Pheodor Iuanowich the new Emperors gracious letter of priuilege to the English Merchants word for word, obtained by M. Ierome Horsey. 1586.
Through the wil of the almightie, and without beginning God, which was before this world, whom we glorifie in the Trinitie, one only God the father, the sonne, and the holy ghost, maker of all things, worker of all in all euery where, fulfiller of all things, by which will and working, he both loueth and giueth life to man, That our onely God, which inspireth euery one of vs his onely children with his word, to descerne God through our Lord Iesus Christ, and the holy quickning spirit of life now in these perilous times, Establish vs to keep the right Scepter, and suffer vs of our selues to raigne to the good profite of the land, and to the subduing of the people, together with the enemies, and to the maintenance of virtue.
We Pheodor the ofspring of Iohn, the great Lord, Emperor, king and great prince of all Russia, of Volodemeria, Moscouia and Nouogrod, king of Cazan, king of Astracan, Lord of Plesko, and great prince of Smolensko, of Tuer, Yougoria, Permia, Viatsko, of Bolghar and others, lord and great prince of the land of the lower Nouogrod, Chernigo, Rezan, Polotsko, Rostow. Yeraslaue, the White lake, Liefland, Oudor, Condensa, and Ruler of all Siberia, and all the Northside, and lord of many other countries.
I haue gratified the merchants of England, to wit, sir Rowland Haiward, and Richard Martin Aldermen, sir George Barnes, Thomas Smith, esquire, Ierome Horsey, Richard Saltonstall, with their fellowes.
I haue licensed them to saile with their shippes into our dominion the land of Dwina, with all kind of commodities to trade freely, and vnto our kingdom andd the citie of Mosco, and to all the cities of our empire of Moscouia.
And the English merchants sir Rowland Haiward and his societie desired vs, that we would gratifie them to trade into our kingdom of Moscouia, and into our heritage of great Nouogrod and Plesko, and into all parts of our kingdom, to buy and sell with their wares without custome.
Therefore we for our sisters sake Queene Elizabeth, and also because that they allege that they had great losse and hinderance by the venture of the sea, and otherwise, haue gratified the said English merchants sir Rowland Haiward and his societie, freely to come into our kingdom of Moscouia, and into al our dominions with al kind of commodities, to trade, and traffique freely, and at their pleasure with al kind of their commodities: also I haue commanded not to take any maner of custome for their goods, nor other customs whatsoeuer: That is to say, neither for passing by any place by water, nor for lanching, neither for passing through any place by land, neither for the vessels or boats, nor for their heads, nor for passing ouer bridges, nor for ferying ouer at any place, neither for acknowledgment at any place where they shall come, nor any maner of custome or dutie, by what name soeuer.
Only they shall not bring with them into our dominions, neither recarie out of our dominions, or father any other mens goods but their owne, neither sell them nor barter them away for them.
Also our natural people shall not buy and sell for them, or from them, neither shal they retaine or keepe any of our naturall subiects goods, or pawnes by them to colour them.
Also they shall not send any of their Russe seruants about into any citie to ingrosse, or buy vp commodities, but into what citie they themselues shal come, they shal buy and sel, and shal sel their owne commodities and not ours.
And when they shal come into our inheritance of great Nouogrod and Plesko, and through all our dominions with their commodities, then our noblemen, and captains, and euery one of our officers shall suffer them to depart according to this our letter, and shall take no custom at all of them, for any of their commodities, neither for passing through or passing by, nor for passage ouer any bridges, nor shall take of them any other dutie whatsoeuer name they haue.
Also into what places of our dominion, or when they shal happen to come, and to proceed to buy or sell, and wheresoeuer they shall passe through with goods not buying of any commodities, neither will sell their owne, then in those cities and townes they shall take no maner of custome or dutie of them accordingly as before.
And I haue gratified them and giuen them free leaue to traffique throughout all the dominions of our kingdom in all cities with their goods, to buy and sell all maner of commodities, without any dutie or custome whatsoeuer.
And the English merchants where they are desirous to buy or sell, or barter their wares with our merchants, whole wares for wares, they shall sell their commodies whole, and not by retaile: That is to say, neither by small weight nor by the yard, to sell or barter in their owne houses, and they shal sel and barter their wares wholly, Cloth by the packe, and by the whole Cloth, and Damaske and veluet by the piece and not by the yard, and al maner of commodities that are to be sold by weight, not to sell by the small weights, as by the pound and ounce, but by whole sale: also they shall sel wines by the pipe: and by the gallon, quart or stoope they shal not sell.
And they shall buy, sell and exchange their owne commodities themselues, and the Russe merchants shall not make sales or exchange for them or from them any of their commodities, neither shal they themselues conuey or cary through any other mans goods at no place instead of their owne: and which of the English merchants will at any time sell his commodities at Colmogro or Vologda or Yeraslaue, they may, and of their commodities throughout all our cities and dominions, our noblemen, captains, and euery of our officers shall take no maner of custome, according as it is written in this our gracious letter: and throughout all our dominions and cities they shal hire carriers and vessels with men to labour, at their owne charge, to transport their goods.
So likewise, whensoeuer the English merchants are disposed to depart out of our kingdom into any other countrey or into their owne land, if our pleasure be, they shall take our goods with them from our Treasurie, and shall sell them, and exchange them for such commoditie as is commodious for our kingdom, and shall deliuer it into our Treasurie, and with those our commodities, our Noblemen and captains, and euery of our officers shall let them passe through all our cities also without custome according to these our letters.
Also whensoeuer the English merchants shall haue sold their own goods and bought themselues commodities, and wil depart out of Mosco, then they shal manifest themselues to our chiefe Secretarie Andrew Sholkaloue, in the office where the Ambassadors are alwayes dispatched.
And if the English merchants comming, haue had any mischance by the sea, insomuch that the ship be broken, or if that ship do come to any part of our country: then we will cause the goods to be sought out in true Iustice, and to be giuen to the English people, which at that time shall bee here resident in our countrey: and if so be that it so fell out that at that time there be no Englishmen within our realme: then wil we cause these goods to be laid vp in a place together, and when the people of England shall come into our realme, then we will command all those goods to be deliuered to the sayd English people.
Also we haue gratified all the English merchants with the house of one Vrie here in the Mosco right ouer against S. Maximes church behind the market, and they shal dwel in the same house according as before time, and they shall keepe one alwayes in the house to keepe it, either a Russe, or one of their owne people.
Also the English merchants shal possesse their houses, to wit, at Yeraslaue, Vologda, Colmogro, and the house at the hauen of the sea, and they shal dwel in those houses, according as our goodnes hath bene to them heretofore: and we haue commanded, that there shall not be taken of them no yeerely rent, nor no maner of custome, taxe, rent or any other dutie whatsoeuer for those houses, neither shal they pay any dutie or taxe with any of the townsmen of those places, and in euery one of those houses, to wit, at Yeraslaue, Vologda, and Colmogro, they shall haue men to keepe their houses, two or three of their owne countrey people, strangers or els Russes, men of the meanest sort, which shall be no merchants, that they may lay their goods in those houses, and they may sell the commodities out of those their houses to whom they please, according to this our gracious letter: and those that keepe their houses shall not sell or buy no part of their commoditie, except they be there or giue order, whereby they be not deceiued by them.
So likewise I haue gratified them with their house at the sea hauen, at the mouth of Podezemsky, and we haue commanded that they shal not cary their goods from thence to the new castle S. Michael the archangel, but shall arriue, and doe as they haue done heretofore with their wares at that their house, and shall vnlade their commodities out of their ships, and shal lade them againe with Russe commodities, euen there at that their house without interruption: onely they shal permit our officers of Colmogro and sworn men to write vp those commodities, both the commodities of England, and those of Russeland, what the merchants shal declare themselues, and no otherwise, but they shal not ouerlooke their commodities, neither shal they vnbind any of their packs.
And when the English merchants are disposed to send into their owne countrey, to wit, any of their owne people on land through any other kingdom whatsoeuer, they shall not send their people without our kingly knowledge, and commandement, and which of their people so euer they do meane to send out of our kingdom into their owne countrey, then they shal send those their people, not without our kingly maiesties knowledge, to wit, those that go of pleasure without carying any commodities with them, and they shal haue a letter of passe giuen vnto them, out of the office where the Ambassadors haue alwayes their dispatch.
And whosoeuer hath anything to doe with them in matters of controuersie, either concerning merchandize or iniuries, then they are to be iudged by our treasurers and Secretarie of the Ambassadors office to do iustice between both parties, and to seek out the trueth of matters in al things, and whatsoeuer cannot be found out by the Law, shalbe tried by othe and lots: whose lot soeuer is taken foorth, him to haue right.
And in what place of all our kingdom, in what citie soeuer they or their people shall bee, and that there happen any matter of controuersie, either concerning merchandise, iniuries or otherwise, that they haue occasion to set vpon any man by lawe, or that any seeke vpon them, concerning what matter soeuer in all our kingdom and cities, then our lieutenants, captains, and our officers shall giue them Iustice, and shall minister all true iustice betweene them, seeking out the trueth: and what cannot be truly sought by law, shalbe sought out by othe and lot; whose lot soeuer is taken out, him to haue right accordingly as before, and the Iudges or Iustices shall take of them no kind of dutie, for matters of law no where throughout all our realmes. This letter is giuen in our princely palace within the citie of Mosco, in the yeere from the foundation of the world, seuen thousand fourescore and fifteene in the moneth of February.
Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:55