Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 32.djvu/44

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Lancaster
Lancaster
38

till 9 Sept., by which time the three other ships had suffered so terribly from scurvy, having buried 105 out of 278 men, that they were not able to come to anchor till the Dragon sent men on board to their assistance. ‘And the reason why the general's men stood better in health that the men of other ships was this: he brought to sea with him certain bottles of the juice of lemons, which he gave to each one as long as it would last, three spoonfuls every morning’ (Markham, p. 62). The virtue of this specific was afterwards wholly forgotten, and seamen were allowed to go on suffering and dying wholesale for nearly two hundred years.

On 29 Oct. they sailed from Table Bay; doubled the Cape of Good Hope on 1 Nov.; on 17 Dec. touched at St. Mary's Island, where they obtained some oranges and lemons; but finding the anchorage unsafe, went on to Antongil Bay, where they anchored on Christmas day 1601. They stayed there recruiting their health and refitting their ships till 6 March; on 9 April they touched at the Nicobar islands, where they watered and refitted; and on 5 June 1602 anchored at Acheen. Here Lancaster found that ‘the queen of England was very famous in those parts, by reason of the wars and great victories which she had gotten against the king of Spain;’ and as the bearer of a letter from her, and as the known enemy of Portugal, of whose encroachments in the east the king of Acheen was jealous, he was most honourably received and was readily granted permission to trade. When in September Lancaster put to sea to cruise in the straits of Malacca in quest of passing Portuguese, the king willingly undertook to prevent any warning being sent from Acheen. The English had thus the opportunity, on 4 Oct., of capturing a ship of 900 tons, richly laden.

On 24 Oct. he again anchored at Acheen; again met with a most friendly reception from the king, to whom he made liberal presents; and with a most favourable letter from the king to the queen of England, he put to sea on 9 Nov. The Susan had been sent to Priaman for a cargo of pepper; the Ascension had filled up with pepper and cinnamon at Acheen, and was now ordered to make the best of her way to England. Lancaster, in the Dragon, with the Hector, went to Bantam, where also he had a very friendly reception. A free and lucrative trade was opened, as the result of which both ships were fully laden with pepper by the middle of February; and after establishing a factory at Bantam, and sending some of the merchants to establish another at the Moluccas, Lancaster, with the two ships, sailed on 20 Feb., and after a dangerous voyage arrived in the Downs on 11 Sept. 1603.

On his return to London Lancaster was knighted in October 1603. Being now a wealthy man, he settled down on shore, and as a director assisted in organising the young company. It was under his direction that all the early voyages to both the east and north-west were undertaken; and William Baffin [q. v.] assigned Lancaster's name to one of the principal portals of the unknown north-west region.

Lancaster died, probably in May, in 1618; his will, in Somerset House, dated 18 April, was proved 9 June. From it, it appears that he had no children, and that, if married, his wife had predeceased him; none is mentioned in the will. A brother, Peter, is named; several children of a brother John; the daughters of a brother-in-law, Hopgood; and many cousins. Small legacies were left to these, but the bulk of his property was bequeathed to various charities, especially in connection with the Skinners' Company, or to Mistress Thomasyne Owfeild, widow, for distribution among the poor at her discretion.

[Hakluyt's Principal Navigations, vol. ii. pt. ii. p. 102, iii. 708; Purchas his Pilgrimes, vol. i. pt. ii. p. 147. These are reprinted in the Voyages of Sir James Lancaster, edited for the Hakluyt Society by Mr. Clements R. Markham; see also the Cal. of State Papers, East Indies.]

J. K. L.

LANCASTER, JOHN (d. 1619), bishop of Waterford and Lismore, possibly a member of the Somerset family of Lancaster, was chaplain to James I. In June 1607 he went over to Ireland with a letter from the king to the lord deputy giving Lancaster the bishopric of Ossory should it be vacant (Cal. State Papers, Dom. Irish Ser. 1606–8, p. 197). A later letter gave him any see that should become vacant before Ossory (ib. p. 249). He was consecrated bishop of Waterford and Lismore in 1608. In consequence of the small revenues of the bishopric, he had license in 1610 to hold no less than twelve prebends in commendam, as well as the treasurership of Lismore. He was considered to be well inclined to the Romanists, and gave offence to the citizens in June 1609, because he would not allow the mayor to hold up his sword in the cathedral precincts (ib. 1608–10, p. 214). In July 1611 he was reported to the Archbishop of Canterbury as being ‘of no credit’ in his diocese (ib. 1611–1614, p. 81). In 1618 he received a thousand acres in the Wexford plantation (ib.