01 Frederik la Cour

Frederik was born at Ørslevkloster manor on 16 September 1753, a son of Pierre la Cour and Margrethe Susanne la Cour. He graduated from the Viborg school in 1771 (and received at his graduation three barrels of rye and three barrels of barley), but was not registered as an upper secondary school graduate until 1772, with a prominent jurist named Kofod-Ancher serving as his private tutor afterwards. Frederik took the university entrance exam* in 1773. We know that, on 15 August 1775, he was working at the Lund royal estate on the island of Mors, but by 18 April 1775 he had moved to Aabjerg, a manor near the town of Ringkøbing. His father Pierre wrote about Frederik in his last will and testament that “since he left his father’s house to earn his keep among strangers, he has in full received his inheritance from his late mother in clothes and money”, but “as he has not yet caused me any grief, only the cash he has received – mainly for his two trips to Copenhagen, amounting to a total of 38 rix-dollars* – should by law be deducted from his inheritance from his mother.” But in connection with the distribution of their mother’s estate, Frederik’s siblings declared that since he was persuaded to accompany his younger brother Jacob to Copenhagen to be of every assistance to him with his exams, we will not require strict compliance with Father’s directions. The final probate documents contained a statement that the other heirs had given up any claim to the sum Frederik had received for his education.

Frederik received a master’s degree in theology in 1781, but died already in 1783, while he was chief steward for Chamberlain Frederik von Arenstorff at the Visborggaard estate. According to one story, he was riding to his own wedding in slippery winter conditions when his horse lost its footing. The wedding guests waited a long time for him, and his bride-to-be was already dressed in her finest. They sent people out to look for him, and they found him with his head shattered to pieces. Another story from a different and probably much more reliable source says that he was on his way to a christening at which his fiancée was going to be made a godmother when his horse stumbled and fell. However, he did not die immediately, but was brought to a house by the road and died shortly thereafter. The name “Sommer” was mentioned in this connection, but it is unclear whether this was his fiancée’s name, the name of the family holding the christening or the name of the family he was with when he died. His sister Appolone (no. 07) described him as an extremely kind person particularly beloved by his students. The same was said by at least one of these students, old Mrs Marie Sofie Lichtenberg, née Arenstorff, one of the last of his students. (No children.)