To the right honourable my very good Lord, the Lord Boris Pheodorowich, Master of the horses to the great and mighty Emperour of Russia, his Highnesse Lieutenant of Cazan and Astracan, William Cecil Lord Burghley, Knight of the noble Order of the Garter, and Lord high Treasurer of England sendeth greeting.
Right honourable my very good Lord, vpon the last returne of our merchants shippes out of Russia, there was brought vnto my handes, by one Francis Cherrie an English merchant, a letter directed to the Queenes Maiestie, from the great and mightie Emperour of Russia, and another letter from your Lordship directed to me: which sayd letter written from the Emperor to her Maiesty hath beene considerately and aduisedly by her Highnesse read and perused, and the matter of complaint against Ierome Horsey therein comprised thorowly examined: which hath turned the same Horsey to some great displeasure. I did also acquaint our Maiesty with the contents of your Lordships letters written to mee, and enformed her of your Lordships honourable fauour shewed to her Highnesse merchants from time to time: who tooke the same in most gracious part, and confessed her selfe infinitly beholding vnto your Lordship for many honourable offices done for her sake, the which she meant to acknowledge by her letters to be written to your Lordship vnder her princely hand and seale. And forasmuch as it hath pleased your good Lordshippe to take into your handes the protection of her Maiesties merchants, and the redresse of such iniuries as are, or shall be offered vnto them contrary to the meaning of the priuiledges and the free liberty of the entercourse, wherein some points your Lordship hath already vsed a reformation, as appeareth by your sayd letters: yet the continuance of traffique moouing, new occasions and other accidents tending to the losse of the sayd merchants, whereof some particulars haue beene offered vnto me to treat with your lordship vpon: I thought it good to referre them to your honourable consideration, that order might be taken in the same, for that they are apparantly repugnant to the Emperours letters written to her Maiestie, and doe much restraine the liberty of the trade: one is, that at the last comming of our merchants to the port of Saint Michael the Archangel, This is a new port. where the mart is holden, their goods were taken by the Emperours officers for his Highnesse seruice at such rates, as the sayd officers were disposed to set vpon them, so farre vnder their value, that the merchants could not assent to accept of those prices: The English merchants 3 weeks restrained from their Mart. which being denied, the sayd officers restrained them of all further traffique for the space of three weekes, by which meanes they were compelled to yeeld vnto their demaund how vnwillingly soeuer. Another is, that our sayd merchants are driuen to pay the Emperours officers custome for all such Russe money as they bring downe from the Mosco to the Sea side to employ there at the Mart within the Emperours owne land; which seemeth strange vnto me, considering the same money is brought from one place of the Countrey to another, and there imployed without any transport ouer the borders250 of the sayd country. These interruptions and impositions seeme not to stand with the liberties of the Emperours priuileges and freedome of the entercourse, which should be restrained neither to times or conditions, but to be free and absolute: whereof it may please your Lordship to be aduised, and to continue your honourable course holden betweene the Emperour and her Maiesty, to reconcile such differences as any occasion doth offer to their league or trafficke. Thus not doubting of your Lordships furtherance herein, I humbly take my leaue of your good Lordship. From her Maiesties royall palace of Whitehall this 15 of Ianuary 1591.
250 The original reads: _ouer the sayd of money_. As this is unintelligible, I have ventured to insert a new reading.
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