Carl Gustav von Staden



Carl Gustav von Staaden (also Staden, 12 November 1700 – 1 May 1750) was a clergyman and occasional poet of German descent.

He was born in Tallinn in the family of a military officer. Up to the age of nine, he was educated at home, thereafter at Tallinn gymnasium. In 1710, Staaden’s parents died of plague. The boy was brought up by his mother’s cousin Arnold von Husen, pastor of St Nicholas’ Church, later superintendent and pastor of St Olaf’s Church.

After completing school, Staaden travelled to Germany. He began his studies of theology in Halle but changed universities in 1719 and completed his studies in Jena in 1721. In Jena he wrote a 16-line poem in the North Estonian language, Sinno waiw’ nink raske Thö (‘Your Toil and Hard Work’), which he dedicated to Carl Friedrich Löv, his friend and fellow student from Hungary. The poem was published within C. F. Löv’s doctoral thesis where the author’s name was Estonianised to Karl Gustas Taden. The poem was discovered by Otto Alexander Webermann in the library of Göttingen University in 1957.

In 1722, C. G. von Staaden returned to Livonia (the present South Estonia) and worked as a pastor at Äksi in 1724–1744 and for the ethnic Estonian congregation of Tartu in 1744–1750. Staaden was a vehement opponent of the Moravian Brethren as proved by his correspondence with Johann Christian Quandt (written in 1744, published in 1751). Staaden was also a member of Tartu town consistory and tried to make his contribution to the development of the town. In 1747, he had an overview printed about the situation in the town of Tartu and made his proposals for improvements. He hoped to submit this piece of writing to Tsarina Yelizaveta, who visited Livonia, but unfortunately, she did not reach Tartu during her journey.

L. P. (Translated by I. A.)