1654] DIARY OF PATRICK GORDON. 15   hoped to have found Duke Radzlvill

1654] DIARY OF PATRICK GORDON. 15 hoped to have found Duke Radzlvill



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


hoped to have found Duke Radzlvill. After wee had stayed eight dayes,
expecting his comeing, wee were informed that he was not to come at all,
which put us upon new projects. My comerad had been two or three years
in the countrcy, could speak Polls and Dutch, had some skill in merchandis-
ing, and so, for getting a livelyhood, had many wayes the advantage of me.
But my purnose of turning souldier here failing me, I resolved to persue my
former resolution of returneing to my parents. Here Avere many merchants
of our countreymen, into whose acquaintance I was ashamed to intrude my-
self, and they shewed but very litle countenance to me, haveing heard of
my intention to turne souldier, and fearing lest I should be burthensome or
troublesome to theni. I had but eight or nine florens left, wherewith I Avas
not able to subsist long here, or to travell farr either. I began, however,
to enquire for the neerest way for Scotland, and was informed that Posna,
the cheife citty of Great Polland would be the most convenient place I could
go for first ; whither an occasion shortly after offered, with a gentleman called
. . . who had been at the seim, and had bought some horses, so that,
by the recommendation of a friend, he promised to take me along, and keep
me free of expences, which was a very good occasion, considering my

So, upon a Tuesday early, we tooke horse, being three persons and six
horses. The gentleman, his servant, and I, drove the horses along ; but
when wee came to any towne he would have me lead one, and the servant
the other two spare horses. The first night, we rode five miles, and lodged
in a village ; the next morning, through the litle towne . . , and dined
in Lovits, which is a large not well fortified towne. The arch-bishop's
castle-like faire house is fortifyed with a wall and moatt. This night we
lodged in a village ; the next night in a litle towne, Piatek ; and, crosseing
the river Warta twice, at the second crossing wee passed by a very fair
gentleman's house haveing large orchards and parkes. Foure miles from
Posna, we passed through the little towne Szroda, where the seimiks or
country committees for choosing of commissioners are kept ; and, being
Palme Sunday, accordmg to the new stile observed in Polland, about midday
wee passed through a pretty wood of firres about half a mile in breadth, the
way being streight, about thirty or forty fathome broad, ascending gently,
which made a very pleasant prospect. At the coming out of this wood wee
had a sight of the fair citty of Posna, which we entered about one acloak

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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