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Carlo Emanuele IV
King of Sardinia
(1751–1819)


Other names: Carlo Emanuele Ferdinando Maria

Biographical

King of Sardinia 1796–1802 abd.
18th Duca di Savoia 1796 dep.; titular 1796–1802 abd
Titular King of Cyprus 1796–1802 abd.
Titular King of Jerusalem 1796–1802 abd.
Titular King of Armenia 1796–1802 abd.
Principe di Piemonte, courtesy 1773–96; 1796–1802 abd.
Prince of the Holy Roman Empire
Principe di Oneglia 1796–1802 abd.
Principe di Poirino 1796–1802 abd.
Prince de Montmélian 1796–1802 abd.
Principe di Chieri 1796–1802 abd.
Principe di Busca 1796–1802 abd.
Principe di Dronero 1796–1802 abd.
Duca di Aosta, courtesy 1751–73; 1796–1802 abd.
Duc de Genevois 1796–1802 abd.
Duc de Chablais 1796–1802 abd.
Duca del Monferrato 1796–1802 abd.
Marchese di Saluzzo 1796–1802 abd.
Marchese in Italia 1796–1802 abd.
Marchese di Ivrea 1796–1802 abd.
Marchese di Susa 1796–1802 abd.
Marchese di Oristano 1796–1802 abd.
Marquis de Tarantaise 1796–1802 abd.
Marchese di Savona 1796–1802 abd.
Marchese di Marene 1796–1802 abd.
Marchese di Modane 1796–1802 abd.
Marquis de Lanslebourg 1796–1802 abd.
Marchese di Ceva 1796–1802 abd.
Marchese o r prince? di Dronero 1796–1802 abd.
Comte de Nice 1796 dep.; titular 1796–1802 abd
Comte de Romont 1796–1802 abd.
Comte de Maurienne 1796–1802 abd.
Conte di Carmagnola 1796–1802 abd.
Conte di Asti 1796–1802 abd.
Conte di Tenda 1796–1802 abd.
Comte de Genevre 1796–1802 abd.
Conte di Goceano 1796–1802 abd.
Conte di Alessandria 1796–1802 abd.
Conte di Novara 1796–1802 abd.
Conte di Tortona 1796–1802 abd.
Conte di Bobbio 1796–1802 abd.
Conte di Sant'Antioco 1796–1802 abd.
Conte delle Apertole 1751
Baron de Vaud 1796–1802 abd.
Baron de Faucigny 1796–1802 abd.
Signore di Pinerolo 1796–1802 abd.
Signore di Vercelli 1796–1802 abd.
Signore di Lomellina 1796–1802 abd.
Signore di Valsesia 1796–1802 abd.
Seigneur de Arbin 1796–1802 abd.
Seigneur de Francin 1796–1802 abd.
Patrician of Venice
Patrician of Ferrara

As he was growing up, Charles Emmanuel was introverted, depressive, and fatalistic. He was considered a hypochondriac, and he was to be tormented by physical ailments for most of his life. This temperament clearly affected his role as king. His wife, Princess Marie Clotilde of France gave him no children, but she did become an affectionate companion, and a shrewd counsellor to him. Little is known of his life before ascending the throne, however, the impact of the French Revolution and the clashes with revolutionary France shook the foundations of his kingdom and the royal family itself. His relationship with his brothers was strained over his management of state affairs which was seen as weak and ineffective. They were, however, united in opposition to the negotiations over the Armistice of Cherasco. Charles Emmanuel dissuaded his father, Victor Emmanuel III, from abdicating, which gave rise to rumours that the King was planning to abdicate with the intention of naming his younger son, Vittorio Emanuele, his successor. Charles Emmanuel did become king, but it was said that his father left him a 'subordinate reign'. The Treaty of Paris was a disaster for Piedmont. The French took Savoy and Nice, and the French army was given free passage through Piedmont. They soon had free reign throughout the entire kingdom, establishing their presence in every corner. Charles Emmanuel did little to defend the kingdom, and in any event, he, his government and army, were powerless. He did continue the negotiations already started by his father, Victor Amadeus III, with France. For this, his minister, Prospero Balbo, was sent to Paris in October of 1796, but his efforts proved to be futile. Sardinia faced continuous pitfalls and humiliation from the Directory, and in 1797 Jacobin and Republican uprisings began to break out within the kingdom. A number of attempts on Charles Emmanuel's life were made, and riots and seditions were breaking out in towns and villages. The kingdom was undergoing a sever economic crisis and there was a grain famine. Exasperation amongst the rural class was intensified as French soldiers hoarded grain supplies. Repression throughout the kingdom was ruthless as attempts were made to quash the republican surge with its radical French ideals. Charles Emmanuel did try to implement social and economic reforms to bring calm, but the affected classes objected and those with republican sympathies were not swayed. Finally in December 1798 the French garrisoned Turin and Charles Emmanuel was forced to abdicate and he soon left Turin with his family, eventually settling at Florence in January 1799. In March he arrived at Cagliari and published a protest against the forced abdication, criticising the behaviour of the French agents and generals. He was given some hope of regaining his throne in May that year after the Austro-Russian victories at Piedmont, however, it came to nothing. Disappointed, he returned to Florence. He went to Rome in 1800, and in March 1802 he was at Naples where his wife died after a short illness. In June that year he abdicated his throne in favour of his brother, Vittorio Emanuele. He retained the title of 'king,' was paid a generous allowance, and retired to Rome, never becoming involved in politics again. He was tormented by a series of ailments and became blind in 1816. He joined the Society of Jesus, and moving into the novitiate house of Sant'Andrea al Quirinale, he took simple vows (he was not consecrated a priest), and spent his final days there. Cardinal Henry Benedict Stuart, the last Stuart pretender to the thrones of England, Scotland and Wales, had died in 1807, and in his will he named Charles Emmanuel his heir in the Jacobite Succession. Charles Emmanuel was the senior descendant of Henrietta Stuart, duchesse d'Orléans, and sister of King Charles I of England. He was styled 'Charles IV' by the Jacobites, although he never actively pursued the claim to the British throne.

Place of birth: Turin
Place of marriage: Chambéry
Place of death: Rome
Place of burial: Church of Sant’Andrea al Quirinale

Son of King Vittorio Amedeo III of Sardinia and Infanta María Antonieta of Spain (Borbón). He married Princesse Marie Clotilde de France (Bourbon) in 1775, and had no issue.



 

Sources

1. Società Genealogica Italiana. Enciclopedia Genealogica del Mediterraneo. 2005–2018.
2. Dizionario biografico degli Italiani, vol. 20. Rome: Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana, 1977.
3. Charles Petrie. The Jacobite movement: the Last Phase, 1716-1807. London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1950.
4. Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd, ed. Burke's Royal Families of the World. Volume I: Europe & Latin America. London: Burke’s Peerage Ltd., 1977.


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