1686] DIARY OF PATRICK GORDON. 137   It is needles to make a discrlption of all the particular places

1686] DIARY OF PATRICK GORDON. 137 It is needles to make a discrlption of all the particular places



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


It is needles to make a discrlption of all the particular places by and
through which I passed in this jorney, which can be seen at full and large
in printed bookes, as in Cambden* and others. Let it suffice, once for all,
that it is a most pleasant and fertile countrey, and scarsely any poverty to
be discerned in the meanest cottage, but everywhere plenty and chearful-
nes. Wee rode eight miles further to Ware, where wee lodged in the
posthouse, and, the next morning, payed for supper, foure shillings six
pence ; for our three horses, foure shillings six pence ; for a pint of sack
in the morning, a shilling ; wages, eight pence ; for stuffing a sadle, eight
pence ; and for a horse shoe, six pence. Here is the river Lea and Ware.

The morning being somewhat misty, through deep and strait way, Ms
Avee came to Roiston, fourteen miles ; and then further, througli worse way,
to a village called Aringtowne, where wee dined. Here I perceived the
tranke male had sitt dowue upon my horse back, and navelfralled him, for
which I could find no remedy, nor a horse to hire ; so that, paying for our
selves and horses two shillings seven pence, we travelled to Huntingtowne,
eleven miles, haveing, near the towne, passed through Godmanchester, a fine
towne, with the most industrious inhabitants for husbandry m all England ; f
and truly here, in passing through, I saw the most, in such a place, hand-
some and beautifull women that ever I saw in my lyfe time, The river Ouse
runneth here, which wee crossed by a faire stone bridge of four bowes.
Wee lodged here, and my horse being spoiled in the back, and Lochyell his
horse likely to faile, wee were forced to think of swapping ; and, the next day. Ma
many horses being brought to us, but most of them lame, wee were a long
tyme befor wee could get condiscendcd on any bargaine. At last my
comerade gave forty shillings, and I three pund one shillmg, in boot with
our horses, for others by farr not so good as ours when wee brought them
from London ; but so are travellers preyed upon every where. Wee payed
here, for our selves, six shillings two pence ; and wages, ten pence ; for beer,
extra, six pence ; for stuffing the pillion and sadle, ten pence ; for a iron
barr to the pillion, six pence ; for horse meat, foure shillings ; and I payed

* [Gordon had possessed himself of a copy' any one parish in fertile tillage, oft hauinc

ot the Lritannia when at Riga in 1667. waited on their soucraigne lords with nine

isee above p. 103 J gcore ploughes in a rurall ponipe.' (England.

^ •!/ ,, i^i*"^ ^^^*^'" i^ ^^* ^^^'^^ ^y ^s Wales, Scotland, and Ireland Described, by

fruitfuU and flowry meadowes as any this king- John Speed. Lond. 1627.")1
dome yeeldeth, and is the most spacious of

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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