How Ivan the Terrible abdicated in favor of a descendant of Genghis Khan

Do you know that there was a time when a descendant of Genghis Khan ruled the Russian kingdom? Moreover, this happened not during the time of the Tatar-Mongol yoke, but much later, during the time of Ivan the Terrible.

Chingizid Sain-Bulat Bekbulatovich, the great-grandson of the ruler of the Golden Horde, Khan Akhmat, could not even see in fabulous dreams that he would one day become the ruler of Russia. As the head of the Kasimov Khanate, formerly a buffer zone between Moscow and the Horde, and in the middle of the 16th century turned out to be a provincial backwater, Sain-Bulat was just a Muslim in the service of the Russian sovereign. But he certainly had no reason to encroach on the place of God's anointed one.

However, this is how it all happened. At first, the Moscow tsar, who loved kinks, baptized his servant, giving him the name Simeon, and soon he married him to Anastasia Mstislavskaya, the daughter of a noble boyar and the head of the abolished Zemshchyna.

As soon as the newly made Simeon Bekbulatovich came to his senses from a sudden rise, in the fall of 1575, by his decree, Ivan Vasilyevich elevated the baptized Tatar to the rank of Grand Duke of All Russia, yielding to him the Kremlin, the palace, the throne, and the royal departure. He left for himself the modest title of the Grand Duke of Moscow, moved to live from the Kremlin to Petrovka, rode in a simple cart, and appeared in the royal chambers on a par with other boyars and sat on the side of a long table, headed by the new king.

As contemporaries recalled - ambassadors of European countries, no one in Moscow took the change seriously. And although “Ivan of Moscow”, as Ivan the Terrible began to call himself, ordered the tsarist honors to be given to Simeon Bekbulatovich, the boyars, bowing to the “locum tenens of the throne, ” squinted at Ivan Vasilyevich, who was still considered a true sovereign.

It was officially believed that there are now two rulers in Russia. However, the authority of the new tsar was so small that the clerks did not even answer his letters, addressing their letters to the former sovereign. Nobody believed in dual power, believing that it was "a short-term and completely unstable test of the division of power, " as one of the ambassadors reported to his king, "some kind of game or quirk, the meaning of which is unclear."

Grozny, although formally renounced the tsarist power, nevertheless did not remove himself from government duties. And in private conversations with foreign ambassadors, he sometimes blurted out that "... although we announced that, apparently, we had elevated another to royal dignity ... we will still do in this matter as God instructs us."

Meanwhile, the "funny tsar" made one speech after another, imitating the intonations of the tsar the Terrible. "We, the Grand Duke of All Russia, command", - to the point and not very much he screwed up a phrase that warms his soul. In his speeches, the newly-minted Grand Duke of All Russia, with metal in his voice, threatened the restless neighbors - the Swedes and Lithuanians, and especially the Livonians, over whom it was a matter of his "pre-Tsar" existence, he won a victory in a border skirmish and more than once recalled it certainly proud of this achievement. In the army, however, they laughed at him and considered the chief voivode of Russia an insignificant military leader.

The new tsar also showed a demonstrative adherence to Orthodoxy, standing with his wife for long prayers and earnestly baptized.

Nodding to the speeches of the "locum tenens", the boyars were waiting with trepidation for Ivan Vasilyevich's return to power. That did not take long to happen eleven months after the "accession" of Simeon Bekbulatovich.

Contrary to the assumptions of ill-wishers, Ivan the Terrible did not deal with his predecessor deposed from the throne, but endowed him with the title of Grand Duke of Tverskoy, having written off substantial land plots around Tver and Torzhok. For another eight years, until the death of his benefactor in 1584, Simeon Bekbulatovich reigned comfortably.

But then black days came for him. After the mysterious death of Tsarevich Dmitry in Uglich, Chingizid apparently joined the struggle for the Russian throne and lost to a more successful rival. Kissing the cross to the new Tsar Boris Godunov, each boyar had to promise "Tsar Simeon Bekbulatovich and his children and no one else on the Muscovy would not want to see ...".

The new ruler Boris Godunov, fearing a rival who, like him, bore the royal title, eliminated the competitor, depriving all titles and exiled to live out his life in the Tver village of Kushalino. According to one version, Simeon was preliminarily blinded by the order of the new king.

However, this was not the end of Chingizid's troubles. The Time of Troubles came and a series of successive rulers did not give the "former tsar" peace, feeling in him a potential competitor in the struggle for power. False Dmitry I tonsured Simeon as a monk under the name of Elder Stephen at the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery (1606). Vasily Shuisky in the same year ordered to exile him to Solovki.

The schema-monk died in January 1616 and was buried next to his wife in the Simonov monastery. On the gravestone was the inscription: "In the summer of 7124, Genvar, on the 5th day, the servant of God, Tsar Simeon Bekbulatovich, died in the monastic school of schema Stephen."

After the revolution, the monastery was destroyed, and in our time on this place is the Palace of Culture of the ZIL plant.