1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Anna Leopoldovna
|←Anna Comnena|| 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 2
|See also Grand Duchess Anna Leopoldovna of Russia on Wikipedia, and our 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica disclaimer.|
ANNA LEOPOLDOVNA, sometimes called Anna Carlovna (1718-1746), regent of Russia for a few months during the minority of her son Ivan, was the daughter of Catherine, sister of the empress Anne, and Charles Leopold, duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. In 1739 she married Anton Ulrich (d. 1775), son of Ferdinand Albert, duke of Brunswick, and their son Ivan was adopted in 1740 by the empress and proclaimed heir to the Russian throne. A few days after this proclamation the empress died, leaving directions regarding the succession, and appointing her favourite Ernest Biren, duke of Courland, as regent. Biren, however, had made himself an object of detestation to the Russian people, and Anna had little difficulty in overthrowing his power. She then assumed the regency, and took the title of grand-duchess, but she knew little of the character of the people with whom she had to deal, was utterly ignorant of the approved Russian mode of government, and speedily quarrelled with her principal supporters. In December 1741, Elizabeth, daughter of Peter the Great, who, from her habits, was a favourite with the soldiers, excited the guards to revolt, overcame the slight opposition that was offered, and was proclaimed empress. Ivan was thrown into prison, where he soon afterwards perished. Anna and her husband were banished to a small island in the river Dvina, where on the 18th of March 1746 she died in childbed.