Charter of the East India Company 1600

Source:  British History Online. 

‘East Indies: December 1600’, in Calendar of State Papers Colonial, East Indies, China and Japan, Volume 2, 1513-1616, ed. W Noel Sainsbury (London, 1864), pp. 113-118. British History Online [accessed 30 January 2024].

Significant individuals to our partcular story highlighted.

Dec 31 . Westminster. 281 . Charter of incorporation of the East India Company by the name of the Governor and Company of Merchants of London trading into the East Indies. “A privilege for fifteen years granted by Her Majesty to certain adventurers for the discovery of the trade for the East Indies;” that is to say, to Geo. Earl of Cumberland, and two hundred and fifteen knights, aldermen, and merchants, as follows [where Purchas has printed the names differently his spelling is inserted in brackets] :_

Sir John Hart. Robt. Lee. Thos. Smythe and Thos. Cambell, citizens and aldermen of London.

Sir John Spencer. Leonard Holliday.

Sir Edward Michelborne. John Watts.

John Moore.

Wm. Cavendishe. Edward Holmeden. Edward Barker.

Paul Bannynge. Robt. Hampson. Thos. Marsh.

Sam. Backhowse. Wm. Jennynges. John Wragge.

Jas. Lancaster. Gyles Paslowe. Wm. Dale.

Rich. Staper. Robt. Bell. Lawrence Waldoe.

Thos. Cordell. Thos. White. Hen. Bridgman.

Wm. Garwey. Nicholas Lynge. Sam. Armitage.

Oliver Style. Wm. Palmer. Edward Harrison.

Wm. Quarles. Ellis Crippes. Edmond Nicholson

Bartholomew Barnes. Geo. Bolles. [Edward].

Wm. Offley. Nic. Crispe. [These two last names omitted by Purchas.] Clement Mosley.

Robt. Chamberlain. John Newman.

John Harby [Harvy]. Hump. Wallcott [Wallot].

Rich. Wiseman. John Merricke. Thos. Richardson.

Wm. Stone. Hump. Handforde. Thos. Boothby.

Fras. Cherie. Thos. Simondes. John Couchman

Thos. Allabaster. Robt. Cockes. [Coachman].

Rich. Barret. Wm. Wastall [Wustall]. Reynold Greene.

John Swinarton the younger. Ric. Barret [Burret].

John Humphrey. Robt. Mildmay.

Thos. Garwey [Garaway]. Thos. Bostocke. Wm. Hynde.

Bart. Hollande. Geo. Chandlor.

Wm. Romeny. Ric. Cockes. Edward Lutterforde.

Jas. Deane. Wm. Walton. Wm. Barret [Burrell].

John Eldred. Wm. Freeman. Step. Harvy.

And. Banninge. Thos. Southacke. Thos. Henshawe.

Edward Leanynge [Loaning]. John Frier. Wm. Ferris.

Fras. Dent. Wm. Aldersey.

Thos. Juxon [Jackson]. Ric. Balle [Bull]. Wm. Hewitt.

Ric. Pierce. Wm. Fisher.

Nich. Leate. Roger Heaminge [Henyng], Jos. Salbucke [Salbanke].

John Wolstenholme.

Nic. Pearde. Robt. Cobbe.

Wm. Chamber. Robt. Robinson. Nic. Manley.

Rowland Backhowse. Fras. Evington. Nic. Salter.

Hump. Smith. Fras. Taylor. Wm. Willaston.

Robt. Sandy. Thos. Westwray [Westwrow], Wm. Angel.

Hen. Robinson. Nic. Barnealy.

Rich. Pointell. John Midleton. John Hawkins.

John Highlorde. Robt. Gore. Roger Dye.

Wm. Harrison. Raphe Gore. Ric. Clarke.

Hum. Style. Wm. Cater. Thos. Hewitt.

Hump. Robinson. Geo. Cater. George Whitmore.

Nic. Ferror. John Busbridge. Hen. Polsteade [Polstee].

Thos. Farrington. Thos. Horton.

John Combe. Wm. Bond. Wm. Greenwell.

Robt. Offley. Wm. Cotton. Robt. Johnson.

Roger Howe. John Stockley. Bart. Hagget [Huggott].

John Hewitt. Roger Ofield.

Jas. Turner. Augustine Skinner. Hump. Basse.

Morris Abbot. Ric. Wiche [Wise]. Robt. Bucke.

Robt. Careill [Jas. Carrell]. Robt. Towerson. Ambrose. Wheeler.

Ric. Talby. Wm. Hale.

Robt. Brooke. Robt. Midleton. Rich. Hale [Hull], junior.

Ric. Chamberlain. Robt. Bateman.

Geo. Chamberlain. Ric. Gosson. John Hodgson.

Leonard White. Robt. Waldoe [Waldore]. Alfonsus Fowle [Foote].

John Cornelius.

Raphe Busby [Basby]. Ric. Wragge. Edmund Spencer.

Ric. Piott. Thos. Talbott. Ric. Deane [Denne].

Wm. Bonham. Robt. Pennington. Ric. Ironsyde.

Edward Barkham. Hump. Milwarde. Geo. Smythes.

Geo. Colles. Ric. Hearne. Jas. Dunkin.

Raphe Hamor. Raphe Allen. Edw. Walter.

Jas. Cullimore [Colymer]. John Brooke. And. Chamberlain.

Ant. Gibson. Robt. Stratford.

Samuel Hare. Robt. Kayes. Ant. Stratford.

Geo. Utley [“disfranched” 6th July, 1601]. Hugh Crumpton [Crompton] Wm. Millett.

Simon Lawrence.

Ric. Washer. Thos. Lydall.

Gregory Allen. Geo. Holman. Step. Hodgson.

Hen. Archer. Morrice Llewellin. Ric. Wrighte.

Jeffrey Kyrby. Ric. Persons [Parsons]. Wm.Starky [Starker].

John Cason. Wm. Smyth.

Ric. Beale. Fras. Barker. John Ellacot.

Thos. Shipton. Wm. Tumor. Robt. Bayly, and

John Fletcher. John Greenwoode. Roger Cotton

Licence at their own costs and charges to set forth one or more voyages to the East Indies, in the countries and parts of  Asia and Africa, and to the islands thereabouts, divers of which countries and islands have long since been discovered by others of the Queen’s subjects; to have succession and purchase lands without limitation; to have a common seal.

Sir Thos. Smythe, alderman, to be the first governor, and Wm. Garway. Robt. Sandy.

Oliver Style. John Eldred.

Jas. Lancaster. Ric. Wyche.

Paul Bannynge. Ric. Wiseman. John Highlorde.

Leonard Hallyday. Fras. Chery. John Middleton.

John Moore. Thos. Allabaster. John Coombe.

Edward Holmden. Wm. Romney. Wm. Harrison.

Rich. Staper. Roger Howe. Nic. Lynge, and
Thos. Cordell. Wm. Chambers. Robt. Bell

the twenty-four committees, to be elected annually, and jointly to have the direction of the voyages, the provision of
shipping, and merchandise; and a deputy governor to be chosen in a general court, each to take the oath of fidelity, and to be
elected within the first six days in July in each year, and every member of the Company to take an oath before being admitted to
traffic as a freeman of the Company. Privileges to the sons, apprentices, servants, and factors in India of the adventurers. The
governor or deputy governor always to be present at general assemblies when reasonable laws, constitutions, &c., agreeably to
the laws of England, may be made, and offenders against them punished by fine or imprisonment. Exemption from paying
customs for, the first four voyages; to be allowed to give their bonds payable at six and twelve months for customs afterwards
payable for merchandise from India; further privileges of customs. Liberty to export in each voyage thirty thousand pounds in
foreign coin or bullion; so as at least 6,0001. be first coined at the Mint; to send yearly to the East Indies six good ships and six
pinnaces with 500 mariners, unless the royal navy go forth. None of the Queen’s subjects, but the Company, their servants, and
assigns, to resort to India without the Company’s licence upon pain of forfeiting ships and cargoes, half to the Queen and half to
the Company, with imprisonment till the offenders give 1,0001. bond not to trade thither again. Power to grant licences to trade to
the East Indies. Apprentices, servants, factors, &c., may be admitted to the freedom of the Company by the majority. Silver

exported to be shipped only at the ports of London, Dartmouth, and Plymouth, and duly entered by the Custom House officers
without paying customs. [“We have not any liberty granted to carry out any gold by name, but only silver.”_Marginal note.] If this
charter shall not appear profitable to the crown and realm it may cease after two years’ notice; if otherwise, the Queen promises
at the end of this term to grant the Company a new charter for another fifteen years.

July 1. 417. Court Minutes of the East India Company. SirThos. Smythe elected governor, Wm. Greenwell deputy

governor, and the following committees: —

John Eldred. Wm. Harrison. Wm. Bonham.

Wm. Cockayne. Robt. Middleton. Wm. Millett.

Nich. Crispe. Hugh Hamersley. Thos. Styles.

Robt. Johnson. Reynold Greene. Wm. Jennyngs.

Henry Robinson. Humphrey Basse. Morris Abbott.

Humphrey Smyth. Robt. Bell. Jeoffrey Kirby.

Wm. Cater. Ralph Freeman. John Busbridge.

Thos. Westwray. Geo. Bennett. Edmond Scott.

Thos. Farrington, treasurer; Wm. Leighton, secretary; Thos. Stephens, account keeper to Michaelmas; and in the
meantime to finish the accounts of the first three voyages; and Thos. Evesett, beadle or officer of the Company.

Order for buying
timber, with the overplus of money belonging to the third voyage, confirmed. Power to the governor, deputy, and committees to
promise gratifications in their discretion. The Act of 11 January 1601-2, for absence and late coming to courts, to be duly
executed from henceforth, and a register kept of the names of those absent; all fines on that account to be set against each
man’s account, unless he gives just reason for his absence. Ten pounds to be given in charity to Sarah, widow of Wm. Brum,
captain of the Ascension in the first voyage, who was killed by a shot from a great piece of ordnance, unadvisedly discharged
out of the Dragon at the burial of one Mr. Winter, near the coast of the East Indies. Loan to Nich. Crispe and Sam. Garrett. [Two
pages and a half. Court Bk., II, 98-99. ]). 2 He 5. [f.3] 25 Aug. 1610. Award by Trinity House