Savoy, house of, dynasty of Western Europe that ruled Savoy and Piedmont from the 11th cent., the kingdom of Sicily from 1714 to 1718, the kingdom of Sardinia from 1720 to 1861, and the kingdom of Italy from 1861 to 1946. Collateral branches of the house of Savoy include that of Nemours.
Savoy and Piedmont
Its first important member was Count Humbert the Whitehanded, a powerful feudal lord of the kingdom of Arles (in SE France) in the 11th cent. He held possessions in Savoy and acquired, through marriage, several fiefs in Piedmont, including Turin. Through marriage, diplomacy, and conquest his successors expanded their holdings in France, Switzerland, and Italy, acquiring Bresse and Bugey, Chablais (on the south shore of the Lake of Geneva), Lower Valais, Gex, Ivrea, Pinerolo, Nice, parts of Vaud and of Geneva, and other seigniories and towns. Chambéry, acquired in 1232, became the seat of the counts, whose scattered possessions were gradually consolidated. Amadeus VIII acquired the ducal title in 1416. His son Louis (d. 1465) married Anne de Lusignan, titular heiress to the kingdoms of Jerusalem, Cyprus, and Armenia; these titles were later borne by ruling members of the house.
The expansion of Switzerland and the Italian Wars resulted in the temporary disintegration of the duchy. The Swiss took the lower Valais (1475) and Vaud (1536); Geneva became independent (1533); and the rest of the duchy was occupied (1536) by Francis I of France. In 1559, however, Duke Emmanuel Philibert, called Ironhead, obtained the restoration of his duchy—except the larger part of the Swiss conquests—under the Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis. Emmanuel Philibert made Turin his capital, thus shifting the center of his duchy from France to Italy. The language and tone of the court, however, remained French until the late 18th cent. Emmanuel Philibert's son and successor, Charles Emmanuel I, unsuccessfully sought to reconquer Geneva. He gained (1601) the marquisate of Saluzzo in Piedmont from France in exchange for Bresse, Bugey, and Gex.-----------------------------
Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy (July 8, 1528, Chambéry - August 30, 1580, Turin) was Duke of Savoy from 1553 to 1580.
Emmanuel Philibert , 1528–80, hertug af Savoyen (1553–80), kaldt Jernhoved. Han efterfulgte sin fader, Charles III, som var blevet frataget sit hertugdømme af Francis I af Frankrig og schweizerne i 1536. Emmanuel Philibert gik i tjeneste hos Charles V, tysk-romersk kejser og konge af Spanien, og tjente senere Philip II af Spanien. As Philip's lieutenant general in Flanders he won a brilliant victory over the French at Saint-Quentin (1557) and captured the French commander, Anne de Montmorency. The Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis (1559) restored most of Savoy (except Vaud and Geneva, which remained Swiss) to Emmanuel Philibert, who in the same year married Margaret of Valois, sister of Henry II of France. Savoy was in deplorable condition. The duke, with great energy and wisdom, reorganized its courts, finances, educational system, industry, and commerce. He also reformed the army, substituting local militias for mercenaries. His skillful diplomacy rid Savoy of the French and Spanish garrisons and secured peaceful relations with the Swiss. Toward the Waldenses he displayed tolerance. By making Turin his capital, he shifted the center of his duchy from Savoy proper to Piedmont, thus making it an Italian rather than a French state. He was succeeded by his son, Charles Emmanuel I.
Emmanuel Philibert's mother Beatrice of Portugal was sister-in-law to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, and the future duke served in Charles's army during the war against Francis I of France, distinguishing himself by capturing Hesdin in July 1553. A month later, he became duke on the death of his father, but this was a nearly empty honor, as the vast majority of his hereditary lands had been occupied and administered by the French since 1536. Instead, he continued to serve the Habsburgs in hopes of recovering his lands, and served Philip II as Governor of the Netherlands from 1555-1559. In this capacity he personally led the Spanish invasion of northern France and won a brilliant victory at Saint-Quentin in August 1557.
By the Peace of Cateau Cambrésis between France and Spain, (1559) the duchy was restored to Emmanuel Philibert and he married Margaret of France, Duchess of Berry (1523-1574), sister to King Henry II. Their only child was Charles Emmanuel I of Savoy.
Emmanuel spent his rule regaining what had been lost in the costly wars with France. A skilled political strategist, he took advantage of various squabbles in Europe to slowly regain territroy from both the French and the Spanish, including the city of Turin. He also purchased two territories. Internally, he moved the capital of the duchy from Chambéry to Turin and replaced Latin as the duchy's official language with Italian. He was attempting to acquire the marquisate of Saluzzo when he died.
Charles Emmanuel I, 1562–1630, duke of Savoy (1580–1630), son and successor of Emmanuel Philibert. He continued his father's efforts to recover territories lost to the duchy, but his reckless, although cunning, diplomacy undermined many of the sound economic and political achievements of the previous decades. His goal to incorporate Geneva, Saluzzo, and Montferrat into Savoy caused him to oscillate in his alliances between France and Spain. In the long run he met with only limited success. In 1602 he tried unsuccessfully to reconquer Geneva by surprise attack. He recovered Saluzzo from the French by the Treaty of Lyons (1601), giving up, in exchange, Bresse, Bugey, Gex, and Pinerolo, but he lost Saluzzo just before his death. He waged war over the succession to Montferrat for much of the first quarter of the 16th cent. At the time of his death his duchy was overrun by the French. Charles Emmanuel, called the Great, was succeeded by his son, Victor Amadeus I.
Victor Amadeus II (b.May 14, 1666-d.October 31, 1732) was the Duke of Savoy (1675-1720, 1730-1732). His mother Marie Jeanne Baptiste was the regent from 1675 to 1684. He first became king of Sicily (1713-1718), he was forced to exchange this title and instead became king of Sardinia (1720-1730).
Charles III, Le Bon, 1503-1553
Emmanuel Philibert >1553-1580
Charles Emmanuel I > 1580-1630
Victor Amadeus I, 1630-37
Charles Emmanuel II, 1638-1675
Victor Amadeus II, 1675-1720, 1730-32