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The subject index / Third Division

Third Division

Categories / City Administration/Police, Prisons
Categories / Capital/Superior and Central State Institutions

THIRD DIVISION of His Majesty's Own office, the supreme state establishment that performed political surveillance and investigation in the country. The office was established on July 3, 1826 for observation of political opinions of different society strata (primarily, Petersburg officialdom and nobility). On April 28, 1827 Gendarme Corps was established (see Gendarmerie); its subdivisions became the executive body of the Third Division. Since 1842, the director of the Third Division was at the same time the chief of gendarmerie. The staff of the Third Division consisted of several tens of officials (in 1880, 72 persons). The structure of the Division included 5 (4 until 1841) expeditions, one public and two secret archives, and a printing office. The Division's terms of reference covered cases connected with contempt of emperor and the members of the royal family, cases and proceedings for the offences against the State, for counteracting social and revolutionary movements, counter-smuggling (until 1872), censorship (until 1865), control of book-publishing and book importation, collection of information on events and cases of abuse in the country, about sectarians, counterfeiters, inventors and so forth. The Third Division was also in charge of the state political prisons, including Peter and Paul's and Shlisselburg fortresses. In February of 1880 the Division together with the Gendarmerie Corps was temporarily placed under the command of the Superior Administrative committee headed by count M.T. Loris-Melikov; the Third Division was abolished according to the decree of August 6, 1880, its functions delegated to the Police department attached to the Ministry of Home Affairs (The Gendarmerie Corps came to be under the supervision of the minister of Home Affairs). The Third Division was headed by the high officials, closest and most faithful to the emperor: A.C Benckendorff (1826-44), A.F. Orlov (1844-56), V.A. Dolgorukov (1856-66), P.A. Shuvalov (1866-74), A.L. Potapov (1874-76), N.V. Mezentsov (1876-78), A.R. Drenteln (1878-80), P.A. Cherevin (1880). Originally the Third Division was situated at 58 Moika River Embankment (the building was not retained), since 1838, at 16 Fontanka River Embankment.

References: Ерошкин Н. П. Крепостническое самодержавие и его политические институты: (Первая половина XIX в.). М., 1981; Оржеховский И. В. Самодержавие против революционной России (1826-1880 гг.). М., 1982; Троцкий И. М. III-е Отделение при Николае I. Л., 1990; Чукарев А. Г. Тайная полиция Николая I (1826-1855): В 2 кн. Ярославль, 2003.

D. N. Shilov.

Benckendorff Alexander Krristoforovich
Cherevin Peter Alexandrovich
Dolgorukov Vasily Andreevich, Prince
Drenteln Alexander Romanovich
Loris-Melikov Mikhail Tarielovich, Count
Mezentsov Nikolay Vladimirovich
Orlov Alexey Fedorovich, Duke
Potapov Alexander Lvovich
Shuvalov Peter Andreevich, Count

Fontanka River Embankment/Saint Petersburg, city, house 16
Moika River Embankment/Saint Petersburg, city, house 58

Ерошкин Н. П. Крепостническое самодержавие и его политические институты: (Первая половина XIX в.). М., 1981
Государственность России: Слов.-справ. М., 2001
Оржеховский И.В. Самодержавие против революционной России (1826 - 1880 гг.). М., 1982

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