• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site

Book chapter

Die Kandidatur des schwedischen Prinzen Karl Filip auf den russischen Thron und Groß-Novgorod. Die Entwicklung einer Intrige 1611–1615

P. 225-243.
Translator: A. Lichtva.
Editor of translation: D. Ordubadi.

According to the alliance treaty between General Jacob De la Gardie and Novgorod (signed
on July 25, 1611) one of the Swedish princes became a candidate for the Muscovite throne.
After Karl IX had died and Gustav Adolf had been recognized as the new King of Sweden his
younger brother Karl Filip (or Carl Philip, engl.: Charles Philip) became a candidate for the
Muscovite throne. It was a good candidature for numerous political powers, both in Muscovy
and in Sweden. After the Land Home Guard conquered Moscow Kremlin in November 1612,
the preparation to the Electing Assembly started. In the same time active preparation for the
Prince’s visit were taken in Novgorod. But the “sovereign Karl Filip” left Sweden only in the
summer of 1613. By that time the candidature of Mikhail Romanov had won on the Electing
In late summer 1613 Prince Karl Filip had an audience with Novgorod representatives. The
head of the Novgorod embassy, archimandrite Cyprian in his speech to the Prince had
appealed to the so called “Varangian Legend”. The first address to the Old Russian heritage
appeared in Novgorod’s political rhetoric in the Order to the Embassy of Jur’ev archimandrite
Nikandr, on December, 25, 1611. The idea of the Varangian origin of Rurik was
used in it. This idea corresponds with the background of a typical Muscovite “intellectual” of
the late 16th century.
No agreement in Vyborg was achieved. The Prince returned back to Sweden and Novgorod’s
embassy – to Novgorod. But the figure of Prince Karl Filip did not leave the Novgorod scene
since his leaving Vyborg. In autumn the Swedish viceregent Evert Horn initiated the plebiscite
for the Novgorodians’ oath to King Gustav Adolf (if they agreed they became the King’s
subjects). The plebiscite was postponed until Easter 1615; then it failed but in May 1615
Novgorod stockholders proposed a collective notion: they had sworn an oath to Prince Karl
Filip as their sovereign and they could not swear to anybody else as to him. Such an oath
could be recognized as treason. Proclaiming such fidelity to “sovereign Karl Filip” was
symbolic for those Novgorodians who stayed in Novgorod and did not submit to the direct
pressure by the King’s authorities.
Those who kept fidelity to Karl Filip (and rejected to swear to the King) were subjected with
great fiscal press. In such conditions Novgorod townsmen and servicemen waited for a
peaceful agreement between Moscow and Sweden that had been achieved only on February
27, 1617. The election of Mikhail Romanov to the Muscovite throne was likely a result of
direct violence. The idea of a czar’s election itself had embarrassed Muscovite society reminding the elections of czar Boris Godunov in 1598. The ideological narratives created
during the first decades of their reign plotted Mikhail’s rights to the throne not on the all-
Land elections but on the relations with previous czars. Up to the end of 1613 positions of
foreign candidatures (Prince Wladislaw from the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and
Prince Karl Filip from Sweden) were very strong indeed. There are numerous evidences that
the servicemen from different districts were ready to reject czar Mikhail for the “true czar
from a reigning race”.

In book

Die Kandidatur des schwedischen Prinzen Karl Filip auf den russischen Thron und Groß-Novgorod. Die Entwicklung einer Intrige 1611–1615
Edited by: D. Dahlman, D. Ordubadi. Bonn: Bonn University Press bei V&R unipress, 2019.