Jacques Margeret

Margeret, Jacques


Born circa 1550 or 1560 in Auxonne, France; died no earlier than 1618. Author of notebooks about Russia; mercenary soldier and adventurer. Frenchman by nationality.

In France, Margeret fought on the side of Henry IV and then served the Austrian, Transylvanian, and Polish monarchs. In 1600 he traveled to Russia and took part in the battle near Dobrynichi. In 1605-06 he headed the personal bodyguard of the First False Dmitrii. After Dmitrii’s death Margeret left Russia in September 1606 and lived in France. It was there in 1607 that he published his notebooks on Russia. He returned again to Russia and entered the service of the Second False Dmitrii and was later in the service of the Polish hetman S. Zolkiewski. Margeret participated in the battle of Klushino of 1610, in the suppression of the uprising by the population of Moscow against the interventionists in March 1611, and in the devastation of Moscow. He traveled back to Poland in 1611 and later returned to France. Margeret’s notebooks on Russia are a valuable historical source, but they require a critical approach. The notebooks give a detailed account of political events in Russia between 1590 and September 1606. In the notebooks, Margeret alleged that the First False Dmitrii was the son of Ivan IV.


“Sostoianie Rossiiskoi derzhavy i velikogo kniazhestva Moskovskogo s prisovokupleniem izvestii o dostopamiatnykh sobytiakh, sluchivshikhsia v pravlenie chetyrekh gosudarei, s 1590 po sent. 1606.” In [N. Ustrialov], Skazaniia sovremennikov o Dmitrii Samozvantse, part 1. St. Petersburg, 1859.


References in periodicals archive ?
Giles Fletcher and Jacques Margeret on the Muscovite State Budget at the Turn of the 16th and 17th Centuries
The French functionary Captain Jacques Margeret, who lived in Moscow some years after Fletcher, had an opportunity to report on the budget of the Muscovite state in greater detail, since he was in Russian service for about six years (1600--6).
Un demi-siecle plus tard paraitra le premier livre sur la Russie par un Francais, l'Estat de lempire de Russie et Grande Ducbe de Moscovie du capitaine Jacques Margeret, publie a Paris en 1606 (6).
La seule edition moderne et modernisee est celle d'Alexandre Bennigsen, Capitaine Jacques Margeret, Un mousquetaire a Moscou.