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Carlo Emanuele Lamarmora
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Celestino Ferrero della Marmora (1754-1805)

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(not in the painting by Ayres)

Marquess Ferrero della Marmora, lord of Borriana,Beatino and Pralormo

Celestino was born in Turin on 7th July 1754.The first of 11 children of Ignazio Ferrero della Marmora and Cristina San Martino d’ Agliè e di San Germano, daughter of the Marquess Giuseppe Gaetano San Martino d’Agliè e di San Germano and Maria Cristina Ferrero di Masserano.

In 1786 he married Raffaella, daughter of Nicola Amedeo Argentero Marquess of Bersezio and of Luisa Morozzo, sister of the cardinal bishop of Novara. They had 16 children together.

Celestino Ferrero della Marmora had already been dead for 23 years when in 1828 Pietro Ayres painted his portrait of sixteen members of the family, which is why he does not appear in the picture.

The Marquess, born in Turin in 1754,began his career at court as a young man, becoming in 1770 second equerry of Princess Clotilde of France ,sister of Louis XVI of France and future wife of King Carlo Emanuele IV of Savoy. In 1784 he was appointed captain of the regiment of Ivrea and in 1787 he became first equerry of the Princess. The bond between Celestino Ferrero della Marmora and the House of Savoy was always a strong one and in fact his first born son was baptised Carlo Emanuele in honour of the princes of Piedmont. Marquess Celestino was greatly disappointed by the outcome of the French Revolution and decided to retreat into private life in 1797, a year after the first annexation of Piedmont to Napoleon’s France. With the intention of proving his continuing loyalty to the Savoys Celestino arranged for a La Marmora to accompany the royal couple in their exile. Marquess Celestino turned to his maternal uncle , the bailiff of Malta Raimondo di San Germano, in order to obtain the appointment of Tommaso, his younger bachelor brother, as Queen’s equerry. The “sacrifice” of the brother, safeguarded Celestino and his family during French rule and proved very useful after the Restoration. In spite of his anti-French attitude, Celestino was concerned about his sons’ future and had no qualms about asking for a position for his first-born son Carlo Emanuele in the Napoleonic army.

He died in Turin on 30th August 1805 and was buried in that city. In 1830 Celestino Ferrero della Marmora’s body, together with others, was transferred from the cenotaph of Turin to the family crypt at the Basilica of San Sebastiano in Biella.


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