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A compendious and briefe declaration of the journey of M. Anth. Jenkinson, from the famous citie of London into the land of Persia, passing in this same journey thorow Russia , Moscovia, and Mare Caspium, alias Hircanum, sent and imployed therein by the right worshipfull Societie of the Merchants Adventurers, for discoverie of Lands, Islans, &c. Being begun the foureteenth day of May, Anno 1561, and in the third yere of the reigne of the Queenes Majestie 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 Gravesend , having a faire and good winde, our anker then weyed, and committing all to the protection of our God, having in our sailing diversitie of windes, & thereby forced to direct and observe sundry courses (not here rehearsed, because you have bene thereof heretofore amply informed) on the fourteenth day of July, the yere aforesayd I arrived in 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, seven hundred miles, where I remained foure dayes, attending the arrivall of one of your boats, wherein was laden a chest of jewels with the present, by your worships appointed for the Emperors Majesty: which being arrived, and the chest received, I therewith departed toward the city of Mosco, and came thither the twentieth day of the same moneth, where I immediatly caused my comming to be signified unto the Secretary of the Imperiall Majesty, with the Queenes Highnesse letters addressed unto the same his Majestie, who informed the Emperour thereof.. But his Highnesse having great affaires, and being at that present ready to be married unto 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 celebrating, the gates of the citie should be shut, and that no person, stranger or native (certeine of his houshold reserved) should come out of their said houses during the said triumph, the cause thereof unto 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 having affaires: amongst whom I was one, but being willed by the Secretary first to come, and to shew him the Queenes Majesties letters, I refused so to doe, saying I would deliver the same unto the Emperours owne hands, and not otherwise: which heard, the Secretarie answered, that unlesse he might first peruse the sayd letters, I should not come into the Emperors presence, so that I was not at the feast. Neverthelesse, I was advertised by a noble man that I was inquired for by the Emperours Majestie, although the cause of my absence was to his Majestie unknowen. The next day following, I caused a supplication to be made, and presented it to his Highnesse owne hand, and thereby declared the cause of my comming, signified by the Queenes Majesties letters, and the answere of his sayd Secretary, most humbly beseeching his Grace that he would receive and accept the same her Highnesse letters, with such honour and friendship, as his letters sent by Osep Napea were received by the hands of our late Sovereigne Lady Queene Mary, or els that it would please his Highnes to dismisse me, saying that I would not deliver the said letters but unto his owne hands, for that it is so used in our countrey. Thus the matter being pondered, and the effect of my supplication well disgested, I was foorthwith commaunded to come with the said letters before his Majestie, and so delivered the same into his owne hands (with such presents as by you were appointed) according to my request, which were gratefully accepted, & the same day I dined in his Graces presence, with great entertainment. Shortly after, I desired to know whether I should be licenced to passe therow his Highnesse dominions into the land of Persia, according to the Queens Majesties request: hereunto it was answered, that I should not passe thither, for that his Majestie meant to send an armie of men that way into the land of Chircassi, whereby my journey should be both dangerous & 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 having received his answere, neither to my expectation, nor yet contentation, and there remaining a good part of the yere, having in that time solde the most part of your kersies and other wares appointed for Persia, when the time of the yeere required to returne for England, I desired pasport, and post horses for money, which was granted: but having received my pasport, 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 objections of things, and perceiving that I would depart, I was willed to remaine untill the Emperours Majestie were spoken with againe touching my passage: wherewith I was content, & 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 have his Graces letters of commendations to forren princes, with certaine his affaires committed to my charge, too long here to rehearse: whereupon I appointed my selfe for the voyage, & the 15 day of March, the yeere aforesaid, I dined againe in his Majesties presence in company of an Ambassadour of Persia and others, and receiving a cup of drinke at his Majesties hands, I tooke my leave of his Highnesse, who did not onely give me letters, as aforesayd, but also committed matter of importance and charge unto me, to be done when I should arrive in those countreys whither I intended to go, and having all things in readinesse for the same voyage, I departed from the city of Mosco the 27 day of April 1562, downe by the great river of Volga, in company of the said Ambassadour of Persia, with whom I had great friendship and conference all the way downe the same river unto Astracan, where we arrived all in health the 10 day of June.

And as touching the situations of the cities, townes, castles and countreys, aswell of Mahometans as also of Gentils adjoyning to the same, whereby I passed from Mosco unto Astracan, I omit in this breviat to rehearse, for that I heretofore have declared the same most amply unto you in my voyage to Boghar. Thus being arrived at Astracan, as is aforesayd, I repaired unto the captaine there, unto whom I was commended from the Emperours Majesty, 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 wel appointed in two stroogs or brigantines into the Caspian sea, until I had passed certaine dangerous places which pirats & rovers do accustome to haunt, and having prepared my barke for the sea, the Ambassador of Persia being before departed in a barke of his owne the 15 day of July, the yeere aforesayd, I and my company tooke our voyage from the sayd Astracan, and the next day at a West sunne, passed the mouth of the said river 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 & by North sun we fel with the land called Challica Ostriva, being foure round Islands together, distant from the said three Islands forty miles. 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 rovers do use: for feare of whom we haled off into the sea due East forty miles, and fell upon shallowes out of the sight of land, and there were like to have perished, escaping most hardly: then the 22 day we had sight of a goodly Island called Chatalet, distant from the said Challica Ostriva an hundred miles, the winde 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 us, which was called Skafcayl or Connyk a countrey of Mahometans, about miles, and so riding at two ankers a head, having no other provision, 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 above water, although we threw much of our goods overboard, with losse of our boat, and our selves thereby in great danger like to have perished either in the sea or els upon the lee shore, where we should have fallen into the hands of those wicked infidels, who attended our shipwracke: and surely it was very unlike that we should have escaped both the extremities, but onely by the power and mercy of God, for the storme continued seven dayes, to wit, untill the thirtieth day of the same moneth: and then the winde comming up 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 Shyrvansha, and there we came againe to an anker, having the winde contrary, being distant from the said Chatalet 150 miles, and there we continued untill the third day of August, then having a faire winde, winding Southsoutheast, and sailing threescore miles, the next day at a Southeast sunne we arrived 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.

This city of Derbent is an ancient towne having an olde castle therein, being situated upon 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 unto the principall city thereof named Tewflish, which wall though it be now rased, or otherwise decayed, yet the foundation remaineth, & 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 invade. This city of Derbent being now under the power of the Sophy of Persia, bordereth upon the sea, adjoyning to the foresaid land of Shalfcall, in the latitude of 41 degrees. From thence sailing Southeast and Southsoutheast about 80 miles, the sixt day of August, the yere aforesaid, we arrived 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 rovers, wherof there is great plenty, being field people, the governor of the said countrey named Alcan Murcy, comming unto me, entertained me very gently, unto whom giving a present, he appointed for my safegard forty armed men to watch & ward me, until he might have newes from the king of Shirvan. The 12 day of the same moneth newes did come from the king, with order that I should repaire unto him with all speed: and for expedition, aswell camels to the number of five 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 journey 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 Shirvan, and there the king hath a faire place, where my lodging being appointed, the goods were discharged: 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 avoyd the injury of the heat: and the 20 day I came before his presence, who gently interteined me, and having kissed his hands, he bad me to dinner, and commanded me to sit downe not farre from him. This king did sit in a very rich pavillion, wrought with silke & golde, placed very pleasantly, upon a hill side, of sixteene fathom long, and sixe fathom broad, having before him a goodly fountaine of faire water: whereof he & his nobility did drinke, he being a prince of a meane stature, and of a fierce countenance, richly apparelled with long garments of silke, and cloth of gold, imbrodred with pearles and stone: upon his head was a tolipane with a sharpe ende standing upwards 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 pavilion was covered with rich carpets, & under himselfe was spred a square carpet wrought with silver & golde, and therupon was layd two sutable cushions. Thus the king with his nobility sitting in his pavilion with his legs a crosse, and perceiving that it was painfull for me so to sit, his highnesse caused a stoole to be brought in, & did will me to sit thereupon, after my fashion. Dinner time then approching, divers clothes were spred upon the ground, and sundry dishes served, and set in a ranke with divers 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 services occupied 290 dishes, and at the end of the sayd dinner & banket, the king said unto 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 deliver me the rest, demanding how I did like the same, and whether there were so good in our countrey or not: unto whom I answered in such sort, that he was therewith contented: then he proponed unto 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. Then he demanded whether I intended to goe any further, and the cause of my comming: unto that I answered, that I was sent with letters from the Queenes most excellent Majesty of England unto the great Sophy, to intreat friendship and free passage, and for his safeconduct to be granted unto English merchants to trade into his Segniories, with the like also to be granted to his subjects, when they should come into our countreys, to the honour and wealth of both realmes, and commodity of both their subjects, with divers other words, which I omit to rehearse. This sayd king much allowing this declaration sayd, that he would not onely give me passage, but also men to safeconduct me unto the sayd Sophy, lying from the foresayd citie of Shamaki thirtie dayes journey, up 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 aforesaid, he sent for me againe: unto whom I repaired in the morning, 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 give 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 invited thereunto, and approching 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 unto me from the king, and after that they caused me to put off my upper garment, being a gowne of blacke velvet furred with Sables, they put the sayd two garments upon my backe, and so conducted me unto the king, before whom doing reverence, and kissing his hand, he commanded me to sit not farre from him, and so I dined in his presence, he at that 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 favour, and appointing his Ambassadour (which returned out of Russia ) and others, to safeconduct me, he gave 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 untill the sixt of October, to provide camels, horses, and other necessaries for my sayd intended journey.

But now before I proceed further, I purpose to write something of this countrey of Hircan, now called Shirvan, with the townes and commodities of the same. This countrey of Hircan in times past was of great renowme, having 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 subject to the sayd Sophie (although they have their proper king) and be at the commandement of the sayd Sophy, who conquered them not many yeeres passed, for their diversity in religion, and caused not onely all the nobility & gentle men of that countrey to be put to death, but also over and besides, rased the walles of the cities, townes, and castles of the said realme, to the intent that there should be no rebellion, 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 sayd turret, did set the heads of the sayd nobility and gentlemen, then executed. This city is distant from the sea side, with camels, seven dayes journey, but now the same being much decayed, & chiefly inhabited with Armenians, another city called Arrash, bordering upon the Georgians, is the chiefest and most opulent in the trade of merchandise, & thereabouts is nourished the most abundant growth of raw silke, and thither the Turks, Syrians, and other strangers do resort and trafficke. There be also divers good and necessary commodities to be provided & 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 have vent or utterance of the same: but the chiefest commodities be there, raw silks of all sorts, whereof there is great plenty. 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 have forced her (she professing chastity) to have married with a king of Tartarie: upon which occasion the maidens of that countrey do resort thither once every yere to lament her death.

Also in the sayd countrey there is an high hill called Quiquifs, upon the toppe whereof (as it is commonly reported) did dwell a great Giant, named Arneoste, having upon 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, untill 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 have this holy man in great reputation, and the hill at this day (as it is bruited) savoureth so ill, that no person may come nigh unto it: but whether it be true or not, I referre it to further knowledge.

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 having journeyed threescore miles, came to a towne called Yavate, wherein the king hath a faire house, with orchards and gardens well replenished with fruits of all sorts. By this towne passeth a great river called Cor, which springeth in the mountaines of the Georgians, & 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 fruitfull countrey, inhabited with pasturing people, which dwell in the Summer season upon mountaines, and in Winter they remoove into the valleyes without resorting to townes or any other habitation: and when they remoove, they doe journey in carravans or troops of people and cattell, carrying all their wives, children and baggage upon bullocks. Now passing this wilde people ten dayes journey, comming into no towne or house, the sixteenth day of October we arrived 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 travellers, wherein all men have 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 province of Aderravgan, wherein the Princes of Persia are commonly buried: and there Alexander the great did keepe his Court when he invaded the Persians. Foure dayes journey 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 invasion of the Turke, who hath conquered from the Sophie almost to the sayd citie of Tauris , which the sayd Turke once sacked, and thereby caused the Sophie to forsake the same, and to keepe his court ten dayes journey from thence, at the sayd citie of Casbin.

The 21 day we departed from Ordowil aforesayd, travelling for the most part over mountaines all in the night season, and resting in the day, being destitute of wood, and therefore were forced to use for fewell the dung of horses & camels, which we bought deare of the pasturing people. Thus passing ten dayes journey the yere aforesayd, the second day of November we arrived at the foresayd citie of Casbin, where the sayd 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 Murzey, sonne to Obdolowcan king of Shirvan 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 invited 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 unto the Sophies Secretarie, declaring that I had letters directed from our most gracious Sovereigne ladie the Queenes most excellent Majestie of the Realme of England , unto the sayd Sophy, and that the cause of my comming was expressed in the same letters, desiring that at convenient time I might come into his Majesties presence, who advertising 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 deliver.

At this time, the great Turkes Ambassadour arrived 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 be woorth forty thousand pound. And thereupon a peace was concluded with joyfull feasts, triumphs and solemnities, corroborated with strong othes, by their law of Alkaron, for either to observe the same, and to live 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 unto the Sophie, had remained in his Court the space of foure yeeres) to be put to death. In which time the sayd Turkes sonne had caused mortall warres betwixt the sayd Princes, and much prevailed therein: the Turke demanded therefore his sonne to be sent unto him, & 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 litle desired, and acceptable to the unnaturall father. Discoursing at my first arrivall with the king of Shirvan of sundry matters, and being intertained as hath bene before declared, the sayd king named Obdolocan, demaunding whether that we of England had friendship with the Turks or not: I answered, that we never had friendship with them, and that therefore they would not suffer us to passe thorow their countrey into the Sophy his dominions, and that there is a nation named the Venetians, not farre distant from us, 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 understand) come from thence: and that if it would please the sayd Sophy and other Princes of that countrey, to suffer our merchants to trade into those dominions, and to give us pasport and safe conduct for the same, as the sayd 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 never before had beene the like, and that they should be both furnished with our commodities, and also have utterance of theirs, although there never came Turke into their land, perswading with many other wordes for a trade to be had. This king understanding the matter liked it marveilously, saying, that he would write unto 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 unto him he would give me letters of safe conduct, and priviledges. The Turks 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. For the Turks Ambassadour being arrived, 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 favour me, as his Highnesse meant to observe 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.

The 20 day of November aforesayd, I was sent for to come before the sayd 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 upon my feet, for without the same shoes I might not be suffred to tread upon his holy ground, being a Christian, and called amongst them Gower, that is, unbeleever, and uncleane: esteeming all to be infidels and Pagans which do not beleeve as they do, in their false filthie prophets, Mahomet and Murtezalli. At the sayd Court gate the things that I brought to present his Majestie with, were devided by sundry parcels to sundry servitors of the Court, to cary before me, for none of my company or servants might be suffered to enter into the Court with me, my interpreter onely excepted. Thus comming before his Majestie with such reverence as I thought meete to be used, I delivered the Queenes Majesties 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? Unto 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 soveraigne 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 Subjects, 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 have none within our Realme that understand 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. 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 unbeleever, or a Muselman, that is, of Mahomets lawe. Unto whom I answered, that I was neither unbeleever nor Mahometan, but a Christian. What is that, said he unto the king of the Georgians sonne, who being a Christian was fled unto the said Sophie, and he answered that a Christian was he that beleeveth in Jesus Christus, affirming him to be the Sonne of God, and the greatest Prophet. Doest thou beleeve so, said the Sophie unto me? Yea that I do, said I: Oh thou unbeleever, said he, we have no neede to have friendship with the unbeleevers, and so willed me to depart. I being glad thereof did reverence and went my way, being accompanied with many of his gentlemen and others, and after me followed a man with a Basanet of sand, sifting all the way that I had gone within the said pallace, even from the said Sophies sight unto the court gate.

Thus I repaired againe unto my lodging, and the said night Shally Murzey sonne to the king of Hircan aforesaid, who favoured 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 have good successe with the Sophie, and good intertainment.

Thus I continued for a time, dayly resorting unto me divers 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. Unto whom I answered, that I durst not returne by the way of Ormus, the Portingals and wee not being friendes, fully perceiving their meaning: for I was advertised that the saide Sophie meant to have warres with the Portingals, and would have 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 providence of God this was prevented.

After this the said Sophie conferred with his nobilitie and counsel concerning me, who perswaded that he should not entertaine me wel, neither dismisse me with letters or gifts, considering that I was a Franke, and of that nation that was 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 have friendship with unbeleevers, whose Countreys lay farre from him, and that it was best for him to send me with my letters unto the said great Turke for a present, which he was fully determined to have done at some meet time, meaning to send his Ambassadour unto the said great Turke very shortly after.

But the king of Hircanes sonne aforesaide, understanding this deliberation, sent a man in post unto his father, for to declare and impart the purpose unto him, who as a gracious prince, considering that I had passed through his dominions, and that I had journeyed for a good intent, did write to the Sophie al that which he understood of his said determination, & that it should not stand with his Majesties honour to doe mee any harme or displeasure, but rather to give mee good entertainment, seeing I was come into his land of my free will, and not by constraint, and that if hee used mee evil, there would few strangers resort into his countrey, which would bee greatly unto his hinderance, with many other perswasions : which after that the saide Sophie had well and throughly pondered and disgested (much esteeming the same king of Hircane, being one of the valiantest princes under 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.

During the time that I sojourned at the sayde City of Casbin, divers merchants out of India came thither unto 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 have, 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 provided and had.

The same twentieth day of March I returned from the saide Citie of Casbin where I remayned all the Winter, having sent away all my Camels before, and the thirtieth day I came to the saide Citie of Ardouil, and the fifteenth of April unto Zavat aforesayd, where king Obdolowcan was at that present, who immediatly sent for me, and demaunding of me many questions, declared that if it had not bene for him, I had bene utterly cast away, and sent to the great Turke for a present by the Sophie, through the evill perswasion of his wicked counsell, that the Zieties and holy men were the chiefe and principal procurers and moovers thereof: but the Sophie himselfe ment mee much good at the first, and thought to have given me good entertainement, and so had done, had not the peace and league fortuned to have bene concluded betweene them and the great Turke. Neverthelesse, sayd he, the Sophie hath written unto me to entertaine you well, and you are welcome into my Countrey, and so he intreated mee very gently, in whose Court I remained seven dayes, and obteined of him letters of safe conductes and priviledges in your names to bee free from paying custome, which I delivered unto your servants Thomas Alcocke and George Wrenne, at their departure towards Persia for your affaires: and his highnesse did give mee two garments of silke, and so dismissed me with great favour, sending with me his Ambassadour againe unto the Emperour of Russia, and committed the chiefest secret of his affaires unto me, to declare the same unto the Emperours Majestie at my returne: and thus departing the tenth day of April, I came to the City of Shamachi, and there remayning certaine dayes for provision of Camels downe to the Sea side, I sent from thence before men to repaire my Barke, and to make her in a readinesse. And during my abode in Shammachi, there came unto 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 love of Christ and as I was a Christian, that I would send him comfort by the said Armenian, and advise 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 unto the same Emperour at my returne: adding further that the said king would have written unto me his minde, but that hee doubted the safe passage of his messenger. Unto whom I did likewise answere by word of mouth, not onely perswading him to sende his Ambassadour to Russia , not doubting but' that hee should finde him most honourable and inclined to helpe him, but also I directed him his way how the sayde king might send by the Countrey of Chircassi, through the favour of Teneruk king of the sayd Countrey, whose daughter the said king had lately married. And thus dismissing the saide Armenian, within two dayes after I sent Edward Cleark your servaunt unto the Citie of Arrash, where the most store of Silkes is to be had, giving him Commission to have passed further into the saide Countrey of Georgia, and there to have repaired unto the sayde king. And after my commendations premised, and my minde declared to have pursued for safeconduct of the same Prince for our Merchants to trade into his dominions, and that obtained to have returned againe with speede. The same your servaunt journeying 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 perceived by a Captaine there, that he was a Christian, and thereupon demaunded whither he went, and understanding 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 hee 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 Seaside, 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 favours somewhat to treate of the countrey of Persia, of the great Sophie, and of his countrey, lawes and religion.

This land of Persia is great and ample, devided into many kingdomes and provinces, as Gillan, Corasan, Shirvan, and many others having divers Cities, townes and castles in the same. Every province hath his severall King, or Sultan, all in obedience to the great Sophie. The names of the chiefest Cities be these: Teveris, 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 upon Arabia and the East Ocean. To the North upon the Caspian sea and the lands of Tartaria. To the East upon the provinces of India, and to the West upon 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 invaded his countreys, even nigh unto the Citie of Teveris, wherein hee was wont to keepe his chiefe court. And now having 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 themselves with the same.

This prince is of the age of fiftie yeeres, and of a reasonable stature, having five children. His eldest sonne he keepeth captive in prison, for that he feareth him for his vialiantnesse and activitie: he professeth a kinde of holynesse, and saith that hee is descended of the blood of Mahomet and Murtezalli : 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 Ovear, Usiran, and Abebeck, and these three did slay the saide Murtezalli, for which cause and other differences of holy men and lawes, they have had and have with the Turkes and Tartars mortall warres. To intreat of their religion at large, being more or lesse Mahomets lawe and the Alkaron, I shall not need at this present. These persons are comely and of good complexion, proude and of good courage, esteeming themselves 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 I have thought good to treate of this nation, and nowe I returne to discourse the proceeding of the rest of my voyage.

My barke being ready at the Caspian sea as aforesaide, having a faire winde, and committing our selves unto God the 30. day of May 1563. we arrived at Astracan, having passed no lesse dangers upon the Sea in our returne, then wee sustained in our going foorth, and remayning at the said Astracan, untill the tenth day of June, one hundred gunners being there admitted unto mee for my safegard up the river Volga , the fifteenth of July I arrived at the Citie of Cazan, where the Captaine entertained me well, and so dismissing mee, I was conducted from place to place unto the Citie of Mosco, where I arrived the twentieth day of August 1563. in safetie, thankes bee to God, with all such goods, merchandizes, and jewels, as I had provided 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 delivered those parcels of wares which were for his Majesties accompt, videlicet, 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 unto 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 Majestie, and presented unto him the apparell given unto 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 unto mee, I have perceived your good service, for the which I doe thanke you, and will recompence you for the same, wishing that I would travell againe in such his other affaires, wherein hee was minded to employ mee: to whom I answered, that it was to my heartie rejoycing that my service was so acceptable unto his highnesse, acknowledging all that I had done to bee but of duetie, humbly beseeching his grace to continue his goodnesse unto your worships, and even at that instant I humbly requested his Majestie to vouchsafe to graunt unto you a newe priviledge more ample then the first, which immediately was graunted, and so I departed. And afterwards having penned a briefe note howe I meant to have the same priviledges made, I repaired dayly to the Secretary for the perfecting of the same, and obtained it under his Majesties broade seale, which at my departure from thence, I delivered unto the custody of Thomas Glover your Agent there. The copy whereof, and also of the other priviledges, graunted and given by the king of Hircan, I have already delivered unto you. Sojourning all that winter at Mosco, and in the meane time having bargained with the Emperours Majestie, I sent away your servant Edward Clarke hither overland with advise, and also made preparation for sending againe into Persia in meete time of the yeere. And committing the charge thereof unto your servants Thomas Alcocke, George Wrenne, and Richard Cheinie, the 28. of June 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 July, one thousand five hundred sixtie foure, and having passed the Seas with great and extreme dangers of losse of shippe, goods and life, the 28. day of September last (God be praised) we arrived here at London in safetie.

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

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