Michalina of the Raczyński family of the Nałęcz coat of arms (1768-1790) “We welcomed the most beautiful person imaginable. She had regular features, a gender like a lily and a rose, blond hair down to the ground and a dazzling freshness. Her apparent simplicity masked perfect skill. The childish and affectionate tone that she could use when she wanted something did not allow any opposition” .
The marriage of Michalina and Filip was neither happy nor long-lasting . The couple differed in almost everything, from age, through different views on existential matters, to diametrically opposed characters. However, the most important thing united them – the surname. Thanks to this marriage, the recently erected palace and the bought estate in Rogalin remained in the Raczyński family. On the other hand, the children born from this union, two boys, Edward I and Atanazy, permanently wrote their names in the pages of our history.
The character of Michalina, which was formed quite early, raised considerable objections even in childhood. Raised by two governesses of dubious morality, “under the influence of bad examples and unhealthy reading, she succumbed to demoralization. The love intrigues of the teachers led her to the path of the love affairs of both parents. She stopped respecting them and mocked them, at the same time she considered these frolicsome customs worthy of imitation, and the strict rules of her sister as a synonym of sadness. Her heart was not repelled by these wrong conceptions, because she had no heart”, as Wirydianna Fiszerowa describes her cousin .
The young wife could not fully meet the expectations of the already respectable Filip. The self-titled major general of the purchased regiment wanted to be loved first and foremost in marriage. The imprint on him was made by an unfortunate youthful love and broken engagement . Using the accounts of members of the closest family, we can assume that Michalina did not feel deep love for her husband. Everyone was just a “plaything in her hand” . Whether it was due to sympathy, defiance or duty, during the 6 years of marriage, Michalina gave birth to five children, three of whom unfortunately died very quickly . The young, temperamental, beautiful and full of life woman fulfilled the most important obligation imposed on her – she gave birth to future heirs of the family. It is often in this that we can see the later indulgence of Kazimierz towards her weaknesses. Michalina liked to be surrounded by young men in whose company she used to enjoy. In the eyes of her relatives, she was unable to feel any more serious emotion, and she only settled for such .
Michalina Raczyńska brought a significant dowry. Under the rule of her husband, there were a total of three towns: Szamocin, Obrzycko and Stopnica, and fifty villages. The annual income was about 300,000 zlotys . This allowed for an extravagant and sumptuous lifestyle. However, Michalina did not like to go to Warsaw or to get to know the world. Such trips required her to adapt to the conventions, which she hated. Poznań and Rogalin were her favorite places of stay. A woman who “could please and be successful everywhere” chose a secluded place where she could be herself to the end . During her stay in the palace, about fifty servants were employed. Michalina organized numerous balls, concerts and readings. The life that the young married woman led was silenced with her death in 1790, at the age of barely 22. The widower, who was not a soul of society, was not a frequent organizer or guest of such meetings. The residence of the Raczyńskis gradually became deserted and silent .
In April we will get to know the extraordinary woman in the life of the descendants of Michalina and Filip – Wirydianna of the Bniński family Raczyńska.