The false Dmitriy was actually one of three imposters claiming to be the son of Ivan the Terrible. So what made his story seem more believable to the Russian populace? Join Sarah and Deblina as they examine the curious tale of the False Dmitriy.
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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your bottom line and the environment swap out your old jobs for energy saving a lady's get instant savings as pico customer stock up while discounts and incentives last for info and how you can start saving today is a pico dotcom, slash, allergy, local stuff. You missed in history class from house of works, tat come Welcome to the club cast I'm going to try providing an unfair it out and the subject of rural pretenders is one that just really continues to fascinate and intrigue. The both of us in March. We covered Lambert's signal who was pretended to the English thrown at a young age of ten. But here's the thing while he and his supporters they have given Henry the seventh cause for concern signal never act became king, but further pretend I'm gonna. Look at here, it was a really different story. Czar
trees is commonly known as false. Dmitri. The first not only usurped the russian thrown in sixteen o five. He asked gained the widespread support of people across all classes in Russia. While pretending to be this of none other than even the terrible. Still he did it he's not just a pretender. He p really made it happen, but we're gonna be calling him false dmitri, the first that just so, we can avoid any confusion right off the bat there were actually to other false demetrius who quite a successful as this first one and we're gonna talk about both of them till but first before things get too complicated. We need to set up this story a little bed and talk about who the real Dmitri was leaving those other three false guys, picture for the moment and also try to figure out? Why Somebody would try to pretend to be him in the first place before look at those questions, so we really gonna take a look at sixteenth century Russia or the end of the sixteenth century, at least as the sixteenth,
it was drawing to a close, the old dynasty of the ground. Princess of Moscow or the Rurik dynasty was coming to an end, sore then better known as even the terrible died in fifteen. Eighty four he'd, had a number of wives count lovers and many many children. He really didn't have that many options for an air, partly and far too right. So this is what happened, many of the legitimate children that he had turned out to be sickly and they didn't survive Ivan as for illegitimate once said that even would actually suffocate them with his own hands to make sure there was an a power struggle after he died. I radically a power struggle does still develop. That's very true: there were two sons laughed after Ivan died, Fyodor and Dimitri Theodora older one and he actually became tsar after Ivan staff. Here, a very effective tsar, though some sources suggest that he may have actually had some sort of mental disability or at the very
Police was ill suited to ruin a country fell. Somebody else had to step in his wife's brother, Boris, Gordon off, who basically gum for him and before his death Ivan even named Gordon off as Theodorus Guardian, though it's the start, travel. Raising this this man to a very high powerful position, because God not had a lot of power now and it seemed like. Maybe he would be the next in line for the throne, and there was still that other son. Those though this is where things get complicated, Dimitri of Islands, other leg I met child. But at this point he was just a little boy, though he didn't seem to be of a real contender here at the success or failure. Yeah also, it might have been tough to prove Dmitri legitimacy because he was the son of Ivan Seventh or maybe eighth if, depending on what source you look at- and I think thing like. After the third wife, the kids aren't really consider legitimate, so that caused the problem anyway, but how deal would have had a claim. So, that's probably
I, his mother, were exiled to look leech after Ivan Staff, but the boy they're in fifteen ninety one around age, eight or ten, and of course there mysterious circumstances involved? It wouldn't be a good pretender signore. Unless there were some mysterious, circumstantially Julia Russian Royal Childhood story, though some people said that the death was natural, although, she doesn't even really found very good. He supposedly stabbed himself during an epileptic seizure, yet. You have to wonder why eight ten year old boys, holding a knife- and he were yellow, is my first question and how he managed to stab himself with it there you go. That's the one potentially natural solution However, though, there was also a rumour that it was good enough who had had the child murdered, which seems kind of likely to that this power, hungry guy, who does step in after this kid it's out of the way. But regardless of what the truth was here to me
Tree was now out of the picture and since feared had a wife and lay one daughter Fiducia who died as an infant. This really the door wide open for a good enough to step up and take the thrown himself. And incidentally, some suspected go another involvement and few doses death to so we should mention that, but sure enough after Fyodor his death in fifteen. Ninety eight go now was elected to the throne by popular assembly. That's all Boris, as he's often known, have an easy go of it at all. We should get theme entirely like he just came in there and claim the throne for himself too. He was elected to his position, but not everyone was a fan of the news are born, in particular the bow yours who are the key old arrested. Families upper nobility they were specifically opposed, and out of all of these,
families. The roman army, especially really didn't like Thar Boris than part of that is, if they thought they had a better claim to the throne, is our future mother, even the terrible's first wife in It had been a roman ass, though the family thought that through through her and through their relation to the latest, thar they had a pretty good claim So our boys needed away to deal with these rivals of has and what he did as in sixteen hundred he sent them all. He arrested them. He rested all the Romanoff brothers and sent them all out of Moscow that the end of our Boris troubles, though either soon other social classes want really happy with him, though some sources it is our Boris as an intelligent and capable ruler. Who did things like reforming the judicial system and sending students to be educated in western Europe? He also had the missiles. Being on the throne during a terrible famine that lasted from above Sixteen o one to sixteen o three, the harvest failed all those summers, three successive summers and
as our Boris really didn't deal with us effectively at all, it hurt his reputation and destabilized his regime. Yet further with this idea floating around that tsar. Boris, wasn't a true tsar at all these economic problems, these social conflict that were all coming to a head when the famine, it was all kind of him. Fault, and this combined with Demetrius premature death, opened the door for pretenders. So you guys could come in and the stage was sat for for some kind of revolution. Was and then in sixteen o three. At the height of the crisis in Russia, a young man appeared and Poland, Lithuania, and presented himself to Prince Adam and other was there as the tsar which Dmitri the youngest son of the terrible and the true heir to the russian throw wait a minute I know what's going on here, let's be dead and he supposed to be dead. So here's how Dmitri explained himself, he told people
go not had sent hired assassins to kill him and google each back in fifteen ninety one. So what was rumored to have happened did happen. Go now had tried to have him killed, but his tutor had save term or so Dmitri claimed by cleverly sitting another boy for Dmitri and then boy was killed instead of him, so sounds like up pretty resting story and, according to an article in history today, by marine pair this new, the tree, who did receive an audience with the polish king in sixteen o four had some had some proof for all of these tall claim. For when he was recognized, the both of lay by russian exiles who claimed to have known the boy. You know that's not so too hard to believe there. Some people would have definitely been familiar with. His faith might have been able recognize them also displayed so called royal birthmark. Then we're not should quite so try to figure out what that met. Wait. What make, though broiled birth
mark or knows especially large Erlich shaped like a crown were, or is it just a symbol is maybe they knew Dmitri, had some specific birthmark and look there. It is but or maybe the family all had the same birthmark, something anyway. The he has the royal birthmark so he's good there, and then he also had a jeweled cross that was allegedly given to him by his godfather. So sure soul on their than they have pretty good reason to to be thought after Dimitri, even converted to Catholicism in Krakow, though, now he's thirty, during their fold and they're, getting their new friend, Dimitri or hoping together, new friend to me tree on the russian thrown, which offered some really excited, possibilities for the expansion of Poland's influence, until it in the back and reaches well sober.
By these lithuanian and polish nobles and some Jesuits to end with a newly gathered army of cossacks than adventurers. This false dmitri invaded Russia in October. Sixteen o for any had some initial victories at all right at first, he attracted followers, especially in southern Russia. Anyone towns in that region, in which the townspeople overthrew governors in favour of ham and most of its supporters were cossacks townspeople. peasants and bondsmen. In general, though fast Dmitri was defeat and militarily until Tsar Boris, suddenly dies in April of sixteen o five. Then government army shifted its support to Dmitri game changer. It was the didn't want to swear allegiance to our borders. The sun feared or so
the army has switched allegiance, is then there's a popular uprising against the gardeners that leads the boilers to also thank hey. We want to switch over to so they murder, Boris, a son and his wife and false Dmitri arrives trial. Currently in Moscow in June, sixteen o five and as proclaimed Tsar with all the support of all sections of russian society till he made it. I mean. I know we already told you he would in the introduction, by a still feel, like thirty, don't see that coming, he actually he's pretender, who make that happen, though Thar Dmitri is on the throne, but we still have no idea who I really is. Our Boris had accused him of being one Gregory, a treaty of who is a member of the gentry who was linked to the so the Romany then later became a monk in what was pretty much the most prestigious a story in Moscow at the time, but boy had accused a tree.
of being a renegade type of monk who dabble in things like thirty three and with in league with fate, and never got a thing for four, the worst thing that you can hear and other accounts, though sort a painted. A different picture: they had him standing it in good Standing at the monastery and he rose than the ranks remarkable quickly therein and just serve had a good reputation, so is interesting. Is that many historians also think that false Dmitri was a treaty of- and this is probably the most prevalent theory that south there right now. But some people think that there are some some Chris. So this theory, I should say think that there are some time you know shoes with this. That's when criticism that they have. Throw it into question. For example, the monk might have, I ve been to all to pass fur Dmitri would actually have any birth records of himself. Although people say but they were around the same age. We don't actually know that. That's true. So there are some flaws in this theory and according to a peace by choice,
her dunning in the slavic review. One thing that many sky, agree on is that whoever fast Tree really was. He must have been re. From childhood to believe TAT, he was really Dimitri because he played the role so convincingly. So I find that really interesting and because you think for tenders- and I don't know- I think I often assume that it's just like a decision they make it at the next year. There pretending to be this person about it. Let us call decision or a decision of ambition on earth right that this might have been more of a long term plan. It's the ambition of somebody else, presumably from older person his, whose grooming this young man or young boy even to to eventually take place, it reminded me again of the Lambert them all up exactly, although with interesting Demetrius cases that their there have been a small number of researchers early years who have pursued the possibility that Tsar which Dmitri really did survive as a young
child, and that may be. This was the real Demetrius. Dmitri was the real Demeter. Here I mean there were some things that they point to like irregularities with a child's burial. They waited for a long time to bury him. So maybe the bodies were swap or something like that. So who knows Edwin, but in general. Most people believe that he was, in fact an impostor, but hidden act like one when he got on the throne bull. In that way, it also explain being raised from a very young age tube to truly believe that he was the the tsar average. But although some consider him to be the puppet of polish nobles who supported him. Several sources really pant false dmitri as the quote: extremely intelligent and resourceful leader or a well The kid for Russians are or well versed in statecraft advanced in his king and reform minded and even possessing a quote, lively, even passionate temperament fell.
I would like a lot of people were pretty pleased with what they got, even if even if circumstances This young man come into the throne were unusual, to say the least thing like you did a pretty good job when he was there. or at least he doesn't seem like a total ban that job should help even describe Dmitri, as quote one Few really enlightened rulers, Russia has ever had and Danny Notes, and scholars have seen Dmitri is a foreigner to Peter the great some other thing Tsar Dmitri accomplished in case your interest said he lowered the tax burden on labour demands of the time. He also made plans for promoting education and science in Russia, and he worked to promote the effect, of the russian Army and for Lee Thou release, unfortunately, for false dmitri didn't have that much time to to accomplish all of these
having a mine of its own, really turned out to be his detriment, and he anchored alot of people, especially a lot of these, these noble you weren't you too to it in the first place, you know- and I think that one of the things he did that really angered alot of people was that early converge two Catholicism? He also Mary, the daughter of a polish catholic noblemen, name, Marina, which really even further strengthen that connect but he also did some other things that would have maybe upset the boy hours of the time he does a lot of cultural norms, for example, he dressed and acted in informal or western ways. He didn't attend church services for many hours each day. He he did it. He did attention services and go to functions and things like that, but he didn't do it may be as far as long ere he wasn't is involved. Is people hope that he would be? He also didn't after the midday meal, which was customary, and he also
didn't hide his disdain for the low level of education among boy hours. So maybe why, after just a year as our false dmitri falls victim to a boy. Our plot on May seventeenth, sixteen o six and after Dmitri. Murder, the boy arse put a vast celia. Shall we see a man from an old boy, our family, on the throne, one of their own one of their own? Exactly, and this marked the beginning of a period of political crisis known in Russia as the time of troubles, though we wait do the beginning there. We're gonna be a few of these false dmitri, though now with this false Jimmy tree, the first out of the way opens the door for four new impostors to come in almost immediately after the nobles pull office plot, murdering Dmitri the Tsar rumors darted circulating that Dmitri had yet again escaped death. Maybe these rumours were started by his wife, maybe some other supporter and
a while for, for anything to come of that, but eventually the second false Dmitri did show up in July. Sixteen has seven, he bore no fish, Cora them bullets to the first false dmitri he actually gained. Following that, I didn't really seem to matter he gained enough about following including cossacks and pour in Lithuania and the rebels to cause than These are some real trouble, and it's it's pretty getting. Weirder than that that when you consider how far the support of this second false Dmitri wine He did gained a lot of support to gain control of southern Russia and set up headquarters at the village of two. She know and that's why times known as the thief of tissue. No, but the real, crazy part here to me at least, is that Marina, false dmitri. The first wife recognises this
false Dmitri as her husband, which gives him credibility and people think. Obviously, if this woman says this is all the more true than right, so they say together. They had a sign eventually, who they named Ivan fast to. The second, was eventually killed by one of his own followers and sixteen ten, no one this day really knows who he was. He may have been a priest sign or maybe a baptized. You called bug dont, go though it false dmitri. The second out of the way we have an opening forced me to the third and on March sixteen eleven, a third false dmitri, does show up in North West Russia, this time but he's wearing. I guess it was an old story by this point. He really didn't gain quite as much, but following and historians identify him as a former deacon. He did. Gaming alliance of or the allegiance at least have some cossacks than a couple of towns that he was also murdered by his own supporters. May sixteen twelve, so
the end of that immediate line of of Demetrius, but there were others that that followed not thoroughly more Demetrius that other pretenders to the throne. It was a pretty wild time. There were many pretender is apparently during the seventeenth century in Russia, and there are several nations for that out there, for example, Perry suggest the monarch ism was the only political ideology that existed in early, modern Russia, so leaders of rebellions or social movements or what have you they were called the true tsar and their enemies were considered traders and it's kind of how they set up that dichotomy. Wouldn't work. today I dont think no, not at all I mean I think the widespread use of photography would have put a pretty fast and today, sort of thing began: dna paternity, taxing, you're, not Dmitri, but I mean I do think that that's interesting the only Avenue open for them was forged
some kind of legitimacy thing that you are somehow related to the royal family in order to get a new local ideology or a new regime out there or overthrow somebody. You don't like it. It's a strange way about of going about things. I am, I think, him today, though, I think that's why we're so interested in phenomenon is because it's just something we can't fathom. It seems so outrageous how something like this happened right. So we do a good pretender story, and I know a lot of people have been suggesting Bonnie, Prince Charlie lately and he's variously been on. My list of podcast topics were ink fence. I see and history today, in an article on him. Recently, though, though, he is still up, there You have any other pretenders suggestions to you. They are so much fun to talk about. You can email them to earth that history pie cast and how that works. Dot com were up
on twitter at mixed in history and we're on faith, but you can leave a comment in any other way and if you want to learn a little bit more about how Boil tee in royal families work, we do have an article called how world he works on our website. You can look it up by visiting our homepage, Toby Toby, Toby dont, how stuff works, dot com restored a check out our new video podcast stuff from the Future Joint House staff, as we explore the most promising and perplexing possibilities of tomorrow, the House efforts it has arrived download it today, and I do this episode is brought to you by mulatto. Cookies works
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