The paper highlights the reasons for political disfavor and the circumstances of the exile of the Romanov boyars and their relatives under Boris Godunov on the basis of a detailed study of the surviving written sources of the 17th century (materials of the New Chronicler, documents on the Romanov case, memoirs, etc.) and a critical analysis of the 19th and early 20th centuries studies on the issue, such as the works of Platonov, Vasenko, Skrynnikov, Utkin, and others. The author compares different positions on the motives of accusation of Boris Godunov's powerful rivals: a long feud between Godunov and the Romanovs, real and imaginary suspicions of the Romanov brothers in plotting against the tsar and their claims to the throne, their involvement in the appearance of the impostor Grishka Otrepyev, the causes for the tsar's disgrace of the Romanovs’ servant Bartenev (the second) with his accusation in witchcraft. The author analyzes the version of the initiators of the political intrigue (the boyars from Godunov's closest circles, who were interested in eliminating dangerous rivals of the tsar and preserving his privileged position at the court). The analysis of sources and studies made it possible to clarify the circle of persons who were disgraced in the Romanov case, to specify the information on the places of exile of the most likely candidates for the Russian throne, their conditions in remote monasteries and prisons (in the European North, in Western Siberia, and in the Volga region). The data on the circumstances of the release or death of the members of the disgraced family were clarified. At the same time, the lack of reliable evidence of disfavor and exile of the Romanovs requires further development and comprehension of the phenomenon.
Key words: history of Russia of the 17th century, the reign of Boris Godunov, exile, punishment, the Romanov dynasty.