According to the kings appointment I went to court on Friday, when all the demands I had made were granted, and all the privileges which had been requested on behalf of the English merchants were yielded to with great favour and readiness. As the Jews resident in Morocco were indebted in large sums to our men, the emperor issued orders that all these should be paid in full without delay or excuse. Thus at length I was dismissed with great honour and special favour, such as had not ordinarily been shewn to other Christian ambassadors. Respecting the private affairs treated on between her majesty and the emperor, I had letters to satisfy her highness in the same. To conclude, having the same honourable escort for my return from court that I had on my way there, I embarked with my suite, and arrived soon after in England, when I repaired to court, and ended my embassy to her majestys satisfaction, by giving a relation of my services.
Embassy of Henry Roberts from Queen Elizabeth to Morocco in 1585, written by himself.
Like the former ambassador, Edmund Hogan, Mr Henry Roberts was one of the sworn esquires of the person to Elizabeth queen of England, and the following brief relation of his embassy, according to Hakluyt, was written by himself. This, like the former, does not properly belong to the present portion of our arrangement, but seemed necessary to be inserted in this place, however anomalous, as an early record of the attentions of the English government to extend the commerce and navigation of England, the sinews of our strength, and the bulwark of our glorious constitution. Mr Roberts appears to have spent three years and five months on this embassy, leaving London on the 14th August 1585, and returning to the same place on the 12th January 1589, having, in the words of Hakluyt, remained at Morocco as lieger, or resident, during upwards of three years.
[Footnote 303: Hakluyt, II 602.]
In the commencement of this brief notice, Mr Roberts mentions the occasion of his embassy as proceeding from the incorporation of a company of merchants, for carrying on an exclusive trade from England to Barbary; upon which event he was appointed her majestys messenger and agent to the emperor of Morocco, for the furtherance of the affairs of that company. It is not our intention to load our work with copies of formal patents and diplomatic papers; yet in the present instance it may not be amiss to give an abridgment of the patent to the Barbary company, as an instance of the mistaken principles of policy on which the early foundations of English commerce were attempted.—E.
Letters Patent and Privileges granted in 1585 by Queen Elizabeth, to certain Noblemen and Merchants of London, for a Trade to Barbary.
[Footnote 304: Hakluyt, II. 599.]