Commonplace Book – Pages: 140-141
- “I was born on April 21, 1729 (forty-two years ago) at Stettin in Pomerania…My mother almost died in bringing me into the world and it took her 19 irksome weeks to recover.”
- Catherine’s wet-nurse was the wife of a Prussian soldier – “19, gay, pretty”
- “I was placed in the care of a lady who was the widow of ‘Herr von Hohendorf”…showed little sense regarding my mother”; very abrupt; “fond of raising her voice”
- Magdeleine Cardel: Placed in her care at 2 yrs old; French refugee; sycophantic and obsequious disposition; slightly false; “took great care…to gain approval of herself.”
- Catherine becomes secretive for her age. Her mother has a son, 18 months after her birth.
- 3 yrs old: “My father and mother took me to visit my grandmother in Hamburg” (this was her maternal grandmother, the Duchess of Holstein-Gottorp, born Albertine-Frederique of Baden-Durlach, who after the death of her husband, the Lutheran Bishop of Lubeck, resided usually in Hamburg.) The only thing she remembers from this trip is seeing a German opera and crying loudly after seeing the actress cry.
- 4 yrs old: Magdeleine Cardel marries a lawyer named Colhard. Catherine is place in the care of Cardel’s younger sister, Elizabeth.
- Elizabeth Cardel: “a paragon of virtue and wisdom”; “had a natural spiritual quality”; a kind heart; educated mind; patient; gentle; just; loyal; “she did not flatter me”; “put me back to the alphabet”
- 1734: Her mother gives birth to a second son. The first had become lame and only lived to the age of 12 when he died of purpuric fever. He had been examined by famous German doctors in Aix, Teplitz, and Karlsbad. His autopsy revealed he had a sprained hip – “could only have happened shortly after his birth.”
- Until she was 7, she was “prone to a rash which covers the head and hands and frequently occurs with children, called ‘zolotukha’ in Russian” (probably the dermatitis commonly called impetigo.) The disease might also be of a scrofulous nature.) “The cure is more dangerous…no remedy…applied to me…My head…was shaved, the scalp powdered, and I had to wear a bonnet. I had to wear gloves…”
- 7 yrs old: “One night as I knelt and prayed I began to cough so violently…When I was well enough…it was discovered…that I had in the meantime assumed the shape of the letter Z; my right shoulder was much higher than the left, the backbone running in a zigzag and the left side falling in…The first step was to swear everybody to secrecy concerning my condition.”
- For a cure, a local hangman, “under a pledge of great secrecy,” said that “on an empty stomach, a girl should come and rub my shoulder and backbone with her saliva.” He then made a corset for her, “which was never removed day or night…Besides this he made me wear a large black ribbon which went under the neck, crossed the right shoulder round the right arm, and was fastened in the back…After 18 months I began to show signs of recovery…I was 10 or 11 when I was at last allowed to discard this…framework.”
- She learns religion, history, geography, French and German
- She can easily read music, but is tone-deaf when it comes to singing
- “My mother, Johanna-Elizabeth-Holstein-Gottorp was married in 1727 at the age of 15 to my father, Christian-August von Anhalt-Zerbet. He was then 42.”
- Christian-August: “very thrifty”; preferred solitude; serious; austere; great popularity; religious; lover of justice; “honest, both in principle and practice”; solid and straightforward; common sense; great erudition; loved reading
- Johanna-Elizabeth: extravagant; exceedingly generous; fond of entertainment and social life; beautiful gay; frivolous; great popularity; religious; lover of justice; brilliant wit; “much more at ease in the grand monde”; “brought up by the Duchess Elizabeth-Sophie-Marie von Brunswick-Luneburg, her godmother and relative.” After losing Schleswig, my grandfather had to give up one daughter to his sister’s husband’s second wife. (This man was the Duke of Holstein-Gottorp-Ettin, young brother of Frederick IV, Prince of Holstein-Gottorp, and he had lost some of his dukedom in 1658 to Sweden.)
- 1766: Catherine visits the Duchess Elizabeth-Sophie-Marie and also meets Frederick-William I, King of Prussia, who ruled 1716-1740.
- 1737: Catherine visits her mother in Berlin for the first time and there, she meets Queen Elizabeth of Brunswick (who married in 1732 the Crown Prince, future Frederick II. She also meets the Prince Royal, Henry of Prussia, younger brother of Frederick II.
Commonplace Book – Page 139
Albeit the king’s Majesty justly and rightfully is and ought to be the supreme head of the Church of England, and so is recognized by the clergy of this realm in their convocations, yet nevertheless, for corroboration and confirmation thereof, and for increase of virtue in Christ’s religion within this realm of England, and to repress and extirpate all errors, heresies, and other enormities and abuses heretofore used in the same, be it enacted, by authority of this present Parliament, that the king, our sovereign lord, his heirs and successors, kings of this realm, shall be taken, accepted, and reputed the only supreme head in earth of the Church of England, called Anglicans Ecclesia; and shall have and enjoy, annexed and united to the imperial crown of this realm, as well the title and style thereof, as all honors, dignities, preeminences, jurisdictions, privileges, authorities, immunities, profits, and commodities to the said dignity of the supreme head of the same Church belonging and appertaining; and that our said sovereign lord, his heirs and successors, kings of this realm, shall have full power and authority from time to time to visit, repress, redress, record, order, correct, restrain, and amend all such errors, heresies, abuses, offenses, contempts and enormities, whatsoever they be, which by any manner of spiritual authority or jurisdiction ought or may lawfully be reformed, repressed, ordered, redressed, corrected, restrained, or amended, most to the pleasure of Almighty God, the increase of virtue in Christ’s religion, and for the conservation of the peace, unity, and tranquility of this realm; any usage, foreign land, foreign authority, prescription, or any other thing or things to the contrary hereof notwithstanding.