|Noble Patrician of Tuscany|
|Spouse(s)||Maria Letizia Ramolino|
IssueJoseph, King of Spain
Napoleon I, Emperor of the French
Lucien, 1st Prince of Canino and Musignano
Elisa, Grand Duchess of Tuscany
Louis I, King of Holland
Pauline, Princess and Duchess of Guastalla
Caroline, Queen of Naples
Jérôme, King of Westphalia
Carlo Maria Buonaparte
|Father||Giuseppe Maria Buonaparte|
|Mother||Maria Saveria Paravicini|
|Born||27 March 1746
|Died||24 February 1785
Carlo Maria Buonaparte (27/29 March 1746 – 24 February 1785) was a Corsican lawyer and politician who briefly served as a personal assistant of the revolutionary leader Pasquale Paoli and eventually rose to become Corsica's representative to the court of Louis XVI. After his death, his son Napoleon became Emperor of the French, and several of his other children received royal titles from their brother.
He was born in Ajaccio, Corsica as the youngest of three children. His father, Giuseppe Buonaparte, had represented Ajaccio at the Council of Corte in 1749. Carlo initially followed in his father's footsteps and studied to be a lawyer at Pisa University, but following a substantial inheritance from the death of his father, he left before earning his degree in order to marry Maria Letizia Ramolino. Both were of Corsican nobility, and very young at the time of their marriage (Carlo was seventeen and Letizia was fourteen). Their marriage is often seen as one of economic convenience. Buonaparte's new wife brought with her a dowry of thirty-one acres, including a mill and bakery which yielded an annual income of roughly £10,000.
For a period after his marriage at Ajaccio on 2/7 June 1764, he worked as a secretary and personal assistant to Pasquale Paoli. He had a son, Napoleone, who died in infancy in 1765 as did a daughter. Paoli sent him to Rome to negotiate with Pope Clement XIII in 1766. He had apparently enjoyed his time in Rome up until being forced for reasons unknown back to Corsica in 1768 - though he had possibly enjoyed an affair with a married woman during his stay which led to his departure. At the time of his return, the Republic of Genoa had offered Corsica to Louis XV as payment for a debt. The French were eager to obtain the strategically placed island for the protection of their own coasts, and Genoa equally keen to relinquish control given their inability to resist growing independence movements. Buonaparte was noted for a fervent speech against the French "invasion". Political upheaval followed as France gained ownership of Corsica, and many of Paoli's supporters had to flee to the mountains. Buonaparte and his family, now boasting newborn Giuseppe, who was the first child to survive infancy, were included. The family eventually returned to the town, where Buonaparte's wife gave birth to third son, another Napoleone, within Ajaccio Cathedral.
Soon after French acquisition of the island, Carlo Buonaparte embraced the new government. He was appointed Assessor of the Royal Jurisdiction of Ajaccio and the neighbouring districts on 20 September 1769. Shortly after that he became a Doctor in Laws at the University of Pisa on 27 November 1769.
Rise to prominence
In April 1770, the French administration created a Corsican Order of Nobility. He became an advocate of the Superior Council of Corsica on 11 December 1769 and a Substitute Procurator of the King of France in Ajaccio in October 1770. Carlo already possessed the title of a "Noble Patrician of Tuscany" (Nobile Patrizio di Toscana) since 1769 by permission of the Archbishop of Pisa due to his ancestry, and had his nobility confirmed on 13 September 1771. He then became the assessor of the Royal Jurisdiction of Ajaccio in February 1771, Deputy of the Nobility in the General States of Corsica on 13 September 1771, Member of the Council of the Twelve Nobles of Dila (Western Corsica) on May 1772, Deputy of the Nobility of Corsica at the Royal French Court in July 1777 and finally he was named Corsica's Representative to the Court of Louis XVI of France at Versailles in 1778.
Despite being honored with many titles, Buonaparte's dissatisfied nature led him to embark in risky business enterprises. He made many claims on land and money through legal means, but his success was limited and he burned through his finances rapidly. His apparent fondness of gambling worsened his monetary difficulties. Buonaparte made note of his situation in his 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.
By 1782, Buonaparte was beginning to grow weak, and was suffering from constant pain. He traveled to Montpellier to seek proper medical care. Nothing could be done to quell the effects of what was believed to be stomach cancer, the same disease that may have killed his famous son, Napoleon. Carlo Buonaparte died on 24 February 1785, and, due to his frivolous spending, left his surviving wife and eight children penniless. However, Napoleon I supported the family during his reign. Carlo Buonaparte's youngest son was born only three months before he died.
Carlo Buonaparte's marriage to Maria Letizia Ramolino (24 August 1750 – 2 February 1836) in June 1764 produced thirteen children, including one stillbirth. Eight of their children survived to adulthood.
- Napoleone Buonaparte (1764/1765 – 17 August 1765)
- Maria Anna Buonaparte (3 January 1767 – 1 January 1768)
- Joseph Bonaparte (7 January 1768 – 28 July 1844) King of Naples and Sicily, King of Spain and the Indies, and Comte de Survilliers, he married on 1 August 1794 Marie Julie Clary .
- Napoleon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821), Emperor of the French and namesake of his deceased older brother, he married on 9 March 1796 to Joséphine de Beauharnais and secondly on 2 April 1803 to Marie Louise, Archiduchess of Austria.
- Maria Anna Buonaparte (1770), namesake of her deceased older sister
- Maria Anna Buonaparte (14 July – 23 November 1771), namesake of her deceased older sisters
- A stillborn son
- Lucien Bonaparte (21 March 1775 – 29 June 1840), Prince of Canino and Musignano, married on 4 May 1794 to Christine Boyer and secondly on 26 October 1803 to Alexandrine de Bleschamp, widow of Hippolyte Jouberthon, known as "Madame Jouberthon".
- Elisa Bonaparte (3 January 1777 – 7 August 1820), Grand Duchess of Tuscany, married on 5 May 1797 to Felice Pasquale Baciocchi, named Prince of Lucca.
- Louis Bonaparte (2 September 1778 – 25 July 1846), King of Holland, married on 4 January 1802, to Hortense de Beauharnais.
- Pauline Bonaparte (20 October 1780 – 9 June 1825), Sovereign Princess and Duchess of Guastalla, married 5 May 1797 to Victor-Emmanuel Leclerc and secondly married on 28 August 1803 Camillo Borghese, 6th Prince of Sulmona.
- Caroline Bonaparte (25 March 1782 – 18 May 1839), Grand Duchess of Berg and Cleves, wife of Joachim Murat, later queen consort of Naples
- Jérôme Bonaparte (15 November 1784 – 24 June 1860), King of Westphalia, married on December 24, 1803 to Elizabeth Patterson and secondly on 22 August 1807 to princess Catharina of Württemberg.
- Seward, Desmond, Napoleon's Family, (Viking Penguin, 1986), 6.
- Richardson, Hubert N. B., A dictionary of Napoleon and his times, (Cassel and Company LTD:London, 1920), 85.
- Harvey, p. 58.
- Seward, 6.
- Harvey, p. 59.
- Harvey, p. 60.
- Seward, 9.
- Herold, J. Christopher, The Age of Napoleon , (American Heritage Inc, 1963), 18.
- McLynn, p.656
- Seward, 8.
- Harvey, R. The War of Wars, Robinson, 2006.
- Herold, J. Christopher, The Age of Napoleon , American Heritage Inc, 1963.
- McLynn, Frank, Napoleon, Pimlico, 1998. ISBN 0-7126-6247-2.
- Richardson, Hubert N. B., A dictionary of Napoleon and his times, Cassel and Company LTD:London, 1920.
- Seward, Desmond, Napoleon's Family, Viking Penguin, 1986.
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