H. D. (Henry Duff) Traill.

Social England; a record of the progress of the people in religion, laws, learning, arts, industry, commerce, science, literature and manners, from the earliest times to the present day (Volume 3) online

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the states and dispositions of the people."

On the 20th May it was settled that they should "depart
from RatclifFe [near our London Docks] upon the ebb if it

314 '/'///; Xh'W

The start, so pleased (!od." And " thcv having saluted one liis wife,
another liis children, anothejr his kinsfolk, another his friends
dejuvr than liis kinsfolk were ready at the day appointed,
and having weighed anchor, they departed with the
i liming of the water, and sailing easily came first to
Greenwich. The greater ships were towed down with boats
and oars, and the mariners being all apparelled in watchet
or sky-coloured cloth, rowed amain and made way with
diligence. And being come near to Greenwich, where the
Court then lay, presently upon the news thereof the courtiers
came running out and the common people flocked together,
standing very thick upon the shore; the I'rivy Council,
they looked out at the windows of the Court, and the
rest ran by to the tops of the towers; the ships hereupon
discharge their ordnance and shoot off their pieces after the
manner of war and of the sea, insomuch that the tops of
the hills sounded therewith, the valleys and the waters gave
an echo ; and the mariners, they shouted in such sort that
the sky rang again with the noise thereof. One stands in
the poop of the ship and by his gesture bids farewell to
his friends in the best manner he. could. Another walks
upon the hatches, another climbs the shrouds, another stands
upon the mainyard, and another in the top of the ship. It
was a very triumph to the beholders."

So the three ships, 1 going down with the tide, passed
Woolwich and Harwich, " and at the last, with a good wind,
they hoisted up sail and committed themselves to the sea,
giving their last adieu to their native country. Many of
them looked ofttimes back and could not refrain from tears."

Wiiiougn- After many days' sailing they sighted land far off and
by's Fate

so came first to Rose Island and then to a group they called

the Cross of Islands, not far from the Fiords of Norway.
"But the very same day in the afternoon, about 4 of the
clock, so great a tempest arose and the seas were so
outrageous," that the ships could not keep their intended
course. And now "Master Hugh Willoughby, in his loudest

1 The flagship Jiomi Exprnnizii, "Good Hope," under Willoughby : Chanceler's
E<1 irn r<l iln/itn-r/if //>/-, the largest ship of the fleet, of 1(50 tons, with fifty souls
(against AVilloughby's thirty-five) ; and the Jimm I'niijiilcnt/n. with twenty-two
men ; all victualled for eighteen months, with eighteen merchants on board.




(Wollaton Hall.)

voice, cried out to Richard Chanceler and begged him not
to go far off; but he (Chanceler) neither would nor could
keep company with him if he sailed still so fast for the
flagship was of better sail than his. But the said flagship,
bearing all his sails, was carried away with so great force
and swiftness, that not long after he w r as quite out of sight
and the third ship also " -never to be seen again till the
crews were found, frozen to death, by the Russians of Perm. 1

1 The fate of Sir Hug-h Willoughby, one of our first martyrs of discovery,
ha? an interest, if not in the history of successful, yet of gallantly unfor-
tunate adventure and exploration. After he was separated from Chanceler,

(By permission of the Riglit. Hon. Lori! Mhlilhton,.)






" Now Piidiard Chanceler, thus loft alone, vorv pensive,
heavy, and sorrowful by this dispersion of the Hoot, shapcth
liis course for \Yardhouse [Vardo] in Norway, there to abide
the arrival of the rest. And, looking in vain for their coming,
he determined at length to proceed alone, and, as he was
preparing himself for that part, he fell in company and
speech with certain Scottish men, who, wishing well to his
actions, began earnestly to dissuade him from the further
prosecution of the Discovery by amplifying the dangers which
he was to fall into. But he, holding nothing so reproachful
as inconstancy and levity of mind, was nothing at all changed
with the speeches and words of the Scots determining
to bring that to pass which was intended or else to

His crew were

die the death."

of such content and

agreement of mind with him, that they were prepared to
make proofs and trial of ail adventures " ; and their captain,
" swallowed up with like goodwill towards them, only feared
lest, through any error of his, the safety of the company
should be in danger."

So, " when they saw the hope of the arrival of the rest
every day more and more frustrated, they provided to sea
again, and Master Chanceler held on his course toward that


he drove about in the Arctic Seas from July 30th to September 18th, 1 .">.".
trying to make Vardo harbour, but trying in vain.

On September 18th he entered the mouth of the River Arzina. near Kola,
in Lapland, and Willoughby's journal, preserved by Hakluyt, tells us he
"remained there the space of a seven-night. Seeing- the year far spent, and
also very evil weather, as frost, snow, and hail, we thought it best to winter

" Wherefore, we sent out three men S.S.W. to search if they could find
people, who went three days' journey, but could find none. After that we
sent other three Westward four days' journey, which also returned without
seeing any people.

' Then sent we three men S.E. three days' journey, who in like sort
returned without finding of people or any similitude of habitation."

Some of the party were alive as late as January ir>54, in this Harbour of
Death for Gabriel Willoughby drew up and signed his will in that month.

In l.">7 Stephen Burrough went in search of them, and heard certain news
of the loss of the Bona Confident ia, but of Willougfhby's flagship, the ]>i<>in
Esperiniza, nothing more was known, till Anthony Jenkinson, early in l.V>8,
claimed to have got equally certain news of Sir Hugh having perished with
all his company. But, long before this, according to Purchas. the Hona
Exprranxi was found in the spring of 1 .">." 4, by some Russians, "but of the
cre\v. no one alive."


unknown part of the world, and sailed so far that he came Russia

|_ "p ^/1i o

at last to the place where he found no night at all, but a COV ered.
continual light and brightness of the sun, shining clearly
upon the huge and mighty sea. And having the benefit of
this perpetual light for certain days, at length it pleased
God to bring them into a certain great bay, which was of
100 miles or thereabouts over. Whereirito they entered, and
somewhat far within it cast anchor, and, looking every way
about them, espied a certain fisher boat." Chanceler hailed
the crew and made up to them ; " but they, being amazed at
the strange greatness of his ship for they had never seen
the like before began presently to avoid and flee." The
English captain overtaking them, " they threw themselves
before him, in great fear as men half dead, offering to kiss
his feet: but he, according to his great and singular courtesy,
looked pleasantly upon them, comforting them by signs and
gestures, refusing those duties and reverencies of theirs and
taking them up in all loving sort from the ground. And
they spread, by-and-by, a report of the coming of a strange
nation of a singular gentleness and courtesy, whereupon the
people came together, offering victuals freely to those new-
come guests and not refusing to traffic with them " only
awaiting their king's permission.

" Now, by this time our men had learned that this country
was called Russia or Muscovy" -under a King John IV.,
better known as the Czar Ivan the Terrible. They were lying,
of course, in the White Sea, off the province of Perm, near
the site of the Archangel that was to be; and news was
soon carried to Moscow of the Englishmen " sent into those
coasts from the Most Excellent King Edward VI."

Ivan at once welcomed them to his Court, offered post- Journey
horses for the long overland journey, " and if by reason of
its tediousness they thought it not best so to do, he granted
liberty to bargain and to traffic " where they la)-. But this
gracious answer took some time in coming ; the " Governors
of the place" would not commit themselves without formal
leave, and Chanceler, "held in this suspense with long and
vain expectation, and thinking that of intention to delude
him they posted the matter off so often," determined to
follow up his daring voyage with as daring a ride across



the Continent. Threatening the Muscovites to depart and
go on his way, he " brought them to furnish him with all
things necessary, and to conduct him by land to the presence
of their King." And so "Master Chanceler set out, with
the use of certain sledges which in that country are very
common the people almost not knowing any other manner of
carriage because of the exceeding hardness of the ground.
And having passed the greater part of their journey, they

met the sledgeman '
coming from the Czar,
" who by some mishap
had lost his way and
gone to the seaside
near the country of the
Tartars, thinking there
to have found our ship."
He gave Chanceler
the Emperor's letter,
" written in all courtesy
and in the most loving
manner that could be,
wherein express corn-
1 1 1 andi nent was given
that post-horses should
be gotten for him and
the rest of his company
without any money.
Which thing was of all
the Russians in the
rest of the journey so
willingly done, that

they began to quarrel, yea and to fight also, in striving and
contending which of them should put their post-horses to
the sled" so that after nearly 1.500 miles of this new kind
of travelling, " Master Chanceler came at last to Moscow, the
chief city."

So ends the story of the rediscovery of Russia in a
sense, the most important of all English voyages. For if
Drake, Frobisher, Davis, Hudson, and Cook have made
discoveries more famous than this of Richard Chanceler's,


(By permission, from E. Delmar Morgan's "Early
Travellers in llussia " : llulduyt Society.)

TRAVEL AND EXPLORATION, ir, 13-1558. 319

the first step in a movement must always have a place of
its own; and in this venture we have the start of Greater
England not by a lucky chance, but by a deliberate plan
of restoring some vigour to English commerce, and by a
daring in action which deserved more than its first, its
obvious success, as the results were far wider than a mere
opening of trade with the then half-barbarous Russians.

On reaching Moscow Chanceler set to work to observe
and describe. In his long journey " thro' Russia the White "
he had noted its " many and great rivers, of which the
chief is that they call in their own tongue Volga, and after
this the Don and the Dnieper," " with the great lakes and
pools of Muscovy, and the marsh ground in many places."
" Touching the Riphaean Mountains," however, " where the
snow lieth continually, and the rest of the wonders which
the Grecians feigned and invented of old, our men neither saw
them, nor brought home any perfect relation of them." On
the contrary, " the whole country is plain and champaign,
and few hills in it : and towards the north very large and
spacious woods, with great store of fir-trees." It was summer
June to September when Chanceler spent his three months
in Muscovy ; so it was only from report he could tell of
the " North parts of the country, so cold that the very
water that distilleth out of the moist wood they lay upon
the fire is presently congealed and frozen, so that in one
and the self-same firebrand a man shall see both fire and
ice." Yet even in these summer months, " the mariners we
left in the ship, in their going up only from their cabins
to the hatches, had their breath oft-times so suddenly
taken away that they eftsoons fell down as men very near

The " large discourse that remaineth " in the Original
Journals, of Moscow, of the Prince and his Court, and the
manners of the people, is too " large " for the purpose of this
summary. But some instances of increased knowledge and
enlarged interest in the outer world, thus thrown open, cannot
be quite left out. " Our men say that Moscow in bigness is
as great as the City of London." There are, it is admitted
rather grudgingly, "many and great buildings in it; but for
beauty and fairness, nothing like ours." In the same way,


the "many towns and villages" of Russia arc "built all out
of order and with no handsomeness."'

MOSCOW. 'I ne tii'st English description of tin- Kremlin is interesting

in the history of rediscovery. 'There is, hard by the City
of Moscow, a very fair castle, strong and furnished \viih
artillery, whereunto the city is joined directly towards the
north with a brick wall. The walls of the castle are eighteen
feet thick; it hath on one side a dry ditch, on the other the
River Volga; and in it are nine chapels, not altogether
unhandsome, used and kept by certain religious men, over
whom is, after a sort, a patriarch, or governor, and other
reverend fathers. The king's court is not of the neatest, for
it is of low building, much surpassed and excelled by the
houses of the kings of England. The windows, very narrowly
built some of them by glass, some other by lattices admit.
the light ; whereas the palaces of our princes are decked
with hangings of cloth of gold, there is none such there."
Also the Russians "build and join benches to all their
walls " a great eyesore to the Englishmen.

However, the Czar received Chanceler splendidly enough,
the latter being not at all " dashed out of countenance "
and the rest of Hakluyt's account is mostly taken up with
the ceremonies, manners, and religion of Ivan's court and
kingdom. It was nearly one hundred years since Ivan III,
in 1462, had freed a part of Russia from the Tartar slavery
and begun the new Eastern Empire, nine years after the old
Byzantine tradition, by the storm of Constantinople in 1453.
had fallen into the hands of the Turks. Of that older Roman
or Greek Empire the new Muscovite dominion claimed to
be the successor, and by 1500, after a desperate light of
forty years, its founder could make that claim with some
show of power. Now, in 1553, when his grandson was " in
his 20th year of reign and his 23rd of life," Russia ivas
civilised enough to feel the meaning, or something of the
meaning, of the Christianity and the society that Western
Kurope represented that West whose pioneers had just found
their way to Moscow. Ivan, who was deep in reforming the
law of Church and State, in spreading Christian manners
and morals among the people with the help of the priest
Sylvester, welcomed the new opening of Western trade and

>''< 3 }', M Wjfi JUST Wft'f !I ^A HT^*^-*^

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^ ., /-j r- > U ., " ;4 Hg ^



^A ^ '^ N r A r ?

[ ^ ^ fei K- ' * '.Ji " '*- '




of Trade

influence t'> liis merchants and his people. It was the
all-important time lor Russia, as it was for England. For
;he future of both countries very much depended on the
use tliev would make of their meeting and its results not
merely the direct results of any traffic that might spring
up between Moscow and London, but still more the indirect,
wider, deeper results of the first quickening of national
enterprise on both sides the first movement of national

Ivan, as much as the English merchants, thought the
"search of new- trades and countries was a course and means
to obtain greatness." So now Chanceler returned to England
with letters from the C/ar to Edward VI., offering entertain-
ment to Willoughby " when he shall arrive," and declaring
that Russia was "willing that you send unto us ships and
vessels. And if you send one of your Majesty's Council
to treat with us, whereby your merchants may with all kinds
of wares, and where they will, make their market, they shall
have their free mart with all liberties through my whole
dominions, to come and go at their pleasure."

And this was all in the teeth of fierce opposition from the
Hanse merchants, especially in Novgorod, "the chiefest mart in
all Muscovy," where they had had a ''house of merchandise,"
but had. lost their privileges "by reason that they used the
like ill-dealing there that they did with us." They had
slandered their English rivals vigorously enough, accusing
them as pirates and rovers, and calling on the Czar to detain
and imprison them. "But the Emperor, believing rather
the King's letters that our men brought than the lying
suggestions of the Flemings, used no ill treaty towards

Ivan's letters came, of course, to Queen Mary on Chanceler's
return in '54, and to her the account was giyen "concerning
the state of Muscoyy." of its trade in hides and tallow,
corn, 1 and wax, hemp and hone}', sables and walrus ivory:
of its trade-routes through Moscow, Novgorod, Vologda, and
other marts ; of the divisions of the kingdom, as far out on

1 " Sucli Sinn- nl' corn that in conveying it towards .Moscow, sometimes in
a forenoon a man shall see 7<>n to son sleds laden with it." People came a
thousand miles to Moscow to buv the corn.


the north and east as the " Muscovites that are idolaters,
dwelling near to Tartaria " ; and, at greatest length of all,
of their religion. For " they hold opinion that we are but
half Christians, and themselves only to be the true and
perfect Church ; these are the childish dotages of such
ignorant barbarians."

The Czar's letter of invitation and the success of Chanceler's


-t, -, * '

nwv ;I,


venture kept up the English interest in the new trade of this
new world. Thus, in 1554, John Hasse wrote a tract "of
the coins, weights, and measures used in Russia," and in the
next year all was ready for a second voyage to the White
Sea; for, as the Flemings had just bought back their trading
rights at Novgorod, the western entrance to Muscovy (by
the Baltic) was more than ever closed to English seamen.



His Ship-

to Russia.

The E<l-<ird Bonaventure sailed again under its old
Grand Pilot, Richard ( 'lum-eler, on May 1, 1555, and on
the 4th of October the trading party \vas in Moscow once
more. While they stayed treating about the opening of a
mart, a third expedition was preparing in the Thames, and
in the year 1550 the first Ambassador from Russia was
" honourably received into England," after a most stormy
voyage. For the Edirr<l limni rcu hire, leaving the White
Sea on July 20, 1550, and "traversing the seas four months,"
on November 10 "arrived within the Scottish coast in a
bay called Pettisligo (Pitsligo) where, by outrageous tempest
and extreme storms, the ship, beaten from her ground tackles."
was driven upon the rocks on shore, where she broke and
split in pieces: "in such sort that the grand pilot (Chanceler),

using all care for the

Ambassador and his train, and taking

the ship's boat to attain the shore and so to save and
preserve the company the same boat by rigorous waves
of the seas was by dark night overwhelmed and drowned."
Chanceler perished with the rest - seven Russians and the
mariners of the ship only the Ambassador was saved. With
great difficulty he w T as got out of the hands of the Scottish
wreckers and brought up to London, where the Queen
received him on the last day of February, 1557. " He
being accompanied by the merchants adventuring for Russia
-140 persons and conducted to London, where, by the way ;
he had the hunting of the fox and such like sport shown
him, with knights, esquires, gentlemen, and yeomen up to
800 horses, was led to the north parts of the <-itv, where,
by four notable merchants, w r as presented to him a right
fair and large gelding, richly trapped, with a foot cloth of
Orient crimson velvet, enriched with gold laces, all furnished
in most glorious fashion." So the Muscovite Kmbassy
was brought in by Smithfield Bars, received at Court in
Westminster, and sent back to Russia with "four goodly and
well-trimmed ships" on May 12, 1557.

Other voyages in the same direction had been in progress
in 1550 such as the "Navigation and discovery towards
the River of Obi, made by Stephen Bui-rough, Master of tin-
pinnace called the V/rAr/// /;//," who passed the North Cape
(which he claims to have named), Lapland, Nova Zambia,



and the land of the " Samoids, very trustful and shrewd
people/' and only turned back within fifteen leagues of the
River Petchora and another voyage of the same Stephen
Burrough, from Colmogro in Russia to Yard 6 in Norway
(1557), to seek the ship that had been lost on the first
venture of Chanceler and Willoughby (p. 315). Besides
these, we have Instructions to the Masters and Mariners on
board the fleet, "passing this year (1557) towards the Bay
of St. Nicholas in Russia," a letter of the Company of
Merchant Adventurers unto their agent (1557), " sent in

VARDO IX 1594.
(Linschoten, " Voyagie ofte Scliipmiert," 1601.)

the ship John Evanc/did," and three other letters from
the Company in London to their agents in Russia, or from
one agent to another.

The northern travels of Anthony Jenkinson, like the
results of the return of the Russ Ambassador to Moscow,
fall mainly within the reign of Queen Elizabeth. He journeyed
to Muscovy from Gravesend in same fleet with Ivan's envoy
-May 12-July 12, 1557 and on April 23, 1558, he was
ready to set out from Moscow for the City of Bokhara or
Boghar in Bactria. Two days before Christmas he reached
it when Queen Mary had been dead a month.

But in the very beginning of the reign in 1553 the


7V//; A'A'IT


Levant same Anthony Jenkinson had been exploring the Turkish
Empire, revisiting the Bible lands that had been fading from
the knowledge of our countrymen since the Crusades, and
going farther afield, on this side, than any Englishman had
gone before. On November 4 he had witnessed " the manner
of the entering of Soliman the great Turk, with his army
into Aleppo in Syria, marching into Persia against the Grand
Sophie " ; at the same time, he got his passport from the
Padishah for all the ports, towns, and cities in his dominions.

Africa. As to other parts of the globe, we have seen, in the reign

of Edward VI., how English merchants and explorers began
to visit the African coasts about 1550 ; their visits continued
to be pretty frequent in the five years of the Catholic Reign.
On August 12, 1553, sailed the " first fleet to Guinea and
Benin"; on October 11, 1554, started a second expedition in
the track of the first; in 1555-0, the famous Master William
Towrson made his first two voyages to the Castle of La
Mina, the great Portuguese fort on the Guinea coast-
though the interest of all this is primarily in trade.

But of western discovery and voyages to America under
Queen Mary even voyages in search of a north-west passage
there is an almost total cessation. While on the north and
east every possible effort was being made to open up a new
field of enterprise, scarcely anything is recorded to have been
done by Englishmen in the track marked out by John Cabot
at the end of the preceding century (Yol. II., p. 074).

Thus it is only on one side, on the north-east, and by
the enterprise of one man Richard Chanceler that any
notable success is gained by our national discoverers under
Mary. All other ventures are either successful as following in
his steps, or disastrous as new attempts to get right on,
round the north of Asia, to Cathay ; or unimportant and
uninteresting as futile efforts to break into the " closed sea "
of Spanish Trade in west and south. The story of our
exploration in these five years is the story of the voyage of
one Grand Pilot.

IT is not very easy to trace out the course of events
whereby it came to pass that the bright promise foreshadowed
by Erasmus (p. 115, seq.) altogether disappeared soon after the



accession of Edward. But it is clear that the work of J- BASS

Online LibraryH. D. (Henry Duff) TraillSocial England; a record of the progress of the people in religion, laws, learning, arts, industry, commerce, science, literature and manners, from the earliest times to the present day (Volume 3) → online text (page 30 of 68)