114 DIARY OF PATRICK GORDON. [1686   Shrudeus krue, three miles from Riga

114 DIARY OF PATRICK GORDON. [1686 Shrudeus krue, three miles from Riga



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


Shrudeus krue, three miles from Riga, and payed a third of a doller, and
fom- poltoraks to the maides.

Wee came to Mittaw, three miles. Here is the residence of the Duke
of Curland, in a castell fortifyed with an earthen wall and a moate, haveing
a decayed home worke upwards on the river. Writt from hence to Pater
Makovius, by Pater Sturms convoyance. The towne is pretty bigge, with
a decayed earthen wall about it. Here wee payed for our dinner, thirty
two pence or poltorakes. Wee passed over three litle rivers, and lodged
in Duplins krue, three miles, and payed for bier seven poltorakes, and four
for hay, which we lay on.

Wee crossed a litle river, and came by Annes church, and dined in
Blydens krue, about three miles, paying for bier eight pence ; and went
three miles further, and lodged in Fronbergs krue, where payed in all nine

We came and crossed the river Wendon, and dined in a house, being
four miles. Here is a stone house, belonging to the Duke of Curland,
environed with a tetragon. Payed here for beer and egges twelve pence.
Wee went two miles further, and lodged in a krue, where payed for beer
seven pence, and for hay, to lay on, three pence.

A great snow falling out, wee came to a krue, by a gentlemans house,
where I bought a litle sledge, giving a doller for it, two miles. Payed here
for beer eleven pence. Wee travailed with greater speed, and, crossing a
litle river by Christburg, wee came to Barta river, Avhich crossing on a
floate, wee lodged in a good house, being fyve miles. Here wee payed for
bed and bier eighteen pence, and to the maid a penny.

Wee came to Rutzen krue, three miles. All the snow being gone, I
was forced to leave my sledge, neither could I gett any thing for it ; and all
by a piece of the juglery of a merchant which came along with me from
Riga, vv^ho, as in other things, made his advantage of me. Here payed for
bier and egges eighteen pence. Wee came nearer the sea coast, and,
crossing the river Heyligen Agh by a float, wee lodged hard by in a good
house, being but two miles and a litle more from the place where wee had
dined. Here wee payed for fyve persons, and my two boyes, for supper,
bier, and bed, two florens, and to the maid four pence. Here wee were on
Polnish ground, this being the Starosty of Polanga.

Wee travelled to Polanga, a little towne inhabited most by Jewes, two

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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