Kotoshikhin, Grigorii Karpovich
Born circa 1630; died November 1667 in Stockholm. Pod’iachii (scrivener) in the Posol’skii Prikaz (Foreign Office); writer.
In 1658–61, Kotoshikhin was part of the Russian mission that conducted the negotiations with Sweden to conclude the Treaty of Valiesar and the Treaty of Kardis (Kärde). In the spring of 1664 he was sent to Prince la. K. Cherkasskii’s troops as a clerk, but he deserted to the Lithuanians in August and then traveled to Silesia. From there he moved to Narva and Stockholm, and in March 1666 he was admitted to the Swedish service. He was executed for the murder of the landlord of the house in which he lived.
Kotoshikhin is the author of a work (published under the title Concerning Russia During the Reign of Aleksei Mikhailovich, 1840) that is a valuable source for the history of the state system of Russia in the mid-17th century. Kotoshikhin’s information is very detailed and accurate, and most of it is confirmed by other 17th-century sources. It must be considered, however, that his work was compiled on the order of the Swedish government and that some of his opinions about 17th-century Russia are tendentious.