Archive reference: MS Hunter 3, fol. 63. Special Collections, Glasgow University Library. See here for more information.
Date: July 1570
Document details: Signed by Queen Elizabeth. Proclamation requiring English subjects to declare and return any Spanish property which may have come to their hands by any means.
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PDF edition of Modernised Transcript of fol. 63
1. Elizabeth R By the Queen
2. The Queen’s Majesty being desirous for certain good considerations to understand what ships’ merchandises
3. or goods belonging to the subjects of her good brother the King of Spain are come to the hands of any
4. of her subjects, doth most straightly charge and command all manner of persons Her Highness’ subjects
5. that every of them unto whose hands any such goods, merchandises or ships are come, by virtue of
6. the late arrest of such goods, or otherwise, since the xxixth of December which was in the year
7. of our Lord God 1568 or a month or two before, fail not within xiiii days after the
8. publication hereof to make and bring unto the Chief Officer of the next corporate town a true
9. and perfect declaration under their hand of all the same goods, ships or other things belonging
10. to the subjects of the said King upon pain of Her Majesty’s indignation and such punishment as
11. thereof may ensue. And Her Majesty chargith the said Chief Officer to send the same declarations
12. forthwith under their hands and seals into the Court of the Admiralty in the city of London
13. to be from there brought to Her Majesty for further order to be taken therein as shall be thought meet.
14. Given at Cheyneys the xxth day of July 1570. In the xiith year of Her Majesty’s reign.
15. God save the Queen.
brother the King of Spain: a polite reference to Phillip II of Spain. Very courteous way of discussing the King of Spain who was usually at odds with Elizabeth.
Cheyneys: Likely Chenies Manor in Buckinghamshire. Formerly known as Chenies Palace, the original house was built in around 1460 and was owned by the Cheyne family (hence the Early Modern spelling in the proclamation). Queen Elizabeth visited the house with her court on numerous occasions, as did her father Henry VIII. The manor still survives remarkably intact today. See www.cheniesmanorhouse.co.uk/the_house for more information.
corporate town: a town possessing municipal rights, and acting by means of a corporation [see Oxford English Dictionary (OED):http://www.oed.com.ezproxy.lib.gla.ac.uk/view/Entry/41829?rskey=PXGGIq&result=2&isAdvanced=false#eid, last accessed 29/09/2014]
Court of the Admiralty: An ancient court which covered shipping and mercantile offences, including cases of piracy. Originally the Admiralty court covered all crimes and offences involving English ships or foreign ships which entered into the seas along the English coast, however by the sixteenth century it had begun to acquire jurisdiction over many other cases which would normally be reserved for the common-law courts. By the time of our proclamation the Court of the Admiralty was presided over by the Lord High Admiral or his deputy. For an excellent introduction to the historical Admiralty court see the Encyclopaedia Britannica’s online entry for the High Court of Admiralty [www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/265153/High-Court-of-Admiralty].