"it instantly struck me that this was no other than the Czar Peter of Russia, having heard that he had been travelling through Europe in disguise"
Portrait of Peter I of Russia, c. 1710.
Public DomainPortrait of Peter I of Russia, c. 1710. - Credit:Jean-Marc Nattier

Peter the Great was ruler of Russia and subsequently the Russian Empire from 1682 to 1725. Until 1696 he shared leadership with his half-brother Ivan V. After Ivan’s death, he focused on a campaign of territorial expansion and modernising reforms which would bring Russia into the European arena. With a view to informing these policies, he made an extensive journey through Europe which became known as the Great Embassy. This Embassy saw him arrive on British shores in 1698 where he spent five months in Deptford, London studying shipbuilding.