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The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries by Richard Hakluyt

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his lords part play at any great neede. And if a Thein did thriue so, that
he became an Earle; then was he afterward an Earles right worthie. And if a
Marchant so thriued, that he passed thrise ouer the wide seas, of his owne
craft, he was thencefoorth a Theins right worthie. And if a scholar so
prospered thorow learning that he degree had, and serued Christ, he was
then afterward of dignitie and peace so much worthie, as thereunto
belonged, vnlesse he forfaited so, that he the vse of his degree vse he

* * * * *

A testimonie of certaine priuiledges obtained for the English and Danish
Merchants of Conradus the Emperour and Iohn the Bishop of Rome by Canutus
the King of England in his iourney to Rome, extracted out of a letter of
his written vnto the Cleargie of England.

Sit vobis notom quia magna congregatio nobilora in ipsa solemnitate
Pascali, Romę cum Domino Papa Ioanne, & imperatore Conrado erat, scilicet
omnes principes gentium a monte Gargano, vsque ad istum proximum Mare: qui
omnes me & honorifice suscepere, & magnificis donis honorauere. Maxime
autem ab imperatore donis varijs & muneribus pretiosis honoratus sum, tam
in vasis aureis & argenteis, quam in pallijs & vestibus valde pretiosis.
Locutus sum igitur cum ipso imperatore, & Domino Papa, & principibus qui
ibi erant, de necessitatibus totius populi mei, tam Angli quam Dani, vt eis
concederetur lex ęquior, & pax securior in via Romam adeundi, & ne tot
clausuris per viam arcerentur, & propter iniustum teloneum fatigarentur.
Annuķtque postulatis Imperator, & Rodulphus Rex, qui maxime ipsarum
clausurarum dominatur, cunctique principes edictis firmarunt, vt homines
mei tam Mercatores, quąm alij orandi gratia viatores, absque omni anguria
clausurarum & teloneariorum, cum firma pace Romam eant & redeant.
[Footnote: William of Malmsb. lib. 2. cap. 9. de gestis Regum Anglorum.]

The same in English.

You are to vnderstand, that at the feast of Easter, there was a great
company of Nobles with Pope Iohn and Conradus the Emperour assembled at
Rome, namely all the princes of the nations from mount Garganus [Footnote:
Garganus a mountain of Apulia in Italy.] vnto the West Ocean sea. Who all
of them honourably interteined me, and welcomed mee with rich and
magnificent gifts: but especially the Emperour bestowed diuers costly
presents and rewards vpon mee, both in vessels or golde and siluer, and
also in cloakes and garments of great value. Wherefore I conferred with the
Emperour himselfe and the Pope, and with the other Princes who were there
present, concerning the necessities of all my subiects both Englishmen and
Danes; that a more fauourable law & secure peace in their way to Rome might
bee graunted vnto them, and that they might not bee hindered by so many
stops & impediments in their iourney, and weaned by reason of iniust
exactions. And the Emperour condescended vnto my request, and king
Rodulphus also, who hath greatest authoritie ouer the foresaid stops and
streights, and all the other princes confirmed by their Edicts, that my
subiects, as well Marchants, as others who trauailed for deuotions sake,
should without all hinderance and restraint of the foresaid stops and
customers, goe vnto Rome in peace, and returne from thence in safetie.

* * * * *

The flourishing state of Marchandise in the Citie of London in the dayes of
Willielmus Malmesburiensis, which died in the yeere 1142. in the reigne
of K. Stephen.

Haud longe a Rofa quasi viginti quinque milliarijs est Londonia Ciuitas
nobilis, opima ciuium diuitijs, constipata negociatorum ex omni terra, &
maxime ex Germania venientium, commercijs. Vnde fit vt cum vbique in Anglia
caritas victualium pro sterili prouentu messium sit, ibi necessaria
distrahantur & emantur minore, quąm alibi, vel vendentium compendio, vel
ementium dispendio. Peregrinas inuehit merces Ciuitatis finibus Tamesis
fluuius famosus, qui citra vrbem ad 80. milliaria fonticulo fusus, vltra
plus 70. nomen profert. [Footnote: Guliel. Malmesb. de gestis pont.
Anglorum lib. 2.]

The same in English.

Not farre from Rochester, about the distance of fiue and twenty miles,
standeth the Noble Citie of London, abounding with the riches of the
inhabitants, [Sidenote: Germanie] and being frequented with the traffique
of Marchants resorting thither out of all nations, and especially out of
Germanie. Whereupon it commeth to passe, that when any generall dearth of
victuals falleth out in England, by reason of the scarcitie of corne,
things necessary may there be prouided and bought with lesse gaine vnto the
sellers, and with lesse hinderance and losse vnto the buyers, then in any
other place of the Realme. Outlandish wares are conueighed into the same
Citie by the famous riuer of Thames: which riuer springing out of a
fountaine 80. miles beyond the Citie, is called by one and the selfe same
name 70. miles beneath it.

* * * * *

The aforesaid William of Malmesburie writeth of traffike in his time to
Bristowe in his fourth booke de gestis pontificum Anghorum, after this

In eadem valle est vicus celeberrimus Bristow nomine, in quo est nauium
portus ab Hibernia & Norwegia & cęteris transmarinis terris venientium
receptaculum, ne scilicet genitalibus diuitijs tam fortunata regio
peregrinarum opum frauderetur commercio.

The same in English.

[Sidenote: Norway.] In the same valley stands the famous Towne of Bristow,
[Footnote: Bristol.] with an Hauen belonging thereunto, which is a
commodious and safe receptacle for all ships directing their course for the
same, from Ireland, Norway, and other outlandish and foren countreys:
namely that a region so fortunate and blessed with the riches that nature
hath vouchsafed thereupon should not bee destitute of the wealth and
commodities of other lands.

* * * * *

The league betweene Henry the second and Fredericke Barbarossa Emperour of
Germanie, wherein is mention of friendly traffike betweene the Marchants
of the Empire and England, confirmed in the yeere of our Lord 1157,
recorded in the first Booke and seuenteenth Chapter of Radeuicus
Canonicus Frisingensis, being an appendix to Otto Frisingensis.

Ibidem tunc affuere etiam Henrici Regis Anglię missi, varia & preciosa
donaria multo lepore verborum adornata pręstantes. Inter quę papilionem
vnum quantitate maximum, qualitate optimum perspeximus. Cuius si
quantitatem requiris, non nisi machinis & instrumentorum genere &
adminiculo leuari poterat: si qualitatem, nec materia nec opere ipsum putem
aliquando ab aliquo huiusce apparatu superatum iri. Literas quoque mellito
sermone plenas pariter direxerat, quarum hic tenor fuit. Pręcordiali amico
suo, Frederico Dei gratia Romanorum imperatori inuictissimo, Henricus Rex
Anglię, dux Normannię, & Aquitanię, & Comes Andegauensis, salutem, & verę
dilectionis concordiam. Excellentię vestrę quantas possumus referimus
grates, dominantium optime, quod nos nuncijs vestris visitare, salutare
literis, muneribus pręuenire, & quod his charius amplectimur, pacis &
amoris inuicem dignatus estis foedera inchoare. Exultauimus, & quodammodo
animum nobis crescere, & in maius sensimus euehi dum vestra promissio, in
qua nobis spem dedistis in disponendis. Regni nostri negocijs, alacriores
nos reddidit, & promptiores. Exultauimus inquam, & tota mente magnificentię
vestrę assurreximus, id vobis in sincero cordis affectu respondentes, quod
quicquid ad honorem vestrum spectare nouerimus, pro posse nostro effectui
mancipare parati sumus. Regnum nostrum & quicquid vbique nostrę subijcitur
ditioni vobis exponimus & vestrę committimus potestati, vt ad vestrum nutum
omnia disponantur, & in omnibus vestri fiat voluntas imperij. [Sidedote:
Commercia inter Germanos & Anglos.] Sit igitur inter nos & populos nostros
dilectionis & pacis vnitas indiuisa, commercia tuta. Ita tamen vt vobis,
qui dignitate pręminetis, imperandi cedat authoritas, nobis non deerit
voluntas obsequendi. Et sicut vestraa Serenitatis memoriam vestrorum
excitat in nobis munerum largitio, sic vos nostri quoque reminisci
pręoptamus, mittentes quę pulchriora penes nos erant, & vobis magis
placitura. Attendite itaque dantis affectum, non data, & eo animo quo
dantur accipite. De manu beati Iacobi, super qua nobis scripsistis, in ore
magistri Hereberti & Guilielmi Clerici nostri verbum posuimus. Teste Thoma
Cancellario apud Northanton.

The same in English.

There were present also the same tune, the messengers of Henry [Footnote:
The Second.] king of England presenting diuers rich and precious gifts, and
that with great learning & eloquence of speech. Amongst the which we saw a
pauilion, most large in quantity, & most excellent in quality. For if you
desire to know the quantitie therof, it could not be erected without
engines and a kinde of instruments, and maine force: if the qualitie, I
thinke there was neuer any furniture of the same kinde, that surpassed the
same either in stuffe or workemanship. The said king directed his letters
also, full of sugred speeches, the tenour whereof was this that followeth.

To his entirely beloued friend Frederick [Footnote: Son of Frederick, Duke
of Suabia, was born in 1121. and succeeded his uncle Conrad III. in 1152 as
Emperor of the West. As was proved by his campaigns in Italy in 1154, 1158,
and 1162, and by the justice and probity of his administration, he was
equally great as a soldier and as a ruler. He joined the Third Crusade in
1189, and was drowned whilst crossing a river in Asia in June, 1190. His
memory is still cherished amongst the peasants of Germany, who look upon
him in the same light as the Welsh on Arthur.] by the grace of God Emperour
of the Romanes most inuincible, Henry king of England, duke of Normandie
and Aquitaine, Earle of Anjou wisheth health and concord of sincere amitie.
We doe render vnto your highnes (most renowmed and peerelesse Prince)
exceeding great thanks for that you haue so graciously vouchsafed by your
messengers to visite vs in your letters to salute vs, with your gifts to
present vs, and (which wee doe more highly esteeme of then all the rest) to
beginne a league of peace and friendship betweene vs. We reioyced, and in a
maner sensibly felt our selues to bee greatly emboldened, and our courage
to encrease, whilest your promise, whereby you put vs in good comfort, did
make vs more cheerefull and resolute, in managing the affaires of our
kingdome. We reioyced (I say) & in our secret cogitations did humble
obeisance vnto your Maiestie, giuing you at this time to vnderstand from
the sincere & vnfained affection of our heart, that whatsoeuer we shal know
to tend vnto your honour, we are, to our power most ready to put in
practise. Our kingdome, and whatsoeuer is vnder our iurisdiction we doe
offer vnto you, and commit the same vnto our highnesse, that all matters
may be disposed according to your direction, and that your pleasure may in
all things be fulfilled. Let there be therefore betweene our selues and our
subiects, an indiuisible vnitie of friendship and peace, and safe trade of
Marchandize yet so, as that vnto you (who excell in dignitie) authoritie in
commanding may bee ascribed, and diligence in obeying shall not want in vs.
And as the liberalitie of your rewards doeth often put vs in remembrance of
your Maiestie euen so in like maner sending vnto your Highnesse the most
rare things in our custodie and which we thought should be most acceptable
vnto you, wee doe most heartily wish that your selfe also would not
altogether bee vnmindefull of vs. Haue respect therefore not vnto the
gifts, but vnto the affection of the giuer, and accept of them with that
minde, wherewith they are offered vnto you.

Concerning the hand of S Iames, [Footnote: According to the legend, the
relics of this saint were miraculously conveyed to Spain in a ship of
marble from Jerusalem, where he was bishop.] about which you wrote vnto vs,
we haue sent you word by M Herbert, and by William the Clerke. Witnes
Thomas our Chancelour at Northanton.

* * * * *

A generall safe conduct graunted to all forreine Marchants by king Iohn in
the [Marginal note: 1199] first yeere of his reigne, as appeareth in the
Records of the Tower, Anno 1. Regis Ioannis.

Ioannes Dei gratij &c. Maiori & Communitati Londinensi salutam. Sciatis
voluntatem esse nostram, quod omnes Mercatores de quicunque fuerunt terra
saluum habeant conductum ire & redire cum mercibus suis in Angliam.
[Sidenote: Solitę mercatorum consuetudines.] Volumus etiam quod eandem
habeant pacem in Anglia, quam Mercatores de Anglia habent in terris illis
vnde fuerunt egressi. Et ideo vobis pręcipimus, quod hoc faciatis
denunciari in Balliua vestra, & firmiter teneri; permittentes eos ire &
redire sine impedimento per debitas & rectas & solitas consuetudines in
Balliua vestra. Teste Galfredo filio Petri comite Essexię apud Kinefard 5.
die Aprilis.

In eadem forma scribitur vicecomiti Sudsex, Maiori & commumtati Ciuitatis
Winton, Balliuo de Southampton, Balliuo de Lenne, Balliuo Kent, Vicecomiti
Norffolcię & Suffolcię, Vicecomiti dorset & Sommerset, Baronibus de quinque
portubus, Vicecomiti de Southampton sire, Vicecomiti de Herttford & Essex,
Vicecomiti Cornubię & Deuon.

The same in English.

Iohn by the grace of God &c. to the Maior and communaltie of London,
greeting. You are to vnderstand, that it is our pleasure, that all
Marchants of what nation soeuer shall haue safe conduct to passe and
repasse with their Marchandize into England. It is our will also, that they
be vouchsafed the same fauour in England, which is granted vnto the English
Marchants in those places from whence they come. [Sidenote: The ancient
customes of Marchaunts.] And therefore we giue you in charge, that you
cause this to be published, and proclaimed in your bailiwicke, & firmely to
be obserued, permitting them to goe & come, without impediment, according
to the due, right and ancient customes vsed in your said Bailiwucke.
Witnesse Geofry Fitz-Peter Earle of Essex at Kinefard the 5. day of April.

The same forme of writing was sent to the sherife of Sudsex, to the Maior
and communaltie of the Citie of Winchester, to the Baily of Southampton,
the Baily of Lenne, the Baily of Kent, the sherife of Norfolke and
Suffolke, the sherife of Dorset and Sommerset, the Barons of the
Cinque-ports, the sherife of Souththampton shire the sherife of Hertford
and Essex the sherife of Cornewal and Deuon.

* * * * *

Literę regis Henrici tertij ad Haquinum Regem Norwegię de pacis foedere &
intercursu mercandisandi Anno 1 Henrici 3. [Marginal note: 1216.]

Henricus Dei gratia &c. Haquino eadem gratia Regi Norwegię salutem.
Immensas nobilitati vestrę referimus gratiarum actiones de his quę per
literas vestris prudentem virum. Abbatem de Lisa nobis significastis
volentes & desiderantes foedus pacis & dilectionis libenter nobiscum inire
& nobiscum confoederari. Bene autem placet & placebit nobis quod terrę
nostrę comunes sint, & Mercatores & homines qui sunt de potestate vestra
libere & sine impedimento terram nostrum adire possint, & homines &
Mercatores nostri similiter terri vestram. Dum tamen literas vestras
patentes super hoc nobis destinctis & nos vobis nostras transmittemus.
Interim autem bene volumus & concedimus, quod Mercatores tam de terra
vestra quąm nostra eant veniant, & recedant per terras nostras Et si quid
vestrę sederit voluntati quod facere valeamus id securč nobis significetis.
Detinuimus autem adhuc Abbatem pręlictum, vt de naui vestra & rebus in ea
contentis pro posse nostro restitutionem fieri faceremus: per quem de statu
nostro & Regni nostri vos certificare curabimus & quąm citius &c. Teste me
ipso apud Lamhithe decimo die Octobris.

Eodem modo scribitur S. Duci Norwegię ibidem & eodem die.

The letters of King Henry the third vnto Haquinus [Footnote: Haco IV.,
bastard of the able adventurer Swerro. His invasion of Scotland in 1263
forms a striking episode of medęval history.] King of Norway concerning a
treatie of peace and mutuall traffique of marchandize, &c.

Henry by the grace of God, &c. vnto Haquinus by the same grace King of
Norway sendeth greeting. Wee render vnto your highnesse vnspeakeable thanks
for those things which by your letters, and by your discreete subiect the
Abbat of Lisa, you haue signified vnto vs, and also for that you are right
willing and desirous to begin and to conclude betweene vs both, a league of
peace and amitie. And wee for our part both nowe are, and hereafter shalbe
well contented that both our lands be common to the ende that the Marchants
and people of your dominions may freely and without impediment resort vnto
our land, and our people and Marchants may likewise haue recourse vnto your
territories. Prouided, that for the confirmation of this matter, you send
vnto vs your letters patents, and wee will send ours also vnto you. Howbeit
in the meane while wee doe will and freely graunt, that the Marchants both
of our and your lands, may goe, come, and returne to and from both our
Dominions. And if there be ought in your minde, whereby we might stand you
in any stead, you may boldly signifie the same vnto vs. Wee haue as yet
deteined the foresaid Abbat, that wee might, to our abilitie, cause
restitution to be made for your ship, and for the things therein contained:
by whome wee will certifie you of our owne estate, and of the estate of our
kingdome so soone, &c, Witnesse our selfe at Lambith the tenth of October.

Another letter in the same forme and to the same effect was there and then
sent vnto S. Duke of Norway.

Mandatum pro Coga Regis Norwegię Anno 13. Henrici 3.

Mandatum est omnibus Balliuis portuum in quos ventura est Coga de Norwegia,
in qua venerint in Angliam milites Regis Norwegię & Mercatores Saxonię,
quod cum prędictam Cogam in portus suos venire contigerit, saluņ permittant
ipsam Cogam in portubus suis morari, quamdiu necesse habuerit, & libere
sine impedimento inde recedere quando voluerint. Teste Rege.

The same in English.

A Mandate for the King of Norway his Ship called the Cog.

Wee will and commaund all bailifes of Portes, at the which the Cog of
Norway (wherein certaine of the king of Norwaie his souldiers, and certaine
Marchants of Saxonie are comming for England) shall touch, that, when the
foresaid Cog shall chance to arriue at any of their Hauens, they doe permit
the said Cog safely to remaine in their said Hauens so long as neede shall
require, and without impediment also freely to depart thence, whensoeuer
the gouernours Of the sayd ship shall thinke it expedient. Witnesse the

* * * * *

Carta pro Mercatoribus de Colonia anno 20. Henrici 3. Confirmata per Regem
Edwardum primum 8. Iulij Anno Regni 18. prout extat in rotulo cartarum
de Anno 18. Regis Edwardi primi.

Rex Archiepiscopis &c. salutem. Sciatis nos quietos clamasse pro nobis &
hęredibus nostris dilectos nostros, Ciues de Colonia, & mercandisam suam de
illis duobus solidis, [Marginal note: Antiqua consuetudo Gildhallę
Coloniensium Londini.] quos solebant dare de Gildhalia sua London, & de
omnibus alijs consuetudinibus & demandis, quę pertinent ad nos in London, &
per totam terram nostram; & quod liberč possunt ire ad ferias, per totam
terram nostram & emere & vendere in villa London & alibi, salua libertate
Ciuitatis nostrę London. Quare volumus & firmiter pręcipimus pro nobis &
hęredibus nostris quod prędicti ciues de Colonia pręnommatas libertates &
libera consuetudines habeant per totam terram nostram Anglię sicut
prędictum est. His testibus, venerabili patre Waltero Caerleoiensi
Episcopo, Wilhelmo de Ferarijs, Gilberto Basset, Waltero de Bello campo,
Hugone Disspenser, Waltero Marescallo, Galfrido Dispenser, Bartholomęo
Pech, Bartholomęo de Saukeuill, & alijs. Data per manum venerabilis patris
Radulphi Cicistronsis Episcopi, Cancellarij nostri apud Dauintre Octauo die
Nouembris, Anno Regni nostri vicesimo.

The same in English.

A Charter graunted for the behalfe of the Marchants of Colen [Footnote:
Cologne.] in the twentieth yeere of Henry the third, confirmed by King
Edward the first, as it is extant in the roule of Charters, in the
eighteenth yeere of King Edward the first.

The King vnto Archbishops &c. greeting. [Sidenote: The ancient custome of
the Coloners Gildhall in London.] Be it knowen vnto you, that wee haue
quite claimed, and for vs and our heires released our welbeloued the
Citizens of Colen and their marchandize, from the payment of those two
shillings which they were wont to pay out of their Gildhall at London and
from all other customes and demaunds, which perteine vnto vs, either in
London, or in any other place of our Dominions and that they may safely
resort vnto Fayers throughout our whole Kingdome, and buy and sell in the
Citie of London. Wherefore we will and firmely command for vs and our
heires, that the forenamed Marchants of Colen may enioy the liberties and
free priuiledges aboue-mentioned, throughout our whole kingdome of England
as is aforesaid. Witnesses, the reuerend father Walter Bishop of Carlil,
William de Ferarijs, Gilbert Basset, Walter de Beauchamp Hugh Disspenser,
Walter Marescal, Geofrie Disspensser. Bartholomew Peach, Bartholomew de
Saukeuill and others. Giuen by the hand of the reuerend father Ralph Bishop
of Chichester and our Chauncellour at Dauintre, the eight day of Nouember
in the twentieth yeere of our reigne.

* * * * *

Carta Lubecensibus ad septennium concessa. Anno 41. Henrici 3.

[Sidenote: Carta conditionalis]

Henricus dei gracia Rex Anglię dominus Hibernię, dux Normanię, Aquitanię, &
Comes Andegauię, omnibus Balliuis suis salutem. [Sidenote: Ricardus Comes
Cornubiaę Rex Romanorum.] Sciatis nos ad instantiam dilecti & fidelis
fratris nostri Ricardi Comitis Cornubię in Regum Romanorum electi,
suscepisse in protectionem & defensionem nostram & saluum & securum
conductum nostrum Burgenses de Lubek in Alemania cum omnibus rebus &
mercandisis quas in Regnum nostrum deferent, vel facient deferri. Et eis
concessimus, quod de omnibus rebus & mercandisis suis nihil capiatur ad
opus nostrum vel alterius contra voluntatem eorundem; sed libere vendant &
negocientur inde in Regno prędicto, prout sibi viderint expedire. Et ideo
vobis mandamus, quod dictis Burgensibus vel eorum nuncijs in veniendo in
terram nostram cum rebus & mercandisis suis ibidem morando, & inde
recedendo, nullum inferatis, aut ab alijs inferri permittatis impedimentum
aut grauamen. Nec eos contra quietantiam prędictam vexetis, aut ab alijs
vexari permittatis. In cuius rei testimonium has literas nostras fiera
fecimus patentes per septennium durantes: Dum tamen ijdem Burgenses interim
bene & fideliter se habuerint erga pręfatum electum fratrem nostrum. Teste
meipso apud Westmonasterium vndecimo die Maij Anno Regni nostri
quadragesimo primo. Hęc litera duplicata est, pro Burgensibus &
mercatoribus Dacis, Brunswig, & Lubek.

The same in English.

The charter of Lubek granted for seuen yeeres, obtained in the one and
fortieth yeere of Henry the third.

Henry by the grace of God King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of
Normandie and Aquitaine, and Earle of Anjou, to all his Bailifs sendeth
greeting. Know ye that at the instant request of our welbeloued and trusty
brother Richard Earle of Cornewal being of late elected king of the
Romanes, we haue receiued vnder our protection and defence, and vnder our
safe and secure conduct, the citizens of Lubek in Alemain, with all their
goods and wares, which they shall bring or cause to be brought into our
kingdome. We haue also granted vnto them, that of all their goods and
merchandize, nothing shal be seized vnto the vse of our selues, or of any
other without their owne consent, but that they may freely sell and
exercise traffike therewith according as they shall thinke expedient. And
therefore we straightly command you, that neither your selues do offer, nor
that you permit any other to offer any impediment or moletstation vnto the
said Burgers or vnto their messengers, either at their comming into our
land, with their goods and marchandize, in the time of their abode there,
or at their departure from thence, and that yee neither molest them your
selues, nor yet suffer them by others to be molested, contrary to the
aforesaid Charter. In testimonie whereof, we haue caused these our Letters
to be made Patents, during the space of seuen yeeres next following.

Prouided, that the sayd Burghers doe in the meane time behaue themselues
well and faithfully towards our foresaid elected brother. Witnesse our
selues at Westminster the eleuenth day of March, [Footnote: _Sic_ in
Hakluyt. It should be _May_.] in the one and fortieth yeere of our reigne.

* * * * *

This Letter was doubled, namely for the Burghers, and the Marchants of
Denmarke, of Brunswig, and of Lubecke.

Carta pro Mercatoribus Alemannię, qui habent domum in London, quę Gildhalla
Teutonicorum vulgariter nuncupatur. Anno 44. Henrici tertij, & Anno primo
& 29. Edwardi primi renouata & confirmata.

Ad instantiam Serenissimi principis Richardi Romanorum Regis charissimi
fratris nostri concedimus mercatonbus Alemannię, illis videlicet qui habent
domum in Ciuitate nostra London, quę Gildhalla Teutonicorum vulganter
nuncupatur, quod eos vniuersos manutenebimus per totum Regnum nostrum in
omnibus ijsdem libertatibus & liberis consuetudinibus, quibus ipsi nostris
& [Marginal note: Nota antiquitatem.] progenitorum nostrorum temporibus vsi
sunt & gauisi. Ipsosque extra huiusmodi libertates & liberas consuetudines
non trahemus, nec trahi aliquatenus permittemus. In cuius rei testimonium
has literas nostras fieri fecimus patentes.

The same in English

A charter for the Marchants of Almaine, who haue an house at London
commonly called [Marginal note: The Stiliard.] the Guild hall of the
Dutch, graunted in the 44. yeere of Henry the third, renued and confirmed
in the 1. & 29. yeere of Edward the first.

At the instant request of the most gracious Prince Richard king of the
Romanes our most deare brother, wee doe graunt vnto the Marchants of
Alemain (namely vnto those that haue an house in our citie of London,
commonly called the Guildhall of the Dutch Merchants) that we will,
throughout our whole Realme, maintaine all and euery of them, in all those
liberties and free customes, which both in our times, and in the times of
our progenitors, they haue vsed and enioyed. [Sidenote: Note the
antiquity.] Neither will we inforce them beyond these liberties and free
customes, nor in any wise permit them to be inforced. In witnesse whereof,
wee haue caused these our letters to be made patents.

* * * * *

Mandatum regis Edwardi primi de mercatoribus alienigenis.

Mercatores extranei vendant mercimonia sua in ciuitate London &c. infra
quadraginta dies post ingressum suum, anno 3. Edwardi primi.

The same in English.

A mandate of king Edward the first concerning outlandish marchants.

We will and command that outlandish marchants doe sel their wares in the
citie of London &c. within forty dayes of their ariuall.

* * * * *

The great Charter granted vnto forreine marchants by king Edward the first,
in the 31. yeare of his reigne commonly called Carta mercatoria, Anno
Domini 1303.

Edwardus Dei gratia Rex Anglię, Dommus Hibernię dux Aquitanię,
Archiepiscopis, Episcopis, Abbatibus, Prioribus, Comitibus, Baronibus,
Iustitiarijs, Vicecomitibus, prępositis, ministris, & omnibus balliuis &
fidelibus suis salutem. Circa bonum statum omnium mercatorum subscriptorum
regnorum, terrarum, & prouinciarum, videlicet Alemannię, Francię, Hispanię,
Portugallię, Nauarrę, Lombardię, Thuscię, Prouincię, Catalonię, ducatus
nostri Aquitanię, Tholosanię, Caturluni, Flandrię, Brabantię, & omnium
aliarum terrarum & locorum extraneorum, quocunque nomine censeantur,
venientium in regnum nostrum Anglię & ibidem conuersantium nos pręcipua
cura sollicitat, qualiter sub nostro dominio tranquillitatis & plenę
securitatis immunitas eisdem mercatoribus futuris temporibus pręparetur. Vt
itaque vota ipsorum reddantur ad nostra & regni nostri seruitia promptiora,
ipsorum petitionibus fauorabiliter annuentes, & pro statu eorundem plenius
assecurando, in forma quę sequitur ordinantes, pro nobis & hęredibus
nostris in perpetuum subscripta dictis mercatoribus duximus concedenda.

1. In primis videlicet quod omnes mercatores dictorum regnorum & terrarum
saluč & secure sub tuitione & protectione nostra in dictum regnum nostrum
Anglię, & vbique infra potestatem nostram alibi veniant cum mercandisis
suis quibuscunque de muragio, pontagio & pannagio liberi & quieti. Quodque
infra idem regnum & potestatem nostram in ciuitatibus, burgis, & villis
mercatorijs possunt mercari duntaxat in grosso tam cum indigenis seu
incolis eiusdem regni & potestatis nostrę prędictę, quąm cum alienigenis,
extraneis, vel priuatis. Ita tamen quod merces, quę vulgariter mercerię
vocantur, ac species, minutatim vendi possint, prout antea fieri consueuit.
[Sidenote: Exceptio contra notorios regni hostes.] Et quod omnes prędicti
mercatores mercandisas suas, quas ipsos ad prędictum regnum & potestatem
nostram adducere, seu infra idem regnum & potestatem nostram emere, vel
aliąs acquirere contingerit, possint quo voluerint tam infra regnum &
potestatem nostram prędictam, quąm extra ducere vel portare facere,
pręterquam ad terras manifestorum & notoriorum hostium regni nostri,
soluendo consuetudines quas debebunt: vinis duntaxat exceptis, quę de codem
regno seu potestate nostra, postquam infra idem regnum seu potestatem
nostram ducta fuerint, sine voluntate & licentia specili non liceat eis
educere quoquo modo.

2. Item quod prędicti mercatores in ciuitatibus, burgis, & villis prędictis
pro voluntate sua hospitari valeant, & morari cum bonis suis ad gratiam
ipsorum, quorum sunt hospitia siue domus.

3. Item quod quilibet contractus per ipsos mercatores cum quibuscunque
personis vndecunque fuerint super quocunque genere mercandisę initus,
firmus sit & stabilis, ita quod neuter mercatorum ab illo contractu possit
recedere, vel resilire, postquam denarius Dei inter principales personas
contrahentes datus fuerit & receptus. Et si forsan super contractu euismodi
contentio oriatur fiat inde probatio aut inquisitio secundum vsus &
consuetudines feriarum & villarum, vbi dictum contractum fieri contigerit &

4. Item promittimus pręfatis mercatoribus pro nobis & hęredibus nostris in
perpetuum concedentes, quod nullam prisam vel arrestationem, seu dilationem
occasione prisę de cętero de mercimonijs mercandisis seu alijs bonis suis
per nos vel alium seu alios pro aliqua necessitate vel casu contra
voluntatem ipsorum mercatorum aliquatenus faciemus, aut fieri patiemur,
nisi statim soluto precio pro quo ipsi mercatores alijs eiusmodi mercimonia
vendere possint, vel eis aliter satisfacto, ita quod reputent se contentos:
Et quod super mercimonia, mercandisas, seu bona ipsorum per nos vel
ministros nostros nulla appreciatio aut estimatio imponetur.

[Sidenote: Lex mercatoria.]
5. Item volumus quod omnes balliui & ministri feriarum, ciuitatum,
burgorum, & villarum mercatoriarum mercatoribus antedictis conquerentibus
coram ijs celerem iustitiam faciant de die in diem sine dilatione secundum
legem mercatoriam, de vniuersis & singulis quę per eandem legem poterunt
terminari. Et si forte inueniatur defectus in aliquo balliuorum vel
ministrorum prędictorum, vnde ijdem mercatores vel eorum aliquis dilationis
incommoda sustinuerint vel sustineant, licet mercator versus partem in
principali recuperauerit damna sua, nihilominus balliuus vel minister alius
versus nos, prout delictum exigit puniatur. Et punitionem istam concedimus
in fauorem mercatorum prędictorum pro corum iustitia maturanda.

6. Item quod in omnibus generibus placitorum, saluo casu criminis pro quo
infligenda est poena mortis, vbi mercator implacitatus fuerit, vel alium
implacitauent, cuiuscunque conditionis idem implacitatus extiterit,
extraneus vel priuatus, in nundinis, ciuitatibus, siue Burgis, vbi fuerit
sufficiens copia mercatorum prędictarum terrarum, & inquisitio fieri
debeat, sit medietas inquisitionis de eijsdem mercatoribus, & medietas
altera de probis & legalibus hominibus loci illius vbi placitum illud esse
contigent. Et si de mercatoribus dictaram terrarum numerus non inuenientur
sufficiens, ponentur in inquisitione illi qui idonei inuenientur ibidem, &
residij sint de alijs bonis hominibus & idoneis de locis in quibus placitum
illud erit.

7. Item volumus, ordinamus, & statuimus, quod in qualibet villa mercatoria
& feria regni nostri prędicti & alibi infra potestatem nostram pondus
nostrum in certo loco ponatur & ante ponderationem statera in presentia
emptoris & venditoris vacua videatur & quņd brachia sint equalia & ex tunc
ponderator ponderet in ęquali. Et cum stateram posuerit in ęquali statim
amoueat manus suas, ita quod remaneat in ęquali; quodque per totum regnum &
potestatem nostram sit vnum pondus & vna mensura: & signo standardi nostri
signentur: Et quod quilibet possit habere stateram vnius quaternionis, &
infra, vbi contra domini loci, aut libertatem per nos & antecessores
nostros concessam illud non fuerit, siue contra villarum & feriarum
consuetudinem hactenus obseruatam.

8. Item volumus & concedimus, quod aliquis certus homo fidelis & discretus
Londini residens assignetur iustitiarius mercatoribus memoratis, coram quo
valeant specialiter placitare, & debita sua recuperare celeriter, si
Vicecomites & Maiores eis non facerent de die in diem celeris iustitię
complementum: Et inde fiat Commissio extra Cartam pręsentem concessa
mercatoribus antedictis: [Sidenote: Lex mercatoria quę?] scilicet de his
quę sunt inter mercatores & mercatores secundum legem mercatoriam

[Sidenote: Antiquę Costumę.]

9. Item ordinamus & statuimus, & ordinationem illam statutśmque pro nobis &
hęredibtis nostris in perpetuum volumus firmiter obseruari, quņd pro
quacunque libertate, quam nos vel hęredes nostri de cętero concedemus,
pręfati mercatores supradictas libertates vel earum aliquam non amittant.
Pro prędictis autem libertatibus & liberis consuetudinibus obtinendis, &
prisis nostris remittendis ijdem supradicti mercatores vniuersi & singuli
pro se & omnibus alijs de partibus suis nobis concorditer & vnanimiter
concesserunt, quņd de quolibet dolio vini, quod adducent vel adduci facient
infra regnum & potestatem nostram, & vnde marinarijs fretum soluere
tenebuntur, soluent nobis & hęredibus nostris nomine Custumę duos solidos
vltra antiquas custumas debitas & in denarijs solui consuetas nobis, aut
alias infra quadraginta dies, postquam extra naues ad terram posita fuerint
dicta vina. Item de quolibet sacco lanarum, quem dicti mercatores, aut alij
nomine ipsorum ement & č regno educent, aut emi & educi facient, soluent
quadraginta denarios de incremento vltra custumam antiquam dimidię marcę,
quę prius fuerat persoluta pro lasta coriorum extra regnum & potestatem
nostram vehendorum dimidiam marcam supra id quņd ex antiqua custuma ante
soluebatur. Et similiter de trecentis pellibus lanitis extra regnum &
potestatem nostram ducendis quadraginta denarios vltra certum illud, quod
de antiqua custuma fuerat prius datum. Item duos solidos de quolibet
scarlato & panno tincto in grano. Item decem & octo denarios de quolibet
panno, in quo pars grani fuerit intermixta. Item duodecem denarios de
quolibet panno alio sine grano. Item duodecem denarios de qualibet ęris

10. Cumque de pręfatis mercatoribus nonnuli eorum alias excicere soleant
mercandisas, vt de Aucrio ponderis, & de alijs rebus subtilibus, sicut de
pannis Tarsensibus, de serico, & cindallis, de seta & alijs diuersis
mercibus, & de equis etiam & alijs animalibus, blado & alijs rebus &
mercandisis multimodis, quę ad certam custumam facile poni non poterunt,
ijdem mercatores concesserunt dare nobis & hęredibus nostris de qualibet
libra argenti estimationis seu valoris rerum & mercandisaram huiusmodi,
quocunque nomine censeantur; tres denarios de libra in introitu rerum &
mercandisaram ipsarum in regnum & potestatem nostram prędictam infra
viginti dies postquam huiusmodi res & mercandisę in regnum & potestatem
nostram adductę & etiam ibidem exoneratę seu venditę fuerint. Et similiter
tres denarios de qualibet libra argenti in eductione quarumcunque rerum &
mercandisaram huiusmodi emptarum in regno & potestate nostris prędictis
vltra custumas nobis aut alijs ante datas. Et super valore & estimatione
rerum & mercandisarum huiusmodi de quibus tres denarij de qualibet libra
argenti sicut prędicitur sunt soluendi, credatur eis per literas, quas de
Dominis aut socijs suis ostendere poterunt: Et si literas non habeant
stetur in hac parte prędictorum mercatorum, si pręsentes fuerint, vel
valetorum suorum in eorandem mercatorum absentia, iuramentis.

11. Liceat insuper socijs de societate prędictorum mercatorum infra regnum
& potestatem nostram prędictas, lanas vendere alijs suis socijs, &
similiter emere ab ijsdem absque custuma soluenda. Ita tamen quod dictę
lattę ad tales manus non deueniant, quņd de custuma nobis debita
defraudemur. Et pręterea est sciendum, quņd postquam supradicti mercatores
semel in vno loco infra regnum & potestatem nostram custumam nobis
concessam superius pro mercandisis suis in forma soluerint supradicta, &
suum habeant inde warantum, siue huiusmodi mercandisę infra regnum &
potestatem nostram remaneant, siue exterius deferantur, (exceptis vinis,
quę de regno & potestate, nostris prędictis sine volnntate & licentia
nostra sicut prędictum est nullatenus educantur:) Volumus, ac pro nobis, ac
hęredibus nostris concedimus, quņd nulla exactio, prisa, vel pręstatio, aut
aliquod onus super personas mercatorum prędictorum, mercandisas seu bona
eorundem altquatenus imponatur contra formam expressam superius &
concessam. His testibus veracibus principalibus, Roberto Cantuariensi
Archiepiscopo totius Anglię primate, Waltero Couentrię & Lichfildię
episcopo, Henrico de Lacy Lincolniense, Humfredo de Bohum comite
Herfordiense, & Essexię & Constabulo magno Anglię, Adomaro de Valentia,
Galfrido de Gaymal, Hugone de Lespensor,[Footnote: _Sic_.] Waltero de
Bello campo, senescallo hospitij nostri, Roberto de Burijs, & alijs. Datum
per manum nostram apud Windesore, primo die Februarij, anno regni nostri

The aforesaid generall Charter in English.

Edward by the grace of God king of England, lord of Ireland, duke of
Aquitaine, to Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots, Priors, Earles, Barons,
Iustices, Vicounts, gouernours, officers, and all bayliffes, and his
faithfull people sendeth greeting. Wee haue speciall care for the good
estate of all marchants of the kingdomes, lands, and countries following:
to wit of Almaine, France, Spaine, Portugal, Nauarre, Lombardie, Florence,
Prouence, Catalonia, of our duchie of Aquitaine, Tholosa, Caturlune,
[Footnote: Catalonia] Flanders, Brabant, and of all other forreine
countreis and places by what name soeuer they be called, which come into
our kingdome of England, and there remayne, that the sayd marchants may
liue in quiet and full securitie vnder our dominion in time to come.
Wherefore that their hearts desires may bee more readily inclined to our
seruice and the seruice of our kingdome, wee fauourably agreeing to their
petitions, for the fuller assuring of their estate, haue thought good to
graunt to the sayd merchants for vs and our heires for euer these
priuiledges vnder written, ordaining in forme as followeth.

1. First, that all marchants of the sayd kingdomes and countreys may come
into our kingdome of England, and any where else into our dominion with
their marchandises whatsoeuer safely and securely vnder our defence and
protection without paying wharfage, pontage, or pannage. And that in
Cities, Boroughs, and market townes of the sayd kingdome and dominion they
may traffique onely by the great [Footnote: Wholesale.] as well with the
naturall subiects and inhabitantes of our aforesayde kingdome and dominion,
as with forreiners, straungers, or priuate persons. Yet so that
marchandises which are commonly called mercerie wares, and spices, may be
sold by the small, [Footnote: Retail.] as heretofore hath bin accustomed.
[Sidenote: An exception for traficking with the known enemies of the
kingdome.] And that all the aforesaid marchants may cary or cause to be
caried whither they will, aswell within our realme or dominion, as out of
the same; sauing vnto the countreis of the manifest and knowne enemies of
our kingdome, those marchandises which they shall bring into our foresayd
realme and dominion or buy or otherwise purchase in our sayd realme and
dominion paying such customes as they ought to doe: except onely wines,
which it shall not be any wayes lawfull for them to cary out of our sayd
realme and dominion without our speciall fauour and licence, after they be
once brought into our realme and dominion.

2. Item that the aforesayd marchants may at their pleasure lodge & remaine
with their goods in the cities, boroughs, and townes aforesaid, with the
good liking of those which are owners of their lodgings.

3. Item that euery bargaine made by the said marchants with any maner of
persons, of what places soeuer they be for any kind of marchadise
whatsoeuer, shalbe firme & stable so that none of both the marchants shall
shrinke or giue backe from that bargaine, after that the earnest penie be
once giuen and taken betweene the principall bargayners. And if
peraduenture any strife arise about the same bargaine, the triall and
inquirie thereof shall be made according to the vses and customes of the
fayres and townes where it chanced that the said bargaine was made and

4. Item, we promise the aforesaid marchants granting for euer for vs and
our heires, that from hence foorth we will not in any wise make nor cause
to be made any stay or arrest, or any delay by reason of arrest of their
wares, marchandises or other goods, by our selues, or by any other or
others for any neede or accident against the will of the sayd marchants,
without present payment of such a price as the marchants would haue sold
those marchandises for to other men, or without making of them other
satisfaction, so that they shall hold themselues well contented and that no
price or valuation shalbe set vpon their wares, marchandises, & goods by vs
or by any officer of ours.

5. Item, we will that all bayliffes and officers of fayres, cities,
boroughs, and market townes shall doe speedie iustice from day to day
without delay accgrdmg to the lawe of Marchants to the aforesayd marchants
when they shall complaine before them, touching all and singuler causes,
which may be determined by the same law. [Sidenote: Where is this law now
become?] And if default be found in any of the bayliffes or officers
aforesayd, whereby the sayd marchants or any of them haue sustained, or do
sustaine any damage through delay, though the marchant recouer his losses
against the partie principall, yet the bayliffe or other officer shall be
punished to vs ward, according to the qualitie of the default. And wee doe
grant this punishment in fauour of the aforesayd marchants in regard of the
hastening of their iustice.

6. Item, that in al maner of pleas, sauing in case where punishment of
death is to be inflicted, where a marchant is vnpleaded, or sueth another,
of what condition soeuer hee bee which is sued, whether stranger or home
borne, in fayres, cities, or boroughs, where sufficient numbers of
marchants of the foresayd countreis are, and where the triall ought to bee
made, let the one halfe of the Iurie be of the sayd marchants, and the
other halfe of good and lawfull men of the place wheie the suite shall fall
out to bee: and if sufficient number of marchants of the sayd countries
cannot bee found, those which shall be found fit in that place shall be put
vpon the Iurie, and the rest shall be chosen of good and fit men of the
places where such suit shall chance to be.

7. Item we will, we ordaine, and wee appoint, that in euery market towne
and fayre of our realme aforesayd and elsewhere within our dominion our
weight shall bee set in some certaine place, and that before the weighing
the balance shall bee seene emptie in the presence of the buyer and of the
seller, and that the skales bee equall: and that afterward the weigher
weigh in the equall balance. And when hee hath set the balances euen, let
him straightway remooue his hands, so that the balance may remayne euen:
And that throughout all our kingdome and dominion there be one weight and
one measure, and that they be marked with the marke of our standard. And
that euery man may haue a weight of one quarter of an hundred, and vnder,
where the same hath not bin contrary to the liberty of the lord of the
place, and contrary to the libertie granted by vs and our predecessors, or
contrary to the custome of townes and fayres which hath hitherto beene

8. Item we will and we grant that some certaine faythfull and discreete man
resident in London be appointed to doe Iustice to the aforesayd marchants,
before whome they may haue their sutes decided, and may speedilie recouer
their debts, if the Shiriffes and Maior should not from day to day giue
them speedy iustice. And hereof let a Commission be made: which we grant
vnto the aforesaid marchants besides this present Charter: to wit of such
things as betweene marchant and marchant are to be decided according to the
lawe of marchants.

9. Item we ordayne and appoynt, and wee will that this ordinance and
statute shall firmely bee obserued for euer for vs and our heires, that the
aforesayd marchants shal not loose the aforesayd liberties nor any of them,
for any libertie whatsoeuer, which wee or our heires hereafter shall grant.
And for the obtayning of the aforesayd liberties and free customes, and for
remission of our arresting of their goods the aforesayd marchants all and
euery of them for themsetues and all other of their parties with one
accorde and one consent hane granted vnto vs, that of euery tunne of wine,
which they shall bring or cause to be brought into our realme and dominion,
for which they shall bee bound to pay freight vnto the mariners, besides
the olde customes which are due and were woont to bee payd vnto vs, they
will pay vnto vs and to our heires in the name of a custome two shillings
in money, either out of hande, or else within fortie dayes after the sayd
wines shall bee brought on land out of the shippes. Item for euery sacke of
wooll, which the sayd marchants or others in their name shall buy and carie
out of the realme, or cause to bee brought and caried out, they will pay
forty pence aboue the old custome of halfe a marke, which was payed
heretofore: And for a last of hides to bee caryed out of our realme and
dominion halfe a marke aboue that which heretofore was payed by the olde
custome. And likewise for three hundreth Felles with the wooll on them to
bee transported out of our realme and dominion fortie pence, aboue that
certaine rate which before was payed by the olde custome: Also two
shillings vpon euery scarlate and euery cloth died in graine. Item
eighteene pence for euery cloth wherein any kind of graine is mingled. Item
twelue pence vpon euery cloth dyed without graine. Item twelue pence vpon
euerie quintall of copper.

And whereas sundrie of the aforesayd marchants are woont to exercise other
marchandises, as of Hauer de pois, and other fine wares, as sarcenets,
lawnes, cindalles, and silke, and diuers other marchandlses, and to sell
horses and other beastes, corne, and sundrie other things and marchandlses,
which cannot easily bee reduced vnto a certaine custome: the sayd marchants
haue granted to giue vnto vs, and to our heires of euery pound of siluer of
the estemation and value of these kinde of goods and marchandises, by what
name soeuer they be called, three pence in the pound in the bringing in of
these goods into our realme and dominion aforesaid, within twentie dayes
after these goods and marchandlses shall be brought into our realme and
dominion, and shall be there vnladen and solde. And likewise three pence
vpon euery pound of siluer in the carying out of any such goods and
marchandises which are bought in our realme and dominion aforesayd aboue
the customes beforetime payd vnto vs or any of our progenitors. And
touching the value and estimation of these goods and marchandises, whereof
three pence of euery pound of siluer, as is aforesayd, is to be payd,
credite shalbe giuen vnto them vpon the letters which they are able to
shewe from their masters or parteners. And if they haue no letters in this
behalfe, we will stand to the othe of the foresayd marchants if they bee
present, or in their absence to the othes of their seruants.

Moreouer, it shall be lawfull for such as be of the company of the
aforesayd marchants within our realme and dominion aforesayd, to sell
woolles to other of their company, and likewise to buy of them without
paying of custome. Yet so, that the said wools come not to such hands, that
wee be defrauded of the custome due vnto vs. And furthermore it is to be
vnderstood, that after that the aforesaid marchants haue once payed in one
place within our realme and dominion, the custome aboue granted vnto vs in
forme aforesayd for their marchandises, & haue their warrant therof,
whether these marchandises remayne within our kingdome or be caried out
(excepting wines, which in no wise shalbe caried forth of our realme and
dominion aforesayd without our fauour & licence as is aforesayd) we wil and
we grant for vs and our heires, that no execution, attachment or loane, or
any other burthen be layd vpon the persons of the aforesayd marchants, vpon
their marchandises or goods in any case contrary to the forme before
mentioned and granted. The faithfull & principall witnesses of these
presents are these Robert Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of all England,
Walter bishop of Couetrey and Lichfield, Henry Lacie of Lincolne, Humfrey
de Bohume, Earle of Herford and Essex high Constable of England, Adomare of
Valentia, Geofrey of Gaymal, Hugh Spenser, Walter Beauchampe Seneschall of
our house, Robert of Bures, and others. Giuen by our owne hand at Windesore
the first day of February, in the yere of our reigne xxxi.

* * * * *

De mercatoribus Anglię in Norwegia arestatis, & eorum mercimonijs de
arrestandis literę Edwardi secundi anno sexto regni sui, Haquino regi

Magnifico principi domino Haquino Dei gratia regi Norwegię illustri amico
suo charissimo Edwardus eadem Dei gratia rex Anglię, Dom. Hibernię, & dux
Aquitanię salutem cum dilectione sincera. Miramur non modicum & in intimis
conturbamur de grauaminibus & oppressionibus quę subditis nostris infra
regnum vestrum causa negociandi venientibus his diebus plus solito absque
causa rationabili, sicut ex graui querela didicimus, inferuntur. Nuper
siquidem Willihelmus filius Laurentij de Waynfleete, Simon filius Alani de
eadem, Guido filius Mathei & eorum socij mercatores nostri nobis
conquerendo monstrarunt, quod cum ipsi quosdam homines & seruientes suos
cum tribus nauibus suis ad partes regni vestri, ad negotiandum ibidem
transmisissent: [Sidenote: Villa de Tonnesbergh.] & naues illę in portu
villę vestrę de Tonnesbergh halece & alijs bonis diuersis vsque ad magnam
summam oneratę fuissent Et licet nautis nauium prędictarum hominibusque &
sermentibus prędictis ą regno vestro liberč cum nauibus & bonis prędictis
ad partes Anglię redeundi vestras fieri feceritis de conductu, postmodłm
tamen antequam naues illę propter venti contrarietatem portum prędictum
exire potuerunt, quidam balliui vestri naues prędictas cum hominibus &
bonis omnibus tunc existentibus in eisdem, occasione mortis cuiusdam
militis nuper balliui vestri in Vikia per malefactores & piratas, dum naues
prędictę in portu supradicto sicut pręmittitur remanserunt supra mare vt
dicitur interfecti, de mandato vestro vt dicebant arrestarunt, & diu sub
aresto huiusmodi detinebant, quousque videlicet homines & marinarij
prędicti de quadraginta libris sterlingorum certo die statuto ad opus
vestrum pro qualibet naui prędictarum soluendis inuiti & coacti securitatem
inuenissent: Et similiter de eisdem nauibus cum hominibus prędictis infra
portum prędictum citra festum natiuitatis Sancti Ioannis Baptistę proximo
futuro ad standum tunc ibidem de personis & nauibus suis vestrę gratię seu
voluntatis arbirio reducendis tres obsides vlterius liberassent: quod ipsis
valde graue censetur & auditu mirabile auribus audientium non immerito
reputatur. Et quia contra rationem & ęquitatem, omnemque iustitiam fore
dinoscitur, atque legem, quņd delinquentium culpę seu demerita in personis
vel rebus illorum qui criminis rei conscij vel participes, seu de huiusmodi
delinquentium societate non fuerunt, aliqualiter vlciscantur, vestram
amicitiam affectuose requirimus & rogamus quatenus pręmissa diligenti
meditatione zelo iustitię ponderantes, obsides prędictos iubere velitis ab
hostagiamento huiusmodi liberari, dictamque securitatem relaxari penitus &
resolui. Scientes pro certo, quod si malefactores prędicti, qui dictum
militem vestrum vt dicitur, occiderunt, alicubi infra regnum seu potestatem
nostram poterunt inueniri, de ipsis iustitiam & iudicium secundum legem &
consuetudinem eiusdem regni fieri faciemus. Non enim possumus his diebus
ęequanimiter tolerare quod naues prędictę seu alię de regno nostro, quę
semper promptę ad nostrum seruitium esse debent, extra idem regnum ad
partes remotas se diuertant sine nostra licentia speciali. Quid autem ad
hanc nostram instantiam faciendum decreueritis in pręmissis, nobis si
placeat rescribatis per pręsentium portatorem. Datę apud Windesore decimo
sexto die Aprilis.

The same in English.

The letters of Edward the second vnto Haquinus king of Norway, concerning
the English marchants arrested in Norway, and their goods to be freed
from arrest.

To the mighty Prince, lord Haquinus, by the grace of God the famous king of
Norway his most deare friend Edward by the same grace of God, king of
England, lord of Ireland duke of Aquitaine, greeting and sincere loue. We
maruell not a little, and are much disquieted in our cogitations,
considering the greeuances and oppressions which (as wee haue beene
informed by pitifull complaints) are at this present more than in times
past without any reasonable cause inflicted vpon our subiects, which doe
vsually resort vnto your kingdome for traffiques sake. For of late one
William the sonne of Laurence of Wainfleete, and one Simon the sonne of
Alan of the same towne, and Guido the sonne of Mathew and their associates
our marchants, in complayning wise declared vnto vs: [Sidenote: The towne
of Tonesbergh.] that hauing sent certaine of their factors and seruants,
with three shippes into your dominions, there to exercise traffique, and
the sayd ships being laden in the hauen of your towne of Tonnesbergh, with
Herrings and other commodities to a great value: and also the said
mariners, men, and seruants of the foresayd shippes, being licenced by
vertue of the safe conduct which you had granted them, freely to returne
from your kingdome vnto the parts of England with their ships and goods
aforesayd, but afterward not being able to depart out of your hauen by
reason of contrary windes: certaine of your bayliffes vpon occasion of the
slaughter of a knight being himselfe also of late your bayliffe of Vikia,
committed by malefactors and Pirates vpon the sea, whilest the sayd shippes
remained in the hauen aforesayd, did at yoar commandement (as they say)
arrest, and for a long season also deteined vnder that arrest, the foresaid
ships, with all the men and goods that were in them: namely vntill such
time, as the men and mariners aforesaide (beeing driuen perforce, and
constrained thereunto) should lay in sufficient securitie for the payment
of fortie pounds sterling, vpon a certain day appointed, vnto your vse for
euery of the foresaide ships and: also vntill they had moreouer deliuered
three pledges, for the bringing of the saide ships and men backe againe
into the foresaid hauen, before the feast of the natiuitie of S. Iohn the
Baptist next ensuing, then and there to stand vnto your fauour and
curtesie, as touching the said persons, and those ships of theirs: which
dealing, the parties themselues take very grieuously, yea, and all others
that heare thereof thinke it to be a strange and vnwonted course. And
because it is most vndoubtedly contrary to all reason, equitie, iustice,
and lawe, that the faults or demerits of offenders should in any sort be
punished in such persons, or in their goods, as neither haue bene accessory
nor partakers in the crime, nor haue had any society with the saide
offenders: we doe heartily intreat and request your Highnes, that weighing
and pondering the matter in the balance of iustice, you would of your loue
and friendship, command the foresaid pledges to be set at libertie, and the
said securitie vtterly to bee released and acquited. And know you this for
a certaintie, that if the foresaide malefactors, who (as it is reported)
slewe your Knight aforesaide shall any where within our realme and
dominions be found, we wil cause iustice and iudgement to bee executed vpon
them, according to the Lawe and custome of our sayde Realme. For we cannot
in these times conueniently and well indure, that the ships aforesaide, or
any other ships of our kingdome (which ought alwayes to be in a readinesse
for our seruice) should without speciall licence, depart out of our saide
kingdome, vnto forreine dominions. Nowe, what you shall think good at this
our request to performe in the premisses, may it please you by the bearer
of these presents to returne an answere vnto vs. Geuen at Windsore the 16.
of April.

* * * * *

Another Letter of Edward the second, to Haquinus King of Norway, in the
behalfe of certaine English Marchants

Magnifico Principi Dom Haquino Dei gratia regi Norwegię illustri, amico suo
charissimo, Edwardus eadem Dei gratia Rex Anglię, dominus Hybernię, & dux
Aquitanię, salutem cum dilectione sincera. [Sidenote: Northbernę villa.]
Querelam dilectorum Mercatorum nostrorum Thomę de Swyn de Waynfleete, &
Simonis filij Alani de eadem recepimus, continentem, Quod cłm ipsi nuper
quosdam seruientes suos infrą regnum vestrum pro suis ibidem exercendis
mercimonijs transmisissent, Thesaurarius vester bona & mercimonia
prędictorum Thomę & Simonis ad valenciam quadraginta librarum, quę
seruientes prędicti in villa de Northberne in sua custodia habuerunt, die
Sancti Michęlis vltimņ pręterita fecit absque causa rationabili arestari, &
ea adhuc taliter arestata detinet iniustč, in ipsorum Thomę & Simonis
damnum non modicum & depauperationem manifestam. Et quia eisdem
mercatoribus nostris subuenire volumus, quatenus suadente iustitia
poterimus in hac parte, vestram amicitiam requirimus cum affectu, quatenus
audita querela prędictorum Thomę & Simonis, vel ipsorum atturnatorum super
restitutione bonorum & mercimoniorum prędictorum impendere velitis eisdem
celeris iustitię complementum: Ita quod pro defectu exhibitionis iustitię
super arestatione prędicta non oporteat nos pro mercatoribus nostris
prędictis de alio remedio prouidere. Nobis autem quid ad hanc nostram
instantiam duxeritis faciendum, rescribere velitis per pręsentium
portitorem. Datę vt supra.

The same in English.

To the mightie Prince Lord Haquinus, by the grace of God the famous King of
Norway, his most deare friend Edward by the same grace of God king of
England, Lorde of Ireland, and Duke of Aquitaine, greeting and sincere
loue. Wee receiued the complaint of our welbeloued Merchants Thomas de Swyn
of Waynfleet, and Simon the sonne of Alanus of the same towne: the contents
whereof are, that whereas of late, the saide parties sent certaine of their
seruants to traffike in your kingdome, your Treasurer vpon the feast of S.
Michęl last past, without any iust or reasonable occasion, caused the goods
and merchandise of the foresaide Thomas and Simon, to the value of fortie
pound, which their said seruants had vnder their custodie at the towne of
Northberne, to be arrested, and as yet also iniurously deteineth the same
vnder the same arrest, to the great damage and impouereshing of the sayd
Thomas and Simon. And forasmuch as our desire is to succour these our
marchants so far foorth as we can, Iustice requiring no lesse in this
behalfe, we doe right earnestly request you, that hauing hearde the
complaint and supplication of the foresayde Thomas and Simon, or of their
Atturneyes, you woulde of your loue and friendship, vouchsafe them speedie
administration of Iustice, about the restitution of their goods and
marchandise aforesaide: least that for want of the exhibiting of Iustice
about the foresaid arrest, we be constrained to prouide some other remedie
for our marchants aforesaid. Our request is, that you would by the bearer
of these presents, returne an answere vnto vs, what you are determined to
doe, at this our instant motion. Giuen as aboue.

* * * * *

A third letter of King Edward the second, to Haquinus King of Norway in the
behalfe of certaine English Marchants.

Magnifico Principi Domino Haquino Dei gratia Regi Norwegię illustri, amico
suo charissimo, Edwardus eadem Dei gratia Rex Anglię, dominus Hybernię, &
dux Aquitanię, salutem cum dilectione sincera. Pro mercatoribus nostris
Lennę, & partium vicinarum, quos Balliuus & Officiarij vestri ciuitatis
vestrę Bergen dudum ceperunt, & stricto carceri manciparunt, quorum multi
vt iam intelleximus, propter alimentorum subtractionem & duritiam, ac
asperitatem carceris perierunt, vt ipsorum & bonorum suorum deliberationem
pręcipere curaretis, vestrę serenitati Regię nostras nuper transmisimus
literas speciales. Sed vos, retentis adhuc in carcere nostris mercatoribus
sicut prius, nobis per literas vestras quas audiuimus & intelleximus
diligenter, inter cętera rescripsistis, quod quidam mercatores de regno
vestro de iniurijs, violentijs & arrestationibus, quibus in regno nostro
his diebus sunt vt asserunt, contra iustitiam aggrauati, multipliciter
conqueruntur, adijciendo in vestris literis memoratis, quod quidam
iniquitatis filij in villa Lennę, ad piscandum vt dicebant halecia
venientes quendam militem Balliuum vestrum, in Vikia vną cum decem alijs
subditis vestris, in vestris & regni vestri negotijs existentibus
crudeliter occiderunt. Super quibus mens nostra grauatur quąmplurimum &
turbatur, pręsertim quum nunquam nostrę fuerit voluntatis, quod iniurię,
violentię, seu arrestationes aliquę mercatoribus, vel alijs de regno vestro
per aliquos de regno & potestate nostris fierent indebitč vel iniustč: nec
adhuc intelligere possumus, quod mercatoribus vestris per aliquem vel
aliquos de subditis nostris huc vsque aliter factum fuerit: Scientes pro
certo quod si nobis per inquisitiones legitimas constare poterit huiusmodi
grauamina subditis vestris infra regnum nostrum illata fuisse, nos
sufficientes emendas, & satisfactiones debitas super illis, celerķsque
iustitię complementum fieri faciemus. Et insuper si malefactores prędicti,
qui pręfatum militem, & alios secum existentes, vt pręmittitur, occiderunt,
de regnņ, seu potestate nostra sint, vel infrą idem regnum vel potestatem
poterunt inueniri, de ipsis iudicium & iustitiam fieri pracipiemus,
secundum Leges & consuetudines regni nostri. [Sidenote: Antiquitas comercij
inter Angliam & Norwegiam.] Et quia inter nos & vos, nostrósque & vestros
subditos hinc inde foueri desideramus mutuam concordiam & amorem; ita quod
mercatores nostri & vestri mercandisas suas in nostris & vestris regnis &
dominijs liberč, & absque impedimento valeant exercere, prout temporibus
progenitorum nostrorum fieri consueuit, & ex dictarum literarum vestrarum
serie collegimus euidenter vos promptos esse similiter, & paratos ad omnia
& singula, quę pro vobis & vestris subditis super discordijs,
contentionibus, aut grauaminibus inter nostros & vestros subditos
qualitercunque suscitatis pro bono pacis & iustitię fuerint ęquanimiter
facienda; Nos consimilia pro nobis & nostris, quantum ad nos & ad ipsos
attinet, illius amore, qui pacis author fore dinoscitur, & pro quiete &
commodo populi vtriusque regnorum nostrorum, quatenus ius & ratio
dictitauerint, promittimus nos factoros: Vestram amicitiam requirentes
obnixius & rogantes, quatenus mercatores nostros prędictos, qui adhuc
superstites relinquuntur, quos etiam tempore, quo dicta felonia committi
dicebatur, interclusos tenebat custodia carceralis, iubere velitis nostri
contemplatione, zelóque iustitię ab huiusmodi custodia liberari, bona ab
ipsis capta eis prout iustum fuerit restitui faciendo. Et vt deliberatio
mercatorum nostrorum prędictorum, & bonorum suorum eņ facilius concedatur,
placeat vobis cum diligentia debita ponderare, quod Galfridus Drewe, &
quidam alijs mercatores nostri de Lenne, quibusdam mercatoribus de regno
vestro occasione eiusdem grauaminis ipsis mercatoribus vestris, ad sectam
Tidemanni Lippe infrą regnum nostrum, vt dicebatur, illati, centum libras
sterlingorum persoluerunt, sicut in quodam scripto indentato inter
Ingelramum Lende de Thorenden, & quosdam alios mercatores vestros ex parte
vna, & pręfatam Galfridum, & quosdam alios de regno nostro similiter ex
altera confecto, vidimus contineri. Si qui verņ de subditis vestris de
aliquibus subditis nostris, de aliqua iniuria ipsis facta querelas in curia
nostra deponere voluerint, & prosequi cum effectu, ipsorum subditorum
vestrorum petitiones admitti, & eis super querelis huiusmodi plenam &
celerem iustitia fieri faciemus. Ita quod ijdem subditi vestri exinde
reputare debebunt meritņ se contentos. Et interim de excessibus &
grauaminibus subditis vestris infrą regnum nostrum qualitercunque illatis
inquiri faciemus cum diligentia veritatem. Vestrę igitur voluntatis
beneplacitum in pręmissis nobis rescribere velitis per pręsentium
portitorem. Datas apud Westminster tertio die Aprilis.

The same in English.

To the mightie Prince king Haquinus, by the grace of God the famous king of
Norway, his most deare friend Edward by the same grace of God, king of
England, lord of Ireland, Duke of Aquitaine, greeting and sincere loue. We
sent of late vnto your royall maiestie our special letters, for the behalfe
of our late marchants of Lenne, and of the coast adioyning (whome your
baily and officers of the citie of Bergen lately apprehended, committing
them to close prison, many of whome, as we vnderstand, are, for want of due
nourishment, and by reason of the extremitie & loathsomnesse of the prison,
quite perished) that you would cause them and their goods to bee released.
Howbeit, you reteining as yet our marchants in durance as before, in your
letters, which we haue diligently heard, and throughly vnderstood, haue,
amongst other matters, returned this answere vnto vs, that certaine
marchants of your kingdome doe make sundrie complaints of iniuries,
violences and arrests, whereby they haue lately (as themselues auouch)
contrary to iustice bene aggrieued and oppressed in our dominions adding
moreouer in your sayde letters, that certaine sonnes of iniquitie of the
towne of Lenne, comming, as they saide, to fish for herings cruelly
murthered a certaine Knight, who was in times past your bayliffe of Vikia,
together with ten others of your subiects, being imployed about the
affaires of your kingdome. In consideration whereof our minde is
exceedingly and aboue measure grieued and troubled, especially sithence it
as neuer any part of our intent, that any iniuries, violences, or arrests
should vniustly be inflicted vpon any marchants, or any others of your
realme by any of our kingdomes: neither can we as yet haue any
intelligence, that any such hard measure hath bene offered vnto any of your
marchants, by any one or moe of our subiects: giuing you for a certaintie
to vnderstand, that if vpon lawfull inquisition we shal be aduertised of
any such grieuances, which haue bene offered vnto your subiects within our
realme, we will cause speedie iustice to be administred, and sufficient
recompence, and due satisfaction to be made in regarde thereof. And
moreouer, if the saide malefactors, which, as it is aforesaid, slewe the
forenamed Knight, and others of his companie, either be appertaining vnto
our kingdome and dominion, or may at any time be found within our saide
kingdome or dominion, we will command iustice and lodgement to be executed
vpon them according to the lawes and customes of our realme. And forasmuch
as our desire is, that mutuall concord and amitie should be mainteined and
cherished between your and our subiects on both parts: so that our and your
marchants may, in both our Realmes and dominions, freely and without
impediment exercise their traffique, as in the times of our progenitors it
hath bene accustomed; [Sidenode: The antiquity of traffique betweene
England and Norway] Whereas also we euidently gathered out of the contents
of your letter, that you are in like sort readie and willing to put all
things in practise, which are by you and your subiects (for the taking away
of discords, contentions, and molestations howsoeuer occasioned, and sprung
vp betweene your and our subiects) louingly to be performed: we also doe
promise for our selues and our subiects so much as in vs and them lieth for
his sake who is knowen to be the author of peace, and for the benefite &
tranquilitie of both our Realmes (as iustice and reason shall moue vs) to
doe the like. Desiring and earnestly requesting at your hands, that of your
loue and friendship, hauing regard of vs, and consideration of iustice, you
would commaund that our foresaide marchants, who as yet remaine aliue, and
who also at the time of the saide felonie committed, were shut vp in close
prison, be deliuered out of the saide thraldome, causing their goods which
haue bene taken from them, to bee, according vnto iustice, restored to them
again. And that the deliuerie of our foresaide marchants and goods, may be
the more easily yeelded vnto, may it please you with diligent obseruation
to consider, that Gefferey Drew, and certaine other of our marchants of
Lenne, vpon occasion of the greiuances offered vnto your marchants within
our Realme, (as the report goeth) at the suite of Tidman Lippe, paide vnto
the same your marchants an hundreth pound sterling: euen as in a certain
Indenture made betweene Ingelram Lende of Thorenden, and some other of your
marchants on the one part, and betweene the foresaide Geffrey, and certaine
of our marchants on the other part, wee sawe conteined. Moreouer, if any of
your subiects be minded to exhibite, and effectually to prosecute their
complaints in our Court, concerning any of our subiects, or of any iniury
done vnto them, we will cause the petitions of those your subiects to be
admitted, and also full and speedie iustice to be administred, vpon any
such like complaints of theirs. Insomuch, that those your subiects shal
thinke themselues right well and sufficiently contented therewithall. And
in the meane space we will cause diligent inquisition of the trueth to be
made, of all excesses and grieuances howsoeuer offered vnto your subiects
within our dominions. May it please you therfore, by the bearer of these
presents, to returne an answere vnto vs, what you are determined to doe in
the premisses. Giuen at Westminster, the third day of April.

* * * * *

De Stapula tenenda in certo loco ordinatio, Anno 13. Edwardi secundi.

Rex collectoribus custumę lanarum & pellium lanutarum in portu London
salutem. Cłm nos vicesimo die Maij anno regni nostri sexto attendentes
damna & grauamina, quę mercatoribus de regno nostro diuersimode euenerunt,
ex eo quod mercatores tam indigenę quąm alienigenę lanas & pelles lanutas
infra regnum & potestatem nostram ementes, & se cum eisdem lanis & pellibus
ad vendendum eas ad diuersa loca infra terras Brabantię, Flandrię, & de
Artoys eorum libito voluntatis transtulerint: [Sidenote: Maior & Communitas
stapulę.] & volentes etiam huiusmodi damnis & grauaminibus quatenus bono
modo possemus prouidere, de consilio nostro ordinauerimus, quod mercatores
indigenę & alienigenę lanas & pelles huiusmodi infrą regnum & potestatem
prędictam ementes, & ad terras prędictas ibidem vendendas ducere volentes,
lanas illas & pelles ad certam stapulam infrą aliquam earundem terrarum,
per Maiorem & Communitatem eorundem mercatorum, de regno nostro ordinandam
assignari, ac prout & quando expedire viderint mutandum, & non ad alia loca
in terris illis ducant, seu duci faciant vllo modo: & inter cętera
concesserimus mercatoribus de regno nostro supradicto pro nobis & hęredibus
nostris, quņd ipsi Maior & consilium dictorum mercatorum, qui pro tempore
fuerint, quibuscunque mercatoribus indigenis seu alienigenis, qui contra
dictam ordinationem venerint, & modo rationabili conuicti fuerint, certas
pecunię summas pro delictis illis imponant, & quņd illę huiusmodi summę de
bonis & mercimonijs mercatorum sic delinquentium, vbicunque ea infra regnum
& potestatem prędictam inueniri contigerit, per ministros nostros ad opus
nostrum leuentur: prout in Charta nostra inde confecta plenius continetur:
[Sidenote: Charta anno regni sexio confecta.] quam quidem Chartam per
singulos comitatus regni nostri super costeras maris fecimus publicari, &
firmiter inhiberi, ne qui mercatores indigenę seu alienigenę contra tenorem
Chartę prędictę sub poenis contentis in eadem venerint vllo modo: Ac
postmodum dato nobis intelligi, quod quąmplures mercatores tam indigenę
quąm alienigenę, lanas & pelles lanutas infrą regnum & potestatem prędictas
ementes, & se cum eisdem lanis & pellibus ad vendendum eas ad alia loca in
dictis terris, quąm ad Stapulam iuxta concessionem nostram prędictam per
Maiorem & communitatem dictorum mercatorum de regno nostro in aliqua
terrarum illarum ordinatam & assignatam transtulerint in nostri contemptum,
& contra Chartam ordinationis, publicationis & inhibitionis prędictarum
assignauerimus quosdam fideles nostros in diuersis partibus regni ad
inquirendum de lanis & pellibus lanutis ad dictas terras alibi quąm ad
Stapulam illam ductis, ita quod emendę inde ad nos pertinentes, ad opus
nostram leuentur; etiam intellexerimus, quod quasi omnes mercatores tam
indigenę quąm alienigenę huiusmodi mercimonia in dicto regno nostro
exercentes sunt culpabiles de pręmissis: & quod plures inde indictati, ac
alij timentes inde indictari, lanas suas ac pelles lanutas sub nominibus
aliorum non culpabilium faciunt aduocari, & extra regnum nostrum transmitti
quibusdam alienigenis, sic culpabilibus in dictum regnum forsitan non
reuersuris, vt sic forisfacturas prędictas effugiant, & nos de emenda ad
nos sic pertinente illudant: quę si permitterentur sic transire in nostri
damnum non modicum redundarent. Nos volentes huiusmodi fraudibus obuiare, &
nostris damnis quatenus bono modo poterimus pręcauere, vobis pręcipimus
firmiter iniungentes, quod ą singulis mercatoribus lanas seu pelles lanutas
per portum prędictum ad partes exteras ducere volentibus corporale
sacramentum ad sancta Dei Euangelia recipiatis, quod ipsi lanas seu pelles
lanutas sub nomine ipsius, cuius proprię sunt, & non alterius aduocabunt, &
tunc recepta ab illo cuius lanę & pelles huiusmodi erunt, vel nomine suo
sufficiente securitate pro qua respondere volueritis, de respondendo &
faciendo nobis id quod ad nos pertinet de lanis & pellibus lanutis per
ipsum ductis seu missis ad aliquam dictarum terrarum Flandrię & Brabantię,
& de Artoys contra formam Chartę, proclamationis, & inhibitionis
supradictarum, si ipsum super hoc conuinci contingat, lanas & pelles illas
lanutas extra portum prędictum, recepta prius custuma debita de eisdem, ad
partes exteras transire pemittatis. Teste Rege apud Doueram decimo octauo
die Iunij, per ipsum Regem & Consilium.

Et postmodłm per breue de priuato sigillo eodem modo mandatum est
collectoribus custumę prędicts in portubus subscriptis: Videlicet,

In portu villę Southhampton.
In portu villę Weymouth.
In portu villę Sancti Botolphi.
In portu villę de Kingtone super Hull.
In portu villę de nouo Castro.
In portu villę de magna Iernemutha.
In portu villę de Lenne.
In portu villę de Gypwico.

The same in English.

An Ordinance of the Staple to bee holden at one certaine place.

The King vnto his Collectors of custome, for wooll and woollen fels, in his
port of London, greeting. Whereas we vpon the 20. of May, in the sixt yeere
of our reigne, considering the damages and grieuances that haue diuersly
happened vnto the marchants of our realme, vpon occasion that the marchants
both of our owne, & of other countreis, buying vp wooll and woollen fels
within our kingdome and dominions, haue, for the better sale thereof, at
their pleasure conueyed theselues, and trasported the said wooll & fels
into sundry places within the prouinces of Brabant, Flanders and Artoys:
and being desirous also, to our power, to prouide a remedie against such
damages and inconueniences, haue ordained by our counsel, that all
marchants, both homeborne and aliens, buying vp such wools and fels, within
our kingdome and dominion aforesaid, and being desirous to transport them
into the foresaid prouinces, there to bee solde, may carrie the saide wools
and fels, or cause them to be caried to some certaine staple, within any of
the saide Prouinces, by the Maior and Communaltie of the said marchants of
our realme, to be appointed and assigned, and when they shall thinke it
expedient, to be changed and remoued, and not vnto any other place within
the saide Prouinces whatsoeuer: and whereas also, amongst other things, we
haue granted vnto the marchants of our foresaid realme, for vs and our
heires, that the Maior and Councel of the saide marchants for the time
being, may impose vpon all marchants, home-borne or aliens whatsoeuer, that
shall transgresse the foresaid ordination, and shall thereof lawfully be
conuicted, certaine summes of money to be paid for their offences, and that
such summes must by our ministers and officers, to our vse, be leuied out
of the goods and wares of the marchants so offending, wheresoeuer they
shall chance to be found within our kingdome and dominions aforesaid,
[Sidenote: A Charter made in the sixt yeere of his reigne.] as in our
Charter made for the same purpose it is more plainly expressed, (which
Charter we haue caused to be published vpon the Sea-coasts, throughout all
the countreys of our realme, and a strong prohibition to be proclaimed,
that no marchants, neither home-borne, nor strangers, may in any wise
transgresse the tenour of the foresaide Charter, vnder the penalties
therein contained) and whereas afterward it beeing giuen vs to vnderstand,
that diuers marchants both homeborne and aliens, bought vp such woolles and
woollen felles within our saide Realme and dominions, and conueyed
themselues with the saide wools and felles for the sale thereof vnto other
places within the foresaide Prouinces, besides the saide Staple, which was,
according to our graunt aforesaide appointed and ordained by the Maior and
communaltie of the said marchants of our Realme, in some one of those
Prouinces, to the contempt of our authoritie, and contrary to the Charter
of the ordination, publication, and inhibition aforesaide, wee assigned
certaine of our faithfull subiects, in diuers parts of our Realme, to make
inquisition for such wools and woollen felles, as were conueyed vnto any
other place of the saide Prouinces, then vnto the Staple, so that by these
meanes, the penalties due vnto vs might bee leuied vnto our vse: and hauing
intelligence also, that in a maner all marchants both home-borne, and
strangers bartering such wares in our kingdome, are culpable of the
premisses, and that many being indicted thereupon, and others fearing to
bee indicted, doe cause their wools and woollen felles to bee auouched
vnder the names of persons not culpable, and to be sent ouer vnto certaine
strangers being also culpable, and not minding perhaps to return any more
into our realme, that they may so escape the foresaid forfeitures, and
defraud vs of the penaltie, appertaining of right vnto vs, (which abuses,
if they were suffered so to goe vnpunished woulde redound vnto our extreame
hinderance:) and beeing likewise desirous to withstand such deceitefull
dealing, and so farre forth as wee can, to preuent our owne losses, we
firmely command, and streightly charge you, that you doe receiue of euery
particular marchant, desirous to conuey any wools, or woollen fels out of
the foresaid port, into any forrein dominions, a corporal oath vpon Gods
holy Euangelists that they shall auouch all those wools and woollen fels
vnder his name vnto whom they doe properly belong, & vnder the name of none
other: and then taking sufficient security from the owner of those wools
and fels, or in his name, in regard whereof you wil vndertake to
warrantize, and make good vnto vs those penalties and forfaitures which
shal vnto vs appertaine, for all wools, and woollen fels conueied or sent
by any of the foresaid merchants vnto any of the said prouinces of
Flanders, Brabant, and Artoys, contrary to the Charter of the Proclamation
and inhibition aboue mentioned (if they shal chance to be conuinced hereof)
that first, our due custome being receiued, you doe permit the said wools
and woollen fels to passe out of the foresaid port into forrein countnes.
Witnes the king at Douer the 18. day of Iune. By the king himselfe and his

And afterwarde by a Writte vnder the Kings priuie Seale there was a like
commandement giuen vnto the Collectors of the custome aforesayde in the
portes vnderwritten.

That is to say:

In the port of the Towne of:

Saint Botulphs towne, now called Boston.
Kingtone vpon Hull.
Iernemouth magna, or Yermouth.
Gypwick or Ipswich.

* * * * *

Carta Henrici quarti Anno [Marginal note: 1404] quinto regni sui concessa
mercatoribus Anglię in partibus Prussię, Dacię, Norwegię, Swethię, &
Germanię, de gubernatore inter ipsos ibidem constituendo.

Henricus Dei gratia Rex Anglię & Francię & Dominus Hibernię omnibus, ad
quos pręsentes literę peruenerint, salutem Sciatis quod cum, vt accepimus,
ob defectum boni & sani regiminis & gubernationis, diuersa damna,
dissensiones, grauamina, & angustię inter mercatores Regni nostri Anglię in
partibus Prucię, Dacię, Noruegię, Hansę, & Suethię commorantes sępius ante
hęc tempora mota fuissent & perpetrata, ac maiora, exinde, quod absit,
futuris temporibus verisimiliter euenire formidantur, nisi pro meliori
gubernatione inter eosdem mercatores mutuņ habenda manus nostras adiutrices
apponamus: Nos damnis & periculis in hac parte imminentibus pręcauere, &
eosdem Mercatores & alios de dicto regno nostro ad partes prędictas
venturos iuste & fideliter regi & pertractari intime desiderantes, volumus
& tenore pręsentium concedimus eisdem mercatoribus, quod ipsi quoties &
quando eis placuerit in quodam loco competenti & honesto, vbi sibi
placuerit, se congregare & vnire, & certas personas sufficientes & idoneas
in gubernatores suos in eisdem partibus inter se ad eorum libitum eligere &
obtinere valeant libere & impune: Dantes vlterius & concedentes huiusmodi
gubernatoribus per prędictos Mercatores sic eligendis, quantum in nobis
est, potestatem & authoritatem speciales, omnes & singulos mercatores
Anglicos ad partes prędictas de cętero venientes & declinantes per se vel
sufficientes loca sua tenentes regendi & gubernandi, ac eis & eorum
cuilibet in suis causis & querelis quibuscunque inter eos in partibus
prędictis motis vel mouendis plenam & celerem iusticiam faciendi &
quascunque quęstiones contentiones, discordias, & debatas inter ipsos
mercatores Anglicos partium prędictarum motas sue mouendas reformandi,
reformationemque petendi, redigendi, sedandi, & pacificandi, & quascunque
transgressiones, damna, mesprisiones, excessus, violencias, & iniurias
mercatoribus partium prędictarum per prędictos mercatores Anglicos factas
seu faciendas redigendi, reparandi, restaurandi, & emendandi, consimilesque
restitutiones, reparationes, restaurationes & emandationes de ipsis
mercatoribus partium prędictarum seu deputatis suis requirendi, petendi, &
recipiendi: Ac de communi assensu mercatorum Anglicorum prędictorum
statuta, ordinationes, & consuetudines, prout pro meliori gubernatione
status eorundem mercatorum Anglicorum in hac parte videbitur expedire,
faciendi & stabiliendi & omnes & singulos mercatores Anglicos pręfatis
gubernatoribus sic eligendis vel eorum loca tenentibus seu eorum alicui,
aut alicui statutorum, ordinationum & consuetudinum prędictarum contrarios,
rebelles, vel inobedientes iuxta quantitatem delicti sui in hac parte
rationabiliter puniendi. Volentes insuper omnia iusta & rationabilia
statuta, ordinationes & consuetudines per dictos gubernatores sic eligendos
in forma prędicta facienda & stabilienda, nec non omnes iustas &
rationabiles ordinationones per [Marginal note: Nota.] nuper gubernatores
prędictorum mercatorum Anglicorum de communi assensu eorundem mercatorum
pro huiusmodi gubernatione sua in partibus prędictis iuxta priuilegia &
authoritates sibi per magistrum. Prucię seu alios dominos partium
prędictarum concessa, factas & stabilitas, sen per prędictos gubernatores
nunc vt pręmittitur eligendos iuxta priuilegia prędicta, seu alia
priuilegia eisdem mercatoribus Anglicis per prędictos magistrum & dominos
in posterum concedenda, facienda & stabilienda, rata, firma & accepta
haberi, & pro ratis firmis, & acceptis ibidem fimiter & inuiolabiter
obseruari. Damus autem vniuersis & singulis mercatoribus Anghcis prędictis
tenere pręsentium firmiter in mandatis, quod eisdem gubernatonbus sic
eligendis & eorum loca tenentibus in pręmissis omnibus & singulis ac alijs
gubernationem & regimen in hac parte qualitercunque concernentibus
intendentes sint, consulentes obedientes & auxiliantes prout decet. Data in
palatio nostro Westmonasterij sub magni sigili nostri testimomo sexto die
Iunij Anno regni nostri quinto.

A Charter of King Henry the fourth graunted in the fift yeere of his reigne
to the English Marchants resident in the partes of Prussia, Denmarke,
Norway, Sweden, and Germanie for the chusing of gouernours among

Henry by the grace of God king of England and of France, and lord of
Ireland to all to whom these present letters may come, sendeth greeting.
Know ye, that whereas, according as we are informed, through want of good
and discreete rule and gouernement, sundry damages, strifes, oppressions,
and wrongs oftentimes heretofore haue bene moued and committed among the
Marchants of our kingdome of England remaining in the parties of Prussia,
Denmarke, Norway, the Hans steeds and Sweden, and greater hereafter, which
God forbid, are feared to be like to fall out, vnlesse we put to our
helping hands for the procuring of better gouernement to be maintained
among the said Marchants: wee heartily desiring to preuent the perrils and
dangers which are like to fall out in this case, and that the sayde
Marchants and others which shall trauaile out of our said Realme into the
partes aforesaid may iustly and faithfully be ruled and intreated, we will
and graunt by the tenour of these presents to the said Marchants, that they
may freely and without danger assemble and meete together as often and
whensoeuer they please in some conuenient and honest place where they shall
thinke good, and that they may choose among themselues certaine sufficient
and fit persons for their gouernours in those parts at their good liking.
And furthermore we giue and graunt to the said Gouernours which are in such
sort to be chosen by the aforesaid Marchants, as much as in vs lieth,
speciall power and authoritie to rule and gouerne all and singular the
English Marchants which hereafter shall come or repayre to the parts
aforesaid by themselues or their sufficient Deputies, and to minister vnto
them and euery of them in their causes and quarels whatsoeuer, which are
sprung vp, or shall hereafter fall out among them in the parts aforesaid
full and speedie iustice, and to reforme all maner of questions,
contentious discords, and debates moued or to be moued betweene the English
Marchants remayning in those parts, and to seeke reformation, to redresse,
appease, and compound the same. And further to redresse, restore, repayre
and satisfie all transgressions, damages, misprisions, outrages, violences,
and iniuries done or to be done by the aforesaid English Marchants against
the Marchants of those parts: And to require, demaund and receiue the like
restitutions, reparations, satisfactions and amends of the Marchants of
those parts or of their deputies. And by the common consent of the
aforesaid English Marchants to make and establish statutes, ordinances, and
customes, as shall seeme expedient in that behalfe for the better
gouernement of the state of the said English Marchants: and to punish with
reason according to the quantitie of their fault in that behalfe all and
singular the English Marchants which shall withstand, resist or disobey the
aforesaid gouernours so to be chosen or their deputies, or any of them: or
any of the aforesaid statutes, ordinances, or customes. Moreouer we doe
ratifie, confirme, and approoue, and as ratified, confirmed, and approoued,
wee command firmely and inuiolably there to be obserued all iust, and
reasonable statutes, ordinances, and customes which shalbe made and
established by the said gouernors, so to be chosen, in forme aforesaid, and
also all iust and reasonable ordinances made & established by the late
gouernours of the aforesaid English Marchants with the common consent of
the sayd Marchants for this their gouernement in the parts aforesayd,
according to the priuileges and authorities now granted vnto them by the
Master of Prussia, or other Lords of the partes aforesayd, or which shall
be made and established by the aforesayd gouernours now as is mentioned to
be chosen according to the aforesaid priuileges heretofore graunted, or
other priuileges hereafter to bee granted to the sayde English Marchants by
the aforesayde Master and lords of the Countrey. And furthermore by the
tenor of these presents we straitely commaund all and singular the
aforesaid English Marchants, that they attend, aduise, obey and assist, as
it becommeth them, the sayde gouernours so to bee chosen, and their
deputies in all and singular the premisses and other things, which any way
may concerne in this behalfe their rule and gouernement. Giuen in our
Palace at Westminster vnder the testimonie of our great Seale the sixt day
of Iune in the fift yeere of our reigne.

* * * * *

A note touching the mighty Ships of King Henry the fift, mentioned
hereafter in the treatie of keeping the sea, taken out of a Chronicle in
the Trinitie Church of Winchester.

Eodem anno quo victoria potitus est videlicet Anno Domini 1415. & regni sui
Anno tertio, post bellum de Agencourt, conducti a Francis venerunt cum
multis Nauibus recuperaturi Harfletum. Sed Rex Anglię misit fratrem suum
Iohannem Ducem Bedfordię & Andegauię, qui pugnauit cum eis & vicit, & Naues
cepit, & quasdam submersit: cęteri fugerunt cum Hispanis nauibus qui
venerant cum eis Anno gratię 1416. Sequenti vero Anno redierunt
potentiores, & iterum deuicti perpetuam pacem cum Rege composuerunt, &
propter eorum naues fecit Rex fieri naues quales non erant in mundo. De his
sic conductis a Francis ita metricč scribitur.

[Sidenote: Naues maximę Henrici quinti.]

Regum belligero trito celeberrimus aruo
Gallos, Hispanos, Ianos, deuicit, & Vrget,
Vastat; turbantur cętera regna metu.
Nauali bello bis deuicti quoque Iani.

* * * * *

A branch of a Statute made in the eight yeere of Henry the sixt, for the
trade to Norwey, Sweueland, Denmarke, and Fynmarke.

Item because that the kings most deare Vncle, the king of Denmarke, Norway
and Sueueland, as the same our soueraigne Lord the king of his intimation
hath vnderstood, considering the manifold & great losses, perils, hurts and
damage which haue late happened as well to him and his, as to other
foraines and strangers, and also friends and speciall subiects of our said
soueraigne Lord the king of his realme of England, by the going in, entring
& passage of such forain & strange persons into his realme of Norwey &
other dominions, streits, territories, iurisdictions & places subdued and
subiect to him, specially into his Isles of Fynmarke, and elsewhere, aswell
in their persons as their things and goods: for eschuing of such losses,
perils, hurts & damages, and that such like (which God forbid) should not
hereafter happen: our said soueraigne Lord the king hath ordeined and
statuted, that all and singular strangers, as well Englishmen and others
willing to apply by Ship and come into his realme of Norwey and other
dominions, straights, territories, iurisdictions, Isles & places aforesaid
with their ships to the intent to get or haue fish or any other
Marchandises, or goods, shall apply and come to his Towne of Northberne,
where the said king of Denmarke hath specially ordained and stablished his
staple for the concourses of strangers and specially of Englishmen, to the
exercise of such Marchandises granting to the said Englishmen that they
shall there inioy in and by all things the same fauour, priuileges and
prerogatiues which they of the Hans did enioy. Therefore our said
soueraigne Lord the king willing the loue, affinitie and amities to be
firmely obserued, which betwixt his said Vncle and his noble progenitors of
good memory, their Realmes, lands, dominions, streites, territories,
iurisdictions and their said places, and the same our soueraigne Lord the
king & his noble progenitours of famous memory, his great men, subiects,
Realmes, lands & dominions hath bene of old times hitherto continued nor
nothing by our said soueraigne Lord the king or his people to be attempted
or done whereby such amities by reason of any dissensions, enemities or
discords might be broken: by the aduise of the Lords spintuall & temporall
& of the comons of his said Realme of England, assembled in this present
Parliament, hath ordained, prohibiting that none of his liege people nor
subiects of his Realme of England by audacitie of their follie presume to
enter the Realmes, lands, dominions, straits, terntones, iurisdictions &
places of the said king of Denmarke against the ordinance, prohibition &
interdiction of the same his Vncle aboue remembred, & in contempt of the
same, vpon paine of forfeiture of all their moueable goods & imprisonment
of their persons at the kings will.

* * * * *

Another branch of a statute made in the tenth yeere of the reigne of Henry
the sixt concerning the state of the English Marchants in the dominions
of the king of Denmarke.

Item because that our soueraigne Lord the king at the grieuous complaint to
him made in this Parliament by the commons of his realme of England being
in this Parliament is informed that many of his faithfull liege people be
greatly impouerished, vndone, & in point to be destroyed by the king of
Denmarke & his lieges, which be of the amitie of the king our soueraigne
Lord, because that they do daily take of his said faithfull subiects their
goods, so that they haue taken of marchants of York and Kinston vpon Hul
goods & marchandises to the valour of v. M. li. within a yeere, and of
other lieges & marchants of the realme of England goods & cattals to the
valour of xx. M. li. wherof they haue no remedie of the said king of
Denmarke, nor of none other, forasmuch as none of them commeth within the
Realme of England, nor nothing haue in the same realme of England, & that
the goods be taken out of the same Realme: The king willing to prouide
remedy for his said liege people, hath ordeined & established, that if the
goods of any of the said his lieges be or shalbe taken by the said king of
Denmarke or any of his said lieges, the keeper of the priuie seale for the
time being, shall haue power to make to the partie grieued letters of
request vnder the priuie seale, without any other pursuite to be made to
any for restitution to be had of the goods so taken & to be taken. And if
restitution be not made by such letters, the king our soueraigne lord by
the aduise of his counsel shal prouide to the partie grieued his couenable
remedy, according as the case requireth.

* * * * *

Here beginneth the Prologue of the processe of the Libel of English
policie, exhorting all England to keepe the sea, and namely the narrowe
sea shewing what profite commeth thereof, and also what worship and
saluation to England, and to all English-men.

[Sidenote: Incipit liber de custodia Maris pręsertim arcti inter Doueram &

The true processe of English policie
Of vtterward to keepe this regne in rest
Of our England, that no man may deny,
Ner say of sooth but it is one of the best,
Is this, that who seeth South, North, East and West,
Cherish Marchandise, keepe the admiraltie,
That wee bee Masters of the narrowe see

For Sigismond the great Emperour,
Wich yet reigneth, when he was in this land [1]
With king Henry the fift, Prince of honour
Here much glory, as him thought, he found,
A mightie land which had take in hand
To werre in France and make mortalitie,
And euer well kept round about the see.

[Footnote 1: It is clear, from these lines, that this poem must have been
written between 1416, when Sigismond was in England, and 1438, when he

[Sidenote: Videns imperator Sigismundus duas villas inter cęteras Anglie
scilicet Calisiam & Doueream ponens suos duos digitos super duos suos
oculos ait regi: Frater custodite istas duas villas sicut duos vestros

And to the king thus hee sayd: My brother,
(When hee perceiued two Townes Caleis and Douer)
Of all your Townes to chuse of one and other,
To keepe the sea and soone to come ouer
To werre outwards and your regne to recouer:
Keepe these two Townes sure, and your Maiestee
As your tweyne eyne: so keepe the narrowe see.

For if this sea bee kept in time of werre,
Who can heere passe without danger and woe
Who may escape, who may mischiefe differre
What Marchandie may forby bee agoe:
For needs hem must take trewes euery foe:
Flanders and Spaine, and other, trust to mee,
Or ellis hindred all for this Narrow see.

Therefore I cast mee by a little writing
To shew at eye this conclusion,
For conscience and for mine acquiting
Against God and ageyne abusion,
And cowardise, and to our enemies confusion.
For foure things our Noble [2] sheweth to me,
King, Ship, and Swerd, and power of the see

[Foonote 2: The Noble was coined by Edward the third Anno regni 18. Quatuor
considerantur in moneta aurea Anglica, quę dicitur Nobile: scilicet Rex,
Nauis gladius, & Mare: Quę designant potestatem Anglicorum super Mare. In
quorum opprobrium his diebus Britones minores & Flandrenses & alij dicunt
Anglicis: Tollite de vestro Nobile nauem & imponite ouem. Intendentes, quod
sicut quondam ą tempore Edwardi tertij Anglici erant domini Maris, modo his
diebus sunt vecordes, victi, & ad bellandum & Mare obseruandum velut oues.]

Where ben our ships, where ben our swerds become:
Our enemies bed for the ship set a sheepe.
Alas our rule halteth, it is benome.
Who dare well say that lordship should take keepe:
I will assay, though mine heart ginne to weepe,
To doe this werke, if wee will euer thee,
For very shame to keepe about the see.

Shall any Prince, what so be his name,
Which hath Nobles much leche ours,
Bee Lord of see: and Flemings to our blame,
Stop vs, take vs, and so make fade the flowers
Of English state, and disteyne our honours:
For cowardise alas it should so bee
Therefore I ginne to write nowe of the see.

Of the commodities of Spaine and of Flanders.

The first Chapter

Knowe well all men that profits in certaine
Commodities called comming out of Spaine
And Marchandie, who so will weete what it is,
Bene Figs, Raisins, wine Bastard, and Datis,
And Licoris, Siuill oyle, and graine,
White Pastill Sope, and Waxe is not vayne.
Yron, Wooll, Wadmolle, Gotefell, Kidfell also:
For Poynt-makers full needefull bene they tweyn
Saffron, Quickesiluer, which owne Spaine Marchandy,
Is into Flanders shipped full craftily,
Vnto Bruges as to her staple fayre:
The Hauen of Scluse hir Hauen for her repayre
Which is cleped Swyn tho shippes giding:
Where many vessels and fayre are abiding.
But these marchandes with their shippes great,
And such chaffare as they bye and get
By the weyes must nede take on hand
By the coasts to passe of our England,
Betwixt Douer and Caleis, this is no doubt.
Who can well els such matter bring about?

[Sidenote: Flemish cloth made of English Wooll.]

And when these sayd Marchants discharged bee
Of Marchandie in Flanders nere the see,
Then they bee charged againe with Marchandy,
That to Flanders bougeth full richly.
Fine cloth of Ypre that named is better than ours,
Cloth of Curtrike, [3] fine cloth of all colours,
Much Fustian, and also Linen cloth.
But Flemings, if yee bee not wroth,
The great substance of your cloth at the full
Yee wot ye make it of our English woll.

[Footnote 3: Courtrai.]

[Sidenote: The necessarie coniunction of Spaine and Flanders.]

Then may it not sinke in mannis brayne,
But that it must this Marchandy of Spaine
Both out and in by our costes passe:
Hee that sayd nay in witte was like an asse.
Wee should haue peace with the grounds tweyne
Thus if this see were kept, I dare well sayne.
For Spaine and Flanders is as eche other brother,
And neither may well liue without other:
They may not liuen to maintaine their degrees,
Without our English commodities:
Wolle and Tynne: for the woolle of England
Susteineth the Commons Flemings I vnderstand.
Then if England would her wolle restraine
From Flanders, this followeth in certaine,
Flanders of nede must with vs haue peace,
Or els shee is destroyed without lees.
Also if Flanders thus destroyed bee:
Some Marchandy of Spaine will neuer ythee:
For destroyed it is, and as in cheeffe
The wolle of Spaine it commeth not to preeffe,
But if it be costed and menged well
Amongst the English wolle the greter delle.
For Spanish wooll in Flaunders draped is,
And euer hath bee, that men haue minde of this:
And yet Wooll is one of the chiefe Marchandy
That longeth to Spaine: who so will espie,
It is of little value, trust vnto mee,
With English wooll but if it menged bee.
Thus if the sea be kept, than herken hether,
If these two lands comen not together:
So that the Fleete of Flanders passe nought
That in the narrowe see it be not brought
Into the Rochelle to fetch the famose wine,
Ner into Bytonuse Bay for salt so fine,
What is then Spaine? What is Flanders also?
As who sayd, nought, the thrift is agoe
For the little land of Flanders is
But a staple to other lands ywis:
And all that groweth in Flanders graine and seede
May not a Moneth finde hem meate and brede.
What hath then Flanders, bee Flemings lieffe or loth,
But a little Mader and Flemish Cloth:
By Drapering of our wooll in substance
Liuen her commons, this is her gouernance,
Without which they may not liue at ease.
Thus must hem sterue, or with vs must haue peace.

Of the commodities of Portugal.

The second Chapter,

The Marchandy also of Portugal
By diuers lands turne into sale.
Portugalers with vs haue troth in hand:
Whose Marchandy commeth much into England.
They ben our friends, with their commodities,
And wee English passen into their countrees.
Her land hath wine, Osey, Waxe, and Graine,
Figges, Reysins, Hony and Cordoweyne:
Dates, and Salt, Hides, and such Marchandy:
And if they would to Flanders passe for by,
They should not bee suffred ones ner twyes,
For supporting of our cruell enemies,
That is to say Flemings with her gyle:
For changeable they are in little while. [Note well.]
Then I conclude by reasons many moe,
If we suffred neither friend nor foe,
What so enemies, and so supporting
Passe for by vs in time of werring,
Seth our friends will not ben in cause
Of our hindring, if reson lede this clause:
Then nede from Flanders peace bee to vs sought,
And other lands should seeke peace, dout nought:
For Flanders is Staple, as men tell mee,
To all nations of Christianitie.

The commodities of pety Britaine,[Footnote: Brittany] with her Rouers on
the sea.

The third Chapter

[Sidenote: The Britons great Rouers and Theeues.]

Furthermore to write I am faine
Somewhat speaking of the little Britayne.
Commoditie thereof there, is and was,
Salt, and wine, crest cloth and canuas.
And the land of Flaunders sickerly
Is the staple of their Marchandy.
Wich Marchandie may not passe away
But by the coast of England, this is no nay.
And of this Britaine, who so trueth louis,
Are the greatest rouers and the greatest theeuis,
That haue bene in the sea many one yeere:
That our Merchants haue bought full dere.
For they haue tooke notable goods of ours,
On this side see, these false pelours
Called, of Saincte Malo, and ellis where:
Which to their Duke none obeysance will bere:
With such colours wee haue bee hindred sore.
And fayned peace is called no werre herefore.
Thus they haue bene in diuers coasts many
Of our England, more then rehearse can I:
In Norfolke coastes, and other places about,
And robbed and brent and slame by many a rowte:
And they haue also ransomed Towne by Towne:
That into the regnes of bost haue run her sowne:
Wich hath bin ruth vnto this Realme and shame:
They that the sea should keepe are much to blame.
For Britayne is of easie reputation;
And Saincte Malo turneth hem to reprobation.

A storie of Edward the third his ordinance for Britayne.

[Sidenote: Historia ostendens quam ordinationem Rex Edwardus tertius fecit
contra de prędicatores marinos Brittanię minoris ad debellandum eos &
subiugandum Britannos minores.]

Here bring I in a stone to mee lent,
That a good Squire in time of Parliament
Tooke vnto mee well written in a scrowe:
That I haue commond both with high and lowe,
Of which all men accorden into one,
That it was done not many yeeres agone
But when noble King Edward the third
Reigned in grace, right thus it betyd.
For hee had a maner gelosie
To his Marchants and loued them hartily.
He feld the weyes to rule well the see,
Whereby Marchants might haue prosperitee.
That for Harflew [4] Houndflew [5] did he maken;
And great werre that time were vndertaken,
betwixt the King and the Duke of Britayne:
At last to fall to peace both were they fayne:
Vpon the wich made with conuencion
Our Marchants made hem readie bowne
Toward Britayne to loade their Marchandie,
Wening hem friends they went foorth boldly:
But soone anon our Marchants were ytake,
And wee spedde neuer the better for truce sake.
They lost her good, her nauy and spending:
But their complaint came vnto the king.
Then wext he wroth, and to the Duke he sent,
And complained that such harme was hent;
By conuention and peace made so refused:
Wich Duke sent againe, and him excused,
Rehearsing that the mount of Saincte Michael,
And Sainct Malo would neuer a dell
Be subiect vnto his gouernance,
Nor be vnder his obeysance:
And so they did withouten him that deede.
But when the king anon had taken heede:
Hee in his herte set a iudgement,
Without calling of any Parliament,
Or greate tarry to take long aduise
To fortifie anon he did deuise
Of English Townes three, that is to say,
Dertmouth, Plymouth, the third it is Fowey:
And gaue hem helpe and notable puisance
With insistence set them in gouernance
Vpon pety Bretayne for to werre.
Those good sea men would no more differre,
But bete hem home and made they might not rowte,
Tooke prisoners, and made them for to lowte.
And efte the Duke, an ensample wise,
Wrote to the king as he first did deuise,
Him excusing: But our men wood
With great power passed ouer the floode
And werred foorth into the Dukes londe,
And had ny destroyed free and bond.
But than the Duke knewe that the townes three
Should haue lost all his natiue Countrie,
He vndertooke by suretie true not false,
For mount Michael and Saincte Malo als.
And other parties of the litle Brytaine,
Which to obey, as sayd was, were not fayne
The Duke hymselfe for all did vndertake:
With all his herte a full peace did hee make:
So that in all the life time of the king,
Marchants had peace withouten werring:

[Footnote 4: Harfleur]
[Footnote 5: Honfleur]

[Sidenote: Statutum Regis Edwardi tertij pro Lombardis.]

He made a statute for Lombards in this land,
That they should in noe wise take on hande
Here to inhabite, here to chardge and dischardge
But fortie dayes, no more time had they large.
This good king by witte of such appreiffe
Kept his Marchants and the sea from mischiefe.

Of the commodities of Scotland and draping of her wolles in Flanders. The
fourth Chapiter

[Sidenote: Anno Domini 1436. Hen 6. 14.]

Moreouer of Scotland the commodities
Are Felles, Hides, and of Wooll the Fleese.
And all these must passe by vs away
Into Flanders by England, sooth to say.
And all her woolle was draped for to sell
In the Townes of Poperinge and of Bell:
Which my Lord of Glocester with ire
For her falshed set vpon a fire.
And yet they of Bell and Poperinge
Could neuer drape her wool for any thing,
But if they had English woll withall.
Our goodly wooll which is so generall
Needefull to them in Spaine and Scotland als,
And other costes, this sentence is nnot false:
Yee worthy Marchants I doe it vpon yow,
I haue this learned ye wot well where and howe:
Ye wotte the Staple of that Marchandie,
Of this Scotland is Flaunders sekerly.
And the Scots bene charged knowen at the eye,
Out of Flanders with little Mercerie,
And great plentie of Haberdashers Ware,
And halfe her shippes with cart wheeles bare,
And with Barrowes are laden as in substance:
Thus most rude ware are in her cheuesance.
So they may not forbeare this Flemish land.
Therefore if wee would manly take in hand,
To keepe this Sea from Flanders and from Spaine,
And from Scotland, like as from pety Britaine,
Wee should right soone haue peace for all her bosts,
For they must needes passe by our English costs.

Of the commodities of Pruce, and High Dutch men, and Easterlings. The fifth

Nowe goe foorth to the commodities,
That commeth from Pruce in two maner degrees.
For two maner people haue such vse,
That is to say, High Duch men of Pruse,
And Esterlings, which might not be forborne,
Out of Flanders, but it were verely lorne.
For they bring in the substance of the Beere,
That they drinken feele too good chepe, not dere.
Yee haue heard that two Flemings togider
Will vndertake or they goe any whither,
Or they rise once to drinke a Ferkin full,
Of good Beerekin: so sore they hall and pull.
Vnder the board they pissen as they sit:
This commeth of couenant of a worthie wit.
Without Caleis in their Butter they cakked
When they fled home, and when they leysure lacked
To holde their siege, they went like as a Doe:
Well was that Fleming that might trusse, and goe.
For feare they turned backe and hyed fast,
My Lord of Glocester made hem so agast
With his commimg, and sought hem in her land,
And brent and slowe as he had take on hand:
So that our enemies durst not bide, nor stere,
They fled to mewe, they durst no more appeare,
Rebuked sore for euer so shamefully,
Vnto her vtter euerlasting villany.

Nowe Beere and Bakon bene fro Pruse ybrought
Into Flanders, as loued and farre ysought:
Osmond, Copper, Bow-staues, Steele, and Wexe,
Peltreware and grey Pitch, Terre, Board, and flexe,
And Colleyne threed, Fustian and Canuas,
Card, Bukeram: of olde time thus it was.
But the Flemings among these things dere,
In common louen best Bakon and Beere.
Also Pruse men maken her aduenture
Of Plate of siluer of wedges good and sure
In great plentie which they bring and bye,
Out of the lands of Beame and Hungarie:
Which is increase full great vnto their land,
And they bene laden, I vnderstand,
With wollen cloth all maner of colours
By dyers crafted full diuers, that ben ours.
And they aduenture full greatly vnto the Bay,
for salt that is needefull withouten nay.
Thus if they would not our friends bee,
We might lightly stoppe hem in the see:
They should not passe our streemes withouten leue,
It would not be, but if we should hem greue.

Of the commodities of the Genuoys and her great Caracks. Chap. 6.

The Genuois comen in sundry wies
Into this land with diuers marchandises
In great Caracks, arrayed withouten lacke
With cloth of gold, silke, and pepper blacke
They bring with them, and of crood [6] great plentee,
Woll Oyle, Woad ashen, by vessel in the see,
Cotton, Rochalum, and good gold of Genne.
And then be charged with wolle againe I wenne,
And wollen cloth of ours of colours all.
And they aduenture, as ofte it doth befall,
Into Flanders with such things as they bye,
That is their chefe staple sekerly:
And if they would be our full enemies,
They should not passe our stremes with merchandise.

[Footnote 6: Woad.]

The comodities and nicetees of the Venetians and Florentines, with their
Gallees. Chap. 7.

The great Galees of Venice and Florence
Be well laden with things of complacence,
All spicery and of grossers ware:
With sweete wines all maner of chaffare,
Apes, and Iapes, and marmusets tayled,
Nifles and trifles that little haue auayled:
And things with which they fetely blere our eye:
With things not induring that we bye.
For much of this chaffare that is wastable
Might be forborne for dere and deceiuable.
And that I wene as for infirmities

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