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Russia was the last of the foreign countries to employ Scotsmen
on a large scale. Peter the Great's remarkable determination to be-
come a force by engaging the best soldiers and sailors led to his
inviting Patrick Gordon, of Auchleuchries, to join him ; and the laird's
success was so great that he soon had a number of his countrymen
applying for posts. In the following century the Jacobite rebellion
proved the Czar's opportunity, especially in regard to the fleet, for
officers with pro-Stuart tendencies were cast adrift in this country. It
was in this way that Russia acquired the services of Thomas Gordon,
who had apparently begun his career as a North Sea trader, and having
entered the Scots Navy by way of privateering, was taken over by the
English Navy at the time of the Union, meantime doing everything in
his power to help the Jacobites, until he was forced to give up his com-
mand, and enter the service of the Czar who made him Governor of
Kronstadt. Although he did not actually fight in the Fifteen, he may
be said to have served four masters in turn — Scotland, Great Britain,
the Jacobites, and Russia. No other man in this book appears in more
than two of the lists : that is why Thomas's career has been detailed at
such length. Jacobitism gave two other officers to Russia. There was
" Sandie " Gordon, a younger son of the laird of Glenbucket, who was
killed on the Black Sea, while fighting the Turks in 1740 ; if he be-
haved " honorablie at his death," wrote his father, who was also to die
an exile on a foreign shore, " it would be a great satisfactione for me to
know". William, the son of the Jacobite laird of Cobairdy, also took
post in the Russian Navy. Half a century later, the struggle of Greece
attracted Thomas Gordon, of Buthlaw, who learned his Homer at Eton
and Oxford and his soldiering in the Scots Greys ; curiously enough
there is no evidence that he ever met Lord Byron, who had narrowly
escaped being his fellow-laird at Gight.
One wonders how these old Scots got on in point of language.
French of course was easj', for many of the youths who entered the
Scots Men-at-Arms had been educated at Catholic seminaries in France.
One can understand their getting along in Dutch, for merchandise had
made it a imguu f...nca. But how did they manage in Polish and in
Russian ? The question is peculiarly interesting in view of the fierce
struggle in Hungary a few years ago when Austria introduced the Ger-
man word of command, the Magyars insisting that their race could not

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