Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Carlo Buonaparte

Born: 29th March 1746 in Ajaccio, Corsica
Married: 2nd June 1764 in Ajaccio, Corsica
Died: 24th February 1785 in Montpellier, France

Youth and Marriage:

Born of Italian heritage in Ajaccio, Corsica, Carlo
initially followed family tradition by studying to be a
lawyer; however, he left his course at Pisa University
part-way through to marry Marie-Letizia Romalino. Carlo
was 18, Letizia 14, and both were members of the Ajaccio
nobility, a position of relative unimportance. Romantic
authors often suggest that this was a marriage of passion
and elopement, but the facts suggest a sound marriage of
economic convenience, especially as their fathers had
already died.
Work For Paoli:
Carlo worked as a solicitor for most of his life, but in the
period after his marriage he worked as a secretary and
assistant to Pasquale Paoli, the Corsican revolutionary leader.
Paoli sent Carlo to negotiate with the Pope in 1766 - Paoli
planned an invasion of Capria, a papal gift to Corsica's current
rulers, Genoa - and Carlo appears to have enjoyed life in Rome -
and life with other women - until being forced, for reasons
unknown, back to Corsica in 1768. Political upheaval followed
 as France gained ownership of Corsica, a new struggle which
 ended with the Paolista's heavy defeat at Ponte Novo on May
 8th 1769. Many of Paoli's supporters had to flee, including
Carlo Buonaparte and family; students of Napoleon may
wish to note that Letizia was several months pregnant with
the future emperor at this time.
Life Under The French:
Carlo soon proved himself to be an opportunist - critics may
prefer turncoat - by embracing the new French government
as Paoli was forced abroad. Modest success followed: Carlo
was made 'Assessor of the Royal Jurisdiction of Ajaccio' in
1771 - the same year as he obtained French confirmation of
his 'noble' status - and later, deputy of the Estates-General of
Corsica. Throughout the 1770's attempted to better himself
through legal means, making numerous claims on land and
money, but his success was limited and the drain on his
family's funds great. Indeed, his combination of official
duties and legal appeals to French authorities frequently
kept Carlo overseas, whether at Versailles or elsewhere.
Regrettably for the Buonapartes, Carlo was free with his
money at the best of times and trips to the ostentatious
apital of France ate away at his finances; a fondness for 

gambling exacerbated matters. As he noted in an account 

book "In Paris I received 4,000 francs from the King and 

a fee of 1,000 crowns from the government, but I came back 

without a penny." (Napoleon, McLynn 1998, pg. 21)
By 1782 Carlo had seven surviving children, but he was
growing weak. Over the next few years - which proved less
litigious than before - Carlo began to suffer constant pain
and he traveled to Paris, Montpellier and other towns to
find medical help. They could do nothing for what historians
 are sure was stomach cancer and Carlo Buonaparte died on
 February 24th, 1785. He left his family virtually penniless.
Notable Family:
Wife: Marie-Letizia Bonaparte, née Romalino and Buonaparte (1750 - 1835)
Children: Joseph Bonaparte, originally Giuseppe Buonaparte (1768 - 1844)
Napoleon Bonaparte, originally Napoleone Buonaparte (1769 - 1821)
Lucien Bonaparte, originally Luciano Buonaparte (1775 - 1840)
Elisa Bacciochi, née Maria Anna Buonaparte/Bonaparte (1777 - 1820)
Louis Bonaparte, originally Luigi Buonaparte (1778 - 1846)
Pauline Borghese, née Maria Paola/Paoletta Buonaparte/Bonaparte (1780 - 1825)
Caroline Murat, née Maria Annunziata Buonaparte/Bonaparte (1782 - 1839)
Jérôme Bonaparte, originally Girolamo Buonaparte (1784 - 1860)

No comments:

Post a Comment