Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => The Hesse-Darmstadts (Hesse and by Rhine) => Topic started by: Paola on April 03, 2006, 08:10:33 AM

Title: Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy
Post by: Paola on April 03, 2006, 08:10:33 AM
Iam searching  information and pictures of Auguste von Senarclens-Grancy (1794-1871). According to some authors he was ( and not Duke Ludwig II of Hesse) the  father of the 3 youngest children of Grand Duchess Wilhelmina of Hesse (1788-1836).  Did he ever marry?Was he a relative of Wilhelmina von Senarclens  - Grancy, the Governess of the Hessian Ducal House?
Title: Re: Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy
Post by: Yseult on April 03, 2006, 06:21:58 PM
Hello, Paola! I wish I could provides you more info that I can...

As far as I know, Grand Duke Ludwig II of Hesse by the Rhine was an ugly man eleven years older than his charming wife Wilhelmine. She never felt happy with the husband, not looker, not kind with her and a great womanizer. They had together three children: Ludwig, later Grand Duke Ludwig III; a stillborn child and Karl. After the birth of Karl, Wilhelmine felt that she had enough and determined to live apart from the husband. So, in 1820 Wilhelmine bought Heiligenberg, where she shared her life with chamberlain August von Senarclens-Grancy. There, the Grand Duchess gave birth to Elisabeth; when Elisabeth was two years old Alexander was born and when Alexander was one year old, Marie was born.

It seems established that the father was the chamberlain August Louis von Senarclens-Grancy. He was a son of baron Cesar August von Senarclens-Crancy (a son of Auguste Victor von Senarclens, seigneur de Grancy, and Jacqueline de Chandieu) and Elisabeth Claudine Marie Rose de Loriol (a daughter of Rodolphe de Loriol and Catherine Tronchin).

Wilhelmine Grand Duchess of Hesse died 27th Janvier 1836, and the same year, the 15th november, August Louis von Senarclens-Grancy married Louise Wilhelmine Camilla, a daughter of Carl Friedrich Stephan, baron von Schönfeld and later count von Otting und Fünfstetten, by his second wife, Wilhelmine Louise Camille of Montperny. The father of Louise Wilhelmine Camille, Carl Friedrich Stephan, was an illegitimate son of Friedrich Michael of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld and Louise Chaveau...So, the father of Louise was half-brother of king Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria!!.

Title: Re: Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy
Post by: Prince_Christopher on April 03, 2006, 09:56:20 PM
Maurice Paleologue, French Ambassador to Russia, wrote:

"About the spring of 1823 the little Court of Darmstadt was astounded to learn that the Grand Duchess was pregnant.  On the 15th of July she gave birth to a third son, Prince Alexander, who was later to found the Battenberg family.  For the honor of his crown and family, Louis II assumed paternity of the child.  But everyone knew the real father; he was so insignificant no one dared to name him.  The following year, on the 8th August 1824, the Grand Duchess was delivered of another child, of the same origin, Princess Marie."

Louis II may have been induced to accept the paternity of Alexander and Marie by Wilhelmina's brother and sisters, the Grand Duke of Baden, the Empress of Russia, the Queens of Bavaria and Sweden, and the Duchess of Brunswick.

Prince von Bulow, Chancellor of Germany, wrote:

"In the Russian royal family the descent of the future Tsarina Maria Alexandrovna and Prince Alexander of Hesse from the handsome Master of the Horse was well-known.  When I was attached to the Embassy of St. Petersburg in 1865 or 1866, I drove with the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess Vladimir from Tsarkoie Selo to St. Petersburg, the Grand Duke, who had gone to bed late, fell asleep on the way, and his wife called my attention to his fine, almost classical features.  One could see, she said, that her husband was not the grandson of Louis II of Hesse, renowned for his ugliness, but of the handsome Grancy.  As a matter of fact, the Senarclens von Grancy were a good family and came from the Canton Vaud, not far from Lausanne, where the ancestral castle stands."
Title: Re: Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy
Post by: Prince_Christopher on April 03, 2006, 10:08:31 PM
I wonder who took care of Alexander and Marie after their mother died?  They were still fairly young.  I've read that Marie was not very well treated at Darmstadt, and this was one thing that attracted the Tsarevich (future Alexander II) to her.

This is also interesting:

"In 1866, the Empress Marie, during her visit to Darmstadt, drove out to Heiligenberg to visit the grave of an old friend of her childhood, Baroness Marianne von Grancy, who had just died, and to whom she put up a splendid memorial."
Title: Re: Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy
Post by: Paola on April 04, 2006, 02:19:01 AM
It is interesting to know Auguste married in the same year Grand Duchess Wilhelmina died. Any descendants from this marriage? Count Egon Corti in his book "Downfall of three dynasties", say a man called Captain Frey took care of Alexander and Marie of Hesse after their mother died. I was in Heiligenberg last year. The castle is now a college for teachers and the Battenberg Mausoleum looks sadly neglected. I din't find the grave or memorial to Marianne von Grancy. The only memorial I saw was the enormous gold cross Alexander of Hesse and his brothers  erected in memory of their mother, Grand Duchess Wilhelmine.
Title: Re: Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy
Post by: Emilia on April 04, 2006, 05:04:18 AM
Quote

"In the Russian royal family the descent of the future Tsarina Maria Alexandrovna and Prince Alexander of Hesse from the handsome Master of the Horse was well-known.  When I was attached to the Embassy of St. Petersburg in 1865 or 1866, I drove with the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess Vladimir from Tsarkoie Selo to St. Petersburg, the Grand Duke, who had gone to bed late, fell asleep on the way, and his wife called my attention to his fine, almost classical features.  One could see, she said, that her husband was not the grandson of Louis II of Hesse, renowned for his ugliness, but of the handsome Grancy.  As a matter of fact, the Senarclens von Grancy were a good family and came from the Canton Vaud, not far from Lausanne, where the ancestral castle stands."

According to Charlotte Zeepvat (in "Romanov Autumn"), this anecdote isn´t true as in  1866, Marie was still a 12-year-old princess living in Mecklenburg... She married Vladimir in 1874.
Title: Re: Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy
Post by: Prince_Christopher on April 04, 2006, 08:09:20 AM
Quote
Quote

"In the Russian royal family the descent of the future Tsarina Maria Alexandrovna and Prince Alexander of Hesse from the handsome Master of the Horse was well-known.  When I was attached to the Embassy of St. Petersburg in 1865 or 1866, I drove with the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess Vladimir from Tsarkoie Selo to St. Petersburg, the Grand Duke, who had gone to bed late, fell asleep on the way, and his wife called my attention to his fine, almost classical features.  One could see, she said, that her husband was not the grandson of Louis II of Hesse, renowned for his ugliness, but of the handsome Grancy.  As a matter of fact, the Senarclens von Grancy were a good family and came from the Canton Vaud, not far from Lausanne, where the ancestral castle stands."

According to Charlotte Zeepvat (in "Romanov Autumn"), this anecdote isn´t true as in  1866, Marie was still a 12-year-old princess living in Mecklenburg... She married Vladimir in 1874.


You may be right about this, however, I guess von Bulow could have gotten the dates wrong, I think he was writing about his career years after the fact.

However, it really doesn't matter, just goes to show that there are many unanswered questions on this subject, questions that will likely remain unanswered.

Louis Mountbatten tried to bury many of the facts concerning his ancestry, and may have somewhat succeeded.
Title: Re: Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy
Post by: Emilia on April 04, 2006, 01:49:24 PM
Quote
You may be right about this, however, I guess von Bulow could have gotten the dates wrong, I think he was writing about his career years after the fact.

Nevertheless the anecdote sounds very much like Marie, I can imagine her saying stuff like that... ;) She also said that her family (the Mecklenburgs) very more Slavic than the Romanovs etc. ::)
Title: Re: Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy
Post by: Prince_Christopher on April 04, 2006, 08:15:51 PM
Yes, I agree, LOL.  ;D   When I first read the anecdote, I could just SEE Marie saying that....
Title: Re: Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy
Post by: VN on April 05, 2006, 05:03:21 AM
Quote
It is interesting to know Auguste married in the same year Grand Duchess Wilhelmina died. Any descendants from this marriage? Count Egon Corti in his book "Downfall of three dynasties", say a man called Captain Frey took care of Alexander and Marie of Hesse after their mother died. I was in Heiligenberg last year. The castle is now a college for teachers and the Battenberg Mausoleum looks sadly neglected. I din't find the grave or memorial to Marianne von Grancy. The only memorial I saw was the enormous gold cross Alexander of Hesse and his brothers  erected in memory of their mother, Grand Duchess Wilhelmine.



Right behind the "Goldene Kreuz" is the Grave of Julie and Alexander. Not in the Memorial Chapel. The tombstone was designed by Kaiserin Friedrich (Vicky). It is true, the place is very neglected. (There are different reasons for that).
In the chapel on the left hand side is a memorial place/commemorative stone for Liko (Heinrich) and on the right hand side the 'memorial side' for Sandro (Alexander von Battenberg/Hartenau.


As far as I know, Ludwig II wasn't intested in Wilhelmine anymore. They where first cousins ( :-/) and after a heir was born they fulfilled their duty.

I have a picture (copy)  of Auguste von Senarclence-Grancy (+ 03.10.1871 in Jugenheim). But unfortunatly I don't have a scanner. I also see a strong ressemblance with Alexander von Hessen.  



Title: Re: Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy
Post by: Paola on April 05, 2006, 07:23:48 AM
Even if it looks neglected, one can imagine how lovely Heiligenberg was, like the royals gatherings which had once brought the estate so much glory. I wish someone would write a book about Heiligenberg, with pictures of the interiors and floorplans. Kind of the wonderful book by Petra Tücks about Neues Palais in Darmstadt.
Any information about the descendants of Auguste by his marriage to Louise Otting und Fünfstetten?
Title: Re: Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy
Post by: Daniela on April 11, 2006, 03:39:09 AM
On this link you can find something on Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy's descendants with his wife Louise Otting und Fünfstetten.

Daniela


http://www.genealogics.org/getperson.php?personID=I00096511&tree=LEO
Title: Re: Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy
Post by: Paola on April 11, 2006, 04:21:08 AM
Daniela,

Thanks for this interesting link. So Baroness Wilhelmine Senarclens Grancy, lady-in-waiting to the four Hessian Princesses (Victoria, Elisabeth, Irene and Alix) was daughter of Auguste Senarclens von Grancy.
Title: Re: Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy
Post by: Prince_Christopher on April 11, 2006, 08:04:46 AM
I wonder if Auguste had a relationship with Alexander and Marie?  He lived until 1871.  I've read that the children grew up somewhat isolated from the Hessian court.  Did the two siblings visit him in his later years?  He must have been somewhat of a father figure to them, if nothing else, with them growing up at Heiligenberg.  

But maybe not, I did read that Alexander and Marie grew up in a little house on the edge of the forest, on the estate.

I wonder why Auguste married so soon after Wilhelmine's death?  Did he sort of abandon Alexander and Marie at that time?  His children from his marriage to Louise seemed to stay in favor.  Did he himself?

Lots of unanswered questions....
Title: Re: Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy
Post by: Paola on April 11, 2006, 08:50:16 AM
Indeed lots of unanswered questions. Perhaps the answers are in the archives in Darmstadt or in the Mountbatten archives.

Interesting the descendants of Auguste von Senarclens -Grancy by his marriage to Louise Otting und Fünfstetten are related to many royal houses both by paternal (Hesse, Russia, Sweden, Great Britain, Greece, Spain) and maternal (Bavaria, Austria, Saxony) sides.
Title: Re: Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy
Post by: imperial angel on April 11, 2006, 10:36:03 AM
Marie of Hesse Darmstadt's paternity seems estabilished. How much did she know about her real father, did she realize? It seems she did, from what I've read here. I know in her lifetime this was fairly well known, although sometimes it was regarded more as a vicious rumour than anything else, when she became Empress consort of Russia. I don't suppose she had much to do with her real father in later life, given her position.
Title: Re: Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy
Post by: Prince_Christopher on April 11, 2006, 10:52:13 AM
Quote
Indeed lots of unanswered questions. Perhaps the answers are in the archives in Darmstadt or in the Mountbatten archives.


IF they were not permanently destroyed....
Title: Re: Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy
Post by: Prince_Christopher on April 11, 2006, 11:15:55 AM
Quote
Marie of Hesse Darmstadt's paternity seems estabilished. How much did she know about her real father, did she realize? It seems she did, from what I've read here. I know in her lifetime this was fairly well known, although sometimes it was regarded more as a vicious rumour than anything else, when she became Empress consort of Russia. I don't suppose she had much to do with her real father in later life, given her position.

I agree, Marie's paternity does seem established.  Surely she suspected something abnormal about her upbringing, although with Wilhelmine dying early, who knows what she thought.  

Yes, from what I've read, it was fairly well known.  No one dared question or mention it to Alexander II, even though his own parents had questions before the marriage took place.  It was said that if the Grand Duke of Hesse claimed her as is own, and she was in the Almanach de Gotha, that that was all that mattered.
Title: Re: Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy
Post by: imperial angel on April 11, 2006, 12:06:14 PM
Yes, one wonders what she thought. Perhaps she did not think overly much about things like that, and indeed it was her official paternity that mattered. I am sure her real paternity was not mentioned to Alexander II, although I'm sure he heard rumours. But appearances were all that mattered. I can't see her real father, given his rank and all the rumours, having much to do with her after she left for Russia.
Title: Re: Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy
Post by: crazy_wing on April 15, 2006, 04:10:26 PM
The issue of Marie's paternity was also brought up to Nicholas I, Alexander II's father.  Nicholas I was not bothered by it as he was also well awared that his grandfather from his father's side was not Peter III.  And hence, Marie is as legitimate as the romanovs.    
Title: Re: Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy
Post by: imperial angel on April 18, 2006, 11:44:25 AM
Indeed, many of these kinds of things were true of many dynasties. And there were often rumpurs like this, true or not true about paternity. I read an article recently on paternity testing today. It seems that often the supposed father is not at all the real father there was even a percent of cases where this happens, I should look it up. But sometimes even when the supposed father is found out not to be, and the real father is located, the real father has no obligations in terms of financial things, it is the supposed father who is responsible, if a court rules so, because he has always been responsible, presumed to be the father.  So sometimes it is official paternity that matters.
Title: Re: Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy
Post by: Steinecke on March 14, 2007, 09:24:39 AM
I came across this website yesterday and I want to know if anyone can give me any input on an enigmatic family legend.

One of my ancestors, Johann Mathias Jahres (1807-1896), is said to have worked for Ludwig II and Wilhelmine as an athletic tutor for the younger children... Marie in particular.  Supposedly he taught her and her older siblings to ride a horse, handle a rifle, etc.  According to the legend, he had to flee Germany suddenly in 1831 after he became involved in a scandal.  One story is that he was caught in the bedroom with the Grand Duchess, another is that he killed someone after getting into a fight over a woman.  There was once a letter in the family that gave clues to what happened, but when a family friend translated the letter decades ago, he insisted that the letter be burned and the contents not be disclosed.

This story has been the source of a lot of speculation in my family over the years, and when I first read somewhere that Marie's paternity was in question, I thought Mathias might have had something to do with it.  Since then, I've learned that her father was almost certainly this Auguste von Senarclens de Grancy.

Since many of you seem well informed on the specifics of this family... have you come across any inkling of what may have happened to cause my ancestor to suddenly leave Germany, abandoning everything he'd known to start a new life in the US?
Title: Re: Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy
Post by: Bsquared on March 15, 2007, 05:25:50 AM
The Mountbattens do not deny this story.  Victoria Milford Haven and Louis Mountbatten both admitted it in print.  It probably did not matter much anyway, they had multiple ties to the Grand Dukes of Hesse through Victoria's father's side, and also through Grand Duchess Wilhelmine's maternal side. 

DNA testing could prove it today.
Title: Re: Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy
Post by: Thomas_Hesse on June 07, 2007, 04:07:50 AM
The archives in Darmstadt preserve 10 letters from August to Grand Duchess Wilhelmine. But I'd be very surprised if they'd contain anything interesting...
Title: Re: Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy
Post by: Paola on February 11, 2008, 02:56:24 AM
Does anyone know where is buried Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy?
Title: Re: Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy
Post by: VN on February 13, 2008, 03:55:12 AM
I was told by a reliable source that he was buried in Jugenheim, but there is no Grave/Tombstone left to visit.
Title: Re: Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy
Post by: Thomas_Hesse on September 14, 2010, 04:24:44 PM

Now that I have read the letters from Wilhelmine to her husband I really doubt the truth of that story.

First of all: the correspondence is huge and dates from 1801 until 6 months before her death. Even in the last she writes about how much she misses him (Ludwig II.) and she writes much about the children, about their calling him "Papa" etc.

Sounds pretty unlikely that she would done so if they would not have been his own. She also mentions Grancy and it seems he was with her when she travelled (which was his job after all). He also seems to have been sort of tutor for the eldest sons.

Fact is that the Grand Ducal couple traveled not together most time. We know as a fact that Ludwig II. had mistresses (there are even personally written documents about some).
Wilhelmine - a highly intelligent and eloquent woman - seems not to be guilty.
Title: Re: Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy
Post by: Paola on September 14, 2010, 11:59:26 PM
Thomas, where did you read the letters of Wilhelmine to her husband? Are they published?
Title: Re: Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy
Post by: Thomas_Hesse on September 15, 2010, 06:49:27 AM
I read them in the archive........
Title: Re: Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy
Post by: Svetabel on September 15, 2010, 11:10:17 PM
I don't have any opinion on the subject (who was the father of Empress Maria A.) as I didn't learn German sources, rumours are always rumours and personally I don't care who was a real ancestor of Alexander III, f.e. I don't have anything against Wilhelmine either.
But I often don't believe in correspondence... people can lie and play-act even in the letters to relatives and loved ones. Especially if they want peace and calmness in the family.
Title: Re: Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy
Post by: Svetabel on February 24, 2011, 04:12:52 AM
On this link you can find something on Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy's descendants with his wife Louise Otting und Fünfstetten.

Daniela


http://www.genealogics.org/getperson.php?personID=I00096511&tree=LEO

Albert von Senarclens - Grancy (1847-1901), son of August, is mentioned somewhere as a German general-mayor. But it's interesting that but he died in Saint-Petersbourg and GDss Elizaveta Fedorovna, as well as her brother Ernst Ludwig, attended the funeral of Albert. Wonder if Albert was on friendly terms with them, and why he lived/died in Russia.
Title: Re: Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy
Post by: Thomas_Hesse on February 25, 2011, 11:20:01 AM
They were close to the Grancys.
Wihelmine and Marie had both been ladies-in-waiting to Princess Alice. As Ernst Ludwig stayed in Russia in 1901 the funeral might have coincidently fallen together with that visit. I don't think the he would have travelled especially for that occasion.
Title: Re: Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy
Post by: Svetabel on February 25, 2011, 10:29:24 PM
They were close to the Grancys.
Wihelmine and Marie had both been ladies-in-waiting to Princess Alice. As Ernst Ludwig stayed in Russia in 1901 the funeral might have coincidently fallen together with that visit. I don't think the he would have travelled especially for that occasion.

Yes, Ernst Ludwig was on his visit to Russia, it was Elizaveta who came from Moscow just for the funeral. I wonder how close they were to Albert and why he lived/died in St-Petersbourg. Or possibly they only paid respect to a member of the family close to their family...
Title: Re: Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy
Post by: Peter1954 on July 18, 2014, 05:19:55 AM
A couple of points regarding the 'Senarclens' ancestry of the Battenbergs:
1)  Julia Haucke was the incumbent of the title of 'Princess Battenberg' - her husband was not mentioned in the letters patent - this seems strange as normally the husband would receive the honour. Historians seem to concur on this point and agree that the honour was given to her as Alexander was not recognised as a Hesse. He was eventually recognised as OF the 'House of Hesse', but not as the legitimate son of the then grandDuke
2) I am a Loriol descendant and my father was quite a good friend of Prince Philip. the latter always wrote and talked to him as 'cousin'. It is widely, but not generally, acknowledged that the Loriols cousin with the Mountbattens, especially in Switzerland where titles and ancestry does not count for much.
Title: Re: Auguste von Senarclens - Grancy
Post by: Queen_Missy on June 19, 2017, 04:55:51 PM
Does anyone have pictures of the children of Marie de Grancy who was a lady in waiting to Alice? I am especially looking for pictures of her youngest son.