Franz Jakovlevich Lefort
(Francois Le Fort, German Franz Jakob Lefort, December 23, 1655 (January 2, 1656), Geneva – 2 (12) March 1699, Moscow) – Russian state and military leader, Admiral-General, associate of Peter I.
Franz Jakovlevich Lefort was born in 1656. He was the son of a Geneva merchant. Until 1670, Franz was trained in the collegium of Geneva, after which he went to study trade in Marseille. In 1674 he decided to start military service in Holland, soon arrived in Russia. Lefort took an active part in the Crimean and Azov campaigns. In 1689, a close friendship developed between him and Peter I. After the first Azov campaign, Franz Yakovlevich was promoted to the rank of admiral of the Russian fleet. Formally, Lefort was at the head of the Great Embassy.
Lefort was not satisfied with the study of the trade business.
In 1674 Franz Jakovlevich went to Holland. Parents, by the way, did not approve of his son’s decision. Thus, Lefort began his military service in the Friedrich-Casimir suite, the Duke of Courland. However, soon after, Franz Yakovlevich, in the rank of captain, arrived in Moscow. All the further life of Lefort was firmly connected with Russia.
V.V. Golitsyn is the patron of F.Ya. Lefort.
In 1681 Lefort got a vacation, right after that he went to his homeland – to Geneva. Persuasion of relatives to stay in these parts did not affect the decision of Franz Yakovlevich to serve in Russia, where he arrived at the end of the vacation. Here Lefort learned that the Russian Tsar Feodor Alekseevich had died and the actual ruler was the sister of Ivan and Peter, the princess Sophia. Here is her favorite and began to patronize Lefort, who already in 1683 became a lieutenant colonel, which was very noisy was celebrated in the German settlement.
Lefort participated in the Crimean campaigns.
Their organizer was V.V. Golitsyn. The campaigns of 1687 and 1689 proved to be unsuccessful. Golitsyn was accompanied all the way by F.Ya. Lefort. After the feast of the Crimean campaign, Franz Yakovlevich was promoted to colonel.
Lefort’s friendship with Peter I began in 1689.
In the autumn of this year, Peter became very close to Lefort and Gordon (who was a relative of Franz Yakovlevich’s wife). True, Patriarch Joachim did not like the rapprochement, which was sharply against the friendship of the Tsar with foreigners (and it seemed to some adherents of the old Moscow customs something unacceptable). By the way, Peter himself was able to openly visit the German Sloboda, in which his new acquaintances lived, only after the death of Joachim – in 1690. The young king had a strong yearning for everything European: he even introduced into his everyday wardrobe an alien dress.
Peter I showed signs of his friendship to Lefort.
In honor of the birth of the heir – Tsarevich Alexei – the king granted Franz Yakovlevich the rank of Major-General. And after a large number of events (including feasts) took place in Lefort’s house (on the bank of the Yauza River), the need for its expansion arose, Peter I generously gave Franz Yakovlevich a considerable amount of money to implement this plan. Attached to the house of the hall was decorated very richly: furnished with magnificent furniture, pasted with excellent wallpaper, it contained a large number of luxury items. Expensive sculptures, paintings, carpets, weapons, utensils – from everything here was exquisite taste. Lefort had a huge number of servants. The tsar himself, coming to his friend, felt a special atmosphere – he rested from the usual way of life in Moscow.
F.Ya. Lefort participated in many cases carried out by Peter.
Franz Yakovlevich was the commander of the regiment and participated in demonstrative land battles near Moscow, “amusing” maneuvers (one of which almost ended with Franz Yakovlevich’s injury), Lefort was near the king during his travels to Arkhangelsk (1693 and 1694) and t .
Lefort took direct part in the Azov campaigns (1695 and 1696).
August 5, 1695 during the first assault of Azov, Franz Yakovlevich served as commander of the corps. In battles for Azov Lefort personally took one of the Turkish banners. The second Azov campaign proved to be more successful than the first one. Thanks to the rapidly established fleet, Russian troops succeeded in blocking the access of Turkish ships to Azov in 1696, it was taken.
Franz Yakovlevich – Admiral of the Russian fleet.
This title Lefort got right after the first Azov campaign. True, many were amazed at why Lefort, living in such a land country as Russia, received just such a title. The explanation for this, most likely, lies in the desire of Peter I to create his own Russian fleet. And in this case the king relied on the energy and zeal of his friend.
Ле During the second Azov campaign, Lefort seriously fell ill.
Franz Yakovlevich’s health deteriorated sharply: already to Azov, due to unimportant state of health, Lefort had to move to a specially designed ship for him. From the hike, Lefort returned to the well-equipped sled – this was done to avoid the occurrence of pain during shocks, which are the case when riding in a wheeled carriage. Franz Yakovlevich recovered from the disease only by November 1696 – and again his house opened the doors for guests.
Lefort on the occasion of the capture of Azov was gifted by Peter I.
Franz Yakovlevich were granted patrimonies in the Ryazan and Epifan districts, sable fur coat, gold medal. He received the title of Novgorod governor.
Lefort headed the Grand Embassy.
After Peter I conceived a journey to Western Europe, he went to the Great Embassy in the form of a carpenter in March 1697. Formally, Franz Yakovlevich Lefort was in his head, but his role was mainly to translate Petr Alekseevich’s speeches. However, in practice the embassy was headed by the diplomat F.A. Golovin.
Lefort returned to Russia with Peter.
This happened immediately after the information was received about the uprising of the Streltsi in Moscow. However, there is a doubt about whether Franz Yakovlevich personally participated in the suppression of this uprising and the execution of the guilty. It is assumed that during the execution of Lefort was completely absorbed in the arrangement of the new house. Although, in fact, it was not a house, but a palace that was erected in the absence of Lefort. True, in this exquisite palace Franz Yakovlevich had a good time not so long: on March 2, 1699, the Tsar’s favorite died after the fever (and the housewarming was celebrated only on February 12, 1699).