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European Kingdoms

Italian Peninsula



Originally known as Sapaudia, this region was part of the territory of the Allobroges tribe of Celts. In today's French this is 'les pays des sapins', or 'land of fir trees', which later became better known as Savoie (Savoy). Seized from the Roman empire by the invading Burgundians in the fifth century AD, the territory which later made up the core of Savoy emerged as a county from the break-up of the kingdom of Burgundy.

The county eventually gained Piedmont in Italy and moved its capital to Turin, following which it became an important part of the tangled politics both of the peninsular and its neighbour across the Alps, France. Eventually, despite periods of dominance by greater European powers and even the threat of extinction, Savoy emerged to become the beneficiary of the Italian War of Unification in the mid-nineteenth century. From that point onwards, the Savoyards ruled not only Savoy, but Sardinia and all of Italy.

Piedmont in the duchy of Savoy

443 - 458

As part of a settlement with Rome, the Burgundians expand into Sapaduia (Cisjurane), or Savoy, in 443. The magister militum, Aëtius, had apparently been pursuing a policy of extending the settlement of friendly (or defeated) barbarians within Gaul under treaty, rather than Roman reconquest. The former is certainly easier given the lack of resources. However, the barbarians are rarely content to remain with what Rome can 'gift' them, and the Burgundians add Switzerland in 450, and further expand into Sequania (Transjurane, the former lands of the Sequani tribe) in 458.

Thereafter, The lands that later make up Savoy remain a constituent part of Burgundy for over five hundred years, until the kingdom's gradual break-up causes an independent county to be created which is handed to Humbert White Hands, first count of Savoy.

Counts of Savoy
AD 1000 - 1416

The county emerged during the slow disintegration of the Burgundian kingdom which had its capital at Arles. It was formed of territory which carved out a central eastern swathe from the kingdom, centred around Aosta and Tarantaise. Despite breaking away from Burgundy when Rudolph III handed the title of count to a relative of his, Humbert White Hands, the county remained subject to its subsequent overlord, the Holy Roman emperor. In return for supporting the emperor, Humbert gained part of the county of Vienne (the northern Maurienne section), along with territory in the Tarentaise Valley and the Chablais region. He and his successors maintained their loyalty to the empire and in return were permitted to govern their domains independently. Largely this was due to the county being of minor importance and locked into mountainous territory, but this began to change as it expanded towards the south.

(Information by Peter Kessler, with additional information from The History of the Franks, Volume II, Gregory of Tours (O M Dalton, Trans, 1967), from Chronicon, Marius, from the Chronicle of Fredegar / Latin Chronicle (author unknown but the work has been attributed to Fredegar since the sixteenth century thanks to his name being written in the margin), from Genealogy of the Kings of France, Claude Wenzler (Editions Ouest-France, Rennes, 2008), from Sword, Miter, and Cloister: Nobility and the Church in Burgundy, 980-1198, Constance Brittain Bouchard (New York 1987), from Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten, Neue Folge, Band II, Detlev Schwennicke (Marburg, 1984), and from External Link: The Dukes of Burgundy, the 'Great Dukes of the West' (Into History - dead link).)

1000 - 1048

Humbert I White Hands / Umberto I

Great-grandson of Louis III of Burgundy. Count of Aosta.


As agreed by Rudolf III of Burgundy in 1006, following his death and with no heir to succeed him, the kingdom (including its Swiss territories) is inherited by Franconian Emperor Conrad II the Salian. Although the kingdom continues to operate with a fair degree of autonomy, from this point onwards, the emperors also count themselves as kings of Arles. Humbert immediately accepts Conrad the Salian as his overlord. Some sources seem to place this date as the county's founding date, when the county of Vienne is divided between the county of Albon and the Maurienne, the latter of which is now held by Savoy.

Roman ruins in Vienne
The former Roman settlement of Vienne, or Viennois, was divided in 1032 between the counts of Albon and the Maurienne, which was held by Savoy, while today it forms part of south-east France


Humbert's younger son, Odo, marries Adelaide of Susa, the daughter of Margrave Ulric Manfred II of Turin (her third marriage, after previous husbands, Herman IV of Swabia and Henry of Montferrat, died unexpectedly). As a result he gains for the county the Turin march territory of Piedmont. By this time, and perhaps from 1040, Humbert's elder son, Amadeus, appears to be acting as co-ruler of the county as evidenced by his name and title appearing on a diploma of that year.

1048 - 1051

Amadeus I / Amadeo I



Amadeus has been predeceased by his son and heir, Humbert, while another son, Aymon, is bishop of Belley. Instead, Odo, his younger brother, succeeds him as count. Under Odo, the Savoyards turn their attention towards gaining lands in Italy, largely abandoning their previous concentration on Swiss lands to the north. Savoy is still relatively patchwork in nature, with several other counties and states occupying land between pockets of its territory.

1051 - 1059

Odo / Otto I


1059 - 1080

With the death of Odo, his widow, the commanding Adelaide of Susa, effectively controls the county, while her son, Peter is titular count. When he is succeeded by his younger brother, Amadeus II, Adelaide remains largely in control of Savoy, and following the death of Amadeus, Adelaide takes control of all Savoyard lands on either side of the Alps.

1059 - 1078

Peter I

Son. Margrave of Turin. Aged about 9 at succession.

1059 - 1091

Adelaide of Susa

Mother and regent, and true power in Savoy. Died 1091.

1078 - 1080

Amadeus II / Amadeo II



The accession becomes confused with the death of Amadeus II. While it is generally assumed that he is succeeded by his son, Humbert II, there is an Odo II, count of Savoy attested for 1082 only. This Odo is otherwise unknown, although some guesswork by scholars has usually come up with Bishop Odo of Asti as the most likely candidate. There is no record of an accession, or of the count's fate, and the fact that he is attested for 1082 only raises the possibility either that he is a very short-lived count or that he is a temporary substitute for Humbert II, either due to illness or a coup.

1080 - 1082?

Odo / Otto II

Son? Unknown, and relationships highly uncertain.

1082? - 1103

Humbert II / Umberto II 'the Fat'

Brother? Certainly the son of Amadeus II.

1103 - 1149

Amadeus III / Amadeo III

Son. Died of illness on Crusade in Cyprus.


The young Count Amadeus increases Savoy's territory by extending its borders from the River Arve (a tributary of the Rhône) to the Dranse d'Abondance (another, far more minor tributary of the Rhône). With a capital at Saint-Maurice, this area becomes known as the 'New Chablais' to differentiate it from the established Savoyard territories, the 'Old Chablais'.

Today the Chablais country which incorporates Evian-les-Bains is divided between the south-eastern French department of Haute-Savoie and the Swiss cantons of Valais and Vaud, but in the eleventh century the French border was nowhere near as advanced


Amadeus' daughter Maud, marries Afonso, first king of Portugal. In dynastic terms, the union is a relatively minor one, between two minor states in Europe, but both have ambitions to be bigger and stronger.

1149 - 1189

Humbert III the Saint / Umberto III


1149 - 1150?


Bishop of Lausanne. Regent during the minority of Humbert III.

1189 - 1233

Thomas I

Son of Humbert. A minor at accession.

1189 - 1191


Mother and co-regent.

1189 - 1191

Boniface I

Marquess of Montferrat and co-regent.

1189 - 1191


Bishop of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne and co-regent.


Thomas inherits the Vaud territory to the north of Lake Geneva following the death of the last, heirless member of the Zähringen family, Berthold V. Two years later, Thomas occupies Chambéry and Pinerolo, two towns which increase the importance of the Savoyard counts in later years.

1233 - 1253

Amadeus IV / Amadeo IV

Son of Thomas.


Amadeus is forced by his brothers to fight for his inheritance. Both Peter and Aimone foment revolt in the Aosta Valley but Amadeus has the support of Boniface II of Montferrat and Manfred III of Saluzzo, his sons-in-law. The revolt is defeated and Amadeus is secure.


FeatureAmadeus' younger brother, Boniface, is elected archbishop of Canterbury in England after winning support from King Henry III, who happens to be married to his niece. The following year Peter of Savoy (the later Count Peter II) is given a grant of land in London on which he builds the Savoy Palace (of which the chapel still survives - see feature link).

The Queen's Chapel of the Savoy
The Queen's Chapel of the Savoy in London lies within the grounds of the former Savoy Palace which was destroyed by Wat Tyler's Peasant's Revolt of 1381

In the same year, due to the agents of the Holy Roman Emperor acting in the Papal States, Innocent is forced to leave Rome in disguise and make his way to Lyon in France (via Savoy, thanks to the influence of the future Count Philip I who is granted the archbishopric of Lyon as a result). Pope Innocent gathers together all the bishops who can make their way there and holds the First Council of Lyon. The emperor is excommunicated (again) and declared deposed, relieving his subjects of their allegiance to him. This sends shockwaves throughout Europe, and Innocent's life is only spared from retribution by the death of the emperor in 1250.

1253 - 1263


Son. Fatally wounded in battle. No heir.

1253 - 1259

Thomas II

Lord of Piedmont. Count of Flanders (1237). Regent of Savoy.


With the death of Boniface and no heir apparent having been supplied by him, the question of who should succeed is open to two contenders. The fifteen year-old Thomas III of Piedmont quickly loses out to Peter, brother of Amadeus IV, when he returns from a lengthy sojourn in England. Peter is recognised as count ahead of his nephew and this causes a lengthy feud between Piedmont and Savoy.

1263 - 1268

Peter II Little Charlemagne

Brother of Amadeus IV.

Thomas III of Piedmont

Son of Thomas II. Rival claimant to Savoy. Died 1282.


Count Peter finds his Swiss territory in the Vaud Canton occupied by Rudolf of Habsburg, future duke of Austria, as part of their dispute. Peter returns to Savoy from Piedmont and leads a force to clear the Vaud, retaking his chateau in the process.

Today the Chablais country which incorporates Evian-les-Bains is divided between the south-eastern French department of Haute-Savoie and the Swiss cantons of Valais and Vaud, but in the eleventh century the French border was nowhere near as advanced

1268 - 1285

Philip I

Brother. Archbishop of Lyon (1245-1267).


Philip acquires the county of Bresse, on the French side of the Alps to the north-west of Geneva, from the lords of Bâgé (it remains with Savoy until 1601).

1285 - 1323

Amadeus V / Amadeo V the Great

Nephew. Son of Thomas II and 'successor' to Thomas III.


Amadeus is proffered the title of 'Protector of Geneva' by the bishop of Geneva after the latter has been undergoing a degree of conflict with the established incumbent, Amadeus II, count of Geneva. The Swiss territory of Geneva subsequently accepts vassal status to Savoy. Amadeus also gains the former Burgundian territory of Bugey to add to Bresse, thanks to his marriage to Sybilla, countess of both.


Amadeus acquires the town of Chambéry and immediately makes it his capital. The town remains the centre of Savoyard power and administration until 1563.

Place of the Elephants in Chambéry
The Place of the Elephants in Chambéry's old town (otherwise known as the Elephant Fountain) is one of the focal highlights of the town that became Savoy's capital in 1295


During the Ottoman siege of Rhodes, Amadeus adds his forces to those of the defending Knights Hospitaller. This is just the first (and least) of several attacks upon the island and its new masters, all of which are successfully repelled.

1323 - 1329

Edward the Liberal


1329 - 1343

Aimon / Aymon the Peaceful


1343 - 1383

Amadeus VI the Green

Son. Traditionally wore green to court.

1349 - 1354

Humbert II de La Tour du Pin, the last surviving dauphin of the Viennois (the region around Vienne), surrenders his title and the principality to the future Charles V of France. Humbert retires to a Dominican monastery and Amadeus is left fuming at this transfer that leaves him with a powerful, territorially hungry neighbour. He declares war and goes on to defeat the French in 1354. A treaty is agree in Paris in the following year in which Amadeus exchanges territory in Dauphiné, beyond the Rhône and the Guiers, for recognition of his undisputed sovereignty of Faucigny and the county of Gex. Amadeus also forces the marquess of Saluzzo to pay tribute, which extends his rule on the Italian side of the Alps.


Following the military conclusion to the last great war against Genoa, with Venetian victory ultimately being gained soon after the Battle of Chioggia, near Venice, mediation is carried out by Amadeus. He sponsors the peace treaty that finally ends the conflict between the two great naval powers.

1383 - 1391

Amadeus VII the Red



Amadeus is able to conquer the county of Nice, which includes a short stretch of coastline around Nice itself and which gives him access to the Mediterranean.

1391 - 1416

Amadeus VIII / Amadeo VIII

Son. Elevated to duke.


The duchy of Milan is created along Savoy's eastern border, out of territory that belongs ultimately to the Holy Roman empire. The duchy will become an important player in the tangled web of Italian politics.

Gian Galeazzo I Visconti
A portrait of Gian Galeazzo I Visconti, first duke of Milan during the politically troubled early Renaissance period in Italy in which he was able to purchase his title and domains


The purchase of the Swiss county of Geneva is effected by Amadeus. It is another of the various lands that once formed part of the kingdom of Burgundy and has been controlled by its own line of counts who, nevertheless, have remained dominated (and virtually surrounded) by the Savoyards for some time. Amadeus gains the territory following the death of its last count, thanks to the count's son selling it off. Savoyard lands have now extended greatly since Humbert White Hands had initially been raised to the rank of count.


Amadeus is elevated to the rank of duke by Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund. The timing is perfect as Amadeus almost immediately inherits Savoy-Achaea from his deceased brother-in-law and fully reunites Savoy.

Dukes of Savoy
AD 1416 - 1720

The duchy of Savoy was an elevated continuation of the former county of the same name. Located at the north-western edge of Italy, the landlocked state was bordered by the Alps and Switzerland to the north, although small portions of its own territory were also on the northern side of the Alps, while Provence hemmed it in from the south-west, Genoa lay to the south, and Milan to the east. Its territory included Moriana and the Valle d'Aosta, and a relatively short stretch of coastal access near Nice. The duchy remained a constituent part of the Holy Roman empire, but was frequently used as a pawn by the politics of France and the soon-to-be united Spain in their ongoing contest for superiority in Europe.

In 1418 the senior Savoyard line of Savoy-Achaea died out and the dukes of Savoy were able to inherit everything, fully reuniting the two main branches and also bringing Piedmont under the duchy's control. The principality of Piedmont was traditionally handed to the son and heir of the reigning duke. In 1485, Savoy gained the hereditary titles for the kingdoms of Cyprus, Armenia, and Jerusalem through Queen Charlotte of Cyprus, although in reality all three kingdoms were unattainable.

(Information by Peter Kessler, with additional information from Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten, Neue Folge, Band II, Detlev Schwennicke (Marburg, 1984), and from External Links: The Dukes of Burgundy, the 'Great Dukes of the West' (Into History - dead link), and The Shroud of Turin.)

1416 - 1434

Amadeus VIII / Amadeo VIII

Formerly Count Amadeus. Anti-Pope Felix V (1439-1449).


The death is announced of Louis of Piedmont, prince of Savoy-Achaea, brother-in-law and cousin to Amadeus VIII. As he is the last male descendant of the senior branch of the House of Savoy, and he dies childless, his titles and estates are inherited by Amadeus, who is now the seniormost representative of his house.

Piedmont with its vineyards became attached to Savoy shortly after Amadeus VIII was elevated to the rank of duke, uniting the two main branches of the Savoyards


The death of his wife, Mary of Burgundy, daughter of Duke Philip the Bold, causes Amadeus to abdicate his ducal title in favour of his son. Amadeus retires to become a hermit, before being elected as an alternative Pope by the Council of Basil just five years later.

1434 - 1465


Son. Duke of Savoy & Piedmont.


Abdicating voluntarily, Anti-Pope Felix (formerly Duke Amadeus of Savoy) is the last anti-pope in the traditional sense. The church faces other opposition down the years, but none who can claim a rival papacy.


Margaret de Charny, widow of Humbert of Villersexel, count de la Roche, receives the castle of Varambon and revenues from the estate of Miribel near Lyon for 'valuable services' to Duke Louis. These services are believed to be the bequest of the Shroud of Turin, which remains with the Savoyard dukes, and their descendant kings of first Savoy and then all of Italy until the ending of the monarchy in 1946. For her pains, Margaret de Charny is excommunicated in 1457 for not returning the shroud to the canons of the church of St Mary of Lirey in France. The canons are compensated for their loss, and the excommunication is lifted in 1459.

1465 - 1472

Blessed Amadeus IX / Amadeo IX

Son. Epileptic who retired from governance of the duchy.


Amadeus retires from public life due to his epilepsy. Generally a charitable individual with a concern for the poor of Savoy, he is later beatified by the Catholic Church in 1677. His wife, having already handled state duties for some time in his place, assumes the position of regent for their young son.

1472 - 1478

Yolande of Valois

Wife and regent for the beatified duke. Died.

1472 - 1482

Philibert I

Son. Produced no heir.

1482 - 1490

Charles I

Brother. Titular king of Cyprus, Armenia & Jerusalem.


Cyprus is handed over to the republic of Venice by Queen Caterina, although the kingdom, and those of Armenia and Jerusalem, continues to be claimed by the House of Savoy through Duke Charles I, relative and successor to the titles of the deposed Queen Charlotte.

Christian kingdom-era bowl
Items made on Cyprus after it was seized by Crusader forces show Byzantine influences, such as this earthenware bowl which was decorated with characteristic incised designs

1490 - 1496

Charles II John Amadeus

Son. Died aged 7.

1490 - 1496

Blance of Montferrat

Mother and regent. Died 1519.

1496 - 1497

Philip II

Son of Louis, and grand-uncle of Charles II.

1497 - 1504

Philibert II

Younger son, & widower of Violante Ludovica, Charles' sister.


Philibert's claim to the duchy is effectively inherited through his young wife, heiress-general Violante Ludovica. She dies in this year aged just twelve, so the eighteen year-old Philibert becomes her sole successor, both to Savoy and to the titles of Cyprus, Armenia & Jerusalem. His claim to the latter titles comes despite the fact that the heir-general, and therefore the one who is entitled to carry those titles, is Violante's first cousin, Princess Charlotte of Naples.

1504 - 1553

Charles III

Elder brother, succeeded the childless Philibert.


Although the titular claim to Cyprus and Jerusalem has legally passed out of the hands of the Savoyards, Charles decides to perpetuate Philibert's claim to them, as does his successors. The true heirs are the lords of La Tremoille, princes of Talmond and Taranto.


A French invasion of the duchy, the latest of many, wrests control of much of the Savoyard lands from Charles. He is left sidelined and powerless for the rest of his life. His son inherits a title alone - not the actual duchy - and serves in the Imperial armies in the hopes of winning back his lands.

1553 - 1580

Emanuel Philibert

Son. Governor of the Spanish Netherlands (1555-1559).


The Italian War of 1551-1559 ends with the signing of the Peace of Cateau Cambrésis between England, France and Spain. Emmanuel Philibert regains his duchy of Piedmont and Savoy as part of the war's ending and he departs his post in the Spanish Netherlands to take up his duties. Corsica is restored to Genoa, while Spain is confirmed in its direct control of Milan, Naples, Presidi, Sardinia, and Sicily. He spends the rest of his life fighting to regain the rest of Savoy's lost territory, which he does in small steps, with his biggest success being the recapture of Turin.

1580 - 1630

Charles Emanuel I 'the Great'

Son. Died suddenly of fever.


With France embroiled in internecine conflict during the Wars of Religion, Charles Emanuel seizes the marquisate of Saluzzo, which his father had also attempted to capture. The marquisate had been under French protection, so the demand is made that Charles withdraws. Charles refuses, but it takes thirteen years for the problem to be resolved.


The Treaty of Lyon resolves France's claims for the restitution of Saluzzo. In exchange for Savoy keeping it, the duchy relinquishes the former county of Bresse, along with other territories that lie on the northern side of the Alps.

Chateau Chambéry in Savoy
The chateau of Chambéry had been occupied by the counts and dukes of Savoy since 1285, although it had been expanded in the fourteenth century, but by 1559 it had been abandoned in favour of a new capital at Turin thanks to continued French attacks


The First Genoese-Savoyard War is part of the greater Thirty Years' War (1618-1648). Savoyard forces join those of France and the Netherlands to besiege Genoa, the capital of the eponymous republic, while the rest of its lands suffer occupation by the invaders. Spain sends a major naval expedition to relieve Genoa, which it does. The Genoese republic is restored and they and the Spanish turn the tables, invading Piedmont and securing the overland supply route between northern Italy and the Spanish Netherlands, known as the Spanish Road. The war ends in a stalemate with the Treaty of Monçon.

Philip Emanuel

Son and heir, titled 'Prince of Piedmont'. Died in 1607.

1630 - 1637

Victor Amadeus I



Victor Amadeus oversees an unstable time in Savoy's history as he continuously switches his support between France and Spain and eventually benefits from neither association. He is, however, still able to claim the titles of the principality of Piedmont, the marquisate of Saluzzo, the counties of Aosta, Moriana, and Nice, and the hereditary titles of Cyprus, Armenia & Jerusalem.

1637 - 1638

Francis Hyacinth

Son. Aged 5 at succession. Died of fever.

1637 - 1648

Christine Marie of France

Mother and regent to Francis and Charles Emanuel II.

1638 - 1675

Charles Emanuel II

Younger son. Aged 4 at succession.


The regency of Christine Marie ends, but she still remains the power behind the throne for the rest of her life. Princess Michael of Kent, married to a cousin of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, is a direct descendant of Christine Marie through the latter's younger son, Charles Emanuel II.

1672 - 1673

The Second Genoese-Savoyard War sees Charles Emanuel attempt to secure access to the sea for the duchy by defeating Genoa. His initial attack is a surprise but his forces are soon defeated and pushed back when Spain provides assistance to Genoa. France intervenes to calm the situation and restore the status quo.

1675 - 1720

Victor Amadeus II

Son. King of Sicily (1713-1720). King of Sardinia (1720-1730).

1675 - 1684

Marie Jeanne of Savoy

Mother and regent.


Marie Jeanne's grip on power in the duchy is brought to an end by her son when he accepts Anna Marie d'Orleans of the French court as his wife. Despite his mother pushing for the match, Victor has been building his own political support and, on 14 March 1684, Marie Jeanne is removed from any position of power in Savoy.


Victor Amadeus' second cousin, Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663-1736) becomes supreme commander of the Imperial armies, a promotion that eventually gains Sardinia for Savoy (in 1720).

Battle of Zenta 1697
The Battle of Zenta in 1697 was a Habsburg and Holy League success against the Ottoman Turks in the Great Turkish War, with the Europeans being commanded by the brilliant Prince Eugene of Savoy

1702 - 1715

Spain is involved in the War of Succession as Austria, Britain, and Portugal dispute the Bourbon accession. The conclusion of the war sees Spain giving up Milan, Naples, Sardinia, and the Spanish Netherlands (modern Belgium) to Austria, and Sicily to the duchy of Savoy. The Papal States are forced to hand over the territories of Parma and Piacenza to Austria, a definite blow to the papacy's prestige. Philip, duke of Anjou, is recognised as the Bourbon King Philip V of Spain, but only on the condition that the Bourbon crowns of Spain and France can never be united under a single ruler. Savoy's claim to the crowns of Cyprus, Armenia, and Jerusalem are now legally confirmed by France and Spain, both of which had also claimed them since 1499.

1717 - 1720

King Philip V of Spain is unhappy with the arrangements set at the end of the War of Succession and occupies Sardinia and Sicily, triggering the War of the Quadruple Alliance. The war ends in 1719, and as part of the Treaty of The Hague of 1720, the duke of Savoy gains Sardinia and is promoted to the rank of king.

Kings of Sardinia & Savoy
AD 1720 - 1861

The territory that became the county of Savoy around AD 1000 had emerged during the slow disintegration of the Burgundian kingdom which had its capital at Arles. It was formed of lands which carved out a central eastern swathe from the kingdom, centred around Aosta and Tarantaise. Savoy's rulers continued to expand their territory, usually in small increments through marriage or thanks to agreements drawn up at the conclusion of various wars. In 1416 the country was elevated to a duchy and now, in 1720, to a kingdom.

The War of the Spanish Succession saw Spain lose control of Sardinia to Austria in 1713. Unhappy with this, the Bourbon king of Spain invaded Sardinia in 1717, only to be defeated by Austria, Britain, France, and the Netherlands the following year. In 1720, Austria and the duchy of Savoy traded territories, so that Savoy gave up Sicily and gained the poorer territory of Sardinia. In compensation, the Savoyards found themselves raised in rank. They were now the successors to the title of king of Sardinia which had been granted in 1164 during the period of the giudici, and were able to merge Savoy and Sardinia into a single kingdom. The kings usually resided in Savoy, while Sardinia was administered by their viceroys there.

(Information by Peter Kessler, with additional information from History of the Rebellion of 1745-6, Robert Chambers (W & R Chambers, 1869), from Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten, Neue Folge, Band II, Detlev Schwennicke (Marburg, 1984), from Overview of Sardinia History (500-1500), Laura Galoppini, and from External Link: Royal Stuart Society.)

1720 - 1730

Victor Amadeus II

Duke of Savoy (1675). King, Sicily (1713) & Sardinia (1720).

1720 - 1723

Reluctant to accept the changes thrust upon him by the Treaty of the Hague, Victor Amadeus continues to style himself 'King of Sicily'. Finally he accepts his new title, adopting it in full as 'King of Sardinia, Cyprus & Jerusalem'. The latter two had long since been conquered by the Ottoman empire despite still being claimed by the Savoyard monarchy. Even that claim was illegal since it had already passed to the lords of La Tremoille, princes of Talmond and Taranto.

1730 - 1773

Charles Emanuel III

Son. Succeeded his abdicating father.

1740 - 1748

The War of the Austrian Succession is a wide-ranging conflict that encompasses the North American King George's War, two Silesian Wars, the War of Jenkins' Ear, and involves most of the crowned heads of Europe in deciding the question of whether Maria Theresa can succeed as archduke of Austria and, perhaps even more importantly, as Holy Roman Emperor. Austria is supported by Britain, the Netherlands, the Savoyard kingdom of Sardinia, and Saxony (after an early switchover), but opposed by an opportunistic Prussia and France, who had raised the question in the first place to disrupt Habsburg control of Central Europe, backed up by Bavaria and Sweden (briefly). Spain joins the war in an unsuccessful attempt to restore possessions lost to Austria in 1715.

War of the Austrian Succession
The War of the Austrian Succession saw Europe go to war to decide whether Maria Theresa would secure the throne left to her by her father, but several other issues were also decided as a wide range of wars were involved in the overall conflict

The War of Jenkins' Ear pitches Britain against Spain between 1739-1748. The Russo-Swedish War, or Hats' Russian War, is the Swedish attempt to regain territory lost to Russia in 1741-1743. King George's War is fought between Britain and France in the French Colonies in 1744-1748. The First Carnatic War of 1746-1748 involves the struggle for dominance in India by France and Britain. Henry Pelham, leader of the English government in Parliament, is successful in ending the war, achieving peace with France and trade with Spain through the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle. Austria is ultimately successful, losing only Silesia to Prussia.

1767 - 1769

Charles Emanuel captures the Maddalena archipelago in the Strait of Bonifacio, taking it from Genoa, which had governed it along with Corsica. From this point forwards, the archipelago remains part of Sardinia.

1773 - 1796

Victor Amadeus III


1796 - 1802

Charles Emanuel IV

Son. Jacobite Stuart heir to Scotland (1807-1819). Died 1819.

1792 - 1796

The Savoyards join the First Coalition against the French First Republic, but this is defeated by Napoleon Bonaparte and Sardinia is forced to sign the Treaty of Paris in 1796. The French are given free passage through Piedmont so that they can invade Italy.

1797 - 1798

Republican France begins the conquest of Austria's Italian territories, creating a client republic there. In 1798, the French General Joubert occupies Savoy's capital at Turin and forces Charles Emanuel to abdicate his Savoyard duchy and retire to Sardinia. Piedmont is united to France, but Sardinia remains untroubled by the remainder of the war.

1802 - 1821

Victor Emanuel I

Bro. Jacobite Stuart heir to Scotland (1819-1824). Abdicated.

1807 - 1819

Upon the death of Henry Benedict Cardinal Stuart, Charles Emanuel becomes the senior heir of the Jacobite claim to the English and Scottish thrones, although he never pursues the claim. He is a descendant of Charles I of England and Scotland through Henrietta Anne, the king's youngest daughter. Henrietta Anne's daughter was Anne Marie of Orleans, and she had married Victor Amadeus II of Savoy. Victor Emanuel succeeds to the claim upon Charles' death in 1819.

The Battle of Culloden
The Battle of Culloden saw the destruction of the clans in Scotland at the hands of Britain's modern army, ending any realistic claim by the Jacobites to Scotland's crown


The kingdom is fully restored following the abdication of Napoleon Bonaparte. It also gains Genoa, which has been transformed into a duchy. The changes are ratified during the Congress of Vienna, but Victor Emanuel abolishes all of the Napoleonic Codices and institutes an oppressive reign.


Victor Emanuel's oppression leads to the outbreak of a liberal revolution which forces him to abdicate. While he has four daughters, he has no sons, and the application of Salic Law prevents the girls from succeeding him. Instead, his younger brother, Charles Felix, becomes duke of Savoy and king of Sardinia, along with his other titles, duke of Piedmont and Aosta.

1821 - 1831

Charles Felix

Brother. Died without issue.


King Ferdinand VII of Spain is detained by rebels after refusing to adopt the new and liberal Spanish Constitution of 1812. It takes until 1822 for European states to react and in 1823, under general agreement by those states, French forces invade Spain to restore Ferdinand, supported by Charles Albert, the future king of Sardinia. The Battle of Trocadero sees the French attack a fort from the seaward side to secure access to Cadiz itself, which falls after a three week siege. Ferdinand is freed to take his revenge, executing around 30,000 people.

1824 - 1840

Maria Beatrice of Savoy

Daughter of Victor. Jacobite Stuart heir.


With the death of Maria Beatrice, the title of Jacobite Stuart claimant to the English and Scottish thrones passes to her son, Francis, duke of Modena, and then to her daughter, Maria Theresia of Austria-Este, queen consort of Ludwig III of Bavaria.

Roman Turin
Originally the chief town of Taurasia, which was Romanised as Augusta Taurinorum (the walls of which still exist in parts, as shown here), the Savoyard capital of Turin briefly became the capital of a newly reunited Italy, until succeeded by Florence in 1864

1831 - 1849

Charles Albert

Distant cousin. Abdicated.

1848 - 1849

Inspired by the 1848 French revolution and popular uprisings in Milan and Venice (twin capitals of the kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia), Charles Albert briefly goes to war against Austria in what is a short-lived encounter. He is defeated. In the following year he tries again and is similarly defeated in quick fashion, but the two attempts become known as the First War of Independence. Charles Albert abdicates the throne in favour of his son.

1849 - 1861

Victor Emanuel II

Son. Promoted to king of a united Italy.


Count Camillo Benso di Cavour is installed as the new, liberal minister of Sardinia and the island, along with Savoy, quickly becomes a torchbearer for Italian unification.

1859 - 1861

The divided states and regions of Italy are forged by nationalist Giuseppe Garibaldi into a single kingdom during the War of Unification. This mostly involves freeing the country from Austrian control. Once achieved, the Savoyard king of Sardinia becomes the first native king of Italy (a title previously held by the Holy Roman Emperors), gaining Parma, Sicily & Naples, and Spoleto, but at the same time losing Savoy to France. Savoy's capital at Turin remains the new kingdom's capital until 1864.

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