Who's Who - Felix Yusupov

Felix Yusupov Felix Yusupov (1886-1967) was the Russian nobleman who arranged the murder in 1916 of the Tsar and Tsarina's close adviser, the 'holy man' Grigory Rasputin.

Born in 1886 Yusupov was connected to the royal family by virtue of his marriage to the Tsar's niece, Irina Romanov.

Alarmed over the extent of the hold the debauched Rasputin wielded over the Tsar and Tsarina, and aware that rumours were spreading that the Tsarina and Rasputin were in the pay of the German enemy, Yusupov determined, in conjunction with other reactionary members of court, to arrange Rasputin's assassination.

Yusupov invited Rasputin to dine at his home on 29 December 1916 where he was given poisoned wine and cakes.  Alarmed at Rasputin's apparent immunity to the poison Yusupov shot him in panic ("A shudder swept over me; my arm grew rigid, I aimed at his heart and pulled the trigger.", Lost Splendor, 1953).

After a brief period of collapse Rasputin recovered and managed to escape into the courtyard, where he was again shot (by another conspirator, Vladimir Purishkevich).  Finally, presumably to make quite sure of the matter, Rasputin's body was dropped through a hole in the Neva river, where he finally died by drowning.  His corpse was later discovered on the Neva's banks.

As an attempt to salvage the credibility of the monarchy Yusupov's bold move came too late; if anything, the murder of Rasputin removed a buffer between the royal family and their critics: no longer could the nation's ills be attributed to the mad monk.

Despite Rasputin's prophesy that his eventual murderer would himself suffer a short life, Yusupov - who sought exile in the U.S. following the February Revolution in 1917 - lived to the age of 81, dying in 1967.  He published his memoirs, Lost Splendor, in 1953.

Click here to read Stanislaus de Lazovert's account of Rasputin's assassination.

Both British and German fleets had around 45 submarines available at the time of the Battle of Jutland, but none were put to use.

- Did you know?

Who's Who