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

The answere of her Maiestie to the aforesaid Letters of the Great Turke, sent the 15 of October 1579, in the Prudence of London by Master Richard Stanley.

Elizabetha Dei ter maximi, et vnici coeli terræque Conditoris gratia, Angliæ, Franciæ et Hiberniæ regina, fidei Christianæ contra omnes omnium inter Christianos degentium, et Christi nomen falsò profitentium Idololatrias inuictissima et potentissima Defensatrix, augustissimo, inuictissimóque principi Sultan Murad Can, Turcici regni dominatori potentissimo, Imperíjque orientis, Monarchæ supra omnes soli et supremo, salutem, et multos cum rerum optimarum affluentia foelices, et fortunatos annos. Augustissime et inuictissime Cæesar, accepimus inuicttissimæ Cæsareæ vestræ celsitudinis literas, die decimoquinto Martij currentis anni ad nos scriptas Constantinopoli, ex quibus intelligimus quàm benignè quámque clementer, literæ supplices quæ Cæsareæ vestræ celsitudini a quodam subdito nostro Guilielmo Hareborno in Imperiali Celsitudinis vestræ ciuitate Constantinopoli commorante offerebantur, literæ profectionis pro se et socijs eius duobus hominibus mercatoribus subditis nostris cum mercibus suis ad terras ditionésque Imperio vestro subiectas iam per mare quàm per terras, indéque reuersionis veniæ potestatísque humillimam complexæ petitionem, ab inuictissima vestra Cæsarea celsitudine, acceptæ fuerunt. Neque id solùm, sed quàm mira cum facilitate, dignáque augustissima Cæsarea cleméntia, quod erat in dictis literis supplicibus positum, ei socíjsque suis donatum et concessum fuit, pro ea, vti videtur, solùm opinione, quam de nobis, et nostra amicitia vestra celsitudo concepit. Quod singulare beneficium in dictos subditos nostros collatum tam gratè tamque beneuolè accepimus (maximas celsitudini vestræ propterea et agentes, et habentes gratias) nullo vt vnquam patiemur tempore, pro facultatum nostrarum ratione, proque ea quam nobis inseuit ter maximus mundi monarcha Deus (per quem et cuius auspicijs regnamus) naturæ bonitate, qua remotissimas nos esse voluit, et abhorrentes ab ingratitudinis omni vel minima suspitione, docuitque nullorum vnquam vt principum, vllis in nos meritis nos sineremus vinci, aut superari, vt apud ingratam principem tantum beneficium deposuisse, se vestra Celsitudo existimet. Proptereaque animum nostrum inpræsentiarum vestræ celsitudini emetimur, benè sentiendo et prædicando, quantopere nos obstrictas beneficij huius in subditos nostros collati putemus memoriâ sempiternâ: longè vberiorem, et ampliorem gratitudinis erga vestram celsitudinem nostræ testificationem daturæ, cum tempora incident, vt possimus et à nobis desiderabitur. Quoniam autem quæ nostris paucis subditis, eáque suis ipsorum precibus, sine vlla intercessione nostra concessa donatio est, in æquè libera potestate sita est ad omnes terras ditionesque Imperio vestro subiectas, com mercibus suis tam per mare quàm per terras eundi et redeundi, atque inuictissimæ Cæsareæ vestræ celsitudinis confoederatis, Gallis, Polonis, Venetis, atque adeo regis Romanorum subditis largita vnquam aut donata fuit, celsitudinem vestram rogamus ne tam singularis beneficentiæ laus in tam angustis terminis duorum aut trium hominum concludatur, sed ad vniuersos subditos nostrus diffusa, propagatáque, celsitudinis vestræ beneficium eò reddat augustius, quò eiusdem donatio latiùs patebit, et ad plures pertinebit. Cuius tam singularis in nos beneficij meritum, eò erit celsitudini vestræ minùs poenitendum, quò sunt merces illæ, quibus regna nostra abundant, et aliorum principum ditiones egent, tam humanis vsibus comodæ támque necessariæ, nulla gens vt sit, quæ eis carere queat, proptereáque longissimis, difficillimísque itineribus conquisitis non vehementer gaudeat. Cariùs autem distrabunt alijs, quo ex labore suo quisque victum et quæstum quæritat, adeo vt in earum acquisitione vtilitas, in emptione autem ab alijs onus sit. Vtilitas celsitudinis vestræ subditis augebitur liberâ hac paucorum nostrorum hominum ad terras vestras perfectione: onus minuctur, profectionis, quorumcúnque subditorum nostrorum donatione. Accedet præterea quæ à nobis in celsitudinis vestræ subditos proficiscetur, par, æquáque mercium exercendarum libertas, quoties et quando voluerint ad regna dominiáque nostra mercaturæ gratia accedere. Quam celsitudini vestræ pollicemur tam amplam latéque patentem fore, quàm est vlla à confoederatorum vestrorum vllis principibus antedictis, regibus videlicet Romanorum, Gallorum, Polonorum, ac republica Veneta, celsitudinis vestræ subditis vllo vnquam tempore concessa et donata. Qua in re si honestæ petitioni nostræ inuictissima Caæsarea vestra celsitudo dignabitur auscultate, faciétque vt acceptis nostris literis intelligamus gratum nè habitura sit quod ab ea contendibus et rogamus, ea proposita præstitáque securitate, quæ subditos nostros quoscúnque ad dominia sua, terra, maríque proficiscentes, indéque reuerentes tutos et secures reddat ab omni quorumcúnque subditorum suorum iniuria, efficiemus, vt quæ Deus opt. max. in regna dominiáque nostra contulit commoda (quæ tam singularia sunt, omnium vt principum animos pelliceant ad amicitiam, summæque necessitudinis coniunctionem nobiscum contrahendam, stabiliendámque quo liberius tantis summi Dei beneficijs fruantur, quibus carere nequeunt) nostri subditi ad regna dominiáque Celsitudinis vestræ aduehunt tam affluenter támque cumulate, vt vtríque incommodo prædicto necessitatis et oneris plenissimè succurratur. Facit prætereà singularis ista Celsitudinis vestræ in nos Gentémque nostram summæ beneuolentiæ significatio ac fides, vt eandem, in causam quorumdam subditorum nostrorum, qui captiui triremibus vestris detinentur, interpellemus, rogemúsque, vt quoniam nullo in celsitudinem vestram peccato suo, siuè arma in eam ferendo, siuè iniquiùs præter fas et ius gentium se gerendo in suos subditos, in hanc calamitatem inciderint, soluti vinculis, et libertate donati, nobis pro sua fide et obsequio inseruientes, causam vberiorem præbeant vestræ Celsitudinis in nos humanitatem prædicandi: et Deum illum, qui solus, et supra omnia et omnes est acerrimus idololatriæ vindicator, suíque honoris contra Gentium et aliorum falsos Deos Zelotes, præcabimur, vt vestram inuictissimam Cæsaream Celsitudinem omni beatitate eorum donorum fortunet, quæ sola et summè iure merito habentur desideratissima.

Datæ è Regia nostra Grenouici, prope ciuitatem nostram Londinum, quintodecimo Mensis Octobris, Anno Iesu Christi Saluatoris nostri 1579, Regni verò nostri vicessimo primo.

The same in English.

Elizabeth by the grace of the most mightie God, and onely Creatour of heauen and earth, of England, France and Ireland Queene, the most inuincible and most mighty defender of the Christian faith against all kinde of idolatries, of all that liue among the Christians, and fully professe the Name of Christ, vnto the most Imperiall and most inuincible prince, Zaldan Murad Can, the most mightie ruler of the kingdome of Turkie, sole and aboue all, and most souereigne Monarch of the East Empire, greeting, and many happy and fortunate yeeres, with abundance of the best things.

Most Imperiall and most inuincible Emperour, wee haue receiued the letters of your mightie highnesse written to vs from Constantinople the fifteenth day of March this present yere, whereby we vnderstand how gratiously, and how fauourably the humble petitions of one William Hareborne a subiect of ours, resident in the Imperiall citie of your highnes presented vnto your Maiestie for the obteining of accesse for him and two other Marchants more of his company our subiects also, to come with marchandizes both by sea and land, to the countries and territories subiect to your gouernment, and from thence againe to returne home with good leaue and libertie, were accepted of your most inuincible Imperiall highnesse, and not that onely, but with an extraordinarie speed and worthy your Imperiall grace, that which was craued by petition was granted to him, and his company in regard onely (as it seemeth) of the opinion which your highnesse conceiued of vs and our amitie: which singular benefit done to our aforesaid subiects, wee take so thankefully, and so good part (yeelding for the same our greatest thanks to your highnesse) that we will neuer giue occasion to your said highnesse (according as time, and the respect of our affaires will permit) once to thinke so great a pleasure bestowed vpon an vngratefull Prince. For the Almighty God, by whom, and by whose grace we reigne, hath planted in vs this goodnesse of nature, that wee detest and abhorre the least suspition of ingratitude, and hath taught vs not to suffer our selues to bee ouermatched with the good demerits of other Princes. And therefore at this time wee doe extende our good minde vnto your highnesse, by well concerning, and publishing also abroad, how much we repute our selfe bound in an euerlasting remembrance for this good pleasure to our Subiects, meaning to yeelde a much more large and plentifull testification of our thankefulnesse, when time conuenient shall fall out, and the same shall bee looked for at our handes.

But whereas that graunt which was giuen to a fewe of our Subiects, at their onely request without any intercession of ours, standeth in as free a libertie of comming and going to and from all the lands and kingdoms subiect to your Maiestie, both by land and sea with marchandizes, as euer was granted to any of your Imperiall highnesse confederates, as namely to the French, the Polonians, the Venetians, as also to the subiects of the king of the Romanes, wee desire of your highnesse that the commendation of such singular courtesie may not bee so narrowly restrained to two or three men onely, but may be inlarged to all our subiects in generall, that thereby your highnesse goodnesse may appeare the more notable, by reason of the graunting of the same to a greater number of persons. The bestowing of which so singular a benefit your highnesse shall so much the lesse repent you of, by howe much the more fit and necessary for the vse of man those commodities are, wherewith our kingdomes doe abound, and the kingdomes of other princes doe want, so that there is no nation that can be without them, but are glad to come by them, although by very long and difficult trauels: and when they haue them, they sell them much deerer to others, because euery man seeketh to make profite by his labour: so that in the getting of them there is profit, but in the buying of them from others there is losse. But this profite will be increased to the subiects of your highnesse by this free accesse of a few of our subiects to your dominions, as also the losse and burden wilbe eased, by the permission of generall accesse to all our people. And furthermore we will graunt as equall and as free a libertie to the subiects of your highnesse with vs for the vse of traffique, when they wil and as often as they wil, to come, and go to and from vs and our kingdomes. Which libertie wee promise to your highnesse shalbe as ample, and as large as any was euer giuen or granted to your subiects by the aforesaide princes your confederate, as namely the king of the Romanes, of France, of Poland, and the common wealth of Venice. In which matter, if your most inuincible Imperiall highnesse shall vouchsafe to incline to our reasonable request, and shall giue order vpon these our letters, that wee may haue knowledge how the same is accepted of you, and whether it wilbe granted, with sufficient securitie for our subiects to go, and returne safe and secure from all violences and inuiries of your people, we on the other side wil giue order, that those commodities which Almighty God hath bestowed vpon our kingdomes (which are in deed so excellent, that by reason of them all princes are drawen to enter, and confirme leagues of amitie and good neighborhood with vs, by that meanes to enioy these so great blessings of God, which we haue, and they can in no case want) our subiects shall bring them so abundantly and plentifully to the kingdomes and dominions of your highnesse, that both the former inconueniences of necessitie, and losse, shall most sufficiently be taken away.

Moreouer the signification and assurance of your highnesse great affection to vs and our nation, doeth cause vs also to intreat and vse mediation on the behalfe of certain of our subiects, who are deteined as slaues and captiues in your Gallies, for whom we craue, that forasmuch as they are fallen into that misery, not by any offence of theirs, by bearing of armes against your highnesse, or in behauing of themselues contrarie to honestie, and to the law of nations, they may be deliuered from their bondage, and restored to libertie, for their seruice towardes vs, according to their dutie: which thing shall yeeld much more abundant cause to vs of commending your clemencie, and of beseeching that God (who onely is aboue all things, and all men, and is a most seuere reuenger of all idolatrie, and is ielous of his honour against the false gods of the nations) to adorne your most inuincible Imperiall highnesse with all the blessings of those gifts, which onely and deseruedly are accounted most worthy of asking.

Giuen at our palace of Greenwich, neere to our citie of London, the fiue and twentieth day of October, in the yeere of Iesus Christ our Sauiour one thousand, fiue hundreth, seuentie and nine, and of our reigne the one and twentieth.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/h/hakluyt/voyages/v05/chapter50.html

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