Fedor Aleksyeevich, Count Golovin - Encyclopedia

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FEDOR ALEKSYEEVICH GOLOVIN, COUNT (d. 1706), Russian statesman, learnt, like so many of his countrymen in later times, the business of a ruler in the Far East. During the regency of Sophia, sister of Peter the Great, he was sent to the Amur to defend the new Muscovite fortress of Albazin against the Chinese. In 1689 he concluded with the Celestial empire the treaty of Nerchinsk, by which the line of the Amur, as far as its tributary the Gorbitsa, was retroceded to China because of the impossibility of seriously defending it. In Peter's grand embassy to the West in 1697 Golovin occupied the second place immediately after Lefort. It was his chief duty to hire foreign sailors and obtain everything necessary for the construction and complete equipment of a fleet. On Lefort's death, in March 1699, he succeeded him as admiral-general. The same year he was created the first Russian count, and was also the first to be decorated with the newly-instituted Russian order of St Andrew. The conduct of foreign affairs was at the same time entrusted to him, and from 1699 to his death he was "the premier minister of the tsar." Golovin's first achievement as foreign minister was to supplement the treaty of Carlowitz, by which peace with Turkey had only been secured for three years, by concluding with the Porte a new treaty at Constantinople (June 13, 1700), by which the term of the peace was extended to thirty years and, besides other concessions, the Azov district and a strip of territory extending thence to Kuban were ceded to Russia. He also controlled, with consummate ability, the operations of the brand-new Russian diplomatists at the various foreign courts. His superiority over all his Muscovite contemporaries was due to the fact that he was already a statesman, in the modern sense, while they were still learning the elements of statesmanship. His death was an irreparable loss to the tsar, who wrote upon the despatch announcing it, the words "Peter filled with grief." See R. N. Bain, The First Romanovs (London, 1905). (R. N. B.)

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