The copy of a letter sent to the Emperour of Moscouie, by Christopher Hodsdon and William Burrough, Anno 1570.
Most mightie Empefour, &c. Whereas Sir William Garrard and his felowship the company of English merchants, this last Winter sent hither to the Narue three ships laden with merchandise, which was left here, and with it Christopher Hodsdon one of the sayd felowship, and their chiefe doer in this place, who when hee came first hither, and vntil such time as hee had dispatched those ships from hence, was in hope of goods to lade twelue or thirteene sails of good ships, against this shipping, wherefore he wrote vnto the sayd Sir William Garrard and his companie to send hither this spring the sayd number of thirteene ships. And because that in their comming hither wee found the Freebooters on the sea, and supposing this yeere that they, would be very strong, he therefore gaue the said sir William and his companie aduise to furnish the sayd number of ships so strongly, as they should bee able to withstand the force of the Freebooters: whereupon they haue according to his aduice sent this yeere thirteene good ships together well furnished with men and munition, and all other necessaries for the warres, of which 13. ships William Burrough one of the said felowship is captaine generall, vnto whom there was giuen in charge, that if hee met with any the Danske Freebooters, or whatsoeuer robbers and theeues that are enimies to to your highnesse, he should doe his best to apprehend and take them. Fiue ships of Freebooters taken. It so hapned that the tenth day of this moneth the sayd William with his fleete, met with sixe ships of the Freebooters neere vnto an Island called Tuttee, which is about 50. versts from Narue vnto which Freebooters he with his fleete gaue chase, and took of them the Admirall, wherein were left but three men, the rest were fled to shore in their boats amongst the woods vpon Tuttee, on which he set fire and burned her. He also tooke foure more of those ships which are now here, and one ship escaped him: out of, which foure ships some of the men fled in their boates and so escaped, others were slaine in fight, and some of them when they saw they could not escape, cast themselues willingly into the Sea and were drowned. So that in these fiue ships were left but 83. men.
The said Wil. Borough when he came hither to Narue, finding here Chistopber Hodsdon aforenamed, both the said Christopher and William together, in the name of sir William Garrard and the rest of their whole companie and felowship, did present vnto your highnesse of those Freebooters taken by our ships 82. men, which we deliuered here vnto Knez Voiuoda, the 13. of this moneth. One man of those Freebooters we haue kept by vs, whose name is Haunce Snarke a captaine. And the cause why we haue done it is this: When wee should haue deliuered him with the rest of his felowes vnto the Voiuodaes officers, there were of our Englishmen more then 50. which fell on their knees vnto vs, requesting that he might be reserued in the ship, and caried back into England: and the cause why they so earnestly intreated for him, is, that some of those our Englishmen had bene taken with Freebooters, and by his meanes had their liues saued with great fauour besides, which they found at his hands. Wherefore if it please your highnesse to permit it, we will cary him home with vs into England, wherin we request your maiesties fauour: notwithstanding what you command of him shalbe obserued.
Wee haue also sent our seruant to your highnesse with such bestellings and writings as wee found in those shippes: whereby your Maiestie may see by whom, and in what order they were set out, and what they pretended, which writings wee haue commended vnto Knez Yoriue your Maiesties Voiuoda at Plesco, by our seruant. And haue requested his futherance for the safe deliuerie of them to your maiesties hands: which writings when you haue perused we desire that they may be returned vnto vs by this our seruant, as speedily as may bee: for these ships which we now haue here will be soone dispatched from hence, for that we haue not goods to lade aboue the halfe of them. And the cause is, we haue this winter (by your maiesties order) bene kept from traffiquing to the companies great losse. But hoping your maiestie will hereafter haue consideration thereof, and that we may haue free libertie to trafique in all partes of your maiesties Countries, according to the priuledge giuen vnto vs, we pray for your maiesties health, with prosperous successe to the pleasure of God. From Narue the 15 of Iuly, Anno 1570.
Your Maiesties most humble and obedient,
Christopher Hodsdon. William Borough.
Last updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 14:09