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June 11.


grants to him, and to his heirs and assigns, for ever, SECT. license to discover and view such remote heathen and barbarous lands, countries, and territories, as were not actually possessed by any Christian prince Letters or people, and the same to hold, occupy, and enjoy patent for to him, his heirs, and assigns for ever, with all com- pose. modities, jurisdiction, and royalties, both by sea and land; and the said Sir Humphrey, and all such, as from time to time, by royal license, should go and travel thither, to inhabit or remain there, the statutes or acts of parliament made against fugitives, or any other act, statute, or law whatever, to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding. And that he might take and lead in the same voyages, to travel thitherward, or to inhabit there with him, such, and so many of her subjects as should willingly accompany him, so that none of them be such as thereafter should be specially restrained by her. And further, that he, his heirs, and assigns, should have, hold, occupy, and enjoy forever, all the soil of all such lands, &c. with the rights, royalties, and jurisdictions, as well marine as other, within the said lands, with full power to dispose thereof, or part thereof, in fee sim

last cited,) yet there seems to be no sound reason, why the letters patent granted by Henry VII, in the year 1502, to Hugh Elliott and others, merchants of Bristol, as before mentioned, should not be called a charter to a colony, as well as this to Sir Humphrey Gilbert. The former, after granting license to the patentees to discover new countries, grants them license also, to take out with them, any English subjects to inhabit and settle in those countries so discovered-" et in eisdem inhabitare.” No permanent settlement in America was ever formed under either of the charters.

* See note (D) at the end of this volume.



SECT. ple, or otherwise, according to the laws of England, wat his and their will and pleasure, to any person 1578. within her allegiance, paying unto her the fifth part

of all the gold and silver, that should be there gotten : the said lands, &c. to be holden by the said Sir Humphrey, his heirs and assigns, of her majesty, her heirs and successors, by homage, and by payment of the fifth part before reserved.

before reserved. She grants him license to expel all persons, who without his special permission, should attempt to inhabit the said countries, or within two hundred leagues of the place, where he, his heirs, or assigns, should, within six years next ensuing, make their settlement: and she authorises him to capture all persons, with their vessels and goods, who should be found trading within the limits aforesaid, without his license. And for uniting in perfect league and amity, such countries, lands, and territories, so to be possessed and inhabited, as aforesaid, she de. clares, that all such countries, so to be possessed and inhabited as aforesaid, from thenceforth should be of the allegiance of her, her heirs and successors, and the persons to inhabit them should enjoy all the privileges of free denizens or natives of England. She grants to Sir Humphrey, and his heirs and assigns, for ever, that he and they might, from time to time, for ever thereafter, within the said mentioned remote lands and countries, and in the way by the seas thither, and from thence, have full power and authority to correct, punish, pardon, govern and rule, by their good discretions and policies, as well in causes capital or criminal, as civil, both iu marine and other, all such her subjects, and


others, as should inhabit the said countries, accord- SECT. ing to such statutes, laws and ordinances, as should be by him, the said Sir Humphrey, his heirs, and 1578. assigns, devised or established, for the better government of the said people as aforesaid; so always, that the said statutes, laws and ordinances, may be, as near as conveniently may, agreeably to the form. of the laws and policy of England: and also, so as they be not against the true Christian faith or religion now professed in the church of England, nor in any wise to withdraw any of the subjects or people of the lands or places, from the allegiance of her, her heirs or successors."*

teristic in

relative to


After obtaining this favour from the queen, Sir CharacHumphrey applied himself to his relations and cidents friends, in order to frame a society capable of car- Sir Humrying this design into execution; for, it seems that phrey Gil. the English monarchs of those times, were either unable or indisposed, to defray the expenses of these great naval expeditions, although the public were to be principally benefited by them. Hence, as was observed before, the Cabots were obliged to bear the expenses of their voyages themselves, except with what aid they might procure from the merchants of Bristol; and it has been attributed to the parsimony of Elizabeth, though it might probably have been owing to her inability, that she contributed but little, besides her royal license, to aid the many important naval expeditions undertaken in her reign. With her letters patent, indeed, for the erection of exclusive companies for trade, she was very liberal.

* See this charter at large, in Hazard's Collections, Vol. 1, p. 24.


sect. Hence monopolies were among the most grievous

burthens of her high-toned exertion of prerogative. 1578. We are sorry to find, that our worthy knight was

among the most zealous advocates for these exertions of royal authority; perhaps, indeed, self-interest might have an undue operation in his mind. He was a member for Devonshire, in the house of commons, at the parliament holden in the 13th of Eliz. a few years prior to the date of his patent. One Robert Bell, a Puritan, (to which sect, as observed by Hume, although their principles appear so frivolous, and their habits so ridiculous, yet the English owe the whole freedom of their constitution,) had, in that session, made a motion against an exclusive patent, granted to a company of merchants in Bristol. Sir Humphrey spoke against the motion : “He endeavoured to prove the motion made by Bell, to be a vain device, and perilous to be treated of; since it tended to the derogation of the prerogative imperial, which, whoever should attempt, so much as in fancy, could not, he said, be otherwise accounted than an open enemy. For, what difference is there between saying, that the queen is not to use the privilege of the crown, and saying that she is not queen? And though experience has shown so much clemency in her majesty, as might, perhaps, make subjects forget their duty, it is not good to sport or 'venture too much with princes. He reminded them of the fable of the hare, who, upon the proclamation, that all horned beasts should depart the court, immediately fled, lest his ears should be construed to be horns; and by this apologue, he seems to insinuate, that even


those who heard, or permitted such dangerous. SECT.. speeches, would not themselves be entirely free from danger. He desired them to beware, lest, if 1578. they meddled farther with those matters, the queen might look to her own power; and finding herself able to suppress their challenged liberty, and to exert an arbitrary authority, might imitate the example of Louis XI, of France, who, as he termed it, delivered the crown from wardship." Upon this speech, the historian proceeds to observe: "Though it gave some disgust, nobody at the time replied any thing, but that Sir Humphrey mistook the meaning of the house, and of the member who made the motion: they never had any other purpose, than to represent their grievances, in due and seemly form, unto her majesty. But in a subsequent debate, Peter Wentworth, a man of superior free spirit, called that speech an insult on the house; noted Sir Humphrey's disposition to flatter and fawn on the prince; compared him to the cameleon, which can change itself into all colours, except white; and recommended to the house a due care of liberty of speech, and of the privileges of parliament. It appears, on the whole, that the motion against the exclusive patent had no effect. Bell, the member who first introduced it, was sent for by the council, and was severely reprimanded for his temerity. He returned to the house with such an amazed countenance, that all the members, well informed of the reason, were struck with terror; and during some time, no one durst rise to speak of any matters of importance, for fear of giving offence to the queen and the council. It is remarkable, that the patent,

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