The first voyage made by Master Anthonie Ienkinson, from the Citie of London toward the land of Russia, begun the twelfth of May, in the yeere 1557.
First by the grace of God, the day and yeere aboue mentioned, I departed from the sayd Citie, and the same day at Grauesend embarked my selfe in a good shippe, named the Primerose, being appointed, although vnworthy, chiefe captaine of the same, and also of the other 3 good ships, to say, the Iohn Euangelist, the Anne, and the Trinitie, hauing also the conduct of the Emperour of Russia his ambassadour named Osep Nepea Gregoriwich, who passed with his company in the sayde Primerose. And thus our foure tall shippes being well appointed, aswell for men as victuals as other necessarie furniture, the saide twelfth day of the moneth of May, we weyed our ankers, and departed from the saide Grauesend, in the after noone, and plying down the Thames, the wind being Easterly, and fayre weather, the 13 day we came a ground with the Primerose, upon a sand called the blacke taile, where we sate fast vntill the 14 day in the morning, and then God be praysed, she came off: and that day we plyed downe as ferre as our Ladie of Holland, and there came to an anker, the wind being Easterly, and there remayned vntill the 20 day: then we weyed and went out at Goldmore gate, and from thence in at Balsey slade, and so into Orwel wands, where we came to an anker: but as we came out at the sayd Goldemore gate, the Trinitie came on ground on certaine rockes, that lye to the Northward of the said gate, and was like to be bilged and lost. But by the aide of God, at the last she came off againe, being very leake: and the 21 day the Primerose remaining at an anker in the wands, the other three shippes bare into Orwel hauen where I caused the sayd Trinitie to be grounded, searched, and repaired. So we remayned in the said hauen, vntill the 28. day: and then the winde being Westerly, the three shippes that were in the hauen, weyed and came forth, and in comming forth the Iohn Euangelist came on ground vpon a sand, called the Andros, where she remained one tide, and the next full sea she came off againe without any great hurt, God be praised.
The 29 day in the morning all foure ships weied in the Wands, and that tide went as farre as Orfordnesse, where we came an anker, because the wind was Northerly: And about sixe of the clocke at night, the wind vered to the Southwest and we weyed anker, and bare cleere of the nesse, and then set our course Northeast and by North vntill midnight, being then cleare of Yarmouth sands. Iune. Then we winded North and by West, and Northnorthwest, vntill the first of Iune at noone, then it waxed calme and continued so vntill the second day at noone: then the winde came at Northwest, with a tempest, and much raine, and we lay close by, and caped Northnortheast, and Northeast and by North, as the winde shifted, and so continued vntill the third day at noone: then the wind vered Westerly againe, and we went North our right course, and so continued our way vntill the fourth day, at three of the clocke in the afternoone, at which time the wind vered to the Northwest againe and blew a fresh gale, and so continued vntill the seuenth day in the morning, we lying with all our shippes close by, and caping to the Northwards: and then the wind vering more Northerly, we were forced to put roomer with the coast of England againe, and fell ouerthwart Newcastle, but went not into the hauen, and so plied vpon the coast the eighth day and the ninth.
The tenth day the winde came to the Northnorthwest, and we were forced to beare roomer with Flamborow head, where we came to an anker, and there remained vntil the seuenteenth day. Then the winde came faire, and we weyed, and set our course North and by East, and so continued the same with a mery winde vntill the 21 at noone, at which time we tooke the sunne, and had the latitude in sixty degrees. Then we shifted our course, and went Northnortheast, and Northeast and by North, vntill the 25. day. Heilick Islands in 66 degrees 40 minutes. Then we discouered certaine Islands, called Heilick Islands, lying from vs Northeast, being in the latitude of sixtie sixe degrees, 40 minutes. Rost Islands. Then we went north and by West, because we would not come too nigh the land, and running that course foure houres, we discouered, and had sight of Rost Islands, ioining to the main land of Finmarke. Thus continuing our course along the coast of Norway and Finmark, the 27 day we tooke the Sunne, being as farre shot as Lofoot, and had the latitude in 69 degrees. And the same day in the afternoone appeared ouer our heads a rainebow, like a semicircle, with both ends vpwarde. Malestrand a strange whirle poole. Note that there is between the said Rost Islands and Lofoot, a whirle poole called Malestrand,212 which from halfe ebbe vntill halfe flood, maketh such a terrible noise, that it shaketh the ringes in the doores of the inhabitants houses of the sayd Islands tenne miles off. Also if there commeth any Whale within the current of the same, they make a pitifull crie. Moreouer, if great trees be caried into it by force of streams, and after with the ebbe be cast out againe, the ends and boughs of them haue bene so beaten, that they are like the stalkes of hempe that is bruised. Note, that all the coaste of Finmarke is high mountaines and hils, being couered all the yere with snow. And hard aboord the shoare of this coast, there is 100 or 150 fadomes of water in depth. Zenam Island. Thus proceeding and sailing forward, we fell with an Island called Zenam, being in the latitude of 70 degrees. About this Island we saw many Whales, very monstrous, about our ships, some, by estimation of 60 foot long: and being the ingendring time they roared and cried terriblie. Kettelwike Island. From thence we fell with an Island, called Kettelwicke.
This coast from Rost vnto Lofoot lieth North and south, and from Lofoot to Zenam Northeast and southwest, and from Zenam to Kettelwike Eastnortheast and Westsouthwest. Inger sound. From the said Kettelwike we sailed East and by North 10 leagues, and fell with a land called Inger sound, where we fished, being becalmed, and tooke great plenty of Cods. The North Cape. Thus plying along the coast, we fell with a Cape, called the North Cape, which is the Northermost land that wee passe in our voyage to S. Nicholas, and is in the latitude of 71 degrees and ten minutes, and is from Inger sound East, and to the Northwards 15 leagues. And being at this North Cape the second day of Iuly, we had the sunne at North 4 degrees aboue the Horizon. The third day wee came to Wardhouse, hauing such mists that we could not see the land. Wardhouse This Wardhouse is a Castle standing in an Island 2 miles from the maine of Finland, subiect to the king of Denmarke, and the Easternmost land that he hath. There are two other Islands neere adioining vnto that, whereon the Castle of Wardhouse standeth. The inhabitants of those three Islands liue onely by fishing, and make much, stockefish which they dry with frost: their most feeding is fish; bread and drinke they haue none, but such as is brought them from other places. Cattell fed with fish. They haue small store of cattell, which are also fed with fish. From Wardhouse we sailed Southsoutheast ten leagues, and fell with a Cape of land called Kegor,213 the Northermost part of the land of Lappia. The Monastery of Pechinchow. And betweene Wardhouse, and the said Cape is a great Bay, called Dommeshaff,214 in the South part whereof is a Monasterie of Monkes of the Russes religion, called Pechinchow. Thus proceeding forward and sayling along the coast of the said land of Lappia, winding Southeast, the fourth day through great mists and darkenes we lost the company of the other three ships, and met not with them againe, vntill the seuenth day, when we fell with a Cape or head land called Swetinoz, 215 which is the entring into the Bay of S. Nicholas. At this Cape lieth a great stone, to the which the barkes that passed thereby, were wont to make offrings of butter, meale, and other victuals, thinking that vnlesse they did so, their barkes or vessels should there perish, as it hath bene oftentimes seene: and there it is very darke and mistie. Arzina reca the riuer where Hugh Willoughbie was frozen. Note that the sixt day we passed by the place where Sir Hugh Willoughbie, with all his company perished, which is called Arzina reca, that to say, the riuer Arzina.216
The land of Lappia is an high land, hauing snow lying on it commonly all the yere. The people of the Countrey are halfe Gentiles: they liue in the summer time neere the sea side, and vse to take fish, of the which they make bread, and in the winter they remoue vp into the countrey into the woods, where they vse hunting, and kill Deere, Beares, Woolues, Foxes, and other beasts, with whose flesh they be nourished, The Lappians couered all sauing their eies. and with their skinnes apparelled in such strange fashion, that there is nothing seene of them bare but their eies. They haue none other habitation, but onely in tents, remouing from place to place according to the season of the yeere. They know no arte nor facultie, but onely shooting, which they exercise dayly, as well men as women, and kill such beasts as serue them for their foode. Thus proceeding along the coast from Swetinoz aforesaid, the ninth day of Iuly wee came to Cape Grace,217 being in the latitude of 66 degrees and 45 minutes, and is at the entring in of the Bay of S. Nicholas. Aboord this land there is 20 or 30 fadoms water, and sundry grounds good to anker in. The current at Cape Grace. The current at this Cape runneth Southwest and Northeast. From this Cape wee proceeded along vntill we came to Crosse Island, which is seuen leagues from the sayd Cape Southwest: and from this Island, wee set ouer to the other side of the Bay, and went Southwest, and fell with an head land called Foxenose, which is from the sayd Island 25 leagues. The entering of the Bay of S. Nicholas is seuen leagues broad at the least. The entring of this Bay from Crosse Island to the neerest land on the other side is seuen leagues ouer. From Foxenose proceeding forward the twelfth day of the sayd moneth of Iuly, all our foure ships arriued in safetie at the road of Saint Nicholas in the land of Russia, where we ankered, and had sailed from London vnto the said roade seuen hundred and fifty leagues. The Russian ambassadour and his company with great ioy got to shore, and our ships here forthwith discharged themselues: and being laden againe, and hauing a faire winde, departed toward England the first of August. August. The third of the sayd moneth I with other of my company came vnto the citie of Colmogro, being an hundred verstes from the Bay of Saint Nicholas, and in the latitude of 64 degrees 25 minutes. I taried at the said Colmogro vntill the fifteenth day: and then I departed in a little boate vp the great riuer of Dwina, which runneth very swiftly, Pinego River. and the selfe same day passed by the mouth of a riuer called Pinego, leauing it on our lefte hand fifteen verstes from Colmogro. On both sides of the mouth of this riuer Pinego is high land, great rockes of Alablaster, great woods, and Pineapple trees lying along within the ground, which by report haue lien there since Noes flood. The towne of Yemps. And thus proceeding forward the nineteenth day in the morning, I came into a town called Yemps, an hundred verstes from Colmogro. All this way along they make much tarre, pitch and ashes of Aspen trees. Vstiug. From thence I came to a place called Vstiug, an ancient citie the last day of August. At this citie meete two riuers: the one called Iug, and the other Sucana, both which fall into the aforesaid riuer of Dwina. The riuer Iug hath his spring in the land of the Tartars called Cheremizzi, ioining to the countrey of Permia: and Succana hath his head from a lake not farre from the citie of Vologda. Thus departing from Vstiug, and passing by the riuer Succana, we came to a towne called Totma. About this place the water is verie shallow, and stonie, and troublesome for Barkes and boats of that countrey, which they call Nassades, and Dosneckes, to passe that way: wherein marchandise are transported from the aforesayd Colmogro to the citie of Vologhda. The description of their Nassades. These vessels called Nassades, are very long builded, broade made, and close aboue, flatte bottomed, and draw not aboue foure foote water; and will came two hundred tunnes: they haue none iron appertaining to them but all of timber, and when the winde serueth, they are made to sayle. Otherwise they haue many men, some to hale and drawe by the neckes with long small ropes made fast to the sayd boats, and some set with long poles. There are many of these barks vpon the riuer of Dwina: And the most part of them belongeth vnto the citie of Vologhda: for there dwell many marchants, and they occupie the said boates with carying of salte from the sea side vnto the sayd Vologhda. The twentieth of September I came vnto Vologhda, which is a great citie, and the riuer passeth through the midst of the same. The houses are builded with wood of Firre trees, ioyned one with another, and round without: the houses are foure square without any iron or stone worke, couered with birch barkes, and wood ouer the same: Their Churches are all of wood, two for euery parish, one to be heated for Winter, and the other for Summer.
On the toppes of their houses they laye much earth, for feare of burning: for they are sore plagued with fire. This Vologhda is in 59 degrees, eleuen minutes, and is from Colmogro, 1000 verstes.
All the way I neuer came in house, but lodged in the wildernesse, by the riuers side, and caried prouision for the way. Good counsell for trauellers. And he that will trauell those wayes, must carie with him an hatchet, a tinder boxe, and a kettle, to make fire and seethe meate, when he hath it: for there is small succour in those parts, vnlesse it be in townes.
December. The first day of December, I departed from Vologhda in poste in a sled, as the maner is in Winter. And the way to Moscua is as followeth. From Vologda to Commelski, 27 verstes, so to Olmor 25 verstes, so to Teloytske 20 verstes, so to Vre 30 verstes, so to Voshansko 30 versus, then to Yeraslaue 30 verstes, which standeth vpon the great riuer Volga, so to Rostoue, 50 verstes, then to Rogarin 30 verstes, so to Peraslaue 10 verstes, which is a great town, standing hard by a faire lake. From thence to Dowbnay 30 verstes, so to Godoroke 30 verstes, so to Owchay 30 verstes, and last to the Mosco 25 verstes, where I arriued the sixt day of December.
There are 14 postes called Yannes betweene Vologhda and Mosco, which are accompted 500 verstes asunder.
The 10 day of December I was sent for to the Emperors Castle by the sayd Emperour, and deliuered my letters vnto the Secretary, who talked with me of diuers matters, by the commandement of the Emperour. And after that my letters were translated, I was answered that I was welcome, and that the Emperour would giue me that I desired.
The 25 day, being the day of the natiuitie, I came into the Emperours presence, and kissed his hand, who sate aloft in a goodly chaire of estate, hauing on his heade a crowne most richly decked, and a staffe of gold in his hand, all apparelled with golde, and garnished with precious stones.
There sate distant from him about two yardes his brother, and next vnto him a boy of twelue yeares of age, who was inheritor to the Emperor of Casan, conquered by this Emperor 8 yeares past. Then sate his nobilitie round about him, richly apparelled with gold and stone. And after I had done obeisance to the Emperour, he with his own mouth calling me by my name, bade me to dinner, and so I departed to my lodging till dinner time, which was at sixe of the clocke, by candle light.
The Emperour dined in a fayre great hall, in the midst whereof was a pillar foure square, very artificially made, about which were diuers tables set, and at the vppermost part of the hall, sate the Emperour himselfe, and at his table sate his brother, his Vncles sonne, the Metropolitane, the young Emperour of Casan, and diuers of his noble men, all of one side. There were diuers Ambassadors, and other strangers, as well Christians as heathens, diuersly apparelled, to the number of 600 men, which dined in the sayd hall, besides 2000 Tartars, men of warre, which were newly come to render themselues to the Emperour, and were appointed to serue him in his wars against the Lieflanders, but they dined in other hals. I was set at a litle table, hauing no stranger with me, directly before the Emperors face. Being thus set and placed, the Emperour sent me diuers bowles of wine, and meade, and many dishes of meat from his own hand, which were brought me by a Duke, and my table serued all in gold and siluer, and so likewise on other tables, there were set bowles of gold, set with stone, worth by estimation 400 pounds sterling one cup, besides the plate which serued the tables.
There was also a cupbord of plate, most sumptuous and rich, which was not vsed: among the which, was a piece of golde of two yardes long, wrought in the toppe with towers, and dragons heads, also diuers barrels of gold and siluer, with Castles on the bungs, richly and artificially made. The Emperour and all the hall throughout was serued with Dukes: and when dinner was ended, the Emperour called me by name, and gaue me drinke with his own hand, and so I departed to my lodging.
Note, that when the Emperour drinketh, all the company stand vp, and at euery time he drinketh or tasteth of a dish of meate he blesseth himselfe. Many other things I sawe that day, not here noted.
The 4 of Ianuary, which was Twelftide with them, the Emperour, with his brother and all his nobles, all most richly appareled with gold, pearles, precious stones, and costly furres, with a crowne vpon his head, of the Tartarian fashion, went to the Church in procession, with the Metropolitan, and diuers bishops and priests. That day I was before the Emperour again in Russe apparell, and the Emperour asked if that were not I, and his Chancelor answered yea. Then he bad me to dinner: then came he out of the church, and went with the procession vpon the riuer, being all frozen, and there standing bare headed, with all his Nobles, there was a hole made in the ice, and the Metropolitan hallowed the water with great solemnitie and seruice, and did cast of the sayd water vpon the Emperors sonne and the Nobility. That done, the people with great thronging filled pots of the said water to carie home to their houses, and diuers children were throwen in, and sicke people, and plucked out quickly againe, and diuers Tartars christened: all which the Emperour beheld. Also there were brought the Emperours best horses, to drink at the sayd hallowed water. All this being ended, he returned to his palace againe, and went to dinner by candle light, and sate in a woodden house, very fairely gilt. There dined in the place, about 300 strangers, and I sate alone as I did before, directly before the Emperour, and had my meat, bread and drinke sent me from the Emperour.
The citie of Mosco is great, the houses for the most part of wood, and some of stone, with windowes of yron, which serue for summer time. There are many faire Churches of stone, but more of wood, which are made hot in the winter time. The Emperors lodging is in a faire and large castle, walled foure square of bricke, high, and thicke, situated vpon a hill, 2 miles about, and the riuer on the Southwest side of it, and it hath 16 gates in the walles, and as many bulwarks.218 His palace is separated from the rest of the Castle, by a long wall going north and south, to the riuer side. In his palace are Churches, some of stone and some of wood, with round towers fairely gilded. In the Church doores and within the Churches are images of golde: the chiefe markets for all things, are within the sayd Castle, and for sundry things sundry markets, and euery science by it selfe. And in the winter there is a great market without the castle, vpon the riuer being frozen, and there is sold corne, earthen pots, tubs, sleds, &c. The castle is in circuit 2900 pases.
The coontrey is ful of marish ground, and plaine, in woods and riuers abundant, but it bringeth forth good plenty of corne. This Emperour is of great power: for he hath conquered much, as wel of the Lieflanders, Poles, Lettoes, and Swethens, as also of the Tartars, and Gentiles, called Samoeds, hauing thereby much inlarged his dominions. He keepeth his people in great subiection: all matters passe his iudgement, be they neuer so small. The law is sharpe for all offenders.
The Metropolitan dealeth in matters of religion, as himselfe listeth, whome the Emperour greatly honoreth. They vse the ceremonies, and orders of the Greeke Church. They worship many images painted on tables, and specially the image of S. Nicholas. Their Priests be maried, but their wiues being dead, they may not marie the second time, and so become Monkes, whereof there are a great number in the land.
They haue foure Lents in the yeere, and the weeke before Shrofetide, they call the Butter weeke, &c.
They haue many sortes of meats and drinkes, when they banket and delight in eating of grosse meates, and stinking fishe. Before they drinke they vse to blowe in the cup: their greatest friendship is in drinking: they are great talkers and lyers, without any faith or trust in their words, flatterers and dissemblers. The women be there very obedient to their husbands, and are kept straightly from going abroad, but at some seasons.
At my being there, I heard of men and women that drunke away their children, and all their goods at the Emperors tauerne, and not being able to pay, hauing impauned himselfe, the Tauerner bringeth him out to the highway, and beates him vpon the legges: then they that passe by, knowing the cause, and hauing peraduenture compassion vpon him, giue the money, and so he is ransomed.
In euery good towne there is a drunken Tauerne called a Cursemay, which the Emperour sometime letteth out to farme, and sometimes bestoweth for a yeare or two on some duke or gentleman, in recompense of his seruice: and for that time he is Lord of all the towne, robbing and spoiling, and doing what pleaseth him: and then he be growen rich, is taken by the Emperor, and sent to the warres againe, where he shall spend all that which he hath gotten by ill meanes: so that the Emperour in his warres is little charged, but all the burden lieth vpon the poore people.
They vse sadles made of wood and sinewes, with the tree gilded with damaske worke, and the seat couered with cloth sometimes of golde, and the rest Saphian leather, well stitched. They vse little drummes at their sadle bowes, by the sound whereof their horses vse to runne more swiftly.
The Russe is appareled in this manner: his vpper garment is of golde, silke, or cloth, long, downe to the foot, and buttoned with great buttons of siluer, or els laces of silke, set on with brooches, the sleeues thereof very long, which he weareth on his arme, ruffed vp. Vnder that he hath another long garment, buttoned with silke buttons, with a high coller standing vp of some colour and that garment is made straight. Then his shirt is very fine, and wrought with red silk, or some gold, with a coller of pearle. Vnder his shirt he hath linnen breeches, vpon his legs, a paire of hose without feete, and his bootes of red or yellow leather. On his head hee weareth a white Colepecke, with buttons of siluer, gold, pearle, or stone, and vnder it a black Foxe cap, turned vp very broad.
When he rideth on horsebacke to the warres, or any iourney, he hath a sword of the Turkish fashion, and his bowe and arrowes of the same maner. In the towne he weareth no weapon, but onely two or three paire of kniues, hauing the hafts of the tooth of a fish, called the Morse.
In the Winter time, the people trauell with sleds, in towne and countrey, the way being hard, and smooth with snow; the waters and riuers are all frozen, and one horse with a sled, will draw a man vpon it 400 miles, in three daies: but in the Summer time, the way is deepe with mire, and trauelling is very ill.
The Russe, if he be a man of any abilitie, neuer goeth out of his house in the winter, but vpon his sled, and in Summer vpon his horse: and in his sled he sits vpon a carpet, or a white Beares skinne: the sled is drawen with a horse well decked, with many Foxes and Woolues tailes at his necke, and is conducted by a little boy vpon his backe: his seruants stand vpon the taile of the sled &c.
Last updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 14:09