Russian nobility. For what merits it was possible to become the count?
So developed historically that a title of count became in Russia the most prestigious though according to the status and was lower than princely. To Peter I this title in the country was not applied. Subsequently the majority of the Russian count childbirth carried the title received by their ancestors for special merits from the Russian or foreign monarchs, besides, there was much and the former foreign childbirth which turned into the Russian citizenship already having a count title.
Creating uniform sluzhily nobility in the country, Petr looked for possibilities of a raising of the authority and the importance of the colleagues, many of which moved forward from bottoms of society. In Russia by then the only widely applied title was princely. But to appropriate it to the people who do not have on it the historical rights, the tsar did not risk, and so it was difficult to call his relations with the well-born and titled nobility good.
For a start Petr decided to use experience of other countries where assignment of titles at will of the monarch and even trade in titles was business ordinary. At the end of 1701 the emperor of the Sacred Roman Empire at the request of Peter I built in the count dignity of the prominent Russian diplomat the general - the field marshal F. A. Golovin who had at that time a rank of the boyar. The count title at once ennobled Golovin over other nobility.
The first pancake was not a lump, and the next year in the same way the title of count was received by the closest associate reigning A. D. Menshikov. In 1706 the state chancellor G. I. Golovkin who began service with a stolnik at young Petr in 1677 became the count of the Sacred Roman Empire.
In 1706 Petr himself for the first time made the Russian citizen in columns, B. P. Sheremetev received this great honor in an award for suppression of revolt in Astrakhan. In three years the title of the Russian count, received G. I. Golovkin who already had a foreign count title.
Mass “production“ of the Russian counts began in 1710 when this title was received by four persons, including the imperial teacher N. M. Zotov. By the way, for Zotov the title appeared to not extending to posterity, his children and grandsons it was forbidden to use a count title.
Subsequently Petr built in the count dignity of the colleagues Ya. V. Bruce, A. M. Apraksin and P. A. Tolstoy. The last in several years became the first person whom deprived of the Russian count title, there was it after Petr`s death at the initiative of Menshikov.
Curiously, as following granted in the Russian columns, it became at Catherine I the general - the chief of police of St. Petersburg A. M. Deviyer, too by Menshikov`s efforts it was deprived of a title.
At Peter I`s widow five more people became counts: three brothers of Livenvolde and two relatives of the empress - Karl and Fedor Skavronskiye. To build tradition in a count title of relatives of humble origin, then Elizabeth Petrovna continued. At it two brothers and two sisters Gendrikov and some more Skavronsky became counts and contesses. The empress did not ignore the favourite and, perhaps, the morganatic spouse Alexey Razumovsky, and at the same time and his brother Kirill.
Having taken care about close people, the empress began to appropriate a high title to large military leaders and statesmen. At it G. P. Chernyshev, P. M. Bestuzhev - Ryumin, A. I. Rumyantsev, A. B. Buturlin, and also A. I. brothers and P. I. Shuvalov became the Russian counts.
I did not find data on assignment of count titles by Peter III, but, perhaps, they were. But all counts who received titles after revolution from his spouse Catherine II are well-known. First of all the empress built in the count dignity of participants of plot of five brothers Orlov and two brothers of Pan-others.
Subsequently Ekaterina was avaricious on assignment of a high title, but all who it were awarded left a noticeable mark in the history of Russia. At it G. A. Potemkin, A. V. Suvorov (with assignment of a prefix to a surname “Rymnitsky“), N. I. Saltykov, M. N. Krechetnikov, P. S. Potemkin and I. E. Ferzen became counts.
From a group of Ekaterina`s counts, perhaps, the general from an infanteriya Ferzen is least known. It was the gallant fighter who carried out all life in fights and campaigns, awarded for valor with three Orders of Saint George (rare occurence). After storm of Prague (the suburb of Warsaw) in 1794 Suvorov informed on Ferzena: “Ozarayas still fresh glory, breaking the main rebel Kostyushki and his capture in captivity, it sovokupit new monasteries; at all delicacy of health, being awake spirit, he overcame both works, and dangers, and both the order by the part, and confirmed with courage the reputation, known about it“. For fights in Poland Ivan Evstafyevich also became the Russian count.
Having come to the throne, Paul I began to increase actively the number of the Russian counts. In the majority it were people worthy, but the noticeable mark was only left in the history by some of them, in particular the field marshal M. F. Kamensky, nakazny the ataman of Army of Donskoy F. P. Denisov and then still the general - the lieutenant A. A. Arakcheev.
During Alexander I`s reign many grants of a high title are connected with Napoleonic wars. Then the famous military leaders M. I. Golenishchev - Kutuzov, M. I. Platov, M. A. Miloradovich, M. B. Barclay - - Tolly, P. P. Konovnitsyn, F. V. Osten - Saken became the Russian counts.
All subsequent emperors did not stint count titles, and for rewarding chose, as a rule, people worthy. Historically it developed that in society the count title was always perceived as a synonym of eminence and high state merits. It favourably differed in it from a title of the prince.
It should be noted that in count advantage built also women, as a rule, with a possibility of transfer to his children. Apart from relatives of empresses, countesses became stats - ladies of Livny and Baranov, and also the widow of prominent statesmen Protasov and Rostovtsev.
In Russia there was much and the foreign counts accepted in the Russian citizenship. Only with accession of part of Poland in Russia about 70 were added - ti count childbirth, more than 10 - ti childbirth were registered on the Grand duchy Finnish. Generally it were representatives of the known and rich surnames for a long time having count advantage, or which received it for concrete merits.
It should be noted that receiving a title from the foreign monarch did not mean yet that the person can officially use it in Russia. It was for this purpose necessary to get permission to use of a title from the emperor, and then and for reckoning to the Russian titled nobility. If there were doubts in legality of possession of a foreign count title, then the emperor could not give a pleasure on its use in Russia. Sometimes allowed to use the Russian citizen a title, but only in that state where it was appropriated. For example, at the end of the 19th century to childbirth Oryol and Talevichey the emperor allowed to use count titles, but only within the Italian kingdom which monarch granted these titles to them.
It is considered that by the beginning of the XX century in Russia there were about 300 count childbirth. By this time the part of count childbirth was stopped in man`s posterity, and some quantity received higher princely title. At the same time if the count title was followed by personal intitulation, then it remained also when receiving a princely title. For example, the general title of Suvorov - the lightest prince Italiysky, the count Rymniksky, and Paskevich - the lightest prince Varshavsky, the count Erivansky. And it is only internal Russian intitulation as Suvorov had also foreign titles - columns of the Sacred Roman Empire, the grandee of the Sardinian kingdom and the prince of royal blood.
Count titles in Russia existed till November, 1917 when the new power adopted the decree “About destruction of estates and civil ranks“. From now on the Russian count titles are used only abroad among the former emigrants and in some countries where the tradition of intitulation remained.