Persons related to Chopin Persons related to Chopin

Justyna Pruska

Justyna Pruska

*ok. 1754, †1844

Justyna Malewska was born c.1754 to Sebastian Malewski and Helena, née Turska. She came from a family which used the Jastrzębiec coat-of-arms, hailing from the Płock part of Mazovia, descended from a line which settled in the Łęczyce voivodeship at the beginning of the eighteenth century; her father was heir to the Zagrobki estate in the district of Łęczyce. She had two brothers, Aleksy and Bernard. Justyna was the widow of Bonawentura Pruski, an otherwise unknown Polish army captain who died before 1813. By this time, she was already living in Warsaw and possessed no real estate of her own, given that she secured a loan of 1440 zloty from the governor, Mikołaj Belczyński, against her movables.

It is not known exactly how she was linked to the Chopins or how they became acquainted. The most likely context was Mrs Pruska's evident intimacy with the Pruszak and Skarzyński families. We can also point to links between the Pruskis and the Czachowskis, related to the Chopins. On 29 November 1807 Justyna Pruska attended the unofficial baptism of Teofilia, daughter of Maksymilian Skarzyński and Marianna Łubieńska, in the parish of St Andrew, on 1 March 1808 she was present at the unofficial baptism of Konstanty Pruszak (a future friend of Chopin's), and on 28 July 1811 in the Holy Cross church she and Jakub Benik became godparents to Izabela Chopin, Fryderyk's younger sister. Mrs Pruska had a lodger-a certain Mniewski, whom Fryderyk mentions in a letter to Jan Białobłocki of 15 August 1826 as having bought an aeolopantalon (a musical instrument, a sort of harmonium) made by the master craftsman Józef Długosz. In April-May 1830 (according to Fryderyk's letter to Tytus Woyciechowski of 15 May 1830), Mrs Pruska and Chopin became godparents to the illegitimate son of the Pruszaks' governess with a person whose surname is not given.

Justyna Pruska, née Malewska died in Warsaw on 13 March 1844, on Krakowskie Przedmieście (land registry no. 386; the building of the former Carmelite monastery) and was buried on 15 March in the Powązki cemetery.

Piotr Mysłakowski and Andrzej Sikorski (October 2006)

Bibliography:
Piotr Mysłakowski and Andrzej Sikorski, Chopinowie. Krąg rodzinno-towarzyski [The Chopins. Their Family and Social Circle] (Warsaw, 2005).   
Bronisław E. Sydow (ed.), Korespondencja Fryderyka Chopina [Fryderyk Chopin's Correspondence], 2 vols. (Warsaw, 1955).

 

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