Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia
|Victor Emmanuel I|
Victor Emanuel I in Coronation Robes
|King of Sardinia|
|Reign||4 June 1802 – 12 March 1821|
|Predecessor||Charles Emmanuel IV|
24 July 1759|
Royal Palace of Turin, Turin, Kingdom of Sardinia
10 January 1824
Castle of Moncalieri, Turin, Kingdom of Sardinia
|Burial||Basilica of Superga, Turin|
|Consort||Maria Teresa of Austria-Este|
Maria Beatrice, Duchess of Modena
Maria Teresa, Duchess of Parma
Maria Anna, Empress of Austria
Maria Christina, Queen of the Two Sicilies
|House||House of Savoy|
|Father||Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia|
|Mother||Maria Antonietta of Spain|
Victor Emmanuel was known from birth as the Duke of Aosta. From 1792 to 1796, Aosta's father had taken an active part in the struggle of the old powers against the French Revolutionary forces, but were defeated and forced to make peace. The old king died shortly thereafter; and, in December 1798, his eldest son and successor, Charles Emmanuel IV, was faced with a French occupation and, eventually, annexation, of his mainland territories.
Charles Emmanuel and his family were forced to withdraw to Sardinia, which was the only part of his domains not conquered by the French. Charles Emmanuel himself took little interest in the rule of Sardinia, living with his wife on the mainland in Naples and Rome until his wife's death in 1802, which led the childless Charles Emmanuel to abdicate the throne in favor of his younger brother. Aosta took the throne on 4 June 1802 as Victor Emmanuel I. He ruled Sardinia from Cagliari for the next twelve years, during which time he constituted the Carabinieri, a Gendarmerie corps, still existing as one of the main branches of the military of Italy.
Victor Emmanuel could return to Turin only in 1814, his realm reconstituted by the Congress of Vienna with the addition of the territories of the former Republic of Genoa. The latter became the seat of the Sardinian Navy. Victor Emmanuel abolished all the freedoms granted by the Napoleonic Codices and restored a fiercely oppressive rule: He refused any concession of a constitution, entrusted the instruction to the Church and reintroduced the persecutions against Jews and Waldensians.
After the death of his brother in 1819, he also became the heir-general of the George Canning that there should be public mourning in Britain, as a significant number of Britons had regarded Victor Emmanuel as their rightful king.
After the outbreak of the liberal revolution in his lands in 1821, he abdicated in favour of his brother, Charles Felix. Victor Emanuel died in the Castle of Moncalieri. He is buried in the Basilica of Superga.
Family and children
They had six daughters and one son who died very young:
- Maria Beatrice Victoria Josepha of Savoy (1792–1840), married her uncle [[Francis IV of Modena|Francis