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his voyages and had covered the subscription list with large sums, Lok was among the most confident and speculative. He had himself been much engaged in maritime explorations, he' was a personal friend of Frobisher, whom he had accompanied in his voyages, and it was mainly through his activity and perseverance that the different expeditions had been fitted out. To him Frobisher was under the deepest obligations. I opened 'all my private studies and twenty years' labour to him,' writes Lok mournfully, and showed him all my books, charts, maps, ' and instruments. I daily instructed him, making my home his home, my purse his purse at his need, and my credit his 'credit to my power, when he was utterly destitute both of money, credit, and friends.' Of the twenty thousand pounds subscribed by the adventurers to the three voyages, Lok had put down his name for five thousand, and the unfortunate end of the expeditions which he had always so sanguinely upheld, now signified ruin. As is so often the case where hopes have been cruelly disappointed by those in whom we trust, en estrangement between the two friends took place, to be followed by recrimination on both sides and the bitterest animosity. Frobisher railed at his former benefactor, and called him a 'false accountant,' 'a cozener,' 'a bankrupt knave;' he spread shameful reports about him in the City, and raged against him lyke a made best,' and, to add a still more grievous insult to the injuries he had already inflicted, swore that Lok, who had spent his substance in the shares, was 'no venturer at all in the voyages.' In retaliation, Lok declared that Frobisher had hoodwinked the public as to the ore for his own evil purposes, that he victualled his ships so badly that many of his crew died, that he nearly caused all the ships to founder through his obstinate ignorance,' that he was full of lying talk and so impudent of tongue as his best friends are most slandered," and that if his doings in the three voyages were enquired into, he would be found the most unprofitable servant of all that
have served the Queen.' Still in this passage of arms the victory was not with Lok. No fault was found with the conduct of Frobisher: he had not rendered himself liable as a shareholder, and, though the cause of ruin to many, he was neither ruined nor disgraced. Lok was less fortunate. His petition for relief was not entertained; he was looked upon as responsible for the debts of the company of the north-west voyage,' and the last we hear of him is as a petitioner from the Fleet. Here he busied himself with drawing up an account of the three voyages of Frobisher, which, due allowance being made for the animus of the writer, cannot but be of the greatest service,
from the numerous novel facts they contain, to all chroniclers of Arctic navigation. In addition to this narrative, which comprises no less than fifteen papers, Lok has left behind him a very full record of The Doings of Captain Frobisher amongst 'the Company's Business,' of which two copies are extant, one in the Public Record Office, and the other in the British Museum.
In spite of past failure, various expeditions, as these volumes of Mr. Sainsbury amply prove, were fitted out for the discovery of the North-West Passage. A fourth voyage under Frobisher was projected, but, owing to certain restrictions which were contained in his instructions, the great navigator threw up his appointment, and the expedition sailed under the command of one Edward Fenton. It was, however, to meet with no better success than its predecessors, and those interested in the question will find much new matter in the letter of its commander (June 29, 1583) to Burghley, announcing the failure of the voyage. A few years later, at the instigation and expense of the East India Company, Captain Waymouth set out with the Discovery' and the Godspeed,' to sail 'towards the coast of Greenland and pass on into those seas 'by the north-west towards Cathay or China, without giving over, proceeding on his course so long as he finds any possibility to make a passage through those seas, and not to return for any let or impediment whatever until one year 'has been bestowed in attempting the passage.' His attempt, though unsuccessful, was not a complete failure; for writers on Arctic voyages, however much they differ as to the importance of his discoveries, agree in this, that he lighted Hudson 'into his strait.' Other expeditions were proposed by the East India Company, and we read, on one occasion, of the interest taken by the Emperor of Japan in the discovery of the passage; yet no practical good seems to have been the result of all this agitation. The ships returned home as the other ships had returned home, or the negotiations for a voyage fell through, and the project was as hastily abandoned as it had been entertained. Of the explorations of Hudson, Button, Bylot, and Baffin, the State Papers add comparatively little to what is already known. Nor, curiously enough, where even unimportant events are related in full, is any mention made of the voyages of John Davis. It is true,' says Mr. Sainsbury, 'that his name occurs more than once, and that each mention of it has a peculiar interest; but in reference to his voyages for discovery of the North-West Passage, the papers are wholly
'silent, and I am not aware of any particulars having been 'published beyond those furnished by Hakluyt.'
We now turn to a matter of deeper and closer interest. The rise and development of the East India Company are among the most romantic passages of history. That a small body of English merchants should have settled themselves in a strange and distant land, should have overcome all opposition, and by their courage and firmness should have gradually extended their operations until they had compelled the fiercest princes to do them homage, are events so full of incident and plot that they never fail to excite our interest even when our sympathies are repelled. Thrice told as has been the story, the pages of Mr. Sainsbury yet shed a new light upon the subject, and illuminate the narrative with details not visible in the printed works of the chroniclers and historians of our Indian Empire. The defeat of the Spanish Armada had not only established the maritime supremacy of England, but had aroused the cupidity of our trading classes to take part in the enterprises which had resulted in the realisation of such wealth to the Iberian peninsula. Within a few months of the destruction of the proud fleet which was to have made the Spaniard the master of our shores, a body of English merchants petitioned the Virgin Queen for permission to send ships to India. In their memorial they alluded to the prosperity which had attended upon the establishment of the Spanish and Portuguese settlements, and drew attention to the many ports in the countries bordering on the India and China seas, which might be visited with advantage by English ships, where sales might be made of English cloths and other staple and manufactured articles, and the produce of those countries purchased; such a trade would by degrees add to the shipping, seamen, and naval force of the kingdom, in the same manner as it has increased the Portuguese fleets.' Elizabeth, always willing to lend the weight of her authority to the furtherance of any scheme calculated to add to the power of England, provided it did not lead to severe encroachments upon the Royal Treasury, readily granted the desired permission, and accordingly, in 1591, three ships, under the command of Captain Raymond, sailed for the East. An account of this voyage is printed in Hakluyt; the ships were separated from each other by a severe storm, Raymond was wrecked and never heard of again, and the only vessel, after many grievous misfortunes,' that accomplished the voyage was the Rear-Admiral,' commanded by Master James Lancaster. It has been generally supposed that this was the first English expedition despatched
to the East Indies, but both in the volumes of Purchas and of Hakluyt accounts of two previous voyages will be found, one in 1579 by Stevens, and the other in 1583 by Fitch, wherein the strange rites, manners, and customs of those people, ' and the exceeding rich trade and commodities of those coun'tries, are faithfully set down and diligently described.' Other detached expeditions followed in the wake of that of Raymond, and the reports that were brought home of the treasures obtained by the Portuguese and the Dutch in those regions led certain English merchants, in 1599, to form themselves into a company with the special object of trading with the East Indies. A sum of over thirty thousand pounds was subscribed for; a petition was presented to the Council praying for incorporation as a company, for that the trade of the Indies, 'being so far remote from hence, cannot be traded but in a 'joint and united stock.' Both the Queen and her Council cordially approved of the enterprise, and no opposition was raised in any quarter. The Charter of Incorporation of the East India Company, by the name of the Governor and Company of Merchants of London trading into the East Indies,' was granted December 31, 1600. It was to remain in force fifteen years; George, Earl of Cumberland, and 215 knights, aldermen, and merchants were the original members of the company; Lancaster was appointed admiral of the fleet, with John Davis, the North-West navigator, as second in command. In order that the expedition should be stamped with the impress of the Royal approval, Queen Elizabeth had herself issued a circular letter to the kings of Sumatra and other 'places in the East Indies,' desiring them to encourage her subjects in their attempt to open up a commerce between the two countries, whereby her amity and friendship would be maintained and greater benefits be derived by the Indies from intercourse with England than from intercourse either with Spain or Portugal. The wishes of her Majesty were obeyed. The voyage was eminently successful. Factories were settled at Acheen and Bantam by Lancaster. The King of Sumatra gave permission to English merchants, under the most favourable terms, to trade within his territories, whilst, in reply to the letter of the Queen, he handed Lancaster a despatch full of the warmest feelings of friendship towards England and her sovereign, accompanied by a ring beautified with a ruby, two vestures woven and embroidered with gold, and placed within a purple box of china,' which he requested should be presented to Elizabeth. The customs on the goods brought home from this first voyage amounted, it is said, to nearly one thousand
pounds. So good a beginning was not permitted to come to nought through apathy or negligence. Voyage succeeded voyage, and in spite of the hostility of the Spaniards and the Portuguese, and of the treacherous friendship of the Dutch, England, at the end of a few years, had succeeded in firmly establishing a lucrative and increasing trade in the East Indies.
'To almost every place,' writes Mr. Sainsbury, 'where there was the least likelihood of obtaining a communication with the natives, English vessels resorted, in most instances with success; and where this was not so, the cause was rather attributable to the conduct of the Dutch than to the Company's neglect of the necessary precautions, the English being almost invariably received with courtesy, and even kindness, wherever they went. The Company never lost sight of the danger of attack from Spaniards and Portuguese. Care was always taken, before trading or settling in a new country, to ascertain the feeling of the natives, and in most cases leave or "licence" was granted for the English to do as they liked.'
Shortly after the accession of James the charter of the Company was renewed, but with most important additions; instead of their privileges being limited to fifteen years the whole, entire, and only trade and traffic to the East Indies' were granted to the Company for ever. The result of this monopoly was the speedy establishment of factories at Surat, Agra, and Masulipatam; at the chief ports of Java, Sumatra, and Borneo; and at many of the towns in the kingdoms of Malacca, Camboja, Pegu, Siam, and Cochin-China. Shares in the voyages were often sold by the candle,' and commanded exorbitant prices, the object being that the Company may better know the worth of their adventures.' We read of adventures of 60%. being knocked down at 1307., and of those of 1007. realising nearly 2007. It is not, therefore, surprising that shares in the Company were eagerly sought after, and that as much intrigue and competition were required to obtain the post of director as were necessary for high office at Court.
At the outset of their proceedings the Company were fortunate in securing the support and protection of the Great Mogul. This terrible personage, whom both rumour and fable had succeeded in raising to the position of the one potentate of the East, whose frown was death, but whose friendship was omnipotent, had been appeased by courteous letters from James, and, what had appealed more closely to his Oriental mind, by numerous presents from the English merchants. The papers calendared by Mr. Sainsbury afford us some interesting particulars in connexion with the life and character of this