The Tudor Society

The Muscovy Company

I've been inspired recently to research the links between Russia and the Tudors so I hope you enjoy this video talk on the Muscovy Company.

By the way, Richard Chancellor was drowned in November 1556 when his ship The Edward Bonaventure, was wrecked in Pitsligo Bay, off the Scottish Aberdeenshire coast. Chancellor's Oxford Dictionary of National Biography biographer, James McDermott, writes that Russian ambassador Osip Napeya recorded that his life was saved by Chancellor, "who drowned in attempting to carry the ambassador and his entourage to shore in the Edward's boat."

An interesting podcast from Heather Teysco:

Sources and Further Reading

  • "Russia Company", Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section -
  • Zins, Henryk (1972) England and the Baltic in the Elizabethan Era, Manchester University Press.
  • St Andrews Anglican Church, Moscow -
  • ed. Morgan, E. Delmar and Coote, C.H. Early voyages and travels to Russia and Persia by Anthony Jenkinson and other Englishmen, with some account of the first intercourse of the English with Russia and Central Asia by way of the Caspian Sea - read at
  • Willan, T.S. (1953) The Muscovy Merchants of 1555, Manchester University Press.
  • Willan, T.S. (1956) The Early History of the Russia Company, 1553-1603, Manchester University Press.
  • Cross, A.G. (1972) Chaplains to the British Factory in St Petersburg, 1723-1813, European Studies Review 2, no 2 (1972), pp125-142.
  • Muscovy Company, Encycopaedia Britannica -
  • The Wikipedia page on the Muscovy Company is good too -
  • McDermott, James. “Chancellor, Richard (d. 1556).” James McDermott In Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, online ed., edited by David Cannadine. Oxford: OUP, 2004.

There are 2 comments Go To Comment

  1. R

    People don’t associate the reign of Mary I as doing anything in the way of exploring or making new contacts but this expedition to Russia was as every bit as important as the New World and more tangible in the terms of trade and long term results.

  2. R

    It is interesting that England gained such important trade links during the reign of Mary I and it was a long and significant link between England and Russia. The wool trade was our most important export and trade and now we know why it was so important and wealthy during later eras, because of Mary I.

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The Muscovy Company