Last modified:
2 Mar 2004

The Blessing in the English East India Company

This is the story of the Blessing, which the VOC later renamed the Avondster, from the records of the English East India Company. This covers the years 1641-1653. Following the ship's capture in 1653, the story continues in the records of the Dutch East India Company.

6 Nov 1641:
... on November 6 [1641] a ship was bought, which was renamed the Blessing and was ordered to be prepared for a voyage to Bantam.(1)
CM vol 2; introduction xxi.

Mr Ashwell reports that he with Messrs. Methwold(2) and Vivian treated this morning with Messrs. Fownes, Yard and Man about buying the ship John and Thomas, now in St. Saviour's dock, agreeing to give for her £2,800, half to be paid within a week after she has been viewed, the remainder about the middle of next January. The Court approves and orders the said ship to be examined next Monday by Steevens, the shipwright, John Mucknell (whom it is proposed to elect as her master for the voyage to Bantam) and Boatswain Ingram; if she is found fit for the Company's service, they are to sail her down to Blackwall; she shall be allowed sixty-five men and be provisioned for eighteen months.
CM; 205 A Court of Committees with the Mixt Committees November 6 1641 (Court Book, vol xviii, p 69)

10 Nov 1641:
Upon notice that the Blessing, bought from Messrs. Fownes and Yard, is, in the opinion of Steevens and others, fit for the Company's service, John Mucknell is ordered, with the assistance of Boatswain Ingram, to take her at the first opportunity to one of the large docks at Blackwall.
CM; 207 A Court of Committees with the Mixt Committees, November 10, 1641 (Court Book, vol. xviii, p 75)

12 Nov 1641:
The motion made to appoint Gerald Pinson to go in this voyage in the John and Thomas to Bantam, thence to Surat and back to Bantam and return home in the same ship, is approved but not resolved on. The Court orders the John and Thomas to be brimmed with broken glass.(3)
CM; 209 A Court of Committees, November 12, 1641 (Court Book, vol. xviii, p 78)

8 Dec 1641:
The ship bought from Messrs. Fownes and Yard, being ready to be launched, is named the Blessing.
CM; 217 A Court of Committees with the Mixt Committees, December 8, 1641 (Court Book, vol. xviii p. 94)

10 Dec 1641:
John, son of the late John Cappur, is entertained as a writer at a salary of 25s. per month, to go to Bantam in the Blessing under the merchant employed in that ship, and return in her.

15 Dec 1641:
Henry Kedington, formerly employed as steward to Greenland is chosen steward for the Blessing.
CM; 218

17 Dec 1641:
Mr Pinson… is entertained to go to Bantam in the Blessing at a salary of £250 per annum (on condition of abstaining from all private trade).

7 Jan 1642:
John Sleeman is entertained as surgeon in the Blessing, but Nicholas Welch, who had been chosen as surgeon's mate in that ship discharged, Mr.Woodall reporting him to be 'a mere barber'.
CM; A Court of Committees, January 7, 1642 (Court Book, vol. xviii p. 103)

14 Jan 1642:
At the request of David Otgar and William de Vischer, part-owners of the Blessing, the Court orders the money still unpaid for that ship to be kept in the Company's hands until further order.
CM; 221-2 A Court of Committees with the Mixt Committees, January 14, 1642 (Court Book, vol. xviii, p. 105)

19 Jan 1642:
Mr Mucknell, master of the Blessing, to be provided with half a hogshead of canary for the great cabin, as is customary for ships of a like burden.(4) John Young is directed to dispeed the Blessing to Gravesend and the Downs as soon as wind and weather will permit.
CM; 222 A Court of Committees with the Mixt Committees, January 19, 1642 (Court Book, vol. xviii, p. 106)

late Jan 1642:
The Blessing started for Bantam late in January, 1642.
CM Vol. 2; introduction xxiii

4 Feb 1642:
The Court orders .. a letter to be written to the President and Council at Bantam and sent by express to the Downs to the Blessing (still detained there by contrary winds).
CM Vol. 2; 228 A Court of Committees with the Mixt Committees, February 4, 1652 (Court Book, vol. xviii, p. 115)

9 Feb 1642:
The court generally agrees to a policy of assurance being taken out for all the coral (valued at £5,000) coming to England from Leghorn in the Mary Rose, and to another for the one-fifth part of the subscription in this Particular Voyage (valued at £20,000) now in the Blessing to assure that ship to Bantam.
CM Vol. 2; 229-230 A General Court of the Adventurers in this particular voyage, February 9, 1642 (Court Book, vol. xviii, p. 117)

14 & 19 Feb 1642:
To Bantam they have sent a ship of 250 tons, called the Blessing, with a cargo amounting to £16,064, 3s,1d. She was dispatched on January 14, but contrary winds detained her in the downs till February 19, and they are rather afraid that she will lose her voyage in consequence. On reaching Bantam she is to be sent to Surat to fetch a lading of Indian commodities.
EIF Vol. 7; 26-7 The East India Company to Surat, March 24, 1642 (Factory Records, Miscellanious, vol. xii, p. 59)

14 Sept 1642:
Understand that the Blessing did not reach Bantam until September 14.
EIF Vol 7; 82 President Femlin at Swally to the Company January 17, 1643 (O.C. 1808) 87

30 Sept 1642:
Messrs. Fownes, Yard, Utgar, and De Vischer desire to be paid the remainder of the money due for the John and Thomas sold to the Company last Christmas, with the interest due upon it; they are told that this money was attached by Messrs. Utga and De Vischer in the Company's hands, and with the consent of all left in its custody, but had they all agreed it could have been paid the next day, and therefore it is unreasonable to demand interest.
CM; 272 A Court of Committees, September 30, 1642 (Court Book, vol. xviii, p. 208) 273

13 Mar 1643:
Ralph Cartwright, John Jefries and Thomas Winter aboard the Blessing in Bantam Road, to the Company March 13, 1643...
EIF Vol. 7; 97 (O.C. 1819)

20 Mar 1643:
By the Leeuwerik came a letter from the Bantam factory, intimating that neither the Blessing nor the Diamond could be spared for a voyage to Surat, but promising to send such goods as they had in July next.
EIF Vol. 7; 98-100 President Fremlin ( at Swally Marine to the Company, March 20, 1643 (O.C. 1821)

30 Oct 1643:
Lastly, on October 30, the Blessing came in unexpectedly from Bantam, bringing intelligence of the arrival there from Surat of the Advice with a well-sorted cargo of goods. Now intend to dispatch to Bantam by the beginning of March next the William (a new ship of 650 tons) and the Blessing (260 tons).
EIF Vol. 7; 121-2 The Company to the president and council at Surat, November 27, 1643 (Factory Records, Miscellaneous, vol. xii p. 89)

10 Nov 1643:
John Mucknell, who came home master in the Blessing, is questioned concerning her, and reports that she is very strong but slow in sailing, which can easily be amended; the Court orders the said ship, or another of like burden, to be sent this year to Bantam; and as it is thought that the Blessing may go she is ordered to be viewed by adventurers in the Joint Stock and in the Particular Voyage and if found surviceable to be valued and sold by the Voyage to the Joint Stock. John Mucknell chosen master of the new ship, the John… Thomas Prowd chosen master of the Blessing at a salary of £6,13s,4d. a month and allowed to take £50 to employ in private trade, on condition that he does not trade in any of the Company's commodities.
CM Vol. 2; 361 A Court of Committees with the Mixed Committees, November 10, 1643 (Court Book, vol. xix, p. 71)

17 Nov 1643:
The Blessing returned in November 1643, with a cargo of goods for the First General Voyage... The plans of the Committee for the season 1643-44 included the dispatch of the William and the Blessing to Bantam; of the Endeavour to the Coast of Coromandel; and the John and Crispian to Surat. Of these vessels the lastnamed and the Blessing were to be purchased by the Forth Joint Stock from the First General Voyage; while the other three had been specially built at Blackwall for the former Stock.
CM Vol 2; introduction xxvii

For Bantam the William shall take 140 men and return with 100, and the Blessing 60 and return with 40.
CM Vol. 2; 363 A Court of Committees with the Mixed Committees, November 17, 1643 (Court Book, vol. xix, p 77)

1 Dec 1643:
appointed .. John Davies purser in the Blessing, with Richard Poyntell as his mate.
CM Vol. 2; 366

6 Dec 1643:
John Davies, formerly chosen purser for the Blessing not being able to write and having no 'judgement in arithmeticke', is discharged and Richard Poyntell appointed in his stead with Richard Evans as his mate.

Forty chests of sugar returned in the Blessing are sold by the candle(5) to Thomas Rich at 54s. 6d. per hundred at six month.
CM Vol 2; 367 December 6, 1643

8 Dec 1643:
Thirty hogsheads of beef and pork to be shipped in the William and the Blessing, to supply the small ships at Bantam which trade from port to port.

13 Dec 1643:
The Deputy and certain Committees are desired to go next Saturday to Blackwall, and with the assistance of Captains Goodlad and Jourden, on behalf of the adventurers in the Voyage, and of Messrs. Peter Pett and John Southam on behalf of the Joint Stock, to view the Blessing, her stores and provisions and make such a valuation as they shall think reasonable for the Voyage to take and for the Joint Stock to give.
CM Vol 2; 368; A Court of Committees with the Mixed Committees December 13, 1643 (Court Book, vol. xix, p. 90)

15 Dec 1643:
Peter, a black, who served as coock in the Blessing on her homeward voyage, is given 10s. monthly from September 1st to the end of the voyage.
CM Vol. 2; 370; December 15, 1643

29 Dec 1643:
The court orders the valuation of the Crispiana and Blessing with their stores to be perfected, that they may be turned over from the Particular Voyage to the Joint Stock.
CM Vol.2; 372; December 29, 1643

29 Jan 1644:
The Governor declares that they have met to consider how best dispose of the remainder of the pepper returned in the Blessing.
CM Vol. 3; 8 A general court of adventurers in the general voyage, January 29, 1644 (Court Book, vol. xix, p. 121)

22 Mar 1644:
Five chests of rials ordered to be shipped in the Blessing and she to be dispeeded with the Surat ships.
CM Vol 3; 17 A Court of Committees with the mixed Committees, March 22, 1644 (Court Book, vol. xix, p. 146)

10 Apr 1644:
Richard Punnit [to be paid] £6 for piloting the Blessing from Gravesend to the Downs.
CM Vol 3; 19 A Court of Committees with the mixed Committees, April 10, 1644 (Court Book, vol. xix, p. 153)

18 Apr 1644:
They sailed from Dover Roads on April 6, in company with the Crispiana and Blessing, and forty other ships. In 48 degrees they met with stormy weather, in which the John behaved very well. As the slow sailing of the Blessing much hindered the other two, a consultation was called, at which it was decided 'when once past the Canaries if betwixt this and then the Blessing mend not her pace, to bid her company adieu and betake ourselves to the perfection of our voyadge'.
EIF Vol. 7; 177 Edward Knipe aboard the John at lat 37°N - ie near the Azores - to the Company, April 18, 1644 (Factory Records, Miscellaneous, vol. xii, p. 109)

May 1644:
The Crispiana, John and Blessing left England together on April 8, and continued in company until May 3, when the Blessing was left behind 'by reason of her bad sailing'. They met again on May 16... the Blessing lost company on the 22nd.
EIF Vol. 7; 199-200 President Breton ( at Swally Marine to the Company, November 28, 1644 (O.C. 1901)

Sept 1645:
... some consolation was afforded by the arrival, in September 1645, of the William and the Blessing from Bantam.
CM Vol. 3; introduction x

25 Sept 1645:
Robert Sparrows is given 40s. for bringing word of the arrival in the Downs of the William and the Blessing.
CM Vol. 3; 100 A Court of Committees, September 25, 1645 (Court Book, vol. xix, p. 332)

10 Oct 1645:
The men in the Blessing to be paid their wages.
CM Vol. 3; 102 A Court of Committees, October 10, 1645 (Court Book, vol xix, p. 340)

15 Oct 1645:
The William to be brought into Blackwall dock and examined with the Blessing; and all repairs required are referred to the Committee of the Yard.
CM Vol. 3; 103 A Court of Committees, October 15, 1645 (Court Book, vol. xix, p. 341)

25 Nov 1645:
A vessel being wanted at Surat to prosecute the trade at the Manillas, it is resolved that the Blessing shall be repaired at a cost of £600 for that purpose.
CM Vol. 3; 114 A Court of Committees and the sixteen special Committees, November 25, 1645 (Court Book, vol. xix, p. 372)

1 Dec 1645:
Steevens is therefore to be directed not to proceed with the repairs to the Blessing, as she may not be required.
CM Vol. 3; 117 A Court of Committees, December 1, 1645 (Court Book, vol. xix, p. 377)

1 May 1646:
The court... defers deciding about repairs to the Blessing untill she has been examined.
CM Vol. 3; 143 A Court of Committees, May 1, 1646 (Court Book, vol. xix, p. 451)

6 May 1646:
After examining the Blessing and hearing the opinion of Pett, Taylor and Steevens, the Committees think that she should be repaired.
CM Vol. 3; 144 A meeting at Blackwall, May 6, 1646 (Court Book, vol. xix, p. 453)

8 May 1646:
The Blessing the Court decides to have repaired, on learning that she can be made serviceable for another seven or eight years for £1,100 and that there is sufficient timber, etc. in the Yard for this work.
CM Vol. 3; 145 A Court of Committees, May 8, 1646 (Court Book, vol. xix, p. 457)

24 Jul 1646:
... certain Committees are entreated to view a Hull ship of about 150 or 200 tons burden; and as the ships built in the Company's yard do the best service, Steevens is asked how long it would take to built a vesel of this size; he replies about three month, but desires time to give a positive answer. Meanwhile he is directed to hasten the repairs of the Blessing and Eagle.
CM Vol. 3; 158 A Court of Committees, July 24, 1646 (Court Book, vol. xx, p. 8)

9 Sept 1646:
It is resolved to send the Blessing with 65 men to Surat.
CM Vol. 3; 164 A Court of Committees, September 9, 1646 (Court Book, vol. xx, p. 27)

27 Nov 1646:
The following proportion of men to be sent in the several ships: 60 in the Blessing...
CM Vol.3; 174 A Court of Committees, November 27, 1646 (Court Book, vol. xx, p. 48)

10 Feb 1647:
The court orders that in future the bread-rooms of all the ships shal be rosined and canvassed over as in the Aleppo Merchant, not plated as formerly, the bread in the said ship having kept in good condition all the voyage.
CM Vol 3; 189 A Court of Committees, February 10, 1647 (Court Book, vol. xx, p. 74)

3 Mar 1647:
Cloth and coral to be shipped in the Mary, Eagle and Blessing...
It is resolved that, as the stock to be sent in the Company's ships this year is very great [on 20 Feb the House of Commons had given the Company leave to export foreign coin or bullion to the value of £66,000 in the Mary and her two consorts] and there are Irish rovers abroad, the three ships must keep together until they get beyond the Canaries. The Court orders Captain Mynors, who is the 'auncientist commander' to carry the flag in the main-top and be admiral, the Eagle to be vice-admiral and carry the flag in the foretop, and the Blessing to be rear-admiral and carry the flag in the mizzen.
CM Vol. 3; 192 A Court of Committees, March 3, 1647 (Court Book, vol. xx, p. 80)

11 Mar 1647:
The Court resolves to make assurance of £50,000 on the goods laden in those outward-bound, viz: the Mary to Bantam, the Eagle and the Blessing to Surat.
CM Vol. 3; 194 A Court of Committees, March 11, 1647 (Court Book, vol. xx, p. 84)

19 Mar 1647:
The Eagle and the Blessing to go to the Downs as soon as the money and surgeons' chests are put aboard.
CM Vol. 3; 195-6 A Court of Committees, March 19, 1647 (Court Book, vol. xx, p. 87)

23 Apr 1647:
Steevens and Broadbent desiring additional men in their ships, the Court orders the Eagle to be supplied with six more men and the Blessing with four.
CM Vol. 3; 201 A Court of Committees, April 23, 1647 (Court Book, vol. xx, p. 98)

28 Apr 1647:
... the Eagle and the Blessing, which left the Downs on April 28…
EIF Vol. 8 ; 173-174 The President and Council at Surat to the President and Council at Bantam, December -, 1647 (O.C. 1963).

May-Aug 1647:
Notes on the outward passage of the Eagle and the Blessing. The Mary left them on 26 May. Next day they sighted Cape Verde, and a consultation was held, at which it was decided that, as the time of year was late, they should separate, meeting again at Johanna [Anjouan, now Nzwani, in the Comoros - map]; but there was little difference in their rates of sailing and they did not part until after crossing the Line on 19 June. Twenty-seven days later they met again, and since kept company. They left Johanna on 27 Aug. He is keeping the Company's packet until the President comes down to the Marine.
EIF Vol. 8; 158 William Broadbent, aboard the Blessing [in Swally Road] to the president at Surat, September 24, 1647 (Factory Records, Surat, vol. cii A, p 232)

10 Oct 1647:
On October 10 the Blessing was dispatched to Rajapur, Goa and Bhatkal, with orders to buy at the last-named place pepper, or failing that, arrack, coir and cowries...(6)
EIF Vol. 8 ; 173-174 The President and Council at Surat to the President and Council at Bantam, December -, 1647 (O.C. 1963).

Map including some of the ports visited by the Blessing/Avondster

3 Dec 1647:
The Lanneret .. returned on the 1st current, and was followed two days later by the Blessing.
EIF Vol. 8 ; 173-174 The President and Council at Surat to the President and Council at Bantam, December -, 1647 (O.C. 1963).

December 2… next day the Blessing came in with some pepper bought at 'Mirchee'. In her return she called at Goa and procured a quantity of arrack and cairo; also at Rajapur, where she embarked pepper, dungarees, dutties and cotton yarn.(7)
EIF Vol. 8; 181 President Breton (et. al.) to the Company, January 6, 1648 (O.c. 2062) 194

20 Jan 1648:
Trade being at present so bad that they can neither dispose of their goods here nor employ their ships profitably on freighting voyages [due to Dutch competition], they are prompted to 'new undertakeings' which may relieve them of some part of their large stock of coral. Have therefore shipped upon the Blessing thirty cases of that commodity, together with some broadcloth, opium, cotton, wool, &c., for disposal on the Malabar Coast; and 'for the merchandizeing part of this affair' they now appoint Oxenden, assisted by John Broadbent and the broker 'Somgee'. Further as it is doubtful whether the coral will sell, the Portugese having received a large supply, the Blessing is designed 'as well for war as trade in hopes to recover some considerable part of the Companies losses from the Mallavars, the fine [...] this month being the season that they usually sayle from the coast of Mallavar for Mocho and Aden'. Broadbent has therefore been directed 'from Goa to range all the coast of Mallavar as far as Cocheen'… On the return voyage, if the coral is still unsold, he may touch at 'Bassalore' and Mangalore.. and if necessary, the broker may be left there against the ship's return in September following.
EIF Vol. 8; 199 Instructions from the President and Council at Surat to George Oxenden, January 20, 1648 (O.C. 2067)

5 Apr 1648:
It may be necessary to send home the Blessing as well as the two intended ships, for otherwise it will be difficult to return the full amount of the investment.
EIF Vol. 8; 202-3 President Breton ( to the Governor, Deputy and Adventurers in the Second General Voyage, April 5, 1648 (O.C. Duplicates 2073)

The Blessing sailed on January 21 for the Malabar coast and Mokha.
EIF Vol. 8; 205 President Breton ( to the Governor, Deputy and Committees for the Fourth Joint Stock, April 5, 1648 (O.C. duplicates 2074)

13 Sept 1648:
Those who underwrote in the Blessing's insurance to be paid only 10s. per cent, she not having returned.
CM Vol. 3; 287 A Court of Committees, September 13, 1648 (Court Book, vol. xx, p. 264)

Nov 1648 - Jan 1649:
The Blessing returned on November 19 from Mokha, by way of Cochin, Goa, and Rajapur. She brought a little cinnamon, procured at Cochin and a quantity of Deccan pepper and cardamons. She now accompanies the Falcon to Persia.

... are as badly off as Bantam in respect of ships' stores, for the Company has sent out nothing of the kind...
... cannot spare any English sailors, for their deficiency in this respect is so great that their own vessels have mostly to be manned by lascars.
EIF Vol. 8; 233-4 President Breton ( to the President and Council at Bantam, January 13, 1649 (O.C. 2106)

20 Jan 1649:
[George Tash] is to embark in the Blessing for Gombroon(8), and on arrival to take charge of the Company's affairs there. Although the Dutch have, on pretence of their difference with the Persians, prohibited the merchants of Surat from sending any ships thither, it has been decided to carry freight goods in these two ships. Notwithstanding any opposition the Hollanders may make, these goods (and also the Compny's) are to be landed at Gombroon, unless to do so would cause a break of peace between the two nations. In that case he is to content himself with a protest and then, taking with him John Goodyear and Robert Wycherley, he is to sail with both vessels (under pretence of going to Basra) to 'Conga [Kung] or Rushear [Rashir]', and there land their cargoes. If the Dutch again prevent this being done, a second protest must be made; and then he is to pretend to return to India, but really to land both goods and passengers at Jask, to avoid the damage and dishonour that would ensue from their being brought back to this port. However, as it is impossible to foresee all contingencies he is given free hand (in consultation with the other factors) to do what is deemed best, 'provided (as preintimated) that it bee not to ingage us in a personall war with the Dutch, for which we have neither warrant from the Company nor meanes to maintaine it with any reputation to our nation or safety to their estates' .. since the Blessing is intended for the Coast, she also should be hastened back.
EIF Vol. 8; 235 Instructions from the President and Council at Surat to George Tash, proceeding to Persia, January 20, 1649 (O.C. 2108)

31 Jan 1649:
With the goods thus procured, and some pepper, broadcloth, &c., the Blessing and Falcon set sail for Gombroon on the 24th current... it has been decided to fill the Blessing with rice on her return from Persia and dispatch her to Madraspatam [Madras], where any surplus can no doubt be sold at good profit. She is to return to this place [Surat] in October or November.
EIF Vol. 8; 242 President Breton ( to the Adventurers in the Fourth Joint Stock, January 31, 1649 (O.C. 2114)

Feb-Mar 1649:
The Falcon came in [to Gombroon] on February 14, followed three days later by the Blessing... On March 14 the Blessing sailed for Surat.
EIF Vol. 8; 263-4 John Lewis ( at Gombroon to the Company, May 22, 1649 (O.C. 2122)

Mar-Apr 1649:
The Falcon and the Blessing, which have just returned [to Surat] from Persia, brought no advices from the Company.
The Falcon arrived from Gombroon on March 18, and the Blessing from the same place on March 30. 'Upon advice from the Coast that all sorts of provissions were growne cheape and their great feare of a second famine drowned by the plentifull fal of raines', the idea of sending the Blessing thither with rice has been abandoned and she is to go to Achin [Aceh] instead.
The beleagering of Kandahar by the Persian king (who is expected to succeed in capturing it) has obstructed the land trade between the two countries, and has thereby much improved the [...] of Gombroon. As a result the English goods sent thither in the Blessing and Falcon have been sold at a good profit, except pepper, with which the market had been glutted by the Dutch.
As they understand that there are considerable remains of the Joint Stock's goods at Bantam awaiting shipment for England, and as their only reason for keeping the Blessing in these parts was the expectation (now found unfulfilled) that she would be ordered home this year, they have determined to send her to Bantam with such goods as they have available.
EIF Vol. 8; 257-262 President Breton ( at Swally Marine to the Company, April 5, 1649 (O.C. 2121)

Apr-Aug 1649:
As for sending home of certain ships, the Blessing was dispatched to Bantam on April 28, 1649, arriving there July 2, and from a letter of August 4 it appears that she was intended to proceed to England from that port.
EIF Vol. 8; 274 President Merry ( at Swally Marine to the Company, January 25, 1650 (O.C. Duplicates 2147) 279

7 May 1650:
... no room will be found for the pepper now returned in the Endymion and the Blessing.
CM Vol 4; 40 A Court of Committees for the Fourth Joint Stock, May 7, 1650

22 May 1650:
A letter is read from the Mayor of Lynn, requesting that the wages of Roger Withfield, who returned as carpenter in the Blessing, may be detained, he having a wife and children in that town in great want, and there being a woman at Blackwall who pretends that she is his wife; it is decided to detain his wages.
CM Vol 4; 42 A Court of Committees form the Fourth Joint Stock, May 22, 1650 (Court Book,vol. xx, p. 536)

7 Jun 1650:
William Bradbent, who came home master in the Blessing; ordered to be paid... Certain Committees are requested to go to Woolwich and see if the reported wetness of the great quantity of pepper in the Blessing was caused by the insufficiency of the ship or by negligence of the Mariners.
CM Vol. 4; 43-44 A Court of Committees for the Fourth Joint Stock, June 7, 1650 (Court Book, vol. xx, p. 539)

12 Jun 1650:
The Committees appointed to examine the damaged pepper in the Blessing certify that the mischief was caused by the ship bearing extraordinary sail; on hearing this the Court directs that payment be made to the chirurgeon and common sailors of what is due to them... Certain Committees are desired to meet and consider about the private trade brought home in the Blessing.
A Court of Committees for the Fourth Joint Stock, June 12, 1650 (Court Book, vol xx, p. 541)

19 Jun 1650:
The Governor announces the arrival of the Blessing and Endymion from Bantam for the account of the Fourth Joint Stock, with a lading consisting chiefly of pepper.
CM Vol. 4; 45 A General Court of the Adventurer in the Fourth Joint Stock, June 19, 1650 (Court Book, vol. xx, p. 544)

17 Jul 1650:
On information that Bradbent, master of the Blessing has landed goods at Dover, he is called and questioned; he acknowledges having landed eight bales of silk, but expresses contrition, and pleads for the Court's Favour; after some consideration it is resolved that on payment of £60 for freight of the said silk and certain calicoes, his account shall be cleared. The officers of the Blessing to be paid all wages and debts due to them.
CM Vol. 4; 51 A Court of Committees for the Fourth Joint Stock, July 17, 1650 (Court Book, vol. xxi, p. 6)

14 Aug 1650:
The Blessing to be caulked.
CM Vol. 4; 53 A Court of Committees for the Fourth Joint Stock, August 14, 1650 (Court Book, vol. xxi, p. 9)

4 Sept 1650:
The Blessing and the Farewell to be brought into dock, examined, and valued with their provisons just as they are.
CM Vol. 4; 57 A Court of Committees for the Fourth Joint Stock and the Second General Voyage, September 4, 1650 (Court Book, vol. xxi, p 16)

20 Sept 1650:
... dispatch a vessel, which is to go with the rest of the ships in February, remain in India, and voyage to Persia and the like, the Court thinks it would be well to buy the Blessing for the latter purpose, and therefore directs that the inventory and valuation of all her stores be drawn up.
CM Vol. 4; 62 A Court of Committees for the United Joint Stock, September 20, 1650 (Court Book, vol xxiii, p. 10)

2 Oct 1650:
It is resolved to put up for sale by the candle next Friday morning, with their respective stores, the Eagle for £2,888, the Blessing for £1,000.
CM Vol. 4; 64 A Court of Committees for the Fourth Joint Stock and Second General Voyage, October 2, 1650 (Court Book, vol. xxi, p. 24)

11 Oct 1650:
The Blessing, Eagle, Greyhound and Farewell to be sold by the candle. Captain Ryder, Captain Blackman and others having examined the Brazil frigate and reporting that she is a 'rebuilt shippe', it is decided not to employ her or 'any other rebuilt shipe or Dutch bottome whatsoever'.
CM Vol. 4; 66 A Court of Committees for the united Joint Stock, October 11, 1650 (Court Book, vol. xxiii, p. 12)

8 Nov 1650:
It is proposed (as it is intended to send a very considerable stock to Surat) that the Blessing shall be dispeeded thither, with the Eagle, for once in India the charge of setting her out will be defrayed very soon by freights to Persia and elsewhere; besides if there should be a difference with the Portugese, shipping will be wanted in India; therefore it is resolve to buy the said ship from the Fourth Joined Stock at the best possible rate. At the desire of Mr. Moyer, GeorgeIvatt (formerly employed by the Turkey Company) is to be entertained as purser in the Blessing, if she is bought.
CM Vol. 4; 71 A Court of Committees for the United Joined Stock, November 8, 1650 (Court Book, vol xxiii, p. 18)

13 Nov 1650:
The Blessing is sold for £900 to Captain Jeremy Blackman for the United Joint Stock.
CM Vol. 4; 72 A Court of Committees for the Fourth Joint Stock and Second General Voyage, November 13, 1650 (Court Book, vol. xxi, p. 43)

15 Nov 1650:
Captain Blackman reports that the Blessing has been bought from the Fourth Joint Stock. Before entertaining a master and purser for her, the Committees, in consideration of the great prejudice the Company has sustained by the negligence of masters and pursers…order that all such offices employed by the Company shall be bound for good securtities… Adam Lee, Robert Tindall, and Gilbert Grimes offering to go as master in the Blessing, Grimes is chosen, at a salary of £6 per month. The Blessing is to be repaired, and Thomblings to pay for and keep account of all money disbursed for this purpose.
CM Vol. 4; 74 A Court of Committees for the United Joint Stock, November 15, 1650 (Court Book, vol. xxiii, p. 20)

22 Nov 1650:
Officers and mariners to be entertained for the Blessing. John Lenthwaite to be paid £200 for beef he is to supply for that ship.
CM Vol. 4; 76 A Court of Committees for the United Joint Stock, November 22, 1650 (Court Book, vol. xxiii, p. 22)

27 Nov 1650:
Captain Blackman [buys] four of the large guns lying in the Yard. Captain Blackman informs the Court that the Committees for the United Joint Stock intend to appoint Tindall, late master of the Farewell to be prime mate in the Blessing if there is nothing against him; reply is made that Tindall, like others, was guilty of private trade, but of nothing else.
A Court of Committees for the Fourth Joined Stock and General Voyage, November 27, 1650 (Court Book, vol. xxi, p. 48)

29 Nov 1650:
Tomblings to be paid £100 disbursed by him for repairs to the Blessing.
CM Vol. 4; 77-78 A Court of Committees for the United Joint Stock, November 29, 1650 (Court Book, vol. xxiii, p. 23)

18 Dec 1650:
Tomblings to be given £100 to pay for repairs to the Blessing.
CM Vol. 4; 80 A Court of Committees for the Fourth Joint Stock and Second General Voyage, December 18, 1650 (Court Book, vol xxi, p. 60)

17 Jan 1651:
The Eagle, the Anne and the Blessing ordered to be ready to set sail from Gravesend on the 20th February
CM Vol. 4; 84 A Court of Committees for the United Joint Stock, January 17, 1651 (Court Book, vol. xxiii, p. 27)

24 Jan 1651:
Stephen Flower, 'who has been bred at Lisbone', is entertained as purser's mate for the Blessing.
CM Vol. 4; 86 A Court of Committees for the united Joint Stock, January 24, 1651 (Court Book , vol. xxiii, p. 28)

19 Feb 1651
Six ironbound butts, presumably containing wine and thought to belong to William Bonner, master's mate in the Blessing, and Robert Kirby, mate in the Eagle, having been brought into the yard of Houghton the brewer and there seized, taken to the Excise Office and opened were found to be filled with broadcloth, kerseys and lead; this is much resented, as the Company reserves so few commodities for itself and allows so great a latitude in a moderate way of trading to its servants. Wiliam Bonner is questioned but denies all knowledge of this business or that the goods belong to him, but still he is thought to be 'faulthy' and is temporarily dismissed from the service, and Grimes, master of the Blessing is cautioned not to let him aboard and to take care that nothing is taken out of his ship.
CM Vol. 4; 90 A Court of Committees for the Fourth Joint Stock and Second General Voyage, February 19, 1651 (Court Book, vol. xxi, p. 79)

21 Feb 1651:
Tindall, Bonner and Kirby are questioned concerning certain cloth and lead; Tindall absolutely denying any knowkedge of it, he is believed and is merely cautioned not to meddle in any business of the kind; Bonner also asserts that he knows nothing, but Major Tylor (to whom the cloth belonged) having declared that Bonner had a share in it, the latter is dismissed the Company's service.
CM Vol. 4; 91-2 A Court of Committees for the United Joint Stock, February 21, 1651 (Court Book, vol. xxiii, p. 35)

28 Feb 1651:
On information that searchers from the Customs have opened several packs of the Company's cloth on board the Blessing and found and seized eighteen pices which were not theirs, the Court send for the packer, Mr. Boylston but he denies al knowledge of this; therefore certain Committees are desired to go aboard the Blessing and the Eagle and make what discoveries concerning this matter they can, and Spiller is ordered to attend them...
The Company lets thirty acres of land on Assada to John Smith, who intends to go there with six servants in the Blessing and to pay £70 passage money...
CM Vol. 4; 93 A Court of Committees for the United Joint Stock, February 28, 1651 (Court Book, vol. xxiii, p. 36)

5 Mar 1651:
Seventeen pieces of cloth having been taken out of the Company's bales aboard the Blessing and Eagle and brought to the customhouse, Boylston the Company's packer, admits that these were inserted by his partner Jennings who has confessed the same to Mr. Andrews and Captain Rider; Mr. Andrews hereupon reports that Jennings told him that some of the cloth was delivered to him by Cranmer, formerly a factor at Surat, the rest by Jeremy Sambrooke. This business is much resented by the Court, but it is left to the Committees in the United Joined Stock, whom it most concerns to deal with.
CM Vol. 4; 94 A Court of Committees for the Fourth Joint Stock and Second General Voyage, March 5, 1651 (Court Book, vol. xxi, p. 84)

11 Mar 1651:
Captain Ryder, Captain Blackman and Mr Wyche are desired to see the money safely aboard the ships.
CM Vol. 4; 95 A Court of Committees for the United Joint Stock, March 11, 1651 (Court Book, vol. xxii, p. 39)

14 Mar 1651:
The Eagle is appointed admiral, the Anne vice-admiral, and the Blessing, rear-admiral, and Sambrooke is directed to notify this...
On information that the Council of State is displeased concerning the cloth found packed among the Company's bales, thinking it their act, the Court again utterly denies the same and desires that the Council of State would question them about it.
CM Vol. 4; 96-97 A Court of Committees for the United Joint Stock, March 14, 1651 (Court Book, vol. xxiii, p. 40)

4 Apr 1651:
A list is presented of several parcels of quicksilver, vermillion and elephants' teeth shipped in the Eagle and Blessing for the account of private men; hereupon letters are ordered to be written to inform Captain Blackwell and Merss. Prowd and Grimes of this, and advise them at their arrival at Surat to ascertain the names of the owners and detain the goods until the freight and penalty imposed by the Company have been paid...
...the dispatch of these letters to the ships, which are supposed to be near the Isle of Wight, is entrusted to Messrs. Andrews and Ryder.
CM Vol. 4; 98 A Court of Committees for the United Joint Stock, April 4, 1651 (Court Book, vol. xxiii, p. 41)

Jul-Sept 1651:
Left the Downs on April 1 and the Isle of Wight on the 9th; passed the Cape June 26; and reached St. Augustine Bay July 13. From letters found there, they learned that Assada was deserted, but Blackman judged it advisable to proceed thither. They arrived at the island on August 4 and left four days later; reached Johanna on the 15th; sailed on August 20; and got to Swally on September 26.
EIF Vol. 9; 76 Gilbert Grimes, Commander of the Blessing, at Rajapur to the Company, November 21, 1651 (O.C. 2232)

... the Blessing had aboard her some passengers for Assada [an island north of Madagascar], who, if not carried thither, might accuse the Company of breach of contract. They sailed accordingly on July 19, and on August 3 reached Assada Bay. The Blessing was then sent to the island.. The Blessing had gone into communication with the Governor, who however, declared that he could not permit trade without the assent of the King of Assada, and denied all knowledge of any Englishman having been there. Leaving the island on August 8, they proceeded to Johanna and thence sailed to Surat, arriving September 26.
EIF Vol. 9; 102 President Blackman at Swally Marine to the Company, January 14, 1652 (o.C. 2244)

.. the Eagle and Blessing, which reached Swally on September 26. The goods on board were safely landed and carried to Surat. The silver was sold at the old rates, except the ingots, which were the coarsest ever received and had consequently to be disposed of at lower price than last year. Have also sold the elephants' teeth; but the vermilion and quicksilver remain on hand... Part of the lead has been taken by the Governor at the same price as last year.
EIF Vol. 9; 70 President Merry and Council at Surat to the Company, October 30, 1651 (O.C. 2228)

Sept-Dec 1651:
By this time events were moving rapidly towards a war with Holland... passing, in October 9, 1651, of the celebrated Navigation Act...
Alarmed at the probable consequences of this measure, the States-General in December, 1651, despatched three ambassadors to London. Their arrival induced the East India Company once again to bring forward their claims against the Dutch for losses received in the East.
CM Vol. 4; introduction xii -xiv

It had been intended to dispatch the Blessing to Persia with freight goods, but the Governor had prohibited any being laden until the King's two junks were full; so she was dispatched on October 16 with the Eagle to procure a lading of rice for Muskat or Persia. At Danda Rajpuri they 'found the people in armes and the towne ready to bee beseiged by an army belonging to the King of Vigapore: so that there was not any thing to be had'. The Blessing was then sent back to 'Bonebay' [Bombay], to get rice there and follow Blackman to Rajapur.. he reached Rajapur three days later [24 Nov] and found that the Blessing had been there and, after taking in freight goods, had returned to 'Bon Bay' to complete her lading with rice.. Off 'Bonbay' he met the Blessing, just departing for Persia; she had lost fifteen men and had many ill, it being an exceptionally sickly season.
EIF Vol. 9; 103 President Blackman at Swally Marine to the Company, January 14, 1652 (o.C. 2244)

The Blessing, being debarred from proceeding to Gombroon, has gone to Danda Rajpuri to buy rice, which she is then to carry to Muskat for sale; if not disposed of there, it must be carried to 'Sore' [Sohar] and thence to Gombroon. Reynardsen has gone in her as cape merchant.
EIF Vol. 9; 72 President Merry and Council at Surat to the Company, October 30, 1651 (O.C. 2228)

The ship [Blessing] was then sent down the coast. At Bombay they took in a quantity of rice and now are going thither for more; while here they have embarked a quantity of freight goods for Gombroon.
EIF Vol. 9; 76-77 Gilbert Grimes, Commander of the Blessing, at Rajapur to the Company, November 21, 1651 (O.C. 2232)

The Eagle got back from the Malabar Coast on December 17 with certain goods specified, having met the Blessing three days earlier 'twarth of Bone Bay' voyaging towards Gombroon with rice and freight goods...
The Blessing will make a second voyage to the latter port, and will go thence to the Coromandel Coast.
EIF Vol. 9; 82-90 President Merry ( at Surat to the Company, January 10, 1652 (O.C. 2228)

Apr-Jun 1652:
In April 1652, the [Dutch] ambassadors [sent to London] were informed that the English government [was] determined to carry out the Navigation Act… the two navies came into collision in the middle of May over the old question of the striking of foreign flags in British waters, and war broke out at the end of June.
CM Vol. 4; introduction xiv

24 Apr 1652:
... the Blessing has been ordered to proceed from Gombroon to the Coast and Bengal.
EIF Vol. 9; 119-121 President Blackman ( at Swally Marine to the Company, April 24, 1652 (O.C. 2267)

26-30 Apr 1652:
The Blessing will this year prove very profitable in the amount of freight earned; she sailed on April 30 for the Coromandel Coast. Christopher Oxenden and Oliver Taper being the merchants in charge. By desire of the Itimad-uddaula, three of the King's merchants were allowed to embark in her with a quantity of silk. She brought from Surat William Weale and Anthony Daniel appointed to assist Spiller at Basra; they proceeded to that place on April 26.
EIF Vol. 9; 124-5 Messrs. Lewis, Young and Park at Gombroon to the Company, May 15, 1652 (o.C. 2270)

5 May 1652:
Wrote last on May 4. Next day passed the Blessing, bound for the Coast and Bengal. Anchored at Gombroon on May 15.
EIF Vol. 9; 127 John Spiller aboard the Lanneret at Kung, to the President and Council at Surat, June 14, 1652 (O.C. 2272)

17 Nov 1652:
.. advice the probability of war between England and Holland, a large number of Dutch ships having already been taken; the factors in the East are therefore warned to be on their guard, and orders are given to send home the Roebuck and Blessing at once.
EIF Vol. 9; 136 Thomas Park at Gombroon to the factors at Isfahan, November 17, 1652 (O.C. 2292)

10 Dec 1652:
The Blessing and Roebuck are not expected until the middle or end of March; and before they leave Persia advice will be sent thither to what is best to be done.
EIF Vol.9; 139-144 President Blackman (et. al.) to the Company, December 10, 1652 (O.C. 2297)

It is not likely that the Dutch will begin hostilities in these parts for the present; but the factors must be guided by the news from Europe. Gun carriages sent for the Blessing, in order that she may mount the guns she has in her hold.. If she and the Roebuck sail together, they ought to be able to hold their own against any two of the ships the Dutch have in these waters. Care should be taken to give the latter no provocation, but not to trust them upon any pretence of friendships. Should a fight occur, it is hoped that 'our people would shew themselves Englishmen here in India as well as our freinds at home when one Englishmen thinks himselfe as good as two Dutchmen and by Gods blessing have proved themselves so'.
EIF Vol. 9; 145 The President and Council at Swally Marine to the Factors in Persia, December 10, 1652 (o.C. 2298)

... it was thought that the Dutch would be slow to move, as they had enemies enough on their hands. The truce agreed upon with the Portugese in 1641 having now expired, the war with them had been renewed in the East, a proclamation to that effect having been made at Batavia in May, 1652; and in addition the Hollanders had to deal with a formidable revolt in Amboina, fomented by their old enemy, the King of Macassar. In these circumstances Blackman and his colleagues felt themselves reasonably safe from any Dutch attack. From this sense of security they soon had a rude awakening.
EIF Vol. 9; introduction, xiii

Jan-Feb 1653:
Regarding the Blessing, they have heard from Pulicat that she reached Masulipatam on January 11, but have no further particulars.
EIF Vol. 9; 153 President Baker (et. al.) at Fort St. George to the President and Council at Surat, February 5, 1653 (O.C. 2311)

The Blessing left Masulipatam on January 20 and is now, they hope, near her port.
EIF Vol. 9; 168-170 President Blackman and Edward Pearce at Surat to the Company, March 23, 1653 (O.C. 21)

The Blessing, after watering at Cochin, met eight Dutch ships bound for the coast of India and sailed with them for three days…
EIF Vol. 9; 176 John Spiller and other Factors at Gombroon to [the President and the Council at Surat], April 20, 1653 (o.C. 2324)

Six Dutch ships left here about April 13 for Basra and Gombroon. Two of them came from Taiwan and two more from Balasore. They [had] met with the Blessing off Cochin, but they were then ignorant of the outbreak of war.
EIF Vol. 9; 183 President Blackman (et. al.) to the Factors at Gombroon, May 7, 1653 (O.C.2329)

.. our shipps Robuck and Lennarett whoe sett sayle the 14th..incountered with three Dutch shipps [the Concordia, the Reiger & the Robijn], whoe in a short time, by the Robuckes looseing her foremast and forecastles takeing fire gott the upper hand of us and tooke our two ships, which last night came into this roade. As the Endeavour and Blessing are daily expected, they are dispatching a boat to meet and warn them to go either to Jask or to Muskat.
EIF Vol. 9; 161 John Spiller ( at Gombroon to the Commanders of all English ships, February 18, 1653

25 Mar 1653:
The attempts made to warn other incoming vessels proved unsuccessful. One boat sighted the Blessing and Supply, but could not overtake them; and on March 25 those ships were attacked by three of the Dutch. The Blessing was soon taken; the Supply failing in an attempt to escape was run ashore, where the master yielded to the Dutch boats. Only three Hollanders being left in charge of her, some of the men endavoured to make a raft and get on shore; and seven Englishmen, two lascars and two passengers succeeded in doing so. They are now here and it is from their narration that the above particulars are derived, as the Dutch will not permit any communication with the prisoners. On April 1 the two captured vessels were brought into this road, to their great grief and the astonishment of the Persians, who wonder 'what is become of the English vallour'. To this the only reply possible is that the ships were taken unawares and were so pertered with merchants and their goods that thye were not able to make a stout resistance. This is true enough for the ships were not well manned or suitably provided; otherwise the result might have been different .. The disgrace of seeing their vessels thus taken by two or three rotten Dutch ships 'is so much that we are ashamed to show ourselves...'
EIF Vol. 9; 175 Messrs. Spiller, Young, Park and Jocelyn at Gombroon to the Company, April 4, 1653 (O.C. 2323)

[The master's account of the Blessing's capture, to the President & Council at Surat.] Though they have doubtless heard of the capture of his ship, he thinks it right to give them the following account of the fight. The day after they had made the Arabian shore, they saw Bearblock in the Supply, but it was two days before he could come aboard, owing to the weather. He then told them what had happened at Surat and that hostilities with the Dutch were daily expected. On March 24 having got within Jask, they espied three Dutch ships to windward. 'We plying our voyage, they fetcht us up before night, but kept without shot of us, in parly one with another. The day being far spent, they concluded not to deale with us till the next, being the 25th. They drew their shipps together by sunrise: the admirall, Capt. Govert, in his ship Leepart, burthen 500 tunns, 22 peeces ordinance: the viz-admiral shipp Rubin, 24 peeces; the Lennarett, which they had taken before, 18 peeces. The admirall berthed himself within less then a musket shot upon our broadside; the vise-admirall close to his stearne; the Lennaret close to him against our consort, being asterne of us (The admirall comeing so neere us) [inserted from the second copy], I thought would have spoken with us, but did not; forwith took in his Holland collours from the poope and put out his bloudy collours, and imediately gave us a whole broadside. The rest alike; we did at them what we could. Thus we continued at this length eight howers. Seaven of them our people faught very stoutly (which I believe Your Worship will heare from the Dutch); the eight they began to faint, some going downe to the chyrurgion with small rubs, but could never get them up againe, being often amongst them to cheere them up what I could. Now the admirall laid us aboard on the larboard quarter, which was something the lee side; but did it to make roome for his consort on the other side. Our people belowe, hearing that wee were boarded imediately left their quarters, crying out to me to call for qurter; which I minded not for (as you will heare by skiper Govert) the admirall twice or thrice in our fight called to me and told me we should have a very good quarter. I uttely denyed him; God in heaven knowes I intended never to take any of them, but fight it out to the last. They being on board, their men in our mison shrouds, I left the deck and came into the kuddy. Immediatly Mr. Oxinden came to me and told me our people were all gon from their qurters refusing to fight any more, and indeed not to be seene, onely four or five of us in the kuddy. I was saying to Mr. Oxinden I had rather loose my life in the busines then live in shame afterward. He replyed I could not fight without men, saying there was but a small nomber of us in the kuddy, which would soone be toarne apeeces. In this very instant came a shot from them and tooke boeth the armes away of a young man, which stood next to mee, named Mthew Stanford. I seeing the nomber small that was stiring, not able to withstand the enemie, I advised with Mr Tindall. He answered neither I nor any man could fight without men. I answered him : Should we loose our ship thus, having faught soe many howers? He replyed : How can you help it? Yoyr men will not fight any more. Whereupon it was (with sadnes of heart) concluded to yeald up the ship, being very much toarne in ship and yeards; small losse of men; three slayne in the fight; severall hurt, but cured by this time. Mr. Berblock left us very discourteously. Two howers (if not three) before wee were taken, hee wound his ships head [to the northward] toward point Jasqus, the Lennarett schaseing him; wheare [he] runn ashore somesix or eight miles within the point; where hee cutt his yards down to make rafts to gett ashoare, haveing cutt his boate away a little before. The vize-admirall, agfter wee were taken, made after them; to whome hee yealded, upon such tearmes as to save all his owne goods (and more then all, I doubt) and his companies; which was graunted, wih the fredomes; all being performed. Our people, most of them, have made their escape: sixty at one time, in a Portugal prize which the Dutch made their prison: some others swam ashoare, and some by boates.(9) Soe that there is not above 38 or 40 left, which are all officers except three or four. About one hower after we were taken, wee were sent aboard the admirall, without saveing the worth of sixpence for my own part, and think the rest the like. God graunt me patience in this great alteracion. I am sick and weake, God knows; and very poor and naked, almost no sufficient to shift. They now are ready to set sayle for the Coast and Battavia, where they doe intend to carry us. What they will doe with us then, God in heaven knowes.'
EIF Vol. 9; 191 Gilbert Grimes, aboard a Dutch Ship in Gombroon Road to the President and Council at Surat, July 24, 1653 (O.C. 2335)

Apr-May 1653:
The goods captured in the Supply and Blessing have been put ashore under a guard procured from the Governor, for fear the English should attempt to recover them… The Dutch are selling the cargo of the Blessing.
EIF Vol. 9; 176-7 John Spiller and other Factors at Gombroon to [the President and the Council at Surat], April 20, 1653 (o.C. 2324)

Eight Dutch ships arrived at Swally on April 2 and are expected here shortly, to remain in the Gulf 'all the heates'. After their coming, two or more vessels will depart for Batavia, carrying with them their prisoners, including masters and chief officers of the vessels (except the Supply) and Messrs. Oxenden, Tapper and Broadbent. Most of the petty officers and seamen made their escape and are now aboard the Endeavour; their names are given in the enclosed list.(10) The Roebuck has been fitted with a new mast and will probably be one of the ships to be sent to Batavia; the Blessing is said to be another.
EIF Vol. 9; 181 John Spiller and Thomas Park at Gombroon to the Company, May 6, 1653 (O.C. 2326) 182

1652-4: overview of the First Anglo-Dutch war
Thanks to their naval power, the Dutch were able to sweep our shipping from the seas [in the East], thus causing the East India Company much material loss, and diminishing greatly the prestige of the English both in India and Persia...
EIF Vol. 9 ; 1651 - 1654; Preface

The victories of the Commonwealth fleet [in Europe] had brought Dutch commerce to the verge of ruin, and all classes in Holland were desirous of peace. After long-continued negotiations, a treaty was signed at Westminster on April 5, 1654, which brought hostilities to a conclusion. Amongst its provisions were three affecting the East India Company. In the first no claim was to be made on either side for losses suffered during the war...
EIF Vol. 9; introduction, xx

19 Sept 1654:
Certain Committees are desired to settle upon the day on which all pay is to be stopped to the men in the Blessing, Lannaret and Roebuck.
CM Vol. 4; 339 A Court of Committees, September 19, 1654 (Court Book, vol. xxiii, p. 381)

27 Sept 1654:
Matthew Crower, who was taken in the Blessing and wounded, is given 40s. from the poor-box.
CM Vol. 4; 342 A Court of Committees, September 27, 1654 (Court Book, vol. xxiii, p. 383)

18 Jan 1658:
Mary, widow of Captain Grimes, last master of the Blessing, given £20.
CM Vol 5; 217/218 Jan 18, 1658

  1. Bantam, now known as Banten, is on the north coast of Java. Nowadays it is little more than an hour's drive west of Jakarta.
  2. A previous ship called the Blessing had been abandoned by Mr Methwold two years earlier:
    'The Blessing has been lying at Goa ever since Methwold left her there [previous mention Jan 1639], as the Portuguese would not buy her, and she was not worth fetching away. A few months ago she was so leaky that she had to be hauled on shore.' (EIF; Dl 7; 17 Brief to Swally, January 27,1642.)
  3. The new name Blessing is written in the margin. Surat is in Gujarat, on the west coast of India. Swally (Suvali) was a safe anchorage just inside the mouth of the Tapti river, which became the port for Surat, 19km upstream. Brimming (usually spelt breaming or breeming) can refer to the process of removing marine growth from the hull, but the phrase 'brimmed with broken glass' is thought to refer to the use of brimstone (sulphur) mixed with oil to paint the ship's bottom during caulking (making watertight). Sometimes broken glass was pulverized and mixed in, to prevent teredo worms eating through the hull. This practice was described by a sceptical Sir John Hawkins in the 1560s. (The Hawkins Voyages, Hakluyt Society series 1, vol LVII, p.202.)
  4. A hogshead is a large cask, of about 240 litres capacity; canary is a light sweet wine from the Canary Islands.
  5. i.e. sold at auction. The time allowed for bids was determined by a burning candle.
  6. Arrack is a term used for spirits or strong drinks of different origins (from Arabic araq, juice), but on the Malabar coast, as in Sri Lanka, it would often be made from juice of the coconut palm. Coir, also at this stage referred to as cairo, is the fibre of the coconut husk, from which rope is made. (The original word, Tamil kayiru or Malayalam kayar, from the very kayaru 'to be twisted', actually means 'cord', according to Hobson-Jobson.) Cowry shells (Cypraea moneta) were extensively used as currency in South Asia and Africa.
  7. Dungaree (from a Hindi word dungri), was a coarse cotton cloth; only later did the word come to be used for a garment.
  8. Gombroon is now Bandar Abbas, in Iran (map).
  9. See Hague Transcripts, series i. vol xviii. no 550(2).
  10. For these 76 names see O.C. 2328 and 2330. The list adds the names of three men killed on board the Blessing and of a cook's mate who died aboard the Dutch ships.

CM: A Calendar of the court minutes of the East India Company, by Ethel Bruce Sainsbury
vol 2, 1640 -1643 , Oxford 1909
vol 3, 1644 -1649 , Oxford 1912
vol 4, 1650 -1654 , Oxford 1913

EIF: The English factories in India
A calendar of documents in the India Office, British Museum and Public Record Office; William Foster (ed); Oxford, 1909
vol 7 ; 1642 - 1645 , Oxford 1913
vol 8 ; 1646 - 1650 , Oxford 1914
vol 9 ; 1651 - 1654 , Oxford 1915

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