Judge for yourself: in 1582, Russia managed with great difficulty to extricate itself from the protracted and bloody war with Poland. She won several battles against the Swedes, but the king also began negotiations for peace with them. Our country is extremely tired, it needed a break, and in addition a widespread uprising in the Volga region, provoked by the Crimean and Turkish agents. And suddenly, simultaneously with the attempts to ensure peace, a discussion of an alliance with the British unfolds - and a union against the Poles and Swedes!
It would not be superfluous to consider another aspect of the incomprehensible alliance. Ivan the Terrible was quite happy with his young wife, Maria Naked, waiting for the birth of a child. But ... talks about his possible marriage with the Englishwoman Mary Hastings suddenly begin! Which he has never seen and even did not imagine that such exists!
Finally, at the same time, when offers of union and marriage arise, the king ... takes away from the British the privilege of duty-free trade! It establishes that from now on they must pay taxes to the Russian treasury on a par with the merchants of all other nations. I wonder why, what do you think? To arrange the British for love and friendship? In general, something nonsense is obtained.
However, this nonsense should be supplemented with a number of facts. The king had already tried to conclude an alliance with Queen Elizabeth of England at 1569. But Grozny was fully convinced, as he wrote to Elizabeth, that the queen “does not own the state herself”, that all key issues are solved by “trade men” from the parliament who are only “looking for its trading profits. ” For the war, the parliamentary "trade men" were absolutely not located, and even more so for the war for Russian interests. Anyway, England turned out to be a dubious ally. In 1573, under the pressure of the parliament that cut subsidies, Elizabeth completely disbanded the army, and the navy reduced the number of ships to 40-50 to a minimum.
But, despite this, for some reason Ivan the Terrible repeated the attempt to create a coalition! And it does not repeat at the moment when Russia had the hardest time, when it really had to grab any chance, but after the war. And the attempt was obviously hopeless! During the war, the English “trading men” helped not only the Russians, but also the Poles, the Swedes, in particular, subsidized Batory, receiving for this the right to trade Polish bread. The records of the talks show that in Moscow they knew about such connections well ...
Historians have been busy with the "English knot" for several centuries, but so far they have not been able to explain all these absurdities and inconsistencies. On the contrary, they confuse them even more by twisting their own guesses. Or maybe you just need to look for a different approach? To begin with, let's get away from Russia. Let's look wider - and what was going on in Europe? In England? Elizabeth is really not the rules alone. But she had to share power not only with parliament. A group of powerful nobles, who at one time elevated her to the throne, was established around her. These were the so-called “new people”, aristocrats, politicians, and at the same time big businessmen who connected both the external and the internal course of the government with siphoning their own profits. "New people" were very energetic, among them were talented figures. For our topic it will be useful to pay attention to one of them, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Francis Walsingham.
The scope of his competence is not limited to diplomacy. He managed to create the best intelligence system in the world at that time, a prototype of Intelligence Service. His special services wiped his nose, even the Jesuits. Rome and Spain were very active in secret operations against England. They did not lose hope to carry out a coup, to return the country to the bosom of the Catholic Church. Philip II of Spain had the rights to the English throne - as the husband of the former Queen Mary the Bloody. The Catholics supported the other candidate for the throne, the Scottish queen Maria Stewart. One after another in London, conspiracies of Ridolfi, Trocmorton, Babington were organized. But Walsingham had his agents at various European courts, in church circles, and found out about all the conspiracies when they were just beginning to form. He took them “under the hood”, allowed them to absorb more oppositionists, and then arrest them. Walsingham also learned in advance about the military, political plans of other powers.
At this time, Ivan the Terrible turned to Elizabeth with a request to send him a good doctor. She responded immediately; in the summer of 1581, life doctor Robert Yakobi arrived in Russia with excellent characteristics - the queen wrote that only for the sake of “blood brother” Ivan Vasilyevich gave way to a remarkable doctor, literally tore off her heart. Think about the question: could Jacobi not be an agent of Elizabeth and Walsingham? In no case! He was necessarily their agent. Introduced a unique chance to arrange your man directly to the king! Only complete fools would have missed this opportunity. And by whom, but the British were not fools. And it was Agent Jacobi, purposefully sent to the sovereign, immediately, on the move, tells Grozny about the charming niece of Queen Mary Hastings (by the way, if he told, it means he was preparing in advance, he learned Russian) ...
Stop! These amendments put everything in its place. This is not the king wanted to marry an English woman! It is the British thought of marrying him! For them, there was no problem, was Ivan Vasilyevich married, what was his spouse. After all, Elizabeth herself was the daughter of Henry VIII, who easily changed tired wives or sent them to the block. Just think what a trifle that is married? Obviously, to disentangle the “English knot” until now, only the inertia of the “established” views hindered. As soon as we look at the “knot” on the other, the British side, it turns into an elegant “bow”. The tips are visible, and it is worth pulling for them, he unleashes himself. Everything turns out to be very simple, understandable and logical ...
Firstly, the plan to revolve the tsar was relevant precisely because Grozny undertook to cut the privileges of the British (the war ended, the need for import of lead, tin, copper decreased, why not cut down?) Secondly, the Russians lost their port in the Baltic, which was used for a quarter of a century - Narva. Dutch, German, French merchants, who carried their goods there, now floated to the White Sea. The English were outraged, before they traded through Kholmogory alone, considered themselves to be the pioneers of the northern route and wanted to maintain a monopoly. And thirdly, let's touch the military alliance. Let's look at the real situation of 1582-1584. Who needed him? ...
Russia has made peace with its enemies, for it the crisis situation has passed. But over England, oh, what clouds were gathering! She has finished all of Europe with piracy on the seas. Finished the “export of revolution”, supporting the Dutch rebels, the French Huguenots. Rome, the German Emperor, Venice, Genoa, France, entered into an alliance with Spain. Back in 1577, Philip II's half-brother, the talented commander Juan of Austria, developed an operation to invade England. And in the 1580-81, Spain easily swallowed Portugal - one shot of the Alba army on Lisbon, and it was all over. In this case, the Spanish fleet has doubled due to the Portuguese. There was no war with the British, but it will start very soon - in 1585, the Union at this time was not required at all of Russia, but of England! An offer came from her! And it was very desirable to seal the union by marriage, so that it would work out more accurately, so that the wife would influence the king.
Ivan the Terrible such an alliance was absolutely not needed. But he did not want to quarrel with the British either, trade with them was important for Russia, and in the future military cooperation might also be needed. Therefore, the king "played up". A bluff in diplomacy, he was a great master. A few years earlier, he brilliantly circled Pope Gregory XIII around his finger - he depicted that he was interested in the Florence Union, and the “holy father” pecked. He stopped supporting Batory, sent a mission to Possevino to reconcile Poland with Russia, and then lead to the union of the king. But as soon as the peace was concluded, Ivan the Terrible made a surprised face: he did not promise the pope to change his faith. Not a word he wrote about the connection of the churches! He just mentioned the Florence Cathedral: that this was once held.
Now the king led a subtle game with the British. In the summer of 1582, the Fyodor Pisemsky Embassy was sent to London. Not to woo and conclude an alliance, but only to “look” at the proposed bride and talk about the alliance. By the way, this fact itself indicates that Jacobi arrived in Russia, having official authority from the Queen. The proposals about matchmaking passed through him were also quite official! Because it was absurd to equip the embassy on the basis of some random statements, this contradicted the requirements of diplomatic etiquette. Imagine, the ambassadors will come and say - “we have learned from your doctor ...” What eyes will look at them? You never know blurted out the doctor. In the interval between the arrival of Jacobi to the king and the sending of the embassy to London, it was impossible to send letters with the queen - the ships from Kholmogory to England went once a year to the short northern navigation. This means that only a life medic could hold preliminary negotiations, was authorized to them.
But when Pisemsky reached London, there was an overlay. In England, a smallpox epidemic broke out. In the West, it was commonplace, Europeans lived in unsanitary conditions, in the crowded cities of the epidemic often happened. Smallpox was visited every 5-10 years. But among the sick was Mary Hastings. By the way, she was not such a stunning beauty and not so enviable bride. This is indicated by her age - 30 years. In the XVI century, women were considered adults and were married with 12 years. Obviously, Mary had some flaws, because of which she sat up in the girls. And then there's smallpox. Hastings survived, but her face was thoroughly tainted.
Another surprise was the position of the Russians. She looks unequivocal. The king was looking for an excuse to refuse the British, but to deny slyly that the blame lay on them. To do this, put the question squarely. Union? Perfectly. So what exactly are you saying, what assistance are you ready to provide against Poland and Sweden? If not by troops, then by money?
The British were taken aback. How - against Poland and Sweden? You supposedly reconciled with them. Of course, they did not accidentally make their proposals after they had made up. They just needed such an alliance so that they themselves would not be obliged to anything, but only Russia. But our diplomats firmly held instructions received from the sovereign. You never know what made up? Yesterday reconciled, and tomorrow, you see, will have to fight again. By the way, when we determine that the initiative of the union and matchmaking did not come from the Russians, and we re-read documents from this angle, it turns out that all the records of the negotiations, the behavior of the parties, clearly fall into this stream. Not a single contradiction!
Elizabeth dodged the display of the “bride” for a long time, pulled out time, while the niece had healed pocks and could be powdered. It was shown only in May, 1583. Specially selected the best conditions, lighting - Pisemsky was supposed to examine Mary in fits and tricks, walking in the garden towards each other. Even Karamzin, who expounded the history of “matchmaking” extremely distorted, had to admit that Elizabeth “wanted this marriage, and the bride also wanted it”. The English questions eloquently speak of the same - can Mary’s children succeed to the throne? And the fact that the children will be, the London movers and shakers for some reason did not doubt (need - we will do). To increase the rating of Mary, her father, Earl Gondingdon, was even credited with the title of “sovereign prince,” although such a title did not exist in England.
But the queen threw other fishing rods. Ivan the Terrible, offering a treaty in the difficult 1569 (when Poles, Swedes, Turks attacked Russia, and the Tsar was also threatened with a conspiracy by the nobility), provided for a clause on mutual asylum to the monarchs of the two countries. Now Elizabeth expressed pleasure that the king was going to “visit England,” and said that she, too, would someday like to see Ivan Vasilyevich with her own eyes. She asked whether it was calm now in Russia ... It was no longer the king, but the queen considered it necessary to prepare a shelter for herself! It was one of the main goals of the whole venture!
After all, Elizabeth and her advisers even had nowhere to run. The defense of England was problematic. Under the law 1573, the abolished army should have been replaced by local militia, but the queen could not count on the support of her own people. If the Spaniards landed, the population would happily recognize the legitimate monarch of Philip II. With him and with his wife, Mary the Bloody, ordinary people did not live by better than under Elizabeth. Maria earned her nickname by executing 2 of thousands of oppositionists, but she held tight and tight-knit nobles and rich people, didn’t allow them to prey, stopped fencing, the peasantry didn’t ravage her rule, didn’t hang beggars and wanderers, did not force the poor into forced labor. under manufactory. All these charms brought the "new people" that surrounded Elizabeth. In case of defeat, a popular revolt and scaffold were waiting for them.
Negotiations with Pisemsky on all points reached a complete dead end, but the interest of the British was so great that they made a new attempt to achieve their goal. Embassy of Jeronim Bowes went to Russia. It arrived in Moscow in October, 1583. Here, the negotiations were led by Nikita Romanovich Zakharyin, Bogdan Belsky, Andrey Schelkalov. First of all, they cooled the English by asking whether their “bride” wanted to cross over to Orthodoxy? In response to the demands of monopoly trade in the North, a lot of complaints were poured out: how the British inflated prices, sold rotten cloth, cheated, as nasty things were written abroad about Russia, as British merchants helped the Swedes and Batory. We pointed out that in our country the English were guests, not the owners, and there is nothing to dictate their conditions - they say, we didn’t allow ourselves “bondage.” In a word, it was once again clearly indicated that the Russian alliance was absolutely not interested.
Bowes was boiling, several times interrupted the dialogue with the boyars and demanded personal meetings with the king. Well, Ivan the Terrible accepted him. From the heart he played before him a “bridegroom”, only dreaming of an Englishwoman. Obviously, he made fun of it. But he could not stand it, now and then it went out of the chosen role. Bowes tried to play up about the union - they say, the queen did not mean at all the war against Poland and Sweden, she was friendly with everyone, and was ready only to reconcile the king with his opponents. Ivan Vasilyevich immediately caught him: “If my main enemies are friends with the queen, how can I be her ally?” Well, if he wants to reconcile, let him reconcile. But he will reconcile himself in such a way that Batory will give Livonia and Polotsk to the Russians, and the Swedes to Narva. The conclusion of the king was this: Elizabeth "wants to be with us in the final (union) word and not deed," and Bowes arrived "with idle talk."
And here also Pisemsky reported on the “bride” not at all in the polite tones that he used in England. Bowes had to admit that Mary was “of poor health and not a good face.” But the union of London so needed, so wanted to ohmurit king! Bowes made excuses for his poor knowledge of Russian customs, begged not to complete the negotiations, to continue them later. He reported that Elizabeth still has relatives. And not one, not two, but already “up to ten girls”! He assured that the next embassy will bring their portraits - choose for every taste. He promised that England would agree to even join an alliance against the Poles, if they were given a trade monopoly and were exempted from duties ...
The king did not refuse. Want - let's continue. Send portraits of your girls. We admire. Prepare a draft union agreement. Let's discuss. Of course, it ended in nothing. The Queen would never have been allowed to conclude a treaty against Poland and Sweden by “trade men” from parliament. They are currently trading with Polish bread. And Ivan the Terrible knew that they would not allow it. And the attempts to seduce the king with the charms of the Englishwomen were cut short by his death.
The confirmation of the special mission that the doctor Jacobi performed in this whole story is his further behavior. He did not even try to stay in Moscow, although foreign doctors in Russia were very highly paid. As soon as the king was gone, he went to the motherland with the embassy of Bous. His work is over. But it took three years, Boris Godunov again went on rapprochement with the British, returned to them the right of duty-free trade, taken away by Ivan the Terrible. And then Jacobi appeared in Moscow! But now he already had very different recommendations, the greatest specialist in women's diseases - and was assigned to Tsarina Irina Godunova, through whom Boris exercised influence on Fyodor Ioannovich. That is, the doctor again settled down at a key point of information and decision making.
Elizabeth and her entourage did not have to flee and seek refuge in other countries. The Spanish “Invincible Armada” has not yet begun preparations for the invasion, and Walsingham’s intelligence has thoroughly informed of its plans, ports of concentration, and routes. Lack of army and fleet compensated by the pirates. They began to hammer Spanish ships right at the ports, continued along the route, were not allowed to fly to the harbors of Flanders, where the armada was supposed to take the landing troops on board. The storm completed the rout.
As for the “union”, which Ivan the Terrible wanted to impose, then you and I can judge him by the “union” agreement concluded in 1580 between England and Turkey. The Alliance was just the way the British would like to involve Russia. They did not undertake any specific obligations, but received pure privileges for a purely declarative “friendship”. They snatched the monopoly on the Levantine trade, settled in Istanbul, as they did at home, bought and bought the Sultan's court with bribes, and as a result, the Turks frankly sat on the neck, and they could not survive until the twentieth century.