Portrait of Prince AA Vyazemsky by Carl Ludwig Christinek

Portrait of Prince AA Vyazemsky by Carl Ludwig Christinek

Alexander Alekseevich Vyazemsky is a prince, Russian statesman, one of the closest dignitaries of Catherine II. He was born on August 3, 1727. He belonged to the ancient Russian princely family, which originated from the grandson of Vladimir Monomakh – Prince Rostislav Mstislavich. At the age of twenty, Alexander Alexeyevich graduated from the Landed Gentry Corps. During the Seven Years’ War with Prussia, he participated not only in the battles of the Russian army, but also in the performance of some secret commands from the command, which almost cost him his life. By the end of the war, AA Vyazemsky

occupied the post of quartermaster-general and was well known to the young Empress Catherine II. In December 1762, it was he who commissioned “the adjustment of relations” between the rioting peasants and their masters in the Ural plants.

In December 1763, he was recalled from the Urals. February 3, 1764 Catherine II, convinced of the exceptional honesty of Prince Vyazemsky, appointed him prosecutor-general of the Senate. She personally wrote his “most secret instruction”, in which he clearly defined his duties. The Empress reminded AA Vyazemsky that the prosecutor-general must be completely frank with the emperor, because “by his post he is obliged to resist the most powerful people,” and this is only the power of the imperial “one of his support.” She stressed that she does not require him to “caress”, but “the only sincere communication and firmness in matters.” Catherine II warned the prosecutor-general from engaging in intrigues at the court and proposed to have only “the only benefit of the fatherland and justice in mind,

If at the beginning of his career he headed the Senate, and also watched the sale of salt and wine in the empire, then from the 1780s already firmly held in his hands not only justice, but also finance and internal affairs. It was he who for the first time in Russia introduced strict accountability in financial matters, and also began to clearly take into account income and expenses for the year. The General Prosecutor now almost single-handedly led the all-powerful Secret Expedition, and almost all the known political affairs of the reign of Catherine II: E. Pugachev, A. N. Radischev, N. I. Novikov and other persons passed through his hands. With him, the main “whip” or, as AS Pushkin called it, unfolded his active detective activity, SI Sheshkovsky, “home torturer of meek Catherine,” who, according to the empress, had a “special gift to conduct investigative matters.” AA Vyazemsky, In contrast to his predecessor, he actively managed the prosecutors subordinate to him. Under him, “Institutions for the administration of the provinces” were put in place, which detailed the rights and duties of the local prosecutor’s office.

For “diligence, diligence and zeal for service” he was awarded numerous awards, in particular, the Order of St. Andrew the First-Called, St. Alexander Nevsky, St. Anne, St. Vladimir the 1st degree, the White Eagle. AA Vyazemsky had a military rank of lieutenant-general and civilian – a real secret adviser. In September 1792, AA Vyazemsky, by illness, retired, and many of his duties, Catherine II, laid on several people. DN Bantysh-Kamensky wrote about him as follows: “Prince Vyazemsky was distinguished for his loyalty to his throne, unselfishness, he was extremely industrious, knew how to elect worthy helpers, an enemy of luxury, but stingy and envious, as contemporaries said about him.” AA Vyazemsky was married to the daughter of Elizabethan Prosecutor General N. Yu. Trubetskoi Elena Nikitichna. The couple had four daughters. Prince AA Vyazemsky died on January 8, 1793.

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