An Historical Relation of the Island Ceylon in the East Indies eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 438 pages of information about An Historical Relation of the Island Ceylon in the East Indies.

[Some attempted running away, but were catched.] In this manner we all lived, seeing but very little sign that we might build upon, to look for Liberty.  The chief of our hopes of it was that in process of time when we were better acquainted we might run away.  Which some of our People attempted to do too soon, before they knew well which way to go, and were taken by the Inhabitants.  For it is the custom of the Chingulays to suspect all white People, they meet travailing in the Countrey, to be Runaways; and to examine them:  and if they cannot give satisfactory answers, they will lay hold of them and carry them back unto the City.  Where they will keep them Prisoners under a guard of Soldiers in an open House like a Barn with a little Victuals sometimes, and sometimes with none at all.  Where they have no other remedy to help themselves but Begging.  And in this Condition they may lye perhaps for their Lifetime, being so kept for a Spectacle unto the People.

[Little incouragement for those that bring back Runnaways.] Tho the common way whereby the King gratifies such as catch Runawayes and bring them up, is not over acceptable.  For they are appointed to feed and watch them until he calls for them to be brought before him.  At which time his promise is bountifully to reward them.  But these Promises I never knew performed.  Neither doth he perhaps ever think of it after.  For when the King is made acquainted with the matter, the men that have brought up the Prisoner are in a manner as bad Prisoners themselves, not daring to go home to their Houses without his leave, but there they must remain.  After some years stay, the common manner is, for them to give a Fee unto the Governor of the Countrey, and he will licence them to go home, which they must be contented with instead of the promised reward.


Concerning some other English men detained in that Countrey.

[The Persia Merchant’s men Captives before us.] In the same Captivity with our selves on this Island, was another Company of English Men, who were taken about a year and an half before us, viz. in the year MDCLVIII.  They were Thirteen in number, whose names were as follow, Viz.  Mr. William Vassal, John Merginson, Thomas March, Thomas Kirby, Richard Jelf, Gamaliel Gardiner, William Day, Thomas Stapleton, Henry Man, Hugh Smart, Daniel Holstein, an Hamburger, James Gony, and Henry Bingham.  The occasion of their Seizure was thus.  The Ship these Men belonged unto was the Persia Merchant, Capt.  Francis Johnson Commander, which was lost upon the Maldives Islands.  But they escaped in their Boats, and passing along by this Land went on shore to recruit and buy Provisions, and so were taken.  The Chingulays that took them [Plundered by the Natives.] Plundered them of what they had, except their Cloths.  Yet one of them, John Merginson by name, having cunningly hid his Money about him, saved it from the Heathen, but from his own Countrymen he could not, some of whom knowing of it set upon him and robbed him of it.  But it did them little good, for the King hearing of it sent and robbed the Robbers.

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An Historical Relation of the Island Ceylon in the East Indies from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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