Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Books, poems, drama…

The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques, by Richard Hakluyt

Part 2 out of 7

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.8 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

perfect knowledge of him. And you are also to remember, into howe many
perils for your sakes, and his countreys loue, he is nowe to runne: whereof
it is requisite that wee be not vnmindefull, if it please God to send him
good successe. Wee commit a little money to the chaunce and hazard of
Fortune: He commits his life (a thing to a man of all things most deare) to
the raging Sea, and the vncertainties of many dangers. We shall here liue
and rest at home quietly with our friends, and acquaintance: but hee in the
meane time labouring to keepe the ignorant and vnruly Mariners in good
order and obedience, with howe many cares shall hee trouble and vexe
himselfe? with how many troubles shall he breake himselfe? and howe many
disquietings shall hee bee forced to sustaine? We shall keepe our owne
coastes and countrey: Hee shall seeke strange and vnknowen kingdomes. He
shall commit his safetie to barbarous and cruell people, and shall hazard
his life amongst the monstrous and terrible beastes of the Sea. Wherefore
in respect of the greatnesse of the dangers, and the excellencie of his
charge, you are to fauour and loue the man thus departing from vs: and if
it fall so happily out that hee returne againe, it is your part and duetie
also, liberally to reward him.

After that this noble yong Getleman had deliuered this or some such like
speech, much more eloquently then I can possiblie report it, the companie
then present beganne one to looke vpon another, one to question and
conferre with another: and some (to whom the vertue and sufficiencie of the
man was knowen) began secretly to reioyce with themselues, and to conceiue
a speciall hope, that the man would prooue in time very rare and excellent,
and that his vertues already appearing and shining to the world woulde
growe to the great honour and aduancement of this kingdome.

After all this, the companie growing to some silence, it seemed good to
them that were of greatest grauity amongst them, to inquire, search and
seeke what might be learned and knowen, concerning the Easterly part or
tract of the world. For which cause two Tartarians, which were then of the
kings Stable, were sent for, and an interpreter was gotten to be present,
by whom they were demaunded touching their Countrey and the maners of their
nation. But they were able to answere nothing to the purpose: being in
deede more acquainted (as one there merily and openly said) to tosse
pottes, then to learne the states and dispositions of people. But after
much adoe and many things passed about this matter, they grew at last to
this issue, to set downe and appoynt a time for the departure of the
shippes: because diuers were of opinion, that a great part of the best time
of the yeere was already spent, and if the delay grewe longer, the way
would bee stopt and bard by the force of the Ice, and the colde climate:
and therefore it was thought best by the opinion of them all, that by the
twentieth day of May, [Marginal note: They departed from Ratcliffe, the 20.
of May, 1553.] the Captaines and Mariners should take shipping, and depart
from Radcliffe vpon the ebbe, if it pleased God. They hauing saluted their
acquaintance, one his wife, another his children, another his kinsfolkes,
and another his friends deerer then his kinsfolkes, were present and ready
at the day appoynted: and hauing wayed ancre, they departed with the
turning of the water, and sailing easily, came first to Greenewich. The
greater shippes are towed downe with boates, and oares, and the mariners
being all apparelled in Watchet or skie coloured cloth, rowed amaine, and
made way with diligence. And being come neere to Greenewich, (where the
Court then lay) presently vpon the newes therof, the Courtiers came running
out, and the common people flockt together, standing very thicke vpon the
shoare: the priuie Counsel, they lookt out at the windowes of the Court,
and the rest ranne vp to the toppes of the towers: the shippes hereupon
discharge their Ordinance, and shoot off their pieces after the maner of
warre, and of the sea, insomuch that the tops of the hilles sounded
therewith, the valleys and the waters gaue an Eccho, and the Mariners, they
shouted in such sort, that the skie rang againe with the noyse thereof. One
stoode in the poope of the ship, and by his gesture bids farewell to his
friendes in the best maner hee could. Another walkes vpon the hatches,
another climbes the shrowds, another stands vpon the maine yard, and
another in the top of the shippe. To be short, it was a very triumph (after
a sort) in all respects to the beholders. But (alas) the good King Edward
(in respect of whom principally all this was prepared) hee onely by reason
of his sickenesse was absent from this shewe, and not long after the
departure of these ships, the lamentable and most sorrowfull accident of
his death followed.

But to proceede in the matter.

The shippes going downe with the tyde came at last to Woolwich, where they
stayed and cast ancre, with purpose to depart therehence againe, as soone
as the turning of the water, and a better winde should draw them to set
saile. After this they departed and came to Harwich, in which porte they
stayed long, not without great losse and consuming of time: yet at the last
with a good winde they hoysed vp saile, and committed themselues to the
sea, giuing their last adieu to their natiue Countrey, which they knewe not
whether they should euer returne to see againe or not. Many of them looked
oftentimes back, and could not refraine from teares, considering into what
hazards they were to fall, and what vncertainties of the sea they were to
make triall of.

Amongst the rest, Richard Chanceler the Captaine of the Edward Bonauenture,
was not a little grieued with the feare of wanting victuals, part whereof
was found to be corrupt and putrified at Harwich, and the hoggesheads of
wine also leaked, and were not stanch: his naturall and fatherly affection
also somewhat troubled him, for he left behinde him his two little sonnes,
which were in the case of Orphanes if he spedde not well: the estate also
of his companie mooued him to care, being in the former respects after a
sort vnhappie, and were to abide with himselfe euery good or badde
accident: but in the meane time while his minde was thus tormented with the
multiplicitie of sorrows and cares, after many dayes sayling, they kenned
land afarre off, whereunto the Pilots directed the ships: and being come to
it, they land, and find it to be Rost Island, where they stayed certaine
dayes, and afterwards set saile againe, and proceeding towards the North,
they espied certaine other Islands, which were called the Crosse of
Islands. From which places when they were a little departed, Sir Hugh
Willoughby the General, a man of good foresight and prouidence in all his
actions, erected and set out his flagge, by which hee called together the
chiefest men of the other shippes, that by the helpe and assistance of
their counsels, the order of the gouernement, and conduction of the shippes
in the whole voyage might bee the better: who being come together
accordingly, they conclude and agree, that if any great tempest should
arise at any time, and happen to disperse and scatter them, euery shippe
should indeuour his best to goe to Wardhouse, a hauen, or castell of some
name in the kingdome of Norway, and that they that arriued there first in
safetie should stay and expect the comming of the rest.

The very same day in the afternoone, about foure of the clocke, so great a
tempest suddenly arose, and the Seas were so outrageous, that the ships
could not keepe their intended course, but some were perforce driuen one
way, and some another way, to their great perill and hazard: The generall
with his lowdest voyce cried out to Richard Chanceler, and earnestly
requested him not to goe farre from him: but hee neither would nor could
keepe companie with him, if he sailed still so fast: for the Admirall was
of better saile then his shippe. But the said Admirall (I knowe not by what
meanes) bearing all his sailes, was caried away with so great force and
swiftnesse, that not long after hee was quite out of sight, and the third
ship also with the same storme and like rage was dispersed and lost vs.

The shippe boate of the Admirall (striking against the shippe,) was
ouerwhelmed in the sight and viewe of the Mariners of the Bonauenture: and
as for them that are already returned and arriued, they know nothing of the
rest of the ships what was become of them.

But if it be so, that any miserable mishap haue ouertaken them, If the rage
and furie of the Sea haue deuoured those good men, or if as yet they liue,
and wander vp and downe in strange Countreys, I must needs say they were
men worthy of better fortune, and if they be liuing, let vs wish them
safetie and a good returne: but if the crueltie of death hath taken holde
of them, God send them a Christian graue and Sepulchre.

Nowe Richard Chanceler with his shippe and company being thus left alone,
and become very pensiue, heauie, and sorrowfull, by this dispersion of the
Fleete, hee (according to the order before taken,) shapeth his course for
Wardhouse in Norway, there to expect and abide the arriuall of the rest of
the shippes. And being come thither, and hauing stayed there the space of 7
dayes, and looked in vaine for their comming, hee determined at length to
proceede alone in the purposed voyage. And as hee was preparing himselfe to
depart, it happened that hee fell in company and speech with certaine
Scottish men: who hauing vnderstanding of his intention, and wishing well
to his actions, beganne earnestly to disswade him from the further
prosecution of the discouerie, by amplifying the dangers which hee was to
fall into, and omitted no reason that might serue to that purpose. But hee
holding nothing so ignominious and reproachfull, as inconstancie and
leuitie of minde, and perswading himselfe that a man of valour coulde not
commit a more dishonourable part then for feare of danger to auoyde and
shunne great attempts, was nothing at all changed or discouraged with the
speeches and words of the Scots, remaining stedfast and immutable in his
first resolution: determining either to bring that to passe which was
intended, or els to die the death.

And as for them which were with Master Chanceler in his shippe, although
they had great cause of discomfort by the losse of their companie (whom the
foresaid tempest had separated from them,) and were not a little troubled
with cogitations and pertubations of minde, in respect of their doubtfull
course: yet notwithstanding, they were of such consent and agreement of
minde with Master Chanceler, that they were resolute, and prepared vnder
his direction and gouernment, to make proofe and triall of all aduentures,
without all feare or mistrust of future dangers. Which constancie of minde
in all the companie did exceedingly increase their Captaines carefulnesse:
for hee being swallowed vp with like good will and loue towards them,
feared lest through any errour of his, the safetie of the companie should
bee indangered. To conclude, when they sawe their desire and hope of the
arriuall of the rest of the shippes to be euery day more and more
frustrated, they prouided to sea againe, and Master Chanceler held on his
course towards that vnknowen part of the world, and sailed so farre, that
hee came at last to the place where he found no night at all, but a
continual light and brightnesse of the Sunne shining clearely vpon the huge
and mightie Sea. [Sidenote: They arriue in the Bay of Saint Nicholas.] And
hauing the benefite of this perpetuall light for certaine dayes, at the
length it pleased God to bring them into a certaine great Bay, which was of
one hundreth miles or thereabout ouer. Whereinto they entred, and somewhat
farre within it cast ancre, and looking euery way about them, it happened
that they espied a farre off a certaine fisher boate, which Master
Chanceler, accompanied with a fewe of his men, went towards to common with
the fishermen that were in it, and to knowe of them what Countrey it was,
and what people, and of what maner of liuing they were: but they beeing
amazed with the strange greatnesse of his shippe, (for in those partes
before that time they had neuer seene the like) beganne presently to auoyde
and to flee: but hee still following them at last ouertooke them, and being
come to them, they (being in great feare, as men halfe dead) prostrated
themselues before him, offering to kisse his feete: but hee (according to
his great and singular courtesie,) looked pleasantly vpon them, comforting
them by signes and gestures, refusing those dueties and reuerences of
theirs, and taking them vp in all louing sort from the ground. And it is
strange to consider howe much fauour afterwards in that place, this
humanitie of his did purchase to himselfe. For they being dismissed spread
by and by a report abroad of the arriuall of a strange nation, of a
singular gentlenesse and courtesie: whereupon the common people came
together offering to these newe-come ghests victuals freely, and not
refusing to traffique with them, except they had bene bound by a certaine
religious vse and custome, not to buy any forreine commodities, without the
knowledge and consent of the king.

By this time our men had learned that this Countrey was called Russia, or
Moscouie, and that Iuan Vasiliwich (which was at that time their Kings
name) ruled and gouerned farre and wide in those places. And the barbarous
Russes asked likewise of our men whence they were, and what they came for:
whereunto answere was made, that they were Englishmen sent into those
coastes, from the most excellent King Edward the sixt, hauing from him in
commandement certaine things to deliuer to their King, and seeking nothing
els but his amitie and friendship, and traffique with his people, whereby
they doubted not, but that great commoditie and profit would grow to the
subiects of both kingdomes.

The Barbarians heard these things very gladly, and promised their aide and
furtherance to acquaint their king out of hand with so honest and a
reasonable request.

In the meane time Master Chanceler intreated victuals for his money of the
gouernour of that place (who together with others came aboord him) and
required hostages of them likewise for the more assurance of safetie to
himselfe and his company. To whom the gouernours answered, that they knewe
not in that case the will of their king, but yet were willing in such
things as they might lawfully doe, to pleasure him: which was as then to
affoord him the benefit of victuals.

Nowe while these things were a doing, they secretly sent a messenger vnto
the Emperour, to certifie him of the arriuall of a strange nation, and
withall to knowe his pleasure concerning them. Which message was very
welcome vnto him, insomuch that voluntarily he inuited them to come to his
Court. But if by reason of the tediousnesse of so long a iourney, they
thought it not best so to doe, then hee graunted libertie to his subiects
to bargaine, and to traffique with them: and further promised, that if it
would please then to come to him, hee himselfe would beare the whole
charges of poste horses. In the meane time the gouernours of the place
differred the matter from day to day, pretending diuers excuses, and saying
one while that the consent of all the gouernours, and another while, that
the great and waightie affaires of the kingdome compelled them to differ
their answere: and this they did of purpose, so long to protract the time,
vntill the messenger (sent before to the king) did returne with relation of
his will and pleasure.

But Master Chanceler, (seeing himselfe held in this suspense with long and
vaine expectation, and thinking that of intention to delude him, they
posted the matter off so often,) was very instant with them to performe
their promise: Which if they would not doe, hee tolde them that hee would
depart and proceede in his voyage. So that the Moscouites (although as yet
they knew not the minde of their king) yet fearing the departure in deede
of our men who had such wares and commodities as they greatly desired, they
at last resolued to furnish our people with all things necessarie, and to
conduct them by land to the presence of their king. And so Master Chanceler
beganne his iourney, which was very long and most troublesome, wherein hee
had the vse of certaine sleds, and all their carriages are in the same
sort, the people almost not knowing any other maner of carriage, the cause
whereof is the exceeding hardnesse of the ground congealed in the winter
time by the force of the colde, which in those places is very extreme and
horrible, whereof hereafter we will say something.

But nowe they hauing passed the greater part of their iourney, mette at
last with the Sleddeman (of whom I spake before) sent to the king secretly
from the Iustices or gouernours, who by some ill happe had lost his way,
and had gone to the Sea side, which is neere to the Countrey of the Tartars
thinking there to haue found our ship. But hauing long erred and wandered
out of his way, at the last in his direct returne, hee met (as hee was
coming) our Captaine on the way. To whom hee by and by deliuered the
Emperours letters, which were written to him with all courtesie and in the
most louing maner that could be: wherein expresse commandement was giuen,
that post horses should bee gotten for him and the rest of his company
without any money. Which thing was of all the Russes in the rest of their
iourney so willingly done, that they began to quarrell, yea, and to fight
also in striuing and contending which of them should put their post horses
to the sledde: so that after much adoe and great paines taken in this long
and wearie iourney, (for they had trauelled very neere fifteene hundred
miles) Master Chanceler came at last to Mosco the chiefe citie of the
kingdome, and the seate of the king: of which citie, and of the Emperour
himselfe, and of the principall cities of Moscouie, wee will speake
immediately more at large in this discourse.

Of Moscouie, which is also called Russia.

Moscouie, which hath the name also of Russia the white, is a very large and
spacious Countrey, euery way bounded with diuers nations. Towards the South
and the East, it is compassed with Tartaria: the Northren side of it
stretcheth to the Scytian Ocean: vpon the West part border the Lappians, a
rude and sauage nation, liuing in woods, whose language is not knowen to
any other people: next vnto these, more towards the South, is Swecia, then
Finlandia, then Liuonia, and last of all Lituania. This Countrey of
Moscouie, hath also very many and great riuers in it, and is marish ground,
in many places: and as for the riuers, the greatest and most famous
amongst, all the rest, is that, which the Russes in their owne tongue call
Volga, but others know it by the name of Rha. Next vnto it in fame is
Tanais, which they call Don, and the third Boristhenes which at this day
they call Neper. Two of these, to wit, Rha, and Boristhenes yssuing both
out of one fountaine, runne very farre through the land: Rha receiuing many
other pleasant riuers into it, and running from the very head or spring of
it towards the East, after many crooked turnings and windings, dischargeth
it selfe, and all the other waters and riuers that fall into it by diuers
passages into the Caspian Sea. Tanais springing from a fountaine of great
name in those partes, and growing great neere to his head, spreds it selfe
at length very largely, and makes a great lake: and then growing narrowe
againe, doth so runne for certaine miles, vntill it fall into another lake,
which they call Iuan: and therehence fetching a very crooked course, comes
very neere to the riuer Volga: but disdaining as it were the company of any
other riuer, doth there turne it selfe againe from Volga, and runnes toward
the South, and fals at last into the Lake of Moeotis. Boristhenes, which
comes from the same head that Rha doth, (as wee sayde before) carieth both
it selfe, and other waters that are neere vnto it, towards the South, not
refusing the mixture of other small riuers: and running by many great and
large Countreys fals at last into Pontius Euxinus. Besides these riuers,
are also in Muscouie certaine lakes, and pooles, the lakes breede fish by
the celestiall influence: and amongst them all, the chiefest and most
principall is called Bealozera, which is very famous by reason of a very
strong towre built in it, wherein the kings of Muscouie reserue and repose
their treasure in all times of warre and danger.

Touching the Riphean mountaines, whereupon the snow lieth continually, and
where hence in times past it was thought that Tanais the riuer did spring,
and that the rest of the wonders of nature, which the Grecians fained and
inuented of olde, were there to be seene: our men which lately came from
thence, neither sawe them, not yet haue brought home any perfect relation
of them, although they remained there for the space of three moneths, and
had gotten in that time some intelligence of the language of Moscouie. The
whole Countrey is plaine and champion, and few hils in it: and towards the
North it hath very large and spacious woods, wherein is great store of
Firre trees, a wood very necessarie, and fit for the building of houses:
there are also wilde beastes bred in those woods, as Buffes, Beares, and
blacke Wolues, and another kinde of beast vnknowen to vs, but called by
them Rossomakka: and the nature of the same is very rare and wonderfull:
for when it is great with yong, and ready to bring foorth, it seeketh out
some narrow place betweene two stakes, and so going through them, presseth
it selfe, and by that meanes is eased of her burden, which otherwise could
not be done. They hunt their buffes for the most part a horsebacke, but
their Beares a foot, with woodden forkes. The north parts of the Countrey
are reported to be so cold, that the very ice or water which distilleth out
of the moist wood which they lay upon the fire is presently congealed and
frozen: the diuersitie growing suddenly to be so great, that in one and the
selfe same firebrand, a man shall see both fire and ice. When the winter
doth once begin there it doth still more and more increase by a perpetuitie
of cold: neither doth that colde slake, vntill the force of the Sunne
beames doth dissolue the cold, and make glad the earth, returning to it
againe. Our mariners which we left in the ship in the meane time to keepe
it, in their going vp onely from their cabbins to the hatches, had their
breath oftentimes so suddenly taken away, that they eftsoones fell downe as
men very neere dead, so great is the sharpenesse of that colde climate: but
as for the South parts of the Countrey, they are somewhat more temperate.

Of Mosco the chiefe Citie of the kingdome, and of the Emperour thereof.

It remaineth that a larger discourse be made of Mosco, the principall City
of that Countrey, and of the Prince also, as before we haue promised. The
Empire and gouernment of the king is very large, and his wealth at this
time exceeding great. And because the citie of Mosco is the chiefest of al
the rest, it seemeth of it selfe to challenge the first place in this
discourse. Our men say, that in bignesse it is as great as the Citie of
London, with the suburbes thereof. There are many and great buildings in
it, but for beautie and fairenesse, nothing comparable to ours. There are
many Townes and Villages also, but built out of order, and with no
hansomnesse: their streets and wayes are not paued with stone as ours are:
the walles of their houses are of wood: the roofes for the most part are
couered with shingle boords. There is hard by the Citie a very faire
Castle, strong, and furnished with artillerie, whereunto the Citie is
ioyned directly towards the North, with a bricke wall: the walles also of
the Castle are built with bricke, and are in breadth or thickenesse
eighteene foote. This Castle hath on the one side a drie ditch, on the
other side the riuer Moscua, whereby it is made almost inexpugnable. The
same Moscua trending towards the East doth admit into it the companie of
the riuer Occa.

In the Castle aforesaide, there are in number nine Churches, or Chappells,
not altogether vnhansome, which are vsed and kept by certaine religious
men, ouer whom there is after a sort, a Patriarke, or Gouernour, and with
him other reuerend Fathers all which for the greater part, dwell within the
Castle. As for the kings Court and Palace, it is not of the neatest, onely
in forme it is foure square, and of low building, much surpassed and
excelled by the beautie and elegancie of the houses of the kings of
England. The windowes are very narrowly built, and some of them by glasse,
some other by lettisses admit the light: and whereas the Palaces of our
Princes are decked, and adorned with hangings of cloth of gold, there is
none such there: they build and ioyne to all their wals benches, and that
not onely in the Court of the Emperour, but in all priuate mens houses.

Nowe after that they had remained about twelue dayes in the Citie there was
then a Messenger sent vnto them, to bring them to the Kings house: and they
being after a sort wearied with their long stay, were very ready, and
willing so to doe: and being entred within the gates of the Court, there
sate a very honorable companie of Courtiers, to the number of one hundred,
all apparelled in cloth of golde, downe to their ankles: and there hence
being conducted into the chamber of presence, our men beganne to wonder at
the Maiestie of the Emperour: his seate was aloft, in a very royall throne,
hauing on his head a Diademe, or Crowne of golde, apparalled with a robe
all of Goldsmiths worke, and in his hand hee held a Scepter garnished, and
beset with precious stones: and besides all other notes and apparances of
honour, there was a Maiestie in his countenance proportionable with the
excellencie of his estate: on the one side of him stood his chiefe
Secretaire, on the other side, the great Commander of silence, both of them
arayed also in cloth of gold: and then there sate the Counsel of one
hundred and fiftie in number, all in like sort arayed, and of great State.
This so honorable an assemblie, so great a Maiestie of the Emperour, and of
the place might very well haue amazed our men, and haue dasht them out of
countenance: but notwithstanding Master Chanceler being therewithall
nothing dismaied saluted, and did his duetie to the Emperour, after the
maner of England, and withall, deliuered vnto him the letters of our king,
Edward the sixt. The Emperour hauing taken, and read the letters, began a
litle to question with them, and to aske them of the welfare of our king:
whereunto our men answered him directly, and in few words: hereupon our men
presented some thing to the Emperour, by the chiefe Secretary, which at the
deliuery of it, put of his hat, being before all the time couered: and so
the Emperour hauing inuited them to dinner, dismissed them from his
presence: and going into the chamber of him that was Master of the Requests
to the Emperour, and hauing stayed there the space of two howres, at the
last, the Messenger commeth, and calleth them to dinner: they goe, and
being conducted into the golden Court, (for so they call it, although not
very faire) they finde the Emperour sitting vpon an high and stately seate,
apparelled with a robe of siluer, and with another Diademe on his head: our
men being placed ouer against him, sit downe: in the middes of the roome
stoode a mightie Cupboord vpon a square foote, whereupon stoode also a
round boord, in manner of a Diamond, broade beneath, and towardes the toppe
narrowe, and euery steppe rose vp more narrowe then another. Vpon this
Cupboorde was placed the Emperours plate, which was so much, that the very
Cupboord it selfe was scant able to sustaine the waight of it: the better
part of all the vessels, and goblets, was made of very fine gold: and
amongst the rest, there were foure pots of very large bignesse, which did
adorne the rest of the plate in great measure: for they were so high, that
they thought them at the least fiue foote long. There were also vpon this
Cupbord certaine siluer caskes, not much differing from the quantitie of
our Fyrkins, wherein was reserued the Emperours drinke: on each side of the
Hall stood foure Tables, each of them layde and couered with very cleane
table clothes, whereunto the company ascended by three steps or degrees:
all which were filled with the assemblie present: the ghests were all
apparelled with linnen without, and with rich skinnes within, and so did
notably set out this royall feast The Emperour, when hee takes any bread or
knife in his hand, doth first of all crosse himselfe vpon his forehead:
they that are in special fauour with the Emperour sit vpon the same bench
with him, but somewhat farre from him: and before the comming in of the
meate, the Emperour himselfe, according to an ancient custome of the kings
of Moscouy, doth first bestow a piece of bread vpon euery one of his
ghests, with a loud pronunciation of his title, and honour, in this manner:
The great Duke of Moscouie, and chiefe Emperour of Russia, Iohn Basiliwich
(and then the officer nameth the ghest) doth giue thee bread. Whereupon al
the ghests rise vp, and by and by sit downe againe. This done, the
Gentleman Vsher of the Hall comes in, with a notable company of seruants,
carying the dishes, and hauing done his reuerence to the Emperour, puts a
yong Swanne in a golden platter vpon the table, and immediately takes it
thence againe, deliuering it to the Caruer, and seuen other of his
fellowes, to be cut up: which being perfourmed, the meate is then
distributed to the ghests, with the like pompe, and ceremonies. In the
meane time, the Gentleman Vsher receiues his bread, and tasteth to the
Emperour, and afterward, hauing done his reuerence, he departeth. Touching
the rest of the dishes, because they were brought in out of order, our men
can report no certaintie: but this is true, that all the furniture of
dishes, and drinking vessels, which were then for the vse of a hundred
ghests, was all of pure golde, and the tables were so laden with vessels of
gold, that there was no roome for some to stand vpon them.

We may not forget, that there were 140. seruitors arayed in cloth of gold,
that in the dinner time, changed thrise their habit and apparell, which
seruitors are in like sort serued with bread from the Emperour, as the rest
of the ghests. Last of all, dinner being ended, and candles brought in,
(for by this time night was come) the Emperour calleth all his ghests and
Noble Men by their names, in such sort, that it seemes miraculous, that a
Prince, otherwise occupied in great matters of estate, should so well
remember so many and sundry particular names. The Russes tolde our men,
that the reason thereof, as also of the bestowing of bread in that maner,
was to the ende that the Emperour might keepe the knowledge of his owne
houshold: and withal, that such as are vnder his displeasure, might by this
meanes be knowen.

Of the discipline of warre among the Russes.

Whensoeuer the iniuries of their neighbours doe call the King foorth to
battell, hee neuer armeth a lesse number against the enemie, then 300.
thousand soldiers, 100. thousand whereof hee carieth out into the field
with him, and leaueth the rest in garison in some fit places, for the
better safetie of his Empire. He presseth no husbandman, nor Marchant: for
the Countrey is so populous, that these being left at home, the youth of
the Realme is sufficient for all his wars. As many as goe out to warfare
doe prouide all things of their owne cost: they fight not on foote, but
altogether on horsebacke: their armour is a coate of maile, and a helmet:
the coate of maile without is gilded, or els adorned with silke, although
it pertaine to a common soldier: they haue a great pride in shewing their
wealth: they vse bowes, and arrowes, as the Turks do: they cary lances also
into the field. They ride with a short stirrop, after the maner of the
Turks: They are a kinde of people most sparing in diet, and most patient in
extremitie of cold, aboue all others. For when the ground is couered with
snowe, and is growen terrible and hard with the frost, this Russe hangs vp
his mantle, or souldiers coate, against that part from whence the winde and
Snowe driues, and so making a little fire, lieth downe with his backe
towards the weather: this mantle of his serues him for his bed, wall, house
and all: his drinke is colde water of the riuer, mingled with oatemeale,
and this is all his good cheere, and he thinketh himselfe well, and
daintily fedde therewith, and so sitteth downe by his fire, and vpon the
hard ground, rosteth as it were his wearie sides thus daintily stuffed: the
hard ground is his feather bed, and some blocke or stone his pillow: and as
for his horse, he is as it were a chamberfellow with his master, faring
both alike. How iustly may this barbarous, and rude Russe condemne the
daintinesse and nicenesse of our Captaines, who liuing in a soile and aire
much more temperate, yet commonly vse furred boots, and clokes? But thus
much of the furniture of their common souldiers. But those that are of
higher degrees come into the field a little better prouided. As for the
furniture of the Emperour himselfe, it is then aboue all other times, most
notable. The couerings of his tent for the most part, are all of gold,
adorned with stones of great price, and with the curious workemanship of
plumasiers. As often as they are to skirmish with the enemie, they goe
forth without any order at all: they make no wings, nor militarie diuisions
of their men, as we doe, but lying for the most part, in ambush, doe
suddenly set vpon the enemie. Their horses can well abstaine two whole
daies from any meate. They feede vpon the barkes of trees, and the most
tender branches, in all the time of warre. And this scant and miserable
maner of liuing, both the horse and his Master can well endure, sometimes
for the space of two moneths, lustie, and in good state of body. If any man
behaue himselfe valiantly in the fielde, to the contentation of the
Emperour, he bestoweth vpon him in recompense of his seruice, some farme,
or so much ground as he and his may liue vpon, which notwithstanding after
his death, returneth againe to the Emperour, if he die without a male
issue. For although his daughters be neuer so many, yet no part of that
inheritance comes to them, except peraduenture the Emperour of his
goodnesse, giue some portion of the land amongst them, to bestowe them
withall. As for the man, whosoeuer he be, that is in this sort rewarded by
the Emperours liberalitie, hee is bound in a great summe, to maintaine so
many souldiers for the warre, when need shall require, as that land, in the
opinion of the Emperour, is able to maintaine. And all those, to whom any
land fals by inheritance, are in no better condition: for if they die
without any male issue, all their lands fall into the hands of the
Emperour. And moreouer, if there be any rich man amongst them, who in his
owne person is vnfit for the warres, and yet hath such wealth, that thereby
many Noble men and warriours might be maintained, if any of the Courtiers
present his name to the Emperour, the vnhappy man is by and by sent for,
and in that instant, depriued of all his riches, which with great paines
and trauell all his life time he had gotten together: except perhaps some
small portion thereof be left him, to maintaine his wife, children and
familie. But all this is done of all the people so willingly at the
Emperours commandement, that a man would thinke, they rather make
restitution of other mens goods, then giue that which is their owne to
other men. Nowe the Emperour hauing taken these goods into his hands,
bestoweth them among his Courtiers, according to their deserts: and the
oftener that a man is sent to the warres, the more fauour he thinketh is
borne to him by the Emperour, although he goe vpon his owne charge, as I
said before. So great is the obedience of all men generally to their

Of the Ambassadours of the Emperour of Moscouie.

The Moscouite, with no lesse pompe, and magnificence, then that which we
haue spoken of, sends his Ambassadors to forrein Princes, in the affaires
of estate. For while our men were abiding in the Citie of Mosco, there were
two Ambassadors sent to the King of Poland, accompanied with 500. notable
horses, and the greater part of the men were arrayed in cloth of gold, and
of silke, and the worst apparell was of garments of blewe colour, to speake
nothing of the trappings of the horses, which were adorned with gold and
siluer, and very curiously embrodered: they had also with them one hundred
white and faire spare horses, to vse them at such times, as any wearinesse
came vpon them. But now the time requireth me to speake briefly of other
Cities of the Moscouites, and of the wares and commodities that the
Countrey yeeldeth.


Next vnto Mosco, the Citie of Nouogorode is reputed the chiefest of Russia:
for although it be in Maiestie inferior to it, yet in greatnesse it goeth
beyond it. It is the chiefest and greatest Marte Towne of all Moscouie: and
albeit the Emperour's seate is not there, but at Mosco, yet the
commodiousness of the riuer, falling into the gulfe, which is called Sinus
Finnicus, whereby it is well frequented by Marchants, makes it more famous
then Mosco it selfe. This towne excels all the rest in the commodities of
flaxe and hempe: It yeeldes also hides, honie, and waxe. The Flemings there
sometimes had a house of Marchandize, but by reason that they vsed the like
ill dealing there, which they did with vs, they lost their priuileges, a
restitution whereof they earnestly sued for at the time that our men were
there. But those Flemings hearing of the arriuall of our men in those
parts, wrote their letters to the Emperour against them, accusing them for
pirats and rouers, wishing him to detaine, and imprison them. Which things
when they were knowen of our men, they conceiued feare, that they should
neuer haue returned home. But the Emperour beleeuing rather the Kings
letters, which our men brought, then the lying and false suggestions of the
Flemings, vsed no ill intreatie towards them.


Yeraslaue also is a Towne of some good fame, for the commodities of hides,
tallow, and corne, which it yeeldes in great abundance. Cakes of waxe are
there also to bee solde, although other places haue greater store: This
Yeraslaue is distant from Mosco, about two hundred miles: and betwixt them
are many populous villages. Their fields yeeld such store of corne, that in
conuaying it towards Mosco, sometimes in a forenoone, a man shall see seuen
hundred or eight hundred sleds, going and comming, laden with corne and
salt fish: the people come a thousand miles to Mosco, to buy that corne,
and then cary it away vpon sleds: and these are those people that dwell in
the North parts, where the colde is so terrible, that no corne doth growe
there, or if it spring vp it neuer comes to ripenesse. The commodities that
they bring with them, are salt fish, skinnes, and hides.


Vologda being from Mosco, 550. miles yeeldes the commodities of Hempe and
Flaxe also: although the greatest store of Flaxe is solde at Nouogrode.


The Towne of Plesco, is frequented of Marchants for the good store of Honie
and Waxe that it yeeldeth.


The North parts of Russia yeelde very rare and precious skinnes: and
amongst the rest, those principally, which we call Sables, worne about the
neckes of our Noble women and Ladies: it hath also Martins skinnes, white,
blacke, and red Foxe skinnes, skinnes of Hares, and Ermyns, and others,
which they call and terme barbarously, as Beuers, Minxes, and Miniuers. The
sea adioyning, breedes a certaine beast, which they call the Mors, which
seeketh his foode vpon the rockes, climing vp with the helpe of his teeth.
The Russes vse to take them, for the great vertue that is in their teeth,
whereof they make as great accompt, as we doe of the Elephants tooth. These
commodities they cary vpon Deeres backes to the towne of Lampas: and from
thence to Colmagro, and there in the winter time, are kept great Faires for
the sale of them. This Citie of Colmagro, serues all the Countrey about it
with salt, and salt fish. The Russians also of the North parts, send
thither oyle, which they call traine, which they make in a riuer called
Vna, [Marginal note: Or Dwina.] although it be also made elsewhere: and
here they vse to boile the water of the sea, whereof they make very great
store of salt.

Of controuersies in Lawe, and how they are ended.

Hauing hitherto spoken so much of the chiefest Cities of Russia, as the
matter required: it remaineth that we speake somewhat of the lawes, that
the Moscouits doe vse, as farre foorth as the same are come to our
knowledge. If any controuersie arise among them, they first make their
Landlords Iudges in the matter, and if they cannot end it, then they
preferre it to the Magistrate. The plaintif craueth of the said Magistrate,
that he may haue leaue to enter law against his aduesarie: and hauing
obtained it, the officer fetcheth the defendant, and beateth him on the
legges, till he bring forth a suretie for him: but if he be not of such
credite, as to procure a surety, then are his hands by an officer tied to
his necke, and he is beaten all the way, till he come before the Iudge. The
Iudge then asketh him (as for example in the matter of debt) whether he
oweth any thing to the plaintife. If he denies it, then saith the Iudge,
How canst thou deny it? the defendant answereth, By an othe: thereupon the
officer is commaunded to cease from beating of him, vntill the matter be
further tried. They haue no Lawyers, but euery man is his owne Aduocate,
and both the complaint of the accuser, and the answere of the defendant,
are in maner of petition deliuered to the Emperour, intreating iustice at
his hands. The Emperour himselfe heareth euery great controuersie, and vpon
the hearing of it, giueth iudgement, and that with great equitie, which I
take to be a thing worthy of speciall commendation, in the Maiestie of a
Prince. But although he doe this with a good purpose of mind, yet the
corrupt Magistrates do wonderfully peruert the same: but if the Emperour
take them in any fault, he doeth punish them most seuerely. Now at the
last, when ech partie hath defended his cause with his best reasons, the
Iudge demandeth of the accuser, whether he hath any more to say for
himselfe: he answereth, that he will trie the matter in fight by his
Champion, or else intreateth, that in fight betwixt themselues the matter
may be ended: which being graunted, they both fight it out: or if both of
them, or either of them seeme vnfit for that kinde of triall, then they
haue publike Champions to be hired, which liue by ending of quarrels. These
Champions are armed with yron axes, and speares, and fight on foote, and he
whose Champion is ouercome, is by and by taken, and imprisoned, and
terribly handled, vntill he agree with his aduersarie. But if either of
them be of any good calling, and degree, and doe challenge one another to
fight, the Iudge granteth it: in which case they may not vse publike
Champions. And he that is of any good birth, doth contemne the other, if he
be basely borne, and wil not fight with him. If a poore man happen to grow
in debt, his Creditor takes him, and maketh him pay the debt, in working
either to himselfe, or to some other man, whose wages he taketh vp. And
there are some among them, that vse willingly to make themselues, their
wiues, and children, bondslaues vnto rich men, to haue a little money at
the first into their hands, and so for euer after content themselues with
meate and drinke: so little accompt doe they make of libertie.

Of punishments vpon theeues.

If any man be taken vpon committing of theft, he is imprisoned, and often
beaten, but not hanged for the first offence, as the manner is with vs: and
this they call the lawe of mercie. He that offendeth the second time hath
his nose cut off, and is burnt in the forehead with a hot yron. The third
time, he is hanged. There are many cutpurses among them, and if the rigour
of the Prince did not cut them off they could not be auoyded.

Of their religion.

They maintaine the opinions of the Greeke Church: they suffer no grauen
images of saints in their Churches, but their pictures painted in tables
they haue in great abundance, which they do adore and offer vnto, and burne
waxe candles before them, and cast holy water vpon them, without other
honour. They say that our images which are set vp in Churches, and carued,
haue no diuinitie in them. In their priuate houses they haue images for
their household saints, and for the most part, they are put in the darkest
place of the house: hee that comes into his neighbours house doth first
salute his saints, although he see them not. If any foorme or stoole stand
in his way, hee oftentimes beateth his browe vpon the same, and often
ducking downe with his head, and body, worshippeth the chiefe Image. The
habite, and attire of the Priests, and of the Lay men, doth nothing at all
differ: as for marriage, it is forbidden to no man: onely this is receiued
and held amongst them for a rule, and custome, that if a Priests wife doe
die, he may not marry againe, nor take a second wife: and therefore they of
secular Priests, as they call them, are made Monkes, to whom then chastitie
for euer is commanded. Their diuine seruice is all done and said in their
owne language, that euery man may vnderstand it: they receiue the Lords
Supper with leauened bread, and after the consecration, they carry it about
the Church in a saucer, and prohibite no man from receiuing and taking of
it, that is willing so to doe. They vse both the Olde and the Newe
Testament, and read both in their owne language, but so confusedly, that
they themselues that doe reade, vnderstand not what themselues doe say: and
while any part of either Testament is read, there is liberty giuen by
custome to prattle, talke, and make a noise: but in the time of the rest of
the seruice they vse very great silence and reuerence and behaue themselues
very modestly, and in good sort. As touching the Lords praier, the tenth
man amongst them knowes it not: and for the articles of our faith, and the
ten commandements, no man, or at the least very fewe of them doe either
know them or can say them: their opinion is, that such secrete and holy
things as they are should not rashly and imprudently be communicated with
the common people. They holde for a maxime amongst them, that the olde
Lawe, and the commandements also are abolished by the death and blood of
Christ: all studies and letters of humanitie they vtterly refuse:
concerning the Latine, Greeke, and Hebrew tongues, they are altogether
ignorant in them.

Euery yeere they celebrate foure seuerall fastes, which they call according
to the names of the Saints: the first beginnes with them, at the time that
our Lent beginnes. The second is called amongst them the fast of S. Peter.
The third is taken from the day of the Virgin Marie. And the fourth and
last begins vpon S. Philips day. But as we begin our Lent vpon Wednesday,
so they begin theirs vpon the Sunday. Vpon the Saturday they eate flesh:
whensoeuer any of those fasting feastes doe drawe neere, looke what weeke
doth immediately goe before them, the same weeke they liue altogether vpon
white meates, and in their common language they call those weekes, the fast
of Butter.

In the time of their fasts, the neighbours euery where goe from one to
another, and visite one another, and kisse one another with kisses of
peace, in token of their mutuall loue and Christian concord: and then also
they doe more often then at any other time goe to the holy Communion. When
seuen dayes are past, from the beginning of the fast, then they doe often
either goe to their Churches, or keepe themselues at home, and vse often
prayer: and for that seuennight they eate nothing but hearbes: but after
that seuennights fast is once past, then they returne to their old
intemperancie of drinking, for they are notable tospots. As for the keeping
of their fasting dayes, they doe it very streightly, neither doe they eate
any thing besides hearbes, and salt fish, as long as those fasting dayes
doe endure: but vpon euery Wednesday and Friday, in euery weeke thoughout
the yeere, they fast.

There are very many Monasteries of the order of S. Benedict, amongst them,
to which many great liuings, for their maintenance, doe belong: for the
Friers and the Monkes doe at the least possesse the third part of the
liuings, throughout the whole Moscouite Empire. To those Monkes that are of
this Order, there is amongst them a perpetuall prohibition, that they may
eate no flesh: and therefore their meate is onely salt fish, milke, and
butter: neither is it permitted them by the lawes, and customes of their
religion, to eate any fresh fish at all: and at those foure fasting times,
whereof we spake before, they eate no fish at all: onely they liue with
hearbes, and cucumbers, which they doe continually for that purpose cause
and take order to grow and spring, for their vse and diet.

As for their drinke, it is very weake, and small. For the discharge of
their office, they do euery day say seruice, and that early in the mornings
before day: and they doe in such sort, and with such obseruation begin
their seruice, that they will be sure to make an ende of it, before day:
and about nine of the clocke in the morning they celebrate the Communion.
When they haue so done, they goe to dinner, and after dinner they goe
againe to seruice, and the like also after supper: and in the meane time
while they are at dinner there is some exposition or interpretation of the
Gospel vsed.

Whensoeuer any Abbot of any monasterie dieth, the Emperour taketh all his
housholde stuffe, beastes, flockes of sheepe, golde, siluer, and all that
he hath: or els hee that is to succeede him in his place and dignitie doth
redeeme all those things, and buyeth them of the Emperour for money.

Their churches are built of timber, and the towers of their churches for
the most part are centered with shingle boordes. At the doores of their
churches, they vsually build some entrance or porch as we doe, and in their
churchyardes they erect a certain house of woode, wherein they set vp their
bels, wherein sometimes they haue but one, in some two, and in some also

There is one vse and custome amongst them, which is strange and rare, but
yet it is very ridiculous, and that is this: when any man dyeth amongst
them, they take the dead body and put it in a coffine or chest, and in the
hand of the corps they put a little scroule, and in the same there are
these wordes written, that the same man died a Russe of Russes, hauing
receiued the faith, and died in the same. This writing or letter they say
they send to S. Peter, who receiuing it (as they affirme) reades it, and by
and by admits him into heauen, and that his glory and place is higher and
greater than the glory of the Christians of the Latine church, reputing
themselues to be followers of a more sincere faith and religion than they:
they hold opinion that we are but halfe Christians, and themselues onely to
be the true and perfect church: these are the foolish and childish dotages
of such ignorant Barbarians.

Of the Moscouites that are Idolaters, dwelling neere to Tartaria.

There is a certaine part of Moscouie bordering vpon the countreys of the
Tartars, wherein those Moscouites that dwell are very great idolaters: they
haue one famous idole amongst them, which they call the Golden old wife:
and they haue a custome that whensoeuer any plague or any calamity doth
afflict the country, as hunger, warre, or such like, then they goe to
consult with their idol, which they do after this manner: they fall down
prostrate before the idol, and pray vnto it, and put in the presence of the
same, a cymbal: and about the same certaine persons stand, which are chosen
amongst them by lot: vpon their cymball they place a siluer tode, and sound
the cymball, and to whomsoeuer of those lotted persons that tode goeth, he
is taken, and by and by slaine: and immediately, I know not by what
illusions of the deuill or idole, he is againe restored to life, and then
doth reueale and deliuer the causes of the present calamitie. And by this
meanes knowing how to pacifie the idole, they are deliuered from the
imminent danger.

Of the forme of their priuate houses, and of the apparell of the people.

The common houses of the countrey are euery where built of beames of Firre
tree: the lower beames doe so receiue the round hollownesse of the
vppermost, that by the meanes of the building thereupon, they resist, and
expell all winds that blow, and where the timber is ioined together, there
they stop the chinks with mosse. The forme and fashion of their houses in
al places is foure square, with streit and narrow windoes, whereby with a
transparent casement made or couered with skinne like to parchment, they
receiue the light The roofes of their houses are made of boords couered
without with ye barke of trees: within their houses they haue benches or
griezes hard by their wals, which commonly they sleepe vpon, for the common
people knowe not the vse of beds: they haue stoues wherein in the morning
they make a fire, and the same fire doth either moderately warme, or make
very hote the whole house.

The apparell of the people for the most part is made of wooll, their caps
are picked like vnto a rike or diamond, broad beneath, and sharpe vpward.
In the maner of making whereof, there is a signe and representation of
nobilitie: for the loftier or higher their caps are, the greater is their
birth supposed to be, and the greater reuerence is giuen them by the common

The conclusion to Queen Marie.

These are the things most excellent Queene, which your Subiects newly
returned from Russia haue brought home concerning the state of that
countrey: wherfore if your maiestie shall be fauourable, and grant a
continuance of the trauell, there is no doubt but that the honour and
renowne of your name will be spred amongst those nations, whereunto three
onely noble personages from the verie creation haue had accesse, to whom no
man hath bene comparable.

* * * * *

The copie of the Duke of Moscouie and Emperour of Russia his letters, sent
to King Edward the sixt, by the hands of Richard Chancelour.

The Almighty power of God, and the incomprehensible holy Trinitie,
rightfull Christian beliefe, &c. We great Duke Iuan Vasiliuich, [Marginal
note: Iuan Vasiluich, that is to say, Iohn the sonne of Basilius.] by the
grace of God great lord and Emperor of all Russia, great Duke of Volodemer,
Mosco, and Nouograd, King of Kazan, King of Astracan, lord of Plesko, and
great duke of Smolensko, of Twerria, Ioughoria, Permia, Vadska, Bulghoria,
and others, lord and great duke of Nouograd in the Low countrey of
Chernigo, Resan, Polotskoy, Rostoue, Yaruslaueley, Bealozera, Liefland,
Oudoria, Obdoria, and Condensa, Commander of all Siberia, and of the North
parts, and lord of many other countries, greeting. Before all, right great
and worthy of honour Edward King of England &c. according to our most
hearty and good zeale with good intent and friendly desire, and according
to our holy Christian faith, and great gouernance, and being in the light
of great vnderstanding, our answere by this our honourable writing vnto
your kingly gouernance, at the request of your faithfull seruant Richard
Chancelour, with his company, as they shall let you wisely know, is this.
In the strength of the twentieth yeere of our gouernance, be it knowen that
at our sea coastes arriued a shippe, with one Richard, and his companie,
and sayd, that hee was desirous to come into our dominions, and according
to his request, hath seene our Maiestie, and our eyes: [Marginal note: That
is, come into our presence.] and hath declared vnto vs your Maiesties
desire, as that we should grant vnto your subiects, to goe and come, and in
our dominions, and among our subiects, to frequent free Marts, with all
sortes of marchandizes, and vpon the same to haue wares for their returne.
And they haue also deliuered vs your letters, which declare the same
request. And hereupon we haue giuen order, that wheresoeuer your faithful
seruant Hugh Willoughbie land or touch in our dominions, to be wel
entertained, who as yet is not arriued, as your seruant Richard can

And we with Christian beliefe and faithfulnes, and according to your
honourable request, and my honourable commandement will not leaue it
vndone: and are furthermore willing that you send vnto vs your ships and
vessels, when and as often as they may haue passage, with good assurance on
our part to see them harmlesse. And if you send one of your maiesties
counsel to treate with vs whereby your countrey marchants may with all
kinds of wares, and where they wil make their market in our dominions, they
shall haue their free Marte with all free liberties through my whole
dominions with all kinde of wares to come and goe at their pleasure,
without any let, damage or impediment, according to this our letter, our
word and our seale which we haue commaunded to be vnder sealed. Written in
our dominion, in our citie and our palace in the castle of Mosco, in the
yeare 7060, the second moneth of February.

[This letter was written in the Moscouian tongue, in letters much like to
the Greeke letters, very faire written in paper, with a broad seale hanging
at the same, sealed in paper vpon waxe. This seale was much like the broad
seale of England, hauing on the one side the image of a man on horseback in
compleate harnesse fighting with a dragon. Vnder this letter was another
paper written in the Dutch tongue, which was the interpretation of the
other written in the Moscouian letters. These letters were sent the next
yere after the date of king Edwards letters, 1554.]

* * * * *

The letters of king Philip and Queene Marie to Iuan Vasiliuich the Emperour
of Russia written the first of April 1555 and in the second voyage.

Philip and Marie by the grace of God, King and Queene of England, France,
Naples, Ierusalem, and Ireland, defenders of the faith, Princes of Spaine
and Sicilie, Archdukes of Austrich, Dukes of Burgundie, Millaine, and
Brabant, Counties of Haspurge, Flanders, and Tiroll: To the right High,
right Mightie, and right excellent Prince, garnished with all gifts of
nature, by Gods grace Iohn Vasiliuich Emperour of all Russia, great Duke of
Volodemer, Mosco, and Nouogrod, King of Cazan, King of Astracan, Lord of
Plesco, and great Duke of Smolensko, of Tueria, Ioughoria, Permia, Vadska,
Bulghoria, and others, Lorde and great Duke of Nouogrod of the lowe
Countrey, of Chernigo, Rezan, Polotskay, Rostoue, Yeraslaue, Bealozera,
Liefland. Oudoria, Obdoria, and Condensa, Commander of all Siberia, and of
the North partes, and lord of many other countreys, greeting. Whereas by
the consent and license of our most deare and entirely beloued late
brother, King Edward the sixt, whose soule God pardon, sundrie of our
subiects marchants of the citie of London within this our realme of England
did at their owne proper costs and aduenture furnish three shippes to
discouer, serch and find lands, Islands, regions, and territories before
this aduenture not knowen, ne commonly haunted and frequented by seas. The
one of the which three shippes, named the Edward Bonauenture, (whereof our
right welbeloued Richard Chancelour was then gouernour and great Captaine)
chanced by the grace of God, and the good conduct of the sayd Chancelour to
arriue and winter in the North part of your Empire of Russia. Forasmuch as
we be credibly informed by the report of our trustie and welbeloued
subiect, that your Maiestie did not onely call him and certaine of his
company to your emperiall presence and speech, entertayned and banqueted
them with all humanitie and gentlenes but also being thereunto requested
partly by the letters of our said brother, and partly by request of the
sayd Richard Chancelour haue by your letters patents vnder your seale among
other things granted: That all such marchants as shall come forth of anie
of our realms of England or Ireland with al maner of wares, if they wil
trauel or occupie within your dominions, the same marchants with their
marchandises in al your lordship may freely, and at their libertie trauaile
out and in without hindrance or any maner of losse: And of your farther
ample goodnesse haue promised that our ambassadours, if wee send any, shall
with free good will passe to and from you without any hindrance or losse,
with such message as shall come vnto you, and to returne the same to our
kingdomes well answered, as by the same your letters, written in your
lordly Palace and Castle of Mosco in the yeere 7063 [Footnote: Should be
7060.] the moneth of Februarie, more at large appeareth. Like as wee cannot
but much commend your princely fauour and goodnesse, and in like manner
thank you for the abundant grace, extended to the sayd Richard Chancelour,
and others our subiects marchants: Euen so these are to pray and request
you to continue the same beneuolence toward them, and other our marchants
and subiects, which doe or heereafter shall resorte to your countrey: And
for the more assurance and incouragement to trade and exercise the feate of
marchandise with your subiects and all other marchants within your
dominions, that it may please you at this our contemplation to assigne and
authorise such Commissaries as you shall thinke meete to trade and conferre
with our welbeloued subiects and marchants, the sayd Richard Chancelour,
George Killingworth, and Richard Graie, bearers of these our letters: who
are by vs authorised for that purpose: and to confirme and graunt such
other liberties and priuiledges vnto the Gouernour, Consuls, Assistants,
and Communaltie of the fellowship of the saide Marchants, as the said
bearers in their name propone and require by you to be granted for their
safe conduct, good gouernment, and order to bee erected and continued among
them in your saide dominions; And this with such your clemencie and
expedition, as we, vpon the next arriuall of the saide Richard Chancelour
may bee enformed of your gracious disposition and answere. Which your
beneuolences so to bee extended, wee bee minded to requite towards any your
subiects Marchants, that shal frequent this our realme at your
contemplation therefore to be made. Thus right high, right Excellent, and
right mightie, Almightie God the Father, the Sonne and the holy Ghost haue
you in his blessed keeping. Giuen vnder our seale at our Palace of
Westminster, the first of April, in the yeere from the blessed incarnation
of our Sauiour Iesus Christ, 1555. and in the first and second yeeres of
our reignes.

* * * * *

Articles conceiued and determined for the Commission of the Merchants of
this company residant in Russia, and at the Wardhouse, for the second
voyage, 1555. the first of May, as followeth.

First, the Gouernour, Consuls, Assistants and whole company assembled this
day in open court, committeth and authorizeth Richard Gray and George
Killingworth, iointly and seuerally to be Agents, Factors, and Atturneis
generall and speciall, for the whole body of this company, to buy, sel,
trucke, change and permute al, and every kind and kindes of wares,
marchandises and goods to the said company appertaining, now laden and
shipped in the good ship called the Edward Bonauenture, appointed for
Russia, the same to vtter and sell to the best commoditie, profit and
aduantage of the said corporation, be it for ready money, wares and
merchandises, or truck, presently, or for time, as occasion and benefit of
the company shal require: and all such wares as they or either of them shal
buy, trucke, or prouide, or cause to be bought for the company to lade them
homeward in good order and condition, as by prudent course of marchandises,
shall, and ought to appertaine, which article extendeth also to Iohn Brooke
for the Wardhouse, as in the 17. and 18. articles of this commission

2. Item, it is also committed, as aboue, to the said Agents, to binde and
charge the said company by debt for wares vpon credit, as good opportunitie
and occasion shal serue, with power to charge and bind the said company,
and their successors, for the paiments of such things as shalbe taken vp
for credite, and the said Agents to be relieued ab opere satis dandi.

3. Item full authoritie and power is committed to the said first named
factors, together with Richard Chancelor grand Pilot of this fleete, to
repaire to the Emperors court, there to present the king and Queenes
Maiesties letters, written in Greeke, Polish, and Italian, and to giue and
exhibite the marchants presents at such time and place as shalbe thought
most expedient, they, or one of them to demand, and humbly desire of the
Emperour such further grants and priuiledges to be made to this companie,
as may be beneficiall for the same, to continue in traffike with his
subiects, according to such instructions as bee in this behalfe deuised and
deliuered to the Agents whereunto relation is to be had, and some one of
these persons to attend vpon the court for the obtaining of the same, as to
their discretions shalbe thought good.

4. Item, that all the saide Agents doe well consider, ponder and weigh such
articles as bee deliuered to them to know the natures, dispositions, lawes,
customes, maners and behauiours of the people of the countries where they
shal traffike, as well of the Nobilitie as of the Lawyers, Marchants,
Mariners and common people, and to note diligently the subtilties of their
bargaining, buying and selling, making as fewe debtes as possiblie may bee,
and to bee circumspect, that no lawe neither of religion nor positiue bee
broken or transgressed by them or any minister vnder them, ne yet by any
mariner or other person of our nation, and to foresee that all tolles,
customes, and such other rites be so duely paid, that no forfeiture or
confiscation may ensue to our goods either outward or inward, and that al
things passe with quiet, without breach of the publike peace or common
tranquilitie of any of the places where they shall arriue or traffique.

5. Item, that prouision bee made in Mosco or elsewhere, in one or mo good
townes, where good trade shall be found for a house or houses for the
Agents, and companie to inhabite and dwell at your accustomed diets, with
warehouses, sellers, and other houses of offices requisite, and that none
of the inferiour ministers of what place or vocation soeuer he be, doe lie
out of the house of the Agents without licence to be giuen, and that euery
inferiour officer shalbe obedient to the orders, rules and gouernments of
the said Agents, and in case any disobedient person shall be found among
any of them, then such person to be punished for his misbehauiour, at the
discretion of the said Agents, or of one of them in the absence of the

6. Item, if any person of the said ministers shall be of such pride or
obstinacie, that after one or two honest admonitions, hee will not bee
reformed nor reconciled from his faultes, then the saide Agents to displace
euery such person from the place or roume to him heere committed, and some
other discreete person to occupie the same, as to the saide Agents by their
discretions shal seeme meete.

7. Item, if any person shall be found so arrogant, that he will not be
ordered nor reformed by the said Agents or by one of them in the absence of
the other, then the sayde person to bee deliuered to the Iustice of the
countrey, to receiue such punishment, as the lawes of the countrey doe

8. Item, that the Agents and factours shall daily one houre in the morning
conferre and consult together what shall bee most conuenient and beneficial
for the companie, and such orders as they shall determine, to bee written
by the Secretarie of the companie in a booke to bee prouided for that
purpose, and no inferiour person to infringe and breake any such order or
deuise, but to obserue the same exactly, vpon such reasonable paine as the
Agents shall put him to by discretion.

9. Item, that the said Agents shall in the ende of euerie weeke, or oftener
as occasion shall require, peruse, see, and trie, not onely the Casshers,
bookes, reckonings and accounts, firming the same with their handes, but
also shall receiue and take weekly the account of euery other officer, as
well of the Vendes, as of the empteous, and also of the state of the
houshold expenses, making thereof a perfect declaration as shall
appertaine, the same accounts also to bee firmed by the saide Agents hands.

10. Item, that no inferior minister shall take vpon him to make any
bargains or sale of any wares, marchandises or goods, but by the Commission
and Warrantise of the sayde Agents vnder their handes, and hee not to
transgresse his Commission by any way, pretense or colour.

11. Item, that euery inferiour minister, that is to vnderstand, all Clerks
and yong merchants, being at the order of the saide Agents, shall ride,
goe, saile and trauaile to all such place, and places, as they or hee shall
be appointed vnto by the saide Agents, and effectually to follow and do all
that which to him or them shall be committed, well and truely to the most
benefite of the company, according to the charge to him or them committed,
euen as by their othes, dueties and bondes of their masters they be bounden
and charged to doe.

12. Item, that at euery moneths end, all accounts and reckonings shalbe
brought into perfect order, into the Lidger or memoriall, and the decrees,
orders, and rules of the Agents together with the priuileges, and copies of
letters, may and shall be well and truely written by the secretarie, in
such forme as shalbe appointed for it, and that copies of all their doings
may be sent home with the said ship at her returne.

13. Item, that all the Agents doe diligently learne and obserue all kinde
of wares, as wel naturals as forrein, that be beneficiall for this Realme,
to be sold for the benefit of the company, and what kinde of our
commodities and other things of these West partes bee most vendible in
those Realmes with profite, giuing a perfect aduise of all such things

14. Item, if the Emperour will enter into bargain with you for the whole
masse of your stock, and will haue the trade of it to vtter to his owne
subiects, then debating the matter prudently among your selues, set such
high prises of your commodities, as you may assure your selues to be
gainers in your owne wares, and yet to buy theirs at such base prises, as
you may here also make a commoditie and gaine at home, hauing in your
mindes the notable charges that the companie haue diffrayed in aduancing
this voyage: and the great charges that they sustaine dayly in wages,
victuals and other things: all which must bee requited by the wise handling
of this voyage, which being the first president shalbe a perpetual
president for euer: and therefore all circumspection is to be vsed, and
foreseene in this first enterprise, which God blesse and prosper vnder you,
to his glorie, and the publike wealth of this Realme, whereof the Queenes
Maiestie, and the Lords of the Councell haue conceiued great hope, whose
expectations are not to be frustrated.

15. Item, it is to be had in minde, that you vse all wayes and meanes
possible to learne howe men may passe from Russia, either by land or by sea
to Cathaia, and what may be heard of our other ships, and to what knowledge
you may come, by conferring with the learned or well trauailed persons,
either naturall or forrein, such as haue trauailed from the North to the

16. Item, it is committed to the said Agents, that if they shall be
certified credibly, that any of our said first ships be arriued in any
place whereunto passage is to be had by water or by land, that then
certaine of the company at the discretion of the Agents shall bee appointed
to be sent to them, to learne their estate and condition, to visite,
refresh, relieue, and furnish them with all necessaries and requisites, at
the common charges of the companie, and to imbrace, accept, and intreat
them as our deare and wel-beloued brethren of this our societie, to their
reioycing and comfort, aduertising Syr Hugh Willoughbie and others of our
carefulnes of them and their long absence, with our desire to heare of
them, with all other things done in their absence for their commoditie, no
lesse then if they had bene present.

17. Item, it is decreed, that when the ships shal arriue at this going
foorth at the Wardhouse, that their Agents, with master Chancelor grand
pilot, Iohn Brooke, merchant, deputed for the Wardhouse, with Iohn Buckland
master of the Edward, Iohn Howlet master, and Iohn Robins pilot of the
Philip and Marie, shall conferre and consult together, what is most
profitable to be done therfore for the benefit of the company, and to
consider whether they may bargaine with the captaine of the castle, and the
inhabitants in that place, or alongst the coast for a large quantitie of
fish, drie or wet, killed by the naturals, or to be taken by our men at a
price reasonable for trucke of cloth, meale, salt, or beere, and what
traine oyle, or other commodity is to be had there at this time, or any
other season of the yeere, and whether there will be had or found
sufficient lading for both the sayd shippes, to be bought there, and how
they may conferre with the naturals for a continuance in hanting the place,
if profit wil so arise to the company, and to consider whether the Edward
in her returne may receiue at the Wardhouse any kind of lading homeward,
and what it may amount vnto, and whether it shall be expedient for the
Philip to abide at the Wardhouse the returne of the Edward out of Russia,
or getting that she may returne with the first good wind to England,
without abiding for the Edward, and so to conclude and accord certainely
among themselues vpon their arriuall, that the certaintie may (vpon good
deliberation) be so ordered and determined betweene both ships, that the
one may be assured of the other, and their determinations to be put in
writing duplicate to remaine with ech ship, according to such order as
shall be taken betweene them.

18. Item, that Iohn Brooke our marchant for the Wardhouse take good aduise
of the rest of our Agents, how to vse himselfe in al affaires, whiles the
ship shalbe at the Wardhouse, he to see good order to be kept, make
bargains aduisedly, not crediting the people vntill their natures,
dispositions and fidelities shal be well tried, make no debts, but to take
ware for ware in hand, and rather be trusted then to trust. Note diligently
what be the best wares for those parts, and howe the fishe falleth on the
coast, and by what meane it is to bee bought at the most aduantage, what
kindes and diuersities of sortes in fishes be, and whether it will keepe
better in bulke piled, or in caske.

19. Item, he to haue a diligent eye and circumspection to the beere, salt,
and other liquid wares, and not to suffer any waste to be made by the
companie, and he in all contracts to require aduise, counsel, and consent
of the master and pilot, the marchant to be our houswife, as our special
trust is in him, he to tender that no lawes nor customes of the countrey be
broken by any of the company, and to render to the prince, and other
officers, all that which to them doth appertaine, the company to be quiet,
voide of all quarrelling, fighting, or vexation, absteine from all excesse
of drinking as much as may bee, and in all to vse and behaue themselues as
to quiet marchants doeth, and ought to apperteine.

20. Item, it is decreed by the companie, that the Edward shall returne home
this yeere with as much wares as may be conueniently, and profitably
prouided, bought, and laden in Russia, and the rest to be taken in at the
Wardhouse, as by the Agents shall be accorded. But by all meanes it is to
be foreseene and noted, that the Edward returne home, and not to winter in
any forrein place, but to come home and bring with her all the whole
aduertisements of the marchants, with such further aduise for the next
yeeres prouision, as they shall giue.

21. Item, it is further decreed and ordeined, inuiolably to be obserued,
that when the good ships, or either of them (by Gods grace) shall returne
home to the coastes of England, that neither of them shall stay or touch in
any Hauen or Port of England, other wise then wind and weather shall serue,
but shall directly saile and come to the Port of the citie of London, the
place of their right discharge, and that no bulke be broken, hatches
opened, chest, fardell, trusse, barrel, fat, or whatsoeuer thing it shall
be, be brought out of the shippe, vntill the companie shall giue order for
the same, and appoint such persons of the companie as shall be thought meet
for that purpose, to take viewe, and consider the shippe and her lading and
shall giue order for the breaking vp of the saide bulke, or giue licence by
discretion, for things to be brought to land. And that euery officer shall
shewe the inuoise of his charge to him first committed, and to examine the
wastes and losses, and to deliuer the remainder to the vse and benefit of
the company, according to such order as shall be appointed in that behalfe.

22. Item, the company exhorteth, willeth, and requireth, not onely all the
said Agents, pilots, masters, marchants, clerkes, boatswaines, stewards,
skafemasters, and all other officers and ministers of this present voyage,
being put in charge and trust daily to peruse, reade, and studie such
instructions as be made, giuen, and deliuered to them for perfect knowledge
of the people of Russia, Moscouia, Wardhouse and other places, their
dispositions, maners, customes, vses, tolles, cariages, coines, weights,
numbers, measures, wares, merchandises, commodities, and incommodities, the
one to be accepted and imbraced, the other to be reiected and vtterly
abandoned, to the intent that euery man taking charge, may be so well
taught, perfited, and readily instructed in all the premisses, that by
ignorance, no losse or preiudice may grow or chance to the company:
assuring themselues, that for asmuch as the company hath trauelled and
laboured so in these their instructions to them giuen, that euery man may
bee perfect, and fully learned to eschew all losses, hurts and damages that
may insue by pretence or colour of none knowledge, the company entendeth
not to allow, or accept ignorance for any lawfull or iust cause of excuse,
in that which shall be misordered by negligence, the burden whereof shall
light vpon the negligent offending person, especially vpon such as of their
owne heads, or temeritie, will take vpon him or them to doe or to attempt
any thing, whereby preiudice may arise, without the commission of the
Agents as aboue is mentioned, whereunto relation must be had.

23. Forasmuch as it is not possible to write and indite such prescribed
orders, rules and commissions to the Agents and factours, but that
occasion, time and place, and the pleasures of the princes, together with
the operation or successe of fortune shall change or shift the same,
although not in the whole, yet in part, therefore the said company doe
commit to you their deare and intire beloued Agents and factors to doe in
this behalfe for the commodity and wealth of this company, as by your
directions, vpon good aduised deliberations shalbe thought good and
beneficiall. Prouided alwayes, that the honour, good name, fame, credite,
and estimation of the same companie be conserued and preserued: which to
confirme we beseech the liuing Lord to his glory, the publike benefite of
this realme, our common profits, and your praises.

Finally for the seruice, and due accomplishment of all the premisses, euery
Agent and minister of and for this voyage, hath not onely giuen a corporall
othe vpon the Euangelists, to obserue, and cause to be obserued, this
commission, and euery part, clause and sentence of the same, as much as in
him lyeth, as well for his owne part as for any other person, but also haue
bounde themselues and their friendes to the companie in seuerall summes of
money, expressed in the actes and records of this societie, for the trueth
and fidelities of them, for the better, and also manifester testification
of the trueth, and of their othes, promises, and bands aforesaid, they haue
to this commission subscribed particularly their seuerall hands, and the
company also in confirmation of the same, haue set their seale. Yeuen the
day, moneth, and yeeres first aboue mentioned.

The othe ministred to the seruants of the fellowship.

Ye sweare by the holy contents of that booke, that ye shal wel, faithfully
and truely, and vprightly, and with all your indeuour, serue this right
worshipfull company in that order, which by this fellowships Agent or
Agents in the dominions of the Emperours of Russia, &c. shall bee vnto you
committed, by commission, commandement, or other his direction. And that
you shall bee obedient and faithfull to the same our Agent or Agents, and
that well, and truely and vprightly according to the commission, charge,
commandement, or other direction of the said Agent or Agents to you from
time to time giuen and to be giuen, you shall prosecute and doe all that
which in you lieth, for the good renowme, commoditie, benefite and profite
of the said fellowship: and you shall not directly or indirectly, openly or
couertly doe, exercise or vse any trade or feate of marchandises for your
owne priuate account, commodity, gaine or profite, or for the account of or
for any other person or persons, without consent or licence of this said
fellowship, first obtained in writing. And if you shall know or vnderstand
any other person or persons to vse, exercise or doe any trade, traffike or
feat of marchandise, to or for his or their own account or accounts, at any
time or times hereafter, that then ye shall truely and plainly disclose,
open, vtter and reueale, and shew the same vnto this said fellowship,
without fraude, colour, couin or delay: So helpe you God, &c.

* * * * *

The letter of M. George Killingworth the companies first Agent in Moscouie,
touching their interteinement in their second voyage. Anno 1555. the 27.
of Nouember in Mosco.

Right worshipful, my duetie, considered, &c. It may please your worship to
vnderstand, that at the making hereof we all be in good health, thanks be
to God, saue onely William our cooke as we came from Colmogro fell into the
river out of the boate, and was drowned. And the 11. day of September wee
came to Vologda, and there we laide all our wares vp, and sold very little:
but one marchant would haue giuen vs 12. robles for a broad cloth, and he
said he would haue had them all, and 4. altines for a pound of sugar, but
we did refuse it because he was the first, and the marchants were not come
thither, nor would not come before Winter, trusting to haue more: But I
feare it will not be much better. Yet notwithstanding we did for the best.
And the house that our wares lie in costs from that day vntil Easter ten
robles. And the 28. day of September we did determine with our selues that
it was good for M. Gray, Arthur Edwards, Thomas Hautory, Christopher
Hudson, Iohn Segewicke, Richard Ionson, and Richard Iudde, to tarie at
Vologda, and M. Chancelor, Henry Lane, Edward Prise, Robert Best and I
should goe to Mosco. And we did lade the Emperours suger, with part of all
sorts of wares to haue had to the Mosco with vs, but the way was so deepe,
that we were faine to turne back, and leaue is stil at Vologda till the
frost. And we went forth with poste horse, and the charge of euery horse
being stil ten in number, comes to 10 s. 7 d. halfe penie, besides the
guides. And we came to the Mosco the 4. day of October, and were lodged
that night in a simple house: but the next day we were sent for to the
Emperour his secretarie, and he bade vs welcome with a cheerefull
countenance and cheerefull wordes, and wee shewed him that we had a letter
from our Queenes grace to the Emperour his grace, and then he desired to
see them all, and that they might remain with him, to haue them perfect,
that the true meaning might be declared to the Emperour, and so we did: and
then we were appointed to a better house: and the seuenth day the secretary
sent for vs againe, and then he shewed vs that we should haue a better
house: for it was the Emperour his will, that we should haue all things
that we did lacke, and did send vs meade of two sorts, and two hens, our
house free, and euery two dayes to receiue eight hens, seven altines, and
two pence in money, and meade a certaine, and a poore fellow to make cleane
our house, and to doe that wherunto we would set him. And wee had giuen
many rewards before, which you shal perceiue by other, and so we gaue the
messengers a reward with thanks: and the ninth day we were sent to make vs
readie to speak, with the Emperour on the morow. And the letters were sent
vs, that wee might deliuer them our selues, and we came before him the
tenth day: and before we came to his presence we went thorow a great
chamber, where stood many small tunnes, pailes, bowles and pots of siluer,
I meane, like washing bowles, all parsel gilt: and within that another
chamber, wherein sate (I thinke) neere a hundred in cloth of gold, and then
into the chamber where his grace sate, and there I thinke were more then in
the other chamber also in cloth of gold, and we did our duety, and shewed
his grace our Queenes graces letters, with a note of your present which was
left in Vologda: and then his grace did aske how our Queenes grace did,
calling her cousin, saying that hee was glad that wee were come in health
into his Realme, and we went one by one vnto him, and tooke him by the
hand, and then his grace did bid vs goe in health, and come to dinner
againe, and we dined in his presence, and were set with our faces towards
his grace, and none in the chamber sate with their backes towards him,
being I thinke neere a hundred at dinner then, and all serued with golde,
as platters, chargers, pottes, cuppes, and all not slender but very massy,
and yet a great number of platters of golde, standing still on the
cupboord, not moued: and diuers times in the dinner time his grace sent vs
meat and drinke from his owne table, and when we had dined we went vp to
his grace, and receiued a cuppe with drinke at his owne hand, and the same
night his grace sent certaine gentlemen to us with diuers sortes of wine
and mede, to whome wee gaue a rewarde. And afterwarde we were by diuers
Italians counselled to take heed whom we did trust to make the copie of the
priuiledges that we would desire to haue, for feare it should not be
written in the Russie tongue, as we did meane. So first a Russian did write
for us a breuiat to the Emperor, the tenour wherof was, that we did desire
a stronger priuilege: and when the Secretary saw it, he did deliuer it to
his grace, and when we came againe, his grace willed vs to write our minds,
and hee would see it, and so we did. And his grace is so troubled with
preparations to warres, that as yet wee haue no answere: but we haue byn
required of his Secretary, and of the vnder Chancelor, to know what wares
we had brought into the Realme, and what wares we doe intend to haue, that
are, or may bee had in this Realme: and we shewed them, and they shewed the
Emperor therof. And then they said his graces pleasure was, that his best
marchants of the Mosco should be spoken to, to meet and talk with vs. And
so a day was appointed, and wee mette in the Secretarie his office, and
there was the vnder Chancelor, who was not past two yeeres since the
Emperors marchant, and not his Chancelour: and then the conclusion of our
talke was, that the Chancelour willed vs to bethinke vs, where we would
desire to haue a house or houses, that wee might come to them as to our
owne house, and for marchandize to be made preparation for vs, and they
would know our prises of our wares and frise: and we answered, that for our
prices they must see the wares before we coulde make any price thereof, for
the like in goodnesse hath not bene brought into the Realme, and we did
looke for an example of all sorts of our wares to come from Vologda, with
the first sledway, and then they should see them, and then we would shew
them the prices of them: and likewise we could not tell them what we would
giue them iustly, till we did knowe as well their iust weights as their
measures: for in all places where we did come, al weights and measures did
vary. Then the Secretary (who had made promise vnto vs before) saide, that
we should haue all the iust measures vnder seale, and he that was found
faulty in the contrary, to buy or sel with any other measure then that, the
law was, that he should be punished: he said moreouer, that if it so happen
that any of our marchants do promise by couenant at any time to deliuer you
any certain sum of wares in such a place, and of such like goodnesse, at
such a day, for such a certaine price, and then because of variance, we
should cause it to be written, according as the bargain is, before a
iustice or the next ruler to the place: if he did not keepe couenant and
promise in all points, according to his couenant, that then looke what
losse or hinderance we could iustly proue that we haue therby, he should
make it good if he be worth so much: and in like case we must do to them:
and to that we did agree, saue onely if it were to come ouer the sea, then
if any such fortune should bee (as God forbid) that the ship should
mischance or be robbed, and the proofe to be made that such kind of wares
were laden, the English marchants to beare no losse to the other marchant.
Then the Chancelor said, me thinks you shall do best to haue your house at
Colmogro, which is but 100. miles from the right discharge of the ships,
and yet I trust the ships shall come neerer hereafter, because the ships
may not tary long for their lading, which is 1000. miles from Vologda by
water, and all our marchants shall bring all our marchandize to Colmogro to
you, and so shall our marchants neither go empty nor come empty: for if
they lacke lading homeward, there is salt, which is good ware here, that
they may come loden againe. So we were very glad to heare that, and did
agree to his saying: for we shal neuerthelesse, if we lust, haue a house at
Vologda, and at the Mosco, yea, and at Nouogrode, or where we wil in
Rusland: but the three and twentieth of this present we were with the
Secretary, and then among other talke, we moued, that if we should tary at
Colmogro with our wares, and should not come to Vologda, or further to
seeke our market, but tary still at Colmogro, and then the merchants of the
Mosco and others should not come and bring their wares, and so the ships
should come, and not haue their lading ready, that then it were a great
losse and hinderance for vs: then saide hee againe to vs, that the
marchants had beene againe together with him, and had put the like doubt,
that if they should come and bring their wares to Colmogro, and that they
should not find wares there sufficient to serue them, that then they should
be at great losse and hinderance, they leauing their other trades to fal to
that: and to that we did answere, that after the time that we do appoint
with them to bring their wares to Colmogro, God willing, they should neuer
come thither, but at the beginning of the yere, they should find that our
marchants would haue at the least for a thousand robles, although the ships
were not come: so that he saide, that then wee must talke further with the
marchants: so that as yet I know not, but that we shall haue neede of one
house at Colmogro, and another at Vologda, and that if they bring not their
wares to Colmogro, then wee shalbe sure to buy some at Vologda, and to be
out of bondage.

And thus may we continue three or foure yeeres, and in this space we shall
know the countrey and the marchants, and which way to saue our selues best,
and where to plant our houses, and where to seeke for wares: for the Mosco
is not best for any kind of wares for vs to buy, saue onely waxe, which we
cannot haue vnder seuen pence the Russe pound, and it lackes two ounces of
our pound, neither will it be much better cheape, for I haue bidden 6.
pence for a pound. And I haue bought more, fiue hundred weight of yarne,
which stands mee in eight pence farthing the Russe pound one with another.
And if we had receiued any store of money, and were dispatched heere of
that we tarry for, as I doubt not but we shalbe shortly (you know what I
meane) then as soone as we haue made sale, I doe intend to goe to Nouogrode
and to Plesco, whence all the great number of the best tow flaxe, cometh,
and such wares as are there I trust to buy part. And feare you not but we
will do that may be done, if God send vs health, desiring you to prepare
fully for one ship to be ready in the beginning of April to depart off the
coast of England.

Concerning all those things which we haue done in the wares, you shal
receiue a perfect note by the next bearer (God willing) for he that carieth
these from vs is a marchant of Terwill and he was caused to cary these by
the commandement of the Emperour his secretarie, whose name is Iuan
Mecallawich Weskawate, whom we take to be our very friend. And if it please
you to send any letters to Dantiske to Robert Elson, or to William Watson's
seruant Dunstan Walton to be conueyed to vs, it may please you to inclose
ours in a letter sent from you to him, written in Polish, Dutch, Latine, or
Italian: so inclosed, comming to the Mosco to his hands, he wil conuey our
letters to vs wheresoeuer we be. And I haue written to Dantiske already to
them for the conueyance of letters from thence.

And to certifie you of the weather here, men say that these hundred yeeres
was neuer so warme weather in this countrey at this time of the yeere. But
as yesternight wee receiued a letter from Christopher Hudson [Footnote: Mr.
John M. Read, in his "Historical Enquiry respecting Henry Hudson," printed
by the Clarendon Historical Society, is of opinion that both Christopher
Hudson and the Henry Hudson named in Queeu Mary's Charter as one of the
founders of the Muscovy Company, were related to the discoverer of Delaware
Bay. (Clarendon Hist. Soc. Reprints, Series I. p. 149.)] from a citie
called Yeraslaue, who is comming hither with certaine of our wares, but the
winter did decieue him, so that he was faine to tarie by the way: and he
wrote that the Emperours present was deliuered to a gentleman at Vologda,
and the sled did ouerthrow, and the butte of Hollocke was lost, which made
vs all very sory.

I pray you be not offended with these my rude letters for lacke of time:
but assoone as sales be made, I will finde the meanes to conuey you a
letter with speed: for the way is made so doubtful, that the right
messenger is so much in doubt, that he would not haue any letters of any
effect sent by any man, if he might, for he knowes not of these: and to say
the truth, the way is not for him to trauell in. But I will make another
shift beside, which I trust shall serue the turne till he come, if sales be
made before he be readie, which is and shall be as pleaseth God: who euer
preserue your worship, and send us good sales. Written in haste.

By yours to commaund


* * * * *

(George Killingworth was furnished with a copy of the following notice of
the coines, weights and measures vsed in Russia, written by Iohn Hasse,
in the yeere, 1554:--)

Forasrauch as it is most necessary for al marchants which seeks to haue
traffique in any strange regions, first to acquaint themselues with the
coines of those lands with which they do intend to ioyne in traffique, and
how they are called from the valuation of the highest piece to the lowest,
and in what sort they make their paiments, as also what their common
weights and measures be: for these causes I haue thought good to write
something thereof according to mine owne knowledge and experience, to the
end that, the marchants of that new aduenture, may the better vnderstand
how the wealth of that new frequented trade will arise.

First, it is to be noted that the Emperour of Russia hath no other coines
then siluer in all his land, which goeth for paiment amongst merchants, yet
notwithstanding there is a coine of copper, which serueth for the reliefe
of the poore in Mosco, and no where els, and that is but only for quasse,
water and fruit, as nuts, apples, and such other like. The name of which
money is called Pole or Poles of which Poles there goe to the least of the
siluer coines, 18. But I will not stand vpon this, because it is no currant
money among marchants.

Of siluer coines there be three sortes of pieces: the least is a Poledenga,
the second a Denga, the third, Nowgrote, which is as much to say in English
as halfepenie, penie and twopence, and for other valued money then this,
there is none: there are oftentimes there coines of gold, but they come out
of forrein countreys, whereof there is no ordinarie valuation, but they
passe according to the agreement of marchants.

Their order in summing of money is this: as we say in England, halfpenie,
penie, shilling, and pound, so say they Poledenga, Denga, Altine and
Rubble: there goeth two Poledengas to a Denga, six Dengaes to an Altine,
and 23 Altines, and two Dengaes to a Rubble.

Concerning the weights of Russia they are these: There are two sortes of
pounds in vse amongst them, the one great, the other small: the great pound
is iust two small pounds: they call the great weight by the name of
Beasemar, and the smal they call the Skalla weight: with this smal weight
they weigh their siluer coines, of the which the Emperor hath commanded to
put to euery small pound three Rubbles of siluer, and with the same weight
they weigh all Grocerie wares, and almost al other wares which come into
the land, except those which they weigh by the Pode, as hops, salt, iron,
lead, tinne and batrie with diuers others, notwithstanding they vse to
weigh batrie more often by the small weight then by the great.

Whensoever you find the prices of your wares rated by the Pode, consider
that to the great weight, and the pound to be the small. Also they divide
the small pound into 48 parts, and they call the eight and fortieth part a
Slotnike, by the which Slotnike the retailers sell their wares out of their
shops, as Goldsmiths, Grocers, Silkesellers, and such other like as we doe
vse to retaile by the ounce: and as for their great weight which they cal
the Beasemar, they sel by pode or shippond. The pode doth containe of the
great weight, 40 pounds, and of the small 80; there goe 10. podes to a

Yet you must consider that their great weight is not full with ours: for I
take not their great pound to be full 13 ounces, but aboue 12 I thinke it
be. But for your iust proofe, weigh 6 Rubbles of Russia money with our
pound weight, and then shal you see what it lacketh: for 6 Rubbles of
Russia is by the Emperors standerd, the great pound: so that I thinke it
the next way to know the iust weight, as well of the great pound as of the

There is another weight needfull to be knowen, which is the weight of
Wardhouse, for so much as they weigh all their drie fish by weight, which
weight is the Baesemar, as they of Russia doe vse, notwithstanding there is
another sorte in it: the names of those weights are these: the marke pound,
the great pound, the weie, and the shippond. The marke pound is to be
vnderstood as our pound, and their great pound is 24 of their marke pound:
the weie is 3 great pound, and 8 weie is a shippound.

Now concerning their measures. As they haue two sortes of weights, so they
haue also two sortes of measures: wherewith they measure cloth both linnen
and wollen: they cal the one an Areshine, and the other a Locut: the
Areshine I take to bee as much as the Flanders ell, and their Locut halfe
an English yard: with their Areshine they may mete all such sorts of
clothes as come into the land, and with the Locut all such cloth both
linnen and wollen, as they make themselues. And whereas we vse to giue yard
and inch, or yard and handfull, they do giue nothing but bare measure.

They haue also measure wherewith they doe mete their corne, which they cal
a Setforth, and the halfe of that an Osmine: this Setforth I take to bee
three bushels of London measure. And as for their drinke measure, they call
it a Spanne, which is much like a bucket, and of that I neuer saw any true
rate, but that some was greater then other some. And as for the measures of
Wardhouse wherewith they mete their cloth, there is no difference between
that and the measure of Danske, which is halfe an English ell.

Concerning the tolles and customs of Russia, it was reported to me in
Moscouia, that the Turkes and Armenians pay the tenth penie custome of all
the wares they bring into the Emperors land, and aboue that they pay for
all such goods as they weigh at the Emperours beame, two pence of the
Rubble, which the buyer or seller must make report to the Master of the
beame: they also pay a certaine horse toll, which is in diuers places of
his Realme four pence of a horse.

The Dutch nation are free of this: notwithstanding for certaine offences,
they had lost their priuiledges which they haue recouered this Summer to
their great charge. It was reported to me by a Iustice of that countrey,
that they paied for it thirtie thousand Rubbles, and also that Rye, Dorpte
and Reuel haue yeelded themselues vnder the gouernment of the Emperor of
Russia: whether this was a bragge of the Russes or not, I know not, but
thus he sayd, and in deed whiles we were there, there came a great
Ambassadour out of Liefland, for the assurance of their priuiledges.

To speake somewhat of the commodities of this countrey, it is to be
vnderstood, that there is a certaine place foure score miles from the Sea
called Colmogro: to which place there resorte all the sortes of Wares that
are in the North parts, as Oyles, Salt, Stockefish, Salmon, Fethers and
Furres: their Salt they make of saltwater by the sea side: their Oyles they
make of Seales, whereof they haue great store which is brought out of the
Bay where our shippes came in: they make it in the Spring of the yeere, and
bring it to Colmogro to sell, and the marchants there carie it to
Nouogrode, and so sell it to the Dutch nation. Their Stockefish and Salmon
commeth from a place called Mallums, not farre from Warehouse: their Salmon
and their Salt they carrie to Mosco, and their drie fish they carrie to
Nouogrode, and sell it there to the Lieflanders.

The Furres and Fethers which come to Colmogro, as Sables, Beauers, Minkes,
Armine, Lettis, Graies, Wooluerings, and white Foxes, with Deere skinnes,
they are brought thither, by the men of Penninge, Lampas, and Powstezer,
which fetch them from the Sarnoedes that are counted sauage people: and the
merchants that bring these Furres doe vse to trucke with the marchants of
Colmogro for Cloth, Tinne, Batrie, and such other like, and the merchants
of Colmogro carie them to Nouogrode, Vologda, or Mosco, and sell them
there. The Fethers which come fom Penning they doe little esteeme.

If our marchants do desire to know the meetest place of Russia for the
standing house, in mine opinion I take it to be Vologda, which is a great
towne standing in the heart of Russia, with many great and good towns about
it. There is great plenty of corne, victuals, and of all such wares as are
raised in Rusland, but specially, flaxe, hempe, tallow and bacon: there is
also great store of waxe, but it commeth from the Mosko.

The towne of Vologda is meetest for our marchants, because it lieth amongst
all the best towns of Russia, and there is no towne in Russia but trades
with it: also the water is a great commoditie to it. If they plant
themselues in Mosco or Nouogrode their charge will be great and wonderfull,
but not so in Vologda: for all things will there be had better cheape by
the one half. And for their vent, I know no place so meet. It is likely
that some will think the Mosko to be the meetest by the reason of the
court, but by that reason I take it to be woorse: for the charge there
would be so great by crauers and expenses, that the moitie of the profite
would bee wholly consumed, which in the other place will be saved. And yet
notwithstanding our marchants may bee there in the Winter to serue the
Emperour and his court. The Emperour is a great marchant himselfe of waxe
and sables, which with good foresight may bee procured to their hands: as
for other commodities there are little or none in Moscovia, besides those
aboue rehearsed: if there bee other, it is brought thither by the Turkes,
who will be daintie to buy our clothes considering the charges of cariage
ouer land.

Our marchants may doe well to prouide for the Russes such wares as the
Dutch nation doeth serue them of, as Flanders and Holland clothes, which I
beleeue, they shal serue better and with lesse charge than they of Rye or
Dorpt, or Reuel: for it is no smal aduenture to bring their clothes out of
Flanders to either of these places, and their charge not litle to cary them
ouer lande to Nouogrode, which is from Rye nine hundred Russian miles.

This Nouogrode is a place wel furnished with flaxe, Waxe, Hides, tallow and
many other things: the best flaxe in Russia is brought thither, and there,
sold by the hundred bundles, which is done also at Vologda, and they that
bring the flaxe to Nouogrode, dwell as neere Vologda, as Nouogrode, and
when they heare of the vtterance which they may haue with our nation, they
will as willingly come to them as goe to other.

They haue in Russia two sortes of flaxe, the one is called great flaxe, and
the other small: that which they call great flaxe is better by foure
rubbles in 100. bundels than the small: It is much longer than the other,
and cleaner without wood: and whereas of the small flaxe there goe 27. or
28. bundles to a shippound, there goeth not of the greater sort aboue 22.
or 24. at the most. There are many other trifles in Russia, as sope, mats,
&c. but I thinke there will bee no great account made of them.

* * * * *

A copie of the first Priuileges graunted by the Emperour of Russia to the
English Marchants in the yeere 1555.

Iohn Vasiliuich, by the grace of God Emperor of Russia, great duke of
Nouogrode, Moscouia, &c. To all people that shall see, reade, heare or
vnderstand these presents, greeting. Forasmuch as God hath planted al
realmes and dominions in the whole world with sundry commodities, so as the
one hath neede of the amity and commodities of the other, and by means
thereof traffike is vsed from one to another, and amity therby increased:
and for that as amongst men nothing is more to be desired than amity,
without the which no creature being of a naturall good disposition can liue
in quietnes, so that it is as troublesome to be vtterly wanting, as it is
perceiued to be grieuous to the body to lacke aire, fire, or any other
necessaries most requisite for the conseruation and maintenance thereof in
health: considering also how needfull marchandize is, which furnisheth men
of all that which is conuenient for their liuing and nouriture, for their
clothing, trimming, the satisfying of their delights, and all other things
conuenient and profitable for them, and that marchandize bringeth the same
commodities from diuers quarters in so great abundance, as by meanes
thereof, nothing is lacking in any part, and that all things be in euery
place (where entercourse of marchandizes is receiued and imbraced)
generally in such sort, as amity thereby is entred into, and planted to
continue, and the inioyers thereof be as men liuing in a golden world: Vpon
these respects and other weighty and good considerations, vs hereunto
mouing, and chiefly vpon the contemplation of the gracious letters,
directed from the right high, right excellent, and right mighty Queene
Mary, by the grace of God Queene of England, France, &c. in the fauour of
her subiects, merchants, the gouernour, consuls, assistants, and
communaltie of merchants aduenturers for discouery of lands, &c.

Know ye therefore, that we of our grace speciall, meere motion, and
certaine knowledge, have giuen and graunted, and by these presents for vs,
our heires and successours, do giue and graunt as much as in vs is and
lieth, vnto Sebastian Cabota Gouernour, Sir George Barnes knight, &c.
Consuls: Sir Iohn Gresham, &c. Assistants, and to the communaltie of the
aforenamed fellowship, and to their successours for euer, and to the
successours of euerie of them, these articles, graunts, immunities,
franchises, liberties and priuileges, and euery of them hereafter
following, expressed and declared. Videlicet:

1. First, we for vs, our heires and successors, do by these presents giue
and graunt free licence, facultie, authority and power vnto the said
Gouernour, Consuls, Assistants, and communalty of the said fellowship, and
to their successors for euer, that all and singular the marchants of the
same company, their Agents, factours, doers of their businesse, atturneys,
seruants, and ministers, and euery of them may at all times hereafter for
euer more surely, freely and safely, with their shippes, merchandizes,
goods and things whatsoeuer saile, come and enter into all and singular our
lands, countreis, dominions, cities, townes, villages, castles, portes,
iurisdictions, and destraicts by sea, land or fresh waters, and there tary,
abide and soiourne, and buy, sell, barter and change all kind of
merchandizes with al maner of marchants and people, of whatsoeuer nation,
rite, condition, state or degrees they be, and with the same or other
ships, wares, marchandizes, goods and things whatsoeuer they be, vnto other
empires, kingdomes, dukedomes, parts, and to any other place or places at
their pleasure and liberty by sea, land or fresh waters may depart, and
exercise all kinde of merchandizes in our empire and dominions, and euery
part thereof freely and quietly without any restraint, impeachment, price,
exaction, prest, straight custome, toll, imposition, or subsidie to be
demanded, taxed or paid, or at any time hereafter to be demanded, taxed,
set, leuied or inferred vpon them or any of them, or vpon their goods,
ships, wares, marchandizes, and things, of, for or vpon any part or parcell
thereof, or vpon the goods, ships, wares, merchandizes, and things of any
of them, so that they shall not need any other safe conduct or licence
generall, ne speciall of vs, our heires or successours, neither shall be
bound to aske any safe conduct or licence in any of the aforesaid places
subiect vnto vs.

2. Item, we giue and graunt, to the said marchants this power and liberty,
that they, ne any of them, ne their goods, wares, marchandizes or things,
ne any part thereof, shal be by any meanes within our dominions, landes,
countreyes, castles, townes, villages, or other place or places of our
iurisdiction, at any time heereafter attached, staied, arrested ne
disturbed for anie debt, duetie or other thing, for the which they be not
principall debters or sureties, ne also, for any offence or trespasse
committed, or that shall be committed, but onely for such as they or any of
them shall actually commit, and the same offences (if any such happen,)
shall bee by vs onely heard, and determined.

3. Item, we giue and graunt, that the said Marchants shal and may haue free
libertie, power and authoritie to name, choose and assigne brokers,
shippers, packers, weighers, measurers, wagoners, and all other meet and
necessary laborers for to serue them in their feat of marchandises, and
minister and giue vnto them and euery of them a corporall othe, to serue
them well and truely in their offices, and finding them or any of them
doing contrary to his or their othe, may punish and dismisse them, and from
time to time choose, sweare, and admit other in their place or places,
without contradiction, let, vexation or disturbance, either of vs, our
heires or successors, or of any other our Iustices, officers, ministers or
subiects whatsoeuer.

4. Item, we giue and graunt vnto the saide Marchants and their successours,
that such person as is, or shalbe commended vnto vs, our heires or
successours by the Gouernour, Consuls and assistants of the said fellowship
residant within the citie of London within the realme of England, to be
their chiefe Factor within this our empire and dominions, may and shal haue
ful power and authoritie to gouerne and rule all Englishmen that haue had,
or shall haue accesse, or repaire in or to this said Empire and
iurisdictions, or any part thereof, and shal and may minister vnto them,
and euery of them good iustice in all their causes, plaints, quarrels, and
disorders between them moued, and to be moued, and assemble, deliberate,
consult, conclude, define, determine, and make such actes, and ordinances,
as he so commended with his Assistants shall thinke good and meete for the
good order, gouernment and rule of the said Marchants, and all other
Englishmen repairing to this our saide empire or dominions, or any part
thereof, and to set and leuie vpon all, and euery Englishman, offender or
offenders, of such their acts and ordinances made, and to be made,
penalties and mulcts by fine and imprisonment.

5. Item, if it happen that any of the saide Marchants, or other Englishmen,
as one or more doe rebell against such chiefe Factor or Factors, or his or
their deputies, and will not dispose him or themselues to obey them and
euery of them as shall appertaine if the saide Rebels or disobedients doe
come, and bee founde in our our saide Empire and iurisdictions, or any part
and place thereof, then wee promise and graunt, that all and euery our
officers, ministers, and subiects shall effectually ayde and assist the
saide chiefe Factour or Factours, and their deputies, and for their power
shall really woorke, to bring such rebell or disobedient rebels, or
disobedients to due obedience: and to that intent shall tende vnto the same
Factour or Factours, and their deputies vpon request therefore, to be made,
prisons, and instruments for punishments from time to time.

6. Item, we promise vnto the saide Marchants, and their sucessours, vpon
their request to exhibite and doe vnto them good, exact and fauourable
iustice, with expedition in all their causes, and that when they or any of
them shall haue accesse, or come to or before any of our Iustices, for any
their plaints mooued, and to bee mooued betweene any our subiects or other
stranger, and them, or any of them, that then they shalbe first and
forthwith heard, as soon as the party which they shal find before our
Iustices shalbe depeached, which party being heard forthwith, and assoone
as may be, the said English marchants shall be ridde and dispatched: And if
any action shall be moued by or against any of the said Marchants being
absent out of our saide empire and dominions, then such Marchants may
substitute an Atturney in all and singular his causes to be followed as
need shall require, and as shall seeme to him expedient.

7. Item, wee graunt and promise to the saide Marchants, and to their
successours, that if the same Marchants or any of them shall bee wounded,
or (which God forbid) slaine in any part or place of our Empire or
dominions, then good information thereof giuen, Wee and our Iustices and
other officers shall execute due correction and punishment without delay,
according to the exigence of the case: so that it shall bee an example to
all other not to commit the like. And if it shall chaunce the factors,
seruants, or ministers of the saide Marchants or any of them to trespasse
or offende, whereby they or any of them shall incurre the danger of death
or punishment, the goods, wares, marchandizes, and things of their Masters
shall not therefoore bee forfaited, confiscated, spoiled ne seised by any
meanes by vs, our heires or successours, or by any our officers, ministers
or subiects, but shall remaine to their vse, franke, free, and discharged
from all punishment and losse.

8. Item, we graunt that if any of the English nation be arrested for any
debt, he shal not be laid in prison, so farre as he can put in sufficient
suretie and pawne: neither shall any sergeant, or officer leade them or any
of them to prison, before he shall have knowen whether the chiefe Factor or
factors, or their deputies shalbe sureties, or bring in pawne for such
arrested: then the officers shal release the partie, and shall set him or
them at libertie.

9. Moreouer, we giue, graunt and promise to the saide Marchants, that if
any of their ships or other vessels shall bee spoyled, robbed, or damnified
in sayling, anckoring or returning to or from our saide Empires and
Dominions, or any part thereof, by any Pirats, Marchants, or other person,
whatsoeuer hee or they bee, that then and in such case, wee will doe all
that in vs is to cause restitution, reparation, and satisfaction to bee
duely made to the said English marchants by our letters and otherwise, as
shall stand with our honour, and be consonant to equitie and iustice.

10. Item, for vs, our heires and successours, wee doe promise and graunt to
performe, mainteine, corroborate, autenticate and obserue all and singular
the aforesaide liberties, franchises, and priuiledges, like as presently we
firmely doe intend, and will corroborate, autentike and performe the same
by all meane and way that we can, as much as may be to the commoditie and
profite of the said English Marchants, and their successours for euer.

And to the intent that all and singuler the saide giftes, graunts and
promises, may bee inuiolably obserued and performed, we the said Iohn
Vasiliuich by the grace of God Emperor of Russia, great Duke of Nouogrode,
Mosco, &c. for vs, our heires and successors, by our Imperiall and lordly
word in stead of an othe, haue and doe promise by these presents,
inuiolably to mainteyne and obserue, and cause to be inuiolably obserued
and mainteined all and singuler the aforesayde giftes, graunts and promises
from time to time, and at all and euery time and times heereafter. And for
the more corroboration hereof haue caused our Signet hereunto to be put:
Dated in our Castle of Mosco the 20. day of * * * in the yeere * * *.

* * * * *

The Charter of the Marchants of Russia, graunted vpon the discouerie of the
saide Countrey by King Philip and Queene Marie.

Philip and Marie, by the grace of God King and Queene, &c. To all manner of
officers, true Iurie men, ministers and subiects, and to all other people
as well within this our Realme or elsewhere vnder our obeysance,
iurisdiction, and rule, or otherwise vnto whome these our letters shall bee
shewed, seene, or read, greeting.

Whereas wee be credibly informed that our right trusttie, right faithfull,
and welbeloued Counsailors, William Marques of Winchester Lord high
Treasurer of this our Realme of England, Henrie Earle of Arundel Lord
Steward of our housholde, Iohn Earle of Bedford Lord keeper of our priuie
Seale, William Earle of Pembroke, William Lorde Howard of Effingham Lorde
high Admirall of our saide Realme of England, &c. Haue at their own
aduenture, costs and charges, prouided, rigged, and tackled certaine ships,
pinnesses, and other meete vessels, and the same furnished with all things
necessary haue aduanced and set forward, for to discouer, descrie, and
finde Isles, landes, territories, Dominions, and Seigniories vnknowen, and
by our subiects before this not commonly by sea frequented, which by the
sufferance and grace of Almightie God, it shall chaunce them sailing
Northwards, Northeastwards, and Northwestwards, or any partes thereof, in
that race or course which other Christian Monarches (being with vs in
league and amitie) haue not heeretofore by Seas traffiqued, haunted, or
frequented, to finde and attaine by their said aduenture, as well for the
glorie of God, as for the illustrating of our honour and dignitie royall,
in the increase of the reuenues of our Crowne, and generall wealth of this
and other our Realmes and Dominions, and of our subiects of the same: And
to this intent our subiects aboue specified and named, haue most humbly
beseeched vs, that our abundant grace, fauour and clemencie may be
gratiously extended vnto them in this behalfe: whereupon wee inclined to
the petition of the foresaide our Counsailours, subiects and marchants, and
willing to animate, aduance, further and nourish them in their said godlie,
honest, and good purpose, and, as we hope, profitable aduenture, and that
they may the more willingly, and readily atchieue the same. Of our
especiall grace, certaine knowledge and meere motion, haue graunted, and by
these presents doe graunt, for vs, our heires and successours, vnto our
said right trustie, and right faithfull, and right wel beloued
Counsailours, and the other before named persons, that they by the name of
marchants aduenturers of England, for the discouery of lands, territories,
Iles, Dominions, and Seigniories vnknowen, and not before that late
aduenture or enterprise by sea or Nauigation, commonly frequented as
aforesaid, shalbe from henceforth one bodie and perpetuall fellowship and
communaltie of themselues, both in deede and in name, and them, by the
names of Marchants aduenturers for the discouerie of lands, territories,
Iles and seigniories vnknowen, and not by the seas, and Nauigations, before
their saide late aduenture or enterprise by sea or Nauigation commonly
frequented, We doe imcorporate, name, and declare by these presents, and
that the same fellowship or communalty from henceforth shalbe, and may haue
one Gouernour of the saide fellowship, and communaltie of Marchants

And in consideration that one Sebastian Cabota hath bin the chiefest setter
forth of this iourney or voyage, therefore we make, ordeine, and constitute
him the said Sebastian to be the first and present gouernour of the same
fellowship and communaltie, by these presents. To haue and enioy the said
office of Gouernour, to him the said Sebastian Cabota during his naturall
life, without amouing or dismissing from the same roome.

And furthermore, we graunt vnto the same fellowship and communaltie and
their successors, that they the saide fellowship and communaltie, and their
successors after the decease of the saide Sebastian Cabota, shall, and may
freely and lawfully in places conuenient and honest, assemble themselues
together, or so many of them as will or can assemble together, as well
within our citie of London, or elsewhere, as it shall please them, in such
sort and maner, as other worshipfull corporations of our saide citie haue
vsed to assemble, and there yeerely name, elect and choose one Gouernour or
two of themselues, and their liberties, and also as well yeerely during the
natural life of the said Sebastian Cabota now Gouernour, as also at the
election of such saide Gouernour or gouernours before his decease, to
choose, name, and appoint eight and twentie of the most sad, discreete, and
honest persons of the saide fellowship, and communaltie of Marchant
aduenturers, as is aboue specified, and 4. of the most expert and skilfull
persons of the same 28. to be named and called Consuls, and 24. of the
residue, to be named and called Assistants to the saide Gouernour or
gouernours, and Consuls for the time being, which shal remaine and stand in
their authorities for one whole yeere then next following. And if it shall
fortune the saide Gouernour, Consuls, and assistants, or any of them so to
be elected, and chosen as is aforesaid, to die within the yeere after his
or their election, that then and so often, it shall and may be lawfull to
and for the said fellowship, and communalty, to elect and choose of
themselues other Gouernour or gouernours, Consuls and assistants, in the
place and steade of such as so shall happen to die, to serue out the same

And further we do make, ordeine, and constitute George Barnes knight and
Alderman of our Citie of London, William Garret Alderman of our saide
Citie, Anthonie Husie, and Iohn Suthcot, to be the first and present 4.
Consuls of the said fellowship and communalty by these presents, to haue
and enioy the said offices of Consuls to them the said George Barnes,
William Garret, Anthony Husie, and Iohn Suthcot, for terme of one whole
yere next after the date of these our letters patents: And we doe likewise
make, ordeine and constitute Sir Iohn Gresham knight, Sir Andrew Iudde
knight, Sir Thomas White knight, Sir Iohn Yorke knight, Thomas Offley the
elder, Thomas Lodge, Henry Herdson, Iohn Hopkins, William Watson, Will.
Clifton, Richard Pointer, Richard Chamberlaine, William Mallorie, Thomas
Pallie the elder, William Allen, Henry Becher, Geffrey Walkenden, Richard
Fowles, Rowland Heyward, George Eaton, Iohn Ellot, Iohn Sparke, Blase
Sanders, and Miles Mording, to be the first and present 24. Assistants to
the saide Gouernour or governours, and Consuls, and to the said fellowship
and communaltie by these presents, to haue and enioy the said offices of
assistants to them for terme of one whole yere, next after the date of
these our letters-patents. And further, we for vs, our heires and
successors, as much as in vs is, wil and graunt by these presents vnto the
saide Gouernour, Consuls, assistants, fellowship and company of Marchants
aduenturers aforesaid, and to their successors, that the said gouernour or
gouernours, 4. Consuls, and 24. assistants, that now by these patents are
nominated and appointed, or that hereafter by the saide fellowship and
communaltie of marchants aduenturers, or the more part of them, which
shalbe then present, so from time to time to be chosen, so that there be
15. at the least wholy agreed therof, the said Gouernour or gouernours, or
one of them, and 2. of the said Consuls shalbe there, and 12. of the
residue of the said number of 15. shall be of the saide assistants, and in
the absence of such Gouernour, that then 3. of the said Consuls, and 12. of
the saide assistants at the least for the time being shal and may haue, vse
and exercise ful power and authority to rule and gouerne all and singuler
the Marchants of the said fellowship and communaltie, and to execute and
doe full and speedie iustice to them, and euery of them, in all their
causes, differences, variances, controuersies, quarrels, and complaints,
within any our realmes, dominions and iurisdictions onely moued, and to be
moued touching their merchandise, traffikes, and occupiers aforesaid, or
the good order or rule of them or any of them.

Also wee for vs, our heires and successours, so much as in vs is, doe
likewise by these presents graunt, that the said Gouernour, Consuls,
assistants, fellowship and communaltie, and their successors shall and may
haue perpetuall succession, and a common Seale which shall perpetually
serue for the affaires and businesse of the saide fellowship and
communaltie. And that they and their successours, shall and may bee for
euer able persons, and capax in the lawe, for to purchase and possesse in
fee and perpetuitie, and for term of life or liues, or for terme of yeeres
or otherwise, lands, tenements, rents, reuersions, and other possessions,
and hereditaments whatsoeuer they bee, by the name of the Gouernour,
Consuls, assistants, fellowship and communaltie of the Marchants
aduenturers by Seas and Nauigations for the discouerie of landes,
territories, Iles, Dominions, and Seigniories vnknowen, and before the
saide last aduenture or enterprise by seas not frequented, as before is
specified, and by the same names shall and may lawfully alien, graunt, let
and set the same or any part thereof to any person or persons able in the
lawe to take and receiue the same. So that they doe not graunt nor alien
the same, or any part thereof into mortmaine, without speciall licence of
vs, our heires or successours, first had and obtained.

Also wee for vs, our heires and successours haue graunted, and by these
presents doe graunt vnto the saide Gouernours, Consuls, assistants,
fellowship and communaltie of the saide Marchants and to their successours,
that they and their successours, shall and may lawfully purchase vnto them
and their successors for euer, landes, tenements and hereditaments
whatsoeuer, of the cleare yeerely value of threescore sixe pounds, thirteen

Book of the day: