You are to sound the King of Habaan at a distance as to the erection of a fort in his country, taking notice how he relishes the proposal; yet you will so manage your communication with him that he may not understand your meaning, although there may seem good cause for its erection.
You will search the country as far as you can, both along the coast and into the interior. You will likewise use your endeavours to learn what became of the merchants who were left at Benin. In all other important matters worthy of notice, we have no doubt that you will diligently inquire and report to us, which we leave to your good discretion. We also request, that you will aid and assist our factors on all occasions, both with your advice and otherwise; and thus God send you safely to return.
Voyage to Guinea in 1562, written by William Rutter.
This relation is said by Hakluyt to have been written by one William Rutter, to his master Anthony Hickman, being an account of a voyage to Guinea in 1562, fitted out by Sir William Gerard, Sir William Chester, Thomas Lodge, Anthony Hickman, and Edward Castelin. Three of these are named in the preceding section as adventurers in the voyage proposed to have gone under John Lok, and two of those former adventurers are here omitted, while two others seem now to have supplied their places, yet it appears to have been the same adventure, as the Minion was the ship employed, notwithstanding the unfavourable report made of her by Lok. But it would appear that the Primrose was likewise of this voyage, as this relation is contained in a letter from Rutter to his master, dated on board the Primrose, 16th of August 1563.—E.
[Footnote 284: Hakluyt, II. 516. Astley, I. 177.]
* * * * *
Worshipful Sir,—My duty remembered, this shall serve to inform you of our voyage, since our departure from Dartmouth on the 25th February 1562, of which I then gave you notice. Having prosperous wind, we arrived at Cape Verd on the 20th of March, whence we sailed along the coast, to our first appointed port at Rio de Sestos, where we arrived on the morning of the 3d April. We here saw a French ship, which immediately made sail to leeward, and we came to anchor in the road. While we merchants were on shore engaged in traffic, the French ship returned and hailed [saluted] our ship with his ordnance. We were informed by the negroes that the Frenchman had been trading there for three days before our arrival, and we concluded, if he sent his boat on shore again for trade, that we would not suffer him till we had conferred with his captain and merchants. Accordingly his pinnace came on shore in the afternoon, but we desired them not to trade till we had spoken with their captain and merchants, whom we desired might come that night on board our admiral for that purpose. They did so accordingly, when Mr Burton and John Munt went on board the Minion, where the Frenchmen were, and it was determined that they should wait eight days beside us, allowing us to trade quietly the while. They were much dissatisfied with this arrangement, and sailed next morning eastwards to the Rio de Potos, on purpose to hinder our trade on the coast.