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The charter of the privileges granted to the English, & the league of the great Turke with the Queenes Majestie in respect of traffique, dated in June 1580.

WE most sacred Musulmanlike Emperour, by the infinite and exceeding great power, by the everlasting and wonderfull clemencie, & by the unspeakable helpe of the most mighty & most holy God, creator of all things, to be worshipped and feared with all purenesse of minde, and reverence of speech, The prince of these present times, the onely Monarch of this age, able to give scepters to the potentates of the whole world, the shadow of the divine mercy and grace, the distributer of many kingdoms, provinces, townes and cities, Prince, and most sacred Emperour of Mecca, that is to say, of Gods house, of Medina, of the most glorious and blessed Jerusalem, of the most fertile Egypt , Jemen and Jovan, Eden and Canaan , of Samnos the peaceable, and of Hebes, of Jabza, and Pazra, of Zeruzub and Halepia, of Caramaria and Diabekirvan, of Dulkadiria, of Babylon, and of all the three Arabias, of the Euzians and Georgians, of Cyprus the rich, and of the kingdomes of Asia, of Ozakior, of the tracts of the white and blacke Sea, of Grecia and Mesopotamia , of Africa and Goleta, of Alger , and of Tripolis in the West, of the most choise and principall Europe, of Buda and Temeswar, and of the kingdomes beyond the Alpes , and many others such like, most mightie Murad Can, the sonne of the Emperour Zelim Can, which was the sonne of Zoleiman Can, which was the sonne of Zelim Can, which was the sonne of Paiizid Can, which was the sonne of Mehemed Can, &c.

We most mightie prince Murad Can, in token of our Imperiall friendship, doe signifie and declare, that now of late Elizabeth Queene of England, France and Ireland , the most honourable Queene of Christendom (to whose marchants we wish happy successe) sent her letters by her worthy servant William Hareborne unto our stately and most magnificent Porch replenished with justice, which is a refuge and Sanctuary to all the princes of the world, by which letters her Majestie signified, that whereas heretofore certaine of her subjects had repaired to our saide stately Porche, and had shewed their obedience to the same, and for that cause had desired that leave and libertie might also be granted unto them, to come and goe for traffiques sake too and from our dominions, and that our Imperial commandement might be given, that no man should presume to hurt or hinder them, in any of their abodes or passages by sea or land, and whereas shee requested that we would graunt to all her subjects in generall, this our favour, which before wee had extended onely to a fewe of her people: therefore as wee have entred into amitie, and most holy league with the most excellent kings and princes our confederats, shewing their devotion, and obedience or services towards our stately Porch (as namely the French king, the Venetians, the king of Polonia and others) so also we have contracted an inviolable amitie, peace and league with the aforesaid Queene. Therefore wee give licence to all her people, and marchants, peaceably and safely to come unto our Imperiall dominions, with all their marchandise and goods without any impeachment, to exercise their traffique, to use their owne customes, and to buy and sell according to the fashions of their owne countrey.

And further her Majestie signified unto us, that certaine of her people had heretofore bene taken prisoners, and were detained in captivitie, and required that they might bee set at libertie, and that as we had graunted unto other Princes our confederats, priviledges, and Imperiall decrees, concerning our most inviolable league with them, so it would please our Imperial Majesty to graunt and confirme the like priviledges, and princely decrees to the aforesaid Queene.

Wherefore according to our humanitie and gracious ingraffed disposition, the requests of her Majestie were accepted of us, and we have granted unto her Majestie this privilege of ours agreeable to reason & equitie. And we straightly command all our Beglerbegs, and Zanziacbegs our servants, and our Reyz, that is to say, our Judges, and all our customers in all places, havens and passages, that as long as this league and amitie with the conditions, and articles thereof, are kept and observed on the behalfe of the aforesaid Queene.

  1. Our Imperiall commandement and pleasure is, that the people and subjects of the same Queene, may safely and securely come to our princely dominions, with their goods and marchandise, and ladings, and other commodities by sea, in great and smal vessels, and by land with their carriages and cattels, and that no man shall hurt them, but they may buy and sell without any hinderance, and observe the customes and orders of their owne countrey.
  2. 2 Item, if the aforesaid people and marchants shalbe at any time in the course of their journeis and dealings by any meanes taken, they shall be delivered and inlarged, without any excuse or cavillation.
  3. 3 Item, if their ships purpose to arive in any of our ports and havens, it shalbe lawful for them so to do in peace, and from thence againe to depart, without any let or impediment.
  4. 4 Item, if it shall happen that any of their ships in tempestuous weather shall bee in danger of losse and perishing, and thereupon shall stand in need of our helpe, we will, and commaund that our men and ships be ready to helpe and succour them.
  5. 5 Item, if they shalbe willing to buy any victuals for their money, no person shall withstande them, but they shall buy the same without any disturbance to the contrary.
  6. 6 Item, if by any casualtie their shippes shall bee driven on shoare in perill of shipwracke, our Begs and Judges, and other our Subjects shall succour them, and such wares, and goods of theirs as shall bee recovered from the losse, shall bee restored to them, and no man shall wrong them.
  7. 7 Item, if the people of the atoresayd Queene, their interpreters and marchants, shall for trafique sake, either by lande or Sea repaire to our dominions paying our lawfull toll and custome, they shall have quiet passage, and none of our Captaines or governours of the Sea, and shippes, nor any kinde of persons, shall either in their bodies, or in their goods and cattels, any way molest them.
  8. 8 Item, if any Englishman shall grow in debt, and so owe money to any other man, and thereupon doth absent himselfe that he can not be found, let no man be arrested or apprehended for any other mans debts, except he be the surety.
  9. 9 Item, if any Englishman shall make his will and testament, to whom soever by the same hee shall give his goods, the partie shall have them accordingly, and if hee die intestate, hee to whom the Consull or governour of the societie shall say the goods of the dead are to bee given, hee shall have the same.
  10. 10 Item, if the Englishmen or the marchants and interpreters of any places under the jurisdiction of England shall happen in the buying and selling of wares, by promises or otherwise to come in controversie, let them go to the Judge, and cause the matter to be entred into a booke, and if they wil, let them also take letters of the Judge testifying the same, that men may see the booke and letters, whatsoever thing shall happen, and that according to the tenour thereof the matter in controversie and in doubt may be ended: but if such things be neither entred in booke, nor yet the persons have taken letters of the Judge, yet he shall admit no false witnesse, but shall execute the Law according to justice, and shall not suffer them to be abused.
  11. 11 Item, if any man shall say, that these being Christians have spoken any thing to the derogation of our holy faith and religion, and have slandered the same, in this matter as in all others, let no false witnesses in any case be admitted.
  12. 12 Item, if any one of them shall commit any great crime, and flying thereupon cannot bee found, let no man be arrested, or detained for another mans fact, except he be his suretie.
  13. 13 Item, if any slave shall be found to be an Englishman, and their Consull or governour shall sue for his libertie, let the same slave be diligently examined, and if hee be found in deed to be English, let him be discharged and restored to the Englishmen.
  14. 14 Item, if any Englishman shall come hither either to dwel or trafique, whether hee be married or unmarried, he shall pay no polle or head money.
  15. 15 Item, if either in Alexandria, Damasco , Samos , Tunis , Tripolis in ye west, the port townes of Ægypt, or in any other places, they purpose to choose to themselves Consuls or governours, let them doe so, and if they will alter them at any time, and in the roome of the former Consuls place others, let them do so also, and no man shall restraine them.
  16. 16 Item, if their interpreter shalbe at any time absent, being occupied in other serious matters, let the thing then in question bee stayed and differed till his comming, and in the meane time no man shall trouble them.
  17. 17 Item, if any variance or controversie shall arise among the Englishmen, and thereupon they shall appeale to their Consuls or governours, let no man molest them, but let them freely doe so, that the controversie begunne may be finished according to their owne customes.
  18. 18 Item, if after the time and date of this privilege, any pirats or other free governours of ships trading the Sea shall take any Englishman, and shall make sale of him, either beyonde the Sea, or on this side of the Sea, the matter shalbe examined according to justice, and if the partie shalbe found to be English, and shall receive the holy religion, then let him freely be discharged, but if he wil still remaine a Christian, let him then be restored to the Englishmen, and the buyers shall demaund their money againe of them who solde the man.
  19. 19 Item, if the ships of warre of our Imperiall highnesse shal at any time goe forth to Sea, and shall finde any English ships laden with marchandise, no man shall hinder them, but rather shall use them friendly, and doe them no wrong, even as wee have given and granted articles, and privileges to the French, Venetians, and other Kings and princes our confederats, so also wee have given the like to the English: and contrary to this our divine lawe and privilege, let no man presume to doe any thing.
  20. 20 Item, if either their great or small ships shall in the course of their voyage, or in any place to which they come, bee stayed or arrested, let no man continue the same arrest, but rather helpe and assist them.
  21. 21 Item, if any theeves and robbers shall by force take away any of their ships, and marchandise, let the same theeves and robbers be sought, and searched for with all diligence, and let them be punished most severely.
  22. 22 Last of all the Beglerbegs, and Zanziacbegs, our Captaines, our slaves and servants of Captaines using the sea, and our Judges, customers and governours of ships called Reiz, and free Reiz, all these, according to the tenor of this privilege and articles, shalbe bound to doe accordingly: and, as long as the Queene of England on her part shall duely keepe and observe this league and holy peace, expressed in this privilege, we also for our Imperial part, do charge and commaund the same so long to be straightly kept and observed.

Given at Constantinople, in the 988. yeere of our most holy prophet, in the beginning of the moneth of June, And in the yeere of Jesus 1580.

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