"Things serdeshny" Peter the Great

He fearlessly introduced a new tradition, a "window" cutting through Europe in Russia. But one "tradition", probably could be the envy of all the Western autocrats. As is known, "can not marry for love no king." But Peter the Great, the first Emperor of Russia, was able to throw a challenge to society, neglected bride noble family and princesses of Western European countries and marry for love ...

Peter was not even 17 years old when his mother decided to marry him. Early marriage, according to the calculations of Queen Natalia, had to significantly change the position of his son, and with him and herself. According to the custom of the time the boy became an adult after marriage. Consequently, married Peter would no longer be in need of care sister Sophia, it was time of his reign, he moved out of the Transfiguration of the Kremlin Chamber.

In addition, marriage mother hoped her son from anchoring, bind it to the family hearth, distract from the German settlement, where foreign merchants and artisans, and hobbies, is not peculiar to the royal rank lived. Hasty marriage, finally, tried to protect the interests of the descendants of Peter's claim of possible successors of his co-regent of Ivan, who by this time was already a married man and was waiting for the addition of the family.

Evdokia Lopuchin

Queen Natalia herself to find the son of the bride - beautiful Evdokia Lopuchin, according to contemporaries, "the princess face hefty, tokmo intermediaries mind and temper dissimilar to her husband." This is a contemporary remarked that "love was a fair amount of between them, but continue unless tokmo year."

It is possible that the cooling of the spouses come even earlier, for a month after the wedding, Peter left Evdokia and went to the lake to engage in maritime Pereyaslavskoe fun.

Anna Mons

The German Quarter king met the daughter of a wine merchant, Anna Mons. A contemporary thought that this "girl was a fair and intelligent," and another, on the other hand, found that it was "mediocre and sharpness of mind." Who is right, hard to say, but fun, thirsty, resourceful, always ready to joke, to dance or to maintain small talk, Anna Mons was the complete opposite of the wife of the king - Limited Beauty, depressing servility and blind adherence to the old days. Peter preferred Mons and free time spent in her company.

Save Evdokia several letters to Peter and no one answer the king. In 1689, when Peter went to Pereyaslavl lake, Evdokia turned to him with gentle words:

"Hello, my light, the many years. We ask mercy, perhaps sir, wake us without hesitated. I'm at the mercy of my mother's alive. Ženíšek Dunka your brow beats ".

In another letter addressed to "my Lapushka", "Ženíšek your Dunka", did not suspect the imminent rupture, the most requested permission to come to his wife on a date. Evdokia two letters belong to a later time - in 1694, the latter of which is full of sadness and loneliness of a woman who is well known that it is abandoned for another.

They no longer had recourse to "SWEETHEART", the wife did not hide his bitterness and could not refrain from finding fault, called herself "besschastnoy", complained that receives no response to its letter "a single line". Not strengthened family bonds, and the birth of his son in 1690, named Alexei.

26-year-old Peter I. Portrait Kneller brush was presented in 1698 by Peter King of England.

She retired to the Monastery of Suzdal, where she spent 18 years. Having got rid of his wife, Peter did not show any interest to her, and she got the opportunity to live as she wanted. Instead meager monastic food she served dishes delivered numerous relatives and friends. About ten years later she started her lover ...

Catherine A. (March Skavronskaya)

Only March 6, 1711 it was announced that Peter has a new legal wife Catherine A.. Real name Catherine I - Martha. At the siege of Marienburg by Russian troops in 1702 March, the servants of Pastor Gluck, was taken prisoner. For a while she was the mistress of a non-commissioned officer, Field Marshal Sheremetev noticed her, and she liked Menshikov.

At Menshikov called her Catherine Trubchevoy, Catherine Wasilewska. Patronymic Alekseevny she received in 1708, when during her baptism as godfather gave Tsarevich Alexei.

Catherine A. (March Samuilovna Skavronskaya)

Peter met Ekaterina in 1703 in the Menshikov. Fate has prepared the role of the former servant's concubine, and later wife of a superior man. Beautiful, charming and helpful, she quickly won the heart of Peter.

And what happened to Anna Mons? Bond king with her for more than ten years and ceased not his fault - mistress has got a lover. When this became known to Peter, he said: "To love the king, ought to have a king in his head," and told him to keep her under house arrest.

Fan of Anna Mons was Prussian Ambassador Keyserling. Curiously description Keyserling meeting with Peter and Menshikov, during which the envoy had sought permission to marry Mons.

In response to a request Keyserling said the king, "that he was brought up by a maid Mons for themselves, with the genuine intention to marry her, but since she I deceived and corrupted, it is not about her or about her relatives, nor hear, nor know does not want to ".

Menshikov at the same time added that "the girl Mons really despicable, public woman with whom he acted impudently." Servants Menshikov beat Keyserling and lowered him down the stairs.

In 1711 Keyserling still managed to marry Anna Mons, but six months later he died. Former mistress tried again to get married, but death from tuberculosis prevented this.

The Secret Wedding of Peter I and Catherine I.

From Anna Mons Catherine differed good health, allowing it to easily transfer grueling camp life and the first call Peter to overcome hundreds of miles of off-road. Catherine also had the extraordinary physical strength. Kammerjunker Berholts described how one day the king was joking with one of his orderlies, with a young Buturlin who ordered to raise at arm's length a great marshal's baton. He could not do that. "Then His Majesty, knowing how strong the hand of the Empress, gave it to her across the table to his staff. She stood up and, with extraordinary dexterity several times raised his hand over so directly, that all of us a lot of surprises. "

Catherine became necessary to Peter, and the king's letters to her eloquently reflect the growth of his affection and respect. "Come to Kiev do not loiter" - the king wrote to Catherine of Zhovkva in January 1707. "For God, come quickly, and if for what will soon be impossible to accomplish your goal, Inasmuch not without sadness to me that neither hear nor see you" - he wrote from St. Petersburg.

He showed concern for the king to Catherine and his extramarital daughter Anna. "If anything happens to me will of God - he made a written order at the beginning of 1708 before sending in the army - then three thousand rubles, which is now in the court of Mr. Prince Menshikov, Catherine give Wasilewska and girls."

A new stage in the relationship of Peter and Catherine came after she became his wife. The letters after the 1711-familiar gruff "Hello, queen!" Was replaced by a gentle "Katerinushka, my friend, hello."

Change not only the form of treatment, but also the tone of the notes: to replace the laconic letters of the commandments, like the officer's command to his subordinates, such as "how to you this donositeli come, go syudy no delay", started receiving letters with the expression of affection to a loved one .

In a letter to Peter I advised during a trip to him to be cautious: "For God carefully, Come and battalions from neither a hundred fathoms not move off." Husband gave her joy expensive gift or overseas delicacies.

Peter kept 170 letters to Catherine. Only a very few of them are of a business character. However, they do not burden the king nor his wife orders that any make or check the job by someone else or asking for advice, he was only made aware of what had happened - about to win the battle, about their health. "I have finished the course yesterday, water, thank God, acted exceedingly pretty; as will be after "- he wrote from Karlsbad, or"? Katerinushka, my friend, hello! I hear that you miss and not bezskuchno me, however can razsudit that things ought to change not bored. "

The Empress Catherine A.

In a word, Catherine enjoyed the affection and respect Peter. Marry the obscure and neglected prisoner brides or princesses boyar family of Western European countries was a challenge to the customs, the abandonment of time-honored traditions. But Peter allowed himself and such calls.

Announcing his wife Catherine, Peter also thought about the future prizhityh with her daughters - Anna and Elizabeth: "I inflict Hedgehog forced to obscure this way, so that if an orphan ostanuttsya would utche his life could have."

Catherine was endowed with inner beat, subtle understanding of the nature of his hot-tempered wife. When the king was in a state of rage, no one dared to approach him. I think she was able to calm one of the King without fear look in his eyes fierce anger. court brilliance eclipsed her memories about the origin.

"The king - a contemporary wrote, - could not Hanadiv its capacity and ability to become, as he put it, to the Empress, do not forget that it does not it was born. They often traveled together, but always in some trains, different - a grandeur of its simplicity, its other luxuries. He loved to see her everywhere. There was a military review, the ship's descent, ceremony or celebration, at which she was not. "

Another foreign diplomat also had the opportunity to observe the effect of Peter the care and warmth to his wife:

"In the afternoon, the King and Queen opened the ball, which lasted about three hours; King often I danced with the queen and the young princesses and kissed them many times; in this case, he found a great affection for the queen, and it can be said in all fairness that, despite the uncertainty of its kind, it is worthy of the grace of a great monarch. "

This diplomat gave the only extant description of Catherine's appearance coincides with the portrait image:

"At the present moment (1715), it has a pleasant fullness; her complexion is very white with a touch of nature, a few bright blush, her eyes were black, small, hair is the same color as long and thick, beautiful neck and arms, facial expression mild and very pleasant. "

Catherine did not forget about his past. In one of her letters to her husband read, "While there are some tea, you have a new mending woman, howbeit, trying not to forget" - so she jokingly reminded that in its time was a laundress. In general, the role of the wife of the king, she coped with ease, as if this role was taught it from childhood.

"He loved His Majesty the female sex," - said one of his contemporaries. This is a contemporary of the king wrote reasoning: "Forget service for women is inexcusable. Being a captive lover worse than be a prisoner in the war; the enemy can be more freedom, and a woman shackles lot of time. "

Catherine is easy on the fleeting affairs of her husband, and even herself delivered to him "metresishek". Once, while traveling abroad, Peter sent a reply to the letter of Catherine, which she jokingly accused him of sexual relations with other women. "And that joke of fun, and we do not have the turner, Inasmuch as we are human beings and not the old takovskie".

"Inasmuch, - wrote the king's wife in 1717 - while drinking water home doctor fun to eat forbid, for the sake of her I metresu released to you." Catherine's response was made in the same spirit: "But I am more mnyu you judges (metresishku) deigned to send for her illness, which she now resides, and to treat deigned to go to The Hague; and I wished I had not, by which God forbid, to gala that metresishki such well came what she had come. "

Nevertheless, his beloved had to contend with rivals, even after her marriage with Peter and his accession to the throne, and since then some of them threatened her position wife and empress. In 1706, in Hamburg, Peter promised the daughter of a Lutheran pastor to divorce Catherine, as the pastor agreed to give his daughter only legal wife. Shafirov already received orders to prepare all the necessary documents. But, unfortunately for himself, too trusting bride agreed to partake of the pleasures of Hymen before the torch was lit it. After that, it was escorted by paying her a thousand ducats.

Chernyshyova Avdotya Ivanovna (Evdokia Rzhevskaya)

The heroine of another, at least a passing infatuation was considered to be very close to a decisive victory and a high position. Evdokia Rzhevskaya was the daughter of one of the first followers of Peter, whose family of ancient nobility and competed with native Tatischevs.

Fifteen-year-girl, she was thrown on the bed of the king, and at sixteen, Peter married her who sought promotion officer Chernysheva and did not break ties with it. At Evdokia was born king of the four daughters and three sons; at least, it was called the father of these children. But, taking into account too frivolous temper Evdokia, paternal rights Peter were more than dubious.

This greatly reduced the chances of her as mistress. If you believe the scandalous chronicles, she was able to achieve only the famous orders: "Go and risers Avdotya." Such an order was given to her husband, her lover, sick and believes Evdokia blamed for their illness. Peter Chernyshov, usually called "Avdotya virago". Her mother was the famous "prince-abbess."

Adventure with Evdokia Rzhevsk be of no interest if it were the only one of its kind. But unfortunately, her legendary image is very typical of what is sad and interest in the history of this page: Evdokia personified a whole era and a whole society.

Illegitimate offspring of Peter multiplicity equals offspring of Louis XIV, though, perhaps, tradition and exaggerates a little. For example, illicit origin sons of Mrs. Stroganov, not to mention the other, does not historically authenticated. We only know that their mother, nee Novosiltsev was a member of orgies, differ cheerful disposition and drank bitter.

A very curious story is one of honor - Mary Hamilton. It goes without saying that the sentimental novel, created from the imagination of some of the story writers, and is a fantastic novel. Hamilton was, apparently, quite vulgar sozdanitse, and Peter has not changed me, showing his love for her in his own way.

As you know, one of the branches of a large Scottish family, to compete with the Douglas moved to Russia in the period preceding the great emigrantstkomu movement in the XVII century and are approaching the time of Ivan the Terrible. This genus has entered into relationship with many Russian names and seemed completely Russified long before the accession to the throne of the king-reformer.

Mary Hamilton was the granddaughter of the adoptive father of Natalia Naryshkin, Matveev Matveev. She was good-looking, and being taken to court, shared the fate of many others like her. She called Peter only fleeting flash of passion. Having mastered it passing, Peter immediately dropped it.

Mary has long missed and soon found solace in the arms of the king batman Ivan Orlov - a young and handsome guy. They both played with fire, because sleeping with the mistress of the king, even though the former had to be really be an eagle!

According to an absurd accident during the investigation of Tsarevich Alexei, suspected loss of denunciation written by Orlov, fell on him though. Not understanding, what he is accused of, the orderly he fell down and confessed to the king in cohabitation with Maria Gamonovoy (as it was called in Russian), saying that she had from him two children who were born dead.

Paul Svedomsky: Maria Hamilton before the execution

During the interrogation under a whip Maria admitted that she conceived two children, she etched in some drug, and the last, which was born immediately drowned in the night the ship, and told the maid to throw body.

I must say that before Peter I of Russia on the attitude towards Bastardo and their mothers were monstrous. Therefore, in order not to incur the wrath and trouble, the mother mercilessly etching sinful fruits of love, and in the case of their birth is often sacrificed in many ways. Peter is primarily Rada of the public interest (a great thing ... small with time soldiers will be) in the Decree of 1715 on hospitals, ordered that the state hospitals have been established for the maintenance of "gap stretches babies who are wives and girls give birth to iniquity and shame for otmetyvayut in different places, why these should bezgodno babies dying of "... and then sternly ordered:" and if you are illegally give birth will appear in umervschlenii those babies, and these should for such villainy themselves executed will be death. "

In all provinces and cities were ordered in hospitals and about churches open house for the reception of illegitimate children, which at any day could be put under the window, always open for this purpose.

Mary was sentenced - the death penalty by beheading. In fact, according to Code of 1649, the child-killers alive "buried in the ground on the tits with hands together and otoptyvayut feet." It happened that a criminal in such a position had lived for a month, unless, of course, family members do not interfere with feeding poor and not allowed to stray dogs to tear it.

But Hamilton was waiting for his friend's death. After the verdict, many people close to Peter tried to appease him, emphasizing the fact that the girl acted unconsciously, with fright, she was just a shame. Mary Hamilton stood up for the two queen - Catherine A. and dowager queen Praskovya Fedorovna. But Peter was adamant: the law should be executed, and he can not cancel it.

Without a doubt, mattered and that the babies killed by Hamilton may be the children of Peter, and it is this, as well as treason, the king could not forgive his former mistress.

March 14, 1719 in St. Petersburg, with the crowds, Russian Lady Hamilton came up to the scaffold where the scaffold has already stood, and waited for the executioner. Until recently, Maria hoped for mercy, dressed up in a white dress and when Peter came, stood in front of him on his knees. The Emperor promised that her executioner's hand touches: it is known that during the execution of the executioner roughly grabbed condemned men that drew him and threw on the block ... All were waiting for the final decision of Peter. He whispered something in his ear to the executioner, and he suddenly swung wide with a sword and cut off in a flash head kneeling woman. So Peter, without breaking this promise of Mary, at the same time tried brought from the West executioner's sword - a new weapon for the Russian penalty, first used instead of gross ax.

execution in the presence of Peter the Great, the picture from the collection of the museum Yegoryevsky

According to the memoirs of contemporaries, after the execution of the Emperor he raised Mary's head for her gorgeous hair and kissed her has not cooled his lips, and then read all those present, the deserted horror, sensible lecture on anatomy (about the peculiarities of blood vessels that feed the human brain), which was great lover and connoisseur of ...

After a demonstration lesson of anatomy Mary's head was ordered preserved in alcohol in the Kunstkammer, where it is in the bank, together with other monsters collection of almost half a century, had lain the first Russian museum. All have long forgotten what the head, and visitors, except his ears, listened to stories guard that once the Emperor Peter the Great ordered to cut off the head of the most beautiful of its ladies and preserved in alcohol it to the descendants knew what kind of beautiful women were those days.

Conducting an audit in Peter's Kunstkammer, Princess Ekaterina Dashkova found near freaks preserved in alcohol in the two banks of the head. One of them belonged to Villim Mons (next to our hero), another lover Peter, maid of honor, chambers Hamilton. The Empress ordered to bury them with the world ...

It is doubtful that favorite Menshikov, Peter, as some claim, has found appropriate to take part in the trial and condemnation of the unfortunate in Hamilton, to protect the interests of his patron saint Catherine. This rival was not dangerous at all for her.

Some time later, Catherine found no grounds for more serious concern. The cable Kampredona on June 8, 1722 states: "The queen is worried that if the princess would have a son, the king, at the request of the Ruler valahskogo, divorce his wife and marry his mistress."

It was about Maria Cantemir.

Ruler Dimitrie Cantemir, a former ally of Peter during the unfortunate campaign of 1711, had lost their possessions at the conclusion of the contract Prut. Finding shelter in St. Petersburg, he languished there in anticipation of the promise of indemnity to him. Quite a long time it seemed that her daughter will reward him for the loss.

While Peter was in 1722 went to war against Persia, his love affair with Maria Cantemir dragged on for several years, and seemed to be close to the junction, fatal to Catherine. The two women accompanied the king during his campaign. But Mary was forced to stay in Astrakhan, as she was pregnant. This further strengthened the confidence of its supporters in her victory.

Ivan Nikitin: Maria Cantemir

After the death of the little Pyotr Catherine was no longer her son, whom Peter could make his successor. It was assumed that if the king on his return from a hike Cantemir give him a son, that Peter did not hesitate to get away from his second wife as well as free from the first.

If you believe Scherer, friends Catherine found a way to get rid of the danger: his return, Peter found his mistress seriously ill after a premature birth; even feared for her life.

Catherine triumphed, and the novel, almost ruined it seemed henceforth doomed to the same end of the vulgar, like all the previous ones. Shortly before the death of the sovereign subject of a fawning, like Chernyshev and Rumyantsev, offered "to mean" to marry the princess, still loved Peter, though have lost ambitious hopes.

Fate Catherine safely deduced from all the tests. The grand coronation made her position quite unattainable. Honor mistress was rehabilitated marriage and the position of spouses, vigilantly guarding the family home, and the sovereign, shared by all the honors bestowed high rank, they offered her completely and gave her a very special place among the disorderly female crowd, where the maids from the hotel to go hand in hand with the daughters Scottish lords and Moldava valahskogo princesses. Suddenly, amid all this crowd there was a totally unexpected way, the image of a chaste and respected friend.

Elizabeth Elena Senyavskaya nee Lubomirska

Appeared in the role of a noble Polish lady, Slav in origin, but has received Western education, it was charming in every sense of the word. Peter enjoyed the company of Ms. Sieniawska gardens Yavorov. Many hours they spent together in the construction of the barge, walking through the water, in the conversations. It was a real idyll.

Senyavskaya Elizabeth, nee Princess Lubomirski was the wife of the Crown Hetman Sieniawska, a strong supporter of August against Leszczynski. She went through a rebellious life rough conqueror, avoiding of cursing. Peter admired not only her rather mediocre beauty, as its rare intelligence. He liked her company.

He listened to her advice, sometimes puts him in a difficult position, since it is supported Leszczynski, but not a protege of the king and her own husband.

When the king told her of his intention to let go of all the invited them to the service of foreign officers, she gave him an object lesson by sending German, Polish musicians ruled the orchestra; even a little sensitive ear of the king could not bear began immediately discordance.

When he spoke with her about his project to transform the desert Russian and Polish regions that lie in the path of Charles XII in Moscow, she interrupted the story of a nobleman who to punish his wife planned to become a eunuch.

She was lovely, and Peter succumbed to her charm, pacified, ennobled by her presence as if transfigured by contact with this pure and refined nature, both gentle and strong ...

Peter I and Catherine

In 1722 Peter, feeling that his strength leave, issued a Charter of the legacy of the throne. From now on, the appointment of the successor depended on the will of the sovereign. It is likely that the king chose to Catherine, because only this choice can be explained by the intention of Peter to proclaim his wife Empress and start a magnificent ceremony of her coronation. It is unlikely that Peter found statesmanship with his "friend serdeshnenkogo", as he called Catherine, but it seemed to him, was another important advantage: its environment was both its environment.

In 1724, Peter was often sick. November 9 was arrested 30-year-old beau Mons, brother of the former mistress of Peter. He was accused of relatively minor at the time of the embezzlement of the treasury. Less than a week, as the executioner cut off his head. However, a rumor linked penalty Mons not to abuse, and his intimacy with the Empress. Peter allowed himself to commit adultery, but did not think that has the same right, and Catherine. The Empress was younger than her husband of 12 years ...

Relationship between spouses become strained. Peter did not exercise the right to appoint himself the receiver to the throne and brought the act of coronation of Catherine to their logical conclusion.

Nikitin: "Peter I on his deathbed"

Disease worsened, and most of the last three months of life, Peter spent in bed. Peter died on January 28, 1725 in terrible agony.

The body of the deceased spouse Catherine proclaimed on the same day the Empress, left unburied for forty days and twice daily mourned him. "The courtiers were amazed, - said a contemporary, - where so many tears is taken from the Empress ..."