Uglich Affair

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Uglich Affair


an investigation of the death of Tsarevich Dmitrii Ivanovich and the subsequent popular uprising of May 15,1591, in Uglich, conducted by a specially appointed commission in the second half of May of that year. The commission comprised the boyar Prince V. I. Shuiskii, the okol’nichii (a noble ranking below the boyars) A. P. Kleshnin, the dumnyi d’iak (one holding a lower duma rank) E. Vyluzgin, and Metropolitan Gelasii.

Approximately 150 persons were questioned in the course of the investigation, including the tsarevich’s uncles of the Nagie family, the tsarevich’s nursemaid and wet nurse, various clergymen, and all persons who were close to the court and who were present at the palace at the time of the events. The commission’s findings were prepared mainly in Uglich. On June 2, Gelasii presented the findings at a meeting of the Consecrated Council, which subsequently submitted them to the tsar. The commission found that the tsarevich died as a result of a self-inflicted knife wound incurred during a fall due to an epileptic seizure.

In the aftermath of the Uglich affair, the tsarevich’s mother was forced to take religious vows, and his relatives fell into disfavor. In addition, a considerable number of Uglich’s posadskie liudi (merchants and artisans) who participated in the uprising were sent “to reside” in Siberia.


Polosin, I. I. “Uglichskoe sledstvennoe delo 1591 g.” In his book Sotsial’no-politicheskaia istoriia Rossii XVI-nachala XVII v. Moscow, 1963.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.