The Queenes Maiesties letter to Theodore Iuanouich Emperour of Russia, 1591.
Elizabeth by the grace of God Queene of England, France, and Ireland, defender of the faith, &c. to the right high, mighty, and right noble prince Theodore Iuanouich great Lord, King, and great Duke of all Russia, Volodemer, Mosco, Nouogrod, King of Cazan, and Astracan, Lord of Vobsko, and great Duke of Smolensko, Otuer, Vghory, Perme, Viatski, Bolgory, and other places: Lord and great Duke of Nouogrod in the low countrey, of Chernigo, Rezan, Polotsky, Rostoue, Yeraslaue, Bealozero, and Lifland, of Oudorsky, Obdorsky, Condinsky, and commander of all Sibierland and the North coasts, great Lord ouer the country of Tuersky, Grisinsky, Emperor of Kabardinsky, and of the countrey of Charkasky, and of the countrey of Gorsky, and Lord of many other countreys, our most deare and louing brother, greeting. Right noble and excellent prince, we haue receiued your Maiesties letters brought ouer by our merchants in their returne of their 1590. last voyage from your port of S. Nicholas: which letters we haue aduisedly read and considered, and thereby perceiue that your Maiesty doth greatly mislike of our late employment of Ierome Horsey into your dominions as our messenger with our Highnesse letters and also that your Maiesty doth thinke that we in our letters sent by the sayd messenger haue not obserued that due order or respect which apperteined to your princely maiesty, in the forme of the said letter, aswel touching the inlargement of your Maiesties stile and titles of honor which your Maiesty expected to haue bene therein more particularly expressed, as also in the adding of our greatest seale or signet of armes to the letters which we send to so great a Prince as your Maiesty is: in any of which points we would haue bene very loth willingly to haue giuen iust cause of offence thereby to our most deare and louing brother. And as touching the sayd messenger Ierome Horsey we are sory that contrary to our expectation he is fallen into your Maiesties displeasure, whom we minde not to mainteine in any his actions by which he hath so incurred your Maiesties mislike: yet that we had reason at such time as we sent him to your Maiesty to use his seruice as our messenger, we referre our selues to your princely iudgement, praying your Maiesty to reduce into your minde the especiall commendation, which in your letters written vnto vs in the yeere 1585, you made of the sayd Ierome Horsey his behauiour in your dominions: at which time your Maiesty was pleased to vse his seruice as your messenger to vs, requiring our answere of your letters to be returned by him and by none other. That imployment, with other occasions taken by your Maiesty to vse the seruice of the sayd Ierome Horsey (as namely in the yeere 1587) when your Maiesty sent him to vs againe with your letters, and your liberall and princely priuiledge at our request granted to our merchants (for which we haue heretofore giuen thanks to your Maiesty, so doe we hereby reiterate our thankfulnesse for the same) mooued vs to be of minde, that we could not make choise of any of our subiects so fit a messenger to your Maiesty as he, whom your Maiesty had at seuerall times vsed vpon your owne occasions into this our Realme. But least your highnesse should continue of the minde that the letters which you sent by our ambassador Giles Fletcher (wherein some mention was made of your conceiued displeasure against the sayd Horsey) came not to our hands, and that wee were kept ignorant of the complaint which your Maiesty made therein against the sayd Horsey, we do not deny but that we were acquainted aswell by our ambassadour as by those letters of some displeasure conceiued against him by your Maiesty: but your sayd letters giuing onely a short generall mention of some misdemeanour committed by him, expressing no particulars, we were of opinion that this offence was not so hainous, as that it might vtterly extinguish all your former princely fauour towards him, but that vpon his humble submission to your Maiesty, or vpon better examination of the matter of the displeasure conceiued against him, the offence might haue beene either remitted, or he thereof might haue cleared himselfe. And to that end we were not onely by his great importunity long sollicited, but by the intercession of some of our Nobility giuing credit to his owne defence, we were intreated on his behalfe to vse his seruice once againe into Russia as our messenger to your Maiestie, whereby he might haue opportunity to cleare himselfe, and either by his answere or by his submission recouer your Maiesties former fauour: whereunto our princely nature was mooued to yeeld, wishing the good of our subiect so farre foorth as his desert might carry him, or his innocencie cleare him.
Thus noble Prince, our most louing and dearest brother, it may appeare vnto your Maiesty how we were induced to vse the seruice of the sayd messenger, aswell for the recouery of your Maiesties fauour towards him (if he had been found woorthy of it) as for experience of the maners and fashions of your countrey, where he hath bene much conuersant. But sith by your Maiesties letters it appeareth that he hath not cleared himselfe in your Maiesties sight, we meane not to vse him in any such price hereafter.
And as touching your Maiesties conceit of the breuitie which we vsed in the setting downe of your Maiesties stile and titles of honour: as nothing is further from vs, then to abridge so great and mighty a Prince of the honour due vnto him (whom we holde for his greatnesse to deserue more honour then we are able to giue him) so shall we need no further nor surer argument to cleare vs of the suspicion of the detracting from your Maiesty any part of your iust and princely honor and greatnesse, then the consideration of our owne stile, which is thus contracted, videlicet, Elizabeth by the grace of God Queene of England, France, and Ireland, defender of the faith &c. which kingdomes and dominions of ours are expressed by these generall words, videlicet, England, France, and Ireland: in euery of which there are seuerall principalities, dukedomes, earledomes, prouinces and countreys: which being seuerally expressed would enlarge much our stile, and make it of great length: which by our progenitours hath not bene vsed: notwithstanding, we thinke it no dishonour to vs, compendiously to abridge the same in all our writings and letters written to what Prince, King, or Potentate soeuer. Whereupon we inferre, that holding your Maiesties generall stile, we offer your Highnesse no dishonour in not expressing all the particular prouinces: albeit we can willingly content our selfe, upon the knowledge of your vsages and customes, to obserue that course, which your selfe shall thinke most honourable. And for the sealing vp of our letters which we write to all our allies, kinsmen, and friends, Kings and Princes, we haue in vse two seuerall seales: both which we esteeme alike honourable, being our princely seales. And as the volume of our letters falleth out to be great or small, so accordingly is our greater or lesser seale annexed to the sayd letters, without esteeming either of them more or lesse honourable then the other. So as, our most louing and dearest brother, in the said letters there was nothing done of purpose to detract from your Maiesty any thing, of the vsuall regard, which our Highnesse was woont to yeeld vnto your most noble father of famous memory Iuan Basiliuich Emperor of al Russia, or to your selfe, our dearest brother. For the residue of the points of your Maiesties letters concerning the entertainement of our ambassadour, and proceeding in the cause of Anthonie Marsh we holde our selfe satisfied with your princely answere, and doe therein note an honourable and princely care in your Maiestie to preuent the like troubles, controuersies and sutes, that Marshes cause stirred vp betweene our merchants and your subiects, which is, that your Maiestie doeth purpose from time to time to purge your Countrey of such straglers of our subiects, as doe or shall hereafter abide there, and are not of the Company of our merchants, but contemptuously depart out of our land without our Highnesse licence: of which sort there are presented vnto vs from our merchants the names of these seuerall persons, videlicet, Richard Cocks, Bennet Iackman, Rainold Kitchin, Simon Rogers, Michael Lane, Thomas Worsenham: whom it may please your Maiesty by your princely order to dismisse out of your land, that they may be sent home in the next shippes, to auoid the mislike which their residence in those parts might breed to the disturbance of our brotherly league, and the impeaching of the entercourse.
And whereas, most louing and dearest brother, one William Turnebull a subiect of ours is lately deceased in your kingdome, one with whom our merchants haue had much controuersie for great summes of money due vnto them by him while he was their Agent in their affayres of merchandises: which differences by arbitrable order were reduced to the summe of 3000 rubbles, and so much should haue beene payed by him as may appeare by your Maiesties councell or magistrates of iustice by very credible information and testimony: and whereas also the sayd Turnbull was further indebted by billes of his own hand to diuers of our subiects, amounting in the whole, to the summe of 1326 pounds, which billes are exemplified vnder our great seale of England, and to be sent ouer with this bearer: of which summes he hath often promised payment: it may please your most excellent Maiestie in your approoued loue to iustice, to giue order to your fauourable councell and magistrates, that those seuerall debts may be satisfied to our merchants and subiects out of the goods, merchandise, and debts which are due to the state of the sayd Turnbull: whereof your Maiesties councell shalbe informed by the Agent of our merchants.
The Emperour seised our merchants goods. We trust we shall not need to make any new request by motion to your Maiesty that some order might be taken for the finding out of the rest of our merchants goods seised to your maiesties vse in the hands and possession of Iohn Chappel their seruant, being a thing granted, and no doubt already performed by your Maiesties order. We therfore intreat your Maiesty, that as conueniently as may be, satisfaction or recompense be giuen to our said merchants towards the repairing of their sundry great losses aswell therein as otherwise by them of late sundry wayes sustained. And lastly, our most deare and louing brother, as nothing in all these our occasions is to be preferred before our entire league and amitie, descending vpon vs as an inheritance, in succession from both our ancestours and noble progenitours: so let us be carefull on both sides by all good meanes to holde and continue the same to our posterity for euer. And if any mistaking or errour of either side do rise, in not accomplishing of circumstances agreeable to the fashion of either of our countreys and kingdomes, let the same vpon our enterchangeable letters be reconciled, that our league and amitie be no way impeached for any particular occasion whatsoeuer. And thus we recommend your Maiesty to the tuition of the most High. From our royall Palace of Whitehall the 14 of Ianuary, anno Domini 1591.
Last updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 14:09