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The Travailes of an English man.
CONTAINING HIS SUNDRIE CA-
lamities indured by the space of twentie and odd yeres
in his absence from his native Countrie; wherein is
truly decyphered the sundrie shapes of wilde
Beasts, Birds, Fishes, Foules, rootes,
With the description of a man that appeared in the Sea: and
also of a huge Giant brought from China to the King of Spaine.
No lesse pleasant than approved.
By I. H. [= Job Hortop]
Published with authoritie.
Imprinted at London for William Wright, and are to be
solde at his shop neere unto Pauls
TO THE MOST HIGH AND MIGH-
tie Princesse, Elizabeth by the Grace of God
Queene of England, France, and Ire-
land, defendres of the
Your Highness most humble subiect I.H. heartely prai-
eth for the continuance of your Maiesties most
Bout xxiii. yeeres past (most gracious and renowmed Soveraigne) being prest forth for one of the Gunners in your Maiesties ships for the West Indian voiage, (of which Sir Iohn Haukins was general) such was our successe before his returne into England, we were distrest through want of victuals, nor could we obtaine anie for money: by meanes whereof many of us (though unto our Generals great griefe) were constrained to be set on shoare in the West Indies, amongst the wilde Indians. Since which time (most dread Soveraigne) I have passed sundrie perilles there in the wildernesses, and escaped many dangers, wherein my life stood often in hazard, yet by the providence of the Almightie I was preserved. And being now returned into my native Countrie of England, I doe in all humblenesse prostrate my selfe (together with the discourse of my travels) at your Highnes feete, humbly beseeching your Maiestie to accept the same at your subjects hands, as our Saviour Iesus Christ accepted the poore widowes mite. And thus I humbly take my leave, praying for the prosperous raigne of your most excellent Maiestie.
The late and wonderfull Travaile of an Englishman,
with his slaverie and miserie sustained for 23 yeeres
NOT untruly nor without cause, said Iob the faithful servant of God (whome the sacred Scriptures tell us, to have dwelt in the lande of Hus), that man beeing borne of a woman, living a short time, is replenished with many miseries, which some knowe by reading of histories, many by the viewe of others calamities, and I by experience in my selfe, as this present Treatise insuing shall shew.
It is not unknowne unto many that I, I.H. pouder-maker was borne at Bourne, a Towne in Lincolnshire, from my age of twelve yeeres brought up in Redriffe neere London, with M. Frauncis Lee, who was the Queenes Maiesties powder-maker, whome I served, untill I was prest to goe on the voiage to the West Indies, with the Right worshipful Sir Iohn Haukins, who appointed mee to be one of the Gunners in her Maiesties shippe called the Iesus of Libbicke, who set saile from Plimmouth in the moneth of October 1567. having with him an other shippe of her Maiesties, called the Minion, and foure shippes of his owne namely, the Angell, the Swallow, the Iudith, and the William and Iohn. He directed his Vizeadmirall, that if foule weather did separate them, to meete at the Iland of Tennerif. After which by the space of seven daies and seven nights, we had such storms at Sea, that we lost our long boates and a pinnisse, with some men comming to the Tennerif: there our Generall heard that his vizeadmirall with the Swallow, and the William and Iohn, were at the Iland called the Gomero, where finding his vizeadmirall hee ancored, tooke in fresh water and set saile for Cape Blanke, where in the way we tooke a Portugall Carvill, laden with fish called Mullets: from thence to Cape de Verde. In our course thither we met a Frenchman of Rochell called Captaine Bland, who had taken a Portugall Carvill, whome our vizeadmirall chased and tooke. Sir Frauncis Drake was made Master and Captaine of the Carvill, and so wee kept our way till wee came to Cape de Verde, and there we ancored, tooke our boates, and set soldiers on shore. Our Generall was the first that leapt on land, & with him Captain Dudley there we tooke certain Negros, but not without damage to our selves for our General, Captaine Dudley, and eight other of our company were hurt with poysoned arrowes, about nine daies after the eight that were wounded died. Our Generall was taught by a Negro, to draw the poyson out of his wound with a clove of garlicke, whereby he was cured. Frõ thence we went to Surrolean, where be monstrous fishes called Sharkes, which wil devoure men, I amongst others was sent in the Angell with two pinnaces into the river called the Calouses, that were there trading with the Negros, we tooke one of them with the Negroes, & brought them away. In this river in the night time we had one of our pinnaces bulged by a sea-horse, so that our men swimming about the river, were all taken into the other pinnaces, except two that tooke holde one of another, and were carried awaie by the sea horse, who hath the iust proportion of a horse, saving that his legs be short, his teeth verie great and a span in length, he useth on the night to go on land into the woodes, seeking at unawares to devour the Negros in their cabbins, whom they by their vigilancie prevent, and kill them in this manner. The Negros keepe watch, and diligently attend their comming, and when they are gone into the woodes, they forthwith laie a great tree overthwart the waie, so that at their returne, for that their legs be so short, they cannot go over it: then the Negros set uppon them with their bowes, arrowes and darts, and so destroy them.
From thence we entered the river called the Causterus, where there were other Carvelles trading with the Negros, and them we tooke. In this Iland betwixt the river and the maine, Trees grow with their rootes upwards, and Oisters upon them. There grow Palmita trees, which be as high as a ships maine mast, & on their tops grow nuts, wine and oyle, which they call Palmita wine and Palmita oyle. The Plantine trees also grow in that countrie, the tree is as big as a mans thigh, and as high as a firre pole, the leaves thereof be long & broade, and on the top grow the fruit which is called Plantaines, they are crooked and a cubite long, and as big as a mans wrist, they grow on clusters: when they be ripe they be verie good and daintie to eate, Suger is not more delicate in tast than they be. In this land bee Elyphants, which the Negros kill in this manner: they seke out their hants where they rest in the night, which is against a tree, that they saw three partes in sunder, so that when the Elephant leaneth and stretch himselfe against it, the tree falleth, & he with it, then he roareth, wherby the Negros know he is fallen, then they come upon him and kill him.
From thence with the Angell, the Iudith and the pinnaces, wee sailed to Surreleon, where our Generall at that time was, who with the Captaines and souldiers went up into the river called the Faggarine, to take a towne of the Negroes, where he found three kings of that Countrie with fiftie thousand Negroes beseeging the same towne, which they could not take in many yeeres before that they had warred with it. Our Generall made a breach, entered, and valiantlie tooke the towne, wherein were founde five Portugals, which yeelded themselves to his mercie, and hee saved their lives, we tooke and carried thence for trafficke of the West Indies five hundred Negroes. The three kings drove seven thousand Negros into the sea at low water, at the point of the land, where they were all drowned in the oze, for that they could not take their canowes to save themselves. Wee retourned backe againe in our pinnaces to the shippes, and there tooke in fresh water, and made readie sayle towards Reogrande. At our comming thether we entred with the Angel, the Iudith, and the two pinnasses, we found there seven Portugall Carvils, which made great fight with us. In the end by Gods helpe wee won the victory, and drove them to the shore, from whence with the Negroes they fled, we fetcht the carvils from the shore into the river. The next morning sir Frances Drake with his Carvell, the Swallow, the William and Iohn came into the river, with Captaine Dudley and his soldiers, who landed being but a hundred souldiers, and fought with seaven thousande Negroes, burned the towne, and returned to our Generall with the losse of one man.
In that place there be many muske cats, which breed in hollow trees, the Negroes take them in a net and put them in a cage, and nourish them verie daintily, & take the muske from them with a spoone.
Heere we left the Ethyope land,
And tooke the Indian voiage in hand.
Heere by the way died Captaine Dudley.
In sayling towards the Indies, the first land that wee escried, was the Iland called Domineco, where at our comming we ancored, tooke in fresh water and wood for our provision, which done, we sayled towards the Iland called Margarita, where our Generall in despite of the Spanyardes ancored, landed, and tooke in fresh victuals. A mile off the Iland there is a rocke in the sea, wherein do breede many fowles, like unto Barnacles, in the night wee went out in our boates, and with cudgels wee killed many of them, and wee brought them with many of their egges abord with us, their egges be as bigge as Turkies egges, and speckled like them, wee did eate them, and found them very good meat.
From thence wee sayled to Burborata, which is in the maine lande of the West Indies, there we came in, mored our shippes, and tarryed two moneths trimming and dressing our shippes, and in the meane time trading with certaine Spanyards of that cuntry. There our Generall sent us unto a Towne called Placentia, (which stood on a high hil) to have intreated a Bishop that dwelt there for his favour and frendship in their lawes, who hearing of our comming, for feare forsoke the Towne, whereupon one of our companie made these English verses following.
Unto the Bishop we were sent,
To crave his favour in the lawes:
He knew not the good that we ment,
He fled for feare and not for cause.
We tooke such a iourney up the hill,
That few or none have done so ill.
In our way up the hill to Placentia, wee found a monstrous venemous worme, with two heads, his bodie was as bigge as a mans arme, and a yard long: our maister Robert Barret did cutte him in sunder with his swoord, and it made it as blacke as if it were coloured with ynke.
Heere bee many Tygers, monstrous and furious beasts, which by subtletie devoure and destroy many men, they use the traded waies, and will shewe themselves twise or thrise to the travellers, and so depart secretly, lurking till they be past, then sodainly and at unawares they leape upon them and devoure them, they had so used two of our companie, had not one of them looked behind. Our Generall sent three ships unto the Iland called Corussa, to make provision for the rest where they remained untill his comming. Hee sent from thence the Angell and the Iudith to River de hache, where we ancored before the towne. The Spanyards shot three peeces at us from the shore, whome we requited with two of ours, and shotte through the Governors house, we wayed ancor, & ancored againe without shot of the towne, where we rid five daies in despite of the Spanyards, and their shot. In the meane space there came a Carvil of advise from S. Domingo whom with the Angell, and the Iudith we chased and drove to the shore, we fetcht from thence spite of 200 Spanyards hargabush shot, and ancored again before the towne, and rid there with him, till our Generals comming, who ancored, landed his men, and valiantly tooke the Towne, with the losse of one man, whose name was Thomas Surgeon, wee landed and planted on the shore for our safties our field ordinãce, wee drove the Spanyards up into the country above two leagues, wherby they were inforced to trade with our Generall, to whõ he sold most part of his Negros.
In this river we killed a monstrous Alagarta in this port at Sunne set: seven of us went in the pinnice up into the River, carrying with us a dogge, unto whom with rope yarne wee bound a great hooke of steele, with a chaine that had a swivel, which wee put under the dogs belly, the point of the hooke cõming over his back fast bound, as foresaid, we put him over bord, & vered out our rope by little & little, rowing away with our boate, the Alagarta came and presently swallowed up the dogge, then did we rowe hard, till we had choked him, hee plunged and made a wonderfull sturre in the water, we leapt on shore, and haled him on lande: he was 23 foote by the rule, headed like a hogge, in bodie like a serpent, full of scales as broad as a sawcer, his taile long and full of knots, as bigge as a fawcon shotte, he hath foure legges, his feete have long nailes like unto a dragon, we opened him, tooke out his guttes, flead him, dried his skinne, & stuffed it with straw, meaning to have brought it home, had not the shippe been cast away. This monster wil carrie away and devoure both man and horse.
Nowe to S. Amart, where wee landed, traded, and solde certaine Negros: there two of our companie killed a monstrous adder, going towards his cave with a cunnie in his mouth, his bodie was as bigge as anie mans thigh, and seven foot long, upon his tayle he had sixteene knottes, everie one as bigge as a great walnut, which they say, do shew his age: his colour was green and yellowe, they opened him and found two cunnies in his bellie.
From thence to Cartagene, where we went in, mored our ships, and would have traded with them, but they durst not for feare of the king, we brought up the Minnion against the Castell, and shotte at the Castell and Towne: there we landed in an Iland, where were many gardens, there in a cave we found certain Buttesios of wine, which wee brought away with us, in recompence whereof our Generall commaunded to bee set on shore woollen and linnen cloth to the value thereof. From hence by foule weather wee were forced to seeke the port of S. Iohn de Lowe: in our way, twhart of Campeche, wee met with a Spanyard, a small ship, who was bound for Santa Domingo, he had in him a Spanyard, called Augustine de villa nova, that was he that betrayed all the Noble men in the Indies, & caused them to be beheaded, wherefore he with two Friers with him fled to S. Domingo, them wee tooke and brought with us into the port of S. Iohn de Low. Our Generall made a great account of him, and used him like a Noble man, in the ende he was one of them that betrayed us, when we had mored our shippes, and landed, we mounted the ordinance that wee found there in the Iland, and for our safeties kept watch and ward. Two daies after wee discovered the Spanish fleete, wherof Lushon a Spanyard was Generall, with him came a Spanyard, called Don Martin Henerico, whõ the king of Spaine sent to bee his vize-king of the Indies. He sent a pinnice with a flagge of truce unto our Generall, to know of what Countrie those ships were that rode there in the King of Spaines port, who sayd they were the Q. of Englandes ships, which came in there for victuals for their mony, for the which if your Generall will come in here, he shall give me victualles and all other necessaries, and I will go out on the one side of the port, and he shall come in on the other side. The Spaniard returned for answere, that he was a vize king, & had a thousand men, and therefore he would come in. Our Generall sayd, if he bee a vize king, I represent my Queenes person, & I am a vize king as well as he, and if he have a thousand men, my pouder and shot will take the better place. Then the vize king after counsell among themselves, yeelded to our Generals demaund, swearing by his King and his Crowne, by his commission and authoritie, that hee had from his King, that he would performe it, and thereupon pledges were given on both parts. Our Generall bearing a godly and Christian mind, voide of fraud and deceite, iudged the Spanyards to have done the like, delivered to them six Gentlemen, not doubting to have received the like from them, but the faithlesse Spanyardes, in costly apparell gave of the basest of their companie, as afterwardes it was well knowne. These things finished, proclamation was made on both sides, that on payne of death no occasion should be given, whereby any quarrel should growe to the breach of the league, and then they peaceably entered the port, with great triumph on both sides.
The Spanyards presently brought a great Hulke, a ship of nine hundred, and mored her by the side of the Minion, and they cut out ports in their other shippes, planting their ordenance towards us, in the night they filled the Hulke with men, to lay the Minion aboord, as the sequel did shew, which made our General doutfull of their dealinges, wherefore, for that hee could speake the Spanish toong, hee sent Robert Barret aboord the vize-king, to knowe his meaning in those dealings, who willed him with his company to come in to him, whome he commaunded presently to bee sette in the bilbowes, and foorthwith a Cornet (for a watchword among the false Spanyards) was sounded for the enterprising of their pretended treason against our Generall, whome Augustine de villa nova sitting at dinner with him, should then presently have killed with a poynado which hee had privily in his sleeve, which was espyed and prevented by one Iohn Chamberlaine, who tooke the poynado out of his sleeve. Our Generall hastily rose up, and commaunded him to bee put prisoner in the Steward roome, and to bee kept with two men. The faithlesse Spanyards, thinking all things to their desire had beene finished, sodainely sounded a Trumpet, and therewith three hundred Spanyards entered the Minion, whereat our Generall with a lowde and fierce voyce called unto us, saying, God and Saint George, upon those trayterous villaines, and rescue the Minnion, I trust in God the day shall bee ours, and with that the Marriners and soldiers leapt out of the Iesus of Libbicke into the Minnion, and beate out the Spanyardes, and with a shotte out of her fiered the Spanyards vize-admirall, where the most part of three hundred Spanyardes were spoyled, and blowne over boord with powder. Their Admiral also was on fier half an houre, wee cutte our cables, wound off our shippes, and presently fought with them, they came upon us on every side, and continued the fight from tenne of the clocke untill it was night, they kylled all our men that were on shore in the Iland, saving three, which by swimming got aboord the Iesus of Libicke. They sunke the Generals ship called the Angell, and tooke the Swallow, the Spanyards admiral had above threescore shot through her, many of his men were spoyled, foure other of their shippes were sunke, there were in that fleete, and that came from the shore to rescue them, fifteene hundred we slew of them, five hundred and fortie, as wee were credebly infourmed by a note that came to Mexico. In this fight the Iesus of Libicke had five shot through her maine mast, her fore-mast was stroke in sunder under the hounds with a chaine shot, and her hull was wonderfully pearced with shot, therfore it was unpossible to bring hir awaie. They set two of their own ships on fire, intending therwith to have burnt the Iesus of Libbicke, which wee prevented by cutting our cables in the halfe, and winding off by our sternefast. The Minion was forced to set saile & stand off from us, and come to an ancor without shot of the Iland. Our Generall couragiously cheered up his soldiers and Gunners, and called to Samuel his page for a cup of Beere, who brought it him in a silver cup, and he drinking to al his men willed the Gunners to stand by their ordenance lustily like men. He had no sooner set the cup out of his hand, but a demy Culverine shot stroke away the cup & a Coopers plaine that stood by the maine mast, & ran out on the other side of the ship, which nothing dismaied our Generall, for hee ceased not to incourage us, saying, feare nothing, for God who hath preserved mee from this shot, will also deliver us from these traytors and villaines. Then captaine Bland meaning to have turned out of the port, had his main mast stroke over bord with a chainshot that came from the shore, wherefore hee ancored, fired his ship, took his pininice with all his men, and came aboord the Iesus of Libbicke to our Generall, who saide unto him, that hee thought he would not have runne away from him: hee aunswered, that he was not minded to have runne awaye from him, but his intente was to have turned up, and to have laide the wethermost shippe of the Spanish fleet aboord, and fyred his shippe in hope therewith to have set on fire the Spanish fleet, he said if he had done so hee had done well. With this night came on. Our Generall commaunded the Minnion, for safeguard of her masts to be brought under the Iesus of Libbicks lee: hee willed Sir Francis Drake to come in with the Iudith, and to lay the Minion abord, to take in men and other thinges needfull, and to goe out, and so he did.
At night when the wind came off the shore, wee set sayle, and went out in despite of the Spanyardes and their shot, where wee ancored, with two ancors under the Iland, the wind being northerly, which was wonderfull daungerous, and we feared everie houre to be driven with the lee shore. In the ende the wind came larger, we wayed ancor, and set sayle, seeking the river of Pannico for water, whereof we had very little, and victuals were so scarse, that we were driven to eat hides, cats, rats, parrats, munkies, and dogges, wherefore our Generall was forced to divide his company into two partes, for there was a mutenie among them for want of victuals, and some saide that they had rather bee on the shore to shift for themselves amongst the enemies, then to sterve on shippe-boord. Hee asked them who would goe on shore, and who would tarrie on shippe-boord, those that would goe on shore, he willed to goe on foremast, and those that would tarrie, on baft mast: fourescore and sixteene of us were willing to departe. Our Generall gave unto every one of us six yardes of roane cloth, and money to them that demaunded it. When we were landed, he came unto us, where frendly imbracing every one of us, he was greatly greeved that he was forced to leave us behind him, he counselled us to serve God, and to love one another, and thus courteously he gave us a sorrowful farewell, & promised if God sent him safe home, he would do what hee could, that so many of us as lived shuld by some means be brought into England, and so he did.
Since my returne into England I have heard, that many misliked that he left us so behind him, & broght away Negros, the reasõ is this, for them he might have had victuals, or any other thing needfull, if by fowle weather he had beene driven upon the Ilands, which for gold nor silver he could not have had.
And thus our Generall parted to his ships, and wee remained on lande, where for our safeties, fearing the wild Indians that were about us, we kept watch all night, and at sunne rising wee marched on our waye, three and three in a ranke, untill that wee came into a fielde under a grove, where the Indians came uppon us, asking us what people we were, and how we came there. Two of our companie, namely Anthonie Goddard, and Iohn Cornish, for that they could speake the Spanish toong, went to them, and sayde we were Englishmen, that never came in that countrie before, and that we had fought with the Spanyards, and for that wee lacked victuals, our Generall sette us on shore, they asked us whither we intended to goe, wee saide, to Pannico. The Captaine of the Indians wylled us to give unto them some of our clothes and shirtes, which wee did: then hee bad us give them all, but wee would not so doe, whereupon Iohn Cornish was then slaine with an arrowe, which an Indian boy that stoode by the Captaine shotte at him, wherefore hee strooke the boy on the necke with his bowe, that he laye for deade, and willed us to follow him, who brought us into a great fielde, where wee found fresh water, hee bad us sitte downe about the pond and drinke, and hee with his company would goe in the meane space to kill five or sixe deere, and bring them to us. We tarryed there untill three of the clocke, but they came not: there one of our company whose name was Iohn Cooke, with four other departed from us into a grove to seeke reliefe, where presently they were taken by the Indians, and stript as naked as ever they were borne, and so returned to us.
Then we divided our selves into two parts, halfe to Anthony Goddard, and the rest to Iames Collier, and thus severally we sought for Pannico. Anthony Goddard with his company, bid us farewell, they passed a river, where the Indians robbed many of them of their clothes, & so passing on their way, came to a stony hill, where they staied. Iames Collyer with his company, that day passed the same river, and were also robbed, and one of them slaine by chance, we came that night unto the hill, where Anthony Goddard and his company rested, there we remained till morning, & then wee marched altogether from thence, entering betwixt two groves, where the Indians robbed us of all our clothes, & left us naked, they hurt many, and killed eight of us. Three daies after we came to another river there the Indians shewed us the way to Pannico, and so left us: we passed the river into the wildernes, where we made wreaths of greene grasse, which wee wound about our bodies, to keepe us from the sunne, & gnats of that country. Wee travelled there seven daies, and seven nights, before we came to Pannico, feeding on nothing but roots, and Guiavos, a fruite like figges. At our comming to the river of Pannico, two Spanish horsemen came over unto us in a Canowe, they asked us how long we had beene in the wildnernes, and where our Generall was, for they knewe us to be of the company that had fought with their countrymen: we told them seven daies and seven nights, and for lacke of victuals our Generall set us on shore, and he was gone away with his shippes. They returned to their Governour, who sent them with five Canowes, to bring us all over. Which done, they set us in array, where a hundred horsemen with their launces, came forceably upon us, but did not hurt us, they carried us prisoners to Pannico, where wee remained one night. In the river of Pannico, there is a fish like a Calfe, the Spanyardes call it a Mallareen, hee hath a stone in his head, which the Indians use for the disease of the Collicke, in the night hee commeth on lande, and eateth grasse. I have eaten of it, & it eateth not much unlike to bacon. From thence wee were sent to Mexico, which is threescore leagues from Pannico. In our way thither, 20 leagues from the sea side, I did see white Crabs running up & downe the sands, I have eaten of them, and they be verie good meat. There groweth a fruit which the Spaniards cal Avocottes, it is proportioned like an egge, and as blacke as a cole, having a stone in it, and it is an excellent good fruite. There also groweth a strange thing which they call Magei, it serveth them to many uses, below by the roote they make a hole, whereat they do take out of it twise every day, a certaine kind of licour, which they seeth in a great kettell, till the third part be consumed, and that it waxe thicke, it is as sweet as anie honie, they doe eate it. Within twentie daies after that they have taken all the licour from it, it withereth, and they cut it downe, and use it as we use our hempe heere in England, which done, they convert it to many uses: of some part they make Mantles, ropes, and threed: of the ends they make needles to sowe their saddels, pannels, and other furniture for their horses: of the rest they make tyles to cover their houses, and they put it to many other purposes.
And thus we came to Mexico, which is 7 leagues about, seated in a great fen, invironed with foure hils, it hath but two waies of entrance, and it is ful of creeks, in the which in their Canowes they passe from place to place, and to the Ilandes there within. In the Indies ordinarily three times a yeare bee woonderfull earthquakes, which put the people in great feare and daunger: during the time of two yeres that I was in Mexico, I saw them six times, when it commeth it throweth downe trees, houses, and churches. There is a Citie 25 leagues from Mexico, called Tuscalia, which is inhabited with a hundred thousand Indians, they go in white shirts, linnen breeches, and long mantles, and the women weare about them a garment much like unto flannen petticote. The Kings pallace was the first place that we were brought unto in Mexico, where without we were willed to sit downe. Much people, men, women, & children came wondering about us, many lamented ourmisery, & some of their clergy asked us if we were Christians, we said, we praised God, we were as good christians as they: they asked how they might know that, we said, by our confessions. Frõ thence we were carried in a Canowe to a Tanners house, which standeth a little from the citie: the next morning two friars & two priests came thither to us, and willed us to blesse our selves, and say our praiers in the Latin tong, that they might understand us, many of our company did so, whereupon they returned to the vize-king, and told him that we were good Christians, & that they liked us well, & then they brought us much releefe, with cloths, our sick men were sent to their hospitals, where many were cured, and many died. From the Tanners house we were led to a gentlemans place, where upon paine of death wee were charged to abide, and not to come into the Citie, thither we had all things necessarie brought us, on sundaies and holydaies, much people came, and brought us great releefe.
The vize-king practised to hang us, and caused a paire of new gallowes to be set up, to have executed us, whereunto the Noblemen of that country would not consent, but praied him to stay untill the ship of advise brought newes from the king of Spaine, what should be done with us, for they saide they could not finde any thing by us, whereby they might lawfully put us to death.
The vize-king then commaunded us to be sent to an Iland therby, & he sent for the Bishop of Mexico, who sent foure priests to the Iland, to examine & confes us, who said, that the vize-king would burne us, when we were examined and confessed according to the lawes of their country. They returned to the Bishop, & told him that we were very good Christians. The Bishop certefied the vize-king of our examinations and confessions, and said that we were good Christians, therefore he would not meddle with us. Then the vize-king sent for our maister R. Barret, whom he kept prisoner in his pallace, until the fleete was departed for Spaine. The rest of us hee sent to a Towne seven leagues from Mexico, called Tothscoco, to carde wooll among the Indian slaves, which drudgery we disdained, and concluded to beat our maisters, and so we did, wherefore they sent to the vize-king, desiring him for Gods sake and our Ladies, to send for us, for they would not keep us any longer, they said that we were devils & no men.
The vizeking sent for us, & imprisoned us in a house in Mexico, from thence he sent An. Goddard, & some other of our company with him into Spaine, with Lushon, the Generall that tooke us, the rest of us staied in Mexico 2 yeeres after, & then were sent prisoners into Spaine, with Don Iohn de valesco de varre, admiral & general of the spanish fleet, who caried with him in his ship, to be presented to the K. of Spaine, the anatomie of a Giant, which was sent from China to Mexico, to the vize-king Don Martin Hennerico, to be sent to the K. of Spaine for a great wonder. It did appeere by the anatomie, that he was of a monstrous size, the skull of his head was neer as big as half a bushel, his neck bones shoulder plates, arme bones, & all other lineaments of his other partes, were huge and monstrous to behold, the shanke of his leg from the ankell to the knee, was as long as any mans ankell up to his wast, and of bignesse accordingly.
At this time and in this shippe, were also sent to bee presented to the king of Spaine, two chests full of earth with ginger growing in them, which were also sent from China, to be sent to the king of Spaine. The ginger runneth in the ground like to liccoras, the blades growe out of it, in length and proportion like unto the blades of wild garlicke, which they cut everie fifteene daies, they use to water them twise a day, as we doe our hearbes heere in England, they put the blades in their porrage, and use them in their other meates, whose excellent savour and tast is very delightfull, and procureth a good appetite.
When wee were shipped in the port of S. Iohn de Low, the Generall called our maister Robert Barret & us with him, into his cabbin, and asked us if wee would fight against Englishmen, if we met them at sea, we said that wee would not fight against our Crowne, but if we met with any other, we would doe what wee were able. He said if we had saide otherwise, hee would not have beleeved us, and for that we should be the better used, and have allowance as other men had, & he gave a charge to every one of us, according unto our knowledge. Robert Barret was placed with the pilate, I was put in the Gunner roome, William Cawse with the bote-sunne, Iohn Beare with the quarter-maisters, Edward Rider, and Geffrey Giles, with the ordinarie mariners, Richard the maisters boy attended on him and the pilate: shortly after we departed from the port of S. Iohn de Lowe with all the fleete of Spaine, for the Port called the Havana: we were twenty six daies sayling thither. There wee came in, ancored, tooke in fresh water, and staied sixteene daies, for the fleete called Numbredetheos, which is the fleet that brings the treasure from Perowe.
The Generall of that fleete was called Diego Florres de Values. After his comming, when hee had watred his ships, both the fleets ioyned in one, and Don de Valasco de varre was the first fifteene daies general of both the fleets, who turning through the channell, called the Bahama, his pilate had like to have cast away all the fleete uppon the Cape called Caneverall, which was prevented by me I.H. and our maister Robert Barret, I being in the second watch, escried lande, and called to Robert Barret, bidding him looke over boord, for I saw land under the lee bow of the ship: he called to the bote-sunne, and bad him let flie the fore sayle sheate, and lay the helme upon the lee, and cast the shippe about. When we were cast about, we were but in seven fadome water: we shot off a peece, giving advice to the fleet to cast about, and so they did. For this we were beloved of the General, and all the fleet. The Generall was in a great rage, and swore by the king, that hee would hang his pilate: for hee saide, that twise before, hee had almost cast away the Admirall. When it was day, he commaunded a peece to be shot off, to call to councell: the other Admirall in his ship came up to him, and asked what the matter was, hee said, that his pilate had cast away his ship & al the fleet, had it not beene for two of the Englishmen, and therfore hee would hang him. The other Admirall with many faire words perwaded him to the contrary.
When we came in the height of the Barmotha, we discovered a monster in the sea, who shewed himselfe, three times unto us from the midle upwards, in which parts he was proportioned like a man, of the complection of a Mulliato, or tawny Indian. The Generall did commaund one of his clarkes to put it in writing, and he certified the king and his nobles thereof. Presently after this, for the space of sixteene daies wee had wonderfull fowle weather, and then God sent us a faire wind, untill such time as wee discovered the Iland called the Fiall.
On S. Iames day, we made rackets, wheeles, & other fire works, to make pastime that night, as it is the order of the Spanyards. When we came neere the land, our maister R. Barret conferred with us, to take the pinnise one night, when we came on the Iland called the Serres, to free our selves, from the danger & bondage that wee were going into, whereunto we agreed, none had any pinnice a sterne then but our shippe, which gave great courage to our enterprise: we prepared a bagge of bread, & a buttesio of water, which would have served us 9. daies, & provided our selves to go, our master borrowed a small compas of the master gunner of the ship, who lent it him, but suspected his intent, & closly made the generall privy to it, who for a time dissembled the matter, in the end seeing our pretense, he called R. Barret, cõmanding his head to be put in the stocks, and a great paire of iron bolts on his legs, and the rest of us to be set in the stocks by the legs. Then he wylled a peece to be shot off, and hee sent the pinnice for the other Admirall, & all the captaines, maisters, & pilates of both fleets, to come aboord of him. He commaunded the maine yard to be strooke downe, & to put two pullies, on every yard arme one; the hangman was called, and we were willed to confesse our selves, for hee swore by the king that he would hang us.
When the other Admiral, and the rest were come abord, he called them into his counsell chamber, & told them that hee would hang the maister of the Englishmen, and all his company. The Admirall, whose name was Dego Flores de Values, asked him wherefore: he sayde, that wee had determined to rise in the night with the pinnice, and with a ball of fire-worke to sette the shippe on fire, and goe our wayes: therefore sayde he, I will have you, the Captaines, Maisters, and Pilates, to sette your handes unto that, for I sweare by the King that I will hang them. Dego Flores de Values aunswered, I, nor the Captaines, Maisters, and Pilates will not sette our hands to that, for he saide, if hee were prisoner, as we were, he would have done the like him selfe. He counselled him, to keepe us fast in prison, till he came into Spayne, and then sende us to the contratation house in Civil, where, if we had deserved death the law would passe on us, for he would not have it said that in such a fleet as that was, six men & a boy, should take the pinnice, and goe away, and so he returned to his shippe againe.
When he was gone, the general came to the main mast to us, and swore by the king, that we should not come out of the stockes till we came into Spaine: within sixteene daies after wee came over the Bar of S. Lucar, & came up to the Hurcathoes, then hee put us into a pinnice in the stocks, and sent us prisoners to the Contratation house in Civill. From thence, after one yere we broke prison, on S. Stevens day at night, seaven of our company escaped, Robert Barret, I., I.H. Iohn Emurie, Humphrey Roberts, and Iohn Gilbert, were taken, & brought backe to the Contratation house, where wee remained in the stockes till twelve tide was past. Then our keeper put up a petition to the Iudge of the Contratation house, that we might be sent to the great prison house in Civill, for that we broke prison, wherupon we were presently led thither, where we remayned one moneth. And then from thence, to the Castell of the Inquisition house in Triana, where we continued one yeere, which expired, they brought us out in procession, every one of us having a candle in his hande, and the Cote with S. Andrewes crosse on our backes: they brought us up on an high scaffold, that was set up in the place of S. Frauncis, which is in the cheefe street of Civill: there they set us downe upon benches, everie one in his degree, & against us on another scaffold sate all the Iudges, and the Clergie on their benches, the people wondered, and gazed on us, some pittying our cases, other said, burne those heretikes. When wee had sit there two howers, we had a sermon made to us, after which one called Bresinnia, secretorie to the Inquisition, went up into the pulpit with the processe, & called Robert Barret and Iohn Gilbart, whom two Familiars of the Inquisition brought from the scaffold before the Iudges, where the secretorie read the sentence, which was that they should be burnt, and so returned to the scaffold, and were burnt.
Then I Iob Hortop, and Iohn Bone, were called, & brought to the place, as before, where wee heard our sentence, which was, that we should go to the Gallies, and there to rowe at the oares end ten yeeres, and then to be brought backe to the Inquisition house, to have the cote with S. Andrewes crosse put on our backes, and from thence to go to the everlasting prison remedilesse, and so wee were returned to the scaffold from whence we came. Thomas Marks, and Thomas Ellis were called, and had sentence to serve in the Gallies eight yeeres, and Humphrey Roberts, and Iohn Emerie to serve five yeres, and so were returned to the benches on the scaffold, where wee sate till four of clocke in the after noone. Then we were led againe to the Inquisition house, from whence we were brought. The next day in the morning, Bresinia the secretorie came thither to us, and delivered to everie one of us his sentence in writing, I with the rest were sent to the Gallies, where we were chained foure and foure together, every mans daily allowance was twentie six ounces of course black bisket and water. Our clothing for the whole yeare, two shirts, two paire of breches of course canvas, a red cote of course cloth, soone on, and soone off, and a gowne of haire with a Friars hoode, our lodging was on the bare bords, and bankes of the Gallies, our heads and bears were shaven every month, hunger, thirst, cold, and stripes, wee lacked none, till our severall time expired, and after the time of 12 yeeres, for I served two yeres above my sentence, I was sent backe to the Inquisition house in Civill, & there having put on the cote with S. Andrews crosse, I was sent to the everlasting prison remedilesse, where I wore the cote 4. yeeres, & then upon great suite, I had it taken off for 50 duckets, which Hornando de Soria, treasurer of the kings mint lent me, whom I served for it as a drudge 7 yeeres, and untill the moneth of October last, 1590. and then I came from Civil to S. Lucar, where I made means to come away in a fly-bote, that was laden with wines & salt, which were Flemmings goodes, the king of Spaynes subiects, dwelling in Civill, maried to Spanish women, and sworne to their king. In this moneth of October last, departing from S. Lucar, at sea, off the sothernmost Cape, wee met an English ship, called the Galleon Dudley, who tooke the Flemming, and mee out of him, & brought me to Portsmouth, where they set me on land, the 2 day of December last past, 1590. From thence I was sent by M. Muns the lieutenant of Portsmouth, with letters to the R. honorable the Earle of Sussex, who commanded his secretorie to take my name and examination, how long I had beene out of England, and with whom I went, which he did. And on Christmas even I tooke my leave of his honor, and went to Redriffe.
The Computation of my imprisonment.
I suffered imprisonment in Mexico two yeeres.
In the Contratation housein Civill one yeere.
In the Inquisition house in Triana one yeere.
I was inthe Gallies twelve yeere.
In the everlasting prison remedilesse, with the cote with S. Andrews crosse on my back, foure yeres.
And at libertie I served as a drudge Hornando de Soria 3 yeres, which is the ful complement of 23 yeres.
Since my departure from England, untill this time of my return, I was five times in great danger of death, besides the many perils I was in, in the Gallyes.
First in the port of S. Iohn de Low, where being on shore, with many other of our company, which were all slaine saving I, & two other that by swimming got aboord the Iesus of Libbicke.
Secondly, when we were robd by the wild Indians.
Thirdly, after wee came to Mexico, the vize-king would have hanged us.
Fourthly, because hee could not have his minde to hang us, he would have burnt us.
Fiftly, the Generall that brought us into Spayne, would have hanged us at sea.
Thus having truly set downe unto you my travels, misery & dangers, endured the space of 23. yeres, I say:
Let patience nowe the standard beare,
And forgivenes give the charge
Of bleege, and eke the ancour teare,
Of spightfull mallice barge:
Expect the ende of prisoned race,
And hope of future happe:
That each good gift of fortunes grace,
May fall within our lappe.
Extremeties cannot alwayes last,
Each thing doth bowe and bend:
In time both ioy and woe doth wast,
And all things have an end.
F I N I S.
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