The Case of V. N. Tatishchev’s Denunciation, 1738


  • Evgeny Anisimov



V. N. Tatishchev, S. D. Davydov, A. S. Tevkelev; A. I. Ushakov; Secret Chancellery; political intelligence


V. N. Tatishchev’s denunciation of Colonel S. D. Davydov and related documents date back to the autumn of 1738 – summer of 1739 and shed light on previously unknown details in the life of this distinguished administrator and scholar in the reign of Empress Anna Ioannovna (1730–1740). The originals of these previously unpublished documents survive (except for one, which is a copy made by a scribe) and are kept in the Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts (Fund 7. Preobrazhenskii Prikaz, Secret Office and Secret Expedition, collection of the State Archive of the Russian Empire). The information reflected in the documents allows the author not only to clarify the circumstances of Tatishchev’s life during the Orenburg expedition (1737–1739) which he led and the motives behind his actions, but also provide a detailed description of the system of political intelligence in the 1730s and the horror experienced even by high-ranking officials when confronted by this intelligence service. All this makes the materials published a valuable source for attaining a deeper understanding of Tatishchev’s personality and times.

Author Biography

Evgeny Anisimov

Dr. Hab. (History), Professor, National Research University Higher School of Economics (St Petersburg Branch).

16, Soyuza Pechatnikov Str., 190121, St Petersburg, Russia.


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How to Cite

Anisimov, E. (2019). The Case of V. N. Tatishchev’s Denunciation, 1738. Quaestio Rossica, 7(1), 315–334.