1666] DIARY OF PATRICK GORDON. 71   residence of Graffe Philip of Schawenborg and Lippe

1666] DIARY OF PATRICK GORDON. 71 residence of Graffe Philip of Schawenborg and Lippe



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


residence of Graffe Philip of Schawenborg and Lippe, where he hath a faire

house, fortifyed with a wall and moate, one mile. August 14.

From hence, not very early, wee went towards Minden, passing the
river Wescr under the towne, one mile, where wee made no stay ; but getting
fresh horses, wee rode along by the Weser, and rideing up over a hill, which
the river Wesser in a manner cutteth through, the tract of the hill being
on the other syde, though not altogithcr so high, under which standeth the
towne Hamell, famous for the piper who led away their children, never heard
of againe ; * wee came through villages, and crossing the river Weyer,
two miles, came to Haervoerd, one mile, where wee dined ; then forward
towards Bilvelt. On the way, hearing of a well, breake up some weeks
ago, which cured many diseases, wee went of the way a foot, where were
encamped some hundred of persons come from diverse places, some out of
curiosity, but most for health. The well was environed with boughs, and
benches within. When wee eutred, two magistrates of the towne, who at-
tended, mvited us very civilly to sitt downe, and offered us of the water to
drink. I found no different tast from other water, only a litle tartnes.
They told us that, on Sunday last, a thanksgiving was done for upwards of
seventy persons who had been cured in the six weekes tyme ; and they shew
us about thirty crutches hanging on trees, which lame people, being cured,
had throwne away. Wee went on foot to the towne, which was halfe ane
English mile of, and haveing refreshed our selves, and gott fresh horses, wee
made forward in the evening.

This towne is well built, hath a stone wall, and thereby a strong castle,
on a hill called Sparrenberg. Here hath the river Lutter its fountaine.
The towne is also famous for the great trade of linnen, made here, and ex-

In the night tyme wee crossed the river Dalke, two miles, and the river
Eems, or Amasis, a mile, haveing on our left hand the castle Rietberg,
which giveth name to a county. A mile and a halfe further wee crossed
the river Hastenbeck, and a litle further, about six a'clock, wee came to August 15.

* ['Depuisl'an 1284,' say the learned authors age de quatre ans jusqu X dix ans, ayant ete

of the Nouveau Traite de Diplomatique, ' les tires de hi viUe par les encliantements d'un

habitants d' Hamclin, au duche de Brunswick, magicien, n'y reparurent plus.' The popular

datent de la sortie de Icurs enfants : Afiliorum version of the story may l)e seen in Verste-

nostrorum egressu. Cette epoque est fondee sur gan's Restitution of Decayed Intelligence

une fable qui porte que les enfants, depuis 1' chap, lii., pp. 85, 86, edit., Load. 1634.]

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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