A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 08 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 655 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 08.

SECTION IX.

Voyage of Captain John Davis to the East Indies, in 1598, as Pilot to a Dutch Ship.[31]

This voyage was written by Davis himself, and appears to have been sent by him in a letter to Robert Earl of Essex, dated Middleburgh, 1st August, 1600.  From this letter we learnt that Mr Davis had been employed by his lordship, for discovering these eastern parts of the world, for the service of Queen Elizabeth, and the good of England.  He informs his noble patron, that his journal only contains such things as had fallen under his own observation; but, when favoured with an opportunity, he would give him an account of all that he had learnt abroad relating to the places of trade and strength belonging to the crown of Portugal, and respecting the commerce of those eastern nations with each other.  The Portuguese possessions, he says, beginning at Sofala, being the first beyond the Cape of Good Hope, are Mozambique, Ornuus, Diu, Gor, Coulan, Onore, Mangalore, Cochin, Columbo, Negapatam, Portogrande or Chittigong in Bengal, Malacca, and Macao in China, with the islands of Molucca and Amboyna.  That the Portuguese likewise trade to Monomotapa, Melinda, Aden, Arabia, Cambaya or Guzerat, the coast of Coromandel, Balagate, and Orissa.

[Footnote 31:  Purch.  Pilg.  I. 116.  Astley, I. 254.]

Of all these nations, as he says, there are some traders residing at Acheen, in the island of Sumatra; where likewise he met with Arabians, and a nation called Ramos,[32] from the Red-Sea, who have traded there many hundred years.  There are there also many Chinese engaged in trade, who have been used to trade there for many hundred years, and used Davis kindly, so that he says he was able to give his lordship much information concerning the great empire of China.  He concludes by saying, that the Portuguese had long industriously concealed all these things, which were now providentially laid open.  He concludes by saying, that he had inclosed the alphabet of the Acheen language, with some words of their language, written from right to left, after the manner of the Hebrews; but this has not been printed in the Collection of Purchas.  He says that he had also sent by one Mr Tomkins, probably the bearer of the letter and journal, some of the coin used there in common payments; The gold piece called mas, being worth about ninepence half-penny; and those of lead called caxas, of which it takes 1600 to make one mas.

[Footnote 32:  Constantinople is called New Rome, and thence In the east the Turks are called Rumos.—­Purchas.

By the Rumos, or Rums, are to be understood the people of Egypt; which, having been a part of the Roman empire, is, like Anatolia and other provinces of the Turkish empire, called Rum by the orientals.  Hence likewise the Turks are called Rums; and not, as Purchas says, because they are in possession of Constantinople, which was called New Rome:  For these provinces were called Rum several ages before the Turks took that city.—­ASTLEY, I.254, b.]

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