When the Boyar Duma became the Senate, and the Prikazi or administrative departments were organized under the name of Colleges, and when every important town was endowed with a Rathhaus, a Polizeimeister, gilds, aldermen, and all the municipal paraphernalia of western Europe, the vices of the old institutions survived in the new.
Equally friendly were the great boyar families.
He first asserted his power by literally throwing to the dogs the last of his boyar tyrants, and shortly afterwards announced his intention of assuming the title of tsar, a title which his father and grandfather had coveted but never dared to assume publicly.
A boyar of Nizhniy-Novgorod who allowed himself to criticize the new order of things, and attributed the change to the influence of the Greek princess, had his tongue cut out.
Feodor's grandson, Sakhariya Ivanovich, was a boyar of Vasilii V., grand-duke of Moscow at intervals between 1425 and 1462, and the family took its name from his grandson Roman, whose daughter Anastasia Rornanovna married the tsar Ivan the Terrible.
Hitherto, by his own showing, the private life of the young tsar had been unspeakably abominable, but his sensitive conscience (he was naturally religious) induced him, in 1550, to summon a Zemsky Sobor or national assembly, the first of its kind, to which he made a curious public confession of the sins of his youth, and at the same time promised that the realm of Russia (for whose dilapidation he blamed the boyar regents) should henceforth be governed justly and mercifully.
For disobedience to his orders he imprisoned a boyar who was his own brother-in-law, and he caused another to be beheaded for complaining that the boyar-council was not consulted in important affairs of state.
In 1690 he was created a boyar and shared with Lev Naruishkin, Peter's uncle, the conduct of home affairs.