Documents on the 1891 Assassination Attempt on Tsesarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich Published in Japan Topic: Nicholas II
The Museum of History in the Japanese city of Otsu have for the first time, published the materials covering the investigation and trial in the 1891 assassination attempt on the heir to the Russian throne, Tsesarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich - the future Emperor Nicholas II, during his visit to Japan as part of his eastern journey.
The materials include 984 pages covering the trial of Tsuda Sanzo, as well as other artefacts related to the incident, including photographs and written testimonies.
The assassination attempt occurred on 11 May [O.S. 29 April] 1891, while Nicholas was returning to Kyoto after a day trip to Lake Biwa in Otsu. Tsuda Sanzo, one of his escort policemen swung at the Tsesarevich's face with a saber. The quick action of Nicholas's cousin, Prince George of Greece and Denmark, who parried the second blow with his cane, saved his life. Tsuda then attempted to flee, but two rickshaw drivers in Nicholas's entourage chased him down and pulled him to the ground. Nicholas was left with a 9 centimetre long scar on the right side of his forehead, but his wound was not life-threatening.
The assailant was arrested and imprisoned. The incident sparked a wave of remorse across Japan. Emperor Meiji publicly expressed sorrow at Japan's lack of hospitality towards a state guest, which led to an outpouring of public support and messages of condolences for the Tsesarevich. The Japanese emperor even traveled by train to Kyoto where he met with the Tsesarevich. The Tsesarevich received gifts, and more than 20 thousand telegrams of condolences and apologies from Japanese citizens.
The documents show that Tsuda remained silent throughout the trial. On the question of the motive behind the attack, he indicated only that the distinguished guest had showed a lack of respect to a monument erected in honour of the heroes of one of the samurai rebellion. Tsuda was sentenced to life imprisonment near Kushiro, Hokkaido , and died of an illness in September of the same year.
The following article was originally published in the February 17th, 2014 edition of The Yorkshire Post. The author is not noted, however, The Yorkshire Post own the copyright presented below.
Within a few short years their carefree lives would be distant memories, swallowed up in the violence of the Russian Revolution.
The murder of the Russian Imperial family helped shape early 20th century history, but the story of a Yorkshireman who tutored the young offspring of Tsar Nicholas II’s sister, and captured a unique record of a lost world in photos, is barely known.
Until staff at Burnby Hall in Pocklington started doing some research last year, little was known about Herbert Stewart, the younger brother of the East Yorkshire property’s owner Percy Stewart.
Their collection included a wallet containing Russian roubles, a diary providing brief details of the early days of the Russian Revolution and a calling card announcing “Herbert Stewart, English Tutor to His Imperial Highness, Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich”.
But research revealed the existence of a collection of photographs taken by Mr Stewart, still in their original Harrods box, at the National Media Museum in Bradford. In all there were 22 albums containing hundreds of beautifully-shot photographs of the young charges of Mr Stewart, who spent a decade in Russia until the cataclysmic events of 1917 and 1918.
Photo: Grand Duke Alexander Mikhhailovich (seated centre), with his wife, Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna (standing left), with their seven children, and Xenia's youngers sister, Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna (standing right).
Mr Stewart captured the boys dressed in naval uniforms, horse-riding, fishing and swimming, and in winter sledging on their families’ vast estates. On a trip to England with their mother Grand Duchess Xenia, Mr Stewart recorded the children in white shorts, tops and sunhats paddling on the beach at Bognor Regis.
In Russia they were sometimes joined by Tsar Nicholas II, his daughters and their only son, the Tsarevich Alexei, heir apparent to the throne of the Russian Empire, who were to be murdered by the Bolsheviks in July 1918.
“We came across the existence of Herbert Stewart’s photo albums quite by chance,” said assistant estate manager Peter Rogers. Towards the end of 2013, his diary was loaned to the Treasure House at Beverley and it was background research which revealed the existence of these albums.
At the time it was fashionable for the highest-ranking Russian families to employ English nannies and tutors. The Tsar himself employed a Yorkshireman called Sidney Gibbes. Mr Stewart met the Grand Duke in Biarritz when he was a young man and made a good impression.
“The Grand Duke told him that when he had sons he would invite him to be their tutor,” said Mr Rogers, who has published a new booklet called Mr Stewart and the Romanovs. He was as good as his word and Mr Stewart went to work for him in July 1908.
“Living as part of their household, Stewart was in a unique position to photograph one of the highest-ranking aristocratic families in pre-revolutionary Russia,” Mr Rogers added. “It’s hard not to look at them and reflect that in a few short years it would all be gone.”
Mr Stewart’s glittering life in Russia came to an end when the Revolution took hold. He recorded in his diary on March 16, 1917, that there was “heavy depression” at 106, Moika, the family’s palatial home in Petrograd. The family left for the Crimea the following month and Stewart left Russia at the end of the year. In a letter he wrote to one of the boys, Dmitri, hoping that there would be no more “unpleasantness” and that the Allies would “go into Russia, quell the Bolsheviks and help the Russians form a stable Government”.
But it was not to be. The Russian Imperial Romanov family, including their four daughters and their son and all those who chose to accompany them into exile were shot in Yekaterinburg on July 17, 1918.
Grand Duchess Xenia, along with the Grand Duke and the children, escaped and settled as exiles in England, France and the US. Dmitri later became a Royal Naval officer and Stewart lived the remainder of his life in the Basse-Pyrenees. He died in 1960, the same year as Grand Duchess Xenia.
Monument to Nicholas II to be Erected in Thailand Topic: Nicholas II
King Chulalongkorn with Tsar Nicholas II in Saint Petersburg, during the King's first Grand Tour in 1897
The Foundation Committee of the Orthodox Church in Thailand will install a monument in Bangkok to Tsar Nicholas II and King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) of Siam. The project is in honour of the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty in 2013, for which Thailand was invited to participate. The Orthodox Church in Thailand invited the famous sculptor, Sergei Isakov - Academician of the Russian Academy Arts, Honored Artist of Russia to participate in the work on the Russian part of the sculpture. Isakov has experience of capturing the image of St. Tsar Nicholas II martyr in numerous sculptural compositions.
Sergei Mikhailovich Isakov arrived in Thailand on December 16, 2013 with the assistance of the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) in Thailand to begin work on the monument. Work is being carried out on the territory of the new St. Nicholas Church in Bangkok.
Assistance in the construction of the monument to Tsar Nicholas II and King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) was provided by the Nicholas Foundation (Russia) and the Foundation of the Orthodox Church in Thailand. The prototype of the monument is based on the famous picture showing two monarchs during a visit by King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) to St. Petersburg in 1897.
Russian-Siamese Royal Relations, Late 19th Century
Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, King Chulalongkorn, Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, Tsar Nicholas II with members of the Siamese royal entourage in Saint Petersburg, during the King's 1897 visit
In the late 1870-s King Chulalongkorn on numerous occasions expressed his wish to establish permanent diplomatic relations with Russia. Russian naval officers whose ships periodically came to Bangkok carried to the Russian Emperor the first Royal letters with clear intention of the Siamese government to develop bilateral trade, diplomatic and cultural cooperation with Russia. A real breakthrough in the bilateral relations was made later by the visit of the Heir to the Imperial throne Tsesarevich Nicholas, the son of the then reigning Emperor Alexander III, to Siam in 1891. It was a part of the Eastern Voyage of the Tsesarevich who was familiarizing himself with Asia and Asian affairs on recommendation of his farther Alexander III. Notwithstanding its unofficial status, the visit gave a great impulse to the advancement of relations between the two countries and in fact marked the beginning of close and long-lasting personal friendship between Tsar Nicholas II and King Chulalongkorn, and in a broader sense between two our countries and peoples.
The Russian Crown Prince and his entourage were welcomed in Siam with all due honours and utmost warmth. King Chulalongkorn personally took care of the visiting Russian Crown Prince and awarded him with the Order of Chakri. The King hosted festivities in honour of the Tsesarevich both in Bangkok and at the Bang Pa In Palace and saw him off on the last day.
Several months later a captain of a Russian naval ship delivered a letter of gratitude from Alexander III to King Chulalongkorn together with the Order of St. Andrew bestowed by the Emperor upon the Siamese Monarch - the first in the number of Russian decorations received by members of the Thai Royal family.
The visit of Prince Damrong, brother of King Chulalongkorn and Director-General of the National Department of Education of Siam, to Russia became the next step in the development of relations between the two countries. Prince Damrong was an active participant of the process of establishment and development of the Russia-Siam relations. He came to Russia in November 1891 and was received by Alexander III in Livadia - a gorgeous Royal summer residence on the banks of the Black Sea. The Prince delivered a letter and the Order of Chakri which had been sent to the Russian Emperor by the King of Siam. In his letter King Chulalongkorn re-confirmed the intention to further develop friendly relations with Russia.
Starting from 1891, official visits and personal contacts including the exchange of correspondence between the Russian Imperial Family and the Siamese Royal Family became frequent and regular and played an important role in the development of relations between the two countries. In 1893 Russia started to provide her support to Siam to resolve the conflict with her neighbours of that time. In 1896 the Russian Imperial Government invited a Royal Siamese representative to participate in the festivities on the occasion of the coronation of Nicholas II as the Emperor of Russia.
A year later King Chulalongkorn himself paid a visit to Russia. Friendly and sincere support provided to him by the Russian Side played a very important role in the success of this trip. The highest honours, utmost hospitality and respect which had been extended to King Chulalongkorn in Russia once and for all confirmed the status of the Siamese Monarch as a sovereign equal to European Kings.
When King Chulalongkorn arrived in St. Petersburg on June 19, 1897 by the special Emperor's train, he was welcomed by the members of the Imperial Family and a military escort of the Imperial Guards. On arrival the King of Siam proceeded to the Peterhof Palace, the Imperial summer residence, where Emperor Nicholas II welcomed him. During following ten days the King of Siam visited St. Petersburg, Moscow and the main Russian naval base in Kronstadt.
King Chulalongkorn's visit prompted sincere and wide interest in Siam and Siamese affairs among Russian public. Newspapers extensively covered the visit, issuing publications about Siam and the Siamese King. For example, Vedomosti of St. Petersburg, a leading Russian newspaper wrote in an editorial: "In his person we are greeting not only one of the greatest men of our time, […] but also a true friend of Russia. The power of this friendship lies in mutual respect, in the senses of straightforwardness and simplicity common to both peoples. (…) Our friendship towards Siam is honest and non-hypocritical, which His Majesty the King of Siam can confidently rely upon".
During the negotiations in St. Petersburg Nicholas II and King Chulalongkorn agreed, as it is known, to establish diplomatic relations between Russia and Siam and to prepare the Treaty on Friendship and Maritime Navigation, which was signed in 1899. The monarchs agreed also that Prince Chakrabongse, the second son of King Chulalongkorn, would come to Russia for his studying and military training. It is also worth to note that Prince Chakrabongse's studies in Russia had paved the way to other children from the Siamese noble families to Russian universities and in the first decade of the XXth century a good few of them were getting their education in Russia.
Following the decision of the two sovereigns, the exchange of diplomatic representatives took place in 1897 and 1898. Phraya Suriya Nuvat, the Siamese Minister who was representing King Chulalongkorn in Europe with residence in Paris, received an additional appointment to the Russian Imperial Court. He had accompanied the King on his Russian trip and had been introduced to Nicholas II.
In 1898 Alexander Olarovski, the Russian Consul-General in New York, was transferred to Siam and appointed as the Russian Charge d'Affaires and the Consul General. Before his departure from America, Olarovski received a ten-page instructive letter from the Russian Foreign ministry. The major part of it contained clear directions concerning the Russian policy towards Siam. The essence of that policy was expressed in the following lines of the letter: "Your conduct in its entirety should bear the imprint of favourable attention which our august Monarch is willing to extend to the person of the Siamese King, as well as to the fortunes of his people; it should respond to the sincerity and warmth which are put by Siam at the base of our relations".
The text of the letter had been personally approved by the Russian Emperor, and diplomatic representatives of Russia in Bangkok consistently followed it.
The establishment of diplomatic relations and the signing of several treaties that followed, as well as the development of regular dynastic and personal contacts, helped to promote deeper mutual knowledge between the two peoples.
Portrait of Lenin Reveals Hidden Portrait of Tsar Nicholas II Topic: Nicholas II
NOTE: This article was updated with a VIDEO (in Russian) on Friday, February 28th, 2014 - PG
A unique discovery was made last summer at the 206th School in St. Petersburg. A portrait of Bolshevik leader, Vladimir Lenin which had hung in the school for decades was being prepared for restoration when restorers noted some damage in the bottom corner revealing a small painted fragment of someone’s boots. Experts from the State Russian Museum were called in and upon closer examination discovered a painted over portrait of Tsar Nicholas II underneath.
The portrait was then transferred to the St. Petersburg Art and Industry Academy (founded in 1876 as the School of Technical Drawing of Baron Alexander von Stieglitz) where it was carefully examined further by staff. The portrait of Lenin by Vladislav Izmailovich depicts the Bolshevik leader with the Peter and Paul Fortress, the burial place of the Russian tsars in the background. Academy staff used varnish to remove the water-soluble layer of paint on Lenin’s portrait revealing the original portrait of the tsar, painted by the Russian artist Ilya Galkin Savich (1860-1915).
Savich's works are little known outside of Russia, but his portraits and other paintings are in the collections of the State Russian Museum. Towards the end of the 19th century, among his admirers were members of the Imperial family. His other portraits of members of the Imperial family include Emperor Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna and Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna.
Vyacheslav Mashkov, the Head of the Department of Painting and Restoration at the Academy, noted: "It's amazing how well preserved the portrait is. It is in great condition!"
The formal unframed portrait of Nicholas II is now on display in the Great Hall of the Art and Industry Academy in St. Petersburg. Several reference sites are visible, however, staff are confident that a full restoration is possible. The full restoration of the portrait will be carried out with the assistance of experts from the State Hermitage and State Russian Museums in St. Petersburg.
To watch a video (in Russian) of the discovery of the hidden portrait, please click on the following link;
Bust of Tsar Nicholas II Unveiled in Serbian Capital Topic: Nicholas II
Bronze bust of Tsar Nicholas II at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture in Belgrade
A bronze bust of Tsar Nicholas II was unveiled on December 25th, during a ceremony at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture (Russian House) in Belgrade, with the participation of the International Foundation of Unity of Orthodox Peoples.
The bust is the work of the eminent Russian sculptor, Vyacheslav Klykova. The artistic design of the pedestal monument was entrusted to the famous Serbian sculptor Miodrag Zivkovic.
The bust was a gift from the International Fund for Slavic Literature and Culture to the Russian Center for Science and Culture marking two anniversaries: the 400th anniverary of the Romanov dynasty, and the 80th anniversary of Russian House in Belgrade. The latter, which opened in 1933, was originally called the Russian House of Emperor Nicholas II. The bust was prominently placed in the foyer of the library of the Russian House.
The 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty was marked by a series of cultural events in Belgrade this year. The ceremony was opened by the director of the Russian House, Mikhail Denisov, who welcomed generations of Russian immigrants, whose fate is deeply linked to Russia. He was joined with a representative of the modern-day Serbian Cossacks, Colonel Vojislav Vidakovic, who unveiled the bust.
The Head of the Church of the Russian Orthodox Church in Belgrade, Archpriest Vitaly Tarasjev and representing the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow, Father Ignatius Sretensky consecrated a bust of the Emperor.
At the opening ceremony speeches were delivered by Russian Ambassador to Serbia, Alexander A.V. Chepurin and Ambassador of Belarus to Serbia, Vladimir N. Chushev.
The evening ended with a literary and musical composition dedicated to Nicholas II, performed by the Russian writer Stanislav Razumovskoj, and singer/musician Danilo Klyukina. Serbia holds strong links to Tsar Nicholas II, who came to the nations aid during World War I. After the Revolution and World War I, Serbia became home to many Russian immigrants.
Monument to Nicholas II in Belarus Topic: Nicholas II
The largest church in the Belarusian town of Kreisky was named in honour of St. Nicholas. Situated near the church is a bronze bust of Saint-Tsar Nicholas II, in gratitude to the Royal Martyrs for many years of heavenly assistance to Christian believers.
To this day there remain only two active churches in Kreisky. One of them was built in 1897 in honour of Alexei of Moscow, and the second in honour of St. Nicholas was built in 1874. The second, larger church, which is located in the centre of the agricultural town was closed for 70 years due to local communist views. But in 2000, the Church of St. Nicholas in Kreisky was returned to believers. The consecration of one of the chapels was carried out on July 19, 2009.
The bust was installed thanks to the efforts of local parishioners and Rev. Fr. Sergei Podolsky, the church priest. The artist of the bust is the Russian sculptor, Vladimir Zelyanko. The establishment of the memorial bust in 2008 was timed to coincide with the 90th anniversary of the murder of the royal family in 1918. Under the sculpture is placed the following inscription: "The Holy Martyr Tsar Nicholas II. This bust - our thanks to the Royal Martyrs for many years of heavenly assistance, from believers, Christians and Orthodox Kreisky our parish."
Theft of Tsar Nicholas II's Gifts from Swiss Museum Topic: Nicholas II
Pierre Gilliard with Grand Duchesses Olga and Tatiana at Livadia Palace in the Crimea
The jewellery given by Emperor Nicholas II to his children’s tutor Pierre Gilliard of Switzerland was stolen from a safe in the Cantonal and University Library of Lausanne four years ago, the Swiss newsagency 24heures has reported.
Though the theft took place in 2009, it became known only after Gilliard’s nephew paid a visit to Lausanne and asked to be shown the Russian emperor’s gifts – a gold cigarette case adorned with the emblem of the House of Romanov and four jewellery pieces for the tutor’s bride – Gilliard’s family had handed over to the library.
The nephew was told that the jewellery had disappeared under unclear circumstances. No one explained to him why he hadn’t been informed about the theft earlier. The local police authority confirmed that the library’s safe had been cracked open and emptied on the night of October 29, 2009. The library reported the incident to the local police authority. An inquiry was launched but nothing has been found so far.
Pierre Gilliard was employed as a French language tutor for Nicholas II’s daughters in 1905. In 1912, he became a tutor for his son and heir, Tsesarevich Alexei. He followed the family into internal exile at Tobolsk in 1917, however, the Bolsheviks prevented him from joining them when they were transferred to the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg in May 1918.
Gilliard remained in Siberia after the murders of the Imperial family, assisting White Russian investigator Nicholas Sokolov. In 1919, he married Alexandra Tegleva, a nurse to the Grand Duchess Anastasia. In 1920, he returned to Switzerland. In 1921, he wrote his classic memoirs, Thirteen Years at the Russian Court, which have since been translated into Russian.
In 1958, Gilliard was severely injured in an automobile accident at Lausanne. He never fully recovered from his injuries and died on May 30th, 1962.
Ukraine's Oldest Woman Remembers Nicholas II Topic: Nicholas II
111-year-old Eugenia Markiyanovna Tebenchuk, reputed to be the oldest woman in the Ukraine, died on August 9th in Kiev. Eugenia was born on January 15, 1902 in the Ukrainian village of Chernyavka Lipovetsky. Her husband was killed during the Great Patriotic War in 1942 while fighting as a partisan in the Smolensk region, and four of her children died during the Great Famine in 1932-1933. As a young girl in 1916, she recalled seeing Emperor Nicholas II, who came to Kiev with his son Alexei. “I remember when Tsar Nicholas stood together on the platform with his son, Alexei,” she said during an interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda in 2002, “Alexei was pale, with a sickly face. The fact that he was ill with haemophilia, back then, no one knew."
Elena Yurieva's Bronze Sculpture of Nicholas II Topic: Nicholas II
Elena Yurieva was born in Ekaterinburg, in 1977. From 1995—1999, she attended the College of Art, in Ekaterinburg, achieving the diploma of excellence for design. From 2000—2009, she attended the Russian Academy of Art in St Petersburg, wining the Academy’s Diploma of Excellence, for her bronze sculpture of Tsar Nicholas II. She is highly skilled in sculpture, working not only in bronze, but marble, wood and pottery. She also produces works for garden and park ornamentation, as well as exterior wall decorations, in stone. She has worked both in Russia and Europe. In particular, she has carried out sculptural work for the historic Constantine Palace, at Strelna, outside St Petersburg, the official residence of the Russian president.
The Tsar Files: Who Killed the Romanovs? Topic: Nicholas II
Even now, 95 years after the murder of Russia's last czar, Nicholas II, we do not know precisely how many people took part in the deed. One account of the event claims there were eight, and yet another insists there were 11—one for each murdered member of the Russian royal family. Yan Shenkman investigates the identities and lives of the killers of the tsar.