159The two envoys sent upon this interesting mission to Ava left Madras on 12th September, 1695, on board the Loyal Captain, of which Armiger Gosling, previously in command of the New Morning Star, had been appointed master. 1 Along with them went a rich present for the King of Burma, and correspondingly smaller ones for all officials, both high and low, with whom they were likely to come into contact. The total value of these presents was listed at 998 pagodas 35 fanams. 2 The real nature of the negotiations will be at once evident, when it is realised that Nathaniel Higginson stood the whole cost of the presents out of his own pocket. Fleetwood and Lesly were sent to procure the release of a private trader, the restoration of the goods of another deceased private trader, and the grant of privileges to be enjoyed primarily by private merchants, or Company’s servants trading in a private capacity. Higginson took up the case partly because he was a private loser by the Burmese seizure of the cargo of Bartholomew’s ship. Moreover, the present that he sent to Ava was of the nature of a private speculation, seeing that he hoped to make a substantial profit out of the present the king would send him in return. Fleetwood, as chief of the embassy, was instructed 160to ask for rice and lac in return for the present. 1 He and Lesly were to be allowed 3 per cent, of the value of such of the goods of Rodrigues and Tilbury as should be restored by the Burmese Government, and 10 per cent., equally divided between them, of the king’s return present to Higginson. “It therefore will be to your Interest to procure as much as you can,” wrote the Governor, “though it cannot be expected, that he should make an equall return, if he delivers the Cargo, which is so considerable, and is, by the Laws of the Country, forfeited to him.” 2