came on board of us in a friendly manner, and proposed that we should join company because of the Portuguese, and go together to Mina. We told them that we had not yet watered, having just fallen in with the coast. They said we were 50 leagues to leeward of Sestro river, but still water might be had, and they would assist us in watering with their boats for the sake of our company. They told us farther that they had been six weeks on the coast, and had only got 3 tons of grains among them all.
[Footnote 261: These ships were the Espoir of Harfleur, the admiral, of which Denis Blundel was captain; the Levriere of Rouen, vice-admiral, commanded by Jerome Baudet; and a ship of Houfleur, commanded by Jean de Orleans.—E.]