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4 biellesi nel Risorgimento: i fratelli La Marmora alessandro_lamarmora_1 alberto_lamarmora_1 carlo_em_lamarmora_1 alfonso_lamarmora_1






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La Marmora: notes about the form of the name
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La Marmora is a name known to many Italians. There isn’t a city without at least a street or a monument dedicated to one of the family members with this surname and it is often mentioned in the history of the Risorgimento studied at school.

However, it will be noticed that it is written in different ways: Ferrero della Marmora, della Marmora, Lamarmora, La Marmora.

The full wording of the family title is Marquesses Ferrero della Marmora, where Ferrrero is the surname and della Marmora indicates the predicate, that is, the name of the fief on which in 1610 Gian Enrico Ferrero received the title of Marquess for himself and his first-born male descendents.

Marmora and Canosio, places of which the Ferrero of Biella became landowners, are two villages of the Alta Val Maira in the Cuneese district of Piedmont.


From Ferrero della Marmora to La Marmora
In Piedmont, according to a custom adopted by the aristocracy, a person’s Christian name was not followed by the surname but by the place-name to which the family was connected, a system that was widely in use among the French aristocracy.

In the case of the Ferrero della Marmora family too, the surname (Ferrero) was more and more frequently omitted in favour of the place-name (Marmora) preceded by the preposition “della”.

So the form that has been used most often is the following: Carlo della Marmora, that is, the Christian name followed by the partitive without the name Ferrero.

This example was taken from a letter  that Carlo Emanuele wrote from the Napoleonic battle fields to his mother Raffaella in Turin. The letter is written in French and signed “Charles de la Marmora”, showing us how the customary form of the name was transposed from that language to ours.

Alessandro and Alfonso, the two brothers who were well-known for the many military and political offices they held, introduced a variation: they dropped the partitive “della” and used only the name of the place which was written either Lamarmora or La Marmora.

If we remember that Alfonso was Minister of War for ten years and Prime Minister for two and that he had to sign quantities of documents of every kind it is understandable why he preferred to use the shorter version of the name.


La Marmora
In the light of this information, on this site dedicated to the four brothers involved in the Italian Risorgimento, we have nearly always given preference to the abbreviated form La Marmora because we have found that this was what they themselves used most often. Finally, of the two short versions, the one where the article is joined to the place-name, Lamarmora, and the one where the article is detached, La Marmora, we have preferred the latter as this is a reminder of the actual place, Marmora.

Palazzo La Marmora

When Francesco Alberti La Marmora began to make improvements to the Biellese family palace in 1989, he chose the wording Palazzo La Marmora for the same reasons.

Paragraph of names, titles and principal decorations

At the head of the biographical charts of each person we have added, as a record of their full names and relative titles ,a short paragraph with name, titles, military and civic offices and decorations.

The present name

The name of the present heirs is Mori Ubaldini degli Alberti La Marmora.
 

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