Author Topic: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family  (Read 103956 times)

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Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #30 on: February 16, 2009, 10:22:56 PM »
Does anyone have the complete picture of Amalia's feud with Du Tillot? I read at an Italian site that Amalia was furious when Marchioness (Annetta?) Malaspina, one of her ladies-in-waiting, was appointed the head of (baby) Caroline's household... she was  said to be Du Tillot's mistress and acted some sort of 'first lady' at court before Amalia came to Parma. I'm beginning to think that, yes, Amalia wanted to rule Parma, but there are also other reasons for her feud with Du Tillot, such as this appointment. 

Also, has anyone read Maria Theresa by Paul Tabori? I have ordered a previously owned copy but it hasn't arrived yet. It should contain a  section on Amalia and Ferdinand.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2009, 10:24:34 PM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline Marc

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #31 on: February 17, 2009, 08:28:17 AM »
Amalia and her family:



Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #32 on: February 17, 2009, 09:22:11 PM »
Thank you, thank you, thank you! :) This is the first portrait I have seen of Amalia's family in Parma.  I'm surprised to see her in a full court dress --- I read she hated and abolished them in Parma.  ;)   I think the children are Caroline, Louis and Marie Antoinette?  I have noticed that Ferdinand does not seem to be much taller than Amalia -- and she is sitting!     
« Last Edit: February 17, 2009, 09:24:07 PM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #33 on: February 20, 2009, 11:56:56 AM »
He was actually not that bad, but too childish and easy going for a wife like Maria Amalia, who came with a chip on her shoulder.

Offline Mari

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #34 on: February 20, 2009, 04:41:12 PM »
Yes, but what was that playing monk thing all about?  :)

on Du Tillot:
With the accession to the Duchy of the somewhat simple Ferdinand, Duke of Parma (1751 - 1802) and his Habsburg Duchess, Archduchess Marie Amalie of Austria, an alliance organised by her mother, Maria Theresa, Tillot was soon cashiered, in spite of protests from France and Spain. He had made deep political enemies in the Church, and the new Duchess effected a shift away from Bourbon influences towards conservative Austria, though his replacement, Jose de Llano, was Spanish. Tillot was confined under house arrest to his properties at Colorno. He fled on 19 November 1771, intending to reach Spain, but ended his days in retirement in France., where he died in 1774.

The classic biography is U. Benassi, Guglielmo du Tillot: Un ministro riformatore del secolo XVIII (Parma, 1915).

June 1771- The Empress wrote to Mercy: " The Infanta, my daughter, has written to me of her fresh attempts against du Tillot, but I have answered her that I remember quite well the promise she and her husband gave to the two great Kings, that they would let du Tillot act for four years without interference, and that she ought to respect me more than to speak to me of such a thing. ... I fear that the disorders of Parma are such that they no longer admit of remedy; I believe that France and Spain recognise this, and wish to draw me into the turmoil. I can tell you that I do not want to associate myself with it, for many reasons; you must, therefore, drop any such proposal, for it can never be. They have another idea, as bad as the first, to send the Infant traveling and return me my daughter. I declare that I will never stand that; the young people must remain together. It would be shameful for the Bourbons to desert thus a Prince of their house. I should be very sorry to have to give a plump refusal to my daughter's return; either she must come with her husband (which would be the more natural arrangement), or she stays in Parma or Piacenza. . . . They are all right together just at present: let them remain so. Rather than have them in my house, I can tell you, I would rather they went to Venice."

http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=4920.msg336088

Some Authors state that Du Tillot had preferred another for the Bride of Ferdinand, others state that du Tillot rejected the fact that Maria Amalia had lovers that supposedly She openly lived with! But all Maria Theresa's Daughters seemed to have been raised to put Hapsburg influences over their Husbands. But the above statement seems to indicate that Maria Amalia was not honoring an arrangement made with France and Spain and her Mother did not like it. Is there a reference to that source...and thank you prinzheinelgirl for this information also both above and below......

Quote
I read at an Italian site that Amalia was furious when Marchioness (Annetta?) Malaspina, one of her ladies-in-waiting, was appointed the head of (baby) Caroline's household... she was  said to be Du Tillot's mistress and acted some sort of 'first lady' at court before Amalia came to Parma. I'm beginning to think that, yes, Amalia wanted to rule Parma, but there are also other reasons for her feud with Du Tillot, such as this appointment.
Quote

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #35 on: February 21, 2009, 12:14:51 AM »
Thanks Eric and Mari!  :)  Well, I guess sources vary --- I read in one source that Ferdinand of Parma was even less appealing than his cousin Naples but I agree, he did not seem to be ugly and was generally described as kind, even if he was quite peculiar.  I'm not sure if Amalia would have done better with Karl of Zweibrucken, who turned out to be a tyrant, a noted spendthrift, and quite cruel (I read that he would punish his servants and his subjects who displeased him by having them whipped).   The letter of Maria Theresa to Count Mercy in June 1771 can be found in the book "Guardian of Marie Antoinette'.

This is what I know:  Du Tillot tried to arrange Ferdinand of Parma's marriage to Beatrice d'Este of Modena (with the view of 'uniting' the duchies of Parma and Modena and also so that the Habsburg influence in Italy would not be so strong) but of course, Beatrice was already promised to an archduke (first Leopold then Ferdinand) --- an arrangement made when the Modena heiress was a mere child.  I've read that he was opposed to the match with Amalia and it seems that he wasn't warm  to her and she complained about not being respected (of course, that slighted the haughty Amalia).  I think she also complained about her apartments --- perhaps Du Tillot did not make them as nice as befits her status, for I would think he made the final decisions of such matters. They were many people against him (except of course, the Francophiles and those he 'sponsored' with state funds), particularly the locals and the clergy, and Amalia did not disappoint them in making sure that he would be dismissed.  Ferdinand did not like his minister and his policies!  Even the Spanish and French ambassadors joined in the fray --- they also did not like Du Tillot. It seems that Du Tillot made it clear to Ferdinand and Amalia who the boss was and it was not them.  Even Louis XV had to write his grandson to make 'allowances' for Du Tillot if he were being too 'overzealous'.  It seems to me that Du Tillot was not a particularly likeable man and it is no wonder that many people wanted him out (not to mention his reforms and policies).

As for his reported mistress, the Marchioness (Annetta?) Malaspina, she was also a lady-in-waiting to the Madame Infante and when Amalia married Ferdinand, she was one of the ladies-in-waiting to her.  She seemed to be quite lovely and cultured but was too much associated with Du Tillot. So, of course, Amalia was opposed to her being appointed as head of (baby)  Caroline's household but she was appointed anyway (Maria Theresa had an envoy convince her daughter to accept the appointment).  If I were Amalia, I would also feel angry at having the 'muse' of my enemy be appointed to such position.  It was also said that there were many satires written about her and Du Tillot.  Later on, Amalia secured a dismissal and an exile for her a few months before Du Tillot was also dismissed.  She was allowed to go back to Parma after some years but was never offered any court post again.  I will see if I can find that Italian site where I read this (with an online translation)... I cannot recall the exact source right now.

Oh, I also read that Du Tillot wrote letter after letter to the courts of France and Spain about the many eccentricities of Amalia -- such as going to market to do the shopping herself! Of course, that was unheard of in princesses back then -- and not so common even now--  and Du Tillot also reported that not only did she go shopping but would also spend half of the morning 'gossiping' with the market women.   Perhaps he was afraid of the market women also complaining about him and/or his policies? Just wondering!  ;)

I shall post any interesting details from the book on Maria Theresa by Paul Tabori when the book arrives.  I've read snippets only online and I remember reading that Amalia accompanied Ferdinand to roast chestnuts and they also played hide and seek!  I guess she was doing what MT told her to do: please her husband (or playing her cards right), LOL.

I would be very interested to read any reliable source that gives definite proof of Amalia's lovers!   I also read that Ferdinand, despite his leanings to being a monk, did not subscribe to 'celibacy' so his grandfather had to go princess/wife shopping for him.  Not sure of the details, but it was said that there were several 'distressing' episodes of him 'helping the peasant girls with the maize harvest'... it does, at the very least, suggest that he made improper advances on girls!     
« Last Edit: February 21, 2009, 12:41:45 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline Mari

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #36 on: February 21, 2009, 11:09:43 PM »
Well, this is further interesting reading about Maria Amalia from Bernini a Historian who describes Maria Amalia in very unflattering terms

http://books.google.com/books?id=AnsOAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA39&dq=maria+amalia+of+parma+and+du+tillot&lr=#PPA39,M1

   
In Triumph's Wake: Royal Mothers, Tragic Daughters, and the Price They Paid ...‎ - Page 195
by Julia P. Gelardi - Biography & Autobiography - 2008 - 432 pages
26 Maria Amalia, who married Ferdinand, Duke of Parma, in 1769, ... Soon Amalia
scandalized her mother and others by taking lovers. ...
Unfortunately I do not have this Book.....

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #37 on: February 22, 2009, 06:31:15 AM »
I forgot to add this:

I read that Maria Theresa's farewell letter to Amalia (upon leaving Vienna) contained both a warning and an appeal about Du Tillot.  She knew that many, many people in Parma were counting on her daughter to effect a change in ministers and she advised her to cooperate and respect Du Tillot -- that is, until he gives her a valid reason to not to trust/dislike him.  And what did Amalia write home in her first letter to MT? She said that her husband was not respected and her, even less.  No doubt Du Tillot was one of those people who did not respect them. Sure, she was haughty but she has a valid reason for Du Tillot seemed not to care about their feelings, for he was extremely secure in the patronage of Louis XV and Charles III.  I'm not saying that Amalia was blameless for this mess, but it takes two to tango.  Ferdinand, apparently, did not like his minister at all (even before Amalia came to Parma), and she was blamed for the rift in the duke & minister's relationship.  But certain letters of Louis XV point to the fact that Ferdinand himself disliked him for various reasons.... and the court of France had to send an envoy to induce Ferdinand to like Du Tillot.....  I'm sure Amalia fanned the flames, so to speak, but it wasn't as if she only influenced him to think badly about Du Tillot --- he had his own opinion of his minister.  Besides, the local people (Italians) hated the French and Spanish, the French hated the Spaniards and vice versa.  I do not discount the fact that Du Tillot was said to have the talent to run Parma but all in all,  he and his policies/reforms were not welcome there. I read that the people in Piacenza in particular were ready to have him removed by force if necessary.     
« Last Edit: February 22, 2009, 06:36:31 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #38 on: February 22, 2009, 03:17:28 PM »
I think Maria Amalia did the right thing to remove him. But she was not crafty like Caroline who did away with her rival in steps. However like her sister, she also took lovers...

Offline CountessKate

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #39 on: February 23, 2009, 04:17:03 AM »
Quote
I do not discount the fact that Du Tillot was said to have the talent to run Parma but all in all,  he and his policies/reforms were not welcome there. I read that the people in Piacenza in particular were ready to have him removed by force if necessary.

What the people thought was irrelevant in an autocratic regime - and Amalia's replacement, Jose de Llano, was Spanish, so they weren't getting a local Italian which presumably they would have preferred.  Du Tillot was a liberal minister whose policies strengthened trade and enabled Parma to punch above its weight, but his infringement of ecclesiastical privileges were what made Ferdinand turn against him.  Basically, by getting rid of Du Tillot, Maria Amalia and Ferdinand were putting royal power and sovereignity ahead of progressive policies which brought trade and wealth to Parma - but all Maria Amalia could see was that Du Tillot was not her nominee and all Ferdinand could see was that Du Tillot was not sufficiently conservative in religious matters.  It was Du Tillot who turned Parma into a modern, prosperous state, not its rulers - and nobody was grateful to him!

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #40 on: February 23, 2009, 09:27:33 AM »
I think Maria Amalia did the right thing to remove him. But she was not crafty like Caroline who did away with her rival in steps. However like her sister, she also took lovers...

Were her lovers the guards? That's the only thing I read that could be connected to her (supposed) lovers.... that she was fond of the guards!  ;)
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Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #41 on: February 23, 2009, 05:49:54 PM »
That's why I'm a bit skeptical about Amalia having lovers.... no names were ever mentioned unlike Caroline. ;)  But, considering her circumstances, that's very possible.

Here's a bit on Ferdinand and Amalia from the book Maria Theresa by Paul Tabori (1969):

Maria Theresa was said to have been distressed that Amalia's intended was educated as a philosopher... what would such a prince think of her sweet but not so intelligent daughter? Nevertheless, she agreed to the match. The Spanish ambassador boasted that Ferdinand would be the best educated ruler in Europe. 

Ferdinand had a mistress when Amalia arrived!   Very soon after Amalia arrived at the palace, he took her hand and brought her to the basement kitchen and asked her if she liked roast chestnuts and if she did, he'll get her some... then he introduced his mistress to her and told the two ladies to be friends! He assured Amalia that his mistress doesn't bite!  :o  Amalia, of course, soon recovered her poise and ate the chestnuts and then they played hide and seek.  ;D Ferdinand roamed the countryside all day and came only to the city to ring bells.

Du Tillot's complaints included Ferdinand's preoccupations with ringing bells and roasting chestnuts. Amalia, on the other hand, spent money like water and danced with peasant boys in the main square, went to the market to do the shopping herself and spent half the mornings gossiping with the market women there.  ;D  MT also sent Leopold from Tuscany to preach submission and economy to his sister. Of course, he wasn't that successful (even though Amalia was fond of him).   

MT sent Count Rosenberg to verify the truth of such reports for she could not believe those things of her well-behaved and virtuous (at least in Vienna) daughter.  Amalia told Rosenberg of her troubles there, then called Du Tillot a 'base wretch' and his mistress, the Marchioness Malaspina, a 'stupid goose'. The envoy was shocked-- where did she learn such language? Yes, she dismissed them for she wanted to have fun and wanted fun/gay people around. Then she sent her love to Mama the Empress.

Soon after, MT decided not to write Amalia and also did  not to want to hear about her. It was said that Amalia wasn't bothered by this and the two continued their way of life.  But Charles III was so angry he wanted to send troops to Parma to restore order there.  But MT talked him out of it -- how can an army of occupation prevent the Infante from keeping a mistress and ringing bells and roasting chestnuts? The same would not prevent her daughter from issuing her crazy decrees and fooling around with the yokels.  They could be certified as  crazy but  tha's too much of disgarce to both dynasties so just tet them go bankrupt by stopping the subisidies and perhaps they will change.

Ferdinand talked to Amalia to write MT and do something for they didn't have any money left in the Treasury  and he didn't dare write Spain or France (I think this was the point when Amalia was pawning and selling her jewelry -- MT wrote Count Mercy in Paris about it).   So Amalia wrote her mother, who was moved by her daughter's pleas and promises to change. A few days after, a large sum of money arrived from Vienna. But soon after, Amalia declared that they were happy with their way of life and that no one should interfere and refused to receive her mother's envoy. No messages for Vienna either.   

« Last Edit: February 23, 2009, 06:22:15 PM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline Marc

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #42 on: February 23, 2009, 06:45:21 PM »
What was her relation with MT after that...if any?

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #43 on: February 24, 2009, 07:55:24 AM »
The book by Paul Tabori said that they never reconciled.  But other sources say that the Empress had made overtures, such as when  Amalia was pregnant with her 4th child, Carlotta.  I'm sure it was during her 4th pregnancy for the envoy, who brought lavish gifts from the MT,  reported that he saw her 3 children as requested (whom he described as 'charming') but that Amalia did not even ask about her mother.  MT was very much aggrieved by it. However, there seemed to be some sort of communication between mother and daughter since Amalia wanted to visit Vienna for years but the Empress feared that she would  refuse to return to Parma and knowing how stubborn Amalia was, she did not agree. They agreed on a compromise to meet in Goritz (near the Italian borders) but the visit never materialized due to MT's ill health.  I think that was in 1776. At any rate, daughter Carlotta (born in 1777)  carried one of her grandmother's names: Carlotta Maria Ferdinanda Teresa.   And later on, MT would send a painter to have a group portrait of her grandchildren in Parma, and said portrait showed a letter to the Empress from her grandchildren so there must be some communication between Vienna and Parma. It's interesting that MT commissioned  group portraits of her grandchildren but, from what I know, only those of Leopold's and Amalia's .
« Last Edit: February 24, 2009, 08:05:08 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #44 on: February 25, 2009, 05:03:46 PM »
Yes. I know that Mimi (Maria Chistine) visited Maria Amalia in Parma and found her changed. When in the game that her visit happened ?