Second Letters Patent to John Cabot
3 February, 1498

Reproduced from H.P. Biggar, editor. The precursors of Jacques Cartier 1497-1534: A Collection of Documents relating to the Early History of the Dominion of Canada. (Ottawa: Government Printing Bureau) 1911, 22-24.
To the kingeTo the king
Pleas it your highnesse, of your moste noble and habundaunt grace, to graunte to John Kabotto, Venician, your gracious letters patentes in due fourme to be made accordyng to the tenour hereafter ensuyng, and he shal contynually praye to God for the preservacion of your moste noble and roiall astate longe to endure. Please it your highness, of your most noble and abundant grace, to grant to John Cabot, Venetian, your gracious letters patent in due form to be made according to the wording hereafter ensuing, and he shall continually pray to God for the preservation of your most noble and royal estate to long endure.
H[en]R[icus] Rex. Henry, King
To all men to whom thies presentis shall come, send gretyng: Knowe ye that we of our grace especiall and for dyvers causis us movyng we have geven and graunten and by thies presentes geve and graunte to our wel beloved John Kaboto, Venician, sufficiente auctorite and power that he by hym, his deputie or deputies sufficient may take at his pleasure VI englisshe shippes in any porte or portes or other place within this our realme of Englond or obeisaunce, so that and if the said shippes be of the bourdeyn of cc tonnes or under, with their apparaill requisite and necessarie for the saveconduct of the seid shippes, and theym convey and lede to the londe and Iles of late founde by the seid John in oure name and by our commaundemente, paying for theym and every of theym as and if we shuld in or for our owen cause paye and noon otherwise. Sends greetings to all men to whom these present shall meet: Know you that we, by our special grace and motivated by several causes, have given and granted and by these present give and grant to our well beloved John Cabot, Venetian, sufficient authority and power that he, his deputy or deputies of sufficient wealth, may take at his pleasure six English ships in any port or ports or other places within our realm of England or our dominions, if the said ships be of the burthen of 200 tons or under, [and carrying] their essential and necessary provisions for the safe conduct of the said ships. And these [the said John is] to convey and bring them to the land and isles recently discovered by the said John in our name and by our order, paying for them and all of them as if we should in or for our own cause pay and none otherwise.
And that the seid John by hym, his deputie or deputies sufficiente maye take and receyve into the seid shippes and every of theym all suche Maisters, Maryners, pages and our subiectes, as of their owen free wille woll goo and passe with hym in the same shippes to the seid londe or Iles withoute any impedymente, lett or perturbaunce of any of our officers or ministres or subiectes whatsoevir they be by theym to the seid John?(who?), his deputie or deputies and all other our seid subiectes or any of theym passing with the seid John in the seid shippes to the seid londe or Iles to be doon or suffer to be doon or attempted. Yeving in commaundement to all and every our officers, ministres and subiectes seying or herying thies our letters patentes, without any ferther commaundement by us to theym or any of theym to be geven, to perfourme and socour the seid John, his deputie and all our seid subiectes so passyng with hym according to the tenour of thies our letters patentes, any statute, acte or ordenaunce to the contrarye made or to be made in any wise notwithstanding.And the said John by himself, his deputy or deputies of adequate wealth, may take and receive into these ships all such masters, mariners, pages and other of our subjects who, of their own free will, wish to go with him in these same ships to the said land or isles, without any impediment, hindrance, or disturbance from any of our officers, ministers or subjects, regardless of any grievance they may have with the said John, his deputy or deputies or with any other of our said subjects. Nor are they to impede, hinder or disturb, or attempt to impede, hinder or disturb any of them sailing with the said John in the said ships to the said land or isles. Given as an order to all and everyone of our officers, ministers and subjects saying or hearing these letters patent. Without any further order from us, they are to assist and aid the said John, his deputy and all our said subjects sailing with him according to the wording of our letters patent, regardless of any statute, act or ordinance to the contrary which has been or will be made in the future.


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