An English Charter-Party in the Torre do Tombo (Portuguese Archives) 1566-1567


        In that section of the National Archives of the Torre do Tombo known as the «Gavetas» (anglicé; pigeonholes) lies an original English document whose origin seems to me worthy of a note. It deals with a charter-party drawn up in 1566 between certain English merchants, Richard Springham and Edward Worsopp, citizens of London, and captain George Fenner, of Southampton. In this document George Fenner puts at the disposal of the aforesaid merchants the vessel «George of Chichester» of approximately 40 tons burden, under the command of John Smith «marryner», also of Southampton, to trade in the regions of «Genea and Nova Spania».

        The document is duly signed and sealed by Richard Springham and Edward Worsopp and contains the following proviso: - «This present charterpartie Indented remayneng «with the said «merchants, ye said Capteyn and Master, haue subscribed ond sealed yonen...» We therefore have before us the document which was in the possession of John Smith. Furthermore, on the back of the document, in another script but of the same period, may be read «Smyeth, of Southampton».


Virginia Rau
HA 7
subject matter: 
Portuguese Overseas