Prince Aleksander Danilovich Menshikov (Russian: Алекса́ндр Дани́лович Ме́ншиков; 16 November [O.S. 6 November] 1673 – 23 November [O.S. 12 November] 1729) was a Russian statesman, whose official titles included Generalissimus, Prince of the Russian Empire and Duke of Izhora (Duke of Ingria), Prince of the Holy Roman Empire, Duke of Cosel. A highly appreciated associate and friend of Tsar Peter the Great, he was the de facto ruler of Russia for two years.
Alexander Danilovich Menshikov
Александр Данилович Меншиков
|Generalissimo of Russian Imperial Army|
|Preceded by||Aleksei Shein|
|Succeeded by||Duke Anthony Ulrich of Brunswick|
|Admiral of Russian Imperial Navy|
|Preceded by||Thomas Gordon|
|Succeeded by||Martin Gossler|
|Member of Supreme Privy Council|
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Succeeded by||Vasily Lukich Dolgorukov|
|1st President of College of War|
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Succeeded by||Anikita Repnin|
|Member of Governing Senate|
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Field Marshal of Russian Imperial Army|
|Preceded by||Boris Sheremetev|
|Succeeded by||Anikita Repnin|
|1st Governor-General of St. Petersburg|
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Succeeded by||Pyotr Apraksin|
|Born||16 November 1673|
Moscow, Tsardom of Russia
|Died||23 November 1729 (aged 56)|
Berezov, Russian Empire
|Spouse(s)||Darya Mikhailovna Arsenyeva|
Prince of Russian Empire
Prince of the Holy Roman Empire
1st Duke of Ingria
1st Duke of Cosel
Order of St. Andrew
Order of St. Alexander Nevsky
Order of the Black Eagle
Order of the White Eagle
Order of the Elephant
|Allegiance|| Tsardom of Russia|
|Branch/service|| Imperial Russian Army|
Imperial Russian Navy
|Years of service||1699–1728|
|Battles/wars||Great Northern War|
Menshikov was born on 16 November [O.S. 6 November] 1673 in Moscow. It has been disputed by his enemies whether his father was a stablehand or worked on a barge; . As the story goes, he was making a living on the streets of Moscow as a vendor of stuffed buns known as pirozhki at the age of twenty. His fine appearance and witty character caught the attention of Franz Lefort, Peter's first favourite, who took him into his service and finally transferred him to the tsar. On the death of Lefort in 1699, Menshikov succeeded him as Peter's prime favourite and confidant.
He took an active part in the Azov campaigns (1695–1696) against the Ottoman Empire. During the tsar's first foreign tour in the next year, Menshikov worked by his side in the dockyard of Amsterdam, and acquired a thorough knowledge of shipbuilding and colloquial Dutch and German. He acted as subordinate to Boris Sheremetev, who was commander-in-chief during the retreat before Charles XII in 1708, subsequently participating in the battle of Holowczyn, the reduction of Mazepa, and the crowning victory of Poltava (8 July [O.S. 27 June] 1709), where he won his field-marshal's baton.
Around 1706 he had a conflict with Andrew Vinius; Vinius lost all of his land and goods. From 1709 to 1714 he served during the Courland, Holstein and Pomeranian campaigns, but then, as governor-general of Ingria, with almost unlimited powers, was entrusted with a leading part in the civil administration. Menshikov understood perfectly the principles on which Peter's reforms were conducted and was the right hand of the tsar in all his gigantic undertakings. But he abused his powerful position, and his corrupt practices frequently brought him to the verge of ruin. Every time the tsar returned to Russia he received fresh accusations of plunder against "his Serene Highness."
Peter's first serious outburst of indignation (March 1711) was due to the prince's looting in Poland. On his return to Russia in 1712, Peter discovered that Menshikov had turned a blind eye to wholesale corruption in his own governor-generalship. Peter warned him "for the last time" to change his ways. Yet, in 1713, he was implicated in the "Solovey process", in the course of which it was demonstrated that he had defrauded the government of 100,000 roubles. He only owed his life on this occasion to a sudden illness. On his recovery Peter's fondness for his friend overcame his sense of justice. In 1714 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.
In the last year of Peter's reign new allegations of fraud by Menshikov came to light, and he was obliged to appeal for protection to the empress Catherine. It was chiefly through the efforts of Menshikov and his colleague Tolstoi that, on the death of Peter, in 1725, Catherine was raised to the throne. Menshikov was committed to the Petrine system, and he recognised that, if that system were to continue, Catherine was, at that particular time, the only possible candidate. Her name was a watchword for the progressive faction. The placing of her on the throne meant a final victory over ancient prejudices, a vindication of the new ideas of progress, and not least security for Menshikov and his ill-gotten fortune.
During Catherine's short reign (February 1725 – May 1727), Menshikov was practically the absolute ruler of Russia. He promoted himself to the unprecedented rank of Generalissimus, and was the only Russian to bear a ducal title. Upon finishing the construction of the Menshikov Palace on the Neva Embankment in St Petersburg (now assigned to the Hermitage Museum), Menshikov intended to make Oranienbaum a capital of his ephemeral duchy. Pushkin in one of his poems alluded to Menshikov as "half-tsar".
On the whole he ruled well, his difficult position serving as some restraint upon his natural inclinations. He contrived to prolong his power after Catherine's death by means of a forged will and a coup d'état. While his colleague Peter Tolstoi would have raised Elizabeth Petrovna to the throne, Menshikov set up the youthful Peter II, son of the tsarevich Alexei, with himself as dictator during the prince's minority.
He now aimed at establishing himself definitely by marrying his daughter Mary to Peter II. But the old nobility, represented by the Dolgorukovs and the Galitzines, united to overthrow him, and he was deprived of all his dignities and offices and expelled from the capital (20 September [O.S. 9 September] 1727). Subsequently, he was deprived of his enormous wealth, stripped of the titles, and he and his whole family were banished to Beryozovo in Siberia, where he died on 23 November [O.S. 12 November] 1729. His wife Darya Mikhailovna died on their way into exile in 1728 near Kazan.
According to Simon Sebag Montefiore in his book "The Romanovs 1613–1918" Menshikov was once punched twice by Tsar Peter the Great, once in the nose and once on the side of the head, after Tsar Peter saw Menshikov dancing with his sword still on, considered highly rude and offensive.
In Beryozovo Menshikov built a wooden church. He buried his daughter who died in exile there. Menshikov's younger children survived the exile and were eventually returned to the court.
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Agrippina Petrovna Volkonskaia (d. 1732), was a Russian courtier. She was the Ober-Hofmeisterin of Catherine I of Russia. She was known for her participation in many political intrigues at court. In 1727, she was the leading figure of a circle of prominent people in a conspiracy with the purpose of bringing about the downfall of Alexander Danilovich Menshikov, but she failed and was exiled.Alexander Menshikov
Alexander Menshikov may refer to:
Alexander Danilovich Menshikov (1673–1729), Russian statesman
Alexander Sergeyevich Menshikov (1787–1869), Finnish-Russian nobleman
Alexander Alexandrovich Menshikov (1714–1764), officer in the Russian armyAlexander Sergeyevich Menshikov
Prince Alexander Sergeyevich Menshikov (Russian: Алекса́ндр Серге́евич Ме́ншиков; 26 August 1787 – 2 May 1869) was a Finno-Russian nobleman, military commander and statesman. He was made adjutant general in 1817 and admiral in 1833.
A great-grandson of Alexander Danilovich Menshikov, Duke of Ingria, and a cognatic descendant of the Princely House of Golitsyn (another of his great-grandfathers was Prince Mikhail Golitsyn, the military governor of Åbo during the Russian occupation in the Great Northern War). Menshikov entered the Russian service as attaché to the embassy at Vienna in 1809. He became close with Tsar Alexander I and accompanied him throughout his campaigns against Napoleon. In 1817 Menshikov was appointed acting Quartermaster general of the General Staff. In 1823, he was transferred to the ministry of foreign affairs. Menshikov retired from army service in 1824.During the initiation of the Russo-Persian War of 1826–28 and the success of Abbas Mirza's initiative in Tehran, Menshikov was placed under house arrest. He was appointed head of the Naval Headquarters and cabinet minister by Tsar Nicholas I. He distinguished himself at the Siege of Varna in 1828 when an exploding Turkish cannon shell emasculated him. In 1830 he became a member of the State Council. In 1831 Menshikov held the post of Governor-General of Finland. He mainly devoted himself to naval matters. His bad influence on the development of the Russian Navy stalled its technical progress and combat training.
In 1853, Menshikov was sent on a special mission to Istanbul, and when the Crimean War broke out he was appointed commander-in-chief on land and sea. He commanded the Russian army at Alma and Inkerman and showed incompetence and lack of military talent. On 15 February 1855 Menshikov was removed from command and replaced by Prince Mikhail Dmitrievich Gorchakov. Between December 1855 and April 1856, he held the post of Governor General of Kronstadt and then retired. He died in St. Petersburg.
He was created Prince (Fürst) in the Finnish nobility, being the only person of the rank of prince to be registered in the Finnish House of Nobility.
The first Finnish steamship Furst Menschikoff was named after him.Alexey Grigoryevich Dolgorukov
Alexey Grigoryevich Dolgorukov (died 1734 in Beryozov) was a Russian politician and member of the Supreme Privy Council under Peter II. He is cousin of Vasily Lukich Dolgorukov.Ana Gruzinsky-Golitsyn
Princess Ana Gruzinsky-Golitsyna (Georgian: ანა გრუზინსკი-გოლიცინა, Russian: Анна Грузинская-Голицына, 17 August 1763 — 11 October 1842) was a Georgian royal princess (batonishvili) of the Bagrationi dynasty of Mukhrani branch.
She was the daughter of Alexander Bagration-Gruzinsky, grandchild of Prince Bakar of Kartli and great-grandchild of King Vakhtang VI of Kartli. She had one brother, Georgy Gruzinsky.
Her mother, Princess Daria Alexandrovna Menshikova, was the granddaughter of Alexander Danilovich Menshikov, who was the de facto ruler of Russia from 1725–1727.
In 1790, Ana married Prince Boris Andreevich Golitsyn, who was a close friend of Georgian general Pyotr Bagration.
Ana died on 11 October 1842 in Saint Petersburg, and is buried in Coastal Monastery of St. Sergius.Andrew Vinius
Andrew Vinius (Russian: Андре́й Андре́евич Ви́ниус, Andrey Andreyevich Vinius) (1641–1717) was a Russian statesman and a friend of Peter the Great. He was a member of Peter's close-knit group of friends who organized themselves into the Jolly Company and The All-Joking, All-Drunken Synod of Fools and Jesters.Anton Bakov
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The Battle of Kalisz took place on October 29, 1706 in Kalisz, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth during the Great Northern War. It was a three-hour fight which could have been prevented if Augustus II of Poland had informed the Swedes and Russians of certain matters. At the time, an alliance existed between the Poles, Saxons, and Russians. The battle was fought by Russian cavalry, led by commander Aleksandr Menshikov; against a smaller Swedish force headed by colonel Mardefelt. The Russians played a role of significance here because they needed to support their Saxon allies under Augustus.Chamberlain (office)
A chamberlain (Medieval Latin: cambellanus or cambrerius, with charge of treasury camerarius) is a senior royal official in charge of managing a royal household. Historically, the chamberlain superintends the arrangement of domestic affairs and was often also charged with receiving and paying out money kept in the royal chamber. The position was usually honoured upon a high-ranking member of the nobility (nobleman) or the clergy, often a royal favourite. Roman emperors appointed this officer under the title of cubicularius. The papal chamberlain of the Pope enjoys very extensive powers, having the revenues of the papal household under his charge. As a sign of their dignity, they bore a key, which in the seventeenth century was often silvered, and actually fitted the door-locks of chamber rooms, since the eighteenth century it had turned into a merely symbolic, albeit splendid, rank-insignia of gilded bronze. In many countries there are ceremonial posts associated with the household of the sovereign.Generalissimo
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Kronstadt (Russian: Кроншта́дт), also spelled Kronshtadt, Cronstadt or Kronštádt (German: Krone for "crown" and Stadt for "city"; Estonian: Kroonlinn), is a municipal town in Kronshtadtsky District of the federal city of Saint Petersburg, Russia, located on Kotlin Island, 30 kilometers (19 mi) west of Saint Petersburg proper near the head of the Gulf of Finland. Population: 43,005 (2010 Census); 43,385 (2002 Census).It is also Saint Petersburg's main seaport. In March 1921, it was the site of the Kronstadt rebellion.
Traditionally, the seat of the Russian admiralty and the base of the Russian Baltic Fleet were located in Kronstadt guarding the approaches to Saint Petersburg. The historic centre of the city and its fortifications are part of the World Heritage Site Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments.
Kronstadt has been a place of pilgrimage for Orthodox Christians for many years due to the holy memory of Saint John of Kronstadt. Bus and water tours to Kronstadt are taken daily from Saint Petersburg.Kronstadt was the birthplace of Pyotr Kapitsa, co-recipient of the 1978 Nobel Prize in Physics.List of Russian royal mistresses and lovers
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Varvara Michajlovna Arsen'eva (Russian: Варва́ра Миха́йловна Арсе́ньева; 1676-1730), was a Russian courtier and mistress of Peter the Great.
She was the daughter of the governor Bulgakov Arsenyev and sister-in-law of Alexander Danilovich Menshikov. She was appointed lady in waiting to the Empress Catherine, and was for a time the lover of Peter the Great. In 1727, she was appointed Ober-Hofmeisterin. The same year, however, she was exiled to a convent after the fall of Menshikov.