Produced by Karl Hagen and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.
** Transcriber’s Notes **
The printed edition from which this e-text has been produced retains the spelling and abbreviations of Hakluyt’s 16th-century original. In this version, the spelling has been retained, but the following manuscript abbreviations have been silently expanded:
– vowels with macrons = vowel + ‘n’ or ‘m’ – q; = -que (in the Latin)
– y[e] = the; y[t] = that; w[t] = with
This edition contains footnotes and two types of sidenotes. Most footnotes are added by the editor. They follow modern (19th-century) spelling conventions. Those that don’t are Hakluyt’s (and are not always systematically marked as such by the editor). The sidenotes are Hakluyt’s own. Summarizing sidenotes are labelled [Sidenote: ] and placed before the sentence to which they apply. Sidenotes that are keyed with a symbol are labeled [Marginal note: ] and placed at the point of the symbol, except in poetry, where they are moved to the nearest convenient break in the text.
** End Transcriber’s Notes **
Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques,
THE ENGLISH NATION.
RICHARD HAKLUYT, PREACHER,
EDMUND GOLDSMID, F.R.H.S.
NORTH-EASTERN EUROPE, AND ADJACENT COUNTRIES.
THE MUSCOVY COMPANY AND THE NORTH-EASTERN PASSAGE.
Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques, and Discoveries
The Priuiledges graunted by the Emperour of Russia to the English merchants of that company: obteined the 22. of September, Anno 1567. by M. Anthony Ienkinson.
One onely strengthener of all things, and God without beginning, which was before the world, the Father, the Sonne, and the holy Ghost, our onely God in Trinitie, and maker of all things whom we worship in all things, and in all places, the doer and fulfiller of all things, which is the perfect knowledge giuer of the true God, our Lorde Iesus Christ, with the comforter the holy Spirit, and thou which art the strengthener of our faith, keepe vs together, and giue vs health to preserue our kingdome, thou giuer of all good fruites, and helper of all Christian beleeuers.
We great lord by the grace of God, and great duke Iohn Vasiliwich of all Russia, Volodimer, Mosco, Nouogrod, Cazan, Astracan, Plesco, Smolensko, Tweria, Yougorie, Fadika, Bulgar, Sybier and others, Emperour and great duke of Nouogrod of the lower land of Chernygo, Rezan, Polotski, Rostoue, Yereslaue, Bealozera, Oudoria, Obdorio, Condensa, and lord of many other lands, and of all the North parts, commander and lord of Lifland.
Whereas our sister Queene Elizabeth, by the grace of God, Queene of England, France and Ireland, hath written to vs her letters, that wee would graunt her merchants, William Garrard, William Chester, Rowland Heyward, Lawrence Hussie, Iohn Marsh, Anthony Ienkinson, William Rowly, and their company of England, to come in ships into this kingdome, and those merchants, William Garrard and his company haue required of vs that we would graunt and licence them to come into our countrey of Dwina, with all kind of wares at wil, to our City of Mosco, and to all our castles in our kingdomes, we for our sisters sake Elizabeth, by the grace of God, Queene of England, France and Ireland, haue licenced her merchants, William Garrard and his company to passe in ships to our kingdome of Colmogro, and to the land of Dwina, and to all other our inheritances in the North parts, with all kind of wares to our city of Mosco, and to all castles and townes in our kingdome. And sir William Garrard and his company desired of vs, that we would graunt them licence to passe to our inheritance of Cazan and Astracan, and into our inheritance of Nouogrod the great, and to our inheritance of Lifland to Narue and Dorpe, and to other our castles and townes of Lifland, with all kinde of wares, and the trade to be without custome, which request we haue graunted to sir William Garrard and his company, and haue giuen them licence to passe to our inheritance of Cazan and Astracan, and Nouogrod the great, and into our inheritance of Lifland, Narue and Dorpe, and other places of our inheritance in Lifland with all kinde of wares, to buy, barter and sell at will, without custome: and what wares soeuer they bring out of England, or out of any other countrey, needfull or necessary, that they shall bring all those wares needfull or necessary to our treasury, and those wares there to be opened, and then to take out of the same such wares as shalbe needful for our treasury, and the rest being deliuered againe, to sell and barter at their pleasure, and to sell none of the fine wares before they be seene of our chancellers, except sorting clothes, and other wares not meat for our treasury: and when our chanceller will send our treasure out of our treasury with them, they shall take it with them, and so sell and barter it for wares meet for our treasury, and bring it to our treasury, and they to take no other mens wares to barter or sell with them, nor yet our people to buy or sell for them their wares: and if those English merchants do desire to passe out of our kingdome of Astracan to Boghar, Shamaky, Chaday, or into any other countreys, or els go into their owne countrey, then they to take their treasure with them, and to barter and sell it for wares necessary for our treasury, and to bring it and deliuer it to our chancellor, and when they come backe againe to our inheritance of Cazan and Astracan, or to any other of our castles and townes, that then our captaine of Cazan and Astracan, and all other our people of charge shall not holde them, but with speed let them passe without taking custome of them or their wares, and without opening or looking vpon them in any wise: and when they haue not our treasure with them, that then likewise no custome shalbe taken of them nor their wares to be seene of any man.
And likewise we haue granted them to buy and sell in all our kingdomes and castles, with all kinde of wares: and we haue also licenced them, that when those English merchants do desire to buy and sell with our merchants wholly together, that they shall haue liberty so to do wholly together: and they that do desire to sell their owne wares by retaile in their owne house, that then they sell it in their own house by retaile to our people, and other strangers, as they can agree: and weights and arshnids to be kept in their house with our seale, and they themselues to barter and sell their owne wares: and no Russe merchant in Mosco, or any other place in our kingdome to sell for them any wares, nor to buy or barter any wares for them, nor couler any strangers goods. And whereas those merchants of England, sir William Garrard and his company do desire to sell their wares at Colmogro, Dwina, Vologda, Yeraslaue, Costrum, and in Nouogrod the lower, Cazan, Astracan, great Nouogrod, Plesko, Narue, Dorpe, and in other our townes and castles, they shall haue their will to sell it: and of their wares of England and Russeland no custome shalbe taken, neither they nor their wares shalbe stayed in any place: and when they depart out of Mosco, to aduertise our chancellor thereof, and not to giue any note or inuentory of any kinde of their wares they cary away: and when the English merchants, sir William Garrard and his company do come vpon the sea, and by misfortune haue their ships cast away vpon those coasts of the North parts, then we will their goods to be sought out with trueth, and to be deliuered to sir William Garrard and his company, which as then shall be found in our countrey: and if that sir William Garrards company be not in the Mosco nor in our countrey: then we will and command that those goods of theirs shall be layd vp in a place of safegard vntil such time as the said sir William Garrard or his company come to demand the same: and then at their comming we will that it shall be deliuered. And whereas heretofore we haue giuen sir William Garrard and his company in this our kingdome of Mosco the new castle by the church of S. Maxim behinde the market, they shal there stil holde their house as heretofore we haue giuen them, paying no custome for the same: and we also do licence them to keepe one Russe porter or two or els of their owne countrey, and those porters shall dwell with them, and not sell for them, nor barter, nor buy for them: And also I haue granted them to buy a house at Volodga and at Colmogro, or in any other place where they can chuse for them selues any good harbour, and there they to set vp those houses in those places at their owne charges: and in Vologda or the other houses to keepe two or three porters of their owne, or else two or three Russes, and their wares to be layed vp in those houses, and to sell their owne wares at will: and the porters without them to sell none of their wares, neither yet to buy any for them. And our officers of Colmogro and Dwina, and of other our castles and townes shall not looke ouer their wares, nor take any custome thereof: neither shall those English merchants sir William Garrard and his company be iudged by any of them. And when the English merchants shall send from our kingdome their owne people into their owne countrey by land ouer other kingdomes whatsoeuer they be, they may without ware send their owne people at their pleasure. And when any matter of law doth fall out in their trade of merchandise, then they shall be iudged by our chancellers and law shalbe done with equitie betwixt our people and them: and when they cannot be iudged by law, they then shal be tried by lots, and whose lot is first taken out, he shall haue the right. [Sidenote: Triall by lots.] And if it happen any of those merchants to haue any matter of law in any other part of our dominions for trade of merchants, then our captaines, iudges, and chiefe officers shall heare the matter, and administer iustice with equity and trueth, and where law can take no place, to be tried by lots, and his lot that is first taken out to haue the right, and for their matters of law no custome to be payed.
[Sidenote: The riuer of Ob traffikable.] Furthermore, we for our sisters sake Elizabeth haue granted, that none beside sir William Garrard and his company, out of what kingdome soeuer it be, England or other, shall come in trade of merchandise nor otherwise to Colmogro, nor to the riuer Ob, nor within Wardhouse, nor to Petzora, nor Cola, nor Mezen, nor to the abbey of Petchingo, nor to the island of Shallawy, nor to any mouth of the riuer of Dwina, nor to any part of the North countrey of our coast. And if any merchant, out of what countrey soeuer it be, doe come with ship or shippes, busses, or any other kinde of vessell to any of our harbours, within all our North parts, we will that then the people and goods, ship or ships, shalbe confiscate, and forfeited to vs the Emperour and great Duke.
Giuen in our kingdome and house of Mosco, the yeere from the beginning of the world 7076, in the moneth of September, and in the 34 yeere of our reigne, and in our conquest of Cazan 16, and in our conquest of Astracan 15.
Perused and allowed by vs:
Rafe Rutter, our translatour
hereof of the
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A letter of M. Henrie Lane to M. Richard Hakluit, concerning the first ambassage to our most gracious Queene Elizabeth from the Russian Emperour anno 1567, and other notable matters incident to those places and times.
Worshipfull sir, because I finde you haue the successe and proceedings of Osep Napea the first ambassadour of the Russian Emperour to the Maiesties of King Philip and Queene Marie, at what time and at his returne I was remaining in Russia, and do not finde that the perfect knowledge of the first ambassage from thence to this our Souereigne Ladie Queene Elizabeth is come to your hands, betweene whose Highnesse and the ambassadours I was interpretour, I thinke good to expresse it. In August Anno 1567 arriued at London with their retinue two especiall authorised messengers, named Stephen Twerdico, and Theodore Pogorella, with letters and presents to her Maiesty, at that time being at Otelands, where diuers of the chiefe merchants of the Russian company did associate them, and I there doing my duetie and office of interpretour, her Maiestie gaue them audience. First they rehearsed the long stile and Maiesty of their Master, with his most friendly and hearty commendations to her Highnesse, and then they testified the singuler great ioy and pleasure that he conceiued to heare of her most princely estate, dignitie and health: and lastly, they deliuered their letters and presents. The presents sent vnto her Maiesty were Sables, both in paires for tippets, and two timbars, to wit, two times fortie, with Luserns and other rich furres. [Sidenote: The vse of furres wholesome, delicate, graue and comely.] For at that time that princely ancient ornament of furres was yet in vse. And great pitie but that it might be renewed, especiall in Court, and among Magistrates, not onely for the restoring of an olde worshipfull Art and Companie, but also because they be for our climate wholesome, delicate, graue and comely: expressing dignitie, comforting age, and of longer continuance, and better with small cost to be preserued, then these new silks, shagges, and ragges, wherein a great part of the wealth of the land is hastily consumed.
These ambassadours were appointed lodging and enterteinement by the Moscouie company at their house then in Seething Lane, and were sundrie times after permitted to be in presence. And in May 1568 tooke their leaue at Greenwich, where they vnderstood and had the Queenes Maiesties minde, letters and reward. [Sidenote: The trade to S. Nicholas offensiue to diuers princes and states Eastward.] At the latter part of her talke, her Highnesse considering that our trade to Saint Nicholas since the beginning had bene offensiue to diuers princes, states, and merchants Eastward vsed these speeches or the like: Who is or shall be more touched by detractours, with flying tales and vntrue reports, then Princes and Rulers, to the breach of loue and vnitie? your Master and I in things that passe by word and writing, I doubt not will keepe and performe promises. If he heare the contrary of me, let him suspend his iudgement, and not be light of credit, and so will I. These words they termed her Maiesties golden speech: and kneeling downe, kissed her hand, and departed.
The letters that these two messengers brought, were deliuered to me by my Lord Treasurour, being then Secretarie, to be translated, the copies whereof I had, but now cannot finde. The copie of the Queenes Maiesties letter I send inclosed herewith vnto your worship. I also haue sent you a copy of a letter written from the king of Polonia to the Queenes Maiestie, with other letters from some of our nation and factours, declaring the displeasure for our trafficke to the Russes from Anno 1558 to the yere 1566, especially by the way of the Narue: in which yere of 1566, hauing generall procuration and commission from the Company, I was in the Low countrey at Antwerpe and Amsterdam, and sometimes in company with Polacks, Danskers, and Easterlings: and by, reason I had bene a lidger in Russia, I could the better reply and proue, that their owne nations and the Italians were most guiltie of the accusations written by the king of Poland.
This king Sigismundus [Footnote: Sigismund II, the last of the Jagellon race, added Livonia to his kingdom. He reigned from 1548 to 1572. It was after his death that the King of Poland became an elective instead of an heritary sovereign.] (whose ambassadours very sumptuous I haue seene at Mosco) was reported to be too milde in suffering the Moscouites. [Sidenote: Smolensko won by the Russe.] Before our trafficke they ouerranne his great dukedome of Lituania, and tooke Smolensco, carrying the people captiues to Mosco. [Sidenote: Polotzko taken.] And in the yere 1563, as appeareth by Thomas Alcocks letter, they suffered the Russe likewise in that Duchy to take a principall city called Polotzko, with the lord and people thereof. Likewise the said Sigismundus and the king of Sweden did not looke to the protection of Liuonia, but lost all, except Rie and Reuel, and the Russe made the Narue his port to trafficke, not onely to vs, but to Lubec and others, generall. And still from those parts the Moscouites were furnished out of Dutchland by enterlopers with all arts and artificers, and had few or none by vs. The Italians also furnished them with engines of warre, and taught them warrelike stratagemes, and the arte of fortification. In the dayes of Sigismund the Russe would tant the Polacks, that they loued their ease at home with their wiues, and to drinke, and were not at commandement of their king. This Sigismund had to wife the daughter of Ferdinando, Charles the fifts brother, and he died without issue. [Sidenote: Polotzko recouered by Stephanus Batore.] Since, which time their late elected king Stephanus Batore [Footnote: Stephen Bathore, the second Elected-King, established the Cossacks as a militia. He died in 1586.] kept the Russe in better order, and recouered Polotzko againe in the yere 1579. Thus with my hearty farewell I take my leaue of your worship.
Your assured friend Henrie Lane.
* * * * *
A Letter of the most excellent Maiestie of Queene Elizabeth, sent by Stephen Twerdico and Pheodata Pogorella, messengers of the Emperour of Russia, vnto their Master the 9th of May 1568.
Imperatori Moscouitarum, &c.
ELIZABETHA &c. Literas vestrae, Maiestatis superiori anno 1567, decimo die mensis Aprilis datas, vestri mercatores Stephanus Twerdico, et Pheodata Pogorella, qui has nostras perferunt, nobis tradidere. Quos vestros mercatores in omni suo apud nos et nostros obeundo negotio, ita tractari, et libenti voluntate, et expresso nostro mandato curauimus, vt non solum vestrae Maiestatis pro illis postulationi, sed eorundem etiam hominum expectationi plene satisfactum esse confidamus. Id quod eo fecimus studiosius, quod plane perspectum, probeque cognitum habeamus, nostros omnes, qui bona cum gratia nostra, nostrarumque literarum commendatione, istuc, sub vestro imperio negotiaturi veniunt, pari, cum vestrae Maiestatis fauore, tum vestrorum subditorum humanitate, vbiuis acceptos esse. Quae nostra vtrobique, et muttuae inter nos amicitiae et gratae inter nostros beneuolentiae officia, vt crebra et perpetua existant, nos admodum postulamus. Quem animi nostri sensnm fusius hi vestri, et opportunius suo sermone coram declarabunt: Quibus non dubitamus, quin vestra Maiestas amplam fidem sit tributura. Deus &c. Grenouici nono die Maij 1567.
* * * * *
The ambassage of the right worshipfulll Master Thomas Randolfe, Esquire, to the Emperour of Russia, in the yeere 1568, briefly written by himselfe.
[Sidenote: In this voyage went Thomas Bannister, and Geofrey Ducket, for their voyage into Persia.] The 22 day of Iune, in the yere of our Lord 1568, I went aboord the Harry, lying in the road at Harwich with my company, being to the number of fortie persons or thereabout: of which the one halfe were gentlemen, desirous to see the world.
Within one dayes sailing, we were out of the sight of land, and following our course directly North, till we came to the North Cape, we sailed for the space of twelue dayes with a prosperous winde, without tempest or outrage of sea: hauing compassed the North Cape we directed our course flat Southeast, hauing vpon our right hand Norway, Wardhouse, Lapland, all out of sight till we came to Cape Gallant: and so sailing betweene two bayes, the two and thirtieth day after our departure from Harwich, we cast ancre at Saint Nicholas road. In all the time of our voyage, more then the great number of Whales ingendering together, which we might plainly beholde, and the Sperma Cetae, which we might see swimming vpon the sea, there was no great thing to be woondered at. Sometimes we had calmes, wherein our Mariners fished, and tooke good store of diuers sorts. [Sidenote: The abbey of S. Nicholas of 20 monks.] At S. Nicholas we landed the 23 of Iuly, where there standeth an abbey of Monks (to the number of twentie) built all of wood: the apparell of the Monks is superstitious, in blacke hoods, as ours haue bene. Their Church is faire, but full of painted images, tapers, and candles. Their owne houses are low, and small roomes. They lie apart, they eat together, and are much giuen to drunkennesse, vnlearned, write they can, preach they doe neuer, ceremonious in their Church, and long in their prayers.
At my first arriuall I was presented from their Prior with two great rie loaues, fish both salt and fresh of diuers sorts, both sea fish and fresh water, one sheepe aliue, blacke, with a white face, to be the more gratefull vnto me, and so with many solemne words inuiting me to see their house, they tooke their leaue.
[Sidenote: The English house at S. Nicholas.] Towne or habitation at S. Nicholas there is none more then about foure houses neere the abbey, and another built by the English Company for their owne vse.
This part of the countrey is most part wood, sauing here and there pasture and arable ground, many riuers and diuers Islands vnhabited, as the most part of the countrey is, for the coldnesse in Winter.
S. Nicholas standeth Northeast: the eleuation of the pole 64 degrees. [Sidenote: The riuer of Dwina.] The riuer that runneth there into the sea is called Dwina, very large, but shallow. This riuer taketh his beginning about 700 miles within the countrey, and vpon the riuer standeth Colmogro, and many prety villages, well situated for pasture, arable land, wood, and water. The riuer pleasant betweene hie hils of either side inwardly. inhabited, and in a maner a wildernesse of hie firre trees, and other wood.
[Sidenote: Colmogro.] At Colmgoro being 100 versts, which we account for three quarters of a mile euery verst, we taried three weeks, not being suffered to depart before the Emperour had word of our comming, who sent to meet vs a gentleman of his house, to conuey vs, and to see vs furnished of victuals, and all things needfull, vpon his owne charge.
The allowance of meat and drinke was for euery day two rubbles, besides the charge of boats by water, and foure score post horses by land, with aboue 100 carts to cary my wines, and other cariage.
Colmogro is a great towne builded all of wood, not walled, but scattered house from house. The people are rude in maners, and in apparell homely, sauing vpon their festiuall, and marriage dayes.
The people of this town finding commodity by the English mens traffike with them are much at their commandement, giuen much to drunkenesse, and all other kind of abominable vices.
[Sidenote: An English house with lands at Colmogro.] In this towne the English men haue lands of their owne, giuen them by the Emperour, and faire houses, with offices for their commodity, very many.
Of other townes vntill I come to Vologda, I write not, because they are much like to this, and the inhabitants not differing from them.
I was fiue whole weeks vpon the riuer of Dwina till I came to Vologda, being drawen with men against the streame, for other passage there is none.
Vologda standeth vpon the riuer of Vologda, which commeth into Dwina. The towne is great and long, built all of wood, as all their townes are.
In this towne the Emperour hath built a castle inuironed with a wall of stone, and bricke, the walles faire and hie, round about. Here (as in all other their townes) are many Churches; some built of bricke, the rest of wood, many Monks and Nunnes in it: a towne also of great traffike, and many rich merchants there dwelling.
From hence we passed by land towards Mosco in poste, being 500 versts great, which are equall with our miles. In their townes we baited or lay, being post townes.
[Sidenote: The description of the inland of Moscouie.] The countrey is very faire, plaine and pleasant, well inhabited, corne, pasture, medowes enough, riuers, and woods, faire and goodly.
At Yeraslaue we passed the riuer of Volga, more than a mile ouer. This riuer taketh his beginning at Beal Ozera, and descendeth into Mare Caspium, portable thorow of very great vessels with flat bottomes, which farre passe any that our countrey vseth.
To saile by this riuer into Mare Caspium the English company caused a barke to be built of 27 tunns, which there was neuer seene before: This barke built and ready rigged to the sea with her whole furniture cost not the company aboue one hundreth marks there.
[Footnote: His arriual at Mosco.] To Mosco we came about the end of September, receiued by no man, not so much as our owne countreymen suffered to meet vs, which bred suspition in me of some other course intended, then we had hitheto found.
[Footnote: A special house at Mosco, built for Ambassadours.] We were brought to a house built of purpose by the Emperour for Ambassadours, faire and large, after the fashion of that countrey.
Two gentlemen were appointed to attend vpon me, the one to see vs furnished of victuals, and that we lacked nothing of the Emperors allowance: the other to see that we should not goe out of the house, nor suffer any man to come vnto vs, in which they left nothing vndone that belonged to their charge. But specially he that looked to our persons so straightly handled vs; that we had no small cause to doubt that some euill had bene intended vnto vs. No supplication, sute, or request could take place for our liberty, nor yet to come to his presence.
Hauing passed ouer 17 weeks in this sort, the Emperour sendeth word that we should be ready against Tuesday the 20 of Februarie, at eight a clocke in the morning.
[Sidenote: Two Pristaues.] The houre being come that I should go to the Court, the two gentlemen Pristaues (as they call them) came vnto me apparelled more princely then before I had euer seene them. They presse vs to depart, and mounted vpon their owne horses, and the Ambassador vpon such a one as he had borrowed, his men marching on foot, to their great griefe.
The Ambassadour (being my selfe) was conueyed into an office where one of the chancellors doeth vse to sit, being there accompanied with the two foresayd gentlemen: I taried two long houres before I was sent for to the Emperor. In the end message being brought that the Emperour was set, I was conueyed by my gentlemen vp a paire of staires thorow a large roome, where sate by my estimation 300 persons, all in rich attire, taken out of the Emperors wardrobe for that day, vpon three ranks of benches, set round about the place, rather to present a maiestie, then that they were either of quality or honor.
[Sidenote: His admission to the Emperors presence.] At the first entry into the chamber I with my cap gaue them the reuerence, such as I iudged, their stately sitting, graue countenances and sumptuous apparell required, and seeing that it was not answered againe of any of them I couered my head, and so passing to a chamber where the Emperor was, there receiued me at the doore from my two gentlemen or gouernors, two of the Emperors counsellors, and shewed me to the Emperor, and brought me to the middle of the chamber, where I was willed to stand still, and to say that which I had to say. I by my Interpretor opened my message as I receiued it from the Queene my Mistresse, from whom I came, at whose name the Emperor stood vp, and demanded diuers questions of her health and state: whereunto answere being made, he gaue me his hand in token of my welcome, and caused me to sit downe, and further asked me diuers questions.
[Sidenote: The Queenes present.] This done, I deliuered her Maiesties present, which was a notable great Cup of siluer curiously wrought, with verses grauen in it, expressing the histories workmanly set out in the same.
[Sidenote: The Emperors speech to the Ambassadour.] All being sayd and done (as appeared) to his contentment, he licenced me and my whole company to depart, who were all in his presence, and were saluted by him with a nod of his head, and sayd vnto me: I dine not this day openly for great affaires I haue, but I will send thee my dinner, and giue leaue to thee and thine to go at liberty, and augment our allowance to thee, in token of our loue and fauor to our sister the Queene of England.
I with reuerence tooke my leaue, being conueyed by two other of greater calling then those that brought me to the Emperors sight, who deliuered me to the two first gentlemen, who conducted me to the office where I first was, where came vnto me one called the Long duke, with whom I conferred a while, and so returned to my lodging.
Within one houre after in comes to my lodging a duke richly apparelled, accompanied with fiftie persons, ech of them carying a siluer dish with meat, and couered with siluer. The duke first deliuered twenty loaues of bread of the Emperors owne eating, hauing tasted the same, and deliuered eury dish into my hands, and tasted of euery kinde of drinke that he brought.
This being donel the duke and his company sate downe with me, and tooke part of the Emperors meat, and filled themselues well of all sorts, and went not away from me vnrewarded.
Within few nights after the Emperour had will to speake secretly with me, and sent for me in the night by the Long duke: the place was farre off, and the night colde; and I hauing changed my apparell into such as the Russes do weare, found great incommoditie thereby.
[Sidenote: A second conference with the Emperor.] Hauing talked with him aboue three houres, towards the morning I was dismissed, and so came home to my lodging, where I remained aboue six weeks after, before I heard againe from the Emperour, who went the next day to Slouoda, the house of his solace. After the end of which sixe weeks, which was about the beginning of April, the Emperour returned from Slouoda aforesayd, and sent for me againe to make repaire vnto him. And being come, I dealt effectually with him in the behalfe of our English merchants, and found him so graciously inclined towards them, that I obtained at his hands my whole demands for large priuileges in generall, together with all the rest my particular requests. [Sidenote: Andrew Sauin Ambassadour to the Queene.] And then he commended to my conduct into England, a noble man of his, called Andrew Sauin, as his Ambassadour, for the better confirmation of his priuileges granted, and other negotiations with her Maiesty. And thus being dispatched with full contentment, the sayd Ambassadour and my selfe departed, and imbarked at S. Nicholas about the end of Iuly, and arriued safely at London in the moneth of September following.
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A copie of the priuiledges granted by the right high and mightie Prince, the Emperour of Russia, &c. vnto the right worshipfull fellowship of English merchants, for the discouerie of new trades: and hither sent by Thomas Randolfe esquire, her Maiesties Ambassadour to the sayd Emperour, and by Andrew Sauin his Ambassadour in the yere of our Lord God, 1569.
One God euerlasting and without and before the beginning, the Father, the Sonne, and the holy Ghost, the blessed Trinitie, our onely God, maker and preseruer of all things, replenisher of all things euery where, who by thy goodnesse doest cause all men to loue the giuer of wisedome our onely Mediatour, and leader of vs all vnto blessed knowledge by the onely Sonne his word, our Lord Iesus Christ, holy and euerlasting Spirit, and now in these our dayes teachest vs to keepe Christianitie, and sufferest vs to enioy our kingdome to the happy commodity of our land, and wealth of our people, in despight of our enemies, and to our fame with our friends.
We Iohn Vasiliwich by the grace of God, great lord, Emperour, and great duke of all Russia, Volodemer, Moscouia, Nouogrod, Emperour of Cazan, Tuersky, Vgorsky, Permisky, Vadsky, Bulgaria, and many others, lord and great duke of the Low countreys of Nouogrod, Chernigosky, Resansky, Polotsky, Rastow, Veraslaue, Bealosera, Owdorsky, Condinsky, and all Siberland, great commander of all the North parts, lord of Leifland, and many other Northward, Southward, and Westward.
Whereas our sister Elizabeth by the grace of God Queene of England, France and Ireland, defender of the faith, hath written vnto vs her letters for her merchants, who hath made sute that we should grant our goodnesse to the merchants which are of one company, and giue them free leaue to come to traffike in our kingdome to Colmogro, and to the countrey of Dwina, and to our great citie of Moscouia, and to all the cities in our dominions, and thorow our countrey to Boghar, to Persia, Casbin, and Chardy, and to all other countreys.
1 We Iohn Vasiliwich Emperour and great duke of all Russia, (for our sister Elizabeths sake, Queene, of England) haue giuen and granted to the English merchants, the Gouernors, Cousuls, Assistants and fellowship, sir Wil. Garrard Knight, Rowland Haiward Alderman, Ioh. Thamworth Esquire, Iohn Riuers Alderman, Henry Beecher Alderman, Consuls: Sir Wil. Chester Knight, Edward Iackman Alderman, Lionel Ducket Alderman, Edward Gilbert, Laurence Huse, Francis Walsingham, Clement Throgmorton Iohn Quarles, Nicholas Wheeler, Thomas Banister, Iohn Harrison, Francis Burnham, Anthony Gamage, Iohn Somers, Richard Wilkinson, Ioh. Sparke, Richard Barne, Robert Woolman, Thomas Browne, Thomas Smith, Thomas Allen, Thomas More, William Bully, Richard Yong, Thomas Atkinson, Assistants: Iohn Mersh Esquire, Geofrey Ducket, Francis Robinson, Matthew Field, and all the rest of their company and fellowship, and to their successours and deputies, to come with ships and other vessels into our countery at Colmogorod, and Dwina, and to all the North parts now being ours, or that hereafter shall at any time be in our possession, by sea, riuer or land, euen to our great Citie of Mosco, in all the townes of our Countrey, to Cazan and Astracan, to Nouogorod the great, to Plesko and Leifland, Vriagorod, to Narue, and all other townes of Leifland. 2 And to passe through our land to Boghar, Persia, Casbin, Charday, and other Countreyes: And wheresoeuer they come there to be and abide freely, and to barter and bargaine freely all wares of sale, without custome of all people, and Marchants strangers whatsoeuer.
And if so be they bring any fine wares out of Englande, or any other Countrey from Boghar, Persia, Casbin, or from any other place, and those their wares that come by the way of Narue, or any other part into our Dominion, to bring the same wares into our treasure, and our Treasurers to view the same wares, and to take into our Treasurie of the same such as shalbe needful for vs. And all such wares as we shal not need, our Chancellour to redeliuer the same: And after the view of our Chancellours, to barter it freely to whom they will, not selling any of their wares needful for vs, before our Chancellour haue seene the same. And all other grosse and heauy wares that shall be needful to our vse not being brought to Mosco, to declare and tell our Chancellour of the same wares: And to giue a note thereof by name, and how much they leaue there, not brought to Mosco; and then if we neede not the said wares, the English Marchants, their seruants and Factors, to conuey their wares the neerest way to Vstiug the great, and so to Colmogorod, or elsewhere at their pleasure, there to barter and sell the same. But those wares that shalbe needfull for our Treasurie, they shall not hide from vs in any case.
And when our Chancellours shall send our aduenture, with the said Marchants or their Factors, they to take our aduentures with them, and to sell, and to barter for such wares as shalbe meete for our Treasurie, and to returne it into our Treasurie.
And when we shall sende any aduenture into England then our Chancellour to giue them a yeeres warning, that their ships may be prouided thereafter, that by taking in of our wares, they leaue not their owne behind them.
And to take our aduenture yeerely when they goe into Persia.
Neither shall the English marchants receiue or colour any of our peoples goods, nor barter nor sell it in any wise: likewise our people not to barter for the sayd English merchants or occupy for them.
3 And when they shall come into our Empire of Casan and Astracan, and other places of our Dominions, then our Captaines of Casan and Astracan, and our authorised people, quietly to let them passe, not taking any toll or custome of their wares, nor once to make search thereof.
And when we shal send no adueture with them, yet to suffer them freely to passe, not viewing their wares, nor taking any kinde of custome. And whatsoeuer English marchant will bargaine with our Marchants or Factors ware for ware to barter the same at their pleasure.
And whatsoeuer their Marchant or Factors will sell their wares at their house at Mosco, which house I granted them at S. Maxims at the Mosco, they to sell the ware to our people, either strangers as they may best vtter it, keeping within their house, arshines, measures, and waights vnder seales.
4 We haue granted them the saide house at S. Maxims in the halfe free, and without standing rent, as heretofore we did grant it the said English Marchants, sir Wil. Garrard, and the Company, maintayning in the said house one housekeeper a Russe, and two Russe seruants, or some of their owne countrey men, and none other Russes besides the aforesayde. And the said housekeepers that shall liue at their house with the English marchants neither to buy nor sel any wares for them, but that the said marchants themselues or their factors, shall buy, sell, and barter their owne wares: and our Moscouie marchants not to take the said Englishmens wares to sell them in our townes, nor to buy any wares for them, neither the English marchant to colour any Russe wares at any towne.
5 And whatsoeuer English marchant will sell his wares at Colmogorod, Dwyna, Vologda, Yeraslaue, Castran, Nouogorod the lower, Casan, Astracan, Nouogrod the great, Vopsko, the Narue, Vriagorod, or at any other townes, they to sel their wares there at their pleasure: And of all wares aswell of other countreis as of Russia, no officer or other to take any custome, neither in any place to stay them in any wise, neither take any kinde of toll of them for their wares whatsoeuer.
6 And whatsoeuer marchant shall bargaine or buy any wares of English marchants: The said Russe not to returne those wares vpon the marchants hands againe, but to giue ready money for the said wares, otherwise they to craue the Iustice to giue right, and to execute the lawe vpon the same with all expedition. And when the English marchants or factors shal trauaile from Moscouie after the dispatch of their wares and businesse, then to shew themselues vnto our Chancellours, whatsoeuer wares of theirs shall goe from Mosco, they not to shew the same wares to any our officers, nor pay no custome nor toll in any place.
7 If it so happen the English marchants haue any wracke, and the shippes be brought to any port of our Dominions, we to command the said goods to be enquired and sought out, and to be giuen to the English marchants, being here abiding at that time in our Countrey, the factors, seruants, or deputies, of the Company aforesayd, to whom we haue granted this our gratious letter.
And if there happen none of the English merchants, factors, seruants, or deputies to be in our Countreis at such time, then we wil all the said goods to be sought out and bestowed in some conuenient place, and when any of the Company aforewritten, bringing these our letters, shall come for their goods, we to command their goods to be restored vnto them.
8 Likewise wee haue graunted leaue to the English merchants, their Gouernours, Consuls, and assistants, namely, sir William Garrard knight, Rowland Howard, and to the Companie, to builde houses at Vologda, Colmogro, and the seaside, at Iuangorod, at Cherell, and in all other places our Dominions, as shall be needeful for their trade. And they to keepe at the said house one housekeeper, a Russe, and two or three men to keepe their wares at the said houses, making sale thereof to whom they will, they, their Factors or deputies: the said housekeeper not to buy or sell for them.
9 Also we haue giuen and graunted to the English Marchants, their house which they haue by your goodnesse at S. Maximes in the Zenopski, and other their houses in the towne of Zenopski, made for the better assurance of their goods, and all such as they shall set vp hereafter shal be of the Opressini [Marginal note: Or chosen side.], and will make them knowen to all them of Opressini.
10 And whereas by our goodnes we haue graunted them a Ropehouse at Vologda, being farre from the English Merchants house, now we haue giuen them to build a house for that vse by the said English house, and haue giuen and graunted them (of our goodnesse) ground, one hundreth and fourescore fadome long, and fiftie fadomes in breadth, according to their owne request.
11 Also we haue of our goodnesse giuen and graunted to the English Merchants, leaue to buy them a house at Wichida, and there to search our mines of yron. And where they shal happily find it, there to set vp houses for the making of the same yron: and to make the same, of our goodnesse haue graunted them woods; fiue or sixe miles compasse about the sayd houses, to the making of the sayd yron, and not to exceede these bounds, and limits: And where they shall cut the sayde wood, not to set vp any village or farme there, bringing the artificers for making of their yron, out of their owne Countrey, and to learne our people that arte, and so freely occupying the said yron in these our Dominions, transporting also of the same home into Englande, allowing for euery pound one dingo, or halfe penie.
12 And if any of the said yron shalbe needfull for our workes, then we to take of the said yron to our worke, vpon agreement of price, paying money out of our Treasurie for the same: And when the said English Merchants or Factors shal send their owne people out of our Realme into their Countrey, ouer land through any Countrey whatsoeuer, freely to send the same with our words.
13. Also we of our goodness haue graunted, that if any man misuse the said English, the Factors or seruants, or the saide English Merchants; their Factors or seruants abuse any other at Moscouie, or any other out townes whatsoeuer within our Dominions in trade of Marchandise or otherwise, then they to haue vpright iustice in all such matters of our counsaile the Opressini without all let or delay: But if our Iustice may not agree the parties, then lots to be made, and to whose lotte it shall fall, to him the right to be giuen, and that only our counsaile at Moscouie, and none of our Captaines, or authorised people, or officers in any other our townes, giue iudgement vpon the said English Merchants for any thing.
14 Also, if any stranger shall haue matter of controuersie with any English Merchant, Factor or seruant, abiding within these our Realmes, or contrariwise any English Merchant, Factor or seruant, against any other stranger, in all those causes our Counsaile of the Opressini, to giue them Iustice, and to make an agreement and end betweene the parties, without all delay: And none to deale therein, saue our Counsaile of the Opressini.
15 And if any man haue action against any English Merchant being absent, that then in his absence it shalbe lawfull for any other Englishman at his assignation to answere his cause.
16 If any Englishman happen to be wounded or beaten to death, or any Russe or stranger slaine or beaten. 17 Or any stollen goods to be found in the said English houses, then our Counsellors to cause the guiltie persons to be sought out, and to doe right and Iustice in the cause, and the partie that is guiltie, if he deserue punishment, to be corrected accordingly after his offence: That the said English Merchants, factors and seruant, sustaine thereby no hinderance or damage.
18 And whatsoeuer English Marchant, Factor, seruant, or deputie, shalbe guilty of any fault, deseruing our displeasure, then our Counsellors to cause the guiltie partie to goe vnder suerties, and their goods to be sealed and kept, vntill our pleasure be further knowen, and our Counsaile to examine their offence, and so to report it vnto vs, that we may command what shall be done therein, and none other to be arrested or haue their goods sealed, which are not guiltie of that offence, nor to stay or apprehend them in any of our Dominions for the same.
19 If any English Marchant, Factor or seruant shall offend, it shalbe lawfull for their Agent to doe iustice vpon the said partie, or to send him home into England at his pleasure.
20 If any English Marchant, Factor or seruant, haue lent or hereafter shall lende money to any of our people, or credite them with wares, and so depart into any forreigne Countrey, or die before the debt be due to be payde, then our people and Marchants to paye the sayde debt, to whom soeuer shall be appointed to the sayd roome or charge, and the saide English Marchant, factor, or seruant, to bring his bill of debt to our Counsell, to shewe them what is due, and what money is owing them for any wares: and thus to doe truly, not adding any whit to the debt, and our Counsel to command the debt to be discharged vnto the English Marchant, factor, or seruant, without delay.
21 And whatsoeuer English Marchant shall be arrested for debt, then our Counsell to command the partie vnder arrest to be deliuered to the Agent: and if he haue no suertie, to binde the Agent with him, for the better force of the bond.
And if any Englishman be endebted, we will the Creditor not to cast him in prison, or to deliuer him to the Sergeant, lest the officer lose him, but to take ware in pawne of the debt.
22 Also of our goodnes, we haue granted the English Marchants to send our Commission to all our Townes, Captaines, and authorised men, to defende and garde the said Marchants from all theeues, robbers, and euill disposed persons.
23 If in comming or going to and fro our dominions, the Marchants, the factors, or seruants be spoyled on the sea, our Counsell shall send our letters, and will them to be sought out, and where they shall finde the goods, cause it to be restored againe, and the offender to be punished, according to our commandement.
24 Also of our goodnes, we haue granted the saide Merchants to take vp Brokers, Packers, Wayers, and such like labourers, as shall be needefull for them, paying for their hier as the labourers and they shall agree.
25 We likewise of our goodnes, haue licensed the English Marchants in our Townes of Mosco, Nouogorod the great, and Plesko, that the Coiners of the said Townes shall melt Dollers, and coine money for them, without custome, allowing for coales, and other necessaries, with the workemanship.
26 Also of our goodnes, we haue granted to the sayd English Merchants, to take poste horse at needfull times, leauing with our officers a note how many they take, and not else, in no case hindering or diminishing our treasurie.
27 Also for our sister Queene Elizabeths sake, we of our goodnes haue granted to the merchants within written, this our letter, and to their successors, that no Englishman, nor any other stranger, come without the Queenes leaue to Colmogorode, the riuer of Vob, Vasiagy, Pechora, Cola, Mezena, Pechingo, Zeleuetskyes Island, the riuer of Shame, nor to no other hauen of Dwina, nor to any part of the northside of Dwina, by hetherward of Wardhouse, to any hauen, with shippe, Busse, or any other vessell, nor to occupie in any kind of waies, but only the said English Companie, and their successors, to whom we of our goodnes haue granted this priuiledge.
28 Also that no English Merchant, without the Queenes leaue, shall come With any wares, to the Narue, or Vriogorod.
29 And whatsoeuer English Merchant, stranger, or other, of whatsoeuer countrey he be, shall come with any shippe; Busse, or any other vessel, to any of the said hauens, of the north side, to any part of Dwina, by North the Narue, or Vriogorod, without the Queenes leaue or knowledge, not being of the company aboue written, we to apprehende and take the same vessell from those strangers and Merchants, the one halfe to vs the Emperour, and great Duke, and the other halfe to the company of English Merchants.
30 Also of our goodnes we haue granted the said company of English merchants, that no English merchants or strangers shall passe through our dominions, to Boghar, Persia, Casbin, Charday, or other Countreys, saue onely the company of English merchants and our owne messengers.
31 Also whatsoeuer Englishman, comming out of England or any other Countrey, into our dominions, without the Queenes leaue, and knowledge, not being of the sayd company, written within those our letters, mind, and purpose, to abide in our realme, contrary to the Queenes will and pleasure, or any way abuse himselfe, the Agent shall freely send him home, to the Queene his Soueraigne: which if the Agent of himselfe be vnable to do, let him pray for ayd of the captaines and officers of our townes there being, and so send him to prison, and will the sayd captaines not to hinder the sayd Agent from sending home such euill persons into England.
32 And if any man within our countrey runne away to any other towne or place, the English merchants and factours, to haue free libertie to apprehend him, and take their goods from him againe.
33 And as for our priuilege giuen to Thomas Glouer, Ralfe Rutter, Christopher Bennet, Iohn Chappell, and their adherents, we haue commanded the same priuileges to be taken from them.
34 Also we of our goodnesse haue granted the sayd company of English merchants, their successours, seruants and deputies, that doe or shall remaine at Mosco, or elsewhere within our dominions freely to keepe their owne law: and in any wise none of ours to force them to our law or faith against their will.
Moreouer, besides and with the company of English merchants, we permit all strangers, to trade to our towne of Narue, Iuanogorod, and other our townes of Liefland, as they haue done beforetime. Giuen from the beginning of the world 7077, in the moneth of Iune 20, Indiction 12, the yere of our lordship and reign 35, and of our Empire of Rusland 23. Cazan 17, Astracan 15.
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Other speciall grants by his Maiesties priuate letters at the sute of M. Randolfe Ambassadour.
Releasement out of prison of Fitzherbert, that was accused for writing of letters against the Emperour.
Liberty giuen to Thomas Greene that was accused and troubled vpon suspition of his dealing with the Ambassadour, and licence giuen to him to trafficke as he was accustomed.
Andrew Atherton and his sureties released at the Narue and his seruant at the Mosco, that were in trouble for sending the merchants letters into England.
A letter granted to Thomas Southam to the Councell, for iustice against them that stole the pearles.
His Maiesties fauor promised to the Artificers, and liuings to be appointed them as they can best deserue.
A letter to the merchants that went into Persia, to passe freely without impeachment in his dominions, as also letters of fauour to the great Shaugh of Persia.
A grant vnto the company that at what time soeuer they send to the discouery of Cataya, they shalbe licenced to repaire vnto this countrey, and haue such conducts and guides, mariners, vessels, men and victuals as they shall stand in need of.
It is also promised by Knez Alfanas, and Peter Gregoriwich in the Emperours name, that if Benet Butler or any English man complaine, deface, hinder in way of traffike or otherwise go about to discredit the worshipfull company, and their doings, that therein they shall not be heard, and the doers to be punished, as in such cases they shalbe iudged to haue deserued.
Certaine persons granted to be sent home into England that serued the company, and were practisers against them in that countrey.
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A Commission giuen by vs Thomas Randolfe Ambassadour for the Queenes Maiestie in Russia, and Thomas Bannister, &c. vnto Iames Bassendine, Iames Woodcocke and Richard Browne, the which Bassendine, Woodcocke, and Browne we appoint ioyntly together, and aiders, the one of them to the other, in a voyage of discouery to be made (by the grace of God) by them, for searching of the sea, and border of the coast, from the riuer Pechora, to the Eastwards, as hereafter foloweth Anno 1588. The first of August.
In primis, when your barke with all furniture is ready, you shall at the beginning of the yere (assoone as you possibly may) make your repaire to the Easterne part of the riuer Pechora, where is an Island called Dolgoieue, and from thence you shall passe to the Eastwards alongst by the Sea coast of Hugorie, or the maine land of Pechora, and sailing alongst by the same coast, you shall passe within seuen leagues of the Island Vaigats, which is in the straight, almost halfe way from the coast of Heugorie, vnto the cast of Noua Zembla, which Island Vaigats and Noua Zembla you shall finde noted in your plat [Footnote: map], therefore you shall not need to discouer it: but proceed on alongst the coast of Hugory, towards the riuer Obba.
[Sidenote: Cara Reca. Naramsi Reca.] There is a Bay [Footnote: Gulf of Kara.] betweene the sayd Vaigats, and the riuer Obba, that doth bite to the Southwards, into the land of Hugory, in which Bay are two small riuers, the one called Cara Reca [Footnote: River Kara.], the other Naramsy [Footnote: Probably the River Juribei.], as in the paper of notes which are giuen to you herewith may appeare: in the which Bay you shall not need to spend any time for searching of it, but to direct your course to the riuer Ob (if otherwise you be not constrained to keepe alongst the shore) and when you come to the riuer Ob you shall not enter into it, but passe ouer vnto the Easterne part of the mouth of the sayd riuer.
And when you are at the Easterne part of Obba Reca, you shall from thence passe to the Eastwards, alongst by the border of the sayd coast, describing the same in such perfect order as you can best do it. You shall not leaue the sayd coast or border of the land, but pass alongst by it, at least in sight of the same, vntil you haue sailed by it so farre to the Eastwards and the time of the yeere so farre spent, that you doe thinke it time for you to returne with your barke to Winter, which trauell may well be 300 or 400 leagues to the Eastwards of the Ob, if the Sea doe reach so farre as our hope is it doth: but and if you finde not the said coast and sea to trend so farre to the Eastwards, yet you shall not leaue the coast at any time, but proceed alongst by it, as it doth lie, leauing no part of it vnsearched, or seene, vnlesse it be some bay, or riuer, that you doe certeinly know by the report of the people, that you shall finde in those borders, or els some certeine tokens whereby you of your selues may iudge it to be so. For our hope is that the said border of land and sea doth in short space after you passe the Ob, incline East, and so the Southwards. And therefore we would haue no part of the land of your starreboord side, as you proceed in your discouery, to be left vndiscouered.
But and if the said Border of land do not incline so to the Eastwards as we presuppose it, but that it doe proue to incline and trend to the Northwards, and so ioyne with Noua Zembla, making the sea from Vaigats to the Eastwards but a bay: yet we will that you do keepe alongst by the said coast, and so bring vs certaine report of that forme and maner of the same bay.
And if it doe so proue to be a bay, and that you haue passed round about the same, and so by the trending of the land come backe vnto that part of Noua Zembla that is against Vaigats whereas you may from that see the said Island Vaigats, if the time of the yeere will permit you, you shall from thence passe alongst by the said border and coast of Noua Zembla to the Westwards, and so to search whether that part of Noua Zembla doe ioyne with the land that Sir Hugh Willoughbie discouered in anno 53, [Footnote: There is, of course, no such land.] and is in 72 degrees, and from that part of Noua Zembla 120 leagues to the Westwards, as your plat doeth shew it vnto you: and if you doe finde that land to ioyne with Noua Zembla, when you come to it, you shall proceed further along the same coast, if the time of the yere will permit it, and, that you doe think there will be sufficient time for you to returne backe with your barke to Winter either at Pechora or in Russia, at your discretion: for we refer the same to your good iudgements, trusting that you will lose no time, that may further your knowledge in this voyage.
Note you, it was the 20 of August, 56 yer the Serchthrift began to returne backe from her discouerie, to Winter in Russia, and then she came from the Island Vaigats, being forcibly driuen from thence with an Easterly winde and yce, and so she came into the riuer Dwina, and arriued at Colmogro the 11 of September, 56. If the yce had not bene so much that yere as it was in the Streights, on both sides of the Island Vaigats, they in the said pinnesse would that yere haue discouered the parts that you are now sent to seek: which thing (if it had pleased God) might haue bene done then: but God hath reserued it for some other. Which discouerie, if it may be made by you, it shall not only proue profitable vnto you, but it will also purchase perpetuall fame and renowme both to you and our country. And thus not doubting of your willing desires, and forwardnesse towards the same, we pray God to blesse you with a lucky beginning, fortunate successe, and happily to end the same. Amen.
Necessarie notes to be obserued, and followed in your discouerie, as hereafter followeth.
When your barke with all furniture and necessaries shall be in readinesse for you to depart to the sea (if it be that you take your barke at S. Nicholas, or any part of Dwina Reca) you shall from thence, euen as timely in the spring as the yce will permit you, saile, and make all expedition that may be, vnto the mouth of the riuer Pechora (as your commission doth leade you) and as you passe by the coast all alongst (notwithstanding the plat that sheweth you the description of the said coast, from Dwina vnto Vaigats) yet you shall seeke by all the meanes that you can, to amend the same plat, vsing as many obseruations, as you possibly can do: and these notes following are to be obserued by you principally.
1 First, that you do obserue the latitude as often, and in as many places as you may possibly do it, noting diligently the place where you do so obserue the same.
2 Also that you doe diligently set with your compasse, how the land doth lie from point to point, all alongst as you goe, and to vse your iudgements how farre there may be betweene ech of them.
3 Item, that you do alwayes vse to draw the proportion and biting of the land, aswell the lying out of the points, and headlands, vnto the which you shall giue some apt names (at your discretion) as also the forme of the Bayes, and to make some marke in drawing the forme, and border of the same, where the high cliffes are, and where low land is, whether sandy hilles, or whatsoeuer: omit not to note any thing that may be sensible and apparant to you, which may serue to any purpose.
4 In passing along by any coast, that you keepe your lead going often times, and sound at the least once euery glasse, and oftener if you thinke good as occasion doth serue, and note diligently the depth with the maner of the ground, and at euery time, how farre the same sounding may be from the next shore to it: and how the next point or headland doth beare from you. And in the sea after you set off from your port, you shall orderly at the end of euery foure glasses sound, and if you finde ground, note the depth and what ground, but if you can finde no ground, you shall also note in what depth you could find no ground.
5 Also that you do diligently obserue the flowing, and ebbing in euery place, and how the tides do set, which way the flood doth come, and how much water it doth high in euery place, and what force the same tide hath to driue a ship in an houre, as neere as you can iudge it.
6 Also that you doe seeke to obserue with the instrument which I deliuer you herewith, according as I taught you at Rose Island, the true platformes, and distances, in as many places as conueniently you may, for it serueth very aptly your purpose.
7 Also that you take with you paper and ynke, and keepe a continuall iournall or remembrance day by day, of all such things as shall fall out worth the knowledge, not forgetting or omitting to write it, and note it, that it may be shewed and read at your returne.
8 These orders if you shall diligently obserue, it will be easie for you to make a plat and perfect description of your discouery, and so shall your notes be sufficient to answere that which is looked for at your hands. But withall you may not forget to note as many things as you can learne and vnderstand by the report of any people whatsoeuer they be, so that it appertaine any way to our desires. And thus the Lord God prosper your voyage, Amen. [Footnote: Though dated 1588, this journey took place in 1578. Nothing is really known of the result of the expedition; but it has been supposed that the English vessel, which was wrecked at the mouth of the Ob about 1580, and whose crew was massacred by Samoyeds (_Purchas_, iii. p. 546; _Hamel_, p. 238), was the one bearing Bassendine and his companions.]
* * * * *
Certaine letters in verse, written by Master George Turberuile [Footnote: Born at Whitchurch about 1530; educated at New College, Oxford; supposed to have died about 1600. “Occasional felecity of diction, a display of classical allusion, and imagery taken from the customs and amusements of the age ate not wanting; but the warmth, the energy, and the enthusiasm of poetry are sought for in vain.” (_Drake_, Shakespeare and his Times, p. 456).] out of Moscouia, which went as Secretarie thither with Master Tho. Randolph, her Maiesties Ambassadour to the Emperour 1568, to certeine friends of his in London, describing the maners of the Countrey and people.
To his especiall friend Master Edward Dancie. [Footnote: Probably the grandson of Sir Thomas Moore, and son of his second daughter, Elizabeth Dancy.]
My Dancie deare, when I recount within my brest, My London friends, and wonted mates, and thee aboue the rest: I feele a thousand fits of deepe and deadly woe, To thinke that I from land to sea, from blisse to bale did go. I left my natiue soile, full like a retchlesse man, And vnacquainted of the coast, among the Russes ran: A people passing rude, to vices vile inclinde, Folke fit to be of Bacchus traine, so quaffing is the kinde. Drinke is their whole desire, the pot is all their pride, The sobrest head doth once a day stand needfull of a guide. If he to banket bid his friends, he will not shrinke On them at dinner to bestow a douzen kindes of drinke: Such licour as they haue, and as the countrey giues, But chiefly two, one called Kuas, whereby the Mousiket liues. Small ware and waterlike, but somewhat tart in taste, The rest is Mead of honie made, wherewith their lips they baste. And if he goe vnto his neighbour as a guest, He cares for litle meate, if so his drinke be of the best. No wonder though they vse such vile and beastly trade, Sith with the hatchet and the hand, their chiefest gods be made. Their Idoles haue their hearts, on God they neuer call, Vnlesse it be (Nichola Bough) that hangs against the wall. The house that hath no god, or painted Saint within, Is not to be resorted to, that roofe is full of sinne. Besides their priuate gods, in open places stand Their crosses vnto which they crooche, and blesse themselues with hand. Deuoutly downe they ducke, with forehead to the ground, Was neuer more deceit in ragges, and greasie garments found: Almost the meanest man in all the countrey rides, The woman eke, against our vse, her trotting horse bestrides. In sundry colours they both men and women goe, In buskins all, that money haue on buskins to bestoe. Each woman hanging hath a ring within her eare, Which all of ancient vse, and some of very pride doe weare. Their gate is very braue, their countenance wise and sadde. And yet they follow fleshy lustes, their trade of liuing badde. It is no shame at all accompted to defile Anothers bedde, they, make no care their follies to concile, Is not the meanest man in all the land but hee, To buy her painted colours doeth allow his wife a fee, Wherewith she deckes her selfe, and dies her tawnie skinne, She pranks and paints her smoakie face, both brow, lip, cheeke, and chinne. Yea those that honest are, if any such there bee Within the land, doe vse the like: a man may plainely see. Vpon some womens cheekes the painting how it lies, In plaister sort, for that too thicke her face the harlot dies. But such as skilfull are, and cunning Dames indeede, By dayly practise doe it well, yea sure they doe exceede. They lay their colours so, as he that is full wise, May easly be deceiu’d therein, if he doe trust his eyes. I not a little muse, what madnesse makes them paint Their faces, waying how they keepe the stooue by meere constraint. For seldome when, vnlesse on Church or marriage day A man shall see the Dames abroade, that are of best aray. The Russie meanes to reape the profit of her pride, And so he mewes her to be sure, she lye by no mans side. Thus much, friend Dancie, I did meane to write to thee, To let thee weete in Russia land, what men and women bee. Hereafter I perhaps of other things will write To thee and other of my friends, which I shall see with sight: And other stuffe besides, which true report shall tell, Meane while I end my louing lines, and bid thee now farewell.
[Footnote 1: Moudjick, a servant.]
[Footnote 2: St. Nicholas.]
If I should now forget, or not remember thee, Thou Spencer might’st a foule rebuke, and shame impute to mee, For I to open shew did loue thee passing well, And thou wert he at parture, whom I loathde to bid farewell. And as I went thy friend, so I continue still, No better proofe thou canst then this desire of true good will I doe remember well when needes I should away, And that the Poste would licence vs, no longer time to stay: Thou wrongst me by the fist, and holding fast my hand, Didst craue of me to send thee newes, and how I liked the land. It is a sandie soile, no very fruitful vaine, More waste and wooddie grounds there are, then closes fit for graine. Yet graine there growing is, which they vntimely take, And cut or eare the corne be ripe, they mowe it on a stacke: And laying sheafe by sheafe, their haruest so they dry, They make the greater haste, for feare the frost the corne destroy. For in the winter time, so glarie is the ground, As neither grasse, nor other graine, in pastures may be found. In coms the cattell then, the sheepe, the colt, the cowe,
Fast by his bed the Mowsike then a lodging doth allowe, Whom he with fodder feeds, and holds as deere as life: And thus they weare the winter with the Mowsike and his wife. Seuen months the Winter dures, the glare it is so great, As it is May before he turne his ground to sow his wheate. The bodies eke that die vnburied lie they then, Laid vp in coffins made of firre, as well the poorest men, As those of greater state: the cause is lightly found, For that in Winter time, they cannot come to breake the ground. And wood so plenteous is, quite throughout all the land, As rich, and poore, at time of death assurd of coffins stand. Perhaps, thou musest much, how this may stand with reason, That bodies dead can vncorrupt abide so long a season. Take this for certaine trothe, as soone as heate is gone, The force of cold the body binds as hard as any stone, Without offence at all to any liuing thing: And so they lye in perfect state, till next returne of Spring. Their beasts be like to ours, as farre as I can see For shape, and shewe, but somewhat lesse of bulke, and bone they be. Of watrish taste, the flesh not firme, like English beefe, And yet it seru’s them very well, and is a good releefe: Their sheep are very small, sharpe singled, handfull long; Great store of fowle on sea and land, the moorish reedes among. The greatnes of the store doeth make the prices lesse, Besides in all the land they know not how good meate to dresse. They vse neither broach nor spit, but when the stoue they heate, They put their victuals in a pan, and so they bake their meate. No pewter to be had, no dishes but of wood, No use of trenchers, cups cut out of birche are very good. They vse but wooden spoones, which hanging in a case Eache Mowsike at his girdle ties, and thinkes it no disgrace. With whitles two or three, the better man the moe, The chiefest Russies in the land, with spoone and kniues doe goe. Their houses are not huge of building, but they say, They plant them in the loftiest ground, to shift the snow away, Which in the Winter time, eache where full thicke doth lie: Which makes them haue the more desire, to set their houses hie. No stone work is in vse, their roofes of rafters bee, One linked in another fast, their wals are all of tree. Of masts both long, and large; with mosse put in betweene, To keepe the force of weather out, I neuer earst haue seene A grosse deuise so good, and on the roofe they lay The burthen barke, to rid the raine, and sudden showres away. In euery roome a stoue, to serue the Winter turne, Of wood they haue sufficient store, as much as they can burne. They haue no English glasse, of slices of a rocke. Hight Sluda they their windows make, that English glasse doth mocke. They cut it very thinne, and sow it with a thred In pretie order like to panes, to serue their present need. No other glasse, good faith doth giue a better light: And sure the rocke is nothing rich, the cost is very slight. The chiefest place is that, where hangs the god by it, The owner of the house himselfe doth neuer sit, Unlesse his better come, to whom he yealds the seat: The stranger bending to the god, the ground with brow most beat And in that very place which they most sacred deeme, The stranger lies: a token that his guest he doth esteeme. Where he is wont to haue a beares skinne for his bed, And must, in stead of pillow, clap his saddle to his head. In Russia other shift there is not to be had, For where the bedding is not good, the boalsters are but bad I mused very much, what made them so to lie, Sith in their countrey Downe is rife, and feathers out of crie: Vnlesse it be because the countrey is so hard, They feare by nicenesse of a bed their bodies would be mard, I wisht thee oft with vs, saue that I stood in feare Thou wouldst haue loathed to haue layd thy limmes vpon a beare, As I and Stafford did, that was my mate in bed: And yet (we thanke the God of heauen) we both right well haue sped. Loe thus I make an ende: none other newes to thee, But that the countrey is too colde, the people beastly bee. I write not all I know, I touch but here and there, For if I should, my penne would pinch, and eke offend I feare. Who so shall read this verse, coniecture of the rest, And thinke by reason of our trade, that I do thinke the best. But if no traffique were, then could I boldly pen The hardnesse of the soile, and eke the maners of the men. They say the Lions paw giues iudgement of the beast: And so may you deeme of the great, by reading of the least.
[Footenote: _Suggested emendation_: Them.]
To Parker. [Footnote: Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury. See an excellent account of him and his writings in Allibone’s Dictionary.]
My Parker, paper, pen, and inke were made to write, And idle heads, that little do, haue leisure to indite: Wherefore, respecting these, and thine assured loue, If I would write no newes to thee, them might’st my pen reproue. And sithence fortune thus hath shou’d my shippe on shore: And made me seeke another Realme vnseene of me before: The maners of the men I purpose to declare. And other priuate points besides, which strange and geazon are. The Russie men are round of bodies, fully fac’d, The greatest part with bellies bigge that ouerhang the waste, Flat headed for the most, with faces nothing faire, But browne, by reason of the stone, and closenesse of the aire: It is their common vse to shaue or els to sheare Their heads, for none in all the land long lolling locks doth weare, Vnlsse perhaps he haue his souereigne prince displeas’d, For then he neuer cuts his haire, vntil he be appeas’d, A certaine signe to know who in displeasure be, For euery man that viewes his head, will say, Loe this is he. And during all the time he lets his locks to grow, Dares no man for his life to him a face of friendship show. Their garments be not gay, nor handsome to the eye, A cap aloft their heads they haue, that standeth very hie, Which Colpack they do terme. They wears no ruffes at all; The best haue collers set with pearle, which they Rubasca call. Their shirts in Russie long, they worke them downe before, And on the sleeues with coloured Silks, two inches good and more. Aloft their shirts they weare a garment iacket wise Hight Onoriadka, and about his burlie waste, he tyes His portkies, which in stead of better breeches be: Of linnen cloth that garment is, no codpiece is to see. A paire of yarnen stocks to keepe the colde away, Within his boots the Russie weares, the heeles they vnderlay With clouting clamps of steele, sharpe pointed at the toes, And ouer all a Shuba furd, and thus the Russe goes. Well butned is the Shube, according to his state, Some Silke, of Siluer other some: but those of poorest rate Do weare no Shubs at all, but grosser gownes to sight, That reacheth downe beneath the calfe, and that Armacha hight: These are the Russies robes. The richest vse to ride From place to place, his seruant runnes, and followes by his side. The Cassacke beares his felt, to force away the raine: Their bridles are not very braue, their saddles are but plaine. No bits but snaffles all, of birch their saddles be, Much fashioned like the Scottish seates, broad flakes to keepe the knee From sweating of the horse, the pannels larger farre And broader be then ours, they vse short stirrups for the warre: For when the Russie is pursued by cruel foe, He rides away, and suddenly betakes him to his boe, And bends me but about in saddle as be sits, And therewithall amids his race his following foe he hits. Their bowes are very short, like Turkie bowes outright, Of sinowes made with birchen barke, in cunning maner dight. Small arrowes, cruell heads, that fell and forked bee, Which being shot from out those bowes, a cruel way will flee. They seldome vse to shoo their horse, vnlesse they ride In post vpon the frozen flouds, then cause they shall not slide, He sets a slender calke, and so he rides his way. The horses of the countrey go good fourescore versts a day, And all without the spurre, once pricke them and they skippe, But goe not forward on their way, the Russie hath his whippe To rappe him on the ribbes, for though all booted bee, Yet shall you not a paire of spurres in all the countrey see. The common game is chesse, almost the simplest will Both giue a checke and eke a mate, by practise comes their skill. Againe they dice as fast, the poorest rogues of all Will sit them downe in open field, and there to gaming fall Their dice are very small, in fashion like to those Which we doe vse, he takes them vp, and ouer thumbe he throwes Not shaking them a whit, they cast suspiciously, And yet I deeme them voyd of art that dicing most apply. At play when Siluer lacks, goes saddle, horse and all, And eche thing els worth Siluer walkes, although the price be small. Because thou louest to play friend Parker other while, I wish thee there the weary day with dicing to beguile. But thou weart better farre at home, I wist it well, And wouldest be loath among such lowts so long a time to dwell. Then iudge of vs thy friends, what kinde of life, we had, That neere the frozen pole to waste our weary dayes were glad. In such a sauage soile, weere lawes do beare no sway, But all is at the king his will, to saue or else to slay. And that sans cause, God wot, if so his minde be such. But what meane I with Kings to deale? we ought no Saints to touch. Conceiue the rest your selfe, and deeme what liues they lead, Where lust is Lawe, and Subiects liue continually in dread. And where the best estates haue none assurance good Of lands, of liues, nor nothing falles vnto the next of blood. But all of custome doeth vnto the prince redowne, And all the whole reuenue comes vnto the King his crowne. Good faith I see thee muse at what I tell thee now, But true it is, no choice, but all at princes pleasure bow. So Tarquine ruled Rome as thou remembrest well, And what his fortune was at last, I know thy selfe canst tell. Where will in Common weale doth beare the onely sway, And lust is Lawe, the prince and Realme must needs in time decay. The strangenesse of the place is such for sundry things I see, As if I woulde I cannot write ech priuate point to thee. The colde is rare, the people rude, the prince so full of pride, The Realme so stored with Monks and nunnes, and priests on euery side: The maners are so Turkie like, the men so full of guile, The women wanton, Temples stuft with idols that defile The Seats that sacred ought to be, the customes are so quaint, As if I would describe the whole, I feare my pen would faint. In summe, I say I neuer saw a prince that so did raigne, Nor people so beset with Saints, yet all but vile and vaine. Wilde Irish are as ciuill as the Russies in their kinde, Hard choice which is the best of both, ech bloody, rude and blinde. If thou bee wise, as wise thou art, and wilt be ruld by me, Liue still at home, and couet not those barbarous coasts to see. No good befalles a man that seeks, and findes no better place, No ciuill customes to be learned, where God bestowes no grace. And truely ill they do deserue to be belou’d of God, That neither loue nor stand in awe of his assured rod: Which though be long, yet plagues at last the vile and beastly sort. Of sinnill wights, that all in vice do place their chiefest sport.
A dieu friend Parker, if thou list, to know the Russes well, To Sigismundus booke repaire, who all the trueth can tell: For he long earst in message went vnto that sauage King. Sent by the Pole, and true report in ech respect did bring, To him I recommend my selfe; to ease my penne of paine, And now at last do wish thee well, and bid farewell againe.
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The fourth voyage into Persia, made by M. Arthur Edwards Agent, Iohn Sparke, Laurence Chapman, Christopher Faucet, and Richard Pingle, in the yeere 1568. declared in this letter written from Casbin in Persia by the foresaide Laurence Chapman to a worshipfull merchant of the companie of Russia in London. Anno Domini 1569. Aprill 28.
[Sidenote: Their arriuall at Bilbil the 14. of August 1568.] Worshipfull sir, my duetie alwayes remembred, and your prosperous health, and good successe in all your affaires wished, to the glory of God, and your owne hearts desire, &c. May it please you to vnderstand that your Agent M. Arthur Edwards and we departed from Yeraslaue in Iuly 1568. and the 14. of August arriued at our port called Bilbil, with your ship the Grace of God, and the goods in her in good safetie, God bee thanked for it, finding there neither the people so ready to ayd vs for the bringing of her in, and vnlading of the goods, nor yet so obedient to the Shaughs priuilege, as the worshipfull company haue bene informed. Our goods brought vpon land, we were compelled to open and sel as they would set the price, or otherwise it would haue bene worse for vs. [Sidenote: Prince Erasbec.] Being so satisfied to their contentment, we were speedily aided with camels by the prince Erasbec Sultan his appointment, to carry our goods to Shamaki, to which place we attained the first of September, finding it so throughly furnished with maner of commodities by occasion of our late comming, and by such as came before vs, that no man would aske to buy any one piece of karsie of vs, and lying then the space of one whole moneth before your Agent Arthur Edwards would disperse vs abroade with the goods, such as came out of Russia afterwardes, had brought their goods to that and other places, and spoyled those sayles wee might haue made, being sent abroad in time conuenient, being no little hinderance to the worshipfull, as also great griefe vnto vs to see. To conclude, through our dayly calling vpon him, he bent himselfe for Casbin, taking with him the greatest summe of the goods, and two of the worshipfuls seruants, to witte, Iohn Sparke and my selfe, to helpe and procure the better sale for the same: [Sidenote: Christopher Faucet and Richard Pingle.] and leauing at Shamaki Christopher Faucet and Richard Pingle with three hundred and fiftie pieces of karsies in their handes, supposed to be solde there or in Arrash before hee should be able to make his return from Casbin, which, so farre foorth as I can vnderstand, lie for the greatest part vnsolde. And being vpon our way, at a certaine towne called Ardouil, we chanced to barter nine pieces of karsies with those merchants for fourescore and foure batemans of cynamom, selling the karsies at one hundred and fiftie shawghs the piece.
And being at that present not farre from Teueris, called the principal place in this countrey for vttering of cloth or karsies, by much intreatie I perswaded your Agent to send thither to prooue what might be done, and receiuing from him foure and fiftie pieces of karsies, as also his commission for the sale of the same, I proceeded on that voyage my selfe, and one Tolmach in company with me, finding in that place great store of broad cloth and karsies brought thither, some part by the Turkes who be resident there, some by the Armenians, who fetch them at Aleppo, and some by the townesmen, who trauell vnto Venice and there buy them, so that no man offered me one penie more then a hundred and fourtie shawghs for a karsie: and hauing special commission and charge from your Agent not to stay there aboue the space of seuen dayes after my arriuall there, but to repaire to Casbin with all speed, and furthermore, hauing regard to keepe vp the price of the worshipfuls commodities, according to their desire, I found meanes to barter them away for spices, such as were there to be had, neither in goodnesse nor yet in price to my content: [Sidenote: Warre against the Portingals at Ormuz.] neuerthelesse, considering the colde sales which were there, as well for your karsies, as also the hot newes, that Ormuz way was shut up by occasion that the Indians do warre against them, which is true in deed: and againe the desire that the worshipfull hath to haue such commodities bought, I thought it necessary to buy them, the prices and weight whereof appeareth at large by my accompt sent to the worshipfull, and is, as I thinke, the whole summe of spices bought at this time.
[Sidenote: The gouernour of Grozin his Merchant.] It chanced me in that place to meet with the gouernours merchant of Grozin, who was not a litle desirous to bargen with me for a hundred pieces of karsies for his master called Leuontie, and offering me so good bands for the paiment of the money or silke to the merchants contentment vpon the deliuery of them, as in any place within all this countrey is to be had: and offering me besides his owne letter in the behalfe of his master, that no custome should be demanded for the same, and the obtaining also at his masters hand as large a priuilege for the worshipful to trauel into all parts of his dominion, as the Shaugh had giuen them, and hearing good report made of him by the Armenians also, and that he was a Christian, I was much more the willing to bargen with him, and sold him a hundred pieces for a hundred and threescore shawghs a piece, to be paid to the merchant in Grozin either in money or silke to his contentment, within three dayes after the deliuerie of the karsies there, hauing a band of him made by the Metropolitanes owne hand, for the performance of the same, which is as sure as any here is to be deuised: and vpon the same I sent my Tolmach from me backe to Shamaki, with such goods as I bought at Teueris, and to the end hee might cause the worshipfuls seruants there to see this bargen accomplished. [Sidenote: The generall inconsistencie in the merchants and dealers of those parts.] At whose arriuall there, as I do perceiue, the Captaine would not accomplish his bargen to take them, but saith, hee hath no need of them; such is the constancie of all men in the countrey, with whomsoeuer you shal bargen. If the ware be bought, and they doe mislike it afterwards, they will bring it againe, and compel you to deliuer the money for it againe, regarding the Shawghs letters, which manifesteth the contrary, as a straw in the winde: by meanes whereof, the worshipfull may know whether all be true that hath bene written of this countrey people or not.
I am informed by all the brokers in Teueris, that the way once open to Ormuz, from whence commeth no such store of spices as the worshipfull doeth looke for, that here will bee put a way in Teueris, some for money, and other some for barter, to the number of three hundred or foure hundred pieces of karsies, being in coulers and goodnesse to the examples here sent you, the rest of the karsies to make them vp a thousand, and broad clothes to the summe of a hundred, bee as many as will be put away yeerely in this countrey, so farre as yet I can perceiue.
[Sidenote: The trade between the Venetians and the Armenians not easily to be broken.] To breake the trade betwixt the Venetians and the whole company of the Armenians it is not possible, vnlesse the worshipful will finde some meanes to receiue of them yerely to the number of 100. catters or mules lading, and deliuer them for the same one third part money, the rest cloth and karsies fitted in coulers meete for this countrey: the examples, as abouesaid, are sent vnto you.
At Amadia sixe dayes iourney from Teueris, grow abundance of galles, which are brought vp yerely by the Venetians, and be solde there for two bistes the Teueris bateman, which as your Agent here saith, maketh sixe pound English weight, but I doubt it wil not so be proued. Neuerthelesse it is supposed much good will bee done by buying of them: which might at this present haue partly bene proued; it so be that some could do but halfe that which hath bene written.
Touching drugges, I finde many as well at Teueris, as also in Casbin, but the goodnesse nothing like to such as be brought into England out of other places: and the price is so high that smal gaine will be had in buying of them: albeit, if I had bene furnished with money, as I might haue bene, if some would, I would haue bought some, to the ende the goodnesse of them might haue bene seene in England. At my comming to Casbin I found no maner of sales of any commoditie made, but all lying there whole, and newes giuen out (as your Agent saith) that the Shaugh would buy all such commodities as he had, and giue him silke and spices for the same: but by report the Shaugh neuer tooke cloth into his treasurie all the dayes of his life, and will not now begin: his whole trade is in raw silke, which he selleth alwayes for money to the Armenians and Turkes, and such other as vse to buy it: thus hoping of that which is not like to be had, hee hath driuen off the time, not sending to any other places: by means whereof the worshipfuls goods lie vnsold to this day to their great hinderance, which I for my part am not a litle sory to see.
[Sidenote: Babylon 15 days iourney from Casbin.] Babylon is from hence fifteene dayes tourney, whereas by true report be great store of Dates, and sold for a bisse the batman, the commoditie fit for England, and the place so neere vnto vs might easily haue bene knowen, if hee, whose deeds and sayings differ much, had bene willing to the same. Casan also is but seuen dayes iourney from hence, and a place by report, where most store of spices be at all times to be had, ouer and aboue any place in this countrey: it could not be granted by him to be seen and proued at this time: if this be losse to the worshipfull, referre it to the want of one which can do that which he speaketh in words.
To trauell in this countrey is not onely miserable and vncomfortable for lacke of townes and villages to harbour in when night commeth, and to refresh men with wholesome victuals in time of need, but also such scarsitie of water, that sometime in three dayes iourney together, is not to be found any drop fit for man or beast to drinke, besides the great danger we stand in for robbing by these infidels, who doe account it remission of sinnes to wash their hands in the blood of one of vs. Better it is therefore in mine opinion to continue a beggar in England during life, then to remaine a rich Merchant seuen yeeres in this Countrey, as some shall well find at their comming hither.
[Sidenote: His voyage to Gilan.] By commandement of the Agent also I went to Gilan, as well to see what harbor was there for your ship, as also to vnderstand what commoditie is there best sold, and for what quantitie. I found the way from hence so dangerous and troublesome, that with my pen I am not able to note it vnto you: no man trauelleth from hence thither, but such poore people as need constraineth to buy Rice for their reliefe to liue vpon, and they lay not aboue twentie batmans vpon a catter, and it lieth no lower then the skirts of the saddle, and he escapeth very hardly that commeth there with the same.
The towne of Laighon, which was the chiefest place in all that land, haue I seen, and Langro and Rosar also, which be now ouerrun by the Shaugh and his power, and be so spoiled, and the people so robbed, that not one of them is able to buy one karsie. The best commoditie there to bee bought, is raw silke, and is sold in the Summer time for 38. shaughs the Laighon batman, which is litle aboue 40. li. waight, and for ready money: also there is to bee had what store of Alom you will, and sold there for one bisse the Teueris batman.
[Sidenote: The malice of the Turkish merchants.] In these partes be many Turkie merchants resident, which giue an outward shew, as though they were glad of our comming hither, but secretly they be our mortall enemies, searching by all meanes to hinder our sales, because we should the sooner giue ouer our trade thither, which in processe of time I hope will growe to better perfection. They wish vs to go to Hallape with the rest of our commodities vnsold, where they say we shall haue good intertainment in spight of the great number of Venetians which be there resident, and the custome but two in the hundred, and our karsies to be sold presently, had we neuer so many, for twelue duckets, which maketh of this money 165. shaughs: but by such as know the place, market and custome, it is reported to vs credibly to the contrary, and that such karsies as ours be, are not sold for aboue 8. duckets there: the custome thirtie in the hundred and more, that no place in the world so well furnished with good cloth and karsies, and of so braue colour as that place is, supposing it to bee craftily purposed of them, to bring vs into trouble, which God defend vs from.
[Sidenote: The price of spices.] The price of spices be these, at this present enhansed by reason the way is shut to Ormus, which when God shall send open, I purpose (God willing) to see, and at my returne to aduertise the worshipfull what benefit is there to be had in all points, so neere as I can learne: Pepper 25. shaughs the Teueris batman: Cloues 50. shaughs, Long pepper 25. shaughs, Maces large 50. shaughs, Ginger 24. shaughs, ready money all, or els looke not vpon them. And the best sort of rawe silke is sold for 60. shaughs the Teueris batman. Thus for want of further matter to inlarge, I ende for this time, beseeching God to preserue you in continuall health.
By your obedient seruant,
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Notes concerning this fourth voyage into Persia, begun in the moneth of Iuly 1568. gathered by M. Richard Willes from the mouth of Master Arthur Edwards which was Agent in the same.
When he came first to the Sophies presence, at his court in Casbin, bringing his interpreter with him, and standing farre off, the Sophie (sitting in a seat roiall with a great number of his noble men about him) bad him come neere, and that thrise, vntill he came so neere him that he might haue touched him with his hand. Then the first demand that he asked him was, from what countrey he came: he answered, that he came from England. Then asked hee of his noble men, who knew any such countrey? But when Edwards saw that none of them had any intelligence of that name, he named Inghilterra, as the Italians call England. [Sidenote: Londro, London.] Then one of the noble men said Londro, meaning thereby London, which name is better knowen in far countries out of Christendom, then is the name of England. When Edwards heard him name Londro, he said that that was the name of the chiefe citie of England, as was Teueris of the chiefe city of Persia. He asked him many things more, as of the realme of England, maruelling that it should be an Island of so great riches and power, as Edwards declared vnto him: of the riches and abundance of our merchandize he further vnderstood by our traffike in Moscouia and other countreis. He demanded also many thinges of the Queenes maiestie, and of the customes and lawes of the realme: saying oftentimes in his owne language, Bara colla, (that is to say) Well sayd. He asked also many things of King Philip, and of his wars against the Turke at Malta. Then he demanded of him what was the chiefe cause of his resort into his realme. And being certified that it was for the trade of merchandize he asked what kind of merchandize he could bring thither. Such (sayd hee) as the Venetian merchants do, which dwelling in our country in the city of Londro send to Venice, and from thence into Turkie by Halepo and Tripoli in Syria, from whence, as by the second and third hands, with great charges of many customs and other things thereunto pertaining, they are at the length brought into your countrey and cities of Persia. What merchandize are those? sayd the Sophie. Edwards answered, that they were great abundance of fine karsies, of broad clothes of all sorts and colours, as skariets, violets, and other of the finest cloth of all the world. [Sidenote: The Venetians traffike in England.] Also, that the Venetians brought out of England not onely such clothes ready made, but furthermore great plenty of fine wooll to mingle with their wools, of which they could not otherwise make fine cloth: affirming that there went out of England yeerly that waies, aboue two hundredth thousand karsies, and as many broad clothes, beside fine wooll and other merchandize, beside also the great abundance of like clothes, the which were caried into Spaine, Barbarie, and diuers other countries. The Sophie then asked him by what means such merchandize might be brought into Persia. Right wel sir (said he) by the way of Moscouia, with more safetie and in much shorter time then the Venetians can bring them: first from England to Venice, and from thence into Persia by the way of Turkie. And therefore if it shall please your maiestie to grant vs free passage into all your dominions, with such priuiledges as may appertaine to the safegard of our liues, goods and merchandize, we will furnish your countries with all such merchandize and other commodities, in shorter time, and better cheape then you may haue the same at the Turks hands. This talke and much more was between the Sophie and Edwards for the space of two houres: all which things liked him so well, that shortly after he granted to the sayd Arthur Edwards other priuiledges for the trade of merchandize into Persia, all written in Azure and gold letters, and deliuered vnto the lord keeper of the Sophie his great seale. The lord keeper was named Coche Califay, who sayd that when the Shaugh (that is the king or prince) did sit to seale any letters, that last priuiledge should be sealed and deliuered to Laurence Chapman. In this priuiledge is one principall article for seruants or merchants: That if the Agent do perceiue that vpon their naughtie doings, they would become Bursormen, that then the Agent wheresoeuer he shall find any such seruant or seruants, to take them and put them in prison, and no person to keepe them or maintaine them. This article was granted in respect of a custome among the Persians, being Mahumetans, whose maner is friendly to receiue and wel entertaine, both with gifts and liuing, all such Christians, as forsaking their religion, wil become of the religion of the Persians. Insomuch that before this priuiledge was granted, there was great occasion of naughty seruants to deceiue and rob their masters, that vnder the colour of professing that religion, they might liue among them in such safetie, that you might haue no lawe agaynst them, either to punish them or to recouer your goods at their hands, or elsewhere. For before the Sophie (whom they say to be a maruelous wise and gracious prince) seemed to fauour our nation, and to grant them such priuiledges, the people abused them very much, and so hated them, that they would not touch them, but reuiled them, calling them Cafars and Gawars, which is, infidels or misbeleeuers. But after they saw how greatly the prince fauoured them, they had them afterward in great reuerence, and would kisse their hands and vse them very friendly. For before they tooke it for no wrong to rob them, defraud them, beare false witnesse against them, and such merchandizes as they had bought or sold, make them take it againe, and change it as often as them listed. And if any stranger by chance had killed one of them, they would haue the life, of two for one slaine, and for the debts of any stranger would take the goods of any other of the same nation, with many other such like abuses, in maner vnknowen to the prince, before the complaints of our men made vnto him for reformation of such abuses: which were the cause that no merchant strangers of contrary religion durst come into his dominions with their commodities, which might be greatly to the profite of him and his subiects.
The Articles of the second priuiledge deliuered to Laurence Chapman, which are to be annexed vnto the former priuiledge.
10 Item, that the merchants haue free libertie, as in their first priuiledge, to goe: vnto Gilan, and all other places of his dominions, now or hereafter when occasion shall be giuen.
11 Item, if by misfortune any of their ships should breake, or fall vpon any part of his dominions on the sea coast, his subiects to helpe with all speed to saue the goods and to be deliuered to any of the sayd merchants that liueth: or otherwise to be kept in safetie vntil any of them come to demaund them.
12 Item, if any of the said merchants depart this life in any citie or towne, or on the high way, his gouernours there to see their goods safely kept, and to be deliuered to any other of them that shall demand them.
13 Item, the said merchants to take such camel-men as they themselues wil, being countrey people, and that no Kissell Bash do let or hinder them. And the said owners of the camels to bee bound to answere them such goods as they shal receiue at their hands, and the camel-men to stand to the losses of their camels or horses.
14 Item more, that the sayd Cariers do demaund no more of them, then their agreement was to pay them.
15 Item more, if they be at a price with any Cariers, and haue giuen earnest, the camel-men to see they keepe their promise.
16 Item, if any of the said merchants be in feare to trauel to giue them one or more to go with them and see them in safetie with their goods, to the place they will goe vnto.
17 Item, in all places, to say, in all cities, townes or villages on the high way, his subiects to giue them honest roume, and victuals for their money.
18 Item, the sayd merchants may in any place, where they shall thinke best, build or buy any house or houses to their owne vses. And no person to molest or trouble them, and to stand in any Carauan where they will, or shal thinke good.
The commodities which the merchants may haue by this trade into Persia are thought to bee great, and may in time perhaps be greater then the Portugals trade into the East Indies, forasmuch as by the way of Persia into England, the returne may be made euery yeere once: whereas the Portugals make the returne from Calecut but once in two yeers, by a long and dangerous voiage all by sea: for where as the citie and Island of Ormus, lying in the gulfe of Persia, is the most famous Mart towne of all East India, whither all the merchandises of India are brought, the same may in shorter time and more safelie be brought by land and riuers through Persia, euen vnto the Caspian sea, and from thence by the countreis of Russia or Moscouia by riuers, euen vnto the citie of Yeraslaue, and from thence by land 180. miles to Vologda, and from thence againe all by water euen vnto England.
The merchandises which he had out of Persia for the returne of wares are silke of all sortes of colours, both raw and wrought. Also all maner of spices and drugs, pearles, and precious stones, likewise carpets of diuers sortes, with diuers other rich merchandises. It was told me of them that came last from Persia, that here is more silke brought into some one city of Persia, then is of cloth brought into the city of London. Also that one village of Armenia named Gilgat doeth carie yeerely fiue hundred, and sometime a thousand mules laden with silke to Halepo in Soria of Turkie, being 4. dayes iourney from Tripoli, where the Venetians haue their continuall abiding, and send from thence silks which they returne for English karsies and other clothes into all partes of Christendome.
The maner how the Christians become Busormen, and forsake their religion.
I haue here noted before that if any Christian wil become a Busornan, that is, one that hath forsaken his faith, and be a Mahometan of their religion, they giue him many gifts and sometimes also a liuing. The maner is, that when the deuill is entred into his heart to forsake his faith, he resorteth to the Soltan or gouenour of the towne, to whom hee maketh protestation of his diuelish purpose. The gouernour appointeth him a horse, and one to ride before him on another horse, bearing a sword in his hand, and the Busorman bearing an arrow in his hand, and rideth in the citie, cursing his father and mother: and if euer after he returne to his owne religion, he is guiltie of death, as is signified by the sword borne before him. A yong man, a seruant of one of our merchants, because he would not abide the correction of his master for his faults, was minded to forsake his faith. But (as God would) he fell suddenly sicke and died, before he gaue himself to the deuill. If he had become a Busorman, he had greatly troubled the merchants: for if he then would haue said that halfe their goods had bene his, they would haue giuen credite vnto him. For the auoiding of which inconuenience, it was granted in the priuiledges, that no Busorman, &c. as there appeareth.
In Persia in diuers places oxen and kine beare the tents and houshold stuffe of the poore men of the countrey, which haue neither camels nor horses.
Of the tree which beareth Bombasin cotton, or Gossampine.
In Persia is great abundance of Bombasin cotton, and very fine: this groweth on a certaine litle tree or brier, not past the height of a mans waste or litle more: the tree hath a slender stalke like vnto a brier, or to a carnation gillifloure, with very many branches, bearing on euery branch a fruit or rather a cod, growing in round forme, containing in it the cotton: and when this bud or cod commeth to the bignes of a walnut, it openeth and sheweth foorth the cotton, which groweth still in bignes vntill it be like a fleece of wooll as big as a mans fist, and beginneth, to be loose, and then they gather it as it were the ripe fruite. The seeds of these trees are as big as peason, and are blacke, and somewhat flat, and not round; they sowe them in plowed ground, where they grow in the fields in great abundance in many countries in Persia, and diuers other regions.
The writing of the Persians.
Arthur Edwards shewed me a letter of the Sophie, written in their letters backward, subsigned with the hands both of the Sophy and his Secretarie. The Sophies subscription was onely one word (his name I suppose was Shaugh) written in golden letters vpon red paper. The whole letter was also written on the same piece of red paper, being long and narow, about the length of a foote, and not past three inches broad. The priuate signet of the Sophie was a round printed marke about the bignes of a roial, onely printed vpon the same paper without any waxe or other seale, the letters seem so mishapen and disordered, that a man would thinke it were somewhat scribled in maner at aduentures. Yet they say that almost euery letter with his pricke or circumflexe signifieth a whole word. Insomuch that in a piece of paper as big as a mans hand their writing doeth containe as much as doeth ours almost in a sheet of paper.
* * * * *
The fift voiage into Persia made by M. Thomas Banister, and master Geofrey Ducket, Agents for the Moscouie companie, began from England in the yeere 1568, and continuing to the yeere 1574 following. Written by P. I. from the mouth of M. Lionel Plumtree.
Vpon the 3. day of Iuly 1568, they embarked themselues at Yeraslaue, being accompanied with Lionel Plumtree, and some 12. English men more, in a Barke called the Thomas Bonauenture of the burden of 70. tunnes, taking also along with them of Russes to the number of 40. for their vse and imploiments. [Sidenote: The English Barke assaulted neere Astracan by the Nagaian Tartars.] It fell out in the way, before they came to Astracan by 40. miles, that the Nagaian Tartars, being a kind of thieuish and cruel people, made an assault vpon them with 18. boates of theirs, each of them being armed, some with swords, some with speares, and some others with bowes and arrowes, and the whole number of them they discouered to be about 300. men. They for their parts, although they could haue wished a quiet voyage and iourney without blowes and violence, yet not willing to be spoiled with such Barbarians as they were, began to defend themselues against their assault, by meanes whereof a very terrible and fierce fight folowed and continued hot and sharpe for two houres, wherein our men so wel plaied their parts with their caliuers, that they forced the Tartars to flee with the losse of 120 of them, as they were afterwards enformed by a Russe prisoner, which escaped from the Nagaians, and came to them to Astracan, at which towne they arriued the 20. of August.
[Sidenote: Astracan besieged by 70000 Turks and Tartars.] In this towne of Astracan they were somewhat hindered of their iourney, and staied the space of sixe weekes by reason of a great army of 70000. Turkes and Tartars which came thither vpon the instigation of the great Turke, hoping either to haue surprised it suddenly or by continuance of siege to win the same. But in the end by reason that the winter approched, as also, because they had receiued newes of a great expedition, which the Emperour of Russia was in prouiding for the defence of the said place, they were constrained to raise their siege, and to leaue the town as they found it.
Vpon their departure our men had opportunitie to proceed on their voyage, and vsing the occasion, they left Astracan, and came to Bilbil towards the end of October: from whence they went to Shauaran, where (as they lodged in their tentes) they were greatly molested with strange troopes of sholcaues or foxes, which were so busie with them that they tooke their meate and victuals out of their lodgings, and deuoured to the bare bones in one night a mighty wilde Bore that was sent vnto them for a present from the gouenour of the countrey.
Hauing staied here some three or foure daies in prouiding of cariages and other necessaries for their iourney, they departed thence and came to Shamaky, which is foure dayes iourney from the aforesayd Shauaran. In this towne of Shamaky their whole company spent out the Winter, and from thence in April folowing they tooke their iourney towards Ardouil a place of great account and much esteemed, by reason of the sepulchres of the Emperours of Persia, which for the most part lie there buried, and so is growen to bee a place of their superstitious deuotion. In this towne of Ardouil they soiourned the space of 5. or 6. moneths, finding some traffiques and sales, but to no purpose, the towne being more inhabited and frequented with gentlemen and noblemen then merchants.
The difference of religion bred great broiles in this towne whiles they remained there: for the brother sought the destruction of the brother, and the neerest kinsmen rose vp one against another, insomuch that one of their company Lionel Plumtree hath seene in one day sometimes 14 slaine in a garboile. And he being further desirous to see their maner of fight, or rather somewhat more curious to behold, then mistrustful of their blowes, was like to haue borne a share in their bloodie tragedie, being twise wounded with their shot and arrowes, although not to the death.
At this towne the Shah Thomas sent a messenger for our men to come to his presence at Casbin, to whom Thomas Banister failed not to goe, although master Ducket lay very sicke at Ardouil, and in such case that they almost despaired of his recouerie. Hee being come to the Shaugh was receiued and entertained of him with great fauour and speciall countenance, and had the most part of all his requests granted him, this onely excepted, that whereas he entreated a priuiledge or sufferance to transport and cary through his dominions certaine horses into India, the Shaugh seemed both to yeeld thereunto, and yet did not altogether denie it, but referred it to some further time. As for the point of traffique, he could not make that motion or request that was not so soone granted as it was preferred: and the Shaugh himselfe bought there of him many karsies, and made him as good paiment as any man could wish, and oftentimes would send his mony for the wares before the wares were deliuered, that he might be the surer of this honourable intended dealing.
One thing somewhat strange I thought good in this place to remember, that whereas hee purposed to send a great summe of money to Mecca in Arabia, for an offering to Mahomet their prophet, hee would not send any money or coyne of his owne, but sent to the English merchants to exchange his coyne for theirs, according to the value of it, yeelding this reason for the same, that the money of the merchants was gotten by good meanes, and with good consciences, and was therefore woorthie to be made for an oblation to their holy prophet, but his owne money was rather gotten by fraud, oppression and vnhonest meanes, and therefore was not fit to serue for so holie a vse.
After sixe moneths spent in Casbin the sayde Thomas Banister departed towards the great citie of Taruis, where being arriued, he found M. Ducket well recouered of his sicknesse, whom he had left ill at Ardouil.
At this Citie the foresayd Master Ducket made sales of the English commodities, remaining there to that purpose the space of two yeeres and a halfe. And besides other kindes of merchandises of that countrey, he bought great stores of gals which grow in great abundance at a place within one dayes iourney of the aforesayd Taruis.
After this Thomas Banister departed from Tauris, and went to Shamaky to giue order for the transporting of those commodities which were bought for England. And hauing dispatched them away, he went there hence to Arrash, a towne foure dayes iourney with camels from Shamaky for the buying of rawe silke. [Sidenote: The death of Thomas Banister and Laurence Chapman.] But there by reason of the vnwholesomnesse of the aire, and corruption of the waters in the hole time of the yeere, he with Lawrence Chapman and some other English men vnhappily died: which being knowen of M. Ducket, he immediately came from Taruis to Arrash, to take possession of the goods, for otherwise by the custome of the countrey, if there had bene no merchant or other friend of his to enter vpon that which he left, all had fallen into the Shaughs hands, which goods notwithstanding could not bee recouered from the officers, which had seized and sealed vp the same, vntill M. Ducket had bene in person with the Shaugh, and had procured his order for the deliuerie thereof.
[Sidenote: Humfrey Greensell burnt at Ormus.] Lionel Plumtree, in the meane time that M. Ducket was at Casbin in sute for goods, vpon the perswasion of certaine Bogharians, made prouision for a iourney to Cathaia, with cariages and commodities, and hauing all things ready, departed secretly with a Carauan: but being gone forwards on his way sixe dayes iourny, some fifty horsemen by the procurement of Humfrey Greensell (who afterwards being at Ormus in the East Indies, was there cruelly burnt in the Inquisition by the Portingals) were sent after him in poste from Sultan Erasbec, the Shaughs lieutenant, to fetch him backe againe, not suffering him to passe on so perillous and dangerous a iourney for feare of diuers inconueinces that might follow.
After this M. Ducket returned from Casbin to Shamaky againe, and immediately made preparation for a iourney to Cassan, being about foure dayes iourney from Shamaky, and caried with him foure mules laden with mony.
In the way of his trauel he passed through Persepolis, sometime the roiall seate of the Emperors of Persia, but now ruined and defaced, whereof remaine to be seene at this day two gates onely that are distant one from the other the space of 12 miles, and some few pinnacles in the mountains and conueiances for fresh water.
The foresaid Cassan is a towne that consisteth altogether of merchandise, and the best trade of all the land is there, being greatly frequented by the merchants of India.
Here our men bought great store of al maner of wrought silkes, and some spices, and good store of Turkie stones.
The towne is much to be commended for the ciuil and good gouernment that is there vsed. An idle person is not suffred to liue amongst them.
The child that is but fine yeeres old is set to some labour. No ill rule, disorder or riote by gaming or otherwise, is there permitted. Playing at Dice or Cards is by the law present death.
At this Cashan they remained about the space of tenne weekes, and then came down againe to Shamaky, and after some time spent in diuers places of the countrey for buying of rawe silke and other commodities, they came at last to Shauaran againe, where their ship was in harbour and then they shipt all their goods and embarked themselues also, setting sayle the eight day of May, in the yeere 1573. intending to fetch Astracan. By reason of the varietie of the windes and dangerous flats of the Caspian sea, they beat it vp and downe some 20. dayes. And the 28. day riding at anker vpon the flats, certaine Russe Cassaks, which are outlawes or banished men, hauing intelligence of their being there, and of the great wealth that they had