01 June 2011

The von Holst sisters

I haven't enough concrete information to say what order the three von Holst sisters were born in so I shall refer to them in alphabetical order: Benigna Catharina, Carolina Helena Maria and Constantia Eleonora von Holst. I actually wasn't aware of Carolina until very recently, when I just happened upon information on her. I had read that there were five children in the family but until then she had eluded me.

Benigna was my great great great grandmother and was married to Charles Nicholas Weiss. Her sister Carolina was married to a Dane/German named Joachim Heinrich Christian Friederichs. Joachim was a widower when he married Carolina and his profession was "Gentleman". Constantia married a Frenchman named Jean Furcy Tourrier - he was an artist and a French teacher.

Trawling through historical newspapers the other day I came across advertisements that they had placed in The Times.

MADAME TOURRIER (Nee von Holst) Professor of the Pianoforte and Singing, respectfully announces that her ACADEMY for SINGING, in the Italian, German and English languages, will OPEN at her residence, 158, New Bond Street, on Thursday, the 25th instant, and that the instruction will be continued every Monday and Thursday, from 1 to 3. Monsieur Tourrier's Academy for Drawing is on Wednesday and Saturday, from 3 to 5. The Times, 23 Feb 1836.
MONSIEUR TOURRIER, Professor of French and Drawing, author of "The Model-Book, or the 77 French Lessons", will recommence his EVENING FRENCH CLASSES, in the city, on Monday next, at Mr Trail's office 18 Cornhill. He also, for the accommodation of gentlemen residing at the west end, will open a class at his residence 158 New Bond Street. Madame Tourrier nee von Holst, professor of the pianoforte and singing, will recommence her singing academy on the 24th instant. Apply by letter, post paid, at 158 New Bond Street. The Times, 6 Oct 1836.
HARP and PIANO - Mrs. FRIEDERICHS, late Miss von Holst, daughter of the celebrated GERMAN composer and pupil of Bochsa, informs the nobility and her former pupils, that she has lately returned from Germany, where she has given concerts with great success and intends to resume her former profession in giving LESSONS on the above instruments. Her method is so easy that pupils will be able to become proficient in a very short time. Her terms are moderate. The lessons can be given in the German language if required. Also, Mr Friederichs, her husband, a native of Germany, who is sufficiently acquainted with the English language, is desirous to give lessons in the German language and literature, and read with advanced pupils the works of Schiller and Goethe, and other famous poets. His terms are reasonable. Address 46 Upper Charlotte St, Fitzroy Square. The Times, 9 Jan 1847.

Clearly they had some talent in the area of music! Both the von Holst brothers seemed to have been talented in some way as well - Gustavus as a musician (piano and harp) and Theodor was a well-known artist. Which leaves Benigna. Try as I might, I have not been able to find any advertisements offering her services in lessons for music, art and/or languages. I have wondered about this - I can't imagine that the talent gene would have completely skipped over her. Perhaps she was just content to raise her children. I shall probably never know. I have not been able to uncover any children for the Friederichs but I do know that Constantia already had one child of her seven at the time the advertisement for her Academy for Singing was placed. We can only assume the Tourriers were wealthy enough to employ someone to look after the baby whilst she taught.

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