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Historical Records of New Zealand Vol. II.

[Enclosure.] — The Viceroy to Lieutenant Cook

page 65

The Viceroy to Lieutenant Cook.

The Memorial of the Count de Azambuja, Viceroy of the Estate of Brazil, in answer to another from Lieutenant James Cook, commander of his Britannick Majesty's ship the Endeavour.

I am not a little surprized at the novelty that Lieutenant James Cook finds in the treatment that his ship has had in this port, being in all its points which he takes notice of in conformity not only with the orders of his Most Faithful Majesty my master, but to the antient custom of the same port; not only so, but that in the year sixty-six I myself practised it in Bahia* with a ship of the same English nation, and with another of the Dutch; and this is the reason why before anything else the solemn cerimony was made which I practised with your officers in asking them if you would subject yourself to the customs and orders that are in this port, because only under this subjection, and the information that is taken in the visit which is made, that you put into this port with real necessity, it is that you are admitted. Wherefore, if you think it hard subjecting to what in your memorial you express, it is in your power to (go when you please) leave the port, because I did not admit you in it on other conditions, neither can I dispence with the orders I have. It is well known the great amity which has reigned for many years between the Portuguese and English nation; and the last war shows how much we are faithful to this alliance; and also it is well known how the English are received in all our ports of Europe, Africa, and Asia; but those of America are, and always were, prohibited to all foreign nations, because on the contrary follows the ruin of our commerce; and upon so justifiable a reason all foreign ships have always subjected themselves in these ports to all page 66 cautions that are taken to this end, which is never more necessary to be put in practice than when the same ships oppose them, because then they become more suspicious.

Rio Janeiro, 18 November, 1768.

Conde de Azambuja.

Attested copy. (Signed)

James Cook.

* Bahia—now generally known as San Salvador—was, until 1763, the capital of Brazil. Cook surmised that the English vessel referred to must have been a private trading vessel. See his memorial of 19th November, 1768, post, p. 67. In a subsequent memorial, post, pp. 68, 69, the Viceroy admitted that it was one of the East India Company's vessels. Captain Wallis was off the eastern coast of South America with the Dolphin and Swallow in 1766, but did not land on the Brazilian coast.

This passage has reference to the visit of inspection described in Hawkesworth (vol. ii, p. 19) as follows:—“We came immediately to an anchor, and almost at the same time a ten-oared boat, full of soldiers, came up, and kept rowing round the ship without exchanging a word. In less than a quarter of an hour another boat came on board with several of the Viceroy's officers, who asked—whence we came; what was our cargo; the number of men and guns on board; the object of our voyage; and several other questions, which we directly and truly answered.” These are the “many and very particular questions” referred to by Cook in his letter to Stephens. Ante, p. 57.