Privileges granted by OGOSHOSAMA, Emperor of Japan, to the Governor and Company of the London East India Company.
[Footnote 19: This copy Captain Saris brought home and gave me—Purch.]
1. We give free licence to the subjects of the king of Great Britain, viz. To Sir Thomas Smith, governor, and the Company of the East Indian Merchants Adventurers, for ever, safely to come into any of the ports of our empire of Japan, with their ships and merchandize, without any hinderance to them or their goods; and to abide, buy, sell, and barter, according to their own manner, with all nations; to remain here as long as they think good, and to depart at their pleasure.
2. We grant to them freedom from custom for all such goods as they have brought now, or may hereafter bring into our empire, or may export from thence to any foreign part. And we authorise all ships that may hereafter arrive from England, to proceed immediately to sell their commodities, without any farther coming or sending to our court.
3. If any of their ships shall happen to be in danger of shipwreck, we command our subjects not only to assist them, but that such parts of the ship or goods as may be saved, shall be returned to the captain, or the cape merchant, or their assigns. That they may build one house, or more, for themselves, in any part of our empire that they think fittest for their purpose; and, at their departure, may sell the same at their pleasure.
4. If any English merchant, or others, shall die in our dominions, the goods of the deceased shall remain at the disposal of the cape merchant; and all offences committed by them shall be punished by the said cape merchant at his discretion, our laws to take no hold of their persons or goods.
5. We command all our subjects trading with them for any of their commodities, to pay them for the same without delay, or to return their wares.
6. For such commodities as they have now brought, or may bring hereafter, that are fitting for our proper use and service, we command that no arrest be made thereof, but that a fair price be agreed with the cape merchant, according as they may sell to others, and that prompt payment be made on the delivery of the goods.
7. If, in the discovery of other countries for trade, and the return of their ships, they shall need men or victuals, we command that our subjects shall furnish them, for their money, according as their needs may require.
8. Without other passport, they shall and may set out upon the discovery of Yeadso, or Jesso, or any other part in or about our empire.
From our castle in Surunga, this first day of the ninth month, in the eighteenth year of our dary, or reign. Sealed with our broad seal, &c. (Underwritten)