Cambridge Press Charter

Charter Granted to Cambridge University 1534

Henry VIII, by the grace of God King of England and France, Defender of the Faith, and Lord of Ireland, To all whom these present letters may come, greeting. Know ye that we of our special grace, and by our certain knowledge and mere motion, have granted and given licence, and by these presents grant and give licence, for ourselves and our heirs, to our beloved in Christ the Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of our University of Cambridge, That they and their successors for ever may, by their writings under the seal of the Chancellor of the said University, from time to time assign, appoint and in perpetuity have among them, and perpetually remaining and dwelling within our aforesaid University, Three Stationers and Printers or Sellers of Books, both aliens born outside our obedience and natives born within our obedience, having and holding houses both leased[?] and owned. These Stationers or Bookprinters, assigned in the aforesaid manner, and any of them, shall have lawful and incontestable power to print there all manner of books approved, or hereafter to be approved, by the aforesaid Chancellor or his deputy and three doctors there; and also to exhibit for sale, as well in the same University as elsewhere in our realm, wherever they please, all such books and all other books wherever printed, both within and outside our realm, approved or to be approved (as aforesaid) by the said Chancellor or his deputy and three doctors there. And that the same Stationers or Printers born (as is aforesaid) outside our obedience, and very of them, for as long as they dwell in the aforesaid University and occupy themselves in the aforesaid business, shall in all things and by everyone so reputed, taken and treated as our faithful subjects and lieges, and each of them shall be so reputed, taken and treated. And they shall be entitled to enjoy and use all and singular liberties, customs, laws and privileges, and each of them shall be so entitled, freely and quietly, such as any faithful subject and liege in any manner can use and enjoy. And they shall pay and render Lot and Scot, taxes, tallages, and all other customs and impositions none otherwise and in no other manner than our faithful subjects and lieges pay and render to us; any statute, act, ordinance or provision made, published or provided to the contrary notwithstanding. Provided always, that the said Stationers or Printers so born (as is premised) outside our obedience shall pay to us all and all manner of customs, subsidies and other monies owing to us from time to time for their goods and merchandise to be exported from or imported into our realm, in such wise as aliens pay us and not otherwise. In testimony of which matter we have caused these our letters to be made patent. Witness myself, at Westminster, the 20th day of July, in the 26th year of our reign.


Source: Translated from Latin in A History of Cambridge University Press, Vol. 1, David McKitterick, Cambridge University Press, 1992.