Sheremetev descended from the same old Moscow line as the Romanovs. In 1605 he was made a boyar by False Dmitry I. In 1610, he became one of the so called Seven Boyars - a self-appointed provisional government.
Sheremetev took an active part in the Zemsky Sobor of 1613; he's ascribed famous words (in a letter to prince Golitsyn, perhaps apocryphal): "Let's elect Misha Romanov, he is young and stupid, he will be obedient to us". From 1613 to 1618, he was the informal head of government.
In 1618, he took part in bringing forth the Treaty of Deulino. Patriarch Filaret, after his return from captivity in 1619, pushed Sheremetev aside from state affairs, for the latter disapproved of Filaret's straightforward anti-Polish policy. After Filaret's death in 1633, Sheremetev came back to politics. In 1634, he was a head of Russian delegation (together with Alexey Lvov) in Russo-Polish negotiations and signed the Treaty of Polyanovka.
After reading much of Russia's future history, Fedor Sheremetev concluded that the Russian military needed to be modernized. On the other hand, he abhorred the idea of a constitutional monarchy or a democracy, as he believed that firm control over Russia was the only path to taming her, particularly as he'd come to believe that Mikhail I was failing to control the country.
In 1634, Sheremetev realized that the United States of Europe and Gustavus Adolphus posed a potential threat to Russia, in spite of the latter's renewed conflict with Poland. When Czar Mikhail issued a limitation to the Forbidden Years, Sheremetev was outraged and accused the Czar of 'betrayal'. Eventually, Mikhail's order inadvertently led to many unharvested field crops being destroyed by a storm in March of 1635. In response, Sheremetev took control of the Duma as 'Director-General', and placed Czar Mikhail and his family under house arrest for alleged corruption. In October of 1635, Sheremetev arranged the assassination of Patriarch Filaret, and removed Mikhail and his family to a hunting lodge near Murom.
Sheremetev continued to use Mikhail as a figurehead, and claimed to be acting in his name, until Mikhail was rescued in June of 1636.
It is presumed that Sheremetev remained in control of western Russia after Mikhail's flight to the east.
- ↑ 1636: The Kremlin Games, ch. 65
- ↑ 1636: The Kremlin Games, ch. 67
- ↑ 1636: The Kremlin Games, ch. 78