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Carl Ludvig Runge

  Carl Ludvig Runge  was probably born  around  Berlin in 1749. He was appointed  a sexton in 1780 at the Zion Church in Tranquebar, as he was the only one who could sing! In 1781, he married Anne Elizabeth von Tannen. Their first child, Sophia Magdalena was born in 1785, their second, Charlotte Amalia in 1787, their third, a son, Heindrich George, in 1789. Their fourth issue, Carl Ludvig, died soon after birth in 1790. According to the Tranquebar census of 1790, the Runge family had a house on Nygade and lived well. However, Runge had a terrible temperement and probably also had psychological problems. One Madam Martini apparently owed him some money, and as he could not get her to pay the sum, he went and complained to the Missionary Johan Frederik König. The Missionary was not positively inclined to support Runge, and Runge issued a public threat that he will shoot König in the Church at the Sacristy when König said amen! Runge had affirmed the threat to several people in the town. König promptly sent a complaint to the Governor, Peter Anker. Peter Anker was also ill disposed with the Missionaries, and he immediately suspended Runge from work and put him in jail in the Dansborg fort. A consistorial court, consisting of members of the government and the clergy was convened to examine this case. Peter Anker decided that Runge should be 'exiled' to Denmark, and not be in the vicinity of the Missionary König as long as he was alive. While he was still in prison, Runge's wife died. Initially his children were to follow him to Denmark, but they were left back in Tranquebar with Runge's friends. Runge was sent to live in the town of Roskilde, and his mental conditions got worse. From 1792 when he came to Roskilde till he died in 1819 at the age of 70, he wrote many rambling letters to the King and the Government, asking for permission to come back to Tranquebar and see his children. This was denied him.

One can follow his children and grandchildren for several years. His eldest daughter, Sophia Magdalena, married Jens Jakob Wodschow at the age of 17, and produced 13 children, dying at the age of 38 just after the birth of her last child. Runge's second daughter, Charlotte Amalia, married a captain, Jacob Jahnsen, in 1807. One of Sophia Magdalena's and Jens Jakob Wodschow's daughters, Sophie
Elisabeth Wilhelmine  married Georg Alexander Thaae. She succumbed to cholera at the age of 38 in Tranquebar. Little is known about the rest of the family. Jens Jakob Wodschow's brother, Palle Krag Hoff Wodschow, had a good position in the Danish Government in Tranquebar, and had a huge house in Nygade. This house was still standing until a few years ago.

I have written an article about Carl Ludvig Runge to the Historical Society for Roskilde District in 2013. The article which is in Danish can be seen here: Carl Ludvig Runge