Cecilia’s Album: Thecla Hochschild (Grevenkop-Castenskiold) or Thecla Wilelius (Lindskog)?


Mången gladlig stund
njöto vi tillsamman
och i fröjd och gamman
flög hvar snabb secund.

Tiden aldrig hvilar
i sin snabba fart;
ögonblicket ilar
och vi skiljas snart.

Men i troget hjerta
uti fröjd och smärta
fastän från dig skild,
gömmer jag din bild

(Many happy moments
together we enjoyed,
and in joy and happiness,
the seconds quickly flew.

Time never rests;
in haste,
the moment flies,
and soon we part.

But in my faithful heart,
in joy and pain,
though apart,
I hide your picture.)

Cecilia’s friend Thecla wrote the card for Cecilia on June 11, 1844. The school term was over and the girls were parting. But who was Thecla?

Thecla (in Sweden sometimes spelled as Tekla) was not a common name. It is of Greek origin and is famous for Saint Thecla of Iconium. In Sweden, the name Tekla is celebrated on September 23.

So who, in Cecilia’s circle of friends, could it be? One way to find out is to check the confirmations records in the parish where most of Cecilia’s friends were confirmed.

There were three girls with the name of Thecla that were confirmed in St Clara parish in Stockholm: Thecla Johanna Ståhl (b.1829), Thecla Mathilda Hochschild (b. 1829), and Thecla Cecilia Christina Wilelius (b. 1830).

  • Thecla Ståhl was listed as an illegitimate child, born to a 22-year-old mother at Stockholm’s maternity ward. Her parents were not recorded. It is doubtful that she belonged to the same social class as Cecilia.
  • Thecla Hochschild was the daughter of a Swedish diplomat and his Danish wife. Both parents came from noble families.
  • Thecla Wilelius was the daughter of an architect who had designed several churches in Sweden.

As either of the last two could have been Cecilia’s friend, it is a tossup of who to write about. I decided to focus on Thecla Hochschild.

Thecla Hochschild

Thecla was born January 11, 1829, to baron Carl Hochschild and Emilia Catharina Oxholm. Carl Hochschild  (1785-1857) had worked for the foreign ministry in Denmark and the Netherlands before moving back to Stockholm with his family. In 1844, the family lived at Drottninggatan 65, close to the Haymarket in Stockholm. Thecla was the oldest child. She had three younger siblings: Lovisa Fredrica Gustafva (b. 1830), Carl Fredric Lotharius (b. 1831), and Julia Wilhelmina Anna Helena Adelaide Emilia (b. 1843).

In 1845, Thecla was confirmed in St Clara parish together with Charlotta Ahlberg, who made a drawing for Cecilia’s album. In July of 1845, the family traveled to Lubeck. They continued their trip to Vienna where Thecla’s father was to become the Swedish attaché.

In 1849, Thecla married the Danish chamberlain, Joachim Melchior Grevenkop-Castenskiold. His family had owned the estate Hørbygaard in Denmark since 1748. In 1854, Joachim Melchior inherited the estate and built a new manor for his family. When he died in 1878, Thecla inherited the estate.

Hörbygaard. Print from 1865. Could one of the women in front of the newly built manor be Thecla Hochschild with her children?

Thecla and her husband had 3 sons and a daughter: Carl Holten (b. 1850), Louise (b. 1853), Johan Vilhelm (b. 1855), and Henrik (b. 1862). She died in 1897 at the age of 68.

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