Birthday anniversary of Alexei K. Razumovsky, statesman, Minister of National Education

23 September 1748

12 (23) September 1748 in St. Petersburg, was born a prominent statesman and public figure, the Minister of National Education, Count Alexey K. Razumovsky.

The kin of Razumovskys was raised in the middle of the 18th century. Uncle of the future Minister, Alexei Grigorievich, became a favorite of the Empress Elizabeth, his father - Cyril Grigorievich was appointed president of the Academy of Sciences, and later became the Hetman of Ukraine.

Alexei from the very birth was enlisted in the military service, and at the age of 13 was promoted to captain. He received a brilliant for that time education at home, one of his teachers was the famous Russian and German historian, A. G. Schletzer. In 1765 Razumovsky with his brothers was sent to continue the studies in one of the most prestigious higher institutions of Europe - Strasburg University. From 1767, he traveled a lot through Europe: visited Italy, France, England and Holland.

After returning in 1769 to St. Petersburg, Razumovsky was appointed chamberlain and began to serve the Empress Catherine II. In 1775 he was granted the title of a full chamberlains, but soon lost interest in the service at the court and in 1778 he retired. Alexei moved to Moscow and devoted all his time to the management of numerous estates and farms of Razumovsky family. Razumovsky’s career was resumed in the summer of 1786, when he was promoted to privy councilor and appointed a senator. Strained relations between Alexei Kirillovich and the Empress, who did not approve of his interest in Freemasonry, forced Razumovsky to resign again in 1795. For over 10 years he had lived in Moscow and the village of Gorenki, where he arranged a wonderful botanical garden and gathered an extensive natural science collection.

In 1807, Emperor Alexander I promoted Razumovsky to privy councilor and appointed him a trustee of the Moscow University and its region. In that position, he approved a decree on the election of the chancellor for three years (instead of one year) and patronized the Society of Nature, on behalf of which he formed an expedition to study the Moscow Province. In 1810, Alexei Kirillovich was appointed Minister of Education. In this role, he paid special attention to people's educational institutions and to the improvement of the quality of education: new parochial schools and district schools , orphanages and City College in Moscow, as well as numerous high school in various cities of the empire opened. While Razumovsky was the minister, the surveillance of foreign teachers increased, several scientific societies were established, a department of Slavic Literature at the Moscow University opened, and at the same time, theology was made the leading discipline in all educational institutions. One of the major achievements of Razumovsky in the post of Minister of Education was his contribution to the development of the charter and the opening of the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum, which later became one of the most famous and privileged educational institutions of the Russian Empire.

After the end of the Patriotic War of 1812, Razumovsky did much to restore of the resource base of educational institutions lost and damaged in the fighting and during the French occupation. Soon, however, he again lost interest in the service, and filed several resignations, which, however, were declined. He almost stopped working, and in 1816, finally retired from all his posts.

Alexei K. Razumovsky died 5 (17) April 1822, in his estate Pochep, Chernigov Province, at the age of 73.

Lit.: Записка о последних годах жизни графа А. К. Разумовского в Малороссии, его кончине и похоронах // Киевская старина. 1894, № 3; Сухомлинов М. И. Материалы для истории образования в России в царствование императора Александра I. СПб., 1866.

Based on the Presidential Library’s materials:

Васильчиков А. А. Семейство Разумовских. СПб., 1880. Т. 1;

Васильчиков А. А. Семейство Разумовских. СПб., 1880. Т. 2;

Васильчиков А. А. Семейство Разумовских. СПб., 1882. Т. 3;

Васильчиков А. А. Семейство Разумовских. СПб., 1887. Т. 4;

Васильчиков А. А. Семейство Разумовских. СПб., 1894. Т. 5;

Грамота пожалованная Императорскому лицею Императором Александром I, 22 сентября 1811 года. Пг., 1916;

Постановление о Лицее. СПб., 1810.