Anthony Jenkinson

Liverpool's Great(x4)-Grandfather

1529 - 1611

Anthony Jenkinson (1529-1611) was born at Market Harborough, Leicestershire, into a mercantile family. He travelled extensively throughout Europe and in the Eastern Mediterranean from 1546-56, obtaining a safe conduct for travel in the Ottoman Empire from Suleiman II (‘the Magnificent’) in 1553. In 1557 he was appointed captain-general of the quite new Muscovy Company (the first major chartered joint stock company) after its founder Richard Chancellor was killed in a shipwreck.

Anthony Jenkinson made four voyages to Russia between 1557 and 1572, penetrating to Bokhara and opening English contacts with Persia. He also negotiated with Ivan the Terrible, being given secret instructions, ‘That he should seriously solicit the Queen for a mutual League of Defence and Offence against all men’. As William Camden said in his biography of Elizabeth, ‘Thus did a Tyrant, from whom no man can keep anything safe, seem to himself be without Safety.’ Jenkinson wrote about his travels to Russia and Persia, which were incorporated in Richard Hakluyt’s Principal Navigations in 1589. As Camden said: ‘No man had a more perfect knowledge of the North part of the World than he.’

A copy of the 1570 map Anthony Jenkinson produced above is in the author's possession.

© 2020 Martin Hutchinson