The daughter of a Turkish chief-janissary, Sar Aly Oda Bachy,1 she was adopted after the Siege of Otchakov by George Keith, Lord Marischal. In 1763 she converted to Christianity, was baptized Marie Emeté, and married Denis-Daniel de Froment,2 but the marriage was dissolved in 1765, and Emet-Ulla lived with her adopted father until his death in 1778.3
Boswell first met her on June 13, 1764, when she arrived in Utrecht together with Lord Marischal. Boswell was to accompany them to Berlin.
Although at first, she seemed to dislike Boswell, they quickly seemed to find some pleasance in each other's company. On the second day after leaving Utrecht, Boswell wrote of her “I find Madame de Froment very lively, although she has an indolence, or, as the French say, a ‘nonchlance’, that is terrible. She does not dress. Scarcely even will she speak. I talked with her in rather too galant a strain.” On June 27 they discovered that they were both subject to the occasional bout of serious depression. She said that “[e]xercise and dissipation, with moderate enjoyment, were the only remedies”.
They dined tête-à-tête on several occasions, as the Earl Marischal was often otherwise engaged due to his status.