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A Patent granted to certaine Marchants of Exeter , and others of the West parts, and of London, for a trade to the River of Senega and Gambra in Guinea, 1588.

ELIZABETH by the grace of God Queene of England, France and Ireland , defender of the faith, &c. To our Treasurer and Admirall of England, our Treasurer and Barons of our Exchequer, and all and every our Officers, ministers and subjects whatsoever, greeting.
Whereas our wel-beloved subjects William Brayley, Gilbert Smith, Nicolas Spicer, and John Doricot of our City of Exeter marchants, John Yong of Coliton in our county of Devon marchant, Richard Doderige of Barnestable in our saide Countie of Devon Marchant, Anthonie Dassell, and Nicolas Turner of our Citie of London Marchants, have bene perswaded and earnestly moved by certaine Portugals resident within our Dominions, to undertake and set forward a voyage to certaine places on the coast of Guinea: Videlicet, from the Northermost part of the River commonly called by the name of the River of Senega, and from and within that River all along that coast unto the Southermost part of another River commonly called by the name of Gambra, and within that River: which, as we are informed, they have already once performed accordingly: And for that we are credibly given to understand that the further prosecuting of the same voyage, and the due and orderly establishing of an orderly trafique and trade of marchandize into those Countreis, wil not only in time be very beneficial to these our Realmes and dominions, but also be a great succour and reliefe unto the present distressed estate of those Portugals, who by our princely favour live and continue here under our protection: And considering that the adventuring and enterprising of a newe trade cannot be a matter of small charge and hazard to the adventurers in the beginning: we have therefore thought it convenient, that our said loving subjects William Brayley, Gilbert Smith, Nicholas Spicer, John Doricot, John Yong, Richard Doderige, Anthonie Dassell, and Nicholas Turner, for the better incouragement to proceede in their saide adventure and trade in the said Countreis, shal have the sole use and exercise thereof for a certaine time. In consideration whereof, and for other waightie reasons and considerations us specially mooving, of our speciall grace, certaine knowledge and meere motion, we have given and graunted, and by these presents for us, our heires and successors doe give and graunt unto the said William Brayley, Gilbert Smith, Nicholas Spicer, John Doricot, John Young, Richard Doderide, Anthony Dassell and Nicholas Turner, and to every of them, and to such other our Subjects as they or the most part of them shall thinke convenient to receive into their Company and society, to be the traders with them into the said Countreis, that they and every of them by themselves or by their servants or Factors and none others, shall and may for and during the full space and terme of tenne yeeres next ensuing the date of these presents, have and enjoy the free and whole trafique, trade and feat of marchandise, to and from the said Northermost part of the said River, commonly called by the name of the River of Senega: and from and within that River all along the coast of Guinea, unto the Southermost part of the said River, commonly called by the name of the River of Gambra, and within that River also. And that they the said William Brayley, Gilbert Smith, Nicholas Spicer, John Doricot, John Yong, Richard Doderige, Anthony Dassel and Nicholas Turner, & every of them, by themselves or by their servants or Factors, & such as they or the most part of them shall receive into their Company and societie, to be traders with them into the sayd Countreis (as is aforesaid) and none others, shall and may, for, and during the said space and terme of 10. yeres, have and enjoy the sole & whole trafique or trade of marchandize into and from the said places afore limitted and described, for the buying & selling, bartering and changing of and with any goods, wares, and marchandizes whatsoever, to be vented had or found, at or within any the cities, townes, or places situated or being in the countries, partes & coastes of Guinea before limitted, any law, statute, or graunt, matter, custome or privileges to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding. And for the better ordering, establishing, & governing of the said societie and Company in the said trade and trafique of marchandizes, & the quiet, orderly & lawfull exercise of the same, We for us, our heires, and successors, do by these presents give and graunt full license and authoritie unto the said William Brayley, Gilbert Smith, Nicolas Spicer, John Doricot, John Yong, Richard Doderige, Anthonie Dassell, and Nicholas Turner, and to such others as they shall receive into their saide societie and company to be traders into the said countreis, as is aforesaid, and to every of them, that they or the most part of them shall and may at all convenient times at their pleasures, assemble and meete together in any place or places convenient, aswell within our citie of Exeter, as elsewhere within this our Realme of England, or other our dominions, during the said terme of ten yeere, to consult of, for, and concerning the saide trade and trafique of marchandize, and from time to time to make, ordaine, and stablish good, necessary, and reasonable orders, constitutions, and ordinances, for, and touching the same trade. And al such orders, constitutions, and ordinances so to be made, to put in ure and execute, and them, or any of them, to alter, change, and make voyd, and, if neede be, to make new, as at any time, during the said terme of ten yeeres, to them, or the most part of them then trading, as is aforesaide, shall be thought necessary and convenient. Unto all and every which said orders, constitutions, and ordinances, they, and every of them, and all other persons which shall hereafter be received into the saide societie and Company, shall submit themselves, and shall well and duely observe, performe, and obey the same, so long as they shall stand in force, or else shall pay and incurre such forfeitures, paines, and penalties, for the breach thereof, and in such maner and forme, and to such uses & intents, as by the saide orders, constitutions, and ordinances shall be assessed, limitted and appointed. So alwayes, as the same orders, constitutions and ordinances, be not repugnant or contrary to the lawes, statutes, and customes of this Realme of England, nor any penaltie to exceede the reasonable forme of other penalties, assessed by the Company of our Marchants, named Adventurers. And to the intent that they onely, to whom the said power and libertie of trafique and trade of marchandize is graunted by these our letters patents aforesaid, and none others whatsoever, without their speciall consent and license before had, shall, during the said terme of ten yeeres, use, or have trade or trafique, with or for any maner of goods or marchandizes, to and from the saide coastes or parts of Guinea afore limited: Wee doe by these presents, by our royall and supreme authoritie, straightly charge and commaund, that no person, or persons whatsoever, by themselves, or by their factors, or servants, during the said terme of 10. yeres, shall in any wise trade or trafique, for or with any goods or marchandizes, to or from the said coasts and parts of Guinea afore limitted, other then the said William Brayley, Gilbert Smith, Nicholas Spicer, John Doricot, John Yong, Richard Doderige, Anthony Dassell, and Nicholas Turner, and such as from time to time, they, or the most part of them, shall receive into their societie or company, to be traders with them, as is aforesaid, as they tender our favour, and will avoyde our high displeasure, and upon paine of imprisonment of his or their bodies, at our will and pleasure, and to lose and forfeit the ship or shippes, and all the goods, wares, and marchandizes, wherewith they, or any of them shal, during the saide terme of 10. yeres, trade, or trafique to or from the said Countries, or any part thereof, according to the limitation above mentioned, contrary to our expresse prohibition and restraint, in that behalfe. And further, we do by these presents give and graunt full power and authoritie to the said William Braily, Gilbert Smith, Nicholas Spicer, John Doricot, John Yong, Richard Doderige, Anthony Dassell, and Nicholas Turner, and to such other persons, as they shal receive into their societie and company, to be traders with them, as is aforesaid, and the most part of them, for the time being: that they, and every of them, by themselves, their factors, deputies, or assignes, shall and may, from time to time, during the said terme of 10. yeres, attach, arrest, take, and sease all, and all maner of ship, and ships, goods, wares, and marchandizes whatsoever, which shall be brought from, or caried to the said coasts and parts of Guinea afore limited, contrary to our will and pleasure, and the true meaning of the same, declared and expressed in these our letters patents. Of all and every which said forfaitures whatsoever, the one third part shall be unto us, our heires, and successors, and another thirde part thereof we give and graunt by these presents, for and towards the reliefe of the saide Portugals continuing here under our protection, as is aforesaid. And the other third part of al the same forfaitures, we do by these presents, of our certaine knowledge and meere motion, for us, our heires and successors, give and grant cleerely and wholy unto the said William Brayley, Gilbert Smith, Nicholas Spicer, John Doricot, John Yong, Richard Doderige, Anthony Dassel, and Nicholas Turner, and such other persons, as they shall receive into their societie, and company, as is aforesaid. And these our letters patents, or the inrolment or exemplification of the same, without any further or other warrant, shall from time to time, during the said tenne yeeres, be a sufficient warrant and authoritie to our Treasurer of England, for the time being, and to the barons of our Exchequer, and to all other our officers and ministers whatsoever, to whom it shall or may appertaine, to allow, deliver, and pay one thirde part of all the said forfeitures, to the use of the said Portugals, and one other thirde part of the same forfeitures, to the saide William Brayley, Gilbert Smith, Nicholas Spicer, John Doricot, John Yong, Richard Doderige, Anthony Dassell, and Nicholas Turner, and such other persons, as they shall receive into their societie and Company, to be traders with them, as aforesaide, to their owne proper use and behoofe: which said allow ances and paiments thereof, our will and pleasure is, and we do straightly charge and command, to bee from time to time duely made and performed accordingly, without any delay or denial of any our officers aforesaid, or any other our officers or ministers whatsoever. And we do straightly charge and command, and by these presents prohibite all and singular our customers, collectors, and farmers of our Customes and subsidies, and controllers of the same, of and within our ports of the citie of London, and the Citie of Exeter, and all other ports, creekes, and places, within this our Realme of England, and every of them, and all other our officers and ministers whatsoever, which have or shall have any dealing or intermedling, touching our said Customes and subsidies, that they, ne any of them by themselves, their clearks, deputies, or substitutes, or any of them take or receive, or in any wise cause or suffer to be taken or received for us, or in our name, or to our use, or for, or in the names or to the uses of our heires or successors, of any person, or persons, any summe or summes of money, or other things whatsoever, during the said terme of ten yeeres, for, or in the name, lieu, or place of any Custome, subsidie, or other thing or duetie, to us, our heires, or successors, due, or to be due, for the Customes or subsidies of any such goods, wares, or marchandizes, to be transported, caried, or brought to or from the privileged places, before in these presents mentioned, or any of them: nor make, nor cause to be made any entry into, or of the bookes of subsidies or customes, nor make any agreement for the Customes or subsidies, of, or for any goods, wares, or marchandizes, to bee sent to, or returned from any the privileged places, before in these presents mentioned, saving onely with, and in the name, and by the consent of the saide William Brayley, Gilbert Smith, Nicholas Spicer, John Doricot, John Yong, Richard Doderige, Antonie Dassel, and Nicholas Turner, or of some of them, or of such as they or the most part of them shall receive into their societie and Company, as aforesaid. Provided alwaies, that if at any time hereafter, we our selves, by our writing signed with our proper hand, or any sixe or more of our privie Counsell, for the time being, shall, by our direction, and by writing signed and subscribed with their hands, signifie and notifie to the said William Brayley, Gilbert Smith, Nicholas Spicer, John Doricot, John Yong, Richard Doderige, Anthony Dassell, and Nicholas Turner, or to any of them, or to any other, whom they, or the most part of them shal receive into their Companie and society, as is aforesaid, or otherwise to our officers in our ports of Exeter , or Plimouth, by them to be notified to such as shall have interest in this speciall privilege, that our will and pleasure is, that the said trade and trafique shal cease, and be no longer continued into the saide coasts and partes of Guinea before limited: then immediatly from and after the ende of sixe moneths next insuing, after such signification & notification so to be given to any of the said Company and societie, as is aforesaid, or otherwise to our Officers in our ports of Exeter or Plimouth, by them to be notified to such as shall have interest in this speciall privilege, these our present letters Patents, and our graunt therein contained shall be utterly voyde, and of none effect, ne validitie in the lawe, to all intents and purposes: any thing before mentioned to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.

Witnesse our selfe at Westminster , the thirde day of May, in the thirtieth yere of our Reigne 1588.

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