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Very Rev Archimandrite Nicholas Gibbes                                    Home


Born Charles Sydney Gibbes in Rotherham in Yorkshire.


Charles Gibbes, born 1876, was the son of John Gibbes, who was born in Towcester in 1841 (the son of a glazier named John Gibbes), but brought up in Yorkshire following the failure of his parents marriage.  Charles’s father became a bank manager, and sent his son to University College, Aberystywth, and later to St John’s College, Cambridge, from which he graduated in 1899. He was reported to be “A man of high character, good sense and agreeable manners”.


He spent the summer of 1901 with a family called Shidlovsky. He was taken on as tutor to two boys, aged ten and four. After several days in St Petersburg, he travelled with the family out to their country dacha. He was entranced by the novelty of Russian life. Dividing his life thereafter between England and Russia, he was appointed English tutor to the Tsar's children in 1908. On March 2nd 1917, the Tsar abdicated, bringing to an end of 300 years of Romanov rule. Following the execution of the Romanovs, Charles found himself alone in Siberia. He moved to Harbin in China, working for the Chinese Maritime Customs. In 1934 Gibbes finally decided to become a member of the Russian Orthodox Church, and was ordained as a priest on 23 Dec 1934, taking the name Nicholas in honour of the Czar. He returned to the UK in 1937, and died in 1963.