Boris Sheremetev


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Sheremetev, Boris Petrovich

 

Born Apr. 25 (May 5), 1652, in Moscow; died there Feb. 17 (28), 1719; buried in St. Petersburg. Russian military leader and diplomat. General field marshal (1701). Count (1706).

Sheremetev began service in the tsar’s court in 1671. Appointed voevoda (military governor) of Tambov in 1681, he led operations against the Crimean Tatars. He was named a boyar in 1682. Between 1685 and 1687, Sheremetev helped negotiate and conclude the Eternal Peace of 1686 with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (Rzeczpospolita) and an alliance treaty with Austria. He assumed command in late 1687 of the troops in Belgorod protecting the southern border and fought in the Crimean campaigns. After Peter I took power in 1689, Sheremetev became one of his associates.

Sheremetev served as an army commander on the Dnieper in operations against the Crimean Tatars in the Azov campaigns of 1695 and 1696. Between 1697 and 1699 he carried out diplomatic missions in Poland, Austria, and Italy and on the island of Malta. During the Northern War of 1700–21, Sheremetev proved himself a capable, although circumspect and extremely conservative, military leader. He commanded a cavalry unit composed of dvoriane (nobles) in the battle of Narva in 1700. From 1701 to 1705 he was commander of troops in Livland. He won battles at Erestfehr (1701) and Hummelshof (1702) and took Kopor’e (1703) and Dorpat (1704).

After directing the suppression of the Astrakhan Uprising of 1705–06, Sheremetev returned to a command position in the main body of the army in 1708. In 1709 he commanded the troops in the center of the battle formation at Poltava. His men captured Riga in 1710. In 1711 he commanded the army’s main forces in the Prut Campaign. Sheremetev was commander of the southern observation army on the Turkish border in 1712 and 1713 and a corps commander in Pomerania and in Mecklenburg between 1715 and 1717.