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Edict of the King of Portugal, Prohibiting all Intercourse Between his Dominions and the American Colonies



Joseph, by the Grace of God, King of Portugal and of the Algarves, &c˙, &c˙, &c.: I make known to all who shall see this present Edict, that having been lately informed that the English Colonies in America had not only separated themselves, by an act of the Congress the 15th of May last, from the subjection to the Crown of Great Britain, but also were making laws of their own, and giving particular power to resist the lawful authority of his Britannick Majesty, my good brother, friend, and ally: And whereas so pernicious an example ought to interest even the most indifferent Princes not to favour or assist, directly or indirectly, subjects thus publickly and formally rebelling against their lawful Sovereign, it is my will and pleasure to order, that in all the ports of these Kingdoms and his dominions, no shelter shall be given to any ships, loaded or in ballast, coming from any of the ports of the said North American British Colonies; but, on the contrary, that they are to be repelled from the said ports, and in the same manner they entered, without giving them the least succour of any kind whatsoever. The Masters of ships who have been permitted to enter hitherto, in consideration of not having received any express injunction to the contrary, shall be notified to depart with their ships out of the abovementioned ports within the space of eight successive days without fail; examination being had before their departure, if they have on board any gunpowder, or other warlike stores, of the kinds already prohibited by my Royal Orders, given the 21st of October last, to the Arsenal of the Army, and to the Office of Outward Consulship; and confiscating, for the benefit of the publick works, any of the said ships on board of which shall be found clandestinely concealed any of the abovementioned warlike stores, as goods rightly seized and manifestly known to be the property of Rebels.

Our Lord the King hath ordered this by his Royal Decree of the fourth of this current month of July, and directed it to his Royal Council, commanding it to be printed and set up in all publick places of Lisbon and ports of this Kingdom, and of the Algarve, in order that every one should have notice thereof, and that no person may pretend ignorance.

(Signed) COUNT DE AZAMBUJA, President.

Lisbon, 5th of July, 1776.