1666] DIARY OF PATRICK GORDON. 63   ing the river, 1 passed by them without noise

1666] DIARY OF PATRICK GORDON. 63 ing the river, 1 passed by them without noise



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


ing the river, 1 passed by them without noise, befor any was stirring ; and
driveing forward, I dined by the village Mokry, being about thirty 'verst
from Soshia, haveing, on the way, passed by Slobodka, and seen diverse
villages on the other syde of the river Volga, and Grodsha, where an
ancient fort, from which it hath the name. Makeing hast, I came to Twere
twenty verst ; where, getting fresh horses, I crossed the river Volga by boat
and turning to the left hand from the high way, I lodged in a meadow.
This Twere was once a dukedonie apart, hath a stone wall, and its name
from the river Twere or Twertza ; which on the other syde, a litle below the
towne, falleth in the river Volga, and hath its rise by Visnesloczka. I writt
from hence to my ffriends in Mosko, by the yempshikes.

Haveing been tormented the whole night with midges or mosquites I Juiy 3.
tooke jorney befor day, passing through woods, and came to the villao-e
Medno by the river Twertaz, thirty verst ; where, dineing and gomg for-
ward, wee crossed the river Lagovets by the village Marina, thirteen verst
and came to Torizok, seventeen verst, and lodged in the Yempsky Slo-

Haveing gott fresh horses, I departed early. I came to Michailofsky, a July ^.
brooke, and a large field, thirty werst, where I dined. After noone I crossed
the river Twertza at Vidropusk, being five verst ; then to Cholocholnia river
and village, ten verst, and crossed the river Twertza agaiue by Nikola
Stolb, a monastery, seven verst, and over plaine fields to Visnego Vloizka
ten verst, where I lodged.

Here I gott fresh horses, and by day light I crossed the river Msta, July 5.
which keeping his course, for the most part north west, falleth in the lake
Ilmin, by Novogrod. I came to Chotilow, thirty fyve verst, where I dined •
and refreshing our selves once more, by the river Bresay, twenty three verst
1 came to Yedro, twelve verst, and to Ziemna Gora, seventeen verst, where
I lodged.

Haveing gott fresh horses, I tooke jorney by day light, and made a stop juiyb.
at the small towne Balday, three verst. On our right hand is a monastery,
in the midst whereof a lake, wherein are about a hundred and fyfty monkes,
all Polls or Littawers. The towne is also inhabited by the same sort of
people. The lake is about six verst broad, and of an incredible deepnes,

* [That is, the carters' or waggoners' quarter.]

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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