Ivan the Terrible and his son, Ivan, on November 16th, 1851 by Ilya Repin.
On 15 November, the Tsar, after seeing his pregnant daughter-in-law wearing unconventionally light clothing, physically assaulted her. Hearing her screams, the Tsarevich rushed to his wife’s defense, angrily shouting, “You sent my first wife to a convent for no reason, you did the same with my second, and now you strike the third, causing the death of the son she holds in her womb”. Yelena subsequently suffered a miscarriage. The Tsarevich confronted his father on the matter, only to have the topic changed to his insubordination regarding Pskov. The elder Ivan accused his son of inciting rebellion, which the younger Ivan denied, but vehemently stuck to the view that Pskov should be liberated. Angered, Ivan’s father struck him on the head with his scepter. Boris Godunov, who was present at the scene, tried to intervene, but received blows himself. The younger Ivan fell, barely conscious and with a bleeding wound on his temple. The elder Ivan immediately threw himself at his son, kissing his face and trying to stop the bleeding, whilst repeatedly crying, “May I be damned! I’ve killed my son! I’ve killed my son!” The younger Ivan briefly regained consciousness and said “I die as a devoted son and most humble servant”. For the next few days, the elder Ivan prayed incessantly for a miracle, but to no avail. The Tsarevich died on 19 November 1581.
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