Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Catherine I

Catherine I., Empress of Russia, was born of humble parentage at Marienburg in Livonia, about 1688. Little is known for certain of her early life, but she married a Swedish dragoon in 1701, and next year was carried off to Moscow as a prisoner by the Russians, and never saw her husband again. She appears to have been the mistress first of General Bauer, and then of Prince Menschikoff, but in 1704 her remarkable beauty captivated the Czar, Peter the Great, who lived with her until 1711, when he made her his legitimate wife. She accompanied him in his campaign against Turkey and arranged a treaty with the Grand Vizier that rescued the Russian army from a position of great peril. In 1724 she was crowned Empress, and next year, on the death of the Czar, Menschikoff caused her to be proclaimed his successor. She was a mere tool in his hands, taking little interest in affairs of state, and being addicted to intemperance, from the effects of which she died in 1727. She had many daughters, but only three survived their father, and one of these became the Empress Elizabeth.