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Letter from George II, King of Great Britain to Gabriel Johnston
George II, King of Great Britain, 1683-1760
June 1739
Volume 04, Pages 338-339

[B. P. R. O. Am: and W. Ind: No. 592.]

The King to the Govr of No. Carolina June 1739.

Trusty and Welbeloved, We greet you well. Whereas several unjust Seizures have been made, and Depredations carried on, in the West Indies, by Spanish Garda Costas, and ships acting under the Commission of the King of Spain, or his Governors, contrary to the Treaties subsisting between us and the Crown of Spain, and to the Law of Nations, to the great Prejudice of the lawfull Trade and Commerce of our Subjects; and many Cruelties and Barbarities have been exercised on the Persons of such of our subjects, whose Vessels have been so seized by the said Spanish Garda Costas; And whereas frequent complaint has been made to the Court of Spain of these unjust Practices, and no satisfaction or redress been procured; and whereas a Convention for making Reparation to our Subjects for the Losses sustained by them, on account of the unjust seizures and captures above mentioned, was concluded between us, and the King of Spain, on the fourteenth Day of Janry last, ns. by which convention, It was stipulated, That a certain Sum of Money should be paid at London, within a Term specified in the said Convention, as a Ballance due, on the part of Spain, to the Crown and Subjects of Great Britain, which Term did expire on the 25th Day of May last; and the Payment of the said sum, agreed by the said Convention, has not been made, according to the Stipulation for that purpose, by which means the Convention above mentioned has been manifestly violated and broke by the King of Spain, and our subjects remain without any Satisfaction, or Reparation for the many great and grievous Losses sustained by them: We have thought fit, for the vindicating the Honour of Our Crown, and for our injured Subjects, to order Reprisals to be made upon the Crown and subjects of Spain. And we do therefore, by Vertue of these Presents, authorise and empower you to issue forth, and grant commissions

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of Marque and Reprisal to any of our loving Subjects, or others who shall apply to you for the same, and whom you shall deem fitly qualified in that behalf, for arming and fitting our private Ships of War, for the apprehending, seizing and taking the Ships, Vessels, and Goods belonging to the King of Spain, His Vassals, and Subjects, or any inhabiting within his Countries, Territories and Dominions in the West Indies: Provided always, that before any such Commission or Commissions be issued forth security be given upon every such Commission as hath been used in such Cases. And you shall insert in every commission to be so granted by you, all such Clauses, and give such Directions and Instructions to the Person, or Persons to whom you shall grant such Commission, as hath been usual in Cases of the like Nature, and for so doing this shall be your Warrant and so we bid you Farewell. Given at our Court at Kensington the       day of June 1739, in the Thirteenth Year of our Reign

By His Majesty's Command.