A discourse of the honourable receiuing into England of the first Ambassador from the Emperor of Russia, in the yeere of Christ 1556. and in the third yeere of the raigne of Queene Marie, seruing for the third voyage to Moscouie. Registred by Master Iohn Incent Protonotarie.
It is here recorded by writing and autenticall testimonie, partly for memorie of things done, and partly for the veritie to be knowen to posteritie in time to come, that whereas the most high and mightie Iuan Vasiliuich Emperour of all Russia, great Duke of Volodemer, Moscouia and Nouogrode, Emperor of Cassan, and of Astrachan, Lord of Pleskie, and great Duke of Smolenskie, Tuerskie, Yowgoriskie, Permskie, Viatskie, Bolgarskie and Sibierskie, Emperour and great Duke of many others, as Nouogrode in the nether countries, Chernigoskie, Rezanskie, Polodskie, Rezewskie, Bielskie, Rostoskie, Yeraslaueskie, Bealozarskie, Oudarskie, Obdorskie, Condenskie, and manie other countries, and lord ouer all those partes, in the yeere of our Lord God, folowing the account of the Latin church, 1556. sent by the sea from the port of S. Nicholas in Russia, his right honorable ambassador sirnamed Osep Napea, 207 his high officer in the towne and countrey of Vologda, to the most famous and excellent princes, Philip and Mary by the grace of God king and Queene of England, Spaine, France and Ireland, defenders of the faith, Archdukes of Austria, dukes of Burgundie, Millaine, and Brabant, counties of Haspurge, Flanders and Tyroll, his ambassador and Orator with certaine letters tenderly conceiued, together with certaine presents and gifts mentioned in the foot of this memorial, as a manifest argument and token of a mutual amity and friendship to be made and continued betweene their maiesties and subiects respectiuely, for the commoditie and benefit of both the realmes and people: which Orator was the 20. day of Iuly imbarked and shipped in, and vpon a good English ship named the Edward Bonauenture, belonging to the Gouernour, Consuls and company of English marchants. Richard Chancelor being grand Pilot, and Iohn Buckland master of the said ship. In which was laden at the aduenture of the foresaid Ambassador and marchants at seueral accounts, goods and merchandizes, viz. in waxe, trane oyle, tallow, furres, felts, yarne and such like, to the summe of 20000. li. sterling, together with 16. Russies attendant vpon the person of the said Ambassador. Foure ships. Ouer and aboue ten other Russies shipped within the said Bay of S. Nicholas, in one other good ship to the said company also belonging called the Bona Speranza, with goods of the said Orators and marchants to the value of 6000. lib. sterling, as by the inuoices and letters of lading of the said seueral ships (whereunto relation is to be had) particularly appeareth. Which good ships comming in good order into the seas, and trauersing the same in their iourney towards the coast of England, were by the contrary winds and extreme tempests of weather seuered the one from the other, that is to say, the saide Bona Speranza with two other English ships also appertaining to the saide company, the one sirnamed the Philip and Mary, the other the Confidentia, were driuen on the coast of Norway, into Drenton water, where the saide Confidentia was seene to perish on a Rocke, and the other, videlicet, the Bona Speranza, with her whole company, being to the number of foure and twentie persons seemed to winter there, whereof no certaintie at this present day is knowen. The third, videlicet, the Philip and Mary arriued in the Thames nigh London the eighteenth day of April, in the yeere of our Lord one thousand fiue hundred fiftie and seuen. The Edward Bonauenture arriued in Scotland, in the Bay of Pettuslego, November 7. 1556. The Edward Bonauenture trauersing the seas foure moneths, finally the tenth day of Nouember of the aforesaide yeere of our Lorde one thousand fiue hundred fiftie and sixe, arriued within the Scottish coast in a Bay named Pettislego, where by outragious tempests, and extreme stormes, the said ship being beaten from her ground tackles, was driuen vpon the rockes on shoare, where she brake and split in pieces in such sort, as the grand Pilot vsing all carefulnesse for the safetie of the bodie of the sayde Ambassadour and his trayne, taking the boat of the said ship, trusting to attaine the shore, and so to save and preserue the bodie, Richard Chancelor drowned. and seuen of the companie or attendants of the saide Ambassadour, the same boat by rigorous waues of the seas, was by darke night ouerwhelmed and drowned, wherein perished not only the bodie of the said grand Pilot, with seuen Russes, but also diuers of the Mariners of the sayd ship: the noble personage of the saide Ambassadour with a fewe others (by Gods preseruation and speciall fauour) onely with much difficultie saued. In which shipwracke not onely the saide shippe was broken, but also the whole masse and bodie of the goods laden in her, was by the rude and rauenous people of the Countrey thereunto adioyning, rifled, spoyled and caried away, to the manifest losse and vtter destruction of all the lading of the said ship, and together with the ship apparell, ordinance and furniture belonging to the companie, in value of one thousand pounds, of all which was not restored toward the costs and charges to the summe of fiue hundred pounds sterling.
As soone as by letters addressed to the saide companie, and in London delivered the sixt of December last past, it was to them certainely knowen of the losse of their Pilote, men, goods and ship, the same merchants with all celeritie and expedition, obteined not onely the Queenes maiesties most gracious and fauourable letters to the Ladie Dowager and lordes of the Councell of Scotland for the gentle comfortment and entertainment of the saide Ambassadour, his traine and companie, with preseruation and restitution of his goods, as in such miserable cases, to Christian pitie, princely honour and meere Iustice appertaineth, but also addressed two Gentlemen of good learning, grauitie and estimation, videlicet, Master Lawrence Hussie Doctor of the Ciuill Lawe, and George Gilpin with money and other requisites into the Realme of Scotland, to comfort, ayde, assist, and relieue him and his there, and also to conduct the Ambassadour into England, sending with them by poste a Talmach or Speachman for the better furniture of the seruice of the sayde Ambassadour, trusting thereby to haue the more ample and speedie redresse of restitution: which personages vsing diligence, arriued at Edenborough (where the Queenes court was) the three and twentieth day of the saide moneth of December, who first visiting the saide Ambassadour, declaring the causes of their comming and Commission, shewing the letters addressed in his fauour, the order giuen them for his solace and furniture of all such things as hee would haue, together with their daily and readie seruice to attend vpon his person and affaires, repaired consequently vnto the Dowager Queene, deliuering the letters. Whereupon they receiued gentle answeres, with hope and comfort of speedie restitution of the goods, apparell, iewels, and letters: for the more apparance whereof, the Queene sent first certaine Commissioners with an Harold of armes to Pettislego, the place of the Shipwracke, commaunding by Proclamation and other Edictes, all such persons (no degree excepted) as had any part of such goods as were spoyled and taken out or from the ship to bring them in, and to restore the same with such further order as her grace by aduise of her Council thought expedient: by reason whereof not without great labours, paines and charges (after long time) diuers small parcels of Waxe, and other small trifling things of no value, were by the poorer sort of the Scottes brought to the Commissioners, but the Iewels, rich apparell, presents, gold, siluer, costly furres, and such like, were conueyed away, concealed and vtterly embezelled. Whereupon, the Queene at the request of the said Ambassadour, caused diuers persons to the number of 180. or moe, to be called personally before her princely presence, to answer to the said spoile, and really to exhibit and bring in all such things as were spoiled and violently taken, and caried out of the same, whereof not onely good testimonie by writing was shewed, but also the things themselues found in the hands of the Scottish subiects, who by subtile and craftie dealings, by conniuence of the commissioners, so vsed or rather abused themselues towards the same Orator & his attendants, that no effectuall restitution was made: but he fatigated with daily attendance and charges, the 14. day of February next ensuing, distrusting any reall and effectual rendring of the saide goods and marchandizes and other the premisses, vpon leaue obtained of the saide Queene, departed towards England, hauing attending vpon him the said two English Gentlemen and others (leauing neuerthelesse in Scotland three Englishmen to pursue the deliuerie of such things as were collected to haue bene sent by ship to him in England: which being in Aprill next, and not before imbarked for London, was not at this present day here arriued) came the 18. day of Februarie to Barwike within the dominion and realme of England, where he was by the Queenes maiesties letters and commandement honourably receiued, vsed and interteined by the right honourable lord Wharton, lord Warden of the East marches, with goodly conducting from place to place, as the dayly iourneys done ordinarily did lie, in such order, maner and forme, as to a personage of such estate appertaineth. He prosecuting his voyage vntil the 27. of Februarie208 approched to the citie of London within twelue English miles, where he was receiued with fourscore merchants with chaines of gold and goodly apparell, as wel in order of men seruants in one vniforme liuerie, as also in and vpon good horses and geldings, who conducting him to a marchants house foure miles from London, receiued there a quantitie of gold, veluet and silke, with all furniture thereunto requisite, wherewith he made him a riding garment, reposing himselfe that night. The next day being Saturday and the last day of Februarie, he was by the merchants aduenturing for Russia, to the number of one hundred and fortie persons, and so many or more seruants in one liuerie, as abouesaid, conducted towards the citie of London, where by the way he had not onely the hunting of the Foxe and such like sport shewed him, but also by the Queenes maiesties commandement was receiued and embraced by the right honourable Viscount Montague, sent by her grace for his entertainment: he being accompanied with diuers lustie knights, esquiers, gentlemen and yeomen to the number of three hundred horses led him to the North partes of the Citie of London, where by foure notable merchants richly apparelled was presented to him a right faire and large gelding richly trapped, together with a footcloth of Orient crimson veluet, enriched with gold laces, all furnished in most glorious fashion, of the present, and gift of the sayde merchants: where vpon the Ambassadour at instant desire mounted, riding on the way towards Smithfield barres, the first limites of the liberties of the Citie of London. The Lord Maior accompanied with all the Aldermen in their skarlet did receiue him, and so riding through the Citie of London in the middle, betweene the Lord Maior and Viscount Montague, a great number of merchants and notable personages riding before, and a large troupe of seruants and apprentises following, was conducted through the Citie of London (with great admiration and plausibilitie of the people running plentifully on all sides, and replenishing all streets in such sort as no man without difficultie might passe) into his lodging situate in Fant church streete, where were prouided for him two chambers richly hanged and decked, ouer and aboue the gallant furniture of the whole house, together with an ample and rich cupboord of plate of all sortes, to furnish and serue him at all meales, and other seruices during his abode in London, which was, as is vnderwritten, vntil the third day of May: during which time daily diuers Aldermen and the grauest personages of the said companie did visite him, prouiding all kind of victuals for his table and his seruants, with al sorts of Officers to attend vpon him in good sort and condition, as to such an ambassadour of honour doeth and ought to appertaine.
It is also to be remembred that at his first entrance into his chamber, there was presented vnto him on the Queenes Maiesties behalfe for a gift and present, and his better furniture in apparel, one rich piece of cloth of tissue, a piece of cloth of golde, another piece of cloth of golde raised with crimosin veluet, a piece of crimosin veluet in graine, a piece of purple veluet, a piece of Damaske purpled, a piece of crimosin damaske, which he most thankfully accepted. In this beautifull lodging refreshing and preparing himselfe and his traine with things requisite he abode, expecting the kings maiesties repaire out of Flanders into England, whose highnesse arriuing the one and twentie of March, the same Ambassadour the fiue and twentieth of March being the Annunciation of our Ladie (the day tweluemoneth he took his leaue from the Emperour his master) was most honourably brought to the King and Queenes maiesties court at Westminster, where accompanied first with the said Viscount and other notable personages, and the merchants, hee arriuing at Westminster bridge, was there receiued with sixe lords, conducted into a stately chamber, where by the lords, Chancellor, Treasurer, Priuie seale, Admirall, bishop of Elie, and other Counsellers, hee was visited and saluted: and consequently was brought vnto the Kings and Queenes maiesties presence, sitting vnder a stately cloth of honour, the chamber most richly decked and furnished, and most honourably presented. Where, after that hee had deliuered his letters, made his Oration, giuen two timber of Sables, and the report of the same made both in English and Spanish, in most louing maner embraced, was with much honour and high entertainement, in sight of a great confluence of people, Lordes and Ladies eftsoones remitted by water to his former lodging, to the which, within two dayes after by the assignement of the King and Queenes maiesties, repaired and conferred with him secretly two graue Counsellers, that is, the lord Bishop of Elie, and Sir William Peter Knight, chiefe Secretary to their Highnesse, who after diuers secret talkes and conferences, reported to their highnesse their proceedings, the grauitie, wisedome, and stately behauior of the sayd Ambassadour, in such sort as was much to their maiesties contentations.
Finally concluding vpon such treaties and articles of amitie, as the letters of the Kings and Queenes maiesties most graciously vnder the greate seale of England to him by the sayd counsellers deliuered, doth appeare.
The three and twentieth of April, being the feast of S. George, wherein was celebrated the solemnitie of the Noble order of the Garter at Westminster, the same lord ambassadour was eftsoones required to haue audience: and therefore conducted from the sayd lodging to the court by the right Noble the lords Talbot and Lumley to their maiesties presence: where, after his Oration made, and thanks both giuen and receiued, hee most honourably tooke his leaue with commendations to the Emperour. Which being done, he was with special honour led into the chappell, where before the Kings and Queens maiesties, in the sight of the whole Order of the Garter, was prepared for him a stately seate, wherein he accompanied with the Duke of Norfolke, the lords last aboue mentioned, and many other honourable personages, was present at the whole seruice, in ceremonies which were to him most acceptable: the diuine seruice ended, he eftsoones was remitted and reduced to his barge, and so repaired to his lodging, in like order and gratulation of the people vniuersally as before.
The time of the yeere hasting the profection and departure of the Ambassador, the merchants hauing prepared foure goodly and well trimmed shippes laden with all kinds of merchandises apt for Russia, the same Ambassadour making prouision for such things as him pleased, the same ships in good order valed downe the Riuer of Thames, from London to Grauesend, where the same Ambassadour with his traine and furniture was imbarked towards his voyage homeward, which God prosper in all felicitie.
It is also to be remembred, that during the whole abode of the sayd Ambassadour in England, the Agents of the sayde marchants did not onely prosecute and pursue the matter of restitution in Scotland, and caused such things to be laden in an English shippe hired purposely to conuey the Ambassadours goods to London, there to be deliuered to him, but also during his abode in London, did both inuite him to the Maior, and diuers worshipfull mens houses, feasting and banquetting him right friendly, shewing vnto him the most notable and commendable sights of London, as the kings palace and house, the Churches of Westminster and Powles, the Tower and Guild hall of London, and such like memorable spectacles. And also the said 29. day of April, the said merchants assembling themselues together in the house of the Drapers hal of London, exhibited and gaue vnto the said Ambassador, a notable supper garnished with musicke, Enterludes and bankets: in the which a cup of wine being drunke to him in the name and lieu of the whole companie, it was signified to him that the whole company with most liberall and friendly hearts, did frankly giue to him and his all maner of costs and charges in victuals riding from Scotland to London during his abode there, and vntill setting of saile aboord the ship, and requesting him to accept the same in good part as a testimonie and witnes of their good hearts, zeale and tendernesse towards him and his countrey.
It is to be considered that of the Bona Speranza no word nor knowledge was had at this present day, nor yet of the arriual of the ships or goods from Scotland.
The third day of May the Ambassadour departed from London to Grauesend, accompanied by diuers Aldermen and merchants, who in good gard set him aboord the noble shippe, the Primrose Admirall to the Fleete, where leaue was taken on both sides and parts, after many imbracements and diuers farewels not without expressing of teares.
The King and Queens second letters to the Emperour of Russia. Memorandum, that the first day of May the Councillers, videlicet, the Bishop of Elye, and Sir William Peter on the behalfe of the Kings and Queens Maiesties repairing to the lorde Ambassadour did not onely deliuer vnto him their highness letters of recommendations vnder the great seale of England to the Emperour, very tenderly and friendly written, but also on their Maiesties behalf gaue and deliuered certaine notable presents to the Emperours person, and also gifts for the lord Ambassadours proper vse and behoof, as by the particulars vnder written appeareth, with such further good wordes and commendations, as the more friendly haue not bin heard, whereby it appeareth how well affected their honours be to haue and continue amitie and traffique betweene their honours and their subiects: which thing as the kings and Queenes maiesties haue shewed of their princely munificences and liberalities, so haue likewise the merchants and fellowship of the Aduenturers, for and to Russia, manifested to the world their good willes, mindes and zeales borne to this new commensed voyage, as by the discourse aboue mentioned, and other the notable actes ouer long to be recited in this present memoriall, doeth and may most clearely appeare, the like whereof is not in any president or historie to bee shewed.
Forasmuch as it may bee doubted how the ship named the Edward Bonauenture suffered shipwracke, what became of the goods, howe much they were spoiled and deteined, how little restored, what charges and expenses ensued, what personages were drowned, how the rest of the ships either arriued or perished, or howe the disposition of almightie God hath wrought his pleasure in them, how the same ambassadour hath bene after the miserable case of shipwracke in Scotland vnreuerently abused, and consequently into England receiued and conducted, there intertained, vsed, honoured, and finally in good safetie towards his returne, and repaire furnished, and with much liberalitie and franke handling friendly dismissed, to the intent that the trueth of the premisses may be to the most mightie Emperour of Russia sincerely signified in eschewment of all events and misfortunes that may chance in this voyage (which God defend) to the Ambassadours person, traine, and goods, this present memoriall is written, and autentikely made, and by the sayde Ambassadour his seruants, whose names be vnderwritten, and traine in presence of the Notarie, and witnesses vndernamed, recognized, and acknowledged. Giuen the day, moneth, and yeere vnderwritten, of which instrument into euery of the sayde Shippes one testimoniall is deliuered, and the first remaineth with the sayde Companie in London.
Giftes sent the King and Queenes Maiesties of England by the Emperour of Russia, by the report of the Ambassadour, and spoyled by the Scots after the Shipwracke.
1 First, sixe timber of Sables rich in colour and haire.
2 Item, twentie entire Sables exceeding beautifull with teeth, eares and clawes.
3 Item, foure living Sables with chaines and collars.
4 Item, thirtie Lusarnes large and beautifull.
5 Item, sixe large and great skinnes very rich and rare, worne onely by the Emperour for worthinesse.
6 Item, a large and faire white Ierfawcon209 for the wild Swanne, Crane, Goose, and other great Fowles, together with a drumme of siluer, the hoopes gilt, vsed for a lure to call the sayd Hawke.
Giftes sent to the Emperour of Russia by the King and Queenes Maiesties of England.
1 First, two rich pieces of cloth of Tissue.
2 Item, one fine piece of Scarlet
3 Item, one fine Violet in graine.
4 Item, one fine Azur cloth.
5 Item, a notable paire of Brigandines with a Murrian couered with crimson veluet and gilt nailes.
6 Item, a male and Female Lions.
Giftes giuen to the Ambassadour at his departure, ouer and aboue such as were deliuered vnto him at his first arriual.
1 First, a chaine of golde of one hundred pound.
2 Item, a large Bason and Euer, siluer and gilt.
3 item, a paire of pottle pots gilt.
4 Item, a paire of flaggons gilt.
The names of all such Russies as, were attendant vpon the Ambassadour, at and before his departure out of England.
Memorandum, the day and yeere of our Lord aboue mentioned, in the house of the worshipfull Iohn Dimmocke Citizen and Draper of London, situate within the famous Citie of London in the Realme of England, the abouenamed honourable Osep Gregorywich Napea, Ambassadour and Orator aboue mentioned, personally constituted and present, hauing declared vnto him by the mouth of the right worshipfull master Anthony Hussie Esquire, the effect of the causes and contents, of, and in this booke, at the interpretation of Robert Best his interpreter sworne, recognized, and knowledged in presence of me the Notarie and personages vnderwritten, the contents of this booke to be true, as well for his owne person as for his seruants aboue named, which did not subscribe their names as is ahoue mentioned, but onely recognized the same. In witness whereof, I Iohn Incent, Notary Publike, at the request of the said master Anthonie Hussie, and other of the Marchants haue to these presents vnderwritten set my accustomed signe, with the Subscription of my name, the day and yeere aboue written, being present the right Worshipfull,
Andrew Iudde, Knight.
George Barne, " and Alderman of London.
William Chester " "
Rafe Greeneaway, "
Iohn Mersh Esquier.
Hubert Hussie, and
Robert Best aboue mentioned.
Last updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 14:09