Pavlovich Kochubey (1768-1834), count, prince, diplomat, outstanding
Russian statesman. Son of Pavel Vasilievich Kochubey and Ulyana Andreevna,
née Bezborodko, he was born on 11 November 1768 and was brought
up in his uncle's house, Prince Alexander
Andreevich Bezborodko. The uncle paid for his nephew's education and
sent him to Geneva. In 1784, Victor Kochubey started his diplomatic career;
first he was commissioned to the embassy in Sweden, in 1788 he became an
assistant of Count S. R. Vorontsov, the Russian ambassador in London. In
1792, he was appointed the Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
to Constantinople. In 1799 he was made a count.
In 1798 he was made a Privy Councilor. On the 23rd of June, 1801 Tsar Alexander I appointed Count Kochubey a Senator with orders to be constantly close to the tsar. He became at the time a member of the unofficial council, which was formed by the tsar from people he valued and trusted. 11 December 1801 Kochubey was made a member of the State Council; and 8 September 1802 he became the Minister of Internal Affairs, he held this post until 1807 and then again from 1819 till 1825. 19 April 1827 he became the Chairman of the State Council and in 1831 Tsar Nicholas I made him a prince. In 1834 Prince Kochubey was appointed a State Chancellor, but unexpectedly died of heart attack.
Prince Kochubey had a clear and observant mind; highly educated, he considered the serfdom the main evil in Russia, but as a statesman he was afraid of any radical measures.
He was married to Maria Vasilyevna Vasilchikova (1779-1844) and they had 4 sons and one daughter, Kochubey, Natalya Viktorovna (1800-1854). She was the first love of the poet Alexander Pushkin, who devoted several verses to her. She married Count A. G. Stroganoff.
See: François-Pascal-Simon Gérard. Portrait of Count Victor Kochubey.
Orest Kiprensky. Portrait of N. V. Kochubey.
Alexey Venetsianov. Portrait of the State Chancellor of the Internal Affairs, Prince Victor Pavlovich Kochubey in his Study.
French Painting. XIX century. by V. Berezina. Moscow. Izobrazitelnoe Iskusstvo. 1980. (in Russian)
Famous Russians in the 18th and 19th Centuries. St.Petersburg. 1996. (in Russian)
Pushkin Encyclopedia. Moscow. 1999.