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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, titular 1802–15; restored 1815–21 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.
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
Principe di Brà
Principe di Carmagnola
Principe di Crescentino
Principe di Riva
Principe di Banna
Principe di Dronero 1802–21 abd.
Duca di Aosta, substantive 1789–1802; 1802–21 abd.
Duc de Genevois 1802–21 abd.
Duca di Carignano Ivoy 1802–21 abd.
Duca di Piacenza 1802–21 abd.
Duc de Chablais 1802–21 abd.
Duca del Monferrato 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 Tarentaise 1802–21 abd.
Marchese di Borgomanero
Marchese di Cureggio
Marchese di Caselle
Marchese di Govone
Marchese di Salussola
Marchese di Racconigi
Marchese di Savona 1802–21 abd.
Marchese di Cesena
Marchese di Modane 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
Marchese di Demonte
Marchese di Desana
Marchese di Ceva 1802–21 abd.
Marchese di Maro
Marquis of Pianezza 1793–1821 abd.
Marquis of Rivoli 1792–1821 abd.
Marchese di Cavallermaggiore
Marchese di Marene 1802–21 abd.
Marchese di Ghemme
Marchese di Vigone
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 di Asti 1802–21 abd.
Comte de Tende 1802–21 abd.
Conte di Goceano 1802–21 abd.
Conte di Alessandria 1802–21 abd.
Conte di Novara 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
Conte di Roccabruna
Conte di Tricerro
Conte di Bairo
Conte di Ozegna
Conte delle Apertole 1802–21 abd.
Baron de Vaud 1802–21 abd.
Baron de Faucigny 1802–21 abd.
Grand Seigneur de Monaco 1815–21 abd
Signore di Pinerolo 1802–21 abd.
Coseigneur de Menton 1815–21 abd.
Seigneur de Roquebrune 1815–21 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
Signore di Migliabruna
Signore di Motturone
Knight of the Order of the Holy Annunciation [Italy]

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 the 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.







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