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Charles III de Savoie
9th Duc de Savoie

Other names: the Good


9th Duc de Savoie 1504–36 dep; titular 1536–53†
Titular King of Cyprus 1504–53†
Titular King of Jerusalem 1504–53†
Titular King of Armenia 1504–53†
Principe di Piemonte 1504–53†
Titular Prince of Achaia 1504–53†
Duc de Chablais 1504–36 dep

Duca d'Aosta 1504–53†
Marchese di Ivrea 1504–53†

Marchese di Susa 1504–53†
Marchese in Italia 1504–53†
Comte de Maurienne 1504–53†
Conte di Asti 1538–53†
Comte de Nice 1504–53†
Comte de Genevois 1504–14
Comte de Bresse 1504–53†
Comte de Romont 1504–53†
Baron de Faucigny 1504–14
Baron de Vaud 1504–36 dep;
titular 1536–53†
Baron de Gex 1504–36 dep

Signore di Vercelli 1504–53†
Seigneur de Bugey 1504–53†
Seigneur de Beaufort-sur-Doron 1504–14
Seigneur de Fribourg 1504–53†
Signore di Pinerolo 1504–53†

Imperial Vicar of Italy

Although fond of peace, Charles III found himself for the greater part of his reign in the midst of the most destructive wars; first between Louis XII of France and the Holy League headed by Pope Julius II against the French; afterwards between Francis I on one side, and the Swiss and Duke Sforza of Milan on the other; and lastly between Francis I and his powerful rival the emperor Charles V: in all of which the territories of Savoy and Piedmont, though the duke professed neutrality, were devastated without mercy by French, Swiss, and Imperialists. Duke Charles acted as mediator between Francis I and the Swiss, and afterwards between Francis and Pope Leo X; but notwithstanding these good offices, Francis, having taken possession of the duchy of Milan after the battle of Marignano, began to covet the territories of Duke Charles, as they were interposed between France and his Italian conquest, and he purposely picked a quarrel with his uncle. He wrote to him in March, 1518, in an imperious tone, to give him Vercelli as a former appurtenance of the duchy of Milan, the county of Nice as forming part of Provence, and other vexatious demands, and as the Duke demurred, he declared war against him; but this time the Swiss confederation interposed, and Francis became pacified. In 1524, the French having again lost the duchy of Milan, which was occupied by the troops of Charles V, Francis I marched an army into Italy, passing through the territories of Savoy with the forced assent of the Duke.

The battle of Pavia, in 1525, having placed Francis in the power of his rival, the duke of Savoy, together with his sister Louisa, who was regent of France, warmly interposed to obtain the liberation of Francis, who afterwards acknowledged that 'he lay under greater obligations to the Duke than to any other friend or relative,' obligations however which he soon after forgot. In 1530 Duke Charles attended the coronation of Charles V, who treated him with marked attention, giving to his wife Beatrix of Portugal, and her heirs, the county of Asti. Francis pretended to be offended at this, and he sent to Turin the president Poyat to demand of the Duke, Vercelli, Nice, the Bresse, and the Faucigny, in right of his mother, Louisa of Savoy. Poyat appeared before the council of the Duke, and as Porporati, the president of the council, rebutted the claim, offering to show his master's original titles to those territories, Poyat insolently exclaimed, 'Words are useless, the King wills it so;' Porporati replied, ' We have here no code in which the arbitrary will of a king of France is laid down as law.' In 1535 Francis declared war against the Duke, and his troops occupied the whole of Savoy and Piedmont, except a few fortresses which held out for the Duke, who took refuge at Nice. The troops of Charles V entered Piedmont, and that unfortunate county was for many years the theatre of war between the two great rivals. In 1543 Nice was attacked by a combined French and Turkish fleet ; the town was sacked, but the castle was saved by the timely arrival of Andrea Doria.

In 1547 Henri II, having succeeded Francis I, came to Turin to take formal possession of Piedmont. In 1551 war broke out between France and the Emperor, and Piedmont was again the field of battle between the two armies. In the midst of this confusion, Duke Charles died in 1553, at Vercelli, where he had taken refuge under the protection of the Imperial troops. Vercelli, Nice, Aosta, and Cuneo were the only places that still held out for the house of Savoy.

Place of birth: Château de Chazey, Bugey
Place of marriage: Villafranca
Place of death: Vercelli
Place of burial: Cathedral of San Eusebio, Vercelli

Son of Philippe II de Savoie and Marguerite de Bourbon. He married Infanta Maria Beatriz of Portugal in 1521, and had issue.

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