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Vittorio Emanuele I
King of Sardinia
(1759–1824)


Other names: Vittorio Emanuele Gaetano

Biographical

King of Sardinia 1802–21 abd.
19th Duca di Savoia 1802–21 abd.
Titular King of Cyprus 1802–21 abd.
Titular King of Jerusalem 1802–21 abd.
Titular King of Armenia 1802–21 abd.
Principe di Piemonte 1802–21 abd.
Prince of the Holy Roman Empire
Principe di Oneglia 1802–21 abd.
Principe di Poirino 1802–21 abd.
Prince de Montmélian 1802–21 abd.
Principe di Chieri 1802–21 abd.
Principe di Busca 1802–21 abd.
Principe di Bene 1802–21 abd.
Principe di Brà 1802–21 abd.
Principe di Crescentino 1802–21 abd.
Principe di Riva 1802–21 abd.
Principe di Banna 1802–21 abd.
Principe di Dronero or marquis 1802–21 abd.
Duca di Aosta, courtesy 1789–1802; 1802–21 abd.
Duc de Genevois 1802–21 abd.
Duca di Piacenza 1802–21 abd.
Duca di Carignano Ivoy 1802–21 abd.
Duc de Chablais 1802–21 abd.
Duca del Monferrato 1802–21 abd.
Duca di Genova 1802–21 abd.
Marchese di Saluzzo 1802–21 abd.
Marchese in Italia 1802–21 abd.
Marchese di Ivrea 1802–21 abd.
Marchese di Susa 1802–21 abd.
Marchese di Oristano 1802–21 abd.
Marquis de Tarantaise 1802–21 abd.
Marchese di Borgomanero 1802–21 abd.
Marchese di Cureggio 1802–21 abd.
Marchese di Caselle 1802–21 abd.
Marchese di Govona 1802–21 abd.
Marchese di Saluzzola 1802–21 abd.
Marchese di Racconigi 1802–21 abd.
Marchese di Savona 1802–21 abd.
Marchese di Cesena 1802–21 abd.
Marquis de Lanslebourg 1802–21 abd.
Marchese di Livorno Ferraris 1802–21 abd.
Marchese di Santhià 1802–21 abd.
Marchese d'Aglié 1802–21 abd.
Marchese di Centallo 1802–21 abd.
Marchese di Demonte 1802–21 abd.
Marchese di Denzana 1802–21 abd.
Marchese di Ceva 1802–21 abd.
Marchese di Maro 1802–21 abd.
Marquis of Pianezza 1793
Marquis of Rivoli 1792
Marchese di Cavallermaggiore 1802–21 abd.
Marchese di Marene 1802–21 abd.
Marchese di Ghenna 1802–21 abd.
Marchese di Vigone 1802–21 abd.
Marchese di Villafranca 1802–21 abd.
Comte de Nice 1802–21 abd.
Comte de Romont 1802–21 abd.
Comte de Maurienne 1802–21 abd.
Conte or prince? di Carmagnola 1802–21 abd.
Conte di Asti 1802–21 abd.
Conte di Tenda 1802–21 abd.
Comte de Genevre 1802–21 abd.
Conte di Goceano 1802–21 abd.
Conte di Alessandria 1802–21 abd.
Conte di Novara 1802–21 abd.
Conte di Villafranca 1802–21 abd.
Conte di Tortona 1802–21 abd.
Conte di Bobbio 1802–21 abd.
Conte di Sant'Antioco 1802–21 abd.
Conte di Pollenzo 1802–21 abd.
Conte di Roccabruna 1802–21 abd.
Conte di Tricerro 1802–21 abd.
Conte di Bairo 1802–21 abd.
Conte di Oregno 1802–21 abd.
Conte delle Apertole 1802–21 abd.
Baron de Vaud 1802–21 abd.
Baron de Faucigny 1802–21 abd.
Signore di Pinerolo 1802–21 abd.
Seigneur de Monaco? 1802–21 abd.
Signore di Roccabruna 1802–21 abd.
Consignore di Mentone 1802–21 abd.
Signore di Vercelli 1802–21 abd.
Signore di Lomellina 1802–21 abd.
Signore di Valsesia 1802–21 abd.
Seigneur de Arbin 1802–21 abd.
Seigneur de Francin 1802–21 abd.
Signore di Tegerone 1802–21 abd.
Signore di Migliabruna 1802–21 abd.
Signore di Motturone 1802–21 abd.
Patrician of Venice
Patrician of Ferrara
Knight of the Order of the Holy Annunciation [ITA]

Vittorio Emanuele's education was entrusted to cav. Papacino d'Antoni and the Barnabite Giacinto Sigismondo Gerdil, later a cardinal. He married the Maria Teresa of Austria-Este, and completed his education amidst the ever-growing threat to the Piedmontese state from revolutionary France and that of Austria. Of mediocre intelligence, but self-assured, Vittorio Emanuele understood the military and political traditions of the dynasty, and between 1793 and 1796 he fought courageously defending the Alps against the French. In February 1797, as heir-presumptive to the throne of Sardinia, he voiced his strong opposition to the policy of his recently crowned brother, Carlo Emanuele IV, who, when facing France, showed himself to be weak and a defeatist by being resolved to the belief that any resistance was futile, and easily deferred to the French government. After the fall of the monarchy at Piedmont on the 9th of December 1798 Vittorio Emanuele retreated with his family to Sardinia, but returned in August 1799, to the displeasure of the king who considered him imprudent and impulsive, and he immediately involved himself in conflict with the Austrians whose complicity he saw as contributing to the French victories of 1796. Wandering the peninsula, devoid of means, and dissatisfied with the fatalism of his brother, Carlo Emanuele, he finally assumed the crown of Sardinia on the 5th of June 1802 when his brother abdicated. Highly optimistic, he believed that stronger and aggressive foreign policy would lead to the restoration of the lost territories and sovereignty and influence of his kingdom, but he was soon disillusioned. On the 2nd of December 1804 Pius VII crowned Napoleon at Notre-Dame, and on the 2nd December 1805 the third European coalition was defeated at Austerlitz. On the 11th of February 1806 he boarded a Russian ship at Gaeta and headed for Cagliari, and remained there until 1814, in dignified poverty, amidst internal turmoil, and with continuous harassment and threats from France and British bullying. Through many hardships, he endeavoured to tend to the most urgent needs of the island. He participated directly in the war in 1809, and after the Russia expedition, he assembled a body of troops that he intended to lead, with English help, to Liguria; but the plan was fraught with difficulties and was abandoned. However, he never lost faith in his cause, nor did he ever question the right of the House of Savoy to regain its dominions and even expand them, establishing independence for himself and for Italy. On hearing the news of Napoleon's downfall, he sailed to Genoa, now a republic, on the 9th of May 1814, and on the 20th, he made his entry to Turin. The first Treaty of Paris of 30 May 1814 granted him Liguria, but he lost a large part of Savoy to France. He was able to regain most of the territory in November 1815. That year, the Savoyard state possessed the ports of Nice, Genoa, and La Spezia, the protectorate of Monaco, and the islands of Sardinia and Capraia. It achieved a status of major importance in itself, with a strong economy linked to Lombardy, although subject to Austria. Vittorio Emanuele was still not satisfied with these gains, and aspired to controlling the entire Po Valley, but again, Austria was the source of disillusion, and this inflamed his disdain towards her, but as England supported Austria, he was resigned to maintaining good relations with his despised neighbour, at least officially. Anti-Austrian feeling had become widespread throughout Piedmont and was shared by patriots of many kinds, and from this emerged a movement of 1821, led by the Carbonari, demanding a liberal constitution and action against Austria. Vittorio Emanuele appeared weak and uncertain in the face of the Carbonari, the Adelfi and the federates, as a revolution broke out. Refusing to meet their demands, and after the garrison of the citadel of Turin joined the revolt and kill its own commander, he abdicated, on the 3rd of March 1821, in favour of his brother Carlo Felice, and unwisely entrusted the regency to Carlo Alberto, prince of Carignano. Vittorio Emanuele eventually settled at Modena, but in June 1822, he returned to Piedmont after order was restored there, and lived his final days at the castle of Moncalieri. In 1815 Vittorio Emanuele had founded the Military Order of Savoy. At the death of his brother, Charles Emmanuel IV, in 1819, he inherited the Jacobite claim to the thrones of England, Scotland, and Wales, and he was styled 'Victor'. As with his brother, Vittorio Emanuele never pursued the claim.

Place of birth: Turin
Place of marriage: Novara
Place of death: Moncalieri
Place of burial: Basilica of Superga

Son of King Vittorio Amedeo III of Sardinia and Infanta María Antonieta of Spain (Borbón). He married Archduchess Maria Therese of Austria-Este in 1789, and had issue.



 

Sources

1. Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd, ed. Burke's Royal Families of the World. Volume I: Europe & Latin America. London: Burke’s Peerage Ltd., 1977.
2. Società Genealogica Italiana. Enciclopedia Genealogica del Mediterraneo. 2005–2018.
3.
Enciclopedia italiana di scienze, lettere ed arti, Vol. 35, Veg - Zyg. Milano: Ist. Giovanni Treccani, 1937.
4. Charles Petrie. The Jacobite movement: the Last Phase, 1716-1807. London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1950.


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