[Merchants] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [of Russia.]261

[Merchants] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [of Russia.]

their Commanders in the said Voyages, and registred in the High Court of Admiralty.

The said Company have always permitted all Persons freely to Trade to all the said Lands and Places discovered, and to all other Places whatsoever, except to Narve and Archangel in Russia. And permitted all Persons, freely to export from England to the said Port of Narve, all Goods whatsoever, and have taken but one per Cent. (according to the value in the Book of Rates) for their Licence, on what Goods of the Growth of Russia have been imported by others to England, from the said Port of Narve. And the Company themselves pay half per Cent.

The Company admitted into their Freedom, the Sons of Freemen, and such as had served Apprenticeships to the Freemen of the said Company, and any other Merchants whatsoever; paying the usual Fine of 50l. for their Admittance.]

These Merchants have by their Charter many Priviledges and Immunities granted them; as to raise Armes for the subduing of Countreys, in the Limits aforesaid, and to enter thereon and set up English Standards. To make Acts and Ordinances for the good of the said Trade, provided they be not against the Law of the Nation. To punish Offenders by Fine or Imprisonment; to use a Seal and to bear a Coat Armour, which is as above depicted, and is thus blazoned.

R. B.

Priviledges granted.

Barry wavy of six peices, Argent and Azure, over all a Ship under Sail, proper, having on each Sail a Cross of England between three Bezants. For their Crest, on a Helmet and Wreath, a Lizards Head erazed proper, gorged with a Crown, Gules. And for their Supporters, on the dexter side a Lizard, and on the sinister side an Apres, both proper, and gorged with Crowns, Gules. Their Motto, God be our good Guide.

Their Atchievments.

The Commodities by them exported, are Cloths of all Sorts, both drest and dyed, Kersies, Bayes, Cottons, Fustians, Perpepetuanoes, Norwich Stuffs, Lace, Thread, Lead, Tinn, Pewter, Allom, Copper, much defective Wines, and Fruits, not fit to be spent in this Kindom; together with most sorts of English Commodities. And for these and the like they import Pot-ashes, Cordage, Tarr, Tallow, Cable-Yarn, Coarse and Fine Linnen Cloth, Bees-Wax, Isinglass, Hide of several sorts both tan'd and raw; Hogs-Bristles, Linseed, Slood, Beaver Wool, and Combs; several sorts of rich Furrs, Seal Skins, Rhubard, Train Oyle, Castorum, Agarick, Flax, Hemp, Caviare, Stock-fish, Cod fish, Salmon, &c.

Commodities exported.

Commoditees imported.

This Company is governed by a Governour, four Consuls, and twenty four Assistants: who are annually chosen out of the said Fellowship, on the first of March, and keep their Courts for the negotiation of their affairs, monthly, or as occasion requires. The usual Place of Meeting is in a large Room, in the old East-India House, in Leaden-hall Street.]

Their Government.

This Company was settled and established by Queen Mary, Anno 1555. and the Patent bore date February the sixth. The first Governour was Sebastian Cabota, an ancient Gentleman, sprung from Genoa in Italy, but had lived long in England, and deserved very well of Maritime Affairs.

The first Governour.

J. S.

But King Edward VI. first opened the way of a Trade, by his Letters to the Emperor of Mosco in May 1553. Which that Emperor anwered, granting the Egnlish a free Trade into his Dominions.

A few Years ago, an Act was made for enlarging the Russia Trade; Tobacco being allowed by the present Czar of Moscovy, (who was lately in Person in England) to be imported into his Country, which was never allowed before. This Company had assumed a Power to set what Fine they pleased, upon those that should desire the Freedom of their Trade; which usually was 50l. a thing complained of, as injurious both to the Company it self, and to the Trade into those parts: the Company being observed very much to decay, and the Trade becoming inconsiderable: which otherwise was of very great Consequence to the English Nation, in respect of Shipping and Naval Stores. This matter coming before the Parliament, Nathaniel Tench, Esq; Governour of the Eastland Company, a Merchant of great Knowledge and Experience; shewed this at large before the Parliament in the House of Lords, in order to gain a liberty of Trade into Russia, to the said Eastland Merchants and others. And whereas it was pretended, by those of the Russia Company, that this would be to infringe the Privileges granted to them by Act of Parliament; he answered, that no such thing was intended, but that the said Russia Company might still remain as they were before; only that the Trade might be enlarged, by abating the excessive Fines for Licence to Trade, from 50l. or what they pleased to impose, to 5l. And with this the Parliament was satisfied; and enacted the Fine at 5l. and no more. By which means that Trade to Russia is very considerably advanced already. For whereas before there were not above four, five, or six Ships at the most, sent into those parts in one Year; now there go sixty or seventy Sail yearly.

Act for enlarging the Trade to Russia.

Nathaniel Tench, Esq; Governour.

It was observed, that the Russia Merchants, when the Cause came before the Parliament, had the learnedest Lawyers in the Land to manage it on their Side: The Eastland Company had none but Mr. Tench, their Master. Who notwithstanding answered distinctly all the Lawyers arguments, so fully and satisfactorily, and spoke to the matter with so much Evidence and Conviction, that he carried the Cause, and that with much Applause to himself, and Admiration of all that heard him

About the Year 1698. the Emperor of Russia, (now stiled the Czar) being in England, there were some Merchants in London, who entred into a Treaty with him, for a free Importation of Tobacco into his Dominions. And they paid him 12000l. immediately upon signing the Contract. And it cost them above a 1000l. more in other charges to obtain it. And this they did before one half of the Sum was subscribed that was intended for a Stock sufficient to carry on the Trade.

The Czar by Contract allows bringing in T bacco into Russia.

To this so gainful a Traffick for England, this Russia Company put an impediment, by requiring such large Sums for Licences to Trade thither: having Power otherwise to seize their Ships and Goods. Therefore they laboured for an easy Admission into the Freedom of this Company, by means of a Bill, then depending in the House of Commons, for enlarging the Trade to Russia. But this being not for some time obtained, several fell off; and the whole Burthen of this undertaking, fell upon the Shoulders of seventy or eighty Persons, who were the first Subscribers. These thought it needful to send some Tobacco; thereby to shew their willingness to comply with that part of the Contract: least the Czar should take an advantage by their neglect: and so they might loose the 12000l. paid him, and all their other Charges, and the Nation the advantage of that Liberty which had been so desired. Therefore they ordered about 110000 Pounds of Virginea-Leaf, to be sent from Holland thither: and more of Roll and cut Tobacco.

In fine, there being afterwards another Sessions of Parliament, they shewed, that if they could not obtain their Freedom of the Russia Company upon moderate Terms, they should not be able to comply with their Contract with the Czar, but must be forced to throw up their Patent, or