Ludwika Dąbrowska née Londyńska (1845-1899) – a philanthropist from Płock

Ludwika Dąbrowska née Londyńska (1845-1899) – a philanthropist from Płock

Ludwika Dąbrowska has gone down in Płock’s history as an extraordinary philanthropist who made the largest bequest for charity in the town in the 19th century.

Ludwika (aka Liwsza) came from a Jewish family from Płock. She was the daughter of Rozalia vel Ruchla nee Jelonek (1821-1857) and Zachariasz Londyński (about 1798-1865) – a merchant and industrialist. The first husband of Ludwika was Rudolf Szenwic, the second – doctor and army general Adam Dąbrowski – in order to marry him, Ludwika changed her religion and converted to Evangelical-Augsburg church. Ludwika Dąbrowska was the owner of, among others, the real estate located at 10 Old Town Square (mortgage number 8/9) and Piekarska Street (mortgage number 476), which she inherited from her mother. In her home at the Old Town Square at the turn of 1881 and 1882 there was a men’s clothing store of R. Osuchowski, in 1883, the Caucasian Goods Store of S. Mirzadionow, and in 1887, the dance school of Stanisław Zaborski. Ludwika was famous for her outstanding musical talents, she ran the last open salon in Płock. During the meetings, she often gave concerts, and donated all her income to charity. As reported by “Echo Płockie and Łomżyńskie” newspaper after her death: [Ludwika Dąbrowska] was characterized by great talent and musical education. She played almost all instruments, but the most favorite was the harp, on which she reached the highest artistic level. For a long time Płock will remember the musical evenings in her salon, which she organized in the company of friends and music lovers. The late did not refuse to use her talent when her beautiful playing was needed in concerts for charity. And her harp concerts always drew the audience’s attention, as they were all delighted with this wonderful instrument.

Ludwika Dąbrowska nee Londyńska died on March 26, 1899 after a short but serious illness. Her funeral has become a huge manifestation of the unity of all religions in Płock. According to her will from June 17, 1895, the Old Town Square property, mortgage number 8/9, consisting of a front house and a house on Piekarska Street, as well as outbuildings in the yard, became the property of the Płock Charity Society. The property with number 476 on Piekarska Street was bequeathed by her to the Jewish community for the poor Jews from Płock. In addition, she gave the Gymnasium for Boys in Płock the funding for three scholarships of three poor students (a Catholic, a Protestant and a Jew), dedicating a sum of 6000 rubles from a bank deposit, and she also donated to the St. Trinity Hospital in Płock (5000 rubles), the Animal Care Society (2000 rubles), the Fire Watch Society (3000 rubles), the Płock Cathedral (1000 rubles, for the purpose of conservation of organs) and the Musical Society in Płock. At the same time, she bequeathed the personnel and nuns serving at the St. Trinity Hospital and, in small amounts, other, unknown people. She gave her beloved harp to Klara Pistor from Warsaw.

Source: A.J. Papierowski, Okoliczności utworzenia w Płocku Towarzystwa Dobroczynności i jego działalność do wybuchu I wojny światowej (Circumstances of establishment of the Charity Society in Płock and its activity until the outbreak of World War I) [in:] “Notatki Płockie”, volume 54 (2009), book 1 (218).

In the picture: the death certificate of Ludwika Dąbrowska (State Archives in Płock, Civil registry records of the Roman Catholic parish in Płock, death certificate no. 120 from 1899)