Boris Petrovich Sheremetev
(April 25, 1652 – February 17, 1719) – military leader, diplomat, general-field marshal (1701), count (1706).
Boris Petrovich Sheremetev was born in 1652 in the family of the aristocratic Kiev governor. Boris was the eldest child. The life of this man proved to be full of deep contradictions: on the one hand Sheremetev was a man adhering to the traditions of old Moscow, and on the other, he actively participated in the reforms of Peter I.
Boris began his education in the Kiev-Mohyla College, where he learned Latin and Polish. Service at the court Sheremetev began in 1661, combined it with military service. In 1682 he was granted a boyar.
Has achieved some success in the diplomatic field. Boris Petrovich took part in the Azov campaigns and the Great Embassy. He actively participated in the battles of the Northern War, the war with the Ottoman Empire, as well as in suppressing the rebellion of the streltsy in Astrakhan.
Sheremetev early began to be interested in foreign traditions and culture.
In the following time this was reflected in the way of life of Boris Petrovich, as well as on the decoration of his house. Foreigners also called Sheremetev as the most cultural person in Russia.
Sheremetev from the very childhood knew about his mission to the court service.
In 1671, Boris Petrovich began service at the court, which he skillfully combined with military duties. Among the latter were the post of comrade of the governor of the Great Regiment (received in 1679), as well as the governors of the Tambov rank (since 1681). It was military affairs that remained Sheremetev’s main vocation.
Sheremetev is a diplomat.
Diplomatic career was opened for Boris Petrovich in 1682: he was granted a boyar. “Perpetual peace” with Poland was signed not without the active participation of BP Sheremetev: in June 1686 he received in the courtyard of the Polish king a certificate of acceptance, which contained the terms of the treaty. Also, Boris Petrovich made a visit to Vienna, where he held talks with Emperor Leopold. They concerned the conclusion of an alliance against the Ottoman Empire. However, the diplomatic field was not the most important thing in Sheremetev’s life – the leading role was played by military affairs.
After the fall of the government Sofia Sheremetev spent several years in Belgorod.
No, Peter I, knowing that Boris Petrovich secretly sympathizes with Sophia’s favorite (V. V. Golitsyn), did not deprive Sheremetev of his ranks. Just the new king could not immediately take Boris Petrovich to the circle of his closest friends. Therefore, Sheremetev these few years spent away from Moscow.
Sheremetev took an active part in the Azov campaigns.
In 1695 Peter I laid on Sheremetev the solution of an important task. It was necessary to divert enemy forces from Azov by the forces entrusted to them. Boris Petrovich with the assignment imposed on him coped very successfully – four fortresses on the Dnieper were conquered. Sheremetev also took an active part in the second Azov campaign, which, by the way, revealed some specific features of conducting military operations by Boris Petrovich Sheremetev. Among them, slowness and caution stood out.
Sheremetev took part in the Grand Embassy.
He, like the Tsar, went abroad in 1697 not under his own name. Sheremetev’s main task was to promote the creation of an alliance against the Ottoman Empire – Boris Petrovich was supposed to conduct diplomatic negotiations in order to attract as many countries as possible to the anti-Turkish union. During this overseas trip Sheremetev visited many countries and cities: in the Commonwealth, Venice, Austria, Rome (where, by the way, was received with honor by the Pope himself). In May 1698, Boris Petrovich reached the final point of his journey. It was the island of Malta, where Sheremetev was honored with honors from the master and knights of the Order of Malta. These honors were not more modest than those that were given to him in Rome – Sheremetev was entrusted with the Maltese cross, strewn with diamonds.
Sheremetev changed his boyar outfits to European ones. He was the first person to do it. In a European suit adorned with the Order of Malta, Boris Petrovich appeared before Peter I upon his return to Moscow (February 12, 1699). The tsar first approved the appearance of BP Sheremetev.
Sheremetev’s cavalry fled from the battlefield in the battle of Narva.
This was one of the first battles of the Northern War, which lasted from 1700-1721. Boris Petrovich was appointed chief of the nobility cavalry. But on November 18, 1700, as a result of an unsuccessfully conducted reconnaissance, the cavalry was forced to retreat heavily to the enemy (with about a thousand lost). Peter I was not angry at the voevoda and did not even lose his trust in him. The Tsar understood that, firstly, Sheremetev lacked experience of fighting in the war with regular troops (which belonged to the Swedish King Charles XII), and secondly, the army lacks the knowledge of the general lack of competent commanders.
Sheremetev is a general-field marshal.
Boris Petrovich received this title in 1701. All the time he expressed to Peter I his readiness to serve, not sparing his own life. In fact, Sheremetev proved this readiness in the battle of the manor of Erestfer, which occurred one year after the Battle of Narva (December 29, 1701). A detachment of Swedes in this battle suffered a crushing defeat and was completely destroyed. In honor of this victory, Boris Petrovich was awarded the Order of St. Andrew the First-Called.
Sheremetev fulfilled Peter I’s plans for large-scale military operations in the territory of Ingria.
The Russian tsar worked out a strategy for the return of the Russian lands of this region (later converted to St. Petersburg province). First of all, the task was to seize the fortress of Oreshek (Noteburg). And so the tactics of this (and not only) operation fell on the shoulders of Boris Petrovich. He managed to provide a number of victories over the Swedish troops in the said territory. In 1702 the fortress of Oreshek was taken, and soon all Ingriya was conquered by Russian troops (in 1703).
After the conquest of Ingria Sheremetev and Peter solemnly moved to Moscow.
This marked the end of 1703. This was indeed the starry hour of Boris Petrovich. His victories were brilliant, and the trust and favor from the king are enormous. Such a relationship in the following time will no longer be.
After the battles of 1700-1703, Sheremetev did not have to rest.
Boris Petrovich himself very much dreamed of rest: his fatigue from the conduct of hostilities was burdened by the existing diseases as well. However, the king firmly decided at all costs to continue the war with the Swedes. And Field Marshal Sheremetev was necessary to him precisely at the theater of military operations – Boris Petrovich was forced to go to the city of Dorpat and begin his siege.
Sheremetev’s actions under Dorpat were satisfied with Peter I.
Rather, on the contrary. The tsar became more and more irritated by the slowness of his field-marshal. At the end of three weeks of the siege of the city, Peter I personally came to control the actions of Sheremetev, whose siege work was very unhappy. Taking the initiative into their own hands, Peter I ordered the troops to conduct continuous shooting around the city, after which Dorpat capitulated. Boris Petrovich was sent to help the troops that fought near Narva. Participation in the assault on Narva Field Marshal was no longer accepted, and in honor of its capture on August 9, 1704 Sheremetev was not awarded any awards. The attitude of Peter I to Boris Petrovich from the moment of the siege of Derpt has become largely official, and the tsar has from now on constantly tried to suppress the independence of the field marshal – to subordinate his actions strictly only to the issued order.
Sheremetev led a detachment to suppress the uprising in Astrakhan.
The removal of Boris Petrovich from the theater of war with the Swedes occurred after the battle of the Mur-Manor (summer of 1705), in which the field marshal’s troops suffered a serious defeat.Perhaps this decision of Peter I is due precisely to the convenient case of Sheremetev’s removal from the important role of command of the troops, while not touching the vanity of the field-marshal. True, even here there was a lack of all-consuming confidence in the tsar in Sheremetev – Peter I appointed Sergeant M. Schepotyev to help Boris Petrovich. The duties of the latter included, among other things, the vigilant observation of the actions of the field marshal, which, of course, Sheremetev did not like very much.
Sheremetev violated the instructions of Peter I about the suppression of the uprising.
Angered by the fact that an outsider is looking after him, Boris Petrovich ruthlessly stormed and bombed the city. This was forbidden by the king. However, Peter I did not on this occasion become angry with Sheremetev, and even donated to him large landed estates. In 1705, Boris Petrovich was elevated to the Count’s dignity.
In 1706, Boris Petrovich again took part in the ongoing war with the Swedes.
And since Peter I was expecting the transfer of Swedish forces to Ukraine, he sent a field marshal to the city of Ostrog. From now on, his main task was to place regiments, receive new recruits, their uniforms, etc. But in this business Sheremetev lacked energy and initiative. It also affected the resentment of the tsar, who now trusted Menshikov much more.
Sheremetev – commander-in-chief of the Russian troops during the battle of Poltava (June 27, 1709).
He held this position only formally, since the role of Boris Petrovich in this case was representative: most of the troops remained in the military camp throughout the battle. But still the name of the field marshal in the list of those awarded on the occasion of the victory in the Battle of Poltava was the first. Sheremetev received a new patrimony – the village of Black Dirt, but was not given a month’s rest – he was forced to start the siege of Riga, and after her capture Sheremetev was ordered to take command over the troops stationed in this city.
Sheremetev actively participated in the war against the Ottoman Empire.
The latter itself declared war on Russia in November 1710. In this connection, Boris Petrovich received a new instruction from the tsar. With his troops, the field marshal had to advance south. Although Sheremetev’s maneuver for the engagement of the bridge entrusted to him was unsuccessful, Boris Petrovich managed to prove himself courageously. During the battle, he personally rushed to the Turk, who was about to kill one of the Russian soldiers, and struck him, and the horse of this Turk presented the future Empress Catherine.
Sheremetev wanted to get a haircut for monks.
Fatigue accumulated in the theater of war, spurred the field marshal to think about a calm monastic life. The war with the Ottoman Empire left a deep scar in the soul of BP Sheremetev. His only son, Mikhail, remained hostage to the Turks. After three years of captivity, he died, and did not reach Kiev. But Peter I did not give Sheremetev the opportunity to retire in a monastery. The king judged in his own way and ordered the Field Marshal to marry, while he himself picked up his bride-she was from the Saltykov family. In principle, this marriage was happy for Sheremetev and brought him five children. The children of Boris Petrovich did not subsequently disgrace the Sheremetev family.
In 1714, an investigation began in the case of Sheremetev.
Field Marshal was accused of bribes, which Boris Petrovich supposedly took while in Ukraine. The investigation justified an outstanding man. But the trace of him and the resentment for mistrust of sediment fell on the soul of the field marshal. Sheremetev again began to ask the tsar to give him resignation, but without success. The Tsar obviously did not want to give rest to his field marshal.
Boris Petrovich – commander-in-chief of the army, bound for Pomerania.
Its main task was to assist the Allied forces. Sheremetev was not able to fully cope with it.There were several reasons for this: first, he could not refuse the Polish King’s help (the essence of which was to fight the supporter of the Swedish king Leszczynski, this was delayed for some time by the field marshal), and secondly, the movement of the entrusted troops made it difficult for the obvious shortage of provisions , and thirdly, the very slowness of Sheremetev, which brought Boris Petrovich more than once, affected. As a result of all this, the Field Marshal arrived at the destination – the Stralsund fortress – while it was already taken. Because of this, he received a refusal from the Danish and Prussian kings in accepting Russian troops. It was then that Peter I gave vent to his anger. To help Sheremetev sent Prince Dolgoruky. Subsequently, Boris Petrovich, along with the troops was within Poland. The relations between the field marshal and the tsar became more and more tense.
In December 1717 Sheremetev was allowed to leave the theater of operations.
Upon arrival in Moscow, Boris Petrovich again could not find a peaceful life. He began to be suspected of correspondence with Prince Alexei (allegedly the tsarevich was sending a letter to the Field Marshal), who openly expressed dissatisfaction with his father’s neoplasms. Fear for his fate significantly undermined Sheremetev’s health, who did not manage to live peacefully even the rest of his life. And Peter I was never able to free himself from distrust of the Field Marshal. Boris Petrovich to the end could not explain to the king his innocence – on February 17, 1719, he died. The king did not fulfill Sheremetev’s request to bury him next to his only son. Peter I ordered to transport Boris Petrovich’s body to Petersburg, where it was buried (in the Alexander Nevsky Monastery).