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

A briefe relation of William Esturmy, and Iohn Kington concerning their ambassages into Prussia, and the Hans-townes.

1403. Inprimis, that in the moneth of Iuly, and in the yeare of our Lord 1403, and the fift yeare of the reigne of our souereigne Lord the king that nowe is, there came into England the ambassadours of the mighty lord Fr: Conradus de Iungingen, being then Master general of Prussia, with his letters directed vnto our foresayd souereigne lord the king, requiring amends and recompense for certaine iniuries vniustly offered by English men vnto the subiects of the sayd Master generall, written in 20. articles, which amounted vnto the summe of 19120. nobles and a halfe &c.

Item, that the third day of the moneth of October, in the yeare of our Lord abouewritten, and in the fift yere of the reigne of our soueraigne lord the king, between the reuerend father in God, Henrie then bishop of Lincolne lord chancelor, and William lord de Roos high treasurer of England, on the one party and the sayd ambassadours on the other party, it was (according to their petition) amongst other things ordayned: namely that the liege people of our soueraigne lord the king should freely be permitted, vntill the feast of Easter then next after ensuing to remaine in the land of Prussia, and from thence with their goods and marchandises to returne vnto their own homes, and also, that the subiects of the sayd Master generall in the kingdome of England should haue licence and liberty to doe the like. Prouided alwayes, that after the time aboue limitted, neither the English marchants in the land of Prussia, nor the Prussian marchants in the realme of England should vse any traffique of marchandise at all, vnlesse in the meane space it were otherwise agreed and concluded by the sayd king and the sayd Master general.

Item, immediately after our sayd soueraigne lord the king sent his letters by Iohn Browne marchant of Lin vnto the aforesayd Master generall, for to haue mutuall conuersation and intercourse of dealing to continue some certain space, betweene the marchants of England and of Prussia: promising in the same letters, that he would in the meane season send vnto the foresayd Master his ambassadors to intreat about the pretended iniuries aforesaide: which letters the foresayd Master, for diuers causes, refused to yeelde vnto, as in his letters sent vnto our lord the king, bearing date the 16. day of the moneth of Iuly, in the yeare of our lord 1404. more plainely appeareth.

Item, that after the receit of the letters of the Master aforesaid, which are next aboue mentioned, our sayd king, according to his promise, sent William Esturmy knight, M. Iohn Kington clerke, and William Brampton citizen of London, from his court of parliament holden at Couentrie, very slightly informed, as his ambassadours into Prussia.

Item, before the arriuall of the sayd ambassadours in Prussia, all intercourse of traffique betweene the English and the Prussians, in the realme of England, and in the land of Prussia was altogether restrained and prohibited: and in the same land it was ordayned and put in practise, that in whatsoeuer porte of the land of Prussia any English marchant had arriued with his goods, he was not permitted to conueigh the sayd goods, out of that porte, vnto any other place of the land of Prussia, either by water, or by lande, vnder the payne of the forfeiting of the same: but was enioyned to sell them in the very same porte, vnto the Prussians onely and to none other, to the great preiudice of our English marchants.

1405. Item, that after the arriuall of the sayd English ambassadours in the land of Prussia, it was ordayned, that from the eight day of the moneth of October, in the yeare of our lord 1405, all English marchants whatsoeuer should haue free liberty to arriue with all kindes of their marchandise in whatsoeuer port of the land of Prussia, and to make sale of them in the said land, as hath heretofore from auncient times bene accustomed. Also sundry other commodious priuiledges vnto the realme of England were then ordayned and established: as in the indentures made for this purpose it doth more manifestly appeare.

Item, the said English ambassadours being arriued in the land of Prussia, demanded of the said Master generall, a reformation and amends, for the damages and iniuries offered by the Prussians vnto the liege people of our souereigne lord and king, written in fifteene articles, which losses amounted vnto summe of 4535. nobles.

Item, the said Master generall, besides the articles exhibited vnto our soueraigne lord the king (as it is aboue mentioned) deliuered vnto the sayd ambassadours diuers other articles of certaine iniuries offered (as he sayth) vniustly by English men, vnto his subiects, which amounted vnto the summe of 5200. nobles.

1406. Item, it was afterward concluded, that vpon the first of May next then insuing, namely in the yeere of our Lord 1406, or within the space of one yeare immediately following there should bee made a conuenient, iust, and reasonable satisfaction, for all molestations vniustly offered on both partes, as well on the behalfe, of our soueraigne lord the king, as of the foresayd Master general. Which satisfaction not being performed, the Prussians with their goods and merchandises, within three moneths after the end of the sayd yere next following, were without molestation or impediment, enioined to depart out of the realme of England with their ships and goods, and the English men likewise, out of the territories and dominions of the said Master general, and both of them, without any further admonition, to abstaine and separate themselues, from both the countreis aforesayd. For the performance of which premisses, the ambassadors on both parts being sufficiently instructed, were appointed to meete the first day of May, at the towne of Dordract in Holland.

Item, that the sayd William Esturmy and Iohn Kington in their returne homewards from Prussia towards England passed through the chiefe cities of the Hans, and treated in such sorte with the Burgomasters of them, that there were sent messengers and agents, in the behalfe of the common society of the Hans marchants, vnto the towne of Dordract, to conferre with the ambassadors of England, about the redressing of iniuries attempted on both parts: where diuers agreements were set downe betweene the sayd ambassadors, and messengers, as in the indentures made for the same purpose it doth more manifestly appeare.

Item, that the meeting appointed at the towne of Dordract, vpon the first of May, was by the letters of the foresayd ambassadors, proroged vnto the first of August then next ensuing, and afterward by vertue of the kings letters vnto the first day of March next following: and there was another day of prorogation also.

Item, that after the prorogations aforesayd, the ambassadors of England, and the messengers and commissioners of Prussia met together at the towne of Hage in Holland, the 28. day of August, in the yere of our lord 1407. And there was a treaty between them concerning the summe 25934. nobles and an halfe, demanded on the behalfe of the sayd Master generall for amends and recompence in consideration of wrongs offered vnto himselfe and vnto his subiects of Prussia, as is aforesayd. Also the sayd Master and his Prussians, besides the summe not yet declared in the articles, which is very small, are to rest contented and satisfied with the summe of 8957. nobles, in lieu of al the damages aforesaid: no times of paiment being then assigned or limited, but afterward to be reasonably limited and assigned, by our sayd soueraigne lord the king. Insomuch, that our said soueraigne lord the king is to write his ful intention and determination concerning this matter, in his letters to be deliuered the 16. day of March, vnto the aldermen of the marchants of the Hans residing at Bruges. Otherwise, that from thenceforth all league of friendship shall bee dissolued betweene the realme of England and the land of Prussia.

Also it is farther to be noted, that in the appointment of the summe next before written to be disbursed out of England, this condition was added in writing, namely, that if by lawful testimonies it may sufficiently and effectually be prooued, concerning the chiefe articles aboue written, or any part of them, that satisfaction was made vnto any of those parties, to whom it was due: or that the goods, of and for the which complaint was made on the behalfe of Prussia, in the sayd articles, did or doe pertayne vnto others, or that any other iust, true, or reasonable cause may lawfully be proued and alledged, why the foresaid sums or any of them ought not to be payed: that then in the summes contained in the articles aboue mentioned, so much only must be cut off, or stopped, as shal be found, either to haue bene payd already, or to appertaine vnto others, or by any true, iust, and reasonable cause alledged, not to be due. Neither is it to be doubted, but for the greater part of the summe due vnto the Prussians, that not our lord the king, but others (which will in time be nominated) are, by all equity and iustice, to be compelled to make satisfaction.

Also, at the day and place aboue mentioned it was appointed and agreed vpon, that our lord the king and his liege subiects, for the said 4535. nobles demanded of the English in consideration of recompence to be made for iniuries offered vnto the Prussians, are to discharge and pay the summe of 764. nobles, which are not as yet disbursed: but they haue reserued a petition to them, vnto whom the sayd summe is due, or if they please, there shalbe made satisfaction: which will be very hard and extreme dealing.

Item, that in the last assembly of the sayd ambassadors of England and messengers of Prussia, holden at Hage, made as is aforesayd, for the behalfe of England, there were exhibited anew certaine articles of iniuries against the Prussians. The value of which losses amounted vnto the summe of 1825. nobles and three shillings.

Item, on the contrary part for the behalfe of the Prussians the summe of 1355. nobles, eight shillings and sixe pence.

Item, forasmuch as diuers articles propounded, as well on the behalfe of England, as of Prussia, and of the cities of the Hans, both heretofore and also at the last conuention holden at Hage, were so obscure, that in regard of their obscurity, there could no resolute answere bee made vnto them: and other of the sayd articles exhibited, for want of sufficient proofes, could not clearely be determined vpon: it was appointed and concluded, that all obscure articles giuen vp by any of the foresayd parties whatsoeuer, ought before the end of Easter then next ensuing, and within one whole yeare after, to be declared before the Chancelour of England, for the time being; and other articles euidently exhibited, but not sufficiently proued, to be proued, vnder paine of perpetuall exclusion. Which being done accordingly, complete iustice shall be administred on both parts.

Item, as concerning the eleuenth article, for the behalfe of the Prussians, first exhibited, which conteined losses amounting vnto the summe of 2445. nobles: as touching the first article on the behalfe of England exhibited in the land of Prussia, containing losses which amounted to the summe of 900. nobles: after many things alleadged on both parts, relation thereof shall be made in the audience of the king and of the master generall: so that they shall set downe, ordaine, and determine such an ende and conclusion of those matters, as shall seeme most expedient vnto them.

Now concerning the Liuonians who are subiect vnto the great Master of Prussia.

Inprimis, that the Master of Prussia demaunded of the sayd English ambassadours, at their being in Prussia, on the behalfe of them of Liuonia, who are the sayd Master his liege people, to haue restitution of their losses, vniustly (as he sayth) offered vnto them by the English, namely, for the robbing and rifling of three ships. These ships were taken by the English the 20. Iuly 1404. The value of which ships and of the goods contained in them, according, to the computation of the Liuonian marchants, doeth amount vnto the summe of 8037. pound, 12. shillings 7. pence.

Howbeit afterward the trueth being inquired by the sayd ambassadors of England, the losse of the Liuonians exceedeth not the summe of 7498. pound, 13. shillings, 10. pence halfepeny farthing.

Item, forasmuch as in the sayd ships, on the behalfe of the sayd Master, and of certaine cities of the Hans, there are alleadged aboue 250. men very barbarously to be drowned, of whome some were noble, and others honourable personages, and the rest common marchants and mariners, there was demaunded, in the first dyet or conuention holden at Dordract, a recompense at the handes of the sayd English ambassadors: albeit this complaint was exhibited in the very latter end of al the negotiations, in forme of a scedule, the tenor whereof is in writing at this present, and beginneth in maner following: Cum vita hominum &c. Howbeit in the last conuention holden at Hage, as is aforesaid, it was concluded betweene the ambassadours of England, and the messengers and commissioners of the land of Prussia, and of the cities of the Hans; that our sayd soueraigne lord the king, should, of his great pietie, vouchsafe effectually to deuise some conuenient and wholesome remedie for the soules of such persons as were drowned.

Item, that our sayd soueraigne lord the king will signifie in writing his full purpose and intention as touching this matter, vnto the aldermen of the Hans marchants residing at Bruges, vpon the sixtenth day of March next following. Otherwise, that from hencefoorth all amity and friendship, betweene the realme of England and the land of Prussia shall be dissolued.

Neither is it to be doubted, but that a great part of the sayd goods, for the which they of Liuonia doe demaund restitution, namely waxe and furres, redounded vnto the vse and commoditie of our soueraigne lord the king. And also our said soueraigne lord the king gaue commandement by his letters, that some of the sayd goods should be deliuered vnto others. And a great part of them is as yet reserued in the towne of Newcastle. One Benteld also hath the best of the sayd three ships in possession. Also it is reported and thought to be true, that certaine Furriers of London, which will be detected in the end, haue had a great part of the sayd goods, namely of the Furres.

Now as concerning the cities of the Hans.

Hamburgh. Inprimis the Hamburgers exhibited nine articles, wherein they demaunded restitution for certaine damages offered, as they sayd, by the English men, the value of which losses amounted vnto the summe of 9117. nobles, 20 pence. For the which, after due examination, there was promised restitution to the summe of 416. nobles, 5. shillings. Besides the two articles propounded against them of Scardeburg, the summe whereof was 231. pounds, 15s. 8d. concerning the which there was sentence giuen in England by the commissioners of our lord the king, the execution whereof was promised vnto the said Hamburgers by the ambassadors of England: leaue and licence being reserued vnto the sayd Hamburgers, of declaring or explaining certaine obscure articles by them exhibited, which declaration was to be made at the feast of Easter then next to come, or within one yeare next ensuing the said feast, vnto the chancelor of England for the time being, and of proouing the sayd articles and others also, which haue not as yet sufficiently bene proued. Which being done they are to haue full complement and execution of iustice.

Also by the Hamburgers there are demaunded 445. nobles from certaine of the inhabitants of Linne in England. Which summe, if it shalbe prooued to be due vnto any English men, the Hamburgers are to rest contented with those goods, which they haue already in their possessions.

Breme. Item, they of Breme propounded sixe articles, wherein the summe conteined amounteth vnto 4414. nobles. And there was no satisfaction promised vnto them. But the same libertie and licence was reserued vnto them, in like maner as before vnto the Hamburgers.

Stralessund Item, they of Stralessund propounded 23. articles, whereof the summe amounted vnto 7415. nobles, 20. d for the which there was promised satisfaction of 253. nobles, 3. d. Also here is a caueat to be obserued: that they of Stralessund had of English mens goods a great summe particularly to be declared, which will peraduenture suffice for a recompense. And some of their articles are concerning iniuries offered before 20, 22, 23, 24. yeres past. Also their articles are so obscure that they will neuer, or very hardly be able to declare or proue them. Howbeit there is reserued the very same liberty vnto them, that was before vnto the Hamburgers.

Lubec Item, they of Lubec propounded 23. articles, the summe whereof extended vnto 8690. nobles and an halfe: whereupon it was agreed, that they should haue paied vnto them 550. nobles. There was reserued the same libertie vnto them, which, was vnto the men of Stralessund.

Gripeswold Item, they of Gripeswold exhibited 5. articles, the summe whereof amounted vnto 2092. nobles and an halfe. For the which there was promised satisfaction of 153. nobles and an half. And the said men of Gripeswold haue of the goods of English men in possession, to the value of 22015. nobles, 18. s. as it is reported by them of Linne. And the same libertie is reserued vnto them that was vnto the Hamburgers.

Campen. Item, they of Campen propounded ten articles, the summe whereof extended vnto 1405. nobles. There is no satisfaction promised vnto them: but the same liberty is reserued vnto them, which was vnto the other aboue mentioned.

Item, the ambassadors of England demanded of the citizens of Rostok and Wismer, for damages and iniuries by them committed against the subiects of the foresayd souereigne king 32407. nobles. 2. s. 10. d. And albeit euery of the foresayd cities sent one of their burgomasters vnto the towne of Hage in Holland, to treat with the English ambassadours, it was in the end found out, that they had not any authority of negociating or concluding ought at al. And therefore they made their faithfull promises, that euery of the said cities should send vnto our soueraigne Lord the king one or two procurator or procurators sufficiently instructed to treat and conclude with our said souereigne lord the king about the damages and iniuries aforesaid at the feast of the natiuitie of Saint Iohn the Baptist.

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