The Origin and Early History of the Russia or Muscovy Company,
Taken from Hakluyt, Purchas, etc. etc.
During the reign of Edward VI
Sebastian Cabot, then aged about seventy-six,, waited on the young king with a plan for attempting a N.E. passage to China and the East Indies. Cabot made the plan, drew the outline, and prepared the instructions for the expedition, which was undertaken at the expense and risk of a society of merchants who called themselves "The Mystery and Company of Merchant Adventurers for the Discovery of Regions, Dominions, Islands and places unknown." Having been the prime mover, Cabot was chosen to be the Governor.
They sent out three ships — The Bona Esperanza, The Edward Bonventura, and The Bona Confidentia — the small fleet being under the leadership of Sir Hugh Willoughby.
During severe weather Willoughby took the Esperanza and the Confidentia to refuge in a harbour in Lapland, where he and his party were frozen to death.
The remaining ship, the Edward Bonaventura piloted by Richard Chancellor, reached the coast of Russia and began "that amicable intercourse and profitable commerce which has continued for so many years."
The book continues the story of the Muscovy Company through to 1610, and concludes with a brief history of the establishment of the Whale Fishery.
The Origin and Early History of the Russia or Muscovy Company: Amazon US / Amazon UK
The Dunnett connection:
Richard Chancellor is an important figure throughout the events of The Ringed Castle, as are other members of the Muscovy Company.