King of Sardinia
Other names: Vittorio Amedeo Francesco
King of Sardinia 1720–30 abd.
King of Sicily 1713–18 dep
15th Duca di Savoia 1675–1732†
Titular King of Cyprus 1675–1732†
Titular King of Jerusalem 1675–1732†
Titular King of Armenia 1675–1732†
Principe di Piemonte 1675–1732†
Prince of the Holy Roman Empire
Principe di Oneglia 1657–1732†
Duc de Genevois 1675–1732†
Duca di Aosta 1675–1732†
Marchese di Saluzzo 1675–1732†
Marchese di Ivrea 1675–1732†
Marchese in Italia 1675–1732†
Marchese di Monferrato 1708
Marchese di Oristano 1720–32†
Marchese di Marene
Marchese di Modane
Marquis de Lanslebourg
Comte de Nice 1657–1732†
Comte de Maurienne 1675–1732†
Comte de Chablais 1675–1732†
Conte di Asti 1675–1732†
Comte de Romont 1675–1732†
Conte di Carmagnola 1675–1732†
Comte de Tende 1675–1732†
Conte di Goceano 1720–32†
Conte di Sant'Antioco 1720–32†
Baron de Vaud 1675–1732†
Baron de Faucigny 1675–1732†
Signore di Pinerolo 1675–1732†
Signore di Vercelli 1675–1732†
Patrician of Venice
Patrician of Ferrara 1725
Victor Amadeus spent his youth under the regency of his mother, the Madama
Reale, an able but ambitious and overbearing woman. He assumed the reins
of government at the age of sixteen, and married Princess Anne d'Orléans,
the niece of Louis XI of France, the king who was determined to dominate
the young duke of Savoy. In 1685, Victor Amadeus was forced by Louis to
persecute his Waldensian subjects, because they had given shelter to the
French Huguenot refugees after the revocation of the edict of Nantes.
With the unwelcome help of a French army under Marshal Catinat, he invaded
the Waldensian valleys, and after a difficult campaign, characterised
by great cruelty, he subjugated them. Nevertheless, he became more anxious
than ever to emancipate himself from French thraldom, and his first sign
of independence was his visit to Venice in 1687, where he conferred on
political affairs with Prince Eugene of Savoy and other personages, without
About this time the duke plunged into a whirl of dissipation, and chose
the beautiful but unscrupulous Contessa di Verrua as his mistress, neglecting
his faithful and devoted wife. Louis, having discovered Victor Amadeus'
intrigues with the emperor, tried to precipitate hostilities by demanding
his participation in a second expedition against the Waldensians. The
duke unwillingly complied, but when the French entered Piedmont and demanded
the cession of the fortresses of Turin and Verrua, he refused, and while
still professing to negotiate with Louis, joined the league of Austria,
Spain and Venice. War was declared in 1690, but at the battle of Staffarda
in 1691, Victor Amadeus, in spite of his great courage and skill, was
defeated by the French under Catinat. Other reverses followed, but the
attack on Cuneo was heroically repulsed by the citizens. The war dragged
on with varying success, until the severe defeat of the allies at Marsiglia
and their selfish neglect of Victor Amadeus' interests induced him to
open negotiations with France once more. Louis agreed to restore most
of the fortresses he had captured and to make other concessions. A treaty
was signed in 1696, and Victor Amadeus was appointed generalissimo of
the Franco-Piedmontese forces in Italy operating against the imperialists.
By the treaty of Ryswick of 1697, a general peace was concluded.
On the outbreak of the war of the Spanish Succession in 1700, the duke
was again on the French side, but the insolence of Louis and of Philip
V of Spain towards him induced him, at the end of the two years for which
he had bound himself to them, to go over to the imperialists in 1704.
At first the French were successful and captured several Piedmontese fortresses,
but after besieging Turin, which was skilfully defended by the duke, for
several months, they were completely defeated by Victor Amadeus and Prince
Eugene of Savoy in 1706, and eventually driven out of the other towns
they had captured.
By the peace of Utrecht of 1713, the Powers conferred the kingdom of Sicily
on Victor Amadeus, whose government proved efficient and at first popular.
But after a brief stay in the island, he returned to Piedmont and left
his new possessions to a viceroy, which caused much discontent among the
Sicilians. When the Quadruple Alliance decreed in 1718 that Sicily should
be restored to Spain, Victor Amadeus was unable to offer any opposition,
and had to content himself with receiving Sardinia in exchange.
The last years of Victor Amadeus' life were saddened by domestic troubles.
In 1715 his eldest son died, and in 1728 he lost his queen. After her
death, much against the advice of his remaining son and heir, Charles
Emmanuel, he married the Contessa di San Sebastiano, whom he created Marchesa
di Spigno, abdicated the crown and retired to Chambéry to end his
days in 1730. But his second wife, an ambitious schemer, soon tired of
her quiet life, and induced him to return to Turin and attempt to revoke
his abdication. This led to a quarrel with his son, who, with quite unnecessary
harshness, partly due to his minister the Marquis d'Ormea, arrested his
father and confined him at Rivoli and later at Moncalieri, and there,
Victor Amadeus, overwhelmed with sorrow, died in 1732.
Victor Amadeus, although accused not without reason of bad faith in his
diplomatic dealings and of cruelty, was undoubtedly a great soldier and
a still greater administrator. He not only won for his country a high
place in the council of nations, but he doubled its revenues and increased
its prosperity and industries, and he also emphasised its character as
an Italian state. His infidelity to his wife and his harshness towards
his son Carlino are blemishes on a splendid career, but he more than expiated
these faults by his tragic end.
Place of birth: Turin
Place of first marriage: Chambéry
Place of second marriage: Turin
Place of death: Montcalieri
Place of burial: Basilica of Superga
Son of Carlo Emanuele II di Savoia and Princesse Marie-Jeanne de Savoie-Nemours.
He was married firstly to Princesse Anne Marie d'Orléans in 1728,
and secondly (morganatically) to Anna Terera Canalis di Cumiana in 1730,
with issue. He also had illegitimate issue.