Feodor III of Russia

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Feodor III
Feodor III of Russia.jpg
Tsar of All Rus'
Reign8 February (29 January O.S.) 1676 – 7 May 1682
Coronation18 June 1676
SuccessorPeter I and Ivan V
Born(1661-06-09)9 June 1661
Died7 May 1682(1682-05-07) (aged 20)
ConsortAgaphia Simeonovna Gruszewska
Marfa Matveievna Apraksina
IssueTsarevich Ilya Fyodorovich
Full name
Feodor Alexeevich Romanov
FatherAlexis I
MotherMaria Ilyinichna Miloslavskaya
ReligionEastern Orthodox

Feodor (Theodore) III Alexeyevich of Russia (in Russian: Фёдор III Алексеевич) (9 June 1661 – 7 May 1682) was the Tsar of all Russia between 1676 and 1682.

Posthumous parsuna of Tsar Feodor Alexeevich


Feodor was born in Moscow, the eldest surviving son of Tsar Alexis and Maria Miloslavskaya. In 1676, at the age of fifteen, he succeeded his father on the throne. He was endowed with a fine intellect and a noble disposition; he had received an excellent education at the hands of Simeon Polotsky, the most learned Slavonic monk of the day. He knew Polish and even possessed the unusual accomplishment of Latin. He had been disabled from birth, however, horribly disfigured and half paralyzed by a mysterious disease, supposed to be scurvy. He spent most of his time with young nobles, Yazykov and Likhachov, who would later introduce the Russian court to Polish ceremonies, dress, and language.[citation needed]

On 28 July 1680 he married a noblewoman Agaphia Simeonovna Grushevskaya (1663 – after 14 Jul 1681), daughter of Simeon Feodorovich Grushevsky and wife Maria Ivanovna Zaborovskaya, and assumed the sceptre. His native energy, though crippled, was not crushed by his terrible disabilities. He soon showed that he was a thorough and devoted reformer. The atmosphere of the court ceased to be oppressive, the light of a new liberalism shone, and the severity of the penal laws was considerably mitigated. He founded the academy of sciences in the Zaikonospassky monastery, where everything not expressly forbidden by the Orthodox church, including Slavonic, Greek, Latin and Polish, was to be taught by competent professors.[1]

The chief difference between the Feodorean and the later Petrine reforms was that while the former were primarily, though not exclusively, for the benefit of the church, the latter were primarily for the benefit of the state. However, the most notable reform of Feodor III, at the suggestion of Vasily Galitzine, was the abolition in 1682 of the system of mestnichestvo, or "place priority", which had paralyzed the whole civil and military administration of Muscovy for generations. Henceforth all appointments to the civil and military services were to be determined by merit and the will of the sovereign,[1] while pedigree (nobility) books were to be destroyed.


Fyodor's first consort, Agaphia Simeonovna Grushevskaya, shared his progressive views. She was the first to advocate beard-shaving.[1] On 11 July 1681, the Tsaritsa gave birth to her son, Tsarevich Ilya Fyodorovich, the expected heir to the throne. Agaphia died as a consequence of the childbirth three days later, on 14 July, and seven days later, on 21 July, the ten-days-old Tsarevich also died.

Seven months later, on 24 February 1682 Fyodor married a second time Marfa Apraksina (1667–1716), daughter of Matvei Vasilievich Apraksin and wife Domna Bogdanovna Lovchikova. Feodor died three months after his new wedding, on 7 May, without surviving issue. The news of his death sparked the Moscow Uprising of 1682.



  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Theodore (tsars)". Encyclopædia Britannica. 26 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.

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Regnal titles
Preceded by
Tsar of Russia
Succeeded by
Peter I and Ivan V