Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Vorontsov mss., 1764-1814, are the letters of Count Aleksandr Romanovich Vorontsov, 1741-1805, imperial chancellor to Czar Aleksandr I, his brother, Count Semen Romanovich Vorontsov, 1744-1832, Russian ambassador to Vienna and London and Ivan Larionovich Vorontsov-Dashkov, fl. 1814, relative of the Vorontsov brothers who inherited a portion of the estate of their sister Princess Ekaterina Romanova (Vorontsov) Dashkova when she died in 1810, to their bankers in London, Thomson, Peters, Bonard and Thomson of Broad Street and Thomas Raikes of 79 London Wall.

The letters, chiefly in French, are for the years 1764, 1784, 1785, 1787, 1794, 1799, 1806, 1810, 1813, and 1814 and are written from The Hague, Venice, St. Petersburg, Pisa, Frankfurt, Brussels, Harley Street in London, Richmond, Southampton, Berners Street and 33 Welbeck Street in London. Four letters are in English and several notes in English including the draft of a reply by the banker are appended to the letters in French. One letter is from I. Facius, bookseller in Brussels, who is forwarding some books to London in 1785. A fine example of the red wax seal with the family motto "Semper Immota Fides" exists on the letter of April 5/16, 1794. Some of the letters are dated using both the Julian and Gregorian calendars; the latter is used for the purposes of indexing this collection.

The Vorontsov family, signing their name as Woronzow, write concerning their financial accounts, the importing of wine, tobacco, and tea, the move from Pisa to London via Frankfurt, and the shipment of a set of armoires. James Smirnove, the chaplain, often is entrusted with securing the sums of money for the weekly expenses.

One of the Middle Hill boards which accompany the letters has a notation by Sir Thomas Phillipps, "Some curious and interesting letters," and the letter of January 6/17, 1785, bears the Phillipps number 58343. The collection was once a part of the library of Count Bobrinskoy.

Collection size: 124 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.