General Patrick Gordon of Auchleuchries : a Scot in seventeenth century Russian service
I have chosen to examine in detail both Gordon's role as a diplomat and one particular function of mercenaries in Russia during the latter half of the seventeenth century - their policing role. I have therefore split the dissertation into main parts. Part I will examine the role of the mercenary General Patrick Gordon of Auchleuchries within the context of Anglo-Russian diplomatic relations. Part I is split into four chapters and, in a study of the period of Anglo-Russian contact before 1660s, seeks to provide both the framework into which Gordon's diplomatic achievements can be placed and a point of reference, a context, through which Gordon's role and function can be judged. In Part II the focus switches away from the diplomatic towards the military. Part II is split into three main chapters. Chapter 5 will deal with the questions surrounding mercenary recruitment into Muscovy before 1660. The actual numbers of foreign mercenaries recruited into Muscovy, the method of their recruitment, the difficulties they encountered in departing from Russian mercenary service, details of their rates of pay and role as instructors or conduct within actual military campaigns against external aggressors, have all received the attentions of the historian. Thus chapter 5 seeks rather to provide a survey and assessment of the main interpretational frameworks applied to mercenary recruitment into Muscovy in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. It was necessary for mercenaries to help defend Russia's vast borders but they were also found to be more reliable than native troops as an instrument of internal suppression.