Prince Grigory Potemkin

Born: 1739, Chizhovo (Smolensk Province)
Died: 1791, near Pîrliţa (Principality of Moldavia)

Grigory Potemkin came from a family of undistinguished noblemen. A quartermaster of the Horse Guards, he participated in Catherine the Great’s overthrow of Peter III of 28 June 1762. The next day, he was promoted to the rank of officer. In early 1774, after reaching the rank of lieutenant general and serving on the battlefield, he was summoned to St Petersburg and made an adjutant general. Potemkin is even believed to have secretly married Catherine. He advanced to the ranks of general-in-chief, vice-president of the College of War, count, most serene prince, field-marshal (1784), prince of Taurica (1787), governor general of Ekaterinoslav and Tauride Provinces and president of the College of War. Catherine said: “We are indebted to Prince Potemkin for acquiring Taurica and dispersing the Tatar hordes, who caused so much distress to the borders of our empire.” He died on the road from Jassy to Nikolaev on 5 October 1791 and was buried in Kherson. His grave was destroyed during the reign of Paul. After his death, his personal property was valued at ninety million roubles.

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