called Trinquamalee,] at which was a similar trade.
They engaged that we might load our ships, and procure
a plentiful supply of provisions, at either of these
places, for little money; and we accordingly used our
utmost possible exertions to get to them, but all
to no purpose, as the wind was quite contrary.
The Indians then told us, that if we would remain
till January, we should meet above an hundred sail
of ships, laden with spiceries, linen cloth, [cottons,]
and commodities of China; but our commander would
not agree to stay there for the purpose of war, as
his commission only authorised him to trade, but proposed
to remain for traffic, paying for every thing he might
be able to procure. To this, however, the company
would not consent; and we accordingly began our voyage
homewards on the 28th of December, after beating up
for sixteen days to endeavour to make Batacolo.
We had discharged our prize on the 18th, after taking
out most of her rice, for which our commander paid
them to their satisfaction; but our men plundered the
Indians of their goods and money in a disorderly manner.
We took with us twelve of the Indians, belonging to
different countries; and after they had been with
us some time, they informed us that the merchants in
the Negapatam ship had a large quantity of precious
stones in the ship, hidden under the planks of her
lining. How far this might be true I know not,
as, for some unknown reason, Mr Tomkins and I were
not allowed to go on board her.
[Footnote 44: Perhaps Batacolo is here meant,
on the east side of Ceylon, in lat. 7 deg. 45’
The 5th March, 1600, our victuals were poisoned, but
God preserved us; for one of our people tasting it
by chance, or from greediness, was infected.
It was strongly poisoned before it came to us, being
fresh fish; for our surgeon took almost a spoonful
of poison out of one fish. But this is not the
first time, if the grieved would complain. The
10th March we fell in with the Cape of Good Hope, where
we encountered a heavy storm; and on the 26th we doubled
[Footnote 45: This story is very unintelligible,
as no circumstance is mentioned as to where the fish
were got, nor who was suspected of introducing the
We anchored at St Helena on the 13th March. This
island is in lat. 16 deg. S. [15 deg. 45’.]
We here found plenty of water, with abundance of figs,
and as many fish as we chose to take. At sun-set,
on the 15th, a caravel came into the roads, and anchored
a large musket-shot to windward of us. She was
totally unprepared for fighting, as none of her guns
were mounted. We fought her all night, giving
her in that time, as I think, upwards of 200 shots,
though, in the course of eight hours, she did not
return a single shot, nor seemed to regard us.
By midnight she got six pieces mounted, which she
used to good purpose, shooting us often through, and
slew two of our men. So, on the 16th, in the morning,