A remembrance giuen by vs the Gouernours, Consuls, and Assistants of the company of Merchants trading into Russia, the eight day of May 1561, to our trustie friend Anthonie Ienkinson, at his departure towards Russia, and so to Persia, in this our eight iourney.
First you shall vnderstand that we haue laden in our good ship, called the Swallow, one Chest, the keyes whereof we doe heere deliuer you, and also a bill, wherein are written particularly the contents in the sayd Chest, and what euery thing did cost: and because, as you know, the sayd Chest is of charge, we desire you to haue a speciall regard vnto it, and when God shall send you vnto Mosco, our mindes and will is, that you, with the aduise of our Agents there, doe appoint some such presents for the Emperour and his sonne, either wine, cloth of golde, scarlet, or plate, as to your good discretion shall be thought meet, and when you haue deliuercd vnto him the Queenes Maiesties letters and our sayd present in the name of the Company, we thinke it good that you make your humble sute vnto his Highnesse in our name, to get his licence or safe conduct for you and all other our seruants or Agents at all times hereafter with such wares and merchandise as you at this time, or they hereafter at all other times shall thinke good to passe out of his dominions towards Tartaria, Persia, or other places, and also to retourne vnto Mosco with such wares and merchandises as you shall bring or send from any land or countrey that is not in his dominions, and if it be thought good by you and our Agents there to make composition with the emperor or his officers for some certeine custome or tole vpon such goods as we shall passe that way, to the intent we might be the better fauored, we refer it to your discretion, foreseeing that the opening of this matter be not preiudiciall vnto our former priuileges.
And for the sale of our cloth of gold, plate, pearles, saphyres, and other iewels, we put our trust and confidence in you principally to sell them for ready money, time to good debtors, or in barter for good wares, so that you make our other Agents priuy how and for what price you sell any of the premisses, and also deliver such sums of money, billes or wares, as you shall receiue, vnto our said Agents: thinking good further, that if you perceiue that the plate or other iewels, or any part thereof will not be sold for profit before your departure from the Mosco, that then you cause them to be safe-packed, and set order they may be sent hither againe in our shippes the next yere; except you perceiue that there may be some profit in carrying some part of them into Persia, which we would not to be of any great value.
We have also laden in the sayd Swallow and the other two ships 80 fardles, conteining 400 kersies, as by youre inuoice doth appeare, which fardles be packed, and appointed to be caried into Persia: neuerthelesse, if you chance to finde good sales for them in the Mosco, we thinke it were good to sell part of them there, and to cary the lesse quantity with you, because we be vncertaine what vent or sale you shall find in Persia or other places where you shall come.
If you obtaine the Emperours licence to passe out of his dominions, and to returne, as aforesaid, and that you perceiue you may safely do the same, our minde is, that at such time as you thinke best and most conuenient for that purpose, you do apppoint so many, and such of our hired seruants or apprentices as you thinke necessary and meet for our affaires, and may best be spared, to go with you in your said voyage, whereof we would one to be such as you might make priuy of all your doings for diuers considerations and causes that may happen: which seruants and apprentises, we will and command, by this our remembrance, to be obedient vnto you as vnto vs, not onely to goe with you and to doe such things as you command them in your presence, but also to goe vnto such countreys or places as you shall appoint them vnto, either with wares or without wares and there to remaine and continue so long as you shall thinke good, and if they or any of them will refuse to do such things as you do appoint them, as aforesaid, or that any of them (be he hired seruant or apprentise) do misuse himselfe by any maner of disobedience or disorder, and will not by gentle and faire meanes be reformed, we will that you send him backe to the Mosco, with straight order that he may be sent from thence hither, aad let vs haue knowledge of his euill behauior, to the intent that if he be a hired seruant we may pay him his wages according to his seruice, and if he be an apprentise we may vse him according to his deserts.
We will also that you take with you such kersies, scarlet, and other clothes, or any other such wares of ours, as you shall thinke good, and so in the name of God to take your iourney towards Persia, either by the way of Astracan and Mare Caspium, or otherwise as you shall see cause: and when God sendeth you into Persia, our minde is, that you repaire vnto the great Sophy with the Queenes Maiesties letters, if he be not too farre from the Caspian sea for you to trauell, and that you make him such a present as you shall thinke meet, and if you passe by any other kings, princes, or gouernors, before or after you come to the presence of the Sophy, likewise to make them some present, as you see cause, according to their estate and dignitie, and withall to procure letters of priuilege or safeconduct of the sayd Sophy or other princes in as large and ample maner as you can, for the sure establishing of further trade in merchandise by vs heereafter to be made, frequented and continued in those parts, not onely that we may freely sell in all places within his dominions such wares as we cary thither, but also buy and bring away any maner of wares or merchandise whatsoeuer it be, that is for our purpose and commoditie within his dominions, with free passage also for vs at all times, to passe as often as we will with our goods and merchandise into any part of India or other countreys thereunto adioyning, and in like maner to returne thorow his dominions into Russia or elswhere.
And for the sale of our kersies or other wares that you shall haue with you, as our trust is that you will doe for our most profit and commoditie: euen so we referre all vnto your good discretion, as well in the sale of our sayd goods, as to make our returne in such things as you shall finde there, and thinke best for our profit. The passage of Noua Zembla. But if passage cannot be had into Persia by Astracan, or otherwise, the next Summer, which shalbe in the yere 1562, then our minde is, that you procure to sell our kersies, and other such wares as are appointed for Persia, in the Mosco, or other the Emperours dominions, if you may sell them for any reasonable price, and then to employ your selfe with such other of your seruants, as you shall thinke meet for the search of the passage by Noua Zembla, or els you to returne for England as you thinke good. Prouided alwayes, that if you do perceiue or vnderstand, that passage is like to be had into Persia the Summer folowing, which shalbe in the yeere 1563, and that you can not sell our kersies in the Emperours dominions, as aforesayd, at a reasonable price: then we will rather they may be kept till the said Summer in the yeere 1563, and then you to proceed forwards vpon your iourney towards Persia as aforesayd. If passage into Persia cannot be obteined the next yeere, neither good hope of passage in the yeere 1563, neither yet in the meane time good sale of our kersies in the Emperours dominions then we thinke good for you to see if you can practise to carry your said wares by safe conduct thorow Polonia or any other wayes vnto Constantinople, or els where you thinke beter sale may he had, then in Russia.
Thus haue we giuen you to vnderstand our meanings in this intended aduenture; but forasmuch as we do consider and know that if we should prescribe vnto you any certaine way, or direct order what you should doe, we might so worke cleane contrary to our purpose and intent: therefore knowing your approved wisedome with your experience, and also your carefull and diligent minde in the atchieuing and bringing to good successe (by the helpe of almighty God) all things that you take in hand, we doe commit our whole affaires concerning the said aduenture wholly vnto your good discretion, praying God so to prosper you as may be first for his glory, secondly for the honour and commoditie of this realme and next for our profit, with the increase of your good name for euer.
And yet further desiring, and also most earnestly requiring you, as you tender the state of our company, that you will haue a speciall regard vnto the order of our houses and our seruants as well at Colmogro and Vologda, as at Mosco and to see and consider if any misorder be amongst our seruants or apprentises wherby you thinke we might hereafter be put to hinderance or losse of any part of our goods or priuilege there, that you doe not onely see the same reformed, but also to certifie vs thereof by your letter at large, as our trust is in you.
Weight and drugs deliuered to M. Ienkinson. And for the better knowledge to be had in the prices and goodnes of such things as we do partly suppose you shall finde in the partes of Russia, we doe heerewith deliuer you a quantitie of certeine drugges, wherby you may perceiue how to know the best, and also there are noted the prices of such wares and drugges as be heere most vendible: also we deliuer you herewith one pound and one ounce weight in brasse, to the end, that you may therby, and with the bill of prices of wares, know what things be worth here. As for the knowledge of silks, we need not to giue you any instructions thereof, other than you know.
And if you vnderstand that any commoditie in Russia be profitable for vs to haue with you in Persia or other places, our minde is that our Agents shall either prouide it for you, or deliuer you money to make prouision your selfe. The maine sea within thirtie days of Colmogro. And because the Russes say that in traueiling Eastwardes from Colmogro thirty or forty dayes iourney, there is the maine sea to be found, we think that Richard Iohnson might imploy his time that way by land, and to be at Mosco time enough to goe with you into Persia: for if it be true that he may trauell to the sea that way, and that he may know how many miles it is towards the East from Colmogro, it will be a great helpe for vs to finde out the straight and passage that way, if any be there to be had.
William Gerard. Thomas Lodge. William Merike. Blase Sanders.
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:51