Full text: Religion, colonising & trade

individual English adventurers of the sixteenth cen- 
tuty that religion was in evidence. It was in evidence 
also in the sphere of companies. A good instance will 
be found, before Queen Elizabeth came to the throne, 
in the instructions dated May 9, 1553, in the reign of 
King Edward VI, which were issued by Sebastian 
Cabot as © Governor of the Mystery and Company of 
the Merchants Adventurers for the discovery of 
regions, dominions, islands and places unknown.’ 
Cabot ordained that there should be no blaspheming 
of God, no filthy talk, gambling, or brawling, that 
morning and evening prayer should be held daily on 
every ship, and the Bible or paraphrases to be read 
devoutly and Christianly to God’s honour, and for 
His grace to be obtained and had by humble and 
hearty prayer of the navigants accordingly.’ 
The Company was licensed by the King and com- 
mended by letter, which Willoughby and Chancellor 
took with them to the Princes and potentates whom 
they might encounter on their north-easterly quest for 
Cathay. But it was not incorporated by Royal Charter 
until February 1555 in the following reign, the reign of 
Queen Mary. 
Then, as the result of Richard Chancellor having 
found his way into Russia, they were given a charter, 
headed ¢ the charter of the Merchants of Russia,” and 
having for one of its marginal notes the discovery 
principally intended for God’s Glory.”? In Queen 
Elizabeth’s reign, in 1566, the Company was thought 
worthy of having its corporate privileges confirmed 
by Act of Parliament, the title given to it in the Act 
1 Hakluyt, vol. ii, pp. 198-9. 2 Ibid., p. 304.

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