MRP: 24th October 1662, Letter from Randall Taylor to Sir GO, Raire

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24th October 1662, Letter from Randall Taylor to Sir GO, Raire

BL, Add. MS. XX, XXX, ff. 4-6

Editorial history

18/12/11, CSG: Page created

Abstract & context

Randall Taylor wrote to Sir George Oxenden in a letter dated October 1662, sent from Raire.

In this letter, Randall Taylor wrote from the castle of Raire, where he appears to have been confined. He apologised for this being his first particular, as opposed to general, letter, offering as the explanation "y:e strict watch wee have over us." He expressed certainty that Sir George Oxenden would apply himself to securing his release, in contrast to the former President Mathew Andrewes' "Unchristian" behaviour towards him and others.

He concluded:

I hope I shall bee at liberty ere hee goes home, & then shall make a more pticuler discovery of his basseness towards us, & others

In his will, made six years later, Randall Taylor stated that is was through George Oxenden that he had come to know about the East Indies. Randall Taylor had been involved with the Smirna Merchant venture, though it is unclear in what capacity. Indeed may have come out to Surat with the then George Oxenden during the time of open free trade. In a subsequent letter of December 11th, 1662, Taylor thanked Oxenden for his promise to assist with various debts owing him, and notes:

Y:e hopes you give mee for my sallary due from y.e Sm:a Merch:t &c. ?Stock to bee pocured by yo:r worp:s endeavo:es in my behalfe, which is an other addition to my obligations[1]

What is certain is that in January 1658 Randall Taylor was appointed by the English East India Company in the Deccan factory as their number four, with the deceased Edward Flyer as number three, and XXX as the number one.[2] This was at the same time that Christopher Oxenden, Sir George Oxenden's brother, had been appointed the number two in the Surat. Christopher had also been invovled with George Oxeden's private commercial ventures, serving as superfactor on the King Fernandez on its voyage to Macao, and back to Surat.

Ralph Flyer, Edward's brother and administrator, wrote to Sir George Oxenden six months after Randall Taylor's letter claiming that Taylor owed his brother money.[3]

Major John Taylor, Randall Taylor's brother, also wrote to Sir George Oxenden, dating his letter a few days before that of Ralph Flyer.[4]

Major Taylor enclosed "a Smal Token of a p. of Silk Stockings," which he had entrusted into the hands of Mr. Pewsey, the cooper (Or ?Purser) on the Loval Merchant. He begged the acceptance of the gift, being:

Ashamed to present you w:th soo small á Token but hope hereafter to be better furnished

The main purpose of the letter was to express the hope that Sir George Oxenden would do everything in his power to free his brother and friends in the Rajapur factory.

Randall Taylor died in late 1668, having made a generous, poignant will, whilst "sicke and weake in bodie" on September 21st of that year. He made his brother, Major John Taylor, and John's son, Joseph Taylor, his executors, and appointed Strynsham Master in Surat as his overseer. His estate was very small, but lovingly detailed.

He mentioned various freinds in Surat and elsewhere with whom he had spent the last eight years, and left carefully selected gifts to each of them.

His "honored freind" Sir George Oxenden received "a Cupp made of a Gasper An?tonias ?salse Bezar with a few ?Cornes of said composition."

His "worthie good freind Master Gerald Aungier" received "the halfe of a Cupp made of the prementioned composition and One Butt English of Goa Arracke."

His "verie good friend Master Mathew Gray" received "the other halfe of said Cupp with my Japan Walkingstick ticked with silver."

His "loving freind Tho Hawkins Esquire" was to have "my silver Tobacco box."

His "good freind Master Henrie Oxinden" was to have "my small fowling peece set (Or, let) in with silver in Custodie of Master Gray."

Master John Pettit, "my esteemed good freind," got "my black Beaver Hatt" and "my approved good freind M:r Phillip Gyffard" his belt and white hat, which had been left in Gyffard's possession, together with Taylor's gold seal ring.

Captain Samuell Smith, Taylor's "respected Freind" got twenty rupees to buy himself a ring

The ship's company was not forgotten, with Henry Oxinden and John Petit requested to supply those of the company assisting at his funeral "what shall be thought convenient...being designed cheifely to myke them drinke as a customary."

The unnamed "loving Freind the doctour of the Charles" was to have fifteen shillings to buy a ring.

He was to be buried where his assignes thought fit, with ten pounds left in the hands of Henry Oxenden to build a tomb over his body.

Suggested links

See 11th December 1662, Letter from Randall Taylor to Sir GO, Raire
See 12th December 1662, Letter from Randall Taylor to Sir GO, Raire
See 16th March 1662/63, Letter from John Taylor to Sir GO, London
See 29th January 1665/66, Letter from Randall Taylor to Sir GO

To do

(1) Check transcription against physical manuscript at BL, & add foliation


This transcription has been completed, but requires checking

[BL, Add. MS. XX, XXX, ff. 4-6]

Right Worp:ll & Hono:d S:r

I have wrott yo:r Worp:e Sundry Generalls from this Castle, But untell this noo pticular lre, w:ch I hope you will excuse & beleeve w:t I wrott M:r Sr:m Master[5] viz:tts y:e strict watch wee have over us to bee Cheifely y:e Cause thereof, for bee Confident S:r noo pson in India is more Content for yo:r Worp:s safe arriveall, & the Qualety your are come out in, then my selfe, (w:ch I should have signified long before this had I beene at libertye)[6] not But others haveing desrved farr better; may in reason expect greater ?conveyniencyes thereby, yet S:r more gratitude & other Considerations, not vulgar or Basse but very Legitimate obligeth mee to y:e premencconed satisfaction, w:ch I cann Confidently say is ?unstained, since I am sensible thereof in y:e midst of this great affliction I Labour under,[7] God grant mee once, free, y:t soo w:th others, I may comfortably enjoy my pte in soo great a happynesse, in y:e meane tyme, I shall not lett to Pray for á prosperous success to all yo:r Worp:s undertakeings.

S:r I shall need to minde yo:r Worp:e of y:e state of my Condition well knowing yo:r Worp:e will have á tender Consideration thereof, as also of y:e great Losse I have sustained by this late misfortune & hope (as you weare one of y:e Cheifest Causers of my Comeing to India & more pticulerly of my knowing any thing thereof, w:ch made mee anywise Capable of being Imployed in y:e Hono:ble Comp:as service w:ch esteeme an Hono:r & preferm:t to mee) you will indeavour speedily to ?remedy y:e former, & regaine y:e latter, w:th y:t Good success y:t usually attends such Just & Chartiable designes w;ch I question not but your Worp:e will manadge w:th y:t prudence, & vertue y:t wee shall bee bery glad y:e worke was reserved for yo:r performance; How unchristian, since M:r Andrewes[8] hath appeared herein, I Conclude you will ptely understand from others & I hope I shall bee at liberty ere hee goes home, & then shall make a more pticuler discovery of his basseness towards us, & others, as alsoe of something y:e Comp:a hath sufferd by him therefore shall say little therein ?hense.

S:r y:e last yeare I wrott you from ?Soangur & gave a pticuler relation of o:r misfortune; But now Conclude my lre never came to hand however


However a repetition thereof will bee needlesse since you heare it from others in Surratt. In said lre I made Bould to incert my desires to yo:r Worp:e Concerneing what due to mee from y:e Employm:t of ships Sm:a March:t Two Sisters Etc:a w:ch although arrived not tyme enough yett I am informed from my Brother[9] y:t you weare pleased to Stand my freind therein, but w:th Badd success however my Obligations are y:e same to yo:r Wors:l as if you had prevailed in my behalfe, S:r by this your favo:r showed mee; I am encouragdged to trouble you in some other pticulers w:ch misfortunes have occasioned mee to Implore yo:r assistance in, & in Confidence of yo:r favour therein, I will Brefely incert y:d same The Deceased Alderman Temms[10] Dyed in my Debt a bout 60: in 65:li & since I heare from My Brother y:t his Lady[11] is dead alsoe, & y:t now M:r Martin Nowell is become administrator, & findeing y:d S:d Alder:m Temms to have interest in á pcell of Granadoes sent out to M:r Revington[12] to satisfye w:t due from Said Alderman Temms unto mee, out of his parte Interest in y:e Granadoes Acco:t w:ch had M:r Revington lived I know hee would readily have done out of w:t hee recd on said Acco:t But now hee is dead I know not whither I shall obtaine y.e same soo suddainely as otherwise I should, yett S:r if what I judge but reason bee pform’d herein, I shallnot want y:e same satisffaction, & y:t is, y:t out of w:t willl appeare due to M:r Revington in y:d Rajap:a Bookes I may bee satisfyed by Bond to save you harmlesse from any inconvenyencie may arrise thereby, S:r thi is parte of my Desire unto you, which if not Conformable to yo:r Worp:s Judgem:t to pforme I must patiently waite for some other way to recover my Right by.

M:r Math:w ffortser[13] Lately Cheife at Psia, alsoe Dyed in my debt a bout said some as Aldermnan Themms, & M:r Gray[14] writt mee theare appeares nothing of an Estate in India whereout I may bee sattisfyed, M:r Andrewes haveing seized on Pte thereof for a debt due to him, how justly this is done, I hope y:r Worp:e will enquire as alsoe if any thing else appeares out of w;ch I may bee satisfy:d M:r Gray can informe y:e nature of this debt, being ready money reced of M:r Buckeridge[15] in Psia. If nothing is found of M.r fforsters in India, I desire yo:r Worp:e when you write home to y:e Comp:a to endeavour I may bee satisfyed out of w:t is due to said m:r fforster on Acco:t of his sallary.

In o:r generall lre wee have propounded y:e sending of a pson to y:e King of Decan w:ch if yo:r worp:e thinks good & so doo then I humbly Crave in my Brothers, my owne, & severall ffreinds, behalfe, y:t you will please to enorder him to make demand and endeavours


Endeavour y:e Recovery of w:t due from said King on Acco:tts of Granados sould by M:r Revington to his Generall, Siddy ?Joar[16] which wee had the Kings Phirm:d for, & had doubtlesse recovered y:e money Long ere this had not this misfortune happened to Rajap:a I conclude s:d Phirm:d is lost or in Sevajies hands, But there is one ?Cossum Pandit á Cheife ?Bromine a bout y:e King who understands y:e Busyeness very well & will bee ready to further the recovery of y.e money hee haveing á promisse from M:r Revington of some w:t Considearble when y:e Acco:t is Cleared, there remaineing due something á bout 5000:P:a Wee have likewise in our Generall lre desired yo:r Worp:e to assist us w:th Pte of w:t due to us on acco:t of Sallary, & here I renew my pticular desires for what concernes mee, my occassions being made more urgent through this late misfortunes then otherwise ?shew would have beene

S:r I shall not presume to trouble yo:r worp:e further at present, soo desireing yo:r pardon, fo w:t herein given & earnestly prayeing for yo:r Worp:s health & happy success in all yo:r undertakeings. I close this with my very humble service tendered to yo;:r acceptance, & subscribe as I really am

Hono:d S:r

Yo:r Worp:s Obleidged & affectionate
Rand:a Taylor


EEIC 1664-1667

"Before any addition is made to the salary of Mr. Taylor at Surat his correspondence with John Stanian is to be examined."[17]

EEIC 1677-1679

"A report from the Surat Committee touching losses sustained by Randal Taylor, at Rajapur XXXX" (p. 146)

Possible primary sources


PROB 11/331 Coke 108-166 Will of Randolph Taylor, Merchant 11 October 1669
  1. 11th December 1662, Letter from Randall Taylor to Sir GO, Raire
  2. This is the footnote text
  3. 20th March 1662/63, Letter from Ralph Flyer to Sir GO, London
  4. 16th March 1662/63, Letter from John Taylor to Sir GO, London
  5. Streynsham Master, nephew of Sir George Oxenden
  6. Randall Taylor is hinting that he was opposed to the previous President at Surat, Mathew Andrewes
  7. This great affliction, Randall Taylor is referring to XXXX
  8. Mathew Andrewes, the former President at Surat, who had been replaced by Sir George Oxenden
  9. Randall Taylor's brother was Major John Taylor, as is clear from Randall Taylor's will (See Randolph Taylor will; 16th March 1662/63, Letter from John Taylor to Sir GO, London
  10. Nathaniel Temms, a London merchant and alderman, who had been in the East Indies, and who had been a major subscriber to the SVJS
  11. Nathaniel Temms died intestate, as did his wife, Martha Temms, who died a year after her husband. Nathaniel Temms' friend Sir Martin Noell took over the administration of both husband and wife, Nathaniel Temms having had substantial debts to Sir Martin Noell
  12. ?Henry Revington. Henry Revington was XXXX; he died in XXXX
  13. Mathew Forster was XXXX
  14. Mathew Gray
  15. Possibly Nicholas Buckeridge
  16. Siddy ?Joar was XXXX
  17. 'XXXX', in Ethel Bruce Sainsbury (ed.), A calendar of court minutes, etc. of the East India company 1664-1667 (Oxford, 1925), p. 360