Author Topic: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina  (Read 192456 times)

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Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #45 on: April 27, 2010, 08:46:18 PM »
Yes, they were friends and allies.....  :)  although I haven't read much on their relationship.

How did the Sicilians view their king and queen?  From my what I have read, Ferdinand and Maria Carolina never saw/visited their secondary realm of Sicily until they had to flee from the French in 1798....
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RomanovsFan4Ever

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #46 on: April 28, 2010, 04:30:20 AM »
How did the Sicilians view their king and queen?  From my what I have read, Ferdinand and Maria Carolina never saw/visited their secondary realm of Sicily until they had to flee from the French in 1798....

I don't think that Sicilians had a positive view of their King and Queen...Ferdinando intended to reduce the power of the Sicilian Barons who ruled the Island, and he imposed other reforms that the Sicilian people didn't accepted.
Sicily was annexed to the Bourbon's Reign in 1734, and it was already a first reason that favored the emergence of hostility of the Sicilians towards the Napolitans, in fact, Sicily for some centuries had rejected the submission to the continental governments defending their independence...So the final annexation to the bourbon's Reign was not appreciated, but Sicily kept anyway a kind of "autonomy" represented by the Sicilian Barons.
So, the Ferdinando I's new reforms that tried to cancel that "autonomy" was considered very negatively by Sicilians...
« Last Edit: April 28, 2010, 04:38:21 AM by RomanovsFan4Ever »

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #47 on: April 28, 2010, 08:26:21 AM »
Thanks a lot for the explanation, RomanovsFan4Ever!  :)

It seems that the Sicilians were very independent and very assertive - very much like the Hungarians of Empress Maria Theresa's time.  Being so, I don't think they'd like Maria Carolina and vice versa.

I can't imagine the Sicilians being very happy having Ferdinand and Maria Carolina living in Sicily.... in addition to perhaps some fear of losing some of their independence and having to submit to reforms they didn't want, the royal family's expenses were also to be borne by them.... or perhaps that paid for by the British. 

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RomanovsFan4Ever

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #48 on: April 28, 2010, 11:46:31 AM »
It seems that the Sicilians were very independent and very assertive - very much like the Hungarians of Empress Maria Theresa's time.

Yes, kind of...

But I have also to add to my previous post that despite of the controversial political relationships between Ferdinando I and the Sicilians, the period of highest tension between Naples and Sicily was long after Ferdinando I and Maria Carolina's time, but during Ferdinando II's time in 1848 and 1849, with the explosion of the Sicilian Revolutionary movements (as I have already mentioned in a previous post) and the subsequest bombing of Messina.

As far as I read, during the time of Ferdinando I and Maria Carolina there were independence movements (supported by the British, especially by Lord Bentinck), but those were always peaceful movements that never led to real wars.

RomanovsFan4Ever

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #49 on: April 28, 2010, 12:07:06 PM »
in addition to perhaps some fear of losing some of their independence and having to submit to reforms they didn't want, the royal family's expenses were also to be borne by them.... or perhaps that paid for by the British. 

I think that the higher costs were incurred by Naples its self...the Royals took away with them a big number of works of art and the entire Napolitan Public funds.  ::)

Eric_Lowe

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #50 on: April 28, 2010, 06:07:26 PM »
I read from Acton's book that it was the British commander who was arragont and disrespectful to MC that started it all (one should remember that MC got on well with the British (The Hamilitons & Nelson) before then). Since it came from a British source, I tend to believe it. Ferdinand II did not lift a finger to save her, while her son Leopold went with her to exile. As the mother-in-law of the Emperor of Austria and grandmother of the Ex-Empress of the French, MC was not a nobody. The fact that she told Marie Louise that she should escape through the window by tying up bed sheets reveal that is still some fire left in the old dragon. Furthermore, MC 's kindness to the largely ignored King of Rome showed she could be sentimental when she wish to be. Her last words was to her great grandson "Let the little one come to me tomorrow, I have something that would amuse him." She died the same night.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #51 on: April 29, 2010, 08:02:51 PM »
Thank you, Eric_Lowe.

Like I mentioned earlier, I haven't read Harold Acton's book so the information above you posted is very interesting to me. It sounds like it the British representative was the first to make mischief in Sicily and so Maria Carolina gave as good as she got... unfortunately for her, she lost this particular "battle".  Anyway, Sicily then was under British protection so it seems like Ferdinand and MC needed the British more than British needing them?  I assume the banishment of MC also had the British regent's approval....

I think it's true that Ferdinand did not lift a finger to save her -- and just pretended to be sorry (in a letter to his nephew Emperor Francis in Austria) about MC's banishment. Again, I understand where he came from -- more than 40 years of MC's bad temper and everything that she did was deemed wrong - but I don't think it was a commendable action, even if he had no love left for his wife.

It's true that MC was not a nobody as you put it. Her nephew and son in law Francis could've treated her better (the impression I got is that he largely ignored her after their falling out in the early 1800s) but he probably felt justified about not being warmer to her.

That MC could be loving/kind cannot be contested.  However, like I pointed out earlier (I think in another thread), it seems that she was very selective about to whom to show such...it didn't seem to be a trait that could be pointed out in general.   Again, I need to read more about MC to futher back up this impression.
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Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #52 on: April 29, 2010, 11:56:17 PM »
I think that the higher costs were incurred by Naples its self...the Royals took away with them a big number of works of art and the entire Napolitan Public funds.  ::)

Oh. No wonder the Neapolitans didn't seem to like Maria Carolina (I'm not sure about Ferdinand, he seems to have been popular or at least retained some of his popularity)... not only did she and her husband had people executed but also did that! MC and her husband probably viewed such as 'personal' property anyway, and to protect the same from the French. I hope they didn't do the same thing to Sicily when they left it for Naples!
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RomanovsFan4Ever

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #53 on: April 30, 2010, 04:35:01 AM »
Oh. No wonder the Neapolitans didn't seem to like Maria Carolina (I'm not sure about Ferdinand, he seems to have been popular or at least retained some of his popularity)... not only did she and her husband had people executed but also did that! MC and her husband probably viewed such as 'personal' property anyway, and to protect the same from the French. I hope they didn't do the same thing to Sicily when they left it for Naples!

I think that in young age Ferdinando was quite loved by Napolitan people, he loved to spend his time with common people, for this reason he was called "Re Lazzarone", because he loved to go round with the Lazzari that were young men of the popular class of Naples.

Probably, Maria Carolina was the most hated (although her violent and repressive reactions were supported by Ferdinando as well)...once I read that take away the public funds from Naples was a Maria Carolina decision, if it was true, she probably intended to "save" it from the French's hands as you have suggested...Although it was indeed a serious damage to the Napolitan people...
« Last Edit: April 30, 2010, 04:54:22 AM by RomanovsFan4Ever »

Offline CountessKate

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #54 on: April 30, 2010, 06:35:18 AM »
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I think that in young age Ferdinando was quite loved by Napolitan people, he loved to spend his time with common people, for this reason he was called "Re Lazzarone", because he loved to go round with the Lazzari that were young men of the popular class of Naples.

Probably, Maria Carolina was the most hated (although her violent and repressive reactions were supported by Ferdinando as well)...once I read that take away the public funds from Naples was a Maria Carolina decision, if it was true, she probably intended to "save" it from the French's hands as you have suggested...Although it was indeed a serious damage to the Napolitan people...

Ferdinand greatly benefited in popularity from his more relaxed personal tastes which suggested an essential sympathy with the common people, which may have been true in terms of enjoying the sorts of unpretentious company, entertainments and food of the lower classes, but didn't translate into political sympathy.  He not only supported the repressive measures of his wife, he supported them when his wife was no longer on the scene.  Maria Carolina reaped all the hostility towards the government as a distant and powerful foreigner who appeared to have no sympathy with the lower classes.  In fact politically, there was very little difference between her and Ferdinand.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #55 on: May 03, 2010, 01:50:11 AM »
 I think it's quite clear that he did mind Maria Carolina taking the reins of power and her bad temper...... he complained a lot about her to his father but more or less said he didn't want to suffer her bad temper and wanted to be left alone in peace...as she wanted to rule at all costs.  Yes, I think Ferdinand was also culpable in thepolitical disaster at the end years of their  reign, no matter the the mistakes MC did.  He didn't want to be bothered by the demands of government and his wife's ill temper... so whatever the results were, he was also partly responsible even if his wife was the "prime mover" in Naples......
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Offline CountessKate

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #56 on: May 11, 2010, 03:05:19 PM »
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Does anyone know when Ferdinand of Naples started having extra-marital affairs, that is at which point in their marriage?

Prior to his marriage, Ferdinand (according to Michel Lacour-Gayet in his biography 'Marie-Caroline - reine de Naples') did not have a regular mistress, preferring 'paysannes'.  Catherine Bearne in 'A sister of Marie Antoinette' writes of the early married life of Caroline and Ferdinand that "the Queen, finding it useless to alter him, left him at liberty to follow his low pleasures and undignified amusements and liaisons while she lead her own life..." and of his country life at Portici and Caserta, Bearne writes that here "he hunted, shot, and fished to his heart's content, and carried on the love intrigues which the Queen, unable to prevent, ignored to a certain extent when they concerned obscure persons not likely to give any trouble, but put an end to if the object of the King's fancy happened to be a woman of rank and education, likely to influence him or interfere in the slightest degree in political or social matters."  Bearne also cites the Englishman Henry Swinbourne, writing of his travels in Italy in 1777, in which he "describes the King as boyish, good-natured, and boisterous, telling amusing stories and always carrying on intrigues with women - chiefly contadine "[peasants].  Some aristocratic women attempted to become his mistress - for example, the Duchessa di Lucciana was suspected of this, and the Marchesa di San Marco was actively intriguing for it, but the Queen put a stop to any such goings-on. 

Mrs Bearne, writing a hundred years ago, would no doubt have suppressed all mention of Ferdinand's philanderings had it been possible, but the evidence was so extensive she bravely decided to be modern and bold about Telling All.  Lacour-Gayet and Bearne between them rather suggest that Ferdinand had continuous casual liasions before and during his marriage with Caroline and his last mistress and eventual wife, Laura Migliaccio, was one of a long, long line of women who were pretty much tolerated by her.  As a noblewoman, Laura Migliaccio would no doubt have been a target of the Queen had she been still with Ferdinand, but in fact Laura was completely uninterested in politics – probably one of her great attractions for Ferdinand.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #57 on: May 11, 2010, 08:09:01 PM »
Thank you!  :)

I rather had the idea that Ferdinand of Naples cheated on his wife early on, so it appears that both Maria Carolina and Maria Amalia in Parma had to contend with either mistresses or 'casual  affairs' at the outset of their marriages.  I'm just a bit surprised that Ferdinand of Naples also went for peasant girls like his cousin in Parma....
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Offline CountessKate

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #58 on: May 12, 2010, 03:10:35 AM »
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I'm just a bit surprised that Ferdinand of Naples also went for peasant girls like his cousin in Parma....

They were both effectively orphaned at a young age and both had rather casual courts where interaction with peasants were very frequent - Ferdinand of Naples in particular enjoying country pursuits such as hunting as well as disliking reading and intellectual activities.  The ministers who basically ruled until their wives came, were indulgent about these liaisons in a way their parents wouldn't have been, but would have probably have worked hard against a potential court mistress who might have spearheaded attempts to oust them.  Peasant girls weren't guarded in the way aristocratic virgins were, and it seems to have been the easiest way for them to have numerous sexual encounters without any problems or criticism.  And of course, peasant girls were not prostitutes and although they probably expected presents, didn't expect regular payment or were very likely to transmit diseases.  I can't think of situations more attractive for sexually active young men. 

I've never been in the least surprised about Ferdinand of Naples' sexual tastes - but I would have thought Ferdinand of Parma's religious feelings would have given him more restraint in that area.  Clearly not.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #59 on: May 12, 2010, 04:05:02 AM »
CountessKate: You're absolutely right, without any parental supervision, Ferdinand of Naples would've been free to pursue his 'escapades' and being fond of the hunt would've exposed him to country girls otherwise not found at court (though I imagine some girls worked as servants at the palace). Same with his cousin in Parma, although that Ferdinand did not seem to hunt very much. I never thought much about peasant virgin girls of that era, although what you said about them makes a lot of sense.  I would think, like the young girls kept by Louis XV at the Parc Aux Cerfs, said peasant girls (or at least their fathers) were imdemnified or was it like in cases of the manor lord (who had the pick of the peasants' pretty daughters as his unquestionable right)?

It must've been quite humiliating for Maria Carolina to "compete" with the peasant girls, just like her sister in Parma!  I couldn't make up my mind which was worse, that or Marie Antoinette's non-conssummation of marriage for 7 years (another humiliating thing)....  
« Last Edit: May 12, 2010, 04:16:31 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
kindness is the magic elixir of love