Arkadi Vassilievitch (1790-1878) could be considered as the first generation of new Russians, who fully served the Tsar, and emerged from the fiercely independent but extinct Zaporozhian Cossack political and military class. Given his privilege and birth right, one could conclude that Arkadi was not exceptional. In fact, he was extraordinary. His long life was as much a product of his family’s connections through marriage as it was his uncle, Victor Pavlovitch’s (the Imperial Chancellor) early patronage. Like his uncle, he reached among the highest levels of government service and was appointed Actual Privy Councilor / действительный тайный советник (II in the Table of Ranks).
His circle of contacts was surely enriched by the friendships he made at school and the bright militay career he enjoyed during and after the Napoleonic wars. No doubt, Arkadi’s marriage which insured the social and economic fortunes of the family was in many ways as much a manifestation of family relations that existed in both the Tchernigov Province and St. Petersburg as it was a marriage of love and mutual admiration. His close ties at Court and services to Russia’s last empress and four emperor’s: Catherine II, Paul I, Alexander I, Nicholas I and Alexander II were perhaps the most visible of his accomplishments but Arkadi was also a brother, a father, an author, an investor and through none of his own intentions, a man whose bloodline is today the only remaining branch of the Kotchoubey* family.
*the French version of the name is spelled as “Kotchoubey” or the German version “Kotschoubey.” All living Kotchoubey’s descend from Arkadi Vassilievitch Kotchoubey (1790-1878) and more specifically from his two sons, Vassili Arkadievitch (1826-1896) and Nikolai Arkadievitch (1827-1865).