The date of this letter agrees with the 20th of March 1587, which I, Abdel Rahman el Catun, interpreter for his majesty, have translated out of Arabic into Spanish, word for word as contained therein.
[Footnote 306: Besides this, Hakluyt gives copies in Spanish and English of a letter from Mulley Hamet to the Earl of Leicester, and of a letter from Queen Elizabeth to Mulley Hamet, both of which are merely complimentary, or relate to unexplained circumstances respecting one John Herman an English rebel, whose punishment is required from the emperor of Morocco. He had probably contraveened the exclusive privileges of the Barbary company, by trading in Morocco.—E.]
Voyage to Benin beyond Guinea in 1588, by James Welsh.
This and the subsequent voyage to Benin were fitted out by Messrs Bird and Newton, merchants of London, in which a ship of 100 tons called the Richard of Arundel and a pinnace were employed, under the chief command of James Welsh, who wrote the account of both voyages—Astley.
[Footnote 307: Hakluyt, II. 613. Astley, I. 199.]
It seems not improbable that these voyages were intended as an evasion of an exclusive privilege granted in May 1588 by Queen Elizabeth, for trade to the rivers Senegal and Gambia, called Senega and Gambra in Hakluyt. The boundaries of this exclusive trade are described as beginning at the northermost part of the river Senegal, and from and within that river all along the coast of Guinea into the southermost part of the river Gambia, and within that river also; and the reason assigned for this exclusive grant is, that the patentees had already made one voyage to these parts, and that the enterprizing a new trade must be attended with considerable hazard and expence. The patentees were several merchants of Exeter and other parts of Devonshire, and one merchant of London, who had been instigated by certain Portuguese resident in England to engage in that trade, and the privilege is extended to ten years.—E.
[Footnote 308: See the patent at large in Hakluyt, II. 610. London edition, 1810.]
* * * * *
On the 12th October 1588, weighing anchor from Ratcliff we dropped down to Blackwall, whence we sailed next day; but owing to contrary winds we did not reach Plymouth till the 25th October, where we had to remain for want of a fair wind to the 14th of December, when we set sail and passed the Lizard that night. Thursday the 2d January 1589, we had sight of the land near Rio del Oro, making our lat. 22 deg. 47’ N. The 3d we saw Cape Barbas, distant 5 leagues S.E. The 4th in the morning we had sight of the stars called the Croziers. The 7th we had sight of Cape Verd, making our lat. 14 deg. 43’ at 4 leagues off shore. Friday 17th Cape Mount bore from us N.N.E., when we sounded and had 50 fathoms water with