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Category: History

"Unknown" Semyon Vorontsov


In the south of Moldova, near the cities of Cahul and Vulcanesti, the group of the monuments erected in honor of the historical military victories gained by Russia in the Russo-Turkish war of 1768-1774 remained. Built on places of battles of the Russian army against troops of Ottoman Turkey, they at the same time are a symbol of the close ties of Russians, Moldavians, Ukrainians and Belarusians going to far times.

We will remind that the aspiration of Turkey to prevent Russia to solve the Black Sea problem was the reason of this war. Poland was of the beginning of military operations the cause. In 1763 the orthodox bishop Belarusian Georgy Konissky filed to the empress Catherine the Great a complaint to cruel oppressions of Orthodox Christians in Belarus, Lithuania, Podoliya, Galicia and Volhynia from Catholics. Catherine II demanded from the Polish government of the identical rights of the Orthodox Christians inhabiting these lands with Catholics. The Polish government, though reluctantly, but conceded to requirements of Russia. (Prussia also achieved the same rights for the Protestant population.) Then the armed political opposition (confederates) trying to cancel decisions of the government declared that Russia oppresses "belief and freedom" in Poland, and managed to persuade Turkey to declare on Russia war.

Summer of 1770 the Russian army under command of the outstanding commander Pyotr Aleksandrovich Rumyantsev gained large victories in battles at the Large River (on July 7), and in two weeks (on July 21) - at the Cahul River during which the integrated turetskotatarsky forces were crushed. Progress of the Russian troops was promoted by both the help of local community, and broad participation of the groups of the Moldavian volunteers which supported Russia against the general enemy.

In honor of a victory at Large in 25 km from Cahul in 1914 the nine-meter granite obelisk was established. Even earlier, in the middle of the 19th century (1844-1849), on the place of the Cahul fight by care of the governor general of that time of the Novorossiysk region and Bessarabia

Mikhail Semyonovich Vorontsov's areas one of the most majestic monuments in Russia conceived and created as a monument to P.A. Rumyantsev's victories was erected. There is it on the outskirts Vulkanesht, on the place where in the center of the Turkish strengthenings there was a magnificent tent of the vizier Khalil pasha.

In half a kilometer from a monumental Cahul column along with it one more obelisk, rather modest sizes (height of a needle is equal to 6.5 m), but the expressive, reproducing well-known obelisk of the Egyptian queen Cleopatra was open. This monument was built by M.S. Vorontsov in honor of the father - Semyon Romanovich Vorontsov (1744-1832) who heroically caused a stir in the Cahul fight.

Among loud in the history of Russia HUI-H1H of centuries of the dynasties noted by patrimonial lines of talents and merits before the Fatherland there is also a family group of Vorontsov. However not all from her members got the equal place in a field of public and state work and identical degree of historical popularity. Deserved activity of some was the covered activity of her more outstanding representatives. So it happened also to Semyon Romanovich Vorontsov. He was a father of the famous son - Mikhail Semyonovich Vorontsov (1782-1856) who still from the youth gained quite deserved popularity of one of the most capable and most educated generals and governors, and subsequently reached the highest degree in official position - the lightest prince, the statesman, the general field marshal, the honorary member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, the governor general Novorossiysk and Bessarabia (1823-1844), the deputy in the Caucasus (1844-1854).

In comparison with bright popularity of the son the name of Semyon Romanovich Vorontsov in the history remained half-forgotten.

Vorontsova belonged to the Russian noble sort of the Polish origin which ancestors in the first half of the 17th century became the Russian citizen. S.R. Vorontsov's grandfather, the contemporary of Peter's time Illarion Gavrilovich of Baneberries (1671-1750), the councilor of state and the Rostov voivode, had three sons: Roman, Mikhail and Ivan. Mikhail Illarionovich is the famous statesman of an era of the empress Elizabeth Petrovna. Began the service at the tsesareena Elizabeth, during a time when at the time of the empress Anna Leopoldovna it was in disgrace: was her gentleman of the bedchamber and the personal secretary, participated in a coup at Anna Leopoldovna's overthrow (stood behind the sleigh on which on the night of December 25, 1741 a tsesarevna Elizabeth Petrovna went to barracks of the Preobrazhensky Regiment). After its accession on a throne and provozg-

a lasheniye imperatritseyu All-Russian became the chamberlain of the yard of Her Majesty, the owner of rich estates. In 1744 a joy the vice-chancellor's post received 30 years, and in 1758 became the state chancellor.

The elder brother Roman Illarionovich bringing the overthrown empress Anna Leopoldovna to an imprisonment thanks to influence of the brother also held enough foreground at court of Elizabeth Petrovna: was senator and the general-anshefa, the Andreevsky gentleman at Peter III had a rank, at Catherine the Great - at first in disgrace, and then the deputy of the Vladimir and Kostroma provinces. From marriage with Maria Ivanovna Surmina (1718-1745) had five children. It: Maria Romanovna who married senator, the count P.A. Buturlin; Elizabeth Romanovna, cameras maids of honor and dame of the yard of Peter III famous as his favourite; the count Alexander Romanovich, the president (minister) of Kommerts-board at Catherine the Great, and subsequently - at Alexander I - the state chancellor; Ekaterina Romanovna, the famous princess Dashkova (in a marriage), from 1783 to 1796 the president of the Russian Academy of Sciences; and, at last, count Semyon Romanovich Vorontsov, famous Russian ambassador in London. Was born in Moscow on June 2, 1744. Having lost on the second year of mother, together with other brothers and sisters actually was on providing the uncle - the chancellor M.I. Vorontsov trying to give them decent education and education and in which house future princess Dashkova had an opportunity to develop the uncommon abilities which put it on the level of the prosveshchenneyshy woman of Russia of the time. During its ten years' stay abroad (from 1769 to 1796) it met Voltaire, D. Diderot, A. Smith. In M.I. Vorontsov's house there was the first meeting still of 15-year-old Catherine Romanovna with the grand duchess, future Catherine the Great to which as writes E. Dashkov in "Notes", then "forever gave the heart".

Count S.R. Vorontsov originally received "easy French training", but from the uncle chancellor and, in particular, from the elder brother Alexander, one of the most educated people, "was infected with passion for reading which kept in itself till an extreme old age".

S.R. Vorontsov was accepted by the 9-year-old boy of columns in number of pages at court of the empress Elizabeth Petrovna, and in 7 years in a court rank the gentleman-page already consisted. One week prior to the release which is coming under the charter from cameras pages in officers of guard Elizabeth Petrovna died, and the new emperor Peter III as a sign of the goodwill to the young candidate for an officer rank welcomed new at -

dvorny rank of the gentleman of the bedchamber. However Semyon Romanovich since childhood dreaming of military service achieved replacement of a court rank with an officer rank of the lieutenant and appointment in a grenadierial company of the Preobrazhensky Regiment. Besides, he asked the emperor to direct him to the count P.A. Rumyantsev ordering at that time the Russian army in Pomerania which was preparing for the announced military campaign against Denmark. But departure to army did not take place because of a coup on June 28, 1761. In day when S.R. Vorontsov already sat down in crew, being going to visit previously Oranienbaum - Peter III's residence to receive from hands of the emperor of the instruction for the count Rumyantsev, the message that the Izmaylovsky regiment already swore on fidelity to the grand duchess Catherine was carried. "I was then only 18 years old, I was impatient as the Frenchman also is quick-tempered as the Sicilian, - S.R. Vorontsov wrote in "Autobiography". - I flew into an inexpressible rage from this message". He hurries in the regiment in hope together with other officers to set other regiments an example to fidelity to the lawful emperor - Peter the Great's grandson (Peter III was a son of the oldest daughter of Peter I). However providence solved differently. Guardsmen of the Preobrazhensky Regiment after others swore to the new empress Catherine II. Peter III was overthrown, and S.R. Vorontsov was arrested.

Change of reign was reflected in position of family of Vorontsov, especially from property rights. Except for the princess E. Dashkovoy which was in days of a revolution near the crowned girlfriend and the elder brother Alexander at that time heading diplomatic mission in England all others of Vorontsova refused to swear to the new empress. Once active participant of the Elizabethan revolution, the chancellor count M.I. Vorontsov was subjected to house arrest; the father and the sister Elizabeth were also arrested and sent from St. Petersburg.

Forces and influences lost Vorontsova. It is obvious that Catherine II never forgot all circumstances of the accession and did not see for herself an occasion to believe in arrangement of counts, sympathetic to herself Vorontsov. At the same time with "the state mind" peculiar to it she did not begin to discharge completely of affairs not pleasing to it personally, but "capable in service to the Fatherland and respected in society" Vorontsov' family. It only kept them at arm's length.

The old chancellor M.I. Vorontsov after Peter III's death (who died soon after the revolution under the obscure circumstances) continued still some time to hold the position, but played already a role more representative, than active, and then at all retired.

The elder brother Alexander at the time of Catherine II was a prominent dignitary, remaining on diplomatic service at first in England, and then headed diplomatic mission in Vienna. However his empress did not favor, though did not refuse the attention.

Its attitude towards count S.R. Vorontsov as the biographer writes it, "had constantly the same character of cold respect for personal advantages and quite indifferent recognition of his merits. Merits were awarded, but without special generosity".

After 11 days spent from the date of the revolution under arrest the sword was returned to S.R. Vorontsov on Catherine II's command and it is authorized to continue military service. However the young impressionable count could not reconcile with a new order of things at once. He achieved the transfer from guard (which did not forgive treacheries) to an army regiment, and in 1766 in a rank of the major retired. However, for a while, when in 1768 Turkey declared war on Russia, S.R. Vorontsov expressed a desire again to return on service and immediately went to field army to P.A. Rumyantsev. It is known that the Rumyantsev who was feeding reverential devotion of memory of Peter the Great and adjoined the empress Catherine only after the death of the overthrown Peter III like mutual respect for the young count Vorontsov. Rumyantsev gave one of grenadierial battalions which constantly was in vanguard of field army for his command, being involved not only in battles, but also in several other operations where one vanguard worked. So, some days before fight at Large S.R. Vorontsov at the head of group from 200 huntsmen successfully beat out from a position up to 3 thousand Turks who sat down at a bush along all front line and firing the Russian soldiers, "as ducks" that extremely disturbed the camp. For participation in the fight at Large S.R. Vorontsov it was awarded with the Cross of St. George 4th class.

Especially Semyon Romanovich in the Cahul battle when at the head of the battalion the first rushed into one of the strongest Turkish strengthenings caused a stir, took it by force, having seized 40 guns and having beaten off two banners of the Moscow regiment, for a quarter of hour before that broken by Turks. These differences were noted by Rumyantsev in short, in 12 lines, reports to the empress on the field of battle. It is known that for the victory gained in the Cahul fight Rumyantsev was granted a rank of the field marshal and Zadunaysky's title. Count S.R. Vorontsov for services in battle was marked out by the Cross of St. George 3rd class and the colonel's rank.

Being involved 2 years later in storm of the Turkish fortress of Silistriya, S.R. Vorontsov with the regiment consisting of no more than 600 people was surrounded and attacked by 10-thousand group of the Turkish cavalry and otbi-

it vatsya, holding the positions, the reinforcement did not approach yet. However the valorous behavior of the count Vorontsov was not noted by any award. Only after the conclusion of the Kuchuk-Kaynardzhiysky world (1774) where Vorontsov had to participate in editing articles of the treatise in Italian (used then Portoyu in diplomatic acts), the count was made in foremen (in the 18th century the army rank is higher than colonel's). Really, merits were awarded, but without special generosity!

The obvious injustice connected with delays in increases and awards created serious obstacles to its career development in a military field, natural pride and modesty did not allow to strive for themselves. These qualities of the identity of the count S.R. Vorontsov were noted by many contemporaries who were close knowing him. There is a characteristic which the English diplomat Dyushilyyu in the 1780th heading the English mission in Turkey gave to Vorontsov: "I really did not meet the person who would unite so many brilliant properties of mind and the kind qualities topped with modesty and perfect lack of vanity. Noble exterior, the courteous tender address connected to the warm heart ennobled by mind and rare complacency". In confirmation of the words Dyushilyyu provides the following story: "Somehow during a lunch at the duke Nertumberland it came to the war, main for Russia, with Turkey, in particular to battle at Cahul... I asked the count Vorontsov whether there was he in this case. He very simply and briefly answered: & #34; Yes, был". When we dispersed, the general Clinton who was at the Russian army as the volunteer, told us: & #34; Whether you Know how it was at Cahul there? All Russian force consisted in 18 thousand, and Turks had 150 thousand. The count Vorontsov led the attack against strong enemy strengthenings, the redoubt stormed, and the Turkish army retired in a disorder. The victory was brilliant. Here is how Vorontsov was at Cahul! & #34;".

Office peripetias, the health which is strongly affected by a four-year military camp life and also the constrained financial position - not the really large sums (all estates withdrawn from Vorontsov after the revolution of 1761 were returned only at Alexander I) which were mostly leaving on the maintenance of a regiment and support of poor officers finally strengthened it in the decision to leave military service. In 1776 S.R. Vorontsov retired in the major general's rank.

The next six years before the destiny abruptly changed his life, having defined on absolutely other way of the state activity, the count Vorontsov lived in solitude first enough, and in 1781

married Catherine Alekseevna, the daughter of the admiral Alexey Naumovich Sinyavin, the gentleman of awards Andreevsky and Vladimir 1 - y degrees. Soon in family the firstborn - the son Mikhail, and in a year - the daughter Catherine was born. In 1783 the decree of the empress Catherine the Great of columns S.R. Vorontsov was called - to head on diplomatic service new diplomatic mission in the Venetian republic, and in 1785 at its request it is transferred in the same rank of the plenipotentiary minister to London, into place, which was once occupied by his brother Alexander. By this time having become a widow/widower (in 1784 the wife died of a tuberculosis), with two small children S.R. Vorontsov moves to England where within 20 years he successfully for Russia heads diplomatic mission. For example, when in 1789 the war with Turkey was resumed, Vorontsov achieved from the English government of disarmament of the fleet which is already equipped for the help Port, and renewed the trade treatise of Russia with Great Britain (1793) later.

With accession of the emperor Paul I S.R. Vorontsov was brought to the level of the ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary. In 1799 the vacancy of the state chancellor was offered it. But preparation for moving to Russia coincided with a disease of the daughter in this connection Vorontsov asked to delay the departure from England, and soon he got permission to remain on the former ambassadorial place. It kept this position also after accession to the throne of the emperor Alexander I till 1806 when had the Highest satisfaction on the request for resignation and permission to remain in England. The fact is that by then Semyon Romanovich strengthened also personal relations with the country where carried out the most part of the life, having married the daughter Ekaterina Semenovna Vorontsov to one of imeniteyshy representatives of the English aristocracy - the column Lembroka-Montgomery, lord Herbert, the lieutenant general of the Royal British army and the gentleman of the highest British award - the Garter award.

Living constantly abroad, communicating with the compatriots a little, count S.R. Vorontsov remained the Russian person, faithful to orthodox belief and customs of the Homeland. He organized at himself formal dinner parties or banquets, and itself observed posts. After the resignation he specially lodged in the ancient, but poor quarter of London where there was the Russian church that more often in it to happen; at an exit from church it always distributed alms. It the first contributed 500 pounds sterling, and the subscription of all nobility to the structure of almshouse for aged London poor people went for it. Later in its hall S.R. Vorontsov's bust with an inscription was established that he is the founder of almshouse, and the street conducting to it was called Woronzov road.

Till an extreme old age the count Vorontsov kept sincere cheerfulness and did not stop intellectual classes. In the last days lives almost 90-year-old aged man, without wishing to awake at night the servant, went to library which was a tier above. Having stumbled, it fell from a ladder.

S.R. Vorontsov 9 in London Died on June (21), 1832. At his desire he was buried near the Russian church. Its ashes, apparently, still are based in the earth, though close to it, but after all the stranger for the Russian heart and spirit. The valid recognition of this person consists in his highest and many-sided activity. The merits rendered by count S.R. Vorontsov to the Fatherland grant to it the right for a historical name.


Stanislav Bondarenko. The brother against the brother. Kiev sheets. No. 9 176 (3562), on August 23, 2005.

Oksana Zakharova. The lightest prince M.S. Vorontsov. Simferopol, Business Inform, 2004.

Hundred great aristocrats. M, Veche, 2003.

Charles Charles Richard
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