In The Words of Others…

Sir John Hawkins’ Log

Master John Hawkins with the Jesus of Lubek, a shippe of 700. and the Salomon of 30. tunnes, being all well furnished with men to the number of one hundreth three score and tenne, as also with ordinance and victual requisite for such a voyage, departed out of Plymmouth the 18. day of October, in the yeere of our Lord 1564….

The 27. the Captaine was advertised by the Portugals of a towne of the Negros called Bymba, being in the way as they returned, where was not onely great quantities of golde, but also that there were not above fortie men, and an hundred women and children, in the Towne, so that if hee would give the adventure upon the same, hee might gette an hundredth slaves: with the which tidings hee being gladde, because the Portugals should not thinke him to bee of so base a courage, but that hee durst give them that, and greater attempts: and being thereunto also the more provoked with the prosperous successe hee had in the other Islands adjacent, where he had put them all to flight, and taken in one boate twentie together, determined to stay before the Tone three or foure houres, to see what hee could doe: and thereupon prepared his men in armour and weapon together, to the number of fortie men well appointed, having to their guides certaine Portugals, in a boat, who brought some of them to their death: wee landing boat after boat, and divers of our men scattering themselves, contrary to the Captaines will, by one or two in a company, for the hope that they had to finde golde in their houses, ransacking the same, in the meane time the Negros came upon them, and hurte many being thus scattered, whereas if five or sixe had bene together, they had bene able, as their companions did, to give the overthrow to 40 of them, and being driven downe to take their boates, were followed so hardly by a route of Negros, who by that tooke courage to pursue them to their boates, that not onely some of them, but others standing on shore, not looking for any such matter by meanes that the Negros did flee at the first, and our companie remained in the towne, were suddenly so set upon that some with great hurt recovered their boates; othersome not able to recover the same, tooke the water, and perished by meanes of the oaze. While this was doing, the Captaine who with a dosen men, went through the towne, returned, finding 200 Negros at the waters side, shooting at them in the boates, and cutting them in pieces which were drowned in the water, at whose coming, they ranne all away: so he entred his boates, and before he could put off from the shore, they returned againe, and shot very fiercely and hurt divers of them. Thus wee returned backe some what discomforted, althought the Captaine in a singular wise maner carried himselfe, with countenance very cheerefull outwardly, as though hee did little weigh the death of his men, nor yet the great hurt of the rest, although his heart inwardly was broken in pieces for it; done to this end, that the Portugals being with him, should not presume to resist against him, nor take occasion to put him to further displeasure or hinderance for the death of our men: having gotten by our going ten Negros, and lost seven of our best men, whereof M. Field Captaine of the Salomon, was one, and we had 27 of our men hurt….

NPS Ethnography Program