The deposition of M. William Burrough to certaine Interrogatories ministred vnto him concerning the Narue, Kegor, &c. to what king or prince they doe appertaine and are subiect, made the 23 of Iune, 1576.
These articles seeme to haue bene ministred vpon the quarel between Alderman Bond the elder, and the Moscouie company, for his trade to the Narue without their consent.
The first Interrogatorie. First, whether the villages or townes vulgarely called the Narue, Kegor, Pechingo and Cola, and the portes of the same townes, as well at the time of the grant of the letters of priuilege by the Emperour to our merchants, as also in the yeeres of our Lord, 1566, 1567, 1568, 1569, 1570, 1571, 1572, 1573, 1574, and 1575 respectiuely were (as presently they be) of the iurisdicition, and subiect to the mightie prince the Emperour of Russia: and whether the saide Emperour of Russia, by all the time aforesaide, was chiefe lord and gouernour respectiuely of the said places, and so vulgarly knowen, had, and reputed: and whether the said townes and places, and either of them be situated towards the North and Northeast or Northwest, and between the North and the East point: and be the same places whereunto by force of the said priuilege, it is forbidden to any other subiect to haue traffike, sauing to the societie aforesaid.
The deponents answer. To this Interrogatorie the deponent saith, that it is true that the villages, townes and places vulgarly called the Narue, Kegor, Peshingo and Cola, and the portes thereof, at the time of the grant of the said priuilege (as he iudgeth) were reputed respectiuely to be vnder the iurisdiction, and subiect to the Emperour of Russia, and so from the time of the said grant, vnto the yeere, 1566, and that in the yeeres of our Lord, 1566, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, and 1575. respectiuely they were (as presently they be) of the iurisdiction, and subiect vnto the mighty prince the Emperour of Russia, and the same Emperour of Russia, by all the time aforesaide, was chiefe gouernour respectiuely of the said places, and so vulgarly knowen, had and reputed. And that all the said places are situated from London Northwards, between the East and the North, and within the grant of the letters patents, and priuileges of the said companie of merchants for the discouery of new trades, and the same places whereunto by force of the said letters patents, it is forbidden to any other subiect to haue traffike sauing to the societie aforesaid.
Notwithstanding the Deponent saith, that he hath heard it credibly reported by diuers, that the king of Denmarke of late yeeres, or euery yeere once, hath had one of his subiects or more by him selfe, or with his guide a Lappian, that hath at the places Cola, Kegor, and diuers other places in Lappia, taken of the Lappies certain tribute or head pence, which the said Lappie haue willingly giuen to winne fauour of the saide prince, and to liue quietly by his subiects, the people of Finmarke which border vpon their countrey whereof, Wardhouse is the strongest hold, and bordereth neere vnto them. Hee hath also hearde that in the time of peace betweene the saide Emperour of Russia, and the kings of Sweden, there was yeerely for the king of Sweden one or more that came into Lappia vnto diuers places, in maner as the king of Denmarkes seruant vseth to doe, and did demaund of them some tribute or duetie which they willingly paide: but since the late warres betweene the saide Emperour and king of Sweden, hee hath not heard of any thing that hath bene paide by them to the king of Sweden: such is the simplicitie of this people the Lappies, that they would rather giue tribute to all those that border vpon their countrey, then by denying it haue their ill willes.
But the trueth is, as this Deponent saith, that the saide mightie prince the Emperour of Russia is the chiefe lord and gouernour of the saide countrey of Lappia, his lawes and orders are obserued by them, hee takes toll and custome &c. of them. They are infidels, but if any of them become Christians it is after the Russe law. If there happen any controuersie betweene those people, such as cannot be ended amongst themselues, or by the Emperours deputies in that countrey, they repaire to the Mosko as their highest Court, and there haue it ended. Pechingo abbey. Betweene the place specified Kegor, and the confines of Finmarke aforesaide in Lappia, is the monasterie Pechingo, which are monkes, and vse the Russe lawe, the chiefe or head of that abbey is alwayes appointed by the cleargie in Mosko.
Also in the yeere of our Lord 1557, the said Deponent was at the place Kegor, in the moneth of Iune, the 29 day being S. Peters day, at which time was a great assembly of people at a mart there, the Russes, Kerils and Lappians on the one side subiects to the said mighty prince the Emperour of Russia, and the Norwegians or Norses and people of Finmarke subiects to the King of Denmarke on the other part, they did barter and exchange fish for other commodities. The deputie for the Russe had the chief gouernment of the said Mart, and tooke toll of those people that were subiect to his master, and the captaine of Wardhouse had then the gouernment of the people subiect to his master the king of Denmark. He saith also, that betweene the abbey Pechingo, and the abbey of S. Nicholas in Russia, vpon the border of the said coast of Lappia, he hath bene vpon the shore at diuers places, where fresh riuers fall into the Sea, where are commonly taken fresh salmon, all which places he doth know for certaine, that they were farmed out to the subiects of the said Emperour, and he the said Emperour receiued yeerely the rent for them. And further he saith that it hath bene forther credibly reported vnto him, that there is not any such riuer or creek of fresh water which falleth out of the said countrey of Lappia into the sea, between the said abbey Pechingo, and the bay of S. Nicholas, but they are all and euery of them farmed out, and the Emperour receiueth the rent for them.
The second Interrogatorie. Item, whether as well before, as also within the memorie of men, till the time of the graunt of the said letters patents any of the English merchants (sauing the merchants of the said societie) subiects of this realme of England, haue commonly exercised or frequented businesse or trade in the said villages or townes called the Narue, Kegor, Pechingo, and Cola, or in any of them, or in any ports or territories of the said Emperour of Russia.
The deponents answer. To this Interrogatorie the Deponent answereth, that the subiects of this realme before the graunt of the said letters patent did not commonly exercise, neither frequent or trade to any of the said places called the Narue, Kegor, Pechingo or Cola, or to any of them.
Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:55