Tsarevich Dmitry. Painting by Mikhail Nesterov, 1899
Prologue of the Great Troubles
Tsarevich Dmitry Ivanovich (Dimitri Ioannovich) was born in October 1582 from the sixth wife of Tsar Ivan Vasilyevich Maria Naga. At that time, the church considered only the first three marriages legal, so Dmitry could be considered illegitimate and was excluded from the pretenders to the throne.
However, Tsar Fyodor Ivanovich was weak in mind and health, was under the tutelage of the Boyar Duma, and then his brother-in-law Boris Godunov. If he had no male heir left, then Dmitry could become the new king. Therefore, in Moscow, they watched with caution Dmitry and his relatives. After the death of Ivan the Terrible in 1584 and the accession to the throne of Fyodor Ivanovich, the boy and his mother were removed to Uglich by the regency council and received him as an inheritance. Dmitry was considered the ruling prince, he had his own court. However, the real power was in the hands of the "service people" sent from Moscow under the leadership of clerk Mikhail Bityagovsky, who watched over the Uglich court.
The circumstances of the death of Tsarevich Dmitry Ivanovich are still controversial and not fully clarified. On May 15 (25), 1591, the former Empress Maria Nagaya with her son Dmitry defended mass in the Transfiguration Cathedral in the Kremlin of Uglich. Then Maria with her 8-year-old son and courtiers went to the stone palace. There the prince changed his dress, and he went to play in the courtyard of the Kremlin. Almost at noon the alarm sounded in the Kremlin. The townspeople who fled saw the lifeless body of the prince with a wound in his throat. Maria and her brothers Mikhail and Gregory set the crowd against local officials. They believed that the Uglich prince was stabbed to death by Osip Volokhov (the son of the Tsarevich's mother), Nikita Kachalov and Danila Bityagovsky (the son of the clerk Mikhail, who followed the royal family). That is, in fact, by direct order of the Moscow government. A riot began. The townspeople tore to pieces the alleged killers.
Four days later, a commission of inquiry consisting of Metropolitan Gelasiy, head of the Local Order of the Duma clerk Yelizariy Vyluzgin, okolnichny Andrey Petrovich Lup-Kleshnin and boyar Vasily Shuisky (the future Tsar of Russia) arrived in Uglich. The commission decided that the cause of the death of the prince was an accident.
As a result, the Uglich people were punished in accordance with the degree of participation in the murders. Several dozen people were repressed: some had their heads cut off, others their tongues, 60 families were exiled to Siberia. "Punished" and the bell in the Church of the Savior, which the rioters sounded the alarm. He was publicly whipped, his ear was cut off, his tongue was pulled out and he was exiled to Tobolsk, where he was recorded as "the first inanimate".
In Tobolsk, the bell was installed in the Sofia bell tower. Then, after the fire, he stood on the ground. At the request of the Uglich people, in 1892 the bell was returned to Uglich. The Nagikh brothers, in addition to the riot in Uglich, were accused of setting fire to houses in Moscow and sent to the cities. Maria Naguya was sent to the Nikolovyksinskaya hermitage (monastery) for her lack of contempt for her son. She was tonsured a nun under the name of Martha. Later they were transferred to the Goritsky Resurrection Convent on the Sheksna River.
Actually, on this Uglich history and would have forgotten. Moreover, soon Tsarina Irina suffered again. This time she reported the child. However, Tsar Fyodor had a daughter, Fedosya. She was often ill and died in January 1594. The dynasty was cut short, which became a reason for rumors.
The chambers of the Uglich princes, built in the 1480s by Prince Andrey Vasilyevich in the Uglich Kremlin on the banks of the Volga
The greatest attention to the Uglich case manifested itself in the first half of the XNUMXth century after the publication of "History of the Russian State" by NM Karamzin and the drama of Alexander Pushkin "Boris Godunov". For more than two centuries of disputes, historians and publicists have not come to a consensus on this event. There are three leading versions of the Uglich case.
The Commission of Inquiry interviewed about 150 people who participated in these events. The case was announced by Metropolitan Gelasius at the Consecrated Cathedral. Conclusion - an accident. The prince began epilepsy and was killed during convulsions. According to the nurse Arina Tuchkova:
"She did not save him, as a black disease came to the prince, and at that time he had a knife in his hands, and he stabbed with a knife, and she took the prince in her arms, and the prince in her arms was gone."
These words were repeated with some differences by other witnesses. Many professional historians, researchers of this period of Russian history, in particular, S.F. Platonov and R.G. Skrynnikov, believed that the commission of inquiry had made the correct conclusion.
The second version - Dmitry remained alive and was hidden by Nagimi so that he would not be killed. In 1605, False Dmitry, who proclaimed himself a "miraculously saved" tsarevich, seized the Moscow throne and reviewed the Uglich case. Maria Nagaya recognized him as her son, the other participants in the investigation immediately changed their testimony. The reunion of the mother with the "son" took place in the village of Taininskoye in front of a huge crowd. The "Tsar" jumped off his horse and rushed to the carriage, and Martha, throwing back the side curtain, embraced him, and both were sobbing. The rescue of the Uglich prince was explained by the intervention of a certain doctor.
The third version - the assassination of Dmitry Uglichsky by order of Boris Godunov - was accepted already during the reign of Vasily Shuisky. The new government sought to blame all the troubles of the Troubles on the Godunov family. The new ruling dynasty, the Romanovs, also supported this version. It became official. This was also supported by the church. The classic plot was outlined in Karamzin's History of the Russian State. Then in "History" S. M. Solovyov. Westerners who "created" a classic, pro-Western version of Russian history. There are other versions as well. For example, it is possible that it was a negligent homicide.
Icon "Tsarevich Demetrius of Uglich in his life". State Historical Museum. Left: 1. The prince is taken out of the palace 2. The murder of the prince, the nurse tries to save Dimitri 3. The Bityagovskys are trying to flee from Uglich on horseback. Right: 1. The sexton rings the bell. The Bityagovskys are trying to knock down the door in the bell tower 2. Residents of Uglich are stoning the killers of Dimitri 3. Grad Uglich
Truth Is Out There
Obviously, the version of "miraculous salvation" is the most unlikely. In Uglich, almost everyone knew the prince by sight. Numerous mothers, other mongrels, comrade boys, nobles, and representatives of the administration could not be identified.
And the commission of inquiry from Moscow?
The naked obviously could not bribe or somehow convince the investigators from the capital to assist in their deception. The intellectual ceiling of their "team" was low to play such a long-term political game with far-reaching goals. It is clear that after the murder of the dummy child "will be followed by exile or imprisonment of the Naked. How then to prove that the prince is true? The Moscow government will declare him an impostor and impale him.
The version about the conspiracy of Boris Godunov is more plausible. According to her, the villain Godunov planned to kill the Uglich prince. As the historian S.M. Solovyov wrote, at first they planned to poison Dmitry, but it did not work out. Then they conceived an evil deed. Clerk Mikhail Bityagovsky took over. His son Danila, nephew Nikita Kachalov, son of Tsarevich mother Osip Volokhov went with him to Uglich. Tsarina Maria felt that something was wrong and began to take care of the prince even more. But on May 15, at noon, for some reason she weakened her attention, and Volokhova's mother, who was in the conspiracy, took the child into the yard. The killers were already on the porch. Volokhov stabbed him in the throat with a knife and ran away. The nurse tried to protect the prince and began to shout. Bityagovsky with Katchalov beat her to a pulp and finished off the child. Then there was a commotion, the conspirators were killed. The members of the commission allegedly knew what actually happened. But, having arrived in Moscow, Shuisky and his comrades told the tsar that Dmitry had stabbed himself.
It should be remembered that although Godunov had great power in the Russian state under Tsar Fyodor, he was not an absolute ruler. He had his supporters, but most of the Boyar Duma, including the ancient Shuisky family, were happy for any reason to overthrow the powerful temporary worker. And here is such a scandal! The murder of the prince, in which supporters of Godunov are implicated. The naked had not to kill possible performers, but to take them alive for interrogation in order to reach the customer. However, Bityakovsky and his comrades were killed, that is, they hid the ends in the water.
It is also obvious that in 1591 Godunov did not need to kill Dmitry. Tsar Fyodor was 34 years old, that is, he still had time to give birth to an heir. In the same year, Queen Irina became pregnant, but the girl Fedosya was born. Interestingly, Godunov was also blamed for her death. In addition, Boris had more convenient methods than direct murder. Poison. Link, after accusing the Naked of high treason or witchcraft, etc. Dmitry would be isolated, put under the care of faithful people in a quiet place, and he would soon give his soul to God.
The prince died in an accident
Thus, the most reasonable version is an accident.
Dimitri Uglichsky suffered from epilepsy. There were severe seizures. The last attack lasted several days and ended with the death of the prince on May 15, 1591. Another important detail - the prince loved playing with weapons... At that time, the children of feudal lords, princes from an early age played with real weapons, this was an element of military education. Almost the entire life of the nobility is a war. In European museums, there are a lot of children's weapons - knives, daggers, swords, sabers, axes, etc. By the way, in the Middle Ages, even tournaments and fights were held among children and adolescents. Deaths in such fights were commonplace.
On May 15 (25), the Uglich prince played the "poke" game. The rules of the game are simple - you need to take the edge with the blade up and throw it into a circle outlined on the ground. Suddenly Dimitri, who was holding a knife, had an attack of "epilepsy". The boy fell and stabbed his throat. On the neck, under the skin, are the carotid artery and the jugular vein. If damaged, their death is inevitable.
Another option is also possible - during an attack, the patient throws himself with a weapon at loved ones or attempts to commit suicide. Therefore, eyewitnesses of the event were somewhat confused in the testimony: they could not determine when the prince wounded himself, when he fell, or when he was convulsing on the ground. They said one thing - Dmitry wounded himself in the throat.
Maria and her brothers, in their minds, should not have called for reprisals against possible murderers. On the contrary, grab them and carry out a "righteous search." The naked do everything to hide the traces of the accident and "bring Godunov and his people under the monastery." Indeed, according to the Nagikh version, Osip was the prince's killer. If he really killed Demetrius, then he would have faced the most severe torture, and then a painful execution. This was well known to all. But Maria Nagaya and her brothers are doing everything to hide the traces of the incident. They make a riot, eliminate unwanted bystanders.
The Boyar Duma appointed Vasily Shuisky to lead the investigation in Uglich. By this time, he was removed from disgrace and he returned to the Boyar Duma. Vasily was the most cunning and resourceful of the Shuisky family. Previously, he was in charge of the Judgment Order. Obviously, he did not support Godunov. Metropolitan Gelasiy of Krutitsky was also not a servant of Godunov. Andrei Kleshnin had a good relationship with Godunov, but at the same time was then Mikhail Nagy. The head of the Local Order, Vyluzgin, occupied one of the main places in the then "government".
The members of the commission belonged to different court groups, everyone watched each other, intrigued. Obviously, if there was an opportunity to accuse Godunov, the Shuisky and other boyars would use this chance.
The members of the commission interviewed many people. First of all, they carefully examined the bodies of the prince and the victims of lynching. No one had a shadow of doubt that it was Dimitri Ivanovich, and not a dummy boy.
The funeral service was conducted personally by the Metropolitan. It quickly became clear that the knives and clubs on the corpses of the Bityakovskys and their comrades had been planted on the orders of the Nagikhs. Mikhail Nagoy did not want to confess, but he was exposed. Grigory Nagoy immediately confessed to the preparation of "evidence".
Investigators quickly established the names of all direct witnesses. Volokhova's mother, nurse Arina Tuchkova, Kolobov's bed-bed and four boys who played knives with Dmitry gave evidence. The boys accurately and well described everything: during the game of "poke" the prince fell ill and he cut himself. Osip Volokhov and Danila Bityagovsky were not in the backyard at that time (the Bityagovsky were having dinner at home at that time). This testimony was confirmed by Kolobova, the mother of Volokhov and Tuchkova. The nurse was especially killed for the prince and blamed herself for everything.
Then an eighth witness was found. The key keeper Tulubeev reported that the lawyer Yudin, who stood in the upper chambers and looked out the window, had told him about the death of the prince, the lawyer Yudin, as the boys played. Yudin himself saw how the prince was killed. But he knew that the Naked were insisting on the murder, so he decided to avoid testifying.
Testimony was given even before the repression. Investigators did not pursue witnesses to the death of the tsarevich and the riot.
The Church Council on June 2, 1591 unanimously confirmed that Tsarevich Dmitry had perished by "God's judgment." And the Naked are guilty of organizing a riot and the death of innocent people.