|Hieronymous Napoleon I|
|French Prince; Prince of Montfort|
Portrait by François Gérard
|King of Westphalia|
|Reign||8 July 1807 – 26 October 1813|
|President of the Senate|
|In office||28 January 1852 –|
30 November 1852
|Predecessor|| Étienne-Denis Pasquier |
(Chamber of Peers)
|Born||15 November 1784|
|Died||24 June 1860 75) (aged|
Jérôme-Napoléon Bonaparte (born Girolamo Buonaparte; 15 November 1784 – 24 June 1860) was the youngest brother of Napoleon I and reigned as Jerome I (formally Hieronymus Napoleon in German), King of Westphalia, between 1807 and 1813. From 1816 onward, he bore the title of Prince of Montfort.After 1848, when his nephew, Louis Napoleon, became President of the French Second Republic, he served in several official roles, including Marshal of France from 1850 onward, and President of the Senate in 1852.
Jérôme was born in Ajaccio, Corsica, the eighth and last surviving child (and fifth surviving son) of Carlo Buonaparte and his wife, Letizia Ramolino. He was a younger brother of his siblings: Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon Bonaparte, Lucien Bonaparte, Elisa Bonaparte, Louis Bonaparte, Pauline Bonaparte, and Caroline Bonaparte.
He studied at the Catholic College of Juilly, and then served with the French Navy before going to the United States. On Christmas Eve, 24 December 1803, nineteen-year-old Jérôme married Elizabeth "Betsy" Patterson (1785–1879), the eighteen-year-old daughter of a prosperous ship-owner and merchant, William Patterson, in Baltimore (then the third-largest city in America).
His elder brother Napoleon was unable to convince Pope Pius VII in Rome to annul the marriage, and so he annulled the marriage himself (by a French imperial decree, on 11 March 1805), as a matter of state. At the time, Jérôme was on his way to Europe with Elizabeth, who was pregnant. They landed in neutral Portugal, and Jérôme set off to Italy to persuade his brother to recognize the marriage. Elizabeth tried to land in Amsterdam, hoping to enter France so her baby would be born on French soil, but the Emperor barred the ship from entering the harbor. Elizabeth went to England instead. The child, Jérôme Napoléon Bonaparte (1805–1870), was born there.
After the child was born, the Emperor followed up his decree of divorce with Roman Catholic and later French state divorce proceedings. Jérôme submitted to the Emperor's demands, and Elizabeth returned to America with her son. Elizabeth was later declared divorced from Jérôme by a special decree and act of the Maryland General Assembly in 1815.
Napoleon made his brother King of Westphalia, a short-lived realm (1807–13) created by Napoleon from several states and principalities in northwestern Germany (in the former thousand-year old Holy Roman Empire, which was reorganized by Napoleon into the Confederation of the Rhine). After Napoleon's subsequent defeat, the Allies reorganized the German states into a German Confederation with Austrian leadership, largely overriding prior claim of lesser states.
The Napoleonic realm of Westphalia had its capital in Kassel (then: Cassel). Jérôme was married, as arranged by Napoleon before he was divorced with Elizabeth, to Princess Catharina of Württemberg, the daughter of Frederick I, King of Württemberg. A marriage to a German princess was intended to boost the dynastic standing of the young French king.
When Jérôme and Catharina arrived in Kassel, they found the palaces in a plundered state. As such, they placed orders for an array of stately furniture and expensive silverware with leading Parisian manufactures. Local artisans, eager for commissions, oriented themselves with these French models. The king also intended to refurbish his capital architecturally, and the court theatre ranks among the small number of projects realised. Jérôme had it designed by Leo von Klenze and constructed next to the summer residence, previously known as "Wilhelmshöhe", which was changed to "Napoleonshöhe". To emphasize his rank as a ruler, and pander to his own ego, Jérôme commissioned grandiose state portraits of himself and his spouse, Queen Catharina. Other paintings were to celebrate his military exploits, with many of France's most prominent painters taken into his employ.
As a model state, the Kingdom of Westphalia was expected by Napoleon to serve as an example for the other German states. It received the first constitution and parliament to be found on German soil (decades before other parliaments, legislatures, reichstags, bundesrats, etc. such as in Frankfurt in 1848). Jérôme imported the Empire style from Paris, bestowing the new state with a modern, representative appearance. The small kingdom thus received more attention since the famous Treaty of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years' War a hundred and fifty years earlier in 1648. Thanks to these efforts by King Jerome, Kassel celebrated an enormous cultural upturn.
However, Jérôme's expensive habits earned him the contempt of Napoleon. His court incurred expenses comparable to Napoleon's court (which oversaw a vastly larger and more important realm), and Napoleon refused to support Jérôme financially.
In 1812, Jérôme was given command of a corps in the Grande Armée , marching towards Minsk. Insisting on travelling "in state", Napoleon reprimanded Jerome, ordering him to leave his court and luxurious trappings behind. After the Battle of Mir (1812), Jérome occupied Mir Castle. In pique at Napoleon's order, Jérôme returned with his entire court and train to Westphalia. After the defeat in Russia during the following winter, Jerome petitioned Napoleon to allow his wife to go to Paris, fearing the advance of the Allied armies. On the second attempt, Napoleon granted permission.
Jérôme briefly re-entered the army in 1813, when his kingdom was being threatened from the east by the advancing allied Prussian and Russian armies. He led a small force to challenge their invasion. Following a clash with an enemy detachment, he made camp with his army, hoping for reinforcements from the French army in the west. However, before reinforcements arrived, the main allied force captured the capital, Kassel. The Kingdom of Westphalia was declared dissolved, and Jérôme's kingship ended. He then fled to join his wife, the former queen, in France.
During the "Hundred Days", Napoleon placed Jérôme in command of the 6th Division of the II Corps under General Honoré Charles Reille. At Waterloo, Jérôme's division was to make an initial attack on Hougoumont. It is said that Napoleon wished to draw in the Duke of Wellington's reserves. Whatever the intent, Jérôme was allowed to enlarge the assault such that his division became completely engaged attempting to take Hougoumont to the exclusion of any other possible deployment, without significantly weakening Wellington's centre.
Although Catharina was aware of Jérôme's womanising and affairs, she remained true to her husband. They had two sons, Prince Jérôme Napoléon Charles Bonaparte (1814–1847) and Prince Napoléon Bonaparte (1822–1891), also known as "Prince Napoleon" or "Plon-Plon." Their second child was a daughter, Princess Mathilde Bonaparte, who was a prominent hostess during and after the Second French Empire of Napoleon III (1852–70).
After the dissolution of his kingdom, Jérôme was given the title of "Prince of Montfort" (French: prince de Montfort)by his father-in-law, King Frederick I of Württemberg, in July 1816. Previously, King Frederick had forced Jérôme and his wife to leave the country in 1814. During their exile, they visited the United States (his second time there). Jérôme later returned to France and joined Napoleon during an attempt to restore the Empire during the "Hundred Days".
Later, Jérôme moved to Italy, where he married his third wife, Giustina Pecori-Suárez. She was the widow of an Italian Marquess, Luigi Bartolini-Baldelli.
In 1848, his nephew, Prince Louis Napoleon, became President of the second French Republic. Jérôme was made Governor of Les Invalides in Paris, which was the burial place of Napoleon I. When Louis Napoleon became emperor as Napoleon III, Jérôme was recognized as the heir presumptive to the re-established imperial throne until the birth of Napoléon Eugène, Prince Imperial. Jérôme was named a Marshal of France in 1850, served as President of the Senate (the upper house in the French Republic's parliament, compared with the lower house of the National Assembly) in 1852, and received the title of "Prince Français".
Jérôme Bonaparte died on 24 June 1860, at Villegenis, France (today known as Massy in Essonne). He is buried in Les Invalides.
His grandson, Charles Joseph Bonaparte (son of Jerome "Bo" Napoleon Bonaparte, 1805–1870), served as United States Secretary of the Navy and United States Attorney General in President Theodore Roosevelt's administration, 1901-1909. In 1908, he established a Bureau of Investigation within the 38-year-old Department of Justice. The bureau grew under director J. Edgar Hoover and was renamed the Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I) in 1935.
Another grandson was Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte II, (1829–1893). In the early 1850s, he graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, was commissioned an officer in the United States Army, and served with the Mounted Rifles in Texas on the American southwestern frontier. He eventually resigned his commission and joined the forces of his cousin, the Emperor Napoleon III in his second French Empire.
Among Jérôme Bonaparte's illegitimate children was Baroness Jenny von Gustedt, born as Jeromée Catharina Rabe von Pappenheim (1811–1890). She became the grandmother of the German Socialist and Feminist writer Lily Braun.
The 1923 German comedy film The Little Napoleon is loosely based around his life. He is played by Paul Heidemann.
In the Hornblower television series, he was portrayed by British actor David Birkin. The last episode (Duty) introduces Jérôme and Elizabeth ('Betsy'). Adrift in an open boat, they are picked up by Captain Hornblower's ship; Jérôme poses as a harmless Swiss citizen, but Hornblower identifies him. After many diplomatic manoeuvres, the British government decides that Jérôme is of no political importance after all, and he is allowed to return to France while Elizabeth put aboard a passing American ship.
Jerome and Betsy's marriage is portrayed in the historical novel "The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte" by Ruth Hull Chatlien, published in 2013.
In the 1936 musical film "Hearts Divided" Jerome was portrayed by American actor Dick Powell. Elizabeth Patterson was played by Marion Davies, with Claude Rains as Napoleon.
Jérôme I of Westphalia
|Reference style||His Majesty|
|Spoken style||Your Majesty|
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|Ancestors of Jérôme Bonaparte|
The House of Bonaparte is a former imperial and royal European dynasty of Italian origin. It was founded in 1804 by Napoleon I, the son of Genoese nobleman Carlo Buonaparte. Napoleon was a French military leader who had risen to power during the French Revolution and who in 1804 transformed the First French Republic into the First French Empire, five years after his coup d'état of November 1799. Napoleon turned the Grande Armée against every major European power and dominated continental Europe through a series of military victories during the Napoleonic Wars. He installed members of his family on the thrones of client states, extending the power of the dynasty.
Elizabeth "Betsy" Patterson Bonaparte was an American socialite. She was the daughter of a Baltimore merchant, and the first wife of Jérôme Bonaparte, Napoleon's youngest brother.
Napoléon Joseph Charles Paul Bonaparte, usually called Napoléon-Jérôme Bonaparte or Jérôme Bonaparte, was the second son of Jerome, King of Westphalia and his second wife Catharina of Württemberg. An oustpoken liberal, he became the de facto head of the House of Bonaparte from 1879 to his death. He wasn't considered a legitimate pretender to the throne by many Bonapartists, due to his father's previous marriage without divorce. They instead preferred his son Victor. From the 1880s he was one of the stronger supporters of General Georges Boulanger, together with other monarchist forces.
Princess Catharina Frederica of Württemberg was Queen consort of Westphalia by marriage to Jérôme Bonaparte, who reigned as King of Westphalia between 1807 and 1813.
Frederick I was the ruler of Württemberg from 1797 to his death. He was the last Duke of Württemberg from 1797 to 1803, then the first and only Elector of Württemberg from 1803 to 1806, before raising Württemberg to a kingdom in 1806 with the approval of Napoleon I. He was known for his size: at 2.12 m and about 200 kg (440 lb).
This article is about the history of Hesse.
The Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel, spelled Hesse-Cassel during its entire existence, was a state in the Holy Roman Empire that was directly subject to the Emperor. The state was created in 1567 when the Landgraviate of Hesse was divided upon the death of Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse. His eldest son William IV inherited the northern half of the Landgraviate and the capital of Kassel. The other sons received the Landgraviate of Hesse-Marburg, the Landgraviate of Hesse-Rheinfels and the Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt.
Nob. Carlo Maria Buonaparte or Carlo Maria di Buonaparte was an Italian lawyer and diplomat who is best known as the father of Napoleon Bonaparte.
The Kingdom of Westphalia was a kingdom in Germany, with a population of 2.6 million, that existed from 1807 to 1813. It included territory in Hesse and other parts of present-day Germany. While formally independent, it was a vassal state of the First French Empire and was ruled by Napoleon's brother Jérôme Bonaparte. It was named after Westphalia, but this was a misnomer since the kingdom had little territory in common with that area; rather the kingdom mostly covered territory formerly known as Eastphalia.
Nob.Maria Letizia Buonaparte, néeRamolino, was an Italian noblewoman, mother of Napoleon I of France.
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Louis, Prince Napoléon was a member of the Bonaparte dynasty. He was the pretender to the Imperial throne of France, as Napoléon VI, from 1926 until his death.
Jean-Christophe, Prince Napoléon is, in the views of some Bonapartists, head of the former Imperial House of France and the heir of Napoleon Bonaparte.
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The line of succession to the throne of the French Empire was vested in the descendants and relations of Napoleon Bonaparte until the abolition of the Second French Empire in 1870.
Victor of Hesse-Rotenburg was the last Landgrave of Hesse-Rotenburg and the Prince of Corvey from 1815 and Duke of Ratibor from 1821. His namesake was his second cousin King Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia.
Diana Rabe von Pappenheim, was the royal mistress of Jérôme Bonaparte, King of Westphalia, from 1810 until 1813.
Jérôme Napoléon Charles Bonaparte, Prince of Montfort was the son of Jérôme Bonaparte and a nephew of Napoleon I, Emperor of France, and army officer of the German kingdom of Württemberg.
Napoleon Louis Josef Jérôme Bonaparte was a member of the Bonaparte family, a lieutenant-general in the Russian Army and governor of the province of Yerevan in 1905.
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Jérôme Bonaparte second empire.
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Jérôme BonaparteBorn: 15 November 1784 Died: 24 June 1860
|New title|| King of Westphalia |
8 July 1807 – 26 October 1813
|Titles in pretence|
|Kingdom dissolved||— TITULAR —|
King of Westphalia
26 October 1813 – 24 June 1860
Reason for succession failure:
Kingdom dissolved in 1813
Robert, Duke of Chartres
| Heir to the French Throne |
as Heir presumptive
18 December 1852 – 16 March 1856
Louis Napoléon, Prince Imperial