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XLIX. Being informed that in our dominions, many of our customers and other officers in Aleppo, contrary to the Imperial capitulations, under colour of taking custom and reft upon filk of the English merchants, have violently taken from the faid merchants a great fum of money. And whereas in the Imperial capitulations it is written, that for filk which the English fhall buy in Aleppo, they fhall pay as the French and Venetian merchants do, and no more; notwithstanding, the faid cuftomers, befides the twoand-half per cent. for custom and reft, have taken from that nation a great fum of money lately under name of reft; wherefore we command that this business shall be examined, and that the faid money be restored back, and for the time to come, the ancient custom may be kept; and that this nation fhall only pay as the French and Venetian do, and that never be taken one afper by name of fuch impofition.
L. Whereas the English merchants refident in Galata, ordinarily buy divers goods and merchandize, before they can lade or fend them away upon their fhips, and do pay unto the customers the custom of the faid goods, receiving a bill or acquittance to have paid the fame, and after carry the fame merchandize to their own warehouses: in the mean time, before they can load and fend away the faid goods, it happens, that either the customer dies, or is removed from his charge, and the new customers will not accept of the faid acquittances, but pretend another cuftom, troubling and molefting of them many ways. Wherefore we do command, that of all the merchandize which they shall buy, it appearing really that he hath paid once his cuftom, the customer shall accept of the faid acquittances, and shall not demand of the merchant a fecond cuftom.
LI. It being usual to buy in Angora, camblets, mohairs, filks, and other forts of merchandize, which they transport to Conftantinople, and other places of Gg 2
our dominions, and pay their customs, taking acquittances for the fame, and fo put the goods into their own warehouses; and after, being defirous to fhip them away, the cuftomers do demand again the custom; therefore, for the time to come, when the faid merchants fhall defire to lade fuch goods, and it be true that they have already paid their cuftom of fuch merchandize, they shall not demand any fecond or new customs, provided that the faid merchants do not mingle their goods, which have not paid custom, with those which have already paid custom.
LII. The English merchants, of all the merchandize which they fhall bring into our dominions, and of the merchandize which they carry out of our dominions, as filk, camblets, and other goods, having paid the custom, and not fold the goods unto another; and being afterwards to fhip it away for Scio, Smyrna, or any other scale, and the faid goods there arriving, the customers and officers fhall always accept of their acquittances, which they have in their hands, and shall not take other custom of their merchandize.
LIII. The English merchants, of all the commodities which they fhall bring to Conftantinople, or to any other port of our dominions, and of all fuch as they fhall transport, the Mestaragi of Galata and Conftantinople fhall take their meftaria or brokidge according to the ancient canon and ufance, that is, of fuch merchandize as of old custom was wont to pay it, of fuch they fhall only take mestaria; but of such merchandize as was not anciently accustomed to pay it, fhall not be taken meftaria contrary to the ancient canon. Farther, upon the English merchandize, there fhall nor be made or laid any impofitions or other duties, nor from the faid nation fhall not be taken one asper more, which fhall be contrary to the ancient canon and accustomed ufance.
LIV. The English nation fhall and may freely come into all the ports of our dominions, to nego
tiate and bring in cloth, kerfey, spice, tin, lead, and all other merchandize; and no man fhall do them any hinderance or moleftation. In like manner, except only goods prohibited, they shall and may buy, and export, all fort of merchandize without the prohibition or moleftation of any man; and the customers and other officers, the faid nation having paid their custom according to this Imperial capitulation, and the ancient use, shall not demand of them any thing more. In the time of the happy memory of my uncle Sultan Murat Han, the King of England fent his ambaffador Sir Sackville Crow, Baronet, with his present and letter, which was received in good part; and the time of his embaffy being expired, Sir Thomas Bendifh arrived to refide at the Port, with his prefent and courteous letter, the which was in like manner well accepted; and the said ambassador having tendered the Imperial capitulations formerly granted, that according to the ancient canon they might be renewed; it is hereby again commanded, that all the points and particular articles therein be obferved and maintained.
LV. And because, contrary to the fenfe and tenor of them, the ships of the English merchants, before they arrive at the fcale, feveral officers did go upon them, and violently force out of the ships the goods of the merchants, taking away the choice of them without agreeing for the price, or making any account with the
LVI. And farthermore, the faid merchants having once paid the custom for their goods at the customhouse, and being defirous to transport the fame goods into another scale, the customers did hinder and detain them, until they received a fecond cuftom for them.
LVII. And whereas in the Imperial capitulations it is expreffed, that in all the differences and fuits with the English nation, our magiftrates are not to hear nor Gg 3 decide
decide the cause, unless their ambaffador or conful be there prefent;-of late our judges, without the knowledge of their ambaffador, have condemned, imprisoned, and taken prefents from the English nation, which is a great wrong done to them.
LVIII. Also, whereas in the Imperial capitulations it is ordered, that the customers fhall not take any custom for fuch gold and dollars as by the English nation fhall be brought in or carried out of our Imperial dominions; and that the merchants are to give only three per cent, for the cuftom of their goods, and no more; the customers notwithstanding do pretend to take custom for their chequeens and dollars; and to take more cuftom than their due for their raw filks which they buy; and of the goods which they land at Scanderoon, to carry up to Aleppo, they demand fix per cent.; which unjuft exactions have been heretofore rectified and redreffed with an exprefs hatterfheriffe. But being now again informed that the faid English merchants are as before wronged, by reafon that the cuftomers do value and estimate the goods of the English merchants more than they are worth; and though the customers are to have but three per cent. yet by an over valuation of the goods they take from them fix per cent. And the fervants of the customhouse, under pretence of fmall duties and expences, wrongfully take great fums of money from them; and a greater number of waiters being put aboard the Englifh fhips than heretofore have been used, the charges thereof are a great expence to the merchants and masters of ships that fuftain it. To all which we being requested for a redrefs, do command, that when the customers do fet great values upon their goods, the merchant offering to them according to the rate of three per cent. in fpecie, of the fame goods, the cuftomers fhall not refuse, but accept the fame. And being defired by the English ambaffador that the above specified abuses and injuries fhould be rectified, we do command, that contrary to the Imperial capitulations,
the English merchants be, neither in the foregoing particulars, nor in any other manner, troubled, nor their privileges unjustly infringed.
The ambaffador of the King of Great Britain, Sir Heneage Finch, Knight, Earl of Winchelfea, Viscount Maidston, Baron Fitzherbert of Eaftwell, lord of the royal manor of Wye, and lieutenant of the county of Kent and city of Canterbury, whofe end may it terminate with blifs, did arrive with his prefents, and with all fincerity and affection was accompanied with letters amply expreffing the good friendship and correfpondence; and that above-faid ambaffador hath presented the capitulations that they might be renewed according to the canon. And, that fome articles of great confideration, which were before in the capitulations, may be more punctually obferved, the faid ambaffador did defire that they might be again renewed, and more plainly expreffed in the Imperial capitulations. His requeft was gracioufly accepted; one of which points is this,
LIX. That the gallies, and other veffels of the Imperial fleet, departing the dominions of the Grand Signior, and meeting on the fea with the fhips of England, they fhall in no wife give them moleftation, nor detain them in their voyage, nor take from them any thing whatsoever; but ought always to fhew to one another good friendship, without doing the leaft damage. And it being thus declared in the Imperial capitulations, beyes and captains, who fail upon the feas, and thofe of Algier, Tunis, and Tripoli, meeting English fhips which fail from one port to another, ought not to take from them any money or goods, upon pretence that their fhips tranfport enemies goods, and thereupon fearch them, and with this colour moleft and detain them from profecution of their voyage; fo that only at the mouth of the caftles, and in the ports where the fearchers belonging to the customs usually come aboard, their goods fhall be examined, '