Lefort, Frants Iakovlevich
Born Dec. 23, 1655 (Jan. 2, 1656), in Geneva; died Mar. 2 (12), 1699, in Moscow. Russian military leader; admiral (1695).
Swiss by birth and the son of a merchant, Lefort began his career in the French and Dutch armies. In 1675 he arrived in Russia, and in 1678 he entered military service with the rank of captain. Lefort took part in the Russo-Turkish War of 1676–81 and in the Crimean campaigns of 1687 and 1689. In 1689 (or 1690) he became a close friend of Peter I, which helped advance his career. Lefort was made a major general in 1690 and a lieutenant general in 1691. During the Azov campaigns of 1695–96 he commanded the Russian Navy. Together with F. A. Golovin and P. B. Voznitsyn, he headed the Grand Embassy, Russia’s diplomatic mission to Western Europe.
REFERENCESUstrialov, N. G. Lefort i potekhi Petra Velikogo do 1689 g. St. Petersburg, 1851.
Posselt, M. General und Admiral Franz Lefort: Sein Leben und seine Zeit, vols. 1–2. Frankfurt am Main, 1866. (Partially translated into Russian in Voennyi sbornik, 1870, nos. 7—12; 1871, nos. 1–3.)