Cossack foremen of Mena hundred in the Goverment of Hetmanate and Russian empire (XVIII – beginning XIX century)

Іn the article accomplished an attempt of reconstruction of official career of natives of Cossack foremen families that lived on territory of Mena hundred of Chernihiv regiment. Taking into account an origin, education, personal ties and other possibilities and other possibilities for obtaining relevant positions and ranks, an author compares an official way and activities of separate representatives of foremen families in centesimal, regimental structures and central government of Hetmanate bodies. At the same time the process of their passing is traced into the service to imperious establishments of the Russian empire with obtaining appropriate ranks and getting rights to the Russian nobility. As a result in the end XVIII of century most of Cossack officers from Mena hundred continued their career in the system of institutes of the new government and satisfied the claims to the status of noblemen. Some of them took an active part in the work of commissions on consideration of cases of applicants for the nobility. However only about the negligible quantity of foremen in future documentary information was saved about confession their noblemen. The presented research certifies the necessity of further researches on issues of the questions of acquisition of former Сossack foremen and their stay at the military and civil service in the Russian empire.

In the XVIII century in social and political life of the Ukrainian cossack state («Zaporizhia Army») came a period of relative quiescence, relatively stabilized its administrative-territorial structure and system of governance institutions. The central leadership of the state and management at the level of territorial units (regiments or hundreds) stuck in the hands of the cossack officers. It is known that Hetmanate as an autonomy was under the protection of the Russian Empire. Russian monarchs took a decisive course for incorporation of Ukrainian lands to general imperial body gradually limiting the power of the Hetman and local government. In these circumstances, cossack foremen that identified itself not otherwise than nobility wanted anything to maintain its dominant position and use the fullness of rights, which had its predecessors in the days of government of Rich Pospolyta. One of the means to strengthen its position were numerous requests of cossack leaders concerning the equalization of the rights of russian military and civilian ranks (according to the «Table of Ranks»), then – russian nobility and gradual transition to military and bureaucratic service of Russian empire. In this process were involved government officials of all levels of authority and representatives of non-governmental Hetman officers.

In this research realized an attempt to trace the development of career of representatives of cossack foremen who lived within Mena hundred of Chernihiv regiment. The process of adaptation to military and civil service in the new imperial conditions displayed simultaneously with getting of former petty foremen of noble ranks and titles.

Mena hundred as administrative and territorial unit of Chernihiv regiment for single references was known in 1648. In 1654 it is mentioned as part of Nizhyn, and since 1672 – as part of Chernihiv regiment.

At the end of the XVII century in the local reign and life of hundred leading positions gradually embraces Sakhnovsky family that came from cossacks of Mena. Four of it representatives headed the hundred for 62 years with breaks. And the two centurions (sotnyky) from Mena Ignat and his son Ivan Sakhnovsky was promoted to post quartermaster (obozniy) in Chernihiv regiment. From among Mena centesimal foremen also came out Chernihiv regiment captain (osavul) Vasily Pavlovsky. In the middle of the XVIII century cornet (horunzhy) post in the centesimal administration for a long time held natives from Omelyut family. At the end of the XVII century on the territory of Mena hundred representatives of cossack-settlers from right-bank regiments received estates (Kolchevsky, Lysenko, Polonytsky).

During the liquidation of regimental-centesimal order of 1781 – 1782 began the process of direct transformation of cossack foremen to the Russian nobility. Appeared many applicants among representatives of foremen who wanted to get nobility. In accordance with rescripts from October 26, 1782 after the introduction of viceroyalties and deputy noble assemblies, special commission was supposed to be formed and carried out so-called «parsing of nobility». In December of 1782 district marshal of nobility of Sosnytsia district Sahnovskyy Pavel prepared a list of 213 candidates for the status of nobility, 53 of which were from Mena hundred. The list included people who were already in the Russian service, bunchukovy, military, znachkovy comrades, former regimental, centesimal foremen, military red-tapist. Of these, only 21 candidate belonged to representatives of aforementioned families of cossack foremen, the rest – 32 (former centesimal government officials, significant friends) came from cossacks. Overall in Mena hundred in XVIII century mentioned 4 significant military comrades, 23 bunchukovy, 27 military and 20 znachkovy comrades.

At the beginning of the XIX century representatives of a few notable foremen families of former Mena hundred after durable consideration of their cases in Heroldmeyster office were deemed by nobles with the provision of appropriate emblems. To such belonged Kolchevsky, Lysenko Polonytsky, Sahnovsky and probably Omelyut. According to our calculations 4 representatives of them received the rank of titular councilor, 6 people – collegiate assessor, 6 people – outdoor and collegiate advisors, 1 person – state councilor.

Generally at the end of the XVIII century most of the former foremen from Mena hundred continued their careers at the military and civil service of the Russian Empire. They completed cases of state institutions of the former Hetmanate until it was eliminated, or became officials in local authorities at district and provincial levels. Along with representatives of well-known foremen families at the initial stages less wealthy natives from Cossack state got here. Their further destiny and official career in the XIX century remains one of the issues that need further investigation.

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