❧ By the King.

ALthough we haue made it knowen by publike Edict, That at our en­trance into these our Kingdomes of England and Ireland, we stood, as still wee doe, in good amitie and friendship with all the Princes of Christendome, and therefore are carefully to prouide, as much as in vs lyeth, that none of them or their Subiects should by any hostile ac­tion be endamaged in their Persons, Territories, or Goods by any of our Subiects either by Land or Sea: Yet we are not ignorant, that our late deare sister the late Queene of England, had of long time warres with the King of Spaine, and during that time gaue Licences and Commissions to di­uers of her, and our now Subiects, to set out and furnish to Sea, at their charges, diuers ships warlikly appointed, for the surprising and taking of the said Kings subiects and goods, and for the enioying of the same, being taken and brought home as lawfull Prize. By vertue of which Licences and Commissions, our said Subiects, in the zeale and affection which they bare to the good of their Countrey, in the annoyance and spoyle of the publike enemy of this State at that time, and in maintenance & employment of the Shipping and Mariners of England, other­wise through scant of Traffique at that time, not sufficiently set on worke; Did furnish out to the Seas diuers Ships warlikly appointed, to their exceeding charge, vpon confidence to enioy what goods soeuer they should take during the said Voyage, belonging to the King of Spaine, or to any of his Subiects, according to the tenour of their seuerall Commissions.

And whereas diuers of them, sithens our comming by the grace and fauour of God to the Imperiall Crowne of these our Realmes and Dominions, haue taken by colour of the saide Commissions, diuers Ships and goods belonging to the Subiects of the King of Spaine, not knowing of any alteration or discontinuance of the former Warre betweene Spaine and Eng­land, and thereby are like to bee extreamely hindred, or rather many of them vndone (being a great number of our good and seruiceable Subiects) if they may not bee suffered to enioy such Goods as they haue so taken, before any notice giuen vnto them of the discontinuance of the said late warre: Wee in our Princely condition, hauing (aboue all things) tender care of the good estate of our louing and dutifull Subiects, and willing to giue encouragement to all others hereafter, in time of our Warres, to shewe like forwardnesse in venturing their liues and goods for the weakning of the publique enemy, and benefiting of this their Countrey: Haue thought good to signifie to all men by these presents, that our wil and pleasure is, that all such as haue set out, or furnished to the Seas, any Shippes of warre, by vertue of any the said Commissions, and not hauing notice of our entrance into this Kingdome, haue at any time before the foure [Page]and twentieth day of Aprill last (which time wee limit vnto all men of warre at Sea as a suffi­cient space, within which they might haue taken knowledge of the discontinuance of the said Warre) thereby taken any Ships, or Goods belonging to any the Subiects of the King of Spaine, and are already returned into any of our Dominions, shall quietly enioy the sayde Shippes and goods taken as aforesayd.

And further our will and pleasure is, That whatsoeuer shippes or goods belonging to any Subiect of the said king of Spaine, hath beene or shall bee taken at Sea, or land by any of our Subiects by colour of any Commission whatsoeuer, after the said foure and twentieth day of A­prill last: The same shall be foorth with sequestred from the Takers, to the vse of the true Pro­prietaries, and restored vnto them vpon the first claimes and proofes of their propertie, without any long or chargeable suite of Law.

And we further will and command, That all such our men of warre, as be now at Sea, ha­uing no sufficient Commission as aforesaid, and haue taken, or shal go to Sea hereafter, and shal take any the ships, or goods of any subiect of any Princes in league, or amitie with vs, shall bee reputed and taken as Pirates, and both they and all their accessaries, maintainers, comfor­ters, abbettors, and partakers shall suffer death as Pirates, and accessaries to piracie, with confiscation of all their landes, and goodes, according to the ancient lawes of this Realme. Commaunding all our officers of the Admiralty to see our commaundement seuerely executed, and commanding al other officers of our Kingdomes and Dominions whom it may concerne, to giue their best assistance to the officers of the Admiralty, for the better execution of our sayde commaundement, as they and euery of them failing therein, will answere to the contrary at their vttermost perils.

God saue the King.

¶ Imprinted at London by Robert Barker, Printer to the Kings most excellent Maiestie. Anno Dom. 1603.

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