Zgon Iwana i angielski medyk


Oblężenie Połocka w 1579


Rok 1581 był fatalny dla Iwana IV, nie dość, że stracił Narwę na rzecz Szwedów, to wcześniej Rzplita odbiła Połock i odniosła szereg świetnych zwycięstw w wojnie inflanckiej.

Mało tego, we wrześniu 1581 powstała Kompania Lewantyńska i do handlu z Persją przede wszystkim, Moskwa już nie była Anglii niezbędna. Na dokładkę, Duńczycy dołączyli do (bardzo) aktywnych oponentów anglo-moskiewskich układów („The privileges of 20 June 1569 were the fullest and the most favourable that the Company ever received. By them the Company was given the right to trade in Russia and through Russia to Persia without the payment of any duties…”). W 1582 sytuacja Iwana była tak rozpaczliwa, iż zażądał od Londynu gwarancji osobistego bezpieczeństwa*, tzn. „w razie czego” Anglia miała zapewnić carowi azyl w Londynie (skąd my to znamy…), a potwierdzeniem tego miałby być odpowiedni mariaż. Ciekawostką jest, że we wcześniejszej korespondencji z Elżbietą I, to Iwan IV (ewidentnie jako pierwszy polityk) zarzucał bezczelnie królowej, i to bez ogródek, że rządzą nią handlarze…

Tak czy inaczej, nieszczęsny Iwan IV stawał się dla Londynu coraz większym „obciążeniem”, co tak oto się to skończyło:

„Robert Jacob, described as a midwife-physician or man-midwife in the parlance of Elizabethan times, lived a life no less exciting than some of the famous English seadogs. He became a physician at the court of Russia’s Ivan the Terrible. A native of London, Jacob received his undergraduate and graduate degrees by 1573 from Trinity College, Cambridge. He completed the medical program at Basel and, as was the custom to facilitate licensing by the Royal College of Physicians, his degree was incorporated at Cambridge in 1579. A physician to Queen Elizabeth, Jacob was held in the highest esteem for his skill as an accoucheur and for dealing with gynecological problems. After corresponding in Latin with Tsar Ivan IV about Jacob’s talents, in the summer of 1581 the queen sent the doctor, “our physician” to the Russian royal household to attend Tsarina Maria Nagaia**, largely on the recommendation of Englishman Jerome Horsey, a clerk of the Muscovy Company who had become a Russian court favorite.

Jacob, accompanied by his brother, traveled in a convoy of thirteen Musocovy Company vessels, which was bringing sulphur, saltpetre, gunpowder, lead, and copper to the Company‘s depot on Rose Island***, near present-day Archangel. Jacob then traveled overland to Moscow where he was greeted warmly and allowed to minister to the tsarina, who was troubled by difficult childbearing. Jacob had been given a hundred rubles by the Company upon his arrival, which sustained him until Christmas when the tsar awarded him a salary.

Ivan IV was interested in establishing a permanent nexus with England, and as early as 1567 may have proposed marriage to Elizabeth. Even though the tsar was already married, Dr. Jacob was consulted on a marital alternative to the queen herself, and he extolled to the tsar the qualities of thirty-year-old Lady Mary Hastings, daughter of the Earl of Huntingdon and a kinswoman to the queen on the Boleyn side. In 1583 Ivan sent a representative, Theodore Andreievitch Pissemsky, to England to negotiate an alliance, to propose marriage to Lady Mary, and to get all the physical minutiae on his latest potential fiancee. The tsar made it clear that his wife would have to convert to Orthodox Christianity and would have to accept monetary appanages for any offspring of the union rather than the throne itself. If no such agreement could be arranged, then Pissemsky should return to Moscow.

In the face of the tsar’s enthusiasm for an English bride, the queen displayed her consummate gift for delaying matters, but when Lady Mary learned the disturbing marital history of her suitor, she balked at the proposal. Elizabeth sent an official envoy, Sir Jerome Bowes, back with Pissemsky to dissuade the tsar from his choice and to smooth negotiations for a treaty specifying privileges for the Muscovy Company. Luckily for everyone, Ivan died [z przejedzenia wg Bowesa…] not too long after Bowes’s arrival in Moscow [„But he died soon after, and with his successor, Feodor I, the anti-English Dutch faction came into power.”], and Dr. Jacob, whose brother had died in Russia the previous year, returned to England with Bowes in March 1584. Once home, Jacob found that he was in trouble with the Muscovy Company, which rebuked him for trading on his own account while in Russia. The physician had evidently sent a large quantity of wax to England for his own profit, angering the Company and endangering its monopoly. The censure was not serious enough to prevent Jacob at that time from being licensed by and admitted into the Royal College of Physicians.

The charges were not unusual, however. Even Jerome Horsey, the former clerk of the Company and now a knight, was accused upon arriving in England with illegal trading. But Horsey had the queen’s ear, and drew her attention to the medical needs of the new royal family in Moscow. He had a letter from Prince “Boris Fethorwich” (Boris Godunov) asking expressly for the return of Dr. Jacob. Once again the queen called upon Jacob to go to Russia, this time with an unnamed midwife, to attend the spouse of the new tsar, Feodor I…

Accordingly, Jacob traveled again to the court of the tsar, as part of a new deputation sent from the queen and headed by Horsey… Jacob stayed on at the court during a difficult time. Due to differences in customs and attitudes about absolute sovereignty, the Russian leaders often took umbrage at the manner of their treatment by English emissaries. In a letter to Horsey, Prince Boris expressed amazement at what be deemed boorish foreign behavior, explicitly ungrateful, he commented, given his graciousness and protectiveness towards the English. The Prince Protector, as he was styled during Feodor’s reign, specifically remarked that he “shewed mercy upon Robart [Dr. Jacob], [and] pardoned his offences.” Whatever the fuss, no more is heard of Dr. Robert Jacob. He died in Russia in the first half of 1588; his will was probated in England in June of that year.”

The Royal Doctors, 1485-1714: Medical Personnel at the Tudor and Stuart Courts, by Elizabeth Lane Furdell

*) „The other letter of 18 May [1570] was exceptional both in form and content. It was a ‘ secrit lettre ’ to which only Elizabeth and her ‘ most secreite councell ’ were privy. It was said to have been signed by Elizabeth in the presence of ten of her ‘ nobles and councellors ’, whose names were given, and to it the Queen had appended ‘ our privie seale ’. In this letter Elizabeth promised a refuge in England for Ivan and his family if ‘ by anie casuall chaunce, either of secrite conspiracie or outward hostillitie ’, they should be driven from Russia. Ivan was to have the use of his ‘ Christian religion ’ while in England and the right to leave the kingdom when he wished. He was to be provided with ‘ a place in our kingdom ’, but at his ‘ owne charges ’. Once again Elizabeth promised ‘ by the worde and faithe of a prince ’ that ‘wee, against our commen enimies, shall, with one accord, fight with our common forces’ 

**) https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Nagoj


***) „On August 24, 1553, a ship of Richard Chancellor reached the salt-mining settlement of Nyonoksa, which is still famous for its traditional wooden architecture. The British sailors visited the Nikolo-Korelsky Monastery, where they were surprised to find a community of „sailors in soutanes (cassocks)” and a pier large enough to accommodate several ships. The main church of this extraordinary establishment was dedicated to Saint Nicholas, the holy patron of sailors; hence, the whole White Sea became known in 16th-century English maps as „St. Nicholas Bay”. In late 1613, during the Time of Troubles in Russia, Polish-Lithuanian vagabonds, the Lisowczycy, captured and looted Severodvinsk with the monastery.

The Nikolo-Korelsky Monastery flourished after the establishment of the Muscovy Company, as the bulk of their trade passed through the local harbor. In August 1618 the harbour was visited by John Tradescant the elder, who conducted a survey of an island situated opposite the monastery. This island became known to the British as „Rose Island”, because it was there that Tradescant found an exceedingly rare plant which he named „Rosa moscovita” and brought back to London.”

PS. Poprzednik Jacoba:

„Horsey’s account was that Bomelius was in high favour with the tsar as a magician, and held an official position in the household of the tsarevich. He had amassed great wealth, which he sent to England via Wesel, and was encouraging the tsar, by astrological calculations, to persist in a project of marrying Queen Elizabeth. But he was, according to Horsey, an enemy of England. Bomelius was charged (about 1574) with intriguing with the kings of Poland and Sweden against the tsar. He was racked, but refused to incriminate himself. Subjected to further tortures, he died in a dungeon. In 1583 Bomelius’s widow returned to England with Sir Jerome Bowes.”






9 myśli na temat “Zgon Iwana i angielski medyk”

  1. „4 października 1582 – czwartek, ostatni dzień obowiązywania w Rzeczypospolitej kalendarza juliańskiego. Następny dzień, piątek, zgodnie z rachubą gregoriańską nosił datę 15 października.”


  2. Boris Johnson (szef brytyjskiego MSZ) nie omieszkał dzisiaj wspomnieć na konferencji prasowej w Moskwie o owych ambasadorach Elżbiety I posłanych do Iwana IV…

    no i zaznaczyć, że obroty UK-Rosja, pomimo sankcji, rosną… więc cieszy się, iż Rosjanie kupują Bentleye itp…


    „The projects will aim to build both of our capacities to detect and counter Russian information operations, and deliver valuable support to Belsat, a Polish-funded TV channel providing unbiased, free and frank reporting for Belarussians.”



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