(The Seven Boyars), a government formed in Russia after the overthrow of Tsar Vasilii Ivanovich Shuiskii in July 1610. The Semiboiarshchina was composed of the members of the Boyar Duma who were then in Moscow; Prince F. I. Mstislavskii, Prince I. M. Vorotynskii, Prince A. V. Trubetskoi, Prince A. V. Golitsyn, Prince B. M. Lykov, I. N. Romanov, and F. I. Sheremetev.
One of the first decisions of the Semiboiarshchina was the resolution not to choose a member of a Russian family as tsar. On Aug. 17 (27), 1610, the Semiboiarshchina concluded a treaty with the Poles, who were on the outskirts of Moscow; the agreement recognized Władysław, son of the Polish king Sigismund III, as Russian tsar. Seeking to defend its privileges, the aristocratic government ensured the inclusion in the treaty of provisions restricting the rights of Władysław: for example, he was to convert to Orthodoxy while still in Smolensk, was to marry no one but a Russian, and was to limit the number of his advisers from Poland. Fearing uprisings of the people of Moscow and having no faith in the Russian troops, the Semiboiarshchina betrayed the nation, secretly allowing Polish troops to enter Moscow on the night of Sept. 20, 1610. From October 1610 all real power was concentrated in the hands of the commanders of the Polish garrison, S. Zołkiewski and A. Gosiewski, but the Semiboiarshchina nominally continued to function until the liberation of Moscow by the People’s Volunteer Corps of Minin and Pozharskii.
REFERENCEPlatonov, S. F. Ocherki po istorii smuty v Moskovskom gosudarstve XVI-XVII vv. Moscow, 1937.
V. D. NAZAROV