Does the name Grigori Rasputin ring a bell? If it doesn’t, then this introduction is in order. He was one of the most notable and most controversial figures in Russian history. During his lifetime, he was regarded as a peripatetic holy man who apparently had supernatural healing powers. After he helped Tsar Nicholas II heir with his hemophilia, Grigori Rasputin became one of the great forces to contend with at the Russian Royal Court. As a result of what he prides himself to be, some members of the Russian nobility resented him; thus they planned and executed his assassination. More so, it was as a result of his unruly acts while in the Russian Court that the reign of Tsar and the Romanov Dynasty came to an end.
Although it’s been over a century since his death, the story of his death has become one of the most frequently told stories in recent time. In view of this, we have gathered seven interesting facts you never knew about Grigori Rasputin and how he finally died. Find out all you need to know in the paragraphs below.
7 Things You Didn’t Know About Grigori Rasputin and How He Finally Died
1. He was born into a Peasant Siberian Family in Pokrovskoye (now Tyumen Oblast)
Born on the 21st day of January 1869, Grigori Rasputin was born a peasant and his birth took place in a small village of Porkrovskoye (now Tyumen Oblast). Although he became popular as Grigori Rasputin, he was named Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin by his parents – Yefim (father) and Anna Parshukova (mother). His father was a farmer as well as a church elder while his mother worked with the government. Rasputin wasn’t the only child of his parents. He had had seven other siblings but unfortunately, they all died in infancy. Records also show that Rasputin may have another sibling whose name is given as Feodosiya.
2. Grigori Rasputin Never Received Formal Education
While nothing much is known about the early years of Grigori Rasputin, reports show that he was not formally educated. And he remained an illiterate well into his early adulthood. However, he had an unruly youth experience filled with disrespect for authorities, thefts, and drinking, among other things.
3. His Wife and Seven Children
As the story goes, Grigori Rasputin left his hometown of Tyumen in 1897 and traveled to Abalak, Russia; a town located 2800 km East of Moscow. There, he met a girl named Praskovya Dubrovina. Thereafter, the pair soon fell in love and after seven months of courtship, they tied the knot in 1887. After their marriage, Praskovya remained in her native home despite Rasputin’s subsequent travel stints. Together, they had seven children, out of which three survived to adulthood. These three include Dmitry (born in 1895), Maria (born in 1898), and Varvara (in 1900).
4. He Spent Several Months in the Monastery
After being married for 10 years, Grigori Rasputin left his home in Abalak, Russia and went on a pilgrimage to the Saint Nicholas Monastery at Verkhoturye. There, he was believed to have encountered some kind of religious awakening and upon his return, he spent the next 10 years traveling around the country, preaching and claiming to have supernatural powers, particularly for healing.
Although many religious leaders saw him as a bad monk, yet that didn’t stop his popularity from increasing. As a matter of fact, he became known in different parts of Russia including Saint Petersburg, where he was introduced to the Emperor and his wife.
5. Grigori Claimed He was a Healer and a Miniature Christ
Reports say that after Rasputin returned, he never changed his ways of immorality. Rather, he leveraged on the fact that he had supernatural powers to commit all sorts of immoral acts. He prides himself as a healer and helped to heal Tsar Nicholas II of hemophilia, which made the emperor believe in him.
On one occasion, after he was accused of a drunken public incident where he allegedly exposed his penis and claimed he had sex with the Tsarina, Grigori defended himself by saying, “Despite my terrible sins, I am a Christ in miniature”. That notwithstanding, he was not prosecuted.
6. Prior to His Death, Grigori Rasputin Predicted His Own Death
While he became a notorious member of the Russian Royal Court, Rasputin predicted his own death saying, “I am to be killed.” His prophecy appears to be true as his killers were also members of the Russian nobility, who resented his influence at the Court and sees him as an evil influence to Tsar.
7. He Survived His First Assassination Attempt but Succumbed to Another
Grigori Rasputin’s assassination attempt occurred on 12th July 1914, when Grigori Rasputin was stabbed outside his home by a peasant woman named Chionya Guseva. She was a follower of IIiodor, a former priest and supporter turned enemy of Rasputin. Although Rasputin survived the attack, he remained with the pain until the time of his death about a year and a half later.
On 29th December 1916, he was invited for a banquet at the palace of Prince Felix Yusupov and there, he met his death. His assassination was carried out by Prince Felix along with other nobles who believed that Rasputin’s sway over the Tsar and Tsarina posed a huge threat to the monarchy.
Prior to his death, Rasputin’s cake and drinks were poisoned but he survived. However, he was later shot at three times. Prince Felix’s conspirator was equally a right-wing politician Vladimir Purishkekevich. After the incident, they drowned him in a nearby river, where his body was discovered a few days later. Rasputin was 47 years old at the time of his death; he was buried at a small church at Tsarskoye Selo.