Author Topic: Re: award of Russian honors  (Read 10266 times)

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Offline Nick_Nicholson

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Re: award of Russian honors
« on: March 15, 2004, 08:33:15 AM »
Yes, all the Russian orders were also awarded to non Russians.  The Duke of Wellington recieved the Cross of St. George for his bravery during the war against Napoleon, Queen Victoria was given the Order of St. Catherine, and many, many foreigners recieved the orders of Sts Sanislas, Anna, and Vladimir.  Members of other Ruling houses also recieved the Order of St. Andrew the First-Called.

Each order had, on the obverse, a small image of the saint (St. Anne, St. Vlad., etc.).  When the order was given to a non-orthodox, the obverse was a crowned initial.

You will see in the medals and orders sales at the auction houses that these were given frequently to foreigners.

Hope this helps.

Nick
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Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: award of Russian honors
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2004, 03:31:12 PM »
I would be interested in knowing which sovereigns Nicholas exchanged orders with [as well as uniforms] and what happened to this collection? I read in PAVLOSK [Massie] that their dresses & uniforms were used to pack things  for evacuation. Were they salvaged afterwards? If so, are they on display?
I have seen some in exhibition catalogues, etc. but certainly not many considering what they must have had.
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Offline BobAtchison

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Re: award of Russian honors
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2004, 03:43:04 PM »
After the war the clothes and uniforms that were saved were divided between Pavlovsk and the Catherine Palace.  It appears all of the uniforms went to the Catherine Palace.  They saved the helmets, belts, everything.  The original closets from Nicholas's dressing room at the AP were saved as well.

I've seen British, Swedish and German uniforms there.

Bob

Offline Nick_Nicholson

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Re: award of Russian honors
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2004, 04:54:42 PM »
Robert,

It is safe to say that Nicholas exchanged orders with almost every regnant sovereign.  I have seen pictures of him wearing the order of the Golden Fleece, the Order of the Garter, and many others -- it is presumable that he gave St. Andrew in return.

In the collections at the Hermitage, the have a very large collection of foreign medals and decorations which were the property of the Imperial Family.  One could probably track who gave and got what in their records.

Best,

nick
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Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: award of Russian honors
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2004, 02:29:32 AM »
Thank you, Nick. I shall make that a priority on my visit to Petersburgh.
One would wonder actually, which Fleece he recieved?? The Spanish or the Austrian ?
[Most likely the former, as the latter was given only to Catholics, I think].
Are the uniforms on display as well?

Cheers,
Robert
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

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Offline CarolynnB

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Re: award of Russian honors
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2004, 10:27:46 PM »
I remember reading someplace that Alexander I and Napoleon exchanged honors as part of the Treaty of Tilsit---Napoleon awarded Alexander (and perhaps 4 other Russians) with the Legion of Honor and Alexander awarded Napoleon with the Order of St. Andrew the First-Called.   My understanding was that this did not sit well with many of the Russian military, who had just been fighting against Napoleon.   I would really like to know what happened to both of these honors, given that Napoleon invaded Russia just a few years later....
does the French government still have Napoleon's St. Andrew?

Curious,
Carolynn

Offline Nick_Nicholson

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Re: award of Russian honors
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2004, 01:41:08 PM »
Carolynn,

I wonder about that.  I believe that the Order of St. Andrew was reserved for members of regnant houses and the Russian Imperial House, and even though by then Napoleon had declared himself Emperor, I would think that St. George would have been the logical choice. It would also have ilicited the response you mention from the Russian military.

Do you know where you read this?

nick
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Offline CarolynnB

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Re: award of Russian honors
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2004, 03:52:30 PM »
Dear Nick,

I thought that it was pretty odd myself (that's probably why it stuck with me).  I believe that I ran across the information when preparing a series of lectures on Alexander I and the relationship with France in the early 19th century.  I'll have to go back and check my notes and bookshelf to see what specific reference I have for the information.

I raised the question here because I ran across this same information on a DVD I purchased through ebay from  RBCMP3.com.  The series of DVD's was produced for Russian television by NTV, for the St. Petersburg tricentennial, and are titled "Rossiiskaia Imperiia."  On them, the host makes the point that not only did Alexander award Napoleon with the St. Andrew, but that he also asked that one of his officers be awarded the French Legion of Honor.  Apparently Napoleon declined to do this, as the officer had been involved in the coup against Paul, and Napoleon asserted that he didn't want to reward regicide.  Nice, huh?  I guess that I was not only looking for some verification of the story, I would like to know about the reliability of the information on the DVD (I would really like to have a transcript of the Russian text, since the English subtitles are not always correct or complete).  

I'll get back with you on the textual information---Thanks for the response!
Carolynn

Offline CarolynnB

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Re: award of Russian honors
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2004, 05:22:37 PM »
Dear Nick,

Back again with the source information.  Henri Troyat's "Alexander of Russia" states on page 107 that "Alexander charged Prince Kurakin to deliver to Napoleon the insignia of the Order of St. Andrew, for himself and for four members of his suite.  In exchange, Napoleon had General Duroc bring the Czar five badges of the Legion of Honor.  Shortly afterward Alexander, wearing the cordon of the Legion of Honor, and Napoleon, wearing the cordon of St. Andrew, reviewed together the regiments of their personal guard...."

A second source, Leonid Strakhovsky's "Alexander I of Russia" (1947) notes on page 83 that the five insignia of the Order of St. Andrew were to be presented by Prince Kurakin to Napoleon himself, to Napoleon's brother Jerome, and to Murat, Tallyrand and Marshal Berthier.  The five insignia of the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor were presented to Alexander, his brother Constantine, Baron Budberg (Alex's minister of foreign affairs at the time), Prince Kurakin and Prince Lobanov-Rostovsky.

I raised the question because both of these sources are somewhat dated, and because neither of them provides a citation to their primary source.  While it is possible that this did happen, I would really like to know if did---Troyat does not acknowledge the Strakhovsky book in his bibliography, so it is possible that both of them are quoting from a 3rd source that neither one of them cites.
Surely there is some good history of the Treaty of Tislit process that I haven't run across that has a primary source that would support or deny that this happened.

The point that Napoleon wasn't exactly from a royal line is a good one in favor of this being a misunderstanding of what order was presented.  However, my understanding of the whole Treaty of Tilsit was that Alexander was in a relatively weak position, and needed to make Napoleon believe that he was on his side against the British---perhaps military need could outweigh what was protocol---and it would explain why the Russians were so unhappy with the terms of the peace treaty (along with losing such a huge amount of trade with Britain.)

What do you think?
Carolynn

Offline Nick_Nicholson

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Re: award of Russian honors
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2004, 08:19:47 PM »
Carolyn,

I agree with you completely.  The interesting thing about this period is, in fact, that the Russians and the Americans were working together more closely than people realize.  Russian ships were helping American trade vessels navigate the northern seas and protecting them against the British in order to sell their goods to the Russians and French.  

The correspondance between the American Embassy in Petersburg and Washington are in the National Archives, and are fascinating.

I guess Alexander did what he had to do.  Besides, for an EMperor whose family had itself only been on the throne for 200 years, he was probably less hostile to the idea of granting Napoleon an honor than say, the Habsburgs would have been.  I guess giving St. Andrew isn't such a big deal in comparison to being overrun.

Nick
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Offline BobAtchison

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Re: award of Russian honors
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2004, 07:57:46 AM »
Let's not forget one of Alexanders sisters was being dangled about as a possible Romanov bride for Napoleon....  I'm not sure who first suggested it.  Wasn't Alexander I able to put the possible marriage off due to her age?  In the end Napoleon snagged Marie Louise of Austria so it didn't matter.

Bob

Offline CarolynnB

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Re: award of Russian honors
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2004, 12:40:26 AM »
Hi Bob!

Troyat argued that 2 of Alexander's sisters were considered as possible spouses for Napoleon---by Napoleon, but not really by the family.  At their Erfurt meeting in 1808, Napoleon apparently told Alexander that he was planning to divorce Josephine and suggested that he be allowed to marry Alexander's favorite sister Grand Duchess Catherine (Ekaterina Pavlovna).  Alexander, who was apparently horrified at the prospect of this marriage, stalled for time with Napoleon by telling him that his mother the Dowager Empress would have to approve such a marriage.  When he returned to St. Petersburg, he immediately engaged Catherine to the Duke of Oldenburg so as to thwart the marriage to Napoleon.  Napoleon then proposed to marry Alexander's younger sister, Anne, who was only 15 years old.  The Dowager Empress came up with a scheme to again stall for time, claiming that Anne was too young to be married, but that there would be a "possibility" of a marriage in a few years.  By this time, Napoleon had settled on Marie Louise, but he was extremely upset by the actions of his "ally."

In both cases, it seems pretty clear that there was a desire on the part of the royal family not to involve the girls in a "miserable existence" (the Dowager Empress's words) but also a need not to completely alienate Napoleon when they were ill-equipped to fight him.  It seems a tribute to the family that while they were perhaps willing to break protocol and give him the Order of St. Andrew, they were not willing to sacrifice one of their own.  I do remember one of my history teachers commenting that one of the reasons that Napoleon invaded Russia in 1812 was because of the insult to his "person" caused by the unwillingness of the Romanovs to allow him to marry into the family.

Carolynn

Offline Nick_Nicholson

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Re: award of Russian honors
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2004, 09:13:54 AM »
Actually, I guess that the Romanovs didn't break the laws of the Order, as Napoleon was, in fact, an Emperor regnant.  They did,  however, break the laws of Taste...(In case you haven't noticed, I am not a Napoleon fan at all.)

Nick
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Offline CarolynnB

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Re: award of Russian honors
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2004, 03:46:12 PM »
I've always been fascinated by the Russian love-hate relationship with Napoleon.  It seems that when I've talked to some Russians about the various invasions that they are virulently anti-German (which is understandable), but that there is almost a grudging admiration of Napoleon and the French.  I'm not a big fan of Napoleon either (although he is fun to study from a historical perspective---whacking people on the head with his sceptre at his coronation!), but I'm intrigued with this situation.  Perhaps it is rooted in the Francophile history of the court, or perhaps it was simply long enough ago that much has been forgotten....?

Carolynn

Offline Simon Turnbull

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Re: award of Russian honors
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2004, 02:37:16 AM »
Hi Nick,

Did the Tsar give medals and awards posthumously? If so, do you know which medals may have been given to the Imperial Guard regiments in the latter years of his reign?

Warm regards, Simon