The Letters patents of the Queenes Maiestie, granted to Master Adrian Gylbert and others, for the search and discouery of the Northwest Passage to China.
Elizabeth by the grace of God of England, France, and Ireland Queene, defender of the faith, &c. To all, to whome these presents shall come, greeting: Forasmuch as our trustie and welbeloued subiect Adrian Gylbert of Sandridge in the Countie of Deuon, Gentleman, to his great costes and charges, hath greatly and earnestly trauelled and sought, and yet doth trauell and seeke, and by diuers meanes indeuoureth and laboureth, that the Passage vnto China and the Iles of the Moluccas, by the Northwestward, Northeastward, or Northward, vnto which part of the world, none of our loyall Subiects haue hitherto had any traffique or trade, may be discouered, knowen, and frequented by the Subiects of this our Realme: Knowe yee therefore that for the considerations aforesayd and for diuers other good considerations vs thereunto specially moouing. We of our grace especiall, certaine knowledge, and meere motion, haue giuen and granted, and by these presents for vs, our heires and successors, doe giue and grant free libertie, power, and full authoritie to the sayd Adrian Gylbert, and to any other person by him or his heires to be assigned, and to those his associates and assistants, whose names are written in a Scedule hereunto annexed, and to their heires, and to one assigne of each of them, and each of their heires at all times, and at any time or times after the date of these presents, vnder our Banners and Ensignes freely, without let, interruption, or restraint, of vs, our heires or successors, any law, statute proclamation, patent charter, or prouiso to the contrary notwithstanding, to saile, make voyage, and by any maner of meanes to passe and to depart out of this our Realme of England, or any our Realmes, Dominions, or Territories into all or any Isles, Countreys, Regions, Prouinces, Territories, Seas, Riuers, Portes, Bayes, Creekes, armes of the Sea, and all Hauens, and all maner of other places whatsoeuer, that by the sayde Northwestward, Northeastward, or Northward, is to be by him, his associates or assignes discouered, and for and in the sayd sayling, voyage, and passage, to haue and vse so many shippes, Barkes, Pinnesses, or any vessels of any qualitie or burthen, with all the furniture, of men, victuals, and all maner of necessary prouision, armour, weopons, ordinance, targets, and appurtinances, whatsoeuer, as to such a voyage shall or may be requisite, conuenient or commodious, any lawe, statute, ordinance or prouiso to the contrary thereof notwithstanding. And also we doe giue and grant to the sayde Adrian Gylbert, and his sayde associates, and to such assignee of him, and his heires, and to the heires and one assignee of euery of his sayde associates for euer, full power and absolute authoritie to trade and make their residance in any of the sayde Isles, Countreys, Regions, Prouinces, Territories, Seas, Riuers, Portes, Bayes, and Hauens, and all maner of other places whatsoeuer with all commodities, profites, and emoluments in the sayde places or any of them, growing and arising, with all maner of priuiledges, prerogatives, iurisdictions and royalties both by sea and land whatsoeuer, yeelding and paying therefore vnto vs, our heires and successors, the tenth part of all such golde and siluer oare, pearles, iewels, and precious stones, or the value thereof, as the sayd Adrian Gylbert and his sayd associates, their heires and assignes, servants, factors, or workemen, and euery or any of them shall finde, the sayd tenth to bee deliuered duely to our Customer, or other officers by vs, our heires or successors thereunto assigned, in the Fortes of London, Dartmouth, or Plimmouth, at which three places onely the sayde Adrian Gylbert and his sayde associates, their sayde heires and assignes, shall lade, charge, arriue, and discharge all maner of wares, goods, and merchandizes whatsoeuer to the sayde voyage, and newe trade belonging or appertaining. And moreouer, wee haue giuen, granted, and authorized, and by these presents for vs, our heires and successors, of our grace especiall, certaine knowledge, and meere motion, doe giue, graunt, and authorize the said Adrian Gilbert, and his said associats for euer, their heires and their said assignes and euery of them, that if the aforesayd Isles, Countreys, Regions, Prouinces, Territories, Seas, Riuers, Ports, Bayes, or Hauens, or any other of the premises by the sayd Adrian Gylbert or his associates, their heires and their said assignes or any of them, to be found by them, discouered and traffiqued vnto by any trade as aforesayd, shall be by any other our subiects visited, frequented, haunted, traded vnto or inhabited by the wayes aforesayd, without the special licence in writing of the said Adrian Gylbert and his associats, and their heires and assignes for euer, or by the most part of them, so that the sayd Adrian Gilbert, his heires or assignes be one of them, that then aswell their ship, or ships in any such voyage or voyages be vsed, as all and singuler their goods, wares, and marchandizes, or any other things whatsoeuer, from or to any of the places aforesayd transported, that so shall presume to visit, frequent, haunt, trade vnto, or inhabite, shall be forfaited and confiscated, ipso facto, the one halfe of the same goods and marchandizes, or other things whatsoeuer, or the value thereof to be to the vse of vs, our heires or successours, and the other moytie thereof to be to the vse of the sayd Adrian Gylbert and his said associats their heires and assignes for euer: The colleagues of the fellowship for the discouery the Northwest passage. and vnto the sayd Adrian Gylbert and his sayd associats, their heires and assignes wee impose, giue, assigne, create and confirme this, name peculiar to be named by, to sue and to be sued by, that is to wit, by the name of the Colleagues of the fellowship for the discouerie of the Northwest passage, and them for vs, our heires and successours by that name doe incorporate, and doe erect and create as one body corporate to haue continuance for euer. Moreouer vnto the sayd Adrian Gylbert, and his said associats, and vnto their heires and their sayd assignes for euer, by name of the Colleagues of the fellowship for the discouerie of the Northwest passage, we haue giuen, granted, and confirmed, and doe by these presents giue, grant, and confirme full power and authoritie from time to time, and at all times hereafter, to make order, decree and enact, constitute and ordeine, and appoynt all such ordinances, orders, decrees, lawes, and actes, as the sayd new corporation or body politique, Colleagues of the fellowship for the discouerie of the Northwest passage, shall thinke meete, necessary, and conuenient, so that they or any of them be not contrary to the lawes of this realme, and of this our present graunt.
And we by our Royall prerogatiue, and fulnesse of our authority, of our grace especiall, certaine knowledge and meere motion, do establish, confirme and ratifie all such ordinances, orders, decrees, lawes and acts to be in so full and great power and authority, as we, our heires or successours may or can in any such case graunt, confirme, or ratifie. And further for the better incouragement of our louing subiects in this discouerie, we by our Royall prerogatiue, and fulnesse of authority for vs, our heires and successours, doe giue, graunt, establish, confirme, ordeine, ratifie and allow by these presents, to the sayd Adrian Gylbert and to his associates, and to the heires and assignes of them and euery of them for euer, and to all other person or persons of our louing subiects whatsoeuer that shall hereafter trauaile, sayle, discouer, or make voyage as aforesayd to any of the Iles, Mainelands, Countreys or Teritories whatsoeuer, by vertue of this our graunt to be discouered; Free Denization granted. that the heires and assignes of them and euery of them being borne within any of the Iles, Mainelands and Countreys, or Territories whatsoeuer before mentioned, shall haue and enioy all the privileges of free Denizens, as persons natiue borne within this our Realme of England, or within our allegiance for euer, in such like ample maner and forme, as if they were or had bene borne and personally resiant within our sayd Realme, any law, statute, proclamation, custome or vsage to the contrary hereof in any wise notwithstanding.
Moreouer, for the consideration aforesayd by vertue hereof, we giue and graunt vnto the sayd Adrian Gylbert, his heires and assignes for euer, free libertie, licence and priuilege, This Patent remained in force fiue yeeres. that during the space of fiue yeeres next and immediately ensuing the date hereof, it shall not be lawfull for any person or persons whatsoeuer, to visit, haunt, frequent, trade, or make voyage to any Iles, Mainlands, Countreys, Regions, Prouinces, Territories, Seas, Riuers, Ports, Bayes, and Hauens, nor to any other Hauens or places whatsoeuer hitherto not yet discouered by any of our subiects by vertue of this graunt to be traded vnto, without the special consent and good liking of the said Adrian Gylbert, his heires or assignes first had in writing. And if any person or persons of the associats of the sayd Adrian, his heires or assignes or any other person or persons whatsoeuer, free of this discouery, shall do any act or acts contrary to the tenour and true meaning hereof, during the space of the sayd fiue yeeres, that then the partie and parties so offending, they and their heires for euer shall loose (ipso facto) the benefite and priuilege of this our graunt, and shall stand and remaine to all intents and purposes as persons exempted out of this graunt.
Authoritie to proceede at Sea against mutiners. And further by vertue hereof wee giue and graunt, for vs, our heires and successours at all times during the space of fiue yeers next ensuing the date hereof, libertie and licence, and full authority to the sayd Adrian Gylbert, and his heires and assignes, that if it shall happen any one or moe in any ship or ships sayling on their sayd voyage, to become mutinous, seditious, disordered, or any way vnruly to the preiudice or hinderance of the hope for the successe in the attempt or prosecuting of this discouerie or trade intended, to vse or execute vpon him or them so offending, such punishment, correction, or execution, as the cause shall be found in iustice to require by the verdict of twelue of the companie sworne thereunto, as in such a case apperteineth: That expresse mention of the certaintie of the premisses, or of other gifts or graunts by vs to the sayd Adrian Gylbert and his associats before this time made is not mentioned in these presents, or any other lawe, act, statute, prouiso, graunt, or proclamation heretofore made or hereafter to be made to the contrary hereof in any wise notwithstanding. 1583. In witnesse whereof we haue made these our Letters to bee made patents: Witnesse our selfe at Westminster, the sixt day of Februarie, in the sixe and twenty yeere of our reigne.
Last updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 14:09