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The copie of the letters missive, which the right noble Prince Edward the sixt sent to the Kings, Princes, and other Potentates, inhabiting the Northeast partes of the worlde, toward the mighty Empire of Cathay, at such time as Sir Hugh Willoughby knight, and Richard Chancelor, with their company, attempted their voyage thither in the yeere of Christ 1553. and the seventh and last yeere of his raigne.

EDWARD the sixt, by the grace of God, King of England, France, and Ireland , &c. To all Kings, Princes, Rulers, Judges, and Governours of the earth, and all other having any excellent dignitie on the same, in all places under the universall heaven: peace, tranquillitie, and honour be unto you, and your lands and regions, which are under your dominions, and to every of you, as is convenient.
Forasmuch as the great and Almightie God hath given unto mankinde, above all other living creatures, such an heart and desire, that every man desireth to joine friendship with other, to love, and be loved, also to give and receive mutuall benefites: it is therefore the duety of all men, according to their power, to maintaine and increase this desire in every man, with well deserving to all men, and especially to shew this good affection to such, as being moved with this desire, come unto them from farre countreis. For how much the longer voyage they have attempted for this intent, so much the more doe they thereby declare that this desire hath bene ardent in them. Furthermore also, the examples of our fathers and predecessors doe invite us hereunto, forasmuch as they have ever gently and lovingly intreated such as of friendly mind came to them, aswell from Countries neare hand, as farre remote, commending themselves to their protection. And if it be right and equity to shew such humanitie toward all men, doubtlesse the same ought chiefly to be shewed to marchants, who wandering about the world, search both the land and the sea, to carry such good and profitable things, as are found in their Countries, to remote regions and kingdomes, and againe to bring from the same, such things as they find there commodious for their owne Countries: both aswell that the people, to whom they goe, may not be destitute of such commodities as their Countries bring not foorth to them, as that also they may be partakers of such things, whereof they abound. For the God of heaven and earth greatly providing for mankinde, would not that all things should be found in one region, to the ende that one should have neede of another, that by this meanes friendship might be established among all men, and every one seeke to gratifie all. For the establishing and furtherance of which universall amitie, certaine men of our Realme, mooved heereunto by the said desire, have instituted and taken upon them a voyage by sea into farre Countreis, to the intent that betweene our people and them, a way may bee opened to bring in, and cary out marchandises, desiring us to further their enterprise. Who assenting to their petition, have licensed the right valiant and worthy Sir Hugh Willoughby, knight, and other our trusty and faithfull servants, which are with him, according to their desire, to goe to countreis to them heeretofore unknowen, aswell to seeke such things as we lacke, as also to cary unto them from our regions, such things as they lacke. So that hereby not onely commoditie may ensue both to them and us, but also an indissoluble and perpetuall league of friendship be established betweene us both, while they permit us to take of their things, such whereof they have abundance in their regions, and we againe grant them such things of ours, whereof they are destitute. We therfore desire you kings & princes, and al other, to whom there is any power on the earth, to permit unto these our servants free passage by your regions and dominions: for they shall not touch any thing of yours unwilling unto you. Consider you that they also are men. If therefore they shall stand in neede of any thing, we desire you of all humanitie, and for the nobilitie which is in you, to ayde and helpe them with such things as they lacke, receiving againe of them such things as they shall bee able to give you in recompense. Shew your selves so towards them, as you would that we and our subjects should shewe ourselves towards your servants, if at any time they shall passe by our regions.

Thus doing, we promise you by the God of all things that are contained in heaven, earth, and the Sea, and by the life and tranquillitie of our kingdomes, that we will with like humanitie accept your servants, if at any time they shall come to our kingdomes, where they shall as friendly and gently bee entertained, as if they were borne in our Dominions, that wee may hereby recompence the favour and benignitie which you have shewed to our men. Thus after we have desired you Kings and princes, &c. with all humanity and favour, to entertaine our welbeloved servants, we will pray our Almighty God, to graunt you long life, and peace, which never shall have ende. Written in London, which is the chiefe Citie of our kingdome, in the yeere from the creation of the world, 5515. in the moneth of Iiar, the fourteenth day of the moneth, and seventh yeere of our reigne. This letter was written also in Greeke, and divers other languages.

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