Eudoxia Streshneva

Eudoxia Streshneva (Russian: Евдоки́я Лукья́новна Стре́шнева, Yevdokiya Lukyanovna Streshneva; 1608 – 18 August 1645) was the Tsaritsa of Russia as the second spouse of Tsar Michael of Russia.

Eudoxia Streshneva
Evdokiya Streshneva (GIM, 18 c.) 2.jpg
Tsaritsa consort of All Russia
Tenure5 February 1626 – 12 July 1645
Bornc. 1608
Meshchovsk
Died18 August 1645 (aged 36–37)
Moscow
Burial
Spouse
(m. 1626; died 1645)
Issue
among others...
HouseRomanov
FatherLukyan Stepanovich Streshnev
MotherAnna Konstantinovna Volkonskaya
ReligionEastern Orthodoxy

LifeEdit

 
Mikhail Fyodorovich Choosing His Bride, by Ilya Repin.

Eudoxia Streshneva was a daughter of the noble Lukyan Stepanovich Streshnev (d. 1630) from Mozhaysk and Anna Konstantinovna Volkonskaya. Her mother died shortly after birth, and her father left home to serve in the military. She was thus regarded almost an orphan and was raised by a rich relative who belonged to the circle of the tsar's court in Moscow.

MarriageEdit

Eudoxia Streshneva was among those daughters of the nobility summoned to appear in the bride-show at court, when the tsar was to select his new tsaritsa, after his first spouse had died. Tsar Michael did not like any of those selected for him to choose from, but was pressed by his parents to make a choice. He eventually chose Eudoxia because of her beauty, polite behavior and mild disposition.

The parents of the tsar were reportedly displeased with his choice. His mother, Xenia Shestova, claimed that Streshneva was not of an important enough family, and that he risked angering all the most high ranked noble families by choosing a bride from a family of a lower rank than them.

However, the tsar refused to change his mind. He did not only refer to his feelings, but also to his Christian duty to help a girl who would otherwise be forced to leave court and anger her family. She was described as a modest and virtuous girl, dominated by her proud relatives, who sometimes brought her to tears but still did not complain. Reportedly, the tsar was moved by her situation and felt sorry for her.

The wedding was conducted on 5 February 1626. As was the custom, Eudoxia was given the title of Tsaritsa prior to the wedding, but only three days before the wedding, which was a much shorter time period than usual. Her parents-in-law both participated in the ceremony. They wished to change her name to Anastasia from the tsaritsa of tsar Ivan, but she successfully refused. After the wedding, she was given several lands, and a substantial fortune of her own.

TsaritsaEdit

As tsaritsa, Eudoxia Streshneva lived secluded from contact with men, as was expected from a Russian noblewoman at the time, but despite this, she was also expected to participate in public religious and charitable duties and manage the imperial household.[1]

Tsaritsa Eudoxia was known to have been in a difficult situation in the imperial court because of her mother-in-law, Xenia Shestova, who dominated her and the life of the imperial court. She and her mother-in-law shared the same confessor and diak. Xenia Shestova accompanied her daughter-in-law during all her official visits to monasteries and churches, and managed her public life as a tsaritsa. She also chose tutors for her grandchildren, dominating her relationship to them. Eudoxia never managed to achieve any influence over tsar Mikhail, either during or after the death of her mother-in-law.

Reportedly, Eudoxia was under great pressure to produce a son and heir to the throne, a task which gave her great anxiety until the birth of Tsarevich Aleksei in 1629. After the birth of her last child in 1639, tsar Michael reportedly did no longer wish to share her bed. She is noted to have given donations to churches and convents in order to be given another child, but without success.

In 1642, Eudoxia financed the rebuilding of the Saint George Monastery in Meshchovsk. She also benefited the Ivanovsky Convent, where she made several visits and often prayed to Saint Martha during her pregnancies. She founded several charitable institutions, and made public donations to charitable and religious subjects.

DeathEdit

Eudoxia Streshneva died shortly after her spouse. She was buried in the Ascension Convent.

IssueEdit

Yevdokiya and Mikhail had ten children:

Name Birth Death
Tsarevna Irina 22 April 1627 8 February 1679
Tsarevna Pelagiya 20 April 1628 25 January 1629
Tsarevich Aleksei 9 May 1629 29 January 1676
Tsarevna Anna 14 August 1631 27 October 1676
Tsarevna Marfa 1631 21 September 1632
Tsarevich Ivan 1 June 1633 10 January 1639
Tsarevna Sofiya 14 September 1634 23 April 1636
Tsarevna Tatyana 5 January 1636 23 August 1706
Tsarevna Yevdokiya 1637? 10 February 1637
Tsarevich Vasily 1638/39? 25 March 1639

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Massie, Robert K., Peter the Great: his life and world, Abacus, London, 1995[1980]
Russian royalty
Vacant
Title last held by
Maria Dolgorukova
Tsaritsa consort of Russia
1626–1645
Vacant
Title next held by
Maria Miloslavskaya