Sheshkovskii, Stepan Ivanovich
Bom Dec. 21, 1719 (Jan. 1, 1720), in St. Petersburg; died there May 12 (23), 1794. Russian state figure.
Sheshkovskii was the son of a minor civil servant. From 1757 to 1762 he was the secretary of the Secret Chancellery, and in 1762 (officially, in 1767) he became senior secretary of the Secret Office of the Senate. A trusted agent of Empress Catherine the Great, Sheshkovskii carried out investigations for the most important political cases of the second half of the 18th century, including the cases of V. Ia. Mirovich, E. I. Pugachev, A. N. Radishchev, and N. I. Novikov. He personally helped with torture during interrogations. For this reason his contemporaries called Sheshkovskii a whipping Tom (knutoboi) and the grand inquisitor of Russia.