John Wesley Hackworth’s Passport
On the 12th December 1836, John was granted a Russian passport for the homeward journey, by the Tsar himself. The name on the passport read John William Hackworth, because, as George Turner Smith remarks “his name was considered unsuitable for a visitor to Mother Russia.” Timothy Hackworth was a Methodist and named his son after, John Wesley but for the passport they changed Wesley to William so as not offend the Russian Orthodox church. The passport was kept by John Wesley Hackworth’s descendants until 2005 when Joan Hackworth Weir donated it to the Hackworth Archives at NRM, York.
The passport reads -
“By Edict of his Majesty, the Sovereign Emperor. Nikolai Pavlovitch, Autocrat of all the Russias. To each and every person who it may concern, it is hereby announced that the presenter of this document, a citizen of Great Britain, John William Hackworth, mechanical engineer, is leaving this country via Lierandia and Kurlendia. In witness whereof and for freedom of passage he is given this passport, which remains valid for three weeks, to pass the bearer through the frontier. This passport is allocated by The St. Petersburg District Governor General with the affixed seal of His Imperial Majesty at St. Petersburg 12th day of December in the year 1836. No 3179 1560, Distinctive characteristics – Age 16, height medium, hair light brown, face oval, forehead average, eyebrows bushy, eyes hazel, mouth average, chin rounded.”