Military Review

19 September 1727 Propulsion Peter II signed a decree about the exile and deprivation of all the ranks of A.D. Menshikov

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19 September 1727. Emperor Peter II signed a decree about the exile and deprivation of all the ranks of Alexander Danilovich Menshikov. The most powerful man of Russia, the president of the Military Collegium, generalissimo, a man who, after the death of Peter I and during the reign of Catherine I, became the de facto ruler of the Russian Empire, received a royal decree about house arrest. The brilliant career of the most famous "nestling Petrova nest" came to an end. “The minion of fate”, according to A.S. Pushkin, who rose “from rags to riches” due to his natural inquisitive mind, rare energy and devotion to Peter I, died November 12 1729 at the age of 56 years in exile in the Siberian town of Berezov, Tobolsk province .

Almost nothing is known about Alexander's childhood and youth. According to the official version, he was a native of impoverished Lithuanian (Belarusian) nobles, but researchers doubt it. It is believed that before getting into the entourage of the favorite of Peter Franz Lefort, Menshikov was a pies dealer. Other historians believe that this is an invention of his enemies, invented in order to humiliate His Serene Highness. Soon he became Peter's orderly, his closest confidant in all undertakings and hobbies. Thanks to his energy and intelligence, Menshikov accompanied the tsar and helped him in almost all famous affairs of that time, participated in the Azov campaigns in 1695-1696, in the "Great Embassy" in 1697-1698. to Western Europe. During the Northern War, Alexander Menshikov showed a talent for a military leader, led large formations of infantry and cavalry (he showed himself especially well as a cavalry commander), distinguished himself in many battles, sieges and assaults of cities. Menshikov was one of the first to receive the highest award of Russia - the Order of the Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called (received together with Peter for the brave boarding of two Swedish ships at the mouth of the Neva in 1703). Alexander Danilovich became the first governor-general of St. Petersburg - he was from 1703 until his disgrace in 1727, played a big role in the construction of the new capital of Russia, as well as Kronstadt, shipbuilding enterprises on the Neva and Svir rivers, armory factories. In the famous battle of Poltava on June 27, July 8, 1709, Menshikov led the Russian vanguard, and then the left flank of the Russian army. He forced the defeated Swedish army to surrender at Perevolochna. For this battle, Alexander Danilovich was awarded the rank of field marshal.

For active participation in maritime affairs, he received the rank of rear admiral (1716 year), after the conclusion of the Peace of Nishtad in 1721 year - the rank of vice admiral. Menshikov under Peter became the second soul maker in the empire after the king. Despite the large number of useful cases, Menshikov had several serious flaws. His main sin is the exorbitant self-interest, the Most Serene Prince repeatedly accused of stealing state funds. However, Peter forgave him, believing that Menshikov's merits for the Fatherland are higher than his abuses.

Ruler of the empire

After the death of Peter, His Serene Highness, relying on the Guards regiments and the most prominent state dignitaries, in January 1725, he enthroned the emperor's wife, Catherine I, and became the de facto ruler of Russia. The reign of Catherine was the "finest hour" of the Most High Prince. His energy and resourcefulness can only be amazed. With intrigues, persuasion, intimidation, he elevated Catherine to the throne and held onto his position, fortifying him. He received all new rewards, estates and thousands of serfs.

Menshikov planned to intermarry with the imperial house: to pass off one of his daughters as Grand Duke Peter Alekseevich. The prince knew that the empress would not live long - she had poor health, which she vigorously undermined by the loose lifestyle. Therefore, Menshikov was looking for ways to maintain his position in the empire. In the spring of 1727, the engagement of Maria Menshikov’s daughter with Peter Sapieha was canceled. The Empress consented to the marriage of Maria Menshikova with the Tsarevich Peter Alekseevich. The daughters of the Empress Elizabeth and Anna, as well as the son-in-law - the Duke of Holstein, begged Catherine to cancel this decision. But Catherine was deaf to their requests. No matter how sick the empress was, this did not prevent her from continuing the amorous things - she made Sapega her favorite.

Before Catherine’s death, the Most High Prince eliminated several of his comrades in the “Petrov's Nest” (they were against the marriage of Menshikov’s daughter with the Tsarevich and wanted to erect Peter’s daughter Elizabeth). The following persons were accused of the conspiracy: the owner of the capital, the general-police master Count A. M. Devier (under torture he pointed to other participants of the “plot”), a member of the Supreme Privy Council, Count P. A. Tolstoy, General I. I. Buturlin, Prosecutor of the Synod G. Propulsion Skornyakov-Pisarev and some others. On the day of the death of Catherine 6 (17) in May 1727, a royal decree was signed on their death penalty, which was replaced with a lifelong exile.

Menshikov spent the whole of April and March in secret negotiations with D. Golitsyn, secretary-cabinet Makarov and Osterman. The “team of authors” composed the testament of the empress. According to the document, the throne was succeeded by the grandson of Peter I, Tsarevich Peter Alekseevich. The Supreme Council was to carry out the custody of the minor emperor, and the 11-I article commanded the nobles to help the young emperor be betrothed to one of the daughters of Prince Menshikov, and then, upon reaching the age of majority, to marry them. The second paragraph of the will provided for the transfer of the throne, in the case of the emperor's childlessness, to Anna Petrovna and her heirs. Secondly, Elizaveta Petrovna was granted the right to the throne, and the third was Grand Duchess Natalia Alekseevna. The document was supposed to coordinate the interests of the aristocracy and the “new nobility,” Grand Duke Peter, the princesses, Menshikov and the Supreme Council.

Menshikov ignored the clause on collective management and, in fact, for a very short period of time, he again became the ruler of the empire. Menshikov 13 May 1727 of the year achieved the rank of generalissimo naval and ground forces. The Order of St. Catherine was awarded the youngest daughter of the prince and sister-in-law - Varvara Arsenyev. The thirteen-year-old son Alexander Alexandrovich received the Order of St. Andrew and the court rank of Ober Chamberlain. 25 May, Archbishop Theophanes betrothed Emperor Peter with Princess Maria. Mary was determined court state.

Opala and reference

Menshikov made a mistake when he instructed the education of the emperor Andrei Ivanovich Osterman. Prince Osterman believed reliable and obedient man. However, Osterman began to bend his line in the education of Peter. The “underground” work of Osterman and Ivan Dolgoruky (and the clan Dolgoruky standing behind him), who became close to the young emperor, could last for a long time, but the situation changed — in July, Menshikov became seriously ill. The illness lasted more than a month and was so hard that Menshikov wrote a spiritual charter and political testament, asked influential people not to leave his family in trouble.

This time was enough for the young sovereign to “take a breath of the air of freedom” (he preferred training and hunting for lessons), became friends with people who encouraged his hobbies, fulfilled any desires and turned against the powerful guardian. The main favorite of Peter II was his gough-junker Ivan Dolgoruky.

A large role in the fall of Menshikov was also played by the personality factor of the new emperor. No wonder the English envoy noted in the character of the emperor noticeable signs of "the temperament of the gall and cruel." Back in 1725, the Prussian envoy Axel Mardefeld wrote about the “cruel heart” and the mediocre mind of Peter Alekseevich. The Saxon resident Lefort noted that the king is like his grandfather and father - people, as we know, have a very difficult temper, "he stands his ground, does not tolerate objections and does what he wants." The Austrian envoy Count Vratislav sent similar information to Vienna: “The Sovereign knows well that he has complete power and freedom, and does not miss the chance to use this at his own discretion.” A man like Peter II Alekseevich could not tolerate alongside him a real “ruler” who prevented him from the mere fact of his existence.

By August, Menshikov recovered, but the situation has changed dramatically. The sovereign avoided him. Alexander Danilovich, apparently at the height of success, having lost his usual clarity of mind, continue to live as before: in public affairs, the hassle of building his country palace in Oranienbaum. The emperor moved to Petersburg. 30 August on the name Menshikov in Oranienbaum did not come, not only Peter II, but also the most prominent nobles. The case took a serious turn, but Menshikov did nothing. The king missed the ceremony of consecration of the church in Oranienbaum. On September 5, the prince returned to the capital, two days later the emperor arrived and defiantly settled not with him, but in his Summer Palace. It was a formal break. However, Alexander Menshikov still hesitated, not taking any decisive action for his own salvation. It was amazing. Literally four months ago, Menshikov radically changed the dynastic situation in his favor, despite the resistance of many dignitaries, left the fight a winner. He showed initiative, tremendous energy, unceremonious arrogance. In September, Menshikov seemed to have been replaced - it was a passive, sluggish person. This is not to say that he did nothing at all. Menshikov wrote letters to comrades in the Supreme Council, Grand Duchess Natalia, asking for support. But the old energy and resourcefulness was not. Although he could resist and spoil the enemy a lot of blood. He was the actual supreme commander, he was subject to the garrison of the fortress, fleet, guard and army. He was loved in the guard, on him lay a glint of Peter's glory, the soldiers remembered his military merits. It is obvious that Menshikov could, in the name of the sovereign, suppress the conspiracy of the “traitors” by wresting from them the “monarch beloved by the people”.

Apparently, the true cause of slowness, inaction of the Most High Prince, we will not know. On the morning of September 8 (19), 1727, the 53-year-old president of the Military Collegium, received an order of house arrest. No guard was put on either this or the next day. Menshikov spent the day quietly: had lunch, dined, went to bed. It was logical to put on the uniform of the Generalissimo and go to the barracks to regain control of the situation, directing the anger of the army against the "schemers". Perhaps he was just tired of being on top, or thought he would not dare touch him. There is an opinion that the fear of the royal power worked in it. So, Menshikov tried to “put pressure on pity,” he sent the king a wife and children to beg for pardon. He himself began to write a petition, asking for mercy.

In an instant, Menshikov "from the princes fell into the mud." A void has formed around him: neither friends nor allies. Much of the former comrades, he himself sent into exile or prison. The decisive role in the crash of the "omnipotent" grandee was played by Vice Chancellor Osterman. Osterman's letters about the upbringing and training of the young emperor calmed and lulled the prince’s vigilance. On September 9, the Supreme Council discussed Osterman’s memorandum on the fate of the disgraced prince. They decided to send him to Nizhniy Novgorod estates, without the right to leave, to deprive of all the ranks and orders. Menshikov asked to be exiled not to the Nizhny Novgorod province, but to Voronezh, in his own city, Rannenburg. His request was granted. 11 (22) September Menshikov under escort moved from the capital. He was accompanied by more than one hundred men, many were armed. Soon, by order of the Council, Menshikov’s personal guards were disarmed. The prince fell ill again, but the request to stop until recovery was not granted. The patient was put in a special rocking chair and taken through Novgorod, Valdai, Vyshny Volochek, Tver. Along the way, news of the breakup of the engagement of Maria Menshikova with Peter II came.

Osterman at this time collected compromising materials on the prince. The benefit of them has accumulated a lot, for a long time Menshikov did not distinguish the state treasury from his own kalita. Especially Osterman, who at that time actually headed the state, the Russian ambassador to Stockholm Nikolai Golovin, particularly helped. He 3 November sent a message that in the 1726, Menshikov allegedly led negotiations with the Swedish government on the transfer of Sweden to Riga, Revel and Vyborg. Now Menshikov could have been accused of a grave crime - high treason.

Soon Menshikov was deprived of all his property and sent to the Siberian town of Berezov in Tobolsk Governorate. On the way, his wife, Princess Darya Mikhailovna, died. In Beryozovo, with several faithful servants who did not leave him, he built a house and a church. Alexander Danilovich died 12 on November 1729, at the age of 56, from smallpox, his daughter Maria died a little later.

19 September 1727 Propulsion Peter II signed a decree about the exile and deprivation of all the ranks of A.D. Menshikov

V.I. Surikov. Menshikov in Berezov (1883)
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  1. GG2012
    GG2012 19 September 2012 09: 02
    +7
    Who is Peter II and who is Alexander Danilovich Menshikov ?!

    Alexander Danilovich Menshikov, the great and splendid generalissimo and president of the Military Collegium, "darling of fate" and "chick of Petrov's nest" ...

    His name would be, yes an aircraft carrier !!!
    1. Basilevs
      Basilevs 19 September 2012 10: 37
      -1
      Alexash fiddled, and besides everything else, he soaped himself with direct royal relatives. Katka Skavronskaya, a convoy larva, was still demolished because of Peter 1, and this was no luck.
    2. Ross
      Ross 20 September 2012 00: 33
      -2
      GG2012,
      Who is Alexander Danilovich Menshikov ?!


      Aleksashka Menshikov is a member of the Kokuysky depraved team of young Peter I, a participant in all his adventures and drinking parties, and the keeper of all his secrets.
  2. Sasha 19871987
    Sasha 19871987 19 September 2012 09: 27
    -1
    Yes, Menshikov is a very interesting and significant historical figure ... but about Perth 2nd, I don’t even know how he distinguished himself
    1. GG2012
      GG2012 19 September 2012 09: 31
      +1
      Quote: sasha 19871987
      but about Perth 2nd, I don’t even know how else he distinguished himself


      Not at all.

      "The grandson of Peter I, the son of Tsarevich Alexei Petrovich and the German princess Sophia-Charlotte of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel, the last representative of the Romanov family in the direct male line.

      Peter II ascended the throne on May 6 (17), 1727, when he was only eleven years old, and died at the age of 14 from smallpox. "

      In short ... Royal mediocrity !!!
      1. mongoose
        mongoose 19 September 2012 10: 06
        -1
        sure? and if you lived another 50 years?
      2. wax
        wax 19 September 2012 18: 51
        -1
        Smallpox, however, them (Peter 2 and Menshikov) quickly and forever connected.
  3. baltika-18
    baltika-18 19 September 2012 10: 45
    0
    In Russia, all the kings were mediocre, but during each reign there was a person, often from the bottom, who took responsibility for the fate of the country.
  4. datur
    datur 19 September 2012 11: 09
    +4
    I stole it, I stole it, but how much I did for RUSSIA !!!!! IF today’s leaders at least half would have done, then hell would have been with their lard, but alas, they can only steal current ones!
  5. predator
    predator 19 September 2012 11: 24
    +2
    datur (1), I completely agree with you, such as Menshikov, Potemkin and went to the attack, and built the city!
  6. nnz226
    nnz226 19 September 2012 11: 33
    +1
    As the king performed by Leonov in "An Ordinary Miracle" said: "Brothers are strangling sisters! In a word, normal palace life is going on!"
  7. Morani
    Morani 22 September 2012 11: 50
    0
    Peter and Alexashka in Belarus.
    The Russian emperor showed his attitude to the then faith of most of our ancestors not somewhere, but in the Cathedral of St. Sophia. Once a drunken Peter with Menshikov and several officers entered the main Polotsk temple. There were no ordinary believersuniates in Sofia at this time, only six priests and monks prayed. The king loudly demanded to give him a tour of St. Sophia. Vicar Konstantin Zaykovsky was forced to interrupt prayer and submit. At each altar, the king stopped, and the priest introduced him to the origin of the icons. The Vicar had the courage to tell about the life and martyrdom of Josaphat Kuntsevich. "Who sent him to the next world?" - the emperor inquired with frantic fire in his eyes. The Vicar looked away and firmly answered: "The Vitebsk schismatics took their life away from the holy father Jehoshaphat."
    The king struck a middle-aged priest with a pood fist. Zaikovsky fell, and Peter began to beat the recumbent with a cane, and then chop the saber. Menshikov grabbed the broadsword and killed the preacher Feofan Kalbekinsky with one blow - he was just taking the sacrament. Taking an example from an angry host, the officers were already chopping down the regent of the cathedral choir, Yakub Knyshevich, the fathers of Yazep Ankudovich and Melet Kondratovich. The saints watched from the icons as a bloody stream floated through the temple.
    The tsar's servants took old archimandrite Yakub of Kizikovsky to their camp and tortured him all night, demanding to be given where the cathedral treasury was hidden. In the morning he was hanged. Vicar Zaikovsky died in the noose. Only Yazep Ankudovich managed to escape from the crowned executioner - he was considered dead. The bodies of the five victims were burnt by order of the Russian tsar, and the ashes were scattered over the Dvina so that their graves would not become a place of pilgrimage. The wild assassination in Polotsk showed the Russian emperor Europe in the guise of an eastern tyrant, which he essentially was.
    The tsar who was beaten and wounded by sabers by the sabers who rushed to save the vicar and archimandrite on the day of the crime was sent to prison by the tsar, and he gave Sofia and the Basilian monasteries to be plundered to soldiers. They took out all the valuables and three thousand zlotys from the church, and the head of the Polotsk garrison received an order not to consider the complaints of the “godless” Uniates.
    The tsar also punished Saint Sophia herself. Immediately after the killing of the priests, the temple was sealed and a warehouse was built there. In the cathedral kept ammunition, and sometimes horses. The Polotsk Greek Catholic abbot Lavren wrote in Rome to the pope: “Not only the monastery has been occupied by Muscovites until now, but even the cathedral church, defiled by the brutal murder of monks, is deprived of the opportunity to send holy prayers and give holy communion to the Uniates, for after the monks were expelled from it, all church things were thrown out of it. ". In the dungeons of the cathedral was a powder vault. A spark was enough for our shrine to fly into the air. And such a spark flashed the day before - a strange coincidence! - the departure of Russian troops from Polotsk. The explosion destroyed the wall, the left side altar, damaged columns and arches.
    Smoked ruins stood for thirty years at the Upper Castle, giving rise to the hearts of the inhabitants of Poltava and those who sailed along the Dvina River, deep sadness, recalling the difficult times of the Belarusian land, which lost almost a third of its population in the Northern War - 800 thousand people.