In the Lands of the Romanovs: An Annotated Bibliography of First-hand English-language Accounts of the Russian Empire (1613-1917)/Reigns of Peter II (1727-1730), Anna Ivanovna (1730-1740), Ivan VI (1740-1741), and Elizabeth (1741-1762)

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3. REIGNS OF PETER II (1727-1730), ANNA (1730-1740), IVAN VI (1740-1741), and ELIZABETH (1741-1762)[edit | edit source]

Fig. 34 Peter II (c. 1730), by Ioann Vedekind.
Fig. 35 Anna Ivanovna (c. 1730). Unknown Artist. Moscow State Historical Museum.
Fig. 36 Empress Elizabeth (n.d.), by Ivan Argunov. Tretiakov Gallery, Moscow.

See also: B23, B24

C1[edit | edit source]

Manstein, Cristof Hermann, Memoirs, historical, political, and military, from the year MDCCXXVII, to MDCCXLIV: a period comprehending many remarkable events, in particular the wars of Russia with Turkey and Sweden with a supplement, containing a summary account of the state of the military, the marine, the commerce, &c. of that great empire. [Translated from French. With an ‘advertisement’ by David Hume.] London: T. Beckett and P.A. de Hondt, 1770. viii+424pp. [See also revised edition: Contemporary memoirs of Russia, from the year 1727 to 1744. London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1856. xvi+416pp.]

General Manstein (1711-57), son of a Baltic German nobleman, was born in St Petersburg but educated in Germany before entering the Russian army and serving under Anna and Elizabeth. He deserted Russian service in 1744, joined the Prussian army and was killed during the Seven Years’ War. He combines a general chronological history that includes much on court life and its personalities with detailed descriptions of the campaigns in which he took part. The 1856 edition is based on the longer French edition published in Amsterdam in 1771.

C2[edit | edit source]

Ward, Thomas, and Rondeau, Claudius, [‘Dispatches’]. In Sbornik imperatorskogo russkogo istoricheskogo obshchestva, vol. LXVI. St Petersburg: Academy of Sciences, 1889. viii+681pp.

Thomas Ward (d. 1731), the recently appointed British consul-general, arrived in St Petersburg at the end of July 1728 and was accompanied by Claudius Rondeau (d. 1739) as his secretary. Their dispatches, printed here in the originals with Russian translations, cover the period from 7 August 1728 to 20 June 1733, and include replies and instructions from London. The dispatches were largely written by Rondeau – only eleven were signed by Ward, who had requested (10 July 1730) that Rondeau be appointed resident, while he continue as consul-general. Rondeau was duly appointed resident but only on 11 September, months after Ward’s death on 4 February 1731.

C3[edit | edit source]

[Vigor, Jane], Letters from a lady, who resided some years in Russia, to her friend in England, with historical notes. London: J. Dodsley, 1775. viii+207pp.

Daughter of a Yorkshire clergyman, Jane Goodwin (1699-1783) went to Russia in 1728 as the wife of the British consul-general Ward (see C2) and after his death in February 1731 soon became the wife of Rondeau (see C2). Rondeau died in October 1739 and Jane returned to England, accompanied by a Quaker Russia merchant, William Vigor, whom she was soon to marry. Her lively and gossipy letters are a valuable source for court life under the Empress Anna.

C4[edit | edit source]

Vigor, Jane, Eleven additional letters from Russia, in the reign of Peter II. By the late Mrs Vigor. Never before published: with a preface and notes. [London: J. Dodsley, 1784.] 88pp.

Letters published soon after Mrs Vigor’s death but pertaining to her first two years in Russia (1728-29), when she was still Mrs Ward and Peter II was the tsar, and thus antedating those in the earlier publication, several of which were wrongly dated. The letters were the same format as the earlier (two) editions to be bound as one.

C5[edit | edit source]

Forbes, George, and Rondeau, Claudius, [‘Dispatches’]. In Sbornik imperatorskogo russkogo istoricheskogo obshchestva, vol. LXXVI. St Petersburg: Academy of Sciences, 1891. xix+591pp.

The dispatches and replies from London cover the period from 27 June 1733 to 11 August 1736. On 20 June 1733 George Forbes, 3rd Earl of Granard (1685-1765), the experienced Anglo-Irish naval commander and diplomat, arrived in St Petersburg as British envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to negotiate the first Anglo-Russian commercial agreement that was signed on 13 December 1734. A few dispatches were signed by Forbes but most bear the joint signatures of Forbes and Rondeau up to Forbes’s departure from St Petersburg on 18 May 1734; thereafter all the dispatches are Rondeau’s.

C6[edit | edit source]

[Locatelli Lanzi, Francesco], Lettres Moscovites: or, Muscovian letters: containing an account of the form of government, customs, and manners of that great empire. Written by an Italian officer of distinction. Translated from the French original, printed at Paris, 1735, by William Musgrave. London: printed for [E. Curl], 1736. xii+190pp.

The Italian nobleman Locatelli Lanzi (1687-1770) arrived in Russia in 1733, seeking a placement in the Russian army, but instead joined an expedition of the Academy of Sciences to Kamchatka. He was, however, arrested as a spy at Kazan and brought back to St Petersburg. He was imprisoned there between December 1733 and October 1734 before eventually being allowed to leave Russia for Holland in November 1734, where he soon published his denunciation of Russian despotism.
C7[edit | edit source]

Waxell, Sven, The American expedition. With an introduction and note by M.A. Michael. [Translated from the Danish by M.A. Michael.] London, Edinburgh, Glasgow: William Hodge and Co., 1952. 236pp.

Waxell (1701-62), a Swede, was one of eight lieutenants on Bering’s second expedition, which set out for Siberia and Kamchatka in the spring of 1733 and was to end only a decade later, although Waxell himself did not return to St Petersburg until January 1749. His account of the expedition, written in German and based on his and others’ journals, was composed in the 1750s. Waxell concentrates on what he suggests was the expedition’s main purpose: exploring the strait between Novaia zemlia and the mainland, and then other islands, including what became known as Bering’s Island, and on to Alaska (pp. 37-212). English translation from Skalberg’s twentieth-century Danish version.

C8[edit | edit source]

Justice, Elizabeth, A voyage to Russia: describing the laws, manners, and customs, of that great empire, as govern’d, at this present, by that excellent princess, the czarina, shewing the beauty of her palace, the grandeur of her courtiers, the forms of building at Petersburgh, and other places: with several entertaining adventures, that happened in the passage by sea and land. York: printed by Thomas Gent, 1739. xiv+59pp. [2nd edition: to which is added, four letters, wrote by the author when at Russia to a gentleman in London. London: printed by G. Smith for the author, 1746. xviii+63pp.]

Mrs Justice’s sojourn in Petersburg, where she was governess to the daughters of a British merchant, Hill Evans, lasted from her arrival at Cronstadt on 30 August 1734 until her departure from there on 12 August 1737. Her “performance”, which contains many a perceptive and informative comment, was published to help meet her debts and also to counter rumours that she had never been to Russia (pp. 1-46). Additional letters in the second edition, addressed to a Captain Conduit (pp. 53-63), highlight her loneliness and prejudices.

C8a[edit | edit source]

Castle, John, Into the Kazakh Steppe: John Castle’s Mission to Khan Abulkhayir. Edited by Beatrice Teissier. Oxford: Signal Books, 2014. viii+196 pp.

Born in Prussia to English parents, Castle, merchant and artist, was one of a number of foreigners connected with the so-called Orenburg military expedition of 1734. It was there that he contrived to be sent on a diplomatic mission to Abulkhavir, khan of the Junior Kazakh Horde, to secure Kazakh allegiance to Russia. His diary in its 1741 redaction was dedicated and addressed to the briefly reigning infant Ivan VI, The entries in his diary begin on 14 June 1736 and end on 13 August 1737 (pp. 16-143). Originally written in German, it was first published in Riga in 1784.

C9[edit | edit source]

Cook, John, Voyages and travels through the Russian empire, Tartary, and part of the kingdom of Persia. Edinburgh: for the author, 1770. 2 vols.

Cook (1712-90), a young Scottish physician from Hamilton, arrived at Cronstadt on 29 July 1736 and was to remain until 1751. During his fourteen-year sojourn, he worked in hospitals in St Petersburg and in Astrakhan, accompanied Prince Golitsyn’s embassy to Persia, and finished serving in military hospitals in Riga. His memoirs are entertaining, informative and generally reliable.

C10[edit | edit source]

Rondeau, Claudius, and Bell, John, [‘Dispatches’]. In Sbornik imperatorskogo russkogo istoricheskogo obshchestva, vol. LXXX. St Petersburg: Academy of Sciences, 1892. xx+570pp.

The dispatches cover the period from 14 August 1736 to 9 January 1740. The last five are written by John Bell (see B23), who since 1737 had been acting as secretary to Rondeau, and, following whose death in October 1739, acted virtually as British chargé d’affaires until the arrival of Edward Finch as minister.

C11[edit | edit source]

Spilman, James, A journey through Russia into Persia; by two English gentlemen, who went in the year 1739, from Petersburg, in order to make a discovery how the trade from Great Britain might be carried on from Astracan over the Caspian. To which is annexed, a summary account of the rise of the famous Kouli Kan, and his successes, till he seated himself on the Persian throne. London: Dodsley, 1742. 70pp.

Spilman (1680-1763), prominent Russia Company merchant and F.R.S., who had himself traded in Russia during Peter I’s reign and made a major contribution to the Anglo-Russian treaty of commerce (1734), describes the exploration of trading routes undertaken by the sea captain and merchant John Elton (d. 1751) and the merchant Mungo Graham (d. 1747?).

C12[edit | edit source]

Steller, Georg Wilhelm, ‘Steller’s journal of Beering’s voyage of discovery from Kamtchatka to the coast of America, in 1741’. In William Coxe, Account of the Russian discoveries between Asia and America. 4th edition: London: Cadell and Davies, 1803. xx+375pp.

Steller (1709-46), the young German naturalist and adjunct professor of the Petersburg Academy of Sciences, accompanied Bering on his second expedition (see C7). He describes the voyages made from Kamchatka across the Bering Sea to many of the islands and to Alaska. Coxe translated and summarized the version of Steller’s journal (1743) published by Peter Simon Pallas in 1793 (pp. 17-71).

C13[edit | edit source]

Steller, Georg Wilhelm, Bering’s voyages: an account of the efforts of the Russians to determine the relation of Asia and America. Steller’s journal of the sea voyage from Kamchatka to America and return on the second expedition, 1741-1742. Edited by F.A. Golder. New York: American Geographical Society, 1925. 249pp.

This represents the first complete English translation by Leonhard Stejneger of Steller’s journal, based on Pallas’s edition.

C14[edit | edit source]

Steller, Georg Wilhelm, Journal of a voyage with Bering 1741-1742. Edited and with an introduction by O.W. Frost. Translated by Margritt A. Engel and O.W. Frost. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1988. 252pp.

Scholarly edition and first modernized English translation of the manuscript text, written in more than one hand and preserved in the archives of the Academy of Sciences in Petersburg (pp. 42-182).

C15[edit | edit source]

Algarotti, Francesco, Letters from Count Algarotti to Lord Hervey and the Marquis Scipio Maffei, containing the state of the trade, marine, revenues, and forces of the Russian Empire: with the history of the late war between the Russians and the Turks, and observations on the Baltic and the Caspian Seas. To which is added a dissertation on the reigns of the seven kings of Rome, and a dissertation on the empire of the Incas. Translated from the Italian. London: Johnson and Payne, 1769. 2 vols.

Count Algarotti (1712-64), Italian scholar and art connoisseur, friend of Voltaire and Frederick the Great, left Gravesend on 21 May 1738 and arrived at Revel on 15 June, before proceeding to Cronstadt. Arriving in St Petersburg on 21 June he began his “account of this new city, of this great window in the North, thro’ which Russia looks into Europe”. On 21 August he was on his return journey, having described in letters III-VI to John, Lord Hervey (1696-1743), what he had seen and what information he had gathered (vol. I, pp. 29-141). Later letters, written from Danzig and Hamburg, also treat of Russian military matters.

C16[edit | edit source]

Bell, John, and Finch, Edward, [‘Dispatches’]. In Sbornik imperatorskogo russkogo istoricheskogo obshchestva, vol. LXXXV. St Petersburg: Academy of Sciences, 1893. xii+540pp.

Four further dispatches from Bell (see C10) precede the arrival in St Petersburg on 10 June 1740 of the envoy extraordinary and plenipotentiary Edward Finch (1697-1771), previously British ambassador to Sweden, whose dispatches in this volume cover the period up to 14 March 1741 and thus include the death of Anna Ivanovna and the reign of Ivan VI.

C17[edit | edit source]

Finch, Edward, and Wych, Cyril, [‘Dispatches’]. In Sbornik imperatorskogo russkogo istoricheskogo obshchestva, vol. XCI. St Petersburg: Academy of Sciences, 1896.

The final dispatches from Finch, covering the period from 18 March 1741 to 17 February 1742, embrace the short reign of the infant Ivan VI under the regency of his mother Anna Leopoldovna and the coup that brought Elizabeth to the throne on 6 December 1741 (pp. 1-447). Finch departed in February 1742 and was succeeded by Sir Cyril Wych (1695-1756), who arrived on 7 April 1742 (pp. 447-514).

C18[edit | edit source]

Wych, Cyril, [‘Dispatches’]. In Sbornik imperatorskogo russkogo istoricheskogo obshchestva, vol. XCIX. St Petersburg: Academy of Sciences, 1897. xvi+507pp.

Dispatches cover the period from 14 July 1742 to 18 April 1744, with Wych awaiting the arrival of his successor, the Earl of Tyrawley. Half way through his term, on 8 May 1743, Wich had written of Elizabeth that “Never a princess in Europe came to the throne with greater appearances of making a glorious figure in Europe […], but her attachment to her pleasures spoils all, and will, I am afraid, in the end, produce irreparable mischiefs” (pp. 333-34).

C19[edit | edit source]

Hanway, Jonas, An historical account of the British trade over the Caspian Sea: with a journal of travels from England through Russia into Persia; and back again through Russia, Germany and Holland. To which are added, the revolutions of Persia during the present century, with the particular history of the great usurper Nadir Kouli. London: sold by Mr. Dodsley, Mr. Nourse, Mr. Millar, Mr. Vaillant, and Mr. Patterson, Mr. Waugh, Mr. Willock, 1753. 4 vols.

Hanway (1712-86), merchant, philanthropist and miscellaneous writer, was a member of the British Factory in St Petersburg between 1743 and 1750, hoping to develop trade with Persia via the Caspian. After a general account of British trade with Persia that includes excerpts from the 1739 journal of Captain John Elton (see C11), he describes his own journey out to Russia in April 1743 and his subsequent travels to Persia, including excerpts from the journal of Thomas Woodroofe, captain of the Empress of Russia and associate of Elton. He left Astrakhan for Persia in November 1743, returning to Russia in September 1744 (vol. I, pp. 71-158; II, pp. 1-15). He eventually leaves St Petersburg for London in July 1750 (pp. 166-73). After his return to England he remained an influential member of the Russia Company, was much involved in good works, and is said to have introduced the umbrella to the streets of London.

C20[edit | edit source]

Tyrawly, James O’Hara, Baron, and Hyndford, John Carmichael, Earl of, [‘Dispatches’]. In Sbornik imperatorskogo russkogo istoricheskogo obshchestva, vol. CII. St Petersburg: Academy of Sciences, 1898. lv+532pp.

The Irish soldier and future governor of Gibraltar Lord Tyrawly (1682-1774) arrived in St Petersburg as ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary on 29 February 1744 but was replaced within a year by Lord Hyndford (1701-67). Tyrawly left St Petersburg on 8 March 1745 but Hyndford had been there since 17 December 1744, and was raised from minister plenipotentiary to ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary on Tyrawly’s departure. Tyrawly’s dispatches are found pp. 1-227, and end with his assessment of Hyndford that “his lordship has so good an opinion of his own penetration that he wants no light from any body”. This was written on 6 March 1745, the date of Hyndford’s first dispatches that continue in this volume until 18 May 1745 (pp. 227-432).

C21[edit | edit source]

Hyndford, John Carmichael, Earl of, [‘Dispatches’]. In Sbornik imperatorskogo russkogo istoricheskogo obshchestva, vol. CIII. St Petersburg: Academy of Sciences, 1897. xxii+607pp.

The continuation of Hyndford’s voluminous dispatches cover the period from 15 January 1746 to 11 May 1748 and open with the words “The conduct of this court grows everyday more and more mysterious”.

C22[edit | edit source]

Hyndford, John Carmichael, Earl of, and Dickens, Melchior Guy, [‘Dispatches’]. In Sbornik imperatorskogo russkogo istoricheskogo obshchestva, vol. CX. St Petersburg: Academy of Sciences, 1901. xxxviii+654pp.

Hyndford’s virtual five-year term came to an end in November 1749, when he was replaced by the career diplomat Dickens (1696-1775), previously minister in Sweden. Hyndford’s dispatchers cover the period from 18 May 1745 to 14 February 1749, when he was already in Hanover on his return journey. Hyndford was in Moscow from late January until the end of September 1749. The first dispatch from Dickens from St Petersburg is dated 25 November 1749.

C23[edit | edit source]

Dickens, Melchior Guy, [‘Dispatches’]. In Sbornik imperatorskogo russkogo istoricheskogo obshchestva, vol. CXLVIII. Petrograd: Academy of Sciences, 1916. xxxii+554pp.

Although Dickens was to remain in post until July 1755, the publication of his dispatches by the Russian Historical Society begins with his dispatch of 8 February 1750 and ends with that of 31 December 1753.

C24[edit | edit source]

d’Éon, Charles-Geneviève-Louis-Auguste-André-Tomothée, The memoirs of Chevalier d’Éon. Translated by Antonia White. With an introduction by Robert Baldick. London: Anthony Blond, 1970. xxii+314pp.

According to Frédéric Gaillardet, the “editor” of the memoirs, first published in 1836, but to a large degree their fabricator, the notorious transvestite the chevalier d’Éon (1728-1810) paid three visits to St Petersburg between 1755 and 1760 on secret diplomatic missions, initially dressed as a woman. Much that is related is pure fantasy, but in 1756 he was acting as secretary to the French ambassador, the marquis de l’Hospital (pp. 40-96).

C25[edit | edit source]

Hanbury-Williams, Charles, The life of Sir Charles Hanbury-Williams, poet, wit, diplomatist. By the Earl of Ilchester and Mrs Langford-Brooke. London: Thornton Butterworth, 1929. 447pp.

Sir Charles (1709-59), replacing Dickens as ambassador and plenipotentiary, arrived in the Russian capital on 17 June 1755 and left finally on 19 October 1757. Excerpts from his letters and dispatches (pp. 309-420).

C26[edit | edit source]

Hanbury-Williams, Charles, Correspondence of Catherine the Great when Grand Duchess, with Sir Charles Hanbury-Williams and letters from Count Poniatowski. Edited and translated by the Earl of Ilchester and Mrs Langford-Brooke. London: Thornton Butterworth, 1928. 288pp.

Sir Charles recognized very early that it was the young Grand Duchess Ekaterina Alekseevna, the future Catherine II, whose friendship he should cultivate. He also encouraged the liaison between Catherine and Count Stanislas-Augustus Poniatowski, who was acting as his secretary. The correspondence of course was conducted in French and conveyed through the agency of Samuel Swallow (1724-76), the merchant who subsequently became British consul-general.

C27[edit | edit source]

Chappe d’Auteroche, Jean-Baptiste, A journey into Siberia, made by order of the King of France by M. l’abbé Chappe d’Auteroche, of the Royal Academy of Sciences at Paris, in 1761: containing an account of the manners and customs of the Russians, the present state of their empire; with the natural history, and geographical description of their country, and level of the road from Paris to Tobolsky. Translated from the French, with a preface by the translator. London: T. Jefferys, 1770. xx+396pp.

The French astronomer Chappe (1722-69) journeyed to Siberia to observe the transit of Venus over the sun, leaving Paris in November 1760 and, travelling through Poland, reached St Petersburg on 13 February 1761. He eventually arrived at Tobolsk on 10 April, observed the transit on 6 June, and started on the return journey on 28 August. Back in the Russian capital on 1 November, he arrived in Paris in August 1762 (pp. 21-117). Essays on various aspects of Russia occupy the remaining 250 pages. The translation is an abridgement and re-arrangement of the original, published in three volumes in Paris in 1768.

C28[edit | edit source]

Emin, Joseph, The life and adventures of Joseph Émïn, an Armenian. Written in English by himself. London: n.p., 1792. 640pp. [See also Life and Adventures of Emin Joseph Emin 1726-1809 written by himself. 2nd edition, with portrait, correspondence, reproductions of original letters and map. Edited by his great-great-granddaughter Amy Apcar. Calcutta: printed and published by the Baptist Mission press, 1918. 2 vols.]

Emin (1726-1809), after living some ten years in England and serving in the army, left for Russia in October 1761 to agitate for Armenian independence from Persian and Turkish rule. He arrived in the Russian capital just weeks before the death of the Empress Elizabeth and spent the next few years mainly in Georgia, pursuing his impossible dream, before settling in Ispahan. His autobiography is related in the third person (pp. 196-541).

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