His mother's family, the Glinskis, were especially unpopular; and when a terrific fire destroyed nearly the whole of Moscow it was whispered by jealous boyars that the Princess Anna Glinski had brought this misfortune upon them by enchantments. She had taken human hearts, boiled them in water, and then sprinkled the houses where the fire started!

But Ivan was stricken with a fever, and while apparently in a dying condition he discovered the treachery of his trusted ministers, that they were shamefully intriguing with his Tatar enemies. When he heard their rejoicings that the day of the Glinskis and the Romanoffs was over, he realized the fate awaiting Anastasia and her infant son if he died. He resolved that he would not die.

An enraged populace burst into the palace of the Glinskis, murdering all they could find. Ivan, nervous and impressionable, seems to have been profoundly affected by all this. He yielded to the popular demand and appointed two men to administer the government, spiritual and temporal Adashef, belonging to the smaller nobility, and Silvester, a priest.

In 1547 he was crowned Tsar of Russia, and soon thereafter married Anastasia of the house of Romanoff, whom he devotedly loved. As was the custom, he surrounded himself with his mother's and his wife's relations. So the Glinskis and the Romanoffs were the envied families in control of the government.