Author Topic: Tzar Ferdinand of Bulgaria and his family  (Read 200521 times)

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Offline Marc

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Re: Tzar Ferdinand of Bulgaria and his family
« Reply #315 on: February 26, 2019, 06:05:08 PM »
I have read in Wikipedia:

"At the age of seventeen, Eleonore was engaged to Count Mark Alexandrovich Ospeni [ru]. The day after the engagement the Count was summoned to Russia because of the start of the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878). Count Ospeni is wounded after the battle at the village of Telish and later died from these wounds."

Does anyone knows who this Count Mark Alexandrovich Ospeni is? I couldn't find anything about him or his family, maybe due to wikipedia spelling...
« Last Edit: February 26, 2019, 06:06:55 PM by Marc »

Offline Превед

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Re: Tzar Ferdinand of Bulgaria and his family
« Reply #316 on: February 27, 2019, 11:14:57 AM »
I have read in Wikipedia:

"At the age of seventeen, Eleonore was engaged to Count Mark Alexandrovich Ospeni [ru]. The day after the engagement the Count was summoned to Russia because of the start of the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878). Count Ospeni is wounded after the battle at the village of Telish and later died from these wounds."

Does anyone knows who this Count Mark Alexandrovich Ospeni is? I couldn't find anything about him or his family, maybe due to wikipedia spelling...

Wow, Marc! Super interesting with a Reuss-Russian match, even though it came to nought. Thanks for telling us. Based on the link in Eleonore English Wikipedia page to the family's Russian Wikipedia page, I can tell you that the family name Оспенный / Ospenniy is an adjective derived from оспа, smallpox. So it means "having to do with smallpox" (but not "pockmarked"). It was bestowed on the six-year-old commoner Alexander (Danilovich) Markov by Catherine the Great together along with hereditary nobility and arms showing a naked arm with a small cut and holding a rose in 1769 in recognition of him providing the material for the Empress' famous smallpox vaccination! So that's a rather unusual origin for a noble family! But I found no mention of any comital title.

BTW Eleonore's German Wikipedia page says she was, for a long time, a deaconess in Lübben (Sorbian: Lubin) in the Spreewald (Sorbian: Błota) in Lower Lusatia, which of course is and was a Sorbian-speaking community. I wonder if she picked up any Slavic language bits there which came in useful when she became Tsaritsa of Bulgaria? (She was born in what is within modern-day Poland, but her native village was most certainly German-speaking when she grew up.)
« Last Edit: February 27, 2019, 11:36:08 AM by Превед »
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline Превед

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Re: Tzar Ferdinand of Bulgaria and his family
« Reply #317 on: February 27, 2019, 05:00:29 PM »
Having tried to research any Counts Ospenniy, my conclusion is that there are no Counts Ospenniy, only an untiled noble family. A few Russian random websites refer to Catherine the Great conferring a comital title on the vaccine provider, but they most certainly exaggerate. Comital titles were severely limited and only conferred in rare circumstances (and never on commoners unless they had shown exceptional merit), while nobility was conferred rather liberally. Google Books give a few glimpses into noted German nobility genealogist Detlev Schwennicke's listing in "Europäische Stammtafeln" of the Ospenniys being "Orlov bastards". No idea where this claim comes from, but it's enticing when you know the connection between Catherine II and Count Orlov.

In a way the connection between Eleonore and this Ospenniy sounds a bit like romantic fabrication trying to link her destiny to Bulgaria, Bulgaria's protector Russia and her distant relative Catherine II as a pioneer nurse, considering that this alleged fiancé with his imperially vaccinated ancestry died in Bulgaria (Телиш) in a Russian war that resulted in Bulgaria's national liberation. Compare this to the claim in her Bulgarian Wikipedia article, which has her first cousin Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna the Elder visiting Sofia to attend the unveiling of the Statue of Alexander (II) the Liberator (of Bulgaria) in 1907 and recommending her unmarried Reuss relative to the widowed Tsar Ferdinand!

I hardly think a noble, but untitled Russian officer (presumably) would be considered a suitable match even for a minor Reuss princess. Perhaps that's the reason why the engagement (d'inclination?) only lasted one day? Perhaps her parents (and her cousin Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna) asked the Tsarist authorities to call him back to Russia to prepare for the war?
« Last Edit: February 27, 2019, 05:04:34 PM by Превед »
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline Marc

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Re: Tzar Ferdinand of Bulgaria and his family
« Reply #318 on: February 28, 2019, 04:56:36 AM »
Thank you for an answer. I would also like to know more about the circumstances of this particular Reuss/Ospenniy engagement. Also, considering the fact that Reuss family were very "aware of themselves".

Svetabel wrote in another thread, regarding Reuss/Prussia marriage of Princesss Victoria Margaret and Prince Heinrich XXXIII Reuss(Eleonore's fist cousin) that her mother, Luise Sophie, sister of the Empress "didn't like a sophisticated surroundings of the Reuss Princes, as she considered them too arrogant and insisted that the life of her family was very simple and unpretentious."

Eleonore's father Heinrich IV Reuss and father of the groom in question(Heinrich XXXIII Reuss) Heinrich VII Reuss were brothers, so we are talking about the same family, which was "considered too arrogant". Princess Eleonore was born in Castle Trebschen:

http://www.henryvandevelde.pl/zdjecia/konferencja2007/von-der-bank/07.jpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trzebiech%C3%B3w,_Zielona_G%C3%B3ra_County

The castle looks rather grand, which points that Eleonore wasn't brought up like a minor Princess without any expectations, but perhaps because of her "looks", she wasn't very eligible and her parents saw first opportunity to marry her off. Also to note that her uncle Prince Heinrich VII Reuss was personal adjutant to Wilhelm I and was also the first ambassador of the new German Empire to St. Peterburg in Russia. So, beside Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna as her first cousin, Eleonore was very well connected and had links to almost everyone in one way or another.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2019, 05:23:55 AM by Marc »

Offline Превед

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Re: Tzar Ferdinand of Bulgaria and his family
« Reply #319 on: February 28, 2019, 06:48:06 AM »
Svetabel wrote in another thread, regarding Reuss/Prussia marriage of Princesss Victoria Margaret and Prince Heinrich XXXIII Reuss(Eleonore's fist cousin) that her mother, Luise Sophie, sister of the Empress "didn't like a sophisticated surroundings of the Reuss Princes, as she considered them too arrogant and insisted that the life of her family was very simple and unpretentious."

Interesting that Luise Sophie's family background (Danish, South German with a dash of British, reduced circumstances due to exile and some Prussian mehr sein als schein') contrasted with the Reuss' East Central German Duodez-style Standesdünkel.
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline Marc

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Re: Tzar Ferdinand of Bulgaria and his family
« Reply #320 on: February 28, 2019, 05:20:03 PM »
Interesting that Luise Sophie's family background (Danish, South German with a dash of British, reduced circumstances due to exile and some Prussian mehr sein als schein') contrasted with the Reuss' East Central German Duodez-style Standesdünkel.

Well, Reuss was one of the oldest ruling families in Europe and they might have been very well aware of this and behaved due to that fact, no matter how many there were and how small their territory was. They were also very well connected.

Btw, Queen Victoria's grandmother was Princess of Reuss-Ebersdorf, which means almost every Crowned Head in Europe in late 19th century descended from Reuss family. Charlotte of Saxe-Meiningen, granddughter of the German Emperor and great granddaughter of Queen Victoria married also Prince of Reuss-Köstritz. Eleonore's uncle Prince Heinrich VI was married to Princess Alexandrine von Sachsen-Weimar und Eisenach, who was grand-daughter of the King of the Netherlands and great-granddaughter of the Empreror of Russia. So, there were many important connections.

Offline Marc

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Re: Tzar Ferdinand of Bulgaria and his family
« Reply #321 on: May 12, 2019, 12:51:28 PM »
Group photo of Ferdinand and Eleonore's wedding taken in Castle Osterstein, owned by the Reuss family:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e6/Hochzeit_des_F%C3%BCrsten_von_Bulgarien_auf_Schlo%C3%9F_Osterstein%2C_1908.jpg

Many identified royal guests can be seen in the photo.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2019, 01:22:41 PM by Marc »