Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation, by Richard Hakluyt

A compendious and briefe declaration of the iourney of M. Anth. Ienkinson, from the famous citie of London into the land of Persia, passing in this same iourney thorow Russia, Moscouia, and Mare Caspium, alias Hircanum, sent and imployed therein by the right worshipfull Societie of the Merchants Aduenturers, for discouerie of Lands, Islands, &c. Being begun the fourteenth day of May, Anno 1561, and in the third yere of the reigne of the Queenes Maiestie that now is: this present declaration being directed and written to the foresayd Societie.

First imbarking my selfe in a good shippe of yours, named the Swallow, at Grauesend, hauing a faire and good winde, our anker then weyed, and committing all to the protection of our God, hauing in our sailing diuersitie of windes, and thereby forced to direct and obserue sundry courses (not here rehearsed, because you haue bene thereof heretofore amply informed) on the fourteenth day of Iuly, the yere aforesayd I arriued the bay of S. Nicholas in Russia: and the sixe and twentieth day of the same moneth, after conference then had with your Agents there, concerning your worships affaires, I departed from thence, passing thorow the countrey of Vago, and on the eight day of August then following, I came to Vologda, which is distant from Colmogro, seuen hundred miles, where I remained foure dayes, attending the arriual of one of your boats, wherein was laden a chest of iewels with the present, by your worships appointed for the Emperors Maiesty: The Queenes letters to the Emperour of Russia. which being arriued, and the chest receiued, I therewith departed toward the city of Mosco, and came thither the twentieth day of the same moneth, where I immediately caused my comming to be signified vnto the Secretary of the Imperiall Maiesty, with the Queenes Highnesse letters address vnto the same his Maiestie, who informed the Emperour thereof. But his Highnesse hauing great affaires, and being at that present ready to be married vnto a Ladie of Chircassi, of the Mahometicall law, commanded that no stranger, Ambassadour, nor other, should come before him for a time with further streight charge, that during the space of three dayes that the same solemne feast was celebratine the gates of the citie should be shut, and that no person, stranger or natiue (certeine of his houshold reserued) should come out of their said houses during the said triumph, the cause thereof vnto this day not being knowen.

The sixt of September following, the Emperour made a great feast, whereunto were called all Ambassadours and strangers being of reputation, and hauing affaires: amongst whom I was one, but being willed by the Secretary first to come, and to shew him the Queenes Maiesties letters, I refused so to doe, saying I would deliuer the same unto the Emperours owne hands: and not otherwise: which heard the Secretarie answered, that vnlesse he might first peruse the sayd letters, I should not come into the Emperors presence, so that I was not at the feast. Neuerthelesse, I was aduertised by a noble man that I was inquired for by the Emperours Maiestie, although the cause of my absence was to his Maiestie vnknowen. The next day following, I caused a supplication to be made, and presented it to his Highnesse owne hands, and thereby declared the cause of my comming, signified by the Queenes Maiesties letters, and the answere of his sayd Secretary, most humbly beseeching his Grace that he would receiue and accept the same her Highnesse letters, with such honour and friendship, as his letters sent by Osep Napea were receiued by the hands of our late Souereigne Lady Queene Mary, or els that it would please his Highnes to dismisse me, saying that I would not deliuer the said letters but vnto his owne hands, for that it is so vsed in our countrey. Thus the matter being pondered, and the effect of my supplication well digested, I was foorthwith commaunded to come with the said letters before his Maiestie, and so deliuered the same into his owne hands (with such presents as by you were appointed) according to my request, which were gratefully accepted, and the same day I dined in his Grace’s presence, with great entertainment. Request to passe into Persia thorow Moscovie Shortly after, I desired to know whether I should be licenced to passe thorow his Highnesse dominions into the land of Persia, according to the Queenes Maiesties request: hereunto it was answered, that I should not passe thither, for that his Maiestie meant to send an armie of men that way into the land of Chircassi, whereby my iourney should be both dangerous and troublesome, and that if I should perish therein, it would be much to his Graces dishonour, but he doubted other matters, although they were not expressed. Thus hauing received his answere, neither to my expectation, nor yet contentation, and there remaining a good part of the yere, hauing in that time solde the most part of your kerses and other wares appointed for Persia, when the time of the yeere required to returne for England, I desired passport, and post horses for money, which was granted, Osep Napea, Ambassadour from the Emperor of Russia to Queen Mary. but hauing received my passport, ready to depart, there came unto our house there Osep Napea, who perswaded me that I should not depart that day, saying that the Emperor was not truely informed, imputing great fault to the frowardnesse of the Secretary, who was not my friend: before whom comming againe the next day, and finding the same Secretary and Osep Napea together, after many allegations and obiections of things, and perceiuing that I would depart, I was willed to remaine vntill the Emperours Maiestie were spoken with againe touching my passage: wherewith I was content, and within three dayes after sending for me, he declared that the Emperours pleasure was, that I should not onely passe thorow his dominions into Persia, but also haue his Graces letters of commendations to forren princes, with certaine his affaires committed to my charge, too long here to rehearse: An Ambassador of Persia. whereupon I appointed my selfe for the voyage, and the 15 day of March, the yeere aforesaid, I dined againe in his Maiesties presence in company of an Ambassadour of Persia and others, and receiuing a cup of drinke at his Maiesties hands, I tooke my leaue of his Highnesse, who did not only giue me letters, as aforesayd, but also committed matter of importance and charge vnto me, to be done when I should arrive in those countreys whither I intended to go, Astracan. and hauing all things in readinesse for the same voyage, I departed from the city of Mosco the 27 day of April 1561, downe by the great riuer of Volga, in company of the said Ambassadour of Persia, with whom I had great friendship and conference all the way downe the same riuer vnto Astracan, where we arriued all in health the 10 day of Iune.

And as touching the situations of the cities, townes, castles and countreys, aswell of Mahometans as also of Gentils adioyning to the same, whereby I passed from Mosco vnto Astracan, I omit in this breuiat to rehearse, for that I heretofore haue declared the same most amply vnto you in my voyage to Boghar. M. Ienkinsons voyage to Boghar. Thus being arriued at Astracan, as is aforesayd, I repaired vnto the captaine there, vnto whom I was commended from the Emperours Maiesty, with great charge that he not only should ayd and succor me with all things needfull during my abode there, but also to safeconduct me with 50 gunners well appointed in two stroogs or brigantines into the Caspian sea, vntill I had passed certaine dangerous places which pirats and rouers accustome to haunt, and hauing prepared my barke for the sea, the Ambassador of Persia being before departed in a barke of his owne the 15 day of Iuly, the yeere aforesayd, I and my company tooke our voyage from the sayd Astracan, He passeth the Caspian Sea. and the next day at a West sunne, passed the mouth of the said riuer being twenty miles distant, lying next Southeast. The 18 at a Southwest Sunne, we passed by three Islands being distant nine miles from the said mouth of Volga, and Southsouthwest from thence, sailing Southsouthwest the next day, at a West and by North sun we fel with the land called Challica Ostriua, being foure round Islands together, distant from the said three Islands forty miles. The countrey of Tumen. From thence sailing the said course the next day, we had sight of a land called Tuke, in the countrey of Tumen, where pirats and rouers do vse: for feare of whom we haled off into the sea due East forty miles, and fell vpon shallowes out of the sight of land, and there were like to haue perished, escaping most hardly: The Island of Chatelet. then the 22 day we had sight of a goodly Island called Chatalet, distant from the said Challica Ostriua an hundred miles, the wind being contrary, and a stiffe gale, we were not able to seize it: but were forced to come to an anker to the leeward of the same sixe miles off in three or foure fathom water, being distant from the maine land to the Westward of vs, which was called Skafcayl or Connyk a countrey of Mahometans, about miles, and so riding at two ankers a head, hauing no other prouision, we lost one of them, the storme and sea being growen very sore, and thereby our barke was so full of leaks, that with continuall pumping we had much adoe to keepe her aboue water, although we threw much of our goods ouerboord, with losse of our boat, and our selues thereby in great danger like to haue perished either in the sea or els vpon the lee shore, where we should haue fallen into the hands of those wicked infidels, who attended our shipwracke and surely it was very vnlike that we should haue escaped both the extremities, but onely by the power and mercy of God, for the storme continued seuen dayes, to wit, vntill the thirtieth day of the same moneth: The Island of Shiruansha. and then the winde comming vp at the West with faire weather, our anker weyed, and our saile displayed, lying South, the next day haling to the shore with a West sunne, we were nie a land called by the inhabitants Shryuansha, and there we came againe to an anker, hauing the winde contrary, being distant from the said Chatalet 150 miles, and there we continued untill the third day of August, Derbent. then hauing a faire winde, winding Southsoutheast, and sailing threescore miles, the next day at a Southeast sunne we arriued at a city called Derbent in the king of Hircans dominion, where comming to land, and saluting the captaine there with a present, he made to me and my company a dinner, and there taking fresh water I departed.

A mighty wall. This city of Derbent is an ancient towne hauing an olde castle therein, being situated vpon an hill called Castow, builded all of free stone much after our building, the walles very high and thicke, and was first erected by king Alexander the great, when he warred against the Persians and Medians, and then hee made a wall of a woonderfull height and thicknesse, extending from the same city to the Georgians, yea vnto the principall city thereof named Tewflish, Or, Tiphlis. which wall though it now be rased, or otherwise decayed, yet the foundation remaineth, and the wall was made to the intent that the inhabitants of that countrey then newly conquered by the said Alexander should not lightly flee, nor his enemies easily inuade. Fortie one degrees This city of Derbent being now vnder the power of the Sophy of Persia, bordereth vpon the sea, adioyning to the foresaid land of Shalfcall, in the latitude of 41 degrees. Shabran. From thence sailing Southeast and Southsoutheast about 80 miles, the sixt day of August, the yere aforesaid, we arriued at our landing place called Shabran, where my barke discharged: the goods layd on shore, and there being in my tent keeping great watch for feare of rouers, Alean Murey the gouernour. whereof there is great plenty, being field people, the gouernor of the said countrey named Alean Murey, comming vnto me, entertained me very gently, vnto whom giuing a present, he appointed for my safegard forty armed men to watch and ward me, vntill he might haue newes from the king of Shiruan. The 12 day of the same moneth newes did come from the king, with order that I should repaire vnto him with all speed: and for expedition, aswell camels to the number of fiue and forty to cary my goods, as also horses for me and my company were in readinesse, so that the goods laden, and taking my iourney from thence the said twelft day, on the 18 of the same moneth I came to a city called Shamaky, in the said countrey of Hircan, otherwise called Shiruan, and there the king hath a faire place, where my lodging being appointed, the goods were discharged: King Obdolowcan. the next day being the 19 day, I was sent for to come to the king, named Obdolowcan, who kept his court at that time in the high mountaines in tents, distant from the said Shamaki twentie miles, to auoyd the iniury of the heat: and the 20 day I came before his presence, who gently interteined me, and hauing kissed his hands, he bad me to dinner, and commanded me to sit downe not farre from him. The maiestie and attire of King Obdolowcan. This king did sit in a very rich pauillion, wrought with silke and golde, placed very pleasantly, vpon a hill side, of sixteene fathom long, and sixe fathom broad, hauing before him a goodly fountaine of faire water; whereof he and his nobility did drinke, he being a prince of a meane stature, and of a fierce countenance, richly apparrelled with long garments of silke, and cloth of gold, imbrodred with pearles and stone: vpon his head was a tolipane with a sharpe ende standing vpwards halfe a yard long, of rich cloth of golde, wrapped about with a piece of India silke of twentie yards long, wrought with golde, and on the left side of his tolipane stood a plume of fethers, set in a trunke of golde richly inameled, and set with precious stones: his earerings had pendants of golde a handfull long, with two great rubies of great value, set in the ends thereof: all the ground within his pauilion was couered with rich carpets, and vnder himselfe was spred a square carpet wrought with siluer and golde, and thereupon was layd two suitable cushions. Thus the king with his nobility sitting in his pauilion with his legs acrosse, and perceiuing that it was painfull for me so to sit, his highnesse caused a stoole to be brought in, and did will me to sit thereupon, after my fashion. Dinner time then approching, diuers clothes were spred upon the ground, and sundry dishes serued, and set in a ranke with diuers kindes of meats, to the number of 140 dishes, as I numbred them, which being taken away with the table clothes, and others spred, a banket of fruits of sundry kindes, with other banketting meates, to the number of 150 dishes, were brought in: so that two seruices occupied 290 dishes, and at the end of the sayd dinner and banket, the king said vnto me, Quoshe quelde, that is to say, Welcome: and called for a cup of water to be drawen at a fountaine, and tasting thereof, did deliuer me the rest, demanding how I did like the same, and whether there were so good in our countrey or not: vnto whom I answered in such sort, that he was therewith contented: then he proponed vnto me sundry questions, both touching religion, and also the state of our countreys, and further questioned whether the Emperor of Almaine, the Emperor of Russia, or the great Turke, were of most power, with many other things too long here to rehearse, to whom I answered as I thought most meet. The Queenes letters to Sophy. Then he demanded whether I intended to goe any further, and the cause of my comming: vnto that I answered that I was sent with letters from the Queenes most excellent Maiesty of England into the great Sophy, to intreat friendship and free passage, and for his safeconduct to be granted vnto English merchants to trade into his Segniories, with the like also to be granted to his subiects, when they should come into our countreys, to the honour and wealth of both realmes, and commodity of both their subiects, with diuers other words, which I omit to rehearse. Casbin. This sayd king much allowing this declaration sayd, that he would not onely giue me passage, but also men to safeconduct me vnto the sayd Sophy, lying from the foresayd citie of Shamaki thirty dayes iourney, vp into the land of Persia, at a castle called Casbin: so departing from the king at that time, within three dayes after, being the foure and twentieth day of August the yere aforesayd, he sent for me againe: vnto whom I repaired in the morning, Multitude of concubines. and the king not being risen out of his bed (for his maner is, that watching in the night, and then banketting with his women, being an hundred and forty in number, he sleepeth most in the day) did giue one commandement that I should ride on hawking with many Gentlemen of his Court, and that they should shew me so much game and pastime as might be: which was done, and many cranes killed. We returned from hawking about three of the clocke at the afternoone: the king then risen, and ready to dinner, I was inuited thereunto, and approaching nigh to the entring in of his tent, and being in his sight, two gentlemen incountered me with two garments of that countrey fashion, side, downe to the ground, the one of silke, and the other of silke and golde, sent vnto me from the king, and after that they caused me to put off my vpper garment, being a gowne of blacke veluet furred with Sables, they put the sayd two garments vpon my backe, and so conducted me vnto the king, before whom doing reuerence, and kissing his hand, he commanded me to sit not farre from him, and so I dined in his presence, he at the time being very mery, and demanding of me many questions, and amongst other, how I like the maner of their hawking. Dinner so ended, I required his highnesse safeconduct for to depart towards the Sophy, who dismissing me with great fauour, and appointing his Ambassadour (which returned out of Russia) and others, to safeconduct me, he gaue me at my departure a faire horse with all furniture, and custome free from thence with all my goods. So I returned to Shamaki againe, where I remained vntill the sixt of October, to prouide camels, horses, and other necessaries for my sayd intended iourney.

The description of Hircania. But now before I proceed further, I purpose to write something of this countrey of Hircan, now called Shiruan, with the townes and commodities of the same. This countrey of Hircan in times past was of great renowne, hauing many cities, townes, and castles in it: and the kings thereof in time of antiquity were of great power, able to make wars with the Sophies of Persia: but now it is not onely otherwise (for that the cities, townes, and castles be decayed) but also the king is subiect to the sayd Sophie (although they haue their proper king) and be at the commandement of the sayd Sophy, who conquered them not many yeres passed, Diversity in religion. for their diuersity in religion, and caused not onely all the nobility and gentlemen of that countrey to be put to death, but also ouer and besides, rased the walles of the cities, townes, and castles of the said realme, to the intent that there should be no rebellion, Barbarous cruelty. and for their great terror, caused a turret of free stone and flints to be erected in the sayd city called Shamaki, and in a ranke of flints of the said turret, did set the heads of the sayd nobility and gentlemen, then executed. The citie of Arrash or Erex. This city is distant from the sea side, with camels seuen dayes iourney, but now the same being much decayed, and chiefly inhabited with Armenians, another city called Arrash, bordering vpon the Georgians, is the chiefest and most opulent in the trade of merchandise, and thereabouts is nourished the most abundant growth of raw silke, and thither the Turks, Syrians, and other strangers do resort and trafficke. The commodities of this countrey. There be also diuers good and necessary commodities to be prouided and had in this sayd realme: viz. galles rough and smooth, cotton wooll, allome, and raw silke of the naturall growth of that countrey: besides, nere all kinde of spices and drugges, and some other commodities, which are brought thither from out of East India, but in the lesse quantity, for that they be not assured to haue vent or vtterance of the same: but the chiefest commodities be there, raw silks of all sorts, whereof there is great plenty. The strong castle of Gullistone defaced. Not farre from the sayd city of Shamaki, there was an olde castle called Gullistone, now beaten downe by this Sophy, which was esteemed to be one of the strongest castles in the world, and was besieged by Alexander the great, long time before he could win it. And not farre from the sayd castle was a Nunry of sumptuous building, wherein was buried a kings daughter, named Ameleck Channa, who slew herselfe with a knife, for that her father would haue forced her (she professing chastity) to haue married with a king of Tartarie: vpon which occasion the maidens of that countrey do resort thither once euery yere to lament her death.

Also in the sayd countrey there is an high hill called Quiquifs, vpon the toppe whereof (as it is commonly reported) did dwell a great Giant, named Arneoste, hauing vpon his head two great hornes, and eares, and eyes like a Horse, and a taile like a Cow. It is further sayd that this monster kept a passage thereby, vntill there came an holy man, termed Haucoir Hamshe, a kinseman to one of the Sophies, who mounted the sayd hill, and combating with the sayd Giant, did binde not onely him in chaines, but also his woman called Lamisache with his sonne named After: for which victory they of that countrey haue this holy man in great reputation, and the hill at this day (as it is bruited) sauoureth so ill, that no person may come nigh vnto it: but whether it be true or not, I referre it to further knowledge.

The towne of Yauate. Now to returne to the discourse of the proceeding in my voyage, towards the great Sophie. The 6 of October in the yeere aforesayd, I with my company departed from Shamachi aforesaid, and hauing iourneyed threescore miles, came to a towne called Yauate, wherein the king hath a faire house with orchards and gardens well replenished with fruits of all sorts. By this towne passeth a great riuer called Cor, which springeth in the mountaines of the Georgians, and passing thorow the countrey of Hircania aforesayd, falleth into the Caspian or Hircan sea, at a place betweene two ancient townes called Shabran and Bachu, situate within the realme of Hircane, and from thence issueth further, passing thorow a fruitful countrey, inhabited with pasturing people, which dwell in the Summer season vpon mountaines, and in Winter they remooue into the valleyes without resorting to townes or any other habitation: and when they remooue, they doe iourney in carrauans or troops of people and cattell, carrying all their wiues, children and baggage vpon bullocks. The city of Ardouil Now passing this wilde people ten dayes iourney, comming into no towne or house, the sixteenth day of October we arriued at a citie called Ardouill, where we were lodged in an hospitall builded with faire stone, and erected by this Sophies father named Ismael, onely for the succour and lodging of strangers and other trauellers, wherein all men haue victuals and feeding for man and horse, for three dayes and no longer. This foresayd late prince Ismael lieth buried in a faire Meskit, with a sumptuous sepulchre in the same, which he caused to be made in his life time. This towne Ardouill is in the latitude of eight and thirtie degrees, an ancient citie in the prouince of Aderraugan, wherein the Princes of Persia are commonly buried: and there Alexander the great did keepe his Court when he inuaded the Persians. The citie Tebris or Tauris Foure dayes iourney to the Westward is the citie Tebris in olde time called Tauris, the greatest citie in Persia, but not of such trade of merchandise as it hath bene, or as others be at this time, by meane of the great inuasion of the Turke, who hath conquered from the Sophie almost to the sayd citie of Tauris, which the said Turke once sacked, and thereby caused the Sophie to forsake the same, and to keepe his court ten dayes iourney from thence, at the sayd citie of Casbin.

The 21 day we departed from Ordowil aforesayd, trauelling for the most part ouer mountaines all in the night season, and resting in the day, being destitute of wood, and therefore were forced to vse for fewell the dung of horses and camels, which we bought deare of the pasturing people. M. Ienkinsons arriuall at the Sophies court 2. Nouember, 1562. Thus passing ten dayes iourney the yere aforesayd, the second day of Nouember we arriued at the foresaid citie of Casbin, where the saide Sophie keepeth his court, and were appointed to a lodging not farre from the kings pallace, and within two dayes after the Sophie commanded a prince called Shalli Murzy, sonne to Obdolowcan king of Shiruan aforesayd, to send for me to his house, who asked me in the name of the said Sophy how I did, and whether I were in health, and after did welcome me, and inuited me to dinner, whereat I had great enterteinment, and so from thence I returned to my lodging. The next day after I sent my interpreter vnto the Sophies Secretarie, declaring that I had letters directed from our most gracious Souereigne ladie the Queenes most excellent Maiestie of the Realme of England, vnto the sayd Sophy, and that the cause of my comming was expressed in the same letters, desiring that at conuenient time I might come into his Maiesties presence, who aduertising the Sophy thereof, shortly after answered me that there were great affaires in hand: which being finished, I should come before his presence, willing me in the meane time to make ready my present if I had any to deliuer.

The Turkes Ambassadour to the Sophie. At this time the great Turkes Ambassadour arriued foure dayes before my comming, who was sent thither to conclude a perpetuall peace betwixt the same great Turke and the Sophie, and brought with him a present in golde, and faire horses with rich furnitures, and other gifts, esteemed to bee woorth forty thousand pound. And thereupon a peace was concluded with ioyfull feasts, triumphs and solemnities, corroborated with strong othes, by their law of Alkaron, for either to obserue the same, and to liue alwayes after as sworne brethren, ayding the one the other against all princes that should warre against them, or either of them. And upon this conclusion the Sophy caused the great Turkes sonne named Baiset Soltan, a valiant Prince (who being fled from his father vnto the Sophie, had remained in his Court the space of foure yeeres) to be put to death. In which time the said Turkes sonne had caused mortall warres betwixt the sayd princes, and much preuailed therein: the Turke demanded therefore his sonne to be sent vnto him; and the Sophy refused thereunto to consent. But now being slaine according to the Turks will, the Sophy sent him his head for a present, not a little desired, and acceptable to the vnnaturall father. Discoursing at my first arriuall with the king of Shiruan of sundry matters, and being interteined as hath bene before declared, the sayd King named Obdolocan, demaunding whether we of England had friendship with the Turks or not: I answered, that we neuer had friendship with them, and that therefore they would not suffer vs to passe thorow their countrey into the Sophy his dominions, and that there is a nation named the Venetians, not farre distant from vs, which are in great league with the sayd Turks, who trade into his dominions with our commodities, chiefly to barter the same for raw silks, which (as we vnderstand) come from thence: and that if it would please the said Sophy and other Princes of that countrey, to suffer our merchants to trade into those dominions, and to give vs pasport and safe conduct for the same, as the said Turke hath granted to the sayd Venetians, I doubted not but that it should grow to such a trade to the profit of them as neuer before had beene the like, and that they should be both furnished with our commodities, and also haue vtterance of theirs, although there neuer came Turke into their land, perswading with many other words for a trade to be had. This king vnderstanding the matter liked it marueilously, saying, that he would write vnto the Sophy concerning the same: as he did in very deed, assuring me that the Sophy would graunt my request, and that at my returne vnto him he would giue me letters of safe conduct, and priuiledges. The Turkes Ambassadour was not then come into the land, neither any peace hoped to be concluded, but great preparation was made for warre, which was like much to have furthered my purpose, but it chanced otherwise. The Turkes merchaunts withstand M. Ienkinson. For the Turks Ambassadour being arriued, and the peace concluded, the Turkish merchants there at that time present, declared to the same Ambassadour, that my comming thither (naming me by the name of Franke) would in great part destroy their trade, and that it should be good for him to perswade the Sophy not to fauour me, as his Highnesse meant to obserue the league and friendship with the great Turke his master, which request of the Turkish merchants the same Ambassadour earnestly preferred, and being afterwards dismissed with great honour, he departed out of the Realme with the Turks sonnes head as aforesayd, and other presents.

Shaw Thomas the Sophies name. The 20 day of Nouember aforesayd, I was sent for to come before the said Sophy, otherwise called Shaw Thomas, and about three of the clocke at afternoone I came to the Court, and in lighting from my horse at the Court gate, before my feet touched the ground, a paire of the Sophies owne shoes termed in the Persian tongue Basmackes, such as hee himselfe weareth when he ariseth in the night to pray (as his maner is) were put vpon my feet, for without the same shoes I might not be suffred to tread vpon his holy ground, being a Christian, and called amongst them Gower, that is, vnbeleeuer, and vncleane: esteeming all to be infidels and Pagans which do not beleeue as they do, in their false filthie prophets, Mahomet and Murtezalli. At the sayd Court gate the things that I brought to present his Maiestie with, were deuided by sundry parcels to sundry seruitors of the Court, to cary before me, for none of my company or seruants might be suffered to enter into the Court with me, my interpreter onely excepted. The Queenes letters deliuered. Thus commihg before his Maiestie with such reuerence as I thought meete to be vsed, I deliuered the Queenes Maiesties letters with my present, which hee accepting, demaunded of mee of what countrey of Franks I was, and what affaires I had there to doe: Vnto whom I answered that I was of the famous Citie of London within the noble Realme of England, and that I was sent thither from the most excellent and gracious soueraigne Lady Elizabeth Queene of the saide Realme for to treate of friendship, and free passage of our Merchants and people, to repaire and traffique within his dominions, for to bring in our commodities, and to carry away theirs, to the honour of both princes, the mutuall commoditie of both Realmes, and wealth of the Subiects, with other wordes here omitted. He then demaunded me in what language the letters were written, I answered, in the Latine, Italian and Hebrew: well said he, we haue none within our Realme that vnderstand those tongues. Whereupon I answered that such a famous and worthy prince (as hee was) wanted not people of all nations within his large dominions to interprete the same. The Sophies questions. Then he questioned with me of the state of our Countreys, and of the power of the Emperour of Almaine, king Philip, and the great Turke, and which of them was of most power: whom I answered to his contentation, not dispraysing the great Turke, their late concluded friendship considered. Then he reasoned with mee much of Religion, demaunding whether I were a Gower, that is to say, an vnbeleeuer, or a Muselman, that is, of Mahomets lawe. Vnto whom I answered, that I was neither vnbeleeuer nor Mahometan, but a Christian. What is that, said he vnto the king of the Georgians sonne, who being a Christian was fled vnto the said Sophie, and he answered that a Christian was he that beleeueth in Iesus Christus, affirming him to be the Sonne of God, and the greatest Prophet. Doest thou beleeue so, said the Sophie vnto me: Yea that I do, said I: Oh thou vnbeleeuer, said he, we haue no neede to haue friendship with the vnbeleeuers, and so willed me to depart. I being glad thereof, did reuerence and went my way, being accompanied with many of his gentlemen and others, and after me followed a man with a Basinet of sand, sifting all the way that I had gone within the said pallace, euen from the said Sophies sight vnto the court gate.

The curtesie of Shalley Murzey. Thus I repaired againe vnto my lodging, and the said night Shally Murzey sonne to the king of Hircan aforesaid, who fauoured me very much for that I was commended unto him from his father, willed mee not to doubt of any thing, putting mee in hope that I should haue good successe with the Sophie, and good intertainment.

Thus I continued for a time, dayly resorting vnto me diuers gentlemen sent by the Sophie to conferre with me, especially touching the affaires of the Emperour of Russia, and to know by what way I intended to returne into my countrey, either by the way that I came, or by the way of Ormus, and so with the Portingals ships. Warres intended against the portingals. Vnto whom I answered, that I durst not returne by the way of Ormus, the Portingals and wee not being friendes, fully perceiuing their meaning: for I was aduertised that the saide Sophie meant to haue warres with the Portingals, and would haue charged mee that I had bene come for a spie to passe through his dominions unto the saide Portingals, thinking them and us to be all one people, and calling all by the name of Franks, but by the prouidence of God this was preuented.

After this the saide Sophie conferred with his nobilitie and counsel concerning me, who perswaded that he should not enterteine me wel, neither dismisse me with letters or gifts, considering that I was a Franke, and of that nation that was an enemie to the great Turke his brother, perswading that if he did otherwise, and that the newes thereof should come to the knowledge of the Turke, it should be a meane to breake their new league and friendship lately concluded: disswading further because he had no neede, neither that it was requisite for him to haue friendship with vnbeleeuers, whose Countreys lay farre from him, and that it was best for him to send me with my letters vnto the said great Turke for a present, which he was fully determined to haue done at some meet time, meaning to send his Ambassadour vnto the said great Turke very shortly after.

The king of Hircans second letters in Mr Ienkinson’s behalfe. But the king of Hircanes sonne aforesaide, vnderstanding this deliberation, sent a man in post vnto his father, for to declare and impart the purpose vnto him, who as a gracious prince, considering that I had passed through his dominions, and that I had iourneyed for a good intent, did write to the Sophie al that which he vnderstood of his said determination, and that it should not stand with his Maiesties honour to doe mee any harme or displeasure, but rather to giue mee good entertainment, seeing I was come into his land of my free will, and not by constraint, and that if hee vsed me euill, there would few strangers resort into his country, which would bee greatly vnto his hinderance, with many other perswasions: which after that the saide Sophie had well and throughly pondered and digested (much esteeming the same king of Hircane, being one of the valiantest princes vnder him and his nigh kinseman) changed his determined purpose, and the twentieth of March 1562. he sent to me a rich garment of cloth of golde, and so dismissed me without any harme.

Conference with Indian Merchants. During the time that I soiourned at the sayde City of Casbin, diuers merchants out of India came thither vnto mee, with whom I conferred for a trade of spices: whereunto they answered that they would bring of all sorts so much as we would haue, if they were sure of vent, whereof I did promise to assure them, so that I doubt not but that great abundance thereof may from time to time be there prouided and had.

Mr Ienkinsons returne. The same twentieth day of March I returned from the saide Citie of Casbin where I remayned all the Winter, hauing sent away all my Camels before, and the thirtieth day I came to the saide Citie of Ardouil, and the fifteenth of April vnto Zauat aforesayd, where king Obdolowcan was at that present, who immediately sent for me, and demaunding of me many questions, declared that if it had not bene for him, I had bene vtterly cast away, and sent to the great Turke for a present by the Sophie, through the euill perswasion of his wicked counsell, that the Zieties and holy men were the chiefe and principal procurers and moouers thereof: but the Sophie himselfe ment mee much good at the first, and thought to haue giuen me good entertainement, and so had done, had not the peace and league fortuned to haue bene concluded betweene them and the great Turke. Priviledges obtained of Obdowlocan, which are hereafter annexed. Neuerthelesse, sayd he, the Sophie hath written vnto me to enterteine you well, and you are welcome into my Countrey, and so he intreated me very gently, in whose Court I remained seuen dayes, and obteined of him letters of safe conductes and priuiledges in your names to bee free from paying custome, which I deliuered vnto your seruants Thomas Alcocke and George Wrenne, at their departure towards Persia for your affaires: and his highnesse did giue mee two garments of silke, and so dismissed me with great fauour, sending with me his Ambassadour againe vnto the Emperour of Russia, and committed the chiefest secret of his affaires vnto me, to declare the same vnto the Emperours Maiestie at my returne: and thus departing the tenth day of April, I came to the City of Shamachi, and there remayning certeine dayes for prouision of Camels downe to the Sea side, I sent from thence before men to repaire my Barke, and to make her in a readinesse. An Armenian sent to M. Ienkinson from the king of Georgia And during my abode in Shammachi, there came vnto me an Armenian sent from the king of Georgia, who declared the lamentable estate of the same king, that being enclosed betwixt those two cruell tyrants and mightie princes, the said great Turke and the Sophie, hee had continuall warres with them, requiring for the loue of Christ and as I was a Christian, that I would send him comfort by the said Armenian, and aduise how he might send his Ambassadour to the sayd Emperour of Russia, and whether I thought that he would support him or no: and with many other wordes required me to declare his necessitie vnto the same Emperour at my returne: adding further that the said king would haue written vnto me his minde, but that hee doubted the safe passage of his messenger. Vnto whom I did likewise answere by word of mouth, not onely perswading him to send his Ambassadour to Russia, not doubting but that hee should finde him most honourable and inclined to helpe him, Teneruk king of Chircassi. but also I directed him his way how the sayde king might send by the Countrey of Chircassi, through the fauour of Teneruk king of the said country, whose daughter the said king had lately married. And thus dismissing the saide Armenian, within two dayes after I sent Edward Cleark your seruaunt vnto the Citie of Arrash, where the most store of Silkes is to be had, giuing him Commission to haue passed further into the saide Countrey of Georgia, and there to haue repaired vnto the sayde king. And after my commendations premised, and my minde declared to haue pursued for safeconduct of the same Prince for our Merchants to trade into his dominions, and that obtained to haue returned againe with speede. The same your seruaunt iourneying to the sayd Citie of Arrash, and there finding certaine Merchants Armenians, which promised to goe to the sayd City of Georgia, comming to the borders thereof, was perceiued by a Captaine there, that he was a Christian, and thereupon demaunded whither he went, and vnderstanding that he could not passe further without great suspition, answered that he came thither to buy Silkes, and shewed the king of Hircanes letters which he had with him, and so returned backe againe, and the fifteenth of April came to Shamachi: from whence I departed the sixteene of the same moneth, and the one and twentie therof comming to the Sea side, and finding my barke in a readinesse, I caused your goods to be laden, and there attended a faire winde.

But before I proceede any further to speake of my returne, I intend with your fauours somewhat to treate of the countrey of Persia, of the great Sophie, and of his countrey, lawes and religion.

The description of Persia. This land of Persia is great and ample, deuided into many kingdomes and prouinces, as Gillan, Corasan, Shiruan, and many others hauing diuers Cities, townes and castles in the same. Euery prouince hath his seuerall King, or Sultan, all in obedience to the great Sophie. The chiefe Cities of Persia. The names of the chiefest Cities be these: Teueris, Casbin, Keshan, Yesse, Meskit, Heirin, Ardouill, Shamachi, Arrash with many others. The countrey for the most part toward the sea side is plaine and full of pasture, but into the land, high, full of mountaines, and sharpe. To the South it bordereth vpon Arabia and the East Ocean. To the North vpon the Caspian sea and the lands of Tartaria. To the East vpon the prouinces of India, and to the West vpon the confines of Chaldea, Syria, and other the Turkes lands. All within these dominions be of the Sophies, named Shaw Thamas, sonne to Ismael Sophie. This Sophie that now raigneth is nothing valiant, although his power be great, and his people martiall: and through his pusillanimitie the Turke hath much inuaded his countreys, euen nigh vnto the Citie of Teueris, wherein hee was wont to keepe his chiefe court. And now hauing forsaken the same, is chiefly resident at Casbin aforesaide, and alwayes as the said Turke pursueth him, he not being able to withstand the Turke in the fielde, trusting rather to the mountaines for his safegard, then to his fortes and castles, hath caused the same to bee rased within his dominions, and his ordinance to be molten, to the intent that his enemies pursuing him, they should not strengthen themselues with the same.

This prince is of the age of fiftie yeeres, and of a reasonable stature, hauing fiue children. His eldest sonne he keepeth captiue in prison, for that he feareth him for his valiantnesse and actiuitie: he professeth a kinde of holynesse, and saith that hee is descended of the Blood of Mahomet and Murtezalli: The difference of religion. and although these Persians bee Mahometans, as the Turkes and Tartars bee, yet honour they this false fained Murtezalli, saying that hee was the chiefest disciple that Mahomet had, cursing and chiding dayly three other disciples that Mahomet had called Ouear, Vsiran, and Abebeck, and these three did slay the saide Murtezalli, for which cause and other differences of holy men and lawes, they haue had and haue with the Turkes and Tartars mortall warres. To intreat of their religion at large, being more or lesse Mahomets lawe and Alkaron, I shall not heed at this present. These persons are comely and of good complexion, proude and of good courage, esteeming themselues to bee best of all nations, both for their religion and holinesse, which is most erroneous, and also for all other their fashions. They be martial, delighting in faire horses and good harnesse, soone angrie, craftie and hard people. Thus much have I haue thought good to treate of this nation, and nowe I returne to discourse the proceeding of the rest of my voyage.

The 30. of May 1563. My barke being ready at the Caspian sea as aforesaide, hauing a faire winde, and committing our selues vnto God the 30. day of May 1563. we arriued at Astracan, hauing passed no lesse dangers vpon the Sea in our returne, then wee sustained in our going foorth, and remayning at the said Astracan, vntill the tenth day of Iune, one hundred gunners being there admitted vnto mee for my safegard vp the riuer Volga; the fifteenth of Iuly I arriued at the Citie of Cazan, where the Captaine entertained me well, and so dismissing mee, I was conducted from place to place vnto the Citie of Mosco, where I arriued the twentieth day of August 1563. in safetie, thankes bee to God, with all such goods, merchandizes, and iewels, as I had prouided as well for the Emperours stocke and accompt, as also of yours, all which goods I was commaunded to bring into the Emperours treasurie before it was opened, which I did, and deliuered those parcels of wares which were for his Maiesties accompt, videlicit, precious stones, and wrought silkes of sundry colours and sortes, much to his Highnesse contentation, and the residue belonging to you, viz. Crasko, and rawe silkes, with other merchandizes, (as by accompt appeareth) were brought vnto your house, whereof part there remained, and the rest was laden in your shippes lately returned.

Shortly after my comming to the Mosco, I came before the Emperours Maiestie, and presented vnto him the apparell giuen vnto me by the Sophie, whose highnesse conferred with mee touching the princes affaires which he had committed to my charge: and my proceedings therein it pleased him so to accept, that they were much to his contentation, saying vnto mee, I haue perceiued your good seruice, for the which I doe thanke you, and will recompence you for the same, wishing that I would trauell againe in such his other affaires, wherein hee was minded to employ mee: to whom I answered, that it was to my heartie reioycing that my seruice was so acceptable vnto his highnesse, acknowledging all that I had done to bee but of duetie, humbly beseeching his grace to continue his goodnesse vnto your worships, and euen at that instant I humbly requested his Maiestie to vouchsafe to graunt vnto you a new priuiledge more ample then the first, which imntediately was graunted, and so I departed. New privileges obtained hereafter following. And afterwards having penned a briefe note howe I meant to haue the same priuiledges made, I repaired dayly to the Secretary for the perfecting of the same, and obtained it vnder his Maiesties broade seale, which at my departure from thence, I deliuered vnto the custody of Thomas Glouer your Agent there. The copy whereof, and also of the other priuiledges graunted and giuen by the king of Hircan, I haue already deliuered vnto you. Soiourning all that winter at Mosco, and in the meane time hauing bargained with the Emperours Maiestie, I sent away your seruant Edward Clarke hither ouerland with aduise, and also made preparation for sending againe into Persia in meete time of the yeere. 28 Septemb. 1564. And committing the charge thereof vnto your seruants Thomas Alcocke, George Wrenne, and Richard Cheinie, the 28. of Iune last, I departed in poste from the said Mosco, and comming to Colmogro and so downe to the Sea Side, I found your ships laden and ready to depart, where I embarked my selfe in your good ship called the Swallow, the 9. of Iuly, one thousand fiue hundred sixtie foure, and hauing passed the Seas with great and extreme dangers of losse of shippe, goods and life, the 28. of September last (God be praised) we arriued here at London in safetie.

Thus knowing that the couragious and valiant souldier, which aduentureth both fame, member and life, to serue faithfully his soueraigne, esteemeth not the perils and dangers passed (the victorie once obtained) neither for his guerdon desireth any thing more, then that his seruice bee well taken of him for whom he enterprised it: So I perceiuing your fauourable beneuolence to me extended in accepting my trauels in good part to your contentations, do thinke my selfe therewith in great part recompensed: beseeching Almightie God so to prosper your aduentures, from time to time hereafter to be made for reaping the fruits of my trauels (at your great charges, and to my no small dangers) that ye may plentifully gather in and enioy the same, to the illustrating of the Queenes most excellent Maiestie, the honour and commoditie of this her highnesse Realme, and to the ample benefit and abundant enriching of you and your succession, and posteritie for euer.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:55