The Golden Trade:

O R,

A discovery of the River Gambra, and
the Golden Trade of the Aethiopians.

Set downe as they were collected in travelling, part of
the yeares, 1620. and 1621.

By Richard Iobson, Gentleman.


Part I

Dedicatory Epistle.i-iv
The Invitement to the Golden Trade.1
The trade of the Moores in Barbary for their gold.3-5
The first voyage.5-6
The ship taken by the vagrant Portingals, and the men slaine.5
The second voyage.6
Captaine Thompson slain.7
The third voyage.7-9

Part II

The description of the [Gambia] River.10-27
Description of the voyage up the Gambia.12
The Description of the Crocodile, whom the Country people call Bumbo.16
How the people do feare him.17
The manner they passe their cattle over the River, for feare of Bumbo.17
The Blackes would not goe into the River.18
Their answere when they went in.18
The strong sent of the Crocodile, changing the tast of the River water, & the fish were taken in it.19
The description of the sea-horse.20
The sea-horse feedes in the night upon the shore.21
A daungerous blow, by a sea-horse; and a neglect to be hereafter carefully provided for.21
The Country people esteeme the sea-horse, for excellent meate.22
A strange operation of a fish.23
The running-fish.25
The nature of the river foule.25
The manner of the peoples fishing.26

Part III

The severall Inhabitants, &c.27-33
The vagrant Portingall.28
An especiall Caveat.29
The curteous usage of the naturall inhabitants.31
The wandering Fulbie.33-37
The miserie of the Fulbie.35
The cleanelines of the Fulby women.36

Part IV

The Mandingo or Ethiopian, being the naturall Inhabitants, distinguished by the name of the Mandingos.37-61
The time and manner of the people feeding.38
A digression by the Writer for the better preserving of mens lives and healths.39
The Writers opinion concerning dyet, and a Caveat must be lookt carefully to, in the setting forth.41
Their manner of building.42
Strange Ante-hils.43
The towne of Cassan with the manner of fortification44
The armes or weapons the people have in use.44-45
The inhabitans custome in the night.46
Their government.47
The great Kings of Cantore, of Bursall, and of Wolley.47-48
The Religious ceremony of these people [regarding their kings].49
The manner of their apparell.49-50
The description of their Gregories, which are charmes they receive from their Mary-buckes.50-51
The number of their wives.51
Allowance of other women for necessitie sake.52
The reason of that necessity.52
Strict punishment for unchastity.53
The men buy their wives.53
The widdowes buy their husbands.53
The subiection of the women.54
No outward daliance seene amongst them.54
A strange report.54
The womens clothing.55
The manner of taking away of their wives, which in some sort is used in Ireland at this day.56
The modesty of a new married woman.56
These people stand much upon their dignity. A daungerous quarrel betwixt them.56-57
The certaine knowledge of their Kings & Governours and their successors.58
Their titles of honor.58
Wherein their Riches consists. Great Beggers.58
The temporall people great drinkers of Aquavitæ.58
The life of their Kings truly described.58-59
The deposing of Kings.59-60
The ceremony used betwixt the King and us, when first we meet.60-61
He gives his chiefe Gregory drinke first.61
Their women not allowed to drinke in publike, although they love it well.)61

Part V

The discourse of their Maribuckes or religious men.61-81
They observe the leviticall Law. And have great knowledge of the old Testament.62
They marry in their own tribe and breede up their children in their owne sects.62
The Marybucks have the same allowance of women the Kings or temporall people have.62
The town of Setico, and its high priest. Jobson's "Marybuck" guide, Fodee Careere.63-66
Fodee Bram was the chiefe Mary-bucke of all the Country.63
Both Priest & people weare one manner of apparell.64
The chiefe Mary-bucke, daungerously sicke.64-65
His manner of entertaining me.65
The valuation of the present I gave him, which was so highly esteemed.65
The description of the town called Setico. 65-66
The chiefe Mary-bucke wonderfull desirous to confer with me about Religion.66
They worship the true God above, whom they call Alle.67
They have no manner of image.67
They have no Chu[r]ches.67
They observe not their Sabboth.67
The manner of teaching their male children to write, and reade.67-68
The manner of their character [i.e., letters].68
Their law is not written in the publicke tongue.68
We suppose they performe their religious ceremonies, under the shady trees.68
They called our dwelling the white mens towne.68-69
Their manner of devotion.69-70
The death of the chiefe Mary-bucke.70
The great resort to his buriall.70
They do bury the body with all sweete favors and perfumes they can get. The manner of buriall.71
Verses and Orations in commendations of the deceased.71-72
A Relique of great esteeme.72
The investing of the eldest sonne in the fathers place.72
A Ramme for sacrifice.72
They cal Christ by the name of Nale. The opinion they hold concerning him.73
They have bookes of great volumes all manuscripts.74
The wonderfull sobernesse of these Mary-buckes.75
They abstaine from all sweete things.75
A strange example of abstinence.76
The true way to know a mary-bucke. 77
They will tell no lies.77
The Marybucks manner of travaile.77
They will beg of us without deniall.77-78
They Mary-bucks free to travaile in all places.78
Their report of gold.79
Old Mahome his ceremony at my going-up.79
The subtilty of his neighbour Hammet.79-80
The trade and travaile of the mary-bucks of Setico.80
Wherewith he maintaines his greatnesse.81
An ill opinion of the Mary-buckes, to bury their gold.80-81
A good commoditie.81
The reason of looking after Buckor Sano.81-82

Part VI

Our travell up the River. [The first part]82-105
[I had two more companions:] The Mary-buckes name was Selyman, the others Tombo.83
Samgulley a blacke boy.83
Eleven dayes travell against the streame, wherein wee wrought eighty in eight houres.83-84
Some of our men grew fearfull.85
The returne of one of our messengers.86
The comming of Buckor Sano.86
Provision the people brought.86
His going aboord the boat and report of our powder. 86-87
A Stalker. 87
The saying of Buckor Sano aboord the boate.87
Hee was but once overtaken with our strong drinkes.87-88
The greate esteeme of salt.88
He makes a proclamation.88
He offers women to sell unto us.88-89
Their commodities.89
A markethouse made a shore.89
Warning not to take notice of their gold.90
Buckor Sanos report of gold and of the houses above covered therewith.90-91
He seem'd wonderous willing of our companies.91
[Their manner of travel.]91-92
Buckor Sano his subtill speech.92
His declaration of the Moores of Barbary. 92
Pleasing intelligence being the maine businesse wee ayme at.92-93
Their course of trading.93
An oath they observe carefully.93
An unhappy accident.93
A people that never saw white men before.94
Strange breeches the common people did weare.94-95
An encouragement to search further up the River.95
These people had another language.95
These people expect our returne.96
The King comes unto us.96
Buckor Sano did alwayes eate with us in the boate.96
These [martial and festive] exercises did commonly hold three houres in the night.96-97
Buckor Sano made the white mens Alchade.97
The acknowledgment of his new title.97
His mediation to the King in our behalfes.97-98
The Kings answere.98
Buckor Sanos gratification.98
The Kings acceptance and faire reply.98
He gives us the Country.98
A strange ceremony in taking of possession.98-100
The possession given unto me.99
A great protestation of defence.99
A people markt in the face.100
Observe this [ancient] Mary-bucke.100
[Ferambra, "lord of his Country", who preserved Thompson and his company.]100
The marybucks first tale.100-101
His second discourse.101-102
Our opinion concerning, Trombutto and Gago.102
More incouragement to go further up the River.102
The manner of merchandizing without speech or sight one of the other.102-103
The report of the people with the great lippe.103
The people who bought our salt had no use of it, but for sale.103
[That trading even with the secondary merchants we have met is a profitable trade for both] ought speedily to be considered.104
The place called St. Iohn Marte.104
Our curteous parting with Buckor Sano.104

Part VII

Our travell up the River [(Part 2]105-136
The fashion of the Irish Rimer.105
[A description of their stringed instrument.] Upon this instrument only they play with their fingers.105-106
A strange consort-ship.106
Their chiefest instrument. ["Ballards", a sort of xylophone.]106
The manner of the instrument.107
Their manner of dauncing.107
Their Fidlers rich.107
They are basely esteemed of, and being dead are not buried.108
[Jobson's description of the ceremony of circumcision of the males.]108-119
The affection of Samgulley our blacke boy unto us.109
The feast of their Circumcision.110
Samgulley taken from us to be circumcised.110
The great resort to this solemnity.110-111
They that were cut, kept all together.111
The curtesie and mirth that past betwixt us.112
[Description of their ceremonies of circumcision.]112-114
Women looke upon the circumcision.113
Our boy circumcised, and the manner thereof.113-114
We were not suffered to go amongst the new circumcised.114
No use of medicines to cure them.114
[Jobson's opinion considering their circumcision.]115
The discourse of their divell Ho-re.115-116
He is a monstrous eater.116
Sometimes 8 or 9 at once, are carried away, and sayd to be in his belly.116
Comming forth they speake not for certaine daies.116-117
Our opinion concerning Ho-re.117-118
How he was partly discovered.118
An example of the divells converse with the fidlers.118-119
The Divell could not tell the Portingall whether we were friends or foes.119
The trades or occupations they have in use, their painfull season of thunder and lightning, also what fruites & plants the Country yeelds, and are growing among there amongst them.119-126
The Smith.120-121
An excellent charcole to worke their Iron.120-121
The Sepatero they of this trade are most ingenious.121
The Potter & tobacco pipe-maker.122
They have in the highest of the River, excellent mattes.122
A market kept every monday.122-123
No mony or coyne amongst them.123
All labour to till the earth and sow their graine.123-124
The understand not to make their cattle worke.124
The manner of their painefull labours.124
Their corne, or graine.124-125
The manner of their Rice.125
The planting of cotton.125
The misery of the people.125-126
The times of their raines & the fearefulnes thereof.126
A faire intreaty to men of iudgment [to explain the unwholesomeness, if any, of the climate].126-127
The great aboundance of poyson.127
The nature of the first raines.127-128
An observation to be kept [stay out of the first rains, and keep water handy to avoid using the water from those rains].127-128
A note of experience.128
An observation of the tempestuous times.128-129
They heare & speak of Christ but will not beleeve.129
Gods mercy to us.129-130
A comfort to the traveller.130
Limes. Lemons. Oranges.130
Good wine forth of a tree.131
Several sorts thereof.131
Palmeta apples.131
A made drinke, called Dullo.131-132
Wild hony.133
Munkies meat. [I.e., a fruit monkeys eat, not monkeys that are eaten.]133
A stony apple.133
This fruite ["gola"] is of great esteeme.133-134
They are not growing within the limit we saw.134
Great store brought us, when we were above.134-135
[They have neither herbs nor flowers used for their smell or taste, except for "binning";] This is like our water Lilly.135
The sensible tree.135-136


The discourse of the wild beasts.136-146*
All ravenous beasts in the day time keepe their dennes.136
The Lyon.136-146
His small servant [the jackal].136-137
His manner of hunting.137
The causes of our knowledge.137
Ounces, and Leopards.137-138
The Ounce dangerous.138
A true tale of a Child.138
Civit Cat. Porcupine.138-139
The Elephant.139-140
The stature of the great ones.139
He browses like a deare.140
[One false opinion: that the elephant's tusks grow upward.]140
A [second] false opinion [i.e., that the elephant's teeth are shed, in the manner of Stags' horns].140
Elephants flesh good to feede upon.141
The manner how he killed them.141-142
The Elephant a fearefull beast.142
The peoples admiration, we durst set upon them.142
Buffelos. Blew boores.143
Antelops. Deare of all sorts.143
Babownes a strange story.144
A government amongst them.144-145
The people of the Country eate them.145
The Spaniards opinion of them.145
The peoples report of a Unicorne.146

Part IX

The discourse of land fowle.146-152-
The Stalker.146-147
The wake.147
Ginney hens.147
Variety of small birds.149
A small bird without legges.149
A bird with foure wings, about the bigness of a turle Dove.149
How the birds preserve their young, from the Babouns, and Munkyes.149-151
The subtilty of the Babowne.150-151
Another meanes of preservation.151
Hawkes that will kill a Vallow deare.151
Bastard Eagles.151-152
How the people finde the dead beasts.152
The Inhabitants want knowledge to take them.152
The Kings manner of Hawking.152
The Conclusion.152-158

* The pages are in the text numbered 136, 145, 138, 139, 148-154; see the note on page numbering.