Amplification of the Charter of the Dutch West India Company (1622)

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States General of the United Netherlands486027Amplification of the Charter of the Dutch West India Company, 16221622Arnold Johan Ferdinand Van Laer

Amplification of the charter: wherein the salt trade to Puncto del Rey is forbidden except to the Company; also the time of subscription extended, &c. Dated June 10, 1622.

The States General of the United Netherlands, to all those who shall see these presents or hear them read, greeting. Be it known, that whereas heretofore a certain amplification of the charter granted to the West India Company, for the further promotion and benefit of the same, has been published by us and brought to public notice everywhere by means of placards, reading word for word as follows:

The States General of the United Netherlands to all who shall see these presents or hear them read, greeting. Whereas we have after mature deliberation of council, for the benefit of these provinces and the welfare of the good inhabitants thereof, caused a company to be formed here in these Netherlands for commerce and trade to the West-Indies, Africa and other places mentioned in our former proclamation of the ninth of June, in the year sixteen hundred and twenty-one, with a prohibition that none of the natives or inhabitants of this country for the term of twenty-four years from the first of July next following should sail or trade within the said limits, except only those who under the charter granted to the aforesaid Company are permitted to carry on the salt trade to Punto del Rey under the regulations therefor adopted or to be adopted by us: whereas upon reconsidering that matter, we find that it is useful and necessary for the service of this country and for promoting the aforesaid chartered Company to vest the aforesaid salt trade to Punto del Rey also in the said Company: Therefore we (our former proclamation of the ninth of June remaining in full force) have also interdicted and forbidden, and by these presents do interdict and forbid, the natives and inhabitants of this country, during the term of the aforesaid twenty-four years, to sail out of these Netherlands, as also out of any other kingdom or country, directly or indirectly, in the said salt trade to Punto del Rey, except in the name and on behalf of this Company; willing and ordaining that all other natives and inhabitants who shall venture to do, or shall be found to have done anything to the contrary hereof, shall forfeit ship and goods which shall be immediately seized and confiscated for the benefit of the aforesaid Company. And if such ship and goods should thereafter be sold or brought into other countries or ports, we have ordained and decreed, and do hereby ordain and decree, that the owners and participants thereof, living in this country or owning property here, shall be liable for the value thereof and that execution may issue against them. We have also deemed fit, as we hereby deem fit, to extend the time of entering this Company for the inhabitants of this country till the last of July next, new style, inclusive, and for foreigners till the last of September, also new style, next ensuing, and also inclusive. And after that date no one shall be admitted or allowed to make any subscription to this Company, so that all those who still wish to be admitted to this Company may within the time aforesaid subscribe or cause subscription to be made before some of the directors thereto appointed for such sums of money as they shall see fit to invest in the same. We further desire that immediately after the expiration of the first six weeks, from the most able and experienced participants who have made the largest investments shall be elected and appointed the directors of the aforesaid Company, in accordance with the charter, and that the same shall thereupon promptly proceed to the equipment of vessels in order to begin at once the granted navigation and trade.

And desiring that what is above written shall be observed and maintained, in law and without, we have requested the States and Stallholders of the respective provinces of Gelderland and Zutphen, Holland and West-Friesland, Zealand, Utrecht, Friesland, Over-Yssel, and of Groningen and Ommelanden, together with the Deputy Councils or States of the same, and the Chancelor, Presidents and officers of justice of the said provinces, and have further charged and commanded as we hereby do charge and command all boards of admiralty, all admirals, commanders, colonels, captains of horse and foot, on water and on land, together with all officers of justice, to observe the same and to cause the same to be observed and in rendering sentence to govern themselves accordingly, without suffering any violation whatsoever. And in order that no one may pretend ignorance hereof, we request and summon all authorities, magistrates and officers of justice within these United Netherlands, whom it may in any wise concern, to have this amplification proclaimed, promulgated and made public wherever it is customary to have such proclamation and promulgation made; for we deem this fit for the service of this country and its good inhabitants. Thus done and passed at the meeting of the Lords States General, at the Hague, this tenth of June in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty-two.

Was paraphed by N. vander Meer
By order of the aforesaid honorable Lords the States General.
C. Aerssen

And whereas the aforesaid Company through some of their deputies have later remonstrated and clearly shown that the majority and the largest of the subscriptions were thereupon made and that without this amplification no sufficient capital could have been brought together, inasmuch as the majority of the participants largely counted on this as essential for assured profit, and therefore request us that, for their satisfaction and further security, and also to prevent all disputes and contraband trading, we do them the favor to grant them this amplification confirmed and ratified under our great seal; Therefore, being in every way willing to favor the aforesaid West India Company, we have after mature deliberation and with full knowledge of circumstances granted, and hereby do grant, that the aforesaid amplification, for the purpose aforesaid, be confirmed and ratified under our great seal. Thus done in our meeting under our great seal, paraph and signature of our secretary, at the Hague, on the sixteenth of February 1623.

Was paraphed by I. Magnus
By order of the aforesaid honorable Lords the States General.
C. Aerssen


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