1655] DIARY OF PATRICK GORDON. 19   last night's engagement, I found myself in such a labirinth of perplexed  thoughts

1655] DIARY OF PATRICK GORDON. 19 last night's engagement, I found myself in such a labirinth of perplexed thoughts



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


last night's engagement, I found myself in such a labirinth of perplexed
thoughts, that I knew not how to wind myself out of them. However of
necessity, according to my promise and duty, I must go wait on my ruit-
master ; whither being come, he brought me below to the stable and showed
me his horses, here being three prime horses for his owne sadle, any of
which, he told me, should be at my service and for my use, and that his
servant should be as ready to bring my horse as his, and that he would use
me as a loveing kinsman, with many fair promises more, which satled my
wavering thoughts ; so that, now come what will, I resolved to try my for-
tune this way. The ruitmaster his occasions carrying him from this citty
to Stade, I stayed in my old lodgeing, not at my owue but his charges now.
He told me, that, in a few dayes he would call for me.

Here I continued a fortnight, when, by intemperancy (to the which my
nature was alwayes averse) or by some other accident, I fell into a feaver,
which the phisitians commonly call the remitting feaver, which continued
me bedfast eight dayes, and then turned to a tertian ague. After I had
stayed three weeks longer, which made up in all thirteen weeks, I rode
with the ruitmaster to Ratzeburg, the residence of the Dukes of Saxen-
Laweuburg, one whereof called Frantz Artman was our coUonell, and from
thence, the next day, to Lubeck, where the ruitmaster left me, I not being
able to travell. After foure or fyve dayes stay, the ruitmaster, bemg on
his march, sent for me. I was in this march in a very pittyfull condition,
being hardly able to ride that day which I was free of the ague ; and that
day I had it, I was forced to ly on an open waggon, above the ruitmaster's
baggage, and was very glad of such a convenience.

Wee continued our march through Pomeren to Stetin. 1 am sorry that
1 can give no exact account of my jorney and march now through this
pleasant and fruitfull countrey, being hindred in my jorney to Hamborg by
ndeing in a closse waggon and want of the Dutch language, and now by
my tedious sickness, which took away all appetite to my curiosity. Wee
had very good accomodation on this march ; and by that tyme that I was
come near Stetin, I was pretty well recovered. I was sent befor to Stetin
to buy some necessaries, or swords and boots, for some troupers who wanted.

On the fourteenth of July, 1 rode out of Stetin, and the next morning juij- 14.
came to the army, when they were drawing up in a large meadow. It con-
sisted of thirty brigades of foot and 7000 ruiters, being in all about 17,000

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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