The unfortunate Voyage of Captain Benjamin Wood, towards the East Indies, in 1596.
In the year 1596, a squadron of three ships, the Bear, Bear’s Welp, and Benjamin, was fitted out, chiefly at the charges of Sir Robert Dudley, and the command given to Mr Benjamin Wood. The merchants employed in this voyage were, Mr Richard Allot and Mr Thomas Bromfield, both of the city of London. As they intended to have proceeded as far as China, they obtained the gracious letters of Queen Elizabeth, of famous memory, to the king or emperor of that country, recommending these two merchants, or factors, to his protection.
[Footnote 29: Purchas his Pilgrims, I. 110, Astl. I. 252.]
This their honourable expedition, and gracious recommendations from her majesty for the furtherance of their mercantile affairs, had no answerable effects, but suffered a double disaster: first, in the miserable perishing of the squadron; and next, in losing the history, or relation, of that tragedy. Some broken plank, however, as after a shipwreck have yet been encountered from the West Indies, which gives us some notice of this East-Indian misadventure. Having the following intelligence by the intercepted letters of the licentiate Alcasar de Villa Senor, auditor in the royal audience of St Domingo, judge of the commission in Porto Rico, and captain-general of the province of New Andalusia, written to the King of Spain and his royal council of the Indies; an extract of which, so far as concerns this business, here follows; wherein let not the imputation of robbery and piracy trouble the minds of the reader, being the words of a Spaniard concerning the deeds of Englishmen, done in the time of war between us and them.
So far we have exactly followed the introductory remarks of Purchas. In the sequel, however, we have thought it better to give only an abridgement of the letter from Alcasar de Villa Senor, which Purchas informs us, in a side note, he had found among the papers of Mr Richard Hakluyt. In this we have followed the example of the editor of Astley’s Collection, because the extract given by Purchas is very tedious, and often hardly intelligible. This letter, dated from Porto Rico, 2d October, 1601, gives no light