(Office of Land Grants), one of the central state bodies in Russia from the mid-16th to the early 18th century. Established in the mid-1550’s in connection with military and agrarian reforms, the Pomestnyi Prikaz was assigned a number of administrative tasks that had previously been handled by the treasury departments and by the Prikaz Bol’shogo Dvortsa (Palace Office) and the Prikaz Oblastnogo Dvortsa (Regional Office).
At first, the new administrative body was called the Pomestnaia Izba (office). It had jurisdiction over the central and southern districts of Russia, where private feudal land tenure was well developed. The Pomestnyi Prikaz allotted pomest’ia (fiefs) to sluzhilye liudi (members of the military service class), following norms established by the Razriadnyi Prikaz (War Office) for the size of pomest’ia. In addition, the Pomestnyi Prikaz administered recently granted pomest’e lands and recorded and controlled any changes in feudal land tenure (pomest’ia, as well as secular and ecclesiastical votchiny, or patrimonial estates). The Pomestnyi Prikaz also carried out general and local land surveys and censuses. As a result, in the 17th century it became responsible for capturing fugitive peasants. It served as a central court for land disputes. In the early 18th century the Pomestnyi Prikaz was also in charge of recruiting datochnye liudi (persons having a lifelong military obligation) for military services and for construction work throughout the country. The Pomestnyi Prikaz was abolished in 1720.
The top four or five administrators of the Pomestnyi Prikaz were usually headed by a member of the Duma ranks (most often a boyar or okol’nichii[a member of the Moscow service aristocracy, ranking just below a boyar]). Structurally the Pomestnyi Prikaz was broken down into stoly and povyt’ia, administrative divisions assigned to different territorial units.
The archive of the Pomestnyi Prikaz (pistsovye knigi and perepisnye knigi[census books] and various documents, chiefly from 1626 on) is in the Central State Archive of Old Deeds (TsGADA).
REFERENCESLeont’ev, A. K. Obrazovanie prikaznoi sistemy upravleniia v Russkom gosudarstve. Moscow, 1961.
Chernov, A. V. “K istorii Pomestnogo prikaza.” Trudy Moskovskogo Gosudarstvennogo istoriko-arkhivnogo in-ta, vol. 9. Moscow, 1957.
V. D. NAZAROV