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Mess[eu]rs Cha & Ja: Bankes: Newcastle July the 28th 1676 S[i]rs My last to you was of the 1mo [primo – first] July; To w[hi]ch referes you Since have Rec[eive]d yo[u]rs of the 27th and 30th past 7th and 14th present; I am ashamed to have soe many of yo[u]rs before mee unanswered; the best excuse is the very truth; that I have for some time; beene merry w[i]th some freinds who came from London on purpose to give mee a visitt; They beinge now gone; I am now againe In my Ellements; hard att my businesse to regayne the time lost; Soe that att present I shall God willinge answer att large one after another all yo[u]r lett[e]rs. In yo[u]r former takes notice of Rf [Note 1.] 178: drawne upon you by Mr Jno Strother w[hi]ch bill you hadd accepted and debited mee for the same; Soe farr Soe good; In yo[u]r second you say and confirme to have accepted Mr Jno Strothers draughtes for Rf [Note 1.] 168 whereas In yo[u]r former you write that In that the Bill is for Rf 178:= noe man but my mistake; I know the Bill is for Rf [Note 1.] 178 and have booked the same accordingly, I heartily thanke you for yo[u]r kindnesse to my Brother and Freinds, who If still w[i]th you pray present my Service to them; In yo[u]r third have the good newes of Henry Lawes his safe arrivall, for w[hi]ch God bee praysed. And that you had sold my Coales for 30 <.s> a barrell; w[i]th w[hi]ch am very well content; hopeing that soe farr as the nett p[ro]ceeds thereof will goe moneyes will come In to answer pte [part] of Mr Jno Strotheres draughts and In yo[u]r last takes notice of Rf [Note 1.] 1650: drawne upon you In 2 bides by Mr Strother and that you had accepted the same w[hi]ch is well, I must confesse Mr Strother hath now drawne about £1000 St[erlin]g upon you upon my account but God bee thanked my vessell from Stockholme is well arrived In this place; Mr Strother is Still Rf [Note 1.] 400: In disbursse for mee; who all alonge know of my order unto you Soe that hee will nott draw above Rf [Note 1.] 400 until hee receive the Inclosed w[hi]ch pray send forward Carefully and advise him w[i]th all of you will accept his bill for Sume of Rf [Note 1.] 400 w[hi]ch I desire you to doe: as also to dispose of my Leed soe as w[i]th the nett proceeds thereof you could answer some of S[ai]d Strotheres draughts; but if nott to bee done; you know where I live soe In short draw w[ha]t you have occasion for upon mee, And yo[u]r Bills shall bee hono[u]rd, I leave my businesse to yo[u]r discresstion nott doubtinge but In all thinges you will seeke my advantage; but one thinge pray observe; the lesse money you draw upon mee the greater kindness you will doe mee; Soe if noe likelyhood of Leed riseinge as you say sell mine for w[ha]t itt will yeild; Soe that the nett proceeds thereof may serve my other occsiones as above ~ I take notice Henry Lawes can procure noe freight and beinge resolved to return hither rather then here should w[i]th ballast, you are Content to give him £60. And Soe will Load him of yo[u]r selfe w[i]th some Wooden Comodities for this place upon yo[u]r owne account w[hi]ch if you thinke fitt to Consigne unto mee I shall doe for you as for my selfe; beinge Realy upon all accounts, ready to serve you and none more ambitious of yo[u]r Condes; nor shall bee more honest and faithfull unto you Then M:B:
It is not entirely clear from the handwriting ‘Rf’ or ‘Rb’ is referred to in this letter, and the occurrences within the letter differ in form. Since Charles and James Bankes are in Hamburg, it has been guessed that the transcriptions are ‘Rf’ for ‘Rhenish Florin’. However, Wikipedia notes that the ‘mark banco’ was a historical currency used in Hamburg between 1619 and 1873, which only deepens the mystery.