The father of the future terrible sovereign - the Grand Prince Vladimir and Moscow Vasily Ivanovich, fell seriously ill and died when Ivan was only three years old. Anticipating a quick death, Vasily III summoned Metropolitan Daniel to himself, the boyars and made a testament for all, so that no one could challenge him. Claiming the throne could younger brothers Basil - Princes Andrei Staritsky and Yuri Dmitrovsky. He appointed a son heir, until 15 years he should be under the care of the mother and the board of trustees (the “seventh” boyar commission). This council included: Prince Andrei Staritsky, Grand Duchess Uncle Mikhail Glinsky, Vasily and Ivan Shuisky, Mikhail Zakharyin, Michael Tuchkov and Mikhail Vorontsov.
Basil III, in 1531, took an oath with the brothers to be loyal not only to him, but also to Prince Ivan. Before his death, he forced Andrei Staritsky and Yuri Dmitrovsky to repeat the words of the oath. Apparently, Vasily felt that his death would cause confusion in the Russian state. He conjured the brothers to observe the kiss of the cross, saying that he hoped for their honor and conscience. Vasily Ivanovich urged the boyars to "keep tight" the son and the state. He specifically addressed Glinsky, saying that he should “shed all his blood” for the child and Elena.
Vasily knowingly worried about the future of his wife and son. He had not yet died, as the first squabbles began. The Grand Duke asked for the tonsure and the Metropolitan began to prepare for the ceremony. However, a group of boyars led by Prince Staritsky suddenly rebelled. Although, it would seem, what difference they made, the sovereign would die a layman or a monk. Ugly scene played out right at the bed with the dying Vasily Ivanovich. Boyars shouted, swore. Prince Andrei and Vorontsov even began to pull out the monastic attire from the Metropolitan. Vladyka Daniel had to pacify them with the threat of a curse. So, with the "battle" the Metropolitan was able to achieve the rite. After the death of the Grand Duke, Metropolitan Daniel, for the third time (!) Brought the brothers of the deceased into oath, they promised to faithfully serve Ivan Vasilyevich and his mother, Princess Elena. Metropolitan took an oath and boyars, clerks.
Creating a board of trustees for a child-emperor, Vasily apparently wanted to keep a balance of power by introducing representatives of various boyar groups into it. But it turned out the opposite. The regency council was not viable. Conspiracies began immediately around the throne. The organizer of the first conspiracy was Yuri Dmitrovsky. He was not even included in the Regency Council, which speaks of how Sovereign Basil III did not trust his brother. His supporters began to gather in the Moscow home of Yuri Dmitrovsky. It was said that the oath was given under pressure, that the regents should have given Yury a mutual oath to respect his rights. And since there was no such oath, then Yuri's oath is invalid. Andrei Mikhailovich Shuisky joined the conspiracy. However, when prince Humpback-Suzdal was tried to conspire, he surrendered the conspirators to the Boyar Duma and Princess Elena. At the beginning of 1534, Prince Yuri Dmitrovsky was arrested, his inheritance was annexed to the possessions of the Moscow sovereign. His supporters were arrested, including Andrei Shuisky. Yury Ivanovich died in conclusion - in 1536.
It should be noted that even Vasily Ivanovich could not afford to repress the opposition brothers. Princess Elena, who had not yet had full power, much less had such an opportunity. Apparently, the evidence of guilt was so weighty that the Boyar Duma fully supported the ruler. Against the arrest and imprisonment of his brother did not speak, and Andrei Staritsky, he was the winner. Now he has become the closest contender for the throne. He even tried to profit at the expense of his brother. Prince Andrey owned Staritsa, Vereya, Vyshegorod, Aleksin, Lyubutsk, Kholm. And the lot of Yuri were larger and richer cities - Dmitrov, Zvenigorod, Kashin, Ruza, Bryansk, Serpeysk. Andrei Staritsky asked Helena to give him the lot of his brother, or part of it. But the princess was afraid to strengthen the potential opponent, so the petitioner was refused. True, in compensation he received many expensive gifts - gold, jewels, furs, horses.
Princess Elena was a very intelligent woman. And her rule was a unique event for Russia. After all, since the time of Princess Olga, there was no precedent for a woman to rule the Russian land. She coped well with the burden of power. In favor of the princess played the hidden conflict of the Boyar Duma and the Regency Council. The Duma was a legitimate body, with established traditions and the boyars who were part of it, with hostility perceived the rise of the "seven-boyars". Some of the members of the Regency Council were not even members of the Duma. Princess Elena was able to skillfully play on contradictions, making her decisions. In addition, she found reliable support among the highest dignitaries. She was not uncle Mikhail Glinsky, but a brilliant commander, military favorite Ivan Fedorovich Telepnev-Ovchina-Obolensky. Blame the princess in this is not worth it. She was still young, life went on. Helen needed a solid male shoulder. And the choice is worth endorsing. Telepnev in wars always commanded an advanced regiment, it was a dashing warrior who led the fighters into the battle. In addition, there is no information that Telepnev, having become the favorite of the Grand Duchess, received for it patrimonies, high ranks and precious gifts.
The Regency Council ruled the Russian state for less than a year, after which its power began to crumble. This was due to a new conspiracy. The Polish-Lithuanian king Sigismund and the Crimean Khan concluded an alliance and began to prepare for an attack on Russia. Princess Elena and Boyar Duma began to prepare troops on the western and southern borders to repel the attack. But it soon became clear that the Lithuanians were counting not only on their own strength and the Tatars, but also on the “fifth column”. And among the relatives of the Grand Duke. The prince Semyon Belsky and the experienced commander Okolnichy Ivan Lyatsky maintained contact with Sigismund. They were supposed to form units in Serpukhov, but the boyars, with their squads and servants, fled to the Polish king (although the soldiers and servants soon abandoned their masters, not wanting to serve Lithuania). It turned out that the plot was broader and that the governors of the Big Regiment Ivan Belsky and Ivan Vorotinsky participated in it, the sons of Vorotinsky - Mikhail, Vladimir and Alexander. They were arrested. The consequences of this conspiracy, with the onset of enemy troops, could be catastrophic. However, the conspiracy on time revealed. At the same time (in August 1534), a member of the board of trustees, Mikhail Vorontsov, was also arrested.
At the end of 1534, another change occurred in the leadership of Russia. Suddenly, Mikhail Glinsky was arrested. He was imprisoned, where he died. Officially, he was accused of wanting to seize the throne. About the true causes of opals is unknown. Perhaps Prince Mikhail Lvovich Glinsky really tried to crush the princess under his sole influence. And for this it was necessary to remove from the princess Telepnev and Duma boyars. Can not be ruled out and treason. Glinsky had already betrayed Vasily, he was in prison for a long time. Only the young wife of the Grand Duke secured uncle freedom. In the west, Glinsky had some connections. It was not for nothing that the ambassador of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I Herberstein was bothering for him at the time. At the same time, it is quite possible that Glinsky was simply slandered. For Elena's enemies, he could have been a serious obstacle to the realization of their designs. After this, the Regency Council ceased to exist.
The reign of Elena Glinskaya was successful for Russia. She was not only beautiful, but also a smart girl, who possessed political will and state thinking. In China, built China Town, strengthening the defense of the capital. Several fortresses were erected on the outskirts - Sebezh, Zavolochye, Velizh, several more were laid, including on the eastern frontiers. They began to build new walls in Balakhna, Ustyug, Vologda, Pronsk, Temnikov. In 1536, the government of Helena forced the Polish king, Sigismund I, to conclude a world advantageous for Russia. Prior to this, the Russian commanders destroyed the Lithuanian army near Sebezh.
During her reign, the most important monetary reform was carried out - in fact, a single monetary unit was introduced in the Russian state. It was a silver penny weighing 0,68 g; one fourth of a penny was called a half. Prior to that, Moscow, Novgorod and Pskov money were in circulation. It was an important step to stabilize the economy of the state. The activity of counterfeiters was stopped. Old money was withdrawn from circulation.
When Elena began lip reform. Local residents themselves now chose officials who were supposed to investigate crimes. The continuation of this reform led to a reduction in local abuse.
The princess continued the centralized ransom of people hijacked by the Tatars. In order to increase the population of the Russian state, they began to invite peasants from Lithuanian possessions. Migrants from Lithuania provided various benefits, relief, land. Given the fact that under the Polish and Lithuanian pans, the common people did not have a simple life, if not disgustingly (given the national and religious oppression), the peasants began to move en masse to Moscow lands. The protests and indignation of the royal dignitaries in Moscow did not pay attention. Say, do your best to look after your people.
Elena Glinskaya. Reconstruction of the skull, S. Nikitin.
The conspiracy and rebellion of Andrei Staritsky
Andrei Staritsky, offended by the refusal in the section of Brother Yuri's inheritance, left for his possessions and reviled the Grand Duchess. For the time being, he got away with it. It was necessary to solve more important matters, it was not up to the slander of the prince. But the old prince behaved more and more defiantly. He refused to attend meetings of the Boyar Duma, although it was his direct responsibility. Pretending to be sick. In the war against Lithuania with his regiments did not take part, which in general was on the verge of treason. It turned out that he is an independent ruler and respects "neutrality". Under the pretext of helping the patient, the Grand Duchess sent Andrew the court physician Theophilus to Andrew. He found the prince completely healthy. Andrei continued to evade service. He wrote that he was in "sickness and longing." When the Kazan troops invaded the Russian borders, Andrei Staritsky was ordered to stand against them with his squad. But he ignored this indication.
It is clear that at the court of the old prince Elena had his own eyes and ears. The princess was informed that the disgruntled boyars gathered at the court of Andrei Staritsky, and the squads who had not participated in the war with Lithuania and Kazan were supported in full combat readiness. In addition, there were reports of Andrei’s relations with the Lithuanians. It was suggested that Andrei Staritsky wants to flee to the Polish-Lithuanian sovereign. To Andrew with words of admonition was sent to Krutitsky bishop Dosifey. One and the old boyars who were in Moscow were arrested.
As a result, it became clear that Andrei Staritsky was plotting not a flight, but a coup d'etat. But the preparation of the coup failed. Upon learning that his man had been captured, Staritsky became worried, realizing that he was threatened with exposure. Andrei was in a desperate situation and decided to open rebellion. With family, courtyard and warriors, he spoke in the direction of Novgorod, where he had accomplices. Prince Andrew began to urge the boyar children to go to his service, promised a reward. The motive of his speech was the fact that “the Great Prince is small, and the boyars hold the state. And who will serve you? ”Many nobles supported Andrew, began to come to him. Among them were prominent commanders Prince Pronsky, Khovansky, Paletsky, boyars Kolychev. Power was facing the threat of civil war. In addition, the campaign against Kazan was disrupted.
But the time factor played against Prince Staritsky. While he was thinking and gathering strength, Elena did not sit still, but acted. Boyar Nikita Khromoy-Obolensky was sent to Novgorod and quickly brought order there. Ivan Telepnev-Obolensky with a horse unit rushed in pursuit of Andrei. Prince Andrei Staritsky did not reach Novgorod, having received the news that the case was failed. He turned south towards the Lithuanian border. But did not have time to leave. He overtook the voivode Sheepskin-Telepnev-Obolensky. Moscow voivod deployed forces and began to prepare for the attack. Andrew was not ready to fight. In the camp of his supporters reigned discord. Many would be glad to see the Grand Duke in Andrei Staritsky, to receive an award for his support. But here the warriors did not want to fight. It was obvious that the coup failed.
Andrei Staritsky confused and entered into negotiations. He agreed to capitulate if he is guaranteed immunity. Obolensky, too, was not eager to shed Russian blood and agreed. The rebels were brought to Moscow. In the capital city, Elena expressed her anger at Obolensky, he did not have the authority to take the oath of the immunity of Andrei Staritsky.
Armed insurgency was a very serious crime. Recently, prisoners of Kazan were executed without exception, because they were considered rebels against the legitimate sovereign. But in this case, the princess and the Boyar Duma had to take into account the high position of the rebel. Staritsky was thrown into a dungeon, where he died several months later. His wife and son Vladimir were placed under house arrest. After the death of Andrei, the Staritsa Principality passed to his son Vladimir. Princes of Pronsky, Paletsky, and Khovansky were subjected to a “commercial” execution — they were beaten with a whip on the Torg. Other notable rebels set off for prisons and exile. Only 30 children of boyars were sentenced to death.
At the age of seven, Ivan Vasilyevich already performed the first duties of the sovereign - he patiently sat on the throne during ceremonial receptions, said the words required by custom. Appeared before the people during the exits to the temple. He complained about the distinguished governor. Although the decision, of course, did not take it yet. The life of the youth at that time was good — his mother was surrounded by care, Telepnev, the mother of Chelyadnin, his own mother’s court. In 7 years he had a howling uncle tutor - Ivan Fedorov-Chelyadnin.
In April, 1538, 30-year-old Elena Glinskaya died suddenly. None of the sources report any disease. The princess was healthy. Modern data from the study of her remains indicate that poison poisoning (mercury) has become the alleged cause of Elena's death.
Judging by the subsequent events, it was a well-organized coup. It was headed by Vasily and Ivan Vasilyevich Shuisky, the most distinguished princes occupying leading positions in the Boyar Duma. The princess was buried the same day she died. Without the presence of the Metropolitan, apparently, he was taken under house arrest. Without the grand duke's funeral rank, long church services, the people were not allowed to mourn. The mother of the sovereign, the ruler of the Russian state, was simply carried out of the palace and buried.
Then eliminated supporters of Helen. On the seventh day after the death of the governor, Ovchina-Obolensky and his sister Agrafena were captured, feeling the danger, and hiding in the sovereign's chambers. This all happened in front of the young Ivan Vasilyevich. The prince soon died in custody, he was starved to death. Agrafena was exiled to Kargopol and nunned. Metropolitan Daniel in 1539 was deposed and exiled to the Iosifo-Volokolamsky Monastery.
Apparently, this conspiracy was organized a long time ago and the Shuiskys were waiting for just the right occasion. Throne was supposed to take Andrei Staritsky. After the death of Helen, he would have easily eliminated Ivan. Therefore, the old prince wanted to hide behind the powerful fortifications of Novgorod, waiting for good news from Moscow. However, at this stage the plot failed, and Andrei was no more. Therefore, the conspirators saved the life of the young sovereign, to rule on his behalf.
To be continued ...