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

The second voiage into Persia made by Tho. Alcock, who was slaine there, and by George Wrenne, and Ric. Cheinie seruants to the worshipfull companie of Moscouie merchants in Anno 1563. written by the said Richard Cheinie.

It may please your worships to vnderstand, that in the yere 1563. I was appointed by M. Antho. Ienkinson, and M. Thomas Glouer your Agent in Russia, to goe for Persia in your worships affaires, one Thomas Alcock hauing the charge of the voyage committed to him, and I one of your worships seruants being ioyned with him in your busines, hauing with vs, as they said 1500. rubbles. A rubble is a marke English. And if it shall please you I cannot tell certainly what summe of money we had then of the Emperors: for I received none, nor disbursed any of it in wares for the voyage. Also, God I take to record, I could not tell what stocke your worships had there, for the bookes were kept so priuily that a man could neuer see them. The 10. of May anno 1563, we departed from a towne called Yeraslaue vpon our voyage toward Persia. The 24. of Iuly we arriued at Astracan: and the second of August wee departed from Astracan, and the 4. of the same moneth we came to the Caspian sea, and the 11. day of the said moneth we arriued at our port in Media: and the 21. of the said August wee arriued at Shammaki, whereas the king Obdolocan lay in the fielde. We were wel entertained of heathen people, for the thirde day after our arriuall at Shammaki we were called before the king: we gaue him a present, and he entertained vs very well.

At our comming to the Court wee were commaunded to come before the king, who sate in his tent vpon the ground with his legs a crosse, and all his dukes round about his tent, the ground being couered with carpets: wee were commaunded to sit downe, the King appointing euery man his place to sit. And the king commaunded the Emperour of Russelands Merchants to rise vp, and to giue vs the vpper hande. Casbin. The 20. of October Thomas Alcock departed from Shammaki towards Casbin, leauing mee at Shammaki to recouer such debts as the dukes of Shammaki ought for wares which thay tooke of him at his going to Casbin. In the time I lay there I could recouer but little. Leuuacta. And at Thomas Alcocks comming from Casbin, who arriued at a towne called Leuuacta, whereas the king Obdolocan lay, a day and a halfes iourney from the towne whereas I lay, I hearing of his arriuing there, departed from Shammaki, finding him there in safetie with all such goods as he had with him. During his abode there for seuen dayes he made suite to the king for such money as the dukes ought him. But the king was displeased for that the Emperour of Russelands merchants had slaine a Boserman at his going to Casbin. A Boserman is a Renegado. Thomas Alcocke seeing the King would shewe vs no fauour, and also hearing from Shammaki, that the Russes sent their goods to the sea side, for that they feared that the king of Persia should haue knowledge of the death of the Boserman, willed mee to depart to Shammaki with all such goods as he had brought with him from Casbin, I leauing him at the Court.

Thomas Alcocke slaine in the way betweene Leuuacta and Shammaki. The thirde day after mine arriuall at Shammaki, I had newes that Thomas Alcocke was slaine comming on his way towards me. Then the king Obdolocan vnderstanding of his death, demaunded whether he had euer a brother. Some said I was, some saide I was not his brother. When this fell out, your worships had no other seruant there but mee among those heathen people. Who hauing such a summe of goods lying vnder my handes, and seeing howe the Russes sent their goods with as much hast as they might to the sea side, and hauing but foure men to sende our wares to the sea side, I vsed such diligence, that within two dayes after Thomas Alcocke was slaine, I sent in company with the Russes goods, all your worships goods with a Mariner, William August, and a Swethen, for that they might the safer arriue at the seaside, being safely layd in. All which goods afterwards arriued in Russeland in good condition, Master Glouer hauing the receipt of all things which I sent then out of those parties into Russeland. Keselbash, or Ieselbash. Concerning my selfe, I remained after I had sent the goods into Russeland sixe weekes in Shammaki, for the recouery of such debts as were owing, and at last with much trouble recouered to the summe of fiftene hundreth rubbles or there about, which M. Glouer receiued of me at my comming to Mosco, and all such goods as I brought with me out of Keselbash, as by a note of my hand that hee hath shall appeare. Also he hauing the receipt of all such goods as I sent into Russeland by these two aboue named, he then had that voyage in venter of his owne better then an hundreth rubbles, one Richard Iohnson twentie rubles, one Thomas Pette fiftie rubles, one Euan Chermisin a Tartar seuentie rubles. All these had their returne: M. Glouer allowed himselfe God knoweth howe, I then being in Persia in your worships affaires.

And whereas he saith, the Emperour had but for his part a dobble, as farre as I can see, knowing what the wares cost in those partes, hee had treble. If they gaue him so much wares, all charges turned to your worships, as well of the Emperours as of their owne returnes. I haue sowen the seede, and other men haue gathered the haruest: I haue trauailed both by lande and by water full many a time with a sorrowfull heart, aswell for the safegarde of their goods as yours, how to frame all things to the best, and they haue reaped the fruites of my trauaile. But euer my prayer was to God, to deliuer mee out of those miseries which I suffered for your seruice among those heathen people. Therefore knowing my duetie which I haue done, as a true seruant ought to do, I beseech your worships (although I haue but small recompence for my seruice,) yet let me haue no wrong, and God will prosper you the better.

Also, to informe your worships of your Persian voyage what I iudge: it is a voyage to bee followed. Gillan in Persia. The king of Gillan, whereas yet you haue had no traffique, liueth al by marchandise: and it is neere Casbin, and not past six weekes trauaile from Ormus, whither all the spices be brought: and here, (I meane at Gillan) a trade may be established: But your worships must send such men as are no riotous liuers, nor drunkards. For if such men goe, it wil be to your dishonour and great hinderance, as appeared by experience the yeere 1565. when as Richard Iohnson went to Persia, whose iourney had bene better stayed then set forward. For whereas before wee had the name among those heathen people to be such marchants as they thought none like in all respects, his vicious liuing there hath made vs to be compted worse then the Russes.

Againe, if such men trauaile in your affaires in such a voyage, you shall neuer know what gaine is to be gotten. For how can such men imploy themselues to seeke the trade, that are inclined to such vices? or howe can God prosper them in your affaires? But when a trade is established by wise and discreet men, then wil it be for your worships to traffique there, and not before: for a voiage or market made euil at the first, is the occasion that your worships shal neuer vnderstand what gaine is to be gotten thereby hereafter.

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