Jean Herman Lestocq, count, a physician and favorite of Elizabeth of Russia, born in Celle, Hanover, about 1695, died in Livonia, June 23, 1767. He was the son of a French Protestant surgeon, studied medicine, and in 1713 went to Russia to seek his fortune. He was first employed by Peter the Great, who, being soon disgusted with the shameful laxity of his morals, exiled him to Kazan in 1718. Catharine I., on her accession in 1725, recalled him, and appointed him physician in the household of her second daughter Elizabeth. In 1732 Augustus II. of Poland gave him the title of count. He soon gained an influence over the mind of the young princess, and when the imperial title devolved upon the boy Ivan, son of Anna Carlovna, he persuaded her that the only way of saving her own life was to seize upon the crown. She yielded to his suggestions, appealed to the Preobrazhenski regiment, Dec. 6, 1741, imprisoned the young czar, and seated herself on his throne. Lestocq was appointed privy councillor (which gave him the rank of general), physician in ordinary to her majesty, and president of the medical college. His prosperity lasted but a few years.
Charged by the chancellor Bestuzhelf with treasonable projects, he was arrested in 1748 with his wife, confined in the citadel of St. Petersburg, stripped of his offices and titles, knouted, and exiled to Uglitch on the Volga, whence he was sent in 1753 to Ustyug in the government of Vologda. Peter 111.. on his accession recalled him, and restored his titles and some of his property; and Catharine II. bestowed upon him a small estate in Livonia, where he passed the rest of his life in retirement.