Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Shilling, Andrew

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SHILLING, ANDREW (d. 1621), commander in the East India Company, was originally a petty officer in the royal navy. From this position he gradually raised himself to the higher ranks of the service, and on 30 May 1603 he became for life one of the six chief masters of the navy (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1603–10, p. 11). In 1617 he obtained leave from the admiralty to take part in the fifth expedition undertaken by the East India Company, and he sailed from Gravesend on 4 Feb. as master of the Gift, one of a squadron of five, under the command of Martin Pring. On the voyage out he captured a Portuguese vessel from Mozambique laden with a cargo of elephants' teeth (Purchas his Pilgrimes, i. 632). At Surat he was placed in command of the Angel, a vessel formerly belonging to the Dutch, and in it he conveyed home Sir Thomas Roe [q. v.] He arrived in England in the autumn of 1618. The company immediately obtained leave from the Duke of Buckingham to employ him on another voyage. On 25 Feb. 1619 Shilling sailed from Tilbury on board the London as chief commander of a squadron of four vessels. They first proceeded to Surat; thence Shilling despatched two of his fleet—the Hart and the Eagle—to the Persian Gulf, and followed them with his own vessel and the Roebuck. On the way he captured a Portuguese ship laden with a cargo of horses, and soon after met his other vessels returning, who reported the Portuguese to be very strong. Shilling, however, resolved to attack them, and on 19 Dec. 1620 engaged them near Jask on the coast of Persia. The first conflict was unfavourable to the English; but on Christmas day the battle was renewed, and, though, owing to a calm, the London and the Hart were alone able to come into action, they completely defeated the Portuguese and compelled them to fly. Shilling, however, was mortally wounded, and died seven days later on 1 Jan. 1621.

[Cal. State Papers, Colonial, passim; Relation of that Worthy Seafight in the Persian Gulph, with the Death of Captain Andrew Shilling, London, 1622, 4to (Brit. Mus.); Hist. MSS. Comm. 4th Rep. App. p. 306.]

E. I. C.