As impostors feasted in the Kremlin in the time of Troubles

As impostors feasted in the Kremlin in the time of Troubles

“” continues a series of articles on the feasts of the rulers during the grueling wars and other serious crises.


Last time we talked about the feasts of Ivan the terrible, which lasted until ten o’clock. This time we will talk about how to feasted kings, impostors and their followers in the time of Troubles, when the country had suffered greatly from hunger, which before did not know Russia.

Misfortune struck

The harsh climate, the poverty of the soil, the feudal system, a three-year crop failures and speculation in bread made by monks, nobles and merchants, caused the terrible famine in Russia in the early XVII century. He was one of the causes of the Troubles.

In those years, in July and August had snow, frosts destroyed the crops, not only in spring but also in summer. Where there was cold, endless rain did not allow grain to ripen. The hunger was so strong that many landlords let their peasants to not have to maintain them. The result is crowds of hungry people were engaged in robbery and looting on the roads.

Not better things were in Moscow. Wrote the cellarer Trinity-Sergius Lavra Abraham Palitsyn, then from hunger in the capital killed more than 127 thousand people. A growing number of patients raging cholera epidemic, the daily carried away hundreds of lives.

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The eyewitnesses of the events told that out of desperation some fed on manure. Russian chroniclers reported the other scary part: “In Moscow and its limits ate horses, dogs, cats, and people.”

Who was then on the throne of Boris Godunov ordered to open the Royal granaries and distribute grain and money from the Treasury. This only further aggravated the situation: in need reached out to Moscow, and public money for the most part plundered officials.

It was considered that the Godunov could do more, he ordered rich people, barns which was Packed full of grain, sell your bread. Because of this, many stocks, which, according to estimates, would be enough for four years of welfare and all rotted.

Nothing prevented the Tsar Boris

Tsar Boris himself there was nothing to hold a big feast. One of the peers in Serpukhov — lasted six weeks. According to the chroniclers, under the arches of the tabernacles at that time was able to taste a thousand people. Honey, wine, and food were transported by carts. How then recalled the Ambassador of the German Emperor, he could not count gold and silver ware brought out for the feast.

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Someone of the guests had left testimony that he personally saw in the Royal pantry barrels cast silver, huge silver bowls of food, each of which was able to raise only four people. Especially blinded techniques for the pomp and glitter of a Danish Prince John, to svatovskaya Boris Godunov’s daughter — Princess Xenia: “the Tables were heaped with food, the servants were carrying the dishes of gold and silver”.

Especially memorable to Muscovites the first feast Godunov. With great fanfare, solemn and richly he celebrated his election to the throne. As reported by the chroniclers, the feast lasted a week, for the common people to the square rolled out barrels of wine and put snacks. However, the location of people, he never received. After the outbreak of a terrible famine, which killed thousands of people, Boris was accused of inaction and indifference to the plight of the people.