General Woldemar Freedericksz.
|Minister of the Imperial Court|
18 May [O.S. 6] 1897 – 12 March [O.S. 28 February] 1917
|Preceded by||Illarion Vorontsov-Dashkov|
|Succeeded by||Position abolished|
|Born||28 November [O.S. 16] 1838|
Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire
|Died||1 July 1927 (aged 88)|
|Resting place||Kauniainen Cemetery|
|Branch/service||Russian Imperial Army|
|Years of service||1856-1917|
|Rank||General of the Cavalry|
|Commands||Life-Guards Horse Regiment|
Chevalier Guard Regiment
Baron (From 21 February [O.S. 9] 1913, Count) Adolf Andreas Woldemar Freedericksz (Russian: Влади́мир Бори́сович Фредери́кс, Vladimir Borisovich Frederiks; 28 November [O.S. 16] 1838 – 1 July 1927) was a Finno-Russian statesman who served as Imperial Household Minister between 1897 and 1917 under Nicholas II. He was responsible for the administration of the Imperial family's personal affairs and living arrangements, as well as the awarding of Imperial honors and medals.
Adolf Andreas Woldemar Freedericksz was born on 28 November [O.S. 16] 1838 to Finnish Baron Bernhard (Boris Andreyevich) Freedericksz and Baltic German noblewoman Emma Matilda Helene (Emma Adolfovna) von Wulff and the family traditionally believed in Lutheran faith. There had been several stories dedicated to the family’s origin. The first was that the family probably originated from Arkhangelsk. Jürgen Freedericksz, who was a Dutch merchant, was the first ever recorded ancestor of the family, and the family was recordedly formed by his son, Johan (Ivan Yuryevich) Freedericksz. The baronial title of the family was granted by Catherine the Great in 1773. The second version was that the family was formed by the son of Jöran Fredriksson, a Swedish soldier captured during The Great Northern War. In the late 18th century, the Freedericksz family dominated in the fiefs given to them in what was later to be known as Old Finland. In 1853, Woldemar's father Bernhard was naturalized into the Finnish House of Nobility as the baronial family number 36 under the name Freedricksz. Upon Woldemar Freedericksz's death in 1927 the Finnish baronial family was extinct in the male line, and was completely extinct by the time of the deaths of Woldemar’s daughters Eugenie and Emma. His Russian comital title was never accepted into the Finnish nobility. Woldemar himself married to Hedwig Johanna Alexandrina (Jadwiga Aloizievna) Boguszewska and had two daughters, Baronesses Eugenie Valeria Josefina (Evgenia-Valentina-Zhozefina Vladimirovna) and Emma Helena Sofia (Emma-Elena-Sofia Vladimirovna) Freedericksz.
As the part of a wealthy family, Freedericksz received home education at an early age. Succeeding Count Vorontsov-Daskov at the Ministry at the age of 60, Freedericksz established a close relationship with the Tsar and the Tsaritsa, calling them 'mes enfants' in private. He was praised in this role by the French ambassador, Maurice Paléologue, who called him 'the very personification of court life'. However, in later life, he became forgetful and ill and often fell asleep during conferences. Freedericksz was a strong conservative who described the deputies of the First Duma as: "The Deputies, they give one the impression of a gang of criminals who are only waiting for the signal to throw themselves upon the ministers and cut their throats. I will never again set foot among those people."
His private mansion in St. Petersburg was pillaged and set on fire on the first day of February Revolution. After the Revolution, Freedericksz lived in Petrograd before being allowed in 1925 to leave for Finland where he spent the last years of his life.
Honours and awards
- Order of St. Stanislaus, 2nd class (30.8.1869)
- Order of St. Vladimir, 4th class (30.8.1873)
- Order of St. Anna, 2nd class (26.8.1876)
- Order of St. Vladimir, 3rd class (19.2.1880)
- Order of St. Stanislaus, 1st class (15.5.1883)
- Order of St. Anna, 1st class (30.8.1886)
- Order of St. Vladimir, 2nd class (30.8.1889)
- Order of the White Eagle (2.4.1895)
- Order of St. Alexander Nevsky ((1.1.1899)
- Order of St. Vladimir, 1st class (6.12.1906)
- Order of St. Andrew (25.3.1908)
- Medal "In Memory of the War of 1853-1856"
- Medal "In Memory of the Coronation of Emperor Alexander III"
- Medal "In Memory of the Coronation of Emperor Nicholas II"
- Medal "In Memory of the Reign of Emperor Alexander III"
- Medal of the Red Gross "In Memory of the Russo-Japanese War" (1906)
- Medal "In Memory of the Russo-Japanese War" (1906)
- Medal "In Memory of the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Poltava"
He was portrayed in the 1971 film Nicholas and Alexandra by Jack Hawkins. In 1983, he was portrayed by Vsevolod Safonov in the 1983 film Anna Pavlova directed by Emil Loteanu. He was also portrayed in 1997's Anastasia as Woldemar.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Vladimir Frederiks.|
- Out of My Past: The Memoirs of Count Kokovtsov Edited by H.H. Fisher and translated by Laura Matveev; Stanford University Press, 1935.
- Massie, Robert K. (1967). Nicholas and Alexandra.
- Margarita Nelipa (2015) Servant to Three Emperors: Count Vladimir Frederiks. In: Royal Russia Annual No. 7.
- Freedericksz (Russian)
- Born a statesman, Minister of the Imperial Count Vladimir Borisovich Frederiks (Russian)