Secret Chancellery

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Secret Chancellery


(Tainaia Kantseliariia), a central state institution in Russia, a body of political investigation and administration of justice. Established by Tsar Peter I in February 1718 to investigate the case of Tsarevich Aleksei Petrovich, it was based in the Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg and had divisions in Moscow. It was later charged with the investigation and prosecution of cases of extraordinary importance, such as attempts on the life of the tsar, attempted coups d’etat, and treason.

The Secret Chancellery was under the personal control of the tsar, who was often present at interrogations, during which torture was usually used. In May 1726 the Secret Chancellery was abolished, and all its functions were transferred to the Preobrazhenskii Prikaz. The chancellery was reestablished in March 1731 as the Chancellery of Secret Investigations; in 1762 it was abolished and its functions transferred to the Secret Office of the Senate.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The miscellaneous series was assembled in the second half of the 19th century by combining the Ottoman imperial documents formerly held in the secret chancellery of the Ducal Palace with other Ottoman papers and documents written in other Oriental languages that the Venetian archivists of the time could not read.