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James I
(1566-1625)
Royal Proclamation: Proclaiming Peace with Spain and Forbidding Armed Vessels from England Attacking Spanish Merchant Ships. Given at our Mannour of Greenwich the 23 Day of June, in the First Yeere of our Reign of England, France, and Ireland
London: Robert Barker, 1603

This proclamation (page 29) was directed at Sir Walter Raleigh and his associates. Raleigh was a thorn in the flesh of James I. Even before the death of Queen Elizabeth he opposed James' claims, and was ready to go to any lengths to prevent his accession to the throne. Consequently, one of James' first acts as King was to dismiss Raleigh from his various offices of State and order cessation of hostilities with Spain. Raleigh was condemned to death on a charge of conspiracy, but was reprieved and imprisoned in the Tower of London where he wrote his unfinished History of the World. Released in 1616, he led a disastrous expedition to Brazil seeking gold. On his return, he was beheaded under his former sentence.

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