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Francis I of the Two Sicilies
Portrait by Vicente López y Portaña, 1829
|King of the Two Sicilies|
|Reign||4 January 1825 – 8 November 1830|
|Born||(1777-08-19)19 August 1777
Naples, Kingdom of Naples
|Died||8 November 1830(1830-11-08) (aged 53)
Naples, Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
|Father||Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies|
|Mother||Maria Carolina of Austria|
Francis was born the son of Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Archduchess Maria Carolina of Austria in Naples. He was also the nephew of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI, the last King and Queen of France before the first French Republic.
At the death of his older brother Carlo, Duke of Calabria, Francis became the heir to the throne and Duke of Calabria, the traditional title of the heir apparent to the Neapolitan throne.
In 1796 Francis married his double first cousin Archduchess Maria Clementina of Austria, daughter of Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor. When she died, he married his first cousin María Isabel, daughter of King Charles IV of Spain.
After the Bourbon family fled from Naples to Sicily in 1806, and Lord William Bentinck, the British resident, had established a constitution and deprived Ferdinand of all power, Francis was appointed regent (1812).
On the fall of Napoleon I, his father returned to Naples and suppressed the Sicilian constitution, incorporating his two kingdoms into that of the Two Sicilies (1816); Francis then assumed the revived title of duke of Calabria. While still heir apparent he professed liberal ideas, and on the outbreak of the revolution of 1820 he accepted the regency, apparently in a friendly spirit towards the new constitution.
On succeeding to the throne in 1825, however, he pursued a conservative course. He took little part in the government, which he left in the hands of favourites and police officials, and lived with his mistresses, surrounded by soldiers, ever in dread of assassination. During his reign the only revolutionary movement was the outbreak on the Cilento (1828), repressed by the Marquis Delcarretto, an ex-Liberal. He was, however, successful in having the Austrian occupation force withdrawn (1827), thereby relieving a large financial burden on the treasury.
During his reign, the Royal Order of Francis I was founded to reward civil merit.
With Maria Clementina of Austria:
- Carolina (1798–1870), who married, firstly, Charles Ferdinand, duc de Berry, the second son of King Charles X of France; and secondly, Ettore Count Lucchesi Palli, Prince di Campofranco, Duke della Grazia.
- Ferdinando (1800–1801).
With Isabella of Spain:
- Luisa Carlotta (1804–1844), who married her mother's younger brother Infante Francisco de Paula of Spain.
- María Cristina (1806–1878), who married firstly her uncle Ferdinand VII of Spain (her mother's older brother); and secondly, Ferdinand Muñoz, Duke of Rianzares.
- Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies (1810–1859), who became Francis I's successor and married twice.
- Carlo Ferdinando, Prince of Capua (1811–1862), who morganatically wed Penelope Smyth and had issue.
- Leopoldo Beniamino, Count of Syracuse (1813–1860), who married Princess Maria of Savoy-Carignan. No issue.
- Maria Antonia (1814–1898) who married Leopold II, Grand Duke of Tuscany.
- Antonio Pasquale, Count of Lecce (1816–1843).
- Maria Amalia (1818–1857), who married Infante Sebastian of Portugal and Spain.
- Maria Carolina (1820–1861), who married Don Carlos de Bourbon, Count of Montemolin, Carlist pretender to the throne of Spain.
- Teresa Cristina (1822–1889), who married Emperor Pedro II of Brazil.
- Luigi Carlo, Count of Aquila (1824–1897), who married Januária, Princess Imperial of Brazil (sister of Pedro II of Brazil and Maria II of Portugal). Had issue.
- Francesco di Paola, Count of Trapani (1827–1892), who married Archduchess Maria Isabella of Austria, Princess of Tuscany, and had issue.
- De Majo, Silvio. "FRANCESCO I di Borbone, re delle Due Sicilie". Retrieved 2014-08-14.
- Genealogie ascendante jusqu'au quatrieme degre inclusivement de tous les Rois et Princes de maisons souveraines de l'Europe actuellement vivans [Genealogy up to the fourth degree inclusive of all the Kings and Princes of sovereign houses of Europe currently living] (in French). Bourdeaux: Frederic Guillaume Birnstiel. 1768. pp. 1, 9.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Francis I. of the Two Sicilies". Encyclopædia Britannica. 10 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 936.
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