6 Annotations

Pauline  •  Link

Interesting entwinings
(and the amazing information we have access to in the Internet age)
from the Folger Shakespeare Library
Bacon-Townshend Collection, 1550-1640
Document (letter):

Bowes, Sir Jerome. Agreement between Anthony Stretley (deputy of Lady Jane Bowes) and Farmer (Jerome) Pepys (deputy to the deputy of Sir Jerome Bowes). April 10, 1575.

Pauline  •  Link

Jerome Pepys, 1548-1634
Grandfather of Sam's beloved "cousin" Jane Turner.

Claire Tomalin's bigraphy of Samuel Pepys has a good family tree.

language hat  •  Link

From the Oxford DNB:

In June 1583 Bowes was appointed Elizabeth's ambassador to Ivan IV, tsar of Russia. The apocryphal stories about this mission survived until the end of the seventeenth century and references to them can be found in a number of treatises on Russian history published in London between 1671 and 1699, as well as in Samuel Pepys's diary. In these stories Bowes appears as a valiant subject of the queen who fearlessly defended his sovereign before Ivan the Terrible. His irascibility was admired by the tempestuous Russian tsar who, after many a stormy scene, finally satisfied all the demands presented by the ambassador. Bowes himself had always insisted that the collapse of his mission was brought about by the death of Ivan. This understanding of his mission to Moscow became accepted even at the time although the Muscovy Company, on whose behalf it was undertaken, constantly accused Bowes of mishandling the negotiations. Neither he, nor the company, nor later historians were correct in their interpretation of affairs. Bowes was given the impossible task of procuring the most advantageous trading privileges for the English without giving the tsar anything in return. During the negotiations which lasted from 18 October 1583 until 17 February 1584, Bowes had fourteen audiences with Ivan and his ministers. Termed a plenipotentiary ambassador in the queen's letter, he had no power to conclude anything and was instructed to take away from the tsar even that little which had been given to him during the preceding negotiations with the Russian ambassador in London. He had to bluff his way through the negotiations, which he also sustained by that 'want of temperance' so deplored by the company. On 14 February 1584 he was dismissed by Ivan with these words: 'Since you came to us with nothing, we will send you back with what you brought us.' Bowes was given an official leave on 17 February by the tsar's councillors. Thus his mission was finished a month before Ivan's death on 19 March. Bowes was caught in the turmoil which took place in Moscow after the tsar's death. His relations with Ivan's councillors were extremely strained during the negotiations. Bowes's continuous accusations that they were hampering the talks brought Ivan's wrath on several of them. After the tsar's death, Bowes was placed under house arrest and stood in real fear of his life for some six weeks before he was finally allowed to depart.

(From Nix’s comment on 6 Sep 2005)

Bill  •  Link

BOWES, Sir JEROME (d.1616), ambassador; temporarily banished from court for slandering Earl of Leicester, 1577; ambassador to Russia, 1583; dismissed after death of the Czar Ivanvasilovitch; translated from French an 'Apology for Christians of France,' 1579.
---Dictionary of National Biography: Index and Epitome. S. Lee, 1906.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.


  • Sep