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The voyage of M. Roger Bodenham with the great Barke Aucher to Candia and Chio, in the yeere 1550.

IN the yeere 1550. the 13 of November I Roger Bodenham Captaine of the Barke Aucher entered the said ship at Gravesend , for my voiage to the Ilands of Candia and Chio in the Levant . The master of my ship was one William Sherwood. From thence we departed to Tilbery hope, and there remained with contrarie windes untill the 6. of January 1551. The 6. of Januarie, the M. came to Tilbery, and I had provided a skilfull pylot to cary me over the lands end, whose name was M. Wood, and with all speede I valed downe that night 10 miles to take the tide in the morning, which happily I did, and that night came to Dover, and there came to an anker, and there remained untill tuesday, meeting with the worthy knight sir Anthony Aucher owner of the saide ship.

The 11 day we arrived in Plimoth, and the 13 in the morning we set forward on our voyage with a prosperous winde, and the 16 we had sight of Cape Finister on the coast of Spaine.

The 30 we arrived at Cades, and there discharged certaine marchandise, and tooke others aboord.

The 20 of February we departed from Cades, & passed the straights of Gibraltar that night, and the 25 we came to the Ile of Mallorca, and staied there five daies with contrary windes.

The first of March, we had sight of Sardenna, and the fift of the said month wee arrived at Messina in Sicilia , and there discharged much goods, and remained there untill good Fryday in Lent.

The chiefe marchant that laded the sayd Barke Aucher was a marchant stranger called Anselm Salvago, and because the time was then very dangerous, and no going into Levant , especially to Chio, without a safe conduct from the Turke, the said Anselm promised the owner Sir Anthony Aucher, that we should receive the same at Messina . But I was posted from thence to Candia , and there I was answered that I should send to Chio, and there I should have my safe conduct. I was forced to send one, and hee had his answere that the Turke would give none, willing me to looke what was best for me to doe, which was no small trouble to me, considering I was bound to deliver the goods that were in the ship at Chio, or send them at mine adventure. The marchants without care of the losse of the ship would have compelled me to goe, or send their goods at mine adventure, the which I denied, and sayd plainely I would not goe, because the Turkes gallies were come forth to goe against Malta , but by the French kings means, he was perswaded to leave Malta , and to goe to Tripoly in Barbary, which by the French he wan. In this time there were in Candia certaine Turkes vessels called Skyrasas, which had brought wheat thither to sell, and were ready to depart for Turkie. And they departed in the morning be times, carying newes that I would not goe foorth: the same night I prepared beforehande what I thought good, without making any man privie, untill I sawe time. Then I had no small businesse to cause my mariners to venture with the ship in such a manifest danger. Neverthelesse I wan them to goe all with me, except three which I set on land, and with all diligence I was readie to set foorth about eight of the clocke at night, being a faire moone shine night, & went out. Then my 3 marriners made such requests unto the rest of my men to come aborde, as I was constrained to take them in. And so with good wind we put into the Archipelago, & being among the Ilands the winde scanted, & I was forced to anker at an Iland called Micone, where I taried 10 or 12 daies, having a greeke Pilot to carrie the ship to Chio. In this meane season, there came many small botes with mysson sayles to goe for Chio, with diverse goods to sell, & the Pilot requested me that I would let them goe in my company, to which I yeelded. After the sayde dayes expired, I wayed & set saile for the Iland of Chio, with which place I fel in the after noone, whereupon I cast to seaward againe to come with the Iland in the morning betimes. The foresaid smal vessels which came in my company, departed from me to win the shore, to get in ye night, but upon a sudden they espied 3 foystes of Turkes comming upon them to spoyle them. My Pilot, having a sonne in one of those small vessels, entreted me to cast about towards them, which at his request I did, and being some thing farre from them, I caused my Gunner to shoot a demy-colvering at a foyst that was readie to enter one of the botes. This was so happy a shott, that it made the Turke to fall a sterne of the bote and to leave him, by the which meanes hee escaped. Then they all came to me, and requested that they might hang at my sterne untill day light, by which time I came before the Mole of Chio, and sent my bote on land to the marchants of that place to send for their goods out of hand, or else I would returne back with all to Candia , & they should fetch their goods there. But in fine, what by perswasion of my merchants English men, & those of Chio, I was entreated to come into the harbour, and had a safe assurance for 20 dayes against the Turkes army, with a bond of the citie in the summe of 12000 ducats. So I made hast & solde such goods as I had to Turkes that came thither, & put all in order, with as much speede as I could, fearing the comming of the Turkes navie, of the which, the chiefe of the citie knew right wel. So upon the sudden they called me of great friendship, & in secret told me, I had no way to save my selfe but to be gone, for said they, we be not able to defend you, that are not able to help our selves, for the Turke where he commeth, taketh what he will, & leaveth what he list, but the chiefe of the Turkes set order yt none shal do any harme to the people or to their goods. This was such news to me, that indeed I was at my wits end, & was brought into many imaginations how to do, for that the winde was contrarie. In fine, I determined to goe foorth. But the marchants English men and other regarding more their gaines then the ship, hindered me very much in my purpose of going foorth, and made the marriners to come to me to demaund their wages to be payed them out of hande, and to have a time to employ the same there. But God provided so for me, that I paied them their money that night, and then charged them, that if they would not set the ship foorth, I would make them to answere the same in England, with danger of their heads. Many were married in England and had somewhat to loose, those did sticke to me. I had twelve gunners: the Master gunner who was a madde brayned fellow, and the owners servant had a parlament betweene themselves, and he upon the same came up to me with his sword drawen, swearing that hee had promised the owner Sir Anthony Aucher, to live and die in the sayde shippe against all that should offer any harme to the shippe, and that he would fight with the whole armie of the Turkes, and never yeelde: with this fellow I had much to doe, but at the last I made him confesse his fault and followe mine advise. Thus with much labour I gat out of the Mole of Chio, into the sea by warping foorth, with the helpe of Genoueses botes, and a French bote that was in the Mole, and being out God sent mee a speciall gale of winde to goe my way. Then I caused a peece to be shotte off for some of my men that were yet in the towne, & with much a doe they came aboord, and then I set sayle a little before one of the clocke, and I made all the sayle I could, and about halfe an hour past two of the clocke there came seven gallies into Chio to stay the shippe: and the admirall of them was in a great rage because she was gone. Whereupon they put some of the best in prison, and tooke all the men of the three ships which I left in the port, and put them into the Gallies. They would have followed after mee, but that the townes men found meanes they did not. The next day came thither a hundred more of Gallies, and there taried for their whole companie, which being together were about two hundred & 50 sayle, taking their voyage for to surprise the Iland of Malta. The next day after I departed, I had the sight of Candia , but I was two dayes after or ever I could get in, where I thought my selfe out of their daunger. There I continued untill the Turkes armie was past, who came within the sight of the towne. There was preparation made as though the Turks had come thither. There be in that Iland of Candia many banished men, that live continually in the mountaines, they came downe to serve, to the number of foure or five thousand, they are good archers, every one with his bowe and arrowes, a sword and a dagger, with long haire, and bootes that reach up to their grine, and a shirt of male, hanging the one halfe before, and the other halfe behinde, these were sent away againe assoone as the armie was past. They would drinke wine out of all measure. Then the armie being past, I laded my shippe with wines and other things: and so after I had that which I left in Chio, I departed for Messina . In the way I found about Zante , certaine Galliots of Turkes, laying abord of certaine vessels of Venice laden with Muscatels : I rescued them, and had but a barrell of wine for my powder and shot: and within a few dayes after I came to Messina . I had in my shippe a Spanish pilot called Noblezia, which I tooke in at Cades at my comming foorth: he went with me all this voyage into the Levant without wages, of good will that he bare me and the shippe, he stoode me in good steede untill I came backe againe to Cades, and then I needed no Pilot. And so from thence I came to London with the shippe and goods in safetie, God be praysed. And all those Mariners that were in my sayd shippe, which were, besides boyes, threescore and tenne, for the most part were within five or sixe yeeres after, able to take charge, and did. Richard Chanceller, who first discovered Russia , was with me in that voyage, and Mathew Baker, who afterward became the Queenes Majesties chiefe ship-wright.

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