Elihu Yale's connection with Siam is that he sold the King of Siam some rubies which were allegedly found be unsatisfactory and which were returned to him. Born April 5, 1649, he died July 8, 1721; his tomb is inscribed with these lines:
Born in America, in Europe bred,
In Africa travell'd and in Asia wed,
Where long he liv'd and thriv'd; In London dead.
Much good, some ill, he did; so hope all's even,
And that his soul thro' mercy's gone to Heaven.
You that survive and read this tale, take care,
For this most certain exit to prepare,
Where blest in peace, the actions of the just
Smell sweet and blossom in silent dust.
One of the first Jews who came to Madras with special permission to reside and trade there was Jacques (Jaime) de Paiva (Pavia), originally from Amsterdam. Through his good relations with the rulers, he acquired mines in the kingdom of Golconda, neighboring Madras. At the same time he managed to convince the English authorities to permit Jews to settle in Madras, and he was the one who organized the Jews into the semblance of a community. On a plot of land in the suburbs he established a Jewish cemetery. During one of his trips to the mines he owned, he fell ill and died in Madras and was buried in its Jewish cemetery. On his tombstone we find that he died «in the month of Tishri 5548–1687.»
Incidentally, his wife, also a Portuguese Jewess, fell in love with the English governor of Madras, Elihu Yale, and went to live with him, causing quite a scandal within Madras' colonial society. Governor Yale later achieved fame when he gave a large donation to the University of New Haven in Connecticut, which was then named after him — the Yale University. Hieromima de Paiva and the son she had with him died in South Africa.
Elihu Goes to India.
ELIHU sailed from England in December, 1671, on one of the ships of the annual fleet sent out to India by the great Company. With him went Vincent Sayon and Francis Ellis. He kept their friendship for many years.
The ship was far from comfortable. It is possible that, since there were no high officials, "merchants" or "factors" going out at this time, the young "Writers" had rooms to themselves. Elihu doubtless bought an ordinary bedstead for his bare cabin, but he had to find some means of lashing it to the floor so that it would be steady during the voyage. He probably brought along a basin and a looking glass, which would also be useful later in India. His clothes and personal effects he had to place in a sea chest, which was fastened to the floor of his cabin and kept locked lest light-fingered sailors transfer the contents to their own boxes. For apprentices the Directors bought "beds, pillows, hammocks and rugs," but "Writers," going out at the princely rate of £10 per annum, had to provide their own.
The drinking water was kept in casks, which decayed in the heat of the tropics. The food was likely to become full of weevils. As his family were well-to-do, they probably furnished Elihu with a hamper of provisions, a ham or two, and some bottles of wine so that he would not have to depend entirely on the "salt junk, moldy bread and boiled pease" which constituted the usual rations on board ship.
The six months' voyage must have been tedious, although there was ever present the possibility of pirates, violent storms, disease (from which a few sailors or soldiers died on each voyage) and fire. On one of the East Indiamen, it is related, the cook, "o'er guzzeled with drink," dug a hole through the brick fireplace in the galley and set the ship on fire, "thereby giving us much trouble"!
Life in Madras under Governor Langhorn.
AT the time of Yale's arrival in Madras the Council of Fort St. George consisted of the Governor, Sir William Langhorn, and four "factors" or "merchants." The "Second" was Joseph Hynmers, "Book-keeper," an experienced official who had acquired some property and whose wife, Catherine Elford, was well connected. Her mother, the daughter of a London alderman, occasionally sent him hampers of wine, tobacco and other delicacies.
The Council generally met about twice a week, but Sir William was easygoing and the Diary and Consultation Book kept by young John Nicks, as Secretary, shows frequent periods of inactivity. The members had to pass upon the factory's business, determine what goods should be bought and sold, and advise the Governor with regard to dealings with the native authorities.
Once they had "surveighed the dwelling house in the Fort." The "Workman" assured them that part of the House was in danger of collapsing, "being already weakened the last great storm, and would in all Probability fall down the next," so they decided to erect "some Buttresses or new Pillars" on that side. It was not a very attractive dormitory.
At the first two meetings of the Council after Eilhu's arrival nothing took place but a long discussion over the relative rank of two members of the Council, a question which seems trivial to us and yet was vital in that little oriental community. Sir Andrew Riccard, the Governor of the Company in London and a friend of one Herrys, had written him a private letter telling him he would be "Third." But the general letter signed by all the Directors made no such provision. So the Council decided to make him "Fourth." Against this he entered a protest, but had to "quietly acquiese," "in order to avoid the least thought of a disturbance." He took his designated seat at the table, but gratified his outraged feelings by placing his signature alongside of, instead of under.
Under Governor Streynsham Master.
GOVERNOR MASTER was a man of ability and courage. He had had previous experience in factory administration and at once determined to reform some abuses and get rid of the laxity which had characterized Langhorn's regime. Elihu did not become a favorite of the new Agent, and was denied some of the privileges to which he was entitled.
Hardly had Master been installed before new rules were posted in the chapel and in the dining room where Elihu had to take his dinners with the other "Writers." They were designed to improve the conduct of business. The Council was to meet "every Monday and Thursday and oftener as business shall require." The Governor would himself keep the cash and the cashbook. General books of accounts were to be balanced at least once a year. All books and registers were to be presented to the Council monthly.
Master believed in good order and intended to have all accounts kept up to date. The clerks were all ordered to have duplicates of their books clearly transcribed in order that copies might be sent to England. This meant extra work for Elihu. In 1678 there was not a single place in the Fort fit for the officials to write their accounts and file their records. Governor Master hoped that the Company would order the building of offices, "wherein the said books and registers may be distinctly kept and where the said persons may keep such their business for the Company in decent order, and the persons employed under them may have conveniency to write in, all of which is exceedingly wanting at present." Apparently it had not been easy for Elihu to find a convenient place in which to perform his duties as a "Writer."
There was a good deal of excitement on New Year's Day. About three o'clock in the afternoon a soldier who was drunk abused his sergeant, one John Waterhouse, with whom he had for... .
Assistant Warehouse Keeper.
IN January, 1679, as Assistant to the Warehouse Keeper, Elihu was unusually busy. The godowns were so full that new buildings had to be hired for that purpose. Because of the approach of the northeast monsoon it was about time to dispatch the annual fleet to London. On January 7th the warehouse keeper presented his account of textiles packed and ready to be sent home. There were 31,575 pieces of "long-cloth," packed in 1263 bales; 3090 pieces of "fine long-cloth," in 103 bales; 5400 pieces of "blue long-cloth," in 216 bales; 4300 pieces of "brown long-cloth," in 215 bales; and 42,160 pieces of ordinary salampores, in 527 bales. There were 7680 pieces of "betelles"; 1280 pieces of "Moorees," super-fine; and 4160 pieces, "fine"; 680 pieces of gingham; 840 pieces of "dyapers"; 3040 pieces of neckcloths, 16 to a piece; and 37,500 single neckcloths, red and striped.
The business of packing all this material in 2519 bales, getting them properly marked and making up the invoices, which amounted to 113,352 pagodas, must have kept Elihu busy for a good many weeks, if not months.
On the 16th of January the warehouse keeper was ordered to receive goods that came from other factories on the Bay of Bengal, and Elihu had to oversee their being stowed away in the warehouse and properly entered on the books. At the same time the warehouse keeper was ordered to make all possible dispatch in the lading of the goods for England as fast as the boats could carry them off and the ships receive them. He and his assistants had to see to it that the cargoes got on the proper ships.
One of the difficulties which Elihu encountered was the extraordinary nomenclature of the piece goods, which he had to invoice. Many of the names mean nothing to us today and are difficult to define. Some came from the texture, others the place of origin or the breadth of the stripes, the nature of the weave... .
Provisional Customer and Mintmaster.
IN December, 1680, John Bridger, the Warehouse Keeper, became Bookkeeper and "Second." He turned over the charge of the godowns to Timothy Wilkes who had been the Customer. "And to supply the place of Customer, it is thought fit," John Nicks wrote in the Consultation Book, "to appoint Mr. Elihu Yale as Provisional Customer (to enter upon that charge the 1st day of next month) until the honorable Company's orders shall arrive for the filling up the vacant places in the Councell." So on New Year's Day Elihu began a new job.
For some reason or other Elihu was still denied a seat in the Council, although his duties were now those of "Fourth." Vincent Sayon had been Provisional Mintmaster and Provisional Paymaster for some time. Those positions ranked fifth and sixth. But Elihu had come ashore one day before Vincent, so technically outranked him.
Yale's duties as Customer were largely clerical. Under the orders which had been carefully drawn up by Governor Master he had to keep two distinct books of accounts. In one of them petty land customs received of the Indians who brought goods to town had to be entered. In this book, at the beginning of his service, he had to state the tariff rates, the manner of gathering the same and the particulars of the goods upon which duties had to be collected. At the end of that book he had to insert the amount of grain received for toll, what it was sold for and what he received monthly for the Company's part of the weighers' duties, and for registering the sale of houses, slaves, etc.
In his other book he had to keep an account of all sea and land customs "received of Christians and Indians upon goods imported and exported." At the beginning of this book also he had to enter full particulars regarding the duties and from whom received. He had to enter the freight due the Company for goods brought on... .
The Journey to Porto Novo.
THE Council's decision to send Elihu to look for a concession to trade in the Mahratta country was reached in the latter part of October, only about three months before the time for the annual dispatching of ships for England. So it was important to get this mission under way as soon as possible in order that, if successful, the details might be sent to the Directors and goods provided to meet the needs of the new factories.
Pleasant weather was due, but unexpectedly on the 10th of November a great storm struck the coast near Porto Novo and continued for three days. At Negapatam, fifty miles south of Porto Novo, 14,000 persons perished. At Tranquebar the Danish factory felt the full force of the storm. "All the bulwarks of the out town came to the ground." In Porto Novo the storm "broke many small vessels in the river, and the people fled up into the country, many houses falling with the force of the rain and the sea." This delayed matters and it was not until the 8th of December that the Braminy from Porto Novo came to town, and was ordered to draw up a list of presents "fit for Sumbogee," "and what for the under officers." Two days later "all the Company' servants in the degree of Merchant and Factor," asked to give their opinions "about settling a factory to the southward," approved the plan, and the Warehouse Keeper was ordered to provide Yale with suitable gifts. He knew how important this was.
The list included 71 yards of scarlet broadcloth, a highly prized English product, 63 yards of ordinary red broadcloth, 22 yards of green broadcloth, 156 yards of red Norwich stuffs, 12 sword blades, 3 rapier blades, 2 chests of rose water, 2 "Blunder busses," besides looking glasses, knives, scissors, sandalwood, cloves, nutmegs and mace; also one horse, and 2000 pagodas, the equivalent of $20,000 today. Lest they should be thought guilty of being too generous with the Company's property, Governor Gyfford added... .
The Acting Governor Takes Hold with a Firm Hand.
THE garrison officers were summoned before the Council one morning early in August, 1684, and instructed in their duties to the new Chief, as the Acting Governor was called. They were ordered to give Yale the same salutes and respect they had accorded President Gyfford. His authority came from the Honorable Company. His commands were entitled to instant obedience.
A few days later Gyfford turned over the charge of the Fort to Elihu and attended a farewell service in St. Mary's. There he was honored by the presence of all the principal officials and civilians. Then they escorted him from the church to the beach, passing between three companies of soldiers drawn up as a guard of honor.
Affectionate farewells were said to the departing President, a kindly man who lacked force and did not enjoy good health. It is to be hoped that when he was picked up bodily by the native boatmen and carried down into the surf he was put in the waiting "musoola" without any untoward incident. It would have been too bad to have the formal embarkation ceremony spoiled by an unusually wet wave.
As the "musoola" was rowed or paddled out to the ship, the guns of the Fort boomed forth a proper salute of thirty-one guns. As soon as Gyfford reached the vessel, more salutes were fired "by all the Ships in the Road, who continued their Salutations till late at night." It must have been a noisy evening. We may be sure that these unusual ceremonies were arranged by Acting Governor Yale, who enjoyed having such matters done properly and in order. There was to be no slackness in his temporary occupation of the office of Chief.
On Monday, August 11th, Yale took his seat at the head of the table and called the Council to order. It now consisted of John Nicks, John Littleton and John Gray. The meeting was not... .
ON January 3, 1685, Ralph Ord and William Cawley, who had gone to Sumatra to negotiate for a factory, arrived off the port, accompanied by three important Princes bringing a letter from the Queen of Acheen. The Council was in session when Ord and Cawley came ashore. After they made a brief report, the Consultation was immediately adjourned but not before Chief Yale had instructed the members to dress themselves properly for the reception of the Princes. Here was another opportunity to arrange for a dignified ceremony which would please the oriental fondness for pomp, and gratify Elihu's own love of formality. Fortunately while the boats went out to the ships, a mile or more away in the roadstead, there was time to make suitable arrangements.
A convenient house and the necessary servants were ordered to be got ready. The gunners were instructed to fire an appropriate salute.
As soon as the Princes were seated in their "musoola," the ship gave them nine guns, thus announcing to the crowded city the approach of persons of importance. Throngs came down to the shore. Two members of the Council, accompanied by most of the native merchants, "went to the seaside and courteously received them to the Fort, the whole way being lined with a guard of soldiers."
The procession was led by the town band. Dancers followed the music. Everything possible was done to create a favorable impression. Protected from the sun by great ceremonial umbrellas, attended by officials in uniform, the Princes, undoubtedly pleased with the thunder of the Fort's ordnance, passed through the Sea Gate and were duly escorted to the Fort House.
Here, entering the Hall, they were "received with Curteous salutes and embraces" from Elihu Yale, "and thence brought to... .
Bookkeeper and Second in Council.
IT is now necessary to introduce the villain of the piece, one William Fraser, a Scotchman, well read in the law, but cantankerous and ambitious, destined to make infinite trouble for Elihu Yale
and many others. Capable of inspiring respect on first acquaintance, he made his superiors sorry they had ever seen him. He arrived at Fort St. George on the very last day of May, 1685.
The date was important because less than a week before his arrival the Council had decided to employ Surgeon John Heathfield as a clerk, there being a scarcity of "Writers." This put Dr. Heathfield's name ahead of William Fraser's on the list of Company's servants. Rank always dated from the date of arrival in India and not from the date of appointment in London. And rank was vitally important for an ambitious man. Fraser already visualized himself as Governor of the Fort and President of the Council. It would not do to have any more of the Company's servants ahead of him than was absolutely unavoidable. So on December 3rd he presented to the Council a learned brief.
It was Fraser's claim that since he was engaged in England on September 8, 1684, he had a right to precede Heathfield, who was not employed until May 25, 1685, even though the Doctor's employment in India was five days ahead of his own arrival. In a typical manner he says of himself: "The said William Fraser by his covenant, oath and security given and taken in England is thereby amply and fully confirmed by the Right Honorable, the Governor and Court of Committee, whereas Mr. Heathfield, aforesaid, at best is but doubtful if he shall be confirmed in England or not." His paper is full of tautology and legal phraseology. His education was far superior to that of most of those who were employed by the Company in Madras, and he wanted them to know it. "All contracts, covenants, etc.," he said, "take their beginning and are in full force and virtue immediately after their... .
Rubies for the King of Siam.
IN 1684-1686 there occurred a curious episode which has led certain English writers to bring very serious charges against the business integrity of Elihu Yale. Following in the footsteps of a contemporary pamphleteer who accused Yale of "treacherous dealing with the King of Siam," they have been inclined to believe that Yale tried to cheat that royal connoisseur. It is even implied that this was a sample of the methods he employed to amass his great fortune.
So scholarly and distinguished a writer as Dr. John Anderson, in his remarkable book English Intercourse with Siam in the 17th Century, has characterized it as "a disgraceful business." A more recent writer, Mr. Maurice Collis, in his entertaining book Siamese White, says: "Elihu had promised to procure for the King of Siam, as a private deal, some remarkable rubies. . . . Elihu was paid a large sum of money. The stones, set in jewelry, were sent to Ayudhya. On their examination by the King's experts they were found to be of small value. The charge was considered grossly excessive. The affair caused a scandal at court."
Both Dr. Anderson and Mr. Collis derive their knowledge of the "affair" from certain seventeenth-century pamphlets which were published at the time the Directors of the East India Company were fearful lest Parliament destroy their monopoly of the Far Eastern Trade. In an effort to meet popular criticism and forestall unfavorable action the Company published a Historical Narrative by an American-born trader who had recently returned from Siam and India, one Francis Davenport.
Davenport's pamphlet was particularly damaging to a certain Samuel White, with whom he had lived for a time in Siam. Samuel's brother George immediately took up the cudgels in his behalf, largely because he was anxious to recover part of Samuel's estate that had been seized in Madras. In the war of pamphlets... .
Yale Becomes Governor of Fort St. George.
IT will be remembered that in 1684 Governor Gyfford made a tour of inspection of the factories on the Bay of Bengal and that Elihu Yale was instructed to take charge of Fort St. George and the factories on the Coromandel Coast. For five months Yale performed his duties in an energetic and thorough manner. When the reports of his activities reached London, Sir Josia Child, the vigorous Governor of the East India Company, decided to displace Gyfford and put in his place the younger man, who had also shown marked ability in the way he handled Gopal Pundit.
News of these changes came quite unexpectedly on July 23, 1687. The minutes of the Council give a graphic picture of the events of the day and lead one to take a favorable view of the character of the new Governor. "The Councill being mett the box of Letters was opened and perused and Mr. Yale, being much concerned for, 8c very unwilling to displace President Gyfford, supposing the orders only proceeded from the Rt. Honble. Compas. Beleife of his absence, desired the Councill to take itt into their consideration, & if possible to excuse his taking his place, till President Gyfford's departure, which he intended by the next Ship." Evidently our young man was modest and not eager for power.
The Council, however, after studying the documents, came to the conclusion that Gyfford's commission was revoked and that Yale could not be excused from immediately assuming his responsibilities, "which was also President Gyfford's opinion, who willingly & readily consented thereto & . . . gave the Chair to Mr. Yale, as also the charge of the Fort, which being recd with many curteous assurances of continued respects, & the usuall salutes of Guns, Mr. Yale and the Councill waited upon President Gyfford out of the Fort, where they took a kind leave." It is a pleasant picture and in striking contrast to Council meetings which... .
Problems of Administration.
SHORTLY after he became Governor it was necessary for Yale to write a letter to the Danish Commissary General in Tranquebar, where his Company had a factory. It was not an easy letter to write, for Yale had to treat of an adverse decision made by an English jury in Madras against the interest of a Danish citizen. Naturally this was unpleasant news for the Commissary General.
It is interesting to see how our thirty-eight-year-old Governor handled the situation. He wrote:
"I was honored and obliged by two of your letters, which were received with all due respect and should have been sooner answered, had their business required it. As to their contents: Your Honor had the case tryed at our Court, according to the established laws of England, by a jury of honest, understanding men, upon their oaths, whose verdict, with the whole process of that action, I have ordered the Clerk of our Court to send you for your Honor's fuller satisfaction; and I am sorry that the case will have noe better a conclusion, but being agreeable to our laws, I hope your Honor will not complain, it being indifferent to the persons who decided it, upon their oath. But whether the receipt is found or proved to be lost, and that the widdow, Christian Pookenhoot gives her order about the bag of money, said to be sent to Collendall, there is no doubt of its delivery, but being sent by Captain Farman, there is no other order will serve but hers. And this with assurances of my most faithful friendship and ready service upon all occasions, that either concerns the illustrious King, Royal Company, or your honorable self, being extremely desirous, not only to preserve, but increase the amity betwixt us and our inhabitants, that there may be a good correspondence and commerce betwixt each place, which I know will be most acceptable and pleasing to our Royal Sovereigns, whose love and alliance are so nearly engaged, that 'twill be a greay... .
Yale as a Correspondent.
IN the archives of India House in London is a volume of letters copied by some "Writer" in Fort St. George from originals sent out by Governor Yale during the first year and a half of his occupancy of the office. Those written in 1687 have escaped publication. It seems worth while to give a few selections in order that we may form a better idea of his habits of thought and power of expression.
The Shah of Persia desired to convert the King of Siam to Mohammedanism, and sent a mission with that end in view. Unfortunately the Shah did not give his Ambassador sufficient funds, although the mission included a large retinue and magnificent presents for the King. It was necessary for the Council in Madras to provide the Ambassador with some ready cash. A loan was made but not repaid. Knowing how the Directors would regard this matter, Governor Yale decided on August 26, 1687, to write a letter to "Ebraim Beague, the Persian Embassador," requesting attention to the little matter of the debt. Its tone is very polite. The following paragraphs illustrate what Yale thought was the best way to achieve the difficult task of getting money from Persia:
"I received an unwellcome account of your unkind Entertainment at Syam, The Honour of your Magnifficent King and his Noble Ambassy and Presents deserved much better; and I hope his Respects and Service here was to his and your Contentment.
If anything was difficient therein, it was more our Misfortune than fault, Endeavoring that your Reception and Entertainment should Express our great esteem and honour wee had for your great Monarch; who I know is too good and just to lett us suffer for our services to him, which if he doth not Consider us in, wee are like to doe. The King of Syam, having not yett paid us a Cash... .
Second Year as Governor.
WHAT with famine, pestilence, storms and the ever-present fear of the armies of the Great Mogul, Governor Yale had had his full share of difficulties during the first six months of his administration. It had also been a hard period for the native merchants, on whom the factory depended for the cotton cloth which was the most vital article needed in their multifarious activities. The country people, on whom they in turn depended for the goods which they had agreed to supply the Company, had felt the combined effects of war and famine to a critical degree.
New Year's Day, 1688, came on Sunday. The Council met the next day. An important matter was whether to make the customary New Year's presents to the chief merchants. Objection was made, probably by Fraser, that they had "been no ways Serviceable to the Company's affairs this year."
Yale, however, did not like to resort to petty annoyances, even though Fraser's friend Sir Josia Child did not hesitate to do so at all times. Furthermore, he realized that such action would cause the merchants to lose face; "'twould be a great discredit to them, & possibly occasion such discontents as might be prejudiciall to the trade of the place." So the Council was persuaded to order that they be given the customary yards of broadcloth, "itt amounting to a small value," and at the same time that they "be reprehended for their neglect and disagreement."
It is doubtful whether the Governor thought it advisable to destroy the effect of the tasherifs by a public scolding. There is no mention of any such foolishness in the Diary. The record shows
that he also gave "2 ½ yards ordinary red broadcloth" to the chief catamaran man, and two yards to his assistant, because they had "been very Servicable att all times, especially when the Muckwaes run away." "Old Chubdar," who had been a long time in the Company's service, was also given two yards of the same cloth.
Orders from London.
IN following Yale's progress as Governor of Madras it is important to be familiar with the policy of the Directors, particularly of Sir Josia Child, and with the reminders of their attitude which came on almost every ship, always bearing in mind their power to make or break, and their habits of doing so. On March 30th, while the Fort was in the midst of delicate negotiations with the native Princes, there arrived letters from London which did not make the Governor's task any lighter. Famine, plague, roving bands of enemies, uncertainty about the future -- all conspired to make the inhabitants of Madras restless and uneasy.
Sir Josia knew nothing of this and was utterly unable to ap¬preciate it if he had. His one idea was to make money. Every source was to be tapped. "You are still fencing," he wrote on June 6, 1687, in the letter which Yale had to read and inwardly digest this troublesome spring. "You are still fencing against our creating revenue at the Fort, with slight, insignificant arguments, wherein the worst is that you should have so mean an opinion of us, as to think such sophistical reasons will make any impressions on our judgment."
And again: "The penman of your letters fences and argues perpetually, and as it were, tries mastery with us in everything we propound, for the good of the company, which looks too like the prologues to a rebellion, although we fear not that, as the world goes now." This was in the nature of a warning to Governor Yale, who had been "Second" when the unsatisfactory letter had been written.
"Your elaborate arguments to persuade us not to impose a moderate duty upon the Portugese and other inhabitants of our city of Madras, whom we do protect and exceedingly encourage in their several vocations, have no weight at all with us. We know it is our interest to use them kindly, and better than they can be used... .
The Beginning of Serious Trouble.
THE records of the meeting of the Council for Thursday, September 13, 1688, were signed only by Governor Yale and William Proby, the Secretary. This was unusual, as it had been the practice for many years for minutes of the Council, or Consultations, as they were called, to be signed by all members. The same thing happened on September 18th, 20th and 24th. Why the rest of the Council were not asked to sign the book in the ordinary manner is not apparent from the minutes, which seem to be routine. It undoubtedly caused some annoyance, and may mark the beginning of the serious split between the Governor and his Council, which grew steadily from now on. It was not tactful, but probably was characteristic of the Governor. Possibly he felt it quite unnecessary for the others to sign routine records. A protest must have been raised at this practice, because before long we find them all signing again as usual.
The first evidence of a split in the Council over a personal matter came on the 17th of January, 1689. It involved one of the Governor's efforts to make money in private trade. The ship Williamson, coming from Bengal en route to England, was ordered to go elsewhere. Her cargo had to be transferred to another ship. She had brought goods intended for Governor Yale, as well as many others. The question now came up as to whether private shipments, thus transhipped from one vessel to another in the roadstead, must pay the local customs duty. The question was thoroughly debated and was carried in the negative, "for many reasons" besides the Company's "expressed orders that only such goods as should be landed was to pay 5% customs." The minutes were signed by Yale, Hig¬ginson, Sir John Biggs, Littleton, Wavell and William Fraser. An exception, however, was entered by William Cawley and Thomas Gray, who wrote: "Our Governor, having a great quantity of Bay... .
Troubles of Various Kinds.
IN 1688 Sir Josia Child, now grown immensely rich and powerful, retired from the active Governorship of the Company and put Sir Benjamin Bathurst in his place, although as Deputy Governor and the largest stockholder he still held the reins of power. He preferred to live at Wanstead, where he spent immense sums on artificial fishponds and walnut forests. The par value of his stock was £51,000, but its actual value was much greater. A fair estimate in our money today would be $3,000,000. The next largest stockholder was Sir John Moore, the father of Elihu's schoolmate, who had £25,509 of the Company's stock. King James II is listed in the stock ledger for £7000, but it was probably a present from Sir Josia or the Directors. Sir John Chardin, Daniel's fa¬mous brother, is down for £2500. On the board in 1688 and 1689 were several distinguished men. At the head of the list was the Duke of Beaufort, "whose authority," says Macaulay, "extended over four English shires and over the whole principality of Wales."
In 1688 he was "exerting all his great authority and influence in support of the crown," as "a royalist of the old school" and a warm adherent of the King. Next to him sat his son the Marquis of Worcester, another ardent Tory, who had married Sir Josia's daughter, with her dot of £50,000 (say $1,250,000 today). Then there was the first Earl of Berkeley, a Privy Councilor and an ardent supporter of the Stuarts. It was essentially a Tory group. They were facing trouble.
The Director who knew the most about conditions in Madras was none other than Sir William Langhorn, Baronet, one of the largest stockholders, with £18,000, who came on the Board in 1689. Ten years later he married the Dowager Viscountess Chaworth of Armagh, daughter of the Earl of Rutland. He had made a large fortune in India, had been Governor of Fort St. George
during the first five years of Elihu's residence there and... .
The Case against Governor Yale and His Brother.
As we have seen, the quarrel reached a climax in September, 1690. When the Council had played their trump card and had taken advantage of the imminent danger which threatened brother Thomas to force Governor Elihu to yield to all their demands, they naturally desired to get their case before the Directors as soon as possible. Hearing that there was a chance of a Danish ship going to Europe from the Danish factory near Porto Novo, they hurriedly wrote a three-page letter which Captain Heath could take with him when he took Mr. Hatsell and the money for the Fort to the Subidar of Conimere. There is a brief abstract of the letter in the files of the East India Company. A complete copy is in the Public Record Office. It is dated September 15, 1690.
Thomas Yale may have seen it before it left on the Danish vessel, for there is in the India Office an abstract of a letter from him, dated at Tevnapatam, September 22, 1690, in which he "vindicates himself of the charges exhibited against him by the Council and accuses Captain Heath of several matters and a great loss the Company suffered by his not bringing up his ship to the River of Canton &c."
Signed by Wavell, Fraser, Cheney and Gray the letter assures the Directors that the "Unjust, Irregular, Arbitrary and Unwarrantable proceedings of President Yale" will, if not quickly stopped, destroy their settlements and interest on the Coromandel Coast. His "accursed avarice" is such that he aims at nothing but his own private advantage and the Company's ruin. They blame the small shipments of goods to the President's "Exhorbitant Extortions from the Merchants," which has discouraged them from making contracts. They accused Yale of trying to get the military power into his hands so he could set up an independent state. His "wicked designs" were "no less than rebellion." They made him... .