Privy Councillor (Russia)

Privy Councillor (Russian: тайный советник, tayniy sovetnik) was the civil position (class) in the Russian Empire, according to the Table of Ranks introduced by Peter the Great in 1722. Initially, it was a civil rank of 4th class, but from 1724 it was upgraded to the 3rd class. The rank was equal to those of Lieutenant-General in the Army and Vice-Admiral in the Navy.[1][2][3] The rank holder should be addressed as Your Excellency (Russian: Ваше Превосходительство, Vashe Prevoskhoditelstvo).[4]

Privy Councillor in uniform. Insignia are laced buttonholes without gaps with three stars and emblem of his Ministry.
Epaulette of Privy councillor, Professor of the Imperial Military Medical Academy.


The name of the rank can be associated with the original meaning of the words "secret" and "trustworthy". Those awarded this rank occupied the highest public offices, such as Minister or Deputy Minister, Head of large department, Senator, Academician of the Imperial Academy of Sciences. Occasionally, the rank was awarded to the long-time province governors to recognize their merits before their transfer to the capital. In addition to St. Petersburg, Privy Councillors could serve in Moscow and other large cities of the Russian Empire, for example in Tbilisi. The rector of Moscow State University, well-known historians Sergey Solovyov and Vasily Klyuchevsky, Professor of the Moscow Theological Academy Nicolay Subbotin were Privy Councilors. In 1903, there were 553 Privy Councilors in Russia.

The rank was abolished in 1917 by the Soviet decree on estates and civil ranks.

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Peter the Great's Original Table of Ranks: Observations on the Occurrence of a Black Hole in the Translation of Russian Historical Documents" (PDF).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 State Councillor
Table of Ranks
Privy Councillor
Senior rank
Active Privy Councillor