Zubov

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Zubov (Russian: Зу́бов) was a Russian noble family which rose to the highest offices of state in the 1790s, when Platon Zubov became the last favourite of Catherine II of Russia.

Coat of arms of the Zubov family

The Zubovs were first noticed in the service of Muscovite dukes in the 15th century. Nikolay Vasilievich Zubov (1699–1786) served in the Collegium of Economics, and his son Alexander Zubov [lt] (1727–1795) was reputed to have enriched himself serving as Vice-Governor of Vladimir. He had one daughter and four sons and in 1793 together with his sons, he received the title of Count.

  • Nikolay Zubov (1763-1805) was made general when his family was still in power. Known as a strongman, he served in Suvorov's army and married his only daughter Natalia Alexandrowna.
  • Dmitry Zubov [lt] (1764-1835), major general in the Imperial Russian Army, is considered the founder of the Lithuanian branch of the family and dedicated himself later to agricultural matters. He was married to princess Praskovją Viazemskaja (Прасковья Александровна Вяземская, 1772-1835 ), with whom he had four daughters and only one son: Jezilaveta,Varvara, Catherine, Nicholas and Anna.
  • Platon Zubov(1767-1822) was introduced by his distant relative, Nicholas Saltykov, to the ageing Empress and soon became her lover and the most powerful man in Russia. He was the fourth (and last) Russian to bear the title of Prince of the Holy Roman Empire.
  • Valerian Zubov (1771–1804) while serving under Suvorov in Poland, married a Princess Lubomirska and lost his leg in a battle. At the time of Catherine's death, he was leading the Russian army in Persia.
  • Their sister, Olga Zherebtsova, was involved with Nicholas and Platon Zubov in the assassination plot and left Russia soon afterwards.

The lines of Count Nicholas and his brother Dmitry continue up to the present. Nicholas's great grandson Valentin (1884–1969) was a leading authority on the period of the reign of Emperor Paul I and authored several books on the subject. He was director of the Gatchina Palace museum and founded the Art History Institute in St. Petersburg before emigrating to Paris in 1925. Dmitry's only son, Nicholas, merged with the local Lithuanian nobility and supported the Lithuanian National Revival characterized by cultural and educational activities. So did his descendants, Vladimir Zubov [lt] (born 1862) and Vladimir Zubov [lt] (born 1887).

The Zubovs had two family vaults, one in Moscow, in the Donskoy Monastery, built in 1796-98, and another in Strelna near St. Petersburg, in the Maritime Monastery of St. Sergius, completed in 1809.

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