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1686] DIARY OF PATRICK GORDON. 109   memorated him in mournful wise

1686] DIARY OF PATRICK GORDON. 109 memorated him in mournful wise

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


memorated him in mournful wise. On the thirtieth ot September, he received a circumstantial
account of the defeat of the Eai-1 of Argyle in Scotland, and of the Duke of Monmouth in Eng-
land ; and of the execution of the former, at Edinburgh, on the thirteenth of June, and of the
latter, on Tower-hill, on the fifteenth of July. Along with these tidings he got certain copies
of Latin verses, which his loyalty thought worthy of being copied into his Diary. The first
may be read backwards :

The second runs thus :

" Sat se jam erutam tenet mature Majestas."

" Rex Argile ambit Scotus, Monmutius Anglus,
Esse : perit, Regem qui petit cnse suum.
Eruta mature Majestas Anglo periclo est,
Scote tuo Eegi, plaude Britanno tuo.''

The third, an epigram on Monmouth, borrowed its point from the early history of Rome :

" Mutius ense petit Eegem et Monmutius, errant,
Hie caput invitus, sponte dat ille manum."

The last took the shape of an epitaph upon Argyle :

" Ecce sub argillo jacet hie Argile cruento :
Non oculis Argus, sed fraude Argivus Ulysses."

Influenced, no doubt, by the accession of a Prince of his own faith to the English throne,
Gordon now determined to renew his eflbrts for leave to return to his own country. In a petition
which he placed in the hands of Prince Golizyn, he recounted all the services which he had per-
formed in Russia, called to mind the promises of liberty which had been made to him, recapitu-
lated his many grievances, and represented that, unless he were allowed to visit Scotland, he was
in danger of losing the inheritance which had fallen to him by the death of his parents. If abso-
lute release from the service should not be granted, he prayed that he might at least have leave
of absence for six months. The answer to this petition was a summons to Moscow, where he
arrived on the first of January, 1686. Here he met his friend Lefort, and stood god-father to
his son Daniel. Permission was at last given him to visit England, on condition of a speedy
return, for which his wife and children were to be hostages. The incidents of the journey are
thus recorded in his Diary : — ]

A.D. 1686.
I sollicited the Boyar* about my going out of the countrey, and was bidd January :
bring a petition.

*[\Vassilij Wassiljewitsch Golizyn.]

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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