64 DIARY OF PATRICK GORDON. [1666   being as they say, in some places a hundred fathom.

64 DIARY OF PATRICK GORDON. [1666 being as they say, in some places a hundred fathom.



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


being as they say, in some places a hundred fathom. A litle of from that
lake, wherein the monastery standeth, is another of the same bignes, be-
twixt which a channel. Out of this last floweth a brooke or river which
emptyeth itself into the Msta, as all the other rivers and brookes here about.
From hence wee jorneyed over hills to the river Grimatsa, fyve verst.
On each side of this river are many kurgans,* where they say that the battel
betwixt the masters and the servants was fought in the end of Tamerlanes
warr. A litle further wee passed along in a most pleasant road, haveing
the river Polumet on our left hand, and hills covered with woods on our
right hand. Haveing rode ten verst, wee crossed the river Grimatza
againe, where it falleth in the Polumet, and so in company of the river
Polmnet to Yasulbitsa, a village, fyve verst. Here I dined. Then setting
forward, I crossed the river Polumet and Yarmy, ten verst, which the river
Polumet receiving falleth in the river Pola, and this in the lake llmen,
fyfteen verst above the ... ; then to the village Rechina, fyve verst,
and to the yame or stage Kresty, where getting fresh horses, and makeing
no stay, wee rode along the river Cholova. Crossing it diverse tymes, wee
came to the river Mosnia, twenty verst, which crossing, wee came to the
village Wina, fyve verst, and to Sajantsova, ten verst, where wee lodged
all night.
July?. Haveing gott fresh horses wee came to the village and monastery
Lustow, three verst, and to the village Krasna Stanky, twelve verst, through
woods and bad bridged ways to the river Nissa, ten verst, which runneth
here south, and then turning, falleth in the lake llmen twenty fyve verst
above Novogrodt. Wee crossed this river by a float, and then came to
Brunlts, fyve verst ; where takeing boat, wee went downe the river Msta to
Novogrod, thirty verst, where getting a quarter, I lodged all night.
July 8. About midday, haveing gone over in a large boat, wee sailed up the
river V'olcha to the lake llmen. This lake is in some places forty verst
broad, and about fyfty long. It is said that seventy rivers fall therein, the
chieife whereof are Msta, Poniedielna, Lowat, Vergot, Solona, Czarna,
Verunda, Mpsiaga, Veresa, Pollst. Wee passed by many pleasant villages
on the right hand, and came late to the river Mpsiaga, and so to the river
Solonia, up which to the village Saltzee, which is seventy verst from Novo-
grodt, whither wee came in the morning.

* [Barrows, or earthen mounds.]

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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