Thursday, September 22, 2011

History of Mindanao, Part IV: The Maguindanao Sultanate in the Late 17th Century, Part 7

In this, the seventh installment in "History of Mindanao, Part IV" I conclude my excerpting from William Dampier's "A New Voyage Around the World." Dampier was an upper class Englishman who while in Jamaica joined the crew of a privateer, liscenced pirates who attacked Spanish ships and split the profits with the English Monarchy. This excerpt addresses the crew's last two months on Mindanao during the reign of the ninth Sultan, Sultan Barahaman, and shows how they began to fight amongst themselves before finally culminating in a mutiny as the ship departs heading north with a quick stop in what is now Zamboanga City. The excerpt opens as the crewmen discover Captain Swan's journal in which he remarked quite negatively about most any crew member.

Chapter 13

"His Men Mutiny"

Therefore looking on what was written in the journal to be matter sufficient for them to accomplish their ends. Captain Teat, who as I said before, had been abused by Captain Swan, laid hold on this opportunity to be revenged for his injuries and aggravated the matter to the height, persuading the men to turn out Captain Swan from being commander in hopes to command the ship himself. As for the seamen they were easily persuaded to anything; for they were quite tired with this long and tedious voyage, and most of them despaired of ever getting home and therefore did not care what they did or wither they went. It was only want of being busied in some action that made them so uneasy; therefore they consented to what Teat proposed, and immediately all the ship bound themselves by oath to; therefore they concealed this design from those that were ashore until the ship was under sail which would have been presently if the surgeon or his mate had been aboard; but they were both ashore, and they thought it be prudence to go to sea without a surgeon; therefore the next morning they sent ashore one John Cookworthy to hasten off either the surgeon or his mate by pretending that one of the men in the night had broken a leg by falling into the hold. The surgeon told him that he intended to come aboard the next day with the Captain and would not come before; but sent his mate Herman Coppinger. The next day being the time appointed for Captain Swan and all his men to meet aboard, I went aboard with him neither of us distrusted what was designing by those aboard till' we came tither. Then we found it was only a trick to get the surgeon off, for now having obtained their desires, the canoe was sent ashore again to desire as many as they could meet to come aboard; but not to tell the reason lest Captain Swan should come to hear of it.

The 13th day in the morning they weighed and fired a gun; Captain Swan immediately sent aboard Mr.Nelly who was now his Chief Mate, to see what the matter was; to him they told all their grievances and showed him the journal. He persuaded them to stay till' the next day for an answer from Captain Swan and the merchants. So they came to an anchor again and the next morning. Mr.Harthop came aboard, he persuaded them to be reconciled again; or at least to stay and get more rice; but they were deaf to it and weighed again while he was aboard. Yet at Mr.Harthop's persuasion they promised to stay till' 2 o'clock in the afternoon for Captain Swan and the rest of the men, if they came aboard; but they suffered no man to go ashore except one Mr.William Williams that had a wooden leg and another that was a sawyer.

"The main part of the crew Go Away with the Ship, Leaving Captain Swan and Some of his Men; Several Others Poisoned There"

If Captain Swan had yet come aboard he might have dashed all their designs; but he neither came himself, as a Captain of any prudence and courage would have done, nor sent till' the time was expired. So we left Captain Swan and about thirty-six men ashore in the city and six or eight that ran away; and about sixteen we had buried there, the most of which died by poison. The natives are very expert at poisoning and do it upon small occasion; nor did our men want for giving offence through their general rogueries, and sometimes by dallying too familiarly with their women, even before their faces. Some of their poisons are slow and lingering for we had some now aboard who were poisoned there but died not till' some months later.

Chapter 14

"The Depart From the River of Mindanao"

The 14th day of January 1687 at 3 o'clock in the afternoon we sailed from the river of Mindanao, designing to cruise before Manila.

"Chambongo Town and Harbour with its Neighbouring Keys"

We coasted to the westward on the south side of the island of Mindanao, keeping within four or five leagues of the shore. The next day we were abreast of Chambongo, a town in this island; about thirty leagues from the river of Mindanao; Here is said to be a good harbour and a great settlment with plenty of beef and buffalo. It is reported that the Spaniards were formerly fortified here also; we sent our canoe ashore, thinking to find inhabitants but found no sign of any; but great tracts of hogs and great cattle; and close by the sea there are ruins of an old fort; the walls thereof were of a great height, built with stone and lime; and by the workmanship seemed to be Spanish. We weighed again on the 14th day and by the 22nd day we got about the western most point of Mindanao and stood to the northward.

"Two Proas of the Sologues Laden from Manila"

Here we met with two proas belonging to the Sologues, one of the Mindanayan nations before mentioned, they came from Manila laden with silks and calicoes.


That concludes the excerpts but I will post a Part 9 as well in which I offer a full synopsis of these 8 parts.

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