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|Francesco Melzi d'Eril|
Duke of Lodi
Portrait Melzi by Andrea Appiani.
|Vice President of the Italian Republic|
26 January 1802 –17 March 1805
|Preceded by||Office Created|
|Succeeded by||Eugène de Beauharnais (as Viceroy of the Kingdom of Italy)|
|Grand Chancellor of the Kingdom of Italy|
|Preceded by||Office Created|
|Succeeded by||Office Abolished|
|Born|| 6 March 1753|
Milan, Duchy of Milan, Austrian Empire
|Died|| 16 January 1816|
Villa Melzi d'Eril, Bellagio, Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia, Austrian Empire
Francesco Melzi d'Eril, Duke of Lodi, Count of Magenta, (Milan, 6 March 1753 - Bellagio, 16 January 1816) was an Italian politician and patriot, serving as vice-president of the Napoleonic Italian Republic (1802–1805). He was a consistent supporter of the Italian unification ideals that would lead to the Italian Risorgimento shortly after his death.
The title of Conte di Magenta was created on 30 December 1619 for Don Luigi Melzi, of a Milanese patrician family. His descendant Gaspare, eighth Count, married Maria Teresa d'Eril, daughter and heiress of the Marchese de Fuente Sagrada, and their descendants adopted the name Melzi d'Eril. Francesco Melzi d'Eril, ninth Count, was made Vice-President of the Italian Republic under Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, and Grand Chancellor of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy in 1805. On 20 December 1807 he was created Duca di Lodi by Napoleon in his capacity as King of Italy. The Duke was childless, and adopted as his heir his nephew Giovanni Francesco. On his death he was succeeded as tenth Count by his brother Luigi. The Emperor of Austria, as King of Lombardy-Venetia after the Congress of Vienna, recognised the comital title of Magenta in 1816, but did not recognise the Napoleonic dukedom of Lodi. However, Giovanni was given the title of Duca Melzi on 5 September 1818. His son Lodovico, twelfth Count of Magenta, reassumed the title of Duca di Lodi in 1859. The titles of Duca di Lodi and Conte di Magenta were recognised for his successors by ministerial decrees of the new Kingdom of united Italy dated 1890, 1913 and 1939. While there are still heirs to these titles, they were suppressed in 1947 along with all other Italian noble titles.
Milan is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, and the second-most populous city in Italy after Rome, with the city proper having a population of 1,372,810 while its metropolitan city has a population of 3,245,308. Its continuously built-up urban area has a population estimated to be about 5,270,000 over 1,891 square kilometres. The wider Milan metropolitan area, known as Greater Milan, is a polycentric metropolitan region that extends over central Lombardy and eastern Piedmont and which counts an estimated total population of 7.5 million, making it by far the largest metropolitan area in Italy and the 54th largest in the world. Milan served as capital of the Western Roman Empire from 286 to 402 and the Duchy of Milan during the medieval period and early modern age.
Bellagio is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Como in the Italian region of Lombardy. It is located on Lake Como, also known by its Latin-derived name Lario, whose arms form an inverted Y. The triangular land mass at the base of the inverted Y is the Larian Triangle: at its northern point sits Bellagio, looking across to the northern arm of the lake and, behind it, the Alps. It has always been famous for its location. It belongs to a mountain community named Comunità montana del Triangolo lariano, with base in Canzo.
Francesco Melzi d'Eril was born to Gaspare and Marianna Teresa d'Eril in 1753. Despite the House of Melzi d'Eril being one of the prominent families in the Milanese aristocracy, their wealth had been compromised. This was mostly due to Francesco's grandfather Francesco Saverio Melzi, who had fought in the War of the Austrian Succession along with the Spanish, thus falling in disgrace when Empress Maria Theresa had re-established her control over her possessions in Lombardy. As a consequence of this situation, Francesco Melzi d'Eril was raised by his uncle.
The War of the Austrian Succession involved most of the powers of Europe over the issue of Archduchess Maria Theresa's succession to the Habsburg Monarchy. The war included peripheral events such as King George's War in British America, the War of Jenkins' Ear, the First Carnatic War in India, the Jacobite rising of 1745 in Scotland, and the First and Second Silesian Wars.
Maria Theresa Walburga Amalia Christina was the only female ruler of the Habsburg dominions and the last of the House of Habsburg. She was the sovereign of Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Bohemia, Transylvania, Mantua, Milan, Lodomeria and Galicia, the Austrian Netherlands, and Parma. By marriage, she was Duchess of Lorraine, Grand Duchess of Tuscany and Holy Roman Empress.
Lombardy is one of the twenty administrative regions of Italy, in the northwest of the country, with an area of 23,844 square kilometres (9,206 sq mi). About 10 million people, forming one-sixth of Italy's population, live in Lombardy and about a fifth of Italy's GDP is produced in the region, making it the most populous and richest region in the country and one of the richest regions in Europe. Milan, Lombardy's capital, is the second-largest city and the largest metropolitan area in Italy.
Francesco's uncle had him educated by the Jesuits, first at the "Collegio dei Nobili" in Brera and then at the "Scuole Palatine", both in Milan. In the latter institute, Francesco met scientist Ruggero Giuseppe Boscovich, who would thereafter be one of his best friends. In 1773, as a consequence of Emperor Joseph II's Enlightenment-influenced reforms, religious schools lost the right to confer degrees, so Francesco never graduated.
The Society of Jesus is a scholarly religious congregation of the Catholic Church for men which originated in sixteenth-century Spain. The members are called Jesuits. The society is engaged in evangelization and apostolic ministry in 112 nations. Jesuits work in education, intellectual research, and cultural pursuits. Jesuits also give retreats, minister in hospitals and parishes, sponsor direct social ministries, and promote ecumenical dialogue.
Brera is a district ("quartiere") of Milan, Italy. It is located within the Zone 1 and it is centered on Brera street. The name stems from Medieval Italian "braida" or "brera", derived from Old Lombardic "brayda", meaning a land expanse either cleared of trees or naturally lacking them. This is because around the year 900, the Brera district was situated just outside Milan's city walls and was kept clear for military reasons. The root of the word is the same as that of the Dutch city of Breda's name and the English word "broad".
Joseph II was Holy Roman Emperor from August 1765 and sole ruler of the Habsburg lands from November 1780 until his death. He was the eldest son of Empress Maria Theresa and her husband, Emperor Francis I, and the brother of Marie Antoinette. He was thus the first ruler in the Austrian dominions of the House of Lorraine, styled Habsburg-Lorraine. Joseph was a proponent of enlightened absolutism; however, his commitment to modernizing reforms subsequently engendered significant opposition, which resulted in failure to fully implement his programmes. He has been ranked, with Catherine the Great of Russia and Frederick the Great of Prussia, as one of the three great Enlightenment monarchs. His policies are now known as Josephinism. He died with no sons and was succeeded by his younger brother, Leopold II.
Despite his family's situation, Melzi d'Eril had the opportunity to frequent exclusive Milanese circles, where he met prominent Lombard Enlightenment thinkers such as Pietro Verri, Cesare Beccaria, Giuseppe Parini, and Ippolito Pindemonte. He also had the opportunity to travel abroad and become knowledgeable about the emerging, Enlightenment-influenced European political systems as well as the English parliamentary system. In this context, he developed a liberalist view and sympathized for the French Revolution, although this was later mitigated by his disapproval of the radical, anti-religious developments the Revolution would bring about. He also thoroughly embraced the cause of the Italian unification.
Pietro Verri was an economist, historian, philosopher and writer. Among the most important personalities of the eighteenth-century Italian culture, he is considered among the fathers of the Lombard reformist enlightenment and the most important pre-Smithian authority on Cheapness and Plenty.
Cesare Bonesana di Beccaria, Marquis of Gualdrasco and Villareggio was an Italian criminologist, jurist, philosopher, and politician, who is widely considered as the most talented jurist and one of the greatest thinkers of the Age of Enlightenment. He is well remembered for his treatise On Crimes and Punishments (1764), which condemned torture and the death penalty, and was a founding work in the field of penology and the Classical School of criminology. Beccaria is considered the father of modern criminal law and the father of criminal justice.
Giuseppe Parini was an Italian Enlightenment satirist and poet of the neoclassic period.
Melzi d'Eril's attitude towards Napoleon was as mixed as that he had had towards the French Revolution. When Napoleon began his Italian campaign, and entered Milan, Melzi d'Eril first supported the new rule, participating in the government of the Cisalpine Republic. Later on, when he realized that Napoleon had no interest in the unity of Italy, Melzi d'Eril retired and eventually moved abroad.
The Cisalpine Republic was a sister republic of France in Northern Italy that lasted from 1797 to 1802.
After the Battle of Marengo (1800), Melzi was invited to France to participate in the definition of the new political order for Italy. When the Italian Republic was founded, with Napoleon as the head of state, Melzi d'Eril was named vice-president. In the three years of the Italian Republic, Melzi d'Eril largely contributed to the development of the Republic as well as the renewal of the city of Milan, that was chosen as the capital of the new kingdom. Nevertheless, when the Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed in 1805, Napoleon chose Eugène de Beauharnais as his governor, and Melzi d'Eril was somehow set aside from the new government. As a compensation of sorts, he was made Duke of Lodi. He thus retired, but remained a strong supporter of the autonomy of Italy and a frank critic of the Napoleonic rule.
The Battle of Marengo was fought on 14 June 1800 between French forces under Napoleon Bonaparte and Austrian forces near the city of Alessandria, in Piedmont, Italy. Near the end of the day, the French overcame Gen. Michael von Melas's surprise attack, driving the Austrians out of Italy and consolidating Napoleon's political position in Paris as First Consul of France in the wake of his coup d’état the previous November.
The Italian Republic was a short-lived (1802–1805) republic located in Northern Italy. Napoleon served as President and its capital was Milan.
The Kingdom of Italy was a kingdom in Northern Italy in personal union with France under Napoleon I. It was fully influenced by revolutionary France and ended with his defeat and fall. Its governance was conducted by Napoleon and his step-son and viceroy Eugène de Beauharnais.
In 1815, Milan fell under the Austrian rule. Melzi d'Eril was cautious in his relationships with the Austrian Empire, avoiding direct confrontation but also refusing to bow to the new rulers. It is notable, for example, that in 1815 he refused to welcome Austrian emissary Annibale Sommariva who had been sent on a diplomatic mission to meet him in his house in Bellagio.
Melzi d'Erial died on 16 January 1816 at the age of 63, in his house in Milan (Palazzo Melzi d'Eril), while the Austrian Emperor was visiting the city. The newspaper did not report on his death, for fear that the news might cause uprisings in Milan while the Emperor was there. The very day of his death, his house was sealed by the police, and his documents were later sequestrated and brought to Vienna.
The funeral was delayed until 28 March, but it was solemn and largely participated by the population. His body was buried in Villa Melzi d'Eril, his villa in Bellagio, on Lake Como.
Italian unification, also known as the Risorgimento, was the political and social movement that consolidated different states of the Italian peninsula into the single state of the Kingdom of Italy in the 19th century. The process began in 1815 with the Congress of Vienna and was completed in 1871 when Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy.
The Duchy of Milan was a state of the Holy Roman Empire in northern Italy. It was created in 1395, when it included twenty-six towns and the wide rural area of the middle Padan Plain east of the hills of Montferrat. During much of its existence, it was wedged between Savoy to the west, Venice to the east, the Swiss Confederacy to the north, and separated from the Mediterranean by Genoa to the south. The Duchy eventually fell to Habsburg Austria with the Treaty of Baden (1714), concluding the War of the Spanish Succession. The Duchy remained an Austrian possession until 1796, when a French army under Napoleon Bonaparte conquered it, and it ceased to exist a year later as a result of the Treaty of Campo Formio, when Austria ceded it to the new Cisalpine Republic.
The Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia, commonly called "Lombardo-Venetian Kingdom", was a constituent land of the Austrian Empire. It was created in 1815 by resolution of the Congress of Vienna in recognition of the Austrian House of Habsburg-Lorraine's rights to Lombardy and the former Republic of Venice after the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy, proclaimed in 1805, had collapsed. It was finally dissolved in 1866 when its remaining territory was incorporated into the recently proclaimed Kingdom of Italy.
Francesco Melzi, or Francesco de Melzi, was an Italian painter born into a family of the Milanese nobility in Lombardy. He was a pupil of Leonardo da Vinci.
Giocondo Albertolli was a Swiss-born architect, painter, and sculptor who was active in Italy during the Neoclassical period.
Villa Carlotta is a villa and botanical garden in Tremezzo on Lake Como in Northern Italy. The villa is today a museum, whose art collection includes works by Canova, Thorvaldsen, Migliara and Hayez in addition to pieces of furniture from the time of the various owners. The villa, whose architect is unknown, was completed in 1745.
The Museum of the Risorgimento, located in the 18th-century Milanese Palazzo Moriggia, houses a collection of objects and artworks which illustrate the history of Italian unification from Napoleon's first Italian campaign of 1796 to the annexation of Rome in 1870. The city of Milan played a key role in the process, most notably on the occasion of the 1848 uprising against the Austrians known as the Five Days of Milan.
Porta Sempione is a city gate of Milan, Italy. The name "Porta Sempione" is used both to refer to the gate proper and to the surrounding district ("quartiere"), a part of the Zone 1 division, including the major avenue of Corso Sempione. The gate is marked by a landmark triumphal arch called Arco della Pace, dating back to the 19th century, although its origins can be traced back to a gate of the Roman walls of Milan.
Porta Venezia is one of the historical gates of the city of Milan, Italy. In its present form, the gate dates back to the 19th century; nevertheless, its origins can be traced back to the Medieval and even the Roman walls of the city.
Giovanni Battista Comolli was an Italian sculptor.
Carlo Prajer or Carlo Prayer was a late 18th- and early 19th-century painter and engraver. He was born in Milan, and active in Lombardy. A pupil of Andrea Appiani, he became director of the Accademia Carrara in Bergamo. He painted four canvases designed by Giuseppe Bossi depicting the Life of Leonardo for the Villa Melzi d'Eril in Bellagio.
Gian Carlo Passeroni was an Italian satirical poet, the most important of the 18th-century Nice poets. He was an ordained priest and for much of his career lived an ascetic life in Milan. He is best known for his lengthy satirical poem II Cicerone.
Giovanni Bovara Rejna was an Italian priest and politician.
Ferdinando, comte Marescalchi was an Italian diplomat and politician.
The Consulte de Lyon or consulte de la république cisalpine was an extraordinary meeting in the former chapel of the Jesuit college of the Trinity in Lyon during the French Consulate. It was held from 11–26 January 1802 and converted the Cisalpine Republic into the Italian Republic, with Napoleon Bonaparte as its president.
Stefano Bonsignori or Bonsignore O.SS.C.A. was an Italian cleric, bishop and theologian. Napoleon I appointed him patriarch of Venice, but this appointment was not confirmed by the Holy See.
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