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Historical Records of New Zealand Vol. II.

[Enclosure.] — The Viceroy to Lieutenant Cook

The Viceroy to Lieutenant Cook.

The Memorial of the Count Viceroy of the Estate of Brazil, in answer to that of Lieutenant James Cook, commander of his Britannick Majesty's ship the Endeavour.

No solid foundation has your adimiracao [sic] because I follow the orders which generally is order'd to be practised, and is practis'd, in the ports of America, and if some of my antecessours have relaxed in some particular case I am not obliged to answer for it, but they may have had for this efecto [sic] particular orders which to me are wanting, and the example on which you discourse, as it was so immediate to the war, the reliques whereof might make necessary this proceeding or the great necessity of the same ships.

This does not interfere in the present case, because for the things that your ship wants it is not necessary coming ashore continually, especially appearing afected [sic] the same necessity, because from whence comes fruit and greens so fresh as I am page 69 assured cannot want so much water; and, lastly, it makes me dubious from the make of the ship and for other circumstances that she is the King's. That which I alledge of Bahia is not of any small company, but of the East India Company, whose great reputation is well known, and what considerable part it makes of the British monarchy.

When your officer came to ask leave to enter this port, it was asked him if you would be subject to the orders and customs of these ports, and to all those cautions necessary to prevent contraband, one of which is not to come any vessel on shore without a centinel to See what she carrys, and that she does not come ashore in any other part but over against this pallace, for there to be guarded, also her people.

This is the condition with which I permitted not only the entry of your ship, but also the furnishing of things that are necessary for you. If you find that you are not obliged it, and if you will not be subject to it, founded on the answer of your officer, you should not upon this argue much; and I only answer that in this case also I have no obligation to furnish you with anything, nor to let your vessels come ashore; and as to this last part, to prevent disputes and embarrasments, it will be more convenient that you deliver your letters to the officer of the round, in the guard-boat, for him to bring me them when he is relieved; and as to the treatys whereof you discourse, it is a thing that can only be examin'd and interpretated by our Courts, because to me only belongs the execution of the orders I have. Rio de Janiero, the 20th November, 1768.


Conde de Azambuja.

Attested copy. (Signed)

James Cook.

The reference here is to the case of Commodore Byron, cited by Cook in his memorial of the previous day. The allusion to “the war” is not so clear, peace having been proclaimed more than eighteen months before the date on which Commodore Byron put into Rio de Janeiro in the Dolphin and Tamar.