Stanislaw I

Charles Emmanuel III of Sardinia

Charles Emmanuel III (April 27, 1701 - February 20, 1773) was the Duke of Savoy and King of Sardinia from 1730 until his death.


Early years

He was born in Turin to Victor Amadeus II of Sardinia and his first wife Anne Marie of Orléans. His maternal grandparents were Philippe I, Duke of Orléans and his first wife Henrietta Anne, the youngest daughter of King Charles I of England and Henrietta Maria of France.

Savoy had been successful in the War of Spanish Succession, gaining the title of king of Sicily but later exchanging it with Sardinia. However, Victor Amadeus in his late year was dominated by shyness and sadness, probably under the effect of some mental illness. In the end, on September 3, 1730, he abdicated, leaving the throne to Charles (nicknamed "Carlino" for his gracile and unpleasant building). He was not loved by Victor Amadeus, and consequently received an incomplete education. He however acquired noteworthy knowledge in the military field along his father. After some time spent at his residence in Chambéry, however, Victor Amadeus started again to intervene in Charles' government, although this did not impede Charles from reintroducing the feasts and the general gay atmosphere that had been abolished from Turin in former years. In summer, 1731, after having recovered from a potentially fatal illness, Victor Amadeus returned to the throne. He accused his son of incompetence and established himself in Moncalieri; however, Charles Emmanuel managed to have Victor Amadeus arrested by the Crown's Council, in order to prevent him from attacking Milan and probably causing an invasion of Piedmont. The old king was confined to the Castle of Rivoli, where he later died without any further harm to Charles.

The War of Polish Succession

In the War of the Polish Succession Charles Emmanuel sided for the French- backed king Stanislaw I. After the treaty of alliance signed in Turin, on October 28, 1733 he marched on Milan and occupied Lombardy without significant losses. However, when France tried to convince Philip V of Spain to join the coalition, he asked to receive Milan and Mantua in exchange. This was not acceptable for Charles Emmanuel, as it would recreate a Spanish domination in Italy as it had been in the previous centuries. While negotiations continued about the matter, the Savoy-French-Spanish troops attacked Mantua under the supreme command of Charles Emmanuel himself.

Sure that in the end Mantua would be assigned to Spain, he voluntarily thwarted the expedition. The Piedmontese army was victorious in two battles at Crocetta and Guastalla. In the end, when Austria and France signed a peace, Charles was forced to leave Lombardy. In exchange, he was given some territories, including Langhe, Tortona and Novara.

The War of Austrian Succession

Charles Emmanuel was involved in the War of Austrian Succession, which he sided for Maria Theresa of Austria, with financial and naval support from England. After noteworthy but inconclusive initially successes, he had to face the French-Spanish invasion of Savoy and, after a failed allied attempt to conquer the Kingdom of Naples, the county of Nizza. When the enemy army invaded Piedmont, in 1744 he personally defended Cuneo against the Spanish-French besiegers. The following year, with some 20,000 men was facing and invasion of two armies for a total of some 60,000 troops. The important strongholds of Alessandria, Asti and Casale fell. In 1746, after receiving reinforcements from Austria, he was able to recapture Alessandria and Asti. In 1747 he obtained a crushing victory over the French at the battle of Assietta, and his territories were saved when the main battleground moved northwards to the Netherlands.

The outcome of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle showed his qualities as negotiator also, as he was returned the lost provinces of Nice and Savoy, and obtained Vigevano as well as other lands in the Pianura Padana.

He declined to participate in the Seven Years' War (1756-63), preferring to concentrate on administrative reforms, to maintain a well-disciplined army and to strengthen his fortresses. In an attempt to improve the poor condition of the newly acquired Sardinia, he also founded the Universities of Sassari and Cagliari.

Charles Emmanuel died in Turin in 1773. He was buried in the Basilica of Superga.


Charles Emmanuel's ancestors in three generations
Charles Emmanuel III of Sardinia Father:
Victor Amadeus II of Sardinia
Paternal Grandfather:
Charles Emmanuel II, Duke of Savoy
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Victor Amadeus I, Duke of Savoy
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Christine Marie of France
Paternal Grandmother:
Marie Jeanne of Savoy-Nemours
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Charles Amadeus of Savoy, 6th Duke of Nemours
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Elisabeth of Vendôme
Anne Marie of Orléans
Maternal Grandfather:
Philippe I, Duke of Orléans
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Louis XIII of France
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Anne of Austria
Maternal Grandmother:
Henrietta Anne Stuart
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Charles I of England
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Henrietta Maria of France


He married three times, but his three wives all died before their 30th birthday.

  1. Anne Christine Louise of Bavaria (1704-1723), a member of the Wittelsbach dynasty. She died a few days later after giving birth to a son:
    1. Vittorio Amedeo (1723-1725).
  2. Polyxena Christina of Hesse-Rotenburg (1706-1735), with whom he had six children:
    1. Victor Amadeus III of Savoy (1726-1796).
    2. Eleonora Maria Teresa (1728-1781), unmarried.
    3. Maria Luisa Gabriella (1729-d.1767), a nun.
    4. Maria Felicita (1730-1801), unmarried.
    5. Emanuele Filiberto, Duke of Aosta (1731-1735).
    6. Carlo Francesco Romualdo, Duke of Chablais (1733-1733)
  3. Elisabeth Teresa of Lorraine (1711-1741), younger sister of Holy Roman Emperor Francis I, with whom he had three children:
    1. Carlo Francesco Maria Augusto, Duke of Aosta (1738-1745).
    2. Maria Vittoria Margherita (1740-1742).
    3. Benedetto Maria Maurizio (1741-1808), Duke of Chablais (-1796) and Marchese of Ivrea (1796-1808). He married his niece Maria Anna, Princess of Savoy (1757-1824), daughter of his older half-brother Victor Amadeus, no issue.

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