The Functioning of the Voivoda Administration of Nezhin between the Mid-17th and Early 18th Centuries
The author examines the functions of Russian voivodas in the town of Nezhin between the mid-17th and early 18th centuries and the role the voivoda administration played in the integration of Ukrainian lands into Russia. The author introduces previously unstudied sources, such as Nezhin voivodas’ correspondence with the Little Russia Prikaz and economic documents drawn up in the local office. He demonstrates that, in terms of the Ukrainian population, Nezhin voivodas had neither administrative nor legal power: their functions were limited to the taxation of Nezhin burghers and peasants (between 1666 and 1668). In legal cases where one of the parties was represented by Cossacks or townspeople and the other by military men of the garrison, voivodas judged them together with Nezhin regimental officers and communal authorities. The author states that only in certain cases could voivodas arrest Ukrainian Cossacks, burghers, and peasants accused of treason against the tsar. The author focuses on voivodas’ functions in the administration of the military garrison: they led the defence of the castle during sieges, prevented service people from escaping the town, and maintained the town fortifications in peace and wartime. Together with their military duties, voivodas managed the local office, dealt with the return of runaway serfs to their owners, and reported sensitive information that concerned the state of affairs in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Right-bank Ukraine to Moscow. Moreover, the voivodas also had to handle a number of economic issues, like purchasing grain for the garrison, supporting its activity, and controlling the distribution of income received by the tavern.
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