55. Johann Conrad
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
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
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
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
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
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:
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
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
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 :
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,
Briefe an Natalie ueber den Gesang,als Beförderung der hauslichen
Glückseligkeit und des geselligen Vergnügens, Voss und Compagnie,
- 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.
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,
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,
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.
- 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,
Schindel Carl von, Die deutschen Schriftstellerinnen der 19.Jahrhunderts,
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
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.|