Editor's note. The first three articles in this issue were given as papers at a conference on 'Francis Skaryna and the Renaissance in Byelorussia, held jointly by the Anglo-Byelorussian Society and the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London on 28-29 September 1985. The fourth article, by Professor U.V. Anicenka, was also due to be given as a paper at that conference, but unfortunately Professor Aničenka was in the end unable to attend. His paper is reproduced here as received by the Editor, in Byelorussian.