User:Rich Farmbrough/DNB/J/o/John Jourdain

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{{subst:Quick infobox|John Jourdain||1619|}} John Jourdain (died 1619), captain in the service of the East India Company, and president of the council of India, was appointed by the court to go out to India as one of their factora, 7 December 1607, and sailed in the Ascension on 25 March 1608. After touching at the Cape of Good Hope, and visiting Aden, Moche, and the island of Socotra, the Ascension sailed, towards the end of August 1609, for Surat, and on 3 September was lost on a shoal in the gulf of Cambay. The crew reached Gandavee in the boats, and marched thence to Surat. A few days later most of them set out for Agra, but Jourdain remained at Surat, pushing the company's trade and conciliating the Indian officials. In January 1610-11 he joined Captain Hawkins (d. 1613; see Hawkins, Wilkins, fl. 1595) at Agra, and after six months' stay (here he returned to Surat. In February 1611-12 he sailed for the Red Sea in the Trade's Increase. From Mocha he went to Sumatra, and on to Tecoa and Bantam, where he was appointed to remain as chief factor, or 'president of the English', his work being not only to regulate the business of the company, but—which was more troublesome—to adjust the quarrels of his subordinates. The Dutch, too, were insolent and aggressive, and threatened to become more dangerous enemies than the Portuguese, with whom there had always been war. Jourdain had intended to go home in the end of 1615, but the death of Captain Nicholas Downton delayed his return for a year. He arrival in England in the early summer of 1617, and in November entered into another agreement with the company for five years. By the end of 1618 he was at Jacaira, to which the factory had been moved from Bantam, and was busy directing operations against the Dutch, with whom active hostilities had broken out. He was now 'president of the council of India', and in that capacity refused to admit the authority claimed by Sir Thomas Dale as commander-in-chief. Dale's command, he insisted, was limited to the fleet he came out with, unless other ships were placed under his orders by the president and council. The disputed seems to have been amicably settled. Dale was apparently already affected by the sickness which carried him off a few months later; and Jordain, going in the Sampson, with the Hound in company, to arrange the affairs at Patani was there surprised by a Dutch squadron of three or four ships. Both the Sampson and Hound were captured after a sharp fight, in which Jourdain was slain, 17 July 1619.

In the course of his correspondence the company, mention is made of his cousins Ignatius and John Jourdain, merchants in Exeter [see under Jourdain, Silvester], and of his 'poor blind brother'. Another John Jourdain, a nephew, was serving under him in the Indies, and was perhaps the John Jourdain or Jordan who incorporated at Cambridge in 1624 (cf. Notes and Queries, 5th ser. vi. 277). His sister, Susan Viney, was left sole executrix; and on her death, apparently in 1623, her son, Jonas Viney, still a minor, claimed to be executor. The claim was admitted by the company, with the proviso that he must wait for a settlement till he came of age; but on 24 December 1624 Jourdain's widow was petitioning for her husband's wages to be detained as against Jonas Viney. The conclusion of the dispute is not recorded. [DNB 1][DNB 2][DNB 3][DNB 4][DNB 5][1]


  1.  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain

    J. K. L.

    (1892). "Jourdain, John (DNB00)". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography 30. London: Smith, Elder & Co. p. 0.

DNB references[edit]

These references are found in the DNB article referred to above.

  1. Calenders of State Papers (East Indies)
  2. a journal kept by Joardin during his first residance in the Indies (1698-17). in British Museum Sloane manuscript 868
  3. other accounts of the voyages wreck of the Ascension and proceedings of the crew, in Purchas his Pilgrimes, i. 228
  4. Harl. Coll. of Voyages, ii. 241 (often cited as Churchill's Coll. volume viii.)
  5. and Markham's Voyages of Sir James Lancaster (Hakluyt Society)

External links[edit]


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