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The relation of one William Rutter to M. Anthony Hickman his master touching a voyage set out to Guinea in the yeere 1562, by Sir William Gerard, Sir William Chester, M. Thomas Lodge, the sayd Antony Hickman, and Edward Castelin : which voyage is also written in verse by Robert Baker.

my duty remembred, this shalbe to declare unto you the discourse of this our voyage, since our departure out of England from Dartmouth ; at which time I gave you to understand of our departure, which was the 25 of February 1562. Then having a prosperous winde we departed from thence, and sailed on our voyage untill we arrived at Cavo verde the 20 of March, making no abode there, but sailed along the coast to our first appointed port Rio de sestos, at which port we arrived the third of Aprill in the morning, having the sight of a Frenchman, who assoone as he perceived us, set saile and made to the sea: in the meane time we came to an anker in the rode: and after that he had espied our flag, perceiving us to be Englishmen, he bare with the shore, & hailed our ships with his ordinance, at which time we the merchants of both the ships were in the river in traffike, and had understanding of the Negros that he had bene there three dayes before our comming: so we concluded together, that if he sent his pinnesse to traffike, we would not suffer him, until we had taken further order with their captaine & marchants. In the afternoone the pinnesse came into the river, whose men we willed to make no traffike untill we had talked further with their captaine, whom we willed that night to come aboord our admirall; which was done. At which sayd time M. Burton and John Munt went aboord the Minion where the Frenchmen were, & there concluded that they should tary by us eight dayes, and suffer us quietly to traffike, wherewith they were not well pleased. Whereupon the next morning they departed from us, sailing alongst the coast to the Eastward towards Potis, which he did to hinder our traffike that way: wherefore the marchants of the Minion & we concluded (forasmuch as at that present we understood that there were no sailes past alongst) that we should go before, to the end we might not be hindred of our traffike by the Frenchmen; which thing we did: and at our comming thither we found the Frenchman in traffike to the West of Potis, by whom we passed, & arrived at Rio de Potis the 12 of April, where we remained in traffike untill the 15 of the sayd moneth, and then departed from thence along the coast toward Sant Andre, where we appointed by agreement to tary for the Minion: and the 17 at night we came to the river of S. Andre; in which very day the Minion came unto us, telling us that they met at cavo das Palmas a great ship and a carvell of the king of Portugals bound to the Mina, who gave chase unto them, and shot freely at them, and the Minion in her defence returned her the like: but God be praised the Minion had no hurt for that time. In the end we concluded to hasten towards cavo de tres puntas to have put them from the castle, if by any meanes wee might; and when wee were come to the Cape, we lay a hull one night and two dayes, and doubting they had bene past, the Minion went neere the shore, and sent her merchants to a place called Anta, where beforetime we had traffike, and the next morning very early being the 21 of the sayd moneth, we againe had sight of the ship and the caravell a good way to sea-boord of us. Then we presently set saile, and bare with the formost of them, hoping to have got betweene the castle and them, but we came short of our purpose, which was no small griefe unto us all; and when they had gotten the castle to friend, they shot at us freely, and we at them, and the castle at us; but we profited litle. In the afternoone we set saile & came to the town of Don Juan called Equi, where the 22 in the morning we went a shore to traffike, but the Negros would not untill they had newes from Don Luis, for at that time Don Juan was dead, and the 23 came Don Luis his sonne and Pacheco minding to traffike with us, at which said day came two galies rowing along the shore from the castle, minding to keepe us from our traffike. The 24 we set saile and chased the galies to the castle againe. The Negros being glad of that required us to goe to Mowre, which is some 3 leagues behind, and thither would they come for that they stood in feare of the Portugals, and there we remained for the marchants that came out of the countrey which were come with their gold, but Anthonio don Luis his sonne, and Pacheco were aboord the Minion. And the 25 in the morning came the two galies from the castle againe unto us, the weather being very calme, they shot at us and hit us 3 times, and shortly after the wind came from the shore, at which instant we descried the ship, & the caravell comming towards us, then we weighed and set saile, and bare as neere unto them as we could: but it was night or ever wee met with them, and the night being very darke we lost them. The next day plying to the shore, at night we agreed to go with Cormantin, but the next morning being the 28 we were but a litle distant from the great ship and the 2 galies, having no wind at all, and the caravell hard aboord the shore. Then being calme, came the 2 galies rowing to the sterne of the Minion, and fought with her the most part of the forenoone: and in the fight a mischance hapned in the Minions steward-roome by means of a barrell of pouder that tooke fire, wherewith were hurt the master gunner, the steward, and most part of the gunners; which the galies perceiving, began to be more fierce upon them, and with one shot cut halfe her foremast in twaine, that without present remedie shee was not able to beare saile, and presently upon this the great ship sent her boat to the galies, who suddenly departed from us. And after their departure we went aboord the Minion to counsell what were best to be done, at which time they were sore discomfited. Whereupon we devised what was best to be done: and because wee knew that the Negros neither would nor durst traffike so long as the galies were on the coast; it was therefore agreed that we should prepare our selves to depart to Rio de Sestos, and so we departed that day. The 14 of May in the morning we fell with the land, and when wee came to it, we doubted what place it was, and sent our boates on land to know the trueth, and we found it to be Rio de Barbos, which is to the Eastward of sant Andre, and there remained in getting of water untill the 21, where we lost the day before 5 of our men by meanes of overthrowing our blacke pinnasse. The 22 we departed from thence to Rio de Sesto, where we arrived the 2 of June, and the 4 wee departed from Rio de Sesto, and arrived (God bee thanked) the 6 of August within sight of the Stert in the West part of England, our men being very sicke and weake. We have not at this present above 20 sound men that are able to labour, and we have of our men 21 dead, and many more very sore hurt and sicke. Master Burton hath bene sicke this 6 weekes, and at this present (God strengthen him) is so weake that I feare he will hardly escape. Herein inclosed your worship shall receive a briefe of all the goods sold by us, & also what commodities we have received for the same. Thus I leave to trouble your worship, reserving all things els to our generall meeting, and to the bringer hereof. From aboord the Primerose the 6 of August 1563.

Your obedient servant
William Rutter. There are brought home this voiage An. 1563. Elephants teeth 166. weighing 1758 pounds. Graines 22 buts full.

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