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

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 754 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 08.

[Footnote 84:  Ann. &c.  I. 192.—­Note.]

It is quite unnecessary to extend this introductory view of the rise of the India Company any farther, as our limits could not possibly admit any satisfactory deduction of its history, any farther than is contained in the following series of the Early Voyages, for which we are almost entirely indebted to the Collection of Purchas.  By this first English East India Company, with a capital or joint stock of about 70,000l. at least for the first voyage, were laid the stable foundations of that immense superstructure of trade and dominion now held by the present company.  Their first joint stock did not exceed the average of 325l. or 330l. for each individual of 216 members, whose names are recorded in the copy of the charter in Purchas his Pilgrims, already referred to.  Yet one of these was disfranchised on the 6th July, 1661, not six months after the establishment of the company, probably for not paying up his subscription, as the charter grants power to disfranchise any one who does not bring in his promised adventure.

The East India Company of Holland, the elder sister of that of England, now a nonentity, though once the most extensive and most flourishing commercial establishment that ever existed, long ago published, or permitted to be published, a very extensive series of voyages of commerce and discovery, called Voyages which contributed to establish the East India Company of the United Netherlands.  It were, perhaps, worthy of the Royal Merchants who constitute the English East India Company, now the unrivalled possessors of the entire trade and sovereignty of all India and its innumerable islands, to publish or patronize a similar monument of its early exertions, difficulties, and ultimate success.—­E.


First Voyage of the English East India Company, in 1601, under the Command of Captain James Lancaster.[85]


From the historiographer of the company[86] we learn, that the period of this voyage being estimated for twenty months, the charges of provisions were calculated at L6,600 4:10:  and the investment, exclusive of bullion, at L4,545; consisting of iron and tin, wrought and unwrought, lead, 80 pieces of broad cloth of all colours, 80 pieces of Devonshire kersies, and 100 pieces of Norwich stuffs, with smaller articles, intended as presents for the officers at the ports where it was meant to open their trade.  Captain John Davis, who appears to have gone as chief pilot, was to have L100 as wages for the voyage, with L200 on credit for an adventure; and, as an incitement to activity and zeal, if the profit of the voyage yielded two for one, he was to receive a gratuity of L500; if three for one, L1000; if four for one, L1500; and if five for one, L2000.[87] Thirty-six factors or supercargoes were directed to

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