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55. Johann Conrad ENGELBRONNER1 was born on 5 Jun 1729 in Kleef, Nordrhein Westfalen, DE. He was christened on 9 Jun 1729 in Kleef, Nordrhein Westfalen, DE. In 1737 ingeschreven in Kleef, Reformierte Gymnasium. 8 jaar, vader Elias , ammanuenaia col. regiminie7 He died on 13 Apr 1817 in Kassel, Hessen, DE. He was a Geh. Legationsrat.
In the 1780th Johann added the d'Aubigny name as his wife was the last descendant of the Huguenot family of that name and changed his own name to d'Engelbrunner.
Johann Conrad d'Aubigny named Engelbrunner, Privy Councillor of the Legation of the Duchy of Saxe-Gotha and Court Councillor to the Landgraviate Hesse-Philipstal, and the Emperor Francis ennobled his descendants to the Nobility of the Holy Roman Empire with the title “von” on 25 Nov 1800. In the Patent of Nobility was mentioned that his ancestor Christopher Engelbrunner on account of his whilom services to the Emperors Ferdinand II, and III had been rewarded with the Nobility of the Empire.
After completing the Latin grammar school in Cleve, Johann studied law at the University of Marburg. He liked Hessen and in 1753 he accepted an appointment as tutor of the pages (Edelknaben) at the court in Kassel. His promotion to seneschal (Hofmeister der Edelknaben) followed in 1759, which position he held until 1768. In 1764 Johann also became Professor at the Collegium Carolineum in Natural- and Civil Law (Natur- und Bürgerliches Recht) in Kassel. In the following year he married one of his students Sabine d´Aubigny. In 1768 he was appointed Court Councillor and seneschal (Hofrat und Hofmeister) of Prince (Erfprinz) Karl, the eldest son of the Landgrave Wilhelm von Hessen-Philippsthal (1726-1810). Johann and Prince Karl (1757-93) made a study voyage to Holland in 1775. Johann was a good acquaintance of Princess Juliana, Carl's sister, who was married to the Prince of Schaumburg-Lippe, and they were regular correspondents. Upon the death of her husband Princess Juliana became Regent of her under aged eldest son.
Johann became Court Councillor to the Landgraviate Hessen-Philippsthal. He accompanied the Landgrave to Holland when Wilhelm accepted a senior commission in the Dutch army.
In 1781 Johann also accepted the appointment of Privy Councillor of the Legation of the Duchy of Saxe-Gotha (Geheime Herzoglische Sachsen-Gothaische Legationsrat).
In 1790 Johann and Sabine and their children Susette, Nina, and Charles made a trip via Cleve (Kleef) to Holland, to visit his sisters Dientje, Agnes and Sara and his brother Carel. His daughters Susette and Nina stayed 14 months with Uncle Carel and Aunt Mietje in Amsterdam and travelled extensively around the country.
In the Napoleonic period in 1808 Johann accepted from King Jérôme of Westfalen, the position of judge of the Supreme Court (Tribunal Rat).
In 1813 he moved to Hanau where he died in 1817 at the age of 88 years. His wife Sabine died a year later. His son Johann was never married and committed suicide in Berlin. With his death the male line of this branch of the Engelbronner family ended, but the descendants of Susette maintained the family name with “ von Horstig genannt d´Aubigny von Engelbrunner”.
Johann was a distinguished and very learned gentleman, who spoke many languages. He had an extensive library and collected rare books. He was a music lover and in his opinion music and the art of singing and the performance thereof should be regarded as a science and should be teached at a music academy. In 1766 Johann, undoubtedly supported by Sabine, founded the first Musical Society ( Musicalische Gesellschaft) of Kassel. Carl and his close friend the privy councillor Otto von der Malsburg were the most active members of the Antiquarian Society (Gesellschaft der Altertümer).
The son of a well-known Kassel sculptor remembering Johann from his childhood, probably in the early 1800th, later wrote the following impression : “ …Sorgsam frisiert in grünem mit Seide gefütterten Rock, Schu­hen mit silbernen Schnallen und seidenen Strümpfen, einen Haken­stock in den feinen Händen, so kam er als Kunstfreund häufig in das elterliche Haus. Seine beweglichen Augen, seine gebogene Nase gaben seinem Gesicht einen eigenartigen Charakter betrachtete ich jedesmal seine mit Aders durchzogene Hand, wenn er sorgsam die Kupferstiche durchblätterte und in den Mappen umwendete… ”. The Horstig family archive has unprinted information in “Vorgeschichtlich begründete Familiengeschichte” and a good aquarelle and 2 silhouettes of Johann (Wolfgang von Horstig Wuppertal).
The five children received a broad and classical education, including 4 foreign languages: French by their French governess, Latin and English by their father, and Italian. The last language was regarded as instrumental for a musical education. Mother Sabine teached the children the art of singing and playing the Italian guitar.
The family travelled extensively. In 1788 while staying in Koblenz the Archbishop and Elector Clemens Wenzeslaus invited them. Suzette and Nina sang at a party given by the Elector and made such an impression, that Wenzeslaus wrote to their father, inviting Susette and Nina to be his guests in his new Residence in Koblenz. The idea was, that during this stay, they were to be given music lessons by his Italian music director Pietro Pompeo Sales and his German wife, the singer Franziska Blümer. As his contemporaries regarded Sales as a great musician, this invitation was gladly accepted. The music lessons were very successful and Susette and Nina became very accomplished dilettante singers. Susette was a soprano, Nina an alto. Both are mentioned in E.L. Gerbers “ Historisch-biographisches Lexikon der Tonkünstler, 1790-1792.”
Many important scholars and musicians stayed at the Engelbrunner residence, resulting in the development of interest in a great many disciplines by the children.

Brennecke W und Engelbrecht Ch, “Kassel” in Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, Kassel etc. 1949-79, Teil 7, p 721.
Heidelbach P, “ Kassel “ , Leipzig 1920, p.184.
Strieder F.W., Grundlage zu einer Hessischen Gelehrten- und Schriftsteller Geschichte, Teil 3, Göttingen 1783, p.350.
Prof.Sigismund Ruhl, ”Aus Cassels Vergangenheit”,Hessischen Blätter des Jahres 1887
Aufsatz über Engelbronner mit Titel “Aus alter und neuer Zeit” in Hessenland, Jahrgang 7, 1893

Johann Conrad ENGELBRONNER and Sabine Jacobine D'AUBIGNY were married on 29 Apr 1765 in Kassel, Hessen, DE. Sabine Jacobine D'AUBIGNY1 (daughter of Wilhelm Feuquiere (Guillaume) D'AUBIGNY and Susanne Christiane Sabine IHRING) was born on 31 Mar 1749 in Kassel, Hessen, DE. She was christened on 1 Apr 1750 in Kassel, Hessen, DE. She died on 1 Jul 1818 in Kassel, Hessen, DE. Johann Conrad ENGELBRONNER and Sabine Jacobine D'AUBIGNY had the following children:



Susanna Christina (Susette) ENGELBRONNER.



Jana Wynandina Gertrud (Nina) ENGELBRONNER1 was born on 15 Apr 1770 in Kassel, Hessen, DE. She died on 29 Jan 1847.
The entry in the Kassel birth-register is Engelbronner, Elisabeth Jana Wynandine. The Christian name Gertrud after her godmother Wynandine Gertrud van Varelen-Engelbronner was added later. She died on 29 Jan 1847 in Graz, Austria. Nina was initially buried outside the walls of the Nestelbach churchyard and later re-buried in the courtyard of Burg Planckenwarth.

Nina wrote in her memoirs “Ich ward am Ostertage, als die Familie in der Kirche war, am 15 April 1770 in der Bibliothek meines Vaters geboren. Haben die Geister des Raumes auf mein spaeteres Leben gewirkt”.

Nina was a highly intelligent and very well educated intellectual young lady, who when she became older, showed a certain disregard for the modesty and restriction in conversation (for instance no topics related to politics) expected from ladies at that time. She strongly believed that women should use and develop their given talents, and attribute them to society, instead of adhering to that in her eyes unfortunate lack of co-equality. Nina developed into a kind of feministe avant-la-lettre in the positive sense.

Nina`s education included Latin, French, English and Italian. Also she received an extensive education in music, singing and her mother learned her to play the Italian guitar. Nina is still highly regarded for her ability and knowledge as a music and song pedagogue and was a very talented dilettante singer, who certainly compared with the best professionals. Nina and Susette are mentioned in E.L.Gerber`s “Historisch-biographisches Lexikon der Tonkünstler, 1790-1792”. Nina was an alto.

Her sisters considered her “die schönste unter ihnen”, but Nina always looked upon Susette as the most beautiful and the best in everything. In her youth she must have been a bit ungainly, and she described herself as “… ich war ein wahrer Klotz gegen sie (Susette), daher war es sehr natürlich, dass mich Mutter nirgends mitnahm, mich nie Herzte oder ihr liebes Kind nannte, das höchste Erdenglück war “guter Dummhart”, es war mir verboten, ja Bier zu trinken, weil ich so dick war.” But afterwards she obviously lost her “puppyfat”.

In 1786 Susette and Nina accompanied her parents on a trip to Mannheim where they visited the astronomical observatory, the Court-astronomer Professor Johann Nepomuk Fischer and the founder Andre of the renowned publishing-house Andre. The next voyage in 1787 went to Koblenz where they visited the Archbishop and Elector (Kurfürst) Clemens Wenzeslaus. During their visit Suzette and Nina sang for the Archbishop. The voyage to Koblenz was extended with a study trip to Paris. On 6 March 1788 The Elector wrote Johann “C'etait une vraie Satisfaction, Monsieur, pour moi, d'entendre chanter Mdlles Vos Filles. Elles ont profitees infiniment et chantent avec tout l'Agrement possible. Je vous fais, Monsieur, mon Compliment sur l'Education que Vous leurs avez donnee” and invited Suzette and Nina to Koblenz to take lessons from his Italian music director Pietro Pompeo Sales and his German wife, the singer Katharina Franziska Blümer. Sales was regarded by his contemporaries as a great musician. During this period they were guests of the Archbishop in his Koblenz residence.

In 1790 Nina, her father, mother, older sister Susette and brother Charles, went on a voyage to Holland, via Cleve (Kleef) to visit her uncle. The family arrived in Amsterdam on July 7th 1790. Her parents and Karl left 27 Oct and returned via Cleve to Kassel. The sisters stayed with uncle Carel and Aunt Mietje for over a year, till 31 Aug 1791. Nina kept a diary during her stay “Journal du Voyage d`Hollande”. From this diary one can get a good impression of her personality, by her clear and well formulated observations. She described her interests, activities, the Dutch society and the social life of well-to-do Dutch “burghers”, and especially her Dutch family and their friends. During their stay in Holland they travelled rather extensively in that country, even visiting the navy on the roadstead at Texel. They left Amsterdam on 31 August 1791 for Cleve accompanied by their uncle and aunt. On the 2nd of September they were reunited with their family members who had travelled to Cleve to meet them and to visit family and friends there.This family reunion ended on September 10th, when they departed for Kassel.
After the return of the sisters to Germany, Susette married in 1794 Carl Horstig and settled in Bückeburg. Being very close to her sister, Nina moved in with the young couple a month after their marriage, and started a singing school. She taught her pupils singing, pianoforte, harp and Italian. Bückeburg had a good musical reputation, as the Court orchestra was directed by Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach (1732-1795) a son of the great Johann Sebastian.

Under the pupils of Nina´s school were the two daughters Wilhelmine (1783) and Caroline (1787) of Princess Juliana von Schaumburg-Lippe, an old friend of her father. Nina also assisted Carl Horstig with the education of the princesses. Nina developed a “Finger Klavier methode” which method was later used by Friedrich Fröbel (1782-1852). Susette and Nina also took part in concert- and opera performances at the Court with great success.

Nina's best friends next to Princess Juliana included Regierungsrat Freiherr von Ulmenstein, Hofrat Dr. Faust and the poet Von Halem.
On 10 March 1796 Susette and Nina sang at a concert in the palace castle the leading parts in Pergolesis “Servante Maitresse”. Nina started to compose “Lieder” (songs) and to publish articles in journals (1798) and the “Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung” (1800). In 1797 she published “Deutsche, Italiënische und Französische Gesänge mit Begleitung der Pianoforte” (Gombart, Augsburg, 1797).
From 2-28 September 1798 Johann & Sabine, Carl & Susette, Nina and Julie visited Friedrich Moritz Graf von Brabeck (1738-1814) who lived at castle Soeder near Hildesheim. Friedrich had visited Carl and Susette in 1797. Friedrich had a famous and extensive collection of paintings, copper engravings, glass artifacts, etc. On the return trip they travelled via Hannover where they were the guests of the Countess Luise von Wallmoden von-Liechtenstein, wife of Fieldmarshal Graf von Wallmoden, and her daughter Friederike Countess von Kielmannsegge.

Friedrich von Brabeck had a very ailing wife who had little interest in art and science and he enjoyed Nina's company and became very attracted to her. Before she left he asked her if she would consent to marry him after the death of his wife but only if the marriage would be roman catholic. Friedrich was educated at the Maria Theresia Academy in Vienna. He was a favourite of Maria Theresia and was later schooled in politics and diplomacy under Staatskanzler der Aussenpolitik Reichsfürst von Kaunitz-Rietberg and Emperor Joseph II and was a good friend of Cardinal Caprara. He had arranged that Maria Theresia's second son became Archbishop and Elector of Köln. He was canon (Domherr) of Hildesheim and Paderborn. Nina liked Friedrich too and very much enjoyed his company. Nina wrote in her diary on 09.09.1798 “Was des Barons Person äusser angenehm macht, ist die immerwährende Gegenwart seines Geistes”. From 1-6 November 1798 Friedrich von Brabeck visited the family in Bückeburg.

After the death of Princess Juliana 9 Nov 1999 Nina moved back to her parents in Kassel. In begin 1803 the Horstig´s, Nina and Emilie went on a voyage to France, England and Holland. In Paris they visited many scientists among others the philosopher and poet Karl von Schlegel, the mathematician Joseph Lagrange and the Swiss pedagogue Johann Pestalozzi. In London they visited among others the chemist Henry Cavendish, the painter and president of the Royal Academy, Benjamin West, the composer and music researcher Charles Burnley, Professor Fischer who they had met earlier in Mannheim and Sir James Mackintosh. In London Emilie decided to stay in London and in the next year decided to go with Sir James Mackintosh to India as tutor of his daughters. The Horstig´s and Nina sailed from Harwich to Hellevoetsluis but ran into a terrible storm. Their ship was damaged and made water and after three days the ship had to return to Harwich. The second passage went well and they visited Rotterdam, Delft, The Hague and Leiden and stayed with their family in Haarlem and Amsterdam. The return voyage home went by ship over the Zuyderzee to Oldenburg and Bremen.

After her return Nina arranged the publication of her book ” Briefe an Natalie über den Gesang als Beförderung der häuslichen Glückseligkeit und des geselligen Vergnügens.” (Voss, Leipzig, 1803), one of the earliest treatises on music pedagogy, written by a woman.
Nina had been impressed by the British mentality accomplished by an educational system promoting freer thinking and a more enterprising attitude than the German one. Nina was now 33 years of age and had to earn her own living. Due to the war in Germany (Napoleon) the money she earned with her literary work was slow in being paid and could not always be made over to her. A position of lady companion in England would earn her a decent living. In a letter of 03.07.1803 Nina wrote “In Deutschland mag meine Existenz ehrenvoller und leichter sein. Das glaube ich. Aber 80 Pfund ist ein Honorar, fuer das ich in Deutschland lange arbeiten muss”. Emilie, who had stayed in London as lady companion, was planning to take a new position with Sir & Lady James Mackintosh in Yarmouth and travel with them to India and offered Nina her place with Mrs. Gr. As her future employer wanted to make a trip to Ireland in August, Nina had to hurry to England. Nina travelled via Hannover, Hamburg to Husum were she took the paquet-boat to England. She arrived safely at Emilie's in Yarmouth and had to travel directly on to London. Her employer is only known as Mrs. Gr. Around the end of 1803 Nina took the lady companion position with the family Pocock, 39 Charles street, Berkeley Square, a wealthy MP and son of the late Admiral Pocock, earning a yearly fee of 100 guineas. The Pocock fortune resulted from the Admiral's conquest of Havana in 1762 for which feat he had received 120000 pound. Nina continued to write many articles for journals, the majority for the journal “London und Paris” on the cultural and political life in England. In February Emilie sailed with the Macintosh family for Calcutta. Later in 1805 Nina signed an agreement with a Mrs. Barnard to become her partner in her boarding school for the upper classes at Albany House, 9 Russell square in December. Nina paid 150 pounds for her partnership. In October Count von Brabeck wrote Nina that his wife had died. He already had visited her parents, and wanted to make some interesting proposals to her. In spite of the vague content of the letter and the high costs of the return trip Nina decided to go to Germany. As Nina was convinced that the Count would send his children to her institute Mrs Barnard agreed. Because of the war Nina could not travel on a post ship but sailed with the Dutch merchant ship “De Verwachting”. Due to the November storms the voyage lasted nearly 3 weeks and she arrived in Bremen on the 20th of November. Von Brabeck met her in Hannover and accompanied by his legal counsel the” königlich grossbritannischer Hofrat zu Hannover” Blum, they travelled to castle Soeder Here Friedrich told her “Das Testament meines Ahnherrn hat die besondere Klausel, dass, wenn je ein Brabeck sich an ein nicht katholisches oder nicht sechzehn Ahnenhabendes Frauenzimmer verheiratet, er alle seine Güter verliert”. His young son Clemens would become Count and would get all his possessions. A guardian would be appointed and I would have no say over my son and no possessions. He suggested that she would go to Münster or Rome to be converted to the catholic faith and that it could be arranged that she would be raised to the rank of Reichsgräfin (Countess of the Holy Roman Empire) to meet the other part of the clause. Nina refused to become a roman catholic. Her parents also refused to give their consent to a catholic marriage. Nina also turned down the solution Friedrich offered to become his wife without a marriage and to share everything with him. For Nina existed only two options, either to circumvent the clause or taking the children with her to England for their education and travel regularly to castle Söder as a true and close friend. Friedrich gave his word of honour that Nina on 1 Febr 1806 could take charge of the children for their education. But Friedrich kept postponing his decision. Nina had to make many trips between Kassel, Bückeburg and castle Söder trying to finalise the issue. Humiliated and at the end of her financial means the Brabeck affair ended with Nina sailing on 17 April from Cuxhaven to England.

In London another disaster awaited her. Mrs Barnard had badly managed the institute, half of the young ladies had not paid their dues yet. Nina cut her losses and got out loosing her 150 pound investment. Nina's fortune was now reduced to 10 pounds. Nina decided to go to Calcutta but she needed 200 pounds for the ship fare. In September Nina found a new position with a well-to-do older Irish lady Mrs Grindall, Portland Place, London. Mrs Grindall born Pauny was active in the London society, one brother was an admiral and two other brothers had good positions in Calcutta. Her new position and the income of her literary work restored her finances. Nina also received the commission to arrange the introduction of the new Russian ambassador in London. Nina wrote to Emilie on 30.01.1807 “Ich habe hier alle meine und der Mackintosh Bekannte in high style behalten; oft stehen drei oder vier Equipagen vor der Tür und die wenigsten wissen, dass ich in abhängiger Stellung bin. Du weisst, was die Londoner von Portland Place, einer Loge in der Oper und einem Admiral halten, so dass ich wirklich so glücklich als möglich bin”. But Nina's luck did not last long as Mrs Grindall died begin 1807.
In the mean time Nina and Emilie had each started to send 100 Reichstaler per year to support their parents.
Nina tried to book passage to India but the British government had ordered the captains not to take passengers, as they needed to ship additional troops for the East India Company. In addition Napoleon's European continental boycott of Great Britain resulted for Nina in complete loss of contact with her family. Through friends she managed to arrange passage on the frigate Modesto with the on 3 July newly appointed Governor General of India Lord Gilbert Earl of Minto. As Lady Minto because of illness did not sail and Nina would be the only female onboard she was transferred to the Glory (502 tons) under Captain Horatio Beevor. The captain assigned to Nina an outer cabin and the black Portuguese maid Angelica. She paid the 200 pounds for the all-inclusive passage to Calcutta for her and her maid. Nina wrote in her memoirs “Nach Kenntnis des Flaecheninhalts der Kabine liessen wir die noetige Meublierung und Ausstattung der Kabine anschaffen oder ausfertigen. In den Warenlagern Londons findet man alles,was zu solch langer Reise und fuer jedes Beduerfnis gesucht wird ... Innerhalb 6 Wochen mussten alle Moebel und Koffer zum Schiffe gebracht werden ... Besonders musste viel Leinen eingekauft werden, weil niemand daran denken kann, unterwegs waschen zu lassen und die Reise 6-8 Monate dauern kann. Kleider, Betten, Moebel, ein Pianoforte und eine Harfe, Buecher, Musikalien, geographische Karten, Zeichen- und Mal utensilien, alles war im Juli bereit”. Nina also shipped commercial goods for Calcutta. Beside the passengers a detachment of 25 cadets under Major Quinn sailed. The fleet of 13 ships, commanded by Admiral Drury, sailed from Portsmouth on Sept 15th. On Sept 20th they arrived in Madeira, Nina was the only female who visited the Island. Half November Nina fell ill with bilious fever (Gallenfieber) and it took her months to fully recover. On the 5th of Jan 1808 the fleet rounded the Cape. Two ships left the fleet to sail via the Madagascar channel to Bombay but they returned to the fleet for safety when they encountered French frigates. On 16 February they arrived in Madras. On the invitation of Captain Beevor Nina stayed in his house in Vipery, 3 miles outside Madras. Nina soon became acquainted with the family James Casamaijor, relatives of the Grindall's in London, one of the first families of Madras. She went to see plays at the theatre and was taken on excursions among other to Fort Williams. On March 6th she again boarded the Glory. Another passenger was Lady Jones, widow of the orientalist and jurist Sir William Jones, from whom Emilie had acquired the Calcutta school. The 14th Regiment embarked too. The Glory arrived March 17th in Calcutta and was met by Emilie. Of this voyage, which lasted 6 months, exists an interesting diary that gives a good impression of life aboard ship, the visit to Madeira, the three weeks stay in Madras and her opinion on the British. This diary is in the possession of Mrs. Thiede in Austria.

Nina started to live with Emilie, the sisters made a contractual arrangement. Nina sold her commercial goods realizing rupees 4500 (equal to 9000 goldmarks) which assured her of sufficient capital to start with. She bought from Lady Jones a finishing School in Calcutta. The fee for this institute was substantial and only wives and daughters of senior civil servants and officers could afford it. The majority of the wives of East India Company officials came from a simple background. Nina moved into her own house and had many servants. Nina complained over the climate, the foul water and the apathy and aloofness of the British.

End 1809 Emilie gave up the Calcutta school and moved to her fatherly friend Caspar Top in Serampore to take charge of the education of his daughter Eliza. In Febr 1810 Nina was engaged by Mrs Burrough, wife of the Vice-Chief Justice of Bengal and Mrs Ravenscroft. On 15 February William Burrough and the women travelled to the Nabob of Bengal in Murshidabad where they would remain for 9 months. The first part of the trip went in a bugarow boat, the last part on elephants. Nina's decent, civilized and diplomatic attitude towards the Indians and interest in their habits and customs, plus the trouble she took to learn Hindustan and Persian, had as result that she was presented with her own elephant and later that she was as the only female allowed to attend the burial festivities for the old Nabob and the coronation of his successor. They returned November 18th on board of the Nabob's bugarow without Mrs Burrough who had separated from her husband. Nina stayed with William to look after the education of his daughter Letitia. William who knew Nina well, she had been his chess partner for some years, wanted to marry her but Nina preferred to remain just friends. Early 1811 Nina moved into her new house in Jaun Bazar

Nina also earned a nice income giving music lessons, especially with her harp lessons and private performances. After Emilie´s departure from Calcutta in 1811, she wrote: “ Die Harfe war die Quelle aus der mein Vermögen erstand, die Harfe war meine einzige Unterhaltung, meine Freundin und Trösterin, wenn alles mich verlies.” Nina was one of the first “foreign correspondents”, during her voyage to and her stay in India she wrote articles for German, French and British papers and periodicals. Her financial situation seemed secure. She owned an elegantly furnished large house, two carriages, an English chariot and a phaeton with the Engelbrunner coat-of arms. She also owned an indigo firm.

In December 1811 Caspar Top, who had been a fatherly friend of Emilie and Nina and advisor in their business and private activities, died. In April 1813 Nina took Eliza Top in her care. Emilie who had saved a small fortune left for Europe in March 1812. In the beginning of 1814 Colonel Mackenzie of the Madras Engineers left his 16 years old sister in Nina's care. In the second part of 1814 Nina's biblious fever (Gallenfieber) returned, of which illness many Europeans in India died. In October Nina received a letter that Graf Brabeck had died and that her brother Karl had lost his job. Colonel Mackenzie invited her to his house in Chowringhee to recover where she stayed for a month. In 1815 she had to fight her illness again. Nina thought she might die and made her last will. In 1816 Nina decided to leave India. The powerful banker John Palmer, who had already helped her for some years, was commissioned to sell her possessions and arrange her return voyage. But first Nina got measles. On 23 November 1816 Nina sailed on the brig “Bridgewater” under Captain Jones. On board developed such a very unpleasant situation that Nina threatened the captain she would file a complaint to the Sea-Court in London. Nina was locked in her cabin without water and given opiates. She was very lucky that the captain did not let her “disappear”. Nina was put ashore in January 1817 on Bourbon Island (Reunion) under the pretence that she was mad. The Governor General Bouvet took care of her in St.Denis. Nina recovered enough to sail in February to Ile de France (Mauritius). Here Nina further recovered at the estate of Mr Viche in Richeterre near St.Louis. On 13 March she sailed for Capetown on the “Theodosia” under Captain Flinn. The ship was old and badly managed and the trip lasted twice the normal time. Nina landed on the 14th of April and stayed initially in a lodging house on the Heeregracht. Later she moved to a country house on the slope of the Tafelberg. She now fully recovered and soon became known for her knowledge of music and singing. She left Kaapstad in December on the “General Stuart” and arrived 1818 in London on March 1th.

In London Nina awaited a letter with the news that on the 17th of April 1817 her father had died. Nina stayed with her old pupil Wilhelmine Countess of Münster born Gräfin von Schaumburg-Lippe and in April moved as a guest of the Pocock's to their villa on the Thames in Twickenham. In June she sailed to Holland to her cousin Johan Conraad d' Engelbronner in Tiel where Emilie also arrived. Together they visited the family in Amsterdam and Haarlem. Back in Tiel they received the message that their mother Sabine had died on July 4th. The sisters Susette, Nina and Emilie hastened to Julie in Kassel. The estate had to be settled but the final settlement had to wait until the arrival of Carl from Stettin at Easter 1819. During the summer 1820 Nina stayed with Carl in Stettin. Nina became concerned over Carl who had developed a misanthropic attitude. In October Nina moved to Dresden. Here she met her old close friend from Kassel the diplomat and writer Ernst Freiherr von der Malsburg (1786-1824) and the old friends Hofrat Karl Boettinger and Otto Graf von Löben. She enjoyed the rich Dresdener cultural life and made many new friends. In January 1821 she wrote Emilie “Ich habe Geld, Gesundheit, gute Laune, warum sollte ich da mir nicht eine angenehme Umgebung schaffen”.

Her happiness did not last, in May 1821 her brother Carl shot himself as he could not pay a gambling debt. Emilie took charge of the family and settled the debt to clear the family honour. Nina moved to Emilie at castle Michelbach where Julie also lived. She stayed two years and prepared the second edition of her book “Briefe an Natalie”. On 24 July 1823 Nina started on a long voyage to Italy taking her niece Liane Horstig. Via Kassel, Leipzig, Dresden and Prague they arrived in Vienna where they stayed the month October. They left Vienna accompanied by her nephews Eduard and Georg Horstig and travelled in 8 days to the Austrian naval base Triest. Early 1824 Georg returned to Vienna and the others travelled to Venice. They spent Easter in Rome and left April 20th via Assisi and Perugia to Florence. Eduard returned to Vienna as his leave ended. They continued on 10 May with visits to Bologna and again Venice arriving on 14 June in Triest. Nina spent a few happy months in Triest. In December her nephew Georg Horstig died of a haemoptysis being only 28 years of age. Nina was grief stricken and for a period no diary notes or letters exist. Late 1825 Nina lived in Vienna, where she looked after Liane and Eduard Horstig. Here Nina seriously continued writing a book on India. It should describe her travels in that country, the social structure of its society, its history, tales, botany, Hindustan and Persian dialects and the behaviour of the British in their Colony. Nina consulted with various scientists among others the orientalist Freiherr von Hammer-Purgstall, the Asia scholar Freiherr von Huegel and the Professor in chemistry and botany Freiherr von Jacquin. In 1826 Nina extended her musical activities. She was a highly accomplished harp player and was often invited to play in private concerts. During the summer Nina stayed with friends and family in Germany and returned with her niece Fanny Horstig for the autumn season in Vienna. Nina rented a very large apartment in the palace of Count Paar in the Riemerstrasse near Wollzeile. Fanny's brother Eduard also moved in. Nina gave large parties and she took part in the blooming musical, cultural and social life of the city. Nina's visitors include the composer Schubert, historian Freiherr von und zu Hortenberg Hormayr, architect Peter von Nobile, painter Joseph Rebell, poets Franz Grillparzer and Karoline Pichler, philosopher Karl von Schlegel (Nina met him in Paris 1803), naturalist Altgraf Salm-Reifferscheid-Krautheim, General Freiherr von Tettenborn, Staatsrat Freiherr von Schwitzen, Archbishop Pyrker von Felsoe-Eoer, ambassador Graf Sarau and the President of Oberösterreich Graf Uberto. Dietrich Erben writes “In den folgenden Monaten reiht sich Veranstaltung auf Veranstaltung, Ausfahrten in der schönen grossen Kutsche in den Prater, nach Gersthof wo Emilie noch einen Besitz hatte, nach Purkersdorf und so gut wie jeden Tag ein Besuch oder grössere Unterhaltung”. She was invited to many music evenings in which she often took part, playing the harp. On one of the evenings when Nina played, Franz Schubert accompanied Beethoven´s Adelaïde. Nina knew Schubert and his circle of friends well and Schubert was a visitor of her salon. In “Schubert, die Documente seines Lebens” (Kassel, 1964) Otto Erich Deutsch writes that Beethoven had high regards for Nina´s “Briefe an Natalie” and Beethoven's biographer Schindler writes that Beethoven had often recommended Nina's works. Dieter Erben writes “Im zweiten Winter des Wiener Lebens veranstaltet Nina selbst grosse Feste in ihrem Hause. Kurz vor Weinachten 1827 wurden zwei grosse Gastmahle mit über 100 Personen gegeben, um all die Festlichkeiten zu erwidern, deren Gast man selbst gewesen war. Schliesslich gab es einen grossen Ball im Hause mit über 60 Personen, zwei Spieltischen, Cottillon, Walzer, Eis, Kuchen ohne Ende. Es folgt diesem Ball ein Gastmahl bei Banquier Freiherr Heinrich Pereira-Arnstein, das bis halb vier Uhr in der Früh dauert und dann nochmals ein Ball in den eigenen Räumen mit über 100 Besuchern”.

The Vienna years must have been one of the happiest and most successful periods of her live. She was in good health, financially independent and her nobility, erudition, musical talents, spirit and strength of mind made her an esteemed member of Vienna's society.
Unfortunately Eduard Horstig died, age 28, in October 1828 of haemoptysis. Eduard's death like George's much distressed Nina, she stopped writing letters and her diary, and she more or less withdrew from society-life. Nina moved to Graz and at first probably lived in a house in the Herrengasse at the corner of the Stemplergasse. Around 1830 Nina bought the beautifully situated and comfortable small castle “Erko-Schlössl” in Nestelbach near Graz to the east and went to live there. Emilie lived near Graz at castle (Burg) Plankenwarth. Her niece Fanny also moved to Graz. Fanny married 13 October 1835 in Castle Plankenwarth Johann von Pichler and they moved to Vienna.

Nina looked after the agriculture and cattle breeding at her estate. She reduced her social contacts and travels. She went oft to Graz and she had a private box in the theatre. Family parties at Erko or Plankenwarth became the highlights of her life.

In August 1837 Susette and Emilie stayed in Erko and the painter Mueller painted the three sisters who together were 195 years old. The painting was hung in Plankenwarth. The original painting was destroyed in the second World War in 1945 in Graz.
Her sister Susette died 18 August 1845. On the 29th of January 1847 Nina died in the age of 77.

A very interesting life ended. Nina had planned the voyage to India with the purpose to return as a well-to-do lady. She earned her fortune as a foreign correspondent, with her finishing school and with her music. Her fame as a music pedagogue still lives on, and she is mentioned in many publications, also recent one´s.

An extensive biography of Nina's life and work can be found in Manfred Elsberger's PhD thesis at the University of Passau “Nina d'Aubigny von Engelbrunner” published in 2000. A tribute to Nina as music pedagogue, together with a translation in Dutch of her diary “Journal du voyage d´Hollande” by H. Metzelaar and E.R. d´Engelbronner, was published in 2001. Both books contain an extensive list of literature.

The main archive of Nina, her diary, memoirs and letters are in possession of Professor Valentin Erben in Vienna, a son of Dietrich Erben, a Professor at the Musikhochschule Wien and a descendant of Nina's sister Susette.. In 1974 historical data of Nina were in the Fam. Archiv. of A. von Eissner-Eissenstein, Graz. The Goethe u. Schiller Archivs in Weimar possesses 14 of Nina`s letters.

Nina's literary and musical production :
1. Literature:
“Essai sur Cassel et ses environs”, Hampe, Cassel, 1798
“Tagebuch einer Reise durch die Portugiesische Provinz Alentejo. In Compagnie mit Suz (Susette)”, Aus dem Holländischen übersetzt, Gerstenberg, Hildesheim, 1799
“Briefe an Natalie ueber den Gesang,als Beförderung der hauslichen Glückseligkeit und des geselligen Vergnügens”, Voss und Compagnie, Leipzig, 1803
“ - idem - “, zweite verbesserte und vermehrte Auflage, Leopold Voss, Leipzig, 1824

2. Nina wrote articles for the following German Journals:

Das Morgenblatt, Die Abendzeitung, Deutscher Merkur, Deutsches Magazin, Elegante Welt, Bertuch´s Journal des Luxus und der Moden, London und Paris, Zeitung für die eleganten Welt, Genius der Zeit, Genius des neuzehnten Jahrhunderts und Die Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung.

3. Compositions:
“Deutsche, Italienische und Franzosische Gesänge”, Mit Begleitung des Pianoforte, Augsburg in der Gombartischen Musikhandlung

“Woodland Hallo”, Composed and inscribed to Mr. Bloomfield author of the famous Boy, wild flowers etc. etc. , G.J.Vollweiler at the Patent-Polyautographic-Press, 9 Buckingham Place, London
“Seven Songs”, with original English and translated German text, printed by John Andre, Offenbach on the Main
“Preghiera a nettuno (Canzonetta)”, in London und Paris, 1806
“Thekla in Wallenstein”, in Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung, Leipzig. 3 Jg (Oct 1800 - Sept 1801)
“Margretens Romanze”, in Westphälisches Taschenbuch, Bd.1, Minden, 1801

Elsberger Manfred, “Nina d'Aubigny von Engelbrunner”, Passau University, PhD thesis, München, Buch & medi@, 2000
Metzelaar H en d´Engelbronner E R, “Niet zo erg Hollands “, Dagboek van een reis naar Nederland (1790-1791) door Nina d'Aubigny. Hilversum, Verloren, 2001.
Citron, Marcia. “Women and the Lied, 1775-1850.” in Jane Bowers and Judith Tick (red), “Women making music : the Western Art Tradition 1150-1850.” Urbana, Chicago 1986, pp.224-248.
Deutch, Otto Erich, ”Schubert, die Documente seines Lebens”, Kassel 1964, p 421.
Erben Dietrich, ” Wer war Nina d´A? Ermittlungen in einem Wiener Biedermeiersalon”, in Die Presse, Unabhängige Tageszeitung für Österreich , Nov. 1988.
- Idem - , “Nina d'Aubigny - Das Leben einer selbsständigen Frau um 1800”. Band 1-14, Wien 1988-91, (Din A5, Typoskript 770 Seite), Unpublished.
- idem - , Nina d'Aubigny von Engelbrunner, in Festschrift zum 2 internationalen Komponistinnen-Festifal Kassel 1990, Kassel 1990
Fetis F J, “Biographie universelle des musiciens et bibliographie générale de la musique 1 », Paris 1835, p 168
Gerber, E.L. “Historisch-biographisches Lexicon der Tonkünstler”, 1790-1792”. Leipzig, 1790-1792, Reprint Graz 1977.
Krille A, “Beiträge zur Geschichte der Musikerziehung und Musikausübung der Deutschen Frau (von 1750 bis 1820)”, Berlin 1938. Ph.D. diss.
Lohse Marianne, “Die Gesangsschule der Nina d´Aubigny von Engelbrunner (1803) als zeitgeschichtliches Dokument”. Carl von Ossietzky, Universität Olderburg 1993. Unpublished.
MGG/2 - “Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart” Enzyklopädie, zweite Auflage
Schindel Carl von, “Die deutschen Schriftstellerinnen der 19.Jahrhunderts”, Leipzig, 1823.
Schleunig P, “Das 18.Jahrhundert: Der Bürger erhebt sich”, Hamburg 1984, pp. 114-115, 145.
Thiede Clotildis, “Lebensschicksale der Nina Engelbronner d'Aubigny 1770-1847”, (Din A4, Typoskript, 14 Seite), Unpublished, in the possession of Prof. Valentin Erben

Updated by CCE 19.05.2007



Sara Sophie Amalia (Emilie) ENGELBRONNER.



Julie Charlotte ENGELBRONNER.



Carl Ludwig ENGELBRONNER1 was born on 10 Apr 1782. He died on 18 Jun 1821 in Berlijn, DE.