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1663 (a) [to 1664]: Punjab to Gujarat1663 map
Documented causes: drought
Documented effects: migration; epidemic

"The English Factories in India: 1661-1664" (1923)
p358: [Commission from Surat for a roving agent aboard the ship 'Loyal Merchant', 9 Oct 1663] "You are sufficiently acquainted with the great scarcity of raines this yeare, even not sufficient to produce corne, whereupon all things are deare with us; that if you could procure us a quantity of good rice, it would be very acceptable ... or what other corne you can procure, and butter, if to be had reasonable and good. Gunny being scarce and very dear at Surat, a good supply should be purchased, if possible."

p200: [report from the President at Surat to the Company in London, 28 Jan 1664] "Cotton is 80 per cent. Dearer than usuall, and corne at double the rate; here falling very little raine the last yeare, not sufficient to produce corne except in some perticuler places, and there not more then halfe and quarter crops. And yet wee presume … not only to recommend the yarne but the tapseels, broad and narrow, to bee better, both in goodnesse, colours, and condition, then those were wont to bee sent you; and yet, notwithstanding the dearnesse of cotton and dearth of corne etc., they are also considerable cheaper; besides they are full lengths and bredths …"

p320-1: [Editor's summary of letter from the President and Council at Surat to the Company in London, 4 Apr 1664] "As regards indigo, none had been sent by the recent ships, as it was extremely dear and scarce, owing to the failure of the rains, the Lahore variety being at 67 rupees per maund of 37 lb. ('a price never heard of') and the Sarkhej 'answearable'. … Should the rains fail again this year, the result would be to
'utterly dispeople all these parts, it being theire manner to forsake theire habitations and with their families to travail into other countryes where they heare corne is cheape, to preserve them from famishing. There are more then 500 families of weavers that are already fled, and the rest will certainely follow, if the famine should encrease; that wee shalnot dare to entrust them, as accustomary, and without it wee may not expect any goods.' "
"The English Factories in India: 1661-1664" (1923)
p329: [Letter from the President at Surat to the Company in London, 26 Nov 1664] "It hath pleased the Almighty to afflict us in generall throughout the whole family with agues and feavers, that wee can scarce say there is a man in your house hath escaped them, but hath been violently afflicted. Amoungst the rest your President hath very lately escaped death, haveing had the symtoms thereof upon him and given over by all, but it hath pleased God somewhat to recover him; yett still lyes very weake upon his bed, not able to sitt up for a dissinesse in his head and a weakenesse in his body, that hee is constrained to dictate these with some trouble . . . The passed yeare[s] dearth these poeple affirme to bee the cause of the intemperature of the aire, as what alwayes followes a scarcity of raine and corne. All the townes and villages heereabouts are full of sicknesse, scarce a house free; amoungst which, to your prejudice, the weavers have theire share; that what with many thousands of them that are fled the passed yeare, and the remainder now infected, hath been a great hinderance to your investments.
[Footnote: "This is probably the epidemic referred to by L’Escaliot in an undated letter (Bodleian Library : Rawlinson lviii. 10) printed in Wilkin’s edition of the works of Sir Thomas Browne (voi. i. p. 440). He says : 'A yeare since, [out of] 25 of our English heere, not above tow escaped a sicknesse, yet it proved mortall to none; but the Banyans’ burning place was scarce day or night without 2 or 3 bodies frying upon their severall piles, and the Persees made a continuall feast for the vultures.’ "]
B.L. Bhadani, "Economic Conditions in Marwar in the Second Half of the 17th Century" (PhD thesis, 1981)
pp105-6: "in [v.s.] 1720 / 1663, again, there was a failure of rain in the whole of Rajasthan. This year numerous people died in Marwar and the prices of the grain rose very high. [Footnote: "The price of grain is recorded but it is not comparable with other years. Rathora-ri-khyat, no. 5, part I, f.64(b), N.S.S. Sitamau.] The Jain traveller notes that not only prices went up but the grain was just not to be had. Cattle perished in great numbers. In 1664 the rains were normal in Rajasthan but there was a local famine in Sojhat. Not only large numbers migrated, but many were sold away as well. [Source: (except grain price) Jai Chand [aka Shri Jaichand], ed. Muni Kanti Sagar, "Saiki" (1963) p12]

1663 (b) [to 1664]: south-east India
Documented causes: drought
Documented effects: voluntary slavery

VOC, "Dagh-register Behouden Int Casteel Batavia ... Anno 1663" (1891)
p420 (news from the Nagapatnam area, received 3 Sep 1663): "Caingoelongs, comyters, gobaes en tapys synder voor deesen wel geweest, maer 't is 'er nu mede gedaen. De schilders hebben haer selven, mits een hongersnood in deese landstreke, tot slaven verkocht: groot getal isser gestorven en noch meer elders verloopen. In de stadt Trimelepatnam plagt veel soodaenig volck te woonen, maer nu en synder schier geen meer. …"
VOC, "Dagh-register Behouden Int Casteel Batavia … Anno 1664" (1893)
p154 (report received from Coromandel coast, meeting of 12 May 1664): "… Over de Zuyder comptoiren gaet het tamelyk toe. Op Negapatnam is groote droogte geweest. …"

pp189-90 (same meeting, report from Ceylon): "Daer is een groote droogte op Seylon geweset, van hoedanige men in 10 jaren geen geheugenis en heeft, welke hel gesaey seer schadelyk is geweest, zoo dat den oogst nergens na uytgelevert heeft, 't geen verwacht was. In 't district van Colombo is van 3 11 gecomen, tot Gale van 1 8, tot Manaer schier niet met allen."

p199 (meeting of 15 May 1664): "De eysschen voor de respective quartieren, Japan, Malacca, Seylon en Cochin werden na vermogen versorgt. Tot de procure van de geéyschte indigo voor 't vaderland en is geen apparentie, ter oorsake van de groote droogte. 't Cattoen voor Seylon en is niet voldaen, mits de dierte."

p330 (report from Ceylon, meeting of 13 Aug 1664): "De continuele droogte, die daer lang geregneert heeft, heeft gemelte beesten vry vermagert en des te minder doen gelden." [other reports indicate that the drought was affecting the whole of southern Asia and Indonesia]

pp555-6 (meeting of 17 Dec 1664, report from the yacht Haen, which reached the Ganges from Ceylon on 19 July): "Het jacht, de Haen, hier voor genoemt, is in 't opzeylen van de Ganges tegens de wal aengeraeckt ende aldaer geborsten; de ongemaniertheyt van 't schip en dwars stroomen zyn daer de oorsaecke van; alle de peper, daer in geweest zynde, is nat geworden, doch daer na weder gedroogt, daer groot onderwicht op vallen sal; maer, hoe veel, en weet men noch niet."

p577 (meeting of 18 Dec 1664): "Om het district van Colombo ende Gale was het met het acker gewas heel qualyck aff geloopen; 't over loopen der rivieren heeft in Gale en Madurees district over al, daer 't vlack was, de velden voor een langen tyt onder water geset. ..."

p597 (meeting of 30 Dec 1664): "De rys is tot Ougly seer goedcoop; den burger, Jan Schouten, heeft 4½ Md. voor een ro., gekocht; maer men vreest, dat het toekomende jaer een dieren tydt sal zyn om de groote droogte, die veel ongedierte in 't landt sal veroorsaecken."
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