Warrant from the king to Richard Ameryk to pay John Cabot's pension.

About Richard Ameryk.

As you can see from the following warrant, English spelling was still under development in the 15th century. As was French, Spanish and Italian. John Cabot's name was spelled: Kaboto, Caboote, Cabotto, Gabato etc., etc. The name Ameryk (an old Welsh name) was also spelled Ap Meryck (son of Meryck), Ameryk, Amerike, Americ, etc., etc.

Richard Ameryk (1440-1503) was a wealthy landowner and merchant who traded with Spain and Portugal. He was one of the chief financial backers of the fishing expeditions to Brassyle, beginning in the 1470s, and he provided financial assistance to Cabot's expedition to the New World on the Matthew. Amerike was first appointed as the King's Customs Officer in Bristol in 1486.

The name of Richard Ameryk on the Bristol customs roll in Westminster Abbey.


From the Public Record Office, Warrants for Issue, 13 Hen. VII, E. 404, Bundle 82.

Henry by the grace of God King of England and of ffraunce and lord of lrland To the Tresourer and Chambrelains of oure Eschequier greting:
Where as We by oure warrant under oure signet for certain consideracions have yeven and graunted unto John Caboote xx Ii. [£20] yerely during oure pleasur to be had and perceyved by the handes of oure Custumers in oure poorte of Bristowe, and as we be enfourmed the said John Caboote is dilaied of his payement bicause the said Custumers have no sufficient matier of discharge for their indempnitie to be yolden at their accomptes before the Barons of oure Eschequier; Wherfore we wol and charge you that ye oure said Treasourer and Chambrelains that now be and hereafter shallbe, that ye, unto suche tyme as ye shall have from us otherwise in commaundement, do to be levied in due fourme ij severall tailles, every of theim con teignying x Ii. upon the Customers of the revenues in our said poort of Bristowe at two usuell termes of the yere, whereof oon taill to be levied at this tyme conteignying x Ii. of the Revenues of oure said poort upon Richard Meryk and Arthure Kemys, late Custumers of the same, And the same taill or tailles in due and sufficient fourme levied ye delyver unto the said John Caboote to be had of oure gift by way of rewarde without prest or eny other charge to be sette upon hym or any of theim for the same. And thies our letters shalbe youre sufficient warrant in that behalf Yeven undre oure prive seal at oure manour of Chene the xxiith day of ffebruary The xiiith yere of oure Reigne.

Printed in The Precursors of Jacques Cartier, by H. P. Biggar, pp. 24-5. First printed in 1896.


Biggar, H. P., The Precursors of Jacques Cartier, 1497-1534, Ottawa, Canada, 1911.

Broome, Rodney, The True Story of How America Got Its Name, MJF Books, New York, 2001.