Jerome Horsey had one of the least desirable assignments in Elizabethan diplomacy, that of ambassador to the court of the tsars. He first visited Moscow in 1573, and had all too close experience of the violence and volatility of Tsar Ivan. Over the next decade he was witness to the failures of English embassy, the death of Ivan IV and the rise of Boris Godunov. In 1584 he was sent on a highly formal visit to explore the new political environment, a visit funded by the Muscovy Company, with active help from Elizabeth I’s principal secretary Sir Francis Walsingham. It was recognized by now that successful diplomacy in this alien land had to pay unusual attention to gifts, so Horsey set about accumulating a remarkable rag-bag to ship to Muscovy. There were gilt halberds, pistols, armour, wines, clothing of scarlet, pearls, plate, medicines, virginals, and organs, the last with their musicians, and a medley of animals, lions, a bull and dogs. Remarkably, this all arrived safely at the court of the young tsar, and Horsey was able to provide a vivid narrative of the reception they were given.