Exemplar Epistolæ seu literarum Missiuarum, quas illustrissimus Princeps Eduardus eius nominis Sextus, Angliæ, Franciæ, et Hiberniæ Rex, misit ad Principes Septentrionalem, ac Orientalem mundi plagam inhabitantes iuxta mare glaciale, nec non Indiam Orientalem; Anno Domini 1553 Regni sui anno septimo, et vltimo.
Eduardus sextus, Angliæ, Franciæ, et Hiberniæ Rex, etc. Omnibus Regibus et principibus ac dominis, et cunctis Iudicibus terræ, et ducibus eius, quibuscunque est excellens aliqua dignitas in ea, cunctis in locis quæ sunt sub vniuerso coelo: Pax, tranquillitas, et honor vobis, terris, et regionibus vestris quæ imperio vestro subiacent, cuique vestrum quemadmodum conuenit ei. Proptereà quòd indidit Deus Opt. Max. hominibus præ cunctis alijs viuentibus; cor et desiderium tale, vt appetat quisque cum alijs societatem inire, amare, et vicissim amari, beneficijs afficere, et mutua accipere beneficia studeat, ideò cuique pro facultate sua hoc desiderium in omnibus quidem hominibus beneficijs fouere et conseruare conuenit, in illis autem maximè, qui hoc desiderio adducti, à remotis etiam regionibus ad eos veniunt. Quo enim longius iter eius rei gratia ingressi sunt, eò ardentius in eis hoc desiderium fuisse declararunt. Insuper etiam ad hoc, nos patrum maiorúmque nostrorum exempla inuitant, qui semper humanissimè susceperunt et benignissimè tractauerunt illos, qui tum à locis propinquis, tum à remotis, eos amicè adibant, eorum se protectioni commendantes. Quod si omnibus id præstare æquum est, certè mercatoribus imprimis præstari debet, qui per vniuersum orbem discurrunt, mare circumlustrantes et aridam, vt res bonas et vtiles, quæ Dei beneficio in regione eorum inueniuntur, ad remotissimas regiones et regna adferant, atque inde vicissim referant, quòd suæ regioni vtile ibi repeterint: vt et populi ad quos eunt, non destituantur commodis quæ non profert illis terra eorum, et ipsi sint participes rerum quibus illi abundant. Nam Deus cæli et terræ, humano generi maximè consulens, noluit vt omnia in quauis regione inuenirentur, quò regio ope alterius regionis indigeret, et gens ab alia gente commodum aliquod expectaret, ac ita stabiliretur amicitia inter omnes, singulíque omnibus benefacere quærerent. Hoc itaque ineundæ ac stabiliendæ amicitiæ desiderio moti viri quidam regni nostri, iter in remotas maritimas regiones instituerunt, vt inter nostros et illos populos, viam mercibus inferendis et efferendis aperirent nòsque rogauerunt et vt id illis concederemus. Qui petitioni illorum annuentes, concessimus viro honorabili et forti, Hugoni Wilibeo, et alijs qui cum eo sunt seruis nostris fidis et charis, vt pro sua voluntate, in regiones eis priùs incognitas eant, quæsituri ea quibus nos caremus, et adducant illis ex nostris terris id quo illi carent. Atque ita illis et nobis commodum inde accedat, sítque amicitia perpetua, et foedus indissoluble inter illos et nos, dum permittent illi nos accipere de rebus, quibus superabundant in regnis suis, et nos concedemus illis ex regnis nostris res, quibus destituuntur. Rogamus itaque vos Reges et Principes, et omnes quibus aliqua est potestas in terra, vt viris istis nostris, transitum permittatis per regiones vestras. Non enim tangent quicquam ex rebus vestris inuitis vobis. Cogitate quòd homines et ipsi sunt. Et si qua re caruerint, oramus pro vestra beneficentia, eam vos illis tribuatis, accipientes vicissim ab eis quod poterunt rependere vobis. Ita vos gerite erga eos, quemadmodum cuperetis vt nos, et subditi nostri, nos gereremus erga seruos vestros, si quando transierint per regiones nostras. Atque promittimus vobis per Deum omnium quæ cælo, terra et mari continentur, pérque vitam nostram, et tranquillitatem regnorum nostrorum, nos pari benignitate seruos vestros accepturos, si ad regna nostra aliquando venerint. Atque à nobis et subditis nostris, ac si nati fuissent in regnis nostris ita benignè tractabuntur, vt rependamus vobis benignitatem, quam nostris exhibueritis. Postquam vos Reges, Principes, etc. rogauimus, vt humanitate et beneficentia omni prosequamini seruos nostros nobis charos, oramus omnipotentem Deum nostrum, vt vobis diuturnam vitam largiatur, et pacem quæ nullam habeat finem. Scriptum Londini, quæ ciuitas est primaria regni nostri, Anno 5515. à creato mundo, mense Iair, 14. die mensis, anno septimo regni nostri.
The copie of the letters missiue, which the right noble Prince Edward the sixt sent to the Kings, Princes, and other Potentates, inhabiting the Northeast partes of the worlde, toward the mighty Empire of Cathay, at such time as Sir Hugh Willoughby knight, and Richard Chancelor, with their company attempted their voyage thither in the yeere of Christ 1553. and the seuenth and last yeere of his raigne.
Edward the sixt, by the grace of God, King of England, France, and Ireland, &c. To all Kings, Princes, Rulers, Iudges, and gouernours of the earth, and all other hauing any excellent dignitie on the same, in all places vnder the vniuersall heauen: peace, tranquillitie, and honour be vnto you, and your lands and regions, which are vnder your dominions, and to euery of you, as is conuenient.
Forasmuch as the great and Almightie God hath giuen vnto mankinde, aboue all other liuing creatures, such an heart and desire, that euery man desireth to ioine friendship with other, to loue, and be loued, also to giue and receiue mutuall benefites: it is therefore the duety of all men, according to their power, to maintaine and increase this desire in euery man, with well deseruing to all men, and especially to shew this good affection to such, as beeing moued with this desire, come vnto them from farre countreis. For how much the longer voyage they haue attempted for this intent, so much the more doe they thereby declare that this desire hath bene ardent in them. Furthermore also, the examples of our fathers and predecessors doe inuite vs hereunto, forasmuch as they haue euer gently and louingly intreated such as of friendly mind came to them, aswell from Countries neare hand, as farre remote, commending themselues to their protection. And if it be right and equity, to shew such humanitie toward all men, doubtlesse the same ought chiefly to be shewed to marchants, who wandering about the world, search both the land and the sea, to carry such good and profitable things, as are found in their Countries, to remote regions and kingdomes, and againe to bring from the same, such things as they find there commodious for their owne Countries: both aswell that the people, to whom they goe, may not be destitute of such commodities as their Countries bring not foorth to them, as that also they may be partakers of such things, whereof they abound. For the God of heauen and earth greatly prouiding for mankinde, would not that all things should be found in one region, to the ende that one should haue neede of another, that by this meanes friendship might be established among all men, and euery one seeke to gratifie all. For the establishing and furtherance of which vniuersall amitie, certaine men of our Realme, mooued heereunto by the said desire, haue instituted and taken vpon them a voyage by sea into farre Countries, to the intent that betweene our people and them, a way may bee opened to bring in, and cary out marchandises, desiring vs to further their enterprise. Who assenting to their petition, haue licensed the right valiant and worthy Sir Hugh Willoughby, knight, and other our trusty and faithfull seruants, which are with him, according to their desire, to goe to countries to them heeretofore vnknowen, aswell to seeke such things as we lacke, as also to cary vnto them from our regions, such things as they lacke. So that hereby not onely commoditie may ensue both to them and vs, but also an indissoluble and perpetuall league of friendship be established betweene vs both, while they permit vs to take of their things, such whereof they haue abundance in their regions, and we againe grant them such things of ours, whereof they are destitute. We therefore desire you kings and princes, and al other, to whom there is any power on the earth, to permit vnto these our seruants free passage by your regions and dominions: for they shall not touch any thing of yours unwilling vnto you. Consider you that they also are men. If therefore they shall stand in neede of any thing, we desire you of all humanitie, and for the nobilities which is in you, to ayde and helpe them with such things as they lacke, receiuing againe of them such things as they shall be able to giue you in recompense. Shew your selues so towards them, as you would that we and our subiects should shewe ourselues towards your seruants, if at any time they shall passe by our regions.
Thus doing, we promise you by the God of all things that are contained in heauen, earth, and the Sea, and by the life and tranquillitie of our kingdomes, that we will with like humanitie accept your seruants, if at any time they shall come to our kingdomes, where they shall as friendly and gently bee entertained, as if they were borne in our Dominions, that wee may hereby recompence the fauour and benignitie which you haue shewed to our men. Thus after we haue desired you Kings and princes, &c. with all humanity and fauour, to entertaine our welbeloued seruants, we will pray our Almighty God, to graunt you long life, and peace, which neuer shall haue ende. Written in London, which is the chiefe citie of our kingdome, in the yeere from the creation of the world 5515. in the month of Iair, Iair, I would reade Mair, that is, in the Sarasen language, mixt of Turkish and Aegyptian, Februarie, interpreted by them the moneth to set ships to the sea. the fourteenth day of the moneth, and seuenth yeere of our reigne.
This letter was written also in Greeke, and diuers others languages.
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:51