Author Topic: Who was the Governess to Alexander III children?  (Read 8800 times)

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Offline Bilbo66

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Who was the Governess to Alexander III children?
« on: December 02, 2014, 03:47:47 AM »
Hello
I’m trying to find out if an old story passed down from my great grandmother is true. That being; that her elder sister was a Governess to the Tsar of Russia’s children. Her name was Charlotte Helen Jane Campbell Le Cronier, (b. 24th August 1839 Coutance, France but she was a British Subject of Jersey). Her parents died when she was young but according to the 1861 census she was living in Jersey with her cousin [a medical doctor who studied in Paris]. Then according to the 1871 census she was a French Governess in Stratford Abbey Boarding School for girls in Shroud, Gloucestershire. She is not mentioned on any further censuses [1881 or 1891] but died on 16th December 1897 in her sister’s home in Kingston, Surrey.

The period that I have no record of (through the 1870s and ‘80s) coincides with the time when the children of Tsar Alexander III would be at the height of their studies. I note that the Grand Dukes Michael, George and Nicholas all spoke fluently in both English and French but I can’t find any mention of who taught them.

If anyone can help, give me any leads or advice as to how I can pursue this, I would love to hear from them.

Regards

Bilbo.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Who was the Governess to Alexander III children?
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2014, 12:09:10 PM »
The three boys all had an English tutor named Mr Heath, of whom Nicholas was evidently very fond - he presented him to Queen Victoria when he was visiting England in the summer of 1894.

I don't know about governesses, but Olga A had an English nanny named Mrs Franklin.

I would say that an English governess is certainly a possibility.

Ann

Offline Bilbo66

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Re: Who was the Governess to Alexander III children?
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2014, 11:43:05 AM »
Hi Ann
Thanks for the help with this but have you any idea how I could get a definitive answer for this? Records must be kept somewhere.
Regards,
Bilbo.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Who was the Governess to Alexander III children?
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2014, 07:39:52 AM »
No mention of a governess in John van der Kiste's biography of Xenia, though he refers to Charles Heath, and 'a succession of French tutor a''.

Have you looked at at Ian Vorres book about Olga?

Ann

Offline Maria Sisi

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Re: Who was the Governess to Alexander III children?
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2014, 08:50:44 AM »
"Love Power and Tragedy" might mention something too.

Charlotte Zeepvat also has an article on nanny/governesses in "Romanov Autumn". Or perhaps her book "From Cradle to Crown"

Richard Wortman in "Scenarios of Power" (2000) said he had a governess by the name of Alexandra Ollongren. Her son V.K. Ollongren was apparently one of Nicholas's classroom companion for several years.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2014, 09:01:44 AM by Maria Sisi »

Offline Bilbo66

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Re: Who was the Governess to Alexander III children?
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2014, 04:52:16 PM »
The problem is that Olga was born in 1882 which I think is just too late. The boys being born 10-12 years earlier.  There was nothing in “Cradle to Crown”, I'm afraid. But thanks anyway – all suggestion most welcome. Nothing in “When Miss Emmie was in Russia” [I’m trying to find out from the Gloucester Archives if there are any records informing as to WHERE she was leaving. This may lead to her next post of employment.]

Offline Ally Kumari

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Re: Who was the Governess to Alexander III children?
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2015, 03:09:36 AM »
While I found no information on the Tsarevich and Grand Dukes (though "Michael and Natasha" gives impression that Grand Duke Mikhail was tended by Mrs. Franklin just like his younger sister) a biography on Grand Duchess Xenia "Once a Grand Duchess" by J. van der Kiste and Coryne Hall claims the following:

"Anastasia Grigorievna (Nastya, or "Na") was engaged as Xenia´s nanny. The baby may also have come under care of Kitty Strutton, an Englishwoman who had nursed her father,  as English ways had been fashionable at the Russian court for some years." (p. 4, 2004 paperback edition)