Serge Saltykov

Serge Saltykov

Count Sergei Vasilievich Saltykov (Russian: Сергей Василиевич Салтыков, c. 1726 – 1765) was a Russian officer (chamberlain) who became the first lover of Empress Catherine the Great after her arrival to Russia.

In her memoirs, Tsaritsa Catherine spread rumours that he was the actual father of her son Paul I of Russia. ["Dangerous Liaisons." Liena Zagare, "The New York Sun", Arts & Letters, Pg. 15. August 18, 2005.] It was reported that Paul is "almost certainly the child of her lover." ["RUSSIA'S OTHELLO Who was Abram Gannibal? For centuries, Alexander Pushkin's great-grandfather - an African slave who became a Russian noble - was thought to be an Abyssinian prince. Only when HughBarnes trekked to Cameroon did the dramatic truth emerge in black and white." Hugh Barnes, "The Daily Telegraph" (London), Book Section, Pg. 001. July 30, 2005.] Most historians, however, believe that her insinuations were motivated by personal animosity towards Paul and desire to hurt him. Actually, Paul greatly resembled his official father Peter III of Russia in character and appearance. ["Great Catherine: The Life of Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia by Carolly Erickson." Florence King, "The American Spectator", Book Review, August 1994.] There was very little in common between the pugnacious, stocky Paul and tall, handsome ["Love, Sex And Power In Affairs Of State And Heart", "Canberra Times", July 29, 2006.] Sergei Saltykov.

Sergei was the son of Count Vasili Feodorovich Saltykov (1675 - April 27, 1751) and his wife, married in 1724, Princess Maria Alexeievna Galitzina (January 1, 1701 - October 14, 1752), daughter of Prince Alexei Borisovich Galitzine, Steward, Colonel (February 4, 1671 - March 4, 1713), and wife, married in January 1684, Anna Ivanovna Sukina (February 8, 1672 - October 7, 1738). The Saltykovs were an ancient Boyar family which rivalled the Romanovs in nobility and descended from a sister of the first Romanov tsar, as well as from several Rurikid branches through females. The mother of Empress Anna, for example, came from this family.


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