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A Concise Biographical List

  Dmitry Fedosov


Dmitry Gennadevich Fedosov is Research Fellow at the Institute of General History of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Honorary Research Fellow of the Department of History & Economic History at the University of Aberdeen. His publications include ‘The First Russian Bruces’, in Grant O. Simpson, cd., The Scottish Soldier Abroad, 1247-ˇ967, Edinburgh, 1992; ‘Russia’s Scottish Clans XV1I-XIX Centuries’, Le inigrazioni in Europe secc. XIIl-XVIH: Atti della ‘Venticinquesima Settimana di Studi’ 3-8 maggio 1993, Firenze, 1994; ‘A Scottish Mathematician: Henry Farquharson, c.1675-1739’, in Paul Dukes, cd., The Universities of Aberdeen and Europe: The First Three Centuries, Aberdeen, 1995, as well as articles on the Declaration of Arbroath and other subjects in Russian.

The Centre for Scottish Studies in the University of Aberdeen acknowledges with gratitude the financial support given by The Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland towards the costs of production of this publication.


The diverse and fascinating subject of Russo-Scottish connections has not been neglected by historians on either side. However they tended to concentrate on a famous individual like Patrick Gordon, a particular period, for example, the reign of Catherine the Great, or some special aspect such as trade or achievements of Scots doctors in Russia. A.F.Steuart’s "Scottish Influences in Russian History" (1913) still remains the only attempt at a general survey.

Some would even regard it as a narrow theme or one not worthy of separate treatment. Professor A,G.Cross (whose work I admire and use in my research) has observed that it is hardly "possible or even meaningful to distinguish Scoto-Russian relations from Anglo-Russian at any period". I believe the distinction is as meaningful as that between Scots and Englishmen themselves.

True, Scots in Russia were and are often dubbed as ‘anglichane" (a description seldom flattering to the former). All Britons co-existed within the "English" commununity of St. Petersburg or Moscow if only because they were too few to afford separation, and Episcopalians had to share one church with Presbyterians. Nevertheless there were important differences. For instance, until mid- 18th century "Russian Scots" were overwhelmingly soldiers while Englishmen mostly engaged in trade. It can also be shown that Scots moré headily became Russian citizens and served FOR, rather than IN, their adopted country. There were about a dozen titled Russian families of S"ottish descent (Princes Barclay, Counts Bruce, Fermor and Balmain, Barons Stuart, Rutherford and Sutherland etc.) against one ~English (Barons Dimsdale who never took root in Russia). Among untitled nobility of British extraction Scots prevailed as well. An Englishman remarked in 1805 that "to come from the North side of the Tweed is the best recommendation a man can bring to this city [St.Petersburg], the Caledonian Phalanx being the strongest and most numerous, and moving always in the closest union". It is ironic, but not altogether unjust, that St.Petersburg’s English Prospekt was renamed after the Glasgow socialist John Maclean.

Moreover Russo-Scottish ties never quite reached official level, and were less affected by chronic political hostility between London and St.Petersburg. They were contacts between people and cultures, not states and governments, and can thus be called truly international. Finally, it is my conviction that in terms of national character Scots have much more in common with us Russians than the English do, and I know this view is shared by many on both sides.

It must be stressed that what follows is merely a draft for a much larger general work I hope to produce eventually, to be titled "Under the Saltire", St.Andrew being, of course, our common Patron. In time my preliminary list will be greatly augmented, new entries added, omissions or mistakes corrected and portraits, pedigrees, coats of arms and other illustrations supplied. I already have at my disposal much more than is offered below. For now, though, only names, dates and brief details of lives and careers are given, with reference to primary or secondary sources in curly brackets. Even so the chronological, geographical and social range of the subject can be appreciated through nearly 400 Scottish names which are recorded (most of them not individuals, but dynasties or "clans"!) from the Middle Ages to around 1920, plus sonic 60 Russian entries.

I have taken care to select those who are certainly or probably of Scottish birth and ancestry. Fortunately Scots names are often telling.

Smiths and Watsons can be a problem, but there is little doubt about characters like Mungo Langcake, Duncan Menzies or Anne Hay Christison.

People on my list fall into five broad categories: I) Scots who accepted Russian citizenship and settled in the country for good during one or more generations; 2) Scots on temporary service in Russia for periods between several weeks and several decades; 3) British subjects who were active in Russia in some specific role (diplomats, merchants, travellers, missionaries etc.); 4) persons of Scots birth or origin employed by third countries on missions to Russia (as Danish envoy to Muscovy Peter Davidson "de Scotia Aberdonensis", or Spain’s first ambassador to St.Petersburg who was a Stuart and a Jacobite). It is not the place here to discuss at any length their fortunes or impact, but they came from all parts of Scotland and took up every conceivable occupation all over the Russian Empire as it was before 1917, from Archangel to the Caucasus, and from Lithuania to Kamchatka. The fifth group are Russian visitors to Scotland, much less numerous, but representing some leading men of our histoty and culture.

In the long run I would like to see my list as comprehensive as possible and I perfectly realize that I have far to go. Some of the entries

deal with noted and well-documented figures, others are just names and dates, but again it is only an outline of the full picture I am working on. Unlike most other writers on the matter I am not content with first- or second-generation Scots. Transition from one nationality to another is always subtle and hard to trace, and it is not easy to say exactly when a Scot turns into a Russian; sometimes it took a few years, sometimes never happened at all. Each case deserves to be considered.

A.F.Steuart once wrote, "Some day a Russian scholar will dig up lists (lists I long to see) of Scottish names from the depths of the archives in Russia. I hope he will come soon". After almost a century it is time to take up the gauntlet. I am much obliged to Professor Paul Dukes of Aberdeen and to my other friends and colleagues in Scotland and at the Moscow Caledonian Club, and to my family, for supporting my quest with unfailing encouragement and sympathy.





Dmitry Fedosov

ABERCROMBIE , JAMES. Captain. 1630s served in Russia under A.Leslie. Went to Britain to hire men for Tsar’s service. 14/3/1632 present at muster in Moscow and then at siege of Smolensk. 11/1636 petitioned to leave Muscovy {RGADA, f. 150, op.l, 1636, No.4).

"MARCUS" A. Lieutenant in D.Leslies company of A.Leslie’s regiment. 1632 on muster-roll in Moscow {RGADA, f.210, op.l, No.78).

JOHN A. 1888 arrived in Tifus. Wrote "A Trip through the Eastern Caucasus", London, 1889.


4th Earl of(1784-1860). 1804 visited Russia on return from Greece and Asia Minor. British foreign minister and premier. 1844 met Emperor Nicholas I in London. Resigned after outbreak of Crimean War. Helped to publish part of P,Gordon’s diary.

ABERNETHY , JAMES. 1660s colonel in Russian army ~P.Gordon, Diary).

ADAIR, Sir ROBERT (1763-1855). Son of King George Ill’s surgeon. M.P. 1791 came to St.Petersburg during the "Ochakov Crisis" as an emissary of the Whigs who opposed Pitt’s anti-Russian course. Favourably received by Empress Catherine II {A. Cunningham, "Robert Adair’s mission to St.Petersburg", BIHR, No.132, 1982).

ADAMSON , JAMES. Served in Russian army in 17th century {R[B, XXVIII).

WILLIAM A. 1737-1762 officer in Russian Navy {OMS, II).

ALEXANDER G. 1697 came to Moscow via Riga and became ensign in P.Gordon’s regt. {Gordon, Diary).

GILCHRIST, JAMES. Died 3/5/1789, St.Petersburg, aged 37. {RBC, I).

GILLIVRAY. 1913 colonel in (or attached to?) Russian army. {Thelatier, LIII, p.357).

GILMOUR, or GITSMORE, DAVID. l780s-90s owned a rope-walk in St.Petersburg. {Sb.IRIO, I, 1867, pp.352-61).

PETER GILLMORE died 6/3/1797 St.Petersburg, aged 47. Another PETER G. married Helen Baillie in Russian capital 1809. {RBC}.

Rev. JAMES GIILMOUR (+1892). Born Cathkin near Glasgow. From 1870 missionary in China and Mongolia. Visited Russian Siberia. Wrote "Among the Mongols", L., 1883.

GLAS (* ca.1810). Scot by descent, "natural son of Count Douglas". I 830s served in a Russian grenadier regt. with the Eliot brothers. {I.T.Beliayev. Proshloye russkogo izgnannika (unpubl.)).

GLASGOW. Naval officer. Took part in Russo-Turkish war 1768-1774 (An Authentic Narrative of the Russian Expedition against the Turks by Sea and Land. L., 1772).

GLASSFORD , JAMES (+ I 748,Russia). I 736 joined Russian Navy as lieutenant. Commandant of the port of "Earkee". (OMS, II; Steuart, p.1 15).

GLEN , WILLIAM (1717-1800) died and buried in St.Petersburg. "Mr. Glen" with family of five lived there 1782. {RBC).

Rev. WILLIAM GLEN. Missionary and philologist. From 1810s worked in Russia, mainly in Astrakhan. Wrote "Journal of a Tour from Astrachan to Karass", Edin., 1823. Translated and published Bible in Persian. Mentioned by writer Aksakov as "Gion". 1833 returned to Britain. {1.S.Aksakov. Pis’ma k rodnym, pp.113-4, 592).

GORDON , ALEXANDER. 1632 capt., regimental quartermaster and company commander under A.Leslie. Fought in Smolensk war as colonel of dragoons 1633-4. His clansmen and comrades-in-arms were Capt. WILLIAM, Ruitmaster ROBERT, Ensign ALEXANDER, Sergeant JAMES and Private THOMAS G. (RGADA, f.210, op.I, No.78).

PATRICK G (1635, Auchleuchrics;

Aberdeenshire- 1699, Moscow). General, rear-admiral,chief advisor to Peter the Great, most high-ranking and influential foreigner in Russia of his day. Cadet of the Haddo family. Served Swedish and Polish crowns. 1661 entered Tsar’s employ as major with D.Crawford and P.Menzies.

1665 colonel. 1666-7 sent on diplomatic mission from Moscow to London, went to Scotland 1669-70 (when made Freeman of Aberdeen) and 1686. 1677-8 prominent in Chigirin campaigns, made major-gen. and commander of Kiev garrison. Supervised creation of Tsar’s Life Guard regiments and initiated military reforms. 1687-9 took part in Crimean campaigns; promoted to full general. 1689 supported Tsar Peter in his coup against Regent Sophia. 1695-6 active in siege and capture of Azov from the Turks. 1698 suppressed Streltsy rebellion saving the throne for Peter. Secured permission to build first Roman Catholic church in Russia. Staunch Jacobite, prevented recognition of William of Orange by Tsar. A well-educated man, G. was also Russian correspondent for "London Gazette" and author of famous diary, still inadequately published. {RG VIA - Passages from the Diary of Gen.Patrick Gordon of Auchleuchries. Aberdeen, 1859). His sons and numerous kinsmen made their mark in Russia.

His eldest son JOHN (1666 or 7, Moscow- 1712, Scotland). Started as ensign in Russian army, never finished studies at Douai and Edinburgh and managed family estate of Auchleuchries near Ellon. 1698 visited Moscow with his wife.

JAMES ,second son, (1668-1722, Moscow). Entered Tsar’s army as ensign, studied at Memel and Douai. 1689 badly wounded at killiekrankie. 1690 back in Moscow, capt. in father’s Butyrsky regt. which he later commanded. 1700 captured by Swedes at Narva, but soon escaped and fought in many battles of Great Northern War. Became brigadier and Count of Holy Roman Empire.

THEODORE ,Patrick's third son (1681, Kiev-1739x). Student with Jesuits in Eastern Prussia, then ensign in father’s regt.

During Great Northern War promoted to colonel. His son, interpreter at Admiralty College and Academy of Sciences, sold Patrick’s diary to Count Stroganovin 1759.

WILLIAM G. (+1692,Reval). Patrick’s cousin, nephew of P.Menzies. In Russian service by 1685, served as captain in Kiev. Fell ill and died en route to Scotland. {P.Dukes, "P.Gordon and His Family Circle", SSR, No.10, 1988, pp.19-49).

HARIE G. Relative of Patrick and Jacobite. 1691 came to Moscow on Duke of Gordon’s recommendation and joined Russian army as captain. 1700 Lt.-Col. ANDREY G. was taken by Swedes at Narva, but escaped with a party of Russian prisoners who captured the ship transporting them from Stockholm to Gothenburg in 1711. He married a sister of Patrick’s second wife. (\‘cdomosti vremeni Petra Velikago, 11, St.Petersburg, 1906, p.109).

ALEXANDER 0. Younger brother of Thomas G., capt. of "Marr Maid", Aberdeen (later Russian admiral, cf. below). 1691 came to Moscow to stay with Patrick. Later ensign. 1710 THOMAS, son of Capt. Alexander G. (same?), was baptized in British Chapel, Moscow. {RBC,

ALEXANDER G. (1669, Auchintoul-1752, ibid.). After a spell in French army came to Russia 1695 and accepted as major. 1697 colonel. 1700 wounded and seized by Swedes at Narva, but exchanged 1707. 1708 major-gen., sent to Poland in command of Russian infantry corps which he thought "nothing inferior to the best disciplined troops in Europe". Back in Scotland on his father’s death 1711. "Out" in 1715, commanded Jacobite center at Sheriffmuir. Married Katherine, daughter of Patrick G. Wrote "History of Peterthe Great, Emperor of Russia", 2 vols., Aberdeen, 1755.

GEORGE G. 1690s lieutenant in Russia.

Russian Major GORDON killed near Plotsk late in 1705. (Vedomosti vremeni Petra Velikago, I, p.298).

THOMAS G. (1662-1741, Kronshtadt). Cousin of Patrick. Capt. of merchant vessels in Aberdeen, then in Scottish Navy. 1715 took part in Jacobite rising. 17 17 entered Russian service as commodore. 1719 rearadmiral. 1721 vice-admiral; member of Admiralty College and co-author of "Naval Statute". Commanded port of Kronshtadt from 1724; knight of St.Alexander Nevsky. 1727 full admiral. 1734 led Russian squadron in conquest of Danzig. His son WILLIAM was a naval officer and daughter ANN married Sir Henry Stirling, Bart.

ALEXANDER G. (+ 1739). Son of the Jacobite John G. of Glenbuchat. 1737 joined Russian Navy as midshipman. Killed in Russo-Turkish war. (OMS, II, p.105; Steuart, p.1 10).

WILLIAM G. (+1768,Russia). 1764 joined Russian Navy as lieutenant with S.Qirejg and other Scots. 1766 capt.-lt. (OMS, III, p.421).

HENRY G. 1784 came to St.Petersburg as C.Cameron’s master stonemason, aged 45. {SSR, No.10, 1988).

Other Gordons appear in RBC and other Russian sources. Cf. Aberdeen.

GRAHAM,M, Count David William (ca. 1639, London-l693, Belgorod). First count in Russian service, though origin of title unclear. Alias Baron of Morphie. Served in Sweden, Spain, Poland, Bayana and Austria for 22 years. 1679 came to Russia "to see his kinsmen and friends" P.Menzies, P.Gordon and Col.Hamilton. 1682 after repeated petitions accepted by Tsar as major-general. In command of regt. in Smolensk, Moscow and Belgorod. Took part in Crimean campaigns 1687-9 and made It-gen. Roman Catholic. {P.Gordon, Diary; N.Chaiykov. Posol’stvo y Rim i sluzhba y Moskve Pavia Meneziya, passim}.

MUNGO G., or GRAEME, of Garvock. Nephew of Sir Henry Stirling, Bart. 1730s apprenticed to G.Napier, merchant in St.Petersburg. Later established his own business in Russia. {SRO GD 24/1/454, Steuart ‘p.1 14).

WILLIAM O. (+176l,St.Petersburg) married Helena "Skatzcof" in 1758. {RBC}.

General THOMAS G., Lord Lynedoch of Balgowan (1748-1843) and his cousin ROBERT G. visited St.Petersburg and Moscow 1817.

GRANT, "ANTS". Served under A.Leslie. 1632 reported ill in Moscow. {RGADA, f.210, op.l, No.78).

Colonel GRANT. Took part in Chigirin campaign of 1677 with his regt. {P.Gordon, Diary).

JOHN G. (+1796,Astrakhan). 1783 lieutenant in Russian Navy. 1788 capt-k.; fought against Swedes at Oland, Krasnaya Gorka and

GARIOCH,George Captain. 1647 hired in Holland to serve the Tsar together with J.Stewart and W.Bruce. Despite his unimpressive display of skills at a muster he was not turned down. {Soloviev, V, p.S93}.

GARNE ,THOMAS. 1613 surrendered to Russians with other Scots of the Polish garrison at Belaya. 1628 served with "Great regt." in Tula, then evidently took part in Smolensk war and promoted to colonel. He was "in stature taller and greater in his compass of body then any within six kingdomes about him" and was offered to be "King of Buchana", but refused, having "no stomack to be circumcised". (RGADA, f. 150, op.l, 1615, No.2; T.Urquhart. The Jewel. Edin., 1983, p.139).

GARVINE [FapBl’lII], THOMAS (1690, Ayr-1766, ibid.?). Studied at Glasgow. By 1713 surgeon in St.Petersburg through protection of R.Erskine. 1715-18 sent on first Russian medical mission to China where he mastered Chinese method of smallpox inoculation. Back in Scotland he became Provost of Ayr. {F.C.Weber.The Present State of Russia. L., 1722-3; R.Burgess, "T.Garvine - Ayrshire surgeon active in Russia", Medical History, XIX, No.1, 1975).

GASCOIGNE ,CHARLES (1737 or 8-1806, St. Petersburg). Reformer of Russia’s industry. Son of army captain and a daughter of Lord Elphinstone. As Director of Carron ironworks he exported cannon (carronades) and sent engineers to Russia, and moved there himself on invitation of S.Greig in 1786, with C.Baird and other specialists. Founded, reorganised and headed factories at Olonets, St.Petersburg, Kronshtadt, Kolpino and Lugansk. Also reconstructed wharfs at Nikolaev, directed Aleksandrovsk textile mill and improved weights and measures. By his first wife he had four daughters, ANNE, MAR~, ELIZABETh and MARGARET, and married Anastasia-Jessie Guthriein 1797. {RNL, f.949, No.17; RBC; Caledonian Phalanx, pp.65-

GEDDES, ISAAC. Lived in Moscow 1630s. 1632 witness to the will of Capt.Wauchope. Probably a merchant or craftsman. (Scottish Soldier Abroad, p.52). -

GAVIN G. (1758-1829) died and buried in St.Petersburg. {RBC, II).

GEMMILL, JOHN. Paisley merchant who traded in textiles in St.Petersburg and Moscow 185 1-4. {SRO, GD 1/504/2-10).

GIBB(S) 1632 Corporal HENRY and Private JAMES G were in A.Leslie,s regt. in Moscow. {RGADA, f.210, apI, No.78).

GEORGE ALEXANDER and PETER, sons of JOHN G. baptized in St.Petersburg 1806, and others appear later. {RBC}.

GIBSON,ALEXANDER ILYICH. 1650s colonel in command of regt. at Smolensk. Ca. 1656 Colonel JQI-IN G. came to Russia with his wife and F.Rose and embraced Orthndcsxy (rebaptized Alexander?). {RGADA, f.141, op.3, No.23 & f.396, op.l, ch.36, Nos.53201-2; Phipps, p.395).

MATTHEW G. (1760-1795). 1789 married Mary Wilson in St.Petersburg and died there. {RBC, I}.

SAMUEL 0. (+1710) served in Russian Navy from 1704. (OMS, 1)

GIBSONS. Scots family in St.Petersburg and Moscow in 19th and early 20th cent. Directed Moscow branch of Nevsky Stearine Works (Sir William Miller & Co.). (H.Pitcher. The Smiths of Moscow. Cramer, 1984).

GILBERT, DAVID (+ca. 1625. 1600 entered Russian service with R.Dunbar as captain. 1605-6 officer under False Dmitry I, whose guard allegedly included 100 Scots, and False Dmitry II. He then joined the Poles, was imprisoned by Russians for three years and freed through intercession of King James ˇ(VI) in 1617. 1618 G. went back to Muscovy with his son ThOMAS and apparently died there. 0. was the first Scot to leave an account of his Russian adventures, published in London in 1625. {S.Purchas. His Pilgrimes, Ill, L., 1625, pp.765-70; Steuart, pp.22-8). David G.’s brother was

JOHN G. (+1637x). Also served in Muscovy from 1600s as captain and engineer and had a family there. Later royal jeweller and mintmaster in Britain. 1625 proposed to debase English coinage following Russia’s example. 1627 reappeared in Moscow with recommendation from King Charles I as mining expert and inventor. A member of Muscovy company,