Kyrylo Rozumovskyi

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Kyrylo Hryhorovych Rozumovskyi
Kirill Razumovsky Tokke.jpg
Portrait of Count Kyrylo Rozumovskyi, by Louis Tocqué, 1758.
Hetman of Zaporizhian Host
In office
1750–1764
Monarch Elizabeth
Peter III
Catherine the Great
Preceded by Danylo Apostol
Succeeded by office liquidated
Personal details
Born Kyrylo Hryhorovych Rozum
(1728-03-18)March 18, 1728
Lemeshi, Kozelets Povit, Chernihivshchyna
Died January 9, 1803(1803-01-09) (aged 74)
Baturyn, Chernigov Governorate
Nationality Ukrainian, Russian Empire
Spouse(s) Yekaterina Ivanovna Naryshkina
Children Oleksiy, Andriy, Petro, Lev, Hryhoriy, Ivan, Natalia, Elizabeth, Hanna, Paraskeva
Religion Christian Orthodox
Military service
Allegiance Russian Empire
Rank Field Marshal

Count Kyrylo Hryhorovych Rozumovskyi (Ukrainian: Кирило Григорович Розумовський, Russian: Кири́лл Григо́рьевич Разумо́вский) (March 18, 1728 – January 1, 1803) was a Ukrainian Registered Cossack from the Kozelets regiment in north-eastern Ukraine, who served as the last Hetman of Left- (from 1750) and Right-Bank (from 1754) Ukraine until 1764; Rozumovskyi was subsequently elected Hetman of the sovereign Zaporozhian Host in 1759, a position that he managed to nominally preserve until 1769, even though he had lost all power to exercise this office and abdicated in November 1764.

Kyrylo Rozum was appointed President of the Russian Academy of Sciences when he just turned 18 years old due to the influence of his brother, Oleksiy Grygorovych Rozumovsky, the morganatic husband of Empress Elisabeth.

In 1750, he was elected and subsequently appointed Hetman of the Ukrainian Cossacks, a title he held until Catherine II of Russia forced him to abdicate in 1764. During his reign, Baturyn was re-established as capital of the Hetmanate and Rozumovskyi had opulent baroque palaces erected both in Baturyn as well as in Hlukhiv by the imperial architect Andrey Kvasov and Charles Cameron. He also planned to open a Ukrainian university in Baturyn.

In July 1762, Rozumovskyi supported the coup d'état Catherine the Great staged against her husband, the legitimate ruler of the Russian Empire, Czar Peter III. Shortly thereafter, in May 1763, Kyrylo Rozumovsky, backed by the Heneralna Starshyna of the Hetmanate, declared the Ukrainian state's sovereignty and the heredity of the title in primogeniture for his descendants in the male line. Into the phase of the ensuing power struggle between the Hetman and the Czarina, fell the failed attempt to free the deposed Czar Ivan VI in Schluesselburg by one of Rozumovskyi's followers, a young cossack noble by the name of Myrovych. However, Rozumovsky's active support or even tacit approval was never proven. In November 1764, the Hetman eventually gave in to the military threat exerted by the Empress and abdicated. From 1765 to 1766, he traveled extensively to Western Europe, yet always accompanied by a Russian "honour guard", which was a privilege associated with the rank of Field-Marshal, conveniently accorded to him by Catherine II. Effectively, Rozumovsky was banned from traveling to his Ukrainian homeland until the last bastion of the Hetmanate, the Zaporozhian Host, had been vanquished by Grigori Potemkin in 1776. Kyrylo Rozumovskyi died in January 1803 in Baturyn, where he was interred according to his wishes without any pomp, in stark contrast to his rather flamboyant lifestyle.

Kyrylo had five sons, of whom Count Oleksiy Kyrulovych (1748-1822) was the Minister of Education in 1810-16, and Prince Andriy Rozumovsky (1752-1836) was the Russian plenipotentiary ambassador in Vienna in the years of the Congress 1814-1815. However, Andriy has become better known for his role as patron of Ludwig van Beethoven who dedicated three String Quartets, Op.59 1, 2 and 3, as well as the 5th and 6th Symphonies to him. Any living descendants in the male line of Kyrylo Rozumovskyi arise from the progeniture of his fourth son Gregor Rozumovskyi (1759-1837), who had to emigrate to Western Europe due to his critique of czarist totalitarian rule and acquired relative fame as natural scientist and member of a number of distinguished scientific societies in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

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