1490s – 1530: Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur

Zahiruddin Muhammad BaburA direct descendant of Timur, the young Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur lived in Central Asia and Afghanistan, before settling down in India where he founded the Mughal Empire.

His texts are from the perspective of a Muslim from Central Asia and thus bring an interesting new perspective for those who have mostly read European Christian or Chinese Buddhist accounts about this region.

Various journeys between 1546 and 1564: Anthony Jenkinson

Anthony Jenkinson was a representivative of the English Muscovy Company and as such travelled extensively for them from 1557 and onwards. Prior to this, he traveled widely in the Mediterranean and the Levant.

Anthony JenkinsonIn 1557, the English Muscovy Company sent him to the imortant Uzbekistan Silk Road trading hub Bukhara, which he reached by travelling via the White Sea and Moscow, down the River Volga, and across the Caspian Sea. He returned back by the same route in 1560.

In 1561-1564, Jenkinson repeated this journey to the Caspian Sea, but then headed for Persia with the aim of negotiating trade agreements for the Company. One winter he stayed in Kazvin, learning about the spice trade from Indian merchants.

Various journeys between 1579 and 1584: Jon Newbery

John Newberry was a London-based English merchant who undertook three major trips.

1579: To the Levant

1580-1582: From the Levant through Mesopotamia to the Persian Gulf and Hormuz, and then back through central Persia, southernmost Caucasus, Anatolia, and Eastern Europe.

1583-1584: On this third major trip for Jon Newberry, he went all the way to the Mughal court in India. For part of the journey, fellow Londoner Ralph Fitch travelled with him.

Newberry died on his way home from India.

1583-1591: Ralph FitchRalph Fitch

Ralph Fitch was an English merchant who traveled as far as Malacca in Malaysia. Starting out in 1583, he traveled together with Jon Newberry during part of the journey.

Fitch traveled to the Levant and Mesopotamia, continued through northern India, and went as far as Malacca before turning back home via the Persian Gulf.

When he came back to London in 1591, he found out that his property had been divided among his heirs since he was presumed dead.

He later left London for Aleppo.