a family of princes and boyars in Russia from the 15th to 17th centuries; a branch (descended from Alexander Nevsky’s son Andrei) of the line of princes of Nizhny Novgorod and Suzdal’.
The founder of the elder Shuiskii line was Prince Iurii, a son of Prince Vasilii Dmitrievich Kirdiapa. Iurii’s sons were the princes Vasilii Iur’evich and Fedor Iur’evich, each of whom founded one branch of the elder Shuiskii line. A third branch, the Skopin-Shuiskii family, was founded by Iurii’s grandson Prince Vasilii Vasil’evich Blednyi-Shuiskii; the branch came to an end in 1610 with the death of Prince Mikhail Vasil’evich Skopin-Shuiskii.
Among the best-known descendants of Prince Vasilii Iur’evich were Prince Andrei Mikhailovich (date of birth unknown; died 1589), who became a boyar in 1538 and head of the Shuiskii party in 1542, and Prince Andrei Ivanovich (date of birth unknown; died 1589), who became a boyar in 1584 and took part in the palace struggle of the mid-1580’s. Other noteworthy descendants included two brothers of Andrei Ivanovich—the Russian tsar Vasilii Ivanovich Shuiskii and Prince Dmitrii Ivanovich, who was named a boyar in 1586. With the death of Prince Ivan Ivanovich in 1638, all lines of the Shuiskii family in Russia came to an end.
The best-known descendants of Prince Fedor Iur’evich in the 16th century were Prince Vasilii Vasil’evich Nemoi-Shuiskii (date of birth unknown; died October 1538), who became a boyar in 1512 and was the de facto ruler of the country for a few months in 1538; Prince Ivan Vasil’evich (date of birth unknown; died May 1542), who became a boyar in 1532 and was the de facto ruler of the country from 1538 to 1540 and again in 1542; and Prince Ivan Petrovich (date of birth unknown; died Nov. 16, 1588), who became a boyar in 1574 and led the Pskov Defense of 1581–82.
The founder of the younger Shuiskii line was Prince Iurii’s first cousin Prince Vasilii Semenovich. His first son, Prince Aleksandr Glazatyi, was the progenitor of two branches of the family—the Glazatyi-Shuiskii family, which came to an end in the early 16th century, and the Barbashin-Shuiskii family. Vasilii Semenovich’s second son, Prince Ivan Gorbatyi, founded the Gorbatyi-Shuiskii family in the mid-15th century; the family came to an end in 1565.
The best-known members of the Gorbatyi-Shuiskii family were Prince Mikhail Vasil’evich Gorbatyi-Shuiskii (date of birth unknown; died c. 1535), who became a boyar in 1529, and Prince Aleksandr Borisovich Gorbatyi-Shuiskii (date of birth unknown; died February 1565), who became a boyar in 1544. Prince Aleksandr Borisovich led the Russian troops during the seige of Kazan in 1522 and served as a member of the Selected Council (Izbrannaia Rada).