Author Topic: Mrs Mary Ann Orchard aka "Orchie"  (Read 9257 times)

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Janet Whitcomb

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Mrs Mary Ann Orchard aka "Orchie"
« on: April 20, 2004, 02:28:38 PM »
Wasn't there a specific room in the AP that was "Orchie's Room," where Alexandra nursed her until she died?

It would be nice to hear more about this lady!

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Mrs Mary Ann Orchard aka "Orchie"
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2004, 07:19:04 PM »
I am pretty sure Anna Vyrubova occupied Orchie's rooms when she was in the palace.  I'll check. Orchie's rooms faced the park.

Bob
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by BobAtchison »

Offline Grand_Duke_Alexei

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Re: Mrs Mary Ann Orchard aka "Orchie"
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2004, 08:18:07 PM »
Hi, does anyone have a picture of Alexandra's old maid Mrs. Orchard.  I have one where Mrs. Orchard is helping Alix and Elizabeth get ready for Alix's first ball.  If anyone has any pictures or any information on Mrs. Orchard please post, I would really appreciate it.  Thanx.
Blow a kiss I run through air
Leave the past, find nowhere
Floating forests in the air
Clowns all around you

Alll this black and cruel despair
This is an emergency
Don't you hide your eyes from me
Open them and see me now

Offline Grand_Duke_Alexei

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Re: Mrs Mary Ann Orchard aka "Orchie"
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2004, 08:30:11 PM »
     I am not sure if you have read the book, "The Life and Tragedy of Alexandra Feodorovna."  But, it has a small paragraph providing a little bit of information on "Orchie".

"The nurseries were large, lofty rooms, very plainly furnished.  Mrs. Mary Anne Orchard, "Orchie" to the children, ruled the nursery.  She was the ideal head nurse, sensible, quiet, enforcing obedience, not disdaining punishment, but kind though firm.  She gave the children that excellent nursery training which leaves a stamp for life.  Mrs. Orchard had fixed hours for everything ; and the children's day was strictly divided in such a was as to allow them to take advantage of every hour that their mother could spare for them."

That paragraph reveals a little about her, now we know her whole name, her personality, and the fact that she was married.

Blow a kiss I run through air
Leave the past, find nowhere
Floating forests in the air
Clowns all around you

Alll this black and cruel despair
This is an emergency
Don't you hide your eyes from me
Open them and see me now

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Mrs Mary Ann Orchard aka "Orchie"
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2004, 10:53:03 AM »
After she died her rooms in the Alexander Palace were preserved as they were.  They don't seem to have been kept as an eternal 'shrine' as they were used by others at least once.  At the time of the revolution they are still called Orchie's rooms.

Perhaps Greg knows of more pictures of her since he has been through the Darmstadt archives extensively.

Bob

Offline Alexandra

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Re: Mrs Mary Ann Orchard aka "Orchie"
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2004, 02:19:37 PM »
Dear Grand_Duke_Alexei,

It is my understanding that, in the English  nanny system of the late nineteenth century, such women were always called 'Mrs,' regardless of their actual marital status. Under the same system,  governesses were called 'Miss,' likewise without reference to marital status. (Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, for instance, had a beloved nanny, Mrs Elizabeth Franklin, known to her usually as 'Nana' or 'Franklin.' ) Alexandra therefore had 'Mrs' Orchard, but 'Miss' Jackson. I have not seen any information that 'Mrs' Orchard was, in fact, a married woman, and would rather guess that the nature of a nanny's extensive duties to her charge(s)  in the nineteenth century, and the degree of closeness thereby established,  might have militated against her having a family life of her own.

Although I am not certain why the nomenclature of the system operated thus, I suspect that it may well be a holdover from the days in which the women who, later on, came to be called nannies,  began their Palace tenure as wet-nurses. Since it was obligatory for a wet-nurse to be not only strong (she had to be capable of breast-feeding the child whilst standing) but of what was deemed good character, in those days, for her to be a lactating woman would have meant that she had to be a married woman as well, since it was believed that her milk could transmit virtue or vice, as well as  more prosaic nutrients.
If anybody has more or different information to augment or refute mine, I'd welcome it - especially anything to do with the system in general, or the subsequent histories  of those women within it.

Katherine Alexandra M. Hines

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Mrs Mary Ann Orchard aka "Orchie"
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2004, 03:41:57 PM »
does anyone have the date of Mrs. Orchard's death?  Did she carry on a corrrespondence with anyone in Darmstadt (or anywhere else) while she was in Russia?  Do we know if she had a family?