A note of the proceeding of M. Anthonie Ienkinson, Ambassadour from the Queens most excellent Maiestie, to the Emperour of Russia, from the time of his ariuall there, being the 26. of Iuly 1571, vntill his departure from thence the 23. of Iuly 1572.
The said 26. day I arriued with the two good ships called the Swalow and the Harry in safetie, at the Baie of S. Nicholas in Russia aforesayd, and landed at Rose Island, from whence immediately I sent away my interpreter Daniel Siluester in post towards the Court, being then at the Mosco, whereby his maiestie might as well bee aduertised of my arriual in his Dominions, as also to knowe his highnesse pleasure for my further accesse. And remaining at the sayd Island two or three dayes, to haue conference with your Agent about your affaires, I did well perceiue by the words of the sayd Agent and others your seruants, that I was entred into great perill and danger of my life: for they reported to mee that they heard said at the Mosco, that the princes displeasure was such against me, that if euer I came into his country againe. I should loose my head, with other words of discouragement. Whereat I was not a little dismaid, not knowing whether it were best for me to proceed forwards, or to returne home againe with the ships for the safeguard of my life. But calling to mind mine innocencie and good meaning, and knowing my selfe not to haue offended his Maiestie any maner of wayes either in word or deed, or by making former promises not performed, heretofore by mine enemies falsely surmised: and being desirous to come to the triall thereof, whereby to iustifie my true dealings, and to reprooue my sayd enemies, as well here as there, who haue not ceased of late by untrue reports to impute the cause of the sayd Emperours displeasure towards you to proceed of my dealings, and promises made to him at my last being with him (although by his letters to the Queenes Maiestie, and by his owne words to me the contrary doeth appeare) I determined with my selfe rather to put my life into his hands, and by the prouidence of God to prosecute the charge committed unto me, then to returne home in vaine, discouraged with the words of such, who had rather that I had taried at home, then to be sent ouer with such credite, whereby I might sift put their euil doings, the onely cause of your losse.
Wherefore, leauing the said ships the nine and twentieth day of the month, I departed from the seaside, and the first of August arriued at Colmogro, where I remaided attending the returne of my said messenger with order from his Maiestie.
But all the Countrey being sore visited by the hand of God with the plague, passage in euery place was shut up, that none might passe in paine of death: My Messenger being eight hundreth miles upon his way, was stayed, and kept at a towne called Shasco, and might not bee suffered to goe any further, neither yet to returne backe againe, or sende unto me: by meanes whereof in the space of foure moneths, I could neither heare nor know what was become of him, in which time my said messenger found meanes to aduertise the Gouernour of the Citie of Vologda, as well of his stay, as of the cause of his comming thither, who sent him word that it was not possible to passe any neerer the Prince without further order from his Maiestie, who was gone to the warres against the Swethens, and that he would aduertise his highnesse so soone as he might conueniently. And so my said messenger was forced to remaine there still without answere. During which time of his stay through the great death (as aforesaid) I found meanes to send another messenger, with a guide by an vnknowen way through wildernesse a thousand miles about, thinking that way he should passe without let: but it prooued contrary, for likewise hee being passed a great part of his iourney, fell into the handes of a watch, and escaped very hardly, that hee and his guide with their horses had not bene burnt, according to the lawe prouided for such as would seeke to passe by indirect wayes, and many haue felt the smart thereof which had not wherewith to buy out the paine: neither could that messenger returne backe vnto me.
And thus was I kept without answere or order from his Maiestie, and remained at the saide Colmogro, vntil the 18. of Ianuary following, neither hauing a gentleman to safegard me, nor lodging appointed me, nor allowance of victuals according to the Countrey fashion for Ambassadours, which argued his grieuous displeasure towards our nation. And the people of the Countrey perceiuing the same, vsed towards mee and my company some discourtesies: but about the 28. day aforesaid, the plague ceased, and the passages being opened, there came order from his Maiestie that I should haue poste horses, and bee suffered to depart from Colmogro to goe to a Citie called Peraslaue neere to the Court, his Maiestie being newly returned from the said warres. And I arriued at the said Peraslaue the 3. of February, where I remained vnder the charge of a gentleman, hauing then a house appointed me and allowance of victuals, but so straightly kept, that none of our nation or other might come or sende vnto me, nor I to them. And the 14. of March folowing, I was sent for to the Court, and being within three miles of the same, a poste was sent to the Gentleman which had charge of me, to returne backe againe with me to the said Peraslaue, and to remaine there vntil his Maiesties further pleasure, wherewith I was much dismayed, and marueiled what that sudden change ment, and the rather, because it was a troublesome time, and his Maiestie much disquieted through the ill success of his affaires, (as I did vnderstand.) And the twentieth of the same, I was sent for again to the Court, and the 23. I came before his Maiestie, who caused mee to kisse his hand and gaue gratious audience vnto my Oration, gratefully receiuing and accepting the Queenes Maiesties princely letters, and her present, in the presence of all this nobilitie. After I had finished my Oration, too long here to rehearse, and deliuered her highnesse letters, and present (as aforesaid) the Emperour sitting in royall estate stood up and said, How doth Queene Elizabeth my sister? is she in health? to whom I answered, God doth bless her Maiestie with health, and peace, and doeth wish the like vnto thee Lord, her louing brother. Then his Maiestie sitting downe againe, commanded all his nobilitie and others to depart, and auoyde the chamber, sauing the chiefe Secretarie, and one of the Counsell, and willing me to approach neere vnto him with my Interpretor, said vnto me these words.
Anthony, the last time thou wast with vs heere, wee did commit vnto thee our trustie and secret Message, to be declared vnto the Queenes Maiesties herselfe thy Mistresse at thy comming home, and did expect thy comming vnto vs againe at the time we appointed, with a full answere of the same from her highnesse. And in the meane time there came vnto us at seuerall times three messengers, the one called Manly, the other George Middleton, and Edward Goodman, by the way of the Narue about the Merchants affaires: to whom wee sent our messengers to know whether thou Anthony, were returned home in safetie, and when thou shouldest returne vnto vs againe: but those messengers could tell vs nothing, and did miscall, and abuse with euil words, both our messenger and thee, wherewith wee were much offended. And vnderstanding that the said Goodman had letters about him we caused him to be searched, with whom were found many letters, wherein was written much against our Princely estate, and that in our Empire were many vnlawfull things done, whereat we were much grieued, and would suffer none of those rude messengers to haue accesse vnto vs: and shortly after wee were infourmed that one Thomas Randolfe was come into our Dominions by the way of Dwina, Ambassadour from the Queene, and we sent a Gentleman to meete and conduct him to our Citie of Mosco, at which time wee looked that thou shouldest haue returned vnto vs againe. And the said Thomas being arriued at our said Citie, wee sent vnto him diuers times, that hee should come and conferre with our Counsell: whereby we might vnderstand the cause of his comming, looking for answere of those our princely affaires committed vnto thee. But hee refused to come to our said Counsell: wherefore, and for that our saide Citie was visited with plague, the saide Thomas was the longer kept from our presence. Which being ceased, foorthwith wee gaue him accesse and audience, but all his talke with vs was about Merchants affaires, and nothing touching ours. Wee knowe that Merchants matters are to bee heard, for that they are the stay of our Princely treasures: But first Princes affaires are to be established, and then Merchants. After this the said Thomas Randolfe was with vs at our Citie of Vologda, and wee dealt with him about our Princely affaires, whereby amitie betwixt the Queenes Maiestie and vs might bee established for euer, and matters were agreed and concluded betwixt your Ambassadour and vs, and thereupon wee sent our Ambassadour into England with him to ende the same: but our Ambassadour returned vnto vs againe, without finishing our said affaires, contrary to our expectation, and the Agreement betwixt vs, and your said Ambassadour.
This when his Maiestie had made a long discourse, I humbly beseeched his highnesse to heare me graciously, and to giue me leaue to speake without offence, and to beleeue those wordes to be true which I should speake. Which he graunted, and these were my words.
Most noble and famous Prince, the message which thy highnesse did sende by me vnto the Queene her most excellent Maiestie touching thy Princely and secret affaires, immediately, and so soone as I came home, I did declare both secretly and truely vnto the Queenes Maiestie her selfe, word for word, as thou Lord diddest commaund mee. Which her highnesse did willingly heare and accept, and being mindefull thereof, and willing to answere the same, the next shipping after, her Maiestie did sende vnto thee, Lord, her highnesse Ambassadour Thomas Randolfe, whose approoued wisedome and fidetitie was vnto her Maiestie well knowen, and therefore thought meete to bee sent to so worthy a Prince, who had Commission not onely to treate with thy Maiestie of Merchants affaires, but also of those thy Princely and secret affaires committed vnto me. And the cause (most gracious Prince) that I was not sent againe, was, for that I was imployed in seruice vpon the Seas against the Queenes Maiesties enemies and was not returned home at such time as Master Thomas Randolfe departed with the Shippes, to come into thy Maiesties Countrey, otherwise I had bene sent. And whereas thy Maiestie saith, that Thomas Randolfe would not treate with thy Counsell of the matters of his Legation, hee did (Lord) therein according to his Commission: which was: First to deale with thy Maiestie thy selfe, which order is commonly vsed among all Princes, when they send their Ambassadours about matters of great waight. And whereas the saide Thomas is charged that hee agreed and concluded vpon matters at the same time, and promised the same should be perfourmed by the Queene her Maiestie: Whereupon (Lord) than diddest send thy Ambassadour with him into England, for answere thereof: It may please thy Maiestie to vnderstand, that as the saide Thomas Randolfe doeth confesse, that in deede hee had talke with thy Highnesse, and Counsell diuers times about princely affaires: euen so hee denieth that euer hee did agree, conclude, or make any promise in any condition or order, as is alleaged, otherwise then it should please the Queene her Maiestie to like of at his returne home, which hee did iustifie to thy Highnes Ambassador his face in England. Wherefore, most mighty Prince, it doth well appeare, that either thy Ambassador did vntruly enforme thy Maiestie or els thy princely minde, and the true meaning of the Queenes highnes her Ambassador, for want of a good Interpreter, was not well vnderstood: and how thankefully the Queene her Maiestie did receiue thy highnes commendations, and letters sent by thy Maiesties Ambassador, and how gratiously shee gaue him audience sundry times, vsing him with such honour in all points for thy sake, Lord, her louing brother, as the like was neuer shewed to any Ambassador in our Realme, and how honourably with full answere in all things, her Maiestie dismissed him, when hee had finished all thy princely affaires (as it seemed) to his owne contentation, it may well appeare by a true certificate lately sent with her highnes letter unto thee Lord, by her messenger Robert Beast, and her Maiestie did suppose that thy Ambassador would haue made report accordingly, and that by him thy highnes would haue bene satisfied in all things: otherwise she would haue sent her Maiesties Ambassador with him vnto thee Lord againe. Andrea Sauin Ambassadour from the Emperour. But now her highnes perceiuing that thy Maiestie is not fully satisfied in thy Princely affaires, neither by Thomas Randolfe, her highnes Ambassador, nor by thine owne Ambassador Andrea Sauin, nor yet by her Maiesties letter sent by the said Andrea: and also vnderstanding thy great griefe and displeasure towards Sir William Garrard, and his company, merchants tracking in thy Maiesties dominions, hath thought good to send mee at this present vnto thee Lord Emperor, and great duke; as wel with her highnes ful mind, touching thy princely affaires, as also to know the iust cause of thy Maiesties said displeasure towards the said company of merchants; and hath commanded me to answere to all things in their behalfe, and according to their true meanings. For her highnes doth suppose thy Maiesties indignation to proceede rather vpon the euill, and vntrue reports of thy late Ambassador in England, and of such wicked persons of our nation resident here in thy highnes dominions, rebels to her Maiestie, and their Countrey, then of any iust deserts of the said merchants, who neuer willingly deserued thy highnesse displeasure, but rather fauour in all their doings and meanings. And since the first time of their traffiking in thy Maiesties dominions, which is now nineteene yeres, the said merchants haue bene, and are alwayes ready and willing truely to serue thy highnesse of all things meete for thy Treasurie, in time of peace and of warre in despite of all thy enemies: although the Princes of the East Seas were agreed to stoppe the sound, and the way to the Narue, and haue brought, and do bring from time to time such commoditie to thee, Lord, as her Maiestie doeth not suffer to be transported foorth of her Realme to no other prince of the world. And what great losses the said sir William Garrard, with his company hath sustained of late yeeres in this trade, as well by shipwracke, as by false seruants it is manifestly knowen: and what seruice the said companies Ships did vnto thy Maiestie against thy enemies, two yeeres past in going to the Narue, when they fought with the King of Poles shippes Freebooters, and burnt the same and slew the people, and as many as were taken aliue deliuered vnto thy Capaine at the Narue, I trust thy highnesse doth not forget. Wherefore most mighty prince, the premises considered, the Queene her most excellent Maiestie thy louing sister, doeth request thy highnes to restore the said sir William Garrard with his company into thy princely fauour againe, with their priuiledges for free traffique with thy accustomed goodnes and iustice, to be ministred vnto them throughout all thy Maiesties dominions, as aforetime: and that the same may be signified by thy Princely letters, directed to thy officers in all places, and thy highnesse commaundement or restraint to the contrary notwithstanding. And further that it will please thy Maiestie, not to giue credite to false reports, and vntrue suggestions of such as are enemies, and such as neither would haue mutuall amitie to continue betwixt your Maiesties, nor yet entercourse betwixt your countries. And such rebels of our nation, as Ralfe Rutter, and others which lye lurking here in thy highnes dominions, seeking to sowe dissentions betwixt your Maiesties by false surmises, spending away their masters goods riotously, and will not come home to giue vp their accompts, aduancing them selues to be merchants, and able to serue the highnes of all things fit for thy treasure, whereas indeed they by of no credite, nor able of themselues to do thy Maiestie any seruice at all: the Queenes highnes request is, that it would please thy Maiestie to commaund that such persons may be deliuered vnto me to be caried home, least by their remayning here, and hauing practises and friendship with such as be not thy highnesse friendes, their euil doing might be a cause hereafter to withdraw thy goodnes from sir William Garrard and his company, who haue true meaning in all their doings, and are ready to serue thy highnesse at all times, vsing many other words to the aduancement of your credits, and the disgracing of your enemies, and so I ended for that time.
Then sayd his Maiestie, We haue heard you, and will consider of all things further when wee haue read the Queene our sisters letters: to whom I answered, that I supposed his Maiestie should by those letters vnderstand her highnesse full minde to his contentation, and what wanted in writing I had credite to accomplish in word. Wherewith his maiestie seemed to be wel pleased, and commaunded me to sit downe. And after pawsing a while, his maiestie said these words vnto me, It is now a time which we spend in fasting, and praying, being the weeke before Easter, and for that we will shortly depart from hence, towards our borders of Nouogrod, wee can not giue you answere, nor your dispatch here, but you shall goe from hence, and tary vs vpon the way, where wee will shortly come, and then you shall knowe our pleasure, and haue your dispatch. And so I was dismissed to my lodging, and the same day I had a dinner ready drest sent me from his Maiestie, with great store of drinkes, of diuers sorts, and the next day following, being the foure and twentieth of March aforesayde, the chiefe Secretary to his Maiesty, sent vnto mee a Gentleman, to signifie vnto mee, that the Emperours Maiesties pleasure was, I should immediately depart towards a Citie, called Otwer, three hundred miles from the aforesaid Sloboda, and there to tary his highnes comming vnto a place called Staryts, threescore miles from the sayd Otwer.
Then I sent my Interpretor to the chiefe Secretary, requesting him to further, and shew his fauour vnto our saide merchants in their sutes, which they should haue occasion to moue in my absence: who sent me word againe, that they should be wel assured of his friendship, and furtherance in all their sutes. And forthwith post horses were sent me, with a Gentleman to conduct me. And so departing from the said Sloboda, I arriued at the said Otwer, the 28. of March aforesaid, where I remained til the eight of May folowing. Then I was sent for to come vnto his Maiestie, to the sayd Staryts, where I arriued the tenth of the same, and the twelfth of the same I was appointed to come to the chiefe Secretary, who at our meeting said vnto me these words.
Our Lord Emperor, and great Duke, hath not onely perused the Queene her highnes letters sent by you, and thereby doeth perceiue her minde, as well touching their princely affaires, as also her earnest request in the merchants behalfe, but also hath well pondered your words. And therefore his Maiesties pleasure is, that you let me vnderstand what sutes you haue to moue in the merchants behalfe, or otherwise, for that tomorrowe you shall haue accesse againe vnto his highnes, and shall haue full answere in all things, with your dispatch away.
Then after long conference had with him of diuers matters I gaue him in writing certaine briefe articles of requests, which I had drawen out ready, as foloweth:
First the Queenes Maiestie her request is, that it would please the Emperors highnesse to let me know the iust cause of his great displeasure fallen vpon Sir William Garrard, and his company, who neuer deserued the same to their knowledge.
Also that it would please his highnes not to giue credite vnto false and vntrue reports, by such as seeke to sowe dissension, and breake friendship betwixt the Queenes highnesse, and his Maiestie.
Also that it would please his Maiestie to receiue the said sir William Garrard, with his company into his fauour againe, and to restore them to their former priuiledges and liberties, for free traffike in, and through, and out of al his Maiesties dominions, in as ample maner as aforetime, according to his princely letters of priuiledge, and accustomed goodnes.
Also it would please his highnes to graunt, that the said company of merchants may haue iustice of all his subiects, as well for money owing vnto them, as other their griefes and iniuries, throughout al his dominions suffred since the time of his displeasure, during which time, the merchants were forced by seuere iustice to answer to al mens demands, but theirs could not be heard.
Also that his Maiestie would vnderstand, that much debts are owing to the said merchants by diuers of his Nobilitie, whereof part are in durance, and some executed, and the said merchants know not howe to be paide, and answered the same, except his highnes pitie their case, and commaund some order to be taken therein.
Also, it would please his highnes to commaund that the saide merchants may be payde all such summe or summes of money as are owing, and due vnto them by his Maiestie, for wares, as well English as Shamaki, taken into his highnes treasury by his officers in sundry places, the long forbearing whereof hath bene, and is great hinderance to the said company of merchants.
Also it would please his Maiestie to vnderstand, that at this present time there are in Persia of English Merchants, Thomas Banister, and Geffrey Ducket, with their company, and goods, ready to come into his Maiesties countrey of Astracan, and would haue come the last yeere, but that the ship, with our merchants and mariners appointed to goe for them, were stayed at Astracan by his highnes Captaine there, to the great hinderance of the said merchants. Wherefore it may now please his Maiestie to direct his princely letters vnto his Captaines, and rulers, both at Astracan and Cazan, not onely to suffer our people, as well merchants as mariners, quietly and freely to passe and repasse with their shippes, barkes, or other vessels downe the riuer Volga, and ouer the Mare Caspium, to fetch the sayd English merchants, with their company and goods, out of the sayd Persia, into his Maiesties dominions, but also that it would please his highnes streightly to command, that when the sayd Thomas Banister, and Geffrey Ducket, with their charge, shal arriue at the sayd Astracan, his Maiesties Captaine there, and in all other places vpon the riuer Volga, shall so ayde and assist the sayd merchants, as they may be safely conducted out of the danger of the Crimmes, and other their enemies.
Also it may please his highnes to vnderstand, that lately our merchants comming from Shamaki haue bene ill vsed by his Maiesties Customers, both at Astracan and Cazan, at both which places they were forced to pay custome for their wares, although they solde no part thereof, but brought the same into his highnesse treasury at Sloboda: and the sayd Customers did not only exact, and take much more custome than was due by his Maiesties lawes, but also for want of present money, tooke wares much exceeding their exacted custome, and doe keepe the same as a pawne. It may therefore please his highnes to direct his princely letters to the said Customers, to signifie vnto them his great goodnes againe restored vnto the said English merchants, as also to command them to send the said merchants their said goods so detained, vp to the Mosco, they paying such custome for the same as shall be by his Maiestie appointed.
Also that it would please his highnesse to grant, that sir William Garrard with his companie may establish their trade for merchandise at Colmogro in Dwina, and that such wares as shal be brought out of our Countrey fit for his treasurie might be looked vpon, and receiued by his officers there: and that his Maiesties people traffiking with our merchants may bring downe their commodities to the saide Colmogro, by meanes whereof the saide English merchants auoyding great troubles and charges, in transporting their goods so farre, and into so many places of his dominions, may sell the same better cheape, to the benefite of his Maiesties subiects.
Also if it seemed good to his highnes, that the whole trade likewise from Persia, Boghar, and all other those Countreys beyond the Mare Caspium, might be established at Astracan, the ancient marte towne in times past, which would be both for the great honour and profite of his Maiesty, and subiects, as I am well able to prooue, if it will please his highnesse to appoint any of his counsell to talke with me therein.
Also forasmuch as it pleased his Maiestie, immediatly after the burning of the mosco, to command that the said English merchants should giue in a note into his Treasury, for their losses sustained by the said fire, which was done by William Rowly, then chiefe Agent for sir William Garrard and his company, and the particulars in the same note consumed with the said fire did amount to the summe of 10000. rubbles and aboue: It may please his highnes of his accustomed goodnes and great clemencie to consider of the same, and to giue the said company so much as shal seeme good vnto his Maiestie, towards their said losses.
Also it will please his highnesse to vnderstand that the Queenes most excellent Maiestie, at the earnest sute and request of Andrea Sauin his Maiesties Ambassadour, did not onely pardon and forgiue Thomas Glouer his great and grieuous offences towards her highnesse committed, onely for his Maiesties sake, but also commanded sir William Garrard with his company, to deale fauourably with the said Glouer in his accompts, to whom he was indebted greatly, and being their seruant, detained their goods in his hands a long time: whereupon the said sir William Garrard with his company counted with the said Glouer, and ended all things euen to his saide contentation, and was found to bee debter to the said company 4000. rubbles and aboue, and bound himselfe both by his solemne othe, and his hand-writing, to pay the same immediately after his returne into Russia with the said Andrea Sauin, vnto Nicholas Proctor chiefe Agent there, for the said company of merchants. But although it is now two yeeres past, since the said agreement, and that the said Nicholas hath diuers and sundry times requested the said money of the said Thomas, yet will he not pay the same debt, but maketh delay from time to time, alleadging that his Maiestie oweth him a great summe of money, without the payment whereof he cannot be able to pay the said merchants his due debt long forborne, to their great hinderance. In consideration of the premisses. It may please his highnesse to giue order that the said Glouer may be payd, and that he may discharge his debt to the said company of merchants, and the rather for that hee found such mercie and fauour in England, onely for his Maiesties sake.
Also forasmuch as Ralfe Rutter a rebell to the Queenes Maiestie, and an enemie to his Countrey, and to sir William Garrard and his company, hath of long time remained here, liuing of the spoyles and goods of the said merchants, which he wrongfully detained in his handes, riotously spending the same, during the time that he was their seruant, and would not come home when he was sent for, and also for that the Queenes Maiestie doth vnderstand, that the saide Ralfe, with other his adherents, doe seeke by all false meanes to sowe dissension, and breake amitie betwixt their Maiesties, and to ouerthrowe the trade of the said merchants: Her highnes request is, that the said Ralfe with his complices may be deliuered vnto me, to be caried home, and none other of her Maiesties subiects, not being of the socitie of the said sir William Garrard and his company, to be suffered to traffike within his highnes dominions, but to be deliuered to their Agent to bee sent home: for that the said merchants with great charges and losses, both by shipwracke, and riotous seruants, did first finde out this trade, and haue continued the same these 19. yeeres, to their great hinderance.
Also whereas diuers masters and artificers of our Nation are here in his Maiesties seruice, and do finde themselues grieued that they cannot haue licence to depart home into their natiue Countrey at their will and pleasure: the Queenes Maiesties request is according to her highnes writing in that behalfe, that not onely it will please his Maiestie to permit and suffer such artificers here resident in the seruice of his highnes to haue free libertie to depart and go home with me, if they request the same, but also all other the like which shall come hereafter to serue his Maiesty, to haue free libertie to depart likewise, without any let or stay.
Also it may please his Maiesty to vnderstand that during the time of my long being at Colmogro, attending his highnesse pleasure for my farther accesse, I with my company haue not onely bene ill vsed and intreated there, and likewise the merchants there, by one Besson Myssereuy his Maiesties chiefe officer, who hath dishonoured me, and smitten my people, and oweth the saide merchants much money, and will not pay them: but also the saide Besson hath spoken wordes of dishonour against the Queenes Maiestie. Wherefore it may please his highnesse to send downe with me to Colmogro, a Gentleman, as well chiefly to search foorth his euil behauiour towards her Maiestie, as towards me her highnesse Ambassador, and to punish him accordingly: and also that it would please his Maiestie to sende downe his letter of iustice by vertue whereof the said Besson may be forced to pay all such money as he oweth to the sayd merchants, without delay.
Also that it would please his highnesse to understand, that sir William Garrard with his company vnderstanding of the great dearth in his Maiesties dominions, by licence of the Queens Maiestie (not otherwise permitted) hath sent certaine ships laden with corne into his highnesse Countrey of Dwyna, rather for the reliefe of his Maiesties subiects then for any gaine: yet the good will of the said merchants lightly regarded, they were forbidden to sel the said corne, to their great discouragement hereafter to send any more. Wherefore it may please his highnesse, to tender the good will of the said merchants, as well in sending the saide corne, as in all other things, ready to serue his Maiestie, and to direct his letters to his officers of Dwina, to suffer the saide merchants with their company, to sell the said corne by measure great or small at their pleasure, without paying custome.
These articles being deliuered to the chiefe Secretary, as aforesayde, and our talke ended for that time. I departed to my lodging, accompanied with certaine Gentlemen. The next day being the 13. of May aforesaid. I had warning earely in the morning, to prepare my selfe to be at the Court, betwixt the houres of 10. and 11. of the clocke, where I should haue accesse unto the presence of the Prince, as well to receiue answere of all things, as to bee dismissed to goe home. At which houres I was sent for to the Court, and brought into the Chamber of presence, where his Maiestie did sit apparelled most sumptuously, with a riche Crowne vpon his head, garnisned with many precious stones, his eldest sonne sitting by him and many of his Nobilitie about him: and after my duetie done, his highnesse commanded me to approach very neere vnto him, and sayde vnto me these words.
Anthony: the Queen our louing sister her letters wee haue caused to be translated, and doe well vnderstand the same, and of, all things as well therein contained, as by worde of mouth by you to vs declared wee haue well considered, and doe perceiue that our secret message vnto you committed, was done truely according to our minde (although wee were aduertised to the contrary) and nowe wee are by you fully satisfied. The causes of the Emperors displeasure. And when wee did sende our Ambassadour into England, about those our great and waightie affaires to conclude the same with the Queene our sister, our Ambassadour coulde ende nothing for want of such assurance as was requisite in princely affaires, according to the maner of all Countreys, but was dismissed vnto vs againe, with letters of small effect, touching the same, and no Ambassadour sent with him from the Queene: which caused vs to thinke that our princely affaires were set aside, and little regarded, wherewith we were at that time much grieued: for the which cause, and for the euil behauiour of your merchants, resident in our dominions (who haue diuers wayes transgressed and broken our laws, liuing wilfully in all their doings) we did lay our heauie displeasure vpon them, and did take away from them their priuiledge, commaunding that the same throughout all our dominions should be voyd, and of none effect: and thereupon did write to the Queene our sister touching our griefes. And nowe her highnesse hath sent vnto vs againe, you her Ambassadour, with her louing letters and full minde, which we doe thankefully receiue, and are thereby fully satisfied. And for that our princely, and secret affaires were not finished to our contentation at our time appointed according to our expectation, we doe now leaue of all these matters, and set them aside for the time, because our minde is nowe otherwise changed, but hereafter when occasion shall mooue vs to the like, wee will then talke of those matters againe. And for that it hath pleased the Queene, our louing sister to send vnto vs at this present, and doeth desire to continue in friendship with vs for euer (which we doe gratefully accept, and willingly agree to the same) wee of our goodnesse for her highnesse sake, will not onely from hencefoorth put away, and forget all our displeasure towards the same Sir William Garrard and his company (as though they had neuer offended vs) but also will restore them to their priuiledges, and liberties, in, and throughout all our dominions, and will signifie the same by our letter, in all Townes and Cities, where the said merchants do traffique, as we will showe them fauor as aforetime, if they do not deserue the contrary. And if the Queene our sister had not sent thee Anthony vnto vs at this present, God knoweth what we should haue done to the said merchants, or whether would haue called back our indignation.
Then I humbly beseeched his Maiestie, to let me know the particular offences committed by the said merchants, and the offendors names, to the intent I might make report thereof vnto the Queenes Maiestie, my mistres, accordingly, that the said offendors might receiue iust punishment for their deserts: but he said, I should not know them, because he had cleerely remitted al offences: and further, that it was not princely to forgiue, and after to accuse the parties, whereby her Maiesties displeasure might fall vpon them at home. Notwithstanding I did after vnderstand some part thereof, by other means.
Then his Maiestie proceeding in talke said: As touching the articles of request, concerning the merchants affaires which you did yesterday deliuer vnto our Secretary, we haue not onely read the same our selfe, but also haue appointed our said Secretary to declare vnto you our minde, and answere to the same. And for that we are now vpon our iourney towards our borders, and will depart from hence shortly, we will dismisse you to the Queene our louing sister, your mistres, with our letters & full mind by word of mouth, touching all your requests, & will send a gentleman one of our houshold with you to safe conduct you to your ships: and of our goodnes will giue you victuals, boates, men, and post horses, so many as you shall neede. And therewith his Maiestie standing vp, and putting off his cappe, said vnto me these words, Doe our hearty commendations unto our louing sister, Queene Elizabeth, vnto whom we wish long life, with happie successe: and therewith his highnes extended his hand to me to kisse, and commanded his sunne, sitting by him, to send the like commendations, which he did, whose hand likewise I kissed. And then his Maiestie caused me to sit downe, and commaunded wine and drinkes of diuers sorts to be brought, whereof he gaue me to drinke with his owne hand, and so after I departed.
Then the next day, being the 14. of May aforesaid, I was sent for to come to the chief Secretary, & one other of the counsel with him, who at our meeting said vnto me these words; We a appointed by the Emperor his maiesty, to giue you answere from his Highness, touching your requests deliuered in writing, which his Maiestie himselfe hath perused & answered as followeth.
To the first request it is answered, that all his Maiesties griefes and displeasure (now put away from the merchants) did grow, because the Queenes Maiestie did not accomplish and ende with his Ambassador, his secrete and waighty affaires, according to his expectation, and the promise made by Thomas Randolph, at his being here: and also of the ill behauiour of your merchants resident here in our Countrey, as his Maiestie did himselfe yesterday declare vnto you.
To the second, his Maiesty willeth you to vnderstand that he hath not, nor will not hereafter be moued to breake friendship with the Queenes Maiesty, without good and iust cause.
To the third, you are answered by the Emperors Maiestie himselfe, that his great goodnes and fauour againe vnto the merchants shall be restored, and the same to be knowen by his gratious letters of priuilege now againe granted.
To the fourth, his Maiesty hath commanded, that your merchants here resident shall exhibite, and put in writing vnto me his Maiesties Secretarie, all their griefes and complaints, as well for debts, as other iniuries offred them since the time of his Highnes displeasure, and they shall haue iustice truly ministred throughout all his Maiesties Dominions without delay.
To the fifth, his maiesty doth not know of any debts due vnto the merchants, by any of his Noblemen, as is alleaged: and whether it be true or no, he knoweth not: the trueth whereof must be tried out, and thereupon answere to be giuen: and hereafter his maiestie would not haue the merchants to trust his people with too much.
To the sixth, it is answered, that his maiesty hath commanded search to be made what money is owing to the marchants, for wares receiued into his treasury, as in the article: (the most of the bookes of accompt being burnt in the Musco) and such as is due, and found meete to be paid, shall be paid forthwith to the marchants, their factors or seruants, which shall come for the same. And for paiment of the rest, his maiesties further pleasure shall be signified hereafter.
To the 7 his Maiesties answers is, that letters shall be written forthwith to his captaines of Astracan, and Cazan, and other his officers, vpon the riuer Volga, to whom it appertaineth, not onely to suffer your people, both marchants, and mariners, to passe with their ships, or barkes, from Astracan, ouer the Mare Caspium, to fetche Thomas Banister and Geofry Ducket, with their company, and goods out of Persia, but also when they shall arriue within his Maiesties dominions, to aide and assist them, and see them safely conducted vp the riuer Volga, from danger of enemies.
To the eight, his maiestie hath commanded letters to be written to the customers, both of Astracan and Cazan, to make restitution to the English merchants of their goods so deteined by them for custome, and to take custome for the same, according to his maiesties letters of priuilege.
10 To the ninth and tenth articles, his Maiestie will consider of those matters, and hereafter will signifie his princely pleasure therein.
To the eleuenth, as touching an inuentorie giuen into the, treasury what goods the merchants had burnt in the Mosco, in their houses there, his Maiesties pleasure was to vnderstand the same, to the intent he might know the losses of all strangers at that present, but not to make restitution, for that it was Gods doing, and not the Emperours.
To the twelfth, concerning Thomas Glouer, his Maiestie was enformed by his Ambassador of the Queenes great mercy and clemencie towards the said Thomas, for his sake, which his Highnes receiued in good part, but what agreement or dealings was betwixt the said sir William Garrard and his company, and the said Glouer, or what he doth owe vnto the said merchants, his Maiestie doth not know. And as for the money which the said Thomas saith is owing vnto him by the Emperour, his Maiesties pleasure is, that so much as shall be found due, and growing vpon wares deliuered vnto the treasurie, out of the time of his Maiesties displeasure, shall be paid forthwith to the said Thomas, and the rest is forfeited vnto his Maiestie, and taken for a fine, as appertaining to Rutter and Bennet, accompted traitors vnto his Highnes, during the time of his displeasure.
To the thirteenth article, concerning Rutter to deliuered vnto you, to be caried home, the answere was, that as his Maiestie will not detaine any English man in his countrey, that is willing to go home, according to the Queenes request: euen so will he not force any to depart, that is willing to tary with him. Yet his Highnes, to satisfie the Queenes Maiesties request, is contented at this present to send the said Ralfe Rutter home with you, and hath commanded that a letter shall be written vnto his chiefe officer at the Mosco, to send the said Rutter away with speed, that he may be with you at Vologda, by the fine of May, without faile: and touching the rest of your request in the said article, his Maiesties pleasure shall be signified in the letters of priuilege, granted to the said merchants.
To the fourteenth, touching artificers, his Maiestie will accomplish all the Queenes Highnes request in that behalfe, and now at this present doth licence such and so many to depart to their natiue countrey as are willing to goe.
To the 15, touching Besson Messeriuey, the Emperors maiestie is much offended with him, and will send down a gentleman with you to inquire of his ill behauior, as wel for speaking of vndecent words against the Queens maiestie as you haue alleaged, as also against you, and the merchants for his outrages mentioned in the article, and the said Besson being found guilty, to be imprisoned and punished by seuere iustice accordingly, and after to put in sureties to answere the Emperors high displeasure, or els to be brought vp like a prisoner by the said gentleman to answere his offences before his Maiestie. And his highnes doth request that the Queenes highnes would doe the like vpon Middleton and Manlie her messengers sent thither two yeeres past, and of all others for their ill behauiour towards his maiestie, as may appeare by letters sent by Daniel Siluester from his highnes, least by the bad demeanor of such lewd persons, the amity and friendship betwixt their maiesties might be diminished.
To the 16 and last article, touching the corne brought into the Emperors dominions by the merchants, his maiestie doth greatly commend them for so wel doing, and hath commanded to giue you a letter forthwith in their behalf, directed to his officers of Duina, to suffer the said merchants to selle their corne, by measure great or small at their pleasure without custome.
Thus I receiued a full answere from his Maiestie by his chiefe Secretarie and one other of his counsel, to the 16 articles afore rehearsed, by me exhibited in writing touching your affaires, with his letter also sent by me to the Queenes maiesty. Which being done, I requested that the new letters of priuilege granted by his highnes vnto you might be forthwith dispatched to the intent I might carie the same with me. Also I requested that such money due to you, which it had pleased his maiesty to command to be payd, might be deliuered to me in your behalfe.
Touching the letters of priuilege, the Secretary answered me, it is not possible you can haue them with you, for they must be first written and shewed vnto the Emperor, and then three to be written of one tenour according to your request, which cannot bee done with speede, for that his maiesties pleasure is, you shall depart this night before him, who remooueth himselfe to morrow toward Nouogrod: but without faile the sayd letters shall be dispatched vpon the way, and sent after you with speede to Colmogro. And as touching the money which you require, it cannot be paid here because we haue not the bookes of accounts, for want whereof we know not what to paie: wherefore the best is that you send one of the merchants after the Emperor to Nouogrod, and let him repaire vnto me there, and without faile I will paie all such money as shall be appointed by his maiestie to be paid after the bookes seene.
But forasmuch as there was none of your seruants with me at that present (although I had earnestly written vnto your Agent Nicholas Proctor by Richard Pringle one of your owne seruants, one moneth before my comming to Starites, where I had my dispatch, that he should not faile to come himselfe, or send one of your seruants to mee hither, to follow all such sutes as I should commence in your behalfs, which he neglected to doe to your great hinderance) I requested the said Secretarie that I might leaue Daniel my interpreter with him, aswell for the receipt of money, as for the speedy dispatch of the letters of priuiledge, but it would not be granted in any wise that I should leaue any of mine owne companie behind me, and thereupon I did take my leaue with full dispatch, and departed to my lodging, and foorthwith there came vnto me a gentleman who had charge as wel to conduct me and prouide boates, men, post horses and victuals all the way to the sea side, being a thousand and three hundred miles, as also to doe iustice of the sayd Bessen, as aforesaid. And he said vnto me, the Emperours pleasure is, that you shall presently depart from hence, and I am appointed to goe with you. And that night I departed from the said Starites, being the fourteenth of May aforesayd. And passing a great part of my iourney, I arriued at the citie of Vologda the last of the sayd May, where I remained fiue daies as well expecting a messenger to bring vnto me the new letters of priuiledge, as the comming of Rutter, whom the Emperours Maiestie himselfe commanded before my face should bee sent vnto me without faile, and I did see the letters written to the chiefe officers at the Mosco for the same. Neuerthe lesse the said Rutter did not come, neither could I heare of him after, nor know the sudden cause of his stay contrary to the princes owne word and meaning, as I suppose. But I could not help the matter being farre from the prince, neither could I tell how to haue redresse, because by absence I could not complaine. Notwithstanding I vsed my indeuour, and sent a messenger Iohn Norton one of your seruants from Vologda to Nouogrod, where the court then lay, expressely with letters, as well to aduertise his maiestie that the sayd Rutter was not sent vnto me according to his highnes commandement and order, as also about the dispatch of the said letters of priuiledge and receit of your money, with straight charge that he should in any wise returne vnto me againe before the departing of the ships. And the first day of Iune I departed from the said Vologda by water towards Colmogro, where I arriued the 21 of Iune aforesaid, and remained there vntil the 23 of Iuly, looking for the said Iohn Norton to haue returned vnto me in al that time, which had respite fully enough in that space both to go to the court to dispatch his busines, and to haue returned againe vnto me, but he came not, for it was otherwise determined before his going, as I did after vnderstand, and can more at large by worde of mouth declare vnto your worships the occasion thereof.
Neuerthelesse, I am well assured before this time your Agent hath receiued into his hands the sayd letters of priuiledges, and shall haue dispatch with expedition in all things touching your affaires, according to his maiesties grant by me obtained, and as he hath written to the Queenes maiestie at this present, wishing that as now by my going the Emperour hath withdrawen his grieuous displeasure from you, and restored you againe into his fauour, so your Agent and others your seruants there resident may behaue, and endeuour themselues to keepe and augment the same, whose euill doings haue bene the onely occasion of his indignation now remitted.
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:51