Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation, by Richard Hakluyt

A letter of the king of England Henry the eight, to Iohn king of Portugale, for a Portingale ship with the goods of Iohn Gresham and Wil. Locke with others, vnladen in Portugale from Chio.

Serenissimo Principi, domino Ioanni Dei gratia Regi Portugalliæ, et Algarbiorum citra et vltra mare in Africa, ac domino Guineæ, et conquistæ, nauigationis, et commercij Æthiopiæ, Arabiæ, Persiæ, atque Indiæ, etc. Fratri, et amico nostro charissimo.

Henricus Dei gratia, Rex Angliæ, et Franciæ, fidei defensor, ac dominus Hiberniæ, Serenissimo Principi; domino Ioanni eadem gratia Regi Portugalliæ et Algarbiorum citra et vltra mare in Africa, ac domino Guineæ, et conquistæ nauigationis, et commercij Æthiopiæ, Arabiæ, Persiæ, atque Indiæ etc. Fratri, et amico nostro charissimo, salutem. Tanto libentius, promptiusque iustas omnes causas vestræ Serenitati commendandas suscipimus, quanto apertiori indiès nostrorum, qui in eiusdem vestræ Serenitatis regno ac ditione negotiantur, subditorum testimonio cognoscimus, ipsam ex optimi principis officio ita accuratè, exactéque ius suum cuíque præbere, vt ad eam nemo iustitiæ consequendæ gratia frustra vnquam confugiat. Cùm itaque dilectus ac fidelis subditus noster Ioannes Gresham mercator Londoniensis nuper nobis humiliter exposuerit, quod quidam Willielmus Heith ipsius Factor, et negotiorum gestor nauim quondam Portugallensem, cui nomen erat Sancto Antonio, præerátque Diego Peres Portugallensis superioribus mensibus in Candia conduxerit, cum nauísque præfecto conuenerit, vt in insulam Chium ad quasdam diuersi generis merces onerandas primò nauigaret, in Candiámque mox aliarum mercium onerandarum gratia rediret, omnes quidem in hoc nostrum regnum postmodùm aduecturus ad valorem circiter duodecim millium ducatorum, quemadmodum ex pactionis, conuentionisque instrumento apertiùs constat, accidit, vt præfatus Diego vestræ Serenitatus subditus, dictis susceptis mercibus, et iam in itinere parùm fidelitèr, et longè præter initas conuentiones, grauissimo certe nostrorum subditorum detrimento, vbi in Portugalliæ portum diuertisset, sententiæ huc nauigandi mutata, in eodem portu commoretur, nostrorúmque etiam subditorum merces detineat: quam iniuriam (quum subditis nostris in vestræ Serenitatis regno, et ab eius subdito illata sit) ex æquitate, ac iustitia ab ipsa corrigi, emendaríque confidimus, nostro quoque potissimùm intuitu, qui vestræ Serenitatis ipsiúsque subditorum causas, mercésque, si quando in hoc nostrum regnum appulerint, semper commendatissimas habemus, id quod superiori anno testati sumus: proinde ipsam vehementer rogamus, vt Ioannem Ratliffe præsentium latorem, et dicti Ioannis Gresham nouum constitutum procuratorem, huius rei causa istuc venientem, velit in suis agendis, in dictísque bonis recuperandis, impunéque asportandis remittendísque vectigalibus (quod nos in vestros subditos fecimus) quum per nauis præfectum fraude, ac dolo istuc merces fuerint aduectæ, nisi istic vendantur, ac toto denique ex æquitate conficiendo negotio, sic commendatum suscipere, sicque ad suos, quos opus fore intellexerit magistratus missis literis rem omnem iuuare, et expedire, vi perspiciamus ex hac nostra commendatione fuisse nostrorum subditorum iuri, et indemnitati quàm maximè consultum. Quod nobis gratissimum est futurum, et in re consimili, aut grauiori vestra Serenitas nos sibi gratificandi cupidissimos experietur, quæ foeliciter valeat. Ex Regia nostra de Waltham, Die 15. Octobr. 1531.

The same in English.

To the high and mighty prince, Iohn by the grace of God, king of Portugale, and of Algarue on this side and beyond the sea in Africa, lord of Ghinea, and of the conquest, nauigation, and traffique of Æthiopia, Arabia, Persia, India, &c. our most deere and welbeloued brother.

Henry by the grace of God, king of England and of France, defender of the faith, and lord of Ireland; to Iohn by the same grace, king of Portugale and Algarue, on this side and beyond the sea in Africa, and lord of Ghinea, and of the conquest, nauigation, and traffique of Æthiopia, Arabia, Persia, India, &c. our most deare and welbeloued brother, sendeth greeting. So much the more willingly and readily we vndertake the recommending of all iust causes vnto your highnesse, because by the daily testimonie of our subiects which traffike in your kingdoms and dominions, we are informed, that according to the dutie of a most worthy prince, so carefully and exactly you minister iustice vnto euery man, that all men most willingly repaire vnto your highnesse, with full trust to obtaine the same. Whereas therefore our welbeloued and trustie subiect Iohn Gresham merchant of London, of late in humble maner hath signified vnto vs, that one William Heith his Factor and Agent, certaine moneths agoe had hired in Candie a certaine Portugale ship called Santo Antonio, (the patrone whereof is Diego Perez) and couenanted with the patrone of the sayd ship, that he should first saile to the Isle of Sio, to take in merchandize of sundry sortes, and then eftsoones returne to Candie, to be fraighted with other goods, all which he was to bring into our kingdome of England, to the value of 12000 ducats, as by their billes of couenant and agreement more plainly appeareth: it so fel out, that the aforesaid Diego your highnes subiect hauing receiued the said goods, very trecherously and much contrary to his couenant, to the exceeding great losse of our subiects, putting in by the way into an hauen of Portugale, and altering his purpose of comming into England, he remaineth still in that hauen, and likewise detaineth our subiects goods. Which iniury (seeing it is done in your Highnes kingdome) we hope your Highnes will see reformed according to equity and right, the rather at our request, which alwayes haue had a speciall care of the causes and goods of your Highnes, and of your subiects whensoeuer they come into our kingdome, whereof we made proofe the last yeere. Wherefore wee instantly request your Highnes, that you would so receiue Iohn Ratcliffe the bearer of these present letters, and the new appointed agent of Iohn Gresham, which commeth into your dominions about this busines, being thus commended vnto you in this busines, and recouering and freely bringing home of the said goods, and in remitting of the customs, vnlesse they were sold there (the like whereof we did towards your subiects) seeing by the fraud and deceit of the patron of the ship, the wares were brought thither, and finally in dispatching the whole matter, according to iustice, and so further the same by directing your highnes letters to your officers whom it may concerne, that we may perceiue, that our subiects right and liberty hath especially bene maintained vpon this our commendation. Which we will take in most thankful part, and your highnes shal find vs in the like or a greater matter most readie to gratifie you, whom we wish most heartily well to fare. From our court at Waltham the 15. of October 1531.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/h/hakluyt/voyages/v05/chapter38.html

Last updated Monday, March 10, 2014 at 22:44