Men of the Time, eleventh edition/Amadeus, Prince, Amadeo Ferdinando Maria
AMADEUS, PRINCE, Amadeo Ferdinando Maria, Duke Of Aosta, formerly King of Spain, is the second son of the late Victor Emmanuel, King of Italy, and was born May 30, 1845. Entering the army, he became Captain of a Brigade of Infantry at Aosta, then Lieutenant-General and Chief of a Brigade of Cavalry. In 1869 he was also appointed Vice-Admiral. Marshal Prim, after the revolution of 1868, offered the Spanish crown first to the King of Portugal, next to the Duke of Genoa, and afterwards to the Prince Leopold, all of whom refused it. Finally, he fixed on the young Duke of Aosta, who, on Oct. 19, 1870, formally announced his candidature to the Regent Serrano. On the 16th of the following month the Cortes elected him King of Spain by 191 votes against 120; 64 deputies voting for the Republic, 22 for the Duke de Montpensier, 8 for Marshal Espartero, 2 for the Infant Alfonso, and 1 for the Duke de Montpensier's daughter, while 18 deputies abstained from voting. A deputation immediately proceeded to Florence to convey to the Duke of Aosta the offer of the crown, which he formally accepted Dec. 4, 1870. The young king landed at Cartagena on Dec. 30, the very day Marshal Prim expired from the wounds received at the hands of an assassin a few hours previously. His reign was a brief and troublous one. He was unpopular with the masses of the Spanish people, whose dislike to foreigners is a marked trait in their character; and his position, which had never been secure, became extremely dangerous in the summer of 1872, when a Carlist rising took place in the northern provinces, and an insurrection broke out almost simultaneously among the sailors and the workmen in the arsenal at Ferrol, who hoisted the red flag, and for some time set the government at defiance. On the 19th of July in that year an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate the King and Queen was made by five men, who posted themselves in the Calle Arnal in Madrid, and fired upon the carriage of their Majesties. At length Amadeo prudently resolved to abdicate. On Feb. 11, 1873, he addressed to the Cortes a message, in which he stated that in consequence of the incessant struggles of contending parties his efforts to give peace and prosperity to the country must prove futile, and that therefore he had determined to depose the crown. The very next day the Duke and his consort left Madrid, and proceeded first to Lisbon, and thence to Genoa, where they landed on the 9th of March. The Duke arrived in Florence on the 16th. Immediately on his return from Spain, he resumed the status of an Italian citizen. On March 14, 1873, his Royal Highness was again enrolled in the list of Senators; and in the Chamber of Deputies, Signor Sella, the Minister of Finance, presented a bill for restoring to him his allowance from the civil list, viz., 400,000 lire. The bill passed almost unanimously. At this period, also, King Victor Emmanuel conferred on the Duke of Aosta the rank of lieutenant-general. The Duke married, May 30, 1867, the Princess Mary (born Aug. 9, 1847), daughter of Prince Charles Emmanuel del Pozzo della Cisterna (she died Nov. 7. 1876); and has three sons, Emmanuel Philibert Victor Eugène Albert Genova Joseph Mary, Duke of Apulia, born Jan. 13, 1869; Victor Emmanuel Turin John Mary, Count of Turin, born Nov. 24, 1870; and Louis Amadeus Joseph Mary Ferdinand Francis, born Jan. 31, 1873.