The Dutch Reformed Parish in Archangel in the Eighteenth Century The Dutch Reformed parish in the Northern Russian seaport of Archangel probably originated in the 1630s and apparently received some sort of formal and independent status in about 1660. In the eighteenth century, the parish was a small and shrinking community. In the 1730s, it had an estimated 240 Dutch members, and by the 1770s about 110. The parish virtually coincided with the Dutch merchant community of Archangel. Many of the Dutch merchants of that town lived there with their wives, children and servants. The parish council consisted of the minister and (probably three) elders and (probably three) deacons. The minister, who usually came from the Netherlands or Germany, was hired by the Directors of the Muscovy Trade (de Directeuren van de Moskovische Handel) in Amsterdam on behalf of the parish, examined and called by the Classis of Amsterdam, and paid by the parish. The church, of course, focussed primarily on the spiritual care of the parish members. But the parish council also performed communal services in a broader sense. It provided for the teaching of children and acted as orphan's court. The parish had a school-house and employed a Dutch schoolmaster.