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from the earliest days of our eastern trade. The Leghorn's Lascars, shipped at 10s. and 12s. 6d. a-month, all died or deserted. Death and desertion were busy with her to the end. At the Cape a whole batch of men shipped in Java ran away, and she had to hire Dutchmen to replace them. But other Indiamen came home with orews largely composed of Lascars. As the Company was forbidden by the Navigation Laws to employ them as members of the crew on the outward - bound voyages, it had to place them in lodginghouses and take them back as passengers, an addition to its expenses which only the profits of a monopoly enabled it to bear. While in this country they were packed into lodging houses, under the supervision of the Company's surgeon and the immediate government of their own Serangs. The loafing Lascar, who was not allowed to work, but who could not be prevented from gambling, getting drunk, and haunting the society of "Jack's unlovely Nan," was a well-known figure about the "London River" all through the eighteenth century. In 1814 they and their lodging-houses became the subject of a scandal, when one of them was flogged to death by a Serang. In the end the Indiaman was allowed to carry as many Lascars as she found needful, so long as she also carried four white sailors per hundred tons of her register. Within the limits of the Company's charter there was no restriction. Ships in

the port-to-port or up-country trade could be and were both India - built and manned by Lascars under white officers. When there were no divided topsails, when machinery for reefing sail from the deck had not been invented, and while as yet no man had dreamt of donkey - engines for hauling round the yards, a much larger crew was required than the biggest iron clipper carries today-to say nothing of the Indiaman's twenty to thirtysix guns, which she had frequent occasion to use. A ship of 800 tons carried 100 officers and men; one of 1300 and upwards, 130. But it must be remembered that two Lascars made the equivalent of one white seaman, Therefore one of the larger Indiamen, which had a crew of 60 white men and 120 Lascars, was a ship with a complement of 120. I will not affirm it, because I do not know whether the statement could be properly proved; but it is my impression that during the later days of the Company's monopoly, which was abolished for India in 1814 and for China in 1834, the proportion of Lasoars employed in our Eastern trade was higher than it is now.

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"To the widow, children, father, or mother of every seaman that shall lose his life in defence of the ship, as aforesaid, thirty pounds. To every seaman that shall lose a leg or arm or both, in such defence, thirty pounds. To every seaman that shall receive any other wound, such sum of money as the said Court of Directors shall

were deducted, formed about encouragement"- that is to half the crew. In this docu- say, it set aside a part of the ment "The Court of Directors ship's capacity for them, and of the United Company of paid them for it, or allowed Merchants of England trading them to trade with it. We to the East Indies" do in a should expect to find that the general way promise a reward sacred principle which apporin proportion to their merits tions "indulgences" to rank to all mariners who shall pre- in geometrical progression was vent malicious damage to "the duly observed by so British said Company's effects" in an institution as the H.E.I.C. peace or war. Then growing Fifty-six and a half of the more specific, they engage to ninety-seven tons allowed to captain and officers on the outward voyage belonged to the captain. The mates, quartermasters, stewards, cooks, carpenter, boatswain, gunner, caulker, armourer, and sailmaker shared the balance. In port-to-port trade two-fifths of the tonnage was indulgence, and if the Company did not want the other three-fifths then the captain and officers had a preferential right to bid for it. There were minor indulgences for stowing in odd spaces. The captain had the passenger - money, except for troops. If the men were well rationed, and they were, it snowed of meat and drink aft. The chief mate for his part was allowed twenty-four dozen of wine or beer. The captain and officers in fact formed a floating body of traders favoured by the Company.

think fit, upon producing a certificate from their commander or superior officer touching their merits. That every seaman so wounded in defence of the ship shall be cured of his wounds at the charge of the said Company and owners.'


The compensation for injury was not lavish, but it is more than a private employer would have given, and to the men the prospect of receiving £30 in a lump sweetened their meagre £1, 158. a-month of wages. And they had a good chance of promotion to a place among the petty officers who shared in the "Indulgences."

These boons were the equivalent in the Maritime Service for private trade of writers and factors on shore. In early days the Company advanced money to the commander for a private venture. Later it gave him and the officers tonnage for their "due and fitting


We can therefore well understand that the command of an East Indiaman was a post not below the ambition of a gentleman. Admiral Lord Keith, of the ancient house of Elphinstone, went a voyage as mate in his youth during an interval of peace, and his brothers held commands. In spite of the


Company's orders the com- Hardy's 'Register,' covers mands were purchased for as period of two hundred and much as £20,000. And indeed eleven years. It begins with the figure was not excessive, Lancaster's occupation of St when it is remembered that Helena in 1601, and closes as much as £30,000 was some- with the defence of the Astell times made in a single voyage in 1812. The record is not out and home, lasting eighteen complete, though it contains months. Captain James, of the at least one item which is Abercrombie Robinson, put his not to our present purpose. total gains in three voyages In 1797 the Company's officers of eighteen months each at and men then at home under£18,300, "exclusive of the took to assist in defending the profits on investments." He Thames against the mutineers gives the figures of pay £180, at the Nore, but were not privilege of tons at £4 per called upon to fight their ton for 56 tons outward, and own countrymen. The list £33 homeward bound, of 30 does not mention, probably rupees per candy in the port- because the compiler had never to port trade, two-fifths heard of, a public duty perpassenger - money, and so formed by the Company's forth. And with all that ships in early days, and in oirthe Company's Joint Com- cumstances which sound very mittee of Trade Trade had too strange to us. Sir Robert Rich, much reason to believe that afterwards Earl of Warwick, these highly-favoured gentle- and Admiral for the Parliament men did in some cases in the first Civil War, was at make а fraudulent use of least in early life a speculator their favoured position. They in Piracy. In the reign of shipped more goods than they James I. he entered into were authorised to carry, and partnership with an Italian, transferred them at sea to one Bernardi, to fit out two interlopers from Liverpool and ships for a piratical oruise in Scotland. It was an easy Eastern seas. They were supthing to do when the goods pressed by the Company. It were cases of tea, bags of is true that they were not pepper, and raw silk. The taken in hand only because captain and officers-whether they were pirates, for the honest, as we may piously right of all Christians to believe that most of them plunder all unbelievers was a were, or dishonest, as the Company thought they occasionally were had much to fight for, and they fought both well and often.

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The "Historical Abstract of Public Duties performed by the East India Company's Service," as it stands in

generally accepted doctrine in those days. Their presence within the Charter of the Company was resented 88 poaching or interloping. But our history in the East would not have been what it has been if piratical interlopers had not been put down. The

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enlightened selfishness of the Company, acting in defence of its monopoly, did at least coincide with the permanent interests of the nation. The Indiamen were for long, even after the first King's ship had visited India in 1662, the only representatives of British law and order between the Cape of Good Hope and the Straits of Magellan. The Company incurred an unpleasant quarrel with Rich, and was ill-supported by the King; but it set a good example. It may have rather, being human, it did pursue its own advantage; but then its prosperity was bound up with the promotion of honest trade-not with pillage and murder.


The fighting of the Maritime Service can be subdivided under four heads. First, in very temporary alliance with the Dutch, it fought the Portuguese. Then before it had done with them it fell out with the Dutch. Then it had to help to beat down the native pirates of Malabar. Then it had to defend itself against French frigates and privateers, the worst enemies it met, save during the years in which it was getting the worst of the struggle with the Hollanders in the Malay Archipelago. Of the thirty-nine vessels recorded as taken between 1700 and 1812 by Hardy, nearly all fell to the French. Five were captured in a swoop with the rest of Moutray's Convoy in 1780, by the united squadron of Córdoba and Beausset-a Franco - Spanish force. We will pass over the Malabar

pirates, with only brief note that the work of suppressing Angria, his grabs and his gallivats, and their like, fell mainly to the Bombay Marine and the Royal Navy. The Maritime Service had to fight these water thieves, not always with success, while sailing on its lawful occasions. The fight with the Dutch in the Malay Archipelago is one of those stories which must needs be told in large, or not at all. There are few more varied or more passionate passages in the whole history of trade rivalry than the hopeless fight of the modest English Company of the merchants of London, with the great "United East Indian Company" of the Hollanders. We were outclassed in every way-in number, in weight, and above all in Government. The merchants of London-a body of private traders who were either fleeced by King James I. and King Charles I., or left in the lurch— were no match for the powerful United Company with its lordly charter, its warships, its close connection with Stadtholder and States - General, and its Governor-General at Batavia. English captains fought hard and factors stood up for their rights, but the end was Amboyna, and that story would swamp our field.

We were reduced to subordination in the Malay Arohipelago, and if we still continued to visit Java Head, Bantam, and Batavia, we went in the shadow of the Hollander. We had the sufficient consolation that we turned to India and

But he and

mastered its trade before found "such a limited uninmastering its anarchy. Our teresting sort." Certainly Best victory was gained in the Bay did not. The sufficient knowof Cambaya, the Persian Gulf, ledge we have of his life tells the Coast of Malabar, and the us that he must have been a road thither. The Portuguese man of somewhat impractiwere first to be disposed of to cable temper. His sense of clear the ground. To them we his merits was high, and his and all men who came east of relations to the Company bethe Cape were, by virtue of the came strained. Bull of Alexander VI., inter- Downton were equally fit to lopers to be repelled by force. open British trade at Surat. They were more mindful of Both were pious in the fightthese rights, very indubitable ing Puritan way. They quoted to them, than to their mights. the Old Testament, trusted in When the Company's ships God, and kept their powder first came among them the dry. Best had the easier task Portuguese were already in when he drove off the four decline. The ruin of the Hindu Portuguese ships. Downton Empire of Vijayanagar in 1565 had a game to play which by the Mahommedan States of required steady playing, when the Deccan had closed their the Viceroy of Goa came down best market. They had made on him at Swally with six themselves hateful all along capital ships and & whole the coast by fraud, plunder, swarm of frigates resolved to massacre, and the Inquisition snuff out this intrusion of of Goa. The Inquisition treated heretics into the Portuguese the Hindu and Mahommedan preserve. The name frigate ill, the Jew savagely, and the has seen a series of changes. native Christian of Malabar It began by meaning an open with minute and untiring row-boat, and ended by meanferocity. To the Inquisition ing an ironclad of 6000 tons the Christian who was not displacement. In 1614 it was orthodox was worse than Jew, still а small open galley. Moslem, or heathen. Therefore Downton was short-handed, all four rejoiced when Thomas and to have sailed out from Best, with the Dragon and the among the shallows amid Hosiander, beat off four Portu- which he was anchored would guese ships near Surat in 1612, to use a phrase of Raleigh's and even more when Nicholas Downton baffled the Viceroy of Goa himself at Swally two years later.

Best and Downton must rank immediately after Lancaster among the founders of the British Empire in India. Neither belonged to the class of perfect men whom Carlyle

have savoured very much of the ass. The Company's General was no less crafty than stout. He kept among the shallows, made a point of exposing one of his vessels to draw the enemy into a trap, forced the Viceroy to play a feeble game of long bowls with his big ships, and beat off the

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