A copie of the priuiledges granted by the right high and mightie Prince, the Emperour of Russia, &c. vnto the right worshipfull fellowship of English merchants, for the discouerie of new trades: and hither sent by Thomas Randolfe esquire, her Maiesties Ambassadour to the sayd Emperour, and by Andrew Sauin his Ambassadour in the yere of our Lord God, 1569.
One God euerlasting and without and before the beginning, the Father, the Sonne, and the holy Ghost, the blessed Trinitie, our onely God, maker and preseruer of all things, replenisher of all things euery where, who by thy goodnesse doest cause all men to loue the giuer of wisedome our onely Mediatour, and leader of vs all vnto blessed knowledge by the onely Sonne his word, our Lord Iesus Christ, holy and euerlasting Spirit, and now in these our dayes teachest vs to keepe Christianitie, and sufferest vs to enioy our kingdome to the happy commodity of our land, and wealth of our people, in despight of our enemies, and to our fame with our friends.
We Iohn Vasiliwich by the grace of God, great lord, Emperour, and great duke of all Russia, Volodemer, Moscouia, Nouogrod, Emperour of Cazan, Tuersky, Vgorsky, Permisky, Vadsky, Bulgaria, and many others, lord and great duke of the Low countreys of Nouogrod, Chernigosky, Resansky, Polotsky, Rastow, Veraslaue, Bealosera, Owdorsky, Condinsky, and all Siberland, great commander of all the North parts, lord of Leifland, and many other Northward, Southward, and Westward.
Whereas our sister Elizabeth by the grace of God Queene of England, France and Ireland, defender of the faith, hath written vnto vs her letters for her merchants, who hath made sute that we should grant our goodnesse to the merchants which are of one company, and giue them free leaue to come to traffike in our kingdome to Colmogro, and to the countrey of Dwina, and to our great citie of Moscouia, and to all the cities in our dominions, and thorow our countrey to Boghar, to Persia, Casbin, and Chardy, and to all other countreys.
1 We Iohn Vasiliwich Emperour and great duke of all Russia, (for our sister Elizabeths sake, Queene, of England) haue giuen and granted to the English merchants, the Gouernors, Cousuls, Assistants and fellowship, sir Wil. Garrard Knight, Rowland Haiward Alderman, Ioh. Thamworth Esquire, Iohn Riuers Alderman, Henry Beecher Alderman, Consuls: Sir Wil. Chester Knight, Edward Iackman Alderman, Lionel Ducket Alderman, Edward Gilbert, Laurence Huse, Francis Walsingham, Clement Throgmorton Iohn Quarles, Nicholas Wheeler, Thomas Banister, Iohn Harrison, Francis Burnham, Anthony Gamage, Iohn Somers, Richard Wilkinson, Ioh. Sparke, Richard Barne, Robert Woolman, Thomas Browne, Thomas Smith, Thomas Allen, Thomas More, William Bully, Richard Yong, Thomas Atkinson, Assistants: Iohn Mersh Esquire, Geofrey Ducket, Francis Robinson, Matthew Field, and all the rest of their company and fellowship, and to their successours and deputies, to come with ships and other vessels into our countery at Colmogorod, and Dwina, and to all the North parts now being ours, or that hereafter shall at any time be in our possession, by sea, riuer or land, euen to our great Citie of Mosco, in all the townes of our Countrey, to Cazan and Astracan, to Nouogorod the great, to Plesko and Leifland, Vriagorod, to Narue, and all other townes of Leifland. 2 And to passe through our land to Boghar, Persia, Casbin, Charday, and other Countreyes: And wheresoeuer they come there to be and abide freely, and to barter and bargaine freely all wares of sale, without custome of all people, and Marchants strangers whatsoeuer.
And if so be they bring any fine wares out of Englande, or any other Countrey from Boghar, Persia, Casbin, or from any other place, and those their wares that come by the way of Narue, or any other part into our Dominion, to bring the same wares into our treasure, and our Treasurers to view the same wares, and to take into our Treasurie of the same such as shalbe needful for vs. And all such wares as we shal not need, our Chancellour to redeliuer the same: And after the view of our Chancellours, to barter it freely to whom they will, not selling any of their wares needful for vs, before our Chancellour haue seene the same. And all other grosse and heauy wares that shall be needful to our vse not being brought to Mosco, to declare and tell our Chancellour of the same wares: And to giue a note thereof by name, and how much they leaue there, not brought to Mosco; and then if we neede not the said wares, the English Marchants, their seruants and Factors, to conuey their wares the neerest way to Vstiug the great, and so to Colmogorod, or elsewhere at their pleasure, there to barter and sell the same. But those wares that shalbe needfull for our Treasurie, they shall not hide from vs in any case.
And when our Chancellours shall send our aduenture, with the said Marchants or their Factors, they to take our aduentures with them, and to sell, and to barter for such wares as shalbe meete for our Treasurie, and to returne it into our Treasurie.
And when we shall sende any aduenture into England then our Chancellour to giue them a yeeres warning, that their ships may be prouided thereafter, that by taking in of our wares, they leaue not their owne behind them.
And to take our aduenture yeerely when they goe into Persia.
Neither shall the English marchants receiue or colour any of our peoples goods, nor barter nor sell it in any wise: likewise our people not to barter for the sayd English merchants or occupy for them.
3 And when they shall come into our Empire of Casan and Astracan, and other places of our Dominions, then our Captaines of Casan and Astracan, and our authorised people, quietly to let them passe, not taking any toll or custome of their wares, nor once to make search thereof.
And when we shal send no adueture with them, yet to suffer them freely to passe, not viewing their wares, nor taking any kinde of custome. And whatsoeuer English marchant will bargaine with our Marchants or Factors ware for ware to barter the same at their pleasure.
And whatsoeuer their Marchant or Factors will sell their wares at their house at Mosco, which house I granted them at S. Maxims at the Mosco, they to sell the ware to our people, either strangers as they may best vtter it, keeping within their house, arshines, measures, and waights vnder seales.
4 We haue granted them the saide house at S. Maxims in the halfe free, and without standing rent, as heretofore we did grant it the said English Marchants, sir Wil. Garrard, and the Company, maintayning in the said house one housekeeper a Russe, and two Russe seruants, or some of their owne countrey men, and none other Russes besides the aforesayde. And the said housekeepers that shall liue at their house with the English marchants neither to buy nor sel any wares for them, but that the said marchants themselues or their factors, shall buy, sell, and barter their owne wares: and our Moscouie marchants not to take the said Englishmens wares to sell them in our townes, nor to buy any wares for them, neither the English marchant to colour any Russe wares at any towne.
5 And whatsoeuer English marchant will sell his wares at Colmogorod, Dwyna, Vologda, Yeraslaue, Castran, Nouogorod the lower, Casan, Astracan, Nouogrod the great, Vopsko, the Narue, Vriagorod, or at any other townes, they to sel their wares there at their pleasure: And of all wares aswell of other countreis as of Russia, no officer or other to take any custome, neither in any place to stay them in any wise, neither take any kinde of toll of them for their wares whatsoeuer.
6 And whatsoeuer marchant shall bargaine or buy any wares of English marchants: The said Russe not to returne those wares vpon the marchants hands againe, but to giue ready money for the said wares, otherwise they to craue the Iustice to giue right, and to execute the lawe vpon the same with all expedition. And when the English marchants or factors shal trauaile from Moscouie after the dispatch of their wares and businesse, then to shew themselues vnto our Chancellours, whatsoeuer wares of theirs shall goe from Mosco, they not to shew the same wares to any our officers, nor pay no custome nor toll in any place.
7 If it so happen the English marchants haue any wracke, and the shippes be brought to any port of our Dominions, we to command the said goods to be enquired and sought out, and to be giuen to the English marchants, being here abiding at that time in our Countrey, the factors, seruants, or deputies, of the Company aforesayd, to whom we haue granted this our gratious letter.
And if there happen none of the English merchants, factors, seruants, or deputies to be in our Countreis at such time, then we wil all the said goods to be sought out and bestowed in some conuenient place, and when any of the Company aforewritten, bringing these our letters, shall come for their goods, we to command their goods to be restored vnto them.
8 Likewise wee haue graunted leaue to the English merchants, their Gouernours, Consuls, and assistants, namely, sir William Garrard knight, Rowland Howard, and to the Companie, to builde houses at Vologda, Colmogro, and the seaside, at Iuangorod, at Cherell, and in all other places our Dominions, as shall be needeful for their trade. And they to keepe at the said house one housekeeper, a Russe, and two or three men to keepe their wares at the said houses, making sale thereof to whom they will, they, their Factors or deputies: the said housekeeper not to buy or sell for them.
9 Also we haue giuen and graunted to the English Marchants, their house which they haue by your goodnesse at S. Maximes in the Zenopski, and other their houses in the towne of Zenopski, made for the better assurance of their goods, and all such as they shall set vp hereafter shal be of the Opressini Or chosen side., and will make them knowen to all them of Opressini.
10 And whereas by our goodnes we haue graunted them a Ropehouse at Vologda, being farre from the English Merchants house, now we haue giuen them to build a house for that vse by the said English house, and haue giuen and graunted them (of our goodnesse) ground, one hundreth and fourescore fadome long, and fiftie fadomes in breadth, according to their owne request.
11 Also we haue of our goodnesse giuen and graunted to the English Merchants, leaue to buy them a house at Wichida, and there to search our mines of yron. And where they shal happily find it, there to set vp houses for the making of the same yron: and to make the same, of our goodnesse haue graunted them woods; fiue or sixe miles compasse about the sayd houses, to the making of the sayd yron, and not to exceede these bounds, and limits: And where they shall cut the sayde wood, not to set vp any village or farme there, bringing the artificers for making of their yron, out of their owne Countrey, and to learne our people that arte, and so freely occupying the said yron in these our Dominions, transporting also of the same home into Englande, allowing for euery pound one dingo, or halfe penie.
12 And if any of the said yron shalbe needfull for our workes, then we to take of the said yron to our worke, vpon agreement of price, paying money out of our Treasurie for the same: And when the said English Merchants or Factors shal send their owne people out of our Realme into their Countrey, ouer land through any Countrey whatsoeuer, freely to send the same with our words.
13. Also we of our goodness haue graunted, that if any man misuse the said English, the Factors or seruants, or the saide English Merchants; their Factors or seruants abuse any other at Moscouie, or any other out townes whatsoeuer within our Dominions in trade of Marchandise or otherwise, then they to haue vpright iustice in all such matters of our counsaile the Opressini without all let or delay: But if our Iustice may not agree the parties, then lots to be made, and to whose lotte it shall fall, to him the right to be giuen, and that only our counsaile at Moscouie, and none of our Captaines, or authorised people, or officers in any other our townes, giue iudgement vpon the said English Merchants for any thing.
14 Also, if any stranger shall haue matter of controuersie with any English Merchant, Factor or seruant, abiding within these our Realmes, or contrariwise any English Merchant, Factor or seruant, against any other stranger, in all those causes our Counsaile of the Opressini, to giue them Iustice, and to make an agreement and end betweene the parties, without all delay: And none to deale therein, saue our Counsaile of the Opressini.
15 And if any man haue action against any English Merchant being absent, that then in his absence it shalbe lawfull for any other Englishman at his assignation to answere his cause.
16 If any Englishman happen to be wounded or beaten to death, or any Russe or stranger slaine or beaten. 17 Or any stollen goods to be found in the said English houses, then our Counsellors to cause the guiltie persons to be sought out, and to doe right and Iustice in the cause, and the partie that is guiltie, if he deserue punishment, to be corrected accordingly after his offence: That the said English Merchants, factors and seruant, sustaine thereby no hinderance or damage.
18 And whatsoeuer English Marchant, Factor, seruant, or deputie, shalbe guilty of any fault, deseruing our displeasure, then our Counsellors to cause the guiltie partie to goe vnder suerties, and their goods to be sealed and kept, vntill our pleasure be further knowen, and our Counsaile to examine their offence, and so to report it vnto vs, that we may command what shall be done therein, and none other to be arrested or haue their goods sealed, which are not guiltie of that offence, nor to stay or apprehend them in any of our Dominions for the same.
19 If any English Marchant, Factor or seruant shall offend, it shalbe lawfull for their Agent to doe iustice vpon the said partie, or to send him home into England at his pleasure.
20 If any English Marchant, Factor or seruant, haue lent or hereafter shall lende money to any of our people, or credite them with wares, and so depart into any forreigne Countrey, or die before the debt be due to be payde, then our people and Marchants to paye the sayde debt, to whom soeuer shall be appointed to the sayd roome or charge, and the saide English Marchant, factor, or seruant, to bring his bill of debt to our Counsell, to shewe them what is due, and what money is owing them for any wares: and thus to doe truly, not adding any whit to the debt, and our Counsel to command the debt to be discharged vnto the English Marchant, factor, or seruant, without delay.
21 And whatsoeuer English Marchant shall be arrested for debt, then our Counsell to command the partie vnder arrest to be deliuered to the Agent: and if he haue no suertie, to binde the Agent with him, for the better force of the bond.
And if any Englishman be endebted, we will the Creditor not to cast him in prison, or to deliuer him to the Sergeant, lest the officer lose him, but to take ware in pawne of the debt.
22 Also of our goodnes, we haue granted the English Marchants to send our Commission to all our Townes, Captaines, and authorised men, to defende and garde the said Marchants from all theeues, robbers, and euill disposed persons.
23 If in comming or going to and fro our dominions, the Marchants, the factors, or seruants be spoyled on the sea, our Counsell shall send our letters, and will them to be sought out, and where they shall finde the goods, cause it to be restored againe, and the offender to be punished, according to our commandement.
24 Also of our goodnes, we haue granted the saide Merchants to take vp Brokers, Packers, Wayers, and such like labourers, as shall be needefull for them, paying for their hier as the labourers and they shall agree.
25 We likewise of our goodnes, haue licensed the English Marchants in our Townes of Mosco, Nouogorod the great, and Plesko, that the Coiners of the said Townes shall melt Dollers, and coine money for them, without custome, allowing for coales, and other necessaries, with the workemanship.
26 Also of our goodnes, we haue granted to the sayd English Merchants, to take poste horse at needfull times, leauing with our officers a note how many they take, and not else, in no case hindering or diminishing our treasurie.
27 Also for our sister Queene Elizabeths sake, we of our goodnes haue granted to the merchants within written, this our letter, and to their successors, that no Englishman, nor any other stranger, come without the Queenes leaue to Colmogorode, the riuer of Vob, Vasiagy, Pechora, Cola, Mezena, Pechingo, Zeleuetskyes Island, the riuer of Shame, nor to no other hauen of Dwina, nor to any part of the northside of Dwina, by hetherward of Wardhouse, to any hauen, with shippe, Busse, or any other vessell, nor to occupie in any kind of waies, but only the said English Companie, and their successors, to whom we of our goodnes haue granted this priuiledge.
28 Also that no English Merchant, without the Queenes leaue, shall come With any wares, to the Narue, or Vriogorod.
29 And whatsoeuer English Merchant, stranger, or other, of whatsoeuer countrey he be, shall come with any shippe; Busse, or any other vessel, to any of the said hauens, of the north side, to any part of Dwina, by North the Narue, or Vriogorod, without the Queenes leaue or knowledge, not being of the company aboue written, we to apprehende and take the same vessell from those strangers and Merchants, the one halfe to vs the Emperour, and great Duke, and the other halfe to the company of English Merchants.
30 Also of our goodnes we haue granted the said company of English merchants, that no English merchants or strangers shall passe through our dominions, to Boghar, Persia, Casbin, Charday, or other Countreys, saue onely the company of English merchants and our owne messengers.
31 Also whatsoeuer Englishman, comming out of England or any other Countrey, into our dominions, without the Queenes leaue, and knowledge, not being of the sayd company, written within those our letters, mind, and purpose, to abide in our realme, contrary to the Queenes will and pleasure, or any way abuse himselfe, the Agent shall freely send him home, to the Queene his Soueraigne: which if the Agent of himselfe be vnable to do, let him pray for ayd of the captaines and officers of our townes there being, and so send him to prison, and will the sayd captaines not to hinder the sayd Agent from sending home such euill persons into England.
32 And if any man within our countrey runne away to any other towne or place, the English merchants and factours, to haue free libertie to apprehend him, and take their goods from him againe.
33 And as for our priuilege giuen to Thomas Glouer, Ralfe Rutter, Christopher Bennet, Iohn Chappell, and their adherents, we haue commanded the same priuileges to be taken from them.
34 Also we of our goodnesse haue granted the sayd company of English merchants, their successours, seruants and deputies, that doe or shall remaine at Mosco, or elsewhere within our dominions freely to keepe their owne law: and in any wise none of ours to force them to our law or faith against their will.
Moreouer, besides and with the company of English merchants, we permit all strangers, to trade to our towne of Narue, Iuanogorod, and other our townes of Liefland, as they haue done beforetime. Giuen from the beginning of the world 7077, in the moneth of Iune 20, Indiction 12, the yere of our lordship and reign 35, and of our Empire of Rusland 23. Cazan 17, Astracan 15.
Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:55