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

A letter of Sigismond king of Polonia, written in the 39. yeere of his reigne to Elizabeth the Queenes most excellent Maiestie of England, &c.

Sigismundus Augustus by the grace of God king of Polonia, great Duke of Lituania, Russia, Prussia, Massouia, and Samogetia, &c. Lord and heire &c. to the most Noble Princesse Ladie Elizabeth by the same grace of God Queene of England, France and Ireland, &c. our deare sister, and kinsewoman, greeting and increase of all felicitie. Whereas your Maiestie writeth to vs that you haue receiued two of our letters, wee haue looked that you should haue answered to them both. The trade to Narue forbidden by the K. of Poland. First to the one in which we intreated more at large in forbidding the voyage to Narue, which if it had bene done, we had bene vnburdened of so often writing of one matter: and might haue answered your Maiestie much better to the purpose. Now we thus answere to your Maiestie to those matters of the which you writte to vs the 3 of October from Windsore. The ancient couenants of trafficke between England and Prussia. First, forasmuch as your Maiestie at the request of our letters hath discharged the arrest of Marchants goods, and of the names of the men of Danske our subiects, which was set vpon them by the commandement of your Maiestie: and also haue restored the olde and ancient libertie of traffique, we acknowlege great pleasure done vnto vs in the same: and also think it to bee done according to common agreement made in times past. Neither were we euer at any time of any other opinion touching your Maiestie, but that wee should obtaine right and reason at your hands. Forasmuch as we likewise shall at all times be ready to grant to your Maiestie, making any request for your subiects, so farre as shall stand with iustice, yet neither will we yeeld any thing to your Maiestie in contention of loue, beneuolence, and mutuall office, but that we iudge euery good turne of yours to be recompensed by vs to the vttermost: and that shall we prooue as occasion shall serue. The olde libertie of trafficke. Therefore we shall commaund the arrests, if any be made by our subiects (as it is vnknowen to vs) of merchants goods and English names to be discharged: and shall conserue the olde libertie of trafficke, and all other things which shall seeme to apperteine to neighbourhood betweene vs and your Maiestie: so that none of the subiects of your Maiestie hereafter presume to vse the nauigation to the Narue forbidden by vs, and full of danger not onely to our parts, but also to the open destruction of all Christians and liberall nations. The meanes of increase of the power of the Muscouite. The which as we haue written afore, so now we write againe to your Maiesty that we know and feele of a surety, the Moscouite, enemy to all liberty vnder the heauens, dayly to grow mightier by the increase of such things as he brought to the Naure, while not onely wares but also weapons heretofore vnknowen to him, and artificers and arts be brought vnto him: by meane whereof he maketh himselfe strong to vanquish all others. Which things, as long as this voyage to Narue is vsed, can not be stopped. And we perfectly know your Maiesty can not be ignorant how great the cruelty is of the said enemy, of what force he is, what tyranny he vseth on his subiects, and in what seruile sort they be under him. We seemed hitherto to vanquish him onely in this, that he was rude of arts, and ignorant of policies. If so be that this nauigation to the Naure continue, what shall be vnknowen to him? Therefore we that know best, and border vpon him, do admonish other Christian princes in time, that they do not betray their dignity, liberty and life of them and their subiects to a most barbarous and cruell enemy, as we can no lesse do by the duty of a Christian prince. For now we do foresee, except other princes take this admonition, the Moscuite puffed vp in pride with those things that he brought to the Narue, and made more perfect in warlike affaires with engines of warre and shippes, will make assault this way on Christendome, to slay or make bound all that shall withstand him: which God defend. With which our admonition diuers princes already content themselues, and abstaine from the Narue. The others that will not abstaine from the sayd voyage shalbe impeached by our nauie, and incurre the danger of losse of life, liberty, wife and children. Now therefore if the subiects of your Maiesty will forbeare this voyage to Narue, there shalbe nothing denied to them of vs. Let your Maiesty well weigh and consider the reasons and occasions of our stopping of ships going to the Narue. In which stopping, our subiects of Danske be in no fault, as we haue already written to your Maiesty, neither vse we their counsell in the same. In any other matter, if there be any fault in them against your Maiesty or your subiects, we will gladly do iustice vpon them, that your Maiesty may well vnderstand that we be careful of you and your subiects. Neither thinke we it meet to take Hamburgh, or any other place to iudge the matter: for we have our councell and iudgement seat at Rie, where your Maiesty and your subiects, or any other shal haue iustice administred vnto them, with whom we haue had ancient league and amity. And thus much we haue thought good to let your Maiesty vnderstand. Fare ye well. Dated the sixt of December the 39 of our reigne.224

Sigismundus Augustus Rex.

224A.D. 1559

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