112 DIARY or PATRICK GORDON. [1686   houre, I came to Zagoria

112 DIARY or PATRICK GORDON. [1686 houre, I came to Zagoria



Passages from the diary of General Patrick Gordon of Auchleuchries : A.D. 1635-A.D. 1699"


houre, I came to Zagoria, forty verst, about the third houre of the night,
where changing horses, and giveing five kopikes for each horse, I came to
Plesko, befor day, thirty-five verst.

The Governour, Kniaz Michael Gregoriovits Roraadonofsky, received me
very kindly, and ordered my present dispatch, and that, when I was ready,
I should come and take my leave of him. I hired horses from the borders
to Riga, giveing for each horse one ruble, eight altins, one dengy, and
hired in all six ; and so, in the evening, haveing taken my leave of the Go-
vernour and the ff'riends with him, about ten aclock at night I went from
thence ; and without my knowledge, I being asleep, the yempshiks, being
drunk, went into a house about twenty verst and rested. But I awakeing,
awaked them with sound stroakes, and made them drive on ; and so, in the
first houre of the day, came to the Petsharsky * and, a little before mid day,
to Newhausell, ten miles, where the Commendant, being a lietennant, and
named Erich Goth, after I had given him notice in his house in the cast ell
what I was, gave me a note or pass.

Haveing baited the horses a litle, and returned these from Plesko, wee
passer] by diverse ale houses, this place or countrey being famous or re-
markable by nothing, and for three miles, or fifteen verst, a very hilly or
rather hillocky country, and lodged in Roughes alehouse or krow, five
miles ; the villages, which are rare, haveing their denominations, as also
the alehouses, from the gentlemen they belong to.

At cockcrowing, wee set forward, and crossing the Black river, dined
by it, five miles ; then crossing the river Gavia, lodged in ane alehouse
standing alone in a wildernesse, five miles.

And resting here about three houres, wee came by day light to a ale-
house, six miles, and here only fooding the horses a litle, and crossing the
river Aa, wee dined in the alehouse befor Wolmar, two miles, and lodged
in a alehouse, three miles. A little befor midnight, we marched, and
passeing many krowes to Rubina, three miles, and by day light came to
Brosla, one mile, where baiting, with badd way, the snow being most con-
sumed, wee came about three miles further and baited. And a mile further,
crossing the river Gavia againe, wee lodged in Hilkins krow, a mile further,
and three miles short of Riga. Here hard by, in a liofie called Sarankova,
liveth the Baron von Mengden.

*[Petscliui-, a monastery. See above, p. 43.]

Gordon was brought up and remained a lifelong Roman Catholic, at a time when the Church was being persecuted in Scotland. At age of fifteen, he entered the Jesuit college at Braunsberg, East Prussia, then part of Poland. In 1661, after many years experiences as a soldier of fortune, he joined the Russian army under Tsar Aleksei I, and in 1665 was sent on a special mission to England. After his return, he distinguished himself in several wars against the Turks and Tatars in southern Russia. In recognition of his service he was promoted to major-general in 1678, was appointed to the high command at Kiev in 1679, and in 1683 was made lieutenant-general. In 1687 and 1689 he took part in expeditions against the Tatars in the Crimea, being made a full general. Later in 1689, a revolution broke out in Moscow, and with the troops under his command, Gordon virtually decided events in favor of Peter the Great against the Regent, Tsarevna Sophia Alekseyevna. Consequently, he was for the remainder of his life in high favor with the Tsar, who confided to him the command of his capital during his absence from Russia. In 1696, Gordon's design of a "moveable rampart" played a key role in helping the Russians take Azov. One of Gordon's convinced the Tsars to establish the first Roman Catholic church and school in Muscovy, of which he remained the main benefactor and headed the Catholic community in Russia until his death. For his services his second son James, brigadier of the Russian army, was created Count of the Holy Roman Empire in 1701. At the end of his life the Tsar, who had visited Gordon frequently during his illness, was with him when he died, and with his own hands closed his eyes. General Gordon left behind him a uniquely detailed diary of his life and times, written in English. This is preserved in manuscript in the Russian State Military Archive in Moscow. Passages from the Diary of General Patrick Gordon of Auchleuchries (1635–1699) was printed, under the editorship of Joseph Robertson, for the Spalding Club, at Aberdeen, Scotland, 1859.



1635 - 1699


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