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

An agreement made by the Ambassadors of England and Prussia, confirmed by king Richard the second.

Richard by the grace of God, king of England, and France, and lorde of Ireland. To all, vnto whom these present letters shall come, greeting. We haue seene and considered the composition, ordination, concord, and treatie, betweene our welbeloued clearke, master Nicholas Stocket, licentiat in both lawes, Walter Sibel, and Thomas Graa, citizens of our cities of London and York, our messengers and ambassadors on the one part: and the honourable and religious personages, Conradus de Walrode, great commander, Sifridus Walpode de Bassenheim, chiefe hospitalary commander in Elburg, and Vlricus Hachenberg Treasurer, the messengers and ambassadors of the right reuerend and religious lord, lord Conradus Zolner de Rothenstein, master generail of the knightly order of the Dutch hospital of Saint Mary at Ierusalem on the other part, lately concluded and agreed vpon in these words. In the name of the supreame and indiuisible Trinitie, the Father, the Sonne, and holy Ghost, Amen. Forasmuch as the author of peace will haue peacemakers to be the sons of blessednes, and the execrable enemie of peace to be expelled out of the dominions of Christians: therefore for the perpetuall memorie of the thing, be it knowen vnto all men who shall see or heare the tenour of these presents: that there being matter of dissension and discord bred betweene the most renowmed prince and king, Richard by the grace of God king of England and France, and lord of Ireland, and his subiects on the one part: and the right reuerend and religious lord, lord Conradus Zolner de Rothinstein, Master generall of the knightly order of the Dutch hospitall of S. Marie at Ierusalem, and his land of Prussia, and his subiects also, on the other part: the foresaid lord and generall master, vpon mature counsell and deliberation had, sent his honourable ambassadours towards England vnto the forenamed most soueraigne prince and king, to propound and make their complaint vnto him of violence and iniuries offered (as it is sayd) by the English vnto the Prussians: in consideration whereof certaine goods of the marchants of England were arrested in the land of Prussia. Whose complaint the foresayd most gracious prince did courteously and friendly admit, receiue, and accept, and after many speeches vttered in this treaty, louingly dismissed them vnto their owne countrey againe, promising by his letters vnto the foresayd reuerend Master generall, that hee would dispatch his ambassadours vnto the land of Prussia. 1388. Whereupon, in the yeere 1388. he sent the hono: and reuerend personages Master Nicholas Stocket licentiate of both lawes, Thomas Graa, and Walter Sibill, citizens of London and Yorke, with sufficient authority and full commandement, to handle, discusse, and finally to determine the foresaid busines, and with letters of credence vnto the right reuerend lord and master generall aforesayd. Which ambassadours, together with Iohn Beuis of London their informer, and the letters aforesaid, and their ambassage, the said right reuerend lord and Master generall, at his castle of Marienburgh, the 28. of Iuly, in the yeare aforesaid, reuerently and honourably receiued and enterteined; and in his minde esteemed them worthy to treate and decide the causes aforesayd; and so vnto the sayd ambassadours he ioyned in commission on his behalfe, three of his owne counsellors, namely the honourable and religious personages Conradus de Walrode great commander, Seiffridus Walpode de Bassenheim chiefe hospitalary and commander in Elburg, Wolricus Hachenberger treasurer, being all of the order aforesaid. Which ambassadors so entreating about the premisses, and sundry conferences and consultations hauing passed between them, friendly and with one consent, concluded an agreement and concord in manner following: That is to say:

1. First, that all arrestments, reprisals, and impignorations of whatsoeuer goods and marchandises in England and Prussia, made before the date of these presents, are from henceforth quiet, free, and released, without all fraud and dissimulation: insomuch that the damages, charges and expenses occasioned on both parts by reason of the foresayd goods arrested, are in no case hereafter to be required or chalenged by any man: but the demaunds of any man whatsoeuer propounded in this regard, are and ought to be altogether frustrate and voide, and all actions which may or shall be commenced by occasion of the sayd goods arrested, are to be extinct and of none effect.

2. Moreouer, it is secondly concluded and agreed, that all and singuler Prussians pretending themselues to be iniuried by the English at the Porte of Swen, or elsewhere, howsoeuer, and whensoeuer, before the date of these presents, hauing receiued the letters of the foresaide right reuerende lord and Master generall, and of the cities of their abode, are to repayre towards England, vnto the sayd hon: embassadours, who are to assist them, and to propound and exhibite their complaintes, into the forenamed lord and king. The most gracious prince is bounde to doe his indeuor, that the parties damnified may haue restitution of their goods made vnto them, or at least complete iustice and iudgement without delay. Also in like manner all English men affirming themselues to haue bene endamaged by Prussians, wheresoeuer, howsoeuer, and whensoeuer, are to haue recourse vnto the often forenamed right reuerend lorde the Master generall, with the letters of their king and of the cities of their aboad, propounding their complaints and causes vnto him. Who likewise is bound to doe his indeuour that the sayd losses and damages may be restored, or at the least that speedie iudgement may be, without all delayes, executed. This caueat being premised in each clause, that it may and shall be freely granted and permitted vnto euery man that will ciuilly make his suite and complaint, to doe it either by himselfe, or by his procurator or procurators.

3. Also thirdly it is agreed, that whosoeuer of Prussia is determined criminally to propound his criminal complaints in England: namely that his brother or kinseman hath beene slaine, wounded, or maimed, by English men, the same partie is to repayre vnto the citie of London in England, and into the sayd ambassadors, bringing with him the letters of the said right reuerend lord and master generall, and of the cities of their abode: which ambassadors are to haue free and full authority, according to the complaints of the men of Prussia, and the answers of the English men, to make and ordaine a friendly reconciliation; or honest recompence betweene such parties: which reconciliation the sayd parties reconciled are bound vndoubtedly and without delay to obserue. But if there be any English man found, who shall rashly contradict or contemne the composition of the foresaid ambassadors: then the sayd ambassadours are to bring the forenamed Prussian plaintifes before the presence of the kings Maiestie: and also to make supplication on the behalfe of such plaintifes, that complete iustice and iudgment may without delayes bee administred, according as those suites are commenced. Moreouer whatsoeuer English man, against whom anie one of Prussia would enter his action, shall absent himselfe at the terme, the said ambassadours are to summon and ascite the foresayd English man to appeare at the terme next insuing, that the plaintifes of Prussia may in no wise seeme to depart or to returne home, without iudgement or the assistance of lawe. Nowe if the sayd English man being summoned shall be found stubborne or disobedient, the forenamed ambassadours are to make their appeale and supplication in manner aforesayd. And in like sorte in all respects shall the English plaintifes be dealt withall in Prussia, namely in the citie of Dantzik, where the deputies of the sayd citie and of the citie of Elburg shal take vnto themselues two other head boroughs, one of Dantzik, and the other of Elburg: which foure commissioners are to haue in al respects, the very like authority of deciding, discussing, and determining all criminall complaints propounded criminally, by English men against any Prussian or Prussians, by friendly reconciliation, or honest recompense, if it be possible. But if it cannot friendly be determined, or if anie Prussian shall not yeeld obedience vnto any such order or composition, but shalbe found to contradict and to contemne the same: from thenceforth the said foure deputies and head-boroughs are to make their appeale and supplication into the Master generall of the land aforesayd, that vnto the sayd English plaintifes speedy iudgement and complete iustice may be administred. But if it shall so fall out that any of the principall offenders shall decease, or already are deceased in either of the sayd countries, that then it shall bee free and lawfull for the plaintife to prosecute his right against the goods or heires of the party deceased. Also, for the executing of the premisses the termes vnder written are appointed: namely the first, from the Sunday whereupon Quasi modo geniti is to be sung next ensuing, vntill the seuenth day following: The second vpon the feast of the holy Trinitie next to come, and for seuen dayes following: The third vpon the eight day after Saint Iohn Baptist next to come, and for seuen daies following: The fourth, last, and peremptory terme shall be vpon the feast of S. Michael next to come, and vpon seuen dayes next following. And from thenceforth all causes which concerne death, or the mayming of a member, with all actions proceeding from them, are to remaine altogether voide and extinct. And if peraduenture any one of the foresayd ambassadours, shall in the meane season dye, then the other two shall haue authoritie to chuse a third vnto them. An ancient custome. And if after the date of these presents any cause great or small doth rise or spring forth, it must bee decided in England and in Prussia, as it hath beene accustomed in times past and from ancient times.

4. The priuileges of the English marchants in Prussia. Also, it is farther concluded and agreed vpon, that all lawfull marchants of England whosoeuer shall haue free licence and authority, with all kindes of shippes, goods, and marchandises, to resorte vnto euery port of the land of Prussia, and also to transport all such goods and marchandises vp farther vnto any other place in the sayde land of Prussia, and there with all kindes of persons freely to bargaine and make sale, as heretofore it hath from auncient times bene accustomed. Which priuiledge is granted in all things and by all circumstances vnto the Prussians in England. And if after the date of these presents betweene the sayd kingdome of England, and land of Prussia any dissension or discorde (which God forefend) should arise: then the foresayd souereigne prince and king of England, and the sayd right reuerend lord the Master generall are mutually by their letters and messengers to giue certificate and intimation one vnto another, concerning the matter and cause of such dissension and discord: which intimation, on the behalfe of the foresaid souereigne prince and king of England, shall be deliuered in the forenamed castle of Marienburg: but on the behalfe of the sayd right reuerend lord the Master generall, such intimation shall be giuen in the citie of London aforesayd, vnto the Maior of the said city: that then such a denuntiation or intimation being made, the marchants of England and the subiects of the land of Prussia may, within the space of one yeere next following, freely and safely returne home with al their goods and marchandises: if at the least, in the mean while, some composition, and friendly league betweene the two foresayd countreis be not in some sorte concluded. And that all the premisses may more firmely and faithfully be put in due practise and execution on both partes, for the strong and inuiolable keeping peace and tranquillity: and also for the full confirmation and strengthening of all the sayde premisses, the three foresayd honourable and religious personages being by the said right reuerend lord the Master general appointed as commissioners to deale in the aboue written ordination and composition, haue caused their seales vnto these presents to be put: and the sayd ordination also, and letter in the same tenour word for word, and in all points euen as it is inserted into these presents, they haue mutually receiued from the abouenamed three ambassadours of the right soueraigne king of England vnder their seales. Giuen at the castle of Marienburg in the yeare of our lord aforesayd, vpon the twentieth day of the moneth of August. And we therefore doe accept, approue, ratifie, and by the tenour of these presents doe confirme, the composition, ordination, concorde, and treaty aforesayd. In testimony whereof we haue caused these our letters to be made patents. Witnesse our selues at Westminster the 22. of October, in the thirteenth yeare of our reigne.

By the king and his counsell.


Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:55