The experience of studying the Landrat’s books of Peter the Great’s time
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The experience of studying the Landrat’s books of Peter the Great’s time
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S086956870014173-1-1
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10.31857/S086956870014173-1
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Denis Lyapin
Affiliation: Bunin Yelets State University
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18.03.2021
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18.03.2021
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1 Results of the last census of households in Russia carried out in 1715–1720, this is laying among the number of historical sources from the first quarter of the XVIII century, are supposed to pay attention to it.
2 Since a compilation of census books was entrusted to landrats (local assistants to a governor from the courtiers), this census had got name the Landrat’s census in historiography, and the books containing its results were called the Landrat’s books.
3 The aim of this article is to show the value of information content of the Landrat’s books for collecting an actual data of a population and classes of objects which Russian state examined in the process of tax calculation in the period of Peter the Great. It is especially important to make a reasoned examining the cognitive significance of this source and to draw the attention of scholars to this, because the Landrat’s books have not been the subject of a separate detailed study until.
4 Kranichfeld was a first one, who examined in the 1840s the tax policy of Peter I. Expressing his mind about the “Landrat’s census”, he regarded this as actual for his time, but A. I. Kranichfeld outlined also the effectiveness of the transition in Russia to poll taxation1. A. I. Kranichfeld appreciated big significance of the poll taxation for Russian history, he considered the poll taxation as one of the fateful events of the Peter’s epoch.
1. Kranichfeld A. Review of the financial system and financial institutions of Peter the Great. St. Petersburg, 1845. pp. 49-53.
5

There is a certain tradition among scholars  to pay a much attention to poll taxation regarding the last as an important advance however the uncompleted act of the Peter I’s tax reforms. The Landrat’s census, which preceded to a usual census, stood in the shadows and some scholars called this unsuccessful and a factor, which spurred officials to go to poll taxation. S. M. Solovyov described in details the activities of provincial officials, when he studied the process of establishing the landrats under a governors, but S. M. Solovyov did not pay attention to the Landrat’s census2. S. M. Solovyov proved the fiscal policy of Peter I had mainly many indirect taxes and the transition to direct poll taxation according to Decree of 1718.

2. Solovev S. M. History of Russia since ancient times. Book 4. Vol. XVI-XX. St. Petersburg, 1877. p. 148.
6 M. M. Bogoslovsky’s monograph about the history of local governments in the early Eighteenth century contains functioning of landrats, but M. M. Bogoslovsky did not regard the “Landrat census”, although he suggested that the officials took the Landrat’s books into account in the process of organization the tax reform, since it was accepted in Russian state to collect data ("tales", as people sad than) about the population applying questioning a households, the “tales” had main information about social and economic makeup of Russia3.
3. Bogoslovsky M. M. Studies on the history of local governments under Peter the Great. M., 1903. Pp. 324–326.
7 Referring to the Landrat’s census, V. O. Klyuchevsky drew attention to the fact that the landrat’s elections in 1713 were an attempt, which was undertook by the state to attract the nobility to internal governance on a new basis. Despite the fact the landrats were abolished in 1718, a practical experience of this institute was successfully applied to organizing a new poll census, for which the nobility chose zemstvo commissars from among themselves4. V. O. Klyuchevsky did not touch the specifics of the census and the question of its reliability.
4. Klyuchevsky V. O. History of estates in Russia. T. 6. M., 1989. P. 386; Klyuchevsky V.O. Poll tax and the abolition of slavery in Russia. Ibid., vol. 8. M., 1990. p. 195.
8 P. N. Milyukov believed that it was Peter I's dissatisfaction with the veracity of the Landrat’s books this forced him to abandon the household taxes in favor of the poll tax, but P. N. Milyukov had not given any concrete evidence for this. From the point of view of Milyukov, the need for the Landrat’s books disappeared in 1718 as a result of introduction of poll taxation5.
5. Milyukov P. N. State Economy of Russia in the first quarter of the XVIII century and the reform of Peter the Great. St. Petersburg, 1905. pp. 471-472.
9 Over time the opinion that the Landrat’s census was ineffective and even reflected the crisis of household taxation began to prevail within historians. Some persons confused increasingly “the Court description of 1710” with the Landrat’s census, contemporaries really left bad reviews about “the Court description of 1710”, and the government recognized the last one that this contained biased information6. However, according to M. V. Klochkov, the government had come to the conclusion that the total number of households could not exceed the level of 1678, this meant that the further use of the household tax system would not be a tool to finance the needs of the state in the necessary amount. This, but not the shortcomings of the Landrat’s census, was the reason for the new tax reform7.
6. Lyashchenko P. I. Russian National Economy History. M.; L., 1930. p. 206; Strumilin S. G. Essays on the Economic history of Russia. M., 1960. p. 322, 328.

7. Klochkov M. V. The population of Russia in the period of Peter the Great according to the censuses of that time. St. Petersburg, 1911. Pp. 420–425.
10 B. B. Kafenhauz asserted that the results of the “Household description of 1710” reflected a clear reduction of the number of households. The government considered this as a consequence of the concealment, which population practiced, and the fact of a bad faith, which the provincial authorities demonstrated, therefore the new census, which had got name the Landrat’s census began in 1715, but this census demonstrated a reduction of a households because of decreasing population and avoiding taxes pay, which practice poor people. The urgent need for a new system of collecting direct taxes (the actual increase in the tax burden) provoked the government to abandon the further applying the household censuses8. According to Kafenhauz, a studying the data from the Landrath books gave to the authorities an argument in favor to increase direct taxes with help of changing the system of collecting them as only one method to get money for a state budget quickly.
8. Kafenhauz B.B.Essays on the history of USSR. XVIII. Russia in the first quarter of the XVIII century. The Reforms of Peter I. M., 1954. Pp. 388– 389.
11 The opinions of Klochkov and Kafenhauz about the Landrat’s books as a source which is not inferior in reliability to the previous censuses, had not become a reason for their deep studying. This class of fiscal documentation had remained outside the interests of the scientific circles. E. V. Anisimov did not focus on the study of the Landrat census, considering the features on the tax reform of 1719–1727, although E. V. Anisimov agreed with Klochkov that there are no grounds for recognizing the Landrat census as unreliable9. Ya. E. Vodarsky, who is the well-known expert in the field of historical demography, focused on two censuses – 1678 and the first revision of the poll tax in 1719 in his book about the population of Russia in the late XVII – early XVIII centuries, so the Landrat’s census remained again outside the scope of research attention10.
9. Anisimov E. V. The tax reform of Peter I. L., 1982. p. 38.

10. Vodarsky Ya. E. The population of Russia at the end of the XVII – beginning of the XVIII centuries: number, classes, locality. M., 1977. p. 12.
12 Modern historians turn to the data of the Landrat’s censuses mainly as to a source of information on genealogy, as well as to a material, which provide a study the legal features of accounting of the taxable population of Russia11. There are many studies in recent years, which are devoted to the activities of landrats, we should mention especially the research fulfilled by D. A. Redin, this research contains the results from analysis of the activities of the Institute landrats in Siberia12. D. A. Redin noted the radical independence of the provincial authorities in the time of the household census and stressed the poor knowledge about the landrats ' activities in within historians.
11. Lyapin D.A., Lilp I.G. Buhteevs: the describing of genealogy. Yelets, 2009; Dementiev V. S. Istoriya ucheta naseleniya Rossii do nachala XX vv. [History of accounting of the population of Russia before the beginning of the XX century] // Geographical bulletin. 2015. No. 4 (35). Pp. 11–17; Borshchik N. D. Censuses of the population of the Kursk region in the XVII–XIX centuries: to the historiography of the problem // Bulletin of the Tambov University. Series: Humanities. 2008. Issue 12 (68). pp. 285–289; Melnikov P. Yu. Legal bases of audit accounting of the population in the Russian Empire at the beginning of the XVIII century // Bulletin of the Saratov Law Academy. 2012. No. 2(84). Pp. 49–54.

12. Redin D. A. Siberia’s landratura: the place of Vyatka landrats in the structure of the provincial administration during the period of the first regional reform of Peter the Great / / Izvestiya. Ural Federal University Jurnal. Series 2. Humanities and Arts. 2012. No. 3 (105). Pp. 31–47; Redin D. A. Siberian landrats. 1714–1720. (Materials for research) // Petrovskoe vremya v litsakh-2005. SPb., 2005. Pp. 181-194.
13 I would like also to note the article of S. V. Fursov about the Landrat census 1716 in Dobrovskiy district. S. V. Fursov focuses on the population and its stratus within this district and he analyzes reasons for demographic and social changes in Dobrovskiy’s district in the period 1710–171613.
13. Fursov V. S. City Dobriy and district’s materials of the landrat census of 1716 // History: facts and symbols. 2018. No. 4(17). pp. 86-94.
14 The historical conditions for the emergence of the Landrat’s books as a mass source are associated with the need to reform the system of taxation14. It was 1710, when the Russian government conducted a household census for the first time after 1678, and the central power decided to start a new census immediately after finishing the census 1710, because the local authorities had demonstrated in 1710 a negligent attitude to the census and the persons which collected the information carried out their work unfair.
14. Reports and sentences held of the Government Senate in the period of the reign of Peter the Great. Vol. VI. Book 1. St. Petersburg, 1901. p. 302; Милюков П.Н. Указ. соч. С. 471–472. Milyukov P. N. Edict. op. p. 471-472.
15 There was in the Moscow province, there the landrats began to conduct a census in the summer of 1715. Peter I issued a decree 10 December 1715 after the start of the census, according to this decree Russian officials had to begin collecting an information about the households and residents without “withholding and indulgence” within all provinces15. Total census took start in 1716. The new process of collecting data from households must have lasted 1-2 years, but it was more 2 years. Peter I decided to go to a new taxation, this based on the tax of personal income, before the finish of the census16. However, the central government fulfilled the census, which was started by landrats, in 1720, there was in this year the abolishment the institute of landrats.
15. The complete Collection of Laws of the Russian Empire: The third Collection: [From March 1, 1881 to 1913] : [In 33 volumes]. – St. Petersburg.; Pg.: State type., 1885–1916. T. 3. p. 185.

16. The complete Collection of Laws of the Russian Empire: The third Collection: [From March 1, 1881 to 1913] : [In 33 volumes]. - St. Petersburg.; Pg.: State type., 1885–1916. T. 3. p. 618–620.
16 The mechanism of the Landrat’s census had a traditional shape: the collection of accounting information from households (“tales”), the compilation of draft versions of census books, and then officials fulfilled the final versions of census book, which reflected final results of a census.
17 At the moment, the Landrat’s books (111 units) are in the fund of 350 of Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts, they are not separated into a special box of documents and lay together with the census books of 1710, various private censuses of 1707, 1712-1714, as well as “tales” and books, which contain information about a tax pay (“perechnevie knigi”). I selected and analyzed separately seven landrat books in order to prepare the article, every of these books contain information about one district, therefor every book has name of a district: “Yelets”, “Dorogobuzh”, “Meshchovsk”, “Tula” and “Likhvinskoe”, “Tsarevokokshaisk” and “Miropolsky”. I selected the Landrat’s books out of geographical characteristic of districts. According to a systematic approach, which I applied to the study of the Landrat’s books, there are in the article a classical methods of source analysis: comparison, generalization and systematization of data.
18 Landrat books do not have a single structure, we can divide all landrat books into several conditional groups: 1) the books, which were compiled according to typical form from XVII century, this meant that books are without columns and tables); 2) the Landrat’s books, which contain texts with clearly readable columns; 3) the Landrat’s books, which consist mainly of summary tables; 4) the landrat book with a combined form. My study appeals to the Landrat’s books of all forms, which I mention above.
19 The Yeletsky’s district was in the north-west of the Azov province. A commission headed by G. M. Naumov made the Landrat’s book of the Yeletsky district, M. Naumov descended from “stolniki” like most part of landrats, “stolniki” were a noble servants in Tsar’s court17. This book has a shape of voluminous folio of 1368 pages18. First, there is a characteristic of the city, this takes only churches and suburbs, description of the district goes after the characteristic of the city. The text with this information is divided into columns: all pages of notebooks are sewn and have a shape of book and divided into two columns – “persons which had arrived” and “persons which are out of the district”, where the data of the population contains information about circumstances of how any person left the district or arrived to this, this personal data stays in comparison with the last census, there are description of circumstances: “died”, “was born”, "lost", “change of residention”. The calculations of demographic changes stays in the book’s last topic, according to several criteria: the total number of men and women, the number of person, which arrived and left the district, the population of the district has a stratification in the book.
17. Zakharov A.V. "The Sovereign's Court" and the courtiers of Peter I: problems of terminology and reconstruction of the service / / Ruling Elites and the Nobility of Russia during and after the Peter's Reforms (1682–1750). Moscow, 2013. P. 30.

18. Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts. Collection. 350. Register. 1. Folder. 113. P. 1.
20

The characteristic of the city’s population reflects a social stratification, which contains the next segments: clergymen, assistants of deacons, which were local ones and ones from Ecclesiastical department, solitary men, beggars, Musketeers, gunners, guard of fortress, Cossacks, philistines of the city, knights, soldiers ' children, serfs. Knights and Cossacks prevailed within city’s population, the most persons among these two stratus were city’s Cossacks (499 persons), Musketeers (160 persons) and gunners (112 persons) stood after knights and Cossacks.

21

The population of the suburbs was 124 people. The population of Yeletsky’s district was represented by landowners and patrimonial owners, “military men of all ranks”, on the one hand, by peasants, solitary men, servants and business people, on the other. The Landrat’s book does not contain the number of the landlords and patrimonial owners, they shaped an upper stratum of local society. As for the "military people of all ranks", this category of the population was the descendants of knights, who were obliged in 1710 to pay taxes instead military service19. The Landrat’s book contains mentions about persons of stratum “military men of all ranks” as horsemen, soldiers, spearmen and municipal policemen. Military class of the district was a social base for a draft to army and other forms of military service as militia in cities and in country, the Landrat’s book contains an information that 223 persons were conscripted in 1710 (9%). The word “peasants” is mentioned in the Landrat’s book only in the preface, in the final part of the book this category of persons has name “laboring people”, the authors of the Landrat’s book understood under “laboring people” all the low stratums of society. The number of “laboring people” was 5,585 people within the district, solitary men were only in the local Yeletsky’s monastery (14 persons). Authors of Landrat’s book did not regard servants and business people as separate stratum, they associated them with households of service people, the number of servants and business people was not more 50 people. The book contains detailed information about the clergy of various ranks (122 persons).

19. The complete Collection of Laws of the Russian Empire: The third Collection: [From March 1, 1881 to 1913] : [In 33 volumes]. - St. Petersburg.; Pg.: State type., 1885-1916. T. 3. Pp. 655–656.
22

Dorogobuzhsky district was one of results of the administrative reform of 1708, this lay in the center of the Smolensk province, but the district became part of the Riga Province in 1713. Colonel and descendant form a stratum of courtiers Ivan Mikhailovich Potemkin was landrat, who was responsible for the census20.

20. Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts. Collection. 350. Register. 1. Folder. 111. P. 1; Zakharov A.V. "The Sovereign's Court" and the courtiers of Peter I: problems of terminology and reconstruction of the service / / Ruling Elites and the Nobility of Russia during and after the Peter's Reforms (1682-1750). Moscow, 2013. P. 30.
23

The Landrat’s Book of Dorogobuzhsky’s district is a manuscript of 750 pages. This book has an archaic structure and resembles rather the census of the XVII century, because this does not contain a classification of persons which settled on some place in the district and left the district, this book contains also description of the population according of list of a local households, this description is separated from other string by a space; the book has comparisons with previous censuses related only to a few general characteristics, for example, the number of philistines of the city. The book has a special appendix placed at the very end of the text, this appendix the only table under name “Dorogobuzh Cities of people of all ranks”. A comment to this table states that there are the names and surnames of the landowners and patrimonial owners, which are mentioned in the book, the comment has indicating the page and title. The first column of this table has title "Names", this contains various letters, the second column includes the names and surnames of landowners and patrimony holders, the third column contains the numbers of pages with information of peasants which were in the state of dependence on the landowners and patrimony holders of the district21. So, the Landrat’s book of Dorogobuzh has an information about local noble families, this is a seldom case for sources of this type.

21. Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts. Collection. 350. Register. 1. Folder. 111. P. 715.
24

The social gradation of Dorogobuzh mirrors in the Landrat’s book as follows: clergymen, minor officials, which have also name “serving persons”, wives and children of dragoons and soldiers, which stood in regiments, coachmen, gunners, which were not on duty, philistines of the city, blacksmiths, beggars, monks, laity, which reside monastery, monastery clerks and grooms. The largest population group was the philistines of the city – 782 person distributed in 157 households. At the same time, there were in the census book of 1678 232 households and in the book of 1710 – 170 households. 63 houses stood without residents, and next to them were the households of “poor widows, which children and relatives serve as soldiers and dragoons,” a total number of 15 people22.

22. Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts. Collection. 350. Register. 1. Folder. 111. Pp. 22–38.
25

Residents of Dorogobuzhsky’s district consisted of landowners, patrimonial owners, centurions, peasants, monks and monastery workers. The census represents an information that landowners and patrimonial owners had control of 2 578 households of persons, which had different labour duties and tax pay in 1678, there were in 1710 only 1 803 “residential households, and now 2 315 residential households and households of landowners 58 units”, as in the Landrat’s book mentioned. The total number of peasants was 15185 and number of landowners was 293 persons according to the landrat book of Dorogobuzhsky’s district23. The local landowners had a good enough number of laboring persons.

23. Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts. Collection. 350. Register. 1. Folder. 111. Pp. 738 (back).
26 Meshchovsky’s district was part of the Smolensk Province at the time of the census, being its eastern periphery. The total volume of the Landrat’s book has 177 pages. This is handwritten folio, which has two neat handwriting, and the folio is well preserved. The comparative data in the book is summarized in tables, but the results of the work are presented as usual text. The structure of this census has combined shape. The population of the city of Meshchovsk was mainly represented by philistines of the city (177 persons), as well as beggars (11 persons) and soldiers (9 persons); all soldiers were on duty, and women and children lived in their homes (16 persons)24.
24. Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts. Collection. 350. Register. 1. Folder. 238, p. 176, 177 (back).
27

The land in this district was in ownership of landowners and patrimonial masters (their number is indicated). Along with landowners and patrimonial masters residences, “barnyards” are also mentioned. The total number of the residences was 350, "and there were 3 205 servants, business people and breeders within these residences". We can say that this number also includes landowners and patrimonial owners, otherwise the number of dependent persons looks too significant, there were 10 people per residence on average. Landlords and landowners had control over 17 502 peasants and solitary men. The indication of the number of grooms is a requirement typical to many instructions to the Landrat’s books, but only in this Landrat’s book we see the specific mention of grooms. The author of this Landrat’s book considers separately monastic peasants, solitary men, cattle-breeders, bread-makers and other employees. The number of employees in the Meshchovsky district was 1 514, there are in the end of the census papers lists of “church and soldiers beggars” of number 18 persons25.

25. Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts. Collection. 350. Register. 1. Folder. 238, p. 176 (back).
28 Tula’s district was located in the southern part of the Moscow province. The Landrat’s Book of Tula’s district, consisting of 900 pages, started to be forming already in 1715, landrat Gavrila Zhuravlev managed the census26.
26. Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts. Collection. 350. Register. 1. Folder. 427.
29

The peculiarity of the Landrat’s book of the Tula’s district consists in detailed description the reasons why the number of population decreased (transferred, died out, fled, drafted), this book contains indicating the number of persons for each case. The census records of Tula have an information about clerics, household people, nobles, horsemen, soldiers, gunners and guard of fortress, assistants of deacons, representatives of the local merchant guild, philistines of the city, manufacturers of bricks, potters, coachmen, beggars27. There were in 1715 many archaic social groups as representatives of the local merchant guild (13 persons), gunners and guard of fortress (15 persons), horsemen and soldiers (150 persons), clerics of different ranks (623 persons).

27. Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts. Collection. 350. Register. 1. Folder. 427, p. 844.
30 The presence of a military contingent indicates that the city was an important strategic stronghold, which needed a guard and protection. Cavalry and the soldiers could perform police functions. The philistines of the city made up the main part of the city’s population, their number was 1 350. It is not clear enough which category of the population of Tula was “nobles”, most likely this category was Moscow officials (courtiers). Local residents are represented by landowners and patrimonial owners (1 697 persons), as well as peasants and solitary men (4 675 persons). There were about 3 peasants for every landowner on average in the district. This ratio has old roots in the past, there was insufficient number of peasants in the southern territories of the Tula Region, and the Azov province had even minima number of peasants28.
28. Chernikov S. V. The nobility and serfdom of the Yeletsky’s district at the end of the XVII-mid-XVIII century // Milestones of the Past: Academic Notes of the Faculty of History. Issue 3. Lipetsk, 2003. p. 42; Lyapin D. A. From landowners to peasants: on the origin of the estate of state peasants, owning one home / / History in detail. 2010. No. 6. Pp. 11-16.
31

Likhvin lays between Kaluga and Tula (today this has name Chekalin), Likhvin became part of the Smolensk Province in 1708, but Likhvin was included in Moscow’s province in 1713. Landrat Ilya Bryantsev created the census book of 660 pages. The book with a neat handwriting resembles the Tula census book, both books have a similar structure, which lacks tables and contains a detailed list of the decreasing population. According to the census, there were 9 828 people except monks in Likhvin. Philistines of the city (140 persons) and militaries (47 persons) lived in Likhvin, officials and clergymen do not have place in the book. The another part of the book reflects information about soldiers (35 persons), gunners and messengers (4 persons). There is a clear predominance of the philistines (60%), and the military importance of Likhvin, which located on the western border of the Russia, had become minimal. Comparisons with the data of 1710 demonstrate that after 1710 the local garrison was not replenished. The composition of the population of Likhvinsky’s district was quite homogeneous and typical for the region, the population of the region consisted mainly of landowners, patrimony holders, soldiers and peasants29. Unfortunately, the source does not contain the number of peasants, however this has number of households (1096 units), there were in the district also 119 landowners, patrimony holders. The Landrat’s book has an information about begging peasants (90 persons), they could not pay taxes.

29. Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts. Collection. 350. Register. 1. Folder. 226. P. 645, 656.
32 Tsarevokokshaysk (today Yoshkar-Ola) became a part of the Kazan province in 1708. The Landrat’s Book of 362 pages was compiled together with the description of Yaransk and Urzhum, this fact makes it somewhat difficult to work with it. Such descriptions of three cities are typical for the Landrat’s books of several small districts of the Azov, Kiev, or Kazan provinces. The peculiarity of the census materials of Tsarevokokshaysk is that they have numerous tables with all possible comparisons. There are in the final data of the book no clear generalizing conclusions, however, only the reasons for the population decline are reported. The social shape of the residents of Tsarevokokshaysk is represented by clergymen, philistines and "migrants from Azov". Judging by the surnames, the residents of the city were Russian. The same situation was observed in Yaransk and Urzhum, where it was even specifically noted in 1710 that there were no dragoons and soldiers "and did not arrive30». The total population of the city is not indicated. The census reports only on "lost households" with a detailed description of the composition of families and the reasons for the loss. Judging by this information, the losses amounted to 17 persons since 1710, which means that the total number of local residents was hardly large.
30. Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts. Collection. 350. Register. 1. Folder. 136. P. 357 (back), 365 (back), 370.
33

City Myropillya located in the center of Kiev province. This region began to be actively settled only in the second half of the XVII century, when several Cossack regiments were formed here, these regiments had a certain autonomy. This was done to protect the central Russian territories from possible attacks by the Crimean Tatars and Turks who claim the lands of Ukraine. Myropillya became part of the Sumy Sloboda Cossack regiment in 1651–1655. The Landrat’s book of Miropolya of 148 pages was created in 1720 later than the other Landrat’s books. This Landrat book with a neat handwriting and good detailed does not have tables. The peculiarity of the manuscript consists in absence of comparison with the data of the censuses of 1678 and 1710. This may be due to the fact that censuses were not held in Miropolya’s district. The another distinguishing feature of this Landrat’s book is the detailed information about the land holdings, apiaries, fishing and bathhouses, everything of these objects consisted in a tax base with an indication of the amount of payment. According to the Landrat’s book of the Miropolye, the city and the district (both ones are a same administrative unit) were inhabited by priests (112 persons), clerks (4 persons), captain, ensign of the soldiers’ order, representatives of the regimental hundred service (8 persons), persons of the “penny rank” (13 persons), soldiers (1 020 persons), policemen (702 persons), servants in households (151 persons)31.

31. Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts. Collection. 350. Register. 1. Folder. 240. P. 140.
34 It is remarkable, there are in the general summary of the results mentions about knights of a lowest rank (“odnodvoretses”), however there is no detailed information about them in the calculations of censuses’ results. The demographic and social data in this Landrat’s books contains similarities with the Yeletsky’s district. However, Miropolye does not mention the philistines of the city, it is not surprising, since the territories of the Cossack regiments had purely military people and their families.
35 Summarizing the examples given above, I should say that the bureaucrats, which carried out the census, had with rare exceptions to compare their results with the data from previous censuses. However, a target to get the maximum as possible verification of the information, of course, did not mean that the landrats received absolutely accurate data. Nevertheless, the Landrat’s books contain valuable information about the number of men and women, as well as about the process of migration. It is important to note that the Landrat’s books was taken as a basis for the organization of the new per capita census, “tales” named also “audit stories” were collected and the data was compared with previous censuses. In this regard, the Landrat’s books should be considered not as a mark of a crisis period in the forming of fiscal censuses, but as a certain transitional stage in the development of the population accounting system in Russia. The disadvantage of the Landrat’s books is the lack of a single clear structure. Some of the Landrat’s books are very detailed and informative (Tula, Yelets) and can be the subject of a special study and a publication, others do not contain much information, the handwriting of scribes is not always legible, and summary data is given only for separate population groups. Sometimes an information in one book includes aggregate data for several districts and cities, this makes it difficult to study.
36

Despite the fact that the Landrat’s books like other household censuses do not reflect a general social and demographic picture of good reliability, they can be an additional source for studying the social history of Russia. A composition of a city and a district society is presented quite clearly in all discussed manuscripts. We find references to archaic groups of the population in the Landrat’s books, and here we trace a formation of a new social gradation. It is obvious that the multiplicity of ranks of the Moscow state was gradually replaced by generalized social groups in the context of tax reforms, Russian state abolished a traditional social gradation according to type of occupation. We can see only in Tula the gradation of citizens saved old multiplicity of ranks. The most diverse and archaic was the social structure of the Yeletsky and Miropolsky districts, where we meet horsemen, soldiers, spearmen and policemen. These categories of population are the result of the historical development of these regions in the XVII century, when the children of boyars (Yelets) and regimental Cossacks (Miropolye), who had almost no serfs, but had large land possessions, made up the bulk of the inhabitants, this was a stratum of small landowners. It is also important that the Landrat’s books record not only the part of population, which had to pay taxes, the books mention landowners and patrimonial owners.

37 Another important process reflects in the Landrat’s books is a formation of a new layer of the district elite, they are "landowners and patrimonial owners". This definition refers us to the previous century, in which the ownership of land was the privilege of "serving for the fatherland". Probably, this circumstance forced the authors of the Landrat’s books to use this term. The process of formation of the new nobility during the Peter's period largely depended on the regional specifics. In the Yeletsky’s district, for example, about 10% of the total number of landowners of the XVII century were part of the district’s nobility of the Peter's period, they were knights32.
32. The nobility and its serfs in the XVII–XVIII centuries. Moscow, 1989. Pp. 38–92.
38 It was Miropolye, there the central government retained the land for representatives of the Cossack Sloboda regiments, but districts closer to the historical center of Russia had another trait, there were in these districts a group of people who belonged to the highest stratum of society during several generations become landowners and patrimony holders. Recently, the question of the formation of classes of gentry and generals in Peter's I period is recognized by scholars as particularly important33.
33. Zakharov A.V. The project of the information system “Tales of the General review of the gentry 1721–1722” in the context of the study of mass sources and regests / / Bulletin of the Chelyabinsk State University. 2015. № 16(371). Issue 65. Pp. 130-139; Polonsky D. G. Self-identification of the Russian nobility and the Peter's reform of epistolary etiquette (the end of the XVII-beginning of the XVIII centuries) / / Ruling elites and the nobility of Russia during and after the Peter's reforms ... Pp. 234-255; Chernikov S. V. The ruling elite of Russia 1725–1762: mass sources of biographical character and methods of their analysis / / Humanitarian Bulletin. 2016. No. 12 (50). P. 2.
39

Despite the shortcomings of the Landrat’s books of Peter's I period as a mass source, their study as a whole seems promising in several directions. First, censuses of districts can serve as evidence of the development of a concrete territories and will be interesting in the context of regional studies. Secondly, the most books contain a lot of detailed demographic data that reflect the historical and demographic processes in society. Third, a comparative analysis of the data on the social composition of different districts of Russia has a scientific perspective. We should not forget about the importance of Landrat’s censuses for a genealogical researchs. I hope that the scholars will pay proper attention to these historical evidences of the era of Russian modernization, because the informative value of the Landrat’s books consists in reflection of transformation a population accounting according to fiscal aims.

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