Biography of Fiódor Matvéievich Apraxin (1671-1728)

First Russian Admiral, considered the creator of the Russian Navy. Born in 1671, and died in 1728, came from a Russian family of boyars from Tartary whose origins dated back to Solormik, who was married to the sister of a Russian Prince in 1371. One of his relatives, his sister Marta, had married in 1682 the Emperor Fedor Alexievitch, brother of Pedro el Grande, who gave the family the County that bears his name. At age ten he entered the service of Tsar Fedor as a page; to the death, two years later, would become page of Pedro el Grande. Thereafter became close friend and collaborator of the Russian Emperor, in such a way that, around 1700, was the most influential person in the Court of the Tsar. Contemporaries have portrayed him as a braggart, Frank and enormously proud; He did not tolerate insults even the Tsar himself. According to the description left by an English captain, Apraxin was tall and big eyes blue, strong and with a tendency to gain weight, careful with his hair (long, gray and caught with queue), order and decency, and with an excellent temperament; He liked that everyone is comportasen according to their rank. Its relations with the Tsar Pedro I relied on a mix of dignity and restraint; It was able to maintain its position in court, whether he thought that it was the right, until the ultimate consequences. It served to Pedro in different ways: as general, as Governor and as Senator, although his passion was always marina. In 1706, die Fedor Golovin, General-Almirante and Supreme Chancellor of Pedro I, the Tsar divided his titles and duties among three men; Fedor Apraxin then became General-Almirante, and in 1709 was named President of the Admiralty during the Guerra of the North between Russia and Sweden. He had the Russian fleet under his command at the battle of Hango. In Ingermenland he defeated the Swedish general Lubeker and seized Wiborg, in the Karelia. During the war which kept Carlos XII of Sweden against the Turks, Apraxin was head of operations that took place in the Black Sea. In 1713 he attacked Finland by sea, forcing Sweden to sign the peace of Nystad in 1721, thanks to which Estonia and the Baltic provinces came to be part of Russia, and accompanied Pedro I in his campaign against the Baltic peoples and Persia. Its great success consisted of the renewal and strengthening of the aging former Russian Navy. Over the years 1710 and 1711 he had amassed large vessels, mostly "ships of line", commissioned and built in shipyards Dutch and English; He also introduced the galleys in the Russian Navy, built according to the Venetian model. The figure of Apraxin impressed his contemporaries by his skill and his ability. He had Petersburgo a huge Palace of 30 rooms next to the Admiralty. Twice convicted for embezzlement (in 1715 and 1718), he was pardoned by the Tsar in return for a fine.