Military Review

Empress favorite. Prince Grigory Orlov

Grandfather Gregory Orlov, Ivan, was a simple archer foreman. For participation in the Streltsy riot, he was sentenced to death, but the young Peter I pardoned him. And he did not just pardon him, but honored a noble title and the rank of officer. In this case, Ivan's nickname "Eagle" has become the name "Eagles". His son, Gregory, became a staunch supporter of the king. He spent all his life in campaigns, visited the Northern and Russian-Turkish wars. For courage, fearlessness and feats of arms, Peter the Great himself granted him his portrait on a gold chain. Having celebrated the 50th anniversary, Grigory Ivanovich decided to marry. His wife was a fifteen-year-old girl Lukerya Zinovieva. Spouses lived, despite the huge difference in age, in perfect harmony. They had nine sons, but four died at an early age.

Empress favorite. Prince Grigory Orlov
A.I. Cherny (Chernov). Portrait of Count G. G. Orlov.
Copper, enamel. 7,2 x 5,3. State Hermitage

Grigory Orlov was the second of five surviving boys. He was born in Moscow 17 October 1734 of the year. His father by that time, having reached the rank of major general, retired, but continued to lead an active life - in 1742, he became the governor of Novgorod and was promoted to state councilor. The atmosphere in their home has always been loving and warm, the father was an indisputable authority, telling the boys about his campaigns and battles with interest. The characteristic features of the Orlov family were close fraternal friendship and extraordinary agreement. In their family there were no family scandals or unpleasant stories about the inheritance or division of property.

Like other young people of their circle, the Orlov brothers received home education. The guys learned to write and read well, but that was all. And then it was self-education. Special attention in education was paid to physical training and military craft. The children grew up as real warriors of the Russian land - beautiful, powerful, tall, possessing incredible physical strength.

The childhood and adolescent years of Grigory Orlov were not preserved in stories. About what he breathed, where he was and what he was doing, one can only guess. However, it is known for certain that in the year 1749, along with his elder brother Ivan, he was brought to St. Petersburg, in order to give him to the guards. However, they first had to graduate from the Gentry Ground Cadet Corps, which is the forge of personnel for the guard. After graduation, the brothers were in the elite regiments: Gregory was enlisted as an ordinary soldier in the Semenov regiment, and Ivan - in the Transfiguration.

In the northern capital of the brothers began a fun time of youth. Especially widely unfolded nature of Gregory - a strong man, handsome, pet and lover of women. Passion for love adventures and risky adventures remained with him for life. He grew up to be a fearless and reckless man, successfully promoted to the rank of lieutenant, and longed to prove himself in a battlefield. Grigory Grigorievich got into the army in the 1758 year after Russia was drawn into the Seven Years War. In war, the brether and the reveler turned out to be a brave soldier. Especially Orlov became famous during the battle of Zorndorf - one of the most terrible and bloody battles in the history of European wars.

It all started with the siege of Kystrin in early August 1758. Russian troops bombarded the Prussian town with cannons, and the small army of defenders had a hard time. However, Frederick II himself came to the rescue with his iron battalions. His army at that time was considered exemplary - the combat drill and combat skills of the soldiers were at the highest level, the skills of combat were brought to automatism. The Russian commander-in-chief, Willim Fermor, learning of the approach of Frederick, removed the siege from the city and moved along the Oder. On the way of our troops lay the village of Zorndorf, which is now called Sarbinovo and belongs to Poland. After exploring the area, Fermor decided to take a defensive position in this place - a river flowed close by, quite capable of becoming a natural obstacle for the Prussians, as well as two deep ravines. The two flanks of the army were located just between them. This was a strategic mistake - the advantage later turned into a fatal obstacle. Frederick approached the Russian 14 August camp. He had about 36 thousands of people (against 44 thousands of our soldiers), and he confidently stated that he would turn the Russians to flight in the first attack.

In fact, this battle was a duel between the tactical genius of the Prussian commander and the dedication of Russian soldiers. Commander Fermor was unable to rule the course of the battle, so both ordinary soldiers and regimental commanders had to act in accordance with the situation. The situation initially was not in our favor. The Prussian king skillfully confused the Russian commanders and removed from the game part of the cavalry, which was never able to come to the rescue in time. On the night of 13 on 14 of August, the Prussian battalions went around the location of our units, being behind. Under artillery fire, the Russians had to turn the front 180 degrees. At the same time, the Mitzel River found itself in the rear, it was impossible to maneuver through it or retreat. Another natural barrier was the ravines that separated the two flank. Artillery, a wagon train, and remnants of the Horse Guards, including Grigory Orlov, were in the center of the building.

The battle went on deep into the night. In a terrifying battle by the number of victims, the Prussian braid swooped down on a Russian stone. The enemy fiercely attacked, the Russians no less fiercely fought back, keeping the line and chopping down the enemies. Each wing of our army fought on its own, the commander-in-chief did not even try to coordinate their efforts. General Brown and General Demik commanded their men brilliantly, their prowess was later recited in verse. By the way, General Yuri Brown left the battlefield only after he received the eleventh (!) Chopped wound. According to various sources, the losses of Russians killed and wounded amounted to from sixteen to twenty thousand people, the Prussians - from ten to twelve thousand, many prominent officers were killed. And yet the cruel slaughter ended in our victory, the Russian soldiers realized that they could not only resist the Prussians, but also smash them. For Frederick, the battle was a slap in the face, forcing him to respect his opponent.

Surviving Russian soldiers celebrated the victory. Among them was Grigory Orlov. In the battle, he showed not only an enviable composure, but also amazing stamina. Around him, the wounded and the dead fell, and he threw himself under the ruinous Prussian buckshot into the thick of the battle. Noticing that Gregory was injured, fighting friends advised him to get to a safe place. To their surprise, Orlov returned to duty. Three times desperate cavalry guard was wounded, but, overcoming the pain, defied death. His name was on everyone’s lips, and if for every killed Prussian then stars were engraved on a sword, then on weapons the lieutenant would not have free space. For valor and courage Orlov was awarded the rank of captain. However, this was the end of the war for him.

The battle of Zorndorf was a turning point for Grigory Grigorievich. In that memorable battle, the Russian soldiers captured the adjutant Frederick Count Schwerin, who had to be brought to the court. This responsible task was entrusted to Captain Orlov along with his cousin Zinoviev. An adjutant arrived in the northern capital with his escorts in the early spring of 1759. In St. Petersburg, Grigory Grigorievich first of all met with the brothers Fedor and Alexey. The first by that time was the lieutenant of the Semenov regiment, the second - of the Transfiguration. The three of them were having fun - they enthusiastically played cards, participated in fist fights and revels, "twisted love" with the ladies. Soon, however, Grigory Orlov was transferred to service in artillery, and in 1760 he was appointed adjutant to Field-General of the Field Chief Peter Shuvalov, an influential man with connections. So Gregory G. was in the center of court life.

None of the historical chronicles reported when Catherine II and Grigory Orlov became lovers. When the future empress met him, she was thirty, she was attractive, experienced in love affairs, and most importantly - unhappy, suffering from the humiliation and rudeness of her husband. Many contemporaries did not understand what she found in a man like Grigory Orlov. Oh, she found a lot in him - unrestrained courage, adventurism, youth. For a long time they managed to hide their relationship. The brothers, of course, knew everything, and soon became the most effective way to "promote" Catherine. It should be noted that the Orlovs, being good comrades, brave soldiers and just decent people, had great authority on the guards regiments, loved them, listened to their views. Not sparing the colors, Fedor, Alexey and Gregory described the terrible situation of the Grand Duchess in the family, gradually creating her positive image and increasing the number of supporters. This was largely facilitated by the behavior of Peter III, who did not want to reckon with the mood of society.

The first case of a coup was introduced immediately after the death of Empress Elizabeth Petrovna 25 in December 1761. However, Catherine was completely unprepared for this and missed the moment. Historians have precisely identified the cause of the confusion - by the time she was five months pregnant, and the whole court knew whose child it was. Catherine gave birth to a son in April 1762, he was given the count title and the surname Bobrinsky. Subsequently, the genus Bobrinsky became one of the most distinguished in the country.

Already after a couple of months of the reign of Peter III, dissatisfaction with the new emperor became universal. Orlov’s apartment continued to be the center of the conspirators. Grigory Grigoryevich was not, like his brother Alexei, a man of outstanding intelligence, but he was far from stupid, and also quite penetrating, which allowed him to give accurate predictions regarding the future of the country. In particular, he was the first to say that, having become emperor, Peter would make peace with Prussia, nullifying all the victories of Russian weapons. He was ridiculed, no one believed him - it seemed so impossible and wild. However, this is exactly what Peter III did when he barely ascended the throne. Grigory Grigoryevich also claimed that the emperor, who adores the Prussian army, would want to get rid of the guard - the main striking force of the Russian troops. This seemed complete nonsense, since Russian tsars were used to relying on guardsmen. But Peter III abolished the cavalry guards, and instead of them put the Holstein people. Needless to say, what indignation arose among the military.

The coup occurred on the night of 27 on June 28. None of the Orlovs has left historians with information about this case. Catherine the Great and Catherine Dashkova expressed polar opinions, and memoirists based on the story of any of them. According to the canal, Alexei Orlov rode at night for Ekaterina to Peterhof, while the other brothers raised guardsmen. Not far from the capital, the crew was met with fresh horses by Grigory Orlov and Prince Fyodor Baryatinsky, who was also an active participant in the coup. By dawn, the future autocrat was at the barracks of the Izmailovsky regiment. Fleeing officers and soldiers began to praise Catherine, and the priest quoted by the Orlovs quickly pronounced the appropriate words of the oath. Then everything, including the guardsmen of the Izmailovsky regiment, moved to the Semenov regiment, and from there to the Winter Palace. By nine o'clock in the morning, the solemn procession reached the Kazan Cathedral, where the priests held the coronation ceremony. Peter III, who was in Oranienbaum, perfectly aware of the hopelessness of resistance, abdicated the throne. So this bloodless coup was realized, to which the Orlov brothers contributed in no small measure. The Empress subsequently openly said: "To the fact that I am, I am obliged to Orlov."

After the coronation, Catherine showered the brothers with various favors and elevated them to the count's dignity, granting the right to transfer the title to his legal heirs. Most of the benefits fell, of course, to the share of Grigoriy Grigorievich - he became a major general, adjutant general, and a real chamberlain. Less than a year later - in April 1767 - he was awarded the Order of St. Andrew the First Called. The Orlovs became the most loyal assistants of the new Empress, stopping discontent and fulfilling her most scrupulous instructions, in particular, Alexey was entrusted to guard the depressed Peter III in Ropsha. Catherine wrote: “The Orlovs have a lot of generous courage, common sense, their patriotism comes to enthusiasm. They are passionately devoted to me, decent and friendly with each other, which is usually not the case with brothers. They do not deceive anyone and never take money for the fact that the trust they enjoy gives them the right to perform. ”

After the coup, Catherine the Great moved to the Winter Palace. Grigory Grigorievich, despite the house in the capital and two beautiful estates, also preferred to live in the palace. For him, it was time for special opportunities and favors - he could go to the empress at any time, and she discussed all political matters with him. However, despite Catherine’s desire to see him as a state husband, Orlov didn’t like politics, didn’t have affection for her, and never interfered with the government. With rare exceptions, he fully and wholeheartedly supported the sovereign’s undertakings, only occasionally making amendments and proposals to them.

Attitude to the favorite at court was ambiguous - on the one hand, Grigory Grigorievich was a charming man, constantly arranged parties and balls, was the soul of any company. His thirst for power was alien to him, his contemporaries said: “Generous to wastefulness, trusting through carelessness, unable to take revenge and harbor anger ... Does not show arrogance or pride. Remains on a friendly footing with former acquaintances and recognizes them even in a crowd ... ”. A distinguishing feature of Orlov was a warm relationship with people who are inferior in status, he was always generous to help the beggar. On the other hand, many grandees extremely disliked his rapid rise. Glorious aristocrats like hetman Razumovsky and Count Buturlin considered it offensive to stand on the same level with the restless upstart. Orlov's costumes were distinguished by their refined simplicity, perceived by dignitaries, as an emphasis on the fact that the favorite can afford to give a damn about court etiquette.

At 1764, Catherine visited Livonia. Eagles accompanied her all the way, and everyone could see that the empress was passionately in love with him. In the same year, the empress bestowed on Grigory Grigorievich the rank of lieutenant colonel of the Life Guards regiment, and by the beginning of 1765, she was appointed chief of the Cavalry Guard Corps. However, the favorite not only accepted gifts from Catherine, but also made them himself. The most famous of them is considered the mysterious diamond "Eagles". Catherine was so delighted with the gift that she ordered the diamond to be inserted into her scepter.

At the amateur level, Orlov was fond of art and poetry, scientific and philosophical ideas. It is known that he liked to arrange physical and chemical experiments, and in his rooms in the palace he ordered an observatory to be organized and set up a telescope there. The whole yard went to him to admire the stars. In addition, the prince welcomed scientists, poets and other prominent personalities of the era. Denis Diderot and Jean-Jacques Rousseau were visiting him. Grigory Grigoryevich gave full support to Mikhail Lomonosov, and when the Russian genius died, he bought up all his works, and only because of this the heritage of the great scientist was not lost. Few people know that it was Orlov who discovered Denis Fonvizin’s talent for Russian literature. Hearing the comedy “Brigadier” in one of the salons, he immediately introduced the author to the empress, marking the beginning of the popularity of one of the first comedians in Russia.

In 1765, Ekaterina created the Free Economic Society, designed to study the problems of the agrarian sector and promote its development. This company turned out to be like to Orlov, he was chosen by the president and took an active part in the work. In addition, the Society for quite a long time existed at its expense. In the course of the work, data on the situation of the peasants were collected from all the provinces. The final reports of Grigory Grigorievich were terrible - it turned out that the serfdom was hampering the development of the country. Working most of the time on the landowner, the peasants did not have time to cultivate their tiny holdings. The landlords did not want to let serfs go and sought in their estates to acquire personal hairdressers, actors, artisans, etc. The cities remained without a market and labor. Grigory Grigorievich himself was a staunch supporter of the liberation of the peasants. In his domain he established the liberal order, many of his workers were given freedom for their abilities and talents. At first, the Society tried to turn the tide in - helping people in starting a business, providing loans. Unfortunately, the main tasks were not solved - almost 100 years had to wait for the liberation of the peasants.
In 1768, the idea of ​​the expulsion of the Turks from Constantinople firmly settled in Orlov’s head. In January 1769, participating in a council meeting on the subject of the Russian-Turkish war, the usually silent Grigory Grigoryevich asked for words. With enthusiasm, he began to talk about the expedition to the Russian Archipelago fleet, about the possible revolt of the Greeks, about the conquest of Constantinople. All those present at the council, and most of all the empress herself, were astonished - the frivolous Grigory Orlov appeared to be a knowledgeable and knowledgeable person.

It should be noted that the prince’s proposal was not new - the Russian sovereigns, who considered themselves heirs of the Byzantine kings, from the very day of the seizure of Constantinople considered it their duty to free the holy city from the power of the Gentiles. Catherine the Great was also very worried about the Greek question - the geopolitical vector developed to the east and south, and the expulsion of Muslim Turks from the primordially Orthodox lands had both a political and ideological background.

After some time, Catherine ordered to prepare a squadron. The main role was assigned to the three Orlov brothers - Grigory, Alexei and Fyodor. However, later the empress changed her mind and left Gregory beside her. The maximum program included access to the Black Sea, fortifications in the Crimea, and settlement of coastal lands. To this end, the construction of military fortresses began at the same time in Taganrog and Azov and at the same time maneuvers of the Russian troops — one army went to Moldova to prevent the Turks from reaching the Polish border, the other advanced to the borders of Russia. A powerful propaganda campaign was conducted among Christians living in the Balkans, as a result of which uprisings began in Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. In July, the first squadron left 1769 from Kronstadt, followed by two more.

However, in the 1770 year, just at the height of the war, an epidemic of plague broke out in Moscow. Disease in Russia on bayonets brought soldiers from Moldova. At that time, the country did not yet know what kind of attack it was and how to protect oneself from it, and therefore the plague spread very quickly through the territory of Ukraine, the Tver and Bryansk regions, and then hit Moscow. Despite the outposts around the city, where everyone who entered was carefully examined, the disease penetrated into the capital. The first signs of plague in Moscow were recorded on December 17 1770 of the year in a hospital located on the mountains of Vvedensky. From the reports to the empress it is clear that the Moscow authorities did not attach any importance to the spread of infection until December 22, when the disease was reported to St. Petersburg. The council of the best doctors of that time, gathered in Moscow — Erasmus, Venemiyanov, Kulman, Zybelin and others — decided that the attack that had hit the city was a morbid ulcer. A report on this lay on the table of Governor General Peter Saltykov, however, as far as historians are aware, no special measures were taken. By that time, January had come, and severe frosts had stopped the spread of the epidemic. The situation in the city has stabilized, there were no more cases, and all visitors were carefully examined.

After wintering, the plague again went on a hunt - new cases of the disease began in March. Now there was no hope of helping nature, and the plague began to mow down dozens of people. Only then did they come to their senses in Moscow - the city was declared a quarantine zone, they wanted to close it, but this turned out to be impossible in practice. Barrels of vinegar were placed in trading places in which people dipped money. The police carefully observed that the residents did not touch each other, and that all the regiments were on alert in order to quickly put down the rebellion that was brewing. Also, the Empress sent a representative to Lieutenant-General Peter Yeropkin to Moscow to solve the problem.

Upon arrival, Pyotr Dmitrievich energetically set about combating the epidemic, but all his undertakings ran into a number of problems. In particular, residents of the city did not want to inform the authorities about the sick acquaintances or relatives and did not give them up for destruction. Many of those infected in horror scattered across the outskirts of Moscow and through the villages, thereby worsening the situation. Others secretly threw corpses out of the houses directly into the street. In the capital, looting, looting and robberies flourished. All attempts to overcome the disease were unsuccessful - the plague raged in the city all summer, up to a thousand people died a day. In the end, Eropkin refused to fulfill his official duties, panic began in Moscow, the local nobility hurried away from the city. People were driven to despair, which eventually resulted in a plague riot, during which Archbishop Ambrose was killed, plundered by the Miracles and Donskoy Monasteries.

After these events, the Empress sent Orlova to the city, giving him the broadest powers. For Grigory Grigorievich it was a great chance to prove himself - after all, he did not get into the Russian-Turkish war. When his brothers Fedor and Aleksey fought heroically in the Battle of Chesmen, he sat beside the empress, and his pride suffered tremendously. It is known that Orlov was not at all afraid of the plague, when the English ambassador, Lord Katkart told him that “the plague is not at all the Turks,” the prince dismissively dismissed and replied: “The plague or not the plague, but I will go and fix everything.”

When Orlov arrived in Moscow, he (in his own words) “stood on end hair”. At that time in Moscow there were about twelve and a half thousand houses and in half of them people were sick, and in three thousand all the tenants had already died. Nevertheless, Grigoriy Grigorievich used his powers wisely. 30 September he convened a meeting of the Senate and announced a program of action developed by him. According to her, the wages of the grave-diggers and funeral teams were raised, the vinegar was supplied in the required quantity, housing and food were provided to all the craftsmen and artisans who remained in Moscow, and a special shelter for orphans was organized. These events showed the townspeople that the empress's favorite got down to business seriously. His composure, quickness and absolute confidence in success gradually began to be transferred to the other officials. Grigory Grigorievich, despite the danger, traveled all day around the city, visited hospitals, personally delved into the intricacies of the case. In order to combat the looting of 12 in October, Orlov issued a decree ordering all those who were seen in this divine case to be executed on the spot. After that, the looting in Moscow came to naught.

Grigory Grigorievich was well aware of the psychology of the Russian man, and therefore did not skimp on expenses — those who were treated in hospitals, were given compensation, all doctors who participated in the elimination of the epidemic were given a double salary, and freedom was promised to the serfs held at the hospitals. Noticing how many residents of Moscow are loafing around and are potential carriers of infection, Orlov suggested giving people the opportunity to earn extra money and at the same time do useful work. On October 25, he issued a new decree calling for "all the eager people from Moscow residents" to increase the Moscow-Kollezhsky shaft surrounding Moscow with daily wages. He also decided to repair Kolomna, Kaluga, Tula and other large roads and clean the first altar from rot, dirt, debris and stray dogs. The last thing the prince did in Moscow was to order to dig canals from Neglinnaya to other rivers and swamps in order to fill it with fish and water.

As a result, the plague retreated. In a little over a month, Grigory Grigorievich did what the rest could not do in a whole year. On December 1 all public places were open in Moscow, but Orlov had already been recalled to St. Petersburg by that time. The prince returned to the northern capital as a victor. Many people met him, and Catherine in honor of this act ordered to erect a triumphal arch and knock out a medal on which the portrait of the prince was minted and the inscription was made: “And Russia has such sons”. By the way, the empress initially wanted to write: “such a son,” but Orlov demanded a different, more modest version.

The Russian-Turkish war brought Russia brilliant victories and recognition all over the world, however both the people and the country needed peace. Count Rumyantsev, the commander-in-chief of all the forces on the Danube, wrote to Nikita Panin, the head of foreign policy: "... our troops are in no way ready to continue military operations ...". Finally, in March, 1772 decided to start negotiations with Porto in order to discuss the terms of peace. The time and place of the future congress was chosen for a long time, as a result, the parties stopped in June and Focsani. Prince Grigory Orlov was chosen to represent Russia as a trustee of Catherine, and diplomat Alexey Obreskov was chosen as a specialist in the Turks. The Russian ambassadors were instructed to hand over to Port Wallachia and Moldavia. The Turks, on the other hand, required “fair satisfaction for losses suffered in the war,” the Kabardian principalities and the city of Azov, independence from the Ottoman Empire of all Tatars living on the Crimean peninsula, and most importantly the freedom of navigation and trade in the Black Sea. On the last point, the empress wrote: “We cannot retreat from this demand.”

18 April 1772 Grigory G. left for Focsani. The first to the place of the negotiations were the Russian ambassadors, the Turks — Yassin-zade efendi and Osman efendi — only reached the end of July. In addition, the conference was attended by allied countries - Prussia, which supported the Russians, and Austria, which was on the side of Porta. As expected, the problem of the independence of the Tatars caused a heated discussion and disagreement of Turkish diplomats who said that the Tatars, like the Turks, were Muslims. As soon as the negotiations began, they reached an impasse — the Russian ambassadors “held to what was prescribed,” and the Turkish did not want to give up on the issue of the Tatars. In late August, the Turks decided to break the truce and leave Focsani. Here, suddenly, Orlov gathered his things and left, and on August 28 the conference was interrupted.

Under the influence of Nikita Panin (the well-known opponent of the Orlovs), there was a firm opinion at court that Grigori Grigorievich was to blame for everything, and if not for his sudden departure, the Turks would not have interrupted the negotiations. At the same time, Orlov made his first, but fatal mistake. He, as the head of the Russian delegation, needed to linger in Iasi, to connect as soon as the Turks decided to renew the truce, to negotiations, and, while the court was concerned, to assist Rumyantsev and his troops in intimidating the Ottoman Empire. This was demanded and common sense, and Catherine. However, Grigory Grigorievich did not linger at Rumyantsev’s headquarters. Upon learning that the Empress had a new favorite - Alexander Vasilchikov, he rushed to St. Petersburg, forgetting about the mission entrusted to him. Negotiations, resumed in Bucharest, conducted one of the cuts. By the way, this peace conference also failed, but Panin and this time managed to write everything off to Orlov who had departed. The outstanding Russian historian Sergey Solovyov wrote about this: “Only the terrible hostility to Grigory Orlov made Panin accuse him of breaking the congress in Focsani ... The failure of the Bucharest congress and the weakness of the Küchuk-Kaynardzhi world served as the best excuse for the prince - and all thanks to the independence clause and the tattooer. in Constantinople could not digest. "

By the time Catherine finally decided to part with Orlov. The prince's envoys stopped the prince, hurrying to the empress near St. Petersburg, giving him the order to go to Moscow. Through her older brother Ivan, whom the rest of the Orlovs obeyed without question, she sent a letter to Grigory Grigorievich, in which she was obliged to settle for one year in her estate. Together with the message, the prince received a truly royal gift - the annual maintenance of thousands of rubles and ten thousand serfs in 150. It’s not known how Orlov himself perceived it, but soon he left for Revel, where he remained for almost a year of “exile”, officially called a vacation.

It is curious that while the Russian-Turkish negotiations dragged on, the first partition of Poland ended, at which Prussia and Austria acquired almost more than our country, which suffered the contract with the blood of Suvorov soldiers. As a result of the war between the Ottoman Empire and Russia, Prussia won, which led to a cooling of Russian-Prussian relations, which had flourished under Catherine II. By the way, Grigori Grigorievich openly spoke against the drafters of the pact on the division of Poland and even demanded the death penalty for them. However, by that time Catherine did not listen to his opinions.

At the beginning of 1773, Orlov returned to St. Petersburg, and the empress graciously accepted him. He settled in Gatchina, but in July 1774 went abroad and traveled a long time through Italy, Austria, and England. In 1777, Grigory Grigorievich married Yekaterina Zinovieva, who was his cousin. This marriage caused almost a scandal in society - close relations were considered a crime against customs and mores. The Council of the Empress demanded to send the spouses to monasteries, and the matter was only with the consent of Catherine. However, contrary to the opinion of the court, the empress did not interfere with marriage.

Grigory Grigoryevich loved his wife very much, but his marital happiness was short-lived. Ekaterina Nikolaevna suffered from tuberculosis, and in the summer of 1781, despite all the efforts made by Orlov, she died. Grigory Grigorievich's heart could not stand the loss - he immediately gave up strongly, his mind clouded. The Empress, despite the oddities in behavior, did not turn away from the former favorite. Contemporaries wrote that she “strictly forbade any severe measures to be applied to him, does not allow even the thought of punishment or imprisonment ...” Grigory Orlov died on the night of April 24 on the fiftieth year of his life in the fiftieth year. Catherine II subsequently tried not to talk about him, and if she remembered, she spoke only good things, finding “a great man, little appreciated by his contemporaries.”
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  1. Tyumen
    Tyumen 17 October 2014 09: 59 New
    In my opinion, Mutsi Stsevola was depicted on the medal, and regarding him there is also an inscription about Orlov * And Russia has such sons *.
    Hitler stubbornly celebrated the * victory * at Zorndorf, although the battlefield remained with the Russian troops. Accordingly, the victory, according to the customs of that time.
  2. b.t.a.
    b.t.a. 17 October 2014 10: 11 New
    Grigory Grigoryevich loved his wife very much, but his family happiness was short-lived. Ekaterina Nikolaevna suffered from tuberculosis, and in the summer of 1781, despite all the efforts made by Orlov, she died. Grigory Grigoryevich’s heart could not stand the loss - he immediately passed strongly, his mind became confused. AND

    Purely Russian soul.
  3. Bormental
    Bormental 17 October 2014 10: 35 New
    "General Yuri Brown left the battlefield only after he received the eleventh (!) chopped wound" - bljad, but any country would have made a national hero out of him. And we strive to make heroes out of finished Fedoras.
  4. parusnik
    parusnik 17 October 2014 10: 40 New
    That Catherine was able to pick up men for themselves .. so also carry out a rotation ..
  5. alebor
    alebor 17 October 2014 12: 04 New
    Radiant aristocrats like the hetman of Razumovsky and Count Buturlin considered it insulting to stand on the same level with an obscure upstart.

    If the descendant of the old boyar clan Buturlin can be counted among the aristocrats, then Hetman Razumovsky certainly does not fall into this category. Here is an excerpt from an article in the Great Biographical Encyclopedia: "Razumovsky, Count Alexei Grigorievich
    - the second son of the registered Cossack Grigory Yakovlev Rozum and his wife Natalya Demyanovna, was born on March 7, 1709 on the Lemeshi farm (now a village on the old postal road from Kiev to Chernigov, - between the stations Kozelets and Chemer), Kozeletsky district of Chernigov province ... From early childhood he was engaged in rural work and was a shepherd of public herds. His attractive appearance, pleasant voice and willingness to learn early drew the attention of the local clergy to him, and the deacon of the village of Chemer, to whose parish Lemeshi belonged, began to teach him to read ... At the beginning of 1731, Colonel Fyodor Stepanovich Vishnevsky passed through Chemer ... and, captivated by the boy's voice and appearance, he persuaded the sexton to let his pupil go with him to Petersburg. Arriving in St. Petersburg, Vishnevsky introduced the boy to Chief Marshal Count Reingold Levenwold, and he placed the young Little Russian in the choir at a large court. Alexei Rozum did not stay in this choir for long: Tsesarevna Elizaveta Petrovna, amazed by Rozum's voice, demanded that he be presented to her, and then, even more struck by his beauty, begged Count Levenwolde to yield to her the young choir ... "
    Pushkin in his poem "My Genealogy" wrote:
    "My grandfather did not sell pancakes,
    Not waxed royal boots,
    I didn’t sing with the court clerks,
    I did not jump from the Ukrainians to the princes "- the last two lines are a clear allusion to the" aristocrat "Razumovsky. smile
  6. Silhouette
    Silhouette 17 October 2014 13: 34 New
    Good article. Sensibly and interestingly written. I would like to continue from the author and the other brothers.
    1. Colonel
      Colonel 17 October 2014 18: 05 New
      Exactly, about Potemkin too
  7. Barakuda
    Barakuda 17 October 2014 23: 41 New
    Kutuzov, Suvorov, Ushakov - there were times in the Yekaterinburg era! They took the Crimea, they gave the Turks a pill, forgive me.
  8. Prager
    Prager 18 October 2014 16: 52 New
    Whatever you say about the Orlov brothers, none of them even stands close with His Grace Prince Potemkin! That was a real peasant! in everything, and the affairs of his descendants are well known.
  9. scorpionss1980
    scorpionss1980 26 October 2014 14: 40 New
    Thanks to the author for the article.