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Letter describing annual Spring parade of Russian troops on the

Identifier: Coll-1452

Scope and Contents

The letter was written in St. Petersburg, on Grande Morskaia (Bolshaia Morskaia, or Morskaya Street), on 2nd or 15th May 1901, by W. Sedgefield, and addressed to his 'Dear Uncle', W. J. Sedgefield, Esq., Abingdon, Berkshire, England. The envelope, with franking and partial postage stamp, survives.

The letter describes the 'annual spring parade of the troops quartered in and around St. P[etersburg]' which took place 'yesterday' - yesterday being 1 May 1901 - on the 'Field of Mars'. Sedgefield was accompanied by ' an intelligent Russian boy', a pupil of his, and whose male relatives were soldiers - 'fathers and uncles being generals and his brothers officers in crack regiments'. The parade took place in front of the Emperor. 'After a long wait the Emperor appeared riding along side of a state carriage drawn by white horses, containing the two Empresses'. One of these ladies was presumably the Empress Dowager.

The letter contains descriptions of the regiments involved in the parade, and description of the horses involved.


  • Creation: 1901


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Open to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance of visit.

Biographical / Historical

The 'Field of Mars' (or Marsovo Polye) is a large park named after Mars - the Roman god of war - and situated in the centre of St. Petersburg, Russia. At the time of the city's founding in the 18th century, the site was called the 'Grand Meadow', and military solemnities in the honour of victory in the Great Northern War against Sweden were held there. Later, it was renamed 'Pleasure Field' (Poteshnoe Polye), and in the 1740s it was turned into a park with paths, lawn and flowers. When Rastrelli was commissioned to build a Summer Palace for Empress Catherine I, the field was again renamed, this time as 'Tsarina’s Meadow'. By the end of the 18th century 'Tsarina’s Meadow' became a military drilling ground, and monuments to Russian victories were erected there including one to Alexander Suvorov in 1801. It became known as the 'Field of Mars' in 1805.


1 folder

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Letter acquired through donation in April 2013. accession no: E2013.22.

Processing Information

Catalogued by Graeme D. Eddie 25 March 2014

Letter describing annual Spring parade of Russian troops on the 'Field of Mars', St. Petersburg, in front of Tsar Nicholas II, 1901
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
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