Artamon Matveev

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Matveev, Artamon Sergeevich


Born 1625; died May 15 (25), 1682, in Moscow. Russian statesman and diplomat; boyar (1674). Son of a clerk.

Matveev served in the Ukraine and took part in the wars with Poland. In 1654 he was a member of the Russian delegation to the Pereiaslav Rada, and in 1656-57 he was a member of the embassy to Poland. As head of the Strel’tsy Prikaz (the regiment of semiprofessional musketeers), he took part in the suppression of the Moscow Uprising of 1662. In 1669 he became head of the Little Russian (Ukrainian) Prikaz, and in 1671 he became simultaneously director of the Posol’skii Prikaz (Foreign Office) and other central institutions.

For Matveev the basic task of Russian foreign policy was the reunification of the entire Ukraine with Russia; to attain this, he proposed a temporary suspension of the struggle against Sweden for control of the Baltic coast. During negotiations with Poland in 1672 he won Russian control of Kiev. He was close to Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich, whose second wife, Nataliia Kirillovna Naryshkina, was a ward of his. For his times Matveev was an educated man and had a large library. He initiated the compilation of Tituliarnik, a handbook for diplomatic correspondence. After the death of the tsar he fell into disgrace and was exiled to the north in 1676 together with his family. With the selection of Peter I as tsar, Matveev returned to Moscow, but in a few days he became one of the first victims of the Moscow Uprising of 1682.


Shchepot’ev, L. Blizhnii boyarin A. S. Matveev kak kul’turnyi politicheskii deiatel’ XVII v. St. Petersburg, 1906.