Paul Ignatieff

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Paul Ignatieff
Павел Игнатьев
24th Russian Minister of Education
In office
January 9, 1915 – December 27, 1916
MonarchNicholas II
Preceded byLev Kasso
Succeeded byNikolai Kulchitsky
Personal details
Pavel Nikolayevich Ignatiev

July 12 [O.S. June 30] 1870
Constantinople, Ottoman Empire
DiedAugust 12, 1945(1945-08-12) (aged 75)
Upper Melbourne, Quebec, Canada
SpouseNatalia Meshcherskaya
Children7, including George

Count Pavel Nikolayevich Ignatiev (Russian: Павел Николаевич Игнатьев, sometimes rendered in English as Paul Ignatieff; June 30/July 12, 1870 – August 12, 1945) was an Imperial Russian politician who served as Education Minister for Tsar Nicholas II. He was the son of Count Nikolay Pavlovich Ignatyev, who was the Minister of the Interior under Tsar Alexander III. After the October Revolution brought the Bolsheviks into power, Ignatieff fled Russia with his family, ultimately ending up in Canada.

Life and family[edit]

Ignatieff married Princess Natalia Nikolayevna Meshcherskaya (1877-1944) in Nice, France, on April 16, 1903. They would have seven children, all boys, two of whom died as infants.

He was a graduate of the University of Kiev. Afterward, he entered the Imperial Ministry of Agriculture, eventually becoming a director of one of its departments in 1909. He was appointed in 1912 as Assistant Minister of Agriculture. In 1915, during the First World War, he was appointed Minister of Education. He held that position until December 1916.

During the October Revolution, Ignatieff was arrested and was to be executed. However, he was spared by the Polish commissar overseeing his execution, who said that Ignatieff was a good man because he had implemented progressive policies such as Polish language rights while Education Minister. Ignatieff and his family then fled to England in 1919 and lived on a farm in Sussex, before moving to Canada.[1]

In 1925, the family immigrated to Canada and settled permanently three years later in Upper Melbourne in Quebec, where he died on August 12, 1945.

One of Ignatieff's sons, George, was a prominent Canadian diplomat. One of his grandsons, Michael Ignatieff, is an author, Harvard professor, former Canadian Member of Parliament and former leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.


  1. ^ Rinaldi, Giancarlo (15 January 2009). "Russian count belongs to Scotland". BBC News. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  • Ignatieff, Michael. The Russian album. New York, N.Y.: Viking, 1987.
  • "Countess Ignatieff". New York Times, 30 Aug 1944: 17.
  • Index with link to Ignatieff genealogical information
  • "Nicholas Ignatieff". New York Times, 30 Mar 1952: 93.
  • Out of My Past: The Memoirs of Count Kokovtsov Edited by H.H. Fisher and translated by Laura Matveev; Stanford University Press, 1935.
  • The Memoirs of Count Witte Edited and translated by Sydney Harcave; Sharpe Press, 1990.
Preceded by Russian Minister of Education
Succeeded by