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The description of the countrey of Russia, with the bredth, length, and names of the Shires.

THE countrey of Russia was somtimes called Sarmatia . It changed the name (as some do suppose) for that it was parted into divers smal, and yet absolute governments, not depending, nor being subject the one to the other. For Russe in that tongue doeth signifie as much as to part, or devide. The Russe reporteth that foure brethren, Trubor, Rurico, Sinees, and Varivus devided among them the North parts of the country. Likewise that the South parts were possessed by 4. other, Kio, Scieko, Choranus, and their sister Libeda: each calling his territorie after his own name. Of this partition it was called Russia , about the yere from Christ 860. As for the conjecture which I find in some Cosmographers, that the Russe nation borowed the name of the people called Roxellani, & were the very same nation with them, it is without all good probabilitie, both in respect of the etymologie of the word (which is very far fet) and especially for the seat and dwelling of that people, which was betwixt the two rivers of Tanais and Boristhenes, (as Strabo reporteth) quite another way from the countrey of Russia.

When it bare the name of Sarmatia , it was devided into two chiefe parts: the White and the Black. The white Sarmatia was all that part that lieth towards the North, & on the side of Liefland: as the provinces now called Dwina, Vagha, Ustiug, Vologda, Cargapolia, Novogrodia, &c whereof Novogrod velica was the Metropolite or chiefe citie. Black Sarmatia was al that countrey that lieth Southward towards the Euxin or Black sea : as the dukedome of Volodemer, of Mosco, Rezan, &c. Some have thought that the name of Sarmatia was first taken from one Sarmates, whom Moses & Josephus cal Asarmathes sonne to Joktan, & nephew to Heber, of the posteritie of Sem. But this seemeth to be nothing but a conjecture taken out of the likenes of the name Asarmathes. For the dwelling of all Joktans posteritie is described by Moses to have bene betwixt Mescha or Masius (an hil of the Ammonites) & Sephace, nere to the river Euphrates : which maketh it very unlikely that Asarmathes should plant any colonies so far off in ye North & northwest countries. It is bounded northward by the Lappes & the North Ocean. On the Southside by the Tartars called Crimmes. Eastward they have the Nagaian Tartar, that possesseth all the countrey on the East side of Volga towards the Caspian sea. On the West and Southwest border lieth Lituania , Livonia and Polonia .

The whole Countrey being nowe reduced under the government of one, conteineth these chiefe Provinces or Shires. Volodemer, (which beareth the first place in the Emperours stile, because their house came of the Dukes of that Countrey) Mosco, Nisnovogrod, Plesko, Smolensko, Novogrod velica (or Novogrod of the low Countrey) Rostove, Yaruslave, Bealozera, Rezan, Duyna, Cargapolia, Meschora, Vagha, Ustuga, Ghaletsa. These are the naturall shires perteyning to Russia , but farre greater and larger then the shires of England, though not so well peopled. The other Countreys or provinces which the Russe Emperours have gotten perforce added of late to their other dominion, are these which followe, Twerra, Youghoria, Permia, Vadska, Boulghoria, Chernigo, Oudoria, Obdoria, Condora, with a great part of Siberia : where the people though they be not naturall Russes, yet obey the Emperour of Russia, and are ruled by the Lawes of the Countrey, paying customes and taxes, as his owne people doe. Besides these he hath under him the kingdomes of Cazan and Astracan, gotten by conquest not long since. As for all his possession in Lituania (to the number of 30. great Townes and more,) with Narve and Dorp in Livonia , they are quite gone, being surprised of late yeeres by the Kings of Poland and Sweden . These Shires and Provinces are reduced all into foure Jurisdictions, which they call Chetfyrds (that is) Tetrarchies, or Fourthparts.

The whole Countrey is of great length and breadth. From the North to the South (if you measure from Cola to Astracan which bendeth somewhat Eastward) it reacheth in length about 4260. verst, or miles. Notwithstanding the Emperour of Russia hath more territorie Northward, farre beyond Cola unto the River of Tromschua, that runneth a hundred verst, welnigh beyond Pechinga, neere to Wardhouse, but not intire nor clearely limited, by reason of the kings of Sweden and Denmarke, that have divers Townes there, aswell as the Russe , plotted together the one with the other: every one of them clayming the whole of those North parts as his owne right. The breadth (if you go from that part of his territorie that lyeth farthest Westward on the Narve side, to the parts of Siberia Eastward, where the Emperour hath his garrisons) is 4400. verst or thereabouts. A verst (by their reckoning) is a 1000. pases, yet lesse by one quarter then an English mile. If the whole dominion of the Russe Emperour were all habitable, and peopled in all places, as it is in some, he would either hardly holde it all within one regiment, or be over mightie for all his neighbour Princes.


Of the Soile and Climate.

THE soyle of the Countrey for the most part is of a sleight sandie moulde, yet very much different one place from another, for the yeeld of such things as grow out of the earth. The Countrey Northwards towards the parts of S. Nicholas and Cola, and Northeast towards Siberia , is all very barren, and full of desert woods by reason of the Climate, and extremitie of the colde in Winter time. So likewise along the River Volgha betwixt the Countreys of Cazan, and Astracan: where (notwithstanding the soyle is very fruitfull) it is all unhabited, saving that upon the river Volgha on the Westside , the Emperour hath some fewe Castels with garisons in them. This happeneth by meanes of the Crimme Tartar, that will neither himselfe plant Townes to dwel there, (living a wild and vagrant life) nor suffer the Russe (that is farre off with the strength of his Countrey) to people those parts. From Vologda (which lyeth almost 1700. verst from the port of S. Nicholas) downe towards Mosco, and so towards the South part that bordereth upon the Crimme, (which conteineth the like space of 1700. verst or there abouts) is a very fruitfull and pleasant Countrey, yeelding pasture, and corne, with woods and waters in very great plentie. The like is betwixt Rezan (that lyeth Southeast from Mosco) to Novogrod and Vobsko, that reach farthest towards the Northwest. So betwixt Mosco, and Smolensko (that lyeth Southwest towards Lituania ) is a very fruitfull and pleasant soile.

The whole Countrey differeth very much from it selfe, by reason of the yeere: so that a man would marveile to see the great alteration and difference betwixt the Winter, and the Summer Russia. The whole Countrey in the Winter lieth under snow, which falleth continually, and is sometime of a yard or two thicke, but greater towards the North. The Rivers and other waters are all frosen up a yard or more thicke, how swift or broade so ever they bee. And this continueth commonly five moneths, viz. from the beginning of November till towardes the ende of March, what time the snow beginneth to melt. So that it would breede a frost in a man to looke abroad at that time, and see the Winter face of that Countrey. The sharpenesse of the aire you may judge of by this: for that water dropped downe or cast up into the aire congealeth into yce before it come to the ground. In the extremitie of Winter, if you holde a pewter dish or pot in your hand, or any other mettall (except in some chamber where their warme stoaves bee) your fingers will friese fast unto it, and drawe off the skinne at the parting. When you passe out of a warme roome into a colde, you shall sensibly feele your breath to waxe starke, and even stifeling with the colde, as you drawe it in and out. Divers not onely that travell abroad, but in the very markets, and streetes of their Townes, are mortally pinched and killed withall: so that you shall see many drop downe in the streetes; many travellers brought into the Townes sitting dead and stiffe in their Sleds. Divers lose their noses, the tips of their eares, and the bals of their cheekes, their toes, feete, &c. Many times (when the Winter is very hard and extreeme) the beares and woolfes issue by troupes out of the woods driven by hunger, and enter the villages, tearing and ravening all they can finde: so that the inhabitants are faine to flie for safegard of their lives. And yet in the Sommer time you shal see such a new hiew and face of a Countrey, the woods (for the most part which are all of firre and birch) so fresh and so sweete, the pastures and medowes so greene and well growen, (and that upon the sudden) such varietie of flowers, such noyse of birdes (specially of Nightingales, that seeme to be more lowde and of a more variable note then in other Countreys) that a man shall not lightly travell in a more pleasant Countrey.

And this fresh and speedy growth of the Spring there seemeth to proceede from the benefite of the snow: which all the Winter time being spread over the whole Countrey as a white robe, and keeping it warme from the rigour of the frost, in the Spring time (when the Sunne waxeth warme, and dissolveth it into water) doeth so throughly drench and soake the ground, that is somewhat of a sleight and sandie mould, and then shineth so hotely upon it againe, that it draweth the hearbes and plants foorth in great plentie and varietie, in a very short time. As the Winter exceedeth in colde, so the Sommer inclineth to over much heat, specially in the moneths of June, July and August, being much warmer then the Sommer aire in England.

The Countrey throughout is very well watred with springs, rivers, and Ozeraes, or lakes. Wherein the providence of God is to be noted, for that much of the Countrey being so farre inland, as that some part lieth a thousand miles and more every way from any Sea, yet it is served with faire Rivers, and that in very great number, that emptying themselves one into another, runne all into the Sea. Their lakes are many and large, some of 60. 80. 100. and 200. miles long, with breadth proportionate.

The chiefe Rivers are these, First, Volgha, that hath his head or spring at the roote of an Aldertree, about 200. verst above Yaruslave, and groweth so bigge by the encrease of other Rivers by that time it commeth thither, that it is broad an English mile and more, and so runneth into the Caspian sea, about 2800. verst or miles of length.

The next is Boristhenes (now called Neper) that divideth the Countrey from Lituania , and falleth into the Euxin sea.

The third Tanais or Don, (the ancient bounder betwixt Europe and Asia) that taketh his head out of Rezan Ozera, and so running through the Countrey of the Chrim Tartar, falleth into the great Sea, lake, or meare, (called Maeotis) by the Citie of Azov. By this River (as the Russe reporteth) you may passe from their Citie Mosco to Constantinople, and so into all those parts of the world by water, drawing your boate (as their maner is) over a little Isthmus or narrowe slip of land, a few versts overthwart. Which was proved not long since by an Ambassadour sent to Constantinople, who passed the River of Moscua, and so into another called Ocka, whence hee drew his boat over into Tanais , and thence passed the whole way by water.

The fourth is called Duyna, many hundred miles long, that falleth Northward into the bay of S. Nicholas, and hath great Alabaster rockes on the bankes towards the sea side.

The fifth Duna , that emptieth into the Baltick sea by the towne Riga .

The sixt Onega, that falleth into the Bay at Solovetsko 90. verst from the port of S. Nicholas. This River, below the towne Cargapolia, meeteth with the River Volock, that falleth into the Finland Sea by the towne Yama. So that from the port of S. Nicholas into the Finland sea, and so into the Sound, you may passe all by water, as hath bene tried by the Russe .

The seventh Suchana, that floweth into Duyna, and so into the North sea.

The eight Ocka, that fetcheth his head from the borders of the Chrim, and streameth into Volgha.

The ninth Moscua, that runneth thorow the Citie Mosco, and giveth it the name.

There is Wichida also a very large and long river that riseth out of Permia, and falleth into Volgha. All these are rivers of very large streames, the least to be compared to the Thames in bignesse, and in length farre more, besides divers others. The Pole at Mosco is 55. degrees 10. minutes. At the port of S. Nicholas towards the North 63. degrees and 50. minutes.


The native commodities of the Countrey.

FOR kindes of fruites, they have Apples, peares, plummes, cherries, red and blacke, (but the blacke wilde) a deene like a muske millian, but more sweete and pleasant, cucumbers and goords (which they call Arbouse) rasps, strawberies, and hurtilberies, with many other beries in great quantitie in every wood and hedge. Their kindes of graine are wheat, rie, barley, oates, pease, buckway, psnytha, that in taste is somewhat like to rice. Of all these graines the Countrey yeeldeth very sufficient with an overplus quantitie, so that wheate is solde sometime for two alteens or ten pence starling the Chetfird, which maketh almost three English bushels.

Their rie is sowed before the Winter, all their other graine in the Spring time, and for the most part in May. The Permians and some other that dwell farre North, and in desert places, are served from the parts that lye more Southward, and are forced to make bread sometimes of a kinde of roote (called Vaghnoy) and of the middle rine of the firre tree. If there be any dearth (as they accompted this last yeere Anno 1588. wheat and rie being at 13. alteens, or 5. shillings five pence starling the Chetfird) the fault is rather in the practise of their Nobilitie that use to engrosse it, then in the Countrey it selfe.

The native commodities of the Countrey (wherewith they serve both their owne turnes, and send much abroad to the great enriching of the Emperor, and his people) are many & substantiall. First, furres of all sorts. Wherein the providence of God is to be noted, that provideth a naturall remedie for them, to helpe the naturall inconvenience of their Countrey by the cold of the Climat. Their chief furres are these, Blacke fox, Sables, Lusernes, dun fox, Martrones, Gurnestalles or Armins, Lasets or Miniver, Bever , Wulverins, the skin of a great water Rat that smelleth naturally like muske, Calaber or gray squirrel, red squirrel, red & white fox. Besides the great quantitie spent within ye Countrey (the people being clad al in furres the whole winter) there are transported out of the Countrey some yeeres by the merchants of Turkie, Persia, Bougharia, Georgia , Armenia , and some other of Christendom, to the value of foure or five hundred thousand rubbles, as I have heard of the merchants. The best Sable furre groweth in the countrey of Pechora, Momgosorskoy and Obdorskoy, the worser sort in Siberia , Perm , & other places. The blacke foxe and red come out of Siberia , white and dunne from Pechora, whence also come the white wolfe, and white Beare skin. The best Wulverin also thence and from Perm . The best Martrons are from Siberia , Cadam, Morum, Perm , and Cazan. Lyserns, Minever, and Armins, the best are out of Gallets, and Ouglits, many from Novogrod and Perm . The Beaver of the best sort breedeth in Murmonskey by Cola. Other common furres and most of these kindes grow in many, and some in all parts of the Countrey.

The second commoditie is of Waxe, whereof hath bene shipped into forreigne countreys (as I have heard it reported by those that best know it) the summe of 50000. pood yeerely, every pood conteyneth 40. pound, but now about 10000. pood a yeere.

The third is their Honie, whereof besides an exceeding great quantitie spent in their ordinary drinkes (which is Mead of all sorts) and their other uses, some good quantitie is caried out of the countrey. The chiefe encrease of hony is in Mordua and Cadam neere to the Cheremissen Tartar: much out of Severskoy, Rezan, Morum, Cazan, Dorogobose, and Vasma.

Fourthly, of Tallow they afoord a great waight for transportation: not onely for that their countrey hath very much good ground apt for pasturage of cattell, but also by reason of their many Lents and other fastes: and partly because their greater men use much waxe for their lights, the poorer and meaner sort birch dried in their stoaves, and cut into long shivers, which they call Luchineos. Of tallow there hath bene shipped out of the Realme a few yeeres since about 100000. pood yerely, now not past 30000. or thereabouts. The best yeeld of tallow is in the parts and territories of Smolensko, Yaruslave, Ouglits, Novogrod, and Vologda, Otfer, and Gorodetskey.

An other principall commoditie is their Losh and Cow hide. Their Losh or Buffe hide is very faire and large. Their bull and cowe hide (for oxen they make none, neither yet weather) is of a small sise. There hath bene transported by merchants strangers some yeres 100000. hides. Now it is decreased to 30000. or thereabouts. Besides great store of goates skinnes, whereof great numbers are shipped out of the countrey. The largest kinde of Losh or Buffe breedeth about Rostove, Wichida, Novogrod, Morum, and Perm . The lesser sort within the kingdome of Cazan.

An other very great and principall commoditie is their Trane oyle, drawen out of the Seal fish. Where it will not be impertinent to shewe the maner of their hunting the Seal, which they make this oyle of: which is in this sort. Towards the ende of Sommer (before the frost beginne) they goe downe with their boates into the Bay of S. Nicholas, to a cape called Cusconesse or Foxnose, where they leave their boats till the next spring tide. When the Sunne waxeth warme toward the spring, and yet the yce not melted within the Bay, they returne thither againe. Then drawing their boates over the sea yce, they use them for houses to rest and lodge in. There are commonly about 17. or 18. fleete of them, of great large boates, which divide themselves into divers companies, five or sixe boats in a consort.

They that first finde the haunt, fire a beacon, which they carry with them for the nonce. Which being espied by the other companies, by such among them as are appointed of purpose, they come altogether and compasse the Seales round about in a ring, that lie sunning themselves together upon the yce, commonly foure or five thousand in a shoale, and so they invade them every man with his club in his hand. If they hit them on the nose, they are soone killed. If on the sides or backe they beare out the blow, and many times so catch and holde downe the clubbe with their teeth by maine force, that the partie is forced to call for helpe to his fellowes.

The maner of the Seals is when they see themselves beset, to gather all close together in a throng or plumpe, to sway downe the yce, and to breake it (if they can) which so bendeth the yce that many times it taketh the sea water upon it, and maketh the hunters to wade a foote or more deepe. After the slaughter when they have killed what they can, they fall to sharing every boate his part in equall portions: and so they flay them, taking from the body the skin, and the lard or fat with all that cleaveth to the skin. This they take with them, leaving the bodies behind, and so go to shore. Where they digge pits in the ground of a fadome and an halfe deepe, or thereabout, and so taking the fat or lard off from the skinne, they throw it into the pit, and cast in among it hoat burning stones to melt it withall. The uppermost and purest is sold, and used to oile wool for cloth, the grosser (that is of a red colour) they sell to make sope.

Likewise of Ickary or Cavery, a great quantitie is made upon the river of Volgha out of the fish called Bellougina, the Sturgeon, the Severiga and the Sterledey. Whereof the most part is shipped by French and Netherlandish merchants for Italy and Spaine, some by English merchants.

The next is of Flax and Hempe, whereof there hath bene shipped (as I have heard merchants say) at the port of Narve a great part of 100. ships small and great yerely. Now, not past five. The reason of this abating and decrease of this & other commodities, that were wont to be transported in a greater quantitie, is the shutting up of the port of ye Narve towards the Finland sea, which now is in the handes and possession of the Sweden . Likewise the stopping of the passage overland by the way of Smolensko, & Plotsko, by reason of their warres with the Polonian, which causeth the people to be lesse provident in mainteining and gathering these and like commodities, for that they lacke sales. For the growth of flaxe the province of Vobsko, and the countrey about is the chiefe and onely place. For Hempe Smolensko, Dorogobose and Vasma.

The countrey besides maketh great store of salt. Their best salt is made at Stararovse in very great quantitie, where they have great store of salt wels, about 250. verst from the sea. At Astracan salt is made naturally by the sea water, that casteth it up into great hils, and so it is digged downe, and caried away by the merchants and other that wil fetch it from thence. They pay to the Emperor for acknowledgement or custome 3.d. Russe upon every hundred weight. Besides these two, they make salt in many other places of the Realme, as in Perm , Wichida, Totma, Kenitsma, Solovetsky, Ocona, Bombasey, and Nonocks, all out of salt pits, save at Solovetsky, which lieth neere to the sea.

Likewise of Tarre they make a great quantitie out of their firre trees in the countrey of Duyna and Smolensko, whereof much is sent abroad. Besides these (which are all good and substantiall commodities) they have divers other of smaller accompt, that are naturall and proper to that countrey: as the fish tooth (which they call Ribazuba) which is used both among themselves, and the Persians and Bougharians that fetch it from thence for beads, knives, and sword hafts of Noblemen and gentlemen, and for divers other uses. Some use the powder of it against poison, as the Unicornes horne. The fish that weareth it is called a Morse, and is caught about Pechora. These fish teeth some of them are almost 2. foote of length, and weigh 11. or 12. pound apiece.

In the province of Corelia, and about the river Duyna towards the North sea, there groweth a soft rocke which they call Slude. This they cut into pieces, and so teare it into thin flakes, which naturally it is apt for, and so use it for glasse-lanthorns and such like. It giveth both inwards and outwards a clearer light then glasse, and for this respect is better then either glasse or horne: for that it neither breaketh like glasse, nor yet will burne like the lanthorne. Saltpeter they make in many places, as at Ouglits, Yaruslave & Ustiug, and some smal store of brimstone upon the river Volgha, but want skil to refine it. Their iron is somewhat brittle, but a great weight of it is made in Corelia, Cargapolia, & Ustiug Thelesna. Other mine they have none growing within ye realme.

Their beasts of strange kinds are the Losh, the Ollen, the wild horse, the beare, the wolvering, or wood dog, the Lyserne, the Beaver, the Sable, the Martron, the black and dunne fox, the white Beare towards the sea coast of Pechora, the Gurnstale, the Laset or Minever. They have a kinde of Squirrell that hath growing on the pinion of the shoulder bone a long tuft of haire, much like unto feathers with a far broader taile then have any other squirrels, which they move and shake as they leape from tree to tree, much like unto a wing. They skise a large space, & seeme for to flie withal, and therefore they cal them Letach Vechshe, that is, the flying squirrels. Their hares and squirrels in Sommer are of the same colour with ours, in Winter the hare changeth her coate into milke white, the squirrel into gray, whereof commeth the Calaber.

They have fallow deere, the roe bucke, & goats very great store. Their horses are but smal, but very swift & hard, they travell them unshod both winter and Sommer, without all regard of pace. Their sheepe are but smal & beare course & harsh wool. Of foule they have divers of the principal kinds: First, great store of hawks, the eagle, the gerfaulcon, the slightfaulcon, the goshawk, the tassel, the sparhawk, &c. But the principal hawke yt breedeth in the country, is counted ye gerfaulcon. Of other foules their principal kinds are the swan tame & wilde, (whereof they have great store) the storke, the crane, the tedder of the colour of a feasant, but far bigger & liveth in the firre woods. Of feasant and partridge they have very great plentie. An owle there is of a very great bignesse, more ugly to behold then ye owles of this country, with a broad face, & eares much like unto a man.

For fresh water fish, besides the common sorts (as carpe, pikes, pearch, tench, roach, &c.) they have divers kinds very good and delicate: as the Bellouga or Bellougina of 4. or 5. elnes long, the Ositrina or Sturgion, the Severiga and Sterledy somewhat in fashion and taste like to the Sturgion, but not so thicke nor long. These 4. kinds of fish breed in the Volgha, and are catched in great plenty, and served thence into the whole Realme for a great food. Of the Roes of these foure kinds they make very great store of Icary or Caveary as was said before.

They have besides these that breed in the Volgha a fish called the Riba bela, or white salmon, which they accompt more delicate then they do the red salmon, whereof also they have exceeding great plentie in the Rivers Northward, as in Duyna, the river of Cola, &c. In the Ozera or lake neere a towne called Perislave, not far from the Mosco, they have a smal fish which they cal the fresh herring, of the fashion, and somewhat of the taste of a sea-herring. Their chiefe townes for fish are, Yaruslave, Bealozera, Novogrod, Astracan, and Cazan: which all yeeld a large custome to the Emperour every yeere for their trades of fishing, which they practise in Sommer, but sende it frozen in the Winter time into all parts of the Realme.


The chiefe Cities of Russia.

THE chiefe cities of Russia are Mosco, Novogrod, Rostove, Volodomer, Plesko, Smolensko, Jaruslave, Perislave, Nisnovogrod, Vologda, Ustiug, Colmogro, Cazan, Astracan, Cargapolia, Columna. The city of Mosco is supposed to be of great antiquitie, though the first founder be unknowen to the Russe . It seemeth to have taken the name from the river that runneth on the one side of the towne. Berosus the Chaldean in his 5. booke telleth that Nimrod (whom other prophane stories cal Saturne) sent Assyrius, Medus, Moscus, & Magog into Asia to plant colonies there, and that Moscus planted both in Asia and Europe. Which may make some probabilitie, that the citie, or rather the river whereon it is built, tooke the denomination from this Moscus : the rather because of the climate or situation, which is in the very farthest part & list of Europe, bordering upon Asia. The Citie was much enlarged by one Ivan or John, sonne to Daniel, that first changed his title of duke into King: though that honor continued not to his posterity: the rather because he was invested into it by the Popes Legate, who at that time was Innocentius the 4. about the yeere 1246. which was very much misliked by the Russe people, being then a part of the Easterne or Greeke Church. Since that time the name of this city hath growen more famous, & better knowen to the world: insomuch that not only the province, but the whole Countrey of Russia is termed by some by the name of Moscovia the Metropolite city. The forme of this City is in maner round with 3. strong wals, circuling the one within the other, & streets lying betwene, whereof the inmost wall, and the buildings closed within it (lying safest as the heart within the body, fenced and watred with the river Moscua, that runneth close by it) is all accompted the Emperors castle. The number of houses (as I have heard) through the whole Citie (being reckoned by the Emperor a litle before it was fired by the Crim) was 41500. in all. Since the Tartar besieged and fired the towne (which was in the yere 1571.) there lieth waste of it a great breadth of ground, which before was wel set and planted with buildings, specially that part on the South side of Moscua, built not long before by Basilius the Emperor for his garison of souldiers, to whom he gave priviledge to drinke Mead, and beere at the dry or prohibited times, when other Russes may drinke nothing but water, and for that cause called this new city by the name of Naloi, that is skinck or poure in. So that now the city of Mosco is not much bigger then the city of London. The next in greatnes, & in a maner as large, is the citie Novograd: where was committed (as the Russe saith) the memorable warre so much spoke of in stories of the Scythians servants, that tooke armes against their masters: which they report in this sort: viz. That the Boiarens or gentlemen of Novograd & the territory about (which only are souldiers after the discipline of those countreis) had war with the Tartars. Which being wel performed & ended by them, they returned homewards. Where they understood by the way that their Cholopey or bondslaves whom they left at home, had in their absence possessed their townes, lands, houses, wives and all. At which newes being somewhat amased, and yet disdeining the villany of their servants, they made the more speed home: and so not far from Novograd met them in warlike maner marching against them. Whereupon advising what was best to be done, they agreed all to set upon them with no other shew of weapon but with their horse whips (which as their maner is every man rideth withal) to put them in remembrance of their servile condition, thereby to terrifie them, & abate their courage. And so marching on & lashing al together with their whips in their hands they gave the onset. Which seemed so terrible in the eares of their villaines, and stroke such a sense into them of the smart of the whip which they had felt before, that they fled altogether like sheepe before the drivers. In memory of this victory the Novogradians ever since have stamped their coine (which they cal a dingoe Novogrodskoy currant through al Russia ) with the figure of a horsman shaking a whip aloft in his hand. These 2. cities exceed ye rest in greatnes. For strength their chiefe townes are Vobsko, Smolensko, Cazan & Astracan, as lying upon the borders. But for situation Jaruslave far exceedeth the rest. For besides the commodities that the soile yeeldeth of pasture and corne, it lieth upon the famous river of Volgha, & looketh over it from a high banke very faire & stately to behold: whereof the towne taketh the name. For Jaraslave in that tongue signifieth as much as a faire or famous banke. In this towne (as may be ghessed by the name) dwelt the Russe king Vladimer sirnamed Jaruslave, that maried the daughter of Harald king of England, by mediation of Sveno the Dane , as is noted in the Danish story about the yere 1067.

The other townes have nothing yt is greatly memorable, save many ruines within their wals. The streets of their cities and townes in stead of paving are planked with fir trees, plained & layd even close the one to the other. Their houses are of wood without any lime or stone, built very close and warme with firre trees plained and piled one upon another. They are fastened together with dents or notches at every corner, & so clasped fast together. Betwixt the trees or timber they thrust in mosse (whereof they gather plenty in their woods) to keep out the aire. Every house hath a paire of staires that lead up into the chambers out of the yard or streat after the Scottish maner. This building seemeth far better for their countrey, then that of stone or bricke; as being colder & more dampish then their wooden houses, specially of firre, that is a dry & warme wood. Wherof the providence of God hath given them such store, as that you may build a faire house for 20. or 30. rubbles or litle more, where wood is most scant. The greatest inconvenience of their wodden building is the aptnesse for firing, which happeneth very oft & in very fearful sort, by reason of the drinesse and fatnes of the fir, that being once fired, burneth like a torch, & is hardly quenched til all be burnt up.


Of the maner of Crowning or Inauguration of the Russe Emperours.

THE solemnities used at ye Russe Emperors coronation, are on this maner. In the great church of Precheste (or our Lady) within the Emperors castle is erected a stage whereon standeth a scrine that beareth upon it the Imperial cap & robe of very rich stuffe. When the day of the Inauguration is come, there resort thither, first the Patriarch wt the Metropolitanes, archbishops, bishops, abbots and priors, al richly clad in their pontificalibus. Then enter the Deacons with the quier of singers. Who so soone as the Emperor setteth foot into ye church, begin to sing: Many yeres may live noble Theodore Ivanowich, &c.: Whereunto the patriarch and Metropolite with the rest of the cleargy answere with a certaine hymne, in forme of a praier, singing it altogether with a great noise. The hymne being ended, the patriarch with the Emperor mount up the stage, where standeth a seat ready for the Emperor. Whereupon the patriarch willeth him to sit downe, & then placing himself by him upon another seat provided for yt purpose, boweth downe his head towards ye ground, and saith this prayer: Oh Lord God king of kings, Lord of lords, which by thy prophet Samuel didst chose thy servant David, & annoynt him for King over thy people Israel , heare now our prayer, & looke from thy sanctuary upon this thy servant Theodore, whom thou hast chosen and exalted for king over these thy holy nations, anoint him with the oile of gladnes, protect by thy power, put upon his head a crowne of gold & precious stones, give him length of dayes, place him in the seat of Justice, strengthen his arme, make subject unto him all the barbarous nations. Let thy feare be in his whole heart, turne him from an evill faith, and all errour, and shewe him the salvation of thy holy and universal Church, that he may judge thy people with Justice, & protect the children of the poore, and finally atteine everlasting life. This prayer he speaketh with a low voice, and then pronounceth aloud: Al praise and power to God the Father, the Sonne, and the holy Ghost. The prayer being ended, he commandeth certaine Abbots to reach the imperiall roabe & cap: which is done very decently, and with great solemnitie, the Patriarch withal pronouncing aloud: Peace be unto all. And so he beginneth another prayer to this effect: Bow your selves together with us, and pray to him that reigneth over all. Preserve him (oh Lord) under thy holy protection, keepe him that hee may doe good and holy things, let Justice shine forth in his dayes, that we may live quietly without strife and malice. This is pronounced somewhat softly by the Patriarch, whereto hee addeth againe aloud: Thou art the king of the whole world, and the saviour of our soules, to thee the Father, Sonne and Holy ghost be al praise for ever and ever. Amen. Then putting on the roabe and the cap, he blesseth the Emperour with the signe of the crosse, saying withall: In the name of the Father, the Sonne and the Holy ghost. The like is done by the Metropolites, Archbishops, and Bishops: who all in their order come to the chaire, and one after another blesse the Emperour with their two forefingers. Then is sayd by the Patriarch another prayer, that beginneth: Oh most holy virgin, mother of God &c. After which a Deacon pronounceth with a loude voice: Many yeres to noble Theodore, good, honourable, beloved of God, great Duke of Volodemer, of Mosco, Emperour, and Monarch of all Russia , &c. Whereto the other Priests and Deacons that stand somewhat farre of by the altar or table, answere singing: Many yeres, many yeres to the noble Theodore. The same note is taken up by the Priests and Deacons, that are placed at the right and left side of the Church, and then altogether, they chaunt and thunder out, singing: Many yeares to the noble Theodore, good, honourable, beloved of God, great Duke of Volodomer, Mosco, Emperour of all Russia , &c. These solemnities being ended, first commeth the Patriarch with the Metropolites, Archbishops, and Bishops, then the Nobility, and the whole company in their order, to doe homage to the Emperour, bending downe their heads, and knocking them at his feete to the very ground.


The stile wherewith he is invested at his Coronation, runneth after this maner.

THEODORE IVANOWICH, by the grace of God great Lord and Emperor of all Russia , great Duke of Volodemer, Mosco, and Novogrod, King of Cazan, King of Astracan, Lord of Plesco, and great duke of Smolensco, of Twerria, Joughoria, Permia, Vadska, Bulghoria, and others, Lord and great Duke of Novogrod of the Low countrey, of Chernigo, Rezan, Polotskoy, Rostove, Yaruslaveley, Bealozera, Liefland, Oudoria, Obdoria, and Condensa, Commander of all Siberia , and of the North parts, and Lord of many other Countreis, &c.

This stile conteineth in it all the Emperours Provinces, and setteth foorth his greatnesse. And therefore they have a great delight and pride in it, forcing not onely their owne people but also strangers (that have any matter to deliver to the Emperour by speech or writing) to repeate the whole forme from the beginning to the end. Which breedeth much cavill, and sometimes quarell betwixt them and the Tartar, and Poland Ambassadours: who refuse to call him Czar, that is Emperor, and to repeate the other parts of his long stile. My selfe when I had audience of the Emperour, thought good to salute him only with thus much vz. Emperour of all Russia , great Duke of Volodomer, Mosco and Novogrod, King of Cazan, King of Astracan. The rest I omitted of purpose, because I knew they gloried, to have their stile appeare to be of a larger volume then the Queenes of England. But this was taken in so ill part, that the Chancelour (who then attended the Emperour, with the rest of the nobility) with a loude chafing voice, called still upon me to say out the rest. Whereto I answered, that the Emperors stile was very long, and could not so well be remembred by strangers, that I had repeated so much of it, as might shew that I gave honour to the rest &c. But all would not serve till I commanded my interpreter to say it all out.


Their forces for the wars, with the chief officers and their salaries.

THE Souldiers of Russia are called Sinaboyarskey, or the sons of Gentlemen: because they are all of that degree, by vertue of their military profession. For every souldier in Russia is a gentleman, and none are gentlemen, but only the souldiers, that take it by discent from their ancestors: so that the sonne of a gentleman (which is borne a souldier) is ever a gentleman, and a souldier withall, & professeth nothing els but military matters. When they are of yeres able to beare armes, they come to the office of Roserade or great Constable, and there present themselves : who entreth their names, and allotteth them certaine lands to maintaine their charges, for the most part the same that their fathers enjoyed. For the lands assigned to maintaine the army, are ever certain, annexed to this office without improving, or detracting one foot. But that if the Emperor have sufficient in wages, the roomes being full so farre as the land doeth extend already, they are many times deferred, and have nothing allowed them, except some one portion of the land be devided into two. The whole number of his souldiers in continuall pay, is this. First he hath his Dworaney, that is, Pensioners, or Gard of his person, to the number of 15000 horsemen, with their captaines and other officers, that are alwaies in a readines.

Of these 15000 horsemen, there are three sorts or degrees, which differ as well in estimation as in wages, one degree from another. The first sort of them is called Dworaney Bulshey, or the company of head Pensioners, that have some an hundred, some fourescore rubbles a yeare, and none under 70. The second sort are called Seredney Dworaney, or the middle ranke of Pensioners. These have sixty or fifty rubbles by the yeare, none under fortie. The third and lowest sort, are the Dyta Boiarskey, that is, the low Pensioners. Their salary is thirty rubbles a yere for him that hath most, some have but 25, some 20, none under 12. Wherof the halfe part is paid them at the Mosco, the other halfe in the field by the general, when they have any wars, & are imploied in service. When they receive their whole pay, it amounteth to 55000 rubbles by the yere.

And this is their wages, besides lands allotted to every one of them, both to the greater and the lesse, according to their degrees. Whereof he that hath least, hath to yeelde him twentie rubbles or markes by the yeare. Besides these 15000 horsemen, that are of better choyce (as being the Emperors owne gard when himselfe goeth to the wars, not unlike the Romane souldiers called Praetoriani) are a hundred and ten men of speciall account for their Nobilitie, and trust, which are chosen by the Emperor, and have their names registred, that find among them for the Emperors wars, to the number of 65000. horsemen, with all necessaries meet for the wars after the Russe maner.

To this end they have yerely allowance made by the Emperor for themselves, and their companies, to the summe of 40000 rubbles. And these 65000 are to repayre to the field every yeare on the borders towards the Crim Tartar (except they be appointed for some other service) whether there be wars with the Tartars, or not. This might seeme peradventure somewhat dangerous for some state, to have so great forces under the command of Noblemen to assemble every yere to one certain place. But the matter is so used, as that no danger can growe to the Emperor, or his state by this means. First, because these noblemen are many, to wit, an 110. in al, & changed by the Emperor so oft as he thinketh good. Secondly, because they have their livings of the Emperor, being otherwise but of very small revenue, and receive this yerely pay of 40000 rubbles, when it is presently to be payd forth againe to the souldiers that are under them. Thirdly, because for the most part they are about the Emperors person being of his Counsel, either speciall, or at large. Fourthly, they are rather as paymasters, then Captaines to their companies, themselves not going forth ordinarily to the wars, save when some of them are appointed by speciall order from the Emperor himselfe. So the whole number of horsemen that are ever in a readinesse, and in continuall pay, are 80000, a few more or lesse.

If he have neede of a greater number (which seldome falleth out) then he enterteineth of those Sinaboiarskey, that are out of pay, so many as he needeth: and if yet he want of his number, he giveth charge to his Noblemen, that hold lands of him to bring into the field every man a proportionable number of his servants (called Kolophey, such as till his lands) with their furniture, according to the just number that he intendeth to make. Which the service being done, presently lay in their weapons, and returne to their servile occupations againe.

Of footemen that are in continuall pay, he hath to the number of 12000 all gunners, called Strelsey: Whereof 5000 are to attend about the citie of Mosco, or any other place where the Emperor shall abide, and 2000 (which are called Stremaney Strelsey, or gunners at the stirrop) about his owne person at the very Court or house where himselfe lodgeth. The rest are placed in his garison townes, till there be occasion to have them in the field, and receive for their salarie or stipend every man seven rubbles a yeare, besides twelve measures a piece of Rye, and Oates. Of mercenary Souldiers, that are strangers (whom they call Nimschoy) they have at this time 4300 of Polonians: of Chirchasses (that are under the Polonians) about 4000, wherof 3500 are abroad in his garisons: of Doutches & Scots about 150: of Greekes, Turks, Danes and Swedens, all in one band, an 100 or thereabouts. But these they use onely upon the Tartar side. and against the Siberians: as they doe the Tartar souldiers (whom they hire sometimes, but only for the present) on the other side against the Polonian and Sweden : thinking it best policie to use their service upon the contrary border.

The chiefe Captaines or leaders of these forces, according to their names and degrees, are these which follow. First, the Voyavoda Bulshaia, that is, the Great Captaine, or Lieutenant general under the Emperor. This commonly is one of the foure houses of the chiefe Nobility of the land. Their great Voiavod or general at this present in their wars, is commonly one of these foure: Knez Feodor Ivanowich Methisloskey, Knez Ivan Michalowich Glinskoy, Cherechaskoy, and Trowbetskoy, all of great nobilitie. Next unto the Voiavod or general there is some other placed as Lieutenant general, being a man of great valour and experience in the wars, who ordereth all things that the other countenanceth. At this time their principal man, & most used in their wars, is one Knez Demetrie Ivanowich Forestine, an ancient and expert captaine, and one that hath done great service (as they say) against the Tartar and Polonian. Next under the Voiavod and his Lieutenant general are foure other that have the marshalling of the whole army devided among them, and may be called the marshals of the field.

Every man hath his quarter, or fourth part under him. Whereof the first is called the Prava Polskoy, or right wing. The second is the Levoy Polskoy, or left wing. The third is Rusnoy Polskoy, or the broken band, because out of this there are chosen to send abroad upon any sodaine exploit, or to make a rescue or supplie, as occasion doth require. The fourth Storoshovoy Polskoy, or the warding band. Every one of these foure Marshals have two other under them (eight in all) that twise every weeke at the least must muster and traine their several wings or bands, and hold and give justice for all faults, and disorders committed in the campe.

And these eight are commonly chosen out of the 110. (which I spake of before) that receive & deliver the pay to the souldiers. Under these eight are divers other Captaines, as the Gulavoy, Captaines of thousands five hundreds and 100. The Petyde Setskoy or Captains of fifties, and the Decetskies or Captains of tennes.

Besides the Voiavoda or general of the armie (spoken of before) they have two other that beare the name of Voiavoda, whereof one is the master of the great Ordinance (called Naradna voiavoda) who hath divers under officers, necessary for that service. The other is called the Voiavoda gulavoy, or the walking Captaine, that hath allowed him 1000 good horsemen of principall choyce, to range & spie abroad, & hath the charge of the running Castle, which we are to speake of in the Chapter following. Al these Captains, & men of charge must once every day resort to the Bulsha voiavoda, or General of the armie, to know his pleasure, & to informe him, if there be any requisite matter pertaining to their office.


Of their mustering, and levying of forces, maner of armour, and provision of victuall for the warres.

WHEN wars are towards (which they faile not of lightly every yere with the Tartar, & many times with the Polonian & Sweden ) the foure Lords of the Chetfirds send forth their summons in the Emperors name, to all the Dukes and Dyacks of the Provinces, to be proclaimed in the head townes of every Shire: that al the Sinaboiarskey, or sonnes of gentlemen make their repaire to such a border where the service is to be done, at such a place, & by such a day, and there present themselves to such, & such Captaines. When they come to the place assigned them in the summons or proclamation, their names are taken by certaine officers that have commission for that purpose from the Roserade, or high Constable, as Clarkes of the bands. If any make default & faile at the day, he is mulcted, & punished very severely. As for the General & other chief Captaines, they are sent thither from the Emperors owne hand, with such Commission & charge as he thinketh behoofull for the present service. When the souldiers are assembled, they are reduced into their bands, & companies, under their several Captaines of tennes, fifties, hundreds, thousands, &c. and these bands into 4 Polskeis, or Legions (but of farre greater numbers then the Romane Legions were) under their foure great Leaders, which also have the authoritie of Marshals of the field (as was sayd before.)

Concerning their armour they are but slightly appointed. The common horseman hath nothing els but his bow in his case under his right arme, & his quiver & sword hanging on the left side: except some fewe that beare a case of dagges, or a Javelin, or short staffe along their horse side. The under captains wil have commonly some piece of armour besides, as a shirt of male, or such like. The General with the other chiefe captaines & men of Nobilitie wil have their horse very richly furnished, their saddles of cloth of gold, their bridles fair bossed & tasselled with gold, & silk fringe, bestudded with pearle & precious stones, themselves in very faire armor, which they cal Bullatnoy, made of faire shining steele, yet covered commonly with cloth of golde, and edged round with armin furre, his steele helmet on his head of a very great price, his sword bow and arrowes at his side, his speare in his hand, with another faire helmet, and Shesta pera, or horsemans scepter carried before him. Their swords, bowes, and arrowes are of the Turkish fashion. They practise like the Tartar to shoote forwards and backwards, as they flie and retire.

The Strelsey or footeman hath nothing but his piece in this hand, his striking hatchet at his back, & his sword by his side. The stock of his piece is not made calieverwise, but with a plaine & straite stocke (somewhat like a fouling piece) the barrel is rudely & unartificially made, very heavie yet shooteth but a very small bullet. As for their provision of victual, the Emperor alloweth none, either for Captaine or souldiour, neither provideth any for them except peradventure some corne for their money. Every man is to bring sufficient for himselfe, to serve his turne for foure moneths, & if neede require to give order for more to be brought unto him to the Campe from his tenant that tilleth his land, or some other place. One great helpe they have, that for lodging and diet every Russe is prepared to be a souldier beforehand. Though the chiefe Captains & other of account cary tents with them after the fashion of ours, with some better provision of victual then the rest. They bring with them commonly into the Campe for victuall a kind of dried bread, (which they call Suchary) with some store of meale, which they temper with water, and so make it into a ball, or small lumpe of dowe, called Tollockno. And this they eate rawe in stead of bread. Their meat is bacon, or some other flesh or fish dryed, after the Dutch maner. If the Russe souldier were as hardy to execute an enterprise, as he is hard to beare out toyle and travell, or were otherwise as apt and well trained for the warres, as he is indifferent for his lodging and diet, hee would farre exceede the souldiers of our parts.


Of their marching, charging, and other Martial discipline.

THE Russe trusteth rather to his number, then to the valure of his souldiers, or good ordering of his forces. Their marching or leading is without al order, save that the foure Polskey or Legions, (wherinto their armie is devided) keepe themselves severall under their ensignes, & so thrust all on together in a hurrey, as they are directed by their Generall. Their Ensigne is the image of S. George. The Bulsha Dworaney or chiefe horsemen, have every man a small drum of brasse at his saddle bowe, which he striketh when he giveth the charge, or onset.

They have drummes besides of a huge bignes, which they cary with them upon a boord layde on foure horses, that are sparred together with chaines, every drumme having eight strikers, or drummers, besides trumpets and shawmes, which they sound after a wilde maner, much different from ours. When they give any charge, or make any invasion, they make a great hallow or shoute altogether, as lowd as they can, which with the sound of their trumpets, shawmes, and drummes, maketh a confused and horrible noyse. So they set on first discharging their arrowes, then dealing with their swordes, which they use in a braverie to shake, and brandish over their heads, before they come to strokes.

Their footmen (because otherwise they want order in leading) are commonly placed in some ambush or place of advantage, where they may most annoy the enemie, with least hurt to themselves. If it be a set battell, or if any great invasion be made upon the Russe borders by the Tartar, they are set within ye running or moving Castle (called Beza, or Gulaygorod) which is caried about with them by the Voiavoda gulavoy (or the walking General) whom I spake of before. This walking or mooving Castle is so framed, that it may be set up in length (as occasion doeth require) the space of one, two, three, foure, five, sixe, or seven miles: for so long it will reach. It is nothing els but a double wall of wood to defend them on both sides behinde and before, with a space of three yards or thereabouts, betwixt the two sides: so that they may stand within it, and have roome enough to charge and discharge their pieces, and to use their other weapons. It is closed at both ends, and made with loope holes on either side, to lay out the nose of their piece, or to push foorth any other weapon. It is caried with the armie wheresoever it goeth, being taken into pieces, and so layde on cartes sparred together, and drawen by horse that are not seene, by reason that they are covered with their cariage as with a shelfe or penthouse. When it is brought to the place where it is to be used (which is devised and chosen out before by the walking Voiavod) it is planted so much as the present use requireth, sometime a mile long, sometimes two, sometimes three or more: Which is soone done without the helpe of any Carpenter, or instrument: because the timber is so framed to claspe together one piece within another: as is easily understoode by those that know the maner of the Russe building.

In this Castle standeth their shot wel fenced for advantage, specially against the Tartar, that bringeth no ordinance, nor other weapon into the field with him, save his sword, and bow, and arrowes. They have also within it divers field pieces, which they use as occasion doth require. Of pieces for the field they carie no great store, when they warre against the Tartar: but when they deale with the Polonian (of whose forces they make more account) they go better furnished with all kind of munition, and other necessarie provisions. It is thought that no Prince of Christendome hath better store of munition, then the Russe Emperour. And it may partly appeare by the Artillery house at Mosco, where are of all sortes of great Ordinance, all brasse pieces, very faire, to an exceeding great number.

The Russe souldier is thought to be better at his defence within some castle or towne, then he is abroad at a set pitched field. Which is ever noted in the practise of his warres, and namely at the siege of Vobsco, about eight yeres since: where he repulsed the Polonian king Stepan Batore, with his whole armie of 100000 men, and forced him in the end to give over his siege, with the losse of many of his best Captaines and souldiers. But in a set field the Russe is noted to have ever the worse of the Polonian and Sweden .

If any behave himselfe more valiantly then the rest, or do any special piece of service, the Emperor sendeth him a piece of golde, stamped with the Image of Saint George on horsebacke. Which they hang on their sleeves, & set in their caps. And this is accounted the greatest honour they can receive, for any service they doe.


Of their Colonies, and maintaining of their conquests, or purchases by force.

THE Russe Emperors of late yeres have very much enlarged their dominions, & territories. Their first conquest after the Dukedome of Mosco, (for before that time they were but Dukes of Volodomer, as before was said) was the citie, & Dukedome of Novogrod on ye West, and Northwest side: which was no smal enlargement of their dominion, & strengthening to them for the winning of the rest. This was done by Ivan great grandfather to Theodor now Emperor, about the yere 1480. The same began likewise to encroach upon the countries of Lituania and Livonia , but the conquest only intended, & attempted by him, upon some part of those countries, was pursued & performed by his sonne Basileus, who first wan the citie & dukedom of Plesko, afterwards the citie & duke dome of Smolensco, & many other faire towns, with a large territory belonging unto them, about the yere 1514. These victories against the Lettoes or Lituanians, in the time of Alexander their duke, he atchieved rather by advantage of civil dissentions, & treasons among themselves, then by any great policie, or force of his own. But al this was lost againe by his son Ivan Vasiliwich, about 8 or 9 yeres past, upon composition with ye Polonian king Stephan Batore: wherunto he was forced by the advantages which the Pole had then of him, by reason of the foile he had given him before, and the disquietnes of his own state at home. Onely the Russe Emperor, at this time hath left him on that side his countery, the cities of Smolensco, Vobsco, Chernigo, & Bealagorod in Lituania . In Livonia , not a towne nor one foot of ground.

When Basilius first conquered those countries, he suffered then the natives to keepe their possessions, and to inhabite all their townes, onely paying him a tribute, under the governement of his Russe Captaines. But by their conspiracies & attempts not long after, he was taught to deale more surely with them. And so comming upon them the second time, he killed and caried away with him, three parts of foure, which he gave or sold to the Tartars that served him in those wars, and in stead of them placed there his Russes, so many as might overmatch the rest, with certaine garisons of strength besides. Wherein notwithstanding this oversight was committed, for that (taking away with him the upland, or countrey people that should have tilled the ground, & might easily have bene kept in order without any danger, by other good policies) he was driven afterwards may yeres together, to vitaile the countrey (specially the great townes) out of his owne countrey of Russia, the soile lying there in the meane while wast, and untilled.

The like fell out at the port of Narve in Liefland, where his sonne Ivan Vasiliwich devised to build a towne, and a castle on the other side the river, (called Ivangorod ) to keepe the towne and countrey in subjection. The castle he caused to be so built and fortified, that it was thought to be invincible. And when it was furnished, for reward to the Architect (that was a Polonian) he put out both his eyes, to make him unable to build the like againe. But having left the natives all within their owne countrey, without abating their number or strength, the towne and castle not long after was betraied, and surrendred againe to the king of Sweden .

On the Southeast side, they have got the kingdomes of Cazan, and Astracan. These were wonne from the Tartar, by the late Emperour Ivan Vasiliwich, the one about thirtie five, the other about thirtie and three yeares agoe. Northward out of the countrey of Siberia , he hath layed unto his realme a great breadth and length of ground, from Wichida to the river of Obba, about a 1000 miles space: so that he is bolde to write himselfe now, The great Commander of Siberia. The countries likewise of Permia and Pechora are a divers people and language from the Russe , overcome not long since, and that rather by threatning, and shaking of the sword, then by any actuall force: as being a weake and naked people, without meanes to resist.

That which the Russe hath in his present possession, he keepeth on this sort. In his foure chief border townes of Vobsko, Smolensko, Astracan, and Cazan, he hath certaine of his counsel not of greatest nobility, but of greatest trust, which have more authoritie within their precincts, (for the countenancing and strengthening of their government there) then the other Dukes that are set to governe in other places, as was noted before, in the maner of ordering their Provinces. These he changeth sometime every yere, sometime every second or third yere, but exceedeth not that time, except upon very speciall trust, and good liking of the party, and his service: least by enlarging of their time, they might grow into some familiaritie with the enemie (as some have done) being so farre out of sight.

The townes besides are very strongly fenced with trenches, castles, & store of munition, and have garisons within them, to the number of two or three thousand a piece. They are stored with victual if any siege should come upon them, for the space of two or three yeres before hand. The foure castles of Smolensko, Vobsko, Cazan and Astracan, he hath made very strong to beare out any siege : so that it is thought that those townes are impregnable.

As for the countries of Pechora and Permia, and that part of Siberia , which he hath now under him, they are kept by as easie meanes, as they were first got. vz. rather by shewing, then by using of armes. First, he hath stored the countrie with as many Russes as there are natives, & hath there some few souldiers in garison, inough to keepe them under. Secondly, his officers & Magistrates there are of his own Russe people, and he changeth them very often, vz. every yere twise or thrise: notwithstanding there be no great feare of any innovation. Thirdly, he devideth them into many smal governments, like a staffe broke in many small pieces: so yt they have no strength being severed, which was but litle neither when they were al in one. Fourthly, he provideth that the people of the countrie have neither armor, nor money, being taxed & pilled so often as he thinketh good: without any meanes to shake off that yoke, or to relieve themselves.

In Siberia (where he goeth on in pursuing his conquest) he hath divers castles & garisons to the number of 6000 souldiers of Russes & Polonians, & sendeth many new supplies thither, to plant and to inhabite, as he winneth ground. At this time besides he hath gotten the kings brother of Siberia , allured by certaine of his captaines, to leave his own country by offers of great entertainment, and plesanter life with the Russe Emperor, then he had in Siberia . He was brought in this last yere, and is now with the Emperor at Mosco well enterteined.


Of the Tartars, and other borderers to the country of Russia , with whom they have most to doe in warre, and peace.

THEIR neighbors with whom they have greatest dealings & intercourse, both in peace & war, are first the Tartar. Secondly the Polonian whom the Russe calleth Laches, noting the first author or founder of the nation, who was called Laches or Leches, wherunto is added Po, which signifieth People, and so is made Polaches, that is, the People or posterity of Laches : which the Latins after their maner of writing cal Polonos. The third are the Swedens. The Polonians & Swedens are better knowen to these parts of Europe then are the Tartars, that are farther off from us (as being of Asia) and divided into many tribes, different in name, and government one from another. The greatest and mightiest of them is the Chrim Tartar, (whom some call the Great Can) that lieth South, & Southeastward from Russia , and doth most annoy the country by often invasions, commonly once every yere, sometimes entring very farre within the inland parts. In the yere 1571 he came as farre as the citie of Mosco, with an armie of 200000 men, without any battel, or resistance at al, for that the Russe Emperor (then Ivan Vasiliwich) leading forth his armie to encounter with him, marched a wrong way. The citie he tooke not, but fired the suburbs, which by reason of the buildings (which are all of wood without any stone, brick, or lime, save certeine out roomes) kindled so quickly, and went on with such rage, as that it consumed the greatest part of the citie almost within the space of foure houres, being of 30 miles or more of compasse. Then might you have seene a lamentable spectacle: besides the huge & mighty flame of the citie all on light fire, the people burning in their houses and streetes, but most of all of such as laboured to passe out of the gates farthest from the enemie, where meeting together in a mighty throng, & so pressing every man to prevent another, wedged themselves so fast within the gate, and streetes neere unto it, as that three rankes walked one upon the others head, the uppermost treading downe those that were lower: so that there perished at that time (as was said) by the fire & the presse, the number of 800000 people or more.

The principall cause of this continual quarell betwixt the Russe & the Chrim is for the right of certaine border partes claimed by the Tartar, but possessed by the Russe . The Tartar alleageth that besides Astracan and Cazan (that are the ancient possession of the East Tartar) the whole countrey from his bounds North and Westward so farre as the citie of Mosko, and Mosko it selfe perteineth to his right. Which seemeth to have bene true by the report of the Russes them selves, that tell of a certaine homage that was done by the Russe Emperour every yeere to the great Chrim or Can, the Russe Emperour standing on foot and feeding the Chrims horse, (himselfe sitting on his backe) with oates out of his owne cappe, in stead of a bowle or manger, and that within the castle of Mosko. And this homage (they say) was done till the time of Basileus grandfather to this man. Who surprising the Chrim Emperour by a stratageme done by one of his nobilitie (called Ivan Demetrowich Belschey) was content with this raunsome, viz. with the changing of this homage into a tribute of furres: which afterwards also was denied to be paide by this Emperors father.

Hereupon they continue ye quarrel, the Russe defending his countrey, & that which he hath won, ye Chrim Tartar invading him once or twise every yere, somtime about Whitsontide, but oftner in harvest. What time if the great Can or Chrim come in his owne person, he bringeth with him a great armie of 100000. or 200000. men. Otherwise they make short & sudden rodes into the countrey with lesser numbers, running about the list of the border as wild geese flie, invading and retiring where they see advantage.

Their common practise (being very populous) is to make divers armies, and so drawing the Russe to one or two places of the frontiers, to invade at some other place, that is left without defence. Their maner of fight, or ordering of their forces is much after the Russe maner (spoken of before) save that they are all horsemen, and carie nothing els but a bowe, a sheafe of arrowes, and a falcon sword after the Turkish fashion. They are very expert horsemen, and use to shoote as readily backward as forward. Some wil have a horsmans staffe like to a bore speare, besides their other weapons. The common souldier hath no other armour then his ordinary apparell, viz. a blacke sheeps skin with the wool side outward in the day time, and inwarde in the night time, with a cap of the same. But their Morseys or noblemen imitate the Turk both in apparel and armour. When they are to passe over a river with their armie, they tie three or foure horses together, and taking long poles or pieces of wood, bind them fast to the tailes of their horse: so sitting on the poles they drive their horse over. At handle strokes (when they joyne battell) they are accounted farre better men then the Russe people, fierce by nature, but more hardy and bloody by continuall practise of warre: as men knowing no artes of peace, nor any civil practise.

Yet their subtilty is more then may seeme to agree with their barbarous condition. By reason they are practised to invade continually, and to robbe their neighbours that border about them, they are very pregnant, and ready witted to devise stratagems upon the sudden for their better advantage. As in their warre against Beala the fourth, king of Hungarie, whome they invaded with 500000. men, and obtained against him a great victorie. Where, among other, having slaine his Chancelor called Nicholas Schinick, they found about him the kings privy seale. Whereupon they devised presently to counterfeit letters in the kings name, to the cities and townes next about the place, where the field was fought: with charge that in no case they should convey themselves, and their goods out of their dwellings, where they might abide safely without all feare of danger, and not leave the countrey desolate to the possession of so vile and barbarous an enemie, as was the Tartar nation, terming themselves in all reprochful maner. For notwithstanding he had lost his carriages, with some few straglers that had marched disorderly, yet he doubted not but to recover that losse, with the accesse of a notable victorie, if the savage Tartar durst abide him in the field. To this purpose having written their letters in the Polish character, by certaine yong men whom they tooke in the field, and signed them with the Kings seale, they dispatched them forth to all the quarters of Hungaria, that lay neere about the place. Whereupon the Ungarians that were now flying away with their goods, wives, and children, upon the rumour of the kings overthrow, taking comfort of these counterfeit letters, staied at home. And so were made a pray, being surprised on the sudden by this huge number of these Tartars, that had compassed them about before they were aware.

When they besiege a towne or fort, they offer much parle, and send many flattering messages to perswade a surrendry: promising all things that the inhabitants will require: but being once possessed of the place, they use all maner of hostilitie, and crueltie. This they doe upon a rule they have, vz. that justice is to be practised but towards their owne. They encounter not lightly, but they have some ambush, whereunto (having once shewed themselves, and made some short conflict) they retire as repulsed for feare, and so draw the enemie into it if they can. But the Russe beeing well acquainted with their practise is more warie of them. When they come a roving with some small number, they set on horsebacke counterfaite shapes of men, that their number may seeme greater.

When they make any onset, their maner is to make a great shoute, crying all out together Olla Billa, Olla Billa, God helpe us, God help us. They contemne death so much, as that they chuse rather to die, then to yeeld to their enemie, and are seene when they are slain to bite the very weapon, when they are past striking or helping of themselves. Wherein appeareth how different the Tartar is in his desperate courage from the Russe and Turke. For the Russe souldier, if he begin once to retire, putteth all his safetie in his speedy flight. And if once he be taken by his enemy, he neither defendeth himselfe, nor intreateth for his life, as reckoning straight to die. The Turk commonly, when he is past hope of escaping, falleth to intreatie, and casteth away his weapon, offereth both his hands, and holdeth them, as it were to be tied: hoping to save his life, by offering himselfe bondslave.

The chiefe bootie the Tartars seeke for in all their warres is to get store of captives, specially young boyes and girles, whome they sell to the Turkes, or other their neighbours. To this purpose they take with them great baskets made like bakers panniers to carry them tenderly, and if any of them happen to tire, or to be sicke by the way, they dash him against the ground, or some tree, and so leave him dead. The Souldiers are not troubled with keeping the captives and the other bootie, for hindering the execution of their warres, but they have certaine bandes that intend nothing else, appoynted of purpose to receive and keepe the captives and the other praye.

The Russe borderers (being used to their invasions lightly every yere in the Sommer) keepe fewe other cattell on the border partes, save swine onely which the Tartar will not touch, nor drive away with him: for that he is of the Turkish religion, and will eate no swines flesh. Of Christ our Saviour they confesse as much as doeth the Turke in his Alkaron, viz. that he came of the Angel Gabriel and the Virgin Marie, that he was a great Prophet, and shall be the Judge of the worlde at the last day. In other matter likewise, they are much ordered after the manner and direction of the Turke: having felt the Turkish forces when hee wonne from them Azov and Caffa , with some other townes about the Euxine or blacke Sea, that were before tributaries to the Crim Tartar. So that now the Emperor of the Crims for the most part is chosen one of the Nobility whom the Turke doeth commend: whereby it is brought nowe to passe, that the Crim Tartar giveth to the Turke the tenth part of the spoyle which hee getteth in his warres against the Christians.

Herein they differ from the Turkish religion, for that they have certaine idole puppets made of silke, or like stuffe, of the fashion of a man, which they fasten to the doore of their walking houses, to be as Janusses or keepers of their house. And these idoles are made not by all, but by certaine religious women which they have among them for that and like uses. They have besides the image of their King or great Can, of an huge bignesse, which they erect at every stage when the army marcheth: and this every one must bend and bowe unto as he passeth by it, be he Tartar or stranger. They are much given to witchcraft, and ominous conjectures upon every accident which they heare or see.

In making of mariages they have no regard of alliance or consanguinitie. Onely with his mother, sister, and daughter a man may not marrie, and though he take the woman into his house, and accompany with her, yet he accounteth her not for his wife till he have a childe by her. Then hee beginneth to take a dowry of her friends of horse, sheepe, kine, &c. If she be barren after a certaine time, he turneth her home againe.

Under the Emperour they have certaine Dukes, whome they call Morseis or Divoymorseis, that rule over a certaine number of 10000. 20000. or 40000. a piece, which they call Hoords. When the Emperour hath any use of them to serve in his warres, they are bound to come, and to bring with them their Souldiers to a certain number, every man with his two horse at the least, the one to ride on, the other to kill, when it commeth to his turne to have his horse eaten. For their chiefe vitaile is horse flesh, which they eate without bread, or any other thing with it. So that if a Tartar be taken by a Russe , he shall be sure lightly to finde a horse-legge, or some other part of him at his saddle bowe.

This last yeere when I was at the Mosco, came in one Kiriach Morsey, nephew to the Emperour of the Crims that nowe is (whose father was Emperour before) accompanied with 300. Tartars, and his two wives, whereof one was his brothers widow. Where being intertained in very good sort after the Russe maner, hee had sent unto his lodging for his welcome, to bee made ready for his supper and his companies, two very large and fat horses, ready flayed in a sled. They prefer it before other flesh, because the meate is stronger (as they say) then Beefe, Mutton, and such like. And yet (which is marveile) though they serve all as horsemen in the warres, and eate all of horse flesh, there are brought yeerely to the Mosco to bee exchanged for other commodities 30. or 40. thousand Tartar horse, which they call Cones. They keepe also great heards of kine, & flocks of blacke sheepe, rather for the skins and milke (which they carie with them in great bottels) then for the use of the flesh, though sometimes they eate of it. Some use they have of ryse, figs, and other fruits. They drinke milke or warme blood, and for the most part card them both together. They use sometime as they travel by the way, to let their horse blood in a vaine, and to drinke it warme, as it commeth from his bodie.

Townes they plant none, nor other standing buildings, but have walking houses, which the latines call Veii , built upon wheeles like a shepheards cottage. These they drawe with them whithersoever they goe, driving their cattell with them. And when they come to their stage, or standing place, they plant their carte houses verie orderly in a ranke: and so make the forme of streetes, and of a large towne. And this is the manner of the Emperor himselfe, who hath no other seat of Empire but an Agora, or towne of wood, that moveth with him whithersoever hee goeth. As for the fixed and standing building used in other countreyes, they say they are unwholesome and unpleasant.

They begin to moove their houses and cattell in the Spring time from the South part of their Countrey towards the North partes. And so driving on till they have grased all up to the farthest part Northward, they returne backe againe towards their South countrey (where they continue all the Winter) by 10. or 12. miles a stage: in the meane while the grasse being sprung up againe, to serve for their cattell as they returne. From the border of the Shalcan towards the Caspian sea, to the Russe frontiers, they have a goodly Countrey, specially on the South and Southeast parts, but lost for lacke of tillage.

Of money they have no use at all, and therefore prefer brasse and steele before other mettals, specially bullate, which they use for swordes, knives, and other necessaries. As for golde and silver they neglect it of very purpose, (as they doe all tillage of their ground) to bee more free for their wandring kinde of life, and to keepe their Countrey lesse subject to invasions. Which giveth them great advantage against all their neighbors, ever invading and never beeing invaded. Such as have taken upon them to invade their Countrey (as of oldetime Cyrus and Darius Hystaspis, on the East and Southeast side) have done it with very ill successe: as wee finde in the stories written of those times. For their manner is when any will invade them, to allure and drawe them on by flying and reculing (as if they were afraide) till they have drawen them some good way within their countrey. Then when they begin to want victuall and other necessaries (as needes they must where nothing is to be had) to stoppe up the passages, and inclose them with multitudes. By which stratagem (as wee reade in Laonicus Chalcacondylas in his Turkish storie) they had welnigh surprised the great and huge armie of Tamerlan, but that hee retired with all speede hee could towardes the river Tanais or Don, not without great losse of his men, and cariages.

In the storie of Pachymerius the Greeke (which hee wrote of the Emperors of Constantinople from the beginning of the reigne of Michael Palaeologus to the time of Andronicus the elder) I remember he telleth to the same purpose of one Nogas a Tartarian captaine under Cazan the Emperor of the East Tartars (of whom the citie and kingdome of Cazan may seeme to have taken the denomination) who refused a present of Pearle and other jewels sent unto him from Michael Palaeologus: asking withall, for what use they served, and whether they were good to keepe away sicknesse, death, or other misfortunes of this life, or no. So that it seemeth they have ever, or long time bene of that minde to value things no further, then by the use and necessitie for which they serve.

For person and complexion they have broade and flatte visages, of a tanned colour into yellowe and blacke, fierce and cruell lookes, thinne haired upon the upper lippe, and pitte of the chinne, light and nimble bodied, with short legges, as if they were made naturally for horsemen: whereto they practise themselves from their childhood, seldome going afoot about anie businesse. Their speech is verie sudden and loude, speaking as it were out of a deepe hollowe throate. When they sing you would thinke a kowe lowed, or some great bandogge howled. Their greatest exercise is shooting, wherein they traine up their children from their verie infancie, not suffering them to eate till they have shot neere the marke within a certaine scantling. They are the very same that sometimes were called Scythae Nomades, or the Scythian shepheards, by the Greekes and Latines. Some thinke that the Turks took their beginning from the nation of the Crim Tartars. Of which opinion is Laonicus Calcocondylas the Greek Historiographer, in his first booke of his Turkish storie. Wherein hee followeth divers verie probable conjectures. The first taken from the verie name it selfe, for that the worde Turk signifieth a Shepheard or one that followeth a vagarant and wilde kinde of life. By which name these Scythian Tartars have ever beene noted, being called by the Greekes o-Kv4aLvo/ma8& or the Scythian shepheards. His second reason because the Turkes (in his time) that dwelt in Asia the lesse, to wit, in Lydia , Caria , Phrygia and Cappadocia , spake the very same language that these Tartars did, that dwelt betwixt the river Tanais or Don, and the countrey of Sarmatia , which (as is well knowen) are these Tartars called Crims. At this time also the whole nation of the Turkes differ not much in their common speech from the Tartar language. Thirdly because the Turke and the Crim Tartar agree so well together, as well in religion, as in matter of traffique never invading, or inurying one another: save that the Turke (since Laonicus his time) hath encroched upon some Townes upon the Euxin Sea, that before perteined to the Crim Tartar. Fourthly, because Ortogules sonne to Oguzalpes, and father to Otoman the first of name of the Turkish nation made his first roads out of those parts of Asia, upon the next borderers, till hee came towardes the countreys about the hill Taurus, where hee overcame the Greekes that inhabited there: and so enlarged the name and territorie of the Turkish nation, till hee came to Eubaea and Attica , and other partes of Greece . This is the opinion of Laonicus, who lived among the Turkes in the time of Amurat the sixt Turkish Emperour, about the yeere 1400. when the memorie of their originall was more fresh: and therefore the likelier hee was to hit the trueth.

There are divers other Tartars that border upon Russia , as the Nagayes, the Cheremissens, the Mordwites, the Chircasses, and the Shalcans, which all differ in name more then in regiment, or other condition, from the Crim Tartar, except the Chircasses that border Southwest towardes Lituania , and are farre more civill than the rest of the Tartars, of a comely person, and of a stately behaviour, as applying themselves to the fashion of the Polonian. Some of them have subjected themselves to the Kings of Poland , and professe Christianitie. The Nagay lieth Eastwarde, and is reckoned for the best man of warre among all the Tartars, but verie savage, and cruell above all the rest. The Cheremessen Tartar, that lieth betwixt the Russe and the Nagay, are of two sorts, the Lugavoy (that is of the valley) and the Nagornay, or of the hilly countrey. These have much troubled the Emperours of Russia . And therefore they are content now to buy peace of them, under pretence of giving a yeerely pension of Russe commodities to their Morseys, or Divoymorseis, that are chiefe of their tribes. For which also they are bound to serve them in their wars, under certaine conditions. They are said to be just and true in their dealings: and for that cause they hate the Russe peop