Steel and Crowther's Journey of 1615-16 from Moghul India through Persia
This description of the journey of Richard Steel and John Crowther (Crowder) was published in England soon after it took place, in Samuel Purchas' collection of travel accounts entitled Haklyutus Posthumus or Purchas His Pilgrimes (in the 1905-1907 re-edition, vol. IV). Purchas saw himself as continuing the work of Richard Haklyut, the pioneering English publisher of travel accounts in the late sixteenth century, one of whose goals was to give English travelers their place in the sun and to use the often inspiring tales of foreign enterprise as a stimulus to English overseas expansion. This was the era of the activity of important English joint stock companies, among them the East India Company which was chartered at the end of 1600 with a monopoly for English trade that might be established in the East Indies. Despite the company's privileges, various other Englishmen were undertaking their own ventures, attempting to secure privileges for English trade in the East. Steel was one of these. On his way back through Persia, he encountered one of the two most famous such entrepreneur-adventurers, Richard Sherley, who was continuing his older brother Anthony's visionary and to a considerable degree self-serving undertakings in the service of Shah Abbas of Persia.
At the moment that Steel and Crowther set out from Moghul India for Persia, what had been the dominant position of the Portuguese in the Indian Ocean was coming to an end. The English and especially the Dutch were about to take over control of the Indian Ocean sea routes; within a few years of Steel's return home, in 1622, a combined force of the English fleet and Persian army took Hormuz from the Portuguese, thus ending their control of the entrance to the Persian Gulf and the important trade route through it.
Of interest in Steel's account is his evidence concerning the effect of the disruption of the Portuguese sea trade on the overland routes. The Portuguese no longer were obtaining goods from the inland areas of the Moghul Empire, and the Asian merchants who might have used Portuguese shipping to get to the Middle East were returning to the traditional overland routes. The account provides much other valuable information on the overland trade: a sense of the way in which the Moghul and Safavid states controlled and supported the trade, the difficulties of the journey, some of the important products, and the role of the Asian merchants and caravaneers in the enterprise. It is worth remembering that this journey took place during when the Safavid state was at its apogee under Shah Abbas I (1587-1629) and when the Moghul Empire was ruled by Emperor Jahangir (1605-1627), the successor to the great Akbar and the father of Shah Jahan, who would build the Taj Mahal for his beloved wife and then be buried there alongside her.
The text here is taken from Robert Kerr, ed., A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels...., Vol. IX (Edinburgh and London, 1824), pp. 206-219, who in turn copied it from Purchas. As Kerr's editorial notes indicate, it is difficult to identify many of the towns. Rather than edit out some of what may seem to be of little more use than a catalogue of names and distances, I have left the text intact, since it does then provide a means of measuring the length of time such journeys might take. Even the cataloguing of towns and caravanserais provides an impression of the density of habitation and the degree to which the needs of travelers along the roads were being met.
Journey of Richard Steel and John Crowther, from Ajmeer in India, to Ispahan in Persia, in the Years 1615 and 1616.
Having been detained at Agimere from February, Mr Edwards received a letter on the 17th March, 1615, from the Great Mogul, of which be delivered a copy, together with his other letters, to, Richard Steel, promising to procure the king's firmaun for our safety and furtherance, and to send it after us to Agra, where he directed us to wait for its reception. We went that night two coss [about 1.5 miles in Hindustan and 2 miles in Rajput] to Mandill. We had four servants, two horses, and a camel. The 18th we went twelve coss to Bander Sandree [Bunder-Sanory], a small village. The 19th, ten coss to Mosobade [Morabad]. The 20th to Pipelo [Peped], thirteen coss. The 21st to a town called Chadfool [Gohd?], seven coss. The 22nd to Lalscotte) thirteen coss. The 23d to Mogolserai, twelve coss. The 24th to Hindone, fourteen coss. The 25th to Bramobad, twelve coss. The 26th to Futtipoor, twelve coss. This has been a fair city, which was built by Akbar, and. contains a goodly palace belonging to the king. It is walled round in a handsome manner, and has many spacious gardens and sumptuous pleasure houses; but is now falling to ruin, and much ground with in the walls is now sown with corn, the king having carried off much of the best stone to his new city of Agra. The 27th we went twelve coss to Agra. In the English house there, we found one Richard Barber, an apothecary, who came over with Sir Robert Shirley, and had been sent here by Mr. Kerridge to take care of Nicholas Whithington.
Within two days journey of Agra, we passed by the country and city of Biana, where the finest indigo is made, the best being then worth thirty-six rupees the maund at Agra, but much cheaper in the country. Finding the promised firmaun came not, and the hot season of the year, fast approaching, we departed on the third of April, in the prosecution of our journey, leaving directions with Richard Barber to send it after us. We came that night to a serai called Boutta, six coss. The 4th to the town of Matra, fourteen coss, where we lay in a fair serai, and there we received the firmaun. The 5th we went twelve coss to a serai called Chatta [Chautra]. The 6th to a serai built by Azam Khan, nine coss. The 7th to a serai built by Sheik Ferreede, called Pulwali, eleven coss. The 8th to a serai built by the same person, ten coss. The 9th to Dillee [Delhi], nine coss. This being a great and ancient city, formerly the seat of the kings where many of them are interred. At this time, many of the great men have their gardens and pleasure houses here, and are here buried, so that it is beautified with many fine buildings. The inhabitants, who are mostly Banians or Hindoos, are poor and beggarly, through the long absence of the court.
The 10th we went ten coss from Delhi to Bunira. The 11th to Cullvower, twelve coss. The 12th to Pampette [Paniput], twelve coss. This is a small handsome city, where they manufacture various sorts of girdles and sashes, and great quantities of cotton cloth, and have abundance of handicrafts. The 13th to Carnaul, twelve coss. The 14th to Tanisera [Tahnessir] fourteen coss. The 15th, to Shavade [Shahabad], ten coss. The 16th to Mogol-Sera, or Gaugur, fifteen coss. The 17th to Sinan [?Sirhind] fourteen coss, which is an ancient city, where they manufacture great store of cottons. The 18th to Duratia, fifteen coss. The 19th to Pullower [Bullolepoor], eleven coss. We this day passed in a boat over a great river called Sietmege [Sutuluge or Beyah-Kussoor], which is very broad, but full of shoals, and runs westward,to join the Sinde, or Indus. The 20th we came to a small town called Nicodar, eleven coss. The 2lst,to Sultanpoor, an old town having a river which comes from the north, over which is a bridge of six arches~. At this place great store of cotton goods are made. Four coss beyond this place we passed another small river. The 22nd to Chiurmul [?Gundwall], eleven coss. We were this day boated across a river as broad as the Thames at Gravesend, called Vian, which runs westwards to join the Sinde. On its banks Allom Khan, ambassador from the Great Mogu1, to the king of Persia, had pitched his camp, which looked like a little city. The 23rd we went to Khan Khanum Serai, seventeen coss, and the 24th we reached Lahore, seven coss.
All the country between Agra and Lahore.is exceedingly well cultivated, being the best of India, and abounds in all things. It yields great store of powdered sugar [raw sugar], the best being worth two and one-half to two and three-fourths rupees the great maund of forty pounds. The whole road is planted on both ides with trees, most of which bear a species of mulberry. In the, night, this road is dangerously infested with thieves, but is quite secure in the day. Every five or six coss, there are serais, built by the king or some great man, which add greatly to the beauty of the road, are very convenient for the accommodation ot'. travellers, and serve to perpetuate the memory of their founders. In these the traveller may have a chamber for his own use, a place in which to tie up his horse, and can be furnished with provender; but in many of them very little accommodation can be by reason of the banians, as when once any person has taken up his lodging, no other may dispossess him. At daybreak the gates of these serais are opened, and then all the travellers prepare to depart; but no person is allowed to go away sooner, for fear of robbers. This made the journey very oppressive to us, as within two hours after the sun rose we were hardly able to endure the heat.
Lahore is a great and goodly city, being one of the fairest and ancientest in India. It stands on the river Indus or Sinde; and from this place came the most valuable of the Portuguese trade when they were at peace with the Moguls, as it formed the centre of all their traffic in Hindoostan. They here embarked their goods, which were carried down the river to Tatta, and were thence transported by sea to Ormus [Hormuz] and Persia; and such native merchants as chose to that way between India and Persia, paid them freight. They had also a great trade up this river, in pepper and other spices, with which they furnished that part of India. At this time, the merchants of India assemble at Lahore, where they invest a great part of their money in commodities, and, joining in caravans, they pass over the mountains of Candahar [Kandahar] into Persia; by which way it is computed there now pass yearly twelve or fourteen thousand camel loads, whereas formerly there did not go in this way above three thousand, all the rest going by way of Ormus. These merchants are put to great expence between Lahore and Ispahan, besides being exposed to great cold in winter and fervent heat in summer, and to bad and dangerous roads, usually spending six or seven months in the journey, and they estimate the charges of each camel-load at 120 or 130 rupees. In this way Persia is furnished with spiceries, which are brought all the way from Masulipatam by land. We remained in Lahore from the 24th of April to the 18th of May, refreshing both ourselves and our horses, and providing servants an a necessaries for the journey. We also procured here recommendatory letters from an ambassador to the king of Persia.
We left Lahore on the 13th May, proposing to overtake a caravan which set out two months before, and went that day eleven coss to a small town named Chacksunder. The 14th to Non-serai, fifteen c. The 15th to Mutteray, eight c. The 16th to Quemal khan, nineteen c. The 17th, to Herpae, sixteen c. The 18th to Alicasava, twelve c. The 19th Trumba, twelve c. and this way we overtook a small caravan that had left Lahore eight days before us. The 20th to Sedousehall, fourteen c. The 21st to Callixechebaut, fifteen c. The 22d to Multan, twelve c. This is a great and ancient city, having the river Indus at the distance of three coss. All caravans must remain here ten or twelve days, before leave can be procured from the governor to proceed, on purpose that the city may benefit by their stay. It yields white plain cotton cloth and diaper. We remained five days, and were then glad to get leave to depart, by means of a present.
We passed the river on the 28th, and went twenty c. to a small village named Pettoalle. The 29th we another great river by a boat, and came that same night to a small river called Lacca, where we found the caravan we wished to overtake. We presented the caravan basha with a mirror and knife, when he directed us to pitch our tent near his own, that we might be more immediately under his protection. This caravan had been here ten days, and remained till the 2nd of June, waiting, for an escort of cavalry to convoy them to Chatcza [Chatzan], a small fort in the mountains, having received information that a former caravan had been injured by the mountaineers. The 2nd June we resumed our journey, and travelled twelve c. entering into the mountains, where we were much distressed for want of fresh water, what water we met with being brackish. The 3rd and 4th we travelled all night, climbing high mountains, and following watercourses with various turnings and windings, insomuch that in travelling twelve coos our direct course did not exceed six c. The 5th, we again followed the bed of a watercourse or river, full of large pebbles, travelling eight c.. The 6th we rested. The 7th we went four c. still along the watercourse, the 8th eight c. The 9th twelve c. and the 10th three c. when we came to Chatcza [Chatzan], a small fort with mud walls, inclosed with a ditch, where the Mogul keeps a garrision of eighty or 100 horse, to scour the road from thieves, yet these are as great thieves as any, where they find an opportunity. The captain of this castle exacted two abacees for each camel in the caravan, though nothing was legally due, as he and his troops have their pay from the king. In the whole of our way, from the river Lacca to Chatzan, we found no sustenance for man or beast, except in some places a little grass, so that we had to make provision at Lacca, hiring a bullock to carry barley for our horses. The Agwans or Afgans, as the people of the mountains are called, came down to us every day at ou'r resting place, rather to look out what they might steal, than to buy as they pretended.
Having made provision for three days at Chatzan, we went thence on the 12th June, and travelled fourteen c. The 13th ten c. The 14th ten c. This day, the mountaineers brought down to us sheep, goats, meal, butter, and barley, in abundance, sufficient both for us and our cattle, all of which they sold at reasonable prices; and from this time forwards, they did the same every day, sometimes also bringing felts and striped carpets for sale. The 15th we went six c., the 16th four c., the 17th ten c., the 18th nine c., the 19th nine c. when we came to a small town of the Afgans called Duckee [Dooky], where the Mogul keeps a garrison in a small square mud fort, the walls of which ar of a good height. This fort is a mile from the town. We stopt here three days, as the caravan could not agree with the captain of the fort, who demanded a duty on every camel, and at last an abacee and a half was paid for each camel. The 23rd we went six c., the 24th we passed a place called Secotah, or the three castles, because of three villages standing near each othei on the side of a hill, forming a triangle. We this day went eight c. The 25th we rested, on account of bad weather. The 26th we went ten c. The 27th fourteen c. This day we paased throngh the durues or gates of the mountains, being narrow straits, with very high rocks on both sides, whence with stones a few men might stop the passage of a multitude, and where many caravans have been accordingly cut off. We this night, where we lodged, suffered much insolence from the Afgans; and next day, as we passed a small village called Coasta, they exacted from us two and one half abacees for each camel. The 28th we went five c., the 29th, passing a vilIage called Abdun, eight c., the 30th six c. The 1st July in seven c. we came to a place called Pesinga [Pusheng, or Kooshinge] where there is a small fort like that at Dooky, in which is a for securing the way. At this place the captain exacted half an abacee for each camel. The 3rd we left the caravan and went forwards six c. The 4th we passed over a mighty mountain and descended into the plains beyond, having travelled that day, fourteen c. The 5th we went twenty c. and were much distressed to get grain for our cattle. The, 6th, in like distress both for them and ourselves, we went twelve c. and on the 7th, after eight c., we got to.the city of Candahar.
These mountains of' Candakar are inhabited by a fierce people, ca1led Agwans or Potans [Afgans or Patans] who are very strong of body, somewhat fairer than the natives of Hindoostan, and are much addicted to robbery, insomuch that they often cut off whole caravans. At present they have become more civil, partly from fear of the Mogul, and partly from experiencing the advantages of trade, by selling their grain, sheep, and goats, of which they have great store, and by purchasing coarse cotton goods and other necesaries. Still, however, if they find any one straggling or lagging behind, they are very apt to make them slaves, selling, them into the mountains, and houghing them to prevent their running away, after which they are set to grind grain in hand-mills or to other servile employments. The chief city, called likewise Candahar, is very ancient, and was in old times inhabited by Banians. At this place. the governor of the whole country resides, who has a garrison of twelve or fifteen thousand horse, maintained there by the Great Mogul, in regard of the neighbourhood of the Persians towards the north. To the west, the.city is environed by steep and craggy rocks, and to the south and east by a strong wall. In consequence of the frequent passage of caravans it has been considerably increased of late, so that the suburbs are larger than the city. Within the last two years in conseqrnce of the Persian trade by way of Ormus being stopped, through war with the Portuguese, all the caravans between Persia and India must necessarily pass through this place; and here they hire camels to go into India, and at their return for Persia have to do the same. They cnnnot return without leave of the governor, who causes them to stop a month here or at the least fifteen or twenty days; owing to which it is inhabited by many lewd people, as all such places of resort commonly are.
Victuals for man and beast are to be had in great abundance at Candahar, yet are very dear owing to the great concourse of trade, occasioned by the meeting at this place of many merchants of India, Persia, and Turkey, who often conclude their exchanges of commodities here. At this place the caravans going for India usually unite together, for greater strength and security in passing through the mountains of Candahar; and those that come here from India generally break into smaller companies, because in many parts, of the route through Persia, a greater number would not find provisions, as all Persia, from hence to Ispahan, is extremely barren, so that sometimes not a.green thing is to be seen in two or three days travel; and even water is scarce, and that which is to be got is often brackish, or stinking and abominable. We remained at this city for fourteen days, partly to procure company. for our farther journey, and partly for, refreshment after the fatigues and heats of our late journey, especially on account of John Crowther, who was so weak that he at one time doubted being able to proceed any farther.
We joined ourselves' to three Armenians and a dozen Persian merchants, along with whom we left the city of Candahar on the 23rd JuIy, and went ten c. to a village called Seriabe. The 24th we came in twelve c. to Deabage, a small dea or village. The 25h in eight c. to Cashecunna, a small castle in which the Mogul has a garrison, being the utmost boundary of his dominions westwards, and confining with Persia. The 26th we travelled seventeen c. and lodged in the open fields by the side of a river. The 27th, after four c. we came to a castle called Greece, the first belonging to the king of Persia. Here we delivered to the governor the letter we had got from the Persian ambassador at Lahore, and presented him a mirror and three knives. He would taae nothing for our camels, while the others had to pay five abacees for each camel. He promised to give us a safe conduct under an escort of horse to the next governor, but we saw none; neither were we sorry for the omission, for he was little better than a rebel, and all his people were thieves.
The 28th we departed at night, going two parasangs [one is 2.78 English miles] and lodged at a dea or vi1lage called Malgee. A farcing or parasang is equal to two Indian cosses and a half. The 29th we went ten p. and lodged in the open fields, where we could get nothing but water. The 30th we went five p. to a small castle nanied Gazikhan. The 31st other five p. to an old ruined fort, where we could get nothing but water, and that was stinking. The 1st August we proceeded other five p. to an o1d fort called Dilaram, where we paid an abacee and a half for each camel. We staid here one day to rest our cattle, which was termed making mochoane; and on the 3rd we went seven p. to an old castle called Bacon. The 4th four p. and lodged in the open fields, where we found nothing but water. The 5th four p. and the 6th five p. to Farra.
Farra is a small town, surrounded by a high wall of bricks dried in the sun, as are all the castles and most of the buildings in this country, and is of a square form, about a mile in circuit. It has a handsome bazar or market-place, vaulted over head to keep out the rain, and in which all kinds of necessaries and commodities are sold. It is situated in a fertile soil, having p1enty of water, without which nothing can be raised in this country; and it is wonderful to see with what labour and ingenious industry they bring water to every spot of good ground, which is but seldom to be found here, often carrying it three or four miles in trenches under ground. At this town, all merchants going into Persia must remain for seven, eight, or ten days; and here the king's treasurer sees all their packs weighed, estimating the value of their commodities at so much the maund, as he thinks fit, and exacts a duty of three per cent ad valorem on that estimate. On their way into Persia, merchants are used with much favour, lest they should make complaints to the king, who will have merchants kindly treated; but on their return into India, they are treated with extreme rigour, being searched to the very skin for money, as it is death to transport any gold or silver coin from Persia, except that of the reiging king. They likewise look narrowly for horses and slaves, neither of. which are allowed to be taken out of the country.
We remained here two days waiting for certain Armenians, with whom we travelled the rest of the journey, leaving our former companions. The 9th of Augudst we went only one parasang to a river. The 10th we travelled seven p. and lodged in the open fields. The 11th, four p. to a small village, where we had plenty of provisions. The 12th, four p.. where we had to dig for water. The 13th, eight p. and the 14th five p. to.a village named Draw [Durra], where we remained a day, as it is the custom of those who travel with camels to rest once in four or five days. The 16th, we adanced three p. The 17th, four p. The 18th, five p. to Zaide-basha [Sarbishe] where abundance of carpets are to be had. The 19th we came to a village named Mude [Moti], where also are carpets. The 20th, five p. to Birchen [Berdjan], where are manufactured great quantities of fine felts, and carpets of camels hair, which are sold at the rates of from two to five abacees the maund. At this place we rested a day. The 22nd, we went to Dea-zaide [Descaden] where all the inhabitants pretend to be very religious, and sell their carpets, of which they have great abundance at a cheap rate. The 23rd, three p. The 24th, five p. to Choore [Cors or Corra], an old ruined town. The 25th, three p. The 26th, seven p. when we had brackish stinking water. The 27th we came to Dehuge [Teuke], where is a considerable stream of hot water, which becomes cool and pleasant after standing some time in any vessel. The 28th we went seven p. to Dea-cuma.
The 29th we went five p. to Tobaz [Tobas Kileke] where we had to pay half an abacee for each camel. At this place all caravans take four or five days rest, the better to enable them to pass the adjoining salt desert, which extends four long days journey, and in which many miscarry. We found here a small caravan of an hundred camels, which set off the next day after our arrival. Here, and in the former village, there is great store of dates; and 3000 maunds of the finest silk in Persia are made here yearly, and carried to Yades [Yezd], a fair city, where likewise they make much raw silk, and where it is manufactured into taffaties, satins, and damasks. The king does not allow the exportation of raw silk, especially into Turkey; but the Portuguese used to carry it to Portugal. Yades [Yezd] is about twelve days journey from Ispahan, and is twelve p. out of the way from the Indian route to the capital.
'I'he 30th of August we advanced nine p. into the desert, and lay on the ground, having to send our beasts three miles out of the way for water, which was very salt. The 31st, after travelling ten p. we came to water which was not at all brackish. The 1st September we went five p. and had to send two miles for water. The 2nd we went nine p. to a small castle, where we procured a small quantity of provisions. The 3rd, five p. and lay in the fields, having to send far for water. The 4th, ten p. to Seagan. The 5th, four p. The 6th, ten p. to a castle called Irabad [Hirabad], where we paid half an abacee for each camel. The 7th, six p. The 8th, eight p. to Ardecan, where we rested till the 10th, when we went four p. to Sellef The 11th, three p. to a small castle named Agea Gaurume. The 12th, nine p. to a spring in the fields. The 15th, three p. to Beavas. The 14th, four p. to Goolabad, whence Richard Steel rode on to Ispahan, without waiting for the caravan. The 15th we came to Morea Shahabad five p. The 16th, to Coopa, five p. The 17th, to Dea Sabs five p. The 18th, four p. and lay in the fields. And on the 19th, after three p. we came to Ispahan.
Richard Steel reached this city on the 15th at noon, and found Sir Robert Shirley already provided with his dispatches from the king of Persia as ambassador to the king of Spain. Sir Robert, attended by his lady, a bare-footed friar as his chaplain, together with fifty-five Portuguese prisoners, and his own followers, were preparing in all haste to go to Ormus, and embark thence for Lisbon. The purpose is, that seeing the Portuguese not able to stand, the Spaniards may be brought in. Six friars remain as hostages for his safe return to Ispahan, as otherwise the king has vowed to cut them all in pieces, which he is likely enough to do, having put his own son to death, and committed a thousand other severities.
On his arrival at Ispahan, Richard Steel delivered his letters to Sir Robert, who durst hardly read them, except now and then, as by stealth fearing lest the Portuguese should know of them. He afterwards said it was now too late to engage in the business of our nation, and seemed much dissatisfied with the company, and with the merchants and mariners who brought him out. But at length he said he was a true-hearted Englishman, and promised to effect our desires. On the 19th, the friars being absent, he carried both of us to the master of the ceremonies, or Maimondare and took us along with him to the Grand Vizier, Sarek Hogea, who immediately called his scribes or secretaries, and made draughts of what we desired: namely, three firmauns, one of which John Crowther has to carry to Surat; one for Richard Steel to carry to England, and the third to be sent to the governor of Jasques, all sealed with the great seal of the king. The same day that these firmauns were procured, being the 1ast of September, Sir Robert Shirley set out for Shiras in great pomp, and very honourably attended.
Copy of the Firmaun granted by the King of Pesia.
"Firmaun or command given unto all our subjects, from the highest to the lowest, and directed to the Souf-basha, or constable of our country, kindly to receive and entertain the English Franks or nation, when any of their ships may arrive at Jasques, or any other of the ports in our kingdom, to conduct them and their merchandize to what place or places they may desire, and to see them safely defended upon our coasts from any other Franks whomsoever. This I will and command you to do, as you shall answer in the contrary. Given at our royal city, this 12th of Ramassan, in the year of our Tareag, 1024 [October, 1615]."
The chief commodities of Persia are raw silks, of which it yields, according to the king's books, 7700 batmans yearly. Rhubarb grows in Chorassan, where also worm-seed grows. Carpets of all sorts, some of silk and gold, silk and silver, half silk, half cotton, &c. The silver monies of Persia are the abacee, mahamoody, shahee, and biftee, the rest being of copper, like the tangas and pisos of India. The abacee weighs two meticals, the mahmoody is half an abacee, and the shahee is half a mahamoody. In the dollar or rial of eight there are thirteen shahees. In a shahee there are two biftees and a half, or ten cashbegs, one biftee being four cashbegs, or two tangs. The weights differ in different places; two mahans of Tauris being only one of' Ispahan, and so of the batman. The measure of length, for silks and other stuffs, is the same with the pike of Aleppo, which we judge to be twenty-seven English inches.
John Crowther returned into India, and Richard Steel went to England by way of Turkey, by the following route. Leaving Ispahan on the 2d December, 1615, he went five p. to a serail. The 3rd, eight p. to another serail. The 4th, six p.to a village. The 5th seven p. to Dreag. The 6th, seven p. to a serail. The 7th, eight p. to Golpigan [Chulpaigan]. The 8th, seven p. to Curouan. The 9th, seven p. to Showgot. The 10th, six p. to Saro [Sari]. The 11th, eight p. to Dissabad. The 12th, twelve p. to a fair town called Tossarkhan, where he rested some days, because the country was covered deep with snow. The 15th, six p.' to Kindaner. The 16th, eight p.to Sano. The 17th to Shar nuovo, where I was stopped by the daiga; but on shewing him letters from the vizier, he bade me depart in the name of God and of Ali. The 18th we passed a bridge where all travellers have to give an account of themselves, and to pay a tax of two shakees for each camel. The 19th we came to Kassam-Khan, the last place under the Persian government, and made a present to the governor that might give me a guard to protect me from the Turkomans, which he not only did, but gave me a licence to procure provisions free at his villages without payment, which I yet did not avail myself of.
The 21st of Deceinber I began to pass over a range of high mountains which separate the two empires of Persia and Turkey, which are very dangerous; and, on the 22nd, at the end of eight p. I arrived at a village. The 23rd, after travelling seven p. I lay under a rock.. The 4th I came to Mando, eight p. a town belonging to the Turks. The 25th, eight p. to Emomester. The 26th, eight p. to Boroh, passed over a river in a boat, and came, that night to Bagdat. I was here strictly examined and searched for letters which I hid under my saddle; but observing one trying there also, I gave him a sign on which he desisted, and followed me to my lodging for his expected reward I fared better than an old Spaniard, only a fortnight before, who was imprisoned in chains in the castle, and his letters read by a Maltese renegado. I found here a Portuguese, who had arrived from Ormus only two days before me. The pacha made us wait here twenty days for a sabandar of his.
The 16th of January, 1616, we passed the river Tigris and lay on the skirt of the desert. The 17th we travelled five agatzas being leagues or parasangs. The 18th we came to the Euphrates at Tulquy, where merchandize disembarked for Bagdat, after paying a duty of five per cent. passes to the Tigris, and thence to the Persian gulf. After a tedious journey, partly by the river Euphrates, and partly through the desert, and then by sea, he arrived, at Marseilles, in France, on the 15th April, and on the 10th May at Dover.
© 1999 Daniel C. Waugh