Charles Emmanuel IV

Charles Emmanuel IV
Charles Emmanuel c. 1798
King of Sardinia
Duke of Savoy
Reign16 October 1796 – 4 June 1802
PredecessorVictor Amadeus III
SuccessorVictor Emmanuel I
Born(1751-05-24)24 May 1751
Royal Palace of Turin, Turin, Kingdom of Sardinia
Died6 October 1819(1819-10-06) (aged 68)
Palazzo Colonna, Rome, States of the Church
(m. 1775; died 1802)
Italian: Carlo Emanuele Ferdinando Maria di Savoia
FatherVictor Amadeus III of Sardinia
MotherMaria Antonia Ferdinanda of Spain
ReligionRoman Catholicism
SignatureCharles Emmanuel IV's signature

Charles Emmanuel IV (Carlo Emanuele Ferdinando Maria; 24 May 1751 – 6 October 1819) was King of Sardinia and ruler of the Savoyard states from 16 October 1796 until 1802, when he abdicated in favour of his brother Victor Emmanuel I.

Early life[edit]

Carlo Emanuele Ferdinando Maria di Savoia was born in Turin, the eldest son of Victor Amadeus III, King of Sardinia, and of his wife Infanta Maria Antonia Ferdinanda of Spain. From his birth to his succession to the throne of Sardinia in 1796, Charles Emmanuel was styled "Prince of Piedmont".[1]

In 1775, Charles Emmanuel married Clotilde of France, the sister of King Louis XVI of France.[1] Although the union was arranged for political reasons, Charles Emmanuel and his wife became devoted to each other.[2] Their attempts to have children, however, were unsuccessful.


At the death of his father (14 October 1796), Charles Emmanuel succeeded as King of Sardinia.[3] The kingdom included not only the island of Sardinia but also significant territories in northwest Italy including all of Piedmont.

At his succession to the throne in 1796, Sardinia had been forced to conclude the disadvantageous Treaty of Paris (1796) with the French Republic, giving the French army free passage through Piedmont. On 6 December 1798 the French, under Joubert, occupied Turin and forced Charles Emanuel to abdicate all his territories on the Italian mainland and to withdraw to the island of Sardinia,[4] which stayed out of the reach of the French army. The following year he tried unsuccessfully to regain Piedmont. He and his wife lived in Rome and in Naples as guests of the wealthy Colonna family.


On 7 March 1802, Charles Emmanuel's wife Marie Clothilde died. He was so moved by her death that he decided to abdicate, on 4 June 1802, in favour of his brother Victor Emmanuel I.[1] Charles Emmanuel retained the personal title of king. He lived in Rome and in the nearby town of Frascati.

In Frascati he was a frequent guest of Henry Benedict Stuart, Cardinal Duke of York, last member of the Royal House of Stuart, who was his cousin. Charles was descended from Henrietta Anne Stuart, the youngest daughter of Charles I, whereas Henry Benedict Stuart was descended from James II who was the second son of Charles I. When Henry died in 1807, Charles Emmanuel became the heir-general of King Charles I of England, and thus inherited the Jacobite claim to the British thrones. Unlike his three predecessors, however, neither he nor his successors ever made any attempt to claim the throne.

In 1815, at the age of sixty-four, Charles Emmanuel took simple vows in the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits). He was never ordained to the priesthood but lived the rest of his life at the Jesuit novitiate in Rome.

Charles Emmanuel died at the Palazzo Colonna in Rome on 6 October 1819. He is buried in the Church of Sant'Andrea al Quirinale.


  1. ^ a b c "Carlo Emanuele IV, King of Sardinia", The British Museum
  2. ^ Artemont, Louis Leopold d'. A sister of Louis XVI, Marie-Clotilde de france, queen of Sardinia (1759–1802), 1911
  3. ^ Beeton, Samuel Orchant. Beeton's Modern European Celebrities. A Biography of Continental Men and Women of Note, Ward, Lock&Company, 1874, p. 60
  4. ^ Southern Europe: International Dictionary of Historic Places, (Trudy Ring, Noelle Watson, Paul Schellinger, eds.) Routledge, 2013, p. 116 ISBN 978-1134259656

External links[edit]

Charles Emmanuel IV
Born: 24 May 1751 Died: 6 October 1819
Regnal titles
Preceded by King of Sardinia
Succeeded by
Titles in pretence
Preceded by — TITULAR —
King of England, Scotland, and Ireland
Succeeded by