a body of gentry representation under the Swedish (from 1643) and then Russian (from 1711) governors-general of the Baltic region.
Such bodies existed separately in Livonia and Estonia and on the island of Ezel’ (Saaremaa). The six to 12 members of the collegium were elected by landtags or were coopted for life from among the most distinguished gentry. The chief tasks of the collegium were to defend estate privileges of the gentry before the central authorities, to carry out the decisions of the local class-estate bodies, and to oversee the courts and the church. The institution was abolished in 1786, but it was restored in 1796 under Pavel I.