DIARY OF PATRICK GORDON.     [1661     Lord Henry Gordon,t then a colonel in the Polish army

DIARY OF PATRICK GORDON. [1661 Lord Henry Gordon,t then a colonel in the Polish army



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



Lord Henry Gordon,t then a colonel in the Polish army, but died of his wounds a few days

A.D. 1661.

1661 Peace being concluded, the Polish army took up its winter quarters in the Ukraine. Here
Gordon, hearing of the happy restoration of King Charles II., resolved to return home, in
the hope of obtaining service in his own country. He had already apprised his father of his
intentions, and now petitioned the Field-marshal for his discharge. He was easily persuaded,
bruary. however, to retain his command until the spring, when he conducted his company to Warsaw,
where Lubomirski was in attendance on the Diet. Meanwhile the army in the Ukraine mutinied,
and choosing leaders for itself, began to march towards Warsaw in order to obtain redress of
its grievances. At this point the Diary is again resumed in Gordon's own words.]

The prisoners of the Moscovites taken at Czudnow, Mogilow, and
Bassa or Guharj, were convoyed, with the collours taken, in a kind of pro-
cession to the pallace where the parliament sate. The woywods, or gene-
rall and principal! persons, were brought in to the upper house to the pre-

in that charge, vndcr the command of his Im-
periall INIajestie of Russia, in fighting against
the Polonianes beseid Szudna, was deadlie
woundit. and takin prisoner be the said Lord
Hendrie Gordone, collonell vnder the com-
mand of his Maje>tie of Polland, and dyed of
his woundes in Vkrain, and wes buried in
the fields at Szudna.' — (Miscellany of the
Spalding Club, vol. v., pp. 352, 353.) Cf Spald-
ing's Jlemorialls of the Trubles in Scotland,
vol ii., pp. 236, 372, 433, 441.

f Lord Henry Cordon was the youngest son
of George, second Marqviess of Huntly. ' Horn
in France, he was,' says the historian of the
family, 'by Dr. Davidson carried to Poland,
with his youngest sister twins : he served there
several years in veiy honourable employment,
and came home [before 1666] and died at
Strathbogie.' The querulous Robert Mylne
writes that Lord Henry, 'quho was a little
hair-brained, but wery couragious, in his latter
dayes mamcd one Mrs Rolland, ane innkeeper
in Aberdeen.'— (Gencalogie of the Familie ot
Gordon, collected by R. M., anno Domini 1707,
MS. in the Library at Skene.) The same work
gives this account of Lord Henry's twin sister:
" Kathrine, daughter to George, second Mar-
quis of Huntley, went abroad to France, and
thereafter she and the daughter of the Cardi-
nall of Arquien went to Polland with the
Queen thereof, Mary Lodovica de Gonzaga,
daughter of the Duke of Nevers, of the house
of Mantua, in order to many Uladislaus, King
of Polland; and the two were both her maids

of honour; and this Queen procured Kathrine
Gordon to be married to [John Andrew] Count
Morstein, great thesaurer of Polland, betwixt
quhom was procreat the Count of Chateau
Villain, quho was killed at the seidge of Na-
muir, quho had married a daughter of the Duke
of Chevreuse, by whom two daughters. This
Count .Morstin had .also a daughter married
to Count Bielinski, great chamberlaine of the
crown of Polland. This Kathrine, Countess
of Morstin, was ane active woman, and had as
much credite among the nobility of Polland,
as over her husband's mind ancnt the election
of the Prince of Conti to be King of Polland.
This Count Morstin is descended from the
cheife of ane old fiimily in Polland, and was
great thesaurer thereof, but, haveing more re-
guard to his own private iutrest than the pub-
lict benefitt, sent all the riches of the thesaur-
ary into France, quhairunto he retired himself,
anno 1683, to prevent the Diets calling him to
ane account. He purchased in France the
whole county of Chateau Villan, worth 100,000
livers a year." Lady Catharine Gordon had a
birth-brief under the great seal of Scotland,
on the 21st of August, 1687.

Lord Henry Gordon, in 1658, obtained for
himself and his heirs, the right of Polish no-
bility. In 1667, King Charles TI. gave in-
structions that he should have a life annuity
of five thousand mcrks Scots from the estate
of Huntly, which was at that time estimated
to be worth about thirty thousand pounds Scots

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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