The last conspiracy against the king was very narrow. Only two of them acted in the surroundings of Grozny, but these were the people closest to him - Bogdan Belsky and Boris Godunov. Apparently, in this case, the initiators were not the boyars, but foreign agents. It was enough in Russia, (October 1 1583, a special meeting of the Boyars Duma was even devoted to this issue). Belsky and Godunov to play in favor of the aristocrats was, in general, no need. Both were promoted "bottom", owed their position only to the king. Belsky ascended as the nephew of Malyuta Skuratov, and then with his personal business qualities, he became a dummy nobleman, an armorer. Career Godunov provided protection patron uncle, Ivan the Terrible, and marriage to the daughter of Malyuta. He received the rank of kravchego, boyar.
The key figure in the duet was Belsky. He actually headed the foreign ministry, was the main adviser to the king. But with all his might, he couldn’t claim the boyars, the first places in the Duma, the most important military and administrative posts. The young man after a rapid take-off reached his “ceiling”. Nothing else shone on him, only to be “under” the sovereign. A head, see, spinning. I wanted more. Under the Polish order, it was possible - titles, cities, castles. Cheerful and wide life instead of defending with the king in the long church services, give yourself to business and pretend that you only dreamed about it.
In 1579, the younger prince Fyodor Ivanovich married the sister of Godunov Irina. Boris became a member of the royal family! After that, the conspirators began to act. They slandered the tsarist doctor of the German Elisha Bomelia. They threw evidence that he was connected with the Poles, and executed. What for? To replace with another person. A new doctor appears at the court, one Johann Aylof.
The latest research about him revealed very interesting facts. None of the European universities among graduates of medical faculties Aylof not listed. By religion, he appeared to be “Anabaptist,” but was “hidden Catholic”. Moreover, his “collaboration with the Jesuits” was repeatedly recorded (see the monograph by T.A. Oparina “Foreigners in Russia in the 16th — 17th Centuries”, Russian Academy of Sciences, stories, M., Progress-tradition, 2007).
By nationality Aylof was, like, a Flemish. In the Netherlands at that time a fierce war was in full swing. Shortly before the events described, in 1576, the Spaniards took the center of Flanders by storm, Antwerp, cut out and plundered. And in 1579, the Southern Netherlands returned under Spanish rule; they sent the Anabaptists to bonfires. And Aylof arrived in Russia by no means a beggar refugee. He immediately launched a large-scale business, had his own ship, his son and son-in-law traded briskly. In 1582, Aylof's ship was seized by Danish pirates, and the goods for 25 thousand were lost. It was a fantastic amount (for comparison, an English Moscow company trading all over Russia paid 500 rubles to the treasury)
But the doctor after such a loss remained a very rich man. If applied to the current scale, Aylof would be a multimillionaire! And the “multimillionaire” for some reason is arranged by the tsarist doctor ... It has not yet been clarified what capital was behind him. But only Belsky could provide patronage at court. It was he who was responsible for the protection of royal health. The surviving documents show that medicines for Grozny were prepared “by order of the gunsmith Bogdan Yakovlevich Belsky”. And the king took them only from the hands of Belsky.
In 1581, two brothers of Belsky ran to the opponents of Russia. David to the Poles, Athanasius - to the Swedes. Established communication, agreed on interaction, discussed the conditions. But although historians have spent the sea of ink, claiming the “painful suspicion” of Ivan the Terrible, the situation of Bogdan Belsky was not affected by the betrayal. The king still trusted him completely. And what the brothers betrayed, he is not the defendant for them. However, it may be the case that the sovereign was convinced that Belsky was sent to enemies especially for misinformation.
Terrible and he led the secret game. Russia was tired of a long war, needed a break. And behind the Polish king Stefan Batory were the forces of the whole of Catholic Europe. Ivan Vasilyevich made a cunning move. He turned to Rome, to Pope Gregory XIII, who dreams of being friends with him, beckoned with hope to conclude an alliance against the Turks - they say, only war with the Poles prevents this. Let dad intervene to help reconcile. Along the way, the king inquired about the acts of the Council of Florence, which accepted the church union.
The Vatican pecked. Found that the Terrible is ready to recognize the union. The mission of the Jesuit Antonio Possevino immediately went to Russia. This was not an accidental person, but one of the main organizers of the “crusade” against our country, and his goals were far from being sincere. Driving through Vilna, the “peacemaker” held talks with Batory, blessed him for the war, and only then continued on his way.
In Poland, Possevino could not help seeing David Belsky. He would not be a Jesuit, and simply a diplomat, if he missed the opportunity to talk to him. So, got outs on his brother. And when the mission arrived in Staritsa, where Ivan the Terrible was located, one of the Jesuits who were part of the embassy declared himself ill. The king sent his doctor Eilof to him. Possevino wrote that he had very good contacts.
Well, Ivan Vasilyevich pretended that he was delighted with the papal epistles, but declined to talk about the unification of the churches. He said that first he needed to stop the bloodshed. Sent delegates back to Batory. Here Possevino began to help not the Russians, but the Poles, pushing the royal diplomats to make concessions. Enemy inclined to the world the heroic defense of Pskov. Defeats and huge losses otrezvili pans. But the diplomatic move of Ivan the Terrible played a role. The victories were over, and in Rome they considered that it was necessary to make peace, to bring the king to a union — until he, under the influence of his successes, changed his mind. Funding from Rome was cut short, and the Yam-Zapolskoye truce was signed.
However, while there were fights near Pskov and negotiations, another drama broke out. In order to achieve the goals of the conspiracy, it was not only the killing of the king that was crucial. It was important and the question of who will replace him on the throne? Traitors bet on Prince Feodor. He himself did not know about it. But he was weak, painful, and in his mental outlook was not suitable for the role of an independent ruler. It could be captured under the influence.
In this variant, the senior prince, Ivan, was obliged to die. And he needed to kill earlier than his father. First, Grozny was still needed alive - after all, Rome hoped through it to lead Russia to a union. And secondly, if the king died first, the throne would be given to Ivan Ivanovich. But he could change his entourage, push some friends, relatives. No, the sequence was supposed to become just that — first the eldest son, and after his death, Fyodor would already be the legal heir.
So it happened. The version that Ivan the Terrible killed his son was introduced by the liberal historians of the 19th century who uncritically used foreign libelous sources. None of the Russian chronicles (including unofficial ones, which are far from being friendly to Ivan the Terrible) does not report sonicide. The French captain Marzheret, who served for a long time at the Russian court, wrote that the death of the prince from beatings was a false rumor, “he did not die from this ... on a journey to a pilgrim”.
In the XX century. investigated the remains. The prince's hair was well preserved, but neither chemical nor spectral analysis of blood traces was found on them. But it was found that the arsenic content in the remains is three times higher than the maximum allowable level, and mercury - in 30 times. The prince was poisoned. By the way, on the eve of his death, he and his father were generally in different cities! Tsar in Staritsa, where he located his military headquarters, and his son in Moscow. Engaged in the formation of replenishments, supply the army. There he fell ill. Then, according to the report of Marzheret, he felt better, went to a pilgrimage, but on the way, in Alexandrov Sloboda, he came down completely. And only then, in November, did the king rush from Staritsa to Sloboda. Doctor Aylof and Bogdan Belsky "treated" the prince. The documents confirming this, survived and reached us.
But we know another thing: who was the first author of the version of sonicide. Possevino! At this point a comparison is suggested - who is the first to start shouting “hold the thief”? At the same time, the Jesuit avenged slander Ivan the Terrible, deftly furnish the Vatican. When Possevino arrived in Moscow after signing the truce, expressing his readiness to start a conversation about the main thing, about joining the churches, the king opened his hands in surprise - he said, he did not write about anything like that to the pope. And really did not write, he only stated the fact of the Council of Florence and appealed for "friendship" and mediation. Rome itself was carried away by its own illusions!
During their mission in the capital, the second secret meeting of the Jesuits with Dr. Ailof took place, Possevino himself mentions this in his notes. He does not disclose the entire content of the conversation. It seems that it was only a religious dispute, in which Ayloff participated. But after returning from Russia, in August 1582, Possevino spoke to the government of the Republic of Venice and said that “the Moscow Sovereign will not live long”.
Where such confidence? The Jesuit was not a private person. His speech was an official report (in Moscow, he represented the interests of not only Rome, but also Venice). How could he know what would happen in a year and a half? The king turned all 52, he was healthy and he still had enough strength - 19 in October 1582, the tsarina Maria Nagaya gave birth to a perfectly healthy son, Dmitry. The death of Grozny Possevino could foresee only in one case - knowing about the plans of the conspirators. Probably, he also approved these plans, while in Moscow.
By the way, it may very well be that the death of the king was delayed ... the aforementioned capture by the Danish pirates of the ship Eilof. His son and son-in-law were taken prisoner; in July, 1582, the city of Ivan the Terrible, sent an angry note to the Danish king Frederick II. He pointed out in her the high rank of the injured merchant: “And his father, Ivan Ilf, at the door of our royal majesty, will face our face ...” After the talks, the prisoners were returned to Russia. In this period, of course, the king was needed to save relatives.
Ivan Vasilievich felt fine up to the first months of 1584. In February, he negotiated with the English embassy, in early March, he spoke with the learned scribe Isaiah, and was healthy. Only 10 of March was sent to the Polish ambassador Sapega by a messenger with a directive to detain him in Mozhaisk, since “the emperor went into slavery”.
There are two detailed descriptions of the death of Grozny - and both are unreliable. One was an ardent Russophobe Pastor Oderborn, who had never been to Russia, but had so much anger and lies upon her that even tendentious authors prefer not to turn to his opuses. Another description - Englishman Gorsey. He wrote memoirs for sensation, was fantasizing with might and main, portraying himself almost a friend and adviser to the king. In fact, Horsey approached the Moscow higher circles later, under Godunov. And at this time he was just a clerk-trainee, he was rumored to write, and he mixed the real facts with speculation and absurdities.
For example, the story of how Belsky, on the orders of Grozny, gathered the Magi from Lapland to predict the day of death, Horsey, word for word, picked up from “The Life of Twelve Caesars” Suetonius. Blagoe Suetonius died long ago, could not charge plagiarism. We have documents at our disposal that are completely uncoupled with Lapland shamans. The king did not send the last letter to the shamans at all, but to the Kirillo-Belozersky monastery, asked to “pray to the cathedral and the cells”, so that the Lord “for your holy prayers to my accusation gave you absolution and the death of the disease”.
What was the disease - is now installed. The arsenic content in the remains in 2 times the maximum permissible level, mercury in 32 times. Poisoned by the same method as a son. Mercury accumulates in the body, acts slowly, arsenic - quickly. Such a scheme allowed us to cause a picture of a serious illness, and then finish off with another poison. And there is no suspicion: he died from the disease. It agrees with the diagnosis and the news that the sovereign's body swelled up and smelled foul “because of the decomposition of the blood” - these are signs of mercury poisoning, which causes kidney dysfunction, and discharge from the body stops. And the same people “healed” the king as “healed” his son, Belsky and Aylof.
Despite the disguise, the truth has leaked. The sexton Timofeev and some other chroniclers report that “Boris Godunov and Bogdan Belsky ... stopped the king’s life prematurely,” that “the people were poisoned by the king”. In 1621, under Patriarch Filaret Romanov, Ivan the Terrible was introduced to the calendar with the rank of martyr (with such a rank he is mentioned in the remaining calendar of Koryazhma monastery). Consequently, the fact of his murder was recognized by the Church. The fact that Godunov and Belsky killed him was also told by Horsey, although, according to his own guesses, he wrote that Ivan IV had been “strangled” (it was difficult to strangle the king, he had never been alone, there were always servants with him — sleeping bags, bedding ). Dutchman Isaac Massa, who had some very good sources of information at the court, wrote that “one of the nobles, Bogdan Belsky, who was at his mercy, gave him the drink prescribed by Dr. Johan Ailof, throwing poison in him”. And the Frenchman de Laville, who was in Russia at the beginning of the 17th century, made a mistake only in his last name, he directly reported that the court physician Jean Nilos had been involved in a plot against the tsar.
17 March Ivan the Terrible took a hot bath, and he felt better (baths contribute to the release of the body from harmful substances through the pores of the skin). On the last day of life, March 18, the king took a bath again. But he, of course, did not arrange a personal excursion to his treasury for clerk Gorseya. And I did not play chess. What the king did on that day is well known. He collected the boyars, and in their presence made a will. Announced heir Fedor. The council of five people was to help him: Ivan Shuisky, Ivan Mstislavsky, Nikita Romanovich Yuriev, Godunov and Belsky. Tsaritsa and Tsarevich Dmitry was assigned to Uglich, the Belsky was appointed as the child’s guardian.
The will was very important for the conspirators. It claimed their own position. Probably, for the sake of the sovereign helped a little bit to improve health. And as soon as the testament was signed, they gave another “medicine”. There was a sharp deterioration. The clergyman of the king, Theodosius Vyatka, only managed to confess and commune the sovereign, and, fulfilling his last will, together with Metropolitan Dionysius, made the tonsure in schema. As wrote sv. Patriarch Iov, "the pious king and Grand Duke Ivan Vasilyevich ... will receive the Great angelic image and was called to be a foreigner, Jonah, and soon leave this earthly kingdom, to the Lord as God."
The role of Dr. Eilof in the crime confirms his further actions. Four months after the death of the king, in July, he met in Moscow with the Polish ambassador Sapega, gave him valuable information. And in August, he found himself in Poland, and not somewhere, but surrounded by Vilna Cardinal E. Radzivil, presents him with an exhaustive report on the situation in Russia. The author of the monograph, T. Oparin, notes: “Thus, Johann Eilof continued his collaboration with the Jesuits and informed the Order of political differences in the Russian upper ranks.” The doctor left our country legally. His son Daniel remained in Russia, over time he turned into a solid merchant and salt miner of Yaroslavl.
And the appearance in Poland of his father caused a correspondence in very high Catholic circles. Papal nuncio Cardinal Bolognetti, who was in Lublin, on August 24 saw fit to send a report to the Vatican, and called Ayloff “a very rich man” and reported that he had gone to Livonia. But his further traces are lost. The “very rich” doctor is not found among well-known doctors or among large entrepreneurs and merchants. Maybe he really turned into “Nilos” or someone else ...
What action scenario was supposed after the murder of Grozny? We can judge this by the events of 1585. Batory began preparations for a new war with Russia, the father allocated money for it - 25 thousand gold scares a month. But at the same time Poland suddenly suggested to the Russians to avoid battles and to conclude an eternal peace on the terms of ... unification of the two powers. If Batory dies first, Fedor will be the common king, and if Fedor is the first to die, let Batory reign. Not bad, right? Even if we assume that Fedor would be allowed to survive the king after signing the treaty, Russia would die in any case. Catholics, heretics, traders, bankers, “freedoms” would have poured into it ... The same Possevino was the co-author of the plan, it was he who at that time carried out the ties between Rome and Poland.
But foreign directors made a serious miscalculation. After all, the conspirators were not like-minded! Belsky Godunov was desperately needed - to control the king through his sister. However, Godunov Belsky was absolutely not needed. Boris was not an “ideological” traitor, he was just an unprincipled careerist with unlimited ambitions. He was attracted only power. Ally Belsky he spoke only to a certain point. Already in April, 1584, he provoked a revolt of Muscovites and got rid of his companion, sent him into exile. The Jesuits, the Poles, the Pope, the union to Godunov were also not needed. On the contrary, he began to appease and support the Orthodox Church - in turn, to gain her support. Well, then the False Dmitry was needed