Studies in English Commerce and Exploration in the Reign of Elizabeth

By Albert Lindsay Rowland; George Born Manhart | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI
THE NEW CHARTER

The charter was granted January 7th, 1592. Hakluyt calls it "The second letters patents graunted by the Queenes Majestie to the Right worshipfull companie of the English Marchants for the Levant," but as we shall see, it was more than a mere re-granting of the letters patent and involved all the privileges of full incorporation, although the terms "incorporation" and "company" had not come to have any such definite significance as they have today. The preamble is typical of most of the Tudor state documents and recites at length the purpose of the grant.

"Where our welbeloved subjects Edward Osborne knight Alderman of our citie of London, William Harborne Esquire, and Richard Staper of our saide citie Marchant, have by great adventure and industrie with their great cost and charges by the space of sundry late yeeres travelled, and caused travell to be taken as well by secrete and good means, as by daungerous wayes and passages both by lande and sea to finde out and set open a trade of marchandize and traffike into the landes, Ilandes, Dominions, and territories of the great Turk. . . .

And whereas we are informed by the sayd Edward Osborne knight, William Harborne, and Richard Staper, that George Barne, Richard Martine, John Harte knights, and other marchants of our Citie of London have by the space of eight or nine yeeres past joyned themselves in companie, trade and traffike with them. . . .

And whereas further it is made knowen unto us, that

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