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Heinecken, Christian Heinrich

HEINECKEN, CHRISTIAN HEINRICH (1721-1725), a child remarkable for precocity of intellect, was born on the 6th of February 1721 at Liibeck, where his father was a painter. Able to speak at the age of ten months, by the time he was one year old he knew by heart the principal incidents in the Pentateuch. At two years of age he had mastered sacred history; at three he was intimately acquainted with history and geography, ancient and modern, sacred and profane, besides being able to speak French and Latin; and in his fourth year he devoted himself to the study of religion and church history. This wonderful precocity was no mere feat of memory, for the youthful savant could reason on and discuss the knowledge he had acquired. Crowds of people flocked to Liibeck to see the wonderful child; and in 1724 he was taken to Copenhagen at the desire of the king of Denmark. On his return to Liibeck he began to learn writing, but his sickly constitution gave way, and he died on the 22nd of June 1725.

The Life, Deeds, Travels and Death of the Child of Liibeck were published in the following year by his tutor Schoneich. See also Teutsche Bibliothek, xvii., and Memoires de Trevoux (Jan. 1731).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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