Famine and Dearth

By the Queene

By the Queene.

London.
PUBLISHED BY Christopher Baker
1587

1.

THe Queenes most excellent Majestie, foreseeing the generall dearth growen of corne and other victuals, partly through the unseasonablenesse of the yeere past, whereby want hath growen more in some countries then in others, but most of all generallie through the covetousnesse and uncharitable greedinesse of such as be great cornemasters and engrossers of corne, using al the subtil meanes they can, to worke their owne present unconscionable gaine against the rules of charitie, which her Majestie of her princely care and love towards her people, utterly condemneth, and earnestly desireth to remedie, for the reliefe of the poorer sort. And therefore, her Majestie with her princely care towards her people, having with the advise of her Counsell had good consideration hereof, doth by this her Proclamation, give expresse commandement and charge unto al such to whome it shall or may appertaine, that such good orders as her Majestie hath commanded to be devised for that purpose, and now also are sent to all partes of her Realme, bee diligently & effectually put in speedie execution: Signifying withall unto all her good and loving subjects, that if any shalbe founde obstinate or negligent in the due execution, or otherwise in the observation thereof, that then upon due enformation and proofe thereof made unto her highnesse said Counsell, which she requireth not to be spared by any, having just cause of complaint, for respect of any person, she hath given special commandement & order, that they shalbe speedily called to answere, and thereupon, according to the qualitie of their offences, shall receive sharpe punishment, whereby others may take example to avoide the like contempt, negligence, or other defaults.

And although this Dearth hath insundry partes of the Realme first growen by the visitation of Almightie God, in the alteration of seasonable weather this last yeere, which neverthelesse of his great mercy hath bin so extreme in this Realme, as in many other Countries adjoyning, where the Dearth is by many occasions manifestly knowen to be farre greater then is in this Realme hitherto, or by his goodnesse is like to be: Yet it is manifestly knowen the sayd Dearth to have bene wilfully encreased in very many places of this Realme, not onely by and through the covetousnesse of many engrossers of Corne and Cornemasters, but also by unlawfull transportation of Grayne, and lacke also of preservation of store in time requisite. Her Highnes acknowledging this maner of Gods mercy and favour in amore favourable measure towards her Country and her people, then to other foirein partes neere adjoyning, hath thought good and necessary, for a further remedie against the uncharitable covetousnesse of the Cornemasters, as cause shall require, to notifie, that if such as be the great Cornemasters & owners of Grayne, or of other necessarie victual for foode of the poore, shall not be willing, or doe not performe these orders, whereby the poorer sort may be relieved in the markets at reasonable prices, or that it shall appeare that other needefull victuals shall by covetousnesse of any persons growe to excessive prices, to the pinching of the poorer sort: Then her Highnesse doth hereby signefie, that she wil not onely severely punish the offendors for their cruel covetousnes & offentes against her orders, but will also for redresse of the excessive prices of other needefull victuals, give order that reasonable prices shall be set both on Corne and other victuals to be solde for the reliefe of her Majesties poore Subjects, according both to her Prerogative Royal, and to the order of Justice, as by speciall lawe of Parliament therefore made in the five and twentieth yeere of the raigne of her late Noble and deare Father King Henry the eight, is specially in such cases provided. Given at Greenewich the second day of January, 1586. In the nine and twentieth yeere of her Highnesse raigne.

God save the Queene.
Imprinted at London by Christopher Barker,
Printer to the Queenes most excellent
Majestie.

This is the full version of the original text

Keywords

command, dearth, food, harvest, victuals, want

Source text

Title: By the Queene.

Author: England and Wales

Publisher: Christopher Baker

Publication date: 1587

Edition: 2nd Edition

Place of publication: London

Provenance/location: Date: 1587 Bib name / number: STC (2nd ed.) / 8161 Bib name / number: Steele, R. Tudor and Stuart proclamations, 791. / Physical description: 1 sheet ([1] p.) Copy from: Bodleian Library

Digital edition

Original author(s): England and Wales. Sovereign (1558-1603 : Elizabeth I)

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) whole

Responsibility:

Texts collected by: Ayesha Mukherjee, Amlan Das Gupta, Azarmi Dukht Safavi

Texts transcribed by: Muhammad Irshad Alam, Bonisha Bhattacharya, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Kahkashan Khalil, Sarbajit Mitra

Texts encoded by: Bonisha Bhattacharya, Shreya Bose, Lucy Corley, Kinshuk Das, Bedbyas Datta, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Sarbajit Mitra, Josh Monk, Reesoom Pal

Encoding checking by: Hannah Petrie, Gary Stringer, Charlotte Tupman

Genre: Britain > official legislation

For more information about the project, contact Dr Ayesha Mukherjee at the University of Exeter.

Acknowledgements