Cecil Papers: November 1606

Pages 92-94

Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House: Volume 24, Addenda, 1605-1668. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1976.

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November 1606

Mariners of the Constance of London to the Earl of Salisbury.
[? Before November 25, 1606]. They have submitted a petition to the Privy Council in which they describe their distressed condition as crew of the ship whose late owner was Sir John Watts. They beg him to further the same when it is discussed by the Council.—Undated.
¼ p. (P. 2054.)
English complaints against Spain.
1606, November 25. From the Conde de Aguilar. As requested by the King of Spain he sends his comments on the complaints of English merchants and mariners, which were forwarded by Don Pedro de Cuniga, the Spanish Ambassador in London. The grievances and their authors are listed as follows:
Daniel Breames complains that he has transported English kerseys to Lisbon for sale on many occasions, and that £500 worth of them has been seized by the officials of the King of Spain on the grounds that they were originally the product of Holland, despite evidence from the Customs House in London that the goods had been shipped there and customs duties paid for them.
John Watts, "one of the 24 of London", complains that during the reign of the late Queen Elizabeth he put to sea in a vessel called the Centaur with letters of reprisal. Off the coast of Portugal he took a ship as prize with cargoes of grain belonging to Spaniards, and worth £500 as witnessed by depositions made and sealed before the Court of Admiralty. But being sent to Lisbon the ship has been summarily sequestrated on the pretext that it was taken after the present King of England had come to the throne.
George Hill and other mariners complain that having arrived in Lisbon in a ship with merchandise, the cargo was ordered by the Conde de Aguilar, commander of the forces in Portugal, to be deposited as suspect goods in the Casa de Confiscacion, despite the certificate of the London Customs House declaring it to be of English provenance. Soldiers were put on board the bark and the mariners closely questioned, and finally the goods were carried away. Later the servants of the Conde made their choice of the cargo and paid what they liked, insisting that the goods were contraband and had come from Holland.
There follow papers relating to the case, including affidavits and depositions and other documents, of which one carries the endorsement: "Lisboa. El Conde de Aguilar a 25 de Novem. 1606. Answer to the complaint of Sir John Watts, Daniel Brames and George Hyll. Sentence passed against Watts, [Hyll] and Brames, they appeale at Madril, suertys are demanded, but they refuse to putt in any."
Spanish and Portuguese. 12 pp. (206. 29.)
T. de Franciseky to—.
[? November, 1606]. He has been in prison for almost four months, and denies that he has ever done any harm to the kingdom or the monarch of England in word or deed. He begs for commiseration, being a poor foreigner, and expresses his fears that his detention in prison may prejudice the few means he possesses in his own country.—Undated.
French. ½ p. (P. 562.)
[See H.M.C. Salisbury MSS, Vol. XVIII, p. 219.]
Prince Charles to the King.
[c November, 1606]. The petition is presented in the name of the Prince by Richard Connok. It states that Sir John Hele, Serjeant-at-Law holds, by grant from the late Queen Elizabeth, three manors in Cornwall belonging to the Prince as parcel of his possessions in Cornwall. A sciri facias to repeal and call in the grant and letters patent was awarded against Sir John Hele on behalf of the Prince, but Sir John has caused delays by means of petitions to the King. It is requested that the Prince be permitted the ordinary course of law and that, in case any suit be made to the King by Sir John touching the premises, the Prince by his counsel be heard and the matter examined by such persons as the King may choose before the case be determined. "Ffor if anie consideration or other course be taken for reliefe of the said Sir John Hele before he have defended the same by law, and justified his title to the uttermost of his power and a fynall judgment given thereuppon, it is conceyved that the presidens thereof will tend greatlie to the prejudice of the Prince and to your Majestie alsoe."—Undated.
¾ p. (P. 1192.)
[See H.M.C. Salisbury MSS, Vol. XVIII, pp. 337–8.]