The principal navigations, voyages, traffiques, and discoveries of the English nation, by Richard Hakluyt

The letters patents, granted by the Queenes Maiestie to M. Walter Ralegh now Knight, for the discovering and planting of new lands and Countries, to continue the space of 6. yeeres and no more.

Elizabeth by the grace of God of England, France and Ireland Queene, defender of the faith, &c. To all people to whom these presents shal come, greeting. Know ye that of our especial grace, certaine science, and meere motion, we haue giuen and graunted, and by these presents for vs, our heires and successors doe graunt to our trusty and welbeloued seruant Walter Ralegh Esquire, and to his heires and assignes for euer, free liberty and licence from time to time, and at all times for euer hereafter, to discouer, search, finde out, and view such remote, heathen and barbarous lands, countreis, and territories, not actually possessed of any Christian prince, nor inhabited by Christian people, as to him, his heires and assignes, and to euery or any of them shall seeme good, and the same to haue, holde, occupy and enioy to him, his heires and assignes for euer, with all prerogatiues, commodities, iurisdictions, royalties, priuiledges, franchises and preeminences, thereto or thereabouts both by sea and land, whatsoeuer we by our letters patents may grant, and as we or any of our noble progenitors haue heretofore granted to any person or persons, bodies politique or corporate: and the saide Walter Ralegh, his heires and assignes, and all such as from time to time, by licence of vs, our heires and successors, shal goe or trauaile thither to inhabite or remaine, there to build and fortifie, at the discretion of the said Walter Ralegh, his heires and assignes, the statutes or act or Parliament made against fugitiues, or against such as shall depart, remaine or continue out of our Realme of England without licence, or any other statute, act, law, or any ordinance whatsoeuer to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.

And we do likewise by these presents, of our especiall grace, meere motion, and certaine knowledge, for us, our heires and successors, giue and graunt full authoritie, libertie and power to the said Walter Ralegh, his heires and assignes, and euery of them, that he and they, and euery or any of them, shall and may at all and euery time and times hereafter, haue, take and leade in the sayde voyage, and trauaile thitherward, or to inhabite there with him or them, and euery or any of them, such, and so many of our subiects as shall willingly accompany him or them, and euery or any of them: and to whom also we doe by these presents, giue full libertie and authoritie in that behalfe, and also to haue, take and employ, and vse sufficient shipping and furniture for the transportations, and Nauigations in that behalfe, so that none of the same persons or any of them be such as hereafter shall be restrained by vs, our heires or successors.

And further that the said Walter Ralegh his heires and assignes, and euery of them, shall haue, holde, occupie and enioy to him, his heires and assignes, and euery of them for euer, all the soyle of all such landes, territories, and Countreis, so to be discouered and possessed as aforesayd, and of all such Cities, Castles, Townes, Villages, and places in the same, with the right, royalties, franchises, and iurisdictions, as well marine as other within the sayd landes, or Countreis, or the seas thereunto adioyning, to be had, or vsed, with full power to dispose thereof, and of euery part in fee simple or otherwise, according to the order of the lawes of England, as neere as the same conueniently may be, at his, and their will and pleasure, to any persons then being, or that shall remaine within the allegiance of vs, our heires and successors: reseruing alwayes to vs, our heires and successors, for all seruices, dueties, and demaunds, the fift part of all the oare of gold and siluer, that from time to time, and at all times after such discouerie, subduing and possessing, shall be there gotten and obteined: All which lands, Countreis, and territories shall for euer be holden of the said Walter Ralegh, his heires and assignes, of vs, our heires and successors, by homage, and by the sayd payment of the said fift part, reserued onely for all seruices.

And moreouer, we do by these presents, for vs, our heires and successors, give and grant licence to the said Walter Ralegh, his heires, and assignes, and euery of them, that he, and they, and euery or any of them, shall and may from time to time, and at all times for euer hereafter, for his and their defence, encounter and expulse, repell and resist aswell by sea as by lande, and by all other wayes whatsoeuer, all and euery such person and persons whatsoeuer, as without the especiall liking and licence of the sayd Walter Ralegh, and of his heires and assignes, shall attempt to inhabite within the sayde Countreys, or any of them, or within the space of two hundreth leagues neere to the place or places within such Countreys as aforesayde (if they shall not bee before planted or inhabited within the limits as aforesayd with the subiects of any Christian Prince being in amitie with vs) where the sayd Walter Ralegh, his heires, or assignes, or any of them, or his, or their, or any of their associats or company, shall within sixe yeeres (next ensuing) make their dwellings or abidings, or that shall enterprise or attempt at any time hereafter vnlawfully to annoy, eyther by Sea or Lande the sayde Walter Ralegh, his heires or assignes, or any of them, or his or their, or any of his or their companies: giuing and graunting by these presents further power and authoritie to the sayd Walter Ralegh, his heires and assignes, and every of them from time to time, and at all times for euer hereafter, to take and surprise by all maner of meanes whatsoeuer, all and euery those person or persons, with their Shippes, Vessels, and other goods and furniture, which without the licence of the sayde Walter Ralegh, or his heires, or assignes, as aforesayd, shalbe found traffiquing into any Harbour, or Harbours, Creeke, or Creekes, within the limits aforesayd, (the subiects of our Realmes and Dominions, and all other persons in amitie with vs, trading to the Newfound lands for fishing as heretofore they haue commonly vsed, or being driuen by force of a tempest, or shipwracke onely excepted:) and those persons, and every of them, with their shippes, vessels, goods, and furniture to deteine and possess as of good and lawfull prize, according to the discretion of him the sayd Walter Ralegh, his heires, and assignes, and euery, or any of them. And for vniting in more perfect league and amitie, of such Countryes, landes, and territories, so to be possessed and inhabited as aforesayd with our Realmes of England and Ireland, and the better incouragement of men to these enterprises: we doe by these presents, graunt and declare that all such Countries, so hereafter to be possessed and inhabited as is aforesayd, from thencefoorth shall be of the allegiance of vs, our heires and successors. Free Denization graunted. And wee doe graunt to the sayd Walter Ralegh, his heires and assignes, and to all, and euery of them, and to all, and euery other person and persons, being of our allegiance, whose names shall be noted or entred in some of our Courts of recorde within our Realme of England, that with the assent of the sayd Walter Ralegh, his heires or assignes, shall in his iourneis for discouerie, or in the iourneis for conquest hereafter travaile to such lands, countreis, and territories, as aforesayd, and to their, and to euery of their heires, that they, and euery or any of them, being eyther borne within our sayde Realmes of England or Irelande, or in any other place within our allegiance, and which hereafter shall be inhabiting within any the Lands, Countryes, or Territories, with such licence, (as aforesayd) shall and may haue all the priuiledge of Denizens, and persons natiue of England, and within our allegiance in such like ample maner and forme, as if they were borne and personally resident within our said Realme of England, any law, custome, or vsage to the contrary notwithstanding.

And forasmuch as vpon the finding out, discouering, or inhabiting of such remote lands, countries, and territories as aforesaid, it shalbe necessary for the safety of all men, that shall aduenture themselues in those iourneyes or voyages, to determine to liue together in Christian peace, and ciuill quietnesse eche with other, whereby euery one may with more pleasure and profit enioy that whereunto they shall atteine with great paine and perill, wee for vs, our heires and successors, are likewise pleased and contented, and by these presents doe giue and grant to the said Walter Ralegh, his heires and assigns for euer, that he and they, and euery or any of them, shall and may from time to time for euer hereafter, within the said mentioned remote lands and countries, in the way by the seas thither, and from thence, haue full and meere power and authoritie to correct, punish, pardon, gouerne, and rule by their and euery or any of their good discretions and policies, as well in causes capitall, or criminall, as ciuill, both marine and other, all such our subiects, as shal from time to time aduenture themselues in the said iourneis or voyages, or that shall at any time hereafter inhabite any such lands, countreis, or territories as aforesayd, or that shall abide within 200. leagues of any of the sayde place or places, where the sayde Walter Ralegh, his heires or assignes, or any of them, or any of his or their associats or companies, shall inhabite within 6. yeeres next ensuing the date hereof, according to such statutes, lawes and ordinances as shall be by him the sayd Walter Ralegh, his heires and assignes, and euery or any of them deuised, or established, for the better gouernment of the said people as aforesaid. So alwayes as the said statutes, lawes, and ordinances may be, as nere as conueniently may bee, agreeable to the forme of the lawes, statutes, gouernment, or pollicie of England, and also so as they be not against the true Christian faith, nowe professed in the Church of England, nor in any wise to withdrawe any of the subiects or people of those lands or places from the alleagance of vs, our heires and successors, as their immediate Soueraign vnder God.

And further, we doe by these presents for vs, our heires and successors, giue and grant ful power and authoritie to our welbeloued Counsailour Sir William Cecill knight, Lord Burghley, our high Treasourer of England, and to the Lorde Treasourer of England, for vs, our heires and successors for the time being, and to the priuie Counsaile of vs, our heires and successors, or any foure or more of them for the time being, that he, they, or any foure or more of them, shall and may from time to time and at all times hereafter, vnder his or their handes or Seales by vertue of these presents, authorise and licence the sayd Walter Ralegh, his heires and assignes, and euery or any of them by him and by themselues, or by their, or any of their sufficient Atturneis, Deputies, Officers, Ministers, Factors, and seruants, to imbarke and transport out of our Realme of England and Ireland, and the Dominions thereof, all or any of his or their goods, and all or any the goods of his and their associats and companies, and euery or any of them, with such other necessaries and commodities, of any our Realmes, as to the sayde Lorde Treasurer, or foure or more of the priuie Counsaile, of vs our heires and successors for the time being (as aforesaid) shalbe from time to time by his or their wisedomes, or discretions thought meete and conuenient, for the better reliefe and supportation of him the sayde Walter Ralegh, his heires, and assignes, and euery or any of them, and of his or their or any of their associats and companies, any act, statute, law, or any thing to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.

Prouided alwayes, and our will and pleasure is, and wee do hereby declare to all Christian kings, princes, and states, that if the sayde Walter Ralegh, his heires or assignes, or any of them, or any other by their licence or appointment, shall at any time or times hereafter robbe or spoile by sea or by land, or doe any act of vniust or vnlawfull hostilitie, to any of the subiects of vs, our heires or successors, or to any of the subiects of any the kings, princes, rulers, Gouernors, or estates, being then in perfect league and amitie with vs, our heires and successors, and that vpon such iniurie, or vpon iust complaint of any such Prince, Ruler, Gouernour or estate, or their subjects, wee, our heirs and successors, shall make open Proclamation within any the portes of our Realme of England, that the saide Walter Ralegh, his heires and assignes, and adherents, or any to whom these our Letters patents may extende, shall within the terms to bee limited, by such Proclamation, make full restitution, and satisfaction of all such iniuries done: so as both we and the said Princes, or other so complaining, may hold vs and themselues fully contented: And that if the said Walter Ralegh, his heires and assignes, shall not make or cause to be made satisfaction accordingly within such time so to be limitted, that then it shal be lawful to vs, our heires and successors, to put the sayde Walter Ralegh, his heires and assignes, and adherents, and all the inhabitants of the saide places to be discoured (as is aforesaid) or any of them out of our allegeance and protection, and that from and after such time of putting out of protection of the sayde Walter Ralegh, his heires, assignes, and adherents, and others so to be put out, and the said places within their habitation, possession and rule, shall be out of our allegeance and protection, and free for all Princes and others to pursue with hostilitie, as being not our subiects, nor by vs any way to be auouched, maintained, or defended, nor to be holden as any of ours, nor to our protection, or dominion, or allegeance any way belonging: for that expresse mention of the cleere yeerely value of the certaintie of the premisses, or any part thereof, or of any other gift, or grant by vs, or any our progenitors, or predecessors to the said Walter Ralegh, before this time made in these presents bee not expressed, or any other grant, ordinance, provision, proclamation or restraint, to the contrary thereof, before the time, giuen, ordained, or prouided, or any other thing, cause, or matter whatsoeuer, in any wise notwithstanding. In witnesse whereof, wee haue caused these our letters to be made Patents. Anno 1584. Witnesse our selues, at Westminster, the fiue and twentie day of March, in the sixe and twentith yeere of our Raigns.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/h/hakluyt/voyages/v13/chapter23.html

Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 19:52