Moura Budberg

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Мария Бенкендорф Будберг, Мария (Мура) Игнатьевна Закревская-Бенкендорф- Игнатьевна Закревская-Бенкендорф-Будберг, Maria Moura, Ignatievna Zakrevskaya-Benck
Aristokrāts, Diplomāts, Muižnieks, Rakstnieks, Scenārists
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Maria Ignatievna Budberg  born in Poltava, was the daughter of Ignaty Platonovitch Zakrevsky (1841–1905), a Russian nobleman and diplomat. She was an adventuress and double agent of OGPU and British Intelligence Service

She first married Johann von Benckendorff, a high-ranking Czarist diplomat, in 1911. They owned the mansion called Jendel in Jäneda, in Estonia where he was shot dead in 1918 by a local peasant.


Before the October Revolution Moura worked in the Russian Embassy in Berlin where she became acquainted with British diplomat R. H. Bruce Lockhart. Upon the assassination of her husband in 1918, she was arrested on suspicion of spying for the United Kingdom and transferred to the Lubyanka prison. Bruce Lockhart, who mentions her, under her given name, in his book Memoirs of a Secret Agent tried to vouch for her, however he was detained as well for couple of weeks. Some allege that they were lovers.

After Lockhart was released and expelled from Russia soon after, in connection with the "Ambassadorial Conspiracy" affair (also known as the "Lockhart conspiracy").

Budberg was released as well under the condition that she would cooperate with the intelligence service if the need should arise in the future. Budberg got a job publishing "World Literature", where she met the writer Maxim Gorky with the help of Korney Chukovsky. She became a secretary and common law wife of Gorky, living in Gorky's house with a few interruptions from 1920 to 1933 (when the writer lived in Italy before returning to the USSR). He bitterly dedicated to her his last major work, the novel "The Life of Klim Samgin".

H. G. Wells

In 1920 she met historian and science fiction writer H. G. Wells and became his mistress. Their relationship was renewed in 1933 in London, where she emigrated after parting with Gorky. A close relationship with Wells continued until his death; Wells asked her to marry him, but Budberg strongly rejected this proposal.

She visited the Soviet Union twice, in 1936 for the funeral of Gorky (which made people call her an agent of the NKVD) and at the end of 1950, with a daughter of Alexander Guchkov.

She was briefly married to Baron Nikolai von Budberg-Bönningshausen.

Double agent

She was widely suspected of being a double agent for both the Soviet Union and British intelligence and has been called the "Mata Hari of Russia", after the famous Dutch exotic dancer and accused spy.

An MI5 informant said of her, "she can drink an amazing quantity, mostly gin".


Among her many activities, she wrote books and was the script writer for at least two films: Three Sisters directed by Laurence Olivier and John Sichel (1970), and The Sea Gull directed by Sidney Lumet (1968).


Moura Budberg's older half-sister, Alexandra 'Alla' Ignatievna Zakrevskaya (1884–1960), who married Baron Arthur von Engelhardt before 1909, was the great-grandmother of Nick Clegg, leader of the British Liberal Democratic Party between December 2007 and May 2015, and Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the 2010–2015 parliament.


In May 2008 a television film "My Secret Agent Auntie" directed by Dimitri Collingridge was released in England


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        Saistītās personas vārdsSaitesDzimšanas datumsMiršanas datumsApraksts
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        Paul von BenckendorffDēls00.00.1913
        Анна ЗакревскаяMāsa00.00.188700.00.1941
        4Johann Hans Ulrich Nathanael  von BenckendorffJohann Hans Ulrich Nathanael von BenckendorffVīrs02.04.188219.04.1919
        5Василий  КочубейВасилий КочубейSvainis31.01.188302.10.1960
        6Генрих ЯгодаГенрих ЯгодаPartneris07.11.189115.03.1938
        7Jēkabs PeterssJēkabs PeterssPartneris03.12.188625.04.1938
        8Roberts LokartsRoberts LokartsPartneris02.09.188727.02.1970
        9Herberts VelssHerberts VelssCivilvīrs21.09.186613.08.1946
        10Maksims GorkijsMaksims GorkijsCivilvīrs28.03.186818.06.1936
        11Аграфена  ЗакревскаяАграфена ЗакревскаяVecvecmāte00.00.180000.00.1879
        12Пётр  ТолстойПётр ТолстойSencis00.00.164517.02.1729
        13Фёдор  ТолстойФёдор ТолстойSencis00.00.175800.00.1849
        14Фёдор  ТолстойФёдор ТолстойSencis21.02.178325.04.1873

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