Elizabeth, &c.—Whereas our right trusty and well beloved counsellors, Ambrose earl of Warwick, and Robert earl of Leicester, and also our loving and natural subjects Thomas Starkie, &c. all merchants of London, now trading into the country of Barbary, in the parts of Africa under the government of Mulley Hamet Sheriffe, emperor of Morocco, and king of Fez and Sus, have made it evident to us that they have sustained great and grievous losses, and are likely to sustain greater if it should not be prevented. In tender consideration whereof, and because diverse merchandize of the same countries are very necessary and convenient for the use and defence of this our realm, &c. Wherefore we give and grant to the said earls, &c. by themselves, their factors or servants, and none others, for and during the space of twelve years, the whole freedom and liberty of the said trade, any law, &c. to the contrary in any way notwithstanding. The said trade to be free of all customs, subsidies or other duties, during the said period to us, our heirs and successors, &c. Witness ourself at Westminster, the 5th July, in the 27th year of our reign.
[Footnote 305: Here are enumerated forty merchants of London, as members of the Barbary company in conjunction with the two earls.—E.]
Upon an incorporation granted to the company of Barbary merchants resident in London, I Henry Roberts, one of her majesties sworn esquires of her person, was appointed messenger and agent from her highness unto Mulley Hamet Sheriffe, emperor of Morocco and king of Fez and Sus. And, having received my commission, instructions, and her majesties letters, I departed from London, the 14th August 1585, in a tall ship called the Ascension, in company with the Minion and Hopewell. We arrived in safety at the port of Azaffi in Barbary on the 14th of September following. The alcaide of the town, who is the kings chief officer there, or as it were mayor of the place, received me with all civility and honour, according to the custom of the country, and lodged me in the best house in the town. From thence I dispatched a messenger, which in their language is called a trottero, to inform the emperor of my arrival; who immediately sent a party of soldiers for my guard and safe conduct, with horses for myself, and mules for my baggage and that of my company or suite.
Accompanied by Richard Evans, Edward Salcot, and other English merchants resident in the country, and with my escort and baggage, I came to the river Tenisist, within four miles of the city of Morocco, and pitched my tents among a grove of olive trees on the banks of that river, where I was met by all the English merchants by themselves, and the French, Flemish, and various other Christians, who waited my arrival. After we had dined, and when the heat of the day was over, we set out about 4 o’clock in the afternoon for the city, where I was lodged by order of the emperor in a fair house in the Judaria or jewry, the quarter in which the Jews have their abode, being the best built and quietest part of the city.