Log in

Previous Entry | Next Entry

A story of Gabriele Best from Kent


How could Gabriele Best come to Russia in 1403? Yes, it is a very interesting question. He lived in Kent. In the early mediaeval period the knights taking part in tournaments were recognized by the arms they bore on their shields and the crests they wore on their helmets.
In mediaeval times, there were heralds in the service both of the monarch and of certain great noblemen. Gabriele Best bore a family Coat of Arms. That means that his ancestors took part in tournaments and that he was a nobleman.
Gabriele Best from Kent came to Russia in 1403 and served to Russian Tsar Vasily Dmitryevich Donskoy (1371 – 1425).
Probably they were of the same age. If that is true, Gabriele Best was 32 years old when he arrived to Moscow.
Probably Gabriele left England not as English ambassador in Russia but as a political refugee. Probably he was a follower of King Richard II of England (1367 - 1400) and Sir Henry Percy Hotspur (1366-1403). That means that in 1403 Gabriele Best escaped from King Henry IV (1399-1413) after the Battle of Shrewsbury (Henry IV was victorious, Hotspur was killed).
Probably Gabriele Best did not make his new Russian career at once. He was ambitious, well educated and enterprising.
Probably in 1404 he introduced himself as a monk Lazar from Holy Mountain (?) and managed to build and install for Tsar in Moscow absolutely new for Russia big tower ringing clock with a bell.
It is known that finally Gabriele Best changed his name and become Gavrila Bestuzhev.
Gabriele’s son Iakov Bestuzhev served to Russian Tsar Ivan Vasilievich (ruled in 1462-1505). Iakov Bestuzhev got a nick-name Iakov Rum (Ryum). Iakov Rum took part in Tsar’s war actions. In 1469 Iakov Rum got a town of Serpeisk as a gift from Tsar Ivan Vasilievich.
On April 10, 1698 Russian Count (Earl) Feodor Alekseyevich Golovin (1650 - 1706) visited the College of Arms in London and got a document about Best’s Coat of Arms and Best’s family tree records signed by Chief Herald, the Kings of Arms Percy Madwid of Windsor. The document was written for Count (Earl) Peter Mihailovich Bestuzhev, (1664 - 1743) and his brothers, who traced their family tree from Gabriele Best.
In 1742 Russian Empress Elizaveta Petrovna created Pyotr Mihailovich Bestuzhev-Ryumin a Count. In the letter of creation both the genealogical and the heraldic claims gained the formal recognition, which was later extended to the rest of the Bestuzhev’s.

1. The Coat of Arms of English Best’s from Kent is described as “Sable a cinquefoil between eight crosses crosslet fitchy, all Or” – a golden five petal flower with eight golden crosses at black background
2. The Coat of Arms of Bestuzhev-Ryumin’s - Russian descendants of English Best’s from Kent
3. Hundred Years' War 1337-1453

4. King Richard II of England (1367 - 1400). This portrait of him famously is shown in Westminster Abbey, London, where Richard is buried. It is the work of an unknown master, and the date is usually given as about 1390. This painting is the earliest known portrait of an English monarch, according to the Abbey's website
5. 1381 Peasants' Revolt in England: Richard II meets the Kentish rebels led by Wat Tyler
6. In savage raids in the 1380s, the French briefly captured the Isle of Wight, and burned south coast towns like Sandwich, Winchelsea and Gravesend. In Kent, Canterbury and Dover hurriedly build town walls. Bodiam Castle was built to protect Sussex. The English knew the French had gathered a big fleet; and expected an invasion in 1386.
7. Henry IV (1399-1413 AD) Plantagenet, Lancastrian Line. In 1399 Henry invaded England while Richard II was on campaign in Ireland, usurping the throne from the king. The powerful families of Percy and Mortimer (the latter possessing a stronger claim to the throne than Henry) revolted from 1403 to 1408
8. Hotspur (Sir Henry Percy 1364- 1403) and Lady Percy (m.Elizabeth Mortimer) (1371-1417)

9. Feeling poorly rewarded for their active part in the King's usurpation of the throne, Sir Henry Percy Hotspur rose up against the monarch and marched on Shrewsbury. The two armies clashed on the Whitchurch Road, just north of the town. The Battle of Shrewsbury (1403) was one of the most brutal of the Medieval period. Henry IV was victorious, Hotspur was killed. in 1403 Gabriele Best escaped from King Henry IV (1399-1413) after the Battle of Shrewsbury (1403, Henry IV was victorious, Hotspur was killed).

10. Russian Tsar Vasilyi Dmitrievich 1371 – 1425
11. A clock in Salisbury Cathedral (England) that struck the hours was mentioned in 1306. This was probably one of the precursors of the 1386 clock (see the picture), one of the many early examples of mechanical clocks that are mentioned. The first tower clock in Russia was built in Moscow for Russian Tsar Vasilyi Dmitrievich in 1404. The name of the installer mentioned in old documents is not as Gabriele or as Gavrila but as Lazar (?). There were several Russian assistances who learned and assisted him.
12. Russian Tsar Ivan Vasilievich 1462 – 1505
13. Gabriele’s son Iakov served to Russian Tsar Ivan Vasilievich (ruled in 1462-1505). In 1469 Iakov got from Ivan Vasilievich a town of Serpeisk.
14. By the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc.) William III (1694–1707 14 November 1650 – 8 March 1702)[1] was the Prince of Orange from his birth, Stadtholder of the main provinces of the Dutch Republic from 28 June 1672, King of England and King of Ireland from 13 February 1689, and King of Scotland (under the name William II) from 11 April 1689, in each case until his death. William III was on friendly terms with Russian Tsar Perer the Great. They met in England and in Netherland.

15. Russian Tsar Peter the Great. Peter I the Great or Pyotr Alexeyevich Romanov (Russian: Пётр Алексе́евич Рома́нов, Пётр I, Pyotr I, or Пётр Вели́кий, Pyotr Velikiy) (9 June [O.S. 30 May] 1672–8 February [O.S. 28 January] 1725)[1] ruled the Russian Empire from 7 May [O.S. 27 April] 1682 until his death, jointly ruling before 1696 with his weak and sickly half-brother, Ivan V. Peter carried out a policy of Westernization and expansion that transformed the Tsardom of Russia into the Russian Empire, a major European power.
16. Count (Earl) Feodor Alekseyevich Golovin (1650 - 1706) was the first Russian chancellor, field marshal, general admiral (1700). Until his death he was the most influential of Peter the Great's associates. He also controlled, with consummate ability, the operations of the brand new Russian diplomats at the various foreign courts. On April 10, 1698 he visited the College of Arms in London and got a document about Best’s Coat of Arms and their family tree records signed by Chief Herald, the Kings of Arms Percy Madwid of Windsor (1690-1726 Peers Mauduit, Esq. Windsor Herald). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windsor_Herald The document was written for Count (Earl) Peter Mihailovich Bestuzhev, (1664 - 1743) and his brothers, who traced their family tree from Gabriele Best.
17. The College of Arms in London - the Earl Marshal's Court from the 1670s

18. Count (Earl) Pyotr Mihailovich Bestuzhev, (1664 - 1743) the Russian ambassador to the duchy of Courland. The first Bestuzhev who got the name Bestuzhev-Ryumin. He was a Russian statesman who effectively governed the Duchy of Courland in the name of Anna Ivanovna between 1712 and 1728. In 1730 Duchess Anna became Empress of Russia and her former prime minister was sent to govern Nizhny Novgorod. He publicly denounced the appointment as a semi-exile and on this account was commanded by his rival, Biron, to settle into retirement. Seven years later he was allowed to return to Moscow. In 1742 Anna's successor Elizaveta Petrovna created Privy Councillor Pyotr Bestuzhev-Ryumin a count; in the letter of creation both the genealogical and the heraldic claims gained the formal recognition (which was later extended to the rest of the Bestuzhevs). What is more, the inventive Herald Master of the time, Vassily Adodurov, designed remarkable supporters for the Counts Bestuzhev-Ryumin: two ancient Britons (or, more precisely, “two leaves-crowned savage men representing the ancient Britons in their natural appearance, holding the clubs in hands”).

19. Count (Earl) Mihail Petrovich Bestuzhev-Ryumin (1688 – 1760) In 1720 he was a Russian Ambassador in London (the reign of Empress Elizaveta Petrovna).

20. Count (Earl) Aleksei Petrovich Bestuzhev-Ryumin (Алексе́й Петро́вич Бесту́жев-Рю́мин) (June 1, 1693 – April 21, 1768), Grand Chancellor of Russia, was one of the most influential and successful European diplomats of the 18th century. He was chiefly responsible for Russian foreign policy during the reign of Empress Elizaveta Petrovna.

21. BESTUZHEV-RYUMIN Mikhail Pavlovich (1801-26), Decembrist, Podporuchik (Sub-Lieutenant) of Poltavsky Infantry Regiment in 1824. Educated at home, he made his service in the Kavalergardsky Regiment in 1818-20 and the Semenovsky Life Guard Regiment in March-December 1820. After the regiment had been disbanded (see Semenovsky Story 1820), he was moved to Ukraine. A member of the Southern Society (1823), he was a leader of the rebellion of the Chernigovsky Infantry Regiment. He was arrested on January 3, 1826, brought to St. Petersburg, and incarcerated in Kronverskaya Curtain of Peter and Paul Fortress. Sentenced to death by the Supreme Criminal Court, he was hanged on the rampart of Peter and Paul Fortress on 13 July 1826. Monuments to Bestuzhev-Ryumin and the other 4 Decembrists were erected on Golodai Island where they had been supposedly buried.
22. BESTUZHEV-RYUMIN Konstantin Nikolaevich (1829—1897) — Russian historian, academician, professor, official founder and first director of
23. Higher Women’s (Bestuzhev's) Courses in St. Petersburg, the first ever Russian institution of higher education for women. Opened in 1878 they were named after K. N. Bestuzhev-Ryumin as BESTUZHEV'S COURSES.

24. BESTUZHEV-RYUMIN Vasilyi Nikolaevich (1835 - 1907), lieutenant-general, the superior of Tula armour munitions factory

25. BESTUZHEV-RYUMIN Valerian Nikolaevich (1834 - 1891), state councilor, the chairman of district Ostrogozhsk law-court
26. BESTUZHEVA-RYUMINA AnastasiaValerianovna (1880 - 1932) with his husband Andrew Andreevich Shapovalov ( 1875- 1906 ) and children Anna (1896 – 1997), Andrew (1898 – 1969) and Dmitry (1900 - ?)
27. Andrew Shapovalov (1958 in Saint Petersburg), at your service shapovalov2001@yandex.ru shapovalov@leaterplus.kiev.ua
Рейтинг блогов


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
SAlly Morris
Mar. 26th, 2012 03:40 pm (UTC)
Family tree drawn up for Gabriele Best
I am descended from the family into which Natalya Fyodorovna Bestuzheva married, and I am trying to track down the document referred to, produced by Percy Madwid (actually Piers Mauduit, Windsor Herald).

It would be extremely helpful in this search if you could provide your reference(s) for the existence and location of this document

Many thanks

Sally Morris

sally AT morris HYPHEN assocs DOT demon DOT co DOT uk
Mar. 26th, 2012 06:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Family tree drawn up for Gabriele Best
Dear Sally,
I am glad to get a message from you.
Thank you for your information about right spelling of “Windsor Herald 1690-1726 Peers Mauduit, Esq.”
I asked the question about the document you are looking for in 2007 and I have a short response:

Bluemantle Pursuivant <bluemantle@college>
Dear Mr Shapovalov,

Thank you for your e - mail of 23 July 2007 regarding the Arms of the Best family of Kent.

It would be possible to conduct research in the official records of the College of Arms, to see whether the Best family that was entitled to the Arms you describe can be identified. It is likely that entries in our records will relate to this family. They may not however provide any mention of family members as early as 1403, as the College was founded only in 1484 and our records date in the main from the sixteenth century and later.

As you may know the College of Arms receives no subsidy from public funds and professional fees are therefore charged for our work. In this case the fee for research into the Arms of Best and the subsequent report will be £200. If you would like to proceed please let me have a cheque for that amount, made payable to the College of Arms.

Yours sincerely,

Peter O'Donoghue
Bluemantle Pursuivant

College of Arms
Queen Victoria Street
020 7332 0776

(The end of quotation)
If you are ready to pay them please keep me informed about their information.

I am sure you are in contact with Paul Aranha. Are you?
I could send you a copy of my old letter to him:
Hope I have interesting information about your and NATALIA FEODOROWNA BESTUCHEFF’s ancestors. I have a picture with all Bestucheff’s (Bestouzhev’s),
All names are in Russian. Do you read Russian?
I will try to help you with translation.
The trace is as follows:
Fedor Pleshey
Aleksandr Pleshey
Fedor Silny
Iakov Ryum
Matvey Bestouzhev (1437)
Ivan Bestouzhev
Feofan Bestouzhev
Vasilyi Bestouzhev
Fedor Bestouzhev
Alferyi Bestouzhev - Ryumin
Andrew Bestouzhev - Ryumin
Trifon Bestouzhev - Ryumin
Andrew Bestouzhev - Ryumin
Fedor Bestouzhev - Ryumin
NATALIA FEODOROWNA (1786?), Anna (1772), Nikolai
All Bestouzhev - Ryumine’s have their Coat of Arms. The Coat of Arms of Bestuzhev - Ryumin’s uses the main elements of the Coat of Arms of Best’s from Kent (England). The official family tree of Bestouzhev - Ryumin goes from Iakov Ryum who supposed to be a son of Gabriele Best from Kent who came to serve to Russian Tsar Vasylyi Dmitrievich in 1403.

With Best’s regards,
Andrew Shapovalov
Kiev, March 26, 2012
(smile, I know my login does not sound good in English. But it is just from “SHapovalov Andrew Gennadievich”)
Mar. 27th, 2012 06:05 am (UTC)
Re: Family tree drawn up for Gabriele Best
Here is the text about this document. The text is in Russian. You will find my English marks there for your convinience to find the exact place where the name of Peers Mauduit is written). The turns of speech are old:
А в переводе с Латинского письма, каков под тем гербом за рукою означенного переводчика Спафария, написано. Всем вопче и каждому особно и которым настоящее сие письмо дойдет аз Перс Маудвит (Peers Mauduit, Esq. Windsor Herald), гербовник Винцор, гербов геральд священного величества Британии, Франции, Гибернии короли раб, за присяжное [10] поздравление понеже аз присегою обязан и преимуществом королевским под великою печатью Аглинскою утвержден есмь, родословия мужей шляхетных купно с гербами или щитами своими порожными в полате нашей гербов сохранять и об них когда вопрошен буду свидетельства учинить к прошению ясне вельможного и прешляхетного господина Федора Головина (Fedor Golovin), пресветлейшего царского величества посла, полномочного и наместника королевства Сибирского, внутреннего боярина и генерала воинского, комисара уже пребывающего ныне во Англии вам ведомость чиню, яко шляхетны и древней фамилии Бестиюров (Bestiur) прозвание в графстве Канц, королевства Аглинского провинции, преславно также при сем и в различные иные сего королевства графства сколь долго процвело и там жило и гербы свои или знаки, которые в сем скрижале цветами живописуются по достоинству и истинно носить и употреблять, которая вся из росписей наших в собрании геральдов в Лондоне пребывающих и иными укреплениями верою достойных вам истинные ради пресветлые и неусумнительные чрез настоящее сие письмо объявляю и свидетельствую, моля, дабы преждереченным веру должную подали. И при сем изобрел, что около лета Христова 1403 господин Габрилус Бест (Gabrilus Best), из сей фамилии рожден, в странах отдаленных странствовати отшел есть и яко мним в королевство Московское, благородный некий того ж имени фамилии еще и ныне в великом почитании еще пребывающе, сих ради свидетельствует рукою моею настоящему сему писанию приписал. Писано в Лондоне (London) 10 дня месяца Апреля лета королевства пресветлейшего и державнейшего монарха государя нашего Гульельма Третьего Божиею милостию Англии, Скоции, Франции и Гибернии короля, веры оборонителя и прочего, десятого лета, Спасителева в 1698 году (10/04/1698), в Канце. Припись по-латыне ж: Перс Маудвит Винсор (Peers Mauduit, Esq. Windsor Herald), гербов правитель.
The link to the whole Russian text on the site of www.vostoklit is here:
So the date of English document is April 10, 1698. It was written in London by Peers Mauduit. Hope it will help you to find it. Please keep me informed!
With Best's regards (smile)
Andrew Shapovalov
March 27, 2012
Kiev (Ukraine)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

July 2016


Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by heiheneikko