When Peter the Great visited England in 1698, he wasn't on a formal state visit. He came because he wanted to learn how to build ships. He knew that the English were the best shipbuilders in the world and he was determined to learn from the experts.
Whilst in England he attracted a large number of English craftsmen who wanted to make new lives for themselves in Russia.
Amongst them was Joseph Nye, a shipwright with a business in the Isle of Wight, who took his chance with Peter and threw in his lot with the charismatic autocrat.