Kingdom of Corsica (1736)

Kingdom of Corsica

Regno di Corsica
Königreich Korsika
Motto:  Prudentia et industria vincitur tyrannis;
Pro bono publico regno corsice
1737 map of Corsica commissioned by King Theodore
1737 map of Corsica commissioned by King Theodore
Status Unrecognized state
Capital Cervione; Corte
Common languages Italian
Government Administrative monarchy
• Established
March 1736
• Disestablished
November 1736
8,680 km2 (3,350 sq mi)
Currency soldi
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Republic of Genoa
Republic of Genoa

The Kingdom of Corsica was a short-lived kingdom on the island of Corsica. It was formed after the islanders crowned the German adventurer Theodor Stephan Freiherr von Neuhoff[1] King of Corsica.

Formation and downfall

At Genoa, Neuhoff made the acquaintance of some Corsican rebels and exiles, and persuaded them that he could free their country from Genoese tyranny if they made him king of the island. With the help of the Bey of Tunis, he landed in Corsica in March 1736 with military aid. The islanders, whose campaign had not been successful, elected and crowned him king. He assumed the title of King Theodore I, issued edicts, instituted an order of knighthood, and waged war on the Genoese, at first with some success. But in-fighting among the rebels soon led to their defeat. The Genoese put a price on his head and published an account of his colourful past, and he left Corsica in November 1736, ostensibly to seek foreign assistance. After sounding out the possibility of protection from Spain and Naples, he set off to Holland where he was arrested for debt in Amsterdam.

On regaining his freedom, Theodore sent his nephew to Corsica with a supply of arms; he himself returned to Corsica in 1738, 1739, and 1743, but the combined Genoese and French forces continued to occupy the island. In 1749 he arrived in England to seek support, but eventually fell into debt and was confined in a debtors' prison in London until 1755. He regained his freedom by declaring himself bankrupt, making over his kingdom of Corsica to his creditors, and subsisted on the charity of Horace Walpole and some other friends until his death in London in 1756.

See also