Count Alexander Dmitriyev-Mamonov

Born: 1758
Died: 1803, Moscow

Count Alexander Dmitriyev-Mamonov was the adjutant of Prince Grigory Potemkin. In August 1786, Catherine the Great promoted him from the rank of lieutenant to her personal aide-de-camp. Mamonov was a proud and ambitious man interested in literature and the arts. Emperor Joseph II noted: “The new royal favourite is a handsome young man of limited capacity.” Catherine overestimated the intellectual capabilities of her favourite and wanted to appoint him vice-chancellor. Mamonov made the mistake of entering into a clandestine relationship with a sixteen year-old lady-in-waiting. When Catherine found out, she forced them to marry and sent them to live in Moscow. She awarded the couple a rich dowry with the words: “I have never been a tyrant and despise all forms of compulsion.”

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