Birthday anniversary of count Alexei P. Bestuzhev-Ryumin, Russian statesman and diplomat

1 June 1693

May 22 (June 1), 1693 in the family of Moscow nobleman, Pyotr Mikhailovich Bestuzhev, was born Alexei Bestuzhev-Rumin, Count, Russian statesman and diplomat, field-marshal general (1762).

In 1708-1710 Alexei studied in Copenhagen, in 1710-1711 - in Berlin; he knew Latin, French and German. His diplomatic career began in 1712 when, among other persons of the Russian embassy, he was sent to Congress in Utrecht. In 1713, with the consent of Peter I, Alexei became Gentleman of the Bedchamber in the court of Prince Elector of Hanover, George, who in 1714 ascended the English throne and sent him as his ambassador to Russia. In 1717 Bestuzhev-Ryumin returned to the Russian service.

In 1718 Alexei Petrovich was appointed Chief Gentleman of the Bedchamber to the widowed Duchess of Courland, Anna Ivanovna, and two years later became a Russian resident in Copenhagen. When Anna Ivanovna started to rule in 1730, Alexey left Copenhagen and was appointed resident in Hamburg and Lower Saxony district. In late 1734 Bestuzhev-Rumin was again transferred to Denmark, but retained the post in Hamburg. Enjoying Biron’s favor, he was accredited an envoy to the Lower Saxony court and in 1740was appointed a privy councilor with the command to come to St. Petersburg to take office.

After the death of Anna Ivanovna, for participation in the preparation of the seizure of power by Biron, Bestuzhev-Rumin was sentenced to death, replaced with an exile; he was devoid of all ranks, positions, and estates. In October 1741 the Russian ruler Anna Leopoldovna allowed him to return to St. Petersburg.

Alexey took part in a palace coup, which contributed to Elizabeth’s ascension to the throne and, thanks to the support of court physician I. G. Lestocq, was completely rehabilitated, awarded the Order of St. Andrew, appointed a Senator and Chief Postmaster, and, 12 (23) December, 1741 - vice-chancellor.

Prior to 1758 Bestuzhev-Ryumin headed Russia's foreign policy. His political program was to strengthen the alliance with England, Holland and Austria against France, Prussia, and Turkey.

In its activities Bestuzhev-Ryumin used funds received from the British government as a "pension". The Union of England with Prussia and the outbreak of the Seven Years' War of 1756-1763 forced Alexei Petrovich to seek a rapprochement with France. Failures of the Army of Field Marshal S. F. Apraksin in 1757 and Elizabeth’s disease enabled the opponents of Bestuzhev-Ryumin to accuse him of supporting the political plans of the future Empress Catherine II. In February 1758 the diplomat was arrested and sentenced to death by a commission of inquiry, which Elizabeth replaced with an exile.

After the coup of 1762, Catherine II restored Bestuzhev-Ryumin to all rights and titles, and promoted to General Field Marshal, but he no longer played an active role in political life of the country.

Bestuzhev-Ryumin was a great lover of medals. He had stamped medals to commemorate the Treaty of Nishtadt (in 1721 and 1763), in memory of his exile (1757-1762), in honor of the accession to the throne of Catherine II (1763). In 1763 he published the "Selected sayings from the Holy Scriptures in the comfort of every innocent Christian suffering an unjust punishment" that he had written in exile and which was published in Russian, German, French and Swedish.

10 (21) April 1766 Alexey Bestuzhev-Ryumin died.


Lit.: Анисимов М. Ю. Российский дипломат А. П. Бестужев-Рюмин (1693-1766) // Новая и Новейшая история. 2005. № 6; Бантыш-Каменский Д. Биографии российских генералиссимусов и генерал-фельдмаршалов. М., 1991. Ч. 2; Очерки истории СССР. Вторая четверть XVIII в. М., 1957; Пресняков А. А. П. Бестужев-Рюмин // Русский биографический словарь Т. 2. СПб, 1900.


Based on the Presidential Library’s materials:

Кобеко Д. Ф. К родословной рода Бестужевых-Рюминых. [СПб., 1889];

Щепкин Е. Н. Падение канцлера графа А. П. Бестужева-Рюмина. Одесса, 1901.