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Commission given by sir Rowland Hayward knight, and George Barne, Aldermen and governours of the company of English Merchants, for discovery of new trades, unto Arthur Pet, and Charles Jackman, for a voyage by them to be made, for discovery of Cathay, 1580. in forme following.

IN the Name of God Almightie, and everlasting, Amen. This writing for commission Tripartite, made the twentieth day of May Anno Dom. 1580. and in the 22. yeere of the reigne of our Sovereigne Lady Elizabeth by the grace of God, Queene of England, France and Ireland , defender of the faith, &c. Betweene sir Rowland Hayward knight, and George Barne, Aldermen of the Citie of London, and Governours of the company of English Merchants, for discovery of new trades, for the behoofe, and in the name of the said company, on the first partie, and Arthur Pet of Ratcliffe, in the Countie Middlesex, Captaine, Master, and chiefe ruler of the good barke, called the George of London, of the burthen of 40. tunnes, or thereabouts, on the second partie, and Charles Jackman of Popler, in the said Countie of Middlesex, Captaine, Master and ruler of the good barke, called the William of London, of the burthen of 20. tunnes, or thereabouts, (which barkes are now riding at anker in the river of Thames against Limehouse ) on the third partie: witnesseth, that the said Governours, and company have hired the saide Arthur Pet, to serve in the said barke, called the George, with nine men and a boy: And likewise the said Charles Jackman, to serve in the said barke, called the William, with five men and a boy, for a voyage by them to be made by Gods grace, for search and discoveries of a passage by sea from hence by Boroughs streights, and the Island Vaigats, Eastwards, to the countreis or dominions of the mightie Prince, the Emperour of Cathay, and in the same unto the Cities of Cambalu and Quinsay, or to either of them.

The which passage (upon authoritie of writers, and great reason) is conceived to bee from the Vaigats Eastwards, according to the description in plat of spirall lines, made by master William Burrough, whereof either of the saide Arthur Pet, and Charles Jackman, have one delivered unto them, and also one other sailing carde, and a blanke plat for either of them. But if it should not be in all points, according to that description, yet we hope that the continent or firme land of Asia doth not stretch it selfe so farre Northwards, but that there may be found a sea passeable by it, betweene the latitude of 70. and 80. degrees. And therefore we have appointed you with these two barkes to make triall of the same: wishing you both to joyne in friendship together, as most deere friends and brothers, to all purposes and effects, to the furtherance and orderly performing of the same voyage. And likewise order your companies, that they of the one

barke may have such love and care, to helpe and succour them of the other, as most deere friends and brothers would doe: so as it may appeare, that though they be two barkes, and two companies, (which is so appointed for your greater comfort and assurance) yet that you are wholy of one minde, and bend your selves to the uttermost of your powers, to performe the thing that you are both employed for.

Doe you observe good order in your dayly service, and pray unto God, so shall you prosper the better.

We would have you to meete often together, to talke, conferre, consult, and agree how, and by what meanes you may best performe this purposed voyage, according to our intents. And at such meeting we thinke it requisite, that you call unto you your mates, and also Nicholas Chanceler, (whom wee doe appoint as merchant, to keepe accompt of the merchandize you shall buy or sell, barter or change) to the ende that whatsoever God should dispose of either of you, yet they may have some instructions and knowledge howe to deale in your place, or places. And of all your assemblies and consultations together, and the substance of matter you shal at every time agree upon, we would have you to note them in the paper bookes that wee give you for that purpose, unto each barke one. We do appoint Arthur Pet in the George, as Admiral, to weare the flagge in the maine top, and Charles Jackman in the William, as Viceadmirall. For good orders to be taken for your good and orderly keeping of company together, which we wish may be such, as you should never lose sight the one of the other, except by both your consents, to discover about an Island, or in some river, when and where you may certainly appoint to meete together againe, wee referre the same to your discretions.

And now for your good direction in this. voyage, we would have you with the next good winde and weather, that God shall send thereunto meete and convenient, after the 22. day of this present moneth of May, saile from this river of Thames, to the coast of Finmarke, to the North Cape there, or to the Wardhouse, and from thence direct your course to have sight of Willoughbies land, and from it passe alongst to the Nova Zemla, keeping the same landes alwayes in your sight on your larboordsides (if conveniently you may) to the ende you may discover, whether the same Willoughbies land be continent and firme land with Nova Zembla, or not: notwithstanding we would not have you to entangle your selves in any Bay, or otherwise, so that it might hinder your speedy proceeding to the Island Vaigats.

And when you come to Vaigats, we would have you to get sight of the maine land of Samoeda, which is over against the South part of the same Island, and from thence with Gods permission, to passe Eastwards alongst the same coast, keeping it alwayes in your sight (if conveniently you may) untill you come to the mouth of the river Ob, and when you come unto it, passe over the said rivers mouth unto the border of land, on the Eastside of the same (without any stay to bee made for searching inwardly in the same river) and being in sight of the same Easterly land, doe you in Gods name proceed alongst by it, from thence Eastwards, keeping the same alwayes on your starboordside in sight, if you may, and follow the tract of it, whether it incline Southerly or Northerly (as at times it may do both) untill you come to the Countrey of Cathay, or the dominion of that mightie Emperour.

And if God prosper your voyage with such good successe, that you may attaine to the same, doe you seeke by all meanes you can to arrive to the Cities Cambalu, and Quinsay, or to the one of them. But if it happen that you cannot conveniently come to either of those places, or shalbe driven to remaine & winter in some other port or place of his dominion, do you seeke by all meanes possible to winne favour and liking of the people, by gifts and friendly demeanes towards them, and not to offer violence, or do wrong to any people or nation whatsoever, but therein to be innocent as doves, yet wilie as serpents, to avoid mischiefe, and defend you from hurt. And when you shall have gotten friendship through your discreete ordering of your selves, towards the people, doe you learne of them what you can of their Prince, and shewe them one of the Queenes Majesties letters, which she sendeth with you (by either of you one, made of one substance and effect, for ech of you particularly) written in Latine, whereunto her Majestie hath subscribed, and caused her signet seale to be set, the effect of the same letters you have also written in English, for your owne understanding thereof.

The same her Majesties letters you shall procure to deliver unto the same mightie Prince, or Governour, with some present to be given, such as you shall thinke meete and convenient, using your selves in all points according to the effect of the same letters, and procure againe from the same Prince, his letters accordingly.

And if God so prosper your voyage, that you may this Summer passe the Streights, and compasse about the Northermost land of Asia, unto the countrey of Cathay, or dominion of that mightie Prince, and wintering in it, may obtaine from him his letters of priviledge against the next yeeres spring, you may then after your first setting foorth, search and discover somewhat further then you had discovered before your wintering, so farre as you shall thinke convenient, with regard had, and alwayes provided, that you may returne home hither, to give us advise of your proceedings the same Summer, or before the sharpenes or extremitie of winter overtake you.

And if it happen you cannot this summer attaine to the border of Cathay, and yet find the land beyond the Ob, to stretch it selfe Easterly, with the sea adjoyning unto it navigable, doe you then proceed on your discovery (as before said) alongst the same continent, so farre as you can this summer, having care in the travel to finde out some convenient harborow and place, where you may winter: and when you thinke it convenient, put your selfe to wintering, where if you happen to finde people, you shall deale with them, as we have before advised you to do with the people of Cathay, &c. And if you can learne that they have a prince or chiefe governour, do you procure to deliver unto the same Prince or governour one of the Queenes Majesties letters, as before said, and seeke to obtaine againe his letters accordingly. If you so happen to winter & obtaine letters of priviledge, finding the countrey and people, with the commodities to bee such, that by using trade thither with the people, and for the commodities, it may be beneficial unto us (as we hope you may) the same wil be some good liking unto us: notwithstanding we would have you the next summer (by the grace of God) at your first setting out of your wintering harborough, proceed alongest that tract of land to Cathay, if you see likelihood to passe it (for that is the Countrey that we chiefly desire to discover) and seeing you are fully victualed for two yeres and upwards, which you may very wel make to serve you for two yeres and a halfe, though you finde no other help, you may therefore be the bolder to adventure in proceeding upon your discovery: which if you do, we doubt not, but you shall atchieve the Countrey of Cathay, & deliver to the prince there, one of her Majesties letters, bringing from thence the same princes letters answerable: and so in the yeere of our Lord 1582. returne home with good newes, and glad tidings, not onely unto us the adventurers in this voyage, but also to our whole Countrey and nation, which God graunt you may do, Amen.

But if it happen that the land of Asia, from beyond the river Ob, extende it selfe Northwards to 80. degrees, or neerer the poole, whereby you finde it to leade you into that extremitie, that small or no hope may be looked for, to saile that way to Cathay, doe you notwithstanding followe the tract of the same land, as farre as you can discover this Summer, having care to finde out by the way a convenient place for you to Winter in, the which (if you may discover the same lande of Asia this Summer to extend it selfe to 80. degrees of latitude, and upwards or to 85. degrees) we wish then that the same your wintering place may be in the river of Ob, or as neere the same river as you can, and finding in such wintering place, people, be they Samoeds, Yowgorians, or Molgomzes, &c. doe you gently entreat with them as aforesaide, and if you can learne that they have a prince or chiefe governour amongst them, doe you deliver him one of her Majesties letters, and procure thereof an answere accordingly: do you procure to barter & exchange with the people, of the merchandise and commodities that you shall cary with you, for such commodities as you shall finde them to have, &c.

If you so happen to winter, we would have you the next Summer to discover into the river Ob, so farre as conveniently you may: And if you shall finde the same river (which is reported to be wide or broad) to be also navigable and pleasant for you, to travell farre into, happely you may come to the citie Siberia , or to some other towne or place habited upon or neere the border of it, and thereby have liking to winter out the second winter: use you therein your discretions.

But if you finde the said river Ob to be sholde, or not such as you may conveniently travell in with your barkes, do you then the next summer returne backe through Boroughs streights: And from that part of Nova Zembla, adjoyning to the same streights, doe you come alongst the tract of that coast Westwards, keeping it on the starbord side, and the same alwayes in sight, if conveniently you may, until you come to Willoughbies land, if outwards bound you shall not happen to discover and trie whether the said Willoughbies land joyne continent with the same Nova Zembla, or not. But if you shall then prove them to be one firme and continent, you may from Nova Zembla direct your course unto the said Willoughbies land, as you shall thinke good, and as you may most conveniently: and from Willoughbies land you shall proceed Westwards alongst the tract of it, (though it incline Northerly) even so farre as you may or can travell, having regard that in convenient time you may returne home hither to London for wintering.

And for your orderly passing in this voyage, and making observations in the same, we referre you to the instructions given by M. William Burrough, whereof one copie is annexed unto the first part of this Indenture under our seale, for you Arthur Pet, another copie of it is annexed to the second part of this Indenture, under our seale also, for you Charles Jackman, and a third copy thereof is annexed unto the third part of this Indenture, remaining with us the saide companie, sealed and subscribed by you the said Arthur Pet, and Charles Jackman.

And to the observing of all things contained in this Commission (so neere as God will permit me grace thereunto) I the said Arthur Pet doe covenant by these presents to performe them, and every part and parcell thereof. And I the said Charles Jackman doe for my part likewise covenant by these presents to performe the same, and every part thereof, so neere as God will give me grace thereunto.

And in witnes thereof these Indentures were sealed and delivered accordingly, the day and yeere first above written. Thus the Lorde God Almightie sende you a prosperous voyage, with happie successe and safe returne, Amen.

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