Chancellor (Russia)

  (Redirected from Chancellor of the Russian Empire)

Chancellor of the Russian Empire (Russian: канцлер Российской империи) was a civil position (class) in the Russian Empire, according to the Table of Ranks introduced by Peter the Great in 1722. Chancellor was a civil rank of the 1st class and equal to those of Active Privy Councillor, 1st class, General Field Marshal in the Army, and General Admiral in the Navy.[1][2][3] The rank holder should be addressed as Your High Excellency (Russian: Ваше Высокопревосходительство, Vashe Vysokoprevoskhoditelstvo).[4]


Chancellors held the most senior positions in the Russian Empire. Usually, this title was assigned to the Foreign Ministers. If the Minister had the rank of the 2nd class, he could be called Vice-Chancellor. In the entire history of the Russian Empire, there were only 12 Chancellors, fewer than reigning monarchs. As a general rule, except for the period of the Napoleonic Wars, there could be only one Chancellor at any given time. It might take as long as 10 years to appoint a new Chancellor when the previous one died. Therefore, other officers of the 1st class were Active privy councillors, 1st class.

After the appointment of Alexander Gorchakov, no more Chancellors were appointed for the last 50 years of the Russian Empire, even though the rank was not officially canceled. For the last 35 years, since the death of Gorchakov, the Russian Empire still appointed no Chancellors. The rank was abolished in 1917 by the Soviet decree on estates and civil ranks.

Chancellors of the Russian EmpireEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Segrillo, Angelo (November 2016). "A First Complete Translation into English of Peter the Great's Original Table of Ranks: Observations on the Occurrence of a Black Hole in the Translation of Russian Historical Documents" (PDF).
  2. ^ "Table of Ranks". Global Security. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  3. ^ "Peter the Great's Table of Ranks". The University of Virginia. Archived from the original on 18 November 2018. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  4. ^ "Табель о рангах, Действителен в период с конца XIX века по 1917 год". Boris Akunin (in Russian). Retrieved 27 December 2016.
Junior rank
Active Privy Councillor
Table of Ranks
Active Privy Councillor, 1st class
Senior rank