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

The copie of the Duke of Moscouie and Emperour of Russia his letters, sent to King Edward the sixt, by the hands of Richard Chancelour.

The Almighty power of God, and the incomprehensible holy Trinitie, rightfull Christian beliefe, &c. We great Duke Iuan Vasiliuich, Iuan Vasiluich, that is to say, Iohn the sonne of Basilius. by the grace of God great lord and Emperor of all Russia, great Duke of Volodemer, Mosco, and Nouograd, King of Kazan, King of Astracan, lord of Plesko, and great duke of Smolensko, of Twerria, Ioughoria, Permia, Vadska, Bulghoria, and others, lord and great duke of Nouograd in the Low countrey of Chernigo, Resan, Polotskoy, Rostoue, Yaruslaueley, Bealozera, Liefland, Oudoria, Obdoria, and Condensa, Commander of all Siberia, and of the North parts, and lord of many other countries, greeting. Before all, right great and worthy of honour Edward King of England &c. according to our most hearty and good zeale with good intent and friendly desire, and according to our holy Christian faith, and great gouernance, and being in the light of great vnderstanding, our answere by this our honourable writing vnto your kingly gouernance, at the request of your faithfull seruant Richard Chancelour, with his company, as they shall let you wisely know, is this. In the strength of the twentieth yeere of our gouernance, be it knowen that at our sea coastes arriued a shippe, with one Richard, and his companie, and sayd, that hee was desirous to come into our dominions, and according to his request, hath seene our Maiestie, and our eyes: [That is, come into our presence.] and hath declared vnto vs your Maiesties desire, as that we should grant vnto your subiects, to goe and come, and in our dominions, and among our subiects, to frequent free Marts, with all sortes of marchandizes, and vpon the same to haue wares for their returne. And they haue also deliuered vs your letters, which declare the same request. And hereupon we haue giuen order, that wheresoeuer your faithful seruant Hugh Willoughbie land or touch in our dominions, to be wel entertained, who as yet is not arriued, as your seruant Richard can declare.

And we with Christian beliefe and faithfulnes, and according to your honourable request, and my honourable commandement will not leaue it vndone: and are furthermore willing that you send vnto vs your ships and vessels, when and as often as they may haue passage, with good assurance on our part to see them harmlesse. And if you send one of your maiesties counsel to treate with vs whereby your countrey marchants may with all kinds of wares, and where they wil make their market in our dominions, they shall haue their free Marte with all free liberties through my whole dominions with all kinde of wares to come and goe at their pleasure, without any let, damage or impediment, according to this our letter, our word and our seale which we haue commaunded to be vnder sealed. Written in our dominion, in our citie and our palace in the castle of Mosco, in the yeare 7060, the second moneth of February.

[This letter was written in the Moscouian tongue, in letters much like to the Greeke letters, very faire written in paper, with a broad seale hanging at the same, sealed in paper vpon waxe. This seale was much like the broad seale of England, hauing on the one side the image of a man on horseback in compleate harnesse fighting with a dragon. Vnder this letter was another paper written in the Dutch tongue, which was the interpretation of the other written in the Moscouian letters. These letters were sent the next yere after the date of king Edwards letters, 1554.]

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