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A letter of the Company of the Marchants adventurers to Russia unto George Killingworth, Richard Gray, and Henry Lane their Agents there, to be delivered in Colmogro or els where: sent in the John Evangelist.

AFTER our heartie commendations unto you and to either of you: your generall letter and other particular letters with two bookes of the sale and remainders of our goods, and the buying of ware there with you, we received about the ende of November out of the Edward, with heavie newes of the losse of the sayde good shippe and goods at Petslego in Scotland , with the death of Richard Chanceler and his Boy, with certaine of the Embassadours servants, and he himselfe with nine of his servants escaped very hardly onely by the power of God: but all his goods and ours in maner were lost and pilfered away by the Scots, and that that is saved is not yet come to our hands, but we looke for it daily, and it will skant pay the charges for the recovering of it. No remedy but patience: and to pray to God to send us better fortune hereafter. As touching the receiving and entertaining of the Embassadour and his retinewe since his comming to England at the king and Queenes Majesties hands, with the Counsell & Lords of this Realme, and the Marchants that be free in Russia with feasting and benevolence given him, wee referre it to his report and others. The like we thinke have not bene seene nor shewed here of a long time to any Ambassadour. The Philip and Marie arrived here tenne dayes past: shee wintered in Norway . The Confidence is lost there. And as for the Bona Esperanza, as yet we have no newes of her. We feare it is wrong with her. By your billes of lading received in your generall letters we perceive what wares are laden in them both. Your letters have no date nor mention where they were made, which were written by Henry Lane, and firmed by you George Killingworth, and Richard Gray: both it and the other Letters and Bookes came so sore spoyled and broken with water that we cannot make our reckoning by them. You shall understand we have fraighted for the parts of Russia foure good shippes to be laden there by you & your order: That is to say, The Primerose of the burthen of 240. Tunnes, Master under God John Buckland: The John Evangelist of 170. Tunnes, Master under God Laurence Roundal: The Anne of London of the burthen of 160 tunnes, Master under God David Philly, and the Trinitie of London of the burthen of 140. Tunnes, Master under God John Robins, as by their Charter parties may appeare: which you may require to see for divers causes. You shall receive, God willing, out of the said good ships, God sending them in safety for the use of the Company, these kinds of wares following, all marked with the general marke of the Company as followeth. 25. fardels containing 207. sorting clothes, one fine violet in graine, and one skarlet, and 40. cottons for wrappers, beginning with number 1. and ending with number 52. The sorting clothes may cost the first peny 9.s. the cloth, one with the other. The fine violet 6.s. 6.d. The skarlet 13.s. 6.d. the cottons at 10.s. the packe, accompting 7. cottons for a packe. more 500. pieces of pshire kersies, that is 400. watchets, 43. blewes, 53. reds, 15. greenes, 5. ginger colours, and 2. yelowes which cost the first penny 4.11. 6.s. the piece, & 3. packes containing 21 cottons at 10.s. the packe: and part of the clothes is measured by Arshines. More 9. barrels of Pewter of Thomas Hasels making, &c. Also the wares bee packed and laden as is aforesayde, as by an Invoyce in every Shippe more plainely may appeare. So that when it shall please God to send the said good ships to you in safetie, you are to receive our said goods, and to procure the sales to our most advantage either for ready money, time or barter: having consideration that you doe make good debts, and give such time, if you give any, as you may employ and returne the same against the next voyage; and also foreseeing that you barter to a profit, and for such wares as be here most vendible, as wexe, tallowe, traine oyle, hempe and flaxe. Of furres we desire no great plentie, because they be dead wares. And as for Felts, we will in no wise you send any. And whereas you have provided tarre, and as we suppose, some hempe ready bought, our advise is, that in no wise you send any of them hither unwrought, because our fraight is 4.11. a tunne or little lesse: which is so deare, as it would not beare the charges: and therefore we have sent you 7. ropemakers, as by the copies of their covenants here inclosed shall appeare. Whom we wil you set to worke with al expedition in making of cables & ropes of al sorts, from the smallest rope to xii. inches: And that such tarre and hempe as is already brought to the water side, they may there make it out, and after that you settle their worke in Vologhda or Colmogro as you shall thinke good, where their stuffe may be neerest to them: at which place and places you doe assigne them a principall overseer aswell to see the deliverie of the stuffe unwrought, as also to take charge of the stuffe wrought, & to foresee that neither the yarne be burnt in tarring, nor the hempe rotted in the watering; and also to furnish them so with labourers, workemen and stuffe, as hereafter when these workmen shall come away, we be not destitute of good workmen, and that these may dispatch as much as possibly they may, doing it substancially: for we esteeme it a principal commoditie, and that the Counsel of England doth well allowe. Let all diligence be used, that at the returne of these shippes we may see samples of all ropes & cables if it be possible, and so after to continue in worke, that we may have good store against the next yeere. Therefore they have neede to have a place to worke in, in the winter: and at any hand let them have helpe ynough to spinne their stuffe: for seeing you have great plentie of hempe there, and at a reasonable price, we trust we shalbe able to bring as good stuffe from thence, and better cheape then out of Danske: if it be diligently used, and have a good overseer.

Let the chiefest lading of these foure shippes be principally in wexe, flaxe, tallowe and traine oyle. And if there be any more wares then these ships be able to take in, then leave that which is least in valew and grossest in stouage untill the next shipping: for wee doe purpose to ground our selves chiefly upon these commodities, as wexe, cables and ropes, traine oyle, flaxe and some linen yarne. As for Masts, Tarre, Hempe, Feathers, or any such other like, they would not beare the charges to have any, considering our deere fraight. We have sent you a Skinner to be there at our charges for meate, drinke and lodging, to viewe and see such furres as you shall cheape or buye, not minding neverthelesse, that you shall charge your selves with many, except those which bee most vendible, as good marterns, minivers, otherwise called Lettis and Mynkes. Of these you may send us plentie, finding them good and at a reasonable price. As for Sables and other rich Furres, they bee not every mans money: therefore you may send the fewer, using partly the discretion of the skinner in that behalfe.

Wee heare that there is great plentie of steele in Russia and Tartarie, whereof wee would you sent us part for an example, and to write your mindes in it what store is to be had: for we heare say there is great plentie, and that the Tartars steele is better then that in Russia . And likewise we be informed that there is great plentie of Copper in the Emperours Dominions: we would be certified of it what plentie there is, and whether it be in plates or in round flat cakes, and send us some for an example. Also we would have you to certifie us what kinde of wollen cloth the men of Rie and Revel, and the Poles and Lettoes doe bring to Russia , and send the skantlings of them with part of the lists, and a full advise of the lengths and breadths, colours and prices, and whether they be strained or not: and what number of them may be uttered in a yeere, to the intent we may make provision for them for the like sortes, and all other Flemish wares which they bring thither and be most vendible there. And to certifie us whether our set clothes be vendible there or not: and whether they be rowed and shorne: because ofttimes they goe undrest. Moreover, we will you send us of every commoditie in that Countrey part, but no great quantitie other then such as is before declared. And likewise every kinde of Lether, whereof wee bee informed there is great store bought yeerely by the Esterlings and Duches for hie Almaigne and Germanie.

More, that you doe send us for proofe a quantity of such earth, hearbes, or what thing soever it be, that the Russes do die and colour any kinde of cloth linen or wollen, Lether or any other thing withall: and also part of that which the Tartars and Turkes doe bring thither, and how it must be used in dying and colouring. Moreover, that you have a speciall foresight in the chusing of your Tallowe, and that it may be well purified and tried, or els it will in one yeere putrifie & consume.

Also that you certifie us the trueth of the waights and measures, and howe they doe answere with ours, and to send us 3. robles in money, that we may trie the just value of them.

Also we doe send you in these ships ten yong men that be bound Prentises to the Companie, whom we will you to appoynt every of them as you shall there finde most apt and meete, some to keepe accompts, some to buy and sell by your order and Commission, and some to send abroad into the notable Cities of the Countrey for understanding and knowledge. And we will you send us advertisement from time to time as well of the demeanours of our Prentises which we doe send now, as also of such other as bee already there with you. And if you finde any of them remisse, negligent, or otherwise misuse themselves and will not be ruled, that then you doe send him home, and the cause why.

And because we doe perceive the Countrey to be large, and that you have three housholds, we doe appoynt Henry Lane to be one of our Agents, and to joyne with you in all your doings, and to have like authoritie and power as you George Killingworth and Richard Gray have: not doubting but you three will so conferre together, as both our Prentises and others may be appoynted and divided every of them to his office, and to that he can best skill of: and you also so divide your selves every of you to an house, as by advertisement one from another, our businesse and trafficke may take good successe. And for divers considerations, to avoyde many troubles and businesse that might happen, wee have appoynted that hee which shall abide at Colmogro (which we doe thinke to bee most meetest Henry Lane) shall have with him there such of our yong men, as can best skill in keeping of accompts after the maner of Marchants, that is, by Debitor and Creditor: And that there shall be the place, where our bookes shalbe kept: because it is nearer the sea side, where our goods shalbe discharged and our ships laden. And the said Henry Lane to be charged with all such goods as we shall discharge there out of our ships, according to our Invoyces. Which goods are to be sent from Colmogro to Vologhda or to Mosco, or to any other place where you three or two of you do appoynt them to be sold, so that Henry Lane be one. And so from time to time immediatly as any thing is sold, doe you certifie the same to Henry Lane, that he may enter it into the Bookes as appertaineth: otherwise he should be too farre behinde in his Bookes at the comming of our ships, when he should send us the accompt of the whole yeere passed. And we will also that you George Killingworth and Richard Gray doe in the fine of April next send either of you unto Henry Lane a whole, perfit, & just accompt firmed with your owne hands of all the goods you have solde and bought untill that time, and what remaineth unsolde: and also the accompt of all maner costs of wares, and charges of you and the yong men under you particularly in such sort as the said accompt may bee with him in Colmogro at the fine of May at the furthest: to the intent that hee may make all our accompts perfite against the comming of our ships: and in any wise to keepe accompt of every voyage by it selfe, and not mingle one voyage with another at no hand. And as we will have you to keepe accompt of every voyage by it selfe, even so wee would have all the whole costes and charges of every yeere put into the voyage of that yeere. As the charges of all the last yeere must be put to the accompt of the third voyage: and the charges of this yeere present, must in the fine of April next, be put to the fourth voyage. Not doubting but your wisedome is such, that you will not take it in evill part, that wee doe appoynt Henry Lane to take the accompt of the rest. For we doe it for none other cause, but to keepe a good order in our bookes, that his bookes and ours may by this meanes agree: and hee being the yonger man, may best take paines: and that you doe keepe accompt of every kinde of wares by it selfe, to the intent wee may perceive wherein is our most gaine. And also in the making of your returne, in any wise name in your billes of lading, letters, and accompts, what wares doe appertaine to the first, second, and third voyage: and that wee may knowe the same by the numbers or otherwise as you shall thinke good by your wisedomes, putting the charges of the saide wares unto them, as nigh as you can. And all such money as shall bee made of your goods in any place, wee referre that to your discretion, where it shall remaine untill it bee employed, either at Vologhda, Mosco, or els where. And likewise wee will that Henry Lane doe make in a readinesse about the beginning of June every yeere our whole accompt of the voyage in that yeere passed: in such sort that wee may receive the same by our shippes: and that wee may plainely perceive what sales are made, and what remaineth of the first, second, third, and fourth voyage, and what charges have bene layde out for the sayd voyages, and what wares bee bought, and laden, and what they cost, and for what voyage every parcell thereof is: and to send us a copie of the same accompt in every shippe. And also forasmuch as at this time we have sent you but small store of wares in comparison of that we have hope will bee uttered in short space, and yet neverthelesse much more then you wrote for, whereby there shall not be sufficient to make any ample returne: and understanding that there is great quantitie of goods stayed for our trade there by the Emperour, wee have mooved the Embassador that you may have credite for such quantitie as shall seeme good to you to provide for our benefite. Which credite if you may by his meanes obtaine, or otherwise have, we would you bought as much Wexe principally as you may get. For if there be in that countrey so great quantitie, as we be informed there is, it will be the best commoditie we may have: for having that wholly in our hands, we may serve our owne countrey and others. Therefore seeing the Emperour doth minde, that such commodities as bee in his dominions shall not passe to Rie and Revel and Poland as they have done, but bee reserved for us: therefore we must so lay for it, that it may not ly upon their hands that have it to sell, alwayes having consideration in the price and time as our next dispatch may correspond. Whereof you may send a certaine advise, as well what you shall receive of credit, and to what quantitie, as also what wares are remaining in your hands: which together well considered, you may advertise us as well for how many hundreth tonnes we must provide fraight against the next yeere, as also what sortes, quantities and qualities of wares we shall send you, as well to pay your credite, as also to furnish the next adventure after. Of this we would be answered largely. For we trust by this time you are able to give full instructions of the state of the countrey: according to the articles of your first Commissions, and what commodities doe principally abound there with their prices: and likewise what of our commodities have most utterance there, and what prices will be given for them there: and all other things requisite and necessary to be knowen.

Also we doe understand that in the Countrey of Permia or about the river of Pechora is great quantitie of Yewe, and likewise in the Countrey of Ugory, which we be desirous to have knowledge of, because it is a speciall commoditie for our Realme. Therefore wee have sent you a yong man, whose name is Leonard Brian, that hath some knowledge in the wood, to shew you in what sorte it must be cut and cloven. So our minde is if there be any store, and that it bee found to be good, that there you doe provide a good quantitie against the next yeere for the comming of our shippes: and if there can bee found none that will serve for our purpose, then you may set the sayd Leonard Brian to any other businesse that you shall finde most fittest for him, untill the returne of our ships the next yeere. For he is hired by the yeere onely for that purpose. We doubt not but that hee shall doe you good service there. For hee hath good knowledge of wares of that Countrey: for his bringing up hath bene most in Danske, and hath good understanding in making of Ropes and Cables. Also we doe send you two Coopers to remaine there with you at our finding for meate and drinke and lodging to make in a readinesse all such caske as shalbe needfull for traine oyle, tallowe, or any thing else. One of them may goe with Leonard Brian to cut and cleve such Yewe as he shall like there. And because we be not sure what timber they shall finde there to make Caske, we have laden in these ships 140. tunnes emptie Caske, that is 94. tunnes shaken Caske and 46. tunnes whole, and ten thousand hoopes, & 480. wrethes of twigs: they may be doing with that till they can provide other timber, which we would be glad to heare of. They have an example with them of the bignesse of the Caske they shall make. Neverthelesse, all such Buttes and Hoggesheads as may be found to serve we will shalbe filled with Traine Oyle.

Also we charge you that you suffer no goods nor marchandies of any persons being not free of the Company, and of the accompt of the Company to be laden in any wise in our ships either now or at any time hereafter: except the Emperour or Embassadour minde to send any thing to the King and Queenes Majesties, or to any noble man, or to the Marchants of the Companie: Nor likewise that you suffer any goods that goe in these ships to be brought on land there, except the Ambassadours goods, and the Physitions & Apothecaries, and others that hee hath with him, who carie no Marchandise. And because our ships be freighted by the great, it shalbe very needefull that you do appoynt certaine to see the romaging of the ships, and to give the master or Boatswaine, or him that will take upon him to romage, a good reward for his labour to see the goods well romaged. If it bee iii.d. or iiii.d. the tunne, it shall not be amisse. For if it be not substantially well looked unto, it may bee a great deale of money out of our wayes.

Also because we reckon that from the Mosco will bee alwayes better conveyance of letters to us by land: our minde is that from time to time as occasion shall serve, our Agents shall write to him that shall lie at Mosco of all things that shall passe, that hee may give us large instructions, aswell what is solde and bought, as also what lading we shall take, and what quantitie and kinde of goods we shall send. For hitherto we have had but a slender advise, more like a bill to serve a Chapman , then for quantitie of wares to serve a kingdome. For we must procure to utter good quantitie of wares, especially the commodities of our Realme, although we affoord a good penyworth, to the intent to make other that have traded thither, wearie, and so to bring our selves and our commodities in estimation, and likewise to procure to have the chiefe commodities of that countrey in our hands, as waxe and such others, that other nations may bee served by us and at our hands. For wee doe understand that the greatest quantitie of waxe that commeth to Danske, Lubeck , and Hambourgh, commeth out of Russia . Therefore if wee should buy part, and they also buy, it would raise the price there, and would bee litle woorth here. And all such letters of importance and secrecie as you doe send by land for any wares or otherwise, you must write them in Cyphers, after the order of a booke sent you in the shippes: alwayes taking good heede in placing of your letters and cyphers, that wee may understand them by the same booke heere, and to send them in such sort, that we may have them here by Christmas or Candlemas, if it be possible. And because you cannot so certainly advertise us by letters of your doings, but some doubt may arise, whereof we would most gladly be certified: our mind is therefore that with these ships you send us home one such yong man as is most expert in knowledge of that countrey, and can best certifie us in such questions as may be demanded, whome we will remit unto you againe in the next ships. We thinke Arthur Edwards wilbe fittest for that purpose: neverthelesse use your discretion in that matter.

As touching our goods that were robbed and pilfered out of our ships at Colmogro and Vologda we trust by this time they are restored againe, and the malefactors so punished that other may take example for doing the like, otherwise it will be an evill president. Moreover, wee doe perceive that Richard Gray doeth buy mastes to send into England, they will not quit the costes, except we had a ship of purpose for them. And likewise that Steven Burrow is returned from his discoverie with the Serchthrift, and wintereth at Colmogro, and is minded to set forth in the beginning of June next to seeke the river of Ob. We pray God to speede him well, and trust to have him here in England this yeere to bring us good newes.

We doe perceive there is a river found about the mouth of S. Nicholas Bay that hath thirteen foot upon the barre at a lowe water, and is as neere Colmogro as S. Nicholas: which will bee a great pleasure unto us. We will that Steven Burrowe doe proceed on his voiage to discover. Also we have sent you one Anthonie Jenkinson Gentle man, a man well travelled, whom we mind to use in further travelling, according to a Commission delivered him, subscribed by master Anthonie Huse and others. Wherefore we will you deliver him one or more of such painfull young men as he shal thinke meetest for his purpose: and likewise such money and wares as he shal think best to take with him. He must have fourty pounds a yeere for foure yeeres, to be paid him by the halfe yeere, or as he wil demaund it of you, so let him have it from Easter last. Also the prices of wares here at this present are, bale flaxe twenty pound the packe and better, towe flaxe twentie eight pound the hundred, traine oyle at nine pound the tunne, waxe at foure pound the hundred, tallow at sixteene shillings the hundred, cables and ropes very deare: as yet there are no shippes come out of Danske.

Kept untill the tenth day of this present. As this day came the goods out of Scotland that were recovered out of the Edward Bonaventure: and nowe we doe perceive that the caske that the trayne oyle came in, is verie good, and much better then ours. Therefore our minde is, that you shall lade it all in such barrels of the bigger sort as you laded in the Edward, and no long barrels nor small. And that caske that wee have sent may serve for the Tallowe or anie other ware that is not leakage. Neverthelesse, this voyage you must take such as you can get.

Also if the Emperour bee minded to deliver you any summe of money, or good Waxe at as reasonable a price as you may buye for readie money, wee will that you shall take it and lade it for our accomptes, and to come at our adventure, and hee to bee payed at the returne of the shippes in Velvets, Sattens, or any other kinde of silke, or cloth of golde, cloth of tissue, or according as his Commission shall bee that hee shall sende us in the shippes, and according to such paternes as hee shall send. Wee doe not finde the Ambassadour nowe at the last so conformable to reason as wee had thought wee shoulde. Hee is very mistrustfull, and thinketh everie man will beguile him. Therefore you had neede to take heede howe you have to doe with him or with any such, and to make your bargaines plaine, and to set them downe in writing. For they bee subtill people, and doe not alwaies speake the trueth, and thinke other men to bee like themselves. Therefore we would have none of them to send any goods in our shippes at any time, nor none to come for passengers, unlesse the Emperour doe make a bargaine with you, as is aforesaid, for his owne person.

Also we charge you not to suffer any of our nation to send any wares to their wives or friends in any of our ships; but to take their money there to be paied heere by the companie and not otherwise: and to have consideration how you doe take the roble. For although we doe rate it after sixteene shillings eight pence of our money, yet it is not worth past 12. or 13. shillings sterling. Moreover, you had neede to sende newe accomptes, for them that came in the Edward bee marred and torne, so that we can make no reckoning by them: and likewise to write us a perfect note of all the goodes which you received the last voyage out of the Edward, and heerein not to faile.

Andrew Judde.

George Barne.

Anthonie Huse.

William Garrard.

William Chester.

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