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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 Johnson in the third voiage into Persia.

WORSHIPFULL Sir, my bounden duetie remembred, with heartie prayer unto God for the preservation 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 July 1565. From whence Richard Johnson, 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 Nazavoe. There, after we had gotten your goods on land, with much labour and strength of men, as also windlesses devised and made, we haled your barke over a barre of beach or peeble stones into a small River, 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: and the 17. day folowing, we presented unto Abdollocan the king of this countrey, one timber of Sables, one tunne or nest of silver cups parsill gilt, three Morses teeth, 4. Arshines of skarlet, 3. pieces of karseis, with 40. red foxes.

He received our presents with giving us thanks for our good wils, demanding if M. Jenkinson were in good health, and whether he would returne into these parts againe. He willed us also himselfe to sit downe before him the distance of a quoits cast from his tent, where he sate with divers of his counsaile and nobilitie, sending us from his table such meate as was before him: And after certaine talke had with us, he sayd, if he might perceive or know any maner of person to doe us any wrong, he would punish them in example of others, whereby we should live in quietnesse, and have no cause to complaine, giving us a litle house for the time, untill a better might be provided in such place as we should thinke most meete, never willing us to rise or depart, untill such time as we of our selves thought it convenient. At the taking of our leave, hee willed us to put our whole minds and requests in writing, that he might further understand our desires. 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 receive certaine debts. Howbeit, we doubt not but we shall recover all such summes of money as are owing us for this voyage. As for Thomas Alcocks debts they are past hope of recoverie, which had not bene lost if the.king had lived. We trust in the place of him, God will send as friendly a king towards us: who 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 us more friendship then ever we found: God grant the same.

Great troubles have 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 unto the Shaugh. These troubles have partly bene the let that wares were not sold as they might, to more profite. Your Agent Richard Johnson bought foure horses, minding to have sent to Casbin Alexander Kitchin, whom God tooke to his mercy the 23. of October last: and before him departed Richard Davis one of your Mariners, whose soules I trust the Lord hath received 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 have but one, whose name is William Smith, an honest yong man, and one that doeth good service 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 recover it, but God of his mercy delivered us. Mariners here may doe you good service all the winter otherwayes : and merchants here will be gladder to ship their goods in us giving good fraight. One merchant at this present is content to pay 20. rubbles for twentie camels lading fraight to Astracan. Such barkes as must passe these seas, may not draw above five 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 serve our turnes very well.

And whereas some in times past tooke great paines, travell and care, and could not have their desire in the getting of the Shaughs letters or priviledge: 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 have chanced ill, as the like in other countries hath bene. But I doubt not, this priviledge once gotten and obtained, we shall live 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 Jenkinson is well knowen, who (I doubt not) hath long agoe throughly advertised the Companie thereof.

The trueth of the slaughter of Thomas Alcock your servant, is not certainly knowen. Some thinke it was by the meanes of a noble man, with whom your sayd servant was earnest in demanding of your debts: upon 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 knaves 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 beloved when we shall be more knowen.

Honest merchants are glad of our being here, and seeke to grow in acquaintance with us, being glad to further us in that they may, & have spoken in our favours 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 favour with the Shaugh. 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. Jenkinson, his name is Cozamomet. Also another Duke named Ameddinbeck is our great friend: And his sister is the Shaughes wife. These two have promised your Agent by their lawe, not onely to procure to get the Shaughes priviledge, but also that I shall have the debts paied me of those that went from hence to Casbin, if we would send one with them. In consideration whereof, I was upon short warning (for want of a better) appointed by your Agent M. Richard Johnson, 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 use my discretion with their advise, for the recovering of your debts and priviledge. I shall have with mee one interpreter and two bought servants: one of which partly understandeth this tongue, and may be put in trust whatsoever should become of me. I have received 6. tumens in ready money, 200. shaughs is a tumen, reckoning every shaugh for sixe pence Russe . I have further received two timbers of Sables, one to be sold, the other to bee given to Thomas the Shaugh: and have order further to give as I shall see good to those that shall further my suite, and as occasion serveth. 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 journey.

For all kind of wares bought or sold, you shal throughly be advertised by your Agent Richard Johnson, whose reckonings or accompts at no hands I might see or be privie unto. 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 under, that needed not: one 100. pieces at 146. and 147. the piece but more would have bene given, if circumspection had bene used. They were sold to those noble men aforesayd, when as yet it was not knowen that I should have gone with them. They may stand us much in stead, as they have promised us their goods wils in that they may doe. Here is at this time bought for England 11. packes of rawe silke, 25. and 26. batmans being in every 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 have 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 have a vent to make sales for the one halfe that we may buy here. The Companie may have for 30. or 40. thousand pounds yeerely. And as appeareth by your Agents wordes being at Varas, he and others sawe there so great abundance, that by report of divers, 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 up 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.

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 serve our purpose best to goe unto. 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 have bought to bee sent home 223. batmans for example. And at Gilan there is rawe silke enough for the companies stocke. I beleeve, if any great store of wares be sent from you, that must be the place: & from thence a man may travell 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 divers other cities round about, to wit, Teveris, Ardouil, and Caishan, being the heart of the countrey, where there is more civilitie and merchants are better used. Concerning this point I have inquired of divers merchants both Russes and others that have bene in those parts, and found them all agreeing in one tale, and perceive the same to be true, and that all kind of wares come from thence into these parts. And from Casbin to Ormus, is about 30. daies travelling with camels. I have written the prices of wares in my letter to the governour both for spices and some drugs which I do know.

Also you shall understand here is plentie of yew for bowstaves. I caused three horse loades to be bought us for to know the trueth: but they were cut out of season this moneth of April, the sap being in them. Three moneths I never 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 give me a good houre and well to speed, with a mery heart in returning againe, as my hope is I shall. I have written my mind to M. Glover your Agent, what Russian wares I thinke best to be bought for this Countrey, and to send some one hither that hath the Russe tongue, for we have need. And the companie shall do well hereafter in taking of servants to be sent hither, to see that they be such as have discretion, and be some thing 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 service, as those that shall be here two yeeres before him: for then we may buy a slave that can speake this language and the Portingal tongue also, which shall then interprete unto us in all your secret doings, not making the Russes privy: for they are sory that we doe trade into these partes, for we are better beloved then they are: because they are given to be drunkards, they are much hated of these people. It is to be wished that none should serve your worships in these parts that be given to that kind of vice: And that your chiefe Agent and Factor should be able to rule and governe himselfe, that no dishonestie should be imputed to him and us. By his evill usage he paied here 24 rubbles, being in this Countrey 4. tumens for a boy, that he was charged to have conveied 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 service because of his Russian tongue.

Your London reds are not to be sent hither, for they will not give above 18. shaughes their arshine. Here be reds of more orient colour, being Venice die. The people are given much to weare cloth: the common people specially weare karseis, and the merchants of more wealth weare broad cloth. You shall doe well to send five or sixe broad clothes, some blackes, pukes, or other sad colours, that may be affoorded at 20. shaughes the arshine, and not above. It is here reported that King Philip hath given the Turkes a great overthrow 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 have red it, that M. Nicols may have a sight thereof.

By your servant to command, Arthur Edwards.

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