Destinies of Old Family Lands in the First Half of the 17th Century
Keywords:Time of Troubles; Mikhail Romanov; votchina; old family lands; grants; boyar elite
This article considers the peculiarities of the old family lands of the boyar elite in the first half of the 17th century. Despite the fact that many princes and boyars owned vast old family lands (the princes Shuysky, Romodanovsky, Pozharsky, Lykov, Repnin, Troekurov, Sitsky, Prozorovsky, and Bakhteyarov-Rostovsky, as well as the most prominent representatives of the old Moscow untitled boyars, such as the Romanovs, Sheremetevs, Morozovs, and Saltykovs), the history of these properties is not as transparent as many researchers believe. The author demonstrates that in the 17th century, most princes and boyars continued to own these legacies not only due to the principle of natural inheritance but also because they came into possession of lands they had lost in the 16th century during the Time of Troubles and the reign of Mikhail Fyodorovich. These returns were not a general rule and did not apply to most of the service class. As a rule, old family lands were only returned to the most prominent boyars and courtiers as special grants for their services or because of their position at court. Among the people granted old family lands which they had lost under Tsar Mikhail Fyodorovich in the 16th century (including the lands of distant relations), there were royal family members, favourites and the most prominent boyars (Ivan Nikitich Romanov, Fyodor Ivanovich Sheremetev, Prince Boris Mikhailovich Lykov, Prince Boris Alexandrovich Repnin, Prince Dmitry Mikhailovich Pozharsky, Prince Ivan Ivanovich Shuysky, the Romodanovsky, Prozorovsky, Sitsky, Troekurov, and Bakhteyarov-Rostovsky princes, and the old Moscow untitled boyars Morozov, Saltykov, Golovin, and Dolmatov-Karpov). Most of the other noble families either completely lost or owned insignificant remnants of their old family lands. Thus, even possession of such lands in the 17th century became a reward, which led to the increased dependence of the boyar elite on the monarchy.
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