An act against the exaction of money or any other thing by any officer for licence to traffique into Iseland and Newfoundland, made in An 2. Edwardi sexti.
Forasmuch as within these few yeeres now last past, there haue bene leuied, perceiued and taken by certaine of the officers of the Admiraltie, of such Marchants, and fishermen as haue vsed and practised the aduentures and iourneys into Iseland, Newfoundland, Ireland, and other places commodious for fishing, and the getting of fish, in and vpon the Seas or otherwise, by way of Marchants in those parties, diuers great exactions, as summes of money, doles or shares of fish, and such other like things, to the great discouragement and hinderance of the same Marchants and fishermen, and to no little dammage of the whole common wealth, and thereof also great complaints haue bene made, and informations also yeerely to the kings Maiesties most honourable councell: for reformation whereof, and to the intent also that the sayd Marchants and fishermen may haue occasion the rather to practise and vse the same trade of marchandizing, and fishing freely without any such charges and exactions, as are before limited, whereby it is to be thought that more plentie of fish shall come into this Realme, and thereby to haue the same at more reasonable prices: Be it therefore enacted by the king our soueraigne Lord, and the lords and commons in this present parliament assembled, and by authoritie of the same, that neither the Admiral, nor any officer, or minister, officers or ministers of the Admiraltie for the time being, shall in any wise hereafter exact, receiue, or take by himselfe, his seruant, deputie, seruants, or deputies of any such Marchant or fisherman, any summe or summes of money, doles or shares of fish, or any other reward, benefit or aduantage whatsoeuer it be, for any licence to passe this Realme to the sayd voyages or any of them, nor vpon any respect concerning the said voyages, nor any of them, vpon paine to forfeit for the first offence treble the summe, or treble the value of the reward, benefite or aduantage, that any such officer or minister shall hereafter haue or take of any such Marchants or fishermen. For the which forfeiture the party grieued, and euery other person or persons whatsoeuer he or they be, shall and may sue for the same by information, bill, plaint, or action of debt in any of the kings courts of recorde: The king to haue the one moitie, and the party complaining the other moitie: in which suite no essoigne, protection, or wager of law shall be allowed. And for the second offence the party so offending not only to lose and forfeite his or their office or offices in the Admiraltie, but also to make fine and ransome at the kings will and pleasure.
By this acte it appeareth, that the trade out of England to Newfound land was common and frequented about the beginning of the raigne of Edward the 6. namely in the yeere 1548. and it is much to be marueiled, that by negligence of our men, the countrey in all this time hath bene no better searched.
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:51