Biography of Catherine I


Catherine I. Empress of Russia. Born about 1685, the outcast infant of a Livonian peasant-girl. Became nurse in the family of the Protestant minister of Marienburg. In 1701 she married a Swedish dragoon, who soon afterwards went with his regiment to Riga, and never returned. After the capture of Marienburg by the Russians, Catherine became the mistress first of General Bauer, with whom she lived at Moscow, secondly of Prince Menschikoff, and finally of Peter the Great, who first married her privately near Warsaw, and later publicly in 1712 at St. Petersburg. She then embraced the Eastern Orthodox religion, and took the name of Catherine. On the death of Peter in 1725, she was proclaimed czarina. Her death was the result of intemperance. Died 1727.