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Where Was Russia?
May 10, 2012
5:39 am
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Bill1978
Australia
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As some of you know, I’ve recently turned my attention to other royal families from the past including The Romanovs. And this got me thinking, with everything I’ve read involving Tudor times, it seems the world at that time was focussed on England, Spain, France and The Holy Roman Empire. I don’t think I have ever come across a reference involving the Russian monarchy during this time. So my query is what was Russia doing at the time of the Tudors. Was it in the eyes of The Tudors a non-entity, was Russia so far away that the main players of Europe didn’t care about them. In this big assumption of a question – was Russia ignored (and not important) because they weren’t Catholic? (assuming they weren’t Catholic back then)

May 10, 2012
1:27 pm
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Neil Kemp
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Oh Bill, such a short question, but an in-depth answer could take weeks! Here’s a short answer to some of your topic.
When I was in Moscow in 1979 I brought back a rather interesting book on Russian history (from their point of view), so I take the following from it: Anglo-Russian trade manifested itself during the middle of the 16th century. English merchants, during their rivalry with the Spanish and Portuguese, tried to discover a new North-Eastern passage. They did not discover this passage, but at the NE end of Europe they discovered an unknown country, which was found to be the state of Muscovy. Despite a poor start a lively commercial intercourse developed between England and the Moscow state. A Moscow Company of English merchants was duly formed being called: “The Moscovie Company of the Merchants Adventurers”. The English probably saw themselves as the superior partner in this venture as Russia at this time would have been very unlike England and would have seemed very primitive. Moscow itself was growing very quickly however and many foreign visitors stated that it was larger than London, Prague or Florence.
The unification of Russia to incorporate what we know as Belarus and The Ukraine was achieved by 1533 under Ivan 111 and it was at this time that Moscow emerged as the new centre of Russia. Ivan 1V (Terrible) took on the title of Czar Of All The Russians and continued to expand it’s borders through a number of wars. In 1589 his successor gave the Metropolit of Moscow the title of “Patriarch Of All The Russians”. As the Metropolit of Moscow was now the head of Orthodox Christians living in Lithuania and Poland they broke away and were partially successful in forming the Church Union of Brest in 1596.
So religious reform and breakaways at this time in Russia were very much in line with Henry’s break from Rome. All through this time English ambassadors went to Moscow to enhance trade on behalf of the Moscovie Company and numerous letters and business correspondence of the company’s agents still exist today.
I hope that gives you a little starter Bill, I’m just off to have a lie down now in a very dark room!Wink

May 10, 2012
1:28 pm
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Neil Kemp
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Oh Bill, such a short question, but an in-depth answer could take weeks! Here’s a short answer to some of your topic.
When I was in Moscow in 1979 I brought back a rather interesting book on Russian history (from their point of view), so I take the following from it: Anglo-Russian trade manifested itself during the middle of the 16th century. English merchants, during their rivalry with the Spanish and Portuguese, tried to discover a new North-Eastern passage. They did not discover this passage, but at the NE end of Europe they discovered an unknown country, which was found to be the state of Muscovy. Despite a poor start a lively commercial intercourse developed between England and the Moscow state. A Moscow Company of English merchants was duly formed being called: “The Moscovie Company of the Merchants Adventurers”. The English probably saw themselves as the superior partner in this venture as Russia at this time would have been very unlike England and would have seemed very primitive. Moscow itself was growing very quickly however and many foreign visitors stated that it was larger than London, Prague or Florence.
The unification of Russia to incorporate what we know as Belarus and The Ukraine was achieved by 1533 under Ivan 111 and it was at this time that Moscow emerged as the new centre of Russia. Ivan 1V (Terrible) took on the title of Czar Of All The Russians and continued to expand it’s borders through a number of wars. In 1589 his successor gave the Metropolit of Moscow the title of “Patriarch Of All The Russians”. As the Metropolit of Moscow was now the head of Orthodox Christians living in Lithuania and Poland they broke away and were partially successful in forming the Church Union of Brest in 1596.
So religious reform and breakaways at this time in Russia were very much in line with Henry’s break from Rome. All through this time English ambassadors went to Moscow to enhance trade on behalf of the Moscovie Company and numerous letters and business correspondence of the company’s agents still exist today.
I hope that gives you a little starter Bill, I’m just off to have a lie down now in a very dark room!Wink

May 10, 2012
1:32 pm
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Neil Kemp
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Sorry about the double post, but it’s this blasted security notice that keeps throwing me out of the system. Now it seems to have double posted my post, which is better than losing it I have to admit!

May 10, 2012
5:59 pm
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Boleyn
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Here you go Neil, just to Tax your brain a little.. Ivan the Terrible, sort of made tenative enquires about a marriage alliance between himself and Elizabeth. Of course they came to nothing in the end, but here’s a thought for you, it’s another “What if” Scenerio for everyone to ponder on.
What if Elizabeth and Ivan had married?

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

May 11, 2012
4:44 am
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Bella44
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Boleyn said

Here you go Neil, just to Tax your brain a little.. Ivan the Terrible, sort of made tenative enquires about a marriage alliance between himself and Elizabeth. Of course they came to nothing in the end, but here’s a thought for you, it’s another “What if” Scenerio for everyone to ponder on.
What if Elizabeth and Ivan had married?

A rather scary thought indeed…

May 11, 2012
1:04 pm
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Bill1978
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Thanks for brief history and insight into where Russia was on the world stage during the Tudors, Neil. Muchly appreciated.So for my simple brain, Russia wasn’t a ‘world player’ in the eyes of The Tudors and thus pretty much ignored in terms of politics and being considered a catch in marriage terms.. As opposed to the later stages of the Russian monarchy.

I think I’ve been living inthe world of Tudors for so long that my brain wants to place the events of 1918 into the period of Henry VIII LOL. And for some reason I’m doing the same with Marie-Antoinette.

May 11, 2012
1:26 pm
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Neil Kemp
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Boleyn, I would just echo Bella’s comment that it would be a very scary thought indeed!
Although Ivan did make some advances towards Elizabeth I don’t believe they were of serious consideration, after all he was already married at the time (yes, I know, it never stopped Henry!). It was probably more of a diplomatic suggestion from his advisors in order to enhance the embryonic trade routes that had now developed between the two countries. An alliance between Russia and England on any other terms would have had no use or made any sense, the distance between the countries would have made any military liaison inefectual and their influence on central Europe would also have had very little effect. Russia then, as now, was far more insular than any other European country.
Elizabeth declined the proposal but did keep the extravagant gifts that Ivan sent. Wise woman!

May 11, 2012
2:21 pm
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Boleyn
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Yeah I agree Elizabeth and Ivan together would be a nightmare situation.
Married 8 times and each wife met an unfortunate end. If Elizabeth had married him I doubt she would have survived the wedding night.
Ivan’s wife
1. Anastasia Romanovna= died aged 29-30 poisoned, Ivan suspected that Boyars were responsible for her death and took a very bloody revenge against them.

2. Maria Temryukovna= died aged 25 widely believed she was poisoned by Ivan. Ivan tortured a number of people he suspected were responsible for her death, but personally I think he was just covering his tracks, and making sure that no blame could be attached to him..

3.Marfa Vasilevna Sobakina died age 19 She died about a fortnight after she married Ivan again through poisoning, although her mother was thought to be the one who killed her.

4. Anna Alexeievna Koltovskaya. Repudiated by Ivan after 2 years of marriage due to her infetility and retired into a convent, where she went under the name of Daria. Died in 1626.

5. Anna Vasilchikova. She married Ivan in January 1575 without the blessing of the Ecclesiastical Council of the Russian Orthodox Church. She was repudiated by her husband and made a nun in a monastery. The date of her death is uncertain, having been variously described as occurring in 1576–77.There are beliefs that she met a violent death.Most likely she was tortured by orders from her husband.

6. Vasilisa Melentyeva. Before her marriage to Ivan, Vasilisa is recorded to have been a widow of a prince serving in the Livonian War. Though Ivan considered her beautiful and sweet natured, he discovered her a few months after their marriage having an affair with a prince named Devletev. Ivan forced Vasilisa to watch her lover be impaled, and as further punishment, buried her alive in a cloister.

7. Maria Dolgorukaya. She was known to be a descendant of Prince Yuri I Dolgoruki, Prince of Kiev, Rostov and Suzdal. Ivan presumably married her due to her royal status as he, too, was descended from Yuri Dolgoruki through his son Vsevolod III Yuryevich. It is likely that she is related through the Grand Prince of Tver and hence an ascendant of Catherine the Great[dubious – discuss]. She did not bear the tsar any child and was found out to have a lover. The tsar had her drowned.

8. Maria Nagaya. Maria married Ivan IV in 1581 and a year later gave birth to their son Dmitry. After the Tsar’s death in 1584, Nagaya, her son and her brothers were sent into exile to Uglich by Boris Godunov, where she lived until the mysterious death of tsarevich Dmitry in 1591. Maria and her relatives were accused of “criminal negligence” and, as a result, her brothers were incarcerated and she was made a nun in a monastery. In 1605, after the accession of False Dmitriy I in Moscow, Nagaya was forced to “recognize” him as her son and returned to Moscow. All of her family members were freed, reinstated in their ranks and given their confiscated property. After the death of False Dmitriy I in 1606, Maria Nagaya renounced him as her son.

Wives 3 and 8 were the only ones to escape with their lives..

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

May 11, 2012
2:40 pm
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Bill1978
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My goodness, he truly was terrible. Makes Henry’s approach to his marriages look civilised.

May 11, 2012
4:26 pm
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Sharon
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Wow! Surprised

May 11, 2012
6:46 pm
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Boleyn
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I meant wives 4 and 8 escaped Ivan’s marriage hell..

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

May 11, 2012
6:46 pm
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Boleyn
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I meant wives 4 and 8 escaped Ivan’s marriage hell..

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

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