Published on June 10, 2016
1. SEVEN EIGHT WIVES OF IVAN IV THE TERRIBLE
2. OVERVIEW This topic is very controversial and not clear, this is one of the ‘terrible’ sides of his as it is considered that Ivan killed most of his wives. The most common version sais that there were only 7 wives but there is a though that there could be 8.
3. OVERVIEW It is considered that only on four of them he was officially merried (in church) (Anastasia Romanovna, Maria Temryukovna, Marfa Sobakina, Anna Koltovskaya) other two were either his ‘non official’ wives, or they’ve got married illegally (Anna Vasilchikova, Maria Nagaya). The last two could just be a myth (Vasilisa Melentyeva, Maria Dolgorukaya).
4. IVAN IV TERRIBLE This is not a surprising that he (if he) killed most of his wives. Ivan was prone to fits of rage and paranoia. In one such tantrum, he caused his daughter-in-law to miscarry after beating her for wearing improper clothing. In a resultant argument, Ivan killed his own son. During his reign, Ivan also executed thousands of Russian nobles for supposedly conspiring against him, and he created the `oprichniki', a secret police with the power to execute enemies of the Prince.
5. ANASTASIA ROMANOVNA (1547-1560) Anastasia Romanovna was brought to the Kremlin for Ivan's inspection along with as many as 1500 other potential brides. Nobles from across Russia brought their eligible daughters, and Ivan selected Anastasia. Poisoned or succumbed to illness.
6. ANASTASIA ROMANOVNA Anastasia was kind with a soft character. She had a calming influence on Ivan's mercurial nature. According to historians she was the only one wife Ivan really loved and was happy with. The two were married in 1547, and Anastasia gave birth to six children, but most of them died in infancy.
7. ANASTASIA ROMANOVNA She died in 1560, either because of illness or frequent labuors. Recent forensic evidence suggests Anastasia may have been poisoned with mercury, though this element was also used to treat some ailments. Ivan suspected the Russian nobles (Boyars) of poisoning her. He had a number of them tortured and executed without trial. Her death may have escalated his paranoia.
8. MARIA TEMRYUKOVNA (1561-1569) Several weeks after the death of his first wife, Ivan was presented with the daughter of a Muslim prince, Maria Temryukovna (before baptism – Kucheney). According to folklore, Ivan was warned by his first wife not to marry a pagan, but he was so taken by Maria's beauty that he married her in 1561. Poisoned/Pheumonia
9. MARIA TEMRYUKOVNA At first she didn’t know even one Russian word, but she learned language some times later. She could manipulate Iven against people she didn’t like. She also enjoyed watching execution. Ivan was not quite sure what he feels towards his wife: at one point they were very similar but on the other hand she was illiteracy, spiteful, revengeful and cunning. With time he started growing cold toward her. She was a poor stepmother to Ivan's sons, and didn't integrate into Muscovite culture, with many regarding her as a witch.
10. MARIA TEMRYUKOVNA Moreover Ivan had a harem and Maria had a lot of lovers. One day she got ill, most likely, pneumonia, and dies in 1569 . Another theory she died by poisoning, possibly at Ivan's hands. However, he had many nobles executed for the crime.
11. MARFA SOBAKINA (1571) Ivan initiated another exhaustive selection process to find his third wife. Marfa Sobakina was chosen from 12 finalists to become a Princess of Russia. During this time Ivan relied a lot on Maluta Scuratov, he was the one to tell Ivan to choose Marfa, and after the wedding Maluta and Ivan became relatives. Poisoned
12. MARFA SOBAKINA Tragedy befell the couple immediately, as Marfa began to succumb to a strange illness. There was a lot of theories as of why she died but the natural death is not usually discussed. Nevertheless, Ivan's paranoia reached breaking point. He executed many of his subjects on suspicion of poisoning the Princess. It is possible that her mother unknowingly poisoned her with a fertility elixir.
13. ANNA KOLTOVSKAYA (1572-1574) It was illegal (against church) for Ivan to marry a fourth time, but he gave an order to the priest and he had no choice. He married Anna Koltovskaya without the Church's blessing in 1572. Imprisoned
14. ANNA KOLTOVSKAYA She never loved Ivan but she also didn’t really care about her husbands leisure: there was always a lot of woman in their part of the palace that were ready to do everything for Prince. Nobody really knows what has happened that he send her to live out her remaining days in a convent. Ones say it was because of her infertility, but they weren’t also married long enough, others say Ivan actually loved his wife but Boyars put him against her. Anna outlived the Tsar in captivity.
15. ANNA VASILCHIKOVA (1575-1577) Almost nothing is known of Ivan's 5th wife. There are multiple theories about her origination. Anna Vasilchikova became Princess of Russia in 1575 without the blessing of the Church. As with Ivan's previous wife, she was sent to live as a nun two years later. She is believed to have met a violent death in captivity, possibly under Ivan's orders. Imprisoned and murdered.
16. VASILISA MELENTYEVA (1579)
17. VASILISA MELENTYEVA Vasilisa Melentyeva was the widow of Ivan’s trusted Nikita Melentyev who had died in war. Ivan found her to be both kind and beautiful, and married her in 1579. It seems like Ivan really loved her. All women were taken away from palace, orgies and executions stopped. Imprisoned or buried alive
18. VASILISA MELENTYEVA Ivan and Vasilisa lived together for two years. But Ivan's dreadful luck with wives continued. He found her to be having an affair with another prince. One source sais as a punishment, Ivan forced his Princess to watch her lover (Devlentev) being executed by impalement, then he sent her to live as a nun, though she died in the same year from unknown causes. It is possible that Ivan had her killed in the same manner as his previous wife.
19. VASILISA MELENTYEVA Another source tells us Ivan ordered to dig a grave on the edge of Alexandrovskaya Sloboda. Funeral of two people took place, priest didn’t event know who those people were. In one coffin laid her lover (Ivan Kolichev) in other Vasilisa herself. Legend sais she was alive, tied up with her mouth shut.
20. MARIA DOLGORUKAYA (1580) Ivan married his seventh wife, Maria Dolgorukaya, in 1580. She was a distant descendant of Prince Yuri of Kiev, one of the founders of Moscow. It is likely that her royal bloodline was the reason she was chosen. However, Ivan quickly found his Princess to have a lover, and had her executed in the same year by drowning. Executed (drowned)
21. MARIA NAGAYA (1581-1584) Three years before Ivan IV died, he married for the last time. Maria begged her father to not give her away to 50 years old Ivan. Ivan was very ill and almost lost the rest of his mind. At the beginning he really liked his new wife, as she was really beautiful, but he soon became bored of her and she started to irritate him with her constant strikes of sadness. Survived
22. MARIA NAGAYA Ivan was already thinking how to get rid of his wife and about to start looking for a new one but he suddenly died on march 18 1854 playing chess.
23. MARIA NAGAYA Maria Nagaya provided the 51 year old with a child, Dmitry. Upon Ivan's death, Maria and her son were sent into exile until Dmitry died 7 years later. Maria was accused of negligence and forced to live as a nun. She was released under condition that she recognize an impostor as her dead son in order for him to become Prince. In less than a year, the false Dmitry was killed by an angry mob after he engaged in an interfaith marriage. Maria then renounced him as her son and died in 1608, 24 years after the death of Ivan.