Catalogue description Secretaries of State: State Papers Foreign, Russia

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Details of SP 91
Reference: SP 91
Title: Secretaries of State: State Papers Foreign, Russia

Mainly in-letters to the Secretary of State from the English (later British) ambassadors, envoys, and resident ministers to Russia, including consul-generals and certain other agents. There are few records before 1589. Most of the early despatches are dated at Moscow, but from the eighteenth century they are usually from St Petersburg, with some others from Danzig and elsewhere.

Many draft replies by the Secretary of State are also in the series, and a number of petitions and some royal letters.

Date: 1565-1780

Most records are arranged in chronological order, though the series concludes with a supplementary series.

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Physical description: 111 bundles and volumes
Custodial history: Volumes SP 91/1, 2 and 3 and bundles SP 91/107 and 110 were compiled in the nineteenth century from a collection of loose papers, or from volumes which had been disbound. Folios 325 to 346 of SP 91/3, however, were presented to the Public Record Office in July 1968 after the death of Mr L E Loewensen. These 22 folios were apparently once the papers of William Blathwayt (?1649-1717).
Publication note:

Selected documents dated before August 1589 are described in the Calendar of State Papers Foreign Series of the Reign of Elizabeth I ed A J Butler S C Lomas and R B Wernham (London 1901-1950). For references to the more important papers for the period August 1589 to December 1595 see the List and Analysis of State Papers Foreign Series Elizabeth I I-VI ed by Richard Bruce Wernham (London 1964-1993). Please speak to staff at the Map and Large Document Room enquiry desk for the precise location.

Administrative / biographical background:

St Petersburg was founded by Peter the Great in 1703 as the new capital city. The Russian court, however, made occasional migrations to Moscow after 1703. In 1719 there was a breach in the diplomatic relations between George I and Peter the Great, and the British Minister at St Petersburg was obliged to retire to Danzig (now Gdansk in Poland), where there was an English factory. Relations remain ruptured until 1730.

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