Feodor I of Russia

Fyodor I Ivanovich (Russian: Фёдор I Иванович) or Feodor I Ioannovich (Russian: Феодор I Иоаннович); 31 May 1557 – 16 January (NS) 1598), also known as Feodor the Bellringer, was the last Rurikid Tsar of Russia (1584–1598).

Feodor's mother died when he was three, and he grew up in the shadow of his father, Ivan the Terrible. A pious man of retiring disposition, Feodor took little interest in politics, and the country was effectively administered in his name by Boris Godunov, the brother of his beloved wife Irina. His childless death left the Rurikid dynasty extinct, and spurred Russia's descent into the catastrophic Time of Troubles.

In Russian documents, Feodor is sometimes called blessed (Russian: Блаженный). He is also listed in the "Great Synaxaristes" of the Orthodox Church, with his feast day on January 7 (OS).[1]

Feodor I
Feodor I of Russia - Project Gutenberg eText 20880
Tsar of Russia
Reign28 March 1584 – 16 January (NS), 1598
Coronation31 May 1584
PredecessorIvan IV
SuccessorBoris Godunov
Born31 May 1557
Died16 January (NS), 1598 (aged 40)
SpouseIrina Feodorovna Godunova
Full name
Feodor Ivanovich
FatherIvan IV of Russia
MotherAnastasia Romanovna
ReligionRussian Orthodox


Feodor was born in Moscow, the son of Ivan IV (The Terrible) by his first wife Anastasia Romanovna. Although he was the sixth and youngest child of his mother, he grew up with only one older brother, Ivan, because all his other older siblings died before Feodor was one year old. His mother also died by the time Feodor was three years old, and her death greatly affected his father, who had been very attached to his wife. Ivan the Terrible began to earn his sobriquet 'the terrible' during the years of Feodor's childhood. He also took a series of other wives, but Feodor's only surviving half-sibling, Dmitry of Uglich, was fully twenty-five years younger than him.

Feodor therefore grew up in the shadow of a terrible father, with no mother to succor him, and only his older brother Ivan for family solidarity. He grew to be sickly of health and diffident of temperament. He was extremely pious by nature, spending hours in prayer and contemplation. He was very fond of visiting churches, and would often cause the bells to be rung according to a special tradition in the Russian Orthodox Church. For this reason, he is known to history as Feodor the Bellringer. In Russian documents, he is sometimes called blessed (Russian: Блаженный). He is also listed in the Great Synaxaristes of the Orthodox Church, with his feast day on January 7 (OS).[2] Overall, he was considered a good-natured, simple-minded man who took little interest in politics. By some reports, he may have suffered from intellectual disability or learning disability, but this may have been a misinterpretation of his nature and behavior.


In 1580, Feodor married Irina (Alexandra) Feodorovna Godunova (1557 – 26 October/23 November 1603), sister of Ivan's minister Boris Godunov. Although the marriage was arranged by the Tsar, and the couple knew nothing of each other before their wedding day, they went on to have a strong marriage. The lonely Feodor soon grew extremely close to his wife, to a degree that was unusual for that period and milieu. Husband and wife shared a relationship of warmth and trust which was the support of Feodor's life as long as he lived. However, the marriage was not immediately blessed with children, and may not have even been consummated for some years. It was only in 1592, after almost twelve years of marriage, that Tsaritsa Irina gave birth to a daughter, who was named Feodosia after her father. Feodor and his wife doted on their daughter, who however died aged two in 1594. There were no other children from the marriage.


Painting titled Feodor Ioannovich presents a golden chain to Boris Godunov by
Aleksey Kivshenko
Fedor ioannovich01 reconstruction
Forensic facial reconstruction of tsar Feodor Ioannovich, by Mikhail Gerasimov (1963)

In November 1581, Feodor's elder brother Ivan Ivanovich was killed by their father in a fit of rage. His death meant that Feodor became the heir to his father's throne. He had never been considered a candidate for the Russian throne until that moment, and was not a little daunted by the prospect. One year later, in October 1582, his father's latest wife bore a son, Dmitry of Uglich, who was Feodor's only surviving sibling.

Ivan the Terrible died in March 1584, and Feodor became Tsar. Two months later, on 31 May 1584, he was crowned Tsar and Autocrat of all Russia at Assumption Cathedral in Moscow.

Feodor was only the nominal ruler: his wife's brother and trusted minister Boris Godunov legitimized himself, after Ivan IV's death, as a de facto regent for the weak and disabled Feodor.[3][4] Feodor's failure to sire other children brought an end to the centuries-old central branch of the Rurik dynasty (although many princes of later times are descendants of Rurik as well). Feodor was succeeded as tsar by Godunov. The termination of the dynasty can also be considered to be one of the reasons for the Time of Troubles. He died in Moscow and was buried at Archangel Cathedral, Kremlin.

His troubled reign was dramatised by Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy in his verse drama Tsar Fiodor Ioannovich (1868).[5]

Foreign policy

Unlike his father, Feodor had no enthusiasm for maintaining exclusive trading rights with the Kingdom of England. Feodor declared his kingdom open to all foreigners, and dismissed the English ambassador Sir Jerome Bowes, whose pomposity had been tolerated by Feodor's father. Elizabeth I sent a new ambassador, Giles Fletcher, the Elder, to demand of Boris Godunov that he convince the tsar to reconsider. The negotiations failed because Fletcher addressed Feodor with two of his titles omitted. Even after this setback, Elizabeth continued to address Feodor on that topic in half appealing, half reproachful letters.[6] She proposed an alliance between Russia and England, something which she had refused to do when it had been sought by Feodor's father, but he turned her down.[7]

See also


  1. ^ Great Synaxaristes: (in Greek) Ὁ Ἅγιος Θεόδωρος ὁ Πρίγκιπας. 7 Ιανουαρίου. ΜΕΓΑΣ ΣΥΝΑΞΑΡΙΣΤΗΣ.
  2. ^ Great Synaxaristes: (in Greek) Ὁ Ἅγιος Θεόδωρος ὁ Πρίγκιπας. 7 Ιανουαρίου. ΜΕΓΑΣ ΣΥΝΑΞΑΡΙΣΤΗΣ.
  3. ^ Cathal J. Nolan, The Greenwood Encyclopedia of International Relations, Greenwood, 2002, page 63
  4. ^ Wikisource Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Theodore (tsars)" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 26 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  5. ^ Martin Banham, The Cambridge Guide to Theatre. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998. p.1115. ISBN 0-521-43437-8.
  6. ^ See Hume, David (1983). The History of England from the Invasion of Julius Caesar to the Revolution of 1688. IV (1778 ed.). Indianopolis, IN: LibertyClassics. p. 376 – via Online Library of Liberty.
  7. ^ Russia and Britain by Crankshaw, Edward, published by Collins, 126 p. The Nations and Britain series
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Ivan IV
Tsar of Russia
Succeeded by
Boris I

Year 1557 (MDLVII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.

1587 Polish–Lithuanian royal election

The third free election in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth took place in 1587, after the death of King Stefan Batory. It began on June 30, 1587, when Election Sejm was summoned in the village of Wola near Warsaw, and ended on December 27 of the same year, when King Sigismund III was crowned in Kraków’s Wawel Cathedral.



was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar, the 1598th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 598th year of the 2nd millennium, the 98th year of the 16th century, and the 9th year of the 1590s decade. As of the start of 1598, the Gregorian calendar was

10 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.

Andrey Voyeykov

Andrey Matveyevich Voyeykov (Russian: Андрей Матвеевич Воейков) (? – after 1654) was a Russian voyevoda. It is known that he was employed by tsar Feodor I of Russia and sent to Siberia as a military commander of Tara. He became famous for defeating the last Siberian khan Kuchum in the Barabinsk Steppe in 1598, whose entire family would be taken prisoner and sent to Moscow. After this event, there is no information on Andrey Voyevkov. His name is last mentioned in 1654, when he, already an old man, captured the city of Mogilev together with a voyevoda named Poklonsky during the Russo–Polish War (1654–67).

Conception Convent

The Conception Convent or Zachatyevsky Monastery (Russian: Зачатьевский монастырь) is a Russian Orthodox stauropegic convent on the northern bank of the Moskva River in Khamovniki District of Moscow. The convent was closed by the Bolsheviks in 1918 and did not reopen until 1995.

Danilov Monastery

Danilov Monastery (also Svyato-Danilov Monastery or Holy Danilov Monastery; Данилов монастырь, Свято-Данилов монастырь in Russian) is a walled monastery on the right bank of the Moskva River in Moscow. Since 1983, it has functioned as the headquarters of the Russian Orthodox church and the official residence of the Patriarch of Moscow and all the Rus'.

Emperor Theodore

Emperor Theodore (or Fedor, Theodoros, et cetera) may refer to:

Feodor I of Russia, son of Ivan the Terrible

Feodor II of Russia, son of Boris Godunov

Feodor III of Russia, older brother of Peter the Great

Theodore I Laskaris, a Byzantine emperor

Theodore II Laskaris, a Byzantine emperor

Tewodros I of Ethiopia

Tewodros II of Ethiopia

Garden Ring

The Garden Ring, also known as the "B" Ring (Russian: Садо́вое кольцо́, кольцо́ "Б"; transliteration: Sadovoye Koltso), is a circular ring road avenue around central Moscow, its course corresponding to what used to be the city ramparts surrounding Zemlyanoy Gorod in the 17th century.

The Ring consists of seventeen individually named streets and fifteen squares. It has a circumference of sixteen kilometres. At its narrowest point, Krymsky Bridge, the Ring has six lanes. After finishing the reconstruction, all sections of the Ring will have not more than 10 lanes. In 2018, more than 50 % of sections of the Garden Ring are reconstructed, including Zubovskaya square, which was the widest section, there were about 18 lanes before. The Ring emerged in the 1820s, replacing fortifications, in the form of ramparts, that were no longer of military value.

Giles Fletcher, the Elder

Giles Fletcher, the Elder (c. 1548 – 1611) was an English poet and diplomat, member of the English Parliament.

Giles Fletcher was the son of Richard Fletcher, vicar of Bishop's Stortford.Fletcher was born in Watford, Hertfordshire. He spent his early life at Cranbrook before entering Eton College in about 1561. From there, Fletcher continued his education at King's College, Cambridge, where he was appointed a fellow in 1568 and gained his B.A. in the academic year 1569-70.Studying Greek and poetry, Fletcher contributed to the translation of several of Demosthenes' orations. On 22 March 1572, Fletcher became a lecturer in King's and held this position until March the following year, until he became a lecturer in Greek, a position which he held until Michaelmas term 1579. Continually rising within the academia, Fletcher rose to dean of arts, the highest position he was to attain at Kings, in 1580-81. However, this would not last long, for he decided to marry, forcing him to give up his fellowship. On 16 January, in his father's church, he married Joan Sheafe. Returning to Cambridge later, he received his Doctor of Civil Law degree. After attaining his law degree, the family settled back in Cranbrook, where once again the family was united. On 8 April 1582, Giles and Joan's first child, Phineas, was baptized. During the same year, Giles was made chancellor of the diocese of Sussex.

In 1584, Fletcher was elected to the parliament which began on 23 November, for Winchelsea, one of the Cinque Ports. It was at this point that the Fletchers would permanently call London home. During his stint in Parliament, Fletcher served on three committees. In 1586, Fletcher was appointed as the Remembrancer of the City of London, an office which he held until 1605. In 1588 he was an ambassador to Russia to reestablish the treaty with tsar Feodor I of Russia. Fletcher published a treatise, Of the Russe Common Wealth (1591). The treaty to be reestablished was primarily concerning the English trade, but before he departed Queen Elizabeth made him a Master of Requests. Fletcher's account gives a vivid description of the Russian world pre-1600.

He is best known for his sonnet Licia. He is the father of the poet Giles Fletcher, the Younger.

Ivan Bolotnikov

Ivan Isayevich Bolotnikov (Russian: Ива́н Иса́евич Боло́тников) (1565-1608) was the leader of a popular uprising in Russia in 1606–1607 known as the Bolotnikov Rebellion (Восстание Ивана Болотникова). The uprising was part of the Time of Troubles in Russia.


Ivanovich (Russian, Ukrainian: Иванович) is a Slavic-language patronymic meaning son of Ivan. It is also transliterated as "Ivanovitch". The word may be both the patronymic (middle) part of the full East Slavic name and the family name.

The word may be a transliteration of the Serbo-Croatian surname Ivanović and the Belarusian family name (Belarusian: Івано́віч).

Notable people who are commonly referred to using this patronymic include:

Dmitry Ivanovich (disambiguation), several people

Ivan Ivanovich (disambiguation), several people

Vasily Ivanovich (disambiguation), several people

Feodor I of Russia commonly known in Russian as Tsar Fyodor Ivanovich or, in Byzantine tradition, Tsar Feodor IoannovichNotable people with this surname include:

Cristoforo Ivanovich (1620–1689), music historian, poet, librettist

January 7 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)

January 6 - Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar - January 8

All fixed commemorations below are observed on January 20 by Orthodox Churches on the Old Calendar.For January 7th, Orthodox Churches on the Old Calendar commemorate the Saints listed on December 25.

Kingdom of Kakheti

The Second Kingdom of Kakheti (Georgian: კახეთის სამეფო, k'axetis samepo; also spelled Kaxet'i or Kakhetia) was a late medieval/early modern monarchy in eastern Georgia, centered at the province of Kakheti, with its capital first at Gremi and then at Telavi. It emerged in the process of a tripartite division of the Kingdom of Georgia in 1465 and existed, with several brief intermissions, until 1762 when Kakheti and the neighboring Georgian kingdom of Kartli were merged through a dynastic succession under the Kakhetian branch of the Bagrationi dynasty. Through most of its turbulent history, Kakheti was tributary to the Persians, whose efforts to keep the reluctant Georgian kingdom within its sphere of influence resulted in a series of military conflicts and deportations.

May 31

May 31 is the 151st day of the year (152nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. 214 days remain until the end of the year.

Prince Erekle of Kakheti

Erekle (Georgian: ერეკლე; 1568 – 1589) was a Georgian prince (batonishvili) of the royal house of Kakheti, son of King Alexander II of Kakheti by his wife Tinatin Amilakhvari.

According to the 18th-century Georgian historian Prince Vakhushti, Erekle, soon after Alexader's accession to the throne of Kakheti, took offence at his brother Davit and clandestinely repaired for the Ottoman court in Constantinople. The Safavid Iranian shah Tahmasp I saw this as a renege on the Kakhetians' pledge of loyalty. Advancing with his army into Karabakh, the shah summoned Alexander to his camp. Through the machinations of Prince Cholokashvili, the Kakhetians managed to divert the shah's attention to the political intrigues in the principality of Samtskhe, which was invaded and ravaged by the Iranians in 1574.In 1578, when Lala Kara Mustafa Pasha's Ottoman army marched into Georgia, Alexander II of Kakheti accepted the sultan's suzerainty and helped Lala Pasha to conquer Shirvan. Alexander's son Erekle was briefly appointed by the Ottomans a governor of sanjak of Shaki in Shirvan, which had hitherto been ruled by Alexander's alienated brother Isa-Khan on the shah of Iran's behalf. Erekle reappears in the historical records as a signatory, together with his father Alexander II and brothers, Davit and Giorgi, to the oath of allegiance to Feodor I of Russia on 28 September 1587, a culmination of the mission of the Russian envoy Rodion Birkin, which, however, did not bring about any tangible changes in the regional political climate.

Territorial evolution of Russia

Territorial changes of Russia happened by means of military conquest and by ideological and political unions in the course of over five centuries (1533 – present).

Tsar Fyodor Ioannovich

Tsar Fyodor Ioannovich (Russian: Царь Фёдор Иоаннович, old orthography: Царь Ѳедоръ Іоанновичъ) is a 1868 historical drama by Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy. It is the second part of a trilogy that begins with The Death of Ivan the Terrible and concludes with Tsar Boris. All three plays were banned by the censor. Tsar Fyodor is written in blank verse and was influenced by the work of William Shakespeare, Casimir Delavigne, and Edward Bulwer-Lytton. It dramatises the story of Feodor I of Russia, whom the play portrays as a good man who is a weak, ineffectual ruler. The trilogy formed the core of Tolstoy's reputation as a writer in the Russia of his day and as a dramatist to this day. It has been considered Tolstoy's masterpiece.Tsar Fyodor Ioannovich was first performed in an amateur production in Saint Petersburg in 1890. It received its first professional production at Suvorin's theatre in Saint Petersburg on 12 October 1898, directed by P. P. Gnedich. Two days later on 14 October, the play was performed as the inaugural production of the world-famous Moscow Art Theatre, directed by Constantin Stanislavski, with Ivan Moskvin in the lead role and Vsevolod Meyerhold as Prince Vasiliy Shuisky. Since then the play has been revived frequently. Incidental music was written for the play by Alexander Ilyinsky.

Tsarina's Golden Chamber

The Tsarina's Golden Chamber (Russian: Золотая Царицына Палата, Zolotaya Tzaritsyna Palata) (alternatively spelled as "Czarina's") is the official reception room of the Russian tsarinas, where they held formal celebrations of Russian monarchs' weddings, meetings with Russian and foreign clergy, and receptions for relatives of the imperial family and for ladies of the court. It is part of the tsar's palace in the Moscow Kremlin. Золотая Царицына Палата is also the name of the building that houses the chamber, this time using Палата in the sense of "palace".

The Chamber was part of the palace complex built in the Kremlin in late 15th and mid 19th centuries. The tsarina's quarters must have been located in that part of the palace. It is situated on a ground floor and was built in the early 16th century. In the 1580s, it was rebuilt as a ceremonial reception room of Tsarina Irina Godunova, the wife of Tsar Feodor I of Russia. The names of its builders are unknown; it may be assumed, however, that they were familiar with Italian Renaissance architecture.

The walls of the chamber are decorated with paintings on a golden background. The paintings on the vault show episodes from Christian history associated with Emperor Constantine of Byzantium and his mother, Helena. On the slant of the eastern wall near which the tsarina's throne used to stand is a series of paintings depicting the conversion of princess Olga, the first Russian Christian princess, and her baptism. Shown on the northern wall are scenes from the Life of St. Dinaria, a Georgian saint who, together with her host, valiantly defended the Christian faith. The paintings on the western wall feature scenes from the life of Empress St. Theodora.

The Anteroom or Passage Chamber is adjacent to the west side of the Tsarina's Golden Chamber. In the early 17th century, it was named Zhiletskaya ("Dwellers") because the palace's resident guards and servants were always present there.During the four centuries of its existence, the Tsarina's Golden Chamber underwent a number of structural alterations and its frescoes were repainted more than once. In 1970–1978 extensive restoration work was carried out there. The restoration was important because this is the only specimen of Old Russian secular monumental painting in Moscow to have survived to the present day.The Tsarina's Golden Chamber was first mentioned in manuscripts in 1526 as Naugolnaya ("Corner"). It and the Faceted Chamber are the oldest civil buildings in the Moscow Kremlin.

Grand Princes
Emperors and Empresses
Tsareviches of Russia
1st generation (Rurikids)
2nd generation (Rurikids)
1st generation (Godunovs)
1st generation (Romanovs)
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