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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 rest upon silk of the English merchants, have violendy taken from the said merchants a great sum of money. And whereas in the Imperial capitulations it is written, that for silk which the English shall buy in Aleppo, they shall pay as the French and Venetian merchants do, and no more; notwithstanding, the said customers, besides the twoand-half per cent, for custom and rest, have taken from that nation a great sum of money lately under name of rest; wherefore we command that this business shall be examined, and that the said money be restored back, and for the time to come, the ancient custom may be kept; and that this nation shall only pay as the French and Venetian do, and that never be taken one afper by name of such imposition.
L. Whereas the English merchants resident in Galata, ordinarily buy divers goods and merchandize, before they can lade or fend them away upon their ships, and do pay unto the customers the custom of the said goods, receiving a bill or acquittance to have paid the same, and after carry the same merchandize to their own warehouses: in the mean time, before they can load and fend away the said goods, it happens, that either the customer dies, or is removed from his charge, and the new customers will not accept of the said acquittances, but pretend another custom, troubling and molesting 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 custom, the customer shall accept of the said acquittances, and shall not demand of the merchant a second custom.
LI. It being usual to buy in Angora, camblets, mohairs, silks, and other forts of merchandize, which they transport to Constantinople, and other places of
G g 2 our our dominions, and pay their customs, taking acquittances for the same, and so put the goods into their own warehouses; and after, being desirous to (hip themaway, the customers do demand again the custom; therefore, for the time to come, when the said merchants shall desire to lade such goods, and it be true that they have already paid their custom of such merchandize, they shall not demand any second or new customs, provided that the said merchants do not mingle their goods, which have not paid custom, with thofe which have already paid custom.
LII. The English merchants, of all the merchandize which they shall bring into our dominions, and of the merchandize which they carry out of our dominions, as silk, camblets, and other goods, having paid the custom, and not fold the goods unto another; and being afterwards to ship it away for Scio, Smyrna, or any other scale, and the said goods there arriving, the customers and officers shall 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 shall bring to Constantinople, or to any other port of our dominions, and of all such as they shall transport, the Mestaragi of Galata and Constantinople shall take their mestaria or brokidge according to the ancient canon and usance, that is, of such merchandize as of old custom was wont to pay it, of such they shall only take mestaria; but of such merchandize as was not anciently accustomed to pay it, shall not be taken mestaria contrary to the ancient canon. Farther, upon the English merchandize, there shall nor be made or laid any impositions or other duties, nor from the said nation shall not be taken one asper more, which shall be contrary to the ancient canon and accustomed usance.
LIV. The English nation shall and may freeh/ come into all the ports of our dominions, to nego
tiate and bring in cloth, kersey, spice, tin, lead, and all other merchandize; and no man shall do them any hinderance or molestation. In like manner, except only goods prohibited, they shall and may buy, and export, all sort of merchandize without the prohibition or molestation of any man; and the customers and other officers, the said 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 sent his ambassador Sir Sackville Crow, Baronet, with his present and letter, which was received in good part; and the time ofhis embassy being expired, Sir Thomas Bendish arrived to reside at the Port, with his present 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 observed and maintained.
LV. And because, contrary to the sense and tenor of them, the ships of the English merchants, before they arrive at the scale, several 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 owners.
LVI. And sarthermore, the said merchants having once paid the custom for their goods at the customhouse, and being desirous to transport the same goods into another scale, the customers did hinder and detain them, until they received a second custom for them.
LVII. And whereas in the Imperial capitulations it is expressed, that in all the differences and suits with the English nation, our magistrates are not to hear nor
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decide the cause, unless their ambassador or consul be there present;—of late our judges, without the know-'ledge of their ambassador, have condemned, imprisoned, and taken presents 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 shall not take any custom for such gold and dollars as by the English nation shall be brought in or carried out of our Imperial dominions; and that the merchants are to give only three per cent. for the custom of their goods, and no more; the customers notwithstanding do pretend to take custom for their chequeens and dollars; and to take more custom than their due for their raw silks which they buy; and of the goods which they land at Scanderoon, to carry up to Aleppo, they demand six per cent.; which unjust exactions have been heretofore rectified and redressed with an express hattersheriffe. But being now again informed that the said English merchants are as before wronged, by reason that the customers 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 six per cent. And the servants of the customhouse, under pretence of small duties and expences, wrongsully take great sums of money from them; and a greater number of waiters being put aboard the English ships than heretofore have been used, the charges thereof are a great expence to the merchants and masters of ships that sustain it. To all which we being requested for a redress, do command, that when the customers do set great values upon their goods, the merchant offering to them according to the rate of three per cent. in specie, of the same goods, the customers shall not resuse, but accept the same. And being desired by the English ambassador that the above specified abuses and injuries should 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 ambassador of the King of Great Britain, Sir Heneage Finch, Knight, Earl of Winchelsea, Viscount Maidston, Baron Fitzherbert of Eastwell, lord of the royal manor of Wye, and lieutenant of the county of Kent and city of Canterbury, whofe end may it terminate with bliss, did arrive with his presents, and with all sincerity and affection was accompanied with letters amply expressing the good friendship and correspondence; and that above-said ambassador hath presented the capitulations that they might be renewed according to the canon. And, that some articles of great consideration, which were before in the capitulations, may be more punctually observed, the said ambassador did desire that they might be again renewed, and more plainly expressed in the Imperial capitulations. His request was graciously accepted; one of which points is this.
LIX. That the gallies, and other vessels of the Imperial fleet, departing the dominions of the Grand Signior, and meeting on the sea with the ships of England, they shall in no wise give them molestation, nor detain them in their voyage, nor take from them any thing whatsoever; but ought always to shew to one another good friendship, without doing the least damage. And it being thus declared in the Imperial capitulations, beyes and captains, who sail upon the seas, and thofe of Algier, Tunis, and Tripoli, meeting English ships which sail from one port to another, ought not to take from them any money or goods, upon pretence that their ships transport enemies goods, and thereupon search them, and with this colour molest and detain them from profecution of their voyage; so that only at the mouth of the castles, and in the ports where the searchers belonging to the customs usually come aboard, their goods shall be examined,
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