Fyodor Rostopchin had great influence over the tsar Paul I, who made him in 1796 adjutant general, grand-marshal of the court, then Foreign Minister. In 1799, he received the title of count. He was disgraced in 1801 for his opposition to the French alliance, but was restored to favor in 1810, and was shortly afterwards appointed military governor of Moscow. He was therefore charged with its defence against Napoleon, and took every means to rouse the population of the town and district against the invader. He has been generally charged with instigating the burning of Moscow the day after the French had made their entry; it is certain that the prisons were opened by his order, and that he took no means to stop the outbreak. He defended himself against the charge of arson in a pamphlet printed in Paris in 1823, but he subsequently made grave admissions. Shortly after the Congress of Vienna, to which he had accompanied tsar Alexander I, he was disgraced. He only returned to Russia in 1825 and died in Moscow in February of the next year.