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Carlo Emanuele I
11th Duca di Savoia

Other names: the Great[1]

Titles and Honours

Titular King of Cyprus, 1580-1630†[2]
Titular King of Jerusalem, 1580-1630†[2]
Titular King of Armenia, 1580-1630†[2]
Principe di Piemonte, 1580-1630†[3]
Titular Prince of Achaia, 1580-1630†[3]
Principe d'Oneglia, 1580-1630†[3]

Duc de Chablais, 1580-1630†[3]
Duca d'Aosta, 1580-1630†[3]
Duc de Genevois, 1580[3]
Marchese di Susa, 1580-1630†[3]
Marchese di Saluzzo 1601[3]

Conte d'Asti, 1580-1630†[3]
Comte de Nice, 1580-1630†[3]
Comte de Bresse 1580-1601[1]
Comte de Tende, 1580[3]
Comte de Genève, 1580-1630†[3]
Comte de Romont, 1580-1630†[3]
Baron de Vaud, 1580-1630†[3]
Baron de Gex 1580-1601[3]
Signore de Vercelli, 1580-1630†[3]
Seigneur de Bugey, 1580[3]
Seigneur de Fribourg, 1580-1630†[3]
Signore del Marro, 1580[3]
Signore della Prela, 1580[3]


Charles Emmanuel continued the his father's policy of profiting by the rivalry of France and Spain in order to round off and extend his dominions. His three chief objects were the conquest of Geneva, of Saluzzo and of Monferrato. Saluzzo he succeeded in wresting from France in 1588. He intervened in the French religious wars, and also fought with Bern and other Swiss cantons, and on the murder of Henry III. of France in 1580, he aspired to the French throne on the strength of the claims of his wife Catherine, sister of Henry of Navarre, afterwards King Henry IV. In 1590, he sent an expedition to Provence in the interests of the Catholic League, and followed it himself later, but the peace of 1593, by which Henry of Navarre was recognised as king of France, put an end to his ambitions. In the war between France and Spain, Charles sided with the latter, with varying success. Finally, by the peace of Lyons in 1601, he gave up all territories beyond the Rhone, but his possession of Saluzzo was confirmed. He now meditated a further enterprise against Geneva. but his attempt to capture the city by treachery and with the help of Spain (the famous escalade) in 1602 failed completely. The next few years were filled with negotiations and intrigues with Spain and France which did not lead to any particular result, but on the death in 1612 of Duke Francesco Gonzaga of Mantua, who was lord of Monferrato, Charles Emmanuel made a successful coup de main on that district. This arrayed the Venetians, Tuscany, the Empire and Spain against him, and he was obliged to relinquish his conquest. The Spaniards invaded the duchy from Lombardy, and although the duke was defeated several times, he fought bravely, gained some successes, and the terms of the peace of 1618 left him more or less in the status quo ante. We next find him aspiring to the imperial crown in 1619, but without success. In 1628 he was in alliance with Spain in the war against France. The French invaded the duchy, which, being abandoned by Spain, was overrun by their armies. The duke fought desperately, but was taken ill at Savigliano and he died. Charles Emmanuel achieved a great reputation as a statesman and warrior, and increased the prestige of Savoy, but he was too shifty and ingenious, and his schemes ended in disaster.[4]

Place of birth: Rivoli[1]
Place of marriage: Saragossa[1]
Place of death: Savigliano[1]
Place of burial: Vico[1]



1. H. Montgomery-Massingberd, ed. Burke's Royal Families of the World. Volume I: Europe & Latin America. London: Burke’s Peerage Ltd., 1977.

2. K.M. Setton, ed. A History of the Crusades, vol. 2. Wisconsin: Princeton University of Wisconsin Press, 1969.

3. S. Guichenon. Histoire généalogique de la royale maison de Savoie, vol. 2. Turin: chez Jean-Michel Briolo, 1778.

4. Encyclopaedia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information, 11th edn, vol. 5. New York: Encyclopaedia Britannica Co., 1911.

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