Elkington Family History




Collections taken out of the Journal of Captaine Thomas Elkington. Successour to Captaine Nicholas Downton in the voyage aforesaid written by himselfe.

The first of January 1613 [i.e. 1614], the new ship, built at Deptford, was la[u]nched and called the New-Yeares-Gift. The third of March, we came to an anchor in the Downs.


The thirtieth of June, we set saile from the Bay of Soldana. Heere at this time, which is their dead of winter, it was temperate, rather inclining to cold then heate. We had little refreshing but water and fish. [Monden says that they bought about twenty sheep and five oxen, and netter from thirteen to fourteen hundred fish]. The people are wretched, neither sow not plant, dwell in small cottages made of hides and so joyne many of them in a roubnd circle, having their cattle in the middest. They are browne, but by greasing themselves become almost blacke, and in the wind unsavourie a dozen yards off; filching, trecherous, unworthy so good a land, which in likelihood with culture would be very fertile.


The sixth of August we has sight of Saint Lawrence [in Africa]. This night Robert Water departed, a man long diseased in bodie, and disturbed in minde by torment of conscience, for a man by him killed in Virginia (cowardly coming behind him and knocking him on the head), for which hee obtayned his pardon in the court of men, but in the inward and spirituall was thus pursued to his death. Here uin the Bay of Saint Augustine we wooded and watered. Some when up river and came to their houses or sheads, which were small things set up with canes and covered with a thing like a hurdle, made of leaves of the palm tree. The people had fled and left all, that is, nothing but a little cotton spunne, or on the distaves, with a few necessaries. The eleventh and twelfth we bought cattell in exchange of silver chaines, they taking the value of twentie pence, or two shillings, in a chaine for an oxe, which in money would cost five or sixe shillings. They are very good, fed, it seemes, within the land, for we saw nothing but sand and wood without any grasse at all.


The 9th September, we had sight of Socatora, and passing by Tamarind [Tamridal] Bay, came to anchore in Delisha.
The one and twentieth of October we came into Swally.
After the fight on the tentieth of January, in which three Portugall ships were burnt and two frigates sunk, and timber procured for the Hopes main mast (which the Nabob caused to be done so warily that it seemed he was afraid lest the Portugals might know it) on the four and twentieth came a Jesuite with another fellow from the eroy to intreate of peace with Magribocan, who on the seven and twentieth sent the ??Viceroy one hundred and fiftie maunds meale, one hundred sheepe, twentie-five maunds conserves, with hens, etc. In the afternoone the Sabandar requested me to read a letter from the Viceroy, which signified that, whereas by the Padre hee was informed that the Nabob desitred ro make peace in his masters name and had appointed for treatrie thereof then Sabandar, Isaac Beg and Abduram (Abdurrahim) , hee also had hearkened thereto and appointed three others to that businesse, binding himselfe to performe their agreements.


On the one and thritieth the Sabadar came unto mee and told mee that no peace could be with the Portugals, they refusing to make any restitutionfor damages or goods taken, but rather required money of them; and that the Viceroy had sent all parts thereabouts for more forces.
After their fire devices frustrated, they all set saile, both ships, junckes, gallies and frigats, and toade at the Barre of Surat. The Hector had taken one of their frigats which was imployed to tow the fire-boats, and in her seven men, three slaine, four living. Soone after they departed, and we also weighed the second of March.
On the fourth we descryed the Portugall fleet, which presently gave us chase, and the next day also. On the sixth the Generall came aboord us to wish us to make readie, he purposing to turne and give the onset on them; but about noone the Portugals bore up the helme and stood in for the shoare, and within three houres after we lost sightof them. The Tenth, at night, the Hope departed from us. The fifteenth we saw three spouts of water not farre from us, one whereof very bigge continuing halfe an houre. The nineteenth we doubled Cape Cormorine

The tenth of May, the wind and current against us, the Generall went to a greene iland to the north of the Salt-hill, and there came to anchor in twentie fathome, good ground sandie. Wee sought fresh water but found none. Wee saw pigges and hogs on the iland and gathered good store of coco nuts. About this iland is good riding, beeing twelve fathomes within a stones throw of the shoare. The pinnasse fetched water at an iland four leagues off, which was brackish. We found water in the iland beyond the burining one. The second of June wee came to an anchor in Bantam Road.
The third of July we weighed mace and received silke for the furnishing of the Salomon for Masulipatan; wherein we concluded to send for merchants George Chancie, Ralph Preston, HUMPHREY ELKINGTON, Timothy Mallory, George Svage and Robert Savage.
The eighth of July we laded porcelane in her, and then came newes bya juncke from the Moluccas of the Thomasine being there, and of twelve sail if Hollanders at Ternate, which hindered allmen they could from trade. The eleventh our old house escaped great danger of a fire neere it.
On the twetieth <aster Jordan received letters from Master Basll at Macassar of the violent courses which the Flemmings used with him, beating him from thence; as also they purposed with their whole force to come to take Bantam and to place the King of Motran in the government. [The Sultan of Mataram claimed suzerainty over the whole of Java].
The one and twentieth Master Bennet set saile in the Salomon, the five and twentieth the Advice and Attendance came into the road, having beene out of England eight moneths. At the Cape they met with the Globe and James, to whom they spared eighteene men. They deaprted towards England, July the seventeenth and they hither; the eighteenth meeting with a shippe neere the Cape, which we judge to be the Samaritan or Hope from England.
The fifth of August I was aboord with the Generall, then very ill, and the next day had a word of his departure; whom followed on the eighth Master Evans the preacher [he had been engaged in March 1614 and sent out in David Middleton's fleet as chaplain at Bantam], and Master Hambleden, as was supposed by taking lodanum, they being well a little before. On the eleventh the Advice was dispeeded for Japan, with twentie-two persons brought out of England, five blackes and Ferdinando the Spaniard.

The fourteenth returned the Concord from Soccodanna [Sukedana, on the south-west coast of Borneo] and Macasser. That night was much raine, thunder and lightning, the church or meskit [i.e.mosque] of Bantam split in two with a thunderbolt and the chiefe priest almost slaine; which the King and people tooke as an ill presage, and therefore determined to make peace with Jacarta.
The sixteenth the Thomasine's boat came into Bantam with twentie two English and five blackes, which told of the casting away of the Thomasine on certain flats twentie two leagues from Macassar the night before, Wilson the master, being careless and all the company asleepe, saving he which was at the helme. The money they saved and brought with them. Master Baily signified also that the wracked comopany there enforced him to pay them their wages, which we caused them to restore.
The nineteenth the Flemmings put into the4 bilbowes three blackes that Master Bailey had brought with him from Celoar [Solor, the southernmost of two islands lying off the eastern extremity of Floris. It had been taken from the Portuguese by the Dutch], pretending they took them climbing over their pales, also that they were taken gfrom a place which they protected and therefore would keepe them. We are many wayes most vily abused by them, not is any way right us except wee should goe together by the eares; this (as we conceive) being wrong of purpose, and the blackes intised by them and willing to it, as being taken by force; which after that I was offended with Master Baily being a meanes that, whereas heretofore wee have been in all places qwell intreated, that wee should be hated as men-robbers; which the Flemmings, to disgrace us, will not let blaze abroad.
The thirteenth of September the watch espyed a fire in the thatch over Master Jordan's lodging, which was soone quenched. It was throwne there purposely. We found the cane wherein it was done, for which we suspected Francisco, the Spaniard turned Javan. The same night the like happened in two or three places of the towne, but all prevented.
The second of October Sophonee Cossock, merchant, came in a small pinasse from Puloway (Pulo Ai), one of the ilands of Banda, with an Orancaya to cinferre of trade.

The two and twentieth I with Master Pring and Master Boile went ashoare to conferre with the Flemmish Generall, touching certaine idle complaints made by them of our mariners; whom and the President I found very impatient, calling us insolent English, and with threats telling us our pride would have a fall, with many other disgracefull words; this being the entertainment of that boorish Generall, Garrat Reynes, in his owne house, shewing the like or worse to Master Ball, coming aboord him at Banda; and foure of our men entreating passage with him thence to Cambello [Kambeloe, on the western coaast of Ceram], upon no cause he carried them thither in the bilbowes.
The third of November I went ashoare. Captain Jordan called together the merchants and sent for the Orancaya of Banda, having had his letter translated, the effect whereof was that in regard of the ancient friendship between the English and them and especially with Captain Keeling, withall being provoked by the cruelty of the Hollanders, their earnest desire was to trade only with the English for the spices of Puloway, Pulerons [sic] and Nera, conditionally that the English would furnish them with victuals, munition and ordnance, and heklps them to recocver the castle of Nera, and that aome might bee sent to Banda to conferre hereof with the Orancayas. To which was answered that for helpe to recover Nera we could not doe it without order from Englandm [and] for ordnance at present we were unprovided; what we could we would, which was to furnish them with victuals, and what other provisions we could, till further order out of England, and to trade with them for spices; purposing to send a ship and some to conferrre with the Orancayas hiow we should be secured and whether they would permit us a fort on shoare.

The two and twentieth were five Hollanders riding without foure if which came from Mauritius Iland (having come out of Holland nineteene moneths past) where they found Generall Butt cast away with three ships, two utterly lost, the third men and goods saved; the fourth went home with a jury mastm in company of a small pinnasse that came hither by chance. One of these shippes that was at Mauritius came away before the rest; whom they found driving to and againe before the Straight's mouth, having lost one hundred and sixty men and left in her but eight.
The five and twentieth by a letter from Priamanm we had newes of the death of Master Oxwike and Samule Negus.

Elkington died 16 January 1616 from a fever at Bantam.

Here the journal ends. Unfortunely the journal itself is now lost. This came from published papers and from the Richard Hakluit Society at the Bodleian Library Oxford.
Other reports of this journey and the doings of Thomas Elkington are also contained in Martin Pring's Journal reported in the book BRISTOL PRIVATEERS AND SHIPS OF WAR.
His journey halfway round the world is remarkable when considering the perils of the deep to all sailing ships and the dangers of a passage round the Cape of Good Hope. Below are the geographical clues to where he travelled as some places have now changed their names.



The Voyage of Nicholas Downton to the East Indies 1614-15 : As Recorded in Contemporary Narratives and Letter/edited by Sir William Foster. Reprint. First published in 1939 by Hakluyt Society, London. 1997, 224 p., maps,

Contents: Introduction. Fuller titles of works cited. I. Extracts from a journal kept on board the New Year's Gift by Nicholas Downton, 1 March 1614 to 6 March 1615. II. Extracts from a journal kept on board the Solomon by Thomas Elkington, 1 January 1614 to 25 November 1615. III. Extracts from a journal kept on board the New Year's Gift by Martin Pring, 1 March 1614 to 25 June 1616. IV. Extracts from an anonymous log kept on board the New Year's Gift&127_&127, 24 March to 14 September 1614. V. A journal kept by Edward Dodsworth, 25 February 1614 to 2 November 1615. VI. An East-India Colation, by Christopher Farewell. VII. A narrative of the fight at Swally, by the Rev. Samuel Purchas. VIII. Correspondence: 1. Captain Downton at Swally to the Company, 20 November 1614. 2. The same to Sir Thomas Smythe, 20 November 1614. 3. William Edwards at Ahmadabad to the Company, 20 December 1614. 4. Edward Dodsworth at Ahmadabad to the Company, 30 December 1614. 5. Captain Downton at Swally to Sir Thomas Smythe, 28 February 1615. 6. Memorandum by the same, 1 March 1615. 7. Captain Downton to the Company, 7 March 1615. 8. His note of articles desired for the Great Mogul. 9. Samuel Squire at sea to Sir Thomas Smythe, 9 March 1615. 10. Thomas Elkington to the Company, 25 February and 10 March 1615. 11. The same at Bantam to the Company, 2 October 1615. 12. Edward Dodsworth in Killybegs Bay to the Company, 5 November 1615. Index.

"The present volume is a sequel to the volume describing the voyage of Captain Thomas [Elkington?] to the East Indies in 1612-14. The voyage started three months before Captain Best returned to England with the purpose establishing trade in Western India. The fleet consisted of four vessels--New Year's Gift, Hector, Merchant's Hope and the Solomon. Merchandise consisted basically of ivory, broadcloth, camel lead, quicksilver, tin and pewter, iron and apparel. "The voyage succeeded in its mission despite stiff resistance from Portuguese, thus providing a grounding for next voyage of Thomas Roe who established on a lasting basis the commerce between England and the dominions of the Great Mogul." (jacket)

[William Foster joined the India Office in 1882. He edited the Indian Office List, 1891-5. He was the assistant to the Registrar and Superintendent of Records in 1901. He was the Secretary of the Hakluyt Society, 1893-1902. Some of the records edited by him include: The Embassy of Sir Thomas Roe to India 1615-19, The First Letter-book of the East India Company 1600-19, Early Travels in India; The Travels of Thomas Best to East Indies 1612-14 and The Travels of Nicholas Downton to East Indies 1614-15.]