The Ambassage of M. Giles Fletcher, Doctor of the
Civil Law, sent from her Majestie to Theodor the
Emperor of Russia, Anno 1588.
IN the yeere 1588. was sent Ambassador from her highnesse into the countrey of Russia
, Giles Fletcher Doctor
of the Civil Lawe, as well to treat with the new Emperor
Pheodor Ivanowich, about league and amitie, in like
maner as was before with his father Ivan Vasilowich, as
also for the reestablishing and reducing into order the
decaied trade of our Englishmen there. Who notwithstanding at his first arrivall at the Mosco, found some
parts of hard entertainment, by meanes of certaine rumors
concerning the late navall victory which was there reported
to have fallen on the Spanish side, as also for some dislike
conceived against the privileged trade of our English
merchants. Yet in the end he obtained of the Emperour
many good & equall conditions, and was curteously and
honourably dismissed by him. The principall points
which he entreated of, and were granted unto him by
the said Emperor, were these:
- A continuation of league and amitie betweene her
Highnesse and the sayd Emperour Pheodor Ivanowich,
in like maner as was before with his father Ivan
- A confirmation and reestablishment of the former
privileges of the Companie of our English merchants,
which were infringed and annulled in the principal points,
with divers necessary additions to the same, for the better
ordering of their trade in those countreys hereafter, viz.
That the state of the privilege granted before in the
names of some private and particular men, be altered in
that point, and the same granted by the name and stile
of their incorporation, viz. To the felowship of English
merchants for the discoverie of new trades.
- That upon every surmise and light quarel, the said
privilege be not revoked and annulled, as before time it
- That justice shall be administred to the said Companie
and their Agent without delay, upon such as shal offer
them any despite or injurie, or shal exact or impose upon
them any paiment, taxation or imposition whatsoever,
contrary to the freedome of the said grant.
- That the goods & commodities of the said Companie,
be not forcibly taken as before time they had bene by the
Emperors officers or people of authoritie, either for the
use of the said Emperor or of his officers. But in case
they have need of the said commodities, the same to be
taken at reasonable prices, and for ready money.
- That the said Companie be not charged hereafter
with the answering of such debts as are made by any
Englishman not being of the societie.
- That the Emperors authorized people shall not hereafter repute any Englishman resiant in that countrey, to
be any factor, servant, or dealer in the said Companies
affaires, but such as the Agent shall inregister by name,
within the offices where custome is entered in all such
places of the land where the sayd Companie have
residences to traffike.
- That the names of such as shall so be inregistred be
no longer continued in record, nor themselves reputed
as factors or dealers for the said Companie, then the
Agent shall thinke good. But in case the said Agent
in his discretion shall thinke meet to strike out of the
Register any name of such as have bene imploied in
the Companies service, the said person to be held as
private, & whose acte in bargaining or otherwise, shall
not charge the said Companie.
- That if any English man within the countrey of
be suspected for any notorious crime, as felony,
treason, &c. the same be not straightwaies set upon the
Pudkey, nor otherwise tormented, till such time as he
shall be convicted by plaine and evident proofes: which
being done, the whole proceeding to be sent over to the
Queene of England.
- That the said privilege with the additions, shall be
published in all townes and partes of the Emperors
dominions, where the said Companie have traffike.
- That the said Companie shall be permitted to use
a sole trade through the Emperours countries, by the
into Media, Persia, Bogharia, and the other
the East countries.
- Whereas there was claimed of the said Companie
the summe of 23553. markes of debt, made by certaine of
their factors for the said company, for paiment whereof,
their whole stocke was in danger of arrest, by publike
authoritie: Further also 2140. rubbles for custome and
houserent, he obtained a rebatement of eighteene thousand, one hundred fiftie and three marks of the sayd
The said Ambassador M. Giles Fletcher, as I understand, hath drawen a booke intituled, Of the Russe
Common wealth, containing:
First, a Cosmographicall description of the countrey,
which hath these chapters.
- Of the length and bredth of the countrey of Russia,
with the names of the shires.
- Of the soile and climate.
- Of the native commodities of the countrey.
Secondly, a description of their policie contained in
these Chapters, viz.
- Of the constitution or state of the Russe Common
- Of their Parliaments, and maner of holding them.
- Of the Russe Nobilitie and meanes whereby it is kept
in an under proportion agreeable to that state.
- Of the maner of governing their provinces or shires.
- Of the Emperours privie counsell.
- Of the Emperors customs & their revenues, with the
practises for the increase of them.
- Of the Russe
communaltie and their condition.
- Of their publike justice and maner of proceeding
- Of the Emperors forces for his warres, with the
chiefe officers, and their salarie or pay.
- Of their maner of mustering, armour, and provision
- Of their ordering, marching, charging, and their
- Of their colonies and policie in maintaining their
purchases by conquest.
- Of their borderers with whom they have most to doe
in warre and peace.
- Of their church offices and degrees.
- Of their liturgie or forme of Church service.
- Of their maner of administring the Sacraments.
- Of the doctrine of the Russe
- Of the maner of solemnizing their mariages.
- Of the other ceremonies of the Russe
Thirdly, the Oeconomie or private behaviour of the Russe
containing these chapters.
- Of the Emperors houshold officers, and order of his
- Of the private behaviour and maner of the Russe