In the service of the king and fatherland
Nikita Ivanovich Odoyevsky was born in about 1605 in the family of boyar Ivan Nikitich nicknamed Mnich. The childhood of the child fell on the ordeal of the Time of Troubles. His father in those difficult years was the Novgorod governor. Princes Odoevsky were descendants of the Chernigov princes (that is, descended from Rurik). Therefore, serving in important public positions in their family was considered a tribute to the family tradition. The son, making his way through the thorns of ranks and titles, even surpassed his father.
Nikita Ivanovich from the earliest youth was in the public service. The first information about the stolnik relates to 1618: the lad was in the royal retinue during the last Polish siege of Moscow. Odoyevsky knew how to get on with Mikhail Fedorovich - he attended both weddings of the first autocrat from the Romanov dynasty.
1633, again the war with the Poles: Nikita Ivanovich is appointed Rzhevskim voivod. He was supposed to lead the army to Smolensk, but because of the lack of military people he did not manage to get to the Russian city captured by the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. However, thirty years later, Odoyevsky will triumphantly return under the walls of an ancient fortress. In the meantime, in 1640, the hereditary prince for service finally receives the rank of boyar.
In 1646, Odoyevsky went to Livny, where, under his command, considerable forces were gathered to repel a possible Tatar raid. On the eve of the Crimean Khan Islam Giray received from his overlord, the Turkish Sultan Ibrahim, a caftan and a saber - a symbolic permission to launch a raid on Russia. Odoyevsky traveled south after Greek informers reported on the preparation of the raid in Moscow. In Belgorod and Livny, military people voivods reinforced the most vulnerable areas of the serf line. So without waiting for the Crimeans, but taking care of the trees and ditches, a year later the boyar returned to Moscow. In gratitude, the new king invited him as his first friend to his wedding with Mary of Miloslavskaya, mother of Feodor III and Ivan V.
At court, Odoyevsky had to maneuver between two aristocratic parties. One was headed by the tsarist "uncle" Boris Morozov, the other - "offended" by Alexey Mikhailovich Cherkassky and the boyars from other less famous families. Nikita Ivanovich managed to outwit all the nobility groups. The nobleman earned the confidence of Tisichshy and distanced himself from petty aristocratic conflicts.
The rise of Odoyevsky's career began rather late - when he was already over forty (the respectable age for that time). But he turned out to be a long-liver and, against all odds, he achieved a superior position in the Duma. The key episode of his service was the appointment of the head of the Folded Commission. This body, on the instructions of the sovereign, engaged in furious work - codification of all existing at the time Russian legislation and the addition of new articles required by “rebellious times”.
Drawing up the Cathedral code
To make up the Code Odoyevsky became together with his loyal comrades. One of them, Fedor Fedorovich Volkhonsky, bore the nickname Merin. The other, Semyon Vasilyevich Prozorovsky, was rescued by Nikita Ivnovich from the unenviable Yamsky order, where he was sent by the tutor of the king Morozov. These three men led the work on the drafting of the Code, to which Zemstvo electives who came to Moscow from all over the country joined.
The vault of the middle of the XVII century was markedly different from its predecessors. He turned out to be more systematic and fuller than the lawsuits of Ivan III and Ivan IV. The council code included state law, civil and criminal legislation. It was published in 1649 and operated for almost two centuries until it was replaced by the Complete Collection of Laws of the Russian Empire, compiled by the commission of Mikhail Speransky in the era of Nicholas I (it was thanks to this historical parallel that Odoevsky was nicknamed “Speransky XVII century”).
Hand of the sovereign
Preparation of the Cathedral Code secured Odoyevsky in the status of a state celestial being. He became a faithful approximate Alexei Mikhailovich. A characteristic detail: when the tsar left for his beloved hunt, Nikita Ivanovich, tried and experienced by experience, remained in charge of Moscow.
In the 1650s, Odoyevsky was a Kazan governor for some time. When relations with Poland once again escalated, he entered the retinue of the king who had set out to march. In the sixth dozen boyar again (as in his youth) visited the walls of Smolensk. This time the ancient Russian city was finally reunited with the motherland. At the end of the war, the prince was part of the delegation at the negotiations with the Commonwealth.
In his long service, Odoyevsky changed his faces a dozen times. He was a military leader, a lawmaker, a diplomat. In 1663, Nikita Ivanovich received a new delicate assignment. The king came into conflict with Patriarch Nikon, who encroached on the monarch's autocratic power itself. The quarrel took place against the background of church reform and the persecution of the Old Believers. The tangle of contradictions was so confusing that the sovereign did not find anyone who could deal with this problem - no one but Odoyevsky.
While still composing the Code, Nikita Ivanovich introduced some new orders that limited the privileges of the clergy. Firstly, an exclusively state monastic order was created. Secondly, the servants of the Church were forbidden to acquire fiefdoms. After such a call to the power-loving patriarch, the relationship between him and the boyar could hardly remain good-natured.
Odoyevsky not only led the investigation, but also became the prosecutor of Nikon at the trial. The process was followed by the requirement to depose the head of the Church, which was done. The formal reason was the careless admission of the patriarch that he was going to "otcht from the Christianity of the great sovereign." So the king, with the help of his right hand, got rid of the constant headache in the face of an ambitious opponent.
The trial of Patriarch Nikon (Sergey Miloradovich, 1885)
Nikita Odoyevsky and his wife Evdokia Sheremeteva had five children, including four sons. They and their grandchildren (as well as the head of the family) ended up in the Duma and became prominent statesmen. The fact that the aged Nikita Ivanovich met at important ceremonies with the children of his children was already exceptional.
Under the successors of Aleksei Mikhailovich, Fedor III, Sophia and the underage Peter I, Odoyevsky gradually retired. Nevertheless, he finally managed to lead the Aptekarsky order and the Judgment Order, and then head the Zemsky Sobor of 1682, according to the decision of which the system of regionalism was destroyed. Ironically, the gray-haired boyar canceled the order of appointment to public office, depending on the nobility of origin - an order that once elevated the noble Odoyevskys themselves. Nikita Ivanovich died in 1689 on the ninth ten. He was buried in a family tomb in the Trinity-Sergius Lavra.