CATHERINE II (the Great, 1729-1796, Empress of Russia from 1762)

Fine decree document, in Russian with translation signed 'Ekaterina' to "the Office for Constructing Our Houses and Gardens", appointing Major-General Ivan Libgard to a post there, 1 side folio, no place, 22nd January

Catherine was the wife of Peter III, the heir to the Russian throne, but she soon quarrelled with her husband and became notorious for her love affairs with Gregory Orlov and then Stanislaw Augustus Poniatowski. When Peter III acceded to the throne in 1762 she was banished until Peter was dethroned by a conspiracy and Catherine became Empress. A few days afterwards Peter was murdered by Orlov and others. Catherine carried on the government with great energy and the dominions and power of Russia rapidly increased. When there was discontent the young Prince Ivan, hope of the disaffected, was murdered in the castle of Schlüsselburg. From that time internal politics consisted of court intrigues for and against one favourite or another. Grigori Potemkin was the best known, among other things he chose lovers for the Empress and arranged for them to be vetted for her by 'proveurs'. The first partition of Poland in 1772 and the Turkish War of 1774 vastly increased the Empire, as did a war with Sweden in 1790 and another Turkish War in 1792. The triumphs of her reign were completed with the 2nd and 3rd partitions of Poland and the incorporation of Courland into Russia
We Most Graciously Command Engineer the Major-General Ivan Libgard to assist at this office.
[Signed] Catherine. 22nd January 1792

Item Date:  1792

Stock No:  38278      £2750

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