Quarantine in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania: the Voivodeship of Prince Vasily Borisovich Sheremetev During the Plague of 1657
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Quarantine in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania: the Voivodeship of Prince Vasily Borisovich Sheremetev During the Plague of 1657
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Irina Gerasimova 
Affiliation: Pskov State University
Address: Russian Federation, Pskov

The article reconstructs the activities of one of the closest boyars of the Russian Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich — Prince Vasily Borisovich Sheremetev on the Belarusian-Ukrainian lands during the war between Russia and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1654—1667) during 1657. During this short period of time, he received four appointments from the Tsar as voivode of the cities of Smolensk, Vilna, Borisov and Shklov. At the same time, he could only get to the first city and immediately received a new order to be appointed voivode in Vilna. The paper considers the reasons for changing the Royal decree and the urgent need for the Prince to come to Vilna as a voivode, which was not previously discussed in the scientific literature. On the way to the capital, V. B. Sheremetev received information about the outbreak of the plague there. The news of this caught him not far from Borisov, in connection with which he was forced to be appointed voivode of Borisov together with the former voivode there I. A. Rzhevsky. In Borisov V. B. Sheremetev became a link between the Russian voivodeships in the territories of the Lithuanian Duchy, partially infected with the pestilence, and the Discharge order. He was responsible for all correspondence between the voivodes and the Tsar. Letters were repeatedly rewritten at the Borisov outposts, read by the Prince and retold in his replies to the tsar. Lists were copied in Borisov from the voivodeships of Kovna, Minsk and Grodno too. In addition, V.B. Sheremetyev established checkpoints for people-outposts, observed quarantine measures established in letters by the Russian Tsar, detained embassies and messengers to the Tsar from European countries to prevent the spread of a deadly disease. In his replies, he reported that he had to deal with the problems of the local population, which was being ravaged by the frequent raids of Cossacks due to the epidemic, to billet and provide for the regiments of the Russian army that came to Borisov, to supervise the issue of the oath of Lithuanian hetmans and their troops. In September, the Tsar decided to dismiss the army and appoint the Prince as voivode in another city of the Lithuanian Principality — Shklov, due to the outbreak of a pestilence in the Borisov district.

Russian-Polish war, cities of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, quarantine, plague epidemic, Voivodeship, Prince Vasily Borisovich Sheremetev
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