|Carlo Emanuele La Marmora|
the perseverance the knowledge The loyalty the commitment to the State
Carlo Emanuele Ferrero della Marmora (1788-1854)
Carlo Emanuele was born in Turin on 29 March 1788He was the second- born and first male of Celestino and Raffaella Ferrero della Marmora.
Biography and military career
From the first days of his life his destiny seemed to be indissolubly connected with the Savoy family: his name was chosen by his father in homage to the Savoy house. The baby was held at the baptismal font by the Prince of Piedmont, the future King Carlo Emanuele IV, and by his consort Clotilde of Bourbon, France , younger sister of Louis XVI.
Carlo’s military vocation became evident even in his adolescence when he dreamt of following in the footsteps of his uncle Tommaso Ferrero della Marmora and of joining the Savoy cavalry: but political events of the time meant that the army in whose ranks he began his long career was a regiment of Imperial France. Thanks to the application on his behalf made by his father Celestino, at the age of 18 (1806) Carlo joined 26th Regiment of Light Horsemen as second lieutenant and accompanied them to meet the Grande Armée in Berlin in the Prussian Campaign.
His military career in the Napoleonic army was consolidated thanks to the brave intervention of his mother Raffaella who, so as to ensure a career for her sons, had no qualms about asking for an audience with the Emperor when he visited Turin between the end of December 1807 and January 1808. On this occasion she was able to arrange for Carlo, who was about to go to Poland, to be transferred from Potsdam to the Imperial Guard. In 1808 Carlo left the island of Nogat on the Baltic sea for Paris from where he was sent to Spain. Here ,in 1810, he was wounded and obliged to abandon service temporarily.
At the age of 25 (1813) he received a call to arms from Napoleon and was promoted to captain in the 21st regiment of the Light horsemen on 14th July 1813. In the same year he took part in the campaign of Saxony and narrowly avoided being killed at Dennewitz, where injuries to his leg, which had already been damaged, left him lame for the rest of his life. The fact that his uncle Tommaso had devoted his life to demonstrating the loyalty of his family to the House of Savoy, following the royal couple into exile, favoured the La Marmora family after the Restoration.
Carlo Emanuele was reintegrated into the Savoy army where he rose through the ranks to become lieutenant general. After 1815 he was appointed to the House of His Highness Prince of Carignano- the future King Carlo Alberto- who would become his confidant and close friend. Carlo followed his king , serving among the first shield bearers and as aide-de-camp in the wars of 1848 and 1849 at- that time the marquess was 60 - and he would stay by his side in his exile after his abdication. Subsequently Vittorio Emanuele II confirmed Carlo Emanuele as First aide-de-camp and awarded him the Highest Order of the Santissima Annunziata. Moreover, he was to receive as a gift his beloved sovereign Carlo Alberto’s sword, for achievements in battle in 1849. Family legend has it that since Carlo Emanuele and Carlo Alberto were almost two metres tall, the sword was specially made to suit both of them.
Carlo Emanuele developed lung disease at the age of 64 (1852); he died in Turin in 1854 after two years of suffering and was buried in Biella in the La Marmora crypt in the Basilica of San Sebastiano.
Army corps: Bodyguards of the king and Cuirassiers
The name Carlo Emanuele La Marmora is associated with the present day Cuirassiers corps : in fact, this corps has its origins in the Kings Body Guards.
Marquess La Marmora was the first commander of this corps which was organized as Carlo Alberto wished .
In 1982 the first standard of the King’s Body Guards was donated by Francesco Alberti La Marmora to the City of Biella which, in October of the same year , gave it to the President of the Republic, Sandro Pertini. Today the standard is on display in Rome at the Museum of the Cuirassiers near the Quirinale.
Civilian and political works
Carlo Emanuele also played an important role in civilian life: he was one of the first senators of the kingdom to be appointed by Carlo Alberto after the proclamation of the constitution and he remained in parliament until 1850, four years before his death.
Carlo Emanuele looked after the family property from the middle of the 1800’s. His interest in agriculture and production led him to play an important role in organizations like the Subalpine Agrarian Association of which he was a founder member in 1831, and in other similar enterprises established in the Biellese by Monseigneur Losana. Of particular significance was the foundation of the first Piedmontese agrarian institute in Sandigliano (Biella) in 1841 and the Society for the Promotion of the Arts, Trades and Agriculture in 1843 of which he was vice-chairman and manager. In 1849 Carlo Emanuele joined the board of directors in charge of national debt. (23 January 1849).
Aristocratic title and Decorations
Title - Carlo Emanuele as first-born male received on the death of his father Celestino, in 1805, the title of Marquess della Marmora.
When Carlo Emanuele was 45 (1833) the branch of the Ferrero di Masserano died out with the death in Paris of his cousin Carlo Ludovico, Prince of Masserano. In his capacity as first male son of the closest Ferrero branch , Carlo Emanuele was appointed heir to the estate and titles of his Ferrero cousins ,the Princes of Masserano. But this recognition was contested by Prince Carlo Ludovico’s sister, widow Rafelis de Saint-Sauveur , who started legal proceedings which lasted for several years. On 24 March 1836 on the ruling of the royal Chamber of Turin, he succeeded to the title of prince and to the patronate of the collegiate of Masserano, according to the adoptions established by the Fieschi and confirmed by the edicts of Leone X in 1517. The title of Prince of Masserano would pass to his son Tommaso who would be the last one to hold it.
Decorations - At the age of 24 (1812) Carlo Emanuele ), thanks also to the kind patronage of his cousin Carlo Alfieri di Sostegno, was promoted to lieutenant and received the Legion of Honour. For his loyalty to the Savoys King Vittorio Emanuele conferred upon him the Order of the Santissima Annunziata and gave him King Carlo Alberto’s sword for achievements in battle in 1849. Carlo Emanuele was also appointed Knight of the Grand Cross, decorated with the Grand Cordon of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazzarus, and Soldier Of the Military Order of Savoy. The foreign decorations of the marquess included Commendatore of the Order of Christ (Portugal), Knight of the Order of the Crown of Prussia and IV Class Knight of the Order of Sant’Anna.
Second-born of 12 brothers and sisters, he was very close to his family as can be seen from the volume and variety of his correspondence with members of the family. At the age of 32 (1820) he married Marianna Arborio of Gattinara of Sartirana and Breme and theirs was a marriage of love. In 1822 their first son was born, named after his grandfather Celestino, but the baby only lived for a few days; the following year Marianna gave birth to a daughter, named Albertina in honour of Carlo Alberto who held her at the font, and in 1825 Tommaso, he son who was to inherit the estate of an entire generation of Ferrero della Marmora. The daughter Albertina is the only grandchild present in the painting by Pietro Ayres which portrays the entire Ferrero della Marmora family in 1828.
The couple’s other children are Vittorio (1828-1859), Guido (1830-1862) , Emilia (1832-1874), Filippo (18349 and Filippina (1837-1900).
Vittorio was lieutenant commander in the Sardinian navy: on the occasion of the expedition to the Crimea (1855), where the uncles Alfonso and Alessandro played a prominent role, he was in command of the port of Balaklava. Vittorio shared with his sister Filippina a passion for art. Both devoted themselves to the technique of watercolour but painted different subjects: Vittorio preferred ships whereas Filippina focused on plants and landscapes.
Light and shade
Of the four brothers who were generals Carlo Emanuele is the least known. During his life he held difficult offices and significant public positions for many years. On account of his close connections with the court and his friendship with Carlo Alberto, he is remembered both as an example of “loyalty” to the establishment and to the Savoy family, and for his natural discretion which kept him out of public controversies: his life was neither marked by dark shadows nor by the renown which his brothers achieved.
He devoted his life constructively to civilian commitments and is the only one of the sixteen children of Celestino and Raffaella with descendents.
The La Marmora crypt in the Basilica of San Sebastiano, Biella
At the age of 36 (1824), together with his brother Edoardo, he embarked on the renovation of the San Sebastiano complex in Biella with the intention of making it into the family mausoleum; the design by which the brothers were inspired was the one used by King Carlo Alberto at Altacomba. Carlo also maintained the churches of the Piazzo in Biella, especially the parish church of Saint James and the confraternity of Saint Anna and the Holy Sudario. On his death, like his brothers, he was buried in the La Marmora crypt in the Basilica of San Sebastiano.