Peter the Great or Peter Alexeyevich (9 June [O.S. 30 May] 1672 – 8 February [O.S. 28 January] 1725) ruled the Tsardom of Russia and later the Russian Empire from 7 May (O.S. 27 April) 1682 until his death, jointly ruling before 1696 with his elder half-brother, Ivan V. Through a number of successful wars he expanded the Tsardom into a much larger empire that became a major European power. He led a cultural revolution that replaced some of the traditionalist and medieval social and political systems with ones that were modern, scientific, westernized, and based on The Enlightenment. Peter’s reforms made a lasting impact on Russia and many institutions of Russian government traced their origins to his reign.
He stayed at John Evelyn’s house in London, Sayes Court. Unfortunately, he caused a great deal of damage to the house and garden:
“No part of the house escaped damage. All the floors were covered with grease and ink, and three new floors had to be provided. The tiled stoves, locks to the doors, and all the paint work had to be renewed. The curtains, quilts, and bed linen were ‘tore in pieces.’ All the chairs in the house, numbering over fifty, were broken, or had disappeared, probably used to stoke the fires. Three hundred window panes were broken and there were ‘twenty fine pictures very much tore and all frames broke.’ The garden which was Evelyn’s pride was ruined.”
— Ian Grey ‘Peter the Great in England’, History Today 6.4 (1956), pp. 225-234