1686] DIARY OF PATEICK GOKDON. 115   miles. Here toll is gathered by these Jewes

1686] DIARY OF PATEICK GOKDON. 115 miles. Here toll is gathered by these Jewes



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


miles. Here toll is gathered by these Jewes, who pay a yearly summe for
it. Here I caused tell and said I was a Polnish colonell, yet was forced, ac-
cording to the custome, to give a discretion, videlicet^ a dollcr and twelve
pence to the two toluers, twelve pence to each of their assistants ; and it
cost, for brandy and white bread, eighteen pence. Wee went on to Memell,
three miles, two and a half whereof are on the Elector of Brandeburgs ter-
ritories. Here, all along, the sea, especially in a storme, throwcth out amber,
which, on the Polnish coast, every body hath frccdome to gather that live
there ; but, on the Brandeburgish coast, none but these ordained to gather
it. At the mouth of the river Heiligen Aagh, the English have obtained a
priviledg of trading free for ten yeares, they promiseing to make a safe har-
bour there, whereof litle hopes as yet ; there lying great banks of sand befor
that river, and it being an open, sandy coast, can hardly be gotten kept
clear. In Memell, being required to tell what I was, I told the guards that
I should satisfy them in my quarters ; whither being come, I did writt a
note and sealed it, addressing it to the Coramendant, Liewtennant Collouell
Krygher, giveing notice what I was, and desireing not to be kuownc. The
Commendant sent me immediately notice by an officer that he would give
me a visitt, and came accordingly about an houre thereafter, welcoming me
with great respect, and invited me to take a part of a sojors dinner the next
day. At his going away, there was a pikeman from the maine guard sent
to stand sentry at my doore.

The Commendant, haveing sent a officer in the morning to invite me to February 2
dinner at eleven aclock, sent his coach for me, and a captaine liewtennant
called Chappell, an Englishman, to conduct, there being also halfe a dozen
of well cloathed fellowes, besides my owne, about the coach. I was well en-
tertained, and reconducted in his coach to my lodging, but without other
attendants as the captaine liewtennant. I gave to the coachman halfe a
doller, and a doller to the watch on the coach, and caused feed those who
stood sentry at my doore, and gave them halfe a doller drink money when
T went away. I payed off the Bigaes fuirmen, they haveing received in all
twenty seven hard dollers for six horses and three waggons, besides beer on
the way. I hired a waggon, with fyve horses, for ten dollers ; Yury Powl-
son and the apothecary being to bear a share, I haveing but one servant
thereon and my baggage. I hired two rldeing horses for my self and a
servant, paying three dollers for each, and feeding them and the guide with

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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