This timeline details all Tsars/ Emperors and Empresses of Russia from 1547 – 1917
Married 1. Anastasia Romanovna 2. Maria Temryukovna 3. Marfa Sobakina 4. Anna Koltovskaya 5. Anna Vasilchikova 6. Maria Nagaya (two other wives are now believed to be fictitious)
He was the first Tsar of Russia, uniting the various regions into an empire led by a Tsar. Ivan gained his nickname for his violent temper which resulted in the death of his eldest son and heir.
Married Irina Feodorovna Godunova
Was not interested in politics and allowed his brother-in-law Boris Godunov to rule in his name. He had no children and was succeeded by his brother-in-law.
Married Maria Skuratova-Belskaya
He succeeded as the brother-in-law of Feodor I. His reign was plagued with imposters claiming to be the murdered son of Ivan IV who tried to overthrow him.
Became Tsar aged 16 years so his mother acted as regent. Feodor and his mother were murdered by agents of the imposter Dmitry I, known as False Dmitry I.
Married Marina Mniszech
He convinced everyone he was the real son of Ivan IV and was crowned Tsar. He became unpopular after his wife did not convert to Russian Orthodoxy and was murdered.
Married 1. Elena Mikhailovna Repnina 2. Ekaterina Buynosova-Rostovskaia
He had initially supported the imposter Dmitry I but then plotted his downfall and was complicit in his death. Although he became Tsar he had little power. He was deposed after Moscow was taken by the King of Poland.
Married 1. Cecilia Renata of Austria 2. Maria Louise Gonzaga
Became Tsar after his father took Moscow for Poland. He was deposed after his father determined to convert Moscow to Catholicism.
Married 1. Maria Vladimirovna Dolgorukova 2. Eudoxia Lukyanovna Streshneva
His grandfather was the brother of Anastasia Romanovna, wife of Ivan IV. He was the first Tsar of the Romanov Dynasty and brought stability to Russia.
Married 1. Maria Ilyinichna Miloslavskaya 2. Nataliya Kyrilovna Naryshkina
His reign was punctuated by wars against Poland, Sweden and Iran and conflict within the church.
Married 1. Agafiya Semyonovna Grushetskaya 2. Marfa Apraxina
Succeeded his father aged 15 years. Although he was physically disabled he was very intelligent and instigated reforms. He had no children so his death sparked a succession crisis.
Married Praskovia Saltykova
Was named co-ruler with his brother Peter. As both boys were under age their sister Sophia Alekseyevna acted as regent. Ivan was soon overshadowed by his brother Peter who became sole ruler in 1689
Married 1. Eudoxia Lopukhina 2. Martha Skavronskaya (Catherine I)
Was named co-ruler with his brother Ivan. His sister Sophia Alekseyevna acted as regent while the boys were under age. When Peter came of age he took control of government, forced his sister to enter a convent and became sole ruler. He founded the city of St Petersburg which became the capital of Russia. He introduced many reforms in a bid to align Russia with Western Europe. Peter the Great declared Russia to be an Empire and took the title Emperor.
Married 1. Peter I (the Great)
Became Empress of Russia and ruled with her husband from 1724. After the death of her husband she remained ruler until her death.
His father had been imprisoned by Peter I accused of treason and his grandfather had not been interested in him or his sister. He became Emperor following the death of Catherine I but had little interest in governing. He died of smallpox.
Married Frederick William, Duke of Courland
Became Empress of Russia following the death of Peter II. She continued the work of her uncle, Peter I, in championing the arts and sciences. She remained Empress until her death.
He was proclaimed Emperor at the age of two months with his mother as regent. He was deposed by Elizabeth, daughter of Peter I and Catherine I and imprisoned. He was killed in 1764 after army officers tried to effect his escape.
Married Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst (Catherine the Great)
Peter was not a popular ruler due to his pursuing of a pro-Prussian policy. He was deposed by his wife and died soon afterwards. He may have been assassinated.
Married Peter III
Catherine deposed her husband to become Empress of Russia. Catherine had a number of favourites that helped her to modernise and expand Russia and make it a leading power in Europe. She is known as Catherine the Great.
Married 1. Wilhelmina Louisa of Hesse-Darmstadt 2. Sophie Dorothea of Wurttemberg
Became Emperor after the death of his mother. He introduced new laws of succession where the eldest son of the monarch would inherit. He was not well liked by the nobility.
Married Louise of Baden
Became Emperor of Russia following the murder of his father. He was a champion of social and educational reform. He was Tsar during the Napoleonic Wars that saw Napoleon’s invasion of Russia fail. He died of typhus.
Married 1. Juliane of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld 2. Joanna Grudzinska
Was the natural successor of his brother Alexander I but abdicated in favour of his younger brother.
Married Charlotte of Prussia
Nicholas was an autocratic ruler. He seized land in the Caucasus from Persia enlarging Russia. However, his failure to appreciate the need for reform led to defeat in the Crimea. He died of pneumonia.
Married 1 Marie of Hesse 2. Catherine Mikhailovna Dolgorukova
Unlike his father, Alexander II appreciated the need for reform and in 1861 abolished serfdom. He also reformed the judiciary and introduced a form of local government. However, his reign saw a rise in revolutionary groups and he was assassinated by a member of the ‘People’s Will’ group.
Married Dagmar of Denmark (Maria Feodorovna)
The reign of Alexander III saw a return to autocratic rule and the cancellation of many of his father’s reforms. A plot by the People’s Will group to assassinate Alexander III was uncovered. The conspirators, who were executed, included the elder brother of Vladimir Lenin.
Married Alix of Hesse
Like his father, Nicholas was a committed autocrat and fiercely resisted the introduction of an elected body (Duma). As Tsar of Russia he became increasingly alienated from his subjects. He was blamed for the Russian defeat by the Japanese, criticised for his troops firing on protesters on Bloody Sunday. His decision to support Serbia against Austria/Germany in 1914 took Russia into the First World War. He was forced to abdicate in 1917 by revolutionaries. Nicholas and his family were executed in July 1918.
Published Sept 5, 2019 @ 3:55 pm – Updated – [last-modified]
Harvard Reference for this page:
Heather Y Wheeler. (2019 – 2020). Tsars/ Emperors of Russia 1547 – 1917. https://www.thetimelinegeek.com/tsars-emperors-of-russia-1547-1917 Last accessed [date]