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To His Grace His Majesties High Commiſſioner, and the Right Honourable the Eſtates of Parli­ament.The humble PETITION of The Council-General of the Company of Scotland Trading to Africa and the Indies.


THAT whereas the Wiſdom of the KING, and this preſent Parliament, has thought fit by two ſolemn ſeveral Acts, and Letters patent under the Great-Seal of this Kingdom, to eſtabliſh our COMPANY with ſuch Powers, Priviledges and Immu­nities, as were thought needful to encourage any ſuch new Undertaking in this Nation; And particularly to raiſe a Joynt-Stock in ſuch manner as we ſhould think fit. And for that End to enfranchiſe ſuch Forraigners as would become Partners with us, & to en­ter into Treaties of Commerce with any in Amity with His Majeſtie for that effect, &c. Thoſe of our Number who were then intruſted with the Management thereof did think it moſt Na­tural to make the firſt Offer of ſharing our ſaid Priviledges with our Countrey-Men, and other Neighbours in England, as living under the ſame Monarchy: And they not only readily embraced the Offer, but in nine Days time ſubſcribed 300000 lib. Serling, as the one half of the Capital-Stock then propoſed, & actually payed in the firſt-fourth Part thereof, part in Specie, part in Bank-Notes, and the reſt in Notes payable upon demand.

That both Houſes of the Parliament of England taking Umbrage at thoſe Proceedings, did not only joyntly Addreſs His Majeſty for fruſtrating the ends of the ſaid Act, but the Houſe of Commons did alſo appoint a Committee to Examine what Methods were taken for obtaining the ſaid Act of Parliament here, for eſtabliſhing our Company, who were the Subſcribers thereto, and who were the Promoters and Adviſers thereof, with power to ſend for Perſons, Papers and Records; purſuant to which, the ſaid Committee gave Or­ders to Summon not only the Engliſh Subſcribers, but even ſome Perſons then Reſiding in Scotland, as by the ſaid Addreſs, Votes of the Houſe of Commons, and Copy of the ſaid Summons may appear; By all which, together with ſome other meaſures then taken, our Friends in England were, to our great loſs, diſappointment, and retardment, forced to relinquiſh, &c.

That notwithſtanding of that diſcouragement, not only moſt of the Nobility, Gentry, Merchants, and whole Body of the Royal Burrows, have upon the Inducement, and Pub­lick Faith of the ſaid Acts of Parliament, and Letters Patent, Contributed as Adventurers, in raiſing a far more conſiderable Joynt Stock, than any was ever before raiſed in this King­dom for any Publick Undertaking, or Project of Trade whatſoever, (which makes it now of ſo much the more Univerſal a Concern to the Nation) but we have alſo had all the Pro­miſing Hopes of Forreign Aid, that our Hearts could wiſh, eſpecially at Hamburgh, where the Merchants of that City entred into Contract with our Deputees, to joyn at leaſt 200000 lib. Sterling with us, till, to our great Surpriſe and Loſs, the Engliſh Miniſters there, did, under Pretence of Special Warrant from His Majeſty, put a Stop thereto, by giving in a Me­morial to the Senate of that City, Threatning both Senate and Inhabitants, with the King's outmoſt Diſpleaſure, if they ſhould Countenance, or Joyn with us in any Treaty of Trade, or Commerce, as by the annexed Copies thereof, in French and Engliſh, may ap­pear, which Memorial, we humbly pray, may, for the better Information of Your Grace, and Right Honourable Eſtates, be alſo Read in Parliament.


That after the ſaid Memorial was by the Senate tranſmitted to the Commercij or Body of Merchants of that City, they to aſſert their own Freedom, did adviſe and prevail upon our Deputees and Agents who were there for the time, to open Books in the ſaid Mer­chant's Hall, where for ſome Days they ſigned conſiderable Sums purſuant to their ſaid Contract, tho' under Condition to be void, if we ſhould not procure ſome Declaration from the King that might render them ſecure from the Threatnings and other Inſinuations contained in the ſaid Memorial: And to our great diſappointment, thus the Caſe ſtands in Suſpenſe between them and us to this Day.

That as the reaſonable (nay and unqueſtionable) Proſpect which we had of a pow­erfull Aſſiſtance from Hamburgh and ſeveral other Places (if not obſtructed as aforeſaid) induced us to propoſe a far greater Equipage at firſt than otherwiſe we would have done; So the rendring of thoſe Meaſures abortive, has not only weaken'd our Stock, leſſened our Credit, retarded our firſt Expedition, and diſheartned many of our Partners at Home, but even alſo ſhackled our Reſolutions and Power from proſecuting at Preſent ſeveral o­ther Branches of Forreign and Domeſtick Trades and Improvements which we had in View, if we had not met with ſuch Obſtructions and Diſcouragements from Time to Time.

That tho' our Company is more immediatly and ſenſibly touched in many Reſpects by ſuch Proceedings, than any other; Yet we humbly conceiving alſo, that the Honour and Independency of the Nation, as well as the Authority and Credit of the Parliament is ſtruck at through our ſides; We could not as Countrey men, and in Duty to that Col­lective Power, which gave our Company firſt a Being, but inform His Grace His Ma­jeſties High Commiſſioner, and Right Honourable the Estates of Parliament of the Premiſſes, to the End, that the Great Council of the Nation, now aſſembled (whom GOD Al­mighty Direct) may do therein as to them in their profound Wiſdom and Diſcretion, ſhall think fit.

That as to what thereof concerns our Company in particular, we ſhall humbly beg leave to Suggeſt further, that our Ships being now at Sea, on their intented Voyage, the former Treatment which our Company met with in England and elſe where, may give us too juſt grounds to ſuſpect, that if either through multiplicity of publick Affairs, or otherwiſe how­ſoever; Your Grace and Right Honourable Eſtates of Parliament, ſhould neglect the taking preſent Notice of ſuch Uſage, the Enemies of our Company would be thereby en­couraged, either directly or indirectly to purſue their former deſigns of Ruining (if poſſible all our Meaſures.

May it therefore pleaſe your Grace, and the Right Honourable the Eſtates of Parliamenr, to take the Premiſſes into your most ſerious Conſideration, to vindicat our Company's Reputation Abroad, by ſupporting the Credit of the Acts of Parliament, and Letters patent, by which the ſame is eſtabliſhed, and wherein the Honour of the Nation is ſo much concerned, to take effectual Meaſures (as the ſaid Act provides) for re­pairing the great Loſs and Dammages, which we have already ſuſtained, through the unwarrantable Treatment above-mentioned, as well as for preventing the like for the fu­ture; and withal to continue to us the Priviledges and Exemptions mentioned in the ſaid Acts of Parliament, and Letters patent for ſome longer time, in conſideration of the time already elapſed without Execution, and our Stock lying dead without Improvement, by reaſon of the Obſtructions aforeſaid.


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TextTo His Grace His Majesties High Commissioner, and the Right Honourable the Estates of Parliament. The humble petition of the Council-General of the Company of Scotland trading to Africa and the Indies
AuthorCompany of Scotland Trading to Africa and the Indies..
Extent Approx. 8 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 2 1-bit group-IV TIFF page images.
SeriesEarly English books online text creation partnership.
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(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A80272)

Transcribed from: (Early English Books Online ; image set 135571)

Images scanned from microfilm: (Early English Books, 1641-1700 ; 2528:5)

About the source text

Bibliographic informationTo His Grace His Majesties High Commissioner, and the Right Honourable the Estates of Parliament. The humble petition of the Council-General of the Company of Scotland trading to Africa and the Indies Company of Scotland Trading to Africa and the Indies.. 1 sheet (2 p.) s.n.,[Edinburgh :1698]. ("Signed at Edinburgh the 22 day of June 1698. ... By Basil Hamilton, I.P.C.G.".) (Reproduction of original in the John Carter Brown Library.)
  • Company of Scotland Trading to Africa and the Indies -- Early works to 1800.

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  • Text Creation Partnership,
ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2014-11 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
  • DLPS A80272
  • STC Wing C5600
  • STC ESTC R221844
  • EEBO-CITATION 99897755
  • PROQUEST 99897755
  • VID 135571

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