Being hard pressed, they discharged their arquebuses upon the negroes, who leapt into the water to avoid the shot. The English then rowed with all their might to get to sea; but the negroes getting again into their canoes, pursued and overtook them. Then drawing near, poured in their darts with accurate aim. The English kept them off with their pikes and halberts, and many of the negroes being slain or wounded by the English arrows and hail-shot from the arquebuses, they retreated. But when the English had expended all their arrows, the negroes came on again, and made many attempts to board the boat. The negro chief, who was a large tall man, advanced in his canoe under cover of his target, with a poisoned dart in his hand, in order to board; and as he pressed forward, the masters-mate thrust a pike through his target and throat, which dispatched him. While the mate was striving to disengage his pike, which stuck fast in the shield, he was wounded by a dart; yet drew the dart from his flesh and killed with it the negro who had wounded him. The enemy continued the fight closer than ever, and did great mischief with their darts, which made wide and grievous wounds. The gunner received two desperate wounds, and lost a great deal of blood, and the brave masters-mate, while standing firmly in his post, was struck through the ribs by a dart, on pulling out which his bowels followed, and he fell down dead. On perceiving this, the negroes gave a great shout, and pressed to enter the boat where the mate had stood, imagining as so many of the English were wounded they would now soon yield. But four of those remaining in the pinnace kept them off with their pikes, while the other four at the oars made the best of their way to sea.
At length they got out of the river, and the negroes retired having expended all their darts. This was fortunate for the English, as six of the remaining eight were desperately wounded, one of whom was Robert Baker, the author of this narrative, and only two remained who were able to handle the oars, so that they made very slow progress to the ship, which appears to have been four leagues from the shore. When they got on board they were all so faint that none of them were able to stand. After having their wounds dressed they refreshed themselves; but as Robert Baker had more occasion for rest than food he went to bed, and when he awoke in the morning the ship was under sail for England.
Voyage to Guinea in 1563 by Robert Baker
This relation, like the former, is written in verse, and only contains a description of two adventures that happened in the voyage, one of which proved extremely calamitous to those concerned in it, among whom was the author. From the title or preamble, we learn that the adventurers in this voyage were Sir William Gerard, Sir William Chester, Sir Thomas Lodge, Benjamin Gonson, William Winter, Lionel Ducket, Anthony Hickman,