The Reign of Carlos III (1759–88)



On 22 August 1759, twelve days after Fernando VI’s death, the news of it arrived in Naples. Carlos, King of Naples and half-brother of the dead king, before renouncing his Italian kingdom for that of Spain, had to resolve a question of succession of the utmost importance, since his brother Felipe, Duke of Parma, was ambitious to gain the vacant Neapolitan throne. Besides, Maria Theresa of Austria and Carlo Emanuele III of Savoy-Sardinia had interests which were involved; the former wanting to win back Parma and Guastalla, and the latter desirous of recovering Piacenza. It was necessary to remove these dangers. The French minister Choiseul undertook to do this by holding back Savoy with promises and by quietening Maria Theresa’s efforts to bring about the marriage of her eldest son Joseph, heir-apparent to the Empire, to the Infanta Isabel, daughter of Don Felipe, Duke of Parma. Of the sons of Carlos of Naples and Maria Amalie of Saxony, the eldest, Felipe was a cretin, the second, Carlos was designated heir-presumptive of Spain, and to the third, Fernando, fell the Kingdom of Naples. Carlos III succeeded to the Spanish throne thanks to the will of Fernando VI and by natural right.1


Chief Minister French Minister Spanish Minister Family Compact British Ambassador 
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Copyright information

© W. N. Hargreaves-Mawdsley 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Brandon UniversityCanada

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