1653] DIARY OF PATRICK GORDON. 9   body should see me in such a plight. However, keeping" on my way

1653] DIARY OF PATRICK GORDON. 9 body should see me in such a plight. However, keeping" on my way



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


body should see me in such a plight. However, keeping" on my way, I
beg;an to recollect my self, and to think that God had sent this old man of
purpose to divert me from such passionate fitts ; the conceitt whereof made
me rouse up my self and walke on more chearfully. And, truly, as well
now as very many times hereafter, as you shall hear, when, in my necessities
or any extremity, I betook myself to God Almighty by prayer, I found His
extraordinary assistance.

At night, I came to a village, and tooke up my lodgeing in the kruc or
alehouse. AVhen I came in, I called for halfe a stoup of beer, the table being
covered. The landlord asked me diverse questions, to which I could returne
no answer, because I did not understand him. Only I told him from whence
I came and whither I was bound. He desired me to sitt downe and eat with
him, to which I readily condiscended, and calleing for another halfe [stoup]
of beer, which, and supper being ended, I asked one of the maids where I
should ly, and she laughing, went and fetched me a bundle of fresh straw,
and told me I might jy in an empty waggon in the place where the waggons
and horses were ; to the which 1 went, and makeing my straw bed, I laid my
cloake one halfe under and the other above me, with my coat and port-
mantle under my head ; and so, being exceedingly wearyed, 1 laid me downe.
But by and by came the maid, and reaching me a pillow, began to laugh
downright, then jumped away in such hast as if she had been afrayed of
some infection. I made but one sleep the whole night, and gott up halfe an
hour before the sunne, and bringing in my pillow to the roome, asked what
1 had to pay. The landlady told me a stowp of beer, which 1 payed, and
then asked what I had to pay for victualls ; and she answ^ering nothing, I
thanked and went on my way.

This place being a mile or litle more from Elving, one halfe wliereof
was downe a hill, about eight acloak I came in to the towue, where I mad
no stay. Only buying some excellent white bread called semels, and apples,
I walked directly through. When I was without the towne, I made a halt,
to see if I could light on any company going that way ; when by and by
came two sturdy fellowes, of whom I enquired if they were going to Dant-
zick, and they answering yea, we jogged on together. These were alwayes
troubling me with questions, to the which 1 could answer nothing, only that
1 understood not Dutch. Haveing walked a mile, one of these fellowes left
us : the other being a dogged-like bare fellow, who was still eying my cloaths
and cloak, and our way being towards a black like thick wood, I began to

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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