Part 4 out of 8
contempt and ill opinion.
* * * * *
A letter of Gerardus Mercator, written to M. Richard Hakluyt of Oxford,
touching the intended discouery of the Northeast passage, An. 1580.
Literae tuae (vir humanissime) 19. Iunij demum mihi redditae fuerunt:
vehementer dolui visis illis tantam, non modo temporis, sed multo magis
tempestiuae instructionis iacturam factam esse. Optassem Arthurum Pet de
quibusdam non leuibus ante suum discessum praemonitum fuisse. Expeditissima
sane per Orientem in Cathaium est nauigatio: et saepe miratus sum, eam
foeliciter inchoatam, desertam fuisse, velis in occidentem translatis,
postquam plus quam dimidium itineris vestri iam notum haberent. [Sidenote:
Ingens sinus post Insulam Vaigats et Nouam Zemblam.] Nam post Insulam
Vaigats et Noua Zembla continuo ingens sequitur Sinus, quem ab ortu Tabin
immane promontorium complectitur. In hunc medium maxima illabuntur flumina,
quae vniuersam Regionem Sericam perluentia vtque existimo in intima
continentis vsque magnis nauigijs peruia, facillimam rationem exhibent
quaslibet merces ex Cataio, Mangi, Mien, caeteriseque circumfusis regnis
contrahendi, atque in Angliam deportandi. Caeterum cum non temere cam
nauigationem intermissam crederem, opinabar ab Imperatore Russorum et
Moscouiae obstaculum aliquod interiectum fuisse. Quod si vero cum illius
gratia vlterior illac nauigatio detur, suaderem profecto non primum Tabin
promontorium quaerere, atque explorare, sed Sinum hunc atque flumina, in
ijsque portum aliquem commodissimum, stationemque Anglicis Mercatoribus
deligere, ex quo deinceps maiore opportunitate, minoribusque periculis
Tabin promontorium, et totius Cathai circumnauigatio indagari posset.
[Sidenote: Tabin promontorium ingens.] Esse autem ingens in Septentrionem
excurrens promontorium Tabin, non ex Plinio tantum, verum et alijs
scriptoribus, et tabulis aliquot (licet rudius depictis) certum habeo.
Polum etiam Magnetis haud longe vltra Tabin situm esse, certis Magnetis
obseruationibus didici: circa quem et Tabin plurimos esse scopulos,
difficilemque et periculosam nauigationibus existimo: difficiliorem tamen
ad Cathaium accessum fore opinor, ea pua nunc via in Occidentem tentatur.
Propinquior enim fiet haec nauigatio polo Magnetis quam altera, ad quem
propius accedere non puto tutum esse. [Sidenote: Quo propius ad polum
acceditur, eo directorium Nauiticum magis a Septentrione deuiat.] Quia vero
Magnes alium quam Mundi polum habet, quo ex omni parte, respicit: quo
propius ad eum acceditur, eo directorium illud Nauticum magnetis virtute
imbutum, magis a Septentrione deuiat, nunc in Occidentem, nunc in Orientem,
prout quis vel orientalior, vel occidentalior est illo Meridiano qui per
vtrumque polum Magnetis, et Mundi ducitur, Mirabilis est haec varietas, et
quae nauigantem plurimum fallere potest, nisi hanc Magnetis inconstantiam
norit, et ad poli, eleuationem per instrumenta subinde respiciat. In hac re
si non sit instructus D. Arthurus, aut ea sit dexteritate, vt deprehenso
errore eum inuenire et castigare possit timeo ne deuias faciat ambages,
tempus ilium fallat, et semiperacto negotio, a gelu praeoccupetur: Aiunt
enim Sinum illum fortius quotannis congelari. Quod si contingat: hoc quod
consultius mihi visum fuit, proximum illi erit refugium, vt in eo sinu,
ijsque fluminibus quae dixi, portum quaerat et per Legatum aliquem, cum magno
Cham nomine Serenissimae Reginae, notitiam, amicitiamque contrahat: quam
opinor Maximo orbis Imperatori gratam, imo gratissimam fore propter
remotissima commercia. [Sidenote: Bautisus et Oechardus maxima flumina in
hunc Sinum illabuntur.] Opinor ab ostijs Bautisi et Oechardi fluminum
maximorum, vsque ad Cambalu Regiam summam Chami, non vltra 300. milliaria
Germanica esse, et iter sumendum per Ezinam vrbem regni Tangut, quae 100.
tantum milliarijs Germanicis ab ostijs distare videtur, et paret Magno
[Sidenote: Postulata Mercatoris de quibus certior fieri cupit.] Valde
optarem cognoscere, quam alte communiter exurgat aestus maris in eo Moscouiae
portu quem vestri pro statione habent, et in alijs versus orientem locis
vsque ad Tabin. Item, an mare in hoc districtu semper in vnam partem,
videlicet Orientem, aut Occidentem fluat, an vero pro ratione aestuum fluat
et refluat, in medio inquam canali, hoc est, an ibi, sex horis in occasum,
et iterum sex in ortum fluat, an vero semper hi eandem partem: aliae enim
speculationes non parum vtiles hinc dependent. Idem optarem a D. Frobiscero
in occidentem obseruari. Quod ad sinum Merosro, et Canadam, ac Nouam
Franciam attinet, ea in meis tabulis desumpta sum ex quadam Tabula marina,
quae a quodam sacerdote ex earum ditionum Naucleri peritissimi Galli
descriptione excerpta fuit, et illustrissimo Principi Georgio ab Austria
episcopo Leodiensi oblata. Non dubito, quin quantum ad littorum situm
attinet et poli eleuationem, ad veritatem ea quam proxime accedant. Habebat
enim ea tabula praeter scalam graduum latitudinis per medium sui extensam,
aliam praeterea praticularem Nouae Franciae littoribus adiunctam, qua
deprauatae latitudines, occasione, erroris Magnetis ibi commissae,
castigarentur. Iacobi Cnoyen Buscoducensis itinerarium per omnem Asiam,
Affricam, et Septentrionem, olim mihi Amicus Antuerpiae ab alio mutuo
acceptum communicauit, eo vsus sum, et reddidi: post multos annos eundem ab
amico repetij et reminisci ille non potuit a quo accepisset. Gulielmi
Tripolitani et Ioannis de plano Carpini scripta non vidi, tantum excerpta
ex illis quaedam in alijs scriptis libris inueni. Abilfadae Epitome gaudeo
verti, vtinam cito habeamus.
Haec (mi Domine) tuis repondenda putaui: si quid est aliud quod a me
desideres, libentissime tibi communicabo: hoc vicissim amanter a tua
humanitate petens, vt quae ex vtriusque nauigationis cursu obseruata
nancisci poteris, mihi communices, penes me pro tuo arbitrio manebunt
omnia, et quaecunque inde collegero, fideliter ad te perscribam, si forte ad
pulcherrimum, vtilissimumque orbi Christiano hoc nauigationis institutum
aliquid opis et consilij adferre possint. Bene vale, vir doctissime.
Duisburgi in Cliuia. 28. Iulij 1580.
[Sidenote: Dulce mare inter Nouam Zemblam et Tabin suspicatur.] Redeunte
Arthuro, quaeso discas ab illo quae optaui, et num aticubi in suo itinere,
dulce mare, aut parum salsum inuenerit: suspicor enim mare inter Noua
Zembla, et Tabin dulce esse.
T.H. paratissimus quantus quantus sum,
The same in English.
Sir I receiued your letters the 19. of Iune: it grieued me much that vpon
the sight of them the time being spent, I could not giue any conuenient
instructions: I wish Arthur Pet had bene informed before his departure of
some special points. The voyage to Cathaio by the East, is doutlesse very
easie and short, and I haue oftentimes marueiled, that being so happily
begun, it hath bene left of, and the course changed into the West, after
that more then halfe of your voiage was discouered. For beyond the Island
of Vaigats and Noua Zeembla, there foloweth presently a great Baie, which
on the left side is inclosed with the mightie promontorie Tabin. [Sidenote:
A great gulfe is beyond Vaigats, whereinto mighty riuers descend.] Into the
mids hereof there fall great riuers, which passing through the whole
countrey of Serica, and being as I thinke nauigable with great vessels into
the heart of the continent, may be an easie means whereby to traffique for
all maner of merchandize, and transport them out of Cathaio, Mangi, Mien,
and other kingdoms thereabouts into England. But considering with my selfe
that that nauigation was not intermitted, but vpon great occasion, I
thought that the Emperor of Russia and Moscouie had hindered the proceeding
thereof. [Sidenote: The best course to be taken in discoueries.] If so be
that with his grace and fauour a furthur nauigation may be made, I would
counsell them certainly not first to seeke out the promontorie Tabin, but
to search this baie and riuers aforesayd, and in them to picke and chuse
out some conuenient port and harborough for the English merchants, from
whence afterward with more opportunitie and lesse perill, the promontorie
Tabin and all the coast of Cathaio may bee discouered. And that there is
such a huge promontorie called Tabin, I am certainly perswaded not onely
out of Plinie, but also other writers, and some Maps (though somewhat
rudely drawen:) and that the Pole of the Loadstone is not farre beyond
Tabin, I haue learned by the certaine obseruations of the Loadstone: about
which pole and Tabin I thinke there are very many rockes, and very hard and
dangerous sailing: and yet a more hard and difficile passage I think it to
bee this way which is now attempted by the West, for it is neerer to the
pole of the Loadstone, to the which I thinke it not safe to approach. And
because the Loadstone hath another pole then that of the world, to the
which from all parts it hath a respect, the neerer you come vnto it, the
more the needle of the Compasse doeth varie from the North, sometimes to
the West, and sometimes to the East, according as a man is to the Eastward
or to the Westward of that Meridian, that passeth by both the poles of the
Magnes and the World.
This is a strange alteration and very apt to deceiue the Sailer, vnlesse
hee know the vnconstancie and variation of the Compasse, and take the
eleuation of the pole sometimes with his instruments. If master Arthur be
not well prouided in this behalfe, or of such dexteritie, that perceiuing
the errour he be not able to correct the same, I feare lest in wandering vp
and downe he lose his time, and be ouertaken with the ice in the midst of
the enterprise. For that gulfe, as they say, is frozen euery yere very
hard. Which if it be so, the best counsel I could giue for their best
safetie, were to seeke some harborough in that baie, and those riuers
whereof I haue spoken, and by some Ambassador to make friendship and
acquaintance with the great Can, in name of the Queenes maiestie, which I
beleeue will be gratefull to the mightiest Emperour in the world, yea most
excellent for the length of the traffique, and great distance of the
places. [Sidenote: The mouthes of Bautisus and Oechardus 300. leagues from
Cambalu.] I thinke from the mouthes of the mighty riuers Bautisus and
Oechardus to Cambalu the chiefest seat of the prince the Can, there are not
past 300. Germaine miles, and to passe by Ezina a citie of the kingdom of
Tangut, which seemeth to be but 100. Germaine miles from the mouthes of the
sayd riuers, and is subiect to the great Can.
I would gladly know how high the sea doeth flowe commonly in the port of
Moscouia where your men do harborow, and in other Easterly places vnto
Tabin. [Sidenote: Vpon the obseruations of the tides depend great
speculations.] And also whether the sea in this streight do flow alwaies
one way to the East or to the West, or whether it do ebbe and flow
according to the matter of the tides in the middle of the chanel, that is
to say, whether it flow there sixe houres into the West, and as many backe
againe to the East, for hereupon depend other speculations of importance. I
would wish M. Frobisher to obserue the same Westwards. Concerning the gulfe
of Merosro and Canada, and new France which are in my mappes, they were
taken out of a certaine sea card drawn by a certaine priest out of the
description of a Frenchman, a Pilot very skilfull in those partes, and
presented to the worthy Prince George of Austria, bishop of Liege: for the
trending of the coast, and the eleuation of the pole, I doubt not but they
are very neere the trueth: For the Charte had beside a scale of degrees of
latitude passing through the middest of it, another particularly annexed to
the coast of New France, wherewith the errour of the latitudes committed by
reason of the variation of the compasse might be corrected. The historie of
the voyage of Iacobus Cnoyen Buschoducensis throughout al Asia, Affrica,
and the North, was lent me in time past by a friend of mine at Antwerpe.
After I had vsed it, I restored it againe: after many yeeres I required it
againe of my friend, but hee had forgotten of whom hee had borrowed it. The
writings of Gulielmus Tripolitanus, and Ioannes de Plano Carpini I neuer
saw: onely I found certaine pieces of them in other written hand bookes. I
am glad the Epitomie of Abilfada is translated, I would we might haue it
Thus much Sir I thought good to answere your letters: if there bee anything
els that you would require of me, I will most willingly communicate it with
you, crauing this likewise of your curtesie, that whatsoeuer obseruations
of both these voyages shall come to your hands, you would impart them to
me, they shall all remaine with mee according to your discretion and
pleasure, and whatsoeuer I gather of them, I will faithfully signifie vnto
you by letter if happily they may yeeld any helpe or light vnto this most
excellent enterprise of nauigation, and most profitable to our Christian
common wealth. Fare, you well most learned friend. At Duisburg in
Cliueland, 28. of Iulie, the yeere, 1580.
At Arthur his returne I pray you learne of him the things I haue requested,
and whether any where in his voiage, he found the sea fresh, or not very
salt: for I suppose the Sea betweene Noua Zembla and Tabin to be fresh.
Yours wholly to my power to be commanded.
* * * * *
The discouerie made by M. Arthur Pet and M. Charles Iackman, of the
Northeast parts, beyond the Island of Vaigatz, with two Barkes: the one
called the George, the other the William, in the yeere 1580. Written by
[Sidenote: May.] Upon Monday the 30. of May, we departed from Harwich in
the afternoone, the winde being at South, and to the Eastward. The ebbe
being spent, we could not double the pole, and therefore were constrained
to put in againe vntill next day in the morning, being the last of May:
which day wee wayed our ankers about 3. a clocke in the morning, the wind
being West southwest. The same day we passed Orfordnesse at an East Sunne,
and Stamford at a West Sunne, and Yarmouth at a West northwest sunne, and
so to Winterton, where we did anker al night: it was then calme, and the
flood was come.
[Sidenote: Iune.] The next day being the first of Iune, we set saile at 3.
a clocke in the morning, and set our course North, the wind at the
Southwest, and at Southsouthwest.
The 10. day about one of the clocke in the afternoone, wee put into Norway
to a place where one of the headlands of the sound is called Bottel: the
other headland is called Moile. [Sidenote: Kene an Island of Norway.] There
is also an Island called Kene. Here I did find the pole to be eleuated 62.
deg. it doeth flowe there South, and it hieth 7. or 8. foote, not aboue.
The 11. day in the morning the winde came to the South and to the
Southeast: the same daye at sixe in the afternoone we set saile, and bare
along the coast: it was very foule weather with raine and fogge.
[Sidenote: The North cape doubled.] The 22. day the wind being at West, we
did hall the coast East northeast, and East. The same day at 6. in the
morning we did double the north cape. About 3. in the afternoone wee past
Skites bearenesse, and hald along the coast East, and East southeast, and
all the same night wee halled Southeast, and Southeast by East.
[Sidenote: Wardhouse.] The 23. day about 3. in the morning we came to
Wardhouse, the wind at the Northwest The cause of our comming in was to
seeke the William, whose companie we lost the 6. day of this moneth, and to
send letters into England. About one of the clock in the after noone the
William also came into Wardhouse to vs in good safetie, and all her company
in good health.
The 24. the wind came to the East Northeast. This day the William was hald
a ground, because she was somewhat leake, and to mend her steerage. This
night about 12. of the clocke she did hale a flote againe.
The 25. day the wind was at East northeast.
The 26. day the Toby of Harwich departed from Wardhouse for London, Thomas
Greene being master, to whom we deliuered our letters.
The 27. day the wind was at South southeast, and the 28. also.
The 29. day about 6. in the afternoone, the wind came to the West northwest
for the space of one houre, and presently to the East againe, and so was
variable all the same night.
The 30. about sixe in the morning, the winde came to East southeast, and
continued so all the same day.
[Sidenote: Iuly.] The first of Iuly about 5. in the afternoone, the wind
was at Northnorthwest: and about 7. of the clocke we set saile from
Wardhouse East and by South.
The second day about 5. in the morning, the wind was East, and East
Southeast, and we did lie to the shorewards. And about 10. in the morning
the wind came to South southeast, and we laid it to the Eastward: sometime
we lay East by South, some time East southeast, and sometimes East by
North. [Sidenote: Willoughbies land.] About 5. in the afternoone we bare
with the William, who was willing to goe with Kegor, because we thought her
to be out of trie, and sailed very ill, where we might mend her steerage:
whereupon Master Pet not willing to go into harborough said to Master
Iackman, that if he thought himselfe not able to keepe the sea, he should
doe as he thought best, and that he in the meanetime would beare with
Willoughbies land, for that it was a parcel of our direction, and would
meete him at Veroue Ostroue, or Vaigats, and so we set our course East
northeast, the winde being at Southeast.
[Sidenote: 50. leagues from Kegor.] The 3 day the winde at Southeast we
found the pole to be eleuated 70. degrees 46. minuts. The same night at 12.
of the clocke we sounded, but had no ground, in 120. fathoms, being fifty
leagues from the one side by our reckoning East northeast from Kegor.
The 4. day all the morning was calme. This day we found the pole to be
eleuated 71. degrees 38. minutes. This day at 9. in the afternoone the wind
at Northeast with a gentle gale, we hald along Southeast by East.
The 5. day the wind at Northwest, we hald East and East by South: this day
we saw land, but we could not make it, the wind being Northerly, so that we
could not come neere to it.
The 6. day about 2. in the afternoone, the wind at North northwest, we
halde East southeast with a faire and gentle gale: this day we met with
ice. About 6. in the arternoone it became calme: we with saile and oares
laide it to the Northeast part, hoping that way to cleare vs of it: for
that way we did see the head part of it, as we thought. Which done, about
12. of the clocke at night we gate cleere of it. We did think it to be ice
of the bay of Saint Nicholas, but it was not as we found afterwards.
[Sidenote: A site of perfect land.] The seuenth day we met with more yce at
the East part of the other yce: we halde along a weather the yce to finde
some ende thereof by east northeast. This day there appeared more land
North from vs being perfect land: the ice was betweene vs and it, so that
we could not come neerer to it.
The same morning at sixe of the clocke wee put into the ice to finde some
way through it, wee continued in it all the same day and all the night
following, the winde by the North and Northwest. Wee were constrained to
goe many pointes of our compasse, but we went most an Easterly course.
The eight day the winde at North northwest, we continued our course, and at
fiue in the morning we sounded, and had 90. fadoms red oze. This day at
foure in the afternoone we sounded againe, and had 84. fadoms oze, as
before. At sixe in the after noone we cleared our selues of the ice, and
hald along Southeast by South: we sounded againe at 10. a clocke at night,
and had 43. fathom sandy oze.
The 9. day at 2. in the morning, we sounded againe, and had 45. fadoms,
then there appeared a shadow of land to vs East Northeast, and so we ran
with it the space of 2. houres, and then perceiuing it was but fogge, we
hald along Southeast.
[Sidenote: 70. deg. 3. min.] This day at 2 in the afternoone we sounded and
had fiftie fadams blacke oze. Our latitude was 70. degrees three minutes.
At 10. a clocke at night we sounded againe and had fiftie fadoms black oze.
The tenth day the wind being at North northwest, we haled East and by
North, which course we set, because at ten of the clocke afore noone wee
did see land, and then wee sounded hauing 35. fadoms blacke oze. All this
day there was a great fogge, so that wee durst not beare with the land to
make it, and so we kept an outwardly course. [Sidenote: An Island.] This
day at 6. in the afternoone we espied land, wherewith we halled, and then
it grew calme: we sounded and had 120. fadoms blacke oze: and then we sent
our boat a land to sound and proue the land. The same night we came with
our ship within an Island, where we rode all the same night. The same night
wee went into a bay to ride neere the land for wood and water.
[Sidenote: The maine land.] The 11. day the wind came to the East
southeast: this day about a league from vs to the Eastwards, we saw a very
faire sound or riuer that past very farre into the countrey with 2. or 3.
branches with an Island in the midst.
The 12. of Iuly the wind was East Southeast. [Sidenote: Barebay.] This day
about 11. a clocke in the morning, there came a great white beare down to
the water side, and tooke the water of his owne accord, we chased him with
our boate, but for all that we could doe, he gote to land and escaped from
vs, where we named the bay Barebay. This day at 7. in the after noone we
set saile, for we had good hope that the winde would come Westerly, and
with saile and oares we gate the sea. All the night it was calme with
The 13. day in the morning the wind was very variable with
fog, and as it cleared vp wee met with great store of ice, which at
the first shewed like land. This ice did vs much trouble, and the
more because of the fog, which continued vntill the 14. day 12.
of the clocke.
The 14. day in the morning we were so inibayed with ice, yet we were
constrained to come out as we went in, which was by great good fortune, or
rather by the goodnesse of God, otherwise it had bene impossible, and at
12. of the clock we were cleere of it, the wind being at South and South by
West. [Sidenote: 70. deg. 26. min.] The same day we found the pole to be
eleuated 70. degrees 26. minutes: [Sidenote: The supposed maine of Noua
Zembla.] we lay along the coast Northwest, thinking it to be an Island, but
finding no end in rowing so long, we supposed it to be the maine of Noua
Xembla. [Footnote: They were really in the Gulf of Petchora.] About 2. in
the afternoone we laide it to the Southward to double the ice, which wee
could not doe vpon that boorde, so that we cast about againe and lay West
along vnder the ice. About seuen in the afternoone we gote about the
greatest part thereof. About 11. a clock at night we brought the ice
Southeast of us, and thus we were ridde of this trouble at this time.
The 15. day about 3. in the morning, the winde was at South southwest: wee
cast about and lay to the Eastwards: the winde did Wester, so that wee lay
South southwest with a flawne sheete, and so we ranne all the same day.
About 8. in the after noone we sounded, and had 23. fadoms small grey sand.
This night at twelue of the clocke we sounded againe, and had 29. fadoms
sand, as afore.
The 16. day vnto 3. in the morning we hald along East Southeast, where we
found 18. fadoms red sand, then we hald along Northeast. [Sidenote: Many
ouerfals.] In these soundings wee had many ouerfals. This day at 10. of the
clocke we met with more ice, which was very great, so that we coulde not
tell which way to get cleere of it. Then the winde came to the South
Southeast, so that we lay to the Northwards. We thought that way to cleere
our selues of it, but that way we had more ice. About 6. in the afternoone,
the wind came to the East. Then we lay to the Southwards that wee had 30
fadoms black oze. This day we found the pole to bee eleuated 69. deg. 40.
minutes, and this night at 12. a clocke we had 41. fadoms red sand.
The 17. day at 3. in the morning, we had 12. fadoms. At 9. we had 8. and 7.
all this day we ran South and South by West, at the depth aforesaid, red
sand, being but shallow water. At eight in the aftemoone, the winde with a
showre and thunder came to the Southwest, and then we ranne East Northeast.
[Sidenote: The bay of Pechora.] At 12. at night it came to the South and by
East, and all this was in the bay of Pechora.
The 18. day at 7. in the morning we bare with the headland of the bay,
where wee founde two Islands. There are also ouerfals of water or tides. We
went betweene the maine and the Island, next to the head, where we had
about 2. fadoms and a halfe. We found the pole eleuated 69. deg. 13.
minutes. [Sidenote: They had sight of Vaigatz.] This day we had sight of
Vaigatz: the land of the maine of Pechora did trend Southeast, we hald East
southeast, and had 10. fadoms oze all the same day vntill 4. in the after
noone, then being calme, we ankered in 10. fadoms all the same night.
The 19. day at two in the morning we set saile, and ran South and South
southwest all the same day at 8. 7. and 6. fadoms, this was off the South
part of Vaigatz, this part of the land lieth North and South. This day at
4. in the afternoone we found shallow water sometime 4. fadoms, sometime 3.
and 2. and a halfe, and one fadome and a halfe: there we ankered and sent
our boate away to sound, and all to leeward we had 4 foote and 3. foote,
and 2. foot, there was not water for the boate betweene Vaigatz and the
other side: finding no more water, there was no other way but to goe backe
as we came in, hauing the wind Northwest, so at twelue at night we set
The 20. day we plied to the Northwards, and got deepe water againe 6. and
The 21. day the winde by the Northwest, we hald along the coast North and
North northwest, we had 8. and 9. and 10. fadoms.
The 22. day the winde came to the Southwest, we bare along the coast of
Vaygatz, as we found it to lie North and by West, and North northwest, and
North. [Sidenote: An Island hauing store of wood and water.] The winde
blewe very much with great fogge, we lacking Water and wood bare within an
Island where wee founde great store of wood and water, there were three or
foure goodly sounds. Vnder two points there was a crosse set vp, and a man
buried at the foote of it. Vpon the said crosse Master Pet did graue his
name with the date of our Lorde, and likewise vpon a stone at the foote of
the crosse, and so did I also, to the end that if the William did chaunce
to come thither, they might haue knowledge that wee had bene there. At
eight in the afternoone the winde came to the North northwest, we set saile
and turned out of the Bay. The same night the winde came to the West, so
that wee lay North along the land.
[Sidenote: 6. faire islands.] The 23. day at fiue in the morning, the wind
came to the Southwest, a Sea boord we sawe a great number of faire Islands,
to the number of sixe: a sea boord of these Islands, there are many great
ouerfals, as great streames or tides: we halde Northeast and East northeast
as the land did trend. At eight aforenoone the winde came to the Southeast
with very much wind, raine and fogge, and very great store of ice a sea
boorde: so we lay to the Southwest to attaine to one of the Islands to
harbour vs if the weather did so extremely continue and to take in our
boate, thinking it meete so to doe, and not to towe her in such weather.
About twelue of the clocke it became very calme vpon the sudden, and came
vp to the West Northwest, and Northwest by West, and then we tooke in our
boate, and this done, there came downe so much winde, as we were not able
to steere afore it, with corse and bonnets of each, we hald South with the
land, for so the land did trend. This day all the afternoone we sailed
vnder a great land of ice, we sailed betweene the land and it, being not
able to crosse it. About twelue at night we found the ice to stretch into
the land, that we could not get cleare to the Eastward, so we laide it to
the shore, and there we founde it cleare hard aboord the shore, and we
found also a very faire Island which makes a very good harbour, and within
are 12. fadoms.
[Sidenote: An Island to the East of Vaigatz 4. or 5. leagues] This Island
is to the Eastwards of Vaigatz 4 or 5. leagues. This land of the maine doth
trend Southeast, and Southeast by East. It is a very faire coast, and euen
and plaine, and not full of mountaines nor rocks: you haue but shallow
water of 6. or 7. fadoms, about a league from the shore, all this morning
we hailed East southeast This day we found the pole to be eleuated 69.
degrees 14. minutes. About 12 a clocke we were constrained to put into the
ice to seeke some way to get to the Northwards of it, hoping to haue some
cleare passage that way, but there was nothing but whole ice. About nine in
the afternoone we had sight of the William, and when wee sawe her, there
was a great land of ice betweene her and vs, so that we could not come one
to the other, but as we came neere to her, we sounded our trumpet and shot
off two muskets, and she put out her flag vpon her foretopmaste in token
that she did see vs: all this time wee did shorten our sailes, and went
with our foresaile and mainetopsaile, seeking the best way through the
broken ice, she making away the best that she could to follow vs, we put
out our flagge to answere her again with the like: thus we continued all
the aftemoone till about 12. a clocke at night, and then we moored our ship
to a piece of ice to tarie for the William.
[Sidenote: The Willaim and the George meete againe.] The 25. day about fiue
in the morning, the William came to vs, being both glad of our meeting. The
William had her sterne post broken, that the rudder did hang clean besides
the sterne, so that she could in no wise port her helme, with all hands she
did lighten her sterne and trimme her head, and when we had brought her
forward all that we could, wee brought a cable vnder her sterne, and with
our capstaine did wind vp her sterne, and so we made it as wel as the place
would giue vs leaue, and in the ende wee brought her to steere againe. Wee
acknowledge this our meeting to be a great benefits of God for our mutuall
comfort and so gaue his Maiestie thanks for it. All the night after we
tooke our rest being made fast vpon a piece of ice: the wind was at the
West Northwest, but we were so inclosed with ice that we coulde not tell
which way to passe. Windes wee haue had at will, but ice and fogge too much
against our willes, if it had pleased the Lod God otherwise.
The 26. day the wind was at West Northwest: we set saile to the
Northwardes, to seeke if we could finde any way cleare to passe to the
Eastward, but the further we went that way, the more and thicker was the
ice, so that we coulde goe no further. So about foure in the afternoon we
were constrained to moare vpon another piece of ice. I thinke we sailed in
all a league this day, here we had 15. fadoms oze, and this oze is all the
chanell ouer. All the same day after foure of the clocke, and all the night
we tarried there, being without all good hope, but rather in despaire. This
day Master Iugman did see land East Northeast from vs, as he did thinke,
whether it were land or no, I cannot tell well, but it was very like land:
but the fogges haue many times deceiued vs. [Footnote: And did so again in
The 27. day the winde was at Northwest. This day at nine in the morning we
set saile to seeke the shore. Further into the ice we could not goe, and at
seuen in the afternoone we moared to a piece of ice, and the William with
vs, here we had 14. fathoms oze. At three in the aftemoone we warpt from
one ice to another. At nine in the afternoone we moared againe to a piece
of ice vntill the next day. All this night it did snow with much wind,
being at West Northwest, and at Northwest, and by West.
The 28. day the winde came to the Southwest, and Southsouthwest: this day
was a very faire day. [Sidenote: Their returne.] At one in the afternoone
master Pet and master Iackman did conferre together what was best to be
done considering that the windes were good for vs, and we not able to passe
for ice, they did agree to seeke to the land againe, and so to Vaygatz, and
there to conferre further. At 3. in the afternoone we did warpe from one
piece of ice to another to get from them if it were possible: here were
pieces of ice so great, that we could not see beyond them out of the toppe.
Thus we warped vnlil 9. in the afternoone, and then we moared both our
shippes to a great and high piece of ice, vntil the next morning.
[Sidenote: The currant runneth with the winde.] The nine and twenty day the
winde came to the Southwest, wee set saile at fiue in the morning to plie
into the shore if it were possible, we made many turnes among the ice to
small purpose, for with the winde doeth the currant runne. This day by
misfortune a piece of ice stroke of our greepe afore at two afternoone, yet
for all this we turned to doe our best. The William being incumbred with
ice, and perceiuing that shee did litle good, tooke in all her sailes, and
made her selfe fast to a piece of ice, and about foure in the afternoone
she set saile to followe vs. We were afraide that shee had taken some hurt,
but she was well. At seuen afore noone we tooke in all our sailes to tarie
for the William, and made our shippe fast to a piece of ice: the William
before she came to vs tooke in all her sailes, and moared to another piece
of ice, and thus we continued vntill the next morning.
The 30. day the winde at Southeast, and by South, and at 9. in the morning
we set saile, and sooner would haue done if the William had bene by vs, but
we did tary for her to know whether all was well with her: But as soone as
we made saile, she did the like. All this day we did our best to seeke our
way as the ice would giue vs leaue, sometime we lay South, sometime West,
and sometime East, and thus we continued vntill eight at night, and then
being calme, wee made our ship fast to a picce of ice, and went to supper.
In the meane time the wind with a faire gentle gale came vp to the East,
and East and by South, but there came downe a showre of raine with it,
which continued the space of one houre: Which being done, it became calme
againe, so that wee could doe no good all that night, but tooke our rest
vntill the next day.
The 31. the winde being at Southwest, we set saile to turne to windeward at
three a clock in the morning. In this turning we did litle good, for the
currant would not giue vs leaue. For as the winde is, so is the currant. We
did our best vntill ten of the clock, and then perceiuing that we did no
good, and being inclosed with ice, wee made our ships fast to a piece of
ice: All this day the William lay still, and did as much good as we that
did labour all the forenoone. Thus we took our rest all the same day.
In the afternoone we set saile, the winde being at South and by East, we
lay to the Westwards, as Southwest and Southwest and by South, and sometime
to the Westward as wee might. Thus we continued vntil 9. at night, and then
we could go no further for ice: so we with the William were constrained to
make our ship fast to a piece of ice al the same night This day we found
the pole eleuated 69. degrees 20. minutes, and here we had 17. fathoms oze.
[Sidenote: August.]The first day of August was verie calme in the morning,
the winde beeing at West Northwest. About twelue the winde came to the
West, and continued so all the same night with great fogge.
The second day the winde was at Southwest all day with rayne and fogge. All
this day wee were inclosed with ice, so that we were forced to lye still.
Here we had one and twentie fathoms oze. At sixe in the afternoone the
winde was at West with very much foule weather, and so continued all the
The third day the winde was at West, and West by North, and West Northwest,
this day we lay still inclosed with yce, the weather being darke with
fogge: thus abiding the Lords leasure, we continued with patience. And
sounding we found 21. fathoms.
The fourth day we lay still inclosed with ice, the winde being at West
Northwest, this ice did euery day increase vpon vs, yet putting our trust
in God, we hoped to be deliuered out of it in good time.
The fift day all the morning it rained with very much wind, being at South
Southeast: about 3. in the afternoone we set sayle, and presently it became
calme for the space of one houre, then the wind came to the North
Northeast. and here we had 33. fathoms: thus we made way among the yce
Southwest, and Southsouthwest, and West, as we might finde our way for the
space of 3. houres: [Sidenote: A whole land of yce.] then we met with a
whole land of yce, so that we could go no further: here we moared our ship
to tarie for a further opening. Here we found 45. fathoms oze, and all the
night was very darke with fogge.
The sixt day hauing no opening of the yce wee lay still, the winde being at
West, and West by South: here we had sixty three fathoms oze: all the same
night the winde was at the West Northwest.
The 7. day the winde was at West, and West and by North all day. And all
this day we lay still being inclosed with yce, that we could not stirre,
labouring onely to defend the yce as it came vpon vs. Here we had 68.
The 8. day was very faire and calme but foggy. This day towards night there
was litle winde by the South Southwest: then the yce began a litle to open,
and here we had 70. fathoms oze: all the night was foggy.
The 9. day the winde was at Northwest, and by West all the afternoone we
lay still because of the yce, which did still inclose vs. [Sidenote: 70.
degr. 4. min.] This day we found the pole eleuated seuenty degrees, 4.
minutes, we had 63. fathoms oze: this night was a very fayre night, but it
freezed: in the morning we had much adoe to goe through the same:
[Sidenote: Frost.] and we were in doubt that if it should haue freezed so
much the night following, we should hardly haue passed out of it. This
night there was one star that appeared to vs. [Marginal note: The appearing
of the starres, signe of Winter.]
The tenth day the winde was at East Northeast with very small gale. Wee
with saile and oares made way through the yce: about fiue in the morning we
set saile: sometime we laye Southwest, and sometime South, and sometime
West, as wee might best finde the way. About three in the afternoone the
gale began to fresh: about six in the afternoone the winde was at Northeast
with fogge. [Sidenote: Much snow.] Here we had eighty eight fathoms: we
bare saile all the same night, and it snowed very much.
The eleuenth day we were much troubled with yce, and by great force we made
our way through it, which we thought a thing impossible: but extremity doth
cause men to doe much, and in the weaknesse of man Gods strength most
appeareth. This day we had 95. fathoms. At three in the afternoone the
winde came to the Southwest, we were forced to make our shippe faste to a
piece of yce, for we were inclosed with it, and taried the Lordes leasure.
This night we had 97. fathoms.
The 12. day the wind was at the Southeast not very much but in a maner
calme: at a 11. of the clocke the winde came to the West Southwest: all the
day was very darke with snowe and fogge. At 6. in the afternoone we set
saile the winde being at the North Northeast: all this night we bare away
Southwest, and Southsouthwest, as well and as neere as the yce would giue
vs leaue: all this night we found the yce somewhat fauourable to vs, more
then it was before, wherupon we stood in good hope to get out of it.
The 13. day at 7. in the morning the winde was at the Northeast, and
Northeast and by East: all this day we were much troubled with the yce, for
with a blow against a piece of yce we brake the stocke of our ancre, and
many other great blowes we had against the yce, that it was marueilous that
the ship was able to abide them: the side of our boate was broken with our
ship which did recule back, the boate being betwixt a great piece of yce,
and the ship, and it perished the head of our rudder. [Sidenote: great
store of snowe.] This day was a very hard day with vs: at night we found
much broken yce, and all this night it blewe very much winde, so that we
lay in drift with the yce, and our drift was South, for the winde was at
North all this night, and we had great store of snowe.
The 14. day in the morning wee made our shippe fast to a piece of yce, and
let her driue with it. In the meane time wee mended our boate and our
steerage; all this day the winde continued Northerly, and here wee had
threescore and two fathoms. Thus we lay a drift all the same night.
The 15. day we set saile at 6. in the morning, the winde being at
Northeast. At 9. aforenoon we entred into a clear Sea without yce, whereof
wee were most glad, and not without great cause, and gaue God the praise.
We had 19. fathoms water, and ranne in Southwest all the morning vntill we
came to 14. fathoms, and thence we halted West, til we came to 10. fathoms,
and then we went Northwest, for so the land doeth trend. At 12. of the
clocke we had sight of the land, which we might haue had sooner, but it was
darke and foggie all the same day: for when wee had sight of the lande, wee
were not passing three leagues from it. [Sidenote: 69 degrees 49 minutes.]
This day we had the pole eleuated 69 degrees 49 minutes. All day we ran
along the coast in ten and nine fadoms, pepered sand. It is a very goodly
coast and a bolde, and faire soundings off it, without sandes or rocks.
[They are thwart against Vaigatz.] The 16 day the winde was at East: this
day we were troubled againe with ice, but we made great shift with it: for
we gotte betweene the shoare and it. This day at twelue of the clocke we
were thwart of the Southeast part of Vaigats, all along which part there
was great store of yce, so that we stood in doubt of passage, yet by much
adoe we got betwixt the shoare and it: about 6 in the afternoone was found
a great white beare vpon a piece of ice: all this day in the afternoone it
was darke with fogge. And all the night we haled North and North by West,
and sometime North and by East, for so doth the land trend;
[Sidenote: Sands.] The 17 day in the morning we haled West, for so doth the
land lie. The wind was at Southeast, and it was very darke with fogge, and
in running along the shoare we fell a ground, but God be praised without
hurt, for wee came presently off againe. [Sidenote: The Islands.] The
William came to an anker to stay for vs, and sent some of their men to help
vs, but before they came we were vnder saile, and as we came, to the
William we did stowe our boates, and made saile, we went within some of the
Islands, and haled Westsouthwest.
About two of the clocke in the atfternoone, we set our course Southwest and
by South: so we ranne Southwest vntill twelue at night, the wind came to
the Northnortheast, and then we haled West.
The 18 day at 6 in the morning we had 16 fadoms red sand: at 6 in the
morning 13 fadoms. At 10. 14 fadoms, and we haled Westnorthwest. At 12 a
clock the winde came to the East, and East by South, we haled West and by
North all the same day and night. At 6 in the afternoone we had 17 fadoms
The 19 day the wind was at Eastnortheast: at 6 in the morning wee had 19
fadoms red sand: at 12 of the clock the wind blew North and North by East,
we had 17 fadoms of water, at 3 in the afternoone 15.
The 20 day the wind was at Northeast, and Northnortheast: at 7 in the
morning we had 30 fadomes blacke oze: at twelue of the clocke we were vpon
the suddaine in shoale water, among great sands and could find no way out.
By sounding and seeking about, we came aground, and so did the William, but
we had no hurt, for the wind was off the shoare, and the same night it was
calme: all night we did our best, but we could not haue her afloat.
[Sidenote: Shoales off Colgoyeue.] These shoales doe lie off Colgoyeue; it
is very flat a great way off, and it doth not high aboue 2 or 3 foote
water: it floweth Northeast and Southwest.
The 21 day the wind was at Southwest, and being very faire weather we did
lighten our ships as much as was possible for vs to doe, by reason of the
place. The same high water, by the helpe of God, we got both a floate, and
the wind being at the Southwest did help vs, for it caused it to flow the
This day we found the pole to be eleuated 68 degrees 40 min. In the
afternoone we both set saile to seeke way to get out of these sands, our
boate a head sounding, hauing 6, 7, and 8 fadomes all within the sand which
was without vs. We bare to the Southward, and the William bare more to the
Eastwards, and night being at hand the wind came to the Southeast,
whereupon we layd it to the Southwards, lying Southwest, and South and by
West, and ran to 19, and 12 and 14 fadoms and presently we had sixe fadoms,
which was off the sands head, which we were a ground vpon the day before.
Then we cast about to the Eastwards for deepe water, which we presently
had, as 10, 15, and 20 and so to 23 fadoms.
[Sidenote: They lost the William here.] The 22 day at eight in the morning,
we cast about to the Southward; and this day in the morning we saw the
William vnder our lee as far as we could see her, and with a great fogge we
lost the sight of her, and since we haue not seene her. Thus we ranne til
we came to thirtie fadomes black oze, which we had at twelue of the clocke,
and at three in the afternoone we had twenty and three fadoms and then we
ranne Westnorthwest, and West by North, all the same night following.
The 23 day we had at 6 in the morning 27 fadoms, at 8 a clocke 28 fadoms,
at 9 the winde being at East Southeast, we haled Westnorthwest: [Sidenote:
The land of Hungry.] this day we had sight of the land of Hugri side. At
twelue of the clocke we had two fadoms sand. [Sidenote: The bay of
Morzouets.] This day we ranne West and by North, and came to fiue fadoms
off the bay of Morzouets. Then we layd it to the Northwards so that we lay
Northnortheast off. The wind after came to the North, and North by East,
and we lay East and East by North, then we layd it to the Westward againe:
and thus we lay till we came to fortie fadoms, and then we went Northwest
till wee came to fourteene fadoms, and so to tenne fadoms. Then we cast
about to the Eastwards and lay East, and East by North all the same night.
The 24 day at 8 in the morning we had 32 fadoms. We ran Northwest till we
came to 11 fadoms, then we lay to the Northwards till 12 at night, and then
we came to forty fadoms, then the wind at Northeast we lay to the
Westwards, and haled Northeast along.
The 25 at 4 in the morning we had 37 fadoms, wee ranne Northwest, the winde
at Northnortheast very much.
The 26 day we ran with the same winde, and found the pole to be eleuated 70
deg. 40 min.
The 27 at 7 in the morning we saw land, which we made to be Kegor, then we
haled Northwest, and North by West to double the North Cape.
The 28 day at 3 in the morning we ran Northwest, and so all day. At night
the wind came to the Southwest, and we ran Northwest all that night.
[Sidenote: The towne of Hungon.] The 29 day we put into a sound called
Tane, and the towne is called Hungon: we came to an ancre at 5 in the
afternoone, at 25 fadoms very faire sand. This sound is very large and
good, and the same night we got water aboard.
The 30 day in the morning the winde at Northeast, and but litle, we set
saile, and with our boate on head we got the sea about 12 of the clocke:
the wind with a faire gale came to the East Southeast, and all this day and
night we ran West Northwest.
[Sidenote: They double the North Cape in their return.] The 31 day at 12 of
the clocke we doubled the North Cape, the wind being at Eastsoutheast, we
haled West all the same day, and at night we ran Westsouthwest.
The 1 day of September the wind was at Northeast with very much fogge: all
this day we ran Westsouthwest: at 2 in the afternoone the wind came North.
The second day at 3 in the morning we doubled Fowlnesse, and the wind was
this day variable at all parts of the Compasse. In the aftemoone we made
but little way: at 6 a clocke the wind came to the Southwest, and we went
Northwest. [Sidenote: Fowlenesse.] At 9 in the night there came downe so
much winde by the Westsouthwest, that we were faine to lay it a hull, we
haled it to Northwards for the space of 2 houres, and then we layd her head
to the Southwards, and at the breake of day we saw land, which is very
high, and is called by the men of the countrey Foulenesse. It is within ful
of small Islands, and without full of rocks very farre out, and within the
rockes you haue fayre sand at 20 fadoms.
The 3 day in the morning we bare with the sound aforesaid: Within it is but
shoale water, 4 5 and 3 fadoms, sandie ground, the land is very high, and
the Church that is seene is called Helike Kirke. It doeth high here not
aboue S or 9 foote.
[Sidenote: Lowfoote.] The 12 day at 3 in the afternoone, we put into a
sound by Lowfoote, where it doeth flowe Southwest, and by South, and doth
high 7 or 8 foote water.
The 13 day much wind at West: we had a ledge of rocks in the wind of vs,
but the road was reasonable good for all Southerly and Westerly winds. We
had the maine land in the winde of vs: this day was stormie with raine.
[Sidenote: The sound of Romesal.] The 23 day at foure of the clocke in the
afternoone we put into Norway, into a sound called Romesal, where it
floweth Southsoutheast, and doth high 8 foote water: this place is full of
low Islands, and many good sounds without the high mountaine land. Here is
great store of wood growing, as firre, birch, oke, and hasell: all this
night the wind was at the South, very much winde, with raine and fogge.
The 28 day in the morning the wind being at Eastnortheast we set saile at 8
of the clocke, and haled out of the bay Westsouthwest, and Southwest,
hauing a goodly gale vntill one of the clocke, and then the wind came to
Southeast, and to the South with raine and fogge, and very much winde: at
sixe of the clocke we came into a very good rode, where we did ride all the
same night in good safetie.
The 29 day we put into a good sound, the wind by the Southwest: at three in
the afternoone there came downe very much wind by the South, and all night
with vehement blastes, and raine.
The 30 day all day the wind was at Westsouthwest. And in this sound the
pole is eleuated 63 deg. 10 min.
The first day of October the winde was at South with very much winde, and
The 7 day we set saile: for from the first of this moneth untill this 7
day, we had very foule weather, but specailly the fourth day when the wind
was so great, that our cables brake with the very storme, and I do not
think that it is possible that any more wind then that was should blow: for
after the breaking of our cable, we did driue a league, before our ankers
would take any hold: but God be thanked the storme began to slacke,
otherwise we had bene in ill case.
The 7. at night we came to an anker vntil the next day, which was the 8.
day of the moneth, when as the winde grew great againe, with raine,
whereupon we set saile and returned into the sound againe: and at our first
comming to an anker, presently there blew so much winde, that although our
best anker was out, yet the extremitie of the storm droue vs vpon a ledge
of rocks, and did bruse our ship in such sort, that we were constrained to
lighten her to saue her, and by this meanes (by the helpe of God) we got
off our ship and stopped our leakes, and moored her in good safetie abiding
for a wind. We rid from this day by reason of contrary winds, with fogge
and raine vntill the 24 day, which day in the morning the winde came to the
Northeast, and at 8 of the clocke we set saile. [Sidenote: Moore sound.]
This sound is called Moore sound, where it higheth about 5 foote water, and
floweth Southsoutheast. The next day being the 25 day we put into a sound
which is called Vlta sound, where was a ship of the king of Denmark put
into another sound there by, being 2 leagues to the southwards of vs, that
came out of Island: the wind was contrary for vs at Southsouthwest.
The 12 day of Nouember we set saile the wind being at the East Southeast,
and past through the sound where the kings ship did lie: which sound is
called Sloure sound. But as we did open the sound, we found the wind at the
Southwest, so that we could doe no good, so that we moared our ship
betweene 2. Islands vntil the 18 day, and then the weather being faire and
calme, we set saile, and went to sea hoping to find a faire wind, but in
the sea we found the wind at the Southwest, and Southsouthwest, so that we
were constrained to returne into the same sound.
The next day being the 19 the kings ship came out also, because she saw vs
put to sea, and came as farre out as we, and moared where we did moare
afore: And at our returne back againe, we moared our ship in an vtter sound
called Scorpe sound, because the kings ship was without victuals, and we
did not greatly desire her company, although they desired ours. In this
sound the pole is eleuated 62 deg. 47 min. Thus we lay stil for a wind
vntil the 1 of December, which day we set saile at 6 a clocke in the
morning, and at four in the afternoon we laid it to the inwards.
The 9 day we had sight of the coast of Scotland which was Buquhamnesse.
The 10 day we were open off the Frith.
The 11 day at 4 in the morning we were thwart of Barwike: at 6 we were
thwart of Bamburch: the same day at 10 at night we were shot as farre as
Hollyfoote. Then the wind came to the South and Southeast, so that we lay
vntill the next day in the morning, and then we were constrained to put
with Tinmouth. The same day at night wee haled aground to stoppe a leake,
which we found to be in the skarfe afore. The wind continued by the
Southeast and Southsoutheast vntill the 20 day, and then we set saile about
12 at night, bearing along the coast.
The 22 day by reason of a Southeast wind, we thought we should haue bene
put into Humber, but the wind came to the West, so that we haled Southeast:
and at 3 in the afternoone we haled a sea boord the sands, and had shoale
water off, Lymery and Owry, and were in 4 fadomes off them. The next day we
haled as we might to sease Orfordnesse.
The 24 day we came thwart of the Nase, about 8 in the morning.
The 25 day being the Natiuity of Christ, we came to an anker betweene Old
hauen and Tilberie hope. The same day we turned as high as Porshet.
The 26 day we turned as high as Ratcliffe, and praised God for our safe
returne. And thus I ende, 1580.
[The William with Charles Iackman arriued at a port in Norway betweene
Tronden and Rostock in October 1580, and there did winter: And from thence
departed againe in February following, and went in company of a ship of the
King of Denmarke toward Island: and since that time he was neuer heard of.]
* * * * *
Instructions made by the company of English, merchants for discouery of new
trades, vnto Richard Gibs, William Biggat, Iohn Backhouse, William
Freeman, Iohn Haly, and Iames Woodcock, &c. masters of the 9. ships and
one barke that we had freighted for a voiage with them to be made (by the
grace of God) from hence to S. Nicholas in Russia, and backe againe:
which ships being now in the riuer of Thames are presently ready to
depart vpon the said voyage, with the next apt winds that may serue
thereunto: and with this Fleet afterwards was ioned M. Christopher
Carlisle with the Tyger. The 1 off Iune 1582.
Forasmuch as the number of shippes which we purpose to send in this fleete
together for Saint Nicholas in Russia is greater then at any time
heretofore wee haue sent thither, as also for that some speeches are giuen
out that you shall be met withall by such as with force and violence will
assault you as enemies, to the end that good order may be established among
you for keeping together in company, and vniting your forces, as well for
the better direction to be had in your nauigation, as also for your more
safety and strength against the enemie, we haue thought good to appoint
among you an Admirall and Viceadmirall, and that all of you and eueryone
particularly shall be bound in the summe of one hundred pounds to keepe
2 Because the Salomon is the biggest ship, best appointed, and of greatest
force to defend or offend the enemie, we doe therefore appoint that ship
Admirall, which shall weare the flag in the maine top.
3 The Thomas Allen being a good ship and well appointed, and for that the
master of her is the ancientest master of the Fleete that hath taken charge
that way, we doe appoint the same ship to be Viceadmirall, and to weare the
flag in the foretop.
4 And for that the master of the Prudence is of great experience and
knowledge in that voyage, we doe appoint that he with the master of the
Admirall and Viceadmirall shall conferre, consult and agree vpon the
courses and directions that shall be vsed in this voyage, and it shall be
lawfull vnto the master of the Admirall, with the consent of M. Gibs, and
M. Biggat, or one of them to make his courses and directions from time to
time during the whole voyage, and all the fleete are to follow and obserue
the same without straying or breaking of company at any time vpon the
penaltie before specified.
5 The appointing of the ships for Admiral and Viceadmiral, and those men to
consult and agree vpon the courses and directions of the voyage, as
aforesaid, hath bene done by the consents and with the liking of you all,
and therefore doubt not but that you will all carefully and willingly
obserue the premisses.
6 Item, we haue thought good to put in mind, that at such times as you may
conueniently from time to time, you do assemble and meete together, to
consider, consult, and determine vpon such articles as you shall think
necessary to be propounded touching your best safetie and defence against
all forces that may be offered you in this voyage, as well outwards bound,
and while you shall remaine in the roade and bay of S. Nicholas, as also
homewardes hound, and that which you shall agree vpon, or that which most
of you shal consent vnto, cause it to be set down in writing for record,
which may serue for an acte amongst your selues to binde you all to obserue
7 We haue appointed Iames Woodcock in the smal barke to attend vpon you,
and to receiue his directions from you. You are therefore to remember well
what conference and talke hath bene had with you here before your going
touching the sayd barke, to what purposes she may best serue, and the maner
how to imploy her, and thereupon to giue your order and direction vnto him,
as the time and place shall require.
[Sidenote: Berozoua Vstia.] 8 Item, if you shall vnderstand as you are
outwards bound, that the enemie is gone before you to S. Nicholas, remember
what aduice hath bene giuen you for your stay at Berozoua Vstia, till you
haue by espials viewed and vnderstood the forces, and the manner of their
abode at that place.
9 And if in the sea either outwards or homewards, or in the time of your
abode at anker at Saint Nicholas, you shall be assaulted by force of any,
as enemie whatsoeuer, you are to defend your selues with such forces as you
may or can: trust not too farre, neither giue place to inconuenience.
10 You will not forget what conference we had touching your passing
outwards bound by Wardhouse, to view and vnderstand what you can at that
place, and to shew your selues, to see if there be any there that haue a
mind to speake with you, for that we thinke it better then, and thereabout,
then afterwards or els where.
11 While you shall remaine in the road at S. Nicholas, be circumspect and
carefull to haue your ships in readinesse and in good order alwaies, and
vpon all suddens. The greatest danger vnto you in that place will be while
you shall shift your ships: therefore you are to consider of it, but the
fittest time for you to doe the same, will bee when the winde is Southerly
off the shore, or calme, and at such time you may the better doe it without
danger. You must take such order among you, that your companies may be
alwaies willing and ready to help one the other, and appoint among your
selues such ships to shift first, and such after, in such sort and forme as
you shall thinke best and most conuenient. And while they shall be in
discharging, shifting, and lading, let the rest of your companies which
haue not then to doe in lading or discharging, helpe those ships that shall
haue labour to doe, as well for carying the barkes from ships to the
shoare, or from shore to the shippe: with your boates, as also for any
other helpe that they shall haue need of.
12 Remember what hath bene said vnto you touching the moring of your ships,
&c. for vsing aduantage against the enemie, if you shall be assaulted in
13 See that you serue God, abolish swearing and gaming, be carefull of fire
and candles, &c.
14 You are to consult and agree among your selues vpon signes, tokens, and
good orders for the better keeping of company together, and also the maner
how and by what meanes, rescue, ayde, or helpe may be giuen by one to the
other in fight, if you happen to come to it.
Thus we pray God to send you a prosperous voyage and safe returne.
* * * * *
The opinion of Master William Burrough sent to a friend, requiring his
iudgment for the fittest time of the departure of our ships towards S.
Nicholas in Russia.
Whereas you request me to perswade the company not to send their shippes
from hence before the fine of May, I do not thinke the same so good a
course for them to obserue; for you know that the sooner wee sende them
hence, the sooner we may looke for their returne. [Sidenote: The Russian
fleet best to be set forth in the beginning of May.] If wee sende them in
the beginning of May, then may they be at Saint Nicholas by the fine of the
same moneth: and by that time the greatest parte of your lading of
necessitie must bee downe, especially the flaxe: but if it should fall out
so lateward a breaking vp of the riuer of Duyna, that by the ende of May
the goods cannot be brought to Saint Nicholas, yet this is alwayes to be
accounted for certaine, that before our ships can come thither, the goods
may be brought downe to that place: and if through ice the shippes be kept
backe any time, the losse and charge of that time toucheth not the companie
at all, but the owners of the shippes, and yet will the Owners put that in
aduenture, rather than tarie longer time before their going hence.
Now seeing by sending our shippes hence in the beginning of May, their
arriuall at S. Nicholas may be at the ende of the same moneth, and
remaining thirtie dayes there, they may bee laden and come thence by the
last of Iune, and returne home hither by the 10 of August with commodities
to serue the market then, it cannot bee denied but we should reape thereby
But it may he obiected, that if all our shippes be sent then to returne as
aforesaid, you shall not be able to send vs in so much cordage, Waxe and
Oyles, as otherwise you should doe if they remained a moneth longer,
neither could you by that time perfect your accounts to be sent in them as
you would doe.
For answere thereunto this is my meaning: though I wish the greatest part
of our shipping to go as aforesaid, yet would I haue one good ship or two
at the most well furnished in al points that should depart alwaies from
hence, betweene the beginning and the 10 day of Iune: and the same to be
conditioned withall to remaine at S. Nicholas from the first arriuall there
vntill the middest of August, or to be despatched thence sooner, at the
will and liking of our factors for the same: by this order these
commodities following may ensue.
1 You may haue our commodities there timely to send vp the riuer before it
waxe shallow, to be dispersed in the countrey at your pleasure.
2 The greatest part of our goods may be returned thither timely to serue
the first markets.
3 Our late ships remaining so long here may serue to good purpose, for
returning answere of such letters as may he sent ouer land, and receiued
here before their departure.
4 Their remaining so late with you shal satisfie your desire for perfecting
your accounts, and may bring such cordage, Waxe, Oile, and other
commodities, as you can prouide before that time: and chiefly may serue vs
in stead to bring home our goods that may be sent vs from Persia.
Now seeing it may be so many wayes commodious to the commpany to obserue
this order, without any charge vnto them, I wish that you put to your
helping hand to further the same.
* * * * *
A copie of the Commission giuen to Sir Ierome Bowes, authorizing him her
Maiesties Ambassadour vnto the Emperour of Russia, Anno 1583.
ELIZABETHA, Dei gratia, Angliae, Franciae, et Hyberniae Regina, fidei
defensatrix, &c. Vniuersis et singulis praesentes literas visuris et
inspecturis, salutem. Cum Serenissimus Princeps, Ioannes Basilius, Rex, et
magnus Dux Russiae, Volodimerae, Moscouiae, et Nouogrodiae, Rex Cazani, et
Astracani, Dominus Plescoae, et magnus Dux Smolenscoae, Tueri, Vgori; Permiae,
Valeae, Bolharae, et aliarum ditionum: Dominus et magnus Dux Nouogrodiae in
inferiori regione Chernigae, Rezanae, Poletscoae, Ratsauie, Yeraslaue,
Bealozeri, Liflandiae, Oudori, et Condensae, et gubernator in tota prouincia
Siberiae, et partium Septentrionalium, et aliarum, frater, et Amicus
charissimus, Nobilem virum, Feodor Andrewich Spisemski, nuper ad nos
ablegauerit, ad certa quaedam negotia nobiscum agenda, quae honorem vtrinque
nostrum quam proxime attingunt, quaeque recte definiri concludique nequeunt
nisi Ambassiatorem aliquem et oratorem ad praefatum serenissimum principem
amandauerimus: Hinc est, quod nos de fidelitate, industria, prouida
circumspectione, et satis magno rerum vsu, praedilecti nobis famuli nostri,
Hieronimi Bowes Militis, ex nobilibus domesticis nostris vnius, plurimum
confidentes, praefatum Hieronimum Bowes Militem, nostrum verum et
indubitatum Ambassiatorem, Oratorem, et Commissarium specialem facimus, et
constituimus per praesentes. Dantes, et concedentes eidem Hieronimo Bowes
Militi oratori nostro tenore praesentium, authoritatem, et mandatum, tam
generale, quam speciate, ita quod specialitas non deroget generalitati, nec
e contra generalitas specialitati, nomine nostro, et pro nobis, cum praefato
serenissimo principe, eiusque consiliarijs, et deputatis quibuscunque de
praefatis negotijs et eorum singulis, tractandi, conferendi, concludendi
appunctuandique, prout praefato Oratori nostro aequum, et ex honore nostro
videbitur: Nec non de, et super huiusmodi tractatis, conclusis,
appunctuatisque, caeterisque omnibus et singulis, praemissa quouismodo
concernentibus, literas, et instrumenta valida et efficacia, nomine nostro,
et pro nobis tradendi, literasque et instrumenta consimilis vigoris et
effectus, ex altera parte petendi, et confici, et sigillari debite
procurandi, et recipiendi, et generaliter omnia, et singula praemissa
qualitercunque concernentia, faciendi, exercendi, et expediendi, in, et
eodem modo, sicut nos ipsi faceremus, et facere possemus, si essemus
praesentes, etiamsi talia sint, quae de se mandatum exigant magis speciale;
promittentes bona fide, et in verbo Regio, omnia et singula, quae per
praedictum Ambassiatorem, et oratorem nostrum appunctuata, promissa.
conuenta, concordata, et conclusa fuerint in hac parte, nos rata et grata,
et firma habituras et obseruaturas, et superinde literas nostras patentes
confirmatorias, et approbatortias in forma valida, et autentica, prout opus
fuerit, daturas. In cuius rei testimonium, his praesentibus manu nostra
signatis, magnum sigillum nostrum regni nostri Angleiae apponi fecimus. Datae
e Regia nostra Grenwici quinto die mensis Iunij, Anno Dom. 1583. Regni vero
nostri vicessimo quinto.
The same in English.
Elizabeth by the grace of God, Queene of England, France and Ireland,
defender of the faith, &c. to al and singular, to whom these presents shal
come to be seen and red, greeting. Whereas the most excellent prince Iohn
Basiliwich king, and great duke of all Russia, Volodomer, Moscouie, and
Nouogrod, king of Cazan and Astracan, lord of Plesco, and great duke of
Smolensco, of Tuer, Vgor, and Permia, Valca, Bolhar and others, lord great
duke of Nouogrod in the low country, of Cherniga, Rezan, Polotsco, Rostoue,
Yeraslaue, Bealozera, Liefland, Oudor, and Condensa, and gouernour of al
the land of Siberia, and of the North parts and other, our most deare
brother and friend, did of late send vnto vs one Feodor Andrewich
Spisemsky, a noble man of his, to deale with vs in certaine speciall
businesses, respecting very neerely the honour of either of vs, and being
such as without the speeding of some Ambassadour of ours to the aforesaid
most excellent prince, cannot be sufficiently determined and concluded: For
this cause we hauing great confidence in the fidelitie, industrie,
prouident circumspection and conuenient experience of our welbeloued
seruant Ierome Bowes, knight, & gentleman of qualitie of our householde, do
by these presents make and constitute the foresaid Ierome Bowes knight our
true and undoubted Ambassadour, Orator and special commisioner, giuing and
graunting to the same Ierome Bowes knight, our Orator, by the vertue of
these presents authoritie and commandment, as wel general as special, so
that the special shall not preiudice the generall, nor on the other side
the general the special to, intreat, conferre, conclude, and appoint in our
name, and for us with the foresaid most excellent prince and his
counsellers and deputies whatsoeuer, concerning the foresaid businesses,
and ech of them, according as it shall seeme good, and for our honour to
our foresaid Orator, as also of and vpon such things intreated, concluded
and appointed, as in all and singular other things, any maner of way
concerning the premisses, to deliuer in our name and for vs, sufficient and
effectual letters and instruments and to require letters and instruments,
of the like validitie and effect of the other part, and to procure them
lawfully to bee made and sealed and then to receiue them, and generally to
doe, execute, and dispatch al and singular other things concerning the
premisses, in, and after the same maner, as we our selues would and might
do if we were present, although they be such things as may seeme of
themselues to require a more speciall commandement: promising in good faith
and in the word of a prince, that we will hold and obserue all and singular
the things which by our Ambassador aforesayd shall be appointed, promised,
agreed, accorded and concluded in this behalfe; as lawfull, gratefull, and
firme, and thereupon as need shall require, will giue our letters patents,
confirmatory and approbatory, in forme effectuall and autenticall. In
witnesse whereof, we haue caused our great seale of our kingdome of England
to be put to these presents, and signed them with our owne hand.
Giuen at our pallace of Greenewich the fourth day of Iune, in the yeere of
our Lord 1583, and of our reigne the fiue and twentieth.
* * * * *
A letter sent from her Highnesse to the sayd great Duke of Russia, by sir
Hierome Bowes aforesayd, her Maiesties Ambassadour.
Serenissimo Principo ac Domino, Ioanni Basilio, Dei gratia Regi et magno
Duci totius Russiae, Volodomene, &c. Regi Cazani, &c. Domino Plescoae, &c.
Domino et magno Duci Nouogrodiae &c. et Gubernatori in tota Prouincia
Siberiae; &c. Fratri et amico nostro charissimo.
ELIZABETHA, Dei gratia Angliae Franciae, et Hiberniae Regina, fidei
defensatrix, &c. Serenissimo Principi ac Domino, Ioanni Basilio, eadem Dei
gratia Regi et magno Duci totius Russiae, Volodomerae, Moscouiae, et
Nouogrodiae, Regi Cazani et Astracani, Domino Plescoae; et magno Duci
Smolenscoae, Tueri, Vgori, Permiae, Viatskae, Bolharae, et aliarum ditionum,
Domino et magno Duci Nouogrodiae in inferiori regione, Chernigae, Rezanae,
Polotscoae, Rostouae, Iaroslauae, Bealozeri, Liflandiae, Oudori et Condensae, et
Gubernatori in tota prouincia Siberiae, et partium Septentrionalium, et
aliarum, fratri, et amico suo charissimo, Salutem.
Serenissime princeps; frater et amice charissime, ex ijs que nobiscum egit
S. V. illustris legatus, intelleximus, quam grate vobis faceremus satis, si
legatum aliquem cum mandatis instructum, ad S. V. ablegaremus. In quo certe
quidem instituto adeo nobis ex animo placuit, quod est honeste postulatum,
vt non nisi praestita re, possemus nobis quoquo modo satisfacere. Atque cum
id haberemus apud nos decretum, nobis non incommode incurrit in mentem et
oculos Hieronimus Bowes miles, ex nobilibus nostris Domesticis, plurimum
nobis dilectus, quem, inpraesentiarum ad S. V. ablegamus, cuius prudentiae et
fidei, totum hoc quicquid est, quod ad Serenitatum mutuo nostrarum
dignitatem omandam pertinere posse arbitramur, commisimus. In quo munere
perfungendo, quin omnem curam et diligentiam sit collaturus, neutiquam
dubitamus: a S. autem V. rogamus, velit ei eam fidem habere in ijs
persequendis quae habet a nobis in mandatis, quam nobis habendam putaret, si
essemus praesentes. Praeterea, cum nobis multum charus sit Robertus Iacobus
medicus, quem superiori [Marginal note: 1582.] anno, ad S. V. misimus,
rogamus vt eum eo loco S. V. habeat, quo virum probatissimum, et singulari
quam plurimarum virtutum laude ornatum habendum esse, boni principes
censent. Quem a nobis neutiquam ablegauissemus, nisi amicitiae nostrae, et
studio gratificandi S. V. plurimum tribuissemus. In qua dum voluntate
manemus erga S. V. non nisi optime de bonis vestris meritis in praefatum
Iacobum nobis pollicemur. Et Deum Opt. Max. precamur, vt S. V. saluam
conseruet, et incolumem. Datae e Regia nostra Grenouici 19 die mensis Iunij,
Anno Domini 1583, regni vero nostri vicessimo quinto.
S. vestra bona soror.
The same in English.
Elizabeth by the grace of God, Queene of England, France, and Ireland,
defender of the faith &c. to the most excellent Prince and Lord, Iohn
Basiliwich, by the same grace of God, King and great Duke of all Russia,
Volodomer, Moscouie, and Nouogrod, King of Cazan and Astracan, Lord of
Plesco, and great Duke of Smolensco, of Tuer, Vgor, and Permie, Viatsca,
Bolhar, and others, Lord and great Duke of Nouogrod in the lowe countrey,
of Cherniga, Rezan, Polotsko, Rostoue, Iaroslaue, Bealozera, Lifland,
Oudor, Obdor, and Condensa, and Gouernour of all the land of Siberia, and
of the North, parts and others, her dearest brother and friend,
Most excellent Prince, most deare brother and friend, by those things which
the worthy ambassador of your excellency declared vnto vs, we haue
vnderstood how kindly it would be taken, if we should send to your
excellency an ambassador from vs, with commandement and instructions. In
which matter your honourable request hath so much pleased vs, that we could
not any maner of way satisfie our selues, except we performed the same. And
hauing purposed with our selfe so to doe, we thought of, and remembred
Ierome Bowes Knight, a gentleman of qualitie of our householde, a man very
much beloued of vs, whom at this present we send vnto your Maiesty, and to
whose wisdome and faithfulnesse we haue committed all, whatsoeuer we take
to apperteine to the aduancement of both our honors indifferently. In the
discharge of which seruice, we doubt not but that all care and diligence
shall be vsed on his part, so that we intreat your Maiesty to giue him
credence in the prosecuting of those things which he hath from vs in
commandement, no lesse then to our selfe, if we were present. [Sidenote:
Doctor Iacob.] And whereas Robert Iacob doctor of physicke is a man very
deare vuto vs, whom, the last yere we sent vnto your excellency, we desire
that he may haue that fauor and estimation with you, which good, princes
thinke a most honest and vertuous man woorthy of: for had we not caried
great respect to our mutual friendship, and indeuour to gratifie your
Maiestie, we should in no case haue parted with him. And seeing we continue
still the same, good will towards your excellency, we doe euen promise to
our selfe your honourable kindnesses towards him: and we pray the almightie
God to preserue your Maiesty in good, safetie and health. Giuen at our
pallace of Greenewich the 19 day of Iune, in the yere of our Lord 1583, and
of our reigne the fiue and twentieth.
Your Maiesties good sister.
* * * * *
A briefe discourse of the voyage of Sir Ierome Bowes knight, her Maiesties
ambassadour to Iuan Vasiliuich the Emperour of Moscouia, in the yeere
[Sidenote: Pheodor Andreuich Phisemsky the Emperors ambassadour.] The
Emperour of Russia that then liued, by name Iuan Vasiliwich, hauing
deliberately considered how necessary it were for the strengthening of his
estate, and that a sure commerce and entercourse of merchants should be
againe renued betweene him and her sacred Maiesty of England, with such
further immunities and priuileges for the honor and vtility of both their
dominions, and subiects of the same, as with mutuall treatie of persons
interposed on both sides, might be asserted vnto: sent ouer into this
realme, in the yeere of our Lord 1582, as his ambassadour for that purpose,
an ancient discreet gentleman of his householde called Pheodor Andreuich
Phisemsky, accompanied with one of his Secretaries, for his better
assistance in that expedition: and besides his many other directions,
whereof part were to be deliuered by word of mouth, and the rest set downe
in a letter vnder the Emperours signature, addressed to her Maiesty: he had
in speciall charge to sollicit her Maiesty to send ouer with him to his
maister an ambassador from her, to treat and contract of such affaires of
importance as concerned both the realmes, which was the principall end of
his imployments hither. Whereupon her Maiesty very graciously inclining to
the Emperors motion, and at the humble sute of the English merchants
trading those countreys being caried with the same princely respects, to
satisfie his demands in that behalfe, made choice of sir Ierome Bowes, a
gentleman of her Court, ordinarily attending vpon her Maiesties person,
towards whom was apparantly expressed her princely opinion and fauor by the
credit of this negociation.
After he had receiued his commission, with other speciall letters to the
Emperor, with all other instructions apperteining to his charge, and that
the sayd Russe ambassadour was licenced to returne home to his maister,
being honorably entertained and rewarded, the English ambassador being
attended upon with forty persons at the least, very honourably furnished,
whereof many were gentlemen, and one M. Humfrey Cole a learned preacher,
tooke his leaue of her Maiesty at the Court at Greenwich the eighteenth of
Iune, and with the other ambassadour, with their seuerall companies,
embarked themselues at Harwich the two and twentieth of the same, and after
a stormy voyage at the Sea, they arriued both in safety in the road of S.
Nicholas the three and twentieth of Iuly next following.
The Russe ambassador lodged himselfe at the abbey of S. Nicholas: and the
English ambassador was lodged and well intertained by the English
merchants, at their house at S. Nicholas, standing in an Island called Rose
The Russe ambassador hauing reposed himselfe one whole day, took his leaue
of the English ambassador, and departed towards Mosco.
The English ambassadour abode yet at S. Nicholas four or fiue dayes, when
hauing made prouision of boats, and meanes to that purpose, he went forward
vpon his iourney; towards Mosco, to a towne called Colmogro, about foure
score miles distant from S. Nicholas.
[Sidenote: The Hollanders intrude into our trade.] You must here vnderstand
that before the English ambassadors going into Russia, there were diuers
strangers, but especially certaine Dutch merchants, who had intruded
themselues to trade into those countreys. Notwithstanding a priuilege of
the sole trade thither was long before granted to the English merchants.
These Dutch men had already so handled the matter, as they had by
chargeable meanes woone three of the chiefest counsellors to the Emperour
to be their assured friends, namely, Mekita Romanouich, Bodan Belskoy, and
Andrew Shalkan the chancellor: for besides dayly gifts that they bestowed
vpon them all, they tooke so much money of theirs at interest at fiue and
twenty vpon the hundred, as they payed to some one of them fiue thousand
marks yeerely for the vse of his money, and the English merchants at that
time had not one friend in Court.
The ambassador hauing now spent fiue weeks at S. Nicholas, and at Colmogro,
there came to him then a gentleman sent from the Emperor to enterteine him,
and had in charge to conduct him vp the riuers towards Mosco, and to
deliuer him prouision of all kinde of victuals necessary.
This gentleman being a follower of Shalkan the chancellor, was by him (as
it seemed) foisted into that seruice of purpose, as afterward appeared by
the course he tooke, to offer discourtesies, and occasions of mislike to
the ambassador: for you must vnderstand that the chancellor and the other
two great counsellors (spoken of as friends to the Dutchmen) had a purpose
to oppose themselues directly against her Maiesties ambassage, especially
in that point, for the barring of all strangers from trading into the
This gentleman conducted the English ambassador a thousand miles vp the
riuers of Dwina and Soughana, to a citie called Vologda, where receiued him
another gentleman sent from the Emperor, a man of better countenance then
the other, who presented the ambassador from the Emperor with two faire
geldings well furnished after their maner.
At a citie called Yeraslaue vpon the riuer Volga there met the ambassador a
duke well accompanied, sent from the Emperor, who presented him from the
Emperor a coach and ten geldings tor the more easie conueying of him to
Mosco, from whence this citie was distant fiue hundred miles.
Two miles on this side Mosco there met the ambassador foure gentlemen of
good account, accompanied with two hundred horse: who after a little
salutation, not familiar, without imbracing, tolde him that they had to say
to him from the Emperor, and would haue had him light on foot to haue heard
it, notwithstanding themselues would still haue sit on horsebacke: which
the ambassador soone refused to doe, and so they stood long vpon termes,
whether both parties should light or not: which afterwards agreed vpon,
there was yet great nicenesse whose foot should not be first on ground.
Their message being deliuered, and after hauing embraced ech other, they
conducted the sayd ambassador to his lodging at Mosco, a house builded of
purpose for him, themselues being placed in the next house to it, as
appointed to furnish him of all prouisions, and to be vsed by him vpon all
The ambassador hauing beene some dayes in Mosco, and hauing in all that
time bene very honorably vsed from the Emperor (for such was his will)
though some of his chiefest counsellors (as is sayd) had another purpose,
and did often times cunningly put it in vse: He was sent for to Court, and
was accompanied thither with about forty gentlemen honorably mounted, and
sumptuously arayed, and in his passage from his lodging to the court, were
set in a ward fiue or sixe thousand shot, that were of the Emperors gard.
At the entry into the court there met him four noble men apparelled in
cloth of gold and rich furres, their caps embroidred with pearle and stone,
who conducted him towards the Emperor; till he was met with foure others of
greater degree then they, who guided him yet further towards the Emperor,
in which passage there stood along the walles, and sate vpon benches and
formes in row, seuen or eight hundred persons, said to be noblemen and
gentlemen, all apparelled in garments of coloured satins and cloth of
These foure noblemen accompanied him to the Emperors chamber doore, where
met him the Emperors herald, whose office is there held great: and with him
all the great officers of the Emperors chamber, who all conducted him to
the place where the Emperor safe in his state, hauing three crownes
standing by him, viz. of Moscouia, Cazan and Astrakan, and also by him 4
yoong noblemen of about twenty yeres of age, of ech side, twaine, costly
apparelled in white, holding vpon their shoulders ech of them a brode axe,
much like to a Galloglas axe of Ireland, thin and very sharpe, the steale
or handle not past halfe a yard long, and there sate about the chamber vpon
benches and other low seats, aboue an hundred noblemen richly apparrelled
in cloth of golde.
The ambassador being thus brought to the Emperor to kisse his hand, after
some complements and inquirie of her Maiesties health, he willed him goe
sit downe in a place prouided for that purpose, nigh ten pases distant from
him, from whence he would haue had him to haue sent him her Maiesties
letters and present, which the ambassadour thinking not reasonable stept
forward towards the Emperor: in which passage the chancellor came to meet
him, and would haue taken his letters: to whom the ambassador sayd, that
her Maiesty had directed no letters to him, and so went on, and deliuered
them himselfe to the Emperors owne hands.
And after hauing thus deliuered her Maiesties letters and what he had els
to say at that time, he was conducted to the Councell chamber, where hauing
had conference with the councell of matters of his ambassage, he was soone
after sent for againe to the Emperour, where he dined in his presence at a
side table, nere vnto him, and all his company at another boord, where also
dined at other tables in the same place, all the chiefe noble men that were
about the Court, to the number of an hundred. And in the time of this
dinner, the Emperor vsed many fauors to the ambassadour and about the midst
of dinner (standing vp) dranke a great carouse to the health of the Queene
his good sister, and sent him a great bowle full of Rhenish wine and sugar
to pledge him.
The ambassadour after this, was often called to Court, where he had
conference both with the Emperour and his councell of the matters in
question, touching both ambassages, which diuers times raised many iarres:
and in the end, after sundry meetings, the Emperour finding himself not
satisfied to his liking, for that the ambassadour had not power by his
commission to yeeld to euery thing that he thought fit, as a man whose will
was seldom wonted to be gainsayd, let loose his passion, and with a sterne
and angry countenance tolde him that he did not reckon the Queene of
England to be his fellow: for there are (quoth he) that are her betters.
The ambassadour greatly misliking these speeches, and being very vnwilling
(how dangerous soeuer it might prooue to his owne person) to giue way to
the Emperor, to derogate ought from the honour and greatness of her
Maiesty: and finding also that to subiect himselfe to the angrie humour and
disposition of the Emperour was not the means to winne ought at his hands,
with like courage and countenance to answere his, tolde him that the Queene
his Mistresse was as great a prince as any was in Christendome, equall to
him that thought himselfe the greatest, well able to defend herselfe
against his malice, whosoeuer, and wanted no means to offend any that
either shee had or should haue cause to be enemy vnto. Yea (quoth he) How
sayest thou to the French king, and the king of Spaine? Mary (quoth the
ambassadour) I holde the Queene my Mistresse as great as any of them both.
Then what sayest thou (quoth hee) to the Emperour of Germany?
Such is the greatnesse of the Queene my Mistresse (quoth the Ambassadour)
as the King, her father had (not long since) the Emperor in his pay, in his
warres against France.
This answer misliked the Emperor yet so much more, as that he tolde the
Ambassadour, that were he not an ambassador, he would throw him out of the
doores. Whereunto he answered that he might doe his will, for he was now
fast within his countrey: but he had a Mistresse who (he doubted not) would
be reuenged of any iniury that should be done vnto him. Whereupon the
Emperour in great sudden bade him get him home. And he with no more
reuerence then such vsage required, saluted the Emperor and went his way.
All this notwithstanding, the ambassadour was not much sooner out of the
chamber, and the Emperours cholar somewhat setled, but he deliuered to his
councell that stood about him many commendations in the fauor of the
Ambassador, for that he would not indure one ill word to be spoken against
his mistresse, and there withall wished himselfe to haue such a seruant.
The Ambassadour had not beene much more then one houre in his lodgings, but
the Emperour imagining (as it seemed) by the extraordinary behauiour of the
ambassador (for he wanted not wit to iudge) that he had found what was the
Emperors case, sent his principall secretary vnto him, to tell him, that
notwithstanding what had past, yet for the great loue that he bare to the
Queene his sister, he should very shortly be called againe to Court, and
haue a resolution of all the matters in question: and this secretary was
now further content to impart, and sayd to the ambassadour that the
Empereur was fully resolued to send a greater, noble man vnto him in
ambassage to the Queene his sister, then euer he yet at any time sent out
of his countrey: and that he determined also to send to the Queene a
present woorth three thousand pounds, and to gratifie himselfe at his
departure with a gift that should be woorth a thousand pounds: and tolde
him also that the next day the Emperour would send a great noble man vnto
him, to conferre with him of certaine abuses done him by Shalkan the
chancellor, and his ministers.
And so the day following he sent Bodan Belskoy the chiefest counceller that
he had, a man most in credit with him: this man examined all matters
wherewith the ambassador had found himselfe grieued, and supplied him, with
what hee wanted, and righted him in all things wherein hee had beene
Not long after the returne of this noble man, the Emperor caused to be set
downe in his owne presence, a new and much larger allowance of diet for the
ambassador then he had had before, and shortly after sent the same to the
ambassadour by his principall Secretarie Sauio Frollo. This diet was so
great, as the ambassadour oftentimes sought to haue it lessened, but the
Emperour would not by any means.
The scroule of the new diet was this:
One bushel of fine meale for three dayes.
One bushel of wheate meale for a day and a halfe.
Two liue geese for one day.
Twenty hennes for the day.
Seuen sheepe for a day.
One oxe for three dayes.
One side of pork for a day.
Seuentie egges for a day.
Ten pound of butter.
Seuenty peny white loaues of bread.
Twelue peny loaues of bread.
One veather or gallon of vinegar.
Two veathers of salt cabiges.
One pecke of onions.
Ten pound of salt.
On altine, or sixe peny woorth of waxe candles.
Two altines of tallow candles.
One fourth part of a veather of cherrie mead.
As much of Malynouomead.
Halfe a veather of burnt wine.
One veather of sodden mead called Obarni.
Three veathers of sweet mead.
Ten veathers of white mead.
Fifteene veathers of ordinary mead.
Foure veathers of sweet beere.
Fiftene veathers of beere.
Halfe a pound of pepper.
Three sollitincks or ounces of saffron.
One sollitincke of mase.
One sollitincke of nutmegs.
Two sollitincks of cloues.
Three sollitincks of sinamon.
One bushell of oats.
One load of hay.
One load of straw.
Now he began so much to discouer his purpose and affections towards her
Maiesty and her countrey, as he sent to the ambassador, intreating him that
his preacher [Marginal note: M. Cole.], and doctor Iacob his English
physician, might set downe the points of the religion in vse in England,
which the Ambassadour caused to be done accordingly, and sent them vnto
him, who seemed so well to like them, as he caused them (with much good
allowance) to be publikely read before diuers of his councell, and many
others of his nobility.
Now he drew hotly againe in question to marry, some kinsewoman of her
Maiesties, and that he would send againe into England, to haue some one of
them to wife, and if her Maiestie would not vpon his next Ambassage send
him such a one as he required, himselfe would then goe into England, and
cary his treasure with him, and marry one of them there.
Here you must vnderstand that the yeere before this ambassage, he had sent
to her Maiesty by his ambassador to haue had the lady Mary Hastings in
marriage, which intreaty by meanes of her inability of body, by occasion of
much sicknesse, or perhaps, of no great liking either of herselfe or
friends, or both, tooke no place.
The ambassador was now so farre growen into the Emperors fauor, and his
affection so great to England, as those great councellors that were the
Ambassadors great enemies before, were now desirous of some publike
courtesies at his hands for their aduantage to the Emperour: neither durst
they, now any more interpose themselues twixt the Emperour and him: for not
long before this, the Emperor for abusing the ambassador, had (to shew his
fauour towards him) beaten Shalkan the chanceller very grieuously, and had
sent him word, that he would not leaue one of his race aliue.
Now whilest the ambassador was thus strongly possest of the Emperours
fauor, he imployed himselfe in all he might, not onely for the speedy
dispatch of the negociation he had in hand, but laboured also by all the
good means he might, further to benefit his country and countreymen, and so
not long after wanne at the Emperours hands not onely all those things he
had in commission to treat for by his instructions, but also some other of
good and great importance, for the benefit of the merchants.
Priuate sutes obteined of the Emperor by the ambassador.
Leaue for Richard Fransham an English man and apothecary to the Emperour,
his wife, and children to come home into England, and to bring with him all
such goods as he had gotten there.
He obteined like leaue for Richard Elmes an English man one of the
He also got leaue for Iane Ricards the widow of Doctor Bomelius a Dutchman,
and physician to the Emperour, who, for treason practised with the king of
Pole against the sayd Emperour, was rosted to death at the city of Mosco,
in the yere 1579.
These following he obteined for the behoofe of the merchants.
He procured for the merchants promise of recompence for certaine goods
taken from their factors by robbery vpon the Volga.
He obtained likewise the payment of fiue hundred marks, which was payd for
ten yeeres before his going into Russia (into the Emperors receit) for a
rent of a house that they had at Vologda.
He also got granted for them the repayment of fifteene hundred marks, which
had bene exacted of them the two last yeres before his comming thither.
He got also for them order for the repayment of an olde and desperate debt
of three thousand marks, a debt so desperate, as foure yeeres left out of
their accounts, and by the opinion of them all, not thought fit to be dealt
with, for too much offending the Emperour, or impeaching his other
businesse, which was thought at least otherwise sufficient, and was
therefore left out of his instructions from her Maiesty.
He obteined that all strangers were forbidden to trade any more into
Russia, and that the passage and trade to all the Emperors Northern coasts
and countries, from the Wardhouse to the riuer of Ob should be onely free
to the English nation.
Lastly, of a great desire he had to do the merchants good, without motion
either of themselues here, or their Agents there, or any other of them, he
obteined of the Emperour the abatement of all their custome which they had
long before payd, and agreed still to continue, which custome the Dutchmen
and strangers being remooued, as now it was agreed, amounted to two
thousand pounds yerely.
All these were granted, some already payd before his comming from Mosco,
the olde priuilege ratified, newly written, signed and sealed, and was to
be deliuered to the ambassadour at his next comming to Court, before when
the Emperor fell sicke of a surfet, and so died.
After whose death the case was woondrously altered with the ambassador: for
whereas both, in his owne conceit, and in all mens opinion els, he was in
great forwardnes to haue growen a great man with the Emperor, what for the
loue he bare to her Maiesty, and the particular liking he had of himselfe,
he now fell into the hands of his great enemies, Mekita Romanouich and
Andre Shalkan the chanceller, who, after the death of the Emperour, tooke
the speciall gouernment upon themselues, and so presently caused the
Ambassadour to be shut vp a close prisoner in his owne house, for the space
of nine weeks, and was so straightly guarded and badly vsed by those that
attended him, as he dayly suspected some further mischiefe to haue
followed: for in this time there grew a great vprore in Mosco of nigh
twenty thousand persons, which remembring that his enemies reigned,
somewhat amazed the ambassadour, but yet afterwards the matter fell out
against that great counsellor Bodan Belskoy, whom I noted before to be a
speciall man in the old Emperors fauor: who was now notwithstanding so
outragiously assaulted, as that he was forced to seeke the Emperors chamber
for his safety, and was afterwards sent away to Cazan, a place he had in
gouernment, fiue hundred miles from Mosco, where he hath remained euer
since, and neuer as yet called againe to court, at which time the
ambassador expected some such like measure, and prepared himselfe aswell as
he could, for his defence: yet happily after this, was sent for to court,
to haue his dispatch, and to take his leaue of the Emperor: whither being
conducted (not after the woonted maner) and brought to the councell
chamber, came to him onely Shalkan the chanceller and a brother of his, who
without more adoe, tolde him for the summe of his dispatch, that this
Emperour would not treat of further amity with the Queene his mistresse,
then such as was betweene his late father and her, before his comming
thither: and would not heare any reply to be made by the ambassadour, but
presently caused both himselfe and all his company to be disarmed of their
weapons; and go towards the Emperor. In which passage there were such
outrages offered him as had he not vsed more patience then his disposition
afforded him, or the occasion required, he had not in likelihood escaped
with life, but yet at length was brought to the presence of the Emperour
who sayd nothing to him, but what the chancellor had already done, but
offered him a letter to carry to her Maiesty, which the ambassadour (for
that he knew it conteined nothing that did concerne his ambassage) refused
till he saw his danger grow too great: neither would the Emperour suffer
the ambassadour to reply ought, nor well he could, for they had now of
purpose taken away his interpretor, being yet vnwilling (as it seemed, and
suspecting the ambassadours purpose) that the Emperor and other should know
how dishonourably he had beene handled: [Sidenote: The great friendship of
L. Boris Pheodorouich.] for there, was at that time, in that presence a
noble braue gentleman, one Boris Pheodorouich Godenoe, brother to the
Emperor that now is, who yet after the death or the Emperour did alwayes
vse the ambassadour most honorably, and would very willingly haue done him
much more kindnesse, but his authority was not yet, till the coronation of
the Emperor: but notwithstanding he sent often vnto him, not long before
his departure, and accompanied his many honourable fauours with a present
of two faire pieces of cloth of golde, and a tymber of very good sables:
and desired that as there was kindnesse and brotherhood twixt the Emperor
and her Maiesty, so there might be loue and brotherhood twixt him and the
Ambassadour. Sauing from this man, there was now no more fauour left for
the ambassadour in Moscouia: for the chanceller Shalkan had now sent him
word that the English Emperor was dead: he had now nothing offered him but
dangers and disgraces too many, and a hasty dispatch from the Mosco, that
he might not tary the coronation of the new Emperour: offences many in his
preparation for his long iourney, onely one meane gentleman appointed to
accompany him to the sea side, expecting daily in his passage some sudden
reuenge to be done vpon him, for so he understood it was threatned before
his comming from the Mosco, and therefore with resolution prouided by all
the meanes he might, by himselfe and his seruants for his defence (for now
was his danger knowen such, as the English merchants did altogether leaue
him, although he commanded them in her Maiesties name to accompany him)
that if any such thing should happen to be offered him, as many of them as
he could that should offer to execute it, should die with him for company:
which being perceiued was thought to make his passage the safer. So
afterward being driuen to disgest many iniuries by the way, at length he
recouered S. Nicholas, where remembring his vnfortunate losse of the old
Emperor and his ill vsage since then at the Mosco, he being forced to take
a bare letter for the summe of his dispatch, conteyning nothing of that he
came for, and the poore and disgraceful present sent him (in the name of
the Emperour) in respect of that that was meant him by the old Emperor,
knowing all these to be done in disgrace of her Maiestie and himselfe,
determined now to be discharged of some part of them in such sort as he
could, and so prouiding as he might to preuent his danger, in getting to
his shippe, furnishing and placing his men to answere any assault that
should be offered him, after he had bidden farewell to the vncourteous
gentleman that brought him thither, by three or foure of the valiantest and
discreetest men he had, he sent to be deliuered him or left at his lodging,
his maisters weake letter, and worsse present, and so afterwards happily
(though hardly) recouered his ship in safetie, although presently
afterwards, there was great hurly burly after him, to force him to receiue
the same againe, but failed of their purpose. So came the ambassadour from
S. Nicholas the twelfth day of August, and arriued at Grauesend the twelfth
of September following, and attended her Maiestie at the court at Otelands,
where, after hauing kist her Maiesties hands, and deliuered some part of
the successe of his ambassage, he presented her an Elke or Loshe, the Red
deere of the countrey, and also a brace of Raine deare, Buck and Doe, both
bearing very huge hornes: they in her Maiesties presence drew a sled and a
man vpon it, after the maner of the Samoeds, a people that inhabite in the
Northeast from Russia and were that yeere come ouer the sea in the winter
season vpon the yce, in their sleds, drawen with these deere into Russia,
where the ambassadour bought of them seuenteene, whereof he brought nine
aliue into Kent.
* * * * *
The maner of the preferring of sutes in Russia, by the example of our
English merchants bill, exhibited to the Emperour.
Iohn Basiliwich, Lord, King, and great Duke of all Russia, the English
merchants, William sonne of Thomas, with his company sue vnto.
Lord, in the 7082. yeere of the worlds creation, thy Maiesties treasurer,
named Gregorie Mekitowich Borozden, tooke of vs for thy vse 12. poods of
loafe sugar, prised at 8. robles the pood, which sugar was sent to the
Sloboda [Marginal note: The Emperours house of recreation.]. More, the sayd
Gregorie treasurer, tooke of vs for thy Maiestie 200. reames of paper,
prised at 20. altines the reame, for all which the money hath not bene payd
which amounteth to 216. robles.
And in the 84. yeere thy diake Stephan Lighachdo tooke of vs for thy
Maiesty copper plates, for the summe of 1032. robles and one fourth part
Also in the said 84. yeere thy Maiesties diakes called Iuan Blasghoy, and
Iuan Sobakin tooke of us for thy vse, sundry commodities and haue not payd
630. robles, the rest of the money due for the said goods.
In the 83. yeere thy Maiesties treasurer Peter Gholauen tooke of vs for thy
Maiestie, cloth of sundry sorts, and hath not payd of the money due
therefore 538 robles.
In the 88. yere, thy diakes Andrea Shalkan, and Istomay Yeuskoy tooke of vs
lead for thy Maiestie, to the value of 267. robles and a halfe not payd.
And in the same yeere thy Maiesties diak Boris Gregoriwich had for thy vse
15. broad cloths of diuerse sorts, prised at 210. robles, whereof 90.
robles are vnpayd.
Also in the said 88. yere thy diak Andrea Shalkan tooke from vs 1000.
robles for thee (Lord) in ready money, yet we know not whether by thy
And also in the 89. yeere (Lord) thy diak Andrea Shalkan tooke from vs for
thy Maiesty 500. robles, we know not whether by thy Maiesties order or no,
because that thy authorized people do yeerely take away from vs, neither do
they giue vs right in any cause.
All the mony (Lord) which is not payd vs out of thy Maiesties treasury for
our commodities or wares, with the money taken from vs by Andrea Shalkan,
is 4273. robles 25. altines.
Right noble king and Lord, shew thy mercy, and cause the money to be payd
vs which is owing for our goods, as also that which has beene taken from
vs: extend thy fauor, King and Lord.
* * * * *
A letter of M. Henrie Lane to the worshipfull M. William Sanderson,
conteining a briefe discourse of that which passed in the the Northeast
discouery for the space of three and thirtie yeres.
Master Sanderson, as you lately requested mee, so haue I sought, and though
I cannot finde things that heretofore I kept in writing and lent out to
others, yet perusing at London copies of mine old letters to content one
that meaneth to pleasure many, I haue briefly and as truely as I may,
drawen out as foloweth: the rough hewing may be planed at your leasure, or
as pleaseth him that shall take the paines.
First the honorable attempt to discouer by sea Northeast and Northwest
named for Cathay, being chiefly procured by priuiledge from king Edward the
sixt, and other his nobilitie, by and at the cost and sute of M. Sebastian
Cabota, then gouernor for discoueries with sir Andrew Iudde, sir George
Barnes, sir William Garrard, M. Anthonie Hussie, and a companie of
merchants, was in the last yeere of his Maiesties reigne 1553. [Sidenote:
Anno 1553 M. William Burrough was then yong, and with his brother in this
first voyage.] The generall charge whereof was committed to one sir Hugh
Willoughbie knight, a goodly Gentleman, accompanied with sufficient number
of Pilots, Maisters, Merchants and Mariners, hauing three shippes well
furnished, to wit, The Bona Speranca, the Edward Bonaduenture, and the
Confidentia. The Edward Bonaduenture, Richard Chanceller being Pilot, and
Steuen Burrough Maister, hauing discouered Wardhouse vpon the coast of
Finmark, by storme or fogge departed from the rest, found the bay of S.
Nicholas now the chiefe port for Russia, there wintred in safetie, and had
ayde of the people at a village called Newnox. [Sidenote: Newnox is from
the road of S. Nicholas Westward 35. miles.]
The other two shippes attempting further Northwards (as appeared by
pamphlets found after written by Sir Hugh Willoughbie) were in September
encountered with such extreame colde, that they put backe to seeke a
wintring place: and missing the saide baye fell vpon a desert coast in
Lappia, entring into a Riuer immediately frozen vp, since discouered, named
Arzina Reca, distant East from, a Russian Monastery of Monkes called
Pechingho, from whence they neuer returned, but all to the number of 70.
persons perished, which was for want of experience to haue made caues and
stoues. [Sidenote: Note.] These were found with the shippes the next Summer
Anno 1554. by Russe fishermen: and in Anno 1555. the place sent vnto by
English merchants as hereafter appeareth.
[Sidenote: Anno 1554.] Anno 1554. the sayd shippe Edward Bonaduenture
(although robbed homewards by Flemings) returned with her company to
London, shewing and setting foorth their entertainments and discouery of
the countreys euen to the citie of Mosco, from whence they brought a
priuilege written in Russe with the Kings or great Dukes seale, the other
two shippes looked for and vnknowen to them where they were.
[Sidenote: Anno 1555.] An. 1555. the said company of Merchants for
discouerie vpon a new supply, sent thither againe with two ships, to wit,
the Edward Bonaduenture, and another bearing the name of the King and
Queene, Philip and Marie, [Sidenote: The King and Queenes letters.] whose
Maiesties by their letters to the said Moscouite, recommended sundry their
subiects then passing, whereof certaine, to wit, Richard Chanceller, George
Killingworth, Henry Lane, and Arthur Edwards, after their arriuall at the
Bay, and passing vp Dwina to Vologda went first to Mosco, where, vpon
knowledge of the said letters, they with their traine had speciall
entertainment, with houses and diet appointed, and shortly permitted to the
princes presence, they were with gentlemen brought through the citie of
Mosco, to the castle and palace, replenished with numbers of people, and
some gunners. They entred sundry roomes, furnished in shew with ancient
graue personages, all in long garments of sundry colours, golde, tissue,
baldekin, and violet, as our vestments and copes haue bene in England,
sutable with caps, iewels, and chaines. These were found to be no
countries, but ancient Moscouites, inhabitants, and other their merchants
of credite, as the maner is, furnished thus from the Wardrobe and
Treasurie, waiting and wearing this apparell for the time, and so to
Then entring into the presence, being a large roome floored with carpets,
were men of more estate, and richer shew, in number aboue an hundred set
square: who after the said English men came in, doing reuerence, they all
stood vp, the prince onely sitting, and yet rising at any occasion, when
our King and Queenes names were read or spoken. Then after speeches by
interpretation, our men kissing his hande, and bidden to dinner, were
stayed in another roome, and at dinner brought through, where might be
seene massie siluer and gilt plate, some like and as bigge as kilderkins,
and washbowles, and entring the dining place, being the greater roome, the
prince was set bare headed, his crowne and and rich cappe standing vpon a
pinnacle by. Not farre distant sate his Metropolitane, with diuers other of
his kindred, and chiefe Tartarian Captaines: none sate ouer against him, or
any, at other tables, their backes towards him: which tables all furnished
with ghests set, there was for the Englishmen, named by the Russes, Ghosti
Carabelski, to wit, strangers or merchants by ship, a table in the middest
of the roome, where they were set direct against the prince: and then began
the seruice, brought in by a number of his yoong Lordes and Gentlemen, in
such rich attire, as is aboue specified: and still from the Princes table
(notwithstanding their owne furniture) they had his whole messes set ouer
all in massie fine golde, deliuered euery time from him by name to them, by
their seuerall Christian names, as they sate, viz. Richard, George, Henry,
Arthur. [Sidenote: M. Killingworths beard of a marueilous length.] Likewise
bread and sundry drinkes of purified mead, made of fine white and clarified
honie. At their rising, the prince called them to his table, to receiue
each one a cup from his hand to drinke, and tooke in his hand Master George
Killingworths beard, which reached ouer the table, and pleasantly deliuered
it the Metropolitane, who seeming to blesse it, sayd in Russe, this is Gods
gift. As in deede at that time it was not onely thicke, broad, and yellow
coloured, but in length fiue foot and two inches of assize. Then taking
leaue, being night, they were accompanied and followed with a number,
carying pots of drinke, and dishes of meat dressed, to our lodging.
This yeere the two shippes, with the dead bodies of Sir Hugh Willoughbie,
and his people, were sent vnto by Master Killingworth, (which remained
there in Mosco Agent almost two yeeres) and much of the goods and victuals
were recouered and saued.
[Sidenote: Anno 1556.] Anno 1556. The company sent two ships for Russia,
with extraordinary masters and saylers to bring home the two ships, which
were frozen in Lappia, in the riuer of Arzina aforesaid. The two ships sent
this yeere from England sailing from Lapland to the Bay of S. Nicholas,
tooke in lading with passengers, to wit, a Russe ambassador, named Ioseph
Napea, and some of his men shipped with Richard Chanceller in the Edward.
But so it fell out that the two which came from Lappia, with all their new
Masters and Mariners, neuer were heard of, but in foule weather, and
wrought seas, after their two yeeres wintring in Lapland, became, as is
supposed, vnstanch, and sunke, wherein were drowned also diuers Russes
merchants, and seruants of the ambassadour. A third shippe the Edward
aforesayd, falling on the North part of Scotland, vpon a rocke was also
lost, and Master Chanceller, with diuers other, drowned. The sayd Russe
ambassadour hardly escaping, with other his men, mariners, and some goods
saued, were sent for into Scotland, from the King, Queene, and Merchants
(the messenger being M. Doctor Laurence Hussie, and others:) And then, as
in the chronicles appeareth, honorably enterteined and receiued at London.
This yeere also the company furnished and sent out a pinnesse, named the
Serchthrift, to discouer the harborowes in the North coast from Norway to
Wardhouse, and so to the Bay of S. Nicholas. There was in her Master and
Pilot, Stephen Burrough, with his brother William, and eight other. Their
discouery was beyond the Bay, towarde the Samoeds, people dwelling neare
the riuer of Ob, and found a sound or sea with an Island called Vaigats,
first by them put into the Carde or Mappe. In that place they threw snowe
out of their said pinnesse, with shouels in August, by which extremitie,
and lacke of time, they came backe to Russia, and wintred at Colmogro.
[Sidenote: Anno 1557.] Anno 1557. The company with foure good ships, sent
backe the said Russe ambassadour, and in company with him, sent as an
Agent, for further discouery, Master Anthony Ienkinson, who afterward anno
1558, with great fauour of the prince of Moscouia, and his letters passed
the riuer Volga to Cazan, and meaning to seeke Cathay by land, was by many
troupes and companies of vnciuil Tartarians encountred, and in danger:
[Sidenote: Boghar voyage. 1560.] but keeping company with merchants of
Bactria, of Boghar, and Vrgeme, trauelling with camels, he with his
company, went to Boghar, and no further: whose entertainment of the king is
to be had of master Ienkinson, which returned anno 1559. to Moscouie.
[Sidenote: The first trade to the Narue. 1560.] And in anno 1560. he with
Henry Lane, came home into England: which yeere was the first safe returne,
without losse or shipwracke, or dead fraight, and burnings. And at this
time was the first traffike to the Narue in Liuonia, which confines with
Lituania, and all the dominions of Russia: and the markets, faires,
commodities, great townes and riuers, were sent vnto by dyuers seruants:
the reports were taken by Henry Lane, Agent, and deliuered to the companie,
1561. The trade to Rie, and Reuel, of old time hath bene long since
frequented by our English nation, but this trade to the Narue was hitherto
concealed from vs by the Danskers and Lubeckers.
Anno 1561. the said Master Anthony Ienkinson went Agent into Russia; who
the next yeere after, passing all the riuer of Volga to Astracan, and ouer
the Caspian sea, arriued in Persia, and opened the trade thither.
[Sidenote: Alcock slaine in Persia. Bannister died in Media. Edwards died
at Astracan.] Also betweene the yeeres 1568. and 1573. sundry voyages after
Master Ienkinsons, were made by Thomas Alcock, Arthur Edwards, Master
Thomas Banister, and Master Geffrey Ducket, whose returne (if spoyle neere
Volga had not preuented by rouing theeues) had altogether salued and
recouered the companies (called the olde companies) great losse, charges,
and damages: but the saying is true, By vnitie small things grow great, and
by contention great things become small. This may be vnderstood best by the
company. The forwardnesse of some few, euill doing of some vniust factors,
was cause of muche of the euill successe.
Arthur Edwards was sent againe 1579. and died in the voyage at Astcacan.
About which matters, are to be remembred the voyages of Master Thomas
Randolph Esquire, Ambassador, anno 1567. And late of Sir Ierome Bowes, anno
1583. both tending and treating for further discoueries, freedomes, and
priuileges, wherewith I meddle not. But in conclusion, for their paines and
aduentures this way (as diuers do now adayes other wayes) as worthy
Gentlemen sent from princes, to doe their countrey good, I put them in your
memorie, with my hearty farewell. From S. Margarets neere Dartforth in
Yours Henry Lane.
* * * * *
The most solemne, and magnificent coronation of Pheodor [Marginal note: Or
Theodor.] Iuanowich, Emperour of Russia &c. the tenth of Iune, in the
yeere 1584; seene and obserued by Master Ierome Horsey gentleman, and
seruant to her Maiesty, a man of great trauell, and long experience in
those parts: wherewith is also ioyned the course of his iourney ouer land
from Mosco to Emden.
[Sidenote: The death of Iuan Vasiliwich, 1584. Apr. 18.] When the old
Emperour Iuan Vasiliwich died, (being about the eighteenth of Aprill, 1584.
after our computation) in the citie of Mosco, hauing raigned 54 yeeres,
there was some tumult and vprore among some of the nobilitie, and
cominaltie, which notwithstanding was quickly pacified. [Sidenote: L. Boris
adopted as the Emperors third sonne.] Immediately the same night, the
Prince Boris Pheodorowich Godonoua, Knez Iuan Pheodorowich, Mesthis
Slafsky, Knez Iuan Petrowich Susky, Mekita Romanowich and Bodan Iacoulewich
Belskoy, being all noble men, and chiefest in the Emperors Will, especially