The confirmation of Soltikoff as Lieutenant Grandmaster.
Source: Boisgelin, Louis De, Knight of Malta, ANCIENT AND MODERN MALTA, G & J Robinson, London, 1804, Volume 3, Book 3, Appendix No XX


WE, ALEXANDER the First, by the grace of God, &c. &c. being desirous of giving a proof of our particular esteem and affection towards the sovereign order of St. John of Jerusalem, declare, that we take the said order under our imperial protection ; and that we will employ every possible care and attention to maintain it in all its rights, honours, privileges, and possessions.

For this purpose, we command and ordain, that war general field-marshall bailiff comte de Soltikoff should continue to exercise the functions and authority of lieutenant of the grand-master of the said order, and convene a sitting of the sacred council to make known our intentions that the imperial residence should be still regarded as the chief seat of the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, until such time as circumstances shall permit the election of a grand-master according to the ancient forms and statutes.

In the interim, we ordain, in our quality of protector that the sacred council shall have the government of the order, and shall make known to all the languages and priories this our determination; inviting them at the same time, for their own proper interest, to submit to the decrees issued by the said council. We confirm, by this present declaration, our two grand Russian and Catholic priories established in our empire in the enjoyment of the property, privileges, and administration, already bestowed on them ; and it is our will and pleasure that they should be governed, in our name of protector, by the lieutenant of the mastership, our general field-marshal bailiff comte Nicholas de Soltikoff.

The very first moment that, in concert with other courts, means can be found, and a proper place fixed upon, to convene a general chapter of the sovereign order of St. John of Jerusalem; the first effects of our protection will be, to procure, a grand-master to be elected who shall be worthy to preside over the order, and to re-establish it as formerly.
Given at our imperial residence of St. Petersburg, 16-28th of March, 1801, in the first year of our reign.
(Countersigned) Magnus-cancellarius Comes de PAHLEN,
universis et singulis quorum interest, notum testatumque sit, suprascriptum exemplum cum autogapho quod in ordinis Sancti Joannis Hierosolimitani tabulario conservatur, de verbo ad verbum concordare.
Petropoli, die 18 a mensis Martii, anno 1801. Commendarius de Maisonneuve pro Vice-cancellario.

Corrected 12th December 1997

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