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28 August 1608


The Mughal court gathered for a festival. 

We onboard the Hector have made it all the way to India! We have parted company with the Red Dragon, which has headed for lands even further to the east, where they can buy spices, but we have come to a place called Surat, part of what is - I am told - the most powerful empire in the world, the Mughal Empire. We are not the first Englishmen to come to this land, but we are the first to come by sea. We need to be careful, as the Portuguese have once again come here before us, and they will be upset that we are stepping on their toes. But Captain Hawkins says that we should not be afraid, and that we can convince the emperor, whose name is Jahangir, that we can be better friends and partners than the Portuguese. It was dangerous to bring the ship here, as the water is shallow, and so, as at the beginning of the voyage, we took on a pilot, but this time an Indian man.

Captain Hawkins called him an ‘infidel’, which means a man that does not worship God in the same way that we Christians do. Whatever he believes, I was glad that the pilot knew how to take us safely through the waters! He even said, afterwards, that our safe passage was a sign that our God loves us. I hope this is true, as we are so very far from home now, and I am told that we may have even further to go before we turn back. 

Ship's boy


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" In shallow waters in the Gulf of Cambay, Molyneux’s caution—“the Master said it was a dangerous place,” reports Hawkins, “and sayd that he durst [not] stire the ship, till he had a pilott from Surat”—spared them the fate of the next English vessel in these waters, the Ascension, which foundered. Once aboard, this pilot (“the Infidell,” Hawkins calls him) declared “that our God loved us [in giving us such?] an escape in so dangerous a place.” "

Richmond Barbour, The Third Voyage Journals (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), p. 18.

Anon. 1615-1625: Emperor Jahangir and the heir to the throne Prince Khurram at the gathering for the festival of breaking the fast or sacrifice at an Islamic festival site, Staatliche Museum zu Berlin, Berlin

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