58   DIARY OF PATRICK GORDON. [1666   letter not haveing any character

58 DIARY OF PATRICK GORDON. [1666 letter not haveing any character



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



letter not haveing any character ; and that I should be look't upon as one In
publick employment, whereby I should be put to great charges and ex-
pences • and that, lastly, I should be tyed to expect an answer. To which he
said nothinf, but that I should stay untill he returned from his Majesty.
After an houre, he came and told. me that his Majesty had ordered and com-
manded me to go for England, and that I should make myself ready in
three or four dayes to be gone. I repeating the former reasons, and adding,
that I was wronged in not getting my full oklad or monthly pay according
to others and that I had all this tyme but twenty five rubles a month
whereas I should have forty, and that I wanted, as the rest also, two whole
months • he told me that his Majesty would allow and cause give me
money to beare my charges, and that, for my other grievances, I should
bring petitions, and compeer to morrow.

Befor I go further, I shall showe the reasons of sending this message,
and of the sending a stranger, and why me and not another.

The English, in their adventures at sea, haveing found out the sea port
at the mouth of the river Dwina, had, for their losses and paines, great
priviledges conferred on them by the Tzaar,* especially to trade without
paying of toll or custome ; whereby encouraged they appointed an agent,
which continued many yeares with considerable advantage. But the
Hollanders and Hamburgers, haveing found the way hither also, began to
trade without any corporation, yet encreased so, that the Hollanders espe-
cially, in tyme gott great advantages of the English, and outwitted, to give
it no worse terme, the English, and even trapan'd them into many things,
and then delated them. For they had gott some of the English to bring
up their goods under the notion of their owne, so to avoid the paying of
custome whereby the Tzaar was cheated of his revenues ; so that it was in
agitation bv the instigation of the Hollanders and Russia merchants, whom
they had drawne to their party, to disannull these priviledges. But there
not being sufficient proofes, and the Enghsh, forwarned, keeping themselves
closser, and by tlieir splendid way of liveing haveing gained the good will
of the nobility, and those of the poorest merchants and tradesmen by trust-
ing, the business was delayed, untill the unhappy tragedy of the murder of
King Charles the First, whereat occasion was taken, upon a more generous

* [Iwan Wassiljewitsch.]

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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