previous next

The way discovered by water by us Thomas Southam & John Sparke, from the towne of Colmogro, by the Westerne bottome of the Baie of S. Nicholas, unto the citie of Novogrod in Russia , containing many particulars of the way, and distance of miles, as hereafter foloweth. Anno 1566.

WE departed from Colmogro about 10. of the clocke afore noone in a Lodia or Barke, which we hired to bring us along the coast to a place called Soroka, & in the sayd barke we hired 6. mariners, and a boy to conduct us to the place before rehearsed.

The Lodia or barke was of the burden of 25. tunnes or thereabout, wherewith we valed downe the river of Dwina, the winde being then calme, unto a monasterie called S. Michael where we were constrained to anker because of a contrary wind which there met us.

From Colmogro to this monasterie are 50. versts or miles of Russia , at which place we taried till the 21. day in the morning, and then having the wind somewhat faire, we set saile and departed thence.

21 We departed from the monasterie of S. Michael, having the wind somwhat faire, and arrived at Rose Island, over and against the monasterie of S. Nicholas, the 22. day at 2. of the clocke in the morning, which is 35. miles distant from the monasterie of S. Michael. By reason of contrary wind and tide we were constrained to tary there all that day.

23 We departed from the monasterie of S. Nicholas at 7. of the clocke in the evening, & came to an anker at the Beacons, & continued there until halfe an houre past 10. of the clocke, and then set from thence, the wind being South: our course was West until 5. of the clock in the morning, when as we came to an anker against Newnox towne, where we continued until the 25. day.

The sayd towne of Newnox is from the monasterie of S. Nicholas 35. miles.

25 We departed from Newnox haven at one of the clocke in the after noone, the wind at South and Southeast, and our course Northwest and by West.

The point of Tolstick which is the headland before the entrance of Newnox haven, and the headland of Sevsemski lie next Southeast and by South, Northwest and by North. We came to an anker there this day at 4. of the clock in ye afternoone, being from Newnox haven 15. miles, where we continued in harbour til the 27. day of the moneth, by reason of contrary winds.

27 We departed from Sevsemski in the morning at 5. of the clocke, the wind next at East and by North, and our course Northwest and by West.

The said land of Sevsemski & the headland going into Owna river lieth East and by South, west and by North, and between them is 25. miles.

This day at Sunne set we came to an Island called Sogisney passing betwixt it & the maine, with the wind at South and by East, our course was West and by South, being 85. miles from Owna river.

Being past the said Island 10. miles, the wind came contrary, whereupon we returned to the Island of Sogisney, where we remained until the 29. day.

29 The 29. day we departed from Sogisney aforesayd, at 5. of the clocke in the afternoone, the wind at East northeast, & our course was Southwest & by west, passing by an Island called Anger, being 30. miles from Sogisney, and keeping on our course, we came by the headland of an Island called Abdon, being from the Island of Anger 15. miles, where we found many rocks: and if the great providence of God had not preserved us, wee had there perished, being fallen amongst them in the night time, and our pilot none of the perfectest, which was contrary to his profession as we found it.

But whosoever will travell that way must either keepe hard aboord the shore, for that there is a chanell which goeth along the coast within the rocks, or els give the headland a birth of 6. miles at the least, and so goe a seaboord all: for there are ledges of rocks that lie five miles from the headland.

We gave the headland a birth of 3. miles, notwithstanding there lay two rockes two miles to sea boord of us, so that we were inclosed with them, and sate upon the highest of them : but it pleased God to make it calme, and give us the day also, or els we had miscaried.

30 We departed from the headland of the Island of Abdon, at 4. of the clocke in the morning, directing our course West, and at 10. of the clocke before noone, we arrived at a monasterie named Solofky, which is 15. miles from Abdon.

At this monasterie we continued untill the 31. day of this moneth. We had here delivered us by the chiefe monkes of the monasterie, their letter and house seale, and a servant of theirs to conduct us safely through the dangerous river of Owiga.

The people of all those parts are wild, and speake another kind of language, & are for the most part all tenants to the monasterie. The effect of the letter was, that they should be ready to helpe and assist us in all dangerous places, and carie our boats and goods over land in places needfull, as in deed they did, as hereafter shall appeare.

Note, that at our being at the monasterie, there was no Abbot for the place as then chosen: for 15. dayes before our arrival there, the Abbot was sent for by the Emperour, and made Metropolitane of the realme, as he now is. The number of monkes belonging to the monasterie are at the least 200.

31 Wee departed from the monasterie of Solofky, as is aforesayde, to a faire stone house of theirs, which is 5. miles from the monasterie, lying from it South and by West.

1 We departed from the Stone house at 3. of the clocke in the morning: our course was West for 60. versts, and then passing betwixt divers and sundry rocks, with many small Islands round about us for the space of 20 miles, keeping most commonly the same course still, we then shaped a new course, and yet sundry times shifting, but we alwayes kept the Southwest, and neerest of all South southwest, until we came within two miles of the entrance of the river Owiga where we were to beare in, West and by North.

From the river Owiga, to the Islands and rocks before mentioned, are 20. miles.

We arrived about 4. of the clocke in the after noone within the river of Owiga, at a place named Soroka, at which place we forsooke our barke or Lodia, & continued there in making provision for small boates to carie us up the river untill the 3. day of the same.

3 We departed from Soroka at two of the clocke in the afternoone, with 3. boats and 12. men to rowe, and set the foresaid boates up the river of Owiga, which we hired.

We went this day 7. miles to a place called Ostrove, where we lay all night, but in the way 4. miles from Soroka, at a place where the water falleth from the rocks, as if it came steepe downe from a mountain, we were constrained to take out our goods and wares out of the said boats, and caused them to be caried a mile over land, and afterwards also had our boates in like sort caried or drawen over land by force of men which there dwelled, being tenants to the monasterie aforesaid.

And when our boats were come to the place where our wares were laid, we lanched our boats and laded our wares againe, and went to the place before named, where we continued and remained that night.

We departed from Ostrove in the morning before Sunne rising, rowing and setting up the river 5. miles, where we came to a place whereas we were againe constrained to take out our wares, and to carie them and our boats three miles over land, so that with rowing, drawing and setting, we went this day 7. miles more to a place called Sloboday, where we lay all night.

5 We departed from Sloboday in the morning at Sunne rising, and at sixe of the clocke in the afternoone, we came to a village called Paranda, which is from Sloboday 30. miles, where wee remained all that night.

6 We departed from Paranda at 6. of the clocke in the morning, and all that day what with setting and drawing our boats, we went but 11. miles, for we twise unladed our wares, & drew our boats overland, in one place a mile & an halfe, in another place as it were the eight part of a mile, and so we came to a place called Voyets, where we taried all that night.

7 We departed from Voyets at 4. of the clocke in the morning, & so came to an Ozera or lake, called after the name of the river, & unto a place called Quequenich, wee rowed all this day, and came thither by one of the clock in the afternoone, which is 25. miles from Voyets, and there we remained all night to hire men and boats to care us forward on our journey.

Here departed backe from us the servant which we had at the Monasterie, being sent by the monkes to go thus far with us. And after that he had hired the boats and taken the mens names that should conduct us, & given them charge to deliver us with all things in safetie, at a place being a litle towne called Povensa, then hee departed from us without taking any reward for his paines, for so he was charged and commanded by the monkes.

8 We departed from Quequenich at sunne rising, & all that day rowed upon the lake amongst many Islands. The inhabitants doe there report that there are as many Islands in their lake, as there are dayes in the yeere. In the evening we came to a village named Tellekina, which is 60. miles from Quequenich.

9 We departed from Tellekina in the morning at 5. of the clocke, and so entring into a river, we went that day 13. miles. In one place we caried our boates and goods overland 3. miles. At evening we came to a place called Oreiche na maelay, where we lay all night.

10 Wee departed thence at 5. of the clocke in the morning, and so rowing, came to a place where the river ended, being 20. miles distant from the place where wee lay all night, at which place wee forsooke our boates and unladed our wares, and sent a man to the towne of Povensa, which was seven mile off, for horses to cary us and our wares to the said place. The horses came, and we laded our goods, and at sixe of the clocke in the afternoone wee arrived at the towne of Povensa, with all things in safetie.

This towne of Povensa standeth within one mile of the famous lake or Ozera of Onega, which is 320. miles long, and in some places 70. miles over. But where it is narrowest it is 25. miles over, being fed with many goodly rivers which fall into it. Hard aboord the shore within 6. miles, you shall have 40. and 45. fathoms of depth.

Here it is to bee noted that from this place of Povensa unto the village of Soroka downe those dangerous rivers which wee came through, at no time of the yeere can or may any man cary or transport any goods that come from Novogrod, or the Narve, and such other places: for in the Sommer it is impossible to cary downe any wares by reason of the great fals of water that doe descend from the rockes. Likewise in the Winter by reason of the great force and fall of waters which make so terrible raises, that in those places it never freezeth, but all such wares as come from Novogrod to Povensa, are transported by land to a place called Some in the Winter, which Some standeth on the sea side, as doth Soroka. The ready way from Povensa by land to this place of Some, with the distance of miles I will shew hereafter.

12 We departed from Povensa at 9. of the clocke in the morning, with 2. smal boats which we hired to cary us to a place called Tolvo upon the lake of Onega, being 50 miles from Povensa, where we arrived the 13. day in the morning, where wee bought a boate that caried us and all our wares from thence to the Citie of Novogrod.

14 We departed from Tolvo at 3. of the clocke in the afternoone, and at the evening arrived at a certaine Island named Salasalma, upon the said lake 7. miles from Tolvo, and by reason of contrary windes we there taried untill the 16. day of this moneth.

16 We departed from Salasalma, at 8. of the clocke in the morning, and came to an Island the 17. day in the morning, named Vorronia, where wee continued by reason of contrary winds, untill the 21. day of the said moneth, and it is 60. miles from Salasalma.

21 We departed from Vorronia Island two houres before day, and arrived at S. Clements Monasterie at 2. of the clocke in the after noone, being from Vorronia 48. miles.

22 We departed from S. Clements Monasterie at the breake of the day, having a faire wind all a long the lake: we sailed without striking of saile until two houres within night, and then entred into a river called Swire, at a Monasterie called Vosnessino Christo, five miles from the entrance of the river, where we taried al night. It is from S. Clements Monastery 160. miles: the streame of that river went with us.

23 Wee departed from Vosnessino Christo before Sunne rising, and valed downe the river sometime sailing, and sometime rowing, so that this day wee went 90. miles and lay at night at a place called Vassian.

24 Wee departed from Vassian at the breake of the day, and came to a place called Selucax, where we lay all night, and is 10. miles from Vassian.

25 We departed from Selucaxe at 4 of the clocke in the morning, and entred upon the Lake of Ladiskaie, the winde being calme al that day saving 3. houres, and then it was with us, so that we sailed and rowed that day 10. miles, along upon the said lake, and entred into the river of Volhuski, which river hath his beginning 20. miles above Novogrod, and runneth through the midst of the Citie, and so falleth into this lake, which is farre longer then the lake of Onega, but it is not so broad. This lake falleth into the sea that commeth from the Sound: where any vessel or boat, having a good pilot, may goe through the Sound into England.

As soone as we were entred into the river, we came to a Monasterie called S. Nicholas Medved, where we lay all that night.

26 Wee departed from S. Nicholas Medved, at five of the clocke in the morning, rowing and drawing our boates all day, and came at night to another Monasterie called Gosnopoli, which is 30 miles from S. Nicholas Medved, where we lay all that night.

27 We departed from Gosnopoli at 6. of the clocke in the morning, and at evening came to a place called Moislave, where we lay all night, being 46. miles from the Monasterie of Gosnopoli.

28 We departed from Moislave, and the saide day at night came to a place called Grussina, 35. miles from Moislave where we lodged.

29 Wee departed from Grussina in the morning, and the same day at evening came to a place called Petroe Svetoe, where we lay all night, being 40 miles from Grussina.

30 We departed from Petro Svetoe in the morning, and at two of the clock in the afternoone we arrived at the Citie of Novogrod, being twentie miles from Petroe Svetoe. Here we found William Rowlie Agent to the company, who was there stayed with all his company, and was not licenced to depart thence for the Mosco, by reason that the plague was then in the Citie of Novogrod. Unto him we delivered all the wares that wee brought from Colmogro, for by the way we sold not a peny worth, the people of the countrey every where be so miserable.

The right way to bring and transport wares from Novogrod to Rose Island into S. Nicholas bay, where our Ships yeerely lade, with the distance of miles from place to place, is as followeth:

  • 20 Miles from Novogrod to Petroe Svetoe.
  • 40 Miles from thence to Grusina.
  • 35 Miles from thence to Moislave.
  • 46 Miles from thence to the Monasterie Gosnopoli.
  • 15 Miles from thence to Ladega towne.
  • 15 Miles from thence to Selvnaz over the lake of Ladega, albeit there be many villages all along the lake.
  • 180 Miles from Ladega towne up the river of Swire, unto the Monasterie of Vosnessino Christo, albeit there are many villages upon the river: for within every five or sixe miles you shall have villages or small townes.
  • 160 Miles from Vosnessino Christo to S. Clements Monastery, albeit there be many villages all along the lake of Onega.
  • 48 Miles from thence to Voronia.
  • 67 Miles from thence to Tolvo towne: and there are divers villages al along the lake where the carriers may lie, and have meate for man and horse.
  • 50 Miles from thence to Povensa, where Onega lake endeth.

The way from Povensa to Some towne is this:

  • 30 Miles from Povensa to Mastelina.
  • 10 Miles from thence to Tellekina.
  • 30 Miles from thence to Tolvich.
  • 35 Miles from thence to Carraich.
  • 20 Miles from thence to Varnich.
  • 10 Miles from thence to Ostrovo.
  • 5 Miles from thence to Lapina.
  • 20 Miles from thence to Some it selfe.

Note, that from the Citie of Novogrod unto the towne of Some is 936. miles, and from the towne of Some unto the Monasterie of S. Nicholas or Rose Island, over and against where our Ships do ride, is just as many miles as is Soroka village from S. Nicholas, as the Russes doe accompt it, as also we do judge it, namely 325. miles. So that from Novogrod to S. Nicholas road, is by our accompt 1261. miles or versts.

Furthermore it is to be noted that all such wares as shall be bought at Novogrod, and sent to Some towne, must be sent by sled way in the Winter: for if any ware should be sent from Novogrod by water in the spring of the yeere after the yce is gone, then must the said wares remaine at Povensa towne al that Summer, by reason that in the Summer there is no way to goe from Povensa unto Some towne.

At Povensa there are many warehouses to be hired, so that if there were as much goods as ten ships could cary away, you might have warehouses to put it in: but if there should remaine much ware all the Summer, to be caried in the Winter to Some towne, then horses are not easily to be gotten at that place to cary it thither: so that your wares once bought at Novogrod, you must have cariers there to cary it to the towne of Some by Sleds, whereof you may there have 2000. if you will, by the report of the Russes.

For from Novogrod yerely there go many Sleds in the Winter to fetche salt from Some, with carriers and emptie Sleds there to buy it, and to bring it to Novogrod to sell it in the market or otherwise.

From Novogrod unto Some towne you may have a pood of wares carried for eight pence or nine pence: but in any wise your wares must bee sent from Novogrod by the sixt of January, so that the wares may bee at Some by Candlemas, or soone after: for if your wares should tary by the way untill the 15. of February when the Sunne is of some power, then is it dangerous: for the heate of the Sunne in the day causeth the deepe lakes of Ladega, and specially of Onega to cleave: and if there should come then a sudden thaw, as oftentimes in that time of the yeere doeth, then doe these lakes open and breake, whereby many men are lost, and both men and horse drowned, although other rivers do remaine frozen a long time after.

In the towne of Some also there are many warehouses, whereof we cannot be destitute for the reposing of our wares, as also as many barkes as you wil to transport your wares from thence to S. Nicholas road, and that for three pence a poods caryage: so that from the Citie of Novogrod unto S. Nicholas road you may have wares caried for two altines. The pood commeth unto 23. altines the tunne.

Provided alwayes, that you buy your wares there your selfe, and send it thence: for there is no hope that the natives will bring their wares from Novogrod to Some, in hope to sell unto us, considering the great trade that they have at the Narve, which is within 180 miles off them.

Written by Thomas Southam a servant to the company.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Colmogro (Russia) (4)
Russia (Russia) (2)
Stone (United Kingdom) (1)
Moscow (Russia) (1)
Anger (Steiermark, Austria) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1566 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: