The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques,
Richard Hakluyt

Part 6 out of 7

desire of your Maiestie, to vouchsafe from hencefoorth to conserue and
continue the geminate disposition of your beneuolences, both generally to
all our subiects, and also priuately to this, our beloued seruant. And we
doubt not, but that at our request, you will againe graciously shew vnto
the same Anthony, now admitted into our seruice, the like favor as
heretofore your Maiesty of your meere motion did exhibite vnto him, being
then a priuate person. And therefore we desire your Maiesty eftsones to
grant to the same our seruant, your letters of licence, pasport, and safe
conduct, through the tenour, authority, and helpe whereof, he, his
seruants, together with their merchandises, baggages, horses, and goods
whatsoeuer, that shall be brought in, or carried out, by or thorow all your
empire, kingdome, dominions, and provinces, may surely and freely iourney,
go, passe, repasse, depart, and there tary so long as it shall please him:
and from thence returne whensoeuer it shall seeme good to him or his: and
as we doubt not, but that your Maiesty in the goodnesse of your nature will
graciously and abundantly grant all these good offices of humanity, so we
do heartily desire that your Maiesty wil likewise vouchsafe to commend the
same our seruant, together with all his goods, by your letters to other
forren Princes, and especially to the great Sophy, and Emperour of Persia,
into whose empire and iurisdictions the same our seruant purposeth with his
for to iourney, chiefly for triall of forren merchandises.

We therefore doe trust that all these our demands shall tend, and haue
effect, according to the hope of our seruant, and to our expectation, for
your wealth, for the commodity of both our subiects, lucky to him,
thankefull to vs, acceptable to your Maiesty, and very profitable to our
subiects on either part. God grant vnto your Maiesty long and happy
felicity in earth, and euerlasting in heauen. Dated in our famous city of
London the 25 day of the moneth of April, in the yeere of the creation of
the world 5523, and of our Lord God Iesus Christ 1561, and of our reigne
the third.

* * * * *

The Queenes Maiesties Letters to the great Sophy of Persia, sent by M.
Anthonie Ienkinson. 1561.

ELizabetha Dei gratia, Anglia, Francia, et Hibernia Regina, &c.
Potentissimo, et inuictissimo Principi, Magno Sophi Persarum, Medorum,
Parthorum, Hircanorum, Carmanorum, Margianorum, populorum ris et vltra
Tygrim fluuium, et omnium intra Mare Caspium, et Persicum sinum nationum
atque Gentium Imperatori salutem, et rerum prosperarum foelicissimum
incrementum. Summi Dei benignitate factum est, vt quas gentes, non solum
immensa terrarum spacia, et insuperabiles marium vastitates sed et ipsi
etiam calorum cardines longissime disiunxerunt, ipsa tamen literarum bono
et mentis certa cogitata, et humanitatis grata officia, et intelligentia
mutua multa commoda facile inter se et opportune possint communicare.
Itaque cum perdilectus, et fidelis noster famulus Antonius Ienkinson, qui
has literas nostras perfert, cum bona venia, fauore, et gratia nostra hoc
Anglia nostra regnum excedere, et in Persiam vsque, vestrasque alias
ditiones Dei benignitate penetrare constituerit, hoc illius institutum
perlaudabile quidem grato nostro fauore prosequi, et promouere studuimus:
id quod eo nos libentius facimus, quoniam hoc eius propositum ex honesto
studio commercij constituendi potissimum cum vestris subditis, alijsque
peregrinis hominibus, ad vestra regna confluentibus, omnino exortum sit.
Propterea nobis et scribendum ad vestram Maiestatem, ab eaque petendum esse
duximus, vt nostro rogatu dignetur concedere huic famulo nostro Antonio
Ienkinson literas publica fidei et salui conductus, quarum authoritate
atque prasidio, licitum, liberumque sit illi, vna cum suis familiaribus,
seruis, sarcinis, mercibus et bonis vniuersis, per vestra regna, domicilia,
ditiones, atque prouincias libere, et sine impedimento proficisci, ire,
transire, redire, abire, et istic morari, quamdiu placuerit, et inde
recedere, quandocunque illi vel suis lubitum fuerit. Si hac sancta
hospitalitis iura et duleia communis humanitatis officia, inter nos, nostra
regna nostrosque subditos libenter constitui, sincere coli, et constanter
conseruari queant, speramus nos, Deum Optimum Maximum effecturum, vt ab
hijs paruis initijs, grandiora rerum momenta, nobis ad magna ornamenta
atque decus nostris ad summa commoda atque vsus, aliquando sint oritura:
siquidem, vt non, terra, non mare, non coelum, ad nos longissime sperandos
quam diuina ratio communis humanitatis, et mutua beneuolentia ad nos
firmissime coniungendos plus virium habuisse videatur. Deus salutem omnem,
et foelicem in terris, et perpetuam in coelis, vestra concedat Maiestati.
Datum in Anglia, in celebri nostra vrbe Londino, 25 die mensis Aprilis,
anno mundi 5523. Domini ac Dei nostri Iesu Christi, 1561, regnorum vero
nostrorum tertio.

The same in English.

[Sidenote: This letter was also written in Hebrew and Italian.] Elizabeth
by the grace of God, Queene of England, &c. To the right mightie, and right
victorious Prince, the great Sophie, Emperour of the Persians, Medes,
Parthians Hircans, Carmanians, Margians, of the people on this side, and
beyond the river of Tygris, and of all men, and nations, betweene the
Caspian sea, and the gulfe of Persia, greeting and most happie increase in
all prosperitie. By the goodness of the Almightie God it is ordeined, that
those people which not onely the huge distance of the lands, and the
inuincible widenesse of the seas, but also the very quarters of the heavens
do most farre separate, and set asunder, may neuerthelesse through good
commendation by writing, both ease, and also communicate betweene them, not
onely the conceiued thoughts, or deliberations, and gratefull offices of
humanitie, but also many commodities of mutuall intelligence. Therefore
whereas our faithfull, and right wellbeloued seruant Anthonie Ienkinson,
bearer of these our letters, is determined with our licence, fauor, and
grace, to passe out of this our Realme, and by Gods sufferance to trauell
euen into Persia, and other your iurisdictions; we minde truely with our
good favour to set forward, and aduance that his right laudable purpose:
and that the more willingly, for that this his enterprise is only grounded
upon an honest intent to establish trade of merchandise with your subiects,
and with other strangers traffiking in your realmes. Wherfore we haue
thought good, both to write to your Maiestie, and also to desire the same,
to vouchsafe at our request, to grant to our sayd seruant, Anthonie
Ienkinson, good passports and safe conducts, by meanes and authoritie
wherof, it may be free and lawfull for him, together with his familiars,
seruants, cariages, merchandise, and goods whatsoeuer, thorow your Realmes,
Dominions, Iurisdictions, and Prouinces, freely, and without impeachment,
to iourney, go, passe, repasse, and tarry so long as he shall please and
from thence to retourne whensoeuer he or they shall thinke good. If these
holy dueties of entertainment, and sweet offices of naturall humanitie may
be willingly concluded, sincerely embraced, and firmly obserued between vs,
and our Realmes, and subiects, then we do hope that the Almightie God will
bring it to passe, that of these small beginnings, greater moments of
things shall hereafter spring, both to our furniture and honours, and also
to the great commodities, and vse of our peoples: so it will be knowen that
neither the earth, the seas, nor the heauens, haue so much force to
separate vs, as the godly disposition of naturall humanity, and mutual
beneuolence haue to ioyne vs strongly together. God grant vnto your
Maiestie long and happy felicity in earth, and perpetuall in heauen. Dated
in England in our famous citie of London, the 25 day of the moneth of
April, in the yere of the creation of the world 5523, and of our Lord and
God Iesus: Christ, 1561, and of our reigne the third.

* * * * *

A remembrance giuen by vs the Gouernours, Consuls, and Assistants of the
company of Merchants trading into Russia, the eight day of May 1561, to
our trustie friend Anthonie Ienkinson, at his departure towards Russia,
and so to Persia, in this our eight iourney.

First you shall vnderstand that we haue laden in our good ship, called the
Swallow, one Chest, the keyes whereof we doe heere deliuer you, and also a
bill, wherein are written particularly the contents in the sayd Chest, and
what euery thing did cost: and because, as you know, the sayd Chest is of
charge, we desire you to haue a speciall regard vnto it, and when God shall
send you vnto Mosco, our mindes and will is, that you, with the aduise of
our Agents there, doe appoint some such presents for the Emperour and his
sonne, either wine, cloth of golde, scarlet, or plate, as to your good
discretion shall be thought meet, and when you haue deliuercd vnto him the
Queenes Maiesties letters and our sayd present in the name of the Company,
we thinke it good that you make your humble sute vnto his Highnesse in our
name, to get his licence or safe conduct for you and all other our seruants
or Agents at all times hereafter with such wares and merchandise as you at
this time, or they hereafter at all other times shall thinke good to passe
out of his dominions towards Tartaria, Persia, or other places, and also to
retourne vnto Mosco with such wares and merchandises as you shall bring or
send from any land or countrey that is not in his dominions, and if it be
thought good by you and our Agents there to make composition with the
emperor or his officers for some certeine custome or tole vpon such goods
as we shall passe that way, to the intent we might be the better fauored,
we refer it to your discretion, foreseeing that the opening of this matter
be not preiudiciall vnto our former priuileges.

And for the sale of our cloth of gold, plate, pearles, saphyres, and other
iewels, we put our trust and confidence in you principally to sell them for
ready money, time to good debtors, or in barter for good wares, so that you
make our other Agents priuy how and for what price you sell any of the
premisses, and also deliver such sums of money, billes or wares, as you
shall receiue, vnto our said Agents: thinking good further, that if you
perceiue that the plate or other iewels, or any part thereof will not be
sold for profit before your departure from the Mosco, that then you cause
them to be safe-packed, and set order they may be sent hither againe in our
shippes the next yere; except you perceiue that there may be some profit in
carrying some part of them into Persia, which we would not to be of any
great value.

We have also laden in the sayd Swallow and the other two ships 80 fardles,
conteining 400 kersies, as by youre inuoice doth appeare, which fardles be
packed, and appointed to be caried into Persia: neuerthelesse, if you
chance to finde good sales for them in the Mosco, we thinke it were good to
sell part of them there, and to cary the lesse quantity with you, because
we be vncertaine what vent or sale you shall find in Persia or other places
where you shall come.

If you obtaine the Emperours licence to passe out of his dominions, and to
returne, as aforesaid, and that you perceiue you may safely do the same,
our minde is, that at such time as you thinke best and most conuenient for
that purpose, you do apppoint so many, and such of our hired seruants or
apprentices as you thinke necessary and meet for our affaires, and may best
be spared, to go with you in your said voyage, whereof we would one to be
such as you might make priuy of all your doings for diuers considerations
and causes that may happen: which seruants and apprentises, we will and
command, by this our remembrance, to be obedient vnto you as vnto vs, not
onely to goe with you and to doe such things as you command them in your
presence, but also to goe vnto such countreys or places as you shall
appoint them vnto, either with wares or without wares and there to remaine
and continue so long as you shall thinke good, and if they or any of them
will refuse to do such things as you do appoint them, as aforesaid, or that
any of them (be he hired seruant or apprentise) do misuse himselfe by any
maner of disobedience or disorder, and will not by gentle and faire meanes
be reformed, we will that you send him backe to the Mosco, with straight
order that he may be sent from thence hither, aad let vs haue knowledge of
his euill behauior, to the intent that if he be a hired seruant we may pay
him his wages according to his seruice, and if he be an apprentise we may
vse him according to his deserts.

We will also that you take with you such kersies, scarlet, and other
clothes, or any other such wares of ours, as you shall thinke good, and so
in the name of God to take your iourney towards Persia, either by the way
of Astracan and Mare Caspium, or otherwise as you shall see cause: and when
God sendeth you into Persia, our minde is, that you repaire vnto the great
Sophy with the Queenes Maiesties letters, if he be not too farre from the
Caspian sea for you to trauell, and that you make him such a present as you
shall thinke meet, and if you passe by any other kings, princes, or
gouernors, before or after you come to the presence of the Sophy, likewise
to make them some present, as you see cause, according to their estate and
dignitie, and withall to procure letters of priuilege or safeconduct of the
sayd Sophy or other princes in as large and ample maner as you can, for the
sure establishing of further trade in merchandise by vs heereafter to be
made, frequented and continued in those parts, not onely that we may freely
sell in all places within his dominions such wares as we cary thither, but
also buy and bring away any maner of wares or merchandise whatsoeuer it be,
that is for our purpose and commoditie within his dominions, with free
passage also for vs at all times, to passe as often as we will with our
goods and merchandise into any part of India or other countreys thereunto
adioyning, and in like maner to returne thorow his dominions into Russia or

And for the sale of our kersies or other wares that you shall haue with
you, as our trust is that you will doe for our most profit and commoditie:
euen so we referre all vnto your good discretion, as well in the sale of
our sayd goods, as to make our returne in such things as you shall finde
there, and thinke best for our profit. [Sidenote: The passage of Noua
Zembla.] But if passage cannot be had into Persia by Astracan, or
otherwise, the next Summer, which shalbe in the yere 1562, then our minde
is, that you procure to sell our kersies, and other such wares as are
appointed for Persia, in the Mosco, or other the Emperours dominions, if
you may sell them for any reasonable price, and then to employ your selfe
with such other of your seruants, as you shall thinke meet for the search
of the passage by Noua Zembla, or els you to returne for England as you
thinke good. Prouided alwayes, that if you do perceiue or vnderstand, that
passage is like to be had into Persia the Summer folowing, which shalbe in
the yeere 1563, and that you can not sell our kersies in the Emperours
dominions, as aforesayd, at a reasonable price: then we will rather they
may be kept till the said Summer in the yeere 1563, and then you to proceed
forwards vpon your iourney towards Persia as aforesayd. If passage into
Persia cannot be obteined the next yeere, neither good hope of passage in
the yeere 1563, neither yet in the meane time good sale of our kersies in
the Emperours dominions then we thinke good for you to see if you can
practise to carry your said wares by safe conduct thorow Polonia or any
other wayes vnto Constantinople, or els where you thinke beter sale may he
had, then in Russia.

Thus haue we giuen you to vnderstand our meanings in this intended
aduenture; but forasmuch as we do consider and know that if we should
prescribe vnto you any certaine way, or direct order what you should doe,
we might so worke cleane contrary to our purpose and intent: therefore
knowing your approved wisedome with your experience, and also your carefull
and diligent minde in the atchieuing and bringing to good successe (by the
helpe of almighty God) all things that you take in hand, we doe commit our
whole affaires concerning the said aduenture wholly vnto your good
discretion, praying God so to prosper you as may be first for his glory,
secondly for the honour and commoditie of this realme and next for our
profit, with the increase of your good name for euer.

And yet further desiring, and also most earnestly requiring you, as you
tender the state of our company, that you will haue a speciall regard vnto
the order of our houses and our seruants as well at Colmogro and Vologda,
as at Mosco and to see and consider if any misorder be amongst our seruants
or apprentises wherby you thinke we might hereafter be put to hinderance or
losse of any part of our goods or priuilege there, that you doe not onely
see the same reformed, but also to certifie vs thereof by your letter at
large, as our trust is in you.

[Sidenote: Weight and drugs deliuered to M. Ienkinson.] And for the better
knowledge to be had in the prices and goodnes of such things as we do
partly suppose you shall finde in the partes of Russia, we doe heerewith
deliuer you a quantitie of certeine drugges, wherby you may perceiue how to
know the best, and also there are noted the prices of such wares and
drugges as be heere most vendible: also we deliuer you herewith one pound
and one ounce weight in brasse, to the end, that you may therby, and with
the bill of prices of wares, know what things be worth here. As for the
knowledge of silks, we need not to giue you any instructions thereof, other
than you know.

And if you vnderstand that any commoditie in Russia be profitable for vs to
haue with you in Persia or other places, our minde is that our Agents shall
either prouide it for you, or deliuer you money to make prouision your
selfe. [Sidenote: The maine sea within thirtie days of Colmogro.] And
because the Russes say that in traueiling Eastwardes from Colmogro thirty
or forty dayes iourney, there is the maine sea to be found, we think that
Richard Iohnson might imploy his time that way by land, and to be at Mosco
time enough to goe with you into Persia: for if it be true that he may
trauell to the sea that way, and that he may know how many miles it is
towards the East from Colmogro, it will be a great helpe for vs to finde
out the straight and passage that way, if any be there to be had.

William Gerard.
Thomas Lodge.
William Merike.
Blase Sanders.


* * * * *

A compendious and briefe declaration of the iourney of M. Anth. Ienkinson,
from the famous citie of London into the land of Persia, passing in this
same iourney thorow Russia, Moscouia, and Mare Caspium, alias Hircanum,
sent and imployed therein by the right worshipfull Societie of the
Merchants Aduenturers, for discouerie of Lands, Islands, &c. Being begun
the fourteenth day of May, Anno 1561, and in the third yere of the reigne
of the Queenes Maiestie that now is: this present declaration being
directed and written to the foresayd Societie.

First imbarking my selfe in a good shippe of yours, named the Swallow, at
Grauesend, hauing a faire and good winde, our anker then weyed, and
committing all to the protection of our God, hauing in our sailing
diuersitie of windes, and thereby forced to direct and obserue sundry
courses (not here rehearsed, because you haue bene thereof heretofore amply
informed) on the fourteenth day of Iuly, the yere aforesayd I arriued the
bay of S. Nicholas in Russia: and the sixe and twentieth day of the same
moneth, after conference then had with your Agents there, concerning your
worships affaires, I departed from thence, passing thorow the countrey of
Vago, and on the eight day of August then following, I came to Vologda,
which is distant from Colmogro, seuen hundred miles, where I remained foure
dayes, attending the arriual of one of your boats, wherein was laden a
chest of iewels with the present, by your worships appointed for the
Emperors Maiesty: [Sidenote: The Queenes letters to the Emperour of
Russia.] which being arriued, and the chest receiued, I therewith departed
toward the city of Mosco, and came thither the twentieth day of the same
moneth, where I immediately caused my comming to be signified vnto the
Secretary of the Imperiall Maiesty, with the Queenes Highnesse letters
address vnto the same his Maiestie, who informed the Emperour thereof. But
his Highnesse hauing great affaires, and being at that present ready to be
married vnto a Ladie of Chircassi, of the Mahometicall law, commanded that
no stranger, Ambassadour, nor other, should come before him for a time with
further streight charge, that during the space of three dayes that the same
solemne feast was celebratine the gates of the citie should be shut, and
that no person, stranger or natiue (certeine of his houshold reserued)
should come out of their said houses during the said triumph, the cause
thereof vnto this day not being knowen.

The sixt of September following, the Emperour made a great feast, whereunto
were called all Ambassadours and strangers being of reputation, and hauing
affaires: amongst whom I was one, but being willed by the Secretary first
to come, and to shew him the Queenes Maiesties letters, I refused so to
doe, saying I would deliuer the same unto the Emperours owne hands: and not
otherwise: which heard the Secretarie answered, that vnlesse he might first
peruse the sayd letters, I should not come into the Emperors presence, so
that I was not at the feast. Neuerthelesse, I was aduertised by a noble man
that I was inquired for by the Emperours Maiestie, although the cause of my
absence was to his Maiestie vnknowen. The next day following, I caused a
supplication to be made, and presented it to his Highnesse owne hands, and
thereby declared the cause of my comming, signified by the Queenes
Maiesties letters, and the answere of his sayd Secretary, most humbly
beseeching his Grace that he would receiue and accept the same her
Highnesse letters, with such honour and friendship, as his letters sent by
Osep Napea were receiued by the hands of our late Souereigne Lady Queene
Mary, or els that it would please his Highnes to dismisse me, saying that I
would not deliuer the said letters but vnto his owne hands, for that it is
so vsed in our countrey. Thus the matter being pondered, and the effect of
my supplication well digested, I was foorthwith commaunded to come with the
said letters before his Maiestie, and so deliuered the same into his owne
hands (with such presents as by you were appointed) according to my
request, which were gratefully accepted, and the same day I dined in his
Grace's presence, with great entertainment. [Sidenote: Request to passe
into Persia thorow Moscovie] Shortly after, I desired to know whether I
should be licenced to passe thorow his Highnesse dominions into the land of
Persia, according to the Queenes Maiesties request: hereunto it was
answered, that I should not passe thither, for that his Maiestie meant to
send an armie of men that way into the land of Chircassi, whereby my
iourney should be both dangerous and troublesome, and that if I should
perish therein, it would be much to his Graces dishonour, but he doubted
other matters, although they were not expressed. Thus hauing received his
answere, neither to my expectation, nor yet contentation, and there
remaining a good part of the yere, hauing in that time solde the most part
of your kerses and other wares appointed for Persia, when the time of the
yeere required to returne for England, I desired passport, and post horses
for money, which was granted, [Sidenote: Osep Napea, Ambassadour from the
Emperor of Russia to Queen Mary.] but hauing received my passport, ready to
depart, there came unto our house there Osep Napea, who perswaded me that I
should not depart that day, saying that the Emperor was not truely
informed, imputing great fault to the frowardnesse of the Secretary, who
was not my friend: before whom comming againe the next day, and finding the
same Secretary and Osep Napea together, after many allegations and
obiections of things, and perceiuing that I would depart, I was willed to
remaine vntill the Emperours Maiestie were spoken with againe touching my
passage: wherewith I was content, and within three dayes after sending for
me, he declared that the Emperours pleasure was, that I should not onely
passe thorow his dominions into Persia, but also haue his Graces letters of
commendations to forren princes, with certaine his affaires committed to my
charge, too long here to rehearse: [Sidenote: An Ambassador of Persia.]
whereupon I appointed my selfe for the voyage, and the 15 day of March, the
yeere aforesaid, I dined againe in his Maiesties presence in company of an
Ambassadour of Persia and others, and receiuing a cup of drinke at his
Maiesties hands, I tooke my leaue of his Highnesse, who did not only giue
me letters, as aforesayd, but also committed matter of importance and
charge vnto me, to be done when I should arrive in those countreys whither
I intended to go, [Sidenote: Astracan.] and hauing all things in readinesse
for the same voyage, I departed from the city of Mosco the 27 day of April
1561, downe by the great riuer of Volga, in company of the said Ambassadour
of Persia, with whom I had great friendship and conference all the way
downe the same riuer vnto Astracan, where we arriued all in health the 10
day of Iune.

And as touching the situations of the cities, townes, castles and
countreys, aswell of Mahometans as also of Gentils adioyning to the same,
whereby I passed from Mosco vnto Astracan, I omit in this breuiat to
rehearse, for that I heretofore haue declared the same most amply vnto you
in my voyage to Boghar. [Sidenote: M. Ienkinsons voyage to Boghar.] Thus
being arriued at Astracan, as is aforesayd, I repaired vnto the captaine
there, vnto whom I was commended from the Emperours Maiesty, with great
charge that he not only should ayd and succor me with all things needfull
during my abode there, but also to safeconduct me with 50 gunners well
appointed in two stroogs or brigantines into the Caspian sea, vntill I had
passed certaine dangerous places which pirats and rouers accustome to
haunt, and hauing prepared my barke for the sea, the Ambassador of Persia
being before departed in a barke of his owne the 15 day of Iuly, the yeere
aforesayd, I and my company tooke our voyage from the sayd Astracan,
[Sidenote: He passeth the Caspian Sea.] and the next day at a West sunne,
passed the mouth of the said riuer being twenty miles distant, lying next
Southeast. The 18 at a Southwest Sunne, we passed by three Islands being
distant nine miles from the said mouth of Volga, and Southsouthwest from
thence, sailing Southsouthwest the next day, at a West and by North sun we
fel with the land called Challica Ostriua, being foure round Islands
together, distant from the said three Islands forty miles. [Sidenote: The
countrey of Tumen.] From thence sailing the said course the next day, we
had sight of a land called Tuke, in the countrey of Tumen, where pirats and
rouers do vse: for feare of whom we haled off into the sea due East forty
miles, and fell vpon shallowes out of the sight of land, and there were
like to haue perished, escaping most hardly: [Sidenote: The Island of
Chatelet.] then the 22 day we had sight of a goodly Island called Chatalet,
distant from the said Challica Ostriua an hundred miles, the wind being
contrary, and a stiffe gale, we were not able to seize it: but were forced
to come to an anker to the leeward of the same sixe miles off in three or
foure fathom water, being distant from the maine land to the Westward of
vs, which was called Skafcayl or Connyk a countrey of Mahometans, about
miles, and so riding at two ankers a head, hauing no other prouision, we
lost one of them, the storme and sea being growen very sore, and thereby
our barke was so full of leaks, that with continuall pumping we had much
adoe to keepe her aboue water, although we threw much of our goods
ouerboord, with losse of our boat, and our selues thereby in great danger
like to haue perished either in the sea or els vpon the lee shore, where we
should haue fallen into the hands of those wicked infidels, who attended
our shipwracke and surely it was very vnlike that we should haue escaped
both the extremities, but onely by the power and mercy of God, for the
storme continued seuen dayes, to wit, vntill the thirtieth day of the same
moneth: [Sidenote: The Island of Shiruansha.] and then the winde comming vp
at the West with faire weather, our anker weyed, and our saile displayed,
lying South, the next day haling to the shore with a West sunne, we were
nie a land called by the inhabitants Shryuansha, and there we came againe
to an anker, hauing the winde contrary, being distant from the said
Chatalet 150 miles, and there we continued untill the third day of August,
[Sidenote: Derbent.] then hauing a faire winde, winding Southsoutheast, and
sailing threescore miles, the next day at a Southeast sunne we arriued at a
city called Derbent in the king of Hircans dominion, where comming to land,
and saluting the captaine there with a present, he made to me and my
company a dinner, and there taking fresh water I departed.

[Sidenote: A mighty wall.] This city of Derbent is an ancient towne hauing
an olde castle therein, being situated vpon an hill called Castow, builded
all of free stone much after our building, the walles very high and thicke,
and was first erected by king Alexander the great, when he warred against
the Persians and Medians, and then hee made a wall of a woonderfull height
and thicknesse, extending from the same city to the Georgians, yea vnto the
principall city thereof named Tewflish, [Marginal note: Or, Tiphlis.] which
wall though it now be rased, or otherwise decayed, yet the foundation
remaineth, and the wall was made to the intent that the inhabitants of that
countrey then newly conquered by the said Alexander should not lightly
flee, nor his enemies easily inuade. [Sidenote: Fortie one degrees] This
city of Derbent being now vnder the power of the Sophy of Persia, bordereth
vpon the sea, adioyning to the foresaid land of Shalfcall, in the latitude
of 41 degrees. [Sidenote: Shabran.] From thence sailing Southeast and
Southsoutheast about 80 miles, the sixt day of August, the yere aforesaid,
we arriued at our landing place called Shabran, where my barke discharged:
the goods layd on shore, and there being in my tent keeping great watch for
feare of rouers, [Sidenote: Alean Murey the gouernour.] whereof there is
great plenty, being field people, the gouernor of the said countrey named
Alean Murey, comming vnto me, entertained me very gently, vnto whom giuing
a present, he appointed for my safegard forty armed men to watch and ward
me, vntill he might haue newes from the king of Shiruan. The 12 day of the
same moneth newes did come from the king, with order that I should repaire
vnto him with all speed: and for expedition, aswell camels to the number of
fiue and forty to cary my goods, as also horses for me and my company were
in readinesse, so that the goods laden, and taking my iourney from thence
the said twelft day, on the 18 of the same moneth I came to a city called
Shamaky, in the said countrey of Hircan, otherwise called Shiruan, and
there the king hath a faire place, where my lodging being appointed, the
goods were discharged: [Sidenote: King Obdolowcan.] the next day being the
19 day, I was sent for to come to the king, named Obdolowcan, who kept his
court at that time in the high mountaines in tents, distant from the said
Shamaki twentie miles, to auoyd the iniury of the heat: and the 20 day I
came before his presence, who gently interteined me, and hauing kissed his
hands, he bad me to dinner, and commanded me to sit downe not farre from
him. [Sidenote: The maiestie and attire of King Obdolowcan.] This king did
sit in a very rich pauillion, wrought with silke and golde, placed very
pleasantly, vpon a hill side, of sixteene fathom long, and sixe fathom
broad, hauing before him a goodly fountaine of faire water; whereof he and
his nobility did drinke, he being a prince of a meane stature, and of a
fierce countenance, richly apparrelled with long garments of silke, and
cloth of gold, imbrodred with pearles and stone: vpon his head was a
tolipane with a sharpe ende standing vpwards halfe a yard long, of rich
cloth of golde, wrapped about with a piece of India silke of twentie yards
long, wrought with golde, and on the left side of his tolipane stood a
plume of fethers, set in a trunke of golde richly inameled, and set with
precious stones: his earerings had pendants of golde a handfull long, with
two great rubies of great value, set in the ends thereof: all the ground
within his pauilion was couered with rich carpets, and vnder himselfe was
spred a square carpet wrought with siluer and golde, and thereupon was layd
two suitable cushions. Thus the king with his nobility sitting in his
pauilion with his legs acrosse, and perceiuing that it was painfull for me
so to sit, his highnesse caused a stoole to be brought in, and did will me
to sit thereupon, after my fashion. Dinner time then approching, diuers
clothes were spred upon the ground, and sundry dishes serued, and set in a
ranke with diuers kindes of meats, to the number of 140 dishes, as I
numbred them, which being taken away with the table clothes, and others
spred, a banket of fruits of sundry kindes, with other banketting meates,
to the number of 150 dishes, were brought in: so that two seruices occupied
290 dishes, and at the end of the sayd dinner and banket, the king said
vnto me, Quoshe quelde, that is to say, Welcome: and called for a cup of
water to be drawen at a fountaine, and tasting thereof, did deliuer me the
rest, demanding how I did like the same, and whether there were so good in
our countrey or not: vnto whom I answered in such sort, that he was
therewith contented: then he proponed vnto me sundry questions, both
touching religion, and also the state of our countreys, and further
questioned whether the Emperor of Almaine, the Emperor of Russia, or the
great Turke, were of most power, with many other things too long here to
rehearse, to whom I answered as I thought most meet. [Sidenote: The Queenes
letters to Sophy.] Then he demanded whether I intended to goe any further,
and the cause of my comming: vnto that I answered that I was sent with
letters from the Queenes most excellent Maiesty of England into the great
Sophy, to intreat friendship and free passage, and for his safeconduct to
be granted vnto English merchants to trade into his Segniories, with the
like also to be granted to his subiects, when they should come into our
countreys, to the honour and wealth of both realmes, and commodity of both
their subiects, with diuers other words, which I omit to rehearse.
[Sidenote: Casbin.] This sayd king much allowing this declaration sayd,
that he would not onely giue me passage, but also men to safeconduct me
vnto the sayd Sophy, lying from the foresayd citie of Shamaki thirty dayes
iourney, vp into the land of Persia, at a castle called Casbin: so
departing from the king at that time, within three dayes after, being the
foure and twentieth day of August the yere aforesayd, he sent for me
againe: vnto whom I repaired in the morning, [Sidenote: Multitude of
concubines.] and the king not being risen out of his bed (for his maner is,
that watching in the night, and then banketting with his women, being an
hundred and forty in number, he sleepeth most in the day) did giue one
commandement that I should ride on hawking with many Gentlemen of his
Court, and that they should shew me so much game and pastime as might be:
which was done, and many cranes killed. We returned from hawking about
three of the clocke at the afternoone: the king then risen, and ready to
dinner, I was inuited thereunto, and approaching nigh to the entring in of
his tent, and being in his sight, two gentlemen incountered me with two
garments of that countrey fashion, side, downe to the ground, the one of
silke, and the other of silke and golde, sent vnto me from the king, and
after that they caused me to put off my vpper garment, being a gowne of
blacke veluet furred with Sables, they put the sayd two garments vpon my
backe, and so conducted me vnto the king, before whom doing reuerence, and
kissing his hand, he commanded me to sit not farre from him, and so I dined
in his presence, he at the time being very mery, and demanding of me many
questions, and amongst other, how I like the maner of their hawking. Dinner
so ended, I required his highnesse safeconduct for to depart towards the
Sophy, who dismissing me with great fauour, and appointing his Ambassadour
(which returned out of Russia) and others, to safeconduct me, he gaue me at
my departure a faire horse with all furniture, and custome free from thence
with all my goods. So I returned to Shamaki againe, where I remained vntill
the sixt of October, to prouide camels, horses, and other necessaries for
my sayd intended iourney.

[Sidenote: The description of Hircania.] But now before I proceed further,
I purpose to write something of this countrey of Hircan, now called
Shiruan, with the townes and commodities of the same. This countrey of
Hircan in times past was of great renowne, hauing many cities, townes, and
castles in it: and the kings thereof in time of antiquity were of great
power, able to make wars with the Sophies of Persia: but now it is not
onely otherwise (for that the cities, townes, and castles be decayed) but
also the king is subiect to the sayd Sophie (although they haue their
proper king) and be at the commandement of the sayd Sophy, who conquered
them not many yeres passed, [Sidenote: Diversity in religion.] for their
diuersity in religion, and caused not onely all the nobility and gentlemen
of that countrey to be put to death, but also ouer and besides, rased the
walles of the cities, townes, and castles of the said realme, to the intent
that there should be no rebellion, [Sidenote: Barbarous cruelty.] and for
their great terror, caused a turret of free stone and flints to be erected
in the sayd city called Shamaki, and in a ranke of flints of the said
turret, did set the heads of the sayd nobility and gentlemen, then
executed. [Sidenote: The citie of Arrash or Erex.] This city is distant
from the sea side, with camels seuen dayes iourney, but now the same being
much decayed, and chiefly inhabited with Armenians, another city called
Arrash, bordering vpon the Georgians, is the chiefest and most opulent in
the trade of merchandise, and thereabouts is nourished the most abundant
growth of raw silke, and thither the Turks, Syrians, and other strangers do
resort and trafficke. [Sidenote: The commodities of this countrey.] There
be also diuers good and necessary commodities to be prouided and had in
this sayd realme: viz. galles rough and smooth, cotton wooll, allome, and
raw silke of the naturall growth of that countrey: besides, nere all kinde
of spices and drugges, and some other commodities, which are brought
thither from out of East India, but in the lesse quantity, for that they be
not assured to haue vent or vtterance of the same: but the chiefest
commodities be there, raw silks of all sorts, whereof there is great
plenty. [Sidenote: The strong castle of Gullistone defaced.] Not farre from
the sayd city of Shamaki, there was an olde castle called Gullistone, now
beaten downe by this Sophy, which was esteemed to be one of the strongest
castles in the world, and was besieged by Alexander the great, long time
before he could win it. And not farre from the sayd castle was a Nunry of
sumptuous building, wherein was buried a kings daughter, named Ameleck
Channa, who slew herselfe with a knife, for that her father would haue
forced her (she professing chastity) to haue married with a king of
Tartarie: vpon which occasion the maidens of that countrey do resort
thither once euery yere to lament her death.

Also in the sayd countrey there is an high hill called Quiquifs, vpon the
toppe whereof (as it is commonly reported) did dwell a great Giant, named
Arneoste, hauing vpon his head two great hornes, and eares, and eyes like a
Horse, and a taile like a Cow. It is further sayd that this monster kept a
passage thereby, vntill there came an holy man, termed Haucoir Hamshe, a
kinseman to one of the Sophies, who mounted the sayd hill, and combating
with the sayd Giant, did binde not onely him in chaines, but also his woman
called Lamisache with his sonne named After: for which victory they of that
countrey haue this holy man in great reputation, and the hill at this day
(as it is bruited) sauoureth so ill, that no person may come nigh vnto it:
but whether it be true or not, I referre it to further knowledge.

[Sidenote: The towne of Yauate.] Now to returne to the discourse of the
proceeding in my voyage, towards the great Sophie. The 6 of October in the
yeere aforesayd, I with my company departed from Shamachi aforesaid, and
hauing iourneyed threescore miles, came to a towne called Yauate, wherein
the king hath a faire house with orchards and gardens well replenished with
fruits of all sorts. By this towne passeth a great riuer called Cor, which
springeth in the mountaines of the Georgians, and passing thorow the
countrey of Hircania aforesayd, falleth into the Caspian or Hircan sea, at
a place betweene two ancient townes called Shabran and Bachu, situate
within the realme of Hircane, and from thence issueth further, passing
thorow a fruitful countrey, inhabited with pasturing people, which dwell in
the Summer season vpon mountaines, and in Winter they remooue into the
valleyes without resorting to townes or any other habitation: and when they
remooue, they doe iourney in carrauans or troops of people and cattell,
carrying all their wiues, children and baggage vpon bullocks. [Sidenote:
The city of Ardouil] Now passing this wilde people ten dayes iourney,
comming into no towne or house, the sixteenth day of October we arriued at
a citie called Ardouill, where we were lodged in an hospitall builded with
faire stone, and erected by this Sophies father named Ismael, onely for the
succour and lodging of strangers and other trauellers, wherein all men haue
victuals and feeding for man and horse, for three dayes and no longer. This
foresayd late prince Ismael lieth buried in a faire Meskit, with a
sumptuous sepulchre in the same, which he caused to be made in his life
time. This towne Ardouill is in the latitude of eight and thirtie degrees,
an ancient citie in the prouince of Aderraugan, wherein the Princes of
Persia are commonly buried: and there Alexander the great did keepe his
Court when he inuaded the Persians. [Sidenote: The citie Tebris or Tauris]
Foure dayes iourney to the Westward is the citie Tebris in olde time called
Tauris, the greatest citie in Persia, but not of such trade of merchandise
as it hath bene, or as others be at this time, by meane of the great
inuasion of the Turke, who hath conquered from the Sophie almost to the
sayd citie of Tauris, which the said Turke once sacked, and thereby caused
the Sophie to forsake the same, and to keepe his court ten dayes iourney
from thence, at the sayd citie of Casbin.

The 21 day we departed from Ordowil aforesayd, trauelling for the most part
ouer mountaines all in the night season, and resting in the day, being
destitute of wood, and therefore were forced to vse for fewell the dung of
horses and camels, which we bought deare of the pasturing people.
[Sidenote: M. Ienkinsons arriuall at the Sophies court 2. Nouember, 1562.]
Thus passing ten dayes iourney the yere aforesayd, the second day of
Nouember we arriued at the foresaid citie of Casbin, where the saide Sophie
keepeth his court, and were appointed to a lodging not farre from the kings
pallace, and within two dayes after the Sophie commanded a prince called
Shalli Murzy, sonne to Obdolowcan king of Shiruan aforesayd, to send for me
to his house, who asked me in the name of the said Sophy how I did, and
whether I were in health, and after did welcome me, and inuited me to
dinner, whereat I had great enterteinment, and so from thence I returned to
my lodging. The next day after I sent my interpreter vnto the Sophies
Secretarie, declaring that I had letters directed from our most gracious
Souereigne ladie the Queenes most excellent Maiestie of the Realme of
England, vnto the sayd Sophy, and that the cause of my comming was
expressed in the same letters, desiring that at conuenient time I might
come into his Maiesties presence, who aduertising the Sophy thereof,
shortly after answered me that there were great affaires in hand: which
being finished, I should come before his presence, willing me in the meane
time to make ready my present if I had any to deliuer.

[Sidenote: The Turkes Ambassadour to the Sophie.] At this time the great
Turkes Ambassadour arriued foure dayes before my comming, who was sent
thither to conclude a perpetuall peace betwixt the same great Turke and the
Sophie, and brought with him a present in golde, and faire horses with rich
furnitures, and other gifts, esteemed to bee woorth forty thousand pound.
And thereupon a peace was concluded with ioyfull feasts, triumphs and
solemnities, corroborated with strong othes, by their law of Alkaron, for
either to obserue the same, and to liue alwayes after as sworne brethren,
ayding the one the other against all princes that should warre against
them, or either of them. And upon this conclusion the Sophy caused the
great Turkes sonne named Baiset Soltan, a valiant Prince (who being fled
from his father vnto the Sophie, had remained in his Court the space of
foure yeeres) to be put to death. In which time the said Turkes sonne had
caused mortall warres betwixt the sayd princes, and much preuailed therein:
the Turke demanded therefore his sonne to be sent vnto him; and the Sophy
refused thereunto to consent. But now being slaine according to the Turks
will, the Sophy sent him his head for a present, not a little desired, and
acceptable to the vnnaturall father. Discoursing at my first arriuall with
the king of Shiruan of sundry matters, and being interteined as hath bene
before declared, the sayd King named Obdolocan, demaunding whether we of
England had friendship with the Turks or not: I answered, that we neuer had
friendship with them, and that therefore they would not suffer vs to passe
thorow their countrey into the Sophy his dominions, and that there is a
nation named the Venetians, not farre distant from vs, which are in great
league with the sayd Turks, who trade into his dominions with our
commodities, chiefly to barter the same for raw silks, which (as we
vnderstand) come from thence: and that if it would please the said Sophy
and other Princes of that countrey, to suffer our merchants to trade into
those dominions, and to give vs pasport and safe conduct for the same, as
the said Turke hath granted to the sayd Venetians, I doubted not but that
it should grow to such a trade to the profit of them as neuer before had
beene the like, and that they should be both furnished with our
commodities, and also haue vtterance of theirs, although there neuer came
Turke into their land, perswading with many other words for a trade to be
had. This king vnderstanding the matter liked it marueilously, saying, that
he would write vnto the Sophy concerning the same: as he did in very deed,
assuring me that the Sophy would graunt my request, and that at my returne
vnto him he would giue me letters of safe conduct, and priuiledges. The
Turkes Ambassadour was not then come into the land, neither any peace hoped
to be concluded, but great preparation was made for warre, which was like
much to have furthered my purpose, but it chanced otherwise. [Sidenote: The
Turkes merchaunts withstand M. Ienkinson.] For the Turks Ambassadour being
arriued, and the peace concluded, the Turkish merchants there at that time
present, declared to the same Ambassadour, that my comming thither (naming
me by the name of Franke) would in great part destroy their trade, and that
it should be good for him to perswade the Sophy not to fauour me, as his
Highnesse meant to obserue the league and friendship with the great Turke
his master, which request of the Turkish merchants the same Ambassadour
earnestly preferred, and being afterwards dismissed with great honour, he
departed out of the Realme with the Turks sonnes head as aforesayd, and
other presents.

[Sidenote: Shaw Thomas the Sophies name.] The 20 day of Nouember aforesayd,
I was sent for to come before the said Sophy, otherwise called Shaw Thomas,
and about three of the clocke at afternoone I came to the Court, and in
lighting from my horse at the Court gate, before my feet touched the
ground, a paire of the Sophies owne shoes termed in the Persian tongue
Basmackes, such as hee himselfe weareth when he ariseth in the night to
pray (as his maner is) were put vpon my feet, for without the same shoes I
might not be suffred to tread vpon his holy ground, being a Christian, and
called amongst them Gower, that is, vnbeleeuer, and vncleane: esteeming all
to be infidels and Pagans which do not beleeue as they do, in their false
filthie prophets, Mahomet and Murtezalli. At the sayd Court gate the things
that I brought to present his Maiestie with, were deuided by sundry parcels
to sundry seruitors of the Court, to cary before me, for none of my company
or seruants might be suffered to enter into the Court with me, my
interpreter onely excepted. [Sidenote: The Queenes letters deliuered.] Thus
commihg before his Maiestie with such reuerence as I thought meete to be
vsed, I deliuered the Queenes Maiesties letters with my present, which hee
accepting, demaunded of mee of what countrey of Franks I was, and what
affaires I had there to doe: Vnto whom I answered that I was of the famous
Citie of London within the noble Realme of England, and that I was sent
thither from the most excellent and gracious soueraigne Lady Elizabeth
Queene of the saide Realme for to treate of friendship, and free passage of
our Merchants and people, to repaire and traffique within his dominions,
for to bring in our commodities, and to carry away theirs, to the honour of
both princes, the mutuall commoditie of both Realmes, and wealth of the
Subiects, with other wordes here omitted. He then demaunded me in what
language the letters were written, I answered, in the Latine, Italian and
Hebrew: well said he, we haue none within our Realme that vnderstand those
tongues. Whereupon I answered that such a famous and worthy prince (as hee
was) wanted not people of all nations within his large dominions to
interprete the same. [Sidenote: The Sophies questions.] Then he questioned
with me of the state of our Countreys, and of the power of the Emperour of
Almaine, king Philip, and the great Turke, and which of them was of most
power: whom I answered to his contentation, not dispraysing the great
Turke, their late concluded friendship considered. Then he reasoned with
mee much of Religion, demaunding whether I were a Gower, that is to say, an
vnbeleeuer, or a Muselman, that is, of Mahomets lawe. Vnto whom I answered,
that I was neither vnbeleeuer nor Mahometan, but a Christian. What is that,
said he vnto the king of the Georgians sonne, who being a Christian was
fled vnto the said Sophie, and he answered that a Christian was he that
beleeueth in Iesus Christus, affirming him to be the Sonne of God, and the
greatest Prophet. Doest thou beleeue so, said the Sophie vnto me: Yea that
I do, said I: Oh thou vnbeleeuer, said he, we haue no neede to haue
friendship with the vnbeleeuers, and so willed me to depart. I being glad
thereof, did reuerence and went my way, being accompanied with many of his
gentlemen and others, and after me followed a man with a Basinet of sand,
sifting all the way that I had gone within the said pallace, euen from the
said Sophies sight vnto the court gate.

[Sidenote: The curtesie of Shalley Murzey.] Thus I repaired againe vnto my
lodging, and the said night Shally Murzey sonne to the king of Hircan
aforesaid, who fauoured me very much for that I was commended unto him from
his father, willed mee not to doubt of any thing, putting mee in hope that
I should haue good successe with the Sophie, and good intertainment.

Thus I continued for a time, dayly resorting vnto me diuers gentlemen sent
by the Sophie to conferre with me, especially touching the affaires of the
Emperour of Russia, and to know by what way I intended to returne into my
countrey, either by the way that I came, or by the way of Ormus, and so
with the Portingals ships. [Sidenote: Warres intended against the
portingals.] Vnto whom I answered, that I durst not returne by the way of
Ormus, the Portingals and wee not being friendes, fully perceiuing their
meaning: for I was aduertised that the saide Sophie meant to haue warres
with the Portingals, and would haue charged mee that I had bene come for a
spie to passe through his dominions unto the saide Portingals, thinking
them and us to be all one people, and calling all by the name of Franks,
but by the prouidence of God this was preuented.

After this the saide Sophie conferred with his nobilitie and counsel
concerning me, who perswaded that he should not enterteine me wel, neither
dismisse me with letters or gifts, considering that I was a Franke, and of
that nation that was an enemie to the great Turke his brother, perswading
that if he did otherwise, and that the newes thereof should come to the
knowledge of the Turke, it should be a meane to breake their new league and
friendship lately concluded: disswading further because he had no neede,
neither that it was requisite for him to haue friendship with vnbeleeuers,
whose Countreys lay farre from him, and that it was best for him to send me
with my letters vnto the said great Turke for a present, which he was fully
determined to haue done at some meet time, meaning to send his Ambassadour
vnto the said great Turke very shortly after.

[Sidenote: The king of Hircans second letters in Mr Ienkinson's behalfe.]
But the king of Hircanes sonne aforesaide, vnderstanding this deliberation,
sent a man in post vnto his father, for to declare and impart the purpose
vnto him, who as a gracious prince, considering that I had passed through
his dominions, and that I had iourneyed for a good intent, did write to the
Sophie al that which he vnderstood of his said determination, and that it
should not stand with his Maiesties honour to doe mee any harme or
displeasure, but rather to giue mee good entertainment, seeing I was come
into his land of my free will, and not by constraint, and that if hee vsed
me euill, there would few strangers resort into his country, which would
bee greatly vnto his hinderance, with many other perswasions: which after
that the saide Sophie had well and throughly pondered and digested (much
esteeming the same king of Hircane, being one of the valiantest princes
vnder him and his nigh kinseman) changed his determined purpose, and the
twentieth of March 1562. he sent to me a rich garment of cloth of golde,
and so dismissed me without any harme.

[Sidenote: Conference with Indian Merchants.] During the time that I
soiourned at the sayde City of Casbin, diuers merchants out of India came
thither vnto mee, with whom I conferred for a trade of spices: whereunto
they answered that they would bring of all sorts so much as we would haue,
if they were sure of vent, whereof I did promise to assure them, so that I
doubt not but that great abundance thereof may from time to time be there
prouided and had.

[Sidenote: Mr Ienkinsons returne.] The same twentieth day of March I
returned from the saide Citie of Casbin where I remayned all the Winter,
hauing sent away all my Camels before, and the thirtieth day I came to the
saide Citie of Ardouil, and the fifteenth of April vnto Zauat aforesayd,
where king Obdolowcan was at that present, who immediately sent for me, and
demaunding of me many questions, declared that if it had not bene for him,
I had bene vtterly cast away, and sent to the great Turke for a present by
the Sophie, through the euill perswasion of his wicked counsell, that the
Zieties and holy men were the chiefe and principal procurers and moouers
thereof: but the Sophie himselfe ment mee much good at the first, and
thought to haue giuen me good entertainement, and so had done, had not the
peace and league fortuned to haue bene concluded betweene them and the
great Turke. [Sidenote: Priviledges obtained of Obdowlocan, which are
hereafter annexed.] Neuerthelesse, sayd he, the Sophie hath written vnto me
to enterteine you well, and you are welcome into my Countrey, and so he
intreated me very gently, in whose Court I remained seuen dayes, and
obteined of him letters of safe conductes and priuiledges in your names to
bee free from paying custome, which I deliuered vnto your seruants Thomas
Alcocke and George Wrenne, at their departure towards Persia for your
affaires: and his highnesse did giue mee two garments of silke, and so
dismissed me with great fauour, sending with me his Ambassadour againe vnto
the Emperour of Russia, and committed the chiefest secret of his affaires
vnto me, to declare the same vnto the Emperours Maiestie at my returne: and
thus departing the tenth day of April, I came to the City of Shamachi, and
there remayning certeine dayes for prouision of Camels downe to the Sea
side, I sent from thence before men to repaire my Barke, and to make her in
a readinesse. [Sidenote: An Armenian sent to M. Ienkinson from the king of
Georgia] And during my abode in Shammachi, there came vnto me an Armenian
sent from the king of Georgia, who declared the lamentable estate of the
same king, that being enclosed betwixt those two cruell tyrants and mightie
princes, the said great Turke and the Sophie, hee had continuall warres
with them, requiring for the loue of Christ and as I was a Christian, that
I would send him comfort by the said Armenian, and aduise how he might send
his Ambassadour to the sayd Emperour of Russia, and whether I thought that
he would support him or no: and with many other wordes required me to
declare his necessitie vnto the same Emperour at my returne: adding further
that the said king would haue written vnto me his minde, but that hee
doubted the safe passage of his messenger. Vnto whom I did likewise answere
by word of mouth, not onely perswading him to send his Ambassadour to
Russia, not doubting but that hee should finde him most honourable and
inclined to helpe him, [Sidenote: Teneruk king of Chircassi.] but also I
directed him his way how the sayde king might send by the Countrey of
Chircassi, through the fauour of Teneruk king of the said country, whose
daughter the said king had lately married. And thus dismissing the saide
Armenian, within two dayes after I sent Edward Cleark your seruaunt vnto
the Citie of Arrash, where the most store of Silkes is to be had, giuing
him Commission to haue passed further into the saide Countrey of Georgia,
and there to haue repaired vnto the sayde king. And after my commendations
premised, and my minde declared to haue pursued for safeconduct of the same
Prince for our Merchants to trade into his dominions, and that obtained to
haue returned againe with speede. The same your seruaunt iourneying to the
sayd Citie of Arrash, and there finding certaine Merchants Armenians, which
promised to goe to the sayd City of Georgia, comming to the borders
thereof, was perceiued by a Captaine there, that he was a Christian, and
thereupon demaunded whither he went, and vnderstanding that he could not
passe further without great suspition, answered that he came thither to buy
Silkes, and shewed the king of Hircanes letters which he had with him, and
so returned backe againe, and the fifteenth of April came to Shamachi: from
whence I departed the sixteene of the same moneth, and the one and twentie
therof comming to the Sea side, and finding my barke in a readinesse, I
caused your goods to be laden, and there attended a faire winde.

But before I proceede any further to speake of my returne, I intend with
your fauours somewhat to treate of the countrey of Persia, of the great
Sophie, and of his countrey, lawes and religion.

[Sidenote: The description of Persia.] This land of Persia is great and
ample, deuided into many kingdomes and prouinces, as Gillan, Corasan,
Shiruan, and many others hauing diuers Cities, townes and castles in the
same. Euery prouince hath his seuerall King, or Sultan, all in obedience to
the great Sophie. [Sidenote: The chiefe Cities of Persia.] The names of the
chiefest Cities be these: Teueris, Casbin, Keshan, Yesse, Meskit, Heirin,
Ardouill, Shamachi, Arrash with many others. The countrey for the most part
toward the sea side is plaine and full of pasture, but into the land, high,
full of mountaines, and sharpe. To the South it bordereth vpon Arabia and
the East Ocean. To the North vpon the Caspian sea and the lands of
Tartaria. To the East vpon the prouinces of India, and to the West vpon the
confines of Chaldea, Syria, and other the Turkes lands. All within these
dominions be of the Sophies, named Shaw Thamas, sonne to Ismael Sophie.
This Sophie that now raigneth is nothing valiant, although his power be
great, and his people martiall: and through his pusillanimitie the Turke
hath much inuaded his countreys, euen nigh vnto the Citie of Teueris,
wherein hee was wont to keepe his chiefe court. And now hauing forsaken the
same, is chiefly resident at Casbin aforesaide, and alwayes as the said
Turke pursueth him, he not being able to withstand the Turke in the fielde,
trusting rather to the mountaines for his safegard, then to his fortes and
castles, hath caused the same to bee rased within his dominions, and his
ordinance to be molten, to the intent that his enemies pursuing him, they
should not strengthen themselues with the same.

This prince is of the age of fiftie yeeres, and of a reasonable stature,
hauing fiue children. His eldest sonne he keepeth captiue in prison, for
that he feareth him for his valiantnesse and actiuitie: he professeth a
kinde of holynesse, and saith that hee is descended of the Blood of Mahomet
and Murtezalli: [Sidenote: The difference of religion.] and although these
Persians bee Mahometans, as the Turkes and Tartars bee, yet honour they
this false fained Murtezalli, saying that hee was the chiefest disciple
that Mahomet had, cursing and chiding dayly three other disciples that
Mahomet had called Ouear, Vsiran, and Abebeck, and these three did slay the
saide Murtezalli, for which cause and other differences of holy men and
lawes, they haue had and haue with the Turkes and Tartars mortall warres.
To intreat of their religion at large, being more or lesse Mahomets lawe
and Alkaron, I shall not heed at this present. These persons are comely and
of good complexion, proude and of good courage, esteeming themselues to bee
best of all nations, both for their religion and holinesse, which is most
erroneous, and also for all other their fashions. They be martial,
delighting in faire horses and good harnesse, soone angrie, craftie and
hard people. Thus much have I haue thought good to treate of this nation,
and nowe I returne to discourse the proceeding of the rest of my voyage.

[Sidenote: The 30. of May 1563.] My barke being ready at the Caspian sea as
aforesaide, hauing a faire winde, and committing our selues vnto God the
30. day of May 1563. we arriued at Astracan, hauing passed no lesse dangers
vpon the Sea in our returne, then wee sustained in our going foorth, and
remayning at the said Astracan, vntill the tenth day of Iune, one hundred
gunners being there admitted vnto mee for my safegard vp the riuer Volga;
the fifteenth of Iuly I arriued at the Citie of Cazan, where the Captaine
entertained me well, and so dismissing mee, I was conducted from place to
place vnto the Citie of Mosco, where I arriued the twentieth day of August
1563. in safetie, thankes bee to God, with all such goods, merchandizes,
and iewels, as I had prouided as well for the Emperours stocke and accompt,
as also of yours, all which goods I was commaunded to bring into the
Emperours treasurie before it was opened, which I did, and deliuered those
parcels of wares which were for his Maiesties accompt, videlicit, precious
stones, and wrought silkes of sundry colours and sortes, much to his
Highnesse contentation, and the residue belonging to you, viz. Crasko, and
rawe silkes, with other merchandizes, (as by accompt appeareth) were
brought vnto your house, whereof part there remained, and the rest was
laden in your shippes lately returned.

Shortly after my comming to the Mosco, I came before the Emperours
Maiestie, and presented vnto him the apparell giuen vnto me by the Sophie,
whose highnesse conferred with mee touching the princes affaires which he
had committed to my charge: and my proceedings therein it pleased him so to
accept, that they were much to his contentation, saying vnto mee, I haue
perceiued your good seruice, for the which I doe thanke you, and will
recompence you for the same, wishing that I would trauell againe in such
his other affaires, wherein hee was minded to employ mee: to whom I
answered, that it was to my heartie reioycing that my seruice was so
acceptable vnto his highnesse, acknowledging all that I had done to bee but
of duetie, humbly beseeching his grace to continue his goodnesse vnto your
worships, and euen at that instant I humbly requested his Maiestie to
vouchsafe to graunt vnto you a new priuiledge more ample then the first,
which imntediately was graunted, and so I departed. [Sidenote: New
privileges obtained hereafter following.] And afterwards having penned a
briefe note howe I meant to haue the same priuiledges made, I repaired
dayly to the Secretary for the perfecting of the same, and obtained it
vnder his Maiesties broade seale, which at my departure from thence, I
deliuered vnto the custody of Thomas Glouer your Agent there. The copy
whereof, and also of the other priuiledges graunted and giuen by the king
of Hircan, I haue already deliuered vnto you. Soiourning all that winter at
Mosco, and in the meane time hauing bargained with the Emperours Maiestie,
I sent away your seruant Edward Clarke hither ouerland with aduise, and
also made preparation for sending againe into Persia in meete time of the
yeere. [Sidenote: 28 Septemb. 1564.] And committing the charge thereof vnto
your seruants Thomas Alcocke, George Wrenne, and Richard Cheinie, the 28.
of Iune last, I departed in poste from the said Mosco, and comming to
Colmogro and so downe to the Sea Side, I found your ships laden and ready
to depart, where I embarked my selfe in your good ship called the Swallow,
the 9. of Iuly, one thousand fiue hundred sixtie foure, and hauing passed
the Seas with great and extreme dangers of losse of shippe, goods and life,
the 28. of September last (God be praised) we arriued here at London in

Thus knowing that the couragious and valiant souldier, which aduentureth
both fame, member and life, to serue faithfully his soueraigne, esteemeth
not the perils and dangers passed (the victorie once obtained) neither for
his guerdon desireth any thing more, then that his seruice bee well taken
of him for whom he enterprised it: So I perceiuing your fauourable
beneuolence to me extended in accepting my trauels in good part to your
contentations, do thinke my selfe therewith in great part recompensed:
beseeching Almightie God so to prosper your aduentures, from time to time
hereafter to be made for reaping the fruits of my trauels (at your great
charges, and to my no small dangers) that ye may plentifully gather in and
enioy the same, to the illustrating of the Queenes most excellent Maiestie,
the honour and commoditie of this her highnesse Realme, and to the ample
benefit and abundant enriching of you and your succession, and posteritie
for euer.

* * * * *

A copie of the priviledges giuen by Obdolowcan King of Hircania, to the
company of English merchants Aduenturers for Russia, Persia, and Mare
Caspium, with all the lands and countreys adioyning to the same, obtained
by M. Anthonie Ienkinson at his being there about the affaires of the
said company, April 14. Anno 1563.

We Obdolowcan by the mightie power of God maker of heauen and of earth,
appointed and now raigning king of Shiruan and Hircan, of our meere motion
and great goodnes, at the earnest sute and request of our fauoured and
welbeloued Anthonie Ienkinson Ambassadour, haue giuen and graunted vnto the
right worshipfull Sir William Garret, sir William Chester, sir Thomas
Lodge, M. Richard Mallarie, and M. Richard Chamberlaine, with all their
company of merchants Aduenturers of the Citie of London in England, free
libertie, safe conduct, and licence to come or sende their factors in trade
of merchandize into our countreys, and to buy and sell with our merchants
and others, either for ready money or barter, and to tary and abide in our
countrey, so long as they will, and to goe away when they list, without
impediment, let, or hinderance, either of body or goods.

And further our commaundement and pleasure is, that the said English
merchants with their company, shall pay no maner of custome for wares,
which they or their factors shal buy or sel within our dominions. And if at
any time our customers or other officers, or any of them, doe disturbe,
misuse, force or constraine the said English merchants or any of them, or
their factors, to pay any maner of custome or duetie for any wares they
bring in or cary out of our dominions contrary to this our commandement,
and the same be knowen vnto vs, then we will that the saide customers and
officers shall loose and be put out of their said offices, with our further
displeasure, and the saide English merchants to haue restored all such
money and wares as our customers haue taken of them for our said custome.
And whensoeuer the saide English merchants or their factors shall bring any
maner of wares meete for our treasurie, then our treasurer shall take the
said wares into our treasurie, and shall giue vnto the said English
merchants, either ready money or raw silkes, to the value of their saide
wares. And wheresoeuer this our letter of priuiledges shall bee seene and
read within our dominion, we straightly wil and command that it take
effect, and be obeyed in al points.

Dated at our place of Iauat, the day and yere aboue written, and sealed
with our princely seale, and firmed by our Secretarie in the 12. yere of
our raigne.

* * * * *

The second voiage into Persia made by Tho. Alcock, who was slaine there,
and by George Wrenne, and Ric. Cheinie seruants to the worshipfull
companie of Moscouie merchants in Anno 1563. written by the said Richard

It may please your worships to vnderstand, that in the yere 1563. I was
appointed by M. Antho. Ienkinson, and M. Thomas Glouer your Agent in
Russia, to goe for Persia in your worships affaires, one Thomas Alcock
hauing the charge of the voyage committed to him, and I one of your
worships seruants being ioyned with him in your busines, hauing with vs, as
they said 1500. rubbles. [Sidenote: A rubble is a marke English.] And if it
shall please you I cannot tell certainly what summe of money we had then of
the Emperors: for I received none, nor disbursed any of it in wares for the
voyage. Also, God I take to record, I could not tell what stocke your
worships had there, for the bookes were kept so priuily that a man could
neuer see them. The 10. of May anno 1563, we departed from a towne called
Yeraslaue vpon our voyage toward Persia. The 24. of Iuly we arriued at
Astracan: and the second of August wee departed from Astracan, and the 4.
of the same moneth we came to the Caspian sea, and the 11. day of the said
moneth we arriued at our port in Media: and the 21. of the said August wee
arriued at Shammaki, whereas the king Obdolocan lay in the fielde. We were
wel entertained of heathen people, for the thirde day after our arriuall at
Shammaki we were called before the king: we gaue him a present, and he
entertained vs very well.

At our comming to the Court wee were commaunded to come before the king,
who sate in his tent vpon the ground with his legs a crosse, and all his
dukes round about his tent, the ground being couered with carpets: wee were
commaunded to sit downe, the King appointing euery man his place to sit.
And the king commaunded the Emperour of Russelands Merchants to rise vp,
and to giue vs the vpper hande. [Sidenote: Casbin.] The 20. of October
Thomas Alcock departed from Shammaki towards Casbin, leauing mee at
Shammaki to recouer such debts as the dukes of Shammaki ought for wares
which thay tooke of him at his going to Casbin. In the time I lay there I
could recouer but little. [Sidenote: Leuuacta.] And at Thomas Alcocks
comming from Casbin, who arriued at a towne called Leuuacta, whereas the
king Obdolocan lay, a day and a halfes iourney from the towne whereas I
lay, I hearing of his arriuing there, departed from Shammaki, finding him
there in safetie with all such goods as he had with him. During his abode
there for seuen dayes he made suite to the king for such money as the dukes
ought him. But the king was displeased for that the Emperour of Russelands
merchants had slaine a Boserman at his going to Casbin. [Sidenote: A
Boserman is a Renegado.] Thomas Alcocke seeing the King would shewe vs no
fauour, and also hearing from Shammaki, that the Russes sent their goods to
the sea side, for that they feared that the king of Persia should haue
knowledge of the death of the Boserman, willed mee to depart to Shammaki
with all such goods as he had brought with him from Casbin, I leauing him
at the Court.

[Sidenote: Thomas Alcocke slaine in the way betweene Leuuacta and
Shammaki.] The thirde day after mine arriuall at Shammaki, I had newes that
Thomas Alcocke was slaine comming on his way towards me. Then the king
Obdolocan vnderstanding of his death, demaunded whether he had euer a
brother. Some said I was, some saide I was not his brother. When this fell
out, your worships had no other seruant there but mee among those heathen
people. Who hauing such a summe of goods lying vnder my handes, and seeing
howe the Russes sent their goods with as much hast as they might to the sea
side, and hauing but foure men to sende our wares to the sea side, I vsed
such diligence, that within two dayes after Thomas Alcocke was slaine, I
sent in company with the Russes goods, all your worships goods with a
Mariner, William August, and a Swethen, for that they might the safer
arriue at the seaside, being safely layd in. All which goods afterwards
arriued in Russeland in good condition, Master Glouer hauing the receipt of
all things which I sent then out of those parties into Russeland.
[Sidenote: Keselbash, or Ieselbash.] Concerning my selfe, I remained after
I had sent the goods into Russeland sixe weekes in Shammaki, for the
recouery of such debts as were owing, and at last with much trouble
recouered to the summe of fiftene hundreth rubbles or there about, which M.
Glouer receiued of me at my comming to Mosco, and all such goods as I
brought with me out of Keselbash, as by a note of my hand that hee hath
shall appeare. Also he hauing the receipt of all such goods as I sent into
Russeland by these two aboue named, he then had that voyage in venter of
his owne better then an hundreth rubbles, one Richard Iohnson twentie
rubles, one Thomas Pette fiftie rubles, one Euan Chermisin a Tartar
seuentie rubles. All these had their returne: M. Glouer allowed himselfe
God knoweth howe, I then being in Persia in your worships affaires.

And whereas he saith, the Emperour had but for his part a dobble, as farre
as I can see, knowing what the wares cost in those partes, hee had treble.
If they gaue him so much wares, all charges turned to your worships, as
well of the Emperours as of their owne returnes. I haue sowen the seede,
and other men haue gathered the haruest: I haue trauailed both by lande and
by water full many a time with a sorrowfull heart, aswell for the safegarde
of their goods as yours, how to frame all things to the best, and they haue
reaped the fruites of my trauaile. But euer my prayer was to God, to
deliuer mee out of those miseries which I suffered for your seruice among
those heathen people. Therefore knowing my duetie which I haue done, as a
true seruant ought to do, I beseech your worships (although I haue but
small recompence for my seruice,) yet let me haue no wrong, and God will
prosper you the better.

Also, to informe your worships of your Persian voyage what I iudge: it is a
voyage to bee followed. [Sidenote: Gillan in Persia.] The king of Gillan,
whereas yet you haue had no traffique, liueth al by marchandise: and it is
neere Casbin, and not past six weekes trauaile from Ormus, whither all the
spices be brought: and here, (I meane at Gillan) a trade may be
established: But your worships must send such men as are no riotous liuers,
nor drunkards. For if such men goe, it wil be to your dishonour and great
hinderance, as appeared by experience the yeere 1565. when as Richard
Iohnson went to Persia, whose iourney had bene better stayed then set
forward. For whereas before wee had the name among those heathen people to
be such marchants as they thought none like in all respects, his vicious
liuing there hath made vs to be compted worse then the Russes.

Againe, if such men trauaile in your affaires in such a voyage, you shall
neuer know what gaine is to be gotten. For how can such men imploy
themselues to seeke the trade, that are inclined to such vices? or howe can
God prosper them in your affaires? But when a trade is established by wise
and discreet men, then wil it be for your worships to traffique there, and
not before: for a voiage or market made euil at the first, is the occasion
that your worships shal neuer vnderstand what gaine is to be gotten thereby

* * * * *

The thirde voyage into Persia, begun in the yeere 1565. by Richard Iohnson,
Alexander Kitchin, and Arthur Edwards.

A letter of Arthur Edwards to M. Thomas Nicols, Secretarie to the
worshipful company trading into Russia and other the North parts,
concerning the preparation of their voyage into Persia.

Master Nicols, my bounden duetie remembred, with desire of God for the
preseruation of you and yours: you shall vnderstand that the second of
March I was sent by M. Thomas Glouer (your Agent) vnto Ieraslaue,
[Sidenote: Ieraslaue a towne vpon the riuer of Volga.] appointed to receiue
such goods as should come from Vologhda, as also such kinde of wares as
should be bought and sent from Mosco by your Agent, and M. Edward Clarke,
thought meete for your voyage of Persia. And further, I was to prouide for
biscuit, beere, and beefe, and other victuals, and things otherwayes
needful according to aduise. [Sidenote: Richard Iohnson chiefe of the third
voyage into Persia.] Thus I remained here vntil the comming of your Agent,
which was the 12. of May, who taried here three dayes, to see vs set
forwards on our voyage, and then he departed towards Colmogro, hauing
appointed (as chiefe for your voyage of Persia) Richard Iohnson. For my
part I am willing, as also haue bene and shalbe content to submit my selfe
vnder him, whom the Agent shall appoint, although he were such a one as you
should thinke in some respects vnmeete. Thirtie two packes of carseis are
all of that kinde of cloth that we shall haue with vs. The other 18. packs
that should haue gone, were sold in Mosco. What other goods are shipped for
our voyage, you shall vnderstand by your Agents letters. Whereas Edward
Clarke (being an honest man) was appointed Agent for Persia, as one for
those parts more fit then any I do know here, God hath taken him vnto his
mercie, who departed this present life the 16. of March last past. I wished
for God for my part he had liued: for my desire was in his company to haue
traueiled into Persia. [Sidenote: A barke of 30. tunnes made at Ieraslaue
1564. to passe the Caspian seas.] Your barke or craer made here for the
riuer of Volga and the Caspian sea is very litle, of the burthen of 30.
tunnes at the most. It is handsomly made after the English fashion: but I
thinke it too litle for your goods and prouision of victuals. If the
worshipful company would send hither a Shipwright, being skilfull to make
one of the burden of 60. tunnes or more, drawing but sixe foote water at
the most when it is laden, I thinke it should be profitable. For if your
owne goods would not lade the same, here be Marchants that would bee glad
and faine to giue great fraight to lade their goods with vs, whereby your
charges would be much lessened: And so it may happen, the wages of your men
hired here may be saued, and your seruants and goods in farre greater
assurance: for their boates here are dangerous to saile with and to passe
the Caspian sea. There be Carpenters here that will doe well ynough hauing
one to instruct them. Your wares bought here, and orders taken for those
that goe for your voyage of Persia are yet vnknowen vnto me: wherefore I
cannot (as I would at this present) write to you thereof. Yet, (as you do
know) it was the Gouernors mind I should be acquainted with greater
affaires then these. Howbeit I doubt not but I shall be informed of them
that are appointed, and all things shall be bought when they shall see time
and haue more laisure. Thus in hast (as appeareth) I commit you and yours
into the hands of almightie God; who preserue you in perfect health with
increase of worship.

From Ieraslaue the 15. of May 1565.

By yours to command here or elsewhere during life. Arthur Edwards.

* * * * *

Another letter of the said M. Arthur Edwards, written the 26. of, April
1566. in Shamaki in Media, to the right worshipful Sir Thomas Lodge
Knight and Alderman: and in his absence to M. Thomas Nicols, Secretarie
to the right worshipfull companie trading into Russia, Persia, and other
the North and East partes, touching the successe of Richard Iohnson in
the third voiage into Persia.

Worshipfull Sir, my bounden duetie remembred, with heartie prayer vnto God
for the preseruation of you and yours in perfect health with increase of
worship. It may please you that my last letter I sent you was from Astracan
the 26 of Iuly 1565. [Sidenote: They departed from Astracan the 30. of Iuly
1565.] From whence Richard Iohnson, my selfe, and Alexander Kitchin,
departed as the 30 of the same. And by meanes of contrary windes, it was
the 23 of August before we came to our desired port named Nazauoe. There,
after we had gotten your goods on land, with much labour and strength of
men, as also windlesses deuised and made, we haled your barke ouer a barre
of beach or peeble stones into a small Riuer, sending your ships apparell
with other things to an house hired in a village thereby. And as soone as
we might get camels, being the fift of September we departed thence, and
came to this towne of Shamaki the 11. of the same: [Sidenote: Presents to
the King Obdolowcan.] and the 17. day following, we presented vnto
Abdollocan the king of this countrey, one timber of Sables, one tunne or
nest of siluer cups parsill gilt, three Morses teeth, 4. Arshines of
scarlet, 3. pieces of karseis, with 40. red foxes.

He receiued our presents with giuing vs thanks for our good wils, demanding
if M. Ienkinson were in good-health, and whether he would returne into
these parts againe. He willed vs also himselfe to sit downe before him the
distance of a quoits cast from his tent, where he sate with diuers of his
counsaile and nobilitie, sending vs from his table such meate as was before
him: [Sidenote: A house giuen our men in Shamaki by the king.] And after
certaine talke had with vs, he sayd, if he might perceiue or know any maner
of person to doe vs any wrong, he would punish them in example of others,
whereby we should liue in quietnesse, and haue no cause to complaine,
giuing vs a little house for the time, vntill a better might be prouided in
such place as we should thinke most meete, neuer willing vs to rise or
depart, vntill such time as we of our selues thought it conuenient. At the
taking of our leaue, hee willed vs to put our whole minds and requests in
writing, that he might further vnderstand our desires. [Sidenote: The death
of Abdollocan the 2. of October 1565.] But while we were about to doe so,
God tooke this good king our friend out of this present life the 2. of
October past. The want of him hath bene the cause that as yet wee cannot
receiue certaine debts. Howbeit, we doubt not but we shall recouer all such
summes of money as are owing vs for this voyage. As for Thomas Alcocks
debts they are past hope of recouerie, which had not bene lost if the king
had liued. [Sidenote: Mursay the new king of Media.] We trust in the place
of him, God will send as friendly a king towards vs, which [Transcriber's
note: 'towardswvsoh :' in original.] by report (and as we be credibly
informed,) shall bee his sonne named the Mursay: who since the death of his
father, at our being with him, promised to shew vs more friendship then
ever we found. God grant the same.

Great troubles haue chanced in these parts. Of those which were of the old
kings counsell or bare any rule about him in these quarters, some are in
prison, some are pinched by the purse, and other sent for vnto the Shaugh.
These troubles haue partly bene the let that wares were not sold as they
might, to more profite. [Sidenote: The death of Alexander Kitchin the 23.
of October 1565.] Your Agent Richard Iohnson bought foure horses, minding
to haue sent to Casbin Alexander Kitchin, whom God tooke to his mercy the
23. of October last: and before him departed Richard Dauis one of your
Mariners, whose soules I trust the Lord hath receiued to his mercy. We are
now destitute of others to supply their roumes. Foure Mariners were few
enough to saile your barke, whereof at this present we haue but one, whose
name is William Smith, an honest yong man, and one that doeth good seruice
here. For want and lacke of Mariners that should know their labours, we all
were like to be cast away in a storme. For all the broad side of our barke
lay in the water, and we had much adoe to recouer it, but God of his mercy
deliuered vs. Mariners here may doe you good seruice all the winter
otherwayes: and merchants here will be gladder to ship their goods in vs
giuing good fraight. One merchant at this present is content to pay 20.
rubbles for twentie camels lading fraight to Astracan. [Sidenote: The
Caspian sea very shoald in diuers places.] Such barkes as must passe these
seas, may not draw aboue fiue foote of water, because that in many places
are very shallow waters. Wee mind hereafter to make the Russian boates more
strong, and they shall serue our turnes very well.

And whereas some in time past tooke great paines, trauell and care, and
could not haue their desire in the getting of the Shaughs letters or
priuiledge: Now, I trust (with Gods helpe) they may be obtained: which
being had, will be beneficiall to the company, and great quietnes to those
that shal remaine here, although heretofore things haue chanced ill, as the
like in other countries hath bene. But I doubt not, this priuiledge once
gotten and obtained, we shall liue in quietnesse and rest, and shall
shortly grow into a great trade for silkes both raw and wrought, with all
kind of spices and drugs, and other commodities here, as to M. Anthonie
Ienkinson is well knowen, who (I doubt not) hath long agoe throughly
aduertised the Companie thereof.

[Sidenote: The murthering of Thomas Alcock.] The trueth of the slaughter of
Thomas Alcock your seruant, is not certainly knowen. Some thinke it was by
the meanes of a noble man, with whom your sayd seruant was earnest in
demanding of your debts: vpon whose words he was so offended, that he
procured his death. But other doe thinke verily, that in riding from the
Court without companie, false knaues lay in waite, thinking he had much
about him, and so slew him. I doubt not though this misfortune hath
chanced, that things shall come well to passe, and that we shall be better
beloued when we shall be more knowen.

Honest merchants are glad of our being here, and seeke to grow in
acquaintance with vs, being glad to further vs in that they may, and haue
spoken in our fauours to the chiefest of this Countrey: one being a noble
man, with whom your Agent and I are entred into friendship, who is at this
time in great fauour with the Shaugh. [Sidenote: Cozamomet a noble man that
fauoured our nation.] He hath here and in other places of these parts set a
good stay in things since the kings death: he is well knowen to M.
Ienkinson, his name is Cozamomet. Also another Duke named Ameddin-beck is
our great friend. And his sister is the Shaughes wife. These two haue
promised your Agent by their lawe, not onely to procure to get the Shaughes
priuiledge but also that I shall haue the debts paied me of those that went
from hence to Casbin, if we would send one with them. In consideration
whereof, I was vpon short warning (for want of a better) appointed by your
agent, M. Richard Iohnson, all excuses laied apart, presently to put my
selfe in readinesse, and to depart in company with these noblemen: with
charge, when God should send me to Casbin, to vse my discretion with their
aduise, for the recouering of your debts and priuiledge. I shall haue with
mee one interpreter and two bought seruants: one of which partly
vnderstandeth this tongue, and may be put in trust whatsoeuer should become
of me. [Sidenote: The value of a tumen.] I, haue receuied 6. tumens in
ready money, 200. shaughs is a tumen, reckoning euery shaugh for sixe pence
Russe. I haue further receiued two timbers of Sables, one to be sold, the
other to bee giuen to Thomas the Shaugh: and haue order further to giue as
I shall see good to those that shall further my suite, and as occasion
serueth. And forasmuch as I am commanded to go, I shall willingly do my
best, putting my trust in God that he will send me well to speed in this

For all kind of wares bought or sold, you shal throughly be aduertised by
your Agent Richard Iohnson, whose reckonings or accompts at no hands I
might see or be priuie vnto. Your karseis were good and well sorted, they
are and will be sold from 150. shaughs, to 160. the piece. Two hundred
pieces were sold vnder, that needed not: one 100. pieces at 146. and 147.
the piece but more would haue bene giuen, if circumspection had bene vsed.
They were sold to those noble men aforesayd, which as yet it was not knowen
that I should haue gone with them. They may stand vs much in stead, as they
haue promised vs their good wils in that they may doe. [Sidenote: What a
batman is.] Here is at this time bought for England 11. packes of rawe
silke, 25. and 26. batmans being in euery packe: The batman being 7. pound,
which may be 6. pound and a halfe of English waight, being bought here from
66. to 70. shaughes the batman. It is fine and good, litle course at this
time was to be had. And where course silke might be had being at Grosin, we
could not send thither: for that time was neglected at the first. When wee
shall haue lidgers here to remaine in Sommer, we may buy it at the first
hand of the countrey people that bring it to sell hither, and to other
places. I would to God the Companie could find the meanes to haue a vent to
make sales for the one halfe that we may buy here. The Companie may haue
for 30. or 40. thousand pounds yeerely. [Sidenote: Varas a great mart for
silke.] And as appeareth by your Agents wordes being at Varas, he and
others sawe there so great abundance, that by report of diuers, you may
bestow (if it were not for the Turkes) for a two hundred thousand pounds:
besides silke of all colours died in graine, bound vp in pound waights, I
thinke 15. of our ounces to their pound waight, and here sold for 23.
shaughs, at 6. d. the shaugh, may be 11. s. 6. pence.

[Sidenote: Gilan 7. dayes sailing from Astracan.] From Astracan in 7. or 8.
dayes, wee may saile with our barke to a place named Gilan: the which place
in time to come, (I thinke) shall serue our purpose best to goe vnto. Alom
is there good cheape, being brought from thence hither to Shamaki, and sold
here for two bists their batman, which may be 5. pence in our money: and so
I haue bought to bee sent home 223. batmans for example. And at Gilan there
is rawe silke enough for the companies stocke. [Sidenote: Gilan 4. dayes
iourney from Casbin.] I beleeue, if any great store of wares be sent from
you, that must be the place: and from thence a man may trauell in 4. dayes
to Casbin, and there make quicke and better sales, at which place your
commodities are to be sold. For there be the chiefe and best merchants, and
diuers other cities round about, to wit, Teueris, Ardouil, and Caishan,
being the heart of the countrey, where there is more ciuilitie and
merchants are better vsed. Concerning this point I haue inquired of diuers
merchants both Russes and others that haue bene in those parts and found
them all agreeing in one tale, and perceiue the same to be true, and that
all kind of wares come from thence into these parts. [Sidenote: From Casbin
to Ormus a moneths trauel with camels.] And from Casbin to Ormus is about
30. daies trauelling with camels. I haue written the prices of wares in my
letter to the gouernour both for spices and some drugs which I do know.

Also you shall vnderstand here is plentie of yew for bowstaues. I caused
three horse loades to be bought vs for to know the trueth: but they were
cut out of season this moneth of April, the sap being in them. Three
moneths I neuer left speaking to the Countrey men to bring some. Your Agent
will send some home for example.

This day being the 26. of Aprill I departed towards Casbin: God giue me a
good houre and well to speed, with a mery heart in returning againe, as my
hope is I shall. I haue written my mind to M. Glouer your Agent, what
Russian wares I thinke best to be brought for this Countrey, and to send
some one hither that hath the Russe tongue, for we haue need. [Sidenote:
The secret doings of the Moscouie company.] And the companie shall do well
hereafter in taking of seruants to be sent hither, to see that they be such
as haue discretion, and be something broken in the world, and seene in the
trade of merchandise, and one (if they can get some such) as can speake the
Portingall tongue, may do them as good seruice, as those that shall be here
two yeeres before him: for then we may buy a slaue that can speake this
language and the Portingal tongue also, which shall then interprete vnto vs
in all your secret doings, not making the Russes priuy: for they are sory
that we doe trade into these partes for we are better beloued then they
are: because they are giuen to be drunkards, they are much hated of these
people. It is to be wished that none should serue your worships in these
parts that be giuen to that kind of vice: And that your chiefe Agent and
Factor should be able to rule and gouerne himselfe, that no dishonestie
should be imputed to him and vs. By his euill vsage he paied here 24
rubbles, being in this Countrey 4. tumens for a boy, that he was charged to
haue conueied away from a Tesicke one of this countrey men, who willed him
to sweare that he knew not where the boy was become, and he should not pay
it. If he were honest he might do your worships good seruice because of his
Russian tongue.

Your London reds are not to be sent hither, for they will not giue aboue
18. shaughes their arshine. [Sidenote: Orient reds of Venice die.] Here be
reds of more orient colour, being Venice die. The people are giuen much to
weare cloth: the common peoples pecially weare karseis, and the merchants
of more wealth weare broad cloth. You shall doe well to send fiue or sixe
broad clothes, some blackes, pukes, or other sad colours, that maybe
affoorded at 20. shaughes the arshine, and not aboue. It is here reported
that King Philip hath giuen the Turkes a great ouerthrow at Malta, and
taken 70. or 80. of his chiefe captains.

Thus wishing I had more time to write, I pray you to beare with this my
scribled letter, and after you haue red it, that M. Nicols may haue a sight

By your seruant to command,

Arthur Edwards.

* * * * *

Commodities to be caried out of England into Persia, with their prizes

1 Karseis are sold there for 180. Shaughes: [Sidenote: A shaugh is 6d.
English.] so that a karsey is sold there in Persia for foure pound ten
shillings: for euery shaugh is sixe pence English, and euery Bist is two
pence halfepeny English, and in Russe money three pence.
2 Tinne is sold in Persia for 14. and 18. shaughes the batman. The batman
containing as I haue mentioned before.
3 Brasil is at 10. and 12. shaughes the batman.
4 Red cloth fine, at 25. and 30. shaughes the yard.
5 Copper at 20. and 25. shaughes the batman.

Commodities to be brought out of Persia for England.

1 Raw silke at 60 shaughs the batman.
2 Pepper at 32. shaughs the batman,
3 Ginger at 18. and 20. shaughs the batman.
4 Nutmegs at 30. shaughs the batman.
5 Brimstone at 4. shaughs the great batman.

The great batman is 12. li. English.

6 Allom at 2. bists and a halfe the batman and lesse.
7 Rice at halfe a bist the batman.
8 Gals at halfe a bist the batman,
9 Cloues at 40. shaughs the batman
10 Yew for bow staues, at [Transcriber's note: blank in original.]

* * * * *

A letter of M. Arthur Edwards, written the 8. of August 1566. from the
towne of Shamaki in Media, to the right worshipfull the Gouernours,
Consuls, Assistants and generalitie of the Companie of Russia, &c.
Shewing his accesse vnto the Emperour of Persia, his conference with him,
his obtaining of a priuiledge, with diuers other good obseruations.

Right worshipfull Sirs, my bounden dutie remembered, with most humble
commendations and like request to God for the preseruation of your good
healths, with the rest of the companie, &c. [Sidenote: His arrival at
Casbin the 25. of May.] It may please you to vnderstand, that the last
letter which I sent you from hence was of the 26. of April of this present
yeere by Richard Iohnson at my departure towards Casbin: to which citie I
came the 25. of May folowing, not slacking any day, houre, nor moment, to
procure and make friends for the speedie bringing me before the presence of
the Shaugh, being the 29. day of the same moneth brought before him, with,
whose maiestie I was in talke (as 1 thinke) two houres. He willed me twise
to come neerer him, demanding what were my requests: and hauing heard them,
he promised me his gracious letters. [Sidenote: Conference and demands of
the Shaugh.] Afterwards he called me twise againe to come neerer him, and
talked with me of our Queenes maiestie and Countrey, and what commodities
we had, and what other commodities we desired: and then of other countries
adioining to vs and their commodities, as also of king Philip, what
ouerthrow he gaue the Turks at the siege of Malta. And how long we had
traded into Russeland and Moscouia, and in what space we might saile out of
England into Russeland, and how many weekes trauell it is from Comolgro to
Astracan: and then came to discourse of Russeland, and what townes the
Emperour had wonne, declaring vnto me himselfe most of our commodities.
[Sidenote: All sorts of cloth to be spent, specially Westerne dozens died
into scarlet.] In the end he willed that your worships should send him of
all sorts of clothes, but of one especially which maidens do make (as he
sayd:) He named it Karengi, I thinke it is Westerne dozens died into
scarlets. Time will not permit mee to write at large the conference which I
had with his maiesty. It was strange to his people (knowing our religion)
to see me so long in talke with him, willing his Secretarie before mee to
write what he was desirous of: to wit, of London clothes, three or foure of
all sorts for example, being well shorne and drest. Violets in graine and
fine reds be most worne, but other good colours will away, when they shall
see them. I wore a garment of London russet, being much esteemed. You shall
doe well lo send such sorts as be liuely to the sight, and some blacks for
womens garments, with some Orenge colours and tawneis. Here is much broad
cloth worne. [Sidenote: London clothes much talked of in Persia.] They
talke much of London clothes, and they that know the wearing, are desirous
of them before the cloth of the womens making, for they find it nothing
durable. For when it commeth to weare on the threed, it renteth like paper.
[Sidenote: Much Venice clothe worn in Persia.] Here is much Venice cloth
worne, being cromplisted a yard and a halfe broad, and sold here from 24.
to 30. shaughes their arshine, being longer by two inches then the Russe
arshine is; I wish also that you send some good chamlets and veluets died
in graine, with purple colours and fine reds: because these are most worne.
Also some blacks with other colours: some cloth of gold, tissue and bocky,
some veluets wrought with gold, with sattins and damaskes, most purple, and
reds of all sorts. You may not forget to send some Western karseis, to wit,
dozens, which be thicked well, and close shut in the weauing, being died
into fine reds, and some skarlets: for I thinke there is no such cloth for
their caps.

[Sidenote: The second admission to the Shaughs presence, the 29. of Iune
1566. at which time he reciued the priuiledge. The Shaughs promise to
increase the priuiledge.] Your worships shall vnderstand, that after my
first departure from the presence of the Prince, I neglected no time in
daily attendance on them, who had my priuiledge in writing, that I might
haue it in readinesse at such time as I should againe bee called before the
presence of the Shaugh, which was the 29. of Iune last. I was in apparell
that he gaue vnto me, with other garments to mine interpreter, and one of
your seruants, and then I receiued your letters or privilege, according to
my desire, sealed and firmed with the Shaughs owne hand. Praysed bee God
who hath wrought with me, and for me, in all my doings.

The 29. of Iune is one of their chiefe festiuall daies, so that all his
nobilitie was there present, with two Ambassadors in companie with his
maiestie, who sayd vnto me that if my letters were not to my mind, in time
to come they should be mended. Whereupon I made my reuerence, and gaue his
highnesse most humble and heartie thanks, saying, that with as much speed
as might bee, our Queenes Maiestie should vnderstand of his goodnesse
towardes her Merchants, which I thought would write their letters of
request vnto his Highnes, in such forme and order as by them should be
thought meete and requisite for their good assurance in the trade of
merchandizes: who replied with these wordes: when wee shall see their
reasonable requests, we will shew them our farther good will, and so I

Since the receiuing of the Shaughs letters, I haue eaten in company of good
Dukes and others, who before would not come neere me. And euery day some
would come to my Shop, and eate and drinke with me out of mine owne dish.
Likewise in riding from Casbin hither, on the way when I sate downe to
dinner, they would come and eate with mee vnbidden, when I wished them
further off: for I spared them that, which gladly I would haue eaten my
selfe. I doubt not but we shall liue here from hencefoorth in quietnes: for
now in all places where I come, I am friendly vsed with the best.

I was asked by the Shaugh if you were able to bring him yeerly one hundred
thousand pieces of kersies, and clothes. And I answered him, saying, your
worships were able to furnish his countrey with two hundred thousand.
Whereat his Highnesse reioyced: for the Turkes Ambassador the last yere, as
diuers haue told me, did put the Shaugh in despaire, saying, that the,
Turke would not permit any cloth to be brought into his countrey.

[Sidenote: Aleppo a citie of great trade.] There is a citie in Syria named
Aleppo, wherein coninually are many Venetians dwelling, besides other that
come yeerely and there buy wools, gals, tallow, saffron, skins, cotton
wooll, and other wares, and great store of spices. [Sidenote: Armenians
barter with the Venetians.] Also the Armenians yeerly receeiue at the
Venetians hands, karsies in barter for rawe silks, giuing sometimes 60.
pieces of karsies for 70. batmans of silke of this countrey, and 40. pieces
for Grosin silke. And karsies sold commonly for ready money in Aleppo, at
11. and 12. duckets the piece, (the ducket being here woorth 12. shillings)
may cost the first peny 132. and 144. Shaughs a karsie. [Sidenote: The
distance from Shamaky to Alappo.] By report it is one moneths trauel from
this towne of Shamaky to Aleppo, and from thence to Tripolis, six dayes
iourney: and from Tripolis to Venice by water, a moneth or fiue weekes
sailing. As I learne, from hence to Venice may easily be trauelled in lesse
then three moneths. Therefore I wish your worships to procure some trustie
and assured friend there, to whom from hence letters may be sent For I can
haue them here to put in suerties to deliuer my letters, and to bring
answere. If I had any other here with me, I would nothing haue doubted to
haue brought you the Shaughs letters that way.

[Sidenote: Armenians and others desirous to barter silke and spices for
karsies.] The Armenians and other are desirous to barter with vs, giuing
silke for katsies, and also will seme vs of all kind of Spices, we giuing
them sufficient warning to fetch it in the Indies, and will deliuer it vs
in Shamaky at these prizes.

Pepper this townes batman for 18. Shaughs, euery Shaugh is sixepence.

Maces large for 40. Shaughs, and 45. the batman.

Cloues for 40. Shaughs the batman.

Nutmegs for 16. and 18. Shaughs the batman.

Sinamon for 40. Shaughs the batman. I doubt not but there will be profile
and good done in spices, with drugs and other like in time.

From Casbin to Ormus is six weeks trauel, and from hence to Casbin is 16.
dayes with camels laden: but if one trauell with a good Mule vnladen, it
may be gone in seuen or eight dayes. And I thinke to Ormus and other
places, may be trauelled in like order and proportion, with cattel vnladen.
But here in all places as men may trauel, they must carie their owne
prouision on horses, which they are to buy, and thus they, uauel but a

[Sidenote: The Shaugh desirous to bargaine for our commodities.] The Shaugh
himselfe is desirous to bargaine with you who will giue money, silke, and
other wares as we will, and take our wares as we may affoord them, willing
me himselfe to bring such wares as we might gaine by him. The Armenians by
report, and as I perceiue, bring from Aleppo yeerely, foure, fiue, and six
thousand pieces of karsies, and clothes, besides those which other men
bring. If your Worships might procure and find vent or sales for rawe
silke, and silke died in graine, besides other silkes wrought and made
here, by which, profile may be made: then you might send a great substance
of wares hither. But I feare you shall be hindered by the Venetians if they
may: for I know it will grieue them that you doe trade into these partes:
for in short time it shall cleane alter their trade, and hinder the sales
of their clothes in Aleppo and other places adioyning. You shall understand
that 60. batmans of silke is a Mules lading: and as it is reported, one
village of the Armenians yerely carieth 400. and 500. Mules lading of silke
to Aleppo, and bringeth thence 800. or a thousand Mules laden with karsies
and Venice clothes. And 18. pieces of karsies are a Mules lading.
[Sidenote: 2000. pieces of karsies to be sent into Persia.] But I wish you
not to send aboue 2000. pieces of karseis, although I haue bene willed to
write for more. If I might haue had any vnderstanding what your Worships
had written for in your letters sent this yeere, I should in this my letter
haue bene better able to haue answered you. They which be now in Astracan,
might haue written some thing vnto me hither, if it had pleased them, or
else haue sent me such letters of mine, as I hope some of my friends haue
written to me: for here are arriued eight weekes past, two boates with
wares and Russes, by whom they might haue written, had it bene but 3. or 4.
lines. They promised the Russes to write, but promise was not kept. I would
be sory that any boat should depart out of these partes, and not write vnto
them, waying how all things stand. I heare they haue bought a boat, which
coast 40. rubbles, and shipped certaine wares to come hither. God send them
in safetie. I do tarie their comming, or els I had thought to haue come to
Astraean in those boates which departed hence lately.

[Sidenote: He departed from Casbin the 15 of Iuly.] The fifteenth of Iuly
last, I departed from Casbin, and came to this towne the 29. of the same.
And the fourth of August I found means to arrest the falsest knaue in this
countrey, to wit, the Customer for 22. tumens, and 100. shaughs, (200.
shaughs is a tumen.) I haue caused him to put in suerties for his foorth
comming at all times, what ende I shall haue with him, God knoweth, the
debt will be recouered, but not yet, for he must pay the Shaugh 1000.
rubbles. These partes as yet are in no stay for lacke of a Gouernour or
head to rule, which I thinke shall bee the Mursey. Within 5. or 6. dayes we
shall know, for it is time, because men are in feare to trauell for being
robbed. If there were a prince placed, I should soone get in your debts,
for they dare not disobey the Shaughs letters or priuiledge: wherein he
hath not onely written that our debts shall be paied, but also that we
shall be taken heed to, so as we need not to doubt (God willing) in time to
come, to be here as wel vsed as we are in Russeland. [Sidenote: Rich.
Iohnsons great negligence.] The bils of debt that Rich. Iohnson left with
me, had neither the parties name nor summe of money in two of them, and in
other bils but his owne name. If I had not used discretion in causing to be
written in our priuiledge, that such debtes as are owing, should be paied
any of vs in the absence of the other, some men would not haue paied one
penie, but onely to Richard Iohnson, who hath written but his owne name
onely in the bils. I receiued in Casbin of Forackan in part of 29. tumens,
300. shaughs in money: the rest he will deliuer me here in silke, and this
is all that I haue receiued to this day. And as for Hawrambecks twelue
tumens, I make accompt, that if I could ride to speake with him, I should
be paid in money and wares. Touching Ackons money, by meanes of Duke
Ameddinbeck, who first owed the debt, because they meant not to pay a
penie, he did rather seeke to hinder my sute then to further mee, but I
found out a present remedie: for God sent me friends that were alwayes
about the Shaugh, and daily put on his apparell, who opened all my sute,
and brought mee to the presence of the Shaugh before that Cozomomet sawe
the Shaughs eyes. [Sidenote: Cozomomet was Arthur Edwards friend to the
Shaugh.] But Cozomomet in the end was my friend: for he was sent for, and
declared vnto the Shaugh what good merchants we were, vsing trueth in all
our doings, and how we were in great fauour with the Emperour of Russia,
and what good commodities wee might bring into his Countrey, with other
talke. And daily he was sent for to the Shaugh about the affaires in those
partes, for no man was able to aduise the Shaugh of the state and affaires
of those Countreys so much as hee was. He owed your Worships seuen tumens
and 48. shaughs, which was not all this time to be gotten at his hands: for
hee was at great charges in riding to Casbin, and giuing great gifts since
his comming, which he twise declared vnto mee. I feeling his griefe became
Physicion to ease his pain, and forgaue him his debt abouesayd, in
recompence of ten pieces of karsies, that were promised him by Richard
Iohnson and me, to giue him at the comming of our goods, in consideration
that he should with speed doe what lay in him, to dispatch me away: for I
perceiue hee procured other that did helpe me in my sute to delay me of,
till time he had his purpose. [Sidenote: Victuals and all things dear at
Casbin.] I neuer was in quiet, till I had the Princes priuiledge, and had
got mee out of Casbin: for victuals, and all other things are very deare
there, because they are brought thither from farre off. As for all other
smal debts (which may be about 7. tumens) when our Merchants are come
hither, we shall seeke, to get them in as we may. I wish your Worships to
send some bullion to bee coyned here, it will please the prince there, and
be profitable to you. Silke is better cheape by two or three shaughs the
batman, then it was the last yeere. You shall vnderstand that I haue
written two letters of all my proceedings, which I sent from Casbin long
since: to wit, the 24. and 29. of Iune last, by one of your seruants to
Gilan, there to take ship and to goe to Astracan, and to deliuer the same
vnto your Factors, which might haue bene to their quietnes and mine, long
agoe. But I am right sorie to heare since my comming hither, that he hath
plaied the loitering merchant in Gilan, not going in those boats that went
first, but taried for the last boats. But I will teach him, to the example
of other, how he shall make haste hereafter in such affaires. The karsies
which you sent last, being bought of M. Quarles, were good and full lengths
and well sorted. [Sidenote: The Ambassador of the prince of Gilan.] The
Ambassador of Gilan was in Casbin, at my being there. I hope in God, if I
remaine here, and may goe to Gilan to obtaine for your worships the like
priuiledge at the kings hand there also. [Sidenote: Gilan but five dayes
riding from Casbin.] For I haue something moued the matter, being put in
such comfort, that I doubt not the getting thereof with small charges,
which I had done at this time if I had had other here with me to put in
trust: for from Casbin to Gilan is but 5. dayes riding, which Countrey may
be profitable to your Worships. There is in that Prouince good store of
silke, better cheape, and better in goodnesse then this countrey silke is.
Also great store of Alom, being there sold this townes batman, for one bist
and a halfe. I haue made reckoning, al charges borne from hence to
Colmogro, and from thence fraight into England at three pounds the tunne,
al charges accounted, will not stand you in aboue 18. and 20. shillings the
hundreth. You haue yeerly by report two or three hundred tunnes lading.
Other commodities there for England I heare not of. [Sidenote: Gals.] As
for gals here to bee bought, there is no profit to be done by them. They be
brought from Aleppo, and sold here not vnder 3. or 4. shaughs their batman,
being six pounds English waight. [Sidenote: Graine.] Graine that you die
scarlet withall is worth the batman ready mony, 200 shaughs, reckoning the
shaugh for 6. pence Russe, it may be 6. rubbles their batman. Your worships
may send some portion of mony, if you may buy, as I thinke you may, for 12.
and 13. s. a pound the berries, so you shall gaine both in the price and
waight. [Sidenote: Ormus Aleppo.] If one Englishman more had bene here with
me, to whom I might haue deliueied our bils of debts and other things,
whatsoeuer should haue chanced of me, I would then haue become seruant to
mine Interpreter, and so haue gone to Ormus and Aleppo, which both ioyne on
the borders of this countrey, being the chiefe Marte townes, whereunto from
all places merchants resort. And thus would I haue spent 4. or 5. months in
trauelling for further knowledge of things for to haue certified your
worships of. I hope in God to vse things in such order, that yeerly you
shall haue returne of your goods from hence, as you haue forth of
Russeland, and in those ships. For if we may, as I doubt not with
diligence, prouide to make sales in time, and with speed receiue silke at
the Shaughs hand, and other mens, that it may be sent from hence to be in
Astracan at the beginning of Aprill, from whence it may be sent to Colmogro
in three moneths and lesse, and there to be ready with the rest of your
goods by the end of Iune for your ships to receiue, that will be time
inough. This I doubt, not to bring to passe within a yeere or two, when we
are throughly setled in these parts, and better knowen. [Sidenote: M.
Anthonie Ienkinsons offer to the Persain.] Moreouer you shall vnderstand,
that at my last being in the presence of the Shaugh, it was sayd to mee
that M. Anthonie Ienkinson did proffer to take all the rawe silke in those
parties, delivering cloth and other commodities for the same. I assure you
there is in those parts to be had three or foure thousand horses, lading,
euery horse load being 50. or 60. batmans, beside silke of Grosin. Great
abundance of silke at times is sent out of these parts, to wit. 4. or 5.
hundred horse lodes at a time by the Turkes, who bring great store of
siluer to be coined, to wit, Dollars at ten shaughs the piece. The Hungarie
Ducket is at 12. shaughs. And hauing money in readines at the time of the
yeere, they buy silke the better cheape, when the countrey men bring it
first to be sold. If your worships may bargaine with the Venetians to take
silke at your hands, or otherwise deale with them, I doe not mistrust but
to haue at the Shaughs hand sixe batmans of silke for two pieces and a
halfe of karsies. Your good aduise herein, and in other matters, I trust
you will write with conuenient speed. [Sidenote: M. Anthonie Ienkinson
commended.] Master Anthonie Ienkinson hath deserued great commendation at
all your worships hands: for the good report of his well and wise doings in
those parts, was oftentimes a comfort to me to heare thereof, and some good
helpe to me in my proceedings. To this day I neuer heard from any of our
merchants. God graunt me in health to see your worships, for I haue had a
carefull trauell, with many a sorowfull day and vnquiet sleepes. Neither
had I the company of one English person, to whom sometimes I might haue
eased my pensiue heart, as God well knoweth, who hath deliuered me from
mine enemies. Thus almightie God graunt you in health and wealth long to

Your humble seruant at commandement during life,

Arthur Edwards.

* * * * *

Another letter of Arthur Edwards written in Astracan the 16. of Iune 1567.
at his returne in his first voiage out of Persia, to the right
worshipfull Companie trading into Russia, Persia, and other the North and
Northeast partes.

It may please your Worships that herein I haue written not onely certaine
articles of your priuiledge, but also the Gouernours names, with the
Consuls, Assistants and generalitie. [Sidenote: The Shaughs letters to the
Moscouy companie.] Also such commodities as the Prince or Emperour of the
Countrey hath written in one of his letters directed to your Worships to be
sent him, with other notes which I thought good to be remembered, as may
appeare hereafter following. Your priuiledge is written, graunted, and
giuen in the names of these sixe persons following: to wit, sir William
Garrard, sir William Chester, gouernours, sir Thomas Lodge, master Anthony
Ienkinson, master Thomas Nicols and Arthur Edwards.

1 First, it is granted that you shall pay no maner of customes or tols, any
kinde of wayes now, nor in time comming, vnto his heires after him. And
that all English merchants, such as you shall appoint now and hereafter,
shall and may passe and repasse into all places of his dominions and other
countries adioining in the trade of merchandise, to buy and sell all maner
of commodities, with all maner of persons.

2 Item, that in all places where any of our merchants shall haue their
resort, or abiding, his chiefe Gouernours, Rulers and. Iustices shall take
heed vnto vs, being our aide and defence against all euil persons,
punishing those that shall do vs any wrong.

3 Item, that for all such debts as shall be owing by any maner of person,
iustice shal be done on the partie, and we paid at the day.

4 Item, that no maner of persons whatsoever estate or degree they be of,
shall be so hardie as to take any kind of wares, or any gifts, without any
leaue and good will.

5 Item, if by chance medley any of our merchants or seruants, as God
forbid, should kill any of his subiects, that no part of your goods shall
be touched or medled withall, neither any partie but the offendour, and
true iustice to bee ministred, and being any of vs, not to suffer without
the Princes knowledge and aduise.

6 Item, that all such debts as are now owing, or hereafter shall be, are to
be paied vnto any of vs, in the absence of the other, be the partie dead,
or aliue.

7 Item, that no person returne any kind of wares backe againe, being once
bought or sold.

8 Item, that when God shall send your goods to shore, presently his people
shall helpe vs on land with them.

These articles before written, I trust in God wil content your minds, vntil
your farther letters be hitherto written vnto the Prince, who I am assured
will graunt your farther reasonable requests, which his maiestie hath
promised. For I moued the question, declaring vnto him that I thought your
worships would write your letters of requests, to craue his farther good
will, as should be thought meet for your better assurance in the trade of
merchandise: you will hardly beleeue what long and gracious, talke he had
with mee, which I assure you continued two houres, which was strange vnto
the people and other merchant strangers. For betwixt euery question that
his maiestie moued, when I had answered him, hee would talke with his
Nobles and other his seruants hauing some knowledge of our Westerne parts
and commodities, and then againe would demaund other questions. He caused
his Secretarie to write the articles before named, in all of his foure
letters giuen me (whereof two as I required, are in the Turkish tongue to
be sent you.) On the, backe side of the one, hee hath written what wares
his Maiestie would haue you to send him. He held me one houre within night
before I departed from him.

These bee the names of the wares or commodities, which on the backe side of
one of his letters the Shaugh hath written to you to be sent him.

First, some cloth of Gold, with cloth of Tissue, and cloth of Botky, as
Veluets wrought with gold.

Item, good veluets, to wit, crimosins, purples, reds, greenes and blackes.
Those colours his maiestie requireth, for they are most worne. And though
there be some of these wares made in his citie of Cassan, yet nothing like
in goodnes, to those that you may procure for him. Small profite I thinke
will be in these wares: yet for diuers considerations, as also to satisfie
the Princes mind, I wish you to send some, and those that be especiall

Item, good damasks and sattins of all sortes, with an hundred pieces of
good chamlets, which are woorth here 80. shaughs the piece, at sixe pence
the shaugh, and those silkes to bee of those colours aboue written, to wit,
crimosins, purples, reds, greenes, blackes, with some light watchet

Item, three or foure complete harnesses that wil abide the shot of a
handgun with 10. or 12. targets of steele, being good.

Item, ten or twelue good shirts of male being very good or els none, that
may abide the shot of an arrow, and two buffe ierkins.

Item, ten or twelue pieces of Westerne karsies, being thicked well and
close shut in the weauing, and died into scarlets and fine reds. I thinke
there wil be no such cloth for noblemens caps. The prince named them
karangies [Marginal note: By the word Karangies, I thinke they meane
Karsies.], saying, that maidens did make them, and is desirous of them.

Item, six pieces of fine Holland cloth for the Prince, with some other for
Noblemen, of a lower price.

Item, twentie handguns being good, some of them with fire lockes, and also
six good dags, with locks to trauell withall.

Item 100. brusshes for garments (none made of swines haire,) for gifts, and
otherwise to be sold.

Item, six stone bowes that shoot lead pellets.

Item, a mill to grind corne in the field as they goe, finely deuised: for
Cozomomet willed me to write for one to be sent, to giue the Prince.

Item, the Prince requireth of all sortes and colours of London clothes. I
wish you to send no lesse then 40. or 50. for I know they will be sold to
profit, especially such cloth as may be affoorded for 20. shaughs the
arshine, which is longer by two of mine inches then Russia arshine is. Let
there be fine skarlets, violets in graine, fine reds, blacks, browne
blewes, foure or fiue of euery sort, for the Prince and other lords: the
rest of other colours liuely to the sight, as London russets, tawnies, lion
colours, good liuely greenes, with other, as you shall thinke good: for the
prince desireth to see of all sorts, which will be an occasion that the
Venetians and Turkes shall bee in lesse estimation then they are: for they
themselues do feare, and secretly say the same. And truely the Princes
subiects intend to enter into trade with vs for spices and other
commodities that they were woont to sell vnto the Venetians and Turkes.

Thus I commit you all to God, who send you health with increase of worship.
Written in Astracan the 16. of Iune, 1567.

By your seruant during life to command,

Arthur Edwards.

* * * * *

Distances of certaine places in Russia.

The way from Saint Nicholas Baie to Mosco.

To Colmogro 100
To Vstiug 500
To Totma 250
To Vologhda 250
All by the riuer of Dwina 1100

To Yenslaue 180
To Rostoue 60
To Pecaslaue 60
To Mosko 120
By land East and West 440

The way from Mosko to Smolensko.

To Moram 300
To Smolensko 200

The way from Mosko to Nouogrod.

To Ottuer 180
To Torzhoke 60
To Wisnouolloko 60
To Nouogrod 150
Southeast and Northwest 450

The way from Nouogrod to Narue

To Teseua 50
To the Friers 60
To Yria Niagorod 40
To Narue 15
Southwest and Northeast 165

From Nouogrod to Vobsky, is 180. versts by East.

The way from Vobski to Ry in Liefland.

To Newhouse 50
To Gouen on the borders |
To Wenden |
To Trecado | Al is 200
To Newslot | versts.
To Rie |

The way from Mosco to Astracan.
To Costrom
To Nisnoaogrod
To Cazan
To Astracan in all is 2800 versts

The way from Vologhda to Narue.

To Belozerco 140
To Batag 80
To Witergen 40
To Ladiski 60
To Onega lake 80


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