AN ACCOUNT OF MUSCOVY, As it was in the Year 1689.

In which the TROUBLES that hap­pen'd in that Empire from the Present Czar PETER'S Election to the Throne, to his being firmly settled in it, are par­ticularly related.

With a Character of Him, and his People.

By Monsieur DE LA NEUVILLE, Then Residing at Moscow.

LONDON: Printed for Edward Castle, next Scotland-Yard-Gate, by Whitehall. 1699.



THE Marquess of Bethune be­ing inform'd in July, 1689. that the Swedish and Bran­denbourg Envoys were gone to Moscow; he judg'd it necessary for Your Majesty's Service to send some Person thither to discover the purport of the Ne­gotiation of those Envoys; he was pleas'd to Honour me with this Trust, at which I was startled, having been there for­merly, and been apprehensive more than once of being ill us'd by those Barbarians; but considering 'twas for Your Majesty's Service, I readily obey'd, only reminding the Marquess that no Person was suffer'd to enter that Kingdom, unless as an Envoy, or a Merchant. He undertook to engage the [Page] King of Poland in the business; but that Prince told him 'twas hardly possible but I should be known at Moscow, and either be discover'd by the Czar's Minister, or others, that had seen me at his Court, and then I should be treated as a Spy, and sent to end my days in Ziberia; but since His Majesty's Service requir'd my going thither, he would send me in a Post that should secure me, and give me a means of succeeding in my Commission. Accordingly he gave me Letters of Recommendation to the Czars, and Passports, and I set forward with an Equipage suitable to my Character. For by the last Treaty betwixt the Poles, and the Muscovites, 'tis agreed not to defray the Envoys Charges, nor furnish them with Carriages. In fourteen Days I reach'd the Frontiers, though the distance from War­saw to Casime, the last Town in Poland, is One hundred and sixty German Leagues. I gave notice of my Arrival, and my Commission, to the Palatin of the Dutchy of Smolensko, whither I went next day, and was receiv'd as I have related in the Account of my Journey; and having tar­ried ten Days till the Courier came back, whom the Palatin sent to the Court for Orders concerning me; I went thence to Moscow, and was lodg'd in a House ap­pointed [Page] for me by the Prime Minister, One hundred and fifty Paces distant from the City, whither the Pristave Spatarus, a Walachian, came to Complement me in his Name, and keep me Company. A Week after, he conducted me to the Pretache or Council; after which I had leave to visit the Ministers of Poland, Sweden, Den­mark, and Brandènbourg, and some Ger­man Officers; and was so happy as to dis­cover, that all the business which the En­voys of Sweden and Brandenbourgh came about, was to render the King of Poland's Conduct suspected to the Muscovites, who they alledg'd was in Your Majesty's Inte­rest, and would make a separate Peace with the Turk, to the prejudice of the League; after which he would make a Diversion into the Ducal Prussia in Your Favour. And the Dutch Envoy to enforce what they said, assur'd the Muscovites that I was a Frenchman, and was come to Mos­cow to pry into their Secrets. These In­formations made them resolve to confine me within my House for eight Days toge­ther; but the Polish Envoy made such loud Complaints of it, as an Injury done to his Master in my Person; that the Council discharg'd me, and said they had no other design in taking away my Liberty, [Page] than to save me from the Insults of the People, who were incens'd against me. Ʋp­on which I took occasion to declare, That I knew France very well, and that that King with all his Millions would not give a hundred Crowns to discover the Designs of the Czar; and that being the King of Poland's Minister, I did not fear the Peo­ple. In short, the Ministers of Sweeden being sent back without any success, I gave notice of it to the Marquiss of Bethune, desiring him to recall me, well foreseeing the Troubles that were coming on. In the beginning of the Commotions, I was forc'd, for my Security, to keep within Doors, not daring to stir abroad; where all the Diversion I had, was the Conversation of my Pristave, who had been sent to China, and was come back two Months. The Information I got from him, being pretty curious, and likely to be of use of Your Majesty, shewing the easiness of establish­ing a Commerce with that Country by Land, I have thought fit to relate the Particulars of what I learnt. Sometime after my return from Poland, the Mar­quess de Bethune understanding that the Elector of Saxony, and the Duke of Ha­nover, were to meet together at Carel­stad in Bohemia, he desired the King of [Page] Poland to send me to Complement the Duke of Hanover upon the Death of his Son, which he had just given him advice of, in hopes I might find out the Design of the Interview between these two Princes. I went thither, and gave an Account to the Marquess of Bethune of all that I disco­ver'd, which was no more than that some Propositions had past on both sides about the Dutchy of Lavembourg, but they could not come to an Accommodation.

To conclude, Sir, Your Majesty having acquainted the King of Poland with the Death of Madam the Dauphine, he nam'd Prince Rzarstoeki, now at the Academy at Paris, to pay his Complement of Con­dolance to▪ Your Majesty. But the Mar­quess of Bethune desiring me to accept of that Office, in hopes that under that Cha­racter I might with more safety carry the Dispatches which he gave me for Your Majesty, and for Your Minister at Ham­burg, as I did, and that passing through some Courts where I was very well known, and had been always well receiv'd, I might inform my self what Condition their Affairs were in; I found them all out of Order, and except the Duke of Hanover and his House, all in great need of a Peace with Your Majesty. I have been [Page] honour'd with the Character of Your Ma­jesty's Envoy; and beseech You, Sir, to accept favourably all that my Zeal for Your Service has made me undertake; and the Account I render, which contains such Particulars as Your Majesty may be Curious to know, when You are at leisure from Your Application to decide the Fate of Europe, which Your Victories, and the Justice of Heaven have put into Your Hands.

I am, Your Majesty's Most Humble and Faithful Subject and Servant, De la Neuville.

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