— Honorary Citizens in Pre-Revolutionary Russia

Honorary citizenship

In the category of eminent citizens included three groups of townspeople: having merits on an elective urban service (not included in the civil service and not entered in the Table of Ranks), scientists, artists, musicians (until the end of the XVIII century or the Academy of Sciences or the Academy is not Art. They have been included in the Table of ranks), and finally, the top merchants. Representatives of these three disparate, in fact business groups united by the fact that, not being able to achieve the public service, they can qualify for a certain class privileges personally and wished to extend them and to their offspring.
Eminent citizens were released from corporal punishment and conscription. They were allowed to have a suburban backyards and gardens (except populated manors) and go on a city pair and quadruple (the privilege of “noble birth”), it is not forbidden to have and start factories, sea and river vessels. Rank eminent citizens handed down, which made them a pronounced social class group. Grandsons of eminent citizens, fathers and grandfathers who bore the title blameless, when they reach 30 years of age could ask about assignment of nobility.
This social class category was short-lived. January 1, 1807 the rank of eminent citizens for merchants has been canceled “as a mixing dissimilar dignity.” Thus it was left as difference for scientists and artists, but since that time, scientists have been included in the civil service system, which gives a personal and hereditary nobility, the title of this has ceased to be relevant and practically disappeared.
October 19, 1831, in connection with the “analysis” of the nobility, to the exclusion of a large mass of small nobility from among the nobility and the entries in the freeholders and urban estates, those of them, “koi apply to any scientific classroom” – doctors, teachers, artists, etc., as well as having legalized certificates for the title of Law, “to distinguish it from producing philistine fishing or are in the service and other lower classes” received the title of honorary citizens. Then, 1 December 1831, it was clarified that the artists of this title should be to rank only painters, lithographers, engravers, and so on. carvers on stones and metals, architects, sculptors, etc., who have a diploma or a certificate of the Academy.

Manifesto of April 10, 1832 a new class of honorary citizens was introduced throughout the empire, who shared, like the nobles, on hereditary and personal.The number of hereditary honorary citizens included children of personal noblemen, children of persons who have received the title of hereditary honorary citizen, ie born in this state, merchants, granted the title of commerce and manufactories-advisers, traders awarded (since 1826), one of the Russian orders, as well as merchants, struck 10 years in 1st guild or 20 years in the 2nd and empties into bankruptcy. On receipt of the personal honorable citizenship could apply for persons who have graduated from Russian universities, the free state of the artist, graduated from the Academy of Arts and received a diploma in the title of the artist Academy, foreign scientists, artists, and also trading capitalists and owners of considerable manufactory and factory institutions, even though they do not They were Russian nationals. Hereditary honorable citizenship could complain “on differences in sciences” to persons already having personal honorable citizenship to persons who have doctorates or master’s degree, a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts, 10 years after its completion “for distinction in the arts” and foreigners accepted Russian citizenship and struck him 10 years (if they had previously received a rank of the personal honorable citizen).

The title of hereditary honorary citizen was inherited. My husband informed honorable citizenship of the wife, if she belonged by birth to one of the lower classes, and the widow did not lose the title to her husband’s death.

Adoption in hereditary honorable citizenship and issuing letters to him were entrusted to the herald.

Honorary citizens enjoy freedom of the poll tax, from military service, from the billeting and corporal punishment. They had the right to participate in municipal elections and be elected to public office not less than those who are elected to the merchants of 1st and 2nd guilds. Honorary Citizens have the right to use this name in all the acts.

Loses honorary citizenship by the court, in the case of fraudulent bankruptcy;some rights of honorable citizens were lost at record in craft shops.

In 1833, it was confirmed that honorable citizens are not included in the general census, and it conducted special lists for each city. In the future, the number of persons having the right to honorable citizenship, refined and expanded. In 1836, it was found that ask about personal honorable citizenship could only university graduates who have received at the end of any academic degree. In 1839 the right to honorable citizenship has been given actors of imperial theaters (1st category, having served a certain term on a scene). In the same year is the right (person) received students of higher commercial guest house in St. Petersburg. In 1844, the right to receive honorary citizenship was extended to employees of the Russian-American Company (of classes that do not have the right to the public service). In 1845, it was confirmed the right of hereditary honorable citizenship of the merchants who have received the Order of St. Vladimir and St. Anne’s. Since 1845 hereditary honorable citizenship began to bring civil ranks from 14 th to 10 th grade. In 1848 the right of reception of honorable citizenship (personal) has been extended to graduates of Lazarev institute. In 1849 honorable citizens were referred doctors, pharmacists and veterinarians. In the same year, the right to personal honorable citizenship has been given graduates of grammar schools to children of personal honorable citizens, merchants and burghers. In 1849 personal honorable citizens had an opportunity to enlist on the volunteers rights. In 1850, the right to award the title of honorary citizen of the personnel received the Jews, consisting of special commissions at governor general in the Pale of Settlement ( “learned Jews at governors”). The rights have been further clarified hereditary honorary citizens for admission to the civil service, as well as expand the range of educational institutions, the end of which gave the right to personal honorable citizenship. In 1862 the right to honorable citizenship was received by technologists of 1st category and the process engineers who graduated from St. Petersburg Institute of Technology. In 1865 it was established that henceforth in hereditary honorable citizenship merchants of 1st guild are erected after stay in it “succession” is not less than 20 years. In 1866 the right to hereditary honorable citizenship has been granted to the merchants of 1st and 2nd guilds who have bought the estate in the Western provinces, the price of not less than 15 thousand. Rub.

By the honorary citizenship was also ranked as the representatives of the top of the townspeople and the clergy of some nations and Russia areas: Tiflis first-class mokalaki, urban residents of Anapa, Novorossiysk, Poti, Petrovsk and Sukhumi, on the proposal of the heads of the special services, zaisangs from Kalmyks of the Astrakhan and Stavropol provinces, not having ranks and owning hereditary aimaks (hereditary honorable citizenship, not having received private), Karaites, takes at least 12 years of spiritual positions Gaham (hereditary), and hazzan Shamas (personally), and others.

As a result, at the beginning of the XX century. to hereditary honorable citizens on a birth belonged to the children of personal noblemen, senior officers, officials and clergy, granted the Order of St. Stanislaus and St. Anne (except 1-x degrees), children of priests of the Orthodox and Armenian-Gregorian confession, the children of church prichetnikov ( deacons, sexton and psalm readers) who have completed a course in theological seminaries and academies and received there academic degrees and titles, the children of Protestant preachers, children of persons who performed blameless for 20 years, the position of the Transcaucasian Sheikh-ul-Islam or the Transcaucasian mufti, Kalmyk zaisangs not had ranks and owning hereditary aimaks, and, of course, children of hereditary honorable citizens, and to personal honorable citizens on a birth belonged adopted by noblemen and hereditary honorable citizens, widows church prichetnikov orthodox and Armenian-Gregorian confessions, children of higher Transcaucasian Muslim clergy if their parents performed blameless service for 2 years, zaisangs from Kalmyks of the Astrakhan and Stavropol provinces have neither rank nor hereditary aimags.

Personal honorable citizenship could be sought for 10 years of useful activity, and after staying for 10 years in the personal honorable citizenship for the same activities could be sought and hereditary honorary citizenship.

Hereditary honorable citizenship was assigned graduates of some schools, commerce and manufactories-advisers, the merchants who have received one of the Russian orders, merchants of 1st guild tries it at least 20 years, actors of imperial theaters of 1st category, have served at least 15 years, conductors of the fleet who have served at least 20 years, Karaite and Gaham, and has served for at least 12 years. Personal honorable citizenship, in addition to the already mentioned persons received arriving in civil service in the production of the rank of 14th class, graduated from the course at some schools, dismissed from the civil service with the 14th class rank and get retired from military service chief officer rank, controlling rural craft workshops and masters of these institutions after the service, respectively, 5 and 10 years, managers, masters and teachers of technical and craft educational workshops Ministry of trade and industry, served for 10 years, master and master the art of lower vocational schools of the Ministry of education , and have served at least 10 years, actors of imperial theaters of 1st category, served for 10 years on the stage, the conductors of the fleet who have served 10 years, persons with navigating titles and sailed at least 5 years, marine mechanics, sailed 5 years, honorary guardians Jewish schools, performing the job at least 15 years, “the scientists Jews at governors” for meritorious service after serving at least 15 years, the master of the imperial Peterhof lapidary factory who have served at least 10 years and some other categories of persons.

If honorable citizenship belonged to this person by birth, it does not require a special confirmation if appropriated, required a decision of the Department of Heraldry of the Senate and the diploma from the Senate.

Belonging to honorable citizens could be combined with stay in other estates – merchant class and clergy – and did not depend on the type of activity (up to 1891 only occurrence in some shops deprived of honorary citizen of some advantages of its rank).

The corporate organization of honorable citizens was absent.




More information about Honourable Citizens can be found here …

Honourable Citizens in Imperial Russia by Tana