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 Peter III

Peter III

Birth
Kiel, Stadtkreis Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
Death 17 Jul 1762 (aged 34)
Saint Petersburg Federal City, Russia
Burial Saint Petersburg, Saint Petersburg Federal City, Russia
Memorial ID 1506 · View Source
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Tsar of Russia. According to the old Julian calendar Russia was still using at the time, he was born on February 10, 1728; the date on the modern Gregorian calendar was February 21. He was the son of Duke Karl Friedrich of Holstein-Gottorp and Peter the Great's daughter Anna, and was originally given the name Karl Peter Ulrich. He became the Duke of Holstein-Gottorp when his father died in 1739. Until age fourteen, he lived and received his schooling at the court of Holstein. In November of 1742 his aunt Empress Elizabeth appointed him the heir to the Russian throne and arranged for his travel from Germany. Elizabeth also arranged his marriage with Princess Sophie Augusta Fredericka of Anhalt-Zerbst. Princess Sophie converted to Russian Orthodoxy, took the name Yekaterina Alekseyevna, and completely Russified herself. Peter and his wife, the future Catherine the Great, did not have a happy marriage, and there were rumors that their marriage was never even consummated. Both took lovers on the side. On December 25, 1761 (December 18 on the Julian calendar), Empress Elizabeth died and Peter ascended the throne. His first action upon taking power was to grant amnesty and return from exile to everyone his aunt Elizabeth had had arrested. Another of his early actions as Tsar was to get Russia out of the Seven Years' War (also known as the Pomeranian War or the French and Indian War) and to negotiate a peace settlement with Prussia, a country he had great love and admiration for. He then formed an alliance between Russia and Prussia. Wanting to have the area of Schleswig in Germany restored to his nearby native Duchy of Holstein-Gottorp, he made plans to go to war with Denmark, which didn't prove to be a very popular move. Peter also earned disapproval because he tried to make the Russian Orthodox Church become more like Lutheranism. He was a reform-minded Tsar in addition to being interested in militarism, and dissolved the Privy Council, banned the persecution of dissenters, and issued a special decree releasing the gentry from compulsory state service, among other reforms. However, his reign as Tsar was to be short-lived. His wife and her lover Grigoriy Orlov carried out a coup, arrested him, and forced him to sign his own abdication. While in the custody of the imperial guards in the Ropshinskiy Castle, Peter was murdered on July 7, 1762 (July 17 on the Gregorian calendar). Some people still speculate that Catherine, who never punished the men responsible, gave orders for him to be murdered. Peter was originally buried in the Annunciation Church at the Aleksandr Nevskiy Monastery, but in December of 1796 his son, Tsar Paul I, gave orders for his remains to be exhumed and reburied with full royal honors at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul Fortress.

Bio by: Carrie-Anne


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 1506
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Peter III (21 Feb 1728–17 Jul 1762), Find A Grave Memorial no. 1506, citing St. Peter and Paul Fortress, Saint Petersburg, Saint Petersburg Federal City, Russia ; Maintained by Find A Grave .