Her Maiesties, letter to the Turke or Grand Signior 1581. promising redresse of the disorders of Peter Baker of Ratcliffe, committed in the Leuant.
Elizabeth by the diuine grace of the eternall God, of England, France and Ireland most sacred Queene, and of the most Christian faith, against all the prophaners of his most holy Name the zealous and mightie defendour, &c. To the most renowned and emperious Cæsar, Sultan Murad Can, Emperour of all the dominions of Turkie, and of all the East Monarchie chiefe aboue all others whosoeuer, most fortunate yeeres with the successe of al true happinesse. As with very great desire we wish and embrace the loue and amitie of forreine Princes, and in the same by al good dueties and meanes we seeke to bee confirmed: so to vs there may bee nothing more grieuous and disliking, then that any thing should happen through the default of our Subiects, which any way might bring our faith and fidelitie into suspition: Although wee are not ignorant how many good princes, by the like misaduenture be abused, where the doings of the Subiects are imputed to the want of good gouernment. But such mutters of importance and so well approued we may not omit: such is to vs the sacred estimation of our honour, and of our Christian profession, as we would the same should appeare as well in the concluding of our promises and agreements, as in the faithfull performing of the same.
The matter which by these our letters wee specially beholde, is a most iniurious and grieuous wrong which of late came vnto our vnderstanding, that should be done vnto certaine of your subiects by certaine of our Subiects, at yet not apprehended: but with all seueretie vpon their apprehension they are to be awarded for the same.1 And as the deede in it selfe is most wicked, so it is much more intollerable, by how much it doeth infringe the credit of our faith, violate the force of our authoritie, and impeach the estimation of our word faithfully giuen vnto your Imperiall dignitie. In which so great a disorder if wee should not manifest our hatred towardes so wicked and euill disposed persons, we might not onely most iustly be reproued in the iudgement of all such as truely fauour Iustice, but also of all Princes the patrones of right and equitie, might no lesse be condemned. That therefore considered, which of our parts is ordained in this cause which may be to the good liking of your highnesse, we are most especially to request of your Imperiall Maiestie, that through the default and disorder of a son of euill and wicked disposed persons, you wil not withdraw your gratious fauour from vs, neither to hinder the traffique of our Subiects, which by virtue of your highnesse sufferance, and power of your licence are permitted to trade into your dominion and countreys or that either in their persons or goods they be preiudiced in their traueyling by land or by water, promising vnto your greatnesse most faithfully, that the goods whereof your subiects by great wrong and violence haue bene spoyled, shall wholly againe be restored, if either by the liues or possessions of the robbers it may any way be brought to passe: And that hereafter (as now being taught by this euill example) wee will haue speciall care that none vnder the title of our authoritie shall be suffered to commit any the like wrongs or iniuries.
Neither they which haue committed these euil parts had any power vnder your highnesse safeconduct graunted vnto our subiects, but from some other safeconduct whether it were true or fained, we knowe not, or whether they bought it of any person within the gouernment of Marseils: but vnder the colour thereof they haue done that, which the trueth of our dealing doeth vtterly abhorre. Notwithstanding howsoeuer it be, wee will surely measure their euill proceedings with most sharpe and iust correction, and that it shall repent them of the impeachment of our honours, as also it shalbe an example of our indignation, that others may dread at all times, to commit the like offence. Wherefore that our amitie might be continued, as if this vnfortunate hap had neuer chanced, and that the singuler affection of our Subiects towardes your Imperiall Maiestie vowed, and dayly more and more desired, might be conserued and defended, we thereunto do make our humble suite vnto your greatnesse: And for so great goodnesse towardes vs and our people granted, doe most humbly pray vnto the Almightie creatour of heauen and earth, euer to maintaine and keepe your most renowned Maiestie in all happinesse and prosperitie.
Dated at our palace of Greenewich the 26. of Iune, Anno 1581.
1 This was Baker of Ratcliffe, who with the barke called the Roe, robbed certaine Grecians in the Leuant.
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