Catherine I Alekseevna

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Catherine I Alekseevna


Born April 5 (15), 1684, in the Baltic regions; died May 6 (17), 1727, in St. Petersburg. Became Russian empress Jan. 28, 1725.

Catherine, the daughter of the Lithuanian peasant Samuil Skowroński, was known as Marta Skowrońska until her conversion to Russian Orthodoxy. Shortly after she was taken prisoner by the Russians in Marienburg on August 25, 1702, she became, for all intents and purposes, the wife of Peter I. A church wedding was performed in 1712, and Catherine was crowned empress in 1724. Of the children of Catherine and Peter I, only two daughters survived—Anne, who married the Duke of Holstein, and Elizaveta. When Peter I died without naming an heir, Catherine ascended the throne with the support of the guards regiments under A. D. Menshikov’s leadership. Having turned over the administration of the government to the Supreme Privy Council (1726-30), she did not participate in affairs of state. In her testament, signed several days before her death, Catherine named Peter I’s grandson Peter II as heir to the throne.


Istoriia SSSR s drevneishikh vretmen do nashikh dnei, vol. 3. Moscow, 1967. Pages 251–58.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.