Tolstoi, Petr Andreevich

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Tolstoi, Petr Andreevich


Born Jan. 30 (according to some sources, Feb. 7), 1645; died 1729 in Solovetskii Monastery. Russian statesman and diplomat; count (1724).

Tolstoi was the son of an okol’nichii (member of the tsar’s immediate retinue). He incited the strel’tsy (semiprofessional musketeers) against the Naryshkin family and Peter I. After the fall of Sofia Alekseevna he sided with Peter I, although for a long time he did not enjoy Peter’s confidence. He participated in the second Azov campaign in 1696 and studied naval science in Italy in 1697 and 1698. From 1702 to 1714 he was ambassador to Turkey and was twice confined by the sultan to Yedikule Fortress. In 1714, Tolstoi became a senator. In 1716 and 1717 he accompanied Peter I on a tour of Europe. He masterminded the return of the tsarevitch Aleksei Petrovich from abroad and in 1718 headed the investigation of the tsarevich’s case, eventually becoming one of Peter’s closest confidants. Tolstoi directed the Secret Chancellery from 1718 to 1726. In 1725 he played an important role in helping Catherine I gain the throne. He became a member of the Supreme Privy Council in February 1726.

In 1727, as a result of a dispute with A. D. Menshikov concerning the succession to the throne, Tolstoi was arrested and exiled together with his son Ivan.


Pavlov-Sil’vanskii, N. P. “Graf P. A. Tolstoi.” Soch., vol. 2. St. Petersburg, 1910.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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