Chancellor, Richard

Chancellor, Richard

Chancellor, Richard, d. 1556, English navigator. When, largely under the inspiration of Sebastian Cabot, a group of men in England undertook to finance a search for the Northeast Passage to Asia, Chancellor was chosen as second in command under Sir Hugh Willoughby. They sailed in 1553, and Chancellor and Stephen Borough, in the Edward Bonaventure, managed to get through dangerous arctic waters to the White Sea. Chancellor then traveled overland across Russia to Moscow at the invitation of Ivan IV. His negotiations prepared the way for trade with Russia and the formation of the Muscovy Company. Returning from a second voyage to Russia, he was shipwrecked and perished off the coast of Scotland. Since Willoughby had earlier come to grief, it was Stephen Borough who continued the work of opening the northern route to Russia for the Muscovy Company.
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Chancellor, Richard


Date of birth unknown; died Nov. 10, 1556, off the coast of Scotland. British navigator.

In 1553, Chancellor commanded one of the three ships in H. Willoughby’s expedition, which had been sent by an English trading company to search for a northeast passage to India. Chancellor rounded the northern part of the Scandinavian and Kola peninsulas and sailed to the mouth of the Severnaia Dvina. He was received in Moscow by Ivan IV. After obtaining a charter for free trade with Muscovy, he left the city in March 1554. An account of the expedition was written by C. Adams, one of Chancellor’s companions.

In 1555, Chancellor visited Moscow a second time. On the return voyage he perished during a storm.


Angliiskie puteshestvenniki v Moskovskom gosudarstve v XVI veke. Leningrad, 1937.
Magidovich, I. P., and V. I. Magidovich. Istoriia otkrytiia i issledovaniia Evropy. Moscow, 1970.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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