Persons related to Chopin Persons related to Chopin

Anna Emilia Wiesiołowska

Anna Emilia Wiesiołowska

Anna Emilia Wiesiołowska

*1793 Komorów, †4 V 1873 Janin

Anna-Emila Skarbek was born in 1793 in Komorów, a village belonging to the Izbica estate in the region of Kujawy, and was baptised in Izbica on 26 July that year. She was the daughter of Kacper Skarbek, castellan of Inowrocław, captain in the National Cavalry, co-owner of Izbica, and his second wife, Ludwika, née Fenger. In 1800 Anna moved with her parents from Izbica to Żelazowa Wola and Warsaw. For several years, she and her brothers were pupils of Mikołaj Chopin. She appears in civil records as godmother to Marianna Chluska (baptised in Brochów, 1817), whose godfather was Leopold Skarzyński. On 11 April 1820, in Brochów, she wed Stefan Wiesiołowski, and then left with her husband to live on his estate in Strzyżew, in the district of Krotoszyn, in the Grand Duchy of Posen. Idzi-Stefan Wiesiołowski was born in Strzyżew, in 1791, to Stanisław and Honorata, née Kiełczewska. Through his mother he was also connected to the region of Kujawy, as his maternal grandfather, Józef Kiełczewski, was burgrave of Przedecz, and the Kiełczewski estate lay close to Izbica. Stefan was a member of the parliament of the Grand Duchy of Posen and a district councillor, and was still proprietor of Strzyżew in 1842. Later, he moved to the Congress Kingdom, where he became owner of the estate of Byszewy, in the district of Lęczyce. He died on 24 September 1861 in Ujejsce, in the district of Olkusz.

As Fryderyk's godmother, Anna Skarbek remained, according to later authors, a very close friend of the Chopins, although, as she lived abroad from 1820, there is little testimony to these close relations. The first such reference is the ceremonial church baptism of Fryderyk Chopin in Brochów, where the sixteen-year-old Anna was named Fryderyk's godmother, with Franciszek Grembecki as godfather. From later years, we know that her father, Kacper Skarbek, spent his twilight years at her home, where he also died. We also know that the Chopins would visit the Wiesiołowskis in Strzyżew, for instance in 1829. Equally, Anna Wiesiołowska would seek a meeting with the Chopins whenever she travelled to Żelazowa Wola; just such a visit is recorded in 1832. Another mention comes in a letter sent by Mikołaj Chopin to his son in Paris on 7 September 1834, referring to the will of Michał Skarbek. From this we can deduce that Anna Wiesiołowska, like Chopin himself, was owed a substantial amount of money by Michał, hence the supposition that she helped her brother financially, though without taking any receipts; these debts are not settled in the will. As we learn from a letter of Fryderyk Chopin's dated 12-26 December 1845, he regularly sent gifts to his godmother from Paris for Christmas.

Anna Wiesiołowska, née Skarbek, died on 4 May 1873. Her tomb lay in the parish church of Janina, in the district of Stopnica. Her marriage to Stefan Wiesiołowski produced four children: Ludwika-Antonina-Zofia (b. Strzyżew, 15 May 1822), whose godfather was Kacper Skarbek, married from 1839 to Ludwik Byszewski (c.1811-1887; coat-of-arms Jastrzębiec [hawk]), proprietor of Ujejsce; Wacław-Bonawentura (b. Strzyżew, 22 July 1824); Roman-Stefan (b. Strzyżew, 3 Sept. 1825; d. after 1864), whose godfather was Michał Skarbek, married to Cecylia Olszewska; and Hipolit-Wiktor (b. Strzyżew, 22 Dec. 1827), married to Wielowiejska.

Piotr Mysłakowski and Andrzej Sikorski (October 2006)

Bibliography:
Andrzej Sikorski and Piotr Mysłakowski, Rodzina matki Chopina. Mity i rzeczywistość [The Family of Chopin's Mother. Myths and Reality] (Warszawa, 2000).   
Piotr Mysłakowski and Andrzej Sikorski, Chopinowie. Krąg rodzinno-towarzyski [The Chopins. Their Family and Social Circle] (Warszawa, 2005).   
André Clavier, Dans l'entourage de Chopin (Lens, 1984).   
Korespondencja Fryderyka Chopina [The Correspondence of Fryderyk Chopin], ed. Bronisław Edward Sydow, 2 vols. (Warszawa, 1955).

 


 

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