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‘DIEV ET MON DROIT’‘HONI SOIT QVI MAL Y PENSE’
IAMES By the grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c.
To all and singuler Archbishops, Bishops, Arch­deacons, Deanes, and their Officials, Parsons, Vicars, Curats, and to all spirituall persons. And also to all Iustices of Peace, Maiors, Sheriffes, Bayliffes, Constables, Churchwardens and Headboroughes: And to all Officers of Citties, Boroughes, and Townes corporate: And to all other our Officers, Ministers, and Subiects whatsoeuer they be, aswell within Liberties, as without, to whom these presents shall come, gréeting:

WHEREAS wee are credibly giuen to vnderstand, by a Certificate vnder the handes of our right tru­sty and welbeloued Cousen William Earle of Sal [...]sbury, Henry Lord Hunsdon, Sir Iohn Butler, Sir Thomas Po [...] Blunt, and Sir Henry Goodere Knights, Iustices of the Peace within our County of Hartford, That our poore distressed Subiects George Ballard, Iohn Bridgman, and Alice Hughes, Widdow of Bishops Hatfield in our foresaid County, are now fallen into great want and pouerty by reason of a sodaine and fearefull Fire hapning on the Tenth day of October last past, which in short time betweene Eight and nine of the clocke in the night, consumed and burnt downe eighteene bayes of Housing, in Barnes, Stables, and other houses, together with Foure and twenty Loades of Hay and also Wheate, Oates and Pease, with other goods and substance, and also sire Poulters Horses with their furniture and some of their loa­ding, Amounting in the whole losse to the value of Two hundred and Fifty poundes or thereabouts, to the vtter vndoing of our said poore Subiects, who before this vntimely accident liued well of themselues without any helpe from others, and gaue reliefe vnto the poorer fort, but they are not now able to helpe themselues hauing lost their onely meanes and substance, which should support and sustaine both them­selues Families, who through méere want of thinges necessary are enforced to craue the Almes and charitable beneuolence of our louing & weldisposed people, not doubting but that all good Christians well weighing with themselues the fickle estate of man through these ineuitable accidents, will be ready and willing as feeling members one of anothers miseries, to extend their contributions towards the reliefe and comfort of our said poore Subiects in this their great necessity, none knowing how soone nor whose chance may next happen into the like Calamity.

KNOW yee therefore, That of Our especiall Grace and Princely Compassion, Wée haue giuen and granted, and by these our Let­ters Patents, doe giue and graunt vnto our said poore Subiects George Ballard, Iohn Bridgman, and Alice Hughes, and to their Deputy and Deputies, the bearer or bearers hereof, full power, licence, and Authority to aske, gather, receiue, and take the Almes and charita­ble beneuolence of all our louing Subiects whatsoeuer, Inhabiting within our Counties of Hertford, Bedford, Buckingham, Middlesex, Kent, Essex, and Cambridge, with our Citty of Westminster and the Liberties thereof, and in our Citties of Canterbury, Rochester, and the Cinque Portes, with our Vniuersity of Cambridge, and Isle of Ely, And in all other Citties, Townes Corporate, Priuiledged pla­ces, Parishes, Villages, and in all other places whatsoeuer within our said Counties and not else, for and towards the recouery of their said losses and the reliefe and maintenance of themselues and their Families.

WHEREFORE wée will and Commaund you and euery of you, that at such time and times, as the said George Ballard, Iohn Bridgman, and Alice Hughes, or their Deputy or their Deputies, the bearer or bearers hereof, shall come and repaire to any your Churches, Chappels, or other places, to aske and receiue the gratuities and charitable beneuolence of our said Subiects, quietly to permit and suffer them so to doe, without any manner your lets or contradictions, And you the said Parsons, Vicars, and Curates, for the better stirring by of a charitable deuotion, deliberately to publish and declare the Tenor of these our Letters Patents, vnto our said Subiects vpon some Saboth day, when as the same shall tendered vnto you. Exhorting and perswading them to extend their liberall contributions in so good and charitable a deed. And you the Churchwardens of euery Parish, where such Collection is to be made (as aforesaid) to collect and ga­ther the Almes and charitable beneuolence of all our louing Subiects, aswell Strangers as others, and what shall be by you so gathered [...]o deliuer it to the bearer or bearers of these our Letters Patents and to no other person, when as thereunto you shalbe required. And last­ [...]y whereas we are informed of the great abuse which is now crept in amongst these poore people, who sell their Lycences vnto some other [...]erson, whereby mens charity goeth not the right way, but vnto such as deserue it least: That from henceforth our will and pleasure is, that if it may appeare vnto you or any of you, that the said George Ballard, Iohn Bridgman, and Alias Hughes, haue contracted any bar­ [...]ains, or made or shall make sale of these our Letters Patents, whereby the benefit should passe from them to any other person, That there­upon these our Letters Patents shall be voide and of none effect. Any Statute, Law, Ordinance, or Prouision, heretofore made to the contrary in any wise not withstanding.

IN witnesse whereof, Wee haue caused those our Letters to be made Patents for the space of One whole yeare next after the date hereof to endure.

❀ Steward.
❀ God saue the King▪

Printed by Roger Wood, and Thomas Symcocke.

Cum Priuilegio.

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