Pre-Petrine Russia seemed to the Europeans a transcendent mysterious kingdom, and few people risked moving there without extreme need. Jacob Bruce had such a need: in the middle of the 17th century he took the family away from the fire of the English revolution to the unknown Muscovy. Jacob, his son and then grandsons served honestly the Russian rulers.
Jacob Bruce and others supported Peter in confrontation with the princess Sophia and then continued to serve the young ruler. Jacob took part in many military campaigns from Azov to the Prut River. While they were sailing to Azov, he made a map of the territories from Moscow to Asia Minor, later printed in Amsterdam.