10 December 2012

The Flanders Galleys, 1485: Part Two

Continuation of the commission from Doge Giovanni Mocenigo to Bartolomeo Minio, appointing him Captain of the Flanders Galleys. 12 April 1485.

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After the departure from Flanders of these present galleys, all merchandise, of which the conveyance is conceded to them exclusively and which shall be sent to Venice (by other means) within two months from that time, either by land or water (in case the galleys have not their full cargo), to pay full freight to the Signory, for the benefit of the arsenal, whose masters to receive one "soldo" per "livre," for all sums thus collected by them. All goods from England likewise brought by land or sea to pay the like freight to the said galleys until the departure of the next galleys for England. 
The physician not to receive more than seven ducats per month. 
On the outward voyage, the masters not to stay in any place beyond the limited number of days, and on the-homeward voyage less, under penalty of 100 golden ducats for each day, to be deducted from the bounty; the captain keeping account of these days under oath.

Notice to be given of all these clauses to the consuls at Bruges and in London, that they may endeavour to obtain the payment of full freight to the Signory for all merchandise. 
Prohibition against shipment in the holds, or in their berths by the. masters, officials, or oarsmen, of cloths called Verui (sic) Santone, Lowestoft, Bastards, Serges, and Furs (varij-vairs). The cloths called "Bastards," Lowestoft, white "Gotifaldi," wools, and block tin, to be loaded for Ven ice alone, and not for intermediate ports. 
The masters to give the crews, arbalast men, and comrades three months' pay in England, at the rate of 38 pence per ducat. One month's loan to be made at the same rate; and any further advance to be charged at the exchange of the day. On payment of these moneys in England, the "writers" of the galleys forbidden to receive more than one penny from each man. 
Prohibition against stowing on deck either chests or wrought pewter ; nor may currants or molasses be stowed in the hold. 
Gross spice to pay freight at the rate of four ducats; small spice and Levant sugar, five ducats; cottons, raw and spun, 12 ducats, currants,-lambskins, and undressed hides, 18 ducats; wax of every sort, 10 ducats; dressed hides, 10 ducats for every 1,000; paper, one ducat and a half for every bale containing 12 reams; silks of every sort, 20 ducats per thousand-weight Troy (mier sotil). Foreign fustians may be imported under the usual restrictions. Cloths valued at 25 ducats and under, half a ducat per piece, and of higher value, one ducat; household utensils, half a ducat per 100; and should anyone smuggle raw silk, or cloth of silk, or pass them as spices, substituting one sort of merchandise for another, the goods to be forfeited. 
The freights of merchandise and goods loaded for the intermediate ports to belong to the masters; but all goods loaded in Flanders, Malaga, England, and Sicily, whether on deck or below, to pay freight to the Signory. 
Each of the masters on his safe return to Venice to receive from the Signory a bounty of 3,500 golden ducats of the unappropriated moneys of the Jews, which, the debentures being liquidated, may not be dispersed or employed for any other purpose than that. bounty, under penalty of 1,000 ducats to anyone acting otherwise; he paying the sum from his own purse, and being proclaimed a thief in the hall of Grand Council. Each of the masters is at liberty to proceed against those who shall make any motion to the contrary. The masters to receive also for the aforesaid bounty 3,500 ducats of the three and two per cents. from the Signory, and all the freights (on goods loaded for the immediate ports) on the homeward voyage. 
Each of the masters to disburse 400 ducats as a loan eight days after receiving the galleys from the masters of the arsenal, under penalty of 1,000 ducats. This loan to. be repaid them from the proceeds of the auction and the emendations (emendi); and, should the price paid by them at the auction exceed the loan, they may deduct it from the bounty derived from the two and three per cents.; the masters of the arsenal being bound, under penalty, to expend the loan on nothing but the outfit of the galleys, and the captain or the majority of the masters being present when the moneys are dis­bursed, and keeping careful and particular account of their appli­cation that they be not employed for any other purpose. 
On the opening of the bank of the Flanders galleys the masters to deposit the installments of pay required for the crews, arbalast men, and stipendiaries. The masters forbidden to engage men for the voyage, instead of by the month, or to compound with them in any way, under penalty, but the crews to be paid like those of the galleys bound.to Syria. No vessel at Venice to load for Flanders, or be " put up " for that voyage from the day of the decree (28 April 1485) until two months after the period assigned to the galleys for their departure (15 July 1485); ships bound to Candia or from' Candia to Flanders or England to be at liberty to continue their voyages, but not to load currants or others goods of which the Flanders galleys had the monopoly. Should the captain incur expense for the reception of personages of rank or others, he is to give a note of it in writing to the masters, and should he not do so, its payment to be optional with th em, provided the captain allege no just impediment. The galleys to convey the Republic's ambassadors and envoys, and ammunition, and all other things belonging to the Signory to any ports made on the voyage, free of passage money or freight. 
Each of the masters to give the arsenal 50 ducats for the dry docks, and 10 ducats for the purchase of houses, also 200 lbs. white-wrought wax, on their return, to the Procurators of St. Mark's Church. The presents for the King of England, and the Duke of Burgundy, to be paid with the first moneys derived from the averages on goods, one half on going, the other on returning; and as Sluys and Bruges were blockaded. by the Archduke Maximilian, by land and sea, the inhabitants of those places being in revolt against him, the Senate authorized the. captain of the Flanders galleys, Bortolomeo Minio, on the 29th April 1485, to take them either to Antwerp or Middleburg; the masters being forbidden to claim any indemnity on this account. 
Ducal Palace, 12 April 1485. 

[MA illuminated volume of 163 pages: on parchment, part in Latin and part in Italian, being the original commission drawn up by order of the Doge and Senate.]

Taken from Rawdon Brown, Calendar of State Papers and Manuscripts (London, 1864) , Vol. 1: #492. The translation and editing within the text is his. Rawdon Brown owned the original commission, but it is not now listed in the Rawdon Brown papers in the British Library.

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