The East India Company and
Trade with China
At the time
of the journey recorded in this logbook, the East India Company was actively
looking to establish trade with China. Led by Captain Roberts, this expedition
stopped at Batavia (Jakarta, Indonesia) en route to its final destination,
Ningpo. On its return from China in October 1702, it stopped at the Vietnamese
offshore island of Pulo Condore (Côn ,
in Vietnamese), conveniently located astride the main sea route up the
South China Sea. Less than a year later, the Company established an ill-fated
fortified settlement on the island. In 1706 nearly all of the settlers
on the island were massacred by Bugis mercenaries in English employ. The
English never again occupied the island. Sketches of shorelines, birds,
fishes, and other sea creatures adorn a number of the book's pages. Information
about the ship, the Sarah Gally, is sketchy in East India Company records,
with registers recording only a 1700-1701 journey to "India"but
no trip to China. The Company often hired ships for specific voyages,
which may explain the occurrence of only one journey listed in the registerthis
one being "a second voyage to ye East Indies."
Journall of a second voyage to ye East Indies & China in ye Sarah gally,
Capt. Jno. Roberts command, in ye service of ye Honble
English Company tradeing to ye East Indies: begun ye 19th November 1700.
The journal records the voyage from November 19, 1700 through 1703.
Gift of Charles Wason.
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