1692] DIARY OF PATRICK GORDON. 177   I do this upon my unkles recommendation and advice

1692] DIARY OF PATRICK GORDON. 177 I do this upon my unkles recommendation and advice



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


I do this upon my unkles recommendation and advice, albeit I know that
this Laird of Pitfoddels his father manycd twice, and gott considerable por-
tions, without being infeft in a furr of land so long as his father lived, and
diverse others too long here to mention.

Thus you see how punctually I have answered every particular of your
letter, which you but litle observe in answering of myne, and leaves out the
maine thing, wliich is the accounts of the rents of the lands, and how dis-
posed. And now you haveing for your owue proper use so much of the lands,
I expect hereafter a more exact account of what I have reserved for myself
which may move me not to forgett you when I dy.

This yeare of my age hath been a sad and unfortunate yeare to me,
haveing lost both my sons in law ; the eldest whereof, Collonell Strasburg'
was burycd but fyve dayes ago, the other in May last ; two of the com-
pleetest and best qualifyed men in this countrey. Collonell Strasburg hath
left a son and two daughters, and Major Crawfuird a posthumous son.

[In a letter, of the same date, to his uncle, James Gordon of Westertown, he forwarded con-
veyances of the lands of Auchleuchries, to his son John.]


Be it knowne to all men by thir presents, that I, Patrick Gordon of
Achluichries, Generall over the Selected Regiments of his Imperiall Majesty
of All Russia, do hereby fully and freely dispose and give over the heritable
right of all the lands of Achluichries, lying within the parish of Crowdan, in
the shire of Aberdeen, in Scotland, to ray oldest son, John Gordon ; reserv-
ing only for me and my wyfe our lyferents of the two pleughs of Easter
Achluichries, and that free from all publick dues and burthens or any the
least other particular duty or acknowledgment to any person whatsomcver ;
as also, two thousand punds Scottish as a portion for one of my sons who
may come to Scotland and setle there, and to whom it shall be assigned ; yet
this summe of two thousand punds Scottish to beare no annuall rent untiil
the first Whitsunday after he shall come to Scotland, and then the aforesaid
summe to be delivered to him, or assignes, or to be left upon annuall rent
as he pleaseth. I will also that my said son John be countable to me for
the yearly rents of the said two pleughs of Easter Achluichries, and that free
of all publick dues and burthens ; and the said money to be given out to


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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